Only Murders in the Building Season 3 Episode 9, the penultimate episode, seemingly zeroed in on a murder suspect responsible for taking out Ben Glenroy, but this new development isn’t all that shocking or exciting.
The trio—Mabel, Oliver, and Charles—did what they should’ve done about 8 episodes ago in an attempt to solve the mystery: create a timeline of Ben’s movements from opening night.
By retracing his steps while watching the witness statements, the hope was that they would be able to pinpoint the person responsible. It’s one of the first times this season that they were all on the same page, which is likely why they were able to make some real headway on the case.
But the revelation that the killer is Donna DeMeo falls kind of flat, particularly when she jumped to the top of the suspect’s list following her chat with Meryl Streep’s Loretta in the bathroom, where she declared that a “mother’s love” knows no bounds when it comes to protecting a child (not to mention the creative forces behind the show underscored that this seemingly fleeting bathroom interaction was going to play a much larger role in the grand scheme of things in a post-mortem, thus nearly confirming that she’s responsible).
Donna had the most to lose and the most at stake, and with it being her son’s first production—she couldn’t afford for it to be his last.
The motive was staring them dead in the face the entire time, however, the “how” was unknown until Mabel witnessed Oliver speaking passionately to his biggest vice—dips.
From there, Mabel was able to piece together that the person Ben was accusing of ruining his career in his dressing room wasn’t a person at all, it was a cookie (his biggest weakness) and one that was poisoned by Donna when she read the early review of the play calling Ben the weakest link. If you’re trying to destroy evidence, you should probably empty out the shredder—just food for thought.
They figured they cracked the case with 20 minutes to spare before Loretta’s arraignment, and with time of the essence, needed a fast way to get into the city, which is where Joyce’s bridal dress came in handy.
Since before the seasons even premiered, fans wondered why Mabel was spotted running across NYC in a wedding dress with her two besties in full-on tuxes by her side (the Fathers of the Bride joke was a nice touch), and now, we know—it was murder business, the best kind of business of all.
They made it to the courtroom with enough time to spare for Oliver and Loretta to not only quip about how good they both looked—orange is her color—but for him to warn his true love that she can’t confess to a murder she didn’t commit just to save Dickie because he’s not even the prime suspect anymore.
And that’s when they see Donna, in the crowd, ready for action. It definitely comes off as menacing, but the question does remain—did they pinpoint the right suspect this time around?
And could it really be as easy as Donna? They didn’t put too much thought into Donna’s second attempt at killing Ben, who might not even be the same person. Maybe they only solved half the puzzle?
What about all the other potential suspects? This season hasn’t really done a great job at including them all, including Tobert, who has basically been sidelined for the past few episodes.
The episode was good at giving a deeper insight into Ben—the man, not the movie star, including his struggles, insecurities, and the fact that his best friends were “5 whores,” who weren’t whores at all, not anymore at least, and in actuality, five ladies that made up his sewing circle.
We also learned that Loretta was encouraging Dickie to leave Ben behind and no longer serve as his manager because he “deserved better,” (how did no one realize she’s so maternal to him? Did Dickie know the whole time?) a fact Ben found out right before opening night which led to his spiral. And when he shoved the whole poisonous cookie in his mouth, he’s the one who wrote “f**king pig” on the mirror to torment himself. He self-sabotaged. There were so many layers to Ben that sort of explained his asshole-ish ways, and it was kind of heartbreaking to see them pulled back.
Also, all of this transpired on Mabel’s 30th birthday, with her birthday wish coming true as they were all back together doing what they do best.
The trio may have landed on their most logical suspect, but there’s still much more to the story, and I for one am hoping that the series pulls the biggest twist of all and reveals that Dickie was, in fact, the second killer. Or maybe it was always Loretta and that’s why she’s so at peace with her decision?
They have a reputation to uphold, and they can’t ruin it on a subpar season.
What did you think? Are you convinced that Donna is responsible for Ben’s demise?
Only Murders in the Building Season Finale Recap – The Arconia’s Next Victim Revealed (310)
Which one of the Pickwick triplets did it? That was essentially the question haunting the final episode of Only Murders in the Building Season 3, except swap Pickwick triplets for someone from the production of Death Razzle Dazzle.
Mabel, Oliver, and Charles’ investigation coincided with the opening night of Oliver’s Broadway musical, which was fitting since the plot of the musical paralleled this season’s murder mystery, specifically, how far would a mother go for her child?
The trio confirmed—with ease— that Donna did, in fact, poison Ben Glenroy with a cookie right before the first opening night, in an attempt to protect her baby boy, Cliff, from the worst review about his first production ever. She didn’t intend on killing Ben, she simply wanted to knock him out for a bit. The trio was quite surprised by her straightforward confession, but honestly, there was no need for her to drag it on any further or try to weasel her way out of it… the facts were right there staring her in the face, and with supposed stage 4 lung cancer, she didn’t have much to lose.
But there was still the question of Ben’s actual murder as we know the rat poison didn’t actually kill him. Donna confessed to pushing him down the elevator shaft after Mabel showed her the handkerchief with her lipstick on it, and while everyone was happy that they got the confession on tape and could move on to focus on the show, Mabel wasn’t convinced. Something just didn’t sit right with her about the whole situation, and it wasn’t until she witnessed Loretta’s confession to Dickie about being his mother—and he already knew, he always knew—that she realized it wasn’t just a mother protecting her son but a son protecting his mother.
The real killer was Cliff, who had a run-in with Ben right after he got his lab results and learned of the poisoning. Since he was fasting that day, he was easily able to connect it back to Donna, and when he promised that she’d go to jail for a really long time, Cliff kind of just lost it. It was definitely accidental, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s lied about it this whole time.
And thus, Death Razzle Dazzle was the death of the mommy-son duo that was a little too close for comfort since the beginning anyway.
The celebrations were underway shortly after as Oliver not only produced the show and received rave reviews this time around, but he also served as the stand-in when Jonathan took too many pills and found himself out of commission.
There was so much anticipation building up to this Broadway spectacular, that admittedly, I was slightly more excited about seeing it all come to life than I was about cracking the murder.
And, as usual, the final moments of the episode set the stage for yet another murder. One might wonder how in the world are they going to pull off another murder in the Arconia, but they somehow did it in a way that not only made sense but built intrigue, not just about the killer but why the intended target was Charles!
In his dark apartment, a bullet pierced through the window hitting someone in the chest and knocking them to the ground. Initially, it seemed like Charles, but it was revealed to be Sazz, who was dressed just like him.
It’s unclear who might have a vendetta against Charles but there won’t be a shortage of suspects, including Matthew Broderick (mhhm!). My immediate go-to thought was that Jan got out of prison early and wanted revenge, but that’s too easy, right?
Sazz did want to talk to Charles about something, and if they don’t find her before she bleeds out on his kitchen floor, we’ll never know what it is that she wanted to get off of her chest. But it’s possible it was somehow related to the shooting.
At this point, they don’t have to look far for their next murder as it hits way too close to home. This time, it’s personal.
And while that’s good for the podcast because there’s no shortage of material, I swear, I would be high-heaving it out of the Arconia the moment a fourth murder occurred. Maybe it would just be better for the trio to take a break in Los Angeles, a sunny place free from the dangers lurking in NYC… one would hope.
LA became a topic of conversation as Loretta and Oliver discussed the next phase of their relationship, which means Meryl Streep may stick around for the foreseeable future, though she’ll likely be busy pursuing her blossoming acting career and establishing a relationship with Dickie.
As for Mabel, she offered to visit Tobert in Los Angeles, so he might also be around next season. You don’t even understand the sigh of relief I let out when it was revealed that Tobert had absolutely nothing to do with Ben’s murder. Mabel finding a good guy who wants to pursue things further? All I have to say is, hold onto that, girl!
So, that’s where we leave off this season—Ben’s murder solved, everyone’s relationships thriving, and a new murder plaguing the lives of the core three?
What did you think of this season of Only Murders in the Building? Are you still enjoying the concept?
Will There Be a Season 4 of ‘Only Murders in the Building’?
Only Murders in the Building concluded its third season on Oct. 2, 2023, leaving fans wondering if we’ve reached the end of the road with Mabel (Selena Gomez), Charles (Steve Martin) and Oliver (Martin Short), the dynamic murder-mystery-solving-podcasting trio.
It would be a shame to wrap up a series with a cast that has such a genuine bond and chemistry, and the good news is that the murderous fun is over just yet.
On Oct. 3, 2023, the official social media pages for the show announced that the series will be coming back for a season 4. “Let the investigating begin,” the caption read alongside a photo of the iconic trio laughing and celebrating.
No release date has been announced just yet, but we’re hoping that a summer 2024 release isn’t out of the picture. After all, it was the perfect summer show to get invested in this year.
The third season ended on a major cliffhanger by introducing a new murder victim—who fans initially thought was Charles, though it turned out to be his lookalike stand-in Sazz (Jane Lynch). Sazz was hit with a bullet (and it’s unclear if it was rogue or intended for her or Charles) in Charles’ kitchen before collapsing to the ground and whimpering as she bled out.
There were also some development in terms of the trio’s personal romantic relationships, with both Oliver and Mabel establishing that they want to continue seeing love interests Loretta and Tobert, respectively, meaning that Meryl Streep and Jesse Williams may appear in the future season in guest spots as the trio potentially ventures outside of NYC to visit LA, a sunny place they can only handle in “small doses.”
All in all, there’s plenty of fan interest in the show along with fresh mysteries to keep it going—and we’re absolutely thrilled about it.
Who Is Ben’s Killer on ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Season 3?
Only Murders in the Building returned for its third season on August 8 on Hulu and wrapped up its run on October 2 by finally bringing to light Ben Glenroy’s (Paul Rudd) killer.
It’s not the most riveting twist we’ve seen—that honor goes to the second season finale—however, the musical theater backdrop was a fun new setting to explore to prevent the season from becoming stale, and it delivered a cliffhanger that was nothing short of jaw-dropping.
After hitting some rough patches, Mabel (Selena Gomez) Charles (Steve Martin), and Oliver (Martin Short) finally got their podcast back on track, thankfully, and their episode revealing the murderer was timed perfectly to opening night of the Broadway show.
And fittingly, life imitated art, with the love of a mother willing to do anything, anything to protect her boy.
When the trio confronted Donna, she confessed fully to poisoning Ben with a cookie doused with rat poison, though she made it clear that she wasn’t trying to kill him but it was hard to figure out how “many rats make up Ben.” Truly an iconic line.
Of course, there was Ben’s actual death at the Arconia later that night, mere hours after coming back to life. When presented with the evidence—a handkerchief with a lipstick stain matching Donna’s that Ben was found holding when he plunged to his death—she also confessed to pushing him down the elevator shaft because she couldn’t “risk him performing the next night and ruining the show.”
It was almost too easy, and Mabel knew it; she was not convinced. She spent the rest of the play keeping her eyes open watching Donna, who they allowed to finish out the show as she had “stage 4 lung cancer and wasn’t a flight risk,” and eventually seeing an intense moment between Donna and her boy, Cliff.
Mabel followed Cliff up to the little room above the stage where she finally pieced it all together, with Cliff owning up to his part in Ben’s death.
Turns out, Ben got a call with his lab results after coming back to life during which he was informed that he ingested rat poison.
Since he was fasting the night of the play, he didn’t think it was possible until he realized that Donna gave him a cookie right before the show knowing he couldn’t refuse it and basically encouraged him to eat it.
As Ben solves his own attempted murder, Cliff panics because he doesn’t want to see his mom go to jail.
Things get heated between Ben and Cliff, the latter of whom pushes the former in a moment of anger.
As for the handkerchief, Donna would always kiss her son Cliff on the “lips” and on “the heart” before every show, meaning she’d kiss a handkerchief and tuck it into his chest pocket. And it’s how Ben ended up clutching one with her lipstick print.
Cliff panics as the realization that he murdered Ben sets in, so he threatens to jump to his death. No one is able to stop him until Donna arrives, placing her hand in her baby boy’s to tell him everything’s going to be just fine. If they go down, they go down together—the mother-son duo is arrested for their respective roles in the death of Ben Glenroy, bringing to end another season of Only Murders in the Building.
At the celebratory party shortly after, everyone is chatting about what’s next for them, with all three planning to make a trip out to Los Angeles.
Charles announces that he’s going to grab a 1966 Malbec so that they can all drink in celebration of opening night getting such rave reviews.
But once he enters his apartment, a gunshot flies through the window and hits him… or what looks to be him. It’s soon revealed that the victim is Sazz, Charles’ double who was dressed just like him. She lays bleeding out on his kitchen floor, whimpering in pain.
Charles was likely the intended target… and it looks like this core trio won’t have to look too far to find their next case. The series always finds a way to keep it interesting.
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