Only Murders in the Building’s second season ended on a massive cliffhanger. Paul Rudd’s character, Ben Gilroy, drops dead on the opening night of Oliver’s play “Death Rattle.” This perfectly sets the stage for Oliver, Charles, and Mabel to do what they do best. Season 3 involves the trio solving Ben’s untimely death. The first two episodes of this season offer audiences plenty to unpack. One of the most surprising pieces of information is revealed at the end of episode one.
Ben did not really die on the stage! He died later, as the trio found him dead in the Arconia's elevator. This throws Oliver into a state of disarray about his work and general creative talent. That also includes the question, "Can his play even continue without a leading man?"
Meanwhile, Mabel and Charles begin an investigation of Ben’s death. It’s a lot of information to unpack, especially with season 3’s new characters. Only one question remains for season 3: who really killed Ben? These two episodes have certainly given viewers a plethora of options.
Looks Can Be Deceiving
Season 3 has added plenty of big-time stars to its impressive roster. The biggest addition is the Academy-Award Winning actor, Meryl Streep. She stars as an actor in the play named Loretta Durkin. Loretta was a last-minute audition who really impressed Oliver with the audition performance.
She is someone who is devilishly shy but so incredibly eager to be a part of the play. These episodes don’t have much interaction between her and Ben, but her dislike of him is made apparent early on. She knows he doesn’t respect her, which makes Loretta a prime suspect. Her romantic moment with Oliver at the piano at the afterparty is certainly going to come back around later.
Loretta is not the only suspect in everyone's favorite trio’s next mystery. The play, of course, has plenty of supporting players. There is only one problem with any of them: viewers don’t know them yet. These two episodes don’t leave much room to introduce them, making the likelihood of them being the culprit unknown.
Some could have wanted Ben dead simply out of revenge, while others out of jealousy. Kimber, Ty, and Bobo could all have their own vendettas against Ben’s arrogant ways. Episode two even gave audiences a misdirection that could eventually lead to something more sinister.
Ben’s fellow actors could undoubtedly have a vendetta that involved wanting Ben dead. As the season progresses, their intentions and opinion of Ben could become more clear. Both Charles and Mabel thought Greg, Ben’s “security,” might be the culprit. He even chloroforms the pair when they go to his apartment once they realize Greg is an obsessive fan.
This misdirection allows Charles and Mabel to bond until they’re saved by the police. Something to take notice of is how oddly calm Charles is. It is almost as if he knows something that the audience does not.
The Killer Could Be a Fan Favorite
One thing is made absolutely apparent about Charles and Ben’s relationship. Both men simply did not like each other. Charles is made to have an instant dislike of Ben for one reason. Ben is stealing Charles’s shot at a second chance for fame. He (Charles) acts as a selfish- chameleon but might have ulterior motives.
This is not revealed until Charles tries to be kind to Ben in his dressing room. Ben then reveals that Charles got him fired from Brazzos, and he definitely still holds a grudge. That grudge could be enough for Charles to finally snap under the pressure of the spotlight.
A good murder mystery offers viewers plenty of misdirections. Both episodes throw plenty of curveballs but remain a bit too obvious with the suspects. It is not until the end of episode two that Mabel and Charles figure out someone in the play killed Ben. This revelation could be to Charles’s detriment.
A “breakthrough” like this could force him to be sneaky further into the season. As events progress, Charles could even frame another cast member. This could send him into damage control the further things go along. Each new character could be an outlet for Charles to enact his vendetta against Ben. There is only one way he might reveal himself to both Oliver and Mabel.
Only Murders In the Building’s third season has given plenty of red herrings. One could be turning a beloved character into a hideous villain. The series' distinct tone could make this seem like an impossibility. Making Charles a villain would certainly be a more divisive choice for the comedic series.
At the same time, a twist of this magnitude could lead to some serious revelations and stellar acting. As the episodes progress, other suspects could come to the show’s forefront. Only one thing about this season of Only Murders, and murder mysteries in general, has been made clear at this point. The true “killer” is always the person viewers least expect, making Charles a real possibility.