Did Donna Demeo Poison Ben Glenroy In ‘Only Murders In The Building’ Season 3?


Sometimes, there is a lot more going on behind the scenes than in an actual film or a play. I guess it won’t be wrong to say that people act more in real life than they do on stage or on camera. It is what we saw in the third season of Only Murders in the Building. Everyone is holding a grudge against each other. Everyone is hiding a secret of their own behind that perfectly happy face. In the penultimate episode of Season 3, our trio of podcasters finally went behind the scenes to find out what actually went through on the day Ben Glenroy was murdered.

With the help of secretly recorded interrogation, Mabel, Charles, and Oliver tried to create a timeline of events from the night Ben was murdered. They wanted to find out who Ben was talking to in his dressing room, the conversation which was also recorded on Tobert’s camera. In the end, it was revealed that there wasn’t any person in Ben’s dressing room. Instead, it was Ben talking to himself, trying to stop himself from becoming a “pig.” The trio speculated that there might be a poisoned Schmackary’s Rattle Cookie lying on the dressing table, which Ben ate, therefore leading to his fall on stage during his performance.

We have been told in Episode 1 that the CoBro star couldn’t resist the sight of cookies. It was no secret, though. Ben had told everyone about his temptation for cookies on the first day, and therefore, it could be speculated that the killer used his weakness against him to put him to death. While going forward, Mabel, Charles, and Oliver found out through Howard Morris that someone had been shredding some papers in the store room on the opening night of Death Rattle. Mabel and Howard had brought those shredded pieces home in order to fix the puzzle so as to unravel the mystery further, and even though we had doubts about Howard’s skills, he finally did it. Howard stitched the pieces of paper and brought them to the trio, where Oliver finally noticed the words that gave him the first heart attack of his life, which is “Didn’t Sing.”

In the second episode, when Oliver went to Ben’s funeral, he came across the hard and stern play critic, Maxine, who, after a bit of hesitation, finally told Oliver that his play just didn’t sing enough. And without holding back, she informed Oliver that his leading man was the worst of all. Maxine had written the same thing in her review, where she spoke about Ben’s inability to act on stage.

Mabel, Charles, and Oliver further speculated that perhaps Donna Demeo, the producer of the play, got her hands on the review before it was published in the leading newspaper, and therefore, in order to save her son’s career as a Broadway producer, she decided to take matters into her own hands. But why didn’t Donna try to convince Ben to leave his stardom behind before walking on stage so that he could deliver the performance of a lifetime? The thing is, Ben wouldn’t have listened to her. Ben Glenroy actually never listened to anyone.

Since the beginning of Only Murders in the Building Season 3, we have seen that Ben Glenroy is a hard nut to crack. One cannot just reason with stars like them before they tell you all the stories of their fans and fandom to make sure you agree that they have talent, even though it is a proven fact that many times, stardom is accidental. Ben might have been a good person at heart. He might have been kind, too, though he had an extremely hard time expressing it. But what most people were certain of was that Ben Glenroy never ever treated his co-actors or crew members right. He was mean and cruel to them, and for some, he even became their worst nightmare, and it was the reason why each one of them had a motive to kill him.

So, it can be speculated that Donna didn’t have many options at her disposal. She couldn’t just sit silently and let Cliff’s bright future go down the drain, and therefore, she placed a Rattle Cookie sprinkled with some rat poison in Ben’s green room to kill him in order to sabotage the entire play. Donna knew that the play was going to tank after its opening night, and therefore, the tragic death of the leading man was the only way to stop the inevitable.

But hold thy horses. Even though Mabel, Charles, and Oliver speculated this entire theory incriminates Donna as the killer, there are still some flaws in it. What if someone else had read the same review, and it was them who placed the poisoned cookie in Ben’s room? Every member of the cast was relying on the success of the Death Rattle, and therefore, it couldn’t be just Donna who would have been most affected. It could be Cliff, too. 

Additionally, Donna was not particularly a murderer, and therefore, making a second attempt on Ben’s life still looks doubtful. Even though she had poisoned the cookie in the first place, it is possible that there was someone else who pushed him towards the elevator shaft on the day of his death. And we are not even saying that this was an intentional murder. It could have been an accident, too. Ben had been wrestling around with the members of the cast and crew, and on the night of the murder, he might have entered into yet another tussle with someone that eventually led to his death.

As of now, Mabel, Charles, and Oliver have enough evidence to convince Loretta Durkin not to plead guilty to the crime she didn’t commit, and therefore, we can speculate that at the end of Only Murders in the Building Season 3, Oliver might finally get a romantic partner. However, judging by the pattern of the show, half of the last episode will be about how the trio gathers evidence against Donna if she is really the killer. The latter half will be the celebration where another murder can occur, leaving us with yet another cliffhanger paving the way for a Season 4, if there is any on the cards.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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