‘Only Murders In The Building’ Story Recap Before Watching Season 3


Living in a big city like New York can get a bit lonely sometimes. We all crave emotional and spiritual connection with any group or individual who shares the same passion as us. Maybe we all want to be as lucky as Mabel Mora. What else can it be if not luck when someone looking for a sense of purpose crosses paths with two “random old men” and starts solving murders in the building?

So here is how Only Murders In The Building started: Mabel, who grew up in Brooklyn, had been having an existential crisis and wanted to have a change of environment for some time. She was an artist by heart and liked to paint but wasn’t sure if that’s the career she wanted to pursue. At this time of confusion, she found out that her aunt had a lavish apartment in Arconia, a posh building on the Upper West Side. Her aunt allowed Mabel to move into her apartment so that she could renovate it before they sold it off, and that’s how Mabel ended up in Arconia, where she met her partners in crime.

The first one is a failed theater director, Oliver Putnam, whose last Broadway show, “Splash: The Musical,” which opened some 15 years ago, was a huge disaster. The second one can also be called a failed artist, though he never really accepted the fact. Charles-Haden Savage was a popular television actor in the 1990s and got his fame and name from his most successful role, Brazzos. After the show closed, Charles starred in numerous pilots and commercials, which, in simple words, meant he didn’t do anything worthy in the later stages of his career. But he is still trying.

Basically, Only Murders In The Building is the story of these three underdogs who have found their calling in life and are trying to give it a try to keep their passion alive. The trio’s shared interest in listening to true crime podcasts motivated them to start their own podcast after a murder took place in Arconia.

Season 1 revolved around the mysterious murder of Tim Kono, who was Mabel’s childhood friend when she used to visit her aunt’s house during summer vacations. At the present time, the police found out that Tim had shot himself in his apartment and thus, without any further investigation, declared it a suicide. However, our trio, who had a keen eye for miniscule details, argued that Tim looked extremely happy on the day of his death. They had run into him in the elevator, and therefore, it was hard for them to rule out the possibility of foul play. And there begins their investigation, where they finally find that a psychopath named Jan Bellows had killed Tim Kono.

Jan was an older woman who lived in the same building. It was implied that Tim and Jan met in the elevator and might have clicked, after which the two started dating each other. However, Jan soon found out that Tim had been cheating on her and wanted to break up, after which she decided to poison him instead of letting him get off easily. She even staged it as a suicide so that the police wouldn’t investigate the death, and if the amateur podcasters hadn’t intervened, then Jan might have successfully committed the perfect murder. However, the funny thing is, it was not only Tim who had fallen in love with the lady killer. Charles, too, had grown fond of Jan, and after she was arrested, he still had feelings for her that he failed to shake off even in Season 2

The second season revolved around the murder of Arconia’s board president, Bunny Folger, whose ancestors had built the building. Bunny is found dead at the end of season 1, and the police spot Mabel at the crime scene, implicating her in the murder. The podcasters were arrested without further ado and were ruled as potential suspects in the murder case. Throughout season 2, Mabel, Charles, and Oliver try to prove their innocence. In the end, it was revealed that Cinda’s assistant, Poppy, had brutally stabbed Bunny. In the world of Only Murders In The Building, Cinda Canning is a popular podcaster whose podcast inspired Charles, Mabel, and Oliver to create their own channel to solve mysteries.

In the ending sequence of Season 2, which takes place one year later, we find out that Oliver has been approached by his longtime friend, Donna Demeo, who is producing a Broadway murder mystery. The old director had probably left the position for some reason, and Donna could think of only one person who would take on the responsibility on such short notice. Oliver, on the other hand, had always been on the hunt for the right opportunity to move back to his theatrical roots. He took the job without any fuss and went on to direct the play “Death Rattle,” whose story might seem more like a Lifetime movie, but who are we to judge?

Nevertheless, Oliver and Donna cast a popular actor named Benjamin Ben Glenroy for the lead. As it was implied, Ben might be a popular actor on screen, but the stage was something new for him. He was having stage fright before the show. The end also revealed that Ben held a grudge against Charles, the reason of which is revealed to us in Season 3, and we believe you may soon find it out. So, what exactly happened on the opening night? Ben walked on stage and was reciting his lines when a tragedy took place. While performing, Ben suddenly falls down on stage, and his mouth starts foaming, indicating that he was poisoned. So, who really wanted Ben dead? Throughout the third season, our favorite podcasters will find clues to bring justice to Ben and catch his killer, whom they believe is someone from the cast. 

The cast of the third season already looks promising, with the likes of Paul Rudd and Meryl Streep playing significant roles. We believe that the series is going to employ a lot of flashbacks this season to reveal what exactly happened during the rehearsal of “Death Rattle.” Ben, being a narcissistic actor, might have gotten on everyone’s nerves, and hence it isn’t a surprise that someone really tried to silence him. It will be interesting to see how Charles, Mabel, and Oliver find out who the killer is. But will this tragedy jeopardize Oliver’s career again? And what will happen to Mabel if her aunt sells the apartment? Will she leave Arconia behind? We will be eagerly watching the new episodes of the series each week to make our notes, weave conspiracies to carry out our own investigation, and speculate on who the killer will be.

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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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