Only Murders in the Building is the latest entry in the mystery-comedy genre, and we have a solid contender. Created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman and spreading out over 10 episodes, the show has chosen a specific and entertaining approach to its execution.
Read Also – ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Season 1
We are treated to the murder quick enough, as we hear news of a dead Tim Kono. This is, however, a case that is treated as suicide by shooting. The police are swift to open and shut it, leaving no room for speculation or investigation. However, Tim Kono was in an elevator minutes before he died with a trio. A trio obsessed with true crime.
And so, Charles, an aging has-been actor played by Steve Martin, Oliver, a director played by Martin Short who has lost credibility, and Mabel, a wry and mysterious young woman played by Selena Gomez, take on the mission of murder solving. Tim Kono did not commit suicide, and they are going to be the ones to prove it.
It may be happenstance that causes them to embark on their journey, but they are led into a web of secrets and lies with higher stakes than they could have imagined. We are shown as an audience that Mabel is lying about her relationship with the dead man, and instantly, the intrigue dials up.
As with any murder mystery, our trio has their hands full with suspects that they must juggle around. There is a building full of people to look at, a man with a dead cat, and the mysterious Tie-Dye Guy Charles is sure he saw. There is Mabel herself when the others discover her lie, and Teddy Dimas, the man who sponsors the trio’s true-crime podcast.
The web of suspects tangle and shrink, growing to probable and improbable heights. The celebrity singer, Sting, is a suspect for an episode, as is the deaf and mute Theo Dimas, Teddy’s son. As we follow these suspects, we uncover more transgressions and crimes, but we are yet to uncover the hand who pulled the trigger to kill Tim Kono.
We also discover that Mabel was involved in a murder years ago at the Arconia. A murder that Tim witnessed but pretended to know nothing about. A murder that killed one of Mabel and Tim’s friends, the girlfriend of Oscar, who we now know was Tie-Dye Guy. But are the two murders linked? As the investigation continues, we find that Theo was responsible for the previous murder, and Tim was threatened to keep quiet.
With the help of an officer with a conscience, we find that Tim was poisoned before he died and that contrary to what they had believed, he did have a woman in his life. It leaves the trio confused as ever, having to go back to square one.
As suspect after suspect is ruled out or accused of something else, the murderer remains elusive.
The Personal Lives
We are also invited into the personal lives of our main characters, and we find out about Oliver’s money problems, Charles’ past relationship and broken heart, Mabel’s past, and its demons. The podcast and the murder investigation shift and affect these personal lives, too, in each of their cases.
The sponsor for the podcast and the fans give Oliver a taste of the credibility he has so missed. It is a light on the horizon, an investment in his ability, and a means to pay his bills. He may no longer have to beg his son to help him out with money for rent and food.
As the podcast and investigation take Charles out of his shell and his anxieties, we see that he is hopeful again. He meets and befriends Jan, played by Amy Ryan, a bassoonist who can flirt with all the bassoon puns in the world. Charles begins dating Jan, and suddenly, we see a lighter and more passionate side of the man who has been too scared for too long.
Mabel has been waiting for Oscar, who was wrongfully accused of the murder 10 years ago. Her demons have kept her from living fully, leaving her in a firm grip of the past. But as her friendship with the ‘old’ men from her apartment flourishes and her romance with Oscar takes form, Mabel is no longer haunted.
‘Only Murders in the Building’ Ending Explained – Who Killed Tim Kono?
It is the question we asked at the start, and by the end of the Only Murders in the Building, we finally have an answer. In a twist we could not have predicted, we learn that the woman Tim Kono was seeing was none other than our favorite bassoonist- Jan.
We are heartbroken for Charles at first, but then we are scared for his life as Jan poisons him. But this is a team effort, and Mabel and Oliver can get to him in time. The final showdown is quick and triumphant on our trio’s part. Jan is arrested, and the trio has reason to celebrate. The podcast has met a triumphant end, and they have made it out alive and healed.
But amid their celebration, as Mabel goes downstairs to get champagne, the sirens begin. The alarm goes off, and the men race down to get Mabel. They rush into a room where Mabel’s sweater is covered in blood, and she is crouched down next to a body in a Tie-Dye hoodie. But it isn’t Oscar.
The dead body is Bunny, the grumpy building in-charge, stabbed in the chest with a knitting needle. And in an absurd and shocking cliffhanger true to the show’s nature, Season 1 ends with our trio being led out in handcuffs.
Is it now a case of Only Murderers in the Building? We have to wait for Only Murderers in the Building Season 2 to find out.
Only Murders in the Building is a 2021 Comedy Drama Television Series starring Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez. Season 1 is streaming on Hulu and Hotstar.