The third season of “Only Murders in the Building” has come to an end. Was solving the mystery of Ben Glenroy’s murder worth watching?

Martyna Janasik

6 October 2023

The third season of Only Murders in the Building has come to an end. The final episode of the third season, which became a phenomenon in the United States and soon captivated the rest of the world, is now available on Hulu. In this new season, the trio of self-proclaimed detectives solves the mystery of Ben Glenroy’s death, who died on the Broadway stage. Was their attempt to answer the question of who killed Ben Glenroy worth watching?

Note: Minor spoilers.

A brief reminder: Only Murders in the Building is a comedic crime series that, thanks to Steve Martin’s brilliant idea of combining the old with the young, became Hulu’s most-watched comedy series. The production revolves around three strangers brought together by their shared obsession with true crime podcasts. Oliver and Charles, aging artists, befriend Mabel, a twenty-something, when a resident of their New York apartment building, Arconia, dies, and they decide to create a podcast about it, disagreeing with the police’s suicide theory. As you might guess, they turn out to be right.

In the first season, Oliver, Charles, and Mabel investigated what happened to Tim Kono. In the second season, they discovered who killed Bunny. In the third season, they solve the case of Ben Glenroy, with even greater turbulence than before. The question is whether the latest installment of Only Murders in the Building was worth watching, especially since we already know that the series is not over yet.

What happened to Ben Glenroy?

The third season of Only Murders in the Building revolves around events from the finale of the previous one.

In the finale of the second season, Ben Glenroy, the lead actor in Oliver’s new Broadway play, died on stage during the premiere. How did this happen when no one was near him? Is it murder? Did someone poison him? Oliver, Mabel, and Charles decide to solve this mystery, knowing that it may be the only way to save Oliver’s show. However, they will encounter difficulties on their way, and the biggest challenge turns out to be themselves. Only one of them will truly engage in the investigation, putting their friendship to the test. New people entering their lives will also introduce chaos. Will the self-proclaimed trio manage to work together in these unfavorable circumstances and find out what really happened to Ben Glenroy?

We don't judge the season before the last episode

Before the finale of the third season of Only Murders in the Building, I already had a preliminary outline of my review. I was going to write that the latest installment of Only Murders in the Building did not live up to the previous parts of the production. Two Hollywood stars, Meryl Streep and Paul Rudd, were introduced, but their roles seemed so vague to me that they looked more like a hook to attract new viewers (yes, I realize that Rudd plays Ben, who dies). Separating the main trio makes the series lose its dynamism. Side plots, such as Mabel’s romance and Oliver’s infatuation, are treated so neglectfully that they seem forced and do not bring anything new. Trying to play with the genre—musical elements—is a good idea to refresh the format but turns out to be only a temporary disturbance, lacking when the series returns to its old tracks and stops grabbing attention with a scattered plot. The investigation plot suffers the most from all this, appearing at times downright tertiary. However, the final scenes of the series completely changed my mind.

Watching the last episode, I understood that my judgment was premature. The final episode showed me that Oliver, Mabel, and Charles had to undergo transformations and put their friendship at stake, and consequently, the series and its plots had to change a bit. This allowed Oliver, Mabel, and Charles to discover themselves and check who they are without each other, bringing a new quality to their relationship. I have the impression that these new experiences and encounters with other people helped them appreciate the strength of their friendship and resolve conflicts, leading to the return of their detective instinct. After all, the lives of these characters have been in some kind of suspension for a long time—two seasons. Something had to change for them to move forward with new energy, and they need it because we already know that a continuation of the production is in the works.

I also retract my criticism of the attempt to play with the genre of the series. The final episodes proved that the series works great regardless of the form of its format, as it ultimately fulfilled its main goal. It engaged me in forming theories about who and why committed another crime in Arconia, which we see in the final scene of the season. My theory is bold, albeit somewhat banal, assuming the desire for revenge of a wounded woman. Could I be right? I hope I won’t have to wait long to find out.

Have you seen the finale of Only Murders in the Building’s third season? How did you like it? Do you already have theories about the murder in the last scene? Let me know in the comments.

Martyna Janasik

Martyna Janasik

Cultural studies scholar and writer. Enthusiast of food, cinema, and sports. Probably that's why some of her favorite movies are "Rocky" and "Julie and Julia". She always wanted to write, so she will always write. In her free time, she loves watching movies and playing tennis.

See other posts from this author >>>