“Only Murders in the Building” Season 3 Finale: Unmasking the Culprit
SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains spoilers for “Opening Night,” the Season 3 finale of “Only Murders in the Building.”
Uncovering the Truth
Season 3 of “Only Murders in the Building” takes viewers on a thrilling journey as Mabel (Selena Gomez), Charles (Steve Martin), and Oliver (Martin Short) join forces to uncover the identity of the person who wanted to kill Ben, the star of Oliver’s new Broadway play. The list of suspects is long, including Charles himself, who had punched Ben right before opening night, Loretta (played by Meryl Streep), who is secretly Ben’s manager and adopted brother’s biological mother, and Dickie, the overshadowed creator of the movie franchise that made Ben famous.
However, in the Season 3 finale titled “Opening Night,” the true culprits are revealed to be the producers of Oliver’s play, Donna DeMeo (Linda Emond) and her son, Cliff (Wesley Taylor). Donna, suffering from Stage IV lung cancer, sprinkled rat poison onto Ben’s cookie after realizing his performance was tanking the play. She wanted to ensure her son’s first Broadway producing credit was not tarnished. However, her plan goes awry when Cliff accidentally pushes Ben down an elevator shaft while trying to stop him from calling the police on his mom.
A Twisty Turn of Events
The Season 3 finale of “Only Murders in the Building” is full of unexpected twists and turns. As Ben bounces back from the poisoning, he discovers that Donna was behind the attempt on his life. Meanwhile, Mabel realizes that Donna would do anything for her son, just like Loretta would. The truth unravels, and the police take Donna and Cliff away, allowing the gang to finally celebrate.
What Lies Ahead
As fans of “Only Murders in the Building” know, every party is interrupted by a murder that sets up the following season. In the Season 3 finale, Charles’ long-time body double, Sazz (Jane Lynch), becomes the fourth murder victim in the building when a bullet meant for Charles hits her instead. This shocking event sets the stage for the next season, which Hulu has already greenlit.
Interview with John Hoffman
John Hoffman, co-creator of “Only Murders in the Building,” recently spoke with Haber Tusba about the Season 3 finale and the intricate web of relationships and motives. He discussed the early decision to reveal Cliff as the murderer and Donna’s attempted murder, as well as the importance of creating surprising and meaningful storylines for the characters.
Clues and Surprises
Hoffman explained that the writers wanted to provide enough clues for viewers to piece together the puzzle, giving them a sense of satisfaction when they correctly guessed the killer. However, the surprise lies in the manner of how the crimes unfolded. For example, the scene with Ben talking to a cookie may have sparked curiosity early on, but the revelation of the deeper story behind it added an emotional and comedic element.
An Unconventional Approach
The show cleverly planted red herrings, with Meryl Streep’s character, Loretta, being a prime suspect. Hoffman revealed that they considered making her the murderer, but ultimately, they wanted to subvert audience expectations. The chemistry between Loretta and Martin Short’s character, Oliver, was too beautiful to overshadow with another Jan-Charles situation from Season 1, so they opted for a different direction.
Revealing the Truth to the Actors
Hoffman shared that the actor playing the killer needs to be informed before shooting begins, so he had individual conversations with Wesley, Linda, and Jeremy Shamos, who plays Dickie. This allowed them to prepare for their characters’ reveals without spoiling the secret for the rest of the cast. The opportunity for the actors to experience the show with all the secrets revealed later on and appreciate the depth of their characters’ motivations was something Hoffman found beautiful.
The Complexity of Oliver’s Choices
Hoffman discussed Oliver’s storyline in the Season 3 finale, highlighting the character’s desperation and the choices he makes. Oliver’s actions, including lying and tampering with evidence to protect Loretta, reflect his emotional and physical turmoil. Hoffman believes that seeing beloved characters make questionable decisions adds depth and humanity to their portrayal, making them relatable despite their flaws.
The Power of Love
The love between Loretta and Dickie becomes a pivotal element in the story, ultimately acting as a motive for Loretta’s actions. Hoffman emphasized the importance of developing their relationship beyond a simple job opportunity for Loretta. By understanding Loretta’s backstory and her deep love for her son, viewers can appreciate the weight of her choices and the complexity of her character.
The Season 3 finale of “Only Murders in the Building” sets the stage for another thrilling season filled with mystery and murder. With the fourth murder occurring at the end of the episode, fans can expect more twists and surprises in the upcoming season. As the show continues to captivate audiences, the intricate web of relationships and the lengths people are willing to go for each other will undoubtedly be explored further.