Only Murders in the Building: Opening Night
October 3, 2023 5:46 AM - Season 3, Episode 10 - Subscribe

The show circles back to the end, and by the end I mean opening night, as the Besties attempt to solve the murder of Ben Glenroy before the curtain falls.
posted by Kattullus (40 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
As the we got the final twist, my thoughts went from "well, I guess he didn't want to do another season, and that's a good way for his story to end" to "no… oh no! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
posted by Kattullus at 5:49 AM on October 3, 2023 [10 favorites]

Kattullus's comment mirrors my thought processes exactly.

I also want to note that even though the collective fan forums were able to predict most of the twists, the show remained compelling to the end.
Each revelation left me feeling vindicated, not cheated.

I point this out because I've seen too many cases where creators are so threatened by audiences picking up their clues that they rewrite the story to preserve the "surprise."
[Why, yes, I am still bitter over Armageddon 2001 ruining my favorite comic.]
posted by cheshyre at 6:42 AM on October 3, 2023 [5 favorites]

I heartily appreciate the fact that Ben's illicit drug regimen is the thing that kept the rat poison from killing him. And I loved every second of this season. I hope we have many more to come!
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:28 AM on October 3, 2023 [12 favorites]

I don't know if a jury will decide he was pushed or if he fell, but the Arconia itself is definitely liable for blocking a gaping elevator shaft with no more than plastic caution tape.

(Also, midway it sure looked like they were doing something where the bio-son wrongly assumes his secret Meryl Streep bio-mom is, rather, confessing romantic love, no?)
posted by nobody at 9:35 AM on October 3, 2023 [6 favorites]

YES, nobody! I felt that so strongly! I was concerned he was going to try to kiss her or something! It did not sound like the musings of a man who had finally discovered his mom.

Also if Meryl Streep isn't knighted and damed and sainted and whole classes being taught about her and how to be like her there is something truly wrong with the world.
posted by Night_owl at 12:45 PM on October 3, 2023 [3 favorites]

Mabel's dress! I know Oliver and Charles were in stage costumes but I liked how sparkly the three of them were together in the end. Also, just Mabel's dress! I really admire the costumes on this show.

I like how in the end the murder was partially malice, partially an accident. And yeah, I think the show provided enough clues (even just thematically) that I wasn't surprised by the outcome but it still worked.

Early on, I wasn't quite sure how much this was going to come together but it impressed me. I think I liked it more than last season.

I like Tobert being the coat rack behind the door but I'm not really sure what the point of Tobert's character was overall. Look, I am not one to complain about getting to look at Jesse Williams, but I don't think he really added that much to the story.

I'm glad we're getting another season, but yes, wow, that building is cursed.
posted by edencosmic at 2:03 PM on October 3, 2023 [6 favorites]

Just saw the news: the show has been renewed!
posted by cheshyre at 2:29 PM on October 3, 2023 [4 favorites]

Yay! Another season!

My knee-jerk crackpot theory after THAT ending is that somehow Joy is involved. Not exactly responsible, but I can see her visiting Jan and griping about how terrible Charles treated her, and Jan deciding to help out one of her friends and use her prison connections to put a hit out on Charles. Because obviously that’s how her mind works. Only it turns out the hitman killed Sazz! Jan’s new love! Oh, the tragic bookend drama!

Anyway I hope we get some Lucy next season because I did miss her.

As for this season, while the ending wasn’t a super surprise, I really loved how they filmed it. I loved seeing Rudd ham it up with Streep during the final song. The little snark between Broderick and Uma. And yes, all the SPARKLES!!!!
posted by paisley sheep at 4:39 PM on October 3, 2023 [9 favorites]

What does a producer do? "Produce."

"You don't call Tobert cuddle pups?"
"I have a hard enough time calling him Tobert."

"I have had like six heart attacks this season."

"Is it always like this?" "This is us ON FIRE."

"It's SO sweet. I'm going to go before it gets any sweeter."

"I did it."
"The fuck did I write all these cards for?"

"Of course it's hard to know the exact non-lethal amount of rat poison. How many rats is one Ben Glenroy?"

"Shit. You idiots actually got me."

"There are no more famous actors here I could kill. No offense, Charles."
"Lots taken."

"Quadruple threat: can't sing, direct, dance, or act."

"How do you call the cops? Do you just Google cops?" I like how Ben figured out the case but not police-calling.

"Tell her to throw the box away under my bed without opening it. Insist on that."

"This is the strangest play I've ever seen."
"I was the original director, my version was stranger than this."
"I'm so glad I'm not in this." -Matthew Broderick.

Poor Sass!!!! Otherwise, excellent finish.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2023 [8 favorites]

Nooooo, not Sazz!! I think I kind of expected Uma might be their next-season lead-in victim, but definitely not Sazz. I love her so much.

It was great to see Matthew Broderick again at the actual play. And I loved Charles’s sparkly uniform—perfect complement to Mabel’s dress.

But nooo, Sazz…
posted by kitten kaboodle at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2023 [2 favorites]

There was an Only Murders in the Building event that involved going around looking at clues (props from the show), followed by voting for the murderer, and I feel so proud of myself for voting correctly. It's like I'm a real detective! Now all I need is a sidekick and a picturesque village with a high murder rate.

This season was a lot of fun, and even though it's a little disappointing that the next victim (apparently) is one of the best characters on the show, I will be happy to resubscribe to Hulu when they bring out 10 more episodes.
posted by betweenthebars at 6:38 PM on October 3, 2023 [3 favorites]

The entire time Cliff was threatening suicide, I thought, He's not going to land on Loretta?! And that's how they'd solve the problem of Meryl not being around in a future season!

I thought Williams seemed a lot older than Gomez. Tho I just googled and their RL age difference is 11 years, which isn't a lot. I guess it's that she's kind of baby faced.

Anyway, as I might've mentioned before, I enjoyed the inside show biz references this season. And the guest stars were fun.

Now where's that Death Rattle Dazzle cast album? We got the Overture, or entre acte or exit music during the end credits of this episode.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:55 PM on October 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

Oh god this was fun. If this was the season where we saw an Oliver Putnam musical in action, I'm glad it was as joyfully chaotic as this.

And I was dying at this exchange:

Uma: Didn't the constable die, like, three scenes ago?

Matthew Broderick: Yeah, but that is exactly the way a Nova Scotian constable would run.
posted by creepygirl at 8:15 PM on October 3, 2023 [14 favorites]

Well I loved this, even if I still don't trust Tobert even a little bit (I chortled at him as the coat-rack, though!)

Poor Sazz, and poor, poor Howard. Even though it was pretty telegraphed that Oliver would step in to play Jonathan's role, my heart soared at the possibility of Howard doing it, and then broke when we saw Howard mimicking the choreography from offstage.

Anyway, the point is that Tobert killed Sazz even if I have no idea why yet. To give Mabel one fewer attachments to NY, maybe?
posted by Navelgazer at 9:01 PM on October 3, 2023 [3 favorites]

Steve Martin doing Martin Short's nasally snort killed me.
posted by Gorgik at 10:18 PM on October 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

I finished the show and immediately thought "great, we get another season, and Scott Bakula did it." Calling it now.
posted by talking leaf at 1:59 AM on October 4, 2023 [3 favorites]

I was fully prepared for Season 4 to take place in LA, but it was a very good fakeout for S4 being about Saz's murder instead.

I, too, think Scott Bakula did it.
posted by timdiggerm at 5:26 AM on October 4, 2023 [2 favorites]

Based on the last moments of the episode, I assume that next season will begin with the gang discovering that Sazz has scrawled "RACHE" on the floor... (spoilers for a 136-year-old story).
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 5:35 AM on October 4, 2023 [6 favorites]

I wasn't expecting another season, so the final scene was definitely a twist for me! And whereas the murder was quasi-accidental this season, a sniper rifle sets a more sinister tone. And let's not presume Charles-Haden was the intended target! Maybe the sniper meant to take out Sazz (she already knew "something" serious she wanted to talk about and writing in blood usually implies you are giving a clue about your murderer).

See everyone next season and I just want to sign off by advocating for a "special edition" of the movie The Three Amigos where Selena Gomez re-shoots all the Chevy Chase parts and is digitally edited into the movie.
posted by mikepop at 6:21 AM on October 4, 2023 [13 favorites]

It just occurred to me this morning that the Matthew Broderick/Mel Brooks cameos weren't just hilarious, they were also a clue to the audience: this season, it was The Producers who did it!
posted by creepygirl at 8:28 AM on October 4, 2023 [31 favorites]

How Did ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Become One of the Most Comforting Shows on TV? by Brian Phillips. Excerpt:
The more amusing a murder mystery seems, the more disturbing it becomes when you think about it. In that sense, the wallpaper on Only Murders in the Building may qualify as the most morally depraved thing on television. Hulu’s hit whodunit features a frankly staggering amount of exquisite wallpaper—wallpaper that’s elaborate without being tacky, ornate without being busy, bold without crossing the line into Too Much. Very often, as I’m watching on my sofa, I’ll catch myself thinking, Holy cow, look at the scale of that floral pattern … why, it’s absolutely fearless … I’d love to hang that in a guest bedroom … And 30 seconds will whiz by, and I’ll think, Wait, did I just miss a twisted corpse at the bottom of that elevator shaft?

And I did, of course. There’s always a corpse at the bottom of the elevator shaft. Or on the sidewalk under the balcony. Or in a pool of blood on the floor. Only Murders, whose Season 3 finale aired on Tuesday, is a comedy, and a particularly loose, warm-spirited one at that. It’s the kind of show that loves guest stars (Meryl Streep!) and Easter eggs (gut milk!) and bulldogs named Winnie (Winnie!). It’s a show that wants to be both comforting and funny, probably in that order. But it’s still a show about murder, and if a comedy about murder always involves a little subliminal tension—are we really supposed to be laughing about human beings killing each other?—then a comedy about murder featuring reassuringly tasteful interior decor involves even more. Am I really so indifferent to the suffering of my brethren on this planet that I can tune it out in favor of literal chintz?
I think his later point about Mabel’s role in the series’ world is really good.
posted by Kattullus at 8:56 AM on October 4, 2023 [7 favorites]

paisley sheep I favorited your comment because if you turn out to be right I will be so tickled.
posted by Night_owl at 12:08 PM on October 4, 2023

I demand an hourlong supplement that's just Death Rattle Dazzle start to finish. Whoever wrote the musical is a genius—it's exactly as good and exactly as bad as it needs to be, which is to say extremely both.

(I also need to know where Cliff got his jacket from.)
posted by babelfish at 6:21 PM on October 4, 2023 [4 favorites]

I also need to know where Cliff got his jacket from.

On her Instagram, Only Murders costume designer Dana Covarrubias is offering a styling and shopping service, so she may be able to help you out with that.

Me, I want the set designer to give me Charles' apartment. And the lottery to give me the budget to afford it. that I think about it, we had a dead body found in Mabel's apartment in Season 2, and it looks like Season 4 will have a crime scene in Charles' apartment. I guess we'll have to get out to Season 6 to find out who dies in Oliver's.
posted by Inkslinger at 7:31 PM on October 4, 2023 [1 favorite]

Ben Glenroy died right outside a party at Oliver's apartment, so I think this season arguably counted for that?
posted by Navelgazer at 7:43 PM on October 4, 2023

I dunno; your argument is getting in the way of my attempt to magic Season 6 into existence before we even have Season 4....
posted by Inkslinger at 7:54 PM on October 4, 2023 [4 favorites]

This is the first time it’s occurred to me (and I am ashamed that I didn’t notice before) but was Winnie in this season? I can’t remember seeing her and I also don’t remember if there was some throwaway line if she was sent to live with Oliver’s son or something so she wouldn’t get in the way of rehearsals.

Point is that I need more Winnie.
posted by paisley sheep at 2:52 PM on October 5, 2023

Poor Sazz! And another murder, just when I was convinced they were going to move next season to Los Angeles. (Also, if I lived at the Arconia, I would do everything I could to get rid of this podcast. Publicizing four murders like this -- and none of them cold cases -- has to start affecting property values eventually, no?)

Scott Bakula certainly makes sense as the first red herring, but I wish somehow it would all loop back around to Sting. For the final season, Sting should definitely be the murderer.
posted by grandiloquiet at 4:43 PM on October 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

For the final season, we should learn that Sting was behind all the murders.

For this season's retrofit: who rented the victim their top floor apartment? Why were the elevator doors out of commission, anyway? And who was it who sent the producer an advanced copy of that review? Sting, Sting, and Sting.
posted by nobody at 6:00 PM on October 5, 2023 [2 favorites]

I'm kind of impressed they managed to avoid a twist ending that killed off this season's main culprit to set the stage for the next season.

You know, a real Cliff-hanger.
posted by eponym at 7:14 PM on October 5, 2023 [7 favorites]

Nah, they're totally going to LA next season. The murder did take place in the building but Sazz is tied up in Hollywood and whatever sensitive stuff she wanted to discuss with Charles will be the core of the mystery.

Also: Wasn't Charles going upstairs to get the wine? When did Sazz offer to do it instead?

(On further reflection I realize that we don't see the switcheroo because that would have spoiled the twisty twist. Gotta wait until S4 I guess)
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:19 AM on October 6, 2023 [2 favorites]

Nah, they're totally going to LA next season. The murder did take place in the building but Sazz is tied up in Hollywood and whatever sensitive stuff she wanted to discuss with Charles will be the core of the mystery.

I think a clue will be "LA" written in blood, but the LA will end up meaning multiple things. Given how everyone developed a connection to Los Angeles in the finale, I completely concur we're going to have another LA Story. ::glances at camera::

The Broderick and Uma commentary was delightful.

I'm not a fashion person, but I was dazzled by Mabel's dress. I couldn't get enough of seeing it on the screen. Thinking back, this wasn't the dress she wore in the original broadway production's opening night, was it?
posted by Atreides at 7:28 AM on October 6, 2023 [2 favorites]

I completely concur we're going to have another LA Story. ::glances at camera::

Wasn't "Los Angeles, the city so nice they named it Los Angeles" a direct quote from LA Story as well?
posted by Navelgazer at 7:44 AM on October 6, 2023 [3 favorites]

Thought same, though I don't remember that particular bit of LA Story to be able to confirm.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:19 AM on October 6, 2023 [2 favorites]

How many must die before the Arconia gets interior cameras?

And no, Sazz can't be dead! She was still wearing torso stunt padding? Maybe?
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:30 PM on October 6, 2023 [2 favorites]

paisley sheep, I think Winnie was in one of the first two or three episodes, but didn't show up after that.

I also need more Winnie.
posted by minsies at 6:04 AM on October 7, 2023 [1 favorite]

I think Will took her, after his dad's heart attack?
Would've also liked more Will this season; if he attended the opening nights of either play, I missed him.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:32 AM on October 8, 2023 [2 favorites]

Thanks minsies and Iris Gambol! I’ll be rewatching with Mum when she binges it so I’ll keep an eye out for any Winnie sighting.

It’s been agony keeping Meryl Streep’s role and Matthew Broderick’s cameo spoiler-free when I mention the show to her, so thanks to everyone here for the fun discussion.
posted by paisley sheep at 11:20 PM on October 10, 2023 [3 favorites]

Really enjoyed this. Season 3 had much tighter plotting than Season 2, which I appreciate. Or as a young Ben Glenroy would say, "Tight."
posted by adamrice at 10:31 AM on October 11, 2023 [1 favorite]

I just finished and I was delighted.

Can I request a round of applause for Paul Rudd, who did a great job making a character seem both incredibly unlikeable and sweetly vulnerable at the same time.

I’m a parent, and I would definitely not murder someone to rescue my child’s broadway production. But I might confess to a murder I didn’t commit for my son, if necessary.
posted by bq at 10:43 PM on November 22, 2023 [2 favorites]

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