In a jaw-dropping finale, the mystery of Ben Glenroy’s demise in Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building” Season 3 unfolds, leaving viewers reeling from the dramatic revelations. Join us as we delve into the secrets of “Opening Night.” Fasten your seatbelts because this is one rollercoaster you won’t want to miss!
[Editor’s note: The below contains spoilers for the Season 3 finale of Only Murders in the Building.]
The Plot Unravels
In the lead-up to the ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Season 3 finale, viewers finally uncover the truth behind Ben Glenroy’s (Paul Rudd) demise at the Arconia. The trio—Mabel, Oliver, and Charles—join forces to piece together Ben’s last night alive using secretly recorded interviews. They discover Ben was part of a secret sewing club, unknown even to his closest associates like Dickie, which sheds light on his pre-theatre activities crafting gifts for the show’s cast.
They retrace Ben’s steps and examine each interaction, aiming to pinpoint who could have committed the crime. Ultimately, they piece the clues together exposing a shocking revelation: producer Donna (Linda Emond) poisoned Ben with a cookie — which is what, not who, he was passionately talking to in his dressing room in the footage captured by Tobert (Jesse Williams) where he discussed the cookie ruining his career.
Her motive? To stall a disastrous review and protect her son Cliff’s theatrical debut.
Shocking Confessions and Unforeseen Twists
After stopping Loretta from pleading guilty and bailing her out, the trio theorizes about Donna’s actions. Loretta (Meryl Streep) delivers a piece of important information that makes the drastic step make sense: Donna’s sickness. Loretta recalls Donna throwing up in the bathroom earlier and looking pale, suggesting her motive to protect her son before she’s gone.
As the trio plans to make Donna confess, Loretta hands them Ben’s handkerchief, becoming a crucial part of their strategy. At the theatre, Mabel tricks Donna and Cliff into an encounter where they confront her. After a painful thirty seconds of them teasing their theory, Donna admits to poisoning Ben to delay a damning review, not intending to kill him.
However, she also confesses to pushing him down the elevator shaft, despite Mabel’s suspicions. She says she was trying to buy time, not kill Ben, but it was difficult to know exactly how much rat poison to use to temporarily take Ben out of commission. Donna requests they hold off involving the police until after her son’s show, so she can enjoy her son’s first show as a producer. She promises to turn herself in after the curtain falls.
Meanwhile, the show’s lead man Jonathan’s condition prevents him from performing, prompting Oliver to step in as the lead. Backstage, Tobert shares Donna’s confession with Mabel for their podcast and expresses his fondness for her, inviting her to join him in Los Angeles. He asks her to think about it, and she promises she will. While behind the scenes, Loretta’s song triggers a momentous conversation between her and Dickie, where she reveals her maternal bond, leading Mabel to an epiphany.
She looks out into the audience to see Donna and Cliff in the middle of an intense conversation that leaves Cliff in tears before he runs out. Mabel follows him to the secret room in the rafters, hoping to get the truth.
Did Cliff Kill Ben Glenroy?
The climax unfolds as Mabel confronts Cliff, revealing crucial details: Donna’s confession and her knowledge of Cliff’s role in Ben’s demise. Recalling Donna’s actions with the hankie [using the hankie for her lipstick before kissing Cliff on the lips and then putting the hankie in his jacket pocket before the show], Mabel pieces together the events before the tragic incident.
In a flashback, Ben realizes Donna poisoned him with a cookie, but Cliff denies it. Another flashback shows Cliff seeing Donna with the box of rat poison before she left the office with the cookie that she placed in Ben’s dressing room and manipulated him into eating it. A heated argument ensues, escalating to Ben’s fatal fall as Cliff pushes him into the elevator shaft, ensuring no witnesses before calmly departing.
In the present, Cliff’s drastic action interrupts the play’s finale. Threatening to jump, he confesses to Ben’s murder, dangling dangerously until intervened by Charles and Oliver. Donna persuades Cliff to cease, leading to their arrest by the arriving police after a disrupted curtain call.
The Aftermath and a New Mystery
After Donna and Cliff are taken into custody, the cast enjoys the party back at Oliver’s at Arconia, after a glowing review from Maxine. Oliver and Loretta almost share a kiss but are interrupted by news of Loretta’s opportunities in Los Angeles. She wonders whether to go because of her blossoming romance, but Oliver encourages her to pursue her dreams, promising to visit. Tobert and Mabel discuss their futures, contemplating New York and the possibility of visiting LA, setting the stage for potential Season 4 developments.
The trio considers exploring a cold case for their podcast’s next season when Sazz (Jane Lynch) arrives with beer. She hints at a sensitive conversation with Charles. However, before they can talk, Charles heads to his dark apartment and is unexpectedly shot. The twist unfolds as the camera reveals it’s Sazz, not Charles, who’s fatally wounded, leaving a cryptic message in her blood before the screen fades to black.
The Red Herring: Tobert
Tobert is not guilty! The documentary enthusiast tied to the case is cleared of any wrongdoing, and his interest in true crime and feelings for Mabel didn’t hint at any sinister motives despite initial suspicions. His handwriting — which seemed like it would be a clue to make him a great suspect — meant nothing. He’s revealed as innocent, leaving room for potential developments in the next season.
Overall, the ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Season 3 finale not only untangles the murder mystery of Ben Glenroy but also teases an exciting future for Arconian citizens, leaving fans eagerly anticipating a new instalment. The unresolved threads and a lingering new mystery brewing at Arconia hint at an expansive Season 4. With plans to explore a cold case and fresh revelations on the horizon, the upcoming chapter guarantees an electrifying continuation.
So, spill the beans on the season finale! Did it thrill you, entertain you, or were you already playing detective and nailed the killer? What expectations do you have for Season 4? Which loose threads from this season are still tugging at your curiosity strings? Don’t keep it to yourself—tweet us your mind at @CelebMix!