We are inching closer to the end of the third season of Only Murders in the Building, which means we are running out of time to figure out who killed the egotistical, cookie-loving star of the big screen and (almost) Broadway, Ben Glenroy. After this week’s eighth episode, “Sitzprobe,” it would appear we have our woman: Loretta confessed to the murder and was taken away by the cops. But did she really do it? (Spoiler: I don’t think so, at least not all of it.)
At this point, it would be weird if one of these characters turned out to be the killer since their lack of motive has been well-established. It’s time to officially remove them from the “suspects” list.
Gregg Rivera (Adrian Martinez)
In the latest episode, the police finally cleared Gregg of Ben’s murder due to a glaring lack of evidence, then let him out of jail entirely even though he almost killed Mabel and Charles. Yay, justice?
Matthew Broderick (Matthew Broderick)
His appearance in last week’s episode was a one-off cameo; I can’t imagine Ferris is going to show up again in any form, including as a suspect.
Howard Morris (Michael Cyril Creighton)
He went through a whole journey two episodes ago of wrongly thinking he caused Ben’s death. After establishing his “guilt” with his confession, it would make no sense for Howard to actually be the perpetrator. Also, would a murderer spend that much time piecing together shredded documents if he already knew he did it? Actually, he might. But I don’t think that’s Howard’s deal.
Jonathan Bridgecroft (Jason Veasey)
Jonathan said he didn’t do it. Let’s believe him.
Kimber (Ashley Park)
She got knocked out of contention early in the season and there’s nothing further to suggest that her status should be reconsidered.
Jerry Blau (Peter Bartlett)
The director/Goosebury Theater squatter doesn’t strike me as someone who will rear his head at the 11th hour to confess to a crime.
K.T., the stage manager (Allison Guinn)
She’s not a juicy enough suspect for her to actually be the murderer, sorry.
Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez)
She’s way too invested in solving the crime to be involved in committing it.
Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin)
Per his scheme to spy on Detective Williams and his willingness to rifle through Loretta’s belongings, Charles is also way too engaged in figuring out whodunit to be considered a suspect.
Oliver Putnam (Martin Short)
Oliver is most concerned with clearing Loretta’s name, so much so that he had another heart attack when she confessed to Ben’s murder. If he had done it, he wouldn’t react that way, nor would he be so eager to get back into the true-crime podcasting fray. This man is innocent and, also, a treasure of the theater community.
After much consideration, I have decided Charles’s fish is not the killer. But I’m still going to keep my eye on this slippery little jerk. I think he’s up to something.
Probably Didn’t Do It
Joy (Andrea Martin)
As I noted in last week’s column, Joy has disappeared from recent episodes following her breakup with Charles. I don’t think she killed Ben, but her absence could be viewed as conspicuous. It’s possible she could turn out to be an accomplice, unwitting or not, whose role in the murder is revealed when she suddenly resurfaces. I have my doubts about this. But maybe?
Maxine (Noma Dumezweni)
While I am not sure what Maxine’s motive might be, it is interesting that she’s been drawn back into Oliver’s orbit for the sake of writing a review based on the sitzprobe for Death Rattle Dazzle, a thing that critics pretty much never do. Also, pop culture does love to demonize a critic, so maybe Maxine is guilty of more than just a savage pan?
Uma Heller (Jackie Hoffman)
She played a big part in “CoBro,” which suggested that her character might have a more significant role in the central murder than we initially thought. But my gut (milk) is telling me that the main thing she did was take Ben’s handkerchief and that’s kinda it.
Detective Williams (Da’Vine Joy Randolph)
I don’t think law enforcement’s friend of the pod killed Ben. But this episode did not adequately answer a crucial question: Why did the police try to frame Gregg and do such an appallingly shoddy job of initially investigating Ben’s murder? Based on the phone call Detective Biswas made at the end of “CoBro,” it sounds like at least one cop may have been involved in a cover-up. But who? How? Why??
I know what you’re thinking: This dumbass ruled out a bunch of legitimate characters but she still thinks maybe Harry Styles did it?? Yes, I will keep thinking this because it’s the only way I can continue to believe he will show up in the finale. Let me hold onto my delusions!
Too Soon to Count Out
Bobo Malone (Don Darryl Rivera)
“We don’t really know Bobo, do we?” That’s what Meryl Streep said this week, and you know what, she’s right. During the brief interrogation of Bobo by Detective Williams, we learn he’s from Florida and that his mom only had one foot, a detail that has a nice “one-armed man” ring to it. That’s hardly enough to incriminate the guy, but I’m still not willing to bump him as a suspect until Charles, Mabel, and Oliver watch those interrogation videos.
Ty Wessex (Gerald Caesar)
Same goes for the admittedly not-at-all-guilty-seeming Ty.
The Most Suspicious Suspects
Loretta Durkin (Meryl Streep)
Loretta said she did it. She willingly turned herself over to the police. It’s easy to assume she did so to take the heat off Dickie, who we now know for absolute certain is her son. And she very well might have — but it’s also possible Loretta poisoned Ben because she hated him and also wanted Dickie to get out from under his shadow. Perhaps it didn’t work (the woman can’t make a pork chop, maybe she’s not good at mixology either), which is why Ben didn’t die on the first attempt. Then Dickie gave his brother the final push, uniting mother and son as killers.
For the record, it’s unlikely the show would reveal Loretta is wholly responsible for the crime in episode eight, which is another reason to be skeptical of her confession. There’s got to be more to the story.
Dickie Glenroy (Jeremy Shamos)
Speaking of confessions, it sure sounded like Dickie made one to Loretta during this episode. He tells her he was relieved after Ben was poisoned because he finally felt free. Then when Ben turned out to be alive, Dickie says, “I was trapped again. I couldn’t take it anymore.” Those sound like the words of a man who might’ve snapped and shoved his CoBro down an elevator shaft.
Cinda Canning (Tina Fey)
She’s been absent from the last couple episodes and I’m pretty doubtful she’s the killer, but I still don’t trust this shady Sarah Koenig knockoff so I’m leaving her in the most suspicious column.
Donna DeMeo (Linda Emond) and/or Cliff DeMeo (Wesley Taylor)
I have written before that these two, and I quote, “have their heads too far up their own asses to summon the time or effort required to kill a person.” But now I am wondering if I should walk that back. I am wondering this because of the vomit — specifically, the moment in this week’s episode when Donna vomits in the bathroom before chatting with Loretta.
The producer attributes her queasiness to pre-opening jitters, but it strikes me as out of character for the seemingly unflappable Donna to be that nervous during an orchestra rehearsal. She might, on the other hand, be nervous about the cops showing up unannounced to re-open Ben’s murder case, especially if she poisoned Ben so they could close Death Rattle and allow her son to avoid the ego-bruising experience of having his first show be a flop. She also said something to Loretta about mothers doing whatever they can to protect their children, a line that on first viewing plays like a commentary on Loretta’s situation.
But what if that was a mini-confession and Donna is actually referring to what she did for Cliff by trying to off Ben? When Ben showed up alive at the cast party, Donna also made a remark about how buzzy and financially lucrative the show could be with a leading man who came back from the dead. It’s a laugh line, but it also tells us that she really wants the show to be a smash and that she’s not the one who pushed Ben down the elevator shaft. But Donna could easily be the poisoner. And those shredded documents could be an insurance policy — possibly from State Farm (!!) — that she signed in the “unlikely” event that an act of God shut down the play and she needed to recoup some money. Having the producer be a killer in a Broadway-focused Only Murders season that also makes explicit reference to the show The Producers? Sounds plausible to me!
Tobert (Jesse Williams)
Tobert doesn’t show up in this episode either, which is weird because he is constantly butting into Mabel’s podcast investigation. Why back off now?
You could argue that maybe he’s trying to respect Mabel’s boundaries, to which I say “Lol, why would he start now?” I’m inclined to believe he wasn’t there because he was the one on the phone with Detective Biswas at the end of the previous episode, and stayed away from the theater because he knew Williams was going to bust in at any moment. Maybe Tobert is the one who convinced the cops to arrest Gregg, knowing that Mabel would start poking around herself, thereby giving him plenty of material to work into his own true-crime documentary.
Tobert might not be the killer, but he could be responsible for throwing ice water on a proper investigation for selfish reasons. There is no way this dude wasn’t up to something shady. The next two episodes will hopefully explain what.