lingering questions

Hey, What Happened to These Only Murders in the Building Plotlines?

Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/ HULU

Spoilers follow for the second season of Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building.

Hulu is at least self-aware in its description of Only Murders in the Building’s second-season finale, “I Know Who Did It”: “Oh, who are we kidding — there’s a few more questions raised, too.” That’s a reference to how this episode wraps up — with another cliffhanger that sets up a third season (already ordered in July) via the introduction and swift death of a character played by Paul Rudd. Seems like murders are finally leaving the Arconia, since this latest one occurs on Broadway during a play that Oliver (Martin Short) and Charles (Steve Martin) are working on and Mabel (Selena Gomez) is watching from the audience.

But before Only Murders in the Building moved on to the next thing, it would have been nice for the show to address even a fraction of the loose ends remaining from season two (and even season one!). Red herrings are an integral component of any mystery, and demanding that the series fully abandon them would be like asking Mabel to stop wearing snazzy outerwear, Oliver to quit eating dip, or Charles to turn his back on Brazzos; Only Murders in the Building isn’t the same without those details. But season two spent so much time zigging and zagging that it sometimes felt as if plot threads were being unintentionally left dangling rather than purposefully tied up.

But we remember! And so we list them: all the plotlines, characters, and mysteries that could have used a little more attention and resolution this season.


Bunny Folger herself

Yes, Bunny gets a stand-alone episode told from her perspective in “The Last Day of Bunny Folger.” But by a certain point in season two, her murder seems to matter less to the story than what happened to Rose Cooper’s painting of Charles’s father, who is suddenly redeemed for his previously discussed poor treatment of Charles’s mother. I suppose if Shirley MacLaine wants to be on your show, you write whatever’s necessary to get her on. But Bunny, who owned and hid that painting, gets overshadowed by the attempt to frame Mabel, Oliver, and Charles and is shoved aside in the finale, which focuses more on the Poppy-murderer reveal than on Bunny’s significance to the Arconia. At least Ivan will remember Bunny, but it is a little odd that Only Murders in the Building placed more narrative value on that painting than on her character.


Nina’s monetization of the Arconia

New board president Nina is an early suspect in Bunny’s murder because of how they butted heads over Nina’s plan to “modernize” and “monetize” the Arconia with commercial space (and what looks to be a gigantic Chipotle burrito attached to the top of the building), which would go against its historic vibe. But then it turns out that Nina really did care for and idolize Bunny, even if they disagreed on whether the Arconia is a “relic.” She encourages Charles, Oliver, and Mabel to find Bunny’s killer and then she’s just … gone. Wouldn’t it have made sense to include her in the finale’s confrontation against Cinda and Poppy? Get a babysitter and show up for your murdered mentor!


“Hardy Boy” Oscar

“The trauma bond is strong, but I think Oscar and I are just both waiting for the ‘Let’s just be friends’ text,” says Mabel in “Framed” about her season-one friend and romantic interest — and that’s it. That’s it! Oscar is never mentioned again! Way harsh, Tai.


Those notes

This is a question left over from season one: Who’s leaving all those damn notes? It isn’t explained as a part of Jan’s scheming since she got one too. Is it supposed to be Theo because he was creeping around the secret tunnels while helping his dad steal stuff? Season-two Theo seems pretty remorseful in “Flipping the Pieces” and was clearly strong-armed into helping Teddy, so I can’t see him going all Big Brother. Do Charles, Oliver, and Mabel still have an enemy at the Arconia, or what?


Alice’s art

Okay, to be honest, Alice’s art is bad, and we did not need to see more of it. But that seemed like a major exhibit! Did she keep going with it? Did it add to Mabel’s online notoriety? Did it get ripped to shreds by an art critic with eyes?


The Sixth Avenue Slasher

Arconiac Marv floats a theory about the Sixth Avenue Slasher, a potential Manhattan serial killer, in the blackout episode “Hello Darkness”: “The Sixth Avenue Slasher earned a place in the headlines of the early aughts. He killed for years, always picking victims who lived on Sixth Avenue. Or near Sixth Avenue. And a few times Seventh or Eighth. Or Broadway or Amsterdam. Honestly, the whole Big Apple was his hunting ground. No one on any street was safe. Except people on Third. They seemed to be fine. And he was never caught.” It doesn’t look as though the slasher is Kreps, who seemingly got into murder only after hooking up with Poppy. So is the serial killer who, according to Marv, united “a divided city” foreshadowing a future season? Or is he just another detail about how very into true crime Marv is?


Amy Schumer’s presence

Actually, I do appreciate that this gratingly winky cameo — which seemed to exist only to remind us that Schumer has a new show on Hulu — wasn’t extended beyond the first couple of episodes this season. We must celebrate small victories!

Hey, What Happened to These Only Murders Plotlines?