In season 3 of Only Murders in the Building, Oliver’s return to Broadway is stuck on opening night because of the death of his leading man, Ben Glenroy. The episodes are streaming on Hulu.
Episode 1 recap: The Show Must…
It is the opening night of Oliver Putnam’s latest play, “Death Rattle”, and its lead star Ben Glenroy is delivering his opening monologue when he suddenly drops to the ground with blood pouring out of his mouth.
Charles narrates the struggles of making a career in theatre as a run-through of Loretta Durkin’s life plays until she shows up uninvited to audition for Oliver’s play and nails it.
Ben is pronounced dead and taken to the hospital and Oliver tells everyone to head back to his place for the planned afterparty. Mabel is suspicious of Ben’s death and suggests foul play as Charles worries about the future of his resurrected Broadway career.
Months ago, during the first read-through of the play, Loretta makes a complete fool of herself and Ben tells Oliver to fire her but he stands by her. Ben himself, was a well-established star who was a bit full of himself around his co-stars.
At the afterparty, Oliver and Loretta comfort each other and Loretta says that since the play is dead, they wouldn’t need to follow his rules of being professional and platonic.
Suddenly, Ben bursts through the door with his manager, Dickie, who also happens to be his brother. Ben says that he was dead for an hour and they pumped his stomach for a lot of junk before he came back.
He was advised to stay in the hospital but Ben wanted to see how his colleagues were doing and get something off his chest in case something bad happened again.
He gives a very insincere apology to everyone and then heads back to his apartment as Loretta leaves in a huff, claiming that Ben will always be an a**hole.
Mabel heads back to her place at the end of the night and then invites Charles and Oliver for a midnight diner run. They marvel over the remodeling work she did to the apartment and she says that it was so good, her aunt finally managed to sell the place.
She is sad because she has to leave Arconia and asks her favorite “olds” not to forget her. As they get into the elevator, blood begins dripping onto Charles’ hat and the floor below.
They rush out as it stops at the ground floor and Ben’s dead body comes crashing through the roof of the elevator, making it yet another murder in the building.
Episode 2 recap: The Beat Goes On
Oliver worked with Ben closely during rehearsals because the star had trouble believing in the premise of the play. Back in the present, Oliver is panicking because his producers are shutting down his play.
Mabel is watching an old episode of “Girl Cop”, one of Ben’s old shows. He shows up right beside her and she talks about doubting herself and feeling lost in life before he gives her some words of encouragement.
Charles opens the gift that Ben had given everyone for opening night and inside is a not-so-subtle rude note addressed to him. Oliver rushes in to get an opinion on which scarf he should wear to the funeral.
Mabel asks if she can tag along and Charles figures it is because she wants to sleuth around for clues. The trio are ushered into an overflow room and Oliver feels disrespected by this.
Mabel meets Gregg, who says that he was security for Ben and has some clues as to who the killer might be. Oliver asks Charles to cause a distraction while he sneaks up to the main hall so that he can talk to the producers and keep his play alive.
Charles and Mabel accompany Gregg back to his apartment, where they soon realize that Gregg is actually an obsessed stalker. However, he knocks them unconscious before they can escape.
They wake up in the basement handcuffed to each other. Mabel explains that Ben was a huge part of her life growing up because his show kept her going in the months following her father’s death.
Charles says that he’s the reason for the animosity that Ben had towards him, as it was Charles who got Ben fired from a role on Brazzos when Ben was just a child actor.
Oliver runs into a critic named Maxine on his way up and he asks her about her opinion of the play. She says that her review was mostly negative, calling the play bland and bleak.
She tells Oliver that he didn’t push himself and unlike his other productions, this one didn’t “sing”. Hearing this, Oliver ends up having a minor heart attack.
Gregg shows up and gets ready to torture Charles because he believes Charles killed Ben but the police show up and the detective in charge, Detective Biswas, says he knows all about the trio from what Detective Williams told him.
Oliver gets checked up by a doctor who says that he needs to cut down the amount of stress in his life while Will paces around worryingly. He then has a dream of Mabel, Charles, and Will performing a Broadway-style musical number and an idea hits him in the head.
Mabel shows Charles the pictures of Ben’s body that she took before the police arrived and convinces him that there is a mystery to be solved.
Oliver rushes to Mabel and Charles and says that he is reimagining his play as a musical, conveniently side-stepping the fact that he had a heart attack. Mabel and Charles tell him that they are back in the podcast game to solve Ben’s murder.
- Paul Rudd and Meryl Streep are exceptionally talented and incredible additions to the cast. They bring new energy to the series with their wonderful performances.
- The swerve with Ben’s death is a great start to the mystery. It adds an extra layer of intrigue as another potential attempt to kill him or just a crazy coincidence.
- The artistic elements of Only Murders in the Building are always a delight. The tiny musical number performed by Selena Gomez, Steve Martin, and Ryan Broussard is very flashy and funny.
Only Murders in the Building season 3 episodes 1 and 2
Also Read: The Afterparty season 2 episode 6 recap & review: Danner’s Fire