Only Murders in the Building season 1 and 2 spoilers below
Fans have been on utter tenterhooks waiting for the final episode of Only Murders in the Building season 3, which lands on Disney+ today. Not only was this going to be the last episode of the season, but it could potentially have been the last episode of the beloved show, ever – given that no further plans had been revealed.
Well, fans can finally breathe a sigh of relief, as the streamer has just announced that Only Murders will now be returning for a fourth season.
“Only Murders in the Building is coming back for Season 4! Let the investigating begin...” teased the programme on its account on X.
As of now, there are no further details about the comedy’s next chapter, but that hasn’t stopped fans from being totally thrilled: “Would have been ‘criminal’ not to return,” commented one fan on X. “LET’S GOOOOO,” said another.
— Only Murders in the Building 🕵️♀️🕵️♂️🕵️♂️ (@OnlyMurdersHulu) October 3, 2023
Only Murders in the Building, the murder mystery show created by Steve Martin and starring Martin Short and Selena Gomez, was a surprise hit when it was released in 2021: its first season earned a whopping 17 Emmy nominations and became Hulu’s most-watched original comedy.
So predictably, anticipation was sky high for Only Murders’ third season, which landed on the streamer in August, promising more elegance and more feel-good comedy.
If you’ve been meaning to jump on the series’ bandwagon for a while, here’s everything to know to bring you up to speed so you can watch the third season, which is currently streaming on Disney+.
What’s Only Murders in the Building about?
Only Murders in the Building was created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman and stars Martin, Gomez and Martin Short, as three neighbours who start their own podcast after a suspicious death takes place in their New York apartment building. If the comedy sounds cosy and fun, it is. In fact, it’s been heralded for being, as The Independent put it, “a comfort blanket, a lovely, warm chicken soup, if you will, that offsets the bleak news cycle”.
Who is in Only Murders in the Building?
The first two seasons really focused on Martin, Gomez and Martin Short’s characters, Charles, Mabel and Oliver, although there was a host of additional cast members, including Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone, Capote) who starred as Charles’ sort-of girlfriend, Jan; Cara Delevingne, who starred as Mabel’s love interest; Aaron Dominguez (Gossip Girl 2023) who played Mabel’s friend Oscar; Tina Fey who played podcast host Cinda Canning, and Ryan Broussard (The Big Short) who starred as Oliver’s son Will.
There were also cameos from stars including Amy Schumer, Jimmy Fallon and Sting. And in season 3 the starry cast gets even more starry, as Meryl Streep joins the cast. Plus there’s a cameo from Paul Rudd.
By the looks of it, Streep was a welcome addition to the cast: Gomez posted a picture of herself and the legendary actor on Instagram in April, saying, “I’ll post more soon. But I’ll leave it with the woman I adore, look up to and love.”
Is there a trailer for Only Murders in the Building?
Yes. A full-length trailer landed in July, launching fans right back into the drama, and introducing audiences to both Streep and Rudd. We’ve popped it at the top of the page.
Is Only Murders in the Building season 3 available to watch now?
Yes. The new season dropped on Disney+ on August 8.
What’s happened so far?
Only Murders in the Building tells the story of Charles, a semi-retired actor, Mabel, an artist, and Oliver, a financially-strapped Broadway director, who all love true crime podcasts. Conveniently, their unfriendly neighbour, Tim Kono (Julian Cihi), is soon found dead in their Upper West Side apartment building, and so, naturally, they decide to set up their own podcast to try and work out whodunnit.
In season 1, the show follows the trio as they try to work out who killed Kono. The police think he died by suicide, but the motley crew have other ideas. It’s revealed that Kono was a childhood friend of Mabel’s, which adds an extra level of intrigue.
So who did it? Look away now if you don’t want to know. The killer was Jan, a classical bassoonist who dated Tim and then started to date Charles. They work out it was her after they find a bassoon-cleaning tool hidden with Tim’s sex toys. Silly, yes, but very fun. And it all gets incredibly hairy as it looks like Jan plans to kill Charles next.
The season also ends on a massive cliffhanger: just as they are celebrating their sleuthing skills, the trio stumble across a new body – also in the building – of none other than the chair of the building’s resident board, Bunny (Jayne Houdyshell). The police break in at that very moment and arrest the amateur detectives.
In season 2, the tables have turned and Charles, Mabel and Oliver become the subjects of a new crime podcast, run by podcast host Cinda Canning (Tina Fey). The trio are released from their arrest, but are still under police investigation – which gives them even more reason to find Bunny’s real killer. There are a lot of intriguing clues: a missing painting, the importance of the number 14, a talking parrot, and a zig-zagging plot which culminates in a Miss Marple-style gathering where all of the potential killers assemble in one room for the big reveal.
So who did it? It was, in fact – spoiler – Becky (Adina Verson), Cinda’s assistant, along with her accomplice... Detective Kreps (Michael Rapaport). They planned to make their own true crime podcast about Bunny’s death, hoping that solving the mystery would bring them fame and fortune.
Then the season ends with another cliffhanger, of course. In the final scene, it’s one year later and it’s the opening night of Olivier’s latest Broadway play. Suddenly, the show’s lead actor keels over and dies. The scene is replayed at the beginning of season 3’s teaser trailer.
What have the actors said?
By all accounts the actors seem both thrilled by the show’s success, and at the opportunity to work together. Gomez explained that didn’t expect Only Murders in the Building to become such a large part of her life: “I’m not sure I was looking for a series, I was just looking for something in general,” she said on Entertainment Weekly’s The Awardist podcast last June. “This was just honestly a wonderful surprise.”
In a post shared on Instagram in April, when the filming of season 3 wrapped, Gomez said: “I’m not sure I have enough words to explain just how beautiful this season has been. It has been deliriously hilarious, challenging and for me, an absolute dream.”
Speaking to The New York Times in 2021, Gomez spoke effusively about her castmates: “They’re like my crazy uncles,” she said. “They were wonderful with giving advice, even just about my personal life. I’d ask them all the questions that girls ask, like, ‘So, when did you guys first fall in love?’ I’d ask them about boys and dating. They’d be like, ‘Well, make sure he’s kind.’ They were just so sweet.”
The same year Martin came to Gomez’s defence when the internet reacted badly to some comments she had made at the Television Critics Association about Disney. Gomez has said “I signed my life away to Disney at a very young age and I didn’t know what I was doing,” which caused a wave of backlash online.
“I have to jump in because I was there when Selena said that and it was said in the most light-hearted, funny, jokey way,” said Martin in an interview with Radio Times when the topic came up. “And then I see it gets interpreted – sometimes they’ll say she was joking and sometimes they have it as an ominous headline – but it was completely just all in fun. I’ve signed my life away to Marty Short, you think I like that?”
What have reviewers said about season three?
When the reviews came in last month, most publications praised the new season, though the Standard said the show was “lacking that crucial lightness of touch”.
The Telegraph gave the new season four stars, calling it “splendid fun”. “There is something delectably arch about the whole thing, a piece of well-worked stagecraft that nonetheless feels unorthodox at a time when so much TV takes itself so very seriously,” it said.
Similarly, ScreenRant has described the new season as “hilarious”, saying, “There’s a lot to enjoy here, whether it be Charles’ oddly-manifesting stage fright, the delightful returns of multiple characters, or just watching Martin, Short, and Gomez banter with each other.”
Other reviewers have said much the same: Mashable called it “delightful”, while United Press International called it “still full of surprises”.
The final episode of Only Murders in the Building season 3 lands on Disney+ (UK) today