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We Think We Figured Out the ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Killer After Just One Episode

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meryl streep only murders in the building
CRAIG BLANKENHORN/HULU

*Warning: season three, episode one spoilers ahead*

Only Murders in the Building is back with a vengeance—and a new dead body.

As we pointed out in our review of the Only Murders in the Building season three premiere episode, we may just have our twistiest iteration of the murder mystery series yet. Season two ends with Ben (Paul Rudd) dropping dead on stage. But wait! In season three episode one, Ben comes roaring back to life in the ultimate twist, surprising viewers and his Broadway co-stars. But wait! Hope you didn’t get too attached to Ben because the episode ends with his body crashing through the ceiling of the Arconia elevator. And it seems this time, he’s actually a goner.

But wait! (OK, we’ll stop.) Who killed Ben? There’s quite the star-studded cast of potential suspects to choose from. But we’ve got a theory after just the first episode—and you’re not gonna like it. There seems to be some subtle yet undeniable evidence that the killer could be…Mabel (Selena Gomez). Don’t think it’s possible? Let’s take a look at the evidence.

Let’s start with motive. In episode one, it becomes clear that Mabel is the odd one out from her friendship trio—Charles (Steve Martin) and Oliver (Martin Short) have inside jokes that Mabel clearly doesn’t understand, and she’s about to be kicked out of the Arconia as her aunt sells her apartment. However, after Ben collapses on stage and everyone thinks he’s dead, Mabel has the perfect opportunity to rekindle her friendships and get the gang back together with a new season of their podcast. But when Ben turns out to be alive after all, Mabel’s hopes for a successful third podcast season are suddenly dashed, creating a strong reason for her to want him to actually be dead (aside from him clearly being the most unlikable person in existence).

Then there’s a moment many viewers may have missed. When Ben breaks into the party and delivers his epic “apology” speech, Mabel can briefly be seen pressing record on her phone or a device in her hands. Why would Mabel record Ben’s rant if the podcast weren’t going to happen? If he were alive, she wouldn’t need a recording for the new season. But if she knew he was about to drop dead for real (aka she was going to kill him), it would make sense for her to gather this material for the podcast.

And speaking of the podcast, episode one presents us with another obvious point: The podcast only works if the death occurs in the building (it is the title of the series after all). With Ben now back in the building, Mabel has a chance to ensure there’s a new Arconia body.

'Only Murders' season 3 still.
PATRICK HARBRON/HULU

And then there’s another subtle hint that points Mabel’s way. At the end of the episode, when Charles, Oliver and Mabel are faced with the option of getting in the formerly broken elevator, Charles and Oliver seem nervous. In fact, it appears that they’d prefer to wait for the other elevator instead. However, Mabel confidently barges in. Why would it be so important to her to get into that specific elevator? Well, it happens to be the one hiding Ben’s body, of course.

But do we think Mabel had the opportunity to commit the murder? Sure, plenty of people did since Ben leaves the party, announcing he is returning to his Arconia apartment. But the episode makes it super clear that Mabel is alone after the party by showing her return to her apartment by herself. It’s then Mabel who invites Charles and Oliver to meet her (after an indeterminate amount of time), perhaps so they could all have a reason to be together when they discover the body.

only murders in the building season two finale 2
CRAIG BLANKENHORN/HULU

And last but not least, the Only Murders in the Building killer has thus far always been a woman, and it’s always someone who manages to avoid being a suspect during the season. What better way to shock viewers (and end the series with a bang) than by having Mabel turn out to be Ben’s murderer?

Fortunately, we have a slew of episodes to get through before any killer is revealed. We’re just hoping our theory turns out to be wrong.

Only Murders in the Building episodes drop weekly on Hulu.



Screenshot 2023 05 04 at 1.11.39 PM

VP, News and Entertainment; 'And Just Like That' Podcast Host; Up-And-Coming Bowler

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