Only Murders in the Building Season 1 Story Recap: Arconia’s dark secrets unpacked in delightful tenor


‘Only Murders in the Building’ season two will hit our streaming platforms tomorrow. The much-awaited new season will pick up from the cliffhanger from season one, where we saw a blood-stained Mabel holding the knife over Bunny’s dead body. Stars Selena Gomez, Martin Short, and Steve Martin will return in their respective roles. The delightful comedy was a breath of fresh air amidst drab, formulaic choices on the platforms. The pacing of the episodes and how the narrative came a full circle were other highlights from season one. We will have high expectations going into the next. So here is a recap for you to get the breath of the story again before starting the new season. Happy reading!

Season 1

Mabel, Oliver, and Charles meet in the elevator

Our three protagonists are introduced to us individually, and then together, as they listen to All is Not Okay in Oklahoma. They subsequently go out of the building – Arconia – where they live, as the fire alarms are triggered. While they bond over their love for true crime, a real crime has taken place in Arconia. The boy they saw in the elevator while coming down, Tim Kono, is the victim. The three sneak into the building to get ahead of the police and discover Kono. Police believe that he committed suicide but MOC thinks otherwise. They peruse the evidence, Mabel takes the engagement ring she finds there, and they leave. It is only later shown that Mabel actually knew Kono but didn’t reveal this to the other two.

Who is Tim Kono?

MOC start a podcast titled the name of the series. Each individual has personal problems they deal with. At the memorial in the building, they try to spot the killer but fail. Several flashbacks reveal Kono and Mabel met as kids. They were different than the others and their friendship grew over their mutual love for The Hardy Boys books. Their friendship grew over other shared interests as well.

Mable and Kono were similar as kids and adults. Over time, they added Oscar and Zoe to the group of four. But, as it turns out, Kono’s death wasn’t the first that Arconia had seen.

In a flashback around ten years ago, we see that at a party, Zoe tragically falls to her death from the roof. An investigation is launched –  both by the police and Kono. Oscar, who was Zoe’s boyfriend at the time, was seen fighting with her that night.

The police take him into custody, breaking the group. Kono and Mabel are left alone with each other and he confides in her about seeing someone else get in a fight with Zoe. It might be possible that Oscar is not the real culprit but Mabel is outraged at Kono for not having given a statement to the police. The two hardly keep in touch since then and that is why she refused to acknowledge him in the elevator. Oliver’s dog, Winnie, is poisoned and Mabel finds a note in Tim’s house. It has all the details of a meeting between Kono and another person/entity, with the initials G and M.

Suspecting the neighbors

Another important figure we meet in Oliver’s life is Teddy, the producer of his musicals. Because Oliver is bankrupt and badly needs funds to pay rent, he requests Teddy to sponsor him again. Reluctantly, Teddy agrees. Unbeknownst to us, there is someone else in the house as well.

The show then introduces us to some of the peculiar inhabitants of the building. Howard with the cat is the first person the three interview. He is their number one suspect because of his animosity toward Tim, who did not like his cat and complained to Bunny, the manager, several times. At his house, they find leading evidence as well. Evelyn Howard’s cat mysteriously died on the same day as Kono. But their ambitions are halted as Howard faints at the sight of blood. The rock star Sting stays in the same building and Oliver suspects he might have something to do.

On Cinda’s (Tina Fey) advice, they gather the courage to confront him. The connection is really weak as Oliver had heard him saying “I will kill Kono” in the elevator. Sting is actually relieved to find that Kono was “murdered” and had not committed suicide. He had fired Kono for losing him money in the stock market. Charles finds Jan, a bassoonist, and takes her on a date. They get personal with each other and share a second one to start a relationship.

The Tie-Dye Guy and Theo the mute

The mysterious person in the hoodie who is seen several times in the previous episodes and seems to be the killer is actually Oscar. He has been released from jail and now is roaming around the building and his old friends. H starts a romantic relationship with Mabel and the two also join forces with Charles and Oliver, saying that she knew who Kono was. Mabel also gets Tim’s phone from the authorities who rethink the closed case. The “G.M” is actually a company that Teddy owns, raising suspicions that he might be involved in the murder somehow.

The theory is confirmed next as we meet Theo, Teddy’s son who is a mute. Two big revelations: firstly, Theo is stealing jewelry from dead bodies from the funeral home, and secondly, he was the one who pushed Zoe that night. Although it was not intentional, Kono saw it and Teddy indirectly threatened to kill him if he let out the secret. Theo realizes Mabel and Oliver are on him and kidnaps them. Charles, who is on another date with Jan, receives a message from them that Kono’s phone can be unlocked with the password “theo”.

The Finale

In quick succession, Jan gets stabbed and is found unconscious in her apartment by Charles. The trio is released by Teddy on the condition that they will be absolved in the podcast from any accusations around Koni’s murder. Their secret “business” must also continue untouched.

The cap on Tim’s secret life is lifted as we see an array of adult toys in his apartment. Among them is a bassoon cleaner. Saz Pataki, Charles’ stunt double from his show, helps in the investigation. Jan IS the killer. She and Kono broke up the day before he was murdered. So hi killing is a crime of passion. Jan has a larger plan to murder the entire building through the fire vents that have recently been opened again.

The trio is successfully able to negate the threat and celebrate their victory, unless, of course, the opening scene replays and they are taken into custody.


So that’s the entire story of Only Murders in the Building from Season 1 episode 1 up to the end of episode 8 in a nutshell. There’s a lot more going on here – but that should be enough to get you ready for season 2!

What did you think of Only Murders in the Building’s story? Have we missed any crucial details in this recap? Do let us know in the comments below!

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