Only Murders in the Building – Season 3 Episode 1 “The Show Must…” Recap & Review

The Show Must…

Episode 3 of Only Murders in the Building’s new season begins with a daft character introduction. Oliver narrates the story of an aspiring actress who couldn’t make it big, even though she put in the work and did everything right. This is Loretta Durkin, played by the irresistible Meryl Streep. Loretta had waited her entire life to hear the magical words, “Where have you been?” When she came in to audition for a Nanny’s role in Oliver’s play, she finally heard them. 

Her fantastic audition got her a role in the play, whose opening night started with a tragedy: its star, Ben Glenroy’s death. Glenroy is played by Paul Rudd, who isn’t typecasted as a nice guy for once.

Ben’s body is stretchered off in the present day as everyone is in shock. Oliver, more than the others, still wants the planned afterparty at his apartment to go ahead. We jump back four months into the past where Oliver’s play rehearsals were just beginning.

Both Charles and Mabel were present at the first table read. Oliver introduces his play to everyone, titled “Death Rattle.” It is “A story of a murder that happens in a lighthouse in Nova Scotia. The only person in the room when the death occurred: an infant child.”

We go around the table meeting a few of the actors as Ben storms in to make a star’s entry. Donna Demeo and her gay son, Cliff, are producing the play in the Gooseberry Theater. Before Ben’s arrival, Charles tries to make a self-effacing speech about his stardom. But Oliver shuts him down.

Ben arrives with his brother-cum-manager, Dickie. They hand out NDAs to the cast members. Ben has had the genius idea to film a documentary about his first Broadway show while preparing for it. Some of the cast members we meet include Kimber, Ty, and Bobo. It is also revealed that Ben has moved into Amy Schumer’s apartment in the building at Oliver’s suggestion. The read begins and we see Loretta eagerly trying out accents, much to the bafflement of Ben. 

Although she is only trying to authentically bring the character to life and give a fulfilling effort, Ben is having none of it. He even asks Oliver to fire her after the first reading but Oliver reassures him that he would talk to her. Oliver proceeds to console Loretta and puts her at ease about the role. Back in the present day, Howard, who is now acting as Oliver’s assistant in the play, gathers everyone for the afterparty.

The elevators are under repair, giving Donna a chance to remark on how the Gooseberry has been unlucky for Oliver. At the afterparty, people are gradually recovering from the shock. We also meet KT, the stage manager for Death Rattle, and Jonathan, a character from the previous season, in the room. While talking to Mabel, Oliver confesses he feels guilty caring about his career even though a person just died on stage. Mabel thinks Ben is poisoned and wants another podcast. Oliver seems to agree with her.

It is also hinted that Oliver and Loretta might have a romantic arc in this season. All of a sudden, everything changes when Ben storms in! He is alive. He had food poisoning or something and even saw “the light” while he was dead. Everyone is shocked – a few are relieved – as Ben goes around the room apologising to all the cast members and personnel associated with the play. Among the things he mentions are stealing mangoes and incessantly complaining about his dressing room. After he finishes up, Ben goes back to his apartment in the building.

Loretta leaves the party with a bitter taste in her mouth, seemingly hateful of Ben. The trio have a late-night dinner at the pickle diner at Mabel’s behest. Oliver announces that he will reopen the play. Donna and Cliff are over the moon since this debacle has given the play a lot of popularity. In an unexpected turn of events, Mabel reveals that her aunt has sold the apartment after its renovation. Mabel is moving and will be leaving Arconia.

Instantly, there is a heaviness that settles in Charles and Oliver’s demeanour. They are both taken aback by this revelation. As they get into the elevator to go down, Charles remarks, “We couldn’t have done the podcast anyway because Ben didn’t die in the building.” And just then, blood starts dripping on him from above…Ben just died in the building. His body tumbles down from the elevator, breaking through the glass ceiling. The trio gets out in shock and Uma bookends the episode with her signature dialogue: “You’ve got to be kidding me!” 

The Episode Review

Season 3 begins things like we had never stopped. Episode 1 is everything that has made us fall in love with the show for the past two seasons. Paul Rudd and Meryl Streep had stellar introductions, although the latter is poised to steal the show. The investigation into the murder (which happened inside the building) will follow suit in the upcoming episodes with loads of character development waiting for us. 

The entire team behind OMITB are adept at solidly catering to all aspects of storytelling. Our mainstay trio has gone through ups and downs during the course of the previous seasons and expect this one to be no different. Oliver Putnam might have a chance at love (finally). But like every other personal detail of his life, it is complicated.


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You can read the Season 3 review of Only Murders in the Building here!

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