Only Murders in the Building – Season 3 Episode 3 “Grab Your Hankies” Recap & Review

Grab Your Hankies

Episode 3 of Only Murders in the Building season 3 begins with Oliver banging out tunes on the piano. Well… not so much as banging but he is definitely trying to conjure up something for Donna and Cliff, who are due for a visit in a few hours!

Oliver has been working all night to present them with a whiff of an idea so they can bankroll the musical. Howard and Jonathan are not of much help, though. When the time finally comes, Oliver doesn’t have anything to show for it.

All he has is an idea to make something in the form of a musical. Donna says a prerequisite for success is a showstopper that can draw audiences from faraway lands. If Oliver can come up with that song in three days, Donna will consider producing the musical.

Meanwhile, Charles and Mabel start their investigation into Ben’s murder. “Who would wanna kill Ben so bad that they would murder him twice?” They need to find the handkerchief to find the killer.

They disband as Oliver calls Charles for rehearsal, while Mabel takes a gander at Ben’s apartment before it is cleaned out. Kimber and Ty are at the apartment as well. Charles isn’t subtle about finding the person who doesn’t have a hankie. But he supplements it with a backup story: a memorial in the form of a quilt made up of all the hankies.

Oliver soon takes over the floor and tries to inspire his cast to move on from Ben’s death. All the cheering stops when he reveals it will be a musical now. They still go along with Oliver’s showstopper when Loretta walks in. She delivers the good news: she got an audition with a network drama that might launch her career.

Also, Dickie, Ben’s manager and brother, has offered to become her manager. Mabel rides up the elevator with Tobert, the documentarian picking up equipment from the apartment. They are both clearly looking for different things but hide together in an armoire when Dickie walks into the apartment.

The rehearsals aren’t going according to Oliver’s liking and that is making him anxious. Howard keeps mentioning they should look for alternative sources of financing the project but Oliver keeps shutting him down.

Dickie takes his sweet time allowing Tobert and Mabel to get to know each other a little better. He reveals that the night Ben died, his camera was still recording. He even has the footage of it. When Dickie finally leaves, the duo also gets out.

As they disperse, we can definitely sense some chemistry between them. Oliver and Charles come up with a plan where the latter disses the former behind his back to the other cast members. It is because Charles wants the hankies, not to get the production back on track. Also, the cast wants Oliver to revert back to the original form of the play and drop the musical idea.

Loretta and Oliver share an intimate moment on the piano; not physically but artistically. She tries to make Oliver see that his shows are vulnerable and simple at their core, under all the chaos and showmanship. That is what makes Oliver special as a director. Dickie comes into the apartment with good news: Loretta has scored the role! She jumps up and down with joy.

Unfortunately there’s a catch as filming starts the next week in LA. To be there, she will have to drop the musical. Loretta clearly leans towards doing the show, which is the rational choice. However, Oliver threatens Loretta with a lawsuit since she is under contract to do the play.

He apologizes to Loretta later for what he said. He agrees to let her go but demands a favour in return. Loretta must sing the Nanny Lullaby for him. Just then, Donna and Cliff storm through the door.

Mabel tries to push Tobert to open the drive and let her see the footage. He has guilt from a previous assignment where he voyeuristically exploited the struggles of a baby elephant. They see the footage together and find that someone was inside the room. However, the camera didn’t catch the person’s face.

Mabel will ensure it doesn’t happen again, while Oliver gathers everyone in his apartment and Loretta begins her lullaby. She gives an exhilarating performance that makes them all believe in the project – including Cliff, who goes against Donna’s decision and greenlights the musical.

It is a moment of reckoning for the young producer. He is finally ready to step out of her mother’s shadow and take an instinctive call, even if it means endangering his career. Loretta reveals that she will not be doing the show and staying back for the musical.

Oliver is overwhelmed and kisses Loretta. It is also revealed that Kimber doesn’t have her hankie. All things point toward the person being Kimber. Did she get jealous of someone stealing her limelight? Will the same fate befall Loretta?

The Episode Review

Episode 3 perfectly captures how a show can leverage its brand to create the perfect moment for its fans. The ending was a work of art. And this isn’t the first time we have seen the creators come up with moments like this – but this occasion was special.

It is also demonstrative of why some performers like Meryl Streep are above the crowd, in a sense. She brings an aura to the screen. Her presence itself makes such a huge impact, and Streep owned all our hearts – and probably the whole crew – with the musical performance. She was absent from the last episode but made up for it with a captivating turn here.

We are just three episodes in and this season is promising to be the best one so far. Despite Mabel and Charles’ synchronization, the creators have made the right choice by pairing up the oldies together. No other pair on the show can match the chemistry between Charles and Oliver. They are a notch above in how they connect. 

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

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