Only Murders in the Building – Season 3 Episode 8 “Sitzprobe” Recap & review


Episode 8 of OMITB begins with an explosive prologue voiced by Loretta. She briefly recounts how she fell in love with the art of theatre acting and made it her life’s passion. As revealed much earlier, Loretta had a lot of talent but did not get the right roles. She would often miss out on the final call, even as she remained a top performer throughout her schooling years. While doing a play, she fell in love with the director. Loretta got unduly pregnant and owing to her commitment to theatre, she decided to give up the newborn.

A pair of kindhearted parents (who were barren) adopted him and Loretta left the city. She heard after a long while that the parents who raised her newborn, by some miracle, were able to get pregnant and give birth to Ben Glenroy. Yes, Dickie Glenroy is actually Loretta’s son! Could this rule her out as the prime suspect? The diary Oliver took from her boom shelf was actually angled to focus on Dickie and not Ben. She has only ever been interested in keeping tabs on how Dickie did.

Episode 8 is entirely set in the Goosebury theatre where Oliver’s musical will have its first “sitzprobe.” It is a technical term that refers to the first performance of the musical on stage where the actors perform with a live orchestra. This is where you get to learn the full extent of a play’s creative potential. To make matters more interesting, Oliver has invited noted critic Maxine, whom we saw earlier at Ben’s funeral.

As fate would have it, Detective Williams makes a dramatic comeback to the show. Detective Biswas phoned her at the end of episode 7 and she will be leading the investigation into the murder again. Gregg has been released from prison and the case is now reopened! Cops and critics together at the play’s sitzprobe make Donna nervous. But Oliver is unfazed. He is more daunted by the prospect of facing Loretta, who confronts him about stealing the diary. Mabel also shows up unexpectedly at the preview, making matters more interesting.

He tells her about Mabel’s suspicions of Dickie, which instantly put her on an alert. She later tries to convince Mabel that Dickie isn’t the killer. Williams is encouraged to conduct the interviews with cast members in the theatre itself. Oliver and Charles have a plan to surprise Mabel and win her trust back.

Charles acts like a complete goof to soften Williams and make her think he is a moron. Howard informs Mabel about his findings in KT’s office: the shredder machine. The strange noises he heard that day were of someone shredding the documents he found in the bin. He vows to strip them together with Mabel’s help and figure out the next clue. 

Maxine confesses to Oliver that his musical twist on the play might just work. Charles performs his patter song with precision and endless breath. Williams comes to the front of the stage to see the performance, duped by Oliver and Charles’ plan. They wanted Williams to come out of the interrogation room. And Charles was the perfect bait. Williams likes theatre and couldn’t pass up on an opportunity to see Charles mess up on stage. While she was out, Oliver successfully planted a camera to record all the interrogations and presented the footage to Mabel as a peace offering.

Mabel is over the moon with the revelation and the trio is back in business! Before Loretta’s dramatic solo, Oliver confesses his love to her. He wants to be with her more than anything and she reciprocates his feelings, although not in the same manner. Dickie cancels dinner plans with her citing the police’s investigation as the reason. As Loretta performs her solo with aplomb, Charles and Mabel go through her bag, discovering her secret about Dickie. She interrupts her performance midway and confesses to murdering Ben, in order to save Dickie. Oliver cannot believe his eyes and suffers a stroke watching Loretta being taken away. 

The Episode Review

This is the sort of “cat’s out of the bag” episode to bring everything together in Season 3. All secrets about the trio and Loretta’s past are now out in the open. The pattern is recognizable as a classic OMITB setup for the final reveal. We have two more episodes in this season and expect both to pull the rug out from under you.

Episode 8 makes better use of the theatre setting than the earlier episode. This episode remained busy and constantly engaging. Da’Vine Joy’s cameo manifested unexpectedly. She seemed assured as Williams and shared seamless chemistry with the protagonist trio.

Martin Short has turned around Oliver’s outlook in this season and he was the pick of the performers once again in the episode. I once again felt that the characters in this season did not move forward with the narrative. Diving deep into their unexplored parts compromised storytelling and direction, to some extent. This repetitive juxtaposition is a little frustrating to watch. However, OMITB has a reliable format which hardly creates any hiccups.

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

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