The following Recap/Review Contains Spoilers for Episode 10 of ‘Only Murders In The Building.’
After a long, compelling road filled with twists and turns and a lot of ups and downs, the season two finale of Only Murders in the Building is here. The trick with any good whodunnit murder mystery, especially when it’s a TV series, is to wrap up the current problem at hand before moving on to the next question to answer. While the road during season two may have been a little rocky, leaving a lot to unravel in the final two episodes, the series manages to end on a high note featuring a plot twist that many may have seen coming while others, such as myself, absolutely did not.
With a call back to the pilot at the end of last week’s penultimate installment, it is revealed that Cinda’s neglected and abused assistant Poppy White (Adina Verson) is actually the subject of Cinda’s first major true-crime podcast All is Not OK in Oklahoma, a missing girl named Becky Butler. Featuring a voiceover from Poppy/Becky herself, it’s revealed that she faked her own disappearance in order to get closer to and gain favor with Cinda (Tina Fey). This is a disturbing twist that suddenly shines a light on Poppy and her motivations. However, the way the episode is framed for its first half, the idea that Cinda is the number one subject in the murder of Bunny is still the way the narrative leans. It’s not until the mystery begins to unravel in a hilarious Killer Reveal Party at Bunny’s apartment that the truth finally comes to light.
However, before reaching the jam-packed and shocking conclusion of the finale, it’s important to highlight what a delight the cast of Only Murders in the Building has been so far this season. Selena Gomez, Martin Short, and Steve Martin display a high level of chemistry, trust, and understanding with one another that comes across on screen and continues to make the series stand out in a year filled with memorable comedies across the network TV and streaming services. From Martin Short’s impeccable delivery when Oliver delivers random celebrity anecdotes to Selena Gomez’s ability to land a joke with a sense of dry humor and wit, paring these three together may have seen like an odd choice when the series was first announced. However, after two full seasons of seeing them problem solve and grow as a team on-screen, fans of the genre would be hard-pressed to find a better group at the forefront of a quirky comedy about gruesome murders.
Following a series of less-than-serious conversations about the many possibilities, the trio is on the clock. They must clear their name of any wrongdoing before Cinda releases her latest podcast episode, formally accusing Charles, Mabel, and Oliver of Bunny’s murder. When a phone call pulls Mabel away, she returns with a stunned look on her face. She’s figured it out. However, viewers do not know exactly what she’s figured out, leaving us in the dark for the next several minutes.
Inside Bunny’s apartment, the residents of the Arconia have gathered. The trio is ready to reveal the killer with Cinda, Poppy, and surprisingly, Alice in attendance as well. The tension during these scenes is palpable. The scene’s execution is done so well that the faux twists and turns are shocking and uncomfortable. While Oliver and Charles blame Cinda, Mabel turns the tables and claims it was Alica who is at fault. This leads to Alice grabbing a knife to stab Mabel with Charles jumping in the way to save her. For a few brief moments, it appears Charles has succumbed to the wound, bleeding out on the floor.
However, the entire setup is a ruse. An elaborate ruse to reveal the true killer. It’s not Cinda and it’s not Alice. The big twist of the finale is that Poppy White AKA Becky Butler is the one who dug the knife into Bunny’s chest on that fateful evening. Poppy’s goal is to live an exciting, mystery-solving life and get all the fame and glory that comes with it. However, the identity being someone so disconnected from the main characters, unfortunately, leaves a lot to be desired. When the killer in season one was Charles’ newfound lover, it packed an emotional punch. The killer in season two being an unassuming assistant whose origins were just revealed does not pack the same emotional punch.
However, once the mystery at hand is solved, the emotional beats return. The ongoing saga of the true heritage of Oliver’s son Will (Ryan Broussard) is tied up with a little bow as the latter comforts his father with an embrace. Additionally, Oliver receives the opportunity of a lifetime when an offer to return to directing a show on Broadway presents itself. When the episode concludes, the time has jumped a year into the future, and Oliver’s show is having its opening night. Charles is the star of the show alongside a debuting Paul Rudd. However, for the first time, the trio is faced with death outside of the Arconia. Paul Rudd’s character, after a brief forboding argument with Charles, crumbles over and dies on stage whilst coughing up blood.
Overall, despite losing the emotional impact of the murderer reveal this time around, season two of Only Murders in the Building capitalizes on the momentum of the first season. Each of the main characters goes through a bevy of character development in the 10-episode series as well as forges an even tighter bond. Showing no signs of slowing down, Only Murders continues to be one of the best things on television today. – Christian Hubbard
Only Murders in the Building season two is not available in its entirety on Hulu.
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