‘Only Murders In The Building’ S3 Ep 4 Recap/Review
This is a spoiler review for Only Murders in the Building Episode 4: “The White Room”. To read the review for Episode 3, click HERE.
We are back with one of the best new murder mysteries on TV, Only Murders in the Building. After last week’s shocking interactions between beloved characters old and new alike, episode 4 continues the trend of lightly tip-toeing around possible subjects who caused the murder of Paul Rudd’s Ben Glenroy. This season so far has stood apart from its predecessors by keeping Martin’s Short’s Oliver Putnam extremely busy with something other than solving the murder. After making the choice to turn his disastrous stageplay into a possibly even more disastrous Broadway musical, Oliver is hard at work trying to save his creative vision.
However, while Meryl Streep’s Loretta is actively serving as his muse (and most talented cast member), this particular venture puts his good play Charles (Steve Martin) in a tricky position: he’s cast in the music but he cannot sing, or dance, or rap. But alas, when he tries, in front of a room full of people, including the suddenly inquisitive Mabel, (Selena Gomez) Charles finds himself at center stage to perform a patter song. A patter song is a fast to very fast tempo with a rapid succession of rhythmic patterns in which each syllable of text corresponds to one note. This is done, according to Charles, because he’s the actor in the musical who can’t sing.
While the notion of Steve Martin performing a fast-paced song on stage is comical in nature we don’t get to enjoy it straightaway as Charles panics and finds himself in what his peers describe as The White Room. He blacked out and caused everyone in the room to freak out. Not knowing what truly happened to him, an already anxious Charles gets even more anxious. Elsewhere, there is a very interesting fourth name added to the opening credits this season. Michael Cyril Creighton, who has played a recurring cat-loving resident of the Arconia named Howard, has been upped to the main cast this season. Serving as Oliver’s assistant, his humor shines through his innocence and ability to convey emotions simplistically. His brand has been a welcome change to the trio so far in season three and it makes for a continuously hilarious interwoven relationship.
Another change in the current season is the fact that Charles is now dating his longtime makeup artist Joy (Andrea Martin). While the relationship has been teased from the offset of the series, it has seemingly progressed rather quickly in between seasons because episode 4 randomly chooses to begin with Joy moving into Charles’s apartment. The choice is interesting, even more so when she casually mentions Ben Glenroy and a not-so-veiled threat that she told him that he would have “to deal with” her if he ever laid a finger on Ben.
While Mabel has been investigating the cast of Oliver’s show closely, it appears the addition of Joy to season three was not done by accident. In fact, episode four spends quite a bit of time making it seem like Joy is slowly turning into a primary suspect for taking Ben out due to his apparent and ongoing rivalry with Charles from the moment we first met him. Something to keep an eye on.
Mabel and Oliver venture to the theater to continue prying into their hunch that a young actress in the show Kimber (Ashley Park) killed Ben. Luckily for them, Kimber just happens to be in the dressing room. Attempting to engage Kimber using girl talk (after being accused of having old lady energy), it’s finally revealed that Kimber was not sleeping with Ben but instead looking to use his fame to endorse her products. Unfortunately, she sold the gift he gave her on opening night. The gift that Mabel has been believing would lead her to the killer.
There comes a time in every murder mystery where plot twists galore begin popping up. While Kimber is seemingly cleared of the crime, the trio discovers a drawing of a pig with the words f****** pig written in lipstick in Ben’s dressing room. A dressing room that we now know Ben was in right before the FIRST attempt on his life. A new lead surfaces as Mabel decides whoever owns the lipstick must be the culprit. However, there awaits another plot twist before the end of episode four.
Throughout the entire series, Selena Gomez has played the “straight man” in this award-nominated comedy. While the affectionately referred to Martins play goofy and unserious almost always, she keeps them on task and follows her nose. In “The White Room”, her nose leads her to another returning character: Tina Fey’s Cinda Canning. While Cinda offers Mabel a job on a new podcast, Charles and Oliver discuss their love lives, displaying that chemistry that only Martin and Short have. A charming moment that leads directly into the aforementioned plot twist. Selena Gomez shines as the emotional heartbeat of the series amidst the comedic antics of Steve Martin and Martin Short.
Episode four continues the wheels turning within the third season of Only Murders in the Building and offers a lot of character development in what may or may not be the last hurrah for the series. The plot thickens as new players find their way to the board and the mystery of who killed Ben is finally beginning to come to light. – Christian Hubbard
Season three episode four of Only Murders in the Building is streaming now on Hulu.