The Finale of Hulu’s ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Reminds Us of the Power of Theatre
Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building came back for a stellar season 2 in the way that most murder podcasts don’t (thinking of all those we lost along the way). With the team on the case to solve Bunny’s murder and their subsequent framing at the end of season 1, there were a lot of questions that needed answers, and it led to a finale that had as many twists and turns as the secret tunnels in their building.
But one thing that was made clear throughout their time trying to find the killer and a motive was that they were just as dramatic and theatrical has they had been in the first season. This time, though, they used those tendencies to their advantage with a finale that brought us theatre at its finest, and I loved every single second of it.
**Spoilers for the season 2 finale of Only Murders in the Building lie ahead.**
One of the things about Only Murders in the Building that is great is how acting and theatre play into the lives of the main characters. Oliver Putnam (Martin Short) is a theatre director who gets his son into the arts this season and continues to make jokes about it. Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin) is a beloved actor from an older television show that is being rebooted with a younger cast. Their connection to acting and theatrics is part of who they are as characters, and so, when they decided to reveal the murderer with a “murderer reveal” party, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it had many a dramatic twists built into it.
The party itself is one of the best scenes out of this entire season to me because it had me hook, line, and sinker, and with the recent comments about how Steve Martin is planning on retiring after the series, I fully thought that Charles was dead and that he was killed in an act of revenge by Bunny’s killer. I thought that the last moment I would have of Steve Martin onscreen would be him being stabbed to death.
Luckily, they’re a bunch of actors who were all trying to get the actual killer to confess and laid all of this out as a way of catching them in the act. The hilarious bits range from Oliver asking about theatre backgrounds and scoffing at Howard (Michael Cyril Creighton) revealing that Jonathan (Jason Veasey) is on Broadway in The Lion King to them talking about what skills everyone has, and what ended up happening was not something I saw coming.
Theatre can be fun, too
One of the best twists comes when the accusations don’t seem to stop. Polly (Adina Verson) has been working with Mabel (Selina Gomez), Charles, and Oliver to try to point out how Cinda Canning (Tina Fey) is behind Bunny’s murder. Polly tells the story of how the podcast that put Canning on the map is about her true identity, only for it to continue to twist and turn for our favorite podcasters when Detective Williams calls them back to tell them that the fingerprints on the knife they found belong to a dead girl from Oklahoma. (Meaning it was, in fact, Polly who did it.)
Instead of having a simple reveal, our favorite dramatic team plans out this party and reveal with the fake-out death of Charles all to eventually point out the truth about Polly and her connection to Detective Kreps, and it is done in such a way that as you’re watching it, you really think Charles is dead and that Alice (Cara Delevingne) murdered Bunny for her art and murdered Charles, too. It’s powerful and believable, and it is all because both Oliver and Charles are professionals, and I loved every second of it.
We also got a nod to more theatre at the end of the episode, when Oliver is offered a directing gig with Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd), and we see exactly how season 3 is going to be set up. Only Murders in the Building continues to be one of the most fun shows on television, and this finale had me screaming, crying, and laughing as the reveals kept coming, and I loved it all.
(featured image: Hulu)
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