Finally, some momentum and drama!
Only Murders in the Building Season 3 Episode 8 uncovered a surprising connection between two characters, making the storyline much more personal, and putting a lot more at stake,
If you’ll recall, there was once a time this season when we all suspected Loretta (Meryl Streep) of murder after Oliver (Martin Short) found a book of cutouts and notes all about Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd). She looked obsessed, and we all know that obsessed people will go to great lengths to get what they want.
But you know who else will go to great lengths? Mothers.
And that’s exactly what Loretta was… a mother, to—drumroll please—Dickie (Jeremy Shamos), Ben’s brother. Now that I know, I can’t unsee the resemblance to Streep, and I’m wondering how I didn’t know.
At the beginning of the episode, we got a little backstory about her life, including what drew her to Oliver’s play, and it included wanting to get close to the son she gave up back in 1976, placing him with a young couple who got pregnant not long after adopting Dickie and gave him a brother.
Loretta thought this would be the biggest blessing as her Dickie would never be alone, but in reality, it turned out to be quite a burden on Dickie, who was forced to essentially dedicate his whole life to his brother, a pompous asshole, who not only treated him as if he were less-than but also stole his ideas and profited on them.
And you know what that sounds like for a mother who is forced to stand by silently and watch? Motive.
Loretta likely didn’t know the extent of Ben’s ruthlessness going into the play, but once she started to spend more time with him and get to know him, she got a firsthand look at how terribly he treated her birth son, which could’ve been the catalyst to the murder attempt. At the very least, it likely explains why she called him a “f**king pig.”
However, it also doesn’t mean that she did it. A mother will go to great lenghts for her child—a point that was underscored throughout the episode with Loretta’s bathroom chat with Donna and then later with the Nanny’s big final number—but I’m not convinced that Loretta had it in her to murder anyone, let alone someone who meant so much to her son. At the end of the day, Ben may have been a big pain, but he was also his brother, and that means something.
When Loretta turns herself in, copping to the murder in front of the whole cast—and her beau Oliver—she’s doing it from a selfless place as she thinks it will protect Dickie. The police are taking him in for questioning, and after her chat with him right before the performance where he explains that he felt “trapped” and when Ben was killed, he suddenly felt “free,” I’m not surprised that she thinks she’s doing the right thing.
But again, I also don’t think Dickie is the killer. He definitely has motive, and it would make sense for him to be, but he doesn’t strike me as someone who has a mean, let alone, murderous, bone in his body.
Loretta’s decision to risk it all for him, however, will raise plenty of questions, and Mabel (Selena Gomez) and Charles (Steve Martin) will be able to paint a better picture as they’ve already learned the truth about her connection to him.
But where does that lead this incredibly complex investigation? The wrong person—I think—has been arrested, again, as things from her past bubble up to the surface and likely blindside Dickie. I’m hoping Mabel and Charles show him the letter so she can at least tell him the news and it’s still sort of on her own terms. It would be incredibly upsetting if she was stripped of the ability to convey the truth to her own son—a truth she’s held close to her heart for so long.
There’s always the possibility that Ben knew the truth about Loretta and was planning on blackmailing her, but I just don’t see why she would kill him because of it when she was already gearing up to tell Dickie at some point.
The chaos and off-stage drama at the sitzprobe did not need to be rehearsed—and for those asking “what is a sitzprobe?”, it’s a rehearsal where the singers perform with the orchestra for the first time ever to see if what they’ve been working on is any good—also took a toll on Oliver, who was ordered by the doctor to keep his stress levels down and then did the exact opposite.
The whole production has been quite stressful in itself, but then you add a murder mystery on top, along with a fight with your best friends and a relationship with a maybe killer… and the heart attack was almost inevitable.
Sadly, it also seems to be a case of a broken heart as it happened right after Oliver told Loretta he loved her and then watched her confess to murder and get taken away in handcuffs. I feel terribly for the guy.
The good news, however, is that Mabel, Oliver, and Charles finally made up, even doing their corny signature little handshake to seal the deal, and the duo came through, orchestrating a pretty impressive plan that got them videos of every single interrogation Det. Williams was conducting (let’s hope they pressed record), which means that they can now conduct their own investigation to find the actual killer. And they’ll be there for Oliver during his much-needed recovery period.
As for the murder mystery… who do you think it is? Do you think Loretta went into full mom mode and killed Ben? Was Dickie fed up with his brother’s behavior and took him out?
Who used the rat poison on him? Once we figure out the why, it’ll be much easier to deduce the who.
Other Only Murder Musings
- Does anyone else miss Tobert? Do you think he’s the one who got into a fight with Ben the night of the show and killed him? No one has accounted for his actions that evening! Mabel said a killer often inserts themselves into the investigation—and he did just that by charming her.
- How incredible was it that Charles was able to deliver the full performance of the Pickwick Triplets song with ease? He nailed it. Everyone was floored, and it’s proof that he was always the right man for the job, he was simply in his head about it! Also, I’m out here just singing the patter song to myself all day long now. Need the lyrics?
I have the pickwick triplets song from “Only Murders in the Building” trapped inside my head, but I’m not that mad about it
— Sara (@ariesara3) September 15, 2023
You can watch the performance of it right here:
I’m so obsessed with this song. “WHICH OF THE PICKWICK TRIPLETS DID IT???!!” 🗣️ https://t.co/CVlkbvCJOu
— Damita Jo Elizabeth Carey. (@jasmineeejada__) September 19, 2023
- Williams is such a treat—I’m so glad she’s back on the case, even if she’s not too pleased to be meeting with the podcasting trio again.
I relish in the fact that Only Murders has gotten its spark back, with the Loretta and Dickie connection reinvigorating a somewhat stale storyline and investigation this season.
We’ve got two more episodes left as Only Murders in the Building Season 3 consists of a total of 10 episodes, so let’s hope it’s an energetic push to the finish line!
Share your thoughts and theories in the comments below—I’d love to hear them!
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