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Four Theories About the Killer in 'Only Murders in the Building' S3

only murders in the building season 2 trailer
Our 'Only Murders in The Building' S3 TheoriesDisney+

Love makes people do crazy things. It sounds cliché, sure, but it’s true—just ask anyone with a crush. But can it bring out a sinister side of people? Can it cause someone to... kill? That is the question at the heart of Only Murders in the Building Season Three.

This season, Mable (Selena Gomez), Charles (Steve Martin), and Oliver (Martin Short) are investigating the death of Ben Glenroy—the narcissistic lead of Oliver’s Broadway play, Death Rattle. Ben was a celebrity who loved fame—but he let his admiration for glitz and glam cloud his judgment. Instead of leaning on his castmates for support, he belittled them. By the time he clocked out (indefinitely) Ben had a league of enemies waiting in the wings. And when he dropped dead on stage, right before Death Rattle’s premiere, everyone became a suspect.

At first, our favorite podcasters suspected love was the motive. Not a love for Ben, but rather a love for what Ben had. Money. Fame. Notoriety. Success. The killer likely wanted the life Ben so frequently flaunted. It seemed like a sensible idea—Mable and Charles even identified a potential killer! Then, something strange happened. A couple of days after Ben’s death, he reappeared, alive and well... and died. Again. He fell through an elevator shaft. Given the suspicious nature of Ben’s do-over death, it seems his killer is even more calculating than our at-home detectives imagined.

So, what if the motive isn’t love clouded by jealousy—but rather, love facilitated by obsession? By the time we reach Episode Four, “The White Room,” a new suspect appears. Amidst the chaos of Death Rattle and the impending murder investigation, Charles, who also stars in the play, moves in with his neurotic girlfriend, Joy. In the latest episode, she all but confirms her involvement in Ben’s death. “I’m going to look out for you Charlie, just like I did with Ben Glenroy,” she says. “He knew if he touched one head on your gorgeous little head, he was going to have to deal with me.”

That sounds pretty suspicious, but perhaps it’s too simple. Surely the writers of Only Murders in the Building wouldn’t reveal the killer in Episode Four. At Esquire’s entertainment desk, we know that you have to dig deep to solve a whodunnit mystery, which is why we’ve come up with our own theories.

only murders in the building
Oh, how we missed our three favorite podcasters.Hulu

Blame it on Meryl

At this point in the season, the heat has shifted away from Loretta (Meryl Streep). I’m not sure why, though. She’s still just as suspicious as she was when the season began. As we know, Loretta was a struggling actress before landing a role in Death Rattle. The way I see it, she was desperate for fame and Ben got in the way. He even tried to get her kicked out of the show! Sure, other characters have popped up with more vigorous motives, but don’t count Loretta out just yet. Maybe she tried to kill Ben before opening night, then someone else swooped in with the final blow. All I know is that her character must be a key player in this mess. Why else would they hire Meryl Streep?—Bria McNeal, Associate Staff Writer

You Might Want to Check the Core Three...

It would be really exciting if one of the core three podcasters is the murderer. Hulu could still figure out how to keep them on the show. Maybe they just get away with it? Even better, maybe it's OK because the murder was done in self-defense. However OMITB works it out—I'd love to see either Selena Gomez, Steve Martin, or Martin Short (who, yes, is the unlikeliest suspect of the three) pretend like they didn’t know who killed Paul Rudd because they did it themselves. Up the ante, folks! You have to go big for Meryl Streep.—Josh Rosenberg, Assistant Editor

Leave Meryl Out of It!

Paul Rudd is dead! Oliver’s show is ruined when his star drops dead on opening night, and early on, it sure seemed like Meryl Streep was being set up as the murderer—which means she isn’t, because OMITB never picks the obvious choice. (But damn, does Hulu have a talent budget for this show.) So, who do I think did it? Some disgruntled theater employee who was going to be the next big thing two decades ago, but then Paul Rudd got the part instead—and he’s held a grudge ever since. We just haven't met them yet. I just want to know how Bunny’s bird is doing.—Lauren Kranc, Content Strategy Editor

You're All Wrong, OK?

C'mon, people! Have none of you ever seen Election? Or "Misery Date," from Season Four of Modern Family? Ferris Bueller, damnit! Matthew Broderick always has some sort of ulterior motive. My colleagues are all too focused on the Meryl Streep of it all to pay attention to the trailer's quick shot of Broderick's mystery character. Streep is OMITB's Celebrity Cameo Red Herring, meant to make you obsess over her role, when it's actually the other famous person you should care about. I don't need to see a single minute of Season Three to write the following five words: Matthew Broderick is the killer.—Brady Langmann, Entertainment Editor

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