Only Murders in the Building episode 6 review | Agents of Fandom

Only Murders in the Building Episode 6 “Ghost Light”: Theatrical Fallacy

With agitation taking control and a hint of self-absorption, how will the crime aficionados move past their first quarrel?

Only Murders in the Building episode 6 shows things are getting heated at The Arconia! Conflict comes to a head as a row breaks out between this triad. With only two episodes left of season three, it’s tough to see how this investigation will pan out. Episode 6 leads back to the theater, confirming previous predictions that this will become a reoccurring setting for the series. Yet the overarching focus on relationships rather than investigation may leave season three in a rather debilitated position.

*Warning: Spoilers ahead for Only Murders in the Building season 3, episode 6*

Theatrical superstitions in Only Murders in the Building episode 6

Episode six opens with an eerie tale of a theatrical curse. Oliver’s (Martin Short) stage director (Michael Cyril Creighton) narrates the death of actor Gideon Gooseberry in 1919. Howard claims that Gideon’s spirit haunts the Gooseberry theater—before the title sequence cuts to Howard confessing that he killed Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd). It’s not necessarily true, though.

It’s imperative for individuals in the theater to abide by certain rules and evade superstition. In this instance, Gideon’s spirit must be literally swept off the stage every night, or he will find a way to curse the show.

Howard believes that his incapacity to locate a broom to perform the task on opening night resulted in Ben’s death. What’s more, he saw Gideon’s ghost in the theater that very morning.

Howard (Michael Cyril Creighton) in Only Murders in the Building season 3 | Agents of Fandom
Howard (Michael Cyril Creighton) in Only Murders in the Building season 3. Image credit: Hulu.

The trio sets out to return to the theater ahead of its re-opening for ‘Death Razzle-Dazzle’ the following day. There’s already a slight strain on their dynamic as Mabel’s (Selena Gomez) new boyfriend, Tobert (Jesse Williams), attempts to invite himself along, where she’s reminded by her older friends that “we’re a trio, and we’re not hiring.”

Anxiety intensifies as strange occurrences continue to separate the group. Charles (Steve Martin) is stuck in the prop cupboard, Oliver is abducted, and Mabel runs into Tobert, who snuck into the theater to join the operation.

Oliver is still reeling from the discovery that Loretta (Meryl Streep) may not be as innocent as he thought. He finds himself in the theater attic accompanied by former theater director, Jerry, a squatter who’s hiding away in the building.

Oliver receives advice leading him to realize he needs to choose what matters, and then do what he must do to pursue it. The build-up to the final argument is calculated yet subtle, resulting in the later conflict being far more impactful.

Writers John Hoffman and Steve Martin have benefitted greatly from the character development since season one. The reason that such antagonism is achievable is solely due to the character’s not being the same individuals they were in the first introduction to the series. Growth is a key factor in driving the show forward, and ensuring that the characters learn from their previous mistakes.

Oliver (Martin Short) in Only Murders in the Building season 3
Oliver (Martin Short) in Only Murders in the Building season 3. Image Credit: Hulu.

“What do you do when your future starts haunting you?”

Only Murders in the Building episode 6, “Ghost Light” reaches its climax during the final five minutes. Emotions are running high in the friendship, partly due to different priorities between the individuals. This has been a common theme throughout the season so far and is becoming seemingly more difficult to navigate.

The strong chemistry between the main three characters has always been this show’s strength. Now over the halfway mark in season three, it’s clear that this may not resolve soon. It’s strenuous to not see this as potentially the weakest of the three seasons, but it’s still thoroughly enjoyable.

Oliver heads to Loretta’s dressing room to dispose of the evidence incriminating his lover, when Mabel and Charles walk in and witness this misstep. It’s a far cry from how Oliver would respond when the group began crime investigations. It demonstrates how tough it is for him to open up and balance these emotions alongside his friendships. Still learning new quirks about each character, and the depth of their personalities, is refreshing.

Oliver is particularly vulnerable due to his involvement with Loretta, and still in denial that she may be involved with Ben Glenroy’s death. Arguably, he’s very much the problem here as he refuses to see the evidence in front of him. Mabel and Charles are understandably irked, but Oliver refuses to jeopardize his shot at success. In anger, he destroys the evidence left in the dressing room and throws some rather harsh insults his friend’s way. These include telling Charles he shouldn’t have tried to help his dying career, and a low blow to Mabel that she may have never had a grown-up job, but they matter.

Mabel (Selena Gomez) in Only Murders in the Building season 3 | Agents of Fandom
Mabel (Selena Gomez) in Only Murders in the Building season 3. Image credit: Hulu.

This is the first real argument that these characters have had over the span of the entire series, and its fine execution makes it so heartbreaking. Mabel announces that she’s “done” with her older friends, who she believes no longer care about her, or the investigation.

To rub salt into the wound, she claims that Cinda Canning (Tina Fey) is right in her assumption that maybe Mabel doesn’t need her guys anymore, and leaves shortly before Charles (who has also quit the production). The week’s wait between episode six and seven will provide some much-needed time to recover. That being said, the trio’s differences are likely to carry into next season, given season three is two episodes shorter than its predecessors.

Only Murders in the Building episode 6: Bring back the good ol’ days!

Only Murders in the Building episode 6 doesn’t provide any further details on Ben Glenroy’s killer, but there are plenty of motives ahead. This murder investigation appears to lean further into Loretta as the key suspect. As echoed, “When you make the stage a part of your life, it can be hard to escape your personal ghosts too.”

Only Murders in the Building season 3 is materializing to be far more than an investigation, and much more of a journey about evolving friendships. The high stakes displayed so far will inevitably reach a critical point in the penultimate episode.

Only Murders in the Building is now streaming on Hulu and Disney+. Follow the Agents of Fandom socials for the latest Only Murders in the Building content.

'Only Murders in the Building' Episode 6 "Ghost Light" Review

'Only Murders in the Building' Episode 6 "Ghost Light" Review
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The Good

  • More of the trio back together!
  • More lore of the theatre

The Bad

  • Don't like seeing this family fight, thank you.
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