This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.
Only Murders in the Building episode 8 is the resulting payoff for the continuous conflict throughout the season. Oliver gets more than he bargains for amid the exposure of a major secret, but most excitingly, the trio are back together!
After putting their differences aside and bonding once more over common ground, the murder investigation is in full swing. There are some standout performances that assist the end cliffhanger in being so impactful and the show finally points towards Ben Glenroy’s killer.
*Warning: Spoilers ahead for Only Murders in the Building season 3, episode 8*
“Acting is all about choices, and I had to make one”
Only Murders in the Building episode 8 opens with a narration from Loretta (Meryl Streep). She tells a tale of her own childhood that uncovers her pregnancy at an early age. Determined to not give up her career in the arts, Loretta gives her baby to a loving family to care for him, whilst she heads to New York City. She is still unmistakably grappling with the resulting loss from this decision.
Loretta has been absent from the previous two episodes and the show is better for her mighty return. Streep is one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood‘s portfolio of stars for good reason. Her performances are consistently absorbing and her role in Only Murders in the Building is no exception. There’s still hope for more screen time with her in the following two episodes—particularly after the events that unfold here.
An immediate plot twist graces the opening of Only Murders in the Building episode 8 when it’s revealed that the late Ben Glenroy’s brother, Dickie (Jeremy Shamos), is Loretta’s long-lost child. In the search for her son, Loretta auditioned for Oliver’s (Martin Short) play. Finding herself amongst the chaos, she pens a letter for Dickie to give to him at sitzprobe—the actor’s first rehearsal with music.
One touch this season has neglected is significant twists in the narrative to keep the story fresh. Previous seasons have intricacies that thread throughout their respective storytelling, but season three has one big hitter. Time is running out with only two episodes remaining to deliver a gratifying conclusion, but with all the important components there, Only Murders in the Building season 3 is still carrying its biggest murder case yet.
Only Murders in the Building episode 8 is an anxiety-inducing journey
Back on the Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd) case following its reopening, the NYPD busts Oliver’s rehearsal to pursue prospective leads. Detective Williams (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) opts to question guests at the theater as to not disturb the preparations for opening night. Williams is a fantastic addition, carrying over from the previous two seasons. Her character is a necessary tension reliever in the apprehension of questioning, not to mention Randolph’s seamless comedic delivery—particularly during the classic back-and-forth banter with Oliver.
Loretta is soon informed that Dickie is the latest suspect in the murder case. By default, this takes suspicions away from herself when she confronts Oliver about taking her scrapbook full of clippings of Dickie alongside Ben. Loretta is desperate to take clear her son of any wrongdoing whilst Charles performs his ‘Patter Song’ as shown in episode 4.
Next is a delectable scene of events that plays out as Charles performs. The screen divides as the song advances and parades multiple characters in its focus. The song is especially fitting to the situation as it relates “which of the Pickwick triplets did it? Who of the crew could commit this crime?” It’s incredibly clever and well-thought-out to build anxiety in the wake of the NYPD’s bust into the theatrical rehearsals.
“Which little putz had the guts to kill?” in Only Murders in the Building season 3, episode 8
Desperate to prove their hand to Mabel (Selena Gomez), Oliver and Charles (Steve Martin) devise a ruse to set up a hidden recording device in Detective Williams’ questioning room. Their plan is a success and Mabel asks what’s been awaited all season: “wanna make a podcast with me?” The moment is incredibly sweet and an enthusiastic change after multiple episodes of disagreement. It provides hope that the dynamic will return to its usual format from now onwards until the finale in two weeks.
Dickie is taken for questioning by the police, but not before he informs Loretta that he finally felt “free” when he knew Ben was dead. It’s beginning to look much more likely that the star’s adoptive brother is the murderer. Despite Loretta’s hidden disarray, she’s then swept away by Oliver who proclaims his love for her and tells her that he only wants to be with her.
At last, Dickie’s lead appears to be a solid motive as the entirety of the episode hones in on Ben Glenroy’s adopted brother. Not to mention, with it being episode eight in the season, the show has to naturally adopt a solid killer sooner rather than later. Rest assured that writers Steve Martin and John Hoffman still have a number of surprises up their sleeve.
It’s heart-breaking after the events that transpire, as they can only point to disaster, but the chemistry between the pair is compelling. Oliver and Loretta’s romantic interest is the show’s strongest. It almost feels wrong to root for the pair as the events taking place naturally displace any trust in any characters outside the main trio whilst the murder is investigated. But it’s still compelling to do so when these two leads are able to create such magic between each other.
When Loretta’s turn to perform arises, Charles and Mabel search her bag in their seats and discover the book Oliver had given back to her. However, to this pair who are unaware of its existence, the endless pages of Dickie arouse suspicion on their behalf, which is unfortunate for the following twist. The police almost arrest Dickie when Loretta cuts her performance short to claim she killed Ben. Unaware of his mother incurring the blame to protect him, the whole cast arises in shock, including Oliver who rushes to protect her.
The music in Only Murders in the Building season 3 has received appraisal previously, but it is deserving of another mention in this episode as it intensifies the tension and makes for a keyed-up viewing. The lyrics once again correlate to the situation in this scenario as Loretta’s song plays out “For the sake of a child, I’d give my life completely. For the sake of a child, to hell and back I’d go.” It’s one of many exquisite details that make this show so fabulous.
Taken back by the confession, Oliver is in denial and fights for her in the belief she didn’t commit the crime. Following his minor heart arrhythmia in episode one, the shocking news causes Oliver to have a major heart attack. He collapses to the floor as Loretta is taken away, and his friends run to his side. The scene is difficult to watch and Charles’ demands that someone call an ambulance are the last gut-wrenching words of this week’s episode.
Only Murders in the Building episode 8 ends on a huge cliffhanger
Whilst Oliver’s health is worrying, it is foreshadowed heavily in the season’s premiere suggesting it would be part of a much larger plot in the story. This doesn’t make it any less distressing and traumatic though. Oliver’s health is increasingly troubling, and it remains to be seen whether this trio may have to continue as a duo.
Season three has big stakes, and it seems that Ben Glenroy’s murder is unraveled, but this may only be the beginning of bringing his killer to justice. It is still unclear as to if this season will conclude in just two more episodes, but the final two installments will not be to miss.
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'Only Murders in the Building' Episode 8 “Sitzprobe”'Only Murders in the Building' Episode 8 “Sitzprobe”
- Intricate plots that are executed wonderfully.
- Enrapturing performances, notably Short and Streep.
- Appear to finally have a sound motive and killer.
- Huge cliffhanger with a week to wait!
- Worrying about Oliver big-time!
- Where did Cinda Canning go?