The cast of “Death Rattle” is getting ready to say goodbye to its star as a funeral is held for Ben Glencross in the second episode of the third season of the hit show, “Only Murders in the Building.” As he is considered a major celebrity, there are overfill rooms for his funeral. Oliver ends up in a scary situation while trying to figure out if his Broadway show still has legs. Meanwhile, Charles and Mabel are once again investigating a murder that will bring back their popular podcast.
As part of Mabel’s and Charles’ investigation, they meet a man who claims to have been a member of Ben’s security team only to learn he is a stalker. He kidnaps the pair as he is convinced one of the two of them is the killer, but the police arrive in the nick of time to save the duo and charge the stalker with Ben’s murder. However, the fact that he had one of the handkerchiefs Ben gave as an opening night present and was looking for the killer himself leads Mabel to believe that the police have arrested the wrong person.
This episode leads to a strong performance from the three main characters. Selena Gomez does a great job interacting with Paul Rudd even though her character is alive and he is an illusion designed to help her investigate his death. Steve Martin steps up in a role where he makes it clear there was some animosity between his and Ben’s characters which would make him a suspect under most other circumstances. And Martin Short brings some humanity to Oliver who wants to rebound on Broadway, may be finding love with one of his cast, is getting older and suffers a heart attack, and has to find a way to balance being a Broadway director and podcast host once it’s clear they will be investigating Ben’s murder.
Even though Paul Rudd’s character is the victim, episode one of this season emphasized Meryl Streep’s character. However, episode two gets right into Ben’s back story and what makes him such an interesting victim. Unlike the first two victims, Ben has almost no redeeming qualities shown. While Tim Kono and Bunny were both flawed and unlikable, they still had their moments where the audience felt for them. Tim Kono had a long and storied history with Mabel while Bunny had a connection with everyone in the Arconia as the building manager. While Ben has a connection to both Oliver and Charles throughout the play, his connection feels weaker, but his unlikeable character makes it very believable that anyone in the cast could have murdered him, as well as anyone working on the play in any other capacity.
After a somewhat weak first episode, at least by “Only Murders in the Building” standards, this episode is much stronger. It feels weird saying an episode that focused on Meryl Streep was weak, but I think it was too soon in the season to give her character the focus. I understand she’s easily the biggest star in the cast, which is saying something when you look at this cast, but her character isn’t the character to launch a season. Still, episode two was a nice rebound and the perfect way to introduce the victim. Plus, it gave us our first red herring, as well as a plethora of potential killers. That’s good writing.
Rating: 4 stars
What did you think of this episode of “Only Murders in the Building?”