Who killed Ben in Only Murders season 3? Only Murders in the Building’s off-beat approach to whodunnits has earned it legions of fans across the globe and more than its fair share of critical success, but even the keenest of minds may get a little lost while watching our podcasting heroes, Mabel (Selena Gomez), Charles (Steven Martin), and Oliver (Martin Short) sleuthing away.
It doesn’t help that Only Murders In The Building season 3 features the trio’s toughest case to date. They have to solve who killed A-list star Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd) on the night of his Broadway debut. Thrilling stuff, and it makes for great TV (Only Murders is definitely going on our list of the best TV series after this season). Still, the Only Murders season 3 release date has been and gone, and we now know exactly who did it.
Want to know who the killer was? Well, you’re in the right place with our guide to the Only Murders in the Building season 3 ending explained. Warning: spoilers for one of the best Disney Plus shows ahead!
Only Murders in the Building season 3 ending explained
Following the dramatic reveal that Donna (Linda Emond) poisoned Ben, the finale of Only Murders season 3 begins with Mabel, Charles, and Oliver confronting the murderer on the opening night of Death Rattle Dazzle.
To their immense surprise, Donna admits to attempted murder very quickly, although she’s more reluctant to admit to pushing Ben down the elevator shaft.
In fact, she only confesses when Oliver shows her the lipstick-stained handkerchief that Ben was gripping when he died. The killer’s got another secret as well: she’s actually dying of stage 4 lung cancer, and she begs our heroes to let the play go ahead before they call the police so that her son Cliff’s (Wesley Taylor) career isn’t ruined. Reluctantly, the trio agrees, and we get to watch a few musical numbers from the stage show. It’s as bonkers as you’d expect.
Still, before the closing number begins, Mabel witnesses Loretta (Meryl Streep) tell Dickie Glenroy (Jeremy Shamos) that she’s really his mother and has a brainwave. A mother would do anything to protect their child, and as Mabel stares into the audience, she sees Cliff storm away from Donna. Thinking about the handkerchief, she realizes it wasn’t Donna’s. It was Cliff’s, and the lipstick was on it because of a ritual they do where she kisses a handkerchief and puts it in his breast pocket.
Following Cliff up into the rafters, Mabel confronts the killer, and he admits to everything. It was he who pushed Ben to his death after the pair argued about Donna poisoning the cookie. Believing he now has nothing left to live for, the young producer threatens to jump to his doom, which interrupts Oliver’s play.
Thankfully, our heroes (and Donna) manage to convince Cliff to go quietly, and he and his mother are arrested for murdering Ben. As the trio celebrates closing another case, they head back to Oliver’s apartment, where they read the positive reviews that Death Rattle Dazzle received.
As the episode draws to a close, though, something terrible happens (it is the Arconia, after all). While Charles’s stunt double Sazz (Jane Lynch), is off getting more wine, she’s shot dead by an unseen assassin.
Who killed Ben in Only Murders in the Building season 3?
Only Murders in the Building season 3 broke from tradition and had two killers, Donna and Cliff DeMeo.
Donna probably wasn’t trying to kill Ben (that’s what she claims, at least), but she was the one who poisoned him by leaving a Smackeries cookie laced with rat poison in his dressing room, knowing that he couldn’t resist the sugary goodness. Why did Donna want Ben dead? Well, she feared that Ben’s terrible performance would sink Death Rattle and ruin Cliff’s chances of becoming a Broadway producer.
When Ben miraculously survived the poison (Thanks in part to a cocktail of drugs already in his blood), he was hanging out outside Oliver’s apartment and ended up talking to Cliff. When the young producer inadvertently revealed that Donna was the one who brought the cookies to the stage, Ben realized she was the one who poisoned him, and a scuffle broke out. In a fit of rage, Cliff pushed Ben, sending him hurtling down the elevator to his death.
Will there be an Only Murders in the Building season 4?
While Hulu hasn’t officially confirmed an Only Murders in the Building season 4, the finale sets up a new case for Mabel, Charles, and Oliver to investigate. It seems obvious to us that our microphone-wielding heroes will be on the trail of whoever shot Sazz, but wait, there’s a sting in the tail of this story.
We believe that whoever shot Sazz was, in fact, gunning for Charles. After all, as Charles’s stunt double, Sazz has more than a passing resemblance to the star, and she was in his apartment when she was shot. So, who’d want our leading man dead? Well, we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed that Hulu renews Only Murders in the Building for a fourth season to find out.
If you love Only Murders, you should check out our list of the best thriller movies or the best comedy movies (Steve Martin may or may not make an appearance). We’ve also got guides on a number of upcoming films and TV shows, including House of the Dragon season 2, Deadpool 3, and Wednesday season 2.