Only Murders in the Building season finale recap, review, and ending explained

In the season finale of Only Murders in the Building, Charles, Mabel, and Oliver attempt to get a confession from Ben’s killer on the opening night of Death Rattle Dazzle. The episode is streaming on Hulu.

Episode 10 recap: Opening Night

Charles, Oliver, and Mabel are discussing a plan to get Donna to confess to the murder while Loretta watches on. She then reveals the handkerchief that Dickie gave her, and it is the last piece of the puzzle for the trio’s case.

Opening night arrives and Mabel starts their plan by handing Donna a bouquet with a message calling her to the stage manager’s office to check out the latest review. She runs into the trio who begin their song and dance routine to get Donna to confess.

She sees right through it and admits to poisoning Ben with rat poison, although she didn’t want to kill him. Tobert is also there in disguise with a microphone to record the confession.

They also accuse her of pushing Ben down the elevator shaft which she denies. They pull out her handkerchief which has a lipstick smudge on it in the same shade that she’s wearing. She realizes that she’s got nowhere to run and admits to killing Ben.

She then requests them to wait till after the show to call the police so that her son can have his time to shine. Mabel isn’t convinced about the confession and an unease washes across her face.

Howard rushes into the office and tells them that Jonathan took too many pills for his anxiety and won’t be able to go up on stage. He then suggests that this is the perfect opportunity for someone else who knows every one of the lines to take on the mantle.

Oliver and Howard appear to be on the same page, but the truth is far from it. Oliver ends up taking the lead role, even though Howard had suggested he take on the role himself.

Mabel watches on from the side and then heads downstairs for a moment where she runs into Tobert. He hands her the recording of Donna’s confession and then asks her to join him in LA where he’ll be shooting an indie film.

The show goes on with Loretta performing her big number and then telling Dickie the truth about who she is. He says that he had a feeling ever since the first readthrough when he saw her.

Mabel watches Donna and Cliff talking to each other in the audience and then Cliff rushes away. Mabel goes out to look for him and finds him in the rafters.

Only Murders in the Building season 3 ending explained in detail:

What does Cliff confess?

Mabel finds Cliff in a distressed state in the rafters. She says that while his mother confessed to killing Ben, she doesn’t believe that is true. She noticed how Donna kissed her handkerchief and then placed it in Cliff’s breast pocket earlier that evening and deduced it was the same case on the night of Ben’s murder.

He then admits that he ran into Ben right after he found out from his doctor that he had been poisoned. Cliff and Ben both conclude that Donna poisoned Ben and got into an altercation.

Cliff ended up pushing Ben down the elevator shaft in frustration and then fled the scene.

How does the show end?

While the performance goes on on stage, Cliff threatens to jump down from the rafters and end his life while Mabel pleads with him to stop. The noise grows and Charles hears this, rushing up as well.

Loretta and Oliver perform the final number and then Oliver rushes up to the rafters as well. The trio watches on as Cliff is holding to the edge with just one hand, but Donna shows up and stops him from letting go.

The police arrive and Cliff and Donna are arrested for their respective crimes.

What happens at the after-party?

Oliver reads a review praising the musical as everyone celebrates its success. Dickie tells Loretta that she’s getting a lot of attention and offered roles, but she’s unsure of taking them.

Oliver tells her to follow her dreams, and he doesn’t mind accompanying her to LA when she does. Mabel tells Tobert that she has things to handle in New York, but she would love to visit him in LA as well.

Charles mentions that he’s heading to LA too, and they are shortly joined by Sazz who tells Charles that she has something sensitive that she has to discuss with him.

Charles then mentions that he’s got a fancy bottle of wine in his apartment that he’s been saving for a special occasion and he heads out to get it. He’s walking around in his empty apartment when Howard approaches Mabel and Oliver where he is.

Charles walks in and reveals that Sazz went up to fetch the bottle instead at the same moment that Sazz is shot by a sniper. She uses her last ounce of strength and her blood to attempt to write down a clue on the floor beside her.


  • There is an air of predictability to the mysteries at this point, and while it isn’t always obvious, seasoned viewers can still predict where the story is generally headed.
  • The episode also doesn’t treat its viewers to the same old shtick by having Donna see right through their routine and confess the murder of Ben. There are many subtle meta-moments where the writers are in on the predictability of their tried and tested methods.
  • Even the setup for the next season could be seen from a distance, although there is still enough intrigue with regard to the who and why. This finale doesn’t end with a particular flourish, but that’s only down the to high standards set in previous seasons.
Only Murders in the Building season 3 episode 10
Only Murders in the Building season finale recap, review, and ending explained 1

Director: Jamie Babbit

Date Created: 2023-10-03 12:30

Editor's Rating:

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