Only Murders in the Building Season 3 Review

The most memorable highlight of Season 3 of Only Murders in the Building is, without a doubt, watching Meryl Streep and Martin Short share a joint on the ferry. 

In the third season of Only Murders in the Building, the first episode wastes no time and jumps right into the mysterious murder of Paul Rudd. Rudd’s character, Ben Glenroy, is the famous leading actor in Oliver Putnam’s new Broadway play (and he is obsessed with cookies). After his first false-alarm death on the stage during the opening night of Oliver’s big play, Ben actually ends up dead at the Arconia on the second try. 

While Oliver is devastated about his show’s future without his leading man, Mabel (Gomez) thinks this is the perfect opportunity to go back to solving murders and continue their podcast “Only Murders in the Building”. Feeling lost in her 30s and about to move out of her aunt’s apartment at the Arconia, Mabel longs for another murder mystery to solve with her two favorite chaotic old neighbors.

Meryl Streep has also officially entered the Arconia, aka the murder building, in the new season of the cozy murder mystery series. In contrast with her own status as an actress, Streep plays Loretta Durkin, an ignored and struggling actress with a big dream but not much success– until now. Oliver, as he is about to make a comeback to Broadway after his almost career-ending flop years ago, meets Streep’s character during her audition as The Nanny in his new play and is instantly blown away by her. 

From the moment she appears on screen, Streep, being the legend that she is steals the show in every scene– especially when she performs “Look for the Light”, an original song co-written by Sara Bareilles and Oscar-winning producers Benj Pasek & Justin Paul. Mamma Mia fans already knew Streep could sing, but her musical moment in Only Murders is Broadway-level and Streep truly turns it into the showstopper.

As anticipated, the off-screen friendship between Selena Gomez, Steve Martin, and Martin Short reflects on their on-screen chemistry once again. Without Mabel’s sassy attitude, Oliver’s dramatics, and Charles’ constantly nervous but adorable personality, Only Murders in the Building would not be the same. Over the seasons, their bond has grown immensely in front of the audience and proved to be the show’s core element.  

In season 1, all three leading characters –Mabel, Oliver, and Charles– were struggling in their own lives as they lacked purpose and joy. Charles was dealing with a breakup and his acting career fading away; Oliver was grieving his career as a Broadway director, leading him to isolate himself from his family; and Mabel was living alone in her aunt’s empty apartment, haunted by the death of a childhood friend. The only thing they all looked forward to every week was their favorite true-crime podcast “All Is Not OK in Oklahoma”.

The trio’s love for true-crime mysteries created a bond between them, and solving the murder of Tim Kono became their safety net. They had a reason to wake up, investigate, find clues, and be there for each other every day from that moment on. 

But, despite Gomez, Short, and Martin’s continuous chemistry on-screen, season 3 has a bittersweet change to it. The connection between the podcaster trio feels different as their once beloved podcast remains the priority for only one member of the group. Oliver is busy trying to make an epic comeback to Broadway with his new play turned musical. Charles is in a new, committed relationship while also starring in Oliver’s show. On the other hand, Mabel feels lost and is the only one who wants to hold on to their mystery-solving days. She needs their podcast in her life because, once again, it is all she has.  

Just like Mabel, the audience is also anxiously wondering whether the trio’s murder mystery journey might be coming to an end soon– let’s hope not.