Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Only Murders in the Building Season 1, Episode 10, “Open and Shut.”
As the best real crime series the series aims to emulate, Only the murders in the building is not really about solving a crime. It’s about questioning the humans and the systems that fostered the environment surrounding crime. And in the case of the Hulu comedy, these humans and systems are the people who themselves produce the real crime content – Steve martin, Martin runs, and Selena Gomez, who all started a podcast after the murder of a resident of their building. Where does the line between professional security and personal development blur? Is it ethical to use the suffering of others for your own sense of advancement, even joy? And where the hell can I get one of Gomez’s perfect orange fur coats ?!
But like real crime series, Only the murders in the building also has a crime to solve – and in the case of its Season 1 finale, “Open and Shut,” the open case is indeed closed (before another is opened wide again). Let’s go into all the facets of Only murders‘Season 1 final moments, from the case specifics and thematic ripples to what the podcast team is going to do next.
First: January (Amy ryan) is the killer. This is clearly mentioned in the cliffhanger of Episode 9, as Mabel (Gomez) and Oliver (Short) discover an alleged sex toy found in victim Tim Kono (Julien cihi) is actually a bassoon cleaner, and completely canonized as the truth here in the finale. As Jan colorfully confesses to Charles (Martin), she had an affair with Tim that ended, and under the auspices of “one nightcap”, she poisoned him with a delayed reaction chemical. (as Mabel and Oliver find her apartment, helpfully labeled) then shot her corpse to make it look like suicide. Now Jan has applied some sort of nerve-slowing agent to Charles’s person via an ice pack, leaving him to attempt to escape with an incapacitated body and a difficult level of speech, Leo-in-The wolf of Wall Street style (to the point where Oliver makes a quaalude joke).
Mabel, Oliver and Charles finally reunite (Charles tied in a cart on wheels) and rush to the basement, where Jan plans to gass the whole building to death (Ryan is having so much fun playing this ugly killer in the handle). Jan pulls out a gun, Charles gives a heroic self-actualization speech, and when the scene cuts to reveal that it was in his head and he’s actually just babbling incoherently, Oliver rushes Charles into a basket towards Jan, hitting her! Mabel, who has had personal interests around Tim from the start, smashes Jan in the face with Zoe (Olivia reis) emerald ring, and take down the killer.
The case is closed and our heroes are experiencing moments of personal triumph. Oliver kisses his bitter son (Ryan broussard) with open arms and reconcilers. Mabel and Oscar (Aaron Dominguez) examine her finished work and embrace her. Charles texts Lucy, the girl’s estranged figure from his ex, and she actually responds. As the trio’s final podcast voiceover draws to a close, with the ghostly face of Tim Kono used to essentially bless his own murder as a necessary catalyst for the burgeoning friendship / social service / content generator. of the trio, I felt undeniably satisfied, but undeniably disgusting. Throughout his masterful start to the race, Only murders in the building thrived in the uneasiness, sharpness and melancholy of its satirical and emotional lacerations. Doesn’t this fairy tale end a bit too dull, holding hands, forgiving its characters, tone, and set goals?
Well the last cliffhanger is here to shut me up. Our trio, who have now been granted permission to stay in this building that everyone previously wanted to evict them (who would want to come to the murder building?), Celebrate their successes on the roof of the building. But when Mabel goes out briefly to buy some more champagne, Oliver and Charles receive a panicked text from an unknown number asking them to leave now. And a cavalcade of sirens appears at their front door.
And when Oliver and Charles go to help Mabel, they see her covered in blood, kneeling in front of the body of the cranky owner Bunny (Jayne Houdyshell), her knitting needle stuck in Bunny’s throat. Mabel insists that’s not what it looks like, but before she can provide further details, the trio are escorted out of the building, handcuffed by police, as a team of gaping onlookers watch their latest carnage attraction.
The final moments of the season go to the impresario of the Cinda Canning podcast (Tina Fey) and its installation assistant (Adina Verson), who reflect on what kind of podcast they could create based on this burgeoning new case of murder-solver-turned-murderer podcast. Of Classes it will not be so easy for our trio to find their happiness through real issues of death, sadness and anguish. Of Classes they are too deep, dominoes fall around them. And of Classes I’m going to watch a season 2 to see what happens when our content creators themselves get satisfied.
Only the murders in the building Season 1 is now streaming on Hulu.
KEEP READING: ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Review: Sharp, Scary, Surprisingly Sad
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