Only Murders in the Building Season 3 Ending Explained: Who Killed Ben Glenroy?

Only Murders in the Building season 3 reveals this season's murderer while setting up another compelling mystery to come.

Ben Gilroy (Paul Rudd) in Only Murders in the Building season 3 episode 10.
Photo: Hulu

This article contains spoilers for Only Murders in the Building season 3 episode 10.

Only Murders in the Building has done it yet again! They’ve reached the end of their third murder investigation. From talented guest stars to career-defining performances from the main cast, the triad at the heart of the mystery series sleuthed their way to the solution in fascinating fashion. 

As with the previous seasons of the show, each episode seems to hint at a potential new suspect in the case, meaning it can be a little tiring to understand the small details of the crime when the end of the road arrives. We’ve got you covered! By the time the curtain closes on “Opening Night,” you’ll not only know who pushed Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd) down the elevator shaft, but you might also discover other intimate details in the lives of our beloved podcasters!

Who Killed Ben Glenroy?

Cliff DeMeo (Wesley Taylor) shoved Ben Glenroy to his death after an argument with the conceited actor in the hallway by the elevator shaft. Cliff’s mother, Donna (Linda Emond), poisoned Ben on the night of the play’s opening act after hearing Maxine’s (Noma Dumezweni) harsh review of the production. Maxine is supposedly an esteemed critic in the world of Broadway, and her aspersions were especially casted towards Ben. Not wanting her son to fail in his first ever Broadway producing effort, she supplied rat poison inside of a cookie. Ben has a history of eating disorders at the worst, and a poor relationship with sugar at his most innocuous. Donna didn’t plan on killing Ben, just knocking him out of the play. 

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The notion seemed like it was going to work, but Ben comes to find out that Donna stabbed him in the back, he tells Cliff he’s going to call the police on his mother when the epiphany hits. Cliff and Donna have an unhealthily tight mother-son bond, replete with mouth smooches and grand gestures of affection, so it’s easy to predict where this story is headed. Cliff gets in a physical altercation with Ben, one thing leads to another, and the flamboyant mama’s boy accidentally flings the cocky thespian to his demise. 

How Did Mabel Figure It Out?

The podcasting trio thinks that Donna is the slaughterer when they unearth the information about the toxic cookies, coercing an admittance of guilt out of her. Donna goes one step further and pleads guilty to shoving Ben down the elevator shaft, too, but something doesn’t seem right with this scenario. Mabel (Selena Gomez) has been the detective most in-tune with the case this season, so it’s only fair she has her antennas up yet again here. 

In the ninth episode of the season, “Thirty,” Loretta Durkin (Meryl Streep) falsely admits culpability to the crime when Mabel pins the murder on her son and Ben’s brother, Dickie Glenroy (Jeremy Shamos). Loretta would do whatever it takes to protect her son, something she insists any loving mother would do in her position. After Charles (Steve Martin), Oliver (Martin Short), and Mabel realize Loretta is lying about killing Ben due to their revelation about Donna, it becomes a moment of foreshadowing both for the audience and the podcast hosts. 

Mabel eavesdrops on an intimate conversation between Dickie and Loretta during opening night of the play, and she immediately understands the truth behind the season’s whodunit. It wasn’t Loretta and Dickie at the heart of the murder, but rather Donna and Cliff. The former duo simply served as a symbol of healthier maternal affection, and a reflection of the deep-seeded corruption hiding in the latter’s lives. Mabel confronts Cliff about his role in the murder, Cliff threatens to throw himself through the ceiling to avoid prison, and Donna swoops in to save him one more time. They get whisked off to jail together in their final scene, but knowing how tight their bond is, as long as they can rot away together everything will be okay. 

Could the Cast be Headed to Los Angeles? 

The epilogue of the episode sees some life-altering news for both Tobert (Jesse Williams) and Loretta. Mabel’s beau is headed off to Southern California and hopes Mabel will join him in a new adventure. Loretta’s performance on Broadway means she’s already received two new acting offers in the City of Angels, but leaving Oliver is something she has a hard time imagining at this point in her life. Even if the Only Murders in the Building crew can’t leave the Big Apple’s grip, setting is something the show never shies away from experimenting with. Could we be seeing a cameo from L.A. in season four? And will there be a malfeasance to expound once they hit the beaches of the western coast? 

Season 4’s Murder Victim

When the podcasting trio takes some time to relax and celebrate their opening night on Broadway and the solving of Ben Glenroy’s murder, it appears that Charles goes to his apartment to get another bottle of wine for the gang. With the lights turned out and the room’s silence deafening, a bullet careens through the glass window and strikes Charles right in the chest! For about 30 seconds, we wonder whether Only Murders in the Building would really do the unthinkable . . . kill off one of their three main superstars.

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When the camera pans back to the party, we see Charles safe and sound with Mabel and Oliver, which means Charles’s doppelganger must be Sazz (Jane Lynch), the actor’s dry-witted, sarcastic stunt double throughout his acting career. Sazz becoming the victim of season four’s murder marks the first time a recurring character the audience loves has been slain. 

Season one’s victim (Tim Kono) was obviously an unknown casualty since it was the beginning of the series, and we had no time to form a personal connection with him. The second season’s victim (Bunny Folger) wasn’t exactly the most likable woman, moreso a cranky old side character. The third season’s victim (Ben Glenroy) leveraged the star power of Paul Rudd to attract our attention, but he was also a novel character. Sazz’s hilarious appearances throughout the first three seasons will be missed in season four. All we can hope for is that flashbacks will give us a peek into her life in the past. 

Only Murders in the Building continues to come up with ways to defy logic and keep our interests piqued, even as the formulaic nature of the story risks getting stale. Hopefully with positive news on the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, actors and writers for the show will be back at work crafting one of TV’s true comfort food programs for a fourth time. We need justice for Sazz!