Only Murders in the Building Season 4 Will Stretch the Series’ Premise in One Major Way

Only Murders in the Building season 4 seems to be abandoning an important part of its concept.

Mabel (Selena Gomez) and Tobert (Jesse Williams) in Only Murders in the Building season 3
Photo: Patrick Harbron | Hulu

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

From the beginning, the Hulu comedy mystery series Only Murders in the Building has been pretty clear about its premise. As the name suggests, lead characters Oliver (Martin Short), Charles (Steve Martin), and Mabel (Selena Gomez) only solve murders that happen in their New York City apartment building The Arconia. After season 2 ended with Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd) falling dead on a broadway stage, season 3 went so far as to have Ben come back from the dead just so he could suffer his final death in the Arconia. The show clearly takes its premise seriously, but one major change in season 4 will test how far it can go.

According to Disney Television Group President Craig Erwich, Only Murders in the Building is officially leaving the Arconia in season 4 and heading to Los Angeles. During the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Tour, Erwich said “Well, I’m very excited to see Steve, Martin and Selena take a little break from the apartment building and come to Los Angeles. So in the same way that John Hoffman used the canvas of Broadway to tell what I think was one of the most unique seasons you’ve ever seen, the same unique Only Murders take will be applied to Los Angeles, which I’m really excited about.”

Season 3 of Only Murders in the Building ended with Charles’ stunt double Sazz Pataki (Jane Lynch) being shot through the window of Charles’ apartment. It’s unclear whether Charles or Sazz was the murderer’s intended target, but because the murder did happen in the Arconia, the show seems to have already covered its bases in that regard.

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How the trio will investigate a murder that occurred in NYC while in Los Angeles is a different story though. This change in locale isn’t a huge surprise given that Loretta (Meryl Streep) and Tobert (Jesse Williams) both asked Oliver and Mabel, respectively, to join them in California after receiving life-changing job offers. Oliver and Mabel both declined initially, but that doesn’t mean that Sazz’s death wouldn’t have changed their minds.

It also makes sense that Charles wouldn’t care to stay in his apartment or the building after Sazz’s murder. Charles and Sazz may have had a tense friendship at times, but losing someone you’ve known for decades can’t be easy, especially if the killer was after him instead of Sazz.

Moving the investigation outside of the Arconia is one thing, but taking the trio all the way to the west coast will surely test the limits of how far this series and its premise can go. It’ll be interesting to see how they adapt to the beaches and sunny skies of Los Angeles, and how that affects the mystery as it unfolds.