Only Murders In The Building Season 2 finale “I Know Who Did It” Spoilers Ahead
Hulu’s Only Murders In The Building wobbles a bit during the first few episodes, but when it picks the pace, it remains as engaging as it was in the first season, if not more. And much of the success ultimately boils down to the final two episodes that wrap up one crime while leaving another on the stage—literally.
Because the series will be returning for a third season, it’s not shocking that we’d leave off on another cliffhanger with more unanswered questions than before. And while the Season 1 finale, “Open and Shut,” serves as a solid end to one crime, the events of “I Know Who Did It” are more of a delirious spectacle that up the game remarkably. Yes, Jan’s (Amy Ryan) role as Tim Kono’s (Julian Cihi) killer was shocking, but Becky Butler’s story is far more intriguing (as is the partnership with Tina Fey’s Cinda Canning). But these very things leave us with more questions—who do we truly trust in a place where one crime follows the next?
Written by John Hoffman, Robb Turosky, and Matteo Borghese, “I Know Who Did It” ensures that we’re consistently thrown off course in an utterly engaging way. We go into the initial live party expecting them to frame Cinda Canning, and until Mabel’s interruption, it’s fully apparent that the culprit is about to confess. Only, that’s not what happens, and eyes dart toward Alice (Cara Delevingne). She presumably stabs Charles, leaving him to die, and an entire apartment of teary-eyed folks makes it seem like it’s the end. Except, the spectacle is still on full display as fingers point to the real killer, Poppy White (Adina Verson), or, rather, Becky Butler.
While this veers more toward a cliche motive centering around the desire to be seen in a field where you’re often overlooked, it serves the story in a more believable light. Because ultimately, Becky is more than capable of strategic murders because she cares about the story centering on the crime. She cares about the presentation and the execution, wanting nothing more than to outshine those who are seemingly in a better light than she is. It works because the season meticulously uses the penultimate to showcase Becky’s motives while setting her up as the kind of woman who’s done what’s necessary to survive. We would root for her because politicians can be terrible, and the decision to metaphorically bury herself for freedom channels viewer empathy.
The empathy they harness from us is thus why the revelation comes as a well-written plot twist despite the bromide choice it utilizes. Ambition is a good thing, but when it’s taken too far, it becomes the unvirtuous, nagging crux that forces people toward one wrong decision after another. Becky Butler could’ve used her demons to better the lives of others—instead, she chose greed. But this leaves us wondering whether we could even trust a woman like Cinda Canning.
Cinda’s motives are as fascinating as Fey’s embodiment of the role. Can we genuinely trust a woman who treats her employees like scum? Did she merely do so because she knew Becky’s true secret and motives all along, and if so, why not exploit the biggest crime she’s ever solved to continue advancing her career? How Fey plays her when we first meet her in Season 1 versus the version we see in “I Know Who Did It” is no small feat. There’s growth in her, but how much of that do we trust in the long run?
Speaking of trusting characters, do we trust Alice’s sincerity, or do we just desperately want to see Mabel happy? After everything Mabel’s been through—the lies, deception, and trauma, she deserves someone who values her for everything she is, without using the ugly bits of her past for art. Alice might not be that person, given that she’s been dishonest a few times, but people deserve second chances. If Mabel lets her back in slowly, the series could do something incredibly fascinating with this storyline.
Finally, perhaps the most anxiety-inducing storyline then lies in the concept of one year later. Oliver is directing a play on Broadway, starring Paul Rudd as Ben Glenroy, a hot-headed, seemingly difficult-to-work-with actor who’s the next murder victim. The last person Ben sees before an excited crowd is an angry Charles, mentioning something about knowing what “he’s done to her.” Who is this mystery woman they’re speaking of? Who poisoned Ben? And what on earth happened in the year we skipped ahead to? There’s plenty to explore here, and if the series utilizes Rudd’s unbeatable charm, we could have something phenomenal in Season 3. And as we learned last year, despite the last person in the room being one of the podcast hosts, they’re evidently not the killers. Or are they? Could Charles have done something this time? Did anyone else think Joy, the makeup artist, put something in the powder during their earlier conversation? We’ve seen enough spy dramas to know that makeup isn’t always just for aesthetic purposes. Will the podcast title change if the murder doesn’t occur at The Arconia Hotel? Time will tell.
Only Murders in the Building Season 2 finale sets up a physical stage for yet another murderous showcase, taking meta to a whole new level as it attempts to make each season different than the one before. It takes the “narrating the entirety of a crime” trope to new heights with social media tactics, bringing audience members and characters to an eventful night full of uncertainties. It’s fun, it’s messy in all the right ways, and it leaves us itching for Season 3.
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Now streaming on Hulu: What are your thoughts on the Only Murders in the Building Season 2 finale, “I Know Who Did It?” Let us know in the comments below. We can just scream about Paul Rudd if that’s what you all see as fit. (We do!)