Only Murders in the Building’s Broadway-infused mystery comes to a close with the true killer of Paul Rudd’s Ben Glenroy finally being revealed.
Warning! This article contains spoilers for Only Murders in the Building season 3.
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- The true killer of Ben Glenroy in Only Murders in the Building season 3 is revealed to be Cliff, Donna’s son, who pushed him down the elevator shaft.
- Donna lied about killing Ben to protect her son and because she had stage four lung cancer, feeling that she was on borrowed time.
- Ben survived Donna’s initial poisoning attempt due to the presence of drugs in his system, but was later killed by Cliff to protect his mother from the police.
Only Murders in the Building season 3’s ending brings to light the true killer of Paul Rudd’s Ben Glenroy while raising plenty of other questions in the process. Much like the preceding two seasons of the show, Only Murders in the Building season 3 saved the major reveals of this season’s mystery for the final episode. While Only Murders in the Building season 3, episode 9 hinted that Donna DeMeo was the killer of Ben Glenroy, the ending of the season had several twists and turns in store for the trio of Charles, Mabel, and Oliver.
With Only Murders in the Building season 3’s cast growing immeasurably from the first two seasons, there was bound to be further developments given so many characters were at play. In Only Murders in the Building season 3’s ending, these plot developments were delivered thick and fast as the central trio raced to unearth the truth behind Ben’s murder on the opening night of Oliver’s “Death Rattle Dazzle” Broadway musical. As such, here is every reveal, twist, and development from Only Murders in the Building season 3’s ending explained from the true killer of Ben Glenroy to the shocking set-up for season 4.
Related: Only Murders In The Building Season 4: If It’s Happening & Everything We Know
Cliff Is Revealed As Ben Glenroy’s Killer In Only Murders In The Building Season 3
After the red herring reveal that Donna DeMea, one of the producers of Oliver’s musical, was Ben Glenroy’s killer, it was actually revealed that Cliff, Donna’s son, was responsible for the murder. After a series of twists and turns, Cliff reveals that he was the one who ultimately pushed Ben down the elevator shaft of the Arconia in Only Murders in the Building season 3, episode 1. Cliff’s motive stems from the earlier attempt on Ben’s life which does indeed connect to Donna.
At the beginning of Only Murders in the Building season 3, episode 10, Donna confesses to poisoning Ben using rat poison and a cookie placed in his dressing room. Ben eventually deduced this for himself after being told that the doctors found rat poison in his system and confronted Cliff about his mother’s crime. After stating that he would turn Donna in to the police and demeaning Cliff, the two had a brief argument resulting in a scuffle that saw Ben pushed down the elevator shaft by Cliff to his death.
Why Donna Lied About Killing Paul Rudd’s Ben
Only Murders in the Building season 3’s ending had various twists and turns which raised several questions, including why Donna lied about killing Ben. While Donna confessed to attempting to poison Ben to improve the reviews for Oliver’s play, she later also admitted that she pushed him down the elevator shaft. However, this was eventually revealed as Cliff’s crime. The reason for her lie came simply from her desire to protect her son. Donna did not want to see her son go to prison for a crime that was somewhat accidental and tried to take the fall for it.
This also stemmed from her illness – stage four lung cancer – which was revealed in Only Murders in the Building season 3’s ending. Donna felt that she was on borrowed time given her illness’ progression which further fueled her to cover for her son. In order to protect Cliff from a life in prison, Donna lied to Charles, Mabel, and Oliver about killing Ben until Cliff admitted to his crime resulting in both going to jail – Donna for the initial attempted murder of Ben and Cliff for the fight that actually killed Paul Rudd’s character.
How Ben Survived The Poisoning Attempt
Another question that Only Murders in the Building season 3’s ending answered is how Ben survived Donna’s initial poisoning attempt. Throughout season 3, the show had established that Ben would often indulge in drugs and other recreational habits. This came into play in Only Murders in the Building‘s season 3 ending as Ben revealed that drugs like HGH, Viagra, and other illegal substances were present in his system as he ingested the rat poison-infused cookie, initially saving his life only for him to be killed later by Cliff.
Why Loretta & Dickie’s Relationship Was So Important
Another of Only Murders in the Building season 3’s red herring subplots centered on Loretta and Dickie’s relationship. Midway through the season, it was revealed that Loretta was Dickie’s biological mother which led to her taking the fall for Ben’s death when it was pinned on Dickie. After the admissions of Donna and Cliff, Loretta told Dickie that she was his mother to which Dickie responded that he somehow knew the moment he met her.
As such, many are wondering why Loretta and Dickie’s relationship was so important to Only Murders in the Building season 3 aside from its usage as a misdirect of Ben’s murder. The reason for this links to Donna and Cliff. Loretta’s insistence that mothers will do whatever is in their power to protect their children is mentioned in the final episode of the season which Mabel overhears. This allows Mabel to deduce that Donna was not the one who killed Ben and that it was Cliff, with Donna simply looking to protect her son as Loretta had previously done with Dickie.
Only Murders In The Building Season 4 Setup: Who Shot Sazz?
As has been par for the course with the other final episodes of the show’s various seasons, Only Murders in the Building season 3’s ending also sets up the events of season 4. After the chaos of Ben’s murder had been settled, a party took place in the Arconia to celebrate the rave reviews dedicated to Oliver’s play. Among the guests present was Sazz, Jane Lynch’s character who has long served as a stunt double for Charles as well as being his close friend.
Only Murders in the Building season 3’s ending proved to have one final twist in store when Charles stated he would go to his apartment to fetch a bottle of liquor he had been saving for a special occasion. Upon entering his apartment, Charles was seemingly shot through the window. However, it was revealed that Sazz went up to Charles’ apartment in his place, meaning she was the character killed in Only Murders in the Building season 3’s ending which undoubtedly sets the stage for season 4’s mystery as Charles was seemingly the intended victim.
Charles, Mabel, & Oliver’s Only Murders Season 3 Endings Explained
When concerning the state of Charles, Mabel, and Oliver in Only Murders in the Building season 3’s ending, the trio’s future seems doomed to be continuously tumultuous. The ending shot of season 3 is of Sazz’s dead body meaning Charles’ Only Murders in the Building season 3 ending is of him being painted as the intended victim of the shooting. Concerning Mabel, Only Murders in the Building season 3 depicted her as being stuck in a rut of sorts with an unclear direction on her future be it through her career, living situation, or love life.
Mabel’s story in Only Murders in the Building season 3’s ending seems to culminate in her vowing to get herself “unstuck” by staying in New York and figuring out where she wants her life to go. Finally, Oliver’s situation is arguably the happiest as of Only Murders in the Building season 3’s ending. He is now in a happy relationship with Loretta and has reignited his career both as a Broadway director and performer, though the ominous ending of Only Murders in the Building season 3 proves that more trials and tribulations await the show’s beloved trio going forward.