ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING Season 3 Episode 2 “The Beat Goes On”
Except for Ben’s heart.
No one wants to be relegated to Overflow 3 at a celebrity’s funeral but that’s exactly where Oliver, Charles, and Mabel end up to celebrate the life of one now-definitely-dead Ben Glenroy as this week’s episode begins.
Panicked that his play is about to be taken away from him again, Oliver wants to speak to producer Donna to keep the show alive. Instead, he’s stuck in a room that Charles wisecracks is what a plumber would dub a low priority emergency.
Later, the director will have to settle for the theatre critic Maxine (Noma Dumawenzi alert!). Pleading with her to go upstairs and say what a rave she was going to write about the show, she wasn’t going to give a thumbs up, it was going to be a pan. This news does not go over well. Oliver is so stressed he begins to have a heart attack as Ben’s monologue about hearing your heart beat as you die, which originally played at the top of the episode but is revealed to be from the play, is interstitial with the director caving to the floor of the cathedral.
Meanwhile, Mabel wants to solve the mystery after talking to ghost-Ben, who in her version is dressed up as GirlCop, a look best described as a Hollister model, complete with highlights and a puka shell necklace.
At the funeral, she meets Ben’s security guard, Gregg, who is also trying to do some sleuthing. She and Charles go with him to the apartment where they quickly realize something is very wrong. There is a stalker-like collection of memorabilia which is passed off as gifts from his employer—until they see Ben’s face photoshopped onto a bunch of photos with Gregg.
It’s too late and they’re chloroformed. The next time we see Mabel and Charles, they’re handcuffed to a pre-war pipe in a basement. After waking up and briefly struggling to get free, Charles congratulates themselves on finding the killer so quickly. Less worthy of celebration is their own impending death and things look grim indeed when Gregg reappears with a large selection of kitchen tools that could easily be used for torture.
In addition to obviously not being Ben’s security guard, Gregg declares that Charles is the killer and he’s going to make him pay for what he’s done. Mabel protests but is gagged with one of the handkerchiefs that Ben gifted his cast mates in the show on opening night. It’s a suspicious move…how did Gregg get that hankie?! Just when things look most dire, Charles’ face mere inches away from a blow torch, a hunky detective comes in to save the day.
Hunky Detective has Gregg as prime suspect #1, especially since he walked out of the Arconia two minutes after Ben died and has the hankie…but Mabel suspects something else. If Ben was holding a hankie when he died, that means someone in the show killed him because he was the one who gifted the hankies on opening night in the first place! How Gregg got one is another matter for another episode.
Finally, our trio are reunited, after Oliver has a Fosse-esque hallucination featuring Mabel, Charles, and Oliver’s son, Will, that tells him to stop working and be less stressed. Instead he runs to his podcast partners and announces he’s turning Death Rattle into a musical. Heart attacks and doctors orders be damned…we’re heading back to the theatre!
Treading the Boards
-Mabel picks up on the security guard’s opening line “There’s something wrong in Denmark” responding with “Hamlet?” Our girl might not like theatre, but she knows a Shakespeare reference when she hears it.
-Mabel loved Ben because it connected her mother; she realized they were both laughing at the same jokes watching GirlCop. It’s a cute character development moment that I’m sure will go a long way.
-Charles got Ben fired when he was 8 when he was hired as a child actor to be a series regular on Brazos. That’s why Ben was being such a jerk to him! Sadly, they’ll never get to resolve their long-simmering feud.
-Where is Detective Williams?! She seems to have finally given up on our amateur sleuths but I refuse to go a whole season without at least one Da’Vine Joy Randolph sighting.
Only Murders in the Building Season 3 is now streaming on Hulu.