ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING Season 3 Episode 5: "Ah, Love"


Selena Gomez | Photo: Patrick Harbron/Hulu

Dan Meyer
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August 29, 2023 12:00 PM

All aboard the tooth ferry! 

Pop a squat, kumquat! It’s time to dive into the latest episode of our favorite cozy murder mystery show. 

We immediately jump back in where we left at the end of Episode 4. Charles asks Joy if she knows anything about the lipstick that was used to write “fucking pig” on Ben’s mirror in his dressing room. Her response is troubling, quickly changing the subject and going to feed the fish, which is a huge red flag. 

Enter Sazz Pataki (Jane Lynch)! Our favorite stunt double is here to guide Charles. He doesn’t need to be worried about the slightly off-kilter makeup artist. He just needs to let joy (happiness) and Joy (the person) into his heart. In fact, later on, we learn Joy was summoned by Howard to cover up a bruise on Ben’s face…one which Charles delivered! Joy, already bummed her fiancé thinks she is a killer, is devastated to learn Charles accidentally proposed. Realizing the Brazos star is just as self-absorbed as ever, she dumps his ass. I’m Team Joy here! 

Meanwhile, Mabel is meeting up with her new friend at a swanky cabaret lounge to discuss some leads in the case. She’s a bit put out when she realizes Tobert (Jesse Williams) set her up for a date and not a snoop session (relatable tbh) but she stays and orders a mezcal old fashioned while listening to Jonathan’s excellent weekly cabaret show just the same. The documentarian originally thought Ben’s understudy was the perfect suspect but now isn’t so sure.

Steve Martin | Photo: Patrick Harbron/Hulu

Mabel (and I) don’t like the deception here but Tobert plays it well enough that both Mabel (and I) are turned on. Then, they spot Jonathan with a suspicious-looking man in a red coat and a Newsies cap. Tobert thinks it might be Ben’s doctor, Dr. C, but he was never allowed inside the room when they were together, so it remains a mystery for now. Why would the understudy be in cahoots with this strange man? 

Back at Mabel’s pad, she takes things to the next level by showing Tobert the murder board! He’s surprised to see himself there but as our sleuth rightly points out: everyone’s a suspect. He adds Dr. C to the list of leads, and as Mabel and Tobert’s hands graze, sparks fly and they kiss and shift things to the bedroom. 

Lastly, we have our favorite unsuccessful Broadway director. Oliver’s commitment to dips is tested when Loretta invites him over for pork chops. Her apartment is appropriately shabby for a longtime struggling performer. Sadly, Loretta is better on stage than in the kitchen and Oliver loses a tooth. He must have weak teeth from all those non-solid foods.

And then the other shoe drops! It turns out Loretta thinks Ben is “a fucking pig”…which is exactly our podcast trio found written on the mirror in his dressing room with Joy’s lipstick. Things get weird but they quickly move past it and go on a boat ride during which they bond over the joint that got away and missed connections. They even shotgun! Later, Loretta tells Oliver about a fight she had with Ben right before he collapsed on stage. He didn’t want to work with a no-name (boy, this guy really was the pits, huh?) so she called him a pig. 

Unlike last week, we end the episode with an excellent plot twist! After some “dessert,” Loretta goes to draw a bath but Oliver waits behind and discovers a scrapbook of old newspaper clippings—and they’re all of Ben! Is Loretta a stalker? My hunch says mother knows best…

Treading the Boards 

-Savvy sartorial idea: back-up scarves!

-Andrea Martin singing “she’s wearing a thong / we hope it’s not wrong” to the tune of “Here Comes the Bride” will live forever rent free in my head until the end of time. 

-Loretta has starred in a cruise production of Charlotte’s Web and a black box staging of Animal Farm. What a resume!

-The tooth ferry is an adorable expansion of the tooth fairy lore and I cannot wait to do this someday. 

Only Murders in the Building is now streaming on Hulu.

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Dan Meyer

After 4 years in the biz, Dan swapped out theatre for sports and is now a researcher at NBC Olympics. Spectacle remains a key passion and is dedicated to building bridges between different forms of entertainment. He has worked as a writer and editor at Theatrely and Playbill, covering Broadway and beyond. In addition, he has been published in Rolling Stone, Spy, and others.

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