This probably goes without saying, but the reveal of Tim Kono’s killer is only the second most interesting thing about Tuesday’s Only Murders in the Building finale. Because almost as soon as You Know Who goes down for the murder, a second victim is revealed in a scene we saw wayyyy back in the pilot.
The Season 1 ender, titled “Open and Shut,” confirms that Charles’ bassoonist girlfriend Jan (played by Amy Ryan) was in fact the neighbor who killed Tim and made it look like a suicide. A series of flashbacks reveal that Jan and Tim were an item — as Jan explains to Charles, she always falls for lonely men in elevators who are willing to put her first — before he broke things off. Two days later, a vengeful Jan had Tim over to collect his personal belongings… only he didn’t leave any personal belongings at her place. Instead, she invited him in for an old fashion and poisoned him. Before the toxin took effect, she sent Tim packing with her garbage in tow, the contents of which included the cocktail glass she used to poison him. Minutes later, she broke into Tim’s apartment, wrote the suicide letter on his laptop, then put a gun in his incapacitated hand and pulled the trigger on his behalf. As a parting gift, she took with her the emerald ring she found at his place.
Oh, and just to throw Charles, Oliver and Mabel off the scent, she went and stabbed herself at the end of Episode 8. Mabel finds the knife in a vent in Jan’s bathroom, just moments after she and Oliver come across the toxins she used to poison Tim.
Jan relays all of this to Charles after poisoning him. And she leaves him for dead on the floor of his apartment, unaware that A) he still has the strength to drag himself across the room, and B) he was recording her confession using the phone he had hidden under a pillow on his couch. Jan, meanwhile, intends to use the building’s recently reopened fireplaces to spread a toxic gas, presumably to kill everyone inside as she makes her great escape. Unfortunately for her, the amateur sleuths catch on and head down to the basement to disconnect the valves. Moments later, Oliver and an incapacitated Charles are confronted by an armed Jan, who fully intends to shoot them both. Apparently, though, she doesn’t see Mabel, and she’s distracted by Charles’ incoherent mumbling just long enough for Oliver to come rushing towards her with Charles in the dog stroller. She falls to the ground, then Mabel comes up from behind and knocks her out cold — and she does it while wearing the emerald ring she had just retrieved from the killer’s apartment.
Jan is arrested, and order is restored. A previously evicted Oliver is reinstated as a tenant and later reconnects with his son Will, who arrives at Dad’s apartment to deliver him a perfectly healthy Winnie; Charles musters up the courage to reach out to Lucy, and later tells Oliver and Mabel that he’s considering putting himself back out there in the hopes of romancing a non-murderer; Mabel finishes the mural in her aunt’s apartment; and Oscar’s name is officially cleared after Theo is (presumably) charged for Zoe’s years-ago murder. The end… right?
One evening, Charles, Oliver and Mabel toast the end of their investigation (and Season 1 of their podcast) on the roof of the Arconia. Mabel excuses herself to retrieve something from her apartment, then Charles and Oliver receive a text from an unknown number that reads, “Get out of the building now!” The sound of sirens grows louder, and Charles and Oliver deduce that Mabel’s in danger. We then cut to a scene from the very first episode, as Charles and Oliver run downstairs and into the apartment of their potentially troubled friend. That’s where they find her covered in blood. “It’s not what you think!” she exclaims. Before her lays a murder victim in a tie-dye hoodie — but it’s not Oscar, it’s co-op president Bunny! She’s wearing an officially licensed Only Murders in the Building hoodie (which is odd, since she had previously voiced her disdain for the podcast), and she’s been stabbed to death with Mabel’s knitting needle.
Seconds later, a SWAT team busts in and arrests Charles, Oliver and Mabel for Bunny’s murder. As they’re escorted out of the building, Detective Williams tells them not to say “a f–king word.” (Does she believe they’ve been framed?) Their podcasting idol Cinda Canning is also outside with her producer Poppy, who gives her an idea for her next podcast: Only Murderers in the Building. Might that also be the title of the Hulu comedy’s previously announced Season 2?
Grade the Only Murders in the Building finale, as well as Season 1, via the following polls, then drop a comment with your full review.