Okay Nancy Drews, Let’s Unpack That Only Murders In The Building Cliffhanger Finale, Shall We?

only murders in the building
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If you’re like me, you probably can’t stop thinking about that cliffhanger reveal at the end of Disney’s Only Murders in the Building season finale this week. Obviously, HUUUGE spoilers here, folks, but it was a chocker block episode. Let’s get into it.

After our favourite amateur true-crime podcast-making aficionados Mabel (Selena Gomez), former Brazos star Charles (Steve Martin) and Oliver (Martin Short) inform the police that Charles’ girlfriend Jan (Amy Ryan) killed Tim Kono, we come to learn that she and the Dimas family aren’t the only murders in the bloody building.

On the evening after Jan’s arrest, the trio enjoy a celebratory drink for solving the case that led them all to each other. They run out of wine and Mabel offers to go down to her apartment and fetch some more.

only murders in the building
take a shot anytime there’s a new murder or suspect

Immediately after, Oliver and Charles hear sirens nearby that get increasingly louder. Then, they receive a foreboding anonymous text message: “get out of the building now!!!”

Worried about their friend’s safety, they hurry over to Mabel’s place and find the door half-open. Mabel is there hunched over a body that’s wearing a tie-dye hoodie.

“It’s not what it looks like,” she says with a massive bloodstain on her sweater that wasn’t there a good few minutes ago. She rolls over the body to reveal its Bunny (Jayne Houdyshell), the Arconia’s building manager, who has one of Mabel’s knitting needles wedged deep into her chest.

only murders in the building
in the words of Shaggy, “it wasn’t me”.

“I just opened the door and she stumbled in on me!”

Side note: On the night before Bunny’s death, she publicly tells Mabel and Oliver that despite their neighbours now wanting them to stay, she’s still planning to evict them. What that means is that while Mabel does have a motive, a bunch of people also know she kinda does and could have used that against her.

Anyway, a SWAT team then breaks down the door and the three are arrested. As ‘Manhattan’ by The Supremes plays, Mabel, Oliver and Charles are escorted out of the building and into a cop car.

Detective Williams (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), who helped them solve Tim Kono’s murder, is standing at the door of the building and warns them, “don’t say a fucking word”.

only murders in the building cop
pls, detective, you’re our only hope.

As the trio walks towards the car, we see a slow panning shot of other characters in a line watching them with disgust. There are their neighbours like Uma Heller (Jackie Hoffman) and cat-owner Howard Morris (Michael Cyril Creighton); a heartbroken Oscar (Aaron Dominguez); the Only Murder in the Building’s stans, who I’m officially dubbing Only Listeners in the Building; and, weirdly, true-crime podcast host Cinda Canning (Tina Fey).

Now, at this point, I have to ask: how exactly did Cinda Canning know that this was all happening and also, how did she get there so fast? Could she be behind the murder or text messages? If you ask me, she’s our number one suspect right now.

only murders in the building
i smell a stunt. a podcast stunt.

When Cinda first meets the gang, she casts them aside as true-crime podcast wannabes and not competition. But, after they release a few more episodes, she mockingly name-drops them on Jimmy Fallon – specifically, by bringing up that “even Brazos has a podcast now” – and they begin to gain traction.

So, her being at the murder scene minutes after it all happened proves she’s both a lot more invested in their success than we first thought and raises questions about why.

As the trio get into a car, Cinda’s assistant Poppy (Adina Verson), who is holding a microphone, pitches the name of their next podcast: “Coming this fall, ‘Only Murderers in the Building’”.

“That’s good, Poppy,” says Cinda.

“That’s very good. I wrote that.”

The final shot of this series is Cinda warning Poppy: “From this moment on, that is mine, do you understand? Say otherwise and you’ll be stocking the NPR fridge with La Croix until you’re 50, do you fucking hear me?”

Sorry, what? That’s a big fucking red flag if you ask me.

Sure, you could say that Bunny’s murder was committed by someone in the building, but, to me, there’s no one left alive who has a strong enough motive against her beyond Oliver, and we know he wasn’t at the crime scene when it all happened. The series finale seems to be hinting that Cinda Canning killed Bunny and framed her new true-crime podcast rivals in an attempt to get rid of the competition.

I mean, making a podcast about the downfall of your literal new competition? That’s very ‘late-stage capitalism content creator-meets-serial killer’ of her. How fitting.

We won’t know what exactly happens next until Only Murders in the Building returns for a second season at some point in the future. For now, you can catch all the signs that prove I’m right and rewatch the series on Disney Plus.