Only Murders in the Building

‘Hello Darkness’

This episode’s voice-over belongs to Marv, one of the fans from the podcast aficionados group. It is a poignant and insightful commentary on the city of New York and its unique connection to crime. The podcast group discusses amongst themselves how the trio has performed so far. They feel the “vamping” in the first five episodes (podcast) has been drab. The killer is at large and they have not been able to accrue any significant evidence. The lack of strides made towards solving the mystery also prompts two of them to say they should probably switch to some other podcast. Marv is decisively against the decision. He is still propositioning them with the “Sixth Avenue” serial killer theory but they aren’t biting. And as the episode progresses, there’s nothing in it, really.

Marv talks a bit more about his theory in the voiceover. According to him, the killer goes around the big apple and targets mainly females – young and old. He walks up to the trio’s table just when the blackout happens. Charles reveals that Lucy is home alone to Marv, who seems concerned. Charles cannot call Lucy as the service goes out. Oliver gets the email with the DNA results but cannot open it as there is no internet. Before leaving, Oliver picks up a bag of dips from the restaurant in a bag. Marv’s voiceover espouses how having a killer on the loose can bring the city together. New Yorkers are especially more alert and into life when there is a blackout or a similar crisis. We see visuals of Lucy in Charles’ house and people stuck in the lobby of the building as the elevator is out.

Nina calls Lester and orders him to take fourteen flights of stairs to deliver a package for her. Howard has his eye on the new subletter on his floor. The trio begins their ascent to Charles’ apartment on the eighth floor. Oliver’s knees give-up. Charles and he discuss the kinds of models they each have and coincidentally, also use the same doctor for the procedure. Mabel marshals the two oldies and they ditch the packet of dips that is weighing Oliver down. The subletter and Howard both are surprised to find each other looking for torch batteries as Howard invites him inside.

Lester is finally able to reach Nina’s apartment and asks for a quick rest inside. Lucy notices heavy action outside the door and realizes that it is the killer. She quickly reaches for the bathroom and goes through the secret door to escape. The killer follows suit. A few moments later, the trio reaches the apartment and is worried to find the door opened and Lucy missing. Howard and the subletter’s date is going well as they discuss music and each other’s hobbies. Lucy is barely ahead of the killer as we intercut between the three sub-storylines in the episode.

Lester and Nina get to talking and she reveals that due to budgetary cuts and automation, a lot of people will lose their jobs. Lester comes across as a warm, caring, and considerate man who never hesitates to help others. Nina is able to remember Lester’s sons and wife’s names, showing how adept she is as the Board president. Both share a moment of appreciation for Bunny, who was truly one of a kind. The trio relentlessly looks for Lucy but is unable to find her and rest for a bit. Howard’s yodle quartet has impressed his date and he asks Howard to sing a duet of Sound of Silence (by Simon & Garfunkel). He hesitantly accepts and because of the blackout, everyone in the building can hear it.

And everyone starts singing it, including Oliver who is first shushed by Mabel and Charles but a moment later joined by them. As it crescendos, Howard, and the subletter are sitting next to each other and are about to kiss. A sneeze breaks it and he worriedly asks Howard if he has a pet. He is lethally allergic to them and leaves as a result. Lucy is able to find the trio and they breathe a sigh of relief. Charles is shocked to learn that Lucy was there in the building on the night of Bunny’s murder.

The four are then chased by another flashlight and Lucy helps them navigate the secret passageway. They escape into the building and Mabel redeems herself by smashing the chasing man with the dips packet. It turns out to be Marv, not the killer. He says he misses his daughter and wants to prove his theory about the slasher killer. Howard asks out the subletter. Detect9ive Kreps shows up at the building out of nowhere, surprising Mabel. She then spots red glitter on his neck, signaling that he might be the prime suspect now.


The Episode Review

The Simon and Garfunkel song was probably my first thought too when I read the title. Only Murders In The Building continues to surprise with the heft of its storytelling and unique narrative styles. Two seasons are enough to realize that the creators of the show have something more to say than just presenting a very compelling murder mystery. It wouldn’t be too wrong to assert that New York itself has become a character in this season.

On two occasions before this – episodes 3 & 5 – the city has been at the forefront of the plot. Using voiceovers and different perspectives, the creators have tried to engage the viewers with this very specific calling out.

Most recently, New York united again to face a crisis in form of the COVID pandemic. The city folk suffered a lot due to the raging disease that wreaked havoc among its neighborhoods. There was a little shoutout to the resilience and New York’s history of bizarre crimes and criminals.

Episode 8 had a huge reveal as to the probable identity of the killer and Kreps was the last person we would have suspected. He was introduced a new character in this season. Hence, there must be a secret connection to Bunny or some other hidden agenda to make him do this. He did have the glitter and it is possible for an alternative explanation. But for now, Kreps is the man and Mabel has him tightly under the vigil of her crosshairs.

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