by Julian Spivey
I never found myself caring as much about who killed Bunny Folger in the second season of Hulu’s comedy-mystery “Only Murders in the Building” as I did about the murderer of Tim Kono in the first season of the show last summer.
That doesn’t mean season two of the show as a whole was disappointing, I just found myself less into the case, even with the I.D. of the murderer being a secret much of the way through the season two finale “I Know Who Did It,” which dropped Tuesday (August 23). Maybe it’s just that the show’s premise isn’t as fresh in season two as it was when it debuted in 2021 taking on the true-crime podcast genre with a mixture of glee and loving parody. It might also be that there didn’t seem to be as much emotion involved with the death not being someone once close to one of the three main characters as Kono was to Mabel (Selena Gomez) in season one. Though the stakes were undoubtedly still high in season two with Mabel serving as the lead suspect in Bunny’s death at the beginning of the season.
So, even though “I Know Who Did It” did a nice job of circulating three potential killers throughout the episode I just never felt as invested as I did last year, potentially because none of the three potential killers were likable. There weren’t very high stakes involved.
What did work for the second season of “Only Murders in the Building” was the primary cast of Steve Martin, Martin Short and Gomez, who are always splendid together on screen and provide frequent laughs whether it’s Short’s zaniness or Gomez’s supreme deadpan. Some of the episodes from the season were particularly good like “Here’s Looking at You,” where Martin’s Charles Haden Savage is reunited with his stepdaughter Lucy (Zoe Margaret Colletti), “The Tell,” where Short’s Oliver Putnam breaks out his ‘Son of Sam’ party game that implicates Mabel’s love interest Alice Banks (Cara Delevingne) and “Flipping the Pieces,” which sees the return of Theo Dimas (James Caverly), one of the guest cast highlights from season one. Caverly should’ve been nominated for an Emmy for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in season one. Maybe this episode in season two will do the trick for the 2023 Emmys?
What’s interesting at the end of season two is we already know there’s going to be a third (potentially final) season of “Only Murders in the Building,” so the show must set up a third season like the reveal of Bunny’s death at the end of season one set up the second season. The idea of murders continuing to happen in this one posh NYC apartment building isn’t realistic, but it is the premise of the series and the podcast the trio hosts within the series. So, either an unlikely scenario must continue to occur, or the show must adjust its premise. The series decides to adjust the premise with the trio still being involved in a murder, but this time not within their apartment building, but the murder of an actor in Oliver’s latest Broadway production. We’ll see next year if this is something that can infuse a bit more excitement into the show or if season one was all the magic we’re going to get and have to settle for something entertaining, but not as great as it once was.