‘Only Murders in the Building’ develops characters during season two, yet frustrates viewers


Editor’s note: This review includes spoilers.

Is it any coincidence that a poppy can be a shade of red?

Probably not because that’s exactly who was revealed as the killer in the season two finale of Hulu’s critically acclaimed murder-mystery-comedy series, “Only Murders in the Building.” Poppy White, aka Becky Butler, proved to be the shocking reveal of the series.  

Throughout this second season, countless questions have been brought up:

Who killed Bunny Folger?

Who is Rose Cooper? Who wanted her painting and why?

Who knew about the secret passageways in the Arconia?

And, of course, how does Amy Schumer play into all of this?

As the season continued, some of these questions were answered and even more mysteries were introduced, but it was not until the finale that we learned who committed the crime.

The most notable positives of this season is the character development of many of the main characters. We learn more about Mabel’s past, Charles’ childhood, Oliver and his son’s background, and, of course, Bunny. Up until this point, Bunny seemed to be a rude, curmudgeonly woman who almost everyone in the building despised. However, the series reveals the human behind the crotchety facade she has built around herself.

Yet much of this season was a bit frustrating.

First, Hulu may want to rethink their weekly schedule for this show and allow for viewers to binge it all at once. The ten weeks of anticipation made viewers expect much more from the ending than it was ever going to deliver. 

One of the most disappointing things about this season is how much time was spent building up the secret passageways only to have a simple one-sentence explanation in the finale. 

Much of the season is chock-full of misleads. We have the “Savage” aspect and many things regarding the painting and Leonora (Rose Cooper posing as Bunny Folger’s mother) and a mostly untouched subplot regarding Charles’s father, whose rendezvous with Rose ended up with him arrested for reasons still unknown to the viewers.

Something else upsetting about this season compared to the first was the killer’s lack of presence. If the writers of the show had Poppy as the culprit before the season’s beginning, I’m shocked that they did not subtly incorporate her more into the season as they did with Jan in season one.“I’m Becky Butler” is easily the most shocking twist of the season, but came out of nowhere. 

Despite the surprise ending, I couldn’t help feeling underwhelmed by the lack of weaving clues throughout the earlier episodes (especially the middle episodes of the season); not to mention, that the final sequence completely goes against the premise (and even the title!) of the show itself.

With Poppy White being Becky Butler and the murderer being completely unexpected, this season felt like it had been far less thoughtfully planned than its predecessor. Even though the season was fun and though the episodes were full of twists and turns, all the misleads and the ending led to a bit of disappointment.