TV

Only Murders in the Building: Is Meryl Streep’s Loretta a Red Herring?


Only Murders in the Building season 3 could be using its biggest star to misdirect from the real murderer.

Meryl Streep in Only Murders in the Building season 3.
Photo: Patrick Harbron | Hulu

This article contains spoilers for Only Murders in the Building season 3 episode 3.

We’ve all come to love Only Murders in the Building for a variety of different reasons. Whether it’s the show’s ability to create a setting and give hints about the story through the title sequence, or the quick-witted jokes delivered by comedic legends, this Hulu staple has something to draw every type of viewer in. But at its heart, Only Murders in the Building is a murder mystery . . . hence the name of the show. For 10 episodes, it’s immensely fun to try to put all the puzzle pieces together and deduce who the killer is. Early on in the season, this task is always more difficult than later on. We don’t have much to go on yet, and the show tries to intentionally direct our attention to diversions or red herrings that will later be revealed as facades. 

It certainly feels like Only Murders in the Building introduced two new characters exactly for this purpose. Paul Rudd’s eccentric Ben Glenroy is the victim of the season’s murder plot, and Meryl Streep’s scatter-brained Loretta Durkin is flagged as the number one suspect, or at least that is the vibe the writers are going with so far. We know that with so many episodes left and a myriad of mysteries not even fully revealed, Loretta will be just one of many suspicious folks on our radar. We do have about a third of the season under our viewing belts, though, so it might be time to start deciding whether Loretta really has it in her to take Ben Glenroy out of the picture, or whether her involvement is coincidental. 

Loretta Durkin and Ben Glenroy: Enemies? 

From the first episode of the season, Loretta certainly seems to have a motive to take out Ben: she wants his starring spot in Oliver’s play. After finally getting her big break after decades of despair and failure, Oliver has given her a shining opportunity (or so she thinks) to show the world how talented she is. Ben Glenroy has an outsized personality, though, and he immediately threatens to overshadow Loretta’s moment. 

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