Only Murders In the Building Season 1 Episode 10 Review: Open And Shut

At long last, we know the true identity of Tim Kono’s murder.

Only Murders In the Building Season 1 Episode 10 is the straightforward finale to a show that has taken more twists and turns than we ever imagined possible.

Was it everything you had hoped for?

What a terrific god-damned finale this is going to be.


It was Jan!!! Charles’s sweet bassoonist girlfriend was the cold-blooded killer. What’s more, she was also sleeping with Tim Kono — up until two days earlier, when he had broken up with her. Amy Ryan did such a fantastic job as Jan, both in her initial quirky incarnation as well as her demented killer persona.

I’m a sucker for lonely guys with notable age differences I meet on elevators.


The reasoning behind Jan killing Tim was that she hated being second — she had found the emerald ring and thought he meant to give it to someone else.

So, she poisoned him and shot him to make it looks like a suicide. This seems like an excessively brutal way to off someone, but Jan is clearly being painted as a psychopath. She’s not the person we thought she was.

As we learned from Sazz Potacki in Only Murders in The Building Season 1 Episode 9, this was a crime of passion.

Jan loved Tim, but she also loves Charles. And she’s now trying to gas the entire building to get away with it? It’s just that the scorned-lover trope feels hackneyed and overdone — and the show is better than that. Though, we did start the season with what we thought was an engagement ring — maybe that actually was our first hint. 

I’m a sucker for lonely guys with notable age differences I meet on elevators.

There are a few unanswered questions. These are the ones that jump out initially:

Jan stabbed herself, so why did she leave a note for herself? Was she hoping someone else would see it?

I’ve had worse injuries shucking oysters.


How did Jan leave the note on the door without anyone seeing it? Where was Jan getting all these poisons? And if she hid the knife, why wouldn’t she hide her poisons? And was there really so much in Tim’s glass that his blood could kill Evelyn? Why was Jan so adamant about framing Howard when she could have just let everyone believe the Dimases did it? 

The answers to these questions don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Jan did it, the case is open and shut. 

There are certainly some things to love about this final episode.

Steve Martin’s physical comedy is extremely goofy. Though he was poisoned and fighting for his life, Charles’s tenacious spirit made for some hilarious visuals. The whole sequence gets very farcical with the many elevators going up and down and the doors opening and closing.

His speech about the importance of his friends is heartfelt and poignant and certainly articulated one of the main themes of the show. It was just a shame (albeit a very funny one) that he didn’t actually say any of it out loud. 

Having Tim Kono as the final narrator is a perfect choice. Julian Cihi does well inviting us into Tim’s world, but it is all too brief. A little bit more of Tim and Jan’s relationship wouldn’t have gone amiss. Though it didn’t feel like we truly got to know Tim Kono, that’s not who the show was really about in the end. 

Unfortunately, the ending felt rushed and came out of nowhere. 

The whole series has been building (pun intended) up to this great reveal that was teased in the first few minutes of Only Murders In The Building Season 1 Episode 1. Mabel, covered in blood, hunched over a tie-dyed hoodie corpse, covered in blood, Charles and Oliver going to her rescue, the police running in.

Mabel said “It’s not what it looks like” but it was. She may have stabbed Bunny out of surprise, but she still killed her. What was Bunny doing jumping out at Mabel anyway? Who texted Charles and Oliver to get out of the building? Why did an entire squadron of police appear?

There are too many questions for something that was meant to be explained! It ended up being a cliffhanger with no real drop, which was a cheap way to end things.

This show has become a huge success beloved by millions, but with that comes the fact that not everyone can be pleased with how it ends.

It’s true that many of us, including myself, may have looked too hard for outlandish or farfetched solutions simply because we believed in the depth of the nuance being presented to us. Theorizing is fun, but sometimes an obvious solution is the correct one.

Overall, looking at the season as a whole, this has been an enjoyable, clever romp. If the conclusion failed to live up to the promise of the entire season, that doesn’t detract from how good it was at its best — utterly brilliant. 

No one can make a line sting and pop like Martin Short. Selena Gomez shows us that she can hold her own against comedy legends.

Oliver: We’ve got to break the door down.
Mabel: Excuse me, we weigh 125 combined.
Oliver: Oh, thank you! It’s the dips.

Steve Martin proves not only that he still has a vital comedic presence onscreen, but that his writing is as sharp and whimsical as ever. The supporting and guest cast were consistently of the highest caliber.

The balance in tone has always been strong, but it faltered slightly at the end. It all suddenly became too acerbic and cynical. It negated the beautiful message of weird, lonely people finding friends. Mabel had finally found peace and could start living a normal life — it just seems unnecessarily cruel to tack on this kind of ending.

Is it too much to ask that the show ended with warm fuzzies instead of seeing three people we’ve come to adore get taken away in handcuffs?

What did you think of the finale? Did you find it satisfying? Who did you think was the killer — were you one of the clever ones who suspected Jan?

Share your thoughts in the comments, Arconiacs, and we’ll see you for Season 2!

Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


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