Suspicion ran high during the third season of Only Murders in the Building that Loretta Durkin, played by Meryl Streep, might be Ben Glenroy’s mother, portrayed by Paul Rudd. But from the start, her demeanor toward him made it clear that something more complex was at play. Her reactions, particularly her disdainful name-calling and her description of Ben to Oliver (Martin Short) during their ferry date, hinted at a deep-seated loathing that extended beyond typical family dynamics. Episode 8 of OMITB Season 3 finally unveiled the truth that Loretta indeed has a son she loves, but it’s not Ben, and this revelation sheds light on her animosity.
The episode, titled Sitzprobe, opens with a beautifully articulated narration by Loretta about how an actor’s choices in theater can profoundly impact a production’s quality. This sentiment resonates with real life, where the consequences of our decisions are often unpredictable. Loretta’s choice to pursue a Broadway career over raising her newborn son, Dickie Glenroy (Jeremy Shamos), sets the stage for the dramatic events that follow.
Contrary to the assumption that Loretta’s scrapbook, which Oliver stole, was a tribute to Ben, it is actually a collection of press materials and photos featuring her beloved son, Dickie. Upon discovering Dickie’s connection to the entertainment industry as Ben’s assistant/manager, Loretta decides to get closer to him. Her audition for Death Rattle Dazzle serves as her attempt to bridge the gap between them. In Sitzprobe, she pens a heartfelt letter to Dickie, confessing her intentions, which Mabel and Charles eventually read, exposing the truth. Subsequently, Loretta makes a stunning confession to being Ben’s killer, driven by the belief that Dickie is about to be arrested for the crime.
Loretta Was Hasty With Her Actions
While the emotional weight of Loretta’s actions is appreciated, they appear somewhat hasty, given that Detective Williams (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) seemed to be merely taking Dickie in for questioning. Nevertheless, Loretta’s melodramatic confession takes center stage, albeit a minor hiccup in an otherwise engaging episode.
Sitzprobe unfolds primarily at the Gooseberry Theater, where the characters gather for a sitzprobe rehearsal. It’s an opportunity to witness the integration of actors and an orchestra, akin to examining the harmony or discord in one’s life choices, as per Loretta’s perspective. Mabel, armed with a GoPro lent by Tobert (Jesse Williams), arrives to secretly observe the proceedings for her podcast, enlisting Charles and Oliver’s help.
The trio’s chance to investigate Detective Williams’ interrogations arises when Greg (Adrian Martinez) is released from prison due to Mabel’s efforts. Detective Williams reopens the case, leading to a chaotic interrogation in the theater. While it might not be the most realistic scenario, the show doesn’t demand strict adherence to logic.
Charles and Oliver Teamed Up…Again
Charles and Oliver cleverly record the interrogations, and amidst the chaos, Oliver’s hilarious performance of Which Of The Pickwick Triplets Did It stands out. Mabel, on the other hand, interacts with Loretta and Howard (Michael Cyril Creighton), discovering crucial information about the case.
The episode concludes with Loretta claiming to be Ben’s murderer, although doubts linger. The focus now shifts towards Donna Demeo (Linda Emond), the Death Rattle producer, and her son Cliff (Wesley Taylor), hinting at their involvement in the unfolding mystery.
One poignant moment arises when Loretta’s arrest pushes Oliver to his emotional limits. His collapse sparks concern from Mabel and Charles, circling back to his health crisis from the premiere, showcasing Martin Short’s exceptional performance.
While questions about the case’s resolution linger, Only Murders in the Building promises intrigue in episode 8 and more in the episodes ahead. Fans can anticipate a return to the show’s true-crime, mystery-solving essence as the story unfolds.
OMITB Season 3 is streaming on Hulu.