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‘Only Murders in the Building’ Creator on How Podcast Fans Pointed Charles, Mabel and Oliver in the Wrong Direction

John Hoffman tells TheWrap ”mirror episode“ sets up reveal of ”what really happened“ in finale

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Episode 8 of “Only Murders in the Building,” titled “Fan Fiction.”)

Welp, the plot somehow further thickened on this week’s episode of Hulu’s murder-mystery comedy “Only Murders in the Building,” when Charles (Steve Martin), Oliver (Martin Short) and Mabel (Selena Gomez) thought they’d finally cracked the case of Tim Kono’s (Julian Cihi) murder with a little help from some very enthusiastic fans of their little podcast — only to discover at the last minute they still have no idea what happened, and that Jan (Amy Ryan) may have been stabbed because of their incorrect assumption.

“Yes, and there are more twists to come,” John Hoffman, who co-created “Only Murders in the Building” along with Steve Martin, told TheWrap. “I can’t say much about that other than, I hope you’re lost just as much as they are. And I think, now that they’ve enlisted the help of their fans in Episode 8 — it’s really a mirror episode in my mind because they’re inviting people, as Oliver says, ‘Wouldn’t we want us before we were us on this case?’ And not quite, because when you’re with them, it’s almost like, it kind of points, by the end of the episode, a necessary mirror back at all of them to say, ‘It’s on you, it’s on you alone. You can’t use anyone else. You can’t look to an outside perspective. You have to go within.'”

As “Only Murders in the Building” fans (of the show, not the in-universe “Only Murders” podcast — unless you’re a fan of both, which is totally possible) know, Charles, Mabel and Oliver listened to the theories of their listeners and used their outside expertise to help them finally nail their podcast sponsor, Teddy Dimas (Nathan Lane), and his son, Theo Dimas (James Caverly), for both Tim Kono’s murder and the years-ago murder of Zoe (Olivia Reis). The group got the police the evidence they needed to lock the Dimases up with one final podcast episode, delivered just in the nick of time before Teddy’s threatening deadline.

Unfortunately, it turns out the Dimases — though they were responsible for Zoe’s death — were outside the building at the time of Tim’s death, and that Tim was poisoned before he was shot, meaning the case has now headed in an entirely different direction. As Hoffman says, it also sets Charles, Mabel and Oliver up to think over how much they relied on the fans versus reflecting on themselves and what they know about the Arconia murder in the final two episodes of Season 1 of “Only Murders in the Building.”

“And that’s what will happen in the next two episodes in a big way. And it points to, in a very specific way, that mirror reflection. It comes up in a funny way, but it also will point to what really happened. But I can’t say more.”

“Only Murders in the Building” launches new episodes Tuesdays on Hulu.