Only Murders In The Building Season 1 Ending Explained: The Podcasters Crack The Case

At long last, "Only Murders in the Building" has solved its central mystery. Our podcasting trio came together just in time to prevent more death, while just barely escaping with their lives. Not too long ago, the neighboring crime solvers were complete strangers — Charles (Steve Martin), a lonely, washed up TV star; Oliver (Martin Short), a hyperactive, struggling Broadway director; and Mabel (Selena Gomez), an artist still stuck in the past. And while they certainly retain all their quirk and oddities, by the end of the season, they've changed. They become besties, clinking glasses and reminiscing.

The long road to answers involved various twists and turns, more than a few red herrings and the solution to an entirely separate murder. We are long overdue for answers, and "Open and Shut" is more than willing to deliver. For those of us distracted by the utter chaos of the season, the solution to this mystery slipped right past our eyes —but not everyone was so easily fooled.

Spoilers ahead for "Only Murders In The Building" season 1.

So... Who Killed Tim Kono?

The biggest reveal of the episode is how severely we underestimated Oliver's mystery-solving skills: his suspicion of Jan (Amy Ryan) turned out to be very well placed. Charles' bassoon-playing beau is the mysterious murderer behind the death of Tim Kono (Julian Cihi). Before her flirtation with Charles began, Jan was involved with one of Mabel's original Hardy Boys, Tim. Their torrid affair was referenced in an earlier episode, when Tim's neighbor Ndidi (Zainab Jah) confirmed the existence of his secret (and very loud) girlfriend. Given the missing ring, there was always a lingering suspicion that Tim's death could be a crime of passion, but there were no obvious clues linking to the identity of the mysterious woman... or were there?

While searching Tim's belongings for any missed clues, Oliver and Mabel realize that what they once assumed to be a sex toy is actually a bassoon cleaner. Maybe bassoons are really popular amongst the woodwind instrument family, who's to say? But there's only one known bassoon player living in the Arconia, and she happens to be dating Charles. Instantly, the duo connect the dots — Jan was Tim's secret girlfriend

This isn't itself grounds for a murder accusation, but once revealed, so much of Jan begins to make sense. Her timing for beginning her relationship with Charles feels awfully convenient. However sweet it seemed on the outside, it also served to get her into the room with the murder-solving squad, and track their progress as they put pieces together. She pored over their research, poked holes in their theories, and eventually annoyed everyone so much that she was kicked out of the room. And just when we might've begun to suspect her, she received a threatening note and was mysteriously stabbed. Well, turns out the crazed lunatic stabbed herself.

Jan's Grandmaster Plan

Jan is much more psychotic than we could've imagined. But thankfully, Charles comes to this realization himself. After sending his friends away, unwilling to believe the worst of his paramour, Charles takes another gander at the note Jan left for him and recognizes the handwriting. He's spend weeks looking at the murderer's handwriting and, in case you didn't know, he also played a detective on TV, so he knows all about these sorts of things. Charles realizes that Jan is behind the murder of Tim Kono, so he invites her in, prepared for her to poison his drink. And finally, Jan fesses up.

Before her breakup with Tim, Jan found the emerald ring in his apartment and assumed it was purchased for another woman. A typical psychopath, Jan has her own special trigger: she hates being "second best." Assuming Tim had found someone else, she mixed poison into an old fashioned, and watched him slurp it down. Minutes later, Tim grabs his trash bag of items, solidifying their breakup and heads back to his apartment. She doesn't account for him getting into an elevator with Charles, Oliver and Mabel — crime podcast aficionados — but the rest of her plan is airtight. She plants a recording of herself playing the bassoon as an alibi, slips the building fire alarm, then slips into Tim's apartment and delivers the final blow — a gunshot to his head. And she would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for our favorite meddling adults.

Jan trumps Charles' magnificent stage sips by poisoning his handkerchief instead of his drink. Setting him by the fireplace, she heads downstairs to assure the death of the entire building with a coordinated gas leak. But she turns out to be no match for the trio, who — after a long series of antics — finally reunite, make their way downstairs and knock the psychopath out.

"It's Not What You Think."

Just because "Only Murders in the Building" finally gives us the answer we've been waiting for, doesn't mean we get a clean break. Season 2 is on the way, and all the great murder mysteries have even more bubbling beneath the surface. At the end of the episode, as the trio clinks glasses and celebrates the big win, Mabel ominously notes that things don't quite feel over. There must be loose ends, even if she can't name them right away. And she's very right.

The series opened with Mabel leaning over a dead, tie-dyed sweater clad body — and we've finally caught up to the tragic moment. When Mabel leaves to grab another bucket of champagne, Charles and Oliver get an anonymous text: "Get out of the building now!!!" As good friends do, they instead rush down the stairs of the Arconia to save Mabel. But they find her soaked in blood and leaning over the body of everyone's least favorite Arconia board member, Bunny (Jayne Houdyshell).

This leaves us with more than a few questions to answer in "Only Murders in the Building" season 2. Most obviously — who is framing Mabel for murder? Someone not only stabbed Bunny but did so in Mabel's apartment with her knitting needle. We know Mabel too well to assume her a murderer, but interesting enough, this death was foreshadowed. In her glossy first episode introduction, Mabel mentioned a fantasy she has about stabbing a hypothetical intruder with the very same needle: "Sometimes when I can't sleep, I imagine brutally murdering that dude."

The next big question: Is the person behind the murder also responsible for the mysterious text sent to Oliver and Charles? If not, then who tried to warn them?

As the crime-podcasting trio are led out of the building and Cinda Canning (Tina Fey) plots her newest hit series ("Only Murderers In The Building"), the "OMITB" fans look on, fascinated and even a little thrilled. Could the next season see their fans banding together to save them from these accusations? Otherwise, the biggest mystery of them all, how will Oliver get all his recording equipment into a jail cell?!

"Only Murders in the Building" was a welcome surprise, refreshing itself with each new episode and injecting regular fun with its weekly releases. It'll be a while before we get to follow up with our new favorite podcasters, but until then, there's plenty to speculate about.