[This story includes major spoilers for season three of Only Murders in the Building.]
Only Murders in the Building season three went out with a bang — literally.
After revealing that the (spoiler alert!) producers of Death Rattle Dazzle, Cliff (Wesley Taylor) and Donna (Linda Emond), were the ones who killed Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd) because he was ruining their show, the final moments of the third installment also revealed the show’s next murder victim: Sazz Pataki (Jane Lynch).
Charles’ (Steve Martin) longtime stunt double was in his apartment, grabbing a bottle of wine to celebrate the Broadway show’s successful opening night, when a bullet shot through his window and hit her square in the chest. As she’s dying, she begins writing something on the kitchen floor with her blood, and the screen cuts to black.
Season four of Only Murders will see Mabel (Selena Gomez), Charles and Oliver (Martin Short) searching for answers about who killed Sazz, if they were actually aiming for Charles and why anyone would want to kill either of them. These are all questions showrunner John Hoffman and his writers room will have to explain in the next installment of the series.
As for what he can tease, the co-creator previously told The Hollywood Reporter that the fourth season will likely explore consequences — though consequences for what is still to be determined.
“I think the idea of what you create is a thing you put out to the world, and sometimes you can’t be prepared for the repercussions of what potentially the world does with your thing, and how they feel about it,” he said. “That’s a challenging line to walk, and sometimes you have to face it in that way. So, the podcast and everything else that’s happened, and what it all means, and what it could have been meaning all along. That’s a really interesting world to look at for these three who stepped in that way.”
Below, THR breaks down what there is to know about Only Murders in the Building season four thus far. (This list will be updated as more is revealed about the upcoming season.)
When Is ‘Only Murders’ Season 4 Coming Out?
Hulu announced Only Murders in the Building was renewed for season four on Oct. 3, the day season three released its final episode. Since the renewal is still fresh, there isn’t any news about a release date for its next installment yet, but summer 2024 might be a safe-ish bet since every season of the show has premiered in the summer. However, while the writers strike might be over, the actors strike continues, which could potentially delay season four’s release. Rest assured, though, the Only Murders in the Building writers room opened Oct. 9, Hoffman told THR, so as soon as the studios and the actors union come to an agreement, the show will be able to begin production.
Who Will Be in ‘Only Murders’ Season 4?
Not much is known about season four of Only Murders in the Building at this point, but one thing fans can take comfort in is knowing the show’s core trio — Mabel, Charles and Oliver — will be returning, without a doubt. Despite season three’s devastating loss of Sazz, Lynch will be back, most likely in flashbacks, similar to how Rudd’s Ben had a role in season three despite dying in the first episode. Meryl Streep and Jesse Williams both joined the show’s third season, as well as a few other new faces. While the show’s co-creator can’t confirm if any of them will be back yet, he sure hopes so.
“There is no greater hope for me,” Hoffman told THR. “I love them both, Jesse and Meryl, everyone. I mean, for God’s sakes, I would bring Paul back if we can. Listen, I would bring everyone back, and that might happen. Victims, killers, they’re all able to play in the landscape within this sort of certain narrative ways we can tell our stories.”
Other castmembers who are likely to return to season four in some capacity are Michael Cyril Creighton’s Howard, Ryan Broussard’s Will, Jackie Hoffman’s Uma, Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s Detective Dee Williams, Jason Veasey’s Jonathan and James Caverly’s Theo. While Nathan Lane’s Teddy Dimas wasn’t in season three due to scheduling conflicts, he has said he’s open to returning to the series if he’s able to. Hopefully, Tina Fey’s Cinda Canning will come back as well, though her role in season three was pretty limited — only appearing in one episode to try to convince Mabel to join her podcast.
What Will ‘Only Murders’ Season 4 Be About?
As with every other season, the final moments of season three revealed whose murder the trio will be investigating in season four. This time around, Mabel, Charles and Oliver will have to find who killed their beloved friend and Charles’ longtime stunt double, Sazz. Only Murders in the Building executive producer Jess Rosenthal suggested Sazz be the person who gets murdered, and Hoffman immediately lit up at the idea. He told THR he thought it was simultaneously “awful” and “perfect.”
“I immediately, it’s the thing of like, if we get a chance to go more, it’ll be the thing that it just started exploding ideas in my head,” he said. “So, that was thrilling. And then the second part of that was actually talking to Jane Lynch about it and saying, ‘This is what we’re thinking.’ We had to do that pretty early, too, and that was very sweet. She was like, ‘I love it.’”
At the very end of the final episode of season three, as Sazz was dying, it looked like she was trying to write something on Charles’ kitchen floor with her own blood. What that is is unknown, but it will certainly come up in the next installment of the show. Hoffman explained that during production, there were discussions about how long to hold the shot of her trying to write something and how long to have her finger moving for. They decided to keep it as abstract as possible for now in order to keep their options open for the fourth season.
“It feels very in her character to send a message,” he continued. “She’s been trying to do it to Charles throughout the season. She’s hinting to him in episode five that she’s picking up some ham radio chatter, certainly, right when she arrives in the finale, she’s saying, ‘Can I grab you for a few minutes? It’s a little sensitive.’ So, there’s something on her mind and something she may know but to be found out.”
As for who may have wanted to kill Charles — if that’s what they were trying to do — is also still up in the air. Hoffman played coy, only sharing that there’s a lot of exploring to do down that road. One thing they had in mind when thinking of season four’s victim was wanting to choose someone who is close to someone in the trio because the more personal it is to one of them, the better. Sazz’s death felt like an opportunity to make the victim someone Charles was close to and explore their connection.
“We’ve loved writing Sazz so much, and that’s the beauty of the show is, you get a lot more time with the victims,” Hoffman said. “They’re not gone when some ill fate happens to them. And that’s, I think, also why Jane said she was excited because it’s a good opportunity to go deeper with Sazz and find out what the whole big life and everything else was with her and the world of stunt doubling.”