Only Murders in the Building Season 2: Why Mabel Is the Star – MovieWeb

Selena Gomez’s Mabel was the star of Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building this season. Here’s why.
Spoiler Warning: Only Murders in the Building Seasons 1-2Only Murders in the Building, the Hulu series that follows three neighbors as they try to solve murders that happen in their building, just wrapped its season 2 run. Like the first season, Oliver (Martin Short), Charles (Steve Martin), and Mabel (Selena Gomez) spent their time trying to figure out who a murderer was. However, there was a bit more heat on them after their successful discovery of the first killer and the concern that they are somehow involved with the second one.
There were some differences between the two seasons. From a rollercoaster of a reveal to a time jump that introduced an A-list celebrity as a new character, the second season was firing on all cylinders. While all our favorite characters were back and investigating, they didn't all pull their weight. Though Oliver and Charles could be argued as the stand-out characters of season 1, Mabel took all that spotlight for herself as the star of season 2.
In season 1, the trio worked together, finding crucial clues to lead them to Tim Kono's (Julian Cihi) murderer. Usually, a new clue revealed itself while they were together, or even as a duo, so they could all come to a collective conclusion at about the same time. They were a team, with each member's contributions crucial to figuring out that Jan (Amy Ryan) was the murderer. But, the second season wasn't quite the same.
Related: How Only Murders in the Building Season 2 Parodies True Crime Obsession
Mabel found all the key information in season 2. While Oliver was wondering if he was actually the father of his son and Charles was trying to get back into acting regularly by reviving his iconic character Brazzos, Mabel was getting the job done. She is the one that finds the person covered in glitter. She's the one that approaches the corrupt cop Detective Kreps (Michael Rapaport) and puts together he is somehow involved with Bunny's (Jayne Houdyshell) death. She's the one that realizes how Poppy (Adina Verson) planned it all and what the motive might be. Without Mabel, it's unlikely that Oliver and Charles would've figured out who was initially framing them. She gathers and puts together every piece of information that leads them to the killer.
Sure, the group figures out the sneezing together, but that does not make or break the case. The sneezing could've been a dead end since people can change how they sneeze. But the other information Mabel finds, like the sandwich, who Poppy actually is, and where the person covered in glitter worked, led them to the killer. She puts everything together for the group rather than the teamwork we saw in season 1.
When season 1 ended, it looked like the three of them would be framed. But, just a few episodes into season 2, it is clear that Mabel is the one being framed because she was the one found covered in blood, hovering over the body. On Cinda Canning's (Tina Fey) podcast on the incident, Only Murderers in the Building, she immediately zeroes in on Mabel, diving into her personal life and finding people from her past to try and show that the young woman has always had a violent streak.
The blame game only got more intense when she attacked the person they glitter-bombed after running into them on the subway. She couldn't be found after the incident and was recorded committing the stabbing, which gave Canning more dirt to use to accuse Mabel. Though she is never brought up on charges for the stabbing, she could've been, which would've only furthered the real murderers' agenda.
Related: Steve Martin Says He's Done Acting After Only Murders in the Building Finishes
Oliver and Charles were never put in a position like that this season, meaning they didn't have the same motivation to find clues and solve the mystery as Mabel did, which could explain their arcs this season.
Oliver and Charles are older gentlemen, past the prime of their careers despite what they want. Though both stumble into new opportunities this season, they are not about to embark on life-changing new career paths. Mabel's life is still hanging in the balance. She is trying to start her career as an artist, keep the apartment in the nice building that was willed to her, and make a name for herself outside of being the girl who can catch killers.
If Bunny's murder wasn't solved, she would lose more than her fellow podcasters. They may fade back into near-obscurity, but her life would be over. Instead of getting to build her career, her name would forever become synonymous with the incident. Even if the police never had enough to charge her, it would be a rumor whenever she applied for an art gallery or job, following her for the rest of her life. Like being the person framed, this fueled her to be the main investigator of the group and gave her significant character growth (and witty one-liners) that were great to watch.
With the surprise time jump, read about what season 3 could have in store while you wait. Who will put the pieces together next time?
Liz is an entertainment writer, horror fanatic, and undying romantic. After completing her degrees in Anthropology, she decided to embrace her love for writing and embark on a new path. Liz has previously covered New York Comic Con and the London Independent Film Festival.


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