When Only Murders In The Building opens, it’s already known there will be a murder. In fact, there’s already a suspect in the show’s opening minutes: Mabel, the third of the investigative podcasting trio at the center of the show. But appearances can be deceiving, and although Mabel insisted she’s not guilty in that flash-forward scene, fans already know that whatever innocent act she’s putting on, there’s more to this moment — perhaps a tie-in to the murder of Tim Kono that kicked off the whole story. As fans have begun to learn, Mabel and Tim Kono’s past on Only Murders In The Building is far more complex than fans might have suspected.
Warning: Spoilers for Only Murders In the Building Episodes 1 through 3 follow. From the beginning, Mabel was hiding something. Even if fans had not seen her kneeling by a body, her clothes covered in blood, in the show’s opening minutes, it’s obvious she’s an evasive one. Oliver (Martin Short) asked her about her past, and Mabel expertly turned the conversation back on him. Charles (Steve Martin) wondered about her reasons for getting involved in the investigation, and she sidestepped the question.
But it’s not until the show started flashing back that fans discovered Mabel didn’t just know the victim. A long time ago, she and Tim Kono were best friends — until there was a falling out. Viewers then learned Mable and Tim were part of a group who called themselves “The Hardy Boys” — and there were two more pals in the crew.
These fab four were kids who grew up living in this block-long palatial apartment complex. There was Mabel, who came over from Long Island to live with her aunt on holidays. Tim, the scion of a wealthy family and a year-round resident, was her childhood friend, whom she introduced to the Hardy Boys mystery books when they were 10. As they grew into teenagers, they added in two more: Oscar, the son of the building’s super, and Zoe, the spoiled wild-child daughter of one of the building’s wealthiest families.
The four became “The Hardy Boys,” who broke into others’ apartments, solved pretend crimes by uncovering gossip, and crashed the rich lives of the aging wealthy residents. But privilege and teenage drama got in the way — it appeared Zoe was in love with Oliver, who was in love with Mabel, thus causing jealousy and resentment. Finally, one night, it all came crashing down at a New Year’s Party, where Zoe was killed, and the crime was pinned on Oliver. Seemingly, Tim could have proven his friend’s innocence, having seen Zoe go off with someone else in her final moments, but he didn’t step forward, leaving Oliver to take the fall.
Now Mabel is back, supposedly renovating her aunt’s apartment. When she ran into Tim when she first returned, he icily informed her their friendship was long dead and insisted they act as if they never knew each other. Meanwhile, Oscar has gotten out of jail, but his father refused to tell Mabel where he want after becoming free.
As Mabel noted in her private voice recordings of the details she’s uncovered so far, she’s making this file just in case she’s “next.” Could she think Oscar is coming for revenge on her next? Or is there more she’s not willing to admit?
Only Murders In The Building drops new episodes weekly every Tuesday on Hulu.