Did Meryl Streep’s Loretta Kill Ben in Only Murders in the Building? Theories

Image Credit: Patrick Harbron/Hulu

Hulu’s ‘Only Murders in the Building‘ season 3 introduces viewers to Meryl Streep’s Loretta Durking. The third season introduces a host of new characters as Oliver gears up for his comeback to Broadway. However, when his lead actor, Ben Glenroy, wounds up dead, another murder mystery ensues. Consequently, the needle of suspicion points to almost everyone who is involved with Oliver’s play, and among the possible suspects is Loretta. Hence, viewers must be curious to learn whether Loretta killed Ben in ‘Only Murders in the Building.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

Who Is Loretta?

Loretta Durkin is introduced in the third season premiere of ‘Only Murders in the Building.’ She is an aspiring actress who has dreamed of being a star since her childhood. As a child, Loretta was moved by the theater and performing arts. As a result, she pursued a career in stage acting. However, she faced rejection for years. Her life changes when Oliver Putnam auditions her for a role in his upcoming Broadway play. After a successful audition, Loretta is cast in one of the play’s leading roles. She works alongside the arrogant blockbuster star Ben Glenroy and veteran actor Charles-Haden Savage.

Image Credit: Patrick Harbron/Hulu

In the series, legendary actress Meryl Streep plays the role of Loretta. Like the character she plays in the show, Streep started her acting career on stage. She made her screen debut in 1977 and gained recognition for her performances in films during the 1970s. Streep has received several accolades across her career, including three Academy Awards, two for Best Actress and one for Best Supporting Actress. She also holds the record for most Academy Award nominations, with 21 nominations. Therefore, it is safe to say that Streep’s acting pedigree contrasts that of her character in ‘Only Murders in the Building,’ adding to the show’s trademark satirical humor. The series also marks the second collaboration between Streep and Steve Martin following the 2009 comedy movie ‘It’s Complicated.’

Did Loretta Kill Ben?

The death of Ben Glenroy is the central mystery of the third season. The actor collapses on the stage during the play’s opening night performance. He is pronounced dead before coming back to life and returning to the Arconia. However, Ben dies a second and final time later in the season 3 premiere after falling down an empty elevator shaft. Later, Charles and Mabel investigate Ben’s murder and meet the late actor’s fanatic stalker, Gregg. Through Gregg, Mabel deduces that Ben was holding the handkerchief of the person who killed him. The handkerchief was the same as the ones Ben had gifted the crew members of his play. Thus, it is evident that the killer is someone who worked with Ben on Oliver’s play.

Image Credit: Patrick Harbron/Hulu

Loretta’s harboring animosity toward Ben is hinted at during Oliver’s afterparty when Ben announces he survived. Loretta calls out Ben’s problematic behavior, hinting she strongly disdains him. Furthermore, flashbacks reveal that Loretta had dreamed of being a Broadway star since her childhood, and Oliver’s play is her first big break. However, during the first table read, Ben notes Loretta’s inexperience and asks Oliver to fire her. A similar incident occurred between Charles and Ben years ago when the latter was fired from ‘Brazzos‘ because of Charles. Therefore, Loretta’s animosity toward Ben might have grown if he tried to get her fired again.

Later, it is implied that Loretta left the threatening message on Ben’s dressing room mirror. Loretta and Ben fought while rehearsing an argument scene on the opening night. Moreover, Loretta is revealed to possess a scrapbook full of newspaper cuttings featuring Ben. In a flashback sequence, she is also at the Goosebury Theater, where she first watches a play that sparks a love for acting. The clues provided so far strongly suggest a romance gone wrong between Loretta and Ben led to the latter’s death. Given the events of episode 6, Loretta is most likely a red herring, as the implications of the actress being the killer are strong. While Loretta may have tried to poison Ben before he went on stage, the truth might be something else entirely.

Read More: Is Ben Glenroy Based on a Real Actor? Is He Dead or Alive?