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Only Murders in the Building - The Boy from 6B - Review: Break the Silence

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Only Murders in the Building delivers its best episode yet, revealing that the key to Tim Kono’s murder has been sitting under our noses this whole time - we just didn't know it yet.

If you thought this show had given us all the things we needed to solve its central mystery, this week’s episode proved you woefully wrong, as we meet Theo, Teddy’s deaf son who lived with his father at the same time that Mabel’s Hardy Boys traipsed the building. Theo has a proclivity for reading lips, and as we quickly discover, he has been spying on the podcast crew for some time, making the investigators into investigatees. He knows that the threesome are onto his and his father’s shady dealings - but what he doesn’t know is that Mabel and Charles have already snuck into Teddy’s apartment, discovering a secret room of urns that were filled with black market jewels.

Next, we flash back; as mentioned in earlier episodes, the Hardy Boys used to use Zoe's master keys to break into the apartments of other Arconia residents. One night, their unsuspecting victim happened to be Teddy - although the gang didn't realize that Theo was watching them from a peephole in the secret room. While in the apartment, Zoe finds and takes the emerald ring she was wearing on the night of the party - and then notices Theo spying, but doesn’t tell any of the others. She knows ASL, it turns out, and flirtatiously acknowledges his presence. Shocked and charmed, Theo lets her steal the ring without interfering.

As Charles goes on another date with Jan (and they play possibly the sexiest game of Scrabble ever recorded), Mabel and Oliver go to investigate the funeral home that Teddy’s urns supposedly came from. While there, Oliver and Mabel find another secret door. However, while they are still exploring this room, Theo catches them in the act - and suddenly there's nowhere to run.

In another flashback, we see that Theo was genuinely sweet for Zoe, and she seemed to return the affection. After one encounter in the Arconia elevator, Teddy notices that Zoe is wearing the ring, and tells Theo to get it back from her. Through this, we learn that Theo was also at the rooftop party the night Zoe died. In fact, he witnessed Oscar and Zoe fight on the roof, and watched Oscar leave in a huff. Seeing his chance, Theo approaches Zoe, they talk, and Theo gets the ring back. But when he tries to flirt with her - offering to get her a real ring one day - she laughs it off like the thought was ridiculous. With Theo embarrassed, Zoe doubles down on her insult, and the two spar in ASL, the fight escalating without either person making a sound (explaining why no one heard anything go down after Oscar left Zoe). It's then when things begin to get physical and Theo accidentally knocks Zoe off the roof...And as he turns around, he realizes that Tim saw the whole thing.

Teddy immediately goes to work to cover for Theo’s crime. The first thing he does is threaten Tim and (when that doesn’t work) Mabel, convincing Tim to attest that Oscar was responsible for Zoe’s death. In the present, Theo takes Mabel and Oliver captive, letting Teddy know that "They know everything," but the duo manage to get a message to Charles saying to try THEO as Tim’s password, which works.

If you’ve read my reviews for Mythic Quest, you know that I’m a sucker for a special episode, done well. When a show goes out of its comfort zone to delve into a new perspective, it can often feel gimmicky. However, if it’s executed smartly enough, it can usher in a new appreciation for the show as a whole. Only Murders was already a fun ride, but this episode has truly leveled up my trust in its storytelling ability. A near-soundless episode was an extremely effective way to warm us to the POV of a character we hadn’t encountered before. However, on top of that, it also made the rest of the show so far stand out, as all the pieces set up in previous episodes fell into place with this new introduction. And in a show all about a podcast - where audio is the beginning and end of storytelling - having an episode without it just peels back the layers on how much deeper this story is than you might think.

Only Murders, I think, is shaping up to be my favorite kind of show - one that never stops surprising. As soon as I have it pegged for one thing or the other, it veers off into a different direction, and yet, it stays grounded; sane. Fast, quiet, dire, fun, zany, levelheaded - It’s keeping me guessing, albeit moreso on its tone than its mystery, but I think that’s still a good thing.

What did you think of “The Boy from 6B?” What did you think of Theo’s introduction? Now that we know who killed Zoe, any theories on who killed Tim (and why)? Stop by the comments and let me know!

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