Only Murders in the Building creator John Hoffman built anticipation for Season 4's plot after last season's crazy cliffhanger.
The murder mystery series finished its Season 3 run on Hulu with tons of surprises. Aside from finally resolving who killed Paul Rudd's Ben Glenroy, the finale also ended with the surprising death of Sazz, a.k.a. Charles' stunt double.
Alongside that shocking reveal, Hulu announced in October 2023 that Only Murders in the Building was renewed for Season 4.
Only Murders in the Building Season 4's Story Set-up
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Only Murders in the Building creator John Hoffman talked about Season 4 and what to expect in its story.
In Only Murders in the Building, Steve Martin's Charles, Martin Short's Oliver, and Selena Gomez's Mabel created a podcast of the same name to talk about real-life killings in their apartment.
Hoffman teased the "repercussions" of the podcast and how it will likely affect the trio in Season 4:
"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."
The showrunner then reflected on the podcast's impact on other people, noting that it's a "challenging line to walk" for the main trio:
"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."
Only Murders in the Building Season 3 finale teased that some of the characters might end up in different locations ahead of Season 4.
To recap, Mabel received an invitation from Tobert to live with him, Loretta went to Los Angeles to fulfill her dreams, and Charles' pursuit of Joy could hint that he might find her elsewhere (maybe outside New York).
In a separate interview with TV Line, Hoffman was asked directly if the series would veer away from New York as the main setting.
While acknowledging that he loves New York, The Only Murders in the Building showrunner admitted that going out of the city is necessary "so it doesn't feel too insular:"
"I love New York — the characters, the richness, the depth is endless — and it’s a New York show. But I don’t want to be afraid of things that make you go, 'What?' 'Where are we?' 'Where are they now?' I think you have to do that so it doesn’t feel too insular. There is our apartment building, and much like how we want to get out and be in New York as much as possible, I think you also have to remember this trio and the potential for whatever would be happening in their lives that might lead them to go away for some reason."
In order to do that, though, Hoffman pointed out that "it has to be driven by the story" that they are telling:
"Let’s see! I’ve got big hopes in that way, to shake up the look, but it has to be driven by the story. You’re right in that there are a lot of tee-ups at the end of Season 3, and a lot of connections and relationships that have extended. And Scott Bakula, I mean… how many more seasons can we bring up Scott Bakula without somehow getting him in there?"
Hoffman also said that there's no confirmation yet if Season 4 will feature another location, noting that there are "early discussions" about it:
"It is a part of a discussion... These are early discussions about that, and it’s an exciting idea. Let’s leave it that way."
How Season 3's Cliffhanger Impacts Season 4's Story
It seems that the Only Murders in the Building podcast might be the main reason why a mystery killer is after Charles in Season 4.
John Hoffman's comment about the repercussions of bringing something out to the world and how people would react to it suggests that someone out there doesn't like the fact that this podcast chronicles the murders in Arconia.
As for the potential location change, Hoffman was right when he mentioned that it needs to be "driven by the story." While it's possible that fans could see certain characters outside of New York, it's still likely that the show's main location will still be the Big Apple, especially after Season 3's ending.
At the end of Season 3, Sazz was murdered when she entered Charles' apartment. It is unknown if Sazz was the target or if the killer might've mistaken her for Charles.
Season 4 has the potential to tell a unique story since someone close to the main trio is the murder victim and the fact that the killer is still out there could hint that he or she is not yet done.
Still, there's a strong chance that someone wants Charles dead and this could spell bad news for Oliver and Mabel as well.
Charles being in danger could strengthen the dynamic between him and Mabel and Oliver, setting up an emotional story in Season 4.
All episodes of Only Murders in the Building Season 3 are streaming on Hulu.