Every party has a pooper!
Only Murders in the Building July 18 episode takes viewers on a trip through time when Alice (Cara Delevingne) hosts a party at Mabel's (Selena Gomez) apartment. Oliver (Martin Short) takes it upon himself to get the fun going, suggesting a game of Son of Sam, which is a made up game referencing David Berkowitz's killing spree in the '70s.
But Oliver has ulterior motives. As explained in flashbacks, the game is his way of figuring out when a person's lying, as it allows him to pick up on their tell, like a nervous glance or the twirling of hair.
And, for the Only Murders in the Building writers, Son of Sam was their way of explaining Oliver's interest in crime solving. As creator John Hoffman told E! News, "It's pretty clear with Mabel and Charles (Steve Martin) in certain ways," but what spurred Oliver's inquisitive nature?
This question inspired the writers to look back at the '70s, when Oliver was getting settled in New York. "That's when we realized, oh, he's probably here during the Son of Sam blackout situation and everything else," Hoffman said. "So it all dovetailed around an episode that could center around Oliver's history, that would also be able to lead us to the huge potential revelation at the end of episode five, where he misses potentially the biggest tell of his life."
Hoffman's referring to the revelation that Will (Ryan Broussard) might not be Oliver's biological son—he might actually be the love child of Teddy (Nathan Lane) and Oliver's wife Roberta (Marie-Françoise Theodore).
This might explain what the Dimas Deli owner meant when he warned Oliver that he'd "f--k him."
This episode also served to show that Oliver lived a glamorous life before Charles and Mabel came into the picture. Hoffman pointed out that viewers have only seen the Oliver who is struggling financially and is trying to make amends with his son Will, but back in the day, he was "the guy who was leading the parties, of course."
His gregariousness explains why Broadway was so trusting of his ideas, which backfired brilliantly with Splash! The Musical.
But was he so distracted by his own rising star that he couldn't see Teddy and Roberta having an affair under his nose? Well, only time will tell.
New episodes of Only Murders in the Building stream Tuesdays on Hulu.