'Only Murders in the Building ' Episode 1 Recap: Who Killed Tim? Meet the First Suspects

Only Murders in the Building is the new mystery-comedy series starring Martin Short, Selena Gomez, and Steve Martin.

The series takes place in present-day New York and follows three strangers Charles (Martin), Oliver (Short), and Mabel (Gomez) who bond over their obsession with true crime and the death of one of their neighbors.

For now, the police are certain it's suicide but Charles, Oliver, and Mabel have other theories.

Newsweek has a full recap of the first episode.

'Only Murders in the Building' Episode 1 Recap

The episode begins with Charles and Martin running down the stairs screaming when they come across Mabel hovering over a dead body. She shouts "It's not what it looks like!"

The episode then jumps back to two months earlier, when we are formally introduced to the show's three main protagonists, watching them as they individually stroll down the streets of New York City. On the surface Charles is a struggling actor, Mabel is a very lonely creative and Oliver is an eccentric director who is partial to a glass of vino now and then.

They might be strangers for now, but little do they know their lives are about to become intertwined as a result of the strangest of circumstances.

The trio then meet in the apartment building elevator and barely utter a word to each other even when a tall, young man in a business suit (later revealed to be called Tim) steps in.

Tim is on the phone, having what appears to be a stressful conversation, later suspected to be about the collection of a package from a neighbor by the name of Bunny.

The trio then go about their ordinary lives that evening but are connected by one thinga true-crime podcast called "All is Not Okay in Oklahoma."

As they listen intently, the building's fire alarm goes off at the moment when the podcast is about to reveal what the suspicious item in the dog's (named Beau) mouth is.

Side note: As everyone is rushing down the stairs, a figure in a white hood with their head down is running up the stairs and away from the exit.

Our favorite trio is coincidently reunited at a restaurant as they await to re-enter the building and discuss their also coincidental love for the true-crime podcast, and the mystery of what is in Beau's mouth.

As they return to try and re-enter their apartment building, a body has been found on the ninth floor. Instead of staying outside, they decide to take the freight elevator to the eighth floor to "avoid the cops posted on the ninth," instructs Mabel. This doesn't sound like Mabel's first crime scene.

Inspired by "All is Not Okay in Oklahoma", the trio then decide to take the police detective work into their own hands and head for the garbage room to search the bags, where they come across several suicide notes in the bin - but do they belong to Tim?

Meanwhile, Charles, Oliver, and Selena's true-crime fascination continues, leading them to set up their own true-crime podcast to investigate Tim's murder. They aptly name it "Only Murders in the Building" (notice the plural of murder), foreshadowing what is to come.

only murders in the building episode 1
Selena Gomez, Martin Short and Steve Martin star in Only Murders in the Building Disney

After all, the episode did begin with Charles saying: "Here's the thing I don't get, people worried about living in a big city because of all the crime. But, as any true-crime aficionado would tell you, it's the boondocks you need to worry about. I mean let's face it, nobody ever discovered 19 bodies buried in the back yard of a 14-story apartment building. There are eyes on you all over the place here."

Who killed Tim? Meet the first suspects ranked

1. Mabel

There's something very intriguing, yet unnerving about Mabel.

To begin with, when we first meet her, she is sitting next to a dead body, covered in blood.

She's staying in an empty apartment and has sketches of people's faces on the walls. She's either an artist or sketches of her victims. There's no way to know for now.

Mabel also spoke about having frequent nightmares of stabbing a man at the bottom of her bed with a knitting needle. She also spoke fondly of her childhood with Charles and being a part of a group of friends known as The Hardy Boys, where they would solve imaginary mysteries.

The biggest clue pointing to Mabel as the killer is right at the end of the episode when a photograph in her apartment reveals her and the murder victim Tim standing next to each other at what looks like a graduation ceremony. The picture reads: "My Hardy Boys" suggesting the pair were more than just classmates.

Selena Gomez Only Murders in the Building
Selena Gomez plays Mabel in Only Murders in the Building Disney

2. Bunny

Mabel has a neighbor called Bunny, the woman Tim was trying to retrieve a package from.

After breaking into her apartment, Charlie and Mabel took the package, opening it to reveal a huge diamond ring.

Unfortunately, nothing is given away about why the diamond ring is in an oversized cardboard box and nothing is revealed about Bunny in particular, but she obviously has some ties to the murder victim so understandably cannot be ruled out as a suspect.

3. The figure in the white jumper

When everybody was evacuating the apartment building during the fire alarm, someone ran up the stairs wearing a white-hooded jumper.

Now, Mabel was late to the bar where Charles and Oliver were sitting. Could it have been her or someone else trying to conceal their identity?

3. Charles

The only evidence pointing to Charles as the killer is the sole fact he is obsessed with true crime. He's also a pretty big advocate for the trio to focus on only murders which take place in the building.

Is it possible he wants to stay close to the case as much as he possibly can to avoid being caught out?

4. Oliver

For now, Oliver is the least likely suspect in the murder, just down to the fact of his chaotic but loveable personality.

Oliver seems too preoccupied with making things with his family right and becoming friends with Charles and Mabel to even think about taking another man's life.

However, Oliver could be hiding in plain sight. After all, he knows the apartment block inside out, even telling his own son it's the only thing he actually cares about.

The first 3 episodes of Only Murders in the Building are streaming on Hulu and Star on Disney + now. The remaining 5 episodes will air every Tuesday on Hulu and Star on Disney+.