Adoptions With Love Blog

Only Murders in the Building: AWL’s Perspective on Loretta’s Adoption Story

Are you caught up on the latest season of Only Murders in the Building? This true crime-inspired, comedy thriller has captivated fans all over the world. While the show’s plot is rooted in a murder mystery, there are also many heart-wrenching stories within. One of which is Loretta’s painful and loving decision to place her child for adoption.

For those of you who are not up-to-date: The hit Hulu series, Only Murders in the Building, just wrapped up its third season. Executively produced by Selena Gomez, Steve Martin, and Martin Short, this crime dramedy features some big stars! The show’s third season brought in new characters played by Paul Rudd, Meryl Streep, and Jesse Williams, as well as an adoption storyline told from the perspective of the birth mother, Loretta (played by Meryl Streep). Loretta’s adoption story is a tale that is positive, poignant, and “gives all the feels.”

As they say on Broadway – Curtain-up! We discuss this more below.

Setting the Scene

Season three of Only Murders in the Building (OMITB) begins in a similar fashion to the first two seasons: A mysterious murder.

This time, the death presumably happens on stage during the Broadway debut of Director Oliver Putnam’s play, “Death Rattle.” The victim, Ben Gilroy (played by Paul Rudd) shocks the audience when he collapses on stage. His adopted brother, Dickie, leaves the theatre with the ambulance, looking quite distraught. The cast and crew are stunned.

Despite the low feeling in the air, Oliver insists that everyone gather at his apartment for the after-party, as planned.

As everyone processes the news of Ben’s sudden death, Oliver seems more concerned that his show is also dead. The show’s leading lady, Loretta (Streep) offers him one positive outcome of the show’s premature end: The two can finally go on a first date.

As the possibility of love looms, Ben and Dickie burst into the apartment. Ben explains that, while he was pronounced dead at the scene, doctors were able to pump his stomach and revive him at the hospital. He was told that he should stay in his bed, but insisted on attending Oliver’s party to make amends with his co-stars and crew members. He was difficult to work with, and even treated his own brother poorly.

After Ben excuses himself to take a call, the murder mystery podcasters – Mabel (Selena), Charles (Martin), and Oliver find themselves chatting in front of the elevators. When the elevator doors open, the trio discovers a dead Ben Gilroy. This time, he is truly dead, and the season takes off with the murder investigation underway.

Discovering a Birth Mother’s Hidden Truth

Much like the previous two seasons of Only Murders in the Building, there are many suspects throughout season three. For much of the season, Loretta is a prime suspect to the audience and – at times – the podcasters. She did not have a good relationship with Ben. In fact, the two got into a scuffle just moments before the curtain call on opening night. Even Oliver suspects Loretta is the killer after their first date. During the date, she admits the truth about the fight with Ben and openly expresses her disdain for him. At the end of the evening, Oliver is horrified to find a small book on her shelf, which is full of Ben Gilroy newspaper clippings.

In episode 8, the full backstory of Loretta Durkin is finally revealed. She explains, in narration, that she had always dreamed of becoming a star. When she was a teenager, about to embark on her journey to Broadway, she learned that she was pregnant. Unable to keep the child and pursue her dreams, she decided to place the child for adoption. She moved to New York and began a life of auditioning and working on her craft.

She never forgot about her child. She knew that the adoptive parents welcomed a second child biologically, so she was comforted by the fact that her birth son had two loving parents and a baby brother. She never lost focus on her career, but her heart was always with her child.

During this narration, the audience gets the first glimpse of her birth son: Dickie Gilroy. There are flashbacks to make sense of Loretta’s delight when Ben and Dickie enter the room before the first reading. She was excited to see Dickie, not the famous Ben Gilroy, as the audience is led to believe in the first episode. This revelation also explains why she had a book of newspaper clippings. Ben was the headline, but she was collecting the clippings that captured Dickie in the photographs. Ben was never the focus. In fact, Ben became an enemy to Loretta when she saw how poorly he treated her birth son.

Neither Loretta nor Dickie were guilty of murder. It was easy to suspect them. In fact, in one scene, the police are about to take Dickie into custody for questioning. When Loretta sees this happening, she yells “I killed Ben Gilroy!” in an attempt to protect her child.

A Mother’s Undying Love

While much of Only Murders in the Building is farcical, Loretta’s adoption story portrays the real love and devotion a birth mother feels for her child. Loretta spent several decades away from her son, yet she confessed to a murder she did not commit to protect him. She always wanted the best for him. She kept a very real, deep love for Dickie, even after 40+ years away from him. There are other lessons to learn from the OMITB adoption story.

The Benefits of Adoption

Adoption was a positive choice for Loretta. She was able to move to New York and pursue her dreams, all while knowing that her baby boy was safe, healthy, and loved. The decision was difficult for her, but it was also the right choice for her as a young adult just starting to reach for her professional goals.

Adoption was beneficial for Dickie, as well. Even though he grew up with a younger brother who stole the spotlight, he had two wonderful adoptive parents who loved him. He loved his brother, too, despite their strained relationship. He also traveled the country with his brother and had a successful career thanks to his brother’s on-stage charm and fame.

Dickie also had a wonderful reunion with his birth mother, Loretta. After she showed her devotion to him by confessing to a murder that neither of them committed, she approached him to tell him the truth about her identity. Without putting it into words, Dickie figured out her secret. He told her he knew – somehow – that she was his birth mother. He could feel her love. It was a beautiful moment for the mother and son. This tender moment highlights that adopted children and their birth parents can form a meaningful relationship later in life, too.

Only Murders in the Building is great at making jokes based on the differences between Baby Boomers and Millennials, but it can also highlight complex relationships and the emotions that come along with them. This adoption story is a prime example for anyone involved in the adoption triad.

Learn More About Adoption

Whether you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, you are looking to grow your family through adoption, or you have been adopted, you may want to learn more about the adoption process. Adoptions With Love can help. Contact us any time for information. Call us at 800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, or contact us online. We can help you navigate the adoption process with comfort and respect.