Hulu‘s Only Murders in the Building has yet to reveal Bunny Folger’s killer, but season 2 episode 9 uncovered other huge secrets. The penultimate episode of the season dropped the bombs that two characters have been lying about their identities for years. It’s still too soon to say how these reveals will connect to Bunny’s death, but they’ve certainly sparked a myriad of new theories. Here are the secret identities, explained.
[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for Only Murders in the Building Season 2 Episode 9, “Sparring Partners.”]
‘Only Murders in the Building’ Season 2 Episode 9 reveals Leonora Folger is actually Rose Cooper
Earlier in the season, an older woman arrived at Bunny’s (Jayne Houdyshell) funeral and identified herself as Bunny’s mom, Leonora Folger (Shirley MacLaine). She told Charles (Steve Martin) that his father had affairs with her and the artist behind the painting of Charles’ father — Rose Cooper. According to Leonora, she bought Rose’s painting to give her money to escape her dangerous husband. Then, Rose disappeared and was presumed dead.
However, in episode 9, Charles locates the real Leonora Folger — a 92-year-old woman who looks nothing like the Leonora at the funeral. He finds a clue on the back of his watch that leads him to the fake Leonora. She visits his apartment and confirms that she is really Rose Cooper.
Rose explains that Charles’ father protected her from “a rage-filled husband.” In order to keep herself and Charles’ father safe, she disappeared. But now that she has returned, Rose wants her painting. She and Charles open up the painting of Savage Sr. to reveal another one beneath it. This one depics Charles and his father outside the Arconia; Rose encourages Charles to keep it.
Season 2 Episode 9 also reveals Poppy White is actually Becky Butler
Elsewhere in episode 9, Mabel (Selena Gomez) uncovers a dirty secret about Cinda Canning (Tina Fey) and her podcast. Suspicious of Detective Kreps (Michael Rapaport) being Glitter Guy, Mabel confronts him for questioning at his gym. He insists that he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. However, he does go on a tangent about Mabel’s “stupid” podcast and how he’s tired of people thinking he’s stupid. He mentions that he landed “the smartest woman on the planet.” Additionally, he sings praises for Cinda’s All Is Not OK podcast.
In a voiceover, Kreps admits that he assists in small-town murder investigations for extra money. While listening to Cinda’s podcast for clues, Mabel makes the connection that Cinda was the woman Kreps met. He was in Chickasha, Oklahoma, in 2015 to investigate the disappearance of Becky Butler at the same time as Cinda. The two met at the Chicken Chug Bar & Grill, and it seems Kreps had a hand in corrupting the case for Cinda.
Mabel visits Cinda’s assistant, Poppy White (Adina Verson), for answers. However, Poppy is very tense and stand-offish. She tells Mabel of Cinda, “You don’t know what she’s capable of. You don’t know what she’d do to get what she wants.”
How does Poppy know this? Because she’s Becky Butler.
The episode ends before explaining what happened with Becky’s case. However, it’s possible that Cinda found Becky alive and forced her to fake her death so Cinda could “solve” it with Kreps’ help. Or, perhaps Becky and Cinda fabricated the whole thing and roped in Kreps as a clueless henchman.
How do these hidden identities connect to each other?
The identity reveals in episode 9 are definitely mind-blowing, but it’s still not clear what they have to do with each other or Bunny’s murder. On the other hand, one line from Rose Cooper suggests a connection — apparently, a woman “brown hair and glasses” came “sniffling around a few months ago” about the painting. It could have been Cinda. Or, as some fans in a Reddit discussion pointed out, it could have been Becky/Poppy.
All questions will hopefully be answered in Only Murders in the Building Season 2’s finale, which arrives on Hulu on Tuesday, Aug. 23.