Whodunnit? – Episode 4 Review

 

Another week, another murder.  I think this show is getting better with each episode.  Things are heating up now, and the players are really starting to dive in to the interpersonal strategy of the game.

 

Investigation:

This week’s investigation was a little bit different.  Since everyone was present at Don’s last known whereabouts (the breakfast table), there was no need to investigate there.  Instead, players investigated the “Suspect,” which was (an odd way of saying) the sedated mountain that attacked him.  (Looking back, I suppose it wasn’t such an odd way to label the lion, since it wasn’t what killed Don.)[.spoiler/

The two factions divided right from the start, and the power group debated whether or not Lindsey could be trusted.  For the time being, Kam decided the group was stronger as four than three, but that someone would need to watch over Lindsey at all times.

ronnie

My boy Ronnie was the star player this time, and he finally got his act together when it came to safeguarding information.  It was incredible that he managed to [spoiler] investigate the stove without drawing too much attention from the other players, and the way he distracted them by acting out the mountain lion’s movements (even after they had decided the lion didn’t have too much to do with it) was totally brilliant.  He made it out of the investigation round with THE key piece of information, leaving the other players completely oblivious.  Nice job!

distraction

Unfortunately, some crafty eavesdropping by Cris and Lindsey meant that some of that information was shared with the power team.  Gotta be more secretive!

 

Puzzle:

Before the puzzle, Ronnie’s group decided to approach the power group and suggest that the two join forces against Lindsey, who was playing both teams and couldn’t be trusted.  The power group agreed, but I didn’t really see any strong efforts from either group from that point on to “ice Lindsey out.”

elements

It was stressful to watch this week’s puzzle, which seemed to have a lot more steps than usual somehow.  Again, the players all interpreted the opening riddle in different ways and went off in completely different directions.  And with each new riddle they found, the players in the lead would then divide and separate again.  In the end, it was Geno who made the correct final guess and found the clue in the library safe.  He did a good job covering his tracks and not calling too much attention to himself.  A reader last week informed me that the bell doesn’t mean time is up on the puzzle, but that someone has solved it.  It must be super exciting to realize you’re on the right track, and then to be the one to get to the final clue!

So, just like last week, we had a situation where one player had exclusive information.  At first, it seemed like Geno was just going to keep it to his team and leave the entire power group in the dark, but instead he weirdly tried to target just Ulysses and Lindsey by sharing the information with Kam and Cris.  Wait, what?  I don’t see how this would have helped his group at all.  They basically had a guarantee that the Scared cards would only go to the power team, and then sort of threw it away.   And in the end, Kam shared the info with Lindsey and ignored it himself, putting him in the Scared spot and leaving Lindsey safe after all.

secretmeeting

 

Murder Method:

I think this week’s murder method and clues felt the most solid of all the episodes so far, as long as the cyanide poisoning would work the way they claimed.  The mountain lion was a great example of a good red herring.  It seemed like the obvious cause of death at first glance, but observation revealed that Don hadn’t been injured enough by the lion to have been killed by it.  Don’s splotchy skin and the tampering with the oven were plenty to deduce what might have happened next, and the puzzle answer gave the final detail.

 

Elimination:

This week’s elimination left me wondering how they choose which of the two scared players will be killed off.  Is it simply the player that had the worse murder method pitch, or do the producers decide based on what would make the show more interesting?  Assuming that Kam isn’t the killer, I thought it would have been really interesting if he had been killed off this time.  So many players suspect him, and he is one of the most powerful players.  We would probably have seen the power group completely dissolve, and a lot of players would need new suspects.  Instead, it was Ulysses who awkwardly trotted off away from the group and met a mysterious fate after falling off his horse.  (After reading this line on Wikipedia “it’s too late as he slumps over and both he and his horse take a tumble,” and remembering how that looked, was Ulysses already dead before he fell off the horse?)  Ulysses was on my radar a little bit because, like Cris, he seemed to be one of the more “normal” players who wasn’t involved in a lot of drama and didn’t get as much screentime as the others.  I suppose I’m kind of glad he’s gone so I can rule him out completely.

(Plot twist:  Maybe the murderer would FAKE THEIR OWN DEATH HALFWAY THROUGH THE SEASON??  Probably not…)

horses

Other Thoughts:

I went into this episode hoping that Dana would be eliminated since she didn’t really seem to be playing the game, but I was a lot more impressed with her this week.  Her nursing background came in handy.  She recognized that the splotches on Don’s hands and face could indicate something similar to an allergic reaction, and she guessed cyanide before Geno told her.  She could still stand to be more active in the puzzles, but I think she has a much better chance of sticking around than I would have guessed.  I think my new favorite for who should go next would be Sasha or Melina.  They both seem to do a lot of following and relying on the rest of the group without adding much value themselves.

Cris is still my top suspect, but Kam really had me confused this week.  He has been so smart every week, often noticing clues the others overlook and deducing the true murder method even with limited information.  This week, he seemed to go out of his way to ignore evidence and information from other players to stick with his heart attack theory.  This seemed so out of character for him (I thought it was on-par with Dontae’s “I think she drowned” debacle), that it feels like it almost had to have been deliberate.  A lot of players suspect Kam, and putting him in the bottom two might throw off players who think the Killer can’t get a Scared card.  Kam also looked a little suspicious of Ronnie’s mountain lion act, which makes me feel like maybe he knew about the stove.

A redditor posted an interview link that revealed that the Killer player isn’t told the murder method or the puzzle solution, so that they may better blend in with the other contestants.  This pokes a lot of holes in my suspect theories, but it also leaves me wondering:  why bother having the Killer be one of the players at all?  They don’t know anything the other players don’t already know, they don’t seem to have any motivation to sabotage the group, and at this rate it will be basically impossible for the other players to deduce the Killer’s identity.  Maybe things will change as the season progresses, but right now it just seems like a cheap hook with no real consequence.

Also, Kam himself has been dropping by the Whodunnit? reddit threads and has been answering some questions about the details of the show.  Cool stuff!

One comment on Whodunnit? – Episode 4 Review

  • Greg

    Ronnie didn’t give the power alliance all the information from the puzzle. He gave them about half of it (“there was something in the stove” but not specifically cyanide), ensuring that his team would have an advantage unless the other side inferred the missing pieces.

    This spoiler tag spoils Agatha Christie’s book/play And Then There Were None: it would definitely be thematic for the killer to fake their own death. And Then There Were None had a similar premise of a killer among a group of strangers isolated together picking them off one at a time, and in both versions the killer faked their own death at one point or another.

    The reference to Saint Agatha could also be a nod to Agatha Christie, but there is actually a Saint Agatha who’s traditionally a protector against fire.

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