In the last episode before the season finale, the four remaining players investigated Ronnie‘s mysterious murder.
A format change was introduced this week — players competed for the privilege of visiting a fourth “mystery site” plus three minutes at another site of their choice.
To win the prize, the players had to chip through ice blocks to reach a container. Kam narrowly beat out Melina and chose to spend his three bonus minutes at the Crime Scene.
Melina and Lindsey couldn’t reach an agreement over their site choice (both wanting the Last Known Whereabouts), so Giles intervened on behalf of the Killer and randomly assigned the sites with sealed envelopes. Melina still won a site all to herself in the Morgue.
Lindsey investigated the Last Known Whereabouts, where she found a note written by Ronnie, as well as a mysterious powder disguised as powdered cream and a place for a missing teacup. (But she failed to find a hidden camera and a book on deadly poisons the Killer had pulled from the shelf).
Cris went to the Crime scene and found the pool and hot tub filled with ice chunks. A cup of tea next to the hot tub was also frozen solid. The water level of the hot tub was much lower than normal.
Melina found burn marks and ice on Ronnie‘s body, as well as a strange foam coming out of his mouth. A thermometer revealed a temperature of 105 degrees.
Kam’s mystery site was the attic, where he saw footage of Ronnie writing a note, enjoying tea, turning on the hot tub, apparently falling asleep, and then launching from the hot tub into the pool. His three minutes at the Crime Scene didn’t produce any more evidence.
Back in the house, Melina used the information she had gathered to make a few guesses about the other two sites. She confronted the other team and confidently told them what she (thought she) knew, and their reactions confirmed her suspicions. (I wonder what would have happened if she had insinuated that she had been given the information from one of the three of them? Maybe that would be implausible if they had all been together since the investigation.)
The puzzle started off with Giles conducting an experiment by dropping a bottle of a smoking substance into a black box. Moments later, the box erupted and ping pong balls went flying.
The balls lead players to the kitchen, where they had to dig through barrels of castor beans to find a word search puzzle. Although Kam was the last to find the puzzle, he managed to solve the word search and discover the final clue: a canister of liquid nitrogen hooked up to the hot tub line and rigged with a timer.
At this point, Kam showed off his deductive prowess by explaining that castor beans make ricin, a deadly poison, clinching an important detail for his team despite Lindsey missing the corresponding clue in the Library. Melina managed to craftly eavesdrop on the group at the patio door and overheard them mention the timer near the hot tub.
I liked that this week’s murder seemed to have an extra step that obscured the true cause of death. The poison apparently caused Ronnie to pass out, but it was the heat that killed him. I do have a few problems with this, though. The first is that I can’t find any info that implies ricin poisoning would make you pass out. It’s more likely to make you start vomiting blood, although the amount Ronnie ingested might have different effects. The second is that I’m not sure a person could reach 105 degrees just from sitting in the hot tub too long. Maybe another side effect of the huge quantity of ricin? I’m sure the fact-checkers on the show verified all of this, but I’m not sure I would have made some of those connections as a player.
It’s still a little bit hard to accept that a lot of the Killer’s work is not to kill the victim, but to set up a complicated crime to challenge the players. The liquid nitrogen explosion had nothing to do with the murder (or anything significant), but players had to find several clues pointing to it and mention it in their depositions. I like that the players seem to have conflicting information (hot and cold simultaneously), and have to sift through the extraneous data to find the real cause of death, but I would prefer the red herrings to be placed with some sort of meaning. Each of the red herrings seems to come into play after the victim is already dead (probably because it’s usually something loud and meant to alert the other players). Ronnie was leaving a note for Giles to reveal the Killer’s identity, maybe the red herring could have something to do with the Killer stopping the victim from sharing that info? Blarg, I don’t know.
At this point in the show, we were thinking it would be interesting no matter who was eliminated. It seems like everyone (except Kam) is somebody’s top suspect at this point, and there is “strong” “evidence” pointing toward each player, so any death would be exciting.
So the ending to this week’s episode just raised a lot of questions! Is Melina about to be murdered? Are the remaining players trying to find Melina to unmask her as the Killer? (I like the reddit theory that Melina recognized that Giles is being kept in the attic and went up to try and save him, which could be her “playing along” in her own death like the other players had to do.) What was up with Lindsey’s behavior? Who was driving the limo? If everyone was in the limo, who tied up Giles with lots of ridiculous weapons?
I’m really looking forward to the finale on Sunday, especially with a creepy parade of dead bodies to look forward to! And I’m really interested to see how they tie things up. It’s a bit frustrating, because although I’m curious to see who the Killer is, it doesn’t really matter who it ends up being since there hasn’t been any real evidence about the Killer’s identity. Sure, there might be some secret clues they planted in the show along the way that point to the Killer, but as reddit has shown, there are plenty of things that could be interpreted as clues pointing toward each of the remaining players. So I think at this point I’d very much welcome a Big Twist of some sort. It at least seems like they’re trying to ramp up to a confusing, keep-you-guessing sort of episode after last week’s mysterious ending.
For all intents and purposes, my Killer guess is still Cris, and I still think Kam will win. All of this weird stuff with Melina lately certainly has me suspecting her, but Cris still seems to be flying under the radar (my original reason for choosing her), so I’m going to say all of this drama with the other players is to distract us from Cris.
Now I just have to make sure to avoid spoilers since I’m on the West coast!