Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Frost Nixin Gives Us Our Last Murder on Whodunnit?!

Whodunnit? is a murder mystery competition in which thirteen guests originally congregated to the creepy Rue Manor.  They battled week after week to gather clues and solve the complicated murders of their previous competitors.  When a contestant's version of the crime didn't measure up, they were marked for death and became the next victim.  The biggest twist, is that one of the contestants amongst them is their diabolical host, the mysterious murderer, and unmasking them is the ultimate task.  While it has been a fun ride throughout the season, we are winding down and left with only four players in a cutthroat game to the finish.  Although never a requirement of the game, as all reality competitions go, alliances were formed and two distinct "teams" emerged.  In the episode "Kaboom!", Kam, Cris, Lindsey and Ulysses formed a bond and shunned anyone who tried to enter or break it.  While the odds were originally stacked against them, four verses six contestants, their alliance has managed to weed out the competition as Team Kam is still standing strong with three players and Melina is the only contestant remaining on the opposing side.  Catch up with all the episodes, as I have a post for each, before next week's stunning finale!  That brings us to this week's all new episode "Front Nixin" where the group must overcome a plethora of hurdles, twists and misdirections to solve the elaborate murder of Ronnie, carried out by the ingenious enigma that is our host.  Let's dive into this week's episode, where there was no shortage of surprises, and left us with an ending that for once, wasn't to die for on Whodunnit?

With only four contestants remaining the stakes are higher than ever before and with the odds stacked three to one, we saw Kam, Cris and Lindsey unite against Melina, whose team has shriveled down to her alone.  While normally the contestants have a choice of three areas to gather clues and construct a hypothesis of the crime, this week contained an added twist: a fourth mystery area which could slightly even out the stakes.  Team Kam, containing three players, would normally have the advantage of examining each scene where as Melina only has one chance to collect all the evidence she needs and this fourth room may contain clues to level the playing field.  However, the right to examine it must be won and in addition the person with this extra boost will also be rewarded by having an additional three minutes to scrutinize one of the three normal locations; the crime scene, the last known whereabouts or the morgue.  The battle for this advantage was one of strength, rather than wit, as the contestants were charged with stabbing a large block of ice with a pick in order to retrieve the yellow box within.  Although Melina had an early lead and worked with all her might as her life was at stake, it was Kam who won the battle of the brawn and along with it, a trip to the mystery room.  He was forced to also pick his normal clue gathering area first and he chose the crime scene counting on his team to cover the two remaining locations.  However, that was not as easy as they thought as Melina, Cris and Lindsey each had to go to a different scene by coming to a consensus.  Melina knew her only hope was to have an area to herself, and a conflict ensued with Team Kam wanting to monopolize all three sites.  Luckily, our mysterious mastermind had a plan for this exact situation and changed what has normally been a choice to the luck of the draw, presenting the females with three envelopes dictating where each girl would go.  While Lindsey got her way and picked the last known whereabouts, unfortunately Cris drew the crime scene meaning both her and Kam would be scrutinizing the same site, while Melina alone would be the only one to examine Ronnie's body at the morgue.  The mystery room ended up being the attic, which we have seen before in the episode Kaboom!, where we learned it was the location that our sinister host has their surveillance system set up to monitor the contestants at all times.  Here Kam watched the feed that showed Ronnie in his last known whereabouts, the library, where he poured himself a cup of tea and began scribbling a note on the desktop.  The screen then cut out and transferred to an image of Ronnie at the crime scene; he began to relax in the hot tub and soon after he appeared to pass out.  This was followed by the explosion that propelled his body out of the Jacuzzi and into the nearby pool.  While Kam got bits and pieces of two scenes, he was provided with no help as far as the morgue which contained the only clues his team didn't have.  Meanwhile, Cris physically examined the crime scene where she picked up on a few clues, but not much they hadn't seen before.  She saw his cup, in which the contents were frozen, as well as ice in the pool which didn't go far in deducing a theory as to how Ronnie was killed.  Lindsey got her wish and examined Ronnie's last known whereabouts, the library, where she discovered a note written to Giles by Ronnie before his death.  The note stated that Ronnie had figured out the killer's identity, and while the names contained in the note had been blacked out, it was easy to get the gist of it.  The key part read: "blank" told "blank" , "blank" was being dishonest.  In my opinion it wasn't hard to decipher which name went where.  I believe it read "Cris told Melina, Lindsey was being dishonest" as we have seen Cris do this in previous episodes, as well as Ronnie had to have received this information from one of his teammates and only Melina remained.  The note implied that the dishonest contestant was the killer and this just so happens to fit perfectly into my hypothesis!  In the library, Lindsey also noticed a tea tray in which one cup was missing, in addition to condiments that were labeled, "sugar", "cream" and "rice milk" along with a mysterious white powder that contained no label.  Melina worked quickly and intelligently at the morgue hoping to gather as many clues as possible.  While the only physical hints she was able to collect was the ice that covered Ronnie's body, red patches that appeared to be burns, foam seeping from his mouth, and although she assumed his body would be ice cold, thanks to a thermometer provided, she discovered it was a whopping 105 degrees.  Although the clues didn't make sense to her, she thought of her absent teammate's advice as he lay dead on the cold slab in front of her, to stop and think how to logically piece together the information.  Finally, Kam got his three minutes at the crime scene, but it was no help and he didn't discover anything Cris hadn't already investigated.  Team Kam regrouped and shared their information but didn't seem to have any solid ideas regarding Ronnie's death.  Melina however, quickly made a list of all the facts verses all her ideas and began brilliantly piecing together information.  She went off the thought that Ronnie's last known whereabouts was the library, plus she knew from the last episode "Party Crasher" he was prone to writing notes, as well as her belief that he didn't go in there to read, and made the brilliant leap to the idea that Ronnie was writing a letter and that was a clue from the last known whereabouts.  In addition, she took the idea from the foam she had found in his mouth to mean he drank something lethal.  She approached Team Kam with confidence and flair as she asked if they wanted to stop playing like cowards as three against one.  While Kam claimed that it wasn't fair when the odds were stacked the other way, three against six, he seemed to have forgotten that numerous players tried to work with Team Kam and he rudely shunned them all away, isolating themselves, not the other way around.  Melina pointed out her conclusions; stating that she bet Lindsey found a note and that Kam and Cris found tea next to the hot tub.  While none of the contestants confirmed or denied her allegations, that was enough for Melina to feel confident in her findings as she believed Kam would have jumped all over her had her theories been inaccurate.  This left Melina in a good position to start, but the next portion, a race filled with riddles to solve and clues to pick up along the way, was a hurdle she'd have to face for the first time without any help from her alliance.  

As always, the riddle played a key part in not only discovering more clues to aid in the theory of the crime, but also would put one alliance in the lead.  It began with a science experiment conducted by Giles.  He put a steaming canister, of what appeared to be liquid nitrogen, into a box that held a number of bingo-like balls.  The rhyme mentioned to "find the bouncing ball that has the clue" and to "go where you go on the chosen few".  When the chemical reaction took place, the ping pong-sized balls flew everywhere and Melina was the first to notice one that had the word "Kitchen" imprinted on it.  She raced to the next stop where a new cue card instructed her to dig through a large barrel of castor beans to find a silver container, and although she had a slight lead the others weren't far behind.  Melina found the canister and inside was a word puzzle that contained instructions, in the form of a rhyme, including the key points: "angles", "location in Rue Manor", and to "look for orange and find your mink".  At this point, they were all tied and each contestant had their own strategy of attack.  Melina decided to circle every Rue Manor location she could find first, while Kam combined the "angle" clue along with the word "pool table" from the puzzle to instantly begin searching for answers.  While all the players tried and failed, Kam ultimately used a common tactic in word problems; to identify letters that are commonly seen together and work backwards from there.  In this case, it was the "qu" combination that caught his attention and led him to the words "pool equipment", which was spelled backwards and at a diagonal angle.  He rushed outside to the location, and found an orange tank connected to the hot tub's water supply that read liquid nitrogen.  Having been the first to solve the riddle, the bell rang, concluding the game, and it was time to muster together a theory from what they'd discovered and state their case.

So how did our illusive murderer remove Ronnie from the game?  Before Ronnie went to his spa treatment in the hot tub, he first paid a visit to the Library to write a confidential note to Giles revealing the identity of the sinister slayer.  Watching from the attic's surveillance camera, this infuriated the killer and so they sent Ronnie a spot of tea, with deadly consequences.  Having paid close attention to the contestants throughout the game, the mysterious mastermind knew Ronnie preferred powdered creamer and replaced it with the toxic poison Ricin.  To leave a little clue for the contestants, that unfortunately no one was meticulous enough to pickup, the talented executioner pulled out a book on the Library shelf containing information on the deadly substance.  After Ronnie finished his note, the infuriated individual slipped into the library and blacked out the pertinent names contained in the letter, and interestingly enough Ronnie had correctly identified his illustrious host, unfortunately his fate was already sealed.  They then rigged the liquid nitrogen into the hot tub's water supply, along with a timer, so when Ronnie turned on the jets, he unknowingly began the countdown to his own propulsion.  The Ricin began to take effect and what appeared to be Ronnie simply dozing off, was actually a sleep from which he would never awake.  When the liquid nitrogen hit the hot water, the chemical reaction ensued, causing the already dead Ronnie to fly into the air taking half of the hot tub's water with him as he landed in the pool, now filled with bits of ice, while his poison-laced tea laid frozen in place.  While all four put up a good case, Kam was the winner and both Lindsey and Melina received "scared" cards.     

As I identified Lindsey as our nefarious assassin in the premiere, I haven't had to change theories or reexamine evidence as she is still amongst the final contestants.  For instance, many thought Adrianna was behind it all, but when our brilliant bomber blew her to bits they had to start again in the hunt for the killer.  I encourage you to look over my previous posts, as I have collected the oddities or subtle hints that have strengthened my hypothesis throughout the season.  While Lindsey did finally receive a "scared" card this round, I believe that it was a strategy to cast suspicion off of herself and onto Cris, who throughout the game has never been amongst the bottom players.  Rather than interpreting this as suspicious, I view her as an adept player who has worked hard to solve the riddles, follow the clues and participate within her alliance to share information.  Kam has also demonstrated this by winning a number of rounds himself.  While both Kam and Cris have played the game vigilantly, Lindsey has never solved a riddle, found pertinent clues or shared her findings with any of the other contestants.  She simply sits back and does as little as possible, but somehow has made it to the finale, that I find to be quite suspicious.  Why would the murderer race to solve their own crimes or help others when the whole point is to test the contestants' wits?  Last week, I had a poll included in my post and Melina came out on top as whom readers believe is the mysterious murderer.  Although we didn't see her die at the end of this episode, she is missing thus out of the running and not our illustrious host.

The episode ended with the remaining four contestants being treated to a limo with champagne and a surprise gift waiting for each player.  While the gift didn't seem to be anything sinister, simply champagne flutes, I wonder why wrap the glasses individually with one going to each contestant specifically?  As with all the treats and surprises from our nefarious host, nothing was as it seemed.  While the group was excited to finally be leaving Rue Manor, their jubilee quickly changed to fear as the limo suddenly made a sharp U-turn and returned the contestants back to where they began.  They entered the estate to find a large television set up in which Giles appeared.  He had been kidnapped and bound with a plethora of guns and other weapons pointed straight at him, in addition to what looked like an elaborate trap with strings that would discharge with any misstep.  He pleaded with the contestants to save him and warned that if they fail, they all will share the same fate, death.  Suddenly, smoke began to fill the entire mansion and as the group called out to one another, Melina was the only one not to respond.  Normally, we witness the death of a contestant at the conclusion of each episode, but this week that was not the case.  My guess is that had they simply killed off Melina, the season finale would just be another race to solve her death.  In an effort to make an ending worth dying for, I believe that next week will be a rescue mission, a special twist to close out the season.  While I have no idea what's in store for us next week, I know it will be big, different and involve the zombies of contestants past.  I think that Melina's flute was laced with something causing her to pass out and maybe a trap door was at play to remove her from the room.  Possibly, the remaining three must follow the clues and, if interpreted correctly, they will locate Giles, and if they misinterpret a rhyme, they will lead to Melina.  The contestant that rescues Giles is the ultimate winner, while the contestant who finds Melina, releases a trap that eliminates them both.  This would leave only the winner and our illustrious host to be unmasked.  However all of that is just excited speculation, we don't have any clues to go on and our only course of action is to tune in next Sunday to the Season Finale of Whodunnit? on ABC! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Whodunnit?'s "Party Crasher" Proves the Killer Still has a Few Tricks

Whodunnit? has provided us with entertaining murders week after week and for me, this one took the prize!  In this complex murder-mystery competition we get the rush of solving the case alongside the contestants each week as well as attempt to predict who amongst them is the real mastermind behind the crimes.  With only five contestants remaining, who have separated themselves into alliances, it has become a constant race to the finish to collect all the clues and piece them together in an attempt to explain how our clever conductor has orchestrated it all.  This week in "Party Crasher" they attempted to solve the murder of Geno after a large chandelier fell atop him during a blackout, a truly Clue-worthy plot.  Although, as always, things aren't what they seem so let's compile the clues ourselves and unlock this week's murder on Whodunnit?!  Don't forget to cast your vote in the poll at the end of this post! 

Surprisingly when Kam, Cris, Lindsey and Ulysses separated themselves from the once overwhelming pack of six other contestants, I never would have guessed their loyalty, as well as their team, would uphold until the end, but that is exactly the case.  Slowly they've eliminated the rest of the group, while losing only Ulysses themselves, and though they were once drastically outnumbered they now have the upper hand.  This puts them in a unique position as they are the only team with enough contestants to collect clues at each site, however they also face a huge disadvantage due to the fact they alienated themselves and have no other allies thus they must solve the riddle if they hope to stay alive.  With only two members left on what is now Team Ronnie, they had to make a vital decision as to which area they would be unable to gather information.  While at first Ronnie claimed he was going to investigate Geno's bedroom with Lindsey, at the last minute he decided he had less faith in Kam and needed to accompany him to the crime scene to gather clues.  Melina felt like this was a horrible decision, as her doubt lies with Lindsey, but Ronnie was running the show which meant Lindsey ended up with the advantage of being the only contestant to get a peek at the last known whereabouts and the clues within.  Although there wasn't much in Geno's room, Lindsey did find two rather important clues: a notepad with a ripped letter and a kahuna bead necklace.  She executed a trick that all crime solvers are aware of, lightly rubbing a pencil over the notepad to reveal the message from the top sheet which the impressions from the pencil left behind. The note suggested for Geno to steal Giles' cell phone if he wants to live.  In addition the kahuna necklace was covered in ultraviolet paint and seemed to be a type of garrote, this was a confusing piece of evidence initially, because as it was left in Geno's room it wasn't the murder weapon thus raising the question why would he have a deadly necklace on his bed.  Kam and Ronnie had more information than either one of them was able to pick up on.  Although they did notice a large bloodstain smeared across the floor to the site of the chandelier crash implying Geno was bleeding from his torso.  This meant the crash of the light fixture could not have caused his death or the bloodstain.  They also noticed the chandelier was not cut or frayed but rather lowered down.  Kam was able to pick up on a timer plugged into a power outlet behind a cabinet and managed to hide his discovery from Ronnie in an effort to ensure Kam's team would prevail.  Lastly, Cris and Melina investigated the morgue which was more gory than usual.  They observed a large wound on Geno's stomach which Cris probed and pulled out a bullet most definitely shot by a gun.  On his back, where the chandelier had impaled him, there was also a small wound but at this point the cause of death was quite obvious.  Before examining the remainder of the evidence, Cris made another attempt to woo Melina over to their team.  This is the second time she has planted doubt about the opposing team's ability to win in Melina's head and seems to have become well adept at playing the game.  Upon investigating Geno's clothing suddenly a phone rang frightening both the contestants.  When answered, it was revealed that the cellphone was Giles' but raised the question how and why Geno was in possession of it.  Without Lindsey's help from her discovery of the note, they would have to guess as to what its relation to the crime was.      

When the contestants reunited, everyone stayed true to their team and parted ways like the Red Sea into their two different groups to share their findings hypothesize.  Once again, the riddle was a vital part of discovering how the crime was really committed as both teams were fairly confused.  Giles read the first part of the clue and the contestants were off, but instead of running like maniacs in an attempt to solve it, they were blindfolded and led to a pitch-black room where they bumbled around with little idea as to what they were searching for.  Ronnie was the first to come across a night vision scope and found a message on the wall instructing him to "find the light at the end of the tunnel" he proceeded to follow the cobweb filled crawl space that led him out a vent and into a new room in Rue Manor.  There, another rhyme awaited along with an ultraviolet light.  This one spoke of a "cold bed with no view" and to "find the lei", an adept puzzle-solver at this point, Ronnie rushed to the morgue in which the riddle was obviously referencing.  While he searched the room utilizing his UV light, the others were still fumbling around in the dark.  Kam and his team discovered the night vision scopes and eventually the tunnel leading them to the next portion of the puzzle.  Now, only Melina was left in the dark room confused and disoriented, but she too finally made it to the next stop.  Team Kam was not as quick to decode the rhyme, as they ran around the house searching for a lei somewhere outside.  Meanwhile Ronnie had found a kahuna bead lei hidden in the morgue and followed the instructions attached in an attempt to unscramble the letters scribed in UV paint on the beads into three words with the lingering hint "monkey see, monkey do."  Melina was next to make it to the morgue, showing off her ability to move from last place into second and arrive before the entirety of Team Kam.  Ronnie instructed her to the beads and the need to solve the word puzzle as they frantically worked to maintain their lead.  With Team Kam sufficiently behind they arrived at the morgue demanding Ronnie and Melina tell them where to find the beads.  Refusing to help them out, Kam decided he would just look at Melina's work like a cheating student on an exam.  He ultimately located the beads on his own and with the help of the "monkey see, monkey do" clause of the rhyme, along with his previous view of Melina's beads he solved it quickly revealing the three words as "See No Evil".  He knew immediately to examine the Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil monkeys located in the library where another poem lead him to a drawer in the foyer where Geno had died.  Here he found a gun with a silencer and night vision goggles stored away thus winning the round for his team. 

It was looking grim for Melina and Ronnie as they had few ideas to how the murder was committed.  Ronnie was able to deduce that the riddle most likely lead to the murder weapon, a gun with a silencer along with night vision goggles which helped them come up with a rudimentary theory, but they were still missing a good amount of facts.  Ronnie gave his blessing for Melina to approach the other team in an effort to save herself and while Melina believed Cris was sincere in her earlier invitation to join their team she realized that was no longer the case.  Cris explained that all the information was Kam's which was as much of a surprise to Melina as it was to me.  In past episodes, Kam has always acted like no matter who on his team solved the riddle the information was his to disseminate.  With Melina turned away, there was little hope left for both her and Ronnie.  However, I don't think that their team was at as much of a disadvantage as they seemed.  Including Ronnie's assumption that the riddle lead to a gun, silencer and night goggles, all Team Kam really had over them was the timer on the outlet and the kahuna bead garrote, as Lindsey had held back the details of note from everyone.  I feel as if they could have concocted a version of the crime had they worked together a little more, instead Ronnie went out on a crazy limb involving a trained monkey which sealed his fate.   

So how did the killer eliminate Geno and what clues went unobserved by all?  While Geno was getting ready for the luau he found the note instructing him to steal Giles' cell phone but neglected to wear the necklace the killer had placed for him.  In our mysterious murderer's mind, this meant Geno had "crashed" their party and their plan to spot him in the dark with the illuminated beads that doubled as a garrote.  While that was the original scheme for Geno's demise our creative criminal was forced to plot out a different course of destruction.  Fortunately, Geno did adhere to the advice from the note and stole Giles' cellphone only to prove to the killer he wasn't trustworthy.  With the timer set to short circuit the lights at exactly midnight, our insidious host reached for a nearby gun with a silencer attached as well as their night vision goggles and shot Geno in the stomach.  They then dragged his body over to the Rue Manor crest which was adorned in ultraviolet paint and marked the spot where the chandelier would fall.  Amongst the confusion they reached for a lever, a clue that none of the contestants had discovered, which lowered and released the chandelier atop Geno's already dead body and once again left a murder plot full of twists and deceptions for the contestants to solve.  Lindsey was the winner this round, likely causing Cris and Kam to wonder how much she held back regarding the last known whereabouts that only she was witness to.  Team Kam prevailed as they all were spared, while what was once Team Geno crumbled under Ronnie's leadership leaving both Melina and himself with "scared" cards. 

Although I find myself wondering why our insidious host felt Geno's morals needed to be questioned and tested him by tasking Geno to steal a cellphone, I am still going with Lindsey as the killer.  With only Kam, Cris, Lindsey and Melina left it's slim pickings, but my original guess at the nefarious mastermind still remains.  Kam, while evil in his own way, doesn't seem to have what it takes to host this deadly party.  In addition, he has received a "scared" card in the past, has been a vigilant player and has made ridiculous mistakes, like stating Don was scared to death by the mountain lion.  While Melina has been safe up till now, her emotional outbreaks, shaking, betrayal, and tears seem too genuine for me.  I don't think the producers would count on acting to keep this important secret safe until the finale, because if any scene appears too fake, it would give her away immediately.  A few weeks ago, I found Cris to be quite suspicious, but with her winning two challenges and active attempts to sway other contestants, she seems snaky, but is too upfront with information and appears to be genuinely playing the game.  Lindsey is still an enigma, she never solves a riddle, isn't upfront about her findings and doesn't share much information with the other contestants.  This seems exactly how our sinister slayer would play the game: stick to the shadows, let the others find the important information you have laid out for them, and never be the first to cross the finish line while killing off the other team slowly and solidly sticking with her alliance.  It's not long before the killer is unmasked and I am filled with anticipation!  

This week's story came to an end, as it always does, with another murder.  While both Ronnie and Melina received "scared" cards everyone was, or acted, surprised and pleased to see them both make it through the night.  Our mischievous mastermind decided to reward the contestants with a spa day that of course had ulterior motives.  While both the murders of Ulysses and Geno were in front of the rest of the contestants, we have found that these "rewards" are a clever way of separating the contestants.  Our illustrious host gave Melina a facial, Ronnie hot tub time, Kam a massage, Lindsey a mani-pedi, and Cris received yoga, which I am still questioning why while the others relaxed as they were pampered, she got tasked with exercise.  Amidst their alone time was a large explosion where we saw Ronnie blown out of the hot tub, twisted through the air, and land in the pool with a plume of smoke.  The smoke was the most interesting clue of the scene as it had me wondering why the pool sizzled upon his landing.  Possibly some sort of acid was used, but we'll have to wait until next week to find out as what we see is never the whole story and the complex murders are always full of misdirection.  I believe we have only two more episodes of Whodunnit? left!  With Ronnie dead, I think we will have one more murder followed by the remaining trio racing to solve their final case.  While it is sad that the season will soon come to an end, the time to unmask the killer draws near which makes the ending the biggest climax yet!  Stay tuned Sundays on ABC and check back here for my final Whodunnit? recaps, reviews and thoughts.  Thank you for reading and please participate in the poll below to share your views.  Enjoy!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

All the World's a Stage: Whodunnit? Continues to Keep us on our Toes!

Whodunnit? has been the most entertaining of reality competitions I have yet to see.  Based on the popular board game Clue and America's love for crime TV it allows the viewer to gather evidence with the contestants, hypothesize on the crime and see it played out in a well-produced short each episode.  Atop all that, it has us all guessing till the end on who among them is the mysterious mastermind behind it all!  While I have made my choice clear since the beginning as Lindsey, let's take a look at the latest episode, All the World's a Stage, the complex crime, and any hints as to whodunnit!
This week, it was three-on-three as the self created alliances were evened out in a double-elimination.  This produced a perfect trifecta of duos to examine each of the three areas for clues as to how our illustrious host slayed both Dana and Sasha.  As opposed to finding the two "southern belles" at their death site, this week there was no crime scene as they were posed at the piano in the foyer.  This meant the contestants were presented with the choice to scrutinize; Sasha's last known whereabouts, Dana's last known whereabouts or the morgue, where the bodies were transported.  Kam and Ronnie headed to the morgue, where along with gathering evidence, they calculated a plan to freeze Geno out.  While Kam wanted Ronnie to just pull Melina over and leave Geno without a team, Ronnie decided to just block information from him to make the day easier.  The problem was, Ronnie spent most of their time together trying to distract Geno in order to get the correct information to Melina, rather than pool together the clues his teammates discovered in their areas and hypothesize about the crime.  The information Kam and Ronnie found at the morgue was a slit up each girl's arm, fibers around their noses and several cuts along Dana's back corresponding to blood on her pajamas.  Meanwhile Lindsey and Geno investigated Sasha's last known whereabouts, her bedroom.  Here they found dolly marks, some with deeper impressions, large footprints and a towel undoubtedly laced with something on her bed.  They also investigated the hallway where they discovered the same large footprints combined with smaller barefoot impressions as well as drops of blood that led them to a hidden elevator.  Cris and Melina searched Dana's last known whereabouts and found approximately the same clues: dolly marks and large footprints.  In addition they stumbled upon a gizmo that allowed an intruder to break into the locked room and the same smaller barefoot prints originating in Dana's room and going out into the hall.  They also followed the blood trail to the elevator but didn't come across the rag like in Sasha's room.  This combined with the lack of Sasha's footprints should have lead them straight to the conclusion that Dana left her bedroom willingly, or by force, while Sasha was knocked out and transported on the dolly.  Cris utilized her time with Melina to plant seeds of doubt in her mind about Geno, as the large footprints only matched his size of shoe. 
For the next portion Giles lead the anxious contestants to the Rue Manor movie theater, where they found bizarre recreations of themselves seated for the show.  While the faux cast was creepy, I didn't find them to be impressive as far as their likeness to their corresponding contestant.  The group was entertained with a silent movie and a riddle hidden within referring to "double snowmen" and "the key".  They were off, and it was Geno who first understood the reference was to the 88 keys of the piano.  Although suspicious of Ronnie, Geno clued in his team as to where the next piece of the puzzle lied.  This cryptic rhyme spoke of cutting open the stitches and came with a scalpel that led them back to the eerie movie theater where they began hacking away at their faux bodies.  Finally Cris realized to slash open the back, where Dana's wounds had been, and found the final part of the riddle.  Although Team Geno was ahead, both Geno and Melina forgot their scalpels and had to go back, leaving Cris to find the hidden area in the morgue and win the challenge.  In the secret chamber Cris discovered; two metal slates, where the killer had positioned Dana and Sasha, drains full of blood, the knife used in the attack and the large shoes which made the footprints in the upstairs bedrooms.  She also uncovered an added twist, the large shoes were stuffed with tissue implying their host had smaller feet than the evidence had dictated.  Cris' win was enough to push Team Kam to victory.  While Ronnie and Geno tried to get the vital information from the room, Kam lashed out at both of them.  He insinuated Ronnie hadn't gone through with the plan to freeze Geno out and join Kam's team while Geno, although he helped Kam and Cris on a previous challenge, didn't deserve to be helped in return.  I felt like Kam was extremely obnoxious and rude as Ronnie had withheld information to hurt Geno's chances of winning and Geno did help Kam in the past, atop that it was Cris who ultimately solved the riddle but Kam took all the credit and ownership of the information.  He even ended up winning the round for his version of the crime being closest to the killers actions.  
So how did our sinister host serve up this double-sized murder?  While all of Rue Manor was asleep in their beds, they used the hidden elevator to sneak upstairs with the dolly-chair.  Our insidious mastermind employed the help of the door gizmo to slip into Sasha's room first, using the chloroform soaked rag to knock her out almost instantly and hoisted her into the chair.  Next, after breaking into Dana's room, they woke her up at knife point and guided her to push Sasha inside the elevator all the while digging the blade into Dana's back causing the cuts, which dripped blood down her pajamas and onto the floor.  The murderer guided them to the secret room, adjacent to the morgue, where they then used the same technique to knock Dana into a sleep she would not arise from.  Wielding a scalpel, a large incision was made on each of the girls forearms as the assassin drained all of their blood.  Finishing the task, they redressed Dana and Sasha, including a top-notch makeup job, staged them at the piano and turned the AC all the way up to ensure their masterpiece would last.
As to theories on who the malignant murder is, I am sticking with my gut from the premiere, as well as various clues from each episode, Lindsey.  The sneakers stuffed with tissue call for a smaller person, and though Melina is yet to receive a "scared" card, I feel like her emotional outbursts are too risky for the producers to cast her in the lead role as her acting could be unreliable.  While I had my eye on Cris for a short time, I have also cast her out as a suspect due to the fact that she has solved two riddles now back-to-back and with the killer knowing just how they committed the crime, it is unlikely they would be the first to uncover the clues or share them with their teammates or foes.  Lindsey has never solved a riddle or shared any key information and also has a somewhat hidden personality as she is not outspoken or overtly opinionated.  At this point I feel quite confident in my original choice and unless Lindsey ends up dead or does something highly improbable, like break out in tears or shake in fear of being eliminated, I doubt I will be persuaded into suspecting someone else until the killer is unmasked.  
While both Geno and Ronnie received "scared" cards, Giles returned with a note from the mischievous host claiming they had no wish to murder anyone and instead have planned a luau for the contestants.  While all is fun and games at first, with the perplexing decorative touches added to Rue Manor, complete with umbrella drinks and matching Hawaiian-themed shirts and leis for the contestants, after a short celebration, complete with Giles doing a limbo, the staple killing of any clue-lover fell from the air.  Yes, the chandelier!  A classic way of offing someone in a lavish mansion and it was Geno who ended up beneath the massive décor.  With only five contestants remaining the stakes are high and I foresee alliances and tempers growing thin.  Now we await next week's Whodunnit? a spectacle that will be well worth the time!  Tune in Sundays on ABC and check back here for weekly updates, as we near the end of what I regard as one of the best ideas for a reality competition in my lifetime.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Whodunnit? - Bum Ba Dee Da

This week's Whodunnit? was filled with snakes!  Their slithery nature aligned with the manager of the mansion as, with the distraction they caused, the killer was able to wriggle their way in and end Ulysses' chapter as well as, with the misconceptions they provided, the complex murder plot had contestants struggling to solve!  While this was not my favorite episode because it took us away from the creepy Rue Manor and into the rugged outdoors, it was a huge turning point for the season.  "Bum Ba Dee Da" portrayed the show's slayer escalating and evened out the contestants' alliances with a double elimination.  Let's get right into the events of this week's Whodunnit?!

The contestants were still split into two clear alliances.  After Ulysses' death, Kam's team only has three remaining members, so they have no choice but to have only one representative at each clue gathering area.  This is dangerous because if they fail to recognize an important sign, or misinterpret the information, their whole team's theory is at risk.  As with every episode they may choose to examine the crime scene, the last known whereabouts or the morgue.  This week, the crime scene was left to the team captains, and nemeses, Geno and Kam.  There they found a snake in Ulysses' saddle bag as well as a string used as a tripwire, attached to a cage, which suggested the birds were not spooked by something, but rather unleashed on purpose as a distraction and to rile up the horses.  The snake's appearance was the key as it was red with black and white stripes; if this information was correctly put together with clues from the morgue they would know whether or not this particular snake was poisonous.  Meanwhile, Sasha, Cris and Ronnie inspected Ulysses' last known whereabouts, the horse stables.  Sasha noticed right away that the horses' names corresponded to Greek gods except one, Oleander.  She also noticed the oleander flowers through the stable window and was aware they were toxic, but kept that information to herself.  However she missed the hammer and finishing nails Ronnie found, as well as a spittoon containing a mortar and pestle with crushed oleander petals inside.  Though Ronnie tried to hide his find, Cris picked up on his secrecy and discovered these vital pieces as well.  Clues were everywhere at the outdoor morgue and the most vital one was overlooked by Dana, Melina and Sasha.  It was a simple graph posted that described the dangerous and safe elements in the woods, including the snakes and flowers.  While they didn't find much on Ulysses' body, they did locate what looked to be a snakebite on his back.  Dana, who was more tedious than her companions, also located two punctures on his calf which she hid from the others.  While trying to be sly and keep up her act, when examining his clothing she held her hand over the area of the wounds so the others wouldn't see.  This act cost them an important fact; on the area of the jeans there were splinters from wood that could have guided them away from the popular snakebite theory.

Geno made another strategic move, in an attempt to ensure Team Kam would crumble.  He offered a position on his team in order to guarantee the two other members would get "scared" cards.  His plan failed as Cris and Lindsey decided to stick with Kam and stay loyal to their team.  While Kam saw this move as desperate and claimed his team would never backstab its members the way Geno's team does, Geno and Ronnie's hubris caused them to laugh in Kam's face stating they have never received "scared" cards, likely upsetting their illustrious host by implying they are too smart to lose.  That left Sasha, Ronnie, Melina and Dana on Team Geno and they got to work hypothesizing the crime.  Tensions ran high in Geno's group, as Sasha and Melina clashed when Sasha remembered a rhyme from childhood that said "red on yellow, you're a dead fellow; red on black, you're okay Jack", which contradicted Melina's recollection of the morgue graph claiming the red and black snake was poisonous.  In addition the leg wound didn't match up with the side of the horse the snake was found on, thus little was accomplished and a lot of questions were left unanswered meaning the next puzzle was vital if they hoped to solve the murder.  Team Kam didn't get very far either, as they didn't know about the leg wound, Lindsey only remembered that oleander was poisonous from the graph and Cris mentioned the finishing nails, but held back regarding the mortar and pestle due to her distrust in Lindsey.  Everyone was counting on the next clue. 

The next riddle was confusing, as usual, but they picked up its mentioning of the sky and the group ran up the path, racing to solve it first.  When they came to a crossroad with three arrows, (red, blue and white) some chose a random path, others thought that because the white arrow pointed up it referenced the sky and Kam took the blue arrow path connecting it to the blue sky.  While the other arrows led to dead ends, the blue arrow pointed to an area with another puzzle waiting to be solved.  It contained a myriad of pieces and X's that when put together correctly led to a shed where Giles awaited them.  They only had a limited time in the shed that, to their dismay was filled with snakes, to find the murder weapon amongst a room filled with possibilities.  Although they all tried, many more than once, they finally realized the snakes were just a diversion and it was Cris who ultimately found a floorboard with two nails to be the weapon of choice.

Team Geno was desperate as the other group held the key to solving the murder.  Cris tried to help Sasha by telling her all she needed to know was at the last known whereabouts and Ronnie cozied up to the group enough to earn him a "spared" card.  After they presented their theories, they were shocked to find out that three people received "scared" cards this week for the first time on the show.  Geno, Sasha and Dana were up to be a part of the nefarious killer's next target.  I don't think the killer appreciated Geno and Ronnie's boasting and though Ronnie brown-nosed his way out of it, I believe Lindsey, my choice as their mysterious host, gave Geno a "scared" card just to put it in his face and show her superiority.

Once again this insidious plot was filled with misdirection and a well thought out plan; here is how our iniquitous murderer offed Ulysses:  Before the group went out on horse backs, the assassin took two nails and attached them to a board in a way that the wound would resemble snakes fangs.  They then ground up the toxic oleander flowers and spread their concoction onto the nails.  Having pre-rigged a tripwire to a box filled with birds, in order to excite the horses and confuse the others, when the contestants' horses broke the string and released the birds chaos was amidst.  The killer used this distraction to impale Ulysses with the board and nails.  Within minutes Ulysses was dead, fallen over on his horse, and unable to tame the scared animal, they both went rolling down the hill.

In regards to the killer, now I am more certain than ever it's Lindsey.  While I have believed it was her from the beginning (see Whodunnit? Opens a New Door for the GenreFire Starter: Another Complex Murder on Whodunnit?Kaboom! Whodunnit?'s Game Changing Episode, and Whodunnit? - Mountain Lyin for all the clues I've gathered since the premiere) in addition to giving Geno a "scared" card after he rubbed his superiority in her face a big hint was revealed in the reenactment of the killing.  The killer was on a dark horse.  After close inspection, only Lindsey and Geno rode black horses like the murderer.  The fact that this was the first double elimination, as well as both contestants who died were on Team Geno, is furthermore proof that the mysterious mastermind behind it all is Lindsey.  Both clear alliances now have an equal number of members thus leveling the playing field.  This not only allows her a higher likelihood of her team solving the riddles first, it also won't look as suspicious if her two teammates end up on the bottom and she is spared.  Either way, as the herd thins each contestant is getting closer to discovering their renowned host and a few are already hot on Lindsey's trail! 

This week our distinguished proprietor was bolder than ever!  Killing Ulysses in front of everyone, distributing three "scared" cards and revealing a shocking double-elimination where both Sasha and Dana were killed and positioned for everyone to see.  Unfortunately my DVR didn't record the last 20 seconds so I had to wait until Monday to see the end online!  It was the creepiest scene yet; as Geno came downstairs he discovered both Dana and Sasha dressed to kill and set up like dolls, with Dana at the grand piano and Sasha standing next to her.  If only Sasha would have trusted her instincts regarding the snake and listened to Cris' clue, she could have been spared.  Nevertheless, next week's episode looks to be one of the best, as the guests have returned to Rue Manor only to find duplicates in their place.  The eeriness reaches a peak, so make sure to tune in to Whodunnit? Sundays on ABC, and check back here for weekly recaps, reviews and clues!

Here is a list of the remaining contestants and to whom their allegiance lies:
Sheri - Ex-NFL Cheerleader
Dontae - Insurance Investigator
Adrianna - TV Crime Reporter
Don - Retired LAPD
Ulysses - Attorney
Dana - Nurse
Sasha - Journalist

Team Kam:
Kam - Homeland Security Attorney
CrisEx-Beauty Queen
Lindsey - Engineer

Team Geno:
Geno - Bar Trivia Host
Melina - Flight Attendant
Ronnie - Bounty Hunter

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Whodunnit? - Mountain Lyin

Whodunnit? fans this was a great episode!  It not only displayed a twisted plot full of misdirection that had everyone scrambling, but we also saw attempts to form new alliances and shatter old ones to bits.  In addition we learned, like we've become accustomed to from the master of misdirection, that what might appear obvious is much too mundane for our illustrious and creative host.  So let's dive into "Mountain Lyin" the newest episode of Whodunnit?!

After last week, everyone was on edge regarding where Lindsey's loyalty lies and while both teams had members who tried their best to freeze her out, the alliances remained with Kam, Ulysses, Cris and Lindsey on one side and Ronnie, Sasha, Melina, Dana and Geno on the other.  Kam decided in an effort to ensure Lindsey didn't leak any information, they were going to keep an eye on her throughout the investigation into Don's death and accompanied her to investigate the crime scene.  They separated their alliances so each team would have a man or woman at each clue-gathering place; the morgue, the crime scene and, since they all were with Don in his last known whereabouts, instead of examine the dining room they had the chance to scrutinize the subdued mountain lion.  Only Cris and Geno were brave enough to inspect the tranquilized animal.  Here they learned that the beast was rented, a minor clue that helped give direction into how the lion arrived on the estate.  They also noticed blood on his claws and rather than pieces of Don in his teeth, they found the remnants of uneaten steak from the kitchen.  When examining the body in the morgue, Melina, Ulysses, and Sasha found there were few scratches and bite marks, that would be expected with an animal attack, instead they noticed his face and hands to be bright red in appearance, similar to a rash.  They also discovered a white powdered substance on his shirt, leading them to question whether the animal played a part in his death at all.  When rolling Don over to inspect his back, they found prints along his spine and the obvious conclusion was that the animal had pounced or at least stood on his back, meaning Don must have already been face-down on the ground when the lion mounted him. Kam, Dana, Lindsey and Ronnie took apart the crime scene, upon inspection clues were everywhere and like the other participants found, there was little to suggest a mountain lion attack.  There was minimal blood spatter, like the animal simply played with Don rather than devouring him, there were also prints on the stove and a missing steak.  When they stood on the mat in front of the cooktop, they noticed it activated the trap door where the animal was unleashed.  Ronnie inspected the grill and noticed some rewiring underneath, but distracted the other contestants from it by replaying the mountain lion's course of action - well played!

They returned to their allied groups, which seem to be led by Kam and Ronnie, to pull together their findings and hypothesize what happened.  Lindsey and Cris bordered on cheating by listening in to the other group's discussion and heard their theories regarding poisoning.  But at this point, no one was really sure and awaited the next round of clues to help them piece together the puzzle.  As they ran around the estate trying to uncover the cryptic message regarding "where the cool are laid back" and "out of their element", for the first time we saw Lindsey figuring out some clues leading Ulysses and Cris to the morgue and where they found the periodic table containing the next clue.  I think Lindsey finally stepped up in an attempt to prove her usefulness because she knew that if she was to remain clueless and not help either team, as the mysterious mastermind behind the game, it would be suspicious if she was spared.  However it was Geno who ultimately solved the riddle and decided to use an interesting tactic.  He shared the information with not only his team but also chose to leak a few tidbits to Cris and Kam in an attempt to ensure Ulysses and Lindsey would be marked for death.  Kam disregarded Geno's information as he believed it was a set up and shared what he learned with both Ulysses and Lindsey.  I must give a kudos to Dana whose background gave her a leg up and even without Geno's clue was able to deduce that cyanide played a part in this nefarious killing.   

Here is the plot our unknown mastermind ultimately created for Don:  When at breakfast, Don's steak was underdone and he decided to go into the kitchen to cook it further.  The killer rewired the stove so that upon turning it on, instead of heat emanating from the cooktop, deadly cyanide gas hissed out.  Simultaneously, the mat in which Don stood on was also rigged with a device that opened a trap door in the wall where the killer had rented a dangerous mountain lion and caged it inside.  The lion jumped onto the kitchen's island clawing at Don who was already feeling the deadly effects of the gas.  Don passed out and the animal pounced on him clawing slightly at his limbs but ultimately using Don's dead body as a stepping stool in order to retrieve his raw steak from the cooktop.  Relishing in his find he returned to the island to devour his catch when Giles anesthetized him, with the half-eaten steak still in his mouth. 

Dana obviously impressed the insidious killer as well, as she was the winner this week, while Kam and Ulysses were both given scared cards and the impending feeling of doom.  The contestants were advised to meet at the stables in the morning and received an interesting call from the killer containing a mix-up of voice recordings from each of the remaining guests each claiming to be their illustrious host and I must say Lindsey's was by far the most convincing.  When the guests all arrived on horseback the following morning they continued to follow Giles, dressed for the part, down the path when a flock of birds were spooked by something and we saw Ulysses bent over on his horse before both he and his mare took a tumble, undoubtedly to his demise.  My thoughts are, that because the entire cast was in sight the killer was not able to shoot Ulysses so there must have been an elaborate trap set up.  There was no gun shot, so something different must have pierced Ulysses and the ignition of the contraption caused a scare for the birds and the horses.

Whodunnit? manages to always keep us guessing and the eloquent murders are well thought out and never what they seem.  I can't wait for next week to see what our nefarious mastermind has created and whether Lindsey will remain my top choice for the host who's pulling the strings, or if Cris will snake into the lead.  In addition we will be entertained with yet another complex murder mystery to solve alongside the group and with Team Kam growing thin, the alliances and group dynamics must change on the next Whodunnit?!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Whodunnit? Update!

Whodunnit? fans have no fear!  Update on last nights episode will be out today!  Check back and browse through my posts capturing all the action from the first three episodes while you wait!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Kaboom! Whodunnit?'s Game Changing Episode!

This week on Whodunnit? we saw the game change as last week's alliance between Kam, Ulysses, Cris and Lindsey ostracized the remaining players and parted the sea's for two opposing teams.  It was also an important episode because most of the group believed Adrianna was the elusive mastermind behind the crimes and her death had everyone scrambling for a new theory.  For me, I have believed Lindsey was woman in charge from the start, but how this episode played out had me too thinking twice about my hypothesis.  So let's dive right into the events in the newest episode of Whodunnit?: Kaboom!

The guests awoke to a loud bang outside the manor and rushed to see the cause.  While in the immediate aftermath of the explosion, Giles ushered them back inside to form teams and decide who would visit the crime scene, the last known whereabouts and, because Adrianna's body was too mangled to bring her to the morgue, examine her body in the tree.  Team Kam separated themselves from the group immediately deciding how to spread their group thin, raising the tension in the manor even more.  The remaining six formed their own alliance and secretly Lindsay, Ronnie and Melina formed a mini-pact.  Geno came up with the idea for Melina to act as buddy-buddy as she could with Lindsey in an attempt to break up the other group, and it worked but put Lindsey in an awkward position.  Throughout the entire episode emotions were high as each group worked hard to keep their knowledge safe and neither knew whether or not Lindsey would betray them.  To make matters worse, Lindsey ended up being the winner this round making everyone wonder if she played them all.  Strangely in this episode as well as the rest, she hasn't really solved any clues nor did she leak information to either team.     

So here is how Adrianna met her doom:  While watching television and eating cereal the killer tapped into the feed revealing security footage of her with a message telling her to flee the estate if she wants to live.  She dropped her bowl and attempted to flee trying to open the various doors to the room which had all been secured with zip-ties leaving only one exit for her to escape.  She ran out to the courtyard and down the steps where a golf cart with a remote control was conveniently placed.  Earlier the sinister host had split the seat and removed a portion where they place a bomb directly under the driver's seat.  As Adrianna sped off in the golf cart she reached an impasse, a tree branch had been placed blocking off the driveway causing her to swerve to a stop on the grounds within yards from the entrance to the manor.  She pressed the button to open the massive gates and the killer watched on the CCTV surveillance camera where they then detonated the bomb from a remote viewing station located in the attic.  What was not clear to me was the reason for the gate opener as it did not detonate the bomb, but I assume it was to throw the group off thinking that she pressed the button causing her own demise.  The other question that arose was the need to block off the driveway with the branch as the killer could have blown the cart up regardless of whether see continued on the driveway or not.  My guess is that the branch caused her to position herself in perfect view of the camera so the mysterious mastermind would have the perfect view of the culmination of their work. 

While the information sharing and alliance groups helped everyone, as they all had reasonably close hypotheses of how the murder was committed, this cannot last long.  If any one person wants to win, they will need to keep certain bits to themselves.  While Ronnie attempted to do this as he was the only member to see the attack and the video footage, he shared the key information regarding the fact that the killer detonated the bomb, not Adrianna with the remote, with only Lindsey and Melina.  However he seemed irked by the fact that Lindsey won instead of him, even though it doesn't really matter as the winner is not afforded any prize or immunity, and thoughts are already forming regarding the likelihood that Lindsey played him.  I can only imagine the drama these factions are causing that we will see played out next week and how the learning curve will once again spike as contestants will need to be more selective with what they share and whom they trust. 

This brings me to my thoughts on Lindsey as the head of Rue Manor.  While her win will undoubtedly cause her trouble in the next episode, I found the killer's comments about how they should kill her just for her annoying laugh strange.  I can imagine that if she is not the killer, he or she is unhappy with her playing both sides which is the reason behind the comment.  However, how genius would it be if Lindsey is in fact responsible thus confident of her safety and as the mischievous host gives herself the win just to stir up the group's trust and throw suspicion away from herself, putting them all on edge for round 4.  I'm still sticking to my original theory as she has yet to discover any clues herself nor help out either group by sharing information though she always ends up on her feet.  That being said, I do have my eye out and am keeping a close watch for other members that might be the responsible party and Cris is at the top of that list.   

Finally, we ended the episode with the presumed death of Don.  As the group sat down for a formal breakfast of steak and eggs, relieved to see everyone arrive safely Don found his dish to be undercooked and proceeded to the kitchen.  While he began to cook his steak, a mountain lion emerged from a hidden passageway inside the wall.  While we didn't see the attack, the smell of the raw blood in Don's hand likely caused the lion to charge.  The cast heard the animal's growl and Giles arrived with a rifle ready to anesthetize the beast.  I am quite excited to see next week's episode where they will get to investigate the animal, possibly because there is not enough left of Don to examine, and delve into how it appeared in the kitchen.  Nothing says Clue more than hidden passageways!  Tune in and check back here for all the info on ABC's fun new twist on reality television, Whodunnit?!  

Below is a list of the contestants, who has been murdered, and who remains: 

Sheri - Ex-NFL Cheerleader
Dontae - Insurance Investigator
Adrianna - TV Crime Reporter
Don - retired LAPD
Cris - Ex-Beauty Queen
Dana - Nurse

Geno - Bar Trivia Host
Kam - Homeland Security Attorney
Lindsey - Engineer
Melina - Flight Attendant
Ronnie - Bounty Hunter
Sasha - Journalist
Ulysses - Attorney