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! 

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