3.09 "Spit & Eggs"
Aired Nov 28, 2006
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, villains and unicorns, to our last mystery spec for this arc, and also this year. Rejoice! As misskiwi and grim pick apart some aspects of the mystery resolution! Gasp! As misskiwi manages to create the perfect human clone! Marvel! As Inigo performs her impressive Morte D'Artur interpretation! Despair! As grim's hyperactive imagination goes into overdrive!
Mercer's radio alibi: let's handwave that one
misskiwi: Okay, let's rock and roll. Why does every mystery resolution seem so blatantly obvious in hindsight?
grim squeaker: I think at least this resolution seems blatantly obvious in hindsight because it was rather straightforward. Veronica had already suspected both Moe and Mercer, and we had, too: there was just the little part where we — and Veronica — neglected to put them together. We discussed the Sociology experiment as the likely cause, and I distinctly remember that you brought up the idea that it could be two guys after episode 4. Inigo even had the theory that it could have been Mercer and Moe in a Rafe and Horshack scenario at one point — only I talked her out of it, because it seemed too easy. *sigh* I have to admit I foiled myself partly by twisting it more than it needed to be, partly by wanting the Geek to be the Bad Guy — because hey, I'm still a Geek, not a Depraved Rich Kid — and partly for, er, less cerebral reasons concerning Mercer and Ryan Devlin. But I doubt there is anyone reading this who hasn't noticed the latter by now. :D
misskiwi: Yeah, I think what I just didn't put together was the idea that Nancy's rape could have been faked and that, if it was, that takes away Mercer's only 100% alibi. Because I suspected that his radio show wasn't necessarily a solid alibi, but the Mexico thing kind of nixed that.
grim squeaker: Yeah, that was something I noticed pretty late, like, after episode 8 to be exact. That's why I constantly left him in the mystery suspect list, because...it just seemed fishy, somehow. I couldn't really put my finger on it. I still think the radio show stuff is the part which is most wonky about the resolution, because why on earth would anyone believe that Mercer can't remember having a bi-weekly radio show? I mean, wouldn't they ask him for weekdays when asking where he was for the individual rape dates?
misskiwi: Yeah. And I still don't understand how he prerecorded a live call-in show.
grim squeaker: I don't think it's that unusual, but it simply would have made the alibis completely useless in the first place. I mean, it seems to be an homage to a '40s noir movie where the killer did exactly that, but you would think that the technical knowledge today is far more advanced than it was back then - and that the police would know about these possibilities.
misskiwi: Yeah, I...don't know. Anyways, we're covering a lot of this in the RTR, so do you want to touch some more on the Dean-o's murder?
So, Tim's jealous outburst at the party — genuine, staged, or...?
grim squeaker: Seems a good idea. Why do you think Tim made that scene in the frathouse? Was that a genuine outbreak, or did he just pretend? I'm not sure if this really has anything to do with the Dean-o's death, but it really stood out to me.
misskiwi: Hmm. I hadn't considered he was pretending. I suspect it will come into play with the dean's murder. Somehow. Maybe one of his revenge boinkings was Mindy?
grim squeaker: It seemed pretty staged to me, to be honest. First he makes sure to introduce Bonnie — Bonnie?!! — as his girlfriend to Veronica, and it seemed so very pointed.... I can't believe that Bonnie really would have a steady boyfriend in the first place. And then confronting her in the open.... Hmhmmm. No, I doubt Tim was boinking Mindy, at least so far, but who knows, they might surprise us.
misskiwi: Well, I'm not sure whether that convenient introduction was staged by Tim or the writers. Hard to distinguish the line there.
grim squeaker: And remember, he was the one who called V into his office in the first place, so he totally could have set that meeting up — I simply don't know why.
misskiwi: Well, the meta explanation is so that the viewers would know Bonnie was his girlfriend so we would understand the party outburst...but I'm not positive about that.
grim squeaker: What makes me so suspicious about Tim — other than the fact that I like him, you know how that usually turns out — is the whole setup in "Hi, Infidelity." Because he manipulated V there as well, and it wasn't obvious at first.
misskiwi: Yeah. No, I could totally see him setting up the introduction and the outburst for...some reason that's not clear yet.
grim squeaker: Exactly.
misskiwi: Although he has no reason to think that Veronica knows Bonnie or knows that Bonnie is a slut.
grim squeaker: Yes, but that could go either way. He could know about it. If he is working with Bonnie, she may have told him about Veronica. He might even keep tabs on Veronica; he seems like a stalker. No, wait, wrong character flashback.
misskiwi: But Bonnie didn't seem to recognize Veronica.
grim squeaker: Maybe he saw them together....
misskiwi: It's not out of the question that Tim knew Veronica would know Bonnie, but there's some big pieces missing there.
grim squeaker: I know. Let's file that under "Huh?" Together with things like Mercer mocking Alan the stuttering artist/gambler and Mercer's Halloween costume....
Actually, we adore Professor Landry, even though it might not look that way
misskiwi: I'm very disappointed that Landry didn't bite it. I was so sure, all the way through the episode, and then...BAM!
grim squeaker: God, me too! And it's not like I hate Landry or anything, it's just that I was so sure he was toast! So, very quickly, we are ruling out suicide I presume? Because I guess that's what Lamb will think.
misskiwi: Oh yeah, the suicide was obviously staged by the murderer. There's no payoff to a resolution like that, from a writing standpoint.
grim squeaker: It would be if it were a suicide, but someone tried to stage it as a murder to frame someone, but I doubt they are going there.
misskiwi: But it didn't look like a staged murder; it looked like a staged suicide.
grim squeaker: Yes, true, I was simply wondering because we didn't see the gun anywhere.
The eggs on the window are probably a distraction to point suspicion at the feminists....
Look who's coming for...well, what, exactly?
misskiwi: I also think the dean's comment of "What are you doing here?" is important, since it means it's less likely that it's a student, I think. Or at least, a student that's not highly visible.
grim squeaker: Or it is a student he knows.
misskiwi: Right. Chip, Fern, or Nish, for instance, would warrant that comment.
grim squeaker: And I'm thinking he knows all three.
misskiwi: But, like, somebody from Landry's class or something...not likely. I'm just thinking of the "Perfect Murder" papers and how they will tie into this, since I think it's likely that they will.
grim squeaker: Right. And not Mindy or Landry either, I'd think. Nor his sons. Nor his secretary. Nor Mel. I'm not completely sure about the Perfect Murder papers, but they've certainly been set up as a clue/red herring.
misskiwi: I don't think you could rule out Mindy, Landry, or his kids, since he wouldn't expect them to show up at his office, so his comment would make sense. And of course, there's the possibility that whoever showed up wasn't actually the murderer.
grim squeaker: I'm not ruling Mindy, Landry, and the boys out as the murderer, just as the ones the comment was directed to, but you're right of course. And may I take a second here to express my raging hatred for the Lilith girls being in the picture yet AGAIN? God, I'd rather have a suspect pool comprised of Mandy, Meryl, Drew Barndale, an incarcerated Moe, and Hallie and her shitzu than those girls.
misskiwi: Yeah, but given the eggs making them the obvious suspects, I think they're being framed, so that will be a different dynamic than their involvement in the rape mystery, I think.
grim squeaker: I don't care, I HATE them.
grim squeaker: That's why I play armchair detective — because my emotions never get in the way of my intellect.
misskiwi: Hee. Shoot, I've got to get going to seminar.
However, a little later....
The obligatory "Did Mercer utter one true word in his entire arc?" discussion
grim squeaker: I'm still thinking...I wonder if Mercer claiming the dean had debts with him was just a lie, or if that was actually true and points to the dean being indebted in general. Unreliable characters suck; you never know if they provide clues or red herrings.
misskiwi: Yeah, I don't know. The fact that Mercer was right about the dean liking boxing suggests that it might be true, but it depends on how well known the dean's love for boxing was.
grim squeaker: Yep. And given that Mercer was a more or less clever liar, he probably knew that putting some truth into your lies always makes them more believable, so...I guess that would mean some Fitzpatrick involvement?
misskiwi: I don't think there's an actual connection between the Fitzpatricks and either Mercer or the dean. I mean, I guessed that the dean owed them money and they killed him for it, but that was just a shot in the dark. We haven't seen anything to back it up, I don't think.
grim squeaker: No. It's just that the boys turn up everywhere, and they have that connection to Leonard Lobo, who has a casino. Maybe I'm thinking around too many edges again...and if part of the solution lies in the previous nine episodes, it's more likely that Veronica has to send Logan to Chino to kick information about the dean's debt out of Mercer than her finding out that the dean was indebted to Lobo and got visited by the Fitzies for payback.
Besides, I'm assuming that this one's a personal murder, anyway, but gambling debts make for a good red herring.
Seems some storylines of Season 2 were even less memorable than they appeared at that time....
misskiwi: Yeah. Gambling debt isn't noir enough, I don't think. And you lost me talking about Lobo...was he connected to the Fitzpatricks? I don't remember.
grim squeaker: That was the guy who had Terrence in his pocket.
misskiwi: Yeah, I remember that much.
grim squeaker: He sent Liam to Terrence to scare him, which was seen by Ms. Dumas, who then blackmailed Terrence. Hey, why do I remember that shit? Oh right, because I wrote his bio.
misskiwi: I don't remember Liam having any connection to Terrence at all.
grim squeaker: Believe me, he was sent in to scare Terrence by Lobo who wanted his money back, and that's what Naima saw. And gambling debt is kind of noir, at least for atmospheric reasons. It plays quite a role in The Big Sleep....
misskiwi: *makes the "over my head" whoosh motion* I don't remember anything about Liam scaring Terrence.
grim squeaker: Let me refresh your memory... this should be his bio for 213: Terrence Cook.
misskiwi: Still not ringing a bell, but it doesn't matter. I'll just take your word on it. :)
grim squeaker: Okay. :) So, aside from possible non-existing gambling debts... I have nothing.
misskiwi: Well, we're about twenty seconds into the mystery, so the fact that we even have far-fetched, poorly supported theories is something.
Enter the femme fatale! And we are not talking about grim here....
grim squeaker: Yeah, true. Hey, maybe Mindy had affairs with both Chip Diller and Drew Barndale and got them to kill the dean, à la To Die For?
misskiwi: Hmm...yeah, I'll buy that. We know she had an affair with Chip for sure, and I would wager that Cyrus had the larger share of wealth in their marriage. So, considering her infidelity, she's much, much, much better off with him dead than with him divorcing her and leaving her with nothing.
And it's certainly odd that they brought Drew back for one scene when he wasn't around all season.
grim squeaker: Exactly. Besides, he is my bio character, back from "The Rapes of Graff." Great, isn't it?
misskiwi: AHA! Mystery solved.
grim squeaker: *cries* I'm cursed! At least I think neither Drew nor Chip are hot...but man, this solution would certainly annoy P-C.
grim squeaker: Because he likes Mindy! But it wouldn't wholly meet his curse if she survives, so it might be all good!
grim squeaker: So... in conclusion...
misskiwi: One of the guys you like will kill Mindy.
grim squeaker: Nah, Mindy made Drew kill the dean, and Marjorie, who is in love with Drew, will kill Mindy in revenge. And Tim knew about it all. He also knew that Mercer was the rapist and Moe was the accomplice, but he wanted to see if Veronica would be able to find out. And he is planning to use her for his great end game — to finally get rid of Landry, because he never appreciated the hours and hours Tim spent eating Chinese takeout with him. Because Tim is actually allergic to the noodles used in the particular takeout Landry loves so much!
grim squeaker: It's all pretty clear, really.
grim squeaker: Hee. Okay. Anything else?
misskiwi: Nope, I don't think so.
grim squeaker: Thus concludeth this exciting speculation session.
Inigo gets the stage!
Inigo: Late to the party...everyone's gone. Ho hum. Um, since I have been shown to consistently suck at speculation, perhaps I can entertain you instead with my rendering of Le Morte d'Arthur: "So all day long the noise of battle rolled among the mountains by the misty sea...." Sort of loses something on the internet. Shame. I was great when I did it for elocution. So...spec...I only have
three four five six seven things to add. To me, Tim Foyle clearly staged the scene with Bonnie at the Pi Sig party, for reason or reasons unknown. He's a smart guy, as smart as Veronica (if Landry's skills at spotting talent are to be believed) if not smarter, being a little older. I'm not writing off Cora because of the mysterious disappearance of Angela, the assistant who was sitting at that desk only three episodes ago, and if Angela's body turns up feeding the fishes, I'm claiming bragging rights. I think the person who turned up at the dean's office isn't necessarily the killer. Oh, and I expect Lamb to suspect Weevil before he suspects Keith, but I also think it's more likely that he'll write it off as a suicide. I think Keith's clue to the fact that it isn't will be the unopened bottle of Glencracken. Oh, and there's a first wife somewhere, there's the gambling debts and the Fitzpatricks somewhere.... Oh, and finally, honestly, whilst I think Veronica's Perfect Murder paper is a red herring — Landry has been running the question for years and Veronica's paper was about killing Lamb (and isn't he going to be thrilled about that?) — somebody else's paper may be relevant, like Tim's, for example. Tim and Landry would be most familiar with them, but anyone can access the good ones, given that they are put on the internet. Max — and Mac — could pull them up any time.
grim squeaker: You suck at speculation? Hogwash. Remember this? It was from an AIM conversation we had on November 17th:
[20:07] Inigo: Maybe. I had an evil thought that Mercer was the rapist last night, but I shook it off because I knew I couldn't do it to you.
[20:07] grim squeaker: Tell me about it, maybe we can get it out of our systems (I tend to think that he did it every few hours, so....)
[20:09] Inigo: Okay. Mercer=Rafe, Moe=Horshack. Moe attacked Veronica to clear Mercer of suspicion. Moe lets Mercer do anything he wants (Benetian) and gets him access to the rooms.
So, basically, the only things you suck at are following your instincts and not listening to me when I tell you someone isn't guilty just because I think the actor's cute, and/or the character is amusing me. Elementary, my dear Sherlock!
Inigo: You have a history function! Cool. Okay then. I'm back in business!
grim squeaker: Phew, good, or misskiwi would have suffered my lurid sex & conspiracy theories for the rest of the season without getting a morsel of sanity in between....
misskiwi: Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. Inigo, that's...somewhat scary, actually. Damn, girl.
Anyways, I agree with you that the Perfect Murder papers will come up — I think it's likely one or more contain a perfectly staged suicide. (Note that since Landry is a suspect and graded all the papers, this essentially gave him access to all sorts of ideas he may or may not have had on his own.) I don't think the dean's assistant has any relevance whatsoever; it seems to me that you guys tend to make mountains out of meta molehills. It's far more likely that they just got a different actress to play the assistant since it's such a small part than that the assistant was murdered or something nefarious and plot-relevant. I definitely like your idea about the scotch — it twigged something on my radar, but it never occurred to me that it would be "evidence" against suicide, which it totally is.