3.15 "Papa's Cabin"

Aired Feb 27, 2007

Roundtable Reviews

misskiwi: ...What the hell?

persnicketier: This was a letdown. For the murder, anyway. It just seemed so... anticlimactic. And unbelievable.

starxdsparrow: I'm right there with you. I mean, I really liked Dean O'Dell...and he basically got the shaft, like he wasn't even important. His death wasn't even about him — it was about Tim getting revenge?! Blech.

Inigo: That's noir, babe.

starxdsparrow: And now how are they going to recycle Unlucky Tim Foylohanic?

Inigo: Apart from horrible mistakes on date/time/content of phone calls, I thought it hung together well as a mystery and I'm surprised at the negativity. Yes, O'Dell was just tool and that's pretty horrible. But very, very noir.

misskiwi: Inigo, you get props for calling the murderer and the motive way back when, but I stand by my original position of STUPIDEST PLAN EVER.

I mean, think about it. Tim decided that the opportunity was ripe to kill the dean (being that he was agitated, armed, drunk and drugged and with Veronica's paper in hand) and make Landry take the fall as payback for tanking his job prospects. And then...he did nothing for weeks after his faked suicide held up? And when Mindy just happened to get the Marses involved, his plan eventually came to fruition through a series of coincidences he could not have had any control over? I mean...what? I liked it better when I thought Mindy and Landry had conspired to frame each other and both get away with the insurance money.

Inigo: Tim's plan wasn't dumb to him. It was genius because it meant he could sit back and know something Landry didn't know, that the axe was going to fall any minute. It made him smarter than Landry and was revenge served cold. He set off two powder kegs — he used Veronica's paper and he hid the bloody clothes, believing that one or other would trigger off the investigation into the "suicide." I think he probably planted a third — the reference on his computer to "O'Dell's Suicide?" once he knew the Marses were looking into it. The fact is that it was Mindy and the scotch that led to the Mars involvement, but for him it didn't matter. He had been happy to wait and lord it over Landry.

misskiwi: I don't agree. I don't think anything Tim did pushed or potentially could have pushed an investigation into the suicide — or at least, not to the degree I would expect from someone with half a brain. If the clothes had been found months after the suicide when no investigation had been instigated, it's possible they would have just been tossed in the trash — or at the very least, not connected to the dean's suicide. If Mindy hadn't gone to Keith, and if Keith hadn't seen the scotch, how would Tim have gotten his revenge? The longer he waited to serve his cold revenge, the harder it would have been to get an investigation going and have Landry take the fall.

My problem isn't necessarily that it can't be explained. You can fanwank Tim's motivations, or say "he would have done this," but the fact is I don't think it holds up as a credible plan from what we saw on screen.

Inigo: You don't have to fanwank his motivations. They were very clear. What you are complaining about is his method. Remember that this was all done off the cuff. If you look at the board in his lecture, he's written it all out. Opportunity, motive, mental state. That described Tim on December 10th (working off the writers' apparent belief that December 10th started sometime a few days before and didn't end until a day or two after). He was given an opportunity when he had a motive and was in a highly agitated mental state. He didn't have a lot of time and he had to link it to Landry. He did that with the clothes and Veronica's paper. He may not have thought out the finer points. Fanwanking, there's another possibility. He changed his mind and was content to let it go as suicide. His fury with Bonnie was over as soon as she begged him to take her back. His fury with Landry may have blown itself out too.

starxdsparrow: My only question is this: if the case had gone cold, and no one ever thought to further investigate Dean O'Dell's "suicide" (unlikely, sure, since Mindy needed the insurance money, but still possible since "everyone hated the Dean"), what would Tim have gotten out of it? He risked an awful lot on something that might never have played out...and eventually played out against him. What am I missing here? Is it an unimportant nitpick?

Inigo: Mileage varies. Some say it's a fatal flaw.

misskiwi: *cough*

Inigo: Some say that he set up enough with what he did do to ensure it did come to light, particularly the clothes, as that's what he emphasised in his monologue to the class. Couple that with his experience of leading people where he wants them to go, and there's plenty.

topanga: What was Tim's motivation for killing the dean? I agree with your frustration about the unfolding of the murder, misskiwi. But it was executed well enough that I kept wondering if Landry or Mindy or Tim really had done it. I wasn't convinced it was Tim till he joked about Veronica picking up his dry cleaning. And why would he get Veronica involved? I assume it was to uncover Landry's activities and frame him for the murder, but why wouldn't he think that Veronica would figure him out as well? She's already proved that he can't hold a candle to her P.I. skills.

Inigo: topanga, Tim didn't want Veronica involved. He wanted the bug back and got caught by her. He had to improvise and it was in his improvisation that he got sloppy by failing to remove the call between Landry and Reid from Pepperdine. His motive was simple and basic — revenge for Landry's betrayal.

topanga: I still don't understand Tim's motive for killing the dean.

Inigo: He killed the dean to frame Landry for the dean's murder. His target was Landry for sabotaging his application to Pepperdine and not thinking as highly of Tim as Tim thought of himself.

The only question is why did he use Veronica's staged suicide to do it as, unless it was seen through, he doesn't get his revenge on Landry. I think we were able to learn enough about his personality and the things he did do — put Veronica on a chase, chose Veronica's paper, hide the clothes, put a file on his computer called "O'Dell's Suicide?" — to follow his thinking. misskiwi thinks that's fanwanking and his plan as we saw it was not credible.

If you are interested, you should look at the Mystery Spec from 311 on as it's on point.

tallow: He was enjoying playing the big man pulling all the strings. That's my opinion, anyway.

topanga: I still don't buy that motive. Why not just kill Landry? What did poor Cyrus to do to Tim?

Inigo: I doubt Cyrus did anything to Tim. Cyrus meant nothing to him. He was just an opportunity and a means to an end.

Harsh on Cyrus...sure. But then old Tim was a little unbalanced at the time.

starxdsparrow: At the time? He seemed a little unbalanced all the time.

Polter-Cow: Well, according to Tim, no one liked him, so I guess he didn't either.

And killing Landry does nothing, dude. Then Landry's dead and doesn't realize that Tim is awesome. It's not about the murder; it's about showing Landry up. Tim Foyle is an insecure, downtrodden man of hair.

funky-donut: After rewatching, there's a couple things I still don't understand. First of all, it seemed to me that Tim DID want Veronica involved. He had key pieces of evidence that he needed to get to Keith, and using Veronica ensured that Keith would take them seriously, rather than if they had just been coming from Landry's T.A., someone who Keith doesn't know squat about. Using Veronica establishes an unofficial chain of evidence for Keith — rather than some random dude walking up and saying, "I found this tape that implicates Mindy," he's got Veronica's word that it came from Batando's house.

Inigo: I'd agree with that once Veronica caught him trying to get the bug back. From then on he was improvising and from then on he was trying to lead Veronica, and by extension Keith, to the fake alibi and the tape of the Mindy/Landry call. And that's where he got sloppy.

funky-donut:But that brings up the first thing I don't understand — how did Tim get the CD into Batando's house and into that DVD case without Veronica noticing? The second thing I don't understand is why Keith and/or Veronica didn't question when Landry had time to set up his alibi with Mrs. Sansone when her story was first called in to question. I understand they were focused on finding Landry at that point, but it just seems like sloppy detectiving — or writing.

misskiwi: I'm going to go ahead and guess that Tim had already been in Batando's house and was just acting when he asked if there was any way they could get in.

topanga: Great acting by everyone tonight.

alliterator: I loved the acting, but was extremely anticlimactic. I figured out that it was Tim when Landry asked him to help. He was basically the only one who would bug Landry's phone and so I knew he had heard Landry's "recommendation," which I figured was his motive. I did, however, like that he and Veronica teamed up and he genuinely seemed to think she was a good detective.

misskiwi: I knew going into the episode that it would be Tim. After Mindy talked to Keith, I figured Tim must have had Landry's phone bugged and had killed the dean to save Landry's (and, by extension, his?) career. Which, honestly? Would have made more sense. I'm still a big fan of the "Mindy and Landry framed each other on purpose to get away with it" resolution. Really, it would have been brilliant. Mindy frames Landry, then gets the insurance money upon her release and runs for it. Landry then clears himself and implicates Mindy, then takes off as well. And they both sail off into the sunset, happily ever after.

topanga: Word, misskiwi. This is what I thought was going to happen when Landry showed up on the boat. I agree, it would have been brilliant — they got away with duping everyone, collected the money, and could go on with the business of their affair. So they both were responsible for the dean's murder, but they escaped punishment. The Perfect Murder. Both Landry and Mindy were so shady during this investigation (especially Mindy) that I would have bought that scenario in a minute.

Inigo: Would have had to have been a huuuuuge insurance payout to make it worth walking away from their lives, his career...

maribella: I wasn't exactly disappointed by last night's resolution, but I wasn't particularly impressed or wowed, either. I sort of suspected Tim all night (and before, since grim and Inigo's spec was so brilliant), but I KNEW it was him as soon as he said, "Once they start improvising, they get sloppy," just as he himself was improvising his lecture. I agree, though, with those that think Mindy and Landry would have worked better as the culprits. I think I would have been a nice red-herring fake out. I'm guessing a lot of people discounted them because it was "too obvious," so it would have been interesting to play on that component of mystery shows and have it be exactly who it seemed to be. The twist could have been that they got away with it in the end, another thing we haven't seen a culprit manage to do.

Chris: Anticlimactic and predictable.

Inigo: Chris, this confuses me as in the predictions thread you said you had no idea who the killer was, so how was it predictable?

Chris: Because I was right, and 5-10 minutes into the episode I was sure I was right.

I liked Tim and Veronica working together, I was almost looking forward to him being the teacher and her the TA.

maribella: I liked Veronica and Tim together, too, and I was hoping that we might be able to see more of them together in the future.

funky-donut: The thing that really bothered me was that Tim did the exact same thing to Veronica that he did when he forced her to find out about Landry and Mindy. He played her from the start, pretending to be bumbling and bad at detective work, but he was planting clues and leading her in the direction he wanted to go all along. WHY didn't Veronica ever suspect him? She has first-hand knowledge that he wasn't as bumbling as he pretended to be. She knew he was keeping track of the investigation on his computer. She took him at face value the entire episode, up until he made the classic villain mistake of bragging in front of the class. He thought he was in the clear, so he slipped up, and she caught him. But it bothered me that she trusted him right up until that moment.

Polter-Cow: Oh, I'd forgotten about that! Ha. That actually makes it a little bit cooler, even though you're right in that Veronica maybe should have suspected him of doing it again.

Inigo: I think that Veronica not suspecting Tim was two-fold. Firstly, I don't think she rated him that highly. Secondly, she didn't really get the chance because she, and everyone else, was so concentrated on Mindy and Landry. Should she have? Maybe. But she had no reason to think Tim was leading her anywhere, given that she knew that Landry had put forward the alibi.

starxdsparrow: And from the very beginning, it looks like she's got enough stars in her eyes to try to help Landry after he tells her that she's a once-in-a-career student. Tim overheard that conversation, and when he broke into Mars Investigations, he used it against her when he said that Landry was a great man who he'd do anything to help. It was a little bit genius for Tim to use his old flaw (adoring Landry) against Veronica. Also, he plays on the one strength she absolutely knows she has: she's a good detective. She basically shows off for him the entire episode — cutting across him when he almost messes up the talk with the strippers, the little snobbery over using one's sleeve instead of gloves, getting the keys to the evidence room. She's so preoccupied with outdoing him to save her mentor, she never thinks to look his way. As much as I thought I'd never say this, well played, Tim.

funky-donut: You know, sparrow, those are all very good points, and it makes me feel better about the whole thing, actually.

misskiwi: I have no problem with the way Tim played everyone. I'm totally willing to admit that it was brilliant...once the investigation started. Which he had no way of knowing would ever happen, and that's my problem with the initial plan. If he had outright murdered the dean and then played everyone like an orchestra, then that would have been smart.

Oh, and another thing: if the dean could threaten Mindy with being "cut off" after a divorce, how was there no money after his death such that she got Keith involved to prove it was murder? ARGH.

Inigo: You said to me yourself that a live dean was likely to be worth a lot more than a dead one. The dean was threatening to put her on the streets with nothing, which he could easily have done. The big money available to her after his death wasn't his assets, which were basically his income, but the insurance money. So it makes sense that without his income or the insurance, she's got little or nothing, whether he's kicked her out or he's died.

misskiwi: ...Okay, I suppose he could have been talking about cutting her off from alimony instead of some mystery nest egg that later proved non-existent.

Oh, and also? Given that we saw Tim lay into Bonnie at the Pi Sig party and that Bonnie said she went after Tim after the party and they made up, isn't it a bit of a stretch that Tim just happened to be currently (or, at the very least, within an hour) listening to the bug on Landry's phone at 1:30 in the morning?

Inigo: I don't see the stretch to Tim listening to the call after the fight and make-up with Bonnie. Remember that there were two things that set him over the edge that night. Bonnie and Pepperdine. Once Bonnie had gone, he was obsessing over Landry and how to get back at him. Of course he checked his computer.

funky-donut: I actually think he staged that fight to provide himself with a little bit of an alibi should he ever need it. Lots of people saw him get in that fight with Bonnie, and I'm sure Bonnie herself would have said that she was with him after the fight. I fanwank a little here, but I bet he slipped out on Bonnie to go kill Cyrus. But then again, it may have just been a coincidence, since I guess he didn't hear his opportunity — Cyrus being drunk and despondent — until after the fight.

Inigo: There was time. Tim's display at the party was long before O'Dell even went to the Neptune Grand.

maribella: I sort of started to like Landry, creepy adulterer that he is. Morally reprehensible or not, he probably could have taught Veronica a few things. He's another character I think I'll miss.

topanga: So Landry really did kill Mindy on purpose? I thought his grieving moment was excessive, but I thought it was the actor overdoing it or Landry trying to act grief-stricken and doing a bad job of it.

starxdsparrow: I think he must have — it seems like the only way he'd confess to the crime. Well, unless Cabo made him crazy... which he did seem a little cracked (methed?) out during his grieving accidental murder bit.

misskiwi: Not necessarily. He could confess to having a fight with her and her falling overboard, which would be a confession of manslaughter.

starxdsparrow: Ah, right! Well, that is what Keith charged him with, so perhaps that was the confession he was talking about. So, in that case, I guess Landry didn't do it on purpose? Hmm...I don't like that as much, but I think I had it in for Mindy a little bit.

funky-donut: It seemed legit to me that it was an accident. I really liked Landry by the end there, too, and the way he was on the boat, with the cut on his forehead... He seemed genuinely broken up that he had killed Mindy.

topanga: I like Keith as sheriff. He's very competent, and you can tell he doesn't take crap from anyone. But he still has a gentle spirit.

persnicketier: I like Keith as sheriff too. And I loved how Veronica and Keith were actually working together, instead of hiding it from each other, especially Veronica.

starxdsparrow: And, really, not one mention of Lamb's death? Not one? Was anyone else a little surprised?

Inigo: In what context would they mention him, though? Other than to remark at what a crap job he'd been doing, and that seems inappropriate. Just because Lamb's dead, I don't see it being in the character of any of them to be grieving for him, even Sacks whom he treated like shit.

funky-donut: A little, sparrow. I did like that they explained that there will be a special election and that Keith is only Acting Sheriff.

misskiwi: Yeah, because I was confused last week as to how Keith would just magically become Sheriff like that.

funky-donut: The thing that I thought was a little off was that Keith would call Veronica and share details of the investigation with her. I mean, I know he knew she was working to clear Landry, but it seems like it would pretty much be a no-no to do that, since she's not, you know, a deputy.

misskiwi: Well, I guess, (a) he's only the Acting Sheriff and (b) it's probably hard to undo all the years of working together as P.I.s overnight.

Inigo: I hope that's something they tackle, because it bothered me too — a lot. There is no way Keith should be letting Veronica have free reign.

topanga: Yay for Wallace. All one minute of him. I loved their exchange about Veronica's mustache and Wallace being one of the Gilmore Girls.

funky-donut: Yes, that was very cute, and I liked his awkwardness at trying to get into scary territory with Veronica. Here's hoping we get more scenes of their friendship for the remainder of the season.

topanga: I like that Parker felt weird about dating Logan.

persnicketier: Me too. And I like that Veronica really didn't seem to care. And it sure was nice to have a break from the Logan/Veronica drama. It was getting really old. I hope Parker knows what she's getting into (of course she doesn't).

topanga: Why wouldn't he think Veronica or Parker would have a problem with him going out with Parker? It goes back to him being selfish and not a very considerate boyfriend. KB said in an interview that Logan gets to "sleep with whoever he wants" and he doesn't think he's a bad person. Neither do fans. I totally agree with her assessment.

starxdsparrow: This is probably just me positing what I think she should feel onto her, but I felt like she cared — like she cared a lot. She went all high pitched and super smiley before she scurried into Tim's office. Of course, it could just be my wishful thinking.

misskiwi: No, I agree — she seemed a little overly chipper, which for Veronica means a big ol' dose of repressed emotion.

funky-donut: Yeah, especially after the way she cut off Parker and ran when Parker tried to talk to her about it. She had to know what was coming, and her forced attempts at friendliness and the "Echolls" at Logan seemed like she just wanted to get it all over with.

But the most important question to me going into the final five episodes: Who will run against Keith in the election? I'd love it if it were Sacks.

Inigo: Pfft.

misskiwi: Backup for Sheriff!

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