Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Whodunnit? Episode 2: Fire Starter

Welcome to episode 2, mortals! In my excitement about this show, I watched season 1 of The Mole this week. For those of you who don't know what The Mole is, I'll explain a bit about it before diving into Dontae's Inferno. It's a lot like Whodunnit? in the fact that among the contestants is a traitor. In The Mole, the contestants compete to win money for the group, which one person will win at the end of the competition. Among these contestants is "The Mole", a person paid by the show to secretly sabotage the group and keep them from winning money. At the end of each episode, the contestants would take a test where they were asked questions about who The Mole is. The person who did the worst on the test would be eliminated. I'd been told that it's a lot like Whodunnit? and in most cases, I agree. But at the end I'll talk about some comparisons and why the format for The Mole is a bit better, in my opinion.
For now, I'll walk you through the show a bit. I will caution you with a *SPOILER ALERT* because I'm about to talk about the deaths. So if you haven't seen the show and don't want to know who dies, stop reading.

We start off where we ended last episode, with everyone being awakened by the alarm, and Dontae running out of the house on fire and plunging into the pool. Everyone is very visibly shaken, and I really can't fault them for that. Clearly, they know he isn't actually going to die, but seeing someone fully on fire can leave a person extremely shaken. They gather in the foyer and Giles announces that Dontae is dead. He then says that they are all in this together and shows the contestants that he is wearing an ankle monitor, implying that he cannot leave the house. It bothers me that this was mostly skimmed over. We don't know why he has that or how he got it. He just can't leave the house. I almost feel like this is also important for later in the episode.

The contestants again are allowed to search one area: The crime scene, the last known whereabouts, and the morgue. I'm not sure how accurate this is, since the scene of the crime and the last known whereabouts are really BOTH his bedroom, but I'm not going to complain, since both places seem to have important clues. We first get to see the last known whereabouts. They discover a burst of soot around the door, and they see that Dontae was given a jewelry box, with a note about a necklace and Saint Agatha's protection. The necklace is nowhere to be found, and they assume it will be discovered at the crime scene. They think the lamp might have started the fire, and notice that the rug is untouched. I feel like I'm already a bit ahead of the contestants, because I think that it's obvious that he caught on fire upon touching the doorknob. That's where the burst came from!

At the scene of the crime, they fish out some socks and notice that he was wearing different socks, and that they aren't extremely burnt, indicating that the fire started higher in the body.They then find a chain with a medallion that seems to match the Saint Agatha box. They also find plaid material, which they assume to be from pajamas, which once again, are different from the pajamas they're wearing. Adrianna sees some lock gone from the door and seems to think it's significant, just as she did last week with the trunk corner, which turned out to be irrelevant.

Down in the morgue, Don says to look for the place where the fire started, which will be the hottest, most burnt part of the body. The two places they immediately see are the right arm, and a spot on the chest. Their first assumption is that it started in his torso, and he tried to protect himself with his arm. I completely disagree, because his arm looks even more charred to a crisp. I'm sure it had to start there when he touched the doorknob. They then notice that he's wearing plaid pajamas, which are totally different from the "estate pajamas" that the living are all wearing. The night before, at dinner, Giles had mentioned that they should all wear the estate pajamas for the pajama brunch in the morning. Clearly, Dontae assumed that these were the correct pajamas. Everyone begins to realize that there must be something important about these pajamas and that they were meant for Dontae, and only Dontae. There must be something on them that helped to trigger the fire.

Time for the pajama brunch, and the sharing of information! Everyone huddles with the people who were with them at the different locations, and they decide what information to share, and what information to keep to themselves. The people at the last known whereabouts decide to give people the wrong name in hopes of figuring out if someone at the scene of the crime or morgue finds the necklace. The crime scene people decide to not tell people about the chain, because they think it's significant. Kam decides that Lindsey needs to be the third in his and Ulysses' alliance, and Ulysses seems a touch hesitant, but trusts Kam. Lindsey seems ok with this, because she's failed to get accurate information so far. Melina talks to some people about Saint Augustine, and immediately Sasha knows that something is going on, because the medallion said Saint Agatha. Adrianna is doing a terrible job of keeping the necklace a secret, because when Ronnie mentions it, he can tell that she knows about the necklace. Melina decides to tell Sasha about the necklace, and tells her the correct name... but apparently cannot pronounce Agatha. Geno can't even remember the correct name and accidentally told Ulysses the correct name while talking to him.

Time for another riddle! And another bad pun (Giles had to flag the contestants down... with the huge flag.) Each contestant gets a small flag, and have to solve the riddle on the back of the big flag. They are told to find fire in liquid form, and are told to look above the cycle and that dragging their feet could be the death of them. Ronnie goes to the barbecue and starts looking for liquid fire, since the biCYCLES are next to them. Makes sense... but isn't correct. Adrianna searches fireplaces. She and Lindsey try to see if turning on the fire does anything. Melina looks for the laundry room because they have cycles. Melina finds a bottle of benzene above the washer (highly flamable, makes sense) and it has a message on it saying to spray it on her flag and "find the same". It also says it is time to drag their feet, because those who die cannot compete. when she, Kam, Cris, Dana, and Ulysses spray their flags, a pink stripe appears on the back. Lindsey and Adrianna are still trying to light a fire, and Don and Ronnie are still barking up the wrong tree as well. Cris and Kam realize that they need to be looking for the crest with a pink stripe in the middle. Kam knows he's seen it somewhere upstairs. He finds it on a door, and when he tries to open it, he gets a nasty shock, and the crest catches on fire. Kam, Ulysses, and Cris are the only ones to be there to get the full story. The three of them join with Lindsey. Kam wants Cris to be part of them, because she seems to be a good ally.

While the four of them are talking, multiple people try to talk to them. First, Sasha goes over, trying to talk to Kam. He asks for her to give him a second, but she is persistent and takes forever to actually leave. Dana is convinced that Ulysses will tell her, because of a pact they made in the first episode while down in the morgue. Next, Adrianna barges over, saying she wants to be included, and Kam has to be the bad guy and be rude until she leaves. Dana and Sasha seem to think that their method of breaking up the group is a good one and that they need to keep trying to talk to everyone, but Melina thinks this isn't a good idea. Even when Melina tries to talk to Ronnie, Dana barges in frantically. She then goes outside and yells across the yard at Ulysses, who once again asks for her to wait for a minute. In the end, she never gets information from Ulysses. I hope this shows her that she can't just depend on other people to succeed in this show.

Geno and Ronnie seem to be using their brains (rather than other people) to figure out what is going on. They seem completely sure that they have the correct story, and I have to agree with them, as well as commend them for trying to figure out the evidence that they have rather than trying to get other people to talk to them over and over. I mean, if insanity simply doing the same thing multiple times and expecting different results, then we have some crazies in this house!

It's now time for them to state their cases. Kris, Adrianna, Ulysses, Kam, and Geno are all accused. They seem to all have the general gist of this one, because it is, in my opinion, a lot easier to figure out than the one last week. It's in the details this time, so they really have to have their details straight to figure this one out. At dinner, there's a pretty big argument, and I may get some flack for this, I'm really on Kam and Ulysses' side. The others were being really obnoxious, and they kept interrupting a conversation that clearly was intended to be private. And they never took the hint that they weren't going to get any information from Kam and Ulysses. So it's really their own fault. They had Ronnie and Geno at their disposal, who figured it out on their own, and the others could have done the same.

Giles comes in and announces that Ulysses is ON FIRE, and has correctly solved the murder. He then tells them how the crime was committed. The murderer left Dontae benzene soaked pajamas and socks, as well as the necklace that was supposed to protect him. Dontae found all of these, put them on, and went to sleep. The murderer set off the fire alarm, and Dontae jumped out of bed, gathered up static electricity by running across the shag rug, and what normally would've been a static shock turned into a blazing fire. He ran downstairs and dove into the pool, and his socks and necklace fell off.

It seems like the only point to the necklace was to confuse the contestants, and it did for a bit, because the people in the morgue initially thought that the fire started in the torso, when really the fire just heated the necklace up, causing Dontae to be more severely burned there. The same seems to go for the pajamas- Dontae could've easily been wearing the same pajamas and socks, which had been soaked in benzene, but different ones were used, clearly so that the contestants would notice something was different about them. Or you could make the argument that the killer just didn't want to mix them up with anyone else's.

The contestants receive their spared/scared cards. Dana gets the first scared card, and she starts crying. She says that she's used to being successful at everything, and it's hard for her to fail. I'm sorry, but I hate when people have this attitude. You can't be good at everything in life, and you can't just break down when you fail at something, and you CAN'T just expect that you're going to be everything. No high horse here, please! And I can tell that Ulysses does seem genuinely sorry for Dana, because he knows he could have helped her. Adrianna gets the second scared card, and everyone else is spared. Dana is convinced that Adrianna is the killer, and is therefore convinced that it's her. Adrianna seems resigned to whatever fate comes for her.

Time skips forward to 7:13 AM. *SPOILER ALERT* We see Adrianna drop some cereal and run out a door. She runs across the lawn to a golf cart, and speeds away, looking behind her as if someone is chasing her. The cart stops and suddenly there is a huge explosion, and Adrianna blasts into the air. In the promo for next week, it is confirmed that she is dead, and the contestants all run out upon seeing/hearing the explosion. It seems that the killer has left them a message in the form of a bomb. It seems like more strategy is coming into play, and that it's a bit of an "us" and "them" mentality with Kam, Ulysses, Lindsey, and Cris vs. Sasha and Dana, and maybe even Melina and the others. It also seems as though there is a discovery in a room, as we see Giles entering a room with a gun and pointing it at something. So it seems like we're in for an interesting and dramatic. Also, in a commercial that I literally just saw a minute ago, it looks like some sort of panther was set loose in the house, so that must be what Giles was pointing a gun at.

Okay, time for me to give you a bit of an update on what I think about each person! One thing I've noticed is that I'm A LOT more suspicious of the women than the men. So I definitely suspect all of the women more than pretty much ANY of the men.

Adrianna: I had decided that she probably wasn't the killer even before she got killed, but I REALLY wanted her to be the killer, because she's really the only one that I don't like at all. 

Cris: I'm fairly suspicious of her. She doesn't seem to have the personality that would accompany a beauty queen. And she seems to be really flying under the radar. Those are really the only reasons I'm suspicious of her, though.

Dana: She wasted A LOT of time during the time between the riddle and the accusations. They could've been trying to figure something out, but instead, she insisted she would get information. I don't trust her at all.

Don: I still haven't seen any reason to not trust him. I think he seems like a genuine guy. And the poor guy keeps having to get important information from other people.

Geno: I still don't trust him. I appreciate that he and Ronnie figured it out on their own, but he seems to be keeping to himself so much and that just doesn't work in this game... unless you're the killer!

Kam: Kam is one of my favorites. I think I trust him more than I did before. I'm still a little suspicious of him, but I don't think he's the killer.

Lindsey: I'm still very suspicious of her. She and Dontae didn't see the last clue last week. He died, yet she was spared?! I'm not sure it was a good idea for Ulysses and Kam to bring her into their alliance.
Melina: She still seems like a really genuine and trustworthy person... kinda. She seems to get emotional about EVERYTHING. She cries constantly. I think that seems really suspicious. If she's the killer, she's doing a great "naive" act, but I'm just not sure if it's real yet.

Ronnie: I still think that he's the least likely to be the killer. I fully trust him, and I think he's going to do well. He's one of my favorites.

Sasha: Last episode, I liked her, but the more I see of her, the less I like her. She had such an attitude when trying to get Kam to talk to her. She's just getting on my nerves, and I'm not sure I trust her.

Ulysses: I still think that I can trust him. He and Kam are my favorites, and I don't think he's the killer. So far, I'm hoping that he continues to do well.

OK, now for the show comparisons. There's one key factor where I think The Mole was better as far as formatting. In The Mole, the contestants' key important role was to figure out who The Mole is, and if they did a poor job at that, then they got eliminated. On Whodunnit? it seems like figuring out the killer is the LEAST of their concerns. Figuring out the murder is most important. And I'm not sure how good that is, as far as formatting. I mean, how are you going to know who to trust if you're not really trying to figure out who the murderer is?! At this point, it almost seems like NONE of them are the killer, because everyone seems to be focused almost entirely on discovering how the murder was committed, rather than... wait for it... Whodunnit?! I'm not sure that's a great way to go about things.

I also discovered, through listening to a podcast (Rob Has A Podcast, for anyone who wants to check it out. I'd highly recommend it. I enjoy listening to them discuss the show, and I get more info, as well.) that there is a component much like The Mole, which we don't actually see. The contestants take a test about the murderer, the crime, etc. separate from their accusations that we see on video. I think this is a very good thing, because when people describe things, you can't really concretely say that one person was the absolute least accurate, because everyone is going to say too much or too little in different areas. And who's to say whether saying something incorrect is worse than leaving a detail out? The test is much more concrete and can be definitively scored to give a clear death. So, that's an important component that we just don't see.

Another thing I heard on the podcast that I found really interesting was that in the middle of the night, when Dontae was killed, Dana and Sasha both had red ribbons in their hair, and the same ribbon was on the pajamas that Dontae received. Now, they all might have had those same ribbons on their pajamas as well, and had the same idea about tying their hair with the ribbon, but it seems suspicious. Is it possible that the killer has an accomplice? Like it's Sasha and Dana is her accomplice? Or it's Dana and Sasha is her accomplice? That might make sense. If a killer takes a liking to someone, would it be that ridiculous for them to feed information to that person so that they succeed?

Well, that's the end of my review. I'm really excited about next week and can't wait til then. See you next week, mortals!


  1. More great information! I'm glad you mentioned The Mole - I haven't seen that show, and after the third episode, I was beginning to think that whoever the killer turns out to be, that person didn't know until the end.

    As for someone being paid to be among the participants... wouldn't that be Giles? Or do you think there's another person too? Dana's profile outside of the show seems to indicate that she's a fairly good actress, even though she claims to be a cardiac nurse...

    I found this interview with Giles in TV Guide:

    Jackson claims he didn't know who the killer was either, and it was someone he completely overlooked. The two who seem the most innocent (and therefore easily overlooked) are Melina and Lindsey... but I'm leaning more and more towards Dana being the killer. The comment she made about Adrianna giving herself a scared card to throw off suspiscion (sp?) could just as easily be her own confession.

    It could also be that Jackson overlooked his own character, Giles.

    What do you think?

    1. I definitely agree with you in the thought that Dana is the killer. She seems to be really distracting and off on her own trains of thought. I also really suspect Lindsey.

      This really reminds me of the mole, because Anderson Cooper, the host, didn't know who the mole was until like a day before the finale. So I think that it may give some credibility to Giles as simply the host. I definitely think that you're thinking along the right lines.

  2. I think the thought of Giles playing a "part" in the killings is an interesting thought. I recently started watching the show ( I started with the third episode) and I must say I've been somewhat obsessed with it. Or at least obsessed with the idea of a detective game based on crimesolving. I even read the whodunnit book this week. It's very light reading, even if you really take your time to try snd figure out things before the book tells you. The ending does point to some odd things involving Giles at the end. Someone else is revealed to be the killer...but then I got the feeling it was just a cover for Giles being the real killer...the ending of the book was the most mysterious part. And some things are mentioned that really beg the question: why are they telling me this snd what does that really mean? Much like a bad episode of CSI some of the science behind the murders in the book is not 100% accurate and kinda kills credibility, but I enjoyed it anyway. Kinda like how you can see the boots the stunt double for Dontae was wearing when she tripped in the hall, even though he was supposedly just in his pajamas and socks. It kinda kills it for me when my attention to detail is better that the production crew, and editors.

    1. I've bought the book, I just haven't read it yet... There's another book I need to focus on right now... Interesting that perhaps there is "reasonable doubt" about Giles being the killer or not...

      Right now I'm almost completely convinced that The Killer is Dana -- (Read my blog post here: http://iziezi.blogspot.com/2013/07/whodunnit-killer-theory.html ) -- but I'm not completely convinced that Giles is *not* The Killer.

    2. Keith: At this point, I've mostly eliminated Giles from suspicion, but I'm only halfway through the book. Also, what was your opinion on the book? So far, it feels somewhat poorly written (wording-wise, not story-wise) but I'm pretty hooked and excited to see what happens. I'm kinda rooting for Bryce to win and for Jacqueline to be the killer.

      Iziezi: Definitely read the book when you get a chance. I'm pretty hooked on it.


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