Hello there, we’re back for week two of the new ABC reality murder-mystery show “Whodunnit?” The show, just as a refresher, puts a group of assorted people from various backgrounds, including a couple of journalists, a former detective, a private eye, and so forth, into a house and a series of ghastly murders unfold. Eventually one person will be left standing after figuring out who the killer is, and they’ll win $250,000, which seems like a pretty hefty prize to give someone who failed to prevent a single murder. Anyway, without further ado, here’s what you need to know about episode two!
10. Dontae is Still Dead
You may remember Dontae, the little dude who came streaking out of the house and jumped into the pool in the middle of the night at the tail end of the pilot, as the guy who did so while being engulfed in flames. Well, he’s still dead. Sorry, devoted fans of Dontae. As you might guess, this was not some freak accident in which Dontae was lighting some incense and set himself on fire. No, it was a case of arson. A really hilarious case of arson, sparked by static electricity. Yes, that pun was intentional.
As it turns out Dontae’s socks and shag carpet built up static electricity after the killer hit the fire alarm and went for the door. His pajamas were coated in benzene, so when he touched the door handle the static discharge caused his arm to burst into flame, and that was the end of Dontae, who probably could have tried to stop, drop, and roll, or better yet, just ditch the freaking pajamas as soon as they caught fire. Dontae was probably a nice enough guy, but apparently he wasn’t the brightest. Though he did have a talking head segment at the end of the second episode saying how cool his death was, so maybe he’ll return as zombie Dontae? Are there going to be zombies on this show? That’d be cool.
By the way, if you are curious, over 700 people are killed each year in the United States in cases of arson. Oh, and my leading suspect, Don? He used to be an arson investigator in addition to being a homicide detective, apparently. Yet he continues to bumble his way through the second episode, content to be a run of the mill doofus. Yeah, I’m still leaning toward Don as the killer.
9. No One Can Leave the Mansion, Including the Butler
So the show lets us in on a secret early on, and that secret is that not even Giles, the mysteriously and mildly creepy and over the top butler, is allowed to leave the mansion. It’s not explicitly said what happens when you try to escape, but given what happens at the end of the episode I think we have a pretty solid idea. Giles, it turns out, is wearing an ankle monitor so that the killer is able to track him wherever he goes.
Speaking of ankle bracelets, did you know that the first time an ankle monitoring system was ever put into place was in 1983 in New Mexico when a judge got the idea from…Spider-Man? Believe it or not, it’s true. The judge, a guy named Jack Love, had read a comic strip in which Kingpin was electronically tracking Spidey via an electronic bracelet on his wrist. Figuring that if something works in comic books it must work in reality, so he put it into practice. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find an invisible jet, because I read about one in a comic book once.
8. Pajamas Play a Giant Role in This Episode
I already mentioned Dontae’s pajamas that were soaked in benzene, and as it turns out pajamas were one of the biggest clues of the entire episode. I thought it was peculiar when I noticed that everyone was wearing matching pajamas in the opening scene, and apparently the producers wanted us to notice because of how central a role they played. Everyone was wearing dark blue pajamas, and they kept them on for the entire freaking episode because apparently they are lazy schlubs.
Dontae, on the other hand, had plaid pajamas, proving that dead men do in fact wear plaid. And also, the whole thing just confirmed that it’s far safer to sleep naked.
7. Sasha the Investigative Journalist Has Braces, by the Way
It’s nothing to be embarrassed about though, Sasha, as a lot of non-children wear braces. No, seriously, according to some research back in 2006 up to 1 in 5 braces wearers are adults. The fact that braces have advanced to the point of being nearly invisible, it’s helped a lot of people overcome the social stigma of wearing braces past the age of 13 and work on getting their teeth straight.
It’s not just regular schmucks like you and me, either. Tom Cruise is perhaps the most famous person to have worn braces later in life, though frankly I’m not sure why the hell he decided he needed them since his teeth always looked okay to me. Still, that didn’t stop him from wearing some ceramic braces to the premiere of Minority Report back in 2002. Other famous faces that have been adorned by braces (apologies for the rhyme) include Faith Hill, Justin Bieber, and Katherine Heigl.
6. Melina Can’t Pronounce the Name “Agatha”
In one of the most hilarious scenes in the episode, Melina the flight attendant has an awfully hard time saying the name “Agatha.” She pronounced it “ah-GATH-uh” which, really, you probably have to hear for full effect. I think this is worthy of its own item because seriously, it was just fantastic. I had to rewind like five times just to confirm she was trying to say Agatha.
5. It Doesn’t Matter, No One Remembers The Name Agatha
Of course it doesn’t really matter how she pronounces the name Agatha after everyone started trying to tell lies and couldn’t even remember which names were fake and which one was real. Here’s the setup for this: the people investigating Dontae’s bedroom found a note alongside a gift box that apparently contained a necklace with a Saint Agatha pendant, which we later find out Dontae was wearing at the time of his death. Saint Agatha was the patron saint of protection from fires, so yeah, it was ironic but I can’t help but feel they honed in on Agatha as a subtle nod to Agatha Christie.
That said, Geno the bar trivia host (because that’s a real job I guess) decided almost immediately he wanted to lie to people and say the note said Agnes or Augustine, but here’s the thing: even in his talking head segments he was fooling himself with the names. He kept thinking it was actually Augustine, then Agnes, and he even slipped in an Augustus before finally settling on Agatha and cupping his head in his hands. Apparently he was almost embarrassed as I was for him. If he’d realized just how many other people were butchering their own lies, which proved inconsequential because the whole Saint Agatha thing was pretty much a red herring, he may not have been as embarrassed. But still, he should have been. What an idiot.
4. There Was a New Riddle Involving Flags and Laundry
So midway through the episode, once everyone has gotten a chance to investigate either the morgue, the crime scene, or the last known whereabouts, Giles shows up with some flags on some trays (and a couple of maids flanking him, standing silently, their eyes telling the story their mouths are too terrified to vocalize) and tells everyone there’s a new riddle left from the killer. And my word, it’s an absurdly easy riddle that only for people actually get.
The riddle is something about liquid fire above a cycle, and something about don’t drag your feet or else you could ignite. I don’t know, it was pretty dumb and if anyone had stopped to think about it for half of a second they could have figured out exactly what it meant. Somehow Melina, the same person who couldn’t figure out how to say Agatha, was the first person to realize that “cycle” probably meant laundry, and she went and immediately found the bottle of benzene used to douse Dontae’s clothes above the washing machine. Meanwhile other people were looking at the gas grill out by the pool, and Adrianna was terrified of being near a gas fireplace for fear that it might cause her flag to explode. The sharpest tools, these are not.
The dragging of the feet clearly hinted at the static electricity that was used to ignite the fire, something Kam found out when he got the crap shocked out of him when he found the correct door that the riddle pointed to.
3. The Killer Apparently Wants to be Caught?
While I realize this is a reality show and the purpose is for the best investigator to come out on top, taken on its own and treating it as a real murder mystery it seems bizarre that each week the two people who find themselves in the sights of the killer are people who completely suck at solving the crimes. Seriously, the entire method through which people who are “scared” as opposed to “spared” is to select the two people who are completely off with their guesses as to the killer’s identity.
You would think this has something to do with the old thing about how serial killers really want to be caught, except according to no less than the FBI that’s a load of crap. See, according to federal research and analysis it isn’t that these killers want to be caught, rather that they’ve become so adept at killing that they begin to get lazy because they feel invincible. Just ask Dexter.
2. But He or She Won’t be Caught by Adrianna
Oh Adrianna, we hardly knew ye. And to be honest, I’m not sure any of us wanted to. You were a little annoying, to the point where even your fellow “house guests” openly cringed and rolled their eyes at the thought of working with you. But at least you went out with a bang (literally), and didn’t completely lose it when you found out you were a target of the killer. I can’t say the same about Dana, who completely broke down and tossed this little gem at us: “I don’t want to see myself dead!”
Well, don’t worry Dana, if you were actually dead I don’t think you’d have to worry about seeing yourself in that state. That said, Adriana the TV crime reporter took her fate like a champ, running from the killer before trying to escape in a golf cart that hilariously exploded. Apparently the killer is a stickler for the rules of golf etiquette and would prefer for you to walk the course. I’d hate to see the killer come across Casey Martin.
1. The Next Episode Includes a Goofy Cartoon Bomb
While the team is investigating the mysterious golf cart related death of Adrianna – the type of death that, amazingly, is more common than you’d think – apparently our fearless butler Giles is going to be stalking about the mansion with a rifle, which begs several questions including, if there is a killer on the loose, why isn’t everyone armed? And what makes Giles the go-to rifleman?
More importantly than that is the fact that at one point during the quick glimpses from next week there appears to be a very comical, straight out of Bugs Bunny bomb that makes an appearance. Considering the ratings slipped from 4.0 million viewers for the premiere to 3.2 million for this episode, perhaps the show itself is the bomb. Either way, we can only hope that this hilarious cartoon bomb in the show leads to a scene just like this classic as Don the detective and possible murderer tries to save the day: