Best mystery TV questions of all time

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Matlock picture

The Temptation - S8-E14

Question: A couple of scenes show Leanne at the beach. At the end, Ben in his usual suit, is walking on the beach, saying, "I thought I might find you here." If Ben has a practice in Atlanta, lives in an Atlanta suburb, isn't the beach a bit of a drive - about 2-3 hours from Atlanta? Of course, it's not impossible. I just don't see Ben or his daughter taking a quick jaunt to the beach.

Answer: Leanne often went to the beach whenever she was upset about something. In this episode, Leanne realised that Kevin, the guy she had been seeing, had broken into her home and taken her diary in hopes of learning everything about her. This upset her because her privacy had been invaded and Kevin thought that the entries in her diary described the kind of man she was looking for. Ben drove down to the beach to comfort Leanne.

Only problem with that is that earlier in the episode LeeAnn went for a jog on the beach. She drives three hours to jog?

She didn't go for a jog. She went there because she was upset.

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The X-Files picture

Show generally

Question: In a vast majority of the episodes, whenever Mulder and Scully investigate some mysterious or paranormal phenomenon, Mulder believes that some unknown force is responsible but Scully always has a rational explanation for what is happening. In other episodes, when Scully herself is caught up in something mysterious, she is the believer but Mulder is the skeptic. In those episodes, why would Mulder be skeptical about an unexplained phenomenon considering that he a was witness to his own sisters abduction and he saw many strange things that defied explanation while working for the F.B.I.?

Answer: As he stated many times throughout the series, Mulder needed Scully to be sober and skeptical. Whenever Scully's skepticism wavered and she started questioning her own rationality, Mulder would try to restore her sense of skepticism, because he needed her to be clear-thinking.

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: A variety of reasons. Just because Scully saw something unusual does not mean that it was. Mulder always needs concrete proof before he'll believe there's some otherworldly explanation for unexplained phenomena. He's too experienced to take a novice's explanation as fact. It is also a plot by device by the writers to switch the tables on the characters to make it more interesting and to let viewers see another side of their relationship.

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Bones picture

The Girl in the Mask - S4-E23

Question: When Doctor Brennan is examining the victim's skull, she states that a "straight suture across the palatine bone" indicates that the victim was a native Japanese speaker. I've studied linguistics, but I've never heard of a person's native language actually affecting their anatomy. So, for example: would a person of Japanese heritage who was born and raised in the US and spoke only English be distinguishable from a person who grew up in Japan and spoke only Japanese, purely by their palatine bones? (00:06:10)

tinsmith

Answer: Since the palatine bone is a bone that helps form the mouth it has a lot to do with speaking. The shape of it differs a lot depending on your ethnic background. I would guess that they, in the show, meant that the person's bone tells that they were Japanese and that it was "made for the purpose of speaking Japanese." That's what I'd assume anyway. I've studied molecular biology though, so I'm not an expert on bones.

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Chosen answer: Her agent/manager negotiated a special billing as part of her contract. It distinguishes her from the rest of the cast, probably when she became a producer on the show.

JC Fernandez

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House, M.D. picture

Occam's Razor - S1-E3

Question: I apologize I guessed at the episode, it was the one which featured Brandon, the boy who had the pills mix up and had sex with his fiancée at the beginning. I'm a little confused as to the ending, what was the significance of the letters on the pills? Why did the two doctors make a big deal about it when Brandon told them about it? Why was House so pleased to find those two pills in the inventory? It seemed like a sudden end to me.

Answer: You have the right episode. The big deal at the end about the letters on the pills was to show that Brandon had the wrong pills all along. House was smiling because he was right.

MoonFaery Premium member

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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit picture

Show generally

Question: Why does Oliver Gates come up with ridiculous reasons for the people he defends whenever they commit murder? In the episode "Hate", Sean Webster was killing Muslims and Oliver claims that his hatred was genetic but, it was found out that Sean had been raised to hate Muslims after his dad left his mom and married a muslim. In the episode "Game" a guy is murdering people the exact same way that's done in a video game when it's clear the suspect is using the video game as a scapegoat for his crimes.

Answer: His clients are guilty and won't take a plea. He's using desperate defenses in hopes of swaying a juror or two. Also makes for better television. "Temporary insanity" isn't nearly as compelling as "the video games made me do it."

Brian Katcher

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Monk picture

Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike - S5-E2

Question: Why would it have been political suicide if it was discovered that Mayor Nicholson was secretly meeting with Cusack to end the garbage strike? If anything, if the people found out that they were meeting to find a way to end the garbage strike, wouldn't that have made everybody happy considering how much garbage was piling up all over the city?

Answer: The two men are trying to work out a secret deal between them without involving the union, which means the workers' interests aren't being represented and defeats the whole purpose of a union. The mayor would lose labor's support and Cusack's union troubles would just be starting.

Captain Defenestrator

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Supernatural picture

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Question: Not long after first meeting angels, it is established that they do not have genitals, or "junk" as Dean puts it. But in S06E10 Castiel gets an erection while watching porn and in S08E22, Castiel is required to kill a nephilim, the offspring of an angel and a human. If angels do not have genitals how are these two things possible?

Answer: Angels themselves may not have genitalia, but their vessels do. Nephilim occur when an angel in a vessel reproduces.

Greg Dwyer

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Answer: It's explained in the episode. The aliens are experimenting to see how humans react to various scenarios. This just happens to involve them using super strength.

Thanks. It's been a long time since I saw the episode so I forgot.

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Answer: He believed that she had become too empathetic towards the defendant they had been prosecuting, and that her actions were driven by her emotions instead of facts. While empathy is a good quality in general, a certain degree of detachment is required in order for a prosecutor to do one's job effectively.

Cubs Fan Premium member

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Arrow picture

Pilot - S1-E1

Question: What is the song the kicks in when Tommy says, "Have you noticed how hot your sister has gotten?", and then plays on when Tommy and Oliver are driving around in the SLR?

Friso94

Chosen answer: "C'mon Doll" by My Goodness.

Bishop73

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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation picture

Suckers - S4-E13

Question: After finding out that Ty was committing insurance fraud, why did Grissom walk away instead of arresting him?

Answer: He doesn't have the authority to arrest him - when anyone is arrested in the show, a police officer does it. Also he tells Ty that he is going to be submitting his case findings to Ty's insurance company, who would no doubt contact the IRS, who then would have him arrested for fraud etc.

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Quantum Leap picture

Leaping of the Shrew - September 27, 1956 - S5-E3

Question: Shortly after Sam throws some items off the life raft, Al appears and tells him that because of what Sam had done, neither he nor Vanessa would be saved for quite a while. If Sam had not done anything, both of them would have been rescued within an hour. I might be wrong about this next part so further verification will help. Al also said that because of Sam throwing stuff into the ocean, that somehow, instead if only being stranded in the lifeboat for a few minutes, four whole hours have passed. How could tossing anything into the ocean have made time move so rapidly?

Answer: Sam threw items off the raft to lighten the load, so it wouldn't sink, in doing so he made the raft less heavy. Which made easier to float with the currents, if it was heavy the raft would have moved slower and not moved so far.

Except that Al said that immediately after throwing stuff out of the boat four hours passed and it was shown that they didn't really move from where they were. They were still in the same spot. Forgot to ask this too. When Sam and Vanessa are stranded on the island, one of them, can't remember who, did something and when Al appears, he tells them that because of it, time had suddenly skipped several more hours and if the event hadn't been interrupted, they would have been rescued by a boat. So, what happened on the island that once again caused time to speed up? It seems kind of strange that time could move so quickly on the island, especially since it was still day time and it never showed any sort of changes like the sun or clouds moving.

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Columbo picture

Show generally

Question: Why was Columbo never promoted, given that across the whole show he solves all the murders in such a spectacular fashion?

Answer: In the show, he was already a Lieutenant. A promotion would put him in the next rank up, which for the L.A.P.D. would be Captain. However, some of a Captain's duties would be overseeing other officers and ensuring they're compliant with policies, regulations, and standards. It would also most likely take him out of the field. This is something Columbo has no desire for as he rarely goes to police HQ's. Nor does he show interest in compliance and standards (for example, not going to his semi-annual evaluation at the firing range). However, he could still be assigned to a higher pay grade based on expertise, which is a form of promotion that does not include rank advancement. This would be going from Lieutenant I to Lieutenant II. I don't believe in the show it's ever started what his pay grade is. Although, in s02e01 (I believe) he mentions making $11K a year. Whether or not this was a true statement on his part, if you could find pay scale information for an LAPD Lieutenant in the 70's, it could give you an idea of his pay grade.

Bishop73

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Nash Bridges picture

Show generally

Question: In one episode, Nash sees that the hood to his 'Cuda is missing. Sometime later, he sees the hood in a display window of a store and proceeds to tell the proprietor that it was stolen from his car. The end of the episode has Nash buying the hood back. 1. What is the name of this episode? 2. Why didn't Nash arrest the proprietor for receiving stolen property? 3. Why did Nash buy the hood back instead of simply taking it with him?

Answer: The show is "Rip Off." Season 5 Episode 11. The "Cuda" hood is a subplot. A separate storyline for recurring character, Boz Bishop. Nash is busy trying to catch a robber/con artist.

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Manifest picture

Show generally

Question: Does it seem like this show took from LOST in the sense that a phenomenal event starting with a plane crash changed people's lives?

Rob245

Answer: Only superficially. Manifest doesn't even begin with a plane crash, but rather a plane disappearing for 5 years with the assumption that it crashed, which turns out not to be true.

BaconIsMyBFF

In the particulars it seems different, but the overall plot is the same. A seemingly random group on an airplane experience a weird event and spend years trying to figure out what happened. Let's hope the reveal in the final episode is not as disappointing as "LOST" - they're actually all dead.

Answer: Yes, I see the larger connection. There are a lot of movies and shows where people come back from somewhere like car, train, and bus crashes, or even space, war, or who knows where, then try to figure out why. We probably should consider a new genre for plots where the departed or missing return and try to figure out why. Needs a name though. Maybe "Come-back Conundrums" or "Put-back Puzzlers"?

Answer: "The major" is a major general, no major general would go by a title implying a lower rank. Her official DOD photo shows her (and a bunch of other women in uniform) with long loose hair below their collar. Women's hair has to be above the collar or put up, until VERY recently, and if this show is set in 2018 the hair is out of regulations. No major general would have an official photo with hair out of regs.

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CSI: Miami picture

Season 1 generally

Question: In the last few episodes of series 1, Horatio tells a few people that they will be spending the next few years a jail. But sometimes he says a 6x6 cell and others a 6x9 cell. So I was wondering do the sizes of cells usually differ or was it just a slip of the tongue?

Answer: Yes, sizes of jails differ.

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Lost picture

The End (2) - S6-E18

Question: I recently submitted a question about whether everyone died on the plane or on the island. The answer I got was unsatisfactory. The answer was they did not all die in the plane crash but on the island where the events in the show really did happen. If this is the case, everyone in purgatory at the end makes no sense. If they all died on the island, then where were other characters like Michael, Ecko, etc. Also how did Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Ben, etc. end up dead and in purgatory at the end of the series? Last we saw them they were still alive on the island. Are we to assume that everyone died at the end of last season when the bomb went off? I need more info here.

SAZOO1975

Chosen answer: None of the main characters died in the plane crash. Many died on the island after the crash (Jack, Charlie, Sun, Jin, Daniel, Juliet, others), some lived on the island for an apparently long time after the crash (Hurley, Ben, Bernard, Rose) but some lived lives off the island after the crash (Sawyer, Kate, Claire, Miles, Aplert, and Lapidus). Remember that Christian tells Jack that "time has no meaning here," (in Purgatory). When everyone meets at the church, they are at the end of their lives however long that may have been and will now "move on" together. They look like they did on the island because that is the way they best remember each other.

Guy

That has to be the clearest explanation of the ending I've ever read.

Ssiscool Premium member

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Chosen answer: "Policing your brass", means to pick up your expended shell casings, after firing your rifle, or pistol.

pross79

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Criminal Minds picture

Show generally

Question: The crew takes a private jet to most locations but always have the same black S.U.V.s. How do the vehicles get there as fast as the crew?

RGW

Chosen answer: Black SUVs are common police, military and dignitary vehicles around the world. It is not too much to assume they could be rented or owned by the police forces in the areas.

kristenlouise3

Other people have explained it but fore more information, federal cars would most likely be brought to the airport from the nearest agency, so they can drive out to their locations especially in rural situations.

Answer: There is only one BAU (or that's the impression the show gives, in reality there's 5 teams within the BAU), and they're based out of Quantico. However, the FBI has 56 field offices, each with their own vehicles leased from the over 200,000 vehicles that make up the Federal motor fleet. There are long term leases to federal agencies on these cars, in addition to there always being vehicles being made available to lease on an ad hoc basis for assignments. Plus, local and state police likely also have their own unmarked fleets, but due to the vehicles being mostly the same make/model/color in most episodes, they'd likely be borrowed from the nearest field office or other local federal office or ad hoc leased from the fleet for the assignment.

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