Best mystery TV questions of all time

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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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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.

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Charmed picture

Show generally

Question: In the opening credits, Holly Combs is credited with "and Holly Marie Combs as 'Piper'". Why was she credited with her character's name, when none of the other three lead actresses were?

Cubs Fan

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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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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Supernatural picture

Show generally

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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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 defeats the whole purpose of a union. The mayor would lose labor's support and Cusack union troubles would just be starting.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member
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The Twilight Zone picture

Mr. Dingle, the Strong - S2-E19

Question: What was the reason for giving Mr. Dingle super strength?

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.

Jason Hoffman
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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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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.

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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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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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NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service picture

Season 3 generally

Question: What does Gibbs mean when he says Ari doesn't "police his brass"?

Cubs Fan

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

pross79
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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
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Kyle XY picture

Season 2 generally

Question: Why don't Amanda and Jessi like each other in the second part of season 2? In the episode "Ghost in the Machine", Jessi was interested in Kyle because Madacorp programmed her to go after him. But why doesn't she like Amanda later on, after she is free from Madacorp?

Answer: Jessi is jealous of how close Amanda is to Kyle. Kyle and Jessi have a psychic link and Jessi feels no one should be closer to Kyle than she is.

Grumpy Scot
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24 (2001)

24 picture

Season 1 generally

Question: Was Nina recruited as a spy before she joined CTU or after? Also, as she wasn't working just for the Drazens, what was her primary mission?

Answer: According to Jack in season 5, Nina was "deep cover" before the pair ever met, so it's safe to assume she was recruited before she joined CTU. As for what her primary mission was, who knows? Perhaps it was to gather sensitive intel and pass it on to her superiors. Given that she worked for an intelligence agency, it's not a stretch. Or perhaps we may find out in season seven.

Cubs Fan
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South Park picture

Margaritaville - S13-E3

Question: Can someone explain the subplot with the Margaritaville and Stan going to a bunch of places trying to return it? It's really confusing. And this sounds stupid, but in a recession, wouldn't spending money be bad?

Answer: Essentially Stan was trying to return the blender that his dad, Randy, had bought because he knew his parents couldn't afford the extra debt. The blender, which represented mortgage-backed securities, had been bought on payment plan, meaning Randy had to make monthly payments, with interest, on something that wasn't essential. The episode represented the recession that was occurring at the time, including the housing bubble and mortgage crisis going on, so there's a lot going on. However, the payment plan (which is to say the debt) had been sold to another company by the store that sold Randy the blender. (To explain why, because of the recession, the store needed cash on hand, and they would only be getting a little money each month, if Randy paid his bill. So the store sells the debt to a company who gives the store the money upfront. Think of the J.G. Wentworth commercials, "I have a structured settlement, but I need cash now".) Because the store sold the debt, in ridiculous fashion, Stan had to return the blender to the company that bought the debt, although they too sold the debt to another company. Finally he gets to the U.S. treasury who tells him his blender is worth $90 trillion (again a ridiculous exaggeration) meaning that the debt owed is greater than the product is worth and to deride the way government agencies set up their budgets (which requires much more complex economic lessons). Kyle's whole point was people shouldn't fear the economy or see it as a vengeful being, but continue to spend and live as they normally do. Economically speaking, not spending money during a recession creates a longer lasting recession, and to solve a recession, people should spend money, although people and businesses shouldn't acquire debt during a recession because interest rates are higher. But on a personal level, individuals are fearful of losing their jobs during a recession, so they save money in case that should happen. But again, this is complex economics lesson.

Bishop73
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Law & Order picture

Absentia - S13-E13

Question: In one of the court scenes it states the date as the 26th of December. Upon a bit of searching it doesn't seem to fall as a holiday in the New York Supreme Court holidays calendar. While the day is generally observed as a holiday in many countries I am not sure about whether it is observed in any states of the United States?

Lummie Premium member

Chosen answer: December 25 is observed and some places close on the 24 (or just close early). The 26th is a normal work day.

shortdanzr Premium member
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MythBusters picture

Seasickness: Kill or Cure - S3-E24

Question: Why does a separated bubble form when you drive with your tailgate up?

Answer: A more complex and complete answer probably isn't possible here, since we're dealing with fluid dynamics, pressure, boundary levels, etc. A simply answer would the air in the bed is kept there by the fast moving air coming off the roof of the cab. If there was no "secondary bubble" of air, you would have a vacuum in the bed. When air comes off the roof, it needs a place to touch down, which it is able to do with the top of the tailgate. The fast flowing air moving over the bed keeps the air that's already inside the bed from "escaping." However, the air in the bed is still moving and creates a vortex in the bed, which is described as a bubble. When the tailgate is down, the air coming off the roof will gather at the back of the cab and create drag.

Bishop73
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Dexter picture

Father Knows Best - S1-E9

Question: The DNA test is a match, but later in the 2-3rd season we discover that Harry (foster father) had an affair with the real mother. Is Harry the real father and takes him but not his brother in because of that or not?

Answer: No, Harry is not the real father. While he did have an affair with Dexter's biological mother (Laura Moser), this was when she was his C.I. Dexter was already born at that point.

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