Starring: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Christopher Plummer
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Mystery crime drama written and directed by Rian Johnson. The story follows a family gathering gone horribly awry when the family’s patriarch (Christopher Plummer), dies and three detectives, (Daniel Craig, Lakeith Stanfield, Noah Segan), are sent to investigate the crime.REVIEWS
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Our Favorite Quotes:'Physical evidence can tell a clear story with a forked tongue.' - Benoit Blanc (Knives Out) Click To Tweet 'The complexity and the gray lie not in the truth, but what you do with the truth once you have it.' - Benoit Blanc (Knives Out) Click To Tweet 'We must look a little closer. And when we do, we see that the doughnut hole has a hole in its center. It is not a doughnut hole, but a smaller doughnut with its own hole, and our doughnut is not holed at all!' - (Knives Out) Click To Tweet
[after Harlan’s death, as Elliott and Wagner interview each family member]
Trooper Wagner: We’re very sorry for your loss.
Linda Drysdale: Thank you. That means a lot.
Lieutenant Elliott: So, we understand that night, the family had gathered to celebrate your father’s eighty-fifth birthday.
Linda Drysdale: Yes.
Lieutenant Elliott: How was it?
Linda Drysdale: The party? Pre my dad’s death? Oh, it was great.
[referring to who attended Harlan’s birthday party]
Lieutenant Elliott: Did anyone, besides the family, show face?
Linda Drysdale: Fran, the housekeeper. Marta, Harlan’s caregiver. Good girl, hard worker. Family’s from Ecuador. And Wanetta. Greatnana, Harlan’s mom.
Lieutenant Elliott: His mom? Wow. How old is she?
Linda Drysdale: We have no idea.
[referring to Harlan]
Lieutenant Elliott: You two were very close.
Linda Drysdale: We had our own secret way of communicating. You had to find that with dad. You had to find a game to play with him. And if you did that, and you played by his rules…
[she shrugs her shoulder, smiles and nods]
Richard Drysdale: Everyone idolizes their dad, right?
Lieutenant Elliott: I don’t know. Do they?
Richard Drysdale: Very much not. I don’t know why I said that. But my wife, Linda, does. Harlan started out with a rusty Smith-Corona, and built himself into one of the bestselling mystery writers of all time.
Lieutenant Elliott: Wow. It seems like all his kids are self-made overachievers.
Richard Drysdale: Sure.
Lieutenant Elliott: For the record, I’m speaking with Walt Thrombey, Harlan Thrombey’s youngest son. So, you run your father’s publishing company?
Walt Thrombey: Yeah. It’s my, it’s our, it’s the family’s publishing company. Dad trusts me to run it. Thirty languages, over eighty million copies sold. A real legacy. You guys fans?
Lieutenant Elliott: I mean, I don’t do much fiction reading myself.
Trooper Wagner: Big fan. I’m a big fan. I mean, his plots are just like…
Trooper Wagner: Like I won’t spoil it for you. But, okay, like “A Thousand Knives”, the cow and the shotgun. Like where do you come up with that?
Walt Thrombey: Well, dad said the plots just popped into his head fully formed. It was the easy part for him.
[referring to Harlan’s birthday party]
Lieutenant Elliott: So the night went well?
Walt Thrombey: I mean, we’re all gutted, but I was happy to have that night with him.
To be by his side, to think about our book,s and what we’ve accomplished with them. It’s like I can still feel his hand on my shoulder, passing the torch.
[referring to Blanc]
Joni Thrombey: Who is that guy? And why are we doing all this, again?
Lieutenant Elliott: This is just some followup questions. We’re tending to be thorough, so we can figure out the manner of death.
Walt Thrombey: So by “manner of death”, you mean if someone killed him? If one of us killed him. One of his family killed him.
Lieutenant Elliott: No, no. Walt, Walt. No, no.
Walt Thrombey: Is that what you’re suggesting, Lieutenant?
Lieutenant Elliott: No one is saying that, okay? This is all pro forma.
Richard Drysdale: Okay. So who the f**k is that?
Lieutenant Elliott: Um, this is Benoit Blanc.
Richard Drysdale: Benoit Blanc?
Lieutenant Elliott: Yes. Mr. Blanc is a private investigator of great renown.
[referring to Blanc]
Joni Thrombey: Wait a minute. I read a tweet about a New Yorker article about you. The last of the gentlemen sleuths? You solved that case with the tennis champ. You’re famous!
Lieutenant Elliott: Mr. Blanc is not with the police department, and not officially involved in the case, but he’s offered to consult. Now, I happily obliged, and I can vouch for him.
Linda Drysdale: Mr. Blanc, I know who you are. I read your profile in the New Yorker. I found it delightful. I just buried my eighty-five year-old father, who committed suicide. Why are you here?
Benoit Blanc: I’m here at the behest of a client.
Linda Drysdale: Who?
Benoit Blanc: I cannot say. But let me assure you this, my presence will be ornamental. You will find me a respectful, quiet, passive observer of the truth.
Lieutenant Elliott: See, I might be a victim of my own expectations here. But when the great Benoit Blanc comes knocking at my door, I expect it’s going to be about something, if not extraordinary, then at least interesting. But I’m sorry, this is an open and shut case of suicide. And, quite frankly, Benny, we’re getting to the point where I need to know what we’re doing here.
Benoit Blanc: The method. Throat slit. Typical for a suicide?
Lieutenant Elliott: Yes, I mean, that’s dramatic. But look around. I mean, the guy practically lives in a Clue board.
Benoit Blanc: Miss Cabrera. I’ve been doing a little poking. You are hired on a part time basis as a registered nurse, yes?
Marta Cabrera: Yes, I don’t work for a VNA. Harlan hired me directly.
Benoit Blanc: Take a seat, please. And you’re paid a flat rate for how many hours a week?
Marta Cabrera: Well, I started at fifteen, and then he needed more help.
Benoit Blanc: Medical help?
Marta Cabrera: He needed a friend.
Benoit Blanc: Does having a kind heart make you a good nurse?
[referring to himself, Elliot and Wagner]
Benoit Blanc: Marta, we were just discussing possible motives in the family. I suspect that Harlan has told you much unfiltered truth about each of them. And a little bird has told me, how should I put this delicately? You have a regurgitive reaction to mistruthing.
Marta Cabrera: Who told you that?
Benoit Blanc: Is it true?
Marta Cabrera: Yes.
Benoit Blanc: Oh.
Marta Cabrera: It’s something I had since I was a kid. It’s a physical thing that I… Just the thought of lying, yeah, it makes me puke.
Benoit Blanc: Really?
[after Marta’s told them that she pukes if she lies]
Benoit Blanc: Is Richard having an affair?
[we see flashback to Marta with Harlan]
Harlan Thrombey: Why do men instinctively pull at loose threads on their parachutes?
Marta Cabrera: What?
[Harlan shows Marta a photo of Richard kissing a woman]
Marta Cabrera: Richard?
Benoit Blanc: Mm-hmm.
Marta Cabrera: An affair?
Benoit Blanc: Yeah. A yes, or no, will do.
Marta Cabrera: No.
[suddenly Marta vomits]
Lieutenant Elliott: Oh, sh*t!
Benoit Blanc: Dear, girl, I’m sorry. I assumed you were speaking figuratively.
Benoit Blanc: [to Elliott] Now, we look at the pattern. Harlan was cleaning house.
Benoit Blanc: You have been very patient my friend. And, yes. You are right. None of these weak alibis and domestic squibbles answer your question. “Why is Benoit Blanc here?” Well, now I will tell you why. I’m here because this morning someone dodged a very important question.
Lieutenant Elliott: Who?
Benoit Blanc: Me. Linda asked who hired me.
Lieutenant Elliott: Who hired you?
Benoit Blanc: I do not know.
Benoit Blanc: Physical evidence can tell a clear story with a forked tongue.
Lieutenant Elliott: What?
Benoit Blanc: And as we can see from this morning, everyone can lie.
Benoit Blanc: Well, almost everyone.
[flashback to Marta with Harlan before his death]
Harlan Thrombey: This goddamn fortune. You know, sometimes I think that everything I’ve given my family, I’ve done, maybe, without knowing, or maybe to keep them beneath me. I certainly should have. I don’t know. I encouraged Walt to write his own stories, not just be a caretaker of mine. Like you said I should. And then be a father, not just a provider for Joni, like you also said. I could’ve been kinder to Linda and Ransom. Jesus, Ransom. Oh, there’s so much of me in that kid. Confident, stupid. I don’t know, protected. Playing life like a game without consequence, until you can’t tell the difference between a stage prop and a real knife. I don’t fear death. But, oh, God, I’d like to fix some of this before I go. Close the book with a flourish. I guess we’ll see. Hm?
Marta Cabrera: I guess we will.
[we see in flashback after Marta accidentally gives Harlan an overdose of morphine instead of his medication]
Marta Cabrera: I’m going to give you an emergency shot of Naloxone, so you don’t die in ten minutes.
Harlan Thrombey: Oh, well, no pressure. You know, this is an interesting and efficient method of murder. I need to write this down.
Walt Thrombey: Are you alright?
Linda Drysdale: I was just thinking about dad’s games. This all feels like one. Like something he’d write, not do. I keep waiting for the big reveal, where it all makes sense. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Benoit Blanc: Something is afoot with this whole affair. I know it, and I believe you know it too.
Marta Cabrera: So you’re going to keep digging.
Benoit Blanc: Harlan’s detectives, they dig, they rifle, and root. Truffle pigs. I anticipate the terminus of gravity’s rainbow.
Marta Cabrera: Gravity’s Rainbow.
Benoit Blanc: It’s a novel.
Marta Cabrera: Yeah, I know. I haven’t read it though.
Benoit Blanc: Neither have I. Nobody has. But I like the title. It describes the path of a projectile, determined by natural law. Et voilà, my method. I observe the facts, without biases of the head or heart. I determine the arc’s path, stroll leisurely to its terminus, and the truth falls at my feet.
Benoit Blanc: Tomorrow morning I search the grounds and the house, begin my investigation. I want you to be by my side for it.
Marta Cabrera: What?
Benoit Blanc: My confidant, my eyes and ears.
Marta Cabrera: Wait, Detective. Why me?
Benoit Blanc: I trust your kind heart. Also, you’re the only one who had nothing to gain from Harlan’s death. So, how about it, Watson?
Marta Cabrera: Detective, if you want my insight into this family, none of them are murderers. That’s my insight.
Benoit Blanc: And yet, be it cruel, or comforting, this machine unerringly arrives at the truth. That’s what it does.
Marta Cabrera: Always?
Benoit Blanc: Tomorrow at eight.
[as Marta is petting the family dog]
Benoit Blanc: Best judge of character is a dog.
Marta Cabrera: Good boy.
Benoit Blanc: I’ve found that to be true.
Marta Cabrera: I’ve never been to a will reading.
Benoit Blanc: Oh, uh, you think it’ll be like a game show, but think of a community theater production of a tax return.
[as Ransom arrives at the house]
Lieutenant Elliott: Hugh Drysdale?
Ransom Drysdale: Ransom. Call me Ransom. It’s my middle name. Only the help calls me Hugh.
Lieutenant Elliott: Okay. This is Trooper Wagner. I’m Lieutenant Elliott. We just want to ask a few questions.
[Ransom ignores them and just enters the house]
Trooper Wagner: Excuse me! Sir? We’re officers of the law.
Ransom Drysdale: Are you going to run me in? I don’t feel like talking. I’m distraught.
Lieutenant Elliott: [to Blanc] Hey, Benny, you want to ask this guy some questions?
Ransom Drysdale: Alright, what is this? What’s this arrangement?
Benoit Blanc: Mr. Drysdale.
Ransom Drysdale: CSI: KFC?
[then walks off]
Ransom Drysdale: Hey, Frannie, how about a glass of cold milk?
Meg Thrombey: Hey, a**hole. Not her name. Not her job.
Ransom Drysdale: Hey, Meg. How’s the SJW degree coming?
Meg Thrombey: Trust fund pr*ck.
Walt Thrombey: Funny, Ransom, you skipped the funeral, but you’re early for the will reading.
Joni Thrombey: Okay, people grieve in different ways. Let’s not…
Walt Thrombey: You know what? It’s funny you’re here at all. Why are you even bothering? That’s what I’m asking myself.
Richard Drysdale: What’s that supposed to mean?
Walt Thrombey: He knows what it supposed to mean.
Linda Drysdale: You were in the bathroom next to Harlan’s office, where he had the fight with Ransom. Now, you heard something. Spill it.
Jacob Thrombey: I just heard two things. “My will.” And then there was more yelling. And then I heard Ransom say, “I’m warning you.”
Linda Drysdale: Ransom? What’s that mean?
Walt Thrombey: Well, I think it means, our father finally came to his senses, and cut this worthless little brat out of his will.
[as they are gathered for Harlan’s will reading]
Richard Drysdale: Son.
Ransom Drysdale: Father?
Richard Drysdale: Did Harlan tell you he was going to cut you out of the will?
Ransom Drysdale: Yep.
Richard Drysdale: Well, then he’s done what none of us were strong enough to do. Maybe this might finally make you grow up.
Linda Drysdale: This might be the best thing that could ever happen to you.
Ransom Drysdale: Thank you. My mother, ladies and gentlemen.
[after Ransom’s confessed that Harlan cut him out of his will]
Joni Thrombey: Look, this is not going to be easy for you, but it’ll be good. Nothing good is ever easy.
Ransom Drysdale: Up your a**, Joni. You’ve had your teeth in this family’s t*t for a long time.
Meg Thrombey: Up you a**? Very nice.
Ransom Drysdale: As a matter of fact, eat sh*t. Hows that?
[pointing at each family member]
Ransom Drysdale: In fact, eat sh*t. Eat sh*t. Eat sh*t. Eat sh*t.
[the family are all shouting at him]
Richard Drysdale: You entitled prick!
Joni Thrombey: I would snap that smug smile…
Ransom Drysdale: Definitely eat sh*t. Eat sh*t. You can all eat sh*t.
[after the family turn on each other as they gather for the will reading]
Marta Cabrera: What was that about will readings being boring?
Benoit Blanc: Exception that proves the rule.
[at Harland’s will reading]
Alan Stevens: Well, thank you all for getting together like this. It isn’t legally necessary, but I thought because you’re all in town, and some of you are leaving soon…
Benoit Blanc: Excuse me. I’m sorry. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to gently request that you all stay in town until the investigation is completed.
Lieutenant Elliott: And while he’s gently requesting, but we’re going to make that an order. No one move until we figure this all out.
Linda Drysdale: What?
Joni Thrombey: Can we ask why? Has something changed?
Benoit Blanc: No…
Joni Thrombey: No, it hasn’t changed, or no, we can’t ask?
Alan Stevens: Well, the other reason I thought this gathering would be beneficial, is because Harlan altered his will a week before he died. He sealed it. He asked me not to submit it to the courts for probate until after his death. So, if anyone is confused about anything, we’re all together, we can talk. Although, I don’t imagine any of it is going to be that complicated. Harlan’s assets included, um…
[points to the part on the will]
Harlan’s Assistant: The house.
Alan Stevens: The house, which he owned outright. Um…
Harlan’s Assistant: Sixty million.
Alan Stevens: Yes. Sixty million in various cash accounts and investments. And, of course, the real asset, sole ownership of Blood Like Wine, his publishing company. He also wrote up a statement when he was making the changes, and he wanted that read first. “Dearest Linda, Walter, and Joni. Some of you may be surprised by the choice I’ve made here. No pleasure was taken in the exclusion, and its purpose was not to sow greater discord in the family, quite the opposite. Please accept it with grace, and without bitterness. But do accept it. It’s for the best, Dad.”
[as he opens the envelope containing Harlan’s will and sees that it’s only one page]
Alan Stevens: Wow. Well, yeah. Not too complex at all. This’ll be quick. “I, Harlan Thrombey, being of sound mind, and body, and, yada, yada, yada, I hereby direct that all my assets, both liquid and otherwise, I leave in their entirety to Marta Cabrera. My entire ownership of Blood Like Wine publishing I leave in its entirety to Marta Cabrera. The copyright of its catalog likewise I leave in its entirety to Marta Cabrera.”
[after they find out in the will reading that Harlan left everything to Marta]
Linda Drysdale: Alan, you can take this piece of paper, and shove it right up your a**, and get out! And you cops too! Out! Out! Right now!
Richard Drysdale: Melinda.
Linda Drysdale: No, Richard, we need to talk. We need to fight this thing. We’re not going anywhere.
[to Elliott and Wagner]
Linda Drysdale: I said get out! We are the Thrombeys goddammit! This is still our house!
[pause, then they all turn to look at Alan]
Alan Stevens: Hm?
[his assistant points to the will]
Alan Stevens: Oh. Sorry.
[reads the rest of the will]
Alan Stevens: “Likewise, the house at 2 Deerborn Drive, and all belongings therein, I leave to Marta Cabrera.”
Linda Drysdale: [to Marta] Oh, you little b*tch! You little b*tch! Did you know about this? Were you in this from the beginning? No, no, no! I just want to know! What were you, what were you doing? Were you boinking my father?
Meg Thrombey: Boinking?
[referring to Harlan]
Ransom Drysdale: Marta, I know three things. One, I know he didn’t commit suicide.
Marta Cabrera: What makes you think that?
Ransom Drysdale: I don’t think it. I know it. Because I knew my granddad. Maybe you and I were the only two who knew him, so you’re not going to bullsh*t me on this. Because, two, I know lying makes you puke. Because of that mafia game last 4th of July. And, three, I know you just ate a full plate of baked beans and sausage. So, look me in the eye, and tell me what happened to my grandfather.
Marta Cabrera: You a**hole.
Ransom Drysdale: Marta, tell me everything.
[referring to Harlan leaving everything to Marta]
Walt Thrombey: Alan, there have got to be options here.
Alan Stevens: No. I don’t know how many times I can repeat the same two pieces of information. If Harlan was of sound mind when he made the changes, and we all confirmed that he was…
Richard Drysdale: Would a sound mind do this?! How? Sound how?
Linda Drysdale: The very action speaks to unsoundness.
Alan Stevens: Not legally. No. You, not liking what he did, does not speak to testamentary capacity.
[as the family is trying to find ways to contest Harlan’s will]
Jacob Thrombey: What about undue influence?
Walt Thrombey: Yeah! Undue influence! How about that? Huh?
Alan Stevens: [to Jacob] Did you just Google that?
Walt Thrombey: Look, if Marta was manipulating dad somehow, and…
Linda Drysdale: If somehow she had gotten her hooks into him…
Alan Stevens: You need a strong case for that. “Your honor, She endeared herself to him through hard work and good humor.” That won’t cut the salami.
[as the family is trying to find ways to contest Harlan’s will]
Joni Thrombey: What about the slayer rule? I did just Google that.
Alan Stevens: The slayer rule obviously doesn’t apply here.
Richard Drysdale: Well, what the hell is the slayer rule?
Joni Thrombey: Well, it’s if someone is convicted of killing the person, they don’t get their inheritance.
Alan Stevens: Not even convicted, even if they’re held responsible for their death in civil court.
Walt Thrombey: Like OJ.
Alan Stevens: Yes, Like OJ. But Harlan committed suicide.
Joni Thrombey: Detective Blank. You said that the investigation is ongoing. You made a point of that. Do you suspect foul play?
Benoit Blanc: Mister Blanc. If you please. There is much that remains unclear. But, yes. I suspect foul play.
Richard Drysdale: Marta?
Benoit Blanc: I have eliminated no suspects.
Richard Drysdale: You’re full of sh*t. I don’t trust this guy in the tweed suit. And, Alan, God bless you, you’re useless.
Alan Stevens: Thank you.
Richard Drysdale: There’s only one answer to this, she has to renounce the inheritance.
Benoit Blanc: [to Greatnana] Why is grief the providence of youth? Well, I don’t know. But I’d imagine that age deepens all feelings. Including grief.
Benoit Blanc: [to Greatnana] You know, this was a long walk to offering condolences for the loss of your son. And asking you, if it isn’t presumptuous of me, not to think too harshly of your family. if I am, as I suspect, the first to console you. They’re young, aren’t they?
[Greatnana just sits silently, staring into space]
Benoit Blanc: One thing I assume of age is weariness. Damned if I don’t get more tired every day. Tired of what I do. Following arcs, like lobbed rocks. The inevitability of truth. But the complexity and the gray lie not in the truth, but what you do with the truth once you have it.
Benoit Blanc: [to Greatnana] I think you have something you want to tell me. I think you’re very perceptive, and very capable, of telling me what you saw the night of your son’s party. But I’ll happily wait. I’m in no rush. In fact, I find it quite pleasant, sitting here with you.
[to Marta and Ransom]
Lieutenant Elliott: That was the dumbest car chase of all time.
Benoit Blanc: Strange case from the start. A case with a hole in the middle. A doughnut.
Benoit Blanc: I’m just talking through my process here, let me know if this is boring. I feel the noose tightening, the family is truly desperate. Desperate motives. But the mystery of who hired me, the impossibility of the crime, and yet, a doughnut. One central piece, and if it reveals itself, the fog would lift, the arc would resolve, the slinky become unkinked.
Marta Cabrera: God, you’re not much of a detective, are you?
Benoit Blanc: Well, to be fair, you make a pretty lousy murderer.
Benoit Blanc: Perhaps we deserve each other.
[she faces the family to renounce the inheritance and confess that she caused Harlan’s death]
Marta Cabrera: You’ve always been good to me. And What I’m about to say isn’t going to be easy, and you’re going to be upset. But I thought after what you’ve gone through the last few days, that you deserved to hear it from me. I…
Benoit Blanc: Excuse me! You have not been good to her. You have all treated her like sh*t, to steal back a fortune that you lost, and she deserves. You’re a pack of vultures at the feast! knives out and beaks bloody! Well, you’re not getting bailed out, not this time. Miss Cabrera has decided, definitively, not to renounce the inheritance.
Walt Thrombey: What?
Marta Cabrera: What?
Benoit Blanc: Furthermore, it will be my professional recommendation to the local authorities that the manner of death, in the case of Harlan Thrombey, is ruled as suicide. And the case is closed.
Marta Cabrera: Blanc.
Ransom Drysdale: What?
Benoit Blanc: Thank you all for coming. Goodbye.
Benoit Blanc: [to Marta] I spoke in the car about the hole at the center of this doughnut. And what you and Harlan did that fateful night seems, at first glance, to fill that hole perfectly. A doughnut hole in a doughnut’s hole. But we must look a little closer. And when we do, we see that the doughnut hole has a hole in its center. It is not a doughnut hole, but a smaller doughnut with its own hole, and our doughnut is not holed at all!
Benoit Blanc: Why was I hired? Why would someone hire me?
Lieutenant Elliott: Someone fishing for a crime to reverse the will, Blanc. I know.
Benoit Blanc: But I was hired before the sealed will was read. So, yes, the person must have known the contents of the will. But one step further, that same person must have known a crime was committed. And further, if the intent was to reverse Marta’s inheritance, they must’ve known that Marta was responsible. An intriguing combination of factors. Someone who knew what Marta did, wanted to expose it, but could not reveal how they knew.
Benoit Blanc: Now with the entire solution in my field of view. The arc of this case is a tragedy of errors. And, Marta, it will not be easy for you to hear. But there is at least one truly guilty party behind it all. Guilty in the true sense of acting with malice, and committing a heinous crime with selfish intent.
Benoit Blanc: Trooper Wagner.
Marta Cabrera: Trooper Wagner?
Benoit Blanc: No.
[Wagner enters the room with Ransom]
Ransom Drysdale: Marta, I’m so sorry. I told them everything. I figured it was up. I’m sorry.
Marta Cabrera: It’s alright. Ransom, I’m glad you did.
Benoit Blanc: Not exactly everything though.
Marta Cabrera: Is this about what Greatnana told you? She saw me that night. She mistook me for Ransom.
Benoit Blanc: We’ll get to that. In the meanwhile, Mr. Hugh Ransom Drysdale, you might tell us all why you hired me?
Ransom Drysdale: Why I hired you?
Benoit Blanc: [to Ransom] You and Harlan were drama mamas. You shared a love of twisting the knife into one another. You see, I don’t believe he would’ve slipped it in halfway. No, no, no. I submit Harlan told you everything.
Ransom Drysdale: That’s some heavy duty conjecture.
Benoit Blanc: Granted. But it is the only way of what comes next makes sense. So, you storm out, you drive off into the night. You tell Marta later of, what was it? Feeling an overwhelming sense of…
Marta Cabrera: Clarity. That he had to make do for himself from here on out.
Benoit Blanc: Exactly! Marta. The will. Harlan. Do for yourself. “You won’t get away with this.” And a plan forms.
Benoit Blanc: [to Ransom] You return, careful to avoid the gate’s security camera range. Then on foot up towards the house. You sneak in, up the trellis so as not to be seen by the rest of the family, who are still having their party downstairs. What you need to do will take moments. But it is essential that you are alone and undetected. You knew what medications Harlan took. You knew what Marta would be injecting him with that night. And you knew if Marta was responsible for his death, even unintentionally, the slayer rule would nullify the changed will, and you would get your share back. You used the syringes in the kit to switch the liquids in the two medication vials. And, as a final precaution, you took the Naloxone, the life saving antidote.
Marta Cabrera: No, no, no. That’s impossible.
Benoit Blanc: That is the truth.
Marta Cabrera: If he did that, if the meds were switched, then when I got them mixed up, I accidentally switched them back. So, I gave Harlan…
Benoit Blanc: The correct doses. Yes. But not accidentally. I taped over the labels of these two vials. The vials themselves are identical.
[holding up the vial]
Benoit Blanc: How did you know that this was the morphine?
Marta Cabrera: I just knew.
Benoit Blanc: You knew because there is the slightest, almost imperceptible difference of tincture and viscosity between the two liquids. You knew because you’d done it a hundred times. You gave him the correct medication because you are a good nurse.
Marta Cabrera: Then Harlan was…
Benoit Blanc: I’m sorry Marta, but, yes. Harlan was perfectly fine. His blood was normal. The cause of death was truly, solely suicide, and you are guilty of nothing, but some damage to the trellis and a few amateur theatrics. In fact, if Harlan had listened to you, and called the ambulance, he would be alive today.
Lieutenant Elliott: Hot damn.
Benoit Blanc: A twisted web. And we are not finished untangling it. Not yet.
Benoit Blanc: Marta, when Greatnana spotted you climbing down the trellis, she said…
[flashback to that night when Greatnana saw Marta and mistook her for Ransom]
Greatnana Wanetta: Ransom? Are you back again already?
Benoit Blanc: “Are you back again already?” Because earlier that night…
[flashback to earlier that same night when Greatnana saw Ransom]
Greatnana Wanetta: Ransom, you’re back.
Ransom Drysdale: [laughs] Come on, Marta. This is stupid with two O’s. You don’t have a shred of evidence, You’re just spinning a fairytale.
Benoit Blanc: Not a shred, no Just as we have no real proof of Marta’s mixing up the vials. So, it’s your word…
Ransom Drysdale: You have her confession!
Benoit Blanc: Alright, yeah. Yeah, we do have that.
Benoit Blanc: With your permission, I’d like to spin a little further. Much later that night you’d have to come back to the house to retrieve the incriminating tampered vials. However, this time the dogs were outside. They barked, waking Meg. No matter. You’ll get the vials tomorrow. But tomorrow brings news, not of a medical error and a guilty nurse, but of a slit throat, and a suicide. Now the circumstances are perfect for the anonymous hiring of a me. You know a crime has been committed by Miss Cabrera. You need her to be caught for it. You cannot reveal how you know! Enter Benoit Blanc.
Lieutenant Elliott: Benny, look, I hear what you are saying, it’s just…
Trooper Wagner: Shh-shh-shh.
Benoit Blanc: The body is discovered early the next morning. The police, the medical examiner, the family, everyone swarms in, and there is no possible way you can get to Marta’s medical bag to retrieve the vials. You must wait for your moment when the investigation is over, and you know the house will be empty. And that is why you missed the funeral. There is no one home to wonder why you’re going into Harlan’s study. Or so you think. Poor Fran. She witnessed you tampering with Harlan’s medication in the medical bag. She did not know what you were doing. But she knew you were up to no good, so her mind begins to turn.
Marta Cabrera: Oh, God. That Hallmark movie she told me about, with Danica McKellar.
Trooper Wagner: “Deadly By Surprise.”
Marta Cabrera: That’s what she was talking about.
Benoit Blanc: She loved Harlan. She hates Ransom. So the poor girl decides to test her theory and make this a**hole pay. She gets a copy of the toxicology report. Now, I will be honest, I have no idea how.
Marta Cabrera: Because she has a cousin. She told me, she has a cousin who works as a receptionist at the examiners office.
Benoit Blanc: Well, voilà!
[referring to Frank obtaining the toxicology report]
Benoit Blanc: The numbers, they mean nothing to her. But if Ransom is guilty, its existence is a threat. So she photocopies the header, and makes her blackmail note.
Marta Cabrera: So, why did she send it to me?
Benoit Blanc: She didn’t. She sent it to Ransom. And when Mr. Drysdale gets it, what is his reaction? Elation. He still thinks Marta has given Harlan the tampered drugs. A blood tox report will prove her guilt. He goes to the will reading in high spirits, ready to see the family tear itself apart, and secure in the knowledge it will be all be undone when the tox report comes to light. And then, Marta’s confession. And everything turns on its head. He now realizes that Marta has committed no crime, and the tox report will prove her innocence. The changed will is going to stand. He has lost.
Benoit Blanc: Unless you decide.
Benoit Blanc: You’ve come this far. Just one step further. Just one last act. In for a penny, in for a pound.
Benoit Blanc: You decide. You are in.
[recounting Ransom’s actions]
Benoit Blanc: Step one, destroy all evidence of Marta’s innocence. Step two, send her the anonymous email with a late morning rendezvous time, and deliver her the blackmail note. Step three, keep your appointment with Fran.
[after we see flashback showing how Ransom killed Fran]
Benoit Blanc: See, now the board is set. Marta will get the blackmail note. You’ll put the pieces together for her. You’ll guide her to the rendezvous. You’ll make the anonymous call to the police. They will catch her there, with the body, and the burned evidence. Marta will get arrested for killing Fran, and Harlan.
Marta Cabrera: She said…
[flashback to Fran speaking to Marta before she died]
Fran: You did this!
Marta Cabrera: She didn’t say, “You did this.” She wasn’t talking about me. She said…
[flashback to the same moment with Fran and Marta]
Fran: Hugh did this.
Marta Cabrera: “Hugh did this.” Because you made the help call you Hugh. Because you’re an a**hole.
Benoit Blanc: And it would have worked, if we hadn’t had brought you in for questioning, so you could not make your anonymous call. And if Fran had not stashed a safety copy of the tox report. And if Marta had not outplayed you once again, by having a kind heart. By saving Fran’s life. Though, it meant her losing the inheritance, and going to jail. She didn’t play your game, she saved Fran’s life.
Ransom Drysdale: Fran’s alive?
Benoit Blanc: Oh, yes. Fran, who will confirm this fairy story, or something close to it. And send you, Hugh, to jail.
[Marta answers a call on her phone]
Marta Cabrera: Yes. Doctor, that’s great news. We’ll be there soon. Thank you.
[she ends the call and turns to them]
Marta Cabrera: She’s okay. She’s ready to talk.
Benoit Blanc: Trooper Wagner, if you could keep Mr. Drysdale in custody, while Lieutenant Elliott, Miss Cabrera, and myself, we go to the hospital and take Fran’s statement.
[to Marta, as he’s about to be taken into custody]
Ransom Drysdale: I’m going to say this just to you. No cameras, no courtroom, just you, because you know it’s true. We allowed you into our home. We let you watch our granddad. We welcomed you into our family. And now you think you can steal it from us? You think I’m not going to fight to protect my home, our birthright, our ancestral family home?
Benoit Blanc: [laughs] That is hooey! Harlan, he bought this place in the ’80s from a Pakistani real estate billionaire.
Ransom Drysdale: Oh, shut up, Blanc! Shut up! Shut up with that Kentucky fried Foghorn Leghorn drawl! Yeah, I killed Fran, but I guess I didn’t. So what do you have on me? Nothing! What? Attempted murder? I get arson for the building, and a few other charges. With a good lawyer, which I have, I’ll be out in no time. And then you’ll see just how much hell I can wreak on your life, you vicious little b*tch.
[Marta suddenly vomits on Ransom]
Ransom Drysdale: What the sh*t?!
Trooper Wagner: That means she’s lying!
Lieutenant Elliott: Yeah, man, we know.
Marta Cabrera: That’s right. Fran’s dead. And you just confessed to her murder.
[Wagner turns his phone around, indicating he’s recorded the whole thing]
Ransom Drysdale: Well, in for a penny…
[he suddenly attacks Marta with a knife, only to find out it’s a retractable stage knife]
Ransom Drysdale: Sh*t.
[last lines; after Ransom has been arrested]
Marta Cabrera: Can I ask, when did you know I had something to do with Harlan’s death?
Benoit Blanc: Ooh, from the first moment you set foot in front of me.
[she looks down and sees a drop of blood on her shoes]
Marta Cabrera: Oh, sh*t!
Benoit Blanc: I want you to remember something that’s very important. You won, not by playing the game Harlan’s way, but yours. You’re a good person.
Marta Cabrera: This family. I should help them, right?
Benoit Blanc: Well, I have my opinion. But I have a feeling you’ll follow your heart.
[he turns and leaves, then Marta watches the Thrombeys from the balcony drinking from a cup that has “My House” written on it]
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