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Professor Puzzles

Inside No.9

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10 hours ago, barkbat said:
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I assumed he was damaging himself enough to not go on holiday, maybe stay in bed for a few days, with the insurance question relating to their already tight finances, and the fact they might not be able to afford him missing work for the days it would take him to recover. Why he is holding the key? I have no idea.

 

 

I thought the insurance question was just desperate searching for an excuse not to go. “No travel insurance?We can’t go without travel insurance in place!”

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That we can't agree on his motivations at the end I think says it all really, it's very muddily written.

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Spoiler

If he was trying to injure himself he would have just cut his hand or something else minor.

 

He was trying to kill himself with the key in his hand to make sure the cleaner and son were found.

 

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But that's a jump in behaviour so large I can't rationalise it.

 

 

He's spent 8 years carrying this out, with no sign of remorse, and deliberately kills himself within several minutes of an awkward situation arising? Like you say, he could have just cut his hand or staged another minor accident to cancel the trip. Why go straight to deliberately killing yourself? You have to earn that outcome through the character writing and there was nothing in the set-up to make me think he would suddenly kill himself with other avenues clearly open to him

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Expecting to die from that stair fall seems dumb.  Possible but not likely that you would rely on it.

 

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I think it was simply that

he was enough of a monster to keep them chained up for years, but not to let them die while he went on holiday. Probably just realised the game was up and thought he'd try and take the easy way out.



 

It didn't bother me as much as some, but it doesn't quite explain his thought process well enough to make proper sense. The insurance question seems to muddy the waters a bit, because it does suggest he was trying to injure himself instead. But then why would he have the key in his hand? Unless you're just meant to think he panicked.

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Regarding the key.

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I just read it that he couldn't let it out of his sight. Moments earlier he was panicking when he couldn't find it despite it being in the drawer. He was behaving like an addict, or like Gollum and his ring. Basically he was finding it hard to continue this lifestyle and carry on lying to his wife. One way or another he was looking for a way out. Either by buying himself some time to put off the holiday, or by actually killing himself. I think it's as deliberately unclear and indicative of how he was losing it. 

It was very dark and I liked how there were barely any jokes. You just knew something wicked was coming.

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I just thought it was a boring version of Room with a silly ending. Steven King wrote an excellent short story about a woman who realises her husband is a monster, and this felt like a weak adaptation focusing on the wrong half of the story.

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8 hours ago, Stanley said:

Regarding the key.

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 Basically he was finding it hard to continue this lifestyle and carry on lying to his wife. 

 

 

Was he? The episode gave no indication of that whatsoever. The marriage was miserable, and they both knew it, but I didn't get the impression he was 'losing it'. He seemed fairly comfortable with the misery to me, in the same way that many long term marriages became routine and loveless but both parties just put up with it. Nurse scene aside, he was very cold and aloof. Detached rather than struggling in any way. 

 

Anyway I'll probably stop picking it apart now because there's not much more to discuss and my aim isn't to ruin the episode for others. I just felt like they knew what they wanted the ending to be, reverse engineered it, but didn't really put the effort in to make it all stack up - from either the wife's or the husband's perspective. 

 

Despite all that I still enjoyed it more than Zanzibar so that's something. 

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He was also under increasing pressure from his wife, who was definitely showing signs of losing it. We clearly read it differently, to me he looked liked he was struggling internally. 

 

Although if I was to be picky:

Spoiler

How would the wife have explained her husband's disappearance? She told that couple he had died but there'd be no record of that. 

 

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Why not:

Spoiler

She rang an ambulance and he went to hospital. She took the key off him and while he was still in hospital finds the dungeon. When he returns in a wheelchair she simply dumps him in the dungeon.

 

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1 hour ago, Pete said:

Why not:

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She rang an ambulance and he went to hospital. She took the key off him and while he was still in hospital finds the dungeon. When he returns in a wheelchair she simply dumps him in the dungeon.

 

Yeah that's obviously what happened but how would she explain

Spoiler

His death, when there's no record of it.

 

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Are random people going to be searching records to make sure she’s not lying? If there were some legal issues in the future, sure. But a couple she met once before and probably never again won’t be checking. 

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Indeed. Unless he has close relatives who'd miss him then no one else would really notice or care. We know she has parents who'd presumably expect to go to a funeral, but I guess she could come up with something (or even just tell them he'd walked out rather than died).

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Yeah I suppose none of it really bears any close examination as it throws up more questions than answers.

Spoiler

The maid and the boy looked remarkably well, physically and mentally, considering what had happened.

 

How could he have built that room and kept everything quiet, including a new born baby? 

 

Wouldn't the authorities already have had a missing persons report for the maid? 

 

Etc.

I still really enjoyed it, if that's the right word, but like a few of these they don't bear any real scrutiny.

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Latest one was incredibly weak. The set-up was completely inconsequential (who cares who wins the award?), there was no real dramatic impetus and as a comedy piece it was only occasionally amusing. 

 

I also had the twist down within about ten minutes, because what else could it possibly be that would matter? But in the end, who cares? Probably one of the worst episodes of the whole run for me. 

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I was just enjoying it as a straightforward character based comedy and completely forgot that there was even going to be a twist.

 

Stephen Berkoff had all the best lines.

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2 minutes ago, Darren said:

I was just enjoying it as a straightforward character based comedy and completely forgot that there was even going to be a twist.

 

Stephen Berkoff had all the best lines.

 

Wasn't he killed by heavy electicity some years back?

 

For me it was between Harvey Moon and Noah Claypole. 

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Yeah I worked out the twist almost straight away but it was still good. Zoe Wanamaker was fab. Better than last week's which on reflection doesn't hold up that well.

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Just watched the latest episode 'Tempting Fate' and thought it was pretty decent. Some good humour and properly dark. 

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Yep, a nice way to round off probably the best series to date. Good to know it's definitely coming back for a fifth, too. 

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