TSoA: Chapter 38, Part 1: Murphule Poirot

The A Team gets back to the inferior B Team and reports on Obi-Wan and his instructions on how to find the ark.

Everyone seemed to feel that the appearance of [Obi-Wan], so soon after they had made their decision to continue the quest, was a good omen.  The ark actually seemed to be in their sights.

Given that Murphy appears to have had no plan whatsoever as to what to do or where to go to find the ark, I’m surprised that the predominant feeling isn’t one of relief.  We’ve gone from “we’re gonna wander around the whole mountain…area” to “go to Specific Valley X.”  Seems an improvement.

But Murphy spares some thought for non-ark issues, such as: WHO IS THE KILLER???

Or possibly killerS, as me loyal readers have been quick to point out.

Thus Murphy puts the little grey cells (both of them) to work, thinking about each (living*) member of the team, “with the exception of Isis.”

Normally, excluding someone from suspicion would be a striking clue.  And it would be fucking incredible if Isis was the killer.

She’s not.

* Murphy clearly hasn’t read many mystery novels.  (They are, no doubt, sinful and “of the world.”)  If he had, he would know that being “presumed dead” does not necessarily exclude a person from being the killer or the killer’s accomplice.

Anyway, Murphy wonders if Token Turk had been in on the gunmen coming to the camp, then dismisses the thought because he rescued her.

He wonders if Fearless Gum-Popping Leader had cut Señor SEAL’s rope, then dismisses the thought because “despite their rivalry,” Fearless seems genuinely upset by Señor’s death.  (So Murphy thinks that Army/Navy rivalry tends to end in murder?  Wild.)

As for [the Nerd], he seemed to spend most of his time in near-death situations himself.

That’s all Murphy has to say about the Nerd.  Not only does the phrasing make it sound like almost-dying is the Nerd’s hobby, but Murphy fails to consider the possibility that the Nerd could be putting on a “helpless act,” to lull the other team members into a false sense of security before he kills them all.  Murphy also ignores the fact that it wasn’t just Fearless who had the opportunity to kill Señor SEAL—the Nerd did, too.

Murphy has nothing on Larry the Photo Guy except that he tends to stand apart from the group (yanno, because he’s taking pictures of them), though I am impressed that Murphy appears to have set aside his jealousy.  (Either that, or Phillips completely forgot that Larry has a crush on Isis.)

Which leaves the Dick, or, as Murphy calls him, “the enigma,” (???) who has “the weakest motivation for volunteering in the first place.”  Which confuses me a bit because back a few chapters ago, we learned that the Dick worked for the Turkish Ambassador.  Which means that the Dick had exactly the same motivation as Token Turk—they’re two sides of the same coin.


And, of course, Murphy can’t decide on the most likely culprit.

He would just have to watch everybody like a hawk.

Or like a Talon!

OR ororororor…it could be the wonderful old murder mystery reveal:



Stay tuned.


Posted on March 5, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Hmm, an impressively intriguing murder mystery: hikers on stuck on a mountain, getting picked off one by one. Who can you trust? Can you afford not to trust anyone while mountain-climbing? Who is the mole? And who is next? . . . How much you wanna bet Phillips ruins it?

    Regarding Murphy’s leetle grey cells — to quote a button I once saw — “if he had two brain cells they would kill each other.”

  2. Murphy and the reader may see that Fauxbi-Wan Kenobi is a Jesus fan and therefore one of the good guys, but I’m surprised the rest of the team isn’t more concerned that the old dude might be leading them into a trap.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Such an Obi-Wan ex Machina makes me think this Obi-Wan is actually an Angel guiding Murph to the Ark. He DOES fit the Fundagelical convention for an angel encounter — male human appears out of nowhere, does his thing, overtones of preaching the Gospel, disappears into nowhere. Only later does the human realize he had to be an angel.

  3. ‘Murphy clearly hasn’t read many mystery novels. (They are, no doubt, sinful
    and “of the world.”)’

    Oh dear – now you’ve got me thinking about Christian-TM-brand mystery fiction. (The twist ending: God dunnit!)

    • You’re missing 2/3 of the ending, though: I believe it, that settles it.

      • “But Pastor Dodgy was standing over Bob’s corpse with a bloody knife in his hand! And Bob had been blackmailing him for years!”

        “Yes, but like fossils, that was merely a snare to catch the unwary.”

        • “The true killer was the pagan muslim homosexual.”

          “How could that be, he’d never have been able to get into Bob and Dodgy’s gated community?”

          “Don’t doubt the very real power of Satan such individuals wield.”

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            The Malleus Malefacarium says that Witches in captivity cannot use their Satanic powers or magic at all because the Holy Spirit is protecting the Witchfinder. So once captured, a Witch will not appear to be a Witch. Q.E.D.

            This is just the contemporary Christianese version.

      • Every episode of CSI:Fundies ends with the team solving the murder with their forensic science skills, then they report to their boss who smiles and says, “But were you there?” Credits.

  4. Hmm, the Nerd is an intelectual so he’s a prime candidate, but I don’t know how he could’ve cut Senor SEAL’s rope while he was hanging below him. Given that the author insert (falsely) thinks Dick has the flimsiest motivation, I’m betting the universe will prove Murphy right once again.

    By the way, RubyTea, got a question. I know of a potentially hillarious Christian movie series, the Apocalypse films (I plugged some riffs on those some time ago), that I think I can make a nice written review with my own material of. But it’s hardly enough to start my own blog over. So I was wondering if you’d consider accepting guest contributions on this blog. I haven’t done any actual work yet, so it’s no problem if you say no. And it would still take some time to create something if you said yes.

    • Sounds great! Send it along when you’re done (ruby.tea@hotmail.com).

      That goes for anyone else, too: if you have a movie or show you’d like to review, or some meta-Isis fic you’d like to write, let me know. I always reserve the right to say “no,” of course, but I like the idea of some Guest Critiques!

  5. Aw..come on, We all know that Fearless gum popping leader did not do it, but Murphy dismisses him from the suspect list on the basis that he genuinely seems upset over Señor SEAL’s death? That’s the kind of reasoning that would have Hercule Poirot going tch..tch..Mon Ami with a sympathetic air, or turning in his grave as the case may be 🙂

  6. hidden_urchin

    SyFy did the whole “stranded on a mountain while looking for something and dying one-by-one” thing far better. It’s kind of pathetic when your book is outdone by a SyFy Original Movie.

    OK, it’s really pathetic.

  7. You know, considering that Isis is named after an eeeevil heathen deity (albeit a generally benevolent one) I have to wonder if the author of the first book wasn’t planning on setting her up as eventually being a traitor and helping out Talon and the Evil Council of Seven because she believes the all of the artifacts that Murphy (is directed) to discover is just too fantastical to actually be the real thing? Book One Isis, as I recall, came off as a fairly knowledgeable person even outside of her particular specialty, and I can’t see her believing that a “Biblically accurate” Noah’s Ark really exists. (In my imagination Meta-Isis believes this trek is a fool’s errand and is only going along because she knows perfectly well Murphy will get himself killed without her there to bail him out of trouble.)

    • Another possibility is that the original author was sneaking her in as a real foil to Murphy, who is having a successful life without all this God stuff, who can then discover her inner emptiness etc. – as opposed to “all Godly people are rich, powerful and beautiful, all un-Godly people are poor, weak and ugly” that we usually see in this sort of book.

  8. Murphy plays detective? Oh god, save me from Gary Stu professors who solve crimes in their spare time. Their ego would fill the room so much it would be almost physically suffocating.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, March 8th, 2013 | The Slacktiverse

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