MYSTERY 101: DEADLY HISTORY
Whoa. The latest installment of Mystery 101 (The seventh movie in the series) was a nail biter. (SPOILERS ahead!) Not only was the mystery a good one, but we learned a lot more about Travis, watched Amy fall deeper in love, AND the ending was enough to keep us all in suspense and speculation until the next movie.
We need to start at the end and work our way backwards to the beginning. The movie is filled with moments between Amy and Travis where their connection is made deeper and their affection only stronger. And at the very end, or what we viewers thought was the end, they admit to one another what we already knew, they are in love. But then, in the final moments, a cliff hanger is tossed out where it is eleven months later and Amy and Travis are not a couple and she is instead engaged to someone else. I have read and watched every type of speculation about this ranging from a dream to an undercover operation. The writer of the show, John Christian Plummer, has taken to Twitter to try to assure the fans there is more to come for what he calls his "complicated characters", but he hasn't given any clues to what comes next. My best guess is that, some how, some way, Amy gets blackmailed into an engagement and can't let Travis know because it will cost someone she loves, probably her father, his life. Considering the build-up between these two, all that has gone on to get them to this point, I don't believe Amy would willingly walk away from Travis. And for Travis to break things off with Amy he would be giving up more than just the woman he loves, he would be giving up his new found family. So a break-up seems unlikely if one or both were not forced.
My guess that the theories of this as an undercover operation or a dream are incorrect is based on the 9 act structure of most Hallmark movies. By act 7 or 8, the couple is torn apart by something and brought back together in act 9. This was movie 7, and movie 8 seems like it will see Amy and Travis torn apart. So far, the series has followed the 9 act structure perfectly with each movie representing an act. Based on comments by JC Plummer, referencing how couples are torn apart and brought back together, something or someone is about to come between our favorite detective and his lady love. If we look closely enough, we may be able to figure it out.
We need to take a deeper look at the relationship between Amy and Travis, after-all, we're all about romance on Rom Com Road. From the first movie, Amy has been taken with Travis. Beyond being handsome and kind, Travis is smart, protective, and challenges Amy. They have an easy chemistry and she has grown more and more attracted to him with each installment. She was the one who first initiated a hug, a kiss, and she is also the one who most often looks for affection from Travis. In Deadly History, there are several meaningful moments between Amy and Travis, but three that are notable in regard to Amy's emotions.
The most obvious is when the two are outside Travis's door discussing dinner and Amy leans into Travis for a kiss. They are yet again interrupted by Amy's dad Winslow, but even with her anxiety to find her uncle, Amy turns to Travis for her physical needs and comfort. He's her guy, and when her aunt refers to Travis as her boyfriend, followed by Travis teasing her about it, Amy 's response is simple - she's not opposed to the idea in any way. Amy is open to a serious relationship, with a label, with Travis.
The second scene of note for Amy comes when Travis tells her they will find her uncle and she makes a point of saying she believes him. Think of the times you are in a situation where a family member, spouse, or friend is telling you what you want to hear. How do you respond? Usually you'll say something like, "I hope you're right." But not Amy. She purposely tells Travis she believes him. She emotionally relies on Travis and she also wants him to know she trusts him with not only her own life, but the lives of her family. Trust is the cornerstone of any deep relationship, and in this moment Amy is sharing her trust in not only what Travis does, but in what he tells her.
And finally, the third scene where we get a glimpse into Amy's heart is when she does a word play on her prior declaration of trust and tells Travis he is "unbelievable". This is a beautifully written scene, not only for the reference to Amy's trust but because it plays up Amy's literary love of words and really rings true for the character. Words and their meanings is a theme that runs through this entire movie - whether it be "literally", "family and familiar", or "believe and unbelievable". Amy loves the written word, she loves to use words properly, and she finds meaning in the things people say on purpose and by accident. She is taken with the fact Travis is willing to drop everything and fly across the country to support and help her and her father and she finds a word to express her delight as well as the depth of what it means to her. Without her saying the words, she is telling him she knows he loves her. He has shown her time and time again, through his actions, he is someone she can count on. This is a deep love, and one that will not be easily broken.
So what happens in movie 8 that breaks them up? In our next blog, we'll unpack what we've learned about Travis which may help us begin to get a glimpse at what comes next...