Mystery 101: Deadly History
Last we met we were discussing the romantic relationship between Amy and Travis. We took a look at Amy's actions in the most recent movie and I shared my belief that the break up is real, not imagined or pretend. Now I'd like to unpack what we know about Travis, because we learned a lot more about him in this movie, specifically about his family.
The meaning of words is a theme that runs through Deadly History, as is the concept that "No one knows you like your family, until they don't." The word 'literal' and the root of 'familiar' being 'family' are both mentioned and part of the plot of this movie. That could prove interesting in subsequent movies if the literal meaning of family comes into question - but we'll get to that next week. In this movie, we find out about Travis's parents, that they died when he was young, and that his grandparents raised him. His grandfather died while he was still in school and his grandmother was ill for a while and lived just long enough to see him graduate the Academy. (Remember that point.) Travis has no family to speak of, at least not that we yet know about. No siblings, no children, only an ex-wife. Family is something he is missing, and I'm guessing, longing for. In this movie he calls Amy and her father, Graham, his family. He travels across the country with them to help Amy's uncle, and Amy makes a point of saying that he helped her family in her "unbelievable" dialogue. The "Unbelievable" scene was such a beautiful one between them, extremely well acted by Kris Polaha and Jill Wagner. The dramatic pause Travis takes to look at Amy and caress her face, shows not only the depth of his intentions but also his caring, gentle nature. Amy's response is to tell Travis she loves him, but there is no "too" or "also" added in, it is a straight declaration. Her saying the words is not about responding to him having said them but instead admitting she has deep feelings for him.
But, as we all know by now, the next scene 11 months later seems to erase all of the above, or does it?
In the last movie we found out that Travis married his ex wife (played by Eric Cahill) right out of the Academy after only knowing her a short time. His grandmother had just died - he had to be hurting. Between Travis's comments about family and his impulsive marriage, I'm guessing he has a deep longing to belong to a family of his own. He has no parents, no grandparents, no siblings we know of, and an ex wife that was clearly an impulse move rather than a deep commitment. Travis shares with Amy about his family and also tells her he loves her, in a slow, measured move. There's no impulse to this scene between them. He is standing by the railing thinking about Amy and how he feels. Travis is in deep. He's completely committed to Amy at this point. And their relationship is fulfilling a need he has to belong.
In the last movie, Graham asks Travis if he is open to marriage again. Travis says he is and that he's been thinking about it. In this movie, Graham teases Amy in front of Travis about getting married. Amy shrugs it off, but Travis says nothing. We also have the adorable boyfriend scene. So love and marriage are on the table as far as Travis is concerned. What happens to change all that? Or, is it Amy who must be the one who does the rejecting?
In my last blog I mentioned Amy being blackmailed. Perhaps someone has dirt on Travis or Graham, or even on a student, and Amy is forced to become engaged to...the dead guy? Did I hear that right? Because I've watched like twelve times and each time I hear Travis's partner say Amy called in the murder and it's her fiance. So not only is she engaged to someone else, but the guy gets killed? Please send me a note if I've gotten this fact wrong. But it only adds credence to my theory that her engagement to this man is part of some sort of crime. Maybe Amy is forced to stop seeing Travis, it's too much for him to take, and they part ways. Soon after she gets engaged to the "dead guy" in hopes of helping the situation, all the while still loving Travis. But I'm convinced it's Amy who does the breaking up.
Time to go back and watch the first couple movies again for clues...until next week 101ers!