You find yourself in a strange mansion with six eccentric strangers. You enter what appears to be a study and discover a dead body on the floor. The other six guests come running in after you. The group descends into hysterical finger-pointing. Someone exclaims, “Who did this?” Someone else yells, “How did they do this?” You look around and ask, “Why did they do this?” The chatter in the room dies instantly before a stuffy man who calls himself Colonel Mustard glares at you with a smirk, “Who the fuck cares?”
In Clue, murder simply is, and, much like a podcast, doesn't need to be justified.
What do you know about the victim? He's Mr. Boddy. You look around, wondering if anyone else finds it strange the dead body is called Boddy. Is this a coincidence or is it the machinations of a grand design with flippant views on cold-blooded murder? You mutter to yourself, “This feels like lazy writing,” eliciting a surreptitious glance from a man who identified himself as Mr. Green.
You return his stare as you realize you’re all suspects, and the scant details you have on the other guests provide little insight into possible motives. Professor Plum is, you assume, a professor of something. Colonel Mustard must be a military man, but then Colonel could be his name, like Captain Kangaroo. Ms. Scarlet wears a lot of red? Mr. Green and Mrs. Peacock look like people who correct your grammar under their breath. Mrs. White is an elderly housekeeper. Wait, that can’t be right? Wasn't she a young attorney? It doesn’t matter. You’re trapped in a malevolent place with colorful strangers, and yours is not to reason why because motive doesn’t fucking matter here.
To make things worse, the moment the body is discovered, the other guests immediately exit the room to track down clues. Shouldn't someone say a few words for the deceased? Maybe call the police? At the very least, doesn’t it make sense for all of you to stick together? No, these fools sprint from the study, some taking secret passages to other rooms. How did they know there were secret passages? Out of the terror of being left alone in this nightmare, you fall in with Mrs. White who insists the two of you go to the kitchen. As you walk across the mansion, you contemplate the darker side of the human condition. Are we senseless killing machines entirely desensitized to bloodshed? Your ruminations are interrupted by shouts in the distance, as other guests pick up items and announce half-baked theories on whodunit.
From the game room, Mrs. Peacock exclaims, “Mr. Green with a wrench!” Mrs. White stops to consider the idea, causing you to ask, “Why would Green kill Boddy?” Mrs. White rolls her eyes so hard the blood drains from her face, making her whiter. “Will you stop asking stupid questions?”
Looking for a motive isn’t stupid. What’s stupid is running around a murder house full of potential weapons trying to find the one used to kill the first victim. First? If someone is truly killing for sport, why stop at one? Why not kill Plum with a revolver in the billiard room before killing Ms. Scarlet with a noose in the ballroom? Also, who uses a noose when there's a perfectly good dagger in the conservatory?
After a frenzied search of the premises, everyone regroups in the library. With no one saying anything, you take action.
“Ahem,” you announce, “My name is Mr. … Jones and I think we’re headed down the wrong path.”
Ms. Scarlet glowers at you, “What path? And what kind of name is Jones?”
You ignore her, “I think it might help if we got to know one another. Maybe we can connect someone to Mr. Boddy and establish a motive. Otherwise, we’re simply hurling wild accusations at one another.”
“No shit, Sherlock,” retorts Professor Plum. “That’s how you solve a murder.”
The room returns to tossing out theories. You watch with revulsion as they relish in the details of Mr. Boddy’s murder. Is this just a game to these monsters?
Suddenly, Mrs. Peacock cries out, “Mrs. White with a lead pipe!”
Everyone begins to nod. Mrs. White laughs demurely and confesses to the murder. Ms. Scarlet pats Peacock on the back. Then, as if nothing had occurred, the group falls into the pitter-patter of small talk.
You pull Mrs. White from her conversation with Mustard to ask why she did it.
Mrs. White blinks at you with confusion, “Did what, dear?”
“Why did you kill Boddy?!”
“I don’t understand, love,” she answers politely, her eyes seeking out others in the room.
“You murdered someone. Surely, you must have a reason!”
“Reason? Whatever do you mean?”
The other guests stare at you with perplexed scowls as they file out of the library and into the dining room. Mrs. White calmly pours everyone a glass of wine despite just confessing to murdering Mr. Boddy in the study with a lead pipe. Suddenly, a bloodcurdling scream comes from beyond the door. The group rushes into the hall where you see a dead body on the floor.
Then it happens. Your black and white construct of morality blurs as you feel the need to uncover the who and the what. You join the party gathered around the body and scan their faces for clues.
Professor Plum points at you, “You’re new.”
“Yes, I’m Mr. Gray.”
Ms. Scarlet raises an eyebrow, “And why are you here, Mr. Gray?”
“I didn’t know I needed a reason.”
Colonel Mustard guffaws, “Reason? No one cares about reasons, Gray.”
You smile, “Especially when there’s a murder to solve.”
Suddenly, Mrs. Peacock screams, “Scarlet with a candlestick!”
You feel giddy knowing she’s wrong, knowing she doesn’t know, and knowing the world finally made sense once you stopped asking why.