A Murder at the End of the World: Retreat
December 19, 2023 8:55 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

The remaining guests gather and discover the killer among them.
posted by ellieBOA (17 comments total)
Y’all called it!

I’ve got to be more suspicious of AI 😂
posted by ellieBOA at 8:56 AM on December 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

The (AI) butler did it!
posted by autopilot at 1:46 PM on December 19, 2023 [2 favorites]

see the deal is i started watching this because brit marling is weird as fuck, just, incredibly weird, the perpetrator of some of the millennium’s finest high-grade weird shit (anybody else out there love “sound of my voice”? cause that thing is a low-budget hot mess but i love it) and anyway long story short i came into this thing expecting some high-grade weird shit at the end, but instead i got the solution to a murder mystery.

and now i’m kinda bummed.
posted by bombastic lowercase pronouncements at 7:30 PM on December 19, 2023 [5 favorites]

I mean a murder mystery is what i signed up for, typically murder mysteries have the solution to a murder mystery at the end, i realize that, but as someone who came in expecting the murder mystery to be the bait in a bait-and-switch I feel actually kinda bait-and-switched by the lack of a bait-and-switch.

oh well. it was fun and stylish. I wonder if grimes has watched it yet. she seems like the kinda person who wouldn’t be able to resist watching it.
posted by bombastic lowercase pronouncements at 7:32 PM on December 19, 2023

My wife called Ray as the murderer from early on, but we didn't know how it managed the injection. We thought Zoomer was a great twist. It was a well told story, and a cool serious variant on the same basic elements as Glass Onion.
posted by rikschell at 7:54 PM on December 19, 2023 [3 favorites]

I know I keep IT-guy-nitpicking these things, but really...you design a giant server room and then don't incorporate an emergency power cutoff switch?

Also, I really doubt that one burning laptop battery would be enough to take out entire gigantic server racks like that, especially with a halon system going.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:37 AM on December 20, 2023 [2 favorites]

Yeah, the tech stuff in this show ... it made me realize how people that work in hospitals must have felt during that hospital show boom years ago - or police detectives, surely. I get that it won't bug 99.5% of people, but sheesh.
posted by destructive cactus at 5:47 AM on December 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

I think a better show would have switched perspectives between all the guests. As Bill said, he didn’t care who did it, he cares how the people feel.
posted by CMcG at 6:43 AM on December 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

I rolled my eyes a bit at the server room without cutoff and the power of a laptop battery, but props to them for having what looked like actual Juniper device output on the screen.

I had wondered about Ray but couldn't figure out how he managed it without Chekhov's telepresence rig or something sitting around. I completely forgot about Checohv's augmented reality gaming rig and Zoomer.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:48 AM on December 20, 2023 [2 favorites]

I had guessed that Lee was trying to get away in the first episode. When she proposes a toast to "finding a way out" and Andy adds "a way out, together", but she doesn't repeat that part.

Until the very last episode, I was mostly* onboard for the tech stuff (and even praised the reverse engineering scene a few episodes ago, and the screens in the datacenter were actual ifconfig output as they tried to get on the network). The AR glasses are a bit beyond what we can do today, although within the realm of plausibility (and I haven't tried the Apple Vision Pro yet). Plus the AI and Deep Fake plot points seem really topical despite being written a few years ago.

But WTF were they doing hacking the data center after realizing that Ray was the culprit? First, they're destroying the evidence. Secondly, Ray doesn't seem to have any other ways to attack them. Third, as Mr Bad Example points out, a single laptop battery really wouldn't cause that much of an explosion. And lastly, staying in the room when the halon system dumps is a seriously career life limiting move.

*: Except for the climate suit latches being remotely controlled by computers with no mechanical failsafes. That's Musk-level hubris that I can't imagine an actual astronaut being onboard with.
posted by autopilot at 11:51 AM on December 20, 2023

I'll never get over the kid named Zoomer.

But props to the solution to the door mysteriously opening to an empty hallway That is some genuine good mystery solution stuff. I also like how they return to the book reading but it's a second book she's written (right? my memory is hazy).

I never really bought any of the other guests as a suspect though. They just were not characterized very well or integrated, they're just kind of a drag.

This might be an odd criticism but I think there were overall just too many shots of Emma Corrin reacting w/ unhappily puzzlement, and they all went on for like 2 seconds too long. Not every feeling has to be triple underlined every time. The cumulative effect was ugh.
posted by fleacircus at 8:17 AM on December 21, 2023 [2 favorites]

That's Musk-level hubris
I was thinking more OceanGate, but sure.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:30 AM on December 21, 2023 [2 favorites]

second book she's written (right? my memory is hazy).

posted by ellieBOA at 2:28 PM on December 21, 2023 [2 favorites]

A Murder at the End of the World Finale Recap: The Things We Do for Love [Vulture / Archive]
I Have a Few More Questions, A Murder at the End of the World [Vulture / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA at 3:03 PM on December 21, 2023

Like others, I had called the Ray thing, but not figured out the Zoomer thing. Perfectly fine ending to a perfectly adequate show. A good thing to watch this couch potato week, but probably not something I'm going to remember.
posted by hydropsyche at 2:43 PM on December 29, 2023

I suspect that destroying the billionaire's AI by lighting a broken laptop on fire using a) money and b) hand sanitizer as accelerant (bringing to mind Covid, imo) is an image that originated pretty early in the process. They had good tech advisors, but your advisors can't fix something if its a key part of the writer's vision.

I enjoyed it.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 8:46 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]

Speaking of good tech advisors: When Darby was using Ray in therapy mode, I was thinking that he was sounding very much like ELIZA only moments before he went on to cite ELIZA specifically. They clearly based Ray's dialogue there on the rhythms of a conversation with ELIZA and I thought it was well done.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 8:49 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]

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