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    Checking the labels 
  • Why was Ransom so sure that Marta would fall into his plan with the injections? She either administered his medication on instinct in which case she wouldn't have checked the labels, or if she checked the labels wouldn't the odds have been decent she's check beforehand?
    • If Marta is a good nurse, she'd check the label on the bottle first before injection. Ransom assume she reads before the injection. Contrary to Blanc's statement, she's kinda being a bad nurse because she didn't check first. So either Marta is a good nurse and would check the labels first or she's a bad nurse which means it was always a matter of time.
    • Marta probably does check the labels routinely. She just happens to be distracted that particular time as she's doing multiple things at once (clearing up the game, listening to Harlan, preparing his injection, etc.) and is doing some of them on instinct. She's human, it happens to the best of us. Blanc is calling her a good nurse because she is normally so meticulous, careful and caring about her job that, even on the (presumably rare) occasion that she's not fully paying attention, she can still manage to identify the correct medication beyond simply looking at what's on the label.
    • Ransom is betting that Marta will check the medication label first then, trusting that what is in the bottle matches the label, inject what she thinks is the correct dosage. What he doesn't anticipate is that Harlan will distract Marta with his antics, meaning that she won't be fully concentrating, or that Marta is so skilled at her job that she can identify the correct medication without necessarily needing to look at the label. With the latter, he's underestimating her; he's likely assuming that because she's a low-paid (Latina) employee, she'll just lazily go by what's on the label without considering that there may be other elements that she picks up on when administering the medication.
    • It's an ongoing theme that Ransom and Harlan are both paranoid and manipulative to the point of Complexity Addiction, whereas Marta is honest and trusting. Harlan created the very scenario he'd intended to avoid, at the expense of his most trusted friend, and Ransom engaged in an overly complicated murder scheme that led to his own discovery. Had Ransom simply poisoned both vials, or mixed or diluted the two, Marta would have poisoned him anyway. Similarly, hiring Benoit was entirely counterproductive. He should have known better.
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    Calling 911 
  • If you dial 911 even half a ring, the ambulances arrive at your house or call back to make sure its a medical emergency. Marta had already dialed before Harlan hung up.
    • Sadly there are cases where this doesn't happen. Clearly a call wasn't registered as that would have raised concerns in the timeline.
    • Harlan's estate is apparently rural. The ambulances couldn't have reached him that quickly unless they were in the area. Given how often his racist grandson is on property, it's also possible that 911 has flagged the number for crank calls.
    Questioning Marta 
  • If Blanc was as benevolent as he seemed, why did he insistently question Marta for three straight days (which is akin to torture given she vomits every time she lies) rather than get to the strongest piece of evidence first?
    • Blanc isn't a mind reader. Marta withheld vital information. Her "torture" was her unwillingness to tell the truth. Had she done that they could have made getting the toxicology report back a priority and honestly not wasted so much time. He was benevolent in that he didn't peg her as a bad person.
    • He spells this out at one point. He laments that he pretty much always has to follow the truth, no matter where it leads him, even if it means seeing people get hurt by it.
    • Blanc's method appears to be simply observing, gathering all the facts and waiting for the solution to make itself apparent. He doesn't force or rush Marta both because that's not his method and because, in this particular case, it's not needed; he knows she's involved (from the minute he sees the blood-spot on her shoe), he knows she's basically an honest and decent person, he knows that she'll come to a point where she reveals the truth eventually, so all he has to do is to keep her close by and wait for her to reach that point. Like the other troper says, the ball's actually in Marta's court; she could tell him the full truth at any time and save herself the pain and hassle, it's her choice to keep things lingering.
    • Also, let's not exaggerate things. He's not questioning her incessantly all that time. He questions her in their first meeting because, well, he's a detective and that's what people hire him to do. After that, he asks her along partly to keep her under observation, partly because he thinks she'll be useful and helpful in the investigation, and partly because he apparently genuinely enjoys her company.
    Content of the bottles 
  • Forget subconscious distinctions, if Marta's got two bottles and each has a different dosage daily, wouldn't it be really obvious by the difference in how much is left in each bottle? Furthermore it could easily be a difference that Ransom doesn't even think about but Marta notices because she handles them every day.
    • It's not stated, but since one of them would also run out quicker, that particular one might have been recently replaced, meaning that there was a more-or-less equal amount in each bottle. Or, perhaps they both simply happened to be replaced around a similar time.
    • If memory serves, we actually do briefly get a glimpse of the bottles in the flashback where Ransom tampers with them, and there indeed seem to be roughly equal amounts in each bottle. But more importantly, it's heavily implied that Marta knew which medication was which purely by feel, but was thrown off into second-guessing herself in the chaos of the moment because the labels had been tampered with. Even at that, she tries to get Harlan to just call 911 when it's clear she doesn't have the naloxone, but he suffers a terminal case of Complexity Addiction (though to be fair, he is also panicking at this point since he's just been informed he has ten minutes to live).
    Effects of the drugs 
  • Since they emphasize that Harlan would be dead in 10 minutes with an overdose, why was Fran still alive 2 hours after she was injected?
    • Harlan is 85, and he was injected with 30 times the recommended dosage. Fran is younger, anywhere from 30 to 50, and presumably Ransom didn't inject her with as large a dose.
    • Also, Marta administered the doses to Harlan, not Ransom, and unlike Ransom Marta is a trained medical professional. Ransom may simply have misjudged the dose he gave Fran.
    • Lastly, that was more an intravenous dose, which would be rapidly transported through the bloodstream. An intramuscular injection, much more likely when jamming a needle into someone, would take longer to go through the system.
    Size of the morphine dosage 
  • We are able to see the labels on the vials with the ketorolac being 30 milligrams per ml and the morphine being 5 mg per ml. Therefore if the medications were switched, Marta would have given Harlan about 3.3 ml (100 mg of ketorolac = 3 and 1/3 ml of solution) or 16.5 mg of morphine, which is more than the 3 mg she said she was going to give him but only a little above the typical 5-10 mg bolus for someone in pain. However, it seems very improbable she could have even accidentally given 16.5 mg, as the morphine was in a single dose 5 mg vial and she was using a 1 ml syringe. To give 16.5 mg, she would have used 4 vials and filled the syringe 4 times, and to give 100 mg of morphine she would have used 20 vials and filled the syringe 20 times.
    • This is simply Artistic License – Medicine. We're supposed to simply focus on the plot element of the medications being switched, not hyper-focus on the exact dosage being delivered to the precise mg or the type of syringe being used. The filmmakers just bet that non-medical professionals in the audience simply wouldn't give a toss about any of this to begin with, and that any medical professionals in the audience would hopefully be willing to hand-wave this inaccuracy on the reasoning that it was happening in a fictional murder mystery than a laser-accurate lecture about their profession.
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    Size of the ketorolac dosage 
  • The maximal dose of ketorolac is supposed to be 60 mg, and the drug is not supposed to be given more than a few days because of the high risk of renal failure. Why was Marta giving the irresponsibly large dose of 100 mg to him? Also why was she giving this with a small 1 ml syringe, requiring 4 injections for 1 dose? Marta was either not a very good nurse or really did plan to kill Harlan (or at least his kidneys and liver).
    • As above, this is simply Artistic License – Medicine. The larger numbers are there to give an audience which is not exclusively composed of medical professionals some big-sounding numbers to indicate that when Harlan's given the wrong drug, it's serious. Simply put, getting 100ml of something bad sounds more serious to a non-expert than getting, like, 10ml or whatever the realistically dangerous dosage in such a situation would be. Also, as above, no one except a tiny handful of pedants will even notice the type of syringe she's using, much less care about it to the point where it ruins the film for them. Since the audience will be primarily composed of non-experts, the filmmakers bet the farm that they just wouldn't care about the inaccuracy and that any experts watching would be willing to handwave it as being "just a movie".
    Reaction to the overdose 
  • Marta dealt with a suspected overdose in a completely improper and harmful manner, and it could be argued that her malpractice as Harlan's care provider was the actual cause of his death. Despite her patient exhibiting no signs of opioid overdose, she tells him he will be dead in 10 minutes. The first step should have been assessing the patient's pupils, mental status, and breathing. In actuality, opioid overdoses progress over minutes to hours with the course being quite variable and dependent on many factors. It is implied that Harlan is not opioid naive, and this could have impacted his ability to handle a larger dose of morphine. Even if she was unable to give naloxone, there was no way to know that she could not have provided support until emergency responders arrived. This is a good review of how to help when you suspect an opioid overdose.
    • This (again) is Artistic License – Medicine. Marta is a fictional medical professional in a murder mystery played for Rule of Drama, not a medical professional in real life. As with the above, the demands of the story will always come before the demands of depicting the profession in a strictly realistic fashion, and in this case Marta needs to clearly explain as much to the audience as Harlan exactly what has (apparently) happened. You're supposed to just accept it as a necessary part of telling the story.
    • Also notable that she was emotionally devastated, especially after failing to find the naloxone. Then, she proceeded to try to follow procedure, which would start with calling 911: at that point the strong willed personality of a calm Harlan Thrombey went up against the panicking guilty Marta. He forcibly hung up the phone, tripped her, emotionally manipulated her through her mother, and asking her to go through with his plan, “for him.” The dying wish of a dear friend Marta thought she had just killed.
    • STILL though, the moment she leaves the room, and is no longer in the center of the Harlan Thrombey dramatic whirlwind, she comes to her senses, and immediately turns back to insist on calling the ambulance- only to open the door just in time to witness Harlan cutting his own throat (and get a tell-tale splatter on her shoe). At which point it was a little late to monitor anyone’s breathing.
    Switching the labels 
  • Ransom has super label-peeling skills. The medication labels for injectable vials are typically affixed with waterproof strong adhesives, which are meant to be permanent. He was not only able to remove the labels, but also reattach them to the glass vials, without evidence that the labels had been tampered with.
    • He didn’t switch the labels, he switched the contents. He used the syringes to empty and refill them, shown in the flashback, but Benoit slaps blank labels over top of the bottles when explaining.
    Invisible ink 
  • This one's more for fun than anything: Any guesses what Harlan was using to make invisible ink? The house would very reasonably have a number of things that would work in the manner shown but are there any hints to what it might be specifically?
    • Judging from the way that Linda reveals it (by holding her cigarette lighter under the paper), it's probably the classic "lemon juice" method, since that particular method tends to react more quickly to the heat from an open flame.
    • Harlan has a bowl of lemons on his desk, so that is the likely answer.
    Eldest daughter 
  • Any ideas why Linda is specifically introduced as Harlan's eldest daughter (instead of the more gender neutral eldest child) even though a second daughter is never seen or mentioned?
    • Could just be how the officer speaks. Or he is including Joni as a "daughter" of Harlan.
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    Resources for fixing immigration status 
  • After it is revealed that Harlan made Marta the sole inheritor to his will, Walt threatens to report her undocumented mother. He goes on to say that the family's resources could protect her during the investigation by hiring the best lawyers, but only if she renounces the inheritance. Marta says that with her resources she can protect her mother during the investigation. Except that Walt and the Thrombeys have got resources that they inherited from their father, regardless of the will. They have contacts and networks. Marta might be able to google 'New York' lawyers and 'Washington' lawyers, but the Thrombeys have connections that she doesn't.
    • If their connections are as good as they are themselves, it's more likely they won't have any network whatsoever now that they are penniless. And, not strictly related, but by the end of the movie Marta has at least one solid connection: Blanc, who almost certainly knows some good lawyers and would be willing to help.
    • That's also assuming that the Thrombeys would be willing to help Marta after they receive the inheritance which knowing how they've acted the entire movie is a stretch at best. It's much more likely that one of the Thrombeys would report her anyway and then "we tried to help but was outvoted". That's part of Marta's realization, not only that she can help herself but that none of the Thrombeys care or view her as family or would put any effort towards helping her beyond empty lip service.
    • Additionally, she now owns Blood Like Wine, which presumably has an extensive legal department. Their connections and networks are hers now.
     Thrombeys homeless? 
  • Are any of the Thrombeys homeless now?
    • None of them lived in the house. The only one there early on the day of the party was Richard, and he was said to have come to help the caterers and talk to Harlan. They did stay there that night, but that was presumably more of a staying while in town thing.
    • In general, the Thrombeys presumably have their own homes, savings and so on. Disinheriting them likely hasn't automatically put them on Skid Row. What it has done is make it harder for them to sponge off Harlan's name and fortune. Harlan wants his family to develop their own strengths outside of leaning on him, but he presumably doesn't want to leave them entirely impoverished and ruined.
     Questioning a character revealing their motives 
  • Why oh why did Harlan tell Ransom that he was changing the will? Why him specifically and not any of his other descendants? What did he think would happen? If Harlan had just kept his mouth shut about him naming Marta as his inheritor then the entirety of the film doesn't happen. He's shown to be a clever man and this move makes no sense.
    • Harlan is a Drama Queen and angry at his eldest grandson. In the middle of the argument, he just wanted to say something to take Ransom down a few pegs.
      • He also may have been trying to mess with the relationship between Ransom and the rest of the family. He knows Ransom and the rest of the family politely loathe each other, so he gives Ransom the secret and waits to see what he does with it. Does he reveal it immediately to watch his family squirm under the knowledge that Harlan's death will lose them everything? Does he hold onto the secret to let it come out as a shock during the will reading? Something else?
    • Also, he simply wants to believe that Ransom, for all his flaws, has sufficient conscience to not plan to murder his grandfather as a result of this setback. Granted, he bets wrong on that one, but we can surely forgive him for preferring to have some faith that his own grandson would ultimately manage to resist slithering under that particular moral line, since it's hardly a very high one.
      • It's worth pointing out that, under normal circumstances, killing Harlan would not have actually helped Ransom. The idea of Ransom killing Harlan in a way that would frame Marta is far-fetched enough it's understandable Harlan didn't think of it.
     Linda cut out of will 
  • As mentioned under the YMMV page why was Linda not given the money? As mentioned she's the only one he didn't single out and she's the only member of the family who never does anything wrong throughout the film. They were clearly close and she is given no explanation so why?
    • It's not exactly so much that Harlan is punishing the Thrombey clan that he disinherits them, or at least not entirely. As he says to Marta, what he regrets is that he used his fortune, intentionally or not, to make them mostly dependent on him; instead of using their own skills and talents to forge their own paths in life, they've mostly elected to just sponge off him, which is in large part what has made them and their families so messed up. He's cutting them all loose because, as he sees it, this is giving them a chance to find their own path to success without simply relying on him to bail them out. And since it wouldn't be very fair to cut everyone except Linda off, then she gets cut off as well. Besides which, Linda clearly doesn't need any part of Harlan's inheritance anyway as her own business, while initially reliant on the start-up capital given by Harlan, has become very successful in its own right; she doesn't need either the inheritance or the life lesson Harlan is trying to impart (beyond a general "don't be greedy", at least), so as far as Harlan's concerned there's no reason to leave everything/anything to her.
    • Harlan blames himself for his family's failures, and doesn't trust his own judgment. He trusts Marta's, which is why he told Marta so much about his family — not for juicy gossip, but because Marta needs to know everything should she decide how much of the inheritance to share, if any.
    • Also, some of this is likely a consequence of the fact that Harlan, well, dies unexpectedly. It's highly likely that Harlan was planning on explaining himself and his reasoning to Linda (quite possibly through one of their secret messages) and, as mentioned above, that explanation would probably have heavily revolved around the fact that Linda can stand on her own two feet already and doesn't really need his inheritance. It's the fact that he gets bumped off before he can actually reveal this to her that makes his actions seem crueller than they were almost certainly intended to be; he probably intended to let her know of his intentions well before she was rudely surprised with it at the will reading.
     Dude that Donna meets in the deleted scene 
  • Who was that person that Donna was so afraid of? What was the purpose of him and why was she scared?
    • The scene goes on to establish that Walt has money problems due to bad investments, has gone to rather unsavoury types for loans, and these rather unsavoury types are coming to collect (it also establishes that his leg injury, previously passed off as a "bicycling accident" in another scene, was a message from these unsavoury types). The man in question is probably one of their hoodlums, and Donna is quite reasonably afraid that he might try to kill or harm her to send another message to Walt. As for the purpose, presumably it was to establish a stronger possible motive for Walt (it's also stated that he's been plundering the publishing company).
    • On listening to the commentary for the deleted scenes in question, it turns out that the man in question would have been revealed (in an unfilmed deleted scene) to have actually been another police officer that Blanc roped in to pose as a thug in order to bait Donna into revealing what Walt was up to.
     Ransom's Second Plan 
  • Why did Ransom try to frame Marta after she agreed to give him his cut? If she gets away with it, he gets the same amount of money (maybe even more, if he blackmails her properly) and his family - whom he hates, and who just got done talking about how they would give him nothing if he was disinherited - get nothing. Why wouldn't he see this as win-win? Also, considering how intestacy works, all the money probably just goes to Harlan's children - not his grandchildren - and his parents said that they would cut him off, so really he's not getting anything.
    • Regarding the two points: a) Ramson doesn't want Marta to get the family fortune because he is racist and/or classist and doesn't want a Latin nurse getting it b) Ransom is very intelligent but by all appearances not all that knowledgeable about the legalities of inheritance law.
     Running a publishing company 
  • Since Marta was given full ownership of the Blood Like Wine publishing company how exactly does she go about that going forward? She's a nurse, a very good nurse but a nurse nonetheless and likely knows next to nothing on the business nuances of running a company, one that's considered the "biggest asset" of everything Harlan owned. On top of that, she's likely not a writer, so her knowledge of the actual product her company sells is very new to her. Since any family involvement (especially from Walt) is likely out one would hope there's someone in the company who could actually manage things for Marta. Hopefully, Harlan would have prepared his company (sans Walt) for that eventuality.
    • She can either hire someone to run it for her, or she can sell it for a tidy sum. She could even respect Harlan's wishes by keeping the adaptation rights for herself when she negotiates the sale.
    • Just because she owns the company doesn't mean she has to be hands-on in running it. As the person above says, she can just hire someone else to manage it for her.
    • Considering that it's pretty much outright stated that Walt was just a glorified middle-man there basically because he was the founder's son, it's highly likely that he probably wasn't that much use in running the company anyway. There are likely plenty of people in the company who are more deserving of being in a management role than him. And even if this an unfair summary of his role, well, it's not like he's the only person in the world who can run a publishing company.
    • Also, we should remember that the only reason that "family involvement (especially from Walt) is likely out" is largely due to the family themselves. Though they were understandably shocked and knocked off-kilter by events, had they managed to control their resentment and pride, not reacted like petulant jackals and not tried to alternately bully, threaten and manipulate Marta out of an inheritance that was legally and rightfully hers, there is a larger than zero chance that Marta may in fact have turned to Walt and the family for help in running the publishing company.
    Fran, you're an eyewitness! 
  • There's one thing that I don't get; obviously, Fran sees herself as a murder mystery heroine. Thing is, she could have told the cops at any time that she saw Ransom tampering with Marta's medical bag the day of the funeral. That would be proof enough for them to at least question Ransom because that is way too suspicious even if he lawyered up. If you listen to her dialogue when confronting Ransom, she's not blackmailing him for money but angrily calling him out for murdering his grandfather and her boss. Why didn't she go to the cops first and tell them what she saw? Miss Marple and J.B. Fletcher worked with the cops on a regular basis.
    • We're maybe taking "she sees herself as a murder mystery heroine" a bit too literally here. She sees herself as a murder mystery heroine in that she thinks she's figured out the case and wants to be the one who solves it, not that she literally sees herself occupying the role of mystery heroine down to the nth detail including all the bits where the heroine works with the authorities. She's overconfident, has read too many mysteries and is lacking in common sense, basically, she doesn't literally think she's the lead character in a detective story who needs to follow every single plot beat down to the exact detail.
    • She's also dealing with an absolute asshole who has brazenly treated her very poorly for quite awhile. She probably also wanted to personally stick it to Ransom.
    The antidote 
  • What would have happened if Marta had had the antidote and had given it to Harlan, even though he hadn't actually received a massive morphine overdose?
    • Naloxone has little to no effect if opioids are not present. In people with opioids in their system, it may cause increased sweating, nausea, restlessness, trembling, vomiting, flushing, and headache, and has in rare cases been associated with heart rhythm changes, seizures, and pulmonary edema.
    Thinking about lying 
  • Marta says she pukes if she even thinks about lying, so wouldn't that negate any ability to tell whether she's actually lying or not? She considers lying, decides against it and tells the truth, but throws up anyway just from the thought of it.
    • Practically speaking, it should, though it's probably more likely that most of the time she just gets queasy when thinking of a lie to tell and vomits if she goes through with it. But, for example, if someone set Marta down and interrogated her, the both of you knowing she would vomit if she wasn't honest, it's unlikely she would seriously consider lying to you (Ransom exploits this by also having her eat something she would definitely not want to vomit up.) There's also the fact that even if not all of her lies are lies, if she doesn't get sick at all you know what she said is 100% true.
    • Marta is likely exaggerating just a little here to indicate how sensitive her stomach is.
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