3-09 Murder 101

3-09 Murder 101

Murder 101

Look, I’m gonna be your new mommy.


Murder 101

Look, I’m gonna be your new mommy.


Original air date: January 9, 1999

Written by: Andrew Dettmann & Daniel Truly

Directed by: Scott Lautanen

Jarod teaches a graduate course in the psychology of the criminal mind in order to determine which of his students murdered the previous professor.

Jarod’s Discoveries:

Jarod’s Occupations: Criminal Psychology College Professor

Jarod’s Aliases: Jarod Gardner


Behind the scenes insights and the Creator’s Take

Official Synopsis

Jarod plays a game of cat and mouse with a group of student geniuses who may have pulled off the perfect murder.


Jarod telephones Miss Parker and asks her how well she knows her father.  Before hanging up, he tells her to check her mail.  Parker searches through a stack of envelopes and comes upon one of particular interest.  Inside is a copy of a letter from her father’s attorney, which indicates that Mr. Parker is making a change in his will.

Meanwhile, Jarod, having assumed the identity of a professor, addresses a classroom of students at the University of Hanover in Connecticut.  The class is a graduate course in the psychology of the criminal mind.  The students are part of the school’s Vanguard program, and all have brilliant minds.  Suddenly, armed Sweepers storm the room.  One of them opens fire, apparently killing Jarod.  It turns out, however, that Jarod recruited three students for the mock murder.  He then asks the class to describe the shooter.  The students disagree on the killer’s physical details.  But one student, a flirtatious young woman named Claire Dunning, describes the attacker in accurate detail.  Her two friends, Grady and Matthew, smile when Claire impresses the class with her astute observational skills.  Jarod tells the class that, with their help, he intends to solve the murder of their last professor, Alden Clark, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances.  Police believe Clark emptied his bank account and ran off with his mistress.  The professor’s book, The Perfect Murder, was published just prior to his disappearance.

Jarod approaches Alden’s widow, Deborah Clark.  She refuses to accept the conclusion reached by police regarding her husband’s disappearance.  At the time, she was pregnant with their son, and he wanted the baby more than anything else in the world.  Later, Detective Rusk tells Jarod that police found emails from Alden’s mistress on his computer.

Jarod turns to his class for ideas about how to commit the perfect murder.  It is eventually decided that staging a car crash—and making it look accidental—would be almost undetectable.  One of the students states that Dr. Clark drove up to his cabin in the mountains every Friday.  But later, Deborah confirms that her husband headed home from work on the day he disappeared, as he had just learned of her pregnancy.  Jarod retraces Clark’s route…and eventually discovers his overturned truck at the bottom of a gorge.  Police find plane tickets inside the wreck: one for Clark, and another for a woman named Karen Sweet, which they believe is the name of his mistress.

Meanwhile, back at the Center, Miss Parker confronts her father about his health.  It turns out that Mr. Parker isn’t dying…but is intending to marry his new girlfriend.

Jarod eventually suspects that Claire, Matthew and Grady are responsible for their professor’s demise.  He once again turns to the class for answers.  But this time, he manipulates them.  Jarod presents a scenario in which Alden was drugged with di-methyl-penol, a potent sedative.  He then proposes a role playing game, in which Claire is the killer and Grady and Matthew are her two accomplices.

In the classroom, Jarod asks the students to think of reasons why Alden was killed.  He proposes that the killers operated with one motive in mind: arrogance.  But he warns that accomplices can be unpredictable, and eventually lead to the killer’s downfall.  Jarod then reveals that photographs of Alden and his “mistress,” which were discovered inside his glove box, are fakes.  As a result, police have labeled the investigation a homicide.

Claire messengers a yellow note pad to police.  But Jarod intercepts the evidence before it falls into detectives’ hands.  The notepad contains a list, composed in Matthew’s handwriting, of step-by-step instructions on how Alden was murdered.  Jarod confronts Matthew with the list.  He insists that Grady and Claire pulled off the crime, which began as a drunken game.  But Claire and Grady acted out the fantasy.  A short time later, word of Matthew’s suicide spreads through school.

Jarod drugs Claire and Grady.  When they awaken, Claire finds herself standing on a chair, a noose around her neck; Grady is tied to a chair nearby.  Jarod informs the pair that Matthew is still very much alive.  Jarod attempts to extract a confession, but Claire maintains he has no way of proving anything.  Jarod uses a gun to blow out one of legs on Claire’s chair.  She wobbles, but manages to keep her balance and not hang herself.  Eventually Grady cracks, and confesses to his participation in the murder.  Grady claims Claire wanted to kill Alden when he refused to sleep with her.  Jarod kicks away Claire’s chair.  She drops and jerks violently, but the rope has been rigged a certain way, and she is unharmed.  Jarod then berates Claire, scoffing at her so-called genius intellect.

Back at the Centre, Miss Parker discovers that her father’s new bride is none other than Brigitte.

3-09 Murder 101

Murder 101 Transcript



Miss Parker   What?
Jarod   How well do you know your father?
Miss Parker   Better than you know yours.
Jarod   Yes, well, I’m working on that one.
Miss Parker   Why the call Jarod?
Jarod   You and your father are close, but how close? Does he share important things with you? Would he tell you about the big developments  in his life?
Miss Parker   I’d be insanely optimistic to think this little quiz show had a bonus round wouldn’t I?
Jarod   Check your mail Miss Parker.
Miss Parker   Why?
Jarod   Because we all have a lot to learn. Including me. Gotta go. Don’t want to be late for my first day of school.
Miss Parker   Jarod.
Sydney   What did he have to say?
Miss Parker   A lot less than he knows, that’s for sure.
Sydney   Miss Parker?
Miss Parker   It’s a copy of a letter to my father from his attorney. He’s changing his will.
Sydney   Hmmm.
Broots   Miss Parker. Statistician from the Brooksberry field office swears she saw Jarod on her lunch break.
Miss Parker   Call Brooksberry. Get a local sweeper team moving….now.
Broots   Okay.
Jarod   Well, well, well, the Vanguard Program. The finest minds at the university. I’ll have to do my best to keep up. Welcome to graduate class 523, psychology of the criminal mind. I’m your new professor, Dr Gardner, but please call me Jarod.
Students   Oh my god! Oh my god!
Students   Somebody get some help! Call 911.
Jarod   You can cancel that call.
Student   What?
Jarod   I may be a little sticky, but otherwise I’m just fine. Oh, the gunmen, they were some drama students that I recruited. And the shots? Blanks.
Student   I assume there’s a point to scaring the hell out of us like that?
Jarod   Oh yes sir, there’s absolutely a point. I’m the cop, you’re the witness. Describe the gunman to me.
Student   Tall, dark suit.
Jarod   How tall? How dark?
Student   Uh…
Jarod   Uh doesn’t cut it. I need details. What colour hair did he have?
Student   Brown, maybe a little reddish.
Student   No, it was blond.
Jarod   Straight or wavy?
Student   Straight.
Student   Wavy.
Jarod   Any distinguishing features? Scars? Facial hair? What kind of shoes was he wearing?
Student   Shoes? All I saw was the gun. I couldn’t even tell you if the guy had feet.
Jarod   This is a highly charged situation. Your adrenaline is pumping. Here’s my point. That even the most brilliant minds can miss a thing or two.
Claire   Speak for yourself. Your killer Jarod, was a white male, 6’1″, 170. He had straight brown hair, if you count the cheesy shampooed-in highlights. And except for the played-out 90210 sideburns, he was clean shaven. Clothing-wise, and that’s where the real crime was committed, he wore an off-the-rack JC Penny special, charcoal grey with lapels that screamed Bush administration. Oh and start your manhunt in the Financial Aid office because nobody with even 10 bucks in their pockets would be seen wearing those shoes.
Jarod   Very good, Miss…
Claire   Dunning, Claire.
Jarod   Ah, yes. Top of the Vanguard class.
Claire   Grady and Matthew here were close, but, uh, no cigar though.
Jarod   Well even with their vast intellect, it would be pretty difficult to keep up with someone who joined Mensa at age 13.
Claire   I’m kinda curious as to your qualifications Doc.
Jarod   Well, you frame a couple of diplomas, you slap your name on a few dissertations and voila, people think you’re a genius.
Student   So what kind of genius surprises are we in for next?
Jarod   Something that will help us delve into the criminal mind. This class has been put on hold since your last professor, Alden Clark, disappeared. Now I thought, wouldn’t it be provocative if we all solved the mystery of his disappearance?
Student   He cleaned out his bank account and ran off with his mistress.
Jarod   Maybe, maybe not. This is Professor Clark’s book. The perfect murder. Now, what if Professor Clark didn’t run off with his mistress? What if, for argument’s sake, that he himself was the victim of the perfect murder.
Miss Parker   If murder were legal, Broots?
Broots   Huh?
Miss Parker   Your tip on Jarod? False alarm. Sweeper team came up empty.
Broots   Oh, well that… oh I see, so kill the messenger?
Miss Parker   Well, that’s your first usable idea in weeks. Broots, do you know who that man speaking with my father is?
Broots   Yeah, he’s a doctor. I just rode up with him on the elevator.
Miss Parker   Doctor?
Broots   Yeah.
Miss Parker   Changing his will.
Broots   Huh? Something the matter Miss Parker?
Man in street   There you go.
Jarod   Mrs Clark.
Mrs Clark   If you’re another bill collector, you can save your breath. Not even the house is mine anymore.
Jarod   Actually my name is Jarod Gardner. I’m taking over your husband’s classes at the university.
Mrs Clark   I’m sorry. I’ve been meaning to stop by and clear his things out of the office. I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do it yet.
Jarod   I understand. Hi. They’re so fragile and so innocent. Yet with one look, they can help you through anything.
Mrs Clark   Why are you here Dr Gardner?
Jarod   To help.
Mrs Clark   Alden and I used to dream about the day our children would…run around this yard.
Jarod   It must be very difficult to be the only one who still believes in him.
Mrs Clark   It’s been a year now. I don’t have any illusions that my husband is suddenly gonna walk back into my life but I need answers. I need something to tell our child other than his father ran off with his girlfriend. Alden and I had a very difficult time getting pregnant. There was so much heartbreak. He wanted this baby so badly. There is no way he would have missed his son’s birth if he were still alive.
Detective   The harsh reality is that he left her. Alden Clark was having an affair. I found e-mail on his computer from his mistress, fantasies, plans for running away. None of it G-rated. Plus he withdrew every last cent from their account the day he left.
Jarod   He had a baby on the way, it doesn’t make any sense.
Detective   Look, I feel for Mrs Clark and her child, but sooner or later she needs to face the facts. No body, no sign of foul play. The man walked out. Now Dr Gardner, it’s only natural to want the fact about the man you are replacing but I have 25 real cases to handle. That’s my harsh reality. Excuse me.
Jarod   So you want to commit the perfect murder. How do you go about it? Well? Oh come on, use those brilliant minds of yours. Become a killer. A sociopath. Someone without compassion, without a conscience.
Student   This is sick. We’re talking about Professor Clark here. We should just leave it alone.
Jarod   No. I think we can stand to learn a great deal from this. So I’m asking that you play along with me.
Claire   I’m willing to go along with any game you wanna play Jarod.
Student   At the risk of sounding like Claire, I’m in.
Student   I’m in.
Student   Me too.
Jarod   Good. Then let’s begin. Name all the ways that you can kill someone.
Student   Stabbing.
Jarod   Stabbing.
Student   Shooting.
Jarod   Shooting, very good.
Student   Suffocation.
Jarod   Suffocation. There certainly are a lot of ways to kill somebody. But you still have to deal with the body.
Student   I’d bury it out in the woods somewhere.
Claire   It’s too risky. You hear stories all the time about some hiker stumbling over a stiff.
Student   It’d be smarter to make the perfect murder look like a suicide.
Claire   You still end up with an investigation. If it’s not flawless, you’re screwed.
Jarod   So how would you deal with it Claire?
Claire   The perfect murder isn’t a murder. It’s an accident.
Jarod   Hmmm
Student   She’s right. Plausible deniability. Make it look like an accident. Something that fits into the victim’s daily routine.
Student   If we’re talking about Dr Clark, how about on the road up to his cabin?
Jarod   His cabin?
Student   Yeah, he had a cabin. He used to go up there ah in the mountains after school on Fridays.
Student   And he did disappear on a Friday.
Sydney   Lately Jarod’s been bored. We must find better ways to engage his intellect. Keep a brilliant mind from becoming idle.
Young Jarod   Sydney, I can’t do these anymore. These same problems,  they’re so monotonous. What are they doing?
Sydney   They’re just working on a new security system. Come on Jarod, back to work.
Jarod   Hello.
Mrs Clark   Jarod, I just got your message. Alden wasn’t headed to the cabin the day he vanished.
Jarod   The students told me that he headed up to his cabin every Friday night to write.
Mrs Clark   Well, he planned to go, but that was the Friday I found out I was pregnant. I called him at school, and he said he was coming right home to celebrate. That’s the last time I spoke to him.
Jarod   So the police never searched the road up to your cabin.
Mrs Clark   No. No, they didn’t.
Police   We can use another flare over here please.
Police   Mark it off.
Police   We’ll be right there.
Detective   You get around Professor Gardner.
Jarod   I just heard what happened.
Detective   Got a call from an anonymous motorist. Guy stopped, let his dog take a leak, glanced down, spied the wreck.
Jarod   Hmmmn.
Detective   Kinda feel for Mrs Clark. It just goes from bad to worse for her.
Jarod   She told me he wasn’t headed up here the day he disappeared.
Detective   That doesn’t surprise me. Especially finding these in the car.
Jarod   Plane tickets.
Detective   Mazatlan. One for Clark, the other issued to a Karen Sweet. We found these in the glove box.
Jarod   The other woman?
Detective   Mm-hmm. We also found the 40,0000 in cash Clark took from his account. And a six-pack of empty beer bottles.
Jarod   So you think he was headed up to his cabin to meet her had a few beers and lost control?
Detective   Yeah, the story’s clear. Clark died the victim of a car accident.
Mrs Clark   I guess part of me was still hoping.
Jarod   That’s only natural.
Mrs Clark   You know yesterday, I would have done anything to keep this house and memories. Now, I’ve got the money to stay, I’m not sure I want to anymore.
Jarod   Don’t give up on your husband yet.
Mrs Clark   I’m doing the best I can. I really am. But now the plane tickets and the photographs. What am I supposed to believe?
Jarod   Believe what’s in your heart.
Miss Parker   Are you sure you’re all right daddy?
Mr Parker   I never felt better. It’s amazing how we adapt to changes life throws at us. Even the big ones.
Miss Parker   Big ones?
Mr Parker   Yeah, I always thought that I’d be frightened standing on the threshold, as it were but honestly, I made peace with a lot of things.
Miss Parker   Daddy, are …. are you dying? I know about the doctor, your will and the life insurance.
Mr Parker   Oh angel…
Miss Parker   Please don’t lie to me, mot about this.
Mr Parker   Sweetie, read the labels. Hmmm?
Miss Parker   Vitamin E, ginseng, Viagra?
Mr Parker   I’m in love sweetheart. I… I feel like I’ve been reborn.
Miss Parker   What?
Mr Parker   Mn.
Miss Parker   Who is she?
Mr Parker   Oh no, I promised her she’d be here when I told you. I don’t wanna start messing up this early in our engagement.
Miss Parker   Engagement? Daddy, this is crazy.
Mr Parker   Oh, I know. I know. After all this time, your old man found somebody who makes him happy. Hmmm?
Claire   Pretty wild, isn’t it?
Jarod   What’s that Claire?
Claire   Professor Clark turning up like that.
Grady   Yeah, talk about him one day, he’s found the next. Makes you wonder.
Jarod   Wonder is a wonderful thing Grady. How do you feel about it Matthew?
Matthew   Sad I guess, I mean Dr Clark was our advisor.
Jarod   Well I’m just surprised that you’re not all more upset.
Claire   Why be upset? This will make the game so much more fun.
Jarod   The game?
Claire   In class. Now there are clues to follow. It’s no longer just theoretical, now it’s real. Much more….dangerous. You know Jarod, if you ever wanna get together pick each other’s brains, a little one-on-one?
Jarod   Careful Claire, don’t cross a line you cant come back from.
Claire   Oh well. I guess my friends will have to do.
Jarod   See you in class.
Sydney   Jarod
Jarod   Hmm. Professor Clark disappears and your grades take a nosedive. Something on your mind Matthew? What about you Claire? Feeling guilty about anything? Hmmn. I guess not.
Student   This is getting too creepy don’t you think Professor Gardner? If this really is the perfect murder….
Jarod   What if I told you it wasn’t the perfect murder? What if I told you that our killer made a very serious mistake.
Claire   You’re not just toying with us now are you Jarod?
Jarod   Professor Clark’s body, it was recovered on the road to his cabin but he wasn’t going to his cabin that Friday night, he was going home. He changed his routine, but the killer didn’t know that.
Student   So what next?
Jarod   We go back to the scene of the crime. You wanna fake a car crash, how do you do it? Do you run the professor’s car off the road? Do you cut his brake line? Or maybe you just drug him.
Student   Well, ramming the car would leave paint evidence and cutting the brakes would be way too obvious.
Claire   And drugs would be found in an autopsy.
Jarod   No necessarily. Right, uh Matthew?
Matthew   Well, I .. I don’t know.
Jarod   Oh come on. You’re the ace of your biochemistry class aren’t you? Why don’t you tell everyone what dimethyl phenol is?
Matthew   Um, its a heavy sedative.
Jarod   And it metabolises in the body how?
Matthew   The same as alcohol, it has the same chemical signature.
Jarod   So a shot of DMP, it would knock the victim out, but if anybody checked, it would show up in the blood no different than, let’s say, a few beers.
Grady   Okay, so maybe we’ve got the how. What about the why?
Jarod   The motivation. Why would somebody wanna kill somebody? Tomorrow in class, we’ll do a little role-playing exercise that will help us to discover this motivation. Uh, Richard, you can play the cop and Gwen, you can be the other woman. An umm…you Claire, you’re the killer. But you had accomplices. How about, uh, you Grady? And you Matthew. Strictly theoretical of course. This is after all, just a game.
Claire   Let the games begin.
Sydney   Did you think you’d get away with it Jarod?
Young Jarod   I just get so bored sometimes Sydney.
Sydney   A sharp mind left idle can become a very sharp weapon indeed.
Claire   You gonna come in Doc? Or do you just like to watch?
Jarod   Interesting experiment. There’s no way the rat can win. Every turn lead nowhere. No reward, no way out. Seems pointless.
Claire   Maybe that is the point.
Jarod   He with the biggest brain wins. Is that it?
Claire   Or she. Certainly not them. Their tiny brains can barely think. So round and round they go, chasing their tails forever.
Jarod   Very cruel, Miss Dunning. Although I cant believe a rigged game doesn’t bore you.
Claire   Once in a while even the dumber animals do something unpredictable. Something that catches you off guard. And that’s when it really gets fun.
Jarod   Fun, until you get bitten.
Claire   I haven’t been bitten yet.
Jarod   Yet, being the operative word.
Claire   Everyone’s gotta go sometime. The question is… who will go first?
Jarod   Which brings us back to… the biggest brain rules.
Claire   The superior mind always has a way out. Tiny little door marked “Exit.”
Jarod   Well, maybe it’s time to run for it.
Claire   Oh, uh, Jarod. I’ll keep it in my glove box. Just like Professor Clark.
Miss Parker   I just don’t get it, Sydney. He hasn’t so much as looked at another woman since the day my mother died. And now, just like that he decides he’s replacing her.
Sydney   No, he’s not replacing her. Your father has lived alone a long time. It’s only natural for him to reach out again.
Miss Parker   You sound like you’re on his side.
Sydney   There are no sides here. You must let him move on with his life. I’m sorry its painful for you. It often is for the children involved.
Miss Parker   I’m not a child.
Sydney   Then you know what you must do.
Jarod   Professor Clark said in his book that motive springs from that bottomless pit called the human psyche. That no matter how deeply you dig, you never exhaust it. Let’s do right by him, shall we? Let’s figure out why…. he was killed. Let’s start with the police. Richard, you’re our cop. What do they think?
Richard   Statistically, money and jealousy top the list. It could have been a robbery.
Gwen   Except the 40,000 was left in the car.
Student   So jealousy then. Another teacher with a gripe against Professor Clark.
Gwen   Or his wife, if she knew about the affair.
Student   Come on, it could be something as simple as road rage.
Richard   No, that’s spontaneous. This was planned.
Jarod   Well, we’re in a unique position here today because we have the killers in our class. Why don’t we ask them? Matthew.
Matthew   Yeah.
Jarod   Why would you murder someone?
Matthew   Maybe I didn’t like him.
Jarod   If you don’t like someone, you avoid them. If you see them walking down the street, you walk to the other side. You don’t send them careening off of a cliff. Grady, any thoughts?
Grady   I don’t know. Why does anyone murder?
Jarod   I’m not asking anyone, I’m asking you. So dig down deep into that bottomless pit of yours and tell us why you would kill.
Grady   Well, uh….
Claire   Hello? There are a million reasons to kill. Revenge. Revolt. Release. Superstition. Paranoia. Bad debt. Bad childhood. Bad hair day.
Jarod   I’m afraid you’ve missed the most relevant one. Arrogance. You see, our killers, they think they’re smarter than the rest of us and that this is all a game. That’s the reason they have accomplices. What fun is it to commit the perfect murder if you don’t have someone to gloat over it with? But arrogance just may be their downfall. Professor Clark says in his book that the perfect murder is committed by one person alone. Why is that?
Student   Because accomplices can be unpredictable.
Jarod   Exactly. You never know what they might do, how they might react. Take our role players over here. What if one of them couldn’t take the pressure and crumbled? What if one of them went to the police and cut a deal?
Claire   Aren’t you getting a little ahead of yourself Jarod? I mean, there’s no evidence that Professor Clark’s death was anything but an accident.
Jarod   Well, quite obviously, you haven’t spoken to the police today. I talked to the detective in charge of this case and he’s convinced that the Polaroids in the glove compartment were fakes along with he e-mail and any other evidence that might suggest that there was another woman. As of today Professor Clark’s death was reclassified as a homicide. As a matter of fact, Detective Rusk thinks the killer may even be right here in the classroom. Well, that’s all for today. See you the next time.
Claire   Not if I see you first.
Matthew   Come on, Claire, lets go, please. Please?
Jarod   Whoa, whoa, whoa. Excuse me. You need a special pass to get back here.
Delivery Boy   I just have a delivery.
Jarod   For who?
Delivery Boy   Detective Rusk.
Jarod   I’ll take it.
Delivery Boy   Are you sure?
Jarod   Trust me, it’s in the right hands.
Delivery Boy   Cool, thanks.
Jarod   Take Polaroids of hooker to plant in glove box. Hack into Clark’s bank account. Get dimethyl phenol from the chem lab. It goes on and on. And it’s all in your handwriting. You might wanna refresh yourself Matthew. It’s been a long time since you murdered Professor Clark.
Matthew   Where’d you get this.
Jarod   In an envelope addressed to the Hanover Sheriff’s Department. Oh there was a little note inside from a concerned citizen.
Matthew   Claire wouldn’t… she wouldn’t do this to me. And Grady, they’re my friends.
Jarod   And you’re their patsy. You see this baby Matthew? He’ll never know who his father is. Not for a second, not ever. And his mother, she agonised for months wondering when he was coming home until they discovered that he was dead.
Matthew   We were just sitting around talking one night. Getting drunk, you know. We were just tossing out ideas on how to pull it off. It was just a game. When I walked into class that day and Professor Clark wasn’t there. Claire just started to laugh. She said, “what good is building the perfect toy if you’re not gonna play with it?” She and Grady actually killed him.
Jarod   And you? You sat around and you did nothing.
Matthew   I was afraid. What was I supposed to do? Claire’s my best friend. And I didn’t want her to be mad at me.
Jarod   The game is over Matthew. It’s time to do the right thing.
Grady   Where’s Matthew?
Claire   By now, probably some prisoner’s wife.
Grady   But once he starts talking, they’re gonna come straight for us.
Claire   So let them. As long as you keep your mouth shut and your pants dry no one can touch us.
Jarod   Good morning Claire. Grady.
Richard   Professor Gardner! Professor!
Jarod   Richard, is something wrong?
Richard   Matthew Collins is dead. He killed himself.
Matthew   They bought my suicide?
Jarod   Hook, line and sinker.
Matthew   I don’t quite understand what you’re going to do.
Jarod   I’m going to murder them….. perfectly.
Claire   I’m telling you, it couldn’t have worked out better if we planned it this way. Oh wait, we did plan it this way.
Grady   Matthew is dead.
Claire   He wasn’t up to our level Grady. What he did is only proof of that. What the hell are you doing here?
Jarod   I hope I’m not too late for the party.
Grady   We’re mourning our friend Professor.
 Jarod   I know. That’s why I brought his favourite beer. So we could pay our respects. Matthew would want it this way. Go ahead. To the biggest brain.
Claire   To, uh, rats in a maze.
Jarod   Like Matthew, your backup plan. Your little door marked ‘Exit’.
Claire   May he rest in peace. What’s so funny?
Jarod   You really think this is over, don’t you?
Claire   Well, it is, isn’t it?
Jarod   Sure, the exit door is open, but where does it lead? I’ve a little backup plan too. Nighty night.
Jarod   Claire, no sleeping in class. Claire wake up. There you are. You were out for so long I was getting worried about you.
Claire   What the hell?
Jarod   I’ll take this. Wouldn’t want you smudging your fingerprints. Careful. That chair’s a little wobbly. One false move and …ahhh.
Claire   It’s not exactly what I had in mind when I said we should be alone together.
Jarod   We’re not alone.. are we Grady?
Grady   Wh… what is this?
Claire   Is this supposed to be a joke?
Jarod   Oh come on Claire. I know you’re full of yourself but did you really think that you were the only person in the world that could pull off the perfect murder?
Grady   This isn’t funny, let us go Jarod.
Jarod   You know a teacher is very lucky if he can learn as much from his students as they learn from him. In your case, I hit the jackpot. Especially with all the mistakes you made. Matthew being one of them. Oh by the way, he’s still alive. Faking his suicide was all part of my plan.
Grady   What? You want us to talk? Is that it? Fine, I’ll talk.
Claire   Grady shut up. A jury could never convict us.
Jarod   If you were going to court. But you’re not. I’m the only judge that matters now, so let’s examine the evidence. First, in all your planning, you forgot one very important thing. Professor Clark had a family. He had a baby on the way and a wife who never stopped believing in him. You two, on the other hand, you only have each other. Before the tragedy, that is.
Claire   What tragedy?
Jarod   Don’t play dumb Claire. It’s all in your suicide note. It says in here how you and Grady killed Professor Clark. But grieving for the loss of his friend Matthew, Grady cracked under pressure and wanted to go to the police and confess. So you…. killed him. And then you hung yourself, because you couldn’t face the utter futility and remorse. Brilliant minds, they’re so fragile.
Claire   They’ll know it’s not my handwriting.
Jarod   But it is. You see I found these notes you wrote Professor Clark in his files and I traced over various words and voila. Suicide note. Gun with your fingerprints. It’s perfect.
Claire   Go to hell.
Jarod   You first. Actually, Grady first. Murder before suicide.
Grady   Wait, wait! I’ll tell you whatever you wanna here.
Claire   Shut up Grady. He won’t do it. The bullet’s just a blank.
Jarod   Oh you think so?
Grady   Please Jarod. Oh God no! Come on Claire it’s over! Okay, we did it! We murdered Professor Clark! Partly it was thrill, but mostly Claire was mad at him because he wouldn’t sleep with her!
Claire   Shut up Grady!
Grady   Just don’t kill me.
Jarod   As far as I’m concerned, you’re dead already.
Claire   No!!!
Jarod   Well, well, well, well, well. What do you know? It was a bluff. But one that wasn’t missed by the camera. All your talk about the perfect murder. All your claims as to how extraordinary you are. You killed Professor Clark because he spurned you. You’re no genius, you’re as common as they come.
Claire   Jarod. Jarod!
Miss Parker   Daddy, I’ve come with a little peace offering. Hello? Who’s in my father’s private washroom? Daddy. Oh my God.
Brigitte   Hi Miss Parker.
Miss Parker   Not Bridget.
Brigitte   Look, I’m gonna be your new mommy.
Miss Parker   You’re gonna marry the bi…the woman who tried to kill you?
Mr Parker   Oh come on angel. Be happy for me.
Brigitte   Honey bunny.
Mr Parker   Hmmn?
Brigitte   I’m your new angel now.
Mr Parker   Oh. Hmmmn.
Jarod   So how well do you think you know your father now Miss Parker?
Miss Parker   Coming to the wedding?
Jarod   I’m not big on brides in black leather. Although there is a certain enjoyable irony in it.
Miss Parker   Funny, I’m not seeing it.
Jarod   Oh, give her a chance.
Miss Parker   A chance to what? Suck the rest of the life out of my father?
Jarod   Love can change people Miss Parker.
Mrs Clark   We miss you Alden. Chinese elm. Alden’s favourite.
Jarod   It’s beautiful.
Mrs Clark   Mnn.
Jarod   I know someone who’s ready to climb it already.
Mrs Clark   Come here, hello yes. Oh Jarod, you’ve given us so much. The chance to bury Alden, our home.
Jarod   I just wish I could have given it all back to you.
Mrs Clark   You’ve given us the truth. Nothing mattered more to Alden than that. Thank you. I just want to know how you knew all along. I mean, even when I had doubts.
Jarod   The truth was always in your husband’s book. In the dedication. To Chris: Whom I’ve been waiting to meet for so very long. Good luck, by Chris.

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