As promised, here is a thread to hold my work on Episode 5 thus far. My theories here are NOWHERE near as complete as they are on episode 3, but there is a fair amount here and it's substantial enough that it felt worthy of sharing. The episodes seem to be getting more complicated as we progress, but I am trying as hard as I can to hold true to my philosophy of keeping the clues simple.
FORWARD AND APPROACH:
In this thread, I am going to step into the unknown and split my work up by crew member
. They are split at this point, after all, and I chose to tackle each individually until the re-joining in Episode 6. My approach to creating this tracing/drawing has pretty much just been connecting the dots
. I feel there are always a few key moments where we go "Well that's DEFINITELY a clue", and I choose to capture those locations (the "dots" if you will) and plot them. Finding how they are connected usually comes later, but I am finding it is a productive approach. In this thread (unlike Episode 3's) I present to you many dots. Until I figure out how (if at all) these dots are connected, most of the lines will have to wait.
You'll note that I begin with Mulligan, whose path has always worked out rather ideally for me, and remains somewhat of a "key" to how I HOPE this episode works. The unfortunate part is that I have yet to apply the strategy used to map his path to the other crew members QUITE SO successfully, without feeling like I am "stretching" things. I remain hopeful that I am simply overlooking something for the other 3, and challenge you all to help me find out where I've gone wrong.
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS (ALL CREW MEMBERS)
There are a LOT of numbers in this episode. I find it hard to believe that every single number is a clue, but I haven't yet ruled it out. However, I believe very strongly in consistency across the episode. For instance, if 'JJ' represents taking the J train in the first minute of the episode, then I find it EXTREMELY unlikely that 345 represents taking the 34 bus to 5th ave in the next minute. If cards represent buses, then cards represent buses. If they represent subway trains, then they should continue to represent subway trains. Changing the meaning of clue components over the course of an episode introduces an incredible amount of variability and ambiguity that I don't think the creators expect us to figure out. Consistency makes much more sense, so I strive to come up with clues that fit that philosophy.
I believe the chip counts are insignificant so far. I come to this conclusion not only because I can't seem to draw any sort of numerical connection between them and a subway/bus/road map, but because I have used Excel to calculate the changes in crew member chip counts and pot increases, and the math in the episode is sometimes wrong--not just completely wrong, but simple math errors that I can look at and say "oh they totally added 150 instead of 50 here" and that hint of carelessness. If the chip counts were important, I think the creators would pay much more attention to accuracy. Especially now that the clues are so set in stone and they've since washed their hands of the situation. Why leave behind a bad clue? Until further notice, I'm declaring chip counts insignificant, here only for the sake of moving the story. Fun fact: the dollar values always add up to $10,000.
I haven't completely ruled these out yet as significant indicators, but I'm close to it. Here's why: the percentages are 100% correct up to a point. If you simulate the card game (using a tool like this one
) you'll find that the percentages are accurate up until the moment where Mulligan is dealt the Ace-Mackerel. Obviously, at this point, we cannot simulate any further. Especially since the Captain is dealt THREE cards soon after. At this point, the percentages are made up. It seems possible that rather than make up numbers from thin air, the creators choose to begin inserting significant figures that are actually clues. However, though we cannot simulate them exactly with online tools, the percentages continue to make a LOT of sense. The odds are only 4-5% off of if you were to simulate it using similar cards (like making Mackerel=to some arbitrary card and eliminating one of the Captain's 3,4, or 5 cards). It seems unlikely that the numbers would happen to coincide with the path the creators are willing us to draw. It also seems difficult to craft such a hunt to your liking while remaining within reasonable distance of reality to the odds of winning, and it still requires that the first 2-3 sets of percentages are actual calculated odds and not clues at all. Again, I think the creators would rather consistency.
Unquestionably, in my mind, the "meat and potatoes" of this episode. I believe the card values coincide with the buses encountered and ridden by the crew members in Episode 5.
Mulligan begins where we left him in Episode 3, traveling on the B/D southeast into Brooklyn. Though it was ambiguous in episode 3, I believe he was on the B train
after watching this episode. We'll see why in a bit.
"Last Place Five Years in a Row":
Mulligan's caption reads that he has been in "last place, five years in a row". I always thought that lined up rather nice with this part of the subway map....
"Bear's Brown Cola, It's Tops!"
Brighton Beach Coney Island, It Stops!
Might be a stretch, but all in all it's an unnecessary yet possible confirmation to Mulligan's Location...the Brighton Beach stop at the END of the B train line.
"Ace and a Mackerel"
Mulligan's hole cards are an Ace and a Mackerel.
Under the theory that the cards represent buses, we refer to the Brooklyn Bus Map...
We can see that once getting off the train at the Brighton Beach station, Mulligan has two options: the 1 train (the Ace) and the 68 (the "Mackerel" if you will).
I'm still unsure which bus he actually boards. Possibly the 68 based on the fact that the flop card to him is a second Mackerel?
Just to prove a point...
If we have Mulligan take the 68 bus or the 1 bus west out of Brighton Beach, looking at the map above shows that he'll end up VERY shortly at MacDonald Ave. It's a rather incredible coincidence at this point in the game to notice that on the cover of the Episode 6 comic book, Mulligan is depicted holding a burger and a soda....
In a perfect world, this would connect Mulligan's ending location in Episode 5 with his starting position in Episode 6. However, applying the same set of rules to the other crew members do not yield such perfect results (yet, anyway). I encourage you to try applying the theory in hopes you'll catch something I missed.
THE CAPTAIN'S PATH:
Since I don't have an entire path mapped out, I'll instead handle this section by "plotting some dots" for us and leave the connecting path un-drawn until I can rationalize it. Here are some bits I feel are important...
"He cuts the losers arm off":
In the side-bet between Captain and Crothers, I have always felt that this symbolized the splitting of the two crew members onto their separate paths. They are both on the AC subway line up to this point. What I would LIKE to see is a point where a 20 or 23 bus (JQ) intersects an 11 or 56 bus (56) on the AC line. At this point, the Captain would continue on the subway while Crothers gets cut off or dropped off. However, I have yet to see this work out.
"Lady Luck and the Giant Turtle"
Well, there is no way that the Giant Turtle reference is not a clue. It's WAY too random and out of character. There are two giant turtle statues in Brooklyn. Unfortunate for us, they are on opposite damn sides of the borough. The smaller one (though still obviously huge) is located in Marine Park fighting a sculpture of a giant diamondback snake. The other is the 400 sq. ft. concrete tortoise located in McCarren Park. Both are visible from Google Maps satellite if you look closely.
From the "featured player" segment, the Captain seemingly hits the end of his line, (not sure if it's a subway or bus line), just after passing said giant turtle. Additionally, he is left "up to his collar in turds."
Now, ASSUMING that we somehow rationalized the captain getting off the A/C train and hopping onto the 43 bus and heading north... it takes him right past the McCarren tortoise - and I mean RIGHT past - and will soon after spit him out at the end of the line a block from the Newtown Wastewater Treatment Plant. This place is very big, and very smelly. In fact, if you want a good read, go take a look at some of the Yelp reviews on the plant. Not sure why there are any, or why it's currently rated at 5 stars, but it sounds like a smelly place.
PROs to this realization: This part makes a hell of a lot of sense.
CONs to this realization: Why'd the captain get on the 43 in the first place? Also, once we get back to the action after the featured player, what do we do with the rest of the episode regarding his 3-4-5 hand?
There are theories out there that the anachronous nature of the "featured player" indicates that it is meant to be taken out of time with the Episode and inserted somewhere else (possibly the "clue 42, 43, 44" bit in Episode 4) but I don't have the patience to count my clues, nor do I feel like humoring that theory just yet.
In any case, the Captain's path remains suspended in this state for me.
I haven't given too much thought to this one outside of what I mentioned regarding his arm being cut off in the Captain's side bet (see above). I'm assuming that he ends the episode traveling on an 8, 10, 13 18, or 21 train (depending on how you interpret K
Like Crothers, I like to think Tom will be ending on a 20, 22, or 24 train (depending on how you interpret JJ/QQ) in Queens. He would be getting off of either the D train near Mulligan, or the M train (if he were to transfer to the M train as I discussed in the end of episode 3).
There are a lot of possibilities in this episode. Though Mulligan worked out rather perfectly, it's hard to apply the same reasoning to the other crew members and get equally impressive results, which makes me skeptical. It's certainly possible the buses aren't even involved at ALL in this episode, and we just stay on the subway. Or hell, maybe the mode of transportation is something completely different that no one has thought of yet. If someone finds a mode that seems to fit wonderfully, I am 100% open to it, as I can't seem to fit the buses perfectly yet. There are a lot of good leads, but it will take some more playing with the paths until the pieces of the puzzle fall into place a bit more nicely.
I encourage everyone to take what I've said above and play with it themselves - dividing and conquering the facts might make us some quicker discoveries
As always, best of luck to all. I'll continue to update this thread with my episode 5 findings.