It would be tough to describe the Classics Club's efforts to get the bottom of an unfinished, class-produced mystery movie as "serious business", but nonetheless our club foursome sit down to ponder the potential endings and theories provided by a trio of the production's staff in this week's Hyouka. We can tell that this is a big deal, as Chitanda has brought chocolates.
Unfortunately, the chocolates in question also happen to contain whiskey - something which most of the Classics Club members, and indeed their theorising guests, quickly cotton on to and thus give said chocolates a wide berth. Not so Chitanda herself, who gleefully munches away for the entire episode - you can probably figure out where that plot point is headed, and a wonderful thing to behold it is too.
That aside, rather less wonderful are the theories put forward by the production's assistant director, props manager and publicity manager. The first of this trio puts together a simple proposal as to the potential killer and how they implemented this seemingly locked room murder - they just used the window. Once this is blown out of the water, our second theory seems rather more plausible if a little plain, involving abseiling down from the window of the floor above - again however, this doesn't work once you ponder the logistics of the situation. Finally, the owner of our third theory is more interested in turning the film into a horror-esque bloodbath than a more traditional mystery, locked room be damned. Thus, we're left with three less than satisfactory arguments, and still no ending for the film in sight. However, a chance encounter (or is it?) for Houtarou might be about to resolve the situation...
If nothing else, this current story arc within Hyouka is certainly keeping its powder dry as it wilfully keeps Houtarou's acumen at bay to let idiots flounder around with their theories as he looks on almost entirely passively. As a result, it's Chitanda, and her alcoholic proclivities, which dominates the episode, lending a comical tone to an instalment that would otherwise have proved rather dull as we leave the episode barely any further forward than we started it. Whether that alone is enough to label this episode as enjoyable is a debatable one, but accompanied by its ever-stunning presentation Hyouka does somehow manage to be a little greater than the sum of its parts.