The 'Frasier' Episode That's Eerily Similar to the End of 'Bodies Bodies Bodies'
This article contains SPOILERS for Bodies Bodies Bodies … also several episodes of Frasier that came out nearly 30 years ago … oh, and Murder on the Orient Express, (which preceded Frasier by six decades).
2022 is a bad year for most everything, but not for murder mystery movies; we got a Fletch reboot, a new Knives Out sequel, and of course an adaptation of Death on the Nile that finally illuminated the heart-wrenching origin story of Hercule Poirot’s crazy mustache. But arguably the most invigorating cinematic addition to the whodunit subgenre is the recent horror-comedy Bodies Bodies Bodies, all about a group of friends who start dying off one by one after playing a murder-themed parlor game in an isolated mansion. It’s basically Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None if it had more iPhones and Charli XCX songs.
There’s a lot to love about Bodies Bodies Bodies, but what really sells the movie is its twist ending, in which the two remaining protagonists, Sophie and Bee, discover that the initial “murder” of their friend David (played by Pete Davidson) was nothing more than a dumb accident motivated by TikTok and sweatily desperate male insecurity.
All the other deaths, too, were accidents caused by the havoc of the ensuing panic and leaps of imagination. If there’s a villain to be found in this story, it’s the group's petty distrust, and their own inflated sense of self-importance. The ending is also a natural progression for the murder mystery, and essentially the inversion of the twist of Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express – instead of everyone “doing it,” literally no one did. But while the murderers of Christie’s book is let off the hook, the Bodies Bodies Bodies gang are still culpable for all that’s happened. It’s also somewhat in keeping with Christie’s books, in that they frequently offered satirical critiques of upper class vanity.
While it's been understandably labelled as a Gen Z satire, there’s something more universal about the themes of Bodies Bodies Bodies. You might not think that it wouldn’t have anything in common with a ‘90s sitcom, but we’d argue that it’s not wholly unlike a classic episode of Frasier – and we’re not even talking about the one where Frasier plays murder game that ends in a real life fatality.
In the episode “Deathtrap” (itself named a well-known murder mystery) Frasier and Niles break into their old house in an effort to extract a time capsule from a loose floorboard – but they discover a human skull. Of course, the Crane boys suspect that it is the result of foul play.
The rest of the episode finds the pair operating as amateur detectives, and eventually accusing their old landlord of the murder of his late wife – not unlike how the Bodies Bodies Bodies gang continually leap to accuse one another. Ultimately, though, Frasier and Niles stumble on the program from their childhood production of Hamlet, a moment of shameful self-realization echoed by Sophie and Bee’s discovery.
Frasier tips the audience off that the skull was really a leftover theatrical prop in the opening minutes of the show,, as opposed to how Bodies Bodies Bodies which saves its reveal until the very end – but still both involve the investigation of a murder that was never commited, fueled by narcissism and a predilction for murder fantasies. Which isn’t a knock against the film; the fact that it shares certain similarities with Frasier is evidence that its themes aren’t confined to Gen Z – they just happen to be more into TikTok and podcasts than opera and dinners at Le Cigare Volant.
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