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10 Major Plot Holes and Puzzling Elements in ‘Reptile

by Lidia Lucovic

“Reptile“ is an enthralling murder mystery, yet it is not devoid of its own plot holes and perplexing elements.

1、Why Didn’t Nichols Make a Copy of the Flash Drive?

In the narrative of ‘Reptile,’ Detective Nichols discovers a crucial link between confiscated drugs and properties bought by Will Grady’s shell real estate company. This significant evidence is stored on a flash drive. During the encounter where he reveals this evidence to the police chief, the question arises if this flash drive is the sole copy, hinting that the commanding officer might already be aware of the department’s corruption. It seems illogical that Nichols didn’t create a backup of the flash drive as a precaution. However, this decision likely amplifies the tension in the scene.

2、Why Didn’t Nichols Directly Contact the FBI?

Considering that Summer had attempted to reach out to the FBI, it appears Detective Nichols should have also escalated the matter beyond his own department to expose its corruption. Contacting the FBI, even anonymously, could have potentially saved him and his wife from various threats. It’s plausible that he wished to contain the issue within the department until he had sufficient evidence to implicate the Scarborough police department in the White Fish scheme. Nevertheless, involving the FBI would have undoubtedly ensured their safety.

3、Nichols’ Delay in Questioning Eli Raises Questions

During the initial stages of his investigation, Detective Nichols had several potential suspects in the murder of Summer, including her ex-husband and her new boyfriend, Will Grady. However, Eli Phillips seemed to be an obvious choice, making it perplexing that Nichols took an unusually long time to question him. Even after discovering Eli’s grudge against Will’s family, Nichols didn’t thoroughly investigate Eli’s knowledge of White Fish until a later incident involving perceived threats to Judy at Eli’s house. By the time Nichols intended to question Eli, Will and an accomplice had already reached him.

4、The Fate of Eli

Eli transitioned from a primary suspect to a potential source of vital information. However, he fell into the hands of Will Grady and an unidentified intruder before Nichols could conclude his final questioning. Eli’s destiny remains uncertain, possibly intentionally so, with only a bleach bottle hinting at potential body dismemberment to eliminate incriminating evidence. Given the knife Eli had on him during the encounter with Will Grady at his home, it is likely he didn’t go down without a struggle

5、Why Did Nichols Enter Allen’s House After Uncovering Police Corruption?

Upon discovering the Chrysler Imperial in Captain Allen’s garage and establishing his involvement in the corrupt scheme alongside Wally and other department members, Nichols contemplates the best course of action. Despite anticipating potential threats from Allen and Wally, Nichols decides to confront Allen in the presence of the chief of police. However, the decision to proceed with this confrontation raises questions, especially considering the risks and the subsequent vulnerable position Nichols finds himself in after hearing Allen being shot upstairs by Wally.

6、What Happened to the Limp of Summer’s Killer?

Early in the investigation, an eyewitness confirms seeing a man with a limp exiting the Chrysler Imperial, adding a layer of complexity to the case. The only individual with a noticeable limp is Captain Allen due to his MS condition. However, this limp would likely have prevented him from overpowering a healthy individual like Summer and inflicting 27 stab wounds. Will Grady is identified as the killer, yet he does not exhibit a limp. This discrepancy leaves room for speculation, suggesting intentional mimicry of a limp by Grady to mislead investigators or the possibility that Allen was present at the scene but not directly involved in Summer’s murder, adding further intrigue to the case.

7、If Will Killed Summer, Where Was the Blood?

The portrayal of Will as the killer raises perplexing questions regarding the absence of blood on him in a crucial flashback where he is depicted standing over Summer’s body while she is still breathing, on the brink of bleeding out. Strikingly, there are no visible bloodstains on him, and no signs of a recent struggle, despite the evident recent attack. In the early scenes of Reptile, he is seen adjusting his shirt, suggesting an attempt to conceal any traces of Summer’s blood. However, as the flashback indicates, he must have been wearing different clothing that he subsequently disposed of.

8、Nichols’ Mysterious Wax Hand: An Enigma

Despite not being the type to indulge in a manicure, Nichols immerses his hand in paraffin wax one evening, a procedure carefully administered by his wife, Judy. The purpose behind this act remains undisclosed, and while it could be linked to the ongoing investigation or perhaps the injury he mentioned earlier in Reptile, it likely pertains to managing arthritis in Nichols’ hand. At one instance, he is seen massaging the same hand, implying possible discomfort or pain. This enigmatic ritual is one of the elements that humanize his character, adding layers to his persona.

9、Why Did Wally Shoot Allen?

In a pivotal scene, Wally shoots Captain Allen when Nichols arrives to expose him, an action that appears unnecessary given Nichols’ arrival with the chief of police, who was also complicit in the corrupt scheme. While Allen had informed Nichols about the extent of corruption within the hierarchy, killing him for this warning seems recklessly impulsive, even for Wally. This act inadvertently alerted Nichols to his presence, eliminating the element of surprise and allowing Nichols to gain an advantage in their subsequent confrontation.

10、How Did the Scarborough Police Anticipate Evading Detection for 4 Murders?

After concealing Summer’s murder and likely Eli’s as well, how did the Scarborough Police Department envision escaping culpability for Allen’s murder and ultimately Nichols’? The increasing body count, all linked to the case, would eventually draw the attention of the FBI. Despite their internal cover-ups, orchestrating additional murders to silence those involved in the Reptile case and the White Fish scheme seemed unsustainable. The risk of exposure would rise exponentially, making it improbable to eradicate everyone connected to the case without detection.

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