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The Big Clue Everyone Missed Early In Knives Out

Everyone loves a good murder mystery, and "Knives Out" more than delivered on both suspense and sly humor when the whodunit hit theaters in the fall of 2019. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, the movie stars Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc, a private detective called in to investigate the death of mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), whose body is found with his throat slit the morning after his 85th birthday party. While suicide is initially suspected, Blanc believes foul play was involved. Everyone who was at Harlan's birthday party is considered a suspect and Blanc questions Harlan's adult children, their spouses, and their children. Blanc also interrogates Harlan's longtime nurse, Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), who secretly believes she accidentally killed him by giving him the wrong medication after misreading the labels.

As Marta attempts to assist Blanc in his investigation without looking guilty, he questions the entire Thrombey family and eventually concludes that no murder was committed and that Harlan actually did kill himself. But in a somewhat sad twist, it's revealed that Marta actually did give Harlan the right medication, having recognized it by its viscosity rather than identifying it by the label, so if they'd called 911 like she had wanted to, he would still be alive.

It's also revealed that Harlan's grandson Ransom Drysdale (Chris Evans) had switched the medication with morphine and stolen the antidote after the elder man told him he changed his will and was leaving everything to Marta. Ransom knew that if Marta were responsible for his grandfather's death, she would be ineligible to claim the inheritance. It was a climactic reveal, especially since Ransom had agreed to help Marta clear her name. However, there was one major clue early on that fingered him as the clear culprit among the "Knives out" cast.

The barking dogs were a major clue that Ransom was responsible

Ransom doesn't make his official entrance in "Knives Out" until an hour into the film, though he's seen briefly in flashbacks to the party. When he first arrives at the Thrombey house for the reading of the will, he's attacked by his grandfather's dogs, who were introduced in the first scene of the film, thus revealing they were going to be important to the story. The dogs jump on Ransom and bark, and while this detail seems rather innocuous, it is actually the first major clue that Ransom is responsible even though the police have cleared him.

By the time Ransom arrives, it's already been established that Harlan's granddaughter Meg (Katherine Langford) awoke at approximately 3 a.m. the night of his death and heard the dogs barking outside. We also already know Marta snuck back into the Thrombey house around 12:15 a.m. in order to pretend to be Harlan and establish his time of death as being after she left for the evening. But we know the dogs love her, so even if the timeline did add up, they would not have been reacting to her arrival or departure. So when Ransom makes his grand appearance and we see that he is attacked by the dogs, it's the first big clue that he must have been at the house that night.

This clue could have allowed you to put two and two together and identify Ransom as being responsible, however indirectly, for what happened to his grandfather. It was also long before Ransom confessed to attempting to kill Fran (Edi Patterson), the housekeeper who saw him return to the house during Harlan's funeral to retrieve the vials he'd tampered with the night of the party. "Knives Out" is a clever, multi-layered movie, but like any well-plotted murder mystery, you can figure it out by following the clues. And in this case, they were there from the moment we meet Ransom.