Part II Minute 54 – Detective Work

Part 2 Minute-00054

Doc gives Marty all of the clues to explain what exactly Biff did to the timeline.

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6 thoughts on “Part II Minute 54 – Detective Work

  1. [00:00]
    Oh, geez, 13 minutes long? O_O

    The Bobs don’t feel the need to drag things out, too. I actually like their exposition methods because it delivers the information, nobody has to drag anything out of anybody, and it gives you the information you need without it feeling incredibly forced or clunky? The only real exceptions are here in Part 2 as a whole, and I think that’s more because the dialogue itself is clunky and too over-the-top to really be believable?


    *random guy in a shirt and tie, drinking from a coffee mug, walks up to the front of a boardroom, where a projector is already set up to the first slide. The slide is appropriately annoying and ~snazzy~*

    "And now–"

    *Random Guy rips open his shirt to reveal that he is, indeed, incredibly ripped, and there's an explosion outside of the room*

    "The Exposition!"

    It's funny, because Home Depot now actually gives you the option to email the receipt to you as well as giving you a paper copy. I imagine it was some kind of paperless initiative by the company, but they still give you the paper copy right there, so…

    But yes, the juxtaposition of the 2015 props and Hell Valley is so jarring, and so visually good to do there. There are so many possibilities, and the receipt and bag still look the same. It kind of gives you a bit of hope that things can sort of be changed. Or that Hell Valley doesn't try to close off the loop entirely, though according to the comics, Hell Valley's Doc is really, *really* in a bad way.

    It's not a pimp cane. It's a Biff cane. 😀 (The family heirloom option could've been cool, but Buford wouldn't have had anything nearly so fancy. Sure, Biff's mom could've had it, but seeing as how Biff's mom isn't the one to raise him, I'm kind of doubting it.)

    The thing with Biff winning that kind of pot for his very first bet, I'm thinking a number of things happened before that.

    Biff can't gamble until he's 21, presumably because of California law. As a result, from the time he's 18 to the time he's 21, he has to do something. I can't imagine that Grandma Tannen is going to keep her grandson around unless it was one of those cases of she fully expects him to wait on her hand and foot, and Biff's like, "screw that, I'm moving out". As a result, Biff's gotta get a job and a place to live, and make enough that he can start socking away money so that when he places his first bet, he can win a sizeable pot, and he can get on easy street fairly quickly instead of winning chintzy little bets here and there and gradually building up to it. His winning his first million is notable enough that he's in the newspaper, so it's definitely not like Biff was going the subtle route with getting his money.

    I always got the impression that "races" was that Biff was "at the races" and oh wow. Like, whenever someone says, "I'm off to the races", and they usually mean that they're going to bet on horse races? Then again, being the Luckiest Man Alive could very well mean that Biff just doesn't hesitate to bet on these odds, and while some of them might make sense (and have a little bit of a return on investment), some of them are really bizarre choices because that horse isn't known for being very fast, or that horse has a bum leg if it rained last night, or whatever. Winning every single race might get him investigated by the authorities too, in case he's working with silent partners to fix races or whatever.

    It seems weird that Marty wouldn't immediately latch onto "oh, hey, if Biff went to 1967, we should stop him there!" if Doc conveniently remembers the time display discrepancy. At least in the film version, it makes sense for Marty to think that they need to go to the future to stop Biff from going back to the past, because they don't have any idea of where in the past Biff went in order to give himself the almanac.

    Omg, Doc's neighborhood being converted to a toxic waste dump. O_O

    I like the filmed version better because, before Marty confronts Biff in Biff Tower, I asked myself, "Did Biff know that Doc was going to build the time machine and try to stop him?" before you learn that, oh, okay, no, he doesn't know, he just throws Doc in an insane asylum because he's a mustache-twirling bad guy. *blink*

    Really? I figured that Doc had gotten the notice in the mail because it's one of those "courtesy" things, like how the government can use eminent domain in order to take your house away because they want the land it's sitting on.

    Holy cow, I didn't realize that about Muppet Babies. I loved the hell out of that show. I guess I just never realized it never got released to DVD or VHS or anything. *mindblown*

    Okay, bit of a Doctor Who tangent. I know that you guys haven't covered a multi-Doctor story on your Doctor Who podcast, but one thing that I think is fascinating is that, in each story, there's a certain amount of veneration for the older actors who were the earlier Doctors, compared to the "new guys". This is especially weird when you think of the fact that William Hartnell's Doctor is the very first Doctor (that we know about), and as a result, he would really be the "kid" compared to someone like Matt Smith or Peter Capaldi. I know that it's a completely meta thing, where the more recent actors who've stepped into the roles are paying their respects to the actors who've come before them to play the Doctor, but it's such an interesting reversal of who usually gets venerated in a family. It would be like the grandparents paying their utmost respect to their grandkids. 😀

    I thought that was weird and neat.

    • its possibly a goof by Gale. Unless the laws changed over the years you can gamble at the race track at 18, you can’t go to a casino until you’re 21 though, like how you can buy lotto tickets at 18 and church gambling is an all ages affair. (I was taken to Saratoga race track the season after my 18th birthday… my father was a pretty big gambler, I know a lot about how gambling works, lol)

      And as a kid I always assumed he went to the track in Arcadia CA because I was born at the hospital across the street from it :p

      Personally, Biffs betting scheme doesn’t make much sense if you really think about it. If you keep winning that big and that often you’ll most likely be accused of inside betting or fixing the races. And if not after a certain amount of winning streaks bookies or even tracks or OTB’s are simply not going to back your bets knowing how ‘lucky’ you are let alone any ilegal bookie. But if course none of that really matters it is a movie, I really should relax :p

  2. Regarding Biff’s cane, it seems like something that would have been belonged to Kid Tannen. Gertrude Tannen, the grandmother that raised Biff, (if my calculations are correct), she would have been the one married to Kid.

    Then again, Gertrude was a quite the bully herself, so maybe the cane was hers.

    • That’s what I was thinking. Though I don’t know much about Biff’s grandparents.

    • Doggonit, my calculations were incorrect: Gertrude Tannen was Kid’s mother, not his wife. Kid was Biff’s father. Which makes even more sense, Biff using his father’s cane.

  3. You’re right, Doc figured out what was going on with Biff fairly quickly. Reminds me of Part 1, when Marty mentions he ran into his parents, and Doc immediately suspects what’s going on with the “photographic fakery” in Marty’s wishing well picture. In the DVD commentary, Bob Gale concedes that that’s kind of an unrealistic mind-jump to make so fast, but hey at least it’s consistent with what happens here.

    Speaking of exposition, that moment in the first movie is really light on it. All we get is Doc’s ominous “erased…from existence.” The rest of his explanation comes after the cut to the next scene, as he and Marty are walking away from camera, their voices getting farther away as they approach the high school. It’s an interesting choice.

    For this minute’s exposition, I just wanted to point out that as super-simplified as it is, they did anticipate kids watching this movie, and had to get the basis gist across to those audience members, too. I wonder how much they considered younger viewers in making the sequels. I wonder how much they thought about it for the first one.

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