Ep.4 - So, who's in sheep's clothing, after all? (spoilers and theories welcome)

Some of us theorized that Bigby would go undercover to go after Mary and/or Crooked, or that Cindy would show up and Bigby would recruit her to infiltrate among Crooked's crew to help with the investigation or something. But nothing this cool happened, and the title remains a mystery for us to make sense of.

As none of the known characters have shown to be a wolf in sheep's clothing (I though maybe Beauty and Beast would play that role when they called Bigby, but, the way I see it, they are not completely innocent but still sheep in the scope of the story), I guess that the role is left for one of the new characters to fill... And there's only one that presents himself as a sheep, the Butcher.

While Jersey is just a thug for us to dirt our hands (without him ep.4 would have had no action at all, shit), the Butcher plays victim from the very moment we meet him. He presses the silent alarm, plays dumb and runs off expecting Bigby not to get to him in time as he tried to hide the door for the, uh... "magic lab". But did he seriously expected us not to find it? That we would leave without answers? Or that we would believe that he doesn't know anything about what was going on? Come on... He surely knows way more than he's letting out, and I'm betting that it's not fear that's holding him from us. Considering that he may be that wolf in sheep's skin it's possible that he may very well be "the guy". Maybe that's what we will find out after chatting with Crooked... that Butchy is doing something behind his back, that Mary is also in it, and that their treacherous schemes are compromising/endangering his business/operations, attracting unwanted attention at least.

Note that I'm not saying that Crooked is a good guy, but that he may have his thing (I bet he will just present himself as a necessary evil, not a harm to the Fable's community) and that this whole mess goes against his interests. That's why/how I think he will end up teaming up with Bigby to solve the case.

Any thoughts? Other theories are welcome. One could say Woody helping out Bigby was the wolf in sheep's cloth... that in the end the whole thing will be as simple as the drunk guy murdering Faith because after she made him fell humiliated, and then going after the prostitute he had a thing with and betrayed him send another bitch (hate that word) to cover for her, forcing him into this mess... but I wouldn't bet on it. Not at all, lol.



  • They changed the plot during that episode 2 gap, but didn't change the slides/episde tittles/achievments.

    I'd wouldn't put too much faith on these things anymore..

  • MindWebMindWeb Banned

    You must love those "Episode tittles", but we have no evidence that they changed the plot, and they haven't said anything relating to that, it's just a THEORY.

  • Never give up faith! ;-)
    I started a discussion on it a while back. And it was pretty well accepted. The link follows:

  • I think it's about Crooked and his gang. They were working undercover, so officials didn't notice how powerful they are. Fables, like Tiny Tim, believe the organisation is helping them, while Fabletown is doing nothing.

  • I don't remember her name, but the chick in the maroon skirt jumped out at me as soon as I entered the room. None of Georgie's other "employees" were there except her.

    She could be the killer, or at least reporting on the other girls movements/activities. Seems like they would trust her over Georgie, given how she was also at Lily's funeral.

  • It probably refers to Tim. He's the sheepiest person there, and he's wearing jeans the same colour as the fragment we found with Faith's head.

  • If the Achievments all messed up is not enough evidence...

  • That would explain why he has crutches,he wounded his leg by jumping the fence, maybe he didn't kill the girls but was sent by someone to place the bodies.

  • Good point! Thanks for sharing it. :)

    Although, I find it hard to see Tim ever turning out to be very relevant to the story, your theory makes perfect sense. Let's not forget that he made an appearance in the first episode, and sometimes the writers feel like that's enough of a cameo to show us that the killer or somebody heavily involved was around from the beginning. Plus, the pants was certainly an indication against him that's been there from the first moment we see him. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but he being Crooky's driver (can briefly be seen when Mary gets into the car) with that leg may be an indication that maybe he's faking it and may turn out to be a big player, not just a pawn.

    I'm still not ruling Butchy out but when I replay ep.4 I will have my eyes on Tim.

  • I think "in sheep's clothing" refers to something Nerissa was saying about friends... The bad guys, who we've met are involved with the Crookie, that's why she said something like "look after your friends.." Because they might not be your friends at all? As we see at the end of this episode, most of them are at his house, or whatever that was, even Vivian. I kinda thought she wouldn't be very evil, haha.
    Or it might be just saying, that all of the Fabletown has secrets and is working for the Crooked man, so we don't know who's who anymore.

  • That part about fables working for Crooked makes sense. Now about Nerrisa's comment, after her reaction when she heard Beauty and Beast called, I thought it was simply because she knew they were involved and would point him in the right direction. And it did, and they fill that role as friends who aren't as innocent as initially seemed, but they are still sheep in the story, that's why I rule them out regarding the episode's title.

  • No, I meant before that, Nerissa says "look around you". I thought she meant not to trust his friends by that. But it might be understood in different ways, so it's hard to tell.
    I've learnt so far that the answer is always the simplest one, that's why I'd stick to Crooked's crew being in sheep's clothing.;D

  • Considering all that I'm seeing from the conversation the prime suspect is Vivian.

  • First, Bigby is pretty wounded, so he may look like an easy "prey", a sheep.
    Second, because the first one is too cheap, is the Crooked Man, "lending a hand", and getting everyone under control with the loans.
    And third, to get a new idea: Not looking at the Fables comics, one could suspect Snow as the one in sheep's clothing. She's sweet and all, nice. But there is something in her, first seen in Ep. 3, where she gets very aggressive, and now, in Ep. 4, she gets aggressive and wants to send everyone without glamour directly to the farm [Another thought to that: Crooked Man produces illegal glamour. If Snow enforces stricter rules for using glamour or going to the farm, people become more dependend on the Crooked Man. But btt..]. So maybe she's the evil one after all, even though the chance is nearly zero.

  • Interesting thought about Bigby being vulnerable, "easy prey". Maybe that's just it. Thanks for sharing it! :-)

    Now, about Snow. She sure is no sheep. Not at all. You pointed out her aggressivity and that says it all. Anyway, I wouldn't bet in her turning out to be evil or even have any bad intentions ever, so no.

  • The episode titles isn't suppose to be taken literally.

  • I noticed her "changing moods" too, and for a moment I thought that perhaps it wasn't the real Snow, but someone glamoured to look like her. Although, now I think this theory is crazy as there's nothing to base it on. And besides, in my mind Snow is supposed to be stubborn, that's how I always imagined her :D

  • edited May 2014

    Oh yeah? They all mean something, I'm positive.

    Faith: Introduction of the theme that's reinforced all the time. The fables need to have faith in the system and in Bigby. The fable who likes to be called Faith tells the sheriff he isn't as bad as everyone says and soon after shows up beheaded.

    Smoke and Mirrors: It spells deception. We now know that the scene in room 207 was staged to frame Crane. Plus there's the important evidence of the huffs n puffs left at the scene and the mirror being attacked.

    A Crooked Mile: Everyone though it was all about The Crooked Man, and he's definitely there, like Faith, the smokes, the Mirror, but to me it was about the wild chase after Crane, who is a crooked deputy major.

    In Sheep's Clothing: As Bigby didn't go undercover, I'm guessing someone dangerous is playing sheep to fool him, to get his thrust or get off the hook. And I started a discussion to help figure out who that could be. My bet is still on the Butcher, but Tiny Tim, like the member Kaihu suggested, is now also on my suspects list.

    Cry Wolf: I'll wait for the trailer or more information after replaying ep.4 to try to make a prediction, but as far as I can think it will not be anything as simple as The Boy Who Cried Wolf turning out to be the killer (that would be stupid), but be about something being a false alarm. Either something will come up or the whole story will tie up as being some kind of false alarm, like the murders being staged or done with the intent of wakening the wolf up, to have him sniffing around, uncovering the dirty that's been going forever behind his back (Crane, Crooky and his crew, maybe Bluebeard).

  • I would like to point another suspect for the sheep's cloth: Nerissa. She most definitely is playing sheep, what we don't know yet is if she will turn out to be working for the bad guys. From the time Bigby meets her many of us thought that she was gonna be the next victim, many even predicted that it would happen in this episode, and who knows... maybe it will happen in the next and final episode, but I'm almost dismissing that possibility. For me feels more and more likely that she will either...

    1- help us significantly (as she did in the 2nd espisode, getting us to the Open Arms, and as we expected her to help in the 4th after 3 ended with her watching in shock the Mary take off with Bigby completely wasted on the street, and in the end she pratically couldn't help) or...

    2 - she will betray Bigby, turning out to be working for the villains from the beginning. To start, having had him go to the motel for us to find the staged crime scene to incriminate Crane. Then, trying to gain his thrust, to spy and or mislead him, etc..

    I think that is another possibility. I don't feel that it's the case, but I rather share it so maybe someone may dig up something. She definitely is a major character and I think we all expect something to happen to her in the season's conclusion. As always, thoughts are welcome.

  • You're all overcomplicating a very straightforward title. The full version of the phrase is "a wolf in sheep's clothing". Bigby being "in sheep's clothing" is probably the central theme of the entire series, but it's particularly obvious in this episode.

    1. Snow's speech at the start of the episode serves as yet another metaphorical neutering of Bigby. Like many fictional maverick cops before him - Sam Vimes, Dirty Harry, John McClane - he's repeatedly being told to play things by the book and keep his animal impulses under control.

    2. The ending of this episode reveals that The Crooked Man has been expecting Bigby's arrival the entire time. He's been manipulating this whole thing. In other words, Bigby has been shepherded by the man with the crook.

    3. "Sheriff Wolf" is in itself a contradiction. A wolf is a predator and a killer. A sheriff is a protector and a law enforcer. This is really the central conflict of TWAU. It's not Bigby v Crooky. it's Bigby v Himself. And it's not as simplistic as stopping himself from hulking out or losing his cool. It's a more fundamental question, namely: can a bad man ever be good, if everyone believes he's still bad? Bigby's solution thus far has been to tone himself down. He intentionally hides his true self "in sheep's clothing".

  • Actually Tiny tim's leg was always F*cked up ever since he was a kid

  • CM isn't stupid. He knew Bigby wouldn't drop it, would hunt him down. There are too many fables who could have told Bigby about the pawn shop and the butchery. After the run-in with Jersey, it would have been easy to make sure Mary was there at Johann's to finish Bigby off. But no. Instead, there, of all places, is the shard of the Magic Mirror, deliberately planted so Bigby could find CM's hideout.

    Yes, I suspect Vivian, too. She was the one I least expected to be there. I thought she were a little on the cocky side in previous encounters. Now I know she's in the inner circle, it all comes together. If she were really a friend of the working girls, she would have been very distracted and sad when we first met her. Not so.

    As for Tiny Tim, unless he uses a glamour to rid himself of the bad leg, I doubt he's involved much. He's like that due to his folklore, something that probably can't be magically cured permanently.

  • And the fact that nothing from the episode 2 preview happened
    and that the episode 3 slide which had detective branningan was changed and we never saw brannigan again
    And the 4month delay.... Can't help but wonder how much better the original script was

  • I was first interested in Nerissa’s when we first meet her in Episode 2. Nerissa appeared depressed and dejected while dancing until spots Bigby entering the club at which point she looks relieved and actually smiles. Then as you point out she makes a concerted effort to assist Bigby at great personal risk to herself.

    Now in episode 4 our scene with Nerissa feels vaguely reminiscent with our final scene with Faith. The two moments that highlight it for me is how both Faith and Nerissa draw attention to their ribbon by repeating a similar phrase “You like my ribbon?” to “Do you like it”. The second for me is the way both Faith and Nerissa rest their hand upon Bigby’s arm and then awkwardly pulls away.

    Here is another interesting possibility to casually speculate upon.

  • edited May 2014

    I think Nerissa. She hints to bigby about the involvement of the "the girls" or "her friends," and how she doesn't have any anymore, either due to being killed or having ribbons controlling them and keeping them from revealing the truth about whatever is going on. She herself is being manipulated by Georgie and in turn the crooked man, as well as the magic ribbons. This leads me to believe that they knew she would try to help bigby and would reveal certain details to where he could find more information. Knowing this they lead bigby to the mirror shard and he is able to find their location. Just like the crooked man wished. (maybe crane took the piece of the shard to protect everyone, not just himself?). Anyway I believe that Narissa is the unwilling wolf in sheeps clothing.

  • Crane broke the mirror because he got scared that one of his secrets was out. I doubt that hed think about anyone else as he is now(the job took the best out of him and he obviously wasnt qualified for it), he threw Lilly`s body down the Witching Well.

  • Just remember that whoever it was that killed (atleast disposed of) Lily wasn't alone, if we can trust TJ. He heard someone say "stop laughing", which I interpreted as atleast two villains.

  • The original script could've been worse, but I guess we'll never know. It would be nice to get a season 2. One more episode doesn't seem to be enough. :(

  • I believe that your acumen is the correct one. I doubt Tim knows of the slavery, as it would be the opposite of helping Fables lol.

  • It seems that Bluebeard would be more important as well

  • You may be right but it's a central theme, nothing specific to this episode. It would make sense to me if it was the title for the first episode as it's when the theme was introduced. So, I'm still expecting for someone else to be playing sheep, waiting for the moment to bite us.

  • And Nerissa had a tail. Lots of way to work around things when superpowers and magic are available.

  • Totally agreed!
    So, that brings out another question -- why would CM kill those girls? They were his profit. I think, it was someone, who suffers from their connection to CM and tries to point Bigby in the right direction. Someone who can't actually 'talk', if you know what I mean. ;D Nerissa doesn't look like a killer. That's where Vivian comes in.

  • It says in his Book of Fables entry that his leg injury is permanent, as it's part of his story, and can't be healed by magic.

  • Tim also seemed very insistent that he's harmless. He could act like he dislikes being considered innocent and not so strong Tiny Tim when he's actually playing Bigby for sympathy and to make himself seem like he couldn't possibly be a suspect. He's arguably the most kind or innocent character besides Toad Junior and Buffkin so far, and Crooked Man seems to not care about his mistakes and is good to him

  • The achievements don't really seem to match up to the episode either. Hopefully the achievements for Episode 5 have stayed true to the story, because they all sound epic. The title could apply to Bigby starting to hide his animal instincts and attempt to do things by-the-book, especially given Snow's dialogue to Bigby throughout this episode.

  • The preview for episode 5 it showed snow next to the witching well then when bigby gets there.. she's gone? or behind the pillar.. I don't get that part

  • and who walked a crooked mile?

  • why? Bluebeard is a 'punk rich kid' he wants to run the show.. but he always gets knocked down a couple of pegs when Bigby shows up.

    Bigby Wolf for president!

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