Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Deep Thoughts about Veronica Mars (Episode 2)

Quick synopsis: Veronica starts the episode off feeling extreme guilt about Mac’s roommate’s rape (and subsequent buzz-cutting) because she could have prevented it—she walked into the room to get tickets to something or the other and the lights were out, but she figured whatever was going on was consensual because she and Mac had the impression that Mac’s roommate was a slut. Turns out she was being raped. She overcomes the guilt by vowing to catch the rapist (and something tells me she it a hunch). In the meantime, she joins the school newspaper as a photographer and gets assigned to infiltrate a slutty sorority that gets pledges drunk and has them strip in a ‘secret room’ with a 2-way mirror for members of the brother fraternity to watch. She pledges that sorority and manages (of course) to sneak into said secret room...and finds that it’s actually a sun room with lots of marijuana plants in it (what’s with my favorite shows and weed? First Weeds and now Mars...hmm, don’t answer fact, forget I brought it up at all). She takes the story to her Greeks-hating editor, then finds out (from a sorority sister who is actually cool and down-to-earth and violates the whole sorority stereotype) that the marijuana is actually for the house mother, who has been undergoing chemo. She got the seeds from a botany professor, and they’ve been growing it secretly so she could keep doing her job or something. She feels regret and tries to prevent the story from being published, but to no avail. She goes to the house to warn them to get rid of the pot...and loses a friend in the process.

That darn Veronica...pissing people off wherever she goes...


Logan and Wallace take part in Unrealistic College Moment #2...a sociology experiment where volunteers are separated into torturers and torturees to see how well torture works. Wallace is part of the team of guards (along with the best friend from Boy Meets World), Logan one of the detainees (along with one of the guys from Freaks and Geeks). Loser has to “streak across campus” (because this is apparently 1967, not 2006). Long story short, Wallace’s team wins, and apparently “streak across campus” turns into “streak through sociology class”, which, in my experience at least, would be Unrealistic College Moment #3.

Also, Mac’s roommate’s parents come to take her home to Colorado, and it turns out her mother is domineering and angry, telling her things like “You’re not mature enough to be on your own” and “I should have known this would happen” and the like. Mac surprises herself by telling her roommate she should stay, and I assume that’s what will happen. This could lead to an interesting dynamic since her roommate now hates Veronica, who revealed the whole “I could have stopped it had I known you weren’t actually a slut in so many words” thing.

Also, Veronica’s dad wandered through the desert (literally) for most of the episode before finding a police station and directing authorities to the house of the now-murdered Charisma Carpenter...I mean, Kendall Casablancas. Of course, there was no dead body there. And one Fitzpatrick killed another. And then Keith sold a million-dollar painting and gave the proceeds to the Neptune Food Bank. Honestly, I haven’t totally processed this plotline yet (I obviously missed something here), so that’s all I’ll mention of it.


* No Piz this episode? And no Weevil in the first two? I guess it is the sign of a great show when you can take one of the more obvious upcoming plotlines (Veronica leaves Logan for Piz; Weevil gets tried for murder...he’s still in the opening credits, so I have to figure this is coming) and put it on the back-burner...and still end up with a relatively interesting episode.

* Honestly, I have the feeling the writers don’t really know what to do with Logan at this point. You have to figure a breakup is coming, especially since he and Veronica have spent a total of about 4 minutes on-screen together so far, but they either don’t know how to orchestrate it, or they don’t know what to do with his character after the breakup, so they’re just sort of putting it off. But again, they avoided this completely and still ended up with a watchable episode. That’s...something. And honestly, in the first couple of episodes Jason Dohring (who plays Logan) has seemed pretty bored. He’s at his best when things are intense, and that definitely hasn’t been the case so far.

* Line of the Night comes from Dick, spotting a pretending-to-be-drunk-to-see-if-they’ll-take-her-into-the-secret-room Veronica at a Theta Beta party: “Somewhere in an alternate universe, Bizarro Dick is being a total killjoy.” (Runner-up, Veronica: “In the ‘70s, they had The Hustle. In the ‘80s, it was the Moonwalk. Now, we have the faux-lesbian dance.”)

* I was actually pleased with the characterizations of both sororities and people who hate sororities. It’s too easy to paint one as evil and one as good, and few shows would show the shades of grey here. Veronica expected to walk into a cult or a whore house and found that a lot of the people were kind and respectful; meanwhile, the anti-Greek newspaper editor (and the bitchy volunteer who drove pseudo-drunk Veronica back to the dorms after the sorority sent her home for being too drunk) came across as a little too lustful for bringing the Theta Betas down. Lots of stereotypes still at play here, but I was grateful for at least a few grey shades. (Honestly, my early candidate for the Buzz Cutting Offender is the bitchy free ride giver. But I know I'm wrong, and that's okay.)

Alright, I think that’s it for now. Off to to see what else is being said...