1.02 "Credit Where Credit's Due"

Aired Sep 28, 2004

Roundtable Reviews

wyk: Well, here we go. PLAY!

Inigo: PAUSE!

wyk: We haven't even started yet.

Inigo: I know, but I think we need to set some ground rules.

wyk: What? Why?

Inigo: Are we going to talk about "She Who Must Not Be Named," more popularly known by the acronym "Skank"?

wyk: "Skank" isn't an acronym of "She Who Must Not Be Named," fool.

Inigo: No, but is an acronym for "She Kan't Act!" "No Kidding!"

wyk: Is that another of your British spellings?

Inigo: If I say yes, will you believe me? Besides, it's better than SWMNBN.

wyk: Whatever.

Inigo: By the way, why are we doing this as a running commentary again?

wyk: Because the rest of my minions are too stuffed with holiday spirit or playing with new toys to get to work. They'll probably come along later and insert some clever comments here or there.

alliterator: Yes, we will. Except minus the "clever" part.

Inigo: And why am I here?

wyk: Because you're my hapless minion.

Inigo: Oh, that's right. I forgot.

wyk: Are you ready now, minion?

Inigo: Yes, mistress.

wyk: PLAY!

Inigo: No one ever talks about the previouslies.

wyk: We can talk about the previously if you want. I like them.

Inigo: This was the very first previously. Duh. Given the density of the pilot, I thought the previously was well done in being informative for those who may have missed it.

wyk: It makes me happy when I hear, "Previously on Veronica Mars."

Inigo: I get a warm glow. Sometimes they don't use the same shots as they used in the previous episodes, which can be a bit confusing, but that happens later in the season.

wyk: I wonder who cuts together the previously. They are usually pretty well done. They should hire that person to do the promos.

Inigo: Yes, god, the promotions. Why can't the makers be responsible for the promotions, rather than the network? They at least have an idea of what the show is about, what would and wouldn't spoil.

wyk: Networks use promotions to attract new fans, so they have to make the promos as interesting as possible, even if it means telling us how the episode ends.

Inigo: Are you saying that Rob couldn't make a decent promotion, one that wouldn't be interesting?

wyk: Rob is already in charge of running the show, polishing the scripts, picking all the music, and fawning over Greta. Let the poor man get some sleep.

Inigo: Sleep is for the weak. Anyway, maybe the industry would be better served if at least the program-makers worked with the networks. In Australia, the promos for this episode were almost exclusively the Skank, from what I've read.

wyk: And now back to the episode. Veronica is at her locker.

Inigo: Wait! Wait! The opening shot — does that banner say "Pirates Oceanside"?

wyk: Yes. It's a shot of a real high school.

Inigo: Was this episode the last time they used that school?

wyk: I'm not sure. I have to check the DVDs.

Inigo: Right. PLAY!

wyk: They open with a slow-motion/fast-forward shot of the high school. I like the camera work on the show. It gives the show a unique look. You know, as unique as every other show that uses funky type of camera work.

Inigo: There aren't many that put it together the way they do on here. They like their tracking shots. I don't think I'd picked up before that it's a single shot of Veronica and Wallace from the locker to "I used to be one of them."

wyk: Hey, there's the goatee extra walking behind Wallace and Veronica.

Inigo: Have we got names for all the regular unnamed extras? Moving on, when I first saw this, my heart sank a little to hear "Word Up," and it wasn't even the original. Did you even notice, oh I-never-notice-the-music woman?

wyk: What? What's "Word Up"? Is that the name of the song? I really should read the music section more often.

Inigo: But then it was beautifully tied in with the '80s-style lingo that Troy and Duncan adopted. Nicely done and a nice way of establishing that their friendship was of some standing.

wyk: I wonder what Duncan's "every last one" comment meant? Teddy said that Duncan was a rich kid who had problems with his class status. Unfortunately the audience never really saw that side of Duncan. I wonder if that was comment a reflection of his anti-rich boy.

Inigo: I don't see how "every last one" would reflect that. I never got the impression that Duncan had problems with his status, just that he wasn't as comfortable with it as some.

wyk: Hey, I'm just trying to add some depth to the Duncan character to counter-balance your Logan fawning.

Inigo: My boy's name hasn't so much as passed my moistened lips!

wyk: Oh, I love how the writers showed all these kids drinking at the beach party. On many shows, they would add some type of anti-drinking PSA to the scene, but not this show. The writers know kids drink at parties, and they don't make a big deal out of it.

Inigo: Although if they were really going to be bold, a few of them would have been smoking too.

wyk: Drinking is fine. Guns are fine. Naked is fine. But smoking? Oh, no. You can't show that on TV!!

Inigo: At least not without something wrinkling their nose and going "Tut, tut."

wyk: OH GOD, the pink skank speaks!!

Inigo: Skank alert!

wyk: Felix has some very interesting dance moves.

Inigo: It's called the barge.

wyk: What, the dancing or Paris?

Inigo: It fits either way.

wyk: Chardo — if the casting directors are going to cast a so-not-in-high-school
actor to play one of the students, can't they at least hire someone cute?

Inigo: He was seriously miscast.

wyk: Aww, you don't like Chardo either?

Inigo: He was too old and he couldn't act. Good match for the skank, I suppose.

wyk: FYI, our site is 8th on Google when you search for "Chardo."

Inigo: Yay? PAUSE!

wyk: Why pause?

Inigo: I feel we ought to stop and say something profound about the haves/have-nots dynamic. But I can't think of anything.

wyk: I thought it was really brave of the writers to have Logan say those racist comments.

Inigo: "Spic(k) and span"? Yes, they are not afraid to go there. And it was a low blow on Logan's part.

wyk: I know some people disliked the use of racial slurs, but I applaud the writers for including them. It added a sense of realism to the show. It goes back to the drinking thing — drinking and racism are a real part of the high school experience, and the writers aren't afraid to and don't shy away from it.

Inigo: I thought it was telling that Logan didn't seem to have a problem with Weevil about the events in the pilot.

wyk: So Weevil hit Logan a couple of times in the pilot. What's the big deal? Boys will be boys.

Inigo: Most boys would burn with resentment, I think, and not be quite so laid back about it. Logan is very much about using words to wound, as he does here, but there's no sense at all that it has anything to do with the beating on the beach. That's over, that's done. This is about Logan crossing the have/have-not line by having the party in the wrong place.

wyk: Do we know that it was Logan's party? Maybe he was just one of the attendees.

Inigo: Logan's the one who took the role of leader when Weevil crashed, saying it was a private party, so I think it's a fair assumption. Moving on, when Lamb banged on the Navarro door, did you think that he was after Weevil and Chardo for being at the party? I know I did, and it tied in with the idea that law enforcement would come for the non-09ers and leave the 09ers alone, making them not so much corrupt as compliant with the status quo. Well, actually, that is corruption.

wyk: I did not assume it was about the party. I figure Weevil did so many other bad things, it was quite common for the cops to come after him.

Inigo: Weevil thought it was about the party. He asks Lamb if he'd already gone after all the rich kids. It was a small mislead.

wyk: That is an unflattering camera shot for Weevil when he confronts Lamb. The camera man is standing behind and above Weevil and it makes Francis look really tiny compared to Michael.

Inigo: What is that hanging from the rafters of the Navarros'? Isn't September a little early for Christmas lights?

wyk: Maybe the Navarros really, really like Christmas.

Inigo: Cliff!

wyk: The boat! Someone wondered if the boat has always been in Keith's office.

Inigo: It's a good view of it there. Whatever happened to the fish tank?

wyk: The fish and Backup are locked up in a closet somewhere.

Inigo: Well, at least they let Backup out occasionally. That poor fish has probably evolved into one of those deep-sea types that glow in the dark to make up for having no light. Hey, the Christmas light at the Navarros' are on. Is that a Mexican thing?

wyk: I'm not sure if the lights are a Mexican thing. I liked how the set decorator included Virgin Mary/Jesus candles in the Navarro household. I know those candles are a Hispanic thing.

Inigo: Why is there a toy car on the brick?

wyk: What brick?

Inigo: When Veronica is looking at Weevil's bike, just before he comes out, you can see the fence ends in a brick thingie. On top of it is a toy car. I think.

wyk: They showed two little kids. Maybe it's one of their toys.

Inigo: It is, though, isn't it?

wyk: Yes, it is a toy car. Weevil has an impressive amount of tattoos.

Inigo: I wonder if they are Francis's or Weevil's. I am assuming Weevil's.

wyk: I think fans and Francis have said those tattoos are real. Regarding the Xmas lights — it's a UPN show. They probably couldn't afford real lights, so they had to grab some Xmas lights from someone's garage.

Inigo: My god. We've only just got to the credits and we've been going over an hour. How did that happen?

wyk: Your never-ending computer problems. Plus we are very slow typers.

Inigo: Perhaps. But that was a long, long teaser.

wyk: Wow, the Mars family splurged and actually went out to eat.

Inigo: I like that Keith is still being a dad, but not being an asshole with it.

wyk: I love the faces that Kristen makes as Keith is reading the newspaper article to Lamb. She is able to bring on the snark without even saying a word.

Inigo: Damn! I've just realised. I can read the name of the reporter on the Hampstead story. Another WW missed.

wyk: Seriously, that "take your hat off" thing was one of my favorite scenes. I have always loved the father-daughter dynamic on the show.

Inigo: He's very much in the mould of a teacher, rather than an authoritative figure. He doesn't have that "I'm the adult, you're the child" attitude. It's a relationship based on mutual respect, which is what, I think, makes it so enriched.

wyk: I have to slightly disagree with you about that. I think Keith does have that "I'm the adult, you're the child" attitude. Keith and Veronica aren't equals and they aren't BFFs. Leave it to this writing team to realize that it's possible to have a strong, loving, funny parent/child relationship and still have the parent act like a parent.

Inigo: He takes the role as parent, but he doesn't simply issue instructions and expect her to follow them. He knows he needs more than to just say so — he needs to persuade. That's a mark of respect, not entitlement that he should be minded because he is the parent. That's not to say that he won't play the parent occasionally. Shallow moment alert. Michael Muhney really does have the most gorgeous blue eyes.

wyk: You shallow? *gasp* I'm so shocked!

Inigo: Pot. Meet kettle.

wyk: Inigo, meet Michael and Jason. Wait a second, you can't. I forgot, you're not going to the Alamo thing.

Inigo: Smugness does not suit you, even if it is one of your favourite outfits. Lamb is being a jerk. Now, he seems to be an interesting contradiction. He obtained his position through surviving Keith's downfall, which suggests political acumen. On the other hand, why be so dismissive of Keith? Veronica Mars — even the jackasses have layers.

wyk: Keith is known as the bungling sheriff. There is no reason why Lamb would feel compelled to treat him with respect.

Inigo: There is the adage about not burning bridges. Keith, who picked him as a deputy, obviously trained him, is someone who as a private investigator could make significant discoveries in the town. It just seems odd for Lamb to do that, to me.

wyk: Do we know that Keith trained Lamb? Depending on the size of the sheriff's department, Keith might or might not have had much say in hiring Lamb. Lamb could have resented Keith for years. But since Keith was the sheriff, Lamb had to bite his tongue. Now that Keith is powerless, Lamb can be a jerk to his former boss without any repercussions.

Inigo: Well, Lamb is a jerk to everyone, except maybe the judge in the pilot, but you get a sense that he knows who he has to be nice to. Is he a fool as well? Watch this space I suppose. What's with Troy's Mockney accent? Why is that supposed to impress an American girl?

wyk: Accents are sexy.

Inigo: In that hat Veronica has a '60s-retro feel to her. I wonder if that was deliberate. We've already had the '80s throwback; now Veronica and Troy play Carnaby Street.

wyk: What is Carnaby Street?

Inigo: What do you mean what is Carnaby Street? Girl, you need to get yourself an education. Carnaby Street was THE place of the '60s.

wyk: Dear Brit, I wasn't in London or even alive yet.

Inigo: No, but that hasn't stopped you from knowing who JFK was or what happened at the Alamo. As plot devices go, making Wallace an office aide wasn't too clumsy, I suppose.

wyk: The plot device wasn't too bad, but it's surprising how easily Wallace agreed to snoop through the files. It's understandable that he wouldn't have problems digging up dirt on the guy who tied him to the flagpole. But still, digging through someone's file could have gotten Wallace in a lot of trouble.

Inigo: Wallace owes her and he knows it.

wyk: Hey, there's the teacher we almost forgot to include on our site.

Inigo: Mallory Dent, a scant presence.

wyk: What is with that beige jacket that Duncan is wearing? It's September in California.

Inigo: Is that bad?

wyk: Duncan does love his sweater vests. Maybe that beige jacket-thingy is part of his summer collection.

Inigo: Where are we now?

wyk: I'm at the part where Veronica sees she has a flat.

Inigo: I love this scene, save for the skank. We're still arguing about Troy's line, you know, "their daughter" or "a daughter."

wyk: I love the flat/persnickety banter. I really enjoy how the writers turn something like "backup" and "flat" into jokes. Rob has a gift for wordplay.

Inigo: That he do. What do you think of Troy? Why does Veronica attract 09ers? What is wrong with all the 02ers at Neptune High? Interesting that Veronica is in this limbo — neither one nor t'other, and it takes a new kid, one who doesn't know her rep, to bond with her — first Wallace, now Troy.

wyk: I wasn't sure what to make of Troy. Is he good, is he bad?

Inigo: Will Veronica be had? Made in Heaven, made in Hell? Sexy boy or ne'er-do-well?

wyk: Wallace never mentioned Veronica's hotness. It was strictly a friendship vibe. Troy, on the other hand, totally wants her.

Inigo: Yes, but the correlation is the willingness to engage. She doesn't seem to get that from anyone else.

wyk: The 02ers still think she is one of the 09ers. The 09ers all think she stabbed them in the back. The only people she's got are the new kids and Corny.

Inigo: Even Corny doesn't seem to be a friend. Someone who likes her and will do things for her, but not a mate.

wyk: Hey, Corny was willing to talk to her. That's BFF status in Veronica's book.

Inigo: No. She gives every indication of thinking herself alone before Wallace. There was nothing in the pilot to suggest Corny was anything other than someone she could go to for a favour.

wyk: Another thing I liked about the parking lot scene is Veronica's reaction to Duncan. She had no problem throwing out zinger after zinger with Troy, but when Duncan speaks to her, she's speechless. She's all snarky with Troy, but when it comes to Duncan, she's still a marshmallow. I'm confused by Duncan's actions. He was nice and friendly when he offers Veronica a ride, but once they are in the car together, he ignores her again.

Inigo: Was he nice and friendly because of Troy, though? This is the guy who dumped her without explanation. As long as he is unwilling to explain himself to her, and she doesn't seem to want to push for an explanation, what have they got to talk about...ah, Lilly.

wyk: That's a huge watch on Duncan's wrist.

Inigo: Is a big watch an indicator of something, like big hands?

wyk: It's a sign that Duncan has bad eyesight; therefore he needs a watch with huge numbers. This bad eyesight theory would totally explain why he doesn't notice Veronica's total hotness, when it is so obvious to Troy.

Inigo: Well, to be fair, nobody seems to notice her hotness except for Troy.

wyk: I love how Veronica's face melts when Duncan starts talking about Lilly. With that one word "Yeah," Kristen is able to perfectly convey how much Lilly meant to Veronica.

Inigo: Celeste loves Duncan so much she will split him up with Veronica. Keith loves Veronica in a way that made many uncomfortable. Is there a theme here?

wyk: The viewers are pervs? I totally didn't get that "Veronica and Keith are EWWW!" vibe.

Inigo: No, me neither. But it was out there for a while as I recall. Celeste, however, does have that sort of imperiousness that might excuse incest. Rome-style.

wyk: EWWW! Excuse while I go throw up. I wonder if Veronica ever suspected that Celeste was the cause of the breakup. She knows Celeste hates her.

Inigo: Oh, I think so. It's her recollection. The timing and context of it seem to point to her suspicions. Whilst it might make her seem whiny, I have to say, she could have just asked, as he was something of a captive audience.

wyk: I know. Would it have killed her to ask Duncan, "Hey, why did you dump me?" Her VMVO wouldn't shut up in the car, but Veronica didn't even say a peep until Duncan asked about the song. I love the colors on the show. First you have that purplish, grainy flashback, and in the next scene it's all golden and warm.

Inigo: And Weevil in orange!

wyk: They are in the car again. Poor Veronica, she looks over to Duncan, and he doesn't notice her at all.

Inigo: Forwarding to the Keith/Jake flashback, did you notice the subtle shift from "Jake killed Lilly" to "Jake was involved in Lilly's murder"?

wyk: To me it wasn't subtle. I figured the writers changed their minds about what Keith thought about Jake's involvement. I find it interesting that Jake pulled the "Don't you know who I am?" card but Duncan didn't.

Inigo: It's back to this idea that Duncan doesn't have the same sense of privilege as some of the other 09ers. That suggests that he is a fundamentally decent bloke, although that is countered by the way he treated Veronica.

wyk: It would be interesting to see what Lilly would have done in that situation. Would she have been calm like Duncan, pull the "Don't you know who my daddy is?" card, or would she have flirted like crazy with the officer?

Inigo: The impression from the flashbacks so far is that she would have flirted — channelling her pep.

wyk: Regarding Lamb's lack of respect — When Keith was cleaning out his office, Lamb was standing outside his office eating an apple. He totally didn't care about the problem that Keith was going through, and he had no problem showing his disdain.

Inigo: Yes, I know. But how did he get made sheriff? I doubt he was showing disdain to the people who mattered. Why didn't he go after the 09ers after Veronica reported the rape, or after the beach party? It comes down to knowing who he can and who he can't offend. The point is simply that given that degree of political acumen, or corruption, it seems short-sighted on his part to assume that Keith, a private investigator, will never be in a position of influence again. Are we at the hotel yet?

wyk: Yeah.

Inigo: Okay, that bit where the receptionist goes away and they talk quietly, is Keith making Veronica laugh or is Enrico making Kristen laugh? I get a warm, fuzzy glow thinking it might be the latter.

wyk: I like that scene too. They are so cute together. It made me laugh how Veronica instantly changed from crying to smiling when the clerk gave her the bill.

Inigo: She's very sly. One of the strengths of the show is to make someone with that quality so likeable.

wyk: Are you talking about Inga? That's the scene I'm on.

Inigo: Veronica.

wyk: What, you don't think Inga is sly and likeable? Why are you hatin' on Inga?

Inigo: Have you started smoking crack? I am talking about VERONICA. She is very sly in how she goes from crying to smiling when the clerk gives her the bill and yet she is likeable. Inga is not sly, although she is likeable. She has puppies. Who can hate a puppy owner?

wyk: Inga has to have some slyness to her considering the fact that Lamb hasn't fired her when she is a Keith supporter.

Inigo: Inga doesn't like him, that much is obvious. But that doesn't make her sly, particularly as she doesn't seem to do much to hide it. Perhaps Lamb just knows she's good at what she does. Where are we now?

wyk: At the lunch table.

Inigo: Logan. *sigh*

wyk: I know. He is such a jerk.

Inigo: Mmmmm.

wyk: Thank you so much for your thought-provoking insight. I wonder how long Caitlin and Logan have been dating. He is a very jealous boyfriend.

Inigo: Mmmmm. Logan. He and the skank can't have been dating that long, since he was Lilly's boyfriend. That also shows he did have taste, once.

wyk: Are you calling Caitlin or Paris a skank? It would have been interesting to see the audience reaction to Caitlin if Joel didn't foist Paris onto the show.

Inigo: Stunt casting. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Skank applies to both, I would say. Is Logan jealous, or is he simply not prepared to be cuckolded?

wyk: I think it's jealousy. He acts jealous when he sees Troy talking to Caitlin. He then digs through his girlfriend's purse and peeks at her phone records. If it wasn't Paris playing Caitlin, I think the audience would be more sympathetic to Caitlin and give Logan some grief about his overjealous actions.

Inigo: Well, bear in mind he also has Veronica's accusation ringing in his ears. He has been told that his girlfriend signed for room service in a local hotel. His suspicions are not misplaced. And how hypocritical would we be as an audience to give Logan grief over his actions, whilst letting Veronica, who indulges in a greater breach of privacy, off the hook.

wyk: Veronica is looking for Lilly's killer. Logan is being a jealous, noisy boyfriend.

Inigo: Veronica is not looking for Lilly's killer at the hotel. Veronica has jumped, incorrectly, to the conclusion that Logan is responsible for the credit card fraud and is pursuing that line of inquiry. Logan, having been wrongfully accused, is now pursuing his own line of inquiry.

wyk: *listening for the crickets*

Inigo: And is being a jealous boyfriend.

wyk: I love how the set people decorated the girls bathroom. It looks like a real high school bathroom. The ugly green and blue tiles. The graffiti. The broken toilet is one of my favorite background props.

Inigo: I dislike the scene because Chardo grates so. And what do we say of the morality of Leticia Navarro, prepared to let Weevil take the fall, and then persuaded to tell the truth on the basis of racism and personal dislike of the skank? Although personal dislike of the skank is a good reason for almost anything.

wyk: Leticia was just being practical when she let Weevil go to jail. Four months of juvie is much easier than a prison term.

Inigo: Yes. But that still remains true even after she knows what Chardo was doing with the money. What? It would have been okay for him to have been spending it on a nice Mexican girl?

wyk: And hey, Veronica is the one who brought up the racism angle. She could have just said Chardo is dating some rich girl. But instead Veronica emphasizes the fact that it was a white girl. Veronica ain't dumb. She knows how to get under Letty's skin to make her tell the truth.

Inigo: It is another of the strengths, I think, that the racism goes both ways. Veronica uses Leticia's prejudices against her. People on this show aren't good or bad. They are all willing to bend the rules to suit themselves. What I find fascinating is that the audience is often less flexible. Veronica is good, Leticia is good, therefore their questionable morality is excused. Logan is a jackass, so his isn't. This may be one of the reasons the show doesn't have more viewers. To really appreciate it, you have to be prepared to accept that the line between heroes and villians is so blurred as to be non-existent.

wyk: One of the reasons why I like this show is that there isn't meant to be a line between heroes and villians. This isn't a show about a white knight going against the big bad. It's show about flawed, imperfect people who sometimes make good choices, and sometimes make bad choices. Letty let Weevil take the fall because she chose the lesser of two evils. Chardo was a jerk for letting Weevil take the fall, but he did for love, not out of spite. He honestly believed that he was going to have happy ending with Caitlin. Chardo is stupid and disloyal and selfish, but he's not 100% evil. Caitlin on the other hand...

Inigo: Letty's actions are almost inexplicable to me. Having chosen the "lesser of two evils," that which causes her to change her choice seems slight. Chardo's just dumb. Oh, Logan's arms....'scuse me.

wyk: Aww, Veronica is going to play video games with the boys.

Inigo: This is probably my least favourite episode of Season 1. It's not the skank. She was a stunt casting that I thought they handled quite well, making her play herself effectively and giving her minimum screen time (and no hairdresser). I think it's because there didn't seem to be much of the noir flavour that was established in the pilot. It seemed to be almost inconsequential.

wyk: How dare you criticize an episode that Rob wrote!!!

Inigo: I know. I'm going to go to hell.

wyk: I agree it wasn't as good as the pilot. I watched the pilot five or six time during that first week. I only rewatched this episode just a couple of times. I think if they cast better actors as Caitlin and Chardo, the story would have worked better. It's tough to have a mystery when the audience doesn't like the characters involved because of the actors.

Inigo: I liked that the social divide was highlighted again, and I liked the parallel between the 09ers' invading the bikers' territory at the start and the bikers' invading the 09ers' territory at the end. I liked that Logan and Weevil came to an understanding at the end as to who was the most appropriate to deal with the renegade. Just as Veronica was ejected by her "own," so Chardo and the skank were punished by their own far more effectively than they could have been by the other group. I like that Veronica was able to confirm her confidence in her father's judgement. And I loved the Lilly clue at the end, but the rest was meh. And you're right, the actors didn't help.

Polter-Cow: That's hot.

Inigo: Huh?

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