1.06 "Return of the Kane"
Aired Nov 02, 2004
fulfilled: Newbies here! Our very first RTR for the site, and they trust us to do it all by ourselves!
bethgee: To start with, I hate the music behind Season 1 DVD's menu. It's totally wrong for the mood of the show.
fulfilled: It's weird after an episode ends and it goes back to the menu, especially after a really dramatic cliffhanger. I don't hate the music on its own, but you're right — it doesn't always fit the mood.
bethgee: The West Wing has the same problem with the music over the closing credits. Someone will be shot or kidnapped and then this jaunty little track will play. You're right... the music isn't horrible, per se, just wrong. So why did you pick "Return of the Kane" to review?
fulfilled: Because it always sends chills down my spine, and an episode that can elicit that strong of an emotional reaction every time is worth talking about.
bethgee: I think it is the episode where the collective world started loving Logan. Well, it is when I did, at least. It was the first to give any real depth to his character, although Dohring was out-acting Dunn from moment one, episode one.
fulfilled: Yeah, I agree. I've had a few people who watched the season after I did who emailed me or called me with very, very emotional reactions.
bethgee: I just lent the DVDs to one of my friends and the picking-out-the-belt scene is the one scene she still talks about from the entire season, which, of course, she plowed through in a matter of days.
fulfilled: It made him sympathetic for the first time. I felt for him, and it started to put all these pieces of why he's such a jackass together.
bethgee: Certainly. I already felt for him since he lost his girlfriend most tragically, and then silly little Paris Hilton cheated on him, but the deep, DEEP troubles at home just add insult to injury. And while the whole Hamlin/Rinna thing could have come across as tongue-in-cheek stunt casting, but it worked beautifully.
fulfilled: They both play those roles so chillingly convincingly, and the fact that they're married in real life is really irrelevant. It's a nice bit of trivia, but for me, they embody the characters so well that it makes no difference that they're married.
(...and then there's a tangent about 3.01)
But back to "Return of the Kane"...
bethgee: While I like that the episode furthers the major-arc mystery, with Veronica putting together the picture of Lilly's shoes together with Lamb's stupid evidence bag, I'd almost rather it close with the Lynn Echolls stoic gaze.
fulfilled: I agree. That would have been such a strong ending. That whole scene absolutely shocked me. I wasn't spoiled for it, so it was so chilling, and from the minute Logan was standing in the closet, I knew where it was going. When I was actually seeing it happen for the first time, I kept wondering how far they were going to take it, but I never expected the pan over to her.
bethgee: Dohring plays it so well the entire episode, from the first scene that we see Aaron's violent tendencies, to his almost-believable "I love you" embrace at the soup kitchen, to the deliberate selection of the belt. It's such a solid episode from start to finish. The Lilly mystery takes an interesting turn, the Mystery of the Week is fairly interesting in a Nancy-Drewish sort of way, and the C-plot with Logan is incredible. Plus? Corny. My one quibble is Veronica's reaction to the resolution with Wanda. She feels so betrayed/"stabbed in the back" by Wanda, when she is just sticking to her agreement with the cops. V should know, given her Dad's history with the force and all, that an informant tends to inform, regardless of friendships or loyalty or what not. I'm surprised we never saw Wanda pop up again.
fulfilled: As for the MotW, that was one plotline that made Duncan more real to me, too. I think that in juxtaposing the Duncan post-Lilly's-murder with the Duncan that we saw on Homecoming night in "The Wrath of Con," the student council plotline allowed him to regain a little bit of that "old Duncan" again. For me, there was something in his storyline that added a layer to his character and started to show something beyond the numb, sullen Duncan that we were introduced to at the beginning of the season.
bethgee: I agree with you about Duncan. The scene where the unsanctioned "Aaron Echolls sponsors Duncan Kane for President!" video airs, and the scene of him and Jake in the truck clue viewer in, ever so slightly, to why Veronica fell in love with him in the first place.
Vix: I'm here!
Vix: Where are we?
bethgee: We've had some technical difficulties. And now, we're talking about Duncan's character and how it is given a bit more depth through this episode. I like the shot of Jake proudly smiling in the doorway when Duncan announces the new plan for pirate points. Nice contrast to Aaron.
fulfilled: Just what I was going to say. I think that, despite his slightly overbearing tendencies towards Duncan, he's a very sympathetic character. He's got that edge of drive and ambition, but still is so proud of his son.
Vix: Did either of you have pirate point-type systems at your high schools? I didn't.
bethgee: We could buy "civilian days" where we didn't have to wear our uniforms. That is the closest it got. And you couldn't really say it favored the rich kids, because you could buy the passes for like $1.
fulfilled: Any sorts of privileges came from being involved — I was student council president, so I had a key to our office and access to the staff room, but that was because I was on student government. It wasn't really "bought" so much as it was "part of the job."
Vix: We could go off-campus in Jr. and Sr. years for lunch.
bethgee: We could go off campus senior year for
making out lunch.
fulfilled: We could go off-campus any year, but junior and seniors could have "spares" — periods with no classes, not even study hall. I had 3 or 4 in my senior year; at least one each semester.
Vix: Wouldn't walking on pizza make your shoes slippery?
bethgee: Maybe Madison's pizza was made with Tofu cheese. Madison looks like Jan Brady (from the movies, not the TV show) in her pep squad outfit.
Vix: Yeah, with the hair on one side.
fulfilled: I love Lilly. Just sayin'.
Vix: You know, I do love Lilly as well. She's awesome—says so herself.
fulfilled: Lilly's the coolest dead girl ever. And I love that her scenes are green and ghostly, but she's so alive.
bethgee: I'm not a huge Lilly fan, myself (don't hit me). I think she's self-absorbed, promiscuous, and arrogant. She and Veronica almost seem to have that sort of relationship where she just keeps Veronica around to worship her.
fulfilled: Promiscuous and self-absorbed, definitely, but there's a certain charisma about her that makes her magnetic. That's what draws her to me — which maybe just proves your point.
Vix: She's the queen bee, in other words, and her death helps Veronica become a queen bee-ish type on her own.
fulfilled: Definitely. But from what we know about Veronica's personality before, that fits their friendship.
bethgee: Definitely queen bee.
Vix: Oh man, I hate how Logan does the bum fights in this episode. I'm not Logan's biggest fan, but this is just mean.
bethgee: NOTHING LOGAN COULD EVER DO IS WRONG. I'm trying not to hear that.
fulfilled: Many things Logan does are wrong, but he's hot enough that most people don't care.
bethgee: He was paying them good money! He's a philanthropist! Ummm ... rule number one is to not talk about bum fights ...
Vix: I LOVE Duncan's campaign ad!
fulfilled: I was actually kind of put off by Duncan's video at the beginning—not the video itself, but Logan submitting it for him. It kind of parallels the dynamic in Lilly and Veronica's friendship, now that I think of it.
Vix: I bet Duncan's dad helped him with it.
fulfilled: I liked the transition from being set up for the election to kind of grudgingly accepting it, to actually taking some action and making the decision to change the Pirate Points.
Vix: Instead of, as Veronica says, "standing idly by."
Vix: He does want to impress her, despite everything. What a messed-up relationship.
fulfilled: And yet, when it's combined with the flashback with Dick, it shows him starting to return to himself. I've always liked Veronica and Duncan, though. What you were saying about Duncan still wanting Veronica's approval... it's so evident when she's filming his acceptance speech, when he announces the pirate points and makes that eye contact with her. There's still that sense that they're so important to each other, and especially from Duncan's perspective, I can see a lot more of his dilemma, of caring about Veronica even though he maybe "shouldn't" after their breakup.
Vix: Or doing so whether or not he should.
fulfilled: Talk about a loss of innocence; it had to have been a huge blow for him — losing both Lilly and Veronica in a matter of weeks couldn't have been easy.
Vix: No wonder he went a bit batty. I don't really like Wanda. She always felt sort of...clichéd. Not the narc part, necessarily, but the in-your-face punk thing.
bethgee: Why was Wanda ever on pep squad?
fulfilled: Maybe for the gym credits.
bethgee: Or the Pirate Points!
Vix: That does seem like a stretch, but she and Veronica had to know each other somehow.
bethgee: A long time ago ...they used to be friends. Is this the first time we hear mention of Lilly/Weevil together? From Wanda?
fulfilled: The first official mention. We saw Weevil crying at the memorial.
bethgee: Jane Lynch is in EVERYTHING, by the way.
Vix: Jane Lynch is in like every show ever, and she's always great.
bethgee: Cindy Lightballoon....hee hee.
Vix: I love the colors chant she does in A Mighty Wind.
bethgee: "All-around righteous dude" –Aaron. Hilarious.
Vix: I always thought it was odd when Veronica wrote "Duncan" on Lilly's shoe.
bethgee: Oooh...good one! I thought that felt sort of forced.
fulfilled: In a way, it's weird, but at the same time, it's such a 16-year-old-girl thing to do — not necessarily with the brother's name, but writing on each other's shoes.
bethgee: The whole murder/rape/Lilly death/social ostracization thing completely changed Veronica, obviously, but I could never EVER see her being the type to write Duncan in a heart all cheesily. On a Ked, to boot.
(With those profound words, bethgee left to make dinner.)
Vix: That, I didn't have a problem with, but wouldn't even Lilly think, "Why are you writing my brother's name on my shoe?"
fulfilled: Unless she was too busy making out with Logan the entire time to notice, which then puts all of their friendships in a whole new level of familiarity.
Vix: Yeah, also the fact that Duncan was around for that, too. They're a very... close family. But at least Lilly did think it was odd. "Oh yeah, now that's just creepy." Man, Aaron has a hot car.
fulfilled: Aah! The belt. We talked about this a bit before you got here, but...man, that's just chilling. That scene just sends shivers down my spine every single freakin' time I see it.
Vix: The belt scene might be the best in the whole episode.
fulfilled: I agree. It's the most memorable; that's for sure.
Vix: The one fangirls squeed most over.
fulfilled: The one that made Logan sympathetic to the most people.
Vix: Logan says Aaron is donating half a million dollars to the food bank. I get why he'd be annoyed he did it without asking, but wouldn't that be a drop in the bucket for them?
fulfilled: It's a power thing.
Vix: Mrs. E. doesn't even flinch. She's either used to it or dead drunk.
fulfilled: So creepy.
Vix: I love how Veronica stops lying to Keith and just lays it out. It's different than a lot of other shows where they would've dragged it out interminably. Even when the Keith-Veronica scenes are only 5 minutes out of the whole episode, they're so real and well-written.
fulfilled: Any last thoughts before we wrap this up? I have to say, I like Duncan. A lot.
Vix: Even with the meh, he's cute and funny and wears argyle like a mofo.
fulfilled: Every time I see anyone wearing argyle now in real life, I think of Duncan. Does that make me too obsessed with TV?
Vix: There's no such thing!