2.08 "Ahoy, Mateys!"

Aired Nov 23, 2005

Roundtable Reviews

marks of love: In my opinion, this makes three great episodes in row; I'm over my initial doubts about S2 and as we head into the second third of the season, I'm confident that this show has not lost its touch. On the contrary, I'm really impressed at how almost every MOTW has been tied to a larger season arc, and I'm going to go ahead and say that I'm pretty sure the structure and the resolution are going to be much better done than those of S1. (This means, Rob, that if there's another spy pen debacle and I'm forced to eat my words, prettiness will not ensue.) My one concern is that there is too damn much going on, and I'm not just talking about the disappearing arcs that leave us wondering WTF happened to the Casablancas kids for three episodes, etc., though that's a facet of it. I really mean in the episodes themselves. I love the fast pace of the show and I love that stuff happens, but this episode was a good example of Just Too Much Going On. By all means, VM, stay a step or two ahead of me — but don't stuff so much into each individual mystery that even the most eagle-eyed and nerdy of viewers can't quite follow what's going on.

topanga: I agree, marks. Tonight's episode was excellent, and it was this close to being outstanding. The action and suspense had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. The only thing that makes it an A- instead of an A is that there were too many complicated story lines happening. I had a hard time keeping them all straight. The Fitzpatricks, the doctor, Weevil's gang, the Olivereses, Marcos's sexuality...I got a little lost sometimes.

misskiwi: Oh, as if you didn't dock that grade purely for the lack of Wallace.

topanga: You got me. If it wasn't for Logan's wonderful/terrible trial scene, I would have given it a B — you can't have that much darkness three weeks in a row without Wallace's light.

wilecoyote: May I add: BEST. EP. EVER

misskiwi: I agree that this has been a trifecta of fantabulous (it's a word if I say it is) episodes. I can't say I ever really doubted the show has lost it's touch, but once we got past the heart-stopping bus crash in the finale, I found the next few episodes solid but not blow-me-away spectacular. I've gotten over that feeling and then some. I think the real problem here is this show has the bar set so high the writers need a friggin' catapult to make it over, never mind blow us all away.

wyk: Will y'all please stop the "there are too many storylines," "I want the answers now," "I can't follow all these plots" whine-fest. Geez, if you want an easy, answers-by-the-end-of-the-episode show go watch the one-billionth edition of Law and Order/CSI. The writers have raised the bar on this season's interconnected continuity conundrum; it's time for the fans raise the bar on their pause rewind, pause rewind obsessiveness.

misskiwi: Are you kidding? That's what makes this show great. No other team of writers puts this much effort into seamlessly interweaving plotlines and drawing them out across a season. If I ever complain, it's because not knowing the answers is driving me insane, but I wouldn't have them change a thing for the world. I didn't find this episode overly packed, though, and I had no trouble following it. Maybe you fools just weren't paying close enough attention. Or maybe me having to explain everything to my mom as the show goes on helps me follow it, too.

topanga: wyk, I didn't mean that I want every storyline neatly tied up by the end of the episode. This episode simply had so many story lines — so many complicated story lines — that it was hard for me to keep everything straight without re-watching it several times. I still don't completely understand the implied connection between the PCHers and the Fighting Fitzpatricks/Dr. Griffith. I'm sure it will become clearer in episodes to come.

misskiwi: The implied connection is that the Fitzpatricks are trying to set up Logan to be convicted for Felix's murder. This is something the PCHers want, a lot. If the Fitzpatricks are helping out the PCHers, what are the micks getting in return?

Polter-Cow: They got frickin' "mick" past the censors. Twice. I love that the racial epithets are back. Feels like Oz. (Note: I don't support racial epithets in real life, of course. Just on television where it makes things seem more ballsy and real. When you're dealing with a subject as charged as class warfare, you better believe there's going to be some name-calling.)

topanga: Don't forget "Fisty McRapesalot." This episode didn't hold back on the violent references.

misskiwi: The two violent scenes were so creepy and well-done. Well-acted, too, naturally. I appreciate that they take Veronica down a peg every once in a while to remind us (and, hopefully, her) that she's neither a cop nor a P.I. Last week she got busted for burglary and nearly arrested, and this week she stupidly follows a creepy guy into a creepy bar, leaving her friend with violent and protective tendencies in the car. Veronica, you're supposed to be smarter than me! Come ON!

topanga: Dude, the scene with the Fitzpatricks was scary. I nearly screamed out loud when dude grabbed Veronica by the throat and threw her onto the pool table. Her little legs flew way up in the air. I'm sure Kristen has a stunt double, but still. And I love that Logan was the one to rescue her again.

misskiwi: Me too! It was obvious, but I was still cheering for it. I'm a bad anti-shipper. I'll be over here in the corner, hanging my head in shame. That was a great, terrifying scene, though, the likes of which we never really saw last season until the finale.

grim squeaker: What I really liked about it was that Veronica's bravado comes back and bites her in the ass. Going with a leering stranger into the backyard past a furious pitbull into the main club of the meanest gang in town is a very bad idea, and I'm glad it was made clear that our feisty heroine was in way over her head. I didn't even mind that Logan rescued her yet again — what, did you think I would jump into the shipping boat? No shipping for me. Muahahaha. Ahem — because I was too busily fearing that she could end up with a tattoo on her face, or even worse things.

Polter-Cow: Dude, Logan was pretty badass with that gun. And I'm not one of those people who's continually bitching about Veronica's treatment of Logan because they so belong together omg, but a little "Thank you for saving me from a permanent green clover" would not have gone amiss before the "WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM?!" Which was warranted, yes, but so was a little gratitude.

misskiwi: True, but this was in character. Veronica's always been one to shunt unpleasant emotions away from where it hurts, and her screaming at Logan for having a gun was, I think, the only way she could stop herself from curling up in a whimpering ball like she did when he first stopped the car. She had to vent somehow, and since she can't do anything to the Fitzpatricks and she doesn't like being vulnerable, Logan is the next best target. I do find her comment that he's going to get himself killed interesting, since she accused him of having a death wish back in "Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang."

topanga: That whole scene in Logan's SUV, especially when Logan stares at a crying Veronica then attempts to console her, is reminescent of the scene in ["Ruskie Business" when Veronica consoles a crying Logan. Only Veronica didn't let Logan rub her back as he started to. I wonder why. Was she really that upset about the gun? Or did it bother her for Logan to touch her? I sound like a Logan/Veronica shipper, but I'm totally not.

funky-donut: I wonder about that stuff too, topanga, and I'm not a LoVer either. It's just that they've done a really great job of getting Logan & Veronica back to their pre-dating vibe, plus an extra edge. Veronica can't have helped but think of the last time he rescued her, and what happened right after that. She even referenced it before going up to the house. If she had let him rub her back, they might have ended up repeating history.

wyk: topanga, you took a psych course. Don't you know a classic I-care-about-you-but-I-hate-you-too-much-to-show-it-so- I'm-going-to-lash-out-at-you-instead scenario when you see it?

marks of love: Veronica/Logan has moved past the random insults and lamp-arranging (was I the only one who obsessed over Veronica's need to clean Logan's room?) into the dangerous expeditions, sustained conversations, and emotional rollercoasters with bouts of rescue here and there. Hmm, when did I ship V/L the hardest and flailingest? "Mars vs. Mars" to "Kanes and Abels"? I certainly don't see any similarities here! Oh, no. None at all. Hence why I am utterly calm and not at all maniacally squeeful at the moment. Ahem.

topanga: Okay. Last Logan/Veronica comment. 'Cause I'm not a LoVer. Really, I'm not. When Veronica gets out of Logan's car and walks across the street, he stares at her and swallows. He still likes her.

funky-donut: Dude, he still looooooooves her. He digs her chili, etc.

misskiwi: Speaking of Logan, I really thought he was going to get shot. I was sitting there, horrified and going, "They'll do it. This show will so do it. Holy shit." I would lay odds that gun wasn't loaded, or at least that it wasn't supposed to be...I think Weevil really just wanted to scare the information out of Logan. Is Hector or the other biker too obvious as Felix's killer? Felix was shown as Weevil's right hand man and likely to rat out anyone who attempted to go behind Weevil's back.

Polter-Cow: I agree with you about the other scene, misskiwi. Even if the whole judge/jury/executioner thing was kind of overblown and cheesy (kind of like the Fighting Fitzpatricks, in a way...no wonder they want to get together!), Jason Dohring rocked. In the grand tradition of "When scary things get scared," he sold it. The boy was terrified, and as a result, we were terrified for him. I would not have been surprised if they'd caused him serious bodily harm. Hell, they put Meg in a coma, might as well stick Logan in the emergency ward.

marks of love: Jason Dohring is a painfully good actor. I refer to the pain that I went through whimpering and covering my eyes and hyperventilating because he was THAT convincing in his fear and panic. Eeeek.

topanga: Jason Dohring!!! Give him an Emmy now. I loved that scene (as painful as it was to watch) because he gave an honest portrayal of what it's like to be scared out of your mind and completely helpless. Usually, you don't see that from men on TV/in the movies. Dirty Harry, Indiana Jones, Jason Bourne, and MacGuyver always manage to get themselves out of an impossible situation, and they never experience fear.

More kudos for Jason's acting: after Logan called Weevil and said, "Oh, it's just getting started, Weevs" in a tough guy voice, he hung up the phone and immediately looked pained. I'm not sure if it was from physical or emotional pain or both. But the effect was powerful.

marks of love: Oh, and though I agree with Polter-Cow that the blatant racism is indispensible to the atmosphere of VM and I'm glad that this hasn't been censored out, did anybody else cringe at Logan's repeated yelling of "Dammit!" It's times like this that I really do wish VM was an HBO show — stronger language was so very necessary in the "trial" scene that I really felt the lack thereof to be an obvious detriment to its quality.

topanga: I think Logan probably would have used stronger language if this were a cable show, but I don't think he would have shouted profanities at his attackers, as I've heard some people suggest. In similar situations in the past, Logan was his usual jackass self. In the pilot, for example, he mouthed off to Weevil, who had just punched him in the face. However, in the kidnapping scene tonight, Logan knew he was innocent and had no idea what these guys would do to him. Maime him? Kill him? Make him a soprano? He was pleading for his life, and the last thing he wanted to do was piss off his kidnappers. Saying "man" repeatedly was his feeble attempt to establish camaraderie. The "dammit" definitely was for network TV, however.

alliterator: I agree that this is one of the scenes where it would be better if Veronica Mars was on HBO. Not that it would have been any more violent — actually, I'm surprised at how violent it was without actually getting bloody, but that's mainly due to how powerful an actor Jason Dohring is and how much pain he can convey — but I feel that if VM was on HBO, instead of shouting "Man!" Logan would be shouting "Fuck!" Which is really a more appropriate word when your manbits are in peril.

topanga: Hee. I really liked the opening dream sequence.

misskiwi: I've read complaints about the quality of the initial whitewashed flashback, and while it was overexposed I liked it. Maybe I was just so happy to see Meg I ignored everything else.

Polter-Cow: Dude, there were complaints? MEG WAS SO PRETTY OMG. How could you complain? And Veronica was all Mary Lane hot! That dream was so awesome, not only because it so perfectly laid out Duncan's psychology but also because they haven't done something out of the ordinary like that in a while.

wyk: I liked the look of the whitewashed dream. The show uses different looks for the various flashbacks/dreams in order to convey a certain mood. Grainy blue/green tints for Veronica's flashbacks. Harsher, more disjointed look for the non-Veronica flashbacks. Bright, yellow hues for Lilly's goodbye dream. And now they use white for Duncan's dream. The white overexposure added an heavenly, etheral feel to the dream, which is exactly how Duncan views Saint Meg. It would have completely change subtext of the dream if it was shot using a grainy, blue filter.

alliterator: I really liked Duncan in this episode, mainly because you can see his inner workings through his dreams. His mind is a little less a mystery. Plus, he only had, like, two scenes and barely talked in them, which is always a plus. But the mystery of Duncan is getting more interesting now. And I like that they set something up in the previous episode (the letter) and then showed Duncan opening in in this one, unlike some other mysteries *coughdeadratcough*.

grim squeaker: It's amusing to me that this episode made you like Duncan, alliterator, because initially, I got very angry at the first dream sequence, especially about his take on Meg. Who does he think she is, Galadriel? Or, even worse, some pwetty pwinthess he needs to save? Somehow, that was a view into Duncan's soul that I didn't really need. But men who picture themselves as White Knights are a pet peeve of mine which we don't need to go into here any further.

His view of Veronica, on the other hand, made me laugh a little. Her new self must seem very alien and scary to him, when he dreams of her as some kind of harsh mistress.

What I greatly appreciate, though, is the mystery developing around him, since Duncan is much more interesting when he gets something to do besides cluelessly laughing about Marsian jokes.

topanga: I don't like how Duncan is behaving, but it's good to see a little character development thrown his way. So, he's confused? Yay, an emotion! Once again, his subconscious mind reveals what he can't or won't face in real life. It's very similar to "Meet John Smith," except his behavior back then was romantic and sweet. This time, he comes across as a real jerk.

Duncan pined away for Veronica all last season. He smashed his car with a shovel and even (allegedly) broke up with Meg because of unresolved feelings for Veronica. So why is he now dreaming about Meg? I think Duncan wanted to reunite with sweet, old Veronica from the pep squad. What he got was badass Veronica the P.I.

funky-donut: topanga, good call. He often just seems kind of bewildered by the new (to him) Veronica. He laughs along with her jokes, but he doesn't banter, and he never seems to know how to react to her PI skillz. The grass is always greener when you're Duncan, I guess.

wyk: I keep thinking about the line from "Meet John Smith": "Tragedy blows through your life like a tornado, uprooting everything, creating chaos. You wait for the dust to settle and then you choose. You can live in the wreckage and pretend it's still the mansion you remember. Or you can crawl from the rubble and slowly rebuild."

I'm not sure which path Veronica and Duncan choose when they decided to get back together. Did they get back together to cling onto those innocent, pre-murder, pre-rape, first-and-only-love years? Or did they get together because they saw it chance to rebuild their relationship that their mothers tore apart? Gosh darn, what was in that fortune cookie!!

marks of love: I have enjoyed Veronica's relationship with Duncan in that I think there are a lot of interestingly dark undertones to it even as it clearly makes — errr, made — her happy. That said, I fully agree that the way they're relating has very little to do with who either of them currently is, and it's about to collapse. Ignoring the knowledge as a fan that the relationship was doomed in a meta sense (anybody who didn't see a D/V relationship opening the season and falling apart as the so-called "love triangle" progressed gets a stern look from me), within the story it's been clear since "Driver Ed" what different wavelengths they're on. That Duncan was so oblivious to Veronica's feelings that she had to go through her "I feel" litany was disturbing; that he laughed at Jackie's namedropping while Veronica looked appalled in "Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang" positively spelled doom. And so it's been, but I've supported their relationship because I do think they have support to offer each other; besides, the Beatnik criminal tagteam in "Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner" was seriously fabulous.

What do you get when you put one person who's always been close-mouthed and secretive with another who's not only secretive but makes it her life's work to compartmentalize everything she is and everything that happens to her in separate, tightly-lidded boxes? There's no healthy exchange of emotional information; although the emotions are there and I don't think they're shallow/worthless, Duncan and Veronica seem fairly incapable of relaying these deeper feelings to each other except physically. It's no wonder, then, that they can revert to "two years ago" mode, when the emotions were less complicated—the happy fun flirting is easy to express.

HOWEVER, I don't know that I agree that Duncan still sees her as the same Veronica he dated in tenth grade; his mental image of her in a mesh top and "rocker chick" vixen attitude certainly don't resemble the long-haired, cashmere-swearing-wearing follower that we met in S1 flashbacks. Duncan never stopped loving that first Veronica he knew, but he watched from afar as she transformed into the softie's cynical polar opposite. Consider that Veronica's transformation was in large part inspired by Lilly (cf. "The Wrath of Con"). I think that Duncan's current idea of Veronica is part vintage sweater!V, part basic bad girl kink, and part confused Lilly issues. (Kind of icky, okay, but the guy did sleep with somebody he thought he was related to. While drugged, so that's kind of shruggable, but a few vaguely incestuous subconscious yearnings for his sister are in no way out of character.)

Veronica doesn't rock the sweater sets anymore — try as she might have once to project a bad girl image, she's always been a marshmallow; she's also not Lilly. I feel sorry for you, Duncan, but I'm also really rather disappointed. The girlfriend in your head is not the girlfriend in your bed.

(Of course, add "Meg was the replacement Veronica who then replaced Veronica again as the jaded chick and Veronica replaced Lilly and everybody is everybody else" into the equation and I get extremely excited and even more muddled in my own meta. Help me out here.)

misskiwi: Keep in mind the difference between Duncan's transition from Veronica to Meg and his switch from Meg back to Veronica. When he started dating Meg, he'd had over a year to get over Veronica on top of the fact that he believed that she was his sister, removing any and all hope of a reconciliation (in the absence of mind-altering drugs). Then he gets the bombshell that Veronica's not his sister and he lets out all those pent-up, no longer incestuous feelings out of hiding all at once. He breaks up with Meg and gets back together with Veronica, but here's another major difference: Meg, while not conscious at the moment, is still theoretically available to him. Also, he broke up with Veronica because he had to. There was probably a guilt factor but it's not like he had a choice, in his mind. Breaking up with Meg was entirely his decision, so now there's a different kind of guilt that festers, particularly now that Meg's in a coma and all vulnerable. Add to that how much Veronica has changed since they last dated and you've got the makings of a seriously screwed up Duncan who doesn't know what he wants.

topanga: marks of love, have you spent sleepless nights thinking about Veronica and Duncan? I agree with your excellent analysis of their relationship. In Veronica/Duncan Part 1, they were both very innocent and had little in their lives that would worry or sadden them. (Veronica's mother was an alcoholic, but she seemed content to let Keith handle her.) In "The Wrath of Con," Veronica's biggest concerns were being grounded by her father and learning about about her boyfriend's fondness for cheerleaders and his own hand. Duncan's biggest concerns were being outed for being a virgin and pleasing his parents.

Everything changed when Duncan started having violent outbursts, Lilly was murdered, Veronica got raped, Logan became obnoxious, Lianne split, and the Mars family became a pariah. I don't think Duncan mistakes Veronica for the sweater-wearing V he remembers. I think he wishes she still were.

They both have difficulty communicating deep or disturbing feelings. Before, they never had to. Now, they need to but can't. By the way, have Veronica and Duncan ever talked about their drugged sexual encounter at Shelly Pomroy's party?

misskiwi: They haven't, or at least not that we know of. I really, really want to see them deal with the "rape" at some point. I'm beginning to lose hope. It was such a traumatizing event that, while I can understand their denial, it remains something they really should get out in the open at least once. (Screaming matches on the front porch with Celeste Kane looking on don't count.)

grim squeaker: Given that Veronica so far cheerfully neglected to warn Gia that her new boy toy likes to put GHB into his unsuspecting girlfriends' drinks, I simply assume that she has compartmentalized the whole experience so deeply, that she will now simply pretend it never happened.

topanga: Duncan can't pretend that mystery letter never happened. Posters on TWoP have suggested that the writing on the letter was very feminine, and that Chris, therefore, is a girl. Hmm... So what in that letter would make Duncan say "Oh my God?!"

wyk: Last week I assumed the letter would be a letter between Meg and Duncan. This week we learned that letter is a letter Chris Talley of Seattle wrote to Meg; it's not a letter between Duncan and Meg. This makes things much more interesting.

Going back to Duncan's dream: I'm really interested in the "You made promises. You can save me. All you have to do is want to" lines. I think the fact that fact that Meg is in a coma adds a whole new level to the possible meaning of that dream. If she would have simply died in the bus crash, we could chalk the dream up to survivor's guilt that Meg is dead. But since she is alive, what exactly is Duncan saving Meg from? Her parents's religious zealotry, the fact that her parents might pull the plug, Chris Talley? Were those promises somehow involved with Duncan saving Meg? Did he make those promises to save her before the crash?

Polter-Cow: I'm loving that we're getting to learn about each person who died in the crash. That's so great because initially, the only person we cared about was Meg. Now we're seeing all the lives that were lost in the tragedy. And the guilt! Like Meg, Marcos wasn't supposed to be on that bus. He wasn't supposed to be on that field trip at all!

wyk: And keep in mind, there were five students who died in that crash. We've learned about two of them now; what about the other three? Maybe one of them is the real target of the crash.

alliterator: Actually, we know three: Cervando Perez, Carlos Oliveres, and Rhonda, the girl who called her friend from the bus. We know seven people died — the bus driver plus five students plus teacher. We've met three students so far, so we have two left.

Polter-Cow: The Weevil/PCH gang conspiracy/mutiny is really confusing. If I thought about it really hard, I could figure it out and come up with some theories, but I'll just wait for the answers on that one. Though my random call that Cervando killed Felix back when his name came up in "Driver Ed" is looking a little less random. Everything is connected, yo. They are bloody insane this season. And despite the similar structure of Primary Mystery/Secondary Mystery, they're not pulling the same schtick of plopping the entire Secondary Mystery resolution in the penultimate episode.

grim squeaker: Speaking of Weevil, how awesome is it that he remembered that he is actually somewhat of a bright kid? Granted, the suspicion took a long time to settle in, and it took some tickling from Veronica and some random kid mistaking him for a dealer, but finally he gets that there is something wrong in his shiny, black-and-white "PCHers good/Logan Echolls evil" world. Torturing Logan to find out what happened to Felix seems more than a little morally challenged, though, and the results could be more than he expected, which means that he is still underestimating Logan. So maybe he's not that bright after all? I'm confused, but intrigued. Welcome back, Eli!

misskiwi: Veronica's a lot more objective than Weevil, though, when it comes to thoughts on PCHer loyalty. I'm not that surprised it took him this long to come around. He never suspected Chardo way back in "Credit Where Credit's Due" either. I think he's bright, but he's letting his loyalty to the gang cloud his judgment.

grim squeaker: Much like Logan's sense for loyalty keeps him from seeing Dick for what he really is. They are still quite similar.

misskiwi: I think Logan knows exactly what Dick is; he just doesn't care, or at least values Dick's loyalty enough to overlook him being a pig. But that's a discussion for another day.

wilecoyote: My theory is that, when it's all revealed, the PCHer working behind Weevil's back will turn out to be Hector. After all, he is the one who was egging on Weevil to "do something" about Logan Echolls in "Rat Saw God"; the more I think about that scene, the more it looks to me like very skillful button-pushing on Hector's part.

funky-donut: wile, that's an interesting thought. I think it's easy to overlook Hector as a possible mastermind because, in all honesty, the actor playing him isn't wonderful. And I think we're being set up to believe it's the new guy, Thumper, who has gotten such a raised profile since Felix's death.

grim squeaker: It was nice to see Felix and Meg again. And Butters. I can't really say why I like him, but I do. And I loved Mac, every single second of her appearance. She rocked.

Polter-Cow: Mac was awesome in this episode. I loved her retort to Butters ("Like girls!") because that is exactly what I was thinking and her smackdown delivery was perfect. I also loved that she pulled a Wallace on Veronica: "Stop fucking using me all the time, yo." Except she was nicer about it.

topanga: You're right, guys, Mac was great. I like her interaction with Veronica, and I like that she called Veronica on constantly asking her for favors. She's no Wallace, but she's smart as a whip, and she's a good friend. I think she has a girl-crush on Veronica.

Polter-Cow: Do you think she can take Mandy? That girl's feisty, and she knows her way around a taser (which reminds me: taser continuity, woo!).

funky-donut: A thought about Mac: she's so far under VP Clemmon's radar he doesn't even know her name. That's pretty impressive, considering the capers she's pulled. Also, he's going to know who she is now for certain, which may come back to bite her in the ass later.

Also, how frigging adorable was Veronica's little series of movements while she was implying to Clemmons that Mac liked his son? So. Cute. Also, her little crabby hand movements while talking to Butters. God, I love this show.

topanga: Veronica always has great hand movments, funky-donut. "Poof, you're a macchiato." "Take that, high school guidance counselor." And it's all Kristen. Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero said they write very few stage directions for Kristen Bell beacuse she's such a wonderful actress and does great things on her own.

wyk: I loved the cute little punch in the arm Mac and Veronica give each other when they are walking to Butter's room. During Gia's slumber party, you could read the I-don't-belong-here horror on Veronica's face as she watched the other girls do typical teenage girls bonding. This week Veronica finally experiences some of that girly bonding while being all Bond with her Radio Shack Q. "OMG, we're lying to the VP and his son in order to find out if an illegal radio broadcast is somehow involved in the bus crash harassment. This is so much fun. Clemmons' butt is higher than mine. SQUEE!" Normal is so not the watchword for Veronica.

misskiwi: So true, wyk. I love Mac. She's one of my favorite recurring characters on the show — not only because she's awesome, but because she makes a great foil for Veronica. Nobody else takes on Veronica's P.I. life without so much as blinking an eye, and she's one of the few people who can match Veronica for wit and snark. That doesn't necessarily make her a good influence on Veronica, but it does make her a great accomplice.

topanga: So the harrassment of the Olivereses ended up not being a conspiracy by Clemmons and the rest of the school administration.

funky-donut: I just remembered something: Boats! On the business card for the lawyers! Boatloads of Fun Corp! BOATLOADS OF FUN CORP IS TOTALLY THE BIG BAD OMG!

(I seriously paused when I saw that, rewound, watched again, and then started singing myself a little song about Boatloads of Fun Corp and how it all came back to them. My husband thinks I've totally lost it.)


Polter-Cow: Ha! What does it all mean?!

alliterator: I was reading TWoP and now I totally think that there is a Bad Wolf thing going on: I saw one of the computer screens during a Mac scene had a picture of a pyramid with an eye drawn above it. It was never explained. Besides the MI logo, is there any other pyramid/eye imagery this season?

funky-donut: Yeah, I noticed that too. The camera lingered on it for a loooong time, but then I was like, "Mac! Yay!" so I forgot about it.

wyk: Sometimes the writers put in specific props in their scripts (lily on the van in "Leave it to Beaver," the Cupid shoutout on the TiVo); sometimes Rick comes up with the props himself. We can't know for sure if the pyramid is part of the writer's plot or just something that Rick thought would look cool.

grim squeaker: Maybe this season's mystery is connected to the Illuminati, least secret of all secret societies. The pyramid-eye thingy reminds me of the Illuminati, and the dollar note. Given that Veronica and Keith talked about the possibility of a conspiracy concerning the harassment of the Olivereses, I found this quite interesting, as the symbol and the group mentioned above are commonly connected to all kinds of conspiracies.

marks of love: Well, the pyramid with the eye — a.k.a. the All-Seeing Eye or the Eye of Providence — is an old symbol, which depending on who you believe may represent the watchfulness and protection of God, the malevolent eye of Lucifer, promotion of spiritual enlightenment, endurance, or maybe just the nefarious yet vague plots of the Freemasons. I don't think I've ever had such a contradictory Googling experience, in fact. But in a way that proves the point that I think the symbol is supposed to make: there is collusion at work, and there is massive confusion, and the one is directly related to the other.

Which makes the eye's appearance in the same episode as Keith dismissing Veronica's conspiracy theories...my gosh, that couldn't possibly mean anything, could it? On this show?! Perish the thought!

I effing love you, Rob Damn Thomas.

I agree that the nautical theme (and everyone knows how fond I am of the recurrent Waters of Corruption motif on this show) is a definite Bad Wolf of the season; did you notice the gigantic model ship in Commander Adama's Keith's office? Has that always been there? Because, uh. Hey. THEY'VE GOT YOU WHERE THEY WANT YOU, KEITH. YOU'RE JUST A PAWN. TRUST NO ONE OMG.

Aaaand I just referenced three sci-fi shows in one paragraph.

alliterator: Which is why we worship you. So say we all.

grim squeaker: If we are sensing a theme of "bad wolves" here, I can add the following: Veronica asked Weevil if he wanted to "huff, and puff, and burn her house down" in their scene together. (Grimm's fairytales — the key to Veronica Mars.)

alliterator: I feel I need to explain this a bit, for those who haven't seen the new Doctor Who. "Bad Wolf" is a phrase that kept on popping on in every single episode (after the pilot) of the new Doctor Who. People would say, "This is a Bad Wolf situation," a kid spray painted "Bad Wolf" onto the Doctor's TARDIS, and someone was even named Mal Loup (French for "Bad Wolf"). It wasn't until the penultimate episode of the season that it was revealed what Bad Wolf was.

I feel something like this is happening with Veronica Mars now. Maybe not as blatant — there's been no "Who Watches the Watchmen" graffitied on the walls or room 47's which Veronica has opened — but there is a subtle imagery to this season that differs from the last. marks of love hit it on the head with her comments in the "Normal is the Watchword" RTR: water. Liquid. Curly Moran washes ashore. "Boatloads of Fun." Why boatloads? In "Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner," Mr. Fuller invites Veronica onto his sailboat. There's a model sailboat in Keith's office.

Other elements make an appearance: fire consumes Logan's house, Big Dick Casablancas escapes in the air, Keith's campaign posters were found in the dumpster covered in earth. Emotions reflect elements as well: Lamb drags Keith's name through the muck, Logan burns with hatred for Weevil and vice versa, Veronica tries to be fluid and keep the peace between the 09ers and the lower class, but it looks like she's about to fail.

What does this all mean? Is there some grand scheme, some great plan that will eventually result in a cataclysmic climax in the season finale? Probably not. It probably just means I shouldn't post after midnight.

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season Overview