2.12 "Rashard & Wallace Go To White Castle"

Aired Feb 01, 2006

Roundtable Reviews

funky-donut: This episode rocked. All kinds of mystery stuff happening, an A-plot that I really cared about — "Wallace just came back! He can't leave again! Oh noes!1!" — sparkling dialogue...I loved it. I didn't even hate Jackie!

Polter-Cow: I was hoping the episode would live up to the awesome title, and I do believe it did. This is my show, with the continuity and the sleuthing and the season-long themes and the snappy dialogue that makes me laugh. I'm not sure how, but I feel like this is one of the best episodes of the season. So much plot progression, very little to complain about. I have a feeling the second half of the season may just kick quite a bit of ass.

topanga: Awesome episode. I loved the pacing, the dialogue, and the plot development. All three major mysteries were addressed, so that was very satisfying. And it goes without saying that any episode that gives Wallace his own storyline is automatically one of my favorites. Wallace, you had me at hello "Help! Get me down from this flagpole!"

chris1010: Not only was it a great episode, we also got a link between the Felix murder mystery and the bus crash, nicely tying the mysteries together. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season.

misskiwi: I thought this was a strong episode that did its job my moving some of the major arcs forward, but I didn't find it particularly memorable. Good, solid, but...not great. I am, however, very glad to see some interesting advances in both of the season's major mysteries...although it begs the question "Keith, what the [bleep] took you so long?"

wilecoyote: You know, maybe I have my fandom-meter installed backwards, because I liked "One Angry Veronica" and "Donut Run" a lot, while this one leaves me kind of meh. One of my main problems with it is that they try to solve a mystery set in Chicago without leaving Neptune, which leads to contrivances like having Rashard & Co. coming precisely to California, of all places (wouldn't it have been nice to see Veronica and Wallace taking a trip?). And the resolution was a bit too pat: how many times have we seen Veronica solving everything by just stealing the bad guy's cell phone? Actually, that's not the only problem with the resolution...but more later.

grim squeaker: There is a fandom-meter? Really? I mean, I hated "One Angry Veronica" and liked "Donut Run" just fine. This one, though, is certainly among my favourite three of this season. Seeing that this also holds true for "Clash of the Tritons" last year, twelve is probably my lucky number.

Polter-Cow: Keith, you fucking rock. You really didn't need those headphones, but the audience thanks you, especially for making "One Angry Veronica" useful in some way. I love this show for so often hiding setups so you don't even realize they were setups until you hit the payoff. It makes the extremely awkward setups ("Hi! I am a random deputy who will randomly give you access to a random club in the future! Now, back to your regularly scheduled episode.") that much more annoying. And the name of Keith's fake book is Those Who Trespass! Ha. Although it's actually a real book by Bill O'Reilly, which is even more amusing.

topanga: It was nice to see Keith be the slick detective we know and love. It took a while for him to get back to the bus crash, but it was worth the wait.

wilecoyote: Let's notice that this is kind of a reversal of last season's situation, when Veronica obtained the official interrogation tapes through murky channels and listened to them while doing all kinds of chores around the house. This time it's Keith the one doing so...and just like Veronica didn't inform him, he doesn't inform her either.

chris1010: I like that he was guided by the Sacks and Leo tapes from "One Angry Veronica" through Lamb's security "fortress."

grim squeaker: wile, this actually happened before. Keith didn't inform Veronica that he was still investigating Lilly's murder and he never told her about the lead he had on Abel's companion, Cheyenne. He still wants to keep her away from the tawdry stuff, even moreso after she went behind his back helping Duncan.

funky-donut: I liked the fake-out with Jackie, even though I called it when Veronica left without Wallace.

misskiwi: What is wrong with me? First I didn't catch on to the fake breakup last week, then I didn't get that Jackie was in on it until she asked for a high-five. *hangs head in shame*

wilecoyote: Well, misskiwi, I didn't catch it either. We can stand together at the corner of the clueless.

funky-donut: Because of that shoe-horned-in scene with Super Huge Deputy last week, I knew they must be going to Club Thin. What bothers me is the internal inconsistency of having that little scene where Veronica and Wallace realize it's a black frat so Veronica has to wait in the car. If you look back at it knowing the whole plot, Veronica had to have been planning on waiting in the car and letting Wallace go in alone from the beginning, because part of the plan was Veronica following Jackie and Rashard to the club so that she could get there before Uncle Fucker Rucker. So the only point of that scene was to fake out the audience, which is annoying. Also, Veronica's reaction to seeing Jackie walk out of the frat with Rashard doesn't make sense once you know the whole plan.

All that being said, I really did like that they used Jackie in the plot. She finally has a point! And she still didn't get her way, because now Wallace is going out with Jane! Whoo-hoo!

wilecoyote: Exactly, funky-donut, and not only that: there's also a brief shot of Wallace when he sees Jackie at the party for the first time where he looks appalled. These are all instances where I feel that the showmakers cheated.

topanga: I fanwanked it by imagining they were performing for anyone who might be standing outside the party. It would have looked weird for Veronica to drop Wallace off at the party and then just sit there.

And Veronica's reaction to Jackie walking out of the party with Rashard. It could have been another performance for partygoers... or could Veronica have been a tad bit jealous that Jackie was able to snag Rashard so easily, when Veronica had zero success trying to seduce Co(l)lin in "Green-Eyed Monster."

Inigo: Or perhaps she was a tad bit impressed that Jackie came good and was able to pull it off. I must fanwank unconsciously, because I didn't see any need for it, funky. It made sense to me. Veronica's plans are not set in stone, so I don't think she had to be waiting outside, particularly as she knew where Rashard would end up. Wallace was the main plan. Wallace was convinced that Rashard would do the right thing if Wallace had the chance to speak to him without the influence of his uncle. Veronica was skeptical, but I don't think she would have dismissed his faith out of hand. So Plan A was that Wallace would bring Rashard out of the fraternity and take him to the club, and either Jackie or Veronica (as long as she was blending in) would be the ones to tell Monte where Rashard went. When they arrived, Veronica realised there was no way she could blend in, but she wasn't vital to the plan so she stayed outside. Then, when Wallace's attempt to persuade Rashard failed, Plan B kicked in, which was to have Jackie seduce Rashard away. Wallace's disappointment was genuine — both to Rashard proving himself to be a prick and to seeing Jackie doing such a good job. Veronica's face on seeing who emerged was as much about her being right about Rashard and Wallace being wrong. In Plan B, it's Wallace who is left behind to steer Monte to Club Thin. In other words, it works for me and I don't think I'm being a wanker. (Oh, how I love mid-Atlantic humour.)

Polter-Cow: I knew this was going to happen, but I didn't know it was going to happen so soon: I...didn't hate Jackie this episode. Because I think she had every right to be pissed at Wallace. Which made me dislike the fake-out a little because I even found her behavior at the frat party perfectly within reason. I want to see when the three of them hatched this little plan and how they sorted out their issues enough to work together, because...yeah.

Inigo: In terms of the sequence of events, I found it interesting that Jackie's first involvement came after Veronica's trip to the confessional which in itself was immediately after Wallace asked Veronica if she had any other ideas. Father Fitzpatrick had reminded Veronica of the words of Romans: "If thine enemy hunger, feed him. If he thirst, give him drink. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." I think there is a connection. Veronica went to an enemy, one she knew was trying to redeem herself with Wallace, thus doing good and enabling someone else who had been bad, Jackie, to do good.

Polter-Cow: Jackie does win points for helping Veronica and Wallace with their little scheme. Though Wallace is awesomely not running back into her arms and is instead dating Jane Kuhne! Eeeheehee. She's cute, but I swear she looks subtly different every time we see her.

grim squeaker: I still find Jane a little...over-eager, to the point of seeming stalkerish, but hey, if Wallace likes her.... On the fake-out, I didn't mind it that much. I'm willing to look past a lot as long as I can enjoy the rest of the episode. So I'll happily ignore questions like how on earth could Veronica get a second mobile phone exactly like Uncle Rucker's, which must have been quite expensive...

topanga: Poor Jane. She's cute, but I think she's Wallace's rebound woman. I predict he and Jackie will be back together within two episodes.

misskiwi: Noooooo! Anyway, while we're on the subject of nitpicks, let me see if I've got this straight: Nathan, who is a cop, advised his son to cover up a hit-and-run when Wallace wasn't even driving? BUH?

chris1010: Well, by Alicia's statement Nathan is/was a corrupt cop, and he probably did what he thought was best for Wallace, even if it was morally wrong.

topanga: I was surprised Veronica didn't talk about Duncan. She was emotionally torn-up at the end of "Donut Run," but we see no hint of that in tonight's episode. She never even mentions his name. But Logan does — he seems more upset than she does.

Polter-Cow: She did mention Duncan, in the very first scene. Not by name, but she gives his departure as a reason for taking Wallace's case: she needs a project.

topanga: Oh, yeah. So maybe she was deliberately trying not to talk or think about him.

grim squeaker: I didn't find Veronica not mentioning Duncan not surprising at all, given that she usually keeps her own council about these emotional things. I think her remark about needing a new project after Duncan and Cub are gone is an acknowledgement that he is still on her mind to the point of distraction.

Inigo: Anyone else find it interesting how Veronica described Duncan's relationship with the baby? Or was it just me? "My boyfriend just fled the country with his dead ex-girlfriend's baby." Not "his daughter" or "his and his dead ex-girlfriend's baby." Intentional? As for her feelings, I think one of the things that is driving Veronica's relative equanimity at his disappearance from her life is that she is still convinced that what she and Duncan did was right.

topanga: I also found it strange, Inigo. The way she worded it, it's like she doesn't want to acknowledge that her boyfriend has an infant daughter with an ex-girlfriend.

Inigo: I had something else in mind, but that could be an interpretation. Hmmm.

grim squeaker: I suppose you mean she could have implied that the kid is not Duncan's? I doubt it, I think it was just a way of distancing herself from the situation. The whole idea of Duncan being on the run with his baby is more than puzzling to me, I can't imagine what it must be like for her. (Not that I am confusing real life and characters here or anything.)

wyk: They only people who know the truth about Veronica and Duncan are Veronica and Keith. To the rest of the world, Duncan and Veronica had a huge fight and he dumped her in front of the whole school, and then Veronica tried to help the cops put his sorry butt in jail. One of the interesting dynamics of the kidnapping plot is Veronica is going to have act like she hates/doesn't care about Duncan, when in reality she is in love with the guy. It's a reversal of season one when Duncan was the one who had to act like he didn't care about her.

Polter-Cow: You want to talk about reversals? Dude! Weevil! PCHer coup! I was surprised to see it actually happen. I was kind of amused that we cut from a menacing shot of the PCHers crowding around Weevil...to a shot of Weevil already beaten up. Heh. Rob knows they don't do violence well. But I thought they were just going to leave him hanging.

Interesting note: Hector is totally having second thoughts. I mean, this should be pretty obvious, because the actor who plays him has been overacting all season. The actor who plays Thumper, however, is doing a good job, given his character's name. Very interesting cell phone vid of Weevil beating the crap out of Curly Moran. But I say this: Thumper did not confess to killing Felix. The murder is so not solved. Because it was Cervando. Cervando, I say!

misskiwi: I like that Weevil's theory has now fallen apart as completely as his control over the gang. He assumed that there was one traitor among them, and that if someone was getting drugs from the Fitzpatricks, and someone killed Felix, it must be the same person who did both. Now that he's seen the true face of the PCHers' loyalty, I think that has been seriously called into question. On the other hand, the bikers may have turned their backs on him more due to his affiliation with Logan (who, remember, they all have no reason to believe isn't Felix's murderer) and less because they're all keen to deal with the Fitzpatricks and sell drugs.

Inigo: I think you are right, although we still cannot be sure what the bikers think. The only story we've had was from Thumper who, as we all now know, has every reason to lie to Weevil. Was any of what he told Weevil in "Ahoy, Mateys!" right? We don't know. Having said that, Thumper's ace in the hole was definitely Weevil's association with Logan and that only makes sense if at least the majority of bikers have been told Logan killed Felix and they believed it. It may not be only Hector who starts to wonder if what they've been told really is true, given that it has played so well into Thumper's coup d'etat.

And for the record: I don't think Weevil's bike is in the ocean.

grim squeaker: Thumper did a whole Iago thing, huh? What an ambitious little bunny — now he has a whole silly-named gang all for himself!

I remember thinking that James Molina horribly overacted the first time he appeared, but he has since grown on me.

funky-donut: James Molina is Thumper? Yes, I agree. He was bad the first time, but aside from the fact that his name is still so fucking silly, he was pretty badass last night.

I wonder if Logan and Veronica will call Weevil "Eli" now.

grim squeaker: And isn't it wonderful how prophetic Weevil is? He did mention a few episodes back that he'd be sitting on the bus if anyone caught him with Logan.

funky: Also, it is SO not over with Weevil and Logan. Now that Weevil knows Thumper killed Felix, him and Logan are going to go to TOWN. Logan + Weevil = 4Eva!

Polter-Cow: Correction: Weevil thinks Thumper killed Felix.

grim squeaker: I love that we got further evidence connecting Weevil to Curly Moran. Remember the earring he lost at the River Stix? Now we know how. Beating up a guy who turns up dead a few days later, getting filmed while doing so, and leaving physical evidence behind? This doesn't bode well for Eli.

Polter-Cow: I expected a little more Keith/Veronica fallout after last week. I thought their relationship would be much more strained than it seemed, despite some subtle (his demanding more than just a "What?" in response) and not-so-subtle (an actual reference to the trust issue) differences. Though I find it interesting that Keith didn't mention that he totally already knew about the bug. Their relationship is so goddamn complicated because keeping secrets is just second nature to them.

misskiwi: It's perfectly in character for Keith to keep his own cards hidden, I think, and even moreso when he has some trust issues with her.

topanga: I think it's impossible for Keith to stay mad at Veronica, no matter how hard he tries. He seemed to be that way with Lianne, too. He's a fool for the women he loves. A fool for love. Uh-oh. Wasn't that a Buffy episode?

Polter-Cow: And in the vein of fallout, one thing that really bugs me, actually, is the notion that Wallace was apparently planning on staying in Chicago indefinitely. I know, he's a teenager who acted impulsively, but his reasons for returning don't seem to involve, "Well, I missed my best friend and my family." Seems like he and Veronica should have some issues about that. I mean, the girl's totally got abandonment issues already! I love their BFFosity, but it's enriched even more when they fight, as friends often do.

Inigo: Hang on! What issues? Wallace doesn't just live in Veronica's world anymore. That's a lesson that Veronica should have learned and her abandonment issues are neither here nor there when it comes to what Wallace wants, or feels he needs to do, in his life. He was content to have time with his father (probably his last year of "living at home" anyway) and yes, if the hit-and-run hadn't happened, he would still be doing that, having that time. He doesn't owe it to Veronica to be in Neptune. Coming back in the circumstances he did may well have reminded him of what he has in Neptune which, coupled with his father's poor advice and proven questionable morals, keeps him there, particularly as he allowed it to dislodge his own strong sense of morals. He learned that from this incident. That's the change. And I think that's great because it's not ALL ABOUT VERONICA.

grim squeaker: I'm feeling less weird about the reasons for Wallace's return than about the fact that everything is just peachy between him and Veronica. So...are they just going to ignore they had a major fall-out a few months back or did they make up on New Year's Day on that couch? (Make up, not make out, you pervs.)

Polter-Cow: Finally, my one major complaint about the episode, as I said above, is the Jackie fake-out, especially because we just had a similar fake-out last week.

Inigo: Without getting into the whole issue, which I know was huge for many people last week and is revived again now, I just want to say this. I don't remember a single complaint after the pilot episode that we didn't see Veronica talk to the Fire Chief before the payoff. Mysteries are all about misleading the audience.

Polter-Cow: That was a different case, though. For one, the Fire Chief wasn't an established character whose actions we, the audience, could predict. And when we followed Veronica's scheme, it wasn't that we were being misled: it was that we simply didn't understand what was going on. It was clear we hadn't been shown the full plan. With these past two fake-outs, we're led to believe the characters are acting as themselves only to discover afterward that, no, it was a trick. For instance, I felt Jackie's "fake" behavior at the party was perfectly within reason (and it was part of why I was liking her more, because she had the right to be bitchy). And, similarly, I felt like we missed the part where the characters got to the point where they could be in collusion like that. Neither Veronica nor Wallace seemed hip to having anything to do with Jackie in the first scene. But some time between then and the frat party, they patched things up enough to work together. I mean, obviously not enough to be all hunky-dory by the end of it, but more than we would have expected given the cold reception she got initially.

topanga: I agree, Polter-Cow. Those are conversations we need to see played out or at least hinted at. But the Wallace piece might be forthcoming. His dad helped him find the White Castle employee, so they're obviously on okay terms. But when the news story first broke, Nathan Woods had an "I told you so" response, which could suggest major value differences between dad Nathan and Mr. Wallace "Uncorrupt" Fennel.

wilecoyote: The problem I have with the Wallace storyline is that they solved it too quickly. The "you are accused of a hit-and-run" thing could have been a sword hanging over his neck for the rest of the season, and it would have been a nice arc for him, not to mention a great story: the moral center of the show experiencing that old adage "no good deed goes unpunished" (on the other hand, it's not like the show is lacking in storylines already...). Instead, they solved it in one episode like it's no big deal.

Not only that, but all the situations that caused Wallace to leave and then come back have been glossed over. His father fought so much to get him to Chicago, and now Wallace decides to go back home...and he accepts it, just like that? Alicia (where are you, Alicia?) sees how her son runs away with a man she fears and hates, only to come back after a few months...and what's her reaction? This whole storyline has felt too much like "a way to get rid of Percy for a few episodes because we can't afford him" (which is what it actually was, but they haven't done a good enough job disguising it).

Inigo: Um, I don't agree with any of you. See above on the fake-out and on how this incident changed Wallace's view of where he belonged. On Alicia, wile, if the show was called Wallace Fennel, I'd agree with you. If the show were two hours long, maybe then too. But the relationship between Wallace and his mother just isn't that key to the show. For example, there was no sign of her in the pilot, after Wallace had been so totally humiliated. We saw more of Alicia when she interacted independently with the Mars family and it's okay that we don't see her now when she's not.

Damn, I pretty much disagree with everybody this week. I'm turning into a right little apologist, ain't I?

topanga: You know I love Wallace, and Percy is oh, so cute, but what's up with the acne? Percy is 23 years old. Maybe he's having a reaction to the cheap UPN makeup.

wyk: At least Percy can blame his physical imperfections on makeup. First Wanda and now Molly. Why does Felix date such uniquely looking gals?

Inigo: Taste?

grim squeaker: In Molly's defense, she looked tons better than in "Ahoy, Mateys!". Sunlight apparently does her good. Also, I thought that Cliff was hot. What? I always think that Cliff is hot, even in short doses.

Polter-Cow: I'll bet alliterator was so happy to find out Wallace is dating Jane. She's a cutie.

alliterator: You called it, Cow. IT'S JANE, PEOPLE! HOW COULD YOU NOT LOVE HER?

grim squeaker: Again, because of the clinginess.... On the other hand, it seems to have worked, so, go Jane!

funky-donut: Dude, who the hell was the Famous Person singing karaoke this time?

Inigo: Funky, it was the lead singer from Spoon.

funky-donut: Ah, thank you. I still wish they could incorporate those scenes more organically, although I absolutely adore the running gag with Lars and his chick, whatshername.

wyk: The best part of these karaoke scenes is Lars. Yay, Loser Lars!

alliterator: I hope every time they have a guest singer for karaoke, they have Lars singing beforehand to his girlfriend. Funniest. Running joke. Ever.

grim squeaker: Especially since his date seems to be a new one every time.

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