2.19 "Nevermind the Buttocks"

Aired Apr 18, 2006

Roundtable Reviews

misskiwi: This episode really reminded me of late season one. I don't know why — and I don't mean it as a diss of this season or anything — but I loved it. Maybe it's because I missed both original airings and got to see it without commercials. Uh, by completely legal methods, of course.

Polter-Cow: It was bus-crash-tastic! Klemmer tied nearly all the episode plots together, plus threw out so much bus crash info that my head is still spinning. Finally, someone on my flist proclaimed the episode "the noirest noir that ever noired," and I think she has a point: so many of the tropes of the genre were in play here.

wilecoyote: OMG SO GOOD. Saving the best for last, eh Rob?

funky-donut: I love love loved this episode. It was a juicy delicious ball of goodness tied up with pretty bow on top. Or something. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was Wallace and Jackie...it felt really shoe-horned into the episode.

grim squeaker: I agree, funky, Wallace and Jackie really stuck out... I simply don't find myself being very interested in their "will they, won't they" scenario while there is a bus crash mystery to be solved. It did amuse me that Wallace was again in full jerk-mode, though. I mean, "You're already that girl whose dad blew up the kids. Think anyone's out there saying, 'Yeah, but at least she keeps her hands off of other girls' ex-boyfriends?"? Way to be sensitive, Fennel. I guess rejected love doesn't bring out the best in him.

funky-donut: Seriously. I hate to see Wallace being a jerk. He did apologize for it, but still. I have to wonder whether this is supposed to be chalked up to normal high-school boy behavior or whether it's hinting at a dark side to Wallace.

grim squeaker: Dark side? Our Wallace? It's probably just hormones.

Speaking of sensitive guys, what on earth was going on with the Fake Deer Hunter who wanted to find his dog's killer? He was a strange one.

funky-donut: Dude was creepy. I felt so bad for him in the beginning, when he was so genuinely upset about his dog. But by the end, I was wishing there was some way it could have been Norris again. I liked Norris. This dude? Not so much. But I loved the way the MotW tied in with everything else so organically. It wasn't until the episode was over that I was like, wait, which plot was the MotW? Because it tied in so neatly with the PCHer plot and the Kendall-and-Liam plot, etc.

wyk: When the Fake Deer Hunter guy first appeared, I too had a flashback to the similiarly creepy-first-impression Norris from M.A.D. Unlike Norris who went from creepy -> creepy -> creepy -> Aw, he has a crush on Veronica, Rob must bring him back!, Harry started at creepville, had a brief fling with sweet, and settled on a long-term relationship with total creepdom.

grim squeaker: The number 19 is really bad for dogs on this show, huh? Last year we had the dognapping, this year it's Liam's scary money-collecting tactics that flatten poor Apache. At least we didn't have to see Mandy again... but I agree on Norris, funky. He was cute, in an I-desperately-need-therapy sort of way.

misskiwi: I love it when the MotW ties into the big mystery. Of course, the irony there is that that's been happening all season with things like "Aha, Marcos was Cap'n Krunk!" and "Aha, Peter was the one making those postings!" and that...annoyed me. But this feels different, like we're actually getting somewhere instead of just biding our time.

wilecoyote: I liked the fact that the episode started in a goofy, lighthearted tone (Veronica/Mac/Butters), and then it went progressively darker. And as P-C said above, loved the return of the noir tropes... or rather, of the noir look: that night scene with Veronica following Liam... Classic.

Polter-Cow: I must hand it to the writers: they made a pretty good argument for Weevil, even though it can't be him. I don't know why I never, all this time, thought about the fact that the LIMO might have been the target, and the rat was placed not to keep the poor kids on the bus but to get the rich kids IN THE LIMO.

misskiwi: It's my pet theory now. I love it. The whole class war, poor-kids-dying thing was an accident: the real target was the privileged rich kids who couldn't be bothered to sit on a stinky school bus. It's noir and it's beautiful.

wyk: How can you be so sure it's not Weevil? With Veronica presumably going to college, and Weevil presumbly not, the writers need some kind of storyline for him in order to keep him around. And we know the writers are fond of using murder trials to keep characters around.

misskiwi: I obviously can't argue that Weevil's not a murderer, but I don't think he's a collateral damage kind of guy. I can see him believing that Logan deserves to die for supposedly killing Felix; I can't see him taking out a limo full of other kids in order to do so. And remember, Weevil could have offed Thumper with his bare hands, but instead he just arranged it so the Fitzpatricks would do his dirty work. Weevil didn't bomb the bus or the limo; I don't buy it for a minute.

Polter-Cow: This episode blew the whole case wide open by removing some of those pesky restrictions and assumptions we'd been working with until now. I'm finding the smokescreens they're throwing up to distract us from the truth a lot more convincing this year. Every time the Marses hash out a new theory, we know it can't be right because it's too early for them to solve the case, but it still sounds SO RIGHT.

misskiwi: I agree. Last year, I was sure that both Duncan and Logan were fake-outs and didn't buy any of it. This year, there's at least four entirely plausible theories and none of them feel like they're just a smokescreen.

Polter-Cow: But the thing is, all the evidence going into those theories has to lead to SOMETHING, right? These people are dirty, but they didn't cause the bus crash. But they have done Very Bad Things. Which means in addition to solving the bus crash mystery, the Marses are going to blow up three or four other major cases. I think the finale is going to be WTF after WTF followed by OMGWTF.

wyk: "These people are dirty, but they didn't cause the bus crash. But they have done Very Bad Things."

The Kanes and Wiedman are dirty, but they didn't kill Lilly. But they have done Very Bad Things.

All the 09ers at Shelly's party are dirty, but they didn't rape Veronica. But they have done Very Bad Things.

Rinse. Lather. Repeat. Or in this case: Pause. Rewind. Rewatch. Pause. Rewind. Rewatch.

funky-donut: Word, P-C. Leave some villains for Season 3, Rob! Neptune is going to be criminal-free pretty soon. The Fitzpatricks are so clearly going to get taken out; not least because now Keith knows that Veronica is in Liam's sights. There's no way Daddy Mars will let that man stay on the streets for too much longer.

wilecoyote: Well, I certainly hope that the finale is going to be OMGWTF, because otherwise it's going to suck for Veronica. Think about it: we can be sure that she won't be going to Stanford, and based on this week's episode, it looks like she's going to see Lilly's murderer walk away free while her first love is accused. So there better be something really good to make up for it...

misskiwi: You know what I love about this show? We think we're a step ahead of them with our speculation, our theories, and our suspicions, and then they go pulling something out of left field like Kendall isn't Kendall! And it's not actually out of left field — I mean, it is, but it's not like it doesn't make sense, for the most part — but it changes everything. It adds a whole new dimension, and we never saw it coming.

Polter-Cow: I know! So she's got a record, and she's been pulling a Sawyer, so was Big Dick part of a long con? One that appears to have failed? And she's mixed up with the Fitzpatricks, just like EVERYBODY IN NEPTUNE OMG. Seriously, you guys, if they'd thought up the Fitzpatricks last year, they would have killed Lilly Kane. And been Veronica's father. Yes, all of them.

misskiwi: Well, Lianne is a big ho.

funky-donut: Ha! Also, they totally would have been the ones to spike Veronica's drink. And steal those puppies.

misskiwi: I'm still stuck on my theory that Dick's bag had the bomb, although when Veronica mentioned it I whooped, then cursed, because if they're mentioning it this early it's probably not even close to the truth. Show of hands: am I the only one who doesn't buy that one or more of the Fitzpatricks mooned the limo from the green Barracuda the day of the bus crash? I mean, they're dumb, but they aren't twelve.

Polter-Cow: Danny kind of is. Also, there are, like, a dozen of these guys, and we haven't met them all. Maybe one of them really IS twelve!

funky-donut: Dude, if any of them did it, it was totally Danny.

grim squeaker: Yep, that was Danny, no doubt about it. Good thing Dick didn't see it, too, I'm sure he would have tried to return the gesture.

misskiwi: Thanks for that mental image, grim. I'll be over here in the corner, washing my brain out with bleach.

I have to give major props to Rico Colantoni: Keith's flinch as Liam pulls the trigger is fucking brilliant. It's actually painful to watch. He thinks this is the end of the road, and you can see it on his face.

grim squeaker: I agree, misskiwi, Rico was great in that scene. I was actually scared, even though I logically knew they wouldn't kill Keith in episode 19. Because they can't kill Keith! Right?

Loved Rod Rowland, too, though. He is really a great addition to the cast — convincingly menacing, scarily psychotic, and yet not too over-the-top. Adding to that, he and Charisma Carpenter make a hot couple.

misskiwi: And how much to I love that Veronica removed the bullets from the gun? So, so much.

grim squeaker: It took me ages to get why she later called her dad about that, but I think I figured it out: she removed the bullets, probably thinking that she may have to confront the driver later (remember she was bugging the car). After she listened in on Liam and Kendall's conversation, she knew he would go into that house which apparently had been entered by a burglar, without knowing that the man she was listening to was Liam, or that the "burglar" was her dad. She phoned her dad, because she was afraid that the man entering the house would be shot by the burglar, because she had emptied his gun.

misskiwi: Oh...right, that makes sense. At the time, I was thinking that Veronica was afraid the man in the 'Cuda was going to shoot someone in the house, but of course that was before we knew she had taken out the bullets, so that doesn't make any sense in hindsight. What's really funny is that I recognized Liam's voice from the singing before he even got out of the car, so I was scared from the get-go.

funky-donut: Wow, grim is smarter than me. That makes so much sense, and I'm relieved, because I really couldn't work out why Veronica would have said that line when she knew she had taken the bullets out. God, I'm dumb.

Polter-Cow: Okay, here's how it is: I daresay Weevil has had a more interesting character arc this year than Veronica. It's been said before, of course, that Weevil is this year's Veronica, since he's been trying to find the murderer of a close friend and he gets kicked out of his special club and he makes out with Logan and whatnot. But I love how far he's come, how he's reacted to his outcast status. He bails the PCHers out, and then he doesn't take them back. They made their choice. He doesn't believe Hector's bullshit. He doesn't need them anymore. He is Eli fucking Navarro, Esquire, yo, and you cannot count on his vote this year.

funky-donut: I agree, Weevil's had a great season. Considering that at the start, he seemed to not fit in anymore, to me, I love the way it's been turned around. Also, Francis Capra rocks. Although, I have to say, they should put him on a stool when he's acting opposite Hector. Dude, he's like craning his neck to look up at him!

misskiwi: I agree — that was a great moment, and Weevil's had a great arc. Plus, I loved his "I'm sure he's crushed" line about Thumper that, to my disbelief, took a full three seconds to sink in. My mom got it before I did, and she had to ask me the other week who this "Lilly" was that she read Amanda Seyfried had played on VM.

Polter-Cow: I got that line immediately when it was in the promo, and I loved it. Props, Klemmer. And then there was the "I have no problem sacrificing a rat" earlier in the episode. For a guy who went to confession, he doesn't really seem to have much remorse.

misskiwi: I thought that was the point of confession. You know, get if off your chest and get on with your life?

Polter-Cow: Oh. Perhaps I am unfamiliar with the concept of remorse.

misskiwi: Or Weevil is.

wilecoyote: My Catholic theology is a bit rusty, but I seem to remember that, for the confession to be effective, the remorse must be real and heartfelt; otherwise it doesn't count and your sins aren't absolved. Then again, according to Catholicism, your sins are forgiven even if you only remorse about them in the last moment of your life...

misskiwi: I was mostly kidding. Weevil seems to me like the type who would go to confession, but then not agonize over what he's done. He does, after all, think what he did was entirely justified.

wilecoyote: Incidentally, I'd like to note too that Weevil achieved his ultimate triumph thanks to his (and Veronica's) smarts, not to violence, which is interesting considering that his character is in theory "the thug." I know, this isn't the first time it's happened, but it called my attention even more because it took place in that industrial warehouse site that has been the scene of so many asskickings. This time, everything seemed to be geared towards a fight too...but ultimately the bikers are saved through talking, negotiation. Smarts, basically.

misskiwi: True; the Fitzpatricks aren't even aware how hard they got fleeced by Weevil. Twice, now. But Weevil's always been a smart thug.

Polter-Cow: Hell, dude outwitted Veronica six episodes ago.

wilecoyote: So, about Veronica's choice in the end (of not telling the truth) and what this says about her as a character compared to Weevil. Thoughts?

misskiwi: In this instance, I don't think you can say that they're that different. In my opinion, Veronica didn't lie because she didn't think Liam deserved to die: she lied because she didn't want to be responsible for driving Harry to murder. She was protecting Harry, not saving Liam. Now, whether she would let Liam die, given a chance where there wouldn't be consequences for someone else? That's another question. Veronica's always been a "you've made your bed, now sleep in it," kind of person, so I think she would.

Polter-Cow: It brings up an interesting case where inaction is in itself an action. Despite her knowledge of Liam's guilt, she decides not to act on it as she promised. Now, the more fun case is the kind misskiwi posits: if Veronica were able to let Liam die by, well, letting him die, would she? It reminds me of the first-season finale of Smallville: Lionel is trapped under a column, and Lex just stands there. And you spend the whole summer wondering whether Lex would really let his dad die by not helping him. It would certainly be interesting if Veronica were forced to make that choice in the future.

wyk: I think that would be way too dark of a storyline for this show. Veronica isn't a hugs-and-unicorn type of gal, but there's a huge difference between pushing the button to expose a guy's "secret gay affair" and standing idly by while someone is dying. Please. She has her faults but she is hardly a stand-idly-by-while-someone-dies accomplice. Wow, you've got some imagination.

misskiwi: No, I buy it. If it were someone who tried to kill her dad and may have killed her classmates? If it had been Aaron, who killed her best friend? I think she'd stand by as long as nobody else would get hurt. I do think that given the choice between having someone brought to justice and letting them die, she'd choose the former. But if she were in Weevil's position, where it's unlikely that the police will ever act on it, I can see her going that far. I agree that it's too dark of a storyline and that they probably won't go that far, but we're doing hypotheticals here.

Speaking of hypotheticals, I said above that Kendall not being Kendall mostly makes sense, but...how did Veronica's googling of Kendall back in "Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang" (a) turn up pictures of Kendall well before she was likely incarcerated and using a fake name and (b) not turn up the stories of the dead Kendall? I suppose 1994 was slightly before the age of online newspaper articles, but it still seems a bit sketchy.

funky-donut: Good point, misskiwi. I was wondering the same thing. The only wank I can come up with is that Kendall/Priscilla started using RealKendall's name even before she was incarcerated. But that still doesn't make much sense. Hey, maybe Kendall/Priscilla is actually also a master hacker and hacked into all those sites and changed the photos!

grim squeaker: I don't think it is that difficult. I mean, she probably already changed the name when she joined the Laker girls — if she was one of them at all. Of course, that would require Big Dick to know that she isn't really Kendall Shiflett, because he allegedly met her as a Laker girl. Hmm. Interesting. As for the pictures, I'm reasonably sure Veronica may have found the real Kendall as well, but figured the two women simply had the same name. Hey, that happens! Have you never Googled yourself? And besides, judging from her failure to dig up Collin Nevin's real heritage when she first checked him in "Green-eyed Monster", finding people's hidden identities isn't exactly Veronica's greatest talent.

wilecoyote: What grim said. The only thing I didn't like about this subplot was the hint (suggested by the fact that Priscilla "was driving the car" when RealKendall died) that Priscilla is such a criminal mastermind that she started her career while still as a teenager (by killing the real Kendall, I mean). I know that it hasn't been shown explicitly yet, but I hope they don't go that way; too Basic Instinct for me. Priscilla as a "normal" girl who gets into a life of crime and decides to assume the identity of her high school friend is already good enough; turn her into this kind of larger-than-life villain... mmmrpf.

misskiwi: I assumed that the connection was that because Priscilla knew the dead Kendall, she was an obvious choice when she needed a new identity. Plus, if she knew the dead girl, it would be easier to impersonate her.

alliterator: Dude, Kendall not really being Kendall threw me for a loop, but it was still totally awesome. And we have the reason why she stole Duncan's hair! But how did she get Lilly's blood?

Polter-Cow: alliterator, they didn't get Lilly's blood: the Oscar was in the Echolls storage locker, the key to which was in Cliff's stolen briefcase. Other people are smarter than me.

persnicketier: They said Lilly's blood was on the Oscar.

Polter-Cow: Right. The implication being that it was the real murder weapon, and Aaron hid it in his storage locker.

persnicketier: Oh. Interesting. That would have meant that he premeditated it though, instead of just losing his temper. 'Cause who carries their Oscar around? I dunno. That's kinda hard to believe. (Not that it was premeditated, but that he grabbed his Oscar?)

grim squeaker: On the other hand, it is Aaron.
But even if he carried it with him to kill her, it seems weird. Why grab your Oscar to kill your teenaged girlfriend? Psycho.

Polter-Cow: Maybe he keeps it with him in his car, and Veronica's imagining of the murder scene was missing a line of dialogue:

Lilly: Oh, I'm the stupid one? Well, now you can just watch the tapes on Access Hollywood along with the rest of America.
Aaron: You can't do this! I HAVE AN OSCAR! GRRRRR!!!

persnicketier: Hahaha!

alliterator: Heeeeee.
I think the motive behind Aaron wanting the Oscar to be the murder weapon is that he'll say Lilly borrowed it from him and when Duncan saw she had it — and that she was having an affair with Aaron — he went into a murderous rage and killed her.

Polter-Cow: But why would Duncan's hair be on the murder weapon? Do they think he bashed Lilly's head in and then wiped the sweat from his brow WITH THE BLOODY OSCAR?

misskiwi: Well, stealing Duncan's fingerprints is harder than nabbing some hair from his ultra-disgusting, never-cleaned-by-housekeeping shower drain, I guess. Besides, we met Aaron's sleazy lawyer — do you really think he'll have trouble spinning this to Aaron's advantage?

And you're all ignoring the most obvious question: how the fuck did Aaron Echolls land an Oscar? But seriously, I don't know how Aaron's going to murderwank Duncan — or Lilly, for that matter — having his Oscar. Never mind the incongruity of a hair being on the murder weapon.

grim squeaker: It doesn't have to be all that convincing, it just has to shed doubt on Aaron being the culprit. Because thanks to Logan and Leo, they don't have any real evidence, do they? Man, Veronica has great taste in boyfriends. One's a dealer, one's a kidnapper, and two are stupid.

misskiwi: Hm, grim, that's true — they just need to create reasonable doubt.

funky-donut: *does crazy calculus in head*
*concludes grim is correct: Veronica does have great taste in boyfriends*

grim squeaker: And there goes my talent for sarcasm — defeated by shipperdom. Sigh.

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