3.05 "President Evil"
Aired Oct 31, 2006
misskiwi: Best episode of the season so far, in my opinion. Both of the MOTWs were well-crafted and interesting, I was laughing out loud at Lamb, the Logan/Weevil snark brought me back to the good ol' days of season one, and the twist at the end was unexpected.
BethGee: There definitely hasn't been enough Lamb this season; I hadn't realized how much I missed him!
topanga: Probably my least favorite episode of the season, though it did have some great moments: Lamb's robot, and every scene with Cliff. It was a little slow, pacing-wise, but I agree that the twist at the end was great. I didn't see it coming either.
Polter-Cow: I think the show is improving as the season goes on, which is no surprise. I agree that at least the main MOTW was well-crafted and interesting; Keith's MOTW was...hardly a mystery. And the twist at the end gave us a great Veronica WTF face.
misskiwi: She wasn't the only one with a WTF face.
Polter-Cow: As long as it's a good WTF face.
topanga: I'm with you there, guys. The twist at the end was great.
misskiwi: I'm going to get my one complaint about the robbery mystery out of the way: I thought the drop-kicked setup about Veronica's necklace was pretty anvilicious, but I suppose it was necessary both to inform the audience and to plant suspicion of Weevil in Veronica's mind. I spot-checked some of my screencaps from season one and some of the episodes from this season and Veronica is, indeed, wearing the necklace. So props to the wardrobe department and the writers for working something small like that into the plot — no mad props, though, because a spot-check of season two pulled a series of non-Lilly-gifted necklaces. Tsk, tsk.
Now, that being said, I really enjoyed the MOTW. I was confused at first as to why Veronica was being snippy with someone who had A GUN TO HER FACE, but then I realized that she thought it was Weevil (Veronica's instincts still at their finest, I see). Great performance from Kristen during the aftermath, and from Jason Dohring as well when Logan showed up and realized what had happened.
Both of the MOTWs were really textbook whodunits, I found, with good but not obvious setups that kept me guessing. Very "the gun in the first act will be used in the third act" but light on the anvils — nicely done, writers whose names I don't recognize. Nicely done.
Polter-Cow: I liked that the mystery very realistically framed Weevil. By the end, it all came together; the drywall was an especially nice touch. And the fact that the rent-a-cops picked out Weevil as the patsy not because they knew him at all but because, well, he worked right by their office!
misskiwi: And that the rent-a-cops knew about the casino, and the thief's daughter hanging around the office who later had the necklace...the list goes on.
grim squeaker: I don't have much to say on the O'Dell plot, other than that Mindy really is hot and that Richard Grieco sure has a great voice — I've only ever seen him dubbed, so I didn't know — which magically distracted from other, more devastating observations...
Polter-Cow: Mindy is really hot. I have to say.
BethGee: Oh, Grieco! You look hollowed-out and horrible.
topanga: Sorry, Jumpstreet. Johnny Depp won.
misskiwi: Oh, Wallace. I know you're in college, so this might strike you as backwards, but floozies=bad. Studying=good. Cheating=very bad. Getting caught=very, very bad. Mmkay?
BethGee: For as many plots they shoe-horned into this episode, there were a few too many shots of Wallace sitting frustrated at his red computer. I can't help but think there is something deeper in this plot.
fulfilled: I thought so, too, BethGee. My thought as that storyline progressed was that somehow, it was going to play into the next mystery arc. Whether it's actually about a cheating ring, or whether Wallace's academic struggles lead into something bigger, I think it'll turn out to be something bigger than just this.
topanga: Wwwaaaalllllaaaacccceeee!!!! Nnnnoooooooo!!!!! You can't cheat! You're the moral center of this show. Someone suggested that he didn't get called to see the professor because of cheating, but because he ratted out the "tutor" who was selling the tests. I don't necessarily believe this, but I hope it's true.
Polter-Cow: Well, Wallace does have morals, but anyone can crack under pressure. I'm disappointed that he cracked so damn easily, though. It's like, "Damn, I failed a test! Let's buy a 'study guide'! Damn, I don't know the answers. Let's buy the answers!" There wasn't a lot of time for progression.
topanga: That breaks my heart. Wallace obviously hasn't cheated much in his life. You don't turn in the exam early, Wallace. Not that I've ever cheated or anything.
misskiwi: Oh, man, was Muhney's robot hilarious, or what? He was on this week. Loved it.
Polter-Cow: I thought Lamb's robot was a little over-the-top, but amusing. My favorite Lamb scene was at the end, when he seemed to drop his usual assiness and matter-of-factly informed Veronica that the law truly can handle things every now and then. It made me wonder about how much respect Lamb really has for the law.
misskiwi: Actually, I think I liked his "Hey, good lookin', we'll be back for you later!" to Logan better than the robot. That was completely hilarious.
Polter-Cow: And that was a reference to a commercial from the '70s! That Lamb. His humor spans decades!
misskiwi: So first people suspected that Claire and/or the feminists had faked the rape. Then it looked like, not so much. And now it looks like...probably? The fact that it's not only her boyfriend standing behind her at the ATM but that she lied about not recognizing him certainly points to her having faked it, but then I don't get why she would put on the whole show for the convenience store guy and the ATM.
Polter-Cow: Because she's an idiot who doesn't think anyone knows who she's dating?
misskiwi: I'm not even counting the stupidity of bringing along her boyfriend when she's trying to fake her own rape — why stumble around a convenience store and an ATM looking wasted? Witnesses are bad if there's no actual culprit. She could have just shaved her head and pulled the same thing. We were talking in the Mystery Speculation about the possibility that there's more to this than meets the eye — that maybe Claire had some reason to fake her rape unrelated to getting back at the frats.
Polter-Cow: And now: a discussion of Veronica Mars: Bitchy Superstar?
Inigo: Are they lining Veronica up for a fall?
grim squeaker: Don't see it.
Inigo: Hm. Trust issues with Logan, Weevil's crack about friends...
topanga: Not hanging around Wallace...
misskiwi: If Veronica's going to end up friendless, it'll be from going around accusing people of stuff and being generally uppity.
grim squeaker: Well, misskiwi does have a point...
Inigo: She's alienated the feminists (with whose cause she is sympathetic). Yes, but that's what I mean. I think she's been made deliberately uppity for the fall. As for going around accusing people, she's always done that — it's perfectly consistent.
grim squeaker: So, Veronica was always an asshole and I just didn't notice? At least I would give the show brownie points for having an unapologetically unsympathetic main character then.
misskiwi: It just seems like she's less...I don't know, patient? Tolerant? Like the way she was a bit short with the nice pizza guy who totally broke a bunch of rules to help her. It was fine when the entire school hated her, but she doesn't have that excuse much anymore.
grim squeaker: I think she used to have more heart for the downtrodden, even though she was cynical. She totally shed that.
misskiwi: I mean, being snappy with Madison Sinclair is totally warranted. Nice pizza guy? Not so much. Not that she was directly snappy with him, I'm just blanking on other examples right now.
Inigo: I didn't think she was mean to him. At all. Impatient, maybe, but hardly bitchy.
topanga: She's been somewhat rude to Keith's clients. Bratty, almost.
grim squeaker: She was pretty assy to Piz...
Inigo: When was she assy to Piz?
misskiwi: With her snarky comments when he was being adorably goofy about where he's from? Is that what you mean, grim?
grim squeaker: Yes, when she first met him. Granted, leaving his car unlocked on campus was dumb, but... And really, random people all around. The only ones I remember her being nice to were the sorority girls, and that was a case.
misskiwi: She was trying to infiltrate them, but I got a vibe that it was genuine, particularly with Marjorie and Karen near the end.
Inigo: Wouldn't call that bitchy particularly.
grim squeaker: Well, then choose another word. Uncaring, maybe. Morose.
grim squeaker: Bitter. Condescending.
misskiwi: Yes! That's it.
Inigo: Condescending, yes.
misskiwi: It's Veronica's world; they're just living in it.
topanga: And who reminded her that she acted that way? I'll let you think about it.
grim squeaker: Hee, topanga. Veronica really comes across as if she knows that she's the star of her own show, and that's...not that endearing. I mean, she's pretty cool and all, but she hasn't developed wings just yet.
Inigo: Right. Which is why I think it's deliberate. It's her worst traits which armed her when she was dealing with the aftermath of Lilly's death but are now hurting her in ways she doesn't yet recognise.
misskiwi: Hm. I like that perspective. I'm just not confident that we're going to see a reversal, or a fallout of some sort. I'd like to, I'm just not sure we will.
grim squeaker: Well, if that is deliberate, it would be genius. But I'm with misskiwi on the possibility of a fallout.
misskiwi: Sad but true.
Inigo: What other reason do you think the writers would have for magnifying these aspects of her character?
misskiwi: Not realizing they're doing it? Or how it's coming across?
grim squeaker: *nods in agreement* Sorry, but they had the same problem last year.
Inigo: That's certainly a possibility.