3.11 "Poughkeepsie, Tramps and Thieves"

Aired Jan 30, 2007

Roundtable Reviews

funky-donut: I really, really liked this episode. All the BSG stuff cracked my shit up, I found Max very likable, despite the fact that he's the same despicable guy who helps people cheat and stuff. I liked that Veronica was right about the makeup, but wrong about Wendy.

fulfilled: I liked it too, funky-donut. I think I liked the fact that it wasn't so much a whodunit as it was a look into first appearances, assumptions, and masks. I wouldn't want every mystery to be like this, but I did like the fact that, especially for the amount of false accusations that Veronica makes, this seemed to challenge her on these — and that she seemed to take those ideas to heart, much more than she did with, say, Meryl and Sully.

chris: Good: BSG, Comic Con, Lamb/Keith scenes.
Bad: Ship fest 2000. What happened to the dark mystery show. With a character called Wallace...

topanga: Tell me about it... Besides the Wallace-less-ness (say that three times fast), this wasn't my favorite episode of the season.

wyk: I think the MotW had too many twists and turns. Instead of an "Ah-ha!" it was an "Ah-wait, there's more. Ah-and more. Ah-and yet still more. Ah-wait, there's still more?!" There were so many surprises that you were no longer surprised about the surprises.

misskiwi: I agree. I think I got whiplash from all the twists. A few too many for my taste. Props for the BSG references, though, because hee!

wyk: Whiplash is a good word. I like the basic idea, but If they would have gotten rid of one or two "surprise" twists, I think it would have helped to pacing of the MotW.

alliterator: I, uh, didn't really like this one all that much. I mean, it started out good and I loved all the BSG references and I loved that it was Max, who was a recurring character. And I thought the hooker plotline made it more interesting. But Logan and Veronica really, really bore me. Oh, plus that stupid scene in the previews wasn't even in this episode!

wyk: No need to blame the writers for the sins of the promo department.

vix: alliterator, that's just how I felt. Started out great, especially the Keith-Lamb stuff (the look on Lamb's face when he figures out what Keith meant!), the BSG in-jokes, all that, but then at some point...meh. It's probably realistic that a guy wouldn't be able to get over the fact that his girlfriend used to be a hooker, but still, he went to all that trouble and he still throws it away? Seems odd. And sad. Not to mention Veronica's totally stupid plan to extort the judge. Just...seriously?

alliterator: I thought that was just really unrealistic and dangerous. I mean, blackmail Lamb? Sure. A judge? I don't think so. Plus, she was all "They can't trace my call because I'll use your phone," like, what happens if they STILL trace it and find him? And, apparently, Max is really, really rich, because he can throw around ten grand easily.

misskiwi: If you want to talk about unrealistic and dangerous, getting in a strange limo after you've tried to blackmail a judge to get a hooker away from her pimp? Yikes. This is how people end up washing up on a riverbank, Veronica.

Inigo: You are talking about the Veronica who set off a smoke bomb in an evidence room, organized the kidnapping and transport of a child out of the country, broke into someone's car to plant evidence, and committed how many other offenses? The judge is corrupt and is unlikely to call the authorities to be exposed as a tickling, high-heel-wearing pervert. And Max has already been set up as being very rich indeed. His business is booming and he charges $200 each for the questions and answers. To raise the $11,000 he spent, that's only 55 students. And we know he's been at it at least a couple of years already.

alliterator: Veronica set off the smoke bomb, but she didn't steal the evidence — the fireman did. She did organize the kidnapping and fooled the FBI, but that wasn't for money, it was for Duncan, whom she loved. I have no problem thinking she would commit a felony for him, but if she just wanted to get Max back his money, I doubt she would go with blackmailing a judge first. She's done illegal things before, but that seemed more...stupid. And point taken about the money, but eleven grand is still a lot, even for Sir Cheats-a-lot.

wyk: I have no problem with the idea of Veronica blackmailing a crooked judge. I like how the writers added that line about how Keith arrested the judge for corruption, which shows why Veronica would be so willing to take him down. It's the way the plan was excuted that bugged me. If Veronica was going to do something as risky as blackmailing a judge, she should have been more sneaky about it. This is the same girl who snuck a exploding bong into the evidence room and snuck her boyfriend out of the country inside the Sheriff's car trunk. Calling the judge using her client's cell phone and picking up the cash in person was a very sloppy move. Hell, she didn't even use one of her fake voices during the phone call!

tallow: It kind of made me feel after watching it that everything was just a sort of "oh, whatever, let's just do something so we can see the showdown between the ladies." Uh, not the ladies of the evening, but rather the Neptune High ladies.

Inigo: I thought there was a lot of good in this. I don't, as you can tell, have a problem with Veronica blackmailing a corrupt judge for whom she has no respect. She's used blackmail before and I don't think she's ever stinted on a client she's committed to (except for last week). She already feels the judge is unjustly in office. The irony is that Max didn't really want her to get his money back, that was pure vengeance-mode Veronica kicking in. He was just too shocked to take the higher road like Carmen did and stop her. This was about Veronica getting the bit between herself and about Logan being unable to stop her, again. It was stupid, of course it was, but it was certainly something she would do.

wyk: I really like the touch of Logan standing there in disbelief, trying to talk her out of black mailing the judge. Logan being the voice of reason - who would have thunk it.

tallow: I did enjoy it, though. Don't get me wrong. I like the Max character, and I thought he and Wendy were cute together.

misskiwi: Some of the humorous bits definitely helped redeem it: Lamb spotting Keith in his uniform, and — oh, God — Veronica's pelvic-thrusting advice to Keith. Kristen Bell nailed that scene. Uh, no pun intended.

funky-donut: I see that I'm one of the few that really enjoyed this episode. I liked all the twists and turns, and I especially enjoyed the way the writers turned the annoying hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold convention on its head. They kept playing with that expectation, finding ways of making us suspect Wendy was playing Max, then showing us that she wasn't, then making us suspect her again. And in the end, we got to see what happens after the white night, Richard Gere type rescues the damsel, what Pretty Woman glossed over. She may have been a hooker with a heart of, like, silver, but given the pressures of society, she and Max didn't live happily ever after. And while it seemed to be disappointing to Veronica that she went back to stripping, at least it's legal. Max still rescued her from the clutches of the Madame and Mr. Happyfists.

Inigo: The more I think about it, the more I liked what they did with Veronica here. She was constantly faced with being wrong, and yet quick to jump back into being judgmental, which is her nature. When she discovered that Nicki's bruises were faked, she takes delight in planning revenge on Wendy. She's positively gleeful. She was right all along — all is right with the world. Her compassion to Max at the end was well-played too. She wasn't that familiar with that feeling, or with having to face that in the end, her assumptions really were flawed. All that came through that simple gesture of putting her arm around Max. At least, that's what I got.

funky-donut: Dianne Ruggiero said in the podcast that she named Wendy after a friend of hers. I don't know how I would feel about having my shout-out on national TV be a hooker. However, I'm just waiting for the episode with a donut that dances the funky chicken.

maribella: It's too bad Duncan is gone, because that is the only way I could imagine that particular shout-out happening.

Polter-Cow: "You're looking pretty funky, Donut!"

funky-donut: Hee. Aw, I miss the Donut.

fulfilled: Aww, me too.

topanga: Me three.

tallow: How about one of the cops, after getting a bad glazed — "Oh, this is a funky donut!"

Inigo: Would this count? "Chip, those man-boobs look like funky dough. Nut, anyone?" Maybe not.

tallow: Maybe not, but definitely something that I noticed, too. Ucky.

funky-donut: Ew ew ew, Inigo! No! That would most definitely NOT be a happy shout-out!

alliterator: I thought the hooker plotline went on for far too long. They should have just ended it when they got back together and then left the rest of the episode for Keith.

Inigo: Had the storyline ended with Wendy and Max together, it would have failed in the parallel points of both trusting/not asking questions and that there are some things that can't be got over easily no matter how strong the passion.

alliterator: I never saw a parallel between Max/Wendy and Logan/Veronica. For one thing, Logan never lied to Veronica about being different than what he was. That's why they were so rocky in the beginning of the season.

Polter-Cow: It was totally there. It's not really about the lying; it's about the forgiving. It's about looking past the warts.

tallow: And how hard it is, even when you want to.

topanga: Yes, but I prefer a MotW that involves other cast members, like The Case of the Missing Monkey. Those are much more enjoyable.

funky-donut: topanga, I agree. I like it when Veronica doesn't operate in a vacuum from her friends. Although Logan was around in this episode, taking much humorous glee in the hooker stuff, I might add, it's not really the same.

wyk: I'm sure the writers would prefer to have the cast members involved too, but hey, this is what happens when you can only afford to sign most of your main cast members for half of the episodes.

vix: Madison is always fun, but she came out of nowhere. What is she even doing now, anyway? Anyone know? College? A Grand Tour of American ski resorts?

alliterator: Though I liked that Madison Sinclair is back on the show, I hated the ending. Because Logan told Veronica about the fling he had a week ago and not the one with Madison? Because Madison is the bastion of telling the truth? Because...why should I care?

misskiwi: Keep in mind that, while Veronica would normally have no reason to believe Madison, Logan had just told her that he had a fling with this horrible girl and that it meant nothing...so Madison is confirming something Veronica already knew. She doesn't have to be convinced that Logan hooked up with someone during their breakup, because he already admitted that much. I think if she and Logan hadn't had that conversation, she would have been way more skeptical, though I'm sure she would still have investigated.

Inigo: Logan didn't say "a week ago." My reading is that Logan was talking about Madison. For him, the girl on the beach was neither memorable nor within the question. Everything in the scene on the beach showed that Logan wasn't "with" the girl. Clintonesque, perhaps, but certainly within character.

alliterator: Yeah, that could be a possibility, but then why show us the girl last week? Was she for no reason whatsoever? And I sincerely doubt that Logan would hook up with Madison, no matter how depressed he was.

Inigo: Why? Logan's never had a problem with Madison, has he? Madison was always charm personified when it came to her "peers." We don't know that Veronica ever told him the whole story about the night of Shelley's party either.

topanga: I'm glad Logan is finally facing the repercussions of his post-breakup activities. Yes, he was single when he and Veronica broke up. But that doesn't make it okay to hump everything that moves, be it Madison Sinclair or the girl from the beach he hooked up with last week.

funky-donut: I think the girl last week was so that we'd assume the person Logan was talking about was her and not question who he was talking about. Although it was pretty obvious from the moment Madison showed up that she wasn't looking for Dick. Well, dick, maybe, but not Dick.

misskiwi: I agree with Inigo and funky: on rewatching the episode, Logan's confession of the one fling he had is probably referring to Madison. The girl last week functioned mainly as misdirection for the audience. If we hadn't seen the ho last week, when Logan admits he had one meaningless fling we might connect the dots to Madison. But because of the beach skank, we immediately assume the obvious since that plus Veronica erroneously linking Madison's visit to Dick lead us in the wrong direction until the last minute.

wyk: Whatever happened to the guy credo of not dating your best friend's ex? First Logan hooks up with Duncan's ex, and then he hook's up with Dick's ex.

funky-donut: Oh, and EW EW EW, I just realized that Veronica knows Madison and Lamb were sleeping together. So now she knows she's only, like, two degrees of separation away from Lamb's genitals. EW!

Inigo: Your mind goes to very dark places.

grim squeaker: All of a sudden I am not feeling very well...

chris: I would rather not have read that...

misskiwi: My eyes! My beautiful eyes!

dutchmoxie: Yeah, thanks for that. It was funny, but yeah.

fulfilled: EWWWW!

persnicketier: EW, FUNKY!!!

funky-donut: Hee. Sorry, guys. Didn't mean to gross y'all out.

BepperGirl: Looks like I'm the only one willing to sort of entertain Veronica/Lamb. I know it's bad, but I do. Not as much as Weevil/V though.

vix: No, I can see the V/Lamb love too. Well, not love, maybe, but lust. There's something awesome about a jerk like Lamb falling prey to Ms. Mars' wiles.

wyk: And Veronica is two degrees away from Dick's dick.

dutchmoxie: Oh, now we're going to play the connecting game. I wasn't all that grossed out, more guilty-pleasuresque (not a word, I know) amused.

grim squeaker: I was grossed out... but wyk totally upped the ante on that one with her "Six Degrees of Dick" example. *gack*

Inigo: This seems the place to ask. I've seen the view that Veronica's thrusting of her own genital region in front of Keith was icky. Anyone have that view? For the record, I don't. I was always close with my parents and had no problems joking with them about sexual matters. Just looking to understand it. It's the same as when the show first started when what I thought what was shown as a close and loving relationship between them was seen by some as near-incestuous and inappropriate.

wyk: The thrust joke reminds me of the "Lousy conversation but the sex was fantastic." line Veronica threw out at Keith in "Meet John Smith." She purposefully makes icky jokes just to skeeve out her dad.

tallow: I had no problem with it. I found it quite amusing, personally. One of my favorite parts of the episode.

misskiwi: I thought it was hilarious...and you couldn't pay me enough to do anything like that within ten city blocks of my parents.

vix: Goodness, yes. If I did that to my father? First he'd be flabbergasted, then he'd get mad.

funky-donut: I thought it was hilarious and at the same time kind of gross. The moment she came in with the boombox, I was cracking up. I didn't expect her to take it quite that far, but it was one of my favorite bits in the episode as well.

topanga: Hee. Don't forget, Veronica is the 19-year-old child Keith insists on treating like she's forty. I'm sure he's allowed her to behave like that for years.

misskiwi: Though something tells me seven-year-old Veronica wasn't quite that ribald. At least, I hope she wasn't.

funky-donut: So, the police report looked like it was written by a 10th grader, Weevil lets Veronica in on the egging, which leads Keith to the Lilith girls... Interesting that this is the second time Weevil has been around to help with the investigation. I think he's important to this mystery. Either that, or he's just Exposition Man because they have to use him somehow.

tallow: Ain't nothing wrong with Exposition Man. Maybe he flies Exposition Airlines on Alias.

Inigo: And what was in the faculty lounge toilet, eh, Weevil? And why now? I have a theory... *runs to spec*

topanga: Either the killer will be someone totally obvious, like Mindy O'Dell or Tim Foyle, or s/he will come totally out of left field.

Inigo: You know, I always doubt the post-reveal claim that the killer was obvious just because we guess who it is from a limited cast of characters. The thing is to get the motivation and the way it was done. If that's obvious, then as a mystery, it's failed. I doubt we'll know that until the end. In the meantime, dribs and drabs, people, dribs and drabs.

alliterator: I loved that they didn't forget about the Lilith House girls, the egging, or the fact that one rape is still unaccounted for.

Inigo: So, was that to cover up that the writers forgot the practical problems with Nancy's rape in the first place, that we had to be told of how it could have happened or is there more to it? I never liked Nancy as a faked rape because the timing was so wrong. There was no political point to be made in it happening out of term time. So, I'm cool with it being real. Which makes Logan a liar or a dupe, or makes Mercer not Nancy's rapist, or...something.

funky-donut: Yeah, I'm glad they covered it being real canonically, because it being faked really bothered me as well, but if that was the last mention we get of it, it's definitely going to be that they were covering their forgetting about it in the first place. I'd be happy to see it go somewhere, but I highly doubt we're going to see Mercer again...Sorry, grim.

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