3.20 "The Bitch Is Back"

Aired May 22, 2007

Roundtable Reviews

Polter-Cow: Godfuckingdammit, for serious, you guys. Those episodes were so good, and now we don't get any more.

wyk: So awesome. Makes letting go of the show that much harder.

Alex: Agreed. I wonder if a certain CW exec, whose name starts with a D and ends with an AWN OSTROFF, is feeling any regret tonight?

sparrow: It was hands down the best of the season as far as I'm concerned. I was on the edge of my futon the whole time. And, yeah, like wyk said, it makes saying goodbye more difficult. I have a Veronica Mars-shaped hole in my chest right now. This must be what the dictionary means by "bereft."


I saw Christopher B. Duncan's name in the credits (I did "Woo!" though, because Clarence Wiedman? Always awesome).

funky-donut: Dude, I'm kind of in shock. That was really good. I saw Kyle Secor in the credits and got really excited, and then I saw Christopher Duncan and got REALLY excited, and I wasn't disappointed.

persnicketier: Holy cow, NOW they come up with two episodes that are amazing and actually had me on the edge of my seat and made me mad that the show is over?

Chris: I was ok with the show not coming back, not anymore.
Those episodes were great, I just wish they could have written the rest of the season on that level.

BethGee: I'm left frowning and dissatisfied. Was it too much to expect Lianne's return and Kendall's triumphant rise from the grave? And another "epic" speech from Logan? It's not that the episode was bad — it wasn't, it was fantastic — but as everyone on ye olde Interwebs has stated, it wasn't a fulfilling series finale. Lying CW liars.

wyk: Did they mention the fact that it was the series finale anytime during the broadcast? Any "thanks for 3 years" commercial?

persnicketier: No. Said "season finale" more than once.

wyk: Damn, that sucks that they didn't even mention that it was the series finale. And we know how out of the loop some fans are, so we'll be getting emails next September "when is the show coming back?"

BepperGirl: Yeah, I was very annoyed with the Capital Region CW for that!

Alex: If you're not even going to give my show 22 episodes, the least you can do is offer apologies for not giving the writers time to pen a true finale.

persnicketier: Did this remind anyone of "Clash of the Tritons"? It was like that, but in the big leagues.

BepperGirl: I totally thought that as well. I just kept waiting for Veronica to shout "Say repressed homosexuality!" And then well we saw the Lilly picture and I was like holy crap.

alliterator: Oh totally. I thought she was going to just jump in and take pictures like in that episode, but this is BIG league, so I knew she couldn't.

And damn, I love how they brought back a bunch of people from Season 3. Chip! Who is afraid of Veronica! And Nish! Who is now sorta semi friends with her!

wyk: I loved the fact that Chip tries to act all cool in front of his friends, but then he runs after Veronica and completely caves just so that she won't get her revenge on. Something about the way Veronica says "holy crap" just totally cracks me up.

alliterator: I was afraid for both Wallace and Logan, but only after he hit that guy. The guy's dad is a murderer!

wyk: Since topanga isn't around, I'll say this on her behalf: "Thank you Rob, for the underwear-only Wallace scene. But OMG, why did you have to torture him like that!"

sparrow: There was a lot I thought could have been cut out ("Bad Day" anyone?) in lieu of more great moments like Lilly's portrait, Jake the Bearded, Wiedman the Butler, and Wallace stripping in that horrid little confessional.

BethGee: Good point. In fact, the entire red-herring Domonick arc could have wound up on the cutting-room floor, if only for a minute with Weevil to see if he'd again turned to a life of Robin-Hood-esque crime. Woulda shoulda coulda.

Polter-Cow: I totally disagree. The Domonick arc was essential: that, right there, was when our bitch was back. Veronica getting her righteous indignation on someone who actually deserves it? Classic. And "Bad Day" was hilarious.

Alex: The agreement is seconded. "Bad Day" made me laugh out loud. I thought it was perfectly Veronica.

BepperGirl: I must admit that I made a sound clip of that and have played it an embarrassing number of times already. (Okay my iTunes says 53 times. That's like seven minutes of my life I'll never get back.)

leila: I agree, Polter-Cow. It felt wonderful to sympathize with and root for Veronica again, especially since it was the series finale. Plus, it highlighted one of the major themes of the series — vengeance. Whether it's an appropriate response, how far people should go to obtain it, and the consequences that may result from pursuing it. And it drew some nice parallels and contrasts between the characters: Logan telling Veronica "Someone's always supposed to pay, isn't that the rule we live by?" [emphasis mine]; Piz wanting to let karma take care of the jerks taunting Veronica, while she wanted to let her car-ma handle them; Keith destroying evidence to save Veronica; and Logan beating up a mafioso (of sorts) so she can have her apology. That was a welcome callback to the pilot.

Inigo: I'm thirding the necessity of Domonick for all the reasons expressed plus the need to see Domonick with a broken arm after Veronica fingered him as her grass. It played into the vengeance theme beautifully and foreshadowed exactly what Logan was letting himself in for in attacking Gory later. As for the Castle, I'm more "meh" on the general principle of it as I'm struggling to see why Wallace, who's admitted that he's not the best basketball player on the team and who does not have a sazzling academic record, would have been tapped. Logan was a far more likely target for the organisation that was painted.

wyk: Just because you want the boy, doesn't mean The Castle would. Logan is the son of a washed-up, murdering, '80s movie star. Not sure why the Castle would want him.

Inigo: He's rich. He's notorious. He is to all appearances everything they would want. But my real gripe with it might be something else though. I thought Kyle Secor was horribly over-the-top, similar in fact to his performance in "Leave It to Beaver." He has every reason to be irritated with Veronica, but not to hate her with the passion he showed. Ugh.

funky-donut: Good point, Inigo. I'm not sure why he was like that. I know for a fact that Kyle Secor is an excellent actor, so it confuses me when he's all crazy and stuff. My wank was that after losing Lilly, and finally coming to terms with all that, he then lost Duncan (and his granddaughter) to Australia or wherever, and he's displacing all his anger on Veronica. He has to know that she's the one who helped Duncan disappear, although it wasn't her fault that he needed to. Maybe we're just supposed to think he's lost his mind? Whatever, I thought his over-the-topness was made worth it by the awesomeness that was Veronica being confronted by that picture of Lilly. That was a take-your-breath-away moment, not dulled by the fact that I had figured out she must be going into Jake Kane's house already, based on Secor and Christopher B. Duncan's names in the credits.

wyk: Jake has first hand experience of Veronica's PI skillz. If it wasn't for Veronica's snooping into Abel's story, the Kanes would have gotten away with the cover up. If it was a random burglar stealing the hard drive — no need to overact, burglar won't get passed the encryption. Veronica stealing the hard drive — time to overact, Jake knows she won't stop until she gets the truth.

funky-donut: Enough about Jake, let's get to what's really important: LoVe vs. VerPizica.

funky-donut: I don't care what anyone says, I REALLY like Veronica and Piz together. Call me a VerPizica shipper, I don't care.

Inigo: VerPizica sounds like a nasty skin condition. How appropriate when one half of the pairing is sporting the Virgin Mary on his face.

sparrow: I'm sure you've all heard this particular argument, but I'll reiterate because I can. I thought the situation with Jerkface Scumbag (his given name) picking on Veronica and Piz in the cafeteria and Piz having Veronica walk away coupled with Gory talking a big talk to Veronica and Logan going after him were supposed to be telling. It all called back to their earlier argument - they are about everyone having to pay. Piz just doesn't (and will never) fit in or understand that. Therefore, I understood those Looks (between Logan and Veronica, then between Piz and Veronica) to mean that Logan and Veronica were the true fit.

Inigo: I agree, and in the absence of big neon arrows pointing to them, I thought it couldn't be more obvious. For me, that was the real "moment" that Veronica referred to earlier and it was Piz's own version of Parker's "Do you realize that we just broke up?" Unlike Logan, however, I think both Veronica and Piz knew it.

Alex: I don't know...until the final episode, I was a staunch LoVe shipper, but Piz seems to be a good balance to Veronica's craziness...even if he does get the odd black eye here and there.

BepperGirl: As everyone who knows me knows, I'm firmly not in the Logan and Veronica camp, but I'm not entirely in the Piz and Veronica camp either. Sometimes, I like them. Other times, they grate on my last nerves. I guess I'm happy that the show ended without messing too badly with my Veronica and Weevil.

funky-donut: Our little team is just all over the place with the shipping, eh? I will admit for the record that there was a time I shipped Logan and Veronica. But the back and forth, break-up/make-up/break-up cycle got to be too much. It was like Moonlighting: They got together too soon, and then the writers had to figure out how to keep them apart to make things interesting. And I got a bit sick of it, and it also took me out of the show a little, broke my ability to suspend disbelief. I will never deny that Jason and Kristen have amazing chemistry, but I was ready for a return to Season 1 dating: Leo, Troy, etc. And Piz delivered that. He clearly worships the ground Veronica walks on, and while he's a little too puppy-dog, I thought they were cute together. And to be fair to Piz, he was right about her not offering up big payback to the assface motherfuckers that published the video of them. In the end, what did that little revenge trail get Veronica? She couldn't publish anything about Gory or do anything TO him, due to his father being a murderer. She got the list of names for Nish, but that didn't really help her. In addition, she got herself in serious trouble, and because of covering for her, her father is out a job and in hot water.

Inigo: Veronica hurts everyone around her. It's what she does. What I adored at the end was that both Logan and Keith know this and accept it because they love her. And she does what she does because she doesn't love them enough. I loved it.

wyk: I disagree, Veronica doesn't tell Keith the whole truth because she loves him too much, not because she doesn't love him enough. "I could tell you, but you'd never look at me the same." Her dad means the world to her, and having him think less of her is something that she can't bear. It's just in her world, love does not mean full disclosure.

Inigo: But looks at what she's said: "You'd never look at me the same." Veronica completely blew him off about the break-in because she couldn't bear to have him look at her having seen the video. Her embarrassment, her actions, her ignoring his position as sheriff. I love Veronica to bits but she is singularly self-centred and blinkered in this respect.

Inigo: On a side note, was Veronica being somewhat Clintonesque in her definition of sex in telling Logan that she and Piz hadn't indulged? I think so. Chip's email was headed "Emission to Mars!!!!!" and his text was "Our own Veronica Mars receiving an Emission!!!!!" Now, what with the admitted nakedness and all it doesn't take a genius to work out that there was...emission. There was a...job of some description. The only question is whether Piz was humming "Hand Jive" or "Blow Me Down, Hearties."

alliterator: I never thought I'd say this to you, Inigo, but: ewwwwwww! Seriously, why couldn't it just have been naked writhing? I mean, I'm sure the person who titled it just wanted to play off the Mission to Mars pun, facts be damned. And yet, I am still grossed out.

Inigo: Sorry, sweetie, but these things must be faced. And now I've grossed myself out, so let me quickly move onto to another question. Why did Veronica tell Logan that she and Piz had not had sex? It could simply be that she didn't think it was. The alternative is that it was something she was not ready for him to even think of her. She's never seemed prudish, so the only reason that makes sense to me is that she still hasn't let go of Logan, despite her time with Piz. The fact that she had to be told that Piz had a thing for her, rather than realise it herself on the many opportunites we saw, speaks volumes about his presence in her life, but Logan even imagining that she is having sex with her boyfriend is extremely uncomfortable. Her immediate response is to deny it. It reminds me very much of the situation at Logan's birthday party, at her discomfort at Duncan — who at that the point was still the love of her life — witnessing her new relationship with Logan.

Alex: I think we've all heard the comparisons of this episode to season one's "Clash of the Tritons." Did anybody else feel like we'd been swept back to the goodness of season one?

sparrow: Oh yes! Most definitely! Which makes it all the sadder that Jake Kane's Back in Town (and looking mighty down in his rumpled smoking jacket...and where was Celeste?) cannot continue! Between the beard, the creepy portraits, and his involvement with the Castle, it seems like we were going to be propelled down the path to Howard Hughes-dom. Once-beloved son of Neptune/billionaire turns crazy. Or maybe Napa Valley just does that to people.

Alex: Season four practically writes itself...

alliterator: Oh, but I love how Logan is back to his psychotic jackass ways and Veronica is back to her ostracized bitchy ways and how Wallace is still the kid who ends up without his clothes on (but now he has Veronica to make him hot chocolate! aw!) and Keith always gives up everything for Veronica (double aw! she always loves him and he always loves her!).

sparrow: Yes! Yes! And more yes! Between "I'm back in high school" and Logan's smirk (not to mention Jake, Lilly, Duncan, and Clarence), I felt like 3.20 was season one-esque.

Inigo: Yessss and no for me, alliterator, because I don't think Logan is back to his pyschotic jackass ways. I thought we saw the maturation of the psychotic jackass. That must be right because his bio says so. *whistles*

wyk: I like the parallel of Keith bringing Jake down for protecting his son in season 1, and Jake bringing Keith down for protecting his daughter in season 3.

funky-donut: wyk, I love the parallels there, too. Also, Jake Kane has ONCE AGAIN been part of why Keith is losing his job as sheriff. But, dudes, one of my only nitpicks: what was the point of bringing Leo back? Did he even say anything in this episode?

wyk: Well, they didn't even have enough time for the opening credits, so no wonder Leo didn't have any lines in the episode. Would it really have mattered? Wouldn't be able to understand Mr. Marble mouth anyways.

Alex: The last two episodes were wonderful, and although the last episode wasn't written as a series finale, I was pleased with the amount of closure. Bringing back the Kane saga was a beautiful idea, and Keith making gumbo for Veronica was a quintessential example of their relationship.

And of course...Veronica in the rain, alone.


alliterator: I especially loved the last shot. Because it wasn't a total cliffhanger and it wasn't a happy ending. It was NOIR, BABY. THAT is what this show is about: Veronica walking in the rain to the strains of "It Never Rains in Southern California."

Inigo: Having a) ruined her father's chance of ever being able to pursue the career he loves and been responsible for his possible imprisonment, b) exposed Logan to the fury of a Russian mobster's vindictive son who had already shown the family credentials by breaking the arm of a less serious offender, c) deprived her best friend of the connections that could have set him up for life, d) caused a new friend the heartbreak of realising that she was and would always be second-best in Logan's eyes, e) broken the heart of the sweet, nice guy who worships the ground she walks on (if not already, soon)...

alliterator: I love this fucking show.

Inigo: Ditto

sparrow: Me, three. Perfect ending... if it has to end.

BepperGirl: Totally noir. Water is often used in noir. (Thank you, film professor!)

persnicketier: You know, I think ending it like that was much better than wrapping everything up. Because real life doesn't get wrapped up and VM is much more true to real life than most shows.

funky-donut: I almost wish there had been more of a season finale feel, because I kind of wanted to cry, but couldn't. But the fact that Keith got in so much trouble for Veronica, and he doesn't even know why...I really might cry.

Polter-Cow: Everything came full circle. The town of Neptune is going to vote Keith out of office again, with only Veronica sticking by him. I wish the series hadn't gone out on such a depressing note, but that's noir, baby. The good never prevail.

wyk: The might not always prevail in Neptune, but Veronica will survive. Which I think is the whole point of the show. Keith might lose the election, Veronica might be a social outcaste at Hearst, but she will get find a way to get through it.

alliterator: Since this is probably the last RTR we will ever do (I know: waaah!), I really want to end this on a passage from Raymond Chandler's essay "The Simple Art of Murder." In it, he lays out everything I love about Veronica Mars, the character and the show. Imagine him using female pronouns, instead of male, and you can see Veronica in the rain:

"In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption. It may be pure tragedy, if it is high tragedy, and it may be pity and irony, and it may be the raucous laughter of the strong man. But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world. I do not care much about his private life; he is neither a eunuch nor a satyr; I think he might seduce a duchess and I am quite sure he would not spoil a virgin; if he is a man of honor in one thing, he is that in all things. He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. He will take no man's money dishonestly and no man's insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him. He talks as the man of his age talks, that is, with rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham, and a contempt for pettiness. The story is his adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. He has a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world he lives in.

If there were enough like him, I think the world would be a very safe place to live in, and yet not too dull to be worth living in."

Inigo: (Because last words are to be fought for.) Perfect.

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