3.14 "Mars, Bars"

Aired Feb 20, 2007

Cultural References

Mars Bar (Organizations, Companies, and Products)

Episode title: "Mars, Bars"

"Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider; girls go to Mars to get more candy bars!" Wrong playground chant? Well, it was pretty popular on my elementary school playground. In any case, whether you go to Mars, are a Mars, or just go to the convenience store, this nougatty, caramelly, all-trace-of-peanuts-free (in Canada, at least, making it safe for even Josh) chocolate bar is a staple around the world. Maybe Logan should have tried to smuggle one past Lamb when he visited Neptune's own Mars behind bars — it would have been a nicer surprise than a camera.

Epinephrine (Things)

"He was allergic, but you know that. After the paramedic revived him with an epinephrine shot, Josh overpowered him and escaped out of the back of the ambulance."

Also called adrenaline, this hormone is naturally secreted by the human brain during times of stress and injury. It causes the "fight or flight" response, which leads to a rise in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar, as well as expansion of the bronchial airways. In school, I was always taught that this response originated back in pre-historic, caveman days, when humans needed these physiologic changes to defend themselves from mammoths and sabre-tooth tigers. Yeah, that would do it. Today, a synthetic form of the hormone is used to reverse severe allergic reactions to foods and bee or wasp stings, which can, at their worst, lead to asphyxiation and death. An injectable dose of epinephrine is packaged in a handy pen-like syringe called — wait for it — an EpiPen, and severe allergy sufferers never leave home without it. Josh's EpiPen was probably confiscated when he was arrested, so he relied on the competence — and weakness — of the medical community to make his great escape. Sheriff Lamb assumes Veronica was in on the plan.

My Little Pony (Sports, Games and Toys)
Thug Life (Music)

My Little Pony was a cultural icon of the '80s, with both the TV show and the toys of these brightly colored ponies with brushable hair and identifying marks on their flanks reaching huge levels of popularity. Sweet and pretty, every little girl had a collection of ponies because who doesn't like sparkles and rainbows and bright colors? On the other side of the spectrum, Thug Life came along a decade or so later, a rap group consisting of Tupac Shakur, Big Skye, Macadoshus, Mopreme, and Rated R. Only one album was ever released, partly due to ongoing conflicts with the record label over the record's content, and partly due to the fact that Tupac was killed, forcing the group to disband. Veronica's temporary tattoo goes for the irony of a sweet, innocent icon of childhood, surrounded by the name of a group of the toughest, baddest rappers in the music industry. There's a metaphor in there somewhere, I'm sure. You figure it out.

Caged Heat (Movies)

"Clifford. Something wrong?"
"I just remembered I need to return Caged Heat to the video store."

Jonathan Demme directed 1974's Caged Heat, a film about the slightly sexy horrors of women's prisons, for Roger Corman, a prolific producer of exploitation films. We're pretty sure our boy Cliff was thinking of the gratuitous nudity and catfighting rather than the aforementioned trivia when he teased the then-incarcerated Veronica, but we're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt...if he ever decides to ask for it.

Breathalyzer (Things)

"Josh's cellmate and key witness to the cookie incident ate the evidence and, icing on the cake, blew a point two-one on the breathalyzer when they booked him."

"Now pee into this cup, and we'll check for drugs..." — wait. Wrong test. The breathalyzer is a machine used to estimate (quite accurately) the blood alcohol level of anyone suspected of hitting the bottle while driving, working, or otherwise needing to be sober. A quick breath through a straw, and one's fate is determined. In the U.S., a level of .08 is the legal definition of intoxication, so Josh's cellmate was well-past drunk, as Cliff eloquently points out, making him an unreliable witness to Josh's escape from jail.

cigarettes as currency (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"Can I get you anything, honey?"
"Oh, a couple cartons of smokes."
"What, dad? It's currency on the inside."

In addition to being tasty, stress-relieving, tar-filled cancer sticks, cigarettes can also used by those in the clink as currency. Cold, hard cash doesn't do you any good when you're doing 15 to life for shanking a squealer. But you can trade these gloriously tasty smoky-treats for favors or even give them as a wedding present when Hilda officially makes Jenny her bitch. Cigarettes — helping people survive the pokey and slowly killing them at the same time. Okay, gotta go — I need a smoke.

Money shot (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"No, never got a money shot. Uh, but I did catch him getting friendly in a parking lot with a very attractive married lady."

The term "money shot" has a bad reputation, most notably in the pornography business, for being a polite euphemism for something we cannot discuss on this family-friendly site. In the PI biz, however, it simply refers to the photographic evidence of the person or persons one is watching engaging in some sort of illicit congress. Of course, by "congress," we mean "knowing in the Biblical sense," and by that we mean "gettin' jiggy wit' it." So while Vinnie's "friendly" shot wasn't what Kathleen Barry was paying him to find, it was enough for Keith to find out all he needed to know about Coach Barry's after-hours affairs.

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Xanax (Organizations, Companies, and Products)

"Oh, and, um, he was out of Xanax. I had to call in the prescription."

Apparently Dean O'Dell's Xanax gets around even faster than Madison Sinclair...and you don't have to call it back in the morning! The dean and Mindy both popped the potent prescription sedative, said to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression, after the secretary, Cora, renewed Cyrus' prescription. Would you trust your steno-toting typist with your sensitive medical information? It doesn't matter to the O'Dells, just as long as they can stick it to Nancy Reagan. Just say "yes," Cyrus.

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L.A. Clippers (Sports, Games and Toys)

"I watched the Clipper game in my room until Mindy showed up, about 8:15."

The Clippers are the other Los Angeles basketball phenoms, kind of like the loser younger brother who's overshadowed by his handsome and intelligent older brother. The Clippers overcame decades of losing records during the 2005-2006 NBA season and made it all the way to the second round of the playoffs. Before landing in L.A., they called both Buffalo, New York and later San Diego their home turfs. Perhaps it's the memory of the (not so) great San Diego years that makes Hank Landry a fan. Or maybe he just needed a good alibi.

Magnum P.I. (TV)

"She's all yours. Knock yourself out, Magnum."

Aloha! Tom Selleck portrayed the Hawaiian shirt-clad private investigator Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV in the 1980s show Magnum, P.I.. Living in a posh Hawaiian beach house as the guest of a rich author, he does what he pleases in exchange for keeping the house secure. Such activities include hanging with his buddies, fellow Navy veterans, and romancing beautiful women. Magnum, P.I. was noted for being among the first TV shows to positively explore how a Vietnam vet adjusted to civilian life. And, as this era refuses to let any 80s cop drama stay dead, there's a movie adaptation starring Matthew McConaughey due in 2008.

Friend of Dorothy (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)
The Wizard of Oz (Literature, Movies)

"Yeah, you told me to go see the Wizard and ask him for some guts."
"Well, did you?"
"Yeah. He said to let you know you're the only sheriff in America who he considers a true friend of Dorothy."

Ah, The Wizard of Oz — a movie whose witches and flying monkeys scared the pants off of generations of children. In this 1939 musical that was considered to be the height of special effects at the time, Dorothy, a young girl from Kansas, is transported to a magical land by a wicked tornado. She joins forces with three Oz locals, and they travel to see the all-powerful Wizard for help — a trip Lamb suggested Wallace makes for some chutzpah. Throughout the journey, the foursome grow closer, and the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion all become friends of Dorothy.

However, "Friend of Dorothy" can have multiple meanings. In addition to being a friend of Dorothy like Wallace is a friend of Veronica, the phrase refers to a group of men who stereotypically like musicals. While living on Stereotype Island, said man watches movies starring Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand, decorates his tastefully furnished hut, and shops for bargains at Banana Republic. Meanwhile, his female neighbor changes the oil in her Subaru, TiVos Ellen, and shops for flannel shirts with tastefully ripped sleeves. A bone to pick, though, Wallace/Wizard — statistics show that Lamb probably isn't the only Sheriff Garland in the States. One in 10, W/W! One in 10!

Dangerous Liaisons (Movies)

"Because revenge is a dish best served cold."

This 1988 movie starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich, and Michelle Pfeiffer is based on the 18th century French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos. Cruel Intentions, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillipe, was a more recent (and more loose) adaptation of the novel. Speaking of loose, the novel weaves a web of intrigue, seduction, and corruption of the innocent by the scheming and underhanded Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont. Now that may sound exciting, but the original novel is composed entirely of letters sent between the characters, not to mention that it's written in 18th-century French, so it's a good thing they made a movie adaptation. The novel is also believed to be the origin of the phrase "la vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid," or, roughly translated, "revenge is a dish best served cold." Veronica tries to use the line as an excuse for the .22 pistol she has stashed in the Marses' freezer, but Keith doesn't appreciate her wit and wants a better explanation for the frosty firearm. Pretty big talk from someone who once had a dead rat stashed behind the corn dogs, Keith.

Library of Congress numbers (Things)
Dewey Decimal System (Things)

"See? I told you. It's a Library of Congress number."
"Am I the only one who misses good old Melvil Dewey?"

Melvil Dewey (1851-1931) was most famous for inventing the Dewey Decimal System, in which all knowledge is divided into ten main classes, although he was also one of the founders of the American Library Association (and apparently, he was anti-Semitic and a big fan of the ladies). The ten classes of the Dewey Decimal System go from divine (philosophy and religion) to mundane (history and geography). The ten classes are then subdivided into ten divisions, which are themselves subdivided into ten sections. The decimals help keep it fairly simple to navigate. The Library of Congress Classification, on the other hand, uses letters to sort the books in most research and academic libraries. It's more library-specific than Dewey, which is more knowledge-based, but that quality also makes it harder to add new categories to the Dewey system than to the LoC. The LoC system would be applied to the Hearst library since it's an academic library, but if Logan really misses Dewey that much, all he'd have to do is go to any public library for a reunion.

Kama Sutra (Literature)

"Whoa. Ah, look. 'The Kama Sutra, plate number 11...Congress of the Cow.'"

The Kama Sutra, in addition to being one of the most well-known reference books for new and fun positions in the art of sex, also includes handy references on how to seduce a woman, how to make her your wife, and how to seduce...another man's wife. Logan knows at least some of the positions by heart, quickly correcting Parker when she starts to demonstrate Congress of the Cow incorrectly. It must be noted, however, that to perform this position as it was originally described by Vatsayayana, the book's author, the lady should be on all fours with the gentleman — you know, never mind. Let's just say that, even though Logan may be ready to go pro in this sport, he still needs to hit the books.

Editor's note This information gathered was done via research of the book, not physical research of the act itself. We at marsinvestigations.net do not condone that sort of thing.

A different editor's note Speak for yourself. The info is right. Trust me.

Sex and the City (TV)

"You know you're missing that show where women have sex in an urban setting."

Oh, Keith. Seriously, did anyone else's dad ever try to be funny with witty little descriptions like this oh-so-cleverly veiled reference to HBO's hit sitcom of the late '90s and early '00s, Sex and the City? Well, maybe he just thinks that lovelorn Veronica needs the distraction of the ongoing drama of four Manhattan women and their never-boring love lives. Because, you know, her own isn't dramatic enough. At least Keith can rest assured knowing that Veronica's most likely watching the cleaned-up, syndicated, non-HBO version of the show. What we want to know, though, is whether Veronica's a Carrie, a Miranda, a Charlotte, or a Samantha.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (Things)

"Because revenge is a dish best served cold?" "Have you heard of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease? He was terminal. And what he was about to go through...all I know is whoever killed him probably spared that poor man a lot of suffering."

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare, degenerative, invariably fatal brain disorder. Over 90% of sufferers are dead within one year, and that year is characterized by memory loss, psychological changes, and neurological deterioration. It most commonly affects people at about age 60, which makes Coach Barry a bit young to be suffering from CJD. That, or he's had some great Botox treatments. A variant of the disease does affect younger patients, but it's usually linked to ingestion of beef from infected cattle — the aptly-named Mad Cow Disease. When Josh finds out his father arranged his own death rather than putting himself and his family through a year of agony and suffering, he gives his former coach a thumbs up for his good hustle.

M*A*S*H (TV)

"I s-smell bread."

This memorable quote references a 1981 episode of M*A*S*H, one of the greatest television series of all time. The show expertly combined comedy and drama as it followed the lives of the doctors and nurses of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, which was stationed near the front-line during the Korean War. In the episode "The Life You Save," Major Charles Winchester holds the hands of a dying American soldier, whose last words are "I smell bread." No one knows if Sheriff Lamb was being prolific or funny when he uttered these words soon before his death at the hands of a baseball bat to the skull. Hmm, I expected his parting line to be "Veronica Mars really is smarter than me."

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