Just one episode of season two left. Despite liking season 1 the best of all three seasons of Veronica Mars, I think the writers might have done a better job of sneaking in bits of the season-long arcs in season 2. I’ve had a constant sense of dread while watching the past few episodes and it’s all because I know how it ends. Fortunately, the first few of this week’s episodes are lighter on the arc.
S02E15 “The Quick and the Wed”
This episode felt rather choppy. There are four plot lines that are almost entirely unrelated to one another. There’s Jane’s sister, Terrance Cook and the bus crash, a bunch of Logan stuff, and Kendall and Beaver’s real estate venture. I do believe that there was a concerted effort to have less of the heavy lifting put on Kristen Bell’s shoulders in the second season as there were very few scenes that she didn’t appear in during the first season. While I understand the practicalities of this, it really shows in episodes like this one. A 22 episode season is a little long for something to focus on one character.
The Jane story was mostly fun. Runaway bride hijinks with a twist. It was similar in tone to the case in “Green-Eyed Monster”.
The Logan stuff is ostensibly about the ongoing Felix murder case but it’s also there to remind us that Aaron Echolls is still very much an ongoing concern. I did get a good laugh out of Hannah telling her mom that his former bad boy ways were from a long time ago. They’re from the previous school year, Hannah. While I absolutely support a Veronica and Logan relationship, he is in no way a “nice guy”.
Terrance Cook is still the reddest of herrings. There is very little substance here. The Kendall and Beaver plot feels the most out of place but it does tie back to the Echolls plot line. The whole thing is a lot of bricklaying for the season finale.
S02E16 “The Rapes of Graff”
Despite all of my “Ugh, Troy” in the beginning of season 1, it was nice to see Aaron Ashmore back for this one episode. If he hadn’t joined the cast of Smallville, I do wonder if Troy Vandergraff would have attended Hearst College in season 3. Of course, it would be odd to matriculate at a school where you had been accused of rape, even if you had been exonerated.
There was some casting fun in this episode with Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat from Arrested Development as two Hearst College students. Of course, this lead to two actual teenagers playing older than the twentysomethings that make up the regular high school cast. Giving one of the fraternity members the nickname of Ice Man was also a little wink wink as Aaron Ashmore’s twin brother Shawn played a character of the same name in the X-Men movies.
In the ongoing Logan front, all I have to say is don’t do it, Logan! Stay away from Hannah! You can both do better.
S02E17 “Plan B”
This episode is one that emphasizes the morally gray area that Neptune and the Mars family seem to permanently reside in. Logan wins the essay contest partially because he’s lived a little more life than the other entrants in the past year but also because he plagiarizes Easy Rider. Also, it would seem that Logan makes all of his girlfriends watch Easy Rider.
Weevil doesn’t directly kill Thumper in his search for vengeance but he might as well have. He set him up for a fall with the Fitzpatricks, the Fitzpatricks make sure that he’ll be in Shark Stadium when it’s demolished, and Logan finally does do something that kills a PCHer.
The episode also slyly addresses the gender politics of teenage girls. Jane wants sex and Wallace turns her down mostly because he still has feelings for Jackie. Mac wants sex and Beaver blows up at her over it. Jackie cares about Wallace but she just wants to put her head down and get through the rest of senior year. Logan has convinced Hannah and himself that he really does love her and he would have sex with her if security at the Neptune Grand didn’t have such a soft spot for fathers of teenage daughters who are dating teenage boys who live in the penthouse suite. It’s been over ten years since I was a teenage girl and I think I still have some of the same problems that these girls do. In many ways, I was Mac in high school. Her situation probably broke my heart the most.
S02E18 “I Am God”
This episode does a good idea of putting us in Veronica’s shoes. The dreamy feel of it is disorienting. The egg drop and generalized anxiety order stuff help bring the viewer back to reality every once in awhile but it was otherwise easy to feel what Veronica was feeling. It’s also nice to see that while her thought process is on track to solve the bus crash mystery, she’s not quite thinking clearly. We cannot take any conclusions that Veronica comes to as definite fact. The writers have bought themselves some time which is good because they still have three episodes to get through before they can tell us whodunnit.
S02E19 “Nevermind the Buttocks”
Unlike “The Quick and the Wed”, the various storylines in this episode all tie together in the end. Veronica breaks into Clemmons’s office to get Mac’s cell phone interceptor out which leads her to Weevil’s copy of The Anarchist Cookbook. This restates the idea that was first mentioned in “I Am God” that the person who set off the bomb was either on the bridge near the bus at the time of detonation or was called by someone who was there.
She also takes a case to help a classmate track down the person who killed his dog. This leads her to the car that Gia saw on the day of the bus crash giving the limo a “pressed ham” when they were near the bridge. It also leads her to the gun in the glove compartment which she unloads.
Keith’s investigation of Kendall Casablancas leads her to her secret house where he runs into Kendall and Liam Fitzpatrick. Liam goes to shoot Keith but fortunately Veronica earlier unloaded the gun. The World’s Best Dad gets to live another day.
S02E20 “Look Who’s Stalking”
Lucky is unhinged and clearly has a vendetta against Woody Goodman and his family but it doesn’t seem like he’s guilty of putting the bomb on the bus. They’re pushing really hard on the fact that Woody is super creepy, though.
As far as we know, Veronica has only slept with Duncan and Duncan has only slept with Veronica and Meg and Meg is more chaste than either Duncan or Veronica. The fact that Veronica has chlamydia is an odd one indeed.
The replacement prom and its aftermath broke my little shipper heart all over again, of course. Logan is a little self-destructive and Veronica has major trust issues and so they blow up their chance at reconciliation. Ugh. At least Wallace got some time to be a normal teenage boy. He may have bungled the end of his relationship with Jane but he’s a normal teenage boy. They’re not the smoothest people.
S02E21 “Happy Go Lucky”
The writers did a great job at planting the seeds that Aaron Echolls wouldn’t be convicted of murdering Lilly all season. Logan messed up the tapes. Veronica’s less-than-legal search for the truth called her veracity as a witness into question. Keith’s loyalty for his daughter caused him to loose his cool which makes him appear to be a hothead and also hurts his veracity as a witness. Duncan’s medical history and kidnapping made him a great person to pin it on, at least good enough to create reasonable doubt. Most importantly, though, is that Aaron Echolls is a rich movie star. Who’s going to convict the rich movie star?
Wallace got to play the hero but his girlfriend went away. Veronica cared more about the conviction of Lilly Kane’s killer than about earning the scholarship that her parents were giving in Lilly’s name. Veronica Mars is fiercely loyal.