It seems like I am always thanking the TVgasm readers for something or other, and I have to say that I once again have all of my thanks to give for finally pushing me into the world that is Veronica Mars. In retrospect, I never should have needed the push in the first place. After all, this show is right in my wheelhouse. I could go on and on for a long time why I didn’t try the show, and why I am now hooked only four episodes in (one from last season and the first three this year), but the TVgasm readers were not the ones who needed the convincing. So thanks for getting me hooked on Neptune High, and thanks for being such fanatics that UPN kept this show alive for a second season. If I ever see you out in Los Angeles, I’ll have to buy you a drink.Veronica has had a lot to think about so far this year. She finds out her boyfriend’s dad killed her best friend; she then broke up with him and started seeing his best friend. Did I mention that she only barely escaped being killed in a tragic bus accident? And that all of that happened all in the first episode? You had me at hello, Veronica Mars, you had me at hello. Either that or you complete me, I forget which.
Anyway, things have settled down a little bit for Veronica, so she has settled into the normal routine for any high school senior, namely she is fretting about what she is going to do after graduation. She knows that she wants to go to college, but because she has spent so much of her time helping others (that altruistic bitch), she is a little light on the extracurricular activities. Time for Veronica to start thinking about doing something after school, or during lunch time or whenever these groups meet. She’s not crazy about sports, so it’s going to have to be something academic. Why not the Future Business Leaders of America?
Sure Veronica really doesn’t seem like she’s a FBLA type, but it has to be better than the French Club, who probably spend their time discussing the latest and greatest from Marcel Marceaux, not that I know anybody who made THAT mistake. Besides, FBLA has Duncan Kane, and if you are going to spend a boring hour after school, why not spend it with the one you love and the one who loves you. Bonus that they are even the same person. Like everything else in this show, this little after-school group demonstrates the huge class divide within Neptune. Dick Casablancas is there to talk about his real estate investment company and real estate investment trusts. I could care less about the details, but I am sure that you will be able to Google for more information.
The meeting goes off without a hitch, but Cassidy Casablancas, or Beaver as his friends and the people who like to pick on him call him, stops Veronica afterwards and asks her for some help. Dear old Cassidy is really upset that his dad may have married a gold digger, and even though there is no crime in taking advantage of horny, middle-aged men, Beaver thinks that there is a lot more that is going on. He found a condom wrapper in the living room, and even though his brother, Dick, is well known for those sorts of proclivities, he still thinks something is going on, but he doesn’t know how to get the proof. By the way, snaps to Veronica for using “proclivities” in a sentence. Her use of such language, usually saved for SAT questions and papers freshmen like to write in their first week in college, only adds to the allure, don’t you think?
Veronica had decided to take some time off from crime fighting, but when Beaver offers her money, she can’t refuse, especially when she eventually negotiates a $1000 price. For somebody who was busy solving her own rape and her best friend’s murder, this whole adultery thing is no big deal. So far the day is going well, and nobody has died, or at least nobody that Veronica knows about. As she is about to leave school, the deputy tells her that the sheriff wants to see her.
The sheriff and Veronica have always had a little bit of a love-hate relationship, and when I say a little bit, I mean that they can’t stand each other. Her dad was removed from office as sheriff, and now she has this lackey to deal with. She calls him a mildly constipated version of David Caruso, but I would have to say he is a mildly retarded version of Michael Biehn. Whatever the case, the sheriff actually surprised her when he told her that a dead body had washed up to the shore, and it had her name on it. At first, Veronica didn’t know what the hell the sheriff was talking about, but when she though about it, she remembered that this guy David “Curly” Moran, was at the scene of the crash, lighting a candle. Why did his body end up beaten to death on the sandy shores of Neptune? Veronica is pretty sure that she didn’t get really drunk at a biker bar, and she knows that she doesn’t have a tattoo on her boob, ass, shoulder, or hip that says “I *heart* Curly,” so something is wrong here.
For now, Veronica decides that she is going to stick to the task at hand, and does a little investigating on the hot stepmom. Kendall Casablanca’s story is well known. Arizona State dropout, music video backup dancer, Laker Girl, and now trophy wife. And as trophy wives go, Veronica was right on when she described Kendall’s current situation as a bimbo paradise. My mom always asks me when I will get married. I keep telling her that I have to be old enough so I can marry somebody ten years younger than me. Since marrying a 16-year-old is not my cup of tea, moms will have to wait. Anyway, before Veronica got too far with that, she couldn’t help but do a little Google on Curly Moran. He worked in the service department for Symbolic Motor Car Company, which is the actual name of a high-end auto retailer here in Los Angeles, so I imagine one of the producers got a nice deal on a Ferrari or Porsche.
Despite her close relationship with her father, Veronica isn’t quite ready to tell him about a dead body with her name on it, so when he walks into her room, she pretends that she has nothing better to do than finding pictures of unicorns for her computer desktop. I think her dad knows more than she suspects, and I think she knows that her dad must know more than she suspects. He is just too uncanny about the things he says sometimes, like last week when she couldn’t tell if he somehow sensed that she had just had sex. Instead, Keith fills Veronica in about his plans, which includes a book signing in Chicago to celebrate his New York Times Bestseller (97, baby!), and also includes Alicia Fennel, Wallace’s mom and Keith’s love interest. She caught them smooching a little earlier (a difficult position for any teenager, don’t you think) and wanted to know if he was going to pop the question. He assured her that wasn’t the case, and that if he and Alicia were ready to take the next step, she would be the first to know.
On her first day tailing Kendall, Veronica is surprised at how easy everything is turning out. On the first day, she follows Kendall to the gym, takes some pictures of her meeting an unknown man, takes some pictures of her getting into unknown man’s car, and takes some pictures of her going into a motel with unknown man. What more evidence do you need? Well, when she shows the evidence to Beaver – sorry, Cassidy – he is not impressed. The prenup didn’t have a clause for swapping gym bags, but surely it would have been enough evidence for his dad to get suspicious, and wouldn’t that been enough for him to cut off some of Kendall’s allowance? The customer is always right, and Veronica promises Cassidy that she will get the money shot, which makes me wonder, does Miss V. spit or swallow? Hmmm, I’ll be back in ten, maybe fifteen minutes.
During lunch, Veronica is about the chat up Wallace a little bit. He is so very enamored with this new girl Jackie, the New York import, who is attractive, but also a huge bitch. Veronica doesn’t want Jackie to walk all over Wallace, but at the same time knows that she shouldn’t interfere too much with his love life. In fact, she is willing to give a little assist so Wallace can become lunch buddies with benefits, which I guess means that he always wants his lunch period to be, uhhh, finger-licking good. When Jackie starts talking about how much she dislikes reading Pride and Prejudice and how she’s never able to get away from it no matter what school she is about to get kicked out of, Veronica invites Jackie and Wallace to join her and Duncan as they are watching the BBC miniseries over at his place. Jackie agrees, and since “studying at a friend’s house” usually means “making out without fear of your parents interrupting,” Wallace has got to feel good about that. It kind of disheartened me to see that Veronica was dissing pudding cups. Whether it be in a cup or a pudding pop, how can you not love J-E-L-L-O?
In her quest for more information on Curly Moran – and seriously, the writers on this show are pretty good, couldn’t they have come up with something more original than “Curly” for a nickname? How about “Buckles,” or couldn’t they have named him David Sullivan and called him “Sully”? Moran was a stunt man, so why not call him “No-Hands” Moran? They even could have had a nice joke about how he got that nickname in prison. Think of the possibilities, people! Veronica gets to Symbolic Motors and pretends to be Curly’s niece, and wonders if he ever mentioned her name. The manager says he never mentioned “Veronica Mars” or anything really, but hands over his personal effects anyway. Now, I have signed one of those emergency contact sheets for every single job that I have ever had, so how did Veronica get Moran’s stuff? Did he leave it blank? Surely he had a mother or ex-wife or kid or bookie that would have liked to have had a chance at Curly’s collection of calendars featuring women in bikinis with grease all over them? And how about those signed autographs from celebrity cars that he has fixed? There’s a B-movie actress, career NBA backup, and…Aaron Echolls? Suddenly, this is getting more complicated by the minute.
Doesn’t looking at all of those hot European cars make you think of overpaid American executives? Perfect transition to the Future Business Leaders of America meeting! Mr. Pope is introducing his famous stock market game, as if the FBLA play charades (pronounced shuh-RAHDS) or anything that is not a stock market game. He is going to give each student an imaginary $1 million dollars, and whoever makes the most money at the end of the year wins a plaque. He plays along with the students, and whoever beats him gets bragging rights. Mr. Pope says that he models his virtual holdings after his real stock fund, and the stock that has been going gangbusters was Dick Casablancas’ real estate company. It’s been doing so well, he is going to retire and spend time on his boat.
During the talk of sailing, the rich kids really got excited. Nothing like some discussion of jibbing and trimming to get the old juices flowing, right? But when Logan makes a joke about Mr. Pope not plugging his boat, while at the same time looking at Duncan and Veronica, that’s it! Logan saw Veronica coming out of Duncan’s suite at the hotel, and for some reason he had deduced that Duncan is not a lot of fun in the sack. Surely boffing an ex-Laker Girl on the side is going to give you confidence, but what’s up with the fixation on how well Duncan does the dirty? Is Logan jealous?
Whatever the reason, the two guys start fighting, and it spills out into the hall. I have got to say, if being a rich kid in Neptune means that you are going to end up fighting like these two guys, well, I think it would be best to grow up poor. Their tussle, complete with hair-pulling, bear-hugging, arm-twisting and girlie slaps, was a disgrace. If anybody though Logan was able to kill somebody with a knife, they only need this fight as evidence. While the two guys were getting patched up in the nurse’s office, they contemplated whether Veronica might be turned on by their show of masculinity. Unless Veronica is a bucket of water, I can’t imagine how anything in their fight could have been seen as macho.
In reality, the fight was more than just about Veronica. Duncan and Logan used to be best friends, but Logan was upset how Duncan seemed to disappear at the time he needed him the most, i.e. during his murder trial. How could a friend turn his back on somebody like that? If you answered, “Because your dad killed my sister,” then you would be correct. Even though Logan also hated his father, it’s not something that is just going to go away for Duncan.
If there was one guy who never needs to beat up another guy to show how awesome he is, that is Colin Firth. He’s so dreamy, don’t you think? Some may look at his movies and think that he is a wimp, but I think not. Why don’t you try and act in two movies based on Bridget Jones’ Diary and still have the stomach to eat a solid meal afterwards. That’s some character. Wallace, Jackie, and Veronica are over at Duncan’s and they are all watching the miniseries from the Beeb. Everybody is enjoying themselves, especially Jackie, who is really enjoying the sound of her own voice. She talks about all of these schools she got kicked out of, all of the boyfriends she has had, all of the impromptu visits to Europe that she has taken, how she cured cancer. You know, all the sorts of things normal teenagers do.
Increasingly, Veronica is becoming a little leery of Jackie. She’s happy for Wallace, but I think she is afraid that Jackie’s motives aren’t true. When Veronica mentions this to Wallace, he thinks that Veronica is trying to imply that Jackie is out of his league, which is what all of us are thinking when it gets right down to it. Why is Jackie interested in somebody who is not in the big time? In the end, Veronica decides to retract the claws and let Wallace be happy, and it seems that Jackie is happy to spend time with him, so it works for everybody.
Veronica still needs to get some more dirt on Kendall, including some pictures up close and personal. She bought an iPod shuffle and did some sort of voodoo with it, and was planning to switch it with Kendall’s at the gym right after Cassidy loaded her music onto it. Veronica is able to make the switch without Kendall knowing, probably because the Ms. Got it Going On was too preoccupied with keeping her heart rate in the red zone to notice. Veronica leaves, and tells Ms. Casablancas that her ass looks great, which means that this shot of Charisma Carpenter’s ass on the stairmaster won’t seem too gratuitous.
It’s blurry, but it might as well be a bullseye.
iPod switch in place, Veronica follows Kendall once again. Once again Kendall has lunch, switches bags, and then some more sex at a hotel – a hotel that her husband owns, natch. At this point Veronica notices something about the hotel they went in to. The Sandpiper was a two-bit hotel with hourly rates in real-life, but in the brochure Casablancas handed out while giving his little speech at Neptune High, The Sandpiper looked like it would rival a Trump Tower. Obviously, something is not right with this whole thing. She follows the mystery guy back to his office at City Hall. It turns out he is the Town Assessor, Jack Montana.
Although she is slowly pulling everything together, Veronica really needs Mr. Pope to kind of bring it altogether. Kendall wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t having sex with the Jack Montana, she was bribing him. The combination of a corrupt Assessor plus property that is misrepresented equals real estate fraud, and whoever had big money in Casablancas stock better get out in a hurry. That includes Mr. Pope, and although Veronica begs him to dump his shares, he says he won’t because it only means he would make somebody else deal with the consequences afterwards, and he can’t do that. Goodbye early retirement. At least he has a picture of his boat, but considering he might have to work another twenty years to retire, it doesn’t exactly make him happy.
Nice manicure, V.
By now you are wondering what Veronica’s dad and Wallace’s mom are doing in Chicago? It was all so very clichÃƒÂ©: night out at a jazz club, room at the Roosevelt, strange guy calling Alicia Cher? Wha? Yes, just as Keith[not Kevin, thanks Tiesha] and Alicia were leaving the club to test out the springs of their Cal-King, (or the couch, or the tub, I don’t know how kinky they are) some random guy starts calling her name. She ignores him, but we find out later that he is a cop, and even more interesting we see that he has followed Alicia all the way back to Neptune. Case of mistaken identity? Who knows, but how sharp can this cop be when he is tearing pages out of a phone book to get her address? Hasn’t he heard of the FBI database, Google, or ZABAsearch?
As usual, Veronica has exposed massive fraud and corruption in a Neptune institution. She is at work, showing Cassidy the pictures she took. She had rigged the iPod shuffle with a miniature camera that took a picture every fifteen seconds. It showed Kendall signing papers with Jack, and not much else, but the pictures were downloading still. Veronica had to run off to help a customer, which turned out to be Jackie with another guy that was not Wallace. Ah ha! Veronica knew something was up! Jackie was being extra nice, but didn’t seem worried at all that Veronica saw her with this guy, which probably means in a future episode Veronica will overreact and it will turn out to be her step-brother or agent or something.
That, however, is not important, or at least not as important as other thing. Before she had to leave, she was trying to explain to Cassidy about the real estate fraud, but when he returned, Beaver wasn’t there, and neither was the iPod/camera. When she looked to see what the last pictures downloaded were, and they happened to show Logan without his shirt, about to pounce on Kendall.
Knowing that the whole thing was going to blow up, Veronica goes to Logan’s house, and arrives minutes after Kendall was there. Sorry girls, I just don’t see what is all that about Logan. His personality isn’t all that great, and he happens to have quite the pronounced penis head. It’s not quite up to Peyton Manning levels of penis-headery, but give him some time. Logan is very aloof about the whole thing. He doesn’t care about getting caught, or much of anything, and although he won’t admit it, at least a little bit of it is because Veronica is now seeing Duncan. Oh and that whole thing with his dad murdering his best friend’s sister didn’t help either.
When she is leaving Logan’s she walks buy the posters of his dad’s movies. One of them was called “The Long Haul.” Suddenly, it clicks. Aaron Echolls wrote something about The Long Haul on his picture to Curly Moran. At first, Veronica though it was just a corny saying, but now she realizes that Curly was the stunt coordinator on the movie, and it featured a big truck flying off the road and spectacularly killing a bunch of people in the process. The bus accident was actually a stunt that was rigged to look like and accident, and it was meant for Veronica Mars. She couldn’t blame herself for not being on that bus, but it looks like the only reason people died was because they thought she would be there, and that is just too much for her to take.
Cassidy thinks that he has done a good job. He shows his dad all of the pictures of his cheating wife, but it doesn’t seem to bother him. What he is worried about is that there has been somebody investigating his background, which means that somebody may have been tipped off to the real estate dealings. Ignoring his son, Dick Casablancas runs out of his office and tells everybody to start shredding all of their documents. Off to the Dick (Casablancas)-copter! And like that, Dick leaves, which I guess leaves the rest of Neptune to pick up the pieces.
Overall, a great episode. This show really lets you start spinning crazy conspiracies, and there are so many to choose from. Was Kendall helping Dick or helping the investigations with her meetings? Who is the cop chasing Alicia? Was Curly Moran’s death a message to Veronica, and did Aaron tried to have her killed? What is the deal with Jackie? This and many more questions are answered, all in the next episode of….Veronica Mars.