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For all of the shit that people give UPN, myself included, I have to say that it has been home to some of my favorite television shows. Granted, I didn’t really pat attention to it until they landed the final seasons of Buffy, and since then my only reason for watching it prior to four months ago was America’s Next Top Model. Then I found Veronica Mars, and I could not be happier. The town of Neptune is still reeling from the news last week that Terrence Cook is now being investigated as the person behind the fiery bus crash. I am sure that everybody wants to see whoever did this get what they deserve, but considering that it was Sheriff Lamb, perhaps the most incompetent sheriff in TV history not named Rosco P. Coltrane, that was hot on tail, that almost assured Terrence of his innocence; he was just going to have to find somebody smarter than Don Lamb to help him prove it. Since that requirement only eliminates about three people in town, I would have to say that Terrence has a fighting chance.Oh yes, it’s Winter Carnival time in Neptune. Now for me, and many people I know, Winter Carnival means snow sculptures, keg jumps, and naked polar bear swims in the local pond. In Neptune, it’s deciding whether you should spend the money for the class trip to go to Catalina or Magic Mountain. Winter Carnival central is Mrs. Hauser’s class. Mrs. Hauser is often complaining how awful it is to have to teach, and is often wondering when her ship will come in. From past episodes, I think she is just horny, and she shouldn’t complain about having to take care of awful kids, because her kid is perhaps the worst of them all.
There are some joys to teaching at Neptune, like Madison Sinclair, one of the stalwarts of the Student Council, who is busy preparing some of the signs for Winter Carnival, although she is having a bit of trouble. Mrs. Hauser’s student aid, JB, is helping Madison and he is a little messy with the glue. This leads Madison to exclaim “Do I look like I enjoy being covered in white goo?”, which gets everybody in the room laughing. But come on Madison, you used to go out Dick Casablancas, so we already assumed you like to be covered in white goo, because Dick’s sole purpose in life appears to be covering as many things with his goo as possible.
Although Madison may be having a hard day, it’s nothing compared to poor Jackie Cook. We used to sort of hate Jackie when it looked like she was using Wallace, but recently, it seems that she has actually sort of fallen for the good guy. Although she isn’t the wealthiest 09er, her dad might be the most famous now that Aaron Echolls is waiting to stand trial for murder. BTW, I know they were trying to allude that he might not be prosecuted for the Lily Kane murder since Logan destroyed evidence, but there are enough charges stemming from his run in with Veronica and Keith that he would be put away for a long time, likely longer than the series would air. I would suggest one nice twist would be for the owner of the home that Aaron Echolls broke into to file a civil suit making Logan poor, but there is already too much that story line has to juggle as it is now.
Anyway, Jackie is getting harassed at school, and even her friends tell her that she doesn’t have to show up, and she certainly shouldn’t show up at for winter carnival. I mean, what does the child of an alleged murderer wear to such an even anyway? Jackie insists that she needs to go. It is, after all, her senior trip as well, and she did make a promise to the French club. And we know what happens when you piss of the French club. Mimes, cheap champagne, stale brie – it’s just too awful to think about.
Veronica is working the FBLA (that’s Future Business Leaders of America) booth making snow cones. I have to wonder why she is still with this group. Wasn’t her main interest in the club the proximity to one Duncan Kane? Now that he is nowhere to be found, what is she staying there for? I hope it’s for that college application (which she should begin working on by the way) and not Logan or Dick. Speaking of Logan, he is lurking by the FBLA booth doing his normal “please look at me” pose, he must have learned from his old girlfriend Caitlin Ford. It would be so much easier for me to buy Logan as a bad ass if he wasn’t prancing around matching his argyle sweater to his jacket. He does, however, get a good dig at Veronica when she asks “What’s your poison?” and he responds “An emotionally unavailable woman”. I guess that’s why he loves Veronica so much; she’s just like his mother in that way.
There are plenty of other things to see at the carnival, however. For instance, there is Madison’s table, where they are selling Pep Squad pies. They seem like they are doing a pretty brisk business, which makes me what there secret ingredient is. Perhaps lemon zest, some extra nutmeg, or a picture of some Pi-Delta-Pi beaver. We also see the new and improved Eli Navarro. Weevil is starting to let his hair grow back, perhaps because he is not in the gang anymore, and he decided to bring his little niece around. And there is Logan, now with Dick, spraying some sort of liquid into a clown’s mouth. Dick is very proud of himself, but he clearly has practiced shooting into Logan’s mouth, so as long as he is using both hands, this carnival game should be easy.
Perhaps the cutest sight of the evening was that Beaver had a new girl. Yes, remember back when Cassidy was starting his own business and he needed a little help with the graphic design? He had Mac help him, and she was completely smitten. She dropped a few hints, and it looks like he finally did something about it. Who knows if they will last, but after dealing with so many bad relationships on this show, you can’t help but love these two. They were holding hands, and looked so very nervous, yet so very happy to be together. Kudos to them.
What was not so pretty at the carnival were the streakers. Yes, the boys of the Triton always streak the Carnival, and it’ California, so the chance of shrinkage is, well, very small. The streakers caught the attention of Mrs. Hauser, who was busy collecting the money. She gave the cash box to Veronica, who put it in a cabinet behind her booth. Veronica is a smart girl, but she forgot to check what was on the other side of the cabinet, which turned out to be another sliding door. When the streaking was over and Mrs. Hauser needed the money, it was nowhere to be found. The bad news is that in less than three minutes, Veronica Mars lost the senior trip money. The good news, as Veronica said, is that she set a new record!
Since Veronica is a had the money last, Mrs. Hauser wants to search her, even though we all know Veronica is tiny and there really isn’t any place to hide a money container the size of a lunch box. Mrs. Hauser looks at Jackie kind of suspiciously as well. Her dad is an alleged murderer, and standing while black is, or might as well be, a crime in some parts of town. Madison, of course, was freaking out. She had her heart set on going to Catalina Island, and at this rate, they won’t be able to afford Chuck E. Cheese. Veronica tells Principal Clemmons that he should guard the exits and put the metal detectors there to check for the box. She even checks the backpack of Weevil’s niece, Ophelia and finds nothing.
Veronica may be stumped but Logan, on the other hand, is looking to get over his problem of emotionally distant girls, and sets his sights on another blonde. This one is working the game where you try to catapult a toy frog onto a rotating lily pad. The girl’s name is Hannah, played by Jessy Schram, who I recognize from another show I started watching this year, Medium. Hey, I’m a sucker for the paranormal, so sue me. Logan does have a penis head, but although he is a little floppy above the shoulders, he can pour on the charm with the best of them, and it’s beginning to work on Hannah.
The mystery of Winter Carnival is starting to get heated up, much like the mystery of who caused the bus crash. Like I said before, Terrence Cook needs help making a case against the police, and there is nobody in town better at opposing Sheriff Lamb than Keith Mars. When Keith learns that Terrence wants his help, it is a dream come true. Terrence says that the Sheriff is after him because Terrence was stumping for Woody Goodman and his initiative to incorporate Neptune, which would have left Sheriff lamb handing out speeding tickets and not much of anything else. The main evidence they have against Terrence is that a cell phone detonated the bomb on the bus. Terrence was signing phones and t-shirts and everything in between during the visit to the ballpark that fateful day. Lamb thinks that Terrence might have planted the cell phone on one of the kids then, and he is going from there.
I am pretty sure that Keith knows that he can take care of this case pretty easily, and he would love to help his idol, but Keith doesn’t want to take on a case that will have so much emotional meaning for him if Terrence isn’t going to be completely upfront with him. Keith gives him plenty of chances to come clean first with a picture of Ms. Dumas (Leslie) played by Naima Mora. Terrence first lied, but then said that Ms. Dumas told his fiancé about their relationship. I guess that’s being honest, but to tell you the truth, it doesn’t help her case.
Since there was a lock on the moneybox, Veronica told the principal to make sure the janitor closet was locked. If anybody was going to get the money out of the school, they would probably remove it from the box first. Then Veronica heard that Jackie had taken a screwdriver, and decided to follow her into the bathroom. There was the scraping of some metal, and when Veronica asked if there was something wrong, Jackie said she needed a screwdriver to get into her bathing suit. I’m not down with all of the latest bathing suit technology, but I wasn’t sure what part of a bathing suit required a screwdriver to get on. Then again, if I had some pictures of the whole thing, I could probably put them on the Internet and sell them. When Jackie comes out, it wasn’t her bathing suit (very cute, is it Roxy?) that needed the screwdriver, but the message on the door that described her in some unflattering ways. Without a sharpie, Jackie could only scrawl out the name.
While this moment didn’t necessarily make Veronica and Jackie friends, Veronica did feel she should give her some advice. After learning that Jackie got into her swimsuit because she was working the dunk tank, Veronica said that it’s not really worth trying to prove anything to these people. If there is anybody who knows about that, it is Veronica. But Jackie says that just because people think the worst of her dad doesn’t mean she has to take it lying down, and Veronica can relate to those feelings even more.
Now Jackie went to the dunk tank, and I know it’s tough when everybody hates you, but things could be worse. She’s still a very attractive girl, and although her boyfriend is playing a little hard to get, how bad can the dunk tank be? It was 86 in Los Angeles this week, and while that may sound awesome to some of you freezing your asses off, it is sort of difficult to live with. The AC went off in the TVgasm offices, and I could have appreciated a nice dip, even if people were yelling insults at me.
One person Jackie probably didn’t expect at the dunk tank was Wallace, and although he looked like he was ready to mess around, he purposely through the balls out of the way so they wouldn’t hit her. His new girl, who is sort of bland, didn’t seem to mind, but the people organizing the event took him away so the lynch mob could get back to making quick judgments about stories they didn’t know the end to. You would think after the Lily Kane thing, people would understand it takes a while for these things to play out. And again, God knows Sheriff Lamb wouldn’t be the one to break the case.
Despite all of the nastiness with Jackie, there is still love in the air. Dick sees that Beaver is with Mac, and can’t understand why his brother would care for a girl’s intellect, charm, and humor over a size two waist, blonde hair, and absence of tan lines. Therefore, he has to call out the Beaver, for not only being a Virgin, but for getting nervous and having sweaty palms (better than hairy palms, don’t you think?). Mac doesn’t care, but Beaver is mortified. It looked like he wanted to punch Dick in the face, but his brother is like twice his size, so he just went away.
Logan is having a little bit more luck. I would think that Hannah would have been put off by those beady eyes of his and that early Pleistocene brow, but then again, there is that sweater. I would love to dress like Logan, but clearly I am not enough of a pompous douchebag to do that. But give me time, there is hope! Like I said, Logan is having good luck with Hannah, and is actually doing some cute things with her. He got her away from her friends so he could talk to her and buy her a slushy, and nothing says “I love you” more than a blue tongue. Or was that nothing says “meningitis” like a blue tongue? Whatever the case, if Logan is actually happy with this girl, more power to him. BTW, good job to the writers for working some Hamlet humor in there. Maybe a little King Lear next time?
When the carnival started, Veronica was upset that she appeared to be the only non-couple there, but now she was focused on getting the money back. She tried emptying the ball pit that all of the kids were playing in, but that produced nothing. In fact, there was no real break in the case until Tonya Flynn revealed she had recording for the video yearbook, and might have caught some people on tape. Clemmons gets all the people who were on the tape in his office, but there was no decisive evidence, although Mrs. Hauser did get another chance at accusing Jackie.
Things might look tough, but honestly, how long do you think it is going to take before Veronica gets a break in the case? She realized that the janitor closet wasn’t the only place to get tools to break the lock. There was also the shop class, and while that may have pointed directly at Weevil, Veronica learned that everybody in that class has a set of keys and get in there after hours. Clemmons gets his bolt cutters, and sure enough he finds the culprit. Veronica mentioned that there was a $50 bill with the name “Nancy” and a phone number on it, and sure enough it was in there. The locker belonged to none other than Eduardo Orozco, better known as Thumper to the rest of us, and almost immediately I believed that it had to be Weevil. Thumper admitted he isn’t a smart guy, and I don’t think he could pull it off. Weevil is smart, and he has the added element that he needs some revenge. Then again, he didn’t have the opportunity
Thumper gets picked up by the police. There was cash, and a large bag of drugs in his locker, so he might be looking at some time locked down. That wasn’t the end of it for Veronica, however. She saw that there was a paddle that was confiscated from the locker as well, and it had some numbers on it. She snuck into Clemmons’ office, got the paddle, and made a copy of the numbers. She saw that Mrs. Hauser’s latest test was still on the copier, and with a little smirk on her face, she knew that she was going to have a lot of fun at Mrs. Hauser’s expense, and Jackie, who was now finished with her dunking duty, just happened to walk by and come along for the ride.
Veronica starts off very simple. First, she simply asks Mrs. Hauser to apologize. Mrs. Hauser does so reluctantly, and then Veronica gets to her real point. She shows Mrs. Hauser the health test and told her she found it in the copier. When Mrs. Hauser asked her where she got it, Veronica looked sort of confused because she just said “in the copy machine”, but that was impossible, because the only person who had access to the copy machine was her student aide, JB, and why would he ever do a thing like that?
The show is not over for Veronica, however. JB probably thought he could just deny everything and get away with it, but Veronica already knows how it went down. Last year, Veronica was trying to clear her name from a fraudulent ID card scandal, and took some picture of the Triton Secret Society membership ritual. JB was a Triton, so after he streaked, there was a time when there was enough confusion for him to sneak in Mrs. Hauser’s office, get the tests, make the copies, and leave. JB still thinks he can get out of it by lying, but Veronica tells him that since Duncan is gone, she is under no obligation to keep the Triton’s secret and with that, JB goes in and confesses.
But wait! We aren’t done there. While JB is confessing, Veronica notices that there is a footprint on the floor. It’s a heel, but not stylish enough to be a stiletto that one of the girls in school would wear. No, instead this one had a comfort sole and a nice, sensible heel. Like one that a teacher would wear. Veronica looks up, checks the ceiling tile, and sure enough, there is a wad of money there. But who would hide it in Mrs. Hauser’s room? Judging by the glitter on her feet, Mrs. Hauser has no problem doing it herself. Even if you don’t appreciate Veronica Mars, you have to admit, watching her work is a lot of fun.
As the Carnival is winding down, it is time for everybody to get their priorities in order, and for Dick Casablancas, that means he wants to find a place to put his penis, preferably nice and warm, preferably with some nipples nearby for him to play with. Madison denies him, but he soon finds something even better. There is a MILF-looking woman waiting to pick up her child, and she likes younger men. Since Dick has been trying to mount Kendall for a long time now, a hot trophy wife is his dream. But let’s be honest, this woman Dick was hot for was kind of mannish, like if Alanis Morissette was a man, and then dressed up in drag
You know what, there was a good reason that the woman looked mannish, because it was a man. After he was embarrassed, Beaver needed a way to get back at his brother. Knowing he wanted Kendall, Beaver called up an escort, Bambi Gasm. Actually, since the escort was a transvestite, you called call her TV Gasm! Once frowned upon sexual proclivities and television banter, that’s us in a nutshell. But the important part was that Beaver stood up to his brother, and when Dick went to kick the living shit out of him (you ever wondered why nobody kicked the dying or diseased shit out of anybody?), Beaver reminded him about Sally. I have watched season one on DVD twice in the last three months, but I have no clue about that one, so if you know, help me out.
Once again, we have to look at Logan for success. He and Hannah had a great time, and he even snuck a kiss out of her. She said that she didn’t date, but was waiting for somebody special, and I wonder if she found it in Logan. Then Hannah’s dad picked her up. It turned out that she was the daughter of that doctor who fingered Logan for Felix’s murder and was in bed with the Fitzpatricks. And Logan knew exactly what he is doing. Well played, Mr. Echolls. I didn’t give you nearly the credit that you deserve. I guess there is enough blood running up past your shoulders after all.
With all of the mysteries solved, we just had one more left. Would Keith take on Terrence’s case? At first, it didn’t look like it was going to happen. After Terrence told one story about Ms. Dumas, Keith played the tape that linked Terrence to betting on baseball. He then admitted that one of the Fitzpatrick’s was over and Leslie heard the whole conversation. Again, this is actually giving him motive, but Keith needs to know the truth, not just as a PI, but as a fan that was devoted to Terrence.
You could tell that Keith’s heart was breaking the whole time he had to go through this, and the last bit of faith he had in his hero went out the window when Terrence admitted that he threw a game. It was one time in the playoffs, and he thought they would always get back. Ironically, Keith almost went to that game, but Veronica had the chicken pox. He had blamed himself for not being there to support the team. Now he learns this, and he can barely stomach it. Terrence is about to take cab home when Keith stops him. He will take on the case, because although there will be no purity of sport for Terrence anymore, there could be some purity of heart left, and he still believes that Terrence Cook would just not have it in him to blow up a bus full of kids.
OK, I know I said that the mystery was over, but the next day, Veronica sees Weevil rolling to school in a new car. I’m not up on my vintage automobiles, but it looked like maybe a 1966 impala, candy apple green. Veronica knows that Weevil was the one who took the money and planted evidence on Weevil, she had made up the thing about the $50 bill and the name Nancy being Weevil. What was bothering her was that she didn’t know how Weevil got the money out.
Well that was simple. Weevil knew that Veronica would be looking for it. He hid it in his niece’s backpack, then had her drop it off in the ball pit. After Veronica came looking and searched Ophelia’s bag, Weevil had her go back in the ball pit and bring it back. He set up Thumper just for kicks. Why didn’t Veronica bust Weevil? Well it wasn’t undying love or red hot lust that did it for her, but rather the look on Madison Sinclair’s face when she finds out they only have enough money to go to Magic Mountain.
This was another great episode in my mind. Weevil got a little payback, and Logan’s experience with Hannah meant we got just enough of the Fitzpatrick details to keep us glued. Keith will be taking on the bus crash case for Terrence, meaning there should be plenty of details coming out in the next few weeks. And once again, who can forget the greatness of Neptune’s new power couple, Cassidy and Mac?
What did you think of the episode? Will Weevil get more revenge on his ex-gang members? Will Logan pay the price for getting close to somebody close to the Fitzpatricks? Will single girls Veronica and Jackie start hanging out more? How many weeks before Keith proves Terrence innocent?