It’s been way too long since we have had the pleasure of a new episode of Veronica Mars. Unfortunately for those of us who prefer quality writing as opposed to repetitive renditions of the hits of Stevie Wonder, we had to sit tight until American Idol wound itself down to only a couple of hours a week. One of the difficulties for Veronica Mars is that it is nearly impossible to match the interest and intrigue of the Lily Kane murder now that we are in our second season. The Bus crash, the Fitzpatricks, the fall of Weevil; I guess it is OK. But really, it doesn’t matter to me because I started watching this show before I knew how great the first season was. However, now that we have taken care of Duncan and Meg, brought Wallace back home, and have Mac and Beaver hooking up, I really do believe that things will be can’t miss from here on out.In our last episode, we learned that Logan has his eyes on Hannah. I had thought that he was simply falling for another blonde as a substitute for Veronica, but we learned that Hannah is Hannah Griffith, and her father is the one who said he witnessed Logan on that bridge with Felix. He also happens to be in bed with the Fitzpatrick’s. Logan is still interested in Hannah, as evidenced by their intense smooch session at the beginning of the episode, but we can’t tell how much of that is for Hannah (who is cute), or to get at her dad. We do know that Logan wonders what her dad thinks of their relationship, and when Logan learns that Hannah’s dad hasn’t said much about it, he looks a little upset.
They’ve only just begun…
However, all of that will be coming later. This is Veronica Mars, and like most people in high school, she is dealing with constant drama. The latest thing causing a stir at Neptune is the diary of a girl named Marlena. Marlena is on the pep squad, and she harbored what was until very recently a secret crush on Madison Sinclair. I guess people weren’t calling Marlena “Lizzy” because her middle name is Beth.
So exactly what happened? Was the outing of Marlena part of the normal high school ritual of finding enjoyment in the misery of others? Well, this is Veronica Mars, so there is more to it than that. There has been a string of pizza delivery boy muggings, and one of the people who were mugged, Ryan, happened to run a chat room for gay and lesbian students at Neptune. He carried a list with him in his wallet, and since he hasn’t caught on to the idea of a thumb drive with biometric encryption, a few names got out. Since then, all of the gay students have received blackmail letters, threatening to expose them if they didn’t pay ten thousand dollars. Marlena refused to pay, and now she was exposed.
One of the things I love about Veronica is that she seems to enjoy the benefits of a free-market economy, and so once Ryan says that the gay students are willing to pay $100 each if Veronica will find the blackmailer, she takes on the case. Since the pizza boy muggings and the blackmail seemed to be related, Veronica starts by trying to find a pattern among the robberies. All of the incidents happened on the poor side of town, so the first thing is to get a list of names and addresses to pull everything together.
While Veronica is doing that, her dad is still hard at work for Terrence Long. Terrence is getting desperate because the paparazzi are waiting for him to call up Al Cowlings and make a run for it in his Bronco. Keith decides the best thing to do would be to work on the alibi for what Terrence was doing at the time of the murder. The only problem is that Terrence doesn’t remember anything from the time he left the ballpark to sometime around 11 PM. Missing six hours of your life may seem bad when you are under suspicion for murder, but sometimes it is hard to remember what you were doing on a specific day five months earlier. Go ahead and try. What were you doing at 7:03 PM on September 14th? Not so easy, and while it’s not an alibi, it’s not good enough for conviction either.
Although Logan may have been really hot for Hannah earlier, but he seems to have cooled off a little bit. As he was talking to Dickie Casablancas, he ignored Hannah in the hallway, which in high school is as good as being shot in the head (or in this case, the heart) when it comes to how much pain it causes. Hannah is devastated, but I don’t think Logan has given up that easily, and for that matter, neither has Veronica.
In her quest to make sure all of the Marys feel safe in high school and won’t be forced to run away to Vegas to become Liza Minelli impersonators, Veronica gained a new ally. The blackmailer had moved on to a Neptune cheerleader named Kylie, played by none other than Kristen Cavalleri of Laguna Beach. Veronica was really surprised to learn that Kylie was gay, because she may not have been a meat-eater, but we never expected her to be a vag-itarian, if you get what I mean. For those of you who are wondering, Kristen is OK. I personally don’t see what makes her wanted all over the country with that mannish chin of hers. Still, it was as distracting as the fact that she only possesses one facial expression and one voice inflexion. Maybe she was upset because she had to play somebody who was poor.
Kylie can’t afford to pay the blackmailer, but she probably wouldn’t have cared if he said anything, and during one of her reports for the school television news broadcast, she said that she was gay and that Marlena was her girlfriend. I am not sure what that means about all of the poetry Marlena wrote secretly lusting after Madison, but they were walking hand-in-hand in the hallways, to the thunderous applause of all of the guys in the school who were probably doing the spend the rest of the day imagining what it was like when the two of them had pillow fights in their bra and panties.
As much fun as that image sounds, Veronica was still trying to find the blackmailer. She recognized one of the names on the list of pizza delivery places as that belonging to Carmen Ruiz. If you haven’t seen season one, Carmen was blackmailed by her boyfriend to stay in a relationship because he had a video of her as she introduced her vagina to a popsicle stick while she was in the hot tub at Shelly Pomroy’s party. The incident might have scarred her for life, but people already forgot about it. Carmen looks at the list of people and tells Carmen that they are all coconuts; brown on the outside, white in the middle. It is a term that the Hispanics in school call another Hispanic if they date a white person, join the honors society, or listen to Coldplay.
Veronica asks Carmen to make a list of the all the kids who get made fun of for being coconuts while Veronica interviews a baseball player named Kelly. Kelly had been mugged and had his rims stolen, but it wasn’t the modus operandi the mugger we knew used, so Veronica had some questions for him. Taking a wallet is one thing, but stealing rims is another. That would take a crew, and some time, and by the way Kelly is answering some of these questions, it sounds a little suspicious. Earlier, Veronica heard Kelly and another baseball player making fun of Dick for hooking up with the transvestite hooker, so if this guy hates gays, needs money but is not seeing any, maybe he staged the mugging to help himself along.
I said that Logan may have cooled off to Hannah, but it appears that wasn’t exactly the case. He felt bad and went over to his house. Logan’s reasoning for treating her in the way that he did was because he was trying to protect her. All of the girls he gets close to are hurt in some way. Hannah doesn’t really believe that Logan is as notorious as he makes himself out to sound, but it doesn’t stop her from letting him in and inviting Logan to the couch. Later that evening, her dad catches them and Dr. Griffith is pretty pissed at seeing Logan there. He leaves them alone, but when he sees Logan about to head back downstairs a little later, he wants him to stay way from his daughter. Logan won’t back down of course, and decides to make threats. I know that this kid is trying to save his life, but really, why mess with the Fitzpatricks? He already pulled a piece on them at their own bar, so they have to hate him. It doesn’t take much to piss them off, so I am surprised he is still talking tough. He is either the dumbest or the most ballsy person alive for doing it though.
Keith Mars caught a break when investigating what Terrence was doing the night of the accident. After looking at some phone records and credit card statements, they found out that Terrence had been at the local casino that night. Oh, that’s why it was taking them so long; Terrence had spent the night in the most obvious place to look for him. He has such a gambling problem that he racked up millions of dollars of debts and threw a baseball game, what are the chances that he might spend some of his extra time at the casino, you know, so much time that he doesn’t even remember being there?
Although being at the Casino might not say a lot for Terrence’s ability to deal with his addiction, it should help to prove himself innocent. Casinos have so many cameras, one of them had to have tape of Terrence at the time of the bus crash. If he had made a phone call to detonate the bus in between hands of black jack, there probably is a record. Although Terrence doesn’t believe that the Casino owner will help him because he owes the guy millions of dollars, Keith knows that the casino owner would rather have somebody alive who can owe him millions than somebody in jail, which makes it hard to collect.
The casino security get Keith some pictures, but they are for before and after the time in question, which is 7:03 PM. This might help a little, but is not enough reasonable doubt to have the charges thrown out. When Keith is about to make a phone call, he learns something else very relevant to the case. A security guard tells him that the casino blocks cell phone signals within a 100-yard radius of the building to prevent cheaters. Since Terrence was in the middle of a game, with pictures to prove it at 7:01 and 7:06, he probably didn’t have a chance to leave the casino, make the phone call, and get back into the casino. And Terrence is pretty stupid, but how stupid would you have to be to make a phone call like that knowing cameras are all around?
After Carmen handed Veronica the list of kids called coconuts in the school, she decided to set her trap for the mugger. Her plan worked to perfection and they caught a freshman named Arturro, except he didn’t seem the type who could pull off an elaborate blackmail scheme. Arturro admitted to being the mugger, but he said he was trying to get into the PCH by becoming notorious. If Thumper wasn’t calling the shots on this, then somebody else had to be doing the blackmail. Veronica handed Arturro over to the police, using the “duct tape to the nearest pole” method that seems to be popular in Neptune, and decided to investigate the actual members of Ryan’s little website.
Whenever Veronica has computer problems, she goes to Mac, and when Veronica asks her to get her into the gay students’ website, Mac says that she built it, and it would be unethical to do anything with the list of users. After convincing Mac that this was the only way to find out who was the true blackmailer, Mac capitulated quicker than Google going up against China. Veronica got her list, and then informed that the blackmailer was probably one of their own.
At this point, things get a little sketchy. I am not sure what happened, but approximately five minutes are missing from the portion of Veronica Mars that was broadcast on DirecTV in Los Angeles. I haven’t bothered to look up what could have been the problem, but needless to say I may have missed a few things. Perhaps I’ll find myself a torrent and figure out what I missed, but I have been busy this weekend, so it will have to wait.
The next thing I knew, Veronica was in Kelly the baseball player’s car. Oh, that makes sense now. Kelly is a gay basher, but is secretly gay. Why does he do it? Well, this is high school, and although things have gotten better, even having sympathy for gay couples is enough to get you pounded. Veronica had wondered why he was being so defensive about what happened when he got mugged. But Kelly wasn’t blackmailer either; he was actually the victim. The reason why he staged the mugging and theft of his rims was not because people weren’t paying up when he blackmailed them, it was because he needed money because somebody had gone on to blackmail him.
Since Kelly actually went through with the blackmailers demand and mailed the money, Veronica was able to learn a little bit more about the case, like the blackmailer was calling himself Rick Santorum. If you aren’t familiar with him, he is a US Senator from Pennsylvania who compared homosexuality with bigamy, incest, and adultery. In other words, a perfect alias for somebody trying to put the fear into gay people. Veronica mails a tracking device to the post office box listed, and then proceeds to track the item to an address on Hubbel Street. From there, it’s almost too easy.
The blackmailer was none other than Kylie, our own Kristen Cavalleri, still sporting the same expression, goofy smile, and abnormally large head. If you are thinking it doesn’t make sense, don’t worry; it was a bit of a stretch. Kylie wanted to get the hell out of Neptune and with no real skills, she used blackmail. And why did she blackmail her own girlfriend? Well, Marlena didn’t really want to come out, and Kylie wanted to be able to hold hands like any other couple. Therefore, Kylie decided it was all a great cover to break the golden rule, and as soon as Marlena was out, Kylie had no problem letting the rest of the school know on air. Kylie looked like she expected Veronica to catch her and only asked that she be able to tell Marlena what happened herself. And there ends the story of Kristin Cavalleri. She was even worse than Paris Hilton’s cameo appearance, but give Kristin time, you don’t get comfortable having your face or vagina on camera overnight.
Guilty of horseface in the third degree.
So, I guess I didn’t miss too much from the blackmail story line, but I think I missed a bit of the Hannah/Logan story line. I saw a scene of Hannah checking her father’s recent phone calls and finding some drugs in his medicine cabinet. The next thing I know, Logan finds Hannah after class, and she says that he was right about her dad. I am still unsure if Logan is doing all of this because he is stone cold, but I think he may inadvertently fall for Hannah. Even Logan has to see that she is perhaps the last person in school who cares about what he has done in the past, and maybe it is just because she is young and foolish, and perhaps I am putting too much faith in penis head, but I do see a little something there.
Veronica’s car is not very reliable, so when she wanted to make sure she didn’t miss Wallace and the Neptune basketball team play an away game, Jackie offered her a ride. As she told her dad, the two of them aren’t exactly sisterhood of the traveling pants close, and in Veronica’s mind, if Terrence is guilty, she feels a lot less guilty about the whole thing. Still, her dad believes in Terrence, and Jackie appreciates everything the two of them are doing for her dad.
On the way to the game, Jackie took Veronica to her dad’s hangar where he stores all of his cars. Looking at all of the rides Jackie’s dad has stored there, it made me wonder why she thought he would be so upset about that little Porsche Boxter he didn’t want her to drive. I also wondered how he managed to avoid having to sell all of those cars when he owes millions to a casino boss. Veronica picks the Bentley Azure convertible (J-Unit tested and approved) and the two of them head to the game.
When the two of them returned, there was a little bit of trouble with the convertible top. Somehow Veronica decided that the folding mechanism in her LeBaron was similar enough to that of a Bentley, and was going to have a go at fixing it. When she looked into one of the cabinets, she found something that completely shocked her.
Veronica went home to her dad to tell him what she found. He had already taken Terrence to Sheriff Lamb’s office with the picture alibi, and when Lamb wasn’t so receptive, Keith played the audio of Lamb basically blackmailing Terrence about the charges. I thought the prospect of Lamb losing his job would have been enough of a deterrent to shut him up, but we all know that Terrence is losing more bets than he is winning, and we saw how awful Keith was when he was gambling, so it should be no surprise that Lamb called their bluff. The loss of his civil-servant job and non-celebrity lifestyle was not going to hurt him that much; Terrence still had everything to lose.
So Keith struck out, but how about Veronica? What did she find? Earlier, Dick Casablancas called her rich dude kryptonite. Whenever she comes in contact with a rich dude, bad shit happens to them. There was Logan, Duncan, Troy, Dick’s dad, and now we could add Terrence. Veronica saw his hangar, and in less than half a day, she managed to find explosives and detonators hidden there. Maybe Keith’s hunch about Terrence’s innocence wasn’t so great after all.
Considering the hiatus, I thought this was a good episode. Our pal from Laguna Beach wasn’t that distracting, and although she generated about as much interest for Veronica Mars as she did for her own show on UPN, she had plenty of inside jokes to keep people who cared giggling. As for the rest, I think that clearly the explosives were planted in Terrence’s hangar, or he’ll at least have a decent excuse to put them there. Quite obviously, the security around the place isn’t that great if Jackie is sneaking off with expensive cars without her dad’s knowledge. I am not dying to figure out what happened with the bus crash like I was dying to figure out who killed Lily Kane, but the Logan Echolls side murder mystery is a nice little addendum. He and Hannah can’t last long, but it will be interesting to see what breaks them up.
What did you think of the episode? Is Terrence guilty? Does Logan love Hannah? Is Veronica going to find another boyfriend now that the rich dudes know she is kryptonite?