Has anybody else felt that this season of Veronica Mars was slightly different from the previous seasons? I still love the show, but something was, how do you say it? Oh yes. Something was different. What we had in seasons one and two were two huge mysteries that had to be solved. First is was the murder of Lilly Kane, and then it was the whole “who blew up the schoolbus” thing. Both of these mysteries really floored us with intrigue. This year, things are different. I agree completely that the show should be easier for the casual fan to come and go, and again, I’m not saying it is bad. Just…different. I think part of the problem was that we had to spend a couple of episodes tying up loose ends from season two before we could really start to build up some of those great Veronica Mars conspiracy theories we have become so accustomed to and I started to get that feeling this week. Fresh from her lesson in humility, Veronica Mars was once again perfect in life, love, and private investigations.Like I’ve said before, I was really interested to see what the producers would do now that all of the kids were in college. Basically, college turned into thirteenth grade, which kind of bugged me because the way they talked about Hearst last year was like it was a liberal arts beacon shining out through the dark abyss of consumerist, pop-culturist, slackerist California. Veronica Mars would no longer be like a vox clamantis in deserto. She would be among many other smart, mature, driven people like herself. That may be true, but for the most part Veronica Mars is still as much of an outcast as she was in high school.
OK, that’s not totally true, because Mac + Wallace + Piz and of course, the boyfriend, are more of a social circle than she had through a good portion of high school, but for the most part Veronica deals with many of the same types of idiots she has dealt with before she graduated. She just pays a lot more to be in their company these days. As we open the episode, Veronica is contemplating the meaning of football as we watch some poor bastard in the background doing sets of bleachers. Normally, a football player doing bleachers wouldn’t be all that out of the ordinary. You see, the amount of time each week athletes are allowed to practice is regulated, so for a coach to be working one player like this means he either has to be very good or very bad. However, that is just me talking college football, and doesn’t really have any bearing on the episode. Or does it?
Last week, Veronica’s work on exposing the pot-growing underground that lurks beneath the seemingly mundane world of Hearst sorority life was big news, but now the front page involves a different story. A bunch of girls went to a football game and took off their tops. Normally, I am in the business of encouraging women (as long as they are of proper age) to take off their tops as often as possible, but this was part of a protest. And for those of you who say “Who cares if it is a protest, that still means that there are boobies” have never tried to show up at a rally of people getting naked to protest fur. Free boobies may be nice but it’s, uh, it’s not like I would know anything about that!
Anyway, some girls from the Lilith House, which besides being the number one consumer of soy milk and wheat germ in all of Neptune is an organization for the empowerment of women and women’s issues, decided to take their tops off and unfurl a banner saying “We go to Hearst. Go ahead and rape us.” to protest the perceived lack of action regarding the serial rapist on campus. And while the Lilith house might be advocating chemical castration for all men who aren’t drama, art history, or French lit majors, I am sure that we could find a happy medium somewhere, don’t you think?
Veronica is interested in solving this rape case, but it seems like she has other needs that are more important to her right now. For instance, she has this boyfriend who can rock her world in the bed, but she believes a relationship should be more than an evening of moaning several times a week. She has to spend so much effort keeping their relationship hidden from her dad, so she would like to know that Logan is putting as much effort into the relationship as she is. And you know that whenever girls talk about putting effort into their relationships, they really just want to see how many events their boyfriends will go to even when they are completely uninterested, just to show their sweetie pie just how much they love. And here’s a hint for you girls out there. Most guys will protest incessantly, but as long as you give us NFL Sundays, March Madness, and 24 (you better add ANTM for me), we’ll sit with you through entire days of Lifetime Movie Network marathons as long as you don’t get too crazy on us.
Logan hasn’t exactly been a bad boyfriend, but he isn’t going out of his way to spend time with Veronica either, and although she might be as level-headed as anybody on this planet, we do see just the tiniest bit of suspicion start to rear it’s head when these two girls pass Logan and ask him if he’s going to a party. He tries to explain that they are just girls from his weightlifting class, as if that is going to smooth anything over. Veronica doesn’t seem to care, but she does wish that he would choose a poetry reading or art exhibit over a party every now and then. Of course, the chances of that happening are about the same as seeing Ann Coulter accepting a lifetime achievement award at a National Organization for Women convention, so I would suggest that Veronica not hold her breath.
There was some scene where a football player lost something, but for now, there is something much more important that we should discuss. Eli “Weevil” Navarro. I’ve always liked Weevil, not just because he was one of the only people who would stand up to anybody in Neptune no matter how rich they were, but because he was a real capitalist. If he saw that there was a business opportunity, he took it upon himself to take advantage of it. Yes, some of these business opportunities were dangerously on the border of racketeering, but he always stuck by his principles, even when it meant getting kicked out of the bike gang he led, the PCHers. And even after the PCHers left him in the lurch, he went back to help them when they were getting pushed around by the Fitzpatricks.
Perhaps the best part about Weevil is his loyalty, but that loyalty got him arrested on murder charges during his own graduation. We haven’t seen Weevil until Veronica sees that he is working at a car wash. At the car wash yeah! Unfortunately for Weevil, it “wasn’t as much fun as the song suggested”. So what happened to the murder charge? If you don’t remember what happened to Thumper, read the recap, buy I’m guessing with no body and Weevil’s only involvement in the murder being direct only in an indirect sort of way, he was able to get a plea bargain down to assault. He’s on probation now, but needs to have a full-time job in order to stay out of prison. However, he’s going through jobs and annoying bosses faster than a pothead through a bag of cheetos , which means he’ll be going back to prison soon.
Veronica was interested in Weevil’s problem, but she had her own problem to deal with. The Dean of Hearst College called her in for a meeting, and for the majority of the people on campus , they don’t have a need to see the Dean ever. Continuing the tradition of pulling out some of our favorite love to hate on their acting talent actors from the 80s from the casting asses of Hollywood, we see that the Dean is none other than Ed Begley Jr, the pride of Van Nuys, CA. What is the Dean’s problem with Veronica? In her exposé on the horticultural efforts going on at ZTB, she mentioned that there was a botany professor that was supplying the seeds. Dean O’Dell wants Veronica to name her source so he can get the botany prof. Veronica doesn’t want to give up her source, and although he can’t send her to jail, she will be expelled if she decides not to help.
So, Veronica has a relationship coming apart, a friend who needs a decent job, and a threat of being expelled on her plate. That would be enough for most genius adolescent crime-stoppers to deal with in one episode, but Veronica Mars is a much better than average. She needs to have at least one multi-layered mystery to add to all of this as well. Enter Piz. No, Piz didn’t lose all of his stuff again, but during the course of trying to convince the program director at the student radio station, Trish, that he needs his own show, he came across a person that needs help. Yes, it was that football player that we saw earlier. The football player is Kurt, and he lost his playbook.
Although Hearst looks like it would be a Division II school at best, they apparently put a lot of effort into their athletics. The football team gets a playbook every week, which outlines the game plan for the upcoming week. He needs to hand in his playbook at the end of the week or he’ll lose his athletic scholarship. Kurt used to be a star, but he tore his ACL and his position coach thinks that he is simply a waste of a scholarship. For those of you not up on college athletics, teams are limited in the number of scholarships they can give out, which nominally has the effect of leveling the playing field between the smaller schools and bigger schools for attracting players. If a player is injured, it is kind of bad form to yank their scholarship(it actually might be illegal) if they are trying to get back on the field, but Kurt is no longer a favorite, so he feels like he is getting the shaft.
Veronica asks Kurt to trace his steps and the first thing he did was go to an art show with Trish, his girlfriend. I thought Veronica was going to stop and ask Trish how she got her meat head to go to art shows when Veronica couldn’t get her meat head to go to any, but she just let Kurt continue. Kurt’s night ended with a thrilling round of Guitar Hero with his friend Popovich, another wide receiver and Kurt’s best friend on the team. I would normally make a joke about the fact that Kurt and his best friend, one with a girlfriend and the other probably not lacking in the ability to find one, spent a good portion of the evening playing a game with themselves involving stroking and strumming, but Guitar Hero is a ton of fun and so will be exempt from such jokes. But that was the end of Kurt’s night. It wasn’t much to start off with, but we’ve all seen Veronica do much more with much less, so none of us were really worried for Kurt.
As Veronica is walking to her car to go back home, she runs into Dick Casablancas. She never really likes running into Dick as being in his presence for too long can probably actually lower your IQ, but this time it was worse because Dick was supposed to be in class with Logan. Dick said that class was cancelled because the class was a walk, i.e. the professor didn’t show up in the first five minutes, meaning class was cancelled. Did this every work for anybody else at their school? I feel like if my professor never showed up, the closest I got to getting out of class was trying to catch up on the reading I should have done for my next class. The problem with Dick skipping class is that Veronica expects Logan to want to spend all of his extra time with her, even if it just means he wants a booty call.
When Veronica got home, it looked like she was going to take care of at least one of her problems right away. She asked her dad to hire Weevil as his secretary. Although Keith says that Eli is not exactly secretary material, we all know that, despite finishing high school on the six (seven?) year plan, he is a pretty smart guy. He may have needed extra help in algebra, but he was always very street savvy, and PI work requires observation skills that aren’t just taught in high school. Weevil comes to work the next day, and after a little patronizing talk from Keith about knowing how to work a camera, he gets his first assignment. A shoe warehouse is suspecting that the security guard is stealing from them, and Eli is going to be on a stakeout, Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez optional, of course.
Veronica’s day started with an attempt to infiltrate the athletic department. Her first thought about getting the playbook back was to print out another copy, but he can’t just take a playbook from one of his buddies and head on over to Kinko’s to make a copy. Each player has a serial number on their playbook and it changes each week. It occurs to me that the people doing security for Hearst’s football plays should probably take over airport screenings, what with their insane security and everything. Hopefully, their first reform will be making sure everybody and I mean EVERYBODY has proper fitting pants. Whenever I go through security, I always wonder if perhaps the NSA workers would have an easier time keeping us safe if they didn’t have to spend so much time picking the wedgies out of their asses. I really think their needs to be some sort of Congressional sub-committee to look into this.
In order to get into the locker room, Veronica dressed up as a field hockey player, and feigned an injury to get into the trainer’s room unnoticed. I applaud the writers for coming up with a way to put Kristen Bell in a short skirt with high socks, by the way. Once she gets inside, Veronica sees that the football team is having a team meeting. She sneaks into the football coach’s office, finds the correct playbook stored on the hard drive, and prints it out. The plan was going perfectly until we noticed that the printer was taking so long, Veronica started to worry about how long that meeting was going to take. Before more than a couple of pages come out, the receiver’s coach comes in. Veronica tries to hide under his desk, but when coach notices that the printer is running and goes to sit down at his desk, Veronica is forced to reveal herself.
In high school, Veronica could get herself out of these situations with no problem, and I thought she did once again when she said that it was part of her sorority hazing to steal some jocks. Instead of letting her go and wondering how the hell she got there, they send her to Dean O’Dell’s office. He sort of wonders why Veronica was trying to steal jocks, but he is more interested in getting that name. He threatens once again to expel Veronica, but once again she won’t give up the information. Dean O’Dell tries to play hardball, but he is having a little problem of his own.
The writers of the Hearst Free Press, mainly women, mainly from Lilith house, are upset that the publishers of the Hearst Lampoon Humor magazine are allowed to publish their “misogynistic rag”. The label comes after they made fun of the Lilith protest in the Free Press. This time, the picture is full of guys with their tops off and a banner that says “NO THANKS. Except maybe the blonde in the middle”. The blonde in the middle was left in there, and her name is Claire. The Lilith Girls call it hate speech, while the Lampoon guys are calling it free speech. Dean O’Dell brought these two to discuss what happened to his car. Somebody damaged his vintage Volvo to the tune of four large using some spray paint and a baseball bat. The girls deny they did it, and the Lampoon staffers agree, saying “Where would militant feminists get a softball bat?”. I laughed, but then thought “What a small minded joke, preying on stereotypes like that”. Besides, we know that if a she did it, it was probably a field hockey stick.
Veronica’s next move was to find Mac, but she found out that Mac and Parker went to work out. Work out what? A math problem? No, it looks like they actually went to the gym. It’s not really that big of a deal because Veronica still needs to talk to Kurt and Trish. When the three of them get to Kurt’s room, he sees that Trish’s old boyfriend has left a fairly creepy portrait of Trish on her bed. The painting itself isn’t bad, but the fact that he is not over Trish when they went out so long ago and the fact that he can access her room is a little disturbing. However, if the old boyfriend (Larry) is still hung up on Trish, maybe he was the one that stole the playbook?
After a brief visit with Larry, Veronica decides that it couldn’t have been him. When she saw him, he was covered in paint, and everything he touched was stained in paint. Kurt’s bag wasn’t stained with paint, but when Veronica inspected it, some popcorn did come out. Seems like nothing out of the ordinary, right? Well, if you remember back to Kurt’s story about the night he lost his playbook, his Guitar Hero session was interrupted by some cheerleaders with popcorn. Popcorn for Popovich. But would Pop really steal Kurt’s playbook? As a walk-on, he could have really used that scholarship that belonged to Kurt, but he was also Kurt’s best friend? Would he really do that?
To see if Kurt is the culprit, Veronica decides to send a little blackmail e-mail to him, saying “I know what you’ve done” with a time and place to meet. While she waited for a response, she got a call from Logan. She confronted him earlier about the class that was cancelled, and wondered why he didn’t call. Logan believed that he was being respectful by not calling her for a booty call, and besides, the professor was only one minute late. Dick’s idea of a long time was kind of off(just ask Madison Sinclair!) and he didn’t do anything wrong. To make it up to her, Logan said he would visit her while she was working, which is a nice gesture, but as all guys know by now, it is probably a good idea to have some sort of floral arrangement or sugary treat to further distract the missus from your negligence.
Anyway, Logan didn’t phone to say “I’ll be there in five minutes”, but to say “I’m not going to make it.” However, there were a lot of noises and voices in the background, and Veronica just HAD to know what Logan was doing. Having previously turned on the GPS function in Logan’s phone, she tracked him down to a dorm on campus. There she caught Logan having fun at an impromptu Casino. Logan, who had just lost a bunch of money, saw Veronica and knew he was really “in the toilet” now.
I have railed on Logan for being a jerk and I think he was kind of a jerk to blow Veronica off yet again, but Veronica is giving Logan an excuse to sneak off when she decides to go all psycho-bitch and track him down. Guys like their privacy, and a snooping girlfriend pisses them off more than anything else. Maybe I am just saying this because I am a guy, but I have to side with Logan on this one. If Veronica can’t trust him when he’s alone, they are not meant to be together. She may be trying to protect herself from getting hurt, but that also means she’s going to keep others from ever really getting to know her. Did Logan and Veronica just break up?
So, Veronica is about to get expelled, just broke up with her boyfriend, and is no closer to getting his playbook back. At least Weevil was doing a good job working for her father. Yes, that’s right, Weevil is doing a great job working for her father. In his first assignment at the shoe warehouse, the owner said he thought it was the guard, but Weevil thought it was the truck driver. The security guard did nothing but read comics and he drove a VW bug. In other words, he’s a geek that has no way of even transporting the goods if he did steal them. The truck driver, while he came with a good track record, was a different story. He picked up a heroin habit and Weevil noticed that some of the boxes he was taking off of the truck looked like they were empty. After looking at the pictures, Keith agrees with Weevil and gives him another assignment.
Assignment two is another stakeout. The parents of a man who was killed in a car accident is worried their daughter-in-law is abusing their grandson. Weevil did a good job figuring out that the person abusing the child was the new boyfriend, but instead of telling the police, decided to get a little justice on his own. The grandparents were hoping to build a case to get sole custody, but when it came out that they hired an investigator who couldn’t keep anything private, they complained. Weevil needs the work, but so does Keith. Veronica asks her dad if she can tell Weevil the bad news, which is very good of her to do. Weevil is upset, and I am almost waiting for Veronica to recommend him to Vinny Van Lowe, but that doesn’t happen.
That was all really sad, but Weevil is resourceful and I know that he’ll figure something out. Besides, Veronica is getting closer to finding Kurt’s playbook. Popovich came just like he was instructed, and after a little bit of questioning admits that he took it, and he still has it. Yes! Case closed! Score another victory for Veronica Mars! Or not! Popovich pulls something out of his bag, but it was homework! With all of these dead ends, she tries to figure out who else could have a motive. The next most-likely subject? Trish.
Wait, why would Kurt’s own girlfriend steal his playbook? Well, Kurt’s girlfriend hated the fact that Kurt gave up so much for the team, but was getting nothing back in return. Veronica decided to tell Trish that Kurt gave himself up and was getting kicked off, knowing Trish would feel guilty, get the book and then give it back to Kurt. Veronica gave her thirty minutes to find the book, then went to meet her in her room. Veronica got to Trish’s room, and although she tore it apart looking for the playbook, she wasn’t able to find it. She admits to taking it, but now she doesn’t know where it is, but Veronica does.
Remember our pal Larry? The one with access to Trish’s room? He had the playbook, but he didn’t ever have to touch the bag, meaning that there was no paint evidence on it. Kurt, Trish, and Veronica head to Larry’s room, and the playbook is there, but what the hell was his motive? Well, he did still hate Kurt, but the real reason was to bet on football. Veronica saw Larry’s roommate at the fake gambling place where she caught Logan and overheard him asking for the odds on the upcoming game vs. Sonoma State. They gave the playbook to the opposing team and placed all the bets that Hearst would lose. Now comes a real dilemma. Does Kurt pretend nothing happened and hand in his playbook like always, or does he admit what happened, perhaps save the game for his team, but risk losing his scholarship. Trish desperately wants Kurt to not say anything, but even after everything that happened to him, Kurt won’t do anything to hurt his team or his teammates.
One mystery solved, Veronica then moves on to another problem. She got Weevil to fix the Dean’s car for half price, hoping that a good deal on the repair would get him off of his back, but when she picks up the car, she actually solves three problems. Weevil did the work on the Dean’s car at his uncle’s shop, and Veronica told the Dean the repairs were free if she gave this guy she knows a maintenance job. That guy, of course, was Weevil, who may not like being a laborer, but is good at it, and for now it will keep him out of jail until his probation is over.
So, what were the other mysteries? Well, Weevil found a Transplants CD inside the Volvo. At first I thought, “A ha, the Dean listens to the transplants. The only reason he wants the Botany professor’s name is so he can grow his own pot plants!”. And I was nowhere even close to being correct. The actual answer? Veronica remembered seeing a picture of the Dean’s kids. One of the son’s had a Transplants t-shirt on. Veronica’s guess is that he snuck out to go to the concert, got into a minor accident, and to hide the damage spray painted the car.
OK, Veronica is on a roll now, but what was the third problem that she took care of? Well, remember the Lilith house and the Lampoon? Veronica got them to be on Piz’s new radio show, which was not the same type of Emo junk most college freshmen try to force upon their the rest of the population. It was a discussion show, and although they didn’t want to talk to each other, there was soon a lively debate about things, until one of the Lilith girls got a text message. Claire, the “blonde one in the middle” that the Lampoon joked about in their paper, actually was raped. Now, I don’t believe those guys actually did it, because they had a look on their face that said “I guess that joke went too far” when they heard the news, but you have to wonder if their will finally be some changes at Hearst.
I’m not sure if Veronica heard what happened, because while she was listening to the radio when it happened, I can’t really hear if she is listening to the show. I would think that if she had heard about the rapist she would have had a little bit more of a reaction, but maybe she had a lot on her mind. She didn’t really break up with Logan, but you could tell things weren’t going well. She had wanted to do something with Logan that weekend, but he said that he was going surfing in Mexico with his gambling buddy Mercer and Dick. When Veronica bumped into Mercer at the food court, he knew nothing about this trip. Convinced that Logan was lying to her yet again, Veronica decided to put a tracker on his car, but then she had a change of heart.
Earlier that day, she Talked to Trish. Kurt lost his scholarship, and decided to go back home to sort things out. Trish said that she momentarily went crazy, and it was probably going to cost her the guy that she loved. Something clicked in Veronica’s head, she removed the tracking device, and although it didn’t make her feel any better at the time, in the long run, these things have a way of working themselves out. And that’s exactly what happened.
Logan showed up at the library, which surprised Veronica. Veronica admits that she has trust issues after everything that happened to her, and that this is new territory. Logan says that his trip to Mexico could be another time, and he always felt sorry for the donkeys. He says that he knows of a film festival with lots of incomprehensible foreign movies. Veronica closes up the library help desk, and Logan and Veronica go off to smooch. I have to admit, they looked very cute at the end, and as a couple, it was one of the first times I believed they truly thought about making sacrifices to get a little closer. They have a history, much of it bumpy, so maybe it took a while to, uh, feel each other out. I’ll actually say that I am happy for the two of them.
I really did like this episode. Weevil’s story line was believable, and although it is a little too convenient that he is now a maintenance worker at Hearst, I like that he is back in the fold. Of course it will only be a matter of time before he and Logan bump heads, but that should be enjoyable as well. What do you think of this episode? Will Weevil stay out of trouble. Are Veronica and Logan on the road to true romance?