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Kendall Casablancas: From "Angel" to Murderess?

Is it just me or can you not get enough of Veronica Mars' Kendall Casablancas (Charisma Carpenter)? Spoiled, catty, and icily beautiful, Kendall is like Buffy's Cordelia on crack: a few years older, far more cunning, and certainly more dangerous.

Originally introduced early in the season as a former pro-cheerleader and minx--one who was cuckolding husband Dick Casablancas with Veronica's ex-boyfriend Logan, Kendall has morphed into something else altogether in recent weeks and has become more of a femme fatale than the eye candy she originally appeared to be.

Kendall spent the first part of the season sleeping around behind her real estate mogul husband's back and then, when he fled the country to avoid prosecution for some real estate fraud (uncovered by Veronica, natch), she somehow managed to avoid being indicted for the fraudulent deals she helped her hubby carry out. And then before you know it, Kendall somehow managed to become a front for a corporate venture started by her sixteen-year-old step-son Cassidy "Beaver" Casablancas.

Seems Kendall also knows Season One's Big Bad, Aaron Echolls, as well and even visited him in prison and then planted something--a camera? microphone?--in Logan's shower, apparently at his behest. Okay, we know Aaron has a thing about filming himself, um, in flagrante delicto (see: Lily Kane), but isn't that pushing things a bit far, even for Aaron? And what did Aaron and Kendall hope to gain by filming Logan in the buff? A mystery for another day apparently, unless I am missing something. (Aha! Thanks to some savvy Veronica viewers, the mystery is solved: Kendall was sent by Aaron to get some of Duncan's hair left behind in the drain... hair that he's using to try to be cleared of Lily Kane's murder.)

Just when you thought you had Kendall pegged, along comes one hell of a shocker. Apparently she's the beneficiary should anything happen to her stepsons Dick and Beaver and Big Dick Casablancas took out quite an insurance policy on the boys--another tax shelter for the shifty mogul--and if something were to happen to both of the Casablancas boys, Kendall would get a seven figure payoff. Add to that the assumption that the explosion that caused the bus crash was from plastic explosives in Dick's goodie bag (he left it on the bus when he opted for limo transportation instead), and the finger of fraud points towards Kendall's ample figure.

Then there's the matter of Kendall's true identity. Turns out Kendall isn't quite who she claims to be... or how old she actually is (Or as Veronica so aptly put it, "The lengths a woman will go to to shave a few years off her age.") Kendall Casablancas, nee Kendall Shiflet, is actually someone named Priscilla Banks. It seems that she killed the real Kendall in a car accident many years before and assumed her identity, probably to avoid having to disclose that pesky prison stint for wire fraud.

And that's not the only thing Kendall is keeping hidden. Apparently she has another secret house in Neptune (yes, you read that correctly, a secret house) where she often entertains notorious local tough Liam Fitzpatrick, who happens to be tied up in the whole mystery of the bus crash as well. His grandmother's greenBarracudaa--which Liam seems to enjoy taking out for a spin--was seen racing by the scene of the bus crash seconds before the explosion. And Liam's cousin Danny Boyd has access to explosives--the same ones used at the demolition of the Sharks Stadium (where the Fitzpatricks killed PCH'er Thumper a few weeks back) and those found in Jackie's dad's garage, where someone planted them.

So is Kendall tied into the bus crash mystery that has propelled most of this season? It certainly seems like it. My money's still on Mayor Woody Goodman as some sadistic part of his incorporation scheme, but it's beginning to look like there's much more to Kendall than meets the eye.

Every hard-boiled town like Neptune needs a femme fatale and whatever Kendall's secrets might be, hopefully they're big enough to last beyond the season finale...

UPDATE ON NEXT SEASON: According to some tidbits I've picking up from the tracking boards about the possibility of the show returning next season (on the CW), the producers of Veronica Mars "were told they have nothing to worry about." Best news I've heard all week.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: NCIS (CBS); Most Outrageous Moments/Scrubs (NBC); Gilmore Girls (WB); According to Jim/Hope & Faith (ABC); American Idol (FOX); America's Next Top Model* (UPN)

9 pm: The Unit (CBS); Scrubs/Teachers (NBC); Pepper Dennis (WB); Hope & Faith/Less Than Perfect (ABC); House (FOX); Veronica Mars* (UPN)

10 pm: CSI: Miami (CBS); Law & Order: SVU (NBC); Boston Legal (ABC)

N.B.: Los Angeles-area UPN viewers: be aware that UPN is pre-empting America's Next Top Model and Veronica Mars. UPN will air a repeat of America's Next Top Model at midnight and an original episode of Veronica Mars (see below) at 1:00 am instead. Your TiVo should know of the switcheroo, but be advised.

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Gilmore Girls.

The countdown to the season finale--and the exit of Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino--continues. In tonight's new episode of Gilmore Girls ("Super Cool Party People"), written by new showrunner David Rosenthal, Luke throws a birthday party for newly discovered daughter April at the diner (guess they're finally back from the world's longest school trip), while a worried Rory rushes to an injured Logan's bedside.

9 pm: Veronica Mars.

The twists just keep on coming. On tonight's episode ("Look Who's Stalking"), mayor's daughter and 09'er Gia turns to Veronica to unmask her stalker while Gia's dad--Mayor Woody Goodman--turns to Veronica's dad Keith to cover up a scandal... and what looks like the body of a dead hooker. So... just another day in Neptune then.


Anonymous said…
Kendall was in Duncan's shower looking for Duncan's hair, the one that was found in Aaron's Oscar.

Anonymous said…
Whoever does the casting for "Veronica Mars" deserves an award. I love seeing Charisma Carpenter on the show. And the appearance of George Michael and Maeby from "Arrested Development" a few episodes back was was the Joss Whedon cameo. The one thing I could do without, though, are the cameos by the "Top Model" girls. They may be pretty but even their cheekbones can't compete with such a stellar cast.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous beat me to the hair in the shower thing. Naturally, I didn't pick up on it, but TWOP mentioned it in their recap. TWOP also could not stop laughing about the fact that Aaron Ecchols would have an oscar. It is pretty funny, and unlikely.
Bailey Quarters said…
I'm wondering how, if at all, the falling out between Cassidy and Mac fits into the larger mystery. The obvious explanation is that Cassidy's gay, but I suspect that there's a more sinister explanation.
Jace Lacob said…
Bailey, I'm not sure that the Cassidy/Mac falling out ties into the larger mystery of the bus crash, nor do I think it's as simple as Cassidy being gay. Remember, it's something that brother Dick knows about him that he threatened to use to get back at him after Mac and Cass humiliated him with the transvestite.

Anonymous said…
This is Todd from Can't seem to log in, oddly.

Thanks so much for the good news in re: VM's future.

I love this show like crack.
Laura Holt said…
Jace, the way I remember the transvestite scene, it was Beaver who used knowledge of something that would humiliate Dick (he mentioned . . . a woman's name? I can't remember) to keep Dick from beating him up after the transvestite trick. (Bad pun intended.)

Ditto Todd in thanks for the positive news about VM. This show is wonderful. And Charisma Carpenter has been a fantastic femme fatale and I really hope she sticks around next season.
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