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Beaver Gets Busy on "Veronica Mars"

Wow.

That's really my first, second, and third reaction upon seeing last night's simply fantastic season finale of Veronica Mars ("Not Pictured"). After a season of dizzying plot twists and surprises, Veronica pulled out all of the stops to deliver a mind-bending finale that shocked and amazed, especially coming as it did on the heels of the amusing yet underwhelming finale of Gilmore Girls. Just... wow.

Where to begin? So it turns out that I will eat my hat after all (good thing I don't wear one): Cassidy "Beaver" Casablancas ended up being not the sensitive, earnest youth we thought he was, but was in fact a cold-blooded killer. In this season alone, Cassidy has been responsible for the deaths of everyone aboard the school bus when it crashed, stunt man Curly Moran, Mayor Woody Goodman, and several police officers who had the bad luck of being aboard Woody's plane when Cass detonated it to smithereens above Neptune. Oh, and did I mention that it was Cassidy who raped Veronica two years ago? That was a nice twist I didn't see coming...

But before all of that and the climactic showdown between Veronica and a taser- and gun-wielding Cassidy atop the roof of the Neptune Grand, the season finale brought us a little slice of heaven in the form of Veronica's wish-fulfillment dream, which answered all sorts of What Ifs. A perky, popular Veronica wakes up the day of her graduation and discovers that her mom hasn't turned into an alcoholic thief and adulterer; instead she and Keith are blissfully happy. At school, Veronica hangs with Duncan and Dick Casablancas before Logan strolls up and kisses Veronica. (So, even in her dreams, she knows she's better off with Logan than Duncan.) There's a mishap with the graduation gowns and she ended up with one belonging to someone named Wallace Fennell (I loved how she pronounced it like the vegetable), whose life in high school turned out rather differently without Veronica's friendship. And then just when I thought that this dream sequence couldn't get any better, Lily Kane (Amanda Seyfried) showed up too, talking about her sexually experimental lifestyle in college, but what's up with that Lily Kane Memorial? And, just like that (and the smell of bacon), Veronica woke up.

Meanwhile, it seems like the cast of Veronica Mars is shrinking rapidly: Duncan's out of the picture in Australia with his infant daughter; Jackie takes off for a less-than-glamorous life in New York with her waitress mom and a two-year-old son from her crazy, drugged out teenage life in Brooklyn (so everything Jackie said was a lie!); poor Weevil doesn't even get to have his grandmother see him graduate and instead gets arrested by Sheriff Lamb at the graduation ceremony (something tells me if he returns at all next season that it's only for a few episodes); and Cassidy, well, Cassidy's gone for good.

I was right about one thing: Cassidy was the mysterious third person on that recording Veronica discovered on evil Woody Goodman's computer and he was molested by the sicko Neptune mayor (which was the cause of the weirdness between Cassidy and poor Mac). What I didn't think was that Cassidy would be willing to kill to conceal his secret. He arranged for the rat aboard the bus, which got the '09er rich kids into the limo, got the dynamite from his friend Hart Hanson (a nice little nod there to the creator of FOX series Bones, obviously a friend of Rob Thomas), and coordinated the entire affair with Curly Moran, the former stunt man turned mechanic who serviced his dad's cars. He then pinned the crash on Moran so the PCH'ers would beat the hell out of him and then finished the job himself, running over Moran with his car, and writing Veronica's name on his palm, and then dumping the body in the ocean. The effect? Pushing the investigation in an entirely different direction that points the finger of blame to Aaron Echolls and later to Woody Goodman. (Oh and the whole real estate empire that Cass started? It earned a cool $8 million by betting against Woody's incorporation scheme.)

After trying to track down each and every member of the little league team that Woody coached (and molested), Veronica discovers the truth about Cassidy when she sees a photo of the team at Woody's fast food joint that indicates that not pictured is one Cassidy Casablancas. She realizes that he's with Mac at the graduation party at the Neptune Grand, but can't get ahold of Mac to warn her so she races over there. Arriving, she scans the party but can't find either of them (they've gone to have their own private party) and the front desk is zero help in telling Veronica what room they're in. She texts a message to Mac that Cassidy is a dangerous killer and to get out of there...

Mac and Cassidy meanwhile retire to a room at the Neptune Grand, where unfortunately (or fortunately for Mac), Cassidy is having some, er, sexual difficulties. Mac gets up to take a shower and Cassidy intercepts Veronica's message and replies to meet him on the roof. But first, he takes all of Mac's clothes and anything she could clothe herself with from the room (he's a nasty piece of work, that boy) and pulls a gun from his bag.

Veronica gets in the elevator and encounters the oily Aaron Echolls, newly released from prison, who proceeds to tell her in no uncertain terms that the best day of his life was when he smashed Lily Kane's head in with an ashtray so she'd "finally shut the hell up." He then creepily threatens Veronica before getting out on his floor, with a bottle of wine and two glasses. Two glasses, huh? Hmmm....

Veronica is ambushed on the roof by Cassidy, who forces her to throw her bag over to him at gunpoint. Veronica says that she's figured it all out, she knows everything. Cassidy, apparently, doesn't like this and repeatedly shocks Veronica with her own taser. Like I said, he's a real piece of work. He wants Veronica to kill herself so there's no messiness ("I don't want your DNA all over my shirt.") but Veronica's not doing anything. She wants to know how she ended up with chlamydia, the very same STD which Woody Goodman has? Well, that's easy: it turns out when Veronica was drugged at that party two years earlier Cassidy did rape her after all. (Okay, didn't see that twist coming.) Cassidy's not going to get away with this; Veronica told her dad everything.

But Cassidy is one step ahead of everything, as usual. He has a remote-activated bomb planted aboard Woody's plane and he knows Keith is on there with Woody, en route to Neptune. Veronica has 60 seconds to say her goodbyes before he detonates the bomb. 59... 58... 57... Veronica's dialing, but there's no answer. And then Cassidy makes the call on his cell and blows the plane up right behind Veronica! Is Keith dead? Veronica sinks to her knees, sobbing, and manages to forward Cassidy's text message to Logan, who bursts in and promptly gets shot at by Cassidy. A struggle ensues and Veronica eventually gets a hold of the gun, which she trains on Cassidy. Logan tries to talk her down, saying she's not a killer, but Veronica says that he killed her dad, he killed the kids on the bus, he raped her. Logan gets the gun from Veronica and holds her (for a second I thought he was going to shoot Cassidy) as Cassidy climbs up onto a ledge. Logan tells him not to jump, but down Cassidy goes...

Meanwhile, a few floors below, Aaron Echolls and Cassidy's stepmom herself, Kendall Casablancas finish their, er, romantic interlude as Aaron talks about how wonderful freedom is. Kendall excuses her herself and gets in the shower. Aaron puts on the television to discover one of his old movies is on and settles in, as a black-clad figure slides up behind him, a silencer-laden gun drawn to his temple. Bam! Pull back to reveal... Clarence Weidman, the head of security for Kane Software, who promptly calls Duncan to tell him that it's all over. Justice has been served, Neptune-style.

Veronica falls asleep at home, laying on Logan, who watches over her. And, again, she dreams... this time a memory of herself as a little girl and Keith putting on a puppet show for her. And then she smells bacon and wakes up to realize that her dad isn't there, isn't ever going to be there again. But of course, Keith isn't dead (he drove home after arranging Woody's arrest rather than fly, to avoid the press) as Veronica is overjoyed to discover. As Veronica rushes over to Keith, Logan sneaks out the front door.

Kendall Casablancas discovers that, because Cassidy's death was a suicide, she won't receive any of the insurance money that Dick Senior took out on him. But it's her name on the title for the Phoenix real estate deal,Cassidy's company that Kendall was fronting. And how have those deals paid off? Well, it seems that, thanks to Cassidy, Kendall is now $8 million richer...

A few days later, Veronica and Keith prepare for their trip to New York when Logan shows up at the office to drive Veronica to the airport so they can "talk." She follows him outside and, after an entire season of will-they or won't-they get back together, they finally kiss! (Wahoo!) She's off to New York with her dad for a week but she can't wait to get back to Logan. Aw, isn't young love grand?

As Logan and Veronica kiss outside of Mars Investigations, Kendall strolls up with a suitcase and a few choice words for our young lovers. But she's there to talk to Keith, who doesn't have time to see her as he and Veronica are off to the airport to catch a flight to New York (hey, Jackie and Wallace are there too!). But when Kendall opens up her briefcase--filled to the brim with cash, I imagine--Keith reconsiders. "I need you to do something for me... I need it right now," Kendall purrs, leading us--I am sure--into the first mystery of next season.

As Kendall launches into the details of next season's very first case, a lonely Veronica waits at the airport as her flight makes their final boarding call... Where is Papa Mars? Don't tell me that Keith stands Veronica up at the gate! Will he make the flight? Or will she travel to the Big City all by her lonesome? After all, she could meet up with Wallace and Jackie... if only she had that extra ticket for Logan...

But my absolute favorite part of the episode had to be the coded exchange between Duncan and Clarence Weidman after Clarence murders Aaron Echolls. We see Duncan, in Australia, answer his ringing cell phone.

Duncan: CW?

Clarence: It's a done deal.

Now, aside from the fact that CW just happens to be Clarence's initials, wouldn't Duncan have just answered the phone by saying "yes" or "hello"? Call me crazy but I think it's a rather tongue-in-cheek inside joke from writers Rob Thomas and Jon Enbom (congrats, BTW, on graduating) about the fact that Veronica Mars is most definitely heading to the CW next season. It is, after all, a "done deal."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the best possible season finale news I could have received.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: The Amazing Race (CBS); Deal or No Deal (NBC); The Bedford Diaries (WB); Alias (ABC); Bones (FOX); America's Next Top Model (UPN)

9 pm: Criminal Minds (CBS); Dateline (NBC); The Bedford Diaries (WB); Lost (ABC); American Idol/Unan1mous (FOX); Girlfriends (UPN)

10 pm: CSI: New York (CBS); Law & Order (NBC); Invasion (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

6 pm: What Not to Wear.

On tonight's episode of the British import, style-conscious women nominate their less fashionable sisters for a lifestyle and wardrobe makeover. Me, I just watch for Trinny and Susannah. Those two just crack me up.

8 pm: The Amazing Race.

On tonight's installment ("I Think This Monkey Likes Me"), the teams travel to Thailand, where they are forced to prepare a feast for a group of sacred monkeys at a shrine in Bangkok. Oh, I cannot wait to see Monica's reaction to this challenge. Priceless.

9 pm: Lost.

The race to the season finale continues. In tonight's 65-minute episode ("?"), Eko and Locke push something that looks like the drugrunners' plane, while Jack and the other castaways deal with the fallout from last week's, er, "incident" in the hatch. Come on, Libby, it was only a flesh wound!

10 pm: Top Chef.

Tempers flare on the reunion episode of Bravo's reality series Top Chef ("Reunion"), where the would-be chefs sling hash and talk dirt about their competitors. Um, shouldn't they have waited until after they filmed and aired the finale before doing a reunion episode? Wouldn't that have made sense? In any event, watch Stephen act condescending and watch Tiffani descend into tears while everyone reminisces about how utterly useless host Katie Lee Joel was.

Comments

ticknart said…
I'm surprised that I was right. Other than the twist to Sixth Sense, I've never figured out a mystery correctly. (I have a friend who said that the show is "sadistic and evil" for making Cassidy the mastermind, which is why she likes the show so much.)

More than surprised, I'm disappointed that it was Beaver. I liked his character a lot and certainly didn't want him to end up jumping off the hotel. Damn.

And poor Mac. I'm sure she'll recover, but I like seeing her hurt like this less than I like Cassidy being the bad guy.

Great news on the show coming back next year! I'll miss the season long mystery, though. Maybe if enough people watch the show next season, we'll all be rewarded with another season long mystery in the fourth.
Anonymous said…
i really don't understand the whole top chef reunion thing either. Project runway did the same thing, so maybe it's a Bravo trademark.

One other thing that we didn't cover on VM - thought that Keith's reaction to seeing Veronica, when he knew that she thought he was dead, was a little subdued.
Jace Lacob said…
ticknart,

I have to congratulate you, not only for correctly guessing last week that it was Cassidy that was behind the bus crash and most of this season's various mysteries, but for also deducing his motive as well. Color me impressed.

I really liked Cassidy and will miss him, but as he was younger than the rest of the gang anyway, couldn't really see how he would fit in with the group post-Neptune High.

Mac deserves way better. I am so excited that Rob Thomas is trying to get her on board full-time next season (though I'll miss her on Big Love).

I am already looking forward to next season of Veronica Mars... only a few, long summer months to go.
Brock said…
Who would have thought that cassidy was a murderer? i thought he would was a hermaphrodite! Now what secret does Dick hide? Which characters will we have next season?

Have we seen the last of Weavil?
ticknart said…
Jace,

Thanks for the nice words.

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