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Goodbye, Cruel World; Welcome Back, "Veronica Mars"

Can I just begin by saying how very happy I am to (finally) have the incomparable Veronica Mars back in my life again?

It seems as though the space between these "pods" of episodes became nearly interminable. But the wait is officially over, as of last night, as Veronica is back on the CW (until they unceremoniously yank it in a few weeks again for The Pussycat Dolls: Search for the Next Doll, that is).

In any event, I will count my blessings that we're even getting to watch the latest goings-on in Neptune since it seems as if Dawn Ostroff and the programming execs have it in for '09ers. But last night's episode ("Show Me the Monkey") was a breath of fresh air after far too many lonely Tuesday nights. While the episode's central mystery (recovering a stolen lab monkey that, well, hadn't really been stolen, per se) wasn't the series' best, what made the episode click was the snappy writing (courtesy of John Enbom and Robbie Hull) and the return of our beloved characters. (Even if Wallace was, as usual, nowhere to be seen.)

But I'll take no Wallace (all season, even) if it means featuring Mac, who was even more adorable than I remembered. Mac's still not entirely recovered from the events of the Season Two finale (you know, finding out your ex-boyfriend is a psychotic mass murderer and then having all of your clothes stolen from the hotel room where you tried to sleep him) and extremely wary of getting entangled with the opposite sex. Veronica too is a little shifty following her breakup (for the umpteenth time) with Logan. So what's a girl to do? Round up fellow down-in-the-dumps lass Parker, go undercover as an animal rights activist, and throw a Canada-themed around the world party in your dorm room.

Looks like the theory that Dean O'Dell's killer would use Veronica's perfect murder project as a framework for an actual murder proved correct, as who ever killed poor beloved Dean O'Dell (Ed Begley Jr.) obviously had access to Veronica's paper (hmmm, TA Tim Foyle, I am looking right at you) but didn't know him well enough to know about that bottle of 40-year-old Scotch he'd been saving. Seriously, Mysterious Killer, had you opened that bottle, you would have been in the clear and this whole matter would have stayed closed as the suicide ruling would have stuck. Ah, the best laid plans. But the killer did frame it up that way, complete with a slumped-over Dean at his desk and a suicide note hastily typed on his computer screen, a trite "Goodbye, cruel world." Followed, as Weevil put it, by a lot of what the Brits would call zeds.

Glad to know that there was no ill-will from Mindy O'Dell (did Keith/Veronica's disclosure about her infidelity lead to his demise?) and that she decided to go to Keith to uncover who really killed her erudite husband. (Can Sheriff Lamb EVER properly close a case in Neptune?)

I absolutely loved the scene between Keith and Professor Landry (Patrick Fabian) at the bar in which Keith tries to not-so-subtly grill Landry about whether he had a hand in O'Dell's death until Landry hysterically reveals that he's known he's been talking to Keith for a long time. Smooth move, mister, especially since your pic is on the back of your book. Landry on the other hand can read people thanks to his background in profiling. Hmmm, could Landry lend a hand in solving this case? Am I the only one smelling spinoff possibilities here?

What else was great? Mac finally having a love interest for a chance that might not be homicidal. Animal rights activist Bronson Pope (Michael Mitchell from the pilot for Standoff and Invasion) and Mac were absolutely adorable together (especially when she runs back and kisses him) and I hope he sticks around for a bit. After all, he better be worth it for Mac to sell out Veronica like that and tip off Bronson that the police were coming with warrants.

Dick Casablancas and his, um, "revealing" Polaroid prank. Can we please see more of this guy in the future. Er, appearance-wise, I mean. (Oh, get your mind out of the gutter, people.)

While I can never in a million years see Veronica and Piz actually getting together, their scene last night was really sweet and touching. Piz obviously has it in for our V. in a major way but even his heart-felt speech about waiting for the right thing didn't seem to click in Veronica's mind... and merely led her straight to Logan's hotel room. Ouch, Veronica, way to hurt a guy. (And how sad did Piz look when he saw the two of them together again?)

And, yes, it was the shortest Veronica/Logan breakup in Neptune history as our star-crossed lovers find themselves back in each others' arms by the end of the episode. But it's not all roses and longing looks across crowded rooms, as there's the whole matter of Logan sleeping with that skanky girl from the beach to deal with. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

Meanwhile, did anyone recognize science researcher Emi? It's Brittany Ishibashi, who recently played waitress Cindy in the "A Benihana Christmas" episode of The Office. Eagle eyes, these.

Personally, I'm just happy that Veronica Mars is back where it belongs (namely, on the air), but I am a little worried by the fact that the who-killed-Dean-O'Dell storyline will be the last longform mystery this series sees. While the mystery o' the week format can be fun from time to time, I'm worried that it will soon turn the series into a more fashion-forward Scooby Doo rather than the stylish noir drama that we've grown to love. Thoughts?

Next week on Veronica Mars ("Poughkeepsie, Tramps and Thieves"), Veronica tracks down that blonde girl Logan slept with and discovers she's not exactly who or what she claimed to be (cough, hooker, cough), Keith continues to investigate Dean O'Dell's death, and Veronica and Logan's reunion might be cut short already.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Armed & Famous (CBS); Friday Night Lights (NBC); Beauty & the Geek (CW); George Lopez/According to Jim (ABC); American Idol (FOX; 8-10 pm); Wicked Wicked Games (MyNet)

9 pm: Criminal Minds (CBS); Deal or No Deal (ABC); One Tree Hill (CW); The Knights of Prosperity/In Case of Emergency (ABC); Watch Over Me (MyNet)

10 pm: CSI: New York (CBS); Medium (NBC); Primetime: Basic Instinct (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Beauty & the Geek.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for Beauty & the Geek. It might not be the most original or thought-provoking reality TV series on the air, but this "social experiment" from "Ashton Kutcher" always makes me chuckle. On tonight's episode, the five remaining teams take a trip to San Diego, the beauties are forced to study about electronics, while the geeks create fitness routines, and Cecille freaks out at Niels for sending her the elimination room. It's not pretty.

10 pm: Top Chef on Bravo.

On tonight's episode, it's Part One of the two-part season finale as the final four chefs (Sam, Ilan, Elia, and Marcel) pack their knives and head to Hawaii, where all sort of misfortune occurs for one chef, two chefs are cut from the competition, and one edges closer to being crowned the winner of Top Chef 2.


rockauteur said…
Like Jace, I was happy to see Veronica back on the air last night, even if the mystery was kind of lame. Was nice though to have Mac back and having a love interest, and perhaps she will return to her former spunky roots, rather than the lovelorn, insecure frumpy girl she has changed into over the season.

One bad thing with Mac's new love connection: more excuses to keep Mac away from camera time:

example 1:
VM: where is Mac?
Parker: she is at Bronson's.

example 2:
VM: where is Mac?
Parker: she is out with Bronson.

Somebody using Veronica's perfect murder paper to plan Dean O'Dell's murder is priceless and perfect for the series, though when is Keith going to ask Veronica for a copy so he can start to unravel the mystery? And I still miss Dean O'Dell, who added humor and poignancy to the series. Who was rooting for him against Professor Landry? Who wanted him to become better friends with Keith and become a mentor to Weevil? Who wanted him to become Veronica's inside source at the school as well as a worthy AND honest advocate against her (at times?) I know I was. I miss him.

But I am happy to have Veronica back in my life as well; I refuse to trade her for the Pussycat Dolls, a show that seems as inspired as a turtle racing a rabbit. Hopefully Dean, I mean Dawn Ostroff continues to rally for Veronica and keeps her on the air, and not in self-contained mysteries. Unfortunately, those last few episodes will probably be Veronica's nail in the coffin, as viewers don't want to see self-contained mysteries set against Veronica's love life. Poor Piz indeed, he may never get his day with our Veronica.
As intelligent as Veronica is...she is totally clueless when it comes to Piz's feelings for her. Poor Piz! (Although I agree that Piz and Veronica were not meant to be with each other.)

Loved Bronson as Mac's new potential beau. Hopefully, he won't go psycho on her. And particularly loved Justin's comment about Bronson as an excuse to why Mac is not on screen. Very funny.

I miss Dean O'Dell already but am excited about Keith and V solving the "perfect murder." I can't wait!
Anonymous said…
Who killed Dean O'Dell? Duh. It was Alex (Alexis) Meade. I saw that one coming a mile away.

And I applaud you and your eagle eyes. You should be in casting, as you're just that incredible. Cindy from Benihana? Wow. The labcoat totally hid any Sharpee marks, so you were completely flying blind there. Congrats. And also of note was Michael Mitchell on the brilliant Phil of the Future. No, really, it was brilliant. I don't care if you believe me. I got like a kagillion pre-teen girls on my side.
greebs said…
Danielle, if Veronica WAS clueless about Piz's feelings, I think she figured it out last night. But yeah...I sort of had assumed she knew he was crushing on her.

Speaking of crushing, the Mac-Bronson thing was not only very sweet, but how hot did Mac look? I've always liked her character, but hot is not an adjective I would have used before. She looked great.

So insanely upset that this show is going to go on hiatus for, of all things, a Pussycat Dolls reality TV show. I swear, it's like an April Fools joke to put one of the few shows with a real strong woman icon on hold for THAT.
rockauteur said…
Also, there was no mention of the eggs on Dean O'Dells window - since he was egged moments before his death. Obviously this is something that will come into play, but I'm surprised it wasnt in the recap before the show.
Anonymous said…
SO glad to have VM back. I got so used to it not being on that when I checked my to-do list that morning, it was like a fun surprise.

That scene w/Landry and Keith was GREAT. And I loved the LoVe kiss at the end - so full of emotion. But I worry for next week.

Since I never notice these things, but you usually do...TWOP, in their recap, had this to say: In BizarroContinuityLand, the show seems to have forgotten that Mac is a vegan.

Is this true? Cause there was that line this week about her preferring meat.
The CineManiac said…
I have to agree that although Veronica didn't see Piz's feelings before, she sure caught on at the breakfast table when she saw his reaction to Logan's return.
All and all it was great to have one of my absolute favorite shows (not to mention my absolute favorite actress, Kristen Bell, how I love you) back on the air with new episodes.
And I have to say it was fun to watch Kristen, a known animal activist, playing the skeptic. And the Ted Nugent Character (I forget his name on the show, something like Ed Regent) was brilliant.
And I am still holding out for the Veronica/Piz hookup, even if it never truly comes. I am so over Logan.
Can't wait until next week.
Jace Lacob said…
Yes, it was revealed WAY back in Season 1 that Mac was a vegan, unlike the rest of her family.

But I'll have to go back and rewatch the scene with Mac and V. at PHAT because what I remember is Mac saying that her family was all about "meat and potatoes" but not so much about the potatoes. Did she ever actually say that SHE was a meat-eater? Or is that being inferred from her lines?

I thought of it more as a commentary about her family than herself, per se.
Jace Lacob said…

The rock singer/bow hunting enthusiast was Ed Argent. But, yes, I too loved the Ted Nugent allusion as it were.
Anonymous said…
I thought she said, "I am more meat and potatoes w/o the potatoes." Let me know when you rewatch. :)

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