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Nancy Drew and the (Not So) Hardy Boys: Saints and Sinners on "Veronica Mars"

Ah, Veronica and Logan. Will you two crazy kids ever get together enough to have some semblance of a normal relationship?

Answer: Not anytime soon, unless they want to become another so cute they're boring TV couple. I love these two starcrossed lovers together but when they're blissfully happy in one another's company, something just doesn't feel right.

The latest issue between the divine Ms. Mars and Logan? His "we were on a break" encounter with the loathsome Madison Sinclair, whom you might remember has played a pretty crucial role in the lifes of our favorite kids from Neptune. Let's see, she roofied Veronica on the night of her party (leading to her rape by Cassidy and her first time with Duncan), wrote SLUT in lipstick on Veronica's windshield (which she discovered whilst staggering home), and is the actual daughter of Mac's parents (the two were switched at birth, meaning that the new Mercedes with the Gotzmine license plate should be our beloved Mac's). She's also one of Dick's playmates... reason enough to shudder. (Was it just me or did Dick actually show some semblance of a human heart regarding Madison and Logan's, er, apres-ski chalet session?)

I loved the opening of last night's episode of Veronica Mars ("There's Got to Be a Morning After Pill"), which brought us a beautiful dream sequence in which Veronica woke up snuggled with Logan, put on a shirt, and walked out to the balcony, which became a snow-covered terrace overlooking Aspen, and then led to Veronica "catching" Logan and Madison in flagrante delicto, an image she can't seem to shake from her mind. Torturing yourself much, V?

While Veronica blows off Logan and their date (confronting the guy while he's getting dressed to go out for an expensive evening), she's stuck investigating whether someone slipped Bonnie Capistrano RU-486, causing her to miscarry. The prime suspects? TA Tim Foyle (who keeps popping up time and again) and Dick Casablancas. Had Ryan Hansen not been a featured series regular, I would have put my money squarely on the blond bohunk, but there's no way Rob Thomas & Co. are going to make Dick THAT evil.

But in investigating Tim, Veronica learns that he's doing an investigation of his own, namely into the murder of Dean Cyrus O'Dell. While there's no mention of the fact that Veronica's perfect murder paper provided the basis for the crime, Tim has been logging suspects and witnesses, including drunkie Anthony Martin, who heard a gunshot around 2:20 am (he timed the noise thanks to a convenient episode of Space Ghost) in a nice bit of continuity.

Keith meanwhile has gotten pulled tighter into the orbit of O'Dell's widow Mindy, who's clearly concealing something. She claims that Cyrus had the minivan the day of his death and she was driving the Volvo, but Nish says that she egged the Volvo. It's all a matter of choosing the lesser of the two (possible) evils, but Keith snoops around Mindy's garage and discovers some eggshell concealed beneath the windshield wipers on the Volvo... putting Mrs. O'Dell firmly at the scene of the crime.

New suspects as well: there's Mindy's no-good meth-head ex-husband Steve and Cyrus' troubled teen son Jason, whom he was going to send away to a teen rehabilitation center... before his untimely death, that is. Could either of them killed O'Dell? Steve's after money (he even steals a vase from the O'Dell's house after breaking in AND getting caught by Keith) to fuel his meth addict and the Corvette Mindy and Cyrus gave him (after forcing him to sign that settlement and stealing his bone marrow) has been repossessed. Jason, on the other hand, seems angry and hostile. Could he have followed Mindy to the Neptune Grand, taken the car while she was with Professor Landry upstairs, killed his dad, washed the car, and returned it to the parking lot with Mindy unaware that it had been missing at all? Hmmm.

Guest stars galore as usual on Veronica Mars. This week, Eddie Nettles, the creepy pro-life stalker guy was played by Johnny Kastl, who plays creepy morgue resident Doug Murphy on Scrubs, while Mindy's ex-hubby Steve Botando (last seen in "President Evil") was played by ex-21 Jump Street star Richard Grieco. Bonnie's nefarious roomie Phillise was played by Barbershop's Toni Trucks; she'll next appear in the Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore rom com Music and Lyrics. Whoever does the casting for this show should be given an award right now.

LOVED that Keith and Veronica posed as Carson Drew and his assistant Nancy (heh)... and that Eddie Nettles didn't exactly catch the bookish reference. And bravo to writers John Enbom, Phil Klemmer, and Jonathan Moskin for granting Veronica the fitting nom de guerre of Hester (Pryne); very Scarlet Letter and highly appropriate for her investigation. (Have I mentioned how much I love this show?)

Very happy that Veronica didn't go through with Weevil crushing Madison's new car into an itty-bitty cube. After last week's extortion and blackmail scheme, I am glad that Veronica has seen the light and realized that while she can bend the law, it's never a good idea to actually break it. Well, anymore than she already has, anyway.

I was heartbroken by Logan's drunken voicemail to Veronica, especially as I knew she would delete the entire message as soon as she heard the "going through people's trash" opening. Smooth move, Casanova. If you're going to declare your love for your estranged girlfriend, you'd be best not to do it AFTER insulting her. Just a thought.

Still, after every thing that happened, Veronica realizes that she can't keep the need for revenge in her heart as it will eat away at her. That applies to her relationship with Logan as much as it does with Madison herself. Good on you, Veronica. There's hope for you yet.

No Mac sighting again this week, though she does earn a shout-out as Veronica spies on Madison and her family giving her the Mercedes. (But, yay, Backup!) Weevil and Dick show up this week, meaning that Wallace's disappearance from Veronica's life continues and Piz and Parker are off doing something else altogether. Just as long as they're not visiting Mac's ailing aunt in Bakersfield, I'm cool with that.

Looks like there's only a few more episodes before Veronica catches her murderer and the CW yanks the show for a few weeks to air (groan) The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll. Before then, I'm hoping that we'll get to see a few familiar faces, but I am really going to miss these overarching mysteries that are being chucked out in favor of self-contained mysteries each episode.

But anything that will keep Veronica Mars on the air for the foreseeable future is okay with me, just as long as the quality doesn't suffer. Hell, I'd even be happy with Veronica and Logan as that aforementioned happy couple if it means weekly mysteries in noir capital Neptune.

Next week on Veronica Mars ("Postgame Mortem"), Keith is hired by the widow of the murdered Hearst College basketball coach to investigate her late husband's death and clear her son, who happens to be the prime suspect. Shades of Dean O'Dell's death, anyone? Meanwhile, Veronica runs afoul of Sheriff Lamb and might just end up in the clink.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Criminal Minds (CBS); Friday Night Lights (NBC); Beauty & the Geek (CW); George Lopez/Knights of Prosperity (ABC); Bones (FOX); Wicked Wicked Games (MyNet)

9 pm: Criminal Minds (CBS); Deal or No Deal (ABC); One Tree Hill (CW); The Lost Survival Guide (ABC); American Idol (FOX); Watch Over Me (MyNet)

10 pm: CSI: New York (CBS); Medium (NBC); Lost (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 three remaining teams have to buckle down at an animal farm and milk some cows while another team is eliminated. Will Nate and Jennylee both make it to the final round? Find out tonight.

9 pm: The Lost Survival Guide.

Can't remember what happened way back when in the fall, when Lost aired six episodes before its timeslot was taken over by the now-cancelled Day Break? Tune in to this special, hosted by writers/exec producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse which offers a quick recap and some insights into the lifes of the passengers of doomed Oceanic Flight 815.

10 pm: Lost.

It's finally here. After all the waiting and the drawn out, inane, unnecessary hiatus, Lost finally returns with 16 new episodes, beginning tonight. And, let me tell you, it's a doozy of a start. On tonight's episode ("Not in Portland"), Ben's life (and death) rests squarely in Jack's hands, while Juliet must make a difficult decision; meanwhile, Kate and Sawyer are aided by one of the Others. (Hmmm, could it be... Alex?) And, no, don't expect a single shot of Hurley, Locke, or any of the non-captive Losties.


Anonymous said…
Good show - better than last week's. But still, slightly concerned with V's almost willingness to cube Madison's car (much like bribing the judge) - just seems out of character for our (ab)normally level-headed heroine.

Love Dick, love the guest stars, love the development of the Dean's murder - starting to feel like old times again...
Anonymous said…
I thought it was a much better ep than last week. I liked it a lot. Loved all the names (Hester, Nancy), all the touches.

I am devastated for V and Logan. But you are right - them happy is not great either. Still, I wish she'd heard his part about being heartened that someone could think so much of him. oy.

So glad she didn't crush the car and great shout out to reminding the audience that Mac and Mad share a birthday. And parents.

I don't think the egg on the car points to Mindy. I don't think she did it at all. I think someone took her car. The son seems pretty obvious, so I hope it's not him.
Unknown said…
(ally beat me) Yup, that puts the Volvo at the scene of the crime, not necessarily Mrs. O'Dell. As you said, the son could've driven it there. Or the professor. Or ...

I could see Veronica being angry enough to cube Madison's car, but I, too, am glad she didn't go through with it.

As much as I don't enjoy proselytizing TV preachers, I thought it was a nice change to portray this one as having an actual heart.

Getting rid of the season-long arcs was bad enough, but getting rid of short eight-episode-long arcs will turn this show into pablum like so many other shows. Do the networks really think we can't handle shows like Dallas and Melrose Place anymore? Have our brains atrophied into so much marshmallow by CSI and Law&Order that we need to be spoon-fed storylines in small, bite-sized chunks? Hey, networks, maybe that's why good shows like Reunion, Daybreak, Kidnapped, and The Nine don't do well! We don't trust you to air a complete season-long show, so we don't watch them! If you had the guts to commit to a full season (and aired it in one breath instead of chopping it up with eight-week hiatuses), maybe we'd watch them.

Okay. Deep breaths. In. Out.

P.S. I've seen "shutter" in place of "shudder" too many times. Please don't perpetuate this error. :-)
I also thought it was a fun twist that the super religious dad ended up being sincere and not the bad guy.

And speaking of bad guys...I don't think the Dean's son killed him because what tie would he have to Veronica's "Perfect Murder?"
Anonymous said…
Yes, I agree. Last night's episode was markedly better than others this season. Loved the hissy fit. It was classic Veronica to work through the pain and end up an optimist (as opposed to her shrill bitchiness of late).

I HATE HATE HATE the photo that is supposed to be the view from Logan's balcony. I wish they'd stop showing it. You can see the grain in the picture. Am I alone in this? It really bothers me.

And how could the Dean's stepson know about Veronica's perfect murder scenario? Perhaps in a misguided effort to get his mother and Grieko back together, he killed his stepfather using a method that would implicate his mother's lover. Two birds, one bullet. How did he get his hands on her paper? Dunno. Which paper of hers got put online in the episode about plagiarism? Was it the perfect murder paper? I dunno. I'm just thinking aloud.
The CineManiac said…
Once again Veronica Blew me away. This show is consistently one of the best shows on television (in my book anyway) and speaking of casting, they do have a way of launching new people into orbit. (The red headed sorority girl (Rachelle Lefevre)from "My Big Fat Big Rush Week" was on a couple of episodes of The Class and is now on What About Brian, and it seems like Big Love steals half of it's cast from VM {Ok it's only Tine Majorino (Mac) and Kyle Gallner (Beaver) but it still seems like alot})
And as far as the single episode mysteries are concerned, I'm not happy but maybe it will get a few new viewers, anything to keep Kristen Bell on TV weekly.
But as the Pussy Cat Dolls kicking off V for 6 weeks, that pisses me off, do we really need another America's Top Fashion Designer Who Can Sing Reality Show? For the Love of Everything Holy someone please find the person who greenlit this trash and have them tied to a chair with their eyelids taped open and forced to watch this crap, because you know they don't watch it willingly!

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