Oh, "Veronica Mars"... just when I was getting really worried about this season, you throw out back-to-back episodes like last week's college preview and now this... this... I don't want to say "masterpiece," because it wasn't, but it was bursting with chocolately, chippity goodness in a way that the show used to pull off routinely in season one. Let's count:
- A Dirty Sanchez reference, which may be the greatest thing they've ever slipped under the nose of the censors (what's next? space-docking?);
- More Logan/Veronica banter in one episode than we had in all of the first half of the season (though their slow dance seemed more like a bone thrown to the 'shippers than something Veronica would actually want to do);
- Wallace getting a storyline that allowed him to be less than perfect, along with Jackie continuing to convincingly transform from bitch to good girl (though they stole the bit about her Sadie Hawkins date from the "Freaks & Geeks" pilot);
- Closure to the Felix storyline, which will hopefully allow Rob and company to focus so much on the bus crash in the last handful of episodes that we start to care about it again;
- And best of all, that ending! Weevil ignores Veronica's advice to stick to the straight and narrow on this and arranges to have Thumper killed... and in a bit of poetic justice that I should have seen coming but didn't (at least not until we saw the inspector find the motorcycle chained up), Logan inadvertently becomes Thumper's killer.
A few other quick thoughts and questions: What was the significance of the little kid poking his face out the van window as Weevil doped Thumper? So Woody and Beaver are both gay, right? Woody has now become so obviously creepy that I desperately want him to be a red herring -- but if he is, who the hell was responsible for the bus crash? I'm sure the Fitzpatricks were involved in some way (right before they stuffed the gag in Thumper's mouth, he mentioned having something big to hold over them), but they seem to have been the hired help for whatever this was about.
Meanwhile, "American Idol" delivered one of those "shocking" exits that really shouldn't be to anyone who's been watching this show for the last four years. On nights when nobody's really good and nobody's really awful, it comes down to fanbases. We already can assume from Simon's not-so-subtle "predictions" about the top 3 that Chris, Taylor and Pickler are way ahead of the pack in each week's voting. If they weren't, Taylor would have been ripe for a bottom three scare, since he went first and wasn't that great. Mandisa, meanwhile, has always struck me as one of those performers like Amy Adams whose fate depends entirely on kicking ass every time out and getting votes from people who aren't obsessed with a particular contestant. She went early on Tuesday and gave a very mediocre performance: kiss of death. I'm annoyed that Ace, Kellie and Bucky are still there ahead of her, but we're in the fifth season, and I'm used to it.
Finally, what a weird "South Park." When they did their "Simpsons Did It!" episode, it was with affection, but you can tell that Trey and Matt share Cartman's feelings about "Family Guy." A pretty spot-on parody of that show's reliance on random pop culture jokes that are, as Cartman put it, "all interchangeable and irrelevant to the plot." (In fairness, the "Family Guy" episodes that are good dig a little deeper than that.) They're a little late to the Muhammad cartoon controversy, but my favorite part of the episode was the monologue about defending free speech, followed by Stan's dad declaring that he'd rather go with the head in the sand idea.
Anyone want to place odds on whether there actually is a part two? It would be a very Matt and Trey thing to do a fake teaser to a show that'll never exist.