Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Veronica Mars: Whodunnit


Not even going to mess around with this one. "Veronica Mars" finale spoilers after the jump.

Now, bearing in mind that I watched the episode on Friday, and that my memory may be a bit fuzzier than some of yours on the big details, I was very, very pleased with how things turned out.

The reveal of Beaver as the killer wasn't a complete shock (my old buddy Devin pretty much nailed all the details with his guess here), but then, I'm sure there were people guessing Aaron at this time last year. And Rob didn't cheat here, didn't introduce a killer who didn't fit with all the established evidence, didn't pick someone who fit the evidence but was a non-entity (i.e., the "Murder One" season one approach). There had been enough hints about Beaver having something wrong with him -- and also that he was much smarter and tougher than his brother or his friends gave him credit for -- that this fit. And as I had said many times before, Rob is smarter than me: I was so worked up about Woody being the obvious suspect and Veronica and Keith somehow missing it that I didn't pay any attention to the Beav.

After watching the finale, I asked Rob how long he'd been planning to make Cassidy a mass-murderer, and he wrote back, "We knew that Beaver was the killer of Season 2 when we introduced him in Season 1. We knew his motivation, so playing him as the picked-upon, less-manly Casablancas boy was all by design." When I then asked whether they knew he had raped Veronica when they wrote "A Trip to the Dentist," he said, "No. I wish I could claim that we were that clever." (They realized that Diane's script for "ATttD" left a gap where Beaver could have raped her about a month after she wrote it.) I suspect some people will think making Beaver into Veronica's rapist is just piling on, but it worked for me. Much as I loved "Dentist," it always felt like a little bit of a cop-out that Veronica and Duncan (under the GHB's influence) both thought they were having consensual sex. Now there's no way to make the memory of that night seem okay for Veronica.

What did feel like piling on, however, was Beaver "killing" Keith. Kristen Bell tried her best to sell it, but I wasn't buying. First, I know how much Rob loves Enrico and couldn't imagine the show continuing without him. ("Buffy" could get away with killing her mom because Joyce was never as integral to that show as Keith is here.) Second, if they really wanted us to believe Keith was dead, they would have cut from Veronica begging him to answer the phone to a shot of Keith on the plane, blissfully reading a magazine or listening to an iPod and not noticing his cell phone ringing. When they didn't show us that, I knew Keith wasn't on the plane, so some of the emotion for the rest of the episode felt forced. Isn't it enough that Cassidy raped Veronica, murdered a bunch of innocent kids and Curly Moran, and almost killed Veronica in the process?

I was worried at first that this would be a replay of the season one finale (titled, presciently enough, "Leave It To Beaver"), where Veronica finally comes up against a foe she can't outsmart and has to rely on one of the men in her life to save her. But while Logan did come running to the rescue, Veronica was the one who signaled him, and after a bunch of tussling, she was the one who wound up with the drop on Beaver. (Loved Logan's inability to give Cassidy a single reason not to jump off the roof.) And speaking of Logan, even though I'm not a 'shipper, those were some big hunks and hunks of burning love going on between Veronica and Logan in the last 10 minutes, and they felt well-earned.

A day or two after the Duncan goes to Mexico episode aired, I asked Rob if this was the last we'd see of young Mr. Kane, and he said they had Teddy Dunn under contract for one more episode, "And we're saving him for something important." I'll say. While I would have enjoyed a "Let's get Stringer Bell"-type season three arc where Veronica is trying to send Aaron back to prison, Duncan reaching out and using Clarence Wiedman as the instrument of his brotherly vengeance was pretty damn awesome.

And I loved the dream sequence, which accomplished two things: 1)It reminded us how much better Veronica's life might have been save for Aaron Echolls, 2)It pointed out that not every part of her life would have been better if Lily had lived (she would still be a naive young girl, and she would never have met her best friend). I had been thinking Rob would have to contrive some reason for Veronica to choose Hearst over Stanford -- losing out on the Kane Scholarship and having to rely on the goodwill of her new friend from "One Angry Veronica" -- but he came up with a much simpler, more believable explanation: Veronica would miss Wallace too much to go somewhere else. (Not that we know for sure she's going to Hearst, but I think it's a safe assumption.)

I'm nearing Dostoyevsky length here, so some quick bullet-points to wrap up:
  • Alas, poor Weevil. Not that he didn't deserve what Lamb did to him: though he didn't tie up Thumper or press the plunger himself, he set events in motion that he knew would get Thumper killed. I've said that I don't think he'd be essential to a post-high school version of the show, but I hope this isn't the last we've seen of Francis Capra, whether it's a guest spot from prison next year or some work on another show or movie.
  • Speaking of non-essential personnel, I grew to accept Jackie's presence in the second half of the season, but I'm not exactly going to miss her. Plus, I'm not sure if I can reconcile the truth about her background with the bitchy rich girl who talked smack to Veronica back at Java the Hut.
  • My friend Ellen Gray pointed out another "Veronica"/"Buffy" connection I might have missed: the wild applause for Veronica at commencement subtly echoing the senior class' salute to Buffy at the prom.
  • I'm fine with the cliffhanger, no matter what happens with the CW's schedule next week. If the show continues, we already have a head-start on the first mystery arc (something involving Kendall and the Fitzpatricks), and I felt like the show was just starting to take advantage of Charisma for more than her figure (not that there's anything wrong with it) as the season was wrapping up. And if the show is over, it's not one of those endings like Michael Wiseman on the run at the end of "Now And Again" where I'll always be irked at not getting a resolution. Rob and company wrapped up most of the big plot threads from the first two seasons. The last five minutes were a teaser for next season, and if it doesn't happen, I won't be left with any huge unanswered questions.
I'm sure I'm forgetting a point or two, so I look forward to the comments.

58 comments:

velvetcannibal said...

My brain basically imploded. Which is funny, because I called both Cassidy as the killer and pegged Clarence as the one who would kill Aaron. I wasn't spoiled, but this is noir, baby, and Aaron had to die.

I don't think I've ever screamed or cried so much over an episode of television. I disagree with you about the Keith on the plane thing. It didn't matter to me that we knew Keith wouldn't die, all that mattered was that Veronica thought he was dead. That total horror, her worst nightmare coming to life, fit for me.

And wow, if Teddy Dunn is going to make an appearance, what a way to do it. Gah.

And it allowed us to see so deeply into her character too. Even when she had nothing left, she fought for her life, if only that. And I was so happy to see her tackle Cassidy and wrestle for the gun. I loved Logan not coming up with a single reason. I just...

Ugh. I can't even criticize properly. At least you've had a couple days to mull things over. I am so satisfied and horrified. I'm a shell of a human being. I haven't had such a visceral reaction since... I don't know when.

I hate Rob Thomas. I love Rob Thomas. I want a Season Three!

jim treacher said...

At least three "holy $#!+" moments. And "poor Weevil," how about "poor Mac"? Beav really was a creepy little bastard now that I think back on it, but I had no idea it was him.

Liked Logan's "I thought you couldn't go out in the daytime." Another Buffy nod.

My only real criticism of this season is all the incorporation stuff. Just couldn't follow it. So Beaver, I mean Cassidy, somehow used the incorporation vote to make $8 mil? And now Kendall needs Keith to help her, what, launder it or something? Hope we get to find out.

dirtgirl said...

Well, I loved it. I think I prefer that they wrapped up the identity of the bad guy halfway through, and spent some time advancing some of the other stories. It was nice to see Veronica and Logan happy, answers to what Cassidy was up to with those land deals, and Aaron getting his due.

But it makes me nervous - this ending would work well if this was the last episode ever. Somehow I suspect Rob Thomas knows better inserting a line of dialogue as blatant as: "CW? Done Deal" into the show, however. That was brilliant.

donboy said...

I didn't have Beav as the killer until it was mentioned on the other thread.

What I did have, which turned out to be oh so wrong, was that Beaver turns out to be a girl, or a hermaphrodite, or transgendered. That's why Dick mocks him and calls him "Beaver" in the first place. (If that's been otherwise nailed down, I don't remember it.) That's why he has to keep his secret (which Woody of course learned unexpectedly.) That's why he wasn't getting physical with Mac before. And that what "Amber is a slut" is about, keyed into his car. He's Amber. (Or, "what the hell kind of name is Cassady, anyway?")

But it was not to be. And props to Kyle Gallner for being convincingly menacing when he finally got a chance.

Now to nitpit...there was no particular reason for Veronica to think that Mac was in immediate danger - and, in fact, she wasn't (as far as I can figure) until Veronica sent that stupid text message. And, when it comes down to it, that's a pretty big jump Veronica made from learning that Beaver was on that team, to being positive that he dunnit.

And although the solution was cool, it didn't have the ring of inevitability that I felt after last year's reveal; last year I thought that after a year of mostly dealing with high school kids it made perfect sense to find that the murder was an adult crime, committed by an almost-ridiculously-masculine man whose ability to get violent had been previously established. This one depended on someone being not at all the kind of person that we thought, which has its own appeal but didn't leave me mumbling "well...obviously, once you figure out which facts go with which mysteries". That's a structure I really admired in retrospect at the end of last season - everything makes sense if you put the right things in the right piles.

Oh yeah -- real lucky that the plane was in the shot when it exploded. Hey! Speaking of Lucky, what was all that about with Meg's father bailing him out?

dirtgirl said...

Jim - I think the story with Beaver and incorporation is that he bought up properties in the crappy part of town that would be zoned out of Neptune, knowing somehow that incorporation would fail and the values would soar. The only thing I'm unsure of is whether that means he was in on the blackmailing of Woody along with Lucky in order to stop incorporation. For someone who doesn't want his dirty laundry to get out, that would be a risky move.

Not sure what is up with Kendall's briefcase emergency or Meg's dad bailing out Lucky. Hopefully the DVDs will reveal what my memory has misplaced.

donboy said...

And one more thing: notice the implied social commentary on the fact that Beaver committed mass murder to keep the secret that he'd been a victim of sexual assault as a child. And that the audience understands that yes, that's the kind of secret that some people would indeed kill to keep -- crazy-murderous people, sure, but it's not like we don't buy it as a motivation, is it?

Devin McCullen said...

Thanks for giving me credit, but it really was pretty much a lucky guess. I just decided to pick somebody non-obvious who made a certain amount of sense.

Jackie's backstory was a bit of a stretch, but it was a nice way to wrap up that storyline.

I agree with velvetcannibal, Veronica thinking that Keith was dead was traumatic enough. (And while I figured he wasn't on it, I wasn't completely sure that they wouldn't go there.)

I thought the setup for next year was good (I will take all the Charisma I can get), although I have a very hard time thinking of anything important enough for Keith to leave Veronica at the airport without calling her. (So either we'll start with him doing that, or he walked out into the hallway and Liam Fitzpatrick whacked him over the head.)

Oh, and to hang my head in shame: I didn't recognize Clarence Wiedman until I came here. (And now that I think about it, doesn't it make much more sense if Kendall was in on the plot with Duncan and Weidman from the get-go? Get Aaron off (which, with his money, stood a good chance of happening anyway), but in a way where she can get him to the right place at the right time. Except if she was, she wouldn't have needed to fish around in the drain for Duncan's DNA - only the audience needed to see her doing it.

Excellent, excellent episode though.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Donboy, originally Beaver was going to be a hermaphrodite (hence the nickname), but Rob thought better of it.

Velvetcannibal, I understand your reaction to the Keith death fakeout. Kristen was amazing in that scene. I just think this is one of those situations where my knowledge of exactly how TV and movies work gets in the way of my ability to immerse myself in a moment.

Jim, thanks for bringing up Mac. Again, I felt like I was running long and had so many different thoughts bouncing around in my head. But yes, Mac's gonna need a whole lotta therapy to get over this one. Tina Majorino, also great; I hope Mac winds up at San Diego State or some other nearby state school so she can pop up from time to time next year (assuming there is a next year). Weird how she and Kyle Gallner both wound up with recurring roles on "Big Love" (along with Amanda Seyfried as a regular).

Mac (Not That One) said...

I'd written out a list of possibles -- working from what they did last year, when I did call Aaron after the "That's Amore" fight -- a few weeks ago and Beaver was #2 on it. I should have moved him to #1 when I saw the cast list; it almost had to be a regular castmember (because I was sure it wasn't Woody or Charisma) and Beaver was really the only one of the bunch it worked for.

It was cool when Beaver suddenly turned all evil-looking, anyway.

velvetcannibal said...

Just a note for you, Alan. Mac is going to Hearst, according to Jackie in last week's ep. So, I'm holding out hope for May 19th.

donboy said...

Devin -- Keith was (I presume) trying to call Veronica when she was at the airport, but they established that her phone was getting No Signal. (Veronica -- you don't have cell coverage at the airport, the quintessential place where people whip out their phones? Change carriers, girl!)

Alan -- good to know I was picking up on something real, even if it didn't go all the way. I think Rob's right that it would have been kind of over-the-top, and I wonder if seeing it used a few months ago in Nip/Tuck, which I alluded to earlier today on the "Look Who's Stalking" thread, soured him on the concept. (Because if it's too ludicrous for that show -- which I think it was -- it's gonna be quite a feat to pull it off on VM.)

DCJ said...

I to othought that V calling Mac to say that Cassidy is was a bit of a jump. However in retrospect, I think she immediately put it together that C had raped her because of his story in ATttD and Woody's hx of chlamydia.

miranda said...

Meg's dad bailed out Lucky because Lucky was the Manning family's pet project... he went to their church and the Manning adults loved him. I think there was something earlier in the season to the effect that either Meg or her (teen) sister always felt pushed towards him by their parents.

I don't think Kendall was in on the hit on Aaron... but obviously, she has no problem bouncing back. And I thought that hit was the most awesome part of the episode, bar none.

I felt extraordinarily bad for Cassady, and it seemed to me that the whole "... oh, and he's Veronica's rapist!" felt tacked-on as a way to make the character less sympathetic. (I know, reading the TWOP boards, that when the first spoilers came out, a lot of people were really hoping he wouldn't be the bus crash culprit.) Logan's inability to give him a reason not to jump seemed just... another unutterably sad thing to happen to the Beav.

(Specifically, it seemed possible that Veronica's chlamydia diagnosis could have been fake - if her doc had been bribed by the Echolls law team. The disease often doesn't present symptoms, and is easily treated with a short course of any of several common antibiotics, most of which are also prescribed for things like sinus infections. It would have been easy for V. to have been intentionally misdiagnosed, and for the information to be passed along, so that Aaron's lawyer would be able to discredit her in the trial. In other words, the info from the trial would have had to have come from her medical records, if this were real life, because pharmacy records wouldn't be explicit enough - chlamidiya is not treated with one of those drugs that makes the patient's condition immediately obvious.)

I was also surprised that accurate audition sides were leaked, and that they weren't foilers. The fact that they were such serious, direct, complete spoilers as to the identity of the culprit... well, the suspicion that they *might* have been foilers was the only thing that kept the mystery alive. Real spoilers are almost not real spoilers if people are very reluctant to believe them. But overall, the episode went down in a way that the spoilers and previews suggested, and very few things surprised me. (Specifically: the plane bombing, the rape - not exactly a surprise, but something I was hoping wouldn't work out that way, Jackie's son - which I'd heard mentioned and discounted, and the situation between Kendall and Keith at the end of the episode, leaving Veronica waiting at the airport.) The previews had included a sobbing Mac in a hotel room, which indicated that Cassady wouldn't kill her. Spoilers mentioned a "confrontation" between K & K at the end of the episode, but it was described in a manner suggesting it would be adversarial rather than collaborative.

I was also surprised that the college question wasn't covered, but it's already suspected (because she skipped an exam for Aaron's verdict) that Veronica won't be getting the Kane scholarship, and that she won't be going to Stanford even if she does (because of her Scooby Gang). I assume that it'll be covered in the first episode of next season, which could start with a recap of this summer's events, the way season 2 did. But I've also heard something to the effect that RT wants to go into S3, assuming there is one, with no loose ends, so that new viewers can pick up the show.

Chris said...

I hope that, if there is a Season 3, we learn just how Kendall came into possession of Marcellus Wallace's briefcase.

porter said...

I'm with you, Alan. Can't hardly be happier about how this wrapped up, and if it's done, it's in a good place.

However -- I think Rob may have been tipping us to the show's fate when Weidman called Duncan. Their conversation went like this:

Duncan: "CW?"
Weidman: "It's a done deal."

I'm just sayin ...

Anonymous said...

Wow great episode! I never saw it coming! I for one always liked Beaver and along with Veronica started to think of him as Cassidy. Yes it's sad that bad things happened to him, but bad things happen to lots of people and they should not get sympathy for the bad and horrible things that they do because of it. Now if he wanted to get back at Woody, I can understand that, but killing innocent people!?! I don't think they needed to tack on the fact that he is Veronica's rapist just to make the audience think he was evil. I personally feel that just tied up a loose end since I always found that conclusion odd. Again lots of bad things happen to lots of different people and they all don't go out killing everyone. So no sympathy for Cassidy!

I would continue about all the other great things in the show, there was far too much, and I’m very sleepy so I'll end with this: So glad Veronica and Logan are back together and Keith Mars better not get involved with Kendall and get himself into trouble!!! Good night everyone! :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh no I have another thought! :-) This whole college thing has been bugging me all along. The idea that going to Stanford depends on Veronica getting the Kane scholarship is ridiculous! I really hope that Veronica chooses to stay in Neptune or that something else happens to keep her there other then loosing the scholarship because it's completely unrealistic that she couldn't go to Stanford otherwise. First of all, Stanford has a lot of money and since they accepted her they would be more then willing to pay all that was above Veronica’s estimated family contribution. Second, there are student loans and it's not like they are struggling to just put food on the table, Keith does own his own business (which also helps in the fin. aid process). Lastly, my family makes far less then what I assume the Mars make and at the very most about the same; and I will be attending a private college that is just about as expensive as Stanford but one that has far less money for grants. This is at the same time that my sister will be going to a public college were she gets absolutely no grants. If my family can figure out a way to finance college so can Veronica Mars. If she stays in Neptune it should be because she wants to! The money/scholarship excuse won't work.

Christy said...

Lamb! Lamb was on the plane. I loved hating Lamb. Say it ain't so!

Alan Sepinwall said...

I don't think Lamb was on the plane. The way Keith described it, it sounded like Lamb called the Reno cops and asked that Keith be taken off the plane. Don traveling all the way out to Reno and to fly back with Woody would have taken much too long for the chronology to work.

Alex R. said...

Well, the finale was excellent and I have to say that it made up for a very up & down and rather confusing season 2.

I think Veronica figuring out Jackie's backstory was a giant stretch but they felt they needed closure. I for one won't miss Tessa Thompson as a regular though I imagine they will bring her back for a mini arc at some point. If not, fine with me. I will say that jackie became far more tolerable in the second half of the season.

Speaking of Wallace, the storyline with him and his parents was one of the weaker ones this year. It had far more potential but all of a sudden his missing father went from being a major player to completely disappearing off screen (He will always be D'Shawn Hardell from "90210" to me anyway). Wallace went from having no relationship to his mom in mid season to there she is at Graduation...also, her break-up with Keith was never really shown and was confusing.

I also think the entire Weevil/PCH storyline this year was confusing as hell and that ended with a wimper though I wish Lamb could have let Weevil graduate (it reminded me of Johnny Sack not being allowed 10 more minutes to enjoy his daughter's wedding on "The Sopranos").

As for Lamb, not sure if he's still alive or not but my gut says he is...I can't imagine them just killing off the wonderful Michael Muhney (Lamb) off screen.

I think one storyline that's also a stretch is the whole Chlamydia thing. Veronica supposedly got Chlamydia 2 years ago from Cassidy and yet neither Duncan or Logan got it? She did have sex with both of them. I realize they may have used condoms the whole time but considering both their track records (Meg's baby and both sleeping with Kendall) I highly doubt there was 100% condom use. Veronica maybe smart but her feelings for those 2 clouded her judgement.

As for Mac, I saw a Rob Thomas interview just last week that said he wants and intends for Tina Majorino to be a castmember next season. Considering the show is losing 5 castmembers from this season (Beaver and Dick, Weevil, Duncan and Jackie) there's clearly budget room for Mac as a regular...my guess is that Mac and Wallace form an "official" Veronica scooby gang at Hearst. There hasn't been much interaction between Wallace and Mac, but that will change next year. Clearly, this is the new generation Xander and Willow without the romance between the 2. I imagine you will have Allyson Hannigan making some cameos next year and I wouldn't be surprised (knowing Rob's Buffy respect) to hear Trina Echolls making a "scooby" joke! :-)

jim treacher said...

Re: the Chlamydia thing. Okay, they faked me out, because I thought it pointed toward Duncan hooking up with Kendall. It was pretty strongly implied that they did, right? Well, the real explanation is only about 1000% creepier.

Alex R. said...

Some early Season 3 Predictions:

1. Woody Goodman may not actually be dead.

I am of the belief that if you don't see a body, the person could still be alive.

Think about it...Lamb had Keith off the plane for 'police business'. Knowing how weak minded and susceptible Lamb is, I wouldn't be shocked at all if Woody made a last minute 'deal' with Lamb and Lamb let him drive off separately.

2. Lynn Echolls may return.

Again, NO body and with Aaron definitely dead, Lynn may just show back up (if she's not 'Dancing with the Stars' again).

3. Romance predictor...Mac and the guy from "Arrested Development".

Rob did say he wanted both the 'AD' kids to show back up in Hearst next year (and all this Stanford talk is nonsense--they are not taking Veronica outside Neptune).

I could see a possible romance between the guy from "Arrested" and Mac.

4. Wallace gets a new romance in the first part of the season...and then just as it's getting big, Jackie and her kid show up for a mini arc.

It's the most predictable storyline in TV land. A character gets a potentially great new romance only for a past romance to show up and rock the boat.

So, much to my dismay, it's not the last we will be seeing of Tessa Thompson, but it will just be a short arc to provide true closure for Wallace and Jackie in season 3.

5. The Kendall/Fitzpatrick story that was left as a mini cliffhanger will occupy the first 7-8 episodes.

Rob Thomas already admitted no major season long storylines for next year (probably a good thing considering how up & down our interest was in the bus crash throughout the year) and he says there will be 3 mini arcs...the first will be official Kendall/Fitzpatrick closure.

6. Lianne Mars will be back next season.

Hopefully, it means the end of her sad "Kay Jeweler" ads and the poor bald 'Keith Mars wannabe' who plays her husband in those commercials.

I don't know what's sadder to me...Lianne Mars (Corinne Bohrer) doing Kay Jewelers Ads or Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) being reduced to some financial company ads?

Lindy said...

Yow. I was spoiled-by-speculation (when Beaver wasn't outed as one of Woody's abuse victims before the finale, I realized there was a good chance he was the killer, although I didn't want to believe Devin because Mac and Beav were so cute together!) so I wasn't so shocked about the outcome. But what an intense hour of TV. My boyfriend, who has only started watching VM recently, was almost catatonic afterwards. He just kept shaking his head and saying "wow."

I didn't see Aaron's death coming at all -- especially after he told Logan he holds the purse strings, I figured they were setting up a Season 3 subplot. Awesome to see Clarence Wiedman again, and I loved the slick, ruthless, noir feel of the hit. Duncan finally did something right! Yay Donut!

My other favorite moment was Veronica telling Clemmons not to keep his passwords taped to the underside of his stapler. I'll miss you, Clemmons! He grew into such a great character, with a grudging respect and even affection for Veronica no matter how difficult she made his life.

I hope like hell there's a Season 3 -- I'd love to see Wallace, Mac and Veronica teamed up to solve Hearst's mysteries. Crossing my fingers ...

DCJ said...

A few things -
It hit me last night that maybe the briefcase is Cliff's. Also V did not have sex with Logan, only Duncan. It is much more difficult for a male to contract Chlamydia thru hetero sex especially from someone with no symptoms. So it makes sense to me that V would have gotten from Beaver but not given it to Duncan.

DCJ said...

One more thing - they made it clear in "Donut Run" that Duncan did not sleep with Kendall.

Alan Sepinwall said...

On the drive into work, it occurred to me that there were more loose ends left untied than I had thought, though few of them major:

-Cliff's stolen briefcase (though, as DCJ suggests, that could tie into the Kendall plot);
-Woody wanting Gia to get off the bus; and
-The explosives planted in Terence's garage/hangar (unless Beaver copped to that, too, and I was too busy watching Kristen Bell cry to notice).

Also, the Aaron/pursestrings thing didn't make sense, since Logan was both 18 and got a trust fund from Trina's death, right?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alex, good call on the pointlessness of the stuff with Wallace's dad. (Technically, the point was to provide a budget-saving reason for Wallace to not be in every episode, but when real-world reasons are the only thing that make a story work, something's gone wrong.)

DCJ said...

Alan,
I think Aaron controlled the big time purse strings, as Lynn's only left Logan about 100K if I remember correctly. My thoughts are that some of these loose ends will show up next year. I do agree the Wallace storyline could have been better or not have happened at all.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Okay, then, DCJ. I do wish there had been time for a scene where Logan directly finds out about his father's murder. Given their relationship, I would've liked to see Jason Dohring play that immediate reaction.

ronia said...

Veronica left her one final, so there was no way she would get the Kane scholarship = no Stanford.

Also, Weevil set up Thumper to get killed, not Felix. ;-)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Felix vs. Thumper? D'oh! I'm gonna go fix that one right now. Thanks.

Alex R. said...

Alan,

I guess it makes sense to me now that it was a budgetary decision on Rob Thomas' part to not have Wallace around for all episodes....but it was a complete show interruption and 'felt' like it was and should have been a major storyline...and the next thing you know, Wallace is back, and his parents both completely disappear after being a huge part of the first 12 episodes.

It's a shame when the budget interferes with story.

I think with the elimination of 5 castmembers next year, it would be a good thing for Rob to make sure that the season 3 cast (Veronica, Keith, Logan, Wallace, and Mac) are around for every episode.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Rob has to work with the lowest budget for any drama on a broadcast network (and probably lower than some basic cable shows). In year one, he was only allowed to have Kristen and Enrico in every episode. In year two, that got bumped up to Kristen, Enrico and Jason. Unless the CW renews the show with a higher budget (doubtful), things will probably stay the same, even with a more streamlined cast overall. Wallace and Mac (if Tina signs on full-time) will probably still skip some episodes.

jim treacher said...

"One more thing - they made it clear in 'Donut Run' that Duncan did not sleep with Kendall."

They did? Guess I'll have to catch the rerun. I figured she gave it to him, being such a complete hosebag. Which must be fun for Carpenter to play, considering the only time she got any on Angel was with a gay guy from another dimension. Anyway. Getting VD from Steve Gutenberg would have to suck, especially if he was a kid-toucher. And worse, a politician!

lady t said...

My Little Sister totally called it on Beaver being the Big Bad(it's a shame in some ways-Kyle Gallner's a pretty good actor but maybe he'll get to reappear on Smallville next season) and I hope that this is the last we see of Jackie because Wallace can do way better than Ms. High Maintence.

My three favorite moments of the VM finale:

Woody getting tazered while trying to escape out the window(reminded me of that end bit in Fargo with William H. Macy,also in his undies)

Aaron Echolls recieving his karmic desserts(interesting that the last thing he saw was himself on TV)

Veronica graduating and getting props from her father,friends and the principal(anyone want to bet that she'll get called in to help with a Neptune High mystery next season?)

Least favorite:

Weevil's arrest-Lamb could've nabbed him as soon as he got off the stage after getting his diploma but noooo! Lamb just had to be a jerk yet again. Yes,Weevil deserved to get busted but you could also agrue that Thumper was heading down the path to his own destruction and that Weevil just nudged him forward abit sooner.

I also would've liked to see Dick being confronted by Cassidy or atleast have had a reaction scene after finding out what happened. Dick is the dictionary defination of shallow but this might have been a major reality check for him. Perhaps he'll be back next season and it'll be dealt with then.

Alex R. said...

I guess I would be OK with not having Wallace and Mac for every single episode, assuming it doesn't suddenly trash a major storyline smack dab in the middle of it (like with Wallace's parents). I think of all the storylines that went a bit haywire this year, that one was messed up the most and left with the most unanswered questions.

According to a recent intereview with Rob Thomas, he openly said he has every intention to making Tina Majorino (who's fantastic and deserves it) a regular member of the cast.

Hopefully her "Big Love" schedule won't interfere though if Jeffrey Dean Morgan has shown us (with his back n forth flying between Seattle and Vancouver to shoot episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Supernatural"--don't watch Grey's but I do love Supernatural), it can be done for a terrific actor to work 2 TV shows into their regular schedule.

I imagine that JD Morgan could not have worked it out if Vancouver and Seattle weren't so close in proximity.

And, yes, I am a huge "Big Love" fan and get weekly enjoyment of the fact that Mac, Beaver and Lilly Kane are all regularly on the show. It's a huge compliment to Rob Thomas and the quality of actors he associates with.

AS said...

For the most part, I really liked the episode. I consciously avoided looking at the list of guest starts, and so had a few surprises based on that, although I guessed that Beaver'd been abused, I had no clue about him being the bus crasher.

But. I kind of hated the very last scene. From everything we know of Keith (whose death I just never believed in, too), there's just about nothing I can imagine being in the briefcase (except a bomb) that would keep him from at the very least calling Veronica.

And I felt the same kind of whiplash in the last ten minutes that I have too often this season. I've felt more often than not that this season has been too tightly edited, that there've been a lot of scenes that have been cut away from or to just a beat or two too quickly. And that happened at the end of this episode, too.

DCJ said...

Oh seriously lady t - the taser scene with Woody killed. I was so afraid we'd have to suffer through listening to the Gute peeing! I think I was more scared there than when Cassidy blew up the plane.

It is a damn shame that budgets affected so many storylines, but what an awesome job RT does with limited resources. If they had had the money, I think all of our needs could have been met with a 2 hour finale.

jim treacher said...

Oh, and there was no voiceover, right? How many VM episodes haven't had any voiceover? And how come they shoehorned in pretty much everybody who's been on the show this season, including the stoner dude ("That sleazoid's gonna fry! ZZZZZT!!"), but not Cliff?

Alex R. said...

Ok, speaking of tasers, who's better wiht the taser...Keith on Woody Goodman or Chloe O'Brien on that cheesy drunk who was hitting on her at that bar on "24" a few weeks...she nailed that guy twice! :-)

CC said...

Cliff's briefcase is a good spec for why Keith didn't show up at the airport. He'd do anything for Cliffy!

And there's a very good reason why Woddy would warn Gia off the bus...two or three boys he molested were riding it. He'd want to keep her from learning anything about that.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Veronica tasering the evil frat guy in the Hearst episode was at least as funny as Keith zapping The Gutte or Chloe taking down her new friend.

Basically, tasers are always funny -- especially if you've seen the laughable end of the Bruce Willis thriller "Striking Distance."

velvetcannibal said...

RE Alan questions:

a) Cliff's stolen briefcase was orchestrated by Aaron's cellmate. The cellmate paid the hooker to get the briefcase away. In it were the keys to the Echolls storage locker, and that's how Aaron and Kendall got the Oscar to use for the trial.

b) Woody told Gia to get off the bus because Peter and Marcos were on it. I think they may have actually confronted Woody, but he scared them again. In any case, he probably thought it best to separate her from them. At that point, he didn't have any indication that Beaver was going to come forward.

c) YES! My biggest question. Why with the explosives in Cook's hangar? That I will wonder for a while.

More answers to some comments: Lamb was not on the plane. Logan and Veronica have not had sex. when V was raped by B, she was a sophomore, 16. He was a freshman, 14 or 15. Little League goes up to 12, I believe, though who knows when his relationship with Woody ended. They both happened to be people who had no symptoms. And yes, it's possible Duncan has chlamydia now.

I loved the symmetry of Kendall going into a shower to help Aaron frame Duncan, then going into a shower to help Duncan kill Aaron. This seems to fit the idea that she may have been in the know on that, since she left Aaron sated at a very convenient moment.

I also love how all the gloating over V/D has stopped with the horror of the truth. I love that Duncan is redeemed as from being called a cheater. Then Rob has him orchestrate the murder of his best friend's father. Beautiful.

And who knew the Gute could bring the creepy. Or Kyle G. Well done.

velvetcannibal said...

Oh, now that I think about it, the explosives in the hangar can be explained. Cassidy rigged Woody's plane to explode, right? Terrence kept his cars in Woody's HANGAR. Cassidy left C-4 there when he rigged the plane. By leaving some of the C-4 there, Cassidy placed blame for the inevitable plane explosion on Terrence Cook, along with the bus crash. It was more cover-up work by Cassidy.

Jennifer R said...

I totally bought that Keith could be killed off. Veronica's 18 and a high school graduate- she doesn't officially/legally NEED a dad any more, and his death could be another reason why she'd go to Hearst/stay in Neptune (take over the business, maybe too crushed to leave, maybe being a orphan causes some kind of money issue I can't think of right now). It'd add a totally different dynamic to the show- Veronica very much On Her Own with one less big person sticking around in her life and nobody to depend on but her friends.

Maybe I'm just too much of a rabid Whedonite and expect to see that kind of thing on television now, but it would make a good (if awful in its own way) twist had they actually gone through with it.

I'm glad they didn't, though. Keith would be sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

Just following up on what I said before about Stanford. Even though she could afford Standford without the Kane scholarship, Veronica could still get it by making up the final she missed. She had a pretty good reason to leave and a lot of teachers would let her make it up.

Gator said...

I'm pretty sure I'm here too late but I need to know in what episode did:

a) Veronica get the Chylamidia diagnosis?
b) Kendall scrape Duncan DNA?
c) Weevil kick Curly's ass?

I only know this stuff happened because of the "Previously on Veronica Mars" flashbacks. I'm positive there's one episode I missed before I got obsessive. Any help?

Vanya_6724 said...

Jim Treacher said - Which must be fun for Carpenter to play, considering the only time she got any on Angel was with a gay guy from another dimension.

So you've forgotten Connor? Good for you, some of us can't.

It seems that most people are assuming that Keith chose not to meet Veronica at the airport. The commenter who mentioned a Fitzpatrick whacking him could be on the right track. When Kendall showed Keith the briefcase he still had an hour to meet Veronica, plenty of time to call her if he wasn't planning to go to the airport. It makes more sense to assume he was prevented from getting to the airport, for whatever reason. I think the writers need to give Veronica a pretty strong motivation to stay in Neptune - if Veronica feels that her father's health or life are in jeopardy that might be what keeps her in town (and also living at home, according to Thomas), so I suspect Keith is in for a world of trouble over the next 7 episodes.

Anonymous said...

It was a bit of a stretch that Veronica still would not have known that Keith was not on the plane the next morning.

There would have been all sorts of debriefing at the police station after the Beaver incident, and they would have been in contact with Sheriff Lamb if he is indeed alive and he would have known that Keith was NOT on the plane. I know there is no love lost, but come on..that would be TOO pathologically cruel to withhold that info.

Anonymous said...

I’m a big (non-teenage) fan and I have to say my favorite parts of “Veronica Mars” are the Veronica/Logan scenes. Their dialogue with one another is so fresh and funny it sparkles, and the two actors have great on-screen chemistry.

Having said that, I liked the episode but it did feel a bit “Scooby Doo-ish” and not in a “Buffy” way, more of a “And I would have got it away with it too, if not for you meddling kids.” (The fact that he sat there and spelled it all out for her is classic bad villain tactic.) I also thought the immediate leap from Beaver being on the team to him being the killer was a bit of a, well, leap.

I loved that Logan “rescued” Veronica without question, and yet wasn’t totally her savior either. What I really, really wanted was to see how she and Logan went from him running out the morning after her Dad came home (and, yeah, I knew he wasn’t dead) to hot-and-heavy in the hallway. I’m also certain that, like last year, they’ll find a reason for these two to be broken up again by the time season three (god-willing) starts up. Also, that there was not even a throw-away line about the Echolls murder (anyone think Logan might get it pinned on him next season?) was a bit of a stretch. I think that would be something Keith, Veronica and Logan would definitely discuss.

Lastly, I love that in Veronica’s fantasy sequence (and, for a moment, I thought her dad coming home and she and Logan making out in the hall was going to be another dream), Logan was her one-true-love, not Duncan the drip.

Lastly, I agree with another poster that said Logan and Veronica have not been intimate. I think it would have been a plot point if they had, though realistically, with she and Duncan jumping into bed so fast it seems strange that she and Logan, who had so much more passion going on, didn’t in the time they were supposed to be together. (I just don’t think, for ratings sake, that would be something that would happen off camera.)

Liza said...

Logan and Veronica didn't have sex. We know because Veronica makes a Major Life Choice when she goes to meet Duncan and sleeps with him .. in the spirit of 'life is for living now.' We also know because she has a fleeting panic moment when she thinks her dad can tell by looking at her that she's had sex .. a panic moment she wouldn't have had had she already slept with a past boyfriend .. would have been old news by then. Her dad says there's something different about her when she gets home form Duncan's .. the difference being that she had (conscious and presumably enjoyed) sex. But the real tell is Logan's reaction. He is unbelievably jealous when he sees Veronica coming out of Duncan's room .. and proceeds to make snarky comments in ensuing episodes that basically give away the fact that he never slept with Veronica and clearly wishes she were still his.

Anonymous said...

not every reference to VAMPIRES is a "nod" to buffy. vampires have been around a bit longer than ten years.

jim treacher said...

Have they really? Thanks for the tip.

jim treacher said...

"So you've forgotten Connor?"

Ugh. Does that really count?

jim treacher said...

Dammit, I missed the obvious joke! I should have said: "Okay, TWO gay guys from other dimensions."

Anonymous said...

So... I loved the ending, even though I wasn't happy with Cassidy being the rapiest. I would of loved to live in the world where it just was Duncan and Veronica that night and no one else. But the end of season 2 left me with some hangers, not only on the storyline, but also on the returning cast.

1) If Veronica worked so hard to help Duncan hind out with the baby and his mother didn't approve, why was Clarence in contact with Duncan, since he works for Mr. & Mrs. Kane?

2)If the Oscar was found buried in the backyard of the Kane estate with Duncan's hair on it. Was it hidden when his parent's thought he was the one that killed his sister? OR Was it really Duncan that killed Lilly and hide it himself?

3)If Kendall was with Aaron when he was shot was she in on some special plot with Clarence and Duncan and if so how does that work?

4) From what I understand Teddy Dunn will not be returning to the cast for the 3rd season. Anyone know if it was about him persuing other options like law school, or was it just about his character not working with the direction they wanted to take with the next season?

Anonymous said...

I am not convinced that "Donut Run" proved that Duncan didn't sleep with Kendall. The scene where she asks him to scratch her back took place prior to Veronica's discovery of Meg's pregnancy, and I don't believe that Duncan had already started plotting at that point without Veronica. Plus, there is a scene where Duncan is ALONE with Kendall and she says, "I've been in BOTH your beds (Duncan's and Logan's), I think I"ve earned the occasional drop-by." If that was not a sincere statement of being in his bed, whose benefit was it for? The audience? That would just be poor directing. Every time that VM has played games with the audience, it has done it in such a way where we pick up the false info when the ones involved in the con are speaking to those being conned. I'm confused. I don't think Duncan would cheat on Veronica, but I don't know why he didn't kick Kendall out of him room the second she started hitting on him at that point. I know that the time Veronica saw Kendall in his shower WAS staged as part of the plot to save baby Lilly, but I'm not so sure about that first seduction attempt. Why were we left wondering...maybe in preparation for the hoax to come.
Also, why did the FBI just decide that Veronica and her dad were "pretty cool" and just drop the whole kidnapping accesory thing? She didn't cooperate at all, she was caught misleading the FBI with her taped phone call! Did they really just like her and hate Lamb so much that they joined in on the conspiracy? I think that was a bit of a stretch!

Buffy the Adipose Tissue Slayer said...

Okay, so this is a REALLY belated question, but I hope you have some theory about it. And then actually see my comment. Here's my question: in "Donut Run" how did Veronica and Duncan set it up so that Logan would see Veronica seeing Kendall come out of Duncan's shower? THAT is driving me nuts.
Thanks!
--A Latecomer Fan of VM