Another day, another column about a show that blatantly steals from other material, in this case "Groundhog Taye," aka "Day Break."
"Veronica Mars" spoilers coming up just as soon as I finish printing out a Missing Persons poster for Tina Majorino...
Remind me to stop watching CW promos, okay? Because the parking garage sequence would have been about 10 times scarier if I hadn't seen so much of it last week. Given that Logan didn't call out until he was really close to Veronica's car, did the rapist really get scared off or was he just sending Veronica a message? Either way, bad move on his part and good move on the writers' part: as if Veronica didn't already have enough motivation to find this loser (guilt over Parker, her own issues from Shelly Pomeroy's party, etc.), now he's gone and touched her. And nobody touches Veronica without some serious payback.
Well, nobody except Liam Fitzpatrick, I suppose. His little wrestling match with her wasn't nearly as intense as last year's attempt at involuntary tattooing, but I suppose they had to save the real feeling of peril for the episode's climax. Completely unexpected and nice use of Vinnie to save the day, as I thought for sure that Veronica had called either Keith or Lamb before going in. Looks like the Fitzes are going to be more trouble for Keith, maybe even the subject of arc number two, but exactly how Liam not know that Kendall is dead?
I've been trying to put my finger on why the intermittent appearances by the non-Veronica/Keith/Logan members of the cast have seemed so much more obvious this year. Obviously, in the first season, we didn't know them as well and their presence wasn't as important as we got to know Veronica and see her at work. In season two, Logan had been promoted to every episode status, Mac wasn't even a regular character yet, and Veronica was hanging with Duncan for the entire patch of the season when Wallace was missing. But this year, there's no buffer of a character the writers know they can use up by mid-season, and there have been more episodes whose subject matters made certain absences more glaring. (Piz, for instance, was obviously missed in the episode about Wallace's academic struggles.)
For once, I thought the absence of Wallace and Mac felt appropriate, as it made Veronica feel more alone as she tried to deal with feeling betrayed by her dad, her boyfriend and her mentor, but at the same time, the amount of time she spent hanging out with her sorta-client felt off. It was never really established that she was taking this on as a case for a fee, as opposed to just helping out some random girlfriend of a guy she didn't even know. So while the story worked as a parallel to Veronica's problems with Logan, with all the other stuff going on and so many friends missing, I kept wondering why both Veronica and the show itself were spending so much time on this Mystery of the Week. The better we get to know the supporting characters and the closer each arc gets to its conclusion, the harder it gets to care about stories that don't have a really personal connection for Veronica.
That said, I thought all of the personal stuff was spot on. Veronica has been betrayed plenty of times in the past (good callback to her mom and Jake Kane), but she also holds certain people to impossible standards, and I liked that the episode acknowledged both sides of that. I didn't see Logan's Tijuana story coming as the thing he couldn't tell Veronica about, and I look forward to even more ugliness in the Keith/Harmony story, because that woman does not seem done with him, not by a long shot.
What did everybody else think? And, other than Mercer apparently being cleared and Moe having keys to everyone's dorm room, do you feel like we get any closer to identifying the rapist?