Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Veronica Mars: Jagged little pill

Spoilers for "Veronica Mars" coming up just as soon as I retrieve my cube from impound...

Two factors beyond my control make me feel at a bit of a loss to comment this week. With the A-story, my job got in the way. With the Dean O'Dell mystery, I again have to blame my TiFaux, which is seriously messing with me of late.

On the A-story, way back when I interviewed Rob Thomas in the summer for a story about the process of writing the mysteries, he mentioned some potential "college-age crimes" he had been batting around the room, notably "this idea of a college girl getting pregnant, and someone getting the idea they're doing her a favor by slipping her RU-486." From the logline, I knew this was that episode, and as soon as Veronica met the roommate, I knew exactly what had happened and why, so I can't really comment on the playalong element. Did any of you figure it out in advance? If so, when and how? If not, who were you suspecting and why?

I did appreciate the sympathetic portrayal of Bonnie's father (played by Hey It's That Guy! Chris Ellis), as well as the first real father/daughter team-up of the season, even if it was briefer than I would have hoped.

As for the O'Dell stuff, my DVR pulled one of its more annoying tricks and spent a good chunk of the scene at Mrs. O'Dell's house (pretty much everything from Grieco's exit on) either pixellating, freezing, dropping out the sound, or some combination of all three. The world righted itself immediately afterwards, but I have no idea what Keith and Cyrus' son discussed, what he talked about with the widow, etc., etc. I think we're halfway through the arc now, and I don't feel any closer to understanding what's what, but I also missed a good chunk of what I'm assuming was useful information.

Lucky for me, the DVR didn't give me any problems whatsoever with all the LoVe angst. Yippee! Nasty, judgmental skank Madison may be, but Veronica cubing her car was over the line, and I'm glad Veronica realized that before it was too late. Beyond that, this is an aspect of the show that's never really appealed to me even in the good times of Veronica's love life (I wasn't one of the fans who was breathlessly wondering who was at the door at the end of season one), so I can't say that I'm any more bored with this than I was with, say, Kendall flirting with Duncan.

So, essentially, I have no opinion on anything this week. Which means it's time to open the floor to you fine people. What did everybody else think?

19 comments:

EzekielRawlins said...

Maybe I'm just stoopid, but I never suspected the roommate. I was leaning more towards the father.
Oh, how cool was it to see Doug Murphy aka Nervous Guy from Scrubs doing a guest spot!

Please let there be a fourth season...and more Mac!

Anonymous said...

I actually watched the opening credits this time and noticed...Wallace. I think I remember him. Where did he go?

Lindy said...

Things we learned from Dean O'Dell's place:

1. His teenage son listens to angry music, has black fingernails, and Cyrus was considering sending him to teen discipline camp.

2. There was egg (or some kind of white stuff, anyway) under the windshield wiper of the O'Dell Volvo.

I think we have a new suspect in Cyrus's son.

Katie V said...

I agree about the car-cubing--from involving Weevil in the plot and putting him at risk for more prison time (maybe a lot more, given his history), to putting herself at risk by originating the car plot, I thought this sub plot was out of character. After she helped Weevil get a respectable job and is supposedly his friend, why would she put him in that position? Otherwise, I'm not too engaged in the Dean O'Dell mystery, and I too miss Wallace and Mac, like so many others (liked the line about Madison's birthday reminding V that she needs to get Mac a gift, though--nice reference to the "switched at birth" storyline). LoVe? I was never a huge fan, and much less so now that they keep breaking up and getting back together like a ping-pong match. Choose one, and stick with it.

Anonymous said...

I knew the second I saw the roommate that she was responsible. The formula for the show has gotten somehwat predictable at this point, and usually, minor character who we see in the beginning is whodunnit.

It's also worth noting that the other purpose of this episode was either to rule out Tim entirely as a suspect because Bonnie went to him for forgiveness right after the party, and because he's researching who might have done it. Then again, my gut instinct says that might be red herring, and Tim did kill the professor between the time of the party argument, and his girlfriend finding him and asking for forgiveness. As for why he's got the was o dell a suicide on his computer, he's just covering his tracks to make sure he pulled off the perfect murder by checking to see what are the other possibilities and maybe, even going so far as to frame it on someone later this season.

Then again, maybe 100% full of shit and should have faith in Rob Thomas and Co,

Devin McCullen said...

The one thing I can't figure is why the roommate told Veronica that Tim gave Bonnie the book. Trying to make him look good so the whole thing would go away? And if so, why did she preface that by telling Veronica he was a jerk?

While last week it was fine without them, this was an episode that simply screamed for a Mac or Wallace appearence.

I have to admit, after Dick came out with the "Nadia Comaneci" line, I was surprised he'd be that clever - maybe he's smarter than he looks. Naaaaahhh.

My feeling is that the investigation files on his computer pretty much clear Tim in the O'Dell case. He could have been checking to see if there was any evidence that would point to him, but why would you keep the notes of those interviews? And he's being much less public than he was when investigating the rape case - it doesn't help you look innocent if no one knows you're working on it.

That said, I just want to note that if it comes up, I could easily see Tim being paranoid enough to have security cameras in his office, so he would know exactly what Veronica was up to, and removed the really important files before she saw them.

Jon said...

It wasn't just your DVR. There's something screwy going on at channel 11 in NYC and/or Time Warner (my cable provider -- yours too?).

Anonymous said...

I am still a pretty diehard shipper, but I'm kind of glad that they're broken up. Yeah, I have visions they'll ride off into the sunset together, but frankly Veronica and Logan apart is far more entertaining than together.

I think my DVR had issues as well since it cut off the exchange with Mrs. O'Dell's ex-husband.

dez said...

Maybe I'm just stoopid, but I never suspected the roommate. I was leaning more towards the father. Oh, how cool was it to see Doug Murphy aka Nervous Guy from Scrubs doing a guest spot!

I never suspected the roommate, either. I was focused on the smarmy guy from Bonnie's church. And it was totally cool seeing Nervous Guy in another role!

I did like seeing that Dick has feelings beyond feeling girls up (him being upset with Logan for sleeping with Madison was unexpected). And I'm totally tired of LoVe's relationship. They definitely need to resolve that mess.

Wallace? There's a Wallace on this show? ;-(

Tosy And Cosh said...

I'm on Cablevision in the metro NY area, and had no issues, so not a WPIX problem in general.

porter said...

Anyone else catch all the references to the '70s Yankees? Dr. Chambliss, Eddie Nettles, smarmy church guy's first name was Thurman.

Anonymous said...

When I saw the roommate, I thought it would be her but the show did a good enough job proposing other alternatives that I didn't think she was the answer until the time was around 9:50 and they threw the dad, daughter, and roommate into the same scene.

Rob Thomas & co. do such a good job keeping the murderers hidden in plain sight(e.g. Aaron & Beav) that I can't slight them on this one.

Also, NY 11 had issues for me at the same scene.

My vote for killer...the professor.

1) Took Mindy's Volvo from the Neptune Grand
2) Had access to Veronica's perfect murder paper
3) Would elicit that "What are you doing here" reaction from the Dean.

But if it is him, I would enjoy more cat-and-mouse interaction between him and Keith.

Kat Coble said...

I hate to say it, but this is the 3rd MOW that I've solved in the opening minutes of the show. That disappoints me, because I dislike the idea of the writers becoming transparently formulaic.

From where I sit, it certainly doesn't bode well for the upcoming arc-less episodes this spring.

Another issue I'm having with this season is that the palette of the show seems to have changed from the bright, sunny oh-so-california look to a more dim and walnut feel. One of the better things about the show was how the sunny, often goofy MOWs combined with the sunny setting to offset the darkness of the arc mystery. Things now seem to have flip-flopped, with eh arcs and a darkening MOW/show palette.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Rob Thomas & co. do such a good job keeping the murderers hidden in plain sight(e.g. Aaron & Beav) that I can't slight them on this one.

And, again, to be clear, I only figured it out instantly because Rob had given me the motive, and it was one that fit the roommate far better than any of the other suspects to date.

Peter said...

I had the same issues with the same scene recording WPIX-HD with Verizon.

As for the episode itself, the car thing does point to the professor. I really hope it isn't Lucky again. Alan was right in a previous Mars column when he said that it was fine for the arc mystery to be in the background on some episodes when it was season long but I feel less invested in these smaller arc mysteries because they are in the background and only a few episodes.

The lack of Wallace this season has been disappointing. I always enjoyed their relationship in past seasons.

I like Veronica the vindictive bitch. I hoped she cubed Madison's car and then parked it in her driveway. The whole Madison plot line has been hard for me since she doesn't look anything like Madison did before. As soon as the roommate went on and on about Tim she became a prime suspect for me. I was hoping someone else did it but as the episode progressed nothing that happened made me think it was anyone else.

Anonymous said...

>Anyone else catch all the references to the '70s Yankees? Dr. Chambliss, Eddie Nettles, smarmy church guy's first name was Thurman.

So now they think they're St Elsewhere?
I didn't suspect roommate, and Iwas wondering who the goth kid was, so thanks for that (and the egg -- didn't know what that was either)
Grieco lost all the money he got and the car was repo'd and "there'snot enough money to pay all the bills"(or something like that)since the Dean died. There was also something about being a meth-headbut the teen on the porch confused that part for me.
And the Dean's wife's now totally well son -- he's awfully blonde to be Grieco's kid.... bit then again, I've seen Chastity Bono...

there's probably a bit more detail at marsinvestigations.net and hasn't the CW joined this decade (whatever it's called) and started streaming?)
It would beat our local UPN/CW with it's frequently disgusting signal (which we pay the cable company for)

Saw Johnny Kastl in the credits and was wondering when he was going to show up, about the time that the earwitness (who looked like Josh Groben when he turned his head the right way) was being quizzed.

Do you watch House? I've forgotten....

Pam

Anonymous said...

scratch that last question

Anonymous said...

Veronica Mars as a show suffers from the same Law of Conservation of Characters (credit Ebert, I think) that all other mysteries suffer from, so the best suspect is invariably either an apparently superfluous character introduced early, or else a comparatively famous actor cast in what first appears to be a small role. At least with the seasons mystery arcs, the rule doesn't have to apply because suspects are given equal time and are equally nobodies. (Once I saw Ed Bagley at the start of the season, I was pretty certain he'd be a prime suspect for something before long-- didn't think he'd be a victim.)

It sucks, yes, but it's even worse when this rule is broken-- I recall an early episode of CSI:Miami (yes yes, well, not a show I watch for its brains) featured a bomber who was caught at the end, and it turned out to be... a bomb-squad officer who was introduced bare seconds before, with a cookie-cutter attention/revenge motive, meaning the efforts of the entire episode up to the last 5 minutes contributed nothing at all to the end except a netful of red herring.

The rule sometimes even applies in medical mysteries (i.e. House, not Diagnosis Murder), generally with the famous-person-in-apparently-small-role.

Texas Single Girl said...

The alias that Veronica used at the abortion clinic cracked me up - Hester? Was there a scarlet letter on her chest?

Also, when Veronica and her dad were interviewing the printing company, and they gave their names as Carson and Nancy Drew - very funny, although a little more obvious.