Brief spoilers for "Veronica Mars" coming up just as soon as I warn people about the dangers of latenight swimming...
I was half-tempted to turn this entire post into a mock version of "Roy Rules!" called "Rudd Rules!" in tribute to how great Paul Rudd was as Desmond. Then I realized two things: 1)Parodies of parodies are kinda lame, and 2)There are other things to talk about in this episode, a vast improvement over last week's preachy, simplistic Racial Profiling Is Bad, MMMkay? show.
Start with the inevitable coupling of Mac and Max. In the space of a season, Mac has gone from the asexual virgin scarred by Cassidy to a girl having to choose between two suitable guys (or cafeteria foods, if you prefer the "absurd level of symbolism" scene). Seeing Mac and Max's hot nerd-on-nerd action as they put together Logan's website was fun, and yet I can't help feeling that Mac made the wrong choice, that Max is so obviously compatible with her that something's got to be wrong. Or maybe the writers are trying to make it up to the character after traumatizing her last year and then marginalizing her this year.
Then there's the return of Leo and the entrance of Vinnie Van Lowe into the race for sheriff. Good to see both characters, though this subplot more than the other ones -- including Veronica and Piz, and Logan's angst over same -- suffers from the real-world knowledge that there probably won't be much follow-through to it. If the show's coming back next year in college format, then it's fun to speculate about the havoc Vinnie could wreak as sheriff, and whether Leo might be another complication in Veronica's love life. But chances are neither will have a chance to go anywhere, either by cancellation or the FBI time-jump. Ah, well.
But, obviously, the highlight of the episode was Rudd, who took the stock character of bitter aging rock star and made me feel like I hadn't seen it a thousand times before. Particular favorites: comparing Veronica to "a feisty young Barbara Eden" (a reference designed to point out how old he is), him mocking the fake Jews For Jesus group, him instantly regretting the ocean dip ("OH MY GOD, I DON'T RECOMMEND THIS!"), him baiting Keith about The Beatles, and the brief snippet of Rudd and Rob Thomas sporting their Evan Dando wigs in that old My Pretty Pony video.
If last week was a sign of what the self-contained college show would look like in the future, then I'm fine with it probably not happening. If this one is a better indicator, then I'm more disappointed.
What did everybody else think?