Thursday, February 02, 2006

She used to have a carefree mind of her own

When I was in LA, Rob Thomas asked for my guess of who caused the "Veronica Mars" bus crash, and to my disappointment I realized I couldn't, for two reasons: 1)There were so many victims (and, counting the rich kids in the limo, potential victims) that it was hard to nail down who was the target, much less who wanted them dead; and 2)It had been so long since an episode had really focused on the crash that I had forgotten a lot of the details.

Thankfully, the business with Coma Meg and Coma Meg's Baby is done with, and after last night's snarkalicious episode, both the bus crash and Felix's murder are front and center -- and possibly linked. So now, for your sleuthing pleasure, some theories:
  1. Aaron Echolls. This is the obvious choice, the one they set up in episode three or four with the Curly Moran stuff. Aaron wants revenge against Veronica for busting him, and also wants to eliminate the prosecution's key witness against him, so he hires his old stuntman buddy to kill her in a way that won't immediately point to him. And he wouldn't want any of Logan's friends to die; hence the rat. Because it's such an obvious choice and was given to us waaaaay back when, I have to assume it's not the right one.
  2. Woody Goodman. Like Hamlin last year, Rob must have hired The Gutte for a reason, and now we have this tidbit about Woody warning his daughter to not get back on the bus. Woody's dream is to incorporate the ritzy parts of town, right? So maybe he hatches a plan to drive such a wedge between the 09ers and the poor people that the blue-collar folks won't object to being ghettoized into their own town.
  3. Terrence Cook. Like Hamlin and The Gutte, Rob must have hired his old "Cupid" buddy Jeffrey Sams for a reason. Now we have some info about him canoodling with the dead journalism teacher, plus we already know about his gambling debts. Since Jackie was new to the school and not on the bus, don't know why he'd bother with the rat.
  4. The Fitzpatricks. Thumper's video of Weevil kicking the crap out of Curly suggests that this year's two big cases may be related. Why would they want to kill a teacher and/or a bunch of poor kids? Couple of possibilities. Maybe, like the Felix killing, they were after Cervando to separate Weevil from his two strongest allies so they could acquire the PCH'ers help without much trouble. Or maybe they wanted to put an enormous scare into Terrence Cook (I'm assuming he owes them money, but I could be misremembering) by killing off his special lady friend. (And speaking of which, that's two shout-outs to that "Lebowski" line already this season, and it comes up again next week. I wonder who 0n the writing staff is a big fan of The Dude...)
  5. Big Dick Casablancas. A big long shot, but again, somebody wanted the rich kids (including his two sons) off that bus, and the return of Big Dick as Evil Big Dick would bring back one of the better recurring characters and give Charisma more to do.
  6. Madison. Okay, I don't really believe this one at all, but after watching "A Trip to the Dentist" and next week's episode back to back as research for a story I'm doing on writer Diane Ruggiero, I was reminded just how evil that girl can be. Not mass-murder evil, but evil enough that I wouldn't complain if she winds up being framed for the thing and sent to the women's correctional facility of her dreams.
So? Any other theories? I try not to think too much about this stuff, in case I actually figure it out in advance and get disappointed by the reveal, but now that they're finally getting back to business, I'm curious what other people think.

A few other quick "Veronica" notes:
  • Spoon guy is a much better Karaoke'r than Dandy Warhols guy, or maybe he just gets a leg up because "Veronica" is one of my favorite songs.
  • Veronica was back to her old funny self this week. Two highlights: "Do you know what any words actually mean?" and the entire Java the Hut scene with Logan, Weevil and Spoon guy.
  • Church stained glass has to be a cinematographer's favorite subject, right? The show has rarely looked better than it did in that shot of Veronica entering the church.
  • "Uncle Rucker." Shut your Rucking face, Uncle Rucker.
  • Coming soon, to a UPN-free affiliate near you: "Riding the Bus with My Gang Leader," the touching story of a former biker who develops a love of public transportation after a life-changing event. Co-starring Rosie O'Donnell as herself.
Oh, and the daily column link: Matt commenting on the latest Very Special Patient episode of "ER."


Matt Zoller Seitz said...

I feel a VERONICA MARS appreciation coming on. Last night's episode was one of the strongest in the entire series run. The dialogue alone was more exciting than most other series' best episodes; Thomas and company are onto some very distinctive syntax, almost as distinctive as the Milch-speak of NYPD BLUE and DEADWOOD.

Anonymous said...

Rob Thomas himself is a big fan of the Big Lebowski.

Don't you think he's showing a bit of cluelessness to be asking about the bus crash mystery when he hasn't devoted for than a couple of minutes to it in the past 5 episodes? Why does he think anyone cares when he hasn't bothered with it?

Whatever the case, I'm glad the mystery is back on the table and Duncan's gone, and I hope to erase the last 3 subpar episodes from my brain and forget they ever existed.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your article--yes?--on Diane Ruggiero. She's my favorite of the writers on this show, and why I'm so looking forward to next week's episode.

It must have been a little embarassing for Rob Thomas to ask that question. I think he's starting to get the clue that the first half of the season dragged. I just hope it's not too late for some people who were turned off by it.

I'm thrilled the season's mysteries are being addressed and am sure they are connected. (Side note: I wonder if VM would be a better show if the seasons were shorter, a la BBC series.)

I think Woody might be too obvious a suspect, but everything is tied up with class, money, drugs, and real estate, and he's the one with the most to gain. As for Aaron, I fully expect him to get off. (And please (!) let us get to see the trial.)

Alan Sepinwall said...

I don't think Rob was embarrassed to ask the question. We've been friendly going back to "Cupid," so I'm useful to him as both a barometer of critical and fan reaction. We talked a few times during season one about my theories (or lack thereof) about the rape and murder stories, and he was doing the same here.

And I think he's as aware as anyone that the show moved a little too far away from the crash story for a while. This week's episode got back to it in a huge way, and while the A-story with Veronica next week is self-contained, there's plenty of bus crash fallout running through the whole episode.

The Diane feature is running Sunday. It's a sequel to a story I wrote about her five and a half years ago when she was brand-new to Hollywood and psyched about the debut of "That's Life." If I can dig it up, I'll try to post the original story along with a link to the new one.

Magnolia said...

I really enjoyed the article about Diane Ruggiero and the comments about VM.

I agree with others that it's good to have the show getting back to the core mysteries. Veronica seemed to have forgotten all about the bus crash what with all the baby nonsense. That storyline and the relationship with Duncan were dragging down the show so I hope it can only go up from here.