Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Veronica Mars: Thank (Little Girl) God

"Veronica Mars" spoilers coming up just as soon as I come to terms with having actually heard a Nick Lachey song for the first time ever...

A two-part Mystery of the Week(s)? Can they do that? Very cool, not just because it was unexpected, but because it gave the episode room to significantly advance the Dean O'Dell mystery, give Logan a decent character subplot, and not have to rush to wrap up Veronica's case all neat and tidy.

The LoVe stuff rarely does anything for me, but Juliette Goglia (aka Little Girl God from "Joan of Arcadia") was wonderful as Logan's pint-sized new BFF. With most kid actresses, the character would have been insufferably cute and wise, but Goglia played her as a real girl who just happened to have a few useful insights. The elevator scene was a scream, what with Heather's star-struck reaction to Veronica and Veronica trying to make some sense of why some little girl was wearing her clothes and palling around with Logan. Also, any episode in which Dick repeatedly outsmarts Logan gets bonus points from me.

I don't want to comment too much on the coach murder until it's resolved, but a few brief thoughts on it:
  • If they're going to keep doing Wallace on the basketball team stories, the coach had to go, because that actor was terrible. I was embarrassed watching the locker room scene.
  • Okay, so they've got money in the budget for Percy Daggs in this episode, and the case involves Veronica investigating the murder of Wallace's coach. So why did Wallace get only a token cameo at the beginning? It's better than nothing, but still feels like a waste.
  • Loved the direction and photography of the scene on the cliff. Not only did it seem for a second like Veronica was about to join Meredith Grey by going into the water, but it evoked memories of the bus crash. (The bus crash mystery was problematic, but I always loved that shot of Veronica standing at cliff's edge staring down at the wreck.)
  • Speaking of cliffs... Cliff! I love that guy.
  • I appreciate any efforts to get people to watch this show, but can someone please explain to the CW promo department that putting the final scene of an episode prominently into all the ads kind of ruins all the fun?
As for the O'Dell murder, I'm glad they spent so much time on the case, as I was starting to lose interest. In particular, Cyrus' recommendation letter from beyond the grave was a nice touch; I had already liked the dean, but it was good to get a reminder that Veronica should care about what happened to him. (Season two's "I Am God" tried to accomplish the same thing, but came way too late in that story.)

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

I am not a fervent LoVe fan, but I too enjoyed the Logan/little girl subplot. The radio dedication was very funny, especially the choice of song (very eleven year old girlish), and it was nice to see Logan empathizing with the girl at the end when he finds out what she's been dealing with at home. As for Wallace, nice opening scene with V but definitely a waste. It was a natural situation for him to be more involved, since it was his coach that got killed.

Anonymous said...

This would have been the perfect episode to use Wallace and so the short cameo was almost a slap in the face. This year has been particularly bad for not using Weevil, Wallace and Mac enough and while I know the show is called Veronica Mars, it seems like she has ditched her friends in college.

The Logan - Little Girl God interactions were good and it reduced the drama queen element that Logan tends to display.

Anonymous said...

Despite what we've been told by Rob Thomas, I'm not sure this is a MOTW story, really. It's the murder of a faculty member, in an arc about the murder of a Dean, and even if it's wrapped up next week, there's only one more to go in the O'Dell arc, right? Granted, even in the year-long arcs some of the MOTW stories turn out to be key -- you just don't know which ones.

By the way, since when does the coach of a team for a "small liberal arts college", as I think Hearst was described a couple of weeks ago, get in hot water because he "hasn't won a conference title in 8 years"?

Alan Sepinwall said...

DonBoy, you may well be right on the coach's murder tying in to O'Dell's. Landry's lecture about serial killers could wind up being far more relevant than it seemed at first.

Originally, this was going to be a seven episode storyline, and it got shaved to six after the shortened back seven pick-up. So we have two episodes to go before O'Dell's killer is revealed.

Jon88 said...

I don't watch CW except on Tuesdays, and never live, but even with that, I still saw the Veronica-in-cuffs clip somewhere. Fortunately, the Gilmore Girls final scene, which I understand was plastered all over the promos for a week, was new to me.

I think "Heather" was on a C.S.I. episode, playing a super-genius kid who gets away with murder.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this episode. One of the shows strengths is it's amazing continuity. I loved the way they were able to spotlight Arturo, Tina, and Ratner again.

Anonymous said...

I was all ready to "squee" like a fangirl when Wallace was on, and then...he disappeared. I agree, it was a complete waste. I hope he has a more prominent role next week.

Little Girl God is an awesome actress and I liked her interactions with Logan. Plus Dick cracked me up. I also thought Josh was about to push Veronica over the cliff; well-played, Rob Thomas!

If Lamb is such a buffoon, why is he still sheriff?

Anonymous said...

"If Lamb is such a buffoon, why is he still sheriff?"

The Sheriff is an elected official. Enough said.

I loved, loved, loved this episode. It felt like classic Veronica Mars again. It's too bad the ratings keep going down.

Anonymous said...

The brilliance of that Nick Lachey song is that it is precisely the type of god-awful music an 11-year-old would think of as romantic (as well as precisely the type of god-awful music an FM station would play as a request).

It was a nice touch, and added a little bit of humor to the scene (assuming that was their intention).

Alan Sepinwall said...

Rick, I agree that it was the perfect choice for an 11-year-old girl to make. There are just certain "artists" I try to avoid ever listening to, and I fear that I'm going to be exposed to one of Paris Hilton's songs any minute now.

Anonymous said...

It's gotta be the autistic brother who killed his father. And that's who the benched point guard saw in the car.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, since when does the coach of a team for a "small liberal arts college", as I think Hearst was described a couple of weeks ago, get in hot water because he "hasn't won a conference title in 8 years"?"

You'd be surprised at how passionate athletic boosters get, even at small schools. My alma mater is an 1800-student liberal arts college, but we have a D1 basketball team (we're in one of those mid-major conferences that gets 1 automatic bid to the NCAA tournament). If the team went 8 years between conference titles I think the alums would definitely start making noise.

I wish the episode had featured more Wallace -- why wouldn't Veronica have used her main connection to the basketball team more? Otherwise I liked it a lot, and I'm very curious about the idea of the coach's murder being related to the dean's. Plus, it's nice to see Logan getting a non-Veronica-related storyline. I wonder how they could put him and Weevil together in an arc ...

Rizzle said...

To return to the O'Dell murder, were the two male voices in the hotel room supposed to be Landry and O'Dell? It seems that way, given that we saw O'Dell go to the hotel room and next saw him dead. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with everyone about Wallace. I was really looking forward to his return and then "that's it?!" I really would like to see him and Mac in every episode...I know, I know, they don't have enough money, but they're sacrificing serious reality. It's a shame.

Welcome back, Cliff! I love that guy's character; what a voice!

Totally agree with everyone on the l'il sis, esp. the elevator scene.

No one's mentioned it yet, but LOVED the eating of the breakfast and then the note of binding contract by the dad. Adore their relationship. It reminds me very much of mine with my father...just no private detecting. ;)