Has there ever been a TV high school that looked LESS fun to attend than Neptune High? Usually with teen shows there's a huge element of wish fulfillment: 90210, The O.C., Gossip Girl. Sure, those characters have led effed-up lives, but at least they live in cool houses and have fully catered lunch periods. Even teen thrillers tend to traffic in wish fulfillment: On The Vampire Diaries half the characters get super laid all the time and the other half are superheroes (basically). But at Neptune it's all just oppressive sunlight, class warfare, and the most brutal gossip mill since Victorian England. It's definitely something that sets Veronica Mars apart from your typical teen dramas: It's one of the few shows that makes us as antsy for the characters to graduate high school as WE were antsy to graduate in real life. There is a better world out there, everybody! (Theoretically. Probably not at Hearst College.)
Only six episodes left to go in Season 2. I watched three of them, so let's start this underwater waking dream!
Case of the week: Because the actual case of the week was directly related to the season-long mythology plotline, let's go with one of the smaller subplots: While helping out around Woody Goodman's office, Logan discovered an anonymously mailed DVD of camcorder footage filmed inside Goodman's home as he ate dinner. (Shades of Lost Highway!) Although the situation was just short of nightmarish, Goodman mysteriously swept it under the rug by suggesting a disgruntled gardener must've sent it. Keith, who Goodman had hired to clear Terrence Cook's name, was perplexed by Goodman's weird behavior. (Okay, I know this is leading to something major, but still. There were no actual cases of the week in this episode!)
The plot thickens: The primary story served to close out one of the season's most outstanding mysteries: Who killed Felix? Weevil already suspected Thumper was behind the murder somehow but needed Veronica to help him confirm it. First they cornered Molly, Felix's star-cross'd lover, and got her to wear a wire while confronting her sleazy Fitzpatrick family members. They heavily implied that they had been involved in Felix's murder mostly due to garden-variety hate-crimin'. But further confirmation arrived after Veronica convinced the original 911-caller's wife to pressure her husband to come forward and identify the assailant: None other than Thumper!
But after Sheriff Lamb decided not to pursue this lead (admittedly, some of Veronica's methods of ascertaining this information were less-than-legal), Weevil took it upon himself to deal with Thumper instead. During one of Thumper's routine confession-booth drug runs, Weevil stole his cash and then stashed it in Thumper's car, thus framing him for ripping off the Fitzgeralds. The last we saw of Thumper, he'd been tied up in the bathroom of Sharks Stadium just before essay-winner Logan demolished it with explosives. R.I.P. Thumper!
As for the bus crash plotline, the main thing we learned was that shortly after the crash, Weevil had received an anonymous tip that the mechanic dude (who later washed up on shore) had caused it, but Weevil "saved his life" by beating him within an inch of his life so that the rest of his gang wouldn't outright murder him. Very thoughtful!
Meanwhile things weren't exactly rosy in the Neptune High romance department. First Mac and Beaver split up after Mac kept wondering why Beaver hadn't put any moves on her. Then Wallace and his girlfriend split up after he'd mouth-attacked Jackie in the parking lot following Sadie Hawkins. But on the bright side, Jackie's redemption arc continued as she decided to take a developmentally disabled student to the dance AND THEN declined Wallace's advances. Maybe she wasn't as awful as she'd seemed!
Don't I know you from somewhere?
The parade of Top Model cameos continued when contestant Furonda Brasfield appeared as Woody Goodman's assistant.
Episode verdict: I don't know about you, but I was really ready to be finished with the Felix-stabbing plotline, so this episode was deeply satisfying. Not only was it tense and nicely paced, it also showed a much darker side of Weevil (in that he's capable of revenge-killing), and Thumper's ultimate cause of death was pretty epic. Also I was glad to see the Woody Woodman stuff coming back into play again. It might just be Felix/bus crash exhaustion, but I'm definitely ready for a fresh set of mysteries for Veronica to solve.
Case of the week: Again, the supposed 'case of the week' directly tied into the overarching season storylines, but a few seemingly unrelated tidbits did dribble through. The first was that Keith successfully uncovered a corrupt doctor who'd been diagnosing privileged students with "generalized anxiety disorder." The primary beneficiary of this bogus disability had been a goody-goody overachiever who'd overtaken Veronica in the GPA race toward that Kane Scholarship (which, oh yeah, would come in handy since Veronica GOT INTO STANFORD.) Meanwhile in a plotline that wasn't so much mysterious as it was charming: Logan and Wallace bonded! After being paired up in a physics project to create a protective egg drop mechanism, the two shared dialogue for possibly the first time since the pilot! Very momentous.
The plot thickens: The primary thrust of the episode was that suddenly Veronica was so deeply haunted by the bus crash that she began to have waking dreams about the victims, envisioning herself on an alternating airborne-or-underwater bus and openly discussing the case with their ghosts. It was a nice opportunity to see Meg again, but also it turned out that the victims were pretty good detectives! The gay student alluded to the fact that he was about to out a major player in Neptune (which Veronica erroneously assumed had been the sweater vest wearing physics teacher), and the student who'd left a series of voicemails for her friend DURING the crash was revealed to be a slightly crazy girl with a fixation on getting Dick Casablancas to knock her up. So, you know, more motives. But the most interesting tidbit was from the dead PCH-er who pointed out that the bus bomb would've had to have been detonated at exactly the right time for it to have plunged into the ocean and therefore whoever detonated the bomb must've had eyes on the bus when it happened.
But more disparate nuggets came to the fore: Apparently Meg had some kind of relationship with the school janitor, who in turn may or may not have been involved in burning down the community pool? Also the gabby cell phone victim's family was somehow paid off by the burger restaurant owned by Woody Goodman for the bogus-seeming reason of a tainted cheeseburger. Meanwhile the dead PCH-er had run aground of the Fitzpatricks. And the biggest reveal: Kendall Casablancas had been named the beneficiary of an insurance policy which would have awarded her a fortune if both Dick and Beaver ever died. So, you know, an AVALANCHE of motives were unveiled in this episode. It was almost as if actual detectives should've been looking into all of this rather than just a sassy teenage girl!
Don't I know you from somewhere?
Hey, it's Vicki from The Vampire Diaries! Kayla Ewell played Angie, Veronica's primary competition for the Kane Scholarship.
Episode verdict: Man, I just could not get enough of the dream-flashbacks in which Veronica talked to the dead students. So beautiful and well-done. On the other hand, my poor brain is starting to have a hard time keeping all the facts straight. Still though, I like where this is all headed; even though I was accidentally spoiled on WHO was behind the bus crash, I still don't know the WHY of it, so I'm getting way more excited about finding out.
Case of the week: This case of the week was much more separate from the main storyline—at first. (I guess it's a little late in the season for complete one-offs.) When a student approached Veronica for help finding the green sports car that ran over his dog, she managed to find the only one in town; it was owned by a blind old woman. But! Not just any blind old woman: the grandmother of one of the Fitzpatricks. And oh yeah, someone else witnessed the same distinctive car on the road around the time of the bus crash. In the end, though Veronica did indeed uncover who was responsible for the death her classmate's dog (Liam Fitzpatrick—he did it to torment the guy's younger brother), she hid the information from him so that he wouldn't go out and cause any more problems with his bow and arrow:
The plot thickens: Speaking of the Fitzpatricks, they were front-and-center in this episode when Veronica and Keith uncovered a startling connection between the family and Kendall Casablancas. For one thing, Kendall had a MUCH shadier past than anyone thought. She was using the identity of a girl who'd died in a car crash Kendall had been a part of. Also Kendall had spent some time in prison, having taken the fall for a Fitzpatrick-related crime (which meant she was owed a favor.) AND she had a secret home in the '09 district. Meanwhile Logan confirmed that she'd been by herself at the time of the bus crash, which, when coupled with the insurance policy taken out on her step-sons, made Kendall the current #1 suspect in the bus crash massacre.
Elsewhere, we finally got the pay-off from that wooden paddle Veronica Xeroxed back at the Winter Carnival. It did indeed have carvings of the license plate numbers of customers that Thumper had been dealing drugs to, and Weevil used this information as leverage to get Liam Fitzpatrick to leave the PCH gang alone.
Most surprising of all, however, was the sudden resurrection of the Lily Kane murder case: The original murder weapon (a poolside ashtray) was suddenly in question after one of Aaron Echolls' Oscars was found buried in Duncan's back yard with some of Duncan's hair on it. Because what? Why would the killer's hair be on it? Anyway, it's probably the same hair that Aaron asked Kendall to retrieve from Duncan's shower. Who knows. But still: This plotline was back on!
Don't I know you from somewhere?
I recognized the hunter kid's younger brother: Matt Bush from Adventureland and Glory Daze. He was funny in those things, but somewhat less funny here when he was tied up and severely beaten by the Fitzpatricks. Oh well.
Episode verdict: I don't know how I feel about the Lily Kane case getting reopened like this, but I still really enjoyed all the Kendall stuff. Part of it is due to how appealing Charisma Carpenter is, but I really appreciate how the different Neptune factions have started to come together in an understandable way. Everything is related! Great episode.
All right, this is it: Only three episodes to go! I'm guessing a lot of answers are heading our way and I for one can't wait to gobble 'em up. Just gobble 'em right up!
... Do we like Jackie now?
... Is it a little TOO obvious that Beaver is a series regular but hasn't really had an important-seeming storyline yet?
... How on earth does Veronica have the time to maintain a perfect GPA?
... Did YOUR egg break when you did the egg drop assignment in your school?
– The Veronica Mars Season 1 Dossier: Episodes 1-8
– The Veronica Mars Season 1 Dossier: Episodes 9-16
– The Veronica Mars Season 1 Dossier: Episodes 17-22
– The Veronica Mars Season 2 Dossier: Episodes 1-4
– The Veronica Mars Season 2 Dossier: Episodes 5-8
– The Veronica Mars Season 2 Dossier: Episodes 9-12
– The Veronica Mars Season 2 Dossier: Episodes 13-16