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Veronica Mars - Re-watch Reviews

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Hello and welcome to the VM re-watch thread! I hope at least a few of you join in as we count down the days until Hulu puts up the revival S4. Enjoy!

S1E1 - Pilot



"Neptune, California. The town without a middle class."

We start off strong with a great pilot that tells us everything we need to know about Veronica and all the little mysteries dotted throughout the show. Thanks to well-acted voice-overs we get a pretty good way of receiving exposition about the goings on of Neptune, also helped by the numerous flashbacks throughout. Here's what we don't yet know; who killed Lilly Kane, who raped Veronica, where is Veronica's mother, why did Duncan dump Veronica, and, finally, what was Veronica's mother doing in a seedy motel room with Jake Kane?

Being a pilot, we also have many introductions:
  • Veronica Mars - no doubt the strongest of them, she goes right into narrating and letting us know what kind of person she is. The fact that she helps the new kid out by getting two criminals set free also shows that, while she's a good person, she also isn't above dirty tricks. Her flaws will, of course, be one of the most fascinating parts of the show/character.
  • Keith Mars - another character that immediately feels fully formed; he's close with his daughter, good at his job, but has secrets of his own. He also has a sense of humor that his daughter has clearly inherited.
  • Wallace Fennell - his best part in this one is calling Veronica a marshmallow. Also, his determination to be her friend and his reasoning - "Well, I figure I’ve got a choice. I can either go hang out with the punks who laughed at me, took pictures of me while I was taped to that flagpole, or I can hang out with the chick who cut me down." - is fairly sound as well.
  • Duncan Kane - he has yet to be given much personality, but we know that he's Veronica's ex (whom she's clearly still hung up on thanks to well-acted voiceover work by Bell), that he for whatever reason broke up with her quite suddenly before his sister's death, and that he's one of the popular kids.
  • Logan Echolls - "Every school has an obligatory psychotic jackass. He’s ours." It's a brilliant phrase to describe post-Lilly's death Logan and while he starts off very one dimensional 'mean high school guy' he will turn out to be much more than that. For now, he struts around, thinking he's hilarious and taking a crowbar to Veronica's LeBaron.
  • Sheriff Don Lamb - Immediately he shows himself for the absolute ass that he is; he bullies innocent witnesses, makes fun of a rape victim, and is just all-around bad. He is also one of the few characters on the show who, with one lone exception, remains a caricature throughout the show.
  • Eli 'Weevil' Navarro - His tough guy exterior is, unlike other characters, not just a front, but he also almost immediately shows us that he's a lot more than that. His decision to let Veronica have her one week shows that he's not just all about the violence, and his final act of beating up Logan to get him to apologize to Veronica shows that he honors his debts.
  • Lilly Kane - for now, she is only in one, short flashback, mentioning a secret she has. But as almost everything in Veronica's life revolves around Lilly, still, she immediately becomes an important cast member for the show.
When it comes to minor characters, we are introduced to Cliff McCormack, attorney at law, Felix Tombs, member of the PCH'ers (several others, as well, but Felix is one of the few who become memorable over time), Deputy Sacks, V.P. Clemmons, Lianne Mars, also only in flashback, Celeste Kane, and, last but not least, Corny.

What's Good?
Much like the Buffy pilot, these characters already feel mostly fully formed, instead of feeling like they were created for the sole purpose of starting their interactions for our benefits; this is a rare but nice success on TV. Veronica is a tough, no-nonsense lead in a tiny, blonde package (ring any bells?) but through flashbacks, we see that it may not have always been this way - that makes things intriguing and we want to learn more. The same can be said for the majority of the other 'major' players; why is Logan such a jackass, does Duncan still have feelings for his ex, why is Keith being dishonest (something that we're meant to think is rare) with his daughter, is the leader of the local motorcycle gang layered or was this just a one-off, the hits keep coming. We want to know all the little details in between. This is definitely filed under good.

What's Bad?
It's a bit of a cliche to bring in a new transfer student to give Veronica a friend, but I mostly overlook this because 1) it's another unique way to give the viewers exposition by having Veronica tell Wallace (and us) her past, and 2) I know that Wallace and Veronica's friendship will be anything but cliche as the show continues on. My other minor gripe is, again, Lamb and his very caricature, one-dimensional performance. He becomes someone we love to hate, but for now, he's just irritatingly 'evil'.

What's Great?
Already the very best parts of the Pilot are the things that the show will do best; the Mars father/daughter relationship, the mystery-building and the quick-witted language. It does a great job of introducing all of these questions and then answering them one by one, in an agonizing tooth-pulling kind of awesome way!

Quotes
"Life's a bitch until you die." - Veronica Mars

"Well let’s see it. I mean if it’s as big as you say, I’ll be your girlfriend. We could go to prom together." - Veronica Mars

"You need to go see the wizard. And ask him for some guts." - Sheriff Lamb

"Felix, we get it, you’re a badass, okay? But for once don’t be stupid." - Eli Navarro

"I'm no longer that girl." - Veronica Mars

"Who’s your daddy?"
"Ack. I hate it when you say that."
"You know what, this is important. You remember this. I used to be cool!"
"When?"
"’77. Trans Am, Blue Oyster Cult in the 8-track, a foxy stacked blond riding shotgun, racing for pink slips. Now wait a minute, I’m thinking of a Springsteen song. Scratch everything, I was never cool."
"I don’t know which bothers me more, "foxy" or "stacked." - Veronica and Keith Mars

"Plenty of people in this town still love Dad. That comes in handy sometimes." - Veronica Mars

"I’ll tell you what Veronica Mars, why don’t you go see the wizard? Ask for a little backbone." -Sheriff Lamb

"Underneath that angry young women shell, there’s a slightly less angry young woman who’s just dying to bake me something. You’re a marshmallow, Veronica Mars, a twinkie." - Wallace Fennell

"I suddenly feel like I’m in a scene from The Outsiders."
"Be cool, Sodapop." - Wallace and Veronica

"Rub a lamp." - Logan Echolls

"This morning when I woke up, I had one person in the world I could count on. But if there’s something I’ve learned in this business, the people you love let you down." - Veronica Mars

"I used to think I knew what tore our family apart. Now I'm sure I don't. But I promise this. I will find out what really happened and I will bring this family back together again. I'm sorry, is that mushy? Well, you know what they say. Veronica Mars, she's a marshmallow." - Veronica Mars

Final Rating - 8.5/10

I'm going to attempt a ranking at the bottom, we'll see how it goes. For now, it's simple enough.

Ranking
  1. Pilot (1)
 

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One of the greatest pilots I've ever watched. It immediately draws you into this intriguing noir world, and more than a decade later, it still holds together.

First thing I noticed upon my very first watch was the color templates. For a show set in SoCal, it has a very blueish, cold, washed out aesthetic to it that I really liked. In hindsight, the color choice was clearly deliberate and totally neo noir. It was a show that paid really good attention to details, no matter how small. One of the things I also loved about the pilot was how well Veronica juggled many different cases, over the course of 40 odd minutes. This show is extremely busy, and Veronica is always on the phone handling one case while the other case is in her hands, yet you never feel like the show is overloading itself. Above all else, she inspires me to be more freaking productive. 😂 I really don't have much else to say since @Puppet did a brilliant job at recapping everything, but this pilot really knocked it out of the park. It's rare that you see any show's pilot episode in people's top 5 episodes, but this one definitely is in mine. 😁
 

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S1E2 - Credit Where Credit's Due



"The trouble with befriending the leader of a motorcycle gang is that at the end of the day, he’s still the leader of a motorcycle gang."

We learn a lot more in this, the second episode of the show, so let's just go through this, shall we?

Wallace and Veronica have already grown a bit closer, joking with one another and talking about possibly going to a party together. However, Wallace still doesn't know her well enough to understand why she's trying to help out Weevil - though, to his credit (see what I did there?) he doesn't say no to helping out, too.

Then it's on to Dog Beach and our very first (but not our last) 09'er shindig. No homeless people fighting one another (something tells me Duncan wasn't at that party), but we do get to meet the woman who guest starred in basically every TV show around this time; Paris Hilton. She does a decent enough job, it could have been a lot worse, however, maybe she should've been given a less integral-to-the-plot part than that of Logan's cheating girlfriend. Her line delivery leaves a lot to be desired, let's not kid ourselves.

What we do take away from this scene is the dynamic (and writing) between Duncan and his old buddy Troy Vandergraff (he sure knows how to pick his friends, huh?). It's funny, it's the early stages of what we now know as the iconic language that is VM, and it gives us a little insight into the friendship between these two while giving us exposition on Troy being the new kid in school.

The party comes to end when 2 things happen. First, the PCH'ers show up, heckling the guys with Weevil and Logan having a stand-off; it's sort of a sequel to the events of the first episode, which is great continuity. Then, Lamb and Sacks show up and once again it becomes clear just what kind of cop Don Lamb is and it just makes me shake my head.

Moving on to the Navarro home. How much do I love seeing this badass leader of the motorcycle gang playing video games with his cousin? The answer is a lot. Only into the second episode and I'm reminded of how much I love Eli Navarro; probably in my top 3 favorite characters from the show. Anyway, the cops show up to arrest Eli's sweet, innocent grandmother for credit card fraud and the case comes to Mars investigation through returning character Cliff McCormack, attorney at law.

Veronica isn't as quick to jump to conclusions as Cliff and her father, because she recently had a positive encounter with Weevil (and she is very good at reading people, as it will turn out) but she works the case and keeps her mind open to Eli possibly being guilty. This makes her very good at her job. We cut to her at the Navarro home, checking out Eli's bike and being confronted by the man himself. I absolutely love this scene, because we learn a lot more about what kind of person Eli is when he doesn't just automatically forgive Veronica for thinking he might be guilty. He's defensive (a pretty big personality trait for him) and tells her to kick off but still appreciates her later for what she did. He's clearly someone who judges based on what's in front of him and I really like that. (He mentions Veronica's own reputation but seems to be using it to hurt her, not because he believes it to be true.)

Veronica and Keith are dining in a local restaurant when Lamb shows up to hackle them, as he makes a habit out of doing. There's a lot of back-and-forths but I think my favorite is at the very end. Veronica is so mature for her age that whenever we get moments reminding us that she's still just a 'kid' it always makes me smile. In the pilot, it was the knowledge that her favorite film is the South Park movie (not that it isn't great for what it is) and now it's going all Nelson on Sheriff Lamb and saying 'smell you later'. Oh, Veronica, that's such a lame comeback. You gotta try harder next time :)



And it's official, guys, Wallace is now in the office, and has access to whatever he needs to help out his new buddy. He barely questions her request, which just makes me love him even more. Veronica and Troy also share a moment, but since this is a re-watch, the less said about that, the better. Veronica heads to one of the most recognizable classrooms in the show; the school paper. She is assigned to photograph the article that Duncan is writing and that's so much more interesting than Paris Hilton cheating on her boyfriend or Troy being 'different' than the other rich boys. This should've gotten more than five minutes of screentime, imo.

We get a scene of Veronica on the case which is always some of the best parts of the episodes, with witty banter and clever investigation tactics. She also talks it over with Wallace; she seems to work better when she can bounce ideas and thoughts off of someone else as she continues to do this with both Wallace and other characters over the course of the show. Helps with the exposition, too ;)

She returns to her dad's office to excitedly tell him (and Cliff) about Weevil's innocence - only to find out that Eli confessed in order to get his grandmother out of prison. I repeat; I love Eli Navarro :D



On to next day (I assume) and Logan and Caitlin are discussing the firing of Grandma Navarro right near where Veronica is continuing her investigation or doing schoolwork, though it rarely seems to be the latter. We learn a bit more about how the other side feels about Veronica's 'betrayal' from Caitlin, and then the clever blonde finds an inconspicuous way of gathering more information. She is now suspicious of Logan, but quickly turns those suspicions on Caitlin instead, after some thinking and looking over some receipts.

We get a scene that's probably supposed to be cute, where Troy is the 'savior' - Duncan says chivalry is not dead and I want to throw up in my mouth - I am aware that most of this stem from knowing what Troy is really up to, but to be honest he was always a little too good to be true. Duncan may be boring, but at least I believe that he's really a good guy, deep down. I never really trusted Troy. So let's move on from that, and onto the part where Veronica has to get a ride with Duncan. I enjoy her inner voice talking about how it would have been better if she'd just walked there.

We cut to a short flashback of Veronica and Lilly out driving, discussing Lilly and Duncan's mother, Celeste. We're left wondering if maybe she was the reason Duncan dumped Veronica over a year ago. But another of my favorite moments of the episode comes in the following scene when we slow-mo a shot of Eli wearing an orange jumpsuit and cleaning up the highway.

We spend five seconds with some background music at the beach and then suddenly it's night and they're driving back home --- aaand, I'm over it.

They get pulled over because Lilly had some unpaid tickets and her dad comes to pick her up. The tension between Keith and Jake could be cut with a knife and we move on to another flashback, this time of Keith making it clear to Jake that he thinks he's guilty of killing his own daughter. Veronica goes on to explain - more voiceover - that when Keith was stripped of his title, her friends gave her a choice. She definitely made the right one, but it cost her and the viewers finally have more pieces of the puzzle that is Veronica the Outsider.

In the car, as they drive away, there's one moment that I just love so much. Veronica wants her dad's help with Weevil's case and he says why do that when the confessed criminal is already locked up. Veronica gives him this look that I just, ugh, this is why the show is so effin great. She's thinking what we're all thinking, that he's literally describing the Lilly Kane murder case, but because Keith doesn't know that Veronica knows that he's still secretly investigating, all she can do is give him that look. He immediately caves to it, too, which makes the moment even more amazing.

We've got, arguably, the very best scene in the whole episode, as Keith angrily marches Veronica into the Neptune Grand (we'll become a lot more familiar with that hotel in S2) to talk to the manager. They're playing pretend, of course, to get information on Caitlin's stay in the honeymoon suite recently, and the lengths they both go to, to sell it, is just beyond hilarious. And it also shows more of their adorable father-daughter dynamic that is the very best part of the show. I may ship LoVe until I die, but that hasn't got anything on Veronica and Keith!

Some more scenes come, they're fun enough but not hugely important to the plot. This includes Veronica telling Logan that 'she knows' which does make him suspicious, forcing him to later get his hands on Cailin's phone. Then there's Keith at the Sheriff's department, dropping off the escaped convict that he found and basically winning the argument against Lamb, after losing earlier. Nice continuity, again. Followed by a lunch scene with Veronica, Wallace, and Troy. The fact that Troy is basically saying Veronica should just apologize for what she did tells me that he either has no idea what went down, or he did and thinks it's just that simple. This does not warm me to him whatsoever.

We now get the aforementioned (much more interesting) lunch scene where Logan uses his girlfriend's phone to figure out if she's behind the credit card scam. And if so, he seems to know her well enough to know that it would involve another guy. He gets ahold of Chardo and is clever enough to keep quiet so that Chardo will keep talking long enough for Logan to eyeball him.

I'm not sure how she figured it out (I believe that she did, though, and don't consider it a plot hole, she's clever that way) but somehow Veronica knows that Logan knows and she pulls Chardo into the girl's bathroom (hah, this is even funnier on re-watches, our first time in her 'office') and warns him. Chardo is too stupid to listen, believing that Caitlin is in love with him and that they will run away together. He's about to get a harsh look at the truth.



Cut to the Navarro home, where the always clever Veronica finds a way to make Letitia Navarro tell the cops the truth. Her comment about Caitlin not liking her ice cubes made from tap water always gets me going, so funny. What a spoiled little brat. Of course, following this scene, we get another great one when Weevil returns from the station, a free man once more.

Veronica, nice girl that she is, warns Eli that the cops and Logan and his buddies are all out looking for Chardo, but Weevil does not seem worried; we find out why in the following scene.

Chardo is out in front of Caitlin's house, where she appears to have lured him?, and he is confronted by Logan and his buddies - we meet Dick for the first time but he is not yet named - but before he can be seriously injured, the PCH'ers show up. I love that after a quick private talk between Weevil and Logan, the latter lets Chardo go, knowing he'll be punished by his own people, which, in a lot of ways, is worse than anything he and his friends could do to him.

Another sweet moment follows between Veronica and Keith. She's still not ready to confess to knowing about his secret investigation and instead decides to ask him why he went after Jake Kane. She gets no answer, of course, but the very conversation that follows is another great moment in a great episode. Next, we see Veronica at the Sheriff's department, using Lilly's fake ID to get a closer look at the timestamp of that ticket we found out about earlier. This makes the mystery deepen even further, as it turns out that nobody in the Kane family has solid alibis any longer.

We round out the episode with Troy asking Veronica why she didn't show at the party - barf - and Veronica, Wallace, and Troy watching as Caitlin is frozen out of her group. Logan, we already know, is not really the nicest guy; his choice to dump her by being with a new girl and giving her the cold shoulder is about one of the worst ways you can break up with someone. Even if she deserves it, it's still horrid treatment. But, since this is a re-watch, it just makes me want to hug Logan because I know he keeps up walls for a reason :D

Quotes
"What about you, Wallace? Your life still a non-stop Nelly video?"
"Hey, at least I want my life to be a non-stop Nelly video." - Veronica & Wallace

This whole exchange is brilliantly funny, so I'm copy+pasting the whole damn thing!
"What do you say, dog? You ready to get this party started? You ready to burn this mother down. Up, jump… the boogie."
"My plan? And I haven’t worked this out entirely yet so bear with me, was to... Raise the roof."
"See that is so you, man, Mr. Old School."
"Me Old School? You’re the one who wanted to come down and get jiggy wid’ it."
"Yeah."
"So, uh, wanna go meet the locals or what?"
"As long as they’re humble, god-fearing, salt of the earth types."
"Every last one." - Troy & Duncan

"Look around you, man. It ain’t fifteen on four tonight." - Logan (to Weevil)

"You hear that, honey? That’s leadership. Way to stand up on your own two feet, Lamb and say, 'hey, the buck stops...there.'" - Keith Mars

"Do I look like James Bond to you?"
"Am I asking you to retrieve a nuclear warhead?" - Wallace & Veronica

"Tell the truth, Veronica. Did you just sign up for newspaper so you could be around Duncan?"
"No. I’m here so I can be closer to you." - Logan & Veronica (in retrospect this exchange is even funnier)

"Flat?"
"Just as God made me." - Troy & Veronica

"Veronica, I suffer from too much pep. I needed a pep outlet. Plus Sassy says girls who join the clubs really get the fellas." - Lilly Kane

"They gave me a choice. I could stand by my dad…or stand by Duncan and my dead best friend’s family. I chose Dad. It’s a decision I live with every day." - Veronica Voice-Over

Lamb glares, silently turns and walks back to his office.
"Should I follow you?" - Keith Mars

"Moron says what?"
"What?" - Veronica & Chardo

"Veronica Mars, I hear you’re to thank for this Kodak moment." - Eli Navarro

Final rating - 7.5/10
This was another good episode, though it got pulled down from Paris Hilton's lack of acting skills and focusing on the wrong stuff. But the things we learned and the character stuff was very good, so it kinda makes up for the rest of it.

Ranking
  • Pilot (1)
  • Credit Where Credit's Due (2)
 
VisionGirl
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Ugh Paris Hilton!!

Living Dead Boy

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And here's my two cents, since you have provided the rest of the 98 percent, brilliantly again:

I liked this episode a lot. Not one of my favorites, but it gets the job of establishing the world we know a bit more and broadening its horizons. One of the things I've always loved and respected about this show was the fact that it was willing to have these characters that you normally wouldn't see humanized (especially back in '04) like a Mexican gang leader and adding layers to them. I also really appreciated the fact that Veronica had a black male best friend. These things are a lot more commonplace in today's entertainment, but for someone who's only seen shallow and stereotypical representation growing up, it meant a lot to me. Now the show isn't perfect, but it definitely tried, which was more than I could say for a lot of shows back in those days.

I also loved the fact that Veronica could cross barriers and mingle with people of virtually every socioeconomic status. It also speaks volumes as to how she's able to get away with the things she does during this show. Its ultimately a show about the haves vs the have nots. Veronica doesn't have a lot as person of the "lower middle class", but she has more than a lot of people in that town. And she uses what she has to seek justice for those who have even less privilege than she. She could've easily dismissed Weevil as another thug, but she knows what it's like to be dismissed as a woman. Yet her heart is pure, and he's shown her in the pilot that he's worthy of respect, so they form a bond. Somewhat. 😂 It's one of the most fascinating relationships in the entire series, and I wish they had more time together to grow and learn from each other.

And what could I say about Paris? I honestly didn't mind her performance that much because she was playing a spoiled rich girl: aka herself. 🤷‍♂️😂
 
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I've never watched Veronica Mars but so many people recommend it and I love Kristen Bell, I'll give it a try! Will try to catch up with your reviews too! :)
 
Living Dead Boy
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Do it! Do it! Do it!
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Give it a try, I didn't really like it but a lot of people see something in it that they love.

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I've never watched Veronica Mars but so many people recommend it and I love Kristen Bell, I'll give it a try! Will try to catch up with your reviews too! :)
You should absolutely watch this, but remember that these are re-watch reviews and I'm not being careful about spoilers.
 

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S1E3 - Meet John Smith



"What's wrong with you, Veronica? What are you waiting for?"

Some people probably cry out...I don't know? Misogyny! Anti-Feministic! Bologna! Whatever, but I quite enjoy the opening scene for exactly what it is; a trio of immature, 14-year-old boys ranking the older female student body during lunch. They're not being mean, they're not being vulgar; they're just being boys.



I wouldn't personally rate Kristen Bell a 9 (or even an 8.5, sorry) but it's nice that she's got some fans. And Justin's right, her being a PI does up her hotness, even for me.

The camera pans away from the boys and over to Veronica and Troy. In retrospect, I always hate their interactions, because they're so freaking adorable and full of great zingers that I feel like they're wasted on a character that we're all going to end up hating in a few episodes, anyway. I totally can't wait for Logan to get some more screentime because their conversations (regardless of if they're enemies, friends, lovers, exes, etc.) are always some of the best material the show gives us when it comes to great language and fun laughs.

Anyway, Troy and Veronica talk about a sailing date, he walks off and she has an 'encounter' (however awkward) with Duncan. My favorite part of this whole thing has got to be the fact that Logan watches Veronica watch Duncan; it's subtle but there and shows that he's got his eye on things, even while acting like he doesn't care on the outside. The best we ever got from Duncan, imo, was always where it concerned his bromance with Logan.



Speaking of Duncan, this episode gives us a very deep look into his home life and why he is the way he is, but it does so in a very Mars fashion - by leaving us with more questions than answers by the time the episode ends. As I was saying, Duncan is floating in his pool, listening to music, when his father comes up to him to discuss his future. Duncan stops listening pretty quickly and we get the sense that he's heard all of this before. Or he just doesn't care. Or both. It's probably both.

Here is, quite possibly, my favorite part of this episode (that doesn't concern guest characters). First, we blend from a scene of Jake Kane practically telling his son how things are going to be, to one where Keith asks Veronica what the reason may be for the counselor calling him in. But, more importantly, we then blend from a very personal scene of a father and daughter eating around a tiny table to a cold dinner scene where Jake, Celeste, and Duncan couldn't be sitting further apart if they tried. The juxtaposition of these two very different families just always makes me feel something; it's a real strength the show will continue to have when it comes to showing us class differences and also highlighting that just because you're rich that doesn't make you better than the less fortunate.

--- VS ---


Speaking of those scenes; Veronica finally brings up her mother (possibly) hooking up with Jake Kane at the Camelot motel that we learned about in the pilot and Keith's reaction is to be expected - he shuts down, refusing to discuss it. No doubt wishing to protect his daughter from the harsh truth for as long as he can, if the rest of the episode is anything to go by. Meanwhile, in another show of difference to the family dynamic, Jake and Celeste discuss Duncan as if he wasn't in the room with them; no wonder he made the decisions he did later in the same episode.

Veronica tells her dad she's heading out to the library - Duncan mentions going to Shelley's for a bit. We cut to a somewhat steamy scene of the two of them making out in the back of (what I'm assuming is) Duncan's car. This is, of course, a dream that Veronica is having, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter who was fantasizing about whom, because this episode makes it clear that they are both pining after one another (barf).



She wakes up in a sweat and then the credits roll.

Moving on to one of the guest sets of the week; the local video store. Veronica and Keith are able to have a good time together despite the argument they're having, which is a nice touch, and they are having a very funny, very Mars discussion about movies. In the meantime, Justin is back, clearly more than just the boy from the first scene. In a re-watch, the constant view of his dad coming to rent videos is beyond sweet and heartbreaking at the same time. Also, it's not super obvious, the way other shows would make it, so kudos to the show for that bit of subtlety.



We're in the Kane kitchen and Celeste goes on and on, including telling Duncan to take his meds. When the pill accidentally falls down the drain, he makes the decision not to tell his mother, not to get a new one from the bottle. This is the first of many choices that Duncan makes in this episode which, btw, has one of the best Duncan-centered storylines of the show. Did I forget to mention that? Whoops.

Cut to the school hallway where, much like the first scene, Duncan and Logan talk about girls in a less than favorable way. But again, they're silly boys and not everyone can be a paragon of virtue, y'know? What this episode is doing, though, is making me realize why some people watching it for the first time now don't like it; the influence of SJW and their kin have made everyone forget how to enjoy what came before. It's sad, really.

Again Logan proves to be a good friend, if a bit of a jackass (that's a constant personality trait, though, so I've decided to forgive it), by pointing out that Duncan's friend (Troy) is seemingly hanging all over his ex (Veronica, if that wasn't already clear). Duncan, not on any calming medication, has a tiny freak-out that passes quickly, which is all part and parcel of going cold turkey on your meds, of course. Mood swings AF:



Logan and Duncan witness this little moment and I just love it, especially Logan's words, which you'll find in the Quotes section below.

Veronica and Justin are in the girls' bathroom (as I said last episode, her unofficial office; I'm just gonna call it that from now on) and he's telling her about his desire to find his dad. I don't know if it's retrospect or whatever, but no part of me feels upset with him for hoodwinking Vee like this. It's not just knowing where it all ends up, but the fact that this poor kid actually thinks that this will give him a shot with the pretty blonde. I mean, even if she hadn't been so good at her job that she figured out the truth, she's both older and cooler than him, which I'm sure he'd agree with. I just pity the poor child.

Veronica sets out on the daunting task of locating John Smith and Keith shows up at school to have a meeting with the counselor, Rebecca James. A character I wish we could've seen more of, especially post-breakup. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Rebecca tries to talk to Keith about Veronica's troubles, as of late, the key word here is 'try'; Keith gets defensive and immediately shuts her down, and attitude he thankfully apologizes for later (he wouldn't be Keith if he hadn't).



Duncan continues his downward spiral when he stands up to make a speech about a dog that was apparently given away because it had the nerve to whiz on Celeste's precious flowers. Somehow I'm not that surprised. Anyway, the fact that his parents seem to not even blink an eye, or wonder what's up, says a lot about what they've been dealing with from Duncan before they got him medicated. This we, of course, find out about later when his actual condition is revealed.

It's the next day and Justin walks into school with his buddy; this is where we learn the truth, that his father actually died seven years ago. I think it was a smart choice by the writers to have the audience find out the truth before Veronica did because it adds something to the story. Even if what it adds is not me hating the poor dude.

TBC...
 

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Part 2 commencing



Another personal favorite scene of mine as we head into the offices of Mars Investigations where Wallace is helping Veronica with Justin's case. This marks the first time that Wallace and Keith meet, btw. While Veronica's witty words (depicted above) may be funny, they also let us know that she and Keith have the kind of relationship where they share most things, as he clearly told her what Rebecca said in their brief meeting.

We also get a great exchange (that continues a few more times before the episode ends) between Wallace and Veronica about him doing favors for her since he has access to the school main office. She wants to see her own personal file because Veronica Mars is not good at being out of the loop. A core characteristic of hers, which will become more and more obvious as the season (and show) unfolds, is her need to know everything that's going on around her, whether it's her business or not.

Another morning in the Kane kitchen, another pill down the drain. I do appreciate them showing us this, despite how brief of a scene it is.

We're back at school and Wallace has, of course, got his hands on Veronica's file and is using its contents to make fun of her. It's another great scene with the two of them and we really see how their friendship is growing. While they are not close to being my favorite duo on the show, I do appreciate how deep and real their friendship remains throughout the show. I mean, I was pretty upset when I thought that Wallace wasn't in the revival, because it just wouldn't have made any sense. Thankfully my fellow VM fan (you know who you are) let me know the truth and I can't wait to see a continuation of their dynamic in S4.

Anyway, Justin hands Veronica a mixtape and she's instantly suspicious (another core part of her personality, though), asking Wallace to get his hands on Justin's personnel file. Wallace makes a comment about it, but also immediately complies, which is again part of why I love those two together.

I very much don't wish to discuss anything that is Troy-related, so I'm gonna skip quickly over the date. They eat out, they have witty banter (as always) and when he tries to go in for a goodnight kiss - she reacts, um, unfavorably?



Veronica is clearly (I said it before but now I'm saying it again) pining after her boring ex and she is very hard on herself while going over this date later on in her room. Meanwhile, in another part of town, the fantasy of backseat making out is coming true, only the mood swinging, hallucinating Duncan mistake (I'm guessing) Shelley Pomroy (though if it is, it's a different actress from the pilot) for Veronica.

Might I add; Duncan appears to be wearing an identical (or very similar) sweater to what Troy was wearing in the previous date scene. That can't be a coincidence, right?



Once again it's the next day and at school, where a very serious Wallace lets Veronica know that she needs to take a good look at Justin's file; they now know the truth that we've known for several scenes. She confronts Justin and demands answers. Before she can storm off, a woman shows up (who gets mail at school?) and hands Justin the very envelope that Wallace and Veronica had been folding and mailing just a few days ago.

Evidence that his father is still alive. Here is where the break-my-heart-why-dontcha parts begin as the young actor does a great job in showing us how hurt and confused he is by this letter that he's holding. Veronica, for her part, also shelves her anger at his lies and the look on her face is of someone with a great deal of sympathy for what Justin is dealing with at that moment.



That same night (again, just guessing) Justin shows up at Veronica's door with news of what his mother told him; that's not the most important part of this scene, though. No, what we get out of this is that Keith is finally coming to realize that his daughter is not as put-together as he's tried to tell himself (and Rebecca James). He realizes that she blames her mother, perhaps for more than what she should (though that's hard to say knowing what a terrible parent she'll turn out to be later on), and he feels the need to do something to change this. This leads to his confrontation with her where she admits that she blames her mother and that the parent that stays is the 'good guy' in this type of scenario.

We also learn that Veronica knows exactly where her mother is but hasn't gotten up the courage to go see her yet. She learns a lesson in waiting too long at the end of the episode, but for now, we learn a few more important things about Veronica, as a person and as a daughter.

And as a PI.



I feel like I keep saying this but, once again it's the next day at school, and Veronica is catching up to Troy and trying to act as nothing happened. In the meantime, Duncan, Logan, and some more (nameless) buddies are hanging out on the bleachers during what I'm guessing is lunch (maybe a free period?) watching practice and the mere mention that Troy may be off somewhere with Veronica sends the mood-swinging Duncan into a silly state where he begins to sing Grease songs and jumps off the tall bleachers. Unlike his buddy, though, he's not quite as lucky with his landing.

The reason for his out-of-character crazy jump?



When Veronica takes Duncan to the hospital, she is so worried about him that she completely dismissed Troy - him being hurt by that makes little sense on a re-watch but as usual I try to just ignore him and move on.

On the drive to the emergency room, Duncan (I cannot stress it enough; he's off his meds) makes a comment to Veronica that only serves to piss her off even more than she already is - rightfully so - and it seems clear that she has figured out exactly why he jumped off those bleachers. It wasn't just bad timing on his part.



In the hospital, we get yet another awkward encounter between Veronica and a surprised Jake Kane who wasn't expecting to see her with his son. However, she quickly leaves them alone (also, Jake is clearly a much nicer person than his wife, even if this was the first time watching it) and we get a scene of Duncan speaking to his doctor alone. I'm not entirely sure what the laws are regarding all of this, but I just can't imagine him being allowed to make his own decisions about medication when he's still a minor and his illness is so severe (which we, of course, don't know yet). Maybe someone American can shed some light on this?

Keith returns to the counselor office at Neptune High to apologize to Rebecca James and they have a really great exchange after she clumsily knocks over her coffee cup. She makes it clear that she was against the decision to remove him from office and he eyeballs the name of her coffee place so he can 'bump' into her there later. Totally adorable, those two.



Back in school (wow this is gonna get repetitious, quick!) Veronica shows Justin surveillance photos of the 3 John Smith's that she suspects might be his dad. He rules out two due to blue eyes, but the final one never took off his sunglasses. Being in California, that's not super shocking, tbh. Wallace wanting Veronica to 'give the kid a break' is another great moment from a terribly underused (at times) character.

Later that same day, Veronica and Justin tail the 3rd guy for a bit before the kid insists on confronting the could-be dangerous man. He is very quickly convinced that it's not his dad (very true) but at the same time, Veronica discovers that the handwriting she found on a piece of paper in the guy's car matches that of the letter sent to Justin earlier. Something is very fishy here, clearly.

Another of the best parts of the episode (and why Duncan is something other than just boring to me) is when the grieving brother hallucinates his dead sister while on the couch in his home. She makes mysterious comments about how her death makes no sense (comments that are very cool on a re-watch as Duncan clearly knows more than we do) and also forces him to realize that maybe going cold turkey on his pills is not something he's ready for just yet.



The sun is getting low and Veronica and Justin have tailed John Smith #3 to his home. Convinced that he's lying and out to prove it, Veronica leaves Justin in the car with a taser and breaks into the garage to find the smoking gun - or, in this case, the classic car - but instead is caught by the man who it turns out is not a criminal but a parole officer (which also explains his visits to shady places). While she is confronting/confronted by him inside the garage, a classic car arrives in the driveway.

In a (very sweet) attempt to protect Veronica from this unknown threat, Justin grabs the taser and heads for the car. Quickly recognizing the female driver in it as the very same father he's been looking for, for a few days now.



Here's where I want to take a moment to commend the show for what it did. In its 3rd episode (remember also that this is from 2006, 13 years ago) it dealt with a very important but also polarizing topic, and it did it in a very respectful manner. Today the role would've been played by an actual transgender, but this isn't today, so deal with it. Anyway, by respectful I mean that they don't appear to be pandering to any one audience. Julia is a real human being with feelings, but Justin is also very hurt and a little bit disgusted by what he discovers of his dad; none of this makes either of them bad people. Julie is not a bad parent, Justin is not a bad son, they are however very human and prone to making mistakes and saying things they'll regret later.

I cannot put into words how much this scene and the entire episode means to me, for including something so important and yet still making it about the story and not doing it just to please their political viewership. Having Veronica clearly not care and barely be shocked by it was also another smart move and, in hindsight knowing her character, also makes perfect sense.

Okay, I've said my piece, we can move on with the episode now.



As they drive back to Neptune, Veronica makes it very clear where she stands on this issue, which also highlights why we've been hearing about her mother for parts of the episode; Veronica compares the two situations and, being very emotional, can't see how different they are. All she can see is her own pain at being abandoned by someone who should love her enough to do what Julia did for Justin.

(Here we go again) it's the following day and we're (surprise, surprise) at school! Veronica walks up to Duncan (and Logan) and sweetly asks him how he is. His reply makes it clear (to us) that he's back on his meds (plus there's the whole scene of him taking it, but who cares about details, sheesh). And once again my favorite part of the scene is Logan's reaction, as he looks at Duncan with exactly as much worry as Veronica has in her face.

As Veronica's closing voice-over continues, we see Keith showing up at Rebecca's regular coffee place, and Justin's co-worker unknowingly forcing his hand at making a decision regarding his now-female father. He does wind up making the first move and this is another story I wish we'd seen a tiny bit more of in the future, even if it was just a passing line from Veronica.



Finally, we have what could amount to a post-credits scene, with the way the episode is structured. Veronica decides to go confront her mother but finds that she's been gone for a few weeks. Her short conversation with an old friend of Lianne's tells us that she still isn't ready to give up on the idea that the one that leaves is the bad guy; she probably needs to spend some time hating her mother, whether that's healthy or not.



The less said about the actual final scene, the better :p

Quotes

"Guess what I'm doing this weekend."
"I'm guessing it involves autoeroticism."
"Close. I will be cruising the marina in my dad's Sabre 386. That's a luxury sailboat. You know, wind through my hair, Strokes blasting through the speakers, and, with any luck, a wide-eyed, impressionable vixen by my side."
"Impressionable, me? Ha."
"Wo-wo-wo-whoa. I said "impressionable." Not-not you. You know, you might want to check your ego at the door there, missy." - Troy & Veronica

"Okay, nowhere man, you be the fool on the hill. See if I care." - Logan Echolls

"That girl is seriously whack." - Logan Echolls

"Wallace is a friend of mine. Take that, high school guidance counselor." - Veronica Mars

"Part of me is proud...and let's just leave it at that." - Keith Mars

"So how did she rope you into this?"
"She promised me all the answer keys to-...she promised to be my friend."
"I'd of held out for a better offer." - Wallace & Keith

"Hey, would you do me a favor?"
"Why did all the hair on the back of my neck just stick up?" - Wallace & Veronica

"Hey, do me a favor."
"Please be kidding." - Wallace & Veronica

"I would have expected sex had that worked."
"Had that worked, you would have gotten it." - Troy & Veronica

"How was your date?"
"Oh, you know. Lousy conversation but the sex was fantastic."
"That's not funny."
"I don't know. I'm pretty sure it was." - Keith and Veronica

"Brain? Check. Dead sexy? Check. Devilish charm? Check. Formidable Scrabble opponent? Who cares?" - Veronica Voiceover

"Someone to see you."
"Describe this someone."
"White male, pint-sized, desperate and not having a good day." - Keith & Veronica

"The hero is the one that stays and the villain is the one that splits." - Veronica Mars

"Don't run, Veronica, people might think that you're desperate."
"That would be a step up, reputation-wise." - Troy & Veronica

"What was that, a triple klutz?" - Logan Echolls

"Sheriff Mars? You always had my vote." - Rebecca James

"Clue in, Donut. It doesn't add up. You know that deep down inside. I wish you'd just admit it to yourself. Break out of your stupor. Wake up." - Halluci-Lilly

"I went to see you. Can you understand that? I wanted to see for myself that you were all right." - Julia

"Ninety miles."
"What's ninety miles?"
"It's the distance your dad travels every week to see you for a few seconds." - Justin & Veronica

"Tragedy blows through your life like a tornado, uprooting everything, creating chaos. You wait for the dust to settle and then you choose. You can live in the wreckage and pretend it's still the mansion you remember. Or you can crawl from the rubble and slowly rebuild. Because after disaster strikes, the important thing is that you move on. But if you're like me, you just keep chasing the storm. The problem with chasing the storm is that it wears you down, breaks your spirit. Even the experts agree. A girl needs closure." - Veronica Voiceover

Final rating - 8/10
I really wish I could give it more, but between the Troy Vandergraff parts and the lack of Weevil, it stays below the pilot. But, let's face it, 8 is still a pretty high rating :D

Ranking
  • Pilot (1)
  • Meet John Smith (3)
  • Credit Where Credit's Due (2)
 

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A few thoughts: I don't know how you do it @Puppet. This clearly takes time and effort to do these reviews, so I applaud you for your dedication and your patience. Do you have some to spare, perhaps? 😂

I liked this way better than the second episode for sure, specifically because of the way they handled the transgender issue. This is one of the many ways that this show was way ahead of it's time. It handled it with care and attention, not for shock factor. I kinda thought something was suspicious about the woman who kept walking into the video store where Justin worked. They made a point to have an entire small scene devoted to the woman in question showing up at the store just to request a movie. It's little moments like that that makes me love the show so much. It pays attention to details and doesn't treat us like we're idiots. All of the cards are laid out on the table, and it's up to us to figure out the situation.

I also kinda wanna say shout out to Justin for being the worst actor on the show. I'm sorry, but he sucks booty. o_O But he also looked like he was extremely young and inexperienced as an actor, so I'll cut him a tad bit of slack. Hehe.

Troy, Troy, Troy. I'm also a fan of him and their relationship if that's what you want to call it. It just was too damn short! He was there, made a huge impression, and then he was gone! I loved the episode when his evilness got exposed, but all of it felt a bit rushed. We definitely should've had more buildup. But as a certain character once said, "If ifs and buts were candies and nuts we'd all have a merry Christmas". *Guess who said that* ;)

I also want to point out the music choices. I really loved the scene where Veronica and Troy had dinner, but the scene at the car while that particular song was playing was an great choice. I wanted to say that during the pilot, which had excellent and diverse song selections. Come on, Air, Pete Yorn, Death In Vegas, The Streets, Blue Oyster Cult? I live for all of it!

No Weevil in an episode always sucks, but it prepares us for a common theme that I've always resented: the underuse of the other main characters. Weevil, Wallace, and Mac are all integral to the Mars universe, so the fact that we could go whole stretches of episodes without seeing some of them always rubbed me the wrong way. But it made their appearances all the more special because of it so hey, you win some, you lose some.

All in all, a very good episode that made me want more. That's all you can ask for from a show.
 

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Okay, so it took me nearly 3 hours to write the last review, much longer than it took to watch it, so I'm gonna try something a little bit different this time around.

S1E4 - The Wrath of Con



"I've already lived the dream. Everything else seems like a cheap reminder."

Troy and Veronica are having a heavy makeout session in front of her apartment (and I'm trying not to throw up in my mouth), while Keith waits inside, counting the minutes and getting ready to pretend not to be waiting up for his daughter.

It's time for another episode of Veronica Mars.



"So, what did you think of him?"
"Oh, hey, you're home early."
"Oh hey, did you run his license plate? Or did you get fingerprints?"
"Sorry, honey, what?"
"You know you're not fooling me."
"Okay." Pause. "Veronica, I have no idea what you're talking about." Pause. "Oh, hey, I forgot to tell ya. If he's gonna be kissing my daughter on my porch for eight and a half minutes, I'll need to meet him. Sweet dreams, honey."
"Is that really necessary?"
"He's taking up a lot of daddy/daughter time. I hardly get to see you."
"I see you constantly."
"Oh sure. You see me but we don't do anything."
- Veronica & Keith Mars

I love that she knows him so well she won't be falling for his bull anytime soon. He knows it, too, and soon gives up, but in a funny way, of course. Of course.

When Veronica falls back onto her bed, all happy and giddy, I just want to punch Troy in the throat. Right on his stupid Adam's Apple!

Thankfully, the best way to calm me down is with a Lilly Flashback and this episode is chock full of them!



"Why do you insist on suppressing your hotness? The world is ready for you, Veronica Mars. You don't have to blend in." - Lilly Kane

Lilly is so full of life, so exactly what every high school girl should be; carefree and grabbing life by the balls. And she won't stand for Veronica being some introvert who hides all the best parts of herself. I love her so much and part of me feels cheated that she was only ever around in dreamy flashback sequences, because while already a strong character, casting Amanda Seyfried only made her even better.

And she's right, Veronica is not yellow cotton - she is definitely strapless, red satin!

Wallace is in the administration's office with a cute but clumsy girl whom he's clearly crushing on - hard. As adorable as this is, and as cute as the two of them are together, I feel like it's not important because we never see this girl ever again. They could've dated for a few episodes - even if just in the background - and then she could have vanished and we would've assumed they'd broken up. I hate these passing 1-episode characters that don't feel like they should only be around for 1 episode.

However, kudos to Wallace for getting us back into Veronica's office, to explain things to the feisty PI. Wallace immediately offering his help to Georgia through Veronica is pretty adorable, but also somewhat foreshadowing to S2, when he bypasses Veronica and instead uses what she's taught him to help out new girl, Jackie, himself. Very cool (though probably not a purposeful foreshadowing).

Also, can I just say how much I love Veronica changing her voicemail? She thinks of everything, doesn't she? And she reminds me of Jessica Jones.



Kicking off the homecoming festivities, the dedication of the Lilly Kane Memorial Fountain. The Kane family would like to invite all students and faculty to attend the tribute and celebrate the memory of one of Neptune High's most beloved students.

While working in the newspaper office/computer lab (I'm convinced those two are the same damn room!), the news catches the attention of both Logan and Veronica, as it speaks of the upcoming memorial fountain they're installing in Lilly's name. When the announcement is over, Logan and Veronica share a fully loaded look and it just reminds me that, long before they became lovers, they were two friends who had been torn apart by a loss. Excuse me while I go cry in a corner now :(

Then we get a terribly confusing scene with Troy, with him continuing to act like such an upstanding, nice guy (not the TM version) that a re-watch just always serves to make me go 'huh'? It makes no sense, in hindsight, for him to not only be so invested in getting Veronica to agree to go out with him, but then treat her so romantically once together. Not when she's just someone he passes the time with until he can get back to Shauna. Super weird. And I can't figure out if it's bad writing or if, like Oz in S4, they had more plans with Troy but then the actor had to leave suddenly and so we got what we got instead.



"I believe Keanu Reeves said it best when he said: 'Whoa!'" - Logan Echolls

This is such a great flashback moment. Not only do we once more see what a fun, wonderful girl Lilly Kane was (and how strange her relationship with her mother was) but as with the rest of the flashbacks in this episode we get so many hints of what a different relationship Logan and Veronica had before their falling out (it's tough to say if they would've stayed friendly had Lilly not died after the whole cheating thing).

Logan offering to do the memorial video for Lilly so that her brother won't have to is just beyond sweet; especially as there are clearly no ulterior motives for it. His choice to alter the video comes much later, inspired by Veronica's video of the limo party. Instead, he makes this offer because he understands what it would mean for Duncan to have to sit through all of these childhood memories and it's another crack we're seeing in him, that maybe he's more than the 'psychotic jackass' we've seen so far.



Veronica going 'undercover' is always entertaining to watch because she has such extreme ideas of what makes up these type of people. For example, in her mind a co-ed who falls for this kind of scam (not to be mean to Georgia, of course) dresses in all red, with bouncy curls and all the frills - not to mention blonde jokes. At the same time, her idea of a gamer girl...well, I guess she didn't really have an idea and had to make it up as she went, which turned into some kind of Anime cosplay school girl o_O

Here's my only complaint, and it's really more the fact that it's 2006, more than it's the show itself. Things just used to be different. Anyway, when Veronica 'Gamer' Mars walks into that dark game bar (or whatever you call it), half the guys in the room are stunned; it's just so ridiculous, this idea that only guys game. Sure, soceity have become more open to it today, but that doesn't mean that girls weren't gaming in 2006, too. In public, even! I'm personally offended, as a former game girl!

However, I do, as always, appreciate Veronica's methods; getting Grant to show himself by pissing him off in-game is pretty damn clever. So is her subtle yet effective way of getting her hands on his ID.

Veronica and Wallace getting ready in her room is a favorite scene of mine from the episode (one of them, mind you) because, again, they just have such a great back-and-forth chemistry type thing (I'm forgetting so many words today, sorry!)



We feel endlessly beyond all gravity
Who are we, what we see I can't comprehend
Who are we, what we see I can't comprehend -
All That We Perceive by Thievery Corporation

Veronica didn't move to Neptune until she was 12 (this never comes up again, unfortunately) which might explain why Lilly was her only truly close friend and thus why she had no one until Wallace moved to town. She also used to play soccer and isn't that a fun exchange, particularly for this LoVe shipper! I can't but wonder, though, as I watch this adorable foursome in the limo, which came first; Veronica's friendship with Lilly or her relationship with Duncan?

Moving on to present day as Veronica and Wallace head off to their very first college party. Watching our young PI at work is, like, 75% of the fun that is this show. The way she gets her hands on the keys to Grant and Liam, taping that headshot to the wall, immediately putting on her best drunk act when she gets caught, it's just so much fun! "I don't feel so good, Papa bear."

The next day at school, we get another small moment that just sticks with me long after the credits roll; the look on Veronica's face as she watches Wallace watching Georgia. She is so happy for him and his cute crush and it just makes me all warm inside. I really do love these two so much!



"Memories both misty and water-coloured." - Logan Echolls

Logan tries to get Veronica to stay away the same way he usually does; through words, but she is too intent on the screen to even notice. They have a nice moment, despite his attitude, and it, of course, leads to her returning later with some videos of her own. Being in that room brings on another flashback and it might be my favorite of the episode.



Our foursome play the popular drinking game Never Have I Ever (I always get toasted playing this cause there's so much I haven't done!) and we learn that Veronica has never gone skinny dipping (just wait), that Lilly has seen her (and Duncan's) parents having sex and that Veronica and Duncan are both virgins (which means Lilly and Logan are not, and pretty sure Logan is only, like, 15 here). Once again my LoVe heart beats faster at Logan's adorable reaction to finding out Veronica is a virgin, he manages to sound both surprised and totally unsurprised at the same time, all coated in a layer of laughter.



"I don't think this really constitutes quality time."
"I've never loved you more."
- Keith & Veronica Mars

For the second episode in a row, one Mars helps out another (this is a frequent thing, of course) as Keith dons a fake DEA agent outfit and gets a bug into the dorm room of Grant and Liam. Veronica figuring out the alarm code just by listening to it and then using her phone is beyond awesome. Also, I've seen that in a movie once but I can't remember the movie...



"So you won't mind then that I cancelled your reservation at the Four Seasons?" - Keith Mars

I just love the look on Troy's face as he realizes that this former Sheriff knows about his plans to potentially bed his daughter the night of the dance. It's like a total deer-in-headlights thing and it's a thing of effin' beauty, man!

We're soon back at Mars Investigations as Keith continues to help Veronica with her case by calling Grant and fake-inviting him and Liam to some game opening with Wallace the fake student so that Veronica can break into their dorm room and find whatever she needs to help Georgia get her money back. But I'm getting ahead of myself, really.



"It's very Wonder Years." - Logan Echolls

Veronica heads back into the newspaper office/computer lab (still convinced!) and hands Logan her own Lilly shootings (that sounds so wrong) and the moment is quick and the tension is thick. But it's still a great scene.

Veronica heads off to the local college (it's not the one from S3, right? Or do we not get a name, I can't remember now) to do a little B&E and when she goes to get the bug back, just in case (good girl), she notices something very strange. That's when she finds the locked, nearly impenetrable, safe in the closet. I really like the fact that they cut away from her and when we return to the safe, she's somehow found a way to open it (we learn this when Liam opens it and finds what's inside); it shows that we don't need to see how she does everything, because we trust that she can 'clever' her way out of pretty much any situation.

However, watching her dismantle all those computers makes my inner nerd cringe!



Anyway, we move on to the park (again) and Grant and Liam finally getting their comeuppance, especially in the form of a small sentence by Veronica about the authorities being very interested in the information she had about the Silicone Mafia.

Back to the best parts of the episode; flashback!!!



We have another clear (yet subtle) show of difference in parenting, when Celeste yells at her daughter (and only her daughter) right there, in front of everybody, while Keith quietly tells Veronica that they will speak when they get home. It's sweet of Duncan to try and take on all the blame himself but something tells me that it didn't work. At all.

Also, did Keith give Logan a ride home? He was walking towards the cruiser last we saw him. Again, adorable! I want more pre-dating pre-Lilly's death friendship LoVe!!!

Okay, guys, it's time. Not counting the flashback sequences, we've now come to my favorite scene in the whole episode; it's time to turn on the memorial fountain!

I can't even express my truly honest reaction when I, for the first time ever!, noticed what song that school orchestra was playing. Freakin' Barbara Streisand, just as Logan foreshadowed earlier on. How have I never noticed this before? Oh, right, cause up until a few years ago I never paid attention to stuff like the music playing. That's gotta be it :D

Celeste gives this pathetic, ridiculous speech that is clearly more about her than it is about Lilly. "I know if Lilly were here, she would have been moved by that rendition. Lilly really loved this place. So, it's only fitting that as long as this fountain remains here, a part of Lilly will always be here. And you, her peers, will always be reminded what a generous, kind… Sweet girl she was and how she embodied… Pirate pride and the school motto, service, loyalty, honour." Yeah, sure *rolls eyes*

Here's where, once again, we see a clear difference in Celeste and Jake as parents. Jake breaking down when he sees his real daughter in that video is just destructive to my very soul. In that moment, I feel for him so badly that it's impossible for me to ever hate him or even dislike him later on, regardless of what happens or how he acts. Jake reminds me so much of my uncle. My aunt (my father's sister) is this horrible human being, a total homphobe, racist, just general bad person who emotionally abused my cousins when raising them. However, her husband is such a nice man, if a bit quiet (no surprise there) and I always wondered why he stayed with her. My guess is she emotionally abuses him, too, and he can't leave.

Let's get some LoVe to distract me from these misty and watercolored memories! When the video ends and Logan turns around and shares this deep look with Veronica I just want to scream. It's so beautiful! There's no animosity, no anger, no hurt, just two old friends sharing a look and remembering the girl they both loved sooo much.

We also get Weevil - though only for 30 SECONDS! - and the mystery deepens as he wipes away a tear. Was he the guy Lilly spoke of in Veronica's flashback? Why was he upset? I know this answer, of course, but it's fun to think of how it would have been on a first watch.

Finally we get a limo ride that's actually present day, as Veronica, Troy, Wallace, and Georgia head off to the dance. They stop at the beach but only Veronica gets out, as it's finally time for her to cross one item off of her bucket list. (Question, though; isn't Troy and Wallace going to see her buck naked?)



Final rating - 9/10
This is definitely a favorite of mine, though I didn't remember how much I loved it until I saw it. Not even Troy can drag this one down, especially since he's barely in it. This is all about three phenomenal characters; Veronica, Lilly and Logan.

Ranking
  • The Wrath of Con (4)
  • Pilot (1)
  • Meet John Smith (3)
  • Credit Where Credit's Due (2)
 
Taake
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These are great!

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S1E5 - You Think You Know Somebody



"You know those people who can predict when change is coming in their life? I'm not one of them. Change has a way of just walking up and punching me in the face."

It's time, everybody. We're finally getting rid of Troy Vandergraff!!! :D

But not before we get a Troy-heavy (but not centric, thankfully) episode.



"Well, maybe it's like Brigadoon. If you come back in a hundred years, it'll be right back in this spot." - Logan Echolls

Logan, Troy, and newcomer Luke have spent the weekend (or one day, I'm not sure) in Tijuana, Mexico. Logan is either drunk, hungover, or both, while Luke has just picked up a pinata full of steroids. Troy is very much acting ignorant of it all, but we re-watchers know better, don't we? Anyway, when they cross back over the border, they deal with the most ridiculous dude who actually thinks that a tactic like straight-up asking them if they have contraband would ever work. Whatever.

First Caitlin Ford, then whoever her replacement was, now Esmeralda; Logan's been getting busy since Lilly died, hasn't he? He's exactly the type of guy who only gets serious with girls he truly loves, but will otherwise mess around for a short while with many different chicks.

It may just be me, but I find it very telling that Duncan is not along for the ride; not only is he the classic good guy, but he knows Troy well enough that he may have seen through his charade. What do you think?



"Dude! Where's your car?" - Veronica Mars

Troy calls on his girlfriend and what we get out of this is more greatness between our LoVe connection (see what I did there?). I had a hard time picking the quote above and I'm really just gonna add the others before we move on from this scene. Anyway, it shows more of Veronica's good side that she drives all the way to the Mexico border in the middle of the night to pick up 3 guys of which she only likes 1 of them. She is also quick to offer her help to Troy who, I feel, underestimates her technique, or he never would've agreed to it.

"Your monkey's gonna have to ride in the back." - Veronica Mars

"God, it must've been a huge cereal box." - Logan Echolls

"Thanks for the ride. Does this mean you're gonna play nice now?"
"Walk in front of the car, we'll see."
- Logan & Veronica

Her then revving the engine as he walks in front of her car is hilarious. Also, it's telling that Logan asks if she's gonna play nice; in his head, does he think Veronica is to blame for the animosity between them and he's just defending himself? Whereas Veronica feels that he became a jackass first. I wonder if the truth isn't somewhere in between and they're both equally guilty.

Wallace will make this point himself later in the episode, but what is it with TV show characters being sent to catholic school far away just because they did some bad shit? The same thing will happen in S2 with Hannah Forgotlastname.

I love Veronica and Wallace discussing which Scooby Doo characters they'd be. I get total SPN vibes from it...wonder why? Also, Veronica and Keith's back-and-forth about his birthday present and the way she makes him laugh as he walks into his office? Beyond adorable. Too bad it's somewhat ruined when she returns home and finds out about his secret girlfriend. Also, it's just bad timing that Veronica sees her dad pack up her mom's stuff right when she finds out about Rebecca. I can't imagine what she's initially thinking.

Cue passive-aggressive Veronica!



"All this time, I've been thinking Mom bolted because she couldn't handle losing everything. Maybe she just couldn't handle losing me."

I can only imagine how painful it would've been for her to sit there, making a fake death certificate for her mother, while not knowing if she was even alive or okay out there in the world somewhere. But it is another clever way for her to get to the bottom of her newest mystery, which only leads another one; who took those scary photos of her with a bullseye aimed right at her head?

Rebecca shows up in the PI office and what follows is a truly awkward moment between the three characters. It's kind of cringey, and kind of hilarious at the same time.

The scene where Veronica is supposedly 'a master at work' is a favorite of mine from the episode. She's so confident - and so are we, 5 episodes in of how clever she is - and then she just falls flat on her face, completely. It's a nice way of showing that she doesn't always get her way. Her wink (used at the very top) is also beyond adorable.



"Wow, you suck at this Nancy Drew stuff. You should get a new hobby." - Logan Echolls

Another great LoVe moment! (By now you should know that if you despise this pairing, these are not the reviews for you ;)) I'm not gonna put the whole convo in here, you really should just go see it for yourself, but know that it's subtle, short and funny as hell. Especially the great acting from Bell and Dohring that makes it so much more three dimensional than just some funny jokes.

Also, how much do I love Logan walking between Vee and Troy, instead of simply going around. It's the little things that make this show so great :)

More passive-aggressive Veronica.



"We're Mars women. Shouldn't we play to our strengths?" - Veronica Mars

On a first viewing, this scene is just another piece of the puzzle. But on a re-watch? Lianne is against Veronica dating Duncan Kane, because she doesn't even know for sure if they're related or not. That's just...amazing. She's clearly not as curious as me cause I woulda DNA'ed that mother ASAP, myself.



"Will you buy me a piñata full of steroids?" - Veronica Mars

Weevil's back! And for a full 2 scenes! Yay! :D

I love that moment when Veronica reveals, casually, that she understood the conversation perfectly. Like, she kept quiet so as not to interrupt the flow and because she knew Eli's uncle wouldn't trust her as much if he knew she could 'hear' him. Also, why that uncle automatically assumes - in California - that this white girl won't understand him, I will never know.

Am I the only one who finds it hard to buy Eli Navarro as a 17-year-old? You can't even argue that he was held back, because we're told (in a previous episode) that he really is under 18. It's not an issue or anything, just something I noticed this go around.

When Veronica sees that pinata bust open and all the candy fall out, is that when her spider sense first pings? Does she become suspicious of Troy or does that come later? I mean, we know that Veronica is naturally paranoid and all, but maybe what Troy did here was part of making her the super paranoid chica we know from now on.

We have another visit to Veronica's office and I wonder, briefly, how many non-09'ers hang out with Logan, Duncan and the rest. Luke clearly isn't one of the rich kids, after all, and they did let Vee in (though that was mostly due to her dad, I think) in the past.



"People rarely cut all their ties, even when they try. If she's out there and these untraceable, disposable cell phones I'm sending to Mom's closest friends and family reach her, maybe she'll realise it's safe for her to call me. It's my version of a message in a bottle." - Veronica Voiceover

Quickie flashback as Lianne shows up at Neptune High to gather Veronica from school, clearly frightened that something will happen to her and aware that she's planning on leaving; she wants to spend some final time with her before she's gone. And yet, somehow, I still don't like her. She's a terrible parent and it doesn't help that we can compare her to Keith; most people would come up short with him around.

Back in present day, Veronica is packaging up disposable cells and sending them to anyone she can think of that may be hiding her mother. Again, very clever. Then Keith returns home from a date and we get the idea that it's quite late at night. Maybe he expected that she would be in bed by then? Anyway, Veronica promises to be good and try harder to accept Rebecca - she's not as good at keeping promises as her father, is she?



I'm not gonna paste the whole scene, but just to be forewarned, there is sooo much goodness to unwrap here!

"Did you know she was still married?"
"I did. I'm still married, Veronica."
- Keith & Veronica Mars

"What were you thinking, Veronica? I'm your father. What made you think you had the right to do something like this?"
"What are you talking about, have the right? This-this is what we do. This is how we survive. I was trying to protect you."
"Protect me? I'm an adult, Veronica!"
"You…have let her into our life like it's no big deal!"
"Oh, it's a big deal. It's a huge deal. Makes me feel good about myself. Wanted in a way that I haven't in a long time. It makes me wake up with a smile on my face. And we didn't ignore your feelings. We tried to make you feel comfortable, but you chose to be snotty."
"Mom is still out there somewhere. Do you even care if she ever comes back?"
"You didn't care until I started dating. You've been hard on your mom for months."
"You can find anybody! If she were a criminal, you'd make a couple grand tracking her down and you'd have her back in a week."
"Well, maybe I don't care to find her. Have you ever considered that?"
- Keith & Veronica Mars

Also, shout out to Bell and Colantoni for making this fight so believable that it made me feel it in my very bones. Just incredible.

Quick two cents (I know I haven't spoken much about the Troy/car plot but you can't be that surprised at this point), Troy putting that thingymagig on the dog's collar was VM level clever, good for him!

Earlier I've spoken of the differences in how the Kanes and Mars' parent their children - here we see a difference in the teenage Veronica and the mature adult Keith, when he gives her a choice on whether to read Troy's file or not. Especially since he's clearly read it himself and must have fought against his fatherly instincts to go after the drug dealing asshat.



"Your being a good father isn't really something I can bitch about to my girlfriends over margaritas." - Rebecca James

He really is a great dad, isn't he? But at the same time without being too 'TV' and perfect. Like, he has his flaws and he feels real, but still he's the dad most viewers wishes they had. Don't get me wrong, I love my dad, but I would've given a lot to have the kind of relationship Veronica has with Keith with my dad. While you could argue that them being alone for the past year made them closer, I'm quite certain they always were. However the only evidence of that I have is Veronica's dreamy dream from Not Pictured :D

Anyway, Keith gives up a woman that he said earlier in the episode made him really happy (get your mind out of the gutter, that's not what I meant!) just because his daughter isn't ready for the change; that's pretty amazing. We get a bit of payoff for this sacrifice later, when Veronica acts much more mature when Keith starts dating Alicia Fennell.



"I'm just glad we weren't dating when you were kicked out of those two schools for drug possession and trafficking. My lips would've fallen off." - Veronica Mars

And the final penny drops. FINALLY (if you're me). Veronica confronts Troy with the information from the file Keith gave her, but he doesn't back down easily. Here's my question; based on the look on her face right after he walks away, do you think she felt slightly bad (before discovering the truth in a scene we didn't see) or do you think she held on to her belief. Had she already spoken with Shauna at this point or was that also in the scene they didn't show us? Bell's acting is always great, of course, but I just have a hard time reading exactly what she's saying in that moment - guilt or just being upset that she was hoodwinked by some boy?

Again, Veronica shelves her personal issues in order to work the case as she heads to the gym to trick the trainer dude. That is another clever scene, with her stealthily taking his photo and getting it to the border patrol.



"Ever notice how everything you make just…tends to lean a little to the left?" - Keith Mars

This is such a nice, quiet, wholesome moment to take the edge off the loud fight from earlier. There is practically no need for words - not that many, at least - as Veronica makes it clear that she understands her role in all this and she gets across that, while she's sorry for hurting him, she's also not all that sorry that Rebecca is gone. When it comes to subtetly, the Mars do it very well, throughout the show.



Troy Vandergraff is gone! Good riddance, dude! :D

Unfortunately, as clever as Vee's plan with the phones was, it won't do nothing if she can't pick up her damn phone! Poor girl is not gonna be happy when she finally listens to that voicemail and realizes what she missed out on. However, it's still a favorite scene of mine.

I've never felt more kinship with Vee than seeing her just lying on her bed, not sleeping but listening to music. I do that, like, 2 hours every other night just before I go to bed myself. It's a nice place for this to end :)



Final rating - 8/10
It's not a bad episode but it suffers from too much Vandergraff, unfortunately. The rest of it is great though!

Ranking
  • The Wrath of Con - 9
  • Pilot - 8.5
  • Meet John Smith - 8
  • You Think You Know Somebody - 8
  • Credit Where Credit's Due - 7.5
 
Taake
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So... you love Troy? Crazy TroVee shipper? Am I getting that right? :p good use of an N*sync GIF

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S1E6 - Return of the Kane



"If Lilly’s ghost is going to haunt me until justice has been served, then I better get my ass in gear."

Neptune High is getting political as the election for new class president gets underway - Wanda Varner vs. Duncan Kane!

But first...



"Don’t you people have lives? You don’t see me poking around your trailer park, do you?" - Logan Echolls

We start off with Logan at his home, going to get the paper, and this tells us that we might get a lot of focus on Logan's character this episode, which is always awesome. Also, a tiny look at his home life, with fans parked outside their house and his father being far too accommodating with them.

Duncan's right, pray no one heard his father say Reign of Kane.

Then comes the scene that introduces us to the Pirate Point system, another way (as Wanda puts it) for the rich kids to pat themselves on the back for being so awesome. I kinda wish they had brought these points up again later, especially after Duncan made some changes to the system to make it fairer.

"You’re not allowed delivery."
"And you’re not allowed to breathe my air. Go. Shoo. Return to Xanadu."
- Madison & Wanda



"Tough day?"
"That ain’t the half of it. See, this dame walks in and you shoulda seen the getaway sticks on her. Says something’s hinky with her old man."
"D’ya put the screws to him?"
"You ain’t kidding. He sang like a canary."
- Keith & Veronica

We've got ourselves another wonderful father-daughter scene at the Mars home (there are a delicious amount of these throughout the show and yet somehow still not nearly enough!) with some clever, witty banter as they...eat...dessert for dinner? Really? Now that's just nutty! (see what I did there?)

The second Veronica steps into her bedroom, we know something is up from the filter over everything; Lilly is rooting through her friend's closet and mentioning how much Vee has changed, style-wise since she died. She also mentions something similar as when she showed up around Duncan, about being a ghost. If only this show was supernatural, huh?



"Pirate Points is just another way they reward themselves for being so swell. They have all the power, we’re the disenfranchised but only because we let ourselves be. It’s time to take action!" - Wanda Varner

As much fun as this was sure to have been the first time around, I find myself unable to truly care about the election storyline when I know that Wanda is really the bad guy in all this. I won't be talking too much about those scenes, btw, so now you're warned.

Logan's yellow truck is definitely on my list of dream cars.

Also, Dick has yet to be given a name, at least on screen but he has been in all the episodes so it's really just a matter of time now.

Making that video about Duncan behind his back is such a classic Logan-the-Jackass move and yet somehow I find that I also love it, isn't that strange? :p

After going through her dad's safe files, Veronica discovers the first chink in the armor that is the Lilly Kane murder case; she recognizes those shows. It's very clever of her to order the tape from the newspaper, not only so she can make sure she's right (this was the days before easily finding news items online, after all) but also, as we learn in the final scene, so that she can show her father what she's found.

Bum fighting. Logan is just begging for it, isn't he? :(

It's not surprising that Madison actually thinks she can get away with this, she's not the sharpest tool in the box, is she? Though, at the same time, her plan in the first place was somewhat clever. Basically, I'm having a hard time figuring out if she was lucky or if she's smarter than she lets on.

It's too bad that Mallory Dent wasn't able to stick around, I can imagine she would have continued to be an interesting asset for Veronica is she'd stayed on for just the first season, at least. Decent actress, too.

How adorable is it that Veronica has memorized Wallace's student ID number?

We get another flashback - and another adorable one, I might add - where Logan and Lilly are being couple-y on the outside benches while Veronica draws on her best friend's shoes. The fact that she draws a heart with Duncan's name in it - Lilly's brother - is, as the girl herself says, kinda creepy. And yet totally cute, at the same time.

"I’m not concerned about this election, I just want to see you engaged. Enthusiastic about something. Look. Your happiness. Is all I’ve ever wanted."
"Well, what if I find happiness living in a grass hut, carving driftwood figurines for tourists?"
"I feel confident you have grander ambitions than that. But, if you’re, uh, happy and committed to driftwood carving, be the best driftwood carver you can be. After you’ve graduated from Stanford. Law school. Summa cum laude."
- Duncan & Jake

I love this conversation and it's another piece of evidence that Jake is a good father. I wish the flashbacks would've shown how close he was with his daughter when she was alive, considering that Lilly didn't have much of a relationship with her mother, ever.

Here's my question; was it the 09'ers that were behind spreading the rumors about Wanda? I mean, she owned all the votes before and then a few days later, even her voters are against her. It seems just a little sudden if you ask me, whether she's guilty of being a 'narc' or not.

"Look, I just don’t…have time to be responsible for every little thing that goes wrong in your life." - Logan Echolls

How much do I love that Veronica always goes to Logan first whenever she suspects an 09'er of being behind something; she just can't stop herself from assuming that he's always the culprit. I mean, I get it, but it's still funny. Not as funny as his comeback above, though.

Another great moment is when she confronts Duncan about how quiet and withdrawn he's been lately, not getting involved in, well, anything. Between her and his dad, it's no wonder that he winds up embracing his win as class president and making himself a real part of the school again.

Poor Logan. When Dick shows him that video and tells him he's famous, the look on his face? He knows exactly what's going to happen when he gets home...

First, he cried at the memorial unveiling, now Wanda is talking about rumors about Weevil and Lilly. How does she know, but Logan hasn't caught on to those rumors yet? Does it have to do with Weevil's later words about her hooking up with a PCH'er? Maybe someone spilled the beans on the 'wrong' side of the tracks and that's how the 09'ers don't know yet.

That look on Logan's face as he comes home late (having no doubt stayed out for as long as possible to avoid exactly this) and finds his father in the dark, waiting up for him. Breaks my heart. And then Aaron grabs him by the neck, starts throwing him around, but in a very subtle way that doesn't spell out abuse. Yet. God, I both love and hate this scene at the same time. I'm very torn this episode, aren't I?

Weevil shows up very briefly once again (that's getting annoying, but a little is better than nothing!) and lets Veronica in on the truth about Wanda. The fact that she takes him at his word and begins to investigate says a lot about their relationship and the amount of trust that exists between them. Kinda love that.

Veronica's choice to test Wanda by pretending she'll have drugs on her the next day is very clever, but I feel bad for her; she finally thought she'd regained one of her old friends, but it wasn't to be :(

How much do I love that Veronica voted for Duncan even before she learned the truth about Wanda? And that flashback to what kind of guy Duncan is and always was is great, too, even if I do find him nearly as boring as Riley Finn :D

Yes! They used Dick's name (no Casablancas yet, but still)! I don't know why I care!



Logan making that move, getting back at his father, is both brave and stupid at the same time. But mostly brave because knowing what he would get for it, he still did it; that says something. But that following scene, though, as the music plays and there's absolutely no dialogue, watching Logan pick out the belt his dad is going to whip him with...the way his mother just sits there, drinking and not even flinching...how often do you think she has to hear her son being beaten by his father for her to not even flinch anymore?

The choice of almost up-tempo music is also a nice touch, though.



I always love it whenever Veronica is confronting either V.P. Clemmons or idiot cops from the Sheriff's department. It never fails to amuse.

Boring or not, Duncan deciding to handle winning the election the way he did was really great, but I already said my piece on that above.



I'm glad Veronica finally decided to put a kibosh on all the secret-keeping and lies and the spy-vs-spy thing with her dad. She told him the truth and they had another great conversation. However, I think my favorite part of that whole scene, is that she didn't tell him about the shoes. No, instead, she showed him the photo and the video and stayed quiet, letting him figure it out for himself. Nice subtle detail, imo.

"You’d think I’d quit being surprised at finding a knife in my back." - Veronica Voiceover

Final rating - 7.5/10
Not one of the best, but the Echolls stuff and great Mars family clever banter keeps it from being the lowest-rated so far. That's always something.

Ranking
  • The Wrath of Con - 9
  • Pilot - 8.5
  • Meet John Smith - 8
  • You Think You Know Somebody - 8
  • Return of the Kane - 7.5
  • Credit Where Credit's Due - 7.5
 

NeddaSai

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I love everything about this thread.. I'll come back with more thoughts!
 

NeddaSai

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The mood of the pilot still impresses me to this day, there's just something about that opening shot with the neon and the music and veronica's voice over that I always look for in other similarly themed shows and can never find again..
 

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S1E7 - The Girl Next Door



Okay, well this just isn't working. It's taking way too long, so from now on, you get my thoughts from watching the episode, some quotes, and a final rating/rank. Hope that's cool with everyone :)
  • Starting with a scene and then going 'earlier this week' is such a cliche but not for a show like this, so I forebear :)
  • The quickest way to the opening titles so far
  • Love seeing Veronica on speaking terms with several others living in the apartment compound, saw a bit of this in the pilot, too
  • Jessica Chastain!
  • I think this is Mallory Dent's last appearance
  • Rufus Turner! Steven something... Williams?
  • It is pretty effed up that Weevil gets detention for laughing, isn't it?
  • Ah, Logan playing Solitaire, my kind of man!
  • Btw, plenty of Weevil this time! Yay!
  • Parker Abrams!
  • Veronica keeps talking about hearing a thump and no one believes her; why not mention the scream, too? Is that what woke her and she didn't actually hear it?
  • Aaand now Vee officially knows about her mother and Jake's close past connection. Eek!
  • And here we get confirmation about Weevil and Lilly - reminds me of the second episode with Caitlin and Eli's cousin, since I doubt Lilly had real feelings for him.
  • Logan and Weevil together - it never stops being awesome
  • Parker is so good at being a douchebag, isn't he? Innocent or not
  • I just love the unfolding mystery of the missing neighbor and that it doesn't turn bloody; this isn't CSI, after all
  • So Lilly knew about them possibly being half-siblings...
  • More greatness in the Weevil/Logan library scene, wonderful dialogue
  • Very good of Veronica to give Keith's card to the parents of her neighbor
  • I don't know how they did that to his car and I don't want to know; it was just awesome!
  • I wonder who the witness was that narced on Eli, but not Logan. And if there was no witness, why only go after Eli? The teacher has shown not to pick sides as some other staff members do
  • And the step-dad is quick to pretend to be the 'good' parent...
  • Keith telling Veronica to prepare for the worst is just...ugh *sad-face*
  • The way Logan gets Weevil un-expelled is beyond brilliantly hilarious!
  • Rape. Plot thickens.
  • Asshole. Who steals someone's diary and then reads it and doesn't even feel guilty...
  • Love that her first call is to Weevil and that he comes through immediately. Also, love that the rest of the PCH'ers have no qualms about helping out a white girl that isn't part of their gang
  • Mispronouncing Prada gets me every time
  • Don't mess with Veronica Mars! She's got friends in low places
  • A tattoo of Lilly's name. Reminds me of S2 and that dead PCH'er (was it Felix or someone else?)
  • Veronica tracking down Sarah is another good scene
  • The first we hear of Keith wanting his daughter to be normal, to become a lawyer (which she does, briefly)
  • I feel like Killer was originally his dog, or she would've taken the dog with her when she ran
  • And the penny drops on why Duncan dumped her, but she's distracted and doesn't figure it out yet
  • I get chills when Keith and Veronica hear the truth through the ceiling
  • Misdirect! No one died! A stupid opening scene full of misdirection! :D
  • Poor Vee blaming herself :(
Quotes
"Mr. Echolls. I was wondering if I could have a word."
"Anthropomorphic. All yours, big guy." - Clemmons & Logan

"If I was gonna cheat, don't you think I'd pick somebody smart?"
"If you was gonna?" Weevil & Logan

"Would you describe the sound as Hitchcockian?" - Keith Mars

"Ah, see I'm more of a purist, you know, less blood, more emotional distress. I'd rather see him locked in a room, padded, crapping himself in the corner. You know, he's an English teacher. He'd appreciate the poetic justice." - Logan Echolls

"A man's gotta be pretty committed to a woman, who would agree to raise another man's child." - Keith Mars

Final ranking - 8/10
This is one of the episodes that I like more than most, there's just something about it; the mystery, the humor, all of it just works really well this week, when sometimes it doesn't mesh quite as well.

Ranking
  • The Wrath of Con - 9
  • Pilot - 8.5
  • Meet John Smith - 8
  • The Girl Next Door - 8
  • You Think You Know Somebody - 8
  • Return of the Kane - 7.5
  • Credit Where Credit's Due - 7.5
 

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All 8 episodes of S4 is officially out, even on the place where I watch it, but I will not watch it until I've finished my re-watch. So let's get back to it :)

S1E8 - Like a Virgin


  • After one episode in between, we're back to the shoes-mystery of E6
  • Cliff is back, love him!
  • Particularly love his and Veronica's comedy chemistry
  • I think this is the first time since E2 that we see the other students actively making life difficult for Veronica
  • Introducing Meg Manning! I still see Jo, even though this role came first for me :)
  • Btw, no Weevil OR Logan in this one...this is gonna hurt :(
  • Pam's fake laugh is almost worse than Cordy's
  • For being such a genuinely good guy, Duncan sure has a lot of asshole friends, doesn't he? Cole, Dick, Logan
  • Bad timing, Vee!
  • I'm not surprised that Veronica is looking forward to school the next day, that is such an interesting concept
  • Good for Mac, taking advantage of all the rich 09'ers and watching them destroy their own relationships; truly a smart cookie, that one :D
  • Credits: 8min 30sec into the episode
  • Introducing Mac! She will always be Mac to me, but also that adorable girl from Waterworld :)
  • I have also never seen Repo Man so this reference is lost on me as well
  • I love that Mac helps out Veronica even though she was behind the test itself to start with
  • The time they spend in the Fennell house this episode makes me wonder how often, off-screen, they hang out there instead of at the Mars apartment
  • Asshole renter - good B-plot, though (or is it C-plot? Which is the Koontz story?)
  • In hindsight I totally get why Lizzie is the way she is, being raised by those abusive bastards and all
  • Yeah, Meg is definitely the superior singer here
  • Teenagers are so mean, seriously
  • Veronica continues being clever as she manipulates that photo
  • Pretty sure this is one of only two times that Wallace having a baby brother is mentioned
  • I love that Wallace and Keith have also grown a bond in the past 8 episodes
  • Alicia is lucky she wins me over later, cause she pisses me off here; what right does she have to judge someone (or how they parent their kid?) based solely on rumors from co-workers? Ugh...
  • Veronica saying that you have to get tough really explains why she's so different from flashback-Vee, doesn't it? She had to become this person to survive the aftermath of Lilly's death
  • Can Alicia only afford a one-bed motel room? Why is Wallace crashing on the Mars couch all by himself?
  • That smile on Veronica's face; does she know what her dad has planned? Wouldn't surprise me :)
  • So Wallace is only 16; does that make him younger than Veronica? I mean, this is their junior year, they're all mostly 17 or turning 17, right?
  • I reiterate; Keith Mars is a wonderful human being!
  • God, all I can think is how brilliant Logan could've been in this one, why the hell would they leave him out?!?
  • Okay, so this episode shows that the journalism room and the computer lab are two separate rooms; I bet they use the same set, though :D
  • In hindsight that name, Froggy, makes it hilariously obvious, doesn't it?
  • Vee's plan to catch out Kimmy is brilliantly simple but she was right, an editing job would probably have been a better idea
  • Who's surprised that Pam was behind Veronica's test? Show of hands
  • I love it when Veronica is being badass and confronting someone much taller than her. Somehow she manages to sell it despite having to practically bend her neck all the way back :D
  • Her getting vengeance on Dick like that, super hilarious
  • I love Meg telling Veronica that she still had friends that care about her because it's true; Wallace, Meg, Mac, an argument can be made for Weevil though it's a little early right now. Later Logan and Duncan will join that list, too.
  • Why would Veronica think that Duncan would buy the VD email when she thinks they never had sex with each other? Small plot hole, if you ask me
  • Alicia's first step in gaining my forgiveness is actually apologizing to Keith for her behavior; that's very gracious of her
  • Introducing Abel Koontz!
  • I kinda like that Abel tested her to see how much research she'd done
  • She almost grasped it in the previous episode, but now Koontz has spelled it out for her; is she the daughter of Jake Kane?
  • Even on a re-watch that reveal from Abel gives me chills, so well-acted and Veronica's following freak-out just makes it even more spine-chilling
  • I love that it takes her a bit to connect the Duncan-brother dots since her immediate concern is her father, Keith
Quotes
"You crazy kids. This stuff you’re into. Hula-hoops, cramming into phone booths, visiting death row inmates. What’s it going to be next month?" - Cliff McCormack

"I never thought I’d say this...but I kinda can’t wait for school tomorrow." - Veronica Mars

"Meg, you’re the last good person at this school. I’d believe cartoon birds braided your hair this morning. If you want, I can find who posted that test for you. We’ll clear your name and make somebody pay."
"Really?"
"Unless there’s a fairy godmother already on it." - Meg & Veronica

"Does it ever bother me, what people say? Okay, maybe once and a while. Depends who’s listening." - Veronica Voiceover

"I don’t know if you’ve heard some of the things they say about you."
"Oh, I know, trust me. I barely let me socialize with myself. I’m a bad influence." - Alicia & Keith

Final rating - 7.8
Despite the lack of Logan and Weevil, this was a good one; meeting Meg and Mac, getting to know Wallace's family, that final scene that always gets to me. It's not perfect, but it's not bad, either.

Ranking
  • The Wrath of Con - 9
  • Pilot - 8.5
  • Meet John Smith - 8
  • The Girl Next Door - 8
  • You Think You Know Somebody - 8
  • Like a Virgin - 7.8
  • Return of the Kane - 7.5
  • Credit Where Credit's Due - 7.5
 

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S1E9 - Drinking the Kool-Aid


  • Starting where we left off. Veronica buys it immediately but I don't blame her, it makes a strange sort of sense
  • And the Duncan bell begins to ring. Imagine her reaction if she'd known she'd slept with him at one point?
  • No loyalty to the Kane family despite the new information; makes sense
  • Vee the PI is as strong as ever as she tracks down the man behind the surveillance photos in a very short amount of time
  • Credits: 3min 40sec, that's more normal
  • Is there a BTS explanation for why Keith's face looks like that?
  • Keith buying Veronica a waterbed is adorable
  • A very clever way to get her dad's DNA without making him suspicious
  • How much French do you think they speak? Enough to get by or fluent?
  • She and Duncan finally got to a good place and then this happens? Poor both of them, I say
  • Weevil is back! In a flashback, so far, but I'll take what I can get!
  • Going to the ex-girlfriend is, again, very clever
  • Veronica knows her age group very well doesn't she, faking that poem was genius
  • It's like being picked last at sports, can you feel the love indeed
  • God, there's no Logan in this one, either, is there? :mad:
  • It's ironic that, after discovering that Keith may not be her real dad and leaving her very emotional due to that, she also chooses that time to break a promise to him
  • My only real issue with this episode is that we never get any explanation as to why Casey changed so suddenly when he joined the 'cult'
  • And if he wasn't brainwashed by a cult, how could he get turned back into his old asshole self? Makes no sense
  • Suddenly it makes sense why they showed that scene earlier because now Veronica actually feels included. Too bad she has to give that up, huh?
  • Big warm welcome sounds a lot like booing :D
  • I wouldn't be surprised if Logan and Casey used to be friends, a long time ago :p
  • How many cults do you think are like this and they've just gotten a bad rep? Just a thought...
  • Whoopsie, Vee, you got your ass caught! Not good
  • Another well-acted fight between the Mars-bars
  • I love that the de-programmer is more creepy than the leader of the cult, a great way of twisting things
  • Those parents are the worst and so effin greedy. Poor Casey
  • Coldwater showers are only good when you know they're coming
  • Like I said, horrid parents
  • I love how quick Veronica is to tell Holly everything
  • The silence right before his parents grab him is so unnerving - great choice for the scene
  • I reiterate: Keith Mars is a wonderful human being!
  • Vee and Duncan are back on good feet and I'm glad to see it; I do enjoy their chemistry even if I don't like them as a couple
  • I love Veronica's decision to toss the DNA letter; she doesn't care, in her mind, she will always be a Mars! :D
Quotes
"It’s all coming back to me now. The way you explained it, Santa was cool with the basic concept, but had grave doubts about second-floor deployment."
"That well known, bed-rock pragmatism of elvish culture. But I gotta tell ya. If it had been my call, I would’ve-"
"You’re so full of it." - Veronica & Keith

"This is so endearing. My badass, action figure daughter is afraid to draw [adopting a Transylvanian accent] a teensy little drop of blood." - Keith Mars

"He joined a cult? What do they worship? Wedgies? Keggers? Their parents’ platinum cards?" - Veronica Mars

"Do not roll your eyes, Veronica, you're undercover." - Veronica Voiceover

"You're covered in mud."
"See? That's why you make the big bucks." - Keith & Veronica

"Sounds to me, Veronica, like you've been drinking the Kool-Aid." - Wallace Fennell

"I sent off for those test results because I wanted the truth. But can a lab tech really see the shape of my soul in a drunken conga line of genes? Jake Kane could be my father. But whether he is or isn’t, would I really claim him as such and deny the man who raised me?" - Veronica Voiceover

Final rating - 7/10
This is an okay episode, but it doesn't feel like it belongs with the rest of them; investigating a cult? What I love about VM is how real it often feels, the characters, the cases, but this one should be in a CSI episode or something, not Veronica Mars. Also, the holes I mentioned above and lack of Logan and Weevil (arguably two of my favorite characters in the whole show) just puts it at the lowest, so far.

Ranking
  • The Wrath of Con - 9
  • Pilot - 8.5
  • Meet John Smith - 8
  • The Girl Next Door - 8
  • You Think You Know Somebody - 8
  • Like a Virgin - 7.8
  • Return of the Kane - 7.5
  • Credit Where Credit's Due - 7.5
  • Drinking the Kool-Aid - 7
 

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S1E10 - An Echolls Family Christmas


  • It's Christmas time in Neptune!
  • And we've got tons of Logan and Weevil in this one! Yay!!!
  • Poker game at the Echolls home
  • Beaten by a pair of 2s, I love Poker :D
  • Apparently, he did have to turn each of them upside down and shake them, lol
  • Same boxers, how embarrassing
  • Another early credits scene, that's more like it!
  • Head-tilt, I love it!
  • Again, love the Eli/Logan back-and-forth
  • Poor Logan, it can't be easy having a hot parent :)
  • Why is Eli the only one noticing that this doesn't make Logan very happy? Duncan is supposed to be his friend...
  • The return of the rest of the Echolls clan (sans Trina) and we get actual lines of dialogue from Lisa Rinna this time. Sorry, Lynn, of course
  • I don't know why, but I've always really liked Lisa Rinna. Can't even remember where I know her from, other than this...
  • For all that one of them is a murderer, I like that not all rich adults are against Keith Mars
  • I'll talk more about this in S2, but who else thinks Duncan never took Veronica being a PI seriously? Like, he always thought it was just a game
  • I do like Duncan in this one. Honestly, I like Duncan, sometimes a lot, just not when he's getting in the way of true LoVe (yes, I just said that) :p
  • Bromance battle, love it!
  • It's funny but, even on a re-watch, I like Aaron Echolls. I know I shouldn't, I know he's a psychopath who got away with murder and sleeps with his son's girlfriend, but he's just so damn charming!!!
  • This whole Veronica and Logan exchange is beyond brilliant. As much as I love LoVe, their pre-dating stuff is almost better, in some ways
  • I adore the Rosie Perez story :D
  • Some of this stuff can't be put in the quotes section, cause it's all in the acting and facial stuff :)
  • Love Eli chipping in with the tip to the pizza delivery guy
  • I love seeing the look on Veronica's face as she pieces everything together and figures out all the parts to the mystery
  • Sadie Casablancas. We know it's not Beaver and Dick's mother, but is it a plot hole? I mean, Dick could've been married more than once before marrying Kendall
  • I like Keith not getting involved in the Echolls marriage and his reasoning because it's very true; it ain't his business
  • I love that she's not thinking about the poker case but about how to get the guys to agree to her plan to be in on another game
  • Love Logan smiling at sassy Vee :D
  • Hearing Weevil say 'sodi pop' always makes me cringe
  • Love her outing Duncan faking being drunk
  • Cark Shark Vee! Love it!
  • The little smile on Duncan's face, god this whole episode is just brilliant!
  • Weevil still doesn't quite trust that Veronica is fully on his side, part of him still thinks she'll jump at the chance to return to the 09'er glory. I kinda like that
  • Aw, they're making up :)
  • Veronica confronting Jake, good girl. Him being surprised doesn't surprise me. Told you I like him
  • Keith seeing his daughter with Jake almost breaks my heart, I can only imagine what is going through his head at that moment
  • Love the choice to have the carolers singing while the drama goes down inside
  • Merry Christmas indeed!
Quotes (and this is gonna be a long one)
"This is the worst game of strip poker ever." - Sean

"Money is so wasted on the wealthy." - Veronica Mars

"You lie down with dogs, you're gonna get fleas."
"I didn't invite him."
"I wasn't talking about Weevil." - Duncan & Veronica

"If you're asking me to the prom again, the answer is still no." - Logan Echolls (to Weevil)

"Look, my only concern is property values going down if anyone sees you in my house without a leaf blower or a skimmer."
"You’re concerned? I'm the one who's gotta go up into the hills, all by myself. What if I run into a pack of you white boys, huh, on some clean, well-lit street? I could be bored to death." - Logan & Weevil

"When did you get like this? It’s like you’ve been going over to the dark side, bit by bit, so slowly that I didn’t notice when you morphed into a full-fledged jackass." - Duncan Kane

"What, are we breaking up now? Huh? You want your best friend charm back?" - Logan Echolls

I'm posting the entire scene, so now you've been warned
"Come on."
"I love the smell of testosterone in the morning."
"This is why I suggested attack dogs. But no, my mother wanted an alpaca."
"My father sent me with paperwork for your mom."
"And you just wanted to say hi? It's a good thing I didn't have my slam book out."
"I wanted to ask you about the game."
"I've been meaning to ask you something. Did your super-sleuth kit come with a decoder ring? Do you have a pen that writes with invisible ink? Never mind, don't care. "Larkin? Like, Connor Larkin?"
"He's a mortal, believe me. They just draw his abs on."
"Is he doing another movie with your father?"
"You know, I don’t know if it’s so much a movie as a fifty million dollar crap pile."
"Why would Connor steal the money? He’s a zillionaire."
"Well, everybody’s got their issues, right? Plus, the guy’s got something against me." - Logan & Veronica

flashback
"Oh my god! Does the soapbox come with the SAG card?" - Logan Echolls

"So wait, wait. Do you still have the purse?" - Eli Navarro

back to the previous scene
"So unless his Pavlovian response to a downloaded ringtone is to urinate, then he was up to something. Or, his bladder's as small as his brain."
"I would be more than happy to question him. I’ve a feeling he’s not the easiest person to get to, probably has a team of bodyguards to protect him from girls like me."
"I honestly don’t get it. Hey man. It’s, uh, Logan Echolls. Yeah. Hey, listen, can you get, uh, my friend… a drive-on today to see Connor? Yeah, Veronica Mars. No, Veronica, “V” as in “virgin". Yeah. There you go."
"Look at you, all helpful."
"Hey, your peskiness being unleashed on Connor brings me joy. Annoy, tiny blonde one. Annoy like the wind!"

"If Lynn had hired me to find out if you were cheating on her, I would tell her. She hired me to protect you and that’s what I’m gonna do." - Keith Mars

"So, good news, bad news. The good news is, I know who stole the money. The bad news is, I know who stole the money." - Veronica Mars

"And then, there's bachelor number three. And he's got it all. Motive. Access. Looks like an evildoer, smells like an evildoer…" - Veronica Mars

"Seriously, don't I just blend right in? Come on. Where's Weevil?" - Eli Navarro

Final rating - 10/10
This is, for sure, on my top five, if not top three, episodes of all 3 seasons. It's just brilliant, from start to finish, as evidenced by my very long quotes section. Cannot recommend it enough to anyone who wants to get into the show, it really shows off everything VM does best, in one single episode.

Ranking
  • An Echolls Family Christmas - 10
  • The Wrath of Con - 9
  • Pilot - 8.5
  • Meet John Smith - 8
  • The Girl Next Door - 8
  • You Think You Know Somebody - 8
  • Like a Virgin - 7.8
  • Return of the Kane - 7.5
  • Credit Where Credit's Due - 7.5
  • Drinking the Kool-Aid - 7
 
Taake
Taake
Maybe Melrose Place? (Lisa Rinna)

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S1E11 - Silence of the Lamb


  • Got a real-life serial killer on our hands here
  • And here it begins, with people coming to Vee for help
  • I love the way she doesn't call Lamb a monkey :D
  • Aaron Paul is in this? Wow, did not know that
  • Another character introduction as we are about to meet the adorable officer who I know best as Schmidt: Leo!
  • This is the official beginning of what will be a lot of people cheering for Veronica at the graduation in Not Pictured. She is slowly winning over everyone that wasn't previously a friend of hers pre-Lilly's murder
  • Mac is back!
  • Switched at birth storyline somehow feels way more real than the cult one from a few episodes ago, I don't know why
  • This time I don't mind no Logan as he's dealing with some family stuff and we get Mac instead :)
  • You can really tell how much Veronica is already bonding with Mac, from how she tries to spare her the emotional pain
  • Keith being so protective, love it!
  • Veronica meets Leo! And it's far more adorable than her and Duncan, imo
  • I'm not surprised they don't end up together, though, as Leo is far too nice to be with a flawed girl like Vee. Let's face facts
  • Lamb and Mars together, haven't mentioned it yet, but I love it. Especially how subtely they show Lamb being way dumber than his old boss
  • And there's Aaron Paul, wow
  • This might be one of the occasions where I'm okay with never hearing more about the Mac/Madison storyline, because it means that she came to terms with where she belongs and left it all in the past
  • I'm aware of how sorta lame it is that one family is all cultered brunettes and the other is ditzy blondes, nothing's ever that clear-cut, but I don't mind since I know they only have so much time to tell this story in and can't be explaing things left and right
  • I like that Veronica's way of dealing with her guilt is reminding herself of everything Lilly is missing out on, being dead and all
  • I forgot about the plan including Weevil, seriously love their working friendship of owing favors back and forth
  • Love that we can hear Eli continiously in the background
  • Okay, so Veronica is, at the very least, older than Mac, because she's already 17
  • The fact that Lamb practically manipulates Aaron Paul into confessing is frightening, considering how long he spent in power. So effin scary
  • I do love that he tells her he's tracking her phone, instead of keeping it a secret while keeping track of her comings and goings
  • Keith is so smart, clever like his daughter, it's really too bad he's not Sheriff anymore. Though with him unwilling to play the political games anymore, he's no longer the right fit for Neptune
  • Bi-annual - is that twice a year or every two years?
  • Mac clearly knows she's helping Veronica with the Lilly Kane murder case and yet says nothing, now that's a good friend right there!
  • Veronica sending those pictures may not be smart, but it's pretty badass, though
Quotes
"You don't go to the ocean side bars that the college kids hang out at, do you?"
"I prefer the biker bar by the train station. I get more attention there." - Keith & Veronica

"Is your daddy here, or is he busy peeking in people's windows?"
"You stop dressing up like Little Bo Peep, he'll stop peeking." - Lamb & Veronica

"Hello Cleveland. Spinal Tap.”
"What?"
"The movie “Spinal Tap.” You’ve never seen “Spinal Tap”?"
"No."
"That explains a lot." - Lamb & Keith

"He's waiting for you to throw your panties." - Keith Mars

"Strappin' on a guitar. Does it get rid of feelings of inadequacy?"
"Does strappin' on a gun?" - Lamb & Gabe

"I know, I’m shameless. But every time I start to feel guilty, I remind myself that Lilly would be thinking about colleges right now, or what new CD played at maximum volume would most annoy her mother, and I remember my mission." - Veronica Voiceover

"I say we play to our strengths."
"So I'm good cop?" - Lamb & Keith

"Same old story. Girl uses boy. Girl falls for boy. Boy saves girl's dad's life. Girl gets what she deserves." - Veronica Voiceover

Final rating - 7.5/10
Another solid episode, but not really anything unique. By now we've gotten used to the witty dialogue and fun interactions and we'll need more to be impressed. It's a good outing, though.

Ranking
  • An Echolls Family Christmas - 10
  • The Wrath of Con - 9
  • Pilot - 8.5
  • Meet John Smith - 8
  • The Girl Next Door - 8
  • You Think You Know Somebody - 8
  • Like a Virgin - 7.8
  • Silence of the Lamb - 7.5
  • Return of the Kane - 7.5
  • Credit Where Credit's Due - 7.5
  • Drinking the Kool-Aid - 7
 
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