Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ten Statements About....VERONICA MARS SEASON ONE, EPISODE FOUR 'The Wrath Of Con' (2004)

You would think this would be right up my alley, but...meh...
"So I was going through my stuff and I found this."
"What is it?"
"It's not a violin recital."

1) Now that the bulk of Thomas' pieces are in place (but not all; we've got Mac just around the corner), he can now start filling them in--starting with Lilly. The teaser features the longest flashback featuring Veronica and Lilly to date, soldifying their friendship prior to the murder and laying the groundwork for The Big Surprise down the road.

While Amanda Seyfried's Lilly is a presence throughout
the season, here is where she is brought ot life.
2) What is impressive overall about this episode--especially in this, the era of 'Just Go With It'--is how the script by Diane Ruggerio manages to effortlessly multitask. While the B Plot ostensively fleshes out Lilly, making her more human and a more vital presence (this show understands one of the tenants of film noir...namely, that more often than not, the victim is a bigger star than the killer), it also maneuvers Logan Ecchols into closer proximity with Veronica so that his character arc can begin its slow burn.

3) I'm not a big fan of the A Plot, which seems to have been built around the idea that Kristen Bell would look hot in Otaku gear (For the record...she's always hot, but she's hotter in a lot of other outfits throughout the season).

4) And the main reason the A Plot just Doesn't. Work? Adam Wylie's Grant and Robert Baker's Liam are terrible villains, and they simply don't give Bell anything to work against. You never feel for a second that these two could outwit a border collie, let alone the talented Ms. Mars.

And THESE Doofuses are supposed to give Veronica
a run for her money?  Ummmmm.....no.
5) And here in this episode, we start to see the Cool Boyfriend Facade of Troy start to crack--and learn more about how smart Keith Mars is, when he slips in the news that he foiled the boy's plans for the homecoming dance. The fact that Colantoni doesn't miss a beat, doesn't change his tone but still puts a steel shutter on his hotel reservations is masterful.

6) I have to assume that the reason this is reportedly Kristen Bell's favorite episode is because of the B Plot....

7) The whole reason behind the scams that drives the A Plot is revealed off camera...which is a very rare misstep when it comes to these done-in-one mysteries. It's almost as if Ruggerio forgot there needed to be some sort of motivation behind Grant's and Laim's scheming.

8) I haven't brought Kyle Secor's Jake Kane up yet. It's to Secor's credit that he takes what could have been a one-dimensional ogre of a man and made him much more complex. Look at all the different emotions he goes through during the dedication of the Lily Kane Memorial Fountain, and conveys them just through changes in expression. It's pretty powerful stuff.

9) The same cannot be said for Lisa Thornhill's Celeste Kane. This woman is so unimaginative in her evilness she needs a mustache to twirl.

10) I mentioned Keith Mars' misfortune when it comes to romantic storylines; here is the first of Wallace's disastrous romances. A big portion of this lies with Kyla Pratt's Georgia, who literally has no personality save for a propensity for getting into trouble. Granted, her lack of excitment pales next to the horrific disaster of Tessa Thompson's Jackie Cook, but it's still pretty sad.

Overall...one of these episodes which is saved wholely by its B Plot; there is so much done with regards to the supporting cast and their relation to each other that it more than makes up for the lameness that is the main mystery.

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