Monday, May 30, 2011

Ten Statements About....VERONICA MARS SEASON ONE, EPISODE SIX 'Return of The Kane' (2004)

"Yeah, and I bet this is how Jeb Bush did it, too..."
"Arrest records. Evidence Log. Autopsy Report. How many times do I have to look at this stuff? Until it starts to make sense."
1) Even before the credits, alot gets done--we finally get introduced to the Echols parents, played by real life celebrity couple Harry Hamlin and Lisa 'Fish Lips' Rinna; we see the storyline involving Jake Kane's pushing Duncan to be more involved progressed; we establish a little more about Wallace in setting up the central mystery for this episode; we are introduced to Abel Koontz (played by the highly underrated Christian Clemenson), the supposed killer of Lily; and we get Kristen Bell making sundaes. Okay, so that last part is only of interest to me, but's obvious that Thomas--who wrote the story for scripter Phil Klemmer--is getting ready to start kicking things into high gear.

2) Oh, and one more thing...Amanda Seyfried pops up for the first time as a vision/guiding spirit, helping her piece together the mystery of her own murder. Supposedly, Seyfriend was only to appear in a small number of episodes, but Thomas liked the energy she brought to the set so much, he kept adding her to other stories...and boy, does the ghoulish chemistry between Veronica and Lily just supercharges every scene they're in together.

3) I'm still not sure why the whole 'Bum Fights' angle gets dragged into this story; it really doesn't interact much with the actual 'student election/Pirate Points' main spine...yes, it does help define the sort of home life Logan suffers through, but it could just as easily have been dropped into a dozen other stories.

Jane Lynch..torturing kids
since 2004...
4) Wow, Jane Lynch was being a bitch to high schoolers loooooooong before Glee, you Gleeks.

5) You really have to wonder if the whole storyline revolving around the school election was a reaction to the whole 'hanging chad' situation--which still rubbed some people the wrong way four years later.

6) While this may not look like a significant introduction, Madison Sinclair, played to Heather-y perfection by Amanda Noret makes an impression...and becomes a very significant thorn in Veronica's side as this season and next continues...

7) There's a definite parallel between Kyle Secor's Jake Kane who (at least at this point) is a well-rounded character who actively wants what's best for his son, and Hamlin's Aaron Echolls, whose only thoughts are of himself. This will play out as we go deep into Season One.

As we'll learn as we get deeper into season one, all families
are unhappy in their own way...and the Echolls family's
unhappiness is a dark and perverse one...
8) The sequence that begins with Logan picked out a belt from a large closet full of them and ends with Lisa Rinna sitting alone with an enigmatic look on her face, drinking while the sounds of a beating reverberate through the house, is powerful film noir manque. Rinna has never been a great actress, but she does have moments of greatness...this one, where she is a modern Sphinx, her reaction to the violence elsewhere unreadable, is one of those moments of greatness.

9) The whole throughline involving Wanda and Veronica may seem a little deux ex machina...but I do think it serves to shore up the film noir cred of the series--namely, that anybody can betray our heroine, and anybody can prove to be an ally.

10) The stinger, which sort of brings the Abel Koontz situation to the fore for future episode, works here--it's a cliffhanger-without-being-a-cliffhanger, driving us to follow on to next week.

Overall....this is a collection of great moments that maybe shouldn't be hanging out together, but is still a great lil' forty-some-odd minutes thanks to a lot of set-up and advancement of individual story arcs.

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