|Sometimes there's a reason someone acts like Bizarro-You...|
1) Since we're now into 'Act Two' of our longform story, some of the 'Done-In-One' mysteries get a little more serious--thus the E-String Strangler serial killer investigation that Keith Mars has to collaborate with Michael Muhney's Sheriff Lamb on. It helps give us a fuller idea of Lamb's personality and back story, just as Veronica's case illuminates Mac.
2) And a new Act means a few new characters. In addition to Madison Sinclair returning to take a fuller role, we're introduced to Max Greenfield's Deputy Leo, who will be Veronica's romantic interest for the next stretch of stories.
|Veronica's new romantic interest is more virtuous|
than her last one...but has his own edge.
3) The script by Jed Seidel and Dayna Lynn North effectively builds up Mac's parents as loving if boorish. In fact, both the parent sets are pretty decent. But then, when you have Amanda Norel making like the Prep-School Devil as Madison, that makes up for the older characters being decent variations on a theme....
4) As the cases get more intense, so does Keith Mars' behavior. Watching him knock down a suspect he's interrogating when he makes a comment about Veronica drives home how this is Not A Man To Fuck With.
5) There's a whole Nature Versus Nurture angle that I'm not sure sits well with the episode. It sort of muddies the water a bit, and isn't really addressed fully.
6) It's interesting how Lamb and Keith, the deeper into the case they get, begin to act as a unit.
The transition is seamless in spots, and I have to attribute that to Muhney and Colantoni's skill as actors to build a chemistry out of antagonism...and tear it apart once this sequence of their character arcs are done.
7) The chemistry between Greenfield and Bell is genuine--which somewhat covers up the fact that at least at this point, Veronica is using Deputy Leo solely to advance her own agenda regarding the Lily Kane case. This scene, by the way, also locks in Veronica's age as 17.
|This episode illuminates Mac, while cementing her relationship|
8) The scene between Mac and Bridget Hoffman's Ellen Sinclair are truly heartbreaking. Part of this is because the casting agent took the time to make sure there's a definite resemblance between Hoffman, Tina Majorino and Carlie Westermann, who plays Madison's sister Lauren. Seeing all three in the same room emphasizes that this should have been Mac's family...which makes what transpires all the sadder.
9) As much as I enjoyed the whole Keith Mars/Strangler storyline, it does irk me that the mystery is resolved--after a whole lot of hardcore detective work--with a hunch that would not have come to Keith if he hadn't worriedly tracked Veronica down.
10) And here, at the very end, we get the first in media res appearance of Clarence Weiderman, indicating that the next phase of this overarc is firmly on....
Overall...a fairly good episode that shows how much more confident Thomas is becoming. Both plots balance well, both plots illuminate different relationships, and both--more or less resolve well. And it gets better from here.