Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ten Statements About....VERONICA MARS SEASON ONE, EPISODE FOURTEEN 'Mars Vs. Mars' (2005)

But Veronica...he can't be eeeevil...he's cute!
"I know all of this because I have done everything I could to get to the truth... including using you and I'm really sorry about that. But I-I used you, then fell for you, not the other way around."

1) Ewwwww....in the middle of one of the more compelling aspects of the overarc, we get the icky teacher/student sex episode.

2) No, seriously...Thomas at this point has so many balls in the air--the Lynn Echolls disappearance, the mystery illness of Duncan, the Koontz motivation--that throwing in this rather ordinary done-in-one adventure that kinda sorta covers a lot of the same ground in regards to the Keith/Veronica relationship as 'Drinking The Kool-Aid' is just...well, pointless.

3) Leighton Meester, who plays accuser Carrie Bishop, prolly would have gotten a lot more credit for her nuanced, unflinching performance if she wasn't contrasted with the near-saintly portrayal of Adam Scott as Mr. Rooks. Contrasting the two inadvertantly hides how good she is by allowing us to relegate both performances to the bin of 'Black and White Perceptions Are Always Wrong.'

4) For me, the most interesting aspects of this episode are the ones involving Logan and Veronica's investigation into the last moments of Lynne Echolls. It's obvious that Thomas has set up a situation where the two characters have echoes of each other...and yet, Dohring is able to still be his problematic, dangerous, borderline self-destructive self while still managing to generate some understanding and sympathy in the viewer. It makes the slow progression these two characters are making toward a full-on-relationship not only acceptable, but compelling.

I am almost afraid to caption this photo...really....
5) Okay, the whole boobytrapped safe gag--and the scene between Veronica and Keith afterwards--was funny ("You're patronizing me?" "Well, to be fair, I am your patron.")...but it seemed like an awful lot of business to get to that moment. And to have Keith cave so easily and provide Veronica with info regarding Bishop's diary makes it all seem so...unnecessary. You know, like this whole A plot.

6) Wow...I am amazed that they were able to get some of those racy lines between Veronica and Weevil through. Especially in an episode about sexual harassment...If you ever fantasized about Kristen Bell referencing Deep Throats and rin jobs, well....

Boy, Leighton...sorry you got your performance
trapped in a whole 'don't judge a book' cliche'd
7) I know I already talked about Meester's performance, but I wanted to point out how cool it was that once Veronica does her 'I'm sorry' speech, she doesn't automatically get all huggy and 'it's okay.' She still keeps Carrie a bit of a bitch, and only a slight shared smile when Mr. Rooks makes his exit indicating there might be a change in their relationship.

8) If there is one thing that might be removed, it might be the Duncan Kane subplot aspects--although, to be fair, advancing the Duncan plot advances the Koontz plot, and leads to the show's kick-ass final scene.

9) What makes elevates this episode into a much watch? Two scenes...first, the final discovery of Lynne Echolls fate, done in a darkened classroom. And it's not the reactions to what they see that makes this scene work--it's that the two people Logan has to rely on in this moment of pain are two people he is antagonistic toward--Veronica and Weevil.

10)...and second, the final scene where Veronica confronts Abel Koontz with 'what she knows,' and we see how good both Bell and Clemenson are as actors...within a matter of moments, the emotional tables are turned, and the person who ends up devastated is not the person you expected to be.

Overall...while the A plot stinks on ice, covering ground already covered, those two subplots and the punchlines they lead to knock this episode out of the park. Ignore the A plot and just bask in what lies in between.

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