|"Let me resolve this quickly, 'cause I have a finale to attend|
1) See that slight, red-headed kid next to Ryan Hansen's Dick Casablancas in the opening scene? That's Kyle Gallner, straight from the Smallville episode 'Run,' playing Cassidy 'Beaver' Casablancas. He may not even be called by name at this point, but trust me--he's going to become one of the most important cast members of Season Two.
2) See, this is an example of an A Plot that works: no bad actors, no stoppage of the overarc plots whenever it's onscreen, and a villain who is clever enough to figure out who is behind his harassment and step things up when the A Plot needs complicating.
3) Since the A Plot (and the 'Missing Duncan' thread of the overarc) involves some cyber-snooping, it's time for Tina Majorino to return as Mac. I have to wonder if Thomas and company looked at the chemistry between Bell and Majorino and decided that this was their Holmes and Watson, because Wallace slowly starts being de-emphasized as the series moves forward--to the point where he even disappears from the show for a while in Season Two.
4) One of the reasons this A Plot works is due to Natalia Baron's Carmen. Unlike last episode's turn by Claire Titleman's Mandy, Baron shows a degree of subtlety in her distress, choosing to underplay her feelings while being very clear about them. In fact, the only time she threatens to get cartoony is when we see the glimpses of the 'Popcicle Girl' video, which comes off as someone trying to act scandalously without truly wanting to be scandalous.
5) At the eighteen minute mark or so, we hit a scene that is ostensively about the continuing Logan/Veronica relationship, and seems to end two minutes or so later with Aaron Echolls telling Veronica how he is happy with the two of them together. It's a wonderful scene that makes you feel good...and it is the Single Greatest Swerve in Season One. Writers Phil Klemmer and John Enbon block this out so well--and at this point we identify with Veronica so much that we look upon it as a stamp of approval--that we're not going to realize how badly we've been played until this story fully plays out.
|TV's Cliff McCormick...smoooooth.|
6) Man, I would pay to see a Daran Norris and Kristen Bell buddy-cop movie. I'm sorry, but they work so well off each other.
7) If there is one thing that bothers me about the A Plot, it's that Klemmer and Enbon play around with tying the situation between Carmen and Tad with one of the show's major themes--namely, class. It's implied several times that there is a perception among some people in the school of Carmen dating Tad to get out of the neighborhood, and of her being with him because she wants to be white..but it's never fully explored. It's an issue that's sort of left out there in the fringes of this story, brought up but never fully addressed.
|Yeah, I didn't mention this...but this |
happens. A lot.
8) And now, a positive thing about our writers for this episode--the way they manage to skillfully dovetail the A Plot right back into the overarc, setting us up for the resolution of one of the major mysteries that have been playing in the background since the pilot, is just amazing.
9) And in a similar vien--not only does the final scene feature a clever callback to the pilot, it further pushes the series back onto the track for the climax. We don't even realize that we've experienced the last A Plot some ten minutes ago and Everything Is Going To Be Answered until it's too late.
10) And yes...this is the final A Plot of Season One. The final two episodes will be all about the overarc...and trust me when I say things are going to be getting fast and furious from here on out.
Overall...an excellent episode that masterfully transitions us from the A Plot structure to what amounts as a two-part finale for the overarc. Lots of juiciness overall.