Tuesday, October 11, 2011


This is the aftermath to the most devestating scenes of
Season One...
"What did you realize was so bad? What did you do?"
"I slept with you!"
"But it was consensual, right?"
"Then what about it was so wrong?"
"CAUSE YOU'RE MY SISTER! And I knew it."

1) This episode and the next effectively act as a single, long season finale. As such, this episode goes at a fairly fast clip. Just look at how many threads get touched upon or tied up in the pre-title sequence--the Missing Duncan plot, a brief reminder that Weevil is back in play as a suspect, a general tightening of tension across the cast--all to keep this Rock o' Revelation rolling down the hill.

Yes, the big solution is coming up...but that doesn't stop
Rob Thomas from continuing to keep us suspecting his
2) ...and since this is the finale of this season (and, I suspect, the show in Rob Thomas' mind, as the ratings were iffy at best), we get to do a little tour of some of the more memorable characters of season one. Of course, it's to the credit of writer Diane Ruggerio that she chooses only those character that make sense for Veronica to approach--so we see Alona Tal's Meg, Jonathan Bennett's Casey, Sam Huntington's Luke, Leighton Meister's Carrie and...most importantly...Amanda Noret's Madison Sinclair. Sinclair and Meg will be back next season, but some of these others get fitting farewells.

3) There is a scene between Bell and Colantoni at roughly the ten minute mark that changes the tenor of the Veronica/Keith relationship...and what I like about it is how it's done in a very even, quiet way--and yet there are blows landed, blows that hurt. I have frequently praised the chemistry between these two, and this is another magnificent example.

4) Here's something, though, that I find kind of funny...even though, as we'll see, Thomas and co. were assuming this was the show's one and only season, that doesn't stop Ruggerio from planting seeds that will grow into the central mystery of Season Two...that conversation between Veronica and Cassidy may just be another rung of the ladder to solving one of the two major mysteries of this season now, but wait until next year's revelations, where this scene is put into an entirely new light.

5) It is interesting how, even though the episode's flashback more or less create a linear narrative, Ruggerio still creates a sort of Teen Beat version of Rashoman with some of the fiddly bits--but then, an argument could be made that one of the discrepencies shores up my theory that Thomas had the ultimate role one of the characters takes in Season Two in mind right from his inception, and this little lie in his account is an indicator that he is Someone Not To Be Trusted.

Lo, look upon the Face of Vengenace and despair...

6) And the big narrative flashback chain comes down to this brutal scene--Veronica outside Duncan's house, confronting him and having to deal with the horrible truth...that it wasn't rape, it wasn't a crime, but the extenuating circumstances have turned it into a godawful memory for the both of them. If you took this scene out of sunny San Diego and plunked them down in some black-and-white film from the 40's, you'd have prime film noir, and both Bell and Dunn rise to the occasion. It's one of my favorite scene in this season for just how gut-wrenchingly nasty it gets.

7) And from that we go to this sweet, nice little scene that drives home the friendship between Veronica and Wallace...and sets up one of the big cliffhangers down the road. There is a sense of Wallace's character arc reaching some sort of closure (after all, the next episode is pretty much a three hander) and allows Percy Dagg to shine for a moment.

8) I find it fascinating how, even as we close in on the Big Revelation of Lily's Killer, Ruggerio manages to plant a little seed of misdirection, giving Duncan a big spazz-out moment to remind us why he's been a suspect all season.

9) The sequence where Veronica discovers the secret recording set-up is truly creepy, taking advantage of the multiple viewpoints and switch from film-look video to the cheap, grainier video of the VCR to drive home the ickiness of the discovery.

10) And here's the one development that I think falls a bit flat--namely, the final scene appearance of Lianne Mars as the cliffhanger. After all the high emotional scenes and the whirlwind race to resolve the rape storyline, having Corrine Bohrer pop up just seems...anticlimatic.

Overall...a cliffhanger that falls flat aside, there are some truly amazing scenes which show the supporting cast for the top notch thespians they are...and this is just the beginning of the high-powered suspense we're about to get into.

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