Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ten Statements About....VERONICA MARS SEASON TWO, EPISODE THREE 'Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang' (2005)

"How do you get along without actual, you know, talent,Ms. Carpenter?"

"Somewhere that million chimps with their million typewriters must've finally written King Lear, because Sheriff Lamb is actually right about something. I have seen this man before."
1) As mentioned earlier, the mini-mysteries (in this case, Cassidy hiring Veronica to catch Charisma Carpenter's Kendall cheating) end up serving the overarc while giving us a satisfying done-in-one puzzle for us fans. Of course, we're still early enough in the season that some of the additions to this overarc, like the man washed up ashore with Veronica's name in his palm, just add to the maze we're going to spend a year trying to transverse.

2) As terrific as this season is--and I really do feel it is the best of the three seasons this series lasted--there are a couple of really baffling dead ends and missteps...as we see early on with the first rumblings of what is going to be a really daft subplot involving the Fennels and the skeletons in their closet. Okay, it's just a little reaction of Alicia's when Keith asks her to come with him on a trip to Chicago right now, and a couple of appearances by a mysterious, vaguely menacing man, but trust me...soon we'll be up a cul de sac the series didn't need to go down.

3) The connection of our dead body to Aaron Echolls is actually sort of clever, as it gives us, the audience, a credible possible solution to the overarc tied in with last season's overarc. This ends up diverting us away from the real villain, who has shown his face several times already, and will show it a number of times before this season is over.

Everybody turns their back on Beaver...
4) This episode does feature the first one on one interaction between Duncan and Logan this season--and it is interesting how, even at this point, Jason Dohring is a little ahead of the game. The way he allows Logan all this anger at being abandoned--and then slips in the one thing that should unify these two friends--is very interesting. Pity that Logan is one of those characters that the writers don't seem to know what to do with, as he sort of drifts from ill-defined sub-plot to ill-defined sub plot for the first half of this season; he rapidly becomes the character the writers think is essential to the show, but have no idea what to do with...and it gets sort of worse next season.

5) I was never much of a Charisma Carpenter fan--thought she was kinda shrill and one-note in Buffy--but let's give her credit for one thing. When she needs to do a little comedic facial acting, like she does in her scene with Veronica in the gym, she's very, very good.

6) More reasons why I think Enrico Colantoni is an amazing actor--look at the moment when he discusses wanting to become Sheriff again...yes, he's joking during most of that, but he keeps that somewhat serious tone and face from when he tells Alicia, 'Yes. Part of me likes being that guy.' It makes it very clear how important this opportunity is to him, even when he's making cracks about Veronica struggling to wrestle methheads into the cop car.

7) We've talked in the past about some of the really small done-in-one characters--Michael Kostroff's Mr. Pope is in maybe ten minutes of this episode spread out over the first two acts, and yet this actor infuses this teacher with a great deal of life and moral character. That he refuses Veronica's advice when it becomes obvious the Casablancas scam is about to go belly up speaks volumes for what kind of man he is...and that Kostroff sells it without going into hysterics is commendable.

8) Boy, that extended cameo by Courtney Taylor-Taylor, lead singer of the Dandy Warhols, was a bit...random, wasn't it?

Richard Casablancas...the lame-ass you get when you can't
get Jake Kane....
9) Here's why David Starzyk's Richard Casablanacas never quite works--unlike Jake Kane, Richard gets maybe four scenes over two episodes, then disappears in a rush when Cassidy reveals that Kendall has been cheating. Granted, the whole point of introducing Richard is to drive home Cassidy's feelings of neglect, but there needed to be more life in the elder Casablancas for this to work.

10) And we end with Veronica making the connection we made--that if the dead man on the beach was a stunt coordinator connected with Aaron Echolls, he probably was hired to cause the bus crash to kill her. And the brilliance of this is that it strengthen what the show has led the audience to believe...which allows their misdirection to continue further beyond this episode.

Overall...while this episode features a couple of the messy bits that will detract from this season as a whole (I'm not even mentioning the continued wince-itude that is Tessa Thompson), there are enough good bits that make this watchable.

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