Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ten Statements About....VERONICA MARS SEASON TWO, EPISODE SEVEN 'Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner' (2005)

"Duncan, I know Wallace Fennel...and you are no Wallace
" A ten year-old boy who voluntarily washes his hands, who enjoys quiet time, and does what he's told with a smile. If he doesn't pick his nose soon, I'm looking for wires."

1) While there is some lip service given to there being a done-in-one plot, this is really Diane Ruggiero setting up a whole slew of threads for the second act of this season’s mystery.  And it’s to her credit that some of these thread set ups are very, very subtle.

2) And that done-in-one is a Trojan Horse that advances Duncan’s subplot while foreshadowing the reintroduction of Alona Tal’s Meg, and her ultimate role as this season’s Lilly Kane stand-in.  And, quite frankly, the final reveal is truly shocking.

3) This may be the only time that Michael Muhney’s Sheriff Lamb acts like a human being.  After a healthy dollop of comic relief, Lamb actually acts like a sheriff when confronted with what Veronica and Duncan discover.  It’s a rare moment that gives this otherwise one dimensional character a little nuance.

4) While I understand that at this phase of the Kendall Casablancas’ character arc, she’s serving as the lead up to the Fitzpatrick subplot (more on this in later episodes), but too much is spent on her striving to stay a woman of leisure in light of her husband’s disappearance.  Now maybe some of this is my feeling that a little Charisma Carpenter goes a long way, but I could really do without her taking up so much running time.  On top of that, there’s that weird little grace note that seems designed to throw doubt into the Veronica/Duncan storyline that I don’t recall going anywhere.
This scene is the one that almost makes
it worthwhile.

5) Boy, Krysten Ritter is a touch broad at this phase in her career.  I gather that Gia is supposed to be a spoiled rich girl trying to hard to fit in and become part of the Cool Clique, but her forced cherriness and cluelessness seems too forced.  Even though she gets much, much better in the years following her one year tenure here but at this moment...Yikes!

6) I am still amazed at how subtle some of the clues as to the solution of the season mystery is.  There’s a single line of dialogue from the person who turns out to be the villain, and its not until you’ve seen the mystery play out that you realize he’s trying to escape the scene of the crime.

7) It strikes me that there’s what I assume to be a conscious parallel between a scene with Steve Guttenberg’s Wally Goodman an his son and the scene in season one where Logan enters The Belt Room.  What it says about Goodman speaks volumes once we realize the skeleton in his closet.

8) This is the beginning of the Dr. Thomas Griffith subplot.  Maybe it’s because Rick Peters isn’t that great of an actor; maybe it’s because I know how this storyline goes nowhere...but it turns out to be really, really awful.
Not the picture I would draw of Kristen Bell, to be honest.

9) You know, I would not have known that was supposed to be Amanda Noret’s Madison Sinclair at Gia’s pajama party landing zings against Veronica if it wasn't for the closing credits.  Given how massive an influence Madison has in Veronica Mars mythology (so much so that the movie goes out of its way to give us a scene of Veronica slugging her), making her appearance in this episode so generic is puzzling.

10) In this episode, there is an attempt to make Duncan into a Wallace Manque....and Teddy Dunn thoroughly fails to live up to the task.  His lameness in Watsoning Veronica only makes one yearn for Percy Daggs all the more.

Overall...the final third almost makes up for the scattershot nature of the rest of the episode, as the episode tries too much to cover all its bases.

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