Monday, April 28, 2014

Ten Statements About....VERONICA MARS SEASON TWO, EPISODE EIGHT 'Ahoy, Mateys!' (2005)

Yep...sometimes Kristen Bell is dressed like this in
my dreams, too.
" Did Duncan go to bed?”
“Yes. And he wanted me to tell you to give me your undivided attention. Pretend for a moment that your dog's life is at stake.."

1) And here is where Alona Tal’s Meg officially becomes this season’s Lily Kane thanks to a pair of dreams experienced by Teddy Dunn’s Duncan.  While it’s always refreshing to have Tal back (not to mention seeing Kristen Bell tarted up as a bad girl in the first dream sequence), she doesn’t have the...enthusiasm for this role that Amanda Seyfried did.

2) During the round of interviews I did in support of Veronica Mars (One does not get the reputation as the biggest Veronica Mars fan on the block and expect not to have a slew of podcasts asking you about that movie) I referred to Francis Capra’s Weevil as Hawk to Veronica’s Parker, and here is where that transformation begins.  Spurred on by indications that the PCH’ers are doing things that are against his own code, Weevil starts his own matter how that investigation is infused by his own outlaw instincts.

3) We’re in week three of the Wallace thank God Tina Majorino’s Mac finally steps into the Watson role.  Mac’s high-tech, slightly mercenary attitude provides a wonderful contrast to Wallace--and given the nature of the done-in-one plot, her techy background makes her fit more than Wallace.  That being said....
Ahhh, Ms. were sorely missed....

4) You’ll notice that the done-in-ones become much more sketchy much earlier in the season.  Unlike the first season, where the overarc was allowed to develop in its own sweet time, there are so many plot threads that need developing that each episode has a diluted feel.  This season is one that has a desperate need of a focus.

5) Of course, one of the other problems with this episode is how the script by John Enbom and Cathy Belben can’t decide what the main angle of the mystery is.  Both Keith and Veronica have paths into this mystery, but they end up with different conclusion.  It’s almost as if there are two mysteries independent of each other.

6) One of the things that I think makes Kristen Bell the perfect actress to play Veronica is how she is convincing both as a bad ass and as a scared little girl....and if you don’t believe me, check out how Bell turns on a dime when she realizes she is face to face with Rod Rowland’s Liam Fitzpatrick.  Her breakdown feels so legitimate, it emphasized how scary the Fitzpatricks are...

7) Once again, we have a very, very subtle foreshadowing reference to the overarc--one that literally passes you by until we get to the last episode.  As much as this episode is lukewarm...bravo, writers.  Bravo.
When Plastic Surgeons Attack...Next Time On Jerry!

8) It nice that, just as with Season One, there are efforts to create a viable universe where characters drift in and out of the story.  In this one, Duane Daniel’s Van Clemmons’ son shows up in a slightly less minor role that dovetails into the main mystery.

9) One of the things that I always appreciated is how the series never forgets its noir roots...and it does in this episode when our bad guy is glad that he hurt the Oliveras family.  That sort of viciousness is so at odds with the usual teen drama structure.

10) Conversely, I appreciate how Keith handles what he learns about the lengths David Barrera’s Carlos will go to in regards to his court case.  This moment is also very indicative of how Rob Thomas is insistent on keeping the series anchored in a hardboiled tradition, where everything is shade of grey and not black and white.

Overall...unlike the previous episode, where the final act serves to conceal the cluttered nature of the plot, this one is all over the place and remains all over the place, tripping over all its subplots as it feels around in the dark for a direction.

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