Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ten Statements About....VERONICA MARS SEASON TWO, EPISODE TEN 'One Angry Veronica' (2005)

"Screw civic responsibility...who wants to solve a crime?"
“It's not always easy doing the right thing”.
“If that phrase isn't on the Mars-family crest it should be.”

1) This episode is evenly broken down into two plots, a jury duty plot for Veronica and a plot about the Kane/Echolls sex tape for Keith.  As such, many of the overarc plotlines are either forgone completely or given a slight bit of lip service.  It manages to remove that cluttered feeling some of the other Season Two episodes have.

2) This is the episode where Rob Thomas starts setting up the status quo for next season (although I imagine Thomas was uncertain about whether there was going to be third season, considering how they got this second season by the skin of their teeth).  And it’s funny how even here, with this brief exchange of dialogue about Hearst College, it doesn’t sound very appetizing.

3) One of the things I really appreciate about this episode is the jaundiced view of the legal system.  Veronica triumphs in solving the done in one case not because of her clever detective work persuading her fellow jurors, but because the hold out gives up due to his desire to return to his own life, and boasts of how the perpetrators will appeal and get off immediately.  And the jurors--even the one who spurs Veronica’s investigation on--are acting not out of civic responsibility but purely selfish reasons.

A man who can cry...
4) Sure, I may not care for Jason Dohring’s limited acting range, but there’s a scene between Logan and Keith that shows us Dohring is capable of greater things.  It’s full of emotion and subtlety.  And let’s be honest, the sight of Logan crying as he views the Kane/Echolls sex tape is moving.

5) I am impressed at how the nature of the trail allows writer Russell Smith to remind us that the racial and class tension in Neptune is very high.  Hell, one of the brief moments not only reminds us of those tensions, but also very quietly reminds us of the schism that’s growing between Weevil and the other PCH’ers.

6) Wait a is!  Veronica is actually working at Java The Hut (the outside of which we actually see for a change).  It’s the first time ever since Keith asked her to come back to work in the office part time that we’ve been reminded that she had to continue working there.

7) Max Greenfield’s Leo reappears for reasons that becomes obvious, but at least let’s give Smith the credit for making his motivations nuanced enough that the character isn’t irreparably damaged.

Would that this was my Christmas Present...
8) You know, like  “An Ecchols Family Christmas" , this is the Christmas episode for the season.  Unlike “An Ecchols Family Christmas,” the Christmas angle seems really incidental.  I think the only references we have to this being Christmas in Neptune are the allusions to Veronica being on the winter break and the Mars family celebration where Keith gives her a lead on the case she’s serving as juror to..

9) Of course, you could count the return of Percy Daggs’ Wallace in the episode’s last scene as Veronica's Christmas Miracle.  Being without Wallace for a few episodes really emphasizes how much Veronica needs Wallace to play a combination of Watson and Willie Garvin for her.  Plus, no Wallace means there’s no reason for Tessa Thompson’s annoying Jackie to be around.

10) One of the things that might not be noticed right away is that the trail is resolved, but the mystery itself isn’t; we don’t find out if the version of the events is the one Veronica pieces together or not.  This lack of resolution is a foreshadowing of a future episode which will ultimately bite Veronica on the ass in the third season. interesting episode more than a satisfying one that sets up what will be the structure in Season Three, and that handles the multiple subplots very well.

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