*vm

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i did the meme again bcus sharon akosuaa tagged me! n also the list has changed a bit so here:

  • east side story (all the compilations, tbh)
  • karen dalton - it’s so hard to tell who’s going to love you the best
  • sade - lover’s rock
  • ibeyi - ibeyi
  • blaque - blaque
  • fleetwood mac - rumours
  • fleetwood mac - mirage
  • lee moses - time and place
  • mazzy star - among my swan

i tag llleighsmith humalien reichsstadt zynab1929 yesoknvm gha-zal brujacore arbors bahnhofzoo

Favorite Scene from Each Episode of Veronica Mars - 1.15

Pick your favorite scene from the episode and tell us why it’s your favorite. Remember to tag your post #vm episodes.

Today- RUSKIE BUSINESS

Okay, I really need to step up my game here ngsezdeputyleoisacreep is already into season 2 and I’m… well… I’m not. Can I plead “fan fiction” for my slowness?  That’s a legitimate defense, right? RIGHT?

Anyway, if you’re following my favorite scene posts (or just following me- in a non-stalkerish kind of way) then you know how I feel about LoVe so it’s probably pretty easy to guess my favorite scenes:

The -“She’s a keeper!” scene where we get to watch Logan and Veronica role play. I love how quickly Logan falls in line. His ex-friend-cum-enemy-cum-investigator hurries across the lobby calling him honey and kissing him on the cheek and he goes with it. I wish there had been more scenes in the series of Logan and Veronica investigating together and role playing under covers… uh, I mean undercover.

And can I mention Veronica’s wedding planning album? Actually, I could probably write an entire post about that album (so here goes). This album does not look like a hastily thrown together prop, it looks like an actual book “pre-series Veronica” put together while dreaming about her wedding day. Part of why I think the book is real is the wonderful contrast of “before” -hearts and flowers, wears a lot of pink- Veronica and the cynical, jaded girl we meet in the original opening of the Pilot “I’m never getting married. You want an absolute? Well, there it is. Veronica Mars,spinster.” I don’t know if this was intentional on the part of Rob Thomas, but I think it was and it’s BRILLIANT.

The other reason I believe the book is real and there to show us the difference between before and after Veronica has to do with this scene:

Duncan is wondering if his best friend has just asked Veronica to the dance and this exchange takes place:

VERONICA: [in her best breathless girlie speak] No, no one’s asked. But I’m pining away by the phone waiting for that special boy to call.

DUNCAN: Hm. [playfully] You never know.

I’ll come back to the “you never know” in a minute, but Veronica is looking at Duncan and she starts to come to the realization that what they once had was not in fact real love- it was only the fantasy of the same girl who made that wedding planner:

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I mean, sure, once upon a time that special boy did call and the spring dance was the crowning moment of my fairy tale-esque teen girl life. But now I know better. It felt like love but maybe it was just- 

NOT love. And if we need further proof that what Veronica and Duncan had was not real, Rob Thomas gives it to us with the mystery-of-the-week. Caterina Lenova is ostensibly looking for the love of her life. She tells Veronica that she made a mistake letting him go because he’s her soulmate. This mystery is meant to parallel Veronica’s relationship with Duncan, which is why Veronica seems a little melancholy throughout the episode -perhaps wishing things had been different with Duncan. But then we learn it was a con and -just like the Donut fairytale- it was all fake. 

It’s a masterful piece of storytelling. What on the surface seems real -Veronica wanting Duncan and being sad that he’s moving on with Meg- is in actuality what is fake. While what appeared to be fake -Logan and Veronica pretending to be a married couple- turns out to be real. This episode is what helps us (the audience) let go of any idea of Duncan and Veronica while at the same time helping us embrace the future of Logan and Veronica.

Remember the: “waiting for that special boy” and the “you never know” - we actually DO know because this heartbreaking scene is filled with true, honest emotions. It is a moment of bonding that can never be replicated and it plants the seed for a connection between Logan and Veronica that can span years and continents and can turn nine-years-of-radio-silence into bygones.

Favorite Scene From Each Episode of Veronica Mars, Day 23 Redux: Normal is the Watchword, or, Eight More Fragments

[Previous Installment: Favorite Scene From Each Episode of Veronica Mars Day 23: Normal is the Watchword, or, Veronica’s Helplessness]

Letting go is not easy for me. As much as I really wanted to just move on to “Driver Ed” so I could make fun of Wallace’s pursuit of Jackie, I could not get over how disappointed I was in my previous post (rambling and incoherent even by my low standards) on my favorite scene in “Normal is the Watchword.” I am lucky susanmichelin did not ban me from continuing with her game. Not only did the prior post not really go anywhere, but it took what originally was going to be one section on Veronica’s perception of her “helplessness” in relation to Logan’s spiral and made it into the whole thing. At the same time, I managed to forget and leave out the stuff  I really wanted to discuss. Let this be a lesson to me: write stuff down immediately when I think of it. Now I need to write down that I need to write stuff down, and then… (infinite regress ensues)

Instead of just doing the whole thing over (there might be something in the other post worth preserving, it just takes digging and patience to find it), I decided to just make some additional comments. Here are eight notes of varying length and interrelation on Veronica and Logan’s first scene (her flashback to the big night that ended the first season)  in “Normal is the Watchword. Most of them short thoughts that might be more fully developed later – “meta bunnies,” as lilamadison11 calls them (as opposed to the terrifying notion of metabunnies).

Self-indulgence ahoy!

§1 Radio Knife to the Heart. Logan finding out about Aaron and Lilly on the radio works well on at least two levels. First, it is hard to imagine how Veronica would have been able to get the words out in a way that would have seemed both appropriate given the situation and non-sappy to the audience. Second, it adds salt to Logan’s wound, as he does not get to hear the horrifying truth from someone (the only person?) who cares about him, but from radio. Once again, one of the most devastating events on his life is a matter of public scandal (due to his family’s celebrity, which he hates) before it is his own private sorrow.

§2 Pietà Notice I. At some point I am going to have to discuss the Pietà at length. I am going to put it off because so much has already been written about it, and so not feel like I know enough about art history or Catholic theology to say anything at length about it without making more of a fool of myself as usual. Don’t worry, though, I will get there, and I will look stupid. I will include just a few brief, promissory sketches about it that may or may not be redeemed in the future.

§3 Pietà Notice II. I do not think the “Normal is the Watchword” scene truly becomes a Pietà until that imagery is explicitly put forth (with the roles reversed) in “Not Pictured,” although I am not sure why it matters..

§4 Douchebag Jar Needed. Do I really need to comment on Leo’s “adorable” arm placement as he moves past Veronica into the apartment?

§5 Pietà Notice III. Although fans often discuss the similarities between Keith and Logan, the Pietà bookends point toward something else (without necessarily excluding the Keith/Logan parallel) more fascinating and suggestive. While Keith is still part of Veronica’s life, and Aaron looms over Logan’s even while imprisoned, when thinking of the Pietà imagery, it is important to recall that both Veronica and Logan have been abandoned by their mothers. The Pietà scenes each put Logan and Veronica in the position of an idealized mother to replace the one that has abandoned the other. Moreover, in both Pietà scenes (or the immediate aftermath), Veronica and Logan take on stereotypically domestic (“female”) roles: Veronica tends to the “wounded hero’s” injuries; Logan is cooking.

§6 Pietà Notice IV. The reversal of gender roles in Veronica and Logan’s relationship (e.g., she is the hard-boiled detective and he is the femme fatale [if I ever get to it, I will discuss why homme fatale fits Logan better for more reasons than just the obvious]) is obviously an important trope. However, those gender role reversals are point beyond a simplisitic gender flip. Veronica and Logan both take up the role of the mother in the separate Pietà images, enabling us to see how they are both symbolically androgynous. Leaving (important) social implications aside, this symbolic androgyny allows Veronica and Logan to take on more “standard” roles without grating on the senses. Two examples that might be irritating in isolation from the context: Veronica clinging to Logan at the end of “Not Pictured,” and, even moreso, Veronica saying “come back to me” to her departing warrior in the movie. Without the larger context, those encounters would be eyeroll inducing. In the context of the Veronica Mars universe generally and the relationship between these two characters in particular, those moments are special.

§7 Cliffhangers and Closure. Season-ending cliffhangers usually strike me as a necessary evil of television. Even shows that are not on the bubble for cancellation want to get viewers excited and curious about what is to come. But even if the semi-cliffhangers regarding Logan and Weevil’s showdown on the bridge and Veronica and Logan generally were necessary (and to resolve them in “Leave It to Beaver” would have taken away from thing that were more important in the episode), it felt like a bit of an imperfection on a great concluding episode to a great season.

Upon more reflection, leaving the outcome of Logan’s situation to the beginning of the second season makes sense beyond the need for a (necessarily evil) cliffhanger. Other plotlines in season one needed to be wrapped up in “Leave It to Beaver,” and those needed the time allotted to them: the discovery of the truth about the murder, the arrest of Aaron Echolls, Veronica’s paternity revelation, and Lianne’s saga.

Furthermore, there needed to be a division between the closure of the first season and the wound which opens the second. Lilly’s death with always hurt Veronica, but “Leave It to Beaver” also shows that Veronica is now able to move on from it. The symbolism of her farewell to Lilly in the pool is wonderful in that way, even as it contains a warning: “You know how things are gonna be now, don’t you? You have to know.” Veronica seems to sleep soundly until there is a knock on her door, and, seemingly at peace, she opens it.

Logan is at the door, and as soon as he turns around beaten and bloodied, the peace is shattered. For all that has happened that night to him on the bridge, to the viewer, it feels like the worst was hearing the news about Aaron on the radio. For Logan, there is no farewell dream with Lilly. There is no floating on a pool. Season one wraps up Veronica’s goodbye to Lilly, but Logan never gets anything like that (unless one wants to count his Christmas Eve video viewing in “One Angry Veronica,” which I will hopefully get to eventually, but in any case, I think most of us would prefer the pool). And really, does Logan ever get closure with any of the people whom he loses in the Veronica Mars universe? While solving the crime was healing for Veronica, but for Logan, the truth (which, as usual, he has to face without denial) only makes the wound he has been enduring for more than a year more severe. No wonder things went the way they did – and I think what I was trying to say about Veronica’s “helplessness” in my earlier post is her retrospective realization that there was nothing she could have done about it.

Season one ends with Veronica finally being at peace (relatively, as the end of the season shows) regarding Lilly’s murder because the truth is out, giving her arc (including her family issues) during the season a sense of completeness. Logan’s confrontation with that same truth would have mitigated that sense of personal and narrative closure for the first season, but was an excellent (if harsh) way to begin his arc in the second season.

§8 Still Veronica’s Show. This is not to say that the second season is just “Logan’s story,” though. Logan does have more agency and a more independent path in the second season, something I will discuss down the road. That does not mean that Veronica does not have a good arc aside from Logan, though. Veronica’s arc is more subtle.

[Screenshots from vm-caps.com]

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These pictures were taken on our day trip to the RITM’s kalabaw (carabao) farm in Gandara, Samar. Dr. Mario Jiz at the RITM (Research Institute of Tropical Medicine) has been conducting a schistosomiasis vaccine trial on the native kalabaw for a few years now. Rice farmers depend on their kalabaw for their livelihood, and these bovines are often free-range, making them significant intermediate hosts for transmission. 

Along the way, Dr. Jiz has also had to deal with parasites like trypanosomes and Fasciola hepatica, as well as typhoons like Yolanda/Haiyan coming through the area! Hope I can add just a little to the good work he’s doing in Region VIII.