Carrie Bishop

Epic Movie (Re)Watch #130 - Veronica Mars

Spoilers below (for the TV show too).

Have I seen it before: Yes

Did I like it then: Yes!

Do I remember it: Yes.

Did I see it in theaters: Yes.

Was it a movie I saw since August 22nd, 2009: Yes. #283.

Format: Blu-ray

This post is dedicated to @marshmallow-the-vampire-slayer, the best Marshmallow I know.

(GIF originally posted by @marshmallow-the-vampire-slayer)

1) Veronica Mars - this film - exists because of a Kickstarter campaign that went live on March 13, 2013. The series ran for three seasons before being cancelled but gained an incredible cult following. Series creator Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell, and the rest of the cast had been hopeful about a movie being made for years before turning to Kickstarter. Their goal was 2 million dollars, they got that in less than 24 hours (breaking most of Kickstarter’s records at the time). They ended up with five million total dollars by the end of their campaign (which was broke the REST of Kickstarter’s records at the time). This movie is made by the fans, for the fans basically, and that’s awesome.

2) I first started watching “Veronica Mars” on Netflix DVDs AFTER the Kickstarter had come and gone, meaning I did not have to wait the seven years many fans did for a resolution to the series’ cliffhanger ending. I fell in love with the show instantly. I binged it as quickly as I could with Netflix DVDs (ie: not very quickly but passionately) and love almost every twist and turn. It is an excellent show and my love for it definitely in part fuels my love for the film.

3) The opening, “I need your help Veronica,” montage is a great way of starting off the film. For fans of the original series it reminds us of everything we’ve been missing for a while, and for people who have never seen a single episode it gives them enough info to understand the movie and its characters. And it has this wink to the fans of the show:

Veronica: “New me? People say I’m a Marshmallow.”

(GIF originally posted by @marshmallow-the-vampire-slayer)

For all you newbies, fans of “Veronica Mars” refer to themselves as Marshmallows because of this line from the pilot. It was either that or “twinkies” and you can spell “Marshmallows” without “Mars”.

4) Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars.

Originally posted by veronicaneptunes

It’s difficult for me to talk about Veronica as a character because most of my understanding of her as a character comes from both the film AND the TV Show. A lot of what I have to say is really going to be echoes of what @marshmallow-the-vampire-slayer has said in her fantastic recaps for the series. Veronica is strong willed, fiercely loyal, but she’s got some blinders on. If she decides you’re guilty or innocent, it is fact. That is just the way it is and she will not recognize the notion otherwise. But see, that does not come into effect in as huge a way in the film as it has in the show in the past.

Veronica is incredibly sharp. I will speak later on how physical strength is not one of her greatest attributes, but she more than makes up with it in wit and the ability to think on her feet. Tough as nails, with an incredible sense of humor (which in and of itself is probably a defense mechanism of some sort), Veronica is amazing. And Veronica would not be the Veronica we know and love if it were not for the truly perfect Kristen Bell.

There are some character who are just defined as much by the actors who play them as the writers who craft them. Veronica Mars is one of those characters. Kristen Bell inhabits all of Veronica’s qualities perfectly. Her contradictions, her strengths, her weakness, her love, her aggression, her need for intimacy with some people, her ability to be independent with others. Honestly in the same sense that Sarah Michelle Gellar IS Buffy or that Robert Downey Jr. IS Iron Man, Kristen Bell IS Veronica Mars and no other actress could ever play her with the same perfection as Bell.

5) Jamie Lee Curtis.

Understand that even though this film made more than twice what it was asking for in the Kickstarter campaign, five million bucks to make a movie these days is close to nothing. Comparatively speaking at least (although recent best picture winner Moonlight only cost 1.5 million so…). Most of the famous faces in this film - the small bits here and there like Jamie Lee Curtis in the very beginning - have some sort of working relationship with those involved in the movie (usually the actors). For example: Curtis worked with Bell in 2010′s You Again. I’m sure this most be some sort of favor to her.

6) This flip off is very Veronica. You can tell a lot about her way of handling jackasses and her sense of humor from this moment.

Originally posted by veronicaneptunes

7) 

Gayle: Fifteen separate articles or briefs in cases ranging from multiple homicides to dognapping.

The season one episode “Hot Dogs” involves Veronica helping what was one of the kindest and most sincerely uncorrupted characters on the show (Mandy) help find her missing dog which she loved so much. I like to tell myself that is Veronica thinking fondly on this case which means little to others (especially when compared to multiple homicides) but one where she helped this really kind girl with something that really mattered to her.

8) Let’s talk briefly about the film’s “sex tape” references. Towards the end of season 3 a “sex tape” was released of Veronica and her then-boyfriend (and current boyfriend, at the start of this film) Piz. Except Veronica said she and Piz were just fooling around and didn’t actually have sex. We see the sex tape very clearly later on in the film, that has clearly been retconned. Painfully, too, as Piz is not exactly the most loved of Veronica’s boyfriends.

9) On that note…Piz.

I cannot get into the intense dislike people have for Piz without getting into how he was written and portrayed in the final season of the TV show (which was the season he was introduced in). In a nutshell, Piz was the Nice Guy™. As in the character who in reality isn’t really a nice guy, but is sort of a privileged manipulative white dude bro who thinks he deserves to be with a woman he basically sees as the female lead in his own personal romantic comedy. But the writers still write him as the “nice guy”. The movie does not have as much of that Nice Guy™ vibe to Piz though. It’s definitely still there though. He tells Veronica that he oversold her to his parents. That, “They cannot believe I landed a creature such as the one I’ve described.” But mostly Piz is kinda sorta not an awful dude. He seems to have some genuine feelings for Veronica but you can tell Veronica is with him just because he’s the safe choice. Because this is the clean life she wants. And that’s never who she was and so Piz isn’t dating the REAL Veronica. Piz is not interested in the REAL Veronica just the kind of girl he expects her to be and wants her to be. Even if he’s not a total dick about it in the film, that’s still what their relationship is.

HOWEVER I will say even though I may have issues with Piz as a character I do truly enjoy Chris Lowell as an actor. My distaste for how Piz has been written in the past is not a reflection on his performance.

10) Veronica talks about how Bonnie DeVille used to be known as Carrie Bishop. Carrie Bishop was featured in a few season one episodes of the show played by “Gossip Girl” actress Leighton Meester. Meester had scheduling conflicts with the show so they recast her part.

11) Never ever think too hard about the timeline or continuity in the Veronica Mars universe. Like…Logan is supposed to be a different age than her but they were still in the same graduating class or his dead girlfriend was a different age because she went to school with her brother who was…just, it’s confusing to think about it too hard. Just know that this film - while released in 2014 - takes place in 2016. Because the characters graduated high school in 2006 and their ten year reunion is featured in the film.

12) The theme of addiction is heavily featured throughout the movie, mainly throughout Veronica’s internal monologue. She constantly mentions her alcoholic mother while comparing her return to Neptune and the world of a PI to that idea. Not to mention Veronica described her past self as a, “possible adrenaline junkie,” within the first five minutes of the film. It’s a neat idea that gives the film a unique arc and helps it feel more than an extended episode.

13) Logan Echolls, ladies and gentlemen.

(GIF originally posted by @veronicaneptunes)

With most of (if not all of) these characters, it is difficult for me to talk about them ONLY as they are presented in the film. Logan is someone who throughout the TV show had a very troubled life. His father beat him, his mother committed suicide, his girlfriend was murdered, the murderer turned out to be his father, he had been manipulated by many people he considered family, but he was good to Veronica (for the most part) when they started dating. He cared for her, truly. There was an honesty to their relationship, an ability to be himself, which he lost when she left. I think the second Veronica Mars book Mr. Kiss & Tell goes into this more (I read it two years ago), but Logan needed to get his life together post-Veronica. So he joined the freaking Navy. That first image of Logan already sets him up as a clean cut, mostly kept together man that is FAR different from the, “obligatory psychotic jackass,” we met in the pilot of the show.

Much like Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring gives Logan a lot of depth. The reason the character was given such a prominent role and more layers - initially - was because of Dohring’s skill as an actor. He is able to present Logan as mostly collected but still vulnerable. Still with a deep sorrow in his soul, still with a darkness to him. But we as an audience are invested in him as a character. We understand Veronica’s trust for him because we see just who he is around Veronica. The chemistry between Dohring and Bell is incredible. It is not just hot steamy chemistry (although it can be, more on that later). It’s a trust, it’s friendship, it’s an ability for these two to truly be themselves around each other in a way they can’t be with pretty much everyone else.

It is a truly wonderful performance and character we get to see in the film and I think the entire franchise of Veronica Mars would be far less without Jason Dohring and Logan Echolls.

14) It is fun how to see how easily Veronica slips into her old routine at her dad’s office. Also it goes into the idea of how an addict is more easy to fall into their addiction when they get into a certain habit. Veronica was addicted to being a PI when she was in Neptune, working with Logan, and helping at her dad’s office. Is it any wonder she can’t fight off the need to go back to that life when she’s in the town for less than a day and all these things have happened already?

15) Keith’s face when he sees Veronica!

We don’t get AS good a look as Keith’s relationship with daughter Veronica in the film as we did in the TV show (we got three seasons to examine it, after all), but it is still one of the best parent/child relationships to ever grace screens and the chemistry between Enrico Colantoni and Kristen Bell is great.

16) Although the film only had a budget from Kickstarter of about five million dollars, Warner Brothers studio was comfortable enough with the film that they paid an extra million (I think it was a million) for some reshoots to help make the story more understandable. The most noteworthy of these reshoots is the scene where Keith and Veronica are driving through town and discover a bunch of kids being framed up by the police, tazzed, basically abused for being “riff raff” and Keith being able to extort the police into letting the kids go by taking a video of them abusing their power. This was all told to the audience in the original shoot at the office scene, but the use of “show don’t tell” not only paints a grim picture of what kind off corrupt place Neptune is but also what kind of man Keith is. He really is - as his daughter says - the George Bailey of Neptune.

17) Mac & Wallace!

Again, if you like what you see of these two in the movie and want more…GO WATCH THE TV SHOW! The friendship Veronica forges with Wallace is one of the strongest in her life, second only to her father and even ahead of her relationship with Logan I think. He is there through it all. Through all the boyfriends, all the drama, all the times she’s a pariah, he is there for her. He helps her out, he does favors with her, and it is just such a beautiful and loving friendship.

(GIF originally posted by @marshmallow-the-vampire-slayer)

The relationship Veronica has with Mac - while not necessarily as strong - is still great. Tina Majorino breathed such life into this character from season 1 who could’ve easily been a one off but ended up being second only to Wallace when it came to Veronica’s friends. The trio of them are great, and they’ve always got each other’s backs.

18) Dick Casablancas.

(GIF originally posted by @veronicaneptunes)

Otherwise known as: your problematic fave! Man, I don’t even know where to start with Dick. He’s…well…he’s a dick! But like a likable dick! Somehow Rob Thomas gets away with Dick doing some really awful shit in the show and still have him be Logan’s best friend. Dick in this film is - I think - mostly comedic relief (and, at one point, a suspect) and Hansen is just a lot of fun in the role.

A little note about Dick though. This line has way more significance than you would think:

Dick [after Logan’s potential lawyer makes a remark about his pot brownies]: “Medicine, man. I got my card. Chronic depression. You wouldn’t think, huh?”

That’s actually very telling about Dick. Season two ended with his younger brother being revealed as a mass murderer before killing himself, and there was some fair amount of time devoted in early season three to examining how Dick dealt with this.

19) This scene alone shows a lot of fun back and forth between Veronica, Logan, and the idiots of Neptune.

Logan [after these two Canadian drunks call a girl a crazy bitch at karaoke night]:

(GIFs originally posted by @marshmallow-the-vampire-slayer)

20) Again with the theme of addiction:

Veronica [internal monologue]: “You know what? It’s a one time deal. A farewell tour, if you will. [Sees hot as fuck Logan] Then again, you ever hear the one about the junkie who was satisfied with just one more taste of the good stuff?”

(GIF originally posted by @veronicaneptunes)

Veronica: “Neither have I.”

21) Chekov’s random trucker hat line…

Veronica [about being able to hide cameras in anything]: “My dad has a trucker hat that’s rigged with a camera -”

22) There’s this rule Pixar has with writing: a coincidence that gets the character into trouble is plot. A coincidence that gets them out of trouble is cheating. The fact that Veronica is able to get into someone’s house by saying she’s doing a location scout for a Clint Eastwood movie only for that person to have a connection to Clint Eastwood falls into the former of those two categories.

23) This film THRIVES on fan service which also serves the plot. For example, Veronica - like she did all the way back in season one - calls Wallace for a favor.

Veronica: “Hey Buddy! I need a favor. Can you get me a student’s permanent file?”

Wallace: “You do realize that I’m a teacher now, Veronica? An educator? This is a position of responsibility.”

Veronica: “So you’re saying it’s gonna be super easy. Good. I did NOT want to put you out.”

The theater I saw this in - with quite a few Marshmallows - all found this scene hysterical.

24) The inclusion of Deputy Sacks is a nice way of bringing in even what some would call the smaller characters into the film. AND it ends up working out really well.

Originally posted by veronicaneptunes

25) Jerry O’Connell as Sheriff Dan Lamb.

The perfect personification of slime and corruption in Neptune. Lamb’s brother Don Lamb was the incompetent (and assholish prick of a) sheriff throughout most of the show, and somehow they made his brother even worse. At least Don Lamb would OCCASIONALLY do his job if presented with enough compelling evidence. Meanwhile Dan is even more egotistical, even says at one point he doesn’t care if Logan is innocent or not, and later in all likelihood tries to have Keith killed. Jerry O’Connell plays Lamb as wonderfully vile. A villain you love to hat.

26) I love that this film brings in so many memorable characters from the TV show, even though some are limited to one scene. But that one scene is enough for us to remember why we love them. This is very true for Daran Norris as Cliff McCormack, Neptune’s resident public appointed attorney.

Originally posted by veronicaneptunes

27) It is interesting seeing how these characters have grown in the seven years since the TV show ended. For example, Veronica is able to show off QUITE clearly that she spent a considerable amount of time at law school when she’s defending herself at the police station.

28) The whole scene at the 09er is very entertaining, if for no other reason than a trio of fun cameos we get. We see exactly the stupidity of the “cool kids” at Neptune, we get the series’ first use of the word, “fuck,” AND we get Veronica’s trademark sass. Also we get this nice moment between husband & wife:

29) But the 09er scene is NOTHING compared to the reunion at Neptune High.

Originally posted by lovelykristenbell

The entire graduation scene perfectly shows off the film’s ability to balance out fan service AND move the plot forward. It brings back almost all the memorable characters from the TV show, friends and enemies a like. And for you who haven’t seen the show, we get a very clear picture of just how much Veronica “enjoyed” high school.

Veronica: “In a lesser known epic poem, ‘Dante’s Inferno 2: Hell Freezes Over,’ ten years after escaping the nine circles, Dante returns. You know, for old times’ sake. Have a couple shots, catch up with the gang…”

Madison [as Veronica approaches]: “Name?”

Veronica: “See if Lucifer’s still a bitch.”

We get a see of characters in this scene.

  • Madison Sinclair is still an entitled, judgmental, condescending asshole.

Originally posted by singfromthehair

  • Gia Goodman (played by the incredible Krysten Ritter of “Jessica Jones” fame) is REMARKABLY different from the last time we saw her. Back then she was a chipper, positive (if a little naive) young woman. Then Veronica exposed her dad as a pedophile to the world, he was killed by Dick’s brother in a plane explosion, and some really awful psychotic shit went down where she is basically owned by a man named Cobb (Martin Starr). Gia is likely the most changed character since the TV show and Ritter’s amazing range supports that.
  • Eli ‘Weevil’ Navarro has gotten his life together, which is an incredible thing to see from the former member of a bike gang. He has a daughter, he has a wife, he is reformed! But of course Neptune is gonna tear him back down.

Originally posted by marshmallow-the-vampire-slayer

  • We even get a chance to see Horny, the recurring comic relief and nice dude from the show, in a little moment which I as a fan appreciate.

Edit: I have had it pointed out to me that the character’s name is Corny, not Horny is I’ve thought for four years. You can find the reply in notes, but I’m going to leave the name as I originally thought so you all know my shame.

30) The high school reunion also serves as a turning point for the story. Veronica realizes that Carrie’s death is tied to the death of her friend Susan Knight YEARS ago on Carrie’s father’s boat. And now her investigation has some more direction.

31) When you watch the works of Rob Thomas (the writer, not the singer) you find he is wonderfully aware of his famous name-twin.

Piz [about talking about some 2006 music]: “Maybe some SOLO Rob Thomas.”

That’s nothing compared to what we got on “iZombie” though.

32) I love this.

(GIFs originally posted by @marshmallow-the-vampire-slayer)

33) A great peek at how Veronica is not as alone as she may think is after Madison (asshole) shows Veronica’s sex tape at the family reunion. For one thing Wallace is immediately at Veronica’s side, running to turn it off. Then Wallace, Logan, Weevil, Dick, and Piz (at least. Maybe Horny too, I’m not sure.) all jump into a fight with the assholes who want to put the tape back on. A great recall from this line:

(GIF originally posted by @marshmallow-the-vampire-slayer)

34) Principal Clemmons is another example of a great supporting character from the show making a brief but appreciate appearance in the film.

35) Veronica at the reunion’s after-party is very much her being in her natural environment. The scene where she’s dancing and it cuts to slow mo is very predatory to me. She is a lion ready to pounce on its prey. This is her in her element and its great to watch.

36) Martin Starr as Cobb is a…unique new character in the film. He was not in the show at all and now he’s part of the group of established characters. In hindsight it’s obvious that he’s the evil mastermind of it all (spoiler alert).

37) Veronica impersonating Martina Vasquez to get info out of Lamb is as nice callback to the series while also showing new viewers just how crafty she can be.

(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)

38) Leo!!!!

(GIF originally posted by @marshmallow-the-vampire-slayer)

Leo was like the best boyfriend Veronica had on the show who wasn’t Logan, an actual nice guy and not Nice Guy™. Max Greenfield has gotten a lot more recognition lately for his memorable turn as Schmidt on “New Girl” but he’s GREAT on the show and in this film. He only has one scene but it’s a bit bigger than say Cliff’s scene or Clemmons’ scene, and him screwing with Veronica by pretending to not remember her is a lot of fun.

39)

Leo: “By the way, I didn’t know the FBI was looking into the Bonnie DeVille case.”

Veronica: “I’m not with the FBI.”

Leo: “You sure? I could’ve SWORN I heard somewhere that you were in the FBI.”

Veronica: “Another life maybe.”

Rob Thomas pitched a drastically altered version of the show which would have seen Veronica join the FBI in season 4. I’m kinda glad it didn’t work it, but they shot this pitch:

40) So James Franco is in this movie.

Rob Thomas said in an interview:

“My producing partner, Danielle Stokdyk, her husband is an Academy Award-winning visual effects artist who happened to have just done ‘Oz the Great and Powerful.’ He had become friendly with James, and it really was easy as this: I emailed a script and said we’d love you for this part and honestly five minutes later, five minutes later, he emailed me back and said, 'sounds fun, I’m in.’”

41) Add Vinnie Van Lowe to the list of fun appearances from the show!

Originally posted by nickmillerturtleface

42) According to IMDb:

In one of the shots, a man dressed like a gorilla was needed to dance in the foreground while Kristen Bell and Ken Marino played a scene on a bench. Ryan Hansen had just wrapped his last scene in the film a few hours earlier and was hanging out on set and agreed to do the scene. Rob Thomas and Ryan then decided to prank Kristen and Ken, who didn’t know it was Ryan in the gorilla suit. The stint made the DVD bloopers reel.

43) Veronica cannot say, “I know what happened,” without me thinking of this:

(GIF originally posted by @marshmallow-the-vampire-slayer)

44) Chekov’s random trucker hat line.

(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)

45) This line that Deputy Sacks has is very telling about who he is as a character, his conflict, and what is up in Neptune.

Sacks: “I saw this thing on, uh, YouTube a few weeks ago, Keith. It’s a funny video. A…uh…two nazi they’re uh…looking at the skulls on their insignias and the piles of dead bodies. And they have this moment of clarity. Wait a minute…we’re the bad guys.”

46) Deputy Sacks’ death is a surprisingly powerful moment. This is a character who has been around since the pilot in 2004. Someone who was always there and who Veronica or anyone else never got super close to. But he was always there, always a good cop, and the sorrow of his loss is seen in one simple unanswered question:

Doctor: “Was he a friend of yours?”

47) The following LoVe love scene (LoVe is the ship name for Logan + Veronica) really shows off how these two not only have a chemistry built on being able to be themselves, but also the fact they’re each INCREDIBLY attracted to each other and just have this raw sexy passion. There is a tenderness, a connection, a heat to them that is just unmatched by any of her other boyfriends.

48) Remember how Veronica is sort of an addict?

Veronica: “The only way I’m not going to spend the day obsessing about my dad is by nailing Gia and Luke to the wall.”

49) One of Veronica’s most defining character traits is that when she decides a person is guilty, they are guilty. And it takes a lot for her to alter her theory or her idea of what is going on. This is seen when she is watching Gia and Cobb hook up, and she comments…

Veronica: “Gia seduced her lap dog into killing Carrie.”

There is NOTHING about that scene that shows Gia initiating sex with Cobb, it’s totally Cobb doing it. But Veronica can’t see that, she only sees what supports her theory. And then there’s this line that shows what she thinks of Gia.

Veronica [after Logan warns her to be careful]: “Child please, it’s Gia Goodman. The day I can’t handle Gia Goodman…”

This is very much a line that would be applied to high school Gia, not this new Gia. Veronica has little to no idea who this new Gia is.

50) The following scene between Veronica and Gia is a great character moment for Gia. Krysten Ritter’s skills as an actor show us just how tortured and trapped this once kindhearted and positive girl was, and it’s heartbreaking.

Originally posted by shes-a-maarshmallow

51) The entire climax (where Cobb has Veronica trapped in Gia’s apartment building) is very tense. Cobb has the upper hand physically and Veronica knows that. She has to play this confrontation by hiding, being patient, and outsmarting Cobb. And she does! It is wonderfully paced and choreographed and just a great moment of tension.

52) My biggest criticism of this film is that I’m always surprised by how quickly it wraps up, but it’s also something I’ve gotten more comfortable with in repeat viewings.

53) The metaphor of Veronica as an addict has never been clearer than her last lines of the film (an internal monologue).

Veronica: “My name is Veronica, and I’m an addict. Hello Veronica.”

54) Logan often had inspirational messages on his voice mail in the show. This message which plays over the end credits is very nice.

Logan: “This is Logan reminding you: if you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask which seat, just get on. Sheryl Sandberg said that. So don’t leave a message. Go get on that rocket ship. Or, leave a message. Your call. Your decision will tell me a lot about you.”

That - to me - seems very telling about the film. They took a chance on asking fans to finance it and it turned out wonderfully! They got on their rocket.


This recap ended up being much longer than I intended. And there’s still a lot here I can talk about which I haven’t. And that is very telling of the film. There is a lot to dissect, a lot that works and is going on in the movie. The writing is incredible, with a good balance of fan service and plot. The acting is as good as it ever was on the show, Rob Thomas’ direction is great, and it is just what fans who were waiting seven years for closure deserved. A great, great film and a fantastic potential finale to the series.

ma-derniere-danse  asked:

Gymnophoria - The sensation that someone is mentally undressing you (okay I managed to narrow it down to one finally)

Send a word for a drabble

Gymnophoria - The sensation that someone is mentally undressing you.

Frankly, Sadik found the idea that they were even considering an alliance in Europe laughable. Why bother—it was all to belong to them someday anyway. Nevertheless, the idea had piqued the sultan’s interest, and several of the pashas agreed, so Sadik was sent to scope out the most powerful Europeans and see who might make a decent, or at least useful, ally.

Which meant he sat through a lot of fucking masses.

He didn’t know if it was just customary to share church services with a potential ally, or if they were carrying it out for his sake, but it grew old very quickly. Which is why he now sat in Notre Dame, trying not to look openly bored, as the bishop carried out services in Latin, a language Sadik barely understood.

He had been fighting the urge to look around the room for a while, as he had been seated in the first pew, so everyone would see, and know that he wasn’t paying attention. Eventually, he decided on just a quick peek to the side, that could possibly be construed as him stretching his neck a little. That was when he noticed France wasn’t paying attention either.

He had always seemed the devout little Catholic, but he wasn’t watching the bishop, at least not in this moment—he was looking at Sadik. When their eyes met, he hastily turned his attention front again, and Sadik squinted, trying to tell if his face looked pinker than usual.

That was better—now he had a game to play.

“Rasheed,” he murmured to the man beside him, without turning. “Tell me if the little Frank is looking at us.” It was a few moments before he had a response.

“He is looking, Your Excellency.” A smile quirked the corner of Sadik’s mouth.

“How is he looking?” A long pause as Rasheed tried to work out a good answer.

“He looks…intent.”

“Mm intent on what, I wonder?” There was a pointed cough from the pew behind them, and Sadik stopped talking. He nudged Rasheed with his shoulder, and received a return for each time he noticed Francis looking at them.

At the end of the service, Sadik stood and stretched, and sought out his potential ally as the nobility of Paris began to clear out.

“You know, I was under the impression your services were to cleanse and purify the mind,” he observed to Francis with a smug look. The younger Nation lifted his chin and gave Sadik an imperious huff.

“They are,” he said. “But I imagine they hold somewhat less interest for you.”

“How do you expect your mind to be purified for the coming week, if you spend the whole service undressing me with your eyes?” Blue eyes flew open wide and France was definitely redder than he had been a moment ago.

Sadik had dressed ornately for the occasion, both as a sign of respect for the religious service and to show off his grand wealth to his potential allies. He had a lot of things to take off—enough to occupy France for a three-hour mass.

“You are mist—”

“Save your protestations,” Sadik said, lifting his palm up. “I’ll take it as a compliment.” Francis grasped for words, and Sadik’s smile grew a fraction. “Don’t feel bad,” he said smoothly. “I understand the allure of the exotic. After all, what tastes better than the forbidden fruit?”

“When you look at the women Logan has loved - Lilly, Veronica, Carrie - they were all difficult women who kept him at arms length. He had the opportunity for more open and honest relationships with girls like Hannah and Parker, but ultimately, it wasn’t what he wanted. He chooses drama.”

[Right: St Nicolas Crosier, English, mid-1100s]

A crozier is a staff carried by bishops and other high-ranking members of various Christian denominations. It represents the ‘Staff of God’—the one Moses used to part the Red Sea.  Western designs typically use the crook shape to signify that the holder is the ‘shepherd’ of their congregation.

ship-picky replied to your post: Okay, I’m coming to you with something that has…

Can of worms is right. I think ultimately it wasn’t handled well by the writers. They clearly did not see Duncan as guilty. And then they threw Cassidy into the mix in s2. Then there’s Carrie Bishop’s POV that saw both Veronica and Duncan pulling at each other’s clothes. It’s a mess.

I think we can all agree on that. It’s a mess indeed.

Again, Mama!

What's So Great About Bobbi Morse?

The very first time we saw her, she was different to how we know her now. I’m not just talking about the hair colour. She’s shown having psychic abilities.

This isn’t brought up again until the end Nick Spencer’s Secret Avengers run.

We’ve seen Bobbi as an Avenger,

A spy,

A scientist,

And an average Joe, until recently when she became a super soldier.

She was part of Project Gladiator along with her friend and mentor, Doctor Wilma Calvin, and Ted Sallis, which was set up to recreate super soldier serum. Ted later became Man-Thing.

Although Kate Bishop carries the Hawkeye name, people often forget she originally modeled herself after both Clint and Bobbi, wearing Bobbi’s mask and arming herself with Bobbi’s staves. The Young Avengers jokingly called her “Hawkingbird”.

During Secret Invasion, Bobbi appeared with the Skrulls after being dead for years. Clint, wanting to believe it really was her, made her tell him about October 12th, the day the baby they lost was due.

But, when Reed Richards used his Skrull detector, it turned out she was a Skrull. Clint, devastated, killed her. And more Skrulls, vowing to kill every last one of them. When the battle was over, the ship with the Skrulls’ prisoners crashed, with the real Bobbi on board.

In New Avengers: Reunion, it was revealed she was one of the first they took. Purely because she had no powers. She was easier for them to replace.

She’s shown struggling to come to terms with how much she’s missed over the years she was held prisoner. We saw her when she was a prisoner, realising something was wrong, escaping and blending in. They don’t call her Mockingbird for no reason.

She became the “The Robed Witch”, their version of the monster in the closet.

And she can spot a Skrull a mile away!

After her return from being a prisoner to the Skrulls, she set up the World Counter Terrorism Agency, (WCA), that gave other SHIELD agents who had been prisoners during Secret Invasion, like herself, a job when no one else would.

After being shot by Superia, Clint demanded Fury Sr. give Bobbi a serum that would make her a cross between Fury Sr. himself and Captain America.

We haven’t seen just how far her new super human abilities can go.

Even when Bobbi was losing her memory with a headache that had Clint helping her walk, she still managed to slip her camotech onto Yelena Belova and escape.

In Nick Spencer’s Secret Avengers run, Bobbi was revealed to have been a member of the Cult of Entropy. When her memories came back, she seemed to be struggling with who she was. Two separate personalities, Bobbi and Barbara. One not wanting to talk to Andrew Forson, the other wanting to. Forson told her she killed SHIELD agents, people she knew, and Bobbi struggled with it. She swore to get out of there and kill him. Barbara and Bobbi, two very different people, decided together that Forson had to die. In the end, it was Bobbi who won.

Remember when Natasha used a piece of technology to disguise herself as a member of the WSC?

Bobbi’s favourite toy in Secret Avengers!

Not to mention her baby!

Look at that scowl!

He has his mother’s brains and his father’s trickery. The perfect mix of both his parents!

With Bobbi being announced in MCU, Spencer carrying on Bobbi’s story with Francis in Avengers World, I’m looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for Bobbi!

Reading list with links

thepageoftarts replied to your post:The Veronica Mars Movie

I started to tear up when you were talking about Gia. Nine years of living under Cobb’s thumb. Ugh.

Seeing the movie multiple times really drove this particular point home for me. It’s the way Cobb has ingratiated himself into her life - the way he makes Gia say his name, making sure she can’t zone out or go to a different place, making her be with him in that moment in a way she can’t escape from… It hurts me so deeply and so viscerally. Just the idea of sweetly naive Gia Goodman having this happen to her, the way she’s turned into a victim who has to pal around with her victimizer, it’s one of the more tragic aspects of the movie for me.

It kind of makes me wonder about her therapy, about the misplaced aggression. It isn’t that I don’t think Gia ever did drugs or that she wasn’t running in the Carrie Bishop-Dick Casablancas-Luke Haldeman circles before, but the way she talks about hitting Cobb up for the good drugs makes me wonder if she started trying to escape the whole deal with her father - if some of her misplaced aggression toward Veronica wasn’t just about telling the world her father was a pedophile, but actually about the events that stemmed from that. If Veronica hadn’t said anything, she might not have been on that boat. If Veronica hadn’t said anything, Cobb wouldn’t have gotten that picture. If Veronica hadn’t said anything, Cobb wouldn’t be raping her and holding this terrible thing over her head and the heads of her friends.

And she’s still able to recognize that this isn’t Veronica’s fault. But it hurts me all the more to think about Gia trying to work through all of her issues, and never being able to say half of them out loud and having everything hinge on her father’s fall from grace.

Sorry, I just have a lot of Gia feels! 

Favorite Scene From Each Episode of Veronica Mars Day 21: A Trip to the Dentist, Evening, or Admissions Against Interest Revisited (Logan’s Willpower)

[Previous Installment: Favorite Scene From Each Episode of Veronica Mars Day 21, Noon: A Trip to the Dentist, or, Doubletalk in the Kitchen]

What is Logan’s best moment in “A Trip to the Dentist?” His response to Veronica’s apology on the couch in her apartment? His public choosing of her over his friends when they are outed? Maybe it comes in the poolhouse:”I can’t take that I hurt you when all I want to do is protect you.” There is a large subjective element in such a determination, and in any case, this is (following susanmichelin‘s lead for the game) about choosing a favorite, which is clearly subjective.

I believe a certain moment in the poolhouse is one of Logan’s most impressive moments in the entire series, even if his true redemption still has to wait for a while. It is a tough one to pick, in some ways, because it also recalls some of his ugliest moments: his confession to Veronica of his misdeeds towards her and Duncan at Shelly Pomeroy’s party.

The gist of what I will (eventually) get at with respect to Logan’s confession can be summed up by the notion of an “admission against interest.” I will quote myself discussing this from an earlier post on An Echolls Family Christmas, not because it is a great definition, but because I am too lazy to try and do better at the moment.

An “admission against interest” is  a statement making the original writer or source (or that source’s biases) look bad. Such an admission  is considered more reliable than other compared to other, similar pieces of evidence. For example, a soldier’s journal in which he records his war crimes might be considered more reliable as historical than his enemies’ claims that he committed war crimes. (I am not a historian or lawyer, so forgive me if this is a misuse of the term. I am not trying to be technical or sophisticated in its use).

While “An Echolls Family Christmas” hinted at a Rashomon effect, “A Trip to the Dentist” goes all the way. “A Trip to the Dentist” gives us several witnesses from Shelly Pomeroy’s party giving different accounts of events through which Veronica sorts while trying to discover the truth about what happened to her that night. As we know from having watched the whole series, while Veronica finally does discover the essential truth about what happened to her, she never really gets the full details. It is even debatable how much more she wanted to know. Her own interpretation is that she and Duncan had drugged and “consensual” sex (a worthwhile and important debate, but one I will sidestep here) after Cassidy Casablancas raped her. Given that Cassidy claimed his own crime in “Not Pictured,” a clear admission against interest if there ever was one, we can be safe in assuming that is true.

(Important side note: there are obviously many important moral and ethical questions worth addressing with respect to the party, and I am not denying those. However, they are simply too big and important for me to do justice to here. Since my point here is about comparing the reliability of self-interested testimonials, I mostly leave those questions aside for the sake of keeping an already-overly-long post more manageable and semi-coherent.)

During her investigation, Veronica talks to witnesses who give her accounts of different parts of her evening. Some of the accounts conflict with others. In addition to the contradictions, are at least three other (often interrelated) issues regarding the reliability of the witnesses’ testimonies: general problems of memory (the party was a year in the past), some of the witnesses were intoxicated at the party, and, most relevant for my purposes here, most the testimonials are (to varying degrees) likely to be biased and distorted (even without taking into account conflicts) because of the interests of those testifying.

The likely distortions (conscious or otherwise) via interest are obvious in some cases. Madison remembers Veronica being all over Dick, but this is likely because it is better than thinking her boyfriend is being that much of a cad (to put it mildly), especially with a girl Madison despises. Madison may actually remember things that way, but it is likely not true given what we know about Veronica, Veronica’s state at the time, Veronica’s opinion of Dick, and Madison’s hatred of her. Moreover, Madison is justifying her defacing of Veronica’s car (reported to Veronica by Luke), so she needs Veronica to be the “bad girl who deserved it.”

Cassidy, Dick, and Sean tell different versions of the same events. Obviously, the later revelations about Cassidy in “Not Pictured” shows his big lie. Just in the context of “A Trip to the Dentist,” all three boys were clearly distorting the truth to make themselves look better (although still horrible), and it is difficult to tell which of their accounts is closest to the actual truth. Plotwise, these would be the crucial accounts, but the takeaway here is that they are obviously problematic. Not only do versions contradict each other, but the conflicts themselves are likely due to their self-interested origin.

More curious are the accounts of the (relatively speaking) “good people” at the party.

At first, Luke’s version of events seems less loaded with interest to protect himself. He is not really an agent according to his recollections. If he had known the whole truth of what went down (or if he had known Veronica was trying to figure out who raped her), he probably would have not have admitted to giving the GHB to Dick to give to Madison. However, Luke tries to cover up the admission (although Dick was pretty clear about how he was going to use the doses).  Luke’s claim that he only thought Dick “was gonna take one and ask [Madison] to take the other one” is dubious, given Luke’s observations about Dick’s state of frustration and Madison’s attitude.

Casey comes off a bit better than Luke. Veronica had already heard from Madison about the alleged make out with Casey. Casey’s account of how Dick treated Veronica seems more trustworthy than Madison’s or Dick’s, at least, and reveals that Veronica was being fed shots by Sean and Dick. Even on his own version of events, though, Casey hardly comes off as noble, since he saw what was going on and did nothing to stop it. This does not seem to register with him. Maybe he did not egg the others on or participate in the abuse of Veronica, but it would not have been in his interest to admit it if he was. Perhaps things really went down the way Casey said they did, but even if he hardly comes off as a hero in his story, it does paint him as being innocent (relatively speaking) in comparison to the actions he imputes to the likes of Dick and Sean.

Two characters to whom we are inclined to be more sympathetic, Meg Manning and Carrie Bishop, obviously have far less to hide than the boys at the party. They did not commit any crimes. Yet even their accounts of their actions can be questioned with respect to their self-interest. Meg (reluctantly) does tell  Veronica about the salt lick and the rescue. It all seems fine on the surface. However, Meg makes it sound like she was really wanting to help Veronica, while Cole did not. It is easy to believe Meg, because she is so easy to like, but it does seems a bit self-serving, as if she was really trying to get Cole to help Veronica but he just would not. Perhaps Meg felt some guilt. Moreover (and I hate for there to be a “moreover” because I really like her), given the later events in the episode, one might also wonder whether Meg really did not know (as she claimed) that it was Duncan who helped Veronica get away from the salt lick.

Carrie Bishop (who has Veronica’s badass attitude without the accompanying superpowers) was likable from almost the first moment we met her in “Mars vs. Mars.” In this episode, her delivery on “Oh, god. Shut the door next time” is worth the price of admission alone. We do not hear what Carrie says she saw, but the flashback sequence seems to show her recalling a mutual encounter in which Veronica is pulling off Duncan’s shirt. Is that really how Carrie remembered it, or did she (consciously or otherwise) fill in details to assuage lingering doubts or guilt about what she saw and how she reacted?

Duncan is a loaded case. Again, the point here is not to determine what he is or is not guilty of doing, but rather to look at what he admits in relation to his self-interest. The first thing that stands out is how Duncan actually changes his story as he and Veronica interact. When Veronica first confronts him, he does not admit doing anything, but acts as if he does not remember: “What are you talking about…. Do you know how wasted I was at Shelly’s party? I-I barely even remember it. The whole night’s a blur.”

It is only after Veronica confronts him with Carrie having seen Duncan naked and on top of Veronica that he regains his memory, and switches to the “you were there, too” version of events. Instead of having no recollection of the evening from being wasted, he now remembers having sex with Veronica. According to Duncan, the sex was consensual. Of course, given later revelations, we know (though Duncan does not) that Duncan had been dosed by Logan, which cannot be simply discounted. Still, we do not really know how “wasted” and in control of himself Duncan might or might not have been. His own story shifts, showing that he remembered more than he initially was willing to tell. And his memory just so happens to paint his sexual encounter with Veronica as consensual, obviously in line with his interests. None of this proves that Duncan’s version of events is false, but the fact that it makes his actions seem less awful combined with his sudden recollection of events when confronted with what Carrie Bishop saw makes his account suspect.

That is a long path to get around to Logan’s confession, but it was necessary (though perhaps not at that length) for the sake of comparison. Veronica has dealt with many people over two (?) days giving versions of events who, to varying degrees, might be seen as painting themselves in a more positive light than in reality. Logan’s confession, when it comes to the important parts, does not do that.

Recall the context: Logan has just accepted Veronica’s apology and told her that he would be there for whatever she needs. After they are outed in front of all their friends, Logan stands up for Veronica and basically publically chooses her over everyone else – including his best friend, Duncan, who leaves, much to Logan’s chagrin.

After Veronica’s encounter with Madison (which finally reveals how Veronica got [accidentally] drugged), Veronica and Logan retire to the poolhouse. The mood shift can be summed up by Veronica’s clothing (via cheshirecatstrut‘s theory of colors): Veronica’s Green Jacket of Vulnerability is removed, revealing her Red Shirt of Lust. She behaves accordingly, pushing Logan down on the bed and initially ignoring his pleas to stop.

Is at this moment that Logan chooses to make his confession. Their respective physical positions, sexual at first, become symbolic of Logan’s being at her mercy while he voluntarily and unbidden surrenders the truth – Veronica on top of him, his neck bared to her. This stands in stark contrast to the other witnesses Veronica interviewed. Most of them were reluctant to tell her about the events of the party. She had to seek them out, and, in some instances, drag the truth (such as it was) out of them. In the poolhouse, Veronica just wants to make out (at the very least), she does not suspect him of anything or ask him anything; “we’re past the confessional portion of this program. We’re on to the make out.”

Logan has nothing obvious to gain by confessing here. His behavior on the couch on her apartment was proper, but made himself look good and did not cost him anything. Standing up for her at the party was admirable, as well, and probably cost him his friendship with Duncan (whatever we may think of Duncan, he mattered to Logan), but that also could be taken as (in part) trying to play the good boyfriend in front of Veronica. It is not clear exactly how much Logan’s social standing is ever really threatened – see, for example, how quickly Dick backs down or how Madison tries to make (fake) small talk with Veronica.

In the poolhouse, it is just the two of them and Veronica is all over him. Logan is not just making a show of doing the right thing here to impress her. As far as he knows, Veronica does not know what he is about to tell her. To be fair, he might have suspected she would hear about him running the salt lick. She had (probably from Meg’s description), and, true to form, Veronica wants to classify the salt lick as “not real.” Veronica’s desire to simply forget rather than deal with far more difficult task of forgiveness is not enough to stop Logan, though. He could simply have stopped there, content with having gained more trust from her by admitting to the salt lick voluntarily, even though she turned to know about it.

While Veronica is the truth seeker who tends to deny or ignore or glide over the big truths, Logan is the one who so often omits truths but is forced to face the big ones. He was not done with the story about the salt lick. “There’s more.” Others could have seen his involvement with the salt lick, but only Logan knew about drugging Duncan. Logan could have gotten away with it. Instead, he tells Veronica about his grievous misdeed, which not only makes himself look worse, but makes Duncan, Logan’s rival, look better. Unlike everyone else who saw Veronica that night, Logan not only admits the truth in a way that is clearly against his self-interest, but, unlike pretty much everyone else involved, takes responsibility for his actions. Logan may have forgotten or altered a minor detail or two, but given how it makes him look, it is difficult to doubt that Logan gave Veronica the essential truth as he saw it.

However one feels about Logan and that for which he  (as well as the others) is or is not responsible, or however one thinks Veronica should have reacted, the likely essential trustworthiness of Logan’s admission against interest is difficult to doubt. At the risk of ending on an overly crass note, Logan’s admission is made even more impressive and trustworthy given the situation. Veronica is all over him on the heels of his white knight moment at the party, and Logan is experienced enough to know where this is going. It is impossible to say exactly how far things would have gone had Logan not stopped to confess, but it seemed likely that something in the “sex family” (as bryrosea, I believe, put it) was going to happen. For a 16-year-old boy to confess to things that would potentially put the kibosh on that, and, less crassly, for Logan to risk his relationship with pretty much the only person left in the world who really cares about him is an incredibly impressive act of willpower.


[Screenshots are from vm-caps.com; quotes from the show are from vmtranscripts.com]