ll:veronicamars

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It’s true. It’s the truth and he shows his manhood by saying so. Yeah. I thought that what the final episode did very well was admit that Buffy really is in love with Angel. That the sexual relationship she had with Spike was unhealthy. That it was unwise. - James Marsters

Favorite Scene from Each Episode of Veronica Mars - Day Six

An episode a day- you pick your favorite scene and explain why it’s your fave. Remember to tag #vm episodes in your post.

Today- RETURN OF THE KANE

This was tough- not picking the scene, but the scene itself. 

One minute of screen time changes everything. Sure Logan Echolls is still the guy who has been a jackass to Veronica for the past year, the same guy who busted her headlights and arranged bumfights BUT he is also the kid who has to pick out a belt for his beating at the hands of his father. 

It was interesting to me that the beating takes place in a room that is essentially Aaron’s shrine to himself- his ego on display; and that the reason for this particular punishment is because Logan had the audacity to do something that hurt Aaron’s image and affected the public’s perception of THE Aaron Echolls. Aaron didn’t care about the bumfights in and of themselves, but that they made HIM look bad. 

He’s also pissed that Logan didn’t follow the script at the homeless shelter -serve some food, make a public apology, and restore Aaron’s “good guy, family man, action-hero” image. Instead Logan makes him pay for it, literally, because he knows that Aaron has to make the donation or risk further damage to his image. Logan knows how much that public persona means to his father and now we do too. Of course, Logan also knows this is going to cost him and he does it anyway. Was it only to antagonize Aaron or is he also trying to atone for his actions? Is he making an apology for the bumfight? First, with the donation at the shelter and now, with his flesh? Either way, it’s a powerful scene and it makes us rethink everything we thought we knew about the obligatory psychotic jackass.

It also gives new depth and meaning to certain scenes from the previous episodes; like in the Pilot right before he smashes Veronica’s headlights, he asks: “Do you know what your little joke cost me?” Or, in The Wrath of Con during the flashback scene of them in limo when Duncan sprays Logan with champagne and Logan says: “Dude, this is my dad’s tux.” 

As Logan lifts his shirt and that door closes, I think oh man he probably got a beating for both of those incidents too. And I start to wonder just how bad things are in the Echolls house and then we pan to: 

Lynn drinking and listening to her son being whipped and I’m floored. She’s just going to stand by and let this happen? How often does it happen that she doesn’t seem shocked or surprised? Is she afraid? Has she tried to intervene before and gotten hit? Or does she just hide away in her booze and let her husband do this to her child? Wow.

I also have to say that the sleight-of-hand at work in this scene is amazing. A violent person who beats his son and has a temper exists here in the “Who Killed Lilly Kane” world of Neptune and yet, because this feels so extraneous to that case, I never once think of Aaron Echolls as a suspect. It’s a well-planted clue to both the murder mystery AND what becomes of Lynn Echolls. And it all happens in a minute of screen time without any dialogue! Kudos, Rob Thomas.

Favorite Scene From Each Episode of Veronica Mars - Day Three: Meet John Smith, or Castles Made of Sand (With a Side Trip to the Dentist)

[Posted without editing, hope it makes sense!]

What have you done to my life, susanmichelin? Even in these early episodes I need at least three “favorite” scenes, what am I going to do when I get to the home stretch of Season One? I’ll probably need a week for the finale or “Trip to the Dentist,” and probably a month for “Hot Dogs” since I love that episode too much and feel like it needs attention.

What to pick from in this episode… Okay, wait, here’s a question for the few confused and deluded people who follow me for some reason: did they deliberately make Justin over into a mini-Logan?

Also need to take a moment and acknowledge that Celeste Kane looks strikingly beautiful with her hair short (as opposed to her longer ‘do in the Pilot). She should always have it that way. It is a bit strange, isn’t it, that in the scenes with Duncan, in this episode she comes off as the more sensitive parent with Jake being a bit more calloused and emotionally unavailable?

Needless to say, the Duncan scenes are not my favorite, although if I ever get around to doing my “unintentionally hilarious scenes from Veronica Mars” this episode just might be in the Hall of Fame for Teddy Dunn’s stellar performance.

Objectively, probably the best scene is Veronica and Justin riding home in the car. Veronica Mars sometimes ends up being preachy despite itself (a tendency which becomes a bit overwhelming when they decided to ditch the pretense of subtlety in Season Three [barfs]), but here they neatly sidestep it. Veronica does not give Justin a speech of transgender rights or anything. Sure, he needs to hear it at some point, but in a rare moment of sensitivity, Veronica still gets to the only thing he can and needs to hear – his father still loves him, and that matters more than anything.

But that is not my favorite scene and I am not even trying to be objective. I am tempted to say the following is my favorite scene. It is right after Duncan helps Veronica pick up her books at the beginning of the episode. We get a Veronica Voice Over:

The weird thing about going to high school with your ex is they’re inescapable. Everywhere you turn, there they are.

As she says this, we get the following shot:

Are you kidding me? Logan turns around and we are supposed to buy that the Rob Thomas wasn’t “shipping” Veronica and Logan yet?

The Keith and Veronica “the hero is the one who stays” scene is also moving, because she is so stone cold, and he is so hurt. And then there is the beginning of Keith and Ms. James, although I will not touch that one since my Paula Marshall thing is mine, dang it.

But, nope, since my life seems to be doomed to being inconsistent with myself, my favorite scene, or more accurately, my favorite shot, is this one:

Honestly, this has nothing to do with “shipping,” well, at least not directly. Let’s start with Veronica. When I last re-watched this episode, it struck me that when she and Duncan are at the hospital, this exchange takes place:

NURSE: Do you want your girlfriend to stay in here with you?

VERONICA: Oh, I’m not his girlfriend-

DUNCAN: Yeah, yeah that’s cool.

Duncan basically halfway claims she is his girlfriend here, and she certainly seems thrilled by it. Look, it is easy to be hard on Duncan: he’s a narcissistic jerk for whom everyone in the show makes excuses. Yeah, he is dealing with some heavy stuff and heavy medications. I do not want to overdo the anti-Duncan stuff. But he says this stuff basically right after he see Veronica laying one on Troy (not a big Troy fan, but I love Veronica’s aggressiveness), so he basically “claims” her at the hospital. Then the next day or whatever, he’s back to robo-Duncan. Are we supposed to blame it on the meds?

Whatever the case, there is no way we are going to blame Veronica for crawling “from the rubble and slowly rebuild[ing]” and going to Troy’s later.

Then we have Logan. In this episode, especially on the bleachers, he comes off as the teen douchebag we mostly expect at this point. Still, there have already been hints in the series (the tearful “wassamatta with you people” flashback from the pilot) that Logan is more than that. I do not know how much of this is script direction or just Dohring’s acting choices. Logan could have made a nasty remark when Duncan walks away from Veronica. He could have smirked at her. No. Logan does not even look at her. He just looks at Duncan. Logan, who for a second the day before thought his goofball dork of a friend was back, just looks lost. Logan does not have a castle, or rubble. He used to have a castle (although he didn’t realize it was made of sand), and now it has been washed away into the sea. Now I’m referencing freaking Hendrix lyrics. Shoot me.

As much as on some sort of “meta” level we might enjoy the idea of Duncan walking off, I am going to avoid discussing that in itself. Instead, I want to end by briefly noting a parallel between this shot and a shot from “A Trip to the Dentist” that I will not have time for when I get to my day/week/month for that episode.

There is so much to note here, and I am not referring to Logan telling everyone to screw themselves. I mean the specific moment of Duncan walking off. None of the caps really do their faces this justice. Logan has his “lost” face again, but Veronica’s face (watch the clip if you can) is especially wonderful. It was one thing for Logan to tell off the room in general, but it was another for them to watch Duncan walk out. This is exactly the sort of thing they were trying to avoid (I will avoid jokes about how much Duncan cares about either of their feelings at any point in the series). Kristen Bell’s facial expressions convey so much. Yes, some of it is guilt about Duncan. I think a big part of it, though, is realizing just what Logan gave up. She has started to see just how empty Logan’s life is, and he gave up his best friend for her, anyway. 

Perhaps this is where Veronica’s dance of repulsion/attraction from/to the intensity of Logan’s love begins.

[Screenshots from www.vm-caps.com]

Rob Thomas’s new Veronica Mars novel: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line – coming March 25!

The first book in an original mystery series featuring twenty-eight-year-old Veronica Mars, back in action after the events of Veronica Mars: The Movie. With the help of old friends—Logan Echolls, Mac Mackenzie, Wallace Fennel, and even Dick Casablancas—Veronica is ready to take on Neptune’s darkest cases with her trademark sass and smarts. Read an excerpt here: http://bit.ly/1gxkTb1 

Favorite Scene from Each Episode of Veronica Mars - Day Four

Figuring out new ways to write the rules to the game is taxing my brain and we’re only on day four! A featured episode- you pick your favorite scene from that episode and tell us why you chose it as your favorite. Remember to tag #vm episodes in your post.

Today- THE WRATH OF CON

This is one of my favorite episodes and there was no dithering about my favorite scene because hands down it is the memorial video. 

This has to be the best five minutes of television I’ve ever seen. The sheer amount of information we learn in this scene is astounding. We get insight into the main characters and their relationships with each other. We get to experience the joie de vivre that was Lilly Kane and we get to witness how these characters feel about the dead girl. 

First up, there’s Celeste desperately trying to turn her daughter into something she wasn’t. It’s clear that, in death, Celeste thinks she’s finally going to get the Lilly she wants. She couldn’t control her daughter in life, but she’s going to control how everyone remembers her. 

CELESTE: Thank you to the Neptune High Orchestra. I know if Lilly were here, she would have been moved by that rendition. Lilly really loved this place.  So, it’s only fitting that as long as this fountain remains here, a part of Lilly will always be here. And you, her peers, will always be reminded what a generous, kind… sweet girl she was and how she embodied… Pirate pride and the school motto, service, loyalty, honor. 

And you can see how flipping pissed she is when the illusion she’s created is shattered by the rest of the tribute video- the part that isn’t a misty, water-colored long-distance commercial. A troubled mother-daughter relationship to say the least and perhaps a motive?

Now on to Jake, he is completely unmoved during Celeste’s speech because his wife is talking about a girl he doesn’t recognize- a piece of fiction that Celeste created and not his daughter. But the joy on his face when he watches the video and gets to see the real Lilly makes you realize how much he loved her and then it breaks your heart when…

…you get to see his intense grief at the loss of his child. 

The vastly different reactions from Jake and Celeste speak volumes about their marriage. Seriously, was anyone surprised that Jake was cheating or that they eventually got divorced? 

Duncan. Those of you who know me know how I feel about him, but let me say that his reactions through this scene encapsulate the entire character in just a few seconds. First, he’s stoic zombie-Duncan…then there’s a quick moment where you see him gulp (1:58) like he’s swallowing back his sadness… and finally he seems to come alive (2:20) and laugh while remembering his sister… then he comforts his dad when Jake falls apart. We get medicated Duncan, grieving brother, glimpse of his former self, and see him express compassion. It was probably his best piece of acting, but blink and you’ll miss it.

But you know what I didn’t miss? The fact that Duncan is not in the tribute video. Logan edited out his best friend and Lilly’s brother, but he left Veronica in there. Things that make you go hmmm.

And of course that brings us to these two and-  

-the way they smile at each other.

I could probably do an entire post about this exchange between them, but suffice it to say you can see their past friendship, how they both loved Lilly, and all the future potential of their relationship right here in this moment (sigh).

And finally Weevil- 

-crying. Not only does this tell us that there was something going on between him and Lilly, but we can see that he he loved her. This scene makes Weevil part of the core group of people (Logan, Veronica, Duncan) who love and miss Lilly. It also adds him to the suspect pool and deepens the mystery. 

Amazing acting all the way around!

Favorite Scene from Each Episode of Veronica Mars - Day Thirteen: Lord of the Bling, or, I Would Have Done the Same Thing

So I am totally lost on susanmichelin‘s “favorite scene from each episode” thing since I’m too lazy to do one each day. Since I’m too lazy to actually figure out what goes with what day (and since I’m such a tumblr incompetent I can’t get it to display the date of my posts no matter what instructions I follow – if someone wants to help an idiot with his theme, drop me a line; yes, I’ve googled it and tried stuff), I  am just going to say it is “Lord of the Bling” day.

This is another episode full of good stuff, so I cannot necessarily say I am going to pick my favorite scene. I love it when we get indirect clues about something via what someone else says, so I am tempted to pick Veronica’s memory of being in Yolanda’s bedroom with Lilly and Yolanda. As I have written before, when discussing what Lilly was “really like,” we have essentially nothing direct on which to rely, least of all Veronica’s memory and imagination.  Although this is a memory of Veronica’s, it does contain something that in an indirect hint about Lilly.

LILLY: Okay, for my next boyfriend, Jude Law type or Colin Farrell type?

VERONICA: Next? What happened to Logan?

LILLY: He’s insanely jealous all the time and it’s getting on my nerves.

YOLANDA: I know it’s not cool to admit this but I like a jealous streak on a man. Keeps ‘em in line.

LILLY: All yours. I’m ditching his party this weekend ‘cause I don’t want him getting all crazy violent every time a boy undresses me with his eyes, which happens all the time.

Yolanda is just a one episode character, so what she does or does not like in a man is not that important. This likely is about Lilly’s own attitude – something to which she would never admit. The irony of this is not just that Lilly herself turns out to be pretty jealous of Logan (contra a lot of fanon) in this episode, which is of course ironic in itself given her own conduct (and it is hard not to fanwank and suppose that the real reason she was not at the party is that she was with Weevil). Not only is the “all yours” comment ironic given the fallout later, but in general, I take this to be a hint that Lilly used Logan’s jealousy and insecurities to keep him “in line.” That is not to reduce her to that particular feature, any more than she can be reduced to a “thrillseeker” as Veronica says about Caitlin Ford in “Credit Where Credit’s Due,” in an exchange relating to a plotline that both parallels and foreshadows the revelation about Lilly and Weevil so closely that it is hard not to see Veronica’s claim that she knows Caitlin Ford as being unintentionally about Lilly as well.

Oops, once again I am 500 words into the post and not to the scene I intended to discuss. It is the very last sequence. Logan is great in this episode dealing with his Lynn’s death Aaron’s attempt to leverage it into sympathy, and Logan’s own knowing denial of the situation (more on that another time). The parallel between Yolanda and Bryce’s defiance of their father and Logan’s is notable.

However, though the significance of the last sequence is perhaps obvious, it is still worthy of discussion. Veronica choose Lilly over Yolanda and participated in the shunning of the latter. Yes, Yolanda and Logan made a mistake no matter what Lilly said or did or was doing. I am old-fashioned, two wrongs do not make a right, although I see that many adults do not really believe this these days. Veronica knew shunning Yolanda was wrong, but did it anyway. The parallel (and there is even a stronger one in the next episode) with her own treatment at the hands of the 09ers is obvious.

At the Mars residence and the every end of the episode, Veronica is video chatting with Yolanda.

VERONICA: I just wanted to say congratulations on the marriage and I’m sorry. I should have been a better friend.

YOLANDA: Veronica, if I had been in your position, I would have done the same thing.

“I would have done the same thing” has significance not just for Veronica’s recollection of her actions in this episode, but for her actions toward Carrie Bishop in the next. Yolanda forgives her, and Veronica had definitely done wrong, even if in the earlier case she was not a ringleader. It is no coincidence that immediately after Yolanda’s forgiveness and admission that “I would have done the same thing” (that is, turn on her and choose loyalty to Lilly), she goes to the door.

It may seem anvilicious, but given how many seem to focus on (while misunderstanding) Veronica’s need for “justice” (which often turns out to just be revenge), they overlook (or diminish) the very significance of forgiveness and its difficulties. Moreover, Veronica’s desire for personal vindication and vengeance so often turns out to be destructive. Episodes 13 and 14 show her realization that she participated in the very same abusive social behavior to which she is subject not only before, but after Lilly’s murder. Although it was not as awful as the things the 09ers did to her, it is cut from the same cloth and clearly a structural parallel. It is no coincidence that these episodes mark the real beginning of Veronica and Logan rebuilding their friendship. The things that happened were not right, but they were not exceptions. Veronica would have, and did, do the same thing.

Favorite Scene from Each Episode of Veronica Mars - Episode 1.11

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

Today- SILENCE OF THE LAMB

I suspect that ngsezdeputyleoisacreep has a point and this is not necessarily my favorite scene so much as one that is on my mind for whatever reason. But the scene I want to talk about is this one:

Ellen Sinclair shows up at the Mackenzie house to see Mac. Not to talk to her or interact, but just to see her biological child. There’s a wistful expression on her face (defined as: having or showing a feeling of vague or regretful longing) as she probably asks herself the tough question- did we do the right thing? 

Mac spots her from across the street and walks over to the car. 

Then there’s this moment where they acknowledge each other and say goodbye- very reminiscent of a prisoner saying goodbye to their loved one through the glass on visiting day almost as if Ellen Sinclair has been sentenced to life without her daughter based on decisions she made. 

As you may recall (if you’re paying any attention to me at all), I thought that throughout the first two seasons of the series Rob Thomas used the characters of Meg and Mac to represent the two versions of Veronica (before Lilly’s death and after) and he does it again here. This episode plays out the “Veronica is really a Kane” idea. Here are the parallels: Mac has grown up “poor” (by Neptune standards) when she should have been one of the wealthy 09ers (ditto for “Veronica Kane”); Mac loves her family, but is curious about her real parentage (Veronica doing her secret paternity test); Mac rejects the idea of being a Sinclair and embraces the Mackenzies as her actual family (Veronica shredding the DNA results thereby rejecting the Kanes and accepting that, no matter the genetics, she is a Mars).

Okay fine, great, wonderful- Rob Thomas shows us that even if Veronica learned she was a Kane, she would still choose to be a Mars. At least I think that’s what he was doing? Maybe I’m just making stuff up? Whatever. This episode disappoints me- not necessarily for the episode itself, but because there was potential here for some great future Mac story lines and it was all wasted. It didn’t really help to develop Mac’s character it only served to highlight something about Veronica, which is why it conveniently gets dropped in some dust bin never really to be mentioned again. Yeah, I know you’re thinking “but it’s in MKAT” and to that I say BAH. Again it’s only in the book to service the mystery, it’s not about Mac. I suddenly have the “Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!” scene from the Brady Bunch playing in my head only it’s “Veronica! Veronica! Veronica!” Yes I know that she is the main character -the show is called Veronica Mars- but a little more time spent on Mac (and Wallace too- I’m not forgetting about you buddy) would’ve been welcomed (by me at least).

Actually this is another one of my complaints with season three- why did the writers feel it necessary to spend so much time on Piz and Parker (yet amazingly still not enough time to, you know, actually develop them as characters) and push aside our beloved Mac and Wallace? WHY??? And why did they drop so many rich story lines in favor of manufactured drama? It’s almost like they wanted to divorce season 3 from everything that came before. Oops tangent warning (sorry). Back to Silence of the Lamb:

Here’s my final thought on the episode- what the hell happened to Madison? I mean, Ellen Sinclair seems pretty nice and Lauren does too so where did they go wrong with Madison? I don’t think it’s “nature” since the Mackenzie’s were okay so I’d have to lean toward “nurture” yet the Sinclairs were doing a good job with Lauren so what gives? Was it just that her parents let Madison have whatever she wanted and offered no discipline because they felt… guilty? But the baby swap wasn’t their fault so why guilt? Why just let Madison run amok? And if they did just indulge her then the Sinclairs weren’t treating Madison like their own daughter. Hmm.. or maybe Rob Thomas just needed a nemesis for Veronica and he created a cardboard villain without a realistic background and motivations that make sense? 

Durrr, Why is Logan So Popular? Or, Sit On It, Donut

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get back to catching up on susanmichelin‘s “Favorite Scene From Each Episode of Veronica Mars” thing; I know you are all sitting around anxiously awaiting my posts. (Just in case it’s too late in the day and your blood sugar is running low – check your sarcasm-dar). 

In the meantime, I just wanted to put this out there for my own (and maybe not just my own) amusement.

Dear TV show writers and producers: when you have a character that is already some sort of unholy combination of Johnny Lawrence from The Karate Kid, Steff McKee from Pretty in Pink, Severus Snape from Harry Potter, and Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games, and then add add a touch of The Fonz, don’t act surprised when that character becomes a huge fan favorite. 

[Sort of for mysilverylining, although she didn’t ask for it.]

Favorite Scene from Each Episode of Veronica Mars - Day Two

Okay, here’s a refresher on the rules  - every day we’ll discuss one episode of Veronica Mars and you give me your favorite scene from that episode and then tell me why it’s your favorite (feel free to include gifs, screenshots, interpretive dance videos, whatever strikes your fancy).

Today- CREDIT WHERE CREDIT’S DUE

I’m not sure about this one- I waffled quite a bit about my selection (Troy and the flat tire? Keith and Veronica scamming the Neptune Grand? Veronica finding the traffic cam photo of Lilly?) and I’m probably going to change my mind right after I post this, but here goes. 

My favorite scene is the one that cuts from- Logan snooping through Caitlin’s cell and making calls, to- 

Veronica doing the exact same thing in a nearby classroom, both of them simultaneously learning about Chardo.

By this time, Logan knows that Veronica thinks Weevil is innocent because she’s already dropped the interesting tidbit about “90% of identity theft is committed by relatives of the victim” and she’s actually confronted him about letting Caitlin sign the room service tab at the Neptune Grand. Even though he’s flippant in his response “prove it,” we can see that he believes what Veronica told him about Caitlin and he trusts Veronica’s instincts (even if he would never admit it to himself) when he takes those facts and does his own investigating. Granted, he thinks it’s Troy, but he’s just as suspicious as Veronica. 

This scene works for me on multiple levels. First, because we get another clue as to how Lilly’s cheating left Logan mistrustful and wary in his romantic relationships. It’s there throughout the entire episode every time you see Logan question Caitlin about her interest in Troy, but I really felt it in this scene when he snoops through her bag. Second, was the establishment of the pattern- Veronica accusing Logan of evil, but still investigating other possibilities (because really how would Caitlin’s phone records prove Logan’s guilt?)- almost like subconsciously Veronica didn’t want to believe Logan committed the fraud. Third, I liked how it hints at the similarity between these characters and that their minds work the same way and that they know each other well (Veronica can tell that Logan has figured out it’s Chardo just by the way Logan purposefully stalks Chardo down the high school hallway).