Ladyghosts: Veronica Mars Ep. 8

Mac! This is the episode where we are introduced to Mac! After Weevil, I think Mac is my favorite Veronica Mars lackey friend. Mac is brought onto the scene because of her computer hacking skills.  Why does Veronica need a computer hacker? Because there is a “Purity Test” going around the school that all the kids are taking. They should rename it “Idiot Test” though, because seriously, who takes a test that asks questions relating to one’s so-called purity and uses their real name? Morons, that’s who. And that’s why the school is in all kinds of bedlam the next day when everyone has bought their friend’s and boyfriend’s purity test results for a cool $10 a pop and some jackass has written the scores on everyone’s lockers. But what’s this? Even Meg, whom VM describes as so good that cartoon birds probably braided her hair, scored a 48. Meg denies she even took the test, and is a promise-ring type who doesn’t even go to second base. Veronica’s detective senses tingle, and that brings us to our Mystery Of The Week. (Spoiler Alert: See Season Two for how pure Meg really is.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

Anyway, Veronica is trying to figure out who took the test to fake Meg’s results, as well as hers since Veronica’s score is a very impure 14%. Mac suggests Veronica try to get the handsome French IT guy to give her a friend’s password. The IT guy stands his ground, though, and Veronica makes a mental list of top suspects. The prime candidates are Meg’s “bad” sister Lizzy and Dick Casablancas, the 09er who is a bigger asshole than Logan Echolls.

For the Lilly Kane story line, Veronica met with Neptune’s Only Lawyer, Cliff, who was Abel Koontz’s lawyer, to try to get a meeting with Abel Koontz. Cliff doesn’t seem to think it will happen, so Veronica writes him herself, pretending to be a criminology student from Koontz’ hometown.

And then we’ve got the Home Front story line. This one actually involves Wallace. He lives with his mom and little brother and they rent out an attached apartment to some sleaze ball who doesn’t pay his rent and turns off the pilot light in the stove and turns on the gas. I actually have a little trouble with this story line from a feminist standpoint, because Papa Mars obviously feels that he needs to go in and save the poor single mother and when Wallace’s mom is like “thanks but no thanks, I got it” he pulls the Nice Guy (TM) routine of “I was just trying to be nice!”  Ugh. At the same time, neither Wallace or his mom are sure what to do about the situation. So, even though Wallace’s mom said she didn’t want help, Papa Mars broke into her house and the tenant’s apartment to scare the tenant into leaving. It works, though, and Wallace and his mom aren’t nearly as put off as I would be and Wallace’s mom even goes over to tell Papa Mars what a Nice Guy (TM) he is. Blech.

Tina Majorino as Mac in Veronica MarsOK, so back to the Mystery of the Week, Mac and Veronica figure out that someone is logged on to her account that’s not her. They go to the computer after the class bell has rung, and this genius hacker has managed to fail to log out of the computer he was using illicitly. Really people? You all score a 14 on the Idiot Test. The hacker sent an email to Duncan from Veronica saying that she had VD when they were together and that she still is in love with him. VD? Do people say that, like sincerely? Is this the 70’s? I would hope that Duncan would know Veronica well enough that she would at least make some clever quip about her VD. And what’s this? The hacker was also IMing with someone named Froggy, who was apparently supplying the hacker with passwords.  (Side note: We learn that Veronica’s screen name is LifeIsABeach. I can’t decide if I think that’s totally in, or totally out of, character.)  Veronica tracks down Froggy, and if you guessed that Froggy is the nickname for the French IT guy, you were right! It turns out that the IT guy was sleeping with Kim, some girl who wants everything that Meg has and he gave her the password to fake the test for her. Some other random Veronica hater was the one who faked Veronica’s test results. And just as Veronica is pondering who created the Purity Test in the first place Mac drives through the parking lot in her new Volkswagen Beetle convertible! Enough of those morons paid for tests that our girl was able to buy herself a new car. Thus sealing her place in my heart as Number Two Favorite VM Friend.

Finally the episode ends with a Clarice/Hannibal meeting between Veronica and Abel Koontz.  Koontz stands by his claim that he killed Lilly Kane and then brings in one of my favorite tidbits of the whole series.  ” Think about it, Veronica! Look in a mirror! Are you the product of a schlubby sheriff or the king and queen of the prom?” Aaahh! Is Duncan Veronica’s half-brother! Oh yes, Veronica Mars went there! And that’s why this episode gets 4 out of 5 Weevils from me.

Top 7 Movie Therapists

As much as TV shows love to put their characters in therapy, so do movies.   A lot of movies really like to focus on the mental illness and the therapy is only a small part of it.  Here are a few good movies where the therapist has a more prominent role.

Nurse RatchedOne Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – While not actually a therapist, psychiatric ward Nurse Ratched needs to be on any list of movie therapists just for the sheer WTF-ery of her character.  Manipulative, evil, and with a loose hand for dispensing medication she does more mental harm than good. If Mr. McMurphy doesn’t want to take his medication orally, I’m sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way. But I don’t think that he would like it.

Analyze This – Billy Crystal as the bored therapist whose life gets  turned upside down when a mobster comes to him for therapy.  Hilarity ensues!  Actually this movie isn’t half bad and I like when they have therapists who have their own problems they have to work through.

Good Will Hunting – It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this movie, but I think I prefer Robin William’s portrayal of a medical professional here to him as that obnoxious Patch Adams.

Sixth Sense –  Dead psychologists still count, right? (Spoiler Alert)  You have to give a dead guy credit to being that committed to his profession.  Plus, on my little list here I think he’s actually probably the best therapist.  You know what they say about shrinks?  The only good one’s a dead one!  I don’t know if that’s a real joke or not.Bill Murrary Screen Cap

What About Bob — I’ll admit it.  I like this movie.  Sometimes when I think about progress I am making in my own life, I think of Bill Murray’s OCD sufferer repeating “baby steps” to himself.  This movie has Richard Dreyfuss as a man who loves being a therapist so much, he has gone so far as to name his children Sigmund and Anna.

Ordinary People – Honorable mention in this list goes to Judd Hirsch’s Dr. Berger.  I’ve never seen Ordinary People, but Dr. Berger always comes up in mentions of good on-screen therapists.  If only they had it on Netflix Instant.

Silence of the Lambs – Say what you will about Nurse Ratched, at least she didn’t eat people.  Hannibal Lecter is, and always will be, my favorite on-screen psychologist.   Sorry Jack Crawford, but I do want Dr. Lecter inside my head. Hannibal Lecter, close up

Best of 2010 – Jezebel Shitstorms (Part 2)

Here it is! Your top 5 LadyBlog shitstorms of 2010.  Did your favorite scandal and commenting brouhaha make the list?  I will give you a spoiler alert right now, there were so many good ones to choose from that I didn’t even have to use the great Gawker hack, since it wasn’t site specific.  That’s a lot of amazing shitstorms, people! Read More Best of 2010 – Jezebel Shitstorms (Part 2)

Hangover Cinema

Every once in a while (perhaps more often in college) you push it too far with the drinks one night and end up hungover. Everyone has their tricks for combating the morning after, and the second most common component (behind tons of water) has to be watching the perfect movie. Read More Hangover Cinema