This is one of my favorite episodes mainly for the Weevil (<3)/Logan Breakfast Club-style story arc. The episode also plants the seed for a number of other issues that are going to come up throughout the season. Veronica Mars is great at slowly building intrigue and watching it on Netflix sometimes makes me sad that I didn’t watch it as it aired, sometimes instant gratification isn’t that great.
This episode’s Mystery Of The Week is what happens to Veronica’s upstairs neighbor who goes missing. Television Without Pity calls the neighbor Luka as in “My name is Luka, I live on the second floor…If you hear some trouble late at night/some kind of trouble some kind of fight/just don’t ask me what it was.” And yes, Sarah the pretty, pregnant, redheaded upstairs neighbor does get into a fight with her boyfriend that Veronica is able to hear. Sarah tells Veronica that she thinks her boyfriend took her diary and that’s what they fought over. She then asks Veronica to go with her to her doctor the next day to get back some mysterious-sounding “test results” – musta been some fight if you’re willing to ask your teenage neighbor with whom you’re only casually acquainted to go to the doctor with you instead of your baby daddy. Veronica loves to be a Helpful Heloise though and agrees to go with Sarah, only there is an ominous thump during the night and when she goes to get Sarah she has disappeared. VM is on the case!
For her school responsibilities, as part of her yearbook responsibilities Veronica has been slated with scanning old year book pictures for an upcoming class reunion. They love using the newspaper and yearbook as a plot device on this show. It turns out that the reunion is for her mom’s class, the class of 1979. What an uncanny coincidence! While going through the yearbook, Veronica learns that her mom and Duncan’s dad were the King and Queen of the prom. The reunion coordinator who looks like the “I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion” teacher from Donnie Darko tells Veronica that her mom and Duncan’s dad were the IT couple of Neptune High in ’79. Veronica had no idea, but it makes the fact that her mom and Duncan’s dad were at a hotel room together in the first episode seem even more suspicious than before. When Veronica asks Duncan about it he plays dumb (not too hard for him), which reminds her of another time when he was a shady idiot – when he broke up with her without telling her and just quit talking to her for a week. Doesn’t that make you miss high school romance? Oh wait, that happened to me like 2 years ago. Nevermind. So that was weird and we get the seed planted that there is something to Mrs. Mars’ past relationship with Jake Kane and Duncan breaking up with Veronica. Hmmm.
On to my favorite story arc. Logan and Weevil are given detention together and what was originally a one-afternoon detention gets turned into a week when the teacher catches Logan and Weevil gambling. Will they find out that within each of them lies a criminal, a basket case and a princess? No. But they do get Weevil’s “body shop” friends to put the school flagpole through their teacher’s car….resulting in Weevil’s suspension, but not Logan’s because Weevil doesn’t snitch, as we know. Who says there’s no honor among thieves. Again, here’s something that Veronica Mars does well – creating the multi-dimensional character. Already we know that Logan’s dad is abusive and that his anger and acting-out is just to mask his inner-pain, just like your mom always told you about bullies! He knows that Weevil promised his grandmother that he would graduate from high school, which he condescended at the time. But, Logan knows how to use what he’s got, so he goes to the principal and cockily puts his shoes up on the desk. Shoes that his dad wore in one of his movies and that the principal wanted to auction off to raise money for the school. Logan admits that he was also responsible for the car prank, and looking down at his boots, suggests that something can be “worked out.” One day I will have enough power to use a line like that. So, Weevil gets reinstated to school and he and Logan have to paint over some graffiti, which Weevil’s gang probably put up in the first place. Weevil is wearing a tank top which, besides being attractive, lets Logan see Weevil’s tattoo of Lily’s name. Weevil’s friend earlier mentioned that Weevil “tapping” Lily while she was with Logan, something that was alluded to last week. But the tattoo suggests it was more than just casual sex. Weevil lies to Logan and says it’s his sister’s name. For the rest of the series Logan and Weevil kind of have a grudging respect of each other…maybe they did learn that they are all a jock and a basket case after all.
So back to the Mystery Of The Week. There is some typical back-and-forth where Veronica thinks that Sarah’s boyfriend had something to do with her disappearance, and then thinks it might be Sarah’s boss at the clothing store where she works. Both men are rude and evasive, but Veronica learns it wasn’t the boss after she enlists Weevil’s bikers to tear apart his store until he admits he took the diary (just to check and see if she really did have a crush. Which was creepy.) Veronica does a little espionage and learns that the baby isn’t Sarah’s boyfriend’s. She also learns from Sarah’s boss that Sarah was raped. Even though Sarah’s diary didn’t give up any details about the rape or the baby’s father, it did have a drawing of some place by the beach where Sarah used to go when she was upset. Somehow Veronica Super Spy is able to figure out where this is based on the drawing and lo and behold, there’s Sarah staying in her car and eating a lot of In N Out (jealous!)! I love that Veronica is able to find this woman, even though it is now technically Keith’s case because Veronica saw Sarah’s mom and stepdad looking for Sarah and recommended her dad as PI. So Sarah comes home and all is well….except for that fact that it turns out that it was Sarah’s stepdad who raped and impregnated her. Sarah confronted her mother and stepfather and the stepfather started to hit and push Sarah. Fortunately for her the Mars’ live in a crappy apartment complex and Papa Mars heard the commotion and went upstairs and shot the stepdad through the window! See, just when you were starting to lose faith in his crime-fighting abilities. Also, he just shoots to maim (because criminals should be brought to justice through the legal system) so he doesn’t even have to deal with the burden of having killed a man. Case closed.
Veronica Mars is really picking up, so join me next week when we learn more about the relationship between Mama Mars and Jake Kane and hopefully get to see more of Weevil in a tank top.