LadyGhosts of TV Past

Ladyghosts: Veronica Mars, Episode 1.16, “Betty and Veronica”

In this episode, Veronica is still reeling from finding her mom at the bar in Barstow and from seeing Clarence Weidman at the same bar.  She tears apart her room, realizing that she must have been bugged, and she finds the bug in a very cute panda pencil sharpener sent to her by a wildlife fund to which she never donated.  You know what they say: Don’t bug a bugger!  Or something.  Veronica also gets hired by Vice Principal Clemmons to find out who kidnapped the school’s mascot, in a plot stolen out of every 80’s sitcom (and Ace Venture Pet Detective).The loss of Polly the  Parrot is hitting Wallace hard because he has turned into some big time basketball supah star and is getting spirit boxes with cookies and sitting with the popular jocks at lunch.  Veronica is doing the thing where she pretends like she’s not sad about it, but she kind of is.  No matter though, because she goes undercover as Betty, a transfer from Riverdale High, and fashions herself into a popular girl to infiltrate the jocks over at Pan High School, the rival school most likely to be the culprits in Polly’s bird-snatching.  Only, Pan’s mascot, a goat, is also stolen. Pan. A Goat. I see what you did there, Veronica Mars.  Also, where is PETA? How do all these high schools have live animal mascots?

This episode is full of flashbacks to Veronica’s meeting with her mom in Barstow.  The biggest revelation so far? Lianne knows that Jake isn’t responsible for Lilly’s murder because she was with him at Neptune’s only hotel, the Neptune Grand, at the time of Lilly’s death.  Lianne claims that “it’s not what you think!” and that she overheard a message that Celeste Kane had left for Veronica saying she had information about Jake and Lianne that she wanted Veronica to know.  So Lianne arranged the secret not sexy times meeting, to get Jake to tell Celeste to back off.  Sorry, Lianne, but you’re not very trustworthy.  This has raised doubts for Veronica though and she asks Stoner Leo to get her a copy of the interview tapes from the murder investigation.  Remember how you were suspended because you dropped your guard because of Veronica, Leo? Apparently not, since he totally comes through with the tapes.  Ugh. Idiot.  Oh, also, Lianne admits that she doesn’t know if Keith or Jake Kane is Veronica’s dad.  Gross.

Over at Pan High, some nerdy kid named Wilson is claiming that he stole Polly and he even has a photo of himself with the parrot to prove it.  Veronica as Betty arranges to go on a date with him to Rest Stop 15, which we have learned is the place to be in Southern California if you want to make out with your boyfriend or buy fenced stereos.  Too bad for Wilson that Veronica has arranged for <3 Weevil <3 to scare the truth out of him, which is that Wilson took a picture of himself with a parrot at a pet store and said he stole it.  Weevil says it’s one step up from taking your hot cousin to prom.  So that’s a dead end.  But we do learn that Weevil is acting as a bookie for the big Neptune vs. Pan High basketball game.  Oh, Weevil.

Veronica has solved the mystery of the missing goat, surprise, surprise the Neptune basketball team stole it.  Meh.  The newspaper is getting a lot of letters to the editor about Polly’s disappearance, including one from a student animal rights group claiming that Polly deserved to be free.

Veronica is listening to the purloined interview tapes, which leads to flashback scenes of Keith interviewing Jake and Celeste.   She’s doing this while making cookies … for Wallace’s spirit box.  Awww, sometimes she can be a good friend!  Except, nothing Veronica does comes without a price, and she solicits Wallace to take a bugged plant to Jake Kane’s office.

So what does Veronica learn in the interview tapes?  Jake and Celeste both claim to to have been at the Neptune Grand having sex, but we know that’s not true.  And anyway, besides the time frame of when they were at the hotel, Jake and Celeste’s stories don’t match up.  So who is covering up for whom?   Well, we learn from another flashback with Lianne that Celeste stormed in on her and Jake.  So we know that Celeste was at the hotel for 20 minutes, and Veronica begins to suspect that Celeste had Clarence Weidman set up those threatening shots as a way to scare Lianne away from either a paternity suit or because Lianne knows the truth about Celeste’s alibi.

Back to the Polly mystery, Veronica is confronting the student animal-rights group when the student news broadcast is interrupted and a video is shown of a masked male threatening to kill Polly if Wallace plays in the Big Game.  Veronica turns to Sweet Weevil and accuses him of fixing the game, but he denies it.  Wallace is feeling very guilty that the life of the parrot is in his hands, and he’s considering not playing in the game.   Veronica and Meg review the tape, after having an awkward conversation about how they should try to be friends and Meg wants to be all nice and have a new circle of friends that aren’t the 09ers.  Anyway, in the tape, they notice that the perp (thanks Law and Order) is wearing shoes with the number 13 on them.  Just like the number of one of the basketball players at Pan High. It must be him! But nope! It’s Jack, the basketball player from Neptune, who wants Wallace to sit out so he can throw the game.  Who knew high school basketball was so cutthroat?! Case closed.

So, I’ve been feeling a little … ungracious … towards Veronica in the last few episodes.  I feel like she’s using Leo, Wallace, and Weevil, and I think it’s her biggest flaw.  But we are now learning that she had a shit-ton of money saved for college (seriously. a lot), which she spent paying for 12 weeks of rehab for her mom so that he mom could come home.  Ugh. Way to make it impossible for me to hate you, Veronica.

It wouldn’t be an episode of Veronica Mars if there wasn’t a cliffhanger.  Keith and Veronica have a conversation about why someone would confess to a murder they didn’t commit, and Keith suggests that the person might have been paid off.  We already know that Abel Koontz is dying, so Veronica wants to know why he would accept the money if he know he can’t use it and Keith says that it would go to a relative.  Veronica speaks into her bug, saying she knows who is getting Abel Koontz’s pay-off money, and listening to her own bug that she planted in Clarence Weidman’s office she hears him ask his secretary to contact Amelia DeLongpre.  Man, he is an efficient man.  I guess he doesn’t spend two hours playing on tumblr before making a call like I do.  And who is Amelia DeLongpre? Abel Koontz’s daughter! What?? See this is why I had to watch back-to-back-to-back episodes when I was watching this the first time.

See you next week when we get even deeper into this mystery.


2 replies on “Ladyghosts: Veronica Mars, Episode 1.16, “Betty and Veronica””

I agree. Especially with Wallace becoming the basketball star. And it would have been nice to see the meeting with her mom in real time, instead of in flashbacks. It felt a little like they were trying to cram in a bunch of details that we should have seen actually happening.

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