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Veronica Mars “Kanes and Abel’s”/ “Weapons of Class Destruction” Review (1×17/1×18)

2 Feb

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EPISODE 17: “Kanes and Abel’s”

As Veronica says, “life is unfair” seems to be the motto of the episode, especially when applied to the Sabrina-Hamilton Valedictorian case. Hamilton really doesn’t have control of the situation until the end, when he decides to acquiesce to Sabrina’s mother’s demands in return for not pressing charges; rather, this is all his father’s doing, and we see at the meeting that even Sabrina seems a bit uncomfortable with her own parent’s attitude. When all’s said and done, even though the odds were stacked against Hamilton from the start and even though he loses his Oxford scholarship, he still loves his father, and inequity doesn’t cause Hamilton to harbor resentment toward him.

With the Veronica-Keith relationship, it’s the kid who engages in actions that could be deemed unethical (I know where Veronica’s coming from, though, especially after seeing Amelia’s attitude toward the whole situation). Here, Keith knows his daughter and knows that she won’t give up on this case, so he decides to help her because he doesn’t want to see her get hurt. It’s definitely the right time, because it’s clear that we’re now in the midst of the endgame. There’s evidence suggesting the Kanes did it, but what of the Lilly ghost? We saw it with Duncan, and we’re now seeing it with Veronica; is she telling herself that they didn’t do it?

GRADE: A-

EPISODE 18: “Weapons of Class Destruction”

The bomb threat plot of this episode isn’t the most engrossing plot–especially given the huge Lilly Kane info dump we got in the last episode–but the phrase of the day seems to be ‘moral complexity’. Norris and Ben and Pete all have legitimate reasons for doing what they’re doing, but they’re all flawed individuals who commit wrongs that negatively affect the others. Ultimately, Miss Stafford is the one who pays with her job, and the motto of episode 17 starts to swirl around again.

Of course, even though the bomb threat is the weaker aspect of the episode, there’s a subtle thematic connection between Veronica’s investigation amongst shifting perceptions and the positions of Wallace and Duncan throughout. Just as Veronica is pushed back and forth between Ben and Norris, Wallace must find a way to balance his friendship with with his love for his mother; Duncan is forced to look at the anger directed at Veronica held up next to his own suspicions of himself, suspicions he’s unwilling to admit he might have. And so, this becomes an episode about facing up to things, oftentimes the past.

As for Logan and Veronica, however, the theme would suggest that they’re finally facing the feelings they’ve always had for each other, but I believe it isn’t quite that clear cut. We’ve seen Logan become more subdued and receptive to Veronica–even the short scene in the classroom at the beginning of the episode says so much about how their relationship’s changed–as we’ve progressed through the season, but it just doesn’t seem romantic at all. And yet, the moment in which they kiss is both an impulse and a perfectly sensible build-up of their history, and just as we, the viewers, suddenly realize that this works, so do they. In an episode of uncertainty and conflict, that moment is perfectly clear.

GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Ken Marino as Vinne Van Lowe is perfect. He has this sleazy side to him, but he’s so incredibly entertaining and endearing, and him boast-singing “Private Eyes” out the window is easily one of my favorite Veronica Mars moments.

-Logan paying Veronica in “Kanes and Abel’s” (followed by Veronica ripping up the check) is a very sweet moment. Him defending Veronica in “Weapons of Class Destruction” is also very Logan: admirable and a bit rash. Fitting, too, that Veronica would be on a case when this happens; it’s a very genuine moment.

-Also, the kiss is contrasted with the Leo-Veronica kiss on the balcony at the beginning of the episode.

-Veronica-Clemmons is interesting to me because on the one hand, it’s fun to watch, but on the other, Veronica’s getting away with a lot of things–e.g. impersonating someone to get him to reveal more info–that you wouldn’t expect a high school kid to get away with sans punishment.

-Amelia’s watching “Clash of the Titans”, which stars Harry Hamlin aka Aaron Echolls.

– “Why is it that the Cazes of the world are forever in transit between romantic failure and the gym?”

-It looks like Veronica still manages to keep her grades up.

-That’s Juice from Sons of Anarchy and Steve Newlin from True Blood. Both are shows that should’ve ended 5 years ago.

– “What did you ever do before you met me?” “Ever see the first ten minutes of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’?”

-Goodbye, Miss Stafford. You were cool, but you will now be joining Adam Scott in the Unemployed Club.

Photo credit: UPN/CW, Veronica Mars

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