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Veronica Mars “Hot Dogs”/ “M.A.D.” Review (1×19/1×20)

8 Mar

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EPISODE 19: “Hot Dogs”

“You want people to leave you alone, Mandy? Or better yet, treat you with respect? Demand it. Make them.”

This idea is exactly what Veronica herself has been dealing with her whole life, and the episode expands upon that idea throughout its various subplots: you have Mandy, eventually tasering Hans at the end after she finds out he’s behind Chester’s disappearance, and you also have Aaron Echolls, eventually beating up Trina’s boyfriend at the end after finding out he hit her.

 

With the latter, it’s less about respect than it is about control; Aaron’s rage stems from the same place his abuse of Logan stems from, and his beatdown of Dylan goes on and on until you can see just how scary this person is. He doesn’t even seem to notice his daughter pleading with him to stop, and this highlights the fact that even if he didn’t abuse Trina the way he abused Logan, he still views her as something he owns more so than as a person.

The rest of the episode is simply entertaining, as it has Veronica teaming up with Backup to catch some dognappers. It also has the continuation of the Veronica-Logan makeout sessions, and we see more and more that the two just get each other more so than Veronica and Leo get each other. Because in the end, after a breakup with Leo, she’ll still ask for a favor, but with Logan, he’s already doing her a favor by being understanding what she’s going through.

GRADE: A-

EPISODE 20: “M.A.D.”

“I don’t want revenge. It’s not my thing.”

It certainly is Veronica’s, though. “M.A.D.” brings with it another Hamilton Cho-esque resolution, one in which the victim of injustice decides to simply swallow it and move on. This is a concept that Veronica simply wouldn’t want to grasp when faced with possible injustice leveled at herself, and it oftentimes places her in the wrong, in dangerous situations even though it helps her get what she wants. With this specific case–which is a bit weak–Tad is a disgusting asshole and absolutely deserves to take the full brunt of the revenge, but interestingly enough, without Carmen deciding to delete the email, Veronica might not have had the ability to hold something over on him at the end of the episode.

And, what she finds out is that she might have been quick to trust, quick to attempt to move on with Logan; after all, she finds out that he gave Tad GHB back on the night of the party. This throws a wrench into Logan-Veronica, a relationship that seems to bring out the best in Aaron–could be a facade, too, and our knowledge of what he’s done to his son will always linger–and seems to allow Logan to feel comfortable for the first time after Lilly’s death. Now, relationships will be tested: Veronica and Logan, Alicia and Keith, perhaps even Veronica and Keith or Veronica and Wallace.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

– “If someone is stealing dogs in Neptune, they need to be brought down hard, then beaten with some sort of tire iron and dumped into the nearest body of water.”

-That Aaron-Dylan scene is very complicated. On the one hand, Dylan deserves punishment, but on the other, Logan ends up approving of the way his father goes about it. We know that that side of Aaron is what comes out at times with him and his son; it’s no coincidence that Logan walks in when his father’s whipping Dylan.

-Nice use of Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” during that scene, by the way.

-Some interesting Weevil/Lilly’s Secret Message Pen stuff in here. I don’t believe it’s Weevil, though.

– “Will you look at that? There was a string attached to my Pop-tart!” And, in the same scene: “Did you try standing up?” Oh, Logan.

– “He drives a white van, or maybe a white horse, and he likes to spank busty women.” Definitely one of my favorite voiceover quotes.

-As predicted, the paternity test will not stay shredded, as Keith is now trying to get the results.

– “How’s school?” “Oh, you know: mean kids, indifferent teachers, crumbling infrastructure…”

– “I want my bear won through some sort of demonstration of ring-tossing ability.”

– “I was waiting for the rest of the school to leave so that I could sneak home without being assailed by frozen desserts.”

-Apparently, Dick becomes a significant supporting character later on, considering we’re now getting a “Play It Again, Dick” web series.

-Another instance of moving on in “M.A.D.”: Keith putting a notice in the paper about Lianne.

Photo credit: CW/UPN, Veronica Mars

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