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22 November 2006 @ 11:25 am
a more tidy TV update  
In an effort to reduce the volume of episodes I comment on from one update to the next, I have a chance to add an entry sooner rather than later.  Links to a few things since last Thursday are below:

Smallville: 6.08 - "Static"

Supernatural: 2.08 - "Crossroad Blues"

The Office: 3.08 - "The Merger"

Battlestar Galactica: 3.08 - "Hero"

Heroes: 1.09 - "Homecoming"

And Rob Thomas's crew of writers on Veronica Mars certainly have a knack for emotionally kicking my ass.  Last night's episode was quality as usual, with a viscerally raw edge to the troubles with LoVe that leaves me anxious for more, but nervously worried for the characters' paths - to the point I continually contemplate the plot-arc fallout from week to week. If that kind of character-attachment isn't a sign of outstanding TV, I don't know what is. The cut below is actually a real one, not just a link to W-I, since I wanted to c/p my commenting on the ep here, for posterity's sake:

Veronica Mars: 3.08 - "Lord of the Pi's"

Damn. And this time, not in a "damn, she's hot" or "damn, what an awesome episode" sort of way, but more like "damn, Veronica is ruining Logan". More on that stuff that almost aches to watch in a sec.

The mystery-of-the-week with the disappearance of Selma Rose was a bit ho-hum, and not as compelling as the show's potential has to offer, but it worked within the framework of so much more being revealed about the campus rapes. It allowed Keith to be a player and work with Veronica, too, giving us some great moments, after the strain they've had the last couple of weeks. The scene with the fence-hopping to sneak up on Selma in the guest house, including goofy (and a little high-strung) Veronica, was hysterical.

To me, it appears all the "stuff" she's been shouldering - the tension between her and Keith, a personal obligation to solve the rapes, the scare of her almost-victimization last week, the issues between her and Logan - has led to her being a little more hard-edged than is even considered normal for her. The sarcasm and witty quips were out in full force in this ep, and that seems to be a sign of her re-inforcing those emotional defense mechanisms, as they slide back into place.

The "Worst. Easter egg hunt. EVER." with Chip was as funny as it was creepy. Veronica's scenes questioning Fern about Selma Rose, then later about Chip, also had some great lines -- "Say - when you stick an Easter egg up a frat-boy's 'out' door, do you kiss him first?" and -- "You totally wrecked 'im." (rectum). Even more greatness was found in her questioning of Dick, as Dick always comes through with the funny. -- (in feaux British accent) "They put it. Up. His bloody. BUM." And after easy-chick Bonnie comes out from the frat house as they are dumpster diving, Veronica delivers -- "She always gets a replay, and she never tilts". The little dance at the end with dead-pan expression had me rolling. In all the angst of the surrounding relationship stuff, I still laughed my ass off.

From Veronica's investigation into the roman numerals in Chip's "ass-egg", she learns about Patrice, the former Beta Theta who was driven to mental instability by the Greek system, and was a friend to Nish, Fern, and the fake rape victim Claire. Turns out that many of the campus rapes were probably faked by these ultra-feminists, as means of revenge against the sororities and fraternities, to get their charters revoked altogether. However, I doubt Parker faked it, and that some others were real crimes, too, so the actual culprit is still a mystery so far. Looks to be wrapped up next week.

Now - the tough stuff (at least, for fans of the core relationship). It pretty much appears that even after Veronica's close call in the parking garage, and after her internal revelation about lacking faith in those who love her, she is still bull-headed to changing her ways even a little bit. Logan's initial confrontation with her at the apartment was a good starting point, as he is very right - they do need a serious talk. She of course does the avoiding-thing with being too busy with everything else in her life to give him adequate time at the moment. And she still keeps details from Keith, as he doesn't know about the head-shaving, just her being drugged. As Logan leaves when Keith takes offense to him yelling at her, his line about "maybe you should start" was spot-on. Veronica - though an independent and take-charge adult - is not letting anyone in close enough for her to be called on her missteps, well-intentioned though her motives may be.

Later, as she confronts Logan in his hotel room, he's expecting the fallout from his bodyguard-for-hire, and stands up for his side of the issues between them right now. I can understand Veronica being upset, as she has been paranoid and scared the last few days, and sees that move on his part as trying to control and keep tabs on her. But beyond that is where Veronica doesn't have much to stand on, with regards to the "balanced relationship" aspect. Logan flat-out says that her safety is his number one priority - whether she thinks his methods for looking out for her are fair or not. Like he says, she's not invincible even if she thinks she is. He loves her and cannot deal with something possibly happening to her. She counters with the whole "you know who I am - I won't change" angle, and he shoves it right back at her. She knows him, too, and with how much guilt he's harbored over what happened to Lilly, Veronica should try to at least see how worried he is for her. And in the plus column for Logan in this argument, while Veronica expects him to change for her - which he has worked at doing - she won't compromise for him. This obstinate flaw in her personality is what is driving them apart.

Their declarations of love, I believe, are sincere on both parts, but we have seen time and again that Logan probably feels much more devoted to her than she does to him. I don't think she was lying when she answered yes to his questioning of her love for him, but she's not willing to work as hard on her own flaws for him as he is for her. Personally, I'm of the mind that Veronica is terrified of opening herself up to Logan completely, to let herself be "in love" with him to the point he is with her, which in truth would set up so much more emotional vulnerability to him. Like she told him in "Wichita Linebacker", her life growing up has shown her the worst sides of human nature and dishonesty, and I think she's using her lack of ability to completely trust as a crutch in keeping Logan at a distance. Regardless of his past deeds and mischief involvement, he's shown her that he's committed to her completely, and the way she's treating him now is almost cruel.

The final scene in the food court was just all kinds of awesomeness from Jason as an actor, and aching to watch for Logan's reaction to Veronica's continued stubbornness. When she had said that "they were okay" as he asked if they could go a little easier on each other, she was most definitely not being fair. He's expecting her to tell him if she's really fine with where they stand, but she puts off the heavy conversation, with so much other stuff occupying her time. As she ignored Logan's call while he watched from across the room, the look of devastation on his face was pretty profound. He's realizing that she's not willing to even try to iron out their problems right now, while he's bending over backward to protect her and respect her because he's so in love with her. Veronica is digging her own hole in this relationship, and is using her unwillingness to compromise as an excuse to push Logan away.

I love these characters - flaws and all - and watching their evolution and progressions is fascinating in the hands of these capable writers. I'm just hoping that through the LoVe split, Veronica isn't paired up with some other guy - Piz included - while she still harbors all of these personal issues that prevent her from opening up. Of all people, Logan knows her history and the shitty hand she's been dealt in the past (as she knows as much about him), and if he can't be with her now for a myriad of reasons, I can't see the justification for her matching up with anyone else as a placeholder.

Additionally, though, Logan is poised to spiral now - and he could potentially fall into a quagmire of morally-questionable decision-making. Veronica is IT for him, as we've been shown, and he has little else to ground him into maintaining the positive progress he's made so far as a person and a boyfriend. Once she's pushed him away - again - his reaction may not be pretty at all. Worse yet, Veronica may see his actions as more hurtful and full of spite, rather than him being heartbroken over her treatment of him. As an audience, we can see that he would be committed to her through almost anything, but can only give and give so much with little emotional reciprocation. Veronica could see his tailspin and convince herself that her course of action through this was/is right. I would hope that she can grow through her personal reservations, as she starts to understand what she's missing, once she no longer has Logan. I'm just not sure if Logan will be able to trust her to not crush him again after everything that's happening now.

I have no idea where the end of this season will end up, as far as the two of them are concerned, but to say I'm anxious and twisted inside is a supreme understatement. "Epic", indeed.

And since I am almost certain to not be online much - if at all - tomorrow, early "Happy Turkey Day".