The Silver Lining | Veronica Mars discussion! Episode 2: Credit where credit is due

(Apologies for the delay in posting this. I’ve had internet problems and clients breathing down my neck so it was hard to type this out secretly.)

Since today is EARTH DAY, I think this was a very appropriate episode to watch. I know what you’re thinking…"Huh?" Well. this episode was about RECYCLING! After all, someone threw away those credit card applications and someone else picked them out of the trash and re-used them.

So the moral of this episode, folks, is please recycle.

Wait…what? You thought this episode was about avoiding credit card fraud? I guess that may have been part of it.

-Also, I’m sure we can all agree that this is our favorite episode thanks to the wonderful acting by clearly underused Paris Hilton. It’s such a shame she wasn’t in anymore episodes. Kidding, kidding. I do think this episode mystery is a bit weak, partly because it doesn’t make sense to me why Veronica would immediately question Weevil yet completely ignore Chardo when Chardo had the exact same ties to the grandmother that Weevil did. Veronica’s smarter than that, the writers are better than that, so this mystery is slightly forced to me.

-That being said, I do like the steps that Veronica takes to solve the mystery and I LOVE the scene where she pretends to be pregnant by an unknown hook-up and her dad pretends to be angry. They have such a wonderful relationship and the fact that they can joke around like this for a job is great to watch. 

-I also think the mystery does a great job of establishing that sometimes a confessed criminal is innocent and may have their own reason for confessing. So even though this isn’t actually a clue to the main mystery, it works to move it forward.

-But aside from the mystery, this episode helps to further establish our characters. It mostly delves into the subplot about Veronica losing all her friends and getting picked on because she chose her dad over popularity. I don’t think this was shown well enough in episode 1 because of time so I’m glad we got to see the repercussions of Veronica’s decision and also a bit more of her former-cheerleader self.

-I still found Logan really unlikable in this episode. However, I love the part where he makes Veronica think he had the hotel room and then attempts to investigate the truth on his own, using Veronica’s question as his info tip.

-I always think it’s funny that they make the newspaper teacher a series regular and then forget about her and eventually drop her. Wasn’t as necessary as they originally thought, huh?

-Speaking of series regulars, I also thought about how Madison Sinclair basically replaces Caitlin Ford in later episodes. They are almost the same character, except one was a marketing ploy and the other can act.

-I’m glad they had Lamb show up at the end when Veronica went to the police with Lilly’s parking tickets because Veronica had first mentioned that most of the weekend workers were knew and wouldn’t recognize her. But my mind immediately flashed to the post-rape scene with Lamb laughing at her. I figured that most likely occurred on a weekend after a non-school-night party. I was thinking, "continuity error!" but then the writers proved me wrong and made Veronica’s comment believable.

I’ll leave it here for now because I want to hear YOUR thoughts!

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13 Responses

  1. I remember when the show first aired; I wasn’t watching it (having pathetically decided to stick with Smallville -so embarrassing!) but I saw commercials about Paris Hilton’s role and I thought, wow, how despicable. No decent show would ever have Paris Hilton on it. 😉

    Funnily enough, I don’t even notice her anymore.

    So, let’s see. You’re totally right – this episode is all about character, and less about the mystery itself (though I think that’s better constructed than last weeks). I love the insight we get into Weevil, and especially the contrast between his moral code and Chardo’s. Usually we have impulsive, uncontrolled Felix as a counterpoint to Weevil’s cooler, more reasoned leadership style. I particularly love the scene where he and Veronica taunt each other in the beginning; we get some gossip about Veronica, which is interesting, and we see that no matter how tough Weevil talks, he’s really a good guy. I love Logan doing his detective work. What a thug he is here – walking through the school with his goons behind him, and then taking them to Caitlin’s doorstep, virtually, to track down Chardo. He seems almost mindlessly violent, though as the season progresses our understanding of even his violent tendencies expands.

    Firsts: we see Veronica in her office (the girls bathroom). We hear the term 09ers for the first time. We see Dick Casablancas, ever so briefly holding Chardo on the curb. We spend a little time with Duncan, and get to hear his Dad a touch, too. And we meet Troy, affable party boy who’s not willing to let rumors stop him from spending time with a “sexy, sassy” chick. (And Veronica likes it! Love the line at the end – “I don’t know what Gold T is but I’m pretty sure I can kick both your asses at it.”) And we find out that the timeline for Lilly’s death is totally wrong. Cool.

    The best part of the episode is definitely the Mars family lying together. I love Keith’s insistence that it’s easy to be the good cop (after Veronica tells him he’s overacted a touch as the angry father). They have such a lovely rapor. The worst part? Well, Paris does well enough playing a rich snot (she’s better than I’d expect her to be) but didn’t you want some sense of heat between Caitlin and Chardo? Not that there was any opportunity for that, beyond the moment where she cuts him. But still. Great insight about Caitlin and Madison, Shana!

    Like you say, we get some good insight into the dynamic between V and the 09ers.

    • Golden Tee – a golf arcade game. I saw one in a restaurant once and went “Ooohhhhh!” 🙂

      ETA: Oh and I have a student this semester who looks a lot like Troy. He seems nice, but sometimes I wonder about him…

    • Wow, what great observations! Good call on this being the first time we see Veronica’s bathroom office! I meant to mention Dick but forgot about him.

      Also very interesting thoughts on the difference between the moral codes of Weevil and Chardo. It’s interesting that there’s so many…throw away characters here. Like Caitlin/Madison, Chardo is mostly created for this mystery when, as you point out, Felix is the real counterpoint to Weevil’s character.

      Also, I COMPLETELY agree with you that there’s no support/chemistry to Caitlin and Chardo. I would have liked to see something that seems insignificant at the beginning, like they tease each other, I don’t know–something that lets you know they know each other more than in passing but makes you think they’re enemies–but later becomes a vital clue to the mystery. I would also like to see a brief scene where we can see their chemistry instead of just her staring out the window. It wasn’t completely believable and maybe this is another reason the mystery didn’t quite work for me.

      Though I agree with you that it’s much better than week one.

      • Well, it’s not as if Dick actually had much to do with the plot. It was just a fun sighting.

        I think I was a bit glib talking about the moral code thing, in the sense that it’s ridiculous to just talk about Weevil as a good guy. He’s far more complex than that. He’s the warlord you want in your corner, I suppose, because he’s consistent and he at least has a moral code. He does have his friends beat up his cousin at the end of the episode, so it’s not as if he’s Santa Claus.

  2. I think this is one of the weaker episodes of the season, but that’s judging by a very high standard. As you rightfully point out, they actually accomplish a lot in this episode, in terms of character-development, worldbuilding, and further set-up for the big mystery.

    Also the hotel scene is fantastic. “We are going to solve this Right Now!”

    I don’t know that it’s a plot hole for Veronica to focus on Weevil exclusively… first off, he’s the gang leader. One would expect that any criminal initiative is coming from him. And second, it’s a flaw of Veronica’s detective style – I mean a personality flaw, not a writing issue – that she jumps to conclusions about people. That’s certainly borne out throughout the series.

    I was going to say this last week, but it’s really a general comment about the season – the one thing that, for me, makes this one of the best shows I’ve seen, is the way you can psychoanalyze characters and it almost always holds water – each person’s actions consistently seem to be the result of a certain upbringing, certain parents, certain life experiences, and certain characteristic impulses/coping mechanisms. That is so rare for TV!

  3. I finally have WiFi!

    I’m with you guys in not LOVING this episode, though the character development is nice. I loved seeing Logan detecting. I giggled when Dick Casablancas sprang out of nowhere to grab Chardo (I was on a plane and I really had to hold back from shouting “DICK!”) Veronica has some good lines — like the one about being as flat “as God made me” or something like that.

    I remember when I first saw this ep (and didn’t know anything) that I acutely felt Veronica’s discomfort as she rides to the photoshoot with Duncan. How painful to be forced to ride in a car with the boy who broke up with YOU, and who is being all chill while you’re dying inside. I’ve definitely been there.

    I would love to hear from people who are watching for the first time what they think of Troy.

    My favorite thing about this episode is the cool tracking shot in the school office, when Veronica comes out of the counselor’s office and we see Troy turning around to watch her make her way to the front desk. It’s a long take, too! It was so nicely done that I had to watch it a few times.

    I’m not as big a fan of the hotel front desk scene, and I’m not sure why.

    • I’d be super curious to hear the initial reaction to Troy, too. And, hee, I forgot that line (“as God made me”)- it’s one of my all time favorites.

      You’re so right about the misery of riding with Duncan. Ugh. Especially after Weevil passes on the gossip that people think she stalks Duncan, you feel viscerally how much someone as proud as Veronica wouldn’t want Duncan to think she was panting after him. Really well done.

  4. Stupid question of the day

    Hi everyone! I have watched Ep 1 on the WB site (although I haven’t taken time to comment on it yet). However, when I try to watch ep 2 today, I can’t seem to find it. Even though it says “The complete 1st and 2nd seasons of Veronica Mars now playing!” at the top, only the 2nd season eps are showing in the “full episodes” side bar. Help! How do I get to Season 1?

  5. I remember seeing the long shot of Troy and thinking he was a pyscho the way he was checking out Veronica. But then he kind of grew on me, the way the rich boys on this show do. Very tall, kind of half geeky, half cute.

    Loved the flat comment too.

  6. Hi! I friended you so I could read along with these discussions. Hope that’s okay.

    I always think it’s funny that they make the newspaper teacher a series regular and then forget about her and eventually drop her. Wasn’t as necessary as they originally thought, huh?

    The character was actually a network mandate, which makes sense because it was UPN and for a show that was hoping to breakout on the idea of a strong female character, it was kind of messed up that Veronica was the only female character in the opening credits. Even though she’s a titular character (and a kickass one at that, at least in the first season), it’s kind of crazy how guy heavy the cast is, so that probably messed up the whole underlying message of Girl Power! that UPN wanted to bank on.

    But anyway, if you know anything about Rob Thomas, you know he hates having his hand forced in anyway, and he gets pretty vitriol about interferences. He didn’t think the character was necessary so he didn’t write for the character, so it was understandable that Sydney Tamiia Poitier wanted out. Apparently that was all part of RT’s plan anyway.

  7. Love Love Love the scene where Veronica pretends to be pregnant and her dad is the angry father! Makes me laugh every time! I love the relationship between them and it’s one of the best parent/teen relationships ever.

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