The Silver Lining | Veronica Mars episode 14: Mars vs Mars
I didn’t remember a thing about this episode so the mystery was a total surprise to me and I love that it kept me guessing. I also love seeing Blair Waldorf as Carrie Bishop. I DID remember Carrie’s character because she’s in later episodes and I remember when the actress was cast in GOSSIP GIRL, I was excited because I had liked her on Veronica Mars. I think it’s also funny that Veronica calls Carrie the "queen of gossip" at one point.

I also think Veronica and the teacher accused of statutory rape play love interests on Party Down? Not entirely positive because I don’t watch the show but it makes sense because it’s a Rob Thomas show. Still, kind of weird they’re playing student/teacher here and love interests later.

So yeah, I really liked this episode. Part of the reason is that there’s a lot of Veronica and Logan scenes and Logan is really sympathetic in here. Even Veronica starts to warm up to him and tells him at one point she would have "believed the story too." I think this episode goes a long way to getting her to warm up to him and it was nice to see how that played out on screen. I love when bad boys slowly turn into love interests (I may or may not have that in my novel) and it’s been interesting studying how that happens on the show.

There were 3 clear plotlines in this episode. I am studying TV pilot writing again for something I’m doing and so I was tracking the storylines and how many act outs there were, etc. Plot A, or the main story arc, is the Carrie Bishop vs Mr. Rooks case. Plot B is the Logan Echolls searching for proof that his mother is alive case. Plot C is Veronica looking for evidence about why Duncan might be at the doctor. All three plots were kept completely separate, never overlapping except during one flashback with Carrie Bishop where she discusses that Duncan was batcrap crazy. It does make me wonder why Veronica never followed up on that before? Anyway, I thought the episode did a really good job of giving us at least 3 beats per plotline and never feeling too confusing. It was well balanced. I never felt like I wanted one plotline to go away so I could focus more closely on the others.

Veronica does a lot of clever things in this episode, like how she manages to stay in the doctor’s office after hours. Though my parents have a doctor’s office and I don’t think it would be so easy to stay behind in their office.

I also wish Veronica had just a tad more of a concrete reason to believe the teacher was innocent in order to go to bat so heavily for him besides her just wanting him to be innocent. She’s usually not that trusting and is always very skeptical of things so I think she might have tried to help him while also wondering if maybe…the story was true. It had a really good twist at the end though!

What did you think?

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10 Responses

  1. Guess what? I’m caught up! (Actually I’m past this episode because I can’t stop watching!)

    I liked this one, and I think the topic was extremely relevant at the time the episode came out (and is still relevant). I was pretty shocked when you found out that the teacher was guilty, because Veronica’s hope and belief that he was innocent pushed me to want him to be innocent – even despite the evidence to the contrary (what her father showed her, etc.) I knew something was up and that it wasn’t Carrie’s affair, particularly because I don’t actually think anyone involved in an affair with their teacher would act like that in front of their classmates, so I think that helped add to the drama. Since the victim wasn’t present, I assumed there was no victim. (I’m not sure if that was a cop-out or not. I used to think it was a cop-out when clues were withheld when I read the Encyclopedia Brown books as a kid, but I don’t think clues were withheld here. You could still figure out he was guilty, you just couldn’t point to the victim.)

    I love the whole Logan story arc with his mom! I can’t wait to talk about what happens later. It’s my favorite moment so far. One of the show’s best qualities is that the characters always stand up and fight for what they believe, even when everyone is telling them they’re crazy.

    I also liked this episode when you get the reveal that Duncan has epilepsy. (I like Duncan a lot. Time will tell with Logan, I think. He hasn’t revealed his good side enough yet, he’s still too much of a jerk, though I’ve seen a few sparks.) I have epilepsy, and until I got it I never really thought you could be normal and have it, so I thought it was nice to show that, hey, look, a popular, normal (well, not emotionally normal, but seemingly normal) kid has it.

    OK, so that was a long response. I guess I’m excited that this is the first time I can participate in your discussion 🙂 Now I’m going home to watch another episode!

    • Yay! I’m so glad you’re finally joining!

      I agree that it was shocking the teacher was guilty. I guess that’s why I was so thrown off about this mystery. I didn’t expect him to be and I didn’t remember anything about this episode. But yeah, Veronica’s belief definitely adds to the viewer rooting for him to be innocent.

      re: withholding clues. It is one of my mystery pet peeves too. This show usually does a really good job of giving the viewer (and Veronica) what they need to figure it out except we’re missing one piece. But they always give us something that would help us get the last piece. Like here it was the fact that Carrie was all alone at school but in flashbacks she had a bff. Veronica never actually says, “Hey, where’s the BFF?” But they put it out there in case you caught on. I think that’s the real clue here. They could have probably done another one and show Carrie with a non-pink cell phone early on and let that help. There are some episodes though, like the CLASH OF THE TRITONS where they give you the information–no one opened the top locker–but we don’t really see how Veronica connected the guy with the bottom locker to the crime. That could technically be withholding info even though there was plenty of evidence through his actions that he did it.

      I agree with you about the characters always standing up for what they believe in. I think that’s one thing that helps us sympathize with them.

      Team Duncan?! That’s as crazy as being Team Jacob! haha. I guess the thing I don’t like about Duncan is that he’s passive. Veronica says it best, “You stand idly by.” Duncan is just there. He doesn’t do anything. He’s reactive but not active. I find him kind of boring. Logan, on the other hand, will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. I heart Logan so much.

      I agree about the epilepsy. I don’t really remember what it is. I’m sorry you have it and I hope you’re okay!

      • Oh, yeah, I’m fine. I just have normal epilepsy and it’s totally controlled by medication. I don’t have the crazy, fits-of-rage-and-laughter kind (which I’d actually never heard of before but sounds FASCINATING.)

        I wouldn’t say I love Duncan or anything, and I definitely see the vanilla quality that you mentioned. I think he’s just pretty shattered by what happened (or possibly guilty?? We’ll see – 4 episodes left in the season for me!) But Logan has only done a handful of nice things so far. I’m looking forward to seeing how he actually becomes a love interest for Veronica because I so do not see them together right now!

  2. I miss this show….

    I haven’t seen it since it aired and love it!!! They are talking about a movie……. *sighs* That would be nice!!!

    I don’t really remember this episode, but now I want to go out and buy the whole series!! :o)

    And I hated Logan in most of Season One. And it took me a while to warm up to him…

    • Re: I miss this show….

      You definitely should go out and buy the whole series! And watch and discuss.

      I don’t think I hated Logan the entire first season, but definitely in the first few episodes. I think I’d started to like him around this episode the first time I watched.

  3. I just watched the first season of Party Down and it did take me a moment to get over seeing the protagonist as Pedophile Teacher Guy. In the final Kristen Bell guest-stars and asks him out – I don’t know whether she continues to be on the show and they actually date. But it’s quite funny how, in a setting where they both play employees of a catering company, they completely look the same age!

    • I can see how they would look the same age in Party Down–though I do have to commend the casting of VM since I think most of the high schoolers actually look like they’re in high school. As opposed to most shows where 30-year-olds are playing high school students. (Though I am 29 and I still get carded at rated R movies so I get it.)

  4. I’m on a blogging hiatus, but I remembered you were posting about V. Mars and I couldn’t help but to come here immediately after my 3-season marathon.

    I could talk about this show, as a whole, for days, but I’ll keep this short:

    1) I have NO idea how I wasn’t watching this when it first aired. I feel like it was this huge secret that everyone kept from me.

    2) I adore Veronica. Probably my favorite protagonist since TV-show Buffy (and potentially/probably even more likeable, since she’s way less damaged than the slayer, but I could never admit that and betray my first love).

    3) Definitely Team Logan … even though I have this pit in my stomach that tells me something will always get in the way. Duncan always pissed me off or bored me–he was no match for Veronica.

    4) I’m apparently the most gullible person ever, b/c (a) I never saw any clues about the season 1 bad person, and (b) I was so confused in season 2 that I just gave up and went with it.

    5) Speaking of season 2, I totally didn’t buy the mastermind, which made the mystery as a whole just eh for me. I kept waiting for the Bad Person to say, “No really. Your crazy theory is just that–crazy–and here’s what really happened.” (I acknowledge that others disagree with me, and I’ve even seen people mention this as their fav episode. It just wasn’t for me.)

    6) I surprisingly found the mini-dramas in season 3 really enjoyable, and I didn’t hate Veronica and friends all conveniently hanging around Neptune after graduation. (I didn’t hate the new roomies either, and I especially enjoyed the Dean and criminology professor.) It all just … worked. (Although there was a serious lack of Weevil or Wallace screentime. Speaking of which …)

    7) I read somewhere that prior to learning they were getting the boot, Rob Thomas and crew had planned a pretty interesting final episodes arc that was supposed to involve all the key characters. I feel gipped that I missed out on that.

    8) The proposed season 4 plotline was oh-so-wrong. Veronica is the kid half of the dynamic television Mars’ duo, and it wouldn’t be the same w/o him. Plus, come on, Rob Thomas … you built up a ton of tension for season 4 in your season 3 finale. No need to get crazy! (Actually, I sometimes wonder if the less-than-stellar season 4 concept had anything to do with the show’s demise, and then I remember that networks are money-hungry whores, and the show probably just wasn’t pulling in enough Benjamins. Cruel, cruel world.)

    0) I was watching episode 20 of season 3 (at 2 a.m., b/c I’m a junkie), and every few minutes I’d glance at the DVD clock and think, “Oh no! Only 35 minutes left? Only 30? 27?” And etc. and etc. I don’t know if it’s b/c of the re-introduction of season 1 “bad guys” or just b/c it was hitting the end, but everything seemed to go by in a stomach-tensed, nailbiting blur.

    10) There is a hole in my heart the size of one tiny, adorable, lawbreaking blonde, and I don’t know what to do to fill it. (Please tell me there is still some discussion of a movie?? I’ll write letters. Join pickets. Send very-belated Mars bars to the network. Whatever!)

    There is so very much more, but that’s all for now. Sorry for my rambling tangent. I’ll blame it on lack of sleep.

    • 1) I didn’t start watching right away either. It was on at the same time as The Amazing Race and I was in LOVE with Rob and Amber from Survivor who were on that season. My sister forced me to start watching in the middle of the show I think and I would watch via DVR. Or maybe it was video tape back then! I remember having a huge dilemma over whether to watch the TAR finale live or VM because I wanted to know who won but I also equally wanted to know who killed Lilly!!! Good times.

      2) Totally agree about the Buffy/Veronica comparison. I actually think Buffy might be more likable. Buffy is selfless, she will do what it takes to save everyone else. Veronica helps others, but often there’s incentive for her. $$$ Both girls are tough, but since Buffy is slaying demons, her tough girl attitude comes off differently than Veronica’s. That being said, they are both my fave protagonists on TV (with the addition of Angela Chase) and I find them both very sympathetic. (I am currently doing a BUffy marathon at the moment so the comparison is very forefront in my brain!!!)

      3) Boring is the best way to describe Duncan

      4) Season 1 I didn’t see the clues but I wasn’t very good at solving mysteries back then. By season 2, I had the killer figured out very very early in the season. I also figured out the patterns for mystery plotting in the episodes. So I started to look not at the actual clues but personality behavior, and that was how I figured out season 2’s bad guy.

      5) I believe I bought who the mastermind in season 2 was because he was pretty creepy throughout? But I don’t remember exactly.

      6) I wasn’t that into the mini-mystery arcs. I like having one main arc and I think I found some of them not so compelling (like a rape versus a murder–less stakes maybe?) I also didn’t care about the Dean so solving his murder wasn’t that high on my list. I agree the professor was great. And I think I liked the friends???

      7) Ugh, that sucks! I didn’t know that. Boooo.

      8) Did you watch the 20 minute season 4 pilot? It’s actually kind of good. I agree it’s better with Veronica as a kid, btu frankly, I am willing to take anything I can get with her as a character.

      9. I wish I remembered what happens in episode 20 of season 3! 🙁 I don’t remember if I felt that way or not.

      10. I’m sure the movie discussion is probably wishful thinking at this point because it’s been so long, but I hope a reboot could be in the future at some point? Maybe the FBI version?

      Great observations!!!

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