Thursday, July 04, 2013

Veronica Mars 1x02: "Credit Where Credit's Due"

It's Friday night in Neptune, and Wallace wants to know if there are any parties going down. Veronica, drawing on her own experiences in the popular group, explains to him about the Oh-Niners - the super-rich kids who all live within the prestigious 90909 area code - and their penchant for keeping "undesirables" away from their parties by sending out invitations in code.

We cut to one such beach party in full swing, hosted by Logan Echolls and his new girlfriend, Caitlin Ford - played by Obligatory Celebrity Cameo Paris Hilton, whose acting ranks a notch above a Thunderbirds marionette. Their party is crashed by Weevil and his gang who are pissed that the rich kids have annexed their beach for their own amusement. The two alpha males trade barbs, mainly about how Weevil's grandmother is Logan's family's housekeeper, before the party is crashed a second time by Sheriff Lamb. Yeah, if Sheriff Lamb can figure you out, you might want to rethink the effectiveness of those "secret coded invitations," Oh-Niners.

Weevil thinks he's had the last laugh - until the next day, when his grandmother is arrested for credit card fraud against the Echolls family.

The Mystery: who framed Weevil's grandmother for credit card fraud?

Of course, everyone thinks Weevil really did it - even Veronica, initially. But Weevil's situation reminds Veronica that her own scandalous reputation isn't entirely true to life, either. It certainly helps that a cute new boy named Troy (played by Aaron Ashmore) seems determined to ignore the advice of his popular friends when it comes to getting to know her better.

Upon examination of attendance records (thanks to Wallace's new position as an office aide), Veronica discovers Weevil's innocence just as he's confessing in order to get his granny off the hook - because if you haven't already guessed it, Weevil's a Good Egg. Now Veronica has to work double time to get Weevil out of jail, all the while working on an extra-credit assignment for the school paper that just so happens to involve spending an uncomfortable amount of time sharing a car with her ex, Duncan Kane.

Yeah, this episode has a lot of SHARE SEXUAL TENSION WITH *ALL* THE MALE CHARACTERS for Veronica - flirting with Troy, car trips with Duncan the Ex, deep thoughts with Weevil, and sassy bickering with Logan (oh, just you wait!). It's the episode that launched a Thousand Fanfics.

And yet, this episode is also an examination of loyalty. Not only about Weevil's loyalty to his grandmother or Sheriff Lamb's broken loyalty to Keith Mars, but what it takes to prove or disprove that loyalty. Veronica adores her father (and rightfully so!), but spends time reflecting on how much she lost when she chose to side with her father instead of her friends when he accused Jake Kane of Lilly's murder - what if her father was wrong, after all? And what might her life might have been like if she'd made a different choice?

Whodunnit: Weevil's cousin Chardo ripped off the Echolls in order to impress Caitlin Ford, who's been cheating on Logan with him the whole time. Neither the 09ers nor the PCHers are particularly forgiving folk - Chardo gets (literally and violently) kicked out of the gang, and Caitlin is shunned by the upper echelons of Neptune High society.

Awesome Things:

  • This is the first episode in which we meet the Most Aptly Named Character in the World, Dick Casablancas. 
  • Veronica and Keith teaming up to bamboozle a hotel clerk into handing over credit card information. They are so precious, you guys. 
  • Sheriff Lamb getting schooled by Keith and Veronica - on two separate occasions. 

The Lilly Cane Case Files:

  • While driving back from the assignment, Duncan and Veronica are pulled over and Duncan's car impounded thanks to a number of outstanding unpaid parking tickets incurred by Lilly Kane before her death. Lilly's last ticket was issued when she ran a red light at 6:00 pm on the night of her murder - a full two hours after her official time of death on the report. 

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