Sunday, July 21, 2013

Veronica Mars 1x18: "Weapons of Class Destruction"

The Mystery: Who's making bomb threats against Neptune High?
Veronica and Wallace are forced into an awkward position when they discover their respective single parents are dating. This awkwardness evolves into a full-fledged fight when Veronica casually remarks that their relationship can't last long since her mother's due out of rehab in a matter of weeks.

Smooth, Veronica - biting the hand that steals other students' files for you.

Meanwhile, when Veronica uncovers the school's sudden increase in "fire drills" is due to a rash of bomb threats that have been made against the school, she writes an article about it for the student paper. Veronica's story causes widespread panic, and to make up for her mess, she decides to try and find out who's making the threats.

Most people seem to suspect Norris Clayton, a reformed bully and loner. However, Veronica is more suspicious of his new friend Ben. Veronica doesn't have much time to think on it - she's found advertisements all over the school for a website called KillEmAll.Net - a website that does nothing but display a sinister countdown. But a countdown to what?

Veronica decides to tail Ben, and follows him to a store where she witnesses him buying pounds of fertilizer and a high-powered rifle. A phone call from Logan distracts her and before she knows it, Ben climbs into her car and demands she drive to the Camelot Motel. Ben's about to drag her into his room when BAM! Logan jumps out of freakin' nowhere and goes all white knight on Ben's rapey ass!

Only Ben's not a bomber or a student - he's an undercover ATF agent. The ATF has traced the bomb threats and the KillEmAll website to Norris' IP address, but they need physical evidence of an actual bomb before they can charge him, and if the KillEmAll Countdown is anything to go by, time is running out. Ben needs Veronica's help - Norris has had a crush on her for years, and she can use that to access his house and find actual evidence of bomb-making.

Veronica accepts the mission - reluctantly. When she leaves the motel room, she reunites with Logan, the former jackass who raced across town to rescue her. Impulsively, she kisses him. Before she can walk away, Logan pulls her back and into THE MOST EPIC AND UNEXPECTED MAKEOUT SESSION EVER. Seriously.

Seriously. It is glorious. Especially when they break apart with matching "What the fuck did we just do?" expressions.

Veronica goes on to try and seduce Norris the Unexpectedly Adorable Bomber, but finds nothing. However, the next day Norris is arrested by the ATF and a hundred pounds of fertilizer is found in his car.

Whodunnit: Well, Ben from 21 Jerkoff Street planted the fertilizer in Norris' car when he got tired of waiting for actual evidence - but the charges against Norris are dropped after our heroine publishes her photos of Ben buying that same fertilizer from the store the day before.

No, the actual culprit is Pete Comiskey, a quiet computer nerd who was brutally victimized by Norris back in junior high. He used Norris' unprotected WiFi to send the threats and create the website, knowing they would be traced back to Norris' house. There never was a bomb - only a very angry geek out for vengeance.

Meanwhile, Duncan's been acting cold and rude to Veronica all of a sudden. Logan told him about her Lilly Kane case files, and finally he confronts her on it. It's clear he's furious and hurt and has no idea what happened to Lilly. But he's also terrified Veronica's suspicions might be true: that he killed Lilly by accident during an epileptic episode, blacked out, and his parents covered it up. After all, he has no memory of the three days surrounding Lilly's death. When Veronica doesn't back down or recant her suspicions, Duncan flees - and later goes missing.

Awesome Things:
  • Stripper-Cop Leo saying he'd like to get a good long look at Veronica's bedroom ceiling. Damn, boy. *fans self*
  • The Adorable Suspected Bomber is seriously Adorable. And not a bomber! He just really likes ninja stars!
  • Familiar faces: both Jonathan Taylor Thomas and True Blood's Reverend Newlin make appearances!
  • THE KISS. Nobody saw it coming - at least nobody I was watching this with for the first time. I mean, the clues are all there during the re-watch, but I really enjoyed how the showrunners subtly led up to Logan and Veronica's attraction while still surprising us.
  • Ah, the halcyon days of Ye Olde 2004 - when WiFi was still a "newfangled" invention that people weren't password-protecting yet! 
  • Geena Stafford - this random tertiary character gets an itty bitty mini arc this episode. The perky, peppy substitute Journalism teacher, she gets reprimanded by Van Clemmons when Veronica's bomb threat story goes public. When Veronica finds proof of Norris' innocence, Geena decides to ignore Van Clemmons' advice and run the story - as a result, Norris is cleared of all charges but she gets fired. But she walks out with a smile on her face. 
Less Awesome Things:
  • JTT's awful grunge-mullet. 
  • Veronica and Wallace fighting. 
  • Duncan. Just - okay, I feel for his character in theory. He's just starting to realize he may have killed his own sister and that his parents sent an innocent man to the electric chair in his place. BUT, I'm sorry, the actor playing Duncan is just such a dull clod of play-doh that it's hard to take him seriously in practice. 
The Lilly Kane Case File:
  • Veronica doesn't know if Duncan's aware that he killed Lilly, so she baits him by telling Meg (in front of Duncan) about a wealthy client of her father's who tried to disappear, and all the possible ways he could have done it. That same episode, Duncan goes missing - likely using the very methods Veronica enumerated in front of Meg. 

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