Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): Veronica Mars - "Show Me the Monkey" (season 3, episode 10)

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Veronica Mars - "Show Me the Monkey" (season 3, episode 10)


Welcome to my viewing diary for Veronica Mars. I will cover each TV episode (and eventually the film), several days a week; this will conclude just as the revival (which I will also cover) premieres on Hulu. I have never seen this series before so there will be NO spoilers.

Story (aired on January 23, 2007/written by John Enbom & Robert Hull, story by Robert Hull; directed by Nick Marck): Despite the big ending of "Spit & Eggs," this follow-up slows things down. Six weeks have passed, and the Dean's death has been ruled a suicide but Mindy has her doubts. She frankly acknowledges that at issue is her life insurance payout but also tells Keith that Cyrus wouldn't have gone out like that. When Veronica hears the circumstances - a very cliched note on his computer screen - she's suspicious too; not only does it seem too bland for so colorful a character, it's the exact scenario she described in her "How to Plot to Perfect Murder" paper for Professor Landry's class. What clinches it for Keith though is, sure enough, that bottle of scotch Cyrus was saving for years. It's unopened. Veronica is mostly preoccupied with literal monkey business as some animals have been stolen from a school lab. Pauline Elliot (Linara Washington) is convinced that the animal rights collective P.H.A.T. kidnapped "#24", as he's known (the scientists don't name their test subjects lest they get attached) but ultimately the culprit is her own partner Gil Thomas Pardy (Eric Jungmann) who grew attached and couldn't bear to kill the little creature. Veronica decides to cover for Gil, although she's troubled to hear that it only takes six days for "another one" to arrive. On a more upbeat note, Parker encourages Veronica and Mac to get out there and meet guys with her. Mac lands Bronson Pope (Michael Mitchell), the leader of P.H.A.T. (a group she and Veronica prove themselves to by tricking a right-winger country singer - originally to be played by Ted Nugent!! - into wearing a "Meat is Murder" t-shirt). As for Veronica, after a pep talk from Piz in which they agree about pursuing what you want, she ends up with...Logan.

My Response:
For now Keith is taking the lead on the O'Dell murder while Veronica is in case-of-the-week and, eventually, relationship mode. This is interesting because it means that for the first time in the entire series, Veronica isn't involved with an ongoing mystery. Keith's centrality and the Dean's gambling habit make me wonder if this is the storyline that will finally bring down the Fitzpatricks. The fact that the suicide note is modeled on her paper indicates Veronica will play a role eventually; then again, perhaps the connection is just coincidence. That is a surprisingly mundane premise for her essay - I'd expect more from her! If it isn't a coincidence, who had access to Veronica's work? (Could Hank have left the paper out where Mindy could see it, and if so why would she hire Keith to potentially hunt her down?) The professor is quite dismissive when Keith tries to sidle up to him in a bar, in a wonderful little scene ("I wrote a book too, Keith on profiling - maybe you should read it"). I love how the series cheekily reminds us that Keith is not just a humble private dick in a southern California backwater; he's the celebrated sleuth in a celebrity murder case and a bestselling author. And Logan isn't just some surfer kid drinking beer on the beach, whom a random girl (Chelsea Logan) can hook up with and casually forget the next day. He's Aaron Echolls' kid and she'll be telling this story for years. No wonder he's thrilled when Veronica shows up at his door in the middle of the night. Piz, on the other hand, isn't so thrilled the next morning and Veronica's baffled expression (about the fourth or fifth time she's worn this look) is amusing; somehow the savvy detective can't decode the most blatant crush in the world. As for Logan and Veronica, occasionally it seems like the show itself can't figure out what it wants for these two, but I'm frankly here for the back and forth. These are characters who are about equally as good for each other as they are bad for each other. Fourth time's the charm?

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