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Season 3, Episode 5
"President Evil"

Aired October 31, 2006 on The CW
Recap/Review by Yellowqueen22

Episode Regular Cast: Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls), Percy Daggs III (Wallace Fennel), Francis Capra (Weevil), Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas), Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars), Julie Gonzalo (Parker), Michael Muhney (Sheriff Lamb)

Guest Stars: Ed Begley Jr. (Dean O'Dell), Richard Grieco (Steve), Daran Norris (Cliff)

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Yellowqueen22, moderator of the Neptunesite Forums (swing by there if you haven't already!), is now gracing us with weekly recaps and reviews of VM episodes. WARNING: If you have not seen the episode, spoilers definitely follow.

Short Summary:

After being a victim of an on-campus robbery, Veronica is determined to find the robbers and get back the necklace Lily gave her. Keith gets into some trouble after trying to help the O’Dell’s find their son’s biological father. Wallace gets involved in a cheating scheme on the Hearst campus. Veronica discovers that the man in the ATM photo was Clare’s boyfriend.

Recap:

“You’re going to regret that.”

Veronica waits for Clare after class to question her about the guy in the ATM photo; unfortunately Clare has no idea who the guy is. Veronica notices a logo on the guy’s shirt, but is unable to make out the logo. Using her savvy computer skills, Veronica is able to discover that the logo is for “Camp Waterloo”. Veronica calls “Camp Waterloo” to get a roster of names, phone numbers, and addresses. Veronica shows up at Wang’s house (Asian guy in the ATM photo) after getting the info from “Camp Waterloo”. Wang’s roommate tells Veronica that Wang couldn’t have raped Clare because Clare is his girlfriend.

In sociology class, the teaching assistant takes pleasure in calling on Veronica for an oral presentation. Veronica’s presentation is on the social and economical conditions that lead pre-teens into a life of crime, using her audio-visual aid, Weevil. Weevil is a big hit in class and admits to missing the benefits and thrills of gang life. After class, Weevil notices Veronica is wearing Lily’s necklace, while Veronica notices that Weevil is covered in dry wall dust. The conversation ends when Weevil discovers that Veronica is once again dating Logan and is not happy about it.

Later that night, the on-campus casino (the Benetian) is robbed by a group of men in president masks (ala Point Break). Unfortunately for the bad guys, Veronica is attending the gambling function in order to be a supportive girlfriend to Logan and the bad guys steal Lily’s necklace off Veronica’s neck. Logan shows up while Veronica and others are being held at the casino for questioning by the on campus cops. Sheriff Lamb arrives to investigate the crime, while managing his usual cocky and arrogant demeanor.

After being released from questioning, Veronica waits for Weevil at his apartment and accuses him of holding up the casino. Veronica determines Weevil is the thief because she had just told him about the on-campus casino, he saw Lily’s necklace on Veronica earlier that day, and the guy who held her up was Weevil’s height and weight, was wearing Weevil’s cologne, and was covered in dry wall dust. Weevil is hurt by the accusation and kicks Veronica out of his apartment.

The next evening, Weevil and Logan share a little banter after Weevil finds Logan flirting with a girl on campus. Their adorable banterfest is cut short when Lamb shows up and has Deputy Sacks search Weevil’s car. Sacks finds something that matches the robbery description in Weevil’s car and Lamb takes pleasure in arresting Weevil. Veronica shows up at the station to retrieve her necklace from Weevil. Sheriff Lamb gives her a hard time, does a little robot dance, and tells her that Weevil used one of the stolen credit cards to order pizza delivered to his apartment. Weevil asks Veronica to help prove that it was a frame job.

Veronica goes to the pizza place to find out who placed the order for the pizza on the stolen credit card. With the help of an idolizing Neptune High student, Veronica is able to discover the internet order was placed on a public computer at Hearst College. While trying to figure out who placed the order, Veronica gets gum on her ass after a bratty little girl leaves it there.

One of the maintenance men finds the masks and the fake guns from the robbery in the trash and tells Weevil. Veronica tracks down the fake guns to the film department, only to find that life is imitating art when she sees a film featuring president masked men holding up a convenience store. The film department’s equipment truck, which held the masks and guns, was apparently stolen the week before. Although the on-campus rent-a-cops found the truck and the film equipment, the masks and guns were no longer in the truck. Veronica realizes that the rent-a-cops were the thieves and purposely framed Weevil. Veronica gets the rent-a-cop to admit to the crime on while wearing a wire and the police show up to arrest him. Veronica, after figuring out that the rent-a-cop gave the necklace to his daughter (the bratty gum chewing girl), tears the necklace off her neck.

Elsewhere on the Hearst campus, Wallace is upset to discover he is failing mechanical engineering. One of Wallace’s classmates gives him a number for a tutor in order to convince Wallace to party more and study less. The tutor turns out to be selling the exams and answers for various classes. Wallace purchases the exams and answers for his mechanical engineering class. Wallace finishes his exam early, but something is obviously wrong when the professor looks over the exam and later calls Wallace in for a meeting.

Back at Mars Investigations, Veronica walks in on Dean O’Dell and his wife (Mindy) hiring Keith to track down Mindy’s ex-husband (Steve). Apparently, her son (Jason) is dying of cancer and his father is the only match for a bone marrow transplant. Keith enlists Veronica and Cliff McCormick’s help to get a meeting with the dead beat dad. Steve refuses to help and walks out on a devastated Mindy.

Sheriff Lamb happily brings a Los Angeles detective to question Keith Mars regarding Steve after Steve disappears. Not only is Keith in trouble for impersonating a county employee, but he is also the leading suspect in Steve’s disappearance. Keith discovers that Jason O’Dell was released from the hospital and suspects that the O’Dell’s kidnapped Steve to force a bone marrow transplant. After Keith shows up at his office, Dean O’Dell tells Keith that Mindy is in Mexico with Jason and offers to help track them down. With Cliff’s investigative help Keith learns that Dean O’Dell was leading him on a wild goose chase in order to prevent Keith from finding Mindy and Jason. In the end Jason is saved, Steve comes forward to Sheriff Lamb to clear Keith, and Steve drives away in his newly acquired sports car.

Review:

Snap Judgments & Sharp Words – Is it just me or are Veronica’s detective skills getting a little rusty? First, she makes a snap judgment and accuses Weevil, falling right into the frame job the robbers created. Second, she automatically assumes that the guy in the ATM photo must be the rapist. Third, she only discovers Lily’s necklace when the bratty little girl approaches her car to tell her off. While I realize Veronica isn’t perfect, she is smarter than this. Time and time again, the writers have Veronica accuse Logan and Weevil of any possible evil doing she encounters. While Weevil’s history is full of criminal behavior, Weevil has proved over and over again that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt Veronica, so why is she still all accusatory. On top of that, it really undermines Veronica’s intelligence, as well as her emotional maturity, to make her jump to conclusions so quickly. I realize that Veronica, as soft and lovable as she becomes, is still a prickly porcupine, but does that mean she would honestly accuse Weevil. However, I’m still able to like Veronica and buy this kind of behavior from her because she has shown repeatedly that this is her major character flaw. Veronica has a very hard time trusting people, especially people she lets get close to her. Veronica’s trust issues have been a theme on the show since day one, and I’m glad continuity-wise that she is still dealing with her trust issues.

Creepy Logan = Red Herring – We’ve seen it each season - Logan gets kinda creepy and we are meant to assume he is the bad guy, just as Veronica does. In the end, it always turns out to be a red herring – usually Logan is culpable for some mildly vile act, but is not the bad guy Veronica is looking for. I’m assuming that is the case this season as well. Logan’s actions have been subtly creepy this season – nothing that bops us over the head, but none the less off. In this episode alone Logan’s creepy behavior included: showing up just after the robbery and claiming to have been in class, flirting with another girl, tagging along on Veronica’s investigative work, becoming so darn passive he is barely recognizable as the Logan we love, and continued heavy involvement in the on-campus gambling.

Keith Sub-plots – It seems that the writers decided to go in a different direction with Keith’s involvement this season and I’m not sure if I like it. Instead of making Keith somehow invested in the major mystery and working on it with Veronica, Keith is given his own sub-mysteries to work on. While it’s kind of nice to have Keith doing his own thing and it is interesting to have several mysteries in play at one time, I do miss Keith and Veronica at odds in their investigation of the same mystery or working together on the same mystery. That being said, I’ve found the Keith mysteries to be interesting so far, although I’ve many of them have been left rather open-ended. I’m hoping that the writers have something in store for us that will tie some of these mysteries together and give us closure.

Missing Development – I’ve admitted it quite a few times, the reason I love television shows is for their treatment of character development. This is why I love Veronica Mars – it features richly developed characters, which are drawn with a past, quirks, characteristics, mannerisms, and issues. But more than that, Veronica Mars has always required that its characters learn and grow from episode to episode, and that its characters be accountable for their actions. This season feels a little weaker because it is lacking in this much needed character development. Perhaps the major problem this season is Veronica herself, who seems to only be truly emotionally invested when she becomes worried or jealous over Logan. As I’ve said before, it is hard for us to become emotionally invested in a mystery when Veronica herself seems not to care. Some will argue that Veronica is emotionally invested, since Lily’s necklace had enormous sentimental value, Veronica feels responsible for Parker’s rape, and Veronica was raped herself, and I agree with them that Veronica should be emotionally invested because of those things, but I’m just not feeling it translate on screen.

Quotes:

Veronica: Crimes against women? It’s a hobby.

Clare: I got raped and I paid for the privilege.

Veronica: This is news??? Wow, the prison grapevine blows.

Veronica: Seriously, you blow a hundred grand on a car; I guess you think you can park wherever you want. I wonder if the sense of entitlement came standard.
Dean O’Dell: It did. And while were on the subject of entitlement maybe someday you can parlay your complimentary one hundred thousand dollar education into a lucrative career of your very own.

Veronica: Do you see why he’s the college Dean most frequently burned in effigy?

Veronica: You’re going to regret that.

Logan: I was in class like we talked about. Less gambling, more learning. It was right after you said jump and I asked how high.

Sheriff Lamb: Good work JV, Varsity’s taking the field now, we’ve got it from here.
Logan: With Scotland Yard on the case you’re sure to have that necklace back in no time.

Veronica: I hope you don’t mind, one of the cockroaches let me in.

Veronica: Where’s Lily’s necklace?
Weevil: Someone left a bracelet in my bed last week. Or wait was it a hoop earring?
Veronica: I’m not playing with you.

Weevil: My cologne stinks? So all this play I’ve been getting is from pure sex appeal.

Weevil: I can’t believe you’d think I’d do that… to you. After all we’ve been through.
Veronica: After all we’ve been through can you really blame me?
Weevil: Hey, Backup you can stay, your girl’s gotta go. It’s a wonder you don’t have more friends.

Keith: You remember the job?
Veronica: Pretend to be your receptionist. I just wish I had some life experience to draw from.

Weevil: Hey, Joe College.
Logan: Jose Lunchpail. The living breathing embodiment of the American dream. Punch any clocks lately?
Weevil: You lining up your next girlfriend?

Sheriff Lamb: Whadda you say we do your Miranda rights in harmony this time. I’ll take lead, you take tenor.
Logan: Is it still called déjà vu when something happens more than twice or is that something different? I’ll have to look that up. Ask for cell B, it has the best light.
Sheriff Lamb: Hey good-looking, we’ll be back to pick you up later.

Sheriff Lamb: I don’t understand. You actually believe that the bad guy did it. [Lamb does the robot dance] Does not compute? Does not compute?
Veronica: You must have been fun in the ‘80s.

Veronica: Hello square one. Nice to see you again.

Pop Culture References:

Resident Evil – Video game and movie
En Vogue – Band
The Hills Have Eyes - Movie
Monk – TV Show

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