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Season 3, Episode 3
"Wichita Linebacker"

Aired October 17, 2006 on The CW
Recap/Review by Yellowqueen22

Episode Regular Cast: Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls), Percy Daggs III (Wallace Fennel), Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas), Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars), Tina Majorino (Mac), Chris Lowell (Piz), Julie Gonzalo (Parker), Michael Muhney (Sheriff Don Lamb)

Guest Stars: Ed Begley Jr. (Dean O'Dell), Lindsey McKeon, Ryan Devlin

CW Episode Description

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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 WARNING: If you have not seen the episode, spoilers definitely follow.

Short Summary:

Veronica helps a football player and his girlfriend find a stolen football playbook, while dealing with her possible expulsion from Hearst College. The feminists continue to speak out against the Hearst serial rapist, while another girl is raped. Veronica lends a helping hand to Weevil to find employment to meet his parole requirements. Meanwhile, Veronica’s untrusting ways lead to LoVe life troubles.

Recap:

“Football – the systematic violation of the Geneva Convention made into a sport.”

The episode opens with Veronica watching football practice while reading about the on-campus rapes and resulting protests – my head is still aching from being hit over the head with the episode’s A & B mysteries in the first few seconds.

It’s the case of the missing playbook and Veronica’s on the prowl. Piz, desperate to get publicity for his band and host his own radio talk show, asks Veronica to help Trish (his new potential radio mentor) and Kurt (her football boyfriend) find the missing playbook. Apparently Kurt was permanently injured, making him a less valuable player, and thus a waste of a good scholarship. First, Veronica tries to create a replacement playbook, but all goes wrong when she’s caught in the act and forced to steal a jock strap. Second, Veronica accuses Larry, Trish’s ex-boyfriend, who hates Kurt and tries to woo Trish back with his painting. However, Veronica changes her mind when she finds no paint marks in Kurt’s bag. Third, Veronica accuses Kurt’s best-friend, Pop, after discovering popcorn in Kurt’s bag, but it turns out that Pop was just stealing some homework. Fourth, Veronica accuses Trish, who stole the playback in order to get Kurt off the football team, but low and behold, someone has stolen the playbook from her. Fifth, Veronica correctly accuses Larry and his roommate, who gave the playbook to the opposing team in order to fix the sports gambling.

Meanwhile, Dean O’Dell threatens to expel Veronica from Hearst College unless she gives up the name of her source regarding the sorority expose from episode 3.2. However, the Dean is preoccupied dealing with the ongoing ramifications of the Hearst rapist, as well as his recently vandalized car. Veronica figures out that the Dean’s stepson crashed the car and then vandalized it in order to cover his own ass – information she uses to prevent the Dean from expelling her and to get Weevil a job.

The Lampoons (publishers of a misogynistic rag) and the Militant Feminists (nude Lilith House protestors) burst into the Dean’s office to argue over a publication that jokingly indicates that they would like to rape the girl in the middle, Claire. The debate continues on air during Piz’s first radio show, but it heats up when the girls get news that Claire was in fact raped.

There is trouble in the LoVe department as Logan and Veronica squabble over differing views of life in college. Things get worse when Veronica runs into Dick, finding out that Logan’s class was cancelled and he didn’t call her. Veronica confronts Logan, but he dismisses it and they plan a “G-rated booty call” in the library. Logan never shows up at the library and Veronica, after using a GPS tracker, finds Logan engaged in some on-campus illegal gambling courtesy of jerky Mercer. Logan is upset by Veronica’s surveillance of him and Veronica is upset by Logan’s brooding secrecy. Things get worse when Veronica mentions Logan’s surfing trip to Mercer, who knows nothing about the surfing – prompting Veronica to install a tracking device in Logan’s car. However, Veronica removes the tracking device after talking to Trish and realizing how crazy she’s been acting. Finally, Logan and Veronica make up with a little G-rated booty call in the library.

After a Weevil-free two episodes, it was a pleasant surprise to finally see his seething angry face. Apparently Weevil plea bargained down from murder to assault, leaving him forced to work in order to satisfy the requirements of his parole. Veronica encourages her Dad to hire Weevil as his new secretary. Weevil does really well on his first stakeout and the boys form a bit of a bond. However, Weevil’s temper gets the better of him on his next stakeout, forcing Keith to fire him. Veronica helps out Weevil by offering him two grand to fix the Dean’s car, which she in turn uses to get Weevil a maintenance job on campus.

Review:

Backseat Mysteries - this episode did a terrible job of keeping me compelled by the mysteries of this season. I’m having a hard time caring about the rape because this episode does not show Veronica concerned about the rape, nor does it show Parker dealing with the rape. Parker and Veronica are the characters that connect the audience to the rape and if we don’t see either of them reacting to the rape, then it is hard to feel invested in the rape as a major season mystery. Beyond that, the missing football playbook was not a terribly compelling mystery. Sure it tied into the whole LoVe squabble well, but as far as mysteries go it was rather lame. The whole episode was spent with Veronica accusing one person after another until she got the right one – converting Veronica from an intelligent and skilled private investigator into a stupidly persistent wannabe.

Love Conquers All – apparently love conquers all this season on Veronica Mars and I’m not just talking about Veronica and Logan patching things up by the end of the episode. LoVe seems to be taking over season three of Veronica Mars – Jason has moved up on the credits, Veronica and Logan are plastered all over the credits together, and now we have an episode where all the mysteries take a back burner to the LoVe squabbles. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of LoVe, but I just wish that everything in the episode could have been as tight as the LoVe plotline.

Where’s Weevil – Weevil’s back and angrier than ever. Weevil has miraculously plea bargained his murder charges down to assault, with no real explanation. As a result, he’s stuck on parole and required to be employed. I’m a little confused by the fact that Weevil is having a hard time finding a job – why wouldn’t he just work as a mechanic since he appears to be so good at it? But I’m not going to complain because his lack of employment allowed Weevil to work at Mars Investigations. Although his employment at MI was brief, it was certainly memorable - Weevil answering the phones with little to no decorum; Weevil’s excitement over the prospect of a stakeout; Weevil’s pleased demeanor when Keith praised his work; and even Weevil’s talk with Veronica about how much he enjoyed working with Keith. All of this makes me hope that Weevil will be back at MI soon.

Overall – although I’m a little frustrated by the easy breezy tone of season three, I’m still enjoying it. Veronica Mars still features clever writing, witty pop culture references, and talented actors. As long as it continues to do so, it will remain one of my favorite shows on the air. This episode will make a whole lot of LoVe fans happy with its huge focus on Logan and Veronica, but the episode was a disappointment to me. While the first two episodes of this season were light to attract a new audience, they still managed to have that Veronica Mars depth and feel, but this episode seemed to miss its mark.

Quotes:

Veronica: Football – the systematic violation of the Geneva Convention made into a sport.

Logan: What is this? Jealous???
Veronica: Jealous would involve piano wire.

Veronica: It’s college – we’re supposed to expand our horizons past video games and binge drinking.

Veronica: That’s what a girl likes to here. “Darling, do all the weird crap you like just don’t be late for the booty call.”

Kurt: Cheerleaders are clever that way.

Dick: Veronica Mars – a modern college girl on the go.
Veronica: Dick Casablancas – Neolithic college boy on the sauce.

Keith: Oh, I don’t know, all those times I arrested him he never struck me as great secretary material. Didn’t he get busted for murder?
Veronica: Assault
Keith: See… so he’s not even a good murderer.

Dean O’Dell: You now have the most colorful disciplinary file in the freshman class.

Larry: Great theory. You are clearly a genius.

Larry: Look, whoever you are, I’m not a criminal mastermind, I’m a painter.

Veronica: It’s free.
Logan: Unlike me, apparently.

Logan: As adorable as it is when you do it to criminals, the surveillance thing is starting to bug.

Logan: And while I appreciate your interest “Big Brother”, I hope…
Veronica: Wow, 1984 reference. Did you read that in weight lifting?
Logan: You know, your Dad was half right. You have a thing for bad boys, but you don’t want to reform them, you just get off on judging them.
Veronica: Which reminds me, can I borrow your copy of a hundred and one brooding comments?
Logan: I only had the cliff notes.

Trish: I went momentarily crazy and it’s going to cost me the guy I love.

Logan: Is this the help desk? Cause I need a little help.
Veronica: Let me guess, you have this pathologically suspicious girlfriend and you hope maybe there’s a guidebook.
Logan: No, it’s more like… what’s beyond pathological?
Veronica: I’m sorry Logan. I spent my formative years watching people while they lied to, cheated on, and betrayed each other. So the trust thing… it doesn’t come naturally. But I’m trying to act unnaturally.

Veronica: Let’s find you that guidebook. Which I think is on the dark, lonely top floor.

Pop Culture References:

Guitar Hero (Video Game)
1984 – George Orwell (Novel)
The Tell-Tale Heart – Edgar Allen Poe (Short Story)
The Transplants (Band)

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