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January 25th, 2006


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10:00 pm - Really? You Always Come
I didn't even get to see the episode tonight. Curse you, basketball!

I just realized the plural of "shout-out" is actually "shouts-out." Oh well.

First: if you can, watch the episode again. Nearly everyone who saw the episode in Austin liked it much more the second time.

I think it's a very good episode, for the most part. One thing that struck me, even the first time, is how well paced it is. It's so well paced, in fact, that even though I love Wallace, his scenes seem to slow things down, and they feel out of place. So I began thinking about the purpose of his storyline, and something rather amusing occurred to me: Wallace is running away from his problem. Duncan, on the other hand, is running away with his problem.

For a first-time director, Rob didn't go all crazy and self-indulgent, and there are only a few pieces of directorial flair. There's a nice Hitchcockian wide angle shot of Lamb's office. There's that kind of clunky zoom-in on Veronica right before the reveal. There's my favorite bit, the tracking shot down the border traffic leading to Lamb's car (the music is especially good there too). There're the jump cuts as Lamb leaves the restaurant/bar place. Rob's main signature is the fact that he blew most of his budget on songs.

So. Veronica and Duncan. Time...ahahaha. I just now realized that the "Time to fake the Donut" line is a subtle clue. When you see the episode again, you can see the pieces in motion. You can see all the kids in the background when Veronica and Duncan "break up," and there's this one extra who pulls a Beaveresque exaggerated "Whoa." And you just know he's going to go tell all his friends about the wicked scene he saw. Then you get to Lamb's line, "Ugly breakup, from what I've heard" (emphasis mine). The first time Veronica sets up things with Duncan on her cell phone, I thought, "You idiot! They've got to have your phone tapped!" Even with Xena's explanation at the end, I didn't catch the fact that that was the conversation with the tape recorder. Veronica hands Vinnie a private note knowing he'll open it, and now we know it probably said something like, "Hey, how would you like to make $30,000?" Some pieces of the puzzle I'm still not entirely clear on, though. What exactly did Kendall "buy," and who exactly was that scene supposed to fool? Was it solely for Logan's benefit? Was the money from Celeste's earrings used to pay Vinnie? Did Celeste know anything? Why was Astrid involved at all? Why would you want a ringer for Veronica if the point of faking the breakup was to cast suspicion away from her? Thing is, I think the answers are all probably in there somewhere if you look hard enough. And squint.

I'm not sure what to think of the whole Veronica/Duncan thing. After the last episode, Veronica seemed pretty upset at Duncan, and to have them all lovey-dovey in this episode was rather strange. And I was certain the writers were dropping hints that Duncan had a stronger relationship with Meg than he had or has with Veronica, so his "I love you, I've always loved you" rang false to me. But as cadhla points out in her excellent post regarding S2 characterizations, Duncan needs to believe he loves Veronica. Those crazy kids are so deluded. But their relationship was an important part of both their lives. I wish we'd seen more of it in flashback, though. More of the good times that were just them, boyfriend and girlfriend.

Lamb had a great night. The "Team" "Me" shit was really funny. Sunday night, sadiekate and I were doing it along with the FBI agents. Plus, Lamb got more backstory! He went to school in Texas and played football! I like how we're actually made to root for Lamb, despite the fact that he's a jackass. When choosing between Lamb and Xena, you choose Lamb. And how awesome was that plan? Hiding Duncan in Lamb's trunk? HA. I love that they let the audience figure that part out. They just show you the empty trunk with the water bottles and the release and you're not sure what it means at first and then it clicks. And there's scruffy Duncan, on the run.

Also, oh, shit, this is going to have major repercussions for Keith and Veronica's relationship. It's been building all season, really. He's been trying to keep her from being like him, but it hasn't worked.

Oh, Wallace! Must you have such moral quandaries? One thing that bugged me was that apparently Wallace had determined to stay in Chicago for good, and he wouldn't have come back to Neptune if I Didn't Know What You Did Last Winter. In any case, it's really nice this season to see Wallace getting his own storylines.

Sean's a drug dealer! And I am totally blanking on why Weevil believes Logan's innocent, but I like that they're working together: Weevil wants to find Felix's killer to smack him around, and Logan wants to find Felix's killer so he doesn't go to jail. And aha, Felix was totally in with the Fitzpatricks! And they hired Cervando to kill him! And then rigged the bus to kill Cervando! MWAHAHAHAHA! Okay, I don't know, but clues are fun.

And I kind of like the fortune. True love stories have no endings. How do you parse it? Love stories that are true, or stories of true love? It's perhaps a little sappy, but Veronica and Duncan are sappy. And that's the sort of message that would get you a second chance with the girl you mysteriously broke things off with the first time: the declaration that, wait, no, that wasn't an ending so much as a...not beginning. "Veronica, my days of loving you are certainly coming to a middle."

I was talking to eirefaerie about the episode, and she said that even though she's pretty absolute in her Duncan hatred, she thought it was a great send-off for him. It shows Duncan doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, and that makes him more sympathetic. Plus, it was just mindfuck after mindfuck, and the more she thought about it, the more she loved it.

Now to identify the shout-outs shouts-out shout-outs:

  • Dawson's Creek: Oh, Paula Cole. We didn't want to wait, either.
  • Me: Okay, so when Wallace arrived, we all cheered because we love Wallace. Even I was cheering. As a result, I missed him saying, "Who's this emo girl?" Which was my shout-out.

    See, back in October, Rob e-mailed me under the influence of some of those "paper cuts that felt worse than paper cuts." He felt better later, but I said:

    I was all set to send over a Hug Brigade or engineer some sort of pillow-making project. "Cheer up, emo showrunner," it would have said.

    That was the day he began writing episode 11. Later that day, I received the following e-mail:

    When you hear the emo joke in #11, you can pat yourself on the back. I dropped that in the script today.

    So that is my contribution to the world of Veronica Mars, people. The word emo. It's fitting, I think.
  • Cupid: Look closely at the basketball reports Veronica pulls up when she's looking for Wallace. You'll notice Trevor Hale.
  • TWoP: Veronica's talking on the phone to Duncan's recordings. Behind her are like THREE THOUSAND FLIERS. It took me a few seconds to remember that Rob had told me to look at the fliers. I scanned them all, not seeing anything obvious. Then, like, just to the right of Veronica's head, there it was. A little pink (I think) flier for the Teenage Women of Propriety, which, with capital letters in bubbly style, clearly read, "TWoP." Ahahahahaha. I love that shout-out for the fact that I was there for its unveiling, and we all managed to find it at the same time. There has to be some sort of psychological study done here because we all must have had similar scanning patterns, you know?
  • Lost: The Numbers are on the fortune! Hee. Except why the fuck is there a random comma after 23? You lose, Rick.

    Okay. Well. I guess it's time to sit back and watch the fandom explode.
    Current Mood: busybusy
    Current Music: Juno Reactor - God Is God
  • (28 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

    Comments:


    [User Picture]
    From:amberlynne
    Date:January 26th, 2006 03:06 am (UTC)
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    And I am totally blanking on why Weevil believes Logan's innocent,

    Because even when he had a gun pointed at his crotch, he wouldn't say he killed Felix. ;)
    (Deleted comment)
    [User Picture]
    From:valancy
    Date:January 26th, 2006 03:16 am (UTC)
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    It shows Duncan doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, and that makes him more sympathetic. Plus, it was just mindfuck after mindfuck, and the more she thought about it, the more she loved it.

    yes yes yes!

    For once, Duncan stands up and does something. The Duncan we've seen who, let's face it, could never pick a side, finally did - and that's enough to earn my approval, even if he'll never be my boy.

    *bathes in warm fandom goodness* *G*
    [User Picture]
    From:wisteria_
    Date:January 26th, 2006 03:18 am (UTC)
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    (Reading quick because I'm still on edge from the ep.)

    Ooh, cool catch on the Lost numbers. I'm doing a Wacky Poll right now - am totally cribbing that. With credit, of course. :)
    [User Picture]
    From:beardoggx
    Date:January 26th, 2006 03:32 am (UTC)
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    I thought it was an OK episode.

    Veronica pwned everyone from Lamb(who is easily owned) to even the FBI, but not without heavy costs(her dad's trust in her).

    At least Duncan's finally gone. Duncan and the soapdish on the bathtub was in a neck-and-neck struggle for charisma....and the soapdish won.

    It was quite amusing that Logan and Dick were playing Dead Or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball. I figured that Dick would own that game, pervert that he is.

    Weevil and Logan working together to find the mole in the PCHers was fun.

    Felix and Molly? Who would have thunk it?(Is it just me, or am I the only one here that thinks of Erin Fitzpatrick from Titus when I hear the name "Fitzpatrick"?)

    Episode score: 7 out of 10. Could have been better if Veronica and Duncan had actually broken up.

    UPN is re-airing Donut Run Tuesday night at 9/8pm CT in addition to the weekend repeat.
    [User Picture]
    From:thetheatremouse
    Date:January 26th, 2006 03:33 am (UTC)
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    Unless the comma goes with the mysterious intentional typos game.

    And I parsed it stories of the true variety.

    I Didn't Know What You Did Last Winter worries the hell outta me.
    [User Picture]
    From:raelee
    Date:January 26th, 2006 03:35 am (UTC)
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    I'm not in love with this episode but I don't hate it either. Ahh, so very complicated. In a way, I'm not sure I can ever give a completely unbiased view of it because of seeing it in Austin. And, ya know, I still have some questions about it - very much like your questions.

    But I have a specific question for you - what's the song playing in Mexico at the end?
    [User Picture]
    From:raelee
    Date:January 26th, 2006 05:21 am (UTC)
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    Nevermind my question, I figured it out.

    Adding that I've decided to take the fortune as love stories that are true are those that never having endings. Which, I actually agree with and can apply it to Duncan and Veronica. When you truly love someone, that doesn't go away. It changes and other factors affect it and you may, at some point, no longer be "in love" with that person. But the core love remains and, in that sense, it never has an ending. And, of course, I'm making no sense here I know.
    [User Picture]
    From:foresthouse
    Date:January 26th, 2006 03:42 am (UTC)
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    I fangirl your coolness even though I still haven't watched VM because I am the ultimate loser. *sigh*
    [User Picture]
    From:janedoe4
    Date:January 26th, 2006 04:35 am (UTC)
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    I initially parsed the fortune as "stories that are true members of the 'love' genre..." (i.e. stories that end are not truly 'love stories'). Which makes much less sense in context than either of your readings.
    (Deleted comment)
    [User Picture]
    From:upanashad
    Date:January 26th, 2006 06:16 am (UTC)
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    I agree with you about the pace, I thought it was better tonight than it's been all season. We really need some of that slowness of people interacting and feeling things that I think we've been missing all season. I think Rob did a great job. I can forgive a ton of crazy plot twists because the mood was even and the editing wasn't choppy. I hope he directs more. I need to watch again to catch the camera angles you're talking about. And to get the plot sorted. I just saw it and my mind is reeling a bit. Congrats on the awesome shout-out.
    [User Picture]
    From:zimshan
    Date:January 26th, 2006 06:20 am (UTC)
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    Nearly everyone who saw the episode in Austin liked it much more the second time.


    See this episode is gonna give me headaches. The more times I watch it I love it more, yet at the same time seem to have more and more problems with it. Scripts can't be perfect, right? But this one. I don't know. I simulateously love it and hear NAILS on a chalkboard when I watch it. It's all very complicated.

    It's so well paced, in fact, that even though I love Wallace, his scenes seem to slow things down, and they feel out of place.

    The episode goes by very fast. All three times I've seen it, I think I'm only about two thirdths done and it ends. But yes, Wallace's scenes did seem to slow things down. I'm not liking this storyline. Plus, what is Wallace doing, riding with HUMMER PEOPLE?!?

    One thing that bugged me was that apparently Wallace had determined to stay in Chicago for good, and he wouldn't have come back to Neptune if I Didn't Know What You Did Last Winter.

    Oh, no! That's another problem I have with this episode. Dammit.

    I just now realized that the "Time to fake the Donut" line is a subtle clue.

    Wait. Why exactly would Logan say that line?

    How do you parse it? Love stories that are true, or stories of true love?

    Whoa, it's all ambigious. Go figure.

    So what is with this Teddy law school acceptance deal? Is this really true, or did you just start a horrible rumor that your buddy, Rob, will have to asskick you for?
    [User Picture]
    From:spectralbovine
    Date:January 26th, 2006 06:26 am (UTC)
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    Why exactly would Logan say that line?

    Not a direct clue, but maybe an unintentional wink to the audience.

    So what is with this Teddy law school acceptance deal? Is this really true, or did you just start a horrible rumor that your buddy, Rob, will have to asskick you for?

    I didn't start it! I heard it from someone else; I don't remember who! But he put off law school to try out acting, so it makes sense for him to go do that now that the whole acting thing...didn't really work out for him.
    [User Picture]
    From:dcjensen
    Date:January 26th, 2006 09:26 pm (UTC)
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    I figured it was Logan's crass innuendo that Duncan wasn't enough man for Veronica. Maybe "time to make the donuts" is a euphemism for sex, and "time to fake the donuts" is for faking an orgasm.

    Also? Interesting coincidence: The Duncan Donuts guy who gave us the "Time to make the donuts" line died last christmas eve.
    [User Picture]
    From:jenelope
    Date:January 31st, 2006 01:04 am (UTC)
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    That's exactly what I took it to mean.
    [User Picture]
    From:alliterator
    Date:January 26th, 2006 07:15 am (UTC)
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    Hiding Duncan in Lamb's trunk?
    OMG I TOTALLY DIDN'T GET THAT! To be fair, though, there were some loud people talking behind me while I was watching. And we have a five minute dorm meeting where I had to turn the sound down really low.

    But all in all, I loved it.
    [User Picture]
    From:jenelope
    Date:January 31st, 2006 01:05 am (UTC)
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    Didn't get it either. Not until CB's recap. I'd say I'm usually better about this stuff, but I'm not.
    [User Picture]
    From:ste_noni
    Date:January 26th, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC)
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    Since I had a baby, I've had a really ahrd time with babies on TV. They are such *plot points* and are never dealt with in any way that seems even close to realistic. Now, no one really wants to see all that real, live baby stuff up close, but the handling of the baby bugged me and took me out of the story.

    The other thing that really drive me crazy was that Duncan thought the only option was to run. I can't think of any situation in which he, as the father, would not have custody of the baby. In fact, he would have custody before anyone else and even Meg's parents would have to fight to get custody of their granddaughter and Meg's parents would almost certianly lose.

    The baby stuff I can sort of handwave but the custody issue drove the entire episode and seemed so clearly wrong.

    Still, yay for Rob directing - that part was great.

    [User Picture]
    From:blixie
    Date:January 26th, 2006 06:29 pm (UTC)
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    I can't think of any situation in which he, as the father, would not have custody of the baby.

    Did we have a scene other than Meg's word that legally and scientifically established Duncan is the father? If Meg's a minor and died before putting him on the birth certificate he would have had a hella time forcing the Mannings into a paternity suit/test.

    Teenagers even one's as whipsmart as Veronica panicking makes a ton of sense to me.
    From:wilecoyote
    Date:January 26th, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
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    The Kendall thing, if I read it correctly, was meant to fool everybody and give them a reason for the breakup: "she caught Kendall in Duncan's room!".

    Which is SUCH A RELIEF, you know. One of the things that had me upset during the last few episodes was precisely the Kendall/Duncan fakeout. I was thinking: "Rob Thomas doesn't have enough with the entire fandom hating Duncan as is, he wants to give us even *more* reasons for it???". Now we see that it was all a setup. They just saw through Kendall and used her as part of their ploy! Duncan'NVeronica4EVAHH1!!!1

    Best. Episode. Ever.

    [User Picture]
    From:maka2000
    Date:January 27th, 2006 03:05 am (UTC)
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    Alrighty, catching up on my flist's posts-

    I loved this episode, and I've just seen it the one time. Heh. I thought the story was insanely complex, but that's why I loved it. I'm a mystery novel fan, so this was right up my alley. Yay! And I'm happy RT feels we fans are smart enough to follow the twists and turns he throws at us. Duncan leaving was actually a footnote to the epi for me. I won't miss him, but I didn't feel elated when he left either, (which was weird, since I've been hoping for this day for a looong time.) Other things in the epi kept me far more engaged.

    I like how we're actually made to root for Lamb, despite the fact that he's a jackass. When choosing between Lamb and Xena, you choose Lamb.

    I LOVED the FBI guys, and how they just completely didn't care about Lamb. It tickled me. I'll admit it. I don't root for Lamb, pretty much, ever...though maybe that day will come around eventually, hee. I liked that he was left feeling like a wee little man in the wake of Xena, and I loved that he played right into Veronica's hands. So well done. I can't wait till next week.

    And buck up, I don't think people are overwhelming against this epi. The TWoP epi grade is at an A-, that's still quite excellent.
    [User Picture]
    From:spectralbovine
    Date:January 27th, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
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    Well, the voters spoke with their votes. Everyone else is speaking in long-winded criticisms about how everything sucks, and it's bumming me out. *sigh*
    [User Picture]
    From:mcfeste
    Date:January 27th, 2006 08:52 am (UTC)
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    What exactly did Kendall "buy," and who exactly was that scene supposed to fool? Was it solely for Logan's benefit?

    As for what Kendall was supposed to buy: I think we're meant to understand that Veronica was the only one acting in the scene where she caught Kendall coming out of the shower. Kendall really thought Duncan had invited her there for sex. I think it was mostly solely for Logan's benefit, yeah, but it also gave Duncan and Veronica a tangible jumping-off point for their public break-up scene.

    I enjoyed the episode the first time on Saturday in Austin, but it was so *dense* that I was left confused on a lot of points. The second viewing helped a lot, and now I like it even more.
    [User Picture]
    From:teenes
    Date:January 28th, 2006 07:18 am (UTC)
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    A little pink (I think) flier for the Teenage Women of Propriety, which, with capital letters in bubbly style, clearly read, "TWoP."

    Heh, I actually noticed that and semi-consciously remarked on it, but didn't realize it was deliberate. Just kind of went "huh, TWOP. Weird" and moved on =). That's funny.
    [User Picture]
    From:cerulgalactus
    Date:January 28th, 2006 11:55 am (UTC)
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    So much, do I love this show. So, so much. Rob even out Coen'ed The Coen Brothers. The whole double triple fakeout was so Raising Arizona.....well, not scene for scene, but the only thing I was thinking was that.

    Well done getting the shoutout man. Today you have really arrived, first your name, then dropping lines in the script - at this rate, you'll have a walk-on by seasons end.
    [User Picture]
    From:abrakadabrah
    Date:January 28th, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC)
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    I loved this episode. I thought it was one of the best ones all year - in fact, I haven't really liked much of VM this year. I feel like it has been really trite and tired lately, and this one showed me that there was still some of the original sparkle left.

    I totally rooted for Xena over Lamb, btw.
    [User Picture]
    From:jenelope
    Date:January 31st, 2006 01:09 am (UTC)

    !

    (Link)
    the empty trunk with the water bottles and the release

    And the empty Lunchables containers! Can't forget those!

    Yeah, hi. At least you got to see the episode before Sunday. The only two people who I know could commisserate with me over a basketball preemption and they'd both already seen the episode. And then I had to wait until I got back into town. Poor me!

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