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
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.
Okay. Well. I guess it's time to sit back and watch the fandom explode.