Let me just say, I loved the ending. It hit me viscerally in an awesome way, the kind of way where even though you know what's going to happen, it still affects you differently to actually see it happen. I understand why John Kretchmer is Rob's go-to director.
I think the episode as a whole was a bit...weird. For one, the MOTW wasn't really a MOTW but part of the arc, which was fine, but it makes everything else seem far less important. Like, there seemed to be absolutely no reason for it to have been Logan who won the contest but for the convenience of having the camera around a main character and Woody Goodman for easy access to Keith/Woody scenes. And there was all this relationship angst that seemed so Dawson's Creek-ish, but it wasn't that bad. I mean, it still gets a thumbs up from me, but it wasn't perfect.
So, like I said...Logan wins the contest? Certainly didn't call that. Apparently, he copied it from Easy Rider (continuity!), but I don't even see why the fuck he would even bother entering. That whole plotline made no sense to me.
All right, oh my God: I loved the Felix flashback. John Kretchmer, you are SO. FUCKING. HOT. He matched those goddamn tableaux exactly. Oh, blue flashbacks, how I've missed you!! And Felix! Had dreams of being a trucker! Awww!! Felix is no Lilly Kane, but, still, aww. I mean, maybe this sort of thing would have been better earlier on in the season so that the audience would care more about Felix's death, but I'll take it now since it's here and all. (Also: Ms. James!!)
Veronica's loss in her fight against curiosity was a little too sitcom-ish. I guess I could maybe see Veronica doing that, but my first impression was that Kristen overplayed it. Also, it's sort of cute that Veronica can't do the Shocker properly, and Weevil's response was funny, but I felt it was a distracting in-joke.
I haven't really analyzed it so much, but...why the hell didn't Veronica ask Logan what he remembered about the witness, like, months and months ago? And why does she have so much drive to solve Felix's murder whenever Weevil asks her, but not so much when Logan wants to clear his name? Is it because Weevil actually gives her someone to go after? This Felix murder mystery has been an interesting saga. It's gone from Veronica and Logan to Logan and Weevil to Weevil and Veronica. So Logan doesn't care about the murder as long as it doesn't affect him, which I suppose is in-character, but I think Jason overplayed this whole business too. I think he laid on the asshole a little too thick the entire episode, kind of like Michael in the last episode. None of the "wanting to be a better person" subtext. For that, we have to go to Jackie. Jackie, of all people! But that's later.
Actually, let's go to that now, because I need to save the Felix plot for the end anyway. I'm liking Jackie more these days, and, really, how can you not, when she pulls a Lindsay Weir? I like that she's trying to unbitchify herself, that she's aware of the social perception and she takes it into consideration when bettering herself. It makes her interesting.
But I must say: what the fuck, Wallace. Jane is nice and cute and, apparently, way too good for you, what the hell. Making eyes at Jackie the whole time? Not cool. Randomly kissing Jackie? WAY NOT COOL. Why you playing Jane like that, man? Don't you know it's hard to find San Diego actors who can actually act? Good for Jackie for not just taking him back.
What the fuck, Beaver? Mac is totally adorable. Surely, you want to take a step past first base. Unless you're gay. Or sexually abused. Big Dick and little Beaver can make for some painful times. (Credit for the sexual abuse angle goes to sneaker328.)
I thought Rob was going to get lynched when "Sway" began as a Mac/Beaver song, but then the scene changed. And I still thought he was in trouble when it became a Logan/Gia song. But then, hey, look! Veronica and Logan are both on the screen at the same time during the song! That counts, right? But then...it became a full-fledged Logan/Veronica song what with the dancing, and it was very strange. I didn't expect them to get so close again so soon. I don't know what to make of it. I wonder if the fandom is happy, finally.
(I love Gia. She's such a twit.)
Oh, Woody, Woody, Woody. Why are you so concerned with getting Terrence Cook off the hook? Don't you see that he's taking all the suspicion off you?! Are you a total idiot? And why are you squeezing Logan's bicep?! SQUICKY.
Of course, the only reason we had all this Woody business was to introduce this nifty little DVD. What's awesome about this is that at first, Woody is like, "Keith! Figure this shit out!" And then he clearly took a closer look at it and noticed something totally incriminating, at which point he's like, "Keith! I figured it out! All better! Give me the DVD back! Hope you didn't save the file on your computer or anything, because you totally can't do that with computer files, right?!?!?!" I wonder what's on this DVD and what Keith will find it and who sent it and oooh.
All right, back to the A plot, which was pretty much awesome. Flashback to the Curly beatdown, and we learn that Curly did not rig the bus but he knew who did. Because he was blabbing about his old The Long Haul stunt to people? (Credit for that goes to inigo.) Then we get a good Weevil/Molly scene, with such an "I loved him!" that even the extras in the background react (good job, guys!). And I did not call the truck being a bug, so I loved that little act-out.
"It's the least you could do."/"Oh, I could do less." Hee, clever. And at least Lamb did have a point about the evidence being inadmissible, but in typical Lamb form, it's not enough to make him get off his lazy ass.
I cannot believe they got "Dirty Sanchez?" through the censors. I mean, I totally can, but for God's sake! You'd think they'd be paying a bit more attention by now! It's like a game for the writers, you know! So perfectly done, though. How can they make something so wrong sound so right?
Mmm, plan B. Oh, Weevil. Vengeance shall be yours. This is the kind of wily deviousness I like to see: don't do the deed, have someone else do the deed for you.
The witness? Saw a PCHer kill Felix. IT'S TOTALLY FUCKING CERVANDO. AND HE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO "IDENTIFY" HIM BECAUSE HIS BODY IS FLOATING IN THE FUCKING OCEAN. The fact that he got away on Thumper's bike is circumstantial, and come on, it's obviously not Thumper anyway because there's still no proof. There was no "Aha! We've solved the mystery!" moment.
I hope I didn't miss something. Nobody else saw this episode as confirming that Thumper killed Felix, did they? This isn't just "Cervando killed Felix" clouding my perception? Rob wouldn't wrap up the Felix mystery this early, would he? And he'd make it more obvious, right?
Now, the ending. When Liam tied Thumper up and left him, I was initially confused. Like, they're just going to leave him there? And of course I immediately realized that it was a bathroom in the stadium, which I LOVE THIS SHOW.
And, randomly, Thumper's bike. Who put it there? Who would want to destroy the fucking evidence? DID CERVANDO COME BACK FROM THE DEAD TO KEEP HIS NAME FROM BEING SULLIED?! Why did Woody seem a little gung-ho on destroying the motorcycle? Wait, am I overthinking this? Was it just there because the Fitzpatricks put it there when they took Thumper? But...they took him to the stadium; he didn't drive there on his bike. Why destroy his bike? They made a big deal about this bike, dude. It's a clue, right? It was destroyed for a reason, right? Not just some happy accident?
This, this is why Logan won the essay contest. Granted, they should have done a much better job making it seem worthwhile for the rest of the episode, but they had to have Logan pressing the plunger. They had to have the boy accused of killing Felix sealing the fate of the other boy accused of killing Felix, all because of a plan set in motion by the one person in Neptune who loved Felix the most. There is so much lovely intertwining in that one moment of Logan pushing that plunger down, of Shark stadium going kaboom. Of Thumper hearing explosions and realizing he's done for. It's brutal, and it's cruel, and that is the world of noir, my friend. It is a world that don't take no shit from no one. It is a world where people die, and they die hard.
Weevil confesses his sins, and God, what an ending. Kudos to you, Kretchmer. That's one we'll always remember.