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April 12th, 2006


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02:04 am - Many of Them Are Just...Asian
Two matters of pimping before the weekly episode post:

Don't you love the characters on VM? Don't you love blogs? Don't you wish the characters on VM had blogs? Then head over to vm_blog and help the fandom recruit new viewers by combining the power of blogs with the voices of our favorite characters. But spadada has already given me Mr. Wu, so step off, whores.

Don't you love VM? Don't you love podcasts? Don't you wish VM had a podcast? Then check out Neptune Pirate Radio and help the fandom recruit new viewers by combining the power of podcasts with the voices of...some enterprising fans with technological know-how. They're already big in Brazil, folks. Seriously, the first episode is very enjoyable, and I think it will get even better in the future.

That was one cracktastic episode.

Let me make the obligatory, obvious complaint first, however: episode 18 is way too fucking late to be learning about the goddamn bus crash victims. It's way too fucking late for Veronica to suddenly begin being "haunted" by their deaths. This should have been, like, episode 3. I was more of a fan of the first half of the season than some fans, but now that I see the things they've been keeping in their pockets, I'm wishing they'd done a lot of things differently. The audience was supposed to care about the bus crash because Meg was in a coma, but that whole idea was mishandled, and we got a few names here and there, which was cool for a while, but these are the victims, here. These are the kids whose deaths we're supposed to be interested in, the people someone was apparently trying to kill. We should have met them before now. I am sure there are people (like, for instance, Rob) who could make a compelling case for doing it this way, but I think the decision to keep this from us for so long was made before the first half of the season didn't engage the fans as much as Rob thought it would, so there's not much he can do about it now.

That being said, damn. I'm not even sure what to make of all we learned in this episode.

Ms. James! How the hell had we not heard she was coming back? Nice shout-out in the last episode, then, to remind us that she's theoretically still alive. Some people don't buy that Veronica would be so forthcoming to her about the dreams, and...yeah, that's probably true, but Veronica's tone suggests she's not as personally torn up as she was about Lilly, which, duh, we've seen that. The guilt she feels about these dead kids seems like more of a bother than anything else, so she's happy to spill to someone. This episode is about Veronica working out the bus crash mystery in her head, and that's what counselors are there for: they allow you a sounding board so that you can solve your own problems in such a way that you think you actually had some help. Also, a place to make hilarious, finger-snapping "These are the jokes" jokes.

But hold up, hold up. Let's save the important bus crash stuff for the end, as usual. B and C plots, coming right up.

The long-awaited Wallace/Logan subplot is here! Not just one scene, but four or five! And Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is back! Except I don't understand why it's playing the same cutscene we saw before, though there was another one right before it. Is there some sort of Oddworld animated series I don't know about? And did the episode come in short or something? Why spend an entire minute on the same part of the Tinseltown Diaries we've already seen? Was that just for Wallace to feel sympathy for Logan? Oh, poor Logan, he does a bunch of ass-y things and gets burned for it. I was amused, though, that Wallace and Logan have apparently never interacted since the pilot.

Also: "Have you met my fluffer?" Honestly, Standards and Practices just doesn't care anymore. The writers barely have to try.

Okay, one thing I like about this episode that's making it hard to write about is that all the plots were interconnected more strongly than they've been in a while. Characters keep crossing plotlines. I think that's a Diane thing.

And speaking of Diane, how funny is that her last outing was an insanely complicated MOTW, and this week she gives us a very straightforward lack-of-mystery Keith plot? It's like she used up all her twists and turns and needed a break. But it was a fun little diversion and so worth it for the moment he discovers Veronica in the closet and CAN NEVER TRUST HER AGA—oh, whatever. At least Angie got her comeuppance. And the Crime and Punishment test is a shout-out to me because I love that book. (I'm kidding, by the way.)

Blue flashbacks! The interruption of the Logan/Veronica makeout was great. It's cool that they're actually acknowledging that they, you know, used to date. And are we to assume that Lucky helped set the community pool on fire? I'm now forgetting why he was brought up at all. Oh, right, Meg's e-mails.

I loved the visual style of the dreams, the dull colors and scratchy film and general underwater feel. Plus, the world was inside the bus; nothing through the windows looked the least bit real. Then you have the characters wearing awesomely appropriate shirts like "I [heart] Dick Casablancas" and "Baby on Board." Finally, I've always been a fan of the conceit where characters double as another character's subconscious. We see the bus crash victims as Veronica perceives them, and they steer her in directions she wouldn't normally go if she simply thought in her typically linear fashion.

Well, they're also a device to bring the audience up to speed with what Veronica knows. "You already know this because you've read my e-mails." Ouch, did you have to be so obvious about the exposition? I mean, it was in-character with bitchy, pre-crash Meg (MEG!!), but still. Then there was this other message from Rhonda, and how the fuck long has Veronica known about that? I wonder if that whole Betina thing will go anywhere (and Jesus Christ, Dick, you want to fuck someone with the same name as your mom?). There was an act-out on the fact that she wanted to get pregnant, and then...nothing.

Wonder how Wallace knew Rhonda and Natalie? And Natalie looked freakily like Meg at first, but actually she looked like a combination of Meg and Lizzie. I wonder how the finger-in-the-burger plays into it all (and, again, nice job setting up Woody's Burgers in the last episode). The lawsuit seems unconnected to the bus crash.

Did Veronica talk to Marcos at all? I don't recall their having a meaningful interaction, so much, but he was omnipresent due to the Ahoy, Mateys! show, which was a nice touch.

Ah, Peter Ferrer and his yellow fever. Heh. Mr. Wu fucking rocked tonight. His "Many of them are just...Asian" made me laugh myself half-upright. Also, I loved the conversation between Peter and Veronica about how she shouldn't presume to know him from his Internet postings—and did Veronica totally tell Ms. James the goddamn URL for the super-secret gay messageboard? What the hell?—because, well, I know the feeling. And he makes a good point at the end: why was he on the bus at all? Who is "the outing of all outings"? Woody? Terrence? (Props to those who clung to that line as important.)

I'm not sure whether it's lame that the entire episode was just a big shout-out to the Wannabes, but I think it's funny that Amazon doesn't even have the cover. I do have a new suspect for the bus crash now, though: Jennings Crawford.

So, Cervando. I finally get to meet my man Cervando. And it turns out he has THREE FUCKING LAST NAMES.

In "Driver Ed," the article names him Cervando Perez.

Michelle's poster of victims calls him Cervando Esparza.

Veronica in her goddamn dialogue says, "Cervando Luna."

I must say, the real Cervando kind of disappointed me. Bragging about a pair of new jeans? This is not my mysterious murderer of Felix! And...I don't think he is so much, now. They didn't drop any sort of hints, and this would be the opportunity. Unfortunately for me, I think they really did mean for last week to close that case so we could focus on the bus crash.

I liked dream Cervando much better. The one who draws on bus windows and tells Veronica what many people had already figured out: whoever set off the bomb had to be able to see the position of the bus to make sure it would go off the cliff. Because Veronica's always suspicious of Weevil (on even-numbered days; on odd-numbered days, she's suspicious of Logan), Cervando suggests him, but the audience knows better: it's the people in the limo we should be paying attention to. (Speaking of the limo: Big Dick arranged the limo for Dick and Beaver, so the notion that he was planning to kill them for insurance money is ludicrous. Kendall, however...)

That I AM GOD chalkboard freakout was pretty cool, and damn, how much freakier would it have been if Veronica had actually done that in class?

The ending gave me chills for no conceivable reason. It got a visceral reaction by putting the audience in the bus at the time of the crash. A lovely zoom to Rhonda leaving the phone message for Michelle, the message we heard so many episodes ago. The incessant ringing of the cell phone someone called to trigger the bomb. The bus, falling, falling.

And if the fall doesn't kill you, you get to drown.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Postal Service - This Place Is a Prison

(49 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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From:babsonite
Date:April 12th, 2006 06:12 am (UTC)
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Thanks so much for pimping vm_blog P-C!!!!

Wonder how Wallace knew Rhonda and Natalie?
He said that they were always in trouble with Clemmons, and he was an office aid last year, so he saw them a lot.

You give good analysis post.
From:cerulgalactus
Date:April 12th, 2006 06:19 am (UTC)
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Mr Wu? From Deadwood? Cool. Hehehhehehe.
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From:bello_sogno
Date:April 12th, 2006 06:24 am (UTC)
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Did Veronica talk to Marcos at all?
I think he was the last person she spoke to, the one who drew the picture.

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From:spectralbovine
Date:April 12th, 2006 06:30 am (UTC)
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I thought that was Peter.
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From:sadiekate
Date:April 12th, 2006 06:25 am (UTC)
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I'm glad I can count on you to give good analysis. All I've got in my lj is, "My brain hurts!" and lots of semi-ashamed squeeing.
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From:thetheatremouse
Date:April 12th, 2006 06:49 am (UTC)
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You're so good, man. So good.

I'm not sure whether it's lame that the entire episode was just a big shout-out to the Wannabes
They had me totally overthinking it all week (as I do) because, Ooooh, the Rat saw G-d, and whoever blew up the bus put the rat there; so, ooooh whoever the rat saw putting himself (the rat's self) on the bus is the culprit; so, ooooh that must be this G-d to which the title refers.

Yeah, I need to chill. I know.
From:mangopickle
Date:April 12th, 2006 06:54 am (UTC)
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Loved tonight's episode. And how frustrating was the fact that the gay kid on the bus never outright said that Woody was the "outing of all outings" he was on the bus for -- but that they never actually said so in the episode!? Seriously this week and last week have tied everything together very nicely and I'm excited for the conclusion. Rob & co. deserve some major props for withstanding the trials of such a dense plot amid pre-emptions up the wazoo (they should seriously give this show a non-stop treatmeant like 24 because the suspense is so dire.)
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From:truemyth
Date:April 12th, 2006 08:25 am (UTC)
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Then there was this other message from Rhonda, and how the fuck long has Veronica known about that?

I need to watch again but I was pretty sure the Veronica told Ms. James that she heard the second message three days ago, after she talked to Michelle in front on the pictures, and it was hearing it that triggered the nightmares. I'm also assuming that it was soon after that that Veronica went onto the bus. I have to say, if we're supposed to think Veronica investigated the bus sometime before she heard that message - and therefore sometime earlier in the season with no mention - I feel cheated. But I do think it's pretty clear that her sudden need to know kicked in when she started having the creepy dreams.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:April 12th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I think you're right about when she heard the messge, and it makes sense that it would kick off the dreams, but it still feels contrived. This could have easily happened a long time ago.
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From:snoopypez
Date:April 12th, 2006 09:33 am (UTC)
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The ending gave me chills for no conceivable reason. It got a visceral reaction by putting the audience in the bus at the time of the crash. A lovely zoom to Rhonda leaving the phone message for Michelle, the message we heard so many episodes ago. The incessant ringing of the cell phone someone called to trigger the bomb. The bus, falling, falling.

And if the fall doesn't kill you, you get to drown.


That is so perfect. Your post is so insightful and smart, as they all are, while I sit over here with me "Hee! Gay jokes!" crap. ;P
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From:alannaofdoom
Date:April 12th, 2006 11:53 am (UTC)
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Ditto on the loving of the style of the bus dreams. Meg's "Baby on Board" shirt made me giggle like mad. I loved that the bus's... um, atmosphere, I guess? changed with each victim.

See, I hadn't seen the "Tinseltown Diaries" clip in the other episode, so it was new and evilly funny to me, and I can forgive the repetition for the great moment between Logan and Wallace, with Logan trying to be flippant and Wallace making the "Wow, that sucks" face but not turning it off.

The interruption of the Logan/Veronica makeout was great
Glee. Pure glee from me over here. I almost missed the rest of the dialogue in that scene because I was giggling so much.

I finally get to meet my man Cervando. And it turns out he has THREE FUCKING LAST NAMES.
Oh my God THERE ARE THREE CERVANDOS. HE'S A CLONE! Hee.

I was really frustrated by the end at first, I think mostly because I wanted the episode to just never stop. It was jarring, that's for sure, and I definitely like it more in retrospect.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:April 12th, 2006 01:46 pm (UTC)
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Hee. I'm glad you're enjoying the show.
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From:jammer77
Date:April 12th, 2006 12:24 pm (UTC)
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Wow, that was a jam-packed episode. I was wondering what the significance of the jeans is, but, as you say, it seems the Felix plot is wrapped up.
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From:beardoggx
Date:April 12th, 2006 12:45 pm (UTC)
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I left some comments about the episode on my LJ, should anyone want to.

=Let me make the obligatory, obvious complaint first, however: episode 18 is way too fucking late to be learning about the goddamn bus crash victims. It's way too fucking late for Veronica to suddenly begin being "haunted" by their deaths. This should have been, like, episode 3.=

Agreed. The first half would have been the perfect time and it could have been spread out over several episodes.

=The audience was supposed to care about the bus crash because Meg was in a coma, but that whole idea was mishandled, and we got a few names here and there, which was cool for a while, but these are the victims, here. These are the kids whose deaths we're supposed to be interested in, the people someone was apparently trying to kill. We should have met them before now. I am sure there are people (like, for instance, Rob) who could make a compelling case for doing it this way, but I think the decision to keep this from us for so long was made before the first half of the season didn't engage the fans as much as Rob thought it would, so there's not much he can do about it now.

In that regard, I'm doing what Aaron's doing: Blame Duncan!

Ms. James! How the hell had we not heard she was coming back?

Well, I would say we might see more of her since Out of Practice is going bye-bye, but Veronica's going to college next year.

Also: "Have you met my fluffer?" Honestly, Standards and Practices just doesn't care anymore. The writers barely have to try.

Of course S&P don't care anymore. UPN will cease to exist in four months.

=(and Jesus Christ, Dick, you want to fuck someone with the same name as your mom?).

Eww. I would have thought that Beaver would be more likely to do that.

Did Veronica talk to Marcos at all?

In the last dream.

That I AM GOD chalkboard freakout was pretty cool, and damn, how much freakier would it have been if Veronica had actually done that in class?

Big WORD. Me and my younger brother were laughing about that, and thought the exact same thing.

And if the fall doesn't kill you, you get to drown.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Excellent re-cap.
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From:iheartbridges
Date:April 12th, 2006 12:49 pm (UTC)
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This should have been, like, episode 3.
I honestly thought for the first 10 minutes that I had missed something, and that this was a rerun from last fall.

Any chance is has something to do with the night change? I'm assuming no, cause it was probably written and filmed before that came up, but this could have been good for getting new people caught up. Ish.

Who is "the outing of all outings"?
What if the trip to the stadium were the outing? Like, going out somewhere. And it was the outing of all outings, cause it ended in them DEAD!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:April 12th, 2006 01:48 pm (UTC)
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Hee hee hee. Peter's like, "This is going to the best field trip EVER, guys!"

And, no, this has nothing to do with the night change. Just a nice coincidence.
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From:harper47
Date:April 12th, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC)
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Another very enjoyable read and I agree - we should have seen this episode much earlier in the season. Still - a very nicely done episode that had my mind reeling all over the place. Oh and excellent ending to your analysis.

And if the fall doesn't kill you, you get to drown.

Nice, very nice.

My head was whirling but in a good way. The dreams were great and confusing - and they should have been confusing. Veronica's mind is darting all over the place and the kids on the bus are reflecting that. I applaud Diane and Cathy for a nicely written episode.

Loved the Wallace and Logan interaction. Wallace looked past all the Logan bits (the fluffer) and saw inside the snarky wall he keeps up. And he stood up for him to Veronica. Sigh! And you're right - Mr. Wu rocked. VM's background characters are always rocking - they could give an actor's symposium on how to enrich a show by portraying wonderfully layered background characters.




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From:spectralbovine
Date:April 12th, 2006 01:49 pm (UTC)
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Oh and excellent ending to your analysis.

Thanks. I was searching for a good ending, and my man Cervando delivered. Dream Cervando, at least, who is superior to real Cervando.
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From:jeeperstseepers
Date:April 12th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)
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Also: "Have you met my fluffer?" Honestly, Standards and Practices just doesn't care anymore. The writers barely have to try.

"Just because you wiggle your finger doesn't mean Dick's gonna come."
I don't know if that's meant to be quite as filthy as I'm thinking, but based on a certain running theme the naughty lines and gestures on this show have seemed to have...

I have so many things to say about the episode and about things you wrote in your post, but I just don't have the time to formulate it all. Two things, though: I realized after I went to bed last night that I forgot to tell you how much I loved the "Baby on Board" shirt, so I'm glad you mentioned it. Also, at the beginning of the Meg dream, was she talking but without her mouth moving? It was hard to tell with the fuzzy picture and my bad eyes, but if that was the case, I think it's cool. Weird, surreal things like that happen in dreams.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:April 12th, 2006 01:55 pm (UTC)
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I think you're right; it seemed like that to me too.
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From:eirefaerie
Date:April 12th, 2006 01:40 pm (UTC)
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Well, I thought there was a bit of info to support your Cervando killed Felix theory, if only because he talked about how close he was to Liam, winning new jeans off of him, and such. I really like that they made Cervando a smart kid who's bad. Did Beaver want to blow him up? Aah!

It seems like there are about 18 herrings right now, and all but one are red, BUT I CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHICH ONE ISN'T RED!!!
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From:dachelle
Date:April 12th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
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I've always wondered - what color are herrings normally? And what's so special about red ones?

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