In attendance were cadhla, porpentine, harriettheelf, holly96, and beeker121, all of crashing ivyisgilgamesh's sister's place. First, we had pizza and discussed theatre mishaps throughout the years. Then we watched the Glimore Girls finale and ate cookes brought by holly96 and made by harriettheelf, who also brought snickerdoodles to watch during the Veronica Mars finale. Afterwards, we watched a bit of South Park and discussed comics.
beeker121 gives ridiculously good hugs. The kind you savor afterwards.
I thought last year's finale was action-packed and intense. That was nothing compared to this. Holy Christ. My heart was pounding. My breathing was heavy. I was sweating. That was one hell of a ride. My props to Kretchmer.
From the very beginning, even the previouslies, you could tell they were going all out in this episode, really striving to raise the bar and make the episode stand out. The previouslies were cut together at lightning speed with flashy whooshes between each piece of key information. The transition between Aaron's pose outside the courtroom and the zoom out of his picture in the paper was sweet. There was another stylish transition for the dream sequence, which went on a bit long but was still nice for the alternate reality effect. Lianne! Duncan and Dick being friends! Wallace never even meeting Veronica! Lilly!! The life Veronica could have had.
Graduation! Aw, John Enbom and Phil Klemmer graduated. Heh. And fuck you, Lamb! Weevil was this close. That was sad. And hee to the Veronica/Clemmons scene. Who leaves their passwords on the bottom of their stapler?
"A pony?!" Heeee. Also: Alicia! Who really, really looks better with her old hair.
It's very funny that Woody is watching The Dukes of Hazzard for some reason. But someone needs to tell the foley guy that boxers don't have zippers. I loved that Woody attacked Keith with a stuffed deer head. I also liked that they didn't just make him a creepy child molester but gave him twisted motivations. Yeah, Woody, you cared for them in ways their dads wouldn't. WITH YOUR PENIS.
Most everyone had figured out that the titular "Not Pictured" was none other than Cassidy Casablancas, but Veronica is so surprised that she goes all Vertigo on us. And in the space of a millisecond makes the leap from "Beaver was molested by Woody" to "Beaver crashed the bus to kill Peter and Marcos and thus keep them from exposing him." Veronica, you took a tiny step, and there conclusions were, but God, do you have a good sense of direction.
And now it's a race against time, for the fact that Beaver killed a busload of kids to protect himself means that he will kill Mac...for no reason whatsoever. I mean, yeah, I wouldn't want my friends hanging out with a mass murderer either, but does Veronica have any reason to suspect that she's in any immediate danger? She's been with Beaver for a long time before then and been totally safe.
On the way, we get a fucking creepy Aaron/Veronica elevator scene in which Aaron unequivocally states that he killed Lilly with a vorpal ashtray (so how did they get Lilly's blood on the Oscar? Ah, well), so no more doubt, reasonable or otherwise!''
And then we get to the climactic rooftop scene full of Veronica exposition over blue flashbacks, and this is where the episode makes or breaks itself, pretty much. Now, the prevailing suspect in fandom has been Beaver for months now, I think (props to ladydisdain225, who I thought was off her rocker when she first presented the theory), and people have made such convincing arguments (eirefaerie in particular) that I was actually going to be disappointed if it wasn't Beaver, because he worked so well.
Now, I think they took him way, way too far. Present-day Beaver went from cute to psychopath in two seconds, which was something I complained about last year. Eventually, I made my peace with Aaron's behavior as that of someone who had been backed into a corner and had to act to defend himself. I think it will take more to make my peace with Beaver's behavior because for most of the rooftop scene, he was downright eeeeeevil. Kyle played it well and convincingly, that's for sure, but it didn't feel right for the character. I mean, for starters, why the bloody fuck was he carrying a gun to the post-graduation party?
And then let's talk about the Beaver of the past, the one we never really saw until now. The Beaver who was hesitant to go public with Woody's perversion notwithstanding; that was very much in-character. I liked that the editing out of his own voice served the dual purpose of keeping his anonymity and eliminating a dissenting voice, which would rather weaken the "kill incorporation or else" message. But what of this other Beaver, so ruthless that he would accrue such collateral casualties to silence two single voices? That he would run a man over and ram his body off a cliff? Even when I agreed with the Beaver theories, I never thought he killed Curly. I suppose that once you engineer a bus crash, you have to kill anyone who would rat you out. And speaking of, we never did find out who put the rat on the bus, did we? Hello, spy pen! Wait, no, Sally is the spy pen. No, Grace Manning is the spy pen! There are probably more spy pens I'm not thinking of. Anyway, very cool that the Hart appearance last week was not just for shits and giggles, and I'll bet the writers are damn glad they had him making a war movie last season because that plot point wouldn't have worked in a romantic comedy. Unless it was called, like, Blow Up My Love.
As if making Beaver a remorseless killer weren't enough, he also turns out to be a frickin' rapist. Again, too far, farther than I imagined when I agreed that Beaver was the best candidate for the bus crash culprit. And it really doesn't sit well with me because, as I said to jeeperstseepers feared this very development (and may I say, it was both strange and strangely gratifying to see so many people's theories be spot-on...unless it was because everyone was influence by spoilers, in which case I hate you fucking whores), I really don't like messing with Beaver in ATTTD because I doubt the writers had any idea about his possible molestation. I don't like going back and rewriting text we've already seen when that text would not be that way had the writers had the information they're rewriting with back then. You can never see the text the same way again. And the thing is, this was completely unnecessary. Beaver crashed the bus! The mystery is solved! What reason is there to throw this into the pot? Take the chlamydia out of the equation and nothing is affected. I have this feeling the writers were trying to make it up to the people who weren't happy with the ATTTD resolution of a not-rape. You want Veronica to have been raped? Well, here you go! And if you're particularly malicious, you can consider her to have been raped twice. (Me, I think Veronica and Duncan were both victims of circumstance.) I don't see the reason for this. It makes people think he raped Mac ("He took everything from me."). The only saving grace is that it keeps the chlamydia plot from revealing that Meg slept with Lucky.
I think Rob and the writers overcompensated in keeping suspicion away from Beaver. I can hardly reconcile the psychotic Beaver on the rooftop with the Beaver we've seen all season. I feel like they deliberately hid the subtext. I'm not saying it came completely out of left field because the boy clearly had issues, and he wasn't all sweetness and light. I do think they reworked his character for the second season from how they played him at the end of the first season (note that "Leave It to Beaver" was kicked off by Beaver's revealing a secret he had sworn to take to the grave, and "Not Pictured" reveals that he had a Secret of his own), but that's understandable, given that he was introduced late.
Why hadn't Beaver tried to kill Woody until now? I still can't figure everything out. But, look, explosion in the sky! Man, they're blowing all their budget here. And I will say that we did fear Keith may have died. Yes, we denied it because we never saw Keith get on the plane, but the intensity of the episode and the depths of darkness they were plunging into made it seem like all fucking bets were off.
Tasering Veronica is not cool! Shooting at Logan is kind of cool! I think he should have gotten shot. Wounded, that is.
And then Veronica's pointing a gun! It's the S1 finale all over again! And she thinks her dad is dead, and boy oh boy is she ready to pull that trigger, and holy shit, Logan is doing that thing where you tell the trigger-happy marshmallow that she's not that kind of person, and oh my God, he's going to shoot him for her, isn't he.
But no. Beaver now has nothing to live for. "My name is Cassidy," he says, and that there, that vulnerability is what was missing from the rest of the rooftop confrontation. That is such an essential part of his character, and it's what greys him up, even now. And he falls, a lonely angel.
Keith's alive! We cheered. "I love you so much!" It's the S1 finale all over again! I swear, Kristen gave the exact same delivery of that line as she did last year. And how fucking awesome is it that Lamb's enormous ego saved Keith's life?
And aaaah! Real Echolls! Who of course would watch one of his own movies. As he is executed by CLARENCE FUCKING WIEDMAN. Cheers all around.
And then...Duncan! IN AUSTRALIA! Rob said the finale would span continents! And...oh my God! Duncan ordered the hit! "Duncan, you rule!" I shouted at the TV. "You're totally awesome!" Others agreed that he had just redeemed himself. He loves his dead sister so much. And I didn't even pick up on the meta the first time, but haaaa, "CW?" DK would call him that. "It's a done deal." It better be!
Blah blah blah Jackie and Wallace. Although I think they ended Jackie's story nicely. It explained a lot about her character, and it completed her arc. Now...don't come back. Wallace, you can do better. Leave her be. She has a kid. You don't need to be her baby daddy.
Hey, look, Logan and Veronica are magically making out again so that the 'shippers don't have a fit all summer.
Hey, look, Kendall has Marcellus Wallace's soul in a briefcase. Which is enough to make Keith stand up his own daughter at the airport. And...no! That can't be the end! That cannot be the end of the series! I mean, by making Beaver the Ultimate Evil, they wrapped up most of the storylines, but...Keith! Veronica! Physically and perhaps metaphorically separated! No!
So. Overall, I think it was a pretty fantastic episode. It was exhausting, draining, visceral as hell, and I much prefer that to the mehness I've felt after some episodes this season. As a resolution to the season-long mystery, it was flawed, though the pieces were all there. It stayed true to its noir roots with an emphasis on deep, dark secrets and the lengths to which people will go in order to keep them. I think Beaver was a good kid to begin with. But he was driven to do very bad things, which ultimately led to his downfall. Quite literally.
Afterward, we all tried to recover, and I called Rob to leave a message. I let him hear the reaction of the Bay Area FinaleCon, which was a combination of "AAAAAAHH!!!" and "Wow!" I then babbled on about how intense and exciting it was, and I babbled some more about things I can't remember, as is my tendency to do when leaving voicemails. I wanted to babble to raelee next, though, so I ended the message on this note:
"And Cervando killed Felix. Just so you know."