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October 11th, 2006


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12:53 am - Vomit Is the New Mace
You know, somehow, I was spared the Aerie Girls this week. I was actually looking forward to the pain.

Do you come from a land where the good are good and the bad are bad? Where good intentions lead to prizes and bad vibes are clearly labelled? Where assumptions are valid and trust is well placed?

Welcome to Neptune, bitch.

This was a weird episode, I will start off by saying. I wasn't sure how to feel about it. The Hearst scenes were so damn sunny and bright. And I was expecting some actual Startling Revelation by the end. The episode was purportedly pretty awesome, after all. I was done in by my expectations, though, because the episode was not awesome in the way I thought it would be. What made the episode good wasn't something tangible or overt.

The teaser was very, very strange to watch. Because after reading episode thoughts and posts, I'd been hearing the old "Veronica walked in on the rape, and she will feel guilty about not stopping it because she assumed Parker was a big slut like Mac said she was, and that guilt will make her particularly invested in finding the rapist" over and over. And so actually seeing it onscreen felt like déjà vu. Also, overkill. Since I'd been seeing all those thoughts for a week, I didn't really need Veronica and Mac to spell it all out now, but it did work in the context of the scene.

(The pilot callback was awesome. Completely awful and asstastic of Lamb, but totally appropriate. It's always nice to know the writers haven't forgotten things. Although it makes me wonder that since Lamb said that in front of Mac...does Mac know that Veronica was raped? And, dude, does she know that Beaver raped her?)

Someone needs to tell Josh Kramon, however, that they changed the credits music, and his signature lead-out music doesn't mesh as well because the music rises and then immediately plummets, which is bad. He's got to ease us into it now!

Let me hit the Keith plot first. I was surprised that he was already wandering around the desert. I mean, I guess he didn't have the car keys? There was really nowhere else for him to go? At least he used his smarts and laid a spy pen trap for Cormac. Which leads to...Liam! Stepping on his brother's wound EW OW GROSS. So Liam did hire Vinnie to track them because he suspected Cormac would take all the money for himself, which: money! And the Fitzpatricks. Who love each other so, so much that they will shoot family in the head.

So is someone going to die every episode now?

That was a very surreal, otherworldly shot of Keith looking out over the reddish-haze town. And everyone noticed that Keith ended up in KRETCHMER County, right? Very subtle there, John. Very subtle.

Great scene where Keith and Veronica commiserate over their screw-ups and guilt, which is what this episode is about, as I will note later.

I'm glad that the briefcase wasn't just full of cash like we thought it was. It was very smart of Kendall to turn that cash into an expensive painting that neither Cormac nor Liam would recognize. I have to assume that she had cash left over to pay Keith, though. Poor Kendall. Femme fatale forever! And goddamn guilt! Those millions of dollars! To charity, instead of...BUYING VERONICA A PONY.

Aw, Mac and Parker. Mac has seen the error of her ways.

The Stanford Prison Experiment-Lite, despite its awesome guest stars (Neal Schweiber! Shawn Hunter! Homer Simpson!), felt pretty pointless overall and just gave Logan and Wallace something to do. It had a nice resolution, but actually sitting through fifteen scenes of Shawn being a jerk to Neal got pretty repetitive. And then there was, like, zero payoff. Nothing about what they learned from this purportedly "life-changing" experience. In an episode about guilt, we didn't even get to see whether Shawn felt guilty about how he'd acted during the experiment.

And then there was the MOTW, which served double-duty as part of the ongoing rape investigation. I liked that Zeta Theta Beta wasn't actually evil, though one wonders who these FOUR SOURCES were, then.

Dick's appearance was odd because it seemed completely and utterly disconnected from how we last saw him. Chip's appearance, on the other hand, was amusing and appropriate.

So we know Moe isn't the rapist, since he was Veronica's first suspect. I do wonder if Rob will change his formula since we've gotten wise to it. It would be a nice twist now if the villain wasn't someone Veronica never suspected, ever. If she questions the rapist and writes him off, only to discover later that she had been right.

Something of note, however: the other girl with Parker was named Terri WELLS. As in Stacy WELLS, from TROG. Accident? Or a clue? Is she her sister? In any case, she wasn't drunk, so she should have a better recollection of the night, and Veronica better talk to her at some point.

I really, really hate Fern and her gung-ho GREEKS ARE EVIL MEN ARE EVIL ALCOHOL ARE EVIL MY NOSE RINGS MAKE ME SO HARDCORE schtick.

Okay, so what was really good about this episode is the way it hit one of the major themes of the show, about appearances and false assumptions. But, even stronger were the themes of misplaced trust and the power of guilt. What I love was how fucked over the characters were and that Veronica got pwned hardcore. She was rather Chloe Sullivan in this episode with the investigative journalism. But I love that she got wrapped up in this sort of "crusade" that, to the crusaders, is totally cool and righteous, but Veronica wanted no part in. I love that Keith feels responsible for Kendall's death, even though he thought he was helping her. I love that Veronica feels responsible for Parker's rape because she didn't think about helping her. I love that there's this whole bizarre mix of intent/result ratios that just aren't adding up properly because THE WORLD REALLY SUCKS. This all made more sense when I was explaining it to sincerelysummer a couple hours ago, but now it's late and I'm tired.

The episode was not outwardly awesome like Heroes, however, and that worries me with regard to drawing in new viewers. I think they're making the show very, very college instead of high school, and I think that's really cool, but I don't know that it's enough to break the stigma. I don't know anymore, really. I'm not sure what to expect from future episodes, and I guess that's okay. Things are weird.

By the way, I liked Marjorie, so expect her to die in about three episodes.
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: Prodigy - Break and Enter

(61 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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[User Picture]
From:lonesomepioneer
Date:October 11th, 2006 08:12 am (UTC)
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Marjorie was smokin'. I hope she doesn't just fade off the radar now that Veronica's in the doghouse with the ZThBs.

What I didn't get about the scene with V and Parker was why "cause you thought I was a SLUT!" was even on Parker's radar. I mean, we've established that girlfriend has consensual sex, so why should Veronica's assumption that a particular sex act occuring at a given moment was consensual constitute this huge "omg u r a slut and probably asking for it u hoebag" moment? I get blaming Veronica, irrationally, because she could have stopped it, and I get Veronica having a "gah, if only" moment, but I don't get why Veronica should feel she did anything wrong. I certainly wasn't in the habit of busting up other people's rendezvous at my college to ascertain consent.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:October 11th, 2006 08:29 am (UTC)
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Yeah, that was a weird way to lash out. Like, if someone's having sex, you...sort of leave them be. Regardless of how often you think they have sex.

I don't recall hearing the buzzing sound, but if Veronica heard a buzzing sound, then I totally get kicking herself for not making the electric shaver connection and just, you know, checking.
[User Picture]
From:spadada
Date:October 11th, 2006 09:11 am (UTC)
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*waves*

Good thoughts.
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From:sneaker328
Date:October 11th, 2006 11:14 am (UTC)
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I think they're making the show very, very college instead of high school, and I think that's really cool, but I don't know that it's enough to break the stigma.

I dunno. I really enjoyed it. Not every story has to have a Purpose other than entertainment, so I enjoyed the B plot because I'm intrigued by the Wallace/Logan dynamic. As for the college thing, I couldn't help but think watching this that this proves that there *are* rich and interesting stories to tell about college and someone should have told that to the Buffy writers way back when. Maybe they wouldn't have fast-forwarded tweny years and turned all the characters into stuffy old soccer moms.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:October 11th, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
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As for the college thing, I couldn't help but think watching this that this proves that there *are* rich and interesting stories to tell about college and someone should have told that to the Buffy writers way back when.
Oh, I totally agree! I think it's cool that they're really making use of the college setting to tell these stories.
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From:harper47
Date:October 11th, 2006 12:12 pm (UTC)
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I wrote my review before reading yours because I wanted to just post my reactions and I find it interesting that we agreed so strongly on what worked and what didn't. You expressed the theme much better than I could (and I completely agree with you) but it was interesting to see we agreed on which scenes worked and which characters worked. Does this mean you are slowly taking over my brain? Hee, hee.

I too find this episode a bit worrisome as to whether it will draw in or keep any new viewers. I too hope Rob mixes up the "who is the villain" formula a little this time. Sigh - it's hard to be a fan.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 11th, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC)
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I wrote my review before reading yours because I wanted to just post my reactions and I find it interesting that we agreed so strongly on what worked and what didn't. You expressed the theme much better than I could (and I completely agree with you) but it was interesting to see we agreed on which scenes worked and which characters worked. Does this mean you are slowly taking over my brain? Hee, hee.
Hee! Yes, soon, we will be the same person.

Sigh - it's hard to be a fan.
It sure is.
(Deleted comment)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:October 11th, 2006 02:55 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I got those too, which was weird, because they seemed like clips from the actual segments that were supposed to have aired during the show, but...hadn't. Maybe they listened to all our angry e-mails?
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From:athenacqd
Date:October 11th, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC)
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Honestly? I think this episode is way better for new viewers than for long time fans. Personally, I loved it, but I think long time fans are just bitchy about everything now and the show can't do anything right in their eyes so they harp on little things. I think a new viewer wouldn't consider Veronica a narc for what she did, I don't think a new viewer would notice the lack of "dun dun dun" at the end, I don't think a new viewer would think much about Keith giving the money away, rather than to Veronica's education. It's blood money, afterall, and Veronica's education is being covered.

I think a new viewer would see a fun, slightly dark episode about the themes you expressed. I was pleased with the episode. I really liked it, despite all the hype it got.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:October 11th, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC)
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I hope you're right. (I was surprised to hit TWoP and see everyone bitching about Veronica being a narc. I mean, dudes? She found a BOATLOAD of pot. And she was specifically there to do an exposé.)

I don't think a new viewer would think much about Keith giving the money away, rather than to Veronica's education.
That was a joke, by the way. I wasn't really complaining about that part.

Personally, I loved it, but I think long time fans are just bitchy about everything now and the show can't do anything right in their eyes so they harp on little things.
Yeah, we've been in it for so long and have the whole rest of the show to compare it to, so.

I think a new viewer would see a fun, slightly dark episode about the themes you expressed.
Let's hope so.
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From:staygold70
Date:October 11th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC)
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I can't deny that the prison bit was ultimately pointless. But I kinda liked that. I have just no faith in "life changing experiences." I think that the life change generally lasts about 24 hours or until the next time the person is back in his regular routines, whichever comes first.

That's a bit of a theme here too, right?. Cynicism toward the big life changing power of college. Fagan's whole speech about mentoring being the best thing he did in college, now the prison experiment, which turned out to be nothing more than a chance for Wallace and Logan to outsmart each other (with tricks they might have picked up from Veronica, creating a subtle tie back to our lead character).

I like capping off our life-changing moment with Logan streaking through class. His life is apparently quite unchanged.

I predict this episode will age well. In part because I think it's one that we'll go back and watch, and it'll just make us smile. But also, because RT says it was awesome, knowing more than we do. I suspect some of that might be the subtle clues/misdirections that he feels proud for sprinkling in. I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere down the road we realize he put the answer right in front of us in this ep.

Maybe through your great Wells catch.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:October 11th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC)
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Hey, you exist! Hi.

RT says it was awesome, knowing more than we do.
I think, really, he likes the moral grayitude.
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From:maka2000
Date:October 11th, 2006 02:47 pm (UTC)
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I really enjoyed this episode, so I'm surprised there's angst in your post. I've read a bit of angst elsewhere on LJ too, which surprises me. So far, TWoP is way more "Yay my show is back!" then LJ - that's a change.

I thought the dialogue was super sharp this time around - last episode I thought there were several clunker lines, but this episode only 1 that stood out to me - Dick's odd appearance. Maybe he was high and that explains his oddly mellow showing? But other than that, I loved nearly every other interraction on the show. I thought the actors were ontop of their game and the dialogue was snappy and well done.

The Stanford Prison Experiment-Lite, despite its awesome guest stars (Neal Schweiber! Shawn Hunter! Homer Simpson!), felt pretty pointless overall and just gave Logan and Wallace something to do.
See, I was most impressed with the experiment scenes. And I have no problem at all with the idea that a storyline is created so Wallace and Logan have something to do... isn't that what all TV does? Contrive a situation so the characters will have something to do? I loved the dynamic between Ryder Strong and Neal. I think it was supposed to show that Ryder was a bully to begin with, and Neal leaned toward submissive. I thought the wrap up scene with that story rocked! When Neal is in class talking to Wallace, I loved the subtle implication that Ryder had found the perfect guy to take advantage of. I doubt Ryder was actually sick - he just knew he could get Neal to take notes for him. And Wallace's dubious, "I guess" when Neal was trying to excuse what Ryder did to him said so much to me. Neal was in complete denial - so I could see Ryder taking advantage of the him the rest of the semester. I liked that resolve better than some big scene where we see how much everyone was changed or how sorry they were. I don't Ryder was sorry at all, he was being himself. And I loved that Wallace and Logan were themselves pretty much throughout.

Overall, I loved the episode. This felt more like the show I love. So many good things - Lamb being as asshole, Wallace/Logan interraction, Logan snark with some fey thrown in, Veronica eating crow pie, V being snarky with Logan, Keith and Veronica support (which made me tear up, I'll admit). So many good things!

My 1 problem with this episode was the reveal that the den mother had cancer. That felt pat - I'm hoping there'll be more to that sorority though.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 11th, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC)
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And I have no problem at all with the idea that a storyline is created so Wallace and Logan have something to do... isn't that what all TV does?
Heh, yeah. I just didn't feel like it went anywhere.

When Neal is in class talking to Wallace, I loved the subtle implication that Ryder had found the perfect guy to take advantage of.
Ooh. Interesting.
[User Picture]
From:afrocurl
Date:October 11th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
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John was to NOT subtle abotu the county that Keith landed in, but whatever. Egos are egos.

Lamb being an ass was perfect, and I think the reference to the Pilot were there just for Veronica and so that's why they were slightly vague. I think most fans of the show know that Veronica was raped, but Mac could just take that whole conversations as Lamb's being an ass as he usually is.

I agree on the Sociology experiment being sort of pointless, but with Veronica off in the land of floral dresses, Logan and Wallace needed something to do.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 11th, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
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John was to NOT subtle abotu the county that Keith landed in, but whatever. Egos are egos.
Yeah, I guess, it's not like I wouldn't have the inclination to do similar things ("Polter-Cow County"!), but did you SEE that sign? That took a lot of work! Rick would have been all, "Well, I was going to name it Rod County after Rod Rowland...and 'cause his name's short." And Kretchmer's all, "No! KRETCHMER COUNTY!" I like it better when Diane makes Rick molested by Woody Goodman.
[User Picture]
From:sinca
Date:October 11th, 2006 03:38 pm (UTC)
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I liked this episode more than most and I'm agree with staygold75 that it will probably be more important later.

I have to also say that I'm enjoying watching the main mystery play out at a faster clip. Maybe it's just in comparison to last year's molasses mystery but all the clues bandied about (and thanks show, but I didn't need the clue recap at the end) were interesting to me and they left just enough unresolved to make me care about what really happened.

I'm with you - Fern sucks. Her attitude and the actress. Let's make her die instead of the awesome Marjorie.
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From:sinca
Date:October 11th, 2006 03:39 pm (UTC)
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D'oh! staygold70! How embarrassing.
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From:jenelope
Date:October 11th, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
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I think the prisoner experiment accomplished two things very well. One, it put Wallace and Logan on screen together again which is always a good thing. Just as I loved seeing them work together to beat Angie last year, I loved seeing them match wits this year. They seem very similar in terms of intellect and sneakiness. Logan was apparently the ring-leader in knowing who in his group was most likely to break and feeding him misinformation. Likewise, Wallace recognized the weak link in his group and excluded him from his own bit of trickery. While Shawn may have thought he was the leader of the guard group and would be the most likely to get results, his technique was like hitting a penny nail with a sledgehammer. Sure, he'd break Neal, but he wouldn't get what he needed. With the group of prisoners they had, subterfuge was the only possible way to win.

The second thing that the story accomplished is that it proved how successful the experiment was. I believe that Moe had a similar experience to Neal's and that's why he described it as life-changing. Shawn so thoroughly broke Neal that Neal's only remaining thought about the experience was to seek Shawn's approval. The guy spent nearly 48 hours mentally abusing him and yet he thinks he's an okay guy and offers to take notes for him? That's seriously broken. Either that, or Moe was more the Shawn in the scenario and his own behavior so disturbed him that he became a gentle, biscotti-offering tea drinker. Late last night, I was stuck with this half-asleep thought of, "That prisoner experiment Stockholm Syndrome outcome thing was cool, but they should have paired it with I'm blanking on this storyline for parallels." I suspect I was actually thinking of the pilot episode of The Nine, which seems to be working a similar angle.

I wonder where Kendall's body is.

Oh, and I don't think Veronica's pot story was entirely off-base. I don't have much experience in the area, but I'm fairly certain that people who smoke pot for their own medically-related comfort don't have an entire grow room full of five foot tall plants. That was a hell of a lot of pot for one person. Or it seemed like it to me, in my incredibly limited experience.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 11th, 2006 04:40 pm (UTC)
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Hm. Interesting idea about Moe. Moe Moe Moe. What a funny name.
[User Picture]
From:sophia_helix
Date:October 11th, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC)
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I'm still laughing my ass off at HOW MUCH POT they were growing. I guess TV needs to make a point, but no one person could possibly use that much in a year. (You harvest in October... yes, I grew up in NorCal.)

I have an oogy feeling about the show's chances this year. It's sad.
[User Picture]
From:hillridgerpx
Date:October 11th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)

Current topic

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Yet another great episode in the third season has aired. Too bad they aren't doing reruns anymore..because it would be worth a second viewing,just to see the experiment a second time. That was a pretty interesting subplot,well for me anyways...since I didn't attend a college of the scope of "Hearst."

Also enjoyed how they had Mac and Parker talking after the rape,and how the latter was angry [surprise] with Veronica for not investigating what was going on when she got the movie passes for the show. I also did not like who snarky and unsympathetic Lamb was,once he found out Veronica was slightly involved in the rape. I mean come on,even though he is the sheriff,he did not have to liken what Parker went through,to the "crying wolf" scenario that Veronica faced,as our group leader pointed out,or whoever mentioned the connection between both events.

It was rather nice to see how Mac could be there for her roomie,and provide the support she needs,to get through this pain...much like how Ms. Mackenzie has been dealing with her private matters,since she first appeared. It would appear,well to me..that Mac has finally started to heal as well,from what happened to her,at the hands of cassidy.

Perhaps the funniest moment? When Veronica ran into Dick at the "secret party" and she just went overboard on smoozing,even pinching his face into a pucker to shut him up,so he wouldn't blow her cover! I was cracking up when she was at her 'snarkiness',even when she was mentally going over what was going on at the sorority's secret party.

I was kinda shocked when V found out what was really going on at the college,in the secret room..the professor who supplied the marijuana seeds..and how she felt guilty over the scandal that would ensue,if the secret got out.

I was also surprised at how Keith managed to turn the tables on Cormac,thereby allowing Liam to finally catch up and put an end to the matter...I would hate to have to be part of the Fitpatrick family,and be keeping a secret!

Can't wait to see how the rest of the 'mini season' plays out,and what happens after the first mystery is solved
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 11th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)

Re: Current topic

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When Veronica ran into Dick at the "secret party" and she just went overboard on smoozing,even pinching his face into a pucker to shut him up,so he wouldn't blow her cover!
Yeah, that was good because Dick was SO about to blab about what the real Veronica was like, which would not have been good!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 11th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
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Well, I doubt he'll find out. Keith didn't even tell Veronica what happened.
[User Picture]
From:shpyum
Date:October 11th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC)
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Nothing on Earth makes me happier than Shawn Hunter. Except maybe Topanga. I love me some Boy Meets World. It's a sickness, I know.

Um, yeah. I have many actual thoughts on the episode, but they're being overridden by "HEE! Shawn!!!!"


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