Veronica Mars – Season 3, Episode 3

Entertainment Weekly (a bible for a pop culture geek like me) recently did an article on When Good Shows Go Bad and featured my favourite college detective. At first I was up in arms. How can anyone insult my Veronica? Then I watched the third episode and although I definitely take issue with the title of the article, I have to agree with some of the things that EW’s Jennifer Armstrong wrote about it.Let’s start with what I love about this show. I love watching this show with my wife, Nicole. I’m still so proud of her that while pregnant with my son last year and stuck in bed, she watched Season 1 and caught up to the live airing of season 2 in about 4 days. My son was born the day the finale of Season 2 aired and we watched it together in the hospital. Just as the first scene of this episode started Nicole turns to me and says: “Logan all of a sudden looks too buff, I liked him better scrawny.” Sure enough what is the next line that comes out of Veronica’s mouth, a crack about Logan spending his time weightlifting. It’s this attention to detail that Nicole has with this show that she doesn’t with any other that I like.

The characters and the dialogue generally remain fantastic especially with the secondary characters. It was great to have Weevil back and while it’s too bad he didn’t make it as a detective (loved the exchange between Veronica and Keith of Weevil’s failings as a murderer) I’m sure he will be invaluable to Veronica as the new Wallace “I work in the principal’s office” as the maintenance man on campus with keys to every locked room. I also liked Ed Bagley Jr. as the new dean and hope he’s on more. More Dick Casablancas and Mac too, please.

Here’s what I haven’t liked. While the mystery of the week stories have been entertaining (unlike the EW reporter I liked the sorority infiltration plot because it didn’t have a typically simple ending) but it’s clear these one-off stories have been brought to the foreground in place of the larger mystery arc. On the other hand, I understand if Rob Thomas needs to “dumb it down” a little in the front end of the show in order to secure a full season committment and bring new viewers on board, particularly since last season’s mystery may have been too complex as it unwound over a full season with week gaps. I just hope he starts to throw us in to the deep end a little more.

I also wasn’t crazy about Veronica going stalker on Logan last week. Given what she knows about Logan, is she really surprised that he plays cards in an underground card game? I’m happy she realized it and took the tracer out of his car but have a feeling this isn’t the end of the conflict in their relationship.

Last comment, if they need to take some more detours from the main arc, personally I’d like to see more of her in her criminology class. That’s been one of my favourite scenes to date.

Bottom line: The show is far from bad. In fact it’s still one of my favourites in any given week. Still, I agree that the balance between the layered mystery, complex characterization, breezy dialogue and mysteries of the week seem off.

Avi’s Episode Rating: B

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