Veronica Mars Season 1, Episode 7 – The Girl Next Door

FIRST OF ALL, I cannot BELIEVE the positive reactions I got to my last blog post about Logan! If that’s what y’all want, you’ve got it! I’ll keep writing those as the show allows for it. I’ve got some ideas cooking that I’ll be sure to break out as I get to the episodes. For now, though, let’s move on to the next episode in the series – The Girl Next Door.

Previously On…

  • It’s been a year since Lilly died!
  • Veronica’s dad was the bungling local sheriff that everyone remembers!
  • Duncan used to be her boyfriend and dumped her without warning!
  • Lianne Mars was seen at the Camelot with Jake Kane!
  • Logan smashes V’s headlights, but V doesn’t want his apology, even though Weevil tells him to apologize to her!

The Play by Play

The episode begins in the dark, with Veronica sitting on the steps at her apartment complex, ambulance lights flashing. In voiceover, she states that she wonders if things in the last week could have gone differently had she not been involved. A man is carried away on a stretch, V holding the gate open for the paramedics. She looks across the complex and sees Mr. Mars talking to the authorities. He makes eye contact with V, and she looks entirely troubled.

The theme song plays. Oooh, this one seems to be quite the mystery!

One week earlier (it says on the screen), V is doing laundry, and she stops to talk to a very upset Jessica Chastain! Who borrowed her Snow Patrol CD! Oh, 2004. JC worries that V can hear she and her boyfriend fighting – they live in the apartment above the Mars fam – and V admits that she can hear them fighting through the ceiling. JC says that her journal is missing, and she thinks her boyfriend stole it. Which… seems pretty trivial, honestly, but she says there’s some pretty private stuff in there. She’s also fairly pregnant – that should be noted. V tries to divert the conversation by picking up JC’s chihuahua, aptly named Killer, and JC asks V to take her to the doctor the next day.

At school, Vice Principal Clemmons stops at Logan’s locker to chat. Specifically, he says, “Can I have a word?” And Logan! Bless him.

Anthropomorphic. All yours, big guy. -Logan

LAUGHING. SO. HARD.

It turns out, Aaron Echolls was going to donate some boots to an auction to raise money for the school, but he hasn’t followed through. VPC is trying to get Logan to remind him. This shines such a spotlight on the fact that no one knows what Logan’s homelife is truly like. [You can read my deep dive into that here!] He gives VPC some sass, but basically, he says he’ll maybe do it. Perhaps. *shrug*

An older lady – who we learn is part of the alumni association – is talking to the journalism teacher about certain alumni. They are honoring the Class of 1979 – 25 years, I suppose, in 2004! The journalism teacher asks V if she’ll help, and she agrees – because her mom was part of the Neptune High Class of ’79. She finds her mom’s senior photo, and you can see where this tale might be headed.

During an English test, the teacher catches Logan and Weevil talking and gives them both zeroes. When Logan makes a smart remark in response – even Weevil is surprised – he gives them both detention. Then he basically tells both Logan and Weevil – IN FRONT OF THE CLASS – that neither of them are going to amount to anything. That’s super unprofessional, unbecoming, and just horrible. Both of those boys in particular get enough of that nonsense outside of school. Sheesh.

Later that day, Logan and Weevil are in detention, and Weevil is going on and on about how Logan was the one who was actually talking and saying rude things, but both of them got detention. Logan tells him to shut it. Then they start playing cards for money, which is OF COURSE when the same teacher walks in and takes their cards. He also gives them a full week of detention, which is… fair, honestly.

At home, V witnesses a fight between JC and her boyfriend. She then wakes up in the middle of the night to a thump and a scream. When she asks him in the morning, Mr. Mars says he didn’t hear anything in the middle of the night. But then V can’t locate JC to go to the doctor appointment that morning. She knocks on the door, and Killer barks and barks, but no one comes. She peeks in through the window and the house is a mess. V keeps trying all day, but she can’t get ahold of JC.

Back at school, V flips through the Class of ’79 yearbook and finds the prom page, where there’s a whole spread for the Prom King and Queen. And who might the Prom King and Queen be? JAKE KANE and LIANNE REYNOLDS. Yep. You read that right. V’s mom and Duncan’s dad were high school sweethearts. I N T E R E S T I N G.

Felix and Weevil are in the bathroom at school, joking around about Weevil and Logan “hanging out” in detention. Felix makes a joke about Lilly and how Weevil “tapped that.” Weevil is not thrilled and snaps at Felix.

In the hallway, V tells Duncan about their parents, and asks if he knew. Duncan gets really weird about it and says no… which obviously means yes. Hmm.

F L A S H B A C K

V gets dumped by Duncan without any warning, and without any reason, at least that she knows of. He just… ghosted her, basically. She confronts Lilly, and she’s confused as well. After a bunch of joking, she says she’ll talk to him about it. /flashback

In detention, the teacher has Logan and Weevil wash his crappy car. Strange detention…

V stops into the store where JC works and talks to her boss. JC didn’t show up to work that day either. Her boss says that JC and The Boyfriend fight like Sid and Nancy. Not a great look.

V then visits the BF at his art studio, where he continues to act like a pompous asshole. He tells V that JC’s mom didn’t know she was pregnant, and that JC runs when she needs to process things. He says HE didn’t hear a thump, and then makes a bad joke about killing JC. Then a lady comes out and gets naked – she’s modeling for him. Sure, sure, buddy. *eye roll*

V is trying to do homework at home later and Killer won’t stop barking. She breaks into JC’s apartment through the window. She doesn’t initially see anything out of the ordinary except for weird art on the walls. But then she finds JC’s phone… and a handgun.

The BF comes home and finds V! Ahh! She tells a mostly-the-truth story about Killer barking, so she couldn’t study. She leaves quickly after he nearly threatens her.

At school the next day, V is helping the Alumni Association lady put together the display for the Class of ’79. The lady confirms that Jake and Lianne were indeed a couple. In fact, they were THE couple. I’m starting to feel gross about this.

F L A S H B A C K

Lilly tells V there’s no hope for her and Duncan and advises V to move on. Lilly is clearly keeping something from V, and she asks V to trust her. /flashback

Next, the teacher makes Logan and Weevil alphabetize his library. They come up with a plan to get back at the teacher… which isn’t exactly what they should be doing, but you know. Alternative minds?

JC’s mom and stepdad show up – the BF says he’ll call if she come back. V gives them her dad’s card, in case they want a PI to help them find her.

The teacher leaves school, and his car is gone. He catches a ride with another teacher back to school the next morning – I guess it’s not that weird for a car to disappear, since he just went with it? Anyway, they arrive back at school the next morning, and he breaks up a group of students from around the flagpole… only to find his car has been put literally around the flagpole. How??

VPC blames Weevil for the car prank, claiming there’s a witness who saw him doing it. Which is def not true, but whatever, it’s not a democracy. He won’t give up his partner in crime and gets expelled.

Duncan and Dick tell Logan at lunch that Weevil got expelled. And Logan seems to be having feelings about this.

JC’s parents tell Mr. Mars about JC, hiring him to figure out what’s going on. Her mom saw a change in her during her senior year, but didn’t know what happened. The stepdad jumps in and said she was just moody. JC eventually took off without finishing high school, following the BF to California. Mr. Mars agrees to try to find her.

BUT Mr. Mars says that V can’t help on the case anymore. He warns her that these things often end badly, and he doesn’t want her to be part of it.

At school the next day, V calls JC’s doctor pretending to be her. Turns out the baby wasn’t the BF’s. I N T E R E S T I N G. Also of note, V has her hair in these half up pigtails that I haven’t seen since probably 2004.

Logan voluntarily goes to VPC’s office to complain that Weevil is getting all the credit for their car prank! He wants credit for his part! VPC is confused and surprised, but then Logan puts his feet up on the desk wearing his dad’s special boots and asks about punishment – to which VPC seems amenable to not expelling him.

V returns to the store where JC worked and asks about JC’s baby’s dad. Her boss suggests that maybe it’s a product of her rape… which surprises V, since she didn’t know anything about JC being raped. He doesn’t know who raped her, and he dismisses V. It’s in this conversation that she realizes her boss stole her journal to try to figure out if she had feelings for him too. But he won’t give it up to V.

V sits outside the store, reading on the hood of her car. JC’s boss sees her. Then Weevil and his crew shows up and starts trashing the store. Eventually, JC’s boss gives up the journal.

The BF and his model friend leave the art studio with two bulging suitcases while Mr. Mars is surveilling them. He follows them to the train station, where he confronts them. But the BF is just dropping off his model friend – he’s not skipping town at all.

VPC has Weevil and Logan paint over graffiti on the school. Logan sees a tattoo that Weevil has of the name Lilly in a heart on his side and he freaks out. Weevil thinks about telling Logan about Lilly… but instead says it’s his sister’s name.

V reads JC’s diary, which leads V to JC. JC agrees to go back and see her parents, but she’s melancholy about it.

Mr. Mars reacts to V finding JC by saying he doesn’t want her to ever be a PI. Lol.

The BF tells JC that she has to deal with her parents at some point. He takes Killer for a walk and leaves them all in the apartment.

V tells Mr. Mars that she still doesn’t trust the BF, but Mr. Mars says that it could be a sign of love that the BF is okay raising someone else’s kid. V figures out it was JC’s stepdad who raped her, and they both hear the fight break out above them. The stepdad lunges at JC, going for the handgun she dropped, and Mr. Mars shoots him in the shoulder through the window. This happened so fast – too fast to be properly climactic, IMO.

And we’re back at the original opening scene. Mr. Mars goes to hug V, and she feels super guilty about getting involved. He comforts her, and that’s the end of the episode.


Episode Mystery

This episode had two totally separate plotlines that we are supposed to be invested in – the first was with Veronica trying to find her neighbor, and then the story of Weevil and Logan and their adventurous detention. The mystery is an easy one – where did Jessica Chastain disappear to? Followed by, who is the father of Jessica Chastain’s baby? Which kind of unraveled the whole thing.

But the other storyline was actually a lot more interesting in a lot of ways. First, the writers are REALLY banking on people being invested in Logan and Weevil. They’ve laid the groundwork, I’ll give them that, but when a show only airs once a week, I’d probably have trouble remembering all the nuance. After last week’s episode, I think it’s safe to say that we (as an audience) have a soft spot for Logan. Even though he’s a jerk a lot of the time. But this episode is where we start to see his humanity. Same for Weevil, in a lot of ways. He’s the leader of a high school motorcycle gang (lol), so he basically messes with people full-time. He and Logan – much like Logan and V – are kind of two sides of the same coin. Maybe that’s why Weevil and V are friends in the show. Anyway, the concept of Logan and Weevil joining forces – and of loving the same fun-loving, shameless girl – is a lot more interesting that where some random neighbor of V’s ran off to, in my opinion.

(Obviously, Jessica Chastain’s story in this episode is incredibly tragic, I would never say otherwise. But we aren’t really invested in her as a character, where I’m fulling into Logan and Weevil at this point.)


Overall Mystery

  • Who killed Lilly?

No progress is made in this episode. But it’s pretty clear that both Logan and Weevil loved her.

  • Who raped V?

Has this even been mentioned since the first episode? It comes back, I promise.

  • Where is Lianne Mars?

Ah. No progress made, but a piece of the puzzle falls in, doesn’t it? Lianne Reynolds and Jake Kane used to be an ITEM. I N T E R E S T I N G.


What Aged Like a Dairy Product

You know, I didn’t notice a lot this episode other than that one weird half-up pigtail hairstyle that V sported in a couple scenes. Otherwise, everything was decently timeless.


What Aged Like a Fine Wine

LOGAN’S SASS. Note to self – when asked for a word, give someone just one word. Anthropomorphic. I’m here for it!


Rating

A reminder of the rating system:

  • Red = I couldn’t even get through this episode because it was so bad
  • Orange = Pushed through, hated everything
  • Yellow = Opposite of enjoyable, but had some bright spots
  • Green = This was mediocre!
  • Blue = A solid episode!
  • Purple = Television at it’s finest, 12/10, must watch repeatedly.

The dueling plots, where I only really cared about one of them, got a little old, but the episode itself was good. I love how many things go on in each one of these episodes. It warms my heart that people loved complicated storytelling so much, because I love it to pieces. I’m giving Season 1, Episode 7 a GREEN rating. Mostly because some people probably cared a lot more about Jessica Chastain’s story than I did. *shrug*

Have a Marshmallowy weekend!

 

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