In the tenth episode of the first season of Veronica Mars, THIS IS SERIOUSLY ONE OF THE BEST CHRISTMAS EPISODES OF ANY SHOW I HAVE EVER SEEN. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Veronica Mars.
SO GREAT IN EVERY WAY IMAGINABLE.
• Oh my god, Keith and Veronica watching A Year Without Santa Claus while decorating the Christmas tree is just so precious becau –
• OH MY GOD
• THE NAME OF THE MOVIE
• IS A SPOILER FOR THE END OF THE EPISODE
• “AN ECHOLLS FAMILY CHRISTMAS” IS LITERALLY A YEAR WITHOUT SANTA CLAUS
• I JUST REALIZED THAT.
• Okay, I’ve recovered. I think. I don’t know. How great is that segue to Duncan singing “Heat Miser”? It’s brilliant. You know, once we cut over to the card game, I thought it was kind of strange that Weevil was suddenly hanging out with people he didn’t really care about, but I didn’t say anything because I LOVE FRIENDSHIP. However, it ended up being a plot point!
• Oh, what a story. This episode ends up being a fascinating commentary on the culture of the uber-rich people of the 09ers while being a DOUBLE WHODUNNIT. Two mysteries, each one investigated by one member of the Mars family, each case full of multiple possible suspects.
• Can I just imagine that this whole episode is a loving homage to Clue, one of the greatest movies in the history of the world? Yes, this is a good choice.
• Anyway, I adore that this episode doesn’t just make it about the case. There’s so much character development here from nearly every person on the screen. Oh my god, the Echollses! Duncan! Weevil! VERONICA HELP ME.
• But the one thing that surprised me the most was my realization that Logan didn’t make me want to reach through the screen and flick him off a cliff. He is shockingly charming here at times, though I admit I’m still not the biggest fan of him. He’s a bit too crude and cruel for my tastes, which is why I’m thankful for Connor, who FINALLY calls Logan out on his really, really gross racism. (And for the record Logan, “having something against you” doesn’t mean “dislikes your racism.”) Like, I think that’s the main thing keeping me from totally liking him at this point. He’s so consistently jerkish about race and class that I don’t think it’s a joke for him. I’m convinced that he believes a lot of what he says. At the same time, when he puts aside the facade to be casual with Veronica, it shows me that there must be more to this character than I’ve seen so far.
• Honestly, it’s complicated. I know it may seem silly, but just based on these first ten episodes, Logan is the sort of person I wouldn’t ever hang out with in any universe, but I don’t despise him as much as I did in the earlier episodes. I also loved that Duncan took a moment to tell Logan that he’d turned into a jackass more than ever before. It’s true! Granted, what I’ve seen of Logan in the past seemed to suggest that he was always a huge asshole, but Logan needs to hear it from his friends that his behavior can be horribly abrasive.
• One thing the writers have been able to do with all of this, though, is explore the 09er culture at length. It’s so fascinating to get to see it through the eyes of characters like Veronica, Wallace, and Weevil, who are so obviously not a part of it. Even if Veronica once was, I think I’d disagree with Weevil that she fits in perfectly with that crowd. She might have back when she was still in the Kane’s good graces, but I don’t think she’ll ever be allowed back “in” with these people.
• And then, through the case that Keith gets, we see another side to the 09er world, and it’s REALLY SAD. Lynn Echolls is a complicated character, and this only further makes her layered. We know she’s indifferent to her husband’s abuse of Logan, but now we find out she’s ignorant of how unfaithful her husband is. Well, we also have yet another reason to despise every cell in Aaron Echolls’s body. The guy is a creep who doesn’t deserve a bit of his fame and wealth. He takes advantage of his position as a rich white man to exploit and harm everyone around him. Unfortunately, Lynn doesn’t seem to realize that her husband has been taking advantage of her the entire time. I also got the sense that she was denial. That first scene in her house with Keith strongly suggested that she wanted to sweep this all under the rug as quickly as possible. For people like the Echolls family, image is everything. I mean, we’ve seen that before with Aaron at the homeless shelter, so it’s not surprising that Lynn is interested in appearances more than reality.
• Then we’ve got Connor, a disgustingly rich actor who is part of the 09er group but doesn’t fit a lot of the stereotypes. He’s not stingy, he’s not rude to Weevil, and Veronica discovers that he’s not a drug addict like Logan suggest. No, he’s the real thing! And a nice person!
• Which is not the case for Sean Friedrich. BLESSED BE THE EPISODE THAT MAKES THE MOST UNLIKABLE CHARACTER THE REAL THIEF. Oh my god, I didn’t like him at all. I think a special place in hell should be reserved for those who treat workers in the service industry like shit. So I immediately hated Sean for that alone.
• I hadn’t figured out who had committed both crimes in Keith’s and Veronica’s respective cases, so I was SUPER EXCITED to see this all come together. IN THE SAME HOUSE AT THE SAME PART ALL AT THE SAME TIME. God, it was so exciting, y’all, and the writers did not disappoint at all.
• I love the way that the truth is revealed. I love how Veronica tackles each person, one-by-one, to lay their secrets on the table (LIKE A GAME OF POKER, Y’ALL, THE VISUAL METAPHOR IS SO PERFECT), and to wash them free of suspicion. I love that she sits down to wipe these boys clean of their money, hopefully getting enough to buy her father a fantastic Christmas present.
• AND THEN THE ECHOLLS CASE UNRAVELS BEFORE OUR EYES AND OH MY GOD, THIS EPISODE GOES FROM BEING REALLY SWEET AND VICTORIOUS TO PAINFULLY AWKWARD AND HEARTBREAKING.
• OH MY GOD, KEITH KNOWS WHO THE STALKER IS AND THE STALKER IS WALKING AROUND THE PARTY, EYEING AARON, AND YOU JUST KNOW SOMETHING’S GOING TO HAPPEN.
• And not one fucking person guessed that the thing would be VERONICA CONFRONTING JAKE KANE.
• WHICH KEITH SEES
• AND WHICH GOES HORRIBLY BECAUSE CLEARLY, JAKE IS LYING. WHY DOES HE CONFRONT HIS WIFE LIKE THAT? WHAT HAPPENED? WHAT DO THEY KNOW? OH MY GOD, POOR HEARTBROKEN VERONICA
• OH MY GOD, THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE CAROLERS AND AARON ECHOLLS’S BEING STABBED BY HIS STALKER WHILE EVERYONE WATCHES ON IS TOO MUCH.
• WHAT DID THIS SHOW JUST DO TO ME?
The video commission for “An Echolls Family Christmas” can be downloaded right here for just $0.99.
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