Mark Watches ‘Veronica Mars’: S01E15 – Ruskie Business

In the fifteenth episode of the first season of Veronica Mars, THERE ARE A THOUSAND THINGS GOING ON AND EVERYTHING IS SUPER OVERWHELMING. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Veronica Mars.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that there’s only one episode left this season because HOW DID SO MANY THINGS HAPPEN IN ONE SINGLE EPISODE???

  • I cannot believe I didn’t realize that both Logan and Veronica have missing mothers who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. THAT PARALLEL WAS STARING ME RIGHT IN THE FACE THE WHOLE TIME.
  • And I don’t care that I’m being repetitious here, but I’ll say it again: This episode has the first example of Logan showing affection to anyone at all, and I was genuinely shocked by it. He is so abrasive to people, often as a defense mechanism, that I just did not expect him to just be nice. And perhaps this is what’s going to help repair the damaged relationship between him and Veronica, you know? She does a lot here to help him out purely out of empathy, and I think it’s possible that he’ll see he was misguided to blame Veronica for Lilly’s death.
  • Anyway, I’m definitely jumping ahead of myself. Y’all, this episode is ridiculous and too much and HOW IS THIS SHOW REAL. Every single plot thread ties into one another, and the writers have been able to pull off something HUGE with “Ruskie Business.” I mean, making Meg’s little case a vital part of the continuity, tying together the soulmates plot with AN ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING CASE, Logan’s sister, and the horrifying final scene… WHAT HAVE I JUST WITNESSED.
  • It just hit me that I get to finish season one next week. I forgot what it was like to not alternate a show with another. I FEEL LIKE I JUST STARTED VERONICA MARS.
  • So, let’s talk about “Ruskie Business.” I just realized that in the cold open, Duncan teases Veronica about being asked to the dance AND HOLY SH
  • IT, IT WAS HIM PURSUING MEG THE WHOLE TIME JUST PUT ME OUT OF MY MISERY. I love that Meg is back in the show, too, and it’s neat that the writers have kept these seemingly one-off characters in the narrative. That’s really rare for a show like this, you know? I mean, I didn’t think Mac or Deputy Leo would ever show up again, and I’m glad I was wrong.
  • I’d like to vouch my support for the Tom Cruz jokes. They made me laugh.
  • I’d also like to say that as embarrassing as it was to watch Wallace royally mess up his attempt to look at Caz’s cell phone, it was realistic when you thought about it. He’s just not as good at being a super spy like Veronica is. I’d still like more Wallace, though.
  • So, I fell for Katerina’s story super, super hard. In hindsight, I should have been more suspicious. I mean, a Russian bride. She literally tried that, and I bought it, like a fool! Seriously, now that I think about it, it’s kind of creepy to seek out someone who said that they didn’t want a relationship anymore. But Veronica was a bit vulnerable at the time, and she wanted to believe in the idea of putting these two people back together.
  • In that same vein, she helps Logan try to locate his mother after her credit card is used for an expensive suite at a West Hollywood hotel. As I said before, she empathizes with his desire to find her, so she puts aside any ill will she might feel towards him to help. (Though I don’t really think Veronica has ever disliked Logan with the same voracity as Logan dislikes her, so I hesitate to characterize her that way.) It’s awesome? Yeah, it’s awesome to watch.
  • I’ve said this a billion times already, but I’m nonplussed to say it again: Watching Keith and Veronica interact is a dream come true. To get that sort of character development and that sort of loving dynamic in a story like this is beautiful to experience. I watch and read a lot of emotionally devastating things. (This fucking episode counts, and we’ll get to that.) It’s refreshing to me to get a relationship completely based in love and respect, one that these two are willing to fight to keep alive. I’ll have to make the comparison once more, but it’s very much like Tami and Eric Taylor. HIGHEST COMPLIMENTS, AS THE TAYLORS ARE BEAUTIFUL FICTIONAL CREATIONS WHO SHOULD BE FRAMED IN A MUSEUM. NATIONAL TREASURES.
  • Was it distracting that Caz was played by the same actor who played the eldest Taylor kid on Home Improvement? Because that’s literally my only frame of reference for that dude, and I couldn’t get it out of my head.
  • (Not the most ridiculous unfair, obviously, but I needed to share that.)
  • Can we talk about what a good friend Veronica is to the people in “Ruskie Business”? She helps out Meg and Logan while dealing with all of the other complications in her life, and it’s so satisfying to watch. Friends! I love displays of friendship in my fiction! And Meg and Veronica are clearly good friends, and you better believe I’m now invested in Meg/Veronica as a ship. Yep, you can’t take that away from me anymore.
  • But allow me to be serious for a moment about Logan Echolls. It was sad enough to find out that he’d spent all day sitting in the lobby of that hotel, waiting for his mother to come out of the service elevator, and this storyline was already heartbreaking as it was. 
  • I’d seen that Alyson Hannigan’s name was in the opening credit roll, but WHAT THE HELL. Yeah, there she is. As Trina. And good god, she plays one of the Echollses with a frightening sense of self-centered vigor. It was distracting that she was cast as Trina for about ten seconds, and then I suddenly believed she was Logan’s step-sister. I don’t know her full history, but it made sense that she was so crass and insensitive about everything she’d done. She’s an Echolls, you know? And I also think it’s important that Logan is disgusted by her behavior because it demonstrates his growing distaste for what his family has done and how they act. She’s using her dead stepmother’s credit card, poking fun at Logan FOR BEING ABUSED, and BEING A GENERALLY HORRIBLE PERSON.
  • However, it’s Logan’s breakdown that hit me the hardest. That boy – and he seems so much like a heartbroken, disappointed kid once he starts crying – had so much hope that his mother would walk out of that elevator and that he could see her again. Veronica, like me, was just flabbergasted to see such an emotional outpouring from Logan because the dude has basically erected a fortress around himself. I’ve never seen him be this vulnerable before, and it is definitely not okay.
  • Character Development: You Will Be The End of Me, a biography of Mark Oshiro.
  • How about the resolution of that Katerina plot, eh? Oh god, I was actually happy Veronica found Tom. I was happy that Veronica found SOMEONE IN WITNESS PROTECTION AND ALMOST GAVE HIM UP TO THE RUSSIAN MOB
  • Christ, is this show designed to ruined specifically me forever???
  • (Yes, clearly. All things are designed to destroy me.)
  • (Actually, that’s a cleverly disguised compliment to both the folks who made this show a reality and to the many fans I’ve had who are able to discern my taste from reviews and then recommend me awesome things. Y’all are the best.)
  • And then Veronica is crushed my Duncan. Oh, Veronica. I know from experience how hard it is to think you’re over a person, and then you see them happy with someone else, and all those bitter, worthless emotions come back in a rush of jealousy.
  • Okay, so, logistical question: How old is Veronica? And how old is Deputy Leo? Because I don’t actually know, and now I don’t know whether to be weirded out by their possible relationship or not. Isn’t he kind of young to be a deputy? Is Veronica an adult yet? WHY DON’T I KNOW THESE THINGS?
  • Anyway, I just felt so bad for Logan during the dance scene. The guy is clearly a mess of emotions after being disappointed by Trina. I kind of don’t expect to see her again, and I imagine that Logan probably doesn’t want to see her either. He just wants his mother back.
  • That very same emotion inspires Veronica to pursue a lead in BARSTOW. Which is REALLY FAR AWAY, hence the fact that she arrives THE NEXT MORNING. (That was a neat bit of geographical realism, y’all. If she left early the next day, it’s a 2.5 hour trip up to that bizarre city. I have stopped there plenty of times on my way to Las Vegas. It’s… not a place I’d like to visit often.)
  • OH MY GOD THAT FINAL SCENE. First of all, I didn’t want to get my hopes up. What if, like Logan, Veronica placed too much hope in finding her mother? BUT THEN THERE SHE IS. AT THE BAR. SUPER DRUNK. AND WHY IS SHE TELLING VERONICA TO GO AWAY. WHAT’S GOING ON. OH MY GOD WHY IS CLARENCE THERE?!?!?!?! Was Veronica set up??? WHY DOES THIS EPISODE END THERE???
  • Why must you hurt me this way.

The video commission for “Ruskie Business” can be downloaded here for $0.99. In case you missed the announcement, here’s an explanation for why I must start charging for video downloads.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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