Mark Watches ‘Veronica Mars’: S03E03 – Witchita Linebacker

In the third episode of the third season of Veronica Mars, Veronica assists a football player who had a secretive playbook stolen from him, and Keith helps Weevil avoid jail time. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Veronica Mars.

Trigger Warning: Lots of talk of rape. I’ll still do warnings for every review, but I’m guessing until this mystery is solved, it’ll appear in every review.

  • It’s pretty satisfying to know that the third season of Veronica Mars is shaping up to be just as complex and layered as the first two, though I admit it’s a little emotionally tiring to be dealing with such a difficult topic for me. Truthfully, I’ve never seen a show address rape as much as this one does, and this season in particular deals with a phenomenon that is, unfortunately, not as uncommon on college campuses as people would like to think.
  • But there’s also WAVE OF WEEVIL FEELS. And there is a lot of really necessary shit between Logan and Veronica that is SO FULFILLING TO WATCH.
  • So! A lot of what we see unfold in this episode revolves around suspicion, especially since Veronica’s story mirrors that of Trish’s. We already knew that Logan was acting a tad bit weird in the previous episode, and “Witchita Linebacker” builds off of it. Logan feels… hmmm. Disconnected? It never seems like his attention is ever fully in the moment when he’s with Veronica, and while I totally get that her mistrust is one of the bigger issues here, we still don’t know why Logan wants to spend so much time away from Veronica. I feel like that isn’t addressed as much? Again, I could be prematurely reading this wrong, I admit that. BUT THIS IS WHAT I DO. I wildly speculate in the hope of not embarrassing myself, which I usually do.
  • We’ve also got our first confirmation of Weevil’s fate since “Not Pictured.” The writers don’t ignore that Weevil has to take responsibility for his role in Thumper’s death, and so we find out that he’s on parole for assault, since that’s what he took a plea bargain for. That car wash owner? He’s real. He’s barely a caricature, and I’ve known too many disgusting men like him who take advantage of ex-cons or people with a criminal record by abusing them outright, knowing that they have to take said abuse or risk losing their job. I worked for one of these assholes and watched him mistreat more employees than I could possibly recall. UGH.
  • Still, I admit that it’s kind of sad to see Weevil in this state. There was so much potential for him to rise above the world he’d grown up in, but at the same time, that’s the only world he knows. He’s familiar with violence. He’s familiar with the powers of his own ego. So I appreciate that despite the complications, Veronica is willing to do Weevil right and help him stay employed and out of jail. I mean, yeah, there’s always been a big part of me that’s wanted to see Veronica and Weevil pair up more than they have on the show, and this episode teased me with a possibility that is COMPLETELY UNFAIR.
  • Eli “Weevil” Navarro, Private Investigator.
  • But this show has to crush my every dream.
  • This episode introduces us to the necessary authority figure at Hearst College: Dean O’Dell. Who is not a replacement for Clemmons at all. (I miss Clemmons so much, y’all.) But right off the bat, the show gives us an idea of how O’Dell and Veronica are going to work with one another, and I LIKE IT. Initially, he’s not all that likable. I mean, he threatens Veronica with expulsion a couple of weeks into the school year if she doesn’t provide him with the source for her article in the Hearst Free Press from the previous episode. THEY’RE CLEARLY OFF TO A GOOD START.
  • Meanwhile, Veronica gets her case of the week: Kurt is missing his playbook, which could get his scholarship revoked, and then Kurt might go on to make Facebook or something.
  • One of the fascinating things about how this season is progressing is the common occurrence of Veronica being slightly off her game. She’s in a new environment, one which the writers have been using quite well so far, and she’s still learning exactly how far she can go in her SHENANIGANS.
  • Which, incidentally, is not that far, given that she’s caught sneaking around Coach Fry’s office in less than a minute. It really is one of the funniest scenes in this episode, but I think it’s a great way for the show to convey the difficulty Veronica is going to have trying to be a private investigator at Hearst College.
  • It’s followed by THE LEAST FUNNY THING EVER, and it demonstrates the toxic environment at Hearst that’s perpetrated by the assholes who run the Lampoon. Turns out the “humor” paper thought it would be great to parody the Lilith House’s protest concerning rape on campus by saying ONLY ONE OF THE LILITH HOUSE MEMBERS WAS WORTHY OF RAPE.
  • I don’t even care if those two doofuses didn’t actually do anything beyond publishing that article. I hate them on principle, and I hope we get a scene this season of Veronica throwing them into a volcano. Y’all, I can’t tolerate people who make rape into a joke. I can’t in any way or in any context and I hate those two little sleezeballs, especially since THEIR JOKE COMES TRUE AT THE END OF THE EPISODE. GAH, THIS IS THE FUCKING ENVIRONMENT YOU’RE CREATING, YOU ASSHOLES. When you minimize the serious nature of rape, when you minimize what the victims feel, when you taunt them for trying to tell the truth, when you turn their attempts to prevent rape into a punchline, YOU MAKE IT EASIER FOR RAPISTS. 
  • Anyway, other things! Mac, Parker, and Wallace all aren’t in this episode, and that made me a little sad, but I have to admit that I thought this still worked quite well without them. And Mac and Parker are off hanging out!!! I LOVE THIS. Of course, I’d rather see it, but it’s nice to know that Mac is keeping her promise.
  • Can we just talk about Veronica’s Godwin moment? I LAUGHED SO HARD. I mean, Larry is fucking insufferable. Oh my god, I met so many assholes like him because you had to go through the art department in order to get to the LBGT group meeting room on my campus, and LARRY ISN’T EVEN A STEREOTYPE. HE’S PROBABLY BASED ENTIRELY ON ONE OF THE GUYS WHO USED TO BLOCK PASSAGEWAYS FOR ART AND THEN CLAIM THAT YOU DIDN’T NEED TO GET BY HIM BECAUSE “true freedom of sexuality comes from a paint brush” AND I WISH I WAS JOKING ABOUT THAT. I’M NOT.
  • Amidst this all, Veronica struggles with her trust for Logan. God, even from watching this show for the past few months, even I can’t help but be suspicious of everyone and everything. I can’t even imagine what this must be like for Veronica, who, as she states at the end of this episode, spent her “formative years” learning how everyone lies and everyone betrays the ones they love. She can’t shake the sensation, so she tracks down Logan using her father’s cell phone tracker. (Was that a real gadget??? Probably not, but IT LOOKED SO COOL.)
  • Unfortunately, not only does this upset Logan, but then I have to meet Mercer Hayes. Look, I don’t want to scare people away from college. My freshman year was one of my favorite years of my entire life, and I think it’s an incredible experience that everyone should have the joy of going through. But people like Mercer? They are everywhere. Straight white men with money and some modicum of success who believe that God just spat them out on earth to lord over everyone and everything. If Aaron Echolls was privilege personified in season two, here’s his counterpart. My god, I HATE HIM.
  • I hate a lot of people this season.
  • I’m also so sad that Weevil won’t be working with Keith anymore, though I understand why. I mean, I don’t blame him for lashing out at the boyfriend he discovered was beating up a CHILD. Hell, I respect him even more for pounding on that creep. But Keith has a business to run, and he can’t have a reputation for throwing cases because one of his assistants is prone to violent outbreaks. UGH, AND WEEVIL WAS SO GOOD.
  • The main case was entertaining in this episode, but I admit it paled to most of the other storylines until Veronica narrowed down the window of opportunity for Kurt’s playbook to be stolen. AND IT WAS CLEAR TRISH HAD DONE IT. Oh, Veronica, how brilliantly you set up Trish to admit her guilt! You’re a genius.
  • Trish is… not a genius. And it took me a HOT MINUTE to realize that the writers were forcing Veronica to look at her own treatment of Logan through this. Trish assumed that she had Kurt’s best interests in mind when she stole the playbook. Coach Fry may have treated Kurt terribly, but she never thought to involve him in her decision to QUIT FOR HIM. After she finds out that Logan may be lying about his trip to Mexico with Mercer, Veronica plants a tracker on Logan’s car. However, after Trish reveals that Kurt just UP AND WENT HOME, Veronica realizes that she’s creating an environment where Logan can’t win. She’ll always be suspicious of him this way, and he’ll always try to find ways to dodge that suspicion because he’s Logan. It’s what he does.
  • SO CAN WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT DEAN O’DELL JUST GOT A GLIMPSE OF WHAT VERONICA CAN DO FOR HIM? Because she is INCREDIBLE. I’m hoping that he realizes sooner than Clemmons that keeping Veronica on his side is a good idea.
  • !!!!!!!
  • Can Weevil also find the Hearst rapist and punch him into another universe?
  • After the disturbing end to Piz’s inaugural radio show, it’s clear that this plot is going to take up a good part of this season. I was thankful, then, that we got a glimpse of some hope for Veronica and Logan because otherwise, I’d be a bit too overwhelmed by the direction of the show. Veronica’s apology is necessary and brutally honest, and I love how Kristen Bell played Veronica in those final moments. It’s nice to see these two working towards something healthy and rewarding instead of fighting or relying solely on sarcasm.

The video commission for “Witchita Linebacker” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– If you would like to support this website and keep Mark Does Stuff running, I’ve put up a detailed post explaining how you can!
– Please check out the All Mark Watches videos for past shows/season are now archived there!
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often.
– I will be at quite a few conventions and will be hosting events throughout the US, Canada, and Europe in 2014, so check my Tour Dates / Appearances page often to see if I’m coming to your city!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Veronica Mars and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.