Mark Watches ‘Veronica Mars’: S03E05 – President Evil

In the fifth episode of the third season of Veronica Mars, EVERYONE IS LYING AND I’M STILL LOST. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Veronica Mars.

Trigger Warning: There will only be passing references to it, but we have to talk about rape.

  • Well, I really liked this episode, especially since it combined humor, suspense, and a whole of awkward tension. As I’ve said many times, the writers aren’t afraid to take their characters in uncomfortable directions, and that’s definitely the case with Weevil, Wallace, and Keith in this episode, all who struggle with complicity and stress in various ways.
  • The episode is bookended with a new development in Claire’s possible rapist. In the opening scene, Veronica goes to Claire to try and identify who the man is in the photo of her at the ATM. Unfortunately, Claire doesn’t recognize him and can’t remember any pertinent details from the night, either. (I do adore that line where Veronica tells Claire that she has nothing to apologize for. Bravo, Veronica.)
  • AND THIS JUST ENDLESSLY CONFUSES ME BECAUSE OF THE TWIST AT THE END OF THE EPISODE. How the fuck can Claire not recognize her own boyfriend? Either Wang Yi has been lying about who his girlfriend is, or Claire’s hiding something. What the fuck?
  • So, I wanted to get that development out of the way so I could focus on the rest of this episode. Oh god, shit is getting so real for everyone else. We’ve got three plots woven throughout “President Evil,” the most disturbing of which belongs to Keith and Dean O’Dell. Like, I can’t even begin to address how fucked up this is IN EVERY WAY I CAN THINK OF RIGHT NOW. And it’s not that the writers don’t imbue this with sympathy. We’re meant to feel bad for the O’Dells as they desperately try to save their son from dying from bone cancer. And I used the word “desperately” on purpose because I think it best conveys what we see here. They’re in such need to contact Batando that they agree to Keith and Cliff’s hilariously perfect fake audition in order to meet with Batando. Clearly, there’s a lot of painful history between Mindy and Steven and it’s complicated enough that we don’t quite understand enough to paint either person as a villain here. Well, Steven seems like a giant creep, but that’s a separate issue.
  • This episode also establishes that Dean O’Dell can be SCARY AS SHIT. The dude threatened to break Steven in half AND SUCK OUT HIS BONE MARROW HIMSELF.
  • So it wasn’t surprising, then, when Batando turned up missing two days later. Oh, that can’t be good, can it? CAN IT? Yes, it can, because we get more of Cliff.
  • Y’all, can we talk about how Dean O’Dell pulled a fast one on Keith? He was able to trick Keith into going to Mexico with him just to buy time for Mindy’s uncle to begin the operation on her son. And look, this isn’t really confirmed outright, but Dean O’Dell kidnapped Steven, right? Or did something to coerce him into giving his bone marrow? That’s the reason Steven has a car at the end, yes???? I mean, I would have liked a more definite acknowledgment of this because DID THEY FORCE SOMEONE TO GIVE UP BONE MARROW WHEN HE DIDN’T WANT TO????? Of course, I could have just mis-read this whole thing and I’m getting furious at a plot line that didn’t actually happen.
  • I’m also incredibly sad about Wallace. I always got the sense that while Wallace wasn’t a perfect student, he did well at school, so I sympathized with what he struggled with here. Going to college was like this beautiful free-for-all, and it’s challenging to have to balance your desire to do well and your desire to socialize. But it’s also so frightening when you happen to get one of those brutal courses that saps your self-esteem and makes you believe you’re the least intelligent person on the planet. As I mentioned in the video, that was Marine Biology for me. Prior to college, I had gotten one B. Everything else was an A. That is the ridiculous life I was used to. So when I signed up for an Intro to Marine Biology course that was at 7am, I didn’t think twice about it. I’d been getting up at the dawn of time since the dawn of time. I still get up very early. I generally always have. It was a 50-minute course twice a week with one lab a week. It wasn’t that hard; the professor was a delight, and I adored listening to her lecture. But I wasn’t used to being in a class with over 250 students, and my late night studying began to get later and later as the semester went on, and then that 7am class seemed to be the most daunting thing in the world. To this day, I have never had a more challenging course AND I TOOK AP PHYSICS. I couldn’t keep the information in my head, and I couldn’t perform well on the tests, and I failed the class twice. I had to take that class three goddamn times in order to finally get a C. C!!!!! Oh my god, it fucked with my sense of self-worth so bad.
  • And yet, I didn’t make the decision to cheat, and while I sympathize forever with Wallace, I’m sad that he chose to buy the answers to an exam. I mean, there’s no easy way out for him here! Plagiarism and cheating shouldn’t be rewarded or excused or condoned, so I imagine we’ll see the fallout in the next episode.
  • Wallace. 🙁
  • But the bulk of “President Evil” follows Veronica’s attempts to either prove that Weevil was responsible for the casino robbery or that someone else framed him. The whole thing is wrought with the emotional sensitivities of class and history, since one of the reasons Veronica suspects Weevil is because of his relationship with Lilly Kane and Logan Echolls. There’s other circumstantial evidence, too, such as the drywall powder, and then some of the jewelry is found in Weevil’s car.
  • Let me also use this bullet point to say that Mercer is gross and I don’t like him and he needs to go away.
  • With that out of the way, THAT ROBBERY WAS REALLY SCARY. AND NOT OKAY. LORD.
  • But y’all, someone fucked with Veronica Mars. Oh, you’re dead. I knew it, Veronica knew it, and the robbers should have known it. As always, it’s just a goddamn treat to watch Veronica piece together the clues and nab the wrongdoer, and this episode is no exception.
  • Plus, we meet Danny for the first (AND HOPEFULLY NOT LAST) time, and he’s so excited. He acts fairly similar to how I would if I met Veronica Mars. However, if I ever meet Kristen Bell, I will act like she does when she meets sloths.
  • I’m just saying.
  • Let it also be said that I thought the little girl chewing purple gum was a way for Veronica to find the person who sat at the computer. I TRIED. THERE WAS AN ATTEMPT. And I was so wrong.
  • I can’t be the only person who appreciated Veronica’s joke about breaking a leg. I CAN’T. IT WAS SO GOOD.
  • And thus, after interrogating one of the Film majors, Veronica realizes there’s been one common thread throughout all of the clues: the campus police.
  • It is absolutely hilarious to me that that despite that the campus police were routinely made fun of for not being actual cops, they still used fake guns for their robbery. It’s almost like they’re not even real criminals.
  • It’s also beautiful to me that Veronica uses one of the oldest tricks in the book to get Harrison to confess to the theft, and she tricks him while wearing a wire the whole time. She’s so amazing HOW COULD YOU HATE HER
  • That question is for Lamb, who should realize that he needs to stop making Veronica the enemy and WORK WITH HER. No, Lamb, success doesn’t happen when you follow the rules; it happens when YOU STOP FIGHTING VERONICA MARS.
  • And she gets her necklace back in the end by victoriously ripping it off a child’s throat. Bless this show.

The video commission for “President Evil” can be downloaded right here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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