Mark Watches ‘Veronica Mars’: S03E10 – Show Me the Monkey

In the tenth episode of the third season of Veronica Mars, is love in the air? Or is it just THE CUTEST MONKEY IN THE UNIVERSE? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch Veronica Mars.

Well, that was neat!

Trigger warning: Just in case, there’s brief talk of dietary issues/eating, as well as passing references to my own health. Nothing particularly heavy or detailed, but I thought I’d warn regardless!

  • I think it would be a challenge for anything to come after “Spit & Eggs,” so it’s not surprising that this episode is one of the slower ones this season. The show is clearly setting up a mystery with Dean O’Dell’s murder, but there’s not much headway made aside from establishing the Keith is going to take the case. Because of scotch!
  • Mostly, this is a chance for Parker, Mac, and Piz to play a larger role in the story, and it’s all really cute and thoughtful and there’s a monkey.
  • This is also a strange episode for me because I spent over ten years as a vegan and I knew people like those in P.H.A.T. I gotta say that this episode pretty faithfully re-creates that dynamic and those sort of people: well-meaning vegans who want to change the world, but who maybe aren’t the best at doing that. I became vegan due to dietary issues (lactose intolerant for many years!) and because of a bet. Plus, I had a lot of friends who were vegan, and it just worked for me. I was only casually interested in issues surrounding animal rights. I wasn’t just a dietary vegan; I also refused to wear clothing made from animals, and I tried to be vegan in other aspects of my life. It was only after discovering that I’d developed a soy allergy at the beginning of 2013 that I transitioned to being vegetarian. (Until you’re allergic to it, you don’t realize that soy is in ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.) And then, on my doctor’s recommendation, I spent six months trying to transition to being an omnivore, and that transition was mostly a refusal on my part to simply eat any sort of meat. It wasn’t a moral issue as much as it was REALLY FUCKING WEIRD. I hadn’t consumed meat since I was 18 years old! But I had lingering health issues that I’m not going to get into right now, and my doctor said I had to find another source of protein in order to stop being sick. So yeah, it was weird, and eventually, I started with seafood. I grew up with a Japanese/Hawaiian father, and seafood was always a staple of my diet growing up. I figured it was the easiest way to ease back into eating meat because I knew what I liked, and it reminded me of my father.
  • I’ve since eaten MANY THINGS that I haven’t in over a decade, and it’s still pretty surreal. Diets are weird, y’all. THEY ARE SO WEIRD.
  • But what I liked about this episode is how it plays off stereotypes of vegans/animal rights activists while also poking fun at them. It reminded me of the cult in the first season. Sometimes, people are just passionate about something, and there’s no hidden agenda. The P.H.A.T. group wasn’t responsible for the animal thefts and in fact, they had a sense of humor about themselves. Their hazing of Veronica and Mac is great because the joke there is that there are some organizations who sexualize bodies in order to sell veganism. (SHOTS FIRED AT PETA. FUCK PETA.) There are also organizations who do take drastic measures in order to liberate animals, but these people? Yeah, that’s not who they are.
  • In addition to exploring the use of animals as test subjects, “Show Me the Monkey” is about romance. In the wake of Veronica’s six weeks of single life and Mac’s own lack of romantic options, Parker urges the three of them to at least attempt to meet someone. Parker’s enthusiasm is so infectious, y’all! I was also happy to see these three women hanging out because more of this all the time.
  • At the same time, Logan is urged on by Dick to do the same thing Parker asks her friends to do: play the field. Of course, Dick is a lot more crass than Parker about it. I mean, who the fuck takes Polaroid photos of their junk and throws it out of a hotel window, hoping to nab a woman? Dick is an unending mystery, I swear. Does that technique actually work for him? Ugh, Logan, you shouldn’t take advice from Dick ever.
  • At the very least, Dick gets Logan out of the house and onto a board to go surfing. I admit that that is good for Logan, since it’s clear that he’s been moping for weeks on end about Veronica.
  • (Why are you hanging out with Chip, Logan? Do you have no ability to discern who you should be friends with anymore? Granted, I realize that Dick didn’t tell Logan that Chip would be there, but still. Exercise some caution, dude!)
  • The surfing feels good for Logan, but Dick pressures Logan into flirting with some girls they meet. Logan obliges because… well, he might be able to distract himself from his sadness! With blowjobs. Which… doesn’t work. At all. It’s actually kind of sad in and of itself. Logan isn’t over Veronica at all.
  • Veronica, meanwhile, is dealing with her own inability to move on. She tries, but the attempt falls flat. I never really thought about how she is rarely seen socializing outside of cases or schoolwork. Holy shit, she doesn’t have any hobbies, does she???
  • Oh my god, the Canada room. THERE WAS AN ATTEMPT, and it was gloriously silly.
  • But Mac, who hasn’t dated anyone since Cassidy, finds herself attracted to Bronson, the head of the Hearst P.H.A.T. group. The two hit it off at the countries of the world party, but Mac isn’t quite ready to take things any further than a friendship, even if she does like Bronson. It’s kind of adorable to watch, but it’s also fascinating to think how this is in contrast to Veronica’s and Logan’s stories in this very episode. At the same time, this is about being able to figure out the difference between what’s good and what’s not, isn’t it?
  • It’s why Mac decides to tip off Bronson about the coming search warrant so that he doesn’t get in trouble. She decides that she believes him, that he’s not behind the theft of the animals. That’s a big thing, for Mac to suddenly trust someone again, to feel like she can pursue a romantic interest. UGH I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT MAC. I’m so glad that this episode lets me feel them!
  • Plus, Mac doesn’t have to disavow herself of Bronson by the end of the episode. The missing monkey/rats case ends up being internal sabotage, surprisingly by Gil himself, who had grown attached to the monkey after working with him. OSCAR. OSCAR THE MONKEY. TOO CUTE NOW, TOO CUTE FOREVER. Do you know how distracting it was to have to try to pay attention to Gil talking and explaining what he’d done while the cutest monkey ever climbs all over him?
  • Mac + Bronson = actual adorableness. It’s science.
  • But you know what? So was the scene where Veronica and Piz bonded over not accepting anything less than what they most want. It was nice to see them share that moment, to watch them get along, and to imagine what it would be like if they were closer friends. Of course, I’d be remiss in ignoring the fact that the entire time, Piz is talking about Veronica. Oh, Veronica, how did you forget that he had a crush on you?
  • Regardless, I think it’s nice that the show isn’t saying that by virtue of desiring Veronica and being nice to her, Piz deserves her. Like, this could easily go into Nice Guy territory, but it doesn’t. It’s in THIS REALLY SUCKS territory. Because I like Piz – he’s a nice person – and it sucks to have unrequited feelings.
  • At the same time, HELLO LOGAN AND VERONICA. You two are a mess, but I adore you.

The video commission for “Show Me the Monkey” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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