Mark Watches ‘Veronica Mars’: S03E13 – Postgame Mortem

In the thirteenth episode of the third season of Veronica Mars, Wallace’s coach is murdered, setting in motion a complicated case, while Keith gets closer to the truth about Dean O’Dell’s death. Meanwhile, Logan gets some necessary advice from an actual child. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Veronica Mars.

Trigger Warning: Just in case, there’ll be a very small bit about depression that I wanted to warn y’all about.

  • I absolutely love this episode, even if I do admit that I miss characters like Wallace, Piz, Mac, and Parker, who I all wish showed up a lot more. Wallace hasn’t been around much, and his appearance in the opening two scenes made me a little sad for the days when he was in nearly every episode. At the same time, I recognize that this actually feels a lot like the experience of going to college and drifting away from your high school friends.
  • Anyway, there are a couple plots established in the opening of “Postgame Mortem,” and I just love everything here. Dick Casablancas actually does his best to try and pull Logan out of his depressive episode. That means he’s going to try and get Logan hooked up with someone because that’s pretty much the only way that Dick knows how to survive in the world.
  • Veronica is brought in to yet another case with her father, and it’s a tough one: Coach Barry is murdered along PCH, and Josh, the son who quit in the cold open during halftime, is the prime suspect.
  • Like many of the cases that Veronica deals with, Josh’s is complex and layered. There are numerous suspects. He, of course, could be lying the whole time, and he really did murder his father. Josh’s mother suspects the PCH gang did it. It could also be Mel Stoltz, the main benefactor of Hearst, who despised Coach Barry. And there’s also Mason, Wallace’s one-time friend who is quick to anger and resentful of the fact that Coach Barry started Wallace over him.
  • “Colonel” is such a weird word.
  • But y’all, while I love the case this week and adore the continued serialization regarding Dean O’Dell’s murder, it’s HEATHER, the best eleven-year-old on the planet, who steals the show. The writers brilliantly force Logan to be in the presence of someone who is the emotional antithesis of him, and it’s INCREDIBLE. I made a comment during the video that it was so fascinating to watch Logan interact with someone who lacked the cynicism that he did, but in hindsight, I was actually completely wrong. Heather had already gone through a bout of emotional devastation when her father left. She was purposely trying to heal through her optimism. Couple that with a regimen of Prozac for her depression, and OH MY GOD, LOGAN.
  • And now everything makes so much more sense a second time around. Heather constantly grills Logan in that way that children do who haven’t learned to be quite so self-aware of awkwardness. It’s a thrill to watch because Heather cycles through so many scathing indictments of Logan’s behavior without even realizing that she’s hitting him right where it hurts. She interrogates him about his love for Veronica. She points out that he’s incredibly rich and living a life most people would kill to have. Heather herself idolizes the very idea of having a big-screen television and a balcony, and it’s a completely unintentional way for her to make Logan realize what he does have, versus what he doesn’t have.
  • She’s also the one to point out that HIS APOLOGY SUCKED. Of course, it has a double meaning once you know that her father left. I imagine that her father never really apologized to her. Oh, did you not realize that? Then allow me to crush your heart some more.
  • Y’all, she gets the local radio station to play a Nick Lachey song so that Logan can properly apologize to Veronica and HOW COULD YOU NOT LOVE HER.
  • ESPECIALLY SINCE IT LEADS TO THAT SCENE IN THE ELEVATOR, WHICH WILL FOREVER BE ONE OF MY FAVORITE MOMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF VERONICA MARS. It’s awkward, it’s adorable, and I kind of love that Jeff Ratner is just there watching it all unfold.
  • The saddest part is realizing precisely why Logan’s outburst to Heather hurt her so badly. He tells her that at eleven, she knows nothing of love.
  • Oh. Oh god, what did you just do?
  • I’m glad, then, that Logan snaps out of this and takes her out for ice cream, demonstrating that he cares about her and her concerns, and NOW LOGAN JUST NEEDS TO DO THE SAME THING FOR VERONICA.
  • Heather is the best, I swear.
  • But she’s not the only great thing in this episode! Veronica’s work on Josh’s case is intriguing to me because of the challenge it presents: Josh is charming and Veronica wants to believe he didn’t kill his father. The problem is that Veronica is not silly enough to let this interfere with her work on the case. She has to be suspicious of him, but she only lets this go so far. In a way, I think this is a neat way to comment on her recent journey through her own trust issues, in the sense that she comes to trust Josh enough to make him peanut butter cookies. SHE HASN’T DONE THAT IN FOREVER.
  • However, I can’t deny that things don’t look good for Josh. Scholtz has an airtight alibi, and while Veronica has a reason to suspect Mason (given that he has motive and a gun), she doesn’t have anything concrete on him. While it’s unlikely, it’s still possible that he saw Josh and Coach Barry arguing on PCH. I definitely believe that the PCHers had nothing to do with it. (Holy shit, Arturo??? THAT WAS A SURPRISE.)
  • But… why push Coach Barry’s car off the cliff? That’s what I don’t understand.
  • (Also, was that filmed at the same location where the bus went off the cliff last season?)
  • HEY LET’S TALK ABOUT THE DEAN O’DELL CASE. Holy shit, Keith is so close to something. At the very least, the evidence that came out of his and Veronica’s work this episode is leading them to the fact that Dean O’Dell came to the hotel room that night. Not only do we have confirmation that the Volvo left the Neptune Grand, but only Landry is at all familiar with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. So either Mindy was asleep, as she said, or she left the hotel. Or someone framed her by checking out the Volvo?
  • (I really liked Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. And Joel Silver worked on it!)
  • Oh god, it’s all so convoluted, and it’s an absolute delight to watch this unfold. I don’t feel the need to comment on every single clue that Keith or Veronica uncovered, but I did want to state that this mystery is SO WELL DONE.
  • AND NOW I NEED TO WATCH THE NEXT EPISODE BECAUSE WHAT THE FUCK JOSH ESCAPED? How do peanut butter cookies help someone escape?
  • Through magic, obviously.

The video for “Postgame Mortem” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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