Veronica Mars: Chino and the Man

“Once a girl sets and hardens, her life becomes a series of apologies.”

This episode was even snappier than the first. It glided through a host of exposition seamlessly, with a load of fun appearances and set pieces for fans to snack on. Those elements aren’t why I loved ‘Chino and the Man’ so much, though. At least, they’re not reason enough on their own. The main selling point of this episode is its understanding of how flawed and imperfect Veronica is, and why the bond she has with Logan might not be as pure as some perceive it to be.

She’s got a lot of baggage. Whether it started the day Lilly died, or if it was there long before that is anyone’s guess, but Veronica still carries it around with her all these years later. There’s a lot of anger in her, and I think that it’s seeing that same anger in Logan that drew her to him in the first place. Logan has made strides to better himself, though. He’s been getting therapy and is trying his hardest to hide his pain over the rejected proposal.

Are Veronica and Logan still viable without that anger on the table? She pulled it out of him in a desperate attempt to see a glimpse of the man she knew, and it worked. Not only did he punch a hole in her kitchen cabinet, but he also had some pretty wild and aggressive sex with her afterwards. She may still want that push and pull dynamic, but it’s clear that Logan wants to move past it. Will Veronica take his suggestion and contact his therapist?

I imagine Dick has seen his fair share of shrinks’ offices since we last saw him. He seems to have moved past the anger he held for Big Dick over what happened to Beaver, and has carved out a ridiculous career as a movie star. He’s still a total idiot, though. If it weren’t for Big Dick’s new right hand man, Clyde (played by JK Simmons) he could have been done for statutory rape.

Clyde and Big Dick’s dynamic is a fascinating one. Big Dick thinks his friend from the inside stuck by his side because he asked him to. Turns out, Clyde orchestrated an attack on Big Dick just so he could rescue him and look like the good guy. And now he’s kept it up on the outside, helping out Dick Jr. by keeping him out of trouble, and god knows what else for Big Dick himself, all so he can stay close to him. He made an odd visit to Mars Investigations which caught my attention, asking Veronica to track down an old flame. She refused under the assumption that this woman removed herself from Clyde’s life for a reason. It felt like Veronica was being tested. If that was the case, did she pass?

It’s good she didn’t get hit with a new case, because it seems like she’ll have her hands full with Matty, the daughter of the deceased Sea Sprite owner. She impressed Veronica with her attempts to lose her tail, though she managed to walk right into the new den of the Fitzpatricks, where Liam is still in charge. Veronica manages to save the teen just in time, in a way that echoes Logan’s rescue of Veronica from the River Stix in season two. How do the Fitzpatricks relate to the bombing, I wonder?

The pizza guy who was all over the motel at the time of the bombing might have a few theories on those involved. Penn may seem a little dense, but he’s making his own quick payday out of the spring breakers by renting out his 10-bedroom condo during peak season, so all is definitely not as it seems. He also doesn’t seem shy about jumping at the opportunity to make his theories heard. That tweet about the past Sheriffs of Neptune was intentionally incendiary. It got the Mars family all the way to his front door, after all. With a TV appearance under his belt inciting anyone with a stake in the investigation with his theories about the Maloofs' involvement, things are sure to get out of his hands sooner rather than later.

Plus

Alonzo and his partner arrived in Neptune and got right to work harassing Marco’s dim-witted friends.

Alex Maloof’s would-be in laws arrived in town and demanded their daughter’s engagement ring. They fit the trailer park stereotype in every way.

Logan’s easy defeat of the aforementioned in-laws got him a job as Maloof’s one man security detail.

I feel so bad for Veronica and Keith when people question who "really" killed Lilly. I sometimes forget that outside of their immediate Mars bubble, the world thinks Aaron Echolls was innocent.

He Said, She Said

Dick: “You know what they say about small packages.”
Veronica: “That you've got one?”

Keith: “A pizza guy said that? About me?”
Veronica: “Let's pay him a visit. See if he calls you a clown to your face.”
Keith: “I'm an old guy with a cane, Veronica. He very well might.”

Logan: “You say you want Bruce Banner, but you really want the green guy.”

Veronica: “You don't really think the Middle Eastern JFK decides to murder his brother's fiancĂ©e with a bomb. Then hires, arguably, the best father-daughter private detectives in all of greater Balboa County, to do what, not find out he did it?”

With some wonderful on-the-case action, and stellar character beats, ‘Chino and the Man’ was another step in the right direction for Veronica Mars 2.0.

8 out of 10 cans of spray paint.

2 comments:

Katie Hart - Pinterest Manager said...

So for the first few episodes, I was a bit confused because it seemed like the older two Maloofs were married instead of mother and son. I thought perhaps both Alex's father and brother were in politics, etc. Just looked up the actors ages and that explains a lot. The actors playing mother and son are only 9 years apart, while the two brothers are 20 years apart.

Also, my annoyance at the character of Penn at this point was undermined by the actor's likability (especially since I really enjoyed his role on Agents of Shield). I'm curious how much differently I would view the character if he'd been played by an actor you love to hate, like Mark Sheppard.

Lamounier said...

Snappy, clever and fun. I really enjoyed this episode.

I agree with you, Katie, it's hard to dislike Penn since the actor is so likable.

Veronica is a terrible girlfriend. The way she accused Logan of acting too cool reminded me of when she said, way back in the second season premiere, that it seemed he was having fun with all the shit that was going down. For a clever PI, how can she still be so obtuse about the man she loves? Poor Logan.

Then again, at least this episode did a good job of having Veronica face her inner demons and try to get somewhere.

Clyde is an interesting character, I like him.