Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Veronica Mars - "Un-American Graffiti" airdate 05/01/07

First of all, it's about damn time this show came back on the air. It horrifies me to think that the CW may cancel it or change it so substantially. Imagine this show without Keith Mars, without the interaction between Veronica and her father. I know that things have changed this year, that the supporting players get much less screen time than in the first two seasons, but a strength of this show has always been its ensemble cast working together, demonstrating their great chemistry. Second of all, speaking of chemistry: Logan and Parker have zero chemistry. I'll come back to that.

We start off in the student center where Logan, at the front of the line, sees Veronica at the back of the line and buys her a coffee. They banter good-naturedly and he invites her to the birthday party he's throwing for Parker. Veronica looks as though she'd rather have a colonoscopy but doesn't rule it out. They're being grown-ups about the break-up, after all. Cut to an underage kid we don't know drinking at a bar, stumbling outside and getting hit by a car - this'll be the B story. Veronica, doing homework at the P.I. office, gets hired by an Arabic couple whose restaurant is getting vandalized - this is the A story. Veronica stakes out the restaurant and gets nailed by drive-by paintballers for her pains. Back home, Keith asks her about the college area bars and she confirms that it is tres simple to get served as an underage drinker. [By the way: the "Arabic" woman, Carole Davis, played an Italian lawyer on a Season 5 episode of Angel, and just recently played a mom who bought her daughter boob implants on Scrubs.]

Keith sends all the deputies on routine sweeps of the bars to check IDs; they come back having found nothing suspicious. Keith is, of course, suspicious. Veronica tracks down the paintballers and they are kids who paintball all passersby - no hate crime here - they're not the vandals. She does make them scrub off the paint splatters; she also rigs surveillance cameras over the front of the restaurant which record a guy wearing a team sweatshirt lurking about. Back on campus, Veronica and Mac are supercute together dishing about Mac's boyfriend (who does not have a whole lot in common with Mac - he makes her go hiking! in the morning!). Logan and Parker show up; Logan and Mac banter (displaying more sparkage together than Logan and Parker ever do); and Veronica, superuncomfortable, bails. But not before Parker elicits a promise to come to the birthday party. Fun! Since Mac has plans just prior to the party, Veronica tracks down Wallace and Piz and enlists them as her wingmen. And since another guy wearing that aforementioned team sweatshirt strolls by, she quickly gets a name for her lurker.

Her lurker is a student living in a Jewish frat on campus. As Veronica watches the house, someone else is taking pictures through the window. The peeping tom (peeping Nasir, actually) makes his getaway and Veronica discovers Amira, the Arabic couple's daughter, is dating the Jewish lurker. So, clearly, not a lurker, just waiting for his girlfriend. Amira says the peeper works at the restaurant, was supposed to be her arranged marriage, and will take the photos to her dad. Veronica finds Nasir at a 1-hour photomat and cons the photos away from the clerk. When she takes these to Amira, they are interrupted by Amira's father holding a photo that Veronica missed: a Jew? This is the reason we are being vandalized! In the meantime, Wallace and Piz go drinking, using the fake IDs Veronica gave them in the last episode eight million years ago. They're feeling no pain until Keith, having just been unsuccessfully bribed by the bar owner, busts them.

The restaurant has been vandalized AGAIN (what good is Veronica doing, really?) but Veronica tracks the vandal to his lower-middle class home. The guy's brother is a vet from the current war - not involved in the vandalism; Nasir was handing out anti-U.S./pro-Iraqi flyers and the vandal got one and followed him to the restaurant. When Veronica reports back to her clients, the husband wants to speak to the vandal but ends up not pressing charges. He does, however, report Nasir to the INS, and decides to meet the Jewish boy his daughter is seeing.

To keep from getting into trouble, Wallace and Piz assist Keith in a sting to uncover the crooked deputies who are not carding underage drinkers. Keith puts his don't-mess-with-me pants on and fires four deputies: "temporary sheriff," my ass.

The birthday party is at the hotel, of course. Max ("I sell college tests for money") meets Mac ("I sold high school sex poll results for money") and they hit it off very nicely, demonstrating much more chemistry than Logan and Parker have. Wallace tells Veronica that Piz has a crush on her and she should let him down gently. When she tries to do so, however, Piz finally makes his move and gives her a very sweet kiss. Veronica is floored and follows after him as he makes his "dramatic exit." They mack again in front of the elevator ... and the doors open to reveal Logan, who tries to make the best of it. But we all know that Logan wounded is much more interesting than Logan happy, so get on for the ride. Veronica is unsure of herself as he brushes past her - and that little moment there has more chemistry than Logan and Parker do - but she gets on the elevator with Piz. Apparently Piz is a really good kisser.


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