Veronica Mars Rewatch – “Meet John Smith”

"Tragedy blows through your life like a tornado, uprooting everything, creating chaos. You wait for the dust to settle, and then you choose."

“Tragedy blows through your life like a tornado, uprooting everything, creating chaos. You wait for the dust to settle, and then you choose.”

Identity is something that just about everyone struggles with–especially in high school. And the characters on Veronica Mars are no exception.

Veronica herself is confident and self-aware, but she is still trying to figure out where she belongs in her new existence as an outsider–without her old friends, her old life, and even without her mom. In this episode we see that her potential relationship with Troy Vandergraff is a way to recapture a piece of her old self, but that reminder of her old self also stirs up thoughts about Duncan Kane.

"The weird thing about going to high school with your ex -- they're inescapable. Everywhere you go, there they are."

“The weird thing about going to high school with your ex — they’re inescapable. Everywhere you go, there they are.”

Duncan is also struggling to figure out how he fits in with his family, without his sister there. And with or without his anti-depressant medication. This episode sees him going back and forth between taking them and not liking how he feels, and going cold turkey and seeing hallucinations of his dead sister.

VM S1E3 Veronica and Duncan 2

“Remember how things used to be?”

For both Duncan and Veronica the question remains: Is it harder to go back, or harder to forge ahead and find your new self?

Meantime, Keith is pulled into his daughter’s identity issues. The school counselor calls him in to talk about the changes they noticed in Veronica–she falls asleep in class, has attitude with her teachers, and seems isolated from others. Their talk doesn’t go well–as Veronica has conflicting feelings about her mother running out on them.

Keith: “I never want you to think your
mom’s the villain in all of this.”
Veronica:”The hero is the one that stays,
the villain is the one that splits.”

Veronica’s case-of-the-week also involves struggles with identity–Justin Smith doesn’t know his father and he asks veronica to find him. Unbeknownst to Veronica, his dad supposedly died; Justin just wants to hang out with the hottie. But Justin’s dead father responds to Veronica’s fake scholarship letter.

Turns out, Justin’s father faced his own issues of identity: he’s now transgendered and living as a woman.

VM S1E3 John Smith

“This is something I had to do. This is who I am.”

In the end, Duncan decides to keep with his medication and avoid his issues for a while longer. Justin decides to get to know his father, and forge ahead with a new relationship. Veronica goes to find her mother in Arizona, but her mother has vanished again.

VM S1E3 Veronica and Troy

“The problem with chasing the storm is that it wears you down, breaks your spirit.”

What I Love:

  • How cute… they’re at a video store. Where there are actual video tapes on the shelf.
  • In just a few years Veronica wouldn’t need Wallace to steal so many files from the administration office–Facebook would be able to provide a lot of answers.
  • Dick Casablancas got his first line: “Hey, check it out!”
    VM S1E3 Dick speaks
  • After Mean Girls, this is the best thing Amanda Seyfried has done. She steals every scene as Lilly.
  • Justin’s dad is played by Melissa Leo — the crazy mom from “The Fighter”
    melissa leo fighter
  • Veronica: “I’m old school–an eye for an eye.”
    Keith: “That’s actually Old Testament.”
  • Wallace: “You called the geometry teacher a jackass?”Veronica: “That’s totally taken out of context.”
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