This is an episode of fatherly relationships — namely Jake Kane, Aaron Echolls, and Keith Mars.
Jake Kane, until this point, has really been shown in mixed light as he’s still considered a suspect in his daughter’s murder. But it’s hard to see him as a cold-blooded killer after watching his interactions with Duncan in this episode. Even though Jake is pushing his son to become more involved by running for student body president, he’s clearly doing it out of a place of love.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Aaron Echolls. The episode opens with Logan and our first view of him, not as the crazy at school but as the son of Aaron Echolls, Action Star.
Lastly, Veronica is bemoaning an upcoming trip to the San Diego Zoo with her father. Wallace promptly puts her in her place, saying he’d love to go with his dad, who’s dead. #snap
Our mystery-of-the-week revolves around the student body elections. Outsider Wanda is running on the platform of banishing Pirate Points — which allow you to do special things like get food delivered at lunch, and which you accumulate by being on sports teams and other “popular” activities. Eliminating the perks to the 09ers ignites a fervor in the lower-class students.
Despite the pressure from his father, Duncan decides not to run. Logan, fearful of losing his Pirate Points, enters Duncan’s name behind his back and even puts together a campaign video with Action Star Aaron’s endorsement.
Because it’s Neptune High, they have a back-assward system to vote, wherein the teacher in the room writes the name of the candidate on the blackboard with their corresponding letter. The students then fill in the letter’s bubble on their scantron sheets. Even though Wanda has overwhelming support from the non-09er students, Duncan is named the winner.
A suspicious Veronica goes to the teach in charge (a subdued Jane Lynch) to count the ballots herself. Duncan still comes out the winner. Still suspicious, she discovers that there were two combinations of letters-to-names and some students inadvertently voted incorrectly.
The next day at school, someone had written “narc” all over Wanda’s posters and Veronica offers to help her out. A pissed off Mars then confronts both Logan and Duncan, and accuses Duncan of doing what he always does — nothing.
Dick tells Logan to check out The Smoking Gun (does that still exist??? — answer, yes. I haven’t been there since college! It’s gotten a facelift-I like that the shots on Veronica Mars show the old format. Also, apparently The Smoking Gun is behind the James Frey/Million Little Pieces reveal. #themoreyouknow) — where his recently filmed Roman gladiator-style bum fight videos have made an appearance. Aaron Echolls is waiting for Logan when he gets home that night; the entertainment media had been hounding him over Logan’s videos. He’s not a fan of the bad PR.
Back at school, Weevil tells Veronica he really does think Wanda is a narc — that it’s not just 09er rumor-mongering. Veronica doesn’t like to be played; she tells Wanda about an upcoming rave in the desert as bait. When it comes time to vote the run-off between Wanda and Duncan she’s torn, until she remembers all the times she’s watched Duncan being kind to others in the past.
Sure enough, the sheriff’s deputy comes to inspect Veronica’s locker. Wanda admits to turning in names in order to keep her own drug charges off her record.
Duncan is once again named the winner. He announces he’s keeping the Pirate Point system… and even extending the program to include the band, honor roll, shop class, etc. His dad looks on proudly from the hallway as his son does what’s right for everyone.
Circling back to the dysfunctional Echolls clan, Aaron takes Logan to volunteer at a soup kitchen, in front of cameras, to repair their family image. As his dad accepts an offer to do a terrible movie for a high salary, Logan clearly sees his dad as little more than a richer version of the bums he had exploited.. who had been willing to do anything for money. During the ensuing interview, Logan commits his dad to a half-million dollar donation to the food bank.
The next shot is of Logan selecting a belt from the closet for his dad to beat him with. As his mother sits drinking alcohol and listening to the sounds of the abuse. An absolutely chilling shot.
Throughout the episode, Veronica has also been poking her nose deeper into Lilly’s murder. She takes another look in her dad’s file in his safe. She discovers a photo of Lilly’s room the day of the murder, with the shoes that were later found in Abel Koontz’s possession. Veronica is convinced they are the same pair, since she drew that very heart with Duncan’s name inside.
When she returns to the safe, she finds Keith has changed the combination. Veronica decides to come clean and shows him the news clip with Lilly’s shoes and the photo of the same shoes in her room. Team Mars is on the case!
What I Love:
- Wanda to Madison: “Go! Shoo! Return to Xanadu!”
- “Brown-nosing resume-packer wins in a landslide”
- “I just though you might have shared Lilly’s bad-boy thing.” Another indication of Lilly’s possible connection to Weevil, after seeing him cry at her memorial.
- It took me until like my third viewing of the series to pick up on Kane vs. Abel (Cain/Abel)
- Dick Casablancas is almost a real character… Duncan finally refers to him as Dick.
- As unnerving as he is, Harry Hamlin gives an amazing performance throughout the series.