Veronica Mars 1.01 – Pilot (extended dvd version) dir. by

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  • Kristen Bell,Enrico Colantoni,Jason Dohring,Francis Capra,Percy Daggs III,Teddy Dunn – Duncan Kane

Opening with a voice-over, and a stake-out, not to mention a little monologue on affairs and stake-outs. Plus the whole balancing act between work and school.

Even better though, a motor-cycle gang. Who doesn’t love to have a few bad boys around on screen.

After the credits we return to Veronica’s VO, but 20 hours earlier, and an intro to Veronica’s school life, looks like a nice place to be educated, what with the duct-taping newboys to flag poles. It did sorta remind me of Smallville, but I never watched enough of that, hopefully this black teenager won’t be relegated to Token role.

On to locker searches and V’s one-step-aheadness[1] and then a little VO exposition as we are told that once upon a time Veronica was one of the “in-crowd” her ex-boyfriend got her a seat at the cool table, until she was dumped. Not only do we meet the ex, Duncan Kane, we also meet up with the “resident psycho”, Logan, who comes across as a bit of a class clown, albeit with a mean streak. We aren’t supposed to like him are we?

Hopefully not-Token-like takes a seat opposite VM, only for motocycle gang to turn up and rethreaten him, before a bit of witty banter with V.
Weevil[2] seems to be the “leader of the gang” and Wallace (Non-token) has gotten on his bad side because he called the cops as the gang robbed the shop he worked at. Not only that but he has also managed to piss-off the local sheriff.

Cut to Veronica’s apartment block and flash-backs to happier times before Veronica takes her cute puppy[3] out for a walk on the beach, where she spots Wallace. Friendship blossoming?

When she gets back to her Dad’s office she finds Duncan’s Mom meeting with her Dad, and we also get an introduction to some lawyer dude, who likes tawdry cases about strippers and shady cops.

Mr. Mars doesn’t seem inclined to reveal why exactly Celeste Kane wanted to hire a private detective. Brushing off Veronica’s questions, more interested in discussing macaroni and cheese, but eventually he gives in. After a phone call Keith leaves to track down some crim with a final warning to Veronica not to go after Jake Kane. And if she does, to take back-up.

Cut to Veronica watching Jake Kane, before a flashback to Lilly Kane and Veronica in happier times, with a hint of a secret, which leads to the murder scene. At that time Keith Mars was the sheriff, so Veronica was on the scene, meeting her pretty spaced out boyfriend, and to see the body of her dead best friend. We also discover that Veronica’s dad thought that Jake Kane may have been responsible. That he was perceived of as “bungling” by the population at large because of this fact. Jake Kane being the town’s hero and benefactor. That there were leaks at the sheriff’s department and that Keith didn’t stay Sheriff for very much longer.

We also get a glimpse of a different Logan. Not the clown from earlier in the episode, but some one upset over the death of his girlfriend, and blaming Veronica for her dad’s destroying the Kane family.

And if all this isn’t enough, we get a software developer confessing to the murder. And then, to ad to Veronica’s misery her mam[4] walks out.

Backstory over for now, we return to the precredit sequence, and motorbikes and bad boys.
backupTurns out that Veronica didn’t leave without Backup. It is the name of her puppy-dog :) who leaps to her defence, with a taser doing enough to put off the gang. They give her a whole week to get them off the robbery charge, riding off with a snide innuendo filled comment. Which leads to another flashback.

No happy time here, instead we get to see Veronica, unhappy and unwanted, crashing a party, being ignored. Given a drink by an unknown and ending up drinking this spiked beverage, and in the morning waking in the guest bedroom and no underwear on.

This Veronica girl, not too many things went right for her in the past year then? And we are only 20 minutes into the episode.

Back to present day and although we get to see Jake Kane leave the motel, we don’t see the woman. No money shot today.

Next day and Logan drives by, full of put-downs and “your mother” comments until moody old Duncan tells him to shut-up. Still we do get another flashback, its been 8 months since Veronica’s mother left.

Is that The Streets playing in the background?

Veronica puts her plans into action. One involves saving Wallace from the biker gang, the other involving Jake Kane.

Have to say I do like Keith Mars. He is just strange enough to be entertaining, but not wacky enough to annoy.
But he isn’t too happy when he hears that Veronica went after Mr Kane, and although he then seems to get interested when he hears the details, the licence plates seem to put a damper on the whole case.

But already we know that that little telling off isn’t really going to stop Veronica now is it? But for now, we’ve moved back to the save Wallace plan, which involved getting Logan busted for possessing a “device for smoking marijuana” But Logan isn’t fooled by Veronica looking all “cute and innocent” and is marched off to the sheriff’s department knowing it was Veronica who set him up.

Outside the sheriff’s Wallace takes out his remote control and we have fire in the evidence locker. And firemen, one of whom knows Veronica and still loves her dad so does a switch for her.

Veronica runs the plates her dad really was not interested in and finds out the car was her mother’s! She asks Keith why they are dropping the case, he spins some line about corporate spying and Veronica leaves, not very happy.

strutting while sittingShe returns to the sheriff’s and we get a flashback of what an ass the sheriff really is, as he dismisses her rape allegation. Cut back to court and he is strutting his stuff in court. Well, not strutting exactly as he is sitting down testifying, but get my meaning.

Only that evidence the fireman switched, that was the tape which would have been responsible for putting the bikers away. Now it seems to be of cops getting blow-jobs from strippers. Classy. The judge is not impressed with Sheriff Lamb and his department.

Greasers and Socs?Back on the beach and Wallace is flying his remote control plane as Veronica drives up. she gives him the real tape. But as she gets a lesson in looping the loop Logan and friends show up. He is not happy, not happy at all, as he demonstrates by breaking headlamps. Because of the bong Logan’s dad took his car, and so his “fun, fun, fun”. But before things get any further, Weevil and the bad boys show up. Ah Weevil, you may be short, but you are bald, drive a motorbike and live on the wrong side of town. How cool are you ;)

In gratitude for getting his fellow bad boys off the hook he gets Logan off Veronica’s back, for now, and throws in a few punches that look like they hurt. We also get a cute little reference to The Outsiders “Be cool, Sodapop.”

Still despite the punches Logan doesn’t really give in, won’t even say sorry, but drives off, checking his damaged face in the mirror.
In the aftermath, we get some nice little chemistry between Weevil and Veronica. Nothing like a bit of banter and violence is there.

Back in the office Veronica goes digging in her father’s safe. Where she isn’t supposed to stick her nose. And what does she find? A whole lot of evidence on the Lilly Kane case. But despite his lies Veronica is willing to accept he is doing his best for her, she just isn’t willing to accept living without answers.

All in all a more than interesting opening. Great writing, intriging charactes and no clear cut bad guys. We look forward to more with interest so we do.

Linknotes:

  1. I can make up words if I want, okay
  2. What sort of a nick name is that?
  3. Come on, bulldogs are cute
  4. I’m just not comfortable typing Mom

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