Wednesday, October 13, 2004

THE BOX: "My mom's a liar, and my dad's a circus freak"

Veronica keeps getting better and better. This show is absolutely excellent!

Before we get into last night's episode, I would like to say how much I love the way sex and teenage sexuality is handled on this show. Most teen saga series involve the main character losing her virginity at some point, whether that's Brenda and Dylan, Buffy and Angel, or Joey and Pacey... we've seen the story again and again. Veronica on the other hand doesn't know who she lost her virginity to since the perpetrator(s) drugged her. Instead of allowing herself to be a victim, Veronica is smart and outwardly confident even in the terms of sex. She knows that everyone thinks she's a slut, but instead of wasting air defending herself or dysfunctionally accepting the label, she carries a sort of sexual empowerment rarely seen in any teenage girl. She makes sex funny if only to carry her through her personal pain. She comments to her father at one point when he asks about her date, "The sex was good at least." "That's not funny," he adds. "Really, I though it was." Veronica is an amazing character in that she takes the dirt and words people throw at her and spins them around into a new meanings. She's nobody's doormat.
1-03 "Meet John Smith"


Duncan and Veronica before the murder, mayhem, and ruffies.

Veronica takes the case of Justin Smith, "pint size" school mate who has a crush on Veronica. He lies to her asking for Veronica's help in finding his missing father. He gives Veronica nothing to go on but his father's name, John Smith. Justin's father died when he was in second grade. He's hoping Veronica won't discover any of this thus allowing lots of bonding time.

Meanwhile, Veronica's bonding with Troy, the new boy in town. Dropping her guard for a moment, Veronica asks out Troy. The spend a great date together having dinner at the marina. When Troy goes in to cap the night with a kiss, Veronica instinctively shuts him down cooling off any growing momentum.

Veronica's very attractive guidance counselor meets with her Dad to discuss his daughter's social isolation and insubordination that has recently surfaced. Sheriff Mars overhears a discussion between Veronica and Justin about parental abandonment and decides that maybe Veronica does need someone to talk to and seeks the counsel of her high school counselor.

Duncan, Veronica's ex-boyfriend, is living in a very dysfunctionally family. His mother believes in medication and therapy including a "Life Coach" while his father believes in denial and suppression of emotions. Duncan is caught in between. His parents have been forcing anti-depressants on him since his sister's, Lily, murder. One morning he accidentally drops his pill down the drain. Duncan takes himself off anti-depressants and wakes up to the world around him for the first time in months. He's has a hard time coping the unexpected withdraw symptoms. At one point, he catches a glimpse of Veronica planting a kiss on Troy to make up for her waffle at the marina. Enraged, he swan dives off the bleachers after them. Duncan sustains a head injury and Veronica rushes him to a hospital.

Through all of this, it turns out that John Smith, Justin's Dad, isn't dead after all. His mother lied to him. Veronica tracks John to San Diego. After school, Justin rides along to check him out. He believes he can ID his dad if he meets him face to face. Veronica breaks into John Smith's house only to find a parole officer who threatens to turn her into the police. The real John Smith pulls into the drive way where Justin ID's him, or actually her. Turns out Justin's dead father is the woman who rents videos from him every Saturday afternoon. His world raveling apart, Justin runs back home with Veronica.

Inspired by John Smith's devotion to his son, to drive 90 miles to rent videos just to see him for a moment every week, Veronica decides to drive to Phoenix, AZ after school. That's where she has tracked her mother to. Veronica rushes up to a long haired blonde gardening only to find disappointment. It's her mother's college friend. She tells Veronica that her mother left two weeks ago, afraid her father would track her to Arizona. Veronica vents her rage and disappointment in her Mom. The woman reassures Veronica that she is the number one priority in her mother's life. That Lianne Mars is doing all of this for Veronica, that one day it will make sense. With more questions than answers, Veronica heads back to LA. Distraught, she seeks out comfort from Troy.

CASEBREAK 103: Obviously, it seems that things aren't as simple as Veronica thought when it comes to her mother and father. So was her mother having an affair with Jake Kane? Is it possible that through tawdry affairs and dirty little lies that Veronica and Duncan are brother and sister and that's why Mrs. Kane was so against their relationship?

Also, when Duncan went off his meds he was haunted by intense sexual hallucinations of Veronica and visited by his dead sister who told him to open his eyes and wake up to the truth. Which means Duncan knows something. Whether or not he knows he knows something is another matter entirely (make sense?). The dreams were so upsetting to Duncan, he quickly went back to his pharmaceutical state as a walking zombie.

Next week Veronica goes all Sydney Bristow with wigs and high tech toys.

Other Tuesday night Tidbits: I would just like to add that SVU was phenomenal last night. I was incredibly upset and disappointed in the ending. It wasn't a bad ending, I just completely disagree with the jury's decision. The guest stars were also top notch with satirically brilliant Lewis Black and castaway Maggie Grace (from Lost).

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