Veronica Mars (“My Mother, the Fiend”)

Season 2, Episode 9
Date of airing: November 30, 2005 (UPN)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.82 million viewers, 2.0/3 in Households, 1.1 rating with Adults 18-49

Clemmons is a sly dog, that sly dog. Using Veronica to be promoted to principal, because apparently that was a job title Clemmons was hot for, or maybe it pays more. Or maybe Moorehead was an asshole of a person and Clemmons thought that Neptune High would be much better off without the grey-haired dude running the show. I am asking myself whether it would have been a good or bad idea to give a motive to Clemmons’ decision to use Veronica in an elaborate scheme to get the promotion, or if it might have been easier for Clemmons to just leak the fact that Trina is the child of a Neptune High student and the Vice Principal in 1980, since he must have known about it, otherwise he wouldn’t have led Veronica to the basement with all the student records. It’s much easier to become principal when it happens with the unknowing help of a third party, but there wasn’t even a guarantee that Veronica would ever solve the case of what happened in 1980, and who the prom baby was. By the way, since Trina was called the “prom baby” in 1980, one might think that the discovery of a newborn in the girls’ washroom would have been major news in 1980.

Veronica starts working on a cold case.

I liked this episode very much. Rob Thomas may or may not have been following the CBS crime drama COLD CASE back then, but this episode was essentially the VERONICA MARS version of Lilly Rush investigating a murder from 25 years ago, or maybe it could have been a crossover episode between two shows. Only put a murder into this episode (which is not that hard to do) and suddenly you have a very viable crossover, in which the clever and sarcastic Veronica Mars partners up with the clever, secretive and distant Lilly Rush. The idea might not have brought ratings to either shows, but damn, it would have been a fun idea like it was a fun idea for Chris Carter and David E. Kelly to talk about a crossover between their two shows in the 1990s.

The development of Veronica’s investigation was pretty neat and for once I actually liked all the red herrings the writers brought into the script, whether it be Celeste Kane’s help, who could have been Celeste’s secret daughter, or the chance that Trina may have been a Kane instead of being an Echolls. The show has been great with red herrings so far, although I couldn’t even name them all since there haven’t been that many over the course of the series, and Veronica’s cases have always been straightforward. In a way, this episode’s case might not have been as straightforward in the beginning. When Veronica decided to pick up this cold case, she didn’t even know it would involve an abandoned baby, but here we are, at the end of the episode, Trina bursting into a school board meeting and blowing up her biological father, and making Clemmons get what he always wanted: a better job. By the way, I can’t remember whether it was mentioned before that Trina was adopted by the Echolls – if not, then I must say it was pretty ballsy of the writers to include the most important fact that Trina wasn’t born an Echolls and make it into a huge plot device. Or maybe Trina was always adopted by the Echolls, and this episode was the first chance the writers got to even make it part of her character arc.

Baby time for Duncan and Kendall.

Which was hilarious to say the least. The way she reacted to Logan and Kendall Casablancas dating already gave me joy, but her reaction when Veronica told her about the prom baby, let alone potentially being an illegitimate Kane child, made me laugh. Trina has no clue about how to be a normal person, she is always looking for the scandal or the cheat, and she has no interest in hiding her enjoyment with everything juicy, even if it includes her own upbringing (no words though about how she made it through the fact that her adoptive father is a murderer). Trina would be a potentially fun character in a 90210-style spin-off show, but Alyson Hannigan wouldn’t have time to think about that, as she was part of meeting someone’s mother later on.

The rest of the episode was good enough. Finally the writers managed to find a story for Beaver, and it’s his turn into the secret CEO of a real estate company, which kind of is a weird thing to be into right now, after his father escaped the country doing real estate business on the fly. Besides that, does Beaver not have any other interest than making a quick buck, or is he truly his father’s child and what we will get to see next is how he fails to be a 16-year-old career man? I do however like that Kendall chose to be part of the story, as she now has a reason to stay in Neptune and continue being a thorn in most people’s side. For the first few episodes I saw Kendall mostly as a throwaway character who was giving booty to Logan, but she stuck around so far and now she is about to be the CEO of a teenager’s company.

Logan and Weevil’s war of fists and words was also intriguing. Their fight in the men’s washroom was great to look at, and it was another example of season two of VERONICA MARS going all in when it comes to turning stuff on its head, including the depiction of violence. The kind of ironic thing here is that fights like those do in fact happen in American high schools with a bunch of rich idiots in it, so in a way VERONICA MARS was closer to real-life depiction than viewers might have liked. I can only hope that Logan and Weevil won’t be in secret peace for long, because I do love seeing two idiot guys fight it out over absolutely nothing. But yeah, it’s all about Felix’s murder and it’s about time that story is being developed.

Mac finally finds love.

Best part of the episode: Mac barely is in the show, but I get the feeling she is being given a story. She must have had fun doing Beaver’s “homework,” and when she introduced the potential looks to his company’s website, I got the feeling she might have a crush on him. And even if that’s not the case, Mac shows that you can let a very minor character with random appearances have their own little story.
Worst part of the episode: Do high schools really do the parenting class assignment as depicted in this episode or is it just a Hollywood thing? At this point I’m starting to hate the idea that high school students have to be parents, just to learn what it’s like to be a parent. Oh yeah, please give those kids a view of how easy it is to raise another kid while having to study for the next trig test.
Weirdest part of the episode: Did Moorehead know that Trina was his daughter? There was something weird about him inviting Trina to Neptune High to direct a play there, but it’s not weird when he just wanted his daughter around. It’s an answer this episode hasn’t given.
Player of the episode: Trina’s acting was spot-on. All hail the acting queen of Neptune High, who will probably not even be asked to be part of “The Aaron Echolls Story.”

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