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'Veronica Mars' nostalgia recap: Being a concerned neighbor

Season 1 | Episode 7 | “The Girl Next Door” | Aired Nov 9, 2004

Veronica seems to have a magnet that attracts trouble—and troubled people.

Her pregnant neighbor, Sarah (a very-early-in-her-career Jessica Chastain), seems to be having some domestic issues at home. Her diary is missing, and after loud arguments with her boyfriend, she thinks he’s stolen it. She asks Veronica if she can take her to the doctor the next day. That night, Veronica wakes up to hear a scream and a thud on the floor. She automatically assumes that it’s a body being thrown on the floor, because that is the normal assumption one makes after hearing such a noise.

Sarah doesn’t answer the door the next day, causing Veronica to worry about her. She decides to do some investigating of her own, which means visiting the store where Sarah works to question her boss … and then the art studio of Andre, Sarah’s boyfriend. It turns out they fought because Andre told her mother she was pregnant and she didn’t want them to know. He says that she always runs away when things get hard. To be honest, it feels like Veronica is just being really nosy right now. There’s no indication that anything wrong has happened to Sarah, and they really aren’t friends to begin with, so they aren’t that close. All she really know about her is through a brief conversation at the laundry, then inferring based on what she sees and hears as a neighbor.

Sarah remains missing for a few days, so of course Veronica breaks into their apartment to find out what happened. She discovers a gun, but then is caught by Andre, whom she is highly suspicious of. Sarah still doesn’t turn up, but her parents do. Veronica again sticks her nose in and has them hire her father to look for Sarah.

Keith eventually concurs that Andre is a good guy who truly does love Sarah, and is willing to take care of the baby, who is not his. Veronica doesn’t really trust him, though. After recovering the diary (which Sarah’s boss had taken), she eventually finds Sarah herself, who has been hiding out at the coast in her car. Thinking she’s done a great job reuniting everyone, Veronica celebrate her victory with her father—until she reveals to her dad that she knew Sarah had been raped. Keith is not pleased to hear this news, because it means that Sarah’s stepfather had raped her, and the three of the are now alone together. He rushes upstairs just in the nick of time, because Sarah finally reveals the rape and now pregnancy to her mother. Her mother initially doesn’t believe her, until her stepfather starts attacking her. Keith shoots him through the window, protecting Sarah and her baby.

Despite Jessica Chastain’s presence, this storyline seems a little too forced. While the outcome ended up eventually helping Sarah, it comes at a price. Keith had to get involved in a really violent way, even though he was protecting others. This is what Veronica ponders through the beginning and end of episode: How much should she have really gotten involved?

The B story in this episode is the more interesting one, as it features Weevil and Logan having to work together. The mismatched pair end up in detention together after talking during a test. I agree with Weevil, though. Why does he get a zero for Logan talking to him (granted, he shouldn’t have replied) and then detention—merely for laughing at Logan talking back to a teacher?

The two start gambling during detention. While this brings them closer, it angers their teacher, who gives them detention for a week, making them do things such as wash his car and rearrange his books. Bonded by their anger at their teacher, the two put together a prank to end all pranks, putting his car through the flagpole. Seriously, though, how on earth did Weevil and Logan pull off that prank? Does the school have absolutely no security system to not have noticed any of this happening? I’m going to guess that Weevil might have gotten his uncle (who works at the junkyard) to help, because otherwise I cannot figure out how on earth they lifted the car and put the flagpole through it without anyone noticing.

Weevil ends up getting expelled for it. Logan feels guilty, and is able to buy off the principal, which causes both of them to only have to do more detention around the school. Yes, Weevil probably does have a rap sheet, but it just fuels what Wanda was saying in the previous episode—about how the rich kids rule the school despite the fact that they are the minority. If you were hoping that these two were now going to be buddies after bonding, guess again. Logan sees a heart-shaped tattoo with the name Lilly in it on Weevil’s back and is immediately suspicious. Weevil tells him it’s his sister’s name, but Logan isn’t convinced so easily.

Apparently this was also Sydney Tamiia Poitier’s last appearance on the show as Veronica’s journalism teacher. But since she didn’t add much to the storylines, this really isn’t a loss.

It is interesting that Duncan and Veronica dated for however long they did, and neither of their parents told them they used to date. Other than Veronica’s mom’s strange reaction to Veronica telling her she was dating Duncan, not a single word is mentioned. Also, either her dad doesn’t know, or he’s not telling her. This further fuels the secretive nature of Lianne Mars and Jake Kane that was hinted at in the pilot.

One last thing: While Veronica is looking at the yearbook, the picture next to her mom shows a Victoria Riggleman who doesn’t look like a Victoria. Goof or intentional?

Veronica Mars Victoria Riggleman

Until next week, Marshmallows!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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