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'Veronica Mars' nostalgia recap: Switched at birth

Season 1 | Episode 11 | “Silence of the Lamb” | Aired Jan 4, 2005

After watching several episodes, I’m starting to see that Veronica Mars follows a pattern. Veronica has a mystery of the week, Keith has his own side story, and then there will be some added clues to the overall season arc of the Lilly Kane murder. These three stories may or may not blend together, but it’s a fun formula that I like solving every week.

Veronica

It’s time to bring back Mac, Veronica’s computer hacker ally from the purity-test episode. Mac dresses as your stereotypical early-2000s computer rebel, and it’s clear that she’s as different as can be from most of Neptune High. She’s also felt this way with her family her entire life. Clearly when your personality and interests are so different from the rest of the people you’re related to, something suspicious must be happening.

Veronica has started a side business of getting dirt on parents, so Mac offers to combine their powers to create a super-business. She’s even created a website to get the ball rolling. Veronica declines the partnership, but looks up Mac’s info free of charge. They discover that there was a million-dollar settlement with the local hospital that Mac had known nothing about. Doing some more digging, Veronica discovers that it was because Mac was switched at birth with another baby girl. Hmm. Doesn’t that sound like the premise of another TV show?

Mac isn’t entirely shocked at this news, and goes with Veronica and Wallace to crash the party of the 09er girl who lives the life she could have had: Madison Sinclair. At the party, Madison treats the trio with disdain for being there, but Mac finds a kindred spirit in her little sister as they bond over books. The next day, she goes back to the house to retrieve her purse and ends up meeting Madison’s mother. Due to splendid casting, she looks just like Tina Majorino. Mrs. Sinclair realizes immediately who Mac is, and it feels like Mac should be a part of this family, while Madison seems to take it for granted. But it’s also clear that Mac’s own parents love her very much; even though she’s different from them, they loved her enough to not want to switch her back once they discovered the truth.

I wonder, though, if Madison ever had these same thoughts, and if the families will ever tell the girls about this. Also, it’s a bit surprising that everyone stayed in the same town and—other than the girls being in the same school—no one ever crossed paths.

Keith

There’s a serial killer on the loose. Because this seems to be related to an old case Keith worked on, the sheriff’s office calls him back in. Sheriff Lamb, as a slightly toned-down, jerkish version of himself, isn’t pleased that Keith is back—but he knows that Keith needs his help. The killer has been targeting young women at bars and leaving his signature: a guitar string around their neck. The reluctant duo visits a guitar shop to see if the string is of any significance, only to be treated very rudely by the sales guy. They next call in the bartender at the club where the victim was last seen. He gives them information about a guy called “The Worm,” who takes videos of drunk girls and sells them for profit.

Keith and Lamb go to check on this already very skeezy-sounding guy, who turns out to be … Aaron Paul! Eddie “The Worm” LaRoche has tons of videotapes of girls, but he’s not selling them; he’s keeping them for his own personal stash. Plus he has a guitar in his room. To Lamb, this is enough evidence to take the guy in and arrest him for the murder. Keith isn’t entirely sure about this, but Lamb is dead set that the case is closed. When Eddie slides over a piece of paper saying he wants to call his lawyer, my immediate thought was, “Better call Saul!” I was half-expecting Bob Odenkirk to pop into the room.

Turns out Keith was right. Even though Eddie is in custody, another girl has been kidnapped. Keith goes out searching for Veronica and, after discovering her at a band practice with Leo and seeing soundproofed walls to block out noise, he knows who the killer is. It turns out to be the rude sales guy from the guitar shop. Score one for Keith and zero for Lamb.

Lilly Kane Murder

With Keith back in the sheriff’s office, Veronica uses this connection to find any new information on the case. She uses food to build a relationship with Leo (Max Greenfield), the new young cop, who gets into the evidence room and takes a CD containing calls that came in through a tip hot line. She discovers a synthesized voice that had talked about Abel Koontz. Getting Mac to help strip down the voice, she realizes it was Clarence Wiedman, the man who took the photos of her in the mother’s security box. Veronica sends similar pictures of him and his family to Wiedman’s office to show that someone knows something is going on.

It’s slightly confusing that there is no mention of anything that happened in the last episode regarding the Echolls family, or Veronica confronting Jake Kane. Logan and Duncan don’t even appear in this episode. Doing some sleuthing of my own, I discovered that it’s because the episodes were aired out of production order so that the station could air a Christmas-themed episode. I suppose that stabbings at a Christmas party give off more of a holiday spirit over a serial killer.

Still, I hope we see more of Leo in future episodes. Veronica owes him—and he’s really nice.

Until next time, 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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