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'Veronica Mars' nostalgia recap: The case of the missing mascot

Season 1 | Episode 16 | “Betty and Veronica” | Aired Mar 29, 2005

My, my. Look how far Wallace has come. When we first met him, he was tied up to a pole, being laughed at by everyone, and needed Veronica to save him. Now he’s the star basketball player and one of the big men on campus whom everyone wants to say hi to. He hasn’t abandoned his friendship with Veronica, but now she needs to fight to get his attention.

The principal calls Veronica into his office because the school mascot, Polly the Parrot, has been stolen. But wait—he doesn’t think she’s the one who did it. He wants her help to find it. After successfully bartering a deal with him, Veronica starts making plans to visit the rival high school that will be playing Neptune.

It’s scary how easily Veronica managed to get on Pan’s campus without anyone realizing that she wasn’t supposed to be there. There was absolutely no security at all, which seems a bit unbelievable—but then again, “Betty” is someone who’s very unlikely to be questioned. She mixes in easily with the popular kids there; they are different from the 09ers at Neptune. She is easily accepted when news that Pan’s mascot, a goat, has also been stolen. Looks like things are really getting dirty.

Things amp up when a boy at Pan claims he stole the parrot. But with Weevil’s help, they quickly learn that he just took a picture of himself with a parrot in a store. It also turns out that several of Neptune’s team members, including Wallace, were in on the plan to get Pan’s goat. Then a masked figure breaks into Neptune’s news broadcast, saying that if Wallace plays in the big game, the parrot will die. This is why you should not have live animals as mascots.

Throughout the episode, Veronica has been avoiding Meg because she’s now dating Duncan. It’s weird for Veronica for several reasons: 1) It’s always hard seeing your ex date again, 2) It’s even harder when your ex is dating your friend, and 3) It’s also super-creepy that your ex may also be your half-brother. I would be avoiding her too, for all those reasons.

Meg finally confronts Veronica about it, and they make up just enough for Meg to be able to help Veronica examine the video, where they finally spot the number 13 on the shoes of the masked man. This is enough evidence for Veronica to solve the case. It was one of the members of Neptune’s team, who was jealous of Wallace playing well and taking his spot as a starter. She also rescues the mascots. The problem though with this reveal is that a lot of it seems to take place off-screen; it’s all verbalized and not shown.

The entire missing-mascot sequence is rather boring compared to the other story of the week. Last episode, Veronica finally made contact with her mother at a bar while discovering that Clarence Wiedman has also tracked her down. Most of this story is told in flashback throughout the episode. Wondering how on earth Wiedman had managed to show up at bar at the exact same time, Veronica trashes her room and discovers a bug in a pencil sharpener that had been sent to her. This is how they’ve been listening to her plans all along. This is incredibly creepy—they’ve been listening to an underage minor for who knows how long.

Veronica’s mom displays signs of alcohol addiction as she tries to avoid Veronica’s questions, but that girl is not giving up so easily. She gets her mom to reveal that the night of Lilly’s murder, she was with Jake Kane. This means that the alibis that Jake and Celeste both gave are now completely invalid. Her mother also admits that she does not know which of the two men is Veronica’s father. That’s the best thing you could tell me, Mom!

Veronica then decides to drain all her college savings (and apparently it’s a A LOT of savings) and put her mother in rehab. The consequences are twofold: 1) It will allow her to get the help she needs toward recovery, and 2) It’ll keep her safe for at least 12 weeks from whatever Wiedman is doing, and Veronica can have some peace of mind. It’s a sad moment, because it shows the child having to take care of the parent. Even though she still makes a lot of unwise decisions because of her age, Veronica still shows that she’s more mature than most. Her being able to save so much, only to give it away to help her mother, highlights this.

The end of the episode has Veronica realizing that Abel Koontz confessed to murder to help someone: his daughter. And she makes sure that Wiedman realizes this as well.

Question: How old is Leo supposed to be? I ask this because Veronica is a junior in high school, meaning she’s 16 or 17. Is Leo is his early 20s? I’m surprised that Keith is letting her date someone so much older than she is. Yes, I realize how their relationship is and that he’s a cop, but still, it’s a bit surprising. Plus, Veronica is the queen of getting guys to do whatever she wants, as Leo gets her the interrogation tapes. Dude, she got you in trouble once! He must like her A LOT to risk it again.

I also really like how Wallace and Veronica are just good friends. Unless something is going to change in future episodes/seasons, I appreciate the fact that in this relationship, a guy and a girl can just be good friends and nothing more. There’s no weirdness about their platonic relationship. It’s refreshing to see the usual assumptions get shattered here.

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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