Review: Veronica Mars – 3×04 – Charlie Don’t Surf

I’m back, with a review of last Tuesday’s fantastic episode. My apologies on the delay, hopefully the 4 page paper on Victor Frankenstein kept you busy. This episode kept the season moving, made me laugh more than a few dozen times, and overall was an improvement on last weeks, not-bad-but-not-great episode. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy last weeks episode, it just didn’t shock, awe and amaze. You see to me a 3 is a GOOD episode, a 4 is a GREAT episode and a 5 is like… well it’s like Sienna Miller and Kate Bosworth stopped by my dorm room to borrow a cup of sugar and things got naughty. That’s a 5. Anyway, this episode was written by Diane Ruggiero and Jason Elen and directed by Jason Bloom.

The story:

A-Storyline – Veronica is hired by a frat to clear their name in the campus rape scandal.

B-Storyline – Logan and Veronica uncover where his missing finances are going.

C-Storyline – Keith is hired to investigate a cheating husband.

What I liked: Keith and Veronica, some of the best dialogue ever, “Sexy traffic court?”, “Did you switch your major to women’s studies?”, “Screw your brains out.” Veronica’s dress not to impress, the gas station attendant, “He bought his raincoats.”, Dick stopping by the Mars apartment, a continually evolving plot with the rape scandal, Keith and Logan’s dinner scene. Wow, so much… a fantastic episode.

My favorite line of the night:

Dick: Why rape the cow when you’re swimming in free milk?

What I didn’t like: Very little I disliked. I still want to see more Sheriff Lamb. I had trouble placing the episode as there was mention of Halloween parties and the such, but after my weekend in Potsdam, I’ve come to realize that when Halloween is on a Tuesday, its a week long event.

Overall: Solid. Better than last weeks. The show is heading precisely where it needs to go. The Nielson’s (barf) place it around 90-93 on the Top 100 television shows. 75-80 would be better, yet realistic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m never expecting this show to be in the top ten, but as long as critical acclaim is high and the writer’s are making my hour worthwhile, “we cool.” Veronica definitely has a solid chance at a full season. November sweeps are drawing very close so we can expect lot’s of plot twists over the next few weeks. It’s a good time to be a fan.

This weeks episode gets a

4.25 out of 5

See you next week during an episode that will assuredly appeal to all the Watertonians when Richard Grieco guest stars.

Preview the opening clip here.

Veronica Mars airs on The CW Network Tuesday’s at 9PM EST.

Feel free to post your own thoughts and/or review below.

A Casualty of Lost Opportunity

From my Monsters class:


Victor Frankenstein is a casualty of lost opportunity. The chances he fails to take range from bad luck, to sickness and even his own neglect. From the very start Victor is treading down a path that reader knows will have an unhappy end.

Victor’s obsession with the outdated philosophy of natural science has an effect on his entire course of action in the story. His first impressions of the scientific world come from outdated texts, one in particular by Cornelius Agripa. It’s through these texts that Victor learns about natural philosophy, the precursor to modern science. He is so enthralled by the ideas that his father enrolls him in a course on the concepts. However, Victor falls prey to “some accident” and cannot attend the course till it is nearly finished. This is no doubt the first time Victor falls prey to lost opportunity. It’s a wonder if he had made the lecture, whether his mind would have been swayed from the terrible idea of creating the monster.

Victor then heads off to University a short time later where he meets with M. Krempe, a professor of natural science. Krempe informs him of how outdated the texts are that he has spent so much time studying. He then provides Victor with a list of new texts, which he implores him to read. At first Victor considers the idea of reading the books but then admits he doesn’t really feel inclined based on Krempe’s appearance. This is Victor’s second mistake. No doubt if he had had the drive to actually explore the texts he would have encountered many thought provoking ideas and set himself on a new path. As Victor dives deeper into science, his background is still firmly rooted in the doctrines of old.

As Victor moves ahead with his studies, he becomes fascinated with the concepts of life and death and soon makes progress beyond even his professors by discovering how to create life. As Victor locks himself away in his laboratory, he looses contact with the world outside, including his friends, his family, and people in general. Victor becomes a slave to his obsession, thus furthering his progress as a casualty of lost opportunity. Surely if he had preserved these social interactions and not spent so much time holed up in his lab, then he would have garnered some sort of sense and ceased work on his outlandish experiment.

Once Victor has followed through on his gross experiment, he comes upon his next chance to seize opportunity, but fails miserably. Newly animated, the monster leaves the lab and comes to Victor’s room. Victor is startled awake and is so disgusted by the site of the creature that he flees the apartment in panic. From this point on, we have two stories, one chronicling the events from Victor’s perspective and one from the monsters. It is evident over the course of the monster’s saga that his search for identity, for purpose, and for the feeling of acceptance is derived from the fact that Victor provided none of these to him. Victor provided life, but his fear forced him to miss out on an opportunity that would have benefited both of them. If Victor hadn’t fled the apartment, then his creation would still have been salvageable. He could have taught it how to interact with people, the concepts of right and wrong. But again, Victor misses an opportunity, this time on the basis of fear.

Fear will play a big roll in his next several missed opportunities. As Victor continues his life, he finds that he is unable to escape his past. The monster roams free while Victor becomes a slave to his fear and falls ill. Upon returning home to Geneva, Victor learns of the murder of his younger brother, William. Distraught by this news, Victor journeys to the forest where William’s body was found. It is there that he spots the silhouette of his gruesome creation lurking in the distance. Victor knows that the creature is guilty and despite the fact that Justine, a friend of the family, is held responsible, Victor remains silent. Certainly he doesn’t wish bad things on Justine, however, by allowing himself to be a slave to his fear, Victor misses the opportunity to clear her name and reveal the identity of the true killer. Justine pays for his fear with her life and once again, Victor in consumed by a world of guilt.

Victor then has his first encounter with the monster on the summit of Montanvert. It is here that he learns about the monsters life and how he has struggled with identity and understanding. Certainly the way in which the monster presents his case would stimulate a sense of compassion and pity in almost anyone. But once again, Victor misses an opportunity to right his wrong by continuing to marinate in his disgust. The creature even offers Victor the opportunity to rid him of his life by declaring that Victor create a female companion for him. Overcoming reluctance, Victor agrees to the monsters terms and begins work on the creation of a second life form.

As the second creature moves closer to completion, Victor begins to have second thoughts on the deal. It’s ironic that Victor missed out on this opportunity the first time around for he would have saved himself from much trouble in the long run. This time around, when completing the monster would have solved all of his problems, Victor changes his mind and in disgust destroys the second creature right before the eyes of the monster. Victor has missed his final opportunity to make right with his creation. As far as I am concerned, this is the final opportunity Victor will have to stop this madness. From this point on any missed opportunities will simply be in the realm of damage control.

The first strike from the monster comes in the form of his best friend, Henry, who’s murdered body shocks Victor and transforms him into the number one suspect. Though Victor is cleared of the murder he again misses the opportunity to reveal the specifics of the situation and bring the real perpetrator to justice. Victor is still a hostage to his own fear, a fear that he will somehow be punished for what he has done. The second strike is due to fall on Victor’s wedding night. The monster gives a clear warning that he will be with Victor on is wedding night. Rather than make plans, load up on guns and ammo or even inform his wife to be Elizabeth of the plot, Victor simply wallows in fear and let’s the night approach. Again, Victor misses out on a massive of opportunity. Anyone else in the same situation would have seized the chance to stop the monster with such a blatant warning. Victor practically knows the time and place of where the monster will be, yet misses the opportunity to strike. It’s also completely obvious that the monster is going to go after Elizabeth. Victor is a fool to leave her alone, even for a minute. With Elizabeth lost, Victor finally decided to go to the magistrates and explain what is happening, though the effort is too little too late. Victor instead swears revenge on the monster, which is his first intelligent decision in the novel. But as his health escapes him, Victor misses his final opportunity to stop the monster. He passes away on Walton’s boat, finally having found the motivation to stop the creature but he has become to old and weak to continue to hunt. With Victor’s final breath we see that opportunity missed, while sometimes the product of poor decision and fear, is sometimes out of our control. Though the desire is there, the ability may be gone. Victor learns a hard lesson about opportunity and from this example we can take a better look at our own lives and know when to seize the day.

Casino Royale Soundtrack

More news from the James Bond front:  SoundtrackNet has released an early review of the film score performed by David Arnold.  Arnold performed the score for the last three movies, starting with Tomorrow Never Dies which wasn’t bad.  But just like the past few movies, each score got progressively worse.  This time he seems to have nailed it though, out are the electronically synthesized sounds and in comes the orchestra.  SoundtrackNet has short clips of all the songs, so head over and give it a listen if you feel inclined.

Casino Royale Theme Song

Chris Cornell performs the new bond theme song. It’s entitled “You Know My Name”. While its a far cry from Sheryl Crow’s “Tomorrow Never Dies” and Garbage’s “The World is Not Enough” it beats the shit out of Madonna’s crap job “Die Another Day.”

Give it a listen at Chris’ Myspace page.

By the way, the best bond theme ever is Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger”.  You can’t deny it.

Review: Veronica Mars – 3×03 – Witcha Linebacker

I’m completely beat for time this week, so my review will be brief. This weeks episode was written by John Winer and directed by John Enbom and Phil Klemmer.

The story:

A-Storyline – Veronica is hired by a star football player to find his missing playbook.

B-Storyline – The Dean threatens to expel Veronica if she doesn’t reveal the source in her newspaper article.

C-Storyline – Weevil gets a job working for Keith Mars.

What I liked: Seeing Weevil back, Logan up to his old tricks, the writer’s choosing a strong, sexy name like Kurt, Dean O’Dell, next weeks preview – Keith-Logan interaction… should be good.

My favorite line of the night:

Radio Guy: Where would militant feminists get a hold of a softball bat?

What I didn’t like: Logan slacking on Veronica, I feel like the writers are just itching for a conflict. Yes, happy characters are less interesting, the more miserable people are the more interesting they become, but make the juice worth the squeeze or whatever. Dont’ make things fall apart for the sake of falling apart. No school has a radio station that looks like that. Seriously. And I found the episode slightly predictable. But then again, you can’t bat a thousand every time. Only Joss Whedon can do that.

Overall: A good episode, but not great. Nice ending.

Runaway has been canned by the CW, so Veronica’s chance of a full season just increased by 15%. Also, check the CW website for exclusive Director’s Cut footage from upcoming Veronica Mars episodes.
This weeks episode gets a

3 out of 5

See you next week.

Veronica Mars airs on The CW Network Tuesday’s at 9PM EST.

Feel free to post your own thoughts and/or review below.