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SWEEPS DAY 13!! Herc Gives Five Stars To UPN's Last VERONICA MARS Ever!!

Veronica Mars 2.22 FAQ

What’s it called?
“Not Pictured.”

Who’s responsible?
Teleplay is credited to John Enborn (“The Rapes of Graff,” “Look Who’s Stalking”) and series mastermind Rob Thomas (“Normal is the Watchword,” “Donut Run”).

What does TV Guide say?
“The second season ends as Veronica, on her graduation day, learns who is responsible for the bus crash. After uncovering the culprit, her life is endangered as she tries to warn those closest to the killer. Also, Wallace learns some surprising information about Jackie, and the seniors celebrate their graduation with a lavish party at the Neptune Grand.”

Five stars? Really?
The episode does a lot more than wrap up the bus-crash storyline. Like all good season finales, “Not Pictured” contains enough plot for two episodes. It’s fast-moving, suspenseful, dramatic, poignant and, at junctures, laugh-out-loud funny.

Does the title refer to Veronica’s graduation photo?
It does not. The title’s meaning is very specific.

What is TV Guide not telling us?
A lot. The second act contains the shocking revelation of who engineered the bus crash. The third act contains another shocking (and related) revelation. And the final act contains too many shocking revelations to count. The final act, in truth, is one massive plot explosion after another; big things happen so quickly the viewer will barely notice that Weevil’s dire predicament, established in the first act, isn’t resolved by episode’s end.

How does the episode begin, spoiler-boy?
The first scene is set outside the courthouse as the media surround a beaming matinee idol. The title character narrates: “So this is how it is. The innocent suffer, the guilty go free, and truth and fiction are pretty much interchangeable.” “Mr. Echolls, how do you feel about your acquittal?” asks the reporter from KQUA-TV. “I feel relieved to have my name cleared of this horrible crime,” Aaron Echolls replies. Veronica’s voice resumes its atheist’s prayer: “There is neither a Santa Claus nor an Easter Bunny, and there are no angels watching over us. Things just happen for no reason. And nothing makes any sense.”

Does Aaron immediately begin whipping Logan with a large leather belt?
Not … immediately. But by the second act, we already get a sense that life just got much, much harder for Logan. “I got the purse-strings back,” smirks Aaron. “You’re my dependent again, son.”

What’s doing with Mr. Goodwood?
Meg’s dad offers $20,000 for the capture Mayor Woody Goodman. Before the teaser is over, rival private investigator Vinnie Van Lowe will propose teaming with Keith in an effort to collect that sum.

What else happens in the teaser?
A sleeping Veronica generates the best dream sequence the show has given us to date, a fascinating fantasy that no longtime fan is going to want to miss.

Does Keith beat anybody up this time?
He certainly tussles.

Any season-ending advancement on the Mac-Beaver front?
The Beav finally agrees to indulge a new level of intimacy.

Speaking of the Beav, is similar progress made in the Kendall Phoenix Land Trust storyline?
Significant progress.

Now that you’ve seen the entire second season, do you still feel comfortable declaring it better than the first?
Extremely comfortable. The first season was brilliant, no doubt, but the second saw far less meandering in its plotting. “Mars” 2.X will stand as one of the most successful and complex season-long stories ever to grace a cathode-ray tube.

What’s great?
You name it. The dreaming. The many many many surprises. The graduation ceremony. The John Schneider cameo. Dick’s nickname for Mac. The furry weapon used against Keith. “A pony??” “It’s liquid! It’s courage! It’s liquid courage!” “Or both. At the same time.”

What’s not so great?
The killer gets the upper hand, frankly, because Veronica’s famous reserve of brainpower seems to inconveniently and inexplicably (if temporarily) vanish.

Does the season end with a cliffhanger?
More than one, my friend.

When do we learn whether or not The CW picks up “Veronica Mars” for a third season?
In nine days: May 18, 2006. By the way, commuters on the 405 should keep an eye to the Los Angeles skies today. “Mars” fans hired a plane that will, during the rush hours, trail a banner that reads: "RENEW VERONICA MARS! CW 2006!"

Herc’s rating for “Veronica Mars” 2.22?

The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:
***** better than we deserve
**** better than most motion pictures
*** actually worth your valuable time
** as horrible as most stuff on TV
* makes you quietly pray for bulletins

9 p.m. Tuesday. UPN.

I am – Hercules!!

Great googly moogly!! Veronica Mars: The Complete First Season and Moonlighting: The Complete First and Second Seasons both just went 50-percent off!! $29.96 and $24.97, respectively!!

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