A week later…   

Ahh. Anyone who knew me a mere 6 months ago knows how annoyingly appropriate it is that Tropical Storm Tammy is the sole reason for my crankiness today. I’ve been at work for an hour and a half and I’m still wet from all the running in the rain. We’re having a slight lull in the rain at the moment but the radar promises that there’s more on the way. Fun.

New VM tonight which has me hoping the next seven hours will fly by in a blur. But before that happens and my mind gets taken over by that little squeeing fan girl, I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on last week’s episode.

I’ll start with a disclaimer. I love Rob. There are those who don’t and I can respect that but I really have a lot of admiration for the man. That being said, I know he wrote the first episode and I still have some criticisms about it. I’m fully on board with the train of thought that these are Rob’s characters and his story. A storyline may not be going the way I wanted it but I’ve never let that stop me from enjoying it anyway.

And, yeah, I’m saying that because it may have seemed like I didn’t like things from last week because I want Logan and Veronica together. Not true. I have some legitimate issues with the way things played out. It may have been the acting, it may have been the writing, or it may have been the directing. I suspect it was a combination of all three. Rob was trying to get a lot of information shoved into one episode and some of the episode suffered as a result.

It still had so much good in it and I’ve re-watched it several times so I obviously like it. I just wish we had gotten two episodes out of this one so that things wouldn’t have seemed so … mish-mashed together. Of course, this episode could end up being like the pilot. I didn’t love that the first time around either. Then, once I was into the show, I was able to go back and appreciate the setup that was happening there that I couldn’t appreciate properly until I had more of the story.

So, anyway, according to Rob Veronica did want Logan at the door. Since that was my initial reaction, I’m happy to go back to accepting it as canon. But, re-watching that scene knowing that just makes it more obvious that something was seriously off about those flashbacks. That we have room to doubt what the characters are feeling means they didn’t nail those scenes. I don’t think that makes them all bad actors or Rob a horrible writer. It just disappoints me because that was our cliffhanger, the scene we were left wanting all summer. I still say, of all the scenes we got last week, those should have been perfect and I’m not sure they were. Ha. And I’m one of the people who actually wanted it to be Logan at the door!

Veronica and Duncan. I still like them on re-watch. I, like both Duncan and Veronica, like the idea of them together. I like the idea that they were able to get past their issues and reclaim their love. I just don’t think that’s what happened. We have no proof that they’ve even addressed their issues. This is not just a case of being torn apart by outside forces. At first? Yes, it was all about Duncan thinking he was her brother. Unfortunately, his reaction to that news proves that he’s an extremely selfish person who cares more about his own comfort than anyone else’s. I don’t think that makes him a horrible person. It just makes him a flawed person. It, in no way, makes him unworthy of Veronica. If I thought that, there is no way I could hope that Veronica and Logan would find their way back to each other. However, if Veronica is going to call Logan out on his behavior, then she should do the same for Duncan.

But, she wants normal and Duncan’s normal is much more aligned with her idea of normal than Logan’s. She may not be admitting it to herself but she wants Duncan because of his ability to ‘stand idly by’ and his selfishness. Right now? It works in her favor. He’s not going to make sure they both admit their past problems and talk about them. He’s going to go on pretending that they can reclaim normal with never addressing what went on before. Logan may be an asshole but he proved last year that he’s not going to let things go just to be with Veronica. In the pool house during ATttD, he didn’t have to tell Veronica that he drugged Duncan. Veronica tried to stop him from even talking about his part in everything that happened that night. Hell, she admits that she’s just going to try and pretend that part didn’t happen. But he forces the issues because he knows that it’s not wise to keep it hidden. For the record, while I don’t think Logan is the more adult member of this trio, I do think he’s years ahead of the other two when it comes to what it takes to have a healthy relationship. Logan is constantly pushing to get things out in the open and address them rather than hiding or running away from them.

Looking back, Veronica’s actions that night should have clued me into how she would have reacted once she figured out Lilly’s murder. She finds out the truth about her rape and immediately tries to reclaim what she’s lost. In that scenario, she can’t have Duncan because they believe they are siblings. But she is acting all giddy and happy with Logan – while so many of us are like reeling and trying to figure out how she’s recovered so fast. Turns out she’s not really recovered at all. I’m more convinced that Logan pushing her to face his part in what happened and then finding the cameras and running was not about a lack of trust in Logan. It was because she clearly realizes in that moment that being with Logan is going to be complicated and definitely not “normal.” So, in a way, what she says at the locker isn’t a lie. It was too much for her all of the sudden. The realization that she’s not going to be able to pretend with this guy that nothing happened.

So, really? I should have seen her desire to return to Veronica 1.0 coming. I knew she wanted her old life back and that’s why she was so focused on the murder in the first place. I knew it logically but I thought surely she recognized that not everything could go back to the way it was. I mean, she kicked Lianne out. She gets the idea right there. Or, maybe not. Maybe in that case she just thinks that Lianne was never what she thought so it’s different with her. That doesn’t mean she can’t get back her old life, she just can’t get back the illusions she held on to previously? ‘Cept, I think Duncan was an illusion. He’s not the fairy tale boyfriend she paints him to be in her flashbacks in Season 1. That fairy tale boyfriend wouldn’t have let the entire school paint her as a slut on rumors he knew to be false. That fairy tale boyfriend wouldn’t have slept with someone he acknowledges he thought was his sister (drugs schmugs, he says he KNEW – he shouts this in frustration at her – he KNEW she was his sister and he did it anyway… right there he admits that he had enough control to stop and just didn’t). That fairy tale boyfriend, if he did lose his mind enough to do something he shouldn’t have done, wouldn’t have left her the next morning and assumed she was on board on keeping it a secret. Why? Why would she have thought that? There’s no logic there. Ok, he didn’t truly know that she was drugged so I would never accuse Duncan of rape. In his view, what they did was wrong because of the incest not because of her being too drugged to know any better. So, in his mind, she was going to remember consenting to sleep with him. What he seems to have forgotten is why she would think it’s wrong? Why? Why wouldn’t he even consider that she’d actually assume that it meant they were getting back together? He knew that she was a virgin and wouldn’t just sleep with him as a last goodbye fling. His assumptions about that night make no logical sense. And, his reaction to finding out that she thought it was rape is what cements it for me. He doesn’t apologize. He gets mad. He rubs it in her face that she doesn’t remember what happened. Why does Veronica not have a problem with this?

When I really think about why I have issues with Duncan, is when I get mad about the way Veronica reacts to Logan vs Duncan. It’s obviously about what she’s trying to hold onto and what she’s trying to get back with Duncan but it drives me a little bonkers that she is being a huge hypocrite. I agree with her breaking up with Logan. Hell, I even agree with her reasons. On the other hand, I also desperately want to point out to her that those very reasons are why she should have some problems with how quickly she jumped back into a relationship with Duncan. I feel like she’s forgotten that she knows he just stands idly by and lets things happen. Like she was wrong in that particular instance and he, feeling guilty for what she said to him, did try to change a little by the end of that episode. But? That doesn’t change that it’s still what he does and continues to do.

Also? If these things were all addressed when Veronica and Duncan got back together, I’ll be perfectly happy for them. I still think she has more chemistry with Logan but, if she’s talked about her issues with Duncan and gotten past them and is happy with him, I’ll be happy for her. There’s a slight chance that’s happened and we’ll eventually see some of it in flashbacks but I’ve got a very healthy dose of doubt about that. Because, after all, that would have wreaked a bit of havoc in her plan to return to “normal.”

I have to wonder how Wallace reacted to her getting back with Duncan? He’s usually the voice of reason with her. The one who points out the obvious. Did he do it in this case or did he just want her to be happy? I have to wonder if we’ll see Duncan not reacting to some things this season and Wallace pointing it out to Veronica as a serious flaw in her boyfriend. Hmmm? The real question for me this season is how long it’ll take Veronica to realize that she’s not the girl she was before Lilly’s death and trying to pretend things didn’t happen in an effort to return to the norm isn’t going to work. I’m not sure that will equate to her wanting to be with Logan but I don’t think there’s any hope for them until she lets go of the past.

Hmm. Ok, so what, two sentences of that were actually related directly to the episode? I just needed to work through where I’m in regards to Veronica. I actually understand why she wants normal to be the watchword. I even understand why she wants to give it another shot with Duncan and reclaim what they lost. After all, for her, it never really ended in a lot of ways. She had no chance to say goodbye or get closure before she was yanked away from everything else she knew and was reeling from dealing with all the change. I’m eager to see where she goes from here and handles things. I love Logan but I’m in this show for Veronica. Veronica is the character I care the most about and, for a brief moment there last week, I got worried that we’d lost her. I never truly lost faith in Rob but too many years of TV shows that decide to completely remake their characters from season to season had me tense. It took some re-examination of the Veronica we met last year, with all her flaws and vulnerabilities, to remind myself that she is still there.

Whew. Obsessed with this show? Nah, not me!

3 Responses to “A week later…”

  1. 1
    ww1614 says:

    Great post. And btw, I don’t hate Rob the way I hate Joss. I mean, I seriously dislike Joss. With Rob, it’s that I hate things he does, and I hate his stupid bizarre attitude towards spoilers, and I hate that he’s making some serious mistakes right now.

    I want to like Rob. I want to love him. :) I can cut him some slack because he’s never had to write a second-season premiere before. I’m sure he’s written tons of pilots, but never a second-season premiere.

    But he’s doing some stupid things. :( I wish he’d stop.

  2. 2
    raelee says:

    Thanks :)

    I didn’t really think you hated Rob. Though I have read things from others who really do seem to hate him right now. And, I’m kinda with you on hating some of the things Rob does. I still hate the bait and switch he pulled last week. And it still seems stupid given that he, of all the tv show creators out there right now, is very much clued into his fans and what they want. Ok. Stopping myself ‘cuz I’ll get off on a rant about that again. ;)

    You make a good point about never having had to write a second season premiere before. I can only hope that we’ll get to see if he improves when having to write a third season premiere.

  3. 3
    zimshan says:

    Oh, you nailed so many things with this post!

    I, in large part, loved this episode. I had no real expectations for it and it just blew me away.

    It just disappoints me because that was our cliffhanger, the scene we were left wanting all summer. I still say, of all the scenes we got last week, those should have been perfect and I’m not sure they were.

    The door scene was the one thing I did have a problem with. But, then again, I didn’t have high expectations on that cliffhanger, and the first time around, it did alot better than I thought. Still, that whole part, something felt off. The rest of the episode jsut felt strange to me, because it was a whole different world than the way we lft it last May. Hopefully, RT will throw in flashbacks throughout the year to help us bridge that gap.

    All of the characters actions are understandable, but you just have to take a step back and think about it for awhile. I haven’t decided whether it’s a good thing or not…

    That being said, I know he wrote the first episode and I still have some criticisms about it.

    It goes without saying, I love RT, but from what I’ve seen so far of his work, he’s better at plotline setups, scene creation and the like, than actual writing, you know, the actual words that get put on the page.

    But, she wants normal and Duncan’s normal is much more aligned with her idea of normal than Logan’s. She may not be admitting it to herself but she wants Duncan because of his ability to ‘stand idly by’ and his selfishness.

    Well, yea, she knows Duncan will let her pretend to be normal, while Logan will not. He can’t escape his problems the same way Duncan has. (Dude, he’s living by himself in the Neptune Grand while his parents are up in Napa.) For Logan, everytime he stops, he’s reminded of his fucked up life. He doesn’t have the luxury of blocking it out.

    But she is acting all giddy and happy with Logan – while so many of us are like reeling and trying to figure out how she’s recovered so fast. Turns out she’s not really recovered at all.

    See, I kind of love that it works out like this. This episode made me understand Veronica so much more than ever before. We had always known about her desire to get her life back, get things back to normal. But I had never applied that to the later episodes. And this, just makes so much sense. And yea, I had wondered all summer whether her locker speech had been truth or not. It just had sounded to honest to be a lie. It was nice to see how much it applied this year.

    I have to wonder how Wallace reacted to her getting back with Duncan? He’s usually the voice of reason with her.

    I was very interested in their conversation in the journalism room last week. Wallace grills her on why she would be going on a field trip. “Yea, but you don’t like people.” And she says, “I’m just a normal girl going on a normal field trip.” And he smiles knowingly, “Normal is the Watchword.” That exchange right there shows to me at least, that they have talked about this. She’s voiced her plan to get a normal life, to escape the craziness and just let things be easy for a while, to Wallace. Not only that, but it shows that she’s not doing this unconcsiously. She’s suppressing and she knows it. But I wager, after that year, she tired, and needs a break. And who better to escape from reality with than Duncan, reality avoidance extraordinare?