And so the Dean O’Dell case finally comes to a close. Was it a Veronica Mars classic? I have to say, as a Veronica Mars fan from the beginning, I am no fan of the mini-arc formula. That said, I’m not sure how to feel about Veronica’s next trick: the single episode arcs. That’s right. No more multiple part underlying mysteries, for the remainder of this season of Veronica Mars at least. So needless to say, I am more than a little ambivalent standing here at the end of what must be Veronica Mars’ weakest mystery, looking forward over strange, uncharted territory.
What happened to the quirky, fun Veronica Mars? The one that cared about people, and solved crimes that had meaning to her. Sure, she got a nice letter of recommendation from the Dean, but puh-lease. The Dean O’Dell murder was never connected to Veronica in a meaningful way, until tonight.
Tragically, much of the case came to a head exactly as it seemed to be. As with all Veronica Mars mysteries, we knew that the most obvious suspects, Mindy and Hank, were not guilty no matter how guilty they acted.
None the less, much time and effort is paid to making these patsies go through the paces of being guilty. Arrested. Released. Picking up insurance checks. Disappearing to island paradises. Y’know, guilty people stuff. Meanwhile, Veronica and Tim Foyle work tirelessly to get Foyle’s hero, Landry, off the hook.
The problem with this episode is too much time is spent convincing us the wrong people are guilty. By this stage of the Veronica Mars game, we know the formula all too well. Anybody who was truly caught off guard by the fact that Landry and Mindy O’Dell were innocent just haven’t been watching Veronica Mars long enough. For those of us who are die hard fans, the reveal seemed like a formulaic cheat. Maybe Veronica Mars will work better in single shots after all.
In the end the murderer wound up being Landry’s trusty teaching assistant Tim Foyle. Foyle murdered the Dean because Landry had screwed him out of a job and he wanted to ruin Landry’s career by framing him for the Dean’s murder. There is just one fatal flaw to that theory. If your pissed off enough that human life has no meaning to you, and you want some revenge, why not just kill the guy that screwed you to begin with.
Above all of this, the item that set Foyle off was a reference call he had intercepted with a phone bug. The comment was harsh, for sure, but not so damning that it should have put Foyle over the edge. Throughout most of the episode, Foyle behaves like a pretty level headed guy, not the kind of psycho that could get set off by a slightly offensive reference call. I’m not buying it.
(Picture from IMDB)
– Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer