OPEN CASE:  Veronica Mars

 

Season 2

Episode 17

 

 

Plan B: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

By Erin – April 6, 2006

 

 

We wanna be free! We wanna be free to do what we wanna do. We wanna be free to ride. We wanna be free to ride our machines without being hassled by The Man! ... And we wanna get loaded!

--The Wild Angels

 

Freedom. That’s what it’s all about. But talking about it, and being it, that’s two different things.

--Easy Rider

 

Everybody’s got a plan. Woody plans to incorporate Neptune. Veronica plans to escape Neptune within seconds of graduating. Jackie plans to rehabilitate her reputation. Felix and Molly plan to settle down, drive trucks, and have a big family. For some, the plans have yet to come to fruition. For others, their plans are fruitless. For Felix and Molly, their plan ended on the Coronado Bridge.

 

Molly fondles a truck implanted with a listening device; what’s overheard might eventually free her from her family’s control. We see Curly in a flashback; the stunt coordinator on “The Long Haul” is nearing the end of his line. Jackie tells Wallace she came to Neptune to not be alone anymore, and finds herself in exactly the same situation. The elusive Luis is a trucker. So, what’s at the end of the road? The same place we left behind? A new life in a new town? Or a long plunge off a steep cliff?

 

Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom!

 

Well, well, well. Things are definitely coming to a head in Neptune. Actually, to be more accurate, things are imploding, like the former home of the “greatest Shark to ever put on the uniform.” So how does the big metaphorical stadium of destruction relate to the rest of tonight’s story? There are interpersonal implosions, as the clock runs out on Wallace and Jane, Cassidy and Mac, and Thumper and the Fitzpatricks. There is the inkling of a time bomb in the Goodman home: a shot of a ticking clock and father and daughter at the dinner table; are the days of this “normal” home numbered? There is the witness to Felix’s murder, Luis, who lives right in the center of PCH territory and fears that coming forward as the real witness will put his family in danger.

 

Everyone is on the clock or counting costs as we count down to the stadium’s destruction. Veronica tells Weevil that it would cost him $50 for her to listen to him; Weevil “banks” on her curiosity. Cassidy tells Mac he’s in the “bloom” of youth and she is aging fast. Mac counts the length of her and Cassidy’s relationship (4 months) and finds their progress (to the big boom?) to be lacking. Since the “night is still young,” Cassidy and Mac plan to hit 8 pizza places after the dance. Logan tells Luis that the last 7 months of his life have been hell because of him. Charlie’s mother allows him one dance with Jackie and then tells him “it’s time to say goodnight.” The foreman tells Woody about the motorcycle he found inside the stadium and that it would take 20 or 30 minutes to unchain and remove it. Jackie tells Wallace that her father is now off suicide watch. Wallace tells Jane he kissed Jackie in a “weak moment.” Veronica even makes reference to the Roman empire and the reign of Caligula, whose reign as emperor imploded after only 4 years, and who remains the standard touchstone when people reference power hungry and perverse leadership. Most importantly, there is Thumper, tied to a urinal while the last minutes of his life tick away, and Weevil making his first confession in “a long, long time.”

 

“When I’ve imagined this moment, ‘I Had the Time of My Life’ is always playing.” That would be the second Dirty Dancing reference so far this season, for those who are counting. In this context, Logan is the misunderstood Johnny Castle; the bad boy who corrupted Baby, stole money, and impregnated his dance partner. (As in Dirty Dancing, most of the assumptions are wrong. It’s Weevil who planted the “stolen” money behind Thumper’s gas tank, and Duncan who knocked up his dance partner, Meg.) The events of Dirty Dancing are significant in another way; Baby and Johnny’s entire relationship, from first contact to first time to saying good-bye, occurred in 3 days. Logan and Veronica were also “together” only a short time.

 

What’s In a Name?

 

The words “Plan B” have been getting a lot of attention lately, as it is the name of the emergency contraception that some pharmacists refuse to provide. For Weevil, Logan, Veronica, and Jackie, the first line of defense didn’t work. A pill was forgotten, the condom broke, the sheriff refused to run with the information provided. Each needs to approach their problems in a different way: Weevil sets up Thumper, Veronica works with Logan as her Plan B to find the real witness, Jackie attempts to repair her initial impression as a “man-eating bitch.” Everyone has moved on to their contingency scenarios.

 

With all this shifting and changing, it only makes sense that names and nicknames are referenced and emphasized. Logan wears a t-shirt that reads “Slacker,” tells Gia he’s an “underachiever,” cribs at least part of his essay from “Easy Rider” (a term that means someone who lives off the earnings of a prostitute), is christened Honorary Deputy County Commissioner Echolls, and claims not to care about finding the truth of what happened at the bridge. (At the same time, he brings the video to Keith and Woody’s attention as he sorts the mail and goes on stakeout with Veronica, undermining his nonchalance. He also finds Woody’s rubber signature stamp; a clue that perhaps Woody himself is a “rubber stamp” for more powerful interests.) Veronica tells him that he is officially a “bad boy,” Luis calls him the “rich white son of a movie star.” Thumper’s real name is used by Weevil and Lamb, but Danny calls him “bunny,” something weak and fluffy. Liam is furious about Felix’s supposed loose talk about the “Good Ship Mollypop.” Both Weevil and Luis take issue with how their actions are perceived: Logan accuses Luis of hanging him out to dry by not coming forward and Veronica sees only Weevil beating Curly to death; Luis and Weevil both claim their actions saved Logan’s and Curly’s lives. Weevil Jackie tells Wallace that his actions confirm everyone’s impression of her as a “man-eating bitch.” Cassidy tells Mac that no amount of crepe paper can make the gym a “garden paradise.”

 

The Closet Opens

 

When Veronica and Duncan opened Meg’s closet door, they found Grace, abused and terrified. Now, closet doors are opening all over Neptune and everyone is in danger of being outed. What do we find?

 

Who’s Out

 

  • Thumper outed Felix as Molly’s Fitzpartrick’s boyfriend to her family.
  • Wallace outs himself to Jane as both the initiator of their kiss and still being attracted to Jackie.
  • Mac comes out to Cassidy as being unhappy with how things are between them.
  • Thumper is outed as Felix’s killer.
  • Turnabout being fair play, Weevil “outs” Thumper as a thief.
  • Luis the trucker is outed as the real witness on the Coronado bridge.
  • Veronica outs Logan as stealing from “Easy Rider” for his essay.
  • Weevil’s attack on Thumper is witnessed by the mysterious child in the white van; later, he confesses to Fr. Fitzpatrick about what he’s done.

 

Who’s Still In

 

  • Gia accuses Logan of hiding behind sarcasm to keep people at a distance.
  • Cassidy won’t move past kissing and handholding with Mac, won’t take her to his place because Dick is there, and breaks things off with her when he finds out she talked to Veronica about their relationship. What is he hiding?
  • Liam taunts Molly about “grieving for that half-breed cholo.”
  • Thumper tells Liam and Danny he has something on them, but doesn’t get a chance to say it.
  • Woody makes up a half-baked story about a resentful gardener fired by his “tough” wife and asks for the video back so he can destroy it. Earlier, he invites Logan to lift weights with him, fondles Logan’s bicep and muses about being “young and ripped.” Could Woody’s secret be as simple as being gay, or is that too easy? (Although Freud would have a field day with the cigar Woody puts in his mouth when Keith questions him about what he might be hiding.)
  • Thumper is gagged and left in the stadium as it implodes around him.

 

 “St. Jude can’t save you” is sung as the foreman finds Thumper’s bike. St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes. Nothing big can stay secret for long; someone is always watching. Weevil seems to think he’s unnoticed by anyone when he chloroforms Thumper, but there is a witness in the van. Liam doesn’t believe Thumper’s story of being jumped because there are no visible marks on him. Thumper films Weevil with his camera phone as Weevil beats Curly (which in and of itself was Plan B; the rest of the gang wanted to drive him over a cliff). None of the PCH-ers realize that they too are being watched by the mysterious car in the distance. Jane’s friend spies Wallace and Jackie kissing, but her perception of it is wrong. Someone films Woody talking to his daughter at the dining room table; neither are aware they are being watched. Weevil and Veronica plant a bug in the toy truck they give Molly so they can audiospy on the Fitzpatricks. Woody won’t authorize removal of the motorcycle in the stadium because the crowds and cameras are waiting for a big explosion. Not to mention that Aaron Echolls was brought down by his own obsession with taping himself.  The only secret that is kept is Thumper’s presence inside, where no one can see him, where he can’t make a sound.

 

Woody claims to judge people not on their actions, but on the “quality of their character,” but the importance of taking action is emphasized over and over. Weevil tells Molly that he loved Felix more than she did because he’s taking action to bring Felix’s killer to justice. Veronica tries to steer Lamb in the right direction by bringing him the Fitzpatrick wiretaps. However, Lamb responds to her assertion that “finding admissible evidence is the least you can do” with “There’s less I could do; trust me.”

 

So, all the cargo has been loaded into the truck: Felix’s murder, the bus crash, the real witness, the Fitzpatricks, Thumper’s death, Woody’s and Cassidy’s secrets, and whatever Kendall and Aaron are up. We’ve got a desired destination: the Land of Who, What, When, Where, and How. Now the questions are: Who is going to ride to freedom? Who is going to go over the cliff?

 

***

 

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