Veronica Mars: Scott Humbert

On ''Veronica Mars,'' while our heroine solves the mystery of the campus rapes, Patty Hearst plays a rich alumna with a devious husband

November 22, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

”Veronica Mars”: Veronica busts the rapist

Last night’s Veronica Mars was one of those love-it-or-hate-it episodes. Lots to love (making progress on the rape case, great guest stars, Veronica’s Taser and one-liners, and Logan’s soft spot) and even more to hate (the stupid reason behind the rapes, Patty Hearst’s awful performance, Veronica becoming a sourpuss, and Wallace being virtually MIA). Anyone else feel the same way?

Here’s a breakdown of what I loved and what I loathed:

Loved It We finally got an explanation for the rapes — err, lack of rapes, I should say. I was recently in the elevator with Mary, one of my co-workers at EW, who asked me who I thought the rapist was. As the show’s TV Watcher, I should be full of theories, but to be honest, I couldn’t think of anything plausible. I danced around the question and pointed my fingers at Piz, the sketchy RA, and the ugly teaching assistant. Lots of facts bounced around in my mind: radio show times; the fact that the radio station overlooks the food court, where Veronica was drugged; when Piz was where; Mercer’s alibi; and the Pi Sigs’ involvement. Still no one person seemed perfect. But as we found out this week, there was no rapist. The attacks were staged by the feminazis on campus. Whaaaa? Though I’m relieved to finally have some answers, that brings me to my first hate.

Hated It The feminists were staging all the rapes just to get back at Chip Diller? Come on, seriously! As Veronica would say, my mind was blown! But in this case, it was blown by the sheer shallowness of it all. The three girls — Fern, Claire, and that editor chick — were exacting sick revenge and taking it out on the entire Greek system? Lame, lame, lame. While it’s sad about what happened to their friend Patrice (having the lights turned up, while naked, in a room full of laughing frat boys would be traumatic for anyone), that’s no excuse for getting an entire campus in an uproar about a potential rapist.

Seriously, I’m not even sure I understand. They got Chip back by sticking that Easter egg where the sun doesn’t shine, but what was the point of everything else? It makes me question so much of what’s happened so far this season. How did they get Parker to agree to join in the scheme? Or did they really just drug her, shave her head, and make her think she was raped? And why did no one point out the fact that there was no forensic evidence of rape — strands of hair, semen — before now? I pondered the possibility of the rapes being fake at first, but I never would have imagined that they’d string out a story line for this long if there had been no actual evidence besides shaved heads. How was it, exactly, that Veronica didn’t figure this out before? I’m disappointed. Greek systems everywhere are problematic, but isn’t this a little extreme?

Loved It Guest stars Charles Shaughnessy, who is probably best known for his time on The Nanny, and Keri Lynn Pratt. While Shaughnessy didn’t have a huge role, I thought he was perfectly cast. He’s good at working the British accent to play a slightly sleazy guy. And Pratt — loved her in her tart role here and on Brothers & Sisters. (Any of you out there watching that great show? You should be.) Another guest, however — and the most eagerly anticipated of the three — seemed off the mark.

Hated It Patty Hearst’s guest performance. I haven’t seen her in much before — just a few of her TV guest spots like this — but she was no good. The scenes with her talking to Keith and Veronica in the guesthouse were just plain awkward. It was too hard for her. She expressed no emotion, either happy or sad, about what was going on. I realize it was meant to be funny that Patty Hearst was guest-starring on a show with a fictional Hearst College, blah blah, but so what?

Loved It Veronica’s continued sassiness and splendid one-liners. She had some of the best of the season. A few of my favorites: 1. ”I’m off to steal the souls of the rich with my evil image-capturing device.” 2. ”When you stick an Easter egg in a frat boy’s out door, do you kiss him first? Poor Chip — you really wrecked him.” 3. After Hallie complained that Veronica was blocking her sun: ”Oh, is that yours? Sorry.” And 4. ”Apparently Brant is the Smithers to Mr. Rose’s Monty Burns.” Plus, I loved it that Veronica pulled her Taser out twice and buzzed a guy once. Oh, and her hilarious duping of Lamb while impersonating local TV personality Martina Vasquez was classic.

Hated It Veronica has been a bigger sourpuss than ever lately. Of course she’s shaken up by the rapist stuff, but is that any reason to take her rage out on Logan, who’s just trying to help? Of course you’re an independent woman and all that, but learn to recognize when you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.

Loved It Logan’s heart — or his attempt at having one. Maybe he isn’t such a bad guy. Even though he’s being a tad on the overprotective side, his intentions were good when he hired a bodyguard for Veronica. He’s realized — although she hasn’t — that his little blond peach isn’t invincible.

Hated It Wallace’s diminished role. Is helping Veronica crack a few numbers all he’s good for these days? Give him his own story line — please! Or at least let him help Veronica some more. And as for Mac, I’m not even going there anymore.

What do you think? What did you love or hate about this episode? Are you dying to have all the loose ends about the rape mystery tied up? And could one sorority car wash really raise enough money for the den mother’s chemo treatment?

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