There’s a whole lot of raping going on in Neptune County and it’s down to our hero to put an end to it. Rape and sexual abuse crop up with depressing frequency in the run of Veronica Mars and this time it’s campus based. Someone at Hearst College has been drug raping female students then shaving their heads. A victim of drug rape herself, Veronica takes this very personally. High on the list of suspects are the Pi Sigs – the moronic Greek system frat houses whose booze and womanising pack mentality don’t do them any favours when attempting to clear their name.Indulge me for a moment you sick fucks and consider what it must be like to be me, the walking embodiment of television around this time of year. Consider the overall effect of the best American shows going on hiatus at the same time. It is like having every pubic hair on your body yanked out simultaneously. Masochists account for 95% of the Aerial Telly readership if my mailbag is anything to go by so you’re probably quite excited by that idea. I am not. I no rikee. Pull out my pubes simultaneously and I’m on some Dante shit like “Why pluck’st thou me?”. For such unnecessary plucking deprives me of Veronica Mars, Rob Thomas‘s magnificent girl detective in over her head in the Neptune underworld.
“The realisation that Moe is Mercer’s accomplice and the tea she’s been drinking is spiked with the same GHB used to rape all the other girls is horrifying.”
In the sickeningly thrilling pre-hiatus episode, Veronica runs for her life from the man she’s just discovered is the campus rapist, Logan‘s friend Mercer. She seeks sanctuary with Moe, driver of the Safe Ride Home buggy for the women of Hearst College. As Veronica sips tea, with Moe out seeking help, she spots a photo of Moe and Mercer together in the infamous prison experiment. The realisation that Moe is Mercer’s accomplice and the tea she’s been drinking is spiked with the same GHB used to rape all the other girls is horrifying. Moe brings Mercer to his room to find a barely conscious Veronica hiding in the closet. She has just enough strength left to blow the rape whistle Parker gave her earlier in the episode.
It was very fitting that Parker, one of the first victims of the rapist, should be the one to hear the whistle and ultimately save Veronica. Her journey from vacant slut to rape victim and finally to self-aware young woman and saviour of Veronica was beautifully handled and spoke of the unspoken bond between survivors of rape. The scene where she confronts Mercer in the corridor was hugely powerful. This show handles those big moments so well that you understand why Joss Whedon finds its brilliance “intimidating”.
“Parker’s journey from vacant slut to rape victim and finally to self-aware young woman and saviour of Veronica was beautifully handled and spoke of the unspoken bond between survivors of rape.”
In other news we’ve had Logan trash a police squad car to get put in the same holding cell as Moe and Mercer. I’m sure they’ll have lots to catch up on – like the whole “you tried to rape my girlfriend” thing. Mercer will be praying to serve his time in Fox River at this rate. Also, Keith gets some ass from a married client, and Dean O’Dell gets murdered in his office to set up the season’s second half mystery. Damn, doesn’t trouble just follow Veronica around?
But she can handle it. Veronica is one of the best TV characters of the past 10 years – faultlessly witty, infuriatingly stubborn and a genius-level detective. The marriage of noir and teen drama that underpins Veronica Mars continues to work during the college years because it still retains the capacity to shock and everybody involved with it believes so passionately in the project. This show inspires unquestioning loyalty in its fans. This is not just another show. You need to be watching this.
The best thing about it: The intuitive understanding that character drives plot, not vice-versa
The worst thing about it: It’s not back until 23rd January.
The verdict on Veronica Mars Season Three Half-term Report : The best show on television.
Marks out of 10: 9