‘There’s Got to Be a Morning After Pill’ is an episode that gets afforded a somewhat mixed reception from critics and fans of Veronica Mars. It indicates once again that Veronica Mars at this stage is actually finding its feet and voice in a more cohesive way when exploring more college-related crimes, although one could imagine that series would have found a way to include this storyline in the first two, high school set, seasons if they could.
The mystery of the week involves Veronica trying to find out who may have slipped the morning after pill to a student, Bonnie (Carlee Alvers) who happens to be the girlfriend of Veronica’s criminology class nemesis Tim Foyle (James Jordan), which caused her to miscarriage. Bonnie happens to be a conservative Christian which opens up the story to all manner of themes, and while the story is pretty enjoyable, and we get some more entertaining developments in regard to the murder of Dean O’Dell, it’s Veronica herself which makes this episode as entertaining and engrossing as it is.
Having found out that Logan had sex with Madison when they were broken up, it causes Veronica to spiral somewhat and the writing and the performance from Kristen Bell here are superlative. It might end up being some sort of test on the audience to determine where they stand on both her attitude and actions during the course of the episode, but it makes up for an incredibly entertaining hour from what has been the patchiest season of the series to date, although the last few episodes have admittedly seen the series turn the corner in terms of quality.
One of the entertaining things about researching this episode is in finding out that there was also a difference of opinion within the writers’ room as to how Veronica should handle her jealousy. A character trait that has always made Veronica and the series as brilliantly entertaining as it has been is her “scorched earth” policy when it comes to matters of vengeance and watching her trail Madison and potentially have her car crushed by Weevil does help make the episode a wonderfully fun and angsty one as we ponder just what her course of action will be.
One is left wondering if her decision to not crush the car is the right one, which one can imagine might have led to many a fun discussion amongst Rob Thomas and everyone who helped the craft the series. Amanda Noret has always been a fun addition to the series, and her antagonism in the first two seasons was such a dark joy especially given that unlike many other mean girls in teen television dramas, the writers on Veronica Mars never opted to put her on the path to redemption, or redeem her in the way that Cordelia Chase did from Buffy the Vampire Slayer when she moved to spin-off series Angel.
The increasing antagonism now that we’re into the college years which has seen the character really do a number of Veronica that makes the episode even better than it otherwise would have been. The case of the week is more than fine, even if it does build up to a twist and character development that are easy to see coming and while the Dean O’Dell murder is much better than the campus rapist storyline, it’s not quite the bus crash or Lilly Kane’s murder either.
The fact that Veronica Mars has found a way to gain great drama from plotlines other than the central mysteries this week is actually welcome and while it may lead the audience to be split in those decisions in the way the writers of the series were, it does mean the series is still managing to be very engaging and that makes the series all the better for it.
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