Veronica Mars: What the Frak?

After nine episodes of waiting, it was finally revealed that the Hearst rapist was none other then… Mercer with the assistance of the dorm R.A. Moe? To put it bluntly, “What the Frak?”

As much as it pains me to say this, last night’s installment of VERONICA MARS, directed by Mars creator himself Rob Thomas, was incredibly disappointing. Is it just me, or did having Mercer as the guilty party seem completely out of left field? With the season one mystery, Lilly’s death was believable, as we were all witness to Aaron Echolls dark side (remember when Logan was literally whipped by his father?). In season two, we spent time with Beav and even though I was completely shocked, could understand his motivation, having been abused by Woody. With Mercer being revealed as the Hearst rapist, I just didn’t get it? More so, why exactly was Moe involved? Hair fetish aside, why was he helping Mercer?

That said, Dean O’Dell being killed was quite the surprise, and will hopefully produce to a fantastic second mystery. Right away I think it will lead to an improved group of episodes, as Dean O’Dell definitely grew on viewers thanks to the way he treated both Veronica and Keith.

I will say that while I’m not sure who killed the Dean, it’s pretty clear that they will have used Veronica’s perfect paper on the “perfect murder” to get away with it (that is until Veronica gets on the case!). An early prediction for me is that Professor Landry or TA Tim are far too obvious choices for the killer. My money’s on one of the three girls who faked the rapes to get the Frat Houses shut down. No doubt they weren’t happy when the Dean re-instated the Greek system. Of course, I also thought Professor Landry may have been the rapist, so don’t take my prediction to Vegas.

Finally as much as I didn’t appreciate Mercer as the rapist, I definitely loved how Logan got himself thrown into prison to inflict his own brand of justice on the culprits. While I’ll miss the Logan/Veronica relationship, I think letting Veronica and Logan date other people will ultimately be good for the show and the characters.

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  • John

    I had no problem with Mercer as the rapist (and no I didn’t figure it out before).

    My prpblem is the recurring theme of “let’s save Veronica”. So far in all three big mysteries she has had to be rescued – in the first by Kieth, then by Logan and now by Parker and the other dormies. And then two weeks ago she was saved TWICE, once by Vinnie and once by Logan. I realize VM is not Buffy, but give me a break.

    Also, VM has been a little dim this year. She is making more wrong guesses as who is guilty and acting foolishly.

    I want the VM who is smarter than me.

  • Geri

    When Veronica was drinking her tea, she saw a picture of Mercer and Moe on the wall, showing both of them in their respective Stanford Prison Experiment clothing. Mercer was a janitor while Moe was a prisoner. In the second episode of this season Moe mentioned that the experiment changed his life, we never got to see the meaning of it until now. Somehow they got stuck in the experiment and they kept the game going. You could see how Mercer treats Moe when they had Veronica on the floor…Mercer was the one yelling at Moe all the time, later when Parker confronted Mercer, Moe was totally useless and just kept starring at Mercer, asking him what to do.

    In my opinion a brilliant mini-finale of a story arc which really didn´t interest me in the first place.

  • thetvaddict

    Hey Geri – No I got that. I just didn’t buy that a class experiment could really forge that type of bond.

  • Common Sense

    Again, call me stupid….but who IS Mercer? What’s his role on campus, and general relationship to Veronica and the gang? Just a student, or an authority figure? A greek?

    And, has it been explained why he was raping and shaving heads?

    I need Matlock to explain the whole convoluted thing to me. Ha ha

    But a few answers to my questions would help….maybe I’ll go “Ohhhhh!” :)

  • Tim G.

    I think Mercer was just a creepy rapist with misogynistic tendencies.

  • thetvaddict

    I don’t think we ever got an explanation for why Mercer was a rapist. I just think he was standard TV evil. In 9 episodes, I don’t think it’s possible to fit in backstory for everybody.

  • Charlie

    TV Addict, they were showing that the experiment formed that syndrome, sorry can’t think of the name but it starts with an R, that Patty Hearst had when she was kidnapped too (in real life). It where the capture retains power over the victim even after the incident was over. So, Moe still was being controled by Mercer.

    Also Mercer totally wasnt out of left field. Remember in the first episode his radio show was plaing when Veronica walked in on Parker being raped and also he called Parker by her name wihtout being introduced in the radio station some episodes later. Makes total sense.

    I thought the episode was brilliant and one of the best of the series.

  • Geri

    One thing I seriously loved: Landry telling a bit about his students´ “murder victims”, including “the local sheriff bit the dust”…now who would want that??? LOL.

    I am not sure if there´s always a “why” when it comes to rape. There doesn´t always have to be a huge mind blowing traumatic reason for it. Some people are just sick. Sad but true. If someone ever finds out how people are capable of rape, there would be no victims at all.

    Plus Mercer just loved to pick on the helpless: When the viewer got first introduced to his character, he was making fun of a stutterer even though he appears to be a friend of his. It´s a bit similar to Beaver´s “Remember Sally?” – line when Dick wanted to attack him in the parking lot in season two.

  • Sam

    Mercer pretty much explained the ‘why’, but that was a really shallow and hard to believe reason. Impatience? Seriously? Mercer is a fairly attractive and outgoing guy. Why would he need to worry about that?

    But that aside, I have some gripes about this season in general. First, I agree with John that Veronica not only has been saved one too many times (and always usually during the finales) but that she seems to be sloppier older than she was younger.

    My biggest complaint however is how much every character BUT Veronica feels tacked on. It seems like we’ve seen less of everyone than we normally see them and when they do show up, if they weren’t Keith, Dick or Logan, it almost felt like the writers needed to give the actors SOMETHING to do, regardless of whether or not it was interesting or made sense. I mean, Dick has had more screen time (it seems) than Veronica’s own friends. Isn’t the actress who plays Parker in the opening credits? Exactly how many lines has she had? Sheriff Lamb? Weevil? Mac?

    Hopefully we get to see a lot more of everyone and have them be more significant when we do see them, otherwise Veronica24/7 might actually start to get on my nerves.

    Oh and I enjoyed the finale. Although it seemed more like the ending to a regular case rather than a semi season long mystery. Oh well.

  • mohammad

    it was good.
    i liked the party/veronica with the rapists scenes.

    as for mercer, i agree with you.
    we need more backstory on him.
    moe said that the prisoner/guard game changed his life…
    is it possible he was the prisoner and mercer was the guard?
    mercer did seem a little bit like he was abusing him.

    the episode was good for this season, although not the best for the series.

  • Shannon

    I think PattyHearst suffered from Stockholm Syndrome where the victim defends her captors. Not sure if that’s what you were thinking of though, but it would apply to Mercer and Moe.

  • thetvaddict

    Shannon, I definitely get Stockholm Syndrome…. but isn’t that with regards to a real kidnapping. The whole Mercer/Moe relationship was a weekend class project!

  • Thelma

    I totally guessed that Moe would be involved with the rapes somehow. However, it did seem like having Mercer being a guilty party came out of left field. It wasn’t until the actor did the scenes with the ‘unconsious’ girl that I bought him as a rapist. I wish the writers had revealed more about Mercer to us. As much as I love the faster arcs, parts of this did seem rushed. I don’t know if it was because RT has been trying to get more viewers to watch the show or whatever. I do think that the next arc will be better. I was actually sad to see the Dean get killed and just when Keith had found someone to hang out with.
    I also agree with everyone that has been saying that Veronica has needed saving one too many times. As I have said for a while now, it is time for Veronica to go into therapy. That way she can learn how to trust people (like Logan) and let them into her life.
    I also have to add that I hope RT doesn’t have Veronica and Logan going out and dating other people right away. It would be nice to see something different. Perhaps Veronica and Logan could try to rebuild a friendship and down the line get back together. What can I say, I love LoVe?
    When do new episodes of VM come on again? I cannot wait!

  • T. Paul

    I think Veronica in danger adds an amazing element of panic and intensity to the finales. And her rescues are always nothing short of amazing whether it was Keith’s fist fight with Aaron or Logan finding Veronica with her hair missing. I don’t think the finale would have packed as big a punch for me, if any, if Veronica had not found herself drugged and creepily close to becoming the next rape victim.

  • mohammad

    veronica mars starts again on january 23rd.

  • mohammad

    january 24th*

  • Sam

    Thelma, I enjoy LoVe as well but thinking about it right now, it’s starting to wear a little thin. It’s the same thing, get together-breakup. Get together-breakup. I agree I’d like to see them build a really strong friendship since they were never really specifically friends first but I hope their relationship doesn’t turn into some cartoonish ‘Ross & Rachel’ thing where we can expect them to get together and break up many times as if that just happens all the time in real life.

  • Veronica CA

    Loved it. I knew it was Moe and I sensed that there were 2 rapists but I had kind of rule out Mercer, so it was good so see that. I had a problem with his motive though…to be the rapist…he was just crazy? well…whatever…..Didnt guess Den O’Dell was going to be killed….My heart still cries for Logan and Veronica….and I cant wait until January!!!!!!!!! Happy Holidays!

  • Stella

    I wasn’t surprised that it was Mercer at all. It was actually kind of sloppy. Most of the signs pointed to him anyway. Well, not really, but Parker had already said that Mercer’s cologne smelled familiar. And that’s a big clue right there. It was actually pretty anticlimactic because of that for me.

    I really want Logan and Veroncia to stay away from each other romantically. They suck as a couple. Friends? Sure. But, they’re as awful together as I thought they’d be.

  • jun

    I guess /that/ was why they kept giving us updates about Horshach and that guard dude he kept doing favors for. I was wondering why we were supposed to care.

  • tralfaz

    Lately, I’ve found that while I love the dialogue and characters, I’m not particularly thrilled with the actual overall arc. Sorry, but I thought the Mercer/Moe thing was out of left field and kinda trite. Especially having Mercer do that whole speech over the “passed out” girl (come on… we all knew that was our precious Ronnie, right?). And why, exactly, is Tina Majorino in the opening credits when she’s in one out of every five episodes? I seriously thought she might be the one to die since she’d gotten so little air time! When I saw that the episode was both written AND directed by RT, I have to admit I expected better. There were some good scenes over all, but it was kinda lacking. My theory was that the law teacher’s TA, who is creepy – and stay with me, cause this may sound like a stretch – was a transexual or a woman in disguise. There’s just something kind of feminine looking about his face. Am I insane?