Mars, Bars 3×14

Veronica’s behind bars under the suspicion of helping Josh escape, because he has a peanut allergy and she snuck him peanut butter cookies, which caused him to have an allergic attack. When he was revived, he overpowered the medic in the back of the ambulance. Josh’s cellmate (who was arrested for public drunkenness) ate all the cookies, though, so there is no evidence to keep her there. Lamb unleashes his patented keeps-them-in-jail-for-as-long-as-the-law-allows move, however. Wallace, Keith, and Logan visit her in jail. The latter two are pretty friendly as they pass each other in the hall, and Keith even provides Logan with directions to find her cell! I do think that Logan is fairly familiar with the layout of the local county jail, though. Logan visited her, because, as he says, he doesn’t see why they can’t be civil with one another despite what’s happened. Veronica asks for a unselfish favor: she was going to give Mac her wireless card for a thing, but since she’s incapacerated[sic], she asks if Logan can do it. He agrees, then snaps a picture of her with his phone. When he meets up with Mac, and also Bronson and Parker, in the girls’ dorm, they recruit him for a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt.

When Veronica’s finally released, Josh approaches her in the dark and leads her to Mason, whom he’s captured and bound in the trunk of the latter’s own car because he believes Mason is the killer. Josh brings out Mason’s gun, but Veronica points out that it’s a .22, while the murder weapon was supposed to be a .45. Veronica tries to get him to turn himself in, but Josh wants to run away. He pleads with her to make him a fake ID (he saw Wallace’s!), because he isn’t of age to open his safe-deposit box to withdraw his rare coin collection (worth $10,000), so she reluctantly tells him to buy a disposable cell phone and call her in 24 hours. I thought she had these little buggers lying around in her bag, why not give him one to save the trouble of him being possibly noticed? She tells Keith, and they talk about ambushing him, but nothing comes of it. Oh, don’t worry, she freed Mason, but she asks why he lied about his gun. Actually, Vee, he just said, “screw you.”

Keith interviews Dean O’Dell’s former secretary, who tells him that Mel Stoltz came in that day and seemed to “agitate” him, and that he also had a Xanax prescription filled that day that he never picked up (because he was at work till closing time). Back at Keith’s office, Prof. Landry marches into Mars Investigations making a big show about how his cell phone was bugged (he plucks it off his phone in front of Keith). Neither Mars did the deed, however. This smells fishy. Who bugs a cell phone? Even my blind dog could find it, and she doesn’t even exist. Landry knows that Veronica was probing his alibi when she asked about Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Srsly, you guys, I’ve said it before: criminology professor. Hank lets Keith know that he arrived at the hotel at 7:30, watched the Clippers game until Mindy arrived about 45 minutes later, had the affair, saw the movie, then fell asleep, so they needn’t further piss him off with their digging. (HEY, HANK, HOW’S ABOUT WHEN CYRUS CAME INTO YOUR ROOM?? Also, what transpired between the threesome, that caused Mindy to stay in the hotel room and for [at least one of] them to buy a movie afterward, unless they really did kill him…) He does think Veronica has enough promise that she doesn’t need to be “slumming” in a P.I. office. OHNOYOUDI’INT! Keith brings to Lamb the evidence that supports the dean being murdered: though he had run out of Xanax, there were traces of it found in the autopsy report; the pharmacy informed Keith that the prescription was picked up by Mindy O’Dell. Lamb is convinced enough that he calls Sacks to bring up O’Dell’s computer from the recesses of the school to dust for prints and to have Mrs. O’Dell in for questioning.

Mindy claims she didn’t know about the movie, and admits she picked up the prescription, but did not see Cyrus afterward. When you lie, the baby Jesus cries. It rhymes, so it must be true. Anyway, when Lamb asks if that bottle might be missing any pills, she suggests she had taken some after her husband’s death. Then there is a sort of awkward conversation about perjury and lying to the sheriff, which is either to illustrate Mindy’s intelligence or Lamb’s ignorance. Meanwhile, Veronica finds out from watching channel 9 that they push back their programming an hour because of basketball pre-emption, the same channel that airs Space Ghost, which meant the gunshot was really around 3:30, after the Volvo returned to the Grand. Also, this has to be a major shout out to what happened on UPN last year, which… is sort of meta and funny. Sacks picks up O’Dell’s computer, which are covered with Steve Batando’s prints. Lamb arrests him, but Cliff gets him off (GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER!) because the Balboa County sheriff arrested him outside of his jurisdiction. Wait, so it was Cliff’s fault??

Okay, so there’s a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt. It has to be two couples, because that’s what the script says. They’re all vying for backstage passes to all of tomorrow’s parties. I don’t know about you, but that prize is terrible. At least give out a computer-printed certificate, or a gift card to Chili’s! (They are situated so prominently in the food court, y’know.) They’re required to take pictures and send it back to the mothership in order to get their next clue and piece of instruction. The final clue requires them to go atop a lifeguard tower, where they can see a heart-shaped mylar balloon tied to a buoy. Logan and Parker swim out to retrieve it, but they come in third, and win only a $50 gift certificate to the Neptune Grand restaurant (sounds better than first). Wait… so some guy had to be watching the participants swim out and then replacing the balloon when they left? And don’t even get me started on overlap! Are you telling me every team arrived and left without seeing the others? Unless every team had a different set of clues, which I doubt because I see another team bringing in a mylar balloon as the regular four talk. And Parker is supposed to have a wig, right? She jumped into the ocean and her hair was fine? And Bronson was basically a voiceless blob that got to mack with Mac. Anyway, Logan and Parker flirt up a little storm, while Mac informs Bronson he can crash at her dorm without having to go back and forth from home and campus. And by “crash,” she meant “bang” (because she got her onomatopoeias mixed up). What? Without so much as a nod to Cassidy (except in the first episode of the season), she’s completely over nearly doing the beast with two backs with a mass murderer/rapist that stole all her clothes and left her crying in a hotel room? I’m not expecting her to have a chastity belt and looking for the special guy who owns the key, but not even a little acknowledgement? Just because something was said about it thirteen episodes ago doesn’t mean the person’s over it, and if they are why did they only mention it thirteen episodes ago? Tch, I don’t know why I’m surprised, though. Veronica sees Logan and Parker sitting at the same table in the food court. She looks not unmoved. It doesn’t look like the green-eyed monster, but she’s definitely affected.

Back to Coach Barry’s murder… it’s complicated, that one. First they think Barry had an affair, and the cuckolded husband is the suspect, but it turns out the woman was his neurologist — he had Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Then Keith discovers that shortly before the coach died, a new policy was taken out on hiss life insurance, with a double-indemnity clause that meant a $5 million payout if the death were ruled an accident. Now they suspect her of hiring a hitman! But they had no money to do it, since they took out a second mortgage on the house to pay for the younger son’s medical expenses. Veronica realizes Mrs. Barry could’ve taken Josh’s coin collection to pay for it, but doesn’t let Keith know. Keith visits the Barry home while Veronica makes the fake ID.

She drives Josh to the bank, but (N?)VMVOs that if the coins aren’t there, that means his mother had his father killed. At the same time, Keith puts the screws to Mrs. Barry, but she informs him she has something to show him. One Barry retrieves a gun from a small compartment while the other opens his safe-deposit box. Keith apprehends her, but she claims she only wanted to show him her husband’s .45 from Army; she had hidden it when the sheriff came because she thought it would make Josh look guilty, but later found out on the (good ol’) Internet it was possible to test for powder residue. Josh smiles at the coins, but also sees a DVD tucked inside, addressed to him in his father’s handwriting. The coach, speaking to who he hoped to be a 21-year-old Josh (at which point the statute of limitations on the life insurance would’ve run out), confesses he had a terminal illness, and instead of burdening the family with a long and expensive battle he would eventually lose, he had his death look like an accident. He had been tough on him so that it would toughen him up to be the man of the house. He’s sure his son’s taken care of the family, because that’s “simply the kind of man” he is. Josh decides to be a man and run away, at least until the life-insurance money is safe. Oh, and Mason did see someone with the coach — the assistant coach, who looks like Josh from behind. Question: why is Mason so cognizant of Josh’s posterior? Anyway, the ass’t coach (who oh-so-conveniently showed his backside in the video), who played for him in Army, was in on the whole thing and the shooter.

Keith comes into the sheriff’s department just as they get a call that someone’s broken into the O’Dells. Keith figures it’s Steve the meth head, and offers to accompany them, since he had some experience dealing with him, but Lamb shrugs him off. Keith, you did tell Mindy to dial the proper authorities, so quit whining. When they get to the house, we see a smashed window. Lamb goes up by himself while Sacks is by the car making sure Batando doesn’t leave. He hears Steve yelling upstairs, and accidentally shoots his own reflection, which alerts Sacks. Steve ambushes Lamb, beating him with a baseball bat, but is stopped when SACKS KILLS STEVE BATANDO! Keith comes up as Sacks, shell-shocked, stares at Lamb lying on the floor, the blood fanning from the back of his skull. Later, the County Commissioner calls up Keith to inform him Lamb is dead. Weevil finds Hank Landry’s bloody monogrammed clothes stuffed in a paper bag down in the basement. Mindy is called in again because of this new development to meet Sheriff Mars, effectively dashing all my hopes of seeing Sacks as the big enchilada.

Notice anything thematically interesting about these pictures (except the first)? In this episode I’d say there must have been about eight out of ten scenes that had Sacks standing behind someone, most of those times wordlessly. (Usually he’s behind a desk or fetching things for Lamb.) It’s foreshadowing, I tells ya!

WHAT. THE. FUCK. At first, I was quite pleased that a show was willing to off one of their main characters, but as I thought about it, I became quite incensed that a show was willing to off one of their main characters, who is was the Marses’ long-running adversary and foil. Who kills off the antagonist in the middle of a story, unless there’s a bigger, badder antagonist emerging from the woodworks, who was the real puppetmaster? Well, Cassidy is dead, so I’m sure there’s no one else. I believed there was no way Season 1 could be sullied, but now S1 has been entirely negated because Veronica gets her rich boyfriend back, she is back in good social graces (oh, so what if the feminists and the frat hate her, the social strata of the town isn’t even being explored anymore), and, as the icing on the cake, her father is sheriff again! “Oh, who cares if her former friends hate her and she’s bullied, she gets back to status quo a couple years later.” And all it took was for Lamb to die. I’m sure Keith or Veronica could’ve made it look like an accident. Srsly… Richard Grieco gets shot, but Lamb gets beaten to death with a bat with only two blows???? AND I DON’T EVEN LIKE OFFICER FUCKFACE! It’s as lame or lamer than that death on Lost that got everyone riled up back in the fall.

What was even the point of upgrading Michael Muhney to series regular? SO LAME. If I had a list of the people that could never die (by murder) on VM, it’d be Veronica, Wallace, Logan, and Lamb. I swear to God, this better be the last season, or this sheriff situation better be temporary, with Hank Landry or SOMEBODY as the new moustache-twirler, or it better be some huge conspiracy theory and Lamb is being kept alive at a secret government base, where he’ll be rebuilt with special parts that will allow him to go, “Sha-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta” when he leaps. Hey, they foreshadowed this back in Lord of the Pi’s (Veronica makes the sound effect after climbing over a wall).

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