3.04 "Charlie Don't Surf"

Aired Oct 24, 2006

Roundtable Reviews

grim squeaker: Finally, an episode that I actually enjoyed. I was beginning to get afraid that the show had totally lost its spark for me.

misskiwi: I'm afraid I can't really say the same. Compared to season one, all these subplots feel so disjointed and thrown together. I felt the same last week with the Logan/Veronica subplot, and both Keith's stuff and the Charlie Stone stuff struck me as...not out of place, but not a part of the whole. In season one, the other plots like Lynn's suicide and the subsequent investigation, or Keith and Alicia's romance, or...anything, really, just felt so natural and organic. Not only because it seemed to mesh with everything else going on, but because it arose from what had happened before and fell into what happened next. We saw the Echolls family dysfunction in "Return of the Kane," saw her suicide in "An Echolls Family Christmas," and not only gave us a further glimpse into Logan and his father, but allowed for the subsequent investigation that brought Veronica and Logan closer leading up to their kiss. It felt planned out. Now, it feels like the writers have a big hat with "B" and "C" plots written on pieces of paper and they just pull one of each out every week when they sit down to break an episode.

topanga: I agree that the episodes seem a little less cohesive than season one episodes, but I'm still enjoying season three very much.

maribella: misskiwi, I think maybe the problem is that in season one, we were just getting to know the characters. But by season three, we already know most of what there is to know about Logan, Veronica, Wallace, and the others. I think they have an opportunity to make the "getting to know" of Piz and Parker to be very interesting, but I have a feeling that we aren't going to see much of it. Seeing Parker's mom a few episodes back, when they were picking out wigs, was nice insight into her character, but I don't think we will get much more of that, since they are away at college, and families play a smaller role.

misskiwi: Yeah, but whether we're familiar with the characters or not, the subplots still feel somewhat random instead of just arising from bits and pieces that we've seen before.

fulfilled: I really liked Matt Czuchry's guest spot — the gag of having the two Logans in a scene together was great, and yet I felt like Matt's "Charlie" wasn't just a rehashing of Gilmore Girls' Logan Huntzberger. By the time they started showing Logan's interest in developing a relationship with Charlie, though, I knew that FakeCharlie couldn't actually be Charlie, simply because of the fact that I could see it becoming a larger story arc, and Matt can't sustain a continued arc because of his own show.

On a different level, though, I really appreciated the fact that it started to address Logan's deeper family issues. I liked his jealousy of Veronica and Keith's relationship, as well as the fact that he was so eager to do the dinner — it set up nicely the idea that he was missing his own family. Not Aaron, Lynn, and Trina, particularly, but the "family" and the relationships that he sees in others, particularly in Veronica. I hope that Charlie comes back, and that they continue to develop this relationship and storyline.

maribella: While Aaron's history certainly makes it believable that he would have an illegitimate child somewhere, the fact that Logan had a secret brother seemed very soap-opera to me. I like the MoTW better, when they are more realistic, everyday-type crimes — stolen belongings, boyfriend troubles, poker games. I really hope they go back to more like that and lose the secret-illegitimate-child storylines.

fulfilled: The thing that struck me as interesting about the whole Charlie/Norman fakeout was the fact that Norman already had a tap on Charlie's phone. It's not beyond belief that he would already be working on a story about Aaron and discover an illegitimate child through his research, but it was really great timing for Norman and his story that Veronica happened to find Charlie at the same time.

misskiwi: I found Veronica's panic at dinner intensely amusing. Keith and Logan were surprisingly patient — they might have gotten to know each other better if Veronica weren't around.

topanga: That was my favorite scene of the entire episode. Veronica's nervousness was hilarious, and KB didn't overdo it. But Veronica had no idea how much she was overreacting. But Keith and Logan did, which made the scene that much funnier.

fulfilled: I loved the scene, but it seemed a little strange that this would be such a huge deal to Veronica. She and Logan have been dating now for several months, they dated once before, and were friends for years before that, so Keith has known Logan — and not only that, has been intimately involved with the drama in Logan's life — for years now. It's not like they're meeting for the first time. So while I loved the scene, it seemed somewhat out of place. I actually thought the scene where Keith was telling Logan about Aaron's Kids, after he'd helped out Veronica and Logan with the financial records, was more indicative of their relationship.

misskiwi: I was totally rooting for Veronica to come clean with Parker about her own rape, and while I got what I want...huh? Veronica's never told Keith about the rape. She told Logan, and promptly threw up. She told Duncan, barely holding it together, and ran off. She broke down in her car before she opened up to Wallace. She screamed at Cassidy. She told Parker and...made a joke? What? No, seriously: what?

Polter-Cow: I just watched that scene again, and...she's not making a joke. She's very hard, very bitter. Her remark about the fuzzy details is hardly flippant; it's tinged with anger that the details are fuzzy. That she can't remember the damn thing. It's a different reaction than we got from her in "The Rapes of Graff." There, she was empathizing with Stacy. Here, she's responding to the accusation that she can't empathize with Parker.

misskiwi: I'll have to rewatch that scene, then, but something about it just really bugged me. It didn't have the pull I expected it to; maybe it was Parker's instant backtracking and apology? It just feels like the characters are all just in black and white: Parker either hates Veronica, forgives her, or hates her again? Isn't there a shade of grey somewhere in the middle? I don't like Parker apologizing to Veronica and feeling bad for something she couldn't have known, then the next time she sees her being a complete bitch again.

maribella: I agree with you, misskiwi, that it didn't really ring true. First of all, her insistence that she knows exactly what Parker's going through seems a little self-centered. I mean, I know they were both raped, but Parker was raped in a highly publicized way by a serial rapist who shaved her head after the deed was done.

fickledame: It's true Veronica's rape wasn't highly publicised, but when Veronica was raped, she had no one to go to. The one person she told laughed in her face and she had to deal with it totally alone. I'm only saying this because it sounds like you are saying Parker's was worse, when both cases, to me, were equally horrific.

maribella: It also bugged me the way that she said, "I am going to find out who raped you," as if it was all Veronica's responsibility. I think something more along the lines of "we're going to figure out who did this to you," would have been appropriate. I mean, why hasn't she even questioned Parker about what happened that night? I know she told Lamb that she didn't remember anything, but I'd think Veronica would at least ask her about what she did remember about the party.

topanga: But Veronica is the kind of girl who deals with something and moves on. She dealt with her feelings about the "sort-of" rape in 1.21 "A Trip to the Dentist," although she really hasn't dealt with her "real" rape, which she learned about in 2.22 "Not Pictured." Speaking of dealing with feelings in "A Trip to the Dentist": Do me a favor, Rob. Do something with Wallace, or kill him off. Yes, I said it. It pains me to see him hang around, doing nothing useful. Tonight he had one scene where he visited Veronica in the library. Was he any more useful than the extra who was looking for a book? Why did Veronica kick him to the curb this season--and last season, really? She doesn't need any help solving crimes anymore? She doesn't need a BFF now that she has Logan?

alliterator: Okay, that's TWO episodes Mac and Wallace have been missing from. Even Parker was in this episode, so it doesn't make sense that Mac wasn't. Hey, Rob, use the regulars you have!

Polter-Cow: Actually, Wallace was in it. For five seconds.

topanga: That was not enough to feed my habit.

fickledame: I'd honestly much rather they'd cut some of Keith's parts and spread them out more evenly between the other main cast. I generally find Keith the most boring character, although I love his scenes with Veronica. I'm sure this would get an outcry from Keith fans, but I miss the other characters.

misskiwi: Okay, so I take back what I said last week about Claire being too smart to be drugged at a frat party, 'cause apparently, she isn't. It sort of raises the question of how, and if, she was targeted by the rapist based on The Lampoon's article. If the rapist is one of the frat boys, they just happened to have the girl from the photo come to their Halloween party and buy a soda? Or she was just a random target and The Lampoon parody was a coincidence? I'm so confused.

Also, this obviously negates the theory that the feminists faked her rape, and I think it shoots down my assumption of a copycat rapist, since obviously Claire is not as careful a militant feminist as I gave her credit for.

maribella: You know, I got the feeling last week when they were in the Dean's office that Claire wasn't as militant a feminist as the rest. Maybe she was sort of pressured into activities like the shirtless protest by people like Nish, but she really wants a little more of a traditional college experience, and that's why she was at the party and seen afterward with some other guy.

It does seem likely that her rape is part of all the rest, but I don't think it would be impossible that is was faked by the feminists. This goes against my theory that she isn't as militant, but perhaps she went to the party with the intention of drawing suspicion to The Lampoon guys or the Pi Sigs. She didn't get raped at the party, since it is all a set up, but lots of people saw her there. So when she wakes up the next morning with a shaved head (that she did to herself, after randomly meeting up with the guy in the photo), it's easy for people to believe she was raped at the party.

topanga: I can't wait to hear her side of the story.

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