As soon as I think Veronica Mars has plateaued, reached a high point it can't possibly surprass, I'm summarily dumbstruck by an episode.
So was the case last night, when I saw what I think must have been the first season finale.
At one point, I actually gasped and said, "OH MY GOD. NO WAY." Out loud. In a room by myself. To no one.
What I respect and admire about the show is that it doesn't avoid messy, difficult things. In the pilot episode, here is what you learn about Veronica:
1. Her hot, loving boyfriend has suddenly dumped her without any explanation.
2. Veronica's best friend (and her boyfriend's sister) has been violently murdered.
3. Veronica's father, the sheriff, was fired for "bungling" the investigation and has become a private investigator.
4. Veronica's mother has abandoned them.
5. Veronica, because she is poorer than her richy-rich classmates, is completely ostracized from her high school's social circle and becomes a social pariah.
6. In order to show them she doesn't care, Veronica defiantly attends the end-of-the-year popular-kids party and wakes up in spare bedroom with no memory of the night before. Her underwear is in a small pile on the floor.
7. When she files a police report on her rape, the new sheriff ridicules her and rejects her story.
And so, season 1 begins with Veronica stating
I'm not that girl anymore.
And she begins rebuilding her life, seeking answers to these mysteries—and others—along the way.
Season 1 comes out on DVD next month. It's really something spectacular.