So Meg is the only survivor of the crash, but she's in a coma. Duncan is all, la la, Meg who? Veronica gets annoyed with how cavalier he's being, and you would think he'd be a little more concerned about someone he once dressed up as fricking Duckie for. He and Veronica make up, though. Meanwhile, the bus driver's daughter gets Veronica to investigate her father's death. Veronica talks to the awesome Kevin Smith, who's the clerk at the convenience store at which the bus made its last stop. (Unfortunately, Randal isn't pumping gas.) She figures out that the driver made a phone call from the store, and bluffs her way into the police station and tracks the call before Lamb can get to her. Turns out the driver called a woman in his apartment complex, a charge the woman denies in front of her husband. As you do. Lamb finds the driver's suicide note on his computer, only Veronica figures out that the note was meant to show his intent to leave his wife, not to end his life. Veronica confronts the apartment-complex woman again, and now that her husband isn't there, she confesses to having an affair with the driver, who told her he'd see her later in that last phone call, making the suicide thing a complete fantasy. Her teary confession to the daughter inspires Veronica to have sex with Duncan. Somewhere, Logan is all, "That's all it took?" Only "somewhere" is right down the hall of the Neptune Grand, and when Veronica and Logan see each other afterward...awkward. Of course, this means that Logan and Charisma are still sleeping together, despite Dick Casablancas Sr.'s being a far finer specimen than the whole "trophy wife sleeping with high-school boy" thing might have lead you to believe. Beaver is still, unsurprisingly, the most mature Casablancas around, and near the end, he gets a clue that "fidelity" isn't high on Charisma's list of turn-ons. Let's see, what else? The new girl in the opening credits shows up, and she's Jackie Cook, daughter of the hot baseball star from last week. She and Veronica mix like oil and bitchy water, but Wallace helps her out of a jam, so we might get a love interest for Wallace, which would be cool, since it's been almost a full year since that dingbat Georgia. Finally, Steve Guttenberg is unopposed in his bid for county supervisor, and he wants Keith to run for Sheriff. Keith turns him down, but seeing Lamb acting like his usual awesomely prickish self to the bus driver's daughter changes his mind. Which is good, because at the end, a man's body washes up on shore with Veronica's name written on his palm. DUN DUN DUN! And on this show, that actually means something.
Before I start, I'd like to mention that, last season, I came up with the acronym "NVMVO" (the "N" standing for "Network") to describe some of the voice-overs that UPN caringly insists on putting in to help along the short-bus viewers of this show. Of course, up until now, I've had to speculate about which voice-overs actually do come from the network. But this week, I've brokered a one-time-only deal by which I've procured a copy of the network notes, so we can all see for ourselves how much UPN wants to nurture its audience. The bad news is that in return, they're giving me notes on my recap. But really, how intrusive can they be? Network Note: Not very. We only tell you the things that we think are absolutely necessary. Oh, you were being rhetorical. Well, carry on, then.
Lots of previouslies, including the whole Felix murder, which seems tangential at best to the action this week. NN: Murder is sexy. Show that "previously" every week. Also, look up "tangential."
We open at the Hut, on a close-up of Veronica examining all the baked goods inside the glass counter. She takes out a pie filled with some sort of fruit as VMVO asks, "If a school bus traveling forty miles per hour drives off a cliff and plunges ninety feet into the jagged coastline..." Cool, a math problem! I was good at these in high school! She finishes, "...how many seconds do the six high-school students, their teacher, and [the] bus driver have to contemplate the fact that they're about to die?" Well, geez. I don't remember word problems being quite such a buzzkill. Veronica hands a piece of the pie off to another employee as VMVO tells us that one person survived. Duncan appears, wearing an argyle collared shirt, which...no. Veronica asks him how Meg is, and Duncan tells her that Meg's unconscious but "hanging in there." Veronica tells her co-worker (not the Perky Girl from last week) that she's going to take her break now, and leads Duncan behind an unmanned counter as he tells her she has to stop torturing herself. Yes, because if the Lilly murder investigation taught us anything, it's that Veronica is quick to let things go. Also, Duncan has been so cavalier about Meg in general that I'm not sure I believe he would even have gone to the hospital. Veronica says that her degree of guilt is appropriate, since Meg would have been in the limo if not for her. Also, apparently Meg is on artificial respiration, so she won't be on the sidelines yelling for any fall-season sports teams to get their heads out of their asses. Just to address the Meg thing now, many people on the boards felt it was cheap that the one person we know and care about on the bus survived the crash. I can understand that viewpoint, but on the flipside, you could say that having the person Veronica knows and feels responsible for be in a coma indefinitely is crueler. It's not like Meg opened an umbrella and Mary Poppinsed her way to safety. Although I can see that mental image. But it's not as easy as burying Meg, grieving, and moving on. She's going to linger, which will be a constant source of hurt. Of course, it seems likely enough that Meg will wake up with some information about the crash at some point later in the season, which, assuming Veronica gets to talk to her, could set up some very emotionally resonant scenes. But there's no guarantee Meg will live even though she didn't die in the crash, and honestly, I think she probably will die, so maybe they're holding back that payoff for later in the season. I think I'm fine with this plotline, as long as they don't go the amnesia route. Jessica's the Melrose Place recapper around here. NN: When Meg wakes up for February sweeps, have her rip her hair off.