Of all the episodes I could have volunteered to write the recaplet for, this is the one I pick? Holy shit, so much happened. B-plot first: when the reappearance of Miss "Paula Marshall" James coincides with our seeing the back of Keith's head at school, and when we then also see him having coffee with a succession of women, it seems as though Keith might be dating again. But no! He's working a case for Clemmons regarding a bunch of students, all of whom share a Dr. Burns, who've been asking for special treatment at school (unlimited time taking tests, extended deadlines, etc.) due to their Generalized Anxiety Disorder; turns out Keith's been having coffee with doctor's office administrators, and eventually finds the one who tells him that Veronica could also get a GAD diagnosis for $1000. The suspension of GAD allowances means that Veronica's rival for the Kane Scholarship and her co-acceptee at Stanford -- a right bitch named Angie -- will get screwed on all the exams she didn't study for. Before that happens, Logan and Wallace band together on a science project that, if they beat Angie, will mean that they get exempted from the science (physics?) final instead of her, and that Veronica will therefore possibly pull ahead in the student rankings. They don't succeed, but because of Keith, they don't have to -- and also, it leads Wallace to stick up for Logan to a Veronica oblivious that her two best dudes had been working together on her behalf. And, the A-plot. Veronica's been having nightmares about the kids on the bus, some of whom get enumerated for us. Cervando had his jeans ruined at summer school when Dick shot at them with a water pistol full of bleach, and subsequently roughed up Beaver, who -- giving credence to the speculation last week that he might be hands-off with Mac because of some kind of sexual abuse -- meaningfully tells Veronica, "I guess Dick was too big for him so he thought he'd settle the score with his little brother. Story of my life." In a dream, Cervando tells Veronica that if the bus saboteur had wanted to take out just the driver, s/he could have planted the bomb such that it spared the kids. But the bomber timed the explosion so that it killed the driver and ensured that the bus would go over the cliff, so it had to be someone close enough to time it right, and fingers Weevil. Pete had feelings for the science teacher Mr. Wu, and Veronica suspects that Wu's was the "mother of all outings" Pete had planned. Wu says that he ran into Pete at a gay bar, but that Wu was only there for a cousin's party, but, in a dream, Pete tells her not to believe him, and also rhetorically asks why Pete would have wanted to go on the baseball-themed field trip in the first place. Rhonda -- who had left the message on friend Michele's cell phone as the bus was going over the cliff -- had also left her a previous message at home, in which Dick's voice is audible even though he wasn't on the bus. WHAT?! Back to that in a second. Rhonda and her sister Natalie were bad girls -- "PWTs," they are called, for "poor white trash," except that Natalie has a brand-new car now. Her family recently won a $2 million settlement...from Woody. Something about a finger in a riblet, but...fishy. Okay, the Dick thing: he can be heard in Rhonda's first message because Betina was playing the bus a message he had left on her cell phone; she was his disadvantaged booty call, and a friend of hers tells Veronica that while Dick didn't want anyone to know he and Betina were hooking up, all she wanted was to get pregnant by him and tell the world about it. Oh, and also, mere days before the bus crash, Dick Sr. took out huge life-insurance policies on Dick and Beaver, who were supposed to have been on the bus, and who were then worth more alive than dead. Meg had a number of emails (remember those?) regarding a certain Lucky, an Iraq veteran who went to her parents' church and whom they were always inviting over for dinner, and who was also a janitor at the school. Evidently he was the kind of early twentysomething who tries to retain some cool by buying beer for high-school kids, and Logan reminds Veronica that she met Lucky once when he interrupted them making out; the flashback suggests that Lucky was involved in burning down the pool. In a later dream, Meg intones, "I have important information," but we don't learn what it is. And, finally, the episode gets its title from a piece of graffiti on the otherwise pristine bus: an image of Death, nine tombstones in the foreground, "I AM GOD" beside it. (Eight kids died in the crash; would have been nine if Veronica hadn't been left behind.) Veronica assumes that the artist meant that s/he was God, with the power to kill him/herself and his/her classmates. But, turns out it was drawn by Marcos, after an illustration on an album cover. At the end of the episode, he hands her a ringing phone, but we go to blackout before we learn who's calling her. Couch Baron will tell the full story in the recap.
Many thanks to Jacob for brilliantly covering for me last week, and to Wing Chun for her epic recaplet for this episode. Man, you step out for a week with this show, you come back feeling like you've been Eternal-ly Sunshine-d. Which, I admit would have its upside -- I'd miss my fond memories of Vegas and the Napa Valley, but at least I no longer would have to relive the horror of flying Delta.
After a short bit of previouslies, we fade up on a drawing of a Grim Reaper-like character grinning over nine unmarked tombstones. In a dream sequence on the school bus, we see a devastated-looking Veronica watching Meg, and a boy and girl we don't know yet, but are presumably victims of the crash. Either that, or they're really deficient in spectral etiquette. The non-Veronica kids are sopping wet, and the girl we don't know is wearing a shirt that says "I [heart symbol] Dick." Believe it or not, the message is significant, and I'd accuse the writers of making up plot points to get things past the censors if experience hadn't shown that that much work really isn't required.
Veronica's eyes open, and a teacher bids her good morning and informs her that the school counselor would like to see her. Veronica heads off...
...to see Miss James, a.k.a Paula Marshall, whom longtime readers will remember I dubbed "Back, Show Killer!" in an attempt to prevent Veronica Mars from becoming another notch on her gun, so to speak. I did promise that I'd drop the nickname should she show up again, but since the show is on the bubble once more, I'm breaking that vow. Hey, the writers may think Fate is just someone you poke with a stick when you're bored, but I'm just not that freewheeling when it comes to this show. Anyway, BSK! informs us that the teacher, "Mrs. Taft," has reprimanded Veronica multiple times for wearing headphones in class. Veronica: "She's reading The Golden Bowl. Aloud. With a fake English accent." BSK! chuckles to herself like that's the third time she's heard that this week, and I do hope this show gets picked up again, because I really do like her, and people who see me performing anti-hex rituals whenever she appears on screen are starting to get the wrong idea. BSK! goes on to say that Veronica was caught ripping down another student's poster. Veronica: "Am I being followed?" Heh. BSK! says that the student who put up the posters would like them back, and Veronica's face flickers with recognition as BSK! asks her if there's anything she'd like to talk about. Veronica says that there is, and BSK! must really be devoted to her job to refrain from immediately speeding off to buy a lottery ticket.