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''Veronica Mars''

By RD Heldenfels Published: February 2, 2006

In a sign of progress in my home obligations, I actually managed to watch ''Veronica Mars'' on the same night it aired. All right, not all of it -- about half last night, and half this morning, and all of it from a recording. But I'm getting closer to real-time viewing. I may even be able to see most of tonight's ''Survivor'' as it unfolds for the rest of the Eastern time zone.

Of course, it helped that ''Lost'' was a rerun last night, although I would have preferred a new one. Like many of you, I get frustrated by the load of reruns in a TV season, especially with a show like this, where you're trying to follow a narrative that keeps stalling or looping back on itself. This being ''Lost,'' I wonder if the rerun was carefully chosen to refresh our memories about something that will be important in the weeks ahead. Still, since last week's episode was not one of their best, I fear wheel-spinning and delays while they figure out what to do next.

But getting back to ''Veronica,'' I liked the way we went from bus-mystery questions to Weevil riding the bus -- one more way the show plays with our perceptions, with the scene making me think for a moment that we were flashing back to the crash. And, mystery aside, keeping Wallace's father in the picture -- as an active, good parent, no less -- was a good touch. While I have no idea where this will all lead (and I have enough respect for ''Veronica'' to figure any guess I come up with will be wrong), I love the ride. Although I still think the FBI shouldn't have given up on Veronica so quickly...

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