It's been too long without you ...
so I may have been happier about last night's episode than I would have been had it aired immediately after the end of the dean-murder arc. But I was just glad to have something, especially since we may be coming to the end of the series and we have to cherish it while we can.
Beyond that, it was also good that Rob Thomas did not take completely to heart the idea that these remaining episodes should be self-contained. Veronica's romantic life -- and Logan's feelings about her -- continue to be serialized. And Keith certainly hasn't settled in as sheriff; there are too many references to "temporary" to make that plausible, especially when you factor in his shaking up of the department and the Neptune status quo.
Still, even before I began watching last night's episode, I was remembering the experience of reading the short stories of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett and Ross Macdonald after reading their novels. With the exception of some of Hammett's Continental Op stories, I thought the short stories were not as good as the novels -- too abrupt, too lacking in texture.
While "VM" last night was better than I feared, I can still look at the terrorism story and see how "VM" would have made a really strong, detailed multi-episode story out of it. Same thing with the bar story; I would have expected Keith to follow the money longer. We see one deputy's indifference, but others are fired; someone's palm had to get greased, and it wasn't just the one bar owner doing it.
Nevertheless, I was so happy the show was back. Love the banter, love the characters -- loved Wallace setting Veronica straight, for instance. I am not remotely ready for this crew to vanish into the ozone.