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‘Play It Again, Dick’ Eps. 7 & 8 Review

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The final episodes have hit the web! Watch ’em before you read–spoilers ahead!

Watch Play It Again, Dick episode 7 on CW Seed.

Now watch episode 8.


Episode 7 opens with a behind-the-scenes testimonial from Daran Norris (Cliff McCormack) talking about how wonderful it is to work on this labor of love for such a close friend. The camera pulls back to show Ryan behind him offering directorial coaching on the next take. Daran calls him a “fuzzy little prick,” does some voice over-style talking and leaves.

When we enter the Private Dick episode, we’re thrown into a sex scene, this time with Rose McIver’s “horny mourner.” It’s not nearly as funny as the earlier sex scene with Madison. Post-coitus, Dick gets a vision of Beaver–at this point it occurs to me that he only sees Beaver after seeing beaver, which is a sneaky sort of joke to pull. Beaver mentors Dick on how to solve the case which boils down to locating the corner pieces of the puzzle.

Walking by Weevil’s place of death, Dick notices tacos from room service waiting half eaten outside the door. He does that finger-test-taste thing and determines that these are “Tacos de los Muertes.” Cut to Ryan explaining he got a Spanish coach for those lines to show cultural respect. Then cut to a dense parody of badly-dubbed martial arts movies. Oh, irony.

Dick goes to the kitchen where three Asian men are working. Two leave in a dubbed hysteria while the third readies for hand-to-hand combat. Here’s where we discover Daran was used for the voice acting, though clearly the actor playing the Asian fighter speaks perfect English. I’m not even half the authority on tropes of martial arts films that I might claim to be on film noir, but that’s not a requirement for the scene to be funny. As Dick gains the upper hand in the fight, his opponent hits the floor and Dick repeatedly punches him. The-Silence-of-the-Lambs-hannibal-lector-5080698-1020-576The low angle of the shot is reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs.

But then the episode pulls the first of its Scooby Doo reveals. Dick pulls a plastic mask off of the Asian cook to reveal Kane Software’s muscle man, Clarence Wiedman. Dick demands to know why Wiedman killed Weevil and Keith. Wiedman says, “You already know. You’ve always known.”

Cut to actor Christopher Duncan (Wiedman) finding out he’s not getting paid and leaving the set.

Episode 8 picks up directly after the reveal in the kitchen. Veronica arrives at the bed and breakfast and is greeted by Madison, who pulls a gun on her and starts to fire. In an acted slow motion, Dick jumps in front of the bullet, saving Veronica. He is not shot–did she miss at close range? No, Madison has been shot–did the bullet ricochet off of his holstered gun? No, Wallace shot her from the unseen next room. He’s gone all gangsta, just like Percy wanted.

But wait, Dick reveals that Madison also wears a plastic mask, revealing Celeste Kane underneath. She gets some villainous explanatory lines, but it doesn’t matter. Then Dick goes to Wallace and begins to explain that he isn’t actually Wallace. “Whitey say what?” Wallace yelps while his face begs to keep the ownership of the gangsta-style shooting. But no, underneath the Wallace-mask is Duncan. Except Duncan is being played by Ryan Devlin, season 3’s serial rapist Mercer. Veronica is overjoyed to see “Duncan” again, and there is heavy sucking of face between them.

Cut to Devlin talking about how his previous role would have prevented his casting as Duncan, but, hey, he got to kiss Kristen Bell! Being one of many fans who felt the whole serial rapist storyline in season 3 was distasteful at best, I had mixed feelings about this twist, and it soured the ending of the show a little bit.

piad8Then, finally, we get the dance number. It goes on too long, but the song choice of “No Mediocre” is ironically brilliant. After all, Private Dick is awful.

The final scene is back in the CW board room with the producers. They pass on the show saying their demographic is accustomed to…competence. Ryan, heartbroken, leaves.

Then we get the credits dance sequence which is also set to “No Mediocre” but now features all of our beloved Veronica Mars cast members getting their groove on with Ryan. The brief moment of Ryan dancing with Ken Marino made me laugh out loud.

All in all, I was underwhelmed by the final two episodes. But the series as a whole was fun if a bit forgettable.


Author: Erin Perry

I'm a high school English teacher specializing in AP Literature and Film Analysis. I'm interested in most things geeky, including superheroes, vampires, zombies, teen culture, postmodern philosophy, pop culture analysis, and combinations of the aforementioned. Follow me on Twitter @eriuperry.

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