I hesitated a bit over this one. There are so many reference in this episode - more than the episode, in a brief couple of minutes, Logan manages in some way to allude to Risky Business, VH1’s I Love the Eighties, Wang Chung and Miami Vice (catching Leo’s snap, naturally.) However, given that he is at an 80s dance, none of those references can be considered particularly random - even Duncan manages an era appropriate reference, and he can’t even spell ‘cool’.
Far more in keeping with the intent of this series would be Logan’s offhand dismissal of an officious concierge as “Jeeves”. In an episode so heavy with 80s nostalgia, a reference to PG Wodehouse’s Jeeves - and by extension his featherhead of a Bright Young Employer, Bertie Wooster - does rather stand out. And yet, it is strongly in keeping with the thwarted romanticism of this episode.
Ruskie Business bears the distinction of being one of the only Veronica Mars episodes where Veronica is not in any way searching for a malefactor. She is looking only for a happy ending, not justice or vengeance - hoping the best for each of the episode’s many unions (the story has four), only to ultimately regret them all as she finds herself connecting her friend and her ex, exposing a federal witness to harm, confirming another friend’s loss, and finally being presented with the spectacle of her own mother - drunk and panicked and menaced by Clarence Weidman.
While I regret the bitterness that Veronica succumbed to as the show progressed, when one considers that even the lightest of these plot threads - that of Duncan and Meg - resulted eventually in death and loss, her growing antagonism and suspicion of even innocent characters becomes a bit easier to understand.
If Veronica spent this episode looking for a happy ending, Logan, while only engaged in one of this episodes many threads, was far more naive - and far more devastated - when the intrinsically farcical elements of the varied storylines resolved themselves into tragedy.
While “Jeeves” has become something of a generic for a valet or butler, neither of which the concierge actually was, Logan’s use is applicable beyond than this simple, prosaic application. So many elements inherent to a Jeeves story are present - couples at odds, an inability to just declare oneself but instead to devise seriously complicated and flawed plans to win them over (ahem *Duncan*), simple straightforward plans that fail just because Jeeves (or whoever might be “smarter than me” in this particular world) didn’t think of them, mistaken identities, assumption of another person’s identity and or properly, lies, misdirections, and complicated plans where everyone only understands a piece of the whole. But Jeeves stories are inherently humorous. Using the wrong person’s name might get you into or out of an engagement - it crushes no one’s soul. Jeeves clever plans result in happy endings all around, not tears, and guns, and Clarence Weidman and more tears. Drunken escapades make it possible to cement another engagement (or to escape one, so many of these characters get engaged because they consider it impolite not to,) - they don’t lead to a belt closet.
Logan was so determinedly optimistic in this episode - though faced with the apparently catastrophe of his mother’s death, he kept hoping the situation would resolve itself into a bright, drawing room style comedy - curtain down on the happy ending. Unfortunately, Neptune had other plans.
This whole post is brilliant, per usual, but the bolded just made me sit back and go fuuuuuck. Everyone (myself sometimes included) comments on how bitter and cynical V becomes by Season 3, but when you look at it laid out like that how could she help it?