Though it segued away from teen clichés, ‘Papa’s Cabin’ was the weakest closer of all the mysteries the show has produced thus far. It was an entertaining episode in and of itself, but it pales in comparison to the highs of, say, ‘Not Pictured’ and more recently, ‘Spit and Eggs’.
While the two aforementioned finales each skilfully tied up weeks’ worth of clues, ‘Papa’s Cabin’ felt rushed, and clunked together. This isn’t surprising considering how fast the show had to wrap up all Dean O’Dell related plots, but characters like Mindy and Landry were burned off without hesitation. After months of set up, it doesn’t feel right to just shrug it all aside.
I did enjoy a lot that this episode had to offer, like the Veronica/Tim tag team and seeing Keith in his new (old?) position as Sherriff. I wasn’t expecting fireworks from this episode. It’s not a big season finale, and the arc of the past few weeks was too condensed to ask for anything too extreme. Then again, Spit and Eggs took apart a notion like that. Finding out about Mercer was quick and fun. Veronica unmasking Tim in front of the class was almost as fun, but felt weighed down by too much exposition.
It’s a little upsetting that Tim will be gone for good; he was such great fodder for Veronica’s sarcasm. With Lamb out of the picture now, too, that void will need to be filled fast. Any sleazy private detectives out there?!
Keith being reinstated as Sherriff is worrying for the outcast vibe we’ve grown accustomed to over the past three years. Veronica may prefer it when they’re not civilians but to be honest, I liked it that way. Will things get too easy from here on out? Maybe, but it is nice to see Keith regain his lost power and authority, things he deserves leaps and bounds ahead of Lamb.
Now that the first two arcs of season 3 are done I’m starting to remember that it was here that I realised the show was past its prime. Now that we settle into the stand alone mess of season 3.3 I can see that although this arc was weaker than the opening stretch of the season, I’m glad it wasn’t devoid of something bigger to hold it all together. Maybe that’s why I’m dreading what’s coming.