Ain't No Magic Mountain High Enough
|"Ain't No Magic Mountain High Enough"|
|Veronica Mars episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Guy Bee|
|Written by||Diane Ruggiero|
|Original air date||February 8, 2006|
"Ain't No Magic Mountain High Enough" is the thirteenth episode of the second season of the American mystery television series Veronica Mars, and the thirty-fifth episode overall. Written by Diane Ruggiero and directed by Guy Bee, the episode premiered on UPN on February 8, 2006.
The series depicts the adventures of Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) as she deals with life as a high school student while moonlighting as a private detective. In this episode, Veronica is called on to investigate when someone steals $12,000 worth of school trip money at the winter carnival. Meanwhile, Terrence Cook (Jeffrey Sams) talks to Keith (Enrico Colantoni) about his recent questioning related to the bus crash, and Logan (Jason Dohring) flirts with a girl named Hannah (Jessy Schram).
It is winter carnival, and Veronica helps out to raise money for the senior trip. She is sarcastically confronted by the runner-up to the Kane scholarship and Madison Sinclair. Jackie (Tessa Thompson) is dealing with the aftermath of her father being taken in for questioning on the bus crash. Keith is approached by Terrence, who asks him for help. At the winter carnival, Logan talks to Veronica sarcastically. Dick (Ryan Hansen) and Logan see Mac (Tina Majorino) and Beaver (Kyle Gallner) holding hands. When a teacher asks for Veronica’s cash box, which contains the senior trip money, it has been stolen. Veronica and the faculty start looking for the box, and Madison blames Jackie. Logan flirts with a girl, Hannah, at the carnival. Keith continues his talk with Terrence, who asks Keith to prove his innocence. Jackie takes a screwdriver from Beaver, but it was just to erase hurtful graffiti. Jackie willingly does a dunk at the carnival so that the others can express their anger at her.
Keith tells Terrence that he is a major fan of him before questioning him about his relationship with the journalism teacher. Dick makes fun of Beaver and Mac. Logan continues to flirt with Hannah. Veronica asks for the ball pit to be dumped as part of her investigation, but there is nothing in there. Some footage of the stealing of the box is found, and several suspects are rounded up, including Dick, the Kane scholarship runner-up, Weevil, Madison, and Jackie. Beaver and Mac plan revenge on Dick. Terrence elaborates on his relationship with the journalism teacher, which was tumultuous. Principal Clemmons and Veronica search lockers and find about $3,000 dollars in one locker as well as some drugs, indicating that the person who stole it spent the money on drugs. The owner of the locker is Thumper.
One of the items in Thumper’s locker has a number of mysterious license plates on it. Mrs. Hauser and Principal Clemmons apologize to Jackie. Veronica threatens the aide into confessing to stealing a test before they learn that Ms. Hauser stole the money. Dick walks up to Madison before going up to a hooker posing as a student’s mom. Logan kisses Hannah before she leaves. Dick gets pranked by Beaver and Mac. He almost punches Beaver but eventually backs off. Terrence tells Keith about his gambling problem, elaborating that he rigged a game to get out of debt. Keith is angry at him, but he agrees to take his case, believing that he didn’t kill anyone. Veronica tells Weevil that she knows he actually stole the money and used it in an attempt to frame Thumper.
A variety of cultural references are made in the episode:
- The senior class wants to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain and ride on Batman: The Ride.
- Dick references O.J. Simpson and Claim Jumper.
- Jackie sarcastically references Grease while talking to Madison.
- Veronica jokingly compares the carnival to Noah's Ark.
- Logan references Jerry Maguire.
- Dick compares Mac to "that chick from Ghost World.
- Veronica paraphrases a line from The Breakfast Club.
- Weevil's niece wears a The Powerpuff Girls backpack.
- Terrence compares his relationship to Ms. Dumas to the main relationship in Fatal Attraction.
- Veronica talks to Weevil about both versions of The Thomas Crown Affair (both the 1968 version and the 1999 remake).
- Sheriff Lamb thinks that Terrence Cook planted an explosive device on the bus and detonated it with a cell phone.
- Terrence asks Keith to take his case and prove that he didn't blow up the bus.
- Terrence admits that he was in a relationship with the journalism teacher, Ms. Dumas, but she turned into a stalker and told Terrence's fiancée about the affair, causing her to break off the engagement.
- Keith gets Terrence to also admit that he has a gambling problem and threw a very important ALCS game to pay off a multi-million dollar debt. Two of the Fitzpatricks broke into his house to talk to him about his debt to them and Ms. Dumas overheard them. She told Terrence that she would go public with the story if he ever left her.
- Logan meets and begins dating Hannah Griffith.
- Veronica finds a wooden paddle in Thumper's locker with what appears to be license plate numbers carved into it. She makes a copy of it.
The episode was written by Diane Ruggiero and directed by Guy Bee, marking Ruggiero's tenth writing credit and Bee's third and final directing credit for the show. "Ain't No Magic Mountain High Enough" marks the first appearance of the recurring character of Hannah Griffith (Jessy Schram), a love interest for Logan. On her role in the show, Schram commented "This was the first time I got to guest star and be part of a show. So going down to San Diego was an experience on its own, but it was a very clean, fresh set, that set. And the people were all so nice. Kristen definitely set the bar of just being so sweet and supportive. It really did feel like we were all part of a little Breakfast Club that was down there doing it." The episode's title refers to the Motown song by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell called "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" as well as Six Flags Magic Mountain.
The episode was critically acclaimed. Television Without Pity gave the episode an "A". Rowan Kaiser, writing for The A.V. Club, gave a glowing review, highlighting the character development (particularly of Jackie) and the narrative structure of the episode. "That form also means there's a conceptual bottle episode…Although usually the bottle episode is done to save money, something I doubt is the case with "Magic Mountain" and its big set and array of guest stars, it still has those strengths." Summing up his review, the reviewer wrote, " 'Ain't No Magic Mountain High Enough" did pretty much everything I wanted from a Veronica Mars episode. It moved the main plot forward, it had a fun case of the week, and the characters [sic] work was magnificent on multiple fronts."
Price Peterson of TV.com also gave a positive review, writing that "This episode was jam-packed with plotlines! I liked that it unfolded in more or less the same location and in something closer to real-time than usual. Add to that some surprising twists plus the righteous downfall of Neptune High's most loathsome teacher, and this episode just worked."
- "Ain't No Magic Mountain High Enough Cultural References". Mars Investigations: The (In)Complete Guide to Veronica Mars. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- "Diane Ruggiero". TV.com. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
- "Guy Norman Bee". TV.com. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
- Goldman, Eric (June 12, 2012). "Jessy Schram Talks Falling Skies, Last Resort, and Once Upon a Time". IGN. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
- "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. February 14, 2006. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
- "Veronica Mars Ain't No Magic Mountain High Enough Recap". Television Without Pity. February 7, 2006. Retrieved April 23, 2006.
- Kaiser, Rowan (December 23, 2011). "Review: Veronica Mars: "Rashard and Wallace Go to White Castle" / "Ain't No Magic Mountain High Enough"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Peterson, Price (July 29, 2012). "The Veronica Mars Season 2 Dossier: Episodes 13-16". TV.com. Retrieved April 23, 2015.