Velma Episode 7 and 8 Review
My first note for episode 7 is “this clown appears to have hung himself.” I would say that’s a great metaphor for how WTF this episode was. Surprisingly, for once it was not WTF in the sense that there was over-the-top edgy humor or the characters doing shocking things; it was more in the sense that the writers made a lot of really odd decisions with the plot.
After the end of last episode, I would have expected this episode to be mainly centered around the killer, but it isn’t hardly at all. The killer shows up for a single scene that lasts only a few seconds up until the last four minutes of the episode. We had quite a few different developments happen in this episode, but many of them were very random.
Looking first at Velma, Velma is upset about the sheriff’s law that all women need to be accompanied by a man to the Fog Fest dance. We have a brief detour where Velma investigates what the word “Jinkies” means, which was written on her mom’s note that Velma found at the end of last episode. Velma quickly realizes that her mother’s script which she’d been using to kill spiders had all the answers, and even had the killer’s phone number written on it. Personally, from a creative standpoint, I found this to be very lazy. A consistent issue I’ve had with this show is that it often uses really lazy plot devices to advance the story rather than actually creating an engaging mystery. Velma then calls the killer at the number on the script, and they breathe heavily into the phone. I thought that scene was decently creepy, even if it wasn’t amazingly done.
The episode then switches a completely unrelated plot where Velma dresses up as a man to get around the sheriff’s law that women need a chaperone. For most of the rest of the episode, we get this weird social commentary plot where Velma realizes that the qualities she is chastised for as a woman are celebrated by people when she is dressed up as a man. We also are shown some weird cutaways in which Velma experiences male privilege, such as handing her potential employer a resumé that just reads “I’m awesome” written sloppily in marker, and the employer delightedly responds by handing her a huge sack of money with a sign reading “you’re hired!” I did want to find that funny, but with that particular joke, I feel like it’s been done a zillion times, and I’ve seen the same joke done so much better, so it wasn’t the groundbreaking, edgy joke that the writers expected it to be. I will admit I laughed at the cutaway where Velma exaggeratedly exclaims “oh yeah!” and puts her thumbs up after peeing in a urinal.
Before moving on to the other characters, I want to talk about the humor for a moment. Like last episode, the humor felt much more toned down and not as in-your-face as previous episodes have. There were certainly a few edgy jokes, like the “nut tap” one was weird, but it seems like the writers have realized that they don’t need to try so intensely hard to be edgy every second. I have to say, that’s a nice change and even if some of the humor is still cringey, I appreciate the fact that it’s no longer constant.
I’ll move onto Daphne next. Daphne’s plot was kind of weird this episode. She becomes depressed and begins binge drinking at the fog fest. Given what she went through with finding her parents, it’s kind of understandable…but it felt like the show made some leaps. She seems kinda content at the end of last episode, so how she went from that to suddenly becoming a heavy drinker is really confusing and feels like it needed some more development. While Daphne’s drunk, she runs into Velma (under her alternate persona “Manny” the man), and starts getting a crush on her. This creates a lot of drama as Velma realizes this is a chance to act on her crush for Daphne. Personally, I still don’t feel the drama is done well. It seems very random and is not developed at all. In general, this show seems to have a way of forgetting about certain aspects of the plot, and then randomly bringing them up again at a later point with no explanation as to why they ignored it for a few episodes. Also, for all the crappy social commentaries in this show, I have to admit I found Daphne’s remark “I’d punch you if men didn’t sexualize women fighting” to actually be a pretty good social commentary. It’s one of the very few in the show that worked IMO.
Moving on to Norville, Gigi and him broke up off-screen (illustrating my point perfectly about how this show is really random and nonsensical with plot threads). Noriville tries to win Gigi back by asking her to the Fog Fest, and instantly does. They end up going to the Fog Fest and Gigi gets mad at Norville again…but then instantly backtracks without Norville even saying anything, and says she loves him because he treats her well. In particular, that end scene where she’s mad and then instantly falls in love with him again is really odd. Sometimes it feels like the writers just have something in their mind that they want to happen, and then they’re like “we’re gonna make this happen no matter if it makes sense with the plot or not!” Honestly, just as a side note, I feel like that was something I didn’t really care for about this episode in general. The writers were so determined to make a social commentary about male privilege that they just randomly shoved it in here, and as a result, squandered an opportunity to make an episode that focused on the mystery and the killer, in a creepy setting like the Fog Fest no less.
Fred’s main plot line is that he wants to be the Fog Fest King, and is mad that Shaggy is appearing to be the front runner. They’ve completely dropped the plot where he’s learning about feminism for some inexplicable reason, which was strange. Without getting too political, there have been some theories that Velma is a right wing sysop. Honestly, Fred’s comment where he says “the serial killer is whatever you need it to be” kinda felt like something right-wing people would typically mock left-wing people with, which gives a little bit of validity to that theory. I won’t comment on the political aspect of it any further, I just thought it was interesting. There wasn’t really much notable about Fred, so I’ll just talk about his scenes with the killer. The last four minutes of the episode features the gang being chased around the Fog Fest by the serial killer, while classic Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? music is played. Personally, I felt the music was a bit forced. It didn’t really fit, and kinda screamed Mindy Kaling thinking “woah, wouldn’t it be awesome to have the gang chased by a serial killer over the classic score?” It just felt unnatural and did not really work IMO. Also, I never thought I’d hear Fred say “Damn girl, how’d you get all that ass in those little slacks?” to himself in the mirror lol.
Moving onto episode 8, we once again got a clearer focus on the mystery, which was nice. The episode centers around Norville, Velma, Daphne and Gigi all getting stuck in the woods when Norville accidentally misinterprets Gigi’s request to have a romantic weekend together. I felt there was a lot of unnecessary drama and fighting in the episode: Gigi is mad at Norville because he didn’t get her obvious signals about wanting to be alone at her cabin in the woods. Daphne is mad at Velma for faking a hallucination so that she would come to Velma to investigate in the woods, instead of hanging out with Olive, whom we learn Daphne has a crush on. On a random aside, we also see that Gigi has a bloody bear rug of a skinned bear carcass in her living room, which I thought was very bizarre.
A series of unfortunate events causes all four of them to fall into an underground cave and become trapped by a rock. They learn that one person will have to be crushed because of how tightly the rock is pinning them. I feel the characters express their worst qualities there when instead of someone volunteering to sacrifice themselves, they all immediately try to kill each other without hesitation.
Meanwhile, Fred is kidnapped by the serial killer and put into a locked room. In this room, he finds the brains of the murdered girls conserved in some sort of fluid, and they are still able to talk somehow through device. I found Fred’s antics with the brains to be kinda weird, especially all the jokes about Fred having a love affair with each of the girls’ brains. The joke about Fred accidentally almost getting one of the girls’ brains pregnant was particularly cringey and over-the-top. I did not find the police leaving Velma, Daphne, Gigi and Norville after already finding them so they could rescue Fred (because he’s a white person) to be funny. It was definitely another very cringily executed social commentary.
Velma and Daphne separate from the rest of the group as they fall into the cave, and hear Fred. They’re able to rescue him, but Velma nearly falls into a hole in the cave when the walls begin disintegrating. Velma is saved by none other than her mother, and all five of them escape the cave. I have to admit, the joke I found the funniest was Fred running through the cave (which is collapsing due to loud sounds) screaming “Help! Help!” at top volume. It was one of those jokes that was just so stupid to watch that I found it hilarious.
The episode ends with Velma’s mom going to the hospital saying she can’t remember anything about who kidnapped her, and we learn that she only has 72 hours to remember otherwise her memories will be lost forever. They don’t explain why, but I’m sure it will be for some cringey nonsensical reason lol. I'm guessing she will be the killer, and is faking the memory loss. Also, random aside, but another one of the jokes I liked the most is Velma’s shirt at the beginning of the episode, which says “Missing” has a picture of her mother holding a cat on it, and in parentheses below the picture, it says “the mom, not the cat.” It was so random and ridiculous that it worked for me.
The flashback format of this episode was interesting. I don’t know if I’d say it was super well executed, but it wasn’t badly executed either. All of the meta jokes about how flashbacks are best done in TV shows definitely gives validity to the theory that I’ve seen a lot of people say on the Internet, where it seems like many of the jokes in this show were written by TV writers who only talk to other TV writers.
Overall, I thought these two episodes were okay. I didn’t feel they were quite as strong as the last episodes writing-wise. I felt episode 7 squandered an opportunity to focus on the mystery in favor of a weird male privilege social commentary that has been done far better in so many other shows and movies. I liked that they focused on the mystery more in episode 8, so that was definitely a bonus. However, the constant fighting got old pretty quickly. I feel this show’s mystery has the potential to be interesting, but they are wasting so much time on drama and social commentaries that it is detracting from the ability to develop the overall plot.
On the more positive side, I am glad they are toning down the humor a bit. The cringey jokes felt constant in the first four episodes, so it’s good they’ve brought it down to a more manageable level. I feel I’m able to ignore some of the more cringey jokes when they are popping up as a result, and I’m finding more jokes funny than I did in the first four. As a brief aside I didn’t mention in the main review, the one joke I felt to be extremely over-the-top in episode 8 was the joke where Velma casually asks if she can have some more edible underwear to eat, as if they are potato chips or something. I know this show loves its edgy humor, but that one stood out to me as hypersexual to the extreme.
I can’t believe we only have one more week left now! The show’s gone really fast. I’m guessing with all the controversy and how it’s been commonly called “one of the worst shows ever” by many critics, this isn’t going to be renewed, so I have to believe next Thursday is it. I’m interested to see what happens, and I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts on this week’s episodes!
1. The Sins of the Fathers and Some of the Mothers
2. Marching Band Sleepover
3. A Velma in the Woods
4. Fog Fest
5. The Candy Man
7. Velma Makes a List
8. Velma Kai
2/2/2023 09:39:31 pm
Did you see Scooby’s corpse in episode 8? I found it extremely disrespectful to kill Scooby-Doo. The “playful” reimagining as they said In the episode doesn’t feel very playful. But crude for the sake of being crude “guys looked we killed Scooby-Doo 🤣🤣🤣🤣” it’s not even funny in a comedic standpoint. Who finds showing a dead dog funny.
2/2/2023 10:08:30 pm
I definitely did not see that. What scene was that in? Could you give a timestamp?
2/2/2023 11:20:42 pm
Like 9:12 when the camera panned down through the ground. I knew they were gonna hide something in the ground, but I wasn’t expecting to see that.
2/3/2023 07:59:16 am
I totally missed it. That was pretty distasteful of them IMO.
2/3/2023 05:24:29 am
I don't think that was supposed to be scooby the shape is all wrong I think it's dino and also you can see Charlie the robots head when they pan down to
2/3/2023 06:37:20 am
The shape is not wrong. Look at the paws, no way those are a dinosaur's, it's clear those are dog paws.
2/3/2023 08:00:53 am
I just went back and watched it, and yeah, I agree that's Scooby. I hadn't seen Charlie either but I saw him now.
2/3/2023 12:40:56 am
I found more early character designs for Velma.
2/3/2023 08:08:15 am
These look good! Thanks for sharing!!!
2/3/2023 02:06:35 am
Episode 7 - Men are great, fact. I believe Fred's parents forced him to stop all the feminism stuff. This one was pretty funny for the done of overly sexist jokes.
2/3/2023 08:06:09 am
I completely agree with you about the characters. I hope it's not a cliche hypnotized ending, but I wouldn't be surprised with this show's track record. Yeah, the constant bashing of the original formula is too much. Them showing Scooby's skeleton is particularly disrespectful and takes it too far IMO.
2/4/2023 06:10:32 am
Agreed. And part of me can't decide what they're trying to do. One minute it is like we're going to disrespect and drag the show through the mud, the next it's like, oh here's a homage to x from episode x.
2/4/2023 09:13:37 am
Yeah, it's a very weird dichotomy where it feels like they are trying to pay homage to certain villains or tropes of old episodes, and then the next moment they're actively trying to insult fans of the franchise by calling them burnouts or killing Scooby. It's bizarre.
2/9/2023 06:45:22 am
SPOILER: I FUCKING NAILED IT.
2/9/2023 01:59:25 pm
You sure did, lol.
2/3/2023 07:23:22 am
Re Scooby's skeleton. Yep, I think it is him. The paws and bowed back legs are fairly obvious. But I certainly missed it on viewing. At least those who've argued this isn't Scooby-Doo because he isn't in it are no longer correct - on a technicality... ;)
2/3/2023 08:07:25 am
Glad I wasn't the only one who missed it! The door sene was pretty fun. I'm interesting to see who you think is the serial killer. It'd be funny if it ended up being Velma all along (that won't happen; would still be funny with how unlikable she is).
2/4/2023 02:55:37 am
I'd post if I could hide it behind a spoiler blackout. But I guess it's really not a spoiler as I'm guessing. And to be honest I've found clues very thin on the ground.
2/3/2023 09:35:59 am
If I'm honest I don't mind the series Velma , it's alright. But it's not something I would binge watch. It's just something I would watch say if I'm in class and bored etc
2/3/2023 09:50:13 am
Yeah, it's definitely not unwatchable, but I don't find it very good either and would likely never return to it unless these last two episodes really turn things around.
2/3/2023 10:00:32 am
I enjoyed episode 7 considerably more than episode 8. Not because episode 7 is that good, but because episode 8 is a terrible mess. I prefered last week's pair of episodes overall to this week's pair.
2/3/2023 10:01:30 am
His parents are awful btw, not letting him in the house if he doesn't win the Fog Fest crown is extreme, and it shows in Fred's desperation afterwards.
2/3/2023 10:02:15 am
Not that they were likable when talking to the others these episodes either. Gigi keeps complaining about Norville too much when he doesn't inherently mean anything bad, at this point Norville's better without her. Fred and Norville didn't get better or worse these episodes, they're still the most likable and entertaining characters, they get most of the laughs (Fred is actually the funniest character in the disaster that is episode 8). Fred shouting "Fred's alive" is one of the best laughs in the show, which says something.
2/3/2023 10:14:48 am
Meant "that we didn't actually get that much action" in the second paragraph
2/3/2023 01:33:21 pm
I'm glad you agree it was a missed opportunity on the writers' part. Yeah, it was definitely enjoyable when the killer showed up, but I felt it should have been longer and they didn't need to waste time on all the unnecessary references to the franchise that weren't funny. It's pretty sad that in the fourth-to-last episode of the show, we're saying "awesome, the four main characters finally talked!" lol. I feel like that Gigi scene was absolutely just to shock the audience only to reveal the writers were just trolling. The bit where she switched clothes with the carriage driver for no reason was weird.
2/3/2023 02:00:05 pm
Oh man, if Gigi's accusation is true, that would mean the show culminates in Daphne, Fred and Norville all having crushes on Velma. That would the pinnacle of horrible, I dreaded even speaking that into existence. We don't even know if Daphne and Velma are girlfriends because the writing is so frustrating that it interrupts the scene where they're asking each others.
2/3/2023 03:40:39 pm
I hope that's not the direction they take it, but this show's writing is so frustrating and nonsensical at times that I'm braced for any possibility at this point as to how they'll wrap things up. I agree it would be next-level awful if all of the other main three characters have a crush on Velma. I could even taking the show taking it a step further and adding Gigi having a crush on Velma too just for the shock of it, but fingers crossed that doesn't happen. This show certainly loves to troll the audience, so it seemed right on point that they'd interrupt the scene just as Velma and Daphne are about to become potential girlfriends.
2/3/2023 11:50:11 am
Well... Episode 7 definitely sucked in my opinion. After hammering its joke into the ground that, as you said has been done way better elsewhere, we're still left with a scummy episode that reminds us of how awful Velma is and manages to make Norville extremely unlikable, too. Velma literally goes so far as to openly want to take advantage of Daphne not JUST while under the guise of someone else, but also while Daphne is blitheringly drunk and Velma is sober as a rock. That scene just did not sit right with me at all.
2/3/2023 01:07:55 pm
Yeah, this episode definitely showcased how terrible the characters could be, especially Velma. The fact that she took advantage of Daphne like that at her weakest moment, and even seemed to take delight in doing so, was pretty low. Norville was also not very likable in this episode, but I still think Velma easily takes the cake for most unlikeable character in this series. Gigi seems like a pretty decent character, although the constant changing her mind about Norville is a little odd.
2/3/2023 01:22:16 pm
I wouldn't say the brains thing was unexplained, the killer tried to replicate Edna Perdue's work to keep brains alive and succeeded.
2/3/2023 03:44:05 pm
I didn't phrase my comment well; I moreso meant that they didn't use any of the time with the brains to develop or explain that part of the mystery or teach us more about Edna's research; it was all just played up for a joke that's made into an entire subplot, which was more unfunny than funny to me with the exception of a few bits IMO.
2/3/2023 01:18:41 pm
I don't think they made Norville unlikable in these episodes. I think Gigi was more unlikable than him.
2/3/2023 12:50:37 pm
For me, I kind of liked episode 8 and found 7 to be mediocre.
2/3/2023 01:36:51 pm
I found episode 8 a bit more likable too. I also have that same feeling of getting numb to the style. I personally found episodes 5 and 6 to be better than these two, but those two and this week's were all better than the first four IMO. That's a good point about the Scooby skeleton haha.
2/4/2023 12:03:09 am
MINDY KAILING HAS GONE TOO FAR! Just because I'm not watching the Velma series, Doesn't mean She shouldn't be ashamed of herself for what the show did to Scooby in Episode 8.
2/4/2023 03:08:49 am
Also, it doesn't have to do with anything, but I'd like to point out that despite advertising it as Mindy Kaling's project, she only does the voice of the main character and is an executive producer, not involved with the writing and the direction of any episode whatsoever.
2/4/2023 07:52:29 am
The majority of Grandy's work is Mindy Kaling vehicles
2/5/2023 12:26:19 pm
Right, but there are shows which Mindy Kaling writes for, and she never wrote or directed any of the Velma episodes.
2/4/2023 11:20:26 am
A lot to unpack with these episodes.
2/4/2023 02:07:35 pm
Yeah, I remember it came out the day after it was supposed to air on March 19. I've noticed actually happened pretty often with Cartoon Network. There was an instance where the Fright Hound mystery on the Crystal Cove Online game was accidentally posted the week after "Battle of the Humungonauts" aired, even though there was a four-week hiatus between that episode and "Howl of the Fright Hound." It also happened with "Mystery Solvers Club State Finals." When it was set to air on January 31, 2011 but pulled last minute, it was still put up on iTunes and Amazon the day after as if it had aired. There was also the one incident where Cartoon Network was posting one season 1 episode a week in order on their site for a while. Once they posted the season 1 finale, they accidentally posted "Night the Clown Cried" four months before the TV airdate, when they should have cycled back around to "Beware the Beast from Below."
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