Velma Episodes 7-8 bring viewers the closest to what they’d expect from a Scooby-Doo all season. With characterizations and backstories solidified for Velma, Norville, Daphne, and Fred, viewers see more of a unified ensemble than ever before. Following up on Daphne discovering the truth about her adoption and Velma inching closer to the truth about her mother, episodes 7-8 gear us for next week’s season finale but shift focus to the serial killer still at large.
Episode 7 is focused on the gang going to the Fog Festival, an in-town sort of prom for the students at Crystal Cove High School. The season has featured a lot of questionable internalized misogyny from Velma’s dialogue that is physically embodied by the gag of this episode. Fearful that another murder will take place, Velma dresses up in drag so that townsfolk will take her seriously. It’s difficult for me to find it humorous when Velma realizes that all of her awful character traits such as being rude, judgemental, selfish, brass, and an all-around terrible person all of a sudden reward her when everyone perceives her as a man. Daphne’s mothers suggest that ‘Manny’ can be trusted because they exude such a strong masculine presence. Daphne feels attracted to Manny and decides to be vulnerable with ‘him’ only to discover that Velma has found another way to disappoint her and emotionally manipulate her, yet again. It is exhausting to try to grapple with a protagonist that is unlikeable but in such an unfunny way.
As mentioned before, I fail to understand the cynical humor of Velma. The joke of Velma being a terrible person seems subversive because this isn’t the Velma viewers know, but the joke lands in territory that showcases a lack of critical thought. This is exemplified when Daphne and Velma have a discussion that feels really raw about Daphne’s disappointment in Velma being an awful friend to her and person in general to Norville and Gigi. The problem is resolved with Velma just being like, “Yeah, I’m the worst Daphne. Will you forgive me again?” There is a little bit of accountability on Velma’s end but her self-absorption still peeks through. All of this is occurring while Velma is trying to navigate a town in danger.
It’s interesting because as viewers come to get more and more familiar with Velma, the series shifts focus to Fred, who actually carries the bulk of my enjoyment for the show. In his ‘feminist era,’ Velma Episodes 7-8 become the first time I find Velma to be funny. Despite my frustrations with the direction of Daphne and Velma’s relationship and Velma as a character, Fred has to grapple with the fact that Velma doesn’t want to be with him while struggling to understand what it means to be ‘woke’ enough to respect women in general.
Without spoiling too much, Fred’s arc for being a ‘male-feminist’ is front and center in Episode 8 where he’s isolated from the rest of the group as they are bunkered in a cabin in the woods. Glenn Howerton’s vocal performance as Fred in this episode stands out immensely and made me laugh for the first time all season. Even though the jokes are at the expense of criticizing males who misinterpret respecting women, Fred fumbles so hard at every turn that it’s hilarious to see him attempt to be an “ally” to begin with.
With the exception of Fred, Velma Episodes 7-8 feel repetitive and a chore to get through. Story progression for the serial killer and Velma’s mom continues to be slowly drawn out, making each set of episodes’ cliffhangers less effective and leaves me wondering how they’ll wrap us up this season next week. I’m surprised that I found more enjoyment in the last episode but I am continuing to find it difficult to sit down for an hour each week for more failed humor, poor story direction, and awful characterization.
Velma Episodes 7-8 are now streaming on HBO Max.
Velma Episodes 7-8
- Rating - 5/105/10
I’m surprised that I found more enjoyment in the last episode but I am continuing to find it difficult to sit down for an hour each week for more failed humor, poor story direction, and awful characterization.
An avid reader since childhood, Cidnya has always surrounded her free time with pop culture. From watching horror movies to playing JRPGs, Cidnya loves to consume and immerse herself in various fictional worlds. Some of their favorite things include Twin Peaks, Batman, Kingdom Hearts, Coffee, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.