Velma – Season 1 Episode 4 “Velma Makes a List” Recap & Review

Velma Makes a List

In Velma Season 1 Episode 4, another girl is found dead two weeks after the last murder. Being that it happened while Fred was in jail, he gets to go free.

The sheriff realizes the killer is going specifically after hot girls, so the mayor enlists Velma to make a list ranking the school’s five hottest girls (after she complained that the men shouldn’t have that job).

All the girls in school campaign for Velma to pick them for the list, but she can’t decide how to go about it. Norville suggests she go to Fred for help. After she gets his list, she gives him a copy of The Feminine Mystique–which opens his eyes to see women’s inner beauty.

When Velma turns in her list, the mayor changes his mind. Instead of spending the city’s budget on police protection, he wants Velma to teach those girls how to not be hot.

They all except for Daphne go over to Velma’s for their lessons. Daphne’s too busy following a lead. Someone threw a geode from the Crystal Mines through her window. She goes with Norville to look into the geode, hoping it will lead them to the serial killer. Meanwhile, Norville is taking notes on Daphne’s personality, so he can model it and make Velma like him instead.

Norville brings her to the Crystal Cove Historical Society, and Daphne feels like she’s been in the Crystal Mines before, as a baby. This makes her wonder if the geode was her birth parents’ way of communicating with her.

Norville takes her to the mines, but he thinks it’s too dangerous. The serial killer might know she’s looking for her parents and be trying to manipulate her. When Daphne confesses she enjoys danger, Norville gives up on trying to emulate her so Velma will like him. He hates danger; it would never work. Norville decides to leave, and Daphne gives up on her curiosity for now to go with him. In the mines, someone laughs as they drive away.

Velma does her best to teach her classmates to pull off her frumpy look, but they only end up reverting to how they looked before. Olive gives Velma an earful about how they shouldn’t have to change how they look to not be murdered. She says Velma thinks every girl is like her, but her definition of womanhood is so restrictive.

Velma realizes Olive is right: She doesn’t know how to not judge other women. The next day at school, she dresses differently to show her support for the different ways women express themselves. But before Sofia gets her to school, she goes into labor.

Velma gets the sheriff, but he doesn’t move the carpool line out of the way and instead turns the labor into a show. Velma needs to distract people to make room for an ambulance, so she asks the hot girls to lure the gawkers away with a sexy dance. When they refuse, Velma tries her own, but doesn’t give a good enough dance to distract everyone.

It then hits Velma. Just like Daphne and Olive and the others want to own their hotness, Velma is someone who prefers not to own it–she’d rather own her sass and smarts. And neither is better than the other.

Velma rips off her get-up to look more like herself and calls on her classmates to do their own thing. While they do a distracting dance, Velma pushes people out of the way.

When Fred witnesses Velma’s display of strength, his new feminist way of thinking categorizes her as hot.

Fred shows up at Velma’s house with flowers and tells her that book opened his eyes to her inner beauty, but then propositions her with little tact. Velma admits that she always found him irresistible, but she’s grown to prefer inner beauty as well–and right now she just finds him gross. 

In the post credits, Gigi decides that if Velma can be herself, so can she. When she comes out of the bathroom boasting a new look, she runs into Norville, and sparks fly between them.

The Episode Review

I’m here for Velma’s arc about realizing her unfair judgment of other women–if not the lackluster writing that gets us to that point.

But on the occasions when the comedy writing hits, it really hits. Fred’s embrace of The Feminine Mystique is kind of hilarious, and I can’t even complain about such a quick turnaround in character development. Because, one, Fred seems to exist as more of a joke/scapegoat anyway. And two, Fred still has a long way to go, as Velma points out.

I think I’ll be enjoying Velma more with the characters becoming more likable, yet still flawed. The show hasn’t completely hooked me yet, but remains amusing and the mystery intriguing enough to be engaging.

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