In Velma Season 1 Episode 7, Velma wonders why her mother left the word “Jinkies” for her to find. While she tries to solve the mystery, Daphne desperately tries to talk to her to no avail.
Because Blythe Rogers went to the press about her mother, people think Edna’s ghost is responsible for the murders rather than a real serial killer. To Velma’s chagrin, that means curfew is over and the annual Fog Fest is on–although girls will need to attend with a date to protect them.
Fred wants to ask Velma to Fog Fest, but his parents are upset that he doesn’t grasp what they sell although he’s in line to become CEO of Jones Gentlemen’s Accessories. His mother tells him he must prove himself the best by being named Fog King.
Norville convinces Velma to attend the fest, so she decides to ask Daphne, but Fred beats her to the punch. While Fog Fest starts, Velma stays home with her mom’s manuscripts. Eventually, she finds a clue that reveals some invisible ink on her mom’s “Jinkies” note. It’s a phone number.
When she calls it, the person who answers only breathes into the phone. Velma is convinced the person is the serial killer and that they are at Fog Fest. So she disguises herself as a man named Manny to get into the festival.
At the Fog Fest, both Norville and Fred fight over who gets to be Fog King. Norville acts like he’s doing this for Gigi, to prove her worth, but he obviously wants to feel worthy despite the fact that Velma doesn’t like him. Unfortunately, this leads him to ignore Gigi most of the night.
While Velma looks for the killer at the festival, it irks her that people seem to like her so much more as a man. Daphne pulls “Manny” onto the dance floor. When everyone cheers for her bad dance moves although they would normally boo Velma, she comes up with a way to convince everyone that there is still a serial killer on the loose.
She goes up to the stage and, as Manny, informs everyone that a serial killer is still on the loose. As she suspected, they all believe this coming from a man and agree to start back curfew tomorrow. They even cheer for Manny to be Fog King.
Daphne admits to “Manny” that she’s had a terrible couple of weeks. She tells her that she found her birth parents, who turned out to be criminals. She’s tried to tell Velma, but she’s had no time for her.
When Velma empathizes with Daphne, they go in to kiss each other, but Fred interrupts them by ripping off Velma’s mustache and revealing her true identity. Feeling betrayed, Daphne walks off.
Fred announces to everyone that Manny is Velma, causing the crown to go to Norville. But Gigi isn’t there to accept her title as queen. She leaves the festival on her own.
Velma finds Daphne alone at the docks. She apologizes for being so selfish and asks her to forgive her. It looks like she’s going to, but they’re interrupted by a knife-wielding, masked figure. Daphne kicks the serial killer and they run away.
They run into Norville and Fred, and the serial killer disappears in the fog. The serial killer’s phone gets swapped with Fred’s crown, so now Velma has no way to track the killer.
Norville finds Gigi, who berates him for ignoring her yet again, just to win the crown. But she realizes the crown was about him trying to feel worthy–which he is. She throws the crown away and they leave together.
Velma couldn’t convince the town to keep a curfew, but she does have a new lead by obtaining the serial killer’s phone.
In the end credits scene, Fred wanders alone through the house of fun mirrors until the serial killer–probably wanting their phone back–catches him off guard.
The Episode Review
The whole “Manny” facade is a funny gag at first, but catalyzes a whole string of lazy jokes about male privilege. Like its titular protagonist, the show really does love to over-explain itself. But making social commentary doesn’t automatically make one clever–nor does the show’s meta humor, which is at times enjoyable but isn’t enough to create a successful adaptation.
For an origin story that certainly won’t find its biggest admirers among die-hard Scooby Doo fans, Velma’s lazy meta references betray its failure to understand its audience.
Where this episode, and the majority of the show, shines the most is in the overarching mystery of Diya’s disappearance, and the tangled friendships and romances affected by it. We got glimpses of this in Velma’s and Daphne’s resolution of wrongs, as well as their complicated chemistry. I’d like to see more.
You can read our full season review for Velma here!