Veronica Mars Season 1, Episode 2 – Credit Where Credit’s Due

Here we go! Another episode of Veronica Mars as Marshmallow Fridays continues. I hope you’re enjoying reading these as much as I enjoy writing them.

Previously On…

A recap of what’s important to know before watching this episode (as told by the creators):

  • Veronica dated Duncan!
  • Lilly was murdered!
  • Mr. Mars was sheriff!
  • And now, Mr. Mars is a PI!

Interesting 30 second recap of the first episode, but they were more succinct than I was, so maybe that’s a good thing?

As Becca Kufrin says, let’s do the damn thing.


The Play By Play

We start out at school, where Wallace asks Veronica what her plans are for the weekend. She tells him – renting a movie and something with Backup, I think – and he accuses her of being boring. And then we get this absolute gem of banter:

V: What about you, Wallace? Is your life still a nonstop Nelly video?

Wallace: At least I want my life to be a nonstop Nelly video!

A NELLY VIDEO. I’m dying. Remember Nelly, guys? The rapper with the bandaid on his face? Who did the duet with Tim McGraw that one time (listen, I’m from a small town where most people listened to country)? Who claimed it was getting hot in here? NELLY. Ha.

What Wallace really wants is to crash an ’09er party. Which is the first mention of the division of zip codes that make up Neptune’s residents – the wealthy ones live in the prestigious 90909 zip code. And the rest… do not. V and Wallace do not, and V does not want to crash said party, even though she can explain the entirety of the code to Wallace.

Flash to the ’09er party on Dog Beach. Duncan and a so-far unknown friend are sitting in Duncan’s car discussing the ridiculousness of the party. At one point, Duncan says he’s going to “raise the roof.” I miss 2004, y’all. It was a simpler time. (Note: It actually wasn’t a simpler time, but I was 15, so it felt like it to me.) They walk to the party, and Duncan introduces his friend – he’s Troy Vandergraff, and he Isn’t From Around Here. Very attractive to those at Neptune High School. Paris Hilton is there – she’s dating Logan! (Note: she has a character name – I just don’t care enough about it to remember.) And she apparently knows Troy, although it’s never discussed how she knows him. Troy makes a point to say that his family is moving permanently back to Southern California, and he’ll be enrolling in Neptune High.

And then… the PCHers show up to crash the party. Because wouldn’t you know – the party is on THEIR beach! Weevil and Logan, as the apparent leaders of each of their respective “gangs,” have a bit of a showdown, where Logan reveals that Weevil’s grandmother cleans their house. Weevil’s cousin, whose name we don’t learn until later in the episode, retorts on behalf of their grandmother. And then the cops show up to “bust” the party. Even though all Lamb tells his deputies to do is pick up the kegs and take them to his house to use in a cookout tomorrow. Nice, Lamb. I’m glad we’re establishing how objectively terrible he is very early on.

On what we assume is the next day, Weevil and the same cousin are playing video games in their home when the sheriff shows up with a warrant to arrest their grandmother… for credit card fraud. Apparently SOMEONE has been taking out credit cards in the Echolls’ names and racking up charges. Weevil looks genuinely confused by the whole thing, even though it’s clear that Lamb thinks he’s the one who was making the charges.

The next day (or maybe the same day?), Cliff is in Mr. Mars’ office discussing the case with him. He says that no one believes the grandmother did this, but they all need Weevil to confess. Mr. Mars, with a clear lack of judgment IMO, asks V to take point on this case, since she goes to school with Weevil. Oh yeah. Ask your teenage daughter to try to figure out what’s going on in a motorcycle gang. LOGICAL. I love Mr. Mars, but this is clearly very stupid.

That night, V shows up at Weevil’s house to look for some of the stolen merchandise. This is what I’m talking about. Weevil lives in a Latino neighborhood in an LA suburb in the early 2000s. I’m not trying to stereotype – I’m just saying that tiny, blond Veronica Mars would stick out like the sorest of thumbs over there. It might not go well! But she’s there, nonetheless. They spar a bit, and Weevil maintains that he didn’t do this. And then he tells her to leave and to not come back. Which… honestly makes sense, so I’m not going to fault his judgment here.

And then! Like eleven minutes into the episode, we get the debut of the Veronica Mars theme song, which I sing to my dog every single time it comes on. I think I enjoy those moments a lot more than she does.

V and Mr. Mars are eating at a diner, and the most important thing to note here is that V is wearing an absolutely terrible hate. It’s the worst. She wears it the entire day! It’s helpful to know what all happens in this single day, I guess, but it’s such a bad hat that it’s distracting. When you’re watching the episode back, please note the bad hat and find me on social media and tell me your thoughts. It’s imperative.

Anyway, at the diner, Mr. Mars tells V to remove her hat while they’re eating (could have just stopped at telling her to remove it, but okay, you do you), and then Sheriff Lamb walks in. For a completely unknown reason, Lamb SITS IN THEIR BOTH WITH THEM, sliding in next to V (???), and then he spars with Mr. Mars. There’s a fugitive on the loose, and Mr. Mars is poking the bear about it. But then Lamb responds by poking back, talking about how Mr. Mars blamed an innocent man for the death of his daughter. Mr. Mars tries to explain all the things off about the Abel Koontz theory, and then Lamb rebuts with all the things wrong with the Kane theory. Lamb leaves soon after, and V says, “smell you later.” Lololol. 2004, I swear.

V has to go to the school office because teachers are saying she has a bad attitude, and there, she meets Troy Vandergraff. Of note – she’s still wearing the bad hat. But Troy flirts with her anyway! And this is also when we first learn that Wallace is an office aide. Clearly, V is going to use this to her advantage, and immediately asks to see Weevil’s attendance record. Get used to this, Wallace. It’s for a good cause.

After her meeting about her attitude, V is sent to newspaper class, where her classmates include Paris Hilton, Logan, and Duncan. During the teacher’s conversation with Paris, Paris asks to go interview people for a story. And the teacher has a brilliant response. She says sure, but come back before the end of the period, and remember, they live in a diverse town full of people with different histories and socioeconomic backgrounds. Paris is like ?? and the teacher just says, “don’t just interview your friends.” YOU’RE KILLING ME, WRITERS! I live for this stuff. Then V schools said teacher on cameras and gets paired up with Duncan for a story about a surfer.

Then Wallace pops by. He has the attendance records! At lunch, the two of them discuss, and Wallace points out that V is trying to help someone who taped him to a flagpole butt naked. V snarks back, and together, they decide that Weevil couldn’t have done it because there’s no internet connection in auto shop in 2004. Which is fair.

Of note – she’s still wearing the bad hat.

V breaks the news to her dad that she doesn’t think Weevil did it after school (still wearing the bad hat), and her dad informs her that it doesn’t matter, because Weevil has already confessed.

The next day in newspaper class, Logan and Paris are chatting about replacing Logan’s housekeeper. They spar with Veronica, and V clearly wins, because Paris admits that they have computer lab during the time all the purchases were made. VERY INTERESTING.

She then gets Logan’s browser history! It’s bananas, like, I’m pretty sure you need a warrant and an IT guy to get that shit, down to the purchases made on the pages. Ha. I love it, but it’s also like that time Abby told us there was a DNA database for trees. Probs not in 2004, y’all. Anyway, Logan didn’t do it either… however, one of the charges matches a website that he visited. THE PLOT THICKENS.

On the way to cover the surfer story (oh right, school), V realizes she has a flat tire again. She’s trying to fix it when Troy meanders over. And this exchange happens. It’s probably one of my favorites in VMars history.

Troy: Flat?

V: Just as God made me!

Troy: Are you always this persnickety?

V: Sometimes I’m persnickety-er.

This is the first time they actually introduce themselves to each other, and when Troy realizes who V is, he basically goes “yeah, that tracks.” Lol. Your reputation precedes you, Miss Mars. Meanwhile, Paris rides up on a new pink moped? Like… why? WHY. And then Duncan realizes that they’re going to be late if they don’t leave, so V leaves with Duncan and Troy stays to fix V’s tire for her! It’s so nice, but weird for someone like her to leave her trunk open with a stranger right there. He could have put something in there! Anyway, V rides to the surf competition with Duncan. The silence in the car is deafening and awkward and V drifts into a memory of her and Lilly in the same car discussing Celeste Kane, Duncan and Lilly’s mom. Who was and is horrible, by the way.

The surf competition goes well, and they get their story. The ride back is a little less awkward, but it IS eventful – Duncan gets pulled over because there’s an impound notice on the car. It turns out it was Lilly’s car before, and she had a bunch of outstanding parking tickets and a moving violation… from the day she was murdered. THE PLOT CONTINUES TO THICKEN.

Jake Kane and Mr. Mars show up to retrieve their respective children, and it’s the first time they’ve been together since Kane was questioned by Mr. Mars in relation to Lilly’s murder. After he was released from questioning, Kane went to the media, which is how Mr. Mars got run out of office. At that point, her friends wanted her to choose between her dad and them. She obviously chose her dad, and she lost her friends. And honestly, even though it sucks, I sincerely hope she didn’t regret that decision.

On the ride home, Mr. Mars questions V about Duncan, where she assures him she’s not seeing him again. But she does as a favor – she asks him to stop at the Neptune Grand Hotel as part of Weevil’s case. So they stop there, and there’s a hilarious interaction where Mr. Mars pretends to be the pissed off dad of a young pregnant girl, V. They don’t get the name of the person who rented the room on the night it was booked, but they see that Paris signed for room service… so V is back to thinking it’s Logan.

OR IS SHE??

In any case, V accuses Logan of it the next day, and it’s enough to get his wheels turning a little bit as V gauges his reaction.

Mr. Mars returns the bail jumper to Sheriff Lamb and then snarks for his reward money. One part of the plot tied up in a little bow.

Troy sits with V and Wallace at lunch and invites them to the next ’09er party, which V declines, but basically says “I appreciate the invite.” Troy pretends he doesn’t know what’s going on, even though he clearly does. And then Logan walks by, making a weird hand gesture at V. This makes V realize she still has some work to do, and she leaves the lunch table. Meanwhile, Logan is now holding Paris’s purse while she talks to Troy. V starts calling numbers down a list of numbers from… the credit card statements, I guess? It doesn’t say at any point that they got phone records or anything, so I don’t know where those numbers came from. But she’s calling down a list. At the same time, Logan realizes that Paris has been cheating on him by looking at her call logs. He calls an unknown number and gets Weevil’s cousin… Chardo. V calls her dad to track down a number that gives her a busy signal when she calls, because it’s at the same time that Logan called Chardo from Paris’s phone.

V confronts Chardo in the women’s bathroom, which basically becomes her office. He admits it – he and Paris had been dating. He says they’re going to run away together. V tries to warn him that Logan knows, and Chardo shrugs it off. V’s next stop is their grandmother’s home, where she admits to protecting Chardo because he’s 18 and Weevil is only 17. V convinces her to stop protecting Weevil, because the person Chardo was spending the money on was Paris Hilton, and grandma doesn’t like that one bit.

Weevil gets released from jail to find V at his house again. She warns him that the ’09ers are after Chardo, and Weevil assures her that the PCHers will find him. The ’09ers find him first, though, at Paris’ house when he tries to activate their plan to run away together. Just when they’ve started to beat him up, the PCHers arrive. Weevil asks to talk to Logan while Dick Casablancas – hi Dick! – holds Chardo for them. After a brief conversation, Logan tells Dick to let Chardo go.

Weevil kicks Chardo out of the gang, allowing the members to beat him up as an exit gift. He tells Felix to not let them go too far.

At Mr. Mars’ office, V asks for more information related to Lilly’s death. He doesn’t really tell her anything. He doesn’t want her involved, but it’s too late for that.

V picks up Lilly’s outstanding moving violation, running into Lamb at the station. He knows she’s up to something when he hears the weekend receptionist call her “Miss Kane,” and he seems relatively concerned. But the ticket here is what’s important. It catches Lilly running a red light a full two hours after her supposed time of death. DUN DUN DUN.

In the final scene, Troy confronts V and Wallace about not going to his party. They watch Paris get exiled by the ’09ers. And they scamper into the sunset, a trio of friends. /episode


The Episode Mystery

The mystery in this episode is entirely who took out the credit cards in the Echolls’ names. But it’s a windy mystery that takes the whole episode to piece together, and I greatly enjoyed it.


The Overall Mystery

Progress on the overall mysteries is as follows:

  • Who killed Lilly Kane?

The answer still isn’t known, but a big clue came out in this episode – Lilly was alive at least two hours later than everyone thought, including the medical examiner. That means that all of the Kanes’ alibis are toast.

  • Who raped Veronica?

No progress made in this episode.

  • Where is Lianne Mars?

No progress made in this episode.


What Aged Like a Dairy Product

THAT STUPID HAT. Actually, almost all of the fashion, but that hat is especially bad.

There were also a lot of clearly old references, like there not being internet in auto shop and goodness, Nelly! We can’t forget about Nelly. This was a very 2004 episode, on the whole.


What Aged Like a Fine Wine

The newspaper teacher’s little spiel to Paris about how diverse the town is. Also of note – she’s a young black woman teaching at a fairly wealthy school literally schooling a rich white girl. GOALS. The actress is also in the title sequence, which is fun!

The quote about the flat kills me too. That joke aged well.


Rating

A reminder of the rating system:

  • Red = I couldn’t even get through this episode because it was so bad
  • Orange = Pushed through, hated everything
  • Yellow = Opposite of enjoyable, but had some bright spots
  • Green = This was mediocre!
  • Blue = A solid episode!
  • Purple = Television at it’s finest, 12/10, must watch repeatedly.

This was a really solid follow-up to the action-packed pilot. There were parts where I was a little bored – I wasn’t super fond of the Paris Hilton plotline, mostly because I didn’t care about her even a little bit. But all the other characters were stellar. So putting all of this together, I’m giving Veronica Mars Season 1, Episode 2 a GREEN rating. Not a bad second episode. And there is so much more to come!

Be a marshmallow, everyone!

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