Veronica Mars Season 1, Episode 6 – Return of the Kane

So my roommate watched this episode with me (she’d never seen an episode of the show before!), and we agreed – it’s so nuanced that it’s easy to miss what actually happened! I had to pause and explain, but the only reason I caught it was honestly because it was my 4th or 5th viewing of the season! So I’m going to throw that out there first – this one’s tough!

Previously On…

  • Lilly is dead, Veronica knows things don’t add up, and Mr. Mars is still investigating
  • Duncan used to be V’s boyfriend, but she lost all of her social status after Mr. Mars accused Jake Kane of killing his daughter
  • Logan is an asshole

I actually quite enjoyed the way they spun this recap. You’ll see why as we go!

The Play by Play

This episode opens with Logan on a scooter, riding out to the front gate of his mansion to get the mail and snapping at paparazzi to get off his lawn, basically. It’s the best. But then his dad – who I believe we see in the first time this episode – arrives home in his town car, signs autographs, and has pictures taken with his beloved son. If this hasn’t already been explained – Aaron Echolls is a movie star who makes seven figures per movie. It helps explain why Logan is so… awful to everyone, doesn’t it?

That same morning, Duncan forgot his soccer bag at home, and Jake Kane drops it off for him. Whike JK is at school, he sees that student council elections are taking place, and he encourages Duncan to run. Duncan doesn’t want to.

V and Wallace are sitting at school, discussing how Mr. Mars wants to take V to the San Diego Zoo that weekend. V is unenthusiastic, Wallace says he loves the zoo, and then he points out that at least she has a dad who wants to do things with her. Rob Thomas… was that a foreshadow a whole season ahead of time?? If so, I’M IMPRESSED.

An actress from Winning London starts stomping out toward the parking lot to pay for her food delivery, only to be stopped by Madison Sinclair (have we met her yet either? She becomes important this season). Winning London (whose name in the episode is Wanda Varner) basically spits in her face. What is all of this about? Pirate Points. Pirate Points, it’s explained, are the school’s way of rewarding the “contributing members” of the school community. The rich kids, basically. And you can only get lunch deliveries if you have them. So Madison complains to the journalism teacher, who doesn’t give af, I love her. But then Madison tries again, this time complaining to Vice Principal Clemmons. VPC takes away Wanda’s food, so Wanda stomps over and steps all over Madison’s delivery pizza. Which is pretty epic, but think about how gross her Docs are now! V explains to Wallace that she and Wanda used to be on the pep squad together.

At home that evening, V is making an ice cream sundae for dessert for dinner night. She asks Mr. Mars about his day and he says a bunch of old-timey words before making himself a sundae. They turn on the TV, where it is reported that Abel Koontz – convicted of killing Lilly Kane – fired his public defender. When V asks why he’d do that, her dad said he was “ready to die.” He’s on death row for killing Lilly? Damn, California.

That night, V dreams about Lilly, imagining her in her bedroom in the present day. Lilly says she’s there to dispense fashion advice and confirm that things are fishy, but won’t answer any direct questions about Abel Koontz. She says she has unfinished business. V says she misses Lilly, and then she wakes up.

In journalism class, V is assigned to cover the student council elections as it is announced that Wanda Varner is running for president on the platform that she’s going to abolish the Pirate Point system. Logan makes a comment about how now Duncan has to run, and he says “actually, I don’t.”

The theme song plays. It was a long intro this week!

Everyone aside from the ’09ers are for Wanda, which is painfully apparent while V is interviewing Wanda for her school paper story.

After school, Logan is getting gas, and a homeless veteran cleans his windshield. Logan says he’s not paying him, and the guy says “I didn’t ask you to.” Then Logan tries to recruit the guy for his beach boxing night, and the guy gets upset and refuses. Logan is SUCH a jerk in this scene, let me tell you.

Just before the student council election the following day, a campaign ad runs for Duncan, who didn’t even know he was running. Aaron Echolls narrates, which makes it pretty clear that Logan set it up. Duncan tries to tell everyone in his class not to vote for him, which is weak and kind of funny.

At the Mars Investigations office, V starts making her own case for Lilly’s murder. In voiceover, she reminds us why it doesn’t add up – the traffic ticket fucks with everyone’s alibis. So she makes folders for all of the Kanes, because right then, they’re all suspects. She then breaks into her dad’s safe to keep compiling a case, and finds some crime scene photos she’s never seen before.

It’s Logan’s Homeless Guy Beach Boxing Night! Despicable.

V continues looking through the safe, and then hears her dad and has to pack up in a hurry. She takes the new crime scene photos with her to examine later.

Election results are announced the next day at school – Duncan won. Wallace comments that there’s no way Duncan carried over half the student body, and V says that NOW she has a story.

Turns out, Jane Lynch was an asshole teacher in Neptune before she donned colored sweatsuits in Lima, Ohio! She flat out refuses to let V see the ballots, saying that she needs a faculty sponsor. So V goes and get the journalism teacher, and JL tries to convince the journalism teacher not to allow V to “manipulate” her. So JL has no choice but to let the recount happen.

Wallace, V, and Wanda are in the front office running the scantrons through the machine repeatedly, and Duncan is still coming out on top. But then V comes across a ballot that has “Wanda Rules” doodled on the bottom, even though that person voted for Duncan. That’s how they figured out there were two sets of ballot instructions. In the classes that Wanda would carry, the ballot instructions listed her first, but those students were all voting for Duncan without knowing it. This case is presented to VPC, and he has no choice but to believe it, because they brought the whole art class to testify on Wanda’s behalf. But JL won’t be swayed so easily! She says her student aid made those instructions, and she trusts her! Well! That student aid is Madison Sinclair, who honestly, I’m not sure is smart enough to do this on her own, but who knows. VPC announces that there is going to be a runoff election between Wanda and Duncan.

V investigates the photo of Lilly’s bedroom, where the shoe that was supposedly found on Abel Koontz’s boat is clearly visible.


We see Lilly and Logan being canoodly, and V is drawing on Lilly’s shoe. She puts Duncan’s name in a heart, and Lilly is like “gross, dude, that’s my brother.” But that’s the heart that is visible in the picture of her bedroom, so V knows it’s Lilly’s shoe. /flashback

Jake and Duncan are eating tacos, and Jake wants Duncan to try harder to become student council president. Duncan reiterates that he doesn’t want it, that he wants to be happy and that won’t make him happy. Jake Kane caves immediately, even though he states he still wants Duncan to have some goals, even if he moves to the dessert in a van. (Deanie Babies? Is that you?) Jake eventually says he’ll be happy with whatever Duncan decides to do. FORESHADOW??

At school, NARC is spray painted all over all of Wanda’s campaign signs, and she says it’s on the hood of her car too. V confronts Logan about it, who says “I just don’t have time to be responsible for everything that goes wrong in your life.” It’s a pretty great line, really. V then confronts Duncan and says that he’s doing what he always does – standing idly by. That doesn’t sit super well with him.

But Logan in particular has bigger fish to fry. His Homeless Fight Night is online, pointed out to him by Dick, and this appears to be troubling for him.

At V’s house, while they’re making new campaign signs, Wanda suggests that Lilly and Weevil were together. As an audience, we already have this suspicion! But V doesn’t know anything about it yet, and denies it.

Logan’s dad is waiting for him when he gets home. He confronts Logan about the fighting, yells at him and pushes him to the couch, and Logan is clearly afraid. Aaron Echolls, we’re quickly learning, is not who everyone thinks he is. His parting words are “don’t you ever embarrass me again.” Which is such an excellent thing to say to you teenage son. Jesus.

V is handing out campaign stuff for Wanda before school the next morning, and she tries to give something to Weevil. He says nah, I’m not voting for that narc. V says that’s just election talk, and Weevil tells her that after Felix and Wanda hooked up, suddenly the sheriff knew about all the stolen traffic signs that Felix had in his bedroom. So V does what V always does – she finds Wanda, tells her about a rave in the dessert, lets on that she knows someone who can get them some E, and they part ways. The simplest of tests. Then everyone votes in sync for the runoff election. While deciding who to vote for…


V remembers that Duncan used to be a really good person, and that was what she liked about him. He wasn’t like his friends. He allowed a non-’09er to sit with them at lunch once! /flashback

Aaron and Logan are headed to a homeless shelter for some good PR. They stop at the same gas station, where the same homeless vet is washing windows. He makes some comments to Logan about his fight night, and Logan feels even worse, it appears. The Echolls boys arrive at the shelter, where they’re serving food. Aaron makes a stupid speech about his son learning his lesson, and Logan pipes in that his dad is going to give a half million dollars to the Neptune Food Bank. Aaron is forced to go along with it in front of the cameras. When they get home, we see Logan picking out a belt for his own beating. We see the door close as Logan lifts up his shirt. And then we see Mrs. Echolls listening to her son getting beaten while she sips a drink.

V’s locker gets searched the next day by the sheriff’s office, where they find nothing. But V knows everything. Wanda betrayed her, and Duncan wins the runoff. Wanda tries to say that she got caught with drugs last year and it was the only way to keep a possession charge off her record, but V correctly points out that that’s no reason to throw your friends under the bus. V then admits that it’s all good, because she voted for Duncan.

Duncan makes a president speech, where he says that he’s keeping Pirate Points, but he wants everyone to be able to earn them, including in art and band and the like. So maybe he still is that good guy somewhere inside.

V goes to return the pictures from Lilly’s crime scene, and the combination to the safe has been changed. Her dad knows she was in there.

A package arrives for V from Action News – it’s the story done on Abel Koontz earlier in the episode. V and Mr. Mars talk about the case, and V says they need to keep working it, even though Mr. Mars doesn’t want to. She shows him the photo and plays the tape, and Mr. Mars sees the issue immediately. He’s on board again.

End episode.

Episode Mystery

There’s a lot going on this episode, but we’re mostly focused on the election here. So it’s how Duncan won the first time (solved early on), but then what Wanda is hiding for the second half of the episode. And a LOT of insight into Logan’s home life, too.

Overall Mystery

  • Who killed Lilly?

Well! We know it wasn’t Abel Koontz!

  • Who raped V?

No progress is made in this episode.

  • Where is Lianne Mars?

No progress is made in this episode.

What Aged Like a Dairy Product

The concept of Pirate Points and a segregated system like that is super unlikely to exist these days. Also, the word “bitchin’,” which Wanda uses this episode. And a possession charge keeping you out of college, in all likelihood. And celebrities feeling the need to keep their noses clean, hahahaha.

What Aged Like a Fine Wine

The concepts of friendship versus betrayal, for one. V has a hard time trusting people as it is, and it’s so easy to see why when you watch these episodes. Last week, it was Troy (who was promptly forgotten, by the way). This week, it’s Wanda. Who’s going to betray V next week? Also, that journalism teacher, man. She’s the bee’s knees, and she really was ahead of the norm.


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 tough episode, because the narc reveal was nuanced, and you had to be paying really close attention to the dialogue. I could see how people could miss important things and then be left confused – it happened quickly. So, because of the confusion, I’m giving Season 1, Episode 6 a GREEN rating. Solid, but not the best, in terms of being put together.

How’s everyone doing? Do you like the way I’m writing these recaps? Do you want less? Do you want something else? Give me some feedback!

Happy Marshmallowing!


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