Veronica Mars Season 1, Episode 20 – M.A.D.

I’m going to be very honest with all of you – I hate this episode. I hate it with every fiber of my being, and if you don’t know why, don’t worry, I’m going to explain it to you. I don’t know yet if I have it in me to write an interlude on it, but I have the fodder to do so if I have the time and energy. Because this is an example of an episode that DID NOT AGE WELL. So, ugh. Let’s just get into it.


  • Carmen, a Latinx girl at Neptune High School, breaks up with her boyfriend, Tad. She said she’s not ready to be with him forever and he’s leaving for the Naval Academy soon, and she thinks they should start fresh. He begs her to stay, gives her a mix CD (nostalgia!), and seems to sort of accept it in the end. But then he shows her a video on his cell phone that stops her in her tracks.
  • Veronica’s car breaks down in the middle of the parking lot, and people start talking about how “white trash” she is. Logan and his friends walk by, and she holds her own, using a pocket knife Logan is carrying to temporarily fix her alternator, and he says nothing, but he smiles.
  • Carmen and Veronica meet in the bathroom, where Carmen describes the video to V. I’m going to be a little out of sequence, but I hate this storyline so much that I’m just going to say the whole thing right here. It’s a video of Carmen skinny dipping in a hot tub and eating a popsicle in a sexual way. Carmen doesn’t remember recording the video, and she wants to steal Tad’s phone in order to get it so he can’t send it out. So V does that, and Carmen crushes the phone. But Tad saved a copy of the video and blackmails Carmen into continuing to date him, and then he makes a very homophobic joke. So V gets the idea that they can blackmail Tad right back, so she and Carmen orchestrate this whole thing where he’s photographed buying drugs off an out gay guy from their school, and they twist it to look like they’re meeting in secret. V has Carmen get some audio too. Carmen refuses to get back together with him, and he sends out the video, but Carmen is a better person than Tad and doesn’t get him back. Okay, ugh, we’re done with that now.
  • Duncan’s family puts a $50,000 bounty on him, which has Mr. Mars very excited.
  • V brings her car to the place Weevil works to have her alternator fixed. Weevil heard about the bounty and wants a cut – he knows his uncle sold Duncan a car a couple weeks earlier. V agrees and relays the information to her dad, which leads Mr. Mars to Tijuana. But the car was a decoy.
  • V goes to Logan’s, and they’re caught making out on the couch by Logan’s dad. While V is in the bathroom, Dick and his younger brother Cassidy (aka Beaver) come over and Dick gives Logan shit for not going surfing. Aaron sees that Veronica is stuck, and that his son won’t acknowledge her to his friends, and he offers to give her a ride home.
  • V asks Mac to research a bunch of fake passports, in the hopes of finding Duncan through that angle. She also asks for a cut of the bounty, and V agrees. Should she be asking her dad about these things? Probs. Anyway, Mac gets a hit and Mr. Mars gets excited about tracing it.
  • Meanwhile, Mr. Mars has been putting notice in the newspaper, stating that legal process is starting in Lianne Mars’ name. V is very upset by this and tries to cancel it, but can’t. But then V sees Mr. Mars and Mrs. Fennell dancing together and they seem so happy and she’s like -__-
  • Logan has V’s car picked up for her so she doesn’t have to take the bus, and asks her out on a date on his dad’s yacht. She agrees, and he runs off with Dick and Beaver.
  • Okay, there’s actually a little more with the Carmen storyline. V notices that the background of Carmen’s video is familiar – it’s the same background as the party where she was raped. It’s one of her few memories. When Weevil sees the video, he gets pissed and duct tapes Tad to the flagpole, just like he did for Wallace at the beginning of the show. V offers to cut him down if he apologizes and gives her some information. He refuses to apologize, stating that now at least no one else will want to be with Carmen, but he does answer V’s questions. She asks where he got the rohypnol he used to date-rape his own girlfriend and take that video, and he says it wasn’t rohypnol, it was GHB, and he got it from Logan. She leaves him there after revealing that the tattoo he thought he got for Carmen has the name of another guy on it instead.
  • V leaves Logan hanging and never shows up for their date.


Episode Mystery

There isn’t one. That’s one of the things I hate about this episode. It’s Veronica trying to save a girl from revenge porn by getting her own revenge. Which isn’t a mystery, it’s just gross.


Overall Mysteries

  • Who killed Lilly Kane?

Here’s what we know! It wasn’t Jake Kane. It wasn’t Abel Koontz. It wasn’t Weevil. Are the Kanes protecting Duncan? WE DON’T KNOW YET!! But it sure seems like it. And now they’ve posted a bounty on him so he comes back to Neptune.

  • Who raped Veronica?

LISTEN. I TOLD YOU THIS WAS A THING. Right now, we still don’t have any answers, but we DO know that Logan was in possession of the GHB at the party, and that just pisses Veronica off even more.

  • Where is Lianne Mars? [solved in Episode 16]

Sucking up V’s college fund at rehab.

  • Who is Veronica’s father?

No progress in this episode.

  • Is Lynn Echolls dead? [solved in Episode 15]

Yeah, she is. 😦

What Aged Like a Dairy Product


First of all, let’s talk about the revenge porn plotline. HOW IS THIS AN ENTIRE PLOTLINE IN 2005. I’m APPALLED. I’m going to say this nice and loud for the people in the back – REVENGE PORN IS ILLEGAL IN MANY STATES AND IS NEVER OKAY!!! It’s not a way to make someone love you. It’s not a way to win someone back. It destroys people’s lives, makes them unable to get jobs, unable to get respect. It’s a vile thing to do to another person, a person who TRUSTED YOU enough to either send you those pictures or let you take them. Which leads me to the first layer here.

TAD DATE-RAPED HIS OWN GIRLFRIEND IN ORDER TO GET THAT VIDEO OF HER. So, what I said about TRUST right up above? DOESN’T. APPLY. HERE. So not only did he do something illegal by releasing the revenge porn, but he took the video while she was drugged, without her consent. He’s a piece of TRASH. Which leads me to the final layer here.

Veronica isn’t much better in this episode. She uses the fact that Tad is going to the Naval Academy against him by threatening “mutual assured destruction” by releasing “evidence” that he’s gay to all of his classmates. WHAT THE FUCK, V??? That’s homophobic AF, and it’s exploiting a little thing that was still in place then called Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Which could make Tad lose his spot at the Naval Academy. I’m not saying I’m rooting for Tad here, but that’s super fucked up. All of this is. Let’s just burn this episode down, shall we?

The last thing I want to talk about is Logan and V’s secret relationship and the fact that he won’t acknowledge her to his friends. I know that was V’s idea to begin with, but still, COME ON, LOGAN. How shitty. Even without the GHB bombshell, he deserved to be ghosted on a yacht.

What Aged Like a Fine Wine

Ugh, nothing. Wallace being a kickass friend, and Mr. Mars and Mrs. Fennell’s relationship. I guess. Idk. I still think we should burn this episode TO THE FUCKING GROUND.


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.

I can’t even. This episode is problematic as fuck. It’s definitely going to get my lowest rating to date, but it deserves it. We learned minimal things in the grand scheme of things, so let’s just trash this episode entirely. I’m giving Season 1, Episode 20 an ORANGE rating. BURN IT.

Stay safe out there, Marshmallows. And let me know if you have opinions on this episode! We can commiserate.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s