Title: Veronica Mars S1.E02 “Credit Where Credit’s Due”
Veronica Mars S1.E03 “Meet John Smith”
Veronica Mars S1.E04 “The Wrath of Con”
Released: 2004
Series:  Veronica Mars

Trips to the Dentist: 33
Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Players: Weevil, Troy, and Lilly

Previously, on Veronica Mars

Welcome back to the Veronica Mars rewatch, Marshmallows! It’s been an exciting VM week since we last met. For starters, Comic Con gave us the very first look of our little movie that could! (For spoiler-phobes and/or those who haven’t watched the entire series yet: The video isn’t hugely spoiler-y, but the absence of certain characters may be a spoiler itself. Proceed at your own discretion.)

Speaking of the Con, omg Sarah was there last week, and omg she went to the VM panel AND got to be an extra in the movie!!! (I know! Sarah is the luckiest duck!)

Anyway. Y’all know who else was at Comic Con!? (Besides than every other object of your envy, I mean.) To quote my own title of this post: Troy, y’all! TROY. Though judging from our VM movie poll, not very many of y’all give a flying Vandegraff whether or not Troy shows up in the movie. And those of you who do feel v. strongly about him are usually against his entire existence, let alone his participation in the movie.

BUT you are at my mercy, so let’s enjoy these Troy-biased opinions episodes together. And if that doesn’t work — DRINK!

The Official FYA Veronica Mars Season 1 Drinking Game

Take a drink every time:

  • Someone says “Veronica Mars”, even when they know full well who she is and there’s no other Veronica in all of Neptune
  • Veronica uses her camera
  • Mars family members hug (Backup counts!)
  • Backup appears
    • Take an extra drink when Backup gets recast
  • Someone mentions the 90909 zip code or ’09ers
  • Someone uses a disguise/alias/fake voice
  • A character, initially introduced as good, turns out to be a baddie (or vice versa)
  • Fisticuffs occur
  • Veronica has a meeting in a bathroom
  • Logan’s voicemail greeting is heard
  • NEW RULE! A Taser is used
  • Lilly appears in a flashback
    • Pour one out when it’s her corpse

Onto the episodes!

MARS INVESTIGATIONS, CASE 1.2 “Credit Where Credit’s Due”

Someone’s been using credit cards under the Echolls name, and the prime suspect is their housekeeper aka Weevil’s grandma. But the charges are all pretty juvenile stuff. And Grandma’s lawyer Cliff thinks Weevil did it. Keith thinks Weevil did it. Open-and-shut case, right? OF COURSE NOT, silly rabbit; the credits haven’t even aired yet.

Veronica’s on Mars Investigations duty to investigate Weevil, but he’s already ‘fessed up to the fraud. But not so fast! Attendance records show that Weevil was in auto shop when most of the online purchases were made.

Veronica’s focus shifts onto Echolls family scion Logan, which leads her to a room service charge at the Neptune Grand hotel signed by none other than Logan’s girlfriend, Caitlin. So it’s got to be Logan, right? Obviously, it’s Logan. You can’t fool me with your misdirection, show! Or the fact that the episode is nowhere near finished yet!

(I jest, but the season-long mysteries more than make up for the fairly predictable standalone mysteries. Plus, mysteries are hard, y’all. There’s only so much that can be done in 44ish minutes, so I don’t blame ’em too too much.)

Also among the hotel charges were a bunch of phone calls. (Man, don’t these kids know how expensive that shizz is? You never make phone calls from a hotel room! Money doesn’t grow on trees, y’know! And other old-isms!) Veronica goes through the phone numbers — one of them being answered by Caitlin’s mom, so it’s got to be Logan, right? — which leads to a bathroom (drink!) confrontation of…

… Weevil’s cousin, Chardo! He’s been dating Caitlin on the DL, and they’re in luuuurve. And Chardo has a plan, see? He’s going to run away with Caitlin, and when there’s enough distance between them and Neptune, he’s going to snail mail a confession to the Sheriff’s department. Then they’ll have to let Weevil go, and nothing could ever go wrong with this plan, ever!

Except for the part where Grandma, upon discovering chardo was wining and dining Caitlin, fills the Sheriff’s department in on the real deal. Weevil’s released, and now there’s a warrant for Chardo’s arrest.

Chardo, now very keen on getting out of Neptune, heads over to Caitlin’s house, only to be met with a bunch of ’09er bros. (Including Dick! We get our very first Dick sighting! And our very first immature dick joke by me!) It’s looking to be a real Johnny-vs.-the-Socs sitch, except for the part where Johnny is awesome and Chardo is not, when Weevil and the PCHers intervene. Weevil and Logan chat, and the ’09ers leave without incident or reason for us to take a drink. See, y’all? Violence doesn’t solve anything!

Ha ha, just kidding. Chardo gets the motherlovin’ shizz kicked out of him by the PCHers. Turns out, Weevil didn’t take too kindly to going to juvie for his skeevy cousin rather than his sweet grandma. (Well, not that sweet, since she knowingly let him go to juvie so that Chardo could stay out of prison.)

As for Caitlin, she becomes even more ostracized than Veronica. She’s eventually banished to Beverly Hills, where she still continues to make shitloads of money for some apparent reason. And she’s still insistent on hurting our stereocilia with her voice.

How many Trips to the Dentist did I take? (drink count) 10

A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends

Kane matriarch Celeste has been hating on Veronica long before Lilly’s murder investigation. Lilly had warned Veronica to watch out for Celeste, whose relationship with Duncan sounds positively Motherboy- esque if no one’s allowed to love her son as much as she does.

Spurred by a teary press conference from Jake Kane, the public run Keith out of the Sheriff’s office. Veronica sides with her dad over her friends and the ’09er contingent, and we all know how that’s working out for her.

File Under Lilly Kane’s Murder

Despite all remaining Kane family members being accounted for at the time of Lilly’s death (… or were they?!), Sheriff Keith went after Jake for his daughter’s murder. After Lamb is promoted to Sheriff, he receives an anonymous tip that led to Abel Koontz’s arrest, with the hefty reward money going unclaimed.

A newly uncovered traffic ticket of Lilly’s photographed her running a red light on the day of her death — almost two hours after her supposed time of death. And now all the Kanes ain’t got no alibis, how ugly.

Life on Mars

I forgot to mention it last time, but did y’all notice how Veronica’s romantic life barely registered in the pilot? Granted, not knowing how she lost her v. is pretty freaking traumatic for V., but how refreshing is it that this show has a high school heroine who’s not all “Blah, blah, BOYS! Blah, blah, SHOPPING!”? (And how sad is it that this is refreshing?)

With that being said — blah, blah, BOYS! Well, only one of them is blah. The other is TROY VANDEGRAFF, in case y’all haven’t picked up on that yet. Anyway, Troy has just moved to town, and he’s an old family friend of Duncan’s. Troy helps Veronica change a tire! And he goes against the ’09er sheep mentality, by befriending Veronica and Wallace and then inviting them both to his party. V. doesn’t attend, because she has no desire to suck up to the asshats who have made her life a living hell for the past year. No hard feelings though; Veronica, Wallace, and Troy trot off for a rousing game of Golden Tee by episode’s end.

Meanwhile, Veronica’s been placed in newspaper class, taught by Ms. Dent, who evidently doesn’t know how to store items in a cupboard. Veronica’s been assigned to take photos of a local surfer. Covering the wordy parts of the story is none other than Duncan! Awk-ward. Due to Veronica’s aforementioned car trubs (thanks to Logan, who’s pissy about being investigated), she ends up carpooling with Duncan. Awkward car ride ensues. And things get even more awkward when they’re pulled over on the way back, and they have to be picked up by their dads — who haven’t seen each other since they were on opposite sides of an interrogation table. Veronica and Duncan manage to make the front of the school newspaper, though. Isn’t this a much nicer hobby than murder investigating? No? OK, series back on then.

On the friends front: Wallace is still awesome! And now he has an all-access pass to school records with his new position as office aide. After the events that transpired in the pilot, Veronica’s already developed a soft spot for Weevil. (For the saving-her-from-Logan’s-crowbar part, I mean. And this would be a slightly different show if that sentence was a euphemism.)

MVP (Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Player): Weevil

As much as I’d love to bestow kisses this honour upon Troy, it’s got to be Weevil. (Plus, Troy says some gibberish about no being yes but with different letters. Obvs I love you Troy, but no really does mean no.)

Sure, Wallace is still not over the flagpole incident, but Weevil was willing to do time for his grandma! He schools V. on misconceptions and reputations, and he raises the question of where her loyalties lie. And he only lets the PCHers beat Chardo within a yard of his life, rather than an inch. Heart sort of gold, y’all!

Best Reminder That It’s 2004

I think this category needs a technology embargo, y’all. Or at least a things-a-smartphone-can-do ban. Because wealthy ’09er Caitlin has a flip phone, and Weevil only has an alibi due to the conundrum of making online purchases while in internet-free auto shop.

Fortunately, this episode is flush with outdated references. Weevil and Chardo are playing some football game on a PS2, and Wallace wants his life to be a nonstop Nelly video. So does Nelly in 2013, Wallace.

And the Snark Award Goes To…:  Veronica! And Veronica!

It’s a tie between two Veronica quotes!

Wallace, asking about Logan’s browser history, “So is he guilty?”

Veronica: “Well, of wanting desperately to see pictures of Alyssa Milano naked, yes.”

Troy, upon seeing Veronica changing a tire, “Flat?”

Veronica, without missing a beat, “Just as God made me.”

Neptune Cameo

  • There’s a Lilly flashback (drink!), so Amanda Seyfried shows up.

  • BUT OMG Y’ALL who cares about anything else? Because TROY! (Aaron Ashmore as Troy.)

  • The first appearance of Troy also coincides with the stunt casting of Paris Hilton as Caitlin, who rides her pink Vespa without a helmet. So in addition to being snobby, she’s also reckless.

Song for a Spy’s Soundtrack: Your Choice!

None of the songs really stood out for me. But don’t we all want our lives to be a nonstop Nelly video?

Plus, there’s a random shout-out to Neptune! And I choose to pretend that Nelly means the fictional one in Cali, because he’s secretly a Marshmallow.

(But for an actual pick, my fave was the one that played during the beach photo shoot. Although the songs that played at the ’09er party and when Veronica’s changing her flat tire have grown on me too. And I know those are like half the songs in the whole episode, but this show just has great music, ok?)


Neptune High underclassman Justin asks Veronica to track down his deadbeat dad. Just one snag: Dad shares a name with Disney hero John Smith. Veronica hatches a clever scheme to find him (because what other kind of scheme would she hatch, if not clever?): she mails out scholarship letters for Justin to the potential John Smiths. Even the jerkiest loser would have the decency to reroute that kind of news, right?

Unless he’s dead, that is. Yup, Justin’s been wasting Veronica’s time (and postage money!) in order to spend quality time with her and make her mixtapes. Veronica’s rightfully pissed, but then TWIST! one of those phony letters get sent back to Justin. Case resumed!

Veronica and Justin venture out to San Diego to scope out the possible John Smith at his home. But he’s not Justin’s dad, either. A woman pulls into the driveway in a classic car. In fact, it’s Julia, a frequent customer at the video store that Justin works at, and she’s driving the kind of car that Justin’s dad likes.

As the realization sets in about Julia’s true relationship to Justin — and the sun sets in, like, record time (unless Julia takes a reaaaally long time to get out of her car) — Justin leaves Julia with bitter, unkind words. On the long drive back to Neptune, Veronica points out how much effort Julia made just to see him for a few seconds every week. Those words resonated with Justin, and he takes a big step in reconnecting with Julia with a simple (and tearful) phone call over their mutual love of movies.

How many Trips to the Dentist did I take? (drink count) 5

A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends

No flashbacks in this episode! A few Duncan hallucinations, though. Including one of Ghost Lilly telling him to clue into something amiss with her murder. She probably should have picked someone else to appear to.

File Under Lilly Kane’s Murder

No new clues, either!

Life on Mars

Veronica’s still hung up on Duncan — like, full-on dream make-out sessions and everything. (Meh. Your sex dreams could use improvement, V.) So to help her move on, she finally agrees to go out with Troy. They have a fun, flirty date… until she totally shuts him down when he’s going in for the good-night kiss.

A few days later at school, Veronica catches up with Troy to explain herself — with her mouth! This is all seen by a faraway Duncan, who’s been self-medicating (or self not– medicating) with anti-depressants lately. Side effects include mood swings, hallucinations, and — oh yeah, doing hand-stands off of bleachers. Which also cuts into the Veronica/Troy makeout sesh, so I guess he got what he wanted, if somewhat messily.

Veronica takes Duncan to the hospital. (Nicest one I’ve seen in some time. All that wood paneling.) Once again, they’re met by Jake, who has a lot of free time for a billionaire tycoon. Isn’t there a yacht he needs to be on? Anyway, Duncan has a private chat with his doctor, which I guess is important because it ultimately leads to Duncan going back on meds. But what I really wanted to talk about is the doctor’s use of the word ‘nauseous’. He keeps using that word; I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

Meanwhile, à la Maison de Mars, Veronica’s relationship with Keith is still strained because of his lack of explanation for not trying to find Lianne when she’s only one state over. After initially refusing help from Neptune High guidance counsellor Ms. James, Keith admits defeat and asks her to talk to Veronica. Plus, Keith thinks Ms. James is a hottie and totally stalks her coffee establishment of choice for an intentional meet-cute. It’s less creepy than I’m making it out to be, but Keith kind of relies on his very particular set of skills too much. But maybe I’d do the same, if I were that badassed.

And since Veronica is a do-er, she decides to look for Lianne on her own. Veronica arrives at Lianne’s last known address in Arizona, only to discover that her mom is long gone — all in the name of supposedly protecting Veronica. A heartbroken V. returns to Neptune, finding comfort in Troy’s arms.

MVP (Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Player): Troy

Troy finally wins MVP! (Of the episode obvs, since it’s long been established that he wins MVP of my heart.) Although he’s persistent — because, c’mon, who wouldn’t want to date Veronica Mars? — he’s never pushy. Troy doesn’t let his ego get in the way of following Veronica’s lead and whatever she’s comfortable with.

Honourable mention for the fake-out John Smith, since it’s clear that he knows all about Julia’s past and seems to be a supportive partner.

Best Reminder That It’s 2004 (That Hasn’t Been Replaced by Something a Smartphone Can Do)

Justin works at a movie rental store. Somewhere, the former Blockbuster CEO is shedding a single tear.

And the Snark Award Goes To…: Veronica

Veronica, telling Keith about her date with Troy, “Oh, you know. Lousy conversation but the sex was fantastic.”

Neptune Cameo

  • Hey, it’s Oscar Winner Melissa Leo as Julia! She doesn’t get to do a heckuva lot though.

Song for a Spy’s Soundtrack: “Edge of the Ocean” by Ivy

When Veronica is driving Duncan to the doctor’s against a backdrop of green screen atrocity. The song quality is much better here, but the music video is so very early aughts.


Wallace’s crush Georgia just got scammed out of a lot of cash. She answered an email from supposed trust fund kid Karl, who was offering 200% interest on a short-term loan that he’d pay back when he came into his money. Shockingly, Karl has yet to pay Georgia back.

(Correct me if I’m being an insensitive asshole, but email scams? Are people really that gullible? Or should this be more of a 2004 thing?)

Anyway, Veronica poses as a potential lender, only to find that Karl is a completely different person than who Georgia met. That’s because ‘Karl’ is a hired actor who thought it was a hidden camera gig.

Veronica traces the phone number that booked ‘Karl’ to a gaming club. Obviously, she must infiltrate it in Kawaii wear. She cross-references the list of gamer usernames with the name of Karl’s email provider (which is a reasonable assumption, since I, for one, am frigging lazy when it comes to making up usernames). She smokes out the suspect by being an intentional noob and killing his character in the game, therefore inciting an IRL response that lets her ID him. There’s probably an easier way to do this, but probably none as marketable than Kristen Bell in a schoolgirl uniform, so.

Veronica and Wallace pose as prospective freshmen for San Diego State, aka gamer Grant’s school. While Wallace keeps Grant preoccupied with math talk, Veronica sneaks into Grant’s dorm room and ends up tripping off an alarm. Clearly, Grant and his roomie Liam, i.e. the Silicon Mafia, are up to something shady if they need that much security.

So Veronica goes down the team roster and recruits Keith (and Backup — drink! And it’s a different Backup! Drink again!) as a DEA agent, since there were rumours that Silicon Mafia grows pot. But of course, it’s all a ruse for Keith to plant a bug in the room.

While Wallace keeps Grant and Liam busy with phony tickets to a game launch, Veronica clears their room out. Turns out, the Silicon Mafia has been developing a game funded solely by scam money; without any investors, both of them stand to make millions. So Veronica takes their hard drives (and backups! You don’t need to drink this time, but I mean, I can’t stop you if you do.) and leaves them the same message that they’ve sent to their potential victims.

Veronica ends up recovering Georgia’s money in exchange for the hard drives — but not before reporting Grant and Liam to the FBI’s anti-fraud agency. And Wallace gets the girl! If only wish she wasn’t so naïve, though.

How many Trips to the Dentist did I take? (drink count) 18

A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends

It’s last year’s Homecoming! Which: holy morbid, that was only a few weeks before Lilly died. But back to happier times. Veronica, Lilly, Logan, and Duncan basically use Homecoming as an excuse for new dresses and a limo party. I also need more excuses for new dresses and limo parties; can we have a FYA Homecoming or something? Anyway, Homecoming is overall good times — well, if you don’t count Celeste sniping about Lilly.

File Under Lilly Kane’s Murder

No new developments again. What gives, Veronica?

Life on Mars

Things are going well between Veronica and Troy. Kissing-wise anyway, because Keith totally wants to meet Troy to strike some fear into the poor boy’s heart. On the way home from the dance with her Homecoming crew (Troy, Wallace, and Georgia), Veronica stops the limo at the beach, making good on her promise to skinny dip for Lilly. Which is a far sweeter sentiment than it looks like in text.

In other news, Logan has volunteered to put together a video tribute for the dedication of Lilly’s memorial fountain. The home footage he’s working with, while sweet and sentimental, is nowhere representative of the real Lilly. Veronica extends an olive branch to Logan, in the form of her own home videos of Lilly.

The dedication ceremony. The video starts off all saccharine — baby photos, soft instrumental score — until it becomes totally not, with Veronica’s Homecoming footage and a power pop soundtrack. It’s the real, uncensored Lilly. It’s a hit with everyone (Celeste excluded, natch), and it even brings about détente between Logan and Veronica.

But it’s Jake for whom the video inspires the strongest reaction. He’s laughing and he’s sobbing, and it’s these kind of moments that make me wonder how Keith could have ever suspected Jake. (Yes, OK — things like facts and evidence, sure. But Jake’s grief is so raw and palpable. Surely , even the most cutthroat captains of industry can’t fake that.)

Also in attendance of the ceremony is Weevil… who’s in tears?! And it’s not because Logan is that moving of a filmmaker…

MVP (Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Player): Lilly

This flashback-heavy episode certainly gave us a glimpse of Lilly making the most out of her braless years. And you’re right, Lilly; Veronica is so not a yellow cotton dress. She’s definitely red strapless satin.

Best Reminder That It’s 2004 (That Hasn’t Been Replaced by Something a Smartphone Can Do)

Grant and other gamers congregate at a gaming club, instead of gaming online from the comfort of their own jim jams homes.

And the Snark Award Goes To…: Keith

After Troy thinks he’s done his due diligence by giving good parent about Homecoming:

Keith, “Good. Good. So you won’t mind then, that I canceled your reservation at the Four Seasons?”

Troy proceeds to shit himself.

Neptune Cameos

  • Kyla Pratt as Georgia. Kyla’s been in a lot of things, including way more Dr. Dolittle sequels than I knew existed.

  • Adam Wylie as Grant. Hey, it’s Brad from Chilton! He sure gained a lot of confidence after putting so much distance between himself and Paris Gellar.

Song for a Spy’s Soundtrack: “Now Is the Time” by Damone

This is the song that interrupts the Celeste-approved tribute.

That’s it for this week! I’m super glad we’re stopping where we are — i.e. a happy bubble of Troy Vandegraff bliss — because on the slate for next week is “You Think You Know Somebody” (OH BOY), “Return of the Kane”, and “The Girl Next Door”.

But for now, I posit this to y’all: will anyone (other than Sarah and Meredith) join me in the Troy Vandegraff lovefest?!

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Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.