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Title: Veronica Mars S1.E14 “Mars vs. Mars”
Veronica Mars S1.E15 “Ruskie Business”
Veronica Mars S1.E16 “Betty and Veronica”
Released: 2005
Series:  Veronica Mars

Trips to the Dentist: 17
Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Players: Keith, Logan, and Wallace

Previously, on Veronica Mars

I’ll be honest with y’all: I’m already looking ahead to next week’s episodes. I mean, these ones are good, and there’s a lot of investigation progress. But how could anything compare to what happens next week!? Anyway.

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
  • 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
  • A Taser is used
  • Veronica mentions ponies or unicorns
  • Lilly appears in a flashback
    • Pour one out when it’s her corpse

Onto the episodes!

MARS INVESTIGATIONS, CASE 1.14 “Mars vs. Mars”

Beloved history teacher Mr. Rooks has been accused of having an affair with gossip girl Carrie Bishop. While the students of Neptune High have been supportive of Mr. Rooks, Carrie has been vilified. But really, what do we really expect from a place where the Sheriff tells a rape victim to grow some backbone? Neptune kind of sucks, y’all.

Among the Rooks supporters is Veronica, who believes Carrie’s a vindictive student out to ruin a great teacher. And that complicates matters at Casa Mars, since Keith has been hired by Carrie’s parents to investigate Rooks. Ergo: Mars vs. Mars! Which has none of the explosives of Spy vs. Spy. And the wrong kind of predator for Alien vs. Predator.

Although there’s mounting evidence of Rooks, well, mounting Carrie, there are also inconsistencies. But Veronica reconsiders Rooks’ innocence when she notices parts of Carrie’s story that couldn’t have been falsified. Carrie had actually been passing her bestie Susan’s story off as her own, to get justice for what Rooks did. (And hate to break it to you, Carrie, but your schemes only get more outlandish and unsuccessful when you move to Manhattan. Though your wardrobe vastly improves.)

Meanwhile! Veronica and Logan follow leads in Lynn’s disappearance, to no avail. The investigation takes a big hit, when they discover video footage of a bridge jumper that was likely Lynn. But then Veronica gets an alert that Lynn’s missing credit card has just been used…

How many Trips to the Dentist did I take? (drink count) 8

A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends

Veronica remembers overhearing Carrie totally trash her relationship with Duncan. Carrie also throws in a rumour about Duncan being mentally unstable.

File Under Lilly Kane’s Murder

Veronica finds Abel Koontz’s records when she’s looking into Duncan’s medical history. She pays Koontz a visit, to let him know that she’s onto him: Abel knew that he was dying when he confessed to the murder. He’s just a willing scapegoat.

Life on Mars

Speaking of those doctor files, Duncan’s mystery illness turns out to be type IV epilepsy, which includes symptoms of uncontrollable fits and blackout memory loss. And Veronica’s not-so-mysterious illness is her tenacious pursuit of the truth, which motivates all sorts of unethical behaviour, including using (and then falling) for Leo. To which the deputy replied:

HOW COULD WE NOT?!

MVP (Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Player): Keith

Veronica may have sarcastically referred to giving Keith a Father of the Year trophy, but he really does deserve one — esp. since he seems to be the only good father in all of Neptune. Try as Keith did to persuade Veronica to drop the case, he also knows that there’s no stopping her when she puts her mind to do something. (Though pretty much everyone knows that by this point.) So he let her make her own mistake, and he didn’t rub it in her face afterwards. Which must be really tempting to do as a parent, since kids do SUPER foolish things.

And extra pants to Keith for appealing to my dorky sensibilities. When Veronica blue herself: “Honey, you don’t have to get all blue in the face.” And then when she accuses him of being patronizing: “To be fair, I am your patron.”

Best Reminder That It’s 2005 (That Hasn’t Been Replaced by Something a Smartphone Can Do)

It’s cellphone related, but the naivety of the school board regarding texts. Oooh, just you wait until whatever people use Snapchat for.

And the Snark Award Goes To…: Veronica

Discussing Weevil’s proficiency in auto shop:

Neptune Cameos

  • Adam Scott as Mr. Rooks. The answer is NO, we are not having fun yet with your TERRIBLE HAIR. And also character toolishness. But mostly the hair.

  • Leighton Meester as Carrie Bishop.

Song for a Spy’s Soundtrack: “Tulips” by Bloc Party

MARS INVESTIGATIONS, CASE 1.15 “Ruskie Business”

So many cases this week! First, Veronica and Logan trace the alert on Lynn’s credit card to a hotel room in L.A. When the guest finally emerges, it’s only Logan’s awful sister Trina, who raided her stepmother’s belongings to go on a spending spree. Like seriously, based on who we met in the pilot, who could have predicted that Logan would be the most well-adjusted person in his family? Also: scary.

Veronica’s also helping Meg track down her secret admirer. Meg has narrowed it down to two guys on the assumed-basketball-because-they’re-Wallace’s-teammates team: Caz, a total dudebro, and Martin, a shy guy who she’s not attracted to. (But Caz, she’d be fine with, because they’d look good together? GREAT JUDGMENT, MEG. I’m totally biased by future-hate. Spoiler alert.) Meg also happens to be a terrible detective — the show ain’t called Meg Manning for a reason — because her secret admirer is really Duncan, who’s supposedly got imagination with picking out floral arrangements. (So THAT’S where he’s been hiding that personality!)

And finally, over at Mars Investigations, Veronica’s conducting a routine search for a Russian lady’s lost love. When she fails to find him due to the unfortunate combo of his name and profession (actor Tom Cruz), Veronica persists because it feels nice to do something good for change. If only actor Tom Cruz wasn’t in Witness Protection because Russian Lady’s mob family has a hit out on him. OH DANG. Luckily, Keith and Leo lure the mobsters into a trap. Mission totally possible!

How many Trips to the Dentist did I take? (drink count) 7

A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends

Just very brief ones — Veronica and Duncan at a previous spring dance, and Meg on the bus. (FORESHADOWING. But not really.)

File Under Lilly Kane’s Murder

No new clues!

Life on Mars

Once again, Wallace proves himself to be the Bestest Friend Forever, because when is he ever not? (Hint: JACKIE.) This time around, he’s the best for rummaging through gyms bags for Veronica. Also featured on the friend front is not Mac Meg, at least until Duncan comes along to ruin everything. Plus: Duncan was just teasing his friend and Meg’s ex about how chaste she is. And yet still not the worst romantic decision Duncan has ever made.

When Meg and Duncan get together at the ’80s dance, Veronica is all sadfaced. A sadfaced Manila Whore Barbie, but still sadfaced. Which is when Leo arrives to cheer her up! As a 20-year-old at a high school dance, but it’s still sweet. And he rocks the ’80s gear much better than Duncan does, because EWWWW Duncan’s everything. (P.S. Stop looking at Duncan wistfully, V. Don’t you realize who you’re with?!)

And also: Veronica finally realizes who’s been calling her without saying anything — her mother. She rushes off to find Lianne in a bar, insistent that they can’t be together for Veronica’s safety… just as Clarence Wiedman leaves the bar.

MVP (Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Player): Logan

It’s not Logan at his best, but certainly his most vulnerable to date. This also marks the first time that Veronica hears of Aaron abusing Logan. (Between this, Veronica’s rape, and Carrie’s albeit wrongful allegations, this town sure has a victim-blaming mentality. And are there no social workers in all of Neptune?)

Logan also tries to drink until his tears taste like love. (Yes, that was double deliberate.) Trina has to take his inebriated self home, but not before he wang chungs tonight.

And honourable mention for Keith, who totally studied up on a Russian word to use during the bust.

Best Reminder That It’s 2005 (That Hasn’t Been Replaced by Something a Smartphone Can Do)

Veronica refers to Ashton Kutcher and Teen People in one fell swoop. One no longer produces content; the other, you only wish would follow suit.

And the Snark Award Goes To…: Wallace

When Veronica laments the difficulty in finding the missing actor:

Wallace: “Tom Cruise? Not as good a private eye as I thought.”

Neptune Cameos

  • Alyson Hannigan as Trina. Uhh, I guess it’s nice that she got to play against type. But WILLOWWWW, why must you be so unpleasant?

Song for a Spy’s Soundtrack: “True” by Spandau Ballet

ARGH I actually love pretty much any incarnation of “Time After Time”, but it was playing during DUNCAN AS DUCKIE. Bleh.

MARS INVESTIGATIONS, CASE 1.16 “Betty and Veronica”

Neptune High’s mascot Polly the parrot has been stolen, and Vice Principal Clemmons turns to our girl detective for help. Veronica goes undercover at rival school Pan High, posing as Betty from Riverdale. (SERIOUSLY!? No one at Pan High caught that?!) The rivalry escalates when Pan High’s goat mascot gets stolen in retribution. (Why do both schools have a livestock allowance? Because mine only had a poor schlub in a mascot costume.)

The Polly theft turns out to be an inside job. With the avian hostage situation forcing Wallace to sit out the game, backup point guard Jack would be able to manipulate the game and make a killing off of his bet against his own heavily-favoured Neptune team. Also, this mystery seems much sillier in print. And it was already pretty silly to begin with.

How many Trips to the Dentist did I take? (drink count) 2 — abysmally low but also appropriate, given Lianne’s trubs with the drink.

A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends

Flashbacks — but not the fun kind, since they’re all of Veronica’s recent reunion with Lianne. Look, I know that alcoholism is a serious problem, but it’s not like Lianne is addicted to shitty parenting. Though you wouldn’t know it from her actions. (Again: future-hate. Getting ahead of self.)

Anyway. Lianne was actually with Jake at (what’s thought to be) the time of Lilly’s murder. And in a room at the Neptune Grand, no less. Thankfully for our vom reflexes, Lianne only wanted Jake to stop Celeste from contacting Veronica. By threatening to conduct a paternity test. The results of which Lianne is unsure of herself.

Before she heads back to Neptune, Veronica empties her college savings to pay for Lianne’s rehab. Ugh, and this is where I can’t help but know the future, which makes it all so much sadder.

File Under Lilly Kane’s Murder

Veronica sweet talks Leo into getting her the interrogation tapes from murder investigation. (Y’know, Leo might not be that great at his job, given how easily persuaded he is.) Jake and Celeste both claimed that they were at the Neptune Grand together, but some v. awkward interrogation from Keith (including the phrase “making love” — shudder) shows that their stories don’t quite match up. And now it appears that Celeste may have been blackmailing Lianne not only to keep Veronica’s paternity a secret, but also to preserve her and Jake’s alibis.

And since it couldn’t have been a coincidence that Clarence Wiedman found Lianne at the same time that she did, Veronica searches her room for his bug. Instead of obeying her initial instinct to destroy it, she turns the bug against Wiedman (using a bug of her own) and learns the identity of Abel Koontz’s beneficiary for being a patsy: his daughter, Amelia DeLongpre.

Life on Mars

Ummm, refer to everything else that’s already been mentioned? But also, Veronica has Weevil’s phone number memorized — besties! As for her real bestie, Veronica is smelling like teen spirit for Wallace’s sake. And she moved her locker to be closer to his! SUCH A MARSHMALLOW. Oh, and a perfectly good date with Leo gets ruined by Duncan and Meg on a double date with Celeste and Jake. (And they just went to the dance together! Slow down, Crazy. SLOW DOWN.)

And Meg’s still confused why they just can’t allllll get along. Even without being privy to the sordid paternity uncertainty, Meg should still know that 1) Veronica dated Duncan, and 2) Veronica’s dad suspected Duncan’s of killing Lilly. Plus — Meg, you just started dating Duncan. At least give Veronica a little time, yeah? This comes off harsher than how I feel about Meg (at this point in time, anyway), but the more I think about it, the worse it sits with me. Furthermore: MAAAAC, where are you!?

MVP (Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Player): Wallace

Lots of much-deserved love for Wallace in this episode! And for Percy Daggs III, for the very brief bit of basketballing that he did. But I also kind of liked Pan High. (And Richie! Much like Lilly Kane, I apparently love all the guys on this show.)

Best Reminder That It’s 2005 (That Hasn’t Been Replaced by Something a Smartphone Can Do)

Veronica booked her flight to Barstow over the phone. How quaint. Next thing you know, she’ll be going to some sort of agent that specializes in travel.

And the Snark Award Goes To…: Wallace

In response to Veronica needing a weird favour, without any questions asked:

Wallace: “Isn’t that the bedrock upon which our friendship was founded?”

Neptune Cameo

No one new! 

Song for a Spy’s Soundtrack: “Fall Behind Me” by The Donnas

I was undecided for a song, until I saw this video and was like, “YES. For Megan.”

That’s it for this week, Marshmallows! Come back next week to talk “Kanes and Abel’s”, “Weapons of Class Destruction”, and “Hot Dogs”. NO BIG DEAL.

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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’s been overseeing all things FYA Book Club since 2013.