Title: Veronica Mars S1.E20 “M.A.D.”
Veronica Mars S1.E21 “A Trip to the Dentist”
Veronica Mars S1.E22 “Leave It to Beaver”
Released: 2005
Series:  Veronica Mars

Trips to the Dentist: 24
Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Players: Aaron, Logan, and Keith

Previously, on Veronica Mars

Y’all. This day is horrible. My team lost, Roger Federer lost, and THIS POST WAS LOST. (Plus: WORK.) So I’m in dire need of GIFs more than EVER.

From the corrections department! In the frenzy of last week’s rewatch, I totally forgot one of my favourite exchanges. Probably because I can’t find a GIF of it, which is absolutely criminal. Anyway, it happens immediately after this:

And then it goes a little something like this:

That’s certainly evident in this rewatch, don’t you think?

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
  • 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!


Carmen’s trying to dump her jerkwad boyfriend Tad. But as per his jerkwad tendencies, he ain’t having it. He blackmails her to stay with him using a video of her skinny-dipping and going down on a popsicle. While it’d be fairly traumatic to have that circulate, it seems pretty tame, no? Esp. since Carmen says it’s worse than a sex tape. Like, really? Although she was sexing Tad, so I can’t say I blame her lack of enthusiasm (or any other -asms).

Carmen goes back to Tad, both out of fear and to obtain compromising footage of him for a photoshop setup. (It’s much more believable than the flyers from A Walk to Remember. But of course it would be; Mac does not do shoddy work.) Tad plays like he’s backing off, but he spams the school with the video anyway. He also says things like “I never wanted to hurt you. You made me do it.” without REPEATEDLY PUNCHING HIMSELF, because that’s sure as shit what I’d like to do.

Veronica’s all set to retaliate, but Carmen is yet another wronged party that takes the high road. Won’t anyone take the low road!? Why is there so much sage wisdom in these teens?! So Tad gets away with his douchebaggery, but not before he gets the flagpole treatment from the PCHers.

How many Trips to the Dentist did I take? (drink count) 6

Oh yeah — this def. counts as a bathroom meeting.

A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends

Seeing the video of Carmen triggers Veronica’s memory of passing out at Shelly Pomroy’s party.

File Under Lilly Kane’s Murder

Suspected sister-fucker -killer Duncan is on the lam (well, not the Lamb, that’s someone else. FORESHADOWING!), and there’s a $50K bounty on him. But since Veronica inadvertently gave Duncan a crash course on how to disappear, finding him is proving harder than Keith thought it’d be. Weevil provides a tip on Duncan’s getaway vehicle, which leads to a dead end in Tijuana, but Mac traces a passport bought off of eBay to the donut. And now I’m wistful for a Season 4, in which Weevil, Mac, and Wallace all become employees at Mars Investigations.

Life on Mars

Keith and Alicia are so cute; they have weekly date nights for ballroom dancing. They run into a bit of trouble when Clarence Wiedman tells Alicia to stop dating Keith, because that sounds like a legal employment practice. Alicia’s also pissed that Wallace delivered a bug to Wiedman’s office. (Slight spoiler alert, but I kind of hope they’re together in the movie.)

But! The real story is Veronica and Logan, NO DOY. The stealthy glances, THE BATHROOM MAKE-OUT… yes, Logan — secrets ARE kind of hot.

As much as I enjoy the make-outs (even if admitting as such makes me feel a wee voyeuristic), I really love — LoVe, GET IT?!? — the little kisses on the cheek that he gives her at the end. Kind of like, “Just one more!” and he can’t get enough of her and sighhhh. Logan Echolls, you give me unrealistic expectations of the redeemability of jackasses.

Veronica also finds out that the person who brought les drugs to the infamous party at Shelly Pomroy’s was none other than Logan. So she bails on their planned romantic getaway without so much as a word and GAHHHHHH poor little rich boy.

MVP (Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Player): Aaron

HEAR ME OUT, Y’ALL. Last week, commenter (and my FYA Book Club friend!) AnimeJune mentioned how Aaron would seem like a great dad in “Hot Dogs” without any prior knowledge. I’d say that this episode is an even better submission for Aaron’s Runner-Up Father of the Year award. (Winner is Keith, obvs. Everyone else is just playing for second.) Aaron covers for Logan’s secret tryst! He drives Veronica home! He expresses concern for Logan’s well-being! And there aren’t even any veiled threats of child abuse! What a swell guy.

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

Omg — SO MANY REMINDERS. Some things feel antiquated for me (the school’s cell phone policy, the rampant gay bashing), but maybe there hasn’t been as much progress as I think since my own high school days. Others are definite products of their time: Paris Hilton (how meta!), the Star Wars Kid, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. There’s also a lot of naivety re: digital files — like Veronica asking Mac if videos have timestamps. CHILD PLEASE, that’s a waste of Mac’s talents.

And the Snark Award Goes To…: Veronica

A prime example of Veronica deflecting relationship talk with humour. Logan cancels a bro trip to be with her, to which she responds:

Neptune Cameo

  • Kyle Gallner as Cassidy Casablancas aka Beaver. Yup, a stint on Smallville earns him a cameo mention. We’ll talk a lot more about this later fer shure, but Beaver’s characterization changes A LOT. When we first meet him, he’s all for making fun of Veronica. But by the next episode, he’s the quiet, sensitive foil to his lewd, boisterous brother. (And let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves with where else his character goes… )

Song for a Spy’s Soundtrack: “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James and the Shondells

This is a bit ironic, since I’ve criticized Neptunians for not taking allegations from victims seriously. But VERONICAAAAAAA, can you just TALK to Logan first!? USE YOUR WORDS, PLEASEEEE. Instead of leaving him by his lonesome (albeit on a yacht with champers) as this song plays on.

MARS INVESTIGATIONS, CASE 1.21 “A Trip to the Dentist”

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

A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends

Veronica finally finds out what really happened the night of Shelly Pomroy’s party. My favourite part is how heavily biased some of these recollections are, depending on their narrators.

So Veronica arrives at the party, enraging Madison with her mere presence. Like any caring boyfriend is wont to do, Dick slips Madison some GHB to get her to chillax. Instead, Madison unknowingly hands V. a spiked drink, after very knowingly spitting in it. (My notes say “Seriously, this bitch.” Which pretty sums it all.)

Contrary to Madison’s revisionist history of V. pushing herself onto Dick (WOW that wasn’t even intentional), an impaired Veronica is at the mercy of the ’09ers. They do body shots off of her, before Duncan intervenes and drops her off to… be fed drinks by Dick and Co. After they try to get Veronica to make out with everyone, they leave her in a guest bedroom for Beaver. EWW EWW EWW what kind of person would be like, “Have a rape to lose your v-card, bro”?

Anyway, Beaver insists that nothing happened and that he left Veronica passed out on the bed. (Mmm-hmm.) Which is where Duncan, also on GHB because of Logan, finds her and they have the sex. But the way Duncan remembers it, it had been an unspoken but consensual mistake. He bolted in the morning once he realized that HE SLEPT WITH VERONICA WHEN HE THOUGHT SHE WAS HIS SISTER. Meanwhile, Lilly’s ghost is like, “No more visits for Duncan.”

File Under Lilly Kane’s Murder

Present day! Keith tracks down Duncan and his ugly facial hair in Cuba. Celeste refuses to issue the reward money, citing Veronica’s prior arrangement of dropping the charges against Weevil for breaking and entering. Although Keith has better luck with an escort in Vegas. Not libido-wise, but for Abel Koontz’s alibi at the time of Lilly’s death.

Life on Mars

Veronica’s disgusted that Logan provided the drugs that robbed her of her memories. Logan is understandably confused. This is why words are useful, V.!

Logan’s horrified to discover the role he played in Veronica thinking that she was raped. But they make up and they make out, as they arrive for dinner with Aaron. Which turns out to be Aaron’s ill-advised attempts to bond with Logan, in the form of a surprise birthday party with all the ’09ers.

Everyone’s pretty stunned by this relationship, but Logan has zero tolerance for anyone badmouthing his girlfriend. Duncan chooses to wander off on his lonesome, to RAGE OUT at a car instead. And Meg loses all the goodwill she gained from dissing The Sun Also Rises by being all jelly that Duncan will never love her like a sister Veronica.

Anyway, Logan and Veronica sneak off to the pool house, because how good can any party be without Wallace, Mac, or Weevil? And more importantly, they’ve only made out once since their reconciliation.

While Logan is off fetching refreshments — all that making out makes one parched, you know? — Veronica follows Deputy Leo’s instructions of staring at the ceiling (though he probably didn’t mean with somebody else). She’s horrified to learn that there are cameras focused on the bed, and she promptly has Weevil pick her up. I know that hindsight has me extremely biased towards Logan, but VERONICAAAA — can you PLEASE just talk to him first before ditching him yet again? Or should we just name that move the Veronica Mars?

In non-romantical news, Veronica finally opens up to Wallace about everything — the rape, the murder. She has a good cry, and they’re the bestest of besties. She’s also come around on Keith’s relationship with Alicia, just in time for FUCKING LIANNE to come back.

MVP (Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Player): Logan

Logan may be way messed up and intense, but he says such perfect things!

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

Hmmm, no major infractions. But how about the setup for the sex den? You can probably go way more covert nowadays. Yay technology?

And the Snark Award Goes To…: Weevil! And Bonus Dick!

When Veronica and Logan are on the outs (the first time in this ep, I mean), Weevil is very sweet and protective of her.

Plus! A testament to what this show got away with (and how the fratty young-ness doesn’t do justice to Ryan Hansen’s current hotness):

And noooope, I shall never tire of the Dick jokes.

Neptune Cameos

OMG — everyone! (Except for Mac, but it wouldn’t have made sense to shoehorn her into this storyline.) The reappearances of all these classmates really make Neptune High seem like a real school and community.

An extra note on accidental (incidental?) continuity: Beaver mentioned that he was flirting with an easy freshman named Cindy. Did the show momentarily forget that it already had an awesome junior named Cindy (MacKenzie)? Or were the late ’80s just swarmed with Cindys? I blame you, Lauper.

Song for a Spy’s Soundtrack: “I Touch Myself” by Saucy Monky

I don’t really care for this song, since I like lyrics with more subtlety than “My Ding-a-Ling”. (Side note: I’m so immature; that link cracked my shizz up.) But I have no time to pick something else, so it’ll do!

MARS INVESTIGATIONS, CASE 1.22 “Leave It to Beaver”

How many Trips to the Dentist did I take? (drink count) 13

Given the number of times the name “Keith Mars” is invoked, that could be an honourary rule for this episode. Also because Keith Mars is an indisputable BADASS.

A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends

The only real memory is of Lilly hiding photos of naked Italians in the vent. But she shows up in Veronica’s imagination of how the murder went down, and later on in a dream.

File Under Lilly Kane’s Murder

In light of Keith going public with his proof of a cover-up, Beaver* gets skittish about a secret that he swore to take to the grave. (Hasn’t he learned that two can keep a secret if one of them is dead? Spoiler alert, but he soon will.)

*I always liked how Veronica only called him by his real name after being corrected. But such manners clearly don’t apply to me.

Anyway, Dick and Beav have been lying about Logan’s whereabouts on the day of the murder. Logan came back from their Mexico trip early to see Lilly, and there’s even corroborating evidence. It’s enough to get him questioned by the Sheriff’s department, but not enough to hold him. Unfortunately, the PCHers are bound by no such laws, as Weevil leads the charge against Logan the suspected Lilly killer…

OR IS HE?! Jake tells Duncan that he did indeed sleep with kill his sister. Celeste and Jake came home to find Duncan, covered in blood, cradling a lifeless Lilly. And the elder Kanes covered it up for their son the sister killer. (I know I joke, but I do actually sympathize with the Kanes, who think they’ve lost one child because of the other..)

OR IS HE?! Veronica follows a lead to clear Logan’s name, by checking Lilly’s fave hiding spot. She finds a bunch of tapes, i.e. pool house sex tapes. Of Lilly and Aaron — and ewwww Lilly! Fathers and sons should not be sharing girlfriends; just ask Jocasta! (Or — spoiler alert — in a few episodes’ time, Kendall.)

Veronica’s finally able to piece together the entire picture. Lilly and Aaron were having an affair, which he was taping because he’s a vanity monster. But she discovers the cameras, much like Veronica did (though I don’t think I’d be nearly that perceptive). Lilly races back home, resulting in that traffic ticket, and stashes the tapes away. Aaron catches up to her, smashing her head in when she refuses to give the tapes back. Then Duncan comes home to discover her body. And for all the shit that I talk about him (and will continue to do so in Season 2), I actually quite like him in this scene.

With damning evidence in tow, Veronica heads home while Duncan is supposed to keep an eye on Aaron. But really, they should have made sure Aaron was actually under surveillance before V. left, because he’s totally hiding in her backseat. So Veronica CRASHES THE CAR. But even badasses aren’t immune to fear; even though I know she ends up OK, seeing Veronica so terrified still gets to me.

The crash manages to slow Aaron down, but Veronica’s quick-thinking of scattering the tapes saves her from meeting the same fate as Lilly. Also here to save Veronica: KEITH, in all his BAMF glory. And when the authorities and the Kanes arrive, Jake’s heartbreak is on full display. (Sorry for ever doubting you, bro.)

Life on Mars

So that reward money for finding Duncan: Celeste is willing to hand over the $50K, on the condition that V. relinquishes future claims to the Kane fortune. Veronica signs off on it without hesitation — though there was never any need to do so, since Keith is undoubtedly her father! Veronica also lets Duncan in on the news, though that still does not erase him sleeping with her while thinking that she was his sister.

With that confirmation and Lianne’s return, the Mars family unit is whole and intact. But Veronica finds out that Lianne is already back on the bottle and that she never completed the rehab that was paid for by Veronica’s college money. Finally wising up to what a shitty mother she has, Veronica tells Lianne to take a hike. Which she obliges, but not before stealing the cheque from the Kanes. So… did the Kanes just make that out to “cash”? Because how the hell else would Lianne be able to cash that?

As for Mars Junior, she totally plays Logan, in light of news that he saw Lilly on the morning of her death. Veronica says she’s just putting their relationship on hold, but really, she’s just making sure he doesn’t run before she turns him in. Logan uses his one phone call to contact her, only to find out that she betrayed him. And GAHHHH Logan just needs all the hugs after this:

ANYWAY. In the aftermath of the mayhem, Veronica gets a knock at the door at 3 AM, greeting the person with “I was hoping it would be you.” BUT YOU WHO?! (Aren’t you glad you don’t have to wait a whole summer to find out?)

MVP (Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Player): Keith


Keith wasn’t directly responsible for this one, but I doubt you’d object to watching this:

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

The Kanes are obvi holding a function for the Governator. Though why Aaron had to attend it to meet him is beyond me. Wouldn’t they have ran in the same acting circles? But I guess this is a pre-Expendables age.

And the Snark Award Goes To…: Logan

It doubles as an outdated reference, but it’s probably not the best move when being interrogated for a murder investigation.

Lamb [tapping finger on table]: “You said you were in Mexico the day of Lilly’s murder. Why?”

Logan: “How many episodes of NYPD Blue did you have to watch to get that finger tapping down?”

Lamb: “I asked you a question.”

Logan: “And I ignored it and moved on. Keep up.”

Neptune Cameo

No one new — but sayanora, Lianne! Don’t let the door tempt you to bankrupt your child even more on your way out.

Song for a Spy’s Soundtrack: “Lilly Dreams On” by Cotton Mather

As much as it pains me to choose anybody over Shirley Manson, this is a beautiful farewell.

That’s it for this week, Marshmallows! So what’s everyone’s fave episode from Season 1? In the interest of, well, interest, we should probably omit “Weapons of Class Destruction”. You know — this episode?

You didn’t really think we’ve seen the last of that GIF, did you? Anyway, join me next week for the start of Season 2, with “Normal Is the Watchword” and “Driver Ed”.

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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.