Title: Veronica Mars S2.E01 “Normal Is the Watchword”
Veronica Mars S2.E02 “Driver Ed”
Released: 2005
Series:  Veronica Mars

Trips to the Dentist: 24
Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Players: Wallace and Wallace

Previously, on Veronica Mars

We’ve reached Season 2, Marshmallows — new year, new mystery, new GIFs! So say goodbye to THESE:

And a refresher on the drinking game rules, to ease the pain of the one-two punch of a certain breakup and UGH a rekindled romance. 

The Official FYA Veronica Mars Season 2 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
  • The communal argyle shirt appears
  • Someone says “bus crash”

Onto the episodes!

MARS INVESTIGATIONS, CASE 2.1 “Normal Is the Watchword”

Neptune High’s top athletes are failing their drug tests — including Wallace and Meg*. The urine samples may have been tamper-proofed, but the lab tech sure wasn’t. The wronged athletes all have rich enemies with overbearing parents who have no moral qualms about ruining the futures of other peoples’ kids for their own. (So really, Mom and Dad — my nonexistent athletic ability saved you quite a few moral dilemmas. YOU’RE WELCOME.)

*Who should unofficially be renamed “UGH Meg”, because that’s what I associate with her Season 2 self. 

How many Trips to the Dentist did I take? (drink count) 12

And if that’s not enough drinking for you, take another every time someone says either the episode title or the word “normal”.

Greasers vs. Socs

So! When we last saw Logan, he was getting ready to tussle with the PCHers on the Coronado Bridge. He manages to knock Weevil out, but that still leaves six guys to kick the shit out of him. Later on, a passer-by (driver-by?) finds Logan, with a knife in his hand and Felix’s corpse lying next to him. Logan tosses the knife in the water and skedaddles to Veronica’s (who believes his innocence, for a change). And just LOOK AT THE LOOKS.

Logan’s lawyers win the ensuing preliminary, which pisses off half the town something FIERCE (“another rich kid getting off scot-free”). Luckily, Logan has Veronica by his side.

But it’s all downhill from there. Neptune’s become the kind of place where you’re scared to go out alone. Where two attractive kids who should never not be making out with each other can’t even do so without being interrupted by a shotgun blast. And when Logan and the Brothers Genitals Casablancas retaliate by setting fire to the community pool, it’s the last straw for Veronica. (I know that arson ain’t cool and all, but Veronica lecturing about holding grudges — pot, kettle? Or is the fact that she’s like, “Whoa, too much” a sign that it’s gone way too far?)

Another casualty from the fallout is Veronica’s friendship with Weevil. And she also suspects that someone in the PCHer club is undermining Weevil’s authori-tah… 

File Under the Bus Crash

It’s a media class field trip to Shark Field (and Dick is going? But anyway.) to meet baseball team owner and mayoral hopeful Woody Goodman, who missed his calling in porn with that moniker. Veronica spots Woody arguing with Sharks legend and Keith’s fave Terence Cook. (Never mind that Keith was all about the Padres last season, but whatevs. I notice, but I don’t care. Though I do care enough to point it out.) 

Anyway, since the school bus reeked on the way to the stadium, Dick arranges for a limo on the way back — an offer accepted by all ’09ers and ’09er-daters, except for Meg, who’s trying to get away from Veronica, and Veronica, who’s not letting Meg do so. When the bus makes a stop at a convenience store, Meg childishly has it leave without Veronica — which, incidentally, saves Veronica’s ass from plummeting into the ocean as the bus goes straight off a cliff. 

Life on Mars

Veronica’s trying to get out of the detective game — but not working altogether, on account of Mommy Dearest taking all the moneys last time. So she’s working at a café and Keith wrote a book all about the Lilly Kane murder investigation to cover their finances. (And Keith’s still with Alicia, yay!)

But who cares about all that when there’s DELIBERATELY AMBIGUOUS AND MISLEADING BOYFRIEND TALK. Veronica breaks up with Logan over his feud with the PCHers, and gets back together with Duncan because he stalks her at her workplace and busses her tables and gives her fortune cookies or some shit. Even though Voiceover Veronica brings up the whole HALF-SIBLINGS ish.

That leaves Logan to have an affair with Kendall, Dick and Beaver’s new stepmom. She’s no Julia Roberts, that’s for damn sure.

MVP (Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Player): Wallace

Wallace may have left his office aide days behind him, but he didn’t do so without first making a master key and snagging all the admin passwords. Plus, he can sneak in jokes about the Klan like nobody’s business. What more do you need from a BFF? 

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

Huh, colour me surprised that Veronica’s fave baseballer Johnny Damon hasn’t officially retired yet. But I’ll go with him, since any post-1999 Tara Reid jokes seem to blur together.

And the Snark Award Goes To…: Veronica and Keith

The Mars fam debrief on Veronica’s first day of school, even if I’d be personally horrified to joke with my parents about sex. (I had to rewrite that last clause, lest someone mistake me for having Duncan-like tendencies.)

Neptune Cameos


  • Max Greenfield as Leo D’Amato. Including DEPUTY LEO’S! Because nothing says fun times like arresting the guy your ex dumped you for.

  • Charisma Carpenter as Kendall. Can’t say I’m entirely surprised that Cordelia went for another younger man. (Spoiler alert.)

  • Krysten Ritter as Gia. Between this, Gilmore Girls, and the failed Gossip Girl spinoff, The CW sure underutilized her, no?

  • Julie Chen as herself. Uhhh, she hosts a lot of CBS things? (Because duh.)

Song for a Spy’s Soundtrack: “Ashes” by Embrace

This was a close call. On the one hand, I really like “Long Time Coming”. But on the other, it was played during a Duncan montage. Obvs, I had to pick the song that played over shots of the bus wreckage. Cheerful!


Ed Doyle, the driver of the ill-fated bus, has been ruled as suicidal, but his daughter Jessie isn’t convinced. Not even when an apparent suicide note has been found on Ed’s computer. Our favourite sleuth figures out that Ed wasn’t trying to leave this mortal plane — just his wife. (Like seriously, why does anyone in Neptune put up with the totally ineffective Sheriff’s department?) 

How many Trips to the Dentist did I take? (drink count) 12

Greasers vs. Socs

Class warfare further complicates the bus crash, since only students from the poor side of town take the bus. Tensions have even trickled down to the young’uns, when Woody’s Little Leaguers cut into the field time of non-’09er kids. 

File Under the Bus Crash

Along with teacher Ms. Dumas and driver Ed Doyle, six students were on the bus when it crashed — including Meg, the lone (albeit comatose) survivor. The dead students, like PCHer Cervando, are being romanticized, and the whole sitch has been turned into a money-grab by some opportunistic bastards. Anyway, just as Veronica cleared up Ed’s name, her own shows up on a dead man’s palm.

Life on Mars

So the Veronica/Duncan scenes are interspersed with ones of Logan boning Kendall — thanks for that, show. Way to pour salt in our wounded hearts. Logan and Kendall are nearly caught by the Casablancas men — because they’re too dumb to use a hotel room until later on — though they leave a condom wrapper behind for Beaver to find. At least they’re being safe? Sexually, I mean, since Big Dick Casablancas knows his way around a firearm. He’s also quite a shitty father to Beaver, so he’s def. living up to his name. 

Woody wants Keith to run as Sheriff, despite having been among the pitchfork-wielding mob that ran Keith out of office in the first place. Keith doesn’t want any part of the mud-slinging politics that’s sure to ensue, but he reconsiders when he sees Lamb doing a shitty job — so basically, Keith saw Lamb doing his job. 

Veronica’s feeling a lot of guilt over Meg being in a coma, and she can’t handle that Duncan isn’t as affected as her. But they make up and GROSS they have sex for the second first time. Since, of course, the first time was when he thought she was his sister (and no, I won’t stop bringing that up because ICK) and when she woke up thinking she had been raped. I won’t tell Veronica how to feel — mostly because she’s a fictional character who’s unable to give two shits on what I tell her to do — but what, what, WHAT are you doing?!

ANYWAY. Post-coitus at Duncan’s suite at the Neptune Grand, they overhear their noisy neighbours going at it — and of course, it’s Logan with Kendall, who finally wise up and have the sex away from her marital home. Veronica runs into Logan in the hallway, after they’ve both been sexing not-each other. When she returns home, Keith does the whole “you look different” post-sex gimmick. SHOW I thought you were better than that! 

And in news that no one but me cares about: there’s yet another Cindy — this one being a waitress that works with Veronica.

MVP (Most Marshmallow’s Valuable Player): Wallace

Yup — Wallace again! New girl Jackie, whose name should also be prefixed by UGH for the sake of convenience, spends her first day at Neptune High just generally being unpleasant. But Wallace is smitten, because Jackie is gorgeous and likes to perpetuate the myth that nice guys finish last. So when someone hits Jackie’s baseball legend father Terence Cook’s Porsche, Wallace Fennel is on the case! (Mostly because Veronica Mars doesn’t have time for the case.) And he’s just so cute and proud of himself for finding the culprit on his own — an undercover reporter à la Josie Grossie looking for bus crash scoop, BTW. Not that Jackie appreciated Wallace geeking out over detective-izing as much as I did she should.

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

Most of the pop culture references were dated for even back then — e.g. Never Been KissedGood Will Hunting. And there’s yet another Nelly shout-out. Again, used facetiously, but methinks someone needs to import more rap into Neptune. Where’s Bone “No, I’m Not Giggling at Your Name” Hamilton when you need him?

And the Snark Award Goes To…: Jessie

Way to go, guest star of the week! In addition to reminding me of Michelle Williams (of the Creek, not the Child), Jessie has this to say to her father’s mistress, after being told that she looks just like her picture:

Jessie: “That’s why they call them pictures.”

Runner-up for Veronica dropping some Carpenters on Lamb when she outsmarts the Sheriff’s department. That’s the perfect tone for their antagonistic relationship — as long as I wilfully ignore all the heinous law enforcement oversights during Lamb’s tenure.

Neptune Cameos

  • Tessa Thompson as Jackie.

  • Kevin Smith as Duane. He plays the convenience store clerk that last talked to Ed Doyle. (GET IT??)

Song for a Spy’s Soundtrack: “On Your Porch” by The Format

This song’s on the actual soundtrack! It plays during Jessie’s meeting with the mistress, and UGH also when Veronica and Duncan are about to hug without clothes. You know, for the first time since the last time during which he thought she was his sister.

That’s it for now, Marshmallows! Join me next week for “Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang”, “Green-Eyed Monster”, and “Blast from the Past”. 

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.