Hey, marshmallows! Like many of you, we’ve been busy rewatching the first three seasons of Veronica Mars in anticipation of the new season on Hulu. We were planning to post our top ten episodes this week as an appeteaser, to whet your appetites before the July 26th premiere. We make plans and the gods of streaming laugh, huh? But even after that surprise drop of the entire season four last Friday, we’re still in a nostalgic Veronica Mars original run state of mind. Join us on the trip down memory lane, won’t you?
We bring different perspectives to this top ten of our faves. Maggie watched the show as it aired back in the day, setting her VCR to record it—that’s right, VCR, not DVR—on nights she wasn’t home. Sarah binged all three seasons in one week before the movie came out in 2014 like a goddamn champion. We still had a ton of overlap when we compared lists of our faves, although we had to get ruthless at the end—cutting the episode with Aaron Samuels in a commune? That one hurt. (Can someone please tell Casey Gant he looks sexy with his hair pushed back?)
So pull up a chair, let someone make you a macchiato (poof! You’re a macchiato), and join as we discuss the episodes that made us laugh, set us aflame, and shocked us to our cores.
Silence of the Lamb (1×11)
Maggie: *extreme Stefon voice* This episode has everything. Veronica conducting business out of her office, the girls’ bathroom at Neptune High, and solving a case for a classmate, one Cindy “Mac” MacKenzie. No disrespect to Wallace, but I think that not having a female best friend was a big void in Veronica’s life after Lilly’s murder and Mac, who’s really different from Lilly, is the perfect complement to this version of Veronica. I am obsessed with how her case played out, it’s one of my favorites. Finding out you were switched at birth would have been enough to rock anyone’s world, but to find out you were switched with Madison Sinclair of all people? The true villain of this show, who doesn’t even appreciate the advantages of her wealth or her loving family the way that Mac would. Total insult to injury. The end to this story, like many on this show, is bittersweet, with Mac’s birth mother driving away without a word and Mac turning to spend time with her family, who don’t understand her freakball vegan, NPR listening, computer savvy ways but love her all the same.
Sarah: God, I love Mac so much. And I kind of love that we go from an introduction like the purity test to a heavier storyline like this for her second episode. The amazing thing about this is that it all stemmed from something as seemingly basic as her parents not really understanding her, which is a feeling most, if not all, of us have at some point during our teenage years. Honestly, to stumble upon the revelation that you were switched at birth because of that? That is some razor sharp intuition she’s working with here. And Maggie, I know you’re with me in loving Mac, but I know for a fact that she’s not the only reason you voted for this episode.
Maggie: Okay, I know, I buried the lede, but I had to, the Mac storyline is so good. But this was the first appearance of Deputy Leo! Deputy Leo, a pre-New Girl Max Greenfield, a pure cinnamon roll too good for this world. No, literally, he and Veronica click but when he realizes that she used him to break into the evidence room at the sheriff’s station? Heartbreaking.
Sarah: Oh man, the pizza. THE PIZZA. Seriously, their chemistry was so on point the second they met, and it was definitely a little deflating when he figures out what Veronica did. But this is Veronica Mars we’re dealing with, she’s probably going to enlist your help to get to the truth with or without your knowledge, so maybe it was good that Leo learned that right off the bat?
Maggie: But! She had a really good reason, and we got movement on the season-long mystery, the Lilly Kane murder case. Listen, I love Veronica, but some of her ideas, like sending Clarence Wiedman, head of security at Kane Software who called in the anonymous tip about Abel Koontz, surveillance photos of himself, are half cocked and straight-up dangerous.
Sarah: I feel like we could make a drinking game out of the times Veronica does something that makes me shout, “Girl, what are you doing?!” at the TV, and that absolutely counts as one of those times.
Maggie: And finally, the strangler case isn’t one of my faves, but I’m always here for Keith schooling Sheriff Lamb, especially in front of people, like when he obliterated Lamb’s comparison of the case to the Hillside Strangler at the debriefing.
Sarah: I totally agree, I wasn’t thrilled over that case, but I will literally sit through anything if you promise me that someone’s going to completely own Sheriff Lamb. It’s always so insanely satisfying, and I can never get enough of it.
Mars vs. Mars (1×14)
Sarah: No one warned me that Adam Scott was going to be disgusting in this, you guys.
Maggie: He legit makes my skin crawl. How?
Sarah: In all seriousness, it’s pretty wild to watch this episode now that we’re neck deep in the #MeToo era, because it shows how little things have changed from 2005 even with the spotlight shining brighter. I’ve said this before while recapping this past season of Will & Grace, but the fact that people still think it’s easy to recount something like this is mind-blowing for all the wrong reasons. And “Mars Vs. Mars” does an incredible job of showing just how high the cards are stacked against survivors, from Veronica refusing to believe Carrie Bishop and fighting like crazy to prove that Mr. Rooks didn’t touch her, to the students of Neptune High going out of their way to harass Carrie once the allegations are made.
Maggie: And can we talk about the fact that Veronica is a sexual assault survivor who was mocked by the sheriff when she tried to report and still, she immediately goes to bat for the guy? I know Carrie can be a vicious gossip and Mr. Rooks is her favorite teacher, but it’s still fucked up that her first instinct isn’t to believe women, but to prove this one wrong. That’s how ingrained this shit was when the episode aired—and still is. And as for the rest of the student body, as Carrie points out, she’s the one everyone turns on, not Mr. Rooks, starting with some high-level bullying at lunchtime when those girls serenade her with “Don’t Stand So Close To Me.”
Sarah: Thankfully, on the flip side, there’s also Keith never wavering from pursuing the case against Mr. Rooks no matter how hard Veronica protests it. Not to mention the twist of it all: that Susan Knight was the one Mr. Rooks not only targeted, but also got pregnant, and Carrie just could not stand idly by as he was living his life unscathed while Susan was disowned by her parents and run out of town. This girl was so willing to take all of the shit Neptune High decided to throw at her, protecting her friend and making sure Susan gets the justice she deserves, and that is simply incredible. The world could use a few more Keiths and Carries out there.
Maggie: And I love that Keith didn’t gloat. I think he knew Veronica learned her lesson, especially after talking to Susan herself. I also love how her and Carrie’s story has taken on greater significance in light of the events of the movie; it’s bittersweet to watch, knowing now what happens to them.
Sarah: “Mars Vs. Mars” is also the episode where Logan’s vulnerability really started to show its face to me, and my opinion of him started to do a total 180. It’s rough that that vulnerability started to show itself as Logan grappled with his mother’s suicide, unwilling to believe she did it and turning to Veronica to help prove him right. But this journey opened him up in a way that probably would have been difficult to do in any other situation, and if it weren’t for that—if it weren’t for Veronica agreeing to help him out and doing everything she could to get to the truth—I don’t think I would have been as on board with LoVe back then. But man, did this show handle it all so well.
Maggie: I’ll be honest, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t see the softer side of Logan Echolls. I have and will fight anyone who doesn’t appreciate his layers. But I think you’re right in that this is the turning point, both for Logan and for Logan and Veronica.
Weapons of Class Destruction (1×18)
Maggie: Can we talk about Jonathan Taylor Thomas, prime where are they now material, as an undercover ATF agent? And with brown hair?? Peak emo! I cannot stress enough how wild this was at the time, god bless whoever was in charge of casting for this show. Oh, and apparently he was so bad at his job that he had to frame an innocent high schooler when the real culprit was living next door the whole time?
Sarah: Okay, but considering this town had Don Lamb as its sheriff, are we really surprised? Maybe there’s just something in the water in Neptune that makes all law enforcement stupidly terrible. Except for Deputy Leo. He can stay.
Maggie: And side note, I love getting little glimpses into Veronica’s world of things that she never registered, like Norris’ crush on her.
Sarah: Speaking of crushes, can we shift the focus to Joey Lauren Adams (be still, my heart) for a second?
Maggie: Joey. Lauren. Adams. A hero!! She single-handedly saved the First Amendment in this episode and what was her thanks? Losing her job.
Sarah: Not to mention she had Principal Clemmons talking down to her the whole time just because she runs the pep squad, like that makes her completely incapable of running a journalism class. It’s a dick move, and it made the fact that she never backed down that much more satisfying.
Maggie: Hm, what else, what else… Veronica’s dad starts dating Wallace’s mom, that’s gonna be a whole thing. Duncan finds out that Veronica is investigating Lilly’s murder and she thinks his parents paid Abel Koontz to take the fall, mm-hmm. I swear, I’m missing something… OH, RIGHT VERONICA KISSES LOGAN. AND THEN LOGAN KISSES VERONICA. AND THEY KISS. AND MY WHOLE WORLD IS SHOOK.
Sarah: LISTEN, the turnaround I experienced re: Logan Echolls gave me such emotional whiplash my first time through this series, it was insane. I went from thinking this guy was the worst for how he was treating Veronica to wanting them to smash their mouths together SO QUICKLY, and for a show to not only pull that off, but to get them together in a way that didn’t feel forced is impressive as hell. That kiss was everything, and LoVe is so very real.
Leave it to Beaver (1×22)
Sarah: Something that will become apparent as this post goes on: we are very much here for the Veronica Mars season finales. But come on, how could you not be? When you structure your show to have one big mystery to solve each season in addition to all the smaller mysteries that arise in Neptune, that closing episode is going to be one huge blowout of revelations and cliffhangers. And “Leave It to Beaver” does not let up; what a way to end the first season.
Maggie: WHAT A WAY TO END THE FIRST SEASON. I vividly remember watching it, alone, in the dark. Oh, past Maggie. Seriously, this episode was like a horror movie. Realizing there was someone in the closet? No, absolutely not. THE REVEAL ON THE TAPES. Oh god, when he was in the back seat of her car??? And she had to reach across his unconscious body to get the tapes back!! WHEN SHE LOOKED BACK AND HE WASN’T IN THE CAR ANYMORE. HE LOCKED HER IN A FRIDGE AND SET A FIRE. This episode is just as much 15 years later.
Sarah: I mean, sure, we get closure on some of the lingering unknowns of the season, namely that Keith is in fact Veronica’s father and Duncan is in fact not Veronica’s brother. But we all know we were here to finally learn who killed Lilly Kane (because it definitely wasn’t Abel Koontz). And honestly, that journey keeps you on your toes the entire time with a bunch of different theories that each somehow make a crazy amount of sense. We go from Duncan killing Lilly in a fit—which is 100% the avenue the Kanes took, seeing as how they ARRANGED FOR A DYING MAN TO TAKE THE FALL AND SPEND HIS FINAL DAYS IN PRISON FOR A CRIME HE DIDN’T COMMIT, WHAT EVEN—to Logan cutting his trip to Tijuana short to confront her about seeing someone else/accidentally murder her, to the actual answer to this season-long puzzle. And the actual answer? Hoo-boy, it’s a doozy.
Maggie: And what I love about how everything is revealed is that it still makes sense that Keith was a good sheriff. He knew things were off and not what they seemed to be, he worked the case—it just had more threads to unravel than anyone would expect.
Sarah: Listen, my only other Harry Hamlin experience that I distinctly remember is his stint on Law & Order: SVU, where he played Rollins’ old boss from Atlanta who not only sexually assaulted her but then went on to sexually assault another one of his subordinates on a work trip to New York, so this really fucking tracks for me (sorry Harry?). But when it becomes painfully obvious that Aaron Echolls was Lilly’s big secret—you know, the one that they kept talking about in almost every “Previously on…” sequence—and not Weevil, that’s the moment you need to buckle the hell up. This guy was not only sleeping with his son’s girlfriend but was filming it without Lilly’s consent (way to take a creepy act and make it even creepier), and then killed her trying to get back the tapes she swiped once she realized what he was doing. And if you ever want to know what it feels like to literally have your heart in your throat, watch him lock Veronica in a refrigerator and set it on fire. It’s such an intense nail-biter, even when you know how it ends.
Maggie: Let me tell you, it is WILD to rewatch this season after seeing Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for the past five years. Harry Hamlin would not hurt a fly, you guys. He likes camping! He bakes pies! He wears glasses! Yet I still buy him as a psychopathic, predatory killer! Give him the Oscar!
Sarah: And then—AND THEN—that mysterious knock on Veronica’s door at 3AM and Veronica’s “I was hoping it would be you” as the show faded to black before we could see who that “you” was, as if we didn’t already have enough to deal with over the course of this hour. One of the perks of coming to this show so late was that I only needed to wait until I pressed play on the next episode to find out…I can’t imagine what it was like to have to wait for a whole summer.
Maggie: Yeah, the summer of 2005 was interminable, let me tell you. (Spoiler alert: worth it.)
Donut Run (2×11)
Sarah: Before we begin, I’d just like to take a moment to appreciate Lucy Lawless’ badass FBI agent who has zero time for Sheriff Lamb’s shit. I could honestly watch an hour of her coming up with new ways to take him down a peg.
Maggie: From laying down the law when she first walked into his office to casually requesting a coffee when he had a minute, it was so satisfying.
Sarah: There’s definitely a lot going on in this episode, from discovering the real reason Wallace left Chicago involved a drunken teammate and a hit and run, to Logan and Weevil working together to figure out which PCHer is in cahoots with the Fitzpatricks and tried to frame Logan for Felix’s murder (and I’ve got to be honest, I really love when these two team up).
Maggie: ME TOO I LOVE LOGAN AND WEEVIL AS PARTNERS. I wish there was a world where they could actually be friends, but I’ll take their accidentally on purpose knocking into each other in the hall to pass secret messages any day.
Sarah: But the meat of this episode deals with Duncan taking his baby and going on the run in order to save his daughter from a life under the abusive care of Meg Manning’s parents. From Veronica and Duncan’s very public, very messy “break-up,” to Veronica’s “cooperation” with the police, to the call to Veronica that supposedly places Duncan in Big Bear, we’re strapped in for an absolute RIDE. But the biggest kicker of them all? It was all an insanely elaborate scheme to throw literally everybody (including the audience) off their trail, so that Duncan can get his child safely out of the country.
Maggie: First of all, shout out to The Virgin Suicides soundtrack! As someone who spent years obsessed with it, I appreciate. But seriously, when Keith figures it out and confronts her? That “You played ME, Veronica” continues to rip my heart of my damn chest, every single time I watch this episode.
Sarah: The thing is, I should have known something was up all along, thanks to a helpful clue that was right in front of me the entire time. The only time we get a Veronica voiceover in this episode is when she’s Googling Wallace and realizes he hasn’t been honest with her. It’s such a great move, and it makes so much sense that there’s no voiceover during the kidnapping storyline, in terms of keeping the twist alive. And I guess it succeeded, because I was so invested the first time around, I didn’t even notice the lack of voiceover (in fact…I didn’t notice the lack of voiceover until years later. Sometimes I’m sharp. Sometimes I’m very much not). But the fact that “Donut Run” kept me that invested means it absolutely deserves a place on this list.
Maggie: In all seriousness, when you mentioned this, I was like “holy shit, there’s no voiceover?” I must have known that, but I get so wrapped up in the story that I never think about it. Rewatching the episode with that in mind, the absence of it is so striking. This show, guys.
Sarah: One final note: is it weird that I kind of really love how Vinnie Van Lowe is the one driving Duncan and his daughter through Mexico at the end? Sure, maybe it’s just my love for Ken Marino talking, and sure, Vinnie was probably at least partially motivated by the $30,000 payout, but just let me have this one. Sometimes, inherent slimeballs do briefly have a heart.
Maggie: Honestly I’m so with you on this one. This is Neptune after all, they didn’t have to give him a heart! But it really does make a difference. One final final note? I’m sorry, I have to call bullshit on that fortune cookie fortune she stuck to the mirror at the end. True love stories never have endings? I guess? But I just firmly believe that Duncan is a relic of Veronica’s old life. He doesn’t fit with the new Veronica, the hardened, post-Lilly’s murder, world turned upside down Veronica. Goodbye and good riddance.
Look Who’s Stalking (2×20)
Maggie: I thought our story was epic, you know. You and me.
Sarah: Epic how?
Maggie: Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined and bloodshed. Epic. But summer’s almost here and we won’t see each other at all. And then you’ll leave town and then it’s over and…
Maggie: I’m sorry about last summer. You know, if I could do it over…
Sarah: Come on, ruined lives, bloodshed? You really think a relationship should be that hard?
Maggie: No one writes songs about the ones that come easy.
Sarah: And scene. (Okay, sure, other things happened in this episode—blah blah blah, Alterna-Prom, blah blah blah, the Neptune High janitor’s stalking Gia Goodman because her dad is a horrible human being—but let’s be real…the reason we’re all here is the Epic LoVe speech and the Epic LoVe speech only. Don’t even try to hide it.)
Not Pictured (2×22)
Sarah: Here we go again with the season finales. It’s like “Not Pictured” looked at “Leave It to Beaver” and was like, “I see your flaming refrigerator of near-death, and raise you a bus crash culprit, an exploding plane, and a professional hit on a newly acquitted actor-turned-murderer,” mostly thanks to Cassidy Casablancas (by the way, how exactly did a network show get away with naming two brothers Dick and Beaver?). And you know what? I’m not even mad about it.
Maggie: Not mad at alllllllllll. The first season was so good, they had to see that level of quality (and mayhem, I guess) and then raise it. That scene on the roof? “You’re not a killer, Veronica”? Come on. They did the damn thing.
Sarah: Again, the overarching mystery per season structure of the show works its magic here, this time ruining my It Takes Two loving childhood a little bit by revealing that Woody Goodman is a pedophile who targeted players on his little league team, including Cassidy (come on, Steve Guttenberg…). Here’s the thing: Aaron Echolls was always a little inherently creepy to me even before we learned that he was physically abusing his son, so when we learn that he was the bad guy at the end of season one, it definitely made a lot of sense to me. But this season, finding out that Cassidy orchestrated the bus crash to silence the two victims of Woody’s that wanted to come forward, put a bomb on the plane carrying Woody back to Neptune, AND was the one who raped Veronica at Shelly Pomroy’s party (holy shit??) completely rocked me because for whatever reason, I just didn’t expect it from him. But I guess that’s the point?
Maggie: That’s exactly what’s so smart!! You get the hints of what Aaron is capable of in S1 (remember Trina’s abusive boyfriend? oof), but with Beaver—sorry, his name is Cassidy!—you think his intelligence and adeptness at revenge are pretty benign. He’s doing well in their future billionaires club, he plays a prank on his brother, but that doesn’t signal anything until you look back and the pieces all start to click together. Even going back to Shelly’s party, which we thought we had resolution on—it’s all there. I don’t want to excuse his actions, because they are inexcusable, but Cassidy’s story is kind of a tragedy. The family that Cassidy was born into, the coach who abused his trust and molested him—think about who he could have been, what he could have done, with a different set of cards, or if he’d risen above the hand he was dealt.
Sarah: And how easy would it have been for Aaron Echolls to have been found guilty and thrown in prison for the rest of his life? But also, when has this show ever gone for easy? You think you’re going to have to strap yourself in for a new season of Aaron showing his murderous, abusive, statutory rape self now that he’s living in the same hotel as his son, since he shows up a couple of times throughout this episode (I would like to know who decided it was a good idea to throw Veronica into an elevator with a guy who tried to kill her, on her way to the Neptune Grand roof to unknowingly meet with another guy who’s going to try to kill her). But then surprise…turns out there was a hit out on him, courtesy of none other than Duncan Kane, who seems to be living his best life with his daughter, on a beach a million miles away from Neptune. It was a definite choice when it came to getting justice, but he already ran from the law with his kid in tow, so what’s a professional hit to add to his rap sheet?
Maggie: That elevator scene was CHILLING, oh my god. I do love that scene when Duncan gets the call because that exchange —“CW?” “It’s a done deal.”—was widely rejoiced as a sign that the show was renewed by the newly formed The CW network (remember the days of The WB and UPN? Because I DO). But before we move on, do you have a moment to talk about Jackie?
Sarah: I believe I do.
Maggie: It is so weird to live in a world with this Tessa Thompson—Time’s Up champion, MCU star, queen of wlw—when for so long, I only knew her as Jackie Cook, who I hated with a passion. Admit it, her storyline didn’t really work, right? They can’t all be winners.
Sarah: Oh my god, Jackie was THE WORST, and Tessa Thompson deserved so much better. And I feel like over the course of the season they really tried to do damage control on her character, but it never worked for me. By the time we get to this episode and discover that she lied about Paris and being the daughter of a model and left out the fact that she has a two-year-old son she needs to stay in Brooklyn to take care of (what?!) it felt very much like Itchy & Scratchy sending Poochie off to his home planet on The Simpsons; it was SO out of the blue (especially to just throw in the fact that she has a child), and I was just left being like, “Oh…okay??” Honestly, what are we supposed to say to that?
Spit & Eggs (3×09)
Maggie: I don’t know how people feel about the Hearst rapist storyline because I hadn’t discovered fandom life back then, but I think I remember reading a review that called it “distasteful.” All I can say is that I liked it, how it picked up from a one-off episode in Season 2 and unfolded over the first third of Season 3. I like how Veronica made enemies of people on every side of the issue because the only agenda she was interested in was finding the truth.
Sarah: I personally prefer the first two seasons over the third, but it definitely wasn’t because I was offended by that storyline. While the first two seasons had a mystery that spanned the whole season, I do think it was a smart decision to shorten the arc for this one; if it had played out any longer, there would have been a bigger chance of it crossing a line. But in true Veronica Mars fashion, the conclusion of this arc has you on edge once they realized the girl with the drugged drink was missing from the Pi Sig party, and it doesn’t let up.
Maggie: Everything came together seamlessly in this episode from the moment Mercer’s show started playing at the Pi Sig party to Veronica seeing the photo of Moe and Mercer from the Stanford Prison Experiment on his bulletin board. I still get chills watching Mercer monologue in that poor girl’s unicorn-decorated dorm room, not knowing Veronica was lying in wait. And I hope that Veronica knows that Parker’s faith in humanity is proven right by the people who come to help when she starts screaming at Mercer after hearing Veronica blow the rape whistle.
Sarah: It’s even more stunning to see all those dudes coming out to see what the problem is when you consider the fact that as Veronica was blowing the whistle, there were two girls who passed by the room without even turning their heads to figure out where the noise was coming from. My heart sank in that moment, which made the group of guys gathering in the hall to help Parker all the more powerful.
Maggie: And, okay, yes we need to address the LoVe breakup. I’ll be honest, it hurt like a bitch. When Logan said, “Always here if you need anything. But you never need anything,” he nailed the struggle in their relationship. Cue Veronica waiting until she was alone in her shower that night to let herself break down. The scene at the end where Logan smashes a cop car windshield for a chance to be alone in a cell with Mercer and Moe? Epic.
Sarah: God, the breakup was physically painful, but also so incredibly accurate. Which of course made the pain a lot worse. Veronica is incredibly independent, which is great, but it doesn’t necessarily jive with Logan’s tendency to want to protect her by any means necessary. And therein lies the problem. Veronica finally having a moment alone to let everything she was holding in out was so much to watch. But the moment it finally clicked in my brain why Logan started wailing on that cop car was kind of an amazing moment. “Always here if you need anything” indeed.
Maggie: I also like how this episode sets up the ensuing “Who killed the dean?” arc to follow. When Keith and Veronica share information they learned independently, like Professor Landry’s affair with Mindy O’Dell, and things start to fall into place, it just gets me.
Sarah: I completely agree, I love how they wasted no time on that, knowing they just wrapped up their first big arc of the season. They knew that they needed to lay the groundwork for the next few episodes, and having Cyrus walk in on Landry and his wife at the Neptune Grand before he was shot in his office was a pretty solid foundation.
Weevils Wobble But They Don’t Go Down (3×19)
Sarah: Get ready, kids, because it’s time to play another round of Neptune’s favorite game, Rich People Are Terrible (And Maybe a Little Dumb?)! I mean, in the grand scheme of churning out fake Hearst IDs with an endless supply of campus cash attached, if you have the foresight to grab a few machines that make them from your dad’s company, hide all of your incriminating research proving you can program said machines, AND find an ex-con trying to turn his life around to pin it on, you should really also have the foresight to not use a name like Sylvia Plath on your fake ID (SYLVIA. PLATH. Good lord).
Maggie: God, these kids really are assholes. They already have money, do you know how expensive it is to ski in Aspen? I don’t because it’s not even aspirational for me, that’s how much it costs! I hope it killed them that a cafeteria worker and a “scholarship kid” were responsible for bringing them down.
Sarah: I’ve always loved Weevil as a character because there are so many layers to him and his story, and I think this episode highlights that well. No matter what this guy does, no matter how many people he has on his side, he will always be up against it because the people who have the power in this town will always see him as a criminal. You can honestly tell how much of an effort he’s making to try to change that perception of him, but sometimes you just give into that feeling that nothing is ever going to change. It’s a struggle that comes up again in the movie (that’s for another post), but that last shot of Weevil with the remaining ID machine in his hand while he’s telling Veronica he couldn’t find it shows that struggle so well. We never really know if he’s going to use it, but that temptation to give in is alive and well, and it’s so powerful.
Maggie: I guess at the end of the day I can’t really blame her since she knows what Weevil has been capable of in the past, but it broke my heart a little that even Veronica was like ‘are you sure you didn’t do it?’ after she started her investigation. Side note, I’m obsessed with how many times she flashed her new PI badge while questioning people.
Sarah: It could be very easy for me to go off on a lengthy tangent, but before I move on, let me just say that I’m with you; I absolutely need her flashing that badge every chance she gets.
This episode also gives us another side of Dick that doesn’t show itself that often. He’s usually painted as your typical party bro, but of course he’s going to be going through it while processing everything that happened with his brother last season. There’s his apology to Mac over the way he treated Beaver and her, but it’s especially heartbreaking to see him break down to Logan over some of the crueler things he did to Cassidy when they were kids. There’s something very impactful in seeing this in a guy who usually never seems to be phased by anything.
Maggie: I have always loved Dick Casablancas, even though he gave me every reason not to. There’s just something about him. And seeing this side of him, these ripple effects from the end of the previous season, was devastating. You just know he’s been carrying around the question “The night my brother jumped off the roof, did you, like, try and stop him?” for a year, through the haze of self medicating with alcohol.
Sarah: And how about a dash of comedic relief to round things out? The radio debate between Keith and Vinnie maybe isn’t the cleanest, but there’s something about the way Vinnie says he’s going to enforce the important laws like murder and terrorism that makes me laugh every time. And there is something so very satisfying in Veronica smacking Vinnie’s head into the microphone after his low blow regarding the Mars household. This episode has a little bit of everything.
Maggie: Like damn, Vinnie, we were rooting for you! We just talked about you having a heart somewhere in there, and now you go and hit below the belt on Piz’s dumb radio show? Honestly, he’s lucky it was Veronica that smacked him and not Keith.
The Bitch Is Back (3×20)
Maggie: This is as good a place as any to set the record straight. If you came here looking for any objectivity regarding Veronica’s love life, you have come to the wrong place. They don’t write songs about the ones that come easy, right?
Sarah: AND THEY DON’T WRITE SONGS ABOUT PIZ.
Maggie: That right there, my friends, is a five-year running joke for Sarah and me, something we scream in all caps at each other every time Piz—nay, every time Chris Lowell dares shows his face. He is wrong for Veronica, he is wrong for the show, and don’t get me started on the movie yet! That’s a whole other post! Wait, why did I start ranting about this… oh, yes, okay, so the jumping off point is the sex tape of Veronica and Piz that’s going around school and Veronica tracking down the source all the way to Hearst’s very own secret society, The Castle. As I like to quote the classic Paul Walker movie The Skulls: If it’s secret, and elite, it can’t be good.
Sarah: Seriously, have we learned nothing from Neptune High’s own Tritons at the beginning of the series? I mean, I know they technically weren’t responsible for that kid’s alcohol poisoning, but the fact that it was successfully passed off as the result of a hazing ritual for most of the episode should definitely be a red flag here. Nothing good ever comes from secret societies.
Maggie: I’m a hoe for Veronica single-mindedly tracking down those who done her wrong as much as anyone, but her tendency to go in semi blind and half cocked rears its ugly head here. She didn’t even know it was Jake Kane’s mansion she was breaking into until she saw the portrait of Lilly hanging in the hall. Of course she thought she could expose The Castle’s secrets and make a deal with Jake Kane before it affected anyone else, and of course she was wrong.
Sarah: There’s just no way for the Mars family to win; one of them has to go down for this. And the way Keith just goes for it, knowingly sacrificing everything he’s been working for by scrambling that DVR footage of Veronica and handing it off to the prosecutor and then pretending like everything’s okay around his daughter is just so much to deal with. The love is overwhelming, but knowing he just sealed his own fate in the election makes it hurt so much more.
Maggie: That shot of her walking in the rain after voting for Keith for sheriff, in an election he’s never going to win now that prosecutors have filed charges after he tampered with evidence to protect Veronica, always breaks my heart. 2007 was a completely different landscape, there wasn’t the culture that exists today of revivals and reboots, so when the show was cancelled, that’s how we thought Veronica’s story ended.
Sarah: Bless this era of revivals and Kickstarter. I remember being upset over the way the series ended, but I also finished watching “The Bitch Is Back” about two hours before I sat my ass down in the theater the day the movie was released, so that upset feeling was fairly fleeting. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to just sit for all those years with the assumption that this was the last time we’d see Veronica. But that’s the great thing about fandom: when you offer an opportunity for people to show up, expect them to show the hell up. The way that Kickstarter campaign took off is incredible, and thanks to that, we got a movie that served as a jumping off point for two novels and a whole new season of the show to devour. And that right there, my friends, is the power of Marshmallows.
What do you think? Did we hit all your highlights from the original run? Hit us up in the comments and let us know your faves.