Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Veronica Mars 1x01: "Pilot"

Now that I finished season two of Downton Abbey, I figured I would wait awhile before punishing myself with season three (oh Thomas, you romantic, delusional fool...). But what show could I watch and recap next? Well, with the news that the Veronica Mars movie has started production, I figured I would go back and rewatch the beloved show's brilliant first season.

Now, I'm going to try and do these recaps a little bit differently. My recaps for Downton Abbey could take a while to finish, to the point where I wasn't watching the season as I quickly as I wanted to. I'm going to try to go for a more streamlined format with VM - they'll still be funny and analytical, but I'll try more to capture the general story of the episode rather than a blow-for-blow recounting of everything. Also - I'll provide the answers to the mysteries under a Whodunnit label, so those of you who don't want to be spoiled can skip over it, as well as updates on the season's ovearching mystery regarding who killed Lilly Kane, listed under The Lilly Kane Case Files.

The Mystery: How can Wallace avoid reprisals from the PCHers? Who is Jake Kane visiting at the Camelot Hotel?

I love the pilot of this show, because it's essentially about two Veronicas - Before Veronica and After Veronica. The Veronica we meet first is tough, smart, and extremely cynical. She lives in a cheap apartment complex in the privileged town of Neptune with her father, Keith Mars, who makes a living (barely) catching bail jumpers and doing private investigation work.

Unbeknownst to the general public, Veronica Mars helps her father with his investigations (such as tailing town billionaire Jake Kane to a motel to see who's his cheating on his wife with) a type of work that would have hardened her heart against sentiment if the previous year of her life hadn't already done so. That Veronica used to have friends, a boyfriend (Duncan Kane, son of Jake), a home with a father and a mother, and a belief that the world is generally a decent place.

All of that changed when her friend, Lilly Kane (and Duncan's sister), was brutally murdered. When her father (then the town sheriff) accused Lilly's beloved and wealthy father Jake Kane, the town of Neptune turned against them. Keith lost his job. Veronica lost her mother when she walked out on them, then the rest of her popular friends, and finally her virginity after being roofie'd at a party.

The present-day Veronica now knows how the bread is buttered in Neptune - a town "with no middle class," where you're either a millionaire or you work for one, where if you have enough money you can get away with anything - even murder. Now Veronica works alone, trusting no one except for her father (who is AWESOME) and her trusty pitbull, Backup.

One day, she goes to school to see the new kid, Wallace Fennel, duct-taped to the flagpole, and instead of pointing and laughing like her peers, she cuts him down. Wallace, it turns out, has been marked for punishment by the PCHers, a local motorcycle gang, after he got a couple of their crew arrested for shoplifting from his store. Veronica goes to the PCHers' leader, the charismatic Weevil, and offers him a deal: if they lay off on bullying Wallace, she'll find a way to get his gangmates off the hook.

And Veronica truly does find an ingenious way to free Weevil's gangmates - better still, it involves shaming Sheriff Don Lamb (the vain, petty bully who took over after her father was ousted from his position) and Logan Echolls (Lilly's spoiled asshole boyfriend and foremost among Veronica's tormentors). Best of all, however, she realizes Wallace isn't going to let her off the friendship hook that easily - and she makes an interesting ally in Weevil.

It was fascinating to observe how different the Past Veronica was from the Present Veronica. While her life is certainly more difficult, is Present Veronica a better or worse person than the innocent girl she was a year ago?

Whodunnit? 1. Veronica finds a way to replace the surveillance tape of Weevil's homeboys stealing with footage of the sheriff's department getting special "favours" from a shady strip joint in return for a liquor license. 2. After running a license plate, Veronica discovers Jake Kane was visiting her mother Leanne Mars at a motel room.

The Lilly Kane Case Files:

  • Keith Mars has apparently been keeping the Lilly Kane case alive - some of his notes are only months old. 


  1. yay! I'm really excited that your blogging about your rewatch :D The pilot is indeed brilliant. It sets the stage so well for an excellent season.

    1. It really is one of my absolute favourite shows!

  2. I second that yay! VM is one of my favorite shows and I think the first season is one of the better seasons of television ever. Ever I tell ya! I'll be interested in to read along and see what your thoughts are.

    1. Most definitely! I plan on recapping other shows, too, once I'm done with VM - I'm thinking season 1 of Fringe, then season 1 of Supernatural?

  3. Definitely YAY! I've only just started watching Veronica Mars (for the very first time!), but I'm really enjoying her brand of snarky smart. I'm interested in reading these as you get along :)

    1. You're watching for the first time? Ah! To get that experience back again! Hope you enjoy it!