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Recap: Veronica Mars S 01 E 02 Credit Where Credits Due
Wallace asks Veronica what she's doing Friday night, and she says she might take Back-Up for a run or something. After calling her out for how boring her life is, Wallace shows her an invitation to a party, but Veronica explains it's a party for "09er" kids, and the invitation is written in code to keep people like her and Wallace out.

At said party, which is on a beach, Duncan sits in his SUV with Troy Vandergraff (Aaron Ashmore), who is going to Neptune starting Monday, and Logan is with his new girlfriend, Caitlin (Paris Hilton). Weevil and the rest of the PCHers, including his cousin Chardo (Wilmer Calderon), pull up, and complain about the 09ers being on his territory. Logan snarks that Weevil's grandmother is his housekeeper. Before anything serious happens, the police, led by Sheriff Lamb, pull up, and both the 09er kids and the PCHers disperse. Lamb tells his deputy, Sachs, to grab all of the kegs so they can have a cookout at his place the next night.

A day or two later, Weevil is at his house playing video games with Chardo when Lamb and the police come to arrest Weevil's grandmother for credit card fraud; someone stole credit cards out of Logan's trash and used them. Lamb also pretty much implies Weevil did the crime and is letting his grandmother take the fall. Cliff is retained to defend Weevil's grandmother, and he and Keith are both convinced Weevil actually is guilty. Veronica is more hesitant, given the fact Weevil helped her before, but she agrees to help by checking around. She goes to Weevil's house, and he's not pleased to see her, and when she points out he doesn't have a great reputation as far as this stuff goes, he responds that neither does she, and tells her to leave.

After the credits, Veronica and Keith are at a diner, eating breakfast, when Lamb shows up. Keith snarks on the fact a fugitive arrested for manslaughter escaped from the Neptune police, while Lamb points out today is the one-year anniversary of Lily's death and Keith is continuing to obsess about an already-solved case. Keith tries to point out the tipster who called in the evidence that enabled Abel Koontz's arrest didn't even bother to pick up the $100,000 reward, but Lamb counters the evidence clearly shows Jake and his family had solid alibis at the time of the murder, and leaves. Veronica mentions she has to meet a guidance counselor, and leaves as well.

In the waiting room for the counselor's office, Veronica meets Troy, and he flirts with her until he's called back to see the counselor. Wallace enters the room, and tells her he's working there since a class of his was canceled. Veronica immediately sees an opportunity and asks him to get Weevil's attendance records for the past month, and while Wallace protests at first, he eventually agrees.

Veronica then shows up at journalism class, and tells the teacher, Miss Dent (Sydney Tamia Poitier) that she's in the class now, since the guidance counselor thought she could use a place that got her to connect with people. Caitlin interrupts to tell Miss Dent she's going to interview people in gym, and after admonishing Caitlin to not just interview her friends, Miss Dent welcomes Veronica to the class. Veronica just wants to take pictures, and Miss Dent starts to make a show of teaching her how to use a camera until Veronica shows that the camera she has is considerably more advanced than the one the school was going to give her. Miss Dent assigns her to photograph a surfer from Neptune High, but Veronica's enthusiasm falters when she finds out the person writing the story is Duncan Kane. Wallace interrupts the awkwardness that ensues when he signals to Veronica outside that he has the records.

At lunch, Veronica notes that several of the credit card purchases were made on-line, and during when Weevil was in shop class, so he couldn't have done it. Wallace reminds Veronica they're helping someone who duck-taped him to the flagpole before, but she good-naturedly thanks him anyway.

Veronica goes to Keith's office to tell him Weevil couldn't have done it, but Keith and Cliff tell her Weevil has confessed already.

The next day, in journalism class, Logan and Caitlin talk loudly about the fact Logan's family has fired Weevil's grandmother as housekeeper, and Veronica points out most identity fraud is committed by the victim's family. She and Caitlin (and Logan) snark at each other, and Veronica is able to find out the two of them have computer lab the same time Weevil has auto shop. From that, Veronica is able to print out Logan's browser history, but nothing connects him to the credit card charges except for a charge at the Neptune Grand Hotel for the honeymoon suite.

Veronica goes to the parking lot, only to discover her car has a flat tire, and Logan implies he was responsible. Troy goes over, introduces himself, and offers to help, while a little further away, Caitlin asks Logan what Troy is doing. Duncan is about to walk over to them when he sees Veronica and Troy, and offers to give Veronica a ride to their assignment. Veronica is clearly uncomfortable with the idea, but Troy offers to fix her flat tire, and she eventually agrees.

In the car, Veronica and Duncan share an awkward silence as Veronica wonders if she should have walked instead. Duncan notes Lily liked the song that's on the radio, and Veronica agrees, leading her to a flashback when Lily was driving her. They chat about all the boys throwing themselves at Lily, and Veronica notes Lily's mom doesn't seem to like her very much, at which point Lily warns her that her mom is so protective of Duncan she'll do anything to keep Veronica away from him. Back in the present, Duncan drives by a prison work crew, and Veronica sees Weevil working on it.

Duncan interviews the surfer while Veronica takes pictures, and this goes on until the evening. Duncan drives Veronica back until he's pulled over by a deputy, who points out the car has a number of unpaid parking tickets and a moving violation dated October 3rd - the day of Lily's death. Duncan and Veronica both call their fathers to have them come and pick them up. Jake shows up first, nicely but firmly asking the deputy to call the sheriff before the impound vehicle takes the car away. He and Veronica greet each other awkwardly. Keith shows up to take Veronica away, and he and Jake stare at each other. This leads Veronica to have another flashback; as we see a montage of what happened, Veronica tells us Keith basically accused the most powerful man in Neptune of being involved in his daughter's death, Jake went to the press, the town of Neptune voted Mars out of the sheriff's office (we see Keith saying goodbye to everyone except Lamb), and everyone at school ostracized Veronica because she chose to stand with her father rather than with Duncan and Jake. Veronica now wonders if she even made the right decision.

Back in the present, the deputy gets off the phone, and says they're not going to impound the car after all, which Jake appreciates. Jake and Duncan drive home, and Keith and Veronica do the same. Keith asks what was going on, and Veronica tells him they were simply on a school assignment. She also asks him to stop by the Neptune Grand, and Keith protests the "Navarro" case is closed, but when he realizes how that sounds, he agrees to help. At the hotel, Keith pretends to be an angry father while Veronica pretends to be a girl who got pregnant during a one-night stand she doesn't remember at the hotel, and asks the receptionist if there's any surveillance that can show who the guy was. While the receptionist goes to find out, Veronica teases Keith for being over-the-top, while Keith counters that it isn't easy playing Good Cop/Bad Cop. The receptionist returns, and while she doesn't have surveillance (the tapes get destroyed every couple of weeks), she does have a detailed bill summary. Veronica sees from the summary it was Caitlin who paid for the room.

The next day, Veronica accuses Logan of the fraud, saying he made a mistake by letting Caitlin sign for the room. Logan denies it, but looks worried when Veronica leaves. Miss Dent shows Veronica her photo is on the cover of the school paper, which makes Veronica happy.

At the sheriff's office, Keith comes in with the fugitive he had needled Lamb about earlier, and snarks to Lamb about getting the media in. He greets Inga, but Lamb dismisses him before they can talk further.

Back at school, during lunch, Troy comes over to Veronica and Wallace, and when Troy asks her how the tire's holding up, Veronica immediately figures out he wants a favor in return. Troy does want to ask both of them to a party he's having Saturday. Veronica is noncommittal, but Troy is unconcerned, just asking her to keep an open mind. When he leaves, Veronica tells Wallace she's going to nail Logan for the credit card crime. Logan, meanwhile, notices Troy with Caitlin and starts to become suspicious. Veronica checks the phone numbers on the credit card bill while Logan, stealing Caitlin's cell phone from her purse, looks at the numbers on her call history. One of the numbers matches the one on Veronica's list. Logan notes aloud the call was made at one in the morning, and he calls the number. While Veronica gets a busy signal on the same number, Logan gets through, and the voice on the telephone, assuming it's Caitlin, starts talking about how daring she's being to call her during the day. Veronica calls Keith, asking her to run a cell phone number, while Logan looks around the courtyard, trying to spot who's on the phone with him, and sees that it's Chardo. Logan hangs up and stares at Chardo.

As Chardo is walking down the hall, Logan and some of his friends are about to sneak up on him when Veronica pulls Chardo into the girl's bathroom. She tells him she knows he not only is guilty of the identity fraud, but that he's also been seeing Caitlin on the side. Chardo admits he didn't want Weevil to take the fall, but claims he and Caitlin are going to run away, and that he'll send a letter exonerating Weevil. Veronica points out that's not going to happen, and says Logan is looking for Chardo, but Chardo doesn't listen.

At Weevil's house, Veronica tells Weevil's grandmother what Chardo did. Mrs. Navarro is reluctant at first since Weevil's only a juvenile while Chardo can get into real trouble because he's 18, but when Veronica points out Chardo was doing it all for Caitlin, Mrs. Navarro changes her mind. Some time later, Weevil comes home a free man, and is happily reunited with his grandmother. He also hugs Veronica, who tells him both the police and the 09ers are looking for Chardo, but Weevil says he'll find Chardo first.

Outside of Caitlin's house, Chardo phones her up and tells her he's ready to run away just liked they planned, but Logan and his friends (including Dick Casablancas) are lying in wait. Logan starts to beat up Chardo until the PCHers ride up. Weevil gets off of his motorcycle, walks over to Logan, and says they should talk. Eventually, Logan tells the disbelieving 09ers to let Weevil go, and they leave, while the PCHers take Chardo with them. During this entire time, Caitlin just stares out her window. The PCHers drive to a beach, where Chardo tells Weevil how grateful he is they saved him. Weevil, however, doesn't want to hear it, and kicks Chardo out of the club. The others start to beat Chardo up, though Weevil, as he leaves, tells Felix not to let them get too rough.

The next day, at Keith's office, Veronica asks him what made him go after Jake, and Keith gently tells her that if he knew the hell she would have to go through as a result, he never would have done it. Later that day, she goes over to the sheriff's department, and mentions in a voiceover how she and Lily had fake IDs she had forgotten about until the deputy who pulled Duncan over mentioned the date of the moving violation. At the department, Veronica asks the weekend secretary (not Inga) for the ticket, and presents Lily's ID as her own. Lamb shows up, and Veronica snarks about how he should hire Keith to find Chardo. The secretary returns with the ticket and thanks "Miss Kane", which the sheriff overhears.

At school, Veronica tells us in voiceover the ticket shows Lily had run a red light two hours after her supposed time of death, which puts everyone's alibi into question, especially the Kane family, and she feels better about standing by her father. Troy interrupts by noting she didn't come to his party, but he doesn't hold a grudge. Wallace comes over and invites both of them to play a new arcade game at the Sac-And-Pac. Veronica interrupts to point out how Caitlin is being frozen out by the rest of the 09ers. She recovers and tells Wallace and Troy she's going to kick both of their asses at the game.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Brief Accent Imitation: Troy puts on a Cockney accent when he first meets Veronica.
  • Call Back: A number of them, not only to the season-long mystery established in the pilot, but also in how Cliff has a good working relationship with Keith, how Wallace doesn't want to help Weevil because he had Wallace duct-taped to a flagpole, and how Veronica nevertheless feels she owes Weevil a favor.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Chardo snarks about how much tissue Logan goes through doing this.
  • Dirty Cop: When his deputy asks if they should follow up on the underage drinking at a party, Lamb tells him to grab all of the kegs so they can have a cookout at his place the next night.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Or grandmas in this case.
  • Executive Meddling: The casting of Paris Hilton. Rob Thomas would soon get his revenge, however...
  • Foreshadowing: The school counselor Veronica talks about seeing shows up in the next episode.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Parodied, as noted above.
  • Info Dump: Lamb going out of his way to interrupt Keith and Veronica's lunch and be a jerk is a pretty blatant excuse for catching people who didn't watch the pilot up on the backstory.
  • Papa Wolf: Parodied at the Neptune Grand, but played straight otherwise.
  • Petite Pride:
    Troy: (as Veronica is changing a tire on her car) Flat?
    Veronica: Just as God made me.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Parodied by Duncan and Troy, who talk in hip-hop lyrics in their first scene, but are clearly being ironic about it.
  • Rich Bitch: Caitlin.
    Mrs. Navarro: (Caitlin) doesn't like her ice cubes made with tap water.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: How Jake stops the deputy from having Duncan's car impounded.
  • Shout-Out: When Veronica first asks Wallace to steal a school file, Wallace protests he's no James Bond.
    • Later, when Duncan is first driving to the interview, Veronica, in an Inner Monologue, says she's ready to do a Charlie's Angels-style roll out of his car.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Troy comes off as this at first.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: There are several things that date the show, but none quite so much as an appearance by Paris Hilton in that brief moment in time that anyone cared about her.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Caitlin cheats on Logan with Chardo.
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: When Veronica tries to argue Weevil's innocence, Cliff replies, "I'm sure he's a real mensch."
Veronica Mars S 01 E 01 PilotRecap/Veronica MarsVeronica Mars S 01 E 03 Meet John Smith

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