Recap / Veronica Mars S 01 E 06 Return Of The Kane

Morning. Outside the gate leading to the Echolls' house, paparazzi and fans are waiting. Logan rides up on a scooter to grab the paper and yells at them, telling them to leave. His mother, Lynn (Lisa Rinna) calls for Logan to bring back the paper. A car pulls up to the gate, and Aaron (Harry Hamlin) gets out and greets his fans, signing autographs and posing pictures. He gets a reluctant Logan to pose for them as well as he reminds Logan the fans are the ones who paid for everything.

Later that day, at school, Jake brings Duncan's bag to him, and comments that since school elections are this week, Duncan should run. Duncan says all the student government does is sell candy and argue about prom decorations. Jake says that could change under "the reign of Kane". Duncan can't believe his father just said that.

At lunch, Veronica and Wallace are sitting together, and Veronica notes her father wants to take her to the zoo, and is going a little over-the-top when it comes to father/daughter time. Wallace guilt trips her by pointing out he doesn't have a father. They're momentarily distracted when Wanda Varner (Rachel Roth), a rebellious girl, calls out to a delivery man, who gives her some Chinese food. As Wanda walks off with her food, she runs into Madison Sinclair (Amanda Noret), an 09er carrying pizza boxes, and Madison tells Wanda she's not allowed to order food from outside for lunch. Wanda blows her off, so Madison goes to Miss Dent to complain. Miss Dent doesn't know what the fuss is about, so Madison explains only those who get Pirate Points from participating in school activities are allowed to have food delivered. Miss Dent still doesn't think it's a big deal, so Madison instead goes to Vice Principal Clemmons. Sure enough, as Wanda is just about to eat, Principal Clemmons tells her he's confiscating her food. Pissed, Wanda goes up to Madison's table, gets on the table, and walks on her pizza. Madison and Wanda yell at each other until Clemmons calls Wanda into his office. Wallace asks who Wanda is and Veronica says the two of them used to be in pep squad together.

That night, at the Mars apartment, Veronica makes dinner for her dad, which turns out to be desert, which Keith is concerned about. They're interrupted by a TV news flash, which is that Abel Koontz fired his legal aid lawyer. There's also a shot of his arrest, with Sheriff Lamb holding up an evidence bag with Lily's sneakers in it. Veronica asks what Keith is going to do about this, and he gently reminds her no one cares what he thinks anymore.

Veronica goes to her room and sees the ghost of Lily, who compliments her on being a "rocker chick". Veronica asks Lily if Koontz killed her, and Lily says she can't tell. Veronica says she misses Lily...and then wakes up, looking thoughtful.

At school the next day, Veronica in journalism class. Miss Dent asks if she wants to cover the student elections, and Veronica, somewhat less than enthusiastically, agrees. On the school TV network, Wanda comes on, announces she's running for student body president, and says she'll do away with the Pirate Points system (which she calls "elitist") and unlike other student governments, hers will actually accomplish something because of that. Most of the people in the class clap - even Duncan - except for Logan. He asks Duncan if Wanda can do that, and when Duncan says she can, Logan tells Duncan he needs to run, and Duncan says no, he doesn't.

Outside in the courtyard, Corny shows Wanda a poster he made for her ("Give me Wanda or Give me Death"), which Wanda compliments. Veronica interviews Wanda, and Wanda expands on her campaign speech, pointing out how the 09ers run things at school even though they're a minority, and Pirate Points are just another way of congratulating themselves. Other students yell encouragement to Wanda, and she smiles back at them.

Later that day, Logan and his friends pull up to a gas station. While the others go to the convenience store to get food and drinks, Logan fills the car up with gas. A homeless man (Reginald Ballard) cleans Logan's windshield, despite Logan telling him not to. Dick comes out, sees the homeless man, and tells Logan he'd be a good fit. Logan agrees, especially when he finds out the man was a Marine, and asks him if he wants to participate in an amateur boxing night. The Marine is offended, and tells Logan to leave, which he does.

The next day, in journalism class, a candidate gives a speech while the others watch impassively, and one of the people in class crows about Wanda's inevitable victory. Then a campaign ad for Duncan comes on the school TV; it's professionally shot, and narrated by Aaron, who even appears on screen telling everyone how much he admires Duncan. Logan, who obviously shot the ad, is excited, and the others in the class applaud, but Duncan isn't happy. Madison comes into class delivering election instructions to Miss Dent, and wishes Duncan luck. Miss Dent reads the instructions, the class gets their ballots, and Duncan pleads for people not to vote for him, which Logan, of course, sees as him being modest.

That night, at Mars Investigations, Veronica says in a voiceover she needs to move into high gear in investigating Lily's murder. On her computer screen are files on Abel Koontz, Logan, and Jake and Celeste; after a brief hesitation, Veronica adds a file for Duncan. She goes over the physical evidence found at the scene, including the bloody clothing and Lily's shoes, and reminds herself Lily's parking ticket reveals everyone's alibi is now less than airtight. After staring at her dad's office, she goes to his safe, opens it, and looks through the files.

Elsewhere, Logan and his friends gather around for the boxing match between two homeless men (not the one at the gas station), and Logan acts as referee and bookie.

Back at Mars Investigations, Veronica discovers a photo of the crime scene with Lily's sneakers that were supposedly "found" at Koontz's place. Before she has time to process this, she hears Keith pull up to the office, and she puts all of the files back into the safe.

The next day, at school, Veronica and Wallace are at lunch, and Veronica talks about what life will be like at school after Wanda wins the election. At that moment, Clemmons announces the election results over the loudspeaker, and among others, Duncan has won the student body president election. The 09er kids rejoice, while the other kids boo, and Veronica says she now has a story.

Veronica approaches Mrs. Donaldson (Jane Lynch) and asks about appealing the results of the elections. Mrs. Donaldson blows her off, but Veronica seizes upon the fact that she can appeal the results if a faculty member agrees to help. She approaches Miss Dent, who agrees to help, but warns Veronica about being fair and balanced. Mrs. Donaldson tries to get Miss Dent to change her mind, but Miss Dent will have none of it.

In the administration office, Veronica and Wallace count the ballots, and the results still have Duncan winning, which makes Wanda, who's also present, even more upset. Veronica discovers one of the students voted for Duncan even though they had written "Wanda rulz!" on the ballot. Veronica says she wants to know who the student was, and after Wallace snarks on her for never asking, he finds out it was someone from art class. She goes to the classroom and discovers the names on the ballot were reversed.

In Clemmons' office, Veronica tells this to Clemmons, Miss Dent, and a still-skeptical Mrs. Donaldson, explaining that the 09er classrooms got the right instructions, while the other classes got the wrong ones, so that when those students thought they were voting for Wanda, they were actually voting for Duncan. Mrs. Donaldson still doesn't believe it, though Miss Dent says she has the students waiting outside as proof. Clemmons then asks who Veronica is accusing. Veronica says she's not accusing anyone, but whoever had the copy code to copy the instructions is probably the culprit. Mrs. Donaldson admits that her student aide made the copies, and that turns out to be Madison Sinclair.

A little later, Clemmons announces there will be a run-off vote for student body president between Duncan and Wanda, and many of the students cheer. Veronica goes up to Madison and snarks about Madison losing her student aide and student body privileges, which means she won't be able to have food delivered.

That night, at the Mars' apartment, Veronica looks at the photo of Lily's bedroom she took from Keith's safe. This leads her to a flashback when she drew the heart on Lily's sneaker. Back in the present, Veronica calls the TV station, tells them she's a journalism student, and asks for a copy of the news story on Koontz.

The next day, Jake and Duncan are eating food in Jake's car, and Jake says his graphic guys should do some work on Duncan's campaign. Duncan isn't happy about this, and Jake says he's tired of Duncan's cynicism about it. Duncan says he doesn't want it planned out like he's going to run for president of the country, but Jake says he just wants to see Duncan enthusiastic about something, because all he ever wanted was for Duncan to be happy. Duncan accepts that.

Later that day, Veronica walks by Wanda's locker only to discover someone spray-painted "Narc" over it, and Wanda bitterly says they also sprayed it on her car. Veronica tries to comfort her by saying whoever did it only was targeting her demographic, and Wanda admits she does find comfort in that. Veronica then offers to help with the campaign, and they pretend they're in pep squad again.

In journalism class, Veronica accuses Logan of being the one who vandalized Wanda's locker and car, but he blows her off. She then sets her sights on Duncan, accusing him of standing idly by while someone else commits trouble in his name. Meanwhile, Dick comes into the class and tells Logan his "bum fights" have showed up on "The Smoking Gun", a gossip news website. Logan looks troubled.

That night, Veronica and Wanda are in Veronica's room making posters. Wanda asks if there's anything between her and Weevil, which Veronica denies, and then Wanda asks if there was anything between Lily and Weevil, which Veronica also denies. They talk to each other about college; Veronica says she's too scared to think about it, while Wanda wants to go to Williams, but needs a lot of financial help and top SAT scores.

Logan goes inside his house, and is greeted by an angry Aaron, who tells him he's been getting calls all day about the "bum fights." Aaron yells at Logan how hard it's going to be to fix this, and it's time Logan learns what it means to be in this family, as well as learn a lesson about public relations.

The next day at school, Veronica hands out stickers for Wanda. She sees Weevil, but he calls Wanda a narc and says he's not voting for her. Veronica claims that it's just 09er propaganda, but Weevil points out Felix got busted for stealing traffic signs a week after hooking up with Wanda. He leaves, and Veronica looks thoughtful. Inside school, she finds Wanda in the halls, and tells her they should celebrate over the weekend, win or lose. Wanda agrees, and Veronica lies about knowing a guy who can get them some ecstasy. Wanda leaves, and Veronica looks after her.

In journalism class, Clemmons announces on the school TV network that voting will take place simultaneously to avoid confusion. As Veronica prepares to vote, she flashes back to the time when she, Duncan, Lily and Logan were sitting at lunch together. A non-09er kid sits next to Duncan. Dick comes up to him, grabs the kid's lunch tray, moves it to another table, and orders the kid to leave. Duncan says the kid is fine where he is, grabs the lunch tray, brings it back to the kid, and smiles at Veronica, who smiles back. Back in the present, Veronica looks at her ballot again.

After school, Aaron and Logan are at the same gas station Logan was at earlier. Aaron is on the phone with his manager, asking about the homeless shelter they're about to go to. After getting off the phone, Aaron explains to Logan he's going to serve at the soup kitchen, Aaron's going to talk in front of the cameras, and then Logan will apologize for the bum fights. Aaron then gets a phone from his agent, pretends to haggle, crows to Logan how he's making eight figures on the movie, and then tells his agent to close the deal. The same homeless man Logan tried to hire comes up to Logan, and asks how the fights went. Aaron and Logan drive off.

At the soup kitchen, Logan, wearing an apron, serves food to people, as the cameras film him and the other homeless people. Aaron speaks to the grateful director of the kitchen, and the TV producer tells Aaron he's ready for him. Aaron then gives a speech about how his father always taught him a good heart meant more than anything, and adds that while Logan made a mistake, he has a good heart. Logan then speaks, apologizes for the fights, and hopes he can live up to Aaron's example. The two of them hug, but Logan's not finished; he also announces Aaron is donating half a million dollars to the Neptune food bank, which everyone applauds. Aaron is pissed, but doesn't show it while the cameras are on.

Later that day, back at the Echolls' house, Logan goes into his bedroom and picks out a belt. He brings it to Aaron, who's inside his study, and closes the door. As we hear Aaron whipping Logan with the belt, we see Lynn staring into space, a drink in her hand.

The next day, Veronica is in journalism class when she gets a note that her locker is being searched. She resignedly walks to her locker, where Deputy Sachs and Clemmons are waiting. They open the locker and find nothing there. Just then, Mrs. Donaldson announces over the loudspeaker the election results; Duncan has won again. Veronica walks over to Wanda and gives her back her election stickers. Wanda tells her she got busted for a drug charge, and the only way she could keep it off her record was to rat other students out. Veronica is upset Wanda was prepared to sell her out to save her own skin, and Wanda doesn't have an answer for that. Wanda pleads that if she won, she really was going to change how things were run, but Veronica tells her there are no hard feelings - "I didn't vote for you."

Later that day, Mrs. Donaldson introduces Duncan to cheers of those students gathered inside a classroom. Duncan announces no one will lose Pirate Points (which also garners cheers), but then says Pirate Points will also be open to those who serve the school in other ways besides athletics, and even those who earn distinction in classes such as shop will be eligible. Jake and Veronica both look on in appreciation, and Duncan then turns to asking what kind of candy they should sell.

That night, Veronica tries to open Keith's safe again, only to discover he's changed the combination. She goes back to the apartment, and Keith tells her she got a package from the TV station. At first, Veronica lies and says it's for a school project, but then drops the act and confesses she was in his safe. Keith tells her he used to think if he solved Lily's murder on his own, he could restore his reputation, bring Lianne back, and allow Veronica to be a normal teenage girl, but he's realized the futility of it all, and just wants to enjoy his time with Veronica. Veronica then points out what the photo and the news footage show; Lily's shoes were inside her house even though Koontz was supposed to have taken them with him after the murder, and they were considered proof he did it.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Mostly averted; as Duncan notes when trying to talk Jake out of having him run, all they basically do is sell candy and put on school dances. However, it's played straight with the Pirate Points.
    • Also played straight in the fact Jake not only wants Duncan to run because it'll look good on his college application, but also because he wants Duncan to have some purpose in life.
  • Abusive Parents: Lynn is more the neglectful kind, but Aaron...hoo, boy.
  • All Elections Are Serious Business: Enough to change the ballots in order to cheat the results and getting your movie star dad to do a campaign ad, among other things.
  • Audience Surrogate: Ms. Dent, being new to Neptune High, doesn't know how Pirate Points work, allowing for the system to be explained to the audience.
  • Call-Back: The footage of Koontz being arrested.
  • Foreshadowing: Aaron beating Logan, and Lynn drinking heavily.
    • Wanda asking Veronica if there was ever anything between Lily and Weevil.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Lynn never says this, but it's clear that's what she's thinking as she hears Aaron beating Logan.
  • Moral Dissonance: What exactly makes Wanda's "snitching" worse than what Veronica does every episode? The fact she set up Veronica to take the fall, was supposedly her friend, and could get Veronica expelled or even sent to juvenile.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Ms. Dent, in pointed contrast with Mrs. Donaldson, who is eager to shut down Veronica's investigation into the election.
  • Rich Bitch: Madison.
  • Rousing Speech: Wanda gives one of these promising to abolish Pirate Points, which makes most of the kids cheer but makes the 09ers nervous.
  • Shout-Out: Keith imitates Philip Marlowe at one point.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "Ventura Highway" by America plays as Aaron is beating Logan.