Recap / Veronica Mars S 01 E 07 Girl Next Door

Nighttime at the building where Veronica lives. She watches as a gurney is being led out of the apartment above hers, and she wonders if things would have turned out differently if she hadn't interfered. She looks over at Keith, who is talking to some police officers.

After the credits, we flash back to a week earlier, and it's daytime at the building. Veronica's carrying laundry and greets the man cleaning the pool. She goes inside the laundry room and greets Sarah (Jessica Chastain), her pregnant upstairs neighbor, who's with her Chihuahua folding laundry. She's also been crying, but when Veronica asks, says she's fine. Sarah also apologizes for not returning Veronica's CD. Veronica says she's been listening to it while Sarah plays it; Sarah guesses Veronica can also hear her and her boyfriend Andre fighting, which she also apologizes for. Sarah says the fight was about her journal, which has gone missing, and she thinks Andre took it. Also, Andre thinks Sarah is sleeping with her boss. Veronica says she hopes the journal turns up, and then turns to admire the dog, named "Killer". Sarah asks Veronica if she can take her to her doctor's appointment the next morning, and Veronica says she will.

At Neptune High later that day, Clemmons approaches Logan and asks for a favor. He says Logan's father Aaron had promised to donate a pair of boots he wore in one of his movies for a school fundraiser, but he hasn't brought them in yet. Logan snarkily responds he'll get right on it.

Veronica is in journalism class when Evelyn Bugby (Bonita Friedericy), a member of the school alumni association, comes in, talking Miss Dent's ear off. Miss Dent asks Veronica to help Evelyn put together a photo display for the 1979 class reunion, and more importantly, keep Evelyn occupied and away from her; after some hesitation, Veronica agrees. Veronica looks through the 1979 yearbook and finds a picture of her mom (then named Lianne Reynolds), who was voted "most likely to disappear".

A little later, Logan and Weevil are both in English class taking a test. Logan thinks Weevil is trying to cheat off of him; Weevil retorts he would have picked someone smarter to cheat off of. This gets the attention of Mr. Daniels (Steven Williams), the teacher, who gives them both zeroes on the test for talking. Logan makes a remark about Mr. Daniels' wife, and Mr. Daniels points out Logan's family wealth will only get him so far in life; Logan sarcastically hopes it will get him to a position of teaching high school English. Weevil laughs at this, and Mr. Daniels tells Weevil he'll probably be pumping gas for Logan in the future before sentencing them both to detention.

At detention, Logan plays solitaire while Weevil bitches about being there since all he did was laugh, and complains about how Logan and the other 09ers have it so easy at school. Logan tells Weevil to cram it, but when Weevil asks if he wants to make things more interesting, they start playing two-handed poker for money. Logan asks Weevil why he's going to school in the first place, and Weevil says he promised his grandmother he'd graduate from high school. Mr. Daniels catches them playing cards, tells them to stop, and gives them both a week's detention.

Later, Veronica is back at the apartment when she hears Sarah yelling at Andre (Adam Kaufman) for telling Sarah's parents about her pregnancy. Andre yells at her to grow up, and Sarah goes into their apartment, slamming the door. Andre notices Veronica watching the argument, at which point Veronica leaves. That night, Veronica is trying to sleep when she hears a woman scream and a loud thump, which frighten her.

The next morning, Veronica asks Keith if he heard anything during the night. He says he didn't, but he's usually a sound sleeper. Veronica says it sounded like a falling body, and Keith teases her about being jumpy. He notices she's dressed up, and Veronica says she's taking Sarah to her doctor's appointment. She goes upstairs, but while she can hear Killer barking, there's no answer when she knocks, and when she peers into the apartment, she notices a lamp knocked over and the place being a mess.

In journalism class, Veronica leaves a message for Sarah, and then looks through the 1979 yearbook. She's shocked to discover a picture of Jake and Lianne at the prom, clearly a couple.

In the bathroom, Felix asks Weevil about being stuck in detention with Logan, and Weevil compares it to juvenile hall. Felix then wonders how things will be when Logan finds out Weevil was sleeping with Lily, and Weevil gets defensive.

In the hallway, Veronica finds Duncan and asks if he knew about Jake and Lianne being a couple in high school, and he unconvincingly says he doesn't and walks away. Veronica notes it isn't the first time he was evasive towards her, and she flashes back to when Duncan had apparently broken up with her and she asked Lily about it. Lily told her not to worry, that Duncan had been acting weird the last few days, but she agreed to look into it.

After school, Mr. Daniels has Logan and Weevil wash a car. Logan insults the car, and then laughs when he realize it's Mr. Daniels' car. Mr. Daniels is not amused, and walks away.

A little later, Veronica goes to an upscale clothing store and approaches Nathan (Cameron Bender), the manager. She asks if he's seen Sarah, and he says she didn't come to work. Veronica expresses her worry, and Nathan tells her to check with Andre, whom he dismisses as a wannabe artist. He also tells Veronica Andre and Sarah fight all the time, and Sarah actually spent the night at Nathan's when it got really bad.

Veronica then goes to Andre's studio, and asks Andre if he's seen or heard from Sarah, which he hasn't. He mentions that Sarah has run away before when things got tough, and admits he was the one who told Sarah's mother she was pregnant, which freaked Sarah out, but he tells Veronica to butt out. Veronica reminds Andre about Keith being a detective and former sheriff. A model comes out, and Veronica sarcastically notes about her being naked before leaving.

That night, Veronica is studying when she hears Killer barking again. She grabs a flashlight, goes upstairs and, finding the door is locked, opens the window of the apartment and lets herself in. She looks around and finds Sarah's cellphone (with messages from Veronica and Sarah's doctor) and a gun. As she looks at the gun, she hears Andre about to unlock the door, and she runs into the bathroom, holding Killer. Andre enters the apartment and calls for Killer, who's barking. Veronica flushes the toilet, comes out, and tells Andre she heard Killer barking, and the apartment was unlocked, so she let herself in. Andre tells her to butt out again, and Veronica leaves.

The next day, Veronica is with Evelyn in the administrative office, going over pictures. Veronica asks about her mother, and Evelyn finally recognizes Veronica, saying she looks like her mom. Veronica shows Evelyn the picture of Jake and Lianne, and Evelyn tells her the two of them were the perfect couple as far as everyone else was concerned. This sends Veronica into another flashback, as she remembers Lily now telling her Duncan breaking up with her was all for the best. Veronica is upset and confused, but Lily only says she could do better than Duncan. In the present, Veronica looks again at the photo.

In detention in the library, Mr. Daniels orders Logan and Weevil to sort all the books, and then leaves. Logan and Weevil start making a mess, and Weevil starts talking about revenge against Mr. Daniels. Logan says he prefers something more elegant, like having Mr. Daniels locked up in a padded room. Weevil then says he has a plan for revenge, and Logan agrees to help. Sure enough, a little later, Mr. Daniels goes to the parking lot only to discover his car is gone.

Back at the apartment house, Andre tells Sarah's mother Emily (Eve Gordon) and stepfather Randall (John J. York) he has no idea where Sarah is, but will let them know when he hears anything. Veronica overhears, and when they thank Andre and leave, Veronica tells Emily and Randall how worried she is about Sarah, and gives them Keith's name.

The next morning, Mr. Daniels is thanking another teacher for giving him a ride to school when he notices a group of kids gathered around the flagpole. He walks over to break them up, only to discover his car is impaled on the flagpole. He yells at the laughing students to get to class.

A little later, Weevil is walking down the hallway when Clemmons and a security guard call him over. Clemmons accuses Weevil of being behind the flagpole prank, and Weevil denies it, but Clemmons says he has a witness. They take Weevil to Clemmons' office. There, both Clemmons and Mr. Daniels try to get Weevil to give up his co-conspirator. Weevil refuses, so Clemmons expels him from school. At lunch, Duncan and Dick are talking about this; when Logan hears Weevil didn't give him up despite Mr. Daniels yelling at him, he looks thoughtful.

At Mars Investigations, Emily and Randall tell Keith about Sarah; she had been fine, and a good student, until her father died, and then she got into trouble. Randall tries to downplay it, saying Sarah was like a normal teenager, but Emily mentions her running off without saying goodbye. Keith promises he'll do his best to find Sarah, and the two of them leave. Later, in the office, Veronica suggests leaning on Andre, but Keith tells her he's handling the case from now on, without any help from Veronica, warning her these kinds of cases always end badly.

In the girls bathroom at Neptune, Veronica calls Sarah's doctor as she says in a voiceover she convinced Keith to let her stay on the case as long as she stayed away from Andre. She gets through to Sarah's doctor and discovers Andre wasn't the father of Sarah's baby.

Logan stops by Clemmons' office and gives himself up, admitting to helping Weevil impale Mr. Daniels' car. Clemmons says Logan won't be able to get off so easy, and Logan reveals he's wearing the boots Clemmons wanted for the auction.

Later that day, Veronica is back at the clothing store Sarah works at, asking Nathan if he knows who the father might be. Nathan says it isn't him, but does say Sarah was raped, which stops Veronica cold. He also says it's why she left her hometown and followed Andre to Neptune, and promises to call Veronica if he thinks of anything. Veronica, however, figures out Nathan only knew this because he stole Sarah's diary. Nathan denies it, and calls her paranoid. Veronica then calls up Weevil and asks if he can do her a favor. Some time later, while Veronica is sitting outside the store reading, the PCHers pull up, go into the store, and start trashing the place. Veronica asks again for the diary.

That night, Keith is parked outside Andre's studio when he notices Andre with the model from earlier taking suitcases to Andre's car. They drive off, and Keith follows them to the train station. Turns out Andre was just dropping his friend off.

The next day, Clemmons makes Logan and Weevil clean graffiti off the wall. When Clemmons leaves, the two of them get to work, until Logan notices Weevil has a tattoo with Lily's name. Logan asks about it, and the two of them nearly come to blows until Weevil says Lily's the name of his younger sister.

Veronica looks through Sarah's diary and notices a picture Sarah drew of a coastal area. We then dissolve to that same area as Veronica mentions in a voiceover while Sarah didn't talk about the rape in specifics, she did mention how Sarah felt she couldn't talk to her mother about it, and just needed to get away, and that Andre was the one bright spot in her life, which is why she followed him to Neptune. Veronica finds Sarah's car and then Sarah. She tells Sarah how everyone misses her and her parents are there.

Back at the Mars apartment that night, Veronica tells Keith he found Sarah, and Keith congratulates her, but tells her again he'd prefer it if she wasn't involved in his activities.

Upstairs, Sarah says once again she doesn't want to see her parents, but Andre tells her she shouldn't run away anymore, and she needs to deal with them sometime. He then tells her he's taking Killer for a walk and kisses her goodbye.

Veronica says she still doesn't trust Andre, but Keith points out Andre is fine with the fact Sarah's baby isn't his. He then mentions how a man must be committed to a woman if he wants to help raise a child that isn't his. This sets Veronica to thinking.

Upstairs, Emily and Randall are there, and Sarah tells Emily there's something she needs to know.

Keith angrily asks why Veronica didn't mention anything about Sarah being raped, and Veronica confesses she only recently found out. They then hear Sarah yelling that Randall was the one who raped her, and Emily yells at Sarah for lying. Keith tells Veronica not to move, and rushes upstairs.

In Sarah's apartment, Randall tries to calm things down, but Sarah raises the gun Veronica had found, and points it at Randall. Keith bangs on the door, which distracts Sarah enough for Randall to knock the gun out of Sarah's hand. He knocks Sarah over, grabs the gun, and is about to pistol-whip her when Keith shoots him through the window, hitting Randall in the shoulder. Sarah rushes over to Emily and they hug each other. Veronica goes outside and looks up at Keith, who looks dejected.

And we're back to the scene from the beginning, as the paramedics load Randall into the ambulance. Keith, after finishing with the police, goes over to Veronica. She asks about Sarah, and Keith tells her everything is going to be fine, and that he's going to let Veronica slide on this one. But in a voiceover, Veronica wonders again if the whole thing could have been avoided if she hadn't brought it to the surface.

This episode contains examples of:

  • The Alleged Car: Mr. Daniels' small blue car, probably a Geo Metro. Word of God says it was inspired by the car Matthew Broderick drives in Election.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: While the PCHers are trashing the store, Veronica comes up to the entrance, and it looks like she's about to tell them to stop, but instead:
    Veronica: Guys! Remember - no white after Labor Day!
    PCHers: (in mock disappointment) Aww!
  • Berserk Button: Lily is like this for both Logan *and* Weevil.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Andre is painted as this, with Veronica hearing fights and implied violence, as well as the fact that Sarah thinks he stole her diary after he accused her of sleeping with her boss. Ultimately he is shown not to be.
  • Deadpan Snarker: If you weren't convinced Logan was one of these before this episode, you will be after gems like this:
    Clemmons: Mr. Echolls, I was wondering if I could have a word.
    Logan: Anthropomorphic. All yours, big guy.
    • Not to mention this:
    Mr. Daniels: You know, the glow of your father's wealth and celebrity may be enough to sustain you through high school, Mr. Echolls, but do you know what it will get you in the real world?
    Logan: (looks up) Please say 'high school English teacher'. Please say 'high school English teacher.'
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Speaks for itself:
    Weevil: You like playing with yourself?
    Logan: Huh?
    Weevil: Or you wanna make things interesting?
    Logan: What did you have in mind?
  • Foreshadowing: Felix joking about Lily hooking up with Weevil.
    • Jake and Lianne being involved in high school.
  • Framing Device: The episode opens and closes on the crime scene at the apartment complex where the Mars' live, and the ambulance taking a body away.
  • Girl Next Door: Unsurprisingly for the show, Sarah is ultimately a subversion of this trope.
  • Shout-Out: When Veronica tells Keith about the noise she heard in Sarah's apartment, Keith jokingly asked if the noise sounded Hitchcockian.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When Clemmons asks Logan about his dad's boots, he responds, "not the ones made for walking?"
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What exactly did cause that thump that sent Veronica on the case?