Recap / Veronica Mars S 01 E 09 Drinking The Kool Aid

We begin where last episode left off, with Veronica crying in the parking lot after Abel Koontz told her Jake was really her father. Eventually, she stops crying and drives off. She tells herself to deal with it, until she realizes that if Jake is her father, then Duncan is her... We then see Veronica's back as she leans out of the car and throws up, but she then composes herself and starts driving again. She then wonders if Keith knew, and also if Jake sent the photos of her as a way of getting to Keith. Veronica resolves to take Jake down if that's the case, no matter what.

At her apartment, Veronica looks at the photos and notices they were taken during "Book Week" at school. Veronica finds out from one of her teachers the next day that Book Week is held every first week of February, and armed with that info, she goes to the cafe where she thinks the photo was taken, and asks for the credit card receipts for the first week of February earlier that year. From that, Veronica finds out Clarence Wiedman took the photos, and from following him to Kane Software, she finds out he's the head of security there. Again, Veronica vows to make Jake pay for what happened.

Veronica comes home to the apartment to discover Keith excitedly waiting for her. She's distracted by the large cut he has under his right eye, but he brushes it off as something that happened when he was playing baseball, and drags her to her bedroom. In it, Veronica discovers...a water bed, which she wanted when she was a kid. She jokes about how Keith always claimed Santa couldn't find a way to bring it down the chimney, but sincerely thanks him for the gift, especially since he got it cheap.

The next day, at Mars Investigations, Mr. and Mrs. Gant tell Keith about their son Casey (Jonathan Bennett), who seemed to be find until he joined a cult called the Moon Calf Collective six weeks earlier, and they haven't seen him since. Casey also apparently sold his car - a Porsche - and gave the proceeds to the collective. Keith promises to look into it. When he walks them out, he sees Veronica at the desk with a blood test kit. Veronica says she needs a blood sample for health class, but is scared of the needle. Keith good-naturedly kids her about this, and grudgingly agrees to give his own sample instead. He asks Veronica if she knows Casey; she calls him a prototypical shallow 09er kid, and Keith brings up the collective. Keith says while Casey is 18 and therefore legally entitled to do what he wants, his parents are offering a $5,000 bonus to prove anything illegal going on at the collective so they can get Casey back. This makes Veronica perk up, and she agrees to find out what she can at school, since Casey still goes there. Keith also warns Veronica not to go out to where the collective is, under any circumstances. He leaves, and Veronica reveals the blood kit test is in fact to find out if Keith is really her father.

At school, Veronica studiously avoids Duncan, as she can't deal with the implications of what she found out. She spots Casey playing hackey-sack, which Wallace notices. As Veronica tells him about Casey, we go to a Flashback in English class, where Weevil is reading a poem and Casey is laughing at him while Veronica and Duncan listen intently. The teacher chews Casey out, but Casey points out Weevil cribbed the poem from a song by Social Distortion. Back in the present, Veronica realizes she can go to Casey's ex-girlfriend Darcy...

She and Veronica are in the girl's bathroom (naturally), and Darcy tells Veronica Casey changed overnight and started talking about "renouncing the toxic death style of late-stage capitalist society and un-remembering the consumer siren song. I think compost even came up too, once." Darcy says she hasn't heard from Casey since (she dumped him), but suggests she try Miss Mills (Amy Laughlin), his English teacher and head of the school literary journal. That night, Veronica gets the idea of trying to submit a poem to the journal.

The next day, in the Mars apartment, Veronica rages at the cold water coming out of the shower, and when she gets out, pleads for Keith to get the super to do something about it. He reminds her that with the money he'll get for Casey's case, they could look for a new place, and Veronica takes some satisfaction from that.

Later, at school, Miss Mills finds Veronica and complements her on her poem "I Cut Because I Care". Veronica asks if Miss Mills will publish the poem in the journal, but Miss Mills suggests Veronica come out to Moon Calf instead. Despite Keith's warning, Veronica decides to go along. Miss Mills (who tells Veronica to call her "Holly") takes Veronica to the farm where Moon Calf operates. She encourages Veronica to go anywhere except the barn; naturally, this piques Veronica's interest. Holly notices Josh (Chris William Martin), the head of the collective, and they greet and kiss each other. She then introduces Josh to Veronica, and he hugs her, which makes Veronica wonder if she should have had some discreet lesbian overtones in her poem. After she breaks the embrace, Casey comes over and greets Veronica. He and Josh wander off, and Holly takes Veronica over to where a number of kids, including Rain (Megalyn Echikunwoke), are preparing dinner. She and Veronica bond over the fact they still like processed food, and when Veronica offers to help...

...we cut to Veronica trying in vain to milk a cow. Veronica uses the opportunity to ask Rain about Moon Calf. She tries to drop hints about the barn and Josh (calling him "sexy"), but Rain doesn't take the bait until she Veronica mentions Holly telling her about a harvest, and Rain says it's the ultimate cash crop. Veronica thinks she's hit the jackpot. However, later that night, the rest of the collective gather around and sing songs, which Veronica thinks is merely a cover. Casey calls her over and apologizes for brushing her off before, and basically doing it for the entire three years they've been going to school. When the song ends, Josh asks everybody in the group how they're doing, and we see a brief montage of people, including Holly, sharing their feelings. Josh then asks the group to welcome Veronica, which they do, and Holly encourages her to read her poem. Instead, Veronica lies and says she has to go, and beats a hasty retreat. She then runs to the barn and opens the door, only to be scared by a horse. Josh and Holly catch up to her; Veronica apologizes, saying she needed a place to think, and Holly in turn apologizes for planting thoughts about "the forbidden barn" in her head. Turns out the horse is one they rescued from being put down.

At the Mars apartment that night, Veronica tells Keith what Darcy said about Casey, and goes to take a shower. She then mentions again about the paternity test, and that if Jake is the father, "as God is my witness, I'll never take cold showers again.''

At school the next day, she apologizes to Casey for running out, and Casey tells her not to worry about it. He invites her back out to the farm, and they go after school. At the farm, Josh greets her, along with the rest of the group. He then invites Veronica for a walk, and she gets her tape recorder and taser ready. Josh tells Veronica she needs to open up to people, and asks if she knows what they do there. She mentions Rain's line about "the ultimate cash crop". Turns out it's poinsettia plants, which they're growing for Christmas season, and are able to do so thanks to a generous donation by Casey. Veronica offers to donate money as well, but Josh tells her they don't need it, which throws her. We then see the collective preparing dinner along with Veronica, who is starting to enjoy herself. Josh interrupts them by telling them "Sal" from the County Water Department is there to check the pipes, so they shouldn't use the water for about 20 minutes. Of course, "Sal" is Keith, who gives Veronica the stink-eye when he recognizes her. She looks guilty...

...and that evening, at Mars Investigations, Keith yells at Veronica for disobeying him. She apologizes, but points out the Moon Calves are basically harmless, and he grudgingly admits the bug he planted at the farm has turned up nothing; also, the background checks he ran on both Josh and Holly came up with nothing incriminating. Nevertheless, Keith tells Veronica she's off the case. Casey's parents come in with another man. They tell him Casey's grandmother is dying and the bulk of her fortune ($80 million) will go to Casey; they're afraid Casey will give it to the collective. Keith offers his condolences, and admits he hasn't turned up anything incriminating on the collective yet, but assures them Casey is in no danger. The other man turns out to be a cult de-programmer, and smarms about getting Casey out from under their influence. Keith looks skeptical, but agrees to keep digging.

At school the next day, Wallace asks why the Moon Calves haven't been raided, and Veronica tells him they're clean. She also says Casey has turned into a good guy thanks to the collective, and she doesn't see anything wrong with that, to which Wallace teases that she's been "drinking the Kool-Aid". Casey interrupts and invites Veronica to visit his grandmother with him, and she accepts. At the hospital, Casey tells Veronica how his parents got all their money from his grandmother's publishing company, and since his grandmother started getting sick, they pretty much abandoned her and have only started treating him nice once they realized Casey would inherit his grandmother's fortune. Later that day, Veronica drops Casey off at the farm, and sincerely wishes she could come along.

That night, at the Mars apartment, Veronica takes a carton of milk out of the refrigerator, and notices Rain's picture on it; her real name is Debbie, and she's run away from home. When Keith gets home, Veronica tells him about it, but pleads with him not to do anything about it; Keith, however, sees this as the break he's been looking for, as Rain is a minor, and it doesn't matter how nice the Moon Calves are if they're contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The next day in school, Veronica visits Holly and tries to warn her about Keith's information, but they're interrupted by a tear-stricken Casey, who tells them his grandmother has just passed away. At the funeral later, Veronica finds Josh and Holly, tells them what she knows about Rain, and urges them to get her out of there; Josh, however, tells her not to worry about it. They leave, and Casey thanks Veronica for being a friend to him. He sees his parents and says he might as well talk to them, but when he walks to the limo, he's grabbed by two men and taken away in the limo before Veronica can catch up.

At Mars Investigations, Veronica tells Keith about Casey being kidnapped; he points out it's merely Casey's parents and the guy they were with, and there's nothing he or the police could do about it. However, Keith admits he didn't turn over the information about the collective to the police, having found out Rain (Debbie) had gone through four foster homes, two of which she'd been abused at, and is better off at the collective; he also admits there's nothing sinister about them.

At school the next day, Veronica leaves a coupon for Duncan on his car. Casey pulls up into the lot in a Porsche, and acts towards Veronica the same way he did before he joined the Moon Calves.

That night, at the Mars apartment, Veronica sees the results of the paternity test have come back, but after thinking about it long and hard, decides to shred them instead. She inadvertently wakes Keith, who asks if it's absolutely necessary she use the shredder now; Veronica says it is.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Call-Back: The photos of Veronica.
  • Foreshadowing: Clarence Wiedman becomes very important later, and the issue of Veronica's paternity isn't going away anytime soon.
  • HeelFace Turn: Casey seems to have gone through one of these - at least until his parents get him back, after which he returns to his Jerkass ways.
  • Hippie Teacher: Miss Mills doesn't dress this way, but otherwise seems to be an example of this trope.
  • Literary Allusion Title: The title of the episode, "Drinking the Kool-Aid", refers to Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple, a cult that had a mass suicide in 1978 when Jones convinced the members to drink Kool-Aid laced with cyanide.
  • Shout-Out: Keith at one point compares the Moon Calves with The Brady Bunch.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Darcy implies Casey might have the hots for Miss Mills, but it turns out they're just good friends.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Veronica, out of the side of her car when she thinks about being related to Duncan