Recap / Veronica Mars S 01 E 17 Kanes And Abels

We begin where we left off last episode, with Veronica having found out Abel Koontz has a daughter named Amelia DeLongpre. Upon searching further, she finds out Amelia is a student at Loyola Marymount, in L.A...

...and we see a young college-age student in her room, studying, when she hears a knock on the door. She opens the door and Clarence Wiedman is there. He asks the girl if she's Amelia, but the girl tells her Amelia left five minutes before with a friend, whom she describes as, "tiny, blonde, cute as a bug"...

...and said tiny blonde girl is walking with Amelia (Erin Chambers) towards Amelia's car. Amelia protests that she doesn't even know Veronica, and Veronica claims to be Cliff's (Mr. McCormack's) assistant, with new evidence proving Abel is innocent of murder. Amelia is still skeptical, but Veronica points out with all the money she and her family received from Kane Software in stock, she's a threat to the Kane family. Amelia assumed it was an out of court settlement, but Veronica assures her it was a payoff.

A little later, Veronica and Amelia check into the Ocean Beach Hotel, a low-rent motel. Amelia admits given all the exams she has to study for, it could be a blessing in disguise. Veronica gives her a pay phone and tells her to call her mother to have her send the documents regarding the settlement agreement. Amelia agrees, but points out she needs to be able to take calls from her boyfriend, because he'll suspect trouble otherwise. Veronica agrees, but tells her to make sure she checks photo ID on her cell, to not let her boyfriend know where she is, and to not take calls from anyone else. Veronica is about to leave the room when Amelia asks her how Abel is. Veronica admits she's seen him, but says he's doing fine.

The next day, Veronica is walking down the hall at Neptune High and notes on top of trying to keep Amelia under wraps, she also has mid-term exams to study for. She passes Sabrina Fuller (Megan Henning), who is covered in grime and kicking her locker in frustration. Inside an AP history class, Sabrina tells shows her teacher a newspaper phone-sex ad with her face, name and phone number on it, and claims she was getting phone calls all night (she couldn't unplug the phone because her father, a doctor, was on call). What's more, someone let the air out of her tires earlier that morning. The teacher tells Sabrina she can go to the library and they'll reschedule the test; Hamilton Cho (Leonard Wu), one of the other students, protests Sabrina is getting special treatment, but the teacher tells him to cram it. Hamilton then whispers to Dick Casablancas that Sabrina is only getting this chance because her mother heads the school board.

Inside the girl's bathroom, Veronica is washing her hands when Sabrina approaches her, and asks for her help. She explains what happened with the tire, blames it on Caz Truman, her ex-boyfriend who hasn't been able to let go in the two months since they broke up, and asks Veronica for help. Veronica protests she's got exams of her own to study for, but Sabrina is willing to pay, and Veronica admits the money could help pay for Amelia's hotel room. Sabrina gives Veronica $100 up front and promises four times that when she proves Caz is responsible.

Later, in the parking lot, Veronica catches up to Caz. He denies having anything to do with harassing Sabrina, and in fact wants to catch the guy himself; he even claims he'd do anything for Sabrina, including jumping off a roof for her. Veronica is skeptical, but Caz repeats his claim, and drives away.

At Mars Investigations, Veronica notes she has a few hours before she has to go over to Sabrina's, which gives her enough time to make her case for Amelia. The phone rings, and Veronica answers; upon finding out it's for Keith, she says Keith is with a client...

...who is a woman looking to prove her husband's cheating on her. The difference is, she wants Keith to hire a call girl so she can catch her husband in the act, and then bleed him dry in the divorce. Keith points out what she's proposing is entrapment. Veronica interrupts to tell him about the phone call just as the woman says she'll take her business to Vinnie Van Lowe instead. Keith sardonically tells her Vinnie will take the money, then charge the husband double to lie for him. She walks out in a huff. Veronica and Keith share a knowing look, and Veronica walks back to her desk...

...and Logan is on the couch, looking at her laptop, which has folders of all of the people Veronica suspects might have been involved in Lily's murder (Koontz, the Kane family, Logan, Weevil and Clarence Wiedman). Logan is aghast at what he's seen, and is glad his alibi held up (two witnesses said he was out of the country at the time). He asks what Lily would think of all of this, and Veronica sincerely tells him if she didn't love Lily so much, she'd be able to let the case go. Logan lets that sink in, and tells Veronica he came by to pay her for trying to find Lynn. Veronica takes the check, notes how Lynn was always nice to her, and tears it up. Logan is surprised but touched, and leaves. Veronica inwardly berates herself for turning down money to help pay for Amelia's hotel room.

At said room, Amelia asks Veronica about the photo of the shoes, and Veronica explains. Amelia is skeptical the Kanes did this, even after Veronica points out nobody else had the money and influence to frame Koontz, because she can't imagine anyone murdering one of their own family. Veronica points out all of their alibis are suspect. Amelia then reminisces about how Abel used to be a normal father until Jake cheated him out of his patent for streaming video, and Abel became withdrawn and moody as a result. He'd claim he was working on something that would put Jake out of business, but nothing came of it, and when Abel hit Amelia's mother one morning, her mother took off with Amelia, and they haven't spoken since. Amelia asks Veronica why she's getting the money, and Veronica guesses it's Abel's way of saying sorry. Amelia cries at that.

Later that night, Veronica arrives at Sabrina's house. Sabrina's mother is quizzing her about biology, and when Veronica comes in, Sabrina lies that she's tutoring Veronica. Mrs. Fuller goes off to meet her husband. Sabrina asks what's going on with the investigation, and Veronica reveals she's place a tracker on Caz's car. Sometime later, as both are studying, Sabrina gets a phone call, which Veronica answers, and when she finds out it's someone calling about the phone sex ad, she reads back his information and tells him to get a job. During this time, a yellow pickup truck has been driving back and forth in front of the house; when Sabrina confirms she doesn't know anyone who drives one of those, Veronica, seeing a baby carriage in the study, gets an idea...

...and out in the street, the baby carriage rolls in front of the truck, which stops short. Veronica takes the opportunity to shine her flashlight inside, and sure enough, Caz is driving.

Back inside Sabrina's house, Caz once again denies harassing Sabrina, and in fact was trying to catch him in the act. He repeats his claim that he'd jump off a roof for Sabrina (Veronica: "Ask him to jump."), and Sabrina is in the middle of telling him to back off when there's a knock on the front door. The three of them open the door to discover a group of kids who think a rave is happening at the house, and hand Veronica a flier to prove it. They also say someone was handing out the fliers at a place called Sultans of Acid.

The next day, Veronica drops off food for Amelia (while noting Sultans of Acid was a dead end). Amelia mentions how she talked to her mother, who will mail the documents the next day. Amelia then asks Veronica to arrange a visit with her father, and Veronica nervously says she will, but it might take a few days.

That evening, at Mars Investigations, Keith reminds Veronica she should be getting ready for the Scholastic Excellence dinner she's going to, and Veronica says she's on it. Just then, Vinnie Van Lowe (Ken Marino) walks in. He jokes about Veronica working for him, and when Keith comes back into the office, thanks Keith for the case he sent over. Keith clarifies he was trying to warn the woman to stay away from Vinnie. Undeterred, Vinnie proposes the two of them work together, since he has more cases than he can handle. Keith tries to turn him down, but Vinnie tells Keith to think it over, and leaves. Once he does, Keith reminds Veronica again about the dinner...

...which is at the Kane house. Veronica mentions how much she's been dreading the occasion, and she awkwardly greets Duncan's parents when they answer the door; they're just as awkward with her. Jake does politely invite her inside, and once she steps in, she sees the other students who will be vying for the scholarship Jake and Celeste will be giving out in Lily's name, including Sabrina, Hamilton and Duncan. Veronica sees Jake and Celeste arguing, and we see an imaginary scenario flashback where Celeste is telling Lily not to let Veronica come by anymore, Lily taunting Celeste about Veronica possibly being her step-sister and sleeping with Duncan besides, Celeste slapping Lily on the face, and when Lily returns the slap, hitting her with an ashtray and killing her...

...and Veronica snaps out of her reverie as Jake announces the plan for the Lily Kane Scholarship, which will go to the senior valedictorian, and wishes the students luck. He then jokes how the following year, no matter who becomes valedictorian, Jake will be paying for two students, and Duncan good-naturedly squirms in embarrassment. Veronica notes Jake doesn't look like a killer, but needs a killer instinct to run his company, leading to another imaginary scenario flashback where Jake catches Lily by the pool with Weevil, Weevil being intimidated by Jake's fury, and Jake accidentally knocking Lily away when she tries to intervene, she hits her head on the table and is killed, and Jake warns Weevil about what will happen if he talks...

...and back in the present, Jake invites everybody to sit down for dinner. Veronica is about to when she sees Lily's ghost walking out to the back yard. She follows. Outside, Lily snarks about Veronica being at "Nerdfest", and Veronica admits she's there because Lily's family is hiding something. Lily claims her family aren't murderers, but when Veronica asks who did it, Lily just smiles. Just then, Duncan calls for Veronica, and Lily's ghost disappears. He assures Veronica he comes to this spot a lot - though he admits he couldn't at first, and even wanted his parents to sell the house - and feels like Lily is still with them. He then invites her back inside.

The next day, at lunch, Veronica finds Sabrina crying at a table because she only got a B on her AP biology exam. Veronica tries to reassure her a B isn't that bad, considering the test, but Sabrina snaps she's now behind in the race for valedictorian. This gets Veronica thinking, and after assuring Sabrina Caz isn't the one behind all this, she asks Sabrina who's in first place now. Of course, it's Hamilton Cho...

...and later that afternoon, Veronica is at the pizza place/Chinese restaurant owned by Hamilton's father. Hamilton jokes he's hurt about Veronica never having had their pizza before, and Veronica good-naturedly says she lacks imagination in that department. She congratulates Hamilton on getting into Oxford, though Hamilton cautions he won't be able to go without the Kane Scholarship. Veronica asks about Sabrina. Hamilton admits his hostility, and is unsympathetic when Veronica points out the harassment she's getting, as he points out he has to work 20 hours a week while Sabrina gets AP credit for a trip to Rome and brings up Mrs. Fuller's position again. He gives Veronica the pizza, and as she walks out, Veronica muses Hamilton is right, but she still put a tracking device in his car.

Later, at the Mars apartment, Keith has just come out of the shower when he hears someone trying to open the front door. When he opens it, Clarence Wiedman is standing there. Keith invites him in for coffee. Once inside, Clarence asks Keith about Amelia, and shows him her picture. Keith snarks at how flattered he is that Clarence would ask for his help, and invites Clarence to look around for her, but tells her he doesn't know who she is. The two stare at each other before Clarence thanks Keith for his help, and leaves.

A little later, Veronica comes by, having just taken Backup for a walk. Keith tells her about Clarence's visit, and admits he didn't know why Clarence was there until he realized Veronica was working Lily's murder. Veronica admits that, and also reveals who Amelia is (which Keith didn't know, although he did know about Abel dying of cancer). He angrily calls out Veronica for putting herself in danger like that, and Veronica points out she's got Amelia well-hidden. After calming down, Keith says if Veronica insists on working the case, he'll help out, but pleads with Veronica to be more careful. He also tells Veronica he thinks Jake called Clarence after discovering Lily's body, and the coroner's report didn't match Lily's body temperature when she was found. When Veronica asks why Jake called Clarence, Keith responds, "(To do) Whatever needed to be done."

That night, Veronica is staking out Cho's pizza, and she imagines a scenario of Jake calling Clarence, and Clarence coming over with a large bag of ice, ordering Jake to get the rest of it, and telling Jake and Celeste to get their stories straight. Veronica's reverie gets interrupted by her cell phone ringing. It's Sabrina, who's hysterical because a car alarm keeps going off outside her house. Veronica tells her it can't be Hamilton - who's inside the restaurant, studying - but tells Sabrina to take down the license plate of the car.

At school the next day, Veronica confronts Logan and asks him if he told Duncan about her investigation into Lily's death. Logan doesn't answer directly, but wonders if Veronica is sure about Duncan having epilepsy, and why Duncan never told anyone about it. Veronica says she is, and points out Duncan probably didn't want anyone to know, and his parents especially didn't want anyone to know. Logan asks about the symptoms, and when Veronica fills him in - fits, hysterical laughter or crying, or rage - remembers a time when Duncan was in a rage, he had Jake pinned to the floor, and had his hands around Jake's throat. Logan was able to pull Duncan off, but the next day, Duncan didn't remember what had happened. Oh, and it was the week Duncan broke up with Veronica. Veronica looks thoughtful.

Later, Veronica is at Mars Investigations, looking up the license plate Sabrina took down. She discovers the car in question belongs to one of Vinnie's ex-wives. Veronica calls Sabrina and asks to borrow some of her Spirit Week stuff...

...and Veronica is at Vinnie's office, with a couple of boxes of cookies and a school pin. She greets Vinnie's mother, who is secretary, and sells her the cookies and gives her the pin. Vinnie, wearing an obviously fake mustache, walks in, sees Veronica, and invites her to his office. Veronica tells him unfortunately Keith will have to turn down Vinnie's generous offer, but gives him a Mars Investigation pen to show there's no hard feelings. Vinnie takes the pen, but when Veronica asks who hired him to harass Sabrina, denies any knowledge, even when Veronica points out the car belonging to one of his ex-wives. Vinnie tells Veronica he's busy with lunch, and Veronica leaves, though not before tearing Vinnie's mustache off.

Inside Sabrina's car, which is parked outside Vinnie's office, Veronica joins Sabrina. Sabrina is skeptical of Veronica's efforts until she hears Vinnie's voice from the bug Veronica planted. That joy proves short-lived however, when Vinnie demonstrates he knows the pen Veronica gave him is bugged by singing "Private Eyes" (by Hall and Oates) from the balcony of his office window, all while pointing and laughing at Veronica and Sabrina, until he "accidentally" drops the pen. Once inside the office, however, we see Veronica has attached a camera to the Pirate pin she gave Mrs. Van Lowe, and when Vinnie tells his mother to call "John", and Mrs. Van Lowe wonders why he's calling for pizza, Veronica says she knows who did it...

...and we're inside the Kane house, as Hamilton's father is pleading his case to Veronica, Hamilton, Sabrina, her mother, Jake, Celeste and Clemmons. Mr. Cho points out he only did this because of all the advantages Sabrina had. Jake tries to settle things by offering both Hamilton and Sabrina the scholarship if they finish first and second, but Mrs. Fuller is unrelenting, and says Sabrina deserves the scholarship. Furthermore, the only way she won't press charges is if Hamilton withdraws. Mr. Cho and Clemmons plead for her to change her mind, but Hamilton says he'll do it. He and his father leave.

Outside, Veronica tells him, as she did inside, that it's not fair, but Hamilton shrugs and says he doesn't blame Veronica. He also looks on the bright side; UCLA is a good enough school, and Sabrina will be working for him some day. As Veronica watches him go, she muses how much Hamilton loves his father, and she in turn hopes Amelia loves her own father just as much...

...but later that night, we see Clarence approaching a boy and asking to borrow his cell phone so he can get AAA to fix his car. Uh oh.

At Mars Investigations, Veronica takes a call from Amelia, who tells her the papers came. Veronica is pleased; Amelia admits she's too busy trying to think of what to say to her father to concentrate on her studies. She's interrupted by a call from her boyfriend, and signs off; however, it's Clarence on the phone, who warns Amelia about Veronica...

...and when Veronica and Keith arrive at the hotel minutes later, Amelia has cleared out. They find only Clarence, who tells them Amelia didn't appreciate Veronica not telling her Abel was dying of cancer, and has gone off to parts unknown, since she has her own Swiss bank account. Veronica and Keith dejectedly take off.

Back at Mars Investigations, Veronica is rolled up in a ball on the floor when Keith finds her. He pulls her up and opens the safe, where the files on Lily's murder are. Veronica asks what made him suspect Jake and Celeste were involved in covering up Lily's death, and we flash back to right after the murder, when Duncan was sitting, rocking, and Keith was initially questioning Jake and Celeste, who tell him they were home five or ten minutes when they discovered Lily, and Duncan had been in the shower. We hear a washing machine going, and back in the present, Keith says the Kanes likely hadn't done their own laundry in years, and Duncan's soccer uniform was in the dryer. Veronica goes pale at that, and though she doesn't believe it, she imagines one last scenario where Duncan, in one of his rages, kills Lily.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Well, Vinnie is more sleazy than evil, but the principle still applies.
    • Also, Clarence Wiedman, though he's more dangerous than evil.
  • Call-Back: Duncan's medical condition is important again, and we hear more about Keith's suspicions about Lily's murder.
  • *Cough* Snark *Cough*: When Sabrina tells her history teacher about the phone calls she had received from the phone sex line, Dick does one of these - "I've been bad!"
  • The Dragon: Clarence, and he definitely proves it here.
  • Foreshadowing: Logan's discovery of Veronica's case files on Lily's murder will have very important consequences later on.
  • Gratuitous Italian: Averted; we've already seen Mrs. Fuller quizzing Sabrina on biology, and we know Sabrina went to Italy, so it makes sense Mrs. Fuller would talk to her briefly in Italian. Plus, they're joking about what to do with Veronica if she stays too long.
  • Shout-Out: When Veronica is imagining the scenario where Celeste kills Lily, Lily calls Celeste Mommie Dearest.
    • Also, when Veronica catches Caz spying on Sabrina, she greets him, "Hello, Truman."
  • Stealth Insult: Veronica takes the implication Sabrina is tutoring her as such.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Keith is like this when he finds out Veronica is not only still working Lily's murder, but has attracted the attention of Clarence Wiedman.