Veronica and Keith stand outside the courthouse, watching Aaron Echolls go free. Aaron says how relieved he is to have his name "cleared" of this "horrible crime." Back at the office, Keith tells Veronica that they cannot obsess about Aaron's acquittal. She tries to direct him towards the bounty on Woody Goodman. So does Vinnie Van Lowe: he's calling from prison and wants to team up with Keith on the bounty. Vinnie was caught breaking into Woody's house, but now has all his records, tax, medical, etc. Keith agrees, but refuses to take action until after Veronica's graduation.
Woody's medical records reveal that he has chlamydia, just like Veronica. They also find Woody has a heart condition, so he has to take a pill every day. Keith has Veronica impersonate Gia and make a phone call to Woody's lawyer concerning said heart medication; true to form, the lawyer calls Woody, and Keith intercepts the number. It's for a hunting lodge outside of Reno, NV.
In an extended For Want of a Nail Dream Sequence, we find a happy and sober Lianne serving pancakes for breakfast to her husband the sheriff, and Veronica happily involved with Logan. However, not all is perfect in 09er Land: Veronica accidentally ended up with the cap and gown of some kid named "Wallace Fennel." After Duncan helps track him down, she introduces herself and he asks if she's looking forward to getting out this place, to which she responds "I don't know... high school was a blast." He calls her "one of those," but then tells her to forget it, and tells tells her "have a good life... I'm sure you will." Veronica then sees Lilly, who talks a little about her college life at Vassar (including fooling around with her boyfriend's ex). Then Lilly calls attention to the Lilly Kane Memorial Fountain, and asks Veronica if she smells bacon. Veronica awakens.
At graduation, Keith says he'll call as soon as he catches Woody. Mac tells Veronica that Beaver got them a room at the Neptune Grand for tonight. As everyone walks, Weevil is intercepted by Sheriff Lamb, arresting him in connection with Thumper's murder. He is led out in cuffs, and Veronica herself is called - to a standing ovation. After graduation, Keith appears to present to tickets to New York, then runs off to catch Woody. Veronica walks to her car, but is approached by Alicia - according to a note he left on Alicia's windshield, Wallace is going to Paris to try and track down Jackie.
Cut to Brooklyn, where Jackie and her "little brother" enter somewhere where Jackie and her mother work as waitresses. They get a call, which is for Jackie - it's from Veronica, who tells Jackie she figured out she wasn't who she said she was a while ago, and about Wallace going to Paris. There's a 4-hour layover at JFK, so Jackie will have a chance to stop him.
At the Neptune Grand, Logan sees Aaron, who is staying there now. Logan is less than pleased to see his father, but Aaron reminds him that he's back in control of his own finances again—and thus, his son's.
At the Reno Hunting Lodge, Keith catches Woody, and calls the local sheriff. Woody tells Keith he didn't crash the bus. Keith brings up his abuse of children, and Woody tries to defend himself, claiming to have been a surrogate father figure. Keith isn't buying. He calls Veronica, saying they're loading Woody onto his own plane. Veronica decides she has to track down the 3rd boy on the tape, as there is only one kid on the photo she hasn't identified, and goes to Woody's Burgers, where the photo will have names. She sees the name of the unidentified boy, but is quickly distracted by additional words down the bottom. "Not Pictured: Cassidy Casablancas."
After the commercial break, we find Veronica calling Mac with a warning, but she and Beaver are walking through a graduation party and the music drowns Mac's phone out. Veronica also calls Hart Hanson, who she saw with Beaver last week, who confirms her suspicions - Cassidy blew up the bus.
Back at the party, Dick encourages Cassidy to "chug", and then Cassidy asks Mac if she wants to go check out the room. She teases him about his "liquid courage", but he responds there is nothing up there he's afraid of. There Mac's phone continues to buzz, ignored against the tumult of the bed.
At the party, Veronica walks in and asks Logan where Beaver and Mac are. She starts to explain, but they are interrupted by Dick, who tells her Beaver took Mac up to his room. Within, we find Mac consoling him: "Don't worry about it... I'm having a good time and we've got all night." She goes to take a shower, leaving Cassidy to intercept Veronica's next warning: "Get away from Beaver. Now. He's a killer. I'm in the lobby." Cassidy's face turns cold, and he pulls out a gun.
Veronica gets a text message from Mac's number: "Meet me on the roof. Now." She boards the elevator, and unexpectedly finds herself face to face with Aaron Echolls. He mentions that she and Lilly were Birds of a Feather—amongst other things, they never stopped talking, and God was he happy when he murdered her, because she finally shut up. Evil Gloating completed, he leaves.
Veronica arrives at the roof, and calls out for Mac - instead she sees Cassidy, pointing the gun at her, who tells her Mac is in "a better place." He screams at her to throw him her bag, which she does. He takes the taser out of it, then pulls out Mac's phone with the "Beaver's a killer" message. He asks her what exactly she thinks she knows, and she obligingly delivers the Just Between You and Me monologue:
Cassidy was on Woody's little league teams, with Marcos and Peter - they all fell victim to Woody's abuse. Marcos and Peter wanted to come forward, and refused to leave him out of it. Additionally, Cassidy worked on Hart's war movies, being in charge of the pyrotechnics, which he learned from Curly Moran, his dad's mechanic. Unfortunately, Curly himself figured it out, so Cassidy framed him to the PCHers. They didn't finish the job, so Cassidy ran him down with his car. He then wrote "Veronica Mars" on Curly's hand as a Red Herring.
Then Veronica asks Cassidy a question: how'd she get chlamydia? Evidently, when he claimed to have left her alone that night at Shelly Pomroy's party, he was lying. She tells him that she's told her Dad everything, but he points out Keith's on Woody's plane - where he has also planted a bomb. Cassidy lets Veronica call her Dad before he blows it up, but Keith doesn't pick up. Beaver shrugs and presses the Send button, and in the sky above Neptune, the plane explodes.
Veronica collapses with grief, and Cassidy tries to convince her to jump off the roof, including "persuading" her by torturing her with her own taser. She manages to forward the message "Meet me on the roof now" to Logan, who arrives just as Cassidy's about to shoot Veronica. A brawl breaks out, but Veronica ends up with the gun, and Cassidy stands down. Though she has her tormentor at gunpoint, Logan convinces her not to shoot and relieves her of the weapon.
Cassidy realizes that the game is up. He climbs over the small barrier between the most of the roof, and the edge. Logan, seeing him, excliams, "Beaver, don't!"
- My name... is CASSIDY!!'
Logan is taken aback, but rallies quickly,
- Logan: Cassidy, don't.Cassidy: Why not?[they don't answer]Cassidy: That's what I thought.
And with a calm bravado, Cassidy steps off the roof.
Veronica remembers Mac, and they go into her hotel roof - she is crying, wrapped in what appears to be a shower curatin, and slumped against the wall. Cassidy stole everything from the room, including Mac's clothes. Mac asks why, and Veronica hugs her.
Cut to Aaron's room. We see him and Kendall post-coital, but she wanders off. He puts on the TV, and sees one of his old movies on. What he doesn't see is the silenced pistol pointing at his head. After two bullets, the wielder calls Duncan: it's Clarence Wiedman. "It's a done deal," is all he says. Duncan, on a beach in Australia, puts the phone away, and then smiles at his baby daughter.
Cut to JFK, where Wallace and Jackie see each other. She gives him her real life story: she was never going to the Sorbonne. Her Mom's not a model, she's a waitress. Jackie tells him the real reason she had to come back - she has a son. Her Mom agreed to raise him, and Jackie was sent to Neptune to try and get a fresh start. When Terrence shut her out, she realized her hypocrisy, expecting to be the center of her Dad's world and making her mom raise her kid. She has to stay in New York, and Wallace has to back to Neptune.
At Veronica's house, she is slumped over Logan's lap, Pietà Plagiarism parallel to "Normal Is The Watchword." In her dream, we see Keith entertain child!Veronica with sockpuppets. Child!Veronica points out the smell of bacon, and wakes up screaming for her Dad. He's not there, though, and Logan hugs her. Then Keith enters.
Veronica hugs him with joy, and tells him she thought he was dead. She tells him Cassidy blew the plane up, and Keith responds Lamb had them take Keith off the plane at the last minute, because he didn't want that press. Keith then asks "What is that about the Casablancas boy?"
Cut to Kendall talking to her lawyer. She can't get the insurance money on Beaver, since it was suicide, but they did find the documents for the Phoenix Land Trust - which has given Kendall 8 million. She grins.
Veronica and Keith prepare to go to New York, but they're not driving together - Logan's giving her a ride, so they can "talk." Keith asks how Logan took Aaron's death, and Veronica says "shrugs it off... which I think means, badly." Logan arrives, he and Veronica go outside, where they start to kiss - they're obviously back together now. Kendall arrives and razzes them about their "young love." They ask why she's even there, and she says she has a business proposition for Keith.
Talking to Keith, she tells him she needs him to do something "really important" "right now." He brushes her off until she opens a briefcase, the contents of which we can't see. Whatever it is, Keith is gobsmacked.
At the airport, Veronica waits for Keith, as the "Now Boarding" sign flashes. She tries to call him, but can't get a signal. We end on her standing there, waiting.
- Actor Allusion - I thought [Kendall] couldn't come out during daylight hours.
- Alas, Poor Villain: The good guys mourn the bad guy because they used to be a good guy.
- Arc Welding: Beaver turns out to have been behind both Veronica's rape and the bus crash.
- Asshole Victim: Aaron Echolls.
- Ax-Crazy - Cassidy, who is revealed as the mastermind behind the bus crash and later tortures Veronica in an attempt to get her to commit suicide.
- Bittersweet Ending - The good guys all lived and the bad guys all died but the bad guy was someone they used to like and trust, and his death is going to hurt. Additionally, just about the only other good thing to happen was that Logan and Veronica got back together. Mac is devastated, Wallace didn't get his girl, and Jackie didn't get her guy because she showed the moral fiber to deserve him.
- The Bus Came Back: Duncan and baby Lilly make a brief appearance, as Duncan is revealed to have ordered a hit on Aaron. Lianne and Lilly also reappear for a dream sequence.
- Disney Death - Keith (who Veronica thinks was on the plane that blew up) and Mac (Who Cassidy said was "in a better place" just to taunt Veronica).
- Driven to Suicide: Cassidy jumps off the roof of Neptune Grand.
- Emotional Torque: this episode is filled to the brim with moments bound to get an emotional reaction out of the audience - the reveal of previously sympathetic Beaver as the season's Big Bad, Keith's Disney Death, Jackie and Wallace's meeting in New York, Aaron Echolls getting his due, Logan and Veronica getting together...
- Even Evil Has Standards - Woody confesses to molesting children, but says he could never kill the people on the bus.
- Face Death with Dignity / Graceful Loser: once Cassidy realizes it's game over for him, he's quite calm in jumping to his death.
- Family Relationship Switcheroo - Jackie's brother.
- Idiot Ball: Veronica is desperate to get Mac away from Beaver, sure, but it's still jarring how much she holds this in the third act. First, rather than texting Mac to say "Call me ASAP, urgent!" or similar, she texts "BEAVER'S THE KILLER" - if Mac had seen the message, her reaction could easily have tipped Beaver off. As it is, it immediately tips her hand to Beaver and nearly gets her killed. Second, when she gets a text back asking her to meet on the roof, she goes straight up there without stopping one floor below for 30 seconds to grab Logan or Wallace as backup.
- Ironic Echo - a few:
- In both dream sequences, the smell of bacon.
- From An Echolls Family Christmas - "There is no Santa Claus."
- A visual echo - the reversal of the premiere's Pietà Plagiarism.
- Kick the Dog: Lamb arrests Weevil just before he walks across the stage during graduation, despite his pleas to waits. His grandmother and extended family watch as he is, instead, hauled off to jail.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Less noticeable in retrospect, but at the time this aired UPN and the WB were merging into a new channel, the CW. It hadn't yet been announced if Veronica Mars was one of the shows that would be moved to the new network, or if it would be cancelled. The lines after Clarence Weidman shoots Aaron ("CW?" "It's a done deal") were a nod to viewers about this situation.
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: Cassidy is unable to get it up while trying to have sex with Mac. (Some attribute it to him being Ambiguously Gay, others chalk it up to his traumatic experiences with sex).
- Meaningless Villain Victory: Aaron and his slimy lawyer get an unlikely acquittal, and he gloats for a while about loving freedom and having the purse strings over Logan again. As it turns out he's just dodged an official prison sentence and walked into an unofficial death sentence.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: For some value of "villain", but Lamb's pettiness in calling his deputies and refusing to let Keith board Goodman's plane (so that Keith wouldn't be the one credited with catching him) ends up saving Keith's life.
- Obviously Evil: Aaron's scene in the elavator, where he cheerfully and explicitly boasts to Veronica about having killed Lilly. It's a little out of character, but was also somewhat necessary as a large chunk of the fanbase were speculating (based on Aaron never actually confessing to the crime in Leave It To Beaver, and the reasonably competent frame job he and his lawyers did on Duncan this season) that Aaron was actually innocent, and Duncan really was Lilly's killer.
- Put on a Bus: And they never spoke of Jackie again.
- Retcon - Cassidy being Veronica's rapist is a pretty obvious one.
- Shirtless Scene - Cassidy gets one.
- Shout-Out: Dick calls Mac "Ghost World". Again.
- The mysterious case we don't see inside is a shoutout to Pulp Fiction.
- So Happy Together - Mac and Cassidy get a few happy moments before the big reveal about Cassidy's Evil All Along nature.
- Wham Episode - whatever you thought of the episode, nothing would be the same after this.
- Take That!: Veronica says she should take pepper spray to New York in case she runs into "that Trump guy".
- Wham Shot: Veronica reading the names of the boys on the Little League baseball team. "Not Pictured: Cassidy Casablancas".
- World's Smallest Violin: Vinnie Van Lowe, in jail for trying to rob the mayor's house, offers Keith a 60/40 split on reward money. When Keith responds that it should be 50/50, Vinnie whines that he's the one in jail, and Keith does this to him:Vinnie: I risk my life to bring a fugitive to justice and you're giving me world's tiniest violin.Keith: Guess I'm just heartless.
- You Killed My Father - We all thought you did - thank goodness he didn't get on that plane!