Veronica Mars aired for three glorious seasons and, as most would agree, should have gone on for at least 30 more. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement. For those who were dedicated fans of the show, AKA “Marshmallows,” the idea of the cult favorite not even getting a full 22 episodes for season three was unthinkable.
Rob Thomas’s teen noir mystery drama about a student from Neptune High who would moonlight as a private investigator for her dad’s detective agency was way ahead of its time. From Veronica’s snarky verbiage, to tackling storylines that were edgy and not typical of The CW (or any other network, for that matter), the series had a way of engaging audiences and making them fall in love with the characters.
Part of the thrill of Veronica Mars was that you really never knew where the series was going to take you. You could hate a character one moment and fall in love with them the next. So, when the show abruptly ended after only 64 episodes, it understandably left fans begging for more – hence the attempted spin-off and the highly anticipated Veronica Mars movie that came 10 years after the show first aired, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign.
In honor of our undying love for VM, here’s a trip down memory lane looking back at 15 of the show’s most shocking moments.
15. Veronica And Logan Hook Up
In the beginning, it was all about Veronica Mars and Duncan Kane. Although the series starts off post-breakup, it seemed like the brother of her murdered best friend would be the likely love interest here. But, as we would soon find out, when it comes to VM, you should always expect the unexpected. Enter Logan Echolls, Veronica’s sworn enemy AND Lilly Kane’s (her best friend) ex-boyfriend.
We first meet Logan as a bully who had helped to oust Veronica from the 09er clique. Logan’s disdain for his former friend goes to the extreme when we discover that he had egged on a bunch of people at a party to do body shots off of an unconscious Veronica, then dosed Duncan with GHB when he tried to step in to save her (inadvertently facilitating Veronica’s rape). While the two were constantly sabotaging each other throughout, about halfway through the first season, we begin to see a softer side of Logan. They bond over a tribute for Lilly (recalling a great friendship) and when Logan comes to Veronica to help investigate his mother’s suicide, sparks start flying soon after. Even though we were initially floored by the coupling, once the shock wore off and we saw the pair in action, we all couldn’t help falling in love with Logan Echolls.
14. Weevil Was In Love With Lilly Kane
Eli Navarro, better known as “Weevil,” was a character that could not stay out of trouble. Even when he wasn’t looking for it, it still found a way to him. Not unlike Logan, at first, no one liked Weevil. As head of the PCH biker gang and after his initial attack on Wallace, you would think he would be the bad guy, right? Wrong. As it would turn out, Weevil and Veronica would quickly become allies. And while fans thought that to be pretty shocking at the time, imagine how they felt when it was revealed that Mr. Trouble himself had fallen hard for Veronica’s best friend, Ms. Lilly Kane.
Yes, Lilly was not only involved with Logan AND his dad, Aaron Echolls, but Weevil as well. Come to find out, the two had an affair while Logan and Lilly were broken-up. Except, Weevil never got over her. So much so that he even got a tattoo of her name. My, what a tangled web we weev-il.
13. Veronica Finds Out Duncan Is Her Brother
Oh, yes. Yes, they took it there. While Veronica and Duncan had a complicated relationship, NO ONE saw this twist coming. These two were obviously each other’s first loves, and despite his sister’s death (Lilly, not Veronica), Duncan appeared to hold on to the idea that they could be together. The whole thing seemed totally appalling when we started getting hints that the two could be brother and sister. Everything became convoluted after that. Did they sleep together? Was Duncan the one who raped Veronica? Did HE kill Lilly Kane? Maybe he really is mentally unstable.
As we would find out, Duncan did break up with Veronica because he had suspicions that she might be his half-sister. The two did sleep together (after both being drugged… gross), but luckily, they were not siblings after all. He didn’t kill his sister (Lilly) and he was sane. Hurray!
Aside from a little accidental possible incest, everything was on the up and up. Duncan and Veronica even managed to get back together briefly in Season 2 but, of course, that didn’t last long. Nothing really ever did in Neptune.
12. Logan’s Dad Is The Killer
The big murder mystery of Season 1 was finding out who killed Lilly Kane. The possibilities were mounting all year long, so when the killer was finally revealed as Aaron Echolls, father of Logan Echolls, Lilly’s own boyfriend, everybody had a huge WTF moment.
We knew that he wasn’t getting any Father of the Year awards – he was abusive, and thanks to his philandering ways, he’d driven Logan’s mom to commit suicide. But to have an affair with an underage girl, who is also your son’s girlfriend, and then to kill her in order to keep people from finding out? Well, that’s a whole different kind of scumbag.
All season long, we were mostly led to believe that the killer was likely Duncan, seeing as he was the one who discovered her body, but once Veronica found those video tapes in Lilly’s bedroom showing her and Aaron in some compromising positions, the truth came out. Eventually, VM pieced it all together, which culminated in a crazy attempt on Veronica’s life and set up a whole bunch of other wild plotlines for the rest of the series.
11. Logan Ends Up With Kendall Casablancas
After Veronica and Logan’s destiny to be together was revealed in Season 1, you thought nothing short of Duncan Kane would keep those two apart. Then again, there was no accounting for the wild card that was Kendall Casablancas.
Really, anytime Charisma Carpenter steps onto a set, you know anything is possible. In the Season 2 premiere, we first meet Richard Casablancas’s wife (played by Carpenter), stepmother to Dick and Cassidy. Even though Logan and Veronica were technically broken up, the shock of Logan and Kendall initially having an affair was weird enough. In time, Kendall’s sordid past eventually revealed itself, as did her con artist ways, but before that could play out, Kendall’s presence complicated things to say the least.
Nearing the end of Season 2, after the prom at Neptune High was cancelled; Logan throws an “alterna-prom” at the Neptune Grand. For a moment, it looks like VM and Logan could be rekindling their love affair for good – that is until Veronica catches Kendall leaving Logan’s place the morning after. Yikes. All-around, it was a disturbing moment for fans who had been waiting to see the two of them get back together.
10. Bus Crash
After the epic finale of the first season and finding out whodunit, what could the show do to give us an even more outrageous plotline? How about a bush crash? VM kicked off the season not only establishing that Veronica and Duncan were now back together, but that Duncan’s ex-girlfriend Meg (whom he broke up with to be with Veronica) was not happy about it.
While Veronica dives into the new season investigating a case and seemingly flirting with the idea of being a 09er again, things take a turn when she goes on a field trip with a group of students. After being confronted by her former friend Meg about the situation, the bus makes a pit stop and Veronica ends up missing the call to get back on (thanks to the ghost of her dead best friend Lilly). When Weevil offers her a ride home, the two come upon the bus that Veronica was supposed to be on, which had apparently gone off a cliff. The crash left everyone dead except one person – Duncan’s ex-girlfriend, Meg Manning.
9. Duncan Has A Secret Baby, Baby’s Mom Is In A Coma, And He Flees The Country
If you thought things couldn’t get more complicated in Neptune, you were oh-so-wrong. While Duncan, Logan, and Veronica still had issues to work out from Season 1, we soon found out that Duncan actually had a lot more on his plate than initially suggested.
Turned out, during his brief relationship with Meg, the pair had gotten close. Real close. After the crash nearly killed Meg and left her in a coma, we didn’t see much of her. Until Veronica discovers that Meg was actually pregnant, making Duncan a soon-to-be teenage father. Meg awoke briefly, just long enough to make things right with Veronica and give birth, only to die from a blood clot shortly after. In order to keep the baby from Meg’s abusive parents, Veronica helps Duncan kidnap his child and escape to Mexico, where he can raise his daughter (whom he re-named Lilly). In one wild storyline which all quickly came together, that surprisingly was, more or less, the end Duncan Kane.
8. Thumper Was Left In Stadium When It Blew Up
While no one was really a fan of Thumper’s, we still did not expect to see the end of him the way we did. Thumper was a member of the PCH biker gang and ended up taking out Felix (the gang’s former leader and his friend) for being in love with a Fitzpatrick. After killing Felix and pinning it on Logan, Thumper ended up doing business with the bad guys and took control of his gang.
Weevil, being the righteous “bad guy” he was, discovers the truth and pays him back by setting him up, leading to the Fitzpatricks chaining Thumper to a urinal inside Shark stadium as it’s set to be demolished. After his bike was discovered, you thought there was a chance he might be found inside prior to the explosion, but nope. In the end, it was Logan who had won some contest which poetically allowed him to be the one to push the button blowing it all to bits — not knowing that Thumper was still inside.
7. Veronica Loses Her Dad The Election
The relationship between Veronica and Keith Mars might have been one of the best father and daughter relationships on television. After her mother took off, the dynamic crimefighting duo overcame a lot just to get back on their feet. While scandal plagued them from the beginning and we watched as our hero Keith Mars had to go from Sheriff to Private Investigator, back to vindicated “good guy,” things got real messy when the series finale left us with the idea that Veronica cost her dad the win for Sheriff in a race against rival PI, Vinnie Van Lowe.
After a sex tape surfaces of Veronica and her boyfriend Piz (not Logan OR Duncan), Veronica suspects Jake Kane, which leads her to break into the Kane mansion in an attempt to retrieve evidence. When Keith is called in to investigate, he finds surveillance footage of his daughter and is forced to choose between family and his hard-earned rise to the top. Of course, he chooses Veronica, and in the end, sacrifices his professional happiness for the father/daughter bond the show was famous for.
6. Veronica Chooses Piz
The Piz storyline may have been one of the most frustrating for Veronica Mars fans, even following us into the movie 10 years later. Piz comes into the picture in Season 3, when Veronica begins her journey at Hearst College. While Piz is a nice guy, Veronica initially places him into the friend zone, which is seemingly where he belongs. After all, the season starts with Logan and Veronica back together, and since Duncan is out of the picture, nothing should stand in their way, right? Wrong.
Logan would succumb to basically letting his love for Veronica, and his need to get to the root of who he is a human being, get the best of him. When Veronica finds out that while broken up, Logan had slept with her mortal enemy, Madison Sinclair, the relationship was declared over, and fans watched as the two destined lovers reluctantly moved on. After Piz makes his feelings clear and both Wallace and her dad approve, Veronica takes the plunge into a full-fledged relationship; one that apparently lasted 10 years. Of course, that ended once Logan made his way back into her life right around the time of their high school reunion.
5. The murder of Dean O’Dell
Cyrus O’Dell appeared to be a good man, albeit one that didn’t always play by the rules when it came to what was best for everyone. He helped Weevil try to make a better life for himself, and when his stepson needed a bone marrow transplant, he went to great lengths in order to “persuade” Steve Botando, the biological father of Mindy’s son, to give up the bone marrow that would help save his life.
But when Veronica is on the trail of who might have framed her for plagiarism, she discovers the Dean’s wife is having an affair with her criminology professor, Hank Landry. Cyrus is finally informed by Keith and the two share some drinks, where a sad O’Dell confesses that the marriage was doomed from the start. Later that night, O’Dell goes to confront the couple (with a gun) but after nothing happens, he ends up back at his office drunk and passed out. O’Dell is later woken up, only to be shot by a mystery man. While his death is first declared a suicide, Mindy eventually hires Keith to find out the truth. In the end, we learn that poor Dean O’Dell was collateral damage in an attempt by Timothy Foyle to frame Landry for murder.
4. Mayor Goodman – Child Molester
Oh, Woody Goodman. What a weird and wild turn this storyline took. We meet Woody in Season 2 and at first, he appears to be a good guy. As the rich and powerful father of Gia, he seems to genuinely want to make Neptune a better place, and he even enlists Keith’s help in doing so; which was a nice change, being that most of Neptune’s high society had written-off the Mars family.
However, things start to unravel as we delve deeper into who was behind the bus crash and Goodman’s skeletons start emerging from the closet. After the newly elected Mayor receives video of his family at home being watched (creepy), it soon becomes clear that Goodman may not be so good after all. Once he lets Keith take the fall for a scandal involving an unconscious staffer, the gloves are off, which leads to a series of bizarre discoveries. After Veronica finds footage of two boys who died in the bus crash accusing Goodman of molesting them, the mayor skips town. Keith goes after him and eventually gets him to confess. Not to the bus crash. To molesting children.
3. Beaver Is The Killer AND The Rapist
Cassidy “Beaver” Casablancas, the younger (and nicer) brother of Logan’s good friend, Dick, was always thought of as primarily a good guy who just got caught up in sticky situations thanks to his bully brother, his friends, and his shady father. But, as we had to learn the hard way, the exact opposite of what we foresee in this series actually ends up happening, and this case was no different.
While at first we were told that Dick may have encouraged Beaver to rape Veronica at Shelly Pomroy’s party, he’s eventually cleared and ends up becoming pretty friendly with Veronica. This leads to his relationship with Mac, which all comes to a head in the Season 2 finale. Once Veronica puts the pieces together that Beaver was one of the kids who was molested by Goodman, everything unravels. In order to keep it a secret, we discover that Beaver had orchestrated the bus crash to kill Woody’s other victims. He also outed his dad’s dirty deeds, helped bring down Goodman’s good name, blew up the plane he was on, oh, and really did rape Veronica. After he’s exposed and tries to kill Veronica, Logan steps in to help save the day (of course) but it’s too late for Beaver. After the damming evidence is in the open, he plummets to his death from the roof of the Neptune Grand.
2. Veronica Has Chlamydia
You might be asking yourself by now, what else could they possibly do to Veronica Mars that would be worse than what she’s already been through? But somewhere along the way, the showrunners decided that giving her an STD was a good idea, and perhaps a smart way to advance the storyline.
Nearing the end of Season 2, right before the truth about what happened that night is revealed, Veronica is diagnosed with chlamydia. Believing that it was Duncan who she had sex with that night (while they were both drugged), she turns to Logan for answers about his former best friend’s sex life to find out if he’s had any other partners aside from her and Meg. As we would soon discover, it wasn’t actually Duncan who gave it to her. It was Beaver. He had been lying the whole time. He had raped Veronica and passed along the disease, which he had contracted after being molested by Woody Goodman. That was one sick and twisted development that left all Marshmallows stunned.
1. Lamb Dies
Don Lamb could easily be considered the least-liked character on the show. After Veronica’s rape, saying that he merely brushed her off would be an understatement. Although he was the main antagonist to the Mars family throughout, Lamb did have a few shining moments, like when he arrested Jake Kane or when he released Duncan and Veronica from his custody after discovering the Mannings were actually abusive. However, most of time, as Veronica’s rival, he mostly did questionable authoritative things, based on his desire to further his career. Sometimes, they were just outright questionable, like the time he blackmailed someone or when he was caught having an affair with the barely legal Madison Sinclair.
But when the showrunners suddenly killed him off just more than halfway through the third season, we were all blindsided. While investigating a disturbance at Mindy O’Dell’s house, Lamb is attacked by her ex-husband, Steve Botando. Deputy Sacks shoots Botando, but not after Lamb takes a hit to the head, resulting in his death. While fans were not totally disappointed to lose Lamb (seeing as it led to Keith’s interim run as Sheriff) it was certainly a WTF moment that had us all picking our jaws up off the floor.
What was your biggest WTF moment from Veronica Mars? Let us know in the comments!
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