Veronica Mars

Season 1 Episode 3

Meet John Smith

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Oct 12, 2004 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
692 votes

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  • Episode Summary

    Veronica tries to help a classmate track down his long lost father, but with very little to go on, she finds the task more daunting than she thought. Meanwhile, Keith meets with school guidance counselor Rebecca James to discuss Veronica's feelings about Lilly's murder.

    Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    • Veronica helps a student Justin Smith find his father.

      When I first started watching the show, I thought that Duncan Kane was just a pointless side character with zero personality that would appear now and then to tempt Veronica Mars back into a life that she had left behind. However, between the Lily Kane murder and the recent revelation that Duncan's parents put him on anti-depressants that dull him down, he's become a much more intriguing character. Watching his character transform before our eyes is fascinating and makes me have a bit more interest in his character.

      I think this might be the best episode so far (I'm only three episodes in, so it's not that hard to choose). Although there's no Weevil in it, there was more than enough story being told to hold my interest. The case with John Smith begins as a simple ploy for Justin Smith, the scrawny little student, to get closer to Veronica, but it ends up being a real investigation into seeing whether his dad is still alive or not. By the time we get to the end, I'm not sure I buy the revelation, but it offered a nice parallel with Veronica's situation, where her mother is missing but still alive somewhere.

      And I'm not sure what to think about Troy, the boy who seems enamored with Veronica. Half of the time, he offers that joking, charming personality that Veronica's other friend Wallace has with her, and the other half he's this jerk who seems only interested in hooking up. I'm sure he'll grow on me a bit more, but right now, I'm still not sure what to think.

      However, it's obvious that this show isn't your typical UPN/WB/The CW kind of show. The case involving Lily Kane and Veronica's mother is much more compelling than anything else I've seen on TV shows on those channels (barring Supernatural or Buffy… there are exceptions, I just can't think of them at the moment). I've heard the show described as a "high school film noir," and while I wouldn't go as far as that, it's definitely an intriguing detective-type show with cases that start off seeming slight and end up being fun to follow.moreless
    • In this episode Veronica helps a guy named John to find this long lost father.

      This episode was ok it was not bad, but not that great. it did have some exiting parts so that was good. Like when she thinks the guy is lying about his father she right away thinks of the worst on him but later on finds the his real father is still alive she must have felt bad for what she thought of him. she always finds away to help others and her self in the worst times. but she never gives up on finding the truth about her find Lily. Everything she does chose that she will find the truth no matter what.moreless
    • Everything about it works.

      Veronica is hired to track down a kids absent father. But Veronica is surprised when she discovers he is dead yet he still contacts her. So, Met John Smith is a pretty good Veronica Mars where they explore the characters and bit more then in the previous episode, Bell gets to show a more lost Veronica, Colantoni gets some cute moments in his pursuit of the guidance consular. This episode also see's the first real insight into Duncan and his family life. The Kane parents are cold enough at the dinner table with Duncan being just screwy enough for you to feel anyone of them to have taken part in the Lilly murder. The final moments of this episode are very shocking and really not what you suspected at all. It makes for some touching moments. Met John Smith is a thrilling episode with a great twist ending.moreless
    • Veronica Mars. Season 1. Episode 3.

      In this episode Veronica helps a boy (who works at a rental shop) to find his long lost father, who his mother said was dead but actually isn't. This boy's intensions were wrong at first, because he really did think that his dad was dead, so he put Veronica on the case to try and get close to her. His plan backfired because she got a background check on him. Afterwards they find out that his dad is alive. Veronica narrows his dad to three John Smiths. The boy says which one he thinks it is and they go after him. Veronica breaks in his house while he is there and finds out that he's not the father, but his wife is the boy's father. She changed her gender for him. Veronica goes on a first date with Troy and goes really well. He tries to kiss her but she resists it. The following day that talked and in the middle of the coversation Veronica kisses Troy. Duncan(her ex-bf) sees her and jumps off the bleachers to destract them. Veronica takes Duncan to the hospital because he broke his head and when his father comes, she leaves. Duncan talked to the doctor in privacy about him not taking his pills. The doctor says that it may have side effects but Duncan says that he'll risk it. He has a day dream about Lily(his murdered sister)and goes back on the pills. This episode was very adventorous and dramatic.moreless
    • Veronica tries to chase down a boy's "father". Duncan stops taking his meds lol.

      This is my absolute favorite episode of Veronica Mars. The plot was excellent and the actors really gave their all in this episode.The writing was very good. Espically Veronica's on tragedy. I wish i could say i was more suspicous of the lady in the video store but sadly i was not. The one thing i noticed was how fake the background scene was, in the driving Duncan to the hospital scene.The fine line from Noir and Camp was almost balanced in this episode. I would have never guessed who was his real father. This is one of Rob Thomas's finest ours!!!moreless
    Melissa Leo (I)

    Melissa Leo (I)

    Julia Smith

    Guest Star

    Bobby Edner

    Bobby Edner

    Justin Smith

    Guest Star

    Paula Marshall

    Paula Marshall

    Rebecca James

    Guest Star

    Aaron Ashmore

    Aaron Ashmore

    Troy Vandegraff

    Recurring Role

    Lisa Thornhill

    Lisa Thornhill

    Celeste Kane

    Recurring Role

    Amanda Seyfried

    Amanda Seyfried

    Lilly Kane

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (4)

      • In the scene where Veronica and Justin are following the third John Smith to the Adult Arcade, part of a wireless microphone can be seen on the back of actor Bobby Edner as he hurries out of Veronica's car chasing after John Smith at the parking lot.

      • In the video store note the large poster of "Matrix Reloaded". Joel Silver, one of the show's executive producers, is a producer of the film, which was released the previous year.

      • When Justin approaches his father who just pulled into the driveway, the daylight is sunny and bright. They cut to commercial, but when they come back, the lighting has changed. It is dark as if the sun has been setting for a while, but supposedly only moments had passed.

      • The scholarship letter gets sent to a bunch of John Smiths. However, if Justin's dad is now "Julia," she never should have been sent the letter.

    • QUOTES (18)

      • Veronica: (voiceover) Tragedy blows through your life like a tornado, uprooting everything, creating chaos. You wait for the dust to settle, and then you choose. You can live in the wreckage and pretend it's still the mansion you remember. Or you can crawl from the rubble and slowly rebuild. Because after disaster strikes, the important thing is that you move on. But if you're like me, you just keep chasing the storm.

      • Veronica: It's not that big of a deal. Just... the next time you're in the administration's office, could you borrow my permanent file? I want to see what that counselor is telling Dad.
        Wallace: Oh yeah, no big deal, I can get expelled for that.

      • Troy: Death defying stunts. Gushing head wound. You're the man, brother.
        Duncan: And, I almost stuck the landing.

      • Duncan: Guys! Check it out guys. Six guys. Bleachers. Jump in when you're feeling this, okay? (singing) Summer loving had me a blast.

      • (after Veronica's date with Troy)
        Veronica: (voiceover) Brain? Check. Dead sexy? Check. Devilish charm? Check. Formidable Scrabble opponent? Who cares? What's wrong with you, Veronica? What are you waiting for?

      • Troy: I'm kinda tired of this song.
        (bangs the mini-jukebox. Nothing happens.)
        Troy: I would have expected sex had that worked.
        Veronica: Had that worked, you would have gotten it.

      • Keith: So how did she rope you into this?
        Wallace: She promised me all the answer keys to... She's promised to be my friend.
        Keith: I'd have held out for a better offer.

      • Veronica: Let's go out.
        Troy: Finally! The girl comes to her senses.

      • Keith: Someone to see you.
        Veronica: Describe this someone.
        Keith: White male, pint-sized, desperate, and not having a good day.

      • Veronica: Wallace is a friend of mine. Take that, high school guidance counselor! (does Karate chop with hands)

      • Veronica: I'd invite you over, but it's a school night, and my dad owns a handgun. He says he can look into a guy's eyes and tell his true intentions... which I know sounds like a myth, but I...
        Troy: Okay, then.

      • Veronica: The weird thing about going to high school with your ex is they're inescapable. Everywhere you turn, there they are.

      • Keith: No, it's not that. It's just that I never want you to think your mom's the villain in all this.
        Veronica: Isn't she?
        Keith: No, it's not that simple.
        Veronica: Yeah, it is. The hero is the one that stays. And the villain is the one that splits.

      • Troy: Let me see your phone.
        Veronica: What are you doing?
        Troy: It is now Booty Call enabled.
        Veronica: In case I need a little late night action?

      • Logan: Hey, did you hook up with Shelly last night?
        Duncan: Uh, she's a talker. She's a talker, you know? Turns out she has conflicted feelings for her new stepmom and the color scheme the woman's chosen for the family...
        Logan: I hate it when they talk!

      • Veronica: Hey, do me a favor.
        Wallace: Why did all the hair on the back of my neck just stick up?

      • Keith: How was your date?
        Veronica: Oh. You know, lousy conversation, but the sex was fantastic.
        Keith: That's not funny.
        Veronica: I don't know. I'm pretty sure it was.

      • Keith: Have you been playing nice with the other children?
        Veronica: You know Dad, I'm old school, an eye for an eye.
        Keith: That's actually Old Testament.

    • NOTES (3)

    • ALLUSIONS (6)

      • Veronica: You know, Dad, I'm old school. An eye for an eye.
        Keith: I think that's actually Old Testament.

        "An eye for an eye" is referred to several places in the Old Testament of the Bible, amongst others Leviticus 24:20.

      • Duncan: Ooooh, Grasshopper too slow for Kung Fu master. If you can take the flask out of my hand, then you will be new master.

        This refers to the title sequence of the Kung Fu TV series, in which young Shaolin monastery student Kwai Chang Caine (referred to as "Grasshopper" by one of his teachers, Master Po) is challenged by Master Kan to snatch a pebble from his hand. When Caine is able to do this, he will be ready for the outside world, according to Kan.

      • Episode Title: Meet John Smith

        A reference to the Frank Capra film Meet John Doe in which Barbara Stanwyck played a wise-cracking newspaper reporter, just like our heroine. Frank Capra is the great-grandfather of Francis Capra who plays Weevil on the show.

      • Duncan: (singing) Summer loving, had me a blast.

        That is the first line in the song "Summer Nights" from the musical Grease.

      • Veronica: Why? Is it gonna self destruct in five seconds?

        This is in reference to the late-'60s/early-'70s CBS action-drama Mission Impossible, which was later remade into a film series starring Tom Cruise.

      • Duncan: Let it be, Logan.
        Logan: Okay Nowhere Man, you be the fool on the hill.
        Tributes The Beatles by using their song titles 'Let It Be', 'Nowhere Man' and 'Fool on the Hill' driving their conversation.