Veronica Mars

Season 2 Episode 1

Normal is the Watchword

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Sep 28, 2005 on UPN
out of 10
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    The Veronica Mars Season 2 Dossier: Episodes 1-4

    Season 2 started strong by wrapping up some unfinished business and then stirring up a whole mess of new business.

  • Episode Summary

    After rejoining the 09ers, Veronica spends the summer trying to become "normal" again, but finds it difficult when Wallace is kicked off the basketball team for testing positive for drugs. Meanwhile, Keith is finding it hard to cope with popularity after releasing his book on the Lilly Kane murder, Logan takes refuge from the paparazzi at Dick and Beaver's, and a field trip to the local sports arena has shocking consequences.moreless

    Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    • This must be one of the worst season openers I've ever seen. If the intention was to lure in new viewers and aslo to hold their loyal fans they failed miserably.moreless

      In fact this episode makes me realize that the only thing that kept me watching last season were the central mysteries: Lilly Kane's murder and Veronica's supposed rape. I found the mystery-of-the-week format already rather worn out as the first season drew to a close. So I heaved a huge sigh of relief when the last two episodes focused more on the things that had drawn us all into the show in the first place. A Trip to the Dentist and Leave it to Beaver had some great acting and writing, clever plot twists and surprising revelations. They qualified as great television.

      Why, oh why weren't the writers capable of holding the viewer's interest this episode? With the two central mysteries of the first season out of the way, it was time for them to introduce some new interesting things that they could fully explore. Something that had impact because it closely related to where Veronica is now, to what she is now. The murder of Lilly and Veronica's rape seemed relevant because they had all affected Veronica's life seriously and made her the person she is now. The bus crash mystery, as it was portrayed in the first episode, simply doesn't look as engaging as it should be.

      There were other annoying factors as well. I was severely dissapointed when the first 75% of the total screen time were dedicated to either the lame drug test "mystery", Wallace's first attempt at charming a girl by playing Sherlock and Veronica's sudden reunion with Duncan. The first two were just tedious to watch while the latter wasn't really convincing in my opinion. It's not that I'm a huge supporter of LoVe (or any other VM couple in particular) but the way they made Veronica diss Logan in a ten-second conversation, then had Keith almost literally shove the poor boy out the door and made Veronica then fall in love all over again with Duncan (just because he ISN'T her half-brother, thank you!)? That just didn't ring true to me. I like the characters of broody and struggling Duncan, tough-yet-mellow Veronica and snarky pubescent Logan, but the way they screwed up the dynamics between them in what must be about fifteen minutes still puzzles me. How could they disrespect both the viewers and the characters like that?

      Not a very great start to the season.moreless
    • Season Twos Arch Begins...Now

      Really good comeback episode for the second season of Veronica Mars. I like the use of the flashback throughout the duration of the episode, I thought it combined a great little mystery for the one puzzle we wanted to know at the end of the last season: Who was Veronica Mars with. It turned out to be Logan at the door, just as I had expected but everything that happened after that was unexpected. So even though it was Logan at the door, it was still Duncan who Veronica ended up with in the end. I liked the dynamic of having to pick a side, I think that might be the overall theme of the show. You cant have it both ways, you always have to choose something one way or the other. Weevil "forgave" Veronica at the end of the episode, right before the bus went off the side of the cliff. This looks to be the big arch for season two, lets see how it stacks up to the Lily Kane murder mystery. The little cases in the episodes are always kind of filler for me, this one wasn't really an exception. A good way to get her friend (whose name escapes...Wallace, nevermind) involved into the show a little bit. Overall, very good opening episode.moreless
    • New season starts... Lily's murder was solved and now what happens???

      In the aftermath of solving Lily's murder, a beatten Logan knocks on Veronica door. He is acused of stabbing one of the bad guys and the lovely and cute deputy d'Amato comes to arrest him at V's house. We learn later that he is cleared but that he kepts messing around with Dick and Beaver and Veronica dumps him. Some weeks later she starts dating Duncan again. Meg holds a grudge on her because she thinks V stole her the bf. They all go in a bus trip to visit some baseball player. In the way back home the bus falls off a hill, fortunately Duncan, Dick and some others have caught a limo to go back and after Meg makes the bus without V at a service station ans she ends up picking a ride with weevil, which ends up saving her life. We have a now a new mistery... what happened with the bus? Was it really an accident??moreless
    • Aftermath of finding Lily Kane's killer, a relationship change and the crash. Starring: Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Teddy Dunn, Jason Dohring, Ryan Hansen, Kyle Gallner, Francis Capra, and Enrico Colantonimoreless

      This episode started out really slow. It took a long time for the episode to fully develop into what a season premiere should be. The storyline with Wallace (Percy Daggs III) getting in trouble with a false drug test was good, but it wasn't fantastic. There could have been a better storyline there, but i guess its okay. Veronica (Kristen Bell) is now dating Duncan (Teddy Dunn) after Logan (Jason Dohring) was accused of murder and started to destroy Neptune. I mean holy crap! This is huge. And poor Felix (guest star Brad Bufanda), i really liked him. And Logan is sleeping with Kendall Casablancas (guest star Charisma Carpenter), the step-mom of Cassidy "Beaver" (Kyle Gallner) and Dick (Ryan Hansen). Interesting. And the final moments of the bus going off the cliff and Meg Manning (guest star Alona Tal) was on the bus. This sucks! But what great tv! Also Starring: Francis Capra and Enrico Colantonimoreless
    • Another season, another perfect episode.

      What can you except from this season of Veronica Mars?

      Well, everything that you had in season 1, only more.

      It's gonna be good.

      Following a finale like "Leave it to Beaver" is a tough act. Not to mention that the episode that led up the finale...

      Those 2 episodes are in my top 5 of all time favourite episodes.

      But guess what. Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell doesn't let me/us down. If anything, the season 2 premiere is even better than the first.

      The concept of the episode is the same as the pilot's. Lots of flashback, lots of twists and an event that sets up the main mystery for the season.

      The episode gives us a summary of what happened during the summer, and oh boy, the summer was full of twists. So we find out Logan was at Veronica's doorstep, which is great - they are amazing together. And then they show us alot of Logan/Veronica scenes... I'm a guy and I've to admit I'm absolutely rooting for them. But then - halfway, Veronica says "And, meet my boyfriend..." And Duncan kisses her.


      They didn't show Logan or Duncan in the present time for half an episode, and it didn't feel weird, but then it all made sense. What a twist. And it's funny how, from the point it's revealed that Duncan is Veronica's boyfriend, we get Logan scenes that makes me feel absolutely neutral about him, yet up to that point I was rooting for him. Good writing I guess.

      He's sleeping with Dick's and Beaver's mom? Come on. Rob Thomas and co simply love toying with his character. One moment he's someone you feel terribly sorry for then the next...

      The episode while sharing alot with the pilot has some really cool differences. In the pilot we see everybody hating Veronica, but here, she rejoined the 09'ers. It's an interesting development to say at least, considering there's an uprising tension between the have and have-nots. Why. One of the cliffhangers of last season was Logan on the bridge. What happened with him and the motorbike gang. It turns out Logan got beaten up, but it was Weevil who went down first - and guess what, one of the members of the gang got stabbed. By Logan? He denies - but it seems like he did. Of course, his lawyers made him win the case no matter what which created alot of tension between the two groups - not to mention Logan and his friends burning down the entire beach taking away the opportunity from the non 09ers to hang out.

      When you might think that this is the main arc for the season, something happens. Something really shocking. Something that literally froze me. This show is not your regular teenager show... that's been established in the pilot. But what they did in the end was IMO the last thing you'd except. A bus, full of students ran down off a cliff and ended up in the ocean. Everyone's dead. Nothing happens accidentally...

      Overall, one of the best season premieres I've seen, and the only reason it doesn't make it to my top-15 is the mini mystery that took about 6 minutes of the episode. Sure, it was good, because Veronica was helping Wallace, and it was somewhat funny, but it just felt like a filler, though it's purpose was to distract us from not seeing Logan and Duncan in present time.

      But again, even that was good - just not as good as the rest of the episode.moreless
    Judy Ho

    Judy Ho

    Jilly Ho

    Guest Star

    Charles Duckworth

    Charles Duckworth

    Kelvin Moore

    Guest Star

    Julie Chen (I)

    Julie Chen (I)


    Guest Star

    Steve Guttenberg

    Steve Guttenberg

    Woody Goodman

    Recurring Role

    Alona Tal

    Alona Tal

    Meg Manning

    Recurring Role

    Brad Bufanda

    Brad Bufanda


    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (6)

      • When Veronica is writing the names of the replacement athletes on the board, she spells Steve's surname "Wacker" however in 1.6 Return of the Kane, where Veronica sees the list of candidates names written down several times, the name on the list is "Steve Whacker".

      • Both Veronica (in her opening monologue) and Wallace (In Act 3) utter the title line, "Normal is the watchword."

      • At the gas station, Weevil starts his bike, puts on his helmet and drives away. Then we assume he loops back around, turns off the bike, takes off the helmet and offers Veronica a ride. We assume this because when they show him next he's standing beside the parked bike and tossing her a helmet. Why would he bother to turn off the bike, let alone get off it if he was just going to get back on, have her hop on and take her back? At least he let her have the only helmet.

      • Neptune School District must have a very lax drug policy. Most school districts would have sent Wallace and the others to an alternative education program for 60 days and ticketed them for public intoxication.

      • In the Pietà like scene where Veronica cradles Logan's head in her lap, she is seated on the left end of a sofa with a lamp on the left and a teddy bear on the right end of the sofa in the shadows. In the next scene we see Leo looking into the room to find Logan laying on the right end of the sofa with the light on the right end as well. Given the nature of this show that's either a goof or a visual clue to a greater mystery.

      • When Veronica was putting all the pictures of the drug test failing students on the board, volleyball was spelled "Vollyball".

    • QUOTES (17)

      • Veronica: Hey, what period do you have office aide this year?
        Wallace: Believe it or not, I didn't sign up for a second year of office aide.
        Veronica: Yeah, that doesn't work for me.
        Wallace: Well you can take that up with Moms. She had these crazy ideas about me having a well-rounded education. But don't underestimate me.
        (he holds up a key) The master key!

      • Veronica: Seniors rule! (pushes Wallace)
        Wallace: Hey! You didn't call me back last night.
        Veronica: Oh don't go getting all girl on me.

      • Veronica: Well, I heard you were kicked off the cheerleading squad.
        Meg: Yeah, but you know me, I'm a major stoner. It was really affecting me too. I was like, (in a dazed voice) 'Let's go! Let's go! L-E-T-S... duh...'

      • Veronica: She's taking anyone from newspaper, yearbook and the broadcast news class who wants to tour Shark Field tomorrow.
        Wallace: Wow. I can't believe you're going.
        Veronica: I like baseball.
        Wallace: Yeah, but you don't like people.
        Veronica: I love people. I'm a people person. I'm just a normal teenage girl going on a normal school field trip.
        Wallace: Right. I know. Normal is the watchword.

      • Veronica: Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in.

      • Logan: (angry and shouting) My mom is dead! My girlfriend is dead! My dad is a murderer! And the only person I still care about is dumping me.

      • (Duncan fills up his plate from the buffet)
        Veronica: I'm afraid you're gonna get love handles if you eat all that.
        Duncan: I have an excellent metabolism.
        Veronica: Well then, it's official: I hate you.

      • Veronica: (Voiceover) Normal. That's the watchword. Sounds good, doesn't it? Senior year begins tomorrow and all appears hunky dory. Best friend? Check. Boyfriend? Check. Lilly's killer behind bars? Check.

      • Keith: So. Senior year. How was your first day of school, honey?
        Veronica: Great. I beat up a freshman, stole his lunch money, and then skipped out after lunch.
        Keith: What, no premarital sex?
        Veronica: Oh. Yeah. Yes. But don't worry, Dad — I swear you're gonna like these guys.
        Keith: That's my girl.

      • Logan: You should feel lucky. I mean, you could be out here with some pretty boy jerk just lookin' to get laid.
        Veronica: Wait. What are you saying, you're not pretty?
        Logan: What I'm trying to say is that I'm in love with you.
        Veronica: The things guys'll say to get past second base.

      • Dick: (pointing to Gia) Who's the lovely young flower blossoming into womanhood?
        Duncan: Let me guess. You want to pluck her?

      • Dick: Ms. Dumbass?
        Ms. Dumass: It's 'Du-mass,' Dick.
        Dick: Yeah, and my name's pronounced 'Ri-shard.'

      • (Veronica and Logan making out)
        Veronica: I should go because my dad is probably watching us through a telescope.
        Logan: (whispering) Then he's probably impressed with your virtue.
        Veronica: And that telescope is mounted on a rifle.
        Logan: (mouthing) Five more minutes.

      • Veronica: I feel dirty.
        Duncan: 'Dirty' -- one 'r' or two?

      • Veronica: This is Neptune. Nothing happens accidentally.

      • Veronica: Wallace is having a little trouble giving me a urine sample.
        Keith: Can't you talk on the phone and paint your nails like other girls?

      • Veronica: Got any enemies you know about?
        Wallace: Well, there's the Klan...
        Veronica: This is not really their M.O.
        Wallace: I guess that leaves everybody that hates you.

    • NOTES (5)

    • ALLUSIONS (10)

      • Veronica: I feel dirty.
        Duncan: Dirty, one R or two R's?

        A reference to Christina Aguilera's lead single 'Dirrty' feat Redman, from her album 2002 Stripped. Along with the single Aguilera also launched a new and raunchier side of her self. US responded to the new Christina by never purchasing the single above number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was however a massive worldwide hit, going top 10 in 17 countries including topping the UK singles chart.

      • Character Name: Butters
        Vice-principal Van Clemmons' son Vincent, is nicknamed Butters. This is an allusion to the South Park character Butters, whom he correctly points out is portrayed as weak and someone who people walk over easily.

      • Keith: Where's my turkey pot pie, woman?
        Keith seems to be channelling the tortured character John Bender and his abusive father from the 1985 cult classic The Breakfast Club, luckily for Veronica he left out the expletives and vicious jokes that surrounded that quote in the original film.

      • Julie Chen: ...coverage of the Lilly Kane murder, the press made you out to be some kind of Barney Fife character.

        Bernard "Barney" Fife was the fictional deputy sheriff in the American TV sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. Calling someone a "Barney Fife" is an attempt to paint them as an incompetent or overzealous police officer or authority figure.

      • Duncan: It's like, you know, what Willy Wonka would be like if he owned a professional baseball team.

        Willy Wonka is the fictitious and bizarre chocolate factory owner in Roald Dahl's children's books, which were made into several movies. His chocolate factory is staffed by Oompa Loompas, refugee dwarfs from Loompaland who are usually hunted by Snozzwangers, Hornswogglers, and wicked Whangdoodles.

      • Veronica: I'm gonna send an email to each partner at the Boatloads of Fun Corp. today, sort of an "I Know What You Did This Summer" kind of thing.
        This is a reference to the 1997 movie I Know What You Did Last Summer in which a group of teens accidentally kill a man while driving, hide the body and are then terrorized by someone who knows what they did.

      • Duncan: You're coming on the field trip? I thought you and the other Jets would be rumbling with the Sharks.
        Logan: Cool it, Action.

        These are references to the two rival gangs in the musical, West Side Story. Action was one of the Jets.

      • Veronica: Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in.
        A reference to Michael Corleone's frustrated statement in The Godfather, Part III.

      • Veronica: Encyclopedia Brown? I hear he's good.
        Encyclopedia Brown is a boy detective and the star of a long-running series of children's books.

      • Weevil: So, did you like your taste? Your little year of living dangerously?

        Weevil is comparing Veronica's actions from the time of Lily's death until Aaron Echolls' arrest to those of the rookie Australian reporter in the 1982 Peter Weir movie The Year of Living Dangerously. It follows a foreign correspondent in Indonesia during their civil war in 1965. It's based on a C. J. Koch novel and starring Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver.