The long break is over, Veronica Mars finally comes back, this time with self-contained episodes. And is the first one a big, witty, intelligent nail-biter? Hardly.
Veronica investigates a hate crime that she solves in about 25 minutes featuring a lot of politcal correctness, true American values and a quite some ethical behaviour. Come on, this has nothing to do with "thought-provoking", but with hammering home cliché morals.
Keith is on the second case of the evening, letting his unmotivated deputies check local bars for minors. When Keith finds that Veronica faked some IDs to get her friends into said bars, there was a lot of potential for some strong scenes between Keith and Veronica, but the one and a half scenes covering that aspect were very weak indeed, a slap on the fingers from Keith, and Veronica is good to go.
Which left the party, which was the only part worth watching in this episode. It covered the last 10 minutes, had nothing to do with the rest of the episode and needed a bit of backstory on the characters to really enjoy - meaning, if the idea was to bring in new viewers with the stand alone approach - this episode failed.