Veronica Mars—Season 1

veronica mars season 1 dvd cover review episode guide list
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great cast with well crafted who-dun-its

A bit derivative of the style of Buffy and other WB shows

veronica mars season 1 title card episode guide

Mysteries Abound!

Meet Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell).  She’s tough, abrasive, and some might even say she has a bit of an attitude.  Veronica has excuses however.  Her best friend Lilly Kane (Amanda Seyfried) was killed, her father (Enrico Colantoni) accused the father of her boyfriend Duncan Kane (Teddy Dunn) and one of the most influential men in Neptune of the murder, her mother has run off, and all her former friends thinks she’s a slut when she knows she was really raped at a party.  Veronica isn’t about to cower at the accusations.  With the help of her new friend Wallace (Percy Daggs III) and the resident biker Weevil (Francis Capra), Veronica’s out to find Lilly’s real murderer and avenge her family name.

veronica mars season 1 cast episode guide

Remember when we had a teacher we were really close to who left to have a baby and never came back?

Veronica Mars aired from September 22, 2004 to May 10, 2005 on the WB.  The series was released to critical acclaim but often struggled to find an audience.

Veronica Mars was a critical darling of the 2004 season and garnered tons of acclaim for its smartly crafted and big over-arching mysteries.  I loved Veronica Mars and despite that, I can see that it was a direct result of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a style that many shows were trying to emulate at the time.  What made Veronica Mars work was that you needed to be a loyal viewer to get what was happening in the multiple mysteries that perforated the plot and often would go multiple episodes before even getting little clues.

veronica mars season 1 episode 21 a trip to the dentist secret video kristen bell

Everyone has secrets and Veronica’s out to find everyone’s secret

That style of mystery works when you watch a series on DVD, but doesn’t always translate to television when episodes can start and stop with ratings periods.  The cast is pretty perky, but there is enough darkness in Veronica that it doesn’t feel like a hundred percent teeny-boppers plot.  The scripters however did have fun playing with the conventions of teen series by including cases like rigged school elections and missing dogs that felt very Nancy Drew with a darker twist.

If you never saw Veronica Mars, I highly recommend picking it up.  I actually probably enjoy it a bit more than Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it doesn’t try as hard to bank on a format that appeals to teens (most mysteries seem to be solved by people like Andy Griffith and Angela Lansbury while vampires and the occult are everywhere in teen pop-culture).  The first season is the best of the series, but it is worth sticking around for seasons two and three once you’ve started.

Veronica Mars—Season 1 complete episode guide:

veronica mars season 1 episode 1 pilot meets wallace percy daggs iii kristen bell


1.1       Pilot Airdate:  09/22/04

Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) tries to make her way through life in Neptune and makes a friend of Wallace Fennel (Percy Daggs III) but makes herself a target of Eli “Weevil” Navarro (Francis Capra) and the bikers when she cuts him down from their prank.  Veronica remembers her relationship with her ex-boyfriend Duncan Kane (Teddy Dunn) and his friend Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring).  Veronica learns her father Keith (Enrico Colantoni) has been hired by Celeste Kane (Lisa Thornhill) to see if her husband Jake Kane (Kyle Secor) is having an affair.  Veronica remembers how her best friend Lilly Kane (Amanda Seyfried) was killed and her father arrested Jake for the murder.  Veronica recalls being rufied and rape at a party after the accusation and questions who is responsible since Sheriff Don Lamb (Michael Muhney) refused to help.  As Veronica tries to get Wallace free of Weevil’s gang, she also tracks down Kane and his mistress, but will she like what she finds?  Plus, why is her father continuing to investigate the Lilly Kane case?

veronica mars season 1 episode 2 credit where credits due weevil francis capra kristen bell

“Credit Where Credit’s Due”

1.2       Credit Where Credit’s Due Airdate:  09/28/04

When Weevil’s grandmother is arrested for credit card fraud for using the Echolls’ information, Veronica sets out to prove that Weevil isn’t behind the crime.  Veronica meets a new student named Troy Vandegraff (Aaron Ashmore) and starts working at the newspaper which forces her to work with Duncan again.  Veronica finds evidence that Lilly might not have been murdered when police believed.

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“Meet John Smith”

1.3       Meet John Smith Airdate:  10/12/04

Veronica decides to take up Troy in his offer for a date, but finds it difficult to get close.  Duncan decides to stop taking his depression medication but begins to suffer hallucinations as a result.  Veronica is contacted by a student named Justin Smith (Bobby Edner) at the video store to find his father in an attempt to get close to her but finds out the father he thought was dead is alive.  Veronica sets out to find John Smith against the order of Justin’s mother and realizes she must track down her own mother.

veronica mars season 1 episode 4 the wrath of con gamers club kristen bell

“The Wrath of Con”

1.4       The Wrath of Con Airdate:  10/19/04

Veronica starts seeing Troy and is reminded of going to the dance with Lilly, Duncan, and Logan.  Veronica finds Logan trying to set up a memorial to Lilly and reconnects with him over their friendship.  Wallace gets Veronica to help a friend find a man who conned her out of money and tracks the source to a gaming club.  When Veronica learns that a couple of gamers are trying swindling people, Veronica sets out for revenge.

veronica mars season 1 episode 5 you think you know someone aaron ashmore jason dohring sam huntington

“You Think You Know Somebody”

1.5       You Think You Know Somebody Airdate:  10/26/04

Troy, Logan, and a friend named Luke (Sam Huntington) find Troy’s parents’ car stolen after a weekend in Tijuana, and Veronica is called in to help him find it before his parents find out.  Veronica learns that her father is seeing her guidance counselor Rebecca (Paula Marshall).  Veronica finds someone was targeting her and that her mother might have left because of it.  When Veronica learns that Luke lost a shipment of steroids in the car, the search becomes more desperate and Troy might not be who she thought he was.

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“Return of the Kane”

1.6       Return of the Kane Airdate:  11/02/04

Logan deals with the return of his movie star father Aaron (Harry Hamlin), and Duncan finds himself pressured to run for student council when a girl named Wanda Varner (Rachel Roth) plans to abolish the a points system that benefits his friends.  When Logan gets his father to endorse Duncan, Duncan finds himself part of the election.  Veronica decides she needs to solve Lilly’s murder and starts going over the evidence.  With a questionable election, Veronica challenges the results and gets Mallory Dent (Sydney Tamilia Poitier) to go against Mrs. Donaldson (Jane Lynch) for a recount.  Logan’s plans for a bum-fight backfires when it goes viral.

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“The Girl Next Door”

1.7       The Girl Next Door Airdate:  11/09/04

Veronica gets involved in a domestic dispute between her next door neighbor Sarah (Jessica Chastain) and her boyfriend Andre (Adam Kaufman).  Duncan and Weevil are forced to serve detention together, and Weevil gets suspended when a stunt against the teacher goes over the top.  Veronica is assigned to prepare for the class of 1979’s reunion and finds more about her mother and Duncan’s father.

veronica mars season 1 episode 8 like a virgin alona tal kristen bell

“Like a Virgin”

1.8       Like a Virgin Airdate:  11/23/04

Veronica tries to get Cliff McCormack (Daran Norris) to get her in to see Abel Koontz (Christian Clemenson) on death row to ask him about Lilly’s death.  A purity test goes around school and when the results are released, Veronica’s friend Meg (Alona Tal) finds her score was altered to make her look like she slept around.  Veronica agrees to help Meg to prove her innocents and meets Cindy “Mac” Mackenzie (Tina Majorino) to help her find the culprit.  When Veronica gets close, she becomes a target herself.  Wallace’s mother (Alicia Fennel) distrusts Veronica but a problem renter changes her mother’s perspective.

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“Drinking the Kool-Aid”

1.9       Drinking the Kool-Aid Airdate:  11/30/04

Veronica deals with the fact that Jake Kane might be her father and tracks the man who took surveillance pictures of her to Kane Software.  Keith is hired to bring back one of Veronica’s classmates from a cult and Veronica breaks her father’s orders to investigate.  When Veronica finds herself siding with the group, she puts herself at odds with her father.

veronica mars season 1 episode 10 an echolls family christmas aaron echolls stabbed harry hamlin

“An Echolls Family Christmas”

1.10     An Echolls Family Christmas Airdate:  12/14/04

A holiday card game has Weevil at odds with Logan, Duncan, Sean Friedrich (Kevin Sheridan), and Conner Larkin (Travis Schuldt) when the $5,000 pot is missing.  Veronica decides to investigate when she learns Duncan’s computer has his private journal on it.  Keith finds himself hired by Lynn Echolls (Lisa Rinna) when Lynn worries a stalker is after her husband.

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“Silence of the Lamb”

1.11     Silence of the Lamb Airdate:  01/04/05

The death of a co-ed reopens a case that Keith originally tried to solve as sheriff and forces him to work with the department.  Veronica is hired to find dirt on a classmate’s parents and finds that it has started a trend among her classmates.  When Mac comes to Veronica with the possibility of a website, she asks Veronica to search her parents with surprising results.  Veronica gets access to the police evidence room and finds more information on Lilly’s death.

veronica mars season 1 episode 12 clash of the tritons blondie one way or another kristen bell karaoke

“Clash of the Tritons”

1.12     Clash of the Tritons Airdate:  01/11/05

Veronica plants a bug in the guidance counselor’s office to spy on her sessions investigating Lilly’s death.  When fake IDs begin to pop up in Neptune High, Veronica is framed for making them.  Logan tries to deal with the stabbing of his father and accusations of his affair.  Veronica learns Lilly and Weevil were seeing each other before she returned to Logan.  Logan admits that he blames Veronica for Lilly’s death since she caused them to break up and Veronica learns Duncan is on medication which has caused him to forget the days surrounding Lilly’s death.  Veronica discovers that she’s become a target of a secret society called the Tritons.

veronica mars season 1 episode 13 lord of the bling bones hamilton anthony anderson

“Lord of the Bling”

1.13     Lord of the Bling Airdate:  02/08/05

Logan copes with his mother’s suicide and finds himself in conflict with his father.  Percy “Bone” Hamilton (Anthony Anderson) hires Keith to find his daughter (and Veronica’s classmate) Yolanda (Jowharah Jones) when she disappears.  Veronica remembers spending time with Yolanda and Lilly as she teams with her father to find her.

veronica mars season 1 episode 14 mars vs mars mr rooks adam scott

“Mars vs. Mars”

1.14     Mars vs. Mars Airdate:  02/15/05

Logan tells Veronica that he doesn’t think his mother committed suicide and asks Veronica to look into it.  Carrie Bishop (Leighton Meester) accused Veronica’s teacher Mr. Rooks (Adam Scott) of having an affair with her.  When Keith takes Carrie Bishop’s case, it puts him and Veronica at odds.  Veronica tries to prove Mr. Rooks innocent while investigating what Duncan’s illness is.  Veronica also discovers information that might explain Abel’s involvement with the case.

veronica mars season 1 episode 15 ruskie business 80s dance meg alona tal kristen bell

“Ruskie Business”

1.15     Ruskie Business Airdate:  02/22/05

Veronica gets more information no Logan’s mother and agrees to track down a car rental.  Meg tells Veronica that she has a secret admirer and that she wants him tracked down before Valentine’s Day.  Veronica is hired to find an actor named John Cruz for a Russian mail-order bride.  Logan tracks the stolen credit card down and learns his mother might be staying at a hotel.  Keith investigates insurance fraud and finds himself being followed.

veronica mars season 1 episode 16 betty and veronica mother corinne bohrer kristen bell

“Betty and Veronica”

1.16     Betty and Veronica Airdate:  03/29/05

Veronica learns her home was bugged and that the men responsible know where her mother is located.  Veronica deals with Principal Van Clemmons (Duane Daniels) when the school’s mascot is stolen and Veronica is hired to find it.  Veronica tries to date Leo D’Amato but finds herself jealous of Duncan and Meg.  Veronica remembers seeing her mother and confronting her about the day of Lilly’s murder.  Veronica goes undercover at Pan High as the rivalry continues to get more intense.

veronica mars season 1 episode 17 kanes and abels zachery ty bryan kristen bell

“Kanes and Abel’s”

1.17     Kanes and Abel’s Airdate:  04/05/05

Veronica sets out to find Abel’s daughter Amelia DeLongpre (Erin Chambers) before Kane’s employee Clarence Wiedman (Christopher B. Duncan) and tells Amelia that her father took the blame for Lilly’s death for her.  Veronica tries to deal with midterms and is forced to try to try to find someone harassing her classmate (Megan Henning) and she suspects her boyfriend Caz Truman (Zachery Ty Bryan).  Keith learns of Veronica’s involvement in trying to find Lilly’s killer.

veronica mars season 1 episode 18 weapons of class destruction kisses logan kristen bell jason dohring

“Weapons of Class Destruction”

1.18     Weapons of Class Destruction Airdate:  04/12/05

Veronica’s new journalism teacher Geena Stafford (Joey Lauren Adams) encourages the students to find new story ideas.  When Veronica investigates an unusual number of fire drills, she discovers the school is receiving bomb threats.  Veronica and Wallace get the bad news that their parents are dating.  Veronica tracks the threats to Norris Clayton (Theo Rossi) and a new student named Ben (Jonathan Taylor Thomas).  When Ben is exposed to be more than he says he is, Logan and Veronica find themselves having an unexpected encounter.

veronica mars season 1 episode 19 claire titelman kristen bell

“Hot Dogs”

1.19     Hot Dogs Airdate:  04/19/05

Veronica is hired by a classmate named Mandy (Claire Titelman) when her dog disappears from the house she is sitting.  Logan learns his mother has given him all her money and cut his father and sister out of the will.  Veronica learns that Mandy’s dog’s disappearance might not be an isolated incident in Neptune.  Trina Echolls is beaten by her boyfriend, and Logan sets out with Veronica to avenge her.  When Weevil is arrested in the Kane’s home, Veronica is forced to work with Celeste Kane to find the missing Duncan.

veronica mars season 1 episode 20 mad weevil francis capra kristen bell


1.20    M.A.D. Airdate:  04/26/05

Logan and Veronica secretly date after her break-up with Leo and is hired by her friend Carmen (Natalie Baron) whose boyfriend has a sex video of her.  Tad Wilson (Jeff D’Agostino) uses the tape to blackmail Carmen, Veronica works to help her get free.  Veronica and Keith search for Duncan for a reward and find Duncan learned how to hide himself from Veronica.  Veronica worries that her father’s relationship with Wallace’s mother is getting more serious.  Veronica finds clues to her rape in Carmen’s video.

veronica mars season 1 episode 21 a trip to the dentist duncan kane lisa thornhill teddy dunn kristen bell

“A Trip to the Dentist”

1.21    A Trip to the Dentist Airdate:  05/03/05

Keith finds Duncan in South America, but Veronica’s deal with Celeste threatens the reward.  Veronica deals with the fact that Tad told her that Logan supplied the GHB at the party.  As Veronica sets out to find who drug her, she learns more about the night she lost.  Veronica’s war with Wiedman causes problems between Wallace’s mother and Keith.  Veronica learns that Dick Casablancas (Ryan Hansen) and his brother Beaver (Kyle Gallner) might know the truth about who raped her.  Logan and Veronica’s relationship might be exposed.

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“Leave It to Beaver”

1.22    Leave It to Beaver Airdate:  05/10/05

Keith finds proof of Abel’s innocence and goes to the press with it.  Veronica adjusts to her mother’s return from rehab, and Keith is forced to break off his relationship with Wallace’s mother.  Duncan is told by his parents what he did on the day of Lilly’s death when Abel is proven innocent.  Veronica avoids Logan after discovering camera equipment in the pool house and learns from Beaver that Logan was missing on the day Lilly died.  Keith gets the results from the DNA testing and learns the truth of Veronica’s parenthood.  Accusing Logan of murder, Veronica sets out to find out once and for all who killed Lilly.

Related Links:

Veronica Mars—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Veronica Mars (2014)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

2 Comments on "Veronica Mars—Season 1"

  1. Dr. Kronner May 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    Veronica Mars is my #1 fictional character crush of all time, and the first season was easily the best.

    Too bad we never got that 4th season in the FBI…

    • JPRoscoe May 3, 2012 at 12:16 am - Reply

      Yes, she was a great character…The FBI thing had some promise, and I have heard Kristen Bell indicate that she’d be interested in a movie or to do something more with the character in the future.

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