Veronica Mars Reviews: Season 1, Episode 6

Veronica Mars S01 titleEpisode 6: Return of the Kane

This one starts with one of those Hollywood tours of the stars’ homes stopping at the Echolls residence. Apparently Logan’s father (Aaron Echolls, played by Harry Hamlin) is a big movie star. Logan is not quite so enamoured of the public attention and is about to to tell the tourists to fuck off when Aaron shows up and makes nice with the rubes, forcing Logan to do the same. At school, Duncan’s father (Jake Kane) drops off some stuff and urges Duncan to run for school president, but Duncan’s really not into it. Outside, Veronica’s telling Wallace how her dad’s been kinda clingy lately and Wallace reminds her that his dad is dead, so she should probably stop complaining. Across the quad, a student named Wanda Varner has someWanda stomps some pizza food delivered, which pisses off one of the cheerleaders. Apparently, you can only order in if you have “Pirate Points” (named after the school mascot), which are earned by joining clubs or playing sports. (And yes, cheerleading counts as a sport, apparently.) Wanda, being kind of a punkish rebel, isn’t into any activities, so the vice-principal tells her the food she ordered will be confiscated. Wanda gets pissed off and does a two-step on the narc cheerleader’s pizzas, which earns her a quick trip to the principal’s office. Veronica tells Wallace that she and Wanda used to be on pep squad together and Wallace points out that neither of them seems all that peppy these days.

At home, Veronica makes a sundae for dinner and sees a news report about Abel Koontz, the guy on Death Row for killing Lilly Kane. Koontz has just Lilly's shoes shown on TVfired his public defender and Veronica watches as the report shows footage of his arrest, including Lilly’s shoes which were found on Koontz’s boat. Veronica asks her dad why he isn’t doing something to help Koontz, since he doesn’t believe he’s guilty. Keith says nobody in town gives a damn what he believes (which is why he was drummed out of the Sheriff’s office), so there’s not much he can do. Veronica later has a dream about Lilly where she tries to get clues from her dead friend, but Lilly doesn’t tell her anything. It’s obviously Veronica’s own subconscious that has a problem and is trying to work through it.

At school, Wanda announces she’s running for school president and that her first act will be to abolish the Pirate Points crap. All the non-rich students love that idea, but some of the rich kids (including Logan) are horrified. Logan urges Duncan to run for president, to protect the statusMarine cleaning windows quo, but Duncan’s still not interested. Veronica interviews Wanda for the school paper and she goes on a rant about the haves and have-nots, how the rich kids are the minority but they run everything, and how things like Pirate Points are just the people in power rewarding themselves for … being the people in power. Meanwhile, Logan runs into a homeless ex-Marine who’s cleaning windows at a gas station. Naturally, Logan’s too much of a dick to give him any money for cleaning his windshield, but he offers him a gig as an underground fighter. The Marine tells Logan he’d better leave before he gets his ass kicked for free.

Back at school, everyone’s psyched about Wanda running for president until a new candidate video shows up on the announcements at the last minute. Duncan reluctantly running for presidentIt’s a very jingoistic appeal for people to vote for Duncan and it even has a celebrity endorsement from Aaron Echolls. Of course, Duncan knew nothing about it; Logan put the whole thing together without telling him, but it’s too late to back out now. The ballots are being handed out and Duncan’s name is on them, so he just has to lump it. As the ballots are handed out, Ms. Dent writes the candidates’ names on the blackboard and reads out the rules of the election. Duncan urges everyone in his home room not to vote for him, but most of them are his friends (and fellow rich kids), so his pleas fall on deaf ears. Veronica does vote for candidate B, which is Wanda.

At her dad’s office, Veronica goes over the records of Lilly’s death again (by breaking into her dad’s safe again), looking for something that doesn’t fit. She knows any of the Kanes could be suspects, since their alibis match the coroner’s time-of-death for Lilly, which Veronica knows is wrong becausebum fight she found out Lilly got a traffic ticket hours after she was supposedly already dead. Elsewhere, Logan is staging what used to be called a “bum fight”, where homeless guys beat the shit out of each other for the entertainment of bored rich kids. Logan is letting one of his friends videotape it so they can put it online later. At the office, Veronica finds a photo of Lilly’s bedroom taken after she died and sees something that doesn’t belong. She hears her dad coming, so she shoves everything (except the photo) back in the safe and slams the door.

At school the next day, the results of the election are announced and everyone is shocked when Duncan wins … nobody more than Duncan practicing for Gleehimself. Wallace says there’s no way in hell more than 50% of the students voted for Duncan and Veronica smells a story for the paper. She goes to talk to Mrs. Donaldson (played by Jane Lynch) about inspecting the ballots, but Donaldson says no and gets kinda snotty about it; I guess Jane Lynch has a knack for playing snotty teachers. She says in order to inspect the ballots, you need a faculty sponsor, so Veronica goes to Ms. Dent, who’s happy to help. Donaldson tries to talk her out of it, but Ms. Dent insists.

Unfortunately, when they tabulate the votes, the result is the same: Duncan wins by a mile. Veronica notices a ballot where some kid wrote “Wanda Rules” but voted for Duncan anyway. Veronica has an idea and asks Wallacecounting the ballots to find out who he is (the ballots only have student ID numbers, but Wallace works in the office so he has access to the files). She goes to the art room where the Wanda fan voted and finds the candidates’ names are still on the blackboard … in the wrong order. So when the students in that room voted for Wanda, they were actually voting for Duncan. It was the same in other rooms that would’ve skewed heavily toward Wanda; they all got a different set of voting instructions, with the candidates’ names reversed.

When Veronica and Ms. Dent talk to the principal, Donaldson denies knowing anything about it. Veronica suggests they check the copier log to see who’s faculty ID was used for the errant copies and Donaldson admits principal's officeshe let one of her students run the copies off … the snotty cheerleader whose pizzas got stomped by Wanda. The principal has no choice but to declare a run-off between Duncan and Wanda. The devious cheerleader gets tossed out of all the clubs she was in, meaning she loses all her Pirate Points. Later, Veronica checks out the photo of Lilly’s closet she took from her dad’s safe. She sees a pair of Lilly’s running shoes with a heart drawn on one of them … something she recognizes, since she’s the one who drew the heart on Lilly’s shoe back when they were friends.

Meanwhile, Duncan’s father is urging him to put some effort into winning the election. He admits he doesn’t care about the election itself, he just wants to see Duncan passionate about something. At school, someone has painted “Narc” on all Wanda’s campaign posters, as well as her locker andnarc on Wanda's locker the hood of her car. Veronica suggests that particular word will hit home with Wanda’s constituency and offers to help make new posters. In class, Veronica gives Logan shit for wrecking the posters, though he doesn’t admit anything. She also gives Duncan shit, not for anything he’s done, but for standing idly by while other people do shitty things. Someone tells Logan to check out Smoking Gun and he finds the video of him staging the bum fight.

At Veronica’s place, she and Wanda discuss college and dish about guys. (Wanda asks about Weevil and hints that he and Lilly might’ve hooked up; that would explain Weevil’s tears at Lilly’s memorial.) Things aren’t quite Aaron mad at Loganso convivial at the Echolls house, where Aaron is waiting to give Logan shit for his skid row boxing tape. Aaron gets really pissed off, although he only seems to care about how it impacts his career, not about the fact that it’s just generally a shitty thing to do. Logan looks pretty scared of his father, so he meekly agrees when Aaron says they’ll be doing damage control the next day. At school, Veronica is handing out bumper stickers when Weevil tells her something about Wanda. Apparently the narc tag might not be so far off the mark; a friend of Weevil’s got busted for having a bunch of stolen highway signs in his room a week later he hooked up with Wanda.

Veronica is bothered by that, so she tells Wanda they should celebrate (or commiserate) after the election at a rave out in the desert. Wanda asks about provisions (with a capital E) and Veronica says she’ll take care of it and they can leave right after school tomorrow. In class, the run-off election starts and Veronica wonders who to vote for. She remembers when she and Duncan were dating and he stood up for a guy who one of he otherAaron forced to go along with Logan's announcement rich kids was messing with. After school, Aaron takes Logan to a soup kitchen (with plenty of press coverage, of course) where he serves food to the homeless and acts very contrite about the whole “bum fight” thing. Logan gets a small measure of revenge when he announces that Aaron is donating $500,000 to the local food bank. Since the cameras are there, and Aaron is trying to offset the bad publicity, he can hardly contradict Logan, so he has to go along. But Logan pays for his act of rebellion later, as his dad takes a belt to him at home. Meanwhile, Logan’s mom (played by Lisa Rinna, who’s actually married to Harry Hamlin in real life) tries to ignore what’s going on by drinking herself stupid.

At school the next day, Veronica is subjected to a “random” locker search; I guess Wanda really is a narc. Naturally, the deputy and principal don’t find anything, but Veronica points out there are a couple of suckers … in her book bag. The election results are announced and Duncan wins for real this Duncan's egalitarian plantime. Veronica gives Wanda shit for ratting her out and Wanda says she got busted last year for possession and turning narc was the only way to keep it off her record. Veronica says there’s no hard feelings, since she didn’t vote for Wanda anyway. Veronica videotapes the first student council meeting and Duncan’s first act as president is to assure everyone that the Pirate Points system will continue. But he’s going to expand it to include students in band, on the paper, in the school plays, and even in vocational training; everyone will be eligible to earn points and reap the rewards. The haves look stunned, but the have-nots are pretty stoked. Duncan’s father is there too, and he seems proud.

Veronica goes to return the photo to her dad’s safe, but he’s changed the combination, so he obviously knows she’s been snooping. At home, she gets a tape from the news and tries to lie about it, but admits she rifled the safe.Veronica shows her father the evidence Keith says he’s given up on solving Lilly’s murder; he’d thought solving it would solve all their problems too, but now he just wants to forget it spend time with his daughter. She shows him the videotape of Koontz’s arrest, with the new Sheriff holding up an evidence bag containing Lilly’s shoes … the same shoes in the photo of her closet, taken after she died. Keith asks the obvious question: how did Koontz get the shoes if they were still in Lilly’s closet after she was dead?

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