We are on the cusp of one of the unlikeliest and most welcome surprises of this TV era: a second revival of the cultishly beloved Veronica Mars, which was previously resurrected as a Kickstarter-funded movie in 2014. Hulu’s new eight-episode revival series is loaded with references and callbacks that are sure to delight hardcore fans of the series, but if you haven’t thought of Veronica Mars lately at all, you might have a hard time parsing some of the deeper cuts in the new season. And let’s face it: No matter how big a Marshmallow you are, you probably don’t have time to binge three TV seasons, watch one movie, and read two books before the new series drops.
So before you dive into the new Veronica Mars, we’re here to help you remember all the twists that have led up to this point. These are the most important things to remember about Veronica Mars if you want to enjoy the new season to the fullest.
Veronica Mars is a full partner in Mars Investigations
The Veronica Mars movie began with Veronica interviewing for a well-paid job at a prestigious New York law firm. It ended with Veronica rejecting the firm’s offer and staying in Neptune, working as a private detective — in the same office as her father — under the Mars Investigations shingle. Veronica has had her P.I. license since her 18th birthday, but the new season (which takes place about five years after the movie) revisits Veronica as a full-time Mars Investigations detective.
Logan joined the Navy
LoVe shippers are likely to have Logan’s spotless white dress uniform seared into their brains — but everybody else might have forgotten that Neptune’s biggest bad boy decided to break good and join the Navy. It’s been five years since Logan was cleared of the murder laof then-girlfriend Carrie Bishop (and five years since Logan and Veronica got back together).
The canonical Veronica Mars novels The Thousand Dollar Tan Line and Mr. Kiss and Tell — which take place after the movie — describe the difficulty of Logan’s new job as a Naval Intelligence offer, which requires him to leave the country, without any warning, for weeks or months at a time. The secrecy of the job is also a burden on his relationship with Veronica, whose doggedness and curiosity makes it hard to accept that she doesn’t know where Logan is going, or what he does when he gets there.
Keith Mars was a victim of a particularly nasty automobile collision
Though the Veronica Mars movie was largely built around solving the mystery of Carrie Bishop’s murder, a major subplot tackled corruption in the Balboa County Sheriff’s Department. When goodhearted Deputy Sacks met with Keith Mars and revealed that he planned to testify against then-sheriff Dan Lamb (brother to deceased original-series sheriff Don Lamb), a mystery driver slammed into their car and sped away. Sacks died on the spot, and Keith ended up in the hospital.
How bad was it? Bad enough that, five years later, Keith is still feeling the effects of the injury. He walks with a cane, and has been troubled by the general sense that neither his body nor his brain are sharp enough for him to function as a P.I. in a town as crime-riddled as Neptune.
Neptune is still divided along class lines
Early in season one, Veronica described Neptune as a town split between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. It’s a dynamic that has largely defined the series, most clearly illustrated in the split between the “09ers” — rich, generally white people who live in the coveted 90909 area code — and the PCHers, a working-class Latinx biker gang.
Though many years have passed since the events of the original series, class tensions in Neptune remain sky-high. The working-class community loathes the crowd of wealthy young partiers that pour into the town each spring break, but they also rely on the annual influx of money they provide. And the city council is considering a series of “quality-of-life” policies that would disproportionately benefit the town’s wealthier citizens.
Weevil returned to a life of crime
The 10-year high-school reunion in the Veronica Mars movie showed Eli “Weevil” Navarro at his happiest. He made a clean break from his criminal past, and settled into a happy life with a wife and infant daughter.
Unfortunately, Weevil’s happiness turned out to be relatively short-lived. When he saw a broken-down car being terrorized by bikers, he stopped to help, and the driver shot him. (The driver was obnoxious 09er Celeste Kane, natch.) The corrupt sheriff’s department planted a gun on Weevil so Celeste could claim self-defense. Weevil’s final scene in the movie heavily implied that the incident had led him to rejoin the PCHers. And while Weevil was eventually acquitted in Mr. Kiss and Tell, he settled a countersuit against the sheriff’s office without going to trial — thereby enabling the greater pattern of corruption to go unchecked, and poisoning his friendship with Veronica.
Richard Casablancas spent some time in prison
The Kane family will always be Neptune’s premier clan of rich assholes, but the Casablancas family is certainly a close second. You definitely remember Dick Casablancas, the dim-bulb pretty boy who eventually emerged as a fan-favorite character, and you probably remember Cassidy “Beaver” Casablancas, the black sheep who was eventually revealed as the big villain of season two.
What you might not remember is the saga of Richard “Big Dick” Casablancas, the scumbag patriarch of the family. In season two, Richard was introduced as the CEO of a major real-estate empire. Veronica eventually discovered that he was actually a con man and reported him to the SEC. Richard fled from justice, but eventually turned himself in, and was sentenced to a year in prison. With his prison sentence completed between the events of season three and the Veronica Mars movie, Richard has returned to Neptune in an attempt to rehabilitate his image as both a businessman and a civic leader.
Veronica has a history with Leo D’Amato
Veronica spent much of the original series as an outcast — but, as Leo D’Amato could attest, she could also be a heartbreaker. Leo was first introduced in season one as a sheriff’s deputy with an obvious crush on Veronica, and she manipulated him to steal evidence connected to the Lilly Kane murder case. Leo was suspended for the missing evidence, but he and Veronica still briefly ended up dating — until she got together with Logan Echolls and ended things with Leo.
Since then, Veronica and Leo’s paths have repeatedly crossed — usually in conjunction with a case, and always flirtatiously. In the Veronica Mars movie, Leo was working as a detective at the San Diego Police Department, and provided Veronica with a valuable lead. And when they collaborated again in Mr. Kiss and Tell, Veronica privately wondered if Leo might be a better guy for her than Logan.
Everybody has a history with the “Fighting Fitzpatrick” family
Over the years, Keith, Veronica, and Logan have each had run-ins with the Fitzpatricks — a scummy family of criminals with a laundry list of crimes that range from drug-dealing to burglary to attempted murder. Ringleader Cormac Fitzpatrick was killed by his brother Liam early in season three, but members of the family are still skulking around Neptune.
Marcia Langdon is the new police chief of Neptune
Here’s a character you’ll only know if you read Mr. Kiss and Tell: Neptune native and Army veteran Marcia Langdon, who currently runs the Neptune Police Department. (Yes, a police department and not a sheriff’s department — between Mr. Kiss and Tell and the new series, Neptune has incorporated.)
In Mr. Kiss and Tell, Langdon ran for sheriff, unseating Dan Lamb by a razor-thin margin. In their younger years, Marcia and Keith Mars — say it with me — used to be friends. And while she certainly seems to be less corrupt than Lamb, that doesn’t mean Veronica is eager to trust her.
Veronica finally got her “pony”
A running gag in the original series saw Veronica wishing, only half-jokingly, that any unexpected surprise would turn out to be a pony. In Mr. Kiss and Tell, she (sort of) got her wish when she and Logan adopted a puppy and named it “Pony.” Now, in the new series, fans will finally get to see Veronica’s Pony in the furry flesh. (Spoiler alert: He’s a good boy.)