64. “Lord of the Pi’s” (Season 3, Episode 8)
Just so we’re clear: There are no real bad episodes of Veronica Mars. The always amazing cast and writing made it one of the best TV shows of all time. That said, Season 3 was clearly not as good as the other two.
What was this episode about? Can’t remember.
63. “I Am God” (Season 2, Episode 18)
As Season 2 neared its end, the bus crash mystery needed to be wrapped up. So this episode gave out some clues via Veronica’s bleak nightmares, which look like Bonnie Tyler videos and bad erotic movies from the ’80s. Definitely not the best episode.
62. “Drinking the Kool-Aid” (Season 1, Episode 9)
Veronica goes undercover in a cult…which actually turns out to be a group of really nice hippies! Well, that was disappointing.
61. “Credit Where Credit Is Due” (Season 1, Episode 2)
After an extremely packed pilot episode, this one slows the action down a bit. But its only true problem is that Paris Hilton is in it.
60. “You Think You Know Somebody” (Season 1, Episode 5)
Veronica and Troy’s (short-lived) relationship was pretty nice… And within a few minutes, we find out this guy is actually a drug-addicted mythomaniac with a whole different life waiting for him somewhere else.
Sure, this serves to illustrate Veronica Mars’s key principle: Trust no one. But still, the first real twist of the series was pretty brutal.
59. “Lord of the Bling” (Season 1, Episode 13)
Veronica investigates the disappearance of a music producer’s daughter. This is a rather useless distraction, when all we really care about is Lilly’s murder — or Logan’s glorious abs.
58. “President Evil” (Season 3, Episode 5)
You have to give credit to this show for always coming up with the best episode titles. But robbers with masks? Not the most original plot. Come on, Veronica, you can do better than that.
57. “The Girl Next Door” (Season 1, Episode 7)
Future Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain plays — did you guess already? — the girl next door. It’s all pretty boring except for that cute dog she keeps carrying around.
56. “Blast from the Past” (Season 2, Episode 5)
Season 2, despite all its awesomeness, had some downs; it kept focusing on boring subplots we’d rather forget about. Take this episode: On one hand, Veronica is hoaxed by a fake fortune teller. On the other, Wallace meets his estranged father — such a common plot in TV shows.
As if this weren’t bad enough, the dad in question is Cress Williams, who was already playing a bad father on Friday Night Lights. Sorry, Cress, but you made Michael B. Jordan cry. We can never forgive you.
55. “Charlie Don’t Surf” (Season 3, Episode 4)
The illegitimate or long-lost family member suddenly reappearing has got to be television’s most boring cliché. Here, it’s a fake brother, played by Matt Czuchry (The Good Wife). And yeah, it’s boring. Thank Rob Thomas for Dick Casablancas and his glorious, highly entertaining stupidity.
54. “The Bitch Is Back” (Season 3, Episode 20)
If “The Bitch Is Back” had been any other VM episode, it would have been fine. But as the show’s finale, it’s extremely disappointing. The plot, about some kind of secret fellowship headed by Jake Kane (ugh), is anything but interesting. Sure, Logan beats up some dude who’s bad mouthing Veronica, but other than that, it’s pretty dull, especially in comparison with the other two finales.
53. “Never Mind the Buttocks” (Season 2, Episode 19)
You know what’s especially underwhelming? Plots about run-over dogs. Nothing really exciting happens in this episode, until the last minutes, when Veronica rescues her father from a fight with Liam Fitzpatrick.
52. “The Quick and the Wed” (Season 2, Episode 15)
Kendall Casablancas, Aaron Echolls, Terrence Cook… This episode could have been called “reunion of all the series’ least interesting/sympathetic characters.”
51. “Plan B” (Season 2, Episode 17)
Can you guess how much I care about the rivalry between Weevil’s gang and the Fitzpatricks? Zero much.
50. “Meet John Smith” (Season 1, Episode 3)
This episode revolves way too much around Duncan — Lilly’s brother, Veronica’s ex boyfriend, and the series’ most boring character. The green-lit hallucinations of his dead sister are particularly depressing.
49. Show Me the Monkey (Season 3, Episode 10)
A pretty dull episode about a missing monkey. Fortunately, it’s a really cute monkey. Less Duncan, more cute animals please.
48. “My Mother, the Fiend” (Season 2, Episode 9)
Meg, Veronica’s mother, and Neptune High’s cleaning lady are the main attraction in this episode. Bored now.
47. “Wichita Linebacker” (Season 3, Episode 3)
Armie Hammer asks Veronica for help. Also, Weevil gets hired as Keith’s secretary, and he’s adorable.
46. “Kanes and Abel’s” (Season 1, Episode 17)
This episode focuses on Clarence Wiedman, some kind of broody bodyguard introduced to us as Veronica’s prime enemy. Clarence Wiedman is the least interesting character on this show. You never really know why he’s around, except maybe for looking mysterious and threatening.
The only silver lining of this episode? It’s Vinnie Van Lowe’s (Ken Marino) first appearance on the show.
45. “Rat Saw God” (Season 2, Episode 6)
Another Clarence Wiedman episode. This guy is so boring. Fortunately, we get to see some prime banter between Logan and Cliff, two of the show’s funniest characters.
44. “Rashard and Wallace Go to White Castle” (Season 2, Episode 12)
Veronica and Jackie join forces to exonerate Wallace, after he’s accused of having run over some guy in Chicago. The confused teenager who accidentally runs over a guy with his car: another overused TV cliché. Next.
43. “My Big Fat Greek Rush Week” (Season 3, Episode 2)
Like many other Season 3 episodes, “My Big Fat Greek Rush Week” is pretty uneventful. If you’re into sociology though, you’ll probably enjoy Wallace and Logan’s guard–prisoner experiment. Also, Logan running around naked.
42. “Poughkeepsie, Tramps, and Thieves” (Season 3, Episode 11)
Season 3’s big problem is that, unlike the two others, it doesn’t have just one, but three main arcs: the series of rapes on campus, Cyrus O’Dell’s murder, and a messy last one. This means more attention is given to the “mysteries of the week,” which aren’t always the most exciting parts of the series.
In this episode, for instance, Veronica helps a college nerd find the girl he met at Comic Con. It’s fine, but nothing particularly interesting happens, except for the final cliff-hanger. SPOILER ALERT: Madison tells Veronica she slept with Logan. That slimy little viper.
41. “Betty and Veronica” (Season 1, Episode 16)
The mascot episode tackles the issue of identity: Who would have become of Veronica if she’d gone to another high school ? However, the plot serves mostly to strengthen the bond between her and Wallace. By the end of the episode, we find out she’s the one who’d been slipping cookies in his locker all this time.
40. “Versatile Toppings” (Season 2, Episode 14)
Exploring once again the themes of lying and identity, Veronica Mars focuses this time on Neptune High’s LGBT population. It’s pretty fun.
39. “Driver Ed” (Season 2, Episode 2)
After the bus crash, Veronica gets Season 2’s big investigation started. This episode’s most memorable moments are Kevin Smith’s cameo and an exciting cliff-hanger: A dead guy with “Veronica Mars” written on his hand is found on the beach.
Oh, yeah, Veronica also sleeps with someone for the first time since her rape. But that someone is Duncan so…BORING.
38. “There’s Got to Be a Morning-After Pill” (Season 3, Episode 12)
This one tackles the rather sensitive issue of abortion. But in the end, “There’s Got to Be a Morning-After Pill” will always be remembered as the episode featuring Logan and Veronica’s final break up. :(
37. “The Wrath of Con” (Season 1, Episode 4)
The school inaugurates Lilly Kane’s memorial, and WEEVIL CRIES. <3
36. “I Know What You’ll Do Next Summer” (Season 3, Episode 18)
Veronica gets her PI license AND a summer internship at the FBI. You go girl! Also, Lafayette plays a refugee from Uganda.
35. “Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang” (Season 2, Episode 3)
Veronica finds out Logan is sleeping with Kendall Casablancas, Dick’s stepmother. The Season 2 murder mystery is just getting started, but the dialogue’s already KILLING IT.
34. “Hi, Infidelity” (Season 3, Episode 6)
Veronica’s relationship with her criminology teacher is probably Season 3’s most interesting plot line. In this episode, she’s accused of plagiarism and has to prove her innocence to regain Landry’s trust. Of course, she succeeds.
33. “Green-Eyed Monster” (Season 2, Episode 4)
This is one of the rare occasions in which the mystery of the week is more riveting than the main characters’ arcs (ugh, please get rid of Meg and Duncan). Veronica helps a woman who thinks her fiancé is cheating. Once again, the end of the episode proves that appearances are often misleading.
32. “Ahoy Mateys” (Season 2, Episode 8)
This episode features one of the (already pretty violent) series’ most shocking moments: Veronica held down by Liam Fitzpatrick as he’s preparing to tattoo her face. Can you guess who rescues her at the last minute?
31. “Weevil’s Wobble” (Season 3, Episode 19)
Vinnie Van Lowe is in attendance. Logan is jealous. Logan beats Piz to a pulp. Watching other people suffer has never been so entertaining.
30. “Return of the Kane” (Season 1, Episode 6)
This episode introduces the show’s most diabolical character, Aaron Echoll.
When we find out Logan’s father often beats him up, we also realize he might actually be a much more complex character than we thought.
29. “Like a Virgin” (Season 1, Episode 8)
Mac! This is Veronica’s blue-haired, geeky ally’s first episode, and she’s pretty awesome in it.
28. “Hot Dogs” (Seaon 1, Episode 19)
This one is mostly about lost dogs. It’s not exactly the show’s most action-packed episode, but it’s always nice to see Veronica shut up some dumb, sexist jerks.
27. “The Rapes of Graff” (Season 2, Episode 16)
We’re getting into the mostly awesome part of this ranking. This episode foreshadows Season 3’s main arc, as Veronica tries to figure out who’s been raping several girls at Hearst University.
The banter is excellent, our main character shoots down every sexist on campus, and Michael Cera has a cameo. Even better: The other part of the episode revolves around Cliff’s sexual misfortunes. Yeah, it’s awesome.
26. “Ain’t No Magic Mountain High Enough” (Season 2, Episode 13)
Many relationships take an interesting turn in this episode: Mac and Beaver go on a date, Veronica and Weevil’s fragile friendship gets tested, and Logan meets a new sassy blonde. But the real star of this episode is Jackie, who turns out to be way more badass and interesting than we thought.
25. “Welcome Wagon” (Season 3, Episode 1)
Veronica goes to college! This means we get a chance to meet new characters — Piz, Parker, and Dean O’Dell — and learn about this season’s first big mystery: Who’s the serial rapist going around campus and shaving his victims’ heads?
24. “Debasement Tapes” (Season 3, Episode 17)
Rob Thomas’ show offered us a lot of really cool cameos. But this episode probably has the coolest: Paul Rudd as a disillusioned rock star.
23. “Normal Is the Watchword” (Season 2, Episode 1)
With a considerable amount of flashbacks, this episode helps us catch up on what’s been happening since the first season’s explosive finale. It also sets in place the new big mystery: Who is responsible for the bus crash that killed several high school students? Take a close look at this episode; all the answers are right there.
22. “Of Vice and Men” (Season 3, Episode 7)
Betrayal, rape, patriarchy: Here is Veronica Mars’s leitmotif. In “Of Vice and Men,” Veronica seems more vulnerable than ever, questioning her trust in all the men surrounding her, including her father, Keith. It’s pretty heartbreaking.
As for the final scene, it’s simply one of the show’s most chilling. Guess what? It’s about rape.
21. “An Echolls Family Christmas” (Season 1, Episode 10)
Two worlds usually opposed on the show are brought together around a poker table; the rich ones, or the “09ers,” and the poor ones, represented by Weevil. Their confrontation is hilarious.
As a bonus, sleaziest man of the year Aaron Echolls gets stabbed at the end of the episode… Win!
20. “Silence of the Lamb” (Season 1, Episode 11)
Another episode focused on the gap between Neptune’s elite and the rest of the population. We find out that Mac was switched at birth with Madison Sinclair, who’s pretty much the embodiment of Satan.
Guest star watch: Not only is this Max Greenfield’s first episode, but we also get to see Aaron Paul play a thug.
19. “Spit & Eggs” (Season 3, Episode 9)
Wow, this is an action-packed episode: a new rape threat, another breakup between Veronica and Logan, a violent confrontation, and Dean O’Dell’s death. RIP, Cyrus. You’re probably the most regretted educator since Principal Flutie.
18. “Clash of the Tritons” (Season 1, Episode 12)
Do you want to know why Veronica Mars is the coolest? Because she threatens her enemies via karaoke.
17. “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner” (Season 2, Episode 7)
Let’s be clear: Sheriff Lamb, however pretty he might be, is an asshole.
But “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner” is probably one of the only episodes where we get to see him do the right thing, and even show some empathy. We also learn that he had a pretty rough childhood. Yet another proof that on this show, nothing is ever black or white.
16. “One Angry Veronica” (Season 2, Episode 10)
Jury duty! It’s a classic plot device, but “One Angry Veronica” might be its smartest use yet: For the first time, we can see how Veronica’s detective skills could someday turn into a real career.
The episode’s ending is especially moving, between Meg’s death, Logan’s tears, and the ultimate TV sad song: “Edge of the Ocean.”
15. “Papa’s Cabin” (Season 3, Episode 15)
Veronica solves Season 3’s second big mystery: Who killed Cyrus O’Dell? Once again, it’s just great to watch her work some detective magic.
14. “Donut Run” (Season 2, Episode 11)
So many great things happen in this one: Veronica and Duncan break up, Duncan vanishes off the face of the earth. FINALLY, all is well with the world. We also find out that Veronica listens to the Virgin Suicides soundtrack when she’s sad. We do too, Veronica. We do too.
13. “Mars, Bars” (Season 3, Episode 14)
SPOILER ALERT: This is Don Lamb’s final episode. Despite his horrible introduction back in the pilot, the awful sheriff kind of grew on us. And when we finally hear that he’s dead, it’s hard not to feel genuinely sad.
On the bright side, this means Keith gets to be the sheriff again: Wooohooo!
12. “Mars vs. Mars” (Season 1, Episode 14)
Adam Scott and Blair Waldorf are in attendance!
This episode is also a perfect example of why Veronica Mars is so great. The dialogue is truly amazing, exploring dark themes like betrayal and lies — with a hint of statutory rape. And LoVe (Logan and Veronica) is in the air.
11. “Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1)
VM’s pilot starts pretty strong: murder, rape, disappearances. And a lot of sexism, which will turn out to be the show’s most recurring theme.
It also gives us a chance to realize that despite the appearances, Veronica Mars — a show about a teenager in California — actually draws a lot of its inspiration from film noir. Much more so than, say, The OC or The Hills.
10. “Un-American Graffiti” (Season 3, Episode 16)
It requires a lot of talent to make horny fans welcome the idea of a Riley or an Aidan, whose sole purpose is to disrupt the passionate and destructive relationship between the show’s main character and her soulmate. Veronica Mars proved us that it had that talent.
This episode’s main plot isn’t exactly riveting (a restaurant owned by a Muslim family is vandalized), but the last few minutes — where we get to see the beginning of a love triangle between Veronica, Logan, and Piz — are AMAZING. I dare you not to squeal with pleasure.
9. “Postgame Mortem” (Season 3, Episode 13)
Aw. After his 9864320th (and final) breakup with Veronica, Logan is in shambles (but, boy can he pull off a sexy stubble). When Dick asks him to look after his girlfriend’s little sister, they both bond over a weekend. Oh, Logan, we love you so, so much. Hang in there.
8. “Look Who’s Stalking” (Season 2, Episode 20)
“I thought our story was epic.” MY HEART, IT CRIES.
7. “Happy Go Lucky” (Season 2, Episode 21)
Last days of high school! We’re only one episode away from the Season 2 finale, and things are getting a little tense. Veronica’s working on her final exams, Aaron Echolls’ trial is getting close to an end, and Veronica and Keith find out the truth about Woody Goodman, aka “Goodwood” (he’s a monster). Just like every great VM episode, this one is packed with both humor and horror.
6. “Ruskie Business” (Season 1, Episode 15)
SO. MANY. FEELINGS. Logan is grieving his mom. Veronica helps Meg and Duncan get together while “Time After Time” is playing. She cries in her car, kisses Leo, then finds her mother drinking in some crappy bar. THERE ARE TEARS EVERYWHERE.
5. “M.A.D.” (Season 1, Episode 20)
Yes! The bathroom scene — Relax, it’s not as dirty as you think. LoVe is at the heart of this episode. So we can only cherish it.
4. “Weapons of Class Destruction” (Season 1, Episode 18)
Many things happen in this episode, including a bomb threat and the burgeoning romance between Keith Mars and Wallace’s mom. But the only one that matters is Veronica and Logan’s first kiss, marking the beginning of their epic relationship.
3. “A Trip to the Dentist” (Season 1, Episode 21)
Some (ignorant) people might think that Veronica Mars, just like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is nothing but a teen drama. But both these shows have always managed a perfect balance between high school drama (gossip, futile betrayals, and short-lived romances) and extremely powerful and dark themes (sexism, rape, harassment, addiction, and domestic violence)
“A Trip to the Dentist” illustrates this perfectly: Veronica struggles to trust Logan (a recurring issue that will eventually tear them apart), all the while trying to figure out who drugged and raped her a year ago. This is the show at its best.
2. “Leave It to Beaver” (Season 1, Episode 22)
With only three seasons, Veronica Mars has created some of the best finales of all time. Seriously. Season 1’s final episode, in which the mystery of Lilly’s murder is finally solved, and Veronica and Keith struggle for their survival, is one of the most intense, thrilling, and emotional episodes of the show. In fact, only one was better…
1. “Not Pictured” (Season 2, Episode 22)
Season 1’s explosive finale was pretty hard to top. And yet. In Season 2’s finale, injustice is as strong as it gets: Aaron Echolls is a free man, Weevil gets arrested in the middle of graduation… We also find out not only who’s responsible for the bus crash, but also who drugged and raped Veronica back in Season 1. Also, Keith Mars is in danger, and Veronica and Logan’s relationship takes the new turn everyone was waiting for. It’s extremely violent, extremely scary, and extremely moving. If you don’t cry watching this episode, there’s a tiny little rock where your heart should be.