Veronica Mars/Credit Where Credit's Due
Credit Where Credit's Due is the second episode of the first season of Veronica Mars. Veronica continues to solve crimes related to her new acquaintances, this time investigating credit card fraud charges against Weevil, her tenuous ally. She also makes an important discovery about the last hours her best friend Lilly Kane's life that raises doubts about the alibis of several ex-suspects.
Starring: Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Percy Daggs III (Wallace Fennel), Teddy Dunn (Duncan Kane), Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls), Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Mallory Dent), Francis Capra (Eli "Weevil" Navarro)
Guest Starring: Michael Muhney (Sheriff Don Lamb), Amanda Seyfried (Lilly Kane), Aaron Ashmore (Troy Vandergraff), Wilmer Calderon (Chardo), Irene Olga Lopez (Leticia Navarro), Daran Norris (Cliff McCormack)
Co-Starring: Brandon Hillock (Deputy Sacks), Brad Bufanda (Felix), Seraina Jacqueline (Inga), Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas), Tina Molina (Reception Clerk), William Corkery (Mario), Zadran Wali (Deputy), Leslie Durso (Receptionist)
At a beach party held by and for the rich kids at Neptune High (they use code to keep the undesirables like Wallace and Veronica away), we are introduced to Logan's new girlfriend, Caitlin Ford, and another one of Duncan's friends, Troy Vandergraff, who is newly enrolled at Neptune. Weevil's gang crashes the party, claiming the turf for his gang, and ends up smack-talking with Logan, who makes some derogatory comments about Weevil's grandmother, the Echolls family housekeeper. The police break up the party before Logan and Weevil's macho posturing can erupt in violence, but the next day, Weevil's grandmother (who appears to be the parental figure for Weevil and his cousin Chardo, also a Weevlet (Weevling?), as well as several other children) gets arrested for stealing credit cards from the Echolls' trash. Mrs. Navarro's lawyer Cliff suspects Weevil may be the real culprit, and Veronica and Keith are dispatched to dig up the truth. Weevil is uncooperative.
Sheriff Lamb accosts Veronica and Keith at a restaurant for more macho posturing; it's nearly October 3rd, the first anniversary of Lilly Kane's murder, and the sheriff would like to rub it in Keith's face. Keith points out that the only reason Sheriff Lamb was able to solve the murder was through an anonymous tipster who refused the reward, casting doubts on the source's legitimacy, but the Sheriff fires back that the Kanes have airtight alibis for the murder.
Later, Veronica runs into Troy and Wallace in the guidance counselor's office; Veronica is there for guidance, Troy is there to flirt with Veronica (unaware of her reputation), while Wallace is there to work (Veronica convinces him to help with her investigation by stealing Weevil's files). Veronica herself, meanwhile, ends up joining journalism class, at her counselor's insistence, as a photographer as a way to break out of her "disconnected and passionless" life, but her first assignment pairs her up with Duncan Kane.
Back at the Weevil investigation, Veronica and Wallace discover that several of the fraudulent credit card purchases were made when Weevil was in class; this would appear to exonerate him, but when she presents her evidence to Cliff and Keith, they tell her Weevil has confessed. Veronica, suspecting a framing, targets Logan and Caitlin next; it turns out Logan's computer records match with a fancy hotel booking made on the credit cards.
It also appears that Logan slashed Veronica's tire; although Troy offers a helping hand, Veronica ends up having to ride with Duncan to her journalism assignment, which starts out awkward but becomes slightly more comfortable by the end. However, on the way home, they're pulled over by the cops; Duncan has been driving Lilly's car, and there's an impound notice because of all her unpaid tickets, the last of which took place October 3rd. Jake and Keith have to come to pick up their children, and the awkwardness returns. The last time they met was during the murder investigation, when Keith came to believe Jake was the killer. Given the choice to stand by her father or keep her circle of friends, she chose Keith. On the way home, Veronica convinces Keith to go to the hotel and help her acquire the bill summary for the hotel billing. They discover Caitlin signed for room service during the visit. It's not enough to get Logan to confess (although he does look concerned upon being confronted), but it is enough to get Weevil out of jail.
The next day, both Veronica and Logan end up investigating Caitlin's hotel visit. Logan goes through Caitlin's cell phone, Veronica checks some phone calls made using the credit card, and both discover (and call) the same number. Veronica gets a busy signal and has the number run through her father, while Logan nearly engages in phone sex with Weevil's cousin. Veronica manages to get to him first, and he confesses: he used the credit cards to try and impress the spoiled (and slumming) Caitlin, and that the two of them are planning to run away together. Further investigation reveals that Weevil, still a juvenile, took the fall so that Chardo could avoid jail time, but once the reason for the fraud comes out, the Navarros decide protecting Chardo might not be such a hot idea after all. Chardo is saved from his vicious beating at the hands of Logan and his rich friends, only to receive a vicious beating from the rest of Weevil's gang instead. Caitlin reveals she was not particularly serious about her plans to run away with Chardo.
Remembering the date of Lilly Kane's last traffic infraction, Veronica uses an old fake ID of Lilly's to look up the ticket date. Her findings: an automated camera caught Lilly running a red light two hours after her approximate time of death. The Kane family's alibis are shot.
Mystery of the Week
- Weevil's cousin Chardo got both Weevil and their grandmother arrested through a credit card fraud scam he perpetrated to try and earn the love of a rich girl: he stole credit cards from the Echolls family trash (his grandmother is their housekeeper) and used them for various extravagant purchases. It doesn't end very well for him, as he is cut off from both his gang and his family, and given a good beating. To add insult to injury, it turns out the rich girl was just slumming. At the end of the episode his whereabouts are unknown.
Lilly Kane's Murder
- The date of Lilly Kane's death was October 3rd.
- On that day, Lilly received a ticket for speeding through a red light. This ticket is dated two hours AFTER she was supposed to have died. This information puts the alibis of Jake, Celeste and Duncan Kane into question.
- The convicted murderer of Lilly Kane was apprehended through an anonymous tip to the sheriff's office. Despite a $100,000 reward, the informant never came forward to claim the money.
Lianne Mars's Disappearance
- Veronica: Despite the indications of the first episode, Veronica may have had a more active role in her disassociation from her circle of friends than first thought, but chose to try and preserve what was left of her family instead. Her mother Lianne thought otherwise, and left Keith and Veronica soon after.
- Troy Vandergraaf: Another new student at Neptune High, he knows most of the other rich kids through the local marina and he's the son of a well-known architect. He takes an interest in Veronica, although it appears nobody has told him about her falling out with the 09ers.
- Weevil: Weevil's last name is Navarro, and he lives with his grandmother. How many brothers/sisters/cousins he has is unclear, but it looks like at least three.
- Cliff: A local lawyer who has something of a business deal with Keith, with the pair sending business each other's way. Cliff will pop up several times throughout the season, whenever a lawyer is needed. He may be a Legal Aid lawyer, since he seems to represent hookers and gang members fairly often.
- Wallace: If it wasn't obvious before, Wallace's status as sidekick is confirmed here, as he's reduced to risking his job to do favours for Veronica and gamely trying to follow along with her detective skills.
- Paris Hilton: In this episode, Paris Hilton plays a spoiled, skanky whore. Interestingly, in real life, Paris Hilton is also a spoiled, skanky whore! Fancy that.
Behind the Scenes
Allusions and References
First runs of Veronica Mars: Credit Where Credit's Due around the world:
- Troy: Flat?
Veronica: Just as God made me.
- Ms. Dent: This is a 35mm camera. Now, my suggestion, as you're starting out, is to set it on auto...
Veronica: I'd really be more comfortable if I could just use my own camera. The swivel LCD comes in handy when you're doing overhead shooting or ground-level macro shooting. The optical zoom actually goes up to 71.2 mm & it's good to have the raw-file option to mess with the images post-exposure without nearly the loss of image quality you'd get with a JPEG file.
Ms. Dent: And when it's dark outside, you should use a flash.