Veronica Mars/Normal Is the Watchword
From The TV IV
Normal Is the Watchword is the first episode of the second season of Veronica Mars, and the twenty-third episode overall. Veronica Mars, after a traumatic year that ended with the revelation that her boyfriend's dad killed her best friend, is brought back to the investigation business when her best friend, Wallace, tests positive for drugs. Meanwhile, she goes on a field trip that changes the lives of many of her friends.
Starring: Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Percy Daggs III (Wallace Fennel), Teddy Dunn (Duncan Kane), Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls), Francis Capra (Eli "Weevil" Navarro), Ryan Hansen (Richard "Dick" Casablancas), Kyle Gallner (Cassidy "Beaver" Casablancas), Tessa Thompson (Jackie Cook (credit only))
Special Appearance By: Julie Chen (Herself)
Co-Starring: Duane Daniels (Van Clemmons), Brad Bufanda (Felix), Meredith Roberts (Cute as a Bug Manager), Adam Hendershott (Butters), Naima Mora (Ms. Dumass), Mark Gadbois (Man), Judy Ho (Jilly Ho), Ryan Gimbel (Viet Nguyen), Jon Michael Souza (Passing Motorist)
- Who Killed Felix?: Logan regains consciousness with a knife in his hand, with dead Felix nearby. Logan is cleared of all charges when there is not enough evidence to convict him.
- Logan: Logan is beaten up by Weevil and the rest of his friends while on the bridge. When he becomes conscious, a man helps him up, but notices that Logan has a knife in his hand, with Felix dead by a stab wound close nearby. Logan is charged for killing Felix, but is dismissed of all charges when there is not enough evidence. Meanwhile, Logan dates Veronica for the summer, but breaks up with her when Veronica doesn't want to be with him anymore. Logan is involved in an affair with Kendall Casablancas, the stepmother of Dick and Beaver.
- Duncan: Duncan has resumed his relationship with Veronica and has been spending most of his time at her place of work while his parents are on trial. He broke up with his girlfriend from the first season, Meg Manning, resulting in a bitter rivalry.
- Felix: Felix is stabbed by an unknown assailant and dies.
- Meg: Meg was on the bus that went off the cliff at the end of this episode.
- 1x15 - Betty and Veronica: Wallace talks about the spirit boxes given out to star athletes by the student council before important games.
- Missing Debut: Tessa Thompson was added to the credits from this episode, but does not actually appear until the next episode, Driver Ed.
Behind the Scenes
- Credits Change: Dick Casablancas and Beaver Casablancas are upgraded to series regulars with this episode. In the previous episode, they played pivotal roles in the unveiling of Veronica's supposed rapist. Tessa Thompson, who plays Jackie Cook, is also added to the cast credits.
- Alternate Title: This episode was originally known as Urine Trouble, derived from the drug test Wallace has to take. It was changed for unknown reasons weeks before the season premiere.
Allusions and References
- Encyclopedia Brown: Encyclopedia Brown is the title character of a series of children's mystery books, something like the Hardy Boys but leaning more towards a younger version of Sherlock Holmes. Leroy Brown, like Veronica, is the child of a police officer (Veronica's father was Sheriff, Brown's was Chief of Police) and often solves mysteries which his father couldn't solve. The books are most notable for not talking down to the reader and presenting clues for the reader to solve the mystery on his own before finding out what really happened.
- Veronica: Encyclopedia Brown? I hear he's good.
- Barney Fife: Barney Fife was the comically inept Sheriff on the show, The Andy Griffith Show. A "Barney Fife" character refers to anyone in authority who is overzealous similar to how many of the townspeople of Neptune felt about Keith Mars when he vigorously went after Lilly Kane's father, Jake Kane.
- Julie Chen (to Keith Mars): The press made you out to be some kind of Barney Fife character. Are you feeling a sense of redemption?
- West Side Story: The Jets and Sharks are rival gangs from the musical West Side Story. The story is essentially Romeo & Juliet with gang violence and undertones of racism. The Jets, as Logan is referred to be a part of, were an all white gang while the Sharks were Puerto Rican. This reference presumably alludes to Logan's fight with Weevil's gang.
- Duncan: I figured you and the other Jets would be rumbling with the Sharks.
- Johnny Damon: Johnny Damon is an outfielder for the Boston Red Sox noted for his characterization of the World Series winning Red Sox as '25 idiots' and creating the team's self-styled rebel image.
- Terrance Cook: So, who's your favorite player? ... It's Johnny Damon, isn't it?
- Logan being forcefully ejected from the Mars home by Keith.
- Veronica and Weevil coming up on the crash site.
- Logan: Can Dick and Beaver come out to play?
- Veronica: I can't believe after a year of working here you don't know the make and model of the filing cabinet.
- Overall Grade: A with 3 reviews
- Review Breakdown: A+: 1 A: 1 A-: 1 B+: 0 B: 0 B-: 0 C+: 0 C: 0 C-: 0 D: 0 F: 0
- This season premiere doesn't disappoint. After an entire summer of finding out who was at the door, we find out that Logan does. But, the episode doesn't end there, giving the viewer twist after twist of shocking events. I thought that the way the flashbacks were handled was a bit inconsistent, but it's a very small fault because as the episode begins to unravel, you find out just why the flashback were so inconsistent, and their slight flaw shines a bit more because you start piecing everything together. I loved the contunity with Viet and the other people roaming around school, and I love the two big mysteries that have been set up for this season. Overall, an excellent start to one of the best shows on television. Grade: A- --Wizardryo 02:10, 29 Sep 2005 (EDT)
- Wow, just wow. The first episode of season two blows Veronica Mars out of the water. The episode did everything a second episode of a TV show like Veronica Mars, answered questions, and left us with a startling ending to the episode. The best show on television today. Grade: A+ --Scanerryo 3:48, 02 Oct 2005
- I was afraid of Veronica Mars turning into more of a teen drama this season, the way The O.C. turned into more of a teen drama after season 1. But this is not to be the case with VM, fortunately. Episode 1 of Season 2 is just as charming, just as smart as anything we saw last season, and that's to be commended. Many of us, myself included, were worried about how the series could pick up after last season's arc about Lilly Kane. I was worried that because of how huge of an impact that story had on Veronica's life, that any mystery that followed would look like childs play in comparison. But that's not going to be the case, it appears. They've gone and thrown us 2 mysteries right from the beginning, the murder of Felix and the bus crashing off the cliff, to think about. I'm already racking my brain, after just 1 episode, as to the answers to these mysteries, and I can't wait to see how the fan community reacts and what types of theories emerge as to what happened. With my expectations sky high, I didn't think anything could live up to them, but VM season 2 episode 1 has met those expectations head on and have left me wanting more. Grade: A --MateoP 21:31, 2 Oct 2005 (EDT)