Listen up, Marshmallows: The Veronica Mars reboot hits streaming platform Hulu July 26. Luckily, whether you were part of the teen detective drama’s original cult following or have never seen the show, you can catch up on all three original seasons of Veronica Mars on Hulu starting July 1. (Thank you, streaming gods!) That way, when the brand spankin’ new eight-part limited series premieres—complete with Kristen Bell reprising her role as the famous sleuth—you’ll be more than ready.
Of course, if you don’t have time to binge-watch all 64 episodes in the few, short weeks before the revival debuts, don’t fret—you can still get your fill of the “09ers” drama by checking out the 15 best Veronica Mars episodes:
(FYI: Some serious spoilers lay ahead, so only read the episode titles if you don’t want to know what happens!)
1. “Pilot”—Season 1, Episode 1
If you’ve a total Veronica Mars newbie, you’ve gotta start at the beginning because duh. The pilot episode sets up the first season’s mysteries, including Veronica’s sexual assault and the murder of Lilly Kane (Amanda Seyfried).
Viewers are introduced to all the most important characters in Neptune: Duncan (Teddy Dunn), Logan (Jason Dohring), Wallace (Percy Dags III) and of course the best dad ever, Keith (Enrico Colatoni). But Kristen Bell definitely steals the show as the title character (because, ya know, she’s Kristen Bell), and fans can expect she’ll do the same in the upcoming reboot.
2. “Like A Virgin”—Season 1, Episode 8
Also known as the purity test episode, this fan-favorite ep is an instant reminder of all the horrors of high school—so prepare yourself accordingly. It’s full of who’s-sleeping-with-who drama and ripe with teenage jealousy.
Oh, and you can’t forget about Veronica’s visit to Lilly’s convicted (but innocent) killer, Abel Koontz. He’s the one who plants the idea that Jake Kane is her biological father. Thinking about that now post-Game of Thrones definitely makes Veronica and Duncan’s relationship seem straight out of Westeros’ history books.
3. “Weapons of Class Destruction”—Season 1, Episode 18
LoVe shippers (a.k.a. fans who wanted Veronica and Logan to date) know this episode by heart, probably because their own hearts stopped when Veronica and Logan finally kissed. That budding chemistry and palpable sexual tension erupted in a moment of pure passion (though not as steamy as the bathroom makeout sesh they share a couple episodes later…). Logan even saves Veronica from a kidnapper who doubles as a person making bomb threats, so, whoever said chivalry was dead?
4. “A Trip To The Dentist”—Season 1, Episode 21
This episode is a doozy, to say the least. Veronica finally figures out who drugged her at the party from episode one—as well as who allegedly raped her (gulp). Turns out that Logan—who she’s dating when she comes across these revelations—drugged Duncan’s drink, and the roofied concoction made its way to Veronica. Duncan and Veronica apparently had what the show deemed “consensual” sex, even though both parties were under the influence (but, jsyk, that’s not the full story…).
Oh, and Veronica also learns the real reason Duncan broke up with her: his mother said Veronica is his half-sister. A lot of what’s set up in this episode is resolved in the next, but it’s nonetheless important for viewers new and old alike.
5. “Leave It To Beaver”—Season 1, Episode 22
After waiting a whole dang season, loyal fans finally learn who killed Lilly, but the drama’s far from over, since there’s still a trial to be had. If you’re a DuVe fan (a.k.a. you “ship” Veronica and Duncan), you’ll be happy to find out the former couple isn’t actually related.
Does that mean there’s hope that Veronica and Duncan will get back together? Maybe, but don’t hold your breath for a happily ever after. Veronica’s mom, Lianne, runs off with the money that was supposed to go toward Veronica’s college fund. Big yikes.
Watch ‘New Girl’ star Max Greenfield talk rejoining the ‘Veronica Mars’ cast for the revival:
6. “Normal Is The Watchword”—Season 2, Episode 1
Each episode of Veronica Mars brings about new cases, but, as with any good crime show, there are still season-long arcs introduced in every season premiere. The case for season two involves Logan and the murder of Felix, a member of the Pacific Coast Highway biker gang. Mostly told through flashbacks, this episode reveals Veronica dumped Logan (ouch) and is dating Duncan. Would it really be a teen drama without an off-again on-again romance?
7. “Donut Run”—Season 2, Episode 11
And those relationships definitely have to get more complicated with each episode (sorry, I don’t make the rules). In “Donut Run,” Veronica helps Duncan escape jail after kidnapping his baby daughter. Just in case you forgot, Duncan’s baby mama is his ex Meg, who died from a blood clot resulting from a bus crash that happened in the season two premiere. From start to finish, the episode is straight-up thrilling, and you can’t help admire Veronica’s dedication.
8. “Look Who’s Stalking”— Season 2, Episode 20
Again, LoVe fans, this one’s for you. Logan throws a replacement prom after Neptune High’s gets cancelled. Still, since it’s prom night, anything can happen—including Logan getting super serious with Veronica.
And when Logan is serious, you need to listen. His moment with Veronica gives way to one of the most #iconic lines and scenes in the entire series: “I thought our story was epic.” Ugh, there needs to be more of this ship in the Hulu version.
9. “Happy Go Lucky”— Season 2, Episode 21
Remember that trial for Lilly’s murder from season one? Well, it’s still going on at this point in the series. Then, in the most frustrating turn of events, Lilly’s killer, movie star Aaron Echolls, is cleared of all charges. Fans get to hear emotional testimonies from Logan and Veronica, which is good for character development, but does absolute zip to sway the jury’s opinions of the famous defendant.
10. “Not Pictured”— Season 2, Episode 22
The last three episodes of season two provided enough drama to make up for an overall lackluster season. In the season finale, Veronica’s class graduate from Neptune High, but that sounds a heck of a lot easier than how it actually plays out. All of the loose ends get tied up, and Aaron Echolls is assassinated. Yeah, so there was no need to stay mad for too long.
But the other big reveal is that Duncan didn’t rape Veronica back in season one. No, it was Beaver, who was the source of plenty commotion throughout season two.
11. “Welcome Wagon”— Season 3, Episode 1
The criminals follow Veronica as she leaves Neptune High for Hearst College. LoVe is still going strong, but a formidable force is introduced: Stosh “Piz” Piznarski (Chris Lowell). As Veronica helps Piz retrieve stolen items, she learns there’s a serial rapist loose on campus. (Not exactly the freshman orientation she was expecting…)
12. “Spit And Eggs”— Season 3, Episode 9
The case of the serial date rapist is all but solved in nine episodes, but, uh, Veronica almost doesn’t make it out alive. And that’s not the only life-or-death drama you’ll see: Hearst College’s Dean O’Dell (Ed Begley, Jr.) is found dead in his office with a mysterious gunshot wound to the head. This thrilling episode is also the most cinematic of the entire series, keeping you on the edge of your seat as all this unfolds.
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13. “Papa’s Cabin”— Season 3, Episode 15
Dream team Veronica and her dad, Keith, investigate Dean O’Dell’s murder, and Veronica’s criminology professor, Hank Landry, is at the top of Keith’s suspect list—fair, considering he was having an affair with O’Dell’s wife, Mindy. Once again, fans get to see Veronica flex her (seriously toned) detective muscles, and it’s nothing short of amazing.
14. “Debasement Tapes”— Season 3, Episode 17
Ageless Paul Rudd guest stars as a zany, washed-up rockstar in this episode. Tbh, that’s reason enough to watch it.
15. “The Bitch Is Back”— Season 3, Episode 20
Here it comes: The highly divisive (almost) series finale you’ve probably heard fellow fans (and/or strangers total strangers on Twitter) talk about for years. Unlike most TV show endings, Veronica Mars did not resolve most of its plots. The election results were left uncounted, and no one on Team Piz or Team Logan actually found out who ended up with Veronica.
Creator Rob Thomas was strategic in doing this. He wanted to leave it open for another season, and, well, it worked.
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