Almost six years after the show was canceled, “Veronica Mars” and its title character — the witty, sometimes prickly, super-sleuth who has been compared to a high school version of Philip Marlowe — still makes fans smile. Here are two fans’ picks for the episodes that best capture some of the show’s finest attributes.
“Clash of the Tritons” Season 1, Episode 12: “Veronica Mars is smarter than me” — one of the truest statements about “Veronica Mars” uttered by the one character who should realize it’s the truth. This episode also provides some insight into the minds of various characters via private therapy sessions.
“Weapons of Class Destruction” Season 1, Episode 18: In terms of TV relationships, the Logan/Veronica (aka LoVe) relationship is one of my absolute favorites. This episode gives us the first taste of LoVe. I also enjoy how the school’s newspaper takes centerstage with Veronica helping produce it.
“Leave It to Beaver” Season 1 Episode 22: After a season-long murder mystery, we find out who killed Veronica’s friend Lilly (Amanda Seyfried). But series creator Rob Thomas provides plenty of twists and turns to keep it interesting.
“Not Pictured” Season 2, Episode 22: It’s the end of high school for the “Veronica Mars” gang. We find out who blew up a bus and the answer to one of the questions Veronica poses in the pilot of the series. How she goes about figuring everything out starts with the smallest clue.
“My Big Fat Greek Rush Week” Season 3, Episode 3: This episode probably wouldn’t make it on many fans’ lists, but it’s a fun, straightforward crime-solving episode. Veronica goes undercover at a sorority, one of the last places you’d ever expect to find her, but she can play the cute and charming co-ed.
“An Echolls Family Christmas” Season 1, Episode 10: This episode stacks up like Quentin Tarantino meets Raymond Chandler, using the deceptively simple concept of five teenagers playing poker and then discovering that somebody has made off with the winnings. This small scenario explodes in major ways and makes great use of the show’s noir-feel as Veronica slips on her always entertaining sleuthing hat.
“Leave It to Beaver” Season 1, Episode 22: Capping off a season-long murder-mystery is a tough job, but exposing a killer in the season finale reaffirmed that “Veronica Mars” the show, and the character, was not just witty, but also thrilling, surprising and heart-breaking.
“Donut Run” Season 2, Episode 11: This episode pulls off an amazing trick, a complicated shell game where crucial information is hidden from major characters and the viewers. And being “conned” in this case is completely satisfying.
“Spit & Eggs” Season 3, Episode 9: A real heart-pounder as Veronica closes in on a college campus rapist. Big-budget thrillers could learn a lesson from the taut final moments as the endangered heroine tries to keep her wits about her.
“The B---- is Back” Season 3, Episode 20: “Veronica Mars” was canceled in its third season and ends on a bit of a cliffhanger (although not of who-shot-J.R. proportions or anything). But having the series end with two of the most important men in Veronica’s life — her dad Keith and you-know-he-was-meant-for-her love interest Logan — as the subject of her turmoil during a walk in the rain, feels about right.