12:30 pm EDT, March 11, 2014

Five ‘Veronica Mars’ episodes to watch before seeing the movie

We chose five essential Veronica Mars episodes to watch before you see the movie on March 14. Check out the full list of episodes and clips below.

While some of these episodes will be on the top of many “Best of” lists, they also serve as some of the best backstory for many of the main Veronica Mars plot lines and relationships.

If you are a newcomer, just watching these episodes won’t give you the full story, by any means, and we fully suggest you watch the entire series if you have yet to do so. But if you just want to have some background before diving into the movie, here are five episodes to help you along.

Season 1, Episode 1, ‘Pilot’

The episode that started it all. The VM pilot did so many things that all pilots try to do: it had character development, backstory, a season-long plot setup AND a mystery of the week. Not only that, but it was done well. Really well.

The pilot also manages to paint Veronica as not only the heroine but as a flawed human-being. We’re introduced to a girl who’s in with the police force but thinks nothing of framing Logan (the town’s obligatory psychotic jackass) by planting a bong in his locker, purpose of her case, and also because, you know, she just wanted to get him in trouble.

It was a strong pilot with a set of characters you instantly fell in love with in a town that was in the midst of a major class war and it left its audience wanting more.

Also, let’s reminisce about Veronica’s long, flared-out pixie cut (is there a name for this quintessential early 2000’s ‘do?) and the birth of Veronica and Wallace’s best friendship.

Iconic quote:
Veronica: I used to think I knew what tore our family apart. Now I’m sure I don’t. But I promise this: I will find out what really happened, and I will bring this family back together again. I’m sorry, is that mushy? Well, you know what they say. Veronica Mars, she’s a marshmallow.

Season 1, Episode 18, ‘Weapons of Class Destruction’

In this episode we have a special appearance by ’90s heartthrob, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and a hairdo that rivals Veronica’s pilot pixie. The undercover cop/bomb threat was actually a pretty good story and had some cool characters, like the badass with a heart of gold, Norris.

Did anyone else sort of have a bit of a crush on Norris? Possibly even ship him and Veronica? He was so adorable and clearly liked Veronica, it was sad to only see him in one episode.

This episode also features the kiss that started the ship of a lifetime. This is where LoVe began and most fans never looked back. Sure, Logan had his issues but so did Veronica and plus their chemistry was just out of control.

Yes, this is just a compilation of all the Veronica/Logan moments of the episode but this is THE episode for so many LoVe fans. It was hard to resist not including everything from their snarky whispers in class to Logan saving Veronica from JTT’s mullet.

Iconic quote:
Veronica (Voiceover): A girl must prioritize. Wallowing in the grief of betraying an ex-boyfriend or following the guy most likely to blow up Neptune High. Hell, give me a stick of gum to chew and I’ll do all three at once.

Season 1, Episode 22, ‘Leave It To Beaver’

The first season finale comes to a close with Veronica solving the infamous Lilly Kane murder case. This episode is important because for years this murder, along with the dominoes that fell from it, was what shaped Veronica as a person.

Sure, we all knew Veronica was of above-average intelligence with more than plenty of wit to spare, but when she solves the Lilly Kane murder we get to see just how far this young woman was willing to go in order to avenge the death of her best friend.

Plus, who saw this ending coming? With red herrings popping up all season, the eventual killer reveal was completely plausible and satisfying.

Bonus tear-jerker: After Veronica’s mom continues to disappoint her husband and a daughter who adores her, Keith ends up being the ultimate hero of the day. Arguably the best pair in Veronica Mars history, Keith and Veronica share a moment at the end of the episode that made viewers realize that no matter how awful Veronica’s life gets, she still has the best dad in town to help her get by.

*SPOILER WARNING: This clip contains the resolution to the season 1 mystery of who Lily Kane’s murderer was. If you have not seen it and do not want to be spoiled than we suggest you do not watch it*


Iconic quote:
Veronica: Isn’t it better, like this?
Lilly: So much better.
Veronica: This is how it’s supposed to be.
Lilly: Totally.
Veronica: This is how it’s gonna be. From now on. Right? Lilly?
Lilly: You know how things are gonna be now, don’t you? You have to know.
Veronica: Just like this. Just like this.
Lilly: Don’t forget about me, Veronica.
Veronica: I could never.

Bonus cliff-hanger quote:
Veronica: I was hoping it would be you.

Season 2, Episode 22, ‘Not Pictured’

This spot was tough one to fill because there are so many good episodes with epic moments to choose from. The season 2 finale episode was chosen, though, for a bit of background into Dick’s life. Dick Casablancas has always been a fan favorite but if you don’t remember, he comes with some serious baggage.

We’ll see the fallout from the events of this episode carry over into season 3, but this is where it all really started. Dick has an absent father, who only gets into more trouble in season 3, a step-mother who is sleeping with his best friend and if you don’t already know, his brother is a bit screwed up in the head. So before you head into the Veronica Mars movie thinking Dick has no substance in his backstory, watch (or rewatch) this episode.

This episode also has Veronica extremely conflicted and almost to the point where she seriously contemplates killing someone else. It has very real moments and fantastic acting from the entire cast, including Tina Majorino (Mac) and Kyle Gallner (Cassidy/Beaver).

*SPOILER WARNING: This clip contains the resolution to the season 2 mystery of who caused the bus to crash as well as the series long mystery of who raped Veronica. If you do no want to be spoiled then do not watch this clip.*

Iconic quote:
Clemmons: I can’t decide if my life is going to be easier or more difficult with you gone. Anything I should know in case I get another one like you someday?
Veronica: Don’t keep all your passwords taped on the bottoms of your stapler. And stay cool, Mr. C.

Season 3, Episode 20, ‘The Bitch Is Back’

This was it. What was supposed to be the final episode of Veronica Mars, ever. Yes, we skipped over all the other season 3 episodes and headed straight to the finale. It’s not that there weren’t any gems throughout this season (because there definitely were a few) but this is the one episode that will help set you up for the movie.

Veronica is in the midst of a sex-tape scandal, Keith is running for sheriff and the Piz and Logan are currently recovering from a bloody fight over Veronica’s honor. Not much is resolved throughout the episode and many answers aren’t even given to us, but this was the last glimpse of Veronica Mars that many fans thought they were ever going to get.

Iconic quote:
Veronica: You forwarded it to your whole address book?
Dick: It was instinct. I always forward porn. When it’s good.
Veronica: You are going to be so popular in hell.

This list was season 1 heavy but that’s because that’s really where it all began. Also, considering the movie will be centered around Veronica’s high school reunion it only felt fitting to include mostly episodes from her high school days.

What other ‘Veronica Mars’ episodes do you wish made it on the list?

You can watch full episodes of Veronica Mars online on Amazon Prime. The Veronica Mars movie officially premieres in theaters and online on March 14.

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