This article consists of nothing but Veronica Mars Season 4 spoilers. We have a spoiler free review right here if you prefer.
With Hulu’s Veronica Mars Season 4, the Mars-a-verse has grown from a television show on UPN and then the merged CW network to include a Kickstarted feature film, novels, and now television again, this time streaming. It’s been 15 years of noir, sarcasm, pop culture references, and a tiny blonde tenaciously annoying every authority figure and bad guy she could find. We can’t give you all a pony, marshmallows, but we can give you this: every morsel of Mars ephemera we can find across all eight episodes of season 4!
So here’s how this works. We’ve broken down all the Marshmallow-y goodness we could find on our first pass through season four, but we didn’t pass the PI exam with a record-breaking score on our first try, so we’re bound to have missed a few things. If you spot something we left out, let us know in the comments. If it checks out, we’ll update this until it becomes the best and most complete list of Easter eggs in Veronica Mars Season 4!
Now grab your favorite taser and crank up the Dandy Warhols…
Veronica Mars Season 4 Episode 1: Spring Break Forever
“Panic spreads through Neptune when a bomb goes off during spring break. Veronica and Keith are hired by the wealthy family of one victim injured in the bombing to find out who is responsible.”
– The cover of the theme song (originally by the Dandy Warhols) is by Chrissie Hynde.
– Veronica’s dog is Pony instead of the OG Backup, finally fulfilling her frequent wishes for a pony. Well, sort of. Backup (who occasionally disappeared at the convenience of the writers) in the series, who was introduced via the excellent pun from Keith, “you better take Backup!” During the movie campaign people asked Rob Thomas about Backup making a cameo and Rob had to unfortunately make people aware that the dog would definitely be dead by now.
– The classic show’s favorite seedy locale the Camelot Motel is nowhere to be seen. Instead it’s the Sea Sprite, but opening on a somewhat seedy motel is nonetheless in the same vein as the pilot.
– Veronica’s LeBaron is gone, replaced by a blue convertible – likely a reference to Nancy Drew’s own. Nancy was clearly one of several inspirations for the PI, and she was occasionally compared to her throughout the series.
– In addition to getting around a pesky F-word ban, Veronica and Keith saying “cuss” instead of swearing thing is an obvious shout-out to Kristen Bell’s other show The Good Place, though using “cuss” specifically is a move straight from Fantastic Mr. Fox…not that we can think of any reason why.
– You would be forgiven for not recognizing that seedy gentrifying real estate tycoon right away – he’s Big Dick Casablancas, Dick and Beaver/Cassidy’s dad. He was in the original show, but doesn’t have a particularly memorable face.
– Dick says, “so it goes,” a Kurt Vonnegut line, and “padawan,” an obvious Star Wars reference.
– Veronica Mars has made frequent use of Tijuana as a setting, from Troy and Logan’s boys’ weekend to Duncan’s escape with baby Lilly and multiple bail jumpers.
– Longtime fans will remember Cho’s Pizza from season 1 episode 17, “Kanes and Abel’s”, as the business owned by Veronica’s classmate Hamilton’s dad. Hamilton, a working class kid, worked at Cho’s Pizza and was in the running for the valedictorian spot as well as the inaugural Lilly Kane scholarship, along with 09er Sabrina Fuller. Veronica’s investigation unfortunately uncovered that Hamilton’s dad was the one tormenting the 09er, and Hamilton gave up the shot at the scholarship in exchange for getting the charges against his father dropped. While we don’t see either the father or son here, it’s a great example of how lived-in the world of Neptune, California managed to be in such a short period of time.
– The Neptune Grand still exists! The swankiest hotel in Neptune was home to both Logan and Duncan, as well as the site of Aaron’s murder, Cassidy’s death by suicide, and numerous other cases, like when Logan thought his mother was secretly alive but it turned out to just be his sister stealing her identity and money, played by Allyson Hannigan.
– Cliff makes another appearance – it’s good to see he’s still everyone’s favorite sex worker-defending, ambulance-chasing lawyer with a heart of gold. In this case, he’s cut out the ambulance and moved straight into the hospital.
Veronica Mars Season 4 Episode 2: Chino and the Man
“Veronica and Keith launch their investigation. Their involvement puts Police Chief Langdon on edge. Penn goes public with his theory on who the bomber is. Meanwhile, local teen Matty Ross begins her own search for her father’s killer.”
– Veronica’s signature voiceover is back! Kids, this is where Jughead Jones learned it.
– Dick thinks Logan is poor! Logan was raised in the mega-rich 90909 zip code due to his action hero movie star dad and movie star mother. He later inherited a bundle of money in season 2 when his mother died, resulting in his sister and various others coming out of the woodwork to try to get a piece of it. The idea that going onto a government salary has somehow downgraded Logan to anything approaching poverty is…well it’s something only an out of touch 09er would think.
– Veronica tells Logan not to, “go along to get along,” which feels awfully similar to when she accused Duncan of “standing idly by,” albeit a bit less venomous.
– “You say you want Bruce Banner, but you really want the green guy.” It looks like in the age of the MCU, even Veronica Mars has taken to not-naming the Hulk!
– Penn the pizza guy refers to “murder heads” – an allusion to Murderinos, fans of the podcast My Favorite Murder. I love that this show is acknowledging the true crime/cold case wave in pop culture right now. This feels like a double-layered Easter egg since actor Patton Oswalt’s late wife Michelle McNamara was the researcher and author who wrote I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, which is the book widely credited with breaking open the Golden State Killer case. In fact, McNamara is the reason he’s even referred to as the Golden State Killer at all. Previously they were thought of as two separate cases, a series of rapes and a serial killer. Her work posited that the two were connected. After McNamara’s death, Oswalt helped finish her book, and while police didn’t publicly acknowledge McNamara’s role in solving the case, it’s widely believed by outside observers that the killer would not have been caught without her work.
– Penn brings up Veronica’s season 3 evidence tampering that cost Keith the sheriff election (“that was more of a me thing”) and Keith accusing Lilly’s father of murder, even asking, “do you think they’ll ever figure out who murdered Lilly Kane?” It’s pretty wild to consider the complete outsider’s perspective on the events of Veronica Mars, since we’ve always been on the inside of things.
– There was apparently a feature on Veronica in Vanity Fair – it’s wild to contemplate Veronica living in our world in that way, like a Silence Breakers-style photo shoot or something.
– Clyde is looking for a woman named Ichigo Doy, which feels an awful lot like Ruskie Business, the episode where a woman used a fake story about star-crossed lovers and a Catahoula Leopard dog to con Veronica into tracking down someone the Russian mob wanted to kill.
– Watching 16 year old Matty outsmart Veronica feels…so karmically perfect.
– The snack machine from the Sea Sprite is owned by the Fighting Fitzpatricks, an Irish-American crime family in Neptune. If I recall correctly, there’s one priest but the rest of the siblings are all part of organized crime. One of them (Liam maybe?) held Veronica down on a pool table in their bar The River Styx where he threatened to tattoo her (or more) in a move that was most certainly a reference to The Accused and the real-life rape at Big Dan’s bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts that inspired the movie, both of which took place on a pool table at a bar, in the middle of the day, while witnesses were present and did nothing. Logan’s former girlfriend Hannah Griffith’s father the plastic surgeon, who witnessed Logan on the bridge with the PCHers the night of the murder, also worked for the Fitzpatricks, which is why he didn’t come forward to testify to Logan’s innocence.
– Matty makes a point of saying it’s strange that the fill-in guy put gum in the machine because they’re a motel – why wouldn’t motels want gum? What am I missing here people?
Veronica Mars Season 4 Episode 3: Keep Calm and Party On
“Veronica and Keith’s client, Daniel Maloof, makes a shocking confession. Sheriff Langdon closes in on her top suspect. Veronica and Matty join forces, just as the whole investigation is flipped on its head.”
– Penn is visited by some creeps who are basically Charlottesville dudes without the tiki torches.
– Good to know PCH is still an active gang (named for the Pacific Coast Highway, if you missed that the first time around.)
– How does Sheriff Marcia not know who Logan Echolls is? He was just accused of murder (again) a few years ago!
– Mac is in Istanbul – I guess this means we won’t be getting a cameo 🙁
– The Murder Heads hangout is overflowing with references to the classic show, as well as this great true crime nod: “He’s convinced Jonbenet Ramsey was killed by an owl.” Shoutout to The Owl Theory in the Michael Peterson trial for murdering his wife Kathleen, which never made it to court and was not even included in Netflix’s new 2018 episodes that they added to the seminal 2005 French documentary series, which many think of as the catalyst for the current true crime craze.
– It’s truly disturbing that they refer to Lilly as DLK, as in Dead Lilly Kane. I mean I guess they needed a BTK/GSK-style acronym but come on, at least save it for the killer!
– Logan still has his sense of humor: “don’t forget – son of the murderer” “so say some” Yowza! Does that mean they don’t think Aaron did it or they don’t think Logan’s his son? Both are bizarre but I totally buy that in the real world, there would be people who believe such outlandish things.
– “She’s also a reference librarian at Hearst” “Oh, I used to work there” “I know.” Uhhh what? The Murder Heads meeting is getting too creepy for comfort.
– Duncan gets a mention, which I imagine is the most we’ll see or hear of him. In case you;re curious. Teddy Dunn, who played Duncan Kane, is now a lawyer.
– Don (Clark Duke, Greek, Hot Tub Time Machine) thinks Veronica killed Lilly because she’s short??? I am enjoying the highly accurate nonsensical nature of their conspiracy theories.
– Perry Walsh’s woman-hating manifesto sounds like something from Dylan Roof or the Montreal massacre.
– Dick and Logan playing volleyball feels very Top Gun…meets The Naked Gun.
– When the bomb goes off and everyone else turns and runs away, Veronica looks toward it. Oof. This isn’t the show’s first bomb, of course. The bus crash was revealed to have an explosion before it went over the edge, and Neptune High was threatened with a school shooting and possible bombing, although that turned out to be an overzealous FBI agent trying to smoke out a school shooter/bomber that never actually existed. Still, Veronica didn’t know that when she went undercover to flirt with Norris or when she was kidnapped by the “student” who turned out to be the agent.
Veronica Mars Season 4 Episode 4: Heads You Lose
“Convinced the bomber is still at large, Veronica visits Chino to learn more about Clyde and Big Dick. Mayor Dobbins’ request for help from the FBI brings an old flame to Neptune. Veronica confronts her mugger.”
– Sarah Hyland, who Plays Haley Dunphy on Modern Family, has a cameo as the spring breaker who Dick hits on, who later sees a guy drugging women’s drinks in the club and tells Nicole. Of course, this is not the first time GHB has been on Veronica Mars. Veronica and Duncan were both drugged without their consent or knowledge the night of her rape, and tracking who brought, knew about, and used the GHB was a big part of V’s investigation in season 1’s “A Trip to the Dentist.” In season 3, the Hearst College rapist also used GHB, so Veronica and friends gave out coasters at the targetted party that detected date rape drugs, only for the frat to give out useless coasters masquerading as the real thing. It’s worth pointing out that contrary to popular belief created largely due to pop cultural portrayals like this very one, the most commonly used drug to facilitate rape and other forms of sexual violence is in fact alcohol, not GHB or rohynypnol (“roofies”). And, again, contrary to popular belief, thanks to the work of researcher David Lisak, we actually know that the common held concept that both parties are usually drunk, perpetrators often use alcohol deliberately to make a victim more vulnerable.
– Logan is going to blow his linguistic cover if he keeps reacting to what they say bil 3raby.
– The owner of Chattanooga Charlies on the boardwalk calls the owner of the Sea Sprite their Princess Leia, organizing the Rebellion – and now I miss Carrie again.
– The entire prison sequence is…hooboy. Did anyone else think Tim, Veronica’s season 3 TA from Hearst looked a lot like Lucky from season 2? Just me? Cool. Goddamn Mercer is there too, with the pitch perfect “you still with…Puzz?” Also brutal: his Brock Turner and Wisconsin reference. Mercer still skeeves me out y’all, I feel like I can hear “Right Here, Right Now”. (From what I understand the actor, Ryan Devlin, who used to host Are You The One? on MTV and was on Rob Thomas’s iZombie, is a lovely guy with whom the cast very much enjoys working.) But my god, Logan has terrible taste in friends.
– “They all think you’re a righteous dude,” is an excellent Ferris Bueller reference.
– Agent Leo DiMato in the house! He’s an FBI agent, which is delightful and a great reference to the ill-fated season 4 pilot. He brings Veronica a pizza for info, which is an adorable and gracious way of handling how often she worked that poor boy for info.
– I can’t believe Logan answered the door, but more importantly, it’s deeply upsetting that Leo and Logan are acting like they’ve never met. Remember drunk prom? Logan did Risky Business (itself a reference to the show’s Ruskie Business episode title which is of course referencing the Tom Cruise movie that Logan’s in-world costume references) and Leo was a stand-up guy while they rescued him. Even if Logan doesn’t remember that evening, which wouldn’t be all that surprising, Veronica dated Leo for a while and these two would obviously know about one another. I call bullshit.
– Veronica confronting the teenage flunky from the PCHers is so like so many of her run-ins with them I can’t choose one, down to her calling him “vato.”
– Claudia’s explanation that, “her dad was the sheriff, now they’re both PIs, they have some weird history with my brother,” is succinct and accurate. Well done.
– Weevil’s uncle’s chop shop came up a bunch throughout the series – it’s hard to see him running it himself now, but I can’t blame him for being pissed: “it must be nice to have choices, Veronica.” In many of their previous disagreements, she should have just gone to Weevil first and asked him what was going on and if he knew what his guys were up to – they have occasionally disobeyed him or even gone for an all-out mutiny.
– Worthy of Note: while everyone else calls him Weevil, Keith Mars always calls him his given name, Eli.
– Back to Logan and Leo, Logan with the jokes: “I think Piz is back there too somewhere. Piz!” (This is a great joke but I’m so glad that we’re not retreating old ground with Piz. Chris Lowell is a great actor and he should stay over on GLOW.)
– Apparently Veronica and Leo have seen one another since the movie? At the rape case at the Neptune Grande? Is this an instance of the show referencing book canon? I know this season is largely based on one of the books, The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line. Trans-media Marshmallows, help me out!
– Logan suggests watching Harlots, which is both a great shoutout (season 3 is out now!) and a vintage Logan joke, a la “hi ho” on the elevator of the Neptune Grande, where he gets to call her a name while pretending it’s about something else.
– Amalia hiring Vinnie van Lowe is somehow perfect. Actor Ken Marino was of course also in Rob Thomas’s Party Down, with V Mars guest star Adam Scott, among others (Kristen Bell guest starred).
– Logan has been saying his weird sayings again, a reference to his old voicemails (they couldn’t very well have people leaving freaking voicemails) but other people are rightly befuddled.
– The interconnectedness of the cases is one of the things that most feels like the old show.
– I love Keith and Veronica doing old timey PI/noir lingo, something they used to do purely to entertain themselves.
– I love seeing the old investigator skills and tricks of the trade on display, like Keith calling and pretending to be from a credit card company checking for erroneous charges, playing it casual to get someone to open up, and almost faking drunk.
– Keith yelling “number one daughter!” is a primo vintage Keith Mars line.
– Is Max who owns the dispensary the case of the week Hearst College student from season 3’s “Poughkeepsie, Tramps and Thieves”/the guy who sold Wallace tests? Why isn’t this role occupied by Corny, our favorite marijuana enthusiast???
Veronica Mars Season 4 Episode 5: Losing Streak
“Veronica discovers Keith has been hiding something scary from her. The real reason for Penn’s latest theory on the bomber comes to light. Veronica loses confidence in new friend, Nicole, owner of Comrade Quacks.”
– “Whatchu talkin bout weevil” is a shout-out to Gary Coleman’s catchphrase on Diff’rent Strokes, “Watchu talkin’ bout, Willis?”
– The idea of Nicole orchestrating any aspect of the bombings (and frankly, even going this far down the path, given his history) comes dangerously close to Rob Thomas repeating one of his greatest sins, having women at Hearst College lie about rape. Punch up not down, Rob, and learn from your mistakes.
– Wallace whips his head around so fast when Matty says “hey, weird question…” on the bus. Countless favors to Veronica kicked off the exact same way.
– Veronica pressing charges again against the teenage PCHer to have leverage over Weevil is…pretty disturbing. That has serious real world consequences and it feels like she could resolve things with Weevil another way if she really wanted to.
– The dead bird in Penn Epner’s bed is very Godfather.
– The Phoenix Land Trust is back! Cassidy Casblancas (AKA Beaver) created it first as a school project, and then made it real with the help of his stepmother as the adult face of the company during season 2. Apparently he knew enough to account for its ownership after his death, when it transferred to his father. Seems odd that it didn’t go to Dick, no? And I suppose we’re all going to have to accept that Kendall truly did die off-screen, even though no body was ever found…
Veronica Mars Season 4 Episode 6: Entering a World of Pain
“As Veronica learns more about Nicole’s past, her suspicion deepens. A frantic phone call from Paris leads to a search for Matty. Veronica unwittingly does legwork for Leo.”
– This episode is co-written by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld. In addition to being a former basketball star, Abdul-Jabbar has been on Rob Thomas’s show iZombie as a zombie city councilor.
– It appears that Matty intentionally Home Alone’d her mother and stepfather, staying behind while they went to Paris.
– Veronica’s “bonjour, mon enfant terrible” greeting to Matty is a reference to a rather dark 1929 novel Les Enfants Terribles by Jean Cocteau that features fatherless children (like Matty) who play a game that is elevated to psychological terror.
– This episode gives us a bunch of throwbacks. Matty and Veronica talk about Dick and Beaver’s stepmom/Big Dick’s deceased wife/Logan’s former hookup Kendall Casablancas and the season 2 arc of the bus crash. Veronica heads over to the Pi Sigs, the Hearst College frat she tangled with repeatedly throughout seasons 2 and 3.
– “Practically perfect in every way” and “a spoonful of sugar” are both Mary Poppins references. Ironic, given how many people have said Veronica should never have kids. Is anyone else weirded out by the judgment of that? Totally cool if it’s V’s choice, but it feels a little strange coming from others, repeatedly.
– It turns out Arabic isn’t Logan’s only foreign language, he also speaks incel (short for involuntarily celibate). It’s creepy hearing him do it, but damn is it ever helpful and a very 2019 update. It’s still strange to see Logan & co. filling in for what would normally be Mac’s role, though.
– Shout out to bitcoin and Veronica Mars jumping into 2016!
– Leo, you’re not a gullible young deputy anymore, well done! Tricking Veronica into doing his leg work is exactly the kind of thing she used to him.
– Good lord, Clarence Wiedman is here! If you’re having trouble remembering, he working security for Kane Software which made him a frequent adversary of Veronica’s, especially in the first and early part of the second season. He even sent photos with targets over Veronica’s face to her mother and attempted to kill her on more than one occasion. He made a brief appearance at the end of the second season to kill Aaron Echolls after he got out of jail, on orders from Duncan Kane, in order to avenge his sister’s murder.
Veronica Mars Season 4 Episode 7: Gods of War
“Veronica debates coming clean to Nicole. Veronica’s fidelity is tested. Veronica and Keith discover they aren’t the only ones who believe they’ve found the bomber. A surprising potential client tries to hire Mars Investigations.”
– So there’s going to be a Kane High? In the pilot we learned that Kane Software is a big part of what drove Neptune’s economic explosion and ensuing income inequality. It’s also how that family was so protected, even when they shouldn’t have been. All of this means a Kane High makes sense in a way, but why isn’t it a Lilly Kane Memorial High School? Doesn’t that seem more like Jake and Celeste’s speed?
– Wallace was offered the Varsity coaching job at Kane High, which is fitting given his basketball chops in high school, but it seems to test his loyalty to Veronica. It really shouldn’t, do what you gotta do man. Jake Kane did have an affair with Veronica’s mom Lianne and he and Celeste were pretty awful parents who treated Veronica poorly, but on the Neptune Scale of Evil, they’re not that bad.
– Keith’s “But Veronica, I’m a lumberjack and I’m ok” is a fun little shout-out to Monty Python. Does anyone know if the Lumberjack Burger chain is fictional?
– Veronica’s steamy Leo dream is the first non-Lilly, non-crime dream we’ve seen in a long time. I guess Veronica is just like everyone else now?
– Sheriff Langdon brushing off keith and veronica’s theory would be a call-back to all the times useless Sheriff Lamb ignored Team Mars…except she totally knows they’re right, she’s just waiting until they’re out of earshot.
– The Frat bros gave a shout-out to Fyre Festival, the disastrous rich kid camp that was documented across social media in real time and later on both Netflix and Hulu in dueling “true crime”-esque documentaries.
– Hector telling Weevil about Weight Watchers is absolutely precious.
– Keith and Veronica’s search for Penn and Carol at her cabin calls to mind
– Veronica once again owes Weevil big time, when he rescues her just like he did in the pilot and a million other times.
– Matty’s gambit with Big Dick’s gifted car is totally a vintage Veronica move. We never saw her do this exact thing, as far as I recall, but it feels like the sort of thing she did all the time.
– Penn trying to hire Team Mars even though it was their intel that got him locked up is reminiscent of Logan calling Veronica to ask for help getting out of being charged with Lilly’s murder back when she was the one who accused him of committing it.
Veronica Mars Season 4 Episode 8: Years, Continents, Bloodshed
“Veronica and Keith follow a new lead, and discover another victim. Matty follows her own instincts, landing herself dangerously close to a killer. Veronica has a tragic epiphany as the clock is ticking.”
– The title of this episode is, of course, referencing Logan’s speech to Veronica during season 2’s Alterna-Prom, the party he and the 09ers threw after they got the school-sanctioned prom cancelled. He tries to kiss her and she almost lets him but ultimately dodges it, after trying to downplay his attempts to wind up to this speech. Ironically, Logan didn’t remember saying it the next day when V went to see him the next day. Here it is, for your heart-rending, ‘shipping pleasure:
“I thought our story was epic, you know. You and me. Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined and blood shed. Epic. But summer’s almost here and we won’t see each other all. And then you’ll leave town, and then… it’s over.”
– Matty says, “I’m golden” as in, “stay golden Pony Boy,” from the book The Outsiders. Veronica used to reference this book as well, name-checking it and saying things like “Be cool, Sodapop.” (Pony Boy and Sodapop are brothers, and Sodapop works at a gas station, making him a good nickname for Wallace, who worked at the Sack’n’pack at the time.) Creator Rob Thomas has even said S.E. Hinton’s novelwas an inspiration for the series.
– The paper pizza tickets are from 2004 – the year Veronica Mars first aired on television. The fact that carbon paper helped solve this case is excellent. Physical clues still matter!
– Parker is back! A Refresher: she was Veronica’s roommate at Hearst College, a victim of the Hearst College rapist (AKA Mercer, Logan’s friend), and Logan’s girlfriend.
– It turns out Don isn’t in DC at all which feels very…fake news? Living Deep Fake? Take two of the Summer of Scam? I don’t know but insert Lucille Bluth Good for Her.gif
– The fake-out with Logan’s text message feels…manipulative, and probably a sign that they’re not ready to get married, if Veronica and their closest friends and family all readily think he left her at the altar.
– Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica, Dances with Wolves) is Logan’s therapist, which is a bit of a waste if there’s no future season for her to return in.
– Finally, an actual Logan voicemail! This time with no snark or philosophy, just a lot of LoVe feels.
– No crime in 2019 would be complete without a documentary, bringing season 4’s true crime references full circle. At least it helped with business.
– Veronica driving the red car (the one from Big Dick?) off into her next chapter feels reminiscent of the end of Cruel Intentions, when Reese Witherspoon’s Antoinette continues on after the death of Ryan Phillipe’s Sebastian.
Veronica Mars Season 4 is now on Hulu.