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'Veronica Mars' nostalgia recap: 'Tis the season for stalking

Season 1 | Episode 10 | “An Echolls Family Christmas” | Aired Dec 14, 2004

I have a confession. Until very recently, Kristen Bell was just the voice of Anna from Frozen and some actress who cried at seeing sloths. I also thought a marshmallow was just a confectionery treat. Then I watched the first episode of Veronica Mars, a show that has been repeatedly recommended to me for years. I began to finally understand why fans were so enthusiastic to fund the Kickstarter for a movie to this show last year. I’m over 11 years late to the game. So, longtime fans, be jealous as I get to experience the show for the very first time.

I’ve been told by many folks that this is their favorite episode of Veronica Mars, and it’s easy to see why. It’s Christmastime in Neptune, and the holiday spirit is NOT in the air.

Logan is hosting a poker game with Duncan, their 09-er friend Sean, hot actor of the month Connor, and Weevil in attendance. Does the song that goes “One of these things is not like the other” run through anyone else’s mind? Weevil is able to put in the $1K to enter the poker game at Logan’s. It seems like after their detention together, things are a little less frosty between the two. They’re not buddy-buddy by any means, but it’s a huge thing for Logan to let Weevil into his house.

Duncan keeps acting like he’s drunk, but everyone seems to be actually having a good time. Weevil ends up winning the game, much to Logan’s chagrin, and asks for his $5,000. When Logan goes to retrieve the money, he finds all the cash missing. Weevil is furious, thinking they just brought him there to steal his money—but everyone else looks just as shocked that it’s gone. For retribution, Weevil makes all the guys strip to prove they don’t have the cash on them. Then he decides to take ransom from each guy until the money reappears.

Check out Logan and Duncan’s matching Christmas boxers:

Veronica Mars Christmas

How does this affect Veronica? Well, it turns out Weevil took Duncan’s laptop, which contains his online journal featuring Veronica. As she doesn’t want THAT getting into the wrong hands (plus, if those two end up being half-siblings, that’s something you definitely don’t want becoming public), she goes to Weevil to ask him to give back the stuff. He seems insulted that she thinks she can handle this better than he can. That’s understandable, but come on, dude—hasn’t she already proven she’s good at this kind of thing?

Veronica goes around town questioning each of the guys to see which of them is most likely the culprit. They all blame each other, but it turns out only one of them did it: Sean, the rich kid who kept bragging about being rich. It turns out he has a shoplifting problem and masterminded it so that Weevil would get the blame and he’d get the money.

What makes the episode stand out is that you really don’t have any idea who the thief is until the end of the episode. It takes a sharp eye to detect all the small clues that Veronica noticed—but they’re all there, aside from the very last reveal, which is a correct assumption on her part. It’s also really nice to see that Logan isn’t all that bad. Don’t spoil things for me, folks, but is it possible that Logan is actually turning out to be likable? Also, mad props at Veronica for shocking the boys with her poker skills. She just looks innocent, folks.

The other story deals with Logan’s parents and a stalker who’s going after Aaron Echolls. Someone is accusing him of cheating and sends threatening notes, so his wife hires Keith to figure out who it is and stop them. When Keith goes to investigate, he discovers that Aaron has indeed been sleeping with multiple women, and seems slightly nonchalant about the whole thing. He sees that the Echolls are more worried about their annual Christmas party than the fact that whoever this stalker is could present a legit threat to the family. His concerns keep getting ignored or dismissed, so when Aaron gets stabbed, it’s almost as if he asked for it. There appears to have been no security around, and no background checks done on anyone who was working there.

Despite the fact that both of these storylines primarily takes place IN the Echolls home, there is no interaction at all between Logan and his parents. This pretty much describes their family relationship; we see who uninvolved Logan’s parents are in his life. His dad is more focused on his career and public image, while his mother is doing everything she can to save face, and basically ignore the fact that her husband isn’t always who he says he is. Meanwhile, Logan doesn’t really have any supervision from them, although he has everything money can buy. There’s no belt-beating in this episode, but other than Logan calling 911, that’s the most we see the Echolls family showing any sign of affection toward one other.

Veronica also angrily confronts Jake Kane about why his security chief was taking surveillance pictures of her. He yells back that he doesn’t know. The weird part to me about this was when Veronica also blurted out that he is her father and HE DOES NOT DENY THIS. I can’t tell whether he didn’t hear her or he was just ignoring that part because she was super-emotional, but he just glosses over that fact completely. So is it true? It doesn’t help that Keith sees this happening and can probably guess what is going on.

A merry Christmas indeed. Until next week, Marshmallows!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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