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'Veronica Mars' nostalgia recap: You can't handle the truth

Season 1 | Episode 15 | “Ruskie Business” | Aired Feb 22, 2005

Veronica Mars is not like other teenage girls who just have to worry about making good grades, trying to fit in at school, or seeing if their crush likes them back. Instead, she deals with trying to see if her friend’s mom is still alive, tracking down the groom of a Russian email-order bride, discovering the identity of another friend’s secret admirer, AND solving the mystery of her best friend’s death. Just a normal week in the life of Veronica!

Lynn Echolls’ suicide: Logan is still grasping at any sort of hope that his mom is still alive, despite seeing the video evidence that she most likely jumped off the bridge. When Veronica gets word that another transaction has been used on the credit card, it brings them to a hotel in Los Angeles, where the most expensive room has been booked in his mother’s name. Logan decides to stake the place and wait it out. Veronica finds him still there hours later, waiting to the point of exhaustion. To help him out, she reports the credit card stolen, to bring out whoever has been using it. A woman exits the elevator dressed in his mother’s clothing, causing Logan to rush to her in excitement.

Unfortunately, it turns out to be his sister, Trina (Alyson Hannigan), the one who did not return for her funeral. Her responses aren’t very sympathetic as to why she’s using the card or the clothes. In fact, she’s pretty dismissive, and acts like she couldn’t care less that her stepmom died. She also lets it slip in front of Veronica that she knew about their father abusing Logan. With this last shred of hope now destroyed, Logan breaks down in the hotel lobby, crying in Veronica’s arms.

Oh, the feels.

Secret admirer: Meg is back, and needs Veronica’s help to find out who her secret admirer is. She got a text on the way home from the basketball game that reads, “I think UR kewl.” Wow, nothing says true love like very bad text speak. Instead of texting back to see who responds, she looks around the bus and automatically assumes it’s one of two guys: the popular jock, Caz (Zachary Ty Bryan), or the loner, Martin. Even with Veronica saying it could be a creepy freshman, Meg is convinced it’s one of these two guys. After all, it could be her soul mate!

Veronica researches the flowers that Meg receives and finds out which store they came from. The two of them also go to a party hosted by Caz, where it soon becomes obvious that he really doesn’t know Meg, despite her being popular in school. Also, while Martin seems like a good candidate, Meg is still iffy about him. I’d also like to chide Veronica for leaving Meg at the party to go help Logan. You don’t leave your girlfriend for a guy. Ever.

Eventually she gets the police artist to draw the guy based on the description the flower owner gave. She realizes that it’s … Duncan. Not wanting to see the two of them together, Veronica is reluctant to go to the ’80s dance, but Meg convinces her to go with her. The two arrive dressed in their finest, but Duncan reveals himself to Meg. Veronica backs away and leaves the dance crying. There’s a lot of mixed emotions here. She’s not really over Duncan because she still doesn’t know why he broke up with her. Plus, now he’s going after her friend. But then there’s that whole thing where he may be her brother. Talk about complicated feelings. Luckily for her, Leo, recruited by Meg, turns up at the dance and sweeps Veronica off her feet. They finally kiss. More feels!

Russian bride: The Mars gets a case from a Russian woman claiming that her fiancé got a case of cold feet and left abruptly. Keith tells Veronica that as they are swamped with another case, Veronica should only do the basic search and leave it alone. Unable to find the guy, Veronica decides to take the case on herself, even though Keith disagrees. After learning that he was an actor with the unfortunate name of Tom Cruz, she puts out a casting call, hoping he’ll send in his headshot. When that fails, she uses information about his unique dog to track him track to a vet’s office. With Leo’s help, she’s able to pinpoint the guy’s location. She’s just on the verge of giving it to his fiancé when Keith hangs up the phone. It turns out that the guy was not her fiancé at all, and is in the witness protection program. The woman is the wife of a criminal whom Tom testified against, and they are trying to hunt him down. Veronica was THISCLOSE to compromising the guy’s safety. See, kids—this is what happens when you don’t listen to your parents!

Speaking of parents, throughout the episode, Veronica has been getting phone calls from someone who doesn’t talk when she answers. When it happens at the dance, she immediately calls back the number, only to find out that it’s from a payphone at a bar, and the person that had used it was a blond woman. Immediately realizing that it’s her mother, Veronica leaves a horribly confused Leo in a rush. She gets to the bar the next day. (The timing seems a bit off, and it’s interesting that she assumes her mom would still be there.)

There’s a woman at the bar who resembles her mother; unlike Logan’s discovery, it really is her! Sadly, this isn’t a happy reunion; Lianne is terrified to see Veronica there, saying, “They’re going to hurt you!” Then Veronica sees Clarence Wideman in the bar looking back at them. Ugh. Bad feels.

Quick thoughts: Will Leo and Veronica end up together? What’s going on with Veronica’s mom? Is Logan going to spiral even farther downward? So many unanswered questions!

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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