"Driver Ed"
Written by Diane Ruggiero; directed by Nick Marck

Veronica works at the Hut and wonders what went through the heads of the students, teacher, and driver involved in the bus accident in “Normal is the Watchword”). Duncan comes to see her and they discuss Meg, the only person who survived the accident (though she’s now in a coma and on life support). Veronica blames herself, but Duncan points out that she wasn’t the only person Meg was trying to avoid. A girl named Jackie Cook (Tessa Thompson) gets annoyed that Veronica isn’t paying attention and is taking too long to serve her. Veronica doesn’t seem to like Jackie any more than Jackie likes her. “You know you can do better, right?” Jackie asks Duncan. At the sheriff’s department, Lamb gives a press conference and fields a question about the maintenance records of the bus involved in the accident. He reveals that the driver, Ed Doyle, had a history of mental illness and marital problems, so he may have committed suicide. Veronica heads to school, guided by security guards while students speak with reporters. In the restroom, she encounters Jessie, Ed’s daughter, who wants Veronica to find proof that Ed didn’t kill himself. Veronica declines to help until another girl taunts Jessie and Jessie fights back with her fist. Later, Veronica heads to the cliff where the accident occurred; it’s been turned into a memorial site for the victims of the crash. She helps a man in a Hawaiian shirt light a candle, then looks around, wondering if she thinks she’s really going to find something the authorities missed. Nearby, Jessie notes that her father doesn’t have a shrine.

Woody (see “Normal is the Watchword”) chats with Keith at a baseball field where he’s coaching Little League and asks Keith to run for sheriff and help him build his platform for a safer Neptune. He admits that he signed the petition to get Keith thrown out of office the first time, but now he realizes that he did well in the position. A fight breaks out between 09er and non-09er Little Leaguers and Woody has to break it up. At home, Veronica points out to Keith that Woody is guaranteed the position of county supervisor, so he’s also ensuring a job for Keith. She thinks that he should go for it, but Keith isn’t as sure. They watch a TV report about Duane Andrews (Kevin Smith), the convenience store clerk who was the last person to speak with Ed before the crash. Duane notes that Ed bought a few things at the store and started to leave, then came back, bought a St. Christopher medal, and threw it away. Keith grows emotional and tells Veronica that he can’t imagine what he would have to go through if Veronica had gotten back on the bus. She makes a joke and he tells her she doesn’t have to, but she thinks she does. Veronica wonders what Ed bought at the store; if it was something to keep him awake, he might have fallen asleep. Keith tells her that she can’t make sense of things, but Veronica wants to try to help Jessie. At school, Veronica overhears some girls talking about Meg and slams one girl’s locker shut. She meets up with Duncan, who tries to cheer her up, but she’s angry that he’s not more upset about what happened to Meg.

Jackie’s father, Terrence (again, see “Normal is the Watchword”), tries to make her get out of bed and go to school, but she’s stubborn. He tells her that if she doesn’t start obeying, he’ll send her back to live with her mother in New York. She’s not happy about the way he’s treating her. He gives her car keys, telling her she’s taking the Bronco to school rather than the Porsche, but when she arrives at school, it’s obvious that she has some sort of control over him. Wallace overhears two girls talking in his class; one is telling the other, a new student, about Cervando, a biker who was on the bus. He was on the honor roll, which surprises the second girl, since she thought the other bikers wouldn’t approve of that. Jackie shows up and Wallace quickly offers to show her to the office. They flirt in the hallway and she pretends to be offended when he says that she has a daddy complex. She implies that he’s too nice for her taste. Logan and Kendall (once again, see see “Normal is the Watchword”) have sex at the Casablancas’ house, though she would like to not think about the fact that he’s still in high school. Veronica waits for Duncan at his car and they make up. She talks about her guilt over the accident and he tries to convince her that nothing that happened is her fault. Dick, Cassidy, and their father Dick Sr. (David Starzyk) return home and Logan and Kendall narrowly miss getting caught mid-coitus. Logan plays nice with Dick Sr., who invites him to go to a shooting range with him and Dick the next day. “As long as I’m not the target,” Logan jokes.

After school, Wallace runs into Jackie in the parking lot - someone hit her father’s car and left a fake note. Wallace tells her that he knows someone who can help her out. Veronica heads to Duane’s store, which has been turned into Bus Accident Memorabilia Central. He’s selling a bunch of stuff with pictures of flying buses and keeps playing the Who’s “Magic Bus.” Wallace calls Veronica and does her “I need a favor” head tilt. He realizes that she’s upset and decides to take care of Jackie’s situation by himself. Veronica heads to the cash register, where a sign displayed reads, “We do not make change. Don’t even ask.” She asks Duane for Ed’s last meal and receives a slushy and peanuts. Before she leaves, she buys a St. Christopher medal as well. She realizes that Ed bought his because he needed change for the phone and the medal was the cheapest thing in the store. She wonders who he called and why no one knows about it. Veronica heads to the sheriff’s department and tells Sacks that she’s applying for a job as a part-time receptionist. She really just needs a way to get into an interrogation room so she can call to get pay phone records. At school, Wallace talks to some kids who might have seen who hit Terrence’s car. One of the guys tells him that the culprit was a blond girl driving a green car. Back at the sheriff’s department, Lamb learns that Veronica has been left alone, but by the time he gets to her, she’s already gotten what she needs.

At lunch, Wallace explains to Jackie how he’s narrowed down the list of culprits to one. Unfortunately for him, this girl, Jane Kuhne (Valorie Curry), had knee surgery and is being driven to school by a friend, so she couldn’t have hit Terrence’s car. Veronica goes to Jessie’s apartment and asks her if she knows someone whose last name is Cotter; he or she was the person Ed called from the convenience store. Jessie doesn’t know who Cotter is, and Veronica had no luck going to the person’s apartment (which is in Jessie’s complex). Lamb and a couple of deputies arrive to search the apartment for signs that Ed killed himself. Logan, Dick, and Dick Sr. go to the shooting range and Logan gets a little jumpy around Dick Sr. (which is smart, considering he has a loaded weapon). Dick Sr. talks about how his family doesn’t exist when he’s working, and his job doesn’t exist when he’s with his family. Logan notes that Aaron has the same philosophy, though he’s a murderer, so it doesn’t have the same meaning. Dick tells Logan that they should bring some girls over to the Casablancas house while Dick Sr. and Kendall are out. Logan says that he lives alone now, so he can do his own thing. Dick teases that girls won’t want to go to “casa de killer.” After Dick walks away, Logan hits his target dead center. Veronica visits Wallace while he’s working at the Sac-and-Pac and he tells her about the girl in class telling the new student about Cervando.

That evening, Veronica goes to see Jeff Cotter (pretending to be the district attorney’s assistant, Dawn Lamb), but he didn’t know Ed and wasn’t home when Ed called. Jeff’s wife, Carla, was home but claims that the call must have been a wrong number. Jessie summons Veronica to her apartment, where she tells her that Ed killed himself - Lamb found a suicide note on his computer. Veronica comes by later and finds Jessie’s mother upset that her son is crying over Ed’s death. She thinks that Ed didn’t care about them, since he left them with nothing. Jessie shows Veronica the note, which Ed wrote to his wife to tell her that he couldn’t stay, even though he wanted to be there for the kids. Wallace works at the Sac-and-Pac and is approached by a reporter who tries to get him to talk about the bus accident. Wallace is intrigued by his notepad and learns that a lot of reporters use them. Veronica goes back to see Carla and asks her why her supposed wrong-number call lasted four minutes. She thinks that the suicide note was actually a goodbye note because Ed was planning to leave his wife for Carla. Later, Veronica introduces Carla and Jessie at the Hut; Carla tells Jessie that Ed didn’t want to leave her and her brother with their mother. She is sure that he didn’t kill himself. Veronica realizes that she doesn’t want to “let the list of things [she wants] to do before [she dies] turn into a list of regrets,” so she heads to the Neptune Grand and has sex with Duncan.

Afterwards, the couple hears another noisy couple next door and contemplates giving them a run for their money. Later, after Duncan falls asleep, Veronica leaves and encounters Logan in the hallway; he senses that she and Duncan had sex. After he leaves, Veronica calls the suite from her cell phone and Kendall answers. At the Casablancas house, Dick Sr. and Kendall return from a function to find Cassidy watching TV and eating popcorn. Dick Sr. scares Cassidy, who spills popcorn everywhere. When Cassidy goes to clean up the mess, he finds a condom wrapper under the couch. At the sheriff’s department, Keith tells Woody that he appreciates the offer but he doesn’t want to run for sheriff again. As Keith is leaving, he overhears Jessie bugging Lamb to reopen the case and rule that Ed didn’t commit suicide. Of course, he refuses. Wallace and Jackie sit in the school parking lot until the new girl from Wallace’s class comes to get her car. Wallace has removed her spark plugs and only gives them back in exchange for her insurance information. After she leaves, Wallace explains to Jackie that the girl is actually an undercover reporter. In gratitude, Jackie kisses him. Veronica spots this and, after Jackie leaves, asks Wallace who she is. At home, Keith tells Veronica that he’s running for sheriff; she’s happy about the news. Keith notices that something seems different about Veronica and she wonders if he can tell that she had sex. On the beach, Lamb and some deputies find the man in the Hawaiian shirt dead with Veronica’s name written on his hand.

WELCOME TO NEPTUNE: Jackie, Dick Sr., Jane

THE SCHOOL BUS CASE: Meg is the only person who survived the accident.

The sheriff’s department ruled that Ed committed suicide, but he was actually just planning to leave his wife for another woman.

A man in a Hawaiian shirt first seen at the cliff where the accident occurred was found dead on the beach with Veronica’s name written on his hand.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Logan: “Whoo, considerably better than fifth-period English.”
Kendall: “Ah, you need to not remind me you’re in high school. There’s an ick factor.”

“Let me tell you something, if I was gonna do a kamikaze, you know, off a bridge with a bus full of kids and stuff, convenience store would not be the site of my last meal. I’d want to - I’d want to eat something on the brink of extinction, you know? Like the last emu or meerkat. I bet they’d go down smooth.” - Duane

Veronica: “I have excellent time-management skills, I’m also great with people, and I have a very soothing phone voice.”
Sacks: “You’re serious?”
Veronica: “As a code three on a 187 in a res. dist.”

“Seriously, why do birds suddenly appear every time you’re near?” - Veronica to Lamb

“If I die unexpectedly, do me a favor. Go on Oprah and tell the world I loved kittens.” - Veronica to Wallace

Back to Veronica Mars episode guides

Back to Fun and Games