Corn Nuts, Strippers, and Papa's Cabin: Veronica Solves the Perfect Murder on Veronica Mars

Sigh. Can you believe that the latest pod of Veronica Mars episodes is already at a close? It seems like the beloved series only just returned from a way-too-long hiatus in the first place and now the CW has snatched the show right off the air again to bring us (ick) a reality series about the Pussycat Dolls.

To cut to the chase: No new Veronica Mars episodes until May 1st.

I'm heartbroken.

While I am sure you'll hear me whining over the next two months about how I miss my weekly glimpse into Neptune, I did want to talk about the resolution to the Dean O'Dell murder mystery, which wrapped up neatly last night in the latest installment of Veronica Mars ("Papa's Cabin").

And, yes, just as I suspected way back when, it was creepy TA Tim Foyle. But like most good murder mysteries, writer John Enbom left us guessing until the final moments, as he and the show's writers/producers did such a fantastic job at including enough red herrings, incriminating leads, and probable suspects to draw attention away from Timmy and onto the dynamic duo of Mindy O'Dell and Professor (or is it Dr.?) Hank Landry. Or was it Mindy and violent ex-husband (and Sheriff Lamb killer) Steve Botando? My point exactly.

It definitely did look like Mindy was guilty of something, even though it was her involvement in her husband's murder case that got the verdict changed from suicide to murder. But why would Mindy do that if she were in the clear? Well, for the massive insurance payout, which wouldn't have happened if Cyrus had offed himself; besides, O'Dell was going to divorce her and leave her with nothing. Meanwhile, he was going to destroy Landry's reputation, kick him out of the university, and tarnish his name. So both of them did have motive for killing poor, misunderstood Cyrus O'Dell. Which is exactly what Tim was banking on.

I thought it was hilarious to see former nemeses Veronica and Tim team up to free Professor Landry and unmask the real killer. These two have been at each other's throats the entire season, and it was fantastic to get to see Tim in a sympathetic light. (Hell, I even felt bad for the guy when he heard his idol Landry -- a "great man" -- give him a poor reference for a teaching gig at Pepperdine University.) And it was a great way to show what a wonderful detective Veronica is, both in and out of the field. Especially compared to Tim.

But Tim was quite the devious evil genius, masterminding a plan that saw the death of the Dean, the imprisonment of Professor Landry (apparently shooting down one's employment opportunities is not cool in the academic set either), and the death of Mindy O'Dell. For the latter, Tim merely had to set up some mildly incriminating evidence and turn Hank and Mindy against one another and sit back and watch the whole house of cards topple over. And it did look bad for Mindy: she cashes in the insurance claim, buys a boat (after shipping her kids off to England), and disappears. Hank thought Mindy was going to make him take the fall (he even helped to clear her by switching O'Dell's computer keyboard with Botando's, hence the prints), confronted her, and they fought. Mindy really did think she was fighting for her life (she now thought he was the killer) and she went overboard. Death by accidental drowning. Landry confesses (it was an accident) and is charged with manslaughter when Mindy's body washes up on the beach near Papa's Cabin.

Tim plants the incriminating shirt and gloves (taken from Landry's house) in the incinerator and waits for it to come to ground. He forces the stripper/eyewitness to say that she saw Landry the night of the murder outside a convenience store ... and then leads Veronica right to her, where they discover that the alibi is fake and "Landry" had threatened to take her kid into foster care if she didn't comply. The call that traces them back to her was made on a disposable phone that Tim "happens" to find at Landry's house.

But the real clincher was the fact that Tim, newly elevated to the post of professor after Landry's arrest, arrogantly recounts the clues in the case against Landry and accidentally reveals that he knew that Mindy had shipped her kids to England. There's no way Tim could have known this ... unless he had tapped Veronica's phone. Bingo. Veronica unspools the entire sad affair in front of their class (sorry you lost that plum TA gig, V) and confronts Tim.

So there. No one trumps Veronica, especially not on her own show. Thanks to Veronica, the real killer is finally unmasked, and she goes home and makes some "meat and potatoes" for Papa Keith, now acting sheriff (until the election).

I'm glad that Enbom stuck that wrap-up scene between the two of them at home, especially since Keith and Veronica are perhaps somewhat on opposite sides of the law now. With Keith wearing that tin star, he's got to represent law and order, and Veronica? Well, Veronica takes certain liberties with the law (like, say, breaking and entering) that don't really go over too well with the new sheriff. So, while I was a little concerned with the tensions this new dimension to their relationship would place on the funny between them, I'm glad to see that, at home at least, things are peachy keen between father and daughter.

Things also seem to be okay between Veronica and Logan, even as he and Parker inch closer to beginning a relationship with one another. I'm glad to see that Parker values her friendship with Veronica and, even though she's clearly attracted to Logan, tries to put her friendship first. Logan, meanwhile, tries to be mature and asks Veronica if it's okay if he asks Parker out; she actually agrees. Could it be that things, for now anyway, are truly over between them?

Looks like we'll have to wait until May to find out.

Next on Veronica Mars: it's a two-month wait for new episodes, but when we return from what will surely be a painful hiatus, Veronica sets up shop as a detective, takes up paintball, and maybe (just maybe) spends some much-needed time with Mac. See you in May!

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Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions junior exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He’s halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionary.blogspot.com.