What's The Most Dangerous 'Veronica Mars' Mystery?

by Mary Grace Garis

I’m constantly impressed by how many times Veronica Mars just barely escaped murder before she turned 18. Let’s face it: on paper, being a teenage private eye sounds, in her own words, “adorable,” but it’s a scary endeavor. In fact, there’s no shortage of dangerous Veronica Mars missions that get me worried about the super sleuth just thinking about it. And today, I'm going to file and rank them accordingly.

Of course, there are several things I considered when I decided to order VM mysteries by dangerousness. Some factors include the amount of violence, the number of lives ruined, the snowball effect of how it created future problems for our lady... you know, just how involved and terrible was solving the mystery for Veronica? This included sorting through a variety of cases and scenarios, both episodic and spanning continents and seasons.

The abduction of Polly the Parrot did not make it, by the way.

But there are plenty of frightening scenarios that did make the cut (and probably kept the hardened spy in therapy forever and ever, tough as she may be). For your consideration, these are the 13 most dangerous Veronica Mars mysteries... you know, sans the whole Carrie Bishop thing from the movie. Girl just can’t get a break

13. The Manning Family Child Abuse Case

Veronica tries to investigate which one of Meg Manning's former babysitting charges is being abused, and (twist) it turns out that it was actually Meg's sister Grace. This case in and of itself isn't necessarily dangerous so much as it is disturbing, but it wins a spot here because this realization is at least partially what causes Duncan to run off with his and Meg's daughter. And oh, that was a whole mess.

12. The Bomb Threat Case

There was a lot of insanity going on in "Weapons of Class Destruction," and TBH the very first LoVe kiss probably eclipses the mystery as a whole. And even if nothing blew up in the end (like, literally) it is very concerning that Jonathan Taylor Thomas had all those explosives, even if he was just using them to frame Norris. Like, I don't know, that just doesn't sit right with me.

11. The Rory Finch Case

So Veronica finds out that Rory Finch is actually her professor, and that he's doing the Dean's wife. In this moment it's merely just a disappointing discovery, but that thread does lead to the significantly scarier mission that eclipses the second half of Season 3. Points for that.

10. The Troy Vandegraff Rape Case

Same concept, different mystery: clearing Troy's name in the most recent Hearst College rape is an emotional undertaking in and of itself. What's really upsetting, though, is that the rapist isn't found until halfway through Season 3, and that particular arc is a series of horrifying events of our girl.

9. The Amelia DeLongpre Case

V was fine, but lest we forget this ended with her finding Abel Koontz's daughter's body in an ice machine. Dark.

8. The Identity Of Kendall Casablancas Case

This wasn't a clearcut mystery or anything, just a reminder that unraveling who Kendall really was (Priscilla Banks, con artist, Cormac Fitzpatrick lover, etc) ended up being really messy. Ultimately, Keith is more involved in Kendall's situation and almost gets killed when Kendall is murdered by Cormac. Still, the situation was dangerous all around, and honestly, if anything had happened to Veronica's dad, she'd suffer more than anyone.

7. The Felix Toombs Murder Case

This was pretty much a season-long ordeal that involved Weevil's gang, Logan, and the Fitzpatricks... you know, all people known for their peacekeeping abilities. Short version: Thumper kills Felix to show his loyalty to the Fitzpatricks. They, in turn, ended up chaining him to a stadium and blow the whole thing up. Dear God.

6. The Gia Goodman Stalking Case

Let's just focus on how solving this mystery provoked the already-disturbed Lucky, for starters. First of all, he had designs on killing Krysten Ritter's character, which would of been rude (I know her father is a monster, but we can probably forgive her for the blackmailing stuff). Then he brings an unloaded gun to school to freak people out... and gets shot in the process. Just a mess.

5. The Sarah Miller Murder Case

In which a pregnant Jessica Chastain was probably murdered by her stepfather, after he raped and fathered her unborn child, and Keith has to legitimately kill him... you know. Normal Tuesday.

4. The Dean O’Dell Murder Case

I mean, Veronica literally pairs up with the Dean's murderer (that little rat teaching assistant) at certain points throughout the season. Lots of chaos, lives lost, et al. At the same time, the conclusion was so underwhelming for a long-arching mystery, and it was the only one that didn't get my adrenaline pumping.

3. The Hearst College Rape Case

Terrifying. This case culminates with a drawn out scene that follows Veronica try to claw her way out of that situation, running down the hallway in her dorm — I get anxious just thinking about it. The techno kind of takes me out of it a bit, though...

2. The Lilly Kane Murder Case

Every layer of the Lilly Kane case was risky business, but that ending? I won't lie to you, I honestly thought that season one was going to end with Aaron Echolls killing our main girl... and I knew there were two seasons left.

1. The Exploding Bus Case

Nothing tops the realization that Beaver isn't just Veronica's rapist, he's a full-blown psychopath who has waaaaay too much access to explosives. From start to finish, the bus crash case is a horrific tapestry that shows a really dark side of the town... you know, even for Neptune. But I stress-cry through that ending every time and have to give Veronica a million props for holding her own.

Images: Warner Bros. TV; Giphy (13)