[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Veronica Mars Season 4. Read at your own risk!]
The highly anticipated fourth season of Veronica Mars is now streaming on Hulu — a whole week earlier than expected — and the eight new episodes, which follow Veronica (Kristen Bell) investigating a series of deadly bombings in Neptune, are a bit of a treasure trove when it comes to references to earlier seasons of the cult favorite. We're not just talking about all the ways in which Matty (Izabela Vidovic) was meant to remind viewers of a younger Veronica either. Nearly every episode of the revival manages to fit in some sort of nod to the original series, so we've rounded up everything that calls back to the first three seasons of the show, the fan-funded feature film, or the canonical books below. Did you catch 'em all?
Penn Epner (Patton Oswalt) works for Cho's Pizza. In the Season 1 episode "Kanes and Abels," Veronica investigates a case in which the owner of Cho's Pizza hires Vinnie Van Lowe (Ken Marino) to harass one of Veronica's classmates so that his son would become valedictorian and earn a scholarship dedicated to Lilly (Amanda Seyfried). Veronica once again investigates crimes connected to Cho's Pizza when delivery boys for the business are being tasered, mugged, and blackmailed in Season 2's "Versatile Toppings." Veronica teams up with Corny (Jonathan Chesner), Neptune High's resident stoner, to catch the perp, who turns out to be their classmate, played by Kristin Cavallari.
Veronica sends someone bugged flowers. When Veronica sends bugged flowers to the scumbag ex-husband of a client (Eliza Coupe) in the premiere, it calls back to Season 1's "Betty and Veronica," in which Veronica has Wallace (Percy Daggs III) deliver a bugged plant to the office of Clarence Wiedmen (Christopher B. Duncan) at Kane Software. She does it again in the movie, this time sending the flowers with the bug in them to Gia Goodman (Krysten Ritter).
"Do you think they'll ever figure out who killed Lilly Kane?" As any Veronica Mars fan knows, Lilly Kane was Veronica's best friend. She was murdered by Aaron Echolls (Harry Hamlin) when both girls were in high school, and Veronica's investigation into Lilly's death is the overarching narrative of the show's first season. Veronica solved the case after discovering sex tapes involving Aaron and Lilly that the latter had stashed in a vent in her bedroom. But after Logan (Jason Dohring) destroyed the tapes, Aaron was acquitted of all charges. Penn's comment in Episode 2, and his fellow Murderheads' obsessions with the Lilly Kane murder throughout the season, shows that even when the case is solved, there will always be conspiracy theorists who refuse to accept the truth, no matter what Veronica does.
The "crimes" of Sheriff Mars. In the second episode, Penn references Keith's (Enrico Colantoni) former role as sheriff, calling him a clown and possibly even a scoundrel in a tweet about the Sea Sprite bombing. Veronica later asks him to delete the tweet, but Penn pointedly remarks that Keith not only went after the wrong guy in his investigation into who murdered Lilly, but that Keith also lost his bid for reelection in Season 3 because of evidence tampering. As Veronica clarifies, the latter was actually her fault; Keith lost the election because he erased a surveillance tape that revealed Veronica was stealing a computer, and it cost him the job.
Keith mentions Inga. Although Inga (Seraina Jaqueline) was never a major player in the original series, as the office manager of the Balboa County sheriff's department, she made a few appearances over the years. We know that Inga actually left her position when Dan Lamb (Jerry O'Connell) became sheriff, but in Episode 2, Keith reveals that he heard from her that Matty slipped out of her interview with the police chief, so it sounds like Inga is once working for law enforcement. But more importantly, she still has Keith's back.
A run-in with Liam Fitzpatrick. After Matty vandalizes the vending machines at Alpha-Jolly Amusements, the company run by Liam Fitzpatrick (Rod Rowland), she is saved by Veronica, but only once Veronica pulls a gun on Liam and his goons. "Goddamn, I hate that girl," Liam says as Veronica drives away. This interaction mirrors a scene in Season 2's "Ahoy, Mateys," when Logan saves Veronica by pulling a gun on Liam and the rest of his men in the River Stix.
"Duncan Kane was covered in blood!" During the Murderhead meeting in Episode 3, you can hear one of the group members argue that Duncan (Teddy Dunn), Lilly's brother, was actually her murderer because his parents came home and found him covered in her blood. At this line, it was hard not to immediately flash-back to all the times in Season 1 that Veronica suspected Duncan had killed Lilly, including a very memorable fantasy sequence at the end of "Kane and Abel's" in which we see exactly what that would have looked like.
Tim Foyle's still got a grudge. One of Veronica's T.A.'s at Hearst, Tim Foyle (James Jordan), wasn't a fan of hers since Veronica's very first day in Professor Landry's (Patrick Fabian) class. But his ill will toward Veronica grew exponentially after she had him sent to prison for murder, a crime Tim based off of Veronica's "perfect murder" paper that she'd turned in for class. That's why when Veronica visited him in Chino to get information on the bombing case, Foyle was more than reluctant to share any scoop, sarcastically saying, "There's nothing I'd like to do more than help the college freshman who put me here, yes!"
Mercer and Logan's trip to Tijuana. When Veronica visited Mercer (Ryan Devlin) in jail in Episode 4, he tells Veronica to ask Logan about a club they went to in Tijuana. This is referencing the alibi Logan initially gave Mercer in Season 3 during the time that one of the rapes occurred on Hearst's campus. However, it was eventually revealed that Mercer had drugged Logan on that trip to TJ, allowing him to return to Hearst, commit his crimes, and be back before Logan was aware he had ever left.
Leo brings Veronica pizza. Whenever Veronica wanted something from Deputy Leo (Max Greenfield) in the past, she brought him food to bribe him. When Leo shows up at Veronica's door in Episode 4, he brings a pizza in recognition of this "running joke," one that Logan is not exactly amused by.
Piz gets name-checked. Although Veronica's very nice and stable ex-boyfriend Piz (Chris Lowell) doesn't appear in the revival, the show does pay tribute to Stosh twice in Episode 4. When Veronica visits Mercer in jail, he asks if she's still with "Puz," and when Veronica arrives home shocked to find Logan hanging out with her other ex Leo, Logan jokes that Piz is hiding out somewhere too.
Leo's Sheriff Lamb shout-out. In Episode 4, Leo quips to Veronica, "I never thought I'd say this, but I kinda miss Sheriff Lamb." Although Lamb (Michael Muhney) was always causing problems for Veronica and Keith, and made Leo's job quite difficult when he first started out as a deputy, by the time Lamb was killed on the job in Season 3's "Mars, Bars," he had become more than just an antagonist for Veronica. And on his deathbed, it was Lamb who asked that Keith become interim sheriff, proving that there was at least some respect for everything Keith had accomplished.
The Grace Manning case. In the second Veronica Mars book, Mr. Kiss and Tell, Veronica and Leo team up to take down a serial rapist and murderer who had attacked Meg Manning's (Alona Tal) younger sister Grace. But according to Logan in Episode 4, Veronica didn't reveal that Leo was the one she had been working the case with while he was away. "In my version, it was 'the San Diego police detective.' I didn't know there was a history," Logan says.
Logan's inspirational message. One unfortunate casualty of the slow death of voicemail has been Logan's iconic inspirational messages, which we were gifted throughout the show's original three-season run. But seeing as no one calls people anymore, it wouldn't have made sense to include Logan's voicemail in Season 4. That didn't stop creator Rob Thomas from getting creative, though, and having Logan spout off an inspirational witticism while hanging out with Maloof (Mido Hamada). "The life of the creative man is led, directed, and controlled by boredom. Susan Sontag," Logan quotes.
Phoenix Land Trust. When Veronica has Matty's hacker friend look into all the shell corporations that are buying up the businesses on the boardwalk, they learn that they're all owned by the same company: Phoenix Land Trust. Fans will immediately recognize that as the name of the company Cassidy (Kyle Gallner) started in Season 2 that he hired his stepmom Kendall (Charisma Carpenter) to be the CEO of because he was still too young at the time. (And don't worry, Kendall fans. She got her own mention later on in Episode 6.)
"My name is Cassidy!" It's hard to hear the word "beaver" as a Veronica Mars fan and not respond immediately with, "My name is Cassidy!" This memorable exchange, from the heart-wrenching Season 2 finale, comes to mind in Episode 5 when Matty tells Veronica about the Phoenix Land Trust. Upon learning the information, Veronica mutters Beaver's name, to which a confused Matty says she doesn't know what Veronica is talking about but the company was owned by a Cassidy Casablancas.
Veronica still expects everyone to let her down. Upon learning that Nicole (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) had sold Comrade Quacks to Big Dick (David Starzyk), Veronica's most cynical, jaded side is activated, causing her to suspect the worst of her new friend in Episode 5. "In my experience, the people you care about let you down. But only if you let them," Veronica says in voiceover. This quote is basically an updated version of something Veronica said in the pilot: "If there's something I've learned in this business, the people you love let you down."
Veronica says she couldn't live without Logan and Keith. During a heated talk with Logan in Episode 5, Logan asks Veronica what she'd be doing if he and Keith weren't around. "I would be sticking my head in the oven because the two most important people in my life would be gone," a tearful Veronica declares. This line is reminiscent of another very difficult discussion Logan and Veronica had in Season 1's "Leave It to Beaver." After Veronica breaks up with Logan because she suspects that he killed Lilly, and does so without having a real conversation with him, she asks what he would have wanted her to say. "'Logan, I'm gonna go home and put my head in the oven because I can't go on living knowing what a heartless bitch I am!' Something like that," Logan yells.
The Pi Sigs. The frat boys that nearly drowned Penn Epner belonged to the Pi Sigma fraternity, the same house that was at the center of the memorable Season 3 episode, "Lord of the Pi's," in which the fraternity president had a Roman numeral easter egg implanted in his anus. The act was done by the women of Lilith House, who had set out to dismantle the Greek system and were inspired, in part, by the attempted suicide of a girl who had been mistreated by the Pi Sigs.
The Big Lebowski. Veronica's love of The Big Lebowski is well established. In Season 2's "Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner," it's the movie she and Duncan are watching (while Veronica quotes along to every single line) until their date is awkwardly interrupted by Logan and Kendall. The film once again gets dragged into one of Veronica's love triangles when Veronica discovers Leo hasn't seen it during their drunken walk home in Episode 6, and again when Leo tries to get Veronica to watch it with him while Logan is out of the country in Episode 7.
Kane High. The Kane name is a familiar one to any fan of Veronica Mars. From Veronica's best friend Lilly to Kane Software to Duncan Kane, He Used to Be My Boyfriend, you cannot escape the Kane name in Neptune. And in Episode 7, it's revealed the town is now also opening a new high school in the Kanes' name and that Wallace has been offered the varsity coaching job there. In Episode 8, Jake Kane (Kyle Secor) himself is also present at the dedication, which happens to be the location of one of Penn's planted bombs.
Veronica Mars Season 4 is now streaming on Hulu.