Why Did Lianne Mars Leave Neptune?

Status: Ongoing

It took the murder of Lilly Kane to shatter many of the illusions of Veronica Mars' life, not least, those pertaining to her own family. Her parents' marriage struggled with the public humiliation and loss of status brought upon them in the wake of Keith Mars' dismissal for pursuing Jake Kane as the murderer of his daughter.

Keith and Veronica were made of stern stuff, determined not to be run out of town despite the loss of status, income and their home. Lianne Mars had less substance, drawing what little strength she had from the bottle as her life fell apart. Finally she left Neptune, abandoning her family, leaving behind a music box and a note — little use to Veronica, left to face ostracism, economic hardship and the consequences of her rape alone.

Veronica neither forgave nor respected her mother for her actions. But at least, Veronica thought she knew why her mother left. It was a comfort of a sort and Veronica had no warning that even this cold comfort would be stripped away the night she followed Jake to the Camelot motel at one in the morning. Jake met a woman and that woman was Lianne Mars. Why was Lianne meeting Jake Kane? Why was she back in Neptune? Did Jake have a part in her leaving in the first place? As Veronica faced these questions, a new hope was born. If the truth, whatever it be, were known, could her mother come home?

Mystery Summary as of 1.01 "Pilot"

All summaries: 1.22 1.21 1.16 1.15 1.09 1.05 1.01

Clues for Why Did Lianne Mars Leave Neptune?

  • 1.01 "Pilot"
  • Lianne Mars wanted to leave Neptune after her husband Keith lost his reputation and his job as sheriff as a result of investigating Lilly Kane's murder and forming the belief that Lilly's father, Jake, was guilty.
  • Keith believes Jake is a liar based on earlier experience with him. Lianne dismisses this.
  • Lianne left town, abandoning her husband and her daughter, Veronica, a month after Keith was voted out of office.
  • Lianne left a note - "Veronica, I have to leave for a while. I'll be back for you soon. Love always, Mom." — and a unicorn music box for her daughter.
  • According to Logan Echolls, Lianne was known to drink, by implication, excessively.
  • Veronica learns that there is a connection between Jake and her missing mother, when she identifies Lianne as the mystery woman Jake visits at one in the morning at the Camelot Motel.
  • 1.03 "Meet John Smith"
  • Keith will not discuss with Veronica the question of what Lianne was doing at the motel with Jake or why he won't go and get her even though she is only in Arizona.
  • Veronica ascertains her mother's address in Arizona.
  • Lianne stayed in Arizona with an old college friend, Adrianna, but left a few weeks before because she thought Keith would come looking for her.
  • Adrianna tells Veronica that Lianne cares about her. Veronica is skeptical.
  • 1.05 "You Think You Know Somebody"
  • Lianne was disturbed by the news that Veronica was dating Duncan Kane.
  • Lianne tried to take Veronica to Palm Springs three days before she disappeared. At the time, Veronica thought the incident was just one more on the growing list of odd things her mom was doing and chalked her nerves up to the vodka.
  • Veronica finds a safety deposit key amongst her mother's things. She retrieves the contents.
  • There are candid photographs of Veronica taken by a professional who knew Veronica's schedule the year before. On each a bull's-eye target is drawn on Veronica.
  • Veronica considers whether her mother left, not because of Keith's disgrace, but because of the threat to her daughter.
  • Veronica assumes that her father is unaware of the photographs.
  • Keith tells Veronica that the reason he hasn't tried to find Lianne is because he may not want to.
  • Lianne calls Veronica and tells her that she does not want Veronica to find her. She adds that everything will make sense when the time is right.
  • 1.07 "The Girl Next Door"
  • The connection between Jake and Lianne goes back a long way.
  • In 1979, Jake and Lianne were high school sweethearts, king and queen of the prom, and the popular expectation was that they would marry.
  • Keith says, "A man's gotta be pretty committed to a woman, who would agree to raise another man's child." Does he speak from experience?
  • 1.08 "Like a Virgin"
  • Koontz, a former employee at Kane Industries, alleges that Lianne used to visit Jake during lunch hours. This would indicate the connection between them lasted long after high school.
  • Koontz alleges that Veronica is Jake's daughter.
  • 1.09 "Drinking the Kool-Aid"
  • Veronica is not certain of her paternity and Duncan may be her half-brother.
  • Clarence Wiedman, head of security at Kane Software, was responsible for the photographs in Lianne's safety deposit box.
  • 1.10 "An Echolls Family Christmas"
  • When Veronica confronts Jake about the photographs from Lianne's safety deposit box taken by Wiedman, he denies any knowledge of the matter.
  • Jake claims he didn't want Lianne to leave town and he doesn't know why she hid the photos.
  • Jake is sufficiently shaken by his encounter with Veronica to confront his wife, Celeste, in public, asking urgently and repeatedly, "What did you do?"
  • 1.15 "Ruskie Business"
  • Someone has been calling Veronica's cell phone for a week and hanging up without speaking.
  • By dialing the code for 'last number' after another hang up call, Veronica is informed that it was a blonde woman at the Sagebrush Cantina in Barstow who last used the phone.
  • Veronica finds Lianne there. She is drunk and shabby-looking.
  • Lianne's response to her discovery is fear. "Veronica. Oh my god no. No. Please. No. No. I can't be seen with you. They are going to hurt you."
  • Clarence Wiedman watches them.
  • 1.16 "Betty and Veronica"
  • Clarence Wiedman followed Veronica to Barstow, alerted by means of a bug in her bedroom.
  • Lianne is convinced that if she re-establishes contact with her daughter, Veronica's life will be in danger.
  • Lianne believes that Jake could not have murdered Lilly as at the supposed time of Lilly's murder, Lianne was with Jake at the Neptune Grand hotel.
  • Celeste confronted Jake and Lianne at the Neptune Grand hotel and was there at the hotel for about 20 minutes.
  • Jake and Celeste provided each other with alibis on the day of Lilly's death by claiming that they had spent two to two and a half hours together at the Neptune Grand, alibis that are not consistent with Lianne's account.
  • Veronica now has reason to believe that her mother was chased from Neptune, partly or wholly, to protect the Kanes' false alibis.
  • Lianne Mars is no longer physically lost to Veronica but is in a rehabilitation center, paid for with Veronica's college savings.
  • 1.21 "A Trip to the Dentist"
  • Whatever Lianne's reasons for staying away, or leaving rehab, she finally comes home.
  • 1.22 "Leave It to Beaver"
  • Lianne failed to complete her course of treatment at the rehabilitation center.
  • Lianne continues to drink by filling her water bottle with alcohol.
  • Veronica orders Lianne to leave.
  • Lianne leaves, taking the bounty secured from the Kane family for finding Duncan, earmarked for Veronica's college fund.