What's Behind Neptune's Civil War?

Status: Venting teens and a healthy class divide.

"Neptune, California. A town without a middle class."

Without that buffer, tensions between the haves and the have-nots have always seethed beneath the surface in Neptune. Keith Mars, who many have-nots still counted as friend, was a victim of the machinations of the rich and powerful when he lost his job as the town's sheriff over his investigation into the murder of Lilly Kane. His public vindication is a victory for the have-nots. The sordid lives of the haves were exposed.

In an election year, those tensions have broken the surface. It's not safe at school or in the streets anymore as the two camps polarize. The supposed catalyst was the murder of Felix Toombs, a murder many believed was committed by an 09er, the very high-profile Logan Echolls.

Feelings ran high. Things started to happen. Nasty things. A shotgun shattered the windows of Logan's Xterra as he and Veronica sank into its seats to make out. The have-nots' access to a swimming pool was cut off for the summer by arson. Then even the gods seemed to have picked sides when a field-trip tragedy left most of the 09ers on the trip untouched and all of the non-09ers dead. The one temporary survivor was the only 09er on the bus.

If Woody Goodman's plans for incorporation had gone forward, then the divide in Neptune would have been marked by a wall, an actual physical barricade for the haves against the have-nots. It was not to be, however. The incorporation plan was sabotaged at the hands of its creator when he was blackmailed over his murky, child-molesting ways.

And the gods had nothing to do with the bus crash. The motive for that was twisted and personal, driven by the desperate need of that same blackmailer, a deranged boy, to keep a secret.

Even so, the haves still have their victories. Keith's reputation took a dive twice as the year went on. At the time when the bus driver was thought to have been responsible for the crash, it was revealed that Keith had shown the man sympathy and understanding in the past, failing to book him for an offence that would have precluded his employment as a bus driver. And Keith's victory over Lilly's murderer turned to humiliation when a jury ignored his evidence and set Aaron free.

In Neptune, the rich continued to get richer and away with murder while the poor got poorer. There was no grand plan, no scheme to ignite class tensions. It was just business as usual.

Mystery Summary as of 2.22 "Not Pictured"

All summaries: 2.22 2.17 2.16 2.03 2.02 2.01

Clues for What's Behind Neptune's Civil War?

  • 2.01 "Normal Is the Watchword"
  • There is an ongoing war of attrition between the 09ers and the non-09ers.
  • In one incident, Veronica and Logan narrowly escaped injury when someone on a motorcycle shot out the windows on Logan's car.
  • In another, the public swimming pool used by the non-09ers was destroyed. Logan Echolls, Dick and Cassidy "Beaver" Casablancas, John Enbom and somebody named Rams are implicated.
  • When Veronica asked why Dick and Cassidy were loading Logan's car with gasoline, they said their intention was to burn all the grass in the Pan High football field and spell out "Pan sucks." This was the day before the swimming pool incident. Did they lie? Was that why Cassidy couldn't look Veronica in the eye? Is Veronica right in her assumption that it was they who burned down the community pool?
  • Meg has a gripe with Veronica and is uncharacteristically bitchy toward her. She knew Duncan loved Veronica. Duncan broke up with Meg when Veronica was still with Logan, weeks before Veronica and Duncan reunited. So why is Meg being so mean to Veronica now? What did Veronica do, other than re-join the ranks of the 09ers?
  • The futures of have-not athletic stars and Meg were callously disregarded and tainted by allegations of drug-taking by the rich parents of some of the 09ers. The reason? To remove the best so their second-best children could shine.
  • The bus that plunged off a cliff was full of non-09ers—and Meg.
  • Meg seems singularly unlucky. Is it karma for the sweet girl whose hair was braided by cartoon birds or is there something else at play? It's almost as if Meg isn't an 09er anymore.
  • On its face, the battle is being waged between the teenage 09ers, led by Logan, and the PCH bikers, led by Weevil. Weevil claims to have control yet seems to know nothing of the attack on Logan and Veronica. Was it one of his boys?
  • Jake Kane was powerful before his arrest. Is he still a power in the town, even from Napa? He is one person at least who may have motive to make Logan the target of attacks, and he has the money to make it happen.
  • Woody Goodman is running for mayor and gets an early start on the 18-year-old vote with his invitation to the students of Neptune High School. How will his chances of election fare if Neptune is in the grips of violent battle between the haves and have-nots?
  • If Boatloads of Fun Corporation can engineer the falsification of drug test results to advance the sporting careers of their good-but-not-that-good children, what else can they do? What were they formed to do? What are they doing now? And what have they heard about Veronica Mars?
  • 2.02 "Driver Ed"
  • The maintenance records of the school bus that careened off a cliff, killing five non-09er students, a teacher, and the driver are allegedly part of the investigation, but they are never disclosed. Many in Neptune question the district's commitment to providing new, well-maintained buses when it is only the kids on the poor side of town who use them.
  • Woody Goodman is standing unopposed for election as county supervisor. This is the proper title for the post commonly referred to as mayor (because Neptune is unincorporated - thanks for the info, Rob Thomas). Woody's platform is "Neptune. Cleaner. Safer." The darker things are in Neptune, the more attractive that message.
  • A key plank of Woody's policy is to have an effective sheriff in office. Woody observes Lamb in action and then invites Keith Mars to run on his ticket. After initially declining, Keith accepts.
  • What impact will Veronica's name on the hand of a cadaver have on Keith's campaign?
  • 2.03 "Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang"
  • Lamb brings Veronica in for questioning over the death of David "Curly" Moran. Veronica doesn't tell her father. Will his chances for election be affected? If he knew, might it change his mind, particularly as Alicia seems less convinced as to the soundness of the idea?
  • Logan challenges Duncan on not taking sides. He tells Duncan that it's a war "out there," a war that Duncan has left Logan to fight alone. Duncan tells him that he can't get past Logan's father killing his sister.
  • Richard "Big Dick" Casablancas appeals to average Joes on price and profit potential. When his crooked house of cards comes crashing down, it is those same average Joes, like Samuel Nelson Pope and other have-nots, who suffer as he flies away in his helicopter.
  • Veronica is responsible for bringing down Big Dick Casablancas, a leading have in Neptune society. She hangs out with 09ers, but what side is she really on?
  • While it is Veronica who blows the whistle, it is Cassidy who sets the train in motion for his father's change in fortunes. How innocent is Cassidy? He knew the Sandpiper was in the REIT brochure and yet he recognized the real Sandpiper as his father's property. Did Cassidy know what he was doing when he unleashed a private detective on his father and if so, why did he do it?
  • 2.04 "Green-Eyed Monster"
  • Logan's Life's Short party was crashed by Weevil and the bikers. The sheriff's department attended to break it up. There is no information as to what actually happened at the party or if there was a battle. What was Weevil thinking in crashing the party of the person who allegedly killed one of his own? Did he go for the fight? Did he get one?
  • Stewart Manning is one of Neptune's haves. He appears to have issues of his own when he accuses Duncan of being responsible for Meg's presence on the doomed bus and when his daughter fears for Meg's safety if he learns the truth about her, whatever that is. What are the Manning family secrets and are they connected to the trouble in the town?
  • 2.05 "Blast from the Past"
  • Keith Mars's campaign for sheriff is founded on his recognition of the growing sense of resentment, friction, and polarization in the community. His campaign is successful and gives him a substantial lead until he is torpedoed by Lamb's revelations that Keith was responsible for Ed Doyle driving the crashed school bus.
  • 2.06 "Rat Saw God"
  • Keith Mars fails in his bid to be elected sheriff, but the vote is very close. He gets 49% of the vote, reflecting the deep divide in the town.
  • Cliff McCormack succeeds in getting Logan bail when he is re-arrested and re-charged with the murder of Felix. This is seen as a case of a rich white boy walking by the PCH bikers.
  • Dick Casablancas jokes to the effect that it is okay to kill Mexicans. One of the PCH bikers reacts angrily.
  • The PCH bikers are grumbling that their reputation is suffering by their failure to deal with Logan. This reflects on Weevil as their leader.
  • Weevil declares his intention to do "something" about Logan.
  • Logan's house is destroyed by fire. There is as yet no evidence as to how the fire was started.
  • Logan, in the belief that Weevil and the PCH bike gang are responsible for the fire, retaliates by purchasing the home of Leticia "Letty" Navarro, Weevil's grandmother, and serves notice of eviction.
  • Tensions between Logan and Weevil and their respective followers intensify. Rather than diffuse those tensions, a teacher simply tells them not to let them boil over at school.
  • Something's coming. All indications are that a West Side Story-style rumble is in the cards. Bernardo and Riff weren't manipulated into their fight. Can the same be said about Weevil and Logan? And will the results be as tragic?
  • 2.07 "Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner"
  • Woody tells Keith his vision for Neptune. He wants to turn Neptune into a full-fledged city by way of incorporation. He states that doing so will up the tax base. That would significantly increase revenue.
  • The city would have a population of 9,000.
  • Woody wants Keith to be the city's Chief of Police.
  • It is clear from Keith's reaction that the boundaries of the proposed city will encompass only the 09er parts of Neptune.
  • Stuart Fuller tells Veronica that he and his wife have a standing dinner date with friends on Fridays and that on Saturdays, he is on the boat. Once a month on Sundays, they do a day trip. In 2.01 "Normal Is the Watchword," Jilly Ho mentioned a group of 09er families that met together, calling themselves the Boatloads of Fun Corporation. Have the Fullers joined the fun? Are those day trips to Cabo?
  • 2.08 "Ahoy, Mateys!"
  • The Oliveres family, who lost a son in the bus crash, is suing the school district. They are convinced that it is they who are responsible for harassing them.
  • From the appearance of his house, and his implicit admission that he is a powerless factotum, Clemmons is a Neptune have-not, deferring to the principal Principal Alan Moorehead. Moorehead has the appearance of a Neptune have.
  • The school has access to the legal services of a big firm, Simon & Stern.
  • 2.09 "My Mother, the Fiend"
  • Weevil does not deny setting fire to Logan's home.
  • Clemmons, an apparent have-not, has deposed Principal Moorehead. Is Neptune, "a town without a middle class," seeing the emergence of one? What impact will that have, or has it already had, on the power plays going on behind the scenes?
  • 2.10 "One Angry Veronica"
  • Woody is very concerned about the theft of the Aaron/Lilly sex tapes and the impact it will have on the town's reputation.
  • Another case highlights the tensions between the haves and have-nots of Neptune when two 09ers are accused of assaulting a Mexican girl. That the case has again split Neptune on economic and racial lines is inferred by the attempted intimidation of a jury member and the vandalism of a jury member's car after the verdict. Both indicate high public interest in the trial.
  • The majority of the jury finds it likely that the father of one of the 09ers produced the defendant's star witness to give false testimony.
  • 2.12 "Rashard & Wallace Go To White Castle"
  • The PCH bikers, under the covert and then open leadership of Thumper, have been working with the Fitzpatricks, dealing drugs. This minimizes the unrest between two factions of the have-not community.
  • Woody Goodman is implicated in the bus crash by his daughter, who tells Lamb that she did not board the bus for the return journey because her father told her not to.
  • 2.13 "Ain't No Magic Mountain High Enough"
  • Baseball hero with feet of clay, Terrence Cook, is actively supporting Woody's plans for incorporation.
  • Terrence states that his position on incorporation is the cause of Lamb's harassment, as Lamb is aware that if it happens, the Balboa County Sheriff will be left as "the hayseed who hands out speeding tickets on the way into town."
  • A minor skirmish is won when Magic Mountain, the preferred venue of the non-09ers for the senior school trip, is forced upon the organizers by the theft of some of the money raised for the trip. The 09er choice, Catalina, must be foregone.
  • 2.14 "Versatile Toppings"
  • Coconuts, Latinos who date white people or join Honor Society or the like, are targeted by a young Latino looking to join the PCH bike gang who are "back in charge."
  • The Fitzpatricks are connected to Leonard Lobo, an unsavory character according to the Baseball League who owns a number of casinos.
  • 2.15 "The Quick and the Wed"
  • Polls show that 57% of the population of Neptune is in favor of incorporation.
  • Based on the incorporation of a similarly diverse community, Palo Alto, the effect of incorporation will be to effectively put up a wall between the economic classes and result in an ultra-rich center surrounded by a crime-ridden area. Property values in the city will skyrocket while land outside the incorporation will become worthless.
  • All Beaver's good deals for Phoenix Land Trust have been in the South of Neptune. This is in the poorer part of town and unlikely to be incorporated.
  • 2.16 "The Rapes of Graff"
  • The case against Logan for Felix's murder has been dropped for a second time after Tom Griffith withdrew his evidence of seeing Logan dance around the body with a knife in his hand.
  • It is known around the high school and presumably around the town that Logan has escaped the courts again. It is as yet unknown what impact this will have.
  • 2.17 "Plan B"
  • Woody's plan for incorporations has its opponents, including Father Patrick Fitzpatrick.
  • 2.18 "I Am God"
  • "Lucky" Dohanic, an Iraq war veteran and janitor at Neptune High, worked with Logan and Dick over the summer in getting payback and indeed seemed to be the driving force.
  • Lucky is also a regular at the same church as the Mannings.
  • Veronica's lead in the race for the Kane scholarship is lost when the parents of one of her rich rivals persuades the school board to give their daughter additional credit for an expensive summer course.
  • Many rich parents in Neptune pay $1,000 each to a corrupt office manager of a doctor's office to obtain fraudulent medical diagnosis for their Neptune High offspring. Claiming generalized anxiety disorder, the diagnosis allows students deadline extensions, make-up dates on exams, and unlimited time on tests, all at the students' own discretion.