"Normal Is the Watchword" is episode 1 of season 2 of the television show Veronica Mars. It had an estimated audience size of 3.30 million US viewers on its first airing.
When Wallace gets kicked off the basketball team for failing his drug test, Veronica starts up with her old hobby: investigating. She successfully solves the case her first time back on the job, uncovering a plot by several wealthy parents to get their children starting positions by rigging false positive drug tests for the competition. While doing so, Veronica looks back on how her relationship with Logan fell apart over the summer when Logan
was accused of murder, mainly because of his continued self-destructive behavior. She also tries to deal with the new hatred between her and former friend Meg, who was dumped by Duncan so that he could reconcile with Veronica after Logan and Veronica broke up.
In the end, Veronica goes on a school field trip with a large number of classmates and during a rest stop, is distracted by the ghost of Lilly Kane. As a result, Veronica is left behind while she and Weevil verbally spar over Veronica's decision to attempt to return to her old life as a member of the 09er clique at school. However, Veronica soon finds out being left behind was a good thing when she and Weevil (who decides to give Veronica a ride home) discover that the bus containing Meg and a half-dozen of Veronica's classmates has crashed off the cliff and into the ocean.
- On the bridge after "Leave It to Beaver", Logan was beaten up by the PCH bikers. When he woke up, Felix was dead beside him and he was holding a bloody knife. He threw the knife in the water and went to Veronica.
- Deputy Leo came to Veronica's to arrest Logan. There was a long trial, during which Veronica supported Logan, and eventually the charges against Logan were dropped because of a lack of evidence.
- A civil war escalates in Neptune, with Logan and Dick burning the community pool.
- It's shown that last summer, Veronica broke up with Logan because he was recklessly destroying the town and seemed to be having fun.
- She begins going out with Duncan, who is now Logan's enemy.
- Logan begins sleeping with Kendall Casablancas, Dick and Beaver's new stepmom.
- During a field trip, Veronica gets left behind by the school bus. However, when she next sees the bus, it has gone off a cliff and Gia, the new girl, hysterically yells, "They're all dead!"
Writing and acting
- Ryan Hansen and Kyle Gallner are promoted to series regulars.
- Near the beginning of the episode, Veronica says, "Logan and Duncan don't speak anymore. I guess that's what happens when your best friend starts dating your ex." The audience is led to believe that she's going out with Logan and Duncan is spiteful because of it, but it's later revealed to be the other way around- that Veronica broke up with Logan last summer, and started dating Duncan.
- This episode was originally titled "Urine Trouble".
Quotes and trivia
- Logan says that Trina is insisting on playing herself in The Aaron Echolls Story but the producers want Tara Reid. Alyson Hannigan, who plays Trina, worked with Reid in American Pie and American Pie 2. Additionally, the network wanted Reid to play the role of Trina.
- Veronica:(After talking to Dick Casablancas) I feel dirty.
- Duncan: Dirty one r, or two r's?
- Veronica: I can't believe after a year of working here you don't know the make and model of the filing cabinet.
- Wallace: Yeah, it is hard to believe. Usually memorizing that information is the first thing I do when I enter a room containing a filing cabinet.
- Veronica: Got any enemies you know about?
- Wallace: Well, there's the Klan.
- Veronica: This is not really their M.O.
- Wallace: I guess that leaves everybody that hates you.
- Veronica: I heard that you were kicked off the cheerleading squad.
- Meg: Yeah, but you know me, I'm a major stoner. It was really affecting me, too, I was like, "Let's go! Let's go! L-E-T-S… duh…"
- Logan: Hey, can Dick and Beaver come out to play?
- Keith: What's up, honey?
- Veronica: Wallace is having a little trouble giving me a urine sample.
- Keith: Can't you talk on the phone and paint your nails like other girls? [this may also be a reference to the website "Television Without Pity," which used a clipart of a teenage girl talking on the phone and painting her nails to represent the show; Rob Thomas participates in the Forums on the website]
- Veronica: You never played Little League?
- Duncan: Oh, well, Mom was afraid a ball would hit me in the face. Dad was afraid it would interfere with Mock UN and I was afraid I couldn't hit a curveball.
- Veronica: I'm afraid you're gonna get love handles if you eat all that.
- Duncan: I have an excellent metabolism.
- Veronica: Well then, it's official. I hate you.
- Veronica: When my dad finds out about this, he's not gonna let me wash this hand.
- Terrence: So, who's your favorite player?
- Veronica: Ummm...
- Duncan: Tell him. Be honest.
- Terrence: It's Johnny Damon, isn't it?
- Veronica: He's so pretty.
- Veronica: And, the thing that I can't stand is that…I'm pretty sure there's a part of you that's having fun with all of this.
- Logan: Fun? Fun? My mom is dead! My girlfriend is dead! My dad is a murderer! And the only person I still care about is dumping me. You think I'm having fun?
- Veronica: I should go. 'Cause my Dad is probably watching us through a telescope.
- Logan: He's probably impressed with your virtue.
- Veronica: And that telescope is mounted on a rifle.
- [Logan holds up his five fingers]
- Logan: Five more minutes. He should feel lucky. You could be out here with some pretty boy jerk just looking to get laid.
- Veronica: Wait. What are you saying, you not pretty?
- Logan: No. What I'm trying to say is I'm in love with you.
- Veronica: The things guys will say to get past second base.
- Veronica: I heard you were pantsed in gym last year.
- Vincent: Are you requesting a private viewing?
Ratings are based on Nielsen Media Research data and are obtained from Mediaweek.