"Drinking The Kool-Aid" was the ninth episode of the first season of Veronica Mars.

In this episode, Veronica investigates the mysterious cult of which Casey, another student, is part, the Moon Calf Collective. Meanwhile, Veronica deals with the aftermath of the realization that Jake Kane is likely her biological father.


Picking up from where the events of the last episode left off, Veronica muses about Jake Kane possibly being her father. Veronica looks at the photos that a mysterious person took of her, and she believes that Jake Kane took the photos. Eventually, Veronica finds out that a man named Clarence Wiedman took the photos of her. She follows him to the Kane business building, where she finds that he's the head of security at the company. The next day, Keith talks to a couple, who tell him about their son, Casey Gant, who has joined a cult. Even though Veronica decries the boy as irresponsible, Veronica agrees to help with the case to help her father earn the $5,000 the case will be paying. Meanwhile, Veronica sends a DNA paternity test off in the mail. Veronica talks to Casey's ex-girlfriend, who tells him that Casey may be having an affair with an English teacher, Ms. Mills. Veronica decides to write some poetry in order to "get into the lit-mag crowd". Later, Veronica talks to Ms. Mills, who tells her that she wants her to join the Moon Calf Collective, the cult of which Casey is part.


Veronica milks a cow.

At the Moon Calf Collective, we see Ms. Mills kissing another man. At the same time, a variety of people hit on Veronica, implying some sort of polygamy. Eventually, Veronica gets stuck with milking a cow, and begins talking to one of the younger members, Rain in order to get information. The woman tells Veronica that they are growing a major "cash crop". At a meeting, the other members ask for Veronica to read her poem, but she quickly leaves to enter the barn which was previously mentioned as forbidden. In there, she finds an aggressive horse. Casey invites her back to the cult, and she goes. Veronica goes on a walk with the cult leader, but also puts a record tape on in her bag. It turns out that the "ultimate cash crop" is flowers. However, Keith later goes undercover as a repairman into the compound and sees Veronica. Later, Keith and Veronica have a debate, which ends in Veronica being banned from the case. At that moment, Casey's parents return to Mars Investigations. They tell him that his brain dead grandmother has left him $80 million in her will and ask Keith to finish the case. The next day, Veronica talks to Wallace, who tells her that she may be becoming sympathetic to the cult.

Casey takes Veronica to the bed of his grandmother. On a carton of milk, Veronica sees a missing ad for Rain. Keith wants to investigate further against the Collective for the money, but Veronica differs with him. The next day, Veronica is about to tell Ms. Mills about her investigations before Casey bursts in saying that his grandmother has died. Later, at Casey's grandmother's funeral, Veronica sees Casey being kidnapped by his parents and a fringe psychologist. Keith tells Veronica that he has dropped the investigation, accepting that it is harmless. Keith also reports that Debbie Meyer (Rain) has had a difficult life and is better off with the cult. That night, Veronica receives the results of the DNA test. Veronica decides to shred the document before reading it.

Arc significance

  • Clarence Wiedman, Head of Security at Kane Software, took the pictures of Veronica.
  • Veronica has a DNA test done to find if Keith is actually her biological father but she shreds the results without looking at them.

Cultural references

A variety of pop culture references are made in the episode:

  • Keith says "Chicks dig scars," a reference to the 2000 film The Replacements.
  • Veronica mentions that she used to want to marry Vanilla Ice and gather a massive collection of Zbots.
  • Wallace refers to the game Hacky Sack.
  • Veronica states that all she knows about rural life is from watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.
  • Keith compares the Moon Calf Collective to watching The Brady Bunch.
  • Veronica uses the word "Yahtzee!" as an expression of excitement.
  • The episode title is a reference to the widely-used phrase "drinking the Kool-Aid," which refers generally to the act of buying wholeheartedly into a belief, preference, or idea, and specifically to the 1978 Jonestown cult suicides in Guyana, in which cult leader Jim Jones poisoned (or convinced to self-poison) over 900 of his followers with a mixture of grape Flavor Aid, Valium, chloral hydrate, and probably cyanide.[1]
  • Eli's poem is actually a few lines from the song "When the Angels Sing" by the band Social Distortion, which Casey reveals to the class. [2]


Main Cast

Guest Stars


  • "Make a Deal with the City" - East River Pipe
  • "(You Gotta Walk) Don't Look Back" - Peter Tosh with Mick Jagger
  • "Have a Nice Day" - Stereophonics
  • "Famous Lover" - The Fire Marshals of Bethlehem


Veronica: [to Keith] What is your deal? You're jacked up like some hillbilly kid who just stumbled into daddy's meth lab.

:[Veronica muses about going undercover as an Emo girl.]
Veronica: The attributes and style of crap teen poetry. Must be written in a funky color of ink. Must include dominant themes of alienation, sexual ambivalence, self-loathing, death, etcetera.

:[Veronica gets hugged by the leader of the Moon Calf Collective.]
Veronica: [voiceover] I knew I should have included a few discreet lesbian overtones in that poem.

:Veronica: [voiceover] Do not roll your eyes, Veronica, you're undercover.
:Josh: You gotta open up, let other people inside.
Veronica: [voiceover] Let other people inside.... Got anyone in particular in mind?

:[Keith is upset about Veronica disobeying his request that she stay away from the collective.]
Keith: What the hell were you thinking! That's got to be the worst decision I’ve ever seen by someone who wasn’t literally brain damaged.

:Wallace: You better recognize.
Veronica: Thank you for being my own personal Springer audience. Should I check myself before I wreck myself?


  • Keith Mars' injuries are brushed off and attributed to him playing baseball. In real life, Enrico Colantoni's scars can be attributed to him playing ice hockey.[3]


  • At the end of the initial interview with Keith Mars, Mr. Gant's mouth is clearly moving, though he has finished speaking.
  • When Veronica is taking a shower and jolts at the sudden loss of hot water, her waist is briefly visible, and she is clearly wearing a black swimsuit or some other garment on her lower body.
  • At the funeral, Veronica is wearing a black coat that buttons right below the neck, but after hurrying back to her father's office, she's wearing a standard double breasted, black pea-coat. She would have had no time to change coats.
  • Throughout the early scenes of this episode, Veronica's nail color inexplicably changes between shots. In the street outside the prison gates, her hands rest on the steering wheel as she cries; her nails are painted a light white or heavy clear coat. In the next scene as she drives home from the prison, her nails are unchanged, but when she stops to vomit and later when she continues driving, her nails are suddenly dark red, brown or black. When she arrives home and her hands are seen in closeup, her nails are unpainted. In subsequent scenes, although she is wearing the same costume, her nails are black.
  • When Veronica see Casey being shoved into the car, from behind, we see her running quite fast and quite a distance down the road when she gets out of her car. From the front, she is barely walking fast and is still at the top of the road, very close to her car.
  • When Veronica walks into her apartment and sees the envelope containing the results of the paternity test, her clothes and hairstyle are those at the funeral scene. The scene in which she sorts through the mail and finds the envelope takes place after the funeral and after Casey's deprogramming.


  1. Drinking the Kool-Aid: A Survivor Remembers Jim Jones
  2. No Angels - When The Angels Sing Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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