"Driver Ed" was the second episode of the second season of Veronica Mars.

In this episode, Veronica is tasked with proving that the bus driver did not drive off the cliff in order to kill himself. Meanwhile, Wallace starts a relationship with new student Jackie


Veronica comforts Jessie at the crash site.

Duncan visits Veronica at work, who mentions that Meg Manning was the only survivor of the bus crash last episode; she is in a coma. While Veronica talks to Duncan, Jackie Cook approaches the coffee bar and angrily demands a coffee.

Sheriff Lamb holds a press conference to discuss the school bus crash, where Lamb reveals that the driver, Ed Doyle, has history of mental illness. Lamb refuses to rule out suicide as a possibility. Ed's daughter, Jessie, asks Veronica to help her prove that her father didn't kill himself, especially since suicide isn't covered under life insurance policies. Veronica agrees to help her after seeing how mean other students are being to Jessie. Meanwhile, Jackie has conflicts with her strict father- who is the baseball player from the previous episode. Jackie transfers into a class at Neptune and she and Wallace start flirting with each other. After school, Jackie's father's Porsche (which she took to school) has a mysterious scratch on it. The person who hit Jackie left a sarcastic note rather than leaving their insurance information. Wallace pledges to help Jackie crack the case.

Woody Goodman, owner of the San Diego Sharks and mayoral candidate, asks Keith Mars to run for sheriff. Given that Goodman is considered a lock in the mayoral race, this would give Keith a strong chance of winning back the sheriff position. That night, Veronica and Keith watch the news on which a convenience store clerk says that the bus driver visited his store moments before the bus accident. The clerk mentions that Ed made a purchase, and then immediately came back to buy a St. Christopher pendent for $0.25, which he immediately threw it out.

Logan is carrying on his affair with Kendall. While they are having sex, Dick Casablancas and Cassidy Casablancas walk in with their father, Dick Sr. However, they successfully reduce suspicion by pretending that Kendall is irritated by Logan always inviting himself over. Mr. Casablancas invites Logan to target practice at a gun range.

Veronica talks to the convenience clerk who is the last person to see the bus driver prior to the accident. Veronica poses as a thrill-seeking fan, and asks for the last meal the bus driver had; a Slurpee and a bag of peanuts. Veronica notices a payphone in the gas station and has a revelation: the bus driver purchased the St. Christopher pendant because the convenience store refuses to break change for customers unless they buy something. He bought the pendent to get change to make a call on the payphone.

Veronica goes to the Sheriff's department where she uses her savvy to get the records of all calls placed on the payphone around the time of the bus crash; Ed placed a call to a "Cotter". Veronica talks to Jessie again, and she reveals that Ed frequently made calls to someone named Cotter who lived in their apartment complex. Sheriff Lamb enters Jessie's apartment with a search warrant and seizes several of Ed's belongings. He finds an alleged suicide note on Ed's computer, proving that Ed did in fact purposely crash the bus. Veronica approaches the Cotter family about the phone call, but Mr. Cotter has no knowledge of it; he was at work. Mrs. Cotter says that she did answer the phone, but it was a wrong number. Veronica apologizes and leaves.

Wallace, who has taken a job at a convenience store, when a customer approaches and asks to interview him about the recent deaths. Wallace notices that the reporter's notebook has the same type of paper of the false note that was left on Jackie's car earlier. The reporter notes that all good reporters carry this type of notebook. Wallace concludes that the culprit must be a reporter. Wallace eventually solves the mystery by observing reporters who have been hanging around school, earning praise from Jackie.

Veronica comes back to the Cotter house and finds Mrs. Cotter along. Veronica voices her theory that Ed Doyle wasn't planning to kill himself, but he was actually going to leave his wife for Mrs. Cotter. Veronica is right, and Mrs. Cotter willingly meets Jessie for the first time.

Veronica reconciles with Duncan after an earlier fight, and they have sex in a hotel room. When she is leaving, she notices Logan coming out of a room, where he was loudly having sex with Kendall. They have an awkward encounter.

Keith politely declines Woody's offer for to run for sheriff until he sees Jessie fail at attempting to convince Sheriff Lamb reopen her dad's case. Upon seeing this, Keith tells Veronica that he is running for Sheriff after all.

An unidentified dead body washes up on shore, and Sheriff Lamb and his assistants inspect the body. They find "Veronica Mars" written on the victim's palm.

Arc significance

  • Meg Manning is only survivor of the bus crash, but she's in a coma.
  • Ed, the bus driver, had a history of depression and Sheriff Lamb finds what appears to be a suicide note. Veronica tries to prove that he was leaving his wife, however, but Lamb doesn't listen and closes the bus crash case.
  • Baseball team owner Woody Goodman is running for the position of Balboa County Supervisor—a position more commonly known as 'Mayor of Neptune' - and he wants Keith to run for Sheriff. After seeing Lamb refuse Jessie Doyle's pleas to reopen the bus crash case, Keith accepts.
  • A dead body washes up on the shore. Sheriff Lamb searches it and finds written on its hand is the name "Veronica Mars."

Cultural references

A variety of cultural references are made in the episode:

  • Veronica tells Jessie, "you must chill," referencing a line from Say Anything….
  • The episode references "Afternoon Delight".
  • Veronica references a scene in Good Will Hunting.
  • The clerk calls Veronica Marilyn Munster.
  • Veronica jokingly tells Wallace to go on The Oprah Winfrey Show if she dies unexpectedly.
  • Cervando, the PCH biker who was stabbed, allegedly cried when he saw Stand and Deliver for the first time.
  • Wallace references Drew Barrymore's character in Never Been Kissed.


  • "The Minor Waltz" - Asylum Street Spankers
  • "Magic Bus" - The Who
  • "On Your Porch" - The Format
  • "Little Miss Get Around" - Lukewarm Freeda
  • "Where Is My Mind?" - Pixies

Writing and acting

  • This episode guest stars noted Hollywood director Kevin Smith, who plays a convenience store clerk. Kevin Smith became famous for his 1994 film Clerks. He was also an outspoken fan of the series when it originally aired.
  • Tessa Thompson joins the cast as a series regular in this episode, though she was in the credits in the previous one.


Wallace: Whatcha doin'?
Veronica: Remembering why I'm a misanthrope.

Duane: Let me tell you something, if I was gonna do a kamikaze, you know, off a bridge with a bus full of kids and stuff, a convenience store would not be the site of my last meal. I'd wanna...I'd wanna eat something on the brink of extinction, you know, like the last emu. Or meerkat. I bet they'd go down smooth.

Lamb: What are you up to, Veronica?
Veronica: The last question, actually. "Why do you want this position?" Honestly, and really tell me the truth: how much of an ass-kiss would I be if I admit it's to be close to you? Seriously. Why do birds suddenly appear every time you're near?

Jackie]]: When you guys are done breaking up, can I get a macchiato?
Veronica: I'm actually just the hostess, but I c--
Jackie: Look, I don't care if you're the house magician. Can you just make me a macchiato?
[Veronica walks closer to the counter, staring at Jackie. She holds out her hands and makes a “Poof” gesture]
Veronica: Your macchiato.
Jackie: [to Duncan about Veronica] You know you could do better.

Jessie: You know who I am, right?
Veronica: I do.
Jessie: Just out of curiosity, did you know who I was last week?
Veronica: Nope.
Jessie: Your dad drives one bus off a cliff and your days of being under the radar are over.

Veronica: I just have all these conflicting emotions. Grief, for everyone who died and everyone who lost someone. Guilt, about Meg. The one that kills me, joy, because I'm alive. And by all rights, I shouldn't be.
Duncan: Veronica, it's not your fault.
Veronica: I'm afraid that line only works in "Good Will Hunting".

Logan: [to Veronica about Duncan and her] FYI if the cuddling is the best part, he didn’t do it right.


  • Jackie's father's grip on his car keys changes in every shot.
  • As Veronica walks away from Duane Anders at the convenience store the cup she is holding is full/empty/full between shots.
  • At 35:58 as Mr. Casablancas is sneaking up on Beaver, and again at 36:14 as Cassidy is cleaning up, you can see the boom microphone reflected in the window glass in the background.
  • As Terrence Cook enters her room at 9:44, you can see a crew member's head reflected in the mirror at the left edge of the frame.
  • In the opening shot of the episode, as the camera moves left and up to track Veronica, it can be seen reflected in the glass front of the display case.
  • This episode had an estimated audience size of 3.02 million US viewers on its first airing.[1]


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