"Papa's Cabin" was the fifteenth episode of the third season of Veronica Mars.



Mindy describes the argument Cyrus at the Neptune Grand.

Acting Sheriff Keith Mars interrogates Mindy O'Dell, who reveals that the second man in her hotel room on the night of Dean O'Dell's murder was Cyrus himself. On discovering her affair with Hank Landry, Cyrus threatened to destroy his career. After he left, she visited him in his office at Hearst College, gave him the Xanax which was found in his blood, and returned to the hotel. Keith indicates that he strongly suspects Landry of the murder. He releases Mindy but instructs her not to leave town. She is subsequently seen receiving the proceeds from Cyrus's life insurance policy, which she uses to purchase a yacht.

Keith arrests Landry. At his interrogation, Landry relates that during the hotel confrontation Cyrus also threatened Mindy with the potential for a financially disadvantageous divorce. He also gives an alibi: After leaving the hotel, he purchased a pack of cigarettes from a convenience store and gave two of them to an unknown brunette female. Tim Foyle, Landry's teaching assistant, visits him in jail. Landry implores him to find the woman.


Veronica & Tim attempt to locate Hank's alibi witness.

Veronica catches Tim breaking into Mars Investigations. He tells her of Landry's alibi, and the two attempt to track her down. While waiting outside the convenience store Landry visited on the night of the murder, as Tim walks into the store, Veronica receives a phone call from Keith who informs her that Mindy is missing and has "shipped her kids off" to her mother's house in England. She questions an exotic dancer who claims to have seen Landry there around the time of the murder, establishing his alibi. Keith takes her statement and releases Landry from custody, believing that Mindy framed Landry for the murder. Landry subsequently disappears from Neptune.

Wallace notices Logan and Parker eating lunch together.

Convinced of Landry's innocence, Tim and Veronica search the residence of Mindy's ex-husband Steve Botando, presuming that he planted the recording device in Landry's cellular phone and made recordings of the conversations. Tim is seen using latex gloves to search Botando's computer. Tim discovers the recordings and plays two of them. The first recording was of a conversation between Landry and Mindy taking place after their altercation with Dean O'Dell in their hotel room, on the night of the murder. The second recording was a conversation between Landry and an unnamed faculty member at Pepperdine University wherein he gives an unflattering account of Tim's aptitude in forensics. Veronica gives these recordings to Keith.

Veronica continues to peruse Landry's recorded phone conversations and hears Landry suggest to Mindy a trip to "Papa's cabin". She meets Parker, who attempts to tell her about her budding romance with Logan, but Veronica abruptly cuts her off. Mindy is then shown awaking in the cabin of her yacht, apparently disturbed by the sound of the engine. She ascends to the top deck, where Landry is waiting for her.


Papa's Cabin.

Veronica and Tim search Landry's residence, discovering a picture of Landry's grandfather standing in front of a cabin, and a picture of Landry and Mindy at a bar. Tim also discovers a disposable cellular phone in Landry's trash. Veronica redials the last number called from the phone and extracts the address of the person who answers. She and Tim meet the callee, who is revealed to be the miscreant son of the same exotic dancer who established Landry's alibi.

Armed with this evidence, Veronica and Tim discuss its ramifications with Keith. All three are now convinced that Landry manufactured his alibi. While Veronica and Tim speculate as to the location of "Papa's cabin", Keith notices a picture of Ernest Hemingway (who was nicknamed "Papa") in the bar snapshot. He quickly Googles up "Papa's Cabin"--a resort in Cabo San Lucas. Mexican police, accompanied by Keith, raid a yacht moored off the coast and find Landry, drunk and in great emotional distress; he describes an argument during which Mindy fell overboard. Mindy's body is found washed up on the shore. Landry is arrested and charged with the murders of both Cyrus and Mindy O'Dell.


Veronica unravels Tim's plot.

With Landry thus out of the picture, Tim is appointed to take over his Criminology class. The class discusses the O'Dell murders, and Tim gives a detailed description of all the elements of the crime. Veronica becomes suspicious when she realizes that Landry was in jail when the call from the disposable cellular phone was made, and thus had no opportunity to manufacture his alibi. Tim continues his explication of the crime, mentioning that Mindy's children were "shipped off" to England, a fact he could not have known. Veronica discovers a recording device in her cellular phone and reasons that Tim had listened to a recording of her previous conversation with Keith, as well as Landry's phone conversation with Mindy the night of Dean O'Dell's murder. Veronica immediately confronts Tim, exposing his motive (Landry's unfavorable recommendation) and opportunity (knowledge of the events immediately preceding Dean O'Dell's death as they transpired) to frame Landry for murder.

Keith meets Veronica at their home after extracting a confession from Tim for Dean O'Dell's murder, and a confession from Landry for Mindy O'Dell's manslaughter. Veronica ruminates on the troublesome nature of justice, saying that even discovering Dean O'Dell's murderer will not change the fact of his untimely and "unfair" death. Keith sees a news report of an unrelated murder in San Diego, turns the television off, but finally turns it back on. The episode ends with Veronica and Keith eating a peaceful dinner.

Arc significance

  • Tim bugged Landry's phone and later Veronica's.
  • Tim is revealed to be Dean O'Dell's murderer.
  • Landry is fired from the university and in a crime of passion, accidentally kills Mindy O'Dell.
  • The evidence implicating Steve Botando was planted separately by Landry and then Tim.
  • It is revealed that Mindy O'Dell was the unknown person who visited Cyrus on the night he died ("Spit & Eggs").


  • "A Night" - Harlem Shakes
  • "You've Given Me Something That I Can't Give Back" - New Rhodes

Writing and acting

  • This episode provides an explanation for Landry's supposed alibi. While being interrogated by Keith, Landry reveals his alibi to be a brunette woman to whom he gave a cigarette after leaving a convenience store. He then asks Tim to find this alibi. Tim coerces an exotic dancer who works across the street from the store to pose as the alibi by impersonating Landry and threatening to use his position on the Juvenile Probation Board to place her miscreant son in foster care. He then assists Veronica in exposing the alibi as a fraud. Veronica believes Tim contrived a dubious alibi for Landry to "be sure he'd go down." Tim would be fortuitously discovering a potential alibi with ties to the location and to Landry sufficient for blackmail while at the same time subverting Veronica's efforts to find Landry's (possibly genuine) alibi.

Quotes and trivia

  • When Veronica and Tim go to meet the boy whose number was on the pre-paid cell phone, they introduce themselves as Miss Crockett and Mr. Tubbs, respectively. This is a reference to Miami Vice characters James "Sonny" Crockett and Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs.
  • Keith Mars uses the Mozilla Firefox web browser in the Sheriff's office when searching for Papa's Cabin.
  • Veronica discovers the bug in her phone in the sim card slot. No sim card can be seen when zoomed in on the phone which would make it impossible for Veronica to make calls for Tim to listen in.

External links

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