As the mystery of the bus crash deepens on UPN's Veronica Mars (Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET), how and when will viewers learn more about the students who died? Will Sheriff Lamb get what's coming to him by season's end? And is another showdown between Alyson Hannigan and Charisma Carpenter in the works? In this exclusive Q&A and to tide you over until new episodes return in early March Mars creator Rob Thomas provides plenty of clues in response to these and other burning questions from TVGuide.com readers.
Question: One thing I really liked about last year were the flashbacks. Are there going to be bus-crash flashbacks? And what are Lilly's chances of returning next season? Sam
Rob Thomas: We loved our flashbacks, too. We loved them largely because they allowed us to have Amanda Seyfried on the show [as Lilly]. She was just awesome for us. Here's what I'll say you will get to know the kids who died on the bus before the end of the season. We also have a few flashbacks to the summer before senior year that we'll be dropping in.
Question: How is it that Keith doesn't lose faith in Veronica? She lies to him (e.g., in the Duncan kidnapping episode) and he says he's disappointed, but by next episode all is back to normal. What am I missing here? Famin
Thomas: We actually did play some awkwardness between the two of them when Veronica is forced to admit she bugged Lamb's office and knows about Terrance's gambling problem. There was a longer version of the scene that elevated the tension and mistrust, but we lost it in getting the show down to time. I admit that we should've had more of that strained dynamic in there, and Keith's lack of trust may still come back to haunt Veronica.
Question: Is Wallace done with Jackie? Jordan
Thomas: You must wait and see.
Question: I love the music you play on the show every song fits so perfectly and gets me hunting for more from those artists after the show. At what point during production do you choose which songs to put in the show? Do you see the script and think of a song to fit in, or do you finish filming a scene and then think of a song? Bonus question: Your top five favorite bands? Sunny
Thomas: When I write the scripts, I generally write with a song choice in mind, but I'm really the only writer on staff who does that. Most of the time, the songs are chosen once the show is cut together. My favorite bands? Hmmm. Wilco, the Clash, U2, the Replacements and Elvis Costello. Am I a 40-year-old white guy, or what?
Question: Any chance of a reunion between Veronica's dad and Wallace's mom? Kelly
Thomas: Always a chance.
Question: Any plans for Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother)to come back this season? Another face-off between Kendall and Trina would be awesome! Derek
Thomas: We loved that moment of the show, but it's very difficult to work around Alyson's schedule. I'd love a world in which we get to see her a couple of times a season, however.
Question: Please tell me that Sheriff Lamb is going to get his in the end. Diana
Thomas: Man, that's a loaded question. If I knew, I wouldn't tell you. I'll say this: The writing staff has grown to love writing his particular brand of weaselishness (if you'll allow me to coin a word), and Michael Muhney has become very adept at playing it.
Question: How far in advance are the story lines planned out? For instance, when did you decide you were going to do the "Donut Run" story line? Was the whole second season planned in the summer, or just the bus crash? Scott
Thomas: We knew by the end of Season 1 what our Season 2 mystery was, who did it, and the key clues that would be used to solve it. We also knew that Duncan would be leaving the show mid-season, but we were unsure how we'd execute that. But we arrived at our answer pretty early, two or three episodes in. UPN thought it was too grisly for everyone on the bus to die in the crash (as we originally intended) and asked that there be at least one survivor. The idea that Meg survived was born of that network concern; the idea that she was pregnant with Duncan's child followed shortly thereafter.
Question: I just wanted to commend you on the use of the crime-porn thriller Those Who Trespass, written by the infamous Bill O'Reilly, as Keith Mars' illegal transporting device. When I saw that, not only did I scream in laughter but I knew that Rob Thomas was a genius. Jennifer
Thomas: That is very kind, but it was writer John Enbom who chose Those Who Trespass.
Question: In the Season 2 opener, Veronica asks Logan what he was doing on the bridge and Logan responds, "What do you think?" Was he really going to jump before the PCHers came upon him? Jennifer
Thomas: In my mind, the "What do you think?" was a reference to thinking about his mom not suicide. It wouldn't have surprised me if Logan tempted fate and did drunken cartwheels on the bridge and fallen off, but he doesn't strike me as the intentionally throw-himself-off kind of guy.
Question: Looking into the future of next season, what's going to happen to the characters who aren't college-bound or, say, wouldn't go to the same school as Veronica (i.e., Beaver, Weevil, Logan and Mac)? Shannon
Thomas: You must wait and see.