Indeed, there is damning evidence for both sides. It’s an hour of back-and-forth for viewers, switching allegiances whenever there’s a new break in the case. Carrie has intimate details and dates about her encounters that match up with Mr. Rooks’ credit card statements; Veronica immediately finds out that one date conflicts with Carrie’s track meet. It’s a chess game between players — it’s no coincidence that the characters’ last names are Bishop, Knight, and Rooks — and there isn’t a clear winner.
By this point, we’ve seen Veronica crack cases and prove her gut instincts, so it’s fascinating to see her mistakes in “Mars vs. Mars.” She’s not just wrong when it comes to the facts — she’s aggressively wrong in her pursuit to prosecute Carrie and her loyalty to Mr. Rooks, both of which cloud her judgment. Just hours after clearing Mr. Rooks’ name at the hearing, Veronica goes to his house and notes his black silk sheets and the sounds of The Rolling Stones — both details that Carrie wrote about in her diary. There’s still another twist coming. Mr. Rooks didn’t have sex with Carrie but with a different student, Susan Knight, who became pregnant. Carrie took the blame because she wanted to punish Mr. Rooks.
“Mars vs. Mars” takes Veronica’s preconceived ideas of Carrie (and the ’09ers in general) and flips them upside down. Carrie and Veronica aren’t much different. Both are intensely loyal to their friends and want to punish those who deserve to be punished, even at the risk of becoming a victimized outcast. It’s telling that the movie went this far back; not only does”Mars vs. Mars” add depths to its older characters (we get a peek into Duncan’s medical history and some humanizing of Logan), but it also creates fully fleshed-out new faces with strong arcs in a limited amount of time. It’s a spectacularly written hour of television and further proof that Veronica Mars was something special.