TV & Movies

Hulu's Veronica Mars revival: Let's rank all the best new characters

Warning: Spoilers ahead for the finale of Hulu’s Veronica Mars revival. Read on at your own risk!

Every Veronica Mars fan has a favorite character. Whether you obsess over Veronica (Kristen Bell) and Logan (Jason Dohring), or you live for every dirty Dick (Ryan Hansen) joke, or Keith (Enrico Colantoni) makes you cry with every fatherly hug and quip, there’s truly someone for everyone in the original three seasons and 2016 movie.

But Hulu’s Veronica Mars revival, streaming now (a full week early!), shakes up everything you thought you knew about these Marshmallows by introducing instant fan-favorite characters and reintroducing old ones that may have you questioning your previously solid opinions. (You thought you were a LoVe fan for life? Just wait until you see Leo D’Amato’s [Max Greenfield] new dynamic with Veronica…)

With so many new characters to keep track of, EW is here to help. From amazing new BFFs to totally evil scumbags, here are all of the best new characters introduced in Hulu’s revival season ranked from least to most memorable.

10. Unnamed bar patron (Sarah Hyland)

The Modern Family star has two memorable scenes in Comrade Quacks where she rebuffs Dick’s offensive flirting and then zeroes in on a guy trying to roofie drunk college girls. I’m so here for her take-no-prisoners attitude and confidence, but why did she only get two short scenes? And why didn’t her character even get a name?! For someone as well known as Hyland, I expected more.

9. Carson (Eliza Coupe)

This divorcée now knows how good it feels to get even. She hires Veronica to investigate why her smart home “hates” her only for Veronica to discover it’s just Carson’s ex-husband bugging the house to drive her crazy. It turns out to be a huge payday for Mars Investigations, which is a big win, but Carson only appears in the first scene of the season.

8. Catalina Heat movie star (Josh Duhamel)

We never actually get his name, but Dick’s co-star in Catalina Heat definitely deserves a shout-out for that stellar acting. I desperately need to know the plot of that movie and what the actor’s relationship was like with Dick on set.

7. Congressman Alex Maloof (Mido Hamada)

At first glance, the congressman is extremely attractive. He’s got the looks, the deep calm voice, and the political ambition to be a true new TV crush. But as more of his secrets get uncovered, you see him for the coward he truly is. He was blackmailed by a kid! He orders a hit on the men who racially discriminated and tortured him, only to turn back around and try to rescind the hit out of guilt and fear! The more you learn about Maloof, the more you hate him. Sorry, not sorry.

6. Alonzo (Clifton Collins Jr.)

The more memorable of the cartel hitmen duo, Alonzo carries himself with a chilling, calm glee that makes his murders all the more terrifying. He’s never without a smile, and he never worries, even when he kills the wrong person. He even manages to find a girlfriend (Weevil’s sister, no less) while on a murder assignment in Neptune. You definitely do not want to get on Alonzo’s bad side.

5. Don McNaughton (Clark Duke)

Is there anyone more immediately easy to hate than Don? This “murderhead” is smarmy, condescending, and overly confident … so it’s hard not to get excited when he’s exposed as the Neptune bomber. But just a short minute later, the heartbreaking truth is uncovered and you actually feel empathy for poor Don. He may have deserved getting knocked down a peg or two, but he certainly didn’t deserve the fate he suffers in the finale.

4. Matty Ross (Izabela Vidovic)

Hello, Veronica 2.0! The young daughter of the hotel owner who dies in the first bombing is more than just your average victim. She refuses to take things lying down and fights back against injustice, even if that means barging into a gang hideout with violent criminals packing heat, or taking on the richest and most morally bankrupt man in the city. She barely even flinches while watching a beheading, and can lose a tail as good as Veronica over and over again. It’s a good thing she’s sticking around Mars Investigations to help out Keith because she’s going to be the new shining star of the P.I. world. Plus her moral grey area (using the stolen engagement ring to fix and reopen the Sea Sprite is just smart thinking) is exciting to watch.

3. Nicole (Kirby Howell-Baptiste)

In all my wildest dreams I can’t think of anyone better suited to be Veronica’s new best friend than Nicole. She’s smart, sarcastic, hilarious, able to keep up and fire back at Veronica’s quips, packs a mean right hook and has no patience for sexual assaulters. And Howell-Baptiste is just as entertaining here as she is with Bell on The Good Place, just in a completely new dynamic. Hopefully, Veronica didn’t ruin their friendship for good by bugging Nicole’s office, because by the end of season 4 things are not looking good for these former BFFs.

2. Clyde Pickett (J.K. Simmons)

Big Dick Casablanca’s right-hand man is a formidable new villain on Veronica Mars, if only because you never actually know if he’s a villain or not. He genuinely seems to want to be friends with Keith, and he wants to reunite with the girlfriend who took all his stolen money when he went to jail — not to kill her or for retribution, but to actually get back together with her. And all he wants is to open up a classic car shop. But he also orders Big Dick’s violent death and barely bats an eyelash while watching the bloody beheading. And because he’s played by Simmons, every word is laced with a dark foreboding of which you never want to be on the wrong end. By the end of the season, Clyde’s got everything he ever wanted and Neptune suffers. Now that’s one impressive new villain. If Veronica Mars returns for another season, let’s hope Clyde returns with it.

1. Penn Epner (Patton Oswalt)

The pizza guy of Neptune seems harmless at the beginning of the season, even suffering some collateral damage from the first bombing. But as the season goes on, it’s clear that there is more to Penn than meets the eye. Not only is he clearly desperate for internet fame, but he’s also willing to endanger the lives of others to get it by prematurely revealing theories and hypotheses about the identity of the Neptune bomber. And that all pales in comparison to the reveal that Penn is the bomber himself. He’s not even upset that Veronica and Keith foil his “final” bomb, since he has “contingencies” in place not only to make himself even more famous but also to knock Veronica down from behind bars with his actual final bomb that kills Logan. His gloating just makes his last kill even more despicable.

Penn might be one of the evilest villains ever on Veronica Mars, if only because he played everyone so well from the start. He’s not some traumatized kid like Beaver was; he’s a grown adult obsessed with serial killers, emulating their worst qualities. His shame and anger drove him to enjoy killing. This evil scumbag is, if not the best, then at least the most memorable new character this season.

Veronica Mars season 4 is now streaming in full on Hulu.

Related content:

  • Life on Mars: The cast and creator of Hulu’s Veronica Mars revival on reuniting and it feeling so good
  • First three seasons of Veronica Mars to begin streaming on Hulu ahead of revival
  • Hulu’s new Veronica Mars trailer includes more bombs and more J.K. Simmons

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