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''Veronica Mars'' (Updated)

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 7, 2005

A copy of the season premiere (airing Sept. 28) has arrived, along with a letter asking ''that you please not reveal the identity of who is behind the door, who is having an affair, who is dating whom (or not) ... or the shocking ending.''

I took out even a reference to something I was asked not to reveal, since the reference might give away too much.

But I can say this: The season premiere is a complete mind-bender. I had it on while working in my office, and I'm going to have to watch it again to sort out everything that is going on.*

But I was immensely enjoying the confusion. Rob Thomas, the brains behind ''Veronica,'' is obviously fearless -- and even more willing to play around with viewer expectations than he was last season. So let's all join the ride.

And that includes you ''O.C.'' die-hards. I have also seen tomorrow night's season premiere of that show, and it's horrible. Stop your unnecessary suffering. Come over to ''Veronica.''

*I have watched the whole thing again, this time with my full attention, and it is even more astounding than I thought on first look -- with the funny asides you expect from ''Veronica,'' a fully stuffed plot that feels as if it's the launching pad for two or three seasons instead of just one, and, well, that ''shocking ending.'' If I had to grumble, it would be that Kristen Bell, Veronica herself, does not yet seem on her game. But there's plenty of game for her to get into later.

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