"What kind of musician doesn't recognize the Beatles as the greatest rock band of all time?"
Keith Mars: Sheriff.
It seems that Keith's unwavering dedication (to truth, to integrity, to honesty…to his cheesy mob-hunting detective voice) has finally paid off, and Mr. Mars has re-pinned his old sherrif's badge on his old sheriff's uniform to herald the birth of a new man.
Unfortunately (is it?), Keith's reinstatement came at a high cost: Sheriff Don Lamb's life. We're glad Keith's sitting in the wing-backed chair of power, but his absence has been a long one.
During Keith's first tenure as sheriff, he made a sacrifice that cost him his job. He accused Jake Kane of murdering his daughter Lilly despite Jake's position as the richest, most influential man in Neptune. Keith was booted from the sheriff's office, and even with Lamb as a replacement, he remained in Neptune, paying for Veronica's fancy duds by working as a private investigator. The choice cost him his wife, who bailed faster than Republicans at a Dixie Chicks concert, but his daughter, Veronica, stuck by his side.
Keith slowly rebuilt the life he had once enjoyed. Solving cases restored his reputation, and he ran for sheriff again, though unsuccessfully. Keith's loss may have had something to do with Lamb's timely disclosure of one of Keith's less fortuitous mercies: Keith had let a drunk driver walk one night, and that same drunk became the bus driver who was accused of plunging his magic school bus, and all the innocent kids inside, off a cliff. Nice guys finish last, Keith.
Lady Luck may have smashed Keith's professional career to smithereens, but she's the only lady who can resist his Mr. Clean countenance and wily charms. Rebecca James, Neptune High's guidance counselor, was the first to fall under his spell, but Keith dropped her like a pound of wet cabbage when Veronica balked at the idea of a replacement mom. Keith conquered Alicia Fennel next, but his snooping, her lying, and their very different approaches to child-rearing drove them apart.
Soon after, Keith, normally the most stalwart of Neptune parents, bailed on a father/daughter trip to New York to chase a case. Needless to say, this decision made Veronica more than a little cranky, but Keith had his reasons. He helped Kendall Casablancas and the Van Gogh she had sunk her stolen savings into escape a few fuming Fitzpatricks. Kendall probably assumed that her Sports Illustrated bod would be enough to keep her man faithful, but he betrayed her, leaving Keith with the invaluable painting. Veronica eventually forgave him after he bought her a new car, but Liam never did — he's still after the money. Neither knew that Keith, honest schmuck he is, donated the stolen fortune to charity.
There was a nasty side effect — Keith's part in Kendall's murder plagued him. So much, in fact, that his normally sharp judgment went wonky enough to lead him to facilitate a kidnapping, disrespect a law officer not named for a farm animal, and begin an ill-fated tryst with a semi-hot married lady named Harmony Chase. Keith's moral compass kept him clean for a while, but a nearly fatal car accident pushed him into her arms. The only girl who could steal his heart away from Harmony was Veronica, and her disapproving eyes made him break off the affair and return to his Boy Scout roots.
Since Keith's return to office, the times have been a-changin'. For one, a few deputies lax on underaged drinking got very angry pink slips, and Leo, the hunky crush of a younger, blonder Mars, is back on the force. But in the midst of all the fiesta-worthy good fortune, a mustachioed cloud has settled over the station: Vinnie Van Lowe, the seedy, Members Only wearing P.I., is running against Keith in a special election, and the worst part? He might actually have a shot.
Sheriff Mars gets our vote, but will he snag Neptune's?
All bios: 3.20 3.17 3.14 3.07 3.06 3.02 3.01 2.22 2.21 2.20 2.13 2.01 1.22 1.18 1.05 1.01
Enrico Colantoni plays Keith Mars.