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After this last episode of Veronica Mars, I think I am getting very close to the sacrilegious by saying that I am really beginning to enjoy the third season more than the second. I thought the first season was brilliant and the second season a worth follow up that got lost at times trying to out-clever the first season. The big worry was that the loss of one big bad mystery was an effort to dumb down the series for a wider audience. That may or may not be true, but I feel like the (very talented) writers on this show will now have a little more freedom to explore the (very awesome) characters that we have on this show without the constant worry of keeping track of loose ends from earlier in the season. The show is just as clever, and I really do feel that it’s a good thing that you can tell your friends to watch and they won’t feel lost after it’s done. I just wish I had bothered more people to tune in this week.You know, Logan is really starting to grow on me. I guess we know now that most of his assholish behavior was due to peer pressure and wanting to look cool among his friends. And yes, you can say that bowing into peer pressure makes him weak, but I say it only makes him a normal human being growing up in high school. Our boy is growing up!
Despite all of the strides that Logan has made, Veronica is still very worried when her father decides that he should meet Logan. Veronica is worried that her father is not going to like Logan because Logan can only go so long before a joke or sexual innuendo dribbles out. Veronica is worried that Logan won’t like her father because her father will be asking all sorts of questions and we know how much Logan likes his privacy because Keith can only go so long before instincts tell him to do a background check.
Most worrisome at all is that somehow it will get out that Logan and Veronica are sexually active. I am sure it is embarrassing for Veronica to talk about it, but we know Keith has his people on the inside of the Neptune Grand where Logan is staying, so that he probably knows when they have been together anyway. Still, Veronica says that Logan shouldn’t even pretend to having seen Veronica naked or having touched any part of her body that doesn’t have fingers. To that, Logan says “Can I mention that my eyes adore you?” which is the most natural use of a Frankie Valli song pun that I have heard on television since Patrick Duffy was working his way back to Pam on Dallas back in 1986.
Veronica continued to be apprehensive before dinner, but like I said last week, they are a cute couple. Keith looked like he truly, honestly, wanted to get to know Logan better. There were a few issues about Logan not wanting to be on Larry King, which Veronica vetoed because it brought up stuff like his father being a murdered that she said would be off limits. And when Keith asked Logan his hobbies and Logan mentioned Surfing, Keith was only trying to be friendly when asking Logan what he used for traction. Veronica cut off all conversation there, because I think she knew that, no matter how well-behaved Logan was, her boyfriend would not let an easy sex wax (SFW unless your boss hates surfers) joke go by without trying to hit it out of the park.
Back on campus, Veronica goes to visit Mac, but the only one there is Parker. Parker still resents Veronica for not helping her the night of the attack. I’m not saying that one rape is more traumatic than another, because obviously nobody deserves to have that happen to you, but Veronica went through a particularly tough time. She was roofied by another girl inadvertently, passed out, was raped, reported the rape to the Sheriff (Don Lamb, who decided there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute), found out that she wasn’t raped, but had sex with her boyfriend, who was also drunk, but didn’t want to admit it because they might be related and that is just, well, gross, and then found out that she was raped that night, contracted Chlamydia, and the rapist blew up a bus and then when she found out who the rapist was, he blew up the plane her father was in, only he wasn’t really in the plane. Got that?
Parker is mad at Veronica because she thinks Veronica doesn’t know what she’s going through, but as that really long paragraph above just proved, Veronica does know what she’s going through. And on top of all of that, Veronica is determined to figure out who the rapist is.
As Veronica leaves, she bumps into Nish, the editor of the Neptune Free Press who has taken it upon herself to get to the bottom of the serial rapist case because she believes that the administration is not doing enough, and she’s probably right. It’s actually kind of sad that Veronica can’t work with Nish, but Veronica doesn’t like Nish’s “ends justify the means, even if the end isn’t true”. Her first hypothesis was that a sorority house was involved, but now she is thinking that maybe the common denominator was a Pi Sig brother. Parker didn’t remember that much from her night, but a Pi Sig could have been involved, and we know that Claire “the blonde one in the middle” had attended a Pi Sig haunted house the night of her attack.
With the idea that where there is smoke there is fire. Well, I guess there could be smoke if there was just a lot of friction or water bong, but we’ll just stick with fire. Anyway, Nish believes that there is enough evidence to blame the Pi Sig fraternity for being behind the rapes, so she plasters it on the front page of the Hearst Free Press. Now, it would be easy to blame the Greeks for what is going on, and I would certainly agree that it appears like the Pi Sigs are more likely to attend Pieces of Ass instead of the Vagina Monologues, but the great thing about Veronica Mars the show is that they never make the answers that easy. Therefore, it is no surprise when Veronica is hired by the Pi Sigs to probe their innocence.
There needs to be a big reason for Dick Casablancas to get anywhere near Veronica. First of all, he is almost allergic to poor people, and even the lower-middle class people that Veronica and Keith strive to be. But there was a good reason. Like I just mentioned, the Pi Sigs needed somebody to prove their innocence. There is going to be a disciplinary hearing in a few days, and it looks like the Pi Sigs could be kicked off campus. They hate Veronica, but she is the best at what she does. Veronica hates them, but she can use this as a chance to A) make the Pi Sig brothers $1500 less rich with her fee and B) get an all-access pass to the Pi Sig house without feat of being sent to Dean Ed Begley yet again. As Veronica said, sometimes when opportunity knocks, it shows up as a horny blonde surfer.
There was another opportunity knocking for Keith Mars. A new client named Harmony, played by Laura San Giacomo comes in to ask Keith for some help catching her cheating husband. She has noticed the love had left their marriage, but her husband was a good father and so she had settled down into the life of a bored suburban housewife to a wealthy businessman. You know, highlights of her day would be things like going to Costco, getting a manicure, picking up the kids at school and getting honked at because she is talking on her cell phone while cutting people off driving her Escalade.
Keith decides to help out Harmony because, well, he needs the money, but he also seems to have a little thing for Harmony. They have a chemistry so strong it’s almost as if they had met in a past life. Well, that past life was called “Just Shoot Me” where Enrico Calontoni and Laura San Giacomo were co-stars. After all the troubles Keith had with his ex-wife, I don’t think that he would cheat with another woman, but you can see all the tell-tale signs that he is smitten anyway. He’s dressing up a little nicer for work and putting on cologne. As for the investigation into Veronica’s husband? So far, he is actually working late.
Just because Veronica has a free pass into the Pi Sig house doesn’t mean that she isn’t going to take any precautions. She didn’t have any time to go out and buy a chastity belt, although I am sure if she had asked her father, he would have fashioned one for her or outfitted her with some GPS panties. Veronica does the next best thing by wearing a pant suit, which see calls fashion’s way of saying “nothing to see here”, but I would say that it would be more accurate to say that it is fashions way of saying “I have season tickets for the WNBA.” In either case, it’s the type of signal that these frat-ly types don’t go for. I mean, sometimes you’ll check out a pantsuit, but only to check for panty lines and then you’ll move on to the girl in denim skirt and wait for her to cross her logs. At least that is what other guys tell me they do.
Although the Pi Sigs hired her, they aren’t exactly giving Veronica free reign to do as she pleases, but it’s not like these guys are so smart that Veronica can’t get around whatever they may be doing. Her first subject is Brother Charleston. Why is he called Charleston? Because his last name is Chu. Don’t you just love house names? Personally, I would have called Brother Chu Nuprin. You know, “Little, Yellow, Different“. Actually, I wanted to call every Asian who joined my house Nuprin, but I always got vetoed by more politically correct people and we ended up naming them unoriginal things like “We build better cars than you”, “Ang Lee Rules”, and “I almost went to Berkeley”.
Brother Charleston was working at the party, and at first he said he didn’t see anything, but Veronica reminded him that when it came time to look for a scapegoat, Brother “Born in Greenwich” is not going to be the one served up to take the fall. Charleston then remembered that when he some money up to Chip’s room, he had interrupted him in the middle of sex. Chipped whipped open the door, was out of breath, sweaty, and really upset that he was forced to stop what he was doing. Hmmm, sounds like me when I get a call during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show (which will be rocking in full HD in the TVgasm offices this year).
Questioning Chip was going to have to wait, as there was another case that Veronica had to solve. When she got outside, Veronica saw something she probably didn’t want to see. After Nish’s article in the paper, some of the ladies on campus decided to get make some signs, and I don’t think Veronica cared that they were protesting, because she would probably join them if she wasn’t so busy, but being seen in front of the Pi Sig house, even dressed as dowdy as she was, with Dick’s arm around her shoulder does nothing for her attempts to make it seem like she is one of the good guys.
So what was Veronica’s other mystery? It turned out that Logan’s trust fund is not as sound as it used to be. At the rate he is going through it, he only has a little more than a year before things are completely dried up. I’m not sure if I missed something, but I thought that Logan’s estate would last him a little longer. I know that his house burned down, but there is insurance money, and his father is obviously not making any money, but wouldn’t Logan, being the only blood heir be the first beneficiary? Did they say that more was going to kick in when he gets older?
Whatever the circumstances behind the trust fund may be, somebody has to deal with. Veronica’s dad knows a good forensic accountant, so she went through the stacks and stacks of papers to find out what was going on. What she found was that Aaron’s business manager was not skimming any money, but there was $10,000 a month going to some sort of Charity called Aaron’s Kids, which was apparently some sort of Charity Logan’s father ran. I know what you’re saying. Logan’s father, the child abuser, running a children’s charity? Who is he trying to fool? It’s like the cigarette companies that pay for anti-smoking commercials, but even those guys were forced to do it, so I can’t call them hypocritical, even though every other insult in the book would probably apply.
Back on campus, it seems some of the Pi Sigs are upset with the way that Veronica is handling the investigation. The biggest problem with the investigation is that Veronica was only interested in the truth. If the truth happened to absolve the Pi Sigs, so be it, but if they turned out to be guilty and she had the evidence, she wasn’t going to hold back. Veronica was getting results, but as soon as she had one suspect, they seemed to have an alibi. She questioned Chip about the coitus interrupts and he said that he was with a girl, and it was consensual, but that she would never admit it. Why? Because she was not a one guy type of girl. Her other squeeze was Brother Chu. This girl didn’t actually own up to anything, but her reaction was enough to declare that Chip innocent, at least for Claire’s rape.
The next name that came to mind was actually Dick Casablancas. Dick had been knocking on Parker’s door the night before she was raped, and the night of her rape, he showed up at Logan’s door saying that he really messed up. Some people argue that anti-social behavior runs in the family, and we already know that Dick’s brother Beaver was capable of rape, and so maybe he took some cues from his elder sibling. It wasn’t enough to hang him on it, but Veronica decided that she would have to figure out where Claire was the night of the attack and try and see where that leads.
After Veronica learned about Aaron’s Kids, she was just as skeptical as any of us about this charity, and with good reason. Aaron’s Kids, the charity, had gone away long ago, the $10,000 was going to Aaron’s Kidz, a company run by Auvie Kauffman, the business manager Logan thought was skimming in the first place. Veronica did some more digging, and followed the paper trail to Micardo Enterprises and it’s president Ryan Douglas until she found out that it all ended with somebody named Charlie Stone.
When I heard Charlie Stone, I thought that perhaps Aaron faked his own death or something and this was his way of funneling himself money. It turns out the twist was even more complicated than that. As we all know, Aaron Echolls had a beautiful wife. We also know that having a beautiful wife didn’t stop him from trying to get other women. One of those other women popped out a baby named Charlie Stone. That’s right, Logan had a half-brother!
As twists go, this was pretty amazing. Logan has a sister, but she’s not like him at all, and I don’t say that because she was adopted. Logan’s sister, for the most part, is daddy’s girl. She isn’t violent or anything like that, but she decided to go into show business and loves all of the fame and drama associated with it. Logan always resented his father’s fame, and his bond with his sister is not that tight. And although Logan has Veronica, he is still a pretty lonely and isolated guy. Any family member, even one his father tried to hide from him, is perhaps another chance for him to connect, and so he takes AT&T’s advice to reach out and touch someone, calling Charlie’s number and leaving him a message.
Meanwhile, Harmony and Keith continued their close relationship. Every time Keith was on a stakeout, I tried to figure out how what Harmony’s husband was doing was any worse than what Harmony was doing with Keith. It’s just business, right? And for Keith and Harmony, it got more personal. Keith even started telling Harmony stories about Veronica from when she was a little kid. Harmony’s husband? Just some late business meetings. But just to be sure, Keith gave Harmony a bug to plant on her husband’s tie. That night, Keith got the money shot. After they were finished with the business dinner, the other woman moved in for the kiss. Would this mean a new love interest for Keith Mars?
By this time, Veronica tracked down the girl who had gone with Claire to the Pi Sig fraternity house. They heard that there was a grope room. When Veronica had talked to Chip and Dick, they both explained that the bruises they had on their hands were from getting stepped on in a “Boo Room”. The Boo Room is dark and the boo part comes when people jump out unexpectedly and yell “boo”. Nancy and Claire heard that this was more of a Boo-ty Room than anything else, with the brothers using it as an excuse to grope girls in the dark. Nancy and Claire had dressed up as rats, with traps on all of the gropable places, and the Dick and Chip obviously fell for the trap. Nancy lost track of Claire, who she did say was doing funnel shots and pretty drunk. Nancy thought she saw Claire later in the night, and had already told all of this to the police.
Well, whenever you talk about the police, that means Sheriff Lamb, and we know that he thinks these rape investigations are a waste of time. Veronica knows that there is a good chance Lamb didn’t follow up, so she decides to try for herself, and wouldn’t you know, Nancy’s information actually leads somewhere. Veronica interviews the clerk of a convenience store who recognized Claire’s picture and said that there was a guy with her trying to buy some condoms, but since credit purchases must be over $15, the guy had to go to the ATM next door to get some money. ATM’s have cameras, so if this guy did take money out, Veronica can figure out who was with Claire that night.
Like I said, Logan having a brother was a great twist, and it turned out his brother was super cool. Logan, who worried that he might turn out to be a prick like his dad, was very happy to meet a member of his bloodline that was actually a productive member of society. And if there was any other question that these two were related, it turns out that Charlie loved to surf.
You know, this is almost too good to be true, and whenever you get that feeling with Veronica Mars, you know that it probably is too good to be true. Veronica was feeling a little skeptical, so she went to visit Charlie where he worked as an English teacher. The person she met was not the Charlie who was getting so buddy buddy with Logan earlier. So, who was this other guy? His name was Norman Phipps and he worked for Vanity Fair. He was only pretending to be Logan’s brother in order to get juicy stories for the magazine. When Logan finds this out, he punches Norman in the face. I think my Logan turn is complete, because when Logan threw that punch, I stood up and cheered. Would have been a little funnier with a kick in the nuts, though.
While all of THAT was going on, Keith had a meeting with Harmony about the picture he took. When Harmony first found out that her husband was seeing this Carly Hearn person, she was almost relieved. Carly was not a bimbo, but smart. To Harmony, it would have been much worse to learn he was banging his secretary. When Harmony saw the actual proof, she didn’t know what to do. Does she hire a lawyer? Move into a hotel? Start dating the private investigator that helped break up her marriage? The answer was none of the above. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. The audio from the night Carly kissed Charlie shows that Charlie wasn’t into it. After the kiss he said he couldn’t do it and was happily married. The next day he handed the account over to somebody else so he wouldn’t have to work with Carly. Afterwards, Harmony almost felt guilty for not trusting her husband, but I’m glad that it all worked out. That should be a lesson to every couple. When the marriage is loveless, try whip cream before calling the private investigator.
The night of the big Pi Sig hearing, Veronica showed up with her own money shot that was worth a lot of words. It clearly shows Claire with some Asian guy, and since there was only one Asian guy in Pi Sig, it didn’t take long to figure out that Brother Chu was not in the pictures, so a Pi Sig brother couldn’t be held accountable. Now, I might argue that the Pi Sig brothers got her drunk, and if she was raped afterwards, that could be enough for a civil suit, and just because this guy was at the ATM doesn’t mean he ended the night with her, or shaved her head. Still, it’s enough evidence to get Pi Sig off the hook, which really upsets Parker, but like we’ve said before, it’s not just about finding somebody guilty and burning them at the stake, it’s about finding the right somebody guilty and burning them at the stake. And right now, the Pi Sigs are not the right people.
Again, I thought this was a great episode. I really like the way we have been able to get deeper into what these characters are like. Before, we sort of figured out what they were feeling, but it was always a small moment that was secondary to the overarching mystery. This week with Logan is a perfect example. I’ve been watching for two years, and I finally feel like I know the guy. Jason Dohring is a great actor, but there is only so much that witty, semi-smarmy, great-in-the-sack, semi-tough guy can showcase your acting talents. I mean, hearing him say stuff like “I never had what you and your father have”, it almost breaks your heart. Logan’s still not perfect, as evidenced by him going onto Larry King in part so Norman couldn’t scoop the story in the magazine, but also to out his brother for selling him out. Logan assumed Charlie gave his name to Norman, but in reality Norman had Charlie’s phone tapped. Before this year, I think that Logan would have simply forgotten about the whole thing, but this year Logan realizes what he did was wrong, but knows that the answer is not pretending it doesn’t exist. He calls up his brother again, and I do hope they get to work things out.
What did you think of the episode? Do you think the Pi Sigs are really innocent?