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Season 3, Episode 4
"Charlie Don't Surf"

Aired October 24, 2006 on The CW
Recap/Review by Yellowqueen22

Episode Regular Cast: Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls), Percy Daggs III (Wallace Fennel), Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas), Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars), Julie Gonzalo (Parker)

Guest Stars: Matt Czuchry (Fake Charlie/Norman), Laura San Giacomo (Harmony Chase)

CW Episode Description

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Yellowqueen22, moderator of the Neptunesite Forums (swing by there if you haven't already!), is now gracing us with weekly recaps and reviews WARNING: If you have not seen the episode, spoilers definitely follow.

Short Summary:

Logan comes to dinner with the Mars family and is charmed by their familial banter. Veronica continues to search for Parker’s rapist, while being hired to clear Pi Sig Frat of responsibility for the rapes. Veronica helps Logan trail his missing money, only to discover that Logan has a half-brother. Keith tracks Harmony’s husband to determine if he’s cheating on her.

Recap:

The episode begins with an adorable father/daughter discussion regarding the upcoming family dinner with Logan. Logan arrives to a tense Veronica, who is worried about an evening shared with her two favorite men. Logan is obviously amused by the witty and loving banter between Veronica and Keith.

Veronica is back on the search for the Hearst serial rapist. Veronica visits with an angry and bitter Parker, who still blames Veronica for her rape and enjoys slamming the door in Veronica’s face. Veronica reveals to Parker that she understands how Parker feels because she herself was raped (see episode 1.1, 1.21, and 2.22 for more information). Veronica vows to find Parker’s rapist. Parker and Veronica’s heart-to-heart is interrupted by Nish, the nosey editor of the Free Press (the same one who messed with Veronica’s story in episode 3.2), who wants to interview Parker regarding the rape.

The Free Press publishes an article entitled “Pi Sig Frat Common Link in Campus Rapes” sparking a hearing to get the fraternity kicked off campus. Dick shows up at Veronica’s apartment to hire her to prove Pi Sig Frat has nothing to do with the rapes. Veronica begins investigating the Pi Sig Frat by interviewing the frat brothers who were present at the Haunted House Claire (rape victim from episode 3.3) was at before she was raped. Charleston worked the drink stand, which is the last place Claire remembers, but he denies being involved in the rape. However, he reveals that he caught Chip in the act of sex the night of the party, but he doesn’t know who the female was and Chip refuses to tell Veronica.

The Lilith House ladies show up at the frat house to protest while Veronica is investigating, only to find her “snuggling” with Dick. Veronica accuses Charleston’s girlfriend of sleeping with Chip because of Chip’s reluctance to name the girl and his declaration that the girl would never admit to it. Veronica discovers that both Dick and Chip’s hands are bruised – Chip claims a guy stomped on his hand in the BOO room, while Dick claims that a window fell on it. Veronica confronts Dick with the information that he showed up at Logan’s door claiming to have messed up (see episode 3.1), but Dick storms off angry at Logan.

Parker is angry at Veronica because she is working with the Pi Sig Frat and being friendly with Dick. Parker reveals that Dick showed up at her door in the middle of the night drunk and pounding on the door, only to find Mac (see episode 3.1). Parker also informs Veronica that Dick chased Nancy (one of the Lilith House girls) out of the Haunted House calling her a “bitch”. Nancy informs Veronica that she went into the BOO room (aka the Grope room) with rat traps on all her gropable parts, which resulted in Dick and Chip’s bruised hands.

After finding out that Nancy thought she saw Claire on the street outside of a convenient store after the party, Veronica does a little digging at the convenient store. Through the colorful response of the convenient store clerk and some ATM surveillance photographs, Veronica discovers that Claire was at the convenient store at 2am, very drunk, with a full head of hair, and accompanied by an asian man. The Pi Sig Frat is cleared because the man accompanying Claire was not a member of Pi Sig Frat.

Meanwhile, Logan believes that his financial manager is skimming off the top and funds are missing from his dwindling trust fund. Veronica agrees to look into Logan’s financial records. Keith’s accountant finds out that $10,000 a month from the Echoll’s estate is being contributed to “Aaron’s Kidz”. Next Veronica determines that the money is all being funneled through the business to Charlie Stone, who turns out to be Logan’s half-brother.

Logan calls Charlie Stone and leaves a message. Charlie Stone shows up – he and Logan bond over beer, discussion, and surfing. Charlie gets Logan to share a number of personal stories about his childhood. But in typical Veronica fashion, she discovers that the guy who showed up at Logan’s door is not the REAL Charlie Stone. Unfortunately for Logan, the guy was actually a reporter for Vanity Fair, named Norman Fipps, looking for an exclusive story. Logan’s anger gets the best of him – he punches Norman, goes on Larry King Live, outs the REAL Charlie Stone, and falsely accuses him of conspiring with the reporter (turns out that Norman tapped Charlie’s phone). Logan, still desperate to find a descent member of his family, tries to communicate with the REAL Charlie Stone.

Harmony, an acquaintance of Keith’s, comes to Keith as a client in order to determine if her husband is cheating. As Keith continues to track Harmony’s husband, Harmony and Keith do a lot of flirting during stakeouts and pizza snacking. Keith sees Harmony’s husband with another woman and has Harmony plant a listening device, in the form of a tie pin, on her husband. Although Keith gets a “money shot” of Harmony’s husband kissing another woman, Keith also has a recording proving her husband’s faithfulness. In the end, Harmony goes back to her husband, leaving a slightly disappointed Keith.

Review:

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – You will never guess who is coming to dinner. Okay… you will, but only because of the previews. Logan’s coming to dinner at the Mars household. The interaction between Logan, Veronica, and Keith is entertaining, but what is priceless is Logan’s reaction to the tender and sweet banter between father and daughter. Even more touching is Logan’s reference to the relationship between Veronica and Keith later in the episode and his wish to have something familial like that in his life. Along that wavelength, tonight’s episode is another Logan heavy episode and it is Logan how we like him best. Logan is raw, emotional, tortured, wistful, and with the worst darn luck a boy could have (seriously… Logan NEVER gets a break). My only concern with Logan: why is he so darn passive this season??? Did he have a personality transplant or are they setting his character up for something in the future, something (dare I say it) bad and true to psychotic jackass Logan?

Missing Characters – I’m gonna come right out and say it… I miss characters when they are gone (except maybe Duncan). It’s weird to have characters pop in and out of Veronica’s life each week. We haven’t seen Mac for weeks. Wallace is in episodes, but only for a few lines of rather worthless dialogue. Parker and Piz now trade off episodes. We’ve only seen NEW season regular Sheriff Lamb in one scene this whole season. And I’m left asking “Where’s Weevil” this week. I understand budget constraints and tight plotlines, but I still miss them. Consider this my moment of whining.

Guest Stars Done Right – Guest Stars on the UPN aired Veronica Mars were often hit and miss. Several times during season two the guest stars felt forced, contrived, and painful. However, the first major guest stars of Veronica Mars’ first season on The CW were done right. First off, although both guest stars were gimmicky, they worked well with their characters and had great chemistry with the regular VM actors. Laura San Giacomo was likely brought on the show because she co-starred as Enrico Colantoni’s love interest on Just Shoot Me. Giacomo’s portrayal of Harmony was wonderful. Her character was warm, funny, likeable, and a little kooky – the perfect fit opposite Colantoni’s Keith. Although Harmony didn’t end up with Keith, the writers have left room for her to come back. Frankly, I hope we see her again soon, because the chemistry between Colantoni & Giacomo is out of this world. Matt Czuchry was brought on the show to entice even more Gilmore Girls fans to Veronica Mars. While some of the attempts to keep the GG fans have made VM a weaker show this season, this one actually worked. Czuchry has got the arrogant and cocky ass routine down to an art. On top of that, his chemistry with both Jason Dohring and Kristen Bell was fantastic. And he looks really really good without a shirt on.

Pixie Spy & Frat Boy – I’m really loving any interaction between Dick and Veronica this year. I’m not routing for any romantic involvement (PLEASE DON’T EVER DO IT), but boy do they sizzle on screen together. Their newly developed “friendly” relationship is hilarious and somewhat reminiscent of the season one banter between Logan and Veronica. Is it wrong that Dick’s becoming one of my new favorite characters???

Overall – Finally, an episode worthy of Veronica Mars. Veronica was involved and interested in the major mystery (serial rapist on Hearst Campus). Logan had an actual mystery to be involved in. We saw some of the fabulously famous father-daughter relationship. Dialogue was sharp and witty. Acting and chemistry was bang on. The B-mystery was interesting and had a slightly unpredictable twist. If the rest of the season stays up to par with this episode, then I’ll be a happy Veronica Mars fan.

Quotes:

Veronica: This is a bad idea.
Keith: No it’s not.
Veronica: You only think it’s not because you came up with it.
Keith: Ergo… how can it be bad? Math, sweetie. Me plus idea equals good.

Logan: You were expecting Sidney Poitier?
Veronica: No jokes. No innuendos. No quips. Don’t even think of alluding to having seen me naked or having touched any part of my body that does not have fingers.

Veronica: Time out. Can we stay in the shallow end please?

Keith: I didn’t realize I had to have the conversation veted.
Veronica: I would have been happy to veto questions for you ahead of time.
Keith: That would have been nice, huh?
Veronica: We could have packed a lunch and made a day of it.
Keith: Missed opportunity if you ask me.

Veronica: I have surprisingly strong legs and an hour before my next class.

Nish: Veronica… it’s good to see you.
Veronica: And that’s where we differ.

Logan: Go get ‘em bobcat!

Veronica: Colored ink… it must be true.

Veronica: I trust Nish as far as I can throw her. But I can’t throw those Frat boys very far either. I’m feeling pretty anxious to give it a try though.

Dick: You get to be the spy who loves me.

Dick: We’re a frat… why rape the cow when you’re swimming in free milk?

Veronica: Who knew that when opportunity knocked it would look like a horny surfer.

Keith: Did we start going to church or are you addressing the junior league?
Veronica: Bland is the new hot.

Keith: Nice shoes. You change your major to woman studies?

Veronica: Here’s a fun thing to say to your beau: mind if I go put the screws to someone?
Logan: Go ahead. Screw your brains out.

Dick: You’re torturing me.
Veronica: Without even trying? God… I’m good.

Dick: Go work your little Pixie spy magic and fix this.

Veronica: I heard you went to their haunted house. That must have been fun. Did you go as a hypocrite?

Veronica: So it’s a piece of cake?
Keith: A monkey with a friend who is a bank representative could do it.
Veronica: So Bubbles, feel like doing me a solid?

Veronica: Hello Chip, Dick, faceless Star Trek crew members.

Veronica: When did the Greek Chorus of feminine shame arrive?

Pop Culture References:

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – Movie starring Sidney Poitier (father of Season 1 cast member Sydney Tamiia Poitier! - webmaster Craig, rudely interrupting)
Apocalypse Now – Movie with famous line “Charlie Don’t Surf”
Stallone – Actor
People – Magazine
Nicole Richie – Celebrity
Vanity Fair – Magazine
Harry & David – Company selling fruit baskets
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – Architect famous for his quote “God is in the Details”
Bubbles – Michael Jackson’s pet monkey
Star Trek – Television Show
Greek Chorus – famous technique in Classic Greek Theater

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