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Season 3, Episode 6
"Hi, Infidelity"

Aired November 7, 2006 on The CW
Recap/Review by Yellowqueen22

Episode Regular Cast: Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls), Percy Daggs III (Wallace Fennel), Francis Capra (Weevil), Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas), Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars), Julie Gonzalo (Parker), Chris Lowell (Piz), Michael Muhney (Sheriff Lamb)

Guest Stars: Ed Begley Jr. (Dean O'Dell), James Jordan (Timothy Foyle)

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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 of VM episodes. WARNING: If you have not seen the episode, spoilers definitely follow.

Short Summary:

Cheating is the word on everyone’s lips in Neptune. Veronica is accused of plagiarism and has three days to prove she didn’t cheat. Wallace is forced to deal with the ramifications of his cheating. Keith and Harmony spend more time together on a non-professional level. Finally, a suspect is arrested for committing the Hearst rapes.

Recap:

“The universe is currently aligned against me so nothing’s awesome.”

The rape mystery picks up with Dean O’Dell confronting Clare regarding her false claim of rape (Clare claimed rape in episode 3.3 after the Lampoons made a joke about raping her, Clare lied about the guy in the ATM surveillance photo in episode 3.4, and Veronica discovered that the boy in the ATM surveillance photo was Clare’s boyfriend in episode 3.5). Veronica Mars is called into the Dean’s office because of a story she wrote exposing Clare’s lie, while Nish, the editor of the school paper, is called into the Dean’s office for her failure to publish the article. Clare is expelled from Hearst College and Nish is removed from the Newspaper for her failure to act objectively as editor. Nish vows that both the Dean and Veronica will regret their actions before storming out of the office.

A few other tidbits develop on the rape front. First, Parker becomes upset when she smells Mercer’s cologne because she remembers the smell from the night of the rape. As a result, Veronica breaks into Mercer’s room with Weevil’s maintenance keys and finds a pair of hidden clippers. When Veronica brings the information to Sheriff Lamb, he reveals that GHB was found in Mercer’s stolen cash box from the casino heist (episode 3.5). Second, Veronica discovers a chart covering the Hearst rapes in Timothy Foyle’s office. Third, after Mercer is arrested for the Hearst rapes, Logan comes to Veronica for help because he knows he didn’t do it. Logan admits to being with Mercer during the rape that occurred over the summer, but refuses to tell Veronica what they were doing.

Elsewhere on the Hearst campus, Veronica becomes the criminology professor’s new favorite after scoring the highest grade in the class. Much to Veronica’s dismay, Professor Landry praises her in front of the class and posts her paper for all to see. Much to Timothy Foyle’s (criminology teaching assistant featured in episode 3.1) dismay, Professor Landry ditches him in order to have lunch with Veronica. Over lunch, Professor Landry tries to sell Veronica on criminology as a major and requests to be her faculty advisor.

Things go awry for Veronica, when Timothy Foyle accuses her of plagiarizing her paper after one of her classmates turned her in. Professor Landry gives Veronica three days to prove she didn’t plagiarize her paper. Jeff Ratner admits to turning Veronica in as a plagiarist after Veronica confronts her entire criminology class, and then proceeds to call her a cheater in front of the entire class. Next Veronica finds Max (the guy who helped Wallace cheat in episode 3.5) to determine the source of the online paper of which she is accused of plagiarizing. Max finds the paper online and determines that it was posted a year ago by Rory Finch (rory.finch@hearstcollege.org). In the search for Rory Finch, Veronica tries to use Weevil’s maintenance keys to break into Dean O’Dell’s office; however she finds the keys unnecessary because the door is unlocked. Turns out that Dean O’Dell is in his office and Veronica is forced to come up with a quick excuse for being there. After searching through the papers, Veronica discovers the email account was set up three days ago from a computer at the Neptune Grand.

Logan, at Veronica’s request, goes to Tina, a receptionist at the Neptune Grand, to find more information about Rory Finch. Veronica convinces Tina to call her if Rory Finch shows up again. While hanging out at the Neptune Grand with Logan, Veronica discovers that Jeff Ratner works at the Neptune Grand and therefore believes him to be Rory Finch. However, Tina calls Veronica to let her know Rory Finch checked into the hotel again; but when she arrives at Rory Finch’s room she only discovers Professor Landry and Mindy O’Dell. Through process of elimination Veronica realizes that Foyle set up the treasure hunt to have Veronica discover Professor Landry’s affair.

The cheating theme continues as Wallace is brought into the Dean’s office after getting caught cheating on his mechanical engineering test (episode 3.5). The mechanical engineering professor claims partial responsibility for Wallace’s cheating because he accepted him into the engineering program despite Wallace’s rigorous athletic schedule and low standardized test scores. Wallace is given the choice to drop mechanical engineering with no repercussions or to stay in mechanical engineering and take a zero on the exam. Wallace’s teammate, Mason, encourages him to drop the class, while his coach offers him a starting position on the basketball team.

Wallace has a difficult time making the decision and Veronica encourages Wallace to make the right decision. Wallace decides to stay in mechanical engineering and accept the zero. As a result, Wallace is study bound and although his grades improve, they do not improve enough for him to pass the class. Wallace decides to drop basketball for the semester and give up his scholarship in order to study and pass his class. The basketball coach lets Wallace keep the scholarship, but reminds him that if he quits basketball for the semester, he likely won’t play next semester.

The cheating persists as Logan fails to stop writing when time is called on an exam. Although, the proctor refuses to take Logan’s exam, Logan ensures that the proctor doesn’t know who he is and then mixes his exam into the pile. Mercer admires Logan as he retells the story, but changes his tune to “cheating is wrong” when Veronica arrives. Logan’s cheating pays off when he receives an A. Quite oddly Logan mentions a number of students who also cheated and got caught (is this a clue to future mysteries or is this just a reference to guest stars from previous episodes?).

Meanwhile Piz invites Veronica out bowling to distract her from her plagiarizing troubles. After realizing the awkwardness of the invite, Piz claims that the entire gang, including Wallace, will go bowling. After agreeing to go bowling with Piz, Veronica invites Logan and Parker along. Bowling becomes awkward when only Veronica, Logan, Piz, and Parker show up – making it look like an uncomfortably bad double date set-up. Things become more uncomfortable when Parker crushes on Piz and enlists Veronica’s help, who not only feels awkward about the sixth grade set-up, but also seems to feel a bit guilty about her own relationship with Piz. Piz rejects Veronica’s attempt to set him up with Parker, claiming that he isn’t her type (which is incredibly awkward because we all know Veronica is his type). Parker convinces Veronica to meet Piz at the radio station in order to continue the awkward set-up. However, the set-up is interrupted when Mercer shows up and Parker remembers his cologne from the night she was raped.

Harmony re-enters Keith’s life on a non-professional level when she requests him to accompany her to a noir film festival while her husband and child are out of town. Veronica becomes concerned that Keith is dating Harmony, a married woman with a non-cheating husband; however Keith assures her that they are just friends and not dating. After a few non-dates, Harmony tells Keith that she booked a room at the Neptune Grand because she doesn’t want to have any regrets. Keith turns Harmony down because he doesn’t want to regret sleeping with a married woman. However, Keith changes his mind when he gets in a car accident on the way home, and returns back to the hotel where he takes Harmony up on her offer.

Wait for it… the cheating keeps on rolling when we discover Mindy O’Dell is cheating on Dean O’Dell with Professor Landry. Throughout the episode Dean O’Dell repeatedly complains about his wife’s controlling ways. As a result, the Dean uses every one of his wife’s “functions” to rebel and do the things he wants to do. Meanwhile, we discover that Mindy’s “functions” are only excuses to meet with Professor Landry at the Neptune Grand for some hanky panky. Veronica almost tells Dean O’Dell about his wife’s infidelity, but stops herself after he repeatedly talks about how some things are better unknown.

Review:

Cheat-a-licious – This episode was filled with the ooey gooey thematic goodness that makes Veronica Mars so absolutely delicious. The theme is cheating and the whole town of Neptune seems to be infected with the cheating bug. While Veronica is wrongly accused of plagiarizing her term paper, everyone else in Neptune appears to be deceitful and untrustworthy. First, Wallace is forced to come clean about his own cheating after being caught, but then chooses to do the right thing. Meanwhile, Logan is benefiting from cheating on a test, while two of his fellow classmates are caught cheating. Veronica discovers that Mindy is unfaithful to the Dean and sleeping with Professor Landry. And the big shocker - Keith, our noble private detective and father of the year, engages in an adulterous affair with Harmony. What is most interesting about the cheating theme is Veronica’s reaction to each situation. Veronica is indignant at the accusation of her cheating, not only because she is innocent, but because Veronica’s moral code, as fuzzy as it can be when she is investigating, is incredibly black and white in all other situations. Veronica’s reacts to Wallace’s cheating as a supportive friend encouraging him to do the right thing and believing that he will. Veronica seems laughingly amused by Logan’s cheating, almost as if she expects it of him or holds him to a different moral code, which really doesn’t seem all that good for a healthy relationship. Veronica is unphazed by Mindy’s infidelity, since she grew up watching people lie and cheat, but she seems honestly torn as to whether to tell Dean O’Dell. And finally Veronica is adamant that her father stay away from Harmony, perhaps because Veronica holds her father up to a higher standard than that of the average man.

Veronica-licious – I breathed a sigh of relief during this episode because Veronica felt like Veronica again. Although she wrongly accused people, she didn’t do it blindly because she just felt like pointing a finger at someone; instead she used her investigative skills to actually find clues and make educated guesses. It felt as if the energy and spunk was pumped back into Veronica this episode – she was smart, she was snarky, she was unpopular, she was Veronica.

Cliffhanger-licious – Finally the rape mystery is truly getting going and much of this has to do with an effective use of cliffhangers. This episode immediately picked up on the fact that Clare lied about not knowing the guy in the ATM photo and that he was in fact her boyfriend (cliffhanger from episode 3.5). Additionally, this episode ended on the cliffhanger of Logan coming to Veronica to clear Mercer of the rape charges, but unable to tell Veronica why he is so certain of Mercer’s innocence. The use of cliffhangers effectively made sure that although the rapes were not central to the episode, they were the first and last thing discussed, keeping them at the forefront of the audience’s minds.

LoVe-a-licious – surprisingly LoVe was back to its passionate and snarky roots in this episode, as the couple engaged in cute coupledom and witty banter. In past episodes this season I began to question why Veronica and Logan were even together since they seemed to be so unhappy with one another, but tonight’s episode reminded us of the chemistry between them. The continuity in the LoVe relationship is perhaps one of the strongest things going for it… the ongoing joke regarding Logan’s status as a “bad boy”, Veronica’s ongoing jealousy issues as she meets Logan’s “pals”, and Veronica’s attempt to work on her trust issues as she makes jokes regarding her jealousy. A few small adorable moments between our star-crossed couple include: Veronica kissing Logan in order to prevent him from asking about her “stupid” “moose-tacular” t-shirt, Logan offering to bring her a refreshment while bowling, Logan’s comment about Veronica spreading sunshine, and Logan coming to Veronica for help much like in season one.

Quotes:

Dean O’Dell: So what do you have to say?
Wallace: I’m with her on the mercy thing.

Professor Landry: Let me direct you to the front where I’ve posted our only example of A caliber work. Nice job Miss Mars.
Veronica: Well… this should make me popular.

Veronica: Wait… you don’t like me.

Veronica: My would be mentor professor just gave me three days to prove I didn’t plagiarize a major paper… the universe is currently aligned against me so nothing’s awesome.

Veronica: Will bowling take my mind off of the fact that everyone’s out to get me?”
Piz: It worked for Nixon. It will be fun.

Veronica: Apparently, if you look hard enough, everyone looks like their hiding dark secrets. So, if you’re looking for something specific, you gotta try the direct approach.

Veronica: Wallace.
Wallace: Not here.
Veronica: And you would be?
Wallace: Evil Wallace. And I know Veronica Mars doesn’t hang with the evil and morally bankrupt.
Veronica: Evil Wallace wouldn’t have confessed and faced punishment. Nope, you’re regular Wallace.

Wallace: So this whole after school special monologue here didn’t make much of an impression on you?

Mercer: That is so awesome… but I do not condone it in any way and had nothing to do with your decision to do it.

Mercer: I told him it was wrong and he was going to burn in hell. You’re going to burn in hell man.
Logan: I’ll see you there.

Logan: I thought you loved bad boys.
Veronica: I do. But if that’s your idea of bad, you need to turn in your badge.

Logan: How very Emma of you.
Veronica: Did you just make a Jane Austen reference? It’s official the end of days are upon us.

Parker: I think I just ate something’s beak.

Parker: Bowling? Why?
Veronica: You know… hatchet burring, etc. Plus Nixon found it soothing. Look if you don’t want to go because you’d rather see me fed to bears, fine.

Keith: It’s great talking to someone for whom Bogart isn’t a verb.

Veronica: I only follow sports that are done to music.

Mechanical Engineering Professor: You sure this is a smart choice?
Wallace: Probably not, but you’ve seen my standardized test scores, I’m not a particularly smart guy.

Wallace: So you’re off the hook… it’s over.
Veronica: Ahhh… my innocent and naïve Wallace, when I find who did this and make them sing like the preverbial fat lady, that’s when it’s over.

Veronica: Ok… you’re Rocky, mechanical engineering is Mr. T, Eye of the Tiger is playing… I’ll see you later on.

Veronica: So for bowling… earnest I’m really bowling or I’m too cool for bowling and I’m only here ironically.
Keith: When did crappy old shirts with stupid stuff on them become cool?

Tina: Any friend of Logan’s…
Veronica: Girlfriend of Logan’s… come on boyfriend, let’s bowl.

Veronica: No more fun… too exhausting.

Veronica: Just the soap opera. Parker wants me to find out if Piz likes her. What do I do? Pass a note??? Scribble it on his trapper keeper???

Logan: The cheating cheapens the whole thing.
Veronica: You’re only cheating yourself.

Jeff Ratner: I’ve worked here two years. You’ve seen me a hundred times. But you notice the little people because you’re too busy lounging with Captain Moneybags here.
Logan: That’s Admiral Moneybags.

Logan: That’s my girl… spreads sunshine wherever she goes.

Veronica: I’m sorry… I’m having a traumatic stress flashback to the sixth grade.

Dean O’Dell: My biggest problem as Dean… I don’t like college students… most of them anyway.

Pop Culture References:

High Fidelity – Book (Nick Hornby) – Movie
Emma – Book (Jane Austen)
Maltese Falcon – Movie
The Big Sleep – Movie
Rocky III (Rocky, Mr. T, Eye of the Tiger) – Movie
Eye of the Tiger – Song (Survivor)
Out of the Past – Movie

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