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Season 3, Episode 7
"Of Vice And Men"

Aired November 14, 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)

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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:

Veronica, angry with Keith and Logan, escapes to the comforts of Wallace’s dorm room, where Piz is happy to see her. Veronica helps a girl find her missing boyfriend, while also trying to clear Mercer of the rape charges. The rape mystery progresses when Veronica become the rapist’s next target.

Recap:

“Okay, consider my mind blown… and then put back together and blown again.”

The Opening - The episode begins with Veronica sneaking home to pack a bag. Keith catches her and is worried because neither he, nor Logan knows where Veronica spent the previous night. Veronica informs Keith that she’s staying at Wallace’s dorm while Wallace and Piz are studying at a motel. During the conversation, Veronica makes a few snide remarks about Keith’s married girlfriend in a typically judgmental Veronica fashion, making it obvious that her disappointment in Keith’s new affair is the catalyst for her recent departure from home (Keith didn’t come home in episode 3.6 because he spent the night at the Neptune Grand with Harmony). Unfortunately for Veronica, Piz comes home early from his study trip after Wallace went all Shining psychotic on him and catches Veronica in her skivvies. However, Piz decides that Veronica can stay with him in the dorm room for the weekend.

The Missing Boyfriend - Moe (Piz and Wallace’s resident advisor featured in episode 3.1 and episode 3.2) finds Meryl sitting outside her boyfriend’s room, which happens to be next door to Wallace’s dorm room, waiting for him because he never showed up at the airport to pick her up. Moe brings Meryl tea and then enlists Veronica’s help in finding Sully (Marley’s boyfriend) after finding her in Piz’s room. Moe uses his keys to get them all into Sully’s room. Veronica finds a hot girl named Scarlett circled in a Freshman Facebook and immediately suspects Sully to be cheating. Veronica also finds a credit card receipt in the trash and takes it in order to track down Sully’s purchases. Veronica finds no activity on Sully’s credit card, so she decides to listen to Sully’s voicemail. There is a message from Scarlett about a meeting at 8pm in the food court, which Veronica takes as an immediate sign of cheating.

Throughout the episode, Meryl repeatedly comes up with different theories as to what happened to Sully, refusing to believe that he is cheating on her. Veronica keeps trying to convince Meryl that Sully’s actions seem more like a cowardly way of breaking up with her. Sully’s roommate, Glen, shows up and hasn’t seen Sully since the morning before when Sully went surfing, even though Meryl is sure that Sully doesn’t surf. Glen also reveals that Sully and Meryl got into a big argument on the phone the night before. Next, the girls show up at the food court and find Scarlett. Veronica accuses Scarlett of stealing Meryl’s boyfriend or wanting to steal him. Veronica brings Meryl back to the dorm room, giving her Piz’s bed, leaving Piz to sleep on the floor.

The next morning Meryl receives a drunken voice mail message Sully. Veronica uses a gizmo to track down Sully’s cell phone at the River Styx (the Fitzpatrick’s bar where Veronica was almost killed and Logan pulled a gun in episode 2.8), while also discovering a bunch of liquor and other items were purchased on Sully’s credit card. Much to Veronica’s dismay, Meryl runs into the River Styx, forcing Veronica to follow after her. Meryl questions Danny Boyd about Sully’s whereabouts, but Danny recognizes Veronica as Keith Mars’ daughter. Veronica finds the purchases and Sully’s cell phone in the bar. Liam Fitzpatrick grabs Veronica, forcing her to dance, and preventing her from breathing, while revealing his displeasure at Keith’s role in Kendall’s disappearance. Vinnie (our favorite scummy PI last featured in episode 3.1) saves the day by pretending to be drunk and taking pictures of Veronica and Liam to send to Keith.

Outside of the River Styx, Vinnie reveals that Sully was at the bar the night before and was so drunk he couldn’t remember his name. Danny Boyd apparently offered to help take Sully home, but instead used his credit card to go on a wild shopping spree and left Sully stranded. At the police station, the girls find Sully in the drunk tank and Lamb reveals that Sully must have been injured while surfing, because he has a knot in the back of his neck and still doesn’t remember his name. Veronica apologizes to Meryl for jumping to the wrong conclusions; Meryl forgives her because she knows if she hadn’t been in love before, then she wouldn’t have believed it either.

Mercer, Logan & the Rapes - After class, Veronica finds Logan waiting for her and assures him that she is going to help prove that Mercer is not the Hearst rapist (Mercer was arrested by Sheriff Lamb for the rapes in episode 3.6). Logan wants to make things right between them, but Veronica is still angry because Logan is unwilling to divulge the alibi (cliffhanger in episode 3.6). Later in the episode, Veronica shows up at Mercer’s jail cell and asks about the alibi, Mercer confirms that Logan is his alibi for the August 13th rape, but refuses to divulge any information regarding the night. Mercer claims that the GHB isn’t his and that one of the people owing him a lot of money must have set him up. Apparently Chip Diller (Pi Sig president featured in episode 2.16, episode 3.2, and episode 3.4) and Dean Cyrus O’Dell have a lot of gambling debt with Mercer.

After learning that Piz is covering for Mercer’s shift at the radio station, Veronica follows Piz to work in order to check the schedule. Veronica discovers that Mercer could not be responsible for either Stacey or Parker’s rapes because he was working at the radio station. Veronica brings the information to Logan, but refuses to give it to him unless he tells her what happened on August 13th. Logan reveals that the boys were in Tijuana, Mercer set the motel room on fire, and the boys escaped without trying to help or making sure that everyone was okay. Veronica is disgusted by Logan’s behavior and the couple remains all angsty. Although the Sheriff receives the information from Logan, Lamb refuses to release Mercer because he wants to hold him as long as he can.

Affairs of Criminology - In criminology class, Professor Landry assigns a final term paper, which requires each student to plan the perfect murder. Professor Landry keeps Veronica after class to give her an FBI internship summer program application, which he wants her to fill out in lieu of the final term paper. Later in the food court, Veronica finds Professor Landry and passes on the internship application, declaring she will complete the term paper like everyone else because she doesn’t want to be bought off. Professor Landry tells her to take the internship because he doesn’t care what she says about his affair, she is his best student and she should be thinking about her future.

Keith’s Adultery - On the adult front, Harmony shows up at Mars Investigations and declares that she will leave her loveless marriage. Harmony and Keith share their feelings for each other, but Keith obviously feels guilty for sleeping with a married woman. Harmony convinces Keith to go to Palm Springs with her for the weekend. Vinnie shows up at Mars Investigations to find out the whereabouts of Kendall (our favorite golddigging temptress last featured in episode 3.1) and her money, but Keith claims not to know the whereabouts of Kendall. Vinnie also tries to blackmail Keith with pictures of Keith and Harmony’s affair after being hired by Harmony’s husband.

Later in the episode, Veronica goes to Mars Investigations to get a gizmo and runs into Keith, who tries to explain his situation to her. Veronica treats Keith like every other cheating scumbag they’ve dealt with in the PI business, even bringing up her mother’s affair with Jake Kane and Keith responsibility in making her so jaded. As a result, when Harmony shows up, Keith ends things with her.

The Closing – A desperate Logan calls Keith to find out Veronica’s whereabouts and discovers that Veronica is staying in Wallace’s dorm room. Later that night, Veronica stupidly leaves her open drink unattended in the food court while getting some food replaced. While checking a bunch of messages from Logan and Keith, Veronica begins to feel the effects of her drugged beverage. Logan shows up at the dorm room to find Piz, who reveals that Veronica is staying in the room with him while Wallace is out of town. A drugged Veronica goes to her car, which is located in an underground parking garage, and realizes that she has been drugged. Veronica notices a masked and gloved person wearing a robe, and realizes it is the rapist. She runs to her car, but falls over before she can safely escape inside the vehicle. Before passing out Veronica hits the panic button on her keys. Thankfully Logan is passing by as the alarm goes off and runs to the vehicle after realizing it is Veronica’s. The rapist bends down and turns off the panic alarm with a gloved hand. Logan arrives to find the passed out Veronica with part of her head shaved. Logan takes her back to the apartment where Logan and Keith take care of her and Veronica’s faith in Logan and Keith is renewed.

Review:

Subtler Side of Piz – I’m actually starting to really like Piz, despite his obvious puppy dog crush on Veronica and hyperactive bouncing ways. Although I’m really not interested in seeing Veronica and Piz ever hook up, I thought Piz was adorable in his awkward discomfort in finding Veronica in his dorm room or watching Veronica while she was studying on Wallace’s bed. Piz was also somewhat useful and sweet in this episode, letting Veronica stay in the dorm room, caring about what was wrong with her, helping her investigate both Sully’s disappearance and Mercer’s alibi, and sleeping on the floor. Although the scene between Piz and Logan was awkward at the end, Piz properly stayed out of the fight between Veronica and Logan. Plus, you gotta love his Shining reference in relation to Wallace’s studying and the fact that the moment he learned that Sully was missing he looked straight at Veronica.

Tying Up Lose Ends – I’ve been complaining for weeks that the Fitzpatricks and Kendall storyline has completely disappeared, almost as if Rob Thomas and company were pretending that the mystery was over. Thankfully, they dealt with my complaints in this episode, reminding us that the mystery is far from over – Liam is still in search of the money, Cormac is still very much dead, and we still don’t know if Kendall is dead or just cleverly hiding somewhere. Danny Boyd was as stupid as ever. Liam was as utterly creepy as ever; his dancing with Veronica while singing an Irish jig was just as terrifying as his behavior last season, making you almost expect Logan to walk in with a gun. Although Vinnie came to rescue at the River Styx this time, Logan’s rescue was just delayed to the end of the episode. On top of all that, Vinnie saves the day rescuing Veronica from the River Styx, after helping the Fitzpatricks and being such a jerk. I love when they make Vinnie do something noble, after being so despicable, much like his actions in helping Duncan escape (episode 2.11).

Judgmental Much??? – This episode marked the return of holier than thou, judgmental Veronica, who rears her ugly head a few times a season. While I’m annoyed at Veronica for behaving like such a sanctimonious ass, it definitely fit with the theme of the episode and with her character. Veronica frustrates me because every time she begins to open up and trust people, she suddenly flips around and becomes incredibly judgmental and untrusting. While I don’t condone Keith’s affair with a married woman, it is still Keith’s choice and has very little to do with Veronica. I can understand Veronica being disappointed in Keith, but Veronica went beyond that and acted like a petulant child. On top of that, Veronica behaved as if she has never done anything wrong and is absolutely perfect. As for Logan, Veronica has put that poor boy through the freaking ringer, so much so I’m beginning to wonder why he even puts up with her. Throughout season one and two, Veronica repeatedly mistrusted Logan and blamed him for everything that went wrong. Now, when she’s finally committed to trusting him, she is quick to become a jealous and untrusting wreck (episode 3.3) and think the absolute worst of him. While Logan’s actions in Mexico were far from noble, Veronica’s reaction seemed to be along the vein of “I told you so” and utter disgust. Someone should perhaps warn Veronica that when you constantly think the worst of someone, you will find a way to make sure they live up to it.

Alibi Crazy – The episode was sure to give a whole bunch of alibis for a variety of the rapes, kicking the rape mystery into full gear. First, Mercer has an alibi for Stacey’s rape, since he was working at the radio station. Second, Logan and Mercer have an alibi for Nancy’s rape, since both were in Mexico burning down a hotel room. Third, Mercer has an alibi for Parker’s rape since he was working at the radio station. Fourth, there are some fuzzy, but existent alibis for Logan, Piz, and Mercer for Veronica’s attempted rape. Logan found Veronica, scared the rapist away and brought Veronica home, making him an unlikely rapist. Mercer was still being held by the police when Veronica left the station that day and they were planning on holding him overnight, giving Mercer an alibi. Piz was in his room alone playing the guitar, which Logan witnessed when he arrived looking for Veronica, giving Piz a somewhat reasonable alibi.

Consistency – One of the best things about this show is its commitment to consistency and the reward it gives to long-term fans. This episode featured lots of references to past seasons: the return of Danny Boyd, mention of Lianne Mars and Jake Kane’s relationship, Veronica’s reference to the last time she was drugged, discussion of the rape mystery from last season, Veronica’s mention of the last time she was in the River Styx, etc.

Overall – I finally feel like this season is working and like my favorite TV show is on the air. Welcome back Veronica Mars!!!

Quotes:
Veronica: Wallace is letting me stay in his dorm room until he and his roommate get back from their weekend cramming Paper Chase style in some motel…

Veronica: What does a girl do when it seems every male in her life has let her down? She seeks sanctuary; a place where no one can find her; a place where…

Veronica: How long have you been standing there Piz? I might expect a tip.

Veronica: You’re supposed to be cramming in a motel like in the Paper Chase.
Piz: You mean The Shining? All work and no play makes Wallace psychotic. I cough, like once, he told me to take it outside. I ask if we wanted a pizza and he was all like “did we come here to eat or study?”

Veronica: Not what it looks like.
Moe: Not one to judge.

Veronica: The man who would be my mentor, Mr. Popular. Just another on the list of men who disappoint.

Veronica: No term paper. A dream internship. And all I have to do is keep my mouth shut.

Veronica: How do you propose to make things right? You gonna hypnotize me?
Logan: I was hoping your desire to find the real rapist might outweigh your need to drag me over the coals.
Veronica: Who says I can’t do both?

Veronica: Maybe I don’t want to know what you were up to.
Logan: When have you ever not wanted to know anything?

Mercer: You shouldn’t worry, he’s a solid guy. I mean, I’d want him to be my boyfriend if I swung that way.
Veronica: Give it time… you just got here (referring to jail).

Professor Landry: Have a seat, share a rib.
Veronica: I don’t like to get my hands dirty.

Professor Landry: Take the internship. There’s no quid pro quo here. I’m not worried about what you might say about what you saw at the Grand. This is about nothing more or less then the fact that you are by far my strongest student. Forget me, think about you Veronica.

Veronica: Okay, consider my mind blown… and then put back together and blown again.

Logan: Can you leave it alone? Can you trust me?
Veronica: No, I can’t. I’m not built that way.
Logan: Who gets blackmailed by his girlfriend? I guess I do.

Logan: I am your boyfriend Veronica, and you are treating me like a criminal.

Logan: It’s because of the look on your face right now that I didn’t want to tell you. I did what nine out of ten guys in my situation would have done, I ran.

Veronica: Look Dad, do what you gotta do, I’ve seen to much working here to ever be surprised again.
Keith: I know you Veronica, you’re not that jaded.
Veronica: I didn’t used to be, I had this one shining example that gave me some faith.

Veronica: I know this feeling. I can’t believe this is happening to me… again.

Veronica: So what would Stan Marsh say in a situation like this? I think we all learned a valuable lesson about faith. You give it to the people you love, but the people who really deserve it are the ones that come through even when you don’t love them enough.

Pop Culture References:
Of Mice and Men – Novel (John Steinbeck)
Paper Chase – Movie
The Shining – Movie (Stanley Kubrick) & Book (Stephen King)
Let’s Make a Deal – TV
Stan Marsh – TV (character from South Park)

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