We're starting to steam here, people. Best episode of the new season so far. But first things first: Backup is back! Okay. We pick up right after where we left off last week, as Wallace confronts his mom about Woods's claim. Alicia tells him she did in fact marry Woods, but that he went deep undercover on a drugs case, and she hit her limit when he started keeping heroin and guns in their house. Nag, nag, nag. Alicia tries to show Wallace his birth certificate, but when she doesn't find it, she realizes Keith must have taken it, leading to a tense and unsettling encounter at Mars Investigations. Woods finds Wallace at the Sac-n-Pac and tells him he tried to track him down for years, and the fact that that's not what Alicia told Wallace leads to another tense confrontation. In lighter news, it's time to elect a Homecoming King and Queen. Veronica nominates Wallace to cheer him up. Corny in turn nominates Veronica, and the nomination is seconded by Mandy. It's also snarked about by Logan, which probably wasn't a requirement but was still amusing. Wallace makes the final cut, as does Duncan, but Veronica gets shafted, leading to some bitchy tee-heeing between Logan and Jackie. Jackie, you'd better stay away from him if you want any shot at rehabilitation in the eyes of the forum posters. In other unlikely pairings, Duncan approaches Logan and they make up. Also, Duncan and Veronica show some actual chemistry this week. I probably should have told you to sit down before I said that. Keith's psyched about the campaign, since he's got a twelve-point lead over Lamb going into their debate, during which Lamb drops the bomb that Keith once pulled Driver Ed over for driving under the influence but let him go. I don't know which is worse -- that the lead then disappears, or that Keith lost a debate to Lamb. He's got to find both pretty galling. Veronica, hoping to strike a retaliatory blow, gets a hidden camera into Lamb's office. She learns that Jackie's dad has some serious gambling debts, and Lamb isn't above exploiting that knowledge. Speaking of Jackie, she's still jealous of Wallace's relationship with Veronica, but her credit card gets declined at a psychic's, and before you know it, she's asking Veronica for help, as she suspects her friend lifted it and used it. Veronica doesn't take long to prove that's not true. She deduces that the psychic is the culprit, so Veronica and Jackie hatch a plan for Veronica to go on the psychic's cable show. Before she does, though, she talks to a girl who went on the show to contact her friend, who was on the bus. Turns out the girl has a voicemail from said friend, and it sounds like an explosion occurred on the bus. A "blast" from the past, you might say. Veronica goes on the show ready to expose the psychic as a fraud, but it turns out Jackie lied about the whole credit-card problem just to punk Veronica. Veronica, in a total departure, plans to get Jackie back, but Wallace confronts her for another round of gut-wrenching. Wallace, in his irritation, bags on Jackie for the Faders-led dance, so she pops some pills and drools all over Logan, causing Veronica to go off on her. Unfortunately, Wallace sees this and has had enough of everyone's shit, and the last shot is of him riding out of town with his dad. This episode is Percy Daggs's to make or break, and he comes through in a big way. I hope he's back for basketball season, though.
Wallace enters the Fennel home, apparently right after the point at which we left off last time. He's looking kind of upset, as will happen when you discover that you need a new transmission, and also that your dad is someone totally different than you thought. Alicia serves dinner as she says she was just about to come out to get Wallace, and I'm sure she'll be regretting that she didn't make something microwavable. Wallace drops the Nathan Woods bomb, and asks who was the man they buried in Cleveland (that's two questions answered, right there). Alicia tells him that was his dad, but Wallace isn't trying to hear that. He sits down on the couch for comfort, which is something I can get behind. Alicia approaches him deliberately and tells him that she and Woods got married when she was twenty-one, and that it's true that he was a narcotics detective, but that he went deep undercover on a big case, and started using drugs and stashing heroin and guns in their house. Well, Alicia, some women find that attractive. But maybe it's just when Kiefer does it. Alicia sits down and puts her arm around Wallace, and tells him that his real father is Hank Fennel. She goes to get Wallace's birth certificate from the cabinet in which Keith poked around last episode, but it isn't there. Alicia grits that she knows where it is; giving her a lightning rod for her anger here doesn't seem like the best idea for Keith's health. Not to mention the chances of his balls being any color but blue for quite some time to come. Alicia emotionally tells Wallace that Hank signed his name on Wallace's birth certificate the day he asked Alicia to marry him, which I guess means he formally adopted Wallace: "And that is who your father was. That's who he still is." Um, I hate to interrupt a nice moment here, but.... Anyway, Alicia hugs Wallace, but he still looks upset. Great work by both players here.
Homeroom. Veronica comes in and takes her seat next to Wallace, who looks like Neptune just dropped its basketball program. Veronica sees his expression and asks if he's "got a sweet love hangover and you don't need no cure?" I think my guess was a little closer in tone. The homeroom teacher, who's the same guy from "M.A.D.," announces that Homecoming is upon them, and Veronica sighs, "Much like the plague." By the way, if you'd like to know three things about the actor who plays the homeroom teacher, according to his IMDbprofile, he is lactose-intolerant, went to Yale, and was on the U.S. World Team for fencing. That makes me want to see an episode wherein the teacher exchanges pithy witticisms with the evil CEO of the American Dairy Association during a duel. The teacher explains that each homeroom class will nominate one boy and one girl, and the top five vote-getters of each sex will comprise the "Royalty Court," from which the Homecoming King and Queen will be chosen. It would be cool if they gave everyone else different degrees of peerage. I'm not really sure what the actual duties of the Viscount of Homecoming would be, but given that the King and Queen are likely going to be 09ers, they'll be in a position to give out some pretty sweet royal grants. Veronica, noticing that Wallace is still down in the dumps, nominates him for Homecoming King. Aw.