Things start off with a Couch Baron shout-out, so I'm feeling pretty comfortable with this fill-in gig already. Logan bugs the very comfy Duncan and Veronica, and then welcomes Kendall Casablancas back to his bedroom. Shockingly, Veronica is weird about this. Stupid Gia Guttenberg continues to crush on Dick Casablancas -- sad but unstoppable. Guttenberg himself continues to tempt Keith in a near-Biblical fashion, Wallace is still gone -- the whole episode -- and Duncan reveals that Meg was babysitting a mentally abused child. And that's the teaser! Kendall finds out that skanking it up is actually her only option, thanks to Big Dick's will. Logan goes to great lengths to impress this fact upon Veronica and Duncan, and then Kendall herself goes to great lengths to impress upon Logan that she's also sleeping with Duncan, or at least to appear to do so, after Logan basically calls her a prostitute. Sad old Gia Guttenberg throws some kind of sleepover that's deeply embarrassing, which Dick and Beaver crash, and that's also embarrassing. It does give Veronica the opportunity to learn that Steve Guttenberg is totally sketchy, which we already knew, but it's nice to have some vague kind of proof. Veronica takes over Meg's entire babysitting roster in order to smoke out the mysterious abusers. Since this is Neptune, which is -- did you know this? -- incredibly fucked up, it takes Veronica (and Duncan) a while to discern "legally abusive" from "09er," since every family she babysits for is monumentally screwed up. Duncan and Veronica finally figure out that it's Meg's family itself, and Meg's little sister is locked in a tiny secret room in the wall talking all kinds of cultish mess before our kids rescue her. In the process, Lamb arrests Veronica and Duncan, and then goes back to check their story -- revealing his family was just a little "09er" itself -- and releases Veronica and Duncan, only to park his cop car in front of the Mannings' house and just hang out a while. Ordinarily I'd think that's a little extreme, but this is Neptune, and their child was totally locked in a secret room inside her closet, so hey, Lamb? You wanna maybe beat them up or something? I don't know if "parking in a menacing fashion" is really going to cut it.
You don't know from anxiety until you try to sub for a beloved and hilarious recapper on maybe the most continuity-obsessed show in the history of television. Especially if your Rob Thomas obsession started way before the show did, with Rats Saw God in the summer of 1999, only to find out he was responsible for Cupid a few seasons earlier. Thanks and a much-love chest-bop salute to Couch Baron for a dream come true. "Don't Fuck Up" is the watchword, Jacob.
We open on Veronica cuddling down with Duncan at the Presidential Suite, very much enjoying tonight's screening of The Big Lebowski and talking along with the dialogue. Duncan is so unimpressed and bored and trying to make out, and it's striking how unsurprising it is that Veronica loves this film. And that Duncan is bored by it. Duncan finally just up and tells her to "stop being the Dude." (Take out the capitalization from that last quote, and you might learn a thing or two about their relationship.) Veronica laughs: "What, Stoner Bowler Guy doesn't do it for you?" Duncan thinks, "Logan doesn't smoke pot, he does coke," but points to him for saying aloud, "A little -- only because I like the way your lips pout when you do Guy Voice." Mm-hmm. Veronica responds adorably, and they commence making out.
Which is the international Batsign for Logan to show up out of nowhere, yelling about "where's my martini" and being generally interrupty and abrasive. Duncan stares and looks worried, and you already know this scene is going to play the Duncan/Logan relationship again, and Veronica's going to feel weird, like she's eavesdropping. And so shall we all. Logan plops down on the couch, whinging that Duncan's watching The Big Lebowski without him, and Duncan placates that he didn't know when Logan was coming home. The math of Veronica goes like this: about 60% awkward-interrupted makeout, 20% happy to see Logan because he's awesome, and 10% confused as to whether this has anything to with her. She tries to be all middle-child and starts the movie up again: "You just missed the supermarket scene." There's a knock at the door, and Logan smarms, "There's my room service." I assume he means Kendall? Yes. Gross. As he crosses to the suite door, he continues: "Seriously though, I was reading Third Wheel: A Beginner's Guide? And we should come up with, like, some kind of codeword, for when you guys are feeling frisky and don't wanna be disturbed." "Like 'scram'?" asks Veronica, and Logan grins beautifully as he delivers the most in-your-face Couch Baron/Wing Chun shout-out yet: "I was thinking 'awkward.' But 'scram's good. Or 'amscray.'" ["Woo! Although Logan said it wrong; it's breathier, higher-pitched, and more sing-songy. Still, woo!" -- Wing Chun] Duncan gives Logan the sarcastic "um, okay" fingers, but I can't really read Dunc's or Veronica's face. Are they irritated because Logan's there at all? Because that's pretty harsh. Normally, I think the people Logan comes into contact with are a little soft on him, but -- dude, he just walked into his house, and the temp went down 60 degrees, and he hasn't even said anything balls-out awful yet. Maybe it's just general awkward vibe, which you know Logan's been pokin' pokin' pokin' since he moved in. Poor screwed-up, gorgeous kid.