Wow. Another really good one. We start the day after we ended last episode, and let's just say Veronica is not so much enamored of the male gender at the moment. She starts off by giving Keith what for about his affair, and ditches him to go to stay in Wallace's room, as he and Piz are renting a motel room for a hard-core cram session. However, Piz can't take Wallace's studying tunnel vision, so he comes back, and Veronica chooses to stay with him instead of going back to her dad's, which ouch. Going back to Harmony, she comes to see a guilt-ridden Keith, and tells him she's going to leave her husband, which sways him to go away with her for the weekend. This wouldn't feel good even if Vinnie Vanlowe didn't walk in and see them together. And it's way worse than that, as Vinnie, who mentions he's still working for the Fitzpatricks, then blackmails Keith with photographic evidence of the affair, because he's working for Harmony's husband, who suspected her of stepping out on him. Believe it or not, I saw this one coming, although I didn't think it would be quite this soon. I love that Vinnie is this much of a bastard, though. Keith tries to make nice with Veronica, and she world-wearily throws Jake and Lianne back in his face. Ouch, again, but not out of bounds, and Keith tearfully ends up turning Harmony away. Back in the dorm, once Piz has safely returned, some girl shows up who claims to be the girlfriend of Piz's next-door neighbor, and she's worried he's missing, so Veronica agrees to look for him. We learn that Moe, who shows up this episode, has keys to all the rooms, not that that should be a complete surprise. After some stuff involving a phone call from some other girl, the boyfriend's incredibly repellent roommate (played by Ben of Ben-is-Glory Buffy Season 5 fame), and Piz sleeping on the floor of his own room, Veronica tracks the boyfriend's cell phone to...the River Stix. Uh-oh. The girl makes an ill-advised entry into the bar, and Veronica and the girl have a scary encounter with our old friends Danny Boyd and Liam, but they're saved by...Vinnie, in a cool twist I would not have seen coming. Vinnie points them in the right direction, and they find the boyfriend at the sheriff's station and have a nice little reunion. Meanwhile, Landry gives his class their final assignment: to plan a perfect murder. After class, he calls Veronica up and tells her he's recommending her for an internship with the FBI that summer in lieu of her final assignment, and that latter part is perhaps overplaying his hand, as Veronica concludes that he's trying to buy her silence about the affair with Dean Ed's wife. She confronts him, but he denies caring about whom she tells, and reiterates that she should take the internship. It still doesn't sound like she's going to, though. Veronica runs into Logan, and he begs her to trust him that his secret is better left untold. They have a rather broken conversation, Veronica goes to see Mercer in jail, and he tells her that the GHB wasn't his, and the cologne he was wearing was a sample from an issue of GQ that was all over the campus, so it's hardly damning evidence against him. He suggests two people who might want to set him up -- Chip and Dean Ed, the latter of whom is in some gambling debt to Mercer. Mercer's alibi is complete when Piz covers Mercer's Club Flush show, which, by the way, is the show that was playing on the radio when Parker was raped. Moreover, it's a call-in request show, so Mercer's exonerated. Of course, it's not clear why he didn't just tell the law this when he was arrested, but whatever. However, the damage is done, as Veronica tells Logan she needs to know where he was on the night in question, August 13th. Logan tells her they were in Tijuana, and Mercer accidentally set his motel room on fire, and he and Mercer bailed from the burning building without even checking to see if everyone was okay. Not anything like what I expected the secret to be, which is kind of awesome. Keith leaves Veronica a message telling her that he ended things with Harmony and he wants her to come home. But Veronica leaves her drink in the cafeteria alone for a minute, and ends up with a bad case of the spins. She makes it to her car, but collapses, and the rapist catches up to her. However, Logan is in the area, and rescues her none too soon, as the rapist had already started in on her hair with the clippers. You'll forgive me one joke about the close shave, won't you?
Wow. First off, congratulations to the show people on The CW upping the episode commitment from thirteen to twenty. It makes me especially happy that it happened on the heels of another episode I really, really liked. Loved, in fact. I'll preface by saying that, aside from the kind of silly and manufactured Wallace cheating storyline, the show has consistently been creating real moral ambiguity in just about all its plotlines of late, which I find very appealing. And it will save me a lot of typing if I just tell you now that, unless I say otherwise, I have some degree of sympathy for just about every character's actions and position in this episode. I mention that in the hope that it will save the recap from turning into one big Lincoln-Douglas debate with myself. Said hope is not all that strong, I will readily admit.
Okay. Veronica arrives home and, trying to make as little noise as possible, quickly packs a bag and is on her way back out when Keith appears and asks her where she's staying. It's too bad his senses weren't so good when Duncan and his daughter were right next door, but I suppose he had more reason to be on alert here. Veronica turns to face her dad, who adds that he called Logan's room at the Grand, and that Logan didn't know where Veronica was. What's more, he believes that Logan was telling the truth, and if Keith has any reaction to the logical conclusion that Veronica and Logan are having problems, he doesn't pick this time to show it. Veronica flippantly points out that Keith didn't come home the previous night, and...the tone here is unfortunate, but Veronica did make her feelings on this matter awfully plain to Keith more than once, and it's not like you'd need to be a rocket scientist to figure them out even if she hadn't. Keith suggests that they talk, and...you already did, Keith. Veronica, less edgily, says that Wallace and Piz rented a motel room off-campus to study (a practice I've never heard of, but plenty of posters have) so Wallace is letting her stay in his room. She returns to playing hardball when she points out that now Keith can have Harmony over to the apartment and go nuts. Keith tells her that this is his life and his choice, which...agreed, but I think Veronica's stated position of "Your choice, yours as it is to make, is not working for me, and I can only list fifty-eight reasons why off the top of my head, but if you'll just give me a minute..." is valid enough that Keith can't expect Veronica to let him off the hook. Veronica leaves.