By FAR the strongest episode in quite some time. First, the A-plot: Wallace comes clean about the Rashard hit-and-run to the press, but it backfires when his dad calls saying that the Chicago papers printed a story saying Wallace was the driver. Jackie reappears in a conciliatory manner, but Wallace isn't having her yet, or so it seems. Wallace wants to get cleared before the big game against Pan High, so he attempts to confront Rashard, who is in nearby San Diego visiting colleges. Rashard's uncle thwarts Wallace, but Wallace remembers that they stopped by a White Castle a few minutes before the accident, so he goes in search of the drive-thru attendant. Unfortunately, he's disappeared, along with the security tapes. Wallace eventually succeeds in getting Rashard alone, but he gets nowhere, and things seemingly get worse when he finds Jackie with Rashard. But Jackie, somewhat predictably yet also rather satisfyingly, is part of a plan to sting Rashard, taking him to Club Contrivance from last week. The whole plan leads to the discovery of the White Castle witness and clears Wallace's name. Jackie reconciles with Wallace and even Veronica as friends, but Wallace seems like he's moved on romantically -- and across racial lines, too. In bridge-mystery land, Weevil confronts Molly Fitzpatrick, who tells Weevil that her parents didn't know about her and Felix. She claims she and Felix met at the church where her uncle is a priest. Weevil relays this information to Logan, but a relative of one of the PCHers spies him leaving the suite, which I guess Duncan has paid for in perpetuity. Hey, I wouldn't leave until they kicked me out, either. Weevil and Logan ask Veronica to bug the confessional at the church, which she does, leading to a confession scene in which Veronica is not entirely forthcoming, which isn't surprising, considering that she's not still there. The upshot is that Thumper is the Fitzpatrick connection, but when Weevil confronts him, he finds that Thumper has busted Weevil's marriage to Logan to the rest of the PCHers and has turned them all against him. They beat the crap out of him. Weevil theorizes that Thumper killed Felix, but Thumper shows him a video of Weevil beating the crap out of Curly Moran, and suggests that Weevil keep him mouth shut. And believe it or not, we make significant strides forward on the bus-crash mystery as well, as Keith takes advantage of information about security protocols he learned when he audited the sheriff's department to steal some tapes from the evidence room. About time he started acting like a Mars, even if that means snowing poor Inga. The tapes hold interviews with the kids who were on the field trip, and reveal that Curly Moran knew Big Dick. Also, Keith supposes that the rat was on the bus so that the smell would drive the rich kids to find an alternative mode of transportation home, so hopefully Veronica will get off the idea that she was the intended target. But the real shocker is that Gia told Lamb that her dad specifically instructed her not to get on the bus. Also, Veronica discovers that something may have been going on with Jackie's dad and Miss Dumb-Ass. In the end, a story comes over the TV that Lamb has arrested Jackie's dad in connection with the bus crash. Wow, the season went from first to fifth in an awful hurry. Not that I'm complaining.
Before I start, I can't believe I forgot to mention that wonderwilma from the forums was the one who designed the TWoP shout-out poster. I feel like Hilary Swank after she thanked everyone under the sun for her Oscar except Chad Lowe, although I have a feeling that my oversight isn't going to be anywhere near as portentous.
Lots of previouslies.
A knife dramatically descends through the air...and cuts a piece of cake. Someone hands off the piece to Veronica, who takes it over to a table in Java The Hut at which sits a forlorn-looking Wallace. Veronica: "So, the manager's boyfriend just dumped her, and she says this helps with the stress." Oh, come on -- she's obviously just faking the dumping to help her boyfriend get his illegitimate child out of the country. It's the oldest trick in the book. Wallace asks what the cake is, and is informed it's a "German chocolate nut-gasm." Wallace thinks that won't help his mood, and I'm surprised, because I'd think it's been a while since he's had any sort of really good "gasm." ["Maybe he was put off by the 'nut' part." -- Wing Chun] Veronica tells him to eat it anyway: "Rashard Rucker isn't just any guy. You are about to implicate the basketball phenom of the decade -- the second coming of LeBron James -- in a hit-and-run." She goes on to say that all the people who stand to make tons of money off Rashard won't be too thrilled when Wallace spills the beans. Wallace says that he has to do the right thing, but tells Veronica she doesn't have to do "this." If he means reminding him that he's about to be roughly as popular in Chicago as Mrs. O'Leary's cow, I'd have to agree. Veronica says that she needs a project, because planning and executing a massive cross-border FBI-outwitting operation usually leaves one a little stir-crazy. Or it could be to get her mind off Duncan. Veronica notes that Wallace's reporter is there. We see a quick shot from behind of a man who's I'm guessing is supposed to be Ernie Sayers, and Veronica goes to get him with a "Don't let him misspell your name." Yes, we wouldn't want the hate mail to contain any inaccuracies. I know I hate it when I get notes that say, "Your recaps suck, Coach Baron."
Inga! She greets Keith after he enters the sheriff's office. Keith asks if Lamb has any new great bus-crash leads. Inga gives a very Pavlovian read of "I know nothing," and if that's a Fawlty Towers shout-out, John Enbom gets to be my favorite person of the day. I'm sure he's ready to die now. Keith informs Inga that he's being audited, and he gives her a list of old expense and salary documents he needs. Inga starts to tell him it may take her a while to find the relevant records, but Keith shows her a book (Those Who Trespass, which ew, except given what's about to happen, HA) and says he's got a Bad Company album to listen to as well. He puts in earphones as he tells her to take all the time she needs. When Inga's gone, however, we hear that Keith's listening to a recording of Sacks telling him where the security codes are kept. It seems unlikely that Keith would need to be hearing this again, but it's a reasonably clever way to remind the audience of this plot point without resorting to anvilicious previouslies, so I can live with it. Anyway, Keith makes himself a security card.