This one starts with Veronica’s crappy car broken down in the school parking lot. Logan and a couple of his asshole friends come by and when his friends start talking crap about Veronica, Logan’s ready to defend her. But she and Logan agreed to keep their relationship a secret until they can figure things out, so Veronica makes fun of herself as she fixes her car to stop Logan from giving them away. Meanwhile, a girl (Carmen Ruiz) is ending things with her boyfriend of two years (Tad Wilson). Tad is going to the Naval Academy (and joining the Navy afterwards), so Carmen figures their relationship is pretty much over anyway, but Tad is pretty desperate to hold on to her (maybe another reason she wants out of the relationship). Carmen is adamant (not even the ultimate romantic gesture, a mixed CD, can sway her), so Tad plays his trump card … a video on his phone of Carmen doing some kind of sex act. Carmen is pretty freaked out and asks Veronica for help. She says she doesn’t even remember doing it (apparently it involves skinny dipping in a hot tub and doing something R-rated with a popsicle), so she needs Veronica to get Tad’s phone somehow.
Later, Veronica and Logan are making out pretty hard in the girls’ bathroom. Veronica warns Logan about letting people know about them dating; she doesn’t want Duncan to find out second-hand when (or if) he comes back from wherever he ran off to. After Logan leaves, Veronica prepares to get Tad’s phone. She has Wallace plant a burner phone in Tad’s backpack, then tells Wallace to call the burner number during class. Wallace is a bit distracted since he saw Veronica’s dad and his mom getting cozy on the couch the previous night. (Neither of them wants to think about where Keith and Alicia go with overnight bags twice a week.)
Veronica goes into Study Hall yakking on her phone and it’s promptly confiscated by the teacher. When Wallace calls the burner phone in Tad’s backpack, Tad pulls out his own phone, which he’s surprised to learn isn’t even turned on. The teacher takes it anyway, putting it in the drawer with Veronica’s phone. After class, Veronica comes back to get her phone, but takes Tad’s instead. When Tad shows up and finds his phone already gone, he knows right away that Veronica must’ve taken it, since he ran into her on the way in. At the office, Keith tells Veronica there’s a $50,000 reward for finding Duncan and he figures it’ll be easy to track down a spoiled rich kid. Veronica mentions that Duncan overheard her talking to Meg about how to stay under the radar—use cash not credit cards, don’t use your own car, buy a recycled passport off eBay—so it might not be as easy as Keith thinks.
They’re interrupted when Alicia shows up (with an overnight bag) and she and Keith head out for a sexy rendezvous. Carmen comes by and Veronica gives her Tad’s phone, but warns her it’s almost impossible to erase digital files completely. Carmen smashes Tad’s phone to shit, which should solve the problem. But their celebration is premature, as Tad sends Veronica an email of Carmen sucking a popsicle (presumably after it was in another bodily orifice); so obviously, Tad has copies of the digital file. The next day at school, Veronica asks Mac to check online auction sites to find out if Duncan bought a fake passport. Carmen has gotten back with Tad to keep him from releasing the video, but she hates every minute of it. No wonder, as we see Tad is a rampant homophobe, making fun of a gay dude named Seth (who turns it around, saying the Navy is pretty much the gayest place on Earth).
Carmen is having a hard time pretending she doesn’t hate Tad’s guts, but she’s afraid of turning into the next internet meme … Popsicle Girl. Veronica says they need something equally damning to hold over Tad’s head, to keep him from releasing the video of Carmen, a form of Mutually Assured Destruction. Carmen’s not too keen on that idea, saying Tad used to be a pretty good boyfriend. Veronica reminds her he also got her wasted and took dirty pictures of her, so Carmen finally agrees to fight back. After school, Veronica goes to see Weevil’s uncle to get her car fixed and Weevil tells her Duncan bought an old Impala for $800 right before he took off. Veronica promises him a cut of the reward and gives her dad the info about the car.
Veronica goes to Logan’s place and they start making out on the couch. Logan’s dad (who was supposed to be at a glass-blowing class) walks in on them. He makes himself scarce, but the mood has already been killed and it’s about to get worse. Logan’s asshole friends show up, so Veronica has to hide. They notice her bag and Logan says it’s Trina’s. Aaron volunteers to take it to her and gives Veronica the bag outside. Logan’s buddies are going on about some weekend getaway in Mexico with some horny cheerleaders, so Aaron offers Veronica a ride home. On the way, he says he approves of her and Logan dating, thinking it’ll help Logan get his head on straight after all the shit that’s happened.
At the boardwalk, Veronica and Carmen put their plan into action. Carmen has Tad take some pictures in a photo booth, get a tattoo of her name, and buy some Ecstasy from Seth, the gay dude Tad was making fun of at school. Veronica takes pictures of Tad and Seth getting up close and personal and later she has Carmen call Tad and talk dirty so Veronica can record it. That night, Veronica is a little freaked out when her dad heads out with his overnight bag, but it turns out he got a tip on the car Duncan bought and figures it won’t be long before he tracks him down and claims the reward. In Tijuana, Keith tracks down the car and busts into a motel room. But instead of Duncan, he finds a Mexican cop who tells him the car was abandoned at the bus station with a case of beer on the seat and a sign saying “Free Car”. Keith’s disappointed that Duncan was so smart, but he’s hooking up with Alicia again, so that takes some of the sting out of it.
At school, Veronica asks Mac to create a fake sex site about Tad (with a little help from Seth) and Mac says she can do it in less than an hour. Veronica and Carmen meet Tad for lunch and show him the website, which has photos of him and Seth getting cozy, and even a recording of them discussing hooking up. Veronica says if Tad doesn’t leave Carmen alone, the web address will be sent to every cadet at the Naval Academy. (This was during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era, so Tad’s Navy aspirations would be scuttled if something like that got out.)
After school, Logan is waiting with her car and asks her out on an actual date. She’s still not sure if they should go public, so Logan says they can have a practice run … a trip to Catalina that Friday on his dad’s boat. Veronica accepts and Logan mentions his dad saw something in the newspaper about her parents. She checks the paper at the office and finds a legal Notice of Service against her mom. She calls Cliff (her dad’s lawyer friend) to ask what it might mean and he says some kind of legal proceeding has probably been started against Veronica’s mom: child support, civil suit, divorce. Cliff says a notice has to run for seven days before someone can start proceedings against the other person. Veronica checks the newspaper and finds he notice has already run for six days, so if it runs one more time, her father can (presumably) start divorce proceedings against her mom. She tries to get the ad canceled, but doesn’t know the proper password.
She tracks her dad’s cell to a hotel, but can’t find out what room he and Alicia are in. On the way out, she sees them dancing in the lounge and they both look really happy, so she decides not to fuck things up for them. At school the next day, Carmen finds out Tad went ahead and posted the video. Everyone is school is making fun of her (and offering her popsicles), except Weevil, who used to have a crush on her years ago. Veronica finds her crying in the computer room and says it’s time for revenge. But instead of sending the fake gay website to the Navy cadets, Carmen deletes it, saying revenge just isn’t her thing. I guess she’s just not an asshole like Tad. Veronica kicks some guys off another computer who are watching the video of Carmen. Before Veronica can turn it off, she notices some decorations behind the hot tub Carmen was in and realizes they look familiar. The video of Carmen in the hot tub was taken a year and a half ago at Shelly Pomroy’s party … the same party where Veronica got roofied and raped.
At the office, Keith has found the newspapers Veronica was going through. He says serving notice was just a first step and promises to discuss it with her before going any farther. Mac comes in and tells them someone bought an Argentinian passport the same day Duncan disappeared. Veronica promises her a cut of the reward (which is getting smaller by the minute) and asks her to figure out when the video of Carmen was recorded. Mac pulls up the time stamp and it is the same date Veronica was raped. Veronica thinks it’s a hell of a coincidence that she and Carmen both had sexually explicit blackouts on the same night.
At Kane Software, Clarence Wiedman tells Alicia she should stop seeing Keith (since he has a grudge against the Kanes) or she’ll be fired. When she protests, he tells her that her son Wallace dropped off a plant with Wiedman’s secretary that turned out to have a bug in it. At school, Veronica shows up early to drop off her English paper before skipping to go to Catalina with Logan. She finds Tad taped to the flagpole; I guess Weevil decided to get some revenge of his own. Tad’s still a prick, blaming everyone else for his problems but himself. He asks her to cut him loose and Veronica asks where he got the roofies he used on Carmen the night he took the video. Turns out it was GHB and he got it from Logan. Veronica leaves him taped up (after pulling the bandage off his new tattoo, which says “Seth” not “Carmen”) and takes off, wondering about her new boyfriend. She ends up not going to Catalina, leaving Logan to wonder why she stood him up.