Veronica Mars Reviews: Season 2, Episode 3

Veronica Mars S01 titleEpisode 3: Cheaty Cheaty Bang Bang

This one starts with Veronica attending a meeting of the Future Business Leaders of America, a school group her Guidance Counselor suggested she join to pad her stats for college. Aside from her, the class is all rich kids (Duncan, Logan, Dick, Beaver) and the teacher (Mr. Pope) introduces the guest speaker for today … Dick Casablancas Sr., Dick and Beaver’s dad. Dick Sr. is a real estate mogul and he hypes real estate as the ultimate investment, showing the students some of his properties: an office building, some condos, and the ultra-fancy Sandpiper Hotel. As Dick Sr.Veronica goes all Monty Burns goes on about Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), which sound like stocks that invest in land instead of businesses, Veronica comes to the conclusion that rich people have it made and everyone else is basically screwed. After class, Beaver asks her to get some dirt on his stepmom Kendall. He’s sure she’s screwing around on his dad and wants proof, since that would violate their pre-nup. Veronica’s not too keen at first, but the offer of five hundred dollars (which she quickly ups to a thousand) gets her attention.

As she’s leaving school, a deputy tells her Sheriff Lamb has some questions for her and takes her to the police station. Lamb shows her a file on a guy Lamb interrogating Veronicanamed Curly Moran and asks what she knows about him. At first, she doesn’t recognize him, but she realizes she ran into him at the roadside shrine for the bus crash victims when she was there with Jessie last episode. Lamb shows her an earring—diamond, so not exactly in her price range—and says it was found outside a biker bar called the Road Hog, which is the last place Curly was seen. Lamb reveals that Curly’s body washed up on the beach, beaten to death, and he had Veronica’s name written on his hand.

At home, Keith discusses his decision to run for Sheriff with Alicia and invites her to go along to Chicago on one of his book tour stops. VeronicaKeith and Alicia make plans comes home, but doesn’t mention the dead guy with her name on his hand. Veronica researches Kendall (who seems like a classic gold-digger) and Curly, a stuntman who screwed up his career by getting heavy into drugs and going to prison. Keith comes in to ask Veronica what’s bothering her, but she still doesn’t tell him. She deflects his questions by asking if he’s going to propose to Alicia in Chicago, but he says they aren’t ready for that yet.

Veronica tails Kendall the next day and takes numerous photos of her. Kendall meets some dude at the gym and they go to a motel together, Kendall and the mystery manpulling the curtains on the room. Veronica figures that’s proof positive Kendall is screwing around. At school, Veronica hangs out with Wallace and Jackie; Veronica’s still pissed off at the way Jackie acted at the coffee shop (which she refers to as Java the Hut instead of Cute as a Bug) last episode, even though Jackie apologizes. But Veronica’s trying to help Wallace get in good with Jackie, so when Jackie starts complaining about having to read Pride and Prejudice, Veronica invites them to join her and Duncan in watching the mini-series.

At the coffee shop, Veronica shows Beaver the photos she took of Kendall and the dude at the motel. Beaver thinks it’s cold Kendall would cheat at onephotos of gym bag switch of her husband’s own properties, but he says the photos don’t actually prove anything. He also notices something that Veronica missed … Kendall and the mystery guy switched gym bags before going to the motel. Veronica says she’ll get real proof, but needs some money for expenses. He gives Beaver an MP3 player and tells him to load all Kendall’s music onto it. At home, she dismantles the MP3 and adds a little something to it.

The next day, Veronica goes to the garage where Curly worked to ask about Curly's old photo with Aaronhim. Apparently, he never mentioned her name to anyone there, but she does get a box full of his stuff. Besides a nudie calendar, there are some celebrity photos from Curly’s stuntman days … including one with Aaron Echolls. Veronica figures it’s no coincidence that she’s the main witness in Aaron’s murder trial, and she wonders if Curly was following her when she ran into him out at the bus crash shrine.

In the Future Business Leaders Club, Mr. Pope tells the students about his little game where everyone gets virtual money to invest to see how well they know the market. Pope says anyone who can beat his real-life investments will get a plaque and a few bucks, plus eternal bragging rights. Pope showsLogan and Duncan fight them his portfolio, which is fairly conservative; he’s making most of his money from Dick Casablancas’s real estate trust, which is apparently pulling in a 35% return on investment. Pope says he’ll have enough to retire by the end of the year and already has a sailboat that he’s fixing up to laze away his early retirement on. Logan makes a joke about “plugging the hull”, obviously referring to Duncan and Veronica, so Duncan goes after him. They end up in the hall, beating the shit out of each other, and are taken to the school nurse to have their wounds taken care of.

Logan tells Duncan he doesn’t care about him dating Veronica, he’s pissed off because Duncan wasn’t there for him during the summer when he was accused of murder. Duncan reminds him that his father killed Duncan’s Veronica bites back her contempt for Jackiesister and Logan says he hates his father too. That night, Veronica and Duncan watch Pride and Prejudice (well, the first half … it’s a five hour mini-series) with Wallace and Jackie. Veronica gets sick of Jackie constantly bragging about all the crazy shit she’s done and the famous people she’s met. But since Wallace is so into her, Veronica holds back her true feelings (which ain’t easy), although she isn’t too keen about hanging out with them again. Luckily, she has to work on the day Wallace suggests and Jackie says she’s busy too. For the record, Duncan thinks Jackie is cool.

The next day, Veronica “runs into” Kendall at the gym and makes up a story about her iPod acting up so she can borrow Kendall’s and switch them. She follows Kendall and sees her meet the guy again and switch gym bags. SheKendall at the gym tails them to another hotel (also owned by Kendall’s hubby) and figures this’ll get her the evidence she needs. She calls Beaver and tells him to get Kendall’s iPod as soon as she comes home. Veronica notices the name of the hotel is the Sandpiper, which is supposed to be a huge fancy hotel, not a crappy little beachfront hole-in-the-wall. She thinks maybe there’s something going on besides adultery, so she follows the guy Kendall was with after he leaves the hotel.

Veronica follows the guy to the bank, where he drops off the gym bag, and then to the county courthouse. Turns out he’s Jack Montana, the County Assessor. Veronica goes to see Mr. Pope at school and asks him about real estate fraud. He says it’s hard to pull off since most people won’t invest in Pope learns the truth about his investmentsproperty without seeing it first. Veronica mentions the REIT that Pope invested in and he says there’s an assessor who signs off on the value of every property. Hmmm, I think I know why Kendall was swapping gym bags with Mr. Montana. Veronica tells Pope that Casablancas Enterprises has been building a house of cards, inflating property values and using money from investors to inflate other properties, and so on. She shows him the photos of the real Sandpiper Hotel and urges him to dump his shares in the company, since she’s about to bring the whole thing crashing down. Pope says he wouldn’t feel right about sticking some other sucker with the problem. I guess that’s it for his early retirement.

In Chicago, Keith and Alicia are hanging out at a jazz club in their hotel when a dude at the bar seems to recognize Alicia … except he calls her “Cheri”. She and Keith leave and the guy follows, but he loses them on the elevator. He flashes a badge to the desk clerk to get their room number and names. At the coffee shop, it’s Karaoke Night and we get a rendition ofguy just misses Keith and Alicia Nazareth’s “Love Hurts” by Courtney Taylor-Taylor, lead singer of the Dandy Warhols (who do the Veronica Mars theme song). Beaver brings Kendall’s MP3 player, which is the one Veronica switched out. It had a camera and flash drive in it, snapping a photo every fifteen seconds, so there are over 2000 pictures to go through. Veronica finds some of Jack Montana, but he’s just signing some papers. She’s about to tell Beaver that both his parents are ripping off investors in their real estate company when Beaver points out she has customers waiting.

It turns out to be Jackie and some guy who definitely isn’t Wallace. Veronica’s ready to freak, but Jackie doesn’t even seem embarrassed at being caught out with another dude. When Veronica gets back to the table, Beaver is gone (and so is the flash drive), but she sees what photos he was looking at … ones of Logan obviously preparing to bang Kendall. The nextVeronica warns Logan he's about to be caught day, neither Beaver nor Logan is at school and Veronica’s really worried. Wallace and Jackie ask if she wants to watch the rest of Pride and Prejudice that night and she’s ready to explode, although she holds back and doesn’t tell Wallace about Jackie. Veronica calls Logan, but he’s too busy plowing Kendall to answer, so she heads for his place. We see the dude from Chicago is now in Neptune, looking up Alicia’s address in the phone book. Veronica goes to Logan’s place, but Kendall is already gone. She warns him that Kendall’s husband is onto them (or soon will be) and gives him shit for enjoying living dangerously.

On the way out, she notices one of Aaron’s old movie posters and realizes Curly Moran was the stunt coordinator on a movie that featured a truck crashing off a bridge. At Dick Casablancas’s office, Beaver shows him the photos of Logan banging Kendall, but Dick Sr. is more worried about thechopper on the roof photos of her paying off Jack Montana. He gets a call from an assistant saying the SEC is there to see him and he goes into Bond villain mode, ordering his workers to shred every file they can while he escapes by taking a helicopter from the roof. Veronica goes to see Duncan and tells him the bus crash was her fault because she was the one who was supposed to die; I guess she figures Aaron hired Curly to crash the bus and kill her, but we’ll have to wait to see if she’s right.

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