This one starts on election night, with a bunch of people at the Mars house to watch the returns. Veronica is in a sour mood, since Keith’s ten-point lead evaporated and Wallace took off to Chicago with his birth father and hasn’t been returning her emails. Keith tries to stay optimistic, but it looks like Sheriff Lamb is nosing ahead in the polls. At the Sheriff’s office, Lamb is pretty happy and he gets even happier when a guy comes in and claims to be the anonymous witness who saw Logan stab Felix on the bridge last year and called 911. At another party (thrown by Gia Goodman), Logan apologizes to Dick for banging his stepmom, but Dick’s pretty chill about it, saying he often had the same idea about Logan’s mom. Woody Goodman gets elected mayor of Neptune and Lamb wins the Sheriff’s office, 51% to 49 for Keith. Veronica reminds her dad he could’ve won if he’d released the recording of what sounded like an explosion right before the bus went over the cliff. Keith says he didn’t want to win that way and had to do what was best for the investigation.
At Gia’s party, Dick is trying to be cool about the fact his dad got indicted for fraud and fled the country. Gia actually seems vaguely impressed, but maybe it’s just the fact that Dick is basically alone now (except for his brother, Beaver). A deputy shows up and arrests Logan for killing Felix, even though he already went on trial last summer and the case was dismissed. Keith calls Lamb to give him the polite concession speech, but Lamb’s too busy interrogating Logan (plus Lamb’s kind of a dick), so Keith chats with the deputy and finds out the wrecked bus has been pulled from the ocean. Veronica goes to the office and finds Abel Koontz waiting, half-drunk and half-dead from the cancer that’s killing him. He says his daughter Amelia is missing and he wants Veronica to find her before he dies.
Veronica takes Koontz to a hospital and he tells her Amelia got $3 million for her deal with Kane Software. At the police station, Logan is picked out of a lineup but he thinks the whole thing is bullshit since he’s already been through all this. He tells Lamb to get him a public defender and put the bail on his credit card, but Lamb reminds him he hasn’t been before a judge yet, so there is no bail. Veronica knows Amelia was supposed to disappear after her deal with the Kanes, but she remembers Amelia had a boyfriend (Mike) that she was pretty close to. Veronica talks to Mike and he says Amelia took him to Ibiza and they went wild for a bit, but she just disappeared one night … literally. They were in a bar at one of those “foam party” things and as soon as the foam dropped, Amelia was gone and Mike hasn’t seen her since. He mentions she took all his phone cards, but he’s not holding his breath waiting for a call.
Veronica talks to Amelia’s old roommate, who says Amelia wasn’t really the “girls gone wild” type (she had to drag her on a booze cruise last year), but maybe having money changed her. Veronica goes back to get the calling card numbers from Mike and then posts on a website for Ibiza party animals that she’s looking for Amelia. At the cop shop, Logan’s public defender turns out to be Cliff, the guy who routinely works with Keith and Veronica. He lays it all out for Logan: the witness supposedly saw him waving a bloody knife around and cursing over Felix’s corpse like a maniac, right before Logan threatened to kill the witness too. Logan says it’s all bullshit, but Cliff points out that the Echolls name is pretty tarnished right now. Cliff gets a call from Veronica and takes a few minutes to scam the calling card info from the card company. Cliff tells Logan to use Aaron’s money and get a real lawyer.
With the info Cliff got, Veronica finds out that most of Amelia’s calls on the cards were in Europe, but there’s one in Neptune from only a week ago. Logan is tossed in a jail cell and is surprised to find his father there. Things are a bit tense, since Aaron killed Logan’s girlfriend (after banging her a few times). Aaron tries to make himself sound better by pointing the finger at Duncan, saying he came home and found Aaron and Lilly arguing and went nuts. Logan doesn’t buy it (especially since Aaron tried to kill Veronica later) and Aaron gives up but urges Logan to get a real lawyer. Cliff shows up to tell Logan he got him out on bail (Cliff called in some favours with a judge) and repeats that Logan should get a better lawyer.
Veronica tracks the local call Amelia made last week to a pay phone right across the street from Kane Software. She sneaks into Clarence Wiedman’s office and surprises him. He denies hearing from Amelia since he gave her the hush money, but Veronica’s not convinced. At school, Weevil and the bikers are gloating about Logan’s arrest but change their tune when they hear he’s out on bail. Weevil says maybe it’s time they do something about Logan. Veronica hears Duncan and Dick talking about fake IDs and gets an idea. She calls Amelia’s roommate to ask if Amelia had a fake ID on their booze cruise and finds out Amelia used her cousin’s ID. Veronica tracks the cousin’s name and finds out she rented a car at last week at San Diego airport.
Lamb takes Logan home but they’re shocked to find the mansion burned to the ground. Veronica goes to the car rental agency and gets the clerk (played by Joss Whedon, who was a big fan of the show) to tell her what kind of car Amelia rented. She leaves and changes her appearance, waiting for a shift change before going back in. (Normally, she and Wallace would work the scam together, but since he’s gone she has to improvise.) She notices Joss giving his replacement (Stacy) shit and uses that when she goes in to ask about the car. She spins a tale about leaving her laptop in the car and talks Stacy into activating the GPS. Veronica’s commiseration over terrible bosses is good, but Stacy has a little butch-cute thing going on, so I can’t help wondering if she just finds Veronica hot. Either way, she finds out the car was in Waverly just a couple days ago.
Keith goes to see Lamb and ask about the bus investigation. Lamb puts him off and mentions the dead guy who washed up on the beach with Veronica’s name written on his hand. Waverly turns out to be a shithole that contains a crappy motel, a gas station, and not much else. The motel clerk tells Veronica that Amelia did get a room there a couple days ago, but he makes her pay $30 to see it. The room is empty and before Veronica can figure out what to do next her dad calls. He’s pissed off about the dead guy with Veronica’s name on his hand and wants to know where she is. She tells him she’s at an art gallery downtown and he asks her to send a photo. Veronica then tells him about Curly Moran working with Aaron as a stunt coordinator and how Aaron might’ve hired Curly to sabotage the bus to shut her up. She says the guilt is driving her nuts and investigating is the only thing keeping her sane. She arranges all the generic paintings in the motel room and takes a photo to send Keith so he’ll believe she’s at an art gallery.
When she sends the photo, her computer detects Amelia’s Palm Pilot within thirty feet. She goes to the clerk and asks to see the rooms on either side of Amelia’s and he makes her pay another $30 (each), but they’re both empty too. She notices an ice machine outside the room and finds Amelia’s body inside it. Before she can call the cops, Clarence Wiedman comes in and tells her he lied to her before … Amelia did call his office to ask for another $250,000. He paid her with marked bills and told her to disappear until the Kane’s legal issues were settled, but the bills started showing up at this motel, so he’s been keeping an eye on the place. They talk to the clerk (Wiedman threatens to break his fingers, so he’s pretty cooperative) and find out Amelia was with a guy when she was there. (Why didn’t he tell Veronica that earlier? Because she never asked.) His description of the guy sounds familiar to Veronica.
At the prison, Keith pays Aaron an unofficial visit (with the help of a friendly guard) and suggests he might be behind the bus crash. Aaron denies it, but Keith says if anything happens to Veronica, he’ll make Aaron pay … and he’s just shown him how easily he can get to him. Veronica and Wiedman talk to Amelia’s boyfriend … well, Wiedman dangles him out the window and asks if he was working with Amelia in her attempt to blackmail Kane Software. Mike denies it and Wiedman believes him. At school, Weevil confronts Logan, who has bought Weevil’s house (really his grandmother’s house) and is evicting the whole family. They almost get into a fight but it’s broken up by a teacher.
Veronica gets a message from a European girl who remembers Amelia and Mike from Ibiza. She sends Veronica a photo and says the boyfriend was a real sleaze, but there’s another guy in the photo besides Mike. After checking with the motel clerk, Veronica realizes it was the other dude in the photo (Carlos Mercado) who was with her at the motel, helped her blackmail Kane software for more money, and probably killed her. She calls Wiedman, who’s already tracked some of the marked bills to Las Vegas. He thanks her and says he’ll take care of Carlos; something tells me this dude won’t be making it back through the window. At the hospital, Veronica learns Koontz only has a couple days to live, so she lies and says Amelia was snowed in while hiking the Himalayas but will try to get there as soon as she can. At Duncan’s hotel, Veronica finds out Logan is staying with him now. Meanwhile, Keith breaks into the police garage to check out the bus and finds a dead rat taped under one of the back seats.