This one starts with Duncan and Veronica at his place watching Big Lebowski. Duncan’s trying to get romantic, but Veronica’s too busy doing the Dude’s dialogue to get into it. The mood is completely killed when Logan comes home and settles in to watch with them. They’re interrupted when Kendall comes by for a booty call and Logan loses interest in the movie; I guess he has his priorities straight. Kendall recognizes Veronica as the girl who borrowed her iPod in the gym, but I don’t think she knows Veronica’s the one who ruined her and her husband’s real estate rip-off business. Duncan’s ready for some lovin’ again, but Veronica’s really not in the mood now. (Veronica: “Dick and Beav’s stepmom just came over to have a go-around with your bunkmate … how does that not bother you?”; Duncan: “Cause I’m a guy?”) Duncan says he’d be freaked out if it was Dick’s real mom, but Kendall’s “like, our age”. Veronica reminds him that Kendall is 25, which is a bit skeevy. (By the way, Charisma Carpenter was 35 at this point, so I’m not sure whose idea it was to make her 25 in the show; maybe she insisted on it in her contract.) Duncan says it’s okay because Kendall is hot. How do you argue with that logic?
In their business class at school, Veronica finds out Beaver has jumped ahead of her in the pretend stock market race. Dick has tanked (since he invested everything in his father’s fraudulent company) and Logan is pretty low too. So is Duncan, but he’s not in class for some reason. Keith goes to the country club to ask Woody Goodman how the bus crash investigation is going. Woody says it’s coming along and then tells Keith he’s got big plans for Neptune. Right now, Neptune is an unincorporated town but Woody wants to incorporate and make it a real city, just like Carmel, Santa Barbara, and La Jolla did. When he mentions the boundaries he’s considering, Keith points out they take in only the rich part of town, so Woody would be starting a big country club, not a city. Woody asks Keith to be sheriff of the new city, but Keith says he couldn’t afford to live there. Woody says he’d be well taken care of and asks him to think about it.
At school, Logan asks Veronica for help proving the witness who came forward last episode (saying he saw Logan stab Felix and that Logan threatened him too) is lying. She’s not thrilled, but we all know what a marshmallow she is, so she agrees to check the guy out. Duncan sees them coming out of the bathroom, but doesn’t seem to care too much. He also wants Veronica’s help with something; Duncan looked at the files from Meg’s computer and found out one of the kids she babysits is being abused by his parents. The kid wasn’t beaten (or worse), but he is being mentally tormented. Meg got in touch with Child Protective services, but without concrete proof they can’t do anything. Meg’s emails don’t mention a name, just that the kid is between seven and ten and his parents force him to write self-admonishments constantly in notebooks. Meg stole one of the books, so Veronica says their first priority is to find the book. Duncan mentions Meg’s parents don’t go out much, just to their church group on Sundays, and they pretty much hate Veronica and Duncan so they can’t just drop by for a visit.
Veronica says she’ll have to take as many of Meg’s babysitting jobs as she can to get handwriting samples from all the kids. Duncan knows most of Meg’s babysitting gigs, but he’s worried they’ll have to break into Meg’s house to get the stolen notebook when her parents are out. Keith comes in with a brochure for Sheriff Lamb’s bachelor auction, which gives everyone a good chuckle. At the Casablancas house, Dick and Beaver find out their father left them trust funds that can’t be accessed until they’re 21, unless their biological mom unlocks the funds for them. Kendall is shit out of luck; her fugitive husband left her nothing and she had no assets in her own name, so she’ll have to go back to scamming on rich dudes.
Veronica starts lining up babysitting gigs with Meg’s old clients. Since the Goodman’s were one of them, she suggests a girls’ night at Gia’s place. She also tries to convince her Health teacher (Deborah Hauser) to hire her, but Ms. Hauser is wound pretty tight since her husband left her (apparently for a man), so she’s not in the mood to go out anywhere. Veronica suggests she could come over and help out around the house, giving Ms. Hauser some time to do some work or take a bath. Ms. Hauser says the last thing she needs is more time in the tub; I think that might be a masturbation reference. Veronica’s first babysitting job is for the Fullers, whose son Edwin is like a Stepford kid. Every minute of his life is regimented and he doesn’t seem to mind, making Veronica wonder if he’s the abused kid. Veronica gets some old homework for a writing sample and talks to Duncan (who apparently used to come by quite a bit when Meg was babysitting).
Logan shows up to see what Veronica’s dug up on his alleged witness. The guy’s name is Dr. Tom Griffith, a well-respected plastic surgeon, but Logan says he’s not the guy from the bridge. Yeah, turns out Logan was lying about not remembering the witness/911 caller, since he figured he’d be better off if the guy didn’t show up at his trial. The Fullers get home early and Mr. Fuller tells Veronica she’s welcome to come out to his boat on Saturday to “smoke a J and fool around”. He gives her a picture Edwin drew, of Veronica being decapitated. Yeah, I think both of these dudes are wound pretty tight.
Veronica puts a flyer for the bachelor auction (photo-shopped with some beefcake) in Ms. Hauser’s mailbox at school and “runs into” her while hanging ads for her babysitting services. Ms. Hauser takes the bait and hires Veronica on the spot. At the Casablancas house, Dick and Beaver’s mom stops by to talk about unlocking their trust funds. She knows they need money to live on, but worries they’ll waste it all. Beaver suggests they could come live with her, but she’s not too keen on that idea. That night, Ms. Hauser brings her son (Albert) by Veronica’s place (I guess she figures she’ll get lucky at the auction). Albert isn’t allowed to watch TV and can’t eat any unauthorized snacks. Naturally, as soon as his mom leaves, he asks for ice cream and starts screaming like a banshee when Veronica hesitates. She distracts Albert with TV until Duncan brings over some ice cream and she steals some of Albert’s homework for a writing sample. Ms. Hauser is amazed to find Albert sleeping peacefully on the couch when she comes by; she’s in a pretty good mood, so I assume she did get lucky.
The next day, Veronica goes to see Dr. Griffith to ask him about plastic surgery. Unlike most of the sleazeballs in his profession, he tries to talk her out of it, even giving her a pamphlet on Body Dismorphic Disorder. She calls Logan to tell him Griffith is a stand-up guy and notices Griffith taking off in his car. She follows him to a cigar store. At the Casablancas house, Dick and Beaver’s mom signed over their trust funds and took off, so Dick starts putting the moves on Kendall, trying to convince her to wear a French maid’s outfit around the house. I’m sure she’s done worse for money. At the cigar store, Veronica heads inside to look around and sees Dr. Griffith leave with a package.
That night, Veronica goes to Gia’s for her sleepover and it turns out that house is run like a military base too. Why is everyone in Neptune so crazy about order and discipline? Gia’s mom makes everyone put their stuff (especially shoes) in labeled boxes in the closet … there’s even one labeled “guest” for Veronica. Gia has a surprise for Veronica; instead of a one-on-one sleepover, she’s made it into a real girls’ night, inviting half-a-dozen other girls, who are all dancing around in their underwear (which of course is the whole point of a girls’ night). At School, Gia was complaining that she had no friends here in Neptune, so I don’t know where all these girls suddenly came from. Meanwhile Logan and Kendall are banging and she suggests they could maybe get more serious. He knows she needs money and tells her he’s just in it for the sex. (Logan: “Bessie, when the milk stops being free, I stop drinking it.”)
On her way out, Kendall remembers Duncan is rich too and tries to put the moves on him. She uses the sledgehammer approach, hanging out naked in his bathroom as he’s getting out of the shower. We don’t actually see Duncan’s response, but I’m assuming he’s not enough of an asshole to cheat on Veronica that easily. At the sleepover, Veronica meets Gia’s brother (Rodney), who’s a little weird, but sweet. Rodney spills some water and freaks out trying to clean it up; Gia says he’s a little intense sometimes and Veronica swipes a writing sample while Rodney is distracted. Later, she sees Woody telling Rodney they’ll have to tell his mother what happened, and Woody looks kinda worried.
Gia and the other girls are doing the usual (comparing ass size, giving each other dreadlocks, talking about how much pizza they can eat), which Veronica finds tedious. When Mrs. Goodman gets home, Veronica spies on her as she takes Rodney into a bedroom and Woody goes into another room. Veronica wonders if she’s found the abused kid. At Duncan’s place, Logan sees Kendall coming out of Duncan’s room and tells her she should get a job. She says this is her job. At the party, Dick and Beaver show up wasted to crash and Veronica decides she’s had enough. At home, Keith asks her why her jacket smells like cigar smoke and she tells him she went to a cigar store on Ocean Avenue to use the bathroom. He says that particular store is a front for drug dealing and she should stay away.
Later, Veronica and Duncan prepare for their nighttime excursion (Duncan is dressed like a cat burglar). Logan stirs the shit by mentioning Kendall’s visit and her being in Duncan’s room yesterday. Veronica and Duncan get into Meg’s house (since he knows where the spare key is) and head upstairs. Like all teenagers in this show, Meg hides stuff in the air vent and Duncan finds the notebook they were looking for. He also finds a letter, which he pockets without letting Veronica know. Veronica compares he notebook (which is filled with quasi-religious crap like “The path to God is paved with righteousness”) with all the writing samples from the kids, but none match. She notices the writing in the book looks like a girl’s and realizes Meg must’ve changed the gender as a cover.
Veronica figures Meg’s sister Grace might be the kid in question, so they check Grace’s room and find dozens of notebooks with the same bullshit in them. Veronica finds a panel at the back of the closet and when she opens it, Grace is inside. Grace is freaked out and doesn’t want to leave because her father said she’s not ready to be “tested” yet. Veronica’s ready to call the cops but Mr. Manning comes home early and catches them. He has a baseball bat and forces them to kneel down and wait while he calls the cops. When Sheriff Lamb shows up, Veronica tries to tell him about Grace and mentions the secret room behind the closet. Lamb cuffs her and Duncan and takes them out to the squad car, but he goes back in and checks the closet, finding the room. Mr. Manning gets pissed off and says Lamb has no right to come in and start poking around his house. Lamb says his father gave the exact same speech once. He drives Veronica and Duncan away from the manning house, but lets them go a couple blocks away without saying a word. Later, when Mr. Manning looks out the window, Lamb is sitting there, watching the house.