Veronica Mars Reviews: Season 3, Episode 3

Veronica Mars S01 titleEpisode 3: Wichita Linebacker

This one starts wit Veronica musing about how barbaric football is and perusing an article about a feminist sorority (Lilith House) protesting the recent rapes on campus by going topless with a banner at a football game. Logan likes the topless part, but zones out when Veronica starts talking feminist politics. Veronica gets a little miffed when a couple of hotties (from weightlifting class) invite Logan to a party. He’s up for it, but never wants to hang out with her and go to museums and book readings. Sounds like the Logan I’ve come to know. In the locker room, we see a football player (Kurt, played by Armie Hammer) frantically searching for something in his locker. Across town, Weevil is working at a car wash as part of his parole; apparently his murderWeevil burns his bridges charge was bargained down to assault, so now he’s working off some of the sentence. His boss is a real prick and when Veronica stops by, Weevil gets pissed off and almost punches his boss out. I guess that’s it for that job. At Hearst, Piz drops by the radio station to pitch a call-in show that he wants to run. (“It’s like Jon Stewart meets Crossfire … if Jon Stewart didn’t hate Crossfire.”) Before the girl in charge (Trish) can answer him, Kurt (who’s obviously her boyfriend) comes in to ask about a missing playbook. When she says she hasn’t seen it, Kurt says he’s dead.

Veronica is called in to see the Dean (Cyrus O’Dell, played by Ed Begley Jr.), who wants the name of her source on the weed story she wrote for the paper last episode. Veronica refuses to tell him and he gives her a week to change Kurt asks for helpher mind or she’s expelled. Later, Piz asks her to help Kurt find his missing playbook. Piz obviously wants to impress Trish so she’ll green-light his radio show. Kurt tells Veronica he had the playbook in his bag (which is against the rules) all weekend and isn’t sure when it was stolen. He tells her he went to an art show with Trish and hung out with his best friend Brian Popovich (and a couple cheerleaders who came by with some popcorn), but he never opened his backpack all weekend. Kurt came to Hearst on a scholarship but fucked up his ACL, so his coach basically considers him a waste of a scholarship, meaning he might’ve stolen the playbook. Or a rival team could’ve done it.

Veronica suggests they could replace the playbook instead of finding the original. Outside, she runs into Dick who’s supposed to have a late class with Logan. Dick says the prof didn’t show after five minutes, so everyonesecret weapon left … apparently that’s a rule. Veronica wonders where Logan is. At home, Veronica talks Keith into hiring Weevil as his new assistant. Keith can’t resist Veronica’s pouty face, so he gives Weevil a chance. His phone skills leave something to be desired, but Keith decides to give him an assignment. A client thinks one of his security guards is stealing stuff from a warehouse, so Keith gives Weevil a camera and sends him to stake the place out overnight.

Kurt tells Veronica the playbooks are printed on special stationery with ID numbers, so she sneaks into the coach’s office disguised as a cheerleader to print out a new copy. The coach comes in (with Popovich, who’s thinking confrontation in Dean's officeabout going to a different school) and finds Veronica under his desk. She convinces him it’s a sorority initiation thing and that she was looking for a jockstrap. She ends up back in the Dean’s office, but still refuses to give up her source on the weed article. Their stand-off is interrupted by Fern, Nish, and Claire from Lilith House, who are pissed off about a story in the school’s satirical paper (the Lampoon … very original) suggesting that Claire is rape material. The Lampoon guys try to defend themselves (and come off sounding like assholes) and Dean O’Dell shows the Lilith girls photos of his car, which was beat to shit and spray painted. As the Liliths deny vandalizing his car and argue with the Lampoon guys, Veronica slips out.

Veronica runs into Logan, who insists he really was in class last night. She seems to believe him, but we all know how suspicious Veronica can be. SheWeevil impresses Keith meets Kurt and Trish and tells them printing a new playbook is out. In Trish’s room, they find a creepy painting from Trish’s ex (Larry), who wants her to dump Kurt and date him again. Veronica wonders if Larry hates Kurt enough to steal his playbook, since Kurt had it at the art show and Larry was exhibiting there. At the office, Weevil impresses Keith by figuring out that the security guard isn’t the thief. It’s actually a driver with a heroin habit. Keith tells him to get some sleep and gives him another assignment to stake out a woman whose in-laws think she’s abusing their grandson.

Veronica confronts Larry (who kinda looks like Kurt Cobain), who denies Larry the painterstealing the playbook. She notices his hands are covered in paint and goes to check Kurt’s backpack. There’s not a speck of paint anywhere to be found. She does find popcorn in the backpack, which makes her wonder about Popovich and his cheerleader friends. Kurt says Popovich is his best friend and if he did steal the playbook, it’s probably destroyed by now anyway. Veronica decides to pull the old blackmail routine to see if Popovich has a guilty conscience. Logan phones to say he won’t be stopping by tonight and Veronica uses Keith’s cell phone tracker to figure out where he is.

She tracks him to a makeshift casino run by a slick dude named Mercer. Logan realizes she tracked his phone and gets pissed off, giving her shit for judging his lifestyle instead of just accepting him as is. He tells her he’smeeting Mercer at the casino surfing in Mexico with Dick and Mercer on the weekend and promises to check in with her so she doesn’t have to waste any more time tracking him. At home, Keith tells Veronica that Weevil fucked up his surveillance job. He found out it was the daughter-in-law’s new boyfriend hitting the kid, so he pounded the guy and the grandparents lost their chance to prove the abuse and win custody. Keith got fired, so now Veronica has to fire Weevil.

Weevil understands why he’s being fired, but really needs to find a job or Popovich admits he stole a testhe’ll go back to jail. Veronica says he can fix the damage to the Dean’s car to earn a little cash in the meantime. At the Hearst library, Popovich shows up in answer to Veronica’s blackmail email, but it turns out he didn’t steal the playbook. He took a sociology paper from Kurt’s bag and says the book was still in there. He also mentions Trish showing up later that night, which makes Veronica suspicious. I actually wondered about Trish from the start, since she was the one with the easiest access to Kurt’s stuff, and is the least likely suspect. Not sure what her motive would be though.

Veronica goes to the radio station (where Piz tells her he got his call-in show) and lies to Trish, saying she saw Kurt running stair drills in the stadium and figures he turned himself in and is being punished. Trish isTrish admits stealing the playbook surprised Kurt didn’t get kicked off the team and Veronica says getting kicked off would be better than being tortured by the coach. Veronica waits half an hour, then drops by Trish’s dorm room to close the trap. Turns out Trish did take the playbook (she hated the way the coach was treating Kurt since his injury and wanted him off the team), but now someone really has taken it from her room. Veronica realizes immediately who the thief must be.

They go (with Kurt) to Larry’s place and rough him up a bit. Larry’s roommate turns out to be a dude Veronica saw at Mercer’s Casino asking Kurt negotiates with Larryabout the line on the upcoming game. She figures Larry stole the book and his roommate gave the plays to the other team so he could bet against Hearst and make a pile of money. Kurt says he’ll have to tell the coach to keep Hearst from getting slaughtered, but Trish says he doesn’t owe them anything after the way they treated him. Weevil meets Veronica and tells her he’s almost got the Dean’s car fixed. There was only one serious dent, the rest was cosmetic. Weevil mentions finding a punk CD in the stereo and wonders if the Dean is cool; Veronica says he is not.

She goes to see the Dean and tells him if he stops bugging her about her source, she can fix his problems with his car and Lilith House. She shows him the CD and points out his son is wearing a t-shirt of the same band in aVeronica tells the Dean to hire Weevil photo on O’Dell’s desk. Veronica guesses the son stole the car to go to the concert, dented it, and trashed it to cover his ass and implicate the feminists. Veronica then tells the Dean she got his car fixed for free and that he needs to hire Weevil as the school’s new maintenance guy right away. Veronica runs into Mercer in the cafeteria and he admits he’s going to Mexico with Logan, but says they won’t be doing any surfing. Veronica puts a tracker into Logan’s car so she can see where he goes.

Veronica runs into Trish, who tells her Kurt dumped her and quit school after telling the coach everything. Trish says she stole the playbook to help Kurt but ended up driving him away. Veronica goes back and takes the Fern reacts to the bad newstracker out of Logan’s car. (In case you care, Hearst ends up winning the football game, so I guess they changed tactics.) Weevil impresses the Dean right away by fixing the air conditioning in his office. Veronica tunes in to Piz’s first radio show, featuring a debate between the Liliths and the Lampoons. Naturally, it gets acrimonious right away and things get worse when Fern gets a text that Claire has been raped … just like the Lampoon article suggested. Logan comes by the library and Veronica apologizes for being so suspicious. He says he’s canceling his Mexico trip so he can hang with her this weekend and watch incomprehensible foreign films. I guess that’s romantic … at least for Logan.

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