Veronica Mars Reviews: Season 3, Episode 8

Veronica Mars S01 titleEpisode 8: Lord of the Pi’s

This one starts with a couple of dudes playing frisbee and literally stumbling over Chip Diller, head of Pi Sigma fraternity. Chip is unconscious and he’s has been stripped to his underwear and had his head shaved. At the Hearst newspaper, the new editor tells Veronica he wants her back as a photographer. Her first assignment is to cover a party tonight, a sort ofVeronica meets the new editor precursor to the big board meeting tomorrow when the trustees vote on whether to get rid of the fraternity system altogether. The editor wants shots of Selma Hearst Rose (who’s just joined the board), the granddaughter of Hearst’s founder, and the swing vote at the big meeting tomorrow. Apparently Selma was some kind of hippie back in the Seventies, but couldn’t separate herself from her family’s money. The two dudes come in with an embarrassing photo of Chip, which gets Veronica’s attention.

At home, Veronica is getting ready to go to the party when Logan shows up. He asks her to steer clear of the rape case, since the rapist obviously knows Selma and O'Dellwho she is. She told her dad she got dosed (as we saw last episode), but hasn’t mentioned the part about getting her head partly shaved. (She’s been covering it with a ponytail.) When Veronica says she’ll do whatever she feels like doing, Logan gets pissed off and leaves. At the party, Veronica gets a photo of Selma (played by real-life heiress and hippie Patty Hearst … nice synchronicity with the names), but when Dean O’Dell introduces her a while later, Selma has disappeared. Sheriff Lamb doesn’t take the disappearance seriously, so O’Dell asks Veronica if her dad would take the case.

On the way out of the party, Veronica hears some noises and gets all paranoid, brandishing her stun gun, but there’s nobody there. At home, O’Dell tells Keith that Selma wouldn’t just take off, especially from a partyFern mentions the phone call in her honour, so he’s afraid she’s been kidnapped. He tells Keith someone saw Selma talking to a waitress right before she went missing, so Keith asks Veronica to check it out. She asks the caterer about it and finds out the waitress was Fern, who’s a member of Lilith House (the most vocal critics of the fraternity system on campus). Veronica talks to Fern, who tells her Selma had a phone call from some woman who was very insistent, so Fern just relayed the message. She’s still pissed off at Veronica for clearing the Pi Sigmas of the rapes and warns her to be careful, since the frat is on their annual “points for sex” hunt again.

Keith goes to see Selma’s husband (Budd, played by Charles Shaughnessy), but has to get past Budd’s assistant Brant, who’s kind of a dick. Keith finally Keith meets Buddgets in to see Budd, who apologizes for Brant’s over-protectiveness; Budd was in an accident a while back and is in a wheelchair now. Budd says he doesn’t know much about the business these days, since that’s Selma’s milieu, and mentions her brother Roger is coming in to oversee things. Keith sets up a meeting with Roger and leaves. On the way out, he notices a couple of yappy little dogs in the guest house and Brant points out the dog walker’s fancy car. Keith sees a Hearst College sticker on the car and asks for the dog walker’s name.

Veronica calls Lamb pretending to be the local news anchor (who Lamb has the hots for) and learns Fern was lying about the phone call, since there’s no record of an incoming call at that time. At Hearst, Veronica talks to Dick and mentions that the sex hunt probably isn’t a great idea with the rapesDick tells Veronica about the egg happening (although it probably isn’t a great idea at the best of times either). Dick tells her that Chip had a plastic Easter egg shoved up his ass (which Dick refers to as a kiester egg) that had a Roman numeral printed on it. Veronica wants to see the egg and Dick says the garbage is collected on Fridays, while Morty (the local homeless dude) comes by the day before to look for recycling stuff. Veronica confronts Fern about the phone call, but earn points out the call could’ve come from an extension within the building, which wouldn’t show on the phone records.

Veronica pays Morty to find the Easter egg in the dumpster and she and Dick run into Dick’s latest conquest, Bonnie. Unfortunately, Bonnie has been banging another dude (on a pinball machine), so Dick’s points will be Morty finds the eggdocked. I’m not sure how all the scoring works in this sex game, but I guess if more than one person bangs the same girl, they each only get half points or something. At the Hearst mansion, Roger tells Keith his sister probably wasn’t kidnapped, she just flaked out to avoid making a real decision on the fraternity issue. Apparently, Selma is still a hippie at heart, as she’s been talking about using only American labour for their company, which isn’t good for profits. Roger is thrilled that the stock prices are going up since her disappearance and mentions Selma was considering divorcing Budd because he’s been too clingy since his accident.

Veronica asks Wallace about the numbers on the Easter egg (111 and 903) and figures out it’s a date … November 19, 2003, almost two years ago to thefreaking out in the library day. She looks through back issues of the Hearst newspaper and finds a story about a girl named Patrice Pitrelli, who fell off the roof of Theta Zeta sorority house on that date. While she’s in the library, she hears noises and freaks out, hiding in the stacks; it turns out to be the janitor. The next morning, Keith tells Veronica about the Rose’s dog walker, who turns out to be Hallie, the annoyingly perky Theta Zeta that Veronica met when she was doing her story on that sorority.

Hallie’s still pissed off that Veronica got their house mother in trouble, so she’s not thrilled to see her, but she does give Veronica some useful talking to Hallieinformation. Hallie denies knowing anything about Selma’s disappearance, but says she should check out Brant, who seems to be in love with Budd. Hallie says she saw Brant stroking Budd’s hair when he was asleep and that Brant freaked out when Budd asked him to help plan the tenth anniversary party for Budd and Selma. Veronica asks about Patrice and Hallie says she’s only heard things second-hand, but swears Patrice just got wasted and fell off the roof. Hallie says Patrice is still alive and if Veronica wants to know more, she should ask one of the older girls.

At the office, Keith tells Veronica about Roger and Selma’s differing ethics. Veronica tells him about Brant being a creepy stalker. Keith mentions thesneaking into Budd's place divorce rumours and reminds Veronica that under the law, if a marriage dissolves before the tenth year, the usual 50/50 split of assets doesn’t apply. Since Selma is the one with all the money, Keith says Budd might’ve had her whacked, or he might just be keeping her hidden away until the deadline is up. Keith remembers the dogs in the guest house and wonders if they were there to keep someone company. Keith and Veronica sneak onto the property and find Selma in the guest house, but she doesn’t want to be “rescued”.

Turns out Selma has been screwing around on her husband and when he found out, he blackmailed her into disappearing until after their tenth Selma tells them why she's hiding thereanniversary, so he can get a lot more money when they split up. Veronica wonders why he didn’t just wait until after the anniversary to get divorced, instead of forcing her to hide. Keith mentions Roger killing Selma’s Buy American campaign to cut a deal with the Southeast Asian companies; that’s sending stock prices through the roof, so Budd can make a hell of a lot more money off their divorce. Selma says their marriage was fine until the accident, but now Budd has something to prove, and he’s doing it by banging as many women as possible.

Keith suggests she just get a really good lawyer, but Selma reminds him she as once a national joke (because of something she did in her hippie days)blackmail photo of Selma and Hallie and doesn’t want to be that again. She shows them the blackmail photo of her and her lover … who turns out to be Hallie. Yeah, Hallie apparently seduced her on Budd’s orders, but never really loved her. The phone call the night Selma disappeared was Hallie telling her that she and Budd were going to take off after the divorce and live large off Selma’s money. Keith has an idea of how they can get back at Budd without getting Selma in trouble.

At Hearst, Veronica tells Wallace the plan and they notice Chip coming into the cafeteria. Some guys start singing “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” and Chip freaks, starting a big fight. Wallace gets involved and so does Veronica, Veronica and Logan make upbut some big dude grabs her and drags her right out of the cafeteria. Turns out Logan hired this guy to shadow Veronica and make sure she’s safe. At the police station, Morty comes in claiming to have seen Selma fighting with someone the night she disappeared and he picks Hallie out of the Hearst yearbook. Lamb searches Hallie’s car and finds Selma’s earring inside and love letters from Budd on her laptop. Meanwhile, Veronica gives Logan shit for having someone follow her. She tells him she’s always going to head for trouble and he shouldn’t expect her to suddenly change, but he reminds her that she’s always expecting him to change. After an awkward exchange of “I love you’s”, they hug it out and agree everything’s fine between them.

Lamb goes to see Budd with a search warrant; apparently Hallie caved pretty quickly. Budd is arrested and Selma goes to see him, giving him theSelma gives Budd the divorce papers divorce papers to sign. Looks like her won’t be getting as much money as he thought, since it’s still a couple days to their tenth anniversary. Veronica gives Hallie shit for her part in everything, but she’s not too remorseful. Veronica asks about Patrice again and Hallie mentions Patrice’s best friend was Claire, who just got kicked out of Hearst for faking her rape. Veronica goes to see Claire (who’s hanging with Fern and Nish) and learns the Pi Sigmas put Patrice through a “show room” where they made girls undress and used marker to highlight their supposed the Liliths contemplate their actionsimperfections. They went overboard with Patrice, using permanent marker all over her. She finally couldn’t live with the humiliation and jumped off the roof. Now she’s in a mental institution, still recovering. Veronica points out that’s a great motive for Claire t fake her rape, hoping to get the frat system shut down. Veronica realizes Claire’s rape may not be the only one that was faked and tells them they’re just hurting their cause by faking rapes, since people will be less likely to believe real victims. I’m not sure if the message really sinks in, but they do look a bit guilty. The episode ends with Logan in the cafeteria calling Veronica (who’s sitting at a table in the cafeteria) and her ignoring the call; so much for everything being peachy between them.

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