Veronica Mars Reviews: Season 3, Episode 17

Veronica Mars S01 titleEpisode 17: Debasement Tapes

This one starts with Veronica and Wallace watching a Joan Crawford movie (for Wallace’s Film Studies class) and talking about Veronica and Piz’s big smooch last episode. Apparently Veronica kinda freaked out after Logan saw her and Piz kissing, so she took off. Piz called her (once) the next day, but she hasn’t heard anything since and wonders if Piz is pining for her. Wallace says Piz seems just fine, which isn’t quite the response Veronica wanted. Keith comes home and tells them his prospects for being elected Sheriff look good, especially since he’s running unopposed. At the Hearst radioPiz wins the right to meet Desmond station the next day, Piz wins a trivia contest and gets the privilege of interviewing (and hanging out with) one of his musical idols, who’s coming to Hearst to do an interview. The guy’s name is Desmond Fellows and he was part of the (fictitious) 90s band, My Pretty Pony. Desmond’s appearance is for a fundraiser for the station, which is being sued because a DJ swore on the air, so everyone is hoping Desmond’s show goes well, or the station might be fined into oblivion. Piz is thrilled to meet his idol, but you know what they say … be careful what you wish for.

Piz tells Veronica that even though Desmond’s partner in the band is dead, Desmond gets his drink onDesmond uses backing tapes to recreate their partnership for the audience. Piz invites Veronica to the show and she’s kinda awkward, since she’s still thinking about the kiss. Piz isn’t awkward at all, he’s acting like nothing ever happened, which may be what’s weirding Veronica out so much. When Piz meets Desmond (played by Paul Rudd, who seems to have a knack for portraying burnt-out losers), he turns out to be a boozed-up shell of his former self. Desmond is drunk, rude, and condescending, only coming to life when he finds a half-naked girl waiting in the bedroom of his hotel suite.

The woman (Grace, played by Suzanne Cryer) apparently chatted online with Desmond and took him literally when he said to “surprise me” if she was ever in L.A. Unfortunately, Grace is Desmond’s age and he prefers themGrace surprises Desmond younger, so he’s kind of a dick to her. She leaves, embarrassed, after telling Piz to never meet your idols. I think Piz is way ahead of her there. Things get worse for Piz, as Desmond comes out of the bedroom with the bag that used to contain the backing tapes he needs for his show, but now only has a bathrobe in it. Veronica and Mac discuss their similar love lives in the cafeteria (like Veronica, Mac is torn between two guys she likes, Bronson and Max). Piz calls and Veronica apologizes for leading him on and says they should just be friends … which is pretty much what Piz had already decided to do. He asks for help finding Desmond’s backing tapes.

Desmond immediately starts hitting on Veronica, but she ignores him and finds his chats with Grace (whose name they don’t know at this point). Veronica is disappointed to meet DesmondDesmond assumes Grace is the one who stole his tapes, since she was in the bedroom alone with his bag. Veronica notices a Chinese letter at the end of Grace’s web chat and Piz says he has some friends studying Chinese who may be able to help. In Logan’s room, he’s freaking out because he needs to come up with a website project for Business class by Monday and has no clue what to do. He gets an idea after seeing video of Dick running over his own foot trying to ghost ride and realizing that people will pay to see pretty much anything online, no matter how stupid.

He calls Mac to help him with the website, which he wants to call “Rate My Ass”, a site where people can rate pix of girls’ asses. Sounds like a winner. He offers to pay mac for her help and she agrees, mostly to get away fromradio interview Bronson, who’s been dragging her to play Ultimate Frisbee. Piz does the radio interview with Desmond, who’s half-wasted as usual. After hitting on one caller, telling another to go to hell, and making fun of a religious group (Semites for the Savior) who think his lyrics are Anti-Semitic or something, Desmond lets it slip that the show might be canceled. That worries the station manager, but Piz says he has someone working on finding the backing tapes.

At the police station, Leo drops by to tell Keith he’s been working security at a sporting goods store and thinks the place is going to get robbed. Leo Leo asks Keith for helpnoticed someone casing the place and saw Danny Boyd (the Fitzpatrick thug) was working there now. When Leo mentioned it to his supervisor, he was switched to a different shift. Keith says he might be able to get some surveillance on the place. Piz takes Veronica to talk to his friends about the Chinese symbol in Grace’s letter. Turns out the symbol means “grace” and Grace just happens to teach the class these guys belong to. Grace admits she was a big My Pretty Pony fan and went to his room on impulse, but insists she didn’t steal anything from his bag … and Veronica believes her.

On the way back, Veronica sees a Semites for the Savior flyer and wonders if they might have stolen Desmond’s tapes to get his show canceled. Logan and Mac are working on his project and have to kick Dick out because he’s being a dick. Piz tells Desmond they haven’t found the tapes yet, but they’reLogan and Mac listen to Dick's ass talk still looking. Piz overhears Desmond working on a new song and thinks it sounds cool. He convinces Desmond to skip a dorm party and work on finishing the song, but when Desmond sees a “Where Are They Now?” feature on TV about himself, he gets discouraged, thinking people will only want to hear the old hits, not new stuff. So, he goes to the party, where he tells Dick he banged Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, and Jennifer Love Hewitt (twice). (Dick: “Dude, you are my idol … who are you?”) Logan and Mac get the basics done on the website, but Mac isn’t exactly a whiz on monetizing online content; she’s more of an open-source kinda gal, so she calls Max for help.

Desmond goes skinny-dipping with a bunch of people from the party and gets arrested for indecent exposure and public drunkenness. In jail, Desmond caught with his pants downDesmond pisses Keith off when he disparages the Beatles. Piz and Veronica tell Keith Desmond is just screwing with him, as My Pretty pony has some obvious Beatles influences. (Even more obvious: Desmond is wearing a t-shirt that says Working Class Hero … I guess Keith’s knowledge of the Beatles stops in 1970.) They do convince Keith to let Desmond go. Mac and Max help Logan with the website and get into an argument over profiting from stupid people online. (Logan: “Anybody got a camera? There’s gotta be someone who’ll pay to see this hot nerd-on-nerd action.”)

Veronica and Piz drop by the Semites for the savior meeting and find Bret Ratner there. Piz says Ratner is the bellhop who handled Desmond’s bagslistening to Desmond's new songs and Veronica accuses him of stealing the tapes. But she’s forced to apologize when Piz mentions the bathrobe left in the bag was blue … Neptune Grand robes are white. Veronica checks out the robe and bag and finds an address card inside. Apparently, Desmond grabbed the wrong bag at the airport, so Veronica and Piz have to zoom into Los Angeles to pick up the right bag and head back at top speed to make it in time for the concert. On the way back, they find a CD of some of Desmond’s new songs that sound pretty damn good.

At the sporting goods store, Keith and Leo take photos of some guys loading stuff into a truck. Keith recognizes fellow detective Vinnie Van Lowe (who Vinnie explains how he caught the thievesLeo says was the employee casing the place) and Keith calls for back-up. But Vinnie ends up locking the thieves in the truck and calling in the robbery himself. When Keith confronts him, Vinnie says he was hired by the store owner to investigate missing stuff, so he infiltrated the gang to get the evidence. Right before the concert, Piz calls Desmond to say they’re stuck in traffic and he’ll have to sing some of his new songs until they get there. (They aren’t really stuck in traffic, they’re right outside, but Desmond doesn’t know that.) Desmond isn’t too keen about doing his new material, but he doesn’t have much choice, so he gives it a shot.

The crowd ends up loving Desmond’s new stuff and Veronica tells Piz he’s a good guy and holds his hand. Talk about your mixed messages. Piz admitscrowd loves Desmond's new stuff to Desmond that they saw the whole show and lied so he’d play his new songs. Desmond isn’t too mad about it. Max leaves after helping Mac and Logan finish the website. Max invites Mac out for breakfast and she says she has to finish up, but asks for a rain check. Logan asks Mac about Veronica and Piz and Mac says Veronica never screwed around on him. She decides to take a half stake in Logan’s website instead of payment. After the show, Grace tells Desmond she loved his show and he asks her out for a drink.

Mac breaks up with Bronson, although she doesn’t mention having feelings for Max. In class the next day, Logan tries to present his project, but the Vinnie tells Keith he's running against himprofessor won’t even take him seriously because it’s about asses. At the police station, Keith asks Leo to come back to the department and Vinnie drops by to thank Keith for telling the press that Vinnie was responsible for catching the sporting goods thieves. Vinnie also tells Keith he’s decided to run against him for Sheriff … and thanks to Keith’s ringing endorsement in the paper (“Vincent Van Lowe is an asset to the community”), Vinnie figures he might have a shot at winning.

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