Recap: Veronica Mars S 01 E 15 Ruskie Business
At lunch in the Neptune High courtyard, Veronica tells Logan more details about the credit card of Lynn's that's still active; it's no-limit, and under her maiden name. Logan thinks it's Lynn's way of hiding, though Veronica cautions him that it's hard to know for sure. She tells him the only charge on it is for a rental car (a red Mercedes-Benz convertible), and she'll let Logan know if there's another charge. Logan doesn't really say anything, and after a few seconds, Veronica gets up and walks back into school. After a second, Logan follows her, and when he catches up to her in the hallway, he sincerely thanks her for helping. Veronica says, "I know what it's like." They smile at each other, he puts his hand on her arm briefly, and then they leave in separate directions.In the school auditorium, Duncan is organizing the decorations for the "Total Eclipse of the Heart" dance. When Veronica walks in, Duncan asks if Logan asked her to the dance, and she jokes she's still waiting for that "special boy" to call. When Duncan turns away, Veronica flashes back to when she and Duncan were at the spring dance and still in love, and mentions in a voiceover how she knows better than to expect love. She's interrupted in her reverie by Meg, who comes in and says she really needs to speak with Veronica. Veronica agrees, and the two walk out, with Duncan grinning at them. In the hallway, Meg confesses she thinks she has a secret admirer. They're briefly interrupted by Veronica getting a call on her cell, but the caller does nothing but breathe at the end. After hanging up, Veronica turns her attention back to Meg, who mentions how while on the bus back from the last away basketball game, she received a text message saying, "I think UR kewl." Despite the bad spelling, Meg is intrigued, though the only two candidates she can think of are Caz (Zachery Bryan), whom she thinks is too full of himself, and Martin (William Regan), whom she thinks is sweet but too moony. Veronica, of course, thinks he could be a stalker, but Meg begs her to look into it, and Veronica reluctantly agrees.At Mars Investigations later, Veronica mentions how she finds detective work a refreshing change from soul mates and puppy love. Keith greets her by telling her he's too busy to help the client in his office because he's still working an insurance case, but they need the money and it looks quick and simple. Veronica doesn't mind taking it, and as Keith walks out, she greets the client, Catherine Lenova (Cynthia LaMontagne). Naturally, Catherine wants Veronica to help her find her soul mate, and Veronica looks pained as we go into the opening credits.When we return, Catherine is showing Veronica a picture of "Tom" with his dog, and explains her story. She came from Russia two years earlier to meet Tom in Chicago - when Veronica asks if Lenova was a Mail-Order Bride, Catherine corrects her, "Internet" - but Tom didn't look like what she had envisioned, so she divorced him. However, she realizes now she made a mistake and wants him back. Catherine mentions Tom changed his name because he wanted to be an actor, and his last name was "Cruz", and she says she knows he's in Southern California because she received a postcard from him marked from Neptune. Veronica says she'll get on the case.That night, at the Mars apartment, Veronica gets exasperated at trying to find "Tom Cruz", and Wallace teases she might not be that good a detective after all. Veronica decides to stop and "hang out", but then she realizes Wallace, being on the basketball team, might know who texted Meg, and asks him to try and find out if it was someone from the team. Wallace reluctantly agrees.The next day, at school, Veronica walks by Meg's locker, and Meg is excited because her secret admirer sent her flowers and asked her to the dance. Veronica notes the flowers came from "Manny's Flower Shop". When Meg asks about the text messages, Veronica assures her, "I've got my best man on it"......and in the school bus, we see Wallace checking the bags. Outside the bus, Caz invites Meg to a party the next night at his house. Back in the bus, Wallace is searching Caz's bag when Caz catches him at it.At Mars Investigations, Veronica apologizes to Catherine that she hasn't able to find anything about Tom, but Catherine indicates she's willing to pay more if "Mr. Mars" will keep working the case. Catherine lists Tom's hobbies (hockey, guitar and detective movies, and he also likes Chinese food), and asks again to work fast, which Veronica promises. A little later, Veronica calls a talent agency, pretends to be a casting agent, describes Tom's general appearance (also asking for someone who plays hockey and the guitar), and asks them to fax over head shots of anyone fitting that description. That evening, Veronica gets the head shots, but they don't look like Tom. Wallace comes over and tells her to look for Meg's secret admirer herself, and he now has a reputation as a jock sniffer. He notices the picture of Tom with his dog, and calls the dog a "freak show". Veronica looks intrigued, but before she can act on that, she gets a notification on her cell phone, and finds out Lynn's credit card was used to charge a room at the Sunset Regent hotel. Veronica leaves a message on Logan's cell phone telling him the news.The next day, in the lobby of the Sunset Regent, Veronica meets Logan and warns him the hotel receptionist is a bit prickly. The receptionist snidely asks what he can do to help, and Veronica pretends she and Logan are engaged and looking for a honeymoon suite. The receptionist shows her some low-rent rooms, but when Veronica pulls out a book indicating she and Logan are rich, the receptionist changes his tune and shows her pictures of more luxury suites. Veronica points to the "Princess Suite", which the receptionist agrees is top-of-the-line, but he apologetically tells her they can't tour it because the suite is currently occupied, and the occupant insists on their privacy. Veronica and Logan try to plead their cause, but to no avail. As they walk off, Veronica wants to try the maintenance guys next, but Logan is willing to go on stakeout duty, and while Veronica is neither patient nor free enough to join that option, she gladly leaves him to it.At the flower shop, Veronica shows Manny (Charley Rossman) the picture of Meg's flowers that she took, and Manny remembers the flowers and the order, but is too out of it to describe who bought them other than the fact he's a high school kid. Veronica thanks him and leaves.Later, at Mars Investigations, Wallace is looking through a dog encyclopedia, while Veronica is trying to enlarge the picture of Tom and his dog. Keith calls the office, and asks Veronica why he got a voicemail from Catherine asking about her case. Veronica tells him the case is more complicated than she thought. Keith tells her to drop it, but she mentions how much they need the money, and that it would be nice to bring people together for a change. Just then, she's able to enlarge the picture enough to read the collar (the dog's name is "Steve"), and Wallace finds out the dog's breed (a Catahoula Leopard). Keith tells Veronica to do more high school stuff, and Veronica sarcastically promises to do so. As Keith says goodbye, he notices a man wearing a neck brace and starts to follow him, unaware two men in a car are watching him.Back at Mars Investigations, Veronica calls animal hospitals until she hits pay dirt; she explains her dog and Steve got along so well when they met on a dog beach that she's like to breed with him, and asks the hospital to give Steve's owner her name and number to see if it's okay with him. After hanging up, Veronica calls Meg on her cell, asking to leave early for Caz's party. The office phone rings as Veronica hangs up with Meg; it's the animal hospital, who apologizes but says the owner's not interested.Veronica and Meg are at the sheriff's department; Meg doesn't understand why until she sees Leo and the way Veronica is looking at Leo, after which she puts two and two together. Veronica greets Leo, and notices the sketch picture of herself, with horns drawn on her. She teases Leo about the horns, and then notices Karl (Scott Michael Morgan), the sketch artist, and greets him, as he used to know Keith. Turning her attention back to Leo, Veronica asks him to track down the phone records of the animal hospital she had talked to, specifically when they must have called "Steve's" owner. Leo is reluctant, but Veronica teases him about possibly seeing him at Caz's party when he gets called to bust it, and Leo agrees. As Veronica leaves, Meg notes, "He totally wants to protect and serve you!"At the party, which is in a model home, Veronica and Meg go in. Chaz greets them, and Meg tries to feel him out (saying she was cheering at the game because she's "kewl"), but Caz doesn't pick up on it. In fact, he acts like a jerk jock and accidentally spills his beer on Meg. Martin comes over, apologizes to Meg, and offers Caz's sweater to help her clean the beer off. Veronica comes up to them and asks to borrow Martin's cell. He hands it over, and Veronica tries checking it, but the battery's low. Duncan comes over and tells her Logan is still camped out at the Sunset Regent. Veronica says she'll take care of it, and walks off. She gives Martin back his phone and apologetically tells Meg she has to rush off. Meg assures her she'll be fine.In the lobby of the Sunset Regent, the receptionist tries to kick Logan out, but he hands him his own credit card, asking for a room. Veronica finds Logan and tells him they should speed things up a bit. She calls the credit card company and reports the card stolen. Sometime later, Veronica and Logan are still waiting in the lobby when a woman wearing sunglasses and Lynn's clothes walks up to the front desk. Veronica points her out, and Logan hopefully approaches the desk, and says, "Mom?"......except it's Trina (Alyson Hannigan), his step-sister. She's bemused at Logan calling her "mom". Logan, still stunned, says she's supposed to be in Australia. Trina sarcastically notes it didn't work out, but enthusiastically greets Veronica when she notices her. She starts to ask if Logan and Veronica are a couple when Logan snaps at her for wearing Lynn's clothes. Trina says Lynn was Logan's mom, not his, and remembers how she used to parade around in a bikini whenever Trina had a boy over (which Logan notes was all the time). Logan, still upset, tells Trina Aaron could have used her help, but Trina notes the hypocrisy of Logan looking out for Aaron when he used to tell the stories of all the ways Aaron abused him (Veronica looks stunned by this revelation). Trina mentions she'll be home now that the credit card was cancelled, and she and Logan continue to snipe at each other until Veronica steps in, telling Logan they should leave. Trina nicely tells Veronica they should hang, and Veronica unenthusiastically accepts as she leads Logan away. Back in the lobby, Logan can take no more and starts sobbing. Veronica is in shock as well, but she comforts Logan.The next day, Keith is in his car, calling his client about the insurance case. He notices now the two men in the car following him; after confirming they're unrelated to the insurance case, he hangs up and drives up to a hotel. He gives his key to a valet and walks into the hotel. The two men get out of their car, give their key to the valet, and walk into the hotel. Keith, who has been hiding, walks out, breaks into their car, and finds travel documents. He goes back to the valet, tells him he must have gotten the wrong hotel, and asks for his car back. As the valet goes to get it, Keith calls a number to check the men following him.Back at Manny's, Veronica brings Karl along, and tells Manny to give Karl a description of the boy who bought the flowers for Meg, so Karl can fax the picture to Veronica. She thanks both of them and leaves.At Mars Investigations, Veronica gets a call from Leo, who gives her three names the animal hospital called. Veronica thanks him, and a little later, we see her staking out the last name on the list, John Frampton. Sure enough, it's the same dog and same person as Steve and Tom Cruz. Back at Mars Investigations, Veronica calls Catherine with the good news, but just as she's about to give the address, Keith stops her, and informs her "Tom Cruz" is in witness protection from the Russian mob, and Catherine is part of the mob.A few moments later, Veronica finally picks up the ringing phone; it's Catherine. Veronica apologizes, saying she must have dropped the phone, and gives Catherine the "address". After she hangs up, Keith praises her, and says he'll take it from there.At the model home Caz used for his party, the two Russian gangster walk in, guns drawn. They find Keith in the kitchen, and he greets them in Russian. That's when Leo and other deputies come in and arrest them.That evening, at the Mars Apartment, Meg comes by, dressed up like Andie Walsh, with another outfit on a hanger and a corsage that's supposed to be the signal for her admirer. Veronica apologizes that she hasn't been able to devote as much time as she wanted to finding Meg's secret admirer, but Meg tells her not to worry, and that she doesn't even care anymore. Meg is, however, still going to the dance, and taking Veronica......who, one dress and several cans of hairspray later, looks like an early incarnation of Madonna. As Meg finishes her preparations, the fax machine rings, and Veronica runs to get it. Her face falls, however, when she sees the result. Meg asks if anything's wrong, and Veronica lies and says she's fine. As the two of them leave, we see the drawing is of Duncan.The dance is going on full swing as Veronica and Meg enter. Meg has suddenly lost her courage, and tells Veronica so. Veronica thinks for a minute, and then puts the corsage on Meg's wrist, telling Meg she'll thank Veronica later. Veronica walks away, and when Meg calls out after her, Veronica indicates she should turn around. Meg does, and Duncan is there, dressed as Duckie. Meg looks at Veronica, and Veronica just smiles and nods. As Duncan asks Meg to dance, Meg looks back at Veronica one last time with concern and affection, and joins him. Veronica runs out to her car, gets in, and starts crying, until she hears a knock on her car door......and it's Leo, who's dressed up like Sonny Crockett. As Veronica gets out of the car, he gives her flowers and asks if she's ready for a "total eclipse of the heart." She smiles. A bit later, they're inside at the dance, and Leo tells her she looks beautiful. As Veronica and Leo dance, Duncan, who's slow-dancing with Meg, notices and becomes concerned. Just then, Logan, dressed up as Joel Goodson, drunkenly yells out how everyone should "Wang Chung tonight". Everyone stops dancing to look at him, and he walks out as Leo observes how drunk he is and Veronica seethes, "I cannot escape Tom Cruise."Outside, in the hall, Veronica tries to get Logan's keys from him, but he's having none of it. Just then, Trina shows up, having gotten the call (presumably from Duncan) to come pick Logan up. As she and Logan snark at each other and walk off, Veronica thanks Leo for coming. She correctly guesses Meg arranged for him to come (this was the "surprise" Meg wanted to spring on her), but Leo says he wanted to come because he wanted to see her anyway. They kiss each other, and Veronica is smiling when her cell phone rings. It's the same person who called earlier without talking, and Veronica mentions how frustrated she is. Leo *69's them, and gets a person; Veronica grabs the phone and finds out from the confused man on the other end that it's a pay phone in Barstow that a blonde lady just used. Veronica hangs up, kisses Leo goodbye, explains she has to run, and takes off.The next morning, at a dive bar, Veronica, dressed normally, walks in. She notices Lianne sitting at the bar, drunk and looking a mess. Veronica greets her, but Lianne warns her it's too dangerous for her to be there. Veronica tries to tell her everything's okay when she looks up and sees Clarence Wiedman's reflection in the mirror.Holy shit.This episode contains examples of:
- Call Back: At Veronica's flashback of the dance she and Duncan went to, we hear the song Duncan had said was their song. Also, Veronica and Leo's relationship.
- Cloud Cuckoolander / The Stoner: Manny is somewhere between these two types (or possibly both).
- The Eighties Dance: With all of the music (including "One Thing Leads to Another" by The Fixx, "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper and "True" by Spandau Ballet), big hair and bad fashion that implies.
- Heroic BSOD: Logan's crying jag in the hotel, and arguably his behavior at the dance.
- Hey It's That Guy! Logan's sister is Willow Rosenberg.
- Literary Allusion Title: The episode title is a play on Risky Business.
- The Mafiya: Are the ones really after "Tom Cruz".
- Mail-Order Bride: Turns out to be a subversion.
- Ship Tease: Veronica kissing Logan on the cheek in the hotel when they were pretending to be engaged raised a lot of hopes among Logan/Veronica shippers.
- Shipper on Deck: Meg is like this with Veronica and Leo.
- Shout-Out: In addition to all The '80s shout-outs mentioned above, there are a couple of others:
- When Veronica tells Keith about wanting to bring couples together, Keith snaps at her, "We're a detective agency, not the frigging Love Boat." In that same conversation, Veronica sarcastically notes she's cutting out pictures of Ashton.
- As Veronica juggles a couple of cases at once, Wallace calls her "Rockford".
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Logan and Trina. The first time, given how upset Logan is, it's pretty pointed for this trope, but at the dance, it's played pretty straight.
- Trailers Always Spoil: Trina's appearance might have more impact if the network, wanting to get the maximum impact of the Stunt Casting of Alyson Hannigan, hadn't shown it in the advertisements.
- Waxing Lyrical: After Meg and Duncan come together at the dance, but before Leo shows up, Veronica muses "J. Geils was right - love stinks."