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Recap: Veronica Mars S 01 E 16 Betty And Veronica
Veronica is tearing her bedroom apart as she mentions how she'd been searching for her mother for a year, and yet Clarence Wiedman happened to be there when she did find her. Veronica has figured out this meant Wiedman knew where she was, not her mom. After seeming to give up, she notices a gift box from the Wildlife Alliance, and notes that while she never donated anything to them, she kept the panda-shaped pencil sharpener. She breaks it open and discovers the listening device inside. Veronica surmises Wiedman must have heard her book her flight to Barstow...

...which leads to a Flashback to Veronica finding Lianne in a dive bar, Lianne warning her away, and Veronica seeing Wiedman in the mirror. The scene continues from there as an obviously drunk Lianne is both happy to see Veronica and afraid of how much danger they're in, while a tearful and defiant Veronica insists she's not going anywhere. Veronica asks the bartender for coffee, and assures Lianne everything will be okay...

...while back in the present, Veronica is poised to smash the pencil sharpener, until she realizes she can use the situation to her advantage at some point. She puts the pencil sharpener back together.

In the Neptune High gym the next day, Wallace is practicing basketball with Jack (Christopher Babers), his teammate, while Veronica looks on. Wallace hits a jumper and then takes Jack to the hole, all while good-naturedly ribbing him. They then fist-bump each other and congratulate themselves on a good practice while Veronica teases Wallace about his ego.

A bit later, Wallace and Veronica are walking down the hallway, and other athletes and students greet Wallace enthusiastically. Wallace tells Veronica that while he knows things haven't been great for her (Veronica responds, "The gentleman does have the gift for the understatement"), the school isn't as bad as she thinks it is. Just then, they pass Duncan and Meg holding hands and staring at each other lovingly, and Veronica, with a forced "They seem friendly", continues to her locker - which is when Clemmons orders her to come to his office. In his office, Clemmons tells Veronica "Polly", the school mascot, has gone missing. Veronica, of course, assumes Clemmons is accusing her of taking it, but Clemmons merely wants Veronica to find the parrot, and Veronica gapes into the opening credits.

When we return, Clemmons explains how the rivalry between Neptune and Pan High has escalated, and the theft of Polly is the latest example. He tells Veronica, who's trying very hard not to laugh, he wants the matter disposed of quickly and discreetly, and adds that he's noticed Veronica has "skills in this capacity", and working for a private eye doesn't hurt, either. Veronica tells him it's going to cost - a letter of recommendation, a different locker, and a personal parking space. Clemmons is okay with the letter and the locker, but nixes the parking space; he and Veronica settle on giving her two excused absences.

Veronica's new locker is next to Wallace's, which he notes with amusement. Other students continue to congratulate Wallace on his playing, but Jack mentions Polly being stolen, which gets him down a little; as an office aid, he bonded with Polly. Wallace brightens up, though, when he sees a spirit box full of snickerdoodles, which he starts eating as he and Veronica walk through the hall, and he also notes how the box reads, "Go Wallace. We love you. You rock." Just then, Duncan and Meg walk by, and Duncan congratulates Wallace on his game. Meg tries to talk to Veronica, but the conversation between them is forced, and eventually, she and Duncan walk away. Several of Wallace's teammates run by and call out to him; Wallace explains he's going to join them for lunch, and invites Veronica to sit with them. She appreciates the thought, but tells him she has plans...

...which involve going to Pan High, which Veronica describes as a more low-rent version of Neptune High, being further inland. Veronica is dressed for the occasion, looking more casual than before. In the school cafeteria, which is inside, Veronica carries a tray and acts like a new student looking for a place to sit, which she notes is a good way to figure out who the popular kids are. Sure enough, she passes a table of jocks, and one of them, Richie (Kyle Searles), invites her to sit with them. Veronica, calling herself "Betty", complies, and greets everybody. Richie introduces the others, including Curtis and Zeke. "Betty" asks if they all play basketball (Richie and Curtis do, while Zeke is the team manager), and gushes at how much she loves the game, and was the mascot at her old school. Richie then mentions at how someone stole Neptune's mascot, and how happy he is, because he hates Neptune. He also mentions how Pan High always beats Neptune, though Zeke warns them about Wallace (which almost causes Veronica to break character, but she recovers). Just then, another kid tells Richie someone has stolen Pan High's mascot - a goat, and everyone is upset at the news.

Later, at the sheriff's department, Veronica muses that since Lamb is on a fishing vacation, she's going to take take advantage of the opportunity...

...and we're in another flashback at the dive bar, where a distracted and hungover Lianne is gulping coffee and telling Veronica how she looks a mess. Veronica mentions the 80's dance she was recently at, and Lianne tells her it sounds like fun, before sadly noting life goes on, with dances and birthdays and Christmas. Veronica pointedly tells her life doesn't go on, and then asks her what was going on between her and Jake Kane. After hedging, Lianne finally admits she knows Jake didn't kill Lily because Lianne was with him at the Neptune Grand at the time of the murder.

Back in the present, Leo comes up behind Veronica, and jokes how he must have been the subject of her daydream, though the suit of armor was weird. Veronica asks him for a favor - the interrogation tapes of Lily's murder investigation. Leo sighs heavily.

That night, at Mars Investigations, Keith tells Veronica she got a call the day before from the bank, who claimed her account was overdrawn. Veronica assures him it must be a mistake, and when Keith says she can tell him if there's a problem, Veronica claims she tells him everything. As he walks to his office, Veronica clarifies via voiceover, "Maybe not everything"...

...and we're back at the dive bar. Veronica, assuming the worst, thinks Jake and Lianne were having a tryst, but Lianne claims it wasn't like that. She tells Veronica that was doing laundry one day when she heard Celeste leaving a message on Veronica's machine; Celeste didn't want Veronica to see Duncan, and she had important information on Lianne and Jake. So Lianne called Jake to the Neptune Grand to get him to get Celeste to back off. Back in the present, Veronica, still teary-eyed at the memory, slams shut the filing drawer she was using.

The next day, at Pan High during lunch, "Betty" is back, and overhears Richie chewing Zeke out for betting on Neptune. Zeke explains there's no line on the game, and he's not the only one, as other Pan High students, as well as Neptune High students, have bet on Neptune with a bookie at Rest Stop 15. "Betty" asks what that is, and Richie explains it's a place between the two schools which is both a Make-Out Point and a place where people sell things out of their cars. He's interrupted by the sound of cheering, and Wilson (Atom Gorelick) walks into the cafeteria to thunderous applause. Zeke explains Wilson is the one who stole the Neptune parrot, and Richie joins the cheering while "Betty" smiles. As they walk over to him, however, a delivery man leaves a package containing several pounds of meat marked as "100% goat meat", and a note from Neptune that reads, "Bon Appetit." The other students look appalled.

In the Pan High hallways (which are outside), "Betty" catches up to Wilson, who's still basking in his new-found popularity. She gushes over him, and as Wilson walks over to his locker, he explains he just walked right into Neptune and took Polly. At his locker, Wilson shows "Betty" the picture of Polly he has on his phone, and she asks him to meet her at Rest Stop 15 later, which he enthusiastically agrees to. He walks away to class, and Veronica opens up the locker to get Wilson's phone. She then calls someone to tell them she's sending the picture of the parrot to them, and asks what they know about Rest Stop 15...

...which is where we see a number of students parked, one couple kissing, someone buying stereo equipment, someone smoking weed, and so on. Wilson is also there, looking for "Betty", when he's approached by Weevil, who wants to know where Polly is. A very intimidated Wilson eventually admits it's not Polly in the picture, and he made the whole thing up by taking a picture of himself with a pet store parrot because he thought it would make him look cool. Weevil disgustedly lets him go, and tells Veronica, who approaches him, that he won't do any more favors for her because of how sorry he feels for Wilson; Veronica assures him he's not the only one. Just then, a Pan High student drives up and asks Weevil if he's "the guy", and when Weevil confirms it, asks to put $100 on Neptune. The student greets "Betty", and Weevil gives her an "of course" look before pointedly asking "Betty" to excuse them. Veronica leaves, but looks thoughtful.

At Mars Investigations, Veronica muses at how when Keith lost the sheriff job, he told her and Lianne he was going to stay in Neptune as a private eye, and that was the last straw for Lianne...

...and we're back at the dive bar. Lianne is continuing to drink coffee, but obviously wants a beer. Veronica, of course, doesn't want her to drink, and keeps asking what happened between her and Jake. Lianne tries to put her off, but finally admits she told Jake he'd sue him for a paternity test. Veronica tearfully asks if Jake really is her father, and Lianne, crying, admits she doesn't know.

Back in the present, Leo brings Veronica a present - the interrogation tapes, wrapped in a shoebox. Veronica sincerely thanks him, but Leo tells her he expects dinner out of it. Veronica jokes she was going for dinner and a movie, but he undershot, and they both laugh. Veronica then asks Leo what he knows about sports betting; Leo admits he's not an expert, but he knows a bookie wouldn't take straight up bets, without a line, on a team heavily favored unless he knew something the people betting didn't. Veronica looks thoughtful.

The next day, Veronica is actually sitting with Wallace and his teammates, including Jack, who is bragging at how Neptune is going to end their four-year losing streak against Pan High. Wallace grabs some food off of the table and excuses himself. Veronica, of course, follows Wallace, who's going to the parking lot. While he tries to tell Veronica she doesn't want to know, she does, and Wallace reluctantly opens the van he's in front of to reveal...the Pan High goat. Veronica, of course, can't believe this, even when Wallace points out it's revenge for the theft of Polly. He eventually admits stealing the goat was Jack's idea, and Wallace has been stuck feeding the goat, which he doesn't like. Veronica, of course, won't help him.

Later, in the journalism room, Duncan mentions all the letters the school paper has received about Polly's kidnapping, and how steamed up everyone is about it. Arianna (Paityn James), another classmate, gives him a letter that she says has "an opposing view". Duncan and Veronica read the letter, which states, among other things, that Polly shouldn't have been taken from her natural habitat in the first place, and maybe Polly will be able to fly back to it. Duncan figures Arianna's from SAAC - Students Against Animal Cruelty, and explains how they threw blood on the homecoming queen a couple years back for wearing fur.

Later, at the Mars apartment, Veronica is baking and listening to the interrogation tapes. Currently, it's the one with Keith interviewing Jake Kane, and we flash back to then. Keith assures Jake he's just asking routine questions. Jake, of course, claims he was at the Neptune Grand, but it was with Celeste, as it's something they did every once in a while to spice up their marriage. Keith isn't buying it, and Jake tells him he should be looking for Lily's killer instead of questioning him. Keith tries to ask Jake how long they were making love, and Jake refuses. He does admit to putting on the TV, but when Keith asks him what program was on the TV, Jake claims it was just background noise...

...and we're back in the present, as Wallace comes into the apartment, noting how Veronica is distracted by what she's listening to. As Veronica turns the tape off, Wallace tells her he left his algebra book and grabs it. He notices the cookies and grabs one to eat, though he burns his mouth on it because they're just out of the oven. Wallace then notices they're snickerdoodles, and figures out Veronica is the one who's been making spirit boxes for him. Veronica reminds him she used to be on pep squad, and when Wallace says he knows she finds the school spirit thing stupid, she replies, "You don't." She does warn Wallace not to grab anymore cookies unless he wants an empty box the next day, but he pleads for one more, and she agrees. Veronica then asks if, while Wallace is picking up his mother at Kane Software, he can drop off a plant for the secretary of Clarence Wiedman, and Wallace assents.

That night, Veronica is getting ready for her date with Leo, and listening to another interrogation tape. This time, it's Celeste, and we see the flashback of this as well. Celeste gives the same alibi - specifically mentioning they were at the hotel for 2 1/2 hours - and mentions they brought their own champagne and of course, weren't paying attention to the TV. Keith interrupts Veronica to tell her Leo's arrived.

Later, they're at the restaurant, where a jazz combo is playing in the background. Veronica and Leo kiss each other and walk in, and the hostess takes them to their table. Veronica doesn't notice Meg sitting with Duncan, Celeste and Jake, but Meg notices her, and calls out to her. She walks over and hugs Veronica, but when Veronica isn't as enthusiastic at returning the embrace, pulls away. Meg greets Leo, and introduces him to Duncan; Veronica, in turn, awkwardly introduces Leo to Celeste and Jake. Veronica and Leo then walk back to their table, where they look at their menus...

...and we flash back to the dive bar, except this time, Lianne is outside smoking a cigarette, and it's daytime. She tells Veronica how Celeste came into the room Jake and Lianne were in, screaming at them, and Lianne left, but when she came out of the ladies' room in the hotel lobby, she saw Celeste storming out. Leo interrupts Veronica's reverie to ask if she sees anything she likes, and she answers, "Yes I do." while looking at him. However, she turns her attention to Celeste, and wonders if Celeste had Wiedman take those pictures for an alibi issue, a paternity issue, or both.

At Neptune High the next day, the SAAC members are meeting in a classroom while the Neptune News, which Meg is anchoring, plays in the background. Veronica tries to join them and claims to be proud of Arianna's letter, but Arianna isn't buying the act. Veronica then asks if they did take the parrot, but Arianna claims she doesn't know. As Arianna's fellow SAAC members are about to do damage to Veronica's "fur" jacket (which turns out to be fake fur), Meg's newscast gets interrupted by a hooded man at the Pan High gym who's holding Polly, and who claims he will kill Polly unless Wallace sits out the game.

Later, at lunch, Veronica approaches Weevil and accuses him of stealing Polly. After sarcastically congratulating Veronica for wanting him for his brains, Weevil points out he wouldn't have helped try to get Polly back if he hadn't stolen her, and he has both sides of the line covered besides. In the school hallway, Veronica greets a dejected Wallace, who tells her while his coach and teammates think he should play anyway, he doesn't want to be responsible for Polly's death. Veronica asks if it would cheer him up if she returned the goat, and Wallace admits it would.

Later, Meg is sitting in a classroom at a computer when Veronica comes to ask her about the broadcast being interrupted. Meg points out unless there's breaking news, they record the broadcast the night before, so whoever interrupted it must have done it between then and the broadcast. Meg then notes how awkward things are between the two of them, but she wants them to remain friends; Veronica defensively points out she's not programmed to forgive and forget the people who shunned her for a year, but Meg points out they can be friends outside of that. Veronica hesitantly agrees to that. A little later, they're looking at the ransom broadcast on Meg's computer. Veronica notes the hooded person has disguised themselves well; Meg thinks they can pick up a reflection from the floor, and as she's zooming in on the floor, Veronica notices the number "13" on the man's sneaker. She and Meg smile, and Veronica says she needs a basketball program...

...and later, outside the gym, we hear everyone cheering and getting ready for the game. Clemmons is waiting outside, and we soon see why; Veronica comes in, holding both Polly (in a cage) and the goat (on a leash), while also holding an envelope in her mouth. Some of the Pan High students congratulate "Betty", and when Clemmons asks who that is, Veronica feigns indifference. She gives him the photographs to show the coach, but before she can tell him who took Polly, she sees Richie and his teammates and says she'll explain in a bit. Richie greets her, and Veronica tells him:

Richie, you are a really great guy and if the popular kids at this school were half as nice as you are, Iíd wanna be popular. I know that sounds weird but itís a huge compliment. So good luck tonight. Youíre gonna need it. Wallace Fennel has a killer crossover. But itís really his sweetness and purity of spirit that makes him unbeatable.

Veronica then leaves a befuddled Richie and his teammates and walks over to Neptune's team, who has just walked over on the opposite side of the hallway. Wallace is wearing the jacket indicating he'll be on the bench, but Veronica tells him to suit up. She then accuses Jack - who is ready to start in Wallace's place - of stealing the parrot, pointing out he's number 13 on the team. While Clemmons and the coach look at the photos Veronica took, Veronica goes on to point out if Jack starts, he can control the score of the game, like he did the previous year, which will help him make a killing. Jack accuses Veronica of breaking into his house, but Veronica points out she told his mother she was a cheerleader and needed the parrot for the game. Clemmons hauls Jack away, and the coach tells Wallace to suit up. His teammates cheer, and Wallace thanks Veronica before heading out to the gym. Veronica is about to leave, but muses as much as she hates it all, Wallace deserves his moment in the sun, and she walks into the gym.

The next day, Veronica is in her bedroom. She muses how she's been saving money for college, and it kills Keith not to be able to help her out more in that respect...

...and in one final flashback, we see where that money went to; Veronica used it to enter Lianne in a rehabilitation clinic. Lianne protests she can do this on her own, but Veronica emotionally tells her she wants Lianne to come back home. Lianne agrees, and they hug.

Back in the present, Veronica wipes tears from her eyes, and calls for Keith. Keith notes how Neptune beat Pan High the night before. Veronica asks him not to get mad at whatever she asks, and Keith uncertainly agrees. She then asks why someone would agree to confess to a murder they didn't commit. Keith sighs, but says they'd do it for money, and if they weren't there to spend it, it would go to someone the confessed murderer cared about. After Keith walks out, Veronica theatrically says she knows who Abel Koontz gave his money to. She's wearing an earpiece, and she hears Wiedman ask his secretary for the number for "Amelia DeLongpre". Veronica looks up Amelia on the computer, and discovers she's Koontz's daughter.

This episode contains examples of:

  • All Men Are Perverts: Weevil.
    Veronica: (on the phone with Weevil) Listen, I'm sending you a picture. (Beat) You wish.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Or at least Nadine, the "hoochie" (as Veronica describes her) who vamps her way past Wallace in the hallway, is.
  • Betty and Veronica: Despite using the title, this episode otherwise averts the trope.
  • Brick Joke: Back in the pilot, Wallace claimed underneath Veronica's "angry young woman show, there's a slightly less angry young woman who's just dying to bake me something." Sure enough...
  • Call Back: Jake and Celeste's alibis coming under question, plus, we hear once more the possibility that Jake is Veronica's biological father.
  • Dull Surprise: Weevil's reaction when he finds out Veronica is pretending to be "Betty".
  • Foreshadowing: Amelia DeLongpre
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Weevil, of all people.
    Weevil: (when Wilson denies taking the parrot) Somebody's going to H-E-double hockey sticks.
  • Hand Wave: Some viewers wondered why, if Veronica wanted to find her mother that badly, she just didn't drive to Barstow straight from the dance. Her voiceover attempts to explain why:
    I should have left right from the dance but I didnít want my mother to see me for the first time in a year looking like an extra from Valley Girl It seemed important at the time.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: So Mac is the most popular student at Pan High?
  • Kissing Cousins: When Weevil finds out Wilson took a picture of a parrot in a pet store, he disgustedly tells him, "That's *this* close to taking a hot cousin to your prom!"
  • Lovable Jock: From what we see of him, Richie is one of these.
  • Serious Business: The Neptune High/Pan High rivalry.
  • Shout-Out: Along with the title of the episode, "Betty" mentions she used to go to Riverdale High School.
    • Also, when letting Veronica know Leo has arrived for their date, Keith tries to imitate Humphrey Bogart.
    • When Duncan mention SAAC threw blood on the homecoming queen for wearing fur, Veronica snarks "Bucket of blood? Have we learned nothing from Carrie?"
  • That Came Out Wrong: "Betty" claims at her old high school, she would really get into spirit week:
    "Betty": At my old school, I was Horny. {Curtis nearly does a Spit Take) We were the Rhinos. I was the mascot.
  • You Do Not Want To Know: Wallace tries to use this excuse to keep Veronica from finding out about the goat. Needless to say, it doesn't work.
Veronica Mars S 01 E 15 Ruskie BusinessRecap/Veronica MarsVeronica Mars S 01 E 17 Kanes And Abels

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