Nighttime in front of the Mars apartment. Veronica and Leo are kissing each other by her front door. He asks to sleepover, but Veronica says while Keith does like him, it's not enough so she can invite him in like that. They say goodbye to each other, Leo leaves, and Veronica goes into the apartment. Once inside, she finds her father looking in the refrigerator, and calls him on it. Keith tells her they need to talk; while he's tried to respect Veronica's feelings about him dating, it's been over a year since Lianne left, and he thinks he's met someone. Turns out it's Alicia, and both Veronica and Wallace (as we see the tale end of Alicia's conversation with him) are shocked.
At lunch outside school the next day, Veronica and Wallace share an uncomfortable silence. Veronica tries to joke about how she always wanted a brother to dress up, but Wallace doesn't find it funny, and leaves, with Veronica giving him a sad look. She looks down at their table and notices someone has written "Killem All
.Net" on it.
Later, she's in journalism class, where Miss Dent
has been replaced by Ms. Stafford (Joey Lauren Adams), the former pep squad adviser, who is full of pep. She shoots down Duncan's idea of a story on high school Oxycontin use, insisting on more upbeat stories such as writing about the school janitors, or Madame Rousseau, the French teacher who's been teaching for 40 years. Veronica, Duncan and Logan roll their eyes at each other, but before they can say anything, the fire alarm sounds, and an irritated Duncan notes it's the third drill they've had that week. Ms. Stafford asks the students to line up and walk out, and they do so. In the hallway, Ms. Stafford asks Veronica to write a story about the fire drills, and Veronica unenthusiastically says she'll get on it. She walks by Duncan, and they both wonder why Miss Dent had to get pregnant and be forced to drop teaching
Later, inside Clemmons' office, Veronica is asking him about the fire drills. He claims the school is merely following district policy, and if it seems like a lot of drills, it's only because the school is running behind. Veronica isn't convinced, but Clemmons refuses to say anything else. Back inside journalism class, Veronica asks Ms. Stafford who knows the official district policy; Ms. Stafford gives her the phone number of Ellen Roush, the assistant superintendent. Miss Roush, who has a very raspy voice, confirms to Veronica when she calls that the district policy on fire drills is only once a semester.
A little later, in the hallway, Veronica walks past Corny
, who is staring at his locker as if he forgot why he was there. He invites her to cut school with him, but she declines. Just then, a security guard with a police dog comes into the school, and Corny, panicked, shoves a bag of marijuana into his pants. Except neither that guard nor two other guards with dogs are interested in Corny, and Veronica, intrigued, snaps pictures of them.
Back in Clemmons' office, Clemmons' secretary tells him "Ellen Roush" is on the phone. "Miss Roush" tells Clemmons a "pushy young woman" called, asking about the school fire drill policy. Clemmons sighs and calls Veronica a headache, but he admits the reason why he's called so many fire drills is Neptune High has been receiving bomb threats, and he's brought in the bomb squad to be on the safe side. Cut to "Miss Roush", who is, of course, Veronica, looking troubled.
That night, we see Ms. Stafford holding up a proof of the paper's front page, which is a story on the bomb threats, and includes the pictures Veronica took. Veronica and Duncan are there as well, and when Veronica confirms the story is accurate, and Duncan says the story is what the paper is for, Ms. Stafford agrees to run it.
The next day, Veronica walks past students reading the paper and freaking out over the bomb threat story. She also sees "Killem All
.Net" written on one of the lockers. Wallace catches up to her, telling her parents have been calling the school non-stop, and that Clemmons wants to see her; Veronica smiles at that.
Inside Clemmons' office, he's reading Veronica and Ms. Stafford the riot act for publishing the story. He tells Ms. Stafford to protect the student body instead and do more positive stories, and then he asks Veronica who her "highly place source within the administration" was. Veronica admits it was him, and when Clemmons denies it, shows off her vocal skills again by imitating "Miss Roush". Pressing her advantage, Veronica tries to ask who's making the threats, but Clemmons tells her she's lucky she's not suspended, and again tells Ms. Stafford not to run any more stories of this type anymore.
Inside an English class, Mrs. Murphy, the teacher, asks the class about The Brothers Karamazov
. She calls on Ben (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), who claims he's waiting for the movie to come out, and furthermore says he has no use for the class. He's dressed in a camouflage outfit, and smiles at Norris (Theo Rossi), who's sitting next to him, and is dressed in a similar outfit.
That night, at the Mars apartment, Alicia and Keith are cuddling together and watching an old Ronald Reagan
movie on TV. Veronica walks by them, and goes to her bedroom, where Wallace is. He asks if she thinks the relationship is serious. Veronica says this will only last until Lianne gets out of rehab and comes home. Wallace may not be comfortable with Alicia dating Keith, but he's more upset over the idea of Keith treating her like a placeholder, and tells Veronica Alicia hasn't found a decent guy since his father died. Veronica asks him not to tell Alicia, and Wallace snaps he's tired of doing favors for Veronica. He storms out, and tells Alicia they need to get going. She and Keith are startled, but they get up and Alicia leaves. Outside, she asks Wallace if there's anything wrong between him and Veronica, but he denies it. Wallace then tries to tell Alicia what Veronica said, but she doesn't want to hear it, and insists that Wallace respect her wishes about that and her relationship with Keith.
The next day, Veronica is walking down the hall when she overhears Mac in an argument with Pete (Michael McMillian) about computer software. Veronica interrupts, and asks Mac to take a look at her laptop, and Mac agrees. She takes off, and Pete takes that opportunity to tell Veronica he saw Ben and Norris throwing exploding tennis balls at cats a few days ago. Veronica looks thoughtful.
A little later, in the hallway, Veronica comes up to Wallace, and asks if they're really best friends, as he said. He doesn't come out and say so, but they smile at each other. Wallace's smile disappears, however, when Veronica sees Ben and Norris walk by and she asks Wallace to find out information on the former; he calls Veronica "unbelievable". Veronica admits she thinks Ben may be behind the bomb threats, and Wallace tells her to check on Norris instead, as he was wearing a "Kill Em All" t-shirt to school until Clemmons caught him.
In a classroom later, Veronica looks up "Killem All
.Net" on the computer, and discovers a countdown clock that is now at 46 hours and 15 minutes.
At lunch, Veronica is sitting alone while Wallace is with his basketball teammates. Meg drags an very reluctant Duncan over to sit with Veronica. Meg asks Veronica about the bomb threats, and then about any case she might be working on. Veronica tells her of course the cases are confidential, but seeing how upset Duncan is, decides to throw Meg a bone. Without giving names, Veronica mentions an entertainment lawyer who skipped out on paying alimony and child support to his ex-wife by hoarding his cash, getting a pre-paid cellphone, paying for a rental car, driving down to Mexico, and even buying an old passport on e-Bay
. Duncan can take no more and leaves. Meg tells Veronica he's been acting like that all day.
Veronica glances over at Ben and Norris, and muses how they look the type to blow up a school, and Norris is certainly a bully, but Veronica has seen another side. We briefly cut to a flashback, when Veronica had just become an outcast to the other students
. Some of those students spit at her with spitballs through their drink straws, and Norris responded by taking the straw from one of them and spitting in the student's face. He then smiled at Veronica, who smiled back. Back in the present, Veronica approaches the two, pretending to interview them for the paper about who they'd want to share their bomb shelter with if WWIII hit. Ben says no one, while Norris opts for Bruce Lee
, Joe Strummer
and Sam Kinison, even though they're all dead. Veronica takes the hint and leaves.
In the hallway, Wallace asks why Veronica wasn't sitting with him; Veronica responds she thought Wallace was trying to make a point. He tells her Ben doesn't have a file - they both agree that's weird - but gives Veronica Norris' file. Veronica sees Norris had several suspensions for bullying in middle school, but nothing since; Wallace speculates he might be planning something big. Veronica sincerely thanks Wallace, and calls him her best friend, and Wallace tells her he's glad Lianne has gone into rehab
Veronica goes into journalism class, where Duncan is. He confronts her about her investigation into Lily's death. Veronica admits she has a file on Duncan - along with everyone else connected to the murder - and that she knows about Duncan's epilepsy. Duncan gets angry about Veronica poking her nose into the murder, even though Veronica counters she's doing it because Lily was her best friend, and points out Abel Koontz confessed and is in jail. Veronica counters that Koontz was paid to confess, and Duncan goes ballistic when he realizes Veronica is implying (a) Jake must have paid Koontz off, and (b) Jake might be covering for Duncan. Veronica asks if Duncan remembers anything of what happened that day, and Duncan yells at her, wondering if she's afraid he'll kill her too. They stare at each other, and he eventually storms off.
In the lunch area, Veronica overhears Ben and Norris having a fight, with Ben trying to get Norris to talk about death, heavy metal music and bombs, and Norris warning Ben he won't hang out with Ben anymore if he keeps doing that. Ben storms off, and Veronica decides to take her mind off of Duncan by following Ben. Ben gets into his car and drives off, and Veronica does the same. She sees Ben stopping at the Camelot Motel, where he's apparently staying, and then going to a garden store to buy fertilizer. As Veronica is snapping pictures of Ben loading the fertilizer in his trunk - and of the rifle in the trunk - Logan calls her. He admits telling Duncan about her investigation into Lily's death. As Veronica is telling him about Duncan's reaction, Ben opens the passenger door of her car and orders her to drive. Veronica is startled enough to drop her phone, and by the gun in Ben's belt, but is composed enough to yell out, "What do you think you're doing?" so that Logan will hear. While driving, she also is able to guess Ben is taking her back to the Camelot.
At the motel, Ben is leading Veronica up the steps to her room, telling her he wants to show her something, and warns her how much she's screwing things up. Just then, Logan appears out of nowhere and punches Ben. As they struggle, Ben's wallet comes loose, and Veronica calls off Duncan when the wallet reveals Ben is an ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) agent.
Inside Ben's room, Ben tells Veronica he needs to speak with her alone, and Veronica convinces a reluctant Logan to stand outside the room with the door open. Ben tells Veronica about Norris' website and how it contained "red-flag" words (among them retribution, bomb and arsenal), which made him convinced Norris was leading a group of like-minded students to plan an attack, which the countdown clock on the website was indicating. Veronica asks why Ben hasn't brought Norris in yet, and brings up the cat-killing; Ben doesn't know about the cat-killing (though he says it's typical of sociopaths), but tells her they can only hold Norris for 48 hours because they don't have enough evidence to charge him. He asks Veronica to help, because he's apparently spooked Norris, but Norris likes Veronica, so she can get close to him. Ben suggests she asks about Norris' weapons collection.
When Veronica leaves the room, Logan asks if she's okay, and she says yes. She then leans up and kisses Logan briefly on the side of his mouth. They look at each other, and Veronica looks shocked at what she's done. She turns to leave, but Logan pulls her back, and they embrace each other and kiss passionately
. Eventually, they break it off, they give each other a long look, and then Veronica breaks away and walks down to her car. Once there, she gives Logan one last look (he's been staring at her intently the entire time) before driving off.
At Norris' house, Veronica pretends to be helping Keith on a case, and brings along a photo album of weapons. Norris unlocks his bedroom door ("My parents are a little nosy") and invites her in. As expected, the room is filled with weapons. As Veronica looks around, Norris looks the weapons up on his computer. Veronica notices he has a wireless computer, and Norris explains since his father is a programmer at Kane Software, they get all sorts of cool stuff, including Wi-Fi. He points to a picture in the album and says he has a replica of the weapon somewhere in his room. Veronica volunteers to look for it, but all she can find is a gun fetish magazine, and Norris assures her he'll look later. Veronica muses Norris might keep other weapons in the garage, and wonders how she can get inside there. She picks up a throwing star, and Norris offers her a chance to test it out on a target in the garage...
...and as we cut to the garage, Veronica is throwing the star and imagining Vice-Principal Clemmons as the target. Norris says he'll let Veronica try a real one - this star was rubber - next time she comes by. She wonders where to put the star, to give her an excuse to look around, but Norris says he'll take it. He tells her about a trip to Japan his father will let him take if his grades are good enough, and he invites Veronica to a Kurosawa
film festival that weekend, just as friends. Veronica smiles and accepts.
In her car, which is still parked outside Norris' house, Veronica notes the photo album ruse was a bust, but she is able to access Norris' wireless system from her laptop. She then calls Mac, who's still at school, and asks her if someone who was planning something horrible for Friday would ask someone out that weekend. As Mac snarks she only gets dates like that, Veronica notices Pete going into the house next to Norris. Pete sees Veronica and waves at her; Veronica waves back, but looks troubled.
That night, at her apartment, Veronica looks at school records. She calls Norris, and when he doesn't answer, leaves him a message urging him to contact her.
At school the next day, Norris greets Veronica in the parking lot, and apologizes for not getting back to her. Veronica tells Norris Ben isn't who he says he is and suspects him of the bomb threats. Just then, Ben and several other agents surround Norris and take him into custody. Ben opens the trunk of Norris' car and finds fertilizer and the rifle. Norris denies knowing anything about that, and Veronica claims Norris was set up, but Ben is having none of it, and leads Norris away. As Norris continues to protest his innocence, Veronica takes pictures of the scene.
In journalism class, Veronica looks at the pictures, and realizes Ben used her and planted the fertilizer and gun in Norris' trunk. She calls up Pete, and tells him the newspaper is doing a story on how Pete framed Norris for plotting to blow up the school, even though there was no actual bomb, and he also hacked into Norris' computer to create the website. Pete tries to deny it at first, but Veronica points out how Ben also made up the story about cat killing, and he did it all to gain revenge on Norris for bullying him. Pete, busted, clarifies Norris took his lunch money every day in school for two years, until Pete's dad told him to fight back. When Pete did, Norris sent him to the hospital, and his father basically disowned him after that. He hangs up and Veronica looks sad.
Just then, Meg comes in, and tells Veronica Duncan has gone missing. She and Duncan's parents think he's run away, because he withdrew $10,000 from his bank account. Veronica tells Meg she doesn't know what could have caused Duncan to run
Later that night, in journalism class, Veronica shows Ms. Stafford the story. She offers to take it somewhere else so Ms. Stafford won't get into trouble, but she replies, "What fun would that be?
The next day, Wallace is reading Veronica's article. Wallace worries he'll be exposed as the one who gave Veronica the records, but Veronica, in her usual joking manner, assures him that won't be the case. Walking into journalism class, she sees Logan, and they look at each other for a second, until Logan looks away. Ms. Stafford comes in then and tells the class Norris has been released thanks to the article. She also says, however, it's her last day teaching, as she's been asked to leave. She tells everybody to work together. When Ms. Stafford leaves, we hear Veronica order the other students around, and Ms. Stafford laughs.
This episode contains examples of:
- Anti-Villain: Pete.
- Big Damn Kiss: The one that left hundreds of Logan/Veronica shippers across the country squeeing in delight.
- Brief Accent Imitation: In addition to Veronica's imitation of Ellen Roush, she also imitates a southern belle early in the episode.
- Call Back: Duncan's medical condition, the Camelot Motel, and Veronica's investigative files. Also, Keith and Alicia's relationship.
- Camp Straight: Logan, what with the perfect cheerleader imitation he does when the fire drill occurs.
- Foreshadowing: Duncan's disappearance, as well as the story Veronica tells about the entertainment lawyer, both become important later.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: So Alyssa Jones became a teacher? And Randy Taylor is an undercover ATF agent?
- Jump Cut: Used very well to show Veronica's reaction when she finds out Keith and Alicia are dating.
- Pet the Dog: Norris confronting the people harassing Veronica in the flashback. It's why Veronica doesn't view Norris as suspiciously as most people do.
- Saw "Star Wars" Twenty-Seven Times: Norris mentions how he's seen Braveheart 50 times.
- Shout-Out: In addition to the ones listed above, there are a number of others:
- Veronica jokes to Wallace that when she saw their parents on the couch that Keith had made a hole in the bottom of his popcorn box. Needless to say, Wallace doesn't think that's very funny.
- When Veronica is looking at Norris' weapons, she calls one of them very Braveheart. Norris is pleased, as it's a replica of one of the weapons in the movie.
- When Veronica is able to hack into Norris' computer, she imitates Mr. Burns saying "Excellent!"
- Mac asks Veronica what Veronica would do without her, and Veronica says it was like the first 10 minutes of 2001.
- Unintentional Period Piece: Let the show tell you about the wonders of this mysterious new technology known as wifi!
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Cruelly subverted in Pete's case.