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Recap: Veronica Mars S 02 E 16 The Rapes Of Graff
At Neptune High, in English class, Mrs. Murphy (who has been a sometime recurring character since the pilot) tells the students they're entering Woody Goodman's essay contest on freedom. The rest of the class looks at Logan and cheers for him, which he gratefully acknowledges. When he looks at Veronica, however, he sees she's not as enthusiastic. Mrs. Murphy goes on to say the winner will get to be an intern in Woody's office for a week, as well as push the plunger when the old Shark stadium is demolished.

As class lets out, Veronica catches up to Logan, and asks how he's doing. She also wonders how Hannah is doing with the news they're broken up. Logan doesn't say anything, and Veronica figures out he hasn't told her yet. Logan says he doesn't know what to say, and stalks off. Wallace comes up to Veronica and comments at how Logan is like a cat, the way he has nine lives. Veronica snarks how she knows how Logan gets away with it, she just wishes she didn't. Wallace reminds her about the orientation at Hearst College they're both supposed to go to the upcoming weekend, and while Veronica cautions him about his SAT scores being lower than average, Wallace claims his basketball record can be factored in to help him get a scholarship. Veronica also mentions how she'd be more enthusiastic about Hearst if it wasn't in Neptune.

Outside the school, Logan is still being congratulated by the other students. Hannah catches up to him and says she got the janitor to let her into his locker so she could leave him a surprise (though she cautions him it was before she knew the charges were dropped). Logan tells her they can't see each other anymore, says he's not a good guy, and walks away, leaving her crying.

At Hearst College, Veronica and Wallace gather in the quad area with several other students on orientation. Dean (Michael Cera) introduces himself as their tour guide. He tells the students to pair up so they can play a little get-to-know-each-other game, and it has to be someone they don't already know. Wallace sees a cute girl and walks off, leaving Veronica alone, so she partners with Dean. The game is "two truths and a lie" - where the other person has to guess the lie their partner is telling - and Dean and Veronica banter a bit until he sees a kid walking up to join the group. Veronica turns around and sees Troy. When she says his name, Dean assumes they know each other, but Veronica says, "I don't know him at all." When Dean leaves, Troy tells Veronica he's been through therapy, he's quit drugs, and he dumped his old girlfriend, so he's changed. Veronica doesn't really believe him, but when Troy insists he's not lying, she claims she doesn't care. They follow after Dean, along with the rest of the group.

Back at Neptune High, Logan opens his locker and discovers the surprised Hannah left for him; it's a pink cake box with a sign on it that reads, "Just in case". Sure enough, there's a cake in the box with "Get Out of Jail Free" written on it with icing. Logan smiles, but closes the cake box when Dick comes over. Dick wants to know if they're still hanging out that weekend, and Logan says they are. Dick brings up the fact Madison dumped him for an "older guy", and says they should just enjoy themselves.

That night, Veronica and Wallace are both at a college party. Wallace is enjoying himself, but Veronica less so, especially since she's being hit on by an obnoxious frat boy named Drew (Charlie Koznick), who brags about how many "points" she's worth. Deciding she can't take anymore, Veronica asks for his beer, and when he gives it to her, throws it in his face. Not only that, but when Drew grabs another cup to retaliate, Veronica pushes the cup towards him so he spills it onto himself. When Veronica turns to walk away, Drew grabs her arm and is about to threaten her when Troy intervenes. Quickly, the two get into an argument and Drew ends up punching Troy and knocking him down. Veronica helps him up, even though Troy claims he's got it, and Veronica calls him stupid. Stacy (Alia Shawkat), another college student, comes over and asks if Troy's okay and if she can get him a drink. Troy offers her a drink instead, and Stacy says, "So, chivalry isn't dead; just can't fight". They walk off. Wallace joins Veronica and mentions how much he's getting along. He asks if she's okay about Troy, and she assures him she's fine. Dean walks over and greets them, saying how different college parties are from high school parties. Veronica decides she's had enough and she and Wallace leave. They pass by Troy and Stacy, who are kissing each other and heading upstairs, and they pass by Drew, who's trying to hit on another girl. Veronica responds by tasering Drew, forcing him to drop his beer on himself.

The next day, Keith is at the Neptune Grand, on his cellphone, wondering why he's there. He gets out of the elevator, goes to a room, opens it up with a keycard, and discovers Cliff, handcuffed to a bed, and naked except for a blanket covering his private parts. As Keith unhooks the cuffs, Cliff explains he was at an OB-GYN convention (since it's the most sued medical practice), met a woman named "Daphne", they went up to her hotel room, one thing led to another, and when he woke up, he was cuffed to the bed, naked and his briefcase had been stolen (when Keith asks Cliff how he made the phone call, he responds, "Acrobatically").

Back at the Mars Apartment, Veronica, who's still trying to sleep, hears the phone ring, and yells for Keith to answer it. When he doesn't, Veronica heads towards the living room, where Keith has left a note reading, "Gone on puzzling errand". She gets to the phone just as the machine picks up; it's Troy, who wants to know where she is. When Veronica picks up, Troy says he's at the police station...

...and a little later, Veronica finds Troy sitting at a deputy's desk. Veronica asks what's going on, and Troy says Stacy was date-raped. Lamb, who's walking by, mentions her head was shaved and she was roofied as well. Troy swears he didn't do it. A little later, in the corridor, he admits they went to her room, but then she threw up on him and fell asleep, so he cleaned her up (as well as her place), put her in her bed, tucked her in, and washed his clothes to get the vomit stains off. Veronica says with the evidence they have (the washed clothes, plus the hair and fibers he left in her room) that she'll be the one to help nail him to the wall if he's really guilty, but grudgingly agrees to help. She asks if there's anyone else he remembers, and Troy remembers a fraternity kid trying and failing to hit on Stacy.

At Mars Investigations, Keith and Cliff are looking at security footage of Cliff and "Daphne" at the Neptune Grand. Keith says he was able to get footage of the elevator, and while they see the expected of Cliff and "Daphne" making out, they also see Lamb talking to her on the elevator. They also see Lamb making out with a young woman in the elevator as well. Cliff mentions Logan's murder case files are in the case, which puzzles him, since the case is over. Veronica comes into the office, looking for an address, but stops when she sees Lamb, and she recognizes Madison Sinclair as the student he's kissing.

At the Pi Sigma Sigma frat house, Veronica surveys the damage, and sees pictures of both Drew and of Gordon Peters (Kip Martin), the guy Troy described. Chip Diller (David Tom), one of the frat members, greets Veronica and apologizes for not letting her go further, but the house is members only unless by invitation. Veronica asks about Gordon, and Chip explains he's in the hospital after drinking 18 shots of vodka, but Veronica can leave a message for him.

In the quad area, Dean has the other orientation students with him. Veronica sees Troy sitting to the side. She walks over to him and tells him about Gordon. We see a few female students giving him dirty looks as Troy tells Veronica he left his name and number on Stacy's message board on her door.

Meanwhile, at the Neptune Grand, Dick and Logan are playing a video game, but while Dick is having fun, Logan isn't. They pause after Dick wins, and as they get another beer from the fridge, Dick notices the cake box. He tries cutting the cake, but notices a nail file in it. Logan smiles at the joke and says they should get back to partying.

Veronica goes to Stacy's door and sees what looks like a name and phone number, but it's been partially wiped off, and "CCC" is written under it and circled. Stacy opens the door wearing a hat, and Veronica starts to leave before turning around and mentioning she was at the party. Stacy assumes Veronica's dropping off pamphlets, but Veronica, after pausing, tells Stacy, "A pamphlet’s not gonna cover it. It’s just gonna suck. And then it’ll suck less". Stacy wants to know if they caught the guy who did it; Veronica, guessing she means Troy, says she doesn't know, and that it's complicated. Stacy says she wants biblical justice, and takes off her hat, revealing her head has been shaved. Veronica walks up to her, and then they notice a box next to Stacy's door. When they open it, it contains hair, and they're both repulsed, but Stacy is also puzzled, as it isn't hers. Another girl comes up to Stacy and tells her not to trust Veronica, as she was with Troy and is trying to prove his innocence.

Veronica goes to a wig shop and muses Stacy might not have been the first victim. She asks the proprietor if anyone whose head was shaved had asked for a wig within the last couple of months. The proprietor assumes it's because of chemo (which Veronica doesn't correct her on), and says there was someone a month ago, but balks at looking through the sales records when Veronica asks for a name. In an increasingly teary voice, Veronica responds:

The proprietor is ready to give up the name until Veronica's last sentence, at which point she closes the record book and informs Veronica the girl in question was Hawaiian. Veronica is thrown for a second but recovers and leaves.

Veronica goes to Dean's room and asks where she can find Hawaiian students at Hearst. He tells her the Pacific Island students have a lunch group on weekends. As Veronica's about to leave, she notices "CL" written on somebody's door, and Dean explains it's the Roman numeral for 150. He brings up Pi Sigma Sigma's points thing, says they have a board in their basement keeping track, and that the losers get their heads shaved. Veronica thanks Dean and pulls out her cell phone.

At the sheriff's department, Keith and Cliff show Lamb a picture of the woman Cliff was with. Lamb denies knowing her, even when they show him a picture with her, but stops short when they also show him a picture of him making out with Madison. Lamb says they can't do anything to him because Madison's 18, and therefore legal; a campaign flier of Lamb kissing Madison with the caption, "18 - It's Legal: Re-elect Don Lamb". Deflated, Lamb admits the woman is a prostitute who goes under the name Sugar Jones. As Keith and Cliff leave, Cliff admits, "I'd vote for you".

Back at Pi Sigma Sigma, Drew (the one who tried to hit on Veronica at the party) is giving Wallace a tour. As they head towards the kitchen, Wallace subtly opens a back window, and as soon as they leave, Veronica sneaks in through the window. She heads down to the basement and finds the board. She takes pictures of the board and discovers, to her displeasure, her picture is on there, as someone "Bird Dawg" (the board has nicknames, not names) "scored". Just then, Gordon appears, yelling at Veronica and wondering what she's doing there. Chip joins them, and tells Veronica to leave. Veronica wants to know who got points for raping Stacy, which they deny (Gordon does admit trying to come on to her, but that she blew him off for Troy). Veronica also says "Bird Dawg", or Drew, didn't "score" anything in regards to her, just as Drew heads downstairs to show her out.

An an outdoor lunch area, Veronica finds the Pacific Islander kids, and approaches one with pink hair. Veronica asks the girl where she got her wig, and offended, the girl says it's her real hair. However, Dawn (Cristina Balmores), another girl at the table, tells Veronica about a wig store on Pacific. A little later, Dawn leaves the group when Veronica approaches her and tells her about Stacy.

In a lecture room, Stacy approaches Dean Harlow (Rosina Reynolds) because she got a message from her about her case. Harlow says she didn't leave any message, which is Veronica's cue to walk in with Dawn and admit she left the message. Stacy is skeptical of Veronica until Dawn pulls off her wig to reveal a shaved head and Veronica gently points out Dawn had the same thing happen to her, and Troy wasn't in the country when it happened. Veronica also tells Stacy Gordon was the one who left the box of hair; he got his head shaved because he struck out with her, and that was his way of getting revenge. Finally, Veronica shows the dean the pictures she took of the Pi Sigma Sigma basement.

Back in the quad area, Dean says goodbye to the group. Wallace gets Veronica to admit Hearst is maybe half-good. Troy walks up and thanks Veronica for proving his innocence. He says goodbye to Wallace and walks off. Dean approaches them and tells them the Pi Sigs are on probation for a semester (no parties, mixers of sports) because of Veronica's photos, and Wallace says she'll feel right at home at Hearst because she's already made enemies, which makes her smile.

Stacy stops by Pi Sigma Sigma, and offers Gordon his hair back. Gordon doesn't want it, so Stacy throws it towards the ceiling fan and it scatters all over the floor.

Back at Neptune High, Hannah has just finished working out with the track team when she spots Logan in the parking lot. She ignores him until Logan tells her he stopped seeing her because her dad dropped his testimony. Hannah correctly guesses Logan only asked her out in the first place to get her dad to do that, and Logan admits it, but says he also hopes Hannah can forgive him. She does, and they walk off together.

Back at the Mars apartment, Keith is surprised to see Veronica back so early, and a little too eager to get her out. We soon find out why; Sugar Jones (Angelica Bridges) has shown up. Veronica sardonically excuses herself, and Sugar assumes she's there for business until Cliff shows up. Busted, Sugar admits someone paid her triple rate to steal Cliff's briefcase, but she doesn't know who it was.

In Logan's hotel suite, while Teagan and Sara's "I Know I Know I Know" plays in the background, he and Hannah are having sex when Dr. Griffith bursts in with a security guard, grabs Hannah and tells her to leave. He also says he thought he and Logan had a deal, but Logan points out "had a deal", but there's nothing he can do to stop Logan from seeing her. Griffith says they'll see about that, and drags Hannah out.

Back at the Mars apartment, Keith brings up the good parts about Hearst, but Veronica reminds him she wants to go far away. She picks up a pile of schoolwork, notices the flier for Woody's competition essay, and asks Keith about plastic explosives. Keith says they can be used for, among other things, demolition, which perks up Veronica's interest.

The next day, in the Neptune High lunch area, Wallace reads a letter that says he's qualified for the scholarship to go to Hearst, and Veronica congratulates him. Meanwhile, Logan goes over to one of Hannah's friends, who tells him Hannah has been sent to Vermont to boarding school.

Later, at the old Shark Stadium, Veronica, wearing a hard hat, is pretending to be writing a story on the demolition for the school paper, and is interviewing the foreman, who tells her they're using C-4 to destroy the stadium. Veronica muses it's the same stuff she found in Terrence's locker. The foreman calls out to someone to move a crate, and Veronica sees it's Danny Boyd, and wonders if the Fitzpatricks framed Terrence, or even crashed the bus themselves.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Subverted, Troy is played by Aaron Ashmore, who also plays Iceman on the X-Men movies, and one of the fratboys' nickname is "Ice-man", but he has no relation with Troy.
  • Buffy Speak: Veronica says Troy is just "water under the bridge - duplicitous, evil water."
  • Call Back: The dynamite, and Madison implying she was only into older men.
  • Casting Gag: Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat in the same episode. Which could have gotten pretty dark; see What Could Have Been below.
  • Dawson Casting: One of the weirdest inversions ever; Kristen Bell (Veronica), Percy Daggs (Wallace) and Aaron Ashmore (Troy) were all in their mid-to-late 20's playing high school students, while Michael Cera (Dean) and Alia Shawkat (Stacy) were in their teens and playing college students.
  • Foreshadowing: Obviously, the rapes at Hearst College, but also the contest to blow up the old Shark Stadium.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: As Keith watches the tape of Cliff nuzzling the prostitute in the elevator, he says, "Is that what the kids call 'motorboating'?"
  • Insistent Terminology: When Troy calls Veronica a real friend after proving him innocent, Veronica corrects him, "An acquaintance with reservations." Also:
    Veronica: Dad, your hooker's here.
    Keith: Escort, honey.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the wig shop, as she's about to ask the proprietor for information, Veronica says in voiceover, "Time for me to clinch that Emmy nomination." Many people were upset both Kristen Bell and the show in general were completely ignored by the Emmys.
  • Literary Allusion Title: The episode title is a takeoff on The Grapes of Wrath.
  • Pac Man Fever: Dick continues pushing buttons during a Mortal Kombat fatality.
  • Shout-Out: Veronica dumping beer on Gordon twice in one scene is taken from a scene in The Office (UK).
  • Wacky Fratboy Hijinx: The "points" game.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When she's playing the "two truths and a lie" game with Dean, Veronica claims, "I once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die".
  • What Could Have Been: If Michael Cera had been able to come back to the show in Season 3, Dean would have been one of the two rapists.
Veronica Mars S 02 E 15 The Quick And The WedRecap/Veronica MarsVeronica Mars S 02 E 17 Plan B

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