Veronica is asked to investigate a break-in at Hearst's Biology Dept. research lab. The computer was fried, and stolen were twenty lab rats and a genetically-modified Capuchin monkey, #25, who is believed to contain important breakthroughs in the fight against cancer. The biology students, Pauline (Linara Washington) and Gil Thomas (Eric Jungmann), suggest she investigate PHAT (P
eople for H
reatment), an animal-rights group who have conducted these sorts of operations before. After checking in with Emi (Brittany Ishibashi), a botanist in another wing of the lab who is contemptuous of the other students, Veronica enlists Mac to fix the computer, as well as provide backup for her undercover work.
Logan happens upon Dick engaging in a daily ritual: taking a Polaroid of his privates and flinging it off the hotel balcony. Logan thinks it's disgusting, but Dick takes the opportunity to encourage Logan to get out and mingle some more; they're both single guys with no one to hold them back, after all. Dick has to promise baby steps, but eventually Logan agrees.
Mindy O'Dell visits Keith's office and begs him to investigate her husband's death. Though the case was resolved six weeks ago
as a suicide, she maintains he would never have done such a thing. She also admits to wanting the Money, Dear Boy
: she has two children to think about, but California life-insurance policies don't pay out for suicides. Keith decides to do some preliminary investigation into the subject, and gets Weevil to let him into the late dean's office. Eli confirms that it looks like a suicide—there was even "Goodbye, cruel world" typed into a notepad file on the computer—but Keith is surprised to discover the 40-year-old bottle of scotch is completely unopened. If Dean O'Dell "lived for" the chance to taste it, why would he have not done so before offing himself?
Veronica and Mac attend a PHAT meeting, hosted by club leader Bronson Pope (Michael Mitchell), and are invited to a letter-writing campaign later. Whilst there, Veronica attempts to make contact with the more radical elements of the club—particularly Darla, who advocated a picket of country-music-star Ed Argent when he hosts a local concert—and is asked to pull some sort of stunt to prove her loyalty. She accomplishes this by asking Piz to bring Ed Argent onto his radio show, after which she, Mac and Parker, posing as Theta Beta sisters, photograph him in a Theta Beta shirt, which actually says "Meat is Murder." When this photo makes the front page of the Hearst Free Press, Veronica and Mac become card-carrying members of PHAT. For Veronica, it's just another job, but Mac is surprised when Bronson begins flirting with her.
Keith discusses the O'Dell investigation with Veronica, who is surprised at the details. She references the "plan a perfect murder" paper Prof. Landry had them compose: hers included the idea that a typed note (no handwriting analysis) with something cliché (she picked "Goodbye cruel world") would be the perfect misdirection.
Mac engineers an excuse to ask Bronson to join her, Parker and Veronica for a night on the town, but is dismayed when a woman answers his door. Parker, with some expeditious questioning, establishes that this is Bronson's sister. However, Mac finds an excuse for Veronica to snoop in Bronson's room, where she finds... twenty lab rats. While Bronson protests his innocence—the rats arrived on his doorstep, and there was no sign of the monkey—Veronica purloins some of the shredded magazine pages the rats were using for bedding. Had the monkey arrived, however, he would have kept him: even if the tests are successful, all #25 has to look forward to is a humane euthanization prior to his autopsy.
Keith tracks down Hank Landry in a bar and sets about questioning him. He leads with a story of how he (Keith) tried to impress someone by using a Molotov cocktail on a woman's stalker—only to miscalculate and blow up his own car. When he asks if Landry has done anything crazy for a woman, though, Landry turns businesslike: he recognizes Keith Mars from the back jacket of his book, and is too experienced a profiler to miss when he's being interrogated. He denies any involvement in Cyrus O'Dell's death, and walks away.
Parker and Mac's hall is hosting an "around the world" party, where each room declares itself a different country and invites people to mingle. Parker has been begging for a chance to get back out in the dating pool—"It's sad when the person most interested in dating is the most recent victim of sexual assault!"—and, with the added impetus of a promise from Bronson to attend, Mac consents. Bronson does
arrive, and Veronica and Parker conspire to leave them the room to themselves; however, when Bronson moves to kiss her, Mac backs away, trauma from her senior year still bogging her down.
Dick takes Logan surfing with Chip Diller; afterwards, they join forces with three lady surfers who are interested in having some fun. When next we see Logan, in his car having just finished doing something
with her. "You're such a bad boy," she giggles, "I never thought I'd do that with the son of Aaron Echolls!" Logan, for his part, looks disgusted.
Veronica visits Pauline and Gil Thomas to ask if #25 really is slated for death (he is) and then checks in with Emi to ask more questions. Emi, for whatever reason, has a squeaky rubber banana at her workstation: she claims she relieved #25 of it after he was making too much noise. Veronica realizes that this is contrary to the lab's established practices; they haven't even named
#25 to avoid personalizing him, why would they give him toys? When the magazine shreddings fit together as pages from a girly mag, Veronica finds her culprit: Gil Thomas, who has bonded with #25 too much to let him die. He stole "Oscar" (as he has now been dubbed) and passed the rats off to Bronson, knowing he would take care of them and
act as a Red Herring
. Veronica, her heart swayed, reports to Pauline and Dr. Mc Gregor
that she was unable to retrieve their property... only to be dismayed when they announce that his replacement, #26, will be here in a week.
Keith agrees to take on Mindy O'Dell's case; when asked why, he replies only, "It was the scotch." Mac rings Bronson's bell again to ask for his company at a movie; and then, screwing up her courage, kisses him. Finally, Veronica, dining alone late at night, sees Piz running his radio show. The two fall into a conversation about life, and Piz's unwillingness to date around. He won't take a cheap substitute merely to have something to hand; he wants the real thing. Something clicks in Veronica's head, and in the next shot we see her knocking at Logan's door. When Piz tries to join Veronica for breakfast the next morning, he finds her and Logan back together.
This episode contains examples of:
- Animal Wrongs Group: alleged about PHAT.
- Call Back: To Logan's dislike of his father.
- Canada, Eh?: The theme Parker and Mac pick for their floor's "Around the World" party, though their attempts at being Canadian basically involve playing the Barenaked Ladies' "One Week" and a picture of a moose. And their accents, eh?
- Expy: PHAT (People for Humane Animal Treatment) is a stand-in for PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals).
- Foreshadowing: Veronica's "perfect murder" paper becomes very important later.
- Fun with Acronyms: PHAT - People for Humane Animal Treatment.
- Hilarity Ensues: Lampshaded:
Mac: just can't wait for that moment when you're in a tree, going, "here, monkey, monkey," and holding out a banana, and then the branch breaks and hilarity ensues.
Veronica: Ah, if there's hilarity, I charge extra.
- Hollywood Law: Contrary to what Mindy says, in California, they do pay insurance for suicides. This is actually the second time the show made this mistake.
- Meaningful Name / Stealth Pun: The guilty party's name is Gil T. Pardy.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Hard-rocking, pro-hunting Ed Argent is a stand-in for Ted Nugent.
- Shipper on Deck: Veronica and Parker are like this with Mac and Bronson.
- Shout-Out: The episode title is a play on the most famous Catch Phrase from Jerry Maguire.
- When Mac first sees the lab after it's been trashed, she says, "All that's missing is a big hole in the wall shaped like the Hulk".
- Veronica: "We're talking monkey, as in..?" Mac: "Touch my".
- When Veronica initially mishears it as "fat kids", she retorts, "'Girth-challenged' is the preferred nomenclature."
- When Mac agrees to accompany Veronica to a PHAT meeting, Veronica says, "All we need is one more angel, and we've got a show".
- Dick wonders if Logan is going to be like the guy in the book whose mom dies and then he comes back to Jersey, leading Logan to point out Garden State wasn't a book. ("Oops, there goes that English paper.") Dick also says about Logan's moping, "What, are we on The View?"
- When Piz hears Veronica's characterization of Ed Argent, he asks, "Everything north of San Francisco is just Thunderdome to you, isn't it?
- At the beach with Logan, Dick says, "Just some dudes, some tasty waves, and some tasty brews. It's all we need".
- Near the end, Mac invites Bronson to see 2001
- Strawman Political: Averted with PHAT - though they applaud Veronica and the others getting a picture of Ed Argent wearing a shirt that says "Meat is Murder", they don't do anything more than that - but arguably played straight with Pauline and her boss.
- You Need to Get Laid: Parker says as much to Veronica and Mac.