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Recap / Veronica Mars S 02 E 13 Aint No Magic Mountain High Enough

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Neptune High. Inside health class, students are preparing banners for Winter Carnival, including Madison Sinclair and J.B. (Jake Sandvig), while Corny and Weevil look on. Veronica comes in and asks Ms. Hauser for decorations for the FBLA booth. Ms. Hauser asks J.B. to get them; J.B. snarks that Veronica is his "nemesis", but goes to get them anyway. Ms. Hauser then tells Corny and Weevil to pay attention as their test the following week is worth 30% of their grade; Weevil points out she doesn't have any problem with Madison talking aloud in class and paying more attention to the decorations than the class. Ms. Hauser tries pointing out the carnival is raising money for the senior trip, but Weevil would rather go to Magic Mountain, even though Madison insists she's not going to watch him get sick on her. J.B. comes back with the decorations, but warns Veronica he's only three one-thousandths of a point behind her in the race for the Kane Scholarship. Veronica looks unimpressed. She goes on to sarcastically congratulate Madison on all of the glitter she's put on her poster.


In the school parking lot, Jackie is getting heckled and booed by other students, including Dick, who smarms Terrence Cook's autograph is up there with OJ Simpson's. Cora catches up to Jackie and asks how she is. Jackie pretends everything is fine. Cora says Jackie doesn't have to participate in winter carnival, but Jackie reminds her French Club, to which she belongs, signed up. Madison overhears, and tells Jackie she'll ruin everything by showing up. Jackie, sarcastic but also resigned, says that's her plan.

Meanwhile, at Mars Investigations, Keith is talking with a client, and says he's waiting for a fax pertaining to their case. He hears the fax machine and goes to the lobby of his office to collect it. When he turns around, Keith sees Terrence Cook standing there. Terrence would like to talk without an appointment, and Keith is more than happy to do so once he finishes with his client.


Outside Neptune High, the winter carnival is in full swing, with Madison and the cheerleaders serving pies, younger kids playing in a ball pit, and Veronica trying to sell slushies. Logan comes by to order one. Veronica snarks they're out of liquid evil, so Logan settles for "two of whatever will make my tongue turn blue". As we hear Madison continue to pitch her booth, Logan snarks how people love "pep squad pie", and hands Veronica a $50 bill. She makes change, and he leaves.

At another part of the carnival, Weevil is with his niece Ophelia. She asks for a bunch of balloons, and while he jokes about how she's going to ask for food instead later, he happily buys her the balloons. Thumper passes by and thumps one of the balloons. As he continues to walk, we see Dick and Logan at a shooting gallery. Dick is in a good mood until he sees Cassidy with Mac holding hands. Logan smiles.


Back at the slushie booth, Veronica is trying to fix the machine with a screwdriver when Jackie comes by. Though she's still trying to keep up a brave front, she confides to Veronica how much the school sucks, and Veronica agrees. Ms. Hauser comes by and collects money from Madison, and Veronica tries to get her money ready as well. J.B. comes up and asks to borrow Ms. Hauser's keys to fix a sign, and she gladly hands them over. Just as Veronica hands her cash over, a group of Triton initiates run through the carnival, naked. Ms. Hauser looks at them in disgust, hands Veronica the cashbox for safekeeping, and goes to find Clemmons. Wallace and Jane come up, and Wallace complains about having to witness the naked guys. Ms. Hauser comes back asking for the cashbox back; Veronica goes to the cupboard where she put it, but it's gone. Ms. Hauser is outraged that Veronica has lost the senior trip money; Veronica tries to make a joke, but neither Ms. Hauser nor Clemmons are amused.

Ms. Hauser, of course, assumes Veronica stole the money, but Veronica points out there's no place she could have hidden the cashbox. She also says Clemmons should have the metal detectors in school moved to the exit of the carnival. Clemmons agrees, and says he already locked the janitor closet and the shops, and is authorizing locker searches. Madison walks over and accuses Jackie, bringing up her plan to "ruin everything". Ms. Hauser bluntly tells Jackie that being Terrence's daughter doesn't excuse her for her actions. Jackie looks at Veronica.

Over at the Leap Frog booth, Logan is attempting to catapult one of the frogs into the lily pad. Hannah (Jessy Schram), who's manning the booth with two other girls, mocks Logan's technique. She decides to show him how it's done. Logan pretends Hannah hit his hand, and jokes how he can't believe she fell for it. They flirt as he manages to win a prize of a pink rabbit, and gives it to Hannah. He walks off, and she smiles after him.

Meanwhile, Veronica has left the slushy booth and finds Weevil with his niece. Veronica notices Ophelia's backpack, and Weevil rightly guesses Veronica wants to search it for the cashbox. Veronica does so, but doesn't find anything, and Weevil disgustedly tells her to get better suspects than a six year old.

Back at Mars Investigations, Terrence tells Keith he thinks Lamb is making him a suspect out of revenge because Terrence has been publicly supporting Woody Goodman's incorporation plan, which will make Lamb nothing more than a glorified traffic cop. Terrence also says Lamb found cell phone and baseball fragments embedded in the bus driver's body, and thinks Terrence set off the bomb via cell phone. He wants Keith to prove he didn't do it.

Back at the winter carnival, Cassidy and Mac are manning the slushy booth. Cassidy is trying to fix the machine. Veronica says he needs a screwdriver, but Cassidy mentions he lent the screwdriver to Jackie. Veronica sees Jackie going into the school and follows her.

In the hallway, Veronica hears scraping coming from the girls bathroom and sighs. She goes into the bathroom and finds Jackie, who claims she's changing into her bathing suit. When Jackie comes out of the stall, Veronica discovers Jackie had been using the screwdriver to black out graffiti that had been written on it: "Jackie Cook is a........" Veronica apologizes for her suspicions, and Jackie says she knows. Veronica wants to know why Jackie is in a bathing suit, and Jackie mentions before Terrence was accused, she signed up for the dunk tank, and after Terrence was accused, people made sure she won the contest (putting money in to see who gets dunked). Veronica sighs and says Jackie has nothing to prove, but Jackie points out Veronica acted the same way when her dad was an outcast, and leaves.

At the dunk tank, Cora sincerely asks if Jackie is ready for this. Jackie smiles and says she's not ready, but she's taking one for the team. She settles into the dunk tank, and a baseball player whose friend was on the bus throws a ball and hits the target, sending Jackie into the tank. As he taunts her, the crowd cheers on, except for Veronica.

Back at Mars Investigations, Keith offers Terrence a beer because he says it's been his fantasy to share a beer with Terrence. He adds that he's followed Terrence's career since he was in the minors, and he also wants to play catch with him later. Terrence is flattered, but less so when Keith brings up the picture of Terrence and Ms. Dumass. Keith warns Terrence he's not going to take the case unless Terrence tells him the truth.

Back at the winter carnival, Jackie is thoroughly soaked. Wallace and Jane are next in line; Cora is surprised, while Jackie drops her brave front and looks miserable. Wallace makes a big show of winding up, but throws the ball over the top of the booth into the parking lot. Wallace claims he'll do better next time, but does the same thing. The crowd boos him, and the teacher won't give him another ball, but Jane smiles at him, and so do Cora and Jackie. Wallace sarcastically tells the crowd how cool they are before walking off.

Cassidy and Mac walk by, and Mac jokes about how he seems to be in a contest with the other couples as to who can hold hands the longest. Cassidy says he just doesn't want to lose Mac. Just then, Dick and a few of his friends come by, and Dick starts acting obnoxious about Cassidy and Mac getting together. Cassidy, disgusted, storms off, and Mac follows.

Elsewhere, Hannah is buying cotton candy for herself when Logan shows up. He says he's appointed himself her "protector", and amused, she says she can take care of herself. Logan helps himself to the cotton candy, and she calls him "dude", which amuses him, and he decides he's going to call her "princess". He invites her over to the slushy booth, and the two of them walk off as her friends giggle behind them.

Back at the dunk tank, Jackie is freezing now, and Madison is up to throw the ball. She misses on her first try, but walks up to the target and pushes it, sending Jackie into the tank.

Veronica hears screams from the ball pit; it's Thumper, complaining he wants to play in the pit. Veronica gets an idea and tells Clemmons to empty the pit, as the cashbox might be there. Unfortunately, when he does so, the cashbox is nowhere to be found, and Ms. Hauser bitches Clemmons shouldn't be listening to students. One of the students comes up to Clemmons and tells him she's been filming the carnival for the video yearbook, and has something to show them.

That evening, inside Clemmons' office, Clemmons and Ms. Hauser have gathered Veronica, Jackie, Madison, J.B., Weevil and Ophelia because they were near the cashbox when the streakers ran by. Veronica brings up the fact she got a $50 bill with "Nancy" written on it, along with a phone number. Veronica then asks to see the video. A little later, they're all watching, and Ms. Hauser accuses Jackie when she sees something hidden under her jacket. Jackie points out it's her gym bag so she could change for the dunk tank, but Ms. Hauser is undeterred, calling Jackie "trash".

Outside, Logan and Hannah are at the bounce house, continuing to flirt. Dick is back at the slushy booth, while Madison is standing nearby, and Dick snarks again about Cassidy and Mac, who are on Mac's laptop as they look up exotic websites.

Back at Mars Investigations, Terrence admits he was involved with Ms. Dumass, but when he broke it off, she ruined his wedding. Keith points out that's enough motivation to want to kill her.

Back at the winter carnival, Veronica asks Weevil about the time he and Logan put their teacher's car around the flagpole, and wonders how they got the tools for that. Weevil tells Veronica the shop teacher gave everyone a set of extra keys, and storms off.

A little later, Clemmons is opening the lockers in autoshop by using bolt cutters. After opening a few and finding nothing, he finds one with a wad of bills wrapped in a rubber band, and the $50 bill Veronica mentioned is among them. Turns out it's Thumper's locker. Clemmons also finds a paddle with what looks like license plate numbers engraved on it. Veronica tries to take it, but Clemmons takes it.

Outside at the carnival, Thumper is horsing around until he sees Clemmons and the school security guards.

In Clemmons' office, Veronica muses while Clemmons might have taken her keys, she had copies made. She finds the paddle and goes to make copies of it. At the copy machine, she notices the health test in the machine, and she smiles. As she walks out, she runs into Jackie, and mentions that not only is Jackie cleared of taking the money, but Veronica is also going to make Ms. Hauser squirm if Jackie wants to watch.

Inside the health classroom, Madison bitches about how they now only have $3,000 for a senior trip. J.B., Ms. Hauser and Clemmons are also there when Veronica comes in with Jackie. She tells Ms. Hauser since Jackie has been proved innocent, she might want to recant her accusation. Madison and Ms. Hauser both shoot Veronica and Jackie a Death Glare, but Ms. Hauser reluctantly apologizes. Veronica then produces the test, and asks Ms. Hauser who had access to it. Turns out it was J.B., since he's Ms. Hauser's student aide, and while he denies it, Veronica says she's going to take him outside and get him to confess. In the hallway, Veronica points out J.B. borrowed the keys from Ms. Hauser, and he also knew when to do so because, having been a Triton before (on her laptop, she shows him the pictures she took of last year's initiation), he knew when the streaking would occur. J.B. says she's bluffing, but Veronica dares him to call it.

Back in the classroom, J.B. sullenly admits he stole the test. Veronica notices a glitter footprint on Ms. Hauser's desk, and takes a waste bin, puts it on the desk, and climbs on it to lift one of the ceiling tiles. Ms. Hauser yells at her to come down, while Clemmons sighs in exasperation, but Veronica finds an envelope with money in it. She shows Clemmons the footprint on the desk, and Jackie points out it's from a high heel shoe. Clemmons asks to see the bottom of Ms. Hauser's shoe. Ms. Hauser can't believe it, but eventually does so, and claims she'd been tracking glitter all day. Veronica points out Ms. Hauser was probably skimming money long before it was stolen, and Clemmons tells Ms. Hauser to come to his office, pointedly telling her, "This would be a prime example of why I consider the advice of some of my students." After they leave, Veronica sarcastically tells Madison they still have enough for Magic Mountain, and Jackie laughs.

Back outside, Madison is still in a bad mood when Dick comes up to her, offering to take her to his car for a quickie. Madison condescendingly tells Dick she's moved on to older men, and walks off. Dick then sees an older woman leaning against his car, and they flirt. She invites him into Dick's car, and he's more than happy to follow.

Hannah and Logan head to the parking lot, and Logan says he'll see her on Saturday for their real date, and call her. He kisses her, and she looks surprised, but happily returns it until she hears a car horn. They walk towards the car, and as she gets in, Hannah greets her father, who is Dr. Griffith. He's grumpy about his daughter kissing a boy, but is completely shocked to see Logan is the one who kissed her. Logan innocently waves at him and walks away.

Meanwhile, Dick leaves his car, spitting, and disgusted at the fact the mom turned out to be a man Disguised in Drag. Logan looks on as both Cassidy and Mac cheer. Dick runs up to Cassidy and threatens him, but Cassidy says he'll hurt Dick worse. Dick, afraid, backs off, and Logan is still laughing.

Back at Mars Investigations, Keith, who's a little drunk, reminisces about the effort he went through to get the ball of one of Terrence's career home runs. Terrence smiles at the memory, and says he's going to have to call a cab. He asks Keith once again if he's taking his case, but Keith points out he's still holding something back, and plays the recording of Lamb blackmailing Terrence about his betting on baseball. Terrence, defeated, admits Ms. Dumass overheard two Fitzpatrick goons threatening him about gambling debts, which is another motive, but Keith is sure there's something more. Terrence finally admits the bombshell; he threw game four of the ALCS by not hitting a key pitch that he could have easily hit. Keith remembers the game, and that he blamed himself for not being there because Veronica had the chicken pox. As Terrence sighs and gets ready to leave, Keith says he'll take the case because no matter what bad Terrence did, he believes Terrence would still never kill a bunch of kids.

The next day, Veronica finds Weevil, who's now driving a better car. She says she made up the fact the $50 bill had any writing on it, and accuses Weevil of planting the money (along with some pills) in Thumper's locker. Weevil admits he hid the cashbox in the ball pit and Ophelia's backpack, just not when Veronica was looking. Veronica admits she's letting him go because she would rather go to Magic Mountain than on the senior trip.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Bait-and-Switch: It looks like Wallace (now that he's dating Jane instead of Jackie) has turned on her with the rest of the school when he lines up at the dunk tank and pays for his turn - it's the only time all episode that Jackie looks like she might break. Then he starts tossing the balls waaay over her head, before calling out the crowd for what they're doing to her.
  • Broken Pedestal: Keith gets to meet, have a beer with, and even work for Terrence Cook, a famous baseball player and hero of Keith's. In the course of this, he learns that Cook is a gambling addict who has thrown games for money.
  • Call-Back: The Triton initiation, and the Kane Scholarship.
    • The metal detectors at the school entrances.
    • When Veronica tells Jackie not to waste her time trying to change the minds of her vindictive classmates, Jackie points out that Veronica stood up to them when it was her dad being publicly demonised.
  • Come to Gawk: What Jackie's classmates are doing at the dunk tank.
    • And reversed later when Veronica invites her along to "watch Ms. Hauser squirm in her own personal hell".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Invoked. Keith is devastated to learn that Terrence threw a game to clear his gambling debts, but still agrees to try to clear his name of causing the bus crash:
    Keith: You're Terrence Cook. You wouldn't kill a bus full of kids. I still believe that.
  • Extremely Short Time Span: At least by the standards of most episodes. The whole episode covers a single afternoon (roughly from lunchtime to sunset), alternating between Keith and Veronica's stories.
  • Foreshadowing: The revenge Weevil takes on Thumper here is just a warm-up. Also, Madison's comment about how she's moved on to older men, and the paddle with license plate numbers Veronica found in autoshop.
  • The Gambling Addict: We learn the full extent of Terrence's transgressions here.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The entire scene with Dick and the MILF ("What do you call yours?"), and especially the earlier scene where Dick snarks on Beaver and Mac for holding hands, causing Beaver to let go of her hand:
    Dick: Oops! See how it just slipped right out? Gotta work on that, bro.
  • Ironic Echo: Repeatedly to Ms. Hauser during the mystery resolution scene. She tells Jackie "Trash is trash, mark my words." when accusing her of stealing, and later snarks at Principal Clemmons (about Veronica) "Why would you even consider listening to her? Principal, and you're taking directions from a teenage girl!". When Jackie is cleared, Veronica brings her to a meeting with Clemmons and Ms. Hauser and snarks "Look who I found! Miss Trashy-Trash. We marked your words before, and I don't know if you know this, but they formed this, like, totally false accusation. I know - yikes!". When Veronica implicates Ms. Hauser for skimming off the top of the cash float, Clemmons leads her away (presumably to be fired) saying "This would be a prime example of why I consider the advice of some of my students."
  • Noodle Incident: "You remember Sally?" Word of God is that she was Dick's pet, and was killed by Cassidy in an earlier revenge.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Clemmons, who listens to Veronica's ideas about how to catch the thief, and immediately believes her when she points to the evidence that Hauser has been stealing too.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Beaver and Mac are now officially dating.
  • Shout-Out: Jackie snarks about her and Madison singing "You're the One That I Want".
  • Stage Magician: Veronica imitates one when she says she's going to get J.B. to confess to stealing the test.
  • Titled After the Song: The title of the episode is a play on the Marvin Gaye duet (with Tammi Terrell) "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".
  • Twisting the Words: Madison tells Jackie that she should leave the carnival, and that her being there will ruin everything for her classmates. Jackie sadly (and sarcastically) replies "That's my plan. 'Ruin everything'." Later, when the money is stolen, Madison tells Clemmons and Hauser that Jackie should be investigated: "She told me earlier today that she had a plan to ruin everything."
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The story is evenly split between Veronica investigating the carnival theft and between Keith chumming up with Terrence Cooke.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: The revenge Cassidy takes on Dick...
    • Foreshadowing:...which proves Cassidy's sociopathic tendencies before it's revealed he was behind the bus crash.
  • Wham Shot: The camera panning down to reveal that the girl Logan's been flirting with all day is the daughter of the plastic surgeon who's testifying against Logan in his murder trial.

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