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Recap / Veronica Mars S 03 E 11 Poughkeepsie Tramps And Thieves

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Veronica is approached by Max, the guy with the exam cheats, to open an investigation. He wants Veronica to find a woman named Chelsea, who is from Poughkeepsie, who is getting married, to someone, somewhere, and has a last name. She was last seen at Comic-Con, where she and Max stayed up all night talking—first about the vagaries of Battlestar Galactica (2003), later about their lives and families and choices. Despite obvious chemistry, they didn't do anything physical. When he dropped her off at the airport, Chelsea told him she had left all her names and numbers on the nightstand, but room service had cleared them out by the time he returned. He next heard from her a few days ago, when a text came from a random number claiming that she was tired of waiting to hear from her and was marrying someone from back home. If Veronica isn't able to find Chelsea on this vague information, Max announces dramatically, he will kill himself.

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Fortunately, Max still has the number, and Veronica visits his room to call it, noting in passing a picture of Max, his roommate Brian (Richard Keith) and friend Fred (Nathan Frizzell) in Mac and Parker's room during the "Around The World" tour last episode. Though the man on the other end of "Chelsea"'s number insists he's never heard of Chelsea, Veronica does some digging and discovers that this particular area code is for Goshen, NY, and that the owner goes to "a tiny West Coast liberal arts college no one has ever heard of." Next thing you know, she's talking to one of the servitors at the Hearst Food Court, digging through his phone. The outgoing text is still there... as is Brian, the roommate, who works alongside the kid. When Veronica returns to Max's room, she has both good news and bad news: Chelsea isn't getting married, because she's a hooker. Brian and Fred confessed to staging Max's meeting with her as a First Date Prank (except without the prank part), and coached her with lines about BSG. Max still insists on hunting her down, though: when they weren't talking about nerdy things, the conversation seemed genuine to him.

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From Deputy Sacks, Keith has obtained a copy of the police report on Cyrus O'Dell's "suicide." He's reviewing it when Veronica adds something she learned from Eli "Weevil" Navarro: that Dean O'Dell's office was egged the night he died. Needless to say, this isn't in the report, and Veronica then goes on to mention Lilith House and their vendetta against O'Dell for countermanding the board's decision to shut down the Greek system. She refuses to confront them, however, having burned too many bridges.

To aid in her search, Veronica turns to the originals, Brian and Fred; they walk her through the website and searches they used to find Chelsea in the first place. Veronica invites both of them to meet Max at Logan's place that night. While waiting, Veronica begins to inquire as to whether Logan has ever availed himself of The Oldest Profession, with Logan stonewalling the conversation as best he can. The first of the two, Lizette (Julia Lehman), is not who Max is looking for. The second, Fiona (Brianne Davis), gasps when she sees Max and launches a full-on glomp. The two continue canoodling for the rest of the night, causing some awkwardness (though not between Max and Fiona, even after she admits that her real name is Wendy) and leaving Veronica to answer the door when a third hooker—sorry, guest—arrives: Madison Sinclair. She takes one look around and declares she's off to somewhere else that doesn't suck.

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Keith dons his Sheriff garb to visit Lilith House. He's able to intimidate Claire and Fern into admitting to the egging spree; they also admit that Nish, who was with them, had peeled off to do something else. However, at about this time Nish enters the scene in person. She isn't intimidated by the ex-sheriff ("Do you two ever watch the news?"), but proclaims she has nothing to hide: she was pelting O'Dell's beloved Volvo with eggs.

Veronica checks in with Max the next morning. He wants to hire her to help Wendy make a new start for herself. Veronica feels like he's moving too fast, but is a bit more amused when Wendy herself arrives and confesses some of her past clients—such as Judge Kramer, who never engaged her for sex but instead liked to have tickle-fights and to walk around wearing her shoes. However, the festivities come to a halt when a third hooker (fourth, if we count Madison) arrives at Logan's in a clear state of physical injury. She's been sent by their pimp to bring back Wendy and/or money she owes, such as for her services last night; violence has been threatened if she fails. Sadly, Max relinquishes both Wendy and the cash he had planned to pay Veronica with. Max is distraught—especially after Veronica looks at the icepack they gave to the hooker for her black eye and discovers it was all makeup—but Veronica promises to help make them pay.

Veronica obtains Judge Kramer's number and blackmails him for the money Wendy needs to get out of hock. Then, once Max has gone home to mope by himself, she and Logan get busy—both in the physical sense and by Veronica continuing her inquest into Logan's past (if any) with hookers. He finally agrees to answer any question she poses: no, he's never been with a prostitute; no, he has no idea how Mercer got from Mexico to Neptune and back the night of the hotel fire; yes, he was with someone while they were broken up, but he regrets it and feels it was a mistake. Veronica accepts this, and the two continue kissing.

At the spot where Judge Kramer was told to drop off the money, Veronica and Max find only a typed message: "GO OUTSIDE. GET IN THE LIMO. OR WENDY GETS HURT." Inside is Wendy's madam (Jackie Debatin), who isn't letting Wendy go until she pays off her debts: for braces, for tattoo removal, for new clothes. Max offers to pay the entire thing, $10K, and tells them to drive him to his bank.

Sadly, Max and Wendy's post-prostitutional bliss doesn't last long: at the cafe, Eli recognizes her as "Fiona," who used to dance at a club where Weevil's friend works as a bouncer. Then, back in Max's dorm room, Brian and Fred come in and extend an offer of work when they hear Wendy needs a job: they know someone who's having a bachelor party and wasn't able to hire a stripper. This is too much for Max, who, after they leave, asks if Wendy actually left her contact info on the nightstand. Wendy admits she didn't. The next we see of Max, he's walking to the help desk at the library and admitting that he and Wendy have split for good. Veronica is astonished that she just upped and left him after he spent ten grand to get her free, but according to Wendy's good-bye letter (she did leave one this time), the differences between them were too great. Additionally, she made such good money dancing last night that she's already managed to repay him some of the amount. Neither Max nor Veronica look too pleased by this, though.

Keith mentions to Veronica the discrepancies in the O'Dells' story: Nish claims to have egged the Volvo, but Mrs. O'Dell claimed to have driven it away that night, leaving Cyrus the minivan. Finally, Veronica visits a lingerie boutique—having taken Wendy's advice that what creates true love is a combination of "dumb luck and interesting lingerie"—and runs into Madison, also looking for some sort of man-pleasing underwear. Veronica reminds Madison that she wouldn't need much to win back Dick, her sole long-term boyfriend... but Madison claims she has her sights set on Logan, whom she hooked up with in Aspen whilst he and Veronica were separated. Veronica, inexplicably trusting of this lying liar who lies, stares at her in perplexity as the episode ends.


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