"Mars vs. Mars"
Written by Jed Seidel, Diane Ruggiero, and Rob Thomas; directed by Marcos Siega

Logan is still at Veronica’s house, wanting her to find Lynn (see “Lord of the Bling”). He points out that no one found her body, so she could still be alive. Veronica reminds him that there was a witness, but Logan thinks that she might be lying. He thinks that she faked her death, since she wasn’t the sort of person who would jump off a bridge. Feeling bad for him, Veronica agrees to help. At school, Veronica and Wallace have fun in Mr. Rooks’ history class. When he calls on a student named Carrie Bishop (Leighton Meester), she tells him that she’s not pregnant, so he can stop ignoring her calls and not worry about giving her money to “take care of” things. She gives him his key back and leaves the room. After class, Veronica checks on Rooks, who tells her that Carrie is making everything up. However, he thinks that everyone is going to be talking about Carrie’s accusations. He worries that his teaching career is over; Veronica assures him that she’ll help him out. At lunch, a group of girls taunts Carrie by singing “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.” Wallace feels bad for Carrie, but Veronica says that she has a reputation as being a gossip. She asks Wallace to “borrow” Carrie’s permanent record for her. She then catches up with Duncan and asks him for the name of his doctor, claiming she needs a new one. (Nicely, he worries that he’ll be too expensive for her.)

Wallace gives Carrie’s file to Veronica, but her snooping is interrupted by Logan. She tells him that she put notices on Lynn’s ATM and credit cards, so she’ll be notified if they’re used. She adds that the supposed witness to Lynn’s jump will be at the sheriff’s department that day, so they head over to find out if she’s lying. Veronica confronts Carrie and tells her that she’ll give her the chance to take back her accusation before things get out of hand. Carrie refuses, calling Veronica naďve. Veronica notes that Rooks called Carrie’s parents in for a conference the previous fall, which doesn’t seem like something a secret boyfriend would do. Carrie doesn’t care what Veronica thinks. At Mars Investigations, Keith informs Veronica that Carrie’s parents have hired them to investigate Rooks - Carrie has filed a sexual harassment suit and the Bishops want Rooks fired. Veronica defends Rooks, mad that Keith is joining the “witch hunt” against him. She says that she’s helping Rooks, so she can’t work for the Bishops. Later, she flashes back to overhearing Carrie and her friend Susan Knight in the school bathroom, discussing Veronica’s relationship with Duncan. Carrie says that Duncan is crazy - she knows someone who saw him brought into the hospital in a crazed state. Veronica and Logan stake out the sheriff’s department, finally spotting the supposed witness to Lynn’s suicide leap. Veronica uses the phrase “white trash walking” to alert Cliff via microphone to the witness’ presence; Cliff pretends to be a tabloid reporter who wants to interview the witness, Mrs. Stanton. Logan overhears Mrs. Stanton offering to make up a story and confronts her.

Veronica meets up with Leo (see “Silence of the Lamb”) and tries to explain why she used him to get information about Lilly. She then admits that she’s fallen for him. Veronica heads to Rooks’ house, where she meets his daughter and asks him about his conference with the Bishops. He explains that it was about her grades and Veronica wonders if Carrie’s getting revenge for a bad grade. Veronica asks if Rooks is being helped by the faculty union rep, but he is the rep. At Mars Investigations, Veronica tries to ignore Keith, who tries to convince her that Rooks isn’t the good guy she thinks he is. He mentions that Carrie kept a detailed diary of the affair, including writing about going to dinner with him in San Diego after she won the District Extemporaneous Speaking Competition. Veronica still doesn’t believe it, noting that Carrie could have made everything up. Later, Veronica makes an appointment with Dr. Levine, Duncan’s doctor, and is caught by Logan. He’s read a tabloid story reporting on a source who saw Lynn get into a van, but Veronica points out that tabloid stories aren’t completely reliable. Logan tells her to do her job no matter what she believes. She calls the source, Sondra, and poses as a reporter wanting to meet to get a story. Logan listens in on their conversation at a coffee bar and is disappointed to realize that Sondra is a deluded stalker. Later, Veronica tells Logan that if she were in his position, she would have reacted the same way he did. On his way out of the coffee bar, Logan bumps into Weevil; Veronica tells Weevil that Logan’s lost hope about Lynn.

At home, Keith tries to placate Veronica with food before revealing that Rooks was fired from his last school thanks to complaints by a couple of girls’ parents. Veronica asks to see Carrie’s diary but Keith says he can’t let her. Later, Veronica sneaks into Mars Investigations to get into the safe and read Carrie’s diary. Unfortunately for her, Keith is a step ahead and has placed an exploding dye pack in the safe. At home, Keith gloats over his victory but Veronica isn’t amused. “Honey, you don’t have to get all blue in the face,” Keith teases. Veronica then asks for some dates and times instead, playing on Keith’s own experience of being taken down. At school, Weevil tells Veronica that a freshman has been telling people that he has proof that Lynn jumped; he offers to get more information. After a class with Rooks, Veronica asks him why he was fired from his last school. He tells her that parents thought he was trying to turn their daughters into Bolsheviks. Veronica confronts Carrie again, telling her to drop the accusation against Rooks. Veronica notes that Carrie’s still in his class, but Carrie says that she needs it to graduate and he’ll be gone soon anyway. She gives Veronica some details about Rooks (including that he sets the mood with the Rolling Stones). Veronica mentions that Carrie said she was with Rooks on April 23rd, but Veronica knows that Carrie was at an overnight track meet then.

After school, Veronica heads to her appointment with Dr. Levine. She hides in a bathroom until everyone leaves, then looks through the doctor’s files. After making a copy of Duncan’s files, she decides to look at Koontz’s file as well, thinking that it’s an important coincidence that the two have the same doctor. When a cleaning woman arrives, she finds Veronica back in the exam room, pretending that Dr. Levine left before examining her. Veronica heads to Rooks’ school board hearing, where Rooks is questioned by the chairwoman, Mrs. Fuller. Carrie tells her side of the story and claims to have saved text messages from Rooks on her cell phone. Mrs. Fuller notes that they’re addressed to “SK” and Carrie says that he called her Sweet Knees. When Mrs. Fuller hits the call-back button, Rooks’ phone rings, supposedly proving that he sent the messages. Getting an idea, Veronica borrows Clemmons’ cell phone. Veronica leaves briefly, then returns during Clemmons’ testimony. She confers with Rooks, who asks Mrs. Fuller to check her own cell phone messages. She does, finding three new messages - “true pirates shake their booty,” “I’ll be your little spoon,” and “vice principals make the best lovers.” When she hits redial, Clemmons’ phone rings. Rooks summarizes out that text messages can easily be faked. At the end of the hearing, Rooks is allowed to keep teaching at Neptune High.

Veronica goes to Rooks’ house, giving him back his phone; he thanks her for helping him out with password protection. He asks her in for pizza, but when she goes to use the bathroom, she realizes that the Rolling Stones are playing and decides to leave. In the journalism classroom at school, Veronica looks into Duncan’s condition and learns that he’s on an anti-seizure medication used to treat epilepsy. Due to this condition, he may have experienced violent fits and suffered from memory loss and blackouts. Duncan himself almost catches Veronica, but she covers up, inadvertently confusing him. Later, Veronica heads to Susan’s house, revealing that she’s figured out that Carrie’s story is all true - it just happened to Susan instead of Carrie. Indeed, Susan is pregnant but wasn’t brave enough to blow the whistle on Rooks, so Carrie did it for her. Veronica urges Susan to come forward with the truth. Back at school, Veronica apologizes to Carrie, who doesn’t seem to care. Weevil brings Veronica the freshman who’s been talking about Lynn; he shows them and Lynn a video he was shooting that captured someone falling or jumping from the Coronado Bridge in the background. Veronica and Weevil make the kid promise that the video won’t get out into the public. Just as Logan is trying to deal with the truth of his mother’s death, Veronica learns that someone used one of Lynn’s credit cards.

Clemmons comes to Rooks’ class and announces that he’s resigned, so Clemmons will be taking over the class until a replacement teacher is found. Rooks spots Veronica and Carrie on his way out, but they don’t give him any sympathy. At Mars Investigations, Veronica tells Keith that Rooks quit. He tells her that if he were ever in trouble, he’d want Veronica on his side. Veronica heads to the prison to see Koontz and shows him his medical records. She tells him that she knows what he’s hiding - he’s dying, and knew so when he confessed to killing Lilly. He didn’t kill Lilly and is just a pawn in someone else’s game.


THE LILLY KANE CASE: Duncan is being treated for epilepsy; he may have experienced blackouts and fits of violence. This condition probably explains the loss of memory he suffered after Lilly’s death (as he mentioned in “Clash of the Tritons”).

Koontz is dying and most likely confessed to killing Lilly even though he’s not guilty.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Veronica: “Do something for me?”
Wallace: “Let me guess. Borrow her permanent file?”
Veronica: “I remember when you were new and eager to please. Good times.”

Wallace: “Carrie’s file. If you are caught with this, I will disavow any knowledge of you or your mission. You’ll be on your own.”
Veronica: “Don’t worry. I’ve got a cyanide capsule in a false tooth. If I’m caught, I’ll do the honorable thing.”
Wallace: “It’s been a privilege knowing you, Mars.”

Veronica: (re: Rooks’ daughter) “She must be going through a shy phase.”
Rooks: “No, not really. She’s usually pretty gregarious. She must really dislike you.”
Veronica: “There’s a club she can join.”

Logan: (re: a tabloid) “There’s a woman who saw my mom get out of her car and get in a van with a mysterious stranger.”
Veronica: “There’s also a jungle tribe that worships Donald Trump’s hair.”

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