"Of Vice and Men"
Written by Phil Klemmer; directed by Harry Winer

Veronica sneaks into her apartment, trying not to attract Keith’s attention, but she’s unsuccessful. Keith is curious as to where she spent the previous night, but she notes that he didn’t come home the night before that. Veronica tells him that she’s spending the weekend in Wallace’s room while he and Piz study in a hotel. She notes that now Keith can have Harmony (see “Hi, Infidelity”) over whenever he wants. Keith tells her it’s his life and his choice, so she replies that leaving for the weekend is her choice. However, her weekend alone is interrupted when Piz returns early, not wanting to spend more time with a crazed Wallace. Out in the hallway, Moe spots a girl named Meryl who is waiting for her boyfriend outside his room. Moe offers her tea, then takes her to Veronica and Piz, asking if they’ve seen their neighbors, Sully and Glen. Meryl explains that Sully was supposed to pick her up from the airport, but he never showed up. This isn’t normal behavior coming from him, so she’s afraid something is wrong. Piz and the others quickly elect Veronica to solve the mystery.

Moe lets everyone into Sully and Glen’s room (since he’s an RA, he has all the keys) and Veronica starts looking around. In a yearbook, she finds a girl named Scarlett circled and asks Meryl if she knows who she is; Meryl doesn’t, but she also doesn’t think Sully is the one who circled her photo. She announces that she’ll just wait until Sully arrives. Veronica tells her she’ll come back after her class. She then pulls a credit card receipt out of the trash can and decides to find out where Sully is spending his money. In Intro to Criminology, Landry assigns his students to write a term paper on the perfect murder. Veronica thinks it’s ironic that this assignment is coming from “the guy who couldn’t plan an affair with the dean’s wife.” After class, Landry asks Veronica to stick around, then tells her that he’s recommending her for a summer internship with the FBI. He’ll take her application as a substitute for her term paper and promises to make sure that she’s one of those seriously considered for the internship. Veronica thinks he’s trying to shut her up about his affair with Mindy.

Outside, Veronica runs into Logan and assures him that she’s working on Mercer’s case, but she hasn’t been allowed to see him yet. Logan tells her he wants to make things right, but she thinks the best way to do that is to tell her the alibi he and Mercer have that he won’t share with anyone. “How bad does your alibi have to be if Mercer would rather stay in jail than divulge it?” she says, realizing that she might not want to know what they were up to. “When have you ever not wanted to know anything?” he replies. Logan asks where she spent the previous night, since she wasn’t home when he called her, and she decides to keep that a secret as well. Veronica heads back to Sully and Glen’s room, where Meryl is still waiting for Sully. She suggests going to the police, but Veronica tells her that they won’t do anything until 48 hours have passed. Also, “the sheriff is a moron.” Veronica tells Meryl that there hasn’t been any activity on Sully’s credit card, but she wants to check his cell phone messages to see who’s called. Scarlett has, and Veronica thinks there might be something going on between her and Sully.

Veronica is finally allowed to visit Mercer, but he won’t tell her his alibi either. He does tell her that the cologne Parker recognized was from a back-to-school issue of GQ, so he’s probably not the only person at Hearst who wears it. Veronica points out that they found GHB in his drawer, but he argues that he’s being set up. His main suspects are Chip and Dean O’Dell, as Dean O’Dell has had a student aide place a few sports bets that lost him some money. Back at Hearst, Meryl tells Veronica that there’s still no sign of Sully, though she’s thought of a couple of out-there scenarios that would account for his disappearance. Veronica calmly tells her about Occam’s Razor and suggests that Sully might want to break up with her and just can’t find the courage to do it. Meryl tells her that she almost hopes Sully is dumping her, because then at least she knows he’s okay. Glen arrives and tells Veronica and Meryl that Sully asked him to leave for the weekend so he could be alone with Meryl. The last time Glen saw him was the previous morning when Sully told him he was going surfing. Meryl reports that Sully doesn’t surf. Glen adds that he came home because his stepmother took his Xbox, and he thought Sully and Meryl might not need the room after all, since they had a fight the other night.

Harmony shows up at Mars Investigations, where Keith admits that he doesn’t feel right about the night they spent together. Harmony tells him she’s going to leave her husband, since their marriage is loveless. She and Keith admit that they feel something for each other, though the situation is far from simple. Harmony invites Keith to come to Palm Springs with her for a while to get some time away from Neptune. As she’s leaving, she runs into Vinnie, who knows her name. He tells Keith that the Fitzpatricks have him on retainer, and they still think Keith knows where Kendall’s money is (see “My Big Fat Greek Rush Week”). He offers to split his retainer with Keith if Keith tells him where Kendall is. Keith refuses (of course, he can’t tell Vinnie where Kendall is, since she’s dead), so Vinnie moves on to another deal. He has a photo of Keith and Harmony together, as Harmony’s husband has hired him to prove that she’s having an affair, so if Keith will double Mr. Chase’s $2,000 reward, Vinnie will keep his mouth shut.

Veronica and Meryl head to the food court, where Veronica wonders why Meryl isn’t suspicious that Sully didn’t pick her up after they had a fight. They spot Scarlett, and though Veronica wants to stake out the area to see if Sully shows up, Meryl wants to talk to Scarlett and find out if she knows where Sully is. They wind up going with Meryl’s plan, and Veronica takes advantage of the situation to accuse Scarlett of trying to steal Sully from Meryl. She tells Meryl that she can either let herself be a patsy or choose not to be one. Realizing that she needs to take her own advice, Veronica approaches Landry and tells him that she’s not going to apply for the FBI internship if it means she’s letting herself be bought off. Landry assures her that he’s not trying to hush her up; she’s his best student and the internship would look good on her résumé. Veronica is surprised at this, and even more surprised when she sees Meryl and Scarlett hugging each other.

As Meryl sleeps back in Wallace and Piz’s room, Veronica notices Piz with a bunch of records. He explains that since Mercer is still in lock-up, he’s doing his radio show for him. Veronica heads to the radio station with him and looks over the computer log to see that Mercer’s show was on the radio the nights Parker and Stacy were raped. He also couldn’t have put on a prerecorded show, since his show has a call-in format. Veronica heads to the Neptune Grand to tell Logan that she has another alibi for Mercer. She asks him again to tell her what the first alibi is and he asks if she trusts him. She admits that that’s not how she’s made. Logan finally tells Veronica what happened to him and Mercer: they were in Tijuana and Mercer set their hotel on fire. Instead of trying to help the other people in the hotel, they ran. Veronica is surprised that they didn’t tell Lamb about this, but Logan notes that no matter what, Mercer will be in jail. Veronica tells him to tell Lamb to check the radio station logs to get Mercer out of lock-up.

Meryl wakes Veronica up back in Wallace and Piz’s room and tells her that she got a call from Sully. He left her a message from a noisy place and told her that he can’t wait to see her. Veronica tells Meryl that if the phone is still on, they can track it. First, though, she has to get a gadget from Mars Investigations, where runs into Keith. He tells her that he wants to explain things, but Veronica says that she, him, and Harmony are all adults, so he doesn’t have to explain anything. Keith tells her that this is something special. She reminds him that they hear that from every guy they’ve ever caught in the act. “If Jake Kane thought he and Mom had something special, would that have been okay?” she asks. Keith thinks that Veronica shouldn’t be so jaded, and she tells him that she used to have “one shining example” that gave her faith. Meryl and Veronica head out, tracking Sully’s phone, as Veronica reveals that there are now a bunch of charges on Sully’s credit card from alcohol, cigarette, and “Crazy Girls” purchases. Veronica is less than thrilled when the cell-phone tracker leads them to River Stix.

While Veronica is calling Lamb for backup, Meryl heads into the bar and starts talking to Danny about Sully. Veronica arrives to try to drag her out and Danny immediately recognizes her. She spots the purchases that showed up on Sully’s credit card, then dials Sully’s phone, which is still in the bar. Liam appears and grabs Veronica, complaining to her about Keith and Kendall. Meryl tries and fails to stop him with a bottle. Before things can go too far, an apparently drunk Vinnie arrives to take a photo with his phone and send it to Keith. Liam lets Veronica go and she, Meryl, and Vinnie head outside, where an actually sober Vinnie admits that his phone doesn’t take photos so Keith won’t know Veronica was at the River Stix. He adds that he saw Sully there last night, looking drunk and being taken advantage of by Danny. He assumes that Sully wound up in the drunk tank. Indeed, when Veronica and Meryl head to the sheriff’s department, Lamb tells them that they found Sully wandering around in a wet suit and thought he’d hit his head surfing, since he has a head injury.

Veronica apologizes to Meryl for not listening to her, but Meryl is just glad Sully is okay. “If I hadn’t been in love before, I wouldn’t have believed it either,” she says. When Meryl goes to see Sully, he recognizes her and tells her he was looking for her. After a brief Arrested Development reference, Lamb returns to take Sully to the hospital to get checked over. Veronica notices that Mercer is still in the sheriff’s department even though Logan has given Lamb his alibi. Mercer explains that Lamb doesn’t like his attitude and wants to keep him as long as he can under the law. Harmony drops by Mars Investigations on her way to Palm Springs, but Keith tells her he can’t go with her. Logan calls Keith from the Neptune Grand and expresses his worry that Veronica is trying to avoid him. Keith tells him she’s been staying in Wallace and Piz’s room. Veronica goes to the food court for dinner, leaving her drink unattended when she goes to return her food. She checks her voice-mail messages and gets three from a worried Logan and one from Keith telling her that he and Harmony are over and he wants her to come home.

Logan goes to Wallace and Piz’s room and learns that Piz and Veronica have been alone in the room all weekend. A woozy Veronica heads back to her car after dinner, realizing that she feels the same way she did when she was drugged at Shelly’s party. As she approaches her car, she senses that someone is following her. Before she can get to safety, Veronica collapses but manages to set off her car alarm. Elsewhere on campus, Logan hears the alarm and takes off towards the car. A gloved hand (definitely belonging to a white male) turns off the alarm. Logan finally reaches Veronica, who is now alone, and sees that a chunk of her hair has been shaved off. Logan takes Veronica home, where he and Keith tend to her all night. In the morning, she notes that the people you should have faith in are the ones who come through for you even when you don’t love them enough.

THE TITLE IS A PLAY ON...: The book Of Mice and Men.

THE RAPE CASE: Mercer was working at the radio station the nights Parker and Stacy were raped.

The rapist is not Logan or Wallace.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Mercer: “He’s a solid guy. I mean, I’d want him to be my boyfriend if I swung that way.”
Veronica: “Give it time. You just got here.”

Piz: “Um, where am I sleeping?”
Veronica: “Play your cards right…the floor.”

Veronica: “We’ll get help. We’ll call the sheriff.”
Meryl: “You mean the moron?”
Veronica: “He’s a well-armed moron.”

“So, what would Stan Marsh say in a situation like this? I think we all learned a valuable lesson about faith. You give it to the people you love. But the people who really deserve it are the ones who come through even when you don’t love them enough.” - Veronica

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