"Ruskie Business"
Written by Phil Klemmer and John Enbom; directed by Guy Norman Bee

Veronica and Logan are at Neptune High, near a banner advertising an upcoming dance (Total Eclipse of the Heart), looking over Lynn’s credit card records as Veronica explains which one was activated (see “Mars vs. Mars”). She notes that the card is under Lynn’s maiden name, which makes Logan think that she might be hiding. Veronica says that the card was used to get a rental car, and while there’s no surveillance on the location, Veronica has ordered a copy of the renter’s signature. The two share a small moment when Logan thanks Veronica for her help and she tells him that she knows what he’s going through. Veronica meets up with Duncan, who’s overseeing the organization of the dance and teases that he thought he saw Logan ask Veronica to it. Veronica flashes back to a previous dance, when she and Duncan had a nice night and she thought she might be in love. She’s brought out of the memory by Meg (see “Like a Virgin”), who confides that she thinks she has a secret admirer. After getting a phone call where she only hears breathing, Veronica asks Meg for more details. Meg explains as she flashes back to returning from cheering at an away game. On the bus, she was woken up by her phone; she’d gotten a text message stating, “I think UR kewl.” She saw two guys on their cell phones - Caz (Zachery Bryan) and Martin. Meg asks Veronica to help her figure out who it is, since the guy could turn out to be her “soul mate.”

At Mars Investigations, Keith asks Veronica to handle a case for him, not thinking that it will take up a lot of time. Veronica talks to the client, Catherine, who’s Russian and wants to find her American “soul mate.” The guy, Tom (who has a weird-looking dog), brought her to America as a sort of mail order bride. She decided that she didn’t want to be with him and left, but now she wants to find him again. However, he’s an actor, and when he came to California, he changed his name because it was Tom Cruz. All Catherine has to go on is a postcard with a Neptune postmark from February. Later, as Wallace watches TV at the Mars’ house, Veronica looks online for Tom Cruz but can’t find him. She mentions Meg’s situation to Wallace and, noting that he’s on the basketball team, begs him (promising to be BFF) to look at Caz and Martin’s cell phones to see if they’ve sent text messages to Meg. The next day, Meg receives flowers and an invitation to the 80s dance from her admirer. Veronica recognizes the flowers as purple-faced monkey orchids, which came from Manny’s Flower Hut. She takes a photo as she assures Meg that the text messaging angle is being investigated as well. Wallace gets caught going through Caz’s personal belongings. Veronica meets with Catherine again at Mars Investigations and apologizes for not being able to find Tom. Catherine agrees to pay more money so that Veronica and Keith can institute a full search.

Later, Veronica makes calls to place fake casting notices in hopes of drawing Tom out. Wallace arrives and tells her that he’s not helping her anymore - “you can be your own FF.” Veronica is alerted to another charge on Lynn’s card and calls Logan, telling him that the user is staying at the Sunset Regent. They meet up at the hotel, where Veronica forces Logan to pretend that they’re engaged and want to book a honeymoon suite. When she picks one, Veronica asks to look at it, but the receptionist tells her that it’s occupied. Away from the receptionist, Veronica tells Logan that she can find another way into the room, but Logan decides that he’ll just hang out in the lobby until Lynn shows up. Veronica decides to just leave him there, since she has other things to do. She heads to Manny’s Flower Hut and shows the eponymous Manny a photo of Meg’s flowers. Unfortunately, he’s not much help. Back at Mars Investigations, Wallace looks through a dog book and Veronica has to admit to Keith that she’s still working Catherine’s case. He advises her not to try too hard to find Tom, but Veronica points out that they could use the money. Just as Veronica enlarges Tom’s photo and sees that his dog’s name is Steve, Wallace finds out that the dog is a Catahoula leopard dog. Keith gets off the phone to follow a guy in a neck brace. Veronica calls a couple of animal hospitals about Steve, pretending that she met Tom and wants to talk to him about breeding their dogs. When she gets a hit, she asks the receptionist to call Tom and have him call her if he’s interested.

Veronica calls Meg and makes arrangements for their departure for a party Caz is having that night. Veronica gets a call back from the animal hospital and is told that Tom doesn’t want to breed his dog. Veronica and Meg stop by the sheriff’s department, where Veronica talks to Leo. She notices a police sketch of herself (with horns) on a bulletin board and Leo says that he was just testing the artist out. “It’s great,” Veronica tells the artist, Karl. “I finally feel ‘wanted.’” Veronica asks Leo to get a record of the numbers that the vet clinic called between 4 and 4:10; she repays the favor by alerting him to the party Caz is having and recommending that he bust it. As they leave, Meg tells Veronica, “He totally wants to serve and protect you.” The two go to the party, which is at one of Caz’s father’s model homes, and Caz flirts with Meg. She realizes that he’s not exactly a Romeo and goes to talk to Martin instead. Veronica borrows his phone, but it dies before she can check to see if he’s called Meg’s number. She chats with Duncan instead, who wants to know what’s going on with Logan - he’s still at the Sunset Regent. Veronica leaves the party and Meg to go check on him. A hotel employee tries to toss Logan out, but Logan tells him to book him a room so he can stick around the lobby. Veronica decides to try a different tack and reports Lynn’s credit card stolen so it’ll be cancelled. Later, a woman in a hat and sunglasses arrives and Logan excitedly thinks that it’s Lynn. Instead, it’s his half sister Trina (Alyson Hannigan).

Logan and Trina bicker and Logan notes that Aaron would have liked to have Trina around after Lynn’s death. Trina points out that Logan has always said that their father was abusive, though she doesn’t seem to believe his “stories.” Their fight starts to get heated so Veronica breaks it up and makes Logan leave. He breaks down and Veronica tries to comfort her as he finally accepts that Lynn is gone. Still on his “Mr. Neckbrace” case, Keith plays cat-and-mouse with a couple of guys. He gets into a car at a valet service and runs a name check on a guy named Yevgeni Sukarenko. Veronica takes Karl to Manny’s Flower Hut and gets him to sketch the guy who bought flowers for Meg. Leo calls her at Mars Investigations and gives him the names of the three people the vet clinic called. Veronica pays visits to all three, finally tracking down Tom. Just as she’s calling Catherine and giving her his address, Keith stops her and tells her that Catherine - whose real name is Yellana Sukarenko - is connected to the mob. Her brothers, Yevgeni and Sergei, are mobsters and Tom used to work for their father. He turned state’s evidence that put the elder Sukarenko in prison, so now his kids are looking for Tom, who’s in the witness protection program, so they can get revenge. Catherine calls back and Veronica gives her an address, per Keith’s instructions. Veronica worries about what will happen but Keith assures her that he’ll take care of things.

The Sukarenkos arrive at Caz’s father’s model home and are greeted by Keith. Before they can do anything, Leo appears and the guys are arrested. Meg heads to the Marses’, dressed like Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink, and Veronica apologizes for not being able to find her secret admirer before the dance. Meg says it’s okay, since she’s not sure she’d want to date Caz or Martin anyway. She gives Veronica her corsage, made from the admirer’s flowers. Later, Veronica dresses as Madonna, though she thinks she looks like “Manila Whore Barbie.” Veronica receives a fax from Karl, but she’d disappointed with the identity of Meg’s admirer and doesn’t share it with her. As the two leave for the dance, we see that the sketch is of Duncan. Veronica gives Meg her corsage back and leaves. Duncan, dressed as Duckie from Pretty in Pink, approaches Meg and the two dance. Veronica, not thrilled with the turn of events, goes to her car and cries. She’s interrupted by Leo (dressed as either Crockett or Tubbs), who gives her a corsage and takes her back to the dance. Veronica and Duncan each watch the other with his or her new love interest. A drunken Logan, dressed as Tom Cruise in Risky Business appears on the stage and loses his temper. “I cannot escape Tom Cruise,” Veronica complains as she and Leo follow Logan out of the room.

Trina arrives to take Logan home, stating that this isn’t the first time she’s had to. After they’re gone, Veronica thanks Leo for coming to the dance, correctly guessing that Meg called him. They kiss in the hallway but are stopped from doing anything else by Veronica’s phone. It’s another silent call, so Leo *69s it and learns that the call was made by a blond woman at a pay phone at a cantina in Barstow. The next day, Veronica drives to Barstow, where she finds a tipsy Lianne at the cantina. Veronica starts to make her leave, trying to assure her that she’s safe and that she knows who’s blackmailing them. Speak of the devil, Veronica suddenly spots Wiedman in the cantina.


THE TITLE IS A PLAY ON... The movie Risky Business.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Veronica: “How hard can it be to find an actor named Tom Cruz?”
Wallace: “Tom Cruise? Not as good a private eye as I thought.”

Wallace: “What is it with you girls and your girly-girl drama? What are you now? A love detective?”
Veronica: “Wallace, if you do this for me, we’ll be best friends forever. Come on, don’t you want us to be BFF?”

“This is Logan with today’s inspirational greeting: ‘the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.’ Eleanor Roosevelt. Leave a message.” - Logan’s voicemail

“She agreed to the daily rate, and we can always use the money. I mean, wouldn’t it be cool to have glasses in the kitchen that didn’t have the Hamburglar on them?” - Veronica to Keith

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