"Welcome Wagon"
Written by Rob Thomas; directed by John T. Kretchmer

Veronica walks across the campus of Hearst College (see “The Rapes of Graff”) where a banner advertises a Take Back the Night rally for that afternoon. She gives herself a pep talk for her first day of college, telling herself not to tick anyone off. She then attends her first Intro to Criminology class and drools over the professor, Dr. Landry (Patrick Fabian), with a fellow student. Landry tells the students about a mentoring program where college kids can mentor at-risk kids in Neptune. He also introduces his teaching assistant, Tim Foyle (James Jordan, who also played Lucky in season 2). The other smitten student asks about Landry’s book, but he tells her it’s for an upper-level course. He starts off the season with a murder mystery game called Murder on the Riverboat Queen. Tim hands out assignments for passengers, detectives, and the murderer as Landry announces that Tim has the record for the fastest solving of the mystery, 16 minutes. As the other students start working, Veronica just logs onto the Internet. Later, Tim catches her reading a magazine and taunts that she might be better off as an education major. He’s stunned to hear that she’s already solved the mystery despite having never moved from her seat.

Veronica tells Landry and the class who she’s pegged as the murderer. She’s correct, and she’s beaten Tim’s time by ten minutes. She explains that the game was a mystery-in-a-box game made in the ‘80s, and the answer to the game was online. Tim tries to get her in trouble by noting that there was no Internet in the 1890s, when the game is set, but Landry admits that there was no rule about computers. Tim notes that there were two possible killers, but Veronica figured out which it was because Landry mentioned the person’s gender. “There is one thing I can’t figure out, though,” she says to Tim. “What did you do for the extra ten minutes?” Later, Veronica and Logan hang out on campus, obviously back together, and Logan mentions that he saw Dick around earlier. He’s back from spending time with Dick Sr. in the Caymans and apparently his stepfather, Schwarzenegger’s business manager, got him into Hearst. Logan says that people are saying Dick is a mess because of Cassidy’s death (see “Not Pictured”), but Veronica reminds him that it’s not his fault. “Nothing’s ever my fault,” Logan says.

Back at home, Veronica gets a letter from the Sutcliffe Hotel in New York. At Mars Investigations, Keith gets a visit from Vinnie, who suggests teaming up to uncover an embezzler. Keith tells him that he’s already working on a case that’s taking him out of town. Vinnie sees that he has some interesting tools for said job and thinks he’s on a hit. He also admires Keith’s briefcase. When Keith arrives at home, Veronica shows him the pictures they accidentally left in their hotel in New York that someone sent to them. Apparently she was alone there for a few days (see “Not Pictured”) until he joined her. They disagree about where one photo was taken but Keith tells her not to challenge him on buildings. Keith asks how Veronica’s first day of college was; she tells him she didn’t make any friends, but possibly some enemies. He reminds her that he’s going away for a few days but Backup is in charge and has instructions to maul Logan if he’s over past midnight. “Backup’s in charge? What about the b%$@# he’s been seeing?” Veronica asks.

Wallace is playing basketball in his dorm room when he meets his new roommate, Stosh “Piz” Piznarski (Chris Lowell). Piz is disappointed not to be the best-looking person in the room. Wallace heads outside with him to get all of his stuff from his car, but when they get there, everything is gone. Wallace assures him that he knows someone who can help. Back in their room, Piz expresses skepticism that Veronica can get the job done; he decides just to let the local police take the job. When Veronica arrives, Wallace gives her the news, but a clearly smitten Piz decides he’d like to let her help. She asks for $500 as her finder’s fee, though he doesn’t have to pay if she doesn’t find his stuff. She tells Piz it’s her friend-of-a-friend rate, though Wallace notes that he hasn’t decided yet if Piz is cool. The three go back to the car as Piz explains that there was a chubby girl with a clipboard who told him she was from Hearst’s Welcome Wagon and would look after his things. He’s mostly upset about losing his 1967 guitar. At the car, Wallace discovers that someone has written “the Unwashed” in the dirt. Veronica decides that the next step is to go talk to Wallace and Piz’s RA. The tea-drinking RA, Moe Flater (Andrew McClain), teaches the three swear words from Battlestar Galactica before revealing that the Hearst Welcome Wagon doesn’t exist.

Cormac Fitzpatrick, brother to Liam and ex of Kendall, is released from prison and picked up by Keith. On the Hearst Campus, Nancy, a girl with a shaved head, leads the Take Back the Night rally, wanting to stop other girls from turning into rape victims like her. She and her supporters want more security, single-sex dorms, and for Dean O’Dell to shut down the frat houses. This final suggestion is rejected by some nearby guys. Veronica catches up with Mac, who isn’t making progress in therapy and who thinks it’s ironic that while she’s sexless, her roommate is “a one-woman red light district.” The rally is interrupted by a masked guy in Union Jack underwear who performs a naughty dance with a blowup doll before being kneed in the family jewels by Nancy’s friend Fern. Mac notes that it’s like they never left high school, and when the masked guy is revealed to be Dick, Veronica says it’s exactly like they never left. As Keith drives through the desert, Cormac thanks him for saving Kendall’s life by helping her disappear. Keith warns that Liam is still looking for her and will soon be looking for Cormac as well. Apparently Kendall took more of her share of a prize than Liam was willing to let go, so Cormac plans to head off into the sunset with her and hide from his brother.

Veronica and Logan relax post-coitus at the Neptune Grand, but their rest is interrupted when Keith calls and Logan answers the phone. In the car, Cormac tells Keith that Kendall has always been a good judge of character and he appreciates that Keith didn’t try to take advantage of that. Keith tells him that he spent his compensation on Veronica. In fact, he bought her a new car (a Saturn), which she uses to drive herself and Piz to the sheriff’s department. He notes the irony that a Mars is driving a Saturn in Neptune. Inside, Sacks tells them that there were four other Welcome Wagon victims in the span of 90 minutes, which makes Veronica thinks that the possessions must have been taken away in a van or truck. She asks for a list of the victims, but Sacks doesn’t like the idea of going behind Lamb’s back. Veronica points out that if he helps her out, she’ll basically do all the work for him. Back on campus, Veronica talks to some of the other victims, including a junior who doesn’t want to have to admit that after three years, she didn’t know there was no Welcome Wagon. Veronica spots an ad for a band playing at a club - their name is the Unwashed and their logo is the same as what was written on Piz’s car.

Veronica heads to Mac’s dorm room, where Mac’s roommate Parker Lee (Julie Gonzalo) is listening to the Pussycat Dolls and generally being bubbly. Parker loves everyone and everything, including Mac, changing clothes in front of other people, America’s Next Top Model, and Colin Farrell. Mac arrives and jumps at the chance to go anywhere else, but Parker winds up inviting herself along with them to see the Unwashed. The three go to the club together and meet up with Wallace and Piz, Veronica’s last-minute “muscle.” During the performance, Mac enjoys herself, Piz watches Veronica, and Parker parties. When the band is done, Veronica goes up onstage and offers a reward for any information on who took Piz’s stuff. Three junior-high kids approach the gang and tell them they were on campus to check out girls who sun topless on the south quad (something that greatly interests Piz and Wallace). They reveal that they saw two guys pull up in a moving van and steal everything from a car. They only details they can give are that the guys are black (“‘course they were,” says Wallace) and the van was white. As Veronica is turning them away, one says that there was also a blond girl with them who seemed to be wearing a fat suit.

Later that night, Dick visits Mac’s dorm room looking for Parker, who’s out with the Unwashed. Mac is stunned and shaken to see him. He tells her that Cassidy never cared about her - she was just his beard. Mac’s RA appears and chases Dick off. The next day, Veronica meets up with Piz and gives him some clothes a “friend” isn’t using anymore. She adds that his guitar may have shown up on Craigslist. The two head to an off-campus house and meet a guy named Donald who claims he bought the guitar at a flea market. Piz proves that it’s his. Donald tells them that the girl was blond and thin. Back on campus, Veronica goes back to the clueless junior and snaps her picture, assuming she’s the Welcome Wagon girl. When she goes to find Piz, she learns that he and Wallace have taken up residence on the south quad, which lives up to their expectations. Piz manages to snap out of it long enough to tell Veronica that the junior isn’t the Welcome Wagon girl. In the desert, Keith and Cormac run into car trouble and have no luck calling for help on a cell phone. Cormac decides against walking for help and says that he’s willing to wait for someone to come to them. Veronica returns to Donald’s house, where Donald isn’t sure that the junior is the Welcome Wagon girl. He does have a copy of Landry’s book and recommends the mentoring program. He also has a photo of a chubby blond girl.

After another Intro to Criminology class, Veronica approaches Tim and asks for more information on the mentoring program. They’re interrupted by Mac, who tells Tim that Landry needs him back in their classroom, but she’s only doing Veronica a favor so that Veronica can snoop in the office. In Donald’s mentoring file, she finds info on the kids he worked with - the three junior-high kids from the club. As a tow truck arrives for Keith and Cormac, Veronica and Logan eat in the campus food court and Veronica notes that Wallace told her Logan has yet to make an appearance in their sociology class. He distracts her by giving her a key card to his suite at the Neptune Grand. He seriously tells her that she’s the only girl he wants. Nearby, Dick starts chatting with an uninterested girl whose boyfriend jumps in to teach him a lesson. Logan comes to Dick’s rescue with Veronica’s taser. Dick is less than appreciative of his help. Piz arrives (wearing one of Duncan’s argyle shirts) and is disappointed to see that Veronica has a boyfriend. After Logan leaves, Veronica shows Piz Donald’s picture of the girl and he confirms that she was the Welcome Wagon girl. The head to the sheriff’s department and Veronica tells Sacks that the junior-high kids were working with Donald.

Veronica and Piz park themselves outside Donald’s house and discuss the details of Donald’s heist. He asks her why she does what she does, but she doesn’t have an answer. Piz thinks it has something to do with Lilly, whom Wallace told him about, but Veronica doesn’t want to talk about her. As the two enjoy cold drinks, Sacks and another deputy find all of the stolen stuff in Donald’s garage. Piz kind of ruins the moment by asking if Logan is Veronica’s boyfriend. In the middle of nowhere, Keith and Cormac arrive at a cabin, where Kendall has been hiding out all summer. Cormac and Kendall have a happy reunion. Back at Hearst, Veronica finds Mac sitting in the hall outside her dorm room; Parker is inside with a guy and she doesn’t want to go in. However, their movie tickets are also inside, so Veronica takes the bullet and goes in to get them. As she sneaks in, it’s too dark to see anything, but she hears a radio show called Club Flush (that will be important later), sex noises, and a low buzzing sound.

At the hideout, Kendall tells Keith that she and Cormac have chosen a place to run off to. Keith heads to the car to get some travel documents and discovers that Vinnie has placed a bugged pen in his briefcase. This confirms his fears that Vinnie is working for Liam. He goes to get his gun, but it’s not in the glove compartment. Unfortunately, Cormac has it, and Kendall is the unfortunate recipient of a couple of bullets. Cormac next goes after Keith, who takes off into the desert. Cormac decides to leave him there overnight and come find his body in the morning. “Guess Kendall wasn’t that great a judge of character after all,” he notes. Dick heads to the Neptune Grand, where Logan tells him he can live with him for a while. Dick tells him that he messed up, then breaks down. Veronica and Mac return to Mac’s dorm after their night out; Veronica is tipsy on Irish coffee and Mac thinks she should sleep on the couch rather than drive home. In the morning, Veronica and Mac are shocked awake by a screaming Parker - her head has been shaved.

WELCOME TO NEPTUNE: Landry, Tim, Piz, Moe, Parker

THE RAPE CASE: Dawn, Stacy, Nancy, and Parker are the four victims so far.

Dick tells Logan that he “messed up bad.”

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Keith: “Hot dog!”
Veronica: “Hot dog?”
Keith: “It’s an expression of excitement and enthusiasm. Joe and Frank Hardy and I used to say ‘hot dog’ all the time while we were waiting for the car hop to bring up our malteds at the drive-in.”
Veronica: “Drive-in?”
Keith: “I hate you.”
Veronica: “You love me.”
Keith: “Yeah, but it's all instinct.”

Keith: “Veronica, there are a few things in life to which you’ll have to defer to my age and experience, and that, sweet child of mine, is the Chrysler Building.”
Veronica: “Hm, senility. That comes with age, too, right?”
Keith: “I…can’t remember.”

Keith: “Did you make any friends?”
Veronica: “Lord, no.”
Keith: “Enemies?”
Veronica: “Eee….”
Keith: “Yeah, well, it is a day that ends in a Y.”
Veronica: “Hey! You mess with the bull….”

Veronica: “College campus, all your worldly possessions. Where are you from, Brigadoon?”
Piz: “Portland. Or, well, just outside of Portland, this little suburb called Beaverton. Real salt-of-the-earth people, you know, mini-van in every driveway, chicken in every pot.”
Veronica: “Where they never ask rhetorical questions?”

“If college is a boy buffet, she’s got two full plates and a purse full of boys wrapped in napkins.” - Mac, re: Parker

“She’s like boynip.” - Mac, re: Parker

Mac: “You worked in a coffee shop. How can you not know that an Irish coffee has whiskey in it?”
Veronica: “At Java the Hut, it meant a latté with a little shot of Irish cream syrup.”
Mac: “That explains the first one you ordered.”
Veronica: “They were magically delicious. And they served me. Boo-yah!”

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