Mars residence – Keith is reading the paper which has reported the murder of a co-ed. The act is believed to have been committed by the E-String Strangler who was supposedly caught two years before. Keith was never convinced but the mayor and Chamber of Commerce were anxious to close the case.
Neptune High School, lunch area – As Wallace and Veronica go to their table, Veronica is approached by 09er Jackson Douglas.
JACKSON: I hear you do detective stuff for people.
VERONICA: I do favours for friends.
JACKSON: I can pay.
VERONICA: Sit down, friend. What can I do for you?
He asks Veronica to dig up dirt on his strict parents to give him leverage. As they talk, Madison Sinclair enjoys the string quartet and cake her parents have arranged for her birthday. Her annual birthday party is one of the events of the year for 09ers.
Mars Investigations – Veronica is looking up Jackson's parents on her computer when Sheriff Lamb arrives with the mayor and asks to see Keith.
LAMB: Is your daddy here, or is he busy peeking in people's windows?
VERONICA: You stop dressing up like Little Bo Peep, he'll stop peeking.
She shows them into Keith's office and waits. The result, to Veronica's surprise, is that Keith is going to work with Lamb until the E-String Strangler is caught. Veronica asks Keith to get the Crime Stoppers Hotline recording on the anonymous call identifying Koontz. Keith says no.
Neptune High School, girls' bathroom – Veronica gives Jackson the dirt on his parents.
JACKSON: I don't care what they say about you, Veronica Mars. You rock.
VERONICA: Yes, I do. I also take cash.
Neptune High School, lunch area – Another 09er approaches Veronica to dig up dirt on her parents.
Sheriff's department – Keith briefs the deputies. The first two victims were killed in 2001 and 2002 and now there is a third, Amy Polk. All the cases have certain facts in common, such as the girls being undergrads on Spring Break who were asphyxiated and dumped in the bay with a guitar string around their necks. Keith is constantly interrupted by Lamb who has little of value to contribute but sees it as a pissing contest.
Neptune High School, girls' bathroom – Veronica gives Crystal and then another 09er, Jasmine, the dirt on their parents. Mac watches.
Mars Investigations – Mac proposes that she and Veronica create a website to dig the dirt on parents and make a fortune. Veronica thinks she is too busy with school and cases but says she will think about it. Mac then asks Veronica to look into her own parents as she has never felt she belonged. Veronica discovers that the Mackenzies received a million dollar settlement in 1992 from Neptune Memorial Hospital. Mac is surprised.
MAC: No way. That's got to be a mistake.
VERONICA: Hello? Sleuth prowess.
She asks Veronica to look into it.
Library – Veronica researches the settlement and discovers Mac was switched at birth and is not the Mackenzies natural daughter.
Evermore Guitars – Keith and Lamb talk to Gabe, in charge of the shop. He gives them a bit of attitude before telling them that there is nothing special about the guitar string. They leave but not before Gabe and Lamb snark on each other.
LAMB: Strappin' on a guitar. Does it get rid of feelings of inadequacy?
GABE: Does strappin' on a gun?
Mackenzie residence – Veronica goes to Mac's house. Mac's little brother and mother are both very blonde, unlike Mac, whose given name is Cindy. Once alone in Mac's room, Veronica advises Mac that she may not what to know. She does. Veronica tells her that she was switched at birth with Madison Sinclair.
Sheriff's department – Keith and Lamb interrogate the bartender at Body Shots, Vic. He is unhelpful. When he makes a suggestive crack about Veronica, who peeks in the window to show Keith she has brought him some food, Keith reacts by flinging Vic's feet off the table, causing him to fall. Meanwhile, Veronica introduces herself to Deputy Leo and they flirt as she gives him the bag for Keith. While he puts the bag in the fridge, Veronica looks for something she doesn't find. She and Keith flirt a little more and then Veronica leaves, secure that she will be able to secure what she wants by manipulating him.
VERONICA: You looked in my bag.
LEO: I told you, I'm a scoundrel.
VERONICA: A rogue deputy is among us. No sandwich is safe.
LEO: I tell you what. If you promise to come back and visit me, I will stay out of the fridge.
VERONICA VOICEOVER: Oh my Deputy Leo. You might as well leave me a key and a map.
Back in the interrogation room, Vic tells Keith and Lamb that they should talk to the Worm who videotapes girls in the bars and sells them to "Girls Gone Bad."
Apartments – Keith stops Lamb as he is about to bang on a door to listen to the sexual moans and groans coming from inside. Keith figures it is a video and raps on the door. A very sleazy-looking man opens the door. Keith asks if he recognises Amy from her picture. Lamb sees videotapes and a guitar in the apartment. The man, Eddie, says he can't help and Keith ends the conversation. This upsets Lamb, who wants to arrest Eddie.
LAMB: I guess you didn't notice, the guitar sitting out there in plain sight.
KEITH: I saw it.
LAMB: So what does he need, a shirt reading "I'm the E-String Killer, arrest me"? Let's go back.
KEITH: He needed to look like he's not going to soil himself. If he gets any more freaked out, he's going to destroy those tapes before we get a warrant.
LAMB: You should have consulted me first.
KEITH: What did you want me to do, consult you in pig-latin? He was standing right there!
LAMB: You don't make the decisions around here. I am the sheriff.
KEITH: I noticed. Thank you.
Neptune High School – Veronica catches up with Mac who is holding a flyer for Madison's party. She wants to crash it. Veronica says it is a bad idea. This does nothing to dissuade Mac.
Sinclair residence – Mac, Wallace and Veronica crash the party. Madison is not happy.
MADISON: What are you doing here?
WALLACE: I came to celebrate your birth, but these two just wanna hook up.
Mac evades Madison long enough to get a taste of her life from photos of her travels around the world. In a large library, Mac meets Madison's little sister, Lauren who is nice. Madison interrupts and tells Mac to leave and that she doesn't belong there. Mac is about to contradict but Veronica steps in and pulls Mac away.
Mackenzie residence – Veronica pulls up to the house. Mac doesn't understand why she and Madison weren't switched back. Veronica says their parents probably got attached to the children after four years. Mac asks Veronica to find out what happened to the money.
Sheriff's department – In the car park, Lamb unloads boxes of videotapes seized from Eddie that he and Keith will go through, having ascertained that Eddie made them for himself and not "Girls Gone Bad." Leo joins them to say that the strings from Eddie's guitar match those left on the victims. Later that night, Leo is alone, manning the department. Veronica arrives with a pizza. They flirt and eat until Weevil arrives and distracts Leo at the counter while Veronica finds the keys for the evidence room. She finds the Crime Stoppers Hotline CD. Weevil goes when he has served his purpose. Veronica stays with Leo, genuinely interested in him.
LEO: Seventeen? You're seventeen?
VERONICA: I don't see how my age is relevant to this discussion.
LEO: Well then, you're not reading my mind.
Leo tells Veronica he is in a band.
Mars residence – In her bedroom, Veronica listens to the Crime Stoppers Hotline CD through headphones. She finds the anonymous caller who gave up Koontz. The voice is digitally disguised. In the lounge, Keith views Eddie's videos. Amy Polk is on one of them.
Sheriff's department – Keith suggests they bring Eddie in. Lamb already has because one of the dead girls was on one of the tapes he checked.
KEITH: So how do you wanna play this?
LAMB: I say we play to our strengths.
KEITH: So I'm good cop?
They interrogate Eddie. He is sweating and nervous. Lamb attempts to bully a confession and leaves Eddie to write one when Keith asks to talk to Lamb outside. Keith has doubts about Eddie's mental state, the legitimacy of any confession and his guilt. Lamb is snide and dismisses Keith when he sees Eddie writing. Lamb re-enters the interrogation room to read the confession. Eddie has written "I want a lawyer."
Mars Investigations – Veronica calls Mac. She asks if she can strip the voice down. Mac says she will try. Veronica also tells Mac that the settlement was used to buy a business which failed and for which Mac's dad now works. Mac promises not to do anything stupid.
Sinclair residence – Mac finishes the call and steps out of the car. She is in front of Madison's house. She knocks. Mrs Sinclair answers and is stunned as she appears to recognise her. She covers. Both seem to know the score – that this is a girl and her mother but neither will say it. Mac says she left her bag and Mrs Sinclair invites her in. Lauren is welcoming and Madison is derisive. Mrs Sinclair and Mac talk inconsequentially and cautiously until it becomes too much for Mac and she leaves. Mrs Sinclair watches her go with regret.
Sheriff's department – Keith is packing up when a distraught woman reports her daughter is missing and she is convinced the strangler has her. Keith unpacks, much to Lamb's disgust. Sacks reports that the lab results are in regarding a phone number written on Amy Polk's hand. It is Vic's number. Lamb sends his men out to find Vic. Keith, concerned, calls Veronica but she does not answer.
Neptune streets – Keith tracks Veronica's cell phone to what looks like a derelict building. He can hear guitars. He busts in with his gun drawn.
Building – The band freezes at the sight of the gun. It's Leo's band and Veronica is there watching them jam. She's embarrassed and Keith explains that the strangler may be someone who is attracted to her. Keith notices the sound-proofing in the room which gives him an idea. He asks Leo to accompany him while the others escort Veronica back to the sheriff's department.
Evermore Guitars – Keith and Leo pull up outside. The shop is closed at weekends. This fits the killer's pattern of abducting girls on Friday and disposing of the bodies on Sunday night. Keith finds a wrist band from Body Shots on the ground. He asks Leo to keep watch and breaks in. In the sound proofed room behind the counter, Keith hears a girl calling for help. He pries the padlock off a small refrigerator and releases the girl. Behind him, Gabe is about to brain Keith when Leo tackles him. Gabe gets the better of Leo and is trying to strangle him when Keith brings matter to an end by pointing his gun at Gabe's head.
Sheriff's department – Leo is packing up her gear when Veronica comes to thank him. He's been suspended because the evidence room was unlocked on his shift. He knows it was Veronica and she feels guilty.
VERONICA VOICEOVER: Same old story. Girl uses boy. Girl falls for boy. Boy saves girl's dad's life. Girl gets what she deserves.
Mac calls her to say she's stripped the digital voice.
Mackenzie residence – Mac's family is getting ready to leave. Mac plays the voice a few times until Veronica says she knows who it is. Later, as Mac loads her stuff in the camper, she sees Mrs Sinclair watching from across the street in her car. Mac walks up to the car and puts her hand on the glass. Mrs Sinclair does the same and they share an emotional moment before the Mackenzies call her and Mrs Sinclair drives away.
Mars Investigations – Veronica prepares her camera.
VERONICA VOICEOVER: I suppose this isn't my smartest move. I don't care. I want him to know what it feels like.
Kane Software – Clarence Wiedman receives an envelope containing pictures of himself.
VERONICA VOICEOVER: You send target photos of me to my mom. You call in the Abel Koontz tip. Two words for you, Clarence Wiedman: game on.