Veronica Mars/Charlie Don't Surf

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Charlie Don't Surf
Charlie Don't Surf
Season 3, Episode 4
Airdate October 24, 2006
Production Number 3T5804
Written by Diane Ruggiero
& Jason Elen
Directed by Jason Bloom
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Veronica MarsSeason Three

Charlie Don't Surf is the fourth episode of the third season of Veronica Mars, and the forty-eighth episode overall. Logan enlists Veronica's aid to find out where his quickly disappearing trust fund is going. Meanwhile Dick's fraternity asks her to help them prove that they're not the Heart Rapist(s) and Keith is asked to find evidence that a woman's husband is cheating on her.

Starring: Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls), Percy Daggs III (Wallace Fennel), Ryan Hansen (Richard "Dick" Casablancas), Julie Gonzalo (Parker Lee), Chris Lowell (Stosh "Piz" Piznarski (credit only)), Tina Majorino (Cindy "Mac" Mackenzie (credit only)), Michael Muhney (Sheriff Don Lamb (credit only)), Francis Capra (Eli "Weevil" Navarro (credit only))

And: Enrico Colantoni as Keith Mars

Special Guest Star: Matt Czuchry (Charlie Stone/Norman Phipps)

Guest Starring: Chastity Dotson (Nish Sweeney), David Tom (Chip Diller), Krista Kalmus (Claire Nordhouse), Parry Shen (Hsiang "Charleston" Chu)

And: Laura San Giacomo as Harmony Chase

Co-Starring: Lee Weaver (Walter), Ryan Eggold (Mr. Stone), Tanya Michelle (Nancy), Mark Ciarrochi (Marvin Chase), Cliff Weissman (Avi Kaufman), Amy Rider (Charlotte), David Manning (Frat Brother), Leanna Campbell (Carly)


Plot Overview

At Keith's suggestion, Logan joins the Mars family at their apartment for dinner in the evening. After trying on his usual levity about situations Veronica considers grave, Logan promises to be on his best behavior in Keith's presence. Nevertheless, Veronica attempts to moderate nearly all of Keith's questions and Logan's answers during dinner.

The next day, Veronica goes to see Parker. After suffering Parker's loathing briefly, Veronica reveals her own rape at the hands of Cassidy Casablancas. They are interrupted by the appearance of Nish, writing an article for the Hearst FreePress. Veronica leaves, but listens in from the dorm hallway. Nish asks Parker, whose rape occurred after leaving a Theta Beta party, if she saw anyone from Pi Sig at the party.

Meanwhile, Logan is complaining to Avi Kaufman, the manager of Aaron's estate, that there is money missing from his trust fund. Logan threatens to have lawyers look for improprieties in the management, a threat to which Avi responds by offering to provide Logan all of the fund's records. Later, Logan brings Veronica, who has offered to enlist her father's accountant to help self through the records for foul play, to collect 10 full boxes of files.

Harmony Chase, an acquaintance of Keith's, comes to his office with suspicions that her husband is cheating on her, citing late working hours, "mysterious calls", and last-minute business trips as reasons for suspicion.

Wallace shows up at the library while Veronica is on the job to show her a front-page article in the paper linking the campus rapes with Pi Sig events -- complete with a statistics graphic.

Dick, a member of Pi Sig, visits Veronica at the Mars' apartment to ask her to clear Pi Sig of the rape charges, as the issue has apparently escalated to requiring a hearing on Pi Sig's continued endorsement as a fraternity at Hearst. Veronica agrees for $1500, her real motivation being the full access to Pi Sig behind-the-scenes Dick promises.

While Veronica dons a pantsuit for her foray into the Pi Sig frathouse, Keith over does it on aftershave for his meeting at the office with Harmony, and lets Veronica know that his accountant is still looking into Logan's files. At the office, he tells Harmony that he saw Carly Hern dropping Marvin off at his workplace. Though Harmony is less jealous and relieved about the woman on the side not being a midlife crisis fulfillment for Marvin, she agrees to bug Marvin for audio surveillance.

At Pi Sig, Veronica talks to Charleston Chu, who was tending bar at the party Clare was at and came up as the number one suspect in her rape. She tells him as much and he tells her that Chip Diller was apparently caught in flagrante (or naked, sweating, anxious, and locked away in his room) during the party. While she is attempting to get to the bottom of whether or not the Pi Sigs are involved in the rapes, the campus feminist group has gathered in a mob outside the house.

Keith and Harmony appear to have forgotten their important appointments entirely in favor of telling their life stories to each other. Veronica and Logan interrupt, at which point Harmony departs. This gives Keith time to explain to Logan that the disappearing money, $10,000 per month, is being funneled into "Aaron's Kidz," a charity run by Avi Kaufman for Aaron.

Veronica, having lunch with Logan, confronts Chip, who seems to have bruised hands (apparently stepped on by a brother during the Halloween party). He also explains that he wasn't raping anyone and that the girl who he was with when Charleston came to his door was his girlfriend. Shortly after Veronica corroborates Chip's story with the girl, Dick shows up to hassle Veronica about her slow pace. She sees that his hand is similarly bruised like Chip's was. Dick claims that a window fell on it.

While investigating the money laundering, Veronica follows the money through Aaron's Kidz (different from the Aaron's Kids charity that they initially thought it was) and into a wide variety of various other companies until they find the source: Charlie Stone. Veronica reveals to Logan that Charlie Stone is his half-brother and that he was getting $10,000 per month in "hush money."

Logan calls Charlie looking to meet, and Parker complains that Veronica should be taking a more confrontational approach to hunting for the rapist instead of working with the Pi Sigs. Parker makes several revelations about Dick Casablancas: She met him at orientation and thought he was cute and he also chased Nancy (another victim) out of the Pi Sig haunted house, screaming at her.

While trailing Carly and Marvin, Keith manages to get a picture of the two kissing briefly outside of the restaurant.

When confronted by Veronica, Nancy explains that she was chased out of the Pi Sig house when she and Claire attached rat traps to their "grope-able" body parts and walked into the Pi Sig "grope room" in the Halloween house. After being chased out of the house, she lost track of Claire. Later that night, Nancy thought she saw Claire down the street from the party, but claims it couldn't have been her, because the woman didn't respond when she cried out her name.

Veronica, however, knows that people under the influence of powerful rape drugs aren't among the most alert, so she visits a convenience store down the street. The clerk verifies that Claire was at the store with a young man, buying condoms. He also mentions that he pointed the two towards an ATM when he wouldn't accept a credit card for less than $15 worth of goods.

Logan has a few beers with Charlie Stone and they agree to continue the brotherly bonding over surfing. Veronica walks in just in time to meet Logan's newfound half-brother, but something about him makes her suspicious. Veronica decides to look into his background to see if he's what he claims to be. At the private school where she tracked Charlie down to, Veronica finds a entirely different person answering to the name of Charlie Stone.

Meanwhile, Logan and Fake Charlie are surfing and Logan tells a traumatic story about Aaron snapping on Christmas one year when he was a child. When they return to the beach, the brothers find Veronica, who reveals that Fake Charlie is actually Norman Phipps, a contributor for Vanity Fair. In response to this, Logan decks Norman.

At Mars Investigations, Keith presents the pictures he took to Harmony. But, the bugged conversation proves that Carly was the one who was pushing Marvin into an affair, which he rebuked. Marvin ended the potential for an affair when he handed her account off to a co-worker named Darryl Derryberry.

Veronica uses Keith's bank connections to get a picture of when Claire was using the ATM to get money for the convenience store earlier, showing her with a decidedly sober non-brother of Pi Sig, thus fulfilling her contract with the fraternity. Although justice was found for the frat, it means that the "Greek Chorus of Feminist Shame" (Nancy, Claire, Parker, Nish, and some extras) can't shut down the Pi Sigs with a rape allegation.

As the real Charlie Stone is mobbed by reporters, Veronica calls Parker on seeking retribution against a group of guys who, although aren't upstanding members of society, had nothing to do with her rape.

Later, while Veronica retrieves Logan's watch, given as a gift to Norman, Norman lets Veronica know that the real Charlie hadn't gone public about his genetic identity, as Logan apparently believed. Logan calls Charlie Stone to apologize for accusing him of fame-seeking, and hoping to start a brotherly relationship with his real half-brother.


Mystery of the Week

  • Logan's Money is Disappearing: Logan asks Avi Kaufman, his father's business manager, about a mysterious drain on his accounts. Keith's accountant discovers that the money is going to "Aaron's Kidz," a corporation intended to invite confusion with defunct charity "Aaron's Kids", but with a different aim. By following the money trail, Veronica finds that the new company has an ultimate goal more true to its name: paying off a flight attendant who bore Logan's secret half brother, Charlie Stone. While Logan tries to bond with his long-lost brother, Veronica discovers that this "Charlie Stone" is really Norman Phipps, a Vanity Fair reporter looking for lurid tales of an Echolls life, who tapped Charlie's phone in hopes that Logan would discover the truth and call, as he did. The real Charlie Stone turns out to be as decent as Logan thought Norman was, and Logan calls him, looking for family more real than what he currently has.

The Hearst Rapist

  • Several more details about Dick's activities were raised in this episode. He was pounding on Parker's door the night before she was raped. Dick sidesteps Veronica's question about his activities on the night of Parker's rape; as Logan told her that he showed up at his apartment asking for help, but didn't relate further detail, it seems that Dick did not tell Logan either.
  • Veronica obtains a high-quality picture of an as-yet-unknown student with Claire on the night of her rape, using it to clear Pi Sig of the rapes.
  • While Pi Sig is not guilty of Claire's rape, it is certainly guilty of sexual harassment by way of the "boo room."

Arc Advancement


  • Feminists: The anger of the rape victims, Nish, and others at Veronica's successful clearing of Pi Sig seems to suggest that they are less interested in the solution to the mystery than in using the issue as a wedge to drive fraternities off campus.


  • Logan: The dinner at the Mars home during the teaser marks the first time Logan has been at the apartment while Keith is there since he threw an enraged Logan out during a flashback sequence in Normal Is the Watchword.



The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • Charlie Don't Surf: The title of the episode comes from a line in the movie, Apocalypse Now, where an Army colonel is allowing his soldiers to surf on the front lines in the Vietnam war.
  • Sidney Poitier: Sidney Poitier is an Academy Award winning actor from the Bahamas who has starred in acclaimed films like They Call Me Mister Tibbs and Lilies of the Field.
Logan: You were expecting Sidney Poitier?
  • I Love Lucy: Lucy Ricardo was notorious for getting into schemes that she attempted to hide from her husband Ricky in uninspired ways. While spying on Ricky once, she wore an oversized hat and sunglasses in hopes of fooling him.
Keith: No more I Love Lucy reruns for you.
  • Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: Keith alludes to a line in the introduction to the celebrity home series Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, hosted by Robin Leach. In the series, Leech took the viewer through a grandiose house owned by a famous celebrity. It is the spiritual ancestor to shows like Cribs.
Keith: Is it possible your boyfriend's financial problems are just his champagne wishes and caviar dreams biting him on the ass?
  • Manning Family: Peyton and Eli Manning are both professional football quarterbacks in the National Football League. Peyton plays for the Indianapolis Colts, while Eli plays for the New York Giants. Their father is Archie Manning, who was also a quarterback in his time for the New Orleans Saints.
Veronica: Quarterback seemed to run in the Manning family.
  • Entourage: Parker makes a brief reference to the HBO drama series Entourage. In the series, "hugging it out" has become something of a catchphrase used in reference to two guys making up after an argument.
Parker: Hugging it out with Dick Casablancas?
  • Bubbles: Bubbles the chimp was the name of Michael Jackson's pet chimpanzee until Jackson was forced to send him away to a care facility when Bubbles grew violent.
Veronica: So, Bubbles, feel like doing me a solid?
  • Red Shirts: Although Veronica doesn't refer to them as such, she certainly implies that the Pi Sig extras are "red shirts." The red shirts on Star Trek: The Original Series are nameless Ensigns who were often used as fodder that wouldn't make it through the episode alive.
Veronica: Hello Chip. Dick. Faceless Star Trek crew members.
  • Larry King Live: Larry King has hosted his live talk show on CNN since 1985. Although he is known for lobbing softball questions at his guests and generally isn't seen as a serious journalist, King is well known in television interviews and often talks to guests with high social or political stature.
Veronica: I saw you on Larry King last night.

Memorable Moments

  • Dick visits the Mars apartment to hire Veronica. This is the first time the characters have interacted, beyond a few barbs in passing or a few investigative questions from Veronica met with hostility.


  • Nish: —Veronica. It's good to see you.
    Veronica: And that's where we differ.
  • Veronica: (to Wallace) Colored ink? It must be true!
  • Dick: We need you to do your Veronica thing and prove it's a pack of lies.
  • Charleston: He was buck naked and sweaty. Like I caught him in...
    Veronica: Flagrante.
    Charleston: No. In the middle of sex.
  • Veronica: Mind if I put the screws to someone?
    Logan: Go ahead. Screw your brains out.
  • Nancy: You a little busy doing funnel shots for the Pi Sigs?
    Veronica: Aren't you? Heard you went to their haunted house. That must have been fun. Did you go as a hypocrite?
  • Veronica (to Pi Sigs): Voilà. Proof of innocence. Courtesy of pixie-spy magic.
  • Veronica: When did the Greek Chorus of Feminist Shame arrive?
  • Veronica (to Parker): I was looking for the truth. And I found it. You wanna nail someone to the wall just to have someone nailed there, or do you want the person responsible to pay?