Veronicamars_02_jasondohrinForget school bus murders, Veronica (Kristen Bell) is ready for some college-level mysteries — you know, the kind that aren’t mixed up with prom or commuting in a big yellow vehicle. She just hopes she doesn’t piss anyone off too soon. After all, it’s only her third season out.

So who will be her new friends and lovers this season?

Old Friends: Wallace and Mac still love her, as does dear old dad, who’s off for most of the episode keeping company with Cormac Fitzpatrick now that he’s released from prison and looking to reunite with his honey Kendall Casablancas.

New Friends: 1) Wallace’s roommate Piz asks her to apprehend the blonde chick who conned him out of all his worldly possessions by posing as the Hearst Welcome Wagon. Stolen clothes and guitar? Sounds a bit Encyclopedia Brown to me, and Piz is similarly leery: "This girl is our age and also a detective? Is she also a cartoon?"

2) Mac’s roommate Parker (can’t Veronica find her own friends?) is too blonde, too flirtatious and too free with her body, but a frightening episode in the dorm sets Veronica sniffing after a real case this time, even though it’s not clear who will pay her fee.

Old Lovers: Despite being star-crossed, Veronica and Logan (Jason Dohring) are still together — if you ask him anyway. He’s given her his dorm room key as proof of his troth, but when Piz asks if she’s dating Logan, she doesn’t immediately profess her love. That doesn’t stop her from getting all kissy face with Logan in public or sweaty with him in bed though.

New Lovers: Hey, it’s early yet, but Piz looks interested. And there’s always the occasional guest star who will be wowed by Veronica’s plucky spirit.

Old Enemies: Not enemies per se, but there’s no love lost between Veronica and Dick Casablancas, whose brother Beaver was last season’s mystery killer … or Chip Diller, whom she once accused of rape … or Sheriff Lamb, who keeps running into these damn Mars snoops.

New Enemies: 1) Veronica totally shames her Intro to Criminology TA Tim Foyle by beating his record from the previous year for solving their first murder mystery class project within six minutes. And what’s up with Timmy anyway? Who does he think he’s fooling with that rug, glue-on facial hair and wire-frame specs? What’s he hiding?

2) The person who stole Piz’s stuff (Keep your ears pricked for a Charles Dickens reference).

3) The person who’s responsible for the on-campus rapes that leave the girls violated and their heads completely shaved.

Other observations: Props to the writers for 1) explaining that "’Frack’ is the profanity of the future" for all the unenlightened non-Battlestar Galactica watchers 2) their completely gratuitous shout out to Top Model (Go CW, it’s your birthday) and 3) making the completely obscure reference "and boom goes the dynamite."

Forget about the on-campus rapes (haven’t we explored rape already on this show?) and amateur thieves. I have one burning questions that hopefully Veronica will answer soon: Why is she so thirsty? Something is going on here. Maybe she has too much salt in her diet or is diabetic? Where’s House when you need him?

Posted by:Hanh Nguyen