"Debasement Tapes" was the seventeenth episode of the third season of Veronica Mars.


Veronica & Logan on the elevator.

Piz is put in charge of escorting his idol, Desmond Fellows, a singer/musician from 1990's band, My Pretty Pony, who arrives on Hearst College to perform at a benefit concert for the campus radio station. Fellows' back-up vocals tapes go missing, so Piz recruits Veronica to help locate them.

On her way to meet Desmond and Piz at the Neptune Grand Hotel, Veronica is forced to take an awkward elevator ride with Logan. While on the elevator, Logan inadvertently asks if she cheated on him with Piz when she was staying in Wallace's dorm room. Veronica replies, "nothing happened." As the elevator doors opens, Piz is standing there waiting for Veronica. Logan is obviously discomfited by this.

Veronica quizzes Desmond about the missing tapes, only to have Desmond try to hit on her. When Desmond asks how old she is, Veronica responds, "I'm eleven." They narrow the search down to a fan Desmond mistakenly invited to his hotel room. It's turns out, she is a Chinese Language teacher at Hearst College. She doesn't have the tapes after all, and Veronica has to start all over.

Desmond performs his new material.

Veronica finds out that Desmond had the wrong backpack and his backpack is in Los Angeles. Veronica and Piz discover Desmond Fellow's new material with his backup tracks. After hearing the music, Piz decides to tell Desmond that they are stuck in traffic, and to play his new material until they get to the club. Desmond decides to play his solo music, and the fans love it. Piz and Veronica both get to his concert in time to watch it beginning to end. After Desmond starts his concert, Veronica tells Piz "Piznarski, you're one nice guy." To which Piz reacts with a disappointed grin. Veronica then holds Piz's hand throughout the concert. Piz is visibly ecstatic.

Max & Mac.

While Veronica and Piz search for the tapes, Logan hires Mac to build him a website devoted to rating women's bodies for a class. In the process, she meets Max and falls for him, leading her to break up with Bronson Pope. Mac, convinced of the site's money-making potential, opts to be paid in a percentage of ownership instead of cash. Logan's professor, however, does not find the idea nearly as impressed, refusing to even let Logan finish his presentation.

After a weekend of hard work, Logan quizzes Mac about Veronica's love life. Mac, who is obviously put off by this, answers Logan by saying "Veronica's letting Piz down easy." Logan responds by noting that Veronica slept in the same room as Piz during a brief quarrel. Mac replies, "No more talk of Veronica's love life... ever." And tells Logan that he is stupid to think that Veronica would ever cheat on him.

Keith believes he will be running unopposed in the race for Sheriff, until an unlikely candidate throws his hat into the ring: Vinnie Van Lowe.

Arc significance

  • Veronica sees a new side of Piz when he tricks Desmond into playing his own new material. She likes what she sees, and the episode ends with the two holding hands.
  • Mac breaks up with Bronsen Pope after spending the weekend working with Max.
  • Vinnie Van Lowe will be running against Keith Mars in the special election for Sheriff.


  • "Life Is Good" - Junk
  • "Power" - Shapes of Race Cars
  • "Payday" - Cotton Mather
  • "No Emotion" - Idlewild
  • "Don't Take My Sunshine Away" - Sparklehorse

Quotes and trivia

  • This episode garnered 1.95 million viewers on its initial airing.
  • Women whom Desmond Fellows claims to have bedded include Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, and Jennifer Love Hewitt ("twice").
  • Keith and Desmond argue about The Beatles, in which Keith references several Beatles songs, such as "Hey Jude" and "Get Back". Veronica walks in and tells Keith to "Let it Be", a reference to another Beatles song and subsequent title of the album it was released in.
  • The title of the episode is a probable reference to the title of the Bob Dylan and The Band album titled "The Basement Tapes", or possibly to the 1992 Biff Bang Pow album of the same name.
  • An exhausted Mac exclaims "...the next time and last time i run will be to chase down and kill the inventor of Ultimate Frisbee." Ultimate Frisbee was invented and named by Joel Silver, the executive producer of the show.
  • The orange disc held by Bronson is a Clockwork Orange disc, the official disc of Princeton University's Men's and Women's Ultimate Teams.
  • Desmond performs his show at a club called Liberty Lunch, a reference to a now-defunct venue in Austin, Texas, where series creator Rob Thomas used to reside.

External links

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