"Ruskie Business" was the fifteenth episode of the first season of Veronica Mars.

In this episode, Veronica is hired by a Russian mail-order bride who requests her help in finding a long-lost love. Meanwhile, Veronica must help her friend, Meg, deal with a secret admirer while simultaneously guiding Logan through the possibility that his mother, Lynn, may still be alive.


Veronica talks to Logan about his mom's credit card use. Meanwhile, Duncan organizes an 1980s-themed dance. While they are talking, Meg walks up and tells her that she has a secret admirer. Meg asks for her help. Veronica walks into Mars Investigations, where a woman named Katerina asks Veronica to find her fiancé. Katerina explains the situation—they met online, but they have lost touch, and she thinks that he is in Neptune. Veronica asks Wallace to track one of the two boys who possibly texted Meg, and he agrees. The next day, Meg receives some flowers from her secret admirer. Veronica reports back to Katerina that they haven't found Tom (her fiancé), but Katerina agrees to pay more. Veronica places a fake casting call to pinpoint Tom, which she does. Logan's mom's credit card shows up with another charge at a hotel. Logan and Veronica attempt to enter the room in which her mother is staying. They are denied access, but Logan decides to stake out the place until the situation is resolved. Veronica visits the flower shop, but the staff member is unhelpful. Veronica finds out that Tom's dog is named Steve and decides to track the dog down.

Trina finds out her mother's credit cards are cut off.

Veronica contacts local animal hospitals and eventually finds one with a Catahoula Leopard Dog named Steve. She pretends to want to breed "her dog" with Steve, the dog's owner refuses to speak to her. Veronica visits Leo D'Amato, who agrees to call the numbers that the vet called. Meg goes to a party, but they find nothing in terms of her secret admirer. Logan continues to camp out in the hotel lobby. After Veronica appears, Logan sees someone who he thinks is his mom. However, it turns out to be Logan's sister Trina, which whom Logan has a tumultuous relationship. After Trina leaves, Logan breaks down crying in Veronica arms after realizing that his mother really is gone. On Keith's own insurance fraud case, he is being followed by a group of men in a silver Chevrolet. Keith eventually steals the car, also seeing that it belongs to someone named Yevgeny Sukarenko. Veronica goes back to the flower shop, bringing a sketch artist to aid the owner's memory. Leo gets back to Veronica and mentions three names. Veronica recognizes the third name and is about to call Katerina back with the news before Keith stops her. It turns out that "Katerina" is actually Yelena Sukarenko, the daughter of the criminal who is actually trying to track down Tom because he testified against her father and has changed his identity through the Witness Protection Program.

Under Keith's instructions, Veronica tells Yelena a fake address. Yevgeny and his associate go into the fake address (the model home of Meg's party), where they are promptly arrested by Keith, Leo, and others. Veronica receives the copy of the sketch of the secret admirer (Duncan), although she doesn't tell Meg this. However, at the dance, Veronica allows Duncan to approach Meg. Veronica goes back to her car and breaks down until Leo appears and invites her back into the dance. Soon, the two see Logan, drunk and acting strange, charging through the room in a dress shirt and briefs. Leo kisses Veronica. Veronica receives several calls from an unknown number, which is actually a pay phone that her mom, Lianne, likely used. She goes to the pay phone and finds her mom. She tries to get her out of the bar before seeing Clarence Wiedman looking at them.

Arc significance

  • It was Trina who was using Lynn's credit card, suggesting that Lynn is indeed dead.
  • Veronica learns that Logan is physically abused by Aaron Echolls, his father.
  • Veronica finds out that Meg's secret admirer was Duncan.
  • Veronica finally finds her mother in a bar in Barstow. Clarence Wiedman followed her.

Cultural references

A variety of cultural references are made in the episode, particularly to pop culture in the 1980s:

  • The 1980s-themed dance is named after "Total Eclipse of the Heart".
  • Wallace and Veronica jokingly describe themselves as Best Friends Forever.
  • Logan compares Veronica to Jim Rockford from The Rockford Files.
  • Keith refers to The Love Boat.
  • Logan calls the hotel manager Jeeves.
  • Trina Echolls jokingly calls Logan and Veronica the Brat Pack.
  • Logan insults Trina by saying that she would take a role as an extra in CSI.
  • In his drunken state, Logan references "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung.
  • Logan also states that "[he's] gonna party like it's 1999" referencing the song "1999" by Prince.
  • The title Ruskie Business is a play on the film Risky Business which starred a young Tom Cruise.


Main Cast

Guest Stars


  • "Just Another" - Pete Yorn
  • "Waiting" - Taxi Doll
  • "Ballade for piano No. 2 in F major, Op. 38, CT. 3" - Frédéric Chopin
  • "One Thing Leads to Another" - The Fixx
  • "Time After Time" - Cyndi Lauper
  • "True" - Spandau Ballet
  • "Warm Breeze" - Jeff Tatum


Veronica: Hey, you're on the basketball team right?
Wallace: You obviously haven’t seen us play, I am the basketball team.

Wallace: What is it with you girls and your girly-girl drama? What are you now? A love detective?
Veronica: Wallace, if you do this for me, we'll be best friends forever. Come on! Don't you want us to be BFF?

[Wallace, burned doing Veronica favors.]
Wallace: About this secret mission.
Veronica: What'cha got?
Wallace: A reputation as a jock-sniffer. You can B your own FF. I'm retired.

Wallace: Damn. This dog is a freakshow. He oughta be in show biz.
Veronica: You think that's some kind of a rare breed or something?
Wallace: That, or a drunk dingo had a three-way with a ocelot and a porcupine.

Meg: Well? What do you think?
Veronica: I look like Manila Whore Barbie.

Trina: [to a drunk Logan, who is dressed up as Tom Cruise in Risky Business] Logan, when did you stop wearing pants?


  • Denise Richards and Tara Reid were considered for the role of Trina Echolls.


  • Duncan holds a clipboard in his right hand that jumps to his left between shots.

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