The Rapes of Graff

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"The Rapes of Graff"
Veronica Mars episode
Troy and Veronica.png
Veronica (Kristen Bell) meets her estranged ex-boyfriend, Troy (Aaron Ashmore) at Hearst College.
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 16
Directed by Michael Fields
Written by John Enbom
Production code 2T7216
Original air date March 29, 2006 (2006-03-29)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Quick and the Wed"
Next →
"Plan B"
Veronica Mars (season 2)
List of Veronica Mars episodes

"The Rapes of Graff" is the sixteenth episode of the second season of the American mystery television series Veronica Mars, and the thirty-eighth episode overall. Written by John Enbom and directed by Michael Fields, the episode premiered on UPN on March 29, 2006.

The series depicts the adventures of Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) as she deals with life as a high school student while moonlighting as a private detective. In this episode, while visiting Hearst College, Veronica runs into her old boyfriend, Troy (Aaron Ashmore). He is subsequently charged with the brutal date rape of a student named Stacy (Alia Shawkat). Meanwhile, Logan (Jason Dohring) deals with the aftermath of breaking up with Hannah (Jessy Schram).

Synopsis[edit]

In class, Veronica and the whole class are asked to participate in Woody Goodman's (Steve Guttenberg) essay contest. Wallace (Percy Daggs III) invites Veronica to visit Hearst College. Logan abruptly breaks up with Hannah without giving an explanation. A student named Dean (Michael Cera) conducts Veronica and Wallace's tour of Hearst, and Troy is there as well. Troy apologizes to Veronica and says he is changed. At a party, one of the students hits on Veronica. Things get aggressive, and when Troy begins to defend Veronica, the student punches him. Later that night, Veronica sees Troy making out with Stacy (Alia Shawkat). Troy calls Veronica late at night, and Veronica visits him at the police station, where he has been charged in the date-rape of Stacy.

Veronica recognizes "Daphne", the perpetrator in Cliff's case, as Madison Sinclair. Troy says that he left his name and number in Stacy's room, claiming that a rapist would not have done such a thing. Veronica checks Stacy's room and finds Troy's name half-erased. Stacy receives a box of someone else's hair outside her door, and Veronica deduces that there have probably been other victims of the rapist, so she goes looking for someone who bought a wig recently, finding no one. Dean tells Veronica that the fraternity has a contest about how many girls they have had sex with, and the recruit with the lowest number of "points" is punished by being forced to shave his head. Veronica tracks down Stacy's case to someone named "Ice Man."

Both fraternity members deny any involvement. Veronica finds another rape victim, and they both tell Stacy that Troy could not have been the rapist because he was on the other side of the country when the other girl was raped. The losing fraternity member sent the hair to Stacy, which was his own, because she made him lose the "contest." Logan tells Hannah the truth about why they broke up, and it turns out that he only asked her out so that her father would drop the charges. They reconcile, and Logan and Hannah are about to have sex before Dr. Griffith (Rick Peters) enters and takes Hannah away. Wallace gets into Hearst, but Hannah has been sent away to boarding school. Veronica learns that the Fitzpatricks could have framed Terrence Cook (Jeffrey Sams) for the bus crash.

Arc significance[edit]

  • As part of his scheme to frame Duncan kane for the death of Lilly Kane, Aaron Echolls arranges for an escort to be hired for the purpose of seducing Cliff McCormack and stealing his briefcase, which contained Logan's murder case files and keys to the storage locker containing Aaron Echolls' personal belongings, including an Oscar statue.
  • It's revealed that Madison's mystery "older boyfriend" is in fact Sheriff Lamb.
  • Logan goes back on his deal, and Dr. Griffith walks in on Logan and Hannah about to have sex. As a result, Hannah is sent away to boarding school.
  • Danny Boyd, Liam Fizpatrick's cousin, works construction at Shark Stadium giving him access to the C4 explosives which will be used in the demolition.
  • This episode sets up the first major story arc of Season Three. Although Troy is exonerated, it is yet unknown who really was responsible for the rapes; Veronica's pursuit of the real rapist will run until the episode "Spit & Eggs".

Music[edit]

The following music can be heard in the episode:[1]

Production[edit]

Michael Cera
Alia Shawkat
Aaron Ashmore
From top to bottom: Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, and Aaron Ashmore all guest starred in the episode.

The episode was written by John Enbom and directed by Michael Fields, marking Enbom's eighth writing credit[2] and Fields's fourth writing credit for the show.[3] The episode's title was thought of by other regular writer Phil Klemmer.[4] Both writers knew that this episode's mystery would later be used in the third season.[4] The writers planned for one of Veronica's classmates to be dating Don Lamb before they decided on Madison.[5] The episode features guest appearances by Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat, then best known for their roles on Arrested Development as George Michael Bluth and Maeby Fünke, respectively. Their two characters had briefly mentioned the show in a season three episode titled "Family Ties". As a joke in the episode, the writers bleeped George Michael out and subtitled, "reference to off-network high school private eye drama censored by Fox."[6] Series creator and executive producer Rob Thomas recalled contacting them soon after the show was cancelled and learning that Cera was a fan of the show:

Honestly, the day I heard they were shutting down production on that show, I called our casting director and said, 'Book them for "Veronica Mars" as soon as possible.' I didn't talk to Alia, but I talked to Michael and it turned out he's a 'Veronica Mars' fan and is excited to be doing it. So I'm thrilled about that.[7]

Cera and Shawkat specifically asked that they not be in scenes and that they would not play roles similar to their characters in Arrested Development.[7][8] Thomas reported their guest appearances to Chicago Tribune roughly two months before the episode aired.[7] Cera was originally slated to return in season 3, but due to scheduling conflicts, the role of Moe Flater was created instead.[9]

The episode also features the return of Aaron Ashmore as Troy Vandegraff, a character who had not been seen since "You Think You Know Somebody", an early season 1 episode. Ashmore enjoyed his reappearance on the show, stating in an interview that "It was kinda nice coming back and being the good guy and not the bad guy for once."[10] After the episode, Ashmore had stated that "I think Veronica Mars is a great show, so if they wanted me to, I would love to [bring back the character]. I love the show, and I love the character of Troy, too."[11] However, the character would not return to the show after "The Rapes of Graff". The episode's title is a spoonerism of the novel The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.[12] "The Rapes of Graff" also includes the final appearance of recurring character Hannah Griffith (Jessy Schram), who appeared in a total of four episodes on the show.

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

In its original broadcast, "The Rapes of Graff" received 2.15 million viewers, marking a decrease from the previous episode, "The Quick and the Wed" and tying for 113th of 124 in the weekly rankings with a rerun of Charmed.[13]

Reviews[edit]

Price Peterson of TV.com gave a positive review, expressing confusion over the lack of closure while praising other aspects of the episode.

My pervasive need for justice left me feeling pretty disappointed when we never found out who the utterly repulsive villain had been behind these sex crimes... Other than the lack of closure, though, this was a solid, well-written episode and it was nice seeing the (supposed) redemption of Troy.[14]

Television Without Pity gave the episode an "A".[8] Rowan Kaiser of The A.V. Club gave a glowing review, stating that "I have to say, this is one of the most dense and interesting episodes of Veronica Mars yet, on a number of different levels." He went on to praise the return of Troy, the various subplots, and the episode's ambiguous conclusion. The reviewer summed up by saying,

With all that going on, it could have been easy for this episode to fall apart somewhere... "The Rapes of Graff" really managed to do everything it was trying to do quite well. It may have been missing something special to put it in the absolute top tier of Veronica Mars episodes, but it's still a marvelous episode for pulling all those different strands together.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Music Of Veronica Mars: Episode 2–16: The Rapes of Graff". Mars Investigations: The (In)Complete Guide to Veronica Mars. Retrieved May 3, 2015. 
  2. ^ "John Enbom". TV.com. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Michael Fields". TV.com. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Phil Klemmer and John Enbom (Writers) Interview (page 3)". MI.net. December 23, 2006. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Phil Klemmer and John Enbom (Writers) Interview (page 5)". MI.net. December 23, 2006. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  6. ^ Whitney, Alyse (September 22, 2014). "22 Facts Even Marshmallows May Not Know About Veronica Mars". MTV. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Ryan, Maureen (January 20, 2006). "'Veronica Mars' scoop". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "The Rapes of Graff Recap". Television Without Pity. March 28, 2006. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Interview with Rob Thomas". Television Without Pity. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ Elliott, Sean. "Aaron Ashmore Shifts Gears to Play Superman's Best Friend Jimmy Olson on 'Smallville'". If Magazine. Archived from the original on December 10, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Aaron Ashmore Talks Smallville". KryptonSite. July 17, 2006. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "The Rapes of Graff Cultural References". Mars Investigations: The (In)Complete Guide to Veronica Mars. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. April 4, 2006. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008. Retrieved July 29, 2008. 
  14. ^ Peterson, Price (July 29, 2012). "The Veronica Mars Season 2 Dossier: Episodes 13–16". TV.com. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  15. ^ Kaiser, Rowan (January 13, 2012). "Review: Veronica Mars: "The Rapes of Graff" / "Plan B"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 

External links[edit]