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When Vice Principal Clemmons sentences Veronica to hours of filing, she still manages to find something to investigate: A mysterious report about her mother spreading "malicious lies" when she was a student at Neptune High.
She learns that a student had given birth at school and that the baby was none other than Trina Echolls. Now Veronica wants to know if her mother was being a fiend or a friend.
Ms. Hauser pairs her students off for a parenting exercise: Caring for a baby (in doll form).
Arc significance Edit
- Mary Mooney, the deaf lunchlady, had an affair when she was in school with then-Vice Principal Moorehead. She told Lianne Reynolds about it when she got pregnant and Lianne asked for advice from Deborah Philipina Hauser (now Veronica's health teacher), who spread the news across the school. Lianne said she made it all up, however, to protect Mary, who left the baby (Trina Echolls) at Moorehead's door. It was Moorehead who left the baby in the bathroom during a school dance.
- Van Clemmons is promoted to Principal of Neptune High after Trina Echolls exposes Principal Moorehead as her real father, and the circumstances of her birth. Veronica susses out that that was his aim in assigning her the filing job for detention, suggesting he had read Machiavelli over the summer.
- Logan and other 09ers beat up Weevil and tape him to the flagpole. Later on, Weevil gets Logan alone and says he no longer believes he killed Felix Toombs, so they decide to work together. They fight to keep up appearances and keep their collaboration secret.
- Beaver uses his trust fund money to start Phoenix Land Trust, with Kendall as the figurehead CEO.
- Keith tells Veronica about the dead rat; she thinks it's a message to her.
- Veronica is called to the hospital to get Abel Koontz's possessions. While she's there, she decides to visit Meg and finds that she's very visibly pregnant. After Veronica leaves, Meg opens her eyes.
- "Caliente Como Fuego" - Honda
- "Sail Into the Sun" - The Funky Lowlives
- "Walk Idiot Walk" - The Hives
- "Stumble" - Calla
Production details Edit
- This episode was advertised with an "alternate ending" that could only be viewed online. The alternate ending begins with Veronica finding Meg pregnant; however, this time, Meg's mom decides to enter and Veronica hides in the bathroom. When she comes out, Meg is dead, a pillow over her face, and Veronica pulls it off just as a nurse comes in. This alternate ending is also available to see in the deleted scenes of the season two DVD.
- Kendall: Gee, Cassidy I thought you didn't like me.
- Cassidy: I don't, but I find value in your desperation.
- Ms. Hauser: Now, find a partner, pick a baby.
- Veronica: Oh. Aren't we supposed to have a shot of tequila first?
- Veronica: You've been working here for, what, like, ever? Any idea what my mom did her senior year to get herself suspended?
- Clemmons: Let me get this straight: You want follow-up on what I explicitly forbade you from doing yesterday?
- Veronica: Ummm...yes.
- Logan: Oh yes, where are my manners? Kendall Casablancas, Trina Echolls. Rode hard, meet put away wet.
- Trina: I'm guessing she's the wet one. Well, I'd love to stay and chat, but I've got places to be.
- Kendall: Where? Is there a club where you, Dedee Pfeiffer, Joey Travolta, and Melissa Rivers all meet for drinks?
- Trina: There is. I don't think you'd like it; it's twenty-one and over. We're hitting an after party at Chuck E. Cheese, though, if you're free. 'Kay, well, I need him in bed by ten p.m. sharp. He's got school tomorrow. 'Night, all.
- Logan: Well, the joke's on her: she came over to borrow my video camera. The girl does love a good exit line.
- Veronica: You read Machiavelli this summer, didn't you?
- Clemmons: [Cocks his head at her innocently.]
- Veronica: [Impressed] Oooh, nice! Not taking credit for it, even more bad ass.
- Clemmons: That's a very imaginative theory, Veronica. But if you'll excuse me, I've got a lot of paperwork.
- The episode had an estimated audience size of 3.01 million US viewers on its first airing.
- Despite being credited Percy Daggs III (Wallace), Ryan Hansen (Dick), and Tessa Thompson (Jackie Cook) do not appear in this episode.
- Among the ring of keys that Clemmons orders Veronica to hand over is a key that "fits any Vespa scooter." This is likely an allusion to the 1967 neo-noir film Le Samouraï, in which the protagonist carries a ring of keys enabling him to steal any Citroën DS.
- The title "My Mother, the Fiend" could be a reference to the 10,000 Maniacs song "My Mother the War", from their 1985 album "The Wishing Chair," or the television show My Mother the Car.
- Joey Travolta was a recording artist for Casablanca Records in 1978.
- In one scene, around 14:10, Logan mockingly introduces Kendall (Charisma Carpenter) and his sister Trina (Alyson Hannigan). Carpenter and Hannigan appeared together in 54 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 3 episodes of Angel as Cordelia Chase and Willow Rosenberg, respectively.
- Niccolò Machiavelli was a Renaissance Italian historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence. He is best known as the author of The Prince, a work of political theory which argues that a ruler must be able to separate public and private morality, be willing to act immorally when necessary, and methodically exercise brute force or deceit on occasion. In the vernacular, "Machiavellian" is a pejorative term for deceptive or even immoral actions to advance one's interests.
- The task Veronica was given for detention was to re-organize the permanent record files. Harry Potter was given the same task for detention by Snape in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, published the summer immediately prior to this season. Veronica even sarcastically asks "And I'm not allowed to use magic right?"
- As security and the vice-principal are breaking up Logan and Weevil's fight in the bathroom, the elbow of one of the crew members can be seen in the top right corner of the screen.
- Veronica misspelled "Reynolds" when she was fingerspelling it to Mary. She said "R-E-Y-N-O-L-D-S", but she flipped the "n" & "o" in her fingerspelling.
- When Veronica goes to Duncan's place with the baby, she tells him that she forgot the bottle. Duncan takes the baby from her, and picks up the bottle from his coffee table.