If it seems like last season was just yesterday well… it kind of was! One of the few perks of pandemic-related shooting delays is undoubtedly that now we’re getting a third season hot on the heels of season two. If you still want to relive the magic of last season, or just need a little refresher, recaps are up right here.

You know, it’s kind of a trope at this point for fictional detectives to get arrested doing whatever lurking, sneaking, and snooping they require for their trade. What isn’t a trope is Ivy, of all people, having her mugshot taken, along with Clementine, The Amazing Pawn Broker from last season’s finale, and Barney the Morgue Bureaucrat, who’s apparently gotten serious enough with Ivy to reap the “benefits” of associating with Victoria Mars. Speaking of whom, our heroine has also been arrested, and though she tries her usual “hey, there’s a mistake, let me talk to Duke Silver,” it doesn’t work. And so it is that when Duke Silver ambles over to the lockup at Scotland Yard, he finds a bunch of very grumpy friends and colleagues waiting for him behind bars.

Victoria Mars: Hiiiiii.
Duke Silver, inside:

A young man drops his backpack and collapses face down to lie on the floor

After being freed, Victoria Mars hastens to explain that she asked her friends to help because it was a particularly complex case.

Duke Silver: Uh, hold up, are we calling Barney the Morgue Bureaucrat your friend now??
Victoria Mars: No, lol, but he was there visiting Ivy when the cops came to round us up. Anyway, you know most of this is nonsense. Thanks for getting the charges dropped for them, I won’t cause any more trouble for you.
Duke Silver: LMAO, yeah, sure Jan. Sign your paperwork, bye!
Ivy, coming around the corner: Dude, Barney the Morgue Bureaucrat is livid! He might never come visit again!
Victoria Mars: I said I was sorry! Anyway, this is Moses’ fault: if he’d been around I wouldn’t have had to pull you all into this.
Ivy, asking the million dollar question: Where IS Moses, anyway?

Well, he’s off competing in a boxing match, and let me tell you:

A woman removes her glasses to better appraise what's in front of her

Our friend Moses looks pretty damn good in the ring, and is collecting his winnings when the match is raided by, of course, Duke Silver and the boys.

Duke Silver: Hey bud! I’m sure you know this, but gambling without a license is illegal. So… you’re coming with me. Here’s the deal: I’m either going to arrest you, or you’re giving me info. Specifically, I need to find a suspect. Case is highly confidential; you can’t tell anyone.
Moses: Is it… Logan Cooper?
Duke Silver: Seriously? How do you know that?
Moses: Oh, that’s not all I know. He’s wanted for a robbery at the bank, you’ve got two suspects in custody, and you’ve started a manhunt but all you know is that he was last seen in Charing Cross on Tuesday.
Duke Silver: OMG that is CLASSIFIED! Who told you?

Lol, I thought maybe this was an inside job, but no: this time the thorn in Duke Silver’s side is just True Crime Journalist, who published the whole thing in his paper.

Duke Silver, confronting TCJ: What the heck! You jeopardized this case, and it isn’t the first time. Who told you?
True Crime Journalist: Reveal a source? Perish the thought.
Duke Silver, looming: If you don’t tell me, YOU are gonna perish.
True Crime Journalist: Ok, ok: here’s a list.

You read that right: it’s not just one leak. Scotland Yard is basically a colander, at this point. Dragging the named crew into his office, Duke Silver reads the guys the riot act. Stop taking bribes to give out info, he bellows.

Hardscrabble: But boss, that’s how it’s always been! How else are we supposed to make extra money on the side?
Duke Silver: You’re not! Look, I’ve let this slide for a long time, but it stops now. No more talking to journalists!
Baby Detective, just walked in: WorkDad, I’m supposed to go see a show with my friend who’s the opera critic for the times tonight, is that still ok?
Hardscrabble, doing a mean impression of his colleague: “oh, I cannot attend the opera, whatever shall I do!!”
Baby Detective: I wasn’t asking you!
Hardscrabble: Well maybe you should just shut up!
Duke Silver: You should both shut up! Get back to work, I have day drinking to do!

A man toasts "cheers i'll drink to that bro."

While he stews, across town, Victoria Mars and Ivy are doing much the same. Ivy, naturally, is worried about her boyfriend’s reaction to being in jail overnight (fair enough). Victoria Mars, on the other hand, has taken this valuable lesson to heart. She overstretched, taking on such a big case.

Ivy: Oh, good, so you’re going to chill out?
Victoria Mars: LOL, oh Ivy, you’re hilarious. No, I’m going to expand! I need more money. I’m going to the bank to get a loan!

Well, she tries, at any rate. But as you can imagine, not a lot of banks are eager to chuck money at London’s First Female Detective. Returning to the office, dejected, she runs into Duke Silver.

Duke Silver: Hey, are we still on for dinner?
Victoria Mars: We had plans?
Duke Silver: We meet up the last Wednesday of every month, and every month I have to remind you. Friendship fail!
Victoria Mars: Blerg. Can we reschedule?
Duke Silver, annoyed: Sure. Again. You did this last month too!
Victoria Mars, genuine: Yikes. I’m sorry, I’m just having a particularly crap day.
Duke Silver: My prime suspect in an armed robbery ran off, so your day can’t be worse than mine. Not that it’s a competition. Ugh, sorry, it’s not your fault, it’s HIS: I can’t believe you’re still reading True Crime Journalist’s paper! He keeps leaking confidential info.
Victoria Mars: Can’t you get him to remove the story from the later edition?
Duke Silver: Damage is already done; that’s gone out to 200,000 people.
Victoria Mars, getting an idea: 200,000??
Duke Silver, missing the dangerous glint in her eye: Yup. What can I say, people love true crime!

I got news for you, pal: that isn’t changing any time soon. Anyway, he ambles off to be grumpy elsewhere, leaving Victoria Mars to scheme. And scheme she does: soon after, our friend waylays True Crime Journalist outside a pub, where she explains that she’d like to place an ad in his paper.

Victoria Mars: You know how it is, I’m SUPER busy, but you can never have too many clients!
True Crime Reporter: I have a better idea: something better than just an ad. Shall we?
Victoria Mars, who definitely just manipulated that exactly as she’d planned: We shall!

Here’s the deal: True Crime Journalist wants to hire Victoria Mars, and then run a five part series about her. Why? He claims it’s because his readers are so bored of reading about the cops, but I suspect there’s also an element of being terrified of ol’ Duke Silver/knowing that our Scottish pal will do his best to cut off all of True Crime Journalists’ cop sources.

Victoria Mars: Ok, I’ll bite: what’s the case?
True Crime Journalist: Last night one of my illustrators was covering a magic show. It started out as a run of the mill performance, but then it became anything BUT.

I’m intrigued by that, and so is Victoria Mars, who heads to the theater to find out more. See, last night, when The Great Alphonso did his vanishing act, he actually vanished for real. The magician’s assistant Miss Ling explains that she’s worked with Alphonso for years, doing the same act every night. Except last night, when her colleague actually disappeared. Victoria Mars obviously needs more info, and actually gets Miss Ling to break one of the cardinal rules of stage magic: never explain the trick! Hard to blame her though; you kind of have to understand how Alphonso normally fake disappears to figure out how he did it for real this time. Basically, there’s a secret compartment inside the box, but it’s definitely not big enough for prolonged hiding.

Victoria Mars: And you’re sure he didn’t sneak out?
Miss Ling: 100%
Victoria Mars: Huh. Where would he have been right before coming onstage?

On Miss Ling’s direction, Victoria Mars heads backstage, where she asks directions from a man who is so harried and stressed that I just assume he’s a stage manager, despite his fancy outfit. He essentially tells Victoria Mars to pound sand, so she’s left to snoop on her own. Arriving in a storage area, she runs into a gal in a fabulous costume.

Victoria Mars: Sorry, I’m lost — can you point me to the magician’s dressing room?
Fancy Gal: Which one? My dad or the other one?
Victoria Mars: Alphonso? The missing one.
Fancy Gal: LOL, he’d love that. He loves to play tricks on people.
Victoria Mars: Ah, so you think this is a trick, huh? TBH you might be right. I was hired to find him. I’m a private investigator.
Fancy Gal: HA, what? Sorry, do people usually react like that?
Victoria Mars, charmed despite herself: A little bit, yeah. What’s with the box?
Fancy Gal: I made it for my dad to keep his tricks safe. Magicians are super paranoid.
Victoria Mars: Ah, so your dad is the OTHER magician. I see.

Remember that stressed out rude guy from the hall? Turns out he’s actually none other than Fancy Gal’s dad, Slaven the Sorcerer, and he’s still not impressed by Victoria Mars, even after his daughter explains that she’s a PI. Leaving the family to their pre-show stress, Victoria Mars finally gets the directions to Alphonso’s dressing room from Fancy Gal, and heads inside for a snoop. And when I say snoop, please know that it’s a half-hearted snoop, at best: Victoria Mars seems to be increasingly convinced this is all just a publicity stunt. She’s about to leave, in fact, when a flamboyant gentleman enters and introduces himself as the theater owner.

Theater Owner: Greetings! I just talked to your client, True Crime Journalist. He says you’re the best in the business, and now that I’m leering at you, I can see that you’re also easy on the eyes! How’s it going?
Victoria Mars: I can’t seem to find a rational explanation for what happened, I’m afraid.
Theater Owner: Oh, well that’s because it’s not rational: it’s supernatural!
Victoria Mars:

A man says "Awesome" sarcastically

Theater Owner, clearly has his own thing going on here too: Oh yes. It’s the work of the Flanders Phantom! We’re haunted AF. That’s what I told True Crime Reporter, did he not say?
Victoria Mars: Wow! Wowee wow! I think I’m all set here. Toodles!

Normally, yes, I’d be right there with her, but something tells me there’s more to this case than meets the eye! While Victoria Mars heads home in a huff, across town, Baby Detective is out at the bar with Hardscrabble, of all people. It seems that their Norma Rae Moment from last season made the two into something approaching friends, although the distance of the approach is still a bit uncertain.

Baby Detective: Who were you just talking to at the bar??
Hardscrabble: Oh, my friend Nunya. Nunya business! Ugh, if you’re going to be weird about it, it’s a detective from Bow Street; we’re working together on the Cooper case. Anyway, I’m done with my drink, time for you to get the next round.
Baby Detective: But I’m not finished yet!
Hardscrabble: Too bad! I don’t have money for a second drink because of Duke Silver’s ban on talking to journos. Pay up!
Baby Detective: He’s just trying to do the right thing!
Hardscrabble: Sure, but most of us don’t have family money, kid. Now go get me a drink! And since I outrank you, that’s an order!

But Baby Detective doesn’t end up having to get that second round after all, because just then, Duke Silver shows up to tell them a body’s been pulled out of the river. That manhunt of theirs might just be finished! Wishful thinking, obviously: as soon as they pull back the sheet at the morgue, all three men know instantly that it isn’t Logan Cooper. But then who could this mystery corpse possibly be?

Across town, True Crime Journalist shows up at Victoria Mars’ door for a chat.

Victoria Mars: Oh good, glad you’re here. You know this missing magician thing is just a publicity stunt, right?
True Crime Detective: He’s not missing… he’s dead! They found him in the river tonight. This thing just became a murder investigation, and you just made the front page!

The next morning, Baby Detective is doing his darndest to keep everyone out of the theater. His darndest, unfortunately, is no match for Victoria Mars, who’s breezing past him with a “Duke Silver said it was ok” when the man himself appears to contradict her.

Victoria Mars: Please??? I’m in the middle of a case!
Duke Silver: Yeah, for my nemesis in the press!
Victoria Mars: We can help each other — I already have all the background stuff. And True Crime Journalist promised he won’t print anything until the case is closed!
Duke Silver: I’m sure you do, but this is a murder now, so it’s mine. And I don’t trust True Crime Journalist as far as Baby Detective over there can throw him! Your dad would never have worked with a crook like that.
Victoria Mars: Well my dad had a few more options than I do! And he’d be annoyed to hear you be rude to me like that. What?
Duke Silver: Oh, just trying to figure out if you’re actually upset or just trying to trick me. I’m going with trick. You’re not coming in.
Victoria Mars: Fine. I’ll do this on my own!

I love how they always say this, and then within a half hour of run time, we’re back to collaborating. Come on guys, we all know better than this by now! Barred from entering the theater, Victoria Mars follows up on a hunch of her own. See, in the show posters, Alphonso is holding a fancy silver wand, yet in the sketches done by True Crime Journalist’s artist, the magician’s got a black wand. What’s up with that?

True Crime Journalist: Oh, that night Alphonso didn’t use a wand. But, you know, people hear magician, they expect a wand, so I made the illustrator add one.

Interesting! Heading back to the theater, Victoria Mars proceeds to follow Miss Ling, who’s left the theater in favor of a cozy drink with Theater Owner. Very cozy, if you catch my drift. Victoria Mars sidles up to the table, and the two jump apart in a way that practically screams “secret date.”

Theater Owner: OH HI. I was just comforting Miss Ling here, no big deal!
Miss Ling: Some big deal, actually — did you follow me here??
Victoria Mars: I just needed a few minutes to chat.
Theater Owner: This is a murder now; the police will sort it out!
Victoria Mars: Sure, but True Crime Journalist and I are both still very keen to figure out what happened! Look, I get that you don’t want publicity around someone dying at the theater, but I still have questions.
Theater Owner: Sure, and unfortunately for you, no one who works for me will be answering.
Victoria Mars: Gotcha. I guess True Crime Reporter’s readers will just have to get a more personal story instead. Like a biography of you… you’re married with children, right?
Theater Owner: Fine. I’ll leave you two to talk.
Victoria Mars: I just have one question: Alphonso didn’t use his wand during that performance. Was that weird?
Miss Ling: Very weird. But he’d told me the day before he was selling it; kind of surprising because it had a lot of sentimental value, but I figured he needed the money for his retirement. See, next month would be his 50th anniversary in the business. He was planning to give the act up then.
Victoria Mars: Any idea where he sold the wand?
Miss Ling: Yeah, the entertainment shop in Carnaby Street. I told that inspector too.

Ok, sure, it’s annoying that Duke Silver got this info first. But it’s also hilarious to watch our no-nonsense friend interact with a close up magic shop owner, and see his blood pressure rise with each new coin plucked from behind his ear.

Duke Silver: Cut that out. I’m here to ask about Alphonso.
Magic Shop Owner: Ugh, what’s he done now? He’s always playing tricks!
Duke Silver: He’s dead.

Victoria Mars, with impeccable timing as ever, chooses that moment to enter the shop, and is immediately escorted outside by an irate Duke Silver. But not for long: she points out that she can just wait outside and then ask Magic Shop Owner the same set of questions once Duke Silver finishes, wasting everyone’s time. After extracting a firm promise that nothing about the case will be printed before they solve it, Duke Silver reluctantly agrees, and the two head back inside.

Their questioning turns out to be pretty helpful indeed. Yes, Alphonso was a regular customer at the shop, and he was supposed to sell Magic Shop Owner the wand, which the proprietor describes as more of a family heirloom than a prop (Alphonso was the fifth person to perform under the Alphonso name). This latest Alphonso even went so far as to perform in platform shoes to maintain the illusion that he was the same magician as his father before him. Anyhow, Alphonso was meant to sell the wand to Magic Shop Owner before the show where he disappeared, and, on reflection, it was weird when Alphosno didn’t show up: he was punctual to a fault.

Victoria Mars: Huh, that is weird. Duke Silver, anything interesting at the autopsy?
Duke Silver: Nothing I’m going to tell you! I let you hang out while I questioned that guy, but that’s it! I’m leaving.
Victoria Mars: Oho! You’re rushing off, and you sniffed, which is one of your classic tells: you’re lying to me! What aren’t you saying?
Duke Silver: Byeeee!

At least they’re both equally crap at lying to each other, I guess? Anyway, there’s nothing for it: later that evening, Victoria Mars and Moses break into the morgue, Moses having bumped into Barney the Morgue Bureaucrat in order to swipe his keys. Here’s the deal: Alphonso had a small fracture on his skull, but he died by drowning. Time of death could have been anywhere between 6pm and midnight, and since the show ended at 10, that gives them two hours to focus on. Also, he had some liver damage, so he might have been a drinker. Looking through Alphonso’s stuff, they find that his shoes really did feature higher heels, and not just for continuity: one of the heels conceals a small key!

Taking their bounty, the pair head over to the theater in search of a safe, which Moses explains is the only lock that has that kind of key. Bumping around in the dark, Victoria Mars attempts to light a lamp on the table, only to realize it’s stuck down. Turning it, a panel pops up on the desk, revealing a hidden safe, and inside it, the wand.

Moses: Why would he do his act without the wand if it was here the whole time?
Victoria Mars: Same reason he missed his appointment; Alphonso wasn’t the one on stage that night, it was an imposter. He was already dead!

A woman says "the plot thickens!"

Naturally, when Victoria Mars shares the update with True Crime Journalist, he’s practically salivating at the drama of it all.

True Crime Journalist: Of course, I’m also so deeply sorry for his friends and family…. Anyway, what’s your next move?
Victoria Mars: Uh, well. It’s a murder investigation, and I just found important evidence, so I need to tell the cops. Specifically, Duke Silver.
True Crime Journalist: He’s a great detective, for sure. But. You know, if you solve it yourself, solo, that’s a great story. If HE gets involved, no offense, it’s going to overshadow your fine work! Not on purpose, but you know. He becomes the main character, and you’re just best supporting actress. If you waited a couple days, you might hit the evidence jackpot; find something critical for court, maybe. Well, then…

A woman holds up an Oscar statuette and says "It says, 'I beat Meryl."

Compelling, and enough to nudge Victoria Mars in the direction she wanted to go anyway. Thankfully, she also has Ivy on her team, who correctly points out that if Victoria Mars delays too long, she could get charged with perverting the course of justice, which could land her in jail for 7 years.

Ivy: I’ve been practicing my reading in your dad’s old law books.
Victoria Mars: Look, he’s been a real jerk about working together on this. I’m sure he’s figured some stuff out on his own too!
Ivy: Just don’t lie, you’ll get hit with perjury.
Victoria Mars: Can’t you read Dickens or Austen like a normal person? I need publicity, and I’m so close to cracking this thing right open!
Ivy: Well if you want my advice on Duke Silver, watch what you say to him.
Victoria Mars: I’m not gonna say anything, I’m going to avoid him at all costs. Oh, hey, Duke Silver.
Duke Silver: Hey ladies. Just happened to be in the neighborhood, figured I’d stop by.
Victoria Mars AND Duke Silver, at each other:

A woman gives someone an unimpressed look

Duke Silver: Anything to share?
Victoria Mars: Nope! You?
Duke Silver: Nope! Well. I’ll be going!

That proves it: they’re both hiding something from the other, and they both know it too. Super mature, guys!

Baby Detective: Did you tell her what you figured out?
Duke Silver: NOPE. And I won’t, with that writer hanging around.
Baby Detective: Want me to focus on this case? Since Bow Street is helping with the Cooper thing I can probably be spared.
Duke Silver: Be kind; rewind. What?
Baby Detective: The other night Hardscrabble told me they were helping out! I saw him meeting with someone called Detective Lenihan?

I’m sure you will not be shocked to learn that there isn’t any such detective at Bow Street. Duke Silver heads out into the bullpen to confront Hardscrabble about it. Given how intimidating most people find Duke Silver, it’s weirdly hilarious how upfront Hardscrabble is about flaunting his boss’ rules. It’s just a bit of cash, no big deal!

Duke Silver: I’m not kidding. If this happens again, you’re out of here. Get it?
Hardscrabble: Yup.

Fun! Really looking forward to the inevitable conflict that’ll set up. Over at the theater, Victoria Mars runs into Fancy Gal and asks her where Miss Ling is. Weirdly, Fancy Gal totally ignores her, carrying a box into Alphonso’s dressing room, which Fancy Gal’s dad has appropriated for himself.

Victoria Mars: What’s up?
Fancy Gal: Well, I told you about how great Alphonso was, and in the paper it says he was a drinker with gambling debts, which is your fault! Here, look!

It seems that True Crime Journalist wasn’t true to his word after all, and printed the first part of the story already. Victoria Mars heads right over to confront him, calling him an untrustworthy crook.

Victoria Mars: You broke our agreement! Some of the stuff you published will interfere with the investigation, and you twisted what I said and made it mean!
True Crime Reporter: I run an old-timey British tabloid, what did you expect? Mean sells papers, bud; no one wants to read about a nice dead guy.
Victoria Mars: Print a retraction or I’ll end our agreement.
True Crime Reporter: Isn’t having your dad’s name on your shingle also a lie to lure customers? You’re still making your name, maybe it’s a bad idea to make an enemy at the moment. You’re interesting now, but think about the story that will bump you in the future. People only pay once to see the sideshow.
Victoria Mars: I don’t need your advice; you’re a bad writer, and you run that fishwrapper because you can’t get a job at a real paper. We’re done. Toodles!
True Crime Reporter: Ok, fine. Just know I’ve taken down a great many powerful men in my day. You’ll be a piece of cake.

Yikes! Rather than sit and think about that, Victoria Mars heads right over to Duke Silver’s office to apologize, to fill him in on what she found, and to say every strong willed person’s least favorite sentence: you were right. Fortunately for her, Duke Silver is pretty amused by the fact that she called their mutual enemy a washed up hack, and instead of staying mad, just asks for any clues Victoria Mars has rounded up.

Victoria Mars: Well, the other magician was pretty quick to take Alphonso’s dressing room; no love lost there. And his assistant’s having an affair with the theater owner. No proof either way. I am fairly sure that since Alphoso’s wand was in the safe during the performance, that wasn’t Alphonso on that stage.
Duke Silver: Hmm.
Victoria Mars: Which you also suspected. Damn, I knew you were hiding something!
Duke Silver: Pot, kettle, etc. Promise me you aren’t working with True Crime Journalist anymore.
Victoria Mars: Promise! He’s probably off writing an article to destroy me right now.
Duke Silver: I did suspect an imposter, but I didn’t know about the other wand.

The WHAT? Yeah, there’s another wand, which Duke Silver found on Alphonso’s body. Even more intriguing? The wand Duke Silver’s been keeping in his desk drawer has a secret compartment inside hiding a picture of Alphonso’s dad. Naturally, the detectives’ next step is to look inside the wand Victoria Mars has been holding, and inside that one, they find another photograph, taken inside the magic shop. They head straight there.

Duke Silver: Did Alphonso use a duplicate box to disappear?
Magic Shop Owner: Wish I could say, but a magician never reveals his tricks!! It’s a code!
Victoria Mars: That’s too bad; perverting the cause of justice has a seven year sentence. Right, Duke Silver?
Duke Silver: Uh, yes?
Magic Shop Owner: Fine, fine. Yes, I made him a duplicate — it had a false bottom with a lock, so he could hide in there. It’s a real work of art!
Victoria Mars: So he wanted to use that for his final performance?
Magic Shop Owner: Wanted to go out in a blaze of glory. I get it. Anyway, I did design the box, but I didn’t make it. His assistant did. He was so proud he asked me to take a picture of both the boxes together. He was going to put that inside a replica of his wand to give to her as a memento after the performance.
Victoria Mars: So then Miss Ling must have known what he was doing!
Magic Shop Owner: Oh, I’m not talking about Miss Ling!

A woman says "What a twist" to her companion

At the theater, the other magician and his daughter Fancy Gal prepare to take the stage, but only one of them will make it out there: Duke Silver arrives to bring Fancy Gal in for questioning right before her dad introduces her. While he does that, Victoria Mars examines the box Fancy Gal showed her earlier, and you guessed it: it originally had Alphoso’s name painted on the outside. Back at the station, they get the full story.

Fancy Gal: I grew up with Alphonso; my dad and him were always a double billing. He didn’t have kids, so he taught me. He was kind, unlike my dad, who doesn’t think a woman should be anything but an assistant. Alphonso said one day I could be a magician.
Duke Silver: So he let you help him make that box for his retirement show.
Fancy Gal: That way not even his assistant would know how he disappeared! A lasting legacy :) But he was worried about retirement; he was getting sad, and drinking more. Nobody else knew. Magic was his life, and knowing that it was coming to an end was killing him.
Victoria Mars: So what happened the day he died?
Fancy Gal: The night before, he was sad, and he told me there was no point to his life anymore. He always got to the theater exactly an hour before he was due on stage, so when he didn’t that night… I just knew he wasn’t coming back. When you found his body it wasn’t a surprise.
Duke Silver: You think he died by suicide?
Fancy Gal: He talked about it sometimes when he was drunk. I hoped he didn’t mean it.
Victoria Mars: And that’s why you impersonated him?
Fancy Gal: I wanted him to have the ending he deserved! That way his last act would be performing the trick of his life.
Duke Silver: And no one else knew?
Fancy Gal: No. Miss Ling was also assisting the next act, so she didn’t have time to check over the box thoroughly. I just hid in there until the stage hand dropped the box off in the storage room.
Victoria Mars: And then you swapped the boxes back so no one could figure it out.
Fancy Gal: Yeah. Made it into a chest for my dad. Alphonso was the only person who believed in me, and now he’s gone.

Later, Duke Silver tells Victoria Mars that the coroner confirmed that the fracture on Alphoso’s head might have happened postmortem; it does look like he died by suicide after all.

Victoria Mars: So what happens now? Will she be charged?
Duke Silver: Well, we would have figured this out a lot faster if she hadn’t pretended to be Alphonso. So she could be charged, but I can’t see who it’d benefit. She seems like a determined young lady; I know she’ll get where she wants to, but I hope it doesn’t take over her life. There’s more than work out there. Someone else could probably learn that lesson too.
Victoria Mars, completely oblivious: Don’t be so hard on yourself, you have other things in your life than work!
Duke Silver: I wasn’t talking about me, buddy.

Hey, remember how Hardscrabble got in trouble earlier? He’s still pretty mad about it, and takes the opportunity to threaten Baby Detective, and also smack him around a bit. When Baby Detective drops files off for Duke Silver later, it’s immediately pretty obvious that the younger lad has a gigantic shiner.

Baby Detective: I won’t tell you who did this.
Duke Silver: Ok, but then can you tell me how we stop this from happening again?

Baby Detective doesn’t know, but Duke Silver has a pretty good idea. He takes his work son to the underground boxing ring where Moses fights, and pays our friend to teach Baby Detective the ropes. Duke Silver being less of a jerk to Moses? Moses hanging out without his shirt on more? BOXING LESSONS? It’s like someone read my diary!

Alas, we’ll have to wait for next week for an update on that, because we also have to wrap up the loose end of Victoria Mars’ tentative truce with Barney the Morgue Bureaucrat, which has been somewhat damaged by his arrest. The next day, Victoria Mars finds the man hanging out in her kitchen, and attempts to mend fences. He’s, unsurprisingly, still pretty salty about the whole thing, but I’m sure he’ll come around. While he finishes breakfast, Ivy brings in True Crime Reporter’s latest so they can do damage control. Hilariously, there isn’t actually any damage: rather than bad mouth Victoria Mars, True Crime Reporter has elected to ignore her completely, using up all the space in the story to talk about how great Duke Silver is.

A man tries and fails to stifle his laughter

Victoria Mars heads straight over to thank Duke Silver, having correctly deduced that he was the cause of her lack of printed tar and/or feathers.

Duke Silver: No big deal, I just told him he could talk to my guys again. I’d have had to do it anyway, they were close to throwing a riot. Anyway, get out of my chair.
Victoria Mars: Still, I’m sorry for any trouble I caused working with him. I didn’t think it all through very carefully; I just wanted to win. You’re a good friend. Which is why dinner is on me tonight.
Duke Silver: Oh, we’re going out?
Victoria Mars: Yup! There’s more to life than work, bud!

Adorable, and a great way to kick off the season! Will Moses be able to turn Baby Detective into a competent fighter? Will the tentative peace between all these characters hold? We’ll just have to wait for the next episode to find out!

If you or a loved one is considering suicide, please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.