1.03 Meet John Smith

Written by: Jed Seidel
Directed by: Harry Winer

Original Air Date: 12 October, 2004
Transcribed by Inigo Montoya
Last edited: 30 October, 2006

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Previously on Veronica Mars

In a scene from the pilot, Duncan Kane walks towards camera as Veronica watches from her table.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Duncan Kane. Son of software billionaire, Jake Kane.

Cut to a flashback of Duncan and Veronica kissing as they walk.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: He used to be my boyfriend.

Cut to Lilly and Veronica washing a car.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Then one day…

LILLY: I've got a secret. A good one.

Cut to the Kane residence the night of Lilly's murder.

VERONICA: Duncan, what happened? Where's Lilly?

Veronica runs and comes to Lilly's body.

LOGAN: [offscreen] Does your dad still think that Lilly's…

Cut to Logan at Neptune High.

LOGAN: …father did this? That is Duncan's sister, your friend?

Cut to the visual of Keith interrogating Jake and leaving his job from 102 "Credit Where Credit's Due" whilst maintaining the voiceover from the pilot.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: My dad's belief that Jake Kane was the murderer became a moot point. An emergency recall election removed him from office.

Cut back to the pilot, to Keith and Lianne arguing as Veronica listens.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: A month after Dad lost his job, Mom split for good.

Cut to the letter Lianne left for Veronica.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: It's been eight months since I've seen my mother.

Veronica crumples up the letter. End previously.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL – DAY.

An overhead shot of the busy school zooms over to the lunch area and a pretty blonde girl speaking to a friend. They part and she walks past one of the tables.

BOY#1: [offscreen] Sarah Kramer.

Three boys are watching her from the table. We will learn that two of them are called Justin and Owen.

[103/0046.jpg]JUSTIN: You are gay. The girl's a mannequin.

BOY#1: She's in my chem class. She smells good.

Sarah sits at another table and starts chatting to another friend.

OWEN: Yeah, she's cute in a Hilary Duff, meet-you-at-the-galleria, Teen People kind of way. She's not hot.

Justin looks around and spots Veronica. She is hurrying along, books in her arms. Justin points in her direction.

JUSTIN: Her.

BOY#1: Who, Veronica Mars?

JUSTIN: Yeah. She comes into the video store.

OWEN: You do know her dad's a private detective?

JUSTIN: Seriously?

OWEN: No, in a movie. Yes, seriously, and she works with him. Eight and a half, that's my final offer.

JUSTIN: Dude. S-she's that smokin' and a private eye? That's gotta make her at least a nine.

Troy runs to catch up with Veronica as she continues along.

TROY: Guess what I'm doing this weekend.

VERONICA: I'm guessing it involves autoeroticism.

TROY: Close. I will be cruising the marina in my dad's Sabre 386. That's a luxury sailboat. You know, wind through my hair, Strokes blasting through the speakers, and, with any luck, a wide-eyed, impressionable vixen by my side.

VERONICA: Impressionable, me? Ha.

TROY: Wo-wo-wo-whoa. I said "impressionable." Not-not you. You know, you might want to check your ego at the door there, missy.

Troy walks on leaving Veronica standing. She looks after him, smiling, until a running student collides into her, knocking her books and files out of her arms before rushing on.

VERONICA: Thanks, man.

As Veronica picks up her stuff, Duncan bends down to help. He is sombre and says nothing as he stands up and walks on with Logan.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: The weird thing about going to high school with your ex is they're inescapable. Everywhere you turn, there they are.

Logan looks back at her as she stares after Duncan.

[103/0220.jpg]EXT – KANE RESIDENCE, POOL – DAY.

Music: "No Blue Sky" by the Thorns.

LYRICS: Cold outside
But I don't blame the weather
No one's calling
No one's at the door
But I can't stay inside all day
Blinds pulled to the floor
There's no blue sky in my town lately
Everybody looks at the ground
And where I am is making me hazy
But the sun never looked so pretty going down

Under a blue sky, Duncan floats on a raft in the pool, sunglasses and iPod equipped. He gently paddles, listening to the music.

JAKE: [offscreen] It's a beautiful day, huh? A beautiful, lazy day.

Jake is standing by the pool. Duncan initially remains oblivious to his father.

JAKE: Are you gonna get off that raft anytime soon?

Duncan languidly removes his iPod earpiece and stares impassively up at Jake.

DUNCAN: What?

Jake walks along the edge of the pool.

JAKE: Listen, I was, uh, I was thinking about next summer. And my friend, Ron Curtis, he's an advisor for Senator Rake in Washington. Now, he's got an internship that is opening in his office. I think that you should write him a letter, and you should express your interest in politics. You could, uh, you could tell him about your campaign for the student government, you can tell him about all of these different things that you do surrounding government; you know you could tell him what you did for Schwarzenegger…

Jake's words drift away as the disinterested Duncan replaces his earpiece. End music: "No Blue Sky" by the Thorns.

EXT – APARTMENTS – NIGHT.

[103/0300.jpg]KEITH: [offscreen] So I got a call from your guidance counsellor today…

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – CONTINUING.

The partition between the kitchen and lounge areas last seen in the pilot is gone as is the small table that fit in the kitchen. Instead, the kitchen and lounge are in the same room, separated by a kitchen counter island, one end of which doubles as a small table. Keith and Veronica are eating supper at the table.

KEITH: And she wants to see me. Any idea what for?

VERONICA: Nope.

KEITH: Have you been playing nice with the other children?

VERONICA: You know, Dad, I'm Old School. An eye for an eye.

KEITH: I think that's actually Old Testament.

VERONICA: Hm.

KEITH: Come on! No help? You're not gonna give me any idea of what to expect?

VERONICA: Honestly, I haven't a clue. Can I ask you a question?

Keith nods.

VERONICA: What do you think Mom was doing at the Camelot motel with Jake Kane two weeks ago?

He sags.

KEITH: I told you to stay away from that case.

VERONICA: I just don't understand. She's only in Arizona. Why haven't you been looking for her-

KEITH: Veronica! Please.

Veronica stares at her upset father. She gives up and attempts to lighten the mood.

VERONICA: How 'bout those Padres?

It doesn't work. Keith wordlessly collects his plate and leaves a thoughtful Veronica at the table.

INT – KANE RESIDENCE, DINING ROOM – NIGHT.

[103/0354.jpg]The Kanes are gathered at their rather grander dining table. Celeste and Jake are at either end, Duncan between them.

JAKE: You know, I just want to see him passionate about something.

CELESTE: As long as it's something you're passionate about.

JAKE: No! Anything. You know, he's not going to get into a good college without some defining interests.

CELESTE: I think we could be a little more patient, Jake.

JAKE: We all lost Lilly and we all miss her. But that doesn't mean we stop living our lives.

Duncan takes no interest in the conversation, staring dumbly down at his plate and playing aimlessly with his food.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – NIGHT.

Things are still a little strained between Keith and Veronica as they clean up.

KEITH: Got any more liquid soap?

VERONICA: Check underneath the sink. I'm gonna go to the library, okay? Don't wait up.

Veronica kisses her father on the cheek and leaves.

INT – KANE RESIDENCE, DINING ROOM – NIGHT.

Duncan rises from the table.

CELESTE: Where you going, sweetie?

DUNCAN: Just over to Shelley's.

CELESTE: Okay. Well please be back before eleven. It's school tomorrow.

Duncan acknowledges this with a brief nod, and leaves. Jake chuckles but Celeste seems concerned.

[103/0452.jpg]INT – CAR – NIGHT.

Cut to the blue screen of a flashback. Veronica and Duncan are going hot and heavy in the back of a car. However, Veronica doesn't have long hair and both are wearing the same clothes as in the scenes above. Veronica is on top of Duncan, pressing him against the back seat. They are kissing passionately. Duncan puts his arms around her and flips her over, reversing their positions, so that Veronica is now pinned against the door with Duncan on top. Veronica grabs onto the hand grip above the window to stabilise herself, then brings her hand to Duncan's head. Duncan kisses her neck and his hand trails down her already partially undone shirt, undoing another button as Veronica writhes, breathing heavily.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE, VERONICA'S BEDROOM – DAY.

Veronica abruptly sits up in bed to the sound of her alarm, panting from her dream.

Opening credits.

EXT – VIDEO STORE – NIGHT.

Keith and Veronica enter.

INT – VIDEO STORE – CONTINUING.

A brunette, Julia, approaches the counter with a video and is served by Justin. She hands him a DVD.

JULIA: Excellent recommendation as always. Thank you.

JUSTIN: Oh yeah. Kevin Spacey is so amazing in this. And you should check out Body Heat.

An older assistant slaps Justin on the chest with a couple of DVDs.

ASSISTANT: These are late.

JULIA: Buh-bye.

Julia smiles broadly at Justin as she leaves.

JUSTIN: See ya.

VERONICA: [offscreen] Rent it if you wanna rent it. I'm just saying, I'm not gonna watch it.

Justin's ears prick up. Veronica, following Keith, comes into view. She pauses at the counter as Keith moves on to throw an aside to Justin.

VERONICA: There's only so many times a girl can watch Slapshot, you know what I'm saying?

Veronica grabs a piece of gum from the counter and sticks it in her mouth.

JUSTIN: So, um, is it t-true your dad's a-a PI?

VERONICA: That's what it says on the sign.

JUSTIN: And you work with him?

VERONICA: Sometimes.

JUSTIN: Can I talk to you about something?

VERONICA: Sure.

JUSTIN: It's kinda private.

[103/0623.jpg] Veronica looks around the store.

VERONICA: Find me at school tomorrow.

JUSTIN: Okay.

Keith approaches the counter.

KEITH: I got The Cowboys too, just in case we need a backup.

Behind Keith, Veronica gestures to Justin that this is the fifth time Keith has checked out this film. Justin smiles.

INT – KANE RESIDENCE, KITCHEN – DAY.

Duncan takes a container of milk from the refrigerator and drinks from it. Celeste walks in.

CELESTE: Duncan? This is me reminding you to take your pill.

Duncan walks towards a pill and glass of water standing at the end of the counter.

CELESTE: Darling, there's absolutely no shame in taking anti-depressants. I don't know anyone who hasn't needed them at some point in their lives.

He picks them up and walks towards the sink set in the counter.

CELESTE: I know it's been rough since your sister died. Plus you've only been on them for what? Six months. Just give them a little more time.

[103/0648.jpg]Duncan juggles the tablet standing over the sink. Unseen by Celeste, the tablet drops down the plug hole.

CELESTE: Oh, so you'll be home for dinner?

DUNCAN: Yeah, sure thing, Mom.

CELESTE: Good.

Celeste leaves as Duncan stares down into the sink.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY – DAY.

Students go about their business. Veronica, walking down the hall, stops as someone cuts in front of her. Her eyes follow the boy leading them to Duncan who is at his locker with Logan. Everyone speeds past her as she pauses in reverie, and then slowly starts to move on her way. Troy bumps into her.

TROY: Oh hey. What's going on?

VERONICA: Let's go out.

TROY: Finally! The girl comes to her senses.

They move on as Duncan and Logan come up from behind them.

LOGAN: Hey, did you hook up with Shelley last night?

DUNCAN: Uh, she's a talker. She's a talker, you know. Turns out she has conflicted feelings towards her new step-mom and the colour scheme the woman's chosen for the family rec room-

LOGAN: I hate it when they talk.

DUNCAN: Yeah, I know it.

Logan spots something ahead. It's Troy and Veronica talking easily by the lockers.

[103/0805.jpg]LOGAN: Hey, have you noticed that the new kid in town has, uh, been all over your trailer-park ex?

DUNCAN: Let it be, Logan.

LOGAN: Okay, nowhere man, you be the fool on the hill. See if I care.

Logan looks up at Duncan, noticing his sudden pale sweatiness.

LOGAN: Dude, you don't look so hot.

Duncan does a 'hang on' gesture, drops his bag and rushes away. Logan looks back over at Veronica and Troy.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, BOYS BATHROOM – DAY.

Duncan splashes water on his face. He looks at himself and seems to find an unbidden clarity. He smiles.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY – CONTINUING.

Logan is smirking over one of Duncan's notebooks as he waits. He puts it back in Duncan's bag as Duncan comes out of the bathroom and joins him.

LOGAN: You okay?

DUNCAN: Never better.

LOGAN: Okay.

[103/0840.jpg]Logan hands Duncan his bag and bends down to collect his own. He spots Veronica dragging Justin into the girls' bathroom, as does Duncan. Logan laughs.

LOGAN: That girl is seriously whack.

Duncan shakes his head in bemusement and they move on.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, GIRLS BATHROOM – CONTINUING.

Veronica checks the cubicles to make sure they are alone.

JUSTIN: I don't think I'm supposed to be in here.

VERONICA: You wanna talk?

JUSTIN: Uh, yeah. Do you think you could help find someone for me?

VERONICA: Who?

JUSTIN: M-my father. He ran out about ten years ago and I haven't heard from him since.

VERONICA: Sounds like a winner. Are you sure you wanna find him?

Veronica hears a noise and races to the door.

JUSTIN: Well, yeah…

A couple of girls try to enter. Veronica shuts the door on them and shoves a wedge under the door with her foot.

JUSTIN: But mainly I just gotta know what happened to him, you know?

VERONICA: Why now? Why haven't you looked for him before?

JUSTIN: Well…um…my mom got laid off a couple months ago a-a-and she's working these two really crappy jobs and I'm working too. And we barely get by.

[103/0922.jpg]Veronica pulls herself up to sit on the sink counter.

VERONICA: What can you tell me about him?

JUSTIN: Well, I haven't seen him since I was about six or so.

VERONICA: Okay, can you get me a picture?

JUSTIN: Mom destroyed them all.

VERONICA: Last known address.

JUSTIN: I was born in L.A. so we lived there 'til I was about two.

VERONICA: Can you get your hands on his social security number?

JUSTIN: Ummm, no.

VERONICA: Date of birth?

JUSTIN: Nuh-uh.

VERONICA: All right, the name. Can we manage that?

JUSTIN: It's John. Smith.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, ADMINISTRATION OFFICE – DAY.

Rebecca James, the counsellor, approaches Keith, offering her hand.

REBECCA: Mr Mars, hi. Thank you for coming in.

KEITH: Miss James, yeah. I was a little surprised by your call.

REBECCA: Oh, I don't want you to worry. Veronica's an excellent student.

[103/0955.jpg]Rebecca leads Keith into her office.

REBECCA: I think she's amazing. She's got a great mind.

KEITH: So why exactly am I here?

Rebecca closes the door and heads for her desk.

REBECCA: Ah…well, we've noticed a dramatic change in her over the last year. She's, um, she's late…a lot, she has attitude with certain teachers, she falls asleep in class, and socially, she seems to be a bit isolated.

Rebecca has taken her seat at her desk but Keith continues to stand.

KEITH: Yeah. Yeah, she's gone through a rough year.

REBECCA: I know. I know how close she was with Lilly Kane.

KEITH: I'd say Veronica's doing pretty well given the circumstances. Where are you going with all this?

REBECCA: Look, if you find this difficult, and many single fathers of daughters do, I would be more than happy to talk to her.

KEITH: [prickly] No, no. I can handle it, thank you for the heads up.

REBECCA: Anytime.

Keith leaves.

INT – KANE RESIDENCE, DINING ROOM – NIGHT.

The Kanes are having dinner again. This time, Duncan follows his parents bickering as if it were a tennis match.

JAKE: A life coach?

Jake laughs mockingly.

CELESTE: Didn't we just have a discussion about our son's lack of focus?

JAKE: Oh no, you're-you're right. Let's get him an astrologist, too. Maybe a-a past life consultant.

Jake is amusing himself no end, unlike Celeste.

JAKE: Throw in a Pilates coach, if yours can free up some time.

Duncan abruptly rises from the table, glass in hand.

DUNCAN: Raise your glasses everyone, I'd like to make a toast.

His parents are surprised by this sudden show of animation and glance at each other.

[103/1130.jpg]DUNCAN: To Molly.

JAKE: Molly? W-who's Molly?

CELESTE: Our old dog, the lab.

DUNCAN: Yes, sweet old Molly, God rest her soul, but boy could that dog catch a Frisbee. Huh! If only she had the good sense not to whiz on our flower beds, she'd still be with us.

CELESTE: Duncan! Honey, it's been six years. When are you going to let this go? I'm sure she was placed in a very happy home.

DUNCAN: To Molly! The best friend a boy could have.

Duncan drains his glass, slams it down on the table and walks out.

OWEN: [offscreen] You going to study group later?

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL – DAY.

Justin and Owen walk across the grounds, heading into the school.

JUSTIN: Owen, dude, I can't. I'm gonna hook up with Veronica Mars.

OWEN: Yeah, and I'm going parasailing with Halle Berry.

JUSTIN: No, I'm serious. She's working this case for me. She's gonna help me find my missing dad.

OWEN: Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't your dad die, like, seven years ago?

JUSTIN: Well, then, I guess it's gonna take her a long time to find him. Oh yeah.

[103/1202.jpg]He smiles at Owen, who is impressed. Justin carries on into the school.

INT – MARS INVESTIGATIONS – DAY.

Veronica is at the desk in the main office and Wallace is stuffing envelopes on the other side of the desk. Veronica is recording a message as Keith enters the office.

VERONICA: Hello. You've reached the administration office of the Stanford summer programme.

Veronica holds up a finger to signal Keith to wait while she finishes.

VERONICA: No one's here to take your call right now but leave us a message and we'll call you back.

She finishes the recording, then apologises.

VERONICA: Sorry.

Wallace stands and turns to face Keith who surveys him for a moment and then holds out his hand. They shake hands manfully.

KEITH: Keith Mars.

WALLACE: Hi, sir. Wallace Fennel.

VERONICA: [boastfully] Wallace is a friend of mine.

[103/1220.jpg]Veronica performs a martial arts gesture with her hands.

VERONICA: Take that, high school guidance counsellor.

KEITH: Well, hello, Wallace. Now what's going on here?

VERONICA: Helping a kid at school locate his deadbeat dad, the somewhat inconveniently named John Smith.

Keith heads for his office and Veronica follows.

VERONICA: But I've narrowed the field down to 440 John Smiths. So I'm sending each of them a letter addressed to his son congratulating him on his scholarship and I figure if our John Smith has any conscience at all, he'll see the name of his son, open the letter and call to say he's got the wrong address.

KEITH: Part of me is proud…and let's just leave it at that.

Veronica grins. Keith, having dumped his jacket, re-enters the main office to consult the filing cabinet behind Veronica's desk as she returns to her seat.

VERONICA: Oh, I used one of the dedicated phone lines. I hope that's all right. We're gonna trace all the calls that come in.

Keith looks at Wallace.

KEITH: So how did she rope you into this?

WALLACE: She promised me all the answer keys to-

Wallace notes Veronica's warning look.

WALLACE: She's promised to be my friend.

KEITH: I'd of held out for a better offer.

Veronica and Wallace grin.

KEITH: I'll be in my office.

Keith disappears into his office and shuts the door.

VERONICA: [quietly] Hey, would you do me a favour?

WALLACE: Why did all the hair on the back of my neck just stick up?

VERONICA: It's not that big of a deal, just…the next time you're in the Administrations Office, could you borrow my permanent file? I want to see what that counsellor is telling Dad.

WALLACE: Oh yeah, no big deal. I can get expelled for that.

Veronica pulls a face and Wallace nods, resigned.

CELESTE: [offscreen] Morning, darling.

INT – KANE RESIDENCE, KITCHEN – DAY.

[103/1341.jpg]Celeste kisses Duncan.

CELESTE: The pill's on the counter. Don't forget.

DUNCAN: Great. Thanks.

Celeste heads out of the kitchen.

CELESTE: Sophia?

Duncan takes the tablet and glass of water and whilst his mother talks to the maid at the door, he deliberately drops the tablet into the sink. His mother, still focused on the maid, doesn't see.

CELESTE: I'll be out for a few hours. While I'm gone, I'd like you to take out-

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL – DAY.

Veronica and Wallace are just exiting the school. Wallace has a file in his hand, which he is reading.

WALLACE: You called your geometry teacher a jackass?

VERONICA: That's totally taken out of context. Let me see it.

Veronica tries to grab it but Wallace holds it up and away from her.

WALLACE: Ah-ah-ah-ah. Hold up, grabby. I'm discovering a whole new side of you. Damn, Miss Applebaum loved her some Veronica Mars.

He reads aloud from the file.

WALLACE: "Veronica Mars is a complete angel and a joy to have in class every day."

They climb up onto the wall surrounding the lunch tables.

VERONICA: Mrs. Applebaum? That file goes to the second grade?

[103/1425.jpg]In the background, Justin, sitting at a table, turns and sees them. He heads towards them.

WALLACE: Kindergarten.

Wallace returns to the file again.

WALLACE: Awww, sweet. You wrote your teacher a poem.

VERONICA: Okay, yes, I was a kiss-ass. You've outed me, now can I see it?

As Justin comes upon them, Wallace hides the file under his jacket.

JUSTIN: So, uh, any leads yet?

VERONICA: We should know something by next week.

JUSTIN: Oh, h-hey, I've got something for you.

Justin digs into his bag.

JUSTIN: I-I just burned a few songs for you.

He hands her a CD.

JUSTIN: It has the new 311 on there.

VERONICA: Thanks.

JUSTIN: Wel-, you know, I just thought if you were on a stake out or something, you might need something to get you through the night…yeah, okay, later.

Justin leaves, Wallace laughs and Veronica casts him a doleful look.

WALLACE: He brought you a mix tape.

VERONICA: Shut up. Hey, do me a favour.

WALLACE: [grimacing] Please be kidding.

VERONICA: Get me his file.

Wallace is not happy.

INT – RESTAURANT – NIGHT.

Troy and Veronica have a table by the window.

[103/1516.jpg]TROY: So we get the idea to make it onto America's Funniest Home Videos with this fake shark plan.

VERONICA: Oh, my God, I remember that. That was you?

TROY: The plan was to cut off the dorsal fin, nail it to a board, strap the board to my back and have me swim around the public beach. And Duncan's gonna stand on the shore and videotape the mob scene. But it never happens. I'm swimming out there for like, fifteen minutes. No one even notices.

Veronica laughs.

VERONICA: You guys were idiots.

TROY: Yes. Yes, we were. Finally, lifeguard, he spots me. The clod pulls out a rifle. Okay, lucky for me Duncan spots him. He goes sprinting towards the lifeguard tower. He was bawling his eyes out, I might add. So, h-he's running, he's shouting, he's saying "No, no-no, don't shoot, that's my friend, that's my friend."

Troy pauses.

TROY: Saved my life.

VERONICA: [wryly] That's one way of looking at it.

Muzak is playing in the background and Troy grimaces.

TROY: I'm kinda-I'm kind of tired of this song.

On the table is a mini-jukebox. Troy bangs his fist on it. It has no effect.

TROY: I would have expected sex had that worked.

VERONICA: Had that worked, you would have gotten it.

Troy looks at her expectantly.

VERONICA: Try it again.

They both laugh. Troy looks around.

TROY: Check!

Veronica giggles.

EXT – RESTAURANT – NIGHT.

Troy and Veronica walk slowly along what looks like a promenade to the car park.

TROY: Let me see your phone.

Veronica hands it over. Troy keys in something.

VERONICA: What are you doing?

TROY: It is now booty call enabled.

VERONICA: In case I need a little late night action?

TROY: Action. Investment advice. Whatever.

He hands her back the phone as they reach her car.

TROY: So…

Troy moves in closer. Veronica starts talking quickly.

VERONICA: I should really get home. I'd invite you over but it's a school night and my dad owns a handgun. He says he can look into a guy's eyes and tell his true intentions which I know sounds like a myth, but I-

Music: "Art" by Louque.

LYRICS: Heading down and I'd run.
Taking all with soul
Life delay, these vacancies
Eee-ooo…
I'm drowning
Keep running, keep running
Your time's coming-

[103/1708.jpg]Troy bends down to cut her off with a kiss. Veronica flinches back.

TROY: Aah, o-kay then.

Troy gently takes her hand for a handshake and takes a flourished bow.

TROY: And a good night to you, madam.

Troy opens the car door for Veronica and closes it behind her. He nods his head and walks back to his own car. Veronica watches regretfully.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – NIGHT.

Veronica sneaks into the apartment, to no avail as Keith has waited up for her.

KEITH: How was your date?

VERONICA: Oh, you know. Lousy conversation but the sex was fantastic.

KEITH: That's not funny.

VERONICA: I don't know. I'm pretty sure it was.

Veronica goes to her bedroom, shutting the bedroom door. End music: "Art" by Louque. She leans against the wall.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Brain? Check. Dead sexy? Check. Devilish charm? Check. Formidable Scrabble opponent? Who cares?

[103/1823.jpg]She has walked over to her bed and she drops down onto it.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: What's wrong with you, Veronica? What are you waiting for?

Veronica picks up a pillow and puts it over her face.

INT – CAR – NIGHT.

There is no blue tinge this time as present-day Veronica and Duncan make out again in the car. Duncan is kissing her neck and then kisses her lips hungrily. They sink below the bottom of the screen.

DUNCAN: Veronica.

The girl jerks the couple back into view. It is still Duncan, but the girl is not Veronica.

[103/1849.jpg]SHELLEY: [offended] What did you just call me?

Duncan thinks for a moment, then laughs.

DUNCAN: Uhhh...

Duncan doesn't hide that he finds the situation hilarious as he laughs again.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY – DAY.

Wallace approaches with a file as Veronica closes her locker.

[103/1909.jpg]WALLACE: Justin's permanent file.

He hands it over, somewhat serious.

WALLACE: You might want to take a look at that.

VERONICA: Why, is it going to self-destruct in five seconds?

Wallace is in no joking mood. Veronica reads and looks back at Wallace in disbelief.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, LUNCH AREA – DAY.

Justin, Owen and the other boy are at one of the tables. Veronica marches up to them.

VERONICA: I need to talk to Justin.

The other two stare at her.

VERONICA: [firmly] Alone.

They slink away.

JUSTIN: See'ya guys.

Veronica slaps a piece of paper down in front of Justin.

VERONICA: Explain this.

JUSTIN: My evaluation from first grade?

VERONICA: Yeah. Read it to me.

JUSTIN: "Justin shows talent in his finger-painting, and other arts and crafts projects."

VERONICA: Further down.

JUSTIN: "F-for the past several months, Justin's been moody and withdrawn. This behaviour is not surprising in the light of his…father's recent death." [sheepishly] Whoops.

VERONICA: [pissed off] Everything you told me was a lie, Justin. You wasted my time. That drives me crazy. And you owe me $150 in postage.

Justin has no answer for her.

SCHOOL OFFICE WORKER: [offscreen] Excuse me.

An older woman comes into view as Veronica quickly picks up the evaluation.

SCHOOL OFFICE WORKER: Are you Justin Smith?

Justin stands.

JUSTIN: Yeah?

SCHOOL OFFICE WORKER: This came for you.

She hands him an envelope.

[103/2014.jpg]JUSTIN: Thanks.

The woman leaves and Justin opens the envelope.

JUSTIN: It's the, uh, scholarship letter that you sent out. And there's a note.

He hands it to Veronica and sinks down into his seat.

JUSTIN: I-it's from my father.

Both are shocked.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE, VERONICA'S BEDROOM – NIGHT.

Music: "Goodbye World" by Luke Adams.

LYRICS: I shouldn't have to justify
All I need is…

Veronica is lying on the bed, studying. Keith knocks and enters.

[103/2045.jpg]KEITH: Someone to see you.

VERONICA: Describe this someone.

KEITH: White male, pint-sized, desperate and not having a good day.

Veronica rolls her eyes but gets up. End music: Goodbye World by Luke Adams.

EXT – MARS RESIDENCE – CONTINUING.

Justin stands outside the front door of the Mars' apartment.

JUSTIN: Hey. So...I-I bicycled all the way over here. I just wanted to say I'm sorry.

VERONICA: You could have saved it 'til tomorrow.

JUSTIN: So, aah, I-I showed my mom the letter. She got all mad. Made me promise not to try and find my dad.

Veronica is leaning against the edge of the open door of the apartment. Keith can be seen inside, within earshot.

[103/2058.jpg]VERONICA: So he really is alive.

JUSTIN: My mom said I was actually better off this way. Thinking he was dead.

VERONICA: Maybe you were.

Keith raises his head in concern at hearing this.

JUSTIN: I mean, I have a dad somewhere out there in the world. How can I not try and find out what happened to him? It would kill me.

VERONICA: [relenting] Let me see the letter again.

Veronica takes the letter and unfolds it.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE, VERONICA'S BEDROOM – CONTINUING.

On the computer screen is a page bearing the title "The Invisible Eye.Net Worldwide Investigation Services." The name John Smith, location Los Angeles, is being entered into a multi-database search.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: The letter Justin received from his long-lost dad bore a San Diego postmark. Of the 440 John Smiths out there, only three were in San Diego.

Slight glitch as the screen shows that there are 430 matches. For each entry, there is a reference to the database from which the information comes, such as Board of Equalization, Municipal Index, County Municipal Criminal Index, Superior Civil Index and Business Names Index. As Veronica works at her laptop, there is a soft knock at the door.

VERONICA: Come in.

Veronica clears her screen. Keith pops his head in.

KEITH: [quietly] Hi. I couldn't help but overhear.

VERONICA: Yeah, sorry.

KEITH: No, it's not that. It's just that I never want you to think your mom's the villain in all this.

VERONICA: Isn't she?

KEITH: No, it's not that simple.

VERONICA: Yeah it is. The hero is the one that stays and the villain is the one that splits.

KEITH: I don't think that's a healthy perspective.

VERONICA: It's healthier than me pining away everyday praying she'll come home.

Keith can't think of what to say and leaves.

[103/2232.jpg]VERONICA VOICEOVER: The truth was I'd figured out exactly where my mother was staying.

On the laptop, Veronica brings up the plate from the Camelot and addresses matched to plate numbers. All the addresses are in Yuma, Arizona and although the screen seems to show a sequential list (3VG-991 to 3VG-999, then 2VG-999, then 3VG-990-3VG-999, repeating the ones shown before and 4VG-001 to 4VG-003), it omits the one Veronica wants: 4VG-000.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: But I wasn't about to tell him that.

But it must be there somewhere for she writes it down on a post-it and pins it to her board. It reads: 304 Paraket Lane, Phoenix Az 85207.

VERONICA: [offscreen] Wait up.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL – DAY.

[103/2249.jpg]Veronica runs to catch up with Troy.

TROY: Don't run, Veronica, people might think that you're desperate.

VERONICA: That would be a step up, reputation wise.

Troy pauses and looks down at her sceptically. He then starts to walk on as she keeps pace.

TROY: I guess that all depends on who you're asking.

They head off in the same direction as a couple of rushing lacrosse players.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, SPORTS FIELD – CONTINUING.

On the field, the lacrosse is practicing. In the bleachers Duncan, Logan and six other 09ers are watching and whooping.

DUNCAN: Go Pirates.

There are more shouts and much laughing and clapping.

LOGAN: Hey, uh…

Logan grabs his hip flask, taps Duncan with it and lies back, cushioned by the legs of the 09er behind him.

LOGAN: I thought your boy toy Troy was going to join us for Happy Hour this afternoon.

Logan opens the flask.

LOGAN: You don't suppose that, uh, he got waylaid by Veronica, do you?

Logan goes to take a swig but Duncan whips round abruptly and grabs the flask. Logan shoots up and for a moment, it looks like it could get nasty as Duncan squares up to a wary and uncertain Logan. Then Duncan raises his eyebrows, waves his head and adopts a Hollywood Chinese accent.

DUNCAN: Ooooh, Grasshopper too slow for Kung-Fu Master.

Logan's relieved that Duncan is playful. Duncan backs away from him.

DUNCAN: If you can take the flask out of my hand then you will be…

Logan waves him off like he's not going to play only to suddenly lunge for the flask. Duncan holds it out of his reach.

DUNCAN: New master.

They wrestle. Meanwhile, Dick Casablancas and another 09er get up and move offscreen.

DICK: Let's do it, man.

Duncan frees himself from Logan, who climbs over another 09er and resumes his seat. Duncan holds court on a higher step.

DUNCAN: Wait, wait, wait. Guys! Check it out guys. Six guys. Bleachers. Jump in when you're feeling this, okay? [singing, badly] Summer loving had me a blast.

LOGAN: [amongst the laughter] What has gotten into you, man?

DICK: Hey, check it out.

The others look over to see the 09er with Dick climb onto the side railing of the bleachers and backwards flip off. They all race to the railings. The boy has fallen onto matting and is unhurt. Various impressed comments of congratulations are made.

[103/2423.jpg]LOGAN: Crazy is as crazy does. Bravo!

The others head back to where they were sitting. Duncan lingers at the railing as he spots Troy and Veronica walking along the side of the stand. He watches.

VERONICA: I think I might have given you the wrong impression. I had a really great time. I just…

TROY: It's just that you need more, and you know you get to fill in the blank here, a – time, b – space-

[103/2433.jpg] Veronica cuts him off with a kiss. Duncan turns away and heads back to Logan, waiting for him on the bleachers. Duncan hands Logan his flask then spins round. With a war-cry, he races for the edge. He hand-stands onto the rail and falls. He falls further away from the stand than the other 09er, and although he hits the mats, he bounces off and rolls hard across the ground. Veronica breaks off her kiss and races over. Troy follows. Logan races to the edge to look down just as Veronica gets to Duncan who, in a bad continuity moment, is now just under the matting. The 09ers join Logan and keep up their good spirits.

LOGAN: [laughing] You okay, man? What was that, a triple klutz?

Veronica is on her knees, holding Duncan's head. Troy stands by them.

DUNCAN: [cheerily] Hey.

Duncan laughs as Veronica looks at the blood on her hand from his head.

VERONICA: He needs to go to the hospital.

LOGAN: Hey Duncan, open your mouth. This'll help.

Logan opens the hip flask and sprinkles out its contents. They splash Veronica who is unimpressed.

VERONICA: Come on.

She and Troy get Duncan up and carry him away to the shouts of the drunken 09ers.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CAR PARK – CONTINUING.

Duncan is now pressing a white towel to the back of his head as Troy and Veronica lead him to the LeBaron.

TROY: Death defying stunts. Gushing head wound.

Duncan laughs.

TROY: You're the man, brother.

Troy gets him into the passenger's seat as Veronica gets into the driver's seat.

DUNCAN: And, I almost stuck the landing.

[103/2516.jpg]Music: "Edge of the Ocean" by Ivy.

LYRICS: There's a place I dream about
Where the sun never goes out
And the sky is deep and blue
Won't you take me there with you
Ohhh, we can begin again.
Shed our skin, let the sun shine in.
At the edge of the ocean
We can start over again

Troy leans over to Veronica.

TROY: You sure you don't want some help?

VERONICA: No. Thanks. I got it.

She's too concerned about Duncan to give him much attention, impatiently directing herself to Duncan.

VERONICA: Put your seatbelt on. And hold the towel tighter.

Troy accepts that he is no match for Veronica's attention and steps back as she pulls out. Troy watches the LeBaron go.

EXT – STREETS, VERONICA'S CAR – DAY.

As they drive, Veronica steals a glance at Duncan. He looks up at the sky, removes the bloody towel and turns his head to gaze at her.

[103/2544.jpg]DUNCAN: Remember how things used to be.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: You mean between us? Or before Lilly died? Or two weeks ago before your friend took an interest in me?

DUNCAN: Veronica?

VERONICA: [snapping] Not really, no.

He looks at her a little surprised at her vehemence. He puts the towel to the back of his head again and they drive on in silence.

INT – HOSPITAL – CONTINUING.

End music: "Edge of the Ocean" by Ivy. In an examination room, the nurse addresses Duncan sitting on an examination table, now holding gauze to his head. Veronica stands next to him.

NURSE: Do you want your girlfriend to stay in here with you?

VERONICA: Oh, I'm not his girlfriend-

DUNCAN: Yeah, yeah that's cool.

They share a tender look.

JAKE: [offscreen] Why, here you are.

As the nurse walks out, Jake walks in, pleased to see his son. He is not so pleased to see Veronica.

[103/2620.jpg]JAKE: [sighs] Veronica. We meet again.

VERONICA: What are the odds?

DUNCAN: Veronica brought me in.

JAKE: Thank you, Veronica. [dismissively] I think I can handle it from here.

VERONICA: Okay, I-I have…stuff to do anyway, so…

As Jake looks at the head wound, Duncan nods and Veronica heads for the door. She looks back and she and Duncan share another comradely look before she goes.

JAKE: Jeez. Off a bleacher?

Cut to later as x-ray pictures are put up on a wall light box by the doctor.

DR. LEVINE: Well, everything is fine. There's no fractures. Nothing that, uh, a few stitches won't fix.

JAKE: I-I still don't understand how this happened, Duncan. What possessed you to jump off a set of bleachers?

DUNCAN: Dad? Can I talk with Dr Levine for a minute? By myself?

JAKE: All right.

Jake exits.

EXT – STREETS, VERONICA'S CAR – DAY.

Veronica is driving.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Of the 440 John Smiths out there, only three were in San Diego. My mission: find and photograph them. Of course, Justin hadn't seen his father since he was six. There was no guarantee he could ID him.

Veronica passes the city limits sign for San Diego. She speaks to Justin on her cell as she drives.

VERONICA: Hey, are you sure you don't have any pictures of your dad?

INT – VIDEO STORE – CONTINUING.

JUSTIN: I-I-I don't think so. My mom cut him out of all of them.

Julia is heading for the counter.

JUSTIN: But, um, I could take a look.

JULIA: Excuse me?

JUSTIN: Um, can I call you back?

EXT – STREETS, VERONICA'S CAR – CONTINUING.

[103/2742.jpg]VERONICA: Yeah, just bring me back whatever you have.

INT – VIDEO STORE – CONTINUING.

JUSTIN: Bye.

JULIA: Last time I was in you mentioned Body Heat. Do you have that on DVD?

Justin checks the computer.

JUSTIN: Looks like I'd have to special order it.

JULIA: All right. Sounds good.

INT – HOSPITAL – DAY.

Duncan and Dr Levine are still in the room with the x-rays.

[103/2758.jpg]DR. LEVINE: Ultimately, it is your decision. And you should do what's right for you. But, uh, I have to warn you. Going cold turkey off anti-depressants can have some serious side-effects. I mean you're likely to feel nauseous…

DUNCAN: Yeah. Plenty of that.

DR. LEVINE: It's also possible that you'll suffer from hallucinations and, uh, particularly vivid dreams. And this can go on for weeks. Some people find that unnerving.

DUNCAN: It's worth it.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, REBECCA'S OFFICE – DAY.

Rebecca opens her office door to Keith Mars.

KEITH: Hey.

REBECCA: Hi!

KEITH: Hey, thanks for making the time to see me.

Keith fully enters and closes the door.

[103/2826.jpg]KEITH: I owe you an apology. I…was abrupt and, uh, defensive the other day…

REBECCA: Well, on a defensive parent scale of one to ten, I'd say three so, don't worry about it.

KEITH: And you were right. I think-I think Veronica does need someone to talk to and I'm afraid that in this case that I am-am not equipped to be that person.

REBECCA: I would be happy to talk to her.

KEITH: Thank you.

REBECCA: Yeah.

Keith starts to say something else but Rebecca's phone starts ringing.

REBECCA: I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, would you-would you mind?

KEITH: Sure, yeah.

REBECCA: Can you hang on? I'm gonna take this.

As she picks up the handset, the coffee on her desk tips over onto the floor spilling its contents.

REBECCA: Ooh, aah, hi, yeah, okay, can I call you right back? Fine.

Keith has moved round to her side of the desk having grabbed some tissues to clear up the mess. He notes the logo on the cup as he hands it back to her.

KEITH: I got it, I got it.

REBECCA: Oh, gee, thank you, thank you so much. I'm a coffee addict.

KEITH: Thanks again.

REBECCA: Sure.

Keith goes to leave. She stops him at he opens the door.

REBECCA: Sheriff Mars?

Keith turns back, hand on the door knob.

REBECCA: You always had my vote.

They smile.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL – DAY.

The camera looks outside, through the school door on Veronica, Wallace and Justin sitting on a low wall.

VERONICA: …picked up all the John Smiths at their home addresses and followed them until I got decent shots. Here's the first one.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL – CONTINUING.

Veronica passes over a photo.

VERONICA: He's a veterinarian and married. And there's a swingset in the back so I'm guessing he's got kids.

The photo shows a large, balding man.

JUSTIN: No, that's definitely not him.

Justin passes the photo back to Veronica.

VERONICA: Okay. John Smith number two. Single and coaches high school basketball.

Veronica passes over a couple of photos of a man with green eyes.

JUSTIN: No, it's not him either. Mom always turns off the radio when they play "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" because it reminds her of Dad. And these guy's eyes are green.

Justin gives the photos back.

JUSTIN: It's not him.

VERONICA: Finally, John Smith number three.

Veronica puts the photographs into Justin's hands. The first shows a tall, close shaven man in a long jacket and sunglasses. The next is a closer side profile, still with sunglasses.

JUSTIN: Yeah, th-that could be him. Do you have any pictures with-without the sunglasses?

Veronica shakes her head.

VERONICA: He had them on the whole time.

JUSTIN: So, what does this guy do?

VERONICA: I followed him from the junkyard to the pawnshop to the racetrack.

WALLACE: Sweet.

VERONICA: My best guess would be petty criminal.

JUSTIN: Well…can we go back there? I mean, I know if I could see him up close, I could ID him.

VERONICA: I don't think so.

JUSTIN: Come on. One way or the other, I'd know.

WALLACE: Give the kid a break.

VERONICA: All right, fine. Meet me at my car after school. But remember. I'm the one in charge and you'll do as I say.

Veronica and Wallace prepare to go.

[103/3056.jpg]WALLACE: You should've seen her before charm school.

JUSTIN: I promise. Wait, hey, I-I-I brought you the best pictures I have of Dad. In this one you can actually see his hand.

Justin's shows Veronica two photos: one of a couple by their wedding car and another of the same couple with a toddler in front of another sports car. In each, the head of the man has been cut out.

VERONICA: [offscreen] Wow. Your mom really hated him, didn't she.

JUSTIN: Yeah.

VERONICA: Cool cars.

JUSTIN: Mom says he was obsessed with them. Hey, what did John Smith three drive?

VERONICA: A Sebring convertible.

JUSTIN: [disappointed] Oh. All right, I'll see you guys after school.

EXT – STREETS, SAN DIEGO – DAY.

John Smith Three is in his car, stopped at traffic lights. Veronica and Justin are two cars behind him.

VERONICA: That's him, right in front of the Honda.

JUSTIN: There he goes. You're gonna lose him!

VERONICA: I'm not gonna lose him.

John Smith Three pulls up in the parking lot of an Adult Arcade. In a demonstration of the staggering lack of imagination on the part of such vendors, the delights of the establishment mirror those in Neptune: Les Girls, Body Shop, Nude together with Nude Show, Adult Super Store, Hi-Lite Bookstop. Veronica pulls up on the opposite side of the road.

VERONICA: Lay low and try not to look too conspicuous.

Veronica takes out her long lens camera and starts to take pictures as the man heads into the Adult Arcade. Justin can't wait and bolts out of the car.

VERONICA: Hey!

Justin races towards John Smith Three. Veronica runs after him then stops and observes from a distance, standing by John Smith Three's car.

JUSTIN: Excuse me, excuse me. Hey!

The man turns, slides his sunglasses down his nose exposing his eyes and looks down on Justin.

[103/3156.jpg]JOHN SMITH THREE: You need something, bro?

JUSTIN: No. I'm sorry. I just thought you were somebody else.

The man stares hard at Justin, then at Veronica. He turns and goes on his way.

JUSTIN: It's not him. Dang.

Veronica spots a shopping list on a post-it on the dashboard of the man's car. She grabs it.

JUSTIN: Wh-what are you doing?

VERONICA: Let me see the letter again.

Justin pulls the letter out of his pocket. He unfolds it and gives it to Veronica. She places the post-it on top of the letter and compares the writing. The post-it is a shopping list: detergent, eggs, flour, juice, TP, paper towels. What can be seen of the letter is: "Dear Justin… …ulations!! I am… of you. What… young man you are. I don't know how they got my address…"

VERONICA: It's the exact same handwriting.

Justin examines the papers, then stares at Veronica.

INT – KANE RESIDENCE, DEN – DAY.

Duncan is sprawled on a sofa, watching ten-pin bowling on a large screen television.

LILLY: [offscreen] Yo, bro. How can you watch this crap? It could be not be more boring.

Lilly appears in a green-tinged light, blood on her head. She touches the blood and groans with disgust as she sits next to him on the couch.

LILLY: Oh, what the hell?

Duncan can't believe his eyes.

DUNCAN: Lilly?

LILLY: Yeah, what, you forgot about me already?

DUNCAN: W-wh-what are you-

Lilly stretches out, leaning against Duncan's shoulder. Duncan still can't believe what he is seeing and touches her hair.

LILLY: Hey, you know what makes absolutely no sense. My disappearance. Murder. Whatever. How it supposedly went down. So bogus, right?

Lilly sits up suddenly.

[103/3323.jpg]LILLY: And here's the thing. The truth is gonna come out.

DUNCAN: What are you talking about?

LILLY: Clue in, Donut. It doesn't add up. You know that deep down inside. I wish you'd just admit it to yourself. Break out of your stupor. Wake up.

The camera spins from Lilly to a napping Duncan who jerks himself awake. He stands and looks around, somewhat panicked.

EXT – STREETS, SAN DIEGO – DAY.

John Smith Three exits his car and enters the gate of a small house. Veronica and Justin pull up on the opposite side of the road. Justin explores the glove compartment.

JUSTIN: What's this?

VERONICA: It's a taser...and it's dangerous. Put it back.

JUSTIN: I'm coming with you.

VERONICA: No, I need you to stay in the car.

Cut to Veronica checking out the gate, going through and looking through the window of the garage where a car is under a tarpaulin.

VERONICA: Hmmm. A classic car perhaps?

Veronica finds a box.

INT – SMITH RESIDENCE, GARAGE – CONTINUING.

She enters the garage through the window and throws back the tarpaulin.

VERONICA: A Hyundai Sonata? I don't think it qualifies as a classic.

The door from the house opens and Veronica is busted by John Smith Three, carrying a baseball bat.

[103/3513.jpg]JOHN SMITH THREE: What the hell are you doing? Stay right there. I'm calling the police.

VERONICA: You're not gonna do that. I followed you and I know what you do.

JOHN SMITH THREE: What I do? I'm a parole officer.

VERONICA: What?

JOHN SMITH THREE: Why would you be following me?

VERONICA: I'm a friend of your son's. He just wants to see you.

JOHN SMITH THREE: I don't have a son. Don't move.

VERONICA: Are you trying to tell me you're not John Smith?

He whips round and stares at Veronica.

EXT – SMITH RESIDENCE – TWILIGHT.

Justin is waiting impatiently in the car. He sees a green classic convertible pull up next to John Smith Three's vehicle and grabs the taser. He runs towards the house.

INT – SMITH RESIDENCE – CONTINUING.

Back in the garage, Veronica and the man both turn at the sound of the automated garage door opening. They see the green car just as Justin reaches it. The green car is being driven by Julia.

JULIA: Justin.

Justin looks from Julia to Veronica and back to Julia.

JUSTIN: Dad?

Julia nods. Veronica and John Smith Three slowly walk towards them. Cut to slightly later. Twilight is short and it's starting to turn dark. Julia is out of her car, standing in front of Justin.

JUSTIN: [upset] Oh, my God. You're a woman. I don't believe this.

JULIA: This is hard, I know. I wish I could've found a way to tell you.

JUSTIN: And did you also know I thought you were dead since I was e-eleven?

JULIA: No. I'm not surprised. Your mother threatened she would say that.

JUSTIN: And your little visits to the video store? What's that all about, huh?

JULIA: I went to see you. Can you understand that? I wanted to see for myself that you were all right.

JUSTIN: Well, I'm not actually, okay?

[103/3634.jpg]Julia's face crumples at her son's distress.

JUSTIN: I'm not. Turns out my mom's a liar and my father i-is a circus freak.

VERONICA: Justin. Maybe we should go.

JULIA: Oh, this is something I had to do. This…is who I am.

JUSTIN: [crying] Come on Veronica. Let's get out of here.

Justin runs off.

VERONICA: [awkwardly] It was nice meeting everyone.

Veronica follows Justin and the woman seeks the comfort of John Smith Three.

EXT – STREETS – NIGHT.

Veronica and Justin are heading back to Neptune. Justin is still crying.

[103/3718.jpg]VERONICA: Ninety miles.

JUSTIN: What's ninety miles?

VERONICA: It's the distance your dad travels every week to see you for a few seconds.

There is a long pause.

VERONICA: Look, my mom's been missing too and honestly, I would give anything to feel that she cared enough about me to do that.

Justin considers this.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE, VERONICA'S BEDROOM – DAY.

Lianne's address is still pinned on Veronica's board.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: She wasn't going to find me. I was gonna have to find her. I've decided to drive to Arizona after school. If the roads are clear I can make it there in four hours.

Veronica collects her things together.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Tragedy blows through your life like a tornado, uprooting everything, creating chaos. You wait for the dust to settle and then you choose.

Music: "Rock and a Hard Place" by Supreme Beings of Leisure (instrumental). She grabs the address and exits her room.

INT – KANE RESIDENCE, KITCHEN – DAY.

Duncan ponders his tablet before swallowing it.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: You can live in the wreckage and pretend it's still the mansion you remember.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY – DAY.

[103/3848.jpg]She pauses and smiles fondly as she sees Duncan approaching with Logan.

VERONICA: [softly] Hey, how's your head?

Duncan stares at her unsmiling for a moment.

DUNCAN: [lifelessly] It's better.

He walks on. His response disappoints both Veronica and Logan.

INT – COFFEE SHOP – DAY.

Keith is pretending to read a newspaper in the coffee shop where Rebecca's coffee came from, but is actually watching someone.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Or you can crawl from the rubble and slowly rebuild.

KEITH: Hi.

It's Rebecca and she is happy to see him.

[103/3904.jpg]REBECCA: Hey, I didn't know you came here.

KEITH: Yeah, I just discovered this place.

REBECCA: Yeah, me too.

KEITH: Oh, how have we missed each other?

They laugh together.

INT – VIDEO STORE – DAY.

Justin is staring sadly into the distance.

ASSISTANT: Hey Justin, did you special order Body Heat for someone? Here it is.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Because after disaster strikes, the important thing is that you move on.

JUSTIN: Right.

Cut to him on the phone.

[103/3931.jpg]JUSTIN: Hello? Julia? It's Justin. Hey, listen. That copy of Body Heat you wanted came in…

He breaks down a little.

JUSTIN: No, it's fine…Yeah, I work here every Saturday...That's great. Okay…I'll see you then. Bye.

He hangs up.

EXT – STREETS, PHOENIX – DAY.

Veronica drives in suburban streets, checking the address.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: But if you're like me, you just keep chasing the storm.

She sees Lianne's car parked in the car port of a small house. She rounds the corner and sees the back of a blonde woman, gardening. End music: "Rock and a Hard Place" by Supreme Beings of Leisure.

VERONICA: Mom? Mom?

Veronica pulls up and races out of the car towards the woman.

VERONICA: Mom!

She turns. It's not Lianne. Veronica stops short.

ADRIANNA: Can I help you?

VERONICA: I'm looking for Lianne Mars.

ADRIANNA: Veronica? I'm Adrianna.

Adrianna hugs her.

[103/4034.jpg]ADRIANNA: A college friend of your mom's. I feel like I know you. Your mother talks about you all the time.

VERONICA: Where is she?

ADRIANNA: She left a couple of weeks ago.

VERONICA: Well, did she say where she was going?

ADRIANNA: No.

VERONICA: Don't lie to me. [distressed] I need to know, where is she?

ADRIANNA: She thought your father might come looking for her and she knows I'm no good at keeping secrets.

VERONICA: Doesn't she care about me?

ADRIANNA: You're all she cares about.

VERONICA: Mark me down as sceptical.

Veronica gets back in her car. Music: "What Are You Afraid Of?" by West Indian Girl.

LYRICS: I lost myself inside someone else
I couldn't see the lines between her and me
On a darker road, the fear I've shown
With eyes of stone, he walks alone.
What are you afraid of?
What are you made of?

EXT – STREETS – NIGHT.

Veronica drives, still upset.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: The problem with chasing the storm is that it wears you down, breaks your spirit. Even the experts agree. A girl needs closure.

EXT – STREET – NIGHT.

Veronica sits on the hood of her car and punches the cell phone.

[103/4158.jpg]VERONICA: Hi. I'm outside your house.

A light goes on in the house next to where she has parked and Veronica laughs. Troy comes out of the house and stands before her.

TROY: It's about time.

Veronica, crying, holds him for dear life. End. Executive producer: Rob Thomas. End music: "What Are You Afraid Of?" by West Indian Girl.