1.06 Return of the Kane

Teleplay by: Phil Klemmer
Story by: Rob Thomas
Directed by: Sarah Pia Anderson

Original Air Date: 2 November, 2004
Transcribed by Inigo

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Previously on Veronica Mars…

Veronica runs up and sees the body of Lilly Kane from 101 Pilot.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: It’s been a year since my best friend Lilly Kane was murdered.

Cut to Keith and Veronica watching a news report of the arrest of Abel Koontz from the same episode.

TV: The Neptune Sheriff’s Department has apprehended Abel Koontz… Shoes and a backpack…

Cut to Veronica with Keith’s file on Lilly’s death from the same episode.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: The Lilly Kane murder file. Dad still hasn’t given up on the case.

JAKE: [offscreen] We all lost Lilly and we all miss her.

Cut to Duncan at the Kane dining table from 103 Meet John Smith.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Duncan Kane. He used to be my boyfriend.

Cut to a long view of the Kane family dinner from the same episode.

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

VERONICA VOICEOVER: And let’s not forget Logan Echolls. Every school has an obligatory psychotic jackass. He’s ours.

There is a montage of shots of Logan – he gives Veronica a gesture, a fist with index and little fingers extended from 102 Credit Where Credit’s Due; he smashes the headlights on her car and he floors the XTerra away from Veronica in 101 Pilot. Cut to Veronica and Weevil outside his house from 102 Credit Where Credit’s Due.

WEEVIL: You think you’re this big outsider, push comes to shove, you’re still one of them. You still think like one of them.

End previously.

EXT – ECHOLLS RESIDENCE – DAY.

Gates open in front of a large, luxurious house. Logan, in his dressing gown, rides down the drive on a scooter. Behind him, his mother Lynn stands at the front door of the house in her negligee.

TOUR GUIDE: Here, folks, is the house of Aaron Echolls.

Admiring voices can be heard as Logan reaches the gate. He gets off his scooter. A tour bus is outside the gate. People run towards Logan.

LOGAN: [antagonistic] Quite a show, huh?

He looks back at his mother and back at the crowd. He is derisory.

LOGAN: Don’t you people have lives?

Logan snatches up the newspaper left outside the gate of #15663.

LOGAN: You don’t see me poking around your trailer park, do you?

Logan heads back up the driveway.

FAN: Hey, uh, uh, are you the son?

Logan gets even angrier and turns, marching towards the crowd.

LOGAN: I’m the guy telling you to get back on the bus and get out of my driveway.

Lynn calls to him from the porch of the house.

LYNN: Logan! Come back in the house, honey.

Logan walks towards the scooter. The crowd becomes excited by the arrival of a large, chauffeur-driven car. Aaron Echolls gets out of the back of the car to the joy of the fans.

AARON: [personably] Hey, you guys are out early.

One woman asks for an autograph and another calls “Hi Harry!” (Whoops.) The crowd is excited. Aaron heads for them and reaches for a proffered pen.

AARON: Here.

Aaron signs autographs. Some take pictures.

AARON: Hey Logan. Come here.

The fans are delighted; Logan, less so. He tightens his belt and joins his dad.

AARON: Get a few shots with my son, huh?

Aaron takes off his sunglasses and puts his arm around Logan’s shoulder.

AARON: There you go. [quietly, to Logan] Smile, Logan.

Logan smiles mechanically.

AARON: [louder, for the crowd] Don’t forget these folks pay for all of this, huh?

Aaron beams at his fans.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL (NHS) – DAY.

Students mill around.

INT – NHS, ADMINISTRATION OFFICE – CONTINUING.

Duncan enters to find Jake leafing through some papers. There is a banner on the wall regarding school elections. Jake has a bag on his shoulder.

DUNCAN: Thanks, Dad.

Duncan takes the bag from his father’s shoulder.

DUNCAN: You know, I polled the rest of the soccer team. None of them want to see my junk.

JAKE: Well, now you’re covered. Oh, you didn’t tell me that elections were this week. You should run. I think it would be a very impressive line on your college applications.

DUNCAN: Please Dad. All they do is sell candy and argue about prom decorations.

JAKE: Right, that’s all they do now. Until the reign of Kane.

Jake pats Duncan on the neck and shoulder. Duncan laughs.

DUNCAN: Dear god! May no one have just heard him say reign of Kane.

EXT – NHS, LUNCH AREA – DAY.

Veronica and Wallace eat lunch.

VERONICA: So, my dad wants to take me to the San Diego Zoo this weekend.

WALLACE: Aw, man, I love the zoo. Everyone gets all excited about the monkey house. I’m a big cat man myself.

VERONICA: My dad’s gone a little nutty with all these father-daughter days.

WALLACE: Yeah, see me on the other hand, would love to go to the zoo with my dad.

VERONICA: Wallace, don’t…

WALLACE: But he’s dead, so.

VERONICA: Okay. I hate myself. Are you happy?

WALLACE: Um-hum.

Wallace smiles and laughs softly. He looks up at the sound of a whistle. Veronica looks round. The camera pans round to a girl coming out of the school. It is Wanda. Her tee-shirt advocates sex, drugs and rock–n-roll.

WANDA: Yo! Man! Over here.

Wanda beckons a man delivering food. She takes the bag and pays him.

WANDA: Keep the change.

As he leaves, a blonde cheerleader, Madison Sinclair, carrying two boxes of delivered pizza, walks up to Wanda, hand on hip and gets in her face.

MADISON: You’re not allowed delivery.

WANDA: And you’re not allowed to breathe my air. Go. Shoo. Return to Xanadu.

Madison is appalled. The camera spins to speed Madison to stand behind Mallory Dent, who is talking to someone. Madison, rather imperiously, taps Ms Dent on the shoulder.

MADISON: Wanda Varner just had her food delivered.

Mallory glances at the pizza boxes cradled in Madison’s arm.

MALLORY: [slowly] And that’s wrong how?

MADISON: [condescending] She doesn’t have any Pirate Points.

Mallory doesn’t understand. Madison is dismissive.

MADISON: Oh, I see. You’re new.

Mallory folds her arms, indulgent of Madison’s rudeness.

MALLORY: I am.

MADISON: Pirate points are earned by being a contributing member of the school. You get them for being in student council, for sports…

MALLORY: Cheerleading?

MADISON: [obnoxiously] Is a sport.

Mallory is sceptical. Madison spots a more likely ally.

MADISON: Oh, Mr Clemmons!

Madison approaches the vice principal.

MADISON: Mr Clemmons. Wanda Varner ordered in Chinese food.

Clemmons does understand the heinous nature of Wanda’s actions as he and Madison stare in her direction. Wanda sits with Felix, eating her Chinese food. She laughs at something he says. Clemmons approaches, Mallory in tow.

CLEMMONS: Wanda, I know you know the rules. If you’d like the privilege of having your lunch delivered, then why don’t you get more involved here at Neptune?

Wanda snorts derisively.

CLEMMONS: In the meantime, I’m gonna have to confiscate your food.

Wanda boils for a moment then springs up, a determined look on her face. She marches past Clemmons and Mallory towards Madison’s table. Without pausing, and with the encouragement of onlookers, she steps onto the seat and then the table, planting one foot in one pizza and one foot in the other.

MADISON: Oh, you little bitch!

WANDA: Oh, really?

CLEMMONS: Wanda! Be so kind as to follow me to my office.

Wanda jumps off the table to follow Clemmons. Madison stares, mouth agape. The camera spins back to Wallace and Veronica, watching the show.

WALLACE: Who is that girl?

VERONICA: That? Is Wanda Varner. We used to be in pep squad together.

WALLACE: You two seem less peppy.

Veronica smiles and snorts.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – NIGHT.

A can of whipped cream is applied to the contents of a bowl. Keith enters just as the can empties. The TV is on and the faint sound of its audio can be heard.

KEITH: Hmm, all out, huh?

Keith puts down his case as Veronica adds chocolate sauce to her confection. Keith collapses into his armchair with a loud sigh.

VERONICA: Tough day?

KEITH: [Philip Marlowe impersonation] That ain’t the half of it. See, this dame walks in and you shoulda seen the getaway sticks on her. Says something’s hinky with her old man.

VERONICA: D’ya put the screws to him?

KEITH: You ain’t kidding. He sang like a canary.

Veronica is putting the final touches on her sundae.

VERONICA: Well, you’re in luck, Philip Marlowe because it’s dessert for dinner tonight and I’ve got a whole sundae thing set up here.

Keith gets up and goes to the counter.

KEITH: You know, if Child Services finds out about this, they will take you away.

VERONICA: Well, that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Veronica downs a large spoonful of her sundae.

KEITH: Honey. Shouldn’t we try something at the base of the food pyramid, you know, fruits and vegetables?

Veronica looks down into her bowl and gasps.

VERONICA: What is that?

She picks out something with her spoon.

VERONICA: A maraschino cherry?

She looks over at her father, quite satisfied. She pops the cherry in her mouth, and goes and sits in the armchair. Keith sighs and hits the sundae trail.

TV: [offscreen] The Lilly Kane murder case…

This catches Veronica’s attention.

TV: …took an unexpected turn this morning as convicted killer Abel Koontz fired his public appointed legal council. Forfeiting further appeals, the defendant is scheduled to die by lethal injection as early as next year…

As the commentator commentates, there is footage of Koontz being arrested and brought in by Lamb, who holds up two evidence bags. There is a close-up of the bag in his left hand. In it, there is a pair of white sneakers, decorated with sparkles along the edge. The sneakers have wide ribbon laces with pinks stars on a white background. A heart with a name inside is drawn on one of the shoes.

TV: [offscreen] And, coming up n-

Keith, who has come to stand next to Veronica during the broadcast, switches the television off with the remote control. He walks back to the kitchen.

VERONICA: Why did he do that?

KEITH: Guess he’s ready to die.

VERONICA: Well, what are you going to do about it? You don’t believe he’s guilty…

KEITH: I hate to break it to you, honey, but nobody in Neptune cares what I believe in. They didn’t care when I was Sheriff, they sure as hell don’t care now. This town’s gonna have to find another conspiracy nut.

Veronica puts down her dessert with a worried look. Cut to Veronica entering her green-tinged bedroom. She walks over to her jewellery box.

LILLY: [offscreen] Check you out, Veronica Mars.

Veronica looks around, startled. Lilly is standing in front of Veronica’s closet, holding a hanger with black garment on it.

LILLY: You’re like a rocker chick now.

Veronica can’t believe her eyes and walks towards Lilly.

LILLY: You and I? We’d have a lot of fun together…yeah…if, um, you know, if I wasn’t dead and stuff.

VERONICA: Why are you here?

LILLY: Don’t you watch any horror movies? [ominously] My soul is doomed to walk the earth until justice has been served.

VERONICA: Really?

LILLY: Yeah, that, and, as kind of a side project, I dispense fashion advice.

Lilly grins.

VERONICA: [earnestly] Did Koontz do it?

Lilly sucks in a big breath through her teeth and smiles.

LILLY: Wish I could tell ya.

She shrugs.

VERONICA: Why would he have wanted to kill you?

LILLY: Honestly. I was awesome, right?

Veronica smiles sadly.

VERONICA: I miss you, Lilly.

With a cross between an “ooh” and an “aww,” Lilly smiles and shrugs sympathetically. Veronica wakes up, a sad yet thoughtful look on her face.

INT – NHS, JOURNALISM CLASS – DAY.

A sombre Veronica sits at the large central desk. The Neptune High School TV station is broadcasting.

TV: [offscreen] So let’s all get out there and cheer on our teams in the last game of the regular season. In other Pirate news, school council elections…

MALLORY: Morning, Veronica. I was thinking maybe you’d be interested in covering the election for the student newspaper.

VERONICA: Sure. I’ll write it up this afternoon.

MALLORY: The election’s tomorrow.

VERONICA: And I can already see the headline. Brown-nosing, resume-packer wins in a landslide.

MALLORY: Maybe you wanna dig a little bit deeper.

VERONICA: I’ll take it.

Mallory nods and exits.

TV: …This morning, we’ll be hearing from our first hopeful for the office of President, sophomore Wanda Varner.

Duncan and Logan are sitting next to each other at two of the side desks, on computers. They glance up at the TV. Wanda has a rocking soundtrack.

WANDA: I’m Wanda Varner and I’m running for the office of student council president.

Duncan turns to listen more carefully. Logan follows suit.

WANDA: Let’s be honest. Student government doesn’t do jack.

INT – NHS, ART ROOM – CONTINUING.

One of the students starts to pay attention.

WANDA: I’m here to promise you real change. If elected, I promise to abolish the unfair and elitist Pirate Points programme for good.

INT – NHS, COMPUTER ROOM – CONTINUING.

The geeks cheer.

WANDA: God bless you and God bless America.

Wanda salutes. The scenes reverse. The geeks clap as do the artists as do some of those in the journalism class.

INT – NHS, JOURNALISM ROOM – CONTINUING.

Veronica smiles broadly. Duncan is the last one left slowly clapping. Behind him, Logan is less enthused. He leans forward and slaps Duncan on the arm.

LOGAN: Hey dude. Can she do that?

DUNCAN: Student council giveth, student council taketh away.

LOGAN: No, we’re not giving up those points, man, you gotta run.

DUNCAN: Actually, I don’t.

Duncan turns back to his computer upon which he was playing solitaire. Logan stares at him.

EXT – NHS, LUNCH AREA – DAY.

Corny unfurls a large poster. It is a skeleton Uncle Sam who advises: Give me Wanda or give me death.

CORNY: Hey Wanda, check it out.

WANDA: Killer. Thanks.

Wanda is sitting with Veronica on a low wall in the outside area of the school. Veronica is interviewing Wanda, using a small recorder.

VERONICA: One of your campaign staff?

WANDA: I’m all about grass roots.

VERONICA: How do you account for your sudden popularity?

WANDA: Isn’t it obvious? It’s class warfare, the haves versus the have-nots. You, more than anyone at school, should understand that.

VERONICA: But it’s more quotable if you say it out loud.

WANDA: Okay. The rich kids, they run things around here. They’re the minority and they’re corrupt. They get away with murder.

A student passing behind them shouts his support.

RODNEY: Hey, give ‘em hell, Wanda!

WANDA: You give ‘em hell, Rodney!

Wanda returns her attention to the interview.

WANDA: Pirate Points is just another way they reward themselves for being so swell. They have all the power, we’re the disenfranchised [with increasing stridence] but only because we let ourselves be. It’s time to take action!

Veronica is impressed.

WANDA: How was that? Was I quotable?

VERONICA: Yeah, I think I can find something there.

Veronica smiles.

EXT – PETROL STATION – DAY.

Note: the usual opening credits and theme song are not used. The credits roll over the action. Music: Still In Love Song by the Stills.

LYRICS: When we were lovers
We were kissers
We were holders of hands
We were make believers
Just losing time and
You said you'd rather live in tepee land…

Logan’s car approaches and pulls into the petrol station. End music: Still In Love Song by the Stills. Dick Casablancas and two other 09ers get out of the car and head into the station while Logan turns off the ignition. He gets part way out of the car, standing on the running board.

LOGAN: Hey! Hook me up with a beverage, huh?

As Logan exits the car and walks round it to get to the pump, a beefy black guy walks towards his windscreen.

HOMELESS VET: And what goes with an icy, cold beverage? A nice clean windshield.

LOGAN: No, man you don’t have to do that.

The man sprays the windscreen and starts cleaning it as Logan gets the pump.

LOGAN: The car was just professionally detailed.

HOMELESS VET: Ah, they got a lot of nerve calling themselves professionals.

The man wipes the squeegee onto a cloth and shows Logan the dirt.

HOMELESS VET: Look at that. They just move the dirt around.

LOGAN: Man, A for effort but, uh, you’re not getting paid for it.

HOMELESS VET: I don’t remember asking.

The man turns and points to the sign behind him which says: Homeless Vet. Donations Accepted. Logan just nods. Dick comes back to the car and stops by Logan who is still filling it. They both watch the man.

LOGAN: Hey, what about him?

DICK: Pretty well fed for a bum.

LOGAN: Yeah.

Logan finishes filling the tank.

LOGAN: [to the man] Hey, you army?

HOMELESS VET: Hell, no. United States Marine Corps.

LOGAN: That’s even better, huh.

Logan giggles and walks back around to the driver’s side of the car.

LOGAN: Hey, what are you? About 240?

HOMELESS VET: Uh, in my prime.

LOGAN: Yeah?

Logan gets into the car as the other 09ers exit the station.

LOGAN: Hey, I’m, uh, I’m putting together a little amateur boxing night. If you’re interested.

Logan has a $100 bill which he sticks into the frame of the open window. The 09ers get into the car.

HOMELESS VET: What, you want me to fight?

LOGAN: No, man. I want you to win.

HOMELESS VET: What you’d think that you’d just come in here and buy me like that? Is that how it is?

LOGAN: Yeah, that’s exactly how it is. I think we’re on the same page.

HOMELESS VET: Get out of my face. Before I beat your ass down for free.

LOGAN: All right, you suit yourself. [makes squeegee actions] Chhu-chhu.

Logan grabs the bill.

LOGAN: You have a nice day.

He smirks at the man, starts the car and drives off.

INT – NHS, JOURNALISM CLASS – DAY.

One of the candidates is giving her speech on the school TV station.

TV: …And in conclusion, I promise to uphold the duties of presidency to the utmost of my ability. Thank you.

Veronica and Duncan, are seated at the central table along with a punk rocker. Logan is standing next to him at the end of the table.

PUNK ROCKER: Wanda’s gonna blow this chick out of the water. [to Logan] You can kiss your precious Pirate Points goodbye.

Logan doesn’t respond but keeps his eyes fixed on the television.

AARON: [offscreen] Duncan Kane.

On the TV, Duncan’s name in superimposed on an American flag. Military music belts out.

AARON: [offscreen] A natural leader.

Duncan looks at the screen, surprised.

DUNCAN: What?

AARON: [offscreen] Two time All League Soccer. Editor of the Neptune Navigator.

The broadcast is accompanied by pictures: Duncan kicking a football; Duncan presiding over a group of students around the journalism class central table. Duncan breathes out and slowly turns his head to look at Logan.

AARON: [offscreen] Three point nine two four grade point average.

Logan is exceptionally pleased with himself and holds up both hands in V for victory signs.

AARON: [offscreen] National Honour Society. National Merit semi-finalist…

Cut to Veronica who just looks incredulous.

AARON: [offscreen] …and all around, righteous dude.

A picture of Duncan with two other guys gives way to Aaron, live on TV from the steps of his trailer.

AARON: Hi. I’m Aaron Echolls.

There are admiring gasps amongst the watchers.

AARON: And I’ve known Duncan Kane for a long time. He’s the real deal. Duncan Kane for student body President.

LOGAN: [high voice] That’s my dad!

Some amongst the audience clap, none harder than Logan.

LOGAN: All right!

Some pat Duncan, who just looks serious and maybe a little pissed off and some throw out congratulations and wishes of luck.

MALLORY: That’s the last of the five candidates.

Madison struts into the classroom and hands a sheet of paper to Mallory.

MADISON: Good luck, Duncan.

Veronica watches this with increasing distaste.

MALLORY: Mark the letter of the corresponding candidate. Only one bubble will be counted. If none of the candidates receive a majority, the top two will be entered in a runoff election.

Duncan shoots up from his seat.

DUNCAN: [sincerely] Please, whatever you do, just don’t vote for me.

Duncan glares at Logan who is not slow to take an opportunity.

LOGAN: Did you hear that folks? And he’s humble to boot. God! This guy.

Mallory starts to write the names on the blackboard:
A) Duncan Kane
B) Wanda Varner
Veronica firmly marks the B bubble on her ballot paper.

INT – MARS INVESTIGATIONS (MI) – NIGHT.

Veronica works on the laptop in the outer office. All the lights are out except for the lamp on her desk.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: If Lilly’s ghost is going to haunt me until justice has been served, then I better get my ass in gear.

VERONICA: Where to begin?

On the computer screen are four files, each bearing the name of a suspect: Abel Koontz, Jake Kane, Celeste Kane and Logan Echolls.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: How about the obvious?

On selection of Abel’s file, a picture of him shows on the file and on expanding it, there are four tabs: information, alibi, motive and evidence.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Abel Koontz was found with Lilly’s backpack and shoes in his possession.

She highlights the evidence tab under which appear the following: Confession; Shoes, backpack, bloody clothing at home.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: He gave a confession on the spot. But Dad was convinced that the mystery led back to the most respected family in Neptune. The three people that were at the scene of the crime before he arrived. Jake Kane, beloved billionaire, Celeste Kane, renowned philanthropist…

Veronica pauses then types in the name of a new file.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: … and Duncan. Each of the Kanes’ alibis was airtight. That is, until a traffic ticket proved that Lilly was still alive hours after the coroner’s official time of death.

Veronica ponders then looks in the direction of her father’s office. Cut to Veronica’s hands on the safe combination. She opens the safe.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I don’t know what I’m looking for. But if there are any clues as to who really killed Lilly, then they’re in Dad’s safe.

Veronica takes out a very large file stuffed with smaller ones and pulls out one of the smaller ones. A time pass effect blows to other files.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Arrest record, evidence log, autopsy report. How many times to I have to look at this stuff? Until it starts making sense.

Cut to an overhead view of Veronica studying the files.

EXT – WASTELAND – NIGHT.

Music: Feeling Alright by the Red Onions. A ring has been made up of cars parked in a circle, lit by the headlights. Logan is master of ceremonies in the middle. There’s a crowd of 09ers cheering throughout. Logan shouts over the roar.

LOGAN: All right, all right, all right! It’s time for the main event.

The cheers of the crowd intensify. Logan walks to a homeless man, kitted out in red boxing gloves. Logan holds up his hand.

LOGAN: Gentlemen! In the red corner, hailing from Balboa Park, it’s Lightning Mike!

Logan backs away from him, clapping, as the crowd cheers. He goes to the other man who has on blue gloves. Logan holds out his hand to grab the man’s arm and raises it into the air.

LOGAN: And in the blue corner, the hometown hero…

Logan pauses and leans over closer to the homeless man.

LOGAN: [quietly] What’s your name?

ROB: Ro-ob, Rob.

LOGAN: [shouting and embellishing] Robbo Robber!

The crowd sounds off again. Cheering particularly loudly is Dick, who has a fistful of cash.

LOGAN: All right, gentlemen.

Logan brings them to the centre of the car-formed ring.

LOGAN: [voice cracking] I want a clean fight. Go!

The two men, unsteady on their feet, start to circle each other. The crowd urges them on. End music: Feeling Alright by the Red Onions.

INT – MI – NIGHT.

Veronica rummages a little more. She pulls out an envelope marked: Crime Photographs. Lillian Kane. DOD. BBZ. Crime No A-97-92184xx. 10.03.03. Case 18900-C2. Bedroom.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Where did this come from?

Veronica opens the envelope and looks at the crime scene photos. Something catches her eye and she bends to examine it more closely. It is Lilly’s white sneakers with the heart drawn on them.

VERONICA: It’s impossible!

Veronica hears a car door slam. She hurriedly puts everything, except the pictures, back into the large file, stuffs it back in the safe, and rushes to the outer office. She slams her laptop shut. She just gets the pictures in her bag when Keith walks in. She is a little out of breath.

KEITH: Hey.

VERONICA: Hey, Dad.

Keith walks to his office and slows as he goes in.

EXT – NHS, LUNCH AREA – DAY.

Veronica and Wallace are eating their lunch. The 09ers table, including Duncan and Logan, are eating take-out.

VERONICA: In a way, it’s a little sad. You know, the end of an era. Wanda wins and no more Pirate Points. No more lunch delivery.

Clemmons’ dulcet tones boom over the public address system.

CLEMMONS: Attention students. The results of the election have been tabulated. There will be no runoff votes in any of the races.

DUNCAN: [relieved] Thank god.

CLEMMONS: The winner in the office of secretary, Bryan Gibson.

A lot of the students start to chant “Wanda.” Logan looks around smugly.

CLEMMONS: Vice President, Katie Keenan. And it gives me great pleasure to announce, the 2004-2005 SCA President, Duncan Kane.

There are some cheers and many boos. Logan stands on a table to gloat.

LOGAN: That’s how it’s done!

Corny, sitting next to a disappointed Wanda, is stunned.

CORNY: That’s a steaming crock, Clemmons.

WALLACE: There’s no way Duncan Kane could have carried half the student body.

VERONICA: Now I’ve got a story.

INT – NHS, CLASSROOM – DAY.

Veronica knocks and opens the door and goes inside. The room is empty save for a teacher sitting at her desk, marking papers, at the far end of the room.

VERONICA: Mrs Donaldson, did you get my message?

MRS DONALDSON: About inspecting the ballots.

VERONICA: And?

MRS DONALDSON: My short answer? No. [officious] My long answer would be a speech about being a gracious loser and about how just because you don’t like the outcome, doesn’t mean you can cry foul.

VERONICA: The Student Charter says it is possible to lodge a formal protest.

Veronica reaches into her bag and pulls out the charter.

MRS DONALDSON: Which this is not. And if you had continued to read article fifteen concerning student council elections; you would know that once the votes have been certified, a faculty sponsor must approve any request for a recount.

VERONICA: That’s it? So I just need another teacher to rubberstamp this?

Mrs Donaldson looks up, a little alarmed.

INT – NHS, HALLWAY – DAY.

Veronica and Mallory Dent walk down the school hallway.

VERONICA: I think it’s really cool that you’re doing this.

MALLORY: Oh, I’m happy to help, Veronica. I just find it difficult to believe that someone would try and tamper with the student council election.

VERONICA: Well, you’re new.

Mallory laughs.

MALLORY: No one will let me forget it. All I’m saying is I admire your enthusiasm, just don’t let it get in the way of-

VERONICA: Fair and balanced, that’s me.

They meet Mrs Donaldson.

VERONICA: As promised, one faculty sponsor.

MRS DONALDSON: I’d like to speak with Ms Dent for a moment please.

The two teachers move to the side.

MRS DONALDSON: I can’t believe you’d let her rope you into this.

MALLORY: I’m sorry?

MRS DONALDSON: Look, Mallory. I’ve never heard of anything like this happening in a student election.

MALLORY: Is there really any harm in Veronica double checking the votes?

MRS DONALDSON: Well that’s not the point. She’s manipulating you. And I’d like to give you the chance to reconsider.

MALLORY: I tell my students to be dogged. I tell them to follow hunches.

MRS DONALDSON: [condescendingly] All great. Certainly not telling you how to teach your class. But this is a student election and, um, I’m just suggesting that you let this go. For your own good.

MALLORY: I’ve signed the form, the request is official. We’ll see those ballots now.

They look over at Veronica, who smiles.

INT – NHS, ADMINISTRATION OFFICE – DAY.

Wallace is feeding ballots into a counting machine and Wanda watches. Veronica is checking individual ballots. The machine finishes.

VERONICA: What’d you get?

WALLACE: Duncan still wins with 743 votes. How many times are we going to run it?

VERONICA: No sign of anyone erasing ballots. No ballots missing.

She considers one of the ballot papers.

VERONICA: Hey. Student 43059. Who the hell is candidate E and why did you vote for her?

WALLACE: You think I’m not voting for the sister? And for what possible reason do you have my student ID number memorised?

Mrs Donaldson enters from one of the inner offices.

MRS DONALDSON: [supercilious] You can toss those ballots in the recycle bin when you’re done uncovering [makes air quotes] corruption.

She smugly saunters out. Wanda pulls a face as Veronica returns to the ballots papers.

VERONICA: What?

WANDA: What is it?

VERONICA: Well if “Wanda rulez,” why’d you vote for Duncan, you head case? I wanna find out who this kid is and what art room he voted in.

She passes the ballot to an offended Wallace.

WALLACE: Yeah, and I want a statue of myself in the main lobby, holding a musket, staring down danger.

Veronica and Wanda exchange a smile.

WALLACE: Since we’re talking about stuff we want.

Veronica smiles sweetly.

VERONICA: Please?

WALLACE: How hard was that?

Wallace uses one of the office computers to tap in the ID number.

WALLACE: Kevin Carney. He’s got art first period.

INT – NHS, ART ROOM – DAY.

Veronica enters and checks the teacher’s desk and the paper rubbish. She walks over to the blackboard and sees the fifth name on the ballot. The other names are obscured by a pull down. She tugs it to roll it up. Comprehension dawns on her face when all the names are exposed:
A) Wanda Varner
B) Duncan Kane
C) Laura Hildebrand
D) Steve Whacker
E) Melissa Lewis

INT – NHS, VICE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE – DAY.

Clemmons sits at his desk. Mrs Donaldson and Mallory Dent are also there.

MRS DONALDSON: Well, you saw the voting cards yourself. You certified the count. There’s nothing left to argue, it’s over.

VERONICA: Someone cheated.

MRS DONALDSON: How?

VERONICA: There were two sets of ballot instructions.

MRS DONALDSON: That simply doesn’t make any sense.

VERONICA: Yes, it does. It makes perfect sense.

FLASHBACK: INT – NHS, JOURNALISM CLASS – DAY.

Mallory writes the names of the candidates on the blackboard. Duncan’s name is against the letter A.

VERONICA: [offscreen] The classes heavily populated with 09er kids got the candidates names in the correct order.

FLASHBACK: INT – NHS, ART ROOM – DAY.

The art teacher writes the names on the blackboard, with Wanda’s name against the letter A.

VERONICA: [offscreen] The classes that Wanda would have carried – band, autoshop, art – got a list with the candidates names reversed. When those students thought they were voting for Wanda, they actually gave their votes to Duncan.

END FLASHBACK.

INT – NHS, VICE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE – CONTINUING.

MRS DONALDSON: You don’t really expect us to believe this?

MALLORY: We’ve invited the students from first period art. We could always ask them to review their ballots.

She opens the door and a large group of disgruntled students stare in.

CLEMMONS: Hold on.

Clemmons gestures for Mallory to shut the door.

CLEMMONS: Veronica. Exactly who do you accuse of doing this?

VERONICA: I’m not accusing anybody. Then again…

FLASHBACK: INT – NHS, ADMINISTRATION OFFICE – DAY.

The photocopy machine is being operated.

VERONICA: [offscreen] …it wouldn’t be hard to find out whose code was punched into the copier that made the ballot instructions.

END FLASHBACK.

INT – NHS, VICE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE – CONTINUING.

MRS DONALDSON: I had my student aide make them.

VERONICA: And that would be who?

FLASHBACK: INT – NHS, ADMINISTRATION OFFICE – DAY.

A satisfied looking Madison takes the copies out of the machine.

MRS DONALDSON: [offscreen] Madison Sinclair.

END FLASHBACK.

INT – NHS, VICE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE – CONTINUING.

VERONICA: Well there you go. Mystery solved.

Clemmons ponders, then looks up at Mrs Donaldson who, for the first time, isn’t smug.

INT – NHS, HALLWAY – DAY.

Clemmons’ voice rings out through the public address system.

CLEMMONS: Attention students. May I have your attention please?

The students pause to listen.

INT – NHS, VICE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE – DAY.

CLEMMONS: I regret to inform you that there has been a mistake in tabulating the election results.

INT – NHS, HALLWAY – DAY.

Veronica threads her way through the motionless crowd. She eventually reaches Madison, at her locker.

CLEMMONS: There will be a runoff election Thursday between Wanda Varner and Duncan Kane.

VERONICA: [cheerfully] Hi Madison. I heard you lost your student aide gig and your student council spot. If I may be so bold as to make a recommendation, on Fridays, ee-uh, Sloppy Joes are your best bet.

Veronica tsks and walks away, leaving Madison glaring after her.

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

Veronica scans the crime scene photos into her laptop.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I’ve been waiting for a moment alone to take a closer look at the photo of Lilly’s bedroom on the night of her murder. The last thing I need is Dad popping his head in and discovering that I’ve been poaching from his safe.

Veronica enlarges an area on one of the photos. Lilly’s white sneakers with the heart drawn on them are clear to see.

FLASHBACK: EXT – NHS, LUNCH AREA – DAY.

Lilly and Logan are talking softy, all lovey-dovey.

LILLY: All right, when do I get to do yours?

The camera twists down to reveal Veronica, drawing the heart on Lilly’s sneaker.

VERONICA: Finishing touches.

LOGAN: [offscreen] Duncan?

LILLY: Oh, yeah, now that’s just creepy.

END FLASHBACK.

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

The shoes in the photo are the same shoes. Veronica, visibly shaken, stretches over, grabs the phone and dials.

HANK: Action News. This is Hank.

VERONICA: Hank. I’m a journalism student from Neptune High and I’m doing a follow up story on Abel Koontz. I’m wondering if you could send me a copy of the piece you did on Koontz a couple days ago.

EXT – ROADSIDE MEXICAN BURGER BAR – DAY.

Jake and Duncan sit in Jake’s car, finishing off some food.

JAKE: You know your mother and your mother’s personal trainer don’t need to know anything about this.

DUNCAN: Agreed.

JAKE: What do you say we, uh, stop on the way home, knock out some, uh, campaign bumper stickers?

DUNCAN: When you say we, you mean…

JAKE: I mean, we go and talk to some of my graphics guys.

Duncan is not enthusiastic.

JAKE: Oh, come on, Dunc. Look what you already accomplished and you-you weren’t even trying. Imagine what you’d be capable of if ya-you just put your heart into it.

DUNCAN: Cue inspirational music here.

JAKE: I’m so tired of your cynicism.

DUNCAN: Oh, Dad, I’m sorry, I mean, I-I know you think that this election is some sort of stepping stone on my way to the White House-

JAKE: Well I got news for ya. I’m not concerned about this election, I just want to see you engaged. Enthusiastic about something. Look. Your happiness. Is all I’ve ever wanted.

Father and son stare at each other. Duncan gives a little chuckle.

DUNCAN: Well, what if I find happiness living in a grass hut, carving driftwood figurines for tourists?

JAKE: I feel confident you have grander ambitions than that. But, if you’re, uh, happy and committed to driftwood carving, be the best driftwood carver you can be. After you’ve graduated from Stanford.

Duncan groans and nods.

JAKE: Law School.

Duncan chuckles.

JAKE: Summa cum laude.

Duncan laughs out loud..

JAKE: See that! You’re already smiling.

He is.

INT – NHS, HALLWAY – DAY.

Veronica rounds a corner and hears something of a hubbub as students, and now Veronica, see that Wanda’s posters have been defaced. The word “NARC” has been sprayed on them. Veronica reaches her locker to find a small “Kane for President” sticker on it. She heads to the lockers on the other side of the hallway. Wanda is just closing her locker. It has also been marked “Narc.”

WANDA: I think the opposing campaign just went negative.

She slams her locker shut.

WANDA: I’m gonna kill whoever did this!

VERONICA: They’re just posters. You still own the message.

WANDA: They’re not just posters. They spray painted “Narc” on the hood of my car.

VERONICA: You know they only chose the word “narc” because it would hit closest to home with your constituency.

WANDA: I shouldn’t find that comforting. But I do.

VERONICA: Well, why don’t you come over tonight and we’ll make new posters. [with growing, fake, enthusiasm] And I’ll get some puffy paint and an Avril Lavigne CD and it’ll be just like our pep squad days.

Wanda plays along and claps.

WANDA: Awesome.

She strikes a perky pose with hands on hips. Veronica laughs and then gets very serious.

VERONICA: Okay, don’t do that.

INT – NHS, JOURNALISM CLASS – DAY.

Duncan is at the central desk, looking at some clippings. He glances over towards one of the computers, where Logan is. Veronica enters. She heads straight for Logan.

VERONICA: Bravo, Logan. It’s a new low. And just when the critics were having some doubts.

Logan looks over towards Duncan, then back at Veronica.

LOGAN: Mmm. Must be talking about your, uh, narc friend, W-W-W-Wanda.

He laughs. Veronica just stares at him.

LOGAN: Well, isn’t it time that you found another bad guy?

Veronica continues to give him a hard look. Logan takes on a serious expression, sincerely or otherwise.

LOGAN: Look, I just don’t…have time to be responsible for every little thing that goes wrong in your life.

Veronica closes her eyes (a reverse eye roll?) and shakes her head. Logan laughs again and rises. He gestures by pointing to her with his fists and grunts as he goes to the other side of the room. Veronica turns to Duncan.

VERONICA: So, was it your idea or did you just play it your usual way?

Veronica crouches down by the desk.

DUNCAN: What’s my usual way?

VERONICA: Oh, you know, Duncan. You don’t initiate trouble. You don’t initiate much of anything anymore.

She takes a deep breath.

DUNCAN: Don’t stop there, Veronica. Say it. What’s my usual way?

VERONICA: [with deliberation on each word] You stand idly by.

Duncan stares at her. After a pause, Veronica leaves Duncan lost in his thoughts. In the meantime, Dick has come into the classroom and approached Logan.

DICK: Gotta check out “The Smoking Gun” website.

MALLORY: Excuse me, we’re in the middle of a class here.

DICK: Dude, you’re famous.

Dick exits. Logan goes to one of the computers. From the Neptune High School page: “Neptune High School has an enrolment of 1500 students in a grade 9-12 comprehensive public high school located in Neptune, a community within the city limits of Neptune, CA. It is part of the Balboa County Unified School District. The area is dominated by the local Universities and adjacent research and development firms. NHS is a school with a strong emphasis on academic achievement. Over 90% of our graduates continue their education at universities and colleges, with a significant….” There is also a picture of ice creams captioned: “Gourmet Ice Cream is offered to all Pirate Points Holders.” On “The Smoking Gun” website, the featured document shows a picture of Aaron. On clicking it, Logan reveals: “A-Lister’s Link to Twisted Pastime. Aaron Echolls son caught bruising bums for cash. October 23 – In twisted and horrific brutality Aaron Echolls son, Logan Echolls, has been participating in organised fights. The only catch is, the fighters are homeless men. A tip to TSG led to the obtainment of a video tape shot by a spectator. The footage clearly captures Logan smiling and cheering at a bum battle. No word as of yet from Aaron’s publicist for comment on the matter. But we are sure the Echolls’ household is none too pleased with this barbaric act tarnishing their Hollywood perfection. Click to View Video. Caution Contains Graphic Images.” The video shows Lightning Mike kicking the stuffing out of Rob and then Logan clapping and cheering. As he watches, the look on his face shows he knows he is in deep, deep trouble.

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

Fresh Wanda posters are everywhere. Veronica lies on her stomach on her bed, raised up on her elbows, painting her fingernails. Wanda is sitting on the floor, doing her toenails.

WANDA: So, what’s the story with you and Weevil?

VERONICA: Weevil? There’s no story. Why?

WANDA: No reason. Just thought you might have shared your friend Lilly’s bad boy thing. But I guess I was wrong.

VERONICA: Lilly had more of a boy thing.

WANDA: Are you sure? Lilly and Weevil never, because I heard-

VERONICA: [laughing and emphatic] Never!

WANDA: Okay.

Wanda picks a book about making it into top colleges off the floor.

WANDA: So. Is this one any good?

VERONICA: Umm, I, uh, I don’t know, I haven’t read it.

WANDA: Yeah. Most of these college guides are pretty unreadable. So what’s your first choice? Ivy? Baby Ivy? Seven Sisters? Liberal Arts? East Coast?

VERONICA: It gives me a panic attack to just think about it.

WANDA: Yeah. I really want to go to Williams. Now all I have to do is rob a bank and ace the SATs.

VERONICA: I think we’re in the same boat.

INT – ECHOLLS RESIDENCE – NIGHT.

Logan, carrying his shoes, comes into the dark house quickly but quietly. It is to no avail.

LOGAN: Hey, Dad.

Aaron is across the room, sitting in the dark except for a small lamp. Logan gives an uncomfortable grin which fades. He is clearly nervous.

LOGAN: What are you doing up?

AARON: I couldn’t sleep. What with the phone ringing every five minutes.

Aaron rises from his seat and walks inexorably towards an increasingly wary Logan.

AARON: “Access Hollywood,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “E!” Any guesses what they wanted to talk about? My charity work? No. My latest Christmas movie? No.

Aaron reaches Logan and plants a hand, heavily, on the back of Logan’s shoulder. He turns him and puts his arm around Logan.

AARON: They wanted to talk about my son’s latest opus. Skid Row Boxing.

Aaron bends his arm so his hand is on the back of Logan’s head. His tone throughout has been steady, but menacing. Logan puts his hand to his forehead.

LOGAN: Look, Dad, I, uh…I didn’t know what-

Aaron grasps the back of Logan’s neck hard.

AARON: [dangerously soft] I have to say that your performance was really impressive. [louder] The way you play the ungrateful son determined to humiliate his father was [shouting] utterly impressive.

With that, Aaron flings Logan across the room. Logan lands face down on a sofa and scrabbles around to face his father, still half-lying across it. Logan’s expression is caught between fear and readiness.

AARON: [shouting] Do you have any idea what you just cost this family? [taking it down a few notches] Of course you don’t. You never had to work for anything in your life. [softly] Now, tomorrow, after school, you’re going to get your first lesson in public relations.

A look of disappointment seems to flit across Logan’s face.

AARON: [almost whispering] Logan. Don’t you ever embarrass me again.

Aaron walks away. Logan watches him as he steadies his breathing and pulls himself into a sitting position, almost defiant but very shaken.

EXT – NHS, ENTRANCE – DAY.

Veronica is encouraging students and passing out stickers as they go into the school.

VERONICA: Vote for Wanda.

Veronica sees Weevil.

VERONICA: Weevil.

She holds out a “Go Wanda” sticker.

VERONICA: Put one on the back of your bike?

WEEVIL: Naw. I’m not going to vote for that narc.

VERONICA: Come on, Weevil. You know better than to believe everything you hear at this school. That’s just dirty politics.

WEEVIL: You might want to explain that to Felix. Somehow the sheriff found out that all the “Welcome to Neptune” signs are hanging up in his bedroom, a week after he hooks up with your girl Wanda. Now how did that happen, huh? Now homeboy’s got four weekends of highway clean up.

Weevil raises his eyebrows, turns and walks into the school. Veronica is thoughtful.

INT – NHS, HALLWAY – DAY.

Veronica catches up with Wanda.

VERONICA: Hey, superstar. Are you nervous?

WANDA: I’m so embarrassed, but yes.

VERONICA: Well, I think we should celebrate this weekend. Win or lose. I heard about this rave out in the desert. And we can make it if we leave directly after school tomorrow.

WANDA: Bitchin’. I’ll tell my mom I’m spending the night at your place. Do we need any…provisions?

VERONICA: Provisions? With a capital E, absolutely. But I know a guy.

WANDA: Oh, jealous. Wish I knew a guy.

Wanda wanders off, giving Veronica a victory sign. Veronica watches her go.

INT – NHS, JOURNALISM CLASS – DAY.

Veronica takes her seat at the large table in the centre as a student hands in her work.

STUDENT: Here you go, Ms Dent.

The television comes on as Clemmons broadcasts. Duncan is at his familiar place at the other end of the large desk.

CLEMMONS: We will be voting simultaneously this morning in order to prevent any confusion.

INT – NHS, ART ROOM – CONTINUING.

The students watch carefully.

CLEMMONS: By now everyone should have their Scantron ballots. All right. Here goes. If you’d like to vote for Duncan Kane, mark “A”…

INT – NHS, JOURNALISM CLASS – CONTINUING.

Veronica’s pencil hovers over the ballot form.

CLEMMONS: …and if you’d like to vote for Wanda Varner, mark “B.”

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Let’s see. On the one hand, we have the hot-cold ex-boyfriend and heir to the status quo. On the other, the potentially duplicitous new friend and champion to the disenfranchised.

FLASHBACK: EXT – NHS, LUNCH AREA – DAY.

Duncan plays with Veronica’s hand as they sit at one of the tables. Logan and Lilly are sitting opposite them and there are a few other students at the table. A boy sits at the one empty place, next to Duncan. Logan is in mid-discussion.

LOGAN: Wanna hang out? And I’ll impress you with my diving skills.

Logan looks at the newcomer and glances at Duncan, who just raises a quizzical brow.

LILLY: Oh, did you hear that Becky Lacey is trying out for mascot?

DUNCAN: Really.

As they chat, Dick unceremoniously grabs the newcomer’s tray and places it on the next table. He slaps the newcomer on the back.

DICK: Table’s ready.

As Lilly looks at Dick and the scared newcomer, Logan looks at Duncan.

DUNCAN: You know what, man?

Duncan twists round in his seat and gets the tray. He places it back in front of the newcomer.

DUNCAN: You’re fine where you are. Dick here can find his own spot.

Duncan returns to playing with the hand of an impressed, if drippy, Veronica.

END FLASHBACK.

INT – NHS, JOURNALISM CLASS – CONTINUING.

Veronica stares at Duncan, pencil poised.

EXT – PETROL STATION – DAY.

Aaron fills his car with petrol. His cell phone rings.

AARON: Yeah. [pause] I know I’m late Marty. Look, is this the closest homeless shelter you could find?

Logan is sitting in the passenger seat of the convertible, listening.

AARON: No. Never mind. Are the cameras ready? Good.

Aaron finishes his call and filling his tank. He leans over into the car.

AARON: All right. Now this is how this is gonna work. They’re gonna get a few shots of you volunteering at the soup kitchen, then I’m gonna join you for an interview with the TV crews, you got it?

LOGAN: What do you want me to tell them?

AARON: What do you think, Logan? That you’re sorry. That you’re bone-headed. And that ya screwed up. I’ll take care of the rest.

Aaron’s cell phone rings again.

AARON: Vince! What’s happening? [pause] Yeah, I got the script. I’ve seen better writing on cereal boxes.

Aaron listens, then guffaws.

AARON: Oh, big deal. The man hasn’t made a watchable movie since the seventies. Are they gonna meet my quote? [listens] Hot damn!

Aaron holds the phone to his chest to speak to Logan.

AARON: Son! How do you argue with eight figures?

Logan nods.

AARON: Ya can’t. Can’t be done.

Aaron giggles and returns to his call.

AARON: Okay. Have ‘em to draw up the contract.

HOMELESS VET: [offscreen] Hey.

The man comes into view on Logan’s side of the car.

HOMELESS VET: It’s Don King. Hey, you find some sucker who’s willing to make a bitch outta hisself for cash?

Logan doesn’t respond and the vet walks away, not disguising his disgust. Aaron, sunglasses on, gets in the car.

AARON: All right. You ready to do this?

LOGAN: Yeah.

Aaron presses the ignition button that starts the car and turns on the stereo. Music: Ventura Highway by America.

LYRICS (VERSE): Chewing on a piece of grass
Walking down the road
Tell me, how long you gonna stay here Joe?
Some people say this town don't look
Good in snow
You don't care, I know
Wishin' on a falling star
Watchin' for the early train
Sorry boy, but I've been hit by
Purple rain
Aw, come on Joe, you can always
Change your name
Thanks a lot son, just the same
Wishin' on a falling star
Watchin' for the early train
Sorry boy, but I've been hit by
Purple rain
Aw, come on Joe, you can always
Change your name
Thanks a lot son, just the same

Aaron drives out of the station. Logan stares at him, recognising the “sucker who’s willing to make a bitch outta hisself for cash.”

INT – HOMELESS SHELTER – DAY.

Logan is one of three helpers dishing up food. Cameras flash as he serves one of the homeless.

HOMELESS MAN: Thank you.

The camera pans round to show a number of homeless people eating at tables. There’s a film crew set up and Aaron is playing the part of sincere benefactor with the diners.

AARON: Hey, thanks a lot.

PRODUCER: Mr Echolls, we’re ready for you anytime.

AARON: Catch you guys later. Logan!

They meet in front of the cameras. Aaron puts his arm around Logan’s shoulders and Logan’s arm is around Aaron’s back. Logan smiles for the cameras.

AARON: Excuse me! Uh, I just wanted to say that my father was not an educated man. He dropped out of school after the eighth grade so he could go to work in the new automotive plant in Pontiac, Michigan. And he once told me something that I’ll never forget. He said “Son, a good heart is worth all the heads in the world put together.” Now my son here will be the first one to admit that he wasn’t using his head. But I promise each and every one of you, that this boy, this boy has a great heart.

The crowd awws at the saccharine performance. Logan laughs.

LOGAN: Um. I know now that, uh, that what I did was wrong. I’m really sorry. I, uh, I only hope that one day I can live up to my dad’s good example.

Logan turns to his father. They hug.

LOGAN: I love you.

They step out of the hug and stand side by side for the cameras.

LOGAN: Okay, look, uh, I know that you didn’t want to make a big deal out of this…

Logan looks at Aaron, then back at the crowd.

LOGAN: …but I’m just so proud of him that I, I can’t keep it a secret.

Aaron keeps his proud face but nonetheless looks surprised and worried about Logan going off script and about is going to say. Logan looks at his father. He has a huge grin on his face.

LOGAN: Dad told me on the way over that he’s donating half a million dollars to the Neptune foodbank.

The crowd gasps and applause breaks out. Cameras flash.

LOGAN: Way to go, Dad.

Logan claps. Aaron is stunned and very angry and drops the smile plastered on his face for a moment as he stares hard at Logan. The smile is back when he turns to the crowd and laughs. Logan puts his arm around Aaron’s back and presses his forehead against Aaron’s head. The cameras go wild.

INT – ECHOLLS RESIDENCE – DAY.

The music swells into the chorus.

LYRICS: Ventura Highway in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
Than moonshine
You're gonna go I know 'Cause the free wind is blowin' through
Your hair
And the days surround your daylight
There
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air

Seen through the glass fronts of a wardrobe, Logan approaches and slides open the doors of one section. The section contains belts, hanging from either side of the walls of the closet. He considers them, and then chooses one, feeling its weight. He takes his time folding it in his hand. He slides the door closed. Logan reappears in the main part of the Echolls house, walking quickly to his father’s study, off the lounge. Posters of Aaron’s films are on the walls and the man himself is standing at the window. Logan pauses at the door, belt in hand, and enters the study on his father’s unspoken acknowledgement. Aaron holds out his hand for the belt. He unfurls the belt and goes to close the door. As he does, Logan can be seen lifting his shirt. To the sound of leather on flesh, the camera slowly pans round from the closed door of the study into the lounge to reveal Lynn, sitting on a sofa, drinking a highball. (Comment – powerful scene, beautifully played.)

INT – NHS, JOURNALISM CLASS – DAY.

End music: Ventura Highway by America. Veronica is checking pictures on a light box. Another student approaches her with a slip of paper.

STUDENT: Hey Veronica. Deputy wants to inspect your locker.

He hands over the slip and she considers it.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: You’d think I’d quit being surprised at finding a knife in my back.

Veronica shakes her head.

INT – NHS, HALLWAY – DAY.

Veronica walks to her locker. Deputy Sacks and Clemmons are waiting.

DEPUTY SACKS: Ah, Veronica Mars.

VERONICA: We meet again.

CLEMMONS: The Sheriff’s Department has asked me-

VERONICA: I could just give you my locker combination, save us all a lot of trouble.

Veronica opens her locker. Sacks pulls out her backpack and sets it down on the floor. Crouching down, he searches it. He pulls out a “Cat in the Hat” red and white stripped hat. His search for anything more damning is fruitless.

DEPUTY SACKS: Nothing.

VERONICA: There’s a couple of suckers. [off Sack’s glare] In the bag if you want one.

Sacks and Clemmons exchange a look. The public address system starts.

MRS DONALDSON: This is Mrs Donaldson, the student council advisor. I’m pleased to announce that the winner of the student council presidency is…Duncan Kane.

The students in the hallway react variously depending on allegiance. Veronica sees a despondent Wanda in the distance. She grabs some Wanda stickers, shuts her locker and hurries to speak to her.

VERONICA: Wanda! I guess we’re not going to that rave in the desert but I do have a pretty good idea of where you can stick these.

WANDA: You don’t understand.

VERONICA: You’re right. I don’t. Why don’t you explain it to me?

WANDA: I got busted last year for possession. This was the only way that they would keep it off my record. I’d never get into Williams with a drug charge on my file.

VERONICA: So you were willing to wreck my future to save your own.

Wanda doesn’t have an answer. Veronica turns away in disgust.

WANDA: Veronica! This wasn’t just about getting into college. If I would have won, I would have done what I promised. We would have changed the way things work around here.

VERONICA: You know what?

Veronica hands the stickers to Wanda.

VERONICA: No hard feelings. I didn’t vote for you.

Veronica leaves Wanda standing.

INT – NHS, CLASSROOM – DAY.

Veronica is recording Mrs Donaldson and the new president.

MRS DONALDSON: Well, it’s been a crazy week, uh, but I am proud to introduce your new student body president, Duncan Kane.

The gathered crowd in the room applaud. Jake can be seen standing and clapping at the doorway. Duncan moves up to the small podium.

DUNCAN: Thank you, Mrs Donaldson. And now, my first act as President, I would like to make sure that no one loses a single Pirate Point.

There is more appreciative applause.

DUNCAN: But you know what? In addition to varsity sports, I would also like to make sure that students in band, students who make the honour role, students who perform in school plays, or write for the school newspaper…

Duncan glances at Veronica.

DUNCAN: Even students who excel in vocational trades should be eligible to earn Pirate Points.

One person says “Yeah” and applauds but the rest of the crowd is silent.

DUNCAN: And they should share in the benefits. Okay. So what kind of candy should we sell this year?

Jake is proud of his son.

INT – MI – NIGHT.

Veronica enters Keith’s office. She can’t open the safe despite two attempts.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Dad changed the combination. He knows.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – NIGHT.

Veronica enters. Keith is on the couch, reading. He points to the counter.

KEITH: Package for you.

VERONICA: Oh great.

KEITH: Something from Action News?

VERONICA: Oh, uh, nothing, a tape…for a journalism project. Just to compare and contrast TV news footage with, uh, local print coverage.

KEITH: Hmm.

Veronica takes the envelope with the tape and heads for her room but pauses and considers what she is doing. Keith watches her closely. She turns back and sits in the chair next to him.

VERONICA: I’m lying. You know I’m lying. I don’t want things to be like this between us anymore.

KEITH: Like what?

VERONICA: Like our own game of spy vs spy. You know I was in the safe. And I know you’re still investigating Lilly’s murder.

KEITH: I was. I’m not anymore.

VERONICA: Why not? Dad, we’re running out of time.

KEITH: I used to think that solving the case was the key to our happiness. Solve the case and my reputation is restored. Solve the case and your mom comes home. Solve the case and you go back to being a normal teenage girl.

VERONICA: So let’s do it, let’s solve the case-

KEITH: Wait, Veronica. What I believe in now is that we make the most out of what we have here and now. I believe in going to the zoo with the person I love the most.

She holds out the envelope.

VERONICA: This isn’t a school project. It’s the footage of Abel Koontz’s arrest.

She takes the video out of the envelope.

VERONICA: And I need to show you something.

Veronica gets the crime scene photos out of her bag.

VERONICA: This is an enlargement of a crime scene photo taken the night of Lilly’s murder.

Veronica hands the photo to Keith then takes the video to the player under the television. She switches it on.

TV: The defendant is scheduled to die by lethal injection as early as next year.

Veronica freezes the tape on Lilly’s shoes. Keith looks at the photo.

KEITH: What are those shoes doing in Abel Koontz’s possession?

VERONICA: Good question.

End. Executive producer: Rob Thomas (who is a god).