1.09 Drinking the Kool-Aid

Teleplay by: Russell Smith
Story by: Rob Thomas
Directed by: Marcos Siega

Original Air Date: 30 November, 2004
Transcribed by Inigo

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Previously on Veronica Mars…

Veronica stands at her mother’s safety deposit box in 105 You Think You Know Somebody.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: All this time, I’ve been thinking Mom bolted ‘cause she couldn’t handle losing everything. Maybe she just couldn’t handle losing me.

Veronica and Duncan walk down the school hallway from 107 The Girl Next Door.

VERONICA: Did you know that your dad and my mom were king and queen of the prom?

The picture is Jake, Veronica and Duncan at the hospital from 103 Meet John Smith with an audio insert, Veronica’s first line, from 102 Credit Where Credit’s Due.

VERONICA: Mr Kane.

JAKE: Veronica, we meet again.

VERONICA: What are the odds?

Veronica runs and sees Lilly’s body from 101 Pilot.

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

Veronica and Keith at the Mars apartment from 106 Return of the Kane.

VERONICA: And I know you’re still investigating Lilly’s murder.

KEITH: Solve the case and your mom comes home.

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

Television broadcast from the same episode.

VERONICA: It’s the footage of Abel Koontz’s arrest.

Veronica and Abel Koontz from 108 Like a Virgin.

KOONTZ: I know who you are, Veronica Mars.

VERONICA: My dad tried to save your life.

KOONTZ: Look in a mirror. Are you the product of a schluppy sheriff or the king and queen of the prom?

Veronica cries in her car from the same episode. End previously.

EXT – PRISON – DAY.

Veronica is still sobbing in her car. She lifts her head from the steering wheel and wipes her tears away.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: So Jake Kane is your father. Deal with it, Veronica.

EXT – ROAD – DAY.

Veronica drives on a highway.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Does Dad know? Did he go after Jake Kane so obsessively because of the affair? Oh god, does this mean- is Duncan my-

Cut to Veronica, stopped and leaning out of the car, throwing up. Cut to her driving again.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Those photos that were sent to Mom, the ones with me framed in a gun sight, was that how Jake finally stuck it to Dad, his old rival? If so, I’m taking this bastard down. Hard. I don’t care whose father he is.

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

Veronica looks at the photos from Lianne’s safety deposit box.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: This one was taken last year, downtown. My sole reason for being in that part of town was that Mom insisted I see a counsellor after Lilly died. Every Thursday for six weeks, Dr Dave and I stared across an ottoman at each other. But which Thursday?

Veronica looks closely at one of the photographs. In it, she has long hair and is standing in front of a sign that says: Neptune High School Book Week.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Book week?

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL (NHS), ADMINISTRATION OFFICE – DAY.

Veronica enters. Mrs Murphy is behind the counter.

VERONICA: Miss Murphy, when was book week?

MRS MURPHY: Wow, now there’s an attitude I like to see in our post-literate age. Don’t worry, Veronica. It’s still months away.

VERONICA: Last year’s book week?

MRS MURPHY: It’s always the first week in February.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: OK. Now I know which Thursday.

EXT – DOWNTOWN NEPTUNE – DAY.

Veronica stands on the pavement, checking the pictures. She looks around.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: In the picture, I’m standing in this exact spot.

She looks around and sees a café close by. It has tables out on the sidewalk. Cut to Veronica at the café. She sits at one of the tables at the edge, training her camera on the spot where she had been standing.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Whoever took those photos had to be sitting at this exact table. It’s the only one where the angle matches.

Cut to her receipt for one ice tea ($1.00 plus $0.08 sales tax) at the Aladdin, which offers Mediterranean style cuisine, Pasta ‘Kabobos’, Greek salads and Taboule. The date is November 21, 2004 and the time is 15:09.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Dated and time-stamped. Gotcha.

Cut to Veronica speaking to one of the waitresses at Aladdin.

VERONICA: Can you tell me if you keep all your receipts? Is it possible for you to pull just the ones from February 4th between 4:45 and 5:30? Someone’s been stalking me.

Veronica shows the waitress the photos.

WAITRESS: My god.

VERONICA: I’m positive whoever took these shots was sitting at that table over there.

Cut to the Aladdin’s records for February 4, 2004 at 5:11. The $17.08 (inclusive of $3.00 tip) was paid by Visa credit card by Clarence Wiedman, Jr.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Clarence Wiedman.

EXT – NEPTUNE STREETS – DAY.

Veronica is in her car and watches Wiedman come out of his house.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Big mistake paying with a credit card. And there he is. The man who took surveillance photos of me. Well, wouldn’t you know?

The weather has turned wet. Veronica has followed Wiedman to Kane Software, the number of the building being 10996. She watches him enter the building as she uses her cell.

VERONICA: Kane Software? Main number please.

TELEPHONE OPERATOR: The number you requested is 555-0125.

RECEPTIONIST: Kane Software. How may I direct your call?

VERONICA: Give me Clarence Wiedman, please.

VOICEMAIL: You’ve reached Clarence Wiedman, Head of Security, Kane Software. Please leave a message.

Veronica cuts off the phone.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: And there it is. I know who’s responsible for scaring Mom away. So if Jake Kane is my biological father that information is gonna be worth millions. And after what that family has done to mine, I intend to collect.

Opening credits.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – DAY.

Veronica enters the apartment and Keith rushes up to her excitedly, limping and sporting a nasty cut under his right eye and on the side of his nose.

VERONICA: [concerned] What happened to you?

KEITH: It’s nothing. A little collision at home. Now, cover your eyes and give me your hand.

VERONICA: A collision at home? Did you fall in the garbage disposal?

KEITH: No, no, home plate. [imitating an umpire] Safe!

VERONICA: Did you see a doctor?

KEITH: Honey, it’s fine. Chicks dig scars, now come on. Ya gotta see this.

Keith jumps up and down and claps before the bemused Veronica. He races back towards her bedroom.

VERONICA: What is your deal? You’re jacked up like some hillbilly kid who just stumbled into Daddy’s meth lab.

KEITH: Hey, come on.

He races back, grabs her hand and raises her other to hold in front of her eyes. He pulls her towards the bedroom. Once inside, he pushes her onto the bed.

KEITH: Sit!

Veronica sits on her new bed and nearly falls back as the bed adjusts to her weight. It sloshes.

VERONICA: Whoa!

KEITH: It’s a water bed.

VERONICA: All right.

KEITH: Come on, you’ve wanted one of these things since you were, like, five years old.

VERONICA: I also wanted to marry Vanilla Ice and build the world’s largest collection of Z-bots.

KEITH: You asked me, no, you begged me for a water bed like four years in a row. It was your obsession.

Keith crouches down in front of Veronica.

VERONICA: Uh-huh. It’s all coming back to me now. The way you explained it, Santa was cool with the basic concept, but had grave doubts about second floor deployment.

KEITH: That well known, bed-rock pragmatism of elvish culture. But I gotta tell ya. If it had been my call, I would’ve-

VERONICA: [laughing] You’re so full of it. But…it is incredibly sweet of you. Yard sale, right? Ten bucks maybe.

KEITH: No.

VERONICA: It’s okay. You forgot to remove the masking tape price tag sticker.

Veronica rips off a piece of tape. Keith slaps his hand on his head.

VERONICA: Besides, our money situation being what it is, I’m glad you didn’t blow your wad on a whim gift for me.

KEITH: Well, you’ll be even gladder to know that I got us a throw in with some old Gordon Lightfoot LPs.

VERONICA: [seriously] I love you.

Veronica leans forward and hugs Keith. He is a little taken aback.

KEITH: Yeah, you too. Well, anyway, sorry it took so long to get Santa’s old dead ass in gear. Night, sweetie.

VERONICA: Night.

Keith leaves and Veronica falls back onto the waterbed.

MR GANT: [offscreen] He was as well adjusted a kid…

INT – MARS INVESTIGATIONS (MI) – DAY.

Keith is in his office, taking details from a rich couple, the Gants.

MR GANT: …as you could ever want to meet…ah…secure, extroverted, lots of friends and school activities.

MRS GANT: Super popular, super focused.

MR GANT: Girlfriends, top grades, not into the drug scene as far as we could tell.

MRS GANT: Definitely not a druggie. Casey is just not the kind of kid who just up and joins a cult.

KEITH: Well, it’s actually the ones who seem to have everything that so often go off-

MR GANT: I know what you’re thinking. Spoiled rich boy raised in a soulless lap of luxury, no material whim denied, no spiritual need met.

MRS GANT: Six weeks ago, Casey kisses me goodbye and drives to school, same as always. But he never comes home.

MR GANT: He says he’s gone off to live at some place called the Moon Calf Collective and basically, thanks for all you’ve done guys but I can take it from here.

MRS GANT: [to her husband] The Porsche.

MR GANT: That’s right, the Porsche. He sold his Boxster and gave all the money over to the cult. Look, Mr Mars, here’s what we need and what we’re prepared to pay handsomely for you to do.

Keith’s eyes light up. Cut to the Gants in the main office, leaving.

MRS GANT: Thank you, Mr Mars.

KEITH: Thank you, you’re welcome.

MR GANT: Thank you very much.

KEITH: Thank you.

Veronica is at her desk, a blood test kit laid out before her.

KEITH: Now what?

VERONICA: I’m trying to draw a blood sample. Our health teacher said she’ll give extra credit for anyone taking a self-administered HIV test. I ordered this thing online but…I am seriously punking on this fingerstick.

KEITH: This is so endearing. My badass, action figure daughter is afraid to draw [adopting a Transylvanian accent] a teensy little drop of blood.

VERONICA: You know, if you really were a good father, you’d let me draw some of your blood for the test.

KEITH: [laughing] What?

VERONICA: Nobody’ll know the difference. Besides, you’ve been sexually active, I haven’t.

Veronica holds out the fingerstick.

KEITH: Oh for crying out loud, you’re serious about this, aren’t you?

Keith takes the fingerstick.

KEITH: Let me have that. You wuss. So those are the parents of Casey Gant. Do you know him?

VERONICA: Unfortunately, yeah. He’s just another slice off the loaf of shallow, vapid, pain-in-the-ass 09erdom.

KEITH: Hmm, well, despite your assessment, his parents are still a little irked about his decision to run off and join a cult.

VERONICA: He joined a cult? What do they worship? Wedgies? Keggers? [gasps] Their parents’ platinum cards?

Keith returns the test to Veronica, having drawn blood onto a card. Veronica gazes at it and waves it gently to dry.

KEITH: It doesn’t matter. He’s eighteen so there’s little the law can do.

Keith sits on her desk.

KEITH: If we get him back, the Gants are offering a five grand bonus so, it’s time to focus [clicks fingers] like the proverbial laser.

VERONICA: Target acquired and locked on.

KEITH: What they’d be paying us for is proof of any unlawful activity out there like firearms, drugs, kidnapping, anything’ll work. All we need is a sound legal basis for the sheriff’s department to shut ‘em down.

VERONICA: I’m still with ya.

KEITH: This boy is a classmate of yours. Maybe you can find something that’ll shed some light. You know, his parents say he’s still showing up at school.

VERONICA: For a five thousand dollar bonus, I’ll get you his genetic code.

KEITH: [sincerely and with wagging finger] Veronica? Do not, under pain of slow, agonising death even think about going to the compound yourself. I’ll run the title search, do the background check, take the recon shots, all of that, nous comprenon nous?

VERONICA: Mais oui. Gotcha Frenchie.

Keith goes back into his office and shuts the door. Veronica gets a posting box out of her desk drawer, casting a cautious glance at Keith’s door.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Okay. So there’s no health class extra credit. There is, however, an online company that does paternity testing. I need to know, without a doubt, who my father is.

Veronica parcels up the test, including her own blood sample which she takes quickly and without hesitation, keeping a wary eye on Keith’s office.

EXT – NHS – DAY.

Veronica approaches as Duncan sits on a low wall. He stands as she passes close to him.

DUNCAN: Hey.

She walks on, ignoring him. Duncan is confused.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I am not ready to face Duncan. Too many sweet memories have become chilling what-ifs.

Cut to some boys, including Casey, playing Hacky Sack. Veronica is watching. Wallace approaches.

WALLACE: Hacky Sack? The final arena of unquestioned white domination. New crush?

VERONICA: Hardly. That’s Casey Gant. He sold his Porsche, joined a cult and took up Hacky Sack.

WALLACE: He looks normal enough.

VERONICA: Not if you knew him before.

FLASHBACK: INT – NHS, CLASSROOM – DAY.

Students are sitting on various beanbags on the floor of a classroom, many in couples, including Veronica and Duncan, and Casey and his girlfriend Darcy. Weevil is at the front of the class, reading a poem. A female teacher paces nearby, listening.

WEEVIL: The prisoners pray when they’re on death row.
Hear the angels sing.
The junkie cries for love but it’s all run out.

Casey laughs out loud.

TEACHER: [encouraging] Go on, Eli.

Veronica is enchanted by the poem, as Duncan strokes her hair and kisses her shoulder, his arm around her waist.

WEEVIL: When the angels sing the sins of the world
And it's cold on the streets when you're all alone
And the tears, they start to fall.
When it all comes down, hear the angels sing.

Casey laughs louder as Veronica turns to give him a filthy look.

TEACHER: Casey Gant! You can learn good manners or go see Mr Clemmons. [to Weevil] Eli, it’s amazing work. You’re doing great.

CASEY: Miss, that’s not original poetry. That’s a Social Distortion song.

TEACHER: Is that true, Eli?

Caught, Weevil is pissed, Casey giggles and Veronica continues to stare at him, hard.

END FLASHBACK.

EXT – NHS – CONTINUING.

VERONICA: I know who’ll give me all the dirt I want.

WALLACE: Who?

VERONICA: His ex-girlfriend.

INT – NHS, GIRLS’ BATHROOM – DAY.

Darcy is gazing in the mirror while Veronica, back to the mirror, leans against the sink and listens.

DARCY: I’m as clueless as anyone about this trip he’s on. I mean one day, he’s totally cool, the next, he’s like alien lobotomy boy.

VERONICA: Any explanation?

DARCY: Nothing that made a bit of sense. He started babbling about renouncing the toxic death style of late-stage capitalist society and un-remembering the consumer siren song. I think compost even came up too, once. It…it was just so bizarre. I mean, I had to cut him loose.

VERONICA: Did he talk about any new friends he’d made, before he started weirding out, I mean?

DARCY: No, but…

She turns towards Veronica.

DARCY: You know what? I think he’s got something going on with Miss Mills.

VERONICA: You mean, like, sexually?

DARCY: Yeah. It got to where they were doing everything together. He even started working for the literary magazine. I mean, this is the same guy who’s been downloading every writing assignment since the seventh grade. He used to think Cliff Notes were for the intellectual posers. There’s no way they’re not getting it on.

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

Veronica ponders while relaxing on her water bed.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Ah, how to get in tight with the lit-mag crowd. I’ve got it. Become one of them.

Cut to Veronica at her desk.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: The attributes and style of crap teen poetry: must be written in a funky colour of ink, must include dominant themes of alienation, sexual ambivalence, self-loathing, death, etcetera.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – DAY.

Veronica is in the shower. The pipes groan and Veronica jumps back out of the water with a yelp. Cut to Veronica exiting her bedroom in her bathrobe.

VERONICA: Dad! You’re an ex-cop. You know gangland enforcer types. Can’t you find someone to intimidate the maintenance supe into fixing the hot water problem?

KEITH: Honey, he swears he’s putting all new copper pipes, new five thousand gallon tank, the works.

VERONICA: That nimrod has been feeding us the same line for five months.

KEITH: Just try to tough it out. Hey, if we get that five grand bonus, maybe we can go look for a new place.

Veronica considers this with some satisfaction.

INT – NHS, CLASSROOM – DAY.

The desks are arranged in four columns, two on each side of the room, facing the centre. A male teacher walks down the centre of the room, between the two pairs of columns.

TEACHER: Ten-o-five, ladies and gents, time to get cracking. Hope y’all have those editorial content analyses I signed last week. Everybody good? Okay then, let’s break into groups of four and start comparing notes.

STUDENT: So, you wanna be in my group?

ANOTHER STUDENT: Yeah.

The students all shunt their desks into groups of four. Veronica, slow to start, finds herself excluded.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Can you feel the luv?

INT – NHS, HALLWAY – DAY.

Veronica walks into the school. She is approached by Holly Mills and they walk on together.

HOLLY: Hey, Veronica!

VERONICA: Miss Mills, what’s up?

HOLLY: I, um, read the poem you submitted for the literary journal, “I Cut Because I Can.”

VERONICA: Oh, yeah. Um, there are a bunch I thought about submitting but that one seemed more…I don’t know, relevant to where I am now. So, are you going to publish it?

HOLLY: Well, you have a very unique outlook, Veronica. You know, if you ever feel like sharing, there’s a place where you’re always welcome to do so. We’re kind of like family.

Veronica pulls up to a halt.

VERONICA: Yeah, I have some friends who work on your literary magazine and they say it’s really cool.

HOLLY: Actually, I’m, uh, I’m talking about the folks out at the Moon Calf Collective. That’s where I live. Something tells me you’d really enjoy visiting. I-if you’d like I could even take you out there today. How’s that sound?

VERONICA VOICEOVER: So Miss Mills lures kids out to cult headquarters?

VERONICA: That sounds…great. I’m ready to go whenever you are.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Wait, what did Dad say about going out there?

EXT – MOON CALF COLLECTIVE – DAY.

Music: Make a Deal With the City by East River Pipe.

LYRICS: You live in this city, make a deal with the city now
You live in this city, make a deal with the city right now
Sometimes just grow up, sometimes just keep faith
Sometimes just hang on, sometimes pull away
You live in this city, make a deal with the city now
You live in this city, make a deal with the city right now
‘Cause people disappear, and life might be a joke
You get (?) every day like a (?)
No bye-byes, no bye-byes, no bye-byes
They will fly away from you; they will fly away from you
They will fly away from you; they will fly away from you

Holly gets out of her car. The LeBaron is parked behind her and Veronica gets out. They are in the country on a large farm. Veronica looks around.

HOLLY: Come on over.

VERONICA: This is all so amazing. I feel like I’m on a movie set or something. Thank you so much for inviting me, Miss Mills.

HOLLY: Ah, around here, I’m just Holly. And as far as you can see is all ours. You should take some time later, wander around and get a feel for the place. Just stay out of the barn; you do not want to go in there, trust me.

Veronica lingers to look back at the barn they’ve just passed.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Hey, way to throw me off your trail, Holly. Wander freely, don't go in the barn, whatever you do? Maybe I should play this needy, despondent waif card more often.

Veronica catches up with Holly.

HOLLY: Come meet my man. Well, really he kind of belongs to all of us.

A man approaches Holly.

HOLLY: Hey.

They kiss long and lovingly as Veronica observes.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Forbidden barn? Check. Implied polygamy? Check. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a cult.

HOLLY: Veronica, this is Josh.

JOSH: Hey there.

Josh hugs a somewhat surprised Veronica

VERONICA: [high pitched] Hi.

The hug goes on and on.

JOSH: Hmm.

VERONICA: Help.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I knew I should have included a few discreet lesbian overtones in that poem.

Josh finally lets her go and steps back. Casey approaches.

CASEY: Hey, Veronica. I heard you were coming but I had to see to believe.

VERONICA: Yeah, I, I don’t blame you. This is…off my beaten path a bit.

CASEY: But now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense that you’d wind up here sooner or later.

VERONICA: Yeah.

Josh kisses Holly again and wanders off.

CASEY: Cool, well I’m sure I’ll be seeing a lot more of you and I’ll catch up with you later, okay?

Casey wanders off as well.

HOLLY: Veronica, it’s only a few hours ‘til dinner time. Why don’t you stay and join us? As you can see, the gardens have really blessed us this year.

They approach tables set outside. People are preparing food. They head for one table where a young black girl, Rain, is stirring something in a bowl.

VERONICA: Sure, that would be great. I’m starving. All I had today was…Beef Mexi-Melt and some Cinnamon Crispas.

Holly laughs.

RAIN: Those Crispas are awesome, aren’t they? Frankly, I’d give my body to anybody for one of those Chocolate Taco Ice Cream deserts.

HOLLY: Believe it or not, I think we can raise the culinary bar a bit higher. As you can see, we get a lot done through team work. In fact, if you want to jump in, you’re more than welcome, if you’re interested.

All three have moved over to another table where Django works.

VERONICA: Ah, sure. Fair warning though. My idea of gourmet cooking is sprinkling on some three year old Bacos to my microwave soup.

RAIN: Yeah, same here actually. But most of us are just grunt workers anyways. We find our satisfaction in realizing the visions of chef Django here.

DJANGO: The secret ingredient's love.

Holly wanders off leaving Veronica with Rain.

RAIN: I’m Rain. Glad to meet you.

VERONICA: Veronica. Likewise. So, this thing you’re doing seems easy enough, even I can do it. Where do I start?

RAIN: Actually, I’ve just about done here but…I’ll hook you up with a job that’s a little more fun.

End music: Make a Deal With the City by East River Pipe. Cut to Rain milking a cow.

RAIN: That’s a good girl, Isis. See Veronica? It’s pretty easy once you get the rhythm down.

She stands to allow Veronica to take her place on the milking stool. Uncertain, Veronica tentatively takes the nipple in her hand and pumps. Nothing happens.

VERONICA: Easy for you but I’m not getting a freaking drop.

RAIN: She may be a little nervous. [stroking the cow] Are you nervous, sweetie?

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Okay, got the youngest moonie away from the herd. Time to dig up dirt.

VERONICA: So I guess you can tell I learned all I know about country life from “Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman” reruns.

RAIN: What do you mean?

VERONICA: Well, for example, I was under the assumption that milking takes place in, you know, a barn.

RAIN: Well, sometimes, I guess. But I don’t think there’s any hard, fast rule though.

Veronica gives up and stands.

VERONICA: So Josh is cool, huh? He’s kind of sexy.

RAIN: Really? I hadn’t really noticed, but, you’re right, he’s a great guy. You’re really gonna enjoy getting to know him.

VERONICA: I’ll bet. Holly says it’s looking like a kick-ass harvest this year. I-I don’t think I asked what you guys were growing.

RAIN: I guess you could say it's the ultimate cash crop.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Yahtzee!

VERONICA: And what’s that?

RAIN: I can’t even begin to describe it. But it’ll blow your mind.

Cut to later as the collective gather around a fire. Night has fallen. One of the Moon Calves is strumming his guitar, playing and singing the Velvet Underground’s “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’.”

MOON CALF: [sings] Oh, sweet nuthin’

With the others, Veronica gets up from one of the dinner tables and joins the circle around the fire.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Enough, already with this mellow incense and peppermints vibe.

MOON CALF: [sings] She ain’t got nuthin’ at all.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Let's break out the mushrooms and dance naked! Strap on the goat skull headgear, sacrifice a few infants.

MOON CALF: [sings] I said, oh, sweet nuthin’

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Come on, people, you're cultists. Start acting like it.

Veronica reaches the circle and looks around uncertainly.

RAIN: Veronica, over here.

MOON CALF: [sings] ‘Cause she ain’t got nuthin’ at all.

Veronica walks towards Rain until stopped by a voice behind her.

CASEY: Hey, Mars! Why don’t you come on over here? I feel like I gave you the hit and run treatment earlier.

Casey gestures for her to join him on his two-seater bench. She glances at Rain, then heads for him.

MOON CALF: [sings] Say a word for Jimmy Brown.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Wow. It's Bizarro world. Out here I'm Miss Popular.

MOON CALF: [sings] He ain’t got nuthin’ at all.

CASEY: I’m serious. Look, we’ve been going to classes together for, what, three years?

MOON CALF: [sings] He knocked the shirt right off his back.
He ain’t got nuthin’ at all

CASEY: And…I don’t think we actually ever really talked. Lately, I feel like I’ve been missing out on a lot.

MOON CALF: [sings] He ain’t got nuthin’ at all.

The singer comes to an end of his song and Josh takes the centre.

JOSH: Okay.

RANDOM MOON CALF: That was great.

JOSH: So how was everybody’s day? What’s up?

Time skips forward, briefly alighting on various calves as they express themselves.

RAIN: I woke up scared. I felt like I was in a dream of peace and happiness…

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Do not roll your eyes, Veronica. You're undercover.

JOSH: It’s strange, isn’t it? How we believe more in the reality of…

RANDOM MOON CALF: I…

JOSH: Pain.

RANDOM MOON CALF: …suddenly I realised I was conscious only of my own voice and delivery. I was like directing myself in a play…

JOSH: I’m feeling you there, brother. I have to watch that all the time myself.

HOLLY: This is scary. I’m 32 years old and I feel like I’ll never have a better moment than this.

JOSH: Veronica Mars. Hey, how ‘bout a big Moon Calf welcome for the honoured guest.

Everyone claps and moos.

HOLLY: Veronica’s a writer, a poet. She has a unique voice I think you’d all appreciate. Would you honour us with the one you showed me earlier?

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I was just reading in last month's “Koreshian Bride” that four out of five cult leaders like their handmaidens nubile, flighty, and teetering on the edge of a breakdown.

Veronica stands nervously. She clears her throat.

HOLLY: Go for it, Veronica.

She looks around then grabs her bag.

VERONICA: I’m sorry, I have to go.

Veronica races off. Cut to her walking towards the forbidden barn.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: There. That performance should have them asking me back.

Veronica opens the barn door and is met by a panicked and bucking horse. She falls back into the mud. As she gets up, Josh, Holly and Casey run up to her.

JOSH: Veronica! Are you all right?

VERONICA: Oh, god, I’m so sorry everybody. I was freaked out and just wanted someplace to sit and pull myself together before driving.

Josh goes to the horse, calming her with strokes.

HOLLY: Oh, it’s my fault, Veronica. I shouldn’t have teased you earlier with all that stuff about the forbidden barn.

JOSH: This is a little project we’re undertaking. One of our neighbours was going to put down Hildegard here. We’re nursing her back. Slowly but surely.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – NIGHT.

Veronica opens the door to the apartment. Keith is sitting in the armchair.

KEITH: You're covered in mud.

VERONICA: See? That's why you make the big bucks.

KEITH: So what’d you find out about my boy, Casey?

VERONICA: His ex-girlfriend confirms what his parents said. He’s a full blooded cultist.

Cut to Veronica turning on the shower.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I can’t get it out of my mind. Somewhere in Pennsylvania, a lab tech is determining if I’m heir to a billion dollar fortune. It’s not about the money.

She steps into the shower and gasps at the cold.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: It’s about making Jake Kane pay. But if I am an heiress, [adopting a Southern Belle accent] as God is my witness, I'll never take cold showers again.

INT – NHS, HALLWAY – DAY.

Veronica runs to catch up with Casey.

VERONICA: Casey! Hey. Wait up. I’m so ashamed of myself…for my meltdown last night. I was a rampaging jackass.

Casey smiles broadly.

CASEY: Have you forgotten who you're talking to? I'm Casey Gant, okay? I wrote the jackass Bible, the jackass Koran, the jackass Talmud. [sincerely] Why don’t you come back out? It’d mean a lot to me.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Of course, if I’m not an heiress, Dad and I could really use this five grand and if it means me having to save this homely boy from cultists, so be it.

Music: (You Gotta Walk) But Don’t Look Back by Peter Tosh.

LYRICS: There is no hiding place (can't run, can't hide, can't run)
Just your problems, no one else’s problems
you just have to face (can't run, can't hide, can't run)
If you just put your hand in mine
we're gonna leave all our troubles behind
We're gonna walk and don't look back (don't look back)
We're gonna walk and don't look back (don't look back)
Now if your first lover let you down
There's something that can be done (can't run, can't hide, can't run)
Tell me what you do brother
Don't heal your faith in love
Remembering what's become (can't run, can't hide, can't run)
Oh no
So if you just put your hand in mine
We're gonna leave…

EXT – MOON CALF COLLECTIVE – DAY.

Josh approaches Veronica and enfolds her in another big hug.

JOSH: Veronica. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you again. I guess, uh, you can see everyone else feels the same way?

Everybody calls to her, welcoming her.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Get your game face on, Mars.

VERONICA: I’m floored.

JOSH: Hey, listen, would you like to join me for a walk?

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I knew it. This is when the cult leader claims me as his new bride.

Josh starts to walk. Veronica pauses to turn on the tape recorder in her bag, then follows. End music: (You Gotta Walk) But Don’t Look Back by Peter Tosh. Cut to later in their walk.

JOSH: I'm not judging you, I'm just, I’m saying what you already know.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: That fake fur was a poor choice to infiltrate utopia?

JOSH: You’ve built this fortress around yourself. Now, it does offer a limited amount of protection but it also keeps other people and all they have to offer at bay, starving your soul. Now, you might want to consider...opening yourself up. Letting other people inside.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Let other people inside? Got anyone particular in mind?

Veronica reaches into her bag to put her hand on her taser.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Maybe if I discreetly flash Mr Taser...

JOSH: So, has anyone told you what we grow here?

VERONICA: I heard it was the ultimate cash crop.

JOSH: That it is.

INT – MOON CALF COLLECTIVE, GREENHOUSE – DAY.

It is filled with poinsettias.

JOSH: Impressive, isn’t it?

VERONICA: Aren’t these poinsettias?

JOSH: And Christmas is right around the corner. See, we never would have been able to finish off the greenhouse if Casey hadn’t given us that money.

VERONICA: I wish I wasn’t so broke right now, otherwise, I’d try to chip in too.

JOSH: Oh well, our goal isn’t to be a charity case. I mean, it’s not that we have anything against money, it’s just, it’s kind of like water, you know? Lots of symbolic power but really just a lifeless substance when you get right down to it, but the paradox is that life as we know it would be impossible without it, if you see what I’m saying.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: You're saying you don't want my money, you don't want my body, you don't want me working in your ganja fields, you just want me to be happy. Strange.

Music: Have a Nice Day by the Stereophonics.

LYRICS: San Francisco Bay, past pier thirty nine
Early p.m. can’t remember what time
Got the waiting cab stopped at the red light
Address, unsure of but it turned out just right

The music plays against a montage of happy scenes as the collective prepares food. Veronica is enjoying herself. Josh approaches the working tables, a man following behind him.

JOSH: Hey, listen up everybody. This is important. We’ve got Sal from the County Water Department who’s out here to check for lead in the pipes so try not to use the water for the next fifteen to twenty minutes, all right?

End music: Have a Nice Day by the Stereophonics. The man is Keith and he is very unhappy to see his daughter. Neither blow their cover.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: That’s it. I’m dead.

INT – MI – DAY.

Veronica sneaks in. Keith, very angry, comes out of the kitchenette.

KEITH: There ya' are. What the hell were you thinking Veronica? That’s got to be the worst decision I’ve ever seen by someone who wasn’t literally brain damaged. Since when do you reserve the right to totally blow of my instructions? Does my judgement, my concern for your safety carry that little weight with you?

VERONICA: I’m sorry. Dad, I screwed up, big time, I know. Trust me. I’ll be following your game plan the rest of the way. They just seem so harmless.

KEITH: What is your basis for that call? The absence of swastikas engraved on their foreheads? Please, reassure me that you aren’t that dense.

VERONICA: I’m sorry. Really. So did you plant any bugs when you were out there?

KEITH: Yes.

VERONICA: You’ve been listening in?

KEITH: Uh-huh.

VERONICA: Heard anything incriminating yet?

KEITH: Nope. It's like listening to “The Brady Bunch” with a reggae soundtrack.

VERONICA: What about your background check on Josh? Anything shady, out of line?

KEITH: Up until four years ago, he was a manager of a downloadable ring development team at E-Tones. One day, without warning, he quit his job, cashed out his stock and used it to buy the land for the collective. Holly’s totally clean as well.

VERONICA: So what’s our next step?

KEITH: There’s no “our” about it. You are officially off this case. I’ll take it home from here.

VERONICA: What? That makes…no sense whatsoever! Aren’t you even interested in what I’ve learned?

KEITH: What’s the point, Veronica? I’m prepared to admit that these Moon Calves probably don’t merit the full ATF fire-bombing treatment. I mean, my guess is they’re just a bunch of tie-dyed Oliver Twists who scam naïve kids to pay the bills.

The door to the office opens behind them and the Gants walk in with another man.

KEITH: Mr Gant.

Keith holds out his hand but Mr Gant ignores it.

MR GANT: I’m sure you have a lot to report but first there’s something you need to know.

Cut to the Gants sitting in Keith’s office with the strange man standing quietly behind them. Veronica eavesdrops from the main office.

MRS GANT: Mr Mars, my mother, Casey’s grandmother, is dying. She had a severe stroke on Tuesday night, she’s effectively brain dead and not expected to make it more than a couple of days.

KEITH: My condolences.

MRS GANT: Thanks. This has been a tough, disorienting time for us. Even more so because of something else we’ve just learned from her attorney.

KEITH: What’s that?

MRS GANT: If she dies, the bulk of her fortune, about eighty million dollars, goes to Casey. Well, w-we’re afraid he’s simply gonna hand it all over to that cult.

KEITH: I appreciate that information. And, um, I wish I could say that I found something that we could nail them on but that’s not the case. I mean, not yet anyway. At least you should know that I’ve seen no evidence that Casey’s in danger.

CREEPY MAN: I’m sorry to contradict you, Mr Mars. But I have substantial experience with these groups. The sooner we get him off that farm, the better. If your current strategies aren’t working, perhaps you should try something new.

KEITH: Any relevant experience you can share, I’ll be happy to consider it. What’s your background, anyway, if you don’t mind my asking?

CREEPY MAN: Technically, my field is SMSPI - Systematic Manipulation of Social and Psychological Influence. One vulgar term is deprogramming.

KEITH: No kidding. I’ve heard of that. How does that work, anyway?

The man turns his head to the door and notices that it is open and Veronica is listening. He pushes the door closed.

CREEPY MAN: In simple terms, I control the elements of a subject’s social and psychological environment to eradicate undesirable modes of behaviour. I’m then able to instil or re-instil desirable ones. I’m quite good at my work.

KEITH: Yeah, I bet.

MRS GANT: We just want Casey back home again. Soon. This is a sensitive situation and we ask that you proceed accordingly.

KEITH: Of course.

Keith nods. In the main office, Veronica moves away from the door.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – NIGHT.

Veronica, offscreen and in the shower, screams. Keith and Backup both look up at the bathroom door.

INT – NHS, HALLWAY – DAY.

Wallace approaches Veronica.

WALLACE: Not to sweat you, V, but when will we see the FBI-Swarms-Coke-Compound headline?

VERONICA: The case is dead in the water. We found diddly squat on the Moon Calves and I seriously doubt that there’s anything to find. Plus, my dad caught me out at the farm so now it’s seriously off limits.

WALLACE: Dang.

VERONICA: As if that weren’t enough, I’m starting to doubt the whole rationale for what we’re doing. Casey, noxious, overbearing 09er butthead Casey has become a really sweet guy and I think this so-called cult deserves most of the credit.

WALLACE: Sounds to me, Veronica, like you've been drinking the Kool-Aid.

VERONICA: I have not.

WALLACE: You better recognise.

VERONICA: Thank you for being my own personal Springer audience. Should I check myself before I wreck myself?

WALLACE: All I'm saying is, is you may be getting a little soft.

VERONICA: Right and I’m…

Veronica is interrupted by the arrival of Casey.

CASEY: Hey, Veronica. Listen, I’ve got to go visit my grandma in the hospital after school. Do you want to come with me?

VERONICA: Yeah, sure Casey, I’d love to.

CASEY: Good.

Casey smiles and goes off. Wallace grins and backs away from her, whispering as he goes.

WALLACE: Soft, soft.

INT – HOSPITAL – DAY.

Casey and Veronica stand on either side of his grandmother’s bed. She is hooked up to all sorts of equipment and not conscious.

CASEY: It’s so hard to see her this way. Wanna hear something sad?

VERONICA: Sure.

CASEY: My parents’ fortune. Every last nickel of it comes from Grandma’s publishing company. Mom and Dad had nothing to do with it. Grandma provided for everything. Then, a couple of years ago when she started having strokes, started forgetting stuff, my parents, who call her Grandmonster behind her back, just stopped paying any attention to her. It’s amazing how much better they started treating me once they found out that she decided to leave all of her money to me.

VERONICA: So, how long have they known she was willing her money to you?

CASEY: They’ve known for a year.

EXT – MOON CALF COLLECTIVE – NIGHT.

Veronica drops Casey off. In the distance, a guitar is strumming gently as one of the Calves sings an unknown song.

VERONICA: I wish I could come with you.

CASEY: I know. Thanks for spending all this time with me. You know, if you wanted to, you could.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Crazy thing? I do want to.

Veronica starts up the car reluctantly and drives away.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – NIGHT.

Veronica gets a carton of milk from the fridge, setting it on the counter. On the side of the carton is the picture of a runaway: Debbie Meyer. Amongst her details, it shows that she’s seventeen and that she went missing on 29 April 2002. It’s Rain. Veronica gets a glass from the cupboard and grabs the milk to fill it. She spots the photo.

VERONICA: Rain?

Cut to later. Veronica sits in the dark, staring at the milk carton when Keith enters the apartment.

KEITH: That must be good milk.

VERONICA: Recognise her? That’s Rain. One of the girls from the collective. Real name, Debbie Meyer. She’s a runaway, a minor.

KEITH: So we gotta call the Gant family right away.

VERONICA: Hold it, hold it. Please, Dad. Let’s think about this for a minute.

KEITH: This is what we’re working for. We were praying for a break and now you gave it to us. Don’t tell me the prospect of having new digs and steady hot water doesn’t sound good to you. And we can’t just blow this off, Veronica. They’re contributing to the delinquency of a minor. It’s a serious crime.

VERONICA: Oh, please, Dad, you’ve been around these people. Do you honestly think they’re corrupting anyone? I think they’re exactly what they seem to be; a bunch of sweet, naïve, sixties throwbacks.

KEITH: That’s possibly true but definitely beside the point. Even if they are the Utopian sweethearts you think they are, we don’t answer morally or otherwise to the Moon Calf Collective. We answer to our clients who pay us to do a job and that job is to find the information they want.

Keith walks away as Veronica ponders unhappily.

INT – NHS, CLASSROOM – DAY.

Veronica enters Holly’s empty classroom. Holly is cleaning the blackboard.

HOLLY: Hey, Veronica. Casey told me you were out at the farm last night. I wish you could have stayed a while, it was so beautiful. The moon was so bright, you could almost read by it.

VERONICA: Holly, there’s something you need to know about, right now. The thing is I work for my dad who’s a private detective, okay, and…

Holly looks up, at something behind Veronica. Veronica turns to see Casey, tears streaming down his face.

CASEY: Mr Clemmons just called me to his office. My grandma died this morning.

HOLLY: Oh, Casey.

Music: Famous Lover by the Fire Marshals of Bethlehem.

LYRICS: Lay down your arm and sing with me
My melody is shaky
You say you knew, when we first met
I’d be your famous lover
There’s a (?) around us
It makes an angry sound
But you are speaking slowly
Beauty and time, my famous lover
Build bridges over water
Dream of the buildings there
I know that when I stumble
You’ll remain my famous lover.

Holly holds him.

HOLLY: Casey.

Veronica strokes Casey’s arm.

EXT – CEMETERY – DAY.

The funeral for Casey’s grandmother concludes. Casey walks away with Josh and Holly. Rain and Django split off in another direction as Veronica races up to the first three.

VERONICA: Josh, Holly. I’ve done something I regret. I found out that Rain was a runaway. I told my dad about it. You have to get her the hell out of there right away.

JOSH: It’s okay, Veronica. We get the picture. Everything’s gonna be just fine. We appreciate you being up front with us. If you’ll excuse us. Ah, come join us later if you like.

VERONICA: Thanks, Josh. I won’t keep him long.

Josh and Holly leave and Casey walks Veronica to her car.

CASEY: I appreciated you being here. For no reason that I can see, you’ve been a real friend to me lately.

VERONICA: Can you really say that after what I just told you?

CASEY: I guess I don’t think that you were faking the kindness. Am I wrong?

Veronica smiles. Casey looks over to a large limo.

CASEY: Well, I guess I better go have this conversation with my parents. They wanna hear that I’m not going to let them starve.

Casey, having massaged Veronica’s shoulder, helps her into her car and walks down to talk to his parents, waiting by the limo. End music: Famous Lover by the Fire Marshals of Bethlehem. Veronica watches through the rear view mirror. (There is a minor mystery of why the LeBaron’s passenger door is wide open, but it’s probably not important.) As Casey nears them, two men grab him and shove him into the limo.

CASEY: Hey, come on, what are you doing? Hey!

Veronica jumps out of her car as the creepy man gets into the limo after Casey.

VERONICA: Hey! What are you doing to him? Stop! Stop!

Veronica tries to race to the limo but is too late and watches as the car speeds away.

INT – MI – DAY.

Veronica rushes in, finding Keith in his office.

VERONICA: Dad! We have to call the police, Casey’s just been kidnapped.

KEITH: What? What are you talking about? Kidnapped by who?

VERONICA: By his parents and that creepy guy that was with them at the last meeting. They grabbed him in the parking lot at the funeral and shoved him in the limo and drove away.

KEITH: They grabbed him? So it was against his will, then? He tried to get away?

VERONICA: No, it’s not like he was running from them. I was kind of far away but I could tell he was surprised by what was happening.

KEITH: Okay. Okay.

Keith gets up from his chair and comes round to sit on his desk, facing Veronica.

KEITH: I wasn’t there. You saw what you saw, I’m not doubting your interpretation but…if I was still sheriff and somebody told me an eighteen year old kid got into a car with his parents after his grandmother’s funeral, well there’s nothing I could do about it. Not for a couple of days anyway so let’s just hold off. See what happens, okay?

VERONICA: I wish we hadn’t turned over that information about the collective.

KEITH: We didn’t.

VERONICA: What? You didn’t…

KEITH: Um-um. I thought about what you said, what I heard on the wire tap and, uh, you were right. Once you get past all the sixties theme park trappings, that community's a lot more wholesome and functional than, just for example, Neptune is.

Keith picks up a file from his desk.

KEITH: I also did a little checking on Debbie Meyer. What a life. [sighs heavily] Poor kid’s been in four foster homes since she was eight years old. Reports of serious abuse in at least two and I had to admit it, she’s a lot better off where she is.

Veronica bestows on him a loving smile.

EXT – NHS – DAY.

Veronica gets out of her car. There is a flyer on her windscreen. She grabs it, glances at it and heads round her car to the car parked next to her.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: With each day that passes, I come more to terms with the question of my paternity.

It’s Duncan’s car. She sticks the flyer on his windscreen. Duncan notices and exits his car.

DUNCAN: What’s this?

He grabs the flyer.

DUNCAN: [reads] Free Crab Rangoon with purchase of Happy Family Dinner at Wok’n’Roll. Phat. Don’t think I didn’t notice the sacrifice.

VERONICA: My pleasure.

Duncan walks on but turns back to glance at Veronica. He smiles. Veronica watches him go.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I sent off for those test results because I wanted the truth. But can a lab tech really see the shape of my soul in a drunken conga line of genes? Jake Kane could be my father. But whether he is or isn’t, would I really claim him as such and deny the man who raised me?

Wallace runs up to join her.

WALLACE: Veronica, wait up! What’s up?

A Porsche Carrera cuts across their path and into a parking space.

WALLACE: Oh. Now that’s a sweet ride.

Casey gets out, giving Veronica a disinterested look.

CASEY: What’s up, Veronica?

Veronica regretfully notes that the old Casey is back.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – DAY.

Veronica enters the apartment. She checks the mail and freezes.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: The DNA test results.

Cut to later. Veronica lies on her bed, holding the unopened envelope.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: It’s my call now. I can open this letter and find out if my dad is really my dad. If he’s not, then I’m almost certainly the daughter of Jake Kane and, consequently, an heiress.

Veronica quietly sneaks into Keith’s bedroom, trying not to wake him. She shreds the envelope in the shredder. The noise wakes Keith, who turns on the lamp by his bed.

VERONICA: Hey, Dad.

KEITH: Honey, I don’t mean to ask a silly question but is, is it really necessary that you do that right now?

VERONICA: Yeah. As a matter of fact it is.

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