1.10 An Echolls Family Christmas

Written by: Dianne Ruggiero
Directed by: Nick Marck

Original Air Date: 14 December, 2004 (switched with “Silence of the Lamb” by UPN)
Transcribed by Inigo

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Previously on Veronica Mars…

First Keith and then Veronica stand over Lilly’s body from 101 Pilot.

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

Keith interrogates Jake. The pictures are from 102 Credit Where Credit’s Due, although the audio is new.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Dad told Jake Kane, the most powerful man in town that he was sure that he was somehow involved in his own daughter’s death.

Veronica and Duncan kiss as they walk up the hallway from 101 Pilot.

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

Logan taunts Veronica by sitting on Duncan’s lap from the same episode.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: And let’s not forget Logan Echolls. His dad makes twenty million a picture.

Aaron puts his arm around Logan in 106 Return of the Kane.

AARON: Smile, Logan. Don’t forget, these folks pay for all of this, huh?

Weevil and Logan face off at Dog Beach (pictures and sound from 102 Credit Where Credit’s Due, except for Logan adding “Weevil” at the end of his first line).

WEEVIL: What the hell do you think you’re doing on our beach?

LOGAN: Am I supposed to apologise? Am I supposed to shake in my boots, Weevil?

WEEVIL: Maybe.

LOGAN: Look around you, man. It ain’t fifteen on four tonight.

RANDOM 09ER: That’s right.

Veronica is at Lianne’s safety deposit box, from 105 You Think You Know Somebody.

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

Wiedman leaves his house with Veronica following him to Kane Software. She watches from the car (from 109 Drinking the Kool-Aid except for the last lines of each of Veronica’s voiceovers which are new).

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Clarence Wiedman. The man who took surveillance photos of me. The ones with me framed in a gun sight.

WIEDMAN: You’ve reached Clarence Wiedman, Head of Security, Kane Software.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: And there it is. I know who’s responsible for scaring Mom away from Neptune. Her former lover, Dad’s nemesis, Jake Kane.

End previously.


Backup is on the couch watching “The Year Without a Santa Claus” on television. Veronica and Keith are decorating a small Christmas tree.

TV: It is okay, will you make it snow?

TV: Sure thing. Don’t get your hopes up. You’ll never get anywhere with that one.

TV: We’ll have to try.

Veronica sorts ornaments from a small box on top of the television.

VERONICA: The downside to being an only child? You know all the scary handmade ornaments are yours. Ooh, this concerns me.

She picks out a reindeer face made of three Popsicle sticks and heads over to Keith and the tree.

KEITH: Whoa, whoa, whoa. You gotta put another Padres ornament over there.

Keith reaches into another box and hands Veronica an ornament. Veronica looks at him sceptically.

KEITH: What? They should be spread out so it's even.

VERONICA: You know, there are some people who think Christmas is about the birth of Christ and not baseball.

KEITH: Well, we're all entitled to our own religions, Veronica.

VERONICA: So what do you want for Christmas?

KEITH: Your love and respect.

VERONICA: Seriously, if you could have anything for Christmas, anything?

KEITH: I want you to save your money.

Veronica looks disappointed but Keith’s attention is caught by the music coming from the TV.

KEITH: Oh hey, hey, hey, oh, it’s our favourite part.

The animated figures on the TV go into the “Heat Miser” song. Keith grabs the remote to turn up the volume and puts his arm around his daughter, who giggles.

LYRICS: I’m Mr Green Christmas, I’m Mr Sun…


Weevil sits at a poker table, none too happy to be listening to a drunken Duncan singing the same song, particularly when Duncan massages his bald pate. Weevil slaps Duncan’s hand off his head and Duncan moves on to the next player, Connor, and puts a hand on his shoulder. Connor is more indulgent. Logan watches his friend, grinning, as Duncan, bottle of whiskey in hand, makes his way to his place at the table.

DUNCAN: …I’m Mr Heat Blister, I’m Mr 101
They call me Heat Miser
Whatever I touch starts to melt in-

As Duncan takes another slug from the bottle, Logan grabs it away from him. He bangs the bottle down on the table and puts a large unlit cigar in his mouth.

LOGAN: You start singing, you stop drinking.


Duncan slumps into his chair, feeling sorry for himself. The final member of the poker party, Sean, watches impassively.

WEEVIL: You know, you look pretty comfortable with that thing in your mouth.

LOGAN: [caressing the cigar] Sabor Cubano. You people can handroll like nobody's business.

The others laugh and Logan sticks the cigar back in his mouth. Logan bets.

LOGAN: Five hundred.


Duncan groans as he reaches full length across the table for some nuts. He notices Sean is drinking beer from a wide-mouthed bottle.

DUNCAN: Sean, isn't that ghetto brew beneath you?

SEAN: It's the new me. I am projecting a ghetto aesthetic. [leaning towards Weevil] Word.

CONNOR: Man, where were you when I was playing the metrosexual in “Lonely Season”?

SEAN: I was in high school, not getting paid a quarter of a million dollars to make out with Selma Blair, Connor.

LOGAN: Don’t cry now.

Logan pushes all his chips into the pot.

DUNCAN: Ooo-hoo.

LOGAN: All in.

He looks at Weevil expectantly. Weevil calls.

WEEVIL: Boo hoo.

Logan throws down his hand triumphantly.

SEAN: Woo!

LOGAN: Whoo!

Weevil lays out his cards.

LOGAN: Oh damn.

They are not as good as Logan’s. Logan is extremely smug.

LOGAN: So let’s see here. There are 42 cards remaining and I can win with 40 of them. I can win with an ace. I can win with a Jack. Will she be the ten and give me the straight? Or will I get the high kicker out of my Jack. Pins and needles.

WEEVIL: Just flip the card.

LOGAN: Okay. [sings] But the river’s gonna get ya.

Logan slaps the card down on the table.

LOGAN: Boom.

The others at the table laugh as they see the two of hearts, one of the two cards with which Logan couldn’t win. Weevil smirks and the cigar in Logan’s mouth droops.

DUNCAN: I can’t believe he beat you with a pair of twos.

WEEVIL: I'd like my five grand now.

LOGAN: Sean, the money box so I can pay the pool boy.

Sean slides a wooden chip box across to Logan. Logan opens it. There is no money.

WEEVIL: No. No, no, no, no. You guys aren’t pulling any of that with me.

LOGAN: Weevil, I’m not pulling anything. Where’s the money? Guys, where’s the money?

WEEVIL: [shouts] Where is it?

LOGAN: Guys, where’s the money?

SEAN: Did it fall out?

CONNOR: How could it fall out?

WEEVIL: Maybe it was never in, huh?

LOGAN: You know, I rolled the money up and put it in the box. You all saw me.

WEEVIL: Well, I'm not leavin' here without my money. Now...do I have to turn each of you upside-down and shake you?

The rest of the players look uncomfortable. Cut to Logan and Duncan in matching reindeer boxer shorts and nothing else. Sean and Connor are also down to their underwear. As Sean passes Logan and Duncan, he spots the boxers.

SEAN: Did you guys call each other?

Weevil, his back to the group, lifts a Faberge Egg from a bookcase and sticks it into his inside jacket pocket. He turns around to face the others, now lined up in their underwear. Logan still has the cigar in his mouth.

WEEVIL: This isn’t over. I’ll be collecting a grand from each of you, one way or another.

Weevil reaches the sliding glass doors of the pool house and looks back at the semi-naked group.

WEEVIL: You picked the wrong guy to rip off.

Weevil leaves. Sean sinks into one of the chairs.

SEAN: This is the worst game of strip poker ever.

Opening credits.


Veronica and Wallace walk out of the school administration office and continue on through the hallway, bedecked with Christmas decorations.

VERONICA: Check it out.

WALLACE: You know this is for a baseball camp, right? It's not like a hot guy catalogue.

VERONICA: Do they have a hot guy catalogue?

WALLACE: Attend a week long Padres fantasy camp at their first class training site.

VERONICA: It’s a perfect Christmas present for my dad.

WALLACE: In a world where you can afford three grand.

They come to a halt in the middle of the hallway.

VERONICA: Oh, I am so sick of not having money.

Wallace sympathetically pats his chest with his hand.

VERONICA: I'd be the best rich person. Seriously. I'd be the perfect combination of frivolous and sensible. Money is so wasted on the wealthy.

Duncan barges in between them, focused on Weevil who is ahead of him.

DUNCAN: [angry] I want my laptop, now.

WEEVIL: How does it feel to want?

He grabs the shoulders of Weevil’s shirt.

DUNCAN: I am not screwing around.

It’s a bad move as the intervention of four of Weevil’s biker boys confirms and Duncan is shoved up and held against the lockers.

DUNCAN: I didn’t take your money.

WEEVIL: Someone did.

Veronica creeps closer to see what’s going on.

DUNCAN: [offscreen] Well, it wasn’t me.

WEEVIL: Let him go.


Weevil and his boys wander off, leaving Duncan fuming. Veronica approaches.

VERONICA: Someone stole your laptop?

DUNCAN: There was this poker game at Logan’s last night. Weevil won five grand and someone stole the money. This is his way of collecting.

VERONICA: You lie down with dogs, you're gonna get fleas.

DUNCAN: I didn't invite him.

VERONICA: I wasn't talking about Weevil.

Veronica walks away and Duncan follows.

DUNCAN: Hey, this kinda concerns you.

VERONICA: I don’t see how.

DUNCAN: I keep a journal on my laptop for the past, I dunno, three years. There was a time when you were kind of a feature.

VERONICA: [more in hope than expectation] A feature with a cleverly disguised pseudonym?

DUNCAN: Let's just say...I was prolific.

Duncan walks off as Veronica stares after him with a worried expression.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: There are a million things Duncan could have written about me that I’d sooner impale myself on a rusty spike than have someone else read. I must get that computer back.


The darkened classroom is furnished with stuffed chairs and beanbags (similar to the one seen in 109 Drinking the Kool-Aid). Weevil and his boys are all sitting on the floor and appear to be playing craps. Veronica enters. The bikers seem to have anticipated it. Veronica cocks her head.


Weevil laughs.

WEEVIL: See, there you go with that head-tilt thing. You know, you think you're all badass but whenever you need something it's all, [tilts his head] "hey."

VERONICA: Just be glad I don't flip my hair. I'd own you.

WEEVIL: So what can I do for you?

VERONICA: You can not get busted stealing 09er stuff and let me handle this poker thing.

Weevil chuckles.

VERONICA: Seriously. Why risk it? Give Duncan back his computer. Let me handle this.

WEEVIL: Could you, please, Veronica? Protect me from the big, bad, sweater vest-wearing rich boys?

VERONICA: I'm just trying to help.

WEEVIL: In what alternate universe does it look like I need your help, huh?

Veronica throws up her hands to say “Forget it” and starts to walk out.

WEEVIL: Of course, if I get my five grand, some of those guys will stop losing their stuff.

VERONICA: Why were you even there?

Weevil gets to his feet.

WEEVIL: I hear about a five thousand dollar card game played by idiots, I’m interested.


Logan is crouched down at his locker, his books on the floor. A foot steps on the top of the pile of books. The camera pans up to Logan as he looks up, then lets out a deep breath.

LOGAN: If you're asking me to the prom again, the answer is still no.

The foot belongs to Weevil who looms over him.

WEEVIL: I heard you got a card game going on. I’d like in on it.

Logan stands and faces him.

LOGAN: Yeah? I’m sure you would but I can’t.

WEEVIL: A thousand dollar buy in, right?

Logan shakes his head and walks away.

WEEVIL: I got the money so what’s the problem?

Logan pauses and then turns back to face Weevil.

LOGAN: Look, my only concern is property values going down if anyone sees you in my house without a leaf blower or a skimmer.

WEEVIL: You’re concerned? I'm the one who's gotta go up into the hills, all by myself. What if I run into a pack of you white boys, huh, on some clean, well-lit street? I could be bored to death.

LOGAN: Fine. It's a thousand dollars in ten crisp one hundred dollar bills.

Weevil smiles and turns to walk away.

LOGAN: We don't take food stamps.

WEEVIL: [playing surfer dude] Ouch! You got me.


WEEVIL: He thought I was just some dumb Mexican he could take for his cash.

VERONICA: Who do you think did it? Did Logan do it?

WEEVIL: Well, I know for a fact that nobody left the house with the money. He could’ve hidden it anywhere and he had an opportunity.


Music: Little Bit More by Tony C and the Truth.

LYRICS: That’s lovely
I thought she was a nasty girl, and I was right
She’s tying cherries up in knots with her tongue
I said I wish I may, I wish I might
Break me off a little some
Body left the lights on at the Motel 6
Baby came complete with a whole bag of tricks
Brought the cuffs, but she left the key
Showed me shit I ain’t never even seen
I did it one time and I liked it
So I did it two times got addicted
Had to do it three times couldn’t help it
And the number four time was the best
She showed me how it was supposed to go
Now give me a little bit more
Just a little bit more

Logan throws down a card in disgust. Connor rejoins the table.

CONNOR: Sean won again?

LOGAN: Well, you miss a lot when you go to the bathroom every five seconds.

SEAN: Tip money for the guy who washes my Jag.

DUNCAN: Dude, you don’t even have a license.

LOGAN: Dude, why does he need a licence when he has a [gestures a twirly moustache] chauffeur?

SEAN: Can it be considered an embarrassment of riches if I'm not embarrassed? Thoughts?

Weevil’s face makes it clear he thinks Sean is an asshole. Sean spots something outside.

SEAN: Hot chick, poolside, bikini.

DUNCAN: Hi-yoo!

Everybody except a somewhat dejected Logan gets up to race to the sliding doors and peer out.

CONNOR: Dude, is that your mom?

The pool is lit from the bottom and shines in the dark night. Lynn is framed against its light and the lights from the house. She’s in a bikini, crouched, testing the water.

SEAN: [offscreen] Here's to you, Mrs Echolls.

Sean drinks as Duncan, his nose pig-shaped pressed against the glass, nods drunkenly.

LOGAN: [offscreen] And all of you are going to rot in hell.

Lynn stands by the side of the pool and stretches.

WEEVIL: [offscreen] I’ll go to church every day if this is her nightly skinny dip.

Sean and Duncan continue to gaze at Lynn.

SEAN: Please jump off the diving board, please jump off the diving board.

Lynn dives into the pool from the side.

SEAN: [offscreen] Oh god, I love your mother.

The other three guys make similarly appreciative noises. Weevil looks back at Logan who is painfully acknowledging the inevitability of it. Weevil has the grace to be a little chagrined.



Veronica and Weevil walk down the hallway.

VERONICA: Duncan was at the window?

WEEVIL: Everybody but Logan was.

VERONICA: You’re sure?

WEEVIL: I wasn’t taking notes, but yeah. The money was in that house, somewhere. I would’ve torn the place apart if I didn’t think he’d call the cops.

Weevil walks off.


Female legs walk through the outer door. Keith looks up from his desk, hearing the clack of high-heels. Lynn Echolls appears in his door.

LYNN: I don’t have an appointment. I was hoping you were available.

KEITH: I am. I’ll clear that for you.

Keith, having risen, walks round and clears the chair in front of his desk.

KEITH: How are you, Lynn?

Lynn takes a seat.

LYNN: Honestly, I, uh, am a little freaked out. My husband gets a lot of disturbing letters from fans. He’s a very handsome man and people get obsessed.

Keith settles against the desk, next to her.

KEITH: Everybody has their cross to bear, huh?

LYNN: Well, this one’s different. I found this on our breakfast table in our house.

Lynn hands a letter to Keith. He reads it out loud.

KEITH: “Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater, had a wife and couldn’t keep her.”

LYNN: Can you find her and keep her away from us, I mean, obviously she’s crazy.

KEITH: Not necessarily a she. Do you keep all the threatening letters?

LYNN: I try to. Aaron throws them out but I thought we might need them.

KEITH: I’d like to see them if I may. Just to determine whether this is the first letter. Can I come by this afternoon?

LYNN: Perfect.

Lynn gets up and starts to leave, then turns back to face Keith.

LYNN: I know this goes without saying but discretion’s paramount.

KEITH: Of course.

LYNN: It’s been a long time, Keith.

KEITH: Well, our kids don’t seem to hang out together much anymore.

LYNN: Logan’s had a tough time with Lilly’s death.

KEITH: Understandably, but so has Veronica.

They nod at each other in understanding.


The room is darkened and Duncan is bent over some proofs on a lightbox. Veronica leans up next to him.

VERONICA: Good news? I might be able to get your laptop back.

DUNCAN: So what is this, like a case?

VERONICA: Yeah, like the case of the guy who’s too lazy to handwrite his journal like every normal person.

Duncan laughs. Veronica straightens up.

VERONICA: So, any details you can give me?

DUNCAN: You’re serious.

VERONICA: Were you a little surprised that Weevil was even there?

DUNCAN: As a matter of fact, I was.


Duncan arrives as Logan is counting the cash.

DUNCAN: Just want to let you know. I am in fact, feeling lucky.

CONNOR: What’s up, buddy?

He and Connor shake hands. Duncan approaches the table and Logan holds out his hand for the money. Duncan is surprised when he looks across the table.

DUNCAN: Hello.

Duncan hands his cash to Logan.

DUNCAN: You’re not Chester.

Weevil doesn’t respond. Duncan sits in the chair next to Logan who leans over to him.

LOGAN: Hey, don’t worry, okay. There’s no way in hell I’m letting Weevil walk out of here with our money.

Logan picks up a chocolate, offering it to Duncan. Duncan nods and opens his mouth to receive. Logan sticks it in his own mouth and Duncan snaps his mouth shut and nods at the joke. Logan puts a rubber band around the money roll, holds it up for everyone to see, and throws it into the empty chips box.


VERONICA: Do you think Logan invited Weevil there to steal his money?

DUNCAN: Invited him there to steal his money? No.


DUNCAN: [hesitates] Nothing.


Sean, Duncan and some others at one of the tables while Logan and a few others stand around them. They’re eating Chinese food with chopsticks.

SEAN: That's what he decides to steal? What's he going to do with a Faberge Egg?

LOGAN: Two words, man. Huevos Rancheros.

Everybody laughs appreciatively, except Duncan.

LOGAN: Hey, this is what I get for trying to be nice.

Logan slides in next to Duncan who looks daggers at him. To Logan’s consternation, he very publicly shows his displeasure with Logan by scrambling up from the table and stalking away. Logan follows him.

LOGAN: You got something to say to me, you say it.

DUNCAN: Did you take the money?

Logan doesn’t deny it and Duncan storms off. Logan follows again.

LOGAN: You were so drunk, you wouldn't know if Kris Kringle walked in and took the money.

DUNCAN: When did you get like this? It’s like you’ve been going over to the dark side, bit by bit, so slowly that I didn’t notice when you morphed into a full fledged jackass.

LOGAN: What? Then I’m a jackass?

DUNCAN: Yeah, and I’m over it.

Duncan leaves him standing again. Logan calls after him.

LOGAN: What, are we breaking up now? Huh? You want your best friend charm back?

Beneath the gibes, Logan is upset.


A servant places a star atop a large artificial tree. Lynn watches with Keith at her side.

LYNN: I try to make each Christmas as special as I can. Carlita, [points] bald patch.

CARLITA: Si, senora.

KEITH: Well, I went through the letters you gave me and I’m fairly certain that the stalker who left the letter inside had sent six previous letters.

Lynn is more intent on her decorations than on Keith.

LYNN: Is it bad?

KEITH: I’m very concerned that this stalker has escalated to home delivery.

LYNN: I have 200 guests coming here tomorrow night and now I have to deal with this?

KEITH: I recommend you cancel the party.

LYNN: I’ve hired plenty of security.

KEITH: Well, what about these people? You have ten people wandering freely around your house right now. Do you even know them?

LYNN: Of course. They're the help.

Aaron enters, in festive mood.

AARON: [singing] Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la…

He spots Keith.

AARON: Keith! Lynn didn’t get you over here about that letter, did she? I get letters like that all the time.

KEITH: Well, I still think it’s wise to use extra caution.

Aaron puts his arm round Keith’s shoulder and steers him to the door.

AARON: Well, I’ll keep that in mind. Look, I’m sorry we bothered you about this. It’s nothing. Trust me. I mean that sort of thing is perfectly normal.

He opens the double doors. On top of a large decoration gift box is a pumpkin. Aaron’s face has been carved into it and a knife is sticking deep into the forehead, with red food dye dripping down the face.

KEITH: Normal?

Aaron doesn’t know what to say.


Keith is back in his office, on the telephone.

KEITH: Oh, I was wondering if you did pumpkin carving. [pause] Yes, I'm aware that it's Christmas. [pause] You know, I already have a gingerbread house, but thank you.

He puts down the receiver and crosses through an entry on a list. Veronica enters.

VERONICA: Making a list and checking it twice. Is there a side job I should know about?

KEITH: Do we not live in California? Isn’t there produce available 365 days a year?

VERONICA: Well, at least now I know what I’m getting you.

KEITH: Hey, do you have a minute to run by the Echolls’ house for me? I need Lynn to sign a few papers.

Keith gives her an envelope which she ponders for a moment.


Veronica leaves with the envelope.


Veronica walks past the pool and into the pool house.


The place is in a mess. Logan is there, playing a video game. He doesn’t notice her at first.

LOGAN: Come on.

VERONICA: I love the smell of testosterone in the morning.

Logan looks over at her.

LOGAN: This is why I suggested attack dogs. But no, my mother wanted an alpaca.

Veronica gets the envelope out of her bag.

VERONICA: My father sent me with paperwork for your mom.

LOGAN: And you just wanted to say hi? It’s a good thing I didn’t have my slam book out.

VERONICA: I wanted to ask you about the game.

LOGAN: I’ve been meaning to ask you something.

Logan gives up on the video game and gets up from the chair, heading around the bar to the coffee maker.

LOGAN: Did your super-sleuth kit come with a decoder ring? Do you have a pen that writes with invisible ink? Never mind, don't care. Mush! Mush!

Logan gestures for her to leave. With exasperation, Veronica turns to go.

LOGAN: Hey, uh, wait. Hey!

Veronica pauses by the glass doors.

LOGAN: Maybe you should talk to Connor.

She is surprised and walks back towards Logan.

VERONICA: Larkin? Like, Connor Larkin?

LOGAN: He's a mortal, believe me. They just draw his abs on.

VERONICA: Is he doing another movie with your father?

LOGAN: You know, I don’t know if it’s so much a movie as a fifty million dollar crap pile.

VERONICA: Why would Connor steal the money? He’s a zillionaire.

LOGAN: Well, everybody’s got their issues, right?

Logan puts a finger against his nose and sniffs loudly.

LOGAN: Plus, the guy’s got something against me.


Music: Saturday Night by Ozomatli.

LYRICS: Dip, dive, socialize
Get ready for the Saturday night
Dip, dive, socialize
Get ready for the Saturday night
Dip (dip), dive, socialize
Get ready for the Saturday night
Dip, dive, socialize
Get ready
Uhh, imagine
Waking up, solidarity is evident
Harmony moves, time is irrelevant
People, the places, the message basic
From raise fists to sit-ins, resist the change
Peep the scenario, to the future bro
2020 and some number a year ago
People rose up, governments froze up
Worldwide block party, everybody shows up

The guys chat.

WEEVIL: So, what’s Catherine Zeta-Jones like?

SEAN: She likes to read to starving children and bake home-made scones, this according to “The Insider.”

CONNOR: I only met her in passing.

LOGAN: It’s not like your people, they don’t all know each other.

Weevil smiles and nods.

CONNOR: Dude, what’s up with that?

LOGAN: What?

CONNOR: That’s like the tenth racist thing you’ve said.

LOGAN: Oh my god! Does the soapbox come with the SAG card?

The others smirk.

CONNOR: Or is it because Rosie Perez thought you were a girl?

WEEVIL: What? Wait, wait. This I gotta hear.

CONNOR: No, no. When Logan was like ten, he was madly in love with Rosie Perez.

LOGAN: You so don’t know what you’re talking about, man.

CONNOR: Aaron arranged for her to come to his birthday party. It was like this big moment. She walks in with this gift and she’s like [mimicking Rosie] “Happy birthday, little Lauren.”

Everybody laughs, except Logan who is not amused.

LOGAN: That’s funny, really hysterical.

CONNOR: Oh, dude, she got you a purse!

That causes even more laughter.

SEAN: Connor, you really are like the son Aaron Echolls never had.

Logan shoots Sean a nasty glare as that one hits home. A cell phone goes off. Connor pulls it out of his pocket and stands.

WEEVIL: So wait, wait. Do you still have the purse?

Connor heads for the toilet amongst the fresh bout of laughter as Logan stares daggers at his back.


LOGAN: So unless his Pavlovian response to a downloaded ringtone is to urinate, then he was up to something. Or, his bladder's as small as his brain.

VERONICA: I would be more than happy to question him. I’ve a feeling he’s not the easiest person to get to, probably has a team of bodyguards to protect him from girls like me.

Logan is already using his cell.

LOGAN: I honestly don’t get it. [into the phone] Hey man. It’s, uh, Logan Echolls. Yeah. Hey, listen, can you get, uh, my friend…

Logan pauses to throw an ironic grin at Veronica, who rolls her eyes.

LOGAN: …a drive-on today to see Connor? Yeah, Veronica Mars. No, Veronica, “V” as in “virgin.”

Veronica grimaces.

LOGAN: Yeah.

He finishes the call.

LOGAN: There you go.

VERONICA: Look at you, all helpful.

LOGAN: Hey, your peskiness being unleashed on Connor brings me joy.

Veronica marches out. Logan follows.

LOGAN: Annoy, tiny blonde one. Annoy like the wind!

He gestures and blows as she goes, then turns back into the pool house, a more serious expression on his face.


A clapperboard indicates that “Vector Force Ten” is being filmed. It’s the 11th October according to the board and Jeffrey Ellis and Victor Hammer are cited on it. The clapperboard claps and drops as the girl holding it moves aside to show a helicopter.


The door of the helicopter opens and three commando types jump out, guns raised. They run off. Veronica watches.

DIRECTOR: All right, not bad, that’s a cut. Let’s set it up to go again please.

Veronica walks over to Connor who is inspecting his stomach.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I don't know if Connor's smile cost a million, but his six-pack abs are worth at least double that. Damn. I repeat, damn.

CONNOR: Too shiny?


CONNOR: My helicopter gets shot down mid-flight so I’m supposed to be sweaty but I don’t want to be gross.

VERONICA: I think you’re good.

CONNOR: So, uh, let me guess. You want to be an actress.

VERONICA: No, no. I’m just your standard issue fan. Logan told me you were at the poker game and…

CONNOR: Oh, yeah, that was fun.

VERONICA: I heard it got a little weird. Someone stole all the money?

CONNOR: Yeah. And I feel sorry for the kid who won, too. He was pretty cool. He was real, you know what I’m saying?

VERONICA: Any idea who took it?

CONNOR: It could have been anyone.

He gestures for her to sit and they sit on a couple of high director chairs. A hair/makeup person immediately starts work on Connor’s hair.

VERONICA: As I understand it, no one left the room and it wouldn’t have been possible for anyone to walk out with cash on them.

CONNOR: You know what? There was one guy who left the room with cash.


Music: CampFire by Starling Electric. A pizza delivery man stands at the door to the pool house. Duncan is struggling to get his wallet out of his pocket.

LOGAN: How can you play cards when you can’t even get your wallet out of your pocket?

Logan grabs the wallet in frustration.

CONNOR: And how does he keep winning hands?

DUNCAN: At least I take out of my wallet unlike some cheap ass people.

SEAN: If I didn’t know better, Duncan, I’d think you were speaking ill of me.

DUNCAN: Dude, you get dropped off in a town car and you can’t even chip in for beer.

SEAN: I happen to enjoy my ghetto brew affectation. Quenching.

DUNCAN: You enjoy being a tightwad.

While this is going on, Logan pays the delivery man.

LOGAN: Thanks for coming in.

PIZZAMAN: Thank you.

DUNCAN: Wait, how much did you tip him?

LOGAN: Dude, I don’t know, a couple bucks.

DUNCAN: Dude, the bill was fifty, that’s like four percent.

LOGAN: Look who’s got beer brains.

Weevil hands Duncan some cash.

WEEVIL: Here, man.

LOGAN: It's a kindler, gentler Weevil.

Duncan hands over some more money.

WEEVIL: It's Christmas, even for delivery guys.

LOGAN: Pa rum pum pum.


Connor is swishing a tea bag in cup.

CONNOR: You know, really, anyone could have gotten his hands on the money box. There were plenty of times. Bathroom breaks, beer breaks…

VERONICA: Lynn Echolls’ breaks.

CONNOR: Oh yeah, you heard about that one, huh?

He takes out the tea bag and throws it towards the rubbish. It misses. His cell rings.

CONNOR: Hm. Aw, it’s my agent. Can you excuse me?

Connor exits and Veronica gets her phone out and uses it.

VERONICA: Wallace, are you still in the attendance office?

She pauses, then rolls her eyes.

VERONICA: It’s a small favour. Teeny. Sean Friedrich’s home address. I want to send him a Christmas card.

Veronica walks as she talks, glancing back at Connor appreciatively from time to time.


Aaron plays tennis with his coach. Keith stands at the side.

KEITH: Hey. I was hoping we could have a quick conversation in private.

AARON: Brian’s cool. You can talk freely in front of him.

KEITH: Aaron, were you with anyone last Halloween that might be harbouring some resentment or ill will?

Aaron stops playing and heard towards Keith.


KEITH: Ah, I was thinking that the, you know, the Aaron’o’lantern had some significance. A spurned lover, perhaps?

AARON: I’m faithful to my wife. As a matter of fact I was with Lynn last Halloween at the Casablancas annual costume party.

KEITH: I’m just making sure, you understand.

AARON: Well, I appreciate that.

KEITH: Don’t want to stir up any muck.

AARON: Well, there’s no muck to stir.

Having just taken a drink from a bottle, Aaron throws it back into an ice bucket and returns to the tennis court. Keith looks sceptical.


Veronica stands outside a door with a large Christmas wreath on it. The door opens.

VERONICA: Mr Friedrich?

MR FRIEDRICH: Good afternoon.

VERONICA: Good afternoon. Is Sean home?

MR FRIEDRICH: He’s not available.

VERONICA: It will just be a minute.

MR FRIEDRICH: Sean is not permitted to receive visitors at home.


Mr Friedrich shuts the door.


A large gingerbread house is being decorated. The camera pulls back to show Keith in the kitchen of a caterer. The counters are full of Christmas goodies.

KEITH: I spoke with Sadie Casablancas and she said you catered her Halloween party last year.

MARTHA: I cater it every year.

KEITH: Anything special about this party?

MARTHA: I really can’t talk about the events we do. It’s in the contract.

KEITH: Is that so? You should know. I was told you had the bad taste to fire someone that night.

MARTHA: She did not say bad taste. Like I had a choice. Servers were restricted to the first floor as always. But one server snuck off upstairs to find an available bathroom. Aaron Echolls insisted that the girl be fired.

KEITH: Aaron wanted her fired because she was on the second floor of somebody else’s house?

MARTHA: That and someone else’s wife was on top of him.

KEITH: Wait. You’re saying Aaron Echolls was with another woman the night of the Halloween party?

MARTHA: While his wife was downstairs eating canapés.

Keith sighs.


Sean is dropped off by a chauffeur. Veronica runs to walk by his side.

VERONICA: Good morning.

SEAN: Maybe in your world. In mine, I am minus one Rolex. The criminal element found its way into my gym bag yesterday.

VERONICA: Why can’t we all just have nice things?

SEAN: Who behaves this way?

VERONICA: Maybe you missed that eye for an eye section in your Bible.

SEAN: Okay, this isn’t retribution, it’s thievery.

VERONICA: Weevil didn’t start this. It’s not his fault someone stole the money.

SEAN: Is that so?


It is at the end of the poker party and Weevil is insisting that the boys strip.

SEAN: This is ridiculous.

CONNOR: Yeah, I usually get six figures for this.

SEAN: What about you?

WEEVIL: I’m the one who got his money stolen.

SEAN: I’m thinking…crabs?

WEEVIL: I told your mother to clean up.

LOGAN: Guys! Play nice, huh?

WEEVIL: I’m playing nice. Believe me.


VERONICA: Why would Weevil steal his own money?

SEAN: You should really consider another profession. Perhaps he stole the money before he knew he was going to win. Right before Mrs Echolls got wet and wild, he was down to his last two chips.

VERONICA: I heard you weren’t doing so hot either.

SEAN: Yeah, but the difference is, I don’t need the money.

Sean walks into the school.


Aaron is there. Keith joins him, carrying two cups of coffee and a file under his arm.

KEITH: So I interviewed the caterer for the Casablancas’ Halloween party. Do you mind getting that for me?

Aaron grabs the file from under Keith’s arm.

KEITH: Thanks.

They sit.

KEITH: Apparently, you were caught in flagrante. Yeah. Yeah, my memory isn’t what it used to be either.

AARON: Listen, it didn’t mean anything.

KEITH: What’s it gonna mean?

AARON: I love my wife.

KEITH: Aaron, my job is to track down a potentially dangerous stalker. Your affair is, well, that’s your affair.

AARON: So you’re, you’re not gonna tell Lynn?

KEITH: If Lynn had hired me to find out if you were cheating on her, I would tell her. She hired me to protect you and that’s what I’m gonna do. But I’m gonna need your help. This is the guest list from the Casablancas’ Halloween party. Circle the name of who you slept with.

Aaron circles three names.

KEITH: Um, no, maybe I should clarify. Who you slept with at the Halloween party.

AARON: It was the night that I had the hard cider.


Aaron and Monica are having sex on a chaise longe. One of the serving staff walks in on them.


KEITH: That would be Monica Hadwin?

AARON: Yeah, but she’s not a stalker. She’s my agent’s wife.

KEITH: I’m sure she’s lovely. Mrs Casablancas gave me photos from the party. If you could point out Monica, and, uh, Sharon and Deborah.

AARON: There they are.

All three women are in one photo, all in costume.

KEITH: These three women are invited to your Christmas party. Maybe that’s not the best idea.

AARON: They’re not stalkers. They’re just…needy.



Monica is having a dress fitted.

MONICA: [to the fitter] Tighter. I didn’t lose five pounds for my health.

KEITH: So, Mrs Hadwin…

MONICA: Hadwin’s my maiden name. I didn’t want to be Monica Greenblatt.

KEITH: If there’s anything else you could tell me, it would be helpful to the Echolls?

MONICA: Well, what’s there to tell? Aaron’s a sexy charming movie star with an ass like an eighteen year old wrestler. He’s psycho-bait. [to the fitter] You know, can we go a couple of inches higher? It’s not a wake. [to Keith] You know who you should talk to is Deborah Daily. She’s always hovering around Aaron, sticking her fake boobs at him. [to the fitter] Okay, look. My life depends on looking as hot as possible in this. You’re gonna need to rally.

Monica’s husband walks in.

HARVEY: Always with an audience.

MONICA: He’s the Echolls’ private investigator. Aaron has a stalker.


MONICA: I’m providing him with the low-down on the ladies that, uh, aim higher than tennis pro.

HARVEY: You’d think at least one part of my day wouldn’t involve Aaron.

MONICA: [to Keith] Oh, before Aaron, his biggest client was a day player on “Boy Meets World.”

HARVEY: And before me, you sat in your underwear in a fish tank at the Standard.


Veronica sits on a low wall and stares at the 09er table where Duncan and Sean are sitting.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Breathe, Veronica. So what? Duncan's secret diary is unaccounted for. That doesn't mean the intimate details of our strange and steamy relationship will become public domain at Neptune High. Things don't always turn out for the worst. After all, it's Christmas. Despite what everyone else might think Santa knows I've been a good girl.

Wallace sits next to her.

WALLACE: You’re gonna hurt yourself, thinking that hard.

VERONICA: They say if you’re caught in a stare it means your mind needs a break.

WALLACE: Like, that mind ever takes a break. So, how’s the poker case coming?

VERONICA: Oh, it’s a Christmas miracle. I think I finally found a way to send my dad to camp.

At the 09er table, Duncan and Sean are having pizza. Logan walks over, grabs a piece of pizza and sits next to Duncan, who immediately gets up.

SEAN: Will you guys kiss and make up already?

Logan blows Duncan a kiss. Veronica approaches the table with Weevil following behind her.

VERONICA: So, good news, bad news. The good news is, I know who stole the money. The bad news is, I know who stole the money.

Logan grins.

VERONICA: Here’s my brilliant idea. Filled with holiday spirit, Logan will host another game.

LOGAN: Will I?

VERONICA: I’m thinking tonight.

LOGAN: Mm, no, my mother’s Christmas party is tonight.

VERONICA: Mm, so no BYOB. Here’s how it will go down.

Veronica sits next to Logan. He is surprised, inches away and casts a glance at Duncan, who is po-faced.

VERONICA: I’ll tell you who did it and you’ll buy me into the game. I’ll just take the place of whoever stole the money. Unless you still might think you want him around?

LOGAN: You know, even if you keep talking, it's not gonna happen.

VERONICA: Oh. I thought you guys might all want your stuff back.

WEEVIL: Yeah. If I get my five grand, some items could…

He helps himself to a piece of pizza.

WEEVIL: …magically reappear.

VERONICA: And if you think about it, anyone who doesn’t see this as a great offer is obviously the thief. Kind of a no-brainer.

Veronica stands.

LOGAN: Do you even know how to play poker?

VERONICA: No. [mock awe] But it must be really hard if all you guys play.


The Echolls Christmas party is in full swing, with guests still arriving. Lynn and Aaron meet Jake and Celeste Kane at the door.


Everyone who was at the original party is in their seats except Weevil. Logan is handing out the chips as Veronica enters.

LOGAN: Ho, ho...

He pauses dramatically, staring at Veronica.

LOGAN: …ho.

Veronica laughs in mock appreciation at his wit and drops her bag to the floor. Weevil picks it up.

WEEVIL: Allow me. You want a sodey-pop or somethin'?

VERONICA: You know, I think I want something with a little more kick.

Veronica grabs Duncan’s bottle of whisky from the table.

DUNCAN: Hey, no.

Veronica lifts the bottle to her lips and pours it straight down her throat. Duncan looks resigned but the others are impressed..

WEEVIL: Damn, girl!

VERONICA: Mmm. Iced tea?


VERONICA: How very musical theatre of you.

Logan stares at Duncan and smiles in wonder. Veronica walks around the table.

VERONICA: Duncan can’t remember the alphabet when he drinks let alone figure out 20% of the pizza bill.

Logan grabs the bottle to smell it. As Veronica explains, there are flashbacks to Duncan drumming drunkenly on the table, to him pressed up against the window watching Lynn and of him losing a hand.

VERONICA: [offscreen] No, he didn’t play drunk to steal your money, he played drunk to win your money. To no avail it seems.

Cut back to the present. Logan and Connor, supping on another cup of tea, listen with interest.

VERONICA: Oh, and Connor isn’t a drug addict. I know…

Cut to scenes from the poker party, Connor going to the bathroom, Connor on set, taking out the tea bag.

VERONICA: [offscreen] …the constant bathroom visits. He wasn’t going for a fix. He was going because of the Sun Tea.

Cut back to the present. Connor looks down in his cup. Duncan leans over to do the same.

VERONICA: It’s that diuretic wrestlers down when they need to make weight or that actors use before they’re half naked on the cover of “Vanity Fair”.

Duncan laughs and Connor shrugs.

VERONICA: And then, there's bachelor number three. And he's got it all.

Logan grins.

VERONICA: Motive. Access. Looks like an evildoer, smells like an evildoer…

Logan rolls his eyes.

VERONICA: …but surprisingly...not so much. Weevil cleared him.

Cut to the mess in the pool house when Veronica visited.

VERONICA: [offscreen] He told me he searched the room but didn’t go through it as much as he wanted. When I saw it, it looked like it had been raided by the FBI.

Cut back to the present.

VERONICA: If Logan took the money and hid it, he wouldn't have had to tear the room apart looking for it. So, two left. The boy from the wrong side of the tracks and the boy who lives in the most expensive house in the 09er zip.

Veronica dumps her bag and takes off her coat.

VERONICA: So, do you want to hear how Sean did it? Ah, he’s a crafty little bugger.

Cut to the poker party. Duncan, Logan and Weevil are at the door, dealing with the pizza delivery man. Sean grabs the money and stuffs it in one of his wide mouthed beer bottles. It is collected by the servants and then by Sean the next day who cycles off.

VERONICA: [offscreen] Sean didn’t bring the Big Mouth Joes because he’s cheap. He knew he couldn’t leave with the money, so he didn’t. What happens to garbage in the 09er zip? He just waited for the recycling to go out the next day and did a little garbage picking.

Cut back to the present.

LOGAN: Sean? What? The guy has a chauffeur drive him to school everyday. Why would he need to steal?

VERONICA: Funny story. When I went to Sean’s, I couldn’t help but wonder…

Cut to Mr Friedrich opening the door to Veronica.

VERONICA: [offscreen] …what was his dad doing at home, three in the afternoon, dressed in a suit instead of being at work?


VERONICA: [offscreen] Unless he was at work.

Cut back to the present.

VERONICA: I have to say, I was a bit miffed. I was this close to being able to say the butler did it. But no, it was the butler's son.

SEAN: [bitterly] That doesn't prove anything.

VERONICA: Well, that proves that you’re a liar and the background check I ran on you proves that you've got a bit of a shoplifting problem. You are really bad at it.

Sean looks around the table. Weevil smiles softy, Connor and Duncan look disgusted and Logan looks disappointed. Sean gives a nervous laugh. He stands and turns to Weevil.

SEAN: I can totally pay you. I have the money, I can get it right now.

Logan stands as does Weevil.

WEEVIL: All right, why don’t we take a walk so we can discuss a few things, huh?

SEAN: But you see I can pay you, see, there’s really no need for physical violence.

WEEVIL: Uh huh.

Weevil escorts Sean out of the pool house. Logan stares after them. Veronica sits in Sean’s seat.

VERONICA: Mind if I deal first?

Duncan extends an inviting hand. Veronica grabs the cards and fans them on the table with one smooth move. Duncan takes notice. She shuffles the deck professionally. Logan looks at her and grins. Connor and Duncan are both awed.


At the party, Lynn, Aaron, Jake and Celeste are in a group, chatting.

CELESTE: It’s this great winery, just outside of Ojai.

JAKE: Right, it’s ninety miles but you feel like you’re a world away.

Aaron and Monica are eying each other across the room.

LYNN: Oh, it sounds perfect.

AARON: Great. So next fall we’ll all go for the crush.

LYNN: Oh, I’m so excited.


Keith is working his way through some papers and comes upon the pictures from the Casablancas party. He notices some carved pumpkins behind one of the women.


The piano is playing and Aaron and Lynn stand around it listening with other guests. The pianist finishes and everyone claps.

LYNN: Make sure you stay right here for nine o’clock. I have a big holiday surprise for everyone.

Lynn moves away as Aaron and a girl the other side of the piano make eye contact as she nibbles on a large olive.


Keith puts on his coat while holding the phone to his ear.

MARTHA: Elite Catering. This is Martha.

KEITH: The girl you fired from the Casablancas’ party. What was her position?

MARTHA: She was a le trancheur.

KEITH: What does a le trancheur do?

MARTHA: Uh, they’re carvers, sir.

KEITH: Carving. Can you tell me what she looks like?


One of the servers at the party is the same one that came upon Aaron and Monica at the Casablancas house. She glances at Aaron, now without his jacket, laughing in conversation with Lynn and Celeste.


Music: Little Drummer Boy by the Dandy Warhols.

LYRICS: Pa rum pum pum pum
A new born king to see
Pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts to bring
Pa rum pum pum pum

Veronica wins what is obviously another big pot. She is cleaning up.

VERONICA: A little impressed, aren’t you?

CONNOR: You must be really unlucky in love.

Veronica chokes a laugh.

LOGAN: Okay. I say we take a little break. Let the cosmos realign because obviously something’s up.

WEEVIL: I can use something to eat.

They get up from the table.


Weevil and Veronica fill their plates from a buffet table.

WEEVIL: Seriously, don't I just blend right in? Come on. Where's Weevil?

VERONICA: I think we both stand out a bit.

WEEVIL: Yeah, right. You are a natural at this. Look at you.

Veronica spots Jake excusing himself from Celeste, Aaron and Lynn.

JAKE: I’ll be right back.

VERONICA: Will you hold this for a sec?

She hands her plate to Weevil and follows. One of the waiters passes Weevil with something scrumptious but because both his hands are full, he can do nothing.

WEEVIL: You’re killing me!

Cut to the bar. Logan is already there, Duncan joins him. They both lean against it.

DUNCAN: So…I, uh, you know.

LOGAN: Yeah.

DUNCAN: Sorry about the whole…

LOGAN: I’ve done plenty of other things.

They both chuckle.

DUNCAN: So, we’re cool.

LOGAN: Yeah.

They smile. Duncan slaps Logan on the arm and turns to the bar.

DUNCAN: Bartender.


Keith is trying to get past security.


KEITH: Look, I’m not on the list. If you could just tell Aaron that Keith Mars is here.

SECURITY MAN: Mars, Mars. Not seeing you, sir.

KEITH: Will you listen to me? This is an emergency.


Jake is there. Veronica enters and closes the door behind her.

VERONICA: I’ve got a question for you.

JAKE: Hello, Veronica.

VERONICA: Does your head of security make it a habit of taking photographs of high school students and drawing bull’s eyes over their faces or am I special?


As security deals with some newly-arrived guests, Keith takes the opportunity to slip past.


Veronica and Jake are still in the library.

VERONICA: Clarence Wiedman took pictures of me. Surveillance pictures. He drew a target over my face and sent them to my mother. Why?

JAKE: You’re not making any sense.


JAKE: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

VERONICA: Why would you want my mother out of town?

JAKE: I didn’t.

VERONICA: Why didn’t she tell me or my father about the pictures instead of hiding them in a safe deposit box?

JAKE: [shouting] I don’t know.

They’ve moved to the door. Jake wants to leave but Veronica blocks his way. She stares at him.

VERONICA: I don’t believe you.

Keith opens the glass door from outside into the library and sees Veronica as she steps aside from the door to let Jake leave. Keith pauses. Jake walks out, followed by Veronica. Keith steps into the room. At the party, Jake storms towards Celeste who is in mid-conversation with Aaron and Lynn.

LYNN: …that’s a surprise, that’s-

Jake grabs Celeste’s arm.

JAKE: What did you do?


JAKE: What did you do?

CELESTE: Jake, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Veronica watches, as does Duncan, standing behind her.

JAKE: Don’t lie to me Celeste. What did you do?

CELESTE: Jake, stop it.

JAKE: Get your coat, we’re leaving.

Jake steers Celeste away, having forgotten that Celeste didn’t arrive in a coat. Lynn mouths “Oh my” at Aaron.

AARON: Well, time for us to get a drink.

Duncan glances at Veronica and then follows his parents. Lynn walks up to the piano and rings a bell.

LYNN: Everyone, if you could just follow the Santas outside, I have a special surprise for you.

The waiters ring bells and lead people out the front door. Keith wanders through the crowd.

AARON: Brr. I’m gonna go grab my jacket.

LYNN: Okay.

Outside there are carollers in old style clothes. Inside, Aaron has stopped to talk to Monica. Lynn runs up and grabs Aaron’s arm.

LYNN: Come on, you two, you’ll miss the surprise.

AARON: And we know how much she loves a surprise.

Aaron starts to put on his jacket and turns to follow Lynn. The server from the Casablancas’ party races up to him.

WAITRESS: You don’t even care, do you?

AARON: I’m sorry?

WAITRESS: Sleep with me, you say you love me.

AARON: Lynn, I don’t know who this person is, I swear.

Keith spots them and runs towards them.

AARON: I don’t know you.

The woman swings back her arm to stab Aaron with some force. There are screams. The carollers wassail in snowfall outside.

LYRICS: Here we come a’wassailing among the leaves so green.

Keith tackles the woman to the ground.

LYRICS: Here we come a’wandering so fair to be seen.

Aaron staggers back as blood pours from the side of his abdomen.

LYRICS: Love and joy come to you and to you your wassail too.

Logan is distraught. Lynn runs to Aaron as he collapses into a chair.

LYRICS: And god bless you…

LYNN: Somebody call an ambulance.

LYRICS: …and send you a happy new year.

An ice pick lies on the floor. Logan is on his cell.

LYRICS: And god send you a happy new year.

Aaron is losing consciousness. Veronica is stunned. The crowd outside, ignorant of events, claps when the carollers finish. The carollers go into another chorus.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: What was I thinking? Christmas in Neptune is, was and always will be about the trappings; the lights and the tinsel they use to cover up the sordidness, the corruption. No Veronica, there is no Santa Claus.

As Veronica thinks, the camera pulls back on the snow machines creating the fake winter wonderland scene. End. Executive producer: Rob Thomas (who is a god and, by the way, Dianne Ruggiero is a frigging goddess).