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1.16 Betty and Veronica

Written by: Diane Ruggiero
Directed by: Michael Fields

Original Air Date: 29 March, 2005
Transcribed by Inigo

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Previously on Veronica Mars…

Veronica watches from her car as Jake Kane knocks on the door of room 6 at the Camelot motel in the pilot.

VERONICA: [offscreen] What do you think Mom was doing at…

Veronica eats dinner with her father in 103 Meet John Smith.

VERONICA: …the Camelot motel with Jake Kane?

KEITH: Veronica. Please.

LEO: [offscreen] I know all about…

Veronica and Leo talk in 114 Mars vs Mars.

LEO: …your dad and the murder investigation.

VERONICA: No you don’t. Lilly Kane was my best friend.

LEO: A guy confessed. He said...

Veronica visits Koontz.

LEO: …he did it.

VERONICA: You’re dying, Abel. You didn’t kill Lilly Kane. You’re just somebody’s patsy.

VERONICA: Did you…

Cut back to Veronica and Leo.

VERONICA: …know that the head of security…

Flash to Clarence Wiedman going into his office in 111 Silence of the Lambs and then back to Veronica and Leo in 114 Mars vs Mars.

VERONICA: …at Kane Software was the one that got Abel Koontz arrested?

Cut to Meg and Veronica in 115 Ruskie Business.

MEG: I think I have a secret admirer.

Cut to Veronica at the dance, nodding to Meg that it’s okay that her admirer is Duncan.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: J. Geils was right, love stinks.

Veronica pulls up at the Sagebrush Cantina in Barstow, enters the bar and finds Lianne.

VERONICA: Mom?

Veronica stumbles while trying to hold up her mother. She sees Clarence Wiedman. End previously.

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

Music: Pick Up the Phone by the Notwist (lyrics here to save space). Veronica enters her room and looks round frantically and thoroughly.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I searched for my mother for the better part of a year. I doubt that Clarence Wiedman just happened to find her the same night. He didn’t know where to find my mother. He knew where to find me.

She looks down in her waste paper basket and picks out a box, which she examines.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I never donated to the Wildlife Alliance, yet I kept that stupid pencil sharpener they sent.

Veronica throws down the box and grabs a panda-shaped pencil sharpener from her desk. Veronica examines it and then breaks it. There is a listening device inside. Veronica stares at it..

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Wiedman was listening when I booked my flight to Barstow. I should have left right from the dance but I didn’t want my mother to see me for the first time in a year looking like an extra from “Valley Girl.” It seemed important at the time.

She takes the device out from where it is clipped inside the panda’s head. End music: Pick Up the Phone by the Notwist.

FLASHBACK: INT – SAGEBRUSH CANTINA – DAY.

Lianne is trying to get away from Veronica.

VERONICA: I know who’s doing it Mom, I know who was blackmailing us.

Veronica struggles with Lianne and sees Wiedman..

VERONICA VOICEOVER: He had to have seen me. He knows I’ve made contact.

Wiedman exits the bar. Music: You and Your Kind by the Brown Mountain Lights (lyrics here to save space). Lianne stumbles and knocks over a chair.

LIANNE: I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine. Honey, just please go. Please go, baby.

Veronica directs her mother onto the bench seat of a small table. Veronica goes round the table to the other side.

VERONICA: I have been searching for you for a year. I’m not going anywhere.

Veronica grabs her mother and hugs her hard. Lianne hugs back.

LIANNE: [whispering] Oh, god, I’ve missed you so much.

Lianne pulls out of the hug.

LIANNE: But this is bad. This is very bad, you shouldn’t be here.

VERONICA: [tearfully] Neither should you.

LIANNE: I’m trying, though, I’m trying to protect you and I can’t. I can’t. It’s just so hard.

Lianne weeps in Veronica’s arms. Veronica calls out to the waitress wiping a table.

VERONICA: Can we get some coffee over here please?

She nods and goes off to get the coffee.

VERONICA: It’s okay. Mom.

Veronica lifts Lianne’s head to look at her.

VERONICA: Mom, everything is gonna be okay.

Lianne smiles hopefully through her tears. End music: You and Your Kind by the Brown Mountain Lights.

END FLASHBACK.

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

Veronica returns to the present and the chaos of her searched room. She still has the bug.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Clarence Wiedman was listening when I booked my flight to Barstow yesterday morning.

Veronica has put the bug on her desk and holds a statue of a Polynesian-like man, ready to crush it.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I can only hope he’s listening now.

Veronica pauses as she has a thought.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Or maybe, I want him listening.

She puts the statue down and replaces the bug in the head of the panda. She reassembles the sharpener and places it on her desk. She breathes heavily.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL (NHS), GYM – DAY.

A basketball rises and descends into the hoop. Music: A Chorus Line by Ultramagnetic MC’s (lyrics here to save space). It was Wallace’s shot.

WALLACE: Now that was just pretty.

He is practicing in the gym. Another lad fetches the ball and returns it to him.

WALLACE: Respect the jumper, Jack. Respect the jumper. The kid’s got range.

JACK: Enjoy this moment, ‘cause it’s over now.

WALLACE: Got space and opportunity.

Wallace bounces the ball, ducks and dives and passes Jack, sinking another hoop.

WALLACE: [lording it over Jack] Ooo. Is that your jock back there?

Veronica is sitting on the floor of the gym, watching and eating an apple. Some books are spread out in front of her.

VERONICA: Do you need to jump back and kiss yourself? ‘Cause I can wait.

Wallace grimaces at her and then he and Jack knock knuckles.

WALLACE: Good practice, good practice.

Wallace and Jack head for the changing room.

INT – NHS, HALLWAY – DAY.

Veronica and Wallace walk down the corridor. Wallace is being feted by passing jocks who Wallace acknowledges as they walk.

BOY#1: Yo, bro!

The next high-fives him.

BOY#2: Wallace, my man!

BOY#3: Hey, what’s up Wallace.

End music: A Chorus Line by Ultramagnetic MC’s.

WALLACE: Good game.

BOY#4: Wassup, player?

WALLACE: Um-um-um hmm.

Wallace and the boy pound fists. Veronica sees all this with increasing amusement.

VERONICA: [putting on her best fan girl voice] They like you! They really like you!

A girl is walking towards them, emitting the smouldering hots for Wallace.

NADINE: Hi Wallace.

WALLACE: Hi.

Wallace turns appreciatively to watch her walk on by.

VERONICA: Who’s the hoochie?

WALLACE: Nadine? She’s in our grade. See, you need to socialise more, that’s your problem.

VERONICA: [as if receiving a revelation] Wait. That’s my problem?

WALLACE: Yeah, I know. This school hasn’t always been great to you.

VERONICA: The gentleman does have the gift for the understatement.

WALLACE: I-I’m just saying…

BOY#5: Huuhh!

A big lad walks straight into Wallace. This is a fun thing and Wallace returns the favour.

WALLACE: Huuh! I’ve met a few people around here. They seem pretty cool. Maybe this school isn’t as bad as you think it is.

They round a corner and Veronica runs straight into the sight of Duncan and Meg. Duncan is holding Meg’s hand against his chest and their heads are close together as they lean and coo against the lockers.

VERONICA: [bothered] They seem friendly.

She heads for her locker opposite the love birds as Wallace looks back at them. There is a tap on her shoulder.

CLEMMONS: Veronica. My office. Now.

VERONICA: I love this school.

INT – NHS, CLEMMONS OFFICE – DAY.

Clemmons closes the door.

CLEMMONS: When we arrived this morning, we discovered that Polly was gone.

VERONICA: Missing or pthwt?

Veronica makes the universal cut-throat sign for dead. Clemmons, as he heads behind his desk, is a little appalled.

CLEMMONS: Missing!

VERONICA: Someone stole our mascot?

She throws up her hands.

VERONICA: Well, lets get to it. You [air quotes] know it was me and I know it wasn’t and now I’m suspended or expelled, tarred, feathered-

CLEMMONS: Excuse me?

VERONICA: I didn’t take the bird.

CLEMMONS: I’m not accusing you. I’m asking for your help.

He leans over her.

CLEMMONS: I want you to find Polly.

Veronica can’t quite believe her ears.

Opening credits.

INT – NHS, CLEMMONS OFFICE – CONTINUING.

Veronica is open-mouthed as she listens.

CLEMMONS: [very serious] You know how out of control the rivalry between Neptune and Pan High is. It used to be toilet paper on trees but in recent years things have… [with heavy sigh] escalated. If this matter isn’t resolved…

He looks at Veronica who at this point is finding it difficult not to smirk]

CLEMMONS: …quickly and discretely…

Veronica manages to pull it together and nod sympathetically.

CLEMMONS: …things could get ugly. We don’t really have the money to hire a professional…

He sits at his desk.

CLEMMONS: …but I have noticed that you have certain…skills plus as I understand it, you work for your dad in some capacity.

VERONICA: I do.

CLEMMONS: And what do you normally charge for something like this?

VERONICA: A lot. Yeah, it's gonna set you back.

CLEMMONS: How far back?

VERONICA: Personal letter of recommendation. I'll write it, you'll sign it. My own parking space and...a different locker, preferably in the east hall.

CLEMMONS: The letter and the locker, fine. But you're not getting your own parking space.

VERONICA: Can you get me out of PE?

CLEMMONS: No.

VERONICA: How about a few excused absences?

CLEMMONS: How about one?

VERONICA: I'm thinking three.

CLEMMONS: Miss Mars...

VERONICA: You're the one with the missing bird.

CLEMMONS: Fine. Two.

Veronica holds out her hand to shake on the deal.

CLEMMONS: And this is, obviously, a confidential matter.

VERONICA: [confidentially] It’ll be our little secret.

With a barely disguised grin, Veronica rises and heads for door. Just before exiting, she turns and gives Clemmons a “there, there, I’ll take care of it” nod of her head.

INT – NHS, HALLWAY – DAY.

Wallace and Veronica are at their lockers. Veronica’s new locker is next but one to Wallace’s. She is sorting through some books in her locker. Wallace is leaning back against the lockers, eating a biscuit.

BOY#6: [offscreen] Good game, Wallace.

Wallace acknowledges the praise. Jack heads towards him from the top of the screen. He shouts as he passes by.

JACK: Yo, Wallace! You hear some guys from the Pan High stole our parrot? We will not take this lying down.

WALLACE: They stole Polly?

JACK: Gone.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I guess the secret’s out.

VERONICA: And this matters to you?

WALLACE: I have plenty of free time as an office aide. Me and Polly, we bonded. It’ll eat right from my hand.

BOY#7: [offscreen] What’s up Wallace?

A hand comes out of the crowd to pat him. Wallace beams.

WALLACE: I must say, I’m a little touched. You picked the locker next to mine.

VERONICA: This is prime real estate. Wallace Fennel adjacent?

From out from his locker, Wallace pulls a box, about the size of a shoe box, decorated in school colours.

WALLACE: I’m telling you. This school is so much better than my old one. Look at this.

Wallace opens the box and shows Veronica what is inside. There is a small stuffed frog and some biscuits.

VERONICA: Wow, your own cookies?

WALLACE: Snickerdoodles. And they just appear in my locker, just like that. Open my locker, bam. Homemade…

Yet another student high fives Wallace as he passes.

WALLACE: …cookies.

Veronica laughs. She is enjoying his pleasure.

WALLACE: And that’s not all.

VERONICA: [“can it get any better?” mode] A peeled grape?

Veronica slams her locker shut and looks down at the words on the box as Wallace points them out.

WALLACE: “Go Wallace. We love you. You rock.”

Wallace, keeping hold of the box, slams his locker shut and they move down the hallway.

VERONICA: Wow. A snack and an ego stroke. I wish I was a baller.

DUNCAN: [offscreen] Great game the other night, man.

Duncan, holding Meg’s hand, is intent on congratulating Wallace. Meg is not so comfortable with the moment.

DUNCAN: Eighteen points, eight assists.

WALLACE: On the streets, we call those dimes.

VERONICA: Streets! You live on the corner of Pleasant Valley and Marigold.

Wallace takes a little umbrage at Veronica’s sabotaging of his cred.

MEG: Hey, did you cut your hair?

Veronica is still smiling when Meg asks this but her eyes travel down to Meg’s hand in Duncan’s and both the smile and the mood freezes.

VERONICA: No, I’m growing it out.

Veronica’s reaction has not escaped Meg and she quickly disentangles her hand from Duncan’s.

MEG: Wel- anyway, it looks great.

VERONICA: Thanks.

DUNCAN: We gonna beat Pan, man?

WALLACE: Bet on it.

Duncan gives Wallace a handshake and the couple moves on.

VERONICA: Can I just do something?

Veronica pats Wallace hard on the back. Wallace laughs despite the biscuit filling his mouth.

VERONICA: Why does everyone keep doing that to you? Seriously, it’s like you’re made of velour or something.

From behind them, three of the basketball team run by.

BASKETBALL TEAM MEMBER: Wallace, you coming or what?

Wallace pauses in their stroll and turns to Veronica.

WALLACE: I was gonna go hang out with some of the guys on the team at lunch.

VERONICA: [sarcastically] And ruin the sanctity of our lunch duo? You know that’ll send me crying to the bathroom.

WALLACE: Come hang out.

VERONICA: [sceptical] At the cool jock table? Me?

WALLACE: Come on. They’re all right.

VERONICA: Thanks, but I have other plans.

Wallace nods, a little sadly, but not surprised. He walks backwards away from her, leaving her isolated amongst the hubbub of the school hallway.

EXT – PAN HIGH – DAY.

Another school, another planet. Veronica is dressed in a dusky pink jacket, white scoop-neck tee-shirt and a short pink plaid skirt. The hair, it is curly. She is climbing some outside steps.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Pan High, the Un-Neptune. Just 15 miles away but when those miles are heading inland, there are no yacht clubs and no five million dollar homes with coastal views. The parking lot is full of American-made cars from the nineties and the vending machines don’t carry Orangina.

INT – PAN HIGH, CAFETERIA – DAY.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: People here hate Neptune as much as I do.

Veronica, carrying a tray, looks around the cafeteria.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Go to any high school in America and you can tell who the popular kids are.

GOTH STUDENT: Who’s that?

VERONICA VOICEOVER: They travel in packs of the biggest, the shiniest, and the prettiest.

Veronica spots the jocks and one of the jocks spots her.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: And much like wolves, they’re always on the lookout for new meat.

Having found her target, Veronica adopts a more girlie demeanour and pauses to show she’s looking for somewhere to sit. The jock doesn’t disappoint.

RICHIE: Got some room over here!

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Whoever said it’s a man’s world had no idea how easy it is sometimes to be a girl.

Veronica smiles as one of the jocks leaves to make room for her. The jock who called her overstands as she comes over and sits down opposite him.

VERONICA: I was doing the first day scout. Where to sit, where not to sit.

RICHIE: This is a good choice, I promise.

He holds out his hand.

RICHIE: I’m Richie.

Veronica shakes his hand and notices that his jacket is marked with the number thirteen.

VERONICA: Uh-oh. Thirteen. Is it my unlucky day?

RICHIE: Hardly! It’s your first day and you’re already at the cool table. This is Curtis.

A black guy in another jock jacket, sitting next to Richie, shakes her hand.

CURTIS: How you doing?

Richie points to the guy sitting next to Veronica.

RICHIE: And that’s Zeke.

ZEKE: Hey.

VERONICA: Hi. I’m… [long pause] Betty. So, you guys all play basketball?

RICHIE: Curtis and I do.

ZEKE: I’m team manager. Which is like being on the team.

RICHIE: Which is like being near the team.

VERONICA: I love basketball. I-I’m kind of a freak when it comes to sports. I totally get into it.

RICHIE: Are we talking face paint?

VERONICA: Face painting, hair streaked the colour of the school. At my old school, I was Horny.

Richie double-takes and Curtis chokes on his drink.

VERONICA: [hurriedly] We were the Rhinos. I was the mascot.

RICHIE: And what school was that?

VERONICA: Riverdale.

Richie doesn’t get it (note: Riverdale is the High School from the Archie comics which featured characters called Betty, Veronica and Richie).

RICHIE: Never heard of it. Oh, but hey, did you guys hear? Someone stole the Neptune parrot.

The crowd around the table react excitedly.

VERONICA: Parrot? And you thought rhino was weird?

ZEKE: Well, they’re the Pirates. So, you know, their mascot’s a parrot. It’s…yeah.

RICHIE: Whoever stole it is my hero. Neptune High sucks. Believe me.

VERONICA: [genuinely] Oh, I do.

RICHIE: We beat them every year.

ZEKE: That was then, this is now. I’ll tell you, that Fennel kid is amazing.

VERONICA: [momentarily dropping out of character for pride] He is? Really?

RICHIE: We’re not gonna lose. I guarantee it. All right? We got something special up our sleeve for Neptune.

KID: Hey Richie!

A younger boy runs up to the table.

KID: You’re not gonna believe this. They got our goat!

There are cries of “What?” and the like from around the table.

RICHIE: What?

KID: Neptune, man, they stole Billy! It’s so on!

The kid runs off again as the table steams at the news.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: A day in the life of a human google. Always in search mode. One moment tracking down the absurd, parrots and goats, metaphors for a school pride I don’t possess…

INT – SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT – DAY.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: …and an hour or two later, going after the appalling, the murderer of a teenage girl. Sheriff Lamb takes an annual marlin fishing expedition. I can’t let the opportunity go to waste.

Veronica finishes off one cup and pours herself another cup of coffee.

FLASHBACK: INT – SAGEBRUSH CANTINA – DAY.

Music: Rabbit by the Fire Marshals of Bethlehem (lyrics here to save space). Lianne’s coffee is being poured into a cup.

WAITRESS: Just let me know if you need something else.

Lianne shakily slurps down a gulp. She puts her cup down with both hands and turns to her daughter, grinning ruefully.

LIANNE: How’s my makeup?

She laughs before responding more sombrely.

LIANNE: I wish you weren’t seeing me like this.

VERONICA: You should have seen me last night. I was wearing blue eye shadow. We had an eighties dance at school.

LIANNE: Oh, that sounds fun. Was that fun?

Veronica doesn’t lose her stricken look.

LIANNE: Well, I guess things don’t just stop, do they. [softly] There’s still birthdays and dances and Christmas.

VERONICA: No, there’s really not.

LIANNE: [giggles] You remember that time you wanted to shave your hair like Cyndi Lauper?-

VERONICA: [earnestly] I know about you and Jake Kane. I wanna know what was between the two of you. Were you so adamant that dad not go after Jake for Lilly’s murder because you still had feelings for him?

LIANNE: Oh Veronica.

VERONICA: Tell me.

LIANNE: Jake was innocent.

VERONICA: How do you know that?

LIANNE: I just know that.

VERONICA: Like in your heart because you love him?

Veronica’s eyes are filled with unshed tears and her voice nearly breaks.

LIANNE: [matter-of-factly] No. Because I was with him at the time of the murder. We were in a hotel room at the Neptune Grand.

Shocked, Veronica takes a deep breath and falls back against the bench.

END FLASHBACK.

INT – SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT – DAY.

Veronica stands with her coffee. Leo comes up behind her.

LEO: Just so you know, in my mind that daydream was about me.

VERONICA: Oh yeah?

LEO: I was a little surprised you had me in full armour but, whatever.

He laughs.

LEO: So what can I do for you?

VERONICA: Ah, I need a favour. A big one.

Veronica leads Leo to a more private spot. Leo glances back at his colleagues.

LEO: [begging] Please say you need me to take care of a parking ticket for you.

VERONICA: I need you to get me the interrogation tapes from Lilly’s murder investigation.

Leo glances out again and sighs heavily.

INT – MARS INVESTIGATIONS (MI) – NIGHT.

Keith comes out of the kitchenette with a cup of something hot that he is stirring. Veronica is doing the filing.

KEITH: You got a weird call yesterday. The bank wanted to let you know you were overdrawn. I thought you were squirreling away all that college money.

VERONICA: Must be a mistake. Forgot a decimal or something? Or I blew it on dames and horses.

KEITH: You’d tell me if there was a problem, right?

VERONICA: I tell you everything.

Keith smiles and pats her on the shoulder. He heads for his office.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Maybe not everything.

Keith turns on his way and walks backwards from her before going into the office.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: There are some things you’re better off not knowing.

FLASHBACK: SAGEBRUSH CANTINA – DAY.

Music: Nothing Is Wrong by the Brown Mountain Lights (lyrics here to save space). Veronica and Lianne are still at the table.

VERONICA: Guess you couldn’t tell Dad you were in a hotel with your ex.

LIANNE: It wasn’t like that.

VERONICA: It doesn’t matter what it was like, Mom.

LIANNE: I just went there to talk to him.

VERONICA: On the one day all the Starbucks were closed.

LIANNE: Well, it had to be in private. [a little slurred] Everything’s just not so easy to explain, Veronica.

VERONICA: [impatient] Could you just try? Do you think maybe I could have some real, actual answers? You left us.

LIANNE: Well, a few days before, I was in your room putting up the laundry. Your phone rang, the machine got it. I heard Celeste’s voice.

VERONICA: Celeste Kane was leaving me a message?

LIANNE: She said she had important information involving me and her husband. [snorts] Things she thought you ought to know. She didn’t want you seeing Duncan. So I called Jake, I met him at the Neptune Grand and I told him to tell his wife to back off. [off Veronica’s look, whispering, urgently] I was protecting you.

END FLASHBACK.

INT – MI – NIGHT.

A teary-eyed Veronica slams the filing drawer closed and swivels around towards the exit.

INT – PAN HIGH – DAY.

Richie and Zeke are arguing on their way into the cafeteria.

RICHIE: Uncool, Zeke, uncool.

ZEKE: It’s not like that. See, now, no matter what, after the game, I’m gonna be happy.

They pass “Betty” who clocks their conversation.

VERONICA: What’s wrong, guys?

RICHIE: Well hey, Betty. I just learned that Zeke here bet $200 on Neptune.

ZEKE: Richie! They’re 14 and 6, we’re 6 and 14. I mean, there’s no line. I’d be crazy to pass this up.

Richie sits down.

RICHIE: They were favoured last year and we beat them.

ZEKE: Okay, all I’m saying…

Zeke sits next to him.

ZEKE: …is I’m not the only one. There’s a bookie that set up camp at Rest Stop 15…

Veronica also pulls up a chair to continue listening.

ZEKE: …and from what I hear, everyone from Neptune and everyone here are gonna go out there and put money on Neptune.

VERONICA: What’s Rest Stop 15?

RICHIE: It’s halfway between here and Neptune. It’s like a cross between Inspiration Point and Tijuana. It overlooks the ocean, people go there to park. Plus guys sell stuff out of their trunks. You can get your hands on anything – beer, weed, porn, car stereos. That’s what I’m told.

The conversation is interrupted by the excitement of the crowd at the arrival of another student, Wilson. There are lots of shouts of congratulations and applause.

RICHIE: What is that all about? Why is everyone clapping for Wilson Stablers?

ZEKE: Dude, he’s the one that stole the parrot. He’s showing everybody this picture he has saved on his phone with himself and the parrot.

Veronica gives a satisfied smile as she watches Wilson.

RICHIE: I’m gonna go shake that man’s hand. See, Zeke. That’s Pan pride.

Richie and Zeke head off for Wilson. Veronica follows them. Before they reach him, a delivery man enters the cafeteria, pulling a low, flat trolley upon which is set a large gift-wrapped box.

RICHIE: What’s that?

VERONICA: Is this a big drop off point?

Richie examines the large gift tag attached.

RICHIE: “To Pan High cafeteria. Bon appetit. Love, Neptune.”

Richie lifts off the lid and the sides fall away to reveal a large quantity of what appears to be wrapped meat, the wrapping being stamped “100% GOAT MEAT.” On top is a tray of meat patties and a goat’s bell. The students gasp.

ZEKE: They butchered Billy.

Veronica looks around as the students react with horror.

EXT – PAN HIGH – DAY.

Wilson is still basking in his newly-found popularity. Veronica runs up from behind him.

VERONICA: Wilson!

WILSON: Hello?

VERONICA: [in full Betty simpering mode] I hear you’re the guy to see about seeing a parrot.

WILSON: Man. Word really gets around, doesn’t it?

Like Wallace, Wilson is subject to congratulations by back patting, this time from a student passing behind them. Wilson looks round smiling then returns his attention to Veronica.

WILSON: You’re the new girl, right?

VERONICA: Word does get around.

WILSON: You wa-you want to see the parrot, huh?

VERONICA: I do. I just think that’s so cool that anyone would do that. I mean that takes a real man, you know?

Wilson gives a nervous laugh. They’ve come to a halt in front of some outdoor lockers. Wilson shows Veronica his cell. It shows a picture of him and a parrot.

VERONICA: How’d you get your hands on it?

Wilson opens his locker.

WILSON: I just walked into the school, like I was a student there and nobody even asked me anything.

Veronica notes his locker combination.

VERONICA: That’s so brave. [pure Veronica] Can’t believe that worked. [back as Betty] Wilson?

WILSON: Yeah?

VERONICA: I hope this doesn’t seem forward but…I was planning on heading over to Rest Stop 15 later, you know, to check it out. I was wondering if you’d be my tour guide. Show me around?

Wilson is stunned silent at his luck and can only rapidly nod his head.

VERONICA: Meet me up there?

Veronica hands Wilson his phone back. He puts it in his jacket in his locker.

VERONICA: Four o’clock. Don’t be late.

Veronica playfully presses a finger on Wilson’s nose. She has turned this boy to jelly. He grins and shuts his locker, then grabs his backpack, not able to tear his eyes away from her. She does a flirty wave at him. He waves back, walks backwards and, as he rounds a corner, straight into a group of students.

WILSON: Sorry.

As soon as it’s clear, Veronica opens Wilson’s locker. She searches the jacket and grabs the phone. She finds the picture.

VERONICA: Bingo, Betty.

She dials the phone.

VERONICA: Hey it’s me. [pause] No, it’s not my phone. Listen, I’m sending you a picture. [pause] You wish. What are you doing later? [pause] Ever hear of Rest Stop 15? [pause] Why doesn’t that surprise me?

EXT – REST STOP 15 – DAY.

Music: Fall Behind Me by the Donnas (lyrics here to save space). There are cars parked everywhere and lots of singles and couples milling around. One couple is kissing, another walking and talking. One car with doors and windows closed has wisps of smoke escaping. The car door opens and smoke pours out as the driver coughs. Someone is buying some stereo gear from the boot of a car. Wilson arrives, leaving his car in the midst of all this. He gets out and goes looking for Betty. A couple of guys are throwing a football around. Wilson walks and turns, searching. He doesn’t see Weevil coming up behind him until he is grabbed by the shoulder.

WEEVIL: Hey there, buddy. Looking for love in all the wrong places?

Weevil keeps a firm grip of Wilson.

WILSON: [intimidated] Who, me? I’m a no one.

WEEVIL: Where’s the bird, Wilson? I’m nearly bursting with Pirate pride here. Weevil wanna punch a cracker.

WILSON: What bird?

WEEVIL: You want to think about that answer, man?

Weevil shakes Wilson and turns Wilson to face him. He now has him by the scruff of the neck.

WILSON: All right. Look, I know what you’re talking about but I didn’t take the parrot, I swear to god.

WEEVIL: Someone’s going to H-E-double hockey sticks.

WILSON: That’s not Neptune’s mascot in the photo. It’s from a pet store, okay. I heard that somebody took the mascot. E-everybody was making such a big deal out of it. Look, they all thought it was so cool.

WEEVIL: Wait a minute. You went to a pet store and took a picture of yourself with a parrot so people would think you were cool?

WILSON: [weakly] Yeah. All right?

WEEVIL: That’s [with thumb and finger to illustrate] this close to taking a hot cousin to your prom. Go home.

Weevil tosses Wilson aside.

WEEVIL: Get out of here.

Wilson drives off as Veronica comes from behind a car.

WEEVIL: No more favours for you. Now I gotta feel bad for this kid.

VERONICA: If it’s any consolation, I hate myself.

PAN HIGH JOCK: [offscreen] Hey!

A white pick-up pulls up, a Pan High jock at the wheel.

PAN HIGH JOCK: [to Weevil] Are you the guy?

WEEVIL: Probably.

The jock pulls to a stop.

PAN HIGH JOCK: Hey, can you put me down for a hundred on Neptune?

Weevil holds his hand out for the cash as Veronica comes up behind him. The jock recognises her.

PAN HIGH JOCK: Hey, Betty.

Veronica gives a little wave and a rueful smile as Weevil looks at her.

WEEVIL: Why don’t you excuse us…Betty. We’re doing some business here.

Veronica nods and turns and walks away, glancing back at the transaction as she does.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Lucky for me I have business of my own to attend to.

INT – MI – DAY.

Veronica enters and falls onto the small couch in the outer office.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Family business. When Dad lost his job as sheriff, he announced to my mom and me that we were going to stay in Neptune and he would try to make his living as a private investigator. That was the last straw for Mom.

LIANNE: [offscreen] Honey, I’m not feeling too great.

FLASHBACK: INT – SAGEBRUSH CANTINA – DAY.

Lianne is pouring sugar into her coffee.

VERONICA: You should have something to eat.

LIANNE: That’s not gonna do it. I just need a little sip of something.

Veronica shakes her head.

VERONICA: No.

LIANNE: Honey, my head is pounding. It’s like tangled and-

VERONICA: I don’t want you to, Mom. I want you to keep talking to me. What did Jake say when you told him about Celeste’s call?

LIANNE: I don’t know, nothing but I’m just gonna get a beer.

Lianne gets up from the table. Veronica follows and holds onto her arm to swing in front of her.

VERONICA: What happened with Jake?

LIANNE: I don’t know, I just, I convinced him to make her back off.

Lianne still wants to get to the bar but Veronica won’t move out of her way.

VERONICA: How did you convince him?

LIANNE: It’s very complicated Veronica, I don’t know how to explain it to you or have it make any sense…

VERONICA: [desperately] Just tell me the truth! How did you convince him?

LIANNE: I told Jake that if Celeste tried to contact you again, I’d have a paternity test done and take him for millions.

Veronica stares at her mother.

VERONICA: [voice breaking] So you know, then? Are you sure that test will prove that Jake’s my father?

Lianne pauses.

LIANNE: No.

VERONICA: Will it prove that Dad is?

Veronica is nearly hyperventilating.

LIANNE: [crying] I don’t know.

Distressed, mother and daughter stare at each other.

END FLASHBACK.

INT – MI – DAY.

Veronica’s reverie is interrupted by the sound of steps and a loud knock at the door. Veronica looks up. It’s Leo, in uniform. He comes in, smiling broadly. He hands her a gift-wrapped box as she sits up on the couch, then sits next to her with a heavy sigh.

LEO: How’s that for inconspicuous? They don’t teach you this at the academy by the way.

Veronica opens the box. It is filled with tapes.

LEO: That’s all me.

VERONICA: [sincerely] Thank you.

LEO: Yeah. That’s not gonna be good enough.

Veronica looks at him, surprised.

LEO: I hate to bribe you but I’m fairly certain that aiding and abetting qualifies me for a dinner date.

VERONICA: Actually, it qualifies you for dinner and a movie but you undershot, so…

LEO: Damn.

They both laugh.

VERONICA: Hey, do you know anything about sports betting?

Veronica pulls a leg up under her and faces Leo as he leans back.

LEO: A little.

VERONICA: Why would a bookie take bets on a team to win straight up, no line, if one team is heavily favoured?

LEO: H-he wouldn’t. A bookie usually tries to find a line on a game in which half the money gets bet on one team and half the money gets bet on the other. They make their money on commission. If a bookie accepts bets that are all on one side of the line, he’s, well, he’s either going to make a killing or he’s gonna get killed.

VERONICA: Why would he risk it?

LEO: I don’t know. Maybe he knows something that the people who are betting, don’t.

Veronica takes this in.

EXT – NHS, LUNCH AREA – DAY.

Veronica is sitting at one of the tables with Wallace, Jack and a couple of the other basketball players, eating from a small box of raisins.

JACK: Four years I’ve been going here and we’ve never beaten these guys. This most definitely is our year. I’m telling ya.

WALLACE: You gonna eat those?

Wallace grabs the box of raisins out of Veronica’s hands without waiting for an answer and stuffs them in his pocket.

WALLACE: I gotta go get a book out of my car.

Wallace grabs an apple from Jack’s tray and puts that in his pocket.

JACK: Wallace!

Wallace grabs a second unclaimed apple, again stuffing it in his pocket.

WALLACE: Catch up with you guys later.

Finally Wallace grabs a small bag of crisps as he jumps up from the table and hurries away. Veronica looks after him suspiciously.

EXT – NHS, CAR PARK – CONTINUING.

Wallace walks up beside some school buses. His sixth sense gives him pause and he turns round. Veronica is behind him.

WALLACE: Why are you following me?

VERONICA: You say following, I say taking a walk with a friend. I’m just curious to know where you’re going with the apple, the potato chips and the raisins.

WALLACE: Forgot about that third eye.

VERONICA: So what’cha up to?

Veronica catches up with him and walks on with him.

WALLACE: Trust me, you don’t want to know.

VERONICA: Oohh, how I hate to know things. Please tell me that’s not filled with Polish hookers.

The camera twists to show their destination, a brightly painted van. Wallace smiles and opens the back doors. Inside, amongst chaos, is the goat. Wallace raises his hands to his head, looking at the mess. Veronica looks disbelievingly at the goat and then at Wallace. Wallace climbs into the van.

WALLACE: Oh, man, what is with you?

VERONICA: You stole a goat?

WALLACE: They stole our parrot. Matter of principle. Unlike you, I have some school pride.

VERONICA: And a goat crapping apples in the back of your buddy’s van. Congratulations.

WALLACE: [to the goat] Will you quit it?

Veronica laughs at Wallace’s efforts to stop the goat nibbling further on the van’s soft furnishings.

WALLACE: Well, this is what high school is all about. Having some fun, you know, messing around.

Wallace sits back in exasperation.

WALLACE: This was Jack’s idea. I don’t even know how I got stuck with the damn thing. I had it in the guest house and it ate everything, the rug, the sofa, my Air Jordans.

VERONICA: And he lived to tell the tale?

WALLACE: I don’t know what to do with it. It’s driving me crazy.

VERONICA: Bad, kidnapped goat!

WALLACE: That’s it? You’re not gonna offer me any help?

Veronica smirks, shakes her head, turns and walks away.

DUNCAN: [offscreen] Looks like we’re going to have…

INT – NHS, JOURNALISM CLASS – DAY.

Duncan has a pile of letters in his hands.

DUNCAN: …plenty of material for the “Letters to the editor” page.

He reads one out.

DUNCAN: “Polly’s kidnapping is more than just a juvenile school prank. It is an act of terrorism.”

Duncan hands the letter to Veronica who is perched on the desk.

VERONICA: Wow. Polly wanna payback.

DUNCAN: There’s about twenty more just like it.

VERONICA: Bird’s got fans.

Another girl, Arianna, walks towards the pair and clears her throat.

ARIANNA: And now for an opposing view.

She hands a letter to Veronica.

ARIANNA: A little something for the uninformed masses.

Arianna leaves. Veronica reads the letter out loud.

VERONICA: “Maybe the people who think that the person who took Polly is so awful should stop and think about the person who ripped Polly from her natural habitat and forced her to live in a cage.”

Duncan comes round to Veronica’s side to peer at the letter over her shoulder.

VERONICA: “I only hope whoever took that beautiful bird had the decency to set her free.”

Veronica pauses to look at Duncan who snorts.

VERONICA: “And if Polly really loves them, she’ll fly back to them.”

Veronica hands the letter to Duncan and gets off the desk to gather her bag. Duncan leans back to rest where Veronica was just sitting.

DUNCAN: I think she’s one of those SAAC girls.

VERONICA: Yeah, that’s gonna need a little further explanation.

DUNCAN: Uh, Students Against Animal Cruelty. They threw the bucket of blood on the homecoming queen a couple of years ago for wearing fur.

VERONICA: Bucket of blood. Have we learned nothing from “Carrie”?

Duncan laughs as Veronica exits.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – DAY.

Veronica is baking while she listens to the interrogation tapes through headphones. She is listening to Keith and Jake.

KEITH: Jake, you know I have to talk to you, it’s routine.

JAKE: Well, I already told you, Keith. I was at the Neptune Grand with Celeste.

FLASHBACK: INT – SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT.

Keith and Jake are alone in an interrogation room.

KEITH: What were you doing?

JAKE: You’re kidding.

Keith doesn’t respond except to sit down opposite Jake at the table and look at him passively.

JAKE: [heavy sigh] I was in a hotel room with my wife. What do you think I was doing? Come on, you know what it’s like when you’ve got kids. Privacy just goes out the window. This is something that we do from time to time.

KEITH: So you’ve done this before?

JAKE: Yes.

KEITH: So then you have receipts, to verify that this is something you do.

JAKE: [agitated] I mean, this is insane. You should be out finding Lilly’s killer, not grilling me.

END FLASHBACK.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – CONTINUING.

Veronica is sprinkling cinnamon on a ball of dough in her hand, listening intently.

KEITH: Were you making love?

JAKE: That’s a little private, don’t you think?

KEITH: Under the circumstances, no.

FLASHBACK: INT – SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT.

Keith adjusts the tape machine.

KEITH: How long did you make love for?

JAKE: I’m not answering that.

KEITH: You were in a hotel room for two and a half hours. How much of that time was spent making love?

JAKE: Well, I don’t remember exactly. It was a while.

KEITH: So what did you do when you first got into the room?

JAKE: I don’t know. We settled in.

He gives an uncomfortable chuckle.

KEITH: What does that mean? You took off your shoes, your tie…

JAKE: No, I-I put on the TV.

KEITH: What was on TV?

Jake leans forward.

JAKE: Why are you doing this Keith?

KEITH: I’m just asking questions. Not even hard ones.

JAKE: We put on the TV for background noise so we could get right to it. Okay? Now do you want a, uh, play-by-play?

END FLASHBACK.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – CONTINUING.

Veronica places a tray of the cinnamon covered dough balls in the oven and gets out a tray of biscuits already cooked. Wallace is standing by the open door of the apartment.

WALLACE: That must be some good music.

Veronica looks up as she places the tray on the counter.

WALLACE: I could’ve painted the living room, you wouldn’t have noticed. I left my algebra book over here.

Wallace rescues his book from a small bookcase.

WALLACE: So, maybe you were right about the goat.

Wallace pulls out the chair the other side of the counter and sits down. He sees the hot, fresh baked biscuits and grabs one, juggling it in his hand. He takes a bite, throws the biscuit back on the tray and tries to blow the heat out of his mouth whilst consuming the biscuit. Daylight finally dawns.

WALLACE: Wait a minute. These are snickerdoodles. You’re the one who’s been making my spirit boxes?

VERONICA: I used to be on pep squad, remember?

WALLACE: [laughing] But you think all this stuff is stupid.

VERONICA: You don’t.

Wallace goes to grab another one. Veronica slaps his hand.

VERONICA: Hey, you wanna open your locker tomorrow and find an empty box?

Wallace holds up his finger to indicate “only one” and melts her hard heart with his puppy dog eyes. Veronica smiles and he grabs the one he has already bitten into, still trying to eat it despite how hot it is.

WALLACE: Um-um-um, the girl can bake.

VERONICA: That she can. Hey, are you picking your mom up from work today?

WALLACE: Yeah.

VERONICA: Can you do me a weird favour without asking any questions?

WALLACE: Isn’t that the bedrock upon which our friendship was founded?

Veronica goes into the lounge area and picks up a large plant which she gives to Wallace.

VERONICA: When you’re at Kane Software, go to Clarence Wiedman’s office. Put this on his assistant’s desk. It’s from her secret admirer.

WALLACE: Um, um, should I wait for a tip?

Cut to the evening. Veronica is now dressed up to go out. As she applies her lip gloss, she listens to another tape.

CELESTE: I don’t understand why you couldn’t talk to both of us at the same time.

KEITH: I’m sorry, Celeste, it’s department policy.

FLASHBACK: INT – SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT.

KEITH: How long were you in the hotel?

CELESTE: Two and a half hours.

KEITH: That’s just what Jake said.

CELESTE: Well we were there together.

KEITH: Can I get you some water or something?

CELESTE: [weary] No, thank you.

KEITH: Celeste, it’s just routine. You don’t have to worry. Just answer the questions.

CELESTE: If it’s routine, then just talk to Jake. I don’t understand why you have to talk to me.

KEITH: So you were together in the room the whole time?

CELESTE: Yes.

KEITH: And what did you do when you got there?

CELESTE: We had some champagne. On the patio.

KEITH: From room service?

CELESTE: No, we brought it from home.

KEITH: Do you usually bring your own champagne to the Neptune Grand?

CELESTE: We don’t usually have to stay at the Neptune Grand. S-special occasion.

KEITH: Do you remember what was on TV that afternoon?

CELESTE: Trust me, Keith, we weren’t watching TV.

END FLASHBACK.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – CONTINUING.

Veronica absently applies blusher as she considers this. Keith comes in.

KEITH: [doing Bogart] Grab your lip gloss and your pepper spray, sweetheart. Your date’s here.

Veronica removes the headphones, turns and smiles at her father.

INT – RESTAURANT – NIGHT.

A small light jazz combo plays. Veronica and Leo enter.

LEO: In my culture, Chinese food is always followed by gelato.

VERONICA: I don’t remember you brokering in a dessert stop.

LEO: Getting out of the car was a tacit agreement.

They kiss.

WAITRESS: Right this way.

VERONICA: Breath mint, smooth.

LEO: That’s all I wanted.

The waitress shows them to a table in the middle of the restaurant. Veronica does not notice Meg and the Kanes at the table against the wall, nearest her table.

MEG: Veronica?

Veronica turns her head and sees them.

MEG: Uh, hey.

Meg gets out of her chair and walks over to Veronica.

MEG: Look at you, you look gorgeous.

Meg gives Veronica a sweeping hug. It is apparent that Veronica is not nearly as enthusiastic as to the idea of hugging Meg. Meg senses it too. She steps back.

MEG: Hey, Leo. You know Duncan, right?

LEO: No.

DUNCAN: Yeah, uh, no. Hey.

Duncan stands and he and Leo shake hands.

LEO: How ya doing?

There’s an awkward silence.

VERONICA: Th-uh, these are Duncan’s parents, Mr and Mrs Kane.

Jake and Celeste are sitting on the bench against the wall and so do not rise. Leo bends over the table to shake Jake’s hand.

JAKE: How ya doing?

LEO: [to Jake] How’s it going? [to Celeste] Hi.

MEG: Hey, well, um, enjoy.

Everyone returns to their seats.

LEO: [quietly, as they sit] Maybe we should find something a little cosier.

VERONICA: It’s fine.

WAITRESS: Good evening.

The waitress hands them menus. Veronica looks over at the Kane table. Celeste is glaring at her.

LEO: Are you sure this is okay?

VERONICA: It’s perfect.

FLASHBACK: EXT – SAGEBRUSH CANTINA – DAY.

Lianne is having a cigarette outside as she and Veronica lean against the building.

LIANNE: …the day Lilly died, round the exact time, actually, Jake and I were in that motel room. Out of nowhere, Celeste bursts in. She’d been following Jake around. She’s screaming, saying these horrible things, I just got out of there.

VERONICA: You don’t see them again?

LIANNE: No. Well actually, I went to the ladies’ room in the lobby and when I came out, I saw Celeste storming out of the lobby.

Veronica rests her head on Lianne’s shoulder.

LEO: [offscreen] You see anything you like?

END FLASHBACK.

INT – RESTAURANT – CONTINUING.

Veronica is brought back to the restaurant. She gazes directly at Leo in response to his question.

VERONICA: [genuinely] Yes I do.

Veronica smiles and looks briefly at the menu before her thoughts return to other things and she looks again at the Kanes.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Celeste told my father she was in the hotel room with Jake for two hours.

Celeste glances at Veronica.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: The way my mother tells it, she was there for twenty minutes, tops. So what if Celeste saw my mom in the lobby? What better way to control my mother than have Clarence Wiedman take photos of me framed in a rifle-sight? Maybe it wasn’t a paternity issue.

Veronica catches Celeste’s eye again.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Maybe it was an alibi issue. Maybe it was both.

INT – NHS, CLASSROOM – DAY.

Meg is on the television, broadcasting the Navigator News. Veronica enters a classroom. It is peopled with SAAC girls.

MEG on TV: …not knows that there are still thirteen seats left on the Big Bear ski bus for the weekend of the 18th through the 20th. And on a more serious note, the SATs are coming up and the deadline…

Arianna is lecturing one of her group.

ARIANNA: I don’t want to hear about your protein deficiency, Marsha. You eat eggs, you might as well eat baby.

VERONICA: Arianna? Hi. I just wanted to let you know, I really liked your letter.

ARIANNA: Really?

Arianna huffs as she turns to look at Veronica. Veronica is wearing a sleeveless jacket with fur trim on the collar. Arianna’s lackeys around her are supercilious.

VERONICA: Yeah, really.

Veronica gets the hint and removes her jacket. She puts in on the desk behind her.

ARIANNA: I’m sorry. I have a hard time believing someone who let a cow die so she could wear butch boots cares about a parrot.

VERONICA: My boots aren’t butch.

ARIANNA: But they are leather.

VERONICA: Let me cut to the chase. Do you know anything about Polly?

ARIANNA: Yeah. I know that she’s better off not being in a cage.

VERONICA: Is she better off scrounging for food when she’s used to having it provided for her?

Arianna isn’t listening. She is smirking as she watches something going on behind Veronica. There is much excited whispering.

SAAC GIRL#1: Come here.

SAAC GIRL#2: Do it. Put it under there.

Veronica looks behind her. Two of the girls have placed her jacket in a paper guillotine and are about to slice off the fur collar.

VERONICA: It’s fake fur, you freaks.

Veronica rescues her jacket and, as she’s checking it, the broadcast is interrupted by static. The screen clears to reveal Pan High gym, from the head of Pan painted on the floor, and Polly in her cage. A pair of shoes can be seen before the camera pans up to reveal a hooded man.

TV: Bwha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Greetings from your masters at Pan High. If Wallace Fennel plays in tomorrow night’s game, Polly the parrot will die. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programme.

The screen goes static for a moment and then Meg returns.

MEG on TV: …by the Dance Committee and a school wide vote will choose the winner.

EXT – NHS, LUNCH AREA – DAY.

Music: Headphonland: The Gangster Chapter by Mice Parade. Weevil and some of his boys are lounging about at the bottom of a terrace wall. Veronica is at the top of the terrace and bends down to whisper in Weevil’s ear.

VERONICA: How’s our feathered friend?

WEEVIL: Excuse me?

VERONICA: You took the parrot, didn’t you? You’re taking even money bets on a team everyone thinks will win. Why would you do that unless you knew that Wallace, our best player, wouldn’t play?

WEEVIL: You know, I always knew you had a thing for me but I never thought you wanted me for my brain.

VERONICA: I’m gagging on the inside.

WEEVIL: Come on, Veronica. Do I look that smart? I’m just a simple bookie.

Veronica rolls her eyes.

WEEVIL: I got both sides of the line covered. And ask yourself this. Why would I help you find the parrot if stealing the parrot was my secret plan, huh?

Weevil shakes his head and wanders off.

INT – NHS, HALLWAY – DAY.

Wallace is at his locker. He slams it shut, turns and slides down the wall to sit against the lower locker. Veronica joins him.

WALLACE: This just sucks.

VERONICA: I have to say, it really does.

WALLACE: Coach called me into his office and said I should play. All the guys want me to play. But my playing isn’t really a big deal. Jack’s good. He was a starter last year.

VERONICA: What do you want to do?

WALLACE: You know I want to play. But on the other hand, it ain’t worth Polly’s life. I can’t do it. I can’t play.

VERONICA: Would it cheer you up if I brought back the goat?

Wallace smiles.

WALLACE: Yeah, it would.

INT – NHS, CLASSROOM – DAY.

Meg is bent over a computer keyboard. Veronica enters.

VERONICA: I need your help with something.

MEG: Hey. Um, sure. Whatever you need.

VERONICA: How was your broadcast interrupted?

MEG: I don’t know. When there’s no breaking news, we record the show the night before.

VERONICA: So, someone had to get in and cut in the Polly announcement before it aired this morning?

MEG: They must have. Wow. We actually kinda just had a conversation.

Veronica takes a deep breath.

MEG: See, that’s what you do now. [sighs heavily] You take that deep breath like you’re preparing for battle or something.

VERONICA: [abrupt] I was just breathing.

Veronica backs away from Meg and heads for the door.

MEG: I want everything to be okay between us.

VERONICA: It is. We just- we run in different circles.

MEG: It doesn’t have to be like that.

VERONICA: It does. I’m not programmed to forgive and forget. I can’t just start chumming around with people who’ve ignored and mocked me for a year. That’s just not me.

MEG: Well, maybe we can have our own circle without them.

VERONICA: Maybe.

Veronica smiles a little. Cut to later and to a computer screen. Meg and Veronica are looking at the broadcast of the hooded man and Polly.

VERONICA: Well, whoever they are, they’ve done a stellar job at concealing their identity. Jacket, mask, gloves. No visible “Hello, my name is” sticker.

MEG: Hey, maybe there’s something on the floor? It’s really shiny, maybe there’s a reflection.

Meg expands part of the picture.

VERONICA: Wait a sec, what’s that?

MEG: What?

VERONICA: On the sneaker.

MEG: I think it’s just dirt. Or maybe not.

The number thirteen can clearly be seen on the sneaker. Meg and Veronica look at each other and smile, satisfied.

VERONICA: I need a basketball programme.

Meg nods.

INT – NHS, HALLWAY – DAY.

The game is starting soon. Clemmons is hanging around outside the gym. He hears a commotion and a bleating goat. Veronica walks in with the parrot in its cage in one hand, the goat’s lead in the other and an envelope between her teeth. She heads for Clemmons as the crowd responds.

PAN HIGH STUDENT: Good job, Betty.

CLEMMONS: Who is this Betty?

Clemmons takes the parrot and the envelope.

VERONICA: Beats me. There’s Polly and bonus mascot. And those are some photos for Coach.

CLEMMONS: Who had Polly?

The Pan High basketball team have arrived to the roaring of the Pan High students.

VERONICA: Give me one sec, okay?

Veronica walks over to them.

RICHIE: Betty, you made it.

VERONICA: Richie, you are a really great guy and if the popular kids at this school were half as nice as you are, I’d wanna be popular. I know that sounds weird but it’s a huge compliment. So good luck tonight. You’re gonna need it. Wallace Fennel has a killer crossover. But it’s really his sweetness and purity of spirit that makes him unbeatable.

Veronica smiles serenely and turns to walk away. Richie looks confused.

PAN HIGH JOCK: [offscreen] What did she just say to you?

RICHIE: Beats the hell out of me.

Veronica heads back to Clemmons but passes him, heading for the Neptune team. They are all kitted out to play, although Wallace has his track suit on over his gear. He is giving Jack a pep talk.

VERONICA: You better warm up, Fennel.

WALLACE: You got Polly back?

VERONICA: I kinda rock. [to Jack, Neptune’s Thirteen] I know what you’re thinking Jack. Aarrgh. Whoever made that death threat video forgot to cover up the number thirteen on his sneakers.

Wallace and the rest of the team listen with growing consternation and mutterings. In the meantime, Clemmons and the coach are examining the photos.

VERONICA: Now there are two thirteens suiting up tonight. Your Pan counterpart believes that a kid named Wilson stole the parrot.

JACK: Why would I steal our own parrot?

VERONICA: That’s easy. With Wallace sitting out, you’ll go back to being a starter. As point guard, you can control the score of the game. You know, like you did last year when you missed those two free throws in the final minute? How much money did you make betting against your own team last year?

JACK: You went in my room? I mean, isn’t that like breaking and entering or something?

VERONICA: I told your mom I was a cheerleader and we needed Polly for the game tonight. She let me in.

JACK: She’s crazy, man.

COACH: Picture of the Pirate Pride trophy next to the parrot, Jack.

VERONICA: You’re the guy covering all of Weevil’s bets. There must be thousands of dollars bet on this game. You’re pretty screwed here, Jack.

JACK: Guys.

CLEMMONS: Come with me, young man.

JACK: Wallace, man.

Wallace, disappointed, shakes his head as Clemmons takes Jack away. He looks up at Veronica and smiles his gratitude.

COACH: Okay, Wallace, you’re in.

WALLACE: Yes sir.

Wallace strips down to his playing kit, excited. The team file into the gym.

COACH: Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!

VERONICA: Go kick some ass, Air Fennel.

They tap fists and Veronica pats him on the bottom as he enters. Veronica turns away from the gym and pauses.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Ah, the big game. Another high school high that makes me want to eat rocks. Being surrounded by screaming, foam-fingered spirit freaks who hate me hardly sounds thrilling but for Wallace, this is his shining moment. So what’s it gonna be, girlie girl?

She comes to a decision, turns and goes into the gym.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – DAY.

Veronica enters her room and sits at her desk.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I’ve saved nearly every penny since I started working for Dad. I know I can’t count on college money from him and I know it kills him that he can’t offer. It’s gone now. I had enough for four years at San Diego State, a year at Stanford and a semester at the Sorbonne. Let’s hope it’s worth it.

FLASHBACK: INT – REHABILITATION CENTRE – DAY.

Veronica is signing a consent form.

REHAB RECEPTION: We do insist that payment be made in full upfront.

Veronica gets out her cheque book. Lianne is sitting behind her. She rushes up to Veronica.

LIANNE: Wait. Wait. I’d a- This- I don’t need you to- This isn’t right, Veronica.

VERONICA: Mom.

LIANNE: I can figure this out. I can kick this on my own. There is nothing twelve weeks in here can do that I can’t do myself. I don’t want you to have to do this.

VERONICA: [tearfully] I want you to come home. I miss you.

LIANNE: Okay. Okay.

They hug.

LIANNE: Okay.

Veronica writes the cheque.

END FLASHBACK.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – CONTINUING.

Veronica wipes away her tears, then calls out.

VERONICA: Dad, can you come in here for a minute?

Keith enters and stands at the door.

KEITH: I really need to get you a bell so you can ring for me.

He holds up a newspaper.

KEITH: Looks like Neptune beat the hell out of Pan last night.

VERONICA: Yeah. I want you to answer me something, honestly.

KEITH: Sure, honey.

Keith comes into the room and sits.

VERONICA: Don’t get mad and don’t blow me off, just answer me, please.

KEITH: Okay.

VERONICA: Why would a person agree to confess to a murder he didn’t commit?

KEITH: Veronica.

Veronica’s eyes plead with him. He gives a heavy sigh.

KEITH: Money, a lot of it.

VERONICA: But if you’re not around to spend that money, what does it matter?

KEITH: Well, maybe there’s someone else. Someone you care about that will be around after that person dies.

Veronica nods. Her father sighs heavily again, then gets up from the chair and leaves the room. Veronica picks up the bug.

VERONICA: Wait, Dad, you know what? I think I know who’s collecting the money from Abel Koontz’s confession.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Now we’ll learn how well Wallace follows instructions if my special rubber tree plant was delivered to the desktop of my choice.

Veronica is wearing an earpiece. She hears Wiedman and his assistant through it.

WIEDMAN: Lois. Get me Amelia DeLongpre.

LOIS: Yes, Mr Wiedman.

Veronica uses Planet Zowie search engine and types in “Amelia DeLongpre” and “Abel Koontz.”

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Let’s see what the connection is between Amelia DeLongpre and Abel Koontz.

The search pulls up an obituary announcement.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: What do you know. In the entire internet universe, there’s only one document that pairs them.

The entry is from the Neptune Register, dated May 23, 2001 concerning Stella Koontz, aged 78. Veronica reads the entry.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: “Stella Koontz died Sunday night after a long battle with cervical cancer. She leaves behind son Abel Koontz of Neptune and granddaughter Amelia DeLongpre.” Abel Koontz has a daughter?

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


Music: Pick Up the Phone by the Notwist.

LYRICS: You know this place, you know this gloom?
We've been here before.
Pick up the phone and answer me at last.
Today I will step out of your past.

Music: You and Your Kind by the Brown Mountain Lights.

LYRICS: Well, I remember seeing you and your girlfriends after school.
I’d pretend I never noticed but I followed every move.
Wasted time, trying to catch your eye.
I used to play it cool, I used to play the game.
I guess you never noticed, I was someone else’s name.
Wasted time, trying to catch your eye.
Don’t come to me like you need a friend
Expecting me to remember when.
Who are you, are you one of them?
I don’t know you, babe.

Music: A Chorus Line by Ultramagnetic MC’s.

LYRICS: Yeah boy it's a Chorus Line
Aiyyo Keith (yo) you know what?
It's your rhyme
I'm crankin up with the rhyme, brain tanks need fuel
Sunoco, diesel rhymes are locked in, turbo
Combustion attitude
Gratitude, increasing altitude levels
But changing latitude
It's very rude when you step on my path
I laugh and giggle, smile and grin my friend
my style within…

Music: Rabbit by the Fire Marshals of Bethlehem.

LYRICS: Young heart, young bride,
I heard the rabbit’s on your shoulders.
Too late for a smile
So grit your teeth, it’ll soon be over.
Then the move out west probably would’ve killed you.
You can talk to the old gals on the telephone.
DeBragg is a long way off California.
You are stuck at home.
Young heart, young wife.
You look away and now it’s over.
Believe and fight,
Your other chance is just around the corner.
They’d only take the time to exploit you
They’re lining up around the blocks to adore you.
So fill up everybody who surrounds…

Music: Nothing Is Wrong by the Brown Mountain Lights

LYRICS: I see love
As something that
Either it works or it doesn’t.
It’s as simple as that.
I think you
Just don’t see
Just what your love
Has done to me.
Nothing I say could be wrong,
Nothing I think about is wrong with you girl.
Say goodbye,
It’s time to go.

Music: Fall Behind Me by the Donnas.

LYRICS: I can't believe she bought it
She got too close and she caught it
Had a point but she forgot it
When you skip steps on the way up
The gaps have a way of catching up
And you can’t cover that with makeup
You’re gonna fall behind me
You’re gonna cry and beg for mercy
Cause you’re not ready baby
And you got nothing on me
Now that I'm getting to know her
Part of me wants to show her
Who she's really screwing over
Cause she's got nothing real
Taking everything she can steal
Just like it was her last meal
You’re gonna fall behind me
You’re gonna cry and beg for mercy
Cause you’re not ready baby
And you got nothing on me
You’re gonna fall behind me
You’re gonna cry and beg for mercy
Cause you’re not ready baby
And you got nothing on me

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