2.02 Driver Ed

Written by: Diane Ruggiero
Directed by: Nick Marck

Original Air Date: 5 October, 2005
Transcribed by InigoMontoya and Black Lebaron.
Last edited: 29 October, 2006

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Previously on Veronica Mars

At the door, Veronica’s welcoming expression turns into one of concern in 201 "Normal Is the Watchword."

VERONICA: Logan?

Logan, beaten and bloody, turns and falls into her arms.

VERONICA: Logan, what happened?

Cut to the Coronado Bridge. Logan challenges Weevil.

LOGAN: What do you think you can do to me, huh?

WEEVIL: I'll think of something.

Felix and the other five bikers pull Logan off the edge of the bridge. A little later, Logan is on the ground. He sees Felix’s body.

VERONICA: [offscreen] Oh, my God, Logan!

At the Mars residence, Logan looks up at Veronica as he lies on her lap.

LOGAN: No, but I didn't stab him, Veronica.

VERONICA: I believe you.

Logan emerges from the courthouse into an angry crowd. In the car with Veronica, he is shell-shocked.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Logan's high-priced lawyers crushed the PCHers and the town went crazy.

Logan and Veronica are interrupted during a make-out session in his car when a gun blast from a motorcycle shatters the windows. Cut to Veronica and Logan, facing each other while sitting on the couch at the Mars apartment.

LOGAN: Are you breaking up with me?

VERONICA: Someone's gonna get killed, Logan.

Logan smashes a lamp and Veronica jerks back in fear and shock. Cut to Neptune High. Logan leans against the bus, mocking Veronica as she waits for Duncan.

LOGAN: Ahh, young love.

Logan faces Veronica and Duncan by the bus.

VERONICA: Let's just get on the bus.

LOGAN: Hey, wait!

He bends his head down to Veronica.

LOGAN: I'm gonna miss you.

Veronica and Duncan, having boarded the bus, watch Logan outside as he waves.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Did I mention that he didn't take the break-up that well?

Kendall Casablancas comes into shot, resplendent in black bikini, hot pink robe and carrying a margarita.

LOGAN: [offscreen] So, where did your dad meet her?

DICK: [offscreen] She was a Laker girl and you know my dad…

Logan and Dick watch Kendall appreciatively from sunloungers at the side of the pool.

DICK: …he had good seats.

Cut to the Sharks Field. Veronica watches Dick invite Meg to return to Neptune in the limo.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: The way she's acting, you'd think I seduced Duncan on their wedding day.

Veronica faces Duncan.

VERONICA: I'm gonna go try and talk to Meg one more time.

DUNCAN: You don't owe her anything. You didn't do anything to her.

Woody Goodman campaigns for the youth vote.

WOODY: I thought it was important as a mayoral candidate that my daughter, Gia…

Gia, sitting amongst the other students on the field trip, gives a little wave.

WOODY: Attend the public high school in Neptune.

Cut to the bus. Meg sees Veronica talking to Weevil at the gas station where the bus has stopped.

MS. DUMASS: All here?

MALE STUDENT: Yeah.

MEG: All here.

Veronica misses the bus. Cut to her catching a ride with Weevil and their coming across the scene of an accident. The limo has stopped before them. Veronica runs to the edge.

GIA: They're all dead. It just went straight off the cliff. They're all dead.

Duncan holds Veronica as she stares over the edge. End previously.

[202/0112.jpg]INT – JAVA THE HUT – DAY.

A display of cakes and pies is being considered by Veronica, who is bent down at the door of a refrigerated unit.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: If a school bus, travelling forty miles per hour…

Veronica takes one of the pies and brings it up to the counter.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Drives off a cliff and plunges ninety feet into the jagged coastline…

She places a slice of pie onto a plate.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: How many seconds did the six high school students, their teacher, and bus driver have to contemplate the fact that they're about to die?

Veronica grabs the pie and the slice. She puts the pie back in the unit.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Two Mississippis' worth of screams, life flashes, and prayers, maybe?

Veronica hands the plate over to one of the waitresses.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: But if anyone used that time to make a deal with his maker, only one of them was heard.

Duncan descends the stairs into the coffee shop as Veronica settles at the front desk.

VERONICA: How's Meg?

DUNCAN: The same, unconscious but hanging in there.

Veronica turns and addresses the waitress.

VERONICA: Hey, Cindy. I'm gonna take my break. Can you watch the front?

CINDY: Okay.

Veronica takes Duncan’s hand and leads him behind the counter.

DUNCAN: You have to stop torturing yourself.

VERONICA: I'm not torturing myself. I'm experiencing an appropriate degree of guilt.

DUNCAN: There's no crime. This isn't your fault.

Unnoticed by both, Jackie Cook, imperious and impatient, approaches the counter, arms folded. She listens with barely disguised disdain.

VERONICA: If it wasn't for me, Meg would've been in the limo. She'd be home. She wouldn't need a machine to breathe.

DUNCAN: You're not the only one she was avoiding.

Veronica worries her necklace.

VERONICA: Yeah, I was.

Jackie huffs and leans forward, trying to attract attention.

VERONICA: If I wasn't with you, Meg would've been. And she'd be safe.

Jackie clears her throat loudly. Veronica and Duncan give her their attention.

[202/0233.jpg]JACKIE: When you guys are done breaking up, can I get a macchiato?

VERONICA: I'm actually just the hostess, but I c--

JACKIE: Look, I don't care if you're the house magician. Can you just make me a macchiato?

Veronica walks closer to the counter, staring at Jackie. She holds out her hands and makes a "Poof" gesture.

VERONICA: You're a macchiato.

Veronica turns her back on Jackie, who looks at Duncan.

JACKIE: You know you can do better, right?

Veronica swings her head back round, seriously offended.

INT – SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT – DAY.

Lamb is facing nine members of the press (including the man who nearly spoke to Veronica and Weevil at the party in 110 "An Echolls Family Christmas," who holds a microphone for KQUA). The lead reporter is Lee Ann Kim, real life San Diego TV news anchor/reporter from KGTV 10.

[202/0242.jpg]REPORTER #1: Will any sort of bus maintenance records be made public? Several parents have questioned the district's commitment to providing new, well-maintained busses in a town where only kids from the poor side of town take the bus.

Lamb stands behind the counter, his deputies watching from behind him.

LAMB: The bus driver was from that same side of town. Maybe they should think about that.

Woody Goodman is at the back of the reporters, watching.

REPORTER #1: So, is the bus driver the focus of your investigation right now?

LAMB: Are we looking at-at Doyle? Of course. Have we uncovered information that concerns us? Yes.

REPORTER #2: Such as?

LAMB: Such as…a history of mental illness, a history of marital problems. We know that Ed Doyle was prescribed an anti-depression medication and that prescription was never filled. There was also one previous attempt of suicide.

REPORTER #2: And there were no drag marks or skid marks at the scene?

LAMB: There were not.

REPORTER #1: So, just to be clear, you are investigating the possibility that Doyle drove off the cliff to commit suicide?

LAMB: We are investigating all possibilities.

Lamb ends the conference by walking away as the reporters call out more questions. Goodman looks around at the babbling, unhappy reporters and doesn’t look overly impressed with Lamb’s abrupt departure.

[202/0336.jpg]EXT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CAR PARK – DAY.

Veronica approaches the parking lot, driving a true vision of automotive excellence. Last seen disabled on the roadside with a bashed-in front end, the black LeBaron has been restored to its original glory and will, for another season, convey our Veronica from stake-out to school, from the Coronado to the Camelot, from the beach back to her bedroom. (Hm, wonder which of us wrote that bit?) A Channel 5 Action News truck is parked outside the school and many small groups of students are speaking to camera or reporters. The LeBaron threads its way through them and through the barbed-wire topped gates to student parking (permit required), waved on by a security guard.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Since the bus crash, reporters have laid siege to the school, all looking for those students who want their name in the paper or face on TV so badly that they're willing to pimp out their memories of our dead classmates to anyone who asks.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, GIRLS BATHROOM – DAY.

Veronica enters, ignoring the "Please do not flush any objects down the toilet!" sign and the "I heart Drina" that someone has written on the wall, going straight to the sink to wash her hands. As she dispenses the soap and looks up in the mirror, she sees a girl, arms folded and dressed in black, leaning against the wall behind her.

[202/0414.jpg]JESSIE: G’morning.

Veronica doesn’t waver from her task, but does look uncomfortable.

JESSIE: You know who I am, right?

VERONICA: [carefully] I do.

JESSIE: Just out of curiosity, did you know who I was last week?

VERONICA: Nope.

JESSIE: Your dad drives one bus off a cliff and your days of being under the radar are over.

Veronica rinses her hands and turns to face Jessie.

VERONICA: I'm sorry, did you want something?

JESSIE: [strained] Yeah, so I need proof that my father didn't kill himself. Um, I have a mother and a little brother and we've become accustomed to having a place to live and, like, food. Insurance companies don't pay if they decide it's suicide.

VERONICA: Jessie, I wouldn't even know where to start with that. I mean, how do you prove that someone didn't kill themselves?

JESSIE: If I knew, I wouldn't be waiting for Veronica Mars in a bathroom.

VERONICA: I'm sorry. I can't.

Veronica disposes of her paper towel and hurries away. Jessie, leaning against the sink, watching her go, gives a resigned, sarcastic smile.

JESSIE: Great. Because "I'm sorry" is so helpful.

As Veronica reaches the door, another girl enters, followed by three friends. She sees Jessie and goes straight in for what she thinks is the kill.

SHELBY: [sneeringly] Jessie, you know, if my dad killed a bunch of people I went to school with, I don't know if I'd have the nerve to show my face at school.

With hardly a breath, she spins around to face Veronica. Her voice turns nauseously obsequious.

SHELBY: Hey, Veronica, are you and Duncan coming to Logan's Life's Short party? It's gonna be--

Jessie steps forward, pulls the girl’s arm to turn Shelby to face her, and punches her. Shelby’s friends twitter.

FRIENDS, VARIOUSLY: Argh! Shelby! Are you okay?

Shelby’s friends attend to her as Veronica jumps forward, holding Jessie’s arms.

VERONICA: Okay, I'll help you, but you must chill.

Veronica looks down at Shelby and back at Jessie. She drops Jessie’s arms and gestures "Okay?" with a nod.

Opening credits.

EXT – CLIFF TOP – DAY.

At the site of the bus crash, a man in a loud Hawaiian shirt struggles to light a votive candle at a makeshift memorial. "Never Forget!" is sprayed in large red letters on the buffer in front of which he kneels. Someone has etched "Not Fair" into the buffer and written "Jimmy" under a heart. On top of the buffer is a bunch of flowers and a small plaster or granite cherub. Leaning against it are remembrance cards and a large piece of paper on which is written "Neptunes Angels" in large green letters. Many have signed the paper, some leaving messages like "Rest in Peace" or little drawings, as well as their name. Any reference to who is being mourned here, unless it is Jimmy, is obscured. Veronica bends down to shield the wick so the man in the Hawaiian shirt can light the candle.

[202/0557.jpg]MAN IN LOUD HAWAIIAN SHIRT: Thanks.

As he looks up at her, more remembrance cards are seen and another note written on the buffer. It’s too small to be sure, but it could include "PCH" which might suggest this is a memorial to a biker. The man swallows and looks back down at the collection. Veronica stands. As she does, more memorials are seen, more flowers, more candles, balloons, more messages: "RIP," "Why?" "We’ll Never…" "…Will…ways…ber"

VERONICA VOICEOVER: I don't even know what I'm looking for. Skid marks the Sheriff's Department missed or purposefully overlooked?

The camera pulls back to reveal a number of people milling around the site. One woman is crouched down at the memorial next to the Hawaiian-shirted man, under a large cuddly stuffed dog that has been placed on the buffer. A couple stands between her and the man, looking down at the tributes.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: There's nothing here to help Jessie. There's nothing here to help anyone.

Jessie stands off to the side, near the LeBaron, arms crossed protectively in front of her. She walks forward as Veronica approaches.

MOURNER: Yeah, but I can’t believe it still.

JESSIE: I guess my dad doesn't…rate a votive candle.

VERONICA: This doesn't mean anything.

JESSIE: Come on, if you were on that bus, you would want your pile to be the biggest.

Jessie says this loudly enough to attract attention. The mourners, including ones beyond the man in the Hawaiian shirt, stare at her in shock. Only the man in the Hawaiian shirt doesn’t react, his eyes trained out over the cliff.

VERONICA: [gently] Come on, there's nothing here.

Veronica leads Jessie away.

EXT – BASEBALL FIELD – DAY.

A Little Leaguer, wearing an orange-shirted baseball uniform, swings at a ball. In the background are the sounds of kids playing ball. The camera moves up to reveal Woody, supervising the kids whilst talking to Keith.

WOODY: Neptune: cleaner, safer. That's my entire platform. I'm running for county supervisor because I care about this town, Keith. It's my home. Dakota!

DAKOTA: Yeah?

WOODY: You're stepping in too soon.

DAKOTA: Okay, Coach.

The Little Leaguers all appear to be white. At the side of the field is another group of boys, not in uniform, of a variety of races. They complain.

NON-09ER KID #1: Come on, man, when you gonna get off the field?

NON-09ER KID #2: Yeah, it's our turn.

NON-09ER KID #3: Man, we up now.

NON-09ER KID #4: What's going on, man?

NON-09ER KID #5: This is stupid, man.

NON-09ER KID #6: It's 11:05. You guys are supposed to be off the field.

09ER KID: Wow, you can tell time!

NON-09ER KID #7: You all gotta go!

Oblivious, Woody continues to talk to Keith.

WOODY: You know what the key element to my safer plank is?

KEITH: I don't.

WOODY: Having an effective sheriff in office. Keith, I want you to run for sheriff.

Keith’s eyebrows rise sceptically.

WOODY: I'm prepared to use all my resources to support your candidacy.

KEITH: Mr Goodman--

WOODY: Woody.

KEITH: Woody. Out of curiosity, where did you stand when I was removed from office?

WOODY: I signed the petition to get rid of you. I'm admitting right now that I was wrong. We had a good thing going with you as sheriff. And there's a whole community, I believe, that realizes that now.

Behind him, the kids waiting decide to take matters into their own hands and walk onto the diamond.

NON-09ER KID #6: Come on, guys, let's go play.

Things deteriorate rapidly as the Little Leaguers refuse to give way. Pushing and shoving ensues. Keith notices.

KEITH: Hey Woody.

The melee is centred on the pitcher’s mound and Woody races to it as Keith stands back and watches.

WOODY: Hey! Break it up. Break it up, come on. Hey! Break it up. Break it up, fellas. Come on now. There's enough daylight for everybody.

[202/0808.jpg]Woody restores order as the boys crowd around him.

WOODY: I apologize, boys, I see I let things run over. Sportsmanship! That's what it's all about, isn't it?

ONE OF THE BOYS: Yeah.

WOODY: That's what separates us from the animals. That and, uh, opposable thumbs. All right, boys, clear the field. You guys have a good workout. Cheers.

Woody ushers the Little Leaguers off the field.

WOODY: Come on, hustle it up. You wanna make the big leagues? Keith, you think about what we talked about and maybe get back to me by the end of the week?

KEITH: Of course.

WOODY: Great. Come on, you guys. Let's go, hustle up, hustle, hustle, hustle. Hustle, come on, now.

Keith watches them leave with a smile on his face.

INT – MARS RESIDENCE – DAY.

Veronica lifts a frying pan from the stove to the counter. She serves Keith what looks to be a cross between scrambled eggs and an omelette. The television is on in the background.

VERONICA: I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, that Woody Goodman is what some people might call a shoo-in.

KEITH: He is unopposed.

VERONICA: So he's basically guaranteeing you a victory? What is there to think about?

KEITH: Elections aren't that easy, Veronica.

VERONICA: Sure they are. Couple of catchy bumper stickers, your handsome mug plastered on all the benches in Neptune. Done and done.

KEITH: Elections dredge up ugliness, and I don't want to subject you to that again.

TV REPORTER: Duane Andrews was...

VERONICA: You want to protect me? Run for sheriff.

TV REPORTER: ...the last person Ed Doyle spoke with before driving off the Pacific Coast Highway.

Keith and Veronica turn their attention to the television, to the extent of getting up from the counter and standing in front of the TV. A clerk in a convenience store is featured. He is wearing a tasteless sweatshirt that has a yellow school bus, topped by a halo and wings, under which is written, "We’ll never forget."

DUANE: He was kind of a weird duck, I mean, you could tell that right off the bat. Guy comes in, buys a couple of things, pays, goes to leave, then stops, right? Then comes back to the counter, all serious-like, picks up one of these.

He picks up an item and holds it up to the camera.

DUANE: Okay, you guys see that? It's a St. Christopher medal. My man pays for it then throws it out, just like that.

TV REPORTER: Neptune's local sheriff's office...

[202/0940.jpg]Keith shakes his head and puts his arm around his daughter.

KEITH: [emotional] I can't imagine where I'd be if you had gotten back on that bus.

He kisses the top of her head, both in affection and relief.

VERONICA: You’d be sad for a while and then you'd probably turn my room into some sort of sewing nook or yoga studio.

KEITH: [seriously] You don't have to make a joke, you know.

VERONICA: Sure I do.

Veronica pulls herself out of his hold and heads for her room. She slows, then swings around.

VERONICA: You know, I wonder what else the bus driver bought. The couple things the clerk mentioned, well what if it was No-Doz or Red Bull? That would tell us that he's sleepy, right? And if he fell asleep, that would explain why there are no tire marks.

KEITH: Veronica, you can't try to make sense out of this.

VERONICA: [sadly] I know the bus driver's daughter. I think a little rhyme or reason would probably make a big difference to her.

KEITH: [whispering] Yeah.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY – DAY.

Veronica is at her open locker. Ashley Banks is a couple of lockers along, opening it and talking cheerfully to an 09er friend.

ASHLEY: At least everyone we know got off the bus, except Meg.

Veronica looks over at her, disbelieving.

ASHLEY: [snidely] You think her face will be, you know, normal?

[202/1024.jpg]Ashley’s friend giggles. Veronica, looking upset, closes her locker then grabs the door of Ashley’s locker, which Ashley has just opened, slamming it shut and storming past her.

ASHLEY: What a bitch!

Veronica is clearly pissed off as she walks quickly up the hall and into Duncan. He puts his arm around her and walks with her.

DUNCAN: Hey. Been looking for ya.

He notices that she seems upset.

DUNCAN: What's wrong?

Veronica doesn’t respond.

DUNCAN: [jokingly] You've been listening to Radiohead, haven't you? That's it! I'm putting you on a strict Nelly diet.

Veronica comes to a halt and whips round to face him.

VERONICA: [angry] And how should I be feeling? Happy? Like you?

Duncan looks at her for a moment, then backs away, his hand held up in an "I’m not touching this" way. He turns and hurries away.

INT – COOK RESIDENCE – DAY.

Terrence Cook, bag in hand, stands at the door of his daughter’s room, leaning against it with a sigh. She is in bed. She looks at him.

[202/1122.jpg]JACKIE: I think you missed the boat on the watching-me-sleep years.

TERRENCE: It's eight o'clock, when do you plan on getting up?

JACKIE: The plan was two hours ago; the reality is another forty minutes.

TERRENCE: No, no, we're not gonna play this game again, Jackie. You cannot miss another day of school.

JACKIE: Even if I have cramps, you know, from my monthly?

TERRENCE: Jackie!

JACKIE: Wow, that was pretty fatherly, almost sounded like you've been saying my name in exasperation for years.

TERRENCE: All right, how about we try this…

He drops his bag and walks further into the room.

TERRENCE: You can get your ass out of that bed right now, or you can go back to New York, and explain why you're there to your mom.

Jackie sits up in bed.

JACKIE: So, this is how it's gonna be? Clean your room or you can go back to New York? Get straight As or you can go back to New York?

TERRENCE: Yeah, this is how it's gonna be and you can also add, "Speak to your father with the respect he deserves or you will go back to New York" to your list.

Jackie salutes him, with attitude.

TERRENCE: I'll be back in two days. You can reach me on my cell if you need anything.

[202/1200.jpg]He holds out car keys.

JACKIE: Mmmm, these don't look German.

TERRENCE: You're not taking the Porsche. You take the Bronco.

He drops the keys on the bed.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CAR PARK – DAY.

Jackie pulls into a parking spot in the Porsche. She gets out, looks at her watch and hurries on.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CLASSROOM – DAY.

Wallace is sitting behind Cathy Westcott. She is talking to Beth who sitting next to them both. He is finding the chattering about one of the dead students distasteful.

CATHY: Cervando was just an exceptional person, you know? I-I guess you never met him because you're new, but you would've loved him. I mean, he was this bad-ass PCH biker and he was on the Honour Roll.

BETH: They didn't give him a hard time?

CATHY: Well, I guess at first, but then they learned to respect it because that was the kind of person that Cervando was.

[202/1233.jpg]Wallace crinkles his face in repugnance. That expression changes dramatically when Jackie walks into the room. Jackie hands a slip of paper to the teacher, with attitude. The teacher reads it, leaving Jackie standing at the front of the class. Wallace checks her out with something like awe. Jackie notices and smiles. The teacher hands her back the piece of paper.

MRS. STEWART: You should take this to the attendance office.

JACKIE: And where's that?

Wallace’s hand shoots up.

WALLACE: Mmmm!

He grins broadly.

INT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY – DAY.

Wallace escorts Jackie to the administration office.

JACKIE: Thanks for taking me. I don't know what I would've done, this school is sooo big.

WALLACE: You know, I'm just trying to be a nice guy.

JACKIE: How's that working out for ya?

WALLACE: I'm getting about three hallways' worth of quality time. I'm gonna say it's going pretty good.

JACKIE: Look, I haven't dated a guy in high school since the eighth grade.

WALLACE: I'm an old soul. Seriously, these eyes have seen things. Did I mention I'm a nice guy?

JACKIE: Ah, "nice," the great panty-dropper.

WALLACE: Okay, I'm not that nice.

JACKIE: Oh, yes you are.

WALLACE: How do you know?

JACKIE: 'Cause, I haven't tried to make out with you yet.

WALLACE: Oh, you're one of those, only like the bad boys. Why do all the hottest girls always have a daddy complex?

JACKIE: [annoyed] Daddy complex?

Jackie halts just as they get to the door of the administration office. Wallace turns round to check out why they’ve stopped.

WALLACE: What? I was kidding.

JACKIE: I met you about three seconds ago and you've already got me analyzed. Get over yourself.

[202/1335.jpg]She storms past him towards the administration office door.

WALLACE: [sincerely] Jackie, I'm sorry. I was kidding.

She stops at the door, her back to him and her arm up on the door jamb. She turns her head to look back at him and smiles in a mercurial change of temper. She giggle snorts.

JACKIE: A "whatever, bitch" and a 180 back to study hall, and we could have had something.

Wallace’s face goes from consternation to a smile.

INT – CASABLANCAS RESIDENCE – DAY.

A naked foot protrudes from the top of a couch. There is panting. The camera rolls along the couch to reveal Logan and Kendall. While the couch blocks the view of the lower half of their bodies, it doesn’t hide their movements. They are having sex, with Logan on top.

[202/1354.jpg]LOGAN: Afternoon delight?

He rises up on fully extended arms above her before descending again and continuing his movements.

LOGAN: Whoo, considerably better than fifth-period English.

KENDALL: Ah, you need to not remind me you're in high school. There's an ick factor.

LOGAN: Is that so?

KENDALL: Yeah. School in general, not very hot, unless I'm wearing a naughty schoolgirl uniform. [whispers] Then it's very hot.

LOGAN: Mmm, I'm sure it would be for the three seconds you had it on.

KENDALL: You know, you’re my first younger guy.

LOGAN: Oh, it is an honour and a privilege.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CAR PARK – DAY.

Duncan approaches his car and sees Veronica, who is waiting for him.

[202/1436.jpg]VERONICA: I suck.

DUNCAN: I was just trying to make you feel better. I'm struggling with all this too.

VERONICA: I know. I know.

Veronica pulls him into something of a desperate kiss and then hugs him.

VERONICA: I just have all these conflicting emotions. Grief, for everyone who died and everyone who lost someone. Guilt, about Meg. The one that kills me, joy, because I'm alive. And by all rights, I shouldn't be.

DUNCAN: Veronica, it's not your fault.

VERONICA: I'm afraid that line only works in Good Will Hunting.

Duncan laughs, followed by Veronica. Duncan strokes her arm.

INT – CASABLANCAS RESIDENCE – DAY.

Logan and Kendall have moved to the floor, sitting upright in each other’s arms. Logan is kissing her neck.

[202/1525.jpg]LOGAN: Being with a younger guy must suck.

Kendall laughs and Logan returns his attention to her neck.

KENDALL: Hold it. Hold it.

A car door slams outside.

KENDALL: Someone's home.

They scramble. The front door opens and Big Dick Casablancas enters, followed by Dick and Beaver.

BIG DICK: Never, ever let that country club valet touch the car. It comes back with a scratch every time. All right?

Big Dick moves to the lounge, followed by the boys.

KENDALL: Oh, my God!

Kendall is on the couch, in her robe, painting her toenails.

KENDALL: You scared me.

BIG DICK: Hey.

Big Dick leans down to give her a kiss.

KENDALL: Hi.

BEAVER: Hey, ah, why is Logan's truck in the driveway?

KENDALL: Uh, because there's water in the pool? He's upstairs waiting for you. You know, and I'd really rather your friends not just show up whenever they want.

The boys head out to find Logan. Kendall calls after them.

KENDALL: I'm not running an orphanage here.

She looks up at her husband, who shrugs. Upstairs, in Dick’s bedroom, replete with guitar and surfboard, Logan, now completely dressed, is playing a video game. He glances at the boys as they enter, then returns his attention to the game.

LOGAN: Dude, why is your step-mom such a bitch?

Beaver walks between Logan and the screen. Logan kicks him out of the way.

LOGAN: Hey, get, get out. I mean, seriously, a guy asks for one sandwich.

Dick and Beaver settle on either side of him. Big Dick wanders into the room.

BIG DICK: Hey, Logan. How's everything going?

LOGAN: Really well, thanks for asking, Mr C., and you?

BIG DICK: Excellent.

LOGAN: See, you had to one up me.

BIG DICK: Listen, don't worry about Mrs. Casablancas. You're welcome here anytime. You like to bust chops. I respect that.

[202/1638.jpg]LOGAN: Hm, thanks.

BIG DICK: Hey, ah, Dick Junior and I are going over to the firing range tomorrow. Interest you in a little target practice?

LOGAN: Oh, as long as I'm not the target.

Logan holds out his hands. Big Dick makes a finger gun and shoots, then laughs. Logan’s smile fades as Big Dick leaves the room.

BEAVER: Okay, so I guess I'll just stay here and knit something.

Logan gives Beaver's head a rub, which the younger boy waves off.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CAR PARK – DAY.

Wallace, carrying his sports bag, approaches Jackie, who is leaning against the Porsche looking miserable.

WALLACE: Detention and you locked your keys in your Porsche. Bad first day?

JACKIE: Someone hit my father's car.

[202/1656.jpg]The offside rear has been swiped, breaking the light and damaging the bodywork around it.

WALLACE: Ahh.

JACKIE: And if that isn't bad enough, they left a fake note.

Jackie hands Wallace the note, written on a piece of paper from a narrow notebook. Wallace reads it out loud.

WALLACE: "People are watching me leave this note. I'm sure it looks like I'm leaving my insurance info. I'm not." That's just mean.

JACKIE: This is exactly what my father's expecting.

WALLACE: I can help, I mean, if you want.

Jackie is sceptical.

WALLACE: I can!

JACKIE: Like how?

WALLACE: I know someone, trust me. Gonna track this scumbag down.

Wallace gets his cell out of his bag and starts to dial.

INT – CONVENIENCE STORE – CONTINUING.

Veronica is in Duane Andrews’ store and is horrified by the merchandise that has been produced in the wake of the bus tragedy. The logo is as Duane was wearing before: a yellow school bus flying with large wings topped by a halo. There are key chains and buttons and coasters and stickers and mugs and shot glasses and T shirts and caps. Over the radio, in this scene and in all subsequent scenes in the store, the radio is on, playing one song. Music: "Magic Bus" by the Who.

LYRICS: Every day I get in the queue (too much, magic bus)
To get on the bus that takes me to you (too much, magic bus)
I'm so nervous, I just sit and smile (too much, magic bus)
Your house is only another mile (too much, magic bus)
Thank you, driver, for getting me here (too much, magic bus)
You'll be an inspector, have no fear (too much, magic bus)
I don't want to cause no fuss (too much, magic bus)
But can I buy your magic bus? (Too much, magic bus)
Nooooooooo!
I don't care how much I pay (too much, magic bus)
I wanna drive my bus to my baby each day (too much, magic bus)
I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it ... (You can't have it!)
Threepence and sixpence every day
Just to drive to my baby
[202/1731.jpg]Threepence and sixpence each day
'Cause I drive my baby every way
Magic bus, magic bus, magic bus ...
I said, now I've got my magic bus (too much, magic bus)
I said, now I've got my magic bus (too much, magic bus)
I drive my baby every way (too much, magic bus)
Each time I go a different way (too much, magic bus)
I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it
Every day you'll see the dust (too much, magic bus)
As I drive my baby in my magic bus (too much, magic bus)

Veronica’s cell rings. She answers, her voice quivering with anger, distress and revulsion.

VERONICA: Hey, Wallace.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CAR PARK – CONTINUING.

[202/1739.jpg]Wallace plays Veronica and tilts his head the way she does when she wants a favour.

WALLACE: Whatcha doing?

INT – CONVENIENCE STORE – CONTINUING.

VERONICA: Remembering why I'm a misanthrope. They're selling souvenirs, Wallace…

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CAR PARK – CONTINUING.

VERONICA: [offscreen] Bus-crash souvenirs.

Wallace’s face drops as he recognizes how upset she is.

WALLACE: You okay?

INT – CONVENIENCE STORE – CONTINUING.

VERONICA: Yeah, I'm fine. What did you need?

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CAR PARK – CONTINUING.

WALLACE: Don't worry about it. I'll take care of it myself. See you tomorrow, all right?

INT – CONVENIENCE STORE – CONTINUING.

VERONICA: Yeah, okay.

Veronica switches off the phone.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CAR PARK – CONTINUING.

Wallace does the same and looks down at it with concern.

JACKIE: So?

Wallace turns to face her, changing his expression to a grin.

WALLACE: It's all good. I'm on the case.

INT – CONVENIENCE STORE – CONTINUING.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Now, how to convince this spotlight-loving bozo that I'm his friend. Please let Ed Doyle's last meal be super-caffeinated, give me something good to tell Jessie.

Duane is behind his counter, still wearing his sweat shirt. There is more "We’ll Never Forget" merchandise and a sign, "We Do Not Make Change. Don’t Even Ask."

[202/1844.jpg]VERONICA: Hey, you're the guy from the news, right?

DUANE: I am, man, did you see that? Check you out. Let me ask you a question, I look fat to you? 'Cause I was watching it on the news and I was like, "Damn, I look fat." Then I read something online says, like, the camera adds ten pounds. I was thinking maybe it was them, but just in case, though, I started a diet regiment this morning.

VERONICA: God, that must have been so freaky to be the last one to talk to the bus driver.

DUANE: It was weird.

VERONICA: Just thinking about him standing here is like...just so cool! I-or maybe you think that's weird, I don't know. I'm kind of into the macabre.

DUANE: Yeah, you're one of those freaky sex and death type kids, aren't you? We've been getting a lot up here lately. Boss tells me to throw them out, but I'm like "No way, man." Goth money spends just as well as, uh...non-Goth money, so. But if we've been getting a lot of Munsters in here, I'd say that you're the Marilyn, hon, 'cause you're...pretty.

Veronica simpers coyly.

VERONICA: Thanks. Okay, would you think I'm sick if I asked for the last meal the bus driver ate?

DUANE: I would, but you wouldn't be the first, you know. You'd be like the ninety-seventh person that asked for it.

Veronica’s disguise slips a little as her true feelings show at that piece of news.

VERONICA: Really?

Luckily, Duane is not paying attention as he moves to get her a slushy.

DUANE: Yeah. Let me tell you something, if I was gonna do a kamikaze, you know, off a bridge with a bus full of kids and stuff, convenience store would not be the site of my last meal. I’d want to...I’d want to eat something on the brink of extinction, you know? Like the last emu, or meerkat.

Veronica throws him an astonished look. (Note: Duane’s next line was cut from some broadcasts.)

DUANE: I bet they'd go down smooth. It would definitely not be a Monster Glug, right, and a bag of peanuts. A buck ninety-eight, hon.

Veronica throws him the money.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Slushy and peanuts?

DUANE: Thanks.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: That tells me nothing.

Veronica notes the "No change" sign and, sitting immediately underneath, a plastic box full of plastic St. Christopher medals, on sale for twenty-five cents each. Duane counts out her change.

[202/2005.jpg]DUANE: Three-oh-two. One, two, three. There you go.

She picks up a St. Christopher medal.

VERONICA: And I can't leave here without one of these.

She hands over a dollar bill.

DUANE: Mm, St. Chris. Hope it helps you. It didn't help him.

Veronica clocks the "No change" sign again. Duane gives her the change.

DUANE: There you go.

VERONICA: Thanks.

DUANE: Be careful going around those cliffs. Don't pull a bussie, please. You're too cute to die.

Veronica looks down at the change in her hand.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: "No change, don't ask," huh? Wait…

She looks up and sees the pay phone in the corner.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Ed Doyle's saint toss wasn't a sign he was turning his back on God. He just needed change for the phone, so he bought the cheapest thing he could find. But who did he call and why doesn't anyone know about it?

End music: "Magic Bus" by the Who.

INT – SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT – DAY.

Veronica approaches the counter, newspaper in hand. Sacks is on duty but doesn’t look up. Veronica stares at him for a moment, then slaps the newspaper and her arms down on the desk, which does get his attention.

VERONICA: Either I am getting stealthier or your hearing [whispering] is not what it used to be.

SACKS: What do you want, Veronica?

[202/2057.jpg]VERONICA: I'd like an application.

He snorts.

SACKS: Right.

He goes back to his paperwork. Veronica holds up the newspaper.

VERONICA: It says right here you're looking for a part-time receptionist.

SACKS: Why aren't you in school?

VERONICA: Job hunting on my lunch break. I have excellent time-management skills, I'm also great with people and I have [soothingly] a very soothing phone voice.

SACKS: You're serious?

VERONICA: As a code three on a one-eighty-seven in a res. dist.

Sacks is a little bemused but reaches under the counter for an application form. Veronica smirks and grabs a pen from the counter. Sacks hands her the form which she takes.

VERONICA: Is there some place quiet I can fill this out?

Cut to Sacks showing her into an empty interrogation room. She sits at the table and makes to start completing the form until Sacks shuts the door, leaving her alone. She goes into her bag and gets her notebook. She grabs the telephone receiver.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Few people have quick access to pay-phone records. On the short list, the police.

VERONICA: Hi, this is Deputy Ann Shaughnessy from the Neptune County Sheriff's Department. I need a number and an address for a call placed last Wednesday between 4:15 and 4:30 PM.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CAR PARK – DAY.

[202/2159.jpg]A group of four boys are playing Hacky Sack. Wallace approaches.

WALLACE: What's up, man?

HACKY SACK PLAYER: What's up?

Wallace joins them for a brief round.

WALLACE: I always see you guys playing Hacky Sack over here after lunch. Chip?

Wallace gives him a pack of Nachos Whiffies. The Hacky Sack player examines it appreciatively.

HACKY SACK PLAYER: Sure, nice.

WALLACE: Hey, my friend's car got slammed the other day, I was wondering if maybe you saw something.

HACKY SACK PLAYER: Yeah, the Porsche?

WALLACE: You saw it?

HACKY SACK PLAYER: Yeah, man, that was rough. This chick just came out of nowhere, slammed into it. Just pow!

WALLACE: Know who it was?

HACKY SACK PLAYER: Some blonde chick. She had a nice ass, but I never seen her before.

WALLACE: See, but now if that's all you got, I gotta go look at every decent-assed blonde chick in this school.

The Hacky Sack player laughs.

HACKY SACK PLAYER: Ah, she was driving a green car, if that helps.

WALLACE: Thanks.

Wallace backs away.

INT – SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT – DAY.

[202/2241.jpg]Lamb enters the main area. He is looking sour. He checks his watch. Sacks, pouring himself a cup of coffee, spots him.

SACKS: You'll never guess who's in the interrogation room right now filling out an application.

Lamb stops and turns to face him, somewhat irritable. He makes a show of thinking hard.

LAMB: You're right. I'll never guess. Who?

SACKS: Veronica Mars.

Lamb’s face takes on a panicked and horrified look.

LAMB: You left Veronica Mars in there alone?

He races to the interrogation room. Sacks watches him go, bemused. In the interrogation room, Veronica is still on the phone.

VERONICA: I got it, thanks.

She puts the phone down just as Lamb opens the door. She puts her notebook away as he stares hard at her.

LAMB: What are you up to, Veronica?

VERONICA: The last question, actually, "Why do you want this position?" Honestly, and really tell me the truth, how much of an ass-kiss would I be if I admit it's to be close to you?

Lamb is not amused. He walks around to her side of the table, bends down, grips the chair and pulls it hard out from under her. Veronica rises and walks towards the door.

VERONICA: Seriously, why do birds suddenly appear every time you're near?

Lamb shakes his head.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, LUNCH AREA – DAY.

Sheets of papers with lists are spread out over one of the tables. There are a couple of year books, one of which is open at a page of many photographs of students. Wallace is showing Jackie the fruits of his labours. Behind them, some students are seen wearing the bus tragedy merchandise.

WALLACE: So I got the basics from the stoners, right? Used my attendance office connections - don't ask - and I got a parking permit list. Name, bam! Plate number, bam! I got the car make and colour of every student's car parked at Neptune High. Weeded out the dudes, and then...wait for it...cross-referenced to the yearbook to eliminate all the non-blondes. And yeah, then there were four.

JACKIE: So you've located the bitch.

Wallace, who was standing over Jackie, moves round to sit next to her at the table.

[202/2408.jpg]WALLACE: I'm in the whittling stage right now. It's a process. I checked out two suspects. One's been driving her mom's blue Dodge all week and the other one's car is mint.

JACKIE: My father's coming home tomorrow.

WALLACE: It'll be fixed by tomorrow.

JACKIE: Yeah, but when the credit card bill is due I won't be able to pay it and I'll have to go to him.

WALLACE: Look, you will have your money by then. I'm telling you, I will find her. I promise. Wallace Fennel is on the case. You know what that means?

JACKIE: That Wallace Fennel wants to get in my pants?

WALLACE: And? What else?

JACKIE: That's all I've got.

WALLACE: It's already solved. There's only one girl left on the list.

Jackie smiles sweetly at him.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CAR PARK – DAY.

Wallace is running his hand along the bumper of a green car, license 2ITA336. It’s a "Yundai" (and this week’s missing letter is H, or is it?). A girl walking with crutches approaches.

JANE: What are you doing?

Wallace straightens up quickly.

WALLACE: Jane! What did you do to yourself?

JANE: I, ah, had knee surgery.

WALLACE: Oo, ouch. When?

JANE: About a month ago. I-I didn't think you knew who I was.

WALLACE: What? Are you kidding?

JANE: No, I mean we had Spanish together all last semester and you never said two words to me. In English either.

Wallace is getting a little uncomfortable that Jane is coming on to him. Behind her, a geeky looking boy carrying books drops them into her car. Jane looks round to see what Wallace is looking at.

[202/2501.jpg]JANE: Oh, that's Bob. He's my friend. Kind of my chauffeur-friend right now, but, um…

She hobbles closer to Wallace.

JANE: …he's just a friend.

Wallace laughs self-consciously.

INT – DOYLE RESIDENCE – DAY.

It’s a very small apartment. Jessie hands Veronica an iced tea.

JESSIE: Yes, there's sugar in here. We like our iced tea to come from crystals.

VERONICA: It's fine, thanks.

Jessie starts taking fruit out of small paper bags and placing them in a bowl.

JESSIE: So, um, my dad calling someone is a good sign then, right?

VERONICA: It might be. Do you recognize the name Cotter? The address is from your apartment complex. Did your dad ever hang out with any of the neighbours?

JESSIE: No.

VERONICA: I went by there earlier, but no one was around. I'll stop by again later.

The doorbell rings. Jessie goes to answer. It’s Lamb with two deputies.

LAMB: Is your mother home?

Veronica, looking at pictures on a shelf, whips round.

JESSIE: No, she's picking up my little brother from day care.

LAMB: I have a search warrant.

[202/2554.jpg]Veronica sighs.

JESSIE: What for?

Lamb and the deputies have entered the apartment. Lamb sees Veronica.

LAMB: Looking for evidence. Suicide is a crime. Suicide that takes the lives of six others is murder. What are you doing here, Mars?

He smiles tightly.

VERONICA: Jessie's a friend.

Lamb starts looking through the Doyle family mail. Veronica throws a sympathetic look at Jessie.

INT – SHOOTING RANGE – DAY.

A gun is aimed at a target, a picture of the half-body of a man. Two shots hit the representation in the head. It’s Big Dick shooting and the next three shots hit the middle of the chest. Big Dick smiles, satisfied. In the next booth, Dick, holding the gun on its side, gangsta-style, shoots eight shots off rapidly. They go all over the target, none hitting the chest or head. Cartridges ping as they hit the floor. Dick looks at his gun, as if it is responsible for his poor aim. Logan is in the next booth.

[202/2626.jpg]LOGAN: Well, that'll slow him down.

Logan straightens the safety glasses, takes single-handed aim and lets off two shots which hit the chest area but not the centre. He grips the gun with both hands and takes two more (slight glitch as the target shows three more shots taken). One is in the head, the others in the chest area again. Logan blows the top of the gun. Big Dick comes up behind him.

BIG DICK: You ever shoot before, son?

Logan, jumpy around Big Dick, turns to face him. He pushes back the ear defender from one ear.

LOGAN: Oh, uh, no.

BIG DICK: It's a good way to let off some steam, but when you're at the point where you want to shoot someone, you want to take him down, you don't want to wing him.

Big Dick points at the target.

BIG DICK: Heart and head, that's where it counts.

LOGAN: Hm, ain't that the truth?

BIG DICK: You need focus, precision, the ability to only think about the task at hand. When I'm working, my family doesn't exist.

Dick grins.

BIG DICK: Does that sound awful?

LOGAN: Mm, no.

BIG DICK: It's not, because when I'm with my family, work doesn't exist.

Big Dick spins the chamber of his revolver.

LOGAN: Hmm. I think my father has a similar philosophy.

BIG DICK: Yeah?

LOGAN: Yeah. Of course, he's a murderer, so...yeah.

Big Dick thinks about that for a moment, then laughs.

BIG DICK: Yeah.

He pats Logan on the arm and returns to his booth. Dick joins Logan.

DICK: Hey. We should have some chicks over tomorrow night. Dad's got this banquet at the Neptune Grand and he's forcing Kendall to go with him.

Dick is fiddling with his gun. Logan reaches down and engages the safety.

LOGAN: Dude, have you forgotten I live alone.

DICK: Yeah, but only psycho chicks want to go to Casa de Killer.

That hurts. Logan disguises it with a laugh but he is deeply affected by it. As Dick walks away, Logan twists back round. Without hesitation and in a smooth movement, he takes two-handed aim at the target and shoots. It hits the chest, dead-centre.

INT – SAC-N-PAC – NIGHT.

In the background, a couple of people talk.

MALE VOICE: What did she say? Did she say Duper-Duds?

FEMALE VOICE: Out back.

Wallace is at the counter, reading the Neptune Register. The headline is "Traffic Fatalities Rise Again." Another story is "Lifeguards face dire shortage." Veronica joins him and leans against the counter.

[202/2744.jpg]VERONICA: I need a job where I get paid to read the personals and drink slushies.

WALLACE: Did you see this? It's about Cervando.

The Neptune Register is fifty cents. The newspaper is dated September 24, 2005 and the email address is www.neptuneregister.com. The story Wallace is reading is next to the lead story, "Biker with a Brain. Honor roll gang member’s passions were billiards and biology. By Diane Ruggiero. Senior Staff Writer. Among the Neptune High School students killed in the recent bus crash was an unlikely honor roll member. Cervando Perez, 17, a long standing member of the local PCH motorcycle gang, is remembered by his classmates as one who defied stereotypes. ‘Cervando wept the first time he saw Stand and Deliver, recalls classmate Cathy Westcott. ‘It was so sweet. He wanted to be just like Jaime Escalanto. Perez, whose academic…biology and calcu-"

VERONICA: If I die unexpectedly, do me a favour.

Veronica puts her hand over Wallace’s.

VERONICA: Go on Oprah and tell the world I loved kittens.

Wallace sniggers. Veronica reads out loud from the article.

VERONICA: "Cervando wept the first time he saw Stand and Deliver." Where do they even get that stuff?

WALLACE: There was this new girl in class just soaking up the drama. She probably couldn't wait to talk to reporters.

MALE VOICE: Is that Diane or is that his girlfriend with him?

INT – COTTER APARTMENT COMPLEX – NIGHT.

There is a knock. Jeff Cotter opens the door. It’s Veronica.

COTTER: Yeah?

Veronica takes a breath to start but he anticipates her.

COTTER: Wait, let me guess, Save Our Beaches, right?

VERONICA: Jeff Cotter?

COTTER: Yeah.

VERONICA: My name is Dawn, Dawn Lamb, assistant to the District Attorney. Did you know Ed Doyle?

COTTER: Um, he was the bus driver in that accident, right?

VERONICA: Yes.

COTTER: I've heard of him, you know, from the news. I-I think he lives around here too. What's this about?

VERONICA: Ed Doyle placed a call from a convenience store pay phone to your apartment about fifteen minutes before the bus went over the cliff. Last Wednesday, 4:05 p.m.?

COTTER: Yeah, I was in New York on Wednesday, I just got back this weekend. Hey Carla, sweetheart, come here.

[202/2852.jpg]Cotter is joined at the door by his wife (who is a cross between Sarah Jessica Parker and Lianne Mars).

COTTER: She's saying that-that the bus driver guy, the guy from the accident, he called here last week.

CARLA: Who?

VERONICA: Ed Doyle. Were you home last week between four and five p.m.?

CARLA: Yes. But I-I don't know what you're talking about. Wait, I did get a wrong number last week, it, uh, might have been Wednesday.

Veronica’s cell phone starts to ring. She grapples for it and looks to see who it is.

VERONICA: Thank you. Sorry to bother you.

COTTER: No problem.

Cotter shuts the door as Veronica takes the call.

VERONICA: Jessie, what's up?

JESSIE: [offscreen, upset] You can stop whatever you're doing.

VERONICA: Why?

INT – DOYLE RESIDENCE – CONTINUING.

JESSIE: My...father killed himself.

INT – COTTER APARTMENT COMPLEX – CONTINUING.

JESSIE: [offscreen] The sheriff found his suicide note…

INT – DOYLE RESIDENCE – CONTINUING.

JESSIE: Saved on his computer.

INT – COTTER APARTMENT COMPLEX – CONTINUING.

Veronica sighs.

INT – DOYLE RESIDENCE – DAY.

Jessie opens the door to Veronica.

VERONICA: I just wanted to check in.

RANDI: [offscreen] How can you cry about him?

Veronica looks over at the harsh voice, raised to a young boy.

RANDI: You think he cared about either one of us? He left us with nothing and--

[202/2941.jpg]Jessie races over to the couch on which her brother is cowering and crying.

JESSIE: Mom!

RANDI: What?

Randi looks over at Veronica who drops her head.

RANDI: I think we can stop worrying about appearances.

Randi snatches up a laundry basket and leaves the room. Jessie comforts Bruno.

JESSIE: Hey, you know not to listen to her when she's like this, right?

BRUNO: I don't know.

JESSIE: Daddy was sick. He was in a lot of pain.

BRUNO: Where-where was it?

Jessie doesn’t know how to respond.

JESSIE: It's...h-hard to explain.

Veronica swallows.

BRUNO: Can I go play outside now?

JESSIE: Yeah, just stay in the yard, okay?

Bruno leaves and Veronica joins Jessie on the couch. Jessie pulls a folded piece of paper from her pocket.

JESSIE: Maybe, uh, he'll feel better when he's older and he can read this. Sheriff was kind enough...to print it out and fax it over.

Jessie opens it out and reads.

JESSIE: "I'm sorry to leave you this way, but I truly believe in my heart that it's for the best. I can't go on like this. I can't stay just for the kids, even though they mean more to me than anything. This isn't good for them." You know, my mom was right for a change, better off without him.

There’s a shout from another room.

RANDI: Jessie!

Jessie exits. Veronica picks up the paper and is thoughtful.

INT – SAC-N-PAC – NIGHT.

Wallace is stacking shelves. A middle-aged man, Bernie, approaches.

BERNIE: Slow night?

Wallace doesn’t interrupt his work.

WALLACE: Ah, not bad.

BERNIE: No?

WALLACE: Busy enough to not get bored, slow enough to do my homework.

BERNIE: I used to work nights at the store when I was in high school.

Wallace stops stacking and gives the man an odd look. Wallace nods.

BERNIE: Sweet gig. You go to Neptune High?

WALLACE: Yeah.

BERNIE: Ah, must be rough. Anyone close to you involved in that crash?

WALLACE: No.

BERNIE: Good. Thank God. Still, you probably knew some of the kids, right?

WALLACE: You looking for a story?

[202/3146.jpg]Bernie smiles and pulls out his notebook.

BERNIE: Well, you got something?

Wallace looks at the notebook. He reaches forward and grabs it.

WALLACE: Can I see this for a minute?

The paper is narrower than usual notebooks. He tears off the top sheet and hands it back to Bernie.

WALLACE: I've never seen notebooks like this.

BERNIE: Reporters all use them. Easy to hold and write at the same time. So, ah, you said you knew some of the kids.

WALLACE: No, I didn't.

The man gives Wallace a "You got me, kid" look.

INT – COTTER APARTMENT COMPLEX – NIGHT.

Veronica knocks on the door. Carla answers.

VERONICA: One quick question. If Ed Doyle dialled the wrong number, why was it a four minute call?

Carla, clearly distressed, searches unsuccessfully for an answer, tears welling in her eyes.

[202/3227.jpg]VERONICA: [gently] I read his suicide note today. And I have a theory. He wasn't planning on killing himself, or a busload of kids. He was planning on leaving his wife, I'm guessing for you.

Carla struggles with her emotions. Music: "On Your Porch" by the Format.

LYRICS: I was on your porch
The smoke sank into my skin
So I came inside to be with you
Well my dad was sick
And my mom she cared for him
Her love, it nursed him back to life
And me I ran
I couldn’t even look at him
For fear I’d have to say goodbye
And as I start to leave
He grabs me by the shoulder and he tells me
What’s left to lose, you’ve done enough
And if you fail, well, then you fail but not to us
‘Cause these last three years, I know they’ve been hard
But now it’s time to get out of the desert and into the sun
Even if it’s alone
I was on your porch
The smoke sank into my skin

Carla loses the battle with her feelings and gestures for Veronica to enter.

CARLA: [whispering] Come in.

Veronica enters and Carla shuts the door.

INT – JAVA THE HUT – NIGHT.

Carla is sitting at one of the small tables.

VERONICA: Carla, this is Jessie.

Jessie isn't pleased to be meeting Carla and stays standing. Carla looks up at her and swallows hard.

CARLA: You look just like your picture.

JESSIE: That's why they call them pictures.

CARLA: Your-your dad…talked about you all the time.

JESSIE: [sarcastically to cover her distress] Yeah, sorry, can't say the same.

CARLA: We were in love, your dad and me.

Jessie snorts, shakes her head and looks away.

CARLA: He called to say that he'd see me later. He didn't mean to drive that bus off a cliff. He-he just couldn't bring himself to leave you and your brother. He didn't want to leave you with your mother.

[202/3341.jpg] Jessie, who has been looking at anything but Carla since she said they were in love, stares at Carla now. Carla holds her gaze, and slowly Jessie relents. She sits down opposite Carla at the small table. She’s cautious and still suspicious, but willing to listen.

CARLA: Now, I wish I was…less understanding, because I never really got to be with the man that I loved.

Veronica has been observing throughout.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: You know the charge that goes up your spine at moment of epiphany? It just hit me. I'm not gonna let the list of things I want to do before I die turn into a list of regrets.

INT – NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, HALLWAY – NIGHT.

Duncan opens the door of the Presidential Suite and grins.

DUNCAN: You came.

Veronica, nearly in tears, runs into his arms and holds him tightly. Duncan is surprised.

DUNCAN: Oh, hey.

INT – NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, PRESIDENTIAL SUITE – NIGHT.

Veronica kisses Duncan urgently. As her desperation mounts, Duncan lifts Veronica and carries her to the bed. He places her down gently, never breaking contact. The camera pulls back to the Mona Lisa pillow at the bottom of the bed, amongst other paraphernalia from Italy – a model Leaning Tower of Pisa, a model of Michelangelo’s David, a miniature gondolier. End music: "On Your Porch" by the Format. Later, the deed done, Duncan lies on his back in the bed. Veronica’s head is resting on his chest. He kisses her forehead and they engage in a little role-reversal.

DUNCAN: [girlie] What are you thinking?

Veronica smiles and glances up at him.

VERONICA: [butch] You know, I was trying to remember the over-under on the Ohio State-Texas game.

Stroking her arm, Duncan laughs but looks grossed out when Veronica pretends to hock a loogie on his chest.

[202/3450.jpg]DUNCAN: Oh, God.

They laugh. They hear a thump. It’s followed by groaning and more rhythmic thumping. Veronica lifts her head.

VERONICA: What is that?

The activities of the occupants in the next room become clear.

VERONICA: Ohhh.

She cuddles back down onto Duncan’s chest.

DUNCAN: Mmmmaybe we did it wrong.

Veronica gives an embarrassed little laugh.

DUNCAN: Uh, so, what's the protocol here? I mean do I bang my fist on the wall? Call the front desk?

VERONICA: Attempt to out-moan them?

Veronica looks up at Duncan. He laughs, but doesn’t take the hint.

DUNCAN: There's really only one thing to do.

Duncan reaches to the side of the bed and picks up a remote. Veronica lays her head back down and smiles indulgently. The TV comes on.

DUNCAN: Spectra Vision. Loud.

Later, as Duncan sleeps, Veronica, fully dressed, gathers her things and leaves.

INT – NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, HALLWAY – NIGHT.

Veronica steps out of the Presidential Suite, still pulling on her boot. As she finishes, she turns at the sound of another door opening. Her face registers her shock. It’s Logan. He’s leaving the next room, jacket in hand. He sees her, his own shock and hurt clear but only for a second as he recovers quickly.

LOGAN: [offscreen, Yoda-style] Hmmm…

Veronica drops her head, unable to look at him.

[202/3603.jpg]LOGAN: [offscreen] What's different about you?

Veronica looks up. Logan walks towards her as he slips on his jacket.

LOGAN: Did you cut your hair or something?

He stops close to her, leaning back against the wall, bending down and bringing up his foot to tie his shoe laces. Veronica stares at him.

LOGAN: Uh, F.Y.I., if the cuddling is the best part, he didn't do it right.

Logan smacks his lips in a mock kiss. Veronica is still standing in stunned silence. Logan finishes with his shoes, stands and walks past, casting a hard glance at the door to Duncan’s suite. Once he is gone, Veronica can finally move. She pulls out her cell and dials, staring at the door to the room Logan came from, room 1147.

OPERATOR: Directory assistance.

VERONICA: Neptune Grand on Fifth Street.

OPERATOR: One moment.

MALE VOICE: Neptune Grand.

VERONICA: Room 1147 please.

As the phone rings in the room, a shape can be seen through the frosted glass.

KENDALL: Hello?

Before Veronica can say anything, Duncan’s door opens. Shirtless, he looks out into the hallway.

DUNCAN: Why didn't you wake me?

VERONICA: I have about fifteen minutes 'til my dad activates the homing device in my molar.

DUNCAN: Mmmm.

They kiss and Veronica leaves. He watches her go. Music: "Little Miss Get Around" by Lukewarm Freeda.

LYRICS: Did you find that you [?put it around?] my heart
Did you find that you’re working it out now
Did you find that you wasted all my time
I don’t want no little Miss Kid-Around
Can’t find, no, nothing like my own
Too bad you’re little Miss Been-Around
Did you find that you [?put it around?] my heart.
When you come around [?] it’s all the same
[?] love, but you don’t [?]
Feel disgusted now, it can never be the same
But you don’t know why.
Did you find that you [?put it around?] my heart
Did you find that you’re working it out now
Did you find that you wasted all my time
I don’t want no little Miss Kid-Around
Can’t find, no, nothing like my own
Too bad you’re little Miss Been-Around
Did you find that you [?put it around?] my heart.

INT – CASABLANCAS RESIDENCE – NIGHT.

Beaver has fallen asleep in front of the television, a bowl of popcorn in his lap. A surfer surfs on the TV. Big Dick and Kendall enter, back from a function for which they’ve dressed up. He motions her to be quiet. She smiles as her husband creeps up on his son. He forms his hand into a fist and plays Anthony Perkins from Psycho, stabbing down while emulating the music from the shower scene.

[202/3704.jpg]BIG DICK: Whee-whee-whee.

Beaver jerks up with such violence that the popcorn bowl goes flying. Big Dick laughs, pleased with himself. Kendall giggles in the background.

BIG DICK: Gotcha.

Beaver lies back with his hands on his head, still shaking and not at all amused. Big Dick runs up to Kendall and pulls her at the waist, directing her out of the room. Kendall stands firm and he goes out without her.

KENDALL: Ohhh, ah, make sure you really clean that up because, uh, if we get bugs, I'm gonna be pissed.

Kendall leaves the room, leaving a disgruntled Beaver to clean up. As he picks the popcorn up from the floor, he reaches for some from under the couch. He feels and picks up something else. It is an empty condom packet – Live Large. He stares at it, then in the direction his father and stepmother exited. End music: "Little Miss Get Around" by Lukewarm Freeda.

INT – SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT – DAY.

Woody comes out into the hallway where Keith is waiting.

WOODY: Hey, Keith. You're looking for me.

KEITH: I am.

WOODY: All right, good. Hit me with some good news.

Lamb enters from the same door as Woody did. Woody pauses, waiting for him to pass behind them. Lamb gives them a hard, suspicious look before going on his way.

[202/3806.jpg]KEITH: I appreciate the offer, Woody, but I've decided not to run.

WOODY: No.

KEITH: Good luck with the election and you can count on my vote.

WOODY: You change your mind, you give me a call.

KEITH: I feel pretty good about the decision.

WOODY: Fair enough.

Woody offers his hand and they shake.

WOODY: You take good care, Keith.

KEITH: Always a pleasure.

WOODY: All right, man.

KEITH: All right.

Keith sets to leave, passing pictures of the old county building that housed the Sheriff’s Department (eg. in the pilot). He pauses to listen to a conversation taking place ahead of him.

JESSIE: Just listen to me for two seconds. I've been here for three hours. You can talk to me for one minute.

Lamb is getting himself a drink from a vending machine. Jessie’s pleading does not divert him.

JESSIE: My father did not kill himself.

LAMB: We have the note. We have the physical evidence. The case is closed.

JESSIE: Open it back up.

Keith watches sympathetically.

JESSIE: That wasn't a suicide note. Hey, he was leaving my mom for another woman. I have proof.

Lamb bangs on the machine and gets his drink, ignoring her.

JESSIE: Listen to me. You have to give another press conference, okay? Please, I have a little brother. He's eight. He needs to know that my father didn't kill those kids.

LAMB: Sorry about your loss. The case is closed.

Lamb goes into the main office, leaving Jessie in the hall. Jessie groans and kicks the bench. Keith frowns.

EXT – NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CAR PARK – DAY.

Wallace and Jackie wait, leaning and sitting respectively on a car.

JACKIE: What are we doing?

WALLACE: Exercising patience. Just wait for it...

Beth, the girl from Wallace’s class, gets into a green car.

WALLACE: …wait for it...and go.

Beth gets out of the car again, seeking out the note on her windscreen.

JACKIE: Wait. She's the one?

WALLACE: My plan is unfolding, just-let's just be impressed and watch it play out.

Beth looks over at Wallace and Jackie. Wallace waves at her. Jackie slides off the car, ready for a fight.

JACKIE: Thanks, but I got it from here.

WALLACE: Whoa, whoa. Do you want your dad to hear you got into a catfight the first week of school?

Beth approaches Wallace and Jackie.

BETH: You have my sparkplugs?

WALLACE: You have your insurance information?

With ill grace, Beth reaches into her bag and gets out her information, thrusting it at Wallace.

WALLACE: Paper bag, back seat.

Beth gets the bag from the back seat while Wallace writes down the insurance details. She waits impatiently for him to finish.

WALLACE: Thank you.

She snatches them back and flounces away.

WALLACE: Chances of her knowing how to replace a sparkplug?

JACKIE: Chances of me running into her in the girls' locker room and unleashing my own brand of justice?

WALLACE: Slim. She doesn't go here. She's a reporter. Think Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed. Hey, if Drew's in it, I seen it.

As they watch Beth trying to replace her spark plugs, two security guards approach her and ask her to accompany them.

WALLACE: I let Clemmons know we had an impostor on campus. Another thing you should know about me: I like my gratitude in small doses, spread out over time.

[202/3956.jpg]Jackie holds out her hand for the insurance information. Wallace passes it over. She leans over and kisses him. Veronica can be seen beyond them, pausing. Jackie backs away.

JACKIE: I may have to reconsider my stand on nice guys.

She turns and heads for her car as Veronica joins Wallace.

VERONICA: Umm, who was that kissing you?

WALLACE: That was Jackie.

VERONICA: Oh.

Wallace laughs at the "Jackie O" reference as Veronica gives him a "not her" look.

INT- MARS RESIDENCE – DAY.

Keith is grating cheese into a bowl. Veronica enters the apartment.

VERONICA: Hey. How did Woody Goodman take the news?

KEITH: Pretty well, actually.

VERONICA: Wasn't bummed?

KEITH: Nope.

VERONICA: Then he's crazy.

KEITH: I told him I'm running.

VERONICA: Oh, my God!

Music: "Where Is My Mind" by the Pixies (instrumental section). Veronica flies at him for a big hug.

VERONICA: Oh, that's great. That's great. I feel safer already.

[202/4053.jpg] Keith looks at her fondly, then examines her face more carefully.

VERONICA: What?

KEITH: You look different, that's all.

Veronica throws a concerned look and embarrassed smile at her father.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Okay, I know my father is a brilliant detective with a keen intuition and a finely-tuned BS detector, but there is no way he can tell that I've had sex. Right?

EXT – BEACH – DAY.

[202/4130.jpg]Sheriff’s Department vehicles are parked and a number of deputies mill around. Lamb is crouched down by a body. It’s the Hawaiian-shirted man from the crash site. Lamb checks his pockets. He looks up at one of the deputies.

LAMB: Hey, check this out.

With his gloved hands, Lamb opens out the hand of the dead man. Written on his palm is a name: Veronica Mars. End. Executive producer: Rob Thomas. End music: "Where Is My Mind" by the Pixies.