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2.05 Blast from the Past

Written by: Phil Klemmer and Cathy Belben
Directed by: Harry Winer

Original Air Date: 26 October, 2005
Transcribed by InigoMontoya and Kiwikazoo
Last edited: 15 November, 2006

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Previously on Veronica Mars

Veronica runs towards the site where the bus drove off the cliff in 201 "Normal Is the Watchword."

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

Duncan holds Veronica as she looks down at the wreckage. Cut to the Presidential Suite at the Neptune Grand Hotel from 203 "Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang."

VERONICA: The bus crash. It was meant for me.

Cut to Alicia, waving off Wallace in 204 "Green-Eyed Monster." She sees Nathan Woods drive by.

ALICIA: [offscreen] He caught me completely off guard.

Cut to Alicia in Keith's office.

ALICIA: We dated almost twenty years ago and he was crazy.

Cut to Wallace taking a phone call.

WALLACE: Veronica, are you in immediate life-threatening danger?

VERONICA: At this precise moment, no.

Wallace readies himself to leave Jackie and go to Veronica's assistance.

WALLACE: If she needs me, I'm gonna come through, just like she would for me.

JACKIE: Where I'm from, the girl you make out with is the one you do favours for.

Nathan approaches Wallace.

WALLACE: Who are you?

NATHAN: I'm your father.

End previously.

INT - FENNEL RESIDENCE - DAY.

Wallace enters the house and sees Alicia taking some food out of the kitchen. He sits down on a chair in the dining area, his face thoughtful. Alicia sees him and calls out from the kitchen.

ALICIA: I was just gonna come outside to grab you.

She grabs a dish and brings it into the dining area.

ALICIA: Food is ready.

WALLACE: I'm not hungry, mama.

Alicia looks over at him.

WALLACE: I just met somebody out in the driveway.

ALICIA: Wallace, what's wrong?

WALLACE: A guy from Chicago. He said he knew you. Name Nathan Woods ring a bell?

ALICIA: Oh Wallace.

WALLACE: Is it true?

Wallace stands. Alicia approaches him

ALICIA: Baby...

WALLACE: No, just tell me if it's true!

ALICIA: You were never supposed to see that man. Is he still here?

Alicia goes to look outside but pauses when she reaches Wallace.

WALLACE: That man? You gotta be kidding. Why don't you just call him what he really is? So, who we put in the ground back in Cleveland? Who-who was it I cried for all those months?

ALICIA: That was your father.

WALLACE: Oh yeah? 'Cos I don't see how that works, having two fathers!

Wallace, angry, moves away and into the living room, sitting on the couch. Alicia follows him and sits on the coffee table in front of him. She takes a deep breath.

ALICIA: Nathan Woods and I got married when I was twenty-one years old. He was--

WALLACE: A narcotics detective, yeah, he told me all that stuff already.

ALICIA: No, Wallace, that's how he started out but then he went undercover on some case that he said would make his career and soon he got so deep into it, he had me fooled, unless coming home high was part of the job, unless stashing heroin and guns under my bed was all in the line of duty?

She moves around to sit next to him on the couch, putting her arm around him.

ALICIA: I hate that you had to find out like this. But if you are asking me who is your real father, that's Hank Fennel.

Alicia gets up and goes to a desk in the room, bending down to search through a filing drawer. Wallace stands to see what she is doing.

WALLACE: What are you doing?

ALICIA: I wanted to show you your birth certificate that...

She can't find it and she realises that Keith took it.

ALICIA: I know where it went.

She slams the drawer shut, angry. She returns to stand in front of her son.

ALICIA: You know that the day Hank Fennel asked me to marry him was the day that he signed his name on that piece of paper calling you his son and that is who your father was. And that's who he still is.

Wallace nods and Alicia pulls him into a hug. Wallace still looks perturbed.

INT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CLASSROOM - DAY.

Mr Wu erases the words "Homecoming Dance" from the board. "Friday night. Be there" can still be seen. There is chatter behind him and a student shoots some rubbish into a bin, basketball style, high-fiving another on his success on his way back to his seat. Wallace is sitting at his desk, in deep thought. Veronica, chirpy, enters the room and slides into the desk next to him. She looks at his apparent depression quizzically.

VERONICA: Can I guess? You got a sweet love hangover and you don't need no cure?

Veronica is pleased with herself and grins. Wallace just looks at her, then shakes his head, not in the moment.

MR. WU: Can I have your attention, please?

Mr Wu faces the class, leaning back against his desk..

MR. WU: As you know, Homecoming season is upon us.

VERONICA: [quietly] Much like the plague.

MR. WU: Each homeroom will nominate one boy and one girl. The top five vote-getters from each class will comprise the royalty court. Homecoming king and queen will be announced at this Friday's dance. The floor is open for nominations. Anyone?

Throughout Mr Wu's announcement, Veronica glances at Wallace and sees his mood. Wallace sinks down in his seat.

MR. WU: Anyone?

Veronica leans over to whisper at Wallace.

VERONICA: You know, sometimes when I'm feeling...

MR. WU: Anyone?

VERONICA: ...I don't know, glum? I like to get a little Pirate love.

She stretches up her hand.

MR. WU: Veronica.

VERONICA: [brightly] I'd like to nominate Wallace Fennel.

There's a whoo-hoo in the class as Wallace looks at Veronica in disbelief. She is grinning ear to ear. Some of the other students shout words of support. Wallace is not happy.

INT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CLASSROOM - DAY.

In Mrs Murphy's room, the same process is taking place. Corny, sitting behind Logan who in turn is sitting behind Jackie, is holding up his hand.

MRS. MURPHY: Yes, Douglas?

CORNY: I'd like to nominate Veronica Mars.

In the next row are Ashley Banks, with Mandy in front of her. Their reactions to the nomination are very different.

ASHLEY: [snidely] Like, ironically?

CORNY: Yeah! She's bad-ass, smoking hot and overall nice to come home to.

LOGAN: Hmm. Zippy the Pinhead with a smashing idea.

Corny glares at Logan but some in the class giggle.

ASHLEY: My ass would make a better Homecoming queen.

Jackie is particularly amused by that.

MANDY: We should nominate Veronica. She deserves it. Remember when she helped me find my dog?

Jackie rolls her eyes.

MANDY: She was totally nice to me even though we barely knew each other.

Logan is becoming increasingly entertained by Mandy's sappiness.

MANDY: Plus she found Polly the parrot last year.

LOGAN: [in breathless imitation] Veronica Mars! Saving the world one pointless act at a time.

MANDY: [to Jackie] Veronica's so good at helping people. If you ever need any help, you should ask her.

Jackie snorts and laughs, unable to believe Mandy's hero-worship. She looks back at Logan and they share a smile.

EXT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, LUNCH AREA - DAY.

Wallace is sitting at a table by himself, looking down, deep in his own thoughts. Jackie and another girl are approaching the table, talking as they walk towards him.

JACKIE: Ah, wa-wa-wait. Let me get this straight. No alcohol, no dimly lit corners, and I'm not allowed to freak, grind and/or mosh. Ah-ah. What's the allure of Homecoming again? Besides the chance to wear pink taffeta and cheek shimmer.

CORA: It's really all about the after party. The dance itself is more like a means to an end.

JACKIE: Cora, I'm kidding, I want it all - the corsage, the photos under the balloon arch, the clandestine love-in with my age appropriate date...

She finally notices that Wallace's mind is elsewhere.

JACKIE: ...with the focusing problem. Hey!

She snaps her fingers in his face.

JACKIE: Dream Weaver!

She gives a little wave. Wallace looks up at her and beyond her sees Veronica sit down at another table.

WALLACE: Yeah, I'll be right back. Gotta go talk to Veronica for a minute.

Wallace gets up with his lunch bag and heads over to Veronica. Jackie, mouth open, can't believe it.

CORA: I saw the most fantastic dress at Miu-Miu last weekend. It was like made for you. So perfect.

Jackie ignores Cora as she glares at Wallace and Veronica.

VERONICA: So your biological dad is like some sort of Donnie Brasco renegade cop? So, what's your bio dad like?

Wallace shushes her and looks around furtively.

WALLACE: I don't know. He seems... [searching for words and failing] ...whatever. Could you just keep this to yourself? I just need to figure things out before--

They both look up as Jackie approaches the table, glaring at Wallace.

JACKIE: [false jollity] What? Are you guys still planning my surprise party?

VERONICA: Hi, Jackie.

JACKIE: Bye, Veronica.

Jackie gives Wallace a dirty look and storms off. Veronica is appalled, but recognises the jealously. Wallace gazes after her.

WALLACE: I better go take care of that.

Veronica gives him a sympathetic look as he goes.

INT - MARS INVESTIGATIONS (MI) - DAY.

Veronica enters the office to the sight of Keith's election material spread all over.

VERONICA: You are aware that blanketing the electorate is like a figure of speech.

Keith is in his office. He looks up and smiles at Veronica, leaning against the doorway to his office. Veronica's nose wrinkles.

VERONICA: What's that smell?

Keith collects some files from his desk and heads into the main office.

KEITH: A buddy of mine in Sanitation called. One of his crews found those in a dumpster downtown.

VERONICA: At least Lamb has the sense not to use the dumpster behind the sheriff's department.

Veronica starts to flick through some of the files stacked on her desk as Keith sinks down into her chair.

KEITH: Aaahhh. Look, Veronica.

Keith leans back happily, putting his feet up on the desk.

KEITH: Your father's campaign is riding on a gravy train with biscuit wheels. Woody's numbers guys just called to say I've got a twelve point lead. I don't need to roll around in the mud with Lamb.

VERONICA: In that case it sounds like you don't need a photographer from the Neptune Navigator who knows how to shoot your good side.

Veronica frames him with her hands.

KEITH: Got nothin' but good sides, baby.

Veronica smiles at him, indulgently.

INT - MADAME SOPHIE'S - DAY.

Through a reflection, it can be seen that Jackie is having a reading by a woman holding her palms above Jackie's.

MADAME SOPHIE: Your grandma wants me to remind you that you're a risk taker, with an if-it-feels-good-do-it approach to love. You're super-charged, you're wired, you're ready for action.

JACKIE: That lady ought to know. She was married four times.

Cut to a little later as Madame Sophie is processing payment. On the counter is a board advertising "Answers from Angels with Madame Sophie," shown on Neptune local access television, channel 11. On the wall are the paraphernalia of a psychic - a large hand, posters and cards, shelves of oils, beeswax and the like. There is a ping on the cash till. Madame Sophie walks back to Jackie waiting at the front of the counter.

MADAME SOPHIE: I'm sorry, child, this card's been declined.

She hands it back to Jackie who adopts a thoughtful smile.

INT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, GIRLS' BATHROOM - DAY.

Veronica reaches into her bag for lip balm and starts to apply it. Jackie enters from behind her. She stops and Veronica sees her in the mirror. After a brief pause, Veronica holds out her lip balm to the mirror.

VERONICA: Lip balm? It's a surge of lip-quenching fruit flavour.

JACKIE: Wallace said I would find you here. I need to ask you something.

She pauses as two girls leave the bathroom.

JACKIE: I'm in some trouble. I didn't know who else to go to. Wallace said that you might help me.

Veronica can hardly believe what she is hearing and turns to face Jackie, slightly raising an eyebrow.

Opening credits.

INT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, GIRLS' BATHROOM - CONTINUING.

JACKIE: Someone stole my credit card and maxed it out.

VERONICA: So call the credit card company. They'll erase the charges.

JACKIE: I've done that. It's not the bill I'm worried about.

VERONICA: What are you worried about?

JACKIE: My friend, Cora, borrows my stuff all the time. It's like she doesn't have clothes of her own and...well, I noticed my card was missing after I went shopping with her, then I found it in my car like someone had deliberately put it back. I don't want to just accuse her.

VERONICA: So you want me to prove she did it?

JACKIE: No, I want you to prove that she didn't. She's the only friend that I have here. I printed a list of the charges.

Jackie pulls a list from her bag and passes it to her, going to stand next to her as she reads it.

VERONICA: A hundred dollars for lip enhancer at Estee Lauder, twelve hundred dollars for a leather jacket at Nordstrom, five hundred dollars on vanilla scented candles at Tricky Wicks?

JACKIE: Yeah, she's a full time resident at the Galleria. I think she hit every store in the mall.

VERONICA: Except for Unicornucopia. Hmm.

On the list, there are dates, shop names and reference numbers (not replicated here) and purchase details:
10/14/2005 Sacks Dept: 3423 $299.36 Clothing.
10/13/2005 Conoshow Stor: 3423 $55.32 Gasoline.
10/10/2005 Consolidated Elemental Industries $93.15
10/05/2005 Sacks Dept: 3423 $259.63 Clothing
11/01/2005 iTunes Music Store - Online $26.98 Black Eyed Peas - Elephunk.
She points to the entry from Consolidated Elemental Industries

VERONICA: Any idea what this is?

JACKIE: No. So if you were going to help me, where would you start?

VERONICA: With the obvious. I'd figure out if Cora had any of the things on the list.

Veronica grabs her bag and exits.

INT - MARS INVESTIGATION - DAY.

Alicia enters, dressed in a suit. Keith smiles and walks forward to meet her.

ALICIA: I'm here to pick up my papers. I'm talking about the personal documents that you stole from my house.

KEITH: I didn't steal, Alicia.

ALICIA: Borrowed without my knowledge, accidentally dropped into your briefcase, I don't care what you're calling it. I just want them back.

Keith moves into his office and Alicia follows him. He hands her the file he took from the Fennel house in 204 "Green-Eyed Monster."

KEITH: Why didn't you just tell me your ex-husband was a cop?

ALICIA: I was trying to protect my son. I was young and scared, and Nathan Woods was scary, violent and high.

KEITH: I don't doubt that what you did was for the best. I'm just suggesting it might have been wise to let Wallace know.

ALICIA: YOU are giving me parenting advice?

Keith bristles.

KEITH: What is that supposed to mean?

ALICIA: That means that I protected Wallace's childhood, I didn't sell it out. I will not invite chaos into my house.

ALICIA: Oh, come on Alicia, you invited chaos. All you did was postpone it.

Alicia turns and storms out.

INT - SAC-N-PAC - NIGHT.

Nathan Woods enters the store, past various prices announcements: bags of savoury snacks "Priced 2 Go 99¢", cards for $2.99, "Bagels 2 dozen $5.10," "Paper products - scented bathroom tissues 12-Packs $2.54, triple-ply facial tissues - three for $1.30," "Lotto tickets." The Sac-N-Pac weekly specials include assorted MicroBrews ("Buy 6 Get 1 Free"), dog food and ice cream. He looks around. Wallace is in the store, stacking shelves. He sees Nathan. He stares at him across the store for a moment, but then ignores him and carries on working. As he stacks a shelf, Wallace starts to sing.

WALLACE: [singing] Folks say Papa was never much on thinking.
Spent most of his time chasing women and drinking.
Mama, I'm depending on you to tell me the truth.
Mama looked up with a tear in her eye and said, son
Papa was a rolling stone. Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone.

As he sings, Wallace looks at Nathan, accusing. Nathan slowly moves closer to him, a stack of letters in his hands, held together by a rubber band.

NATHAN: You talked with your moms about me, huh?

Wallace gives him a doleful look.

NATHAN: Don't worry, I'm not here to defend myself.

Wallace stops work and faces him.

NATHAN: Truth is, I-I barely remember those days. So how can I blame her for running out on me.

WALLACE: So why are you here? What brought you to Neptune? You've had almost eighteen years to track me down.

NATHAN: You mean, she never told you then?

WALLACE: Never told me what?

NATHAN: I did try. For years, Wallace. It drove me crazy to think my son would grow up a stranger. Alicia's mom wouldn't tell me where she'd gone. She did promise to pass along these.

He hands Wallace the stack of letters. The top one is addressed to Wallace Woods, 24x3 Pinetop Lane, Chicago, Il 60613. The return address is N Woods, 15 Tanglewood, Chicago, Il 60613. The letter is postmarked Chicago, May 1st, 2000. On the letter, and on another that can be seen in a longer envelope, are written the words "return to sender."

NATHAN: Your grandma always liked me, I guess. If it weren't for her, I never would have known Alicia was pregnant.

Wallace removes the rubber band and starts to shuffle through the letters. They are all similarly addressed and marked.

WALLACE: Mom says she gave you a choice. She said your job or being a father.

NATHAN: If she would have given me that choice, I would have chose you.

INT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CLASSROOM - DAY.

A circular loudspeaker sits high on the wall of the classroom. On one side of it right edge of the Flanders Fields Panoramic Poster Mural with few words of John McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" visible - "ago," "glow," "we lie."
(We are the Dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.)
On the other side is part of a picture of the statue of Lincoln at Lincoln's Memorial. Under that is a small "We'll never forget" bus sticker. From the intercom loudspeaker, the camera pans down past a pair of pictures, each containing cigarette card-sized portraits of four presidents, a poster saying "Learn how laws are created," another saying "Learn how our government really works". Under the presidents is a poster about a tennis doubles tournament and on the board on the left of it is a world map. Mr Wu is busy writing at his desk, the contents of which include a small bust of Lincoln. An announcement is being made over the intercom as the students chatter.

INTERCOM: The votes have been tallied and the nominees for king are: Duncan Kane, Mark Fraser, Steve Vargo, Hank Diddon and...

Veronica whispers along with the announcer.

INTERCOM/VERONICA: Wallace Fennel.

Wallace throws up his pen amidst various shouts of encouragement. He looks over at Veronica who exaggerates a gasp. He leans over towards her.

WALLACE: How many kneecaps did you break to make that happen?

VERONICA: Only, like, four. The people have spoken, my friend.

She punches him in the chest and he grins as he turns back into his seat.

INT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CLASSROOM - CONTINUING.

The announcement continues in Mrs. Murphy's class. On the wall is a poster for Kafka's "The Castle," with a line from the book - "It was late in the evening when K arrived. The village was deep in snow. The castle hill was hidden, veiled in mist and darkness." On the top of a large cupboard, smaller pictures are leaned against the wall. Mrs. Murphy is standing at the front of the class, listening to the announcement.

INTERCOM: Lucy Franks, Josie Shelman, Emma Harris...

EMMA: [offscreen, squealing] I don't believe it!

Jackie is bored but Mandy is waiting is listening in nervous anticipation.

INTERCOM: Liz Levine, Kate Rakes.

Mandy's disappointed. Jackie smirks at her. Logan looks over in faux-sympathy.

LOGAN: Mmm. Well, there's always winter carnival.

He gasps.

LOGAN: Veronica can be a ice princess!

Jackie gasps too, leaning back to look at Logan.

JACKIE: Can we skate on her?

Logan smirks and is smarmy.

LOGAN: I didn't hear your name called. Seems like a bit of an oversight.

Jackie giggles.

INT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY - DAY.

Veronica walks slowly down the hall, reading Cora Briggs's class schedule as she goes. She has K Rogers, Huffman, N. Kusak, A Zinn, I Price, J More, B Mokky and I Roger for English, Theatre Arts, World Lit, Advisory, Calculus, Civics, Science and Computer Technology respectively. She looks out over the hallway and into the journalism classroom as she passes the open door.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Talk about fashion police. I'm on a stake-out for a pair of enhanced lips, a fifty dollar push-up bra, a vintage purse and...

She looks up as Cora approaches the journalism classroom. She's wearing a leather jacket.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Blingo. Why buy the cow when you can score a twelve hundred dollar calfskin jacket on your friend's credit card?

Veronica deliberately walks into Cora.

VERONICA: Oops, ah, I'm so sorry.

Veronica makes a great show of being impressed by Cora's jacket.

VERONICA: Oh my god. I love this. You have amazing taste, Cora.

CORA: [surprised] You-you know who I am?

VERONICA: Eighth grade badminton partner? You never forget someone you've been in the foxhole with.

Cora gives a bemused grin.

CORA: I guess not. Anyway, thanks. I'm just a savvy shopper.

VERONICA: Where'd you get this?

CORA: It's a secret. Okay, outlet mall, outside of Chatsworth. I'm going later to get my Homecoming dress.

VERONICA: Can I come?

Cora is taken aback, but not unpleasantly so.

VERONICA: We can car pool, save a little money on gas.

CORA: That's cool.

VERONICA: I'll call you.

They smile and nod and Cora heads into journalism class. Veronica goes to another classroom.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Though I haven't really been asked to Homecoming yet, have I?

She shuts the door with an amused frown.

EXT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, CAR PARK - DAY.

Duncan paces beside a car, working up his courage and his patter. He steels himself with a determined nod and races out from the side of the car, to catch Logan.

DUNCAN: [faux-casual] So I was thinking. You're an emancipated minor, I'm an emancipated minor. Maybe we should get together Thursday night. Chug cough syrup, mug some old ladies...

LOGAN: Oh, golly, I don't know. I was thinking about staying home, making a hope quilt for the lonely.

DUNCAN: A little "Hot Shots"? Golf tourney? A little room service?

Logan lets himself be persuaded.

LOGAN: Ah, you're on.

Duncan does a mixed chuckle/sigh of relief as Logan forms the sort of fist that guys do when they tap them in camaraderie. They move apart, but Logan looks back at Duncan, grateful they they've moved forward. Behind him, Veronica and Jackie walk past the school bus.

JACKIE: So she's gotta be the thief, right?

VERONICA: Well, let me just double-check before you accuse her of anything but she'd have to be pretty thick to wear stolen merchandise to school.

JACKIE: Well the girl's sweet but she's not the brightest bulb on the bush.

They reach Jackie's car and she puts her books in the back.

VERONICA: Well, I should have a definitive answer for you by tomorrow.

Jackie nods.

INT - TOWN HALL - DAY.

The Neptune League of Women Voters, incorporated in 1935, are hosting a debate between Lamb and Keith. A female moderator, albeit her name will prove to be Adam Levine (which is a shout-out to one of the MI.netters), and the reporter from 202 Driver Ed, stands between the two men. All three stand behind small podiums. Lamb is in full flow.

LAMB: You know what else bugs me? Gang violence bugs me. Illegal immigration bugs me. Drug trafficking bugs me. Street racing bugs me. But come election day, I am confident that the voters of Balboa County will do what is best and put "The Exterminator" back in office.

There is a smattering of polite applause. Veronica is at the back of the room, setting her camera.

LEVINE: Next question to you, Mr Mars. Uh, we're all familiar with your role in the Lilly Kane murder case. Does the nature of that crime or the conditions of your recall, colour your feelings for Neptune?

KEITH: I love Neptune. I wouldn't be running if I didn't but...what does, to borrow a slogan, bug me are the subtle changes in Neptune over the last few months.

LAMB: [interjecting] You mean violent crime dropping eleven percent?

KEITH: I'm talking about the growing sense of resentment, of-of friction, of polarisation within our community.

The sentiment is shared and there is spontaneous applause. Veronica smirks and brings the camera up to her eye.

LEVINE: Well, nothing has been more divisive than the bus crash and many feel that you were quick in attributing the accident to driver error, Sheriff.

LAMB: On the subject of the bus crash, it's just come to light that back in '89 then Deputy Mars pulled Ed Doyle over for driving him under the influence. He had simply decided to follow him home rather than follow procedure. Had a DUI appeared on his record, he would have never been hired by the school district.

This has the desired affect as the audience reacts in shock, as does Keith.

LEVINE: Mr Mars. Your response?

KEITH: I'm sorry, I'm not-I'm not familiar with...

LAMB: Well, it's okay, I have a copy of your patrol log if you need to jog your memory.

Keith is silenced. Veronica glares at Lamb in high dudgeon.

INT - BRIGGS RESIDENCE - DAY.

Veronica follows Cora down a hallway, holding out her shirt which is coffee stained.

VERONICA: I have the only car left in America without a cup holder so now I end up with a caramel latté Rorschach test all over my blouse. Thanks for letting me borrow something of yours.

They go into Cora's room, stopping in front of her closet.

CORA: No problem. Here you go.

Veronica slides open the door and starts examining the clothes.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Must find stolen goods.

CORA: You know the mall's in Chatsworth. No one worth knowing's gonna see you.

Veronica spots a zipped up clothes cover and heads for it.

CORA: Oh, no, not that one. There's nothing that you'd wanna see in there. It's just--

VERONICA: I love looking through your clothes. It's like the fashion equivalent of a skin mag.

Veronica quickly unzips it.

CORA: Oh, no, seriously, I don't--

Inside is a garish chicken costume. Veronica reaches in and pulls out the head. Cora is horribly embarrassed.

CORA: Oh, yeah. I so did not want you to see that.

VERONICA: Isn't this--

CORA: The Oh Boyo Pollo Chicken. Yep. You know, if anyone finds out about this, I'm afraid I'll have to kill you.

VERONICA: If I tell anyone, I won't blame you.

Veronica hands Cora the head and turns back to glance at the clothes again. She finds and pulls out a shirt.

VERONICA: Oh.

She shows it to Cora, indicating that it will do.

EXT - BRIGGS RESIDENCE - DAY.

The LeBaron pulls outside the house. There's a "Mars for Sheriff" sticker in the bottom nearside of the windscreen. Veronica applies the parking brake.

CORA: Your dress is perfect, Duncan's gonna love it.

Cora laughs and gets out of the car.

VERONICA: Thanks. Outlet therapy is considerably better than retail therapy.

Cora shuts the passenger door and gathers her things from the back seat.

CORA: Thanks for driving.

VERONICA: Bye.

Cora heads for her modest, non-09er house. Veronica watches her and then turns off the engine. She pulls out her Sidekick and punches in a number.

VERONICA: Oh Boyo Pollo? May I speak with the manager please? Hi, this is Mae Hadwell, I'm the Vocational Ed Co-ordinator at Neptune High. I need to verify some work hours for Cora Briggs.

She pauses as she listens to the answer. She nods into the phone.

VERONICA: She worked Sunday as well? [pause] Until what time?

She frowns on hearing the response.

VERONICA: I see. Thank you.

With a puzzled look and a sigh, she punches in another number.

VERONICA: Jackie, it's Veronica. There's no way Cora could have stolen your card. We're back to square one.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - NIGHT.

The covers are lifted from two plates of hamburgers, onion rings, pickles and salad. Veronica and Duncan are on the couch, Veronica lying down into one corner and Duncan sitting up in anticipation. Duncan rubs his hands together.

DUNCAN: Thanks, Carl

CARL: Mmm hmm.

Carl, the room service waiter puts the lids on his trolley and leaves. Veronica sits up to join Duncan.

VERONICA: It's weird that you live here. I don't want you going all Howard Hughes-y on me.

Veronica puts her arm around Duncan's neck and kisses his cheek.

DUNCAN: I am not a shut-in.

He holds up his right hand, in which her hand is entwined. He wiggles his fingers.

DUNCAN: These nails? Neatly trimmed. Though, now that you mention it, I have started bottling my own urine.

VERONICA: Ew.

They both laugh as Veronica falls back onto the couch, her arm still around Duncan, bringing him down on top of her. He nuzzles her neck as she wraps her other arm around him.

DUNCAN: Hey, what do you say we invite some people over here for an after party?

He kisses her neck and rests his hand on her ribcage just below her unusually ample bosom.

VERONICA: After party? After what?

He lifts his head and looks down on her, confused.

DUNCAN: The Homecoming dance? The thing after the big game?

VERONICA: Oh.

She kisses him.

VERONICA: Tell me more of this thing you call "Homecoming."

Duncan finally gets it and rests his forehead on her cheek.

DUNCAN: I haven't asked you yet.

VERONICA: Mmm-mmm.

DUNCAN: I'm such a dope.

He returns to nuzzling her neck.

DUNCAN: Of course I want you to go with me. You're my woman.

Veronica claps and jerks up from under him.

VERONICA: See? Was that so hard?

They sit up, Veronica still with both arms around his neck as she sits in his lap. Duncan rubs her back.

VERONICA: Okay, I'll be needing an orchid wristlet, preferably in the fuchsia family, a Rolls Royce limo...and some Kane Software stationery.

Duncan frowns and laughs.

DUNCAN: Seriously? Stationery? What for?

VERONICA: [Sam Spade impression] You're here for your looks. Why don't you leave the heavy thinking to me, sugarpants.

She slides her legs off his lap and punches him in the stomach before leaning forward to the food.

VERONICA: Now go make yourself pretty.

They laugh.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - DAY.

Veronica is reading the Neptune Register, dated Monday, October 24th. The headline is "Sheriff's Race Heats Up." There's a picture of Keith, Lamb and the moderator on stage, under which part of the caption can be read "...and Sheriff Lamb square off at a town hall debate." The photographers name can't be made out but it is not Veronica. There are also a couple of thumbnail pictures of Keith and Lamb. The report reads: Mars drops early lead against Sheriff Don Lamb as election nears. By Rachel Wall-Polin (another MI.netter shout-out). Associated Press. After surrendering an early lead, former Sheriff Keith Mars is now in a statistical dead heat with the incumbent, Sheriff Don Lamb. Following an embarrassing revelation at a scheduled debate hosted by the Neptune League of Women Voters, Mrs. Mars is in no position to falter. Touting his past experience as a competent and successful sheriff, Mars had a 17-point lead over his competitor, Sheriff Lamb. The downfall of Mars’ significant lead was the very asset he was relying on, his past. During this debate, moderator Adam Levine posed a question for Sheriff Lamb in regards to the tragic Neptune High school bus crash. Without answering Levine's question, Lamb brought to light ... .of Mars’ failure to issue a DUI to Ed Doyle on a traffic stop. Mr Mars drove the intoxicated suspect home rather than arrest him and file charges for that infraction, a requirement in the Balboa Sheriff’s Department rules of conduct. The poll, conducted after News 5 broadcast of the inflammatory statements by Lamb, was of a 200 person sampling throughout Balboa County. Mr and Mrs Manning pointed guilt towards Keith Mars, suggesting that had he stopped Doyle, their child would not be in a vegetative state. "This proves that Ed Doyle was never fit to transport children, of any age, and furthers my suspicious that he crashed the bus intentionally,” Mrs. Manning quoted from the bedside of her comatose daughter, Meg. "A full and thorough investigation must be pursued by Sheriff Lamb. I only trust that he can bring light to this ugly and dark stain covering Neptune,” Mr Manning said, adding, “If he manages to do so, he’s got my vote.” Mr. Mars refused to comment on the allegation that Sheriff Lamb brought to light during their debate, citing lack of substantial evidence and inability to recall if the encounter ever did occur. The Neptune Register is currently in the process of obtaining records from the Sheriff’s Department but so far have been unable to due to stonewalling. Balboa residents have taken a keen interest in this heated battle, since the race for Neptune Board Supervisor, a long winded label for mayor, is going uncontested, leaving Woody Goodman…. There's a second story by Diane Ruggiero under the headline "Troops target danger region" and the sub-heading "Renewed offensive begins in Iraq." A full report follows in a language other than English. Keith comes out of his bedroom, adjusting his tie. Veronica starts to read out loud.

VERONICA: "After surrendering an early lead, former Sheriff Keith Mars is now in a statistical dead heat with the incumbent..." What do your number guys have to say about that?

Keith, who has come to stand by her shoulder, sighs but does not respond. Instead, spots something in front of her than intrigues him. He reaches forward and picks up a glass or plastic rectangular cube encasing a large beetle.

KEITH: Cri-me-ny. What kind of bug is that?

Veronica puts down the paper and grabs it from him.

VERONICA: You worry about the election, I'll worry about my bio project.

She kisses him and turns away. Keith gives her a suspicious look.

INT - FENNEL RESIDENCE - DAY.

Alicia comes out into the dining area, tying the belt of her robe and yawning. Wallace is in the kitchen. He turns to look at her. He has the stack of letters Nathan in his hands. She stands by the door and stretches up her arms.

ALICIA: What are those?

WALLACE: Don't you know? It's looks an awful lot like your handwriting.

He holds them out, staring at them.

WALLACE:"Return to sender." Hmm.

Wallace strips off the rubber band. Alicia starts to walk slowly towards him.

WALLACE: Maybe we should just see what Dad has to say. It's better late than never, hm?

She tries to snatch the letters from him and they tussle for a moment before the letters fall on the floor.

ALICIA: Here, Wallace!

She cries out as they fall.

WALLACE: What were you thinking, Mom?

Alicia scrambles down to pick up the letters..

WALLACE: That he was just so strung out that he'd OD and just-just forget about me?

Having collected the letters, she rises, angry.

ALICIA: I'm still you mother and I told you to stay away from him and I expect you to listen to me.

WALLACE: You told me you gave him a choice. You lied.

Wallace walks out of the kitchen. Alicia puts the letters on the counter and follows him as far as the door to the dining area, deeply concerned.

INT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY - DAY.

Veronica is at her locker. Wallace leans against the lockers next to her.

WALLACE: She made my dad out to be some kind of a psychopath, just to cover her tracks. If he's so nuts, how did he manage to stick with the Chicago PD all these years?

VERONICA: And if he was a cop, then how did it take him all these years just to track you down. Your mom is right, Wallace. He had his chance and he passed it up. Take it from someone who knows.

She slams her locker shut.

VERONICA: The one who sticks with you is the one who cares.

Veronica walks off, leaving Wallace staring after her.

INT - SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - DAY.

The encased beetle is dropped into a hand from its tissue lined small black box. The hand is that of Lamb who gazes at it as he throws the box to the floor. One of his election posters is on the wall behind him, saying "Re-elect Sheriff Lamb. Tough on Crime." He picks up a note, on Kane Software headed paper. (Kane Software appear to have changed their address from 10996 Somewhere to 23 Emperior Court, Neptune CA 90909 PH 555-0123 Fax 555-0124.) Printed on the note in capital letters is "Dear Exterminator, Knock 'em dead on election day." Lamb chortles. Sacks enters his office.

SACKS: Sorry to interrupt.

LAMB: Check this out. Jake Kane sent a vote of support all the way from Aspen. "Dear Exterminator, Knock 'em dead on election day."

SACKS: Got those guys in interrogation.

LAMB: They the two goons you picked up in Cliffside?

SACKS: Yeah. You're not gonna believe the story they're trying to sell.

Sacks exits the office and then turns and waits for Lamb, who is still looking at his bug. He places it on his desk.

EXT - JAMES STREET - DAY.

The LeBaron drives down a wide street with shops on either side, the ocean behind. Veronica holds a card in her hand, searching the shops and restaurants. She passes Tony's, a restaurant or wine bar judging for the glasses that decorate the sign.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Consolidated Elemental Industries...

She passes a record shop called "Cow," the window of which is covered in posters.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: ...5003 James. The first place where someone used Jackie's card.

She passes 5007 and slows, seeing the neon outlined palm in the window of 5003. Sited next to Georgi's Express Subs, Madame Sophie's name is written in red in the window, under the palm and between two posters for "Answers from Angels." The board over the shop reads "Psychic. Tarot Palm Crystal Readings." Next to the door to the premises is a potted palm. Veronica pulls in to park in front of the store, which is situated opposite somebody's Chicken Kitchen.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Yeah, when I think of Elemental Industries, I think of palm readings.

INT - MADAME SOPHIE'S - DAY.

Veronica pushes back the hangings that cover the door and enters the shop. Her entrance has activated a bell.

MADAME SOPHIE: [offscreen] I'll be out in a minute!

Veronica looks around the empty shop. A table of lit large candles attracts her attention.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Vanilla-scented candles.

She picks up one of the unlit ones and smells it.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Five hundred dollars' worth, perhaps? Purchased at...

She looks on the bottom.

VERONICA: Tricky Wicks.

She casts a glance towards the back of the shop and then makes to exit.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - DAY.

Jackie is sitting on the floor, leaning against Veronica's bed. Backup is lying next to her with his head resting on her leg. She is stroking his neck and he's one contented puppy. Veronica is lying on her bed, above Jackie.

VERONICA: It just doesn't make much sense. How would she have gotten your card? Although I guess it's possible that Cora and the psychic were in this together.

JACKIE: I know how Madame Sophie got the card. She got it from me.

VERONICA: You see a psychic?

JACKIE: My grandma died two years ago, and even a person pretending to be Grandma telling me everything's going to be all right gives me comfort.

Jackie puts her finger to her lips.

JACKIE: Shh. It's my secret shame. I'm sure you've got one.

VERONICA: Remember Mamma-Max?

Jackie laughs.

JACKIE: The stuff from the infomercial, the cream that you rub on your chest?

VERONICA: Mm-hm. In my defense, I was a freshman.

JACKIE: I've got it. I know how to get even: I'm going on her show.

VERONICA: She has a show?

INT - COOK RESIDENCE - DAY.

A Tivo now playing list is on a screen. There's a green light for "Answers from Angels" on Friday 10/21, "Celebrity Boners and Gaffes" Wed 10/19, and "Sunset and Vaughn" Sunday 10/16. There's a yellow light next to "Oh, Heavenly Barn" Friday 10/14, "Room of Evidence" Friday 10/14, "Cupid" Wednesday 10/12, and "All the Fixin's" Tuesday 10/11. "Answers from Angels" is highlighted.

VERONICA: You TiVo a community access show?

"Answers from Angels" starts with an audience clapping.

JACKIE: Everyone at Neptune High watches it.

The set comprises a small raised circular stage on which are set two chairs. Behind the stage, between two palms with eyes in their centre, is an arch through which Madame Sophie appears. Veronica and Jackie watch, curled up in armchairs in front of the television.

MADAME SOPHIE: Welcome, everyone. Someone special is trying to reach you. A friend...who passed before her time.

A girl, somewhat trepedatiously, joins Madame Sophie on the stage.

MADAME SOPHIE: Do you know who that might be?

MICHELLE: [upset] I think I do. My friend Rhonda. [breaking down] She was on the bus.

She cries and Madame Sophie pulls her into a hug.

VERONICA: And suddenly, I have a new life's mission: destroy Madame Sophie.

MADAME SOPHIE: My dear, sometimes it is...

Her voice is drowned out by a firm knock on the door and Terrence Cook enters.

JACKIE: Dad, you remember Veronica Mars.

VERONICA: We met at Shark Field.

TERRENCE: Right. Promised you wouldn't wash that hand.

VERONICA: I haven't. People are starting to complain.

JACKIE: What did the Sheriff want?

TERRENCE: He wanted me to MC the department's charity ball.

JACKIE: You're kidding.

TERRENCE: Wish I was. It's nice seeing you.

Terrence backs out of the room and shuts the door. Veronica and Jackie return to watching the show.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Before I left her place, Jackie and I came up with a plan to get even with Madame Sophie.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE.

Veronica enters her bedroom. She heads straight for her desk and the laptop.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Since she already knew Jackie, I would go on Madame Sophie's show and expose her as a fraud.

Veronica sticks an ear piece in her ear. On the screen, an audio surveillance window is up, with a picture of a large beetle against grass. It is labelled "The Beetle." The detail at the bottom shows "1 item, 61.81 GB available." On the left, the menu this time reads: Network. Perseus, Desktop, veronicamars, Applications, Documents, Movies, Music, Pictures. According to Veronica's computer clock, it's Thursday at 10:58am. On the right side of the screen, her files are Perseus, Cases, something unreadable, Photography, School work and Stuff.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Terrence Cook's mention of his visit with the sheriff reminded me: maybe it's time to check in on Neptune's finest dirty politician himself.

Veronica clicks on the beetle and brings up the bug's screen, with MZ and VU scales, similar to a graphic equaliser. She listens.

LAMB: [offscreen] You have to make a report on your own, sweetheart. Mm-hm. Thank you.

Veronica fast forwards.

FLASHBACK: INT - SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - DAY.

A cold blue lights Lamb's office as he fast forwards in his office, signing something brought in by a deputy and talking on the phone. Still in speeded up motion, Sacks brings Terrence Cook into his office, then leaves them. The scene continues between the conversation Veronica recorded and Veronica listening.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE/FLASHBACK: INT - SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - CONTINUING.

Veronica bends her head down, listening with careful interest. She adjusts the levels.

LAMB: Mr. Cook.

TERRENCE: Good to see you, Sheriff.

Now at ordinary speed, the men sit down, Lamb with a sigh. Terrence looks uncomfortable. The entire scene is shot predominantly at angles and in close-ups.

LAMB: I was thinking that you might be interested in buying some tickets to our annual fundraiser. They're ten bucks a pop.

TERRENCE: You asked me to come all the way down here just to hit me up for a donation?

LAMB: I like to get to know our more notable residents -- business leaders, Hollywood types, all-star athletes -- personally.

TERRENCE: Put me down for two.

He rises and holds out his hand to Lamb.

TERRENCE: It was real nice to meet you.

Lamb doesn't move. The moment becomes awkward.

LAMB: Actually, I was thinking you might purchase more like a thousand tickets.

Veronica's interest is piqued as she lifts her head and frowns.

LAMB: Oh, and if you could M.C. the bachelor auction that would be great.

TERRENCE: That's a lot of money, Sheriff.

Lamb writes something down.

LAMB: Yeah, that's ten thousand dollars. If my math's correct.

He throws down his pen and stares up at Terrence.

LAMB: Hey, it's not three million dollars. Now THAT is real money. I mean, that's the kind of money that certain people take very, very seriously.

Terrence swallows hard.

LAMB: Gambling debt like that and they might send some guys down to your nice, new Cliffside house to remind you payment's due.

TERRENCE: What are you getting at, Sheriff?

LAMB: Pretty sure I just got to it, slugger.

TERRENCE: [earnestly] I never bet on baseball.

Lamb grins evilly.

LAMB: I got a guy in a holding cell back there, says you did favours for gentlemen who bet extensively on baseball.

Lamb finally stands and looks Terrence in the eye. He puts his hands in his pockets and sighs loudly.

LAMB: We both have something in common. We'd both like to see you make it into the Hall of Fame.

Lamb grins again. Terrence is shocked and lost for a response.

END FLASHBACK.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - CONTINUING.

It is Veronica's turn to sigh loudly.

VERONICA: Say it ain't so, Terrence.

EXT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, LUNCH AREA - DAY.

Michelle, the girl whose friend was on the bus, is working while she has her lunch of hamburger, chip, crisps and what looks like a drink called "Saucy Jake." She is on her own at one of the tables. Veronica approaches her table.

VERONICA: Do you mind if I sit here?

Michelle is a little taken aback.

MICHELLE: Mm-mm.

VERONICA: Michelle, right?

MICHELLE: Uh huh.

VERONICA: I saw you on T.V.

Michelle laughs softly.

VERONICA: "Answers from Angels." That was pretty amazing.

MICHELLE: Oh, it so was.

VERONICA: The reason I wanted to talk...I'm thinking about going on the show. And...what exactly did they have you do, when you got there? Did-did someone from the show ask you who you wanted to communicate with?

MICHELLE: Oh. No. No, not at all.

VERONICA: So nobody there knew about Rhonda.

MICHELLE: Well, mm, there's this one lady backstage, this other audience member, and we got to talking.

VERONICA: What did she look like?

MICHELLE: Crazy.

She chuckles.

MICHELLE: Big hair, rhinestone glasses. Why?

VERONICA: Details, just...flush out a story.

MICHELLE: Before Madame Sophie contacted Rhonda, and let me know she wasn't angry at me for not picking up, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep...

VERONICA: Not picking up?

MICHELLE: Rhonda called me from the bus. I was painting my nails, and I let it go to voicemail.

VERONICA: You have a message from when the bus went over? Do you still have it?

Michelle picks up her phone, lying on her open book.

MICHELLE: Please, don't tell anyone I have this, Veronica.

She punches some buttons.

MICHELLE: I wouldn't want them to...you know?

She finishes and hands the phone to Veronica, who puts it to her ear.

AUTOMATED VOICE: You have one saved message.

RHONDA: Michelle, why aren't you picking up, you big loser? I can't believe you bailed on that field trip without telling me. Hey, about next weekend --

There is a loud noise, like an explosion or a tire burst. People on the bus start to scream. There is a second loud bang.

RHONDA: Oh God!

There is a final crash sound and then static.

AUTOMATED VOICE: To delete message, press seven. To forward message, press eight. For more options --

Veronica, shocked, takes a deep, shakey breath. She drops the hand holding the phone to her lap, hiding it from Michelle. She starts punching buttons.

MICHELLE: Hey. Are you okay?

Veronica still looks shaken and swallows, and also finishes punching the phone's buttons, before looking at Michelle.

VERONICA: Yeah.

Veronica hands Michelle her phone.

INT - GRAND NEPTUNE HOTEL, PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - NIGHT.

Logan grabs some food from a small trolley. He sits on the floor, against the couch's matching leather coffee table/pouffe. As he starts to take off his shoes and socks, Duncan appears, sitting on the end of the couch next to him.

DUNCAN: Sure you wanna do this?

LOGAN: Does a bear wear a funny hat?

On the television screen in front of them, the Playstation golf game "Hot Shots" is ready to start.

DUNCAN: You know, this visit's all about mending fences, building bridges, and I'm afraid that my waxing your ass just isn't gonna help.

LOGAN: Woo hoo. You talk it; let's see you walk it.

Logan settles back against the pouffe with the controller in his hand and they both thrun their attention to the screen. On screen, the figure takes a swing and hits the ball.

GAME: Roger that one!

INT - TELEVISION STUDIO - NIGHT.

Madame Sophie has a girl on stage with her and is holding her by her upper arms.

MADAME SOPHIE: You'll see, honey.

She pulls her into a hug.

MADAME SOPHIE: You're gonna do just fine at those baton-twirling tryouts.

The audience applauds, amongst them, Veronica.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Apparently, the dead are looking out for the shallow. I, on the other hand, am here for emotional guidance from dead-before-his-time Uncle Roger, who I gushed about ad nauseum to crazy big-haired lady with the rhinestone glasses.

Said lady gives Veronica a little wave from her seat. Veronica reciprocates.

MADAME SOPHIE: I need someone in the audience to help me do this. An "R." Someone is looking for an "R."

Veronica's arm shoots up. Cut to moments later. Veronica is now on stage. Both she and Madame Sophie are sitting in the chairs.

MADAME SOPHIE: He was...special to you. Took you places. Made things for you.

VERONICA: That's my Uncle Roger.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: That's it, lady. Dig your own grave.

Veronica is obviously sceptical and playing a part...

MADAME SOPHIE: Wait. I am receiving another voice. A young woman. I see...the letter "L." She is holding out a flower, a...lily. Lilly?

...but not so much now. Veronica stares at the woman.

INT - COOK RESIDENCE - CONTINUING.

Wallace is watching. Jackie is snuggled up against him. Wallace raises his head with concern.

INT - TELEVISION STUDIO - CONTINUING.

MADAME SOPHIE: She has a message for you.

Veronica is now seriously wigged out.

MADAME SOPHIE: She says, you should have stayed away from her boyfriend.

Veronica swallows hard.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - CONTINUING.

The boys are watching too. Both look dazed. Logan looks over at Duncan, who is staring at the screen. As Logan turns back to watch the TV, Duncan takes a quick sidelong glance at him. On the screen, Veronica looks uncomfortable.

INT - TELEVISION STUDIO - CONTINUING.

Veronica continues to be shocked.

MADAME SOPHIE: Wait...wait...she has something else to tell us.

INT - COOK RESIDENCE - CONTINUING.

On Jackie's TV, the camera is focused on Veronica.

WALLACE: This can't be happening.

Jackie glances over at him, her face unreadable.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - CONTINUING.

Duncan and Logan are transfixed.

MADAME SOPHIE: Something about...infomercials?

Logan leans his head forward to concentrate.

INT - TELEVISION STUDIO - CONTINUING.

Veronica's forehead crinkles.

MADAME SOPHIE: She says to be happy with your own body. You...don't need the...Mamma-Max? Veronica.

The audience starts laughing. Realisation hits Veronica that she has been had by Jackie. She gives a rueful grin and nods her head.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

The graphic equaliser-like screen of the Beetle is back on Veronica's laptop. Lamb's and Terrence's conversation is replaying.

LAMB: [offscreen] I was thinking that you might be interested in buying some tickets to our annual fundraiser.

Veronica gets a disc out of one of her desk drawers.

LAMB: [offscreen] They're ten bucks a pop.

She slips the disc into the laptop.

TERRENCE: [offscreen] Put me down for two. It was real nice to meet you.

LAMB: [offscreen] Actually, I was thinking you might purchase more like a thousand.

Veronica sets about burning an audio file to CD, saving it to Perseus/veronicamars/Cases/Sheriff Lamb/Beetle Audio Bug. Her phone rings. She picks it up.

VERONICA: Chesty LaRue.

She smiles.

VERONICA: Hey, Duncan. I'm fine, I'm slathering up my boobs as we speak. Can I call you back? Okay. Hey -- do you know who's DJing in between sets tomorrow? Corny? Perfect. No, I just have a special request. Okay, bye.

She hangs up the phone and retrieves the CD. On it she writes "Homecoming Request." There's a knock at the front door. Cut to a moment later as she opens the door to Wallace.

WALLACE: You okay, Veronica?

She lets the door swing open as she turns away and marches to the refrigerator. Wallace steps into the apartment behind her.

VERONICA: [coldly angry] Compared to how your girlfriend's gonna be feeling, fan-friggin'-tastic. I hope she really got a kick out of tonight's little performance.

WALLACE: What are you talking about? She was worried for you.

VERONICA: If by "worried," you mean "enjoying the fruits of her evil labour," yeah.

WALLACE: What? What makes you think sh--

VERONICA: The boob cream thing! She used to be the only person alive who knew about that! It's time to pick a side, Wallace.

WALLACE: No, Veronica! How about you doin' me a favour for once?

Wallace sighs heavily.

WALLACE: I'm sure she didn't do it.

Veronica's mouth falls open in disbelief at his naivety.

WALLACE: But, if she did, I'm askin' you to let it go.

VERONICA: You know I can't do that.

WALLACE: [hotly angry] Well why does it have to be about you all the time? Look, Jackie's right about one thing...

He laughs bitterly.

WALLACE: It's your world, I just live in it.

Veronica's face shows her reacting to the fact Jackie said it, rather than to what Wallace is actually saying.

WALLACE: I'm askin' you for a favour, Veronica. Let it go. Don't do whatever it is you're gonna do. Have you been payin' any attention lately? I just learned my whole life is a lie. My dad isn't my dad. I've always been a shoulder you could lean on. You givin' me no time, no sympathy. Nothin'.

Veronica is at an unusual loss for words. Wallace storms out, slamming the door behind him.

INT - COOK RESIDENCE - DAY.

Jackie is sitting in the middle of her bed, looking worried. Her cell rings. She leans over and grabs it off one of the bedside tables. She looks at the caller ID and gasps, happy and relieved.

JACKIE: Wallace.

INT - FENNEL RESIDENCE - CONTINUING.

Wallace is at home. He leans against a door jamb. He's not happy.

WALLACE: I just wanna clarify somethin'. Did you set up Veronica?

The camera continues to alternate between the two of them.

INT - COOK RESIDENCE/FENNEL RESIDENCE - CONTINUING.

JACKIE: It was supposed to be funny, a punking, that's all.

WALLACE: You humiliated my best friend on TV

JACKIE: Wallace...look, I feel terrible.

Wallace listens, unconvinced.

JACKIE: I just wanted to take her down a peg. For tattling on me for having coffee with Dave. For being the person that my boyfriend confides in, for supposably being this legendary badass.

WALLACE: You have no idea what she's been through.

JACKIE: I swear, Wallace, that psychic came up with the Lilly stuff on her own, I only told her about the Mamma-Max. I screwed up, okay, royally. Just let me make it up to you at the dance.

WALLACE: I'm only goin' to the Homecoming dance because of that stupid election. I'm not goin' with you.

INT - COOK RESIDENCE - DAY.

The phone call is over. Jackie reaches into the drawer of the other bedside table and pull out a bottle of pills. She stares at the label.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

Veronica comes out of her bedroom dressed for the dance. She is wearing a deep blue velvety spaghetti strap dress with a matching cropped short sleeved jacket. Keith, sitting up at the kitchen counter slaps his head at the sight.

KEITH: [emotionally] You look beautiful.

VERONICA: There's something I need you to hear.

Veronica turns to their phone and punches in some numbers.

KEITH: If it's "Live at Budokan," I already discovered it.

The code Veronica is dialling shows on the phone's display - 5550186.

VERONICA: It's a voicemail from one of the students who died in the crash. She called just as the bus went over.

AUTOMATED VOICE: You have one saved message.

RHONDA: Michelle, why aren't you picking up, you big loser? I can't believe you bailed on that field trip without telling me. Hey, about next weekend --

The recording of the loud noises and screams repeats. Keith is deeply shocked.

RHONDA: Oh god!

Keith actually looks close to being physically sick.

AUTOMATED VOICE: To delete message, press seven. To forward mess--

VERONICA: Did you hear it?

KEITH: An explosion.

VERONICA: Before the bus hit the railing. The bus was sabotaged. That means Ed Doyle had nothing to do with the crash and there's still time before the election to --

KEITH: [horrified] No.

Veronica stares at him, not understanding.

KEITH: I'm not gonna leverage the deaths of seven people just to win an election.

VERONICA: There are people out there who think this crash is your fault.

KEITH: Let them think that. At least for now, Veronica. If that sound is an explosion, not only were those kids murdered, but the guilty party is still at large. That evidence can't go public if we want this investigation to stay ahead of the --

VERONICA: What investigation? You think Lamb is gonna solve this? The only way the killer gets put away is if you win the election.

Keith understands her point but before he can respond, there is a knock at the door. Keith gets up heavily and opens the door. It's Duncan looking smooth and handsome in a suit.

KEITH: Honey, you have a gentleman caller. You got the emphasis on the gentleman part, right?

DUNCAN: I did.

Veronica walks out onto the porch to join Duncan. She turns back to her father.

VERONICA: Don't wait up.

KEITH: Tell Wallace I'm pullin' for him.

DUNCAN: Hm. Not feeling the Mars family love. Tough crowd.

VERONICA: Oh, come on. It's like rootin' for the Yankees.

Veronica turns to go, pulling Duncan with her. Keith, already heading back in, spots something on the counter.

KEITH: Hey! Do you want this, Veronica?

Veronica reappears at the door. He holds out the CD entitled "Homecoming Request."

KEITH: Your CD?

VERONICA: Um...

She ponders for a moment.

FADERS: [offscreen] Are you coming with me?

VERONICA: ...no.

INT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL - NIGHT.

The Faders are playing live and are in the middle of "No Sleep Tonight."

FADERS: You can't stop this, feeling!
You can't run away!
Baby I'm what's on your mind!
You can't stop this, feeling!

The place is rocking. Jackie is wandering about, alone and dazed.

FADERS: There's no escape,
No sleep tonight, you won't get no sleep tonight
No sleep tonight,
No sleep tonight

A man comes up from behind Jackie and takes her in his arms. She doesn't seem to know where she is and stumbles back into him.

FADERS: Girl you won't be sleeping

Veronica and Duncan join the crowd dancing, giggling and having a great time.

FADERS: No sleep tonight
Do I have to spell it out in black and white

Duncan spins Veronica and she comes out of it, jumping into his arms and they spin together.

FADERS: Boy you won't be sleeping
No sleep tonight.

The mood changes as the band go into another song, "Whatever It Takes."

FADERS: I've been lying here for like a million years in my bed
Get up get up get up

The dancers are now dancing slow, up-close and personal, including Duncan and Veronica.

DUNCAN: You look gorgeous tonight.

FADERS: All the time I can hear you talking in my head
Shut up shut up shut up

Veronica smiles and they do a little dip to spin them around. They kiss sweetly.

FADERS: Everybody says I should be moving on
Everybody knows I’m still waiting

Veronica glances across the dancers and sees Jackie clinging onto Logan. She has her arms wrapped around his neck and appears to be kissing him. Veronica freezes.

VERONICA: No. Freaking. Way.

Veronica races away from Duncan, heading for them as the band plays on.

FADERS: I don’t care whatever it takes to be with you.
You're under my skin and no matter what I do
I’m nothing without you so I'll do whatever it takes

Logan isn't holding Jackie, his arms flaying somewhat. They stumble as he walks them forward towards a table. Veronica marches up to them, furious.

VERONICA: Jackie?

Logan and Jackie both seem somewhat out of it. Veronica wrenches them apart.

VERONICA: Jackie!

She grabs Jackie by the arms to turn her to face her. Jackie's eyes are very glazed.

VERONICA: If you want to lock horns with me, duck and charge. But if you think I'm gonna let you break Wallace's heart for sport you have grossly underestimated my wrath.

JACKIE: God, Veronica. What is your problem? You really can't make up your mind, can you?

Jackie holds out her arms as she walks around Veronica, forcing her to turn towards the rest of the room to keep eye contact.

JACKIE: Just pick one of them, God! How many guys here do you expect to want only you?

Over Jackie's shoulder, Veronica sees Wallace. He's disappointed and devastated. He turns and walks away. Veronica pulls Jackie aside to race after him.

LOGAN: So, where's the after party?

FADERS: I've been thinking about how we could have done things differently
Give up give up give up

She reaches the other side of the room but there is no sign of Wallace. Duncan hurries up behind her. He holds her.

DUNCAN: Hey. He'll be all right.

She looks concerned but goes along with it and lets Duncan lead her back.

FADERS: Yesterday I could have sworn I heard you--

INT - SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - NIGHT.

The outer office is buzzing as Sacks leads Keith to Lamb's office. Sacks knocks on the door and opens it. Keith enters. Sacks walks away. Lamb doesn't get up from his chair. In front of him, his screensaver alternates pictures of indeterminate origin.

LAMB: All right. What's so important, Keith?

KEITH: It's about the crash.

Keith had a computer disc in his hand.

LAMB: Course it is. Lookin' for another book deal?

KEITH: Veronica found a recording -- a voicemail from one of the victims left at the precise moment of the accident. Now, there's a noise, it sounds like an explosion.

Keith puts the disc on Lamb's desk.

LAMB: Maybe Ed Doyle decided to, uh, blow his brains out on the way down.

KEITH: Damn it, Lamb, just send it to the acoustics lab and let them decide.

Lamb picks it up.

LAMB: You trying to tell me that this has nothing to do with clearing yourself? Nothing to do...

He throws it back down.

LAMB:...with winning this election?

KEITH: This is about finding out what really happened on that school bus. If I wanted to hang you out to dry, I would have brought that evidence straight to the local news station.

Keith is increasing angry and frustrated as Lamb continues to sneer at him, sceptical.

KEITH: And you are so making me wonder why I didn't.

Keith looks down on Lamb's desk and sees Veronica's Beetle. He leans against the desk and sighs heavily. He then looks up and sees some pictures on a table behind Lamb. His apparent mood changes abruptly.

KEITH: [excitedly] Is that you and the governor?

LAMB: Governor?

Lamb swivels in his chair to look. Keith takes advantage of his distraction and grabs the beetle. He walks out.

LAMB: That's a marlin I hooked down in Cabo last year. Is your eyesight starting to fail?

Lamb swivels back. Keith is gone.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

Keith is asleep. The phone rings. He turns on the light and answers it.

KEITH: Hello.

As he hears who it is, he lifts himself up on his elbow.

KEITH: Alicia. I was just working up the courage to call you just to say how sorry...

He's interrupted. He grabs his watch as he listens.

KEITH: No, no. When did you see him last?

Cut to morning. Veronica is getting her breakfast. Keith comes in from outside.

VERONICA: Dad, where have you been? You were out all night?

KEITH: Wallace didn't come home after the dance. Honey, I need to know if you saw him last night.

Veronica is devastated.

EXT - ROAD - DAY.

Wallace is sitting in the passenger seat of a moving car. His cell phone rings. He looks down at it. His Sidekick displays that it is Veronica Mars calling. He doesn't answer.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - CONTINUING.

Veronica leans against the wall in the small hallway.

WALLACE'S VOICEMAIL: You've got Wallace. Leave a message.

VERONICA: I screwed up, Wallace. I didn't mean to let you down, I just...I can't lose another friend. Please call me back.

EXT - ROAD - DAY.

Wallace looks at the phone again, and then drops his hand and looks out of the window. The camera moves around to show that the driver of the car is Nathan, who looks over at his son. Wallace closes his eyes to sleep. End. Executive producer: Rob Thomas.

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