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2.07 Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

Written by: Diane Ruggiero
Directed by: Nick Marck

Original Air Date: 16 November, 2005
Transcribed by Inigo and Kiwikazoo.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Previously, on Veronica Mars...

Veronica and Keith watch the election results at home in 206 Rat Saw God.

NEWS ANCHOR: And we're officially calling the sheriff's race. Don Lamb holds onto his seat in a real nail-biter.

At the Sheriff's Department, a man in glasses talks to Lamb.

MAN: I have information about that Mexican kid who got killed.

LAMB: Felix Toombs?

MAN: I'm the one who made the anonymous call from the bridge.

Logan is in a line-up.

LOGAN: You like me! You really like me! And I wanna thank my agent.

Outside, Lamb gives Logan some advice.

LAMB: You might want to get a lawyer.

LOGAN: What, for this charade?

Veronica pours out her anxieties to Duncan at Java the Hut in 202 Driver Ed.

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

A bathrobed Duncan receives Lizzie in the Presidential Suite in 204 Green-Eyed Monster.

LIZZIE: Meg has a laptop my parents didn't know about. They're gonna want to see what's on it. We have to get her personal stuff off this computer.

Cut to photos of the fake and the real Sandpiper Hotel, last seen in 203 Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang, as Veronica shows them to Mr Pope.

POPE: This has to be a mistake.

VERONICA: Mr Casablancas is artificially driving up his company's value. It IS a house of cards, and someone's gonna sneeze on it: me.

Cassidy is bewildered as Big Dick reacts badly to the news he has brought.

SECRETARY: Mr Casablancas? Some gentlemen from the SEC are here to see you.

Big Dick flies off in a helicopter. End previouslies.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, PRESIDENTIAL SUITE.

"The Big Lebowski" is playing on the TV, Jeff Bridges in full-voice as "The Dude."

THE DUDE: Look, let me explain something to you. Uh, I am not Mr Lebowski; you're Mr Lebowski.

Veronica and Duncan are on the sofa. Duncan is kissing the back of Veronica's neck/snacking on her hair. Veronica, remote in hand, is intent on the movie, starting to speak the dialogue along with the actor.

VERONICA/THE DUDE: I'm the Dude.

THE DUDE: So that's what you call me. You know, uh, that, or, uh, His&#8212

As Duncan raises his head, accepting defeat regarding her attention, Veronica's voice goes deeper as she continues following the dialogue.

VERONICA/THE DUDE: &#8212Dudeness. Or, uh, Duder, or, uh, you know, El Duderino, if you're not into the whole brevity thing&#8212

Having glared at the screen, Duncan takes the remote from Veronica and pauses the film.

DUNCAN: Veronica. You need to stop being the Dude.

VERONICA: Stoner bowler doesn't do it for you?

DUNCAN: A little. Only because I like the way your lips pout when you do guy voice.

Veronica pouts and puts her finger on her chin.

VERONICA: [babyish] These lips? I've had 'em for years, I can't do a thing with 'em.

Now she gives him her undivided attention as he leans over and they kiss, sinking down into the sofa. They start getting more passionate when Logan enters, slamming the door and dropping his school bag on the floor. He looks over at them and smirks. Duncan and Veronica pulls apart.

LOGAN: Where's my martini and why don't I smell pot roast?

Logan flings off his jacket and sits on the sofa, next to Veronica.

LOGAN: Hey, you're watching "The Big Lebowski." Why didn't you wait for me?

DUNCAN: I didn't know when you were coming home.

LOGAN: Well, you know, when you asked me to move in I thought it was because you wanted to spend more time together.

Logan looks past Veronica at Duncan, smiling sweetly. Veronica reaches forward for the remote.

VERONICA: You just missed the supermarket scene.

She's about to start the movie up again when there is a knock at the door.

LOGAN: And there's my room service.

Logan gets up to answer the door.

LOGAN: Seriously, though, I was reading "Third Wheel: A Beginner's Guide," and we should come up with, like, some kind of code word for when you guys are feeling frisky and, uh, don't want to be disturbed.

VERONICA: Like "scram"?

Duncan snorts a laugh.

LOGAN: I was thinking "awkward." But scram's good. Or "amscray."

Logan turns to get the door as Duncan does an "okay" sign with his fingers. Logan opens the door. It's Kendall who, in a black dress, is looking more than a little frisky. She waggles her eyebrows. Logan grins.

LOGAN: You're not my grilled cheese.

KENDALL: No.

LOGAN: Hmm.

Kendall saunters in, past a happy and satisfied-looking Logan, who sniffs the air through which she has passed. Kendall stops when she sees Veronica, Logan pausing behind her. Veronica vaguely attempts to hide her face behind her hand. Kendall points at Veronica and then at Duncan.

KENDALL: iPod girl with the waxy-eared boyfriend. Small world.

Veronica makes a finger gesture for "tiny." Behind Kendall, Logan is smiling as he works out that Veronica conned Kendall as part of her surveillance.

VERONICA: Like this big.

Kendall turns, glances at Logan, who waggles his eyebrows, and goes straight into his bedroom (ie. she's been here before). Logan starts to follow, then turns back to Veronica and Duncan.

LOGAN: My code word will be...endurance.

Duncan nods as Veronica stares at him distastefully. Logan holds up a hand and gives a fluttering wave before turning and disappearing into the bedroom. Duncan tightens his arm around Veronica, looking to continue where they left off.

DUNCAN: Weren't we doin' something?

Veronica is no longer in the mood.

VERONICA: We were making out on the couch, and then that happened.

Duncan eases back with a sigh.

VERONICA: Dick and Beav's stepmom just came over to have a go-around with your bunkmate. How does that not bother you?

DUNCAN: 'Cause I'm a guy?

Veronica gives him an offended look.

DUNCAN: What? If he was in there with Dick and Beaver's real mom, I'd be bothered, but it's Kendall. She's like our age.

VERONICA: She's twenty-five.

DUNCAN: Yeah, but, not really. You know what I mean, she's...

Veronica pulls back and looks at him expectantly.

DUNCAN: What? She's hot. Like that's news.

Veronica scoffs.

VERONICA: [sarcastic] Well ass slaps and high fives to Logan for bangin' a hot chick. Maybe she'll buy us beer.

DUNCAN: I'd ask her, but I think she'll be in there for a while.

Veronica groans and points the remote at the television.

INT - NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL (NHS), CLASSROOM - DAY.

The FBLA are in session again. On the blackboard are some words of wisdom: "...all know what a bank is. Did...w banks PAY you to save your...with them. They pay you a little bit...ch day you keep your money in their...hey call a 'Savings Account'...ey...calls 'Interest...m got p...erest...to...est." Mr Pope is in full flow, slowly circling behind the students' desks, including those of Dick and Gia. Dick is writing something on Gia's hand.

POPE: What a difference a day makes. You're in the pink, you're in the red.

Everyone laughs. Pope carries on behind Cassidy and Veronica, then past an empty desk to Logan. On the board behind him are some more words of wisdom: "...ny banks pay i...will learn the...of saving...about a futur...r, find out...uch it pays.

POPE: You're on top of the world, you're sleeping in the gutter, not a penny to your name.

LOGAN: You've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet!

Logan's referencing of Sinatra's "That's Life" amuses everyone, particularly Logan. Having reached the end of the desks, Pope turns back, walking the other way.

POPE: Last week, Miss Mars was, as you kids call it, flush...

Veronica does a fist-pump.

POPE: ...with Mr Casablancas breathing down her neck.

STUDENT: Ooo.

POPE: Well, the worm has turned.

Pope points his zapper at the screen at the front of the classroom. It is a line graph showing the respective positions of the students in the 2005-6 FBLA Portfolio Race. There are ten students taking part, each starting with just under a million. Going down the left side is the amount, in increments of $180,000. Along the bottom is the week number. The latest positions are for week four. The two best performers, shown in pink and yellow lines are neck and neck, with pink in front, until week four, when yellow shoots past to a worth of $1,800,000 as against pink's $1,530,000 or thereabouts. The name Cassidy C appears next to the yellow line. Cassidy clicks his fingers at Veronica.

CASSIDY: Boo-yah!

VERONICA: Nobody likes an eager beaver.

GIA: Dick, where's your line?

DICK: Yeah, hey, where's Dick Inc?

Pope zaps again. Dick's name appears against the line at the very bottom of the graph, having plunged to that position between weeks one and two.

POPE: Well, uh, as you'll recall, I recommended you not invest everything in one company and yet you put all of your money into Casablancas Realty.

DICK: Yeah, baby, keep it all in the family, that's right.

Gia does a very girly and loud laugh.

POPE: Well now you have nothing. Mr Echolls, oh, Mr Echolls, I'm afraid that your stock has declined seriously as well.

Logan's performance is shown as Pope zaps again. Logan's path has been one of steady decline although showing signs of levelling off. Logan doesn't even look, intent on inking up the bottom of his shoe.

LOGAN: I'm not worried. I tend to bounce back.

POPE: And Mr Kane.

He zaps. Duncan, having done well the first week, better than anyone, has plunged steadily since and now lies between Dick and Logan.

POPE: Well, maybe it's better he doesn't know.

Veronica and Logan both look over at the empty seat, neither knowing why he is absent.

EXT - GOLF CLUB - DAY.

Woody Goodman is on the putting green, making his third attempt to sink a ball. He fails and groans cheerfully, laughing. Keith is watching.

WOODY: Ah! This'd be more enjoyable if I were good at it.

KEITH: Any news on the bus crash, Woody?

WOODY: The sheriff has assured me he's working on it.

KEITH: So you've seen some progress, he's following up on leads?

Woody walks over to join Keith.

WOODY: Absolutely. Absolutely. Listen, Keith, I want to share something with you.

KEITH: What's that?

WOODY: My vision for Neptune.

Wood puts his golf club back in his golf bag, resting on the back of a golf cart.

KEITH: The election's over, Woody. You sold your vision.

WOODY: [enthusiastically] I promised a cleaner, safer Neptune. Want to know how I'm gonna get there? Incorporation. Turn our little county seat into a full-fledged city. Santa Barbara, Carmel, La Jolla, they all did it. Upped their tax base, turned that revenue into antique streetlamps, cobblestone streets, increased sanitation. I defy you to find graffiti in Carmel, Keith. It cannot be done. Here...

KEITH: What boundaries are we talking about?

WOODY: South to the marina, north to the airfield, east to the reservoir.

Keith grins.

KEITH: That's not a town, Woody, that's a...that's a country club.

WOODY: You're exaggerating. Nine thousand people would reside in the city of Neptune. They'd need a chief of police. County would still have Lamb, twice the police protection, everybody wins.

KEITH: I wouldn't even be able afford to live in the town that I was protecting and serving.

WOODY: We'd make it worth your while.

Woody pats Keith on the shoulder. He climbs into the cart and drives off.

WOODY: See ya!

ANNOUNCER: ...check in with the starter. Ruggiero and Porso, check in with the starter, please.

Keith watches him go, thoughtfully.

INT - NHS, HALLWAY - DAY.

Veronica talks into her cell phone as she walks.

VERONICA: Hey, are you sick, or am I gonna see you singing "Twist and Shout" on a parade float? Call me.

Having made her "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" reference, she ends the call, puzzled as she approaches the girls' bathroom. There is an "Out of Order" sign on the door. She ignores it and enters.

INT - NHS, GIRLS BATHROOM - CONTINUING.

Logan is leaning against the sinks.

LOGAN: Hey, you remember when we, uh, made out against the sink and you had your legs around my waist?

VERONICA: [unembarrassed] Stop, you'll make me blush.

Logan moves to stand in front of her, grinning.

LOGAN: Honestly, how much easier would your life be if you were indifferent to me?

VERONICA: [evenly] So much since I'm really struggling. What do you want?

LOGAN: I don't know if you noticed that I got arrested. Super fun. This guy came forward saying he was the 9-1-1 caller the night Felix got killed. And he's attempting to ruin my life. I thought maybe you could do a little sleuthing for old times' sake.

VERONICA: [disinterestedly] Really? Could I?

Logan's face falls.

LOGAN: But why would you, right?

Veronica impassively shakes her head as she can't think of a single reason.

LOGAN: Hey.

Logan does his humourless, resigned laugh.

LOGAN: At least I got to enjoy asking you for help.

He heads for the door. Veronica sighs and has second thoughts.

VERONICA: "Old times' sake"?

Logan pauses at the door.

VERONICA: Give me something I can work with.

LOGAN: The witness said I threatened him.

He moves back towards her.

LOGAN: He's setting me up. I need to know why.

VERONICA: What's his name?

INT - NHS, HALLWAY - DAY.

Duncan is hurrying down the hallway, carrying some papers. Veronica exits the bathroom, pulling off the "Out of Order" sign with an impatient jerk. She and Duncan spot each other through the melee of students.

VERONICA: Hey, I just tried to call you.

DUNCAN: I need to talk with you.

Duncan grabs her arm and starts to steer her to a classroom opposite the door to the girls' bathroom just as Logan exits, walking into a couple of girls on their way in.

GIRL: Hel-lo!

Duncan sees this but does not react other than to continue to steer Veronica into the empty classroom.

INT - NHS, CLASSROOM - CONTINUING.

Duncan pushes Veronica into the dark and empty FBLA classroom. She starts to explain.

VERONICA: Logan wanted me to help him&#8212

Duncan shuts the door.

DUNCAN: I'm not really thinking about that right now.

Duncan walks past her and faces her. He seems somewhat bothered. Behind him, Pope's screen is still on, displaying the message: "Be kind for everyone...hard battle."

DUNCAN: Lizzie gave me that hard drive to hide for Meg, and...I downloaded some of her files last night. I just...I wound up reading some of her emails.

Veronica looks through the papers.

VERONICA: Why is Meg emailing someone at Child Protection Services?

DUNCAN: She found out one of the kids she baby-sits for is being abused.

VERONICA: Oh my god.

DUNCAN: She's been emailing this agent, trying to help the kid, but she doesn't have proof. I-it's not sexual, they're not beating him, they're like...mentally tormenting him. I keep going through them, but...she never says who he is. [Urgently] We have to find him.

Opening credits.

INT - MARS INVESTIGATIONS - DAY.

The discussion has shifted. Veronica is sitting on the small couch, looking through the emails as Duncan paces.

DUNCAN: So basically, he's between seven and ten and his parents are psycho. That'll narrow it down.

VERONICA: She asks the agent if one of the books would be helpful.

DUNCAN: They make him write these admonishments over and over, hundreds of times. "I was bad, I deserve to be punished..." I think Meg has one of the books.

Duncan joins Veronica on the couch, looking though some of the emails that are laid out on the table.

DUNCAN: I remember reading that she stole one.

VERONICA: Well, then at least we have step one: get the book.

DUNCAN: From a house where there's always someone home and they always hate us. The only time Meg let me come over was on Sunday nights when her parents went to church group.

VERONICA: Then we'll go Sunday night. In the meantime, we have to figure out who Meg babysat for.

DUNCAN: The Fullers have a son. And Mrs Hauser. There was a neighbour but I think they only had a baby...um, the Martins had twin girls, the Goodmans, this other lady like once...

Veronica stares at Duncan, surprised at the depth of his knowledge of Meg's babysitting activities.

DUNCAN: She babysat a lot. I think they call it a part-time job. It-it's when you do this thing called work, and strangers pay you instead of the Allowance Fairy.

VERONICA: Ah, the Allowance Fairy. Elusive in Neptune outside the 09er zip.

DUNCAN: Meg's parents are big on the not-being-spoiled thing.

VERONICA: Well, the Goodmans don't need a babysitter now that Gia's back, and the others I'll just have to convince to trust me with their children long enough for me to get a writing sample.

DUNCAN: To compare to the book that Meg stole.

VERONICA: Yeah.

DUNCAN: After we break into Meg's house.

VERONICA: Pretty much.

Keith walks into the office, looking through his post. He holds up a piece of mail.

KEITH: Well look who got an invite to the sheriff department's fundraiser slash bachelor auction.

VERONICA: Please say "Veronica Mars."

KEITH: Sorry, sweetheart. You can't buy love. Bored wives of the wealthy, however, can.

Duncan sniggers.

KEITH: I'm wondering if they'll sell Sheriff Lamb by the pound.

Keith drops the invitation on the table in front of Veronica. It is in the form of a tri-fold card with only one side folded over. On the right is the announcement: "Neptune's Hottest Bachelors go on the Auction Block!" Underneath is a small logo, featuring the Neptune trident. On the left, on the folded part, is a cheesy half-body picture of a uniformed Lamb pointing to the announcement. Veronica picks it up. She and Duncan fold back the picture of Lamb to mock what's underneath.

KEITH: Hey, what's going on? She got you working now, too?

Duncan smiles and shrugs with his hands.

INT - CASABLANCAS RESIDENCE - DAY.

Barry Randall, the 09ers' favourite lawyer, is attending Kendall, Dick and Cassidy in the rather formal living room. Kendall and Dick are on one sofa, while Dick is facing them on another. Barry is in a chair at the end of the sofas and between them. Cassidy is fidgeting, his foot on the coffee table, causing it to rattle.

BARRY: The house and cars were paid in full, so you don't have to worry on that front.

Kendall slaps Cassidy's leg.

KENDALL: Stop it. I keep thinking it's an earthquake.

As Kendall adjusts her position, Dick takes the opportunity to try and look up her skirt, a fact that does not go unnoticed by an exasperated Kendall.

BARRY: Unfortunately, in light of recent events all of Dick's other assets have been frozen pending trial.

KENDALL: Trial? Um, the verdict's in. Dick's off drinking Mai Tais on some beach, probably being fanned by the local natives with hundred dollar bills. He's not coming back.

BARRY: As for the boys, Dick junior and Cassidy each have a trust fund.

DICK: Sweet.

BARRY: However, you're not eligible to withdraw from them until your twenty-first birthday.

Cassidy looks distraught but Dick is oblivious.

DICK: Dude, my twenty-first birthday's gonna to rock so hard. I love you, Daddy.

KENDALL: And? What about me?

BARRY: You don't have any separate accounts from Dick. He didn't put any property in your name.

KENDALL: I'm their mother. Can't I have some of their money?

Dick isn't so keen on that idea.

BARRY: The only remaining trustee for the funds is their biological mother.

Dick smirks.

KENDALL: So what am I supposed to do?

BARRY: I don't know. What'd you do before?

Kendall does not look too impressed with that.

EXT - NHS - DAY.

Veronica walks and talks on her cell.

VERONICA: Mrs Fuller? This is Veronica Mars. I helped Sabrina out with that GPA issue.

She pauses to listen as Duncan joins her and listens in.

VERONICA: Yes, I'm calling because I'm a friend of Meg Manning's and I'm trying to help out with her babysitting commitments. [pause] I do, I have excellent references, and I'm available any time you need.

Veronica pauses again to listen, rolling her eyes.

VERONICA: Yes, I do know CPR.

Duncan laughs as they carry on off screen

MRS HAUSER: [offscreen] STDs will kill you.

INT - NHS, CLASSROOM - DAY.

Jane Kuhne, last seen hobbling in 202 Driver Ed, sneezes at her desk. Her teacher looks down on her viciously.

MRS HAUSER: Sexually transmitted diseases are no joke, Jane.

JANE: I wasn't laughing, I sneezed.

MRS HAUSER: See how much you're sneezing when you have gonorrhoea!

Gia, sitting behind Veronica in the classroom, giggles, as do some of the other students. Mrs Hauser is in no mood for it.

MRS HAUSER: This is important, useful information that you, trust me, are going to need to know about.

Jane sneezes again. Mrs Hauser points to the door.

MRS HAUSER: Out!

Jane shoots up and races out, letting go of another sneeze as she goes. Mrs Hauser turns her attention to the rest of the class.

MRS HAUSER: All right, people, pair up. You each have a piece of paper with an STD on it. You have to inform your partner that you have said STD.

Veronica turns to Gia behind her, gesturing that they partner up. Gia nods enthusiastically. Veronica twists around and pulls her chair up to Gia's table.

VERONICA: All right, Gia, we can be partners, but no glove, no love.

Gia giggles. Dick is sitting at the desk next to Gia. Behind Gia is a poster declaring the joys of milk served in a martini glass: "Good shaken or stirred."

DICK: Yeah, let's get the dried-up divorc&#233e to teach us about sex.

GIA: I heard her husband left her for a man.

DICK: And now we get bitchy and bitter for a year.

Mrs Hauser is back at her desk, the contents of which include a nameplate. Over the "Mrs," she has pasted a piece of paper changing her title to "Ms." She bangs on her desk to bring their attention back to what they are supposed to be doing. Gia looks at her card.

GIA: Mrs Hauser, mine's wrong. Isn't this a flower?

MS HAUSER: No, Gia. Chlamydia is not a flower.

GIA: Well we have it on like a trellis at our beach house.

VERONICA: Your trellis is a whore.

GIA: You're very funny, Veronica. Really, you should know that about yourself.

VERONICA: Thank you, Gia.

GIA: I used to be funny at my old school. People here don't get me.

VERONICA: I think your wit totally translates.

GIA: You think? I don't know, I used to have like a zillion girlfriends at my other school. Here, all I meet are guys.

Veronica sighs in girlie-fashion.

VERONICA: You know what I haven't done in forever? Just gone to a girlfriend's house and like, watched movies and looked at her clothes...

GIA: You should come look at my clothes! You could sleep over!

Veronica does her "swell" gasp just at the bell rings. Students start to bolt.

MS HAUSER: Hey hey hey hey hey!

Ms Hauser holds up her hand until they freeze, then waves them off. All the students leave, except Veronica who approaches Ms Hauser's desk.

VERONICA: Ms Hauser? I'm taking on new babysitting clients and I know Meg used to work for you...

MS HAUSER: I am a working single mother, Veronica. The last thing I need is a babysitter. I need a clone.

VERONICA: I could be there to help out while you work around the house. Give you a chance to throw in a load of laundry or take a bath.

MS HAUSER: Last thing I need is more time in the tub. No sale, Miss Mars.

Veronica takes a breath to try again but Ms Hauser forestalls her with a raised finger.

MS HAUSER: Know when to fold 'em.

Veronica recognises that she is beaten but notes the book on Ms Hauser's desk: "You're Forty and He's Gone - Dating After Divorce" by Pamela Hunsaker. She exits.

INT - FULLER RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

Along the wall are certificates and testimonials to Sabrina Fuller including one for her work as an intensive care volunteer and one from the President's Education Awards Program for outstanding academic achievement. Jessica Fuller is showing off to Veronica.

JESSICA: First semester at college and Sabrina's top of her class. She just flourishes in academia. Here's your schedule for tonight.

She hands Veronica a printed, colour-coded sheet.

JESSICA: You'll see I gave you a five minute window in between each activity. I gave you thirty minutes to get acquainted with Edwin while making cookies. Then on to reading for at least an hour. He likes to keep going until he finishes the chapter. Then he can colour until bedtime.

Behind her, a man and a boy enter the house.

STUART: He won't give you any trouble. I think my fastball tired him out. Stuart Fuller.

He holds out his hand and they shake.

STUART: Thanks for coming on such short notice, Veronica.

VERONICA: I'm happy to have the gig.

JESSICA: Oh, and there's a phone sheet on the refrigerator.

STUART: It has every number we could ever possibly be reached at, barring alien abduction.

JESSICA: Most important, no boys. I know you're a friend of Meg's, and I almost let her go because of that boyfriend of hers. This isn't Inspiration Point. Give Mommy and Daddy a kiss goodbye.

Jessica bends down and kisses her son, as does Stuart.

JESSICA: Mm-mm.

The Fullers leave, watched by Veronica and Edwin. Veronica looks down at the child. This is the same child that let Veronica into the house in 117 Kane and Abel's. He is however now very different from the androgynous casual child seen then. His hair is slicked back and he is very neat. He hands her his baseball glove.

VERONICA: So, Edwin, what do YOU wanna do?

EDWIN: We're supposed to make cookies.

Veronica nods, resigned. Cut to later in the Fuller's library. Veronica is on the sofa, watching Edwin as he sits in at a small table quietly, reading "Moby Dick."

VERONICA VOICEOVER: A ten-year-old boy who voluntarily washes his hands, who enjoys quiet time, and does what he's told with a smile. If he doesn't pick his nose soon, I'm looking for wires.

Edwin look back at a clock showing 7pm. He closes his book and puts it back in the bookshelf.

VERONICA: How was your book?

EDWIN: Good. May I please colour now?

VERONICA: Knock yourself out.

Edwin leaves the room. Veronica's cell rings and she answers.

VERONICA: Hello.

DUNCAN: [offscreen] How's it going?

VERONICA: Disturbingly well.

Veronica gets up and walks to the door, gazing on Edwin in the other room, quietly colouring on the table there.

VERONICA: I grabbed some old homework for a writing sample and I'll snoop after he goes to sleep. Which I'm sure will be in exactly thirty-four minutes.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - CONTINUING.

Duncan is sitting on the sofa at the suite.

DUNCAN: I'm having a hard time picturing you babysitting.

INT - FULLER RESIDENCE - CONTINUING.

The camera continues to cut between them.

VERONICA: Really? Maybe because it's such a Meg thing? You guys did it so much.

Duncan looks a little puzzled but before he can say anything, Veronica gasps at a loud knock at the window. It's Logan.

DUNCAN: Are you all right?

VERONICA: Yeah. It's just a really big bug.

Veronica heads for the window.

VERONICA: I'll call you back.

She whispers loudly through the glass. Logan looks impatient.

VERONICA: I said ten-thirty!

Veronica moves back into the house to get a file from her bag and check on Edwin, who is happily occupied with his Joshola crayons.

VERONICA: How you doing, Edwin?

EDWIN: Good.

VERONICA: You need anything?

EDWIN: No thank you.

Veronica returns to the library. Cut to a little later. Logan and Veronica are sat on the sofa. Logan has the file and is going through it.

VERONICA: Your 9-1-1 caller, a.k.a. Tom Griffith, is Doctor Tom Griffith. He is a very expensive, well-respected plastic surgeon.

LOGAN: I don't believe it. There are no respected plastic surgeons.

Logan clears his throat and carries on turning over the papers. He reaches a copy of an article about Tom Griffith. That which can be read says: ...riffith, MD, FACS...astic Surgery Council of America...rienced, world renowned plastic surgeon...wenty-years, Dr Griffith has helped over...achieve uplifting, confidence inspiring...e of cosmetic surgery...st technologies and using only the most...Dr Griffith has not only made lives better...ncement, but has also returned lives to...tructive surgery...only the wealthy, Dr Griffith lead a...teams through developing countries,...to those in need of cosmetic enhance-..." On the right hand side of the sheet is a menu leading to patient testimonials, awards and accolades, and education history. These are under a picture of Tom Griffith.

LOGAN: That's not him.

VERONICA: Sure it is.

LOGAN: Oh.

Veronica leans forward to tap the file.

VERONICA: Dr Tom Griffith, says there right on the picture.

LOGAN: That's not the guy from the bridge.

VERONICA: What are you talking about? You told the police you couldn't identify the guy, you said the whole night was a blur.

LOGAN: I lied.

VERONICA: 'Course you did.

LOGAN: Well I didn't want the guy found. You know, I didn't-I didn't know what he was gonna say. I knew I was free and clear if they never found him.

Veronica hears the sound of car doors closing. She jumps up, hastening Logan.

VERONICA: You have to go.

LOGAN: I need your help, the guy's lying!

Veronica turns back as she races out of the room.

VERONICA: Go!

Logan stands there for a moment, then sighs loudly.

LOGAN: [softly] Fuck.

He turns to go. Veronica runs to the hallway, just getting there as Jessica marches in.

JESSICA: We're a little early. Hope we didn't scare you.

VERONICA: Not at all.

JESSICA: How did everything go?

VERONICA: Great. Really, uh, Edwin's a dream.

They look over at the boy who smiles angelically. The Fullers look happily at Veronica.

EXT - FULLER RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

Stuart Fuller sees Veronica to the porch. He has cash in one hand, which he gives her.

STUART: Thanks a lot, Veronica, we'll definitely call you again.

VERONICA: That'd be great.

STUART: We have a standing dinner date with friends on Fridays. Saturdays, of course, I'm on the boat by myself if you ever want to come by, smoke a J and fool around.

Veronica does a double take of which Stuart, completely relaxed and casual, takes no notice.

STUART: We usually do a day trip about once a month with my boss, if you don't mind working on a Sunday.

VERONICA: Um...

STUART: Oh, I almost forgot. Edwin drew this for you.

He hands her a folded piece of paper. He smiles and returns into the house. Veronica opens out the picture. It is a picture of Veronica, decapitated, with blood spurting out from the appropriate locations. Veronica blows out her breath slowly.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - DAY.

Veronica, sitting at the kitchen counter, is on the laptop, composing an email to Wallace. Her files are as have been seen before: Cases, Newspapers, Photographs, School Work and Stuff. For the second week in a row, she misspells Fennel, adding an extra L. The email is titled "Latest News: Recap."

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Wallace, Wallace, Wallace. Wherefore art thou? I know that quote doesn't really work, but you get the point. Things that have changed in the nineteen hours since my last email: I've grown four inches, changed my name to London, and have discovered that apparently I'm not the only love of Duncan's life. You really need to start answering my emails. This is a little too Doogie Howser's journal for me.

Veronica sends off the missive.

INT - NHS, ADMINISTRATION OFFICE - DAY.

There is a bank of pigeon holes on one wall, each compartment marked with a name. The names include Mr Lung, Ms Armand, Mrs Cable-Graham and Mrs Murphy. A hand reaches in to collect papers from hole marked Mrs Hauser, only the Mrs has been crossed through and Ms handwritten in front of it. Ms Hauser opens the envelope that is on top of the pile of papers. It is the invitation to the Bachelor Action with one difference. Now, instead of being in his uniform, Lamb is shirtless and buff, thanks to Veronica's photoshop skills. She folds back the picture of Lamb to reveal: "1st Annual Neptune County Sheriff's Department Bachelor Auction Fundraiser, November 15 (or 16) 2005 7:30 pm. Neptune Grand Ballroom." It's followed by some further unreadable writing. Ms Hauser smiles and then turns to run out of the office.

ADMINISTRATION OFFICE WORKER: I think Mr Wilson is on the phone right now.

Ms Hauser smiles and then turns to run out of the office&#8212and straight into Veronica Mars. Veronica is standing at the door to the administration office, holding a pile of flyers. She has already posted one on the door, over one for Study Hall. Behind her is another, recruiting for the scuba club on the excellent advice to "join the one club that could get you eaten." Veronica's flyer, which is illustrated by the picture of a little girl and another of a teddy bear. It reads: "Babysitter For Hire. With more than 5 years experience caring for children, from 5 months to 12 years, I have the knowledge, skills and maturity to ensure your child's safety. I also have experiencing (sic) tutoring students up through 11th grade, and can organize to provide your child with quality education and one-on-one tutoring while I sit.* An...erienced baby sitter (sic) at a...ble price. Available on Short Notice...certified (3 years now)...Child Care Provider..."

MS HAUSER: Does this seem like a good place for you to be standing?

VERONICA: [contrite] Sorry.

Ms Hauser glances down at the flyers in her hand.

VERONICA: Just hanging some flyers.

MS HAUSER: Do you have references?

VERONICA: I do.

Ms Hauser grabs one and walks away from an extremely satisfied Veronica.

INT - CASABLANCAS RESIDENCE - DAY.

The doorbell rings. Kendall, in baby doll nightie, short negligee and high heels, is trying to rush down the stairs.

KENDALL: I'm coming! God, I hate you. Coming!

She opens the door. A woman carrying two large paper carrier bag marches in, hardly glancing at Kendall. She calls out.

BETINA: Cassidy! Dick junior! Mommy's here! Where are my little boys?

Kendall watches her back and sighs. Cut to later. Betina carries sandwiches and joins her sons, placing the food on the coffee table.

BETINA: When's the last time you had a lunch like this?

DICK: When I was a Brady.

Dick reaches for a sandwich.

CASSIDY: This is great, Mom, really. We're glad you're here.

Behind them, Kendall is slowly dusting, listening to every word.

BETINA: And so quickly, right? I hope you see that. You need me, I'm here. All you have to do is call.

Kendall rolls her eyes.

BETINA: The only time I get to act like your mother is when your father's not around to stop me.

DICK: Wait. You know we want you to like, sign something, right? Funds are running a little low now that Dad's MIA.

BETINA: I know, Dick. It's so like your father to think about the glory moment and forget about the day-to-day. Everything's got to be big and flashy, it's all million-dollar trust funds and you can't buy bread.

CASSIDY: So you'll help us?

BETINA: Well I don't know, baby. It's a lot of money but that's all there is. I mean if you spend it all now there'll be nothing left for college or, god forbid, an emergency. I have to think about your future.

CASSIDY: [eagerly] Yeah, well maybe we could come live with you.

Dick slaps Cassidy hard on his shoulder.

DICK: Dude!

CASSIDY: Stop!

BETINA: Sweetheart, you know we spend most of the year in Europe.

CASSIDY: So, I like Europe.

BETINA: Oh.

Betina chuckles indulgently, ruffling Cassidy's hair.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

The doorbell rings. Legs pass a supine and silent Backup, heading for the door. Veronica looks down at the contented dog.

VERONICA: No bark? Is it your day off?

Veronica opens the door. Ms Hauser pushes in, a paper bag in one hand and a child held by the other.

MS HAUSER: These are the snacks Albert is allowed to have. He cannot have anything else. No juice, no soda, no diet drinks. If it's not in this bag, it does not go in his mouth. Tell me you understand.

VERONICA: I understand.

MS HAUSER: We don't let television in our house and I expect that rule to be applied here. You can play with him, but don't get him too wound up. If you do exactly like I tell you, he will be perfectly behaved. Albert, this is Veronica.

VERONICA: Hi, Albert.

Veronica gives a little wave to the impassive boy. Ms Hauser kisses the top of her son's head, her mind already turning to the night's activities. She is seriously dressed up for the occasion. She checks her bosom, takes a deep and excited breath, and turns to hurry off.

VERONICA: Okay. Well, what do you feel like doing? I've got some games&#8212

ALBERT: [demanding] I want ice cream.

VERONICA: Oh, your mom just said&#8212

ALBERT: [more demanding] I want ice cream!

VERONICA: I got that, however&#8212

Albert opens his mouth wide and screams.

ALBERT: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Veronica is horrified. Cut to later. Duncan races into the apartment, carrying a bag.

DUNCAN: They only had&#8212

VERONICA: Shhhhh!

Veronica, finger on her lips in warning, is looking frazzled. She looks down at Albert. He is transfixed by the television in front of which he sits. Veronica drops her finger to point at him, too frightened to speak to break the spell. Duncan pulls a large carton of ice cream from the bag. Cut to a little later again as Veronica brings Albert's schoolbag into her room. She searches through to find a sample of his writing, which she does and places it in a folder on her desk. Cut to later still as Veronica opens the door to Ms Hauser.

MS HAUSER: Oh, look at that.

Albert is fast asleep on the sofa.

MS HAUSER: And that's so unlike him to fall asleep.

VERONICA: I think he was bored.

MS HAUSER: Well that makes one of us.

Ms Hauser, positively giddy, playfully slaps Veronica's arm before heading for the sofa to gather up her son.

MS HAUSER: Come on, honey. Come on, honey. Come on, come on, baby, come on. There you go, oh, come to Mommy. Oh, that's a big... oh, that's my good boy, yes, yes, yes.

Albert doesn't wake up as Ms Hauser pulls him up into her arms. She, still excited, starts dancing with her son's head lolling over her shoulder.

MS HAUSER: 'Cause Mom's got a date with a deputy! With a name like Sacks. Mm. Come on. Yep. Um.

They leave and Veronica leans back against the closed apartment door, exhausted.

INT - GRIFFITH'S OFFICE - DAY.

Veronica is reading the degrees on the wall when Griffith enters.

DR GRIFFITH: Veronica? Hi, I'm Dr Griffith.

He holds out his hand and they shake.

VERONICA: I'm so grateful you were able to fit me in. I know there's a lot of work to be done and I'd really like to get started as soon as possible.

DR GRIFFITH: Uh, please.

The doctor gestures for her to sit down and they head for his desk and the chair in front of it respectively.

DR GRIFFITH: What kind of work are you thinking about?

VERONICA: Uh, well, you tell me.

DR GRIFFITH: Well, that's not really how I work.

VERONICA: Okay, uh, well, definitely implants. Um...not, like, clown boobs, but, like a generous C. Um, and then there's...

She points to her nose.

VERONICA: ...the bump, and I-I think my lips could use some work.

DR GRIFFITH: You don't really want to have these procedures done.

VERONICA: If you're worried about money, my mother said I could have work done for my eighteenth birthday.

DR GRIFFITH: Veronica, I don't want to waste your time. Okay, uh, there's absolutely nothing you need to change. You're a-you're a gorgeous young woman. I wouldn't perform a single procedure on you.

Veronica is puzzled at finding an ethical plastic surgeon. They are interrupted when an assistant in a white coat knocks on the open door through which Griffith entered.

DOCTOR: Dr Griffith? They're ready.

She points back into the other room.

DR GRIFFITH: Oh, right, thank you.

Griffith turns his attention back to Veronica.

DR GRIFFITH: Um. Look, I have-I have a surgery right now, but I have some literature I'd-I'd really like you to look over, okay?

He rises from his desk and picks up a leaflet from the corner of his desk, handing it to her. Veronica takes it.

DR GRIFFITH: Okay?

Veronica nods.

DR GRIFFITH: Okay.

Griffith leaves and Veronica looks down at the leaflet. It is entitled "Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Who you are, versus who you see."

LOGAN'S ANSWERING MACHINE: [offscreen] It's Logan.

EXT - GRIFFITH'S OFFICE - DAY.

Veronica is in the LeBaron, phone to her ear.

LOGAN'S ANSWERING MACHINE: "Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late." Ben Frankin.

VERONICA: The good news is, I'm perfect the way I am. The bad, your plastic surgeon is a mensch.

Veronica glances in the rear view mirror.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: A mensch who's surprisingly on the move.

Veronica hangs up the phone and pays attention, watching from the side mirror as Griffith gets into his car.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Another patient too perfect for plastic, or was Dr Griffith giving me the slip?

As Griffith pulls out, Veronica starts the LeBaron and follows.

EXT - CASABLANCAS RESIDENCE - DAY.

Dick's reflection is cast in the water as he walks along the side of the pool. He is carrying a large bag. He reaches Kendall who is lying under an umbrella. He drops the bag on her stomach, causing her to jerk up.

DICK: Don't say I never gave you nothin'.

Kendall moves the bag off of her stomach and to the side, reaching in.

KENDALL: Well, it's not on fire.

She pulls out a sexy French maid outfit. She holds it up.

KENDALL: What is this?

DICK: That's what you'll be wearing when you dust my armoire. My mother signed over our trust funds.

Dick climbs onto the chair next to her as Kendall slides as far away as possible in distaste.

DICK: Yeah, I guess she got used to life sans Dick and Beav, made sure we had enough coin to keep off her couch. Beaver's of course heartbroken. Me, I see it as a chance to bond with my new mom.

Dick puts his arm around Kendall, hugging her to him. Kendall doesn't verbalise it, but her face most clearly says, "Eww!" She stares at him, mortified.

EXT - LIBERTY CIGARS & PIPES - DAY.

Griffith's car is parked outside the shop. A man is standing outside, enjoying a cigar. Veronica watches the shop front from the rear view mirror of the LeBaron.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Dr Egostroke's emergency? Shopping for stogies. After giving "another five minutes" for a half hour, I need to get out of the car.

Veronica opens the car door.

INT - LIBERTY CIGARS & PIPES - DAY.

Boxes of cigars are everywhere. Veronica enters the shop just as a large man in a Hawaiian shirt exits. She looks around but does not see Griffith.

CUSTOMER: Are these from Honduras or...

STORE CLERK: Sir, we're all out...

She pauses and looks around again, without success. From behind her, a clerk, smoking a large cigar, comes out of another part of the shop or a booth behind her.

STORE CLERK: Can I help you?

VERONICA: Uh...yes. I am looking for a present, for my dad.

Veronica coughs slightly from the smoke drifting her way.

VERONICA: Um, he likes Cubans.

The clerk nods.

STORE CLERK: Follow me.

As he passes, Veronica waves away at the smoke and coughs again. There's a sign on the wall behind her: "Questions about your pipe? Looking for a SPECIAL tobacco? Need help with your dottle? Talk to CEDRIC our pipe expert. Cedric is here!! Every Tues (10am to 3pm) to handle your concerns or you can reach him at...cam." The contact details are obscured by another small sign pinned over them. Veronica turns to follow the clerk and is dismayed to see Griffith, just finishing with another clerk at the cash register.

CASHIER: Thank you very much, sir.

Griffith takes a bag from the clerk and leaves. Veronica sighs.

INT - GOODMAN RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

Gia, dressed in a green robe, approaches the front door and swings it open. Veronica is on the other side, clutching a Ninja Turtles sleeping bag. Gia claps.

GIA: Yay! I'm so excited!

Veronica enters.

GIA: Oh, wait-wait-wait. You have to take off your shoes.

Veronica, in the middle of taking off her jacket, looks a little puzzled.

GIA: My mother won't let anybody wear shoes in the house.

She hands her coat to Gia and reaches down to remove her shoes.

GIA: You wouldn't believe the stuff you bring in from the outside world.

Gia leads Veronica to a large closet.

GIA: You brought your sleeping bag, that's so cute!

Gia hangs up Veronica's jacket in one part of the closet.

VERONICA: Well, I like to have the option. Don't judge me for my ninja turtles.

Gia opens another part of the closet to reveal shelves of wicker baskets, each neatly labelled with names such as Rodney, Mother, Father.

VERONICA: Whoa, somebody likes their label maker.

Gia puts Veronica's sleeping bag in one of the baskets.

GIA: Yeah, at least we know where to find everything.

She takes Veronica's bag and shoes. She puts the bags on a shelf.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Yes, like the anal psychos are located right about…

Underneath is a rack for shoes. It is labelled "Guests." There are many shoes, at least five other pairs. Gia places Veronica's shoes in the one space left.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: ...here. Great. They kill their guests and steal their shoes.

Veronica hears girlish laughter, with something akin to horror.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Please tell me they kill their guests.

Music can be heard as well. Gia is grinning ear to ear.

GIA: I have a surprise for you.

Gia puts her hand over Veronica's eyes and the screen goes blank.

GIA: Don't peek!

VERONICA VOICEOVER: My Spidey-sense is tingling. Something bad is happening.

Gia, having moved Veronica into another room, removes her hand and steps back.

GIA: It's a girls' night!

There are three girls dancing and Gia joins them. Another girl is plaiting Madison's hair. Madison looks over at Veronica, supercilious. On the large TV, a music video is playing. Music: Pon De Replay by Rihanna.

LYRICS: Come Mister DJ song pon de replay
Come Mister DJ won't you turn the music up
All the gyal pon the dancefloor wantin some more what
Come Mister DJ won't you turn the music up
Hey Mister
Please Mister DJ
Tell me if you hear me
Turn the music up
Hey Mister
Mister

Veronica gulps. End music: Pon De Replay by Rihanna.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - NIGHT.

Fish adorn the glass niche above Logan's bed and candles glow on the bedside tables. He and Kendall are post-coital and panting. Logan starts to move to get out of bed but Kendall rolls back onto his chest, nuzzling him.

KENDALL: That was perfect...Baby. Oh, it feels so good to be with you, I just want to be with you all the time.

Logan, his arms thrown back, isn't fooled.

LOGAN: Uh, bit of advice: when looking for a sugar daddy, at least pick the richest guy in the hotel suite.

Kendall lifts herself off of him, staring down at him, offended.

LOGAN: I'm sorry. Did that hurt your feeling?

KENDALL: I can't believe you just said that to me. Doesn't this mean anything to you?

LOGAN: It does. It means I'm getting laid. And I owe your village a goat.

His own wit amuses him so much that he laughs. He reaches towards the bottom of the bed to grab his underwear, which he proceeds to slide into under the sheet.

KENDALL: You know, you can joke all you want. I know we have a connection, Logan.

Logan scoffs.

KENDALL: You know, it may have just started off as sex, but over these past few months it's grown into something more.

Logan, having completed his semi-dressing, pulls himself up slightly and gazes at her.

LOGAN: Wow. So, your feelings have grown as your available balance has shrunk. It's like science! One of the problems of sleeping with your stepson's friend: information tends to leak.

Logan gets out of bed and heads for the area where his clothes are hanging.

KENDALL: I don't know if you've noticed, but you have a pretty good situation for yourself here.

LOGAN: Yeah.

KENDALL: You wanna go back to playing grab-ass with cheerleaders that have just mastered missionary? See ya. You want things to keep going the way they've been going, I'm gonna need a few things.

Logan, his arms in his t-shirt, pauses to look at her.

LOGAN: I'm sorry, "see ya" was option A?

Logan pulls the t-shirt over his head.

LOGAN: Bessie, when the milk stops being free, I stop drinking it.

KENDALL: Then what am I supposed to do?

LOGAN: Frankly, my dear...you know the rest.

Kendall sighs in frustration and leans down the bed for her own clothes as Logan smirks. Cut to a little later. Kendall exits Logan's room. She notices the door to Duncan's room is open and hears the shower. She walks into his room. Duncan emerges naked from the bathroom and looks up, startled by what he sees. He grabs a towel and wraps it around his waist.

KENDALL: I hope you don't mind. It's just that I have this itch on my back and I was hoping maybe you could give me a little scratch.

Kendall is sitting on his bed, wearing only her necklace.

KENDALL: I have these fantastic nails, should you need me to return the favour.

Duncan blinks.

INT - GOODMAN RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

The party is still going on. Music: The Nth Degree by Morningwood.

LYRICS: If you're rock n roll, disco, heavy metal angel
Come on everybody, to the Nth Degree
The four of us. The Royal We.
He bangs the drums, she's VIP.
He's never done, got OCD.
Our love is to the Nth Degree.
Uh oh, here we go.
Turn up the radio,
Come on everybody
To the Nth Degree
if you're rock n roll, disco, heavy metal angel
Come on everybody, to the Nth Degree
Come on everybody, to the Nth Degree

Gia brings an empty bowl of snacks to a table at which Rodney is quietly writing cards. Veronica follows.

GIA: That's my little brother Rodney. He's had a birthday, hence the thank you cards.

VERONICA: Hey, Rodney.

Rodney looks up at Veronica, then turns slightly, hiding his writing.

GIA: He's a little weird. But sweet.

Gia holds up two more bowls of snacks.

GIA: I'm just gonna mix these together, or will they hate that?

As Rodney turns back to face the table full on, his elbow send a small bowl of water, containing a sponge, to the floor, landing on the floor. Rodney freaks.

RODNEY: Oh no!

Rodney gets down and rubs the carpet frantically with a cloth.

GIA: Rodney, it's just water.

Veronica takes advantage of the distraction to pilfer one of the cards Rodney has written.

GIA: He's a little intense sometimes.

Gia hands a bowl to Veronica and returns to the party. Veronica casts a look at Rodney before following. Madison and another girl are standing on the sofa, comparing bums.

MADISON: Oh my God, you are crazy. Her butt is so much smaller than mine.

GIRL: Hers is just higher.

Veronica puts the bowl down on the table, watching in disbelief at the inanity of it all. Behind her, Woody approaches Rodney. Veronica turns her back to the girls to watch.

WOODY: Rodney. Rodney! Your mother's going to be home soon. I'm gonna have to tell her about this. You know the rules.

Woody and Rodney notice Veronica's gaze.

WOODY: Don't worry; we're not spying on you.

Veronica smiles awkwardly.

WOODY: Come on, Rodney, we'll get your stuff, take it to your room, and let the girls have this party.

They start collecting Rodney's things off the table. Behind her, Gia calls her.

GIA: Veronica. Do you know how to do dreadlocks?

Veronica hasn't the strength to respond. Cut to a little later. The girls are all seated on the two facing sofas. Veronica watches the girlish interaction helplessly.

GIA: Don't you just love pizza? I ate a whole pie once; it kinda hurt.

Veronica stares at Gia as there is a gaggle of responses.

GIRLS: You know, pizza has more carbohydrates than, like, any other food.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Did you stop to barf?

GIRLS: That is so not true. Bread has like, a thousand more carbs.
Pizza is bread, genius. It's broad and flat. It's like the best food ever.

GIA: [panicked] Wait, I think I just heard my mother.

Veronica is happy to have an excuse to slip out for a while.

VERONICA: I'll go check.

One of the girls passes a bottle of vodka to Gia, who hides it behind a cushion as Veronica gets up. Veronica goes to the door. She sees Mrs Goodman place her shoes in their proper place in the closet. End music: The Nth Degree by Morningwood. She watches as Woody speaks quietly to his wife. Veronica edges forward to observe Mrs Woodman approach the chair on which Rodney is sitting, looking for all the world as if his life is over. After a moment, Rodney rises slowly and follows his mother down the hall and out of sight. Woody, who has also been watching, turns and walks to another room, slamming the door behind him, which makes Veronica jump.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - NIGHT.

Logan is channel hopping. He starts with some animated turtles, then flips to a Bloomberg like channel. A ticker tape runs along the bottom of the screen with stock information from NYSE and AMEX (everything's up), and financial report information. On the right are the Dow figure and the futures for orange juice (down) and cocoa (up).

TV COMMENTATOR: ...look at the hurdles GM is trying to clear&#8212

There's another click of the remote as Kendall exits Duncan's room behind Logan. She sees him and makes a big show of wiping her mouth as she passes by, heading for the door of the suite.

LOGAN: You ever think about just getting a job?

Kendall pauses, then turns to look at him.

KENDALL: This is my job.

She turns on her heel and exits.

EXT - GOODMAN RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

The party has moved to the pool. The girls are seated in a circle by the side of it, Gia drinking straight from the bottle, before passing it to one of the other girls. Veronica, who unlike the rest has not changed into a bikini, sits uncomfortable between Gia and Madison.

MADISON: "Pretty Woman" is still my favourite movie. Vivian is, like, my hero.

VERONICA: She's a hooker.

GIA: Only because she had to be.

VERONICA: She's a hooker!

MADISON: You should put a tattoo right here...

Madison, who seems to have grown a few cup sizes herself, points to Veronica's chest.

MADISON: ...so people will have something to look at.

GIRLS: Oooooh.

Madison does a fake laugh. Veronica does the same before turning to Gia.

VERONICA: So Gia, how are things with you and Dick?

MADISON: Dick? Like, my Dick?

GIA: You dated Dick?

MADISON: Um, yeah, for like, ever.

GIA: That's so weird.

The devil of which they speak arrives right on cue, with animal noises. Carrying a bottle of something alcoholic and followed by Cassidy, he appears through the greenery and stops on top of a fake rock.

DICK: We came here for the panty raid!

He takes a long swig from the bottle as the girls giggle.

GIRL: Oh, god.

DICK: We're stayin' for Spin the Bottle.

GIRL: Woo!

GIRL: Yeah!

VERONICA: I'm outta here.

Veronica pushes herself off the ground as Gia looks at her sadly. Madison starts to preen.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

Veronica enters her bedroom and collapses onto the bed. Keith comes out of her bedroom to stand just inside her door.

KEITH: When you leave a sleepover early, I'm supposed to put a trench coat over my pyjamas and come pick you up.

VERONICA: Sorry, I drive now. And I'm not nine.

KEITH: You'll always be nine to me. Going on thirty.

Keith notices something. He starts to sniff one of her jackets, hanging by the door.

VERONICA: Whoa. You two need to be alone?

Keith takes the jacket off the hook.

KEITH: I know we had the smoking talk somewhere between the birds and the bees and the drinking and driving.

VERONICA: Actually, I think it was more of a sentence&#8212"Don't smoke"&#8212and it was between the adventures of Pooh and Goodnight Moon.

KEITH: 'Splain.

Keith hands her the jacket and she takes a big whiff.

VERONICA: Oh, I went into a cigar shop to use the bathroom.

KEITH: Cigar shop on Ocean Avenue?

VERONICA: Yeah.

He takes the jacket back and re-hangs it.

KEITH: Find other facilities next time, okay? That place is notorious for dealing drugs. I tried to bust 'em about twenty times when I was sheriff.

He grimaces at her and leaves the room. Veronica is thoughtful.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - NIGHT.

Duncan, resplendent in black turtleneck and black trousers, opens the door to Veronica.

VERONICA: No ski mask?

DUNCAN: You said wear dark colours.

Veronica smiles as she walks into the suite.

VERONICA: We're not breaking into a bank vault in a James Bond movie.

DUNCAN: I don't do this every day.

VERONICA: Well after my brief stint with babysitting, I'm more than happy with the PI life. It's a sad state of affairs when I can't tell which kid is being locked in a closet because all the families are equally cuckoo.

Behind her, Logan has come out of his room.

LOGAN: Ah. Poetry reading? Hey, uh, Kendall wasn't bugging you yesterday, was she?

DUNCAN: No.

LOGAN: Good. Good. 'Cause, uh, when I saw she was in your room for a little while, I got nervous. You know, I know how she likes to talk a guy's ear off.

DUNCAN: She was just asking for my help with something.

Veronica looks quizzically at Duncan. He ignores it, putting his hand on her arm.

DUNCAN: We better get going.

EXT - MANNING RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

Duncan leads Veronica to the back door. She hurries up to it as he pauses by a small shelf of flower pots.

VERONICA: Tell me they leave it open.

He picks up keys from under one of the pots.

DUNCAN: No. I've seen Meg do this a bunch of times. She always forgot her key.

Duncan uses the key to open the door.

INT - MANNING RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

They climb the stairs and enter Meg's room.

VERONICA: Yeah, this isn't weird at all.

Duncan picks up a stuffed monkey thrown carelessly on Meg's bed.

VERONICA: Um, I'm gonna start with the closet, do you want to start with the dresser?

Duncan rests the monkey on the pillows.

DUNCAN: Actually, bet I know where it is.

Duncan goes to the air vent.

VERONICA: Giving away Lilly's trade secrets?

He opens the vent.

DUNCAN: I think she got it from Logan. I, of course, pass it off as my own.

Duncan hands a journal book to Veronica. Veronica opens the book. It is filled with the same line written over and over.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: "The path to God is paved with righteousness."

VERONICA: People suck.

Veronica lies the book on the bed and gets out the samples of writing she has. Duncan pulls an envelope out of the vent. He glances back to check that Veronica is occupied and slips it into his pocket. He checks again that she hasn't seen before replacing the vent. He rejoins Veronica who has laid out all the samples. None of them match the writing in the journal.

VERONICA: This is so neat and perfect and...Rodney's is the neatest of the samples and it still doesn't even come close.

Veronica picks up the journal to look at it more closely.

DUNCAN: What?

VERONICA: This isn't little boy's writing.

Veronica looks up at a frame on Meg's bedside table. The frame has a title, "Sisters are forever" and three pictures, one of Meg, one of Lizzie and one of the little girl that was at the hospital in 204 Green-Eyed Monster.

DUNCAN: It has to be. Meg said...

Veronica picks up the picture.

VERONICA: What if...she was covering?

She holds it up for Duncan. Veronica replaces the picture, picks up all the samples and exits the room. Duncan follows her into the hallway. Across from Meg's room is another room with "Grace" spelled out in large letters set vertically on the door. They go in. Veronica goes to the closet. As Duncan watches, Veronica finds a stack of journals. She checks a couple. They are all the same, filled with writing the same lines over and over. Veronica turns a distressed face towards Duncan.

DUNCAN: I can't believe this.

There is a thump from within the closet.

VERONICA: Shh-shh-shh!

Veronica listens for a second and then pushes back the clothes to disclose a sliding door in the back of the closet. A simple hook lock is in place. Veronica undoes it and slides open the door. Grace, the little girl, is sat in the small space between the back of the closet and the outside wall of the house into which a large ventilation fan is set.

VERONICA: Grace?

The child looks terrified.

VERONICA: It's okay. It's okay, Grace.

GRACE: They can tell if the door was open, they're not going to believe me!

VERONICA: We're going to get you out of here, okay?

GRACE: Daddy said I'm not ready.

DUNCAN: Grace. You remember me, right?

VERONICA: It's Duncan, Meg's friend, remember?

GRACE: I don't wanna be tested, Daddy said I'm not ready.

Grace is shivering and has large black circles under her eyes. Veronica moves to give way to Duncan who bends down to her. Veronica punches a number into her cell as Duncan holds out his hand.

DUNCAN: Hey, it's okay.

Suddenly the light is switched on. Veronica gasps and turns and Duncan races over to stand between her and the person who turned on the light. It is Mr Manning. He is holding a baseball bat high over his head. He doesn't take his eyes off the intruders.

MR MANNING: Grace, can you come out please? Grace, sweetheart.

GRACE: Yes, Daddy?

Grace finally moves.

MR MANNING: Go downstairs, please.

GRACE: Yes, Daddy.

MR MANNING: Your mother's in the kitchen.

Grace leaves the room.

MR MANNING: Get down on the floor. Get down on the floor!

DUNCAN: Why don't you just let us&#8212

MR MANNING: GET ON THE FLOOR!

Duncan and Veronica kneel on the floor. Mrs Manning races into the room.

MRS MANNING: Honey?

MR MANNING: Call the sheriff.

Cut to later. Lamb arrives at the door to the room. Mr Manning is still standing in the same place, bat in hand.

MR MANNING: I came home from church and found them in my daughter's room, rifling through her things.

Veronica, indignant, rises to her feet. As Veronica starts to talk, Mr Manning talks over her.

VERONICA: We were trying to help Grace!

MR MANNING: Shut up.

VERONICA: They've been abusing her. They had her locked in the closet!

MR MANNING: Shut your evil little mouth.

VERONICA: Go! Go look!

MR MANNING: Nobody believes a word you say, you filthy, lying whore!

VERONICA: Look in the closet, look at the books they make her write!

Mr Manning takes a step towards Veronica. Lamb puts his hand on Mr Manning's chest to stop him.

LAMB: Hey, enough, okay? Stop it! Up. Get up.

Lamb walks over to them as Duncan stands. Lamb puts handcuffs on Veronica.

VERONICA: [quietly] There's a small room inside the closet. They had her locked in. Move the clothes.

Lamb doesn't respond. He handcuffs Duncan. Veronica gestures at the closet but Lamb just stands aside. With a huff, Veronica passes him to exit. Eerie music starts up. Music: Run by Air. Duncan follows Veronica and Lamb follows them both out of the room.

LAMB: I'll be back for a statement.

EXT - MANNING RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

Lamb opens the back door of his vehicle. Duncan gets in first, and then Veronica, Lamb holding her head to avoid it knocking on the edge of the car. The song's lyrics start.

LYRICS: Holy girl
Don't get up
For running
Stay with me
I feel sad
When you run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run
Stay like this
On the hills
Of my chest
Don't wake up
I feel strange
When you go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go
Stop the night
Hold me tight
Holy girl
Don't stand up
I feel strange
When you run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run

INT - MANNING RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

Mr Manning is still in Grace's room, sitting on her bed as Lamb re-enters. As he talks, he doesn't initially notice Lamb go straight to Grace's closet.

MR MANNING: I want them prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I'm not sure if they got anything or not, but even if they...

He notices and stands.

MR MANNING: What are you doing? You can't do that.

Lamb pushes the clothes aside and slides open the door.

MR MANNING: I'm the victim here! You have no right to just come into my house and start poking around.

Lamb looks at the cavity and then back at Mr Manning. He walks towards him, pausing in front of the indignant homeowner.

LAMB: It's funny. I heard my father give that exact speech once.

Lamb stares at Mr Manning for a moment and then leaves. Mr Manning gazes after him, looking concerned.

EXT - MANNING RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

Lamb gets into the car. Duncan glances down at Veronica as the car starts.

EXT - STREET - NIGHT.

Lamb drives around the corner and pulls up in the street. Veronica and Duncan look confused. Lamb gets out of the car and walks around to the other side as Duncan and Veronica twist their heads to follow his progress. Lamb opens the back door

LAMB: Out. Let's go.

Veronica and Duncan get out of the car. Lamb takes off the handcuffs. Veronica looks up at him but he is not responsive. He shuts the back door and walks around the front of the car, getting in and driving away. They watch.

INT - MANNING RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

The adult Mannings are in their kitchen. Manning picks up a newspaper but notices something outside. He walks to the window. Lamb is parked outside the house. End. Executive producer: Rob Thomas (who is a god). End music: Run by Air.

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