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3.08 Lord of the Pi's

Written by: Diane Ruggiero
Directed by: Steve Gomer

Original Air Date: 21 November, 2006
Transcribed by Inigo.
Last edited: 24 November, 2006

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Previously on Veronica Mars...

In the Food Court, Veronica takes a swig of her drink in 307 "Of Vice and Men." She later tries to get to her car, under the influence of the drug with which her drink has been spiked. She collapses by her car and her keys slip out of her hand. As a dark figure approaches her, she reaches out for them. The car alarm sounds briefly. Logan gallops along the line of cars, searching for her. Having found her, he cradles her in his arms, noting as he does the lock of hair left on the parking garage floor. He checks the back of her head, exposing that a patch has been shaved, leaving a bloody balk spot. Cut to Veronica walking across campus towards the Take Back the Night Rally in 301 "Welcome Wagon."

NANCY: How many women like me have to be raped, have to end up like this, their heads shaved, before this administration listens to our demands? Shut down the fraternity houses!

Many in the crowd cheer. Cut to the Theta Beta Zeta sorority house in 302 "My Big Fat Greek Rush Week." Hallie enthuses at the undercover sorority prospect.

HALLIE: Welcome to Zeta Theta Beta. I'm Hallie. What's your name?

VERONICA: Veronica.

The dean tears into Claire and her lawyer, in the presence of Veronica and Nish, in 306 "Hi, Infidelity."

DEAN O'DELL: There's no question Claire lied about the rape. You're expelled from Hearst College as of this moment.

Veronica is caught by a couple of Pi Sigma Sigma fraternity brothers at their sexual conquest scoreboard in the basement in 216 "The Rapes of Graff."

CHIP: What the hell are you doing here?

VERONICA: Three hundred points? Nice work.

Chip attempts to steer Veronica away.

CHIP: Look, this is our business. I don't have to apologize-

VERONICA: For being a rapist?

At the Theta Beta Zeta sorority house rush party, Marjorie pulls Veronica over to meet someone in 302 "My Big Fat Greek Rush Week."

MARJORIE: You should meet Chip. He's president of the Pi Sigs.

CHIP: This girl accused me of rape last year.

VERONICA: Oh, you!

Veronica playfully punches him, as if he is kidding. End previously.

EXT - HEARST COLLEGE - DAY.

Music: "Made to Be Broken" by Paul Minor.

LYRICS: Goodness and kindness are down on their knees
They're both begging, "Won't somebody please"
"Put us out of our miseries"
"Before somebody else does the choking"
I'm hung up and hungry, and mad at the world
My spirit was made to be broken

[308/0118.jpg]On a patch of grass, a couple of boys, Bob and Ted, are playing with a Frisbee. As Bob runs back to catch the Frisbee, he trips over something. Rubbing his elbow, he looks back. It is the unconscious and stripped-to-his-underwear Chip Diller. The hair on Chip's head has been shaved. He laughs and crouches down next to him. He gestures to his friend.

BOB: Ooh! Dude, come here!

Ted walks over, having seen enough to be getting out his cell phone.

TED: Dude! It's Chip Diller!

Laughing, Ted crouches down the other side of Chip, taking a picture.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, NEWSPAPER OFFICE - DAY.

End music: "Made to Be Broken" by Paul Minor. Former front pages line the walls. Nish's replacement walks into the cubicle formerly hers, checking through a file. He takes his seat. According to the yellow notice taped on the wall, he is Wilson Behan and he is talking to Veronica.

WILSON: Your portfolio was still in a former editor's desk when I took over. I understand you two had some baggage but that's irrelevant to me. I'll take a talented photographer where I can find one.

VERONICA: Great. Thanks.

WILSON: You free tonight?

Veronica is a little taken aback.

VERONICA: Um...to take photos?

WILSON: Yes. [condescendingly] It's why you're here. You know about the election?

VERONICA: The board of trustees is voting on a resolution to remove the Greek system from Hearst.

WILSON: That's the one. Vote's tomorrow. Tonight there's a reception - that's university speak for "cocktail party" - for the Board of Trustees. We need art.

VERONICA: Yeah, I can shoot it.

WILSON: Bonus points if you get the dean wearing a lampshade. But mostly we want pictures of our most famous alum and board member, Selma Rose.

Wilson rises from his seat and starts to walk. Veronica joins him.

VERONICA: Selma Hearst Rose?

They pass another yellow staff notice, noting that for today, the Operations Manager is Chris Flores.

WILSON: The very. Granddaughter of our illustrious founder and heir to the Hearst-Mart fortune. They polled all the trustees. Word is Selma's the swing vote.

Wilson delivers notices to the other cubicles as they pass.

VERONICA: My mom, California's last flower child, loved her. She had a poster of her; you know the shot I'm talking about?

He finishes his job and passes the file he is carrying to someone else, turning to head back to his cubicle.

WILSON: Flying over Watts in '73, dumping out sacks of cash, her entire trust fund. She's giving the thumbs-up, huge smile on her face, while millions rain down on the ghetto.

VERONICA: Well, she had her heart in the right place.

[308/0240.jpg] They pause on route at the counter where the public enter.

WILSON: Riots ensued. She was arrested when she landed. Served a month in county jail. Perhaps the most embarrassing case of noblesse oblige in the twentieth century.

TED: Yo!

Ted enters, carrying a photograph. Bob is behind him.

TED: You guys pay for photos?

WILSON: Sometimes.

TED: Great. I got your front page right here.

Ted slides the picture across the counter. It is the picture he took of Chip. Wilson picks it up.

WILSON: Is that Chip Diller?

Ted chuckles. Behind him, Bob is grinning. Veronica takes the picture from Wilson's hand and peers at it.

TED: President of the Pi Sigs in all his glory. Yep

She doesn't find it as funny as her male contemporaries.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

Veronica, garbed in a red frilly dress, grabs her bag as she exits her bedroom, shouting at Keith, who is in his own bedroom, as she goes.

VERONICA: I'm off to steal the souls of the rich with my evil image-capturing device.

KEITH: [offscreen] Have fun. Oh, and call Logan. He left a couple messages.

VERONICA: I will. Bye!

Veronica reaches the door and pulls it open just as Logan was about to knock.

LOGAN: Wow, synchronicity.

VERONICA: Hey there, tall, dark, and timely.

LOGAN: I've been trying to reach you all day. Did you get my messages?

VERONICA: I did. I'm sorry. I was gonna-

Logan enters the apartment, walking past her.

LOGAN: We need to have a talk, a serious one.

VERONICA: Yeah, I got that from your messages. That-it's why I haven't called. I haven't had time to have a talk.

LOGAN: Well, then I'll make it quick. I want you to stay away from the rape case. Okay? Just let it go. And it's clear the rapist knows who you are.

Veronica holds up a hand in a warning gesture, glancing towards Keith's room. She drops her voice and fingers stray to her hair, back in a bun.

VERONICA: He doesn't know about the hair, just about the getting dosed part.

LOGAN: Well, maybe he should be in the loop on this one.

VERONICA: Don't you dare.

LOGAN: Fine. Just stop digging around. Okay? No more looking into the serial rapes. No more putting your nose where it doesn't belong.

Veronica is beginning to take umbrage at being told what to do.

VERONICA: My nose kind of belongs wherever I decide to put it.

LOGAN: I'm worried about you. Okay? I want you to stop now. I'm not kidding.

VERONICA: Kind of a one-eighty, isn't it? Can we rewind a week? Cue it up to the part where you were asking me to exonerate your Mexican vacation buddy, Mercer.

LOGAN: That was before you were attacked. [increasingly agitated and loud] Why can't you for once just leave things alone?

VERONICA: Okay, now you're starting to piss me off.

Logan raises his voice.

[308/0419.jpg]LOGAN: Frankly, Veronica, so what?! You're not invincible, and you're not always right!

Keith, in his dressing gown, comes out of his bedroom.

KEITH: Hey!

Logan looks over his shoulder at him. Veronica takes a deep breath.

KEITH: You might want to stop yelling at my daughter.

LOGAN: Yeah? You might want to start.

Logan storms past Veronica and out the door while Veronica placates Keith who appears to be determined to follow Logan out.

VERONICA: Dad, please, it's okay. He's just worried about me.

They both reach and pause at the door.

KEITH: Does he have a reason to be?

Veronica sighs heavily.

VERONICA: The Hearst rapist has everyone on edge.

Keith looks out again, presumably at Logan's back. His face softens. He looks back at Veronica

KEITH: Well, you take care of yourself. I'm always a phone call away.

Veronica smiles.

VERONICA: I know you are.

She reaches up to give him a hug. He chuckles.

VERONICA: Ciao, Papa.

Veronica leaves. Keith stares after her and sighs.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, RECEPTION ROOM - NIGHT.

The reception is in full swing. Snatches of conversations can be heard as the great and the good gather. A couple of waiters circulate with trays. Veronica is taking photographs. She turns and can see Dean O'Dell with Selma Hearst Rose. O'Dell grabs an appetizer from a passing waiter.

DEAN O'DELL: Selma, who am I gonna tell?

SELMA: How can I be the swing vote if you know which way I'm going to swing?

VERONICA: Mind if I take a quick shot for the Hearst Free Press?

DEAN O'DELL: Which one of my good sides do you want?

SELMA: I'm guessing the one without the trail of Thousand Island.

Selma passes him her napkin and he wipes his face.

DEAN O'DELL: You should really be nice to me. I'm about to kiss your ass.

[308/0508.jpg] O'Dell puts his arm around her and they pose for Veronica. She takes the shot. Cut to later. O'Dell taps the microphone and addresses his guests, standing at a small lectern in front of a fancy sign: "Welcome Board of Trustees." Under the words is the crest and "Hearst College."

DEAN O'DELL: I want to thank you all for coming. Hearst College is extremely fortunate to have such well-respected members on its board. And we're especially thrilled tonight to add Selma Rose to our distinguished panel.

O'Dell leads a round of polite applause. Veronica takes a picture of him before dropping the camera and listening.

DEAN O'DELL: Since taking over the family business two years ago, Ms. Rose has step-by-step turned Hearst-Mart into a leader in corporate responsibility.

Veronica checks her camera then readies herself for the money shot.

DEAN O'DELL: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Selma Hearst Rose.

O'Dell holds out a welcoming hand and the small crowd clap. The clapping dies away when Selma doesn't appear.

DEAN O'DELL: Selma? You're not waiting for me to carry you piggyback, are you?

O'Dell chuckles at the joke that only he appreciates. Everyone else in the crowd looks around, perplexed.

DEAN O'DELL: Selma?

O'Dell puts his hand above his eyes, scanning the crowd. Veronica looks intrigued. Cut to later. Most of the guests have gone and two waiters are collecting glasses. Veronica is still there in the background, talking to one of the lingering guests. At the door to the main reception room, Lamb is talking to O'Dell.

LAMB: Foul play. You think? What makes you say so?

DEAN O'DELL: An extremely wealthy woman disappears in the middle of a reception held in her honour. Don't you find that, I don't know, odd?

LAMB: Well, I mean, there's "odd" and there's "foul play." Rich ladies aren't the most reliable creatures.

DEAN O'DELL: Of course, she must have remembered her tennis lesson. How silly of her to forget. I don't suppose there's someone I can speak with who would take this seriously.

LAMB: Dollars to doughnuts, you'll find her sobbing into a mojito at the club because she lost an earring.

DEAN O'DELL: Well, you'd be the doughnut expert. Excuse me.

O'Dell marches past Lamb, into the room. Lamb watches as O'Dell approaches Veronica.

DEAN O'DELL: Veronica, I'd like to talk to your dad.

O'Dell points back at Lamb.

DEAN O'DELL: This man is no help whatsoever.

EXT - HEARST COLLEGE - NIGHT.

Veronica is striding confidently down a portico running alongside one of the buildings, talking on her cell phone.

VERONICA: Beer off your belly, hand out of your boxers. Put on some pants. I'm bringing home a visitor.

She stops short on the sound of glass breaking. She looks behind her, but doesn't see anything.

VERONICA: Okay, I love you. Bye.

[308/0659.jpg] She switches off the phone and looks around her again. It is very dark and she sees a figure in the shadows, taking a quick step out of what light there is. Veronica digs into her bag as she takes a few more steps forward and looks out across the courtyard she needs to traverse. She clutches the taser she has retrieved from her bag and runs across.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

O'Dell sets down his coffee mug onto the kitchen counter.

DEAN O'DELL: I've known this woman for almost twenty years. If there's a microphone and an audience, she's not going anywhere unless dragged.

Keith is sitting opposite him at the counter. Veronica is standing behind Keith, leaning against the stove.

[308/0727.jpg]KEITH: You talked to her husband?

DEAN O'DELL: He's terrified. I'm telling you, anyone who knows Selma knows something is seriously wrong. Look, the Sheriff is an idiot. I've met smarter sandwiches.

Keith and Veronica both smirk at that.

DEAN O'DELL: I'm afraid she's been kidnapped, Keith. Hearst College has had riots, rapes...and now abductions? I need you to find her.

Opening credits.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - CONTINUING.

Cut to a little later. Keith is showing O'Dell to the door.

KEITH: So, I'll do what I can on the computer tonight and start with the legwork in the morning.

DEAN O'DELL: Thanks, Keith.

O'Dell steps outside, but turns back to face Keith on a thought.

DEAN O'DELL: Oh, one last thing. One of the board members said he saw Selma talking to a waitress as I began my introduction. He turned around as I was calling for her, and she was gone.

KEITH: All right, we'll follow up on that.

They point at each other in farewell.

KEITH: Good night, Cyrus.

[308/0842.jpg] O'Dell leaves and Keith shuts the door. He folds his arms and turns to his daughter.

KEITH: So, here's my thought: I'll go talk to the family tomorrow, and you talk to the waitress and the caterer.

VERONICA: Ah...high road...

She points at him, then back at herself with her thumb, forming a gun.

VERONICA: Low road.

She clicks her tongue.

VERONICA: Got it.

Veronica heads for her bedroom as Keith grins in his amusement. He shakes his head and sighs.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, RECEPTION ROOM - DAY.

The same room that served as the location for the reception now serves as a dining room. The tables are more or less set. Linda, the caterer, is folding napkins and placing them in the glasses. Veronica, complete with a bandana on her head, is following Linda around the tables as she works.

[308/0857.jpg]VERONICA: So, one of the board members said they saw Selma Rose talking with a waitress before she disappeared. I was hoping to get the names and numbers of your waitstaff.

LINDA: Who are you again?

VERONICA: Veronica...Mars. I'm working for the dean. You can call him if you want.

LINDA: Well, if it was a waitress and not a waiter, then you only need one name. There was only one girl working last night.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, HALLWAY - DAY.

Veronica is leaning against the wall, waiting for one of the classes to disgorge. She spots her target.

VERONICA: Hey, Fern. What up, girl?

FERN: What do you want, Buffy...Tiffany...whatever your name is?

Veronica keeps pace with Fern up the hallway.

VERONICA: "The Female Voice in Celtic Literature." I am woman, hear me bore.

Fern snorts.

VERONICA: I heard you had a little chat with Selma Rose last night, right before she disappeared.

Fern slows and Veronica steps in front of her.

VERONICA: Can I guess? She was contemplating a nose ring?

FERN: I was letting her know she had a phone call.

VERONICA: Who was calling for her?

FERN: I don't know. Some woman. The phone was ringing off the hook in the kitchen. It was driving me up the wall, so I answered it. Someone wanted to speak to Selma Rose and I was nice enough to relay the message.

VERONICA: You didn't ask who was calling?

FERN: I didn't care.

Fern sets off walking again.

[308/0951.jpg]VERONICA: You know what's funny, and not like funny "ha ha," a driving force in getting the Greeks kicked off campus...

Veronica points at Fern.

VERONICA: That's you - is the last person seen speaking to the trustee with the swing vote.

FERN: You know what else is kind of funny? The girl who saved the Pi Sigs is apparently leading the charge to track down that swing vote.

VERONICA: I wasn't saving the Pi Sigs, I was getting to the truth.

FERN: Well, the truth is that your Pi Sig friend just kicked off SexQuest '06. You know what that is, freshman?

VERONICA: Yeah, they award themselves points for getting laid.

Fern pats Veronica on the arm before walking away.

FERN: Just watch what you drink.

Veronica stares after her.

[308/1025.jpg] EXT - ROSE RESIDENCE - DAY.

Keith walks up to the front door of what appears to be a palatial house, with marble on the porch and ornate arched double door with fancy wooden fretwork on glass. He rings the bell and is let into the house by a maid.

INT - ROSE RESIDENCE - DAY.

Inside, Keith steps closer to a wall of pictures and citations, one of which is from Hearst College. It is a certificate of recognition for outstanding mentorship awarded to Budd and Selma Rose. There are a number of pictures, including one of Budd with Jimmy Carter, and, set in wood, is a brass plaque next a brass carp. This particularly attracts Keith's attention as he is greeted by a voice.

BRANT: Mr. Mars. Sorry to keep you waiting.

Keith points to the carp.

KEITH: What is that? Is that a goldfish?

Keith fingers the sculture.

BRANT: It's a carp, a golden carp awarded-

Brant notices what Keith is doing and clears his throat.

BRANT: Please don't touch it.

Brant takes a cloth from his jacket and prissily wipes the carp of fingerprints.

BRANT: My name is Brant. I am Mr. Rose's personal assistant. Unfortunately, Mr. Mars, my employer won't be able to see you at the moment. He's resting.

KEITH: I believe he's expecting me.

Keith points towards the interior of the house as Brant returns the cloth to his inner jacket pocket.

[308/1108.jpg]BRANT: Mr. Rose is understandably distraught, as I'm sure you can...understand.

KEITH: I've been hired to find Mrs. Rose. I'm sure Mr. Rose will want to do everything possible to help.

BRANT: Of course he does. But as I mentioned, he's not available at the moment.

A voice rings out from further inside the house.

BUDD: Brant, will you stop harassing our guest? Bring him in here.

Brant, put out, sighs and waggles his finger indicating that Keith should follow him. Brant leads Keith into a large room.

BRANT: Mr. Rose, this is-

Budd is sitting at a large chess set, placed inside a bay window. He is in a wheelchair.

BUDD: Yes, Brant, thank you, I know.

BRANT: Can I get you-

BUDD: No, just some privacy, please.

Budd manoeuvres the electric wheelchair to face his visitors. Brant nods his head unctuously, turns, glares at Keith, and then leaves the room, playing the dignified martyr. Keith walks into the room, holding out his hand to Budd.

BUDD: I'm sorry about Brant.

They shake hands.

BUDD: He, uh, he tries to protect me from, well, just about everything, actually. Do you have any news about my wife yet?

KEITH: I'm sorry. Not yet.

BUDD: Cyrus fears she's been...kidnapped. Is that what you think?

KEITH: Right now, it's a missing-person case. There's no ransom note. No reason to jump to that conclusion.

BUDD: No, no, right. I know. I know. I should be stronger about all this.

KEITH: Has your wife had any business problems that, uh, you might be aware of?

BUDD: Selma's always having business problems. She's had to fight the board tooth and nail for every bit of reform she's brought about.

Keith nods.

BUDD: I'm afraid I-I don't know much about the business anymore. Her brother Roger's flying in later today. Um, he was coming in for a meeting anyway. He'll be taking care of their company in her absence.

KEITH: It would be helpful to speak to him.

BUDD: Oh, yes, of course. I'll have Brant give you the number to his assistant. She flew in yesterday. He likes to call her his "advance team."

Budd chuckles.

BUDD: Well, she's worse than Brant, actually.

Keith raises his eyebrows, as if such a thing couldn’t be possible.

EXT - ROSE RESIDENCE - DAY.

Brant escorts Keith back to his car through the well-tended grounds.

BRANT: Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance, Mr. Mars.

[308/1235.jpg] Keith turns at the sound of yapping dogs. Though the doors of a guest house can be seen two small white Pomeranians.

BRANT: Terrifying, aren't they?

Keith smiles and they walk on, coming across a silver BMW.

KEITH: Nice car. Yours?

BRANT: No. That belongs to the grossly overpaid dog walker.

KEITH: I should get his name.

Keith gets out his pad.

BRANT: It's a she.

In the back window of the car, there's a Hearst College sticker.

INT - SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - DAY.

Lamb is at his desk, writing on a pad. Sacks knocks and enters, grinning.

SACKS: Guess who's on the phone for you.

LAMB: Someone who wants to sit on hold while you play stupid games.

Sacks shakes his head, still smiling.

SACKS: Martina Vasquez.

Sacks waggles his eyebrows suggestively.

LAMB: Martina Vasquez? The h-hottie from Channel 9?

SACKS: Said she had a few questions about Selma Rose's disappearance.

Lamb hurriedly puts his pad down and leans to the phone.

LAMB: Put her through for me?

Sacks snaps his fingers and points at the phone. Lamb places the phone in front of himself, then taps on his keyboard. He's on Planet Zowie and types in the name.

LAMB: Martina Vasquez.

He brings up a Channel 9 KTML page under the sub-heading "Meet the Channel 9 News Team". Martina is described as an Anchor. The end part of her bio can be read: "...numerous accolades for her honest, thorough reporting. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Martina quickly rose through the news ranks KRAC, staring with copy editor assistant and rising to daily local news coverage. For years, Martina Vasquez charmed Arizona viewers on KRAC, but in her heart, she always wanted to live and work in Southern California. So when Channel 9 came calling, she packed her bags and headed straight to San Diego. You can find her as co-anchor for Channel at 8am and 12pm every weekday. Martina also tackles the latest social issues, exposes and revelations in her exclusive 'Society Revealed' reports every Tuesday and Thursday at 8am and Fridays at 12pm on Channel 9. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Martina has an Associate of Arts in News Casting and a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. Be sure to tune in to Martina Vasquez every weekday morning at 8am and again at 12pm!" Down the right-hand side, Doug the weatherman gets up plug for his 24/7 Weather Updates. Lamb clicks on the link to "Martina's Latest Topics!" He picks up the phone.

LAMB: Miss Vasquez, what can I do for you?

He listens for a moment.

LAMB: Well, I am here to help in absolutely any way that I can. By the way, I caught your most recent piece on, uh...

Lamb leans into the screen to read the list of Martina's latest topics: "Morning After Pill Myths Debunked," "Megan's Law: A Look Back," "700 Miles of Protection?: The Fence," "Annual Fete Round Up," Animal Fights: The Dark Side of SD," "Missing From Work: Immigration News," and "The Good Fight: Morals Over Beliefs."

LAMB: The morning-after pill. It was...informative.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - CONTINUING.

[308/1348.jpg] The other side of the conversation is revealed. It's Veronica, sitting on her bed with her laptop on her lap. She fakes a quasi-Mexican accent, twirling with her hair to get in a flirty mood.

VERONICA: Well, thank you, Sheriff, I'm glad you enjoyed it. We've learned that Selma Rose received a phone call before she went missing. Have you learned who the call was from yet?

The camera continues to cut between the two locations.

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

LAMB: Actually, Martina, we checked that out, and it was false information. There was no record of an incoming call that night.

VERONICA: You are sure?

LAMB: Yeah, if you'd like, I can keep you in the loop with this sort of stuff.

Lamb hears a click on the line and Keith's voice.

KEITH: Hello?

VERONICA: [whispering quickly] Dad, I'm on the phone.

KEITH: [shouting] Oh, sorry, honey! Let me know when you're off.

[308/1421.jpg] Lamb's face turns as black as thunder.

VERONICA: Sheriff...you were saying you'd be able to keep me in the loop?

Lamb slams the phone down and stares at it malevolently.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - CONTINUING.

Veronica switches off the phone and shouts out to Keith.

VERONICA: I'm off!

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, FOOD COURT - DAY.

Dick has a hamburger and onion rings on his plate. He picks up his hamburger, ready to take another bite but senses a presence behind him. He glances back to see Veronica, hands on hips. He sighs, disgruntled.

VERONICA: The Pi Sigs are doing their SexQuest again.

Dick resumes interest in his hamburger, taking a bite.

VERONICA: Collecting points for conquests? Think that's such a good idea at a university with a serial rapist on the loose?

Dick continues to face forward, talking with his mouth full.

DICK: You raise an uninteresting point. But, hey, don't worry your pretty head about your pal Dick. My points are in order, courtesy of Miss Bonnie Capistrano. Her curvature of the spine is hardly noticeable.

Veronica, her arms now folded, gasps in distaste.

DICK: But I still got the handicapped bonus.

VERONICA: You're repugnant, Dick.

DICK: Seriously, you'd hardly notice it.

Dick takes another bite of his burger as Veronica finally moves to join him at the table.

[308/1524.jpg]VERONICA: Ever stop to think that the Pi Sig's SexQuest might be connected to your Pi Sig president getting his head shaved, like it's a warning? Or retribution or something?

DICK: Actually...that kind of makes sense. Okay, I'm so not supposed to be telling you this, but it's...way too good. So, not only did Chip get Kojaked, someone put a Roman numeral in one of those little plastic Easter eggs and stuck it in his where-the-sun-don't-shine place. And you know where that is.

Veronica stares at him open-mouthed for a second before the corners of her mouth turn up.

VERONICA: Worst Easter egg hunt ever.

DICK: Not a banner day for Chip Diller. He had to get one of the brothers to help unpack his suitcase.

Dick crunches on one of his onion rings.

VERONICA: What was the number?

DICK: What?

VERONICA: You said there was a Roman numeral in the Easter egg.

DICK: You're missing the point.

Dick attempts a Cockney accent for emphasis.

DICK: They put it up his bleedin' bum.

Dick laughs in appreciation of his own wit.

VERONICA: Which speaks to the number being significant, don't you think?

DICK: I guess. I don't know what the number is. It wasn't a baby shower. We didn't all sit around waiting for him to open the egg so we could see what he got.

Dick accompanies this last comment with an impression of a kid at a birthday party.

VERONICA: Do you know what he did with it?

DICK: If it's not in his hope chest, I'm thinking he threw it out.

VERONICA: When is your garbage collected?

DICK: And you think I'm "repungent."

VERONICA: Yes, Dick. Yes, I do.

DICK: The garbage truck comes Friday morning. Morty the homeless dude comes Thursdays to pull out the bottles and the cans. I can't tell you if they recycle keister eggs.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, HALLWAY - DAY.

Fern comes out of another of her classes and sighs loudly. Veronica is waiting again. On the board behind her are a number of notices, including ones offering such diverse delights as the Existential Angst Café and Coffee House and a Mu Theta Pi pizza and music party starting at midnight.

FERN: Why are you following me around?

VERONICA: Fulfilling my gym requirement. Yoga had a written final. So, it turns out there was no record of an incoming call the night of Selma Hearst's reception.

FERN: Well, maybe the call came from another extension in the building. You ever think of that?

She hadn't and realises it is a good point.

VERONICA: Oh.

Fern moves to press past her but Veronica isn't finished and steps back in front of her.

VERONICA: Hmm. Just one more thing. When you stick an Easter egg in a frat boy's "out" door, do you kiss him first?

FERN: Is that a riddle?

VERONICA: Poor Chip. You really wrecked him.

[308/1657.jpg] Fern jerks her head back, but it's not clear if she got Veronica's pun on "rectum" or not. She could simply think Veronica is crazy. She walks away, leaving Veronica to celebrate her play on words alone.

VERONICA: Ba-dum-bum.

Veronica thinks for a moment before turning to watch Fern as she carries on up the hallway.

EXT - PI SIGMA SIGMA FRATERNITY - DAY.

A man, grubby and unshaven, is rooting around in a garbage skip. Dick knocks on the skip.

DICK: Morty, my man!

Morty looks out and is surprised to see Dick and Veronica.

DICK: So, this is my friend Veronica. Veronica, Morty. Morty, Veronica.

Morty holds out his hand to shake. Dick and Veronica both avoid doing so, Dick with a double thumbs up and Veronica with a salute.

VERONICA: This might sound like a strange proposition but...while you're down there...

Veronica holds out a $20 note. Cut to a few moments later as they wait for Morty to finish his investigations. The skip is at the back of the Pi Sigma Sigma house and a girl exits from the back gate. Dick throws up his arms.

DICK: What the hell, Bonnie?!

BONNIE: That's exactly what I was thinking. Another cute frat boy. What the hell?

DICK: [crossly] You realize you're worth, like, half the points now. You went from top shelf to bargain basement in, like, three seconds!

BONNIE: It was more like the third-floor bathroom to the pinball machine in, like, forty-seven minutes.

Bonnie happily walks away, happy with herself. Veronica and Dick watch her go, Dick shaking his head in disappointment. Veronica turns back to him, reminded of "Pinball Wizard" by the Who.

VERONICA: She always gets a replay. Never tilts at all.

Veronica mimics a drum smash and holds up her fingers, doing a bizarre dance. She only stops on hearing Morty's voice from the skip.

[308/1809.jpg]MORTY: Got it.

Morty's head and rubber-gloved hand can be seen at the top of the skip. He brings up his other hand. A garishly pink-coloured egg rests between his thumb and forefinger.

VERONICA: Aah. The incredible, inedible egg.

Veronica unfurls and slaps out a plastic bag, holding it towards Morty. He drops it into the bag. Veronica seals the bag.

ROGER: [offscreen] Selma's fine.

INT - ROSE RESIDENCE - DAY.

Roger Hearst leads a procession, comprising Keith and Roger's assistant Barb, down one of the marble-floored halls.

ROGER: Trust me. I know my sister. This is her just flaking out.

Roger is more intent on a call he is trying to make.

ROGER: Again?

Without a break in his stride, he holds up his cell phone to show Barb.

ROGER: Why is it doing that blinking thing?

Barb hurries to catch up and take the phone from him. She punches at the buttons.

ROGER: She's probably wrapped in algae somewhere outside of Santa Fe with a couple of cucumber slices on her eyes.

Roger clicks his fingers at Barb, who returns the phone to him.

KEITH: If she decided to "flake," as you put it, don't you think the middle of her reception is an odd time?

By now, they've arrived at a large reception room overlooking a fountain in the grounds through large, curved windows. There is a grand piano on one side, in front of a floor to ceiling tapestry on the wall.

ROGER: Oh, it's the perfect time, right before she had to make a decision.

KEITH: Doesn't sound like the behaviour of the top executive of a Fortune 500 company.

ROGER: Oh, my sister's not a businesswoman. She's a humanitarian. Not a big profit margin there.

[308/1851.jpg] He fiddles on the phone for a moment, then holds it out for Keith to see the screen. He chuckles.

ROGER: Have you seen what Selma's disappearance has done to our stock?

KEITH: I haven't.

ROGER: [gleeful] It's skyrocketing every day that she's missing, just on the assumption that we'll continue to sell merchandise manufactured in Asia. Selma actually wanted Hearst-Mart to deal only American-made products, which - here's a hot tip - we won't.

Roger looks down at his phone again.

ROGER: I still don't have anything from Evan.

BARB: I've left four messages for him.

ROGER: [obnoxiously] And a fifth would kill you?

Barb turns around to use her own cell to get hold of the elusive Evan.

ROGER: My guess? She probably took off to get some time away from Budd. Word is she's already talked to a lawyer.

KEITH: Your sister was considering getting a divorce?

ROGER: Since the accident, Budd has become more and more clingy. He follows her around like a pull toy. At this point, she probably cares more about her dogs than she does her husband.

In the background, Barb has managed to reach Evan and hands her phone to Roger. He takes it.

ROGER: I wouldn't be surprised if she left everything to little Ernest and Julio in her will.

Roger turns his back on Keith to take the call.

ROGER: Evan!

Keith's face remains passive, although his distaste for Roger is pretty obvious.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, FOOD COURT.

Wallace, who is now sporting a much shorter Afro, is getting his food from one of the counters. Veronica is with him, holding up her notebook.

WALLACE: They glued "travel Scrabble" tiles?

VERONICA: "CXI" and "CMIII."

Veronica shows him the pad as they walk forward to a table.

WALLACE: Inside a plastic Easter egg and stuck it...

Wallace's thumb jerks upwards.

VERONICA: Halfway to China.

WALLACE: I'm never going on another Easter egg hunt again.

VERONICA: And I'm never playing Scrabble again.

[308/1958.jpg] They find a table and Veronica slaps her pad down as they sit.

VERONICA: In Roman numerals...it's 111 and 903. And, for better or worse, you're my numbers guy, so...go.

She holds up the pad to Wallace on which is written the two Roman numerals with 111 and 903 under them, each circled. Wallace is confused.

WALLACE: What am I doing?

VERONICA: Telling me what these numbers mean.

WALLACE: They mean we got some twisted sickos here. Anything else I can help you with, that's free of charge.

Veronica pulls back the pad and looks at the numbers again.

VERONICA: Come on. It's one digit short of a phone number. It could be a locker number.

WALLACE: Why would someone stick an egg...

VERONICA: That's what I'm trying to find out. Ooh, driver's-license number. Check number?

WALLACE: Just one egg, right?

VERONICA: [warningly] Wallace.

Wallace smiles at the hint to get his mind off the egg.

WALLACE: Maybe it's a student ID number.

VERONICA: Brilliant.

Veronica slaps down her pen and gets her student ID out of her bag. She holds it against the pad to compare the numbers. Her ID number is U073456753. She shakes her head.

VERONICA: No. One too many digits.

Veronica can't count. Even without the U0, it's actually two to many digits.

VERONICA: It's almost like you don't want to help.

She sighs, giving him a sidelong look. Wallace looks back balefully. Something occurs to Veronica.

VERONICA: Hold the phone.

Something on the ID card has her try something. She writes on the pad: "11/19/03."

VERONICA: Six. It's a date.

WALLACE: It's almost exactly three years ago. Three years and two days.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, LIBRARY - NIGHT.

Veronica is scanning back copies of the Hearst Free Press, bound together in a large volume.

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Closed library? Not to the help-desk girl.

She opens to headlines that include "Using animals to entertain is disgusting and inhumane" and "Student Union renovations should wrap by Februrary [sic]."

VERONICA VOICEOVER: To me it's wide-open with all its lovely back issues of the Hearst Free Press just waiting to tell me if something significant happened on campus on 11/19/03.

Veronica reaches a page of interest. She ignores a couple of headlines: "Study Abroad Programs draw record number of students - Students flock to Europe and beyond" by Stepley Coleman and "Pell Grant freeze cools applications - Cuts force students to abandon dreams" by Seth Nibbler, going straight to one on the lower left of the page: "Theta Beta pledge falls off house roof - Pitrelli '07 falls off sorority house roof while girls were sunbathing" by Tammy Gittelson. There's a picture of the Greek letters on the wall of the sorority the caption to which reads: "Slippery Sunbathing. Zeta Theta Bets girls were sunbathing Tuesday when of their new pledges fell off the roof of their house." In the course of the article, (and skipping over the untimely mention of a "serial rapist") the Pi Sigma Sigma fraternity is mentioned as being known on campus as "Animal House." Veronica hears something that makes her lift her head and look around. Seeing nothing, she returns to her reading.

[308/2150.jpg]VERONICA VOICEOVER: Patrice Pitrelli falls off sorority house roof?

Veronica hears a noise again, a squeaking noise. She pushes back her chair to look behind her. This time the library itself seems threatening, and Veronica gets up, her bag already on her shoulder, and runs. She races down the stairs last seen in 303 "Wichita Linebacker" and heads for the counter where she crouches down and hides. The squeaking noise is steady, rhythmic and getting closer and Veronica's terror is plain to see. A man's legs come into view and stand near her. Veronica breathes jerkily. Finally a bucket on wheels and a mop appear. It's a janitor cleaning the floors. He's wearing an iPod through which something raucous is pouring into his ears. Veronica lets out a huge sigh of relief.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - DAY.

As Keith sits at the kitchen counter, Veronica emerges from her room. She's a little fragile.

KEITH: Morning.

VERONICA: Yes, it is.

She reaches for the coffee pot.

VERONICA: It came a little bit earlier than I would have liked.

She pours herself a cup of coffee. Keith holds up a sheet torn from his notebook.

[308/2230.jpg]KEITH: So, I ran the plates for the Roses' dog walker.

VERONICA: You want me to go check her out? Size her up? Shake her down?

KEITH: If you wouldn't mind.

Veronica takes a gulp of her coffee before walking forward to take the sheet of paper.

VERONICA: Lucky for you...I can do that in my sleep.

She checks out the name and address: Hallie Piatt, 8684 Elm St., Neptune, CA 90909.

VERONICA: Huh.

Veronica smiles and Keith chuckles.

EXT - HEARST COLLEGE, SOUTH QUAD - DAY.

Hallie is lying on her back sunbathing in a leopard-print bikini. A shadow falls over her. She opens her eyes to look up at the obstruction.

HALLIE: You're blocking my sun.

VERONICA: Oh, is that yours? I'm so sorry.

Veronica giggles and drops to the ground, lying on her stomach.

VERONICA: Oh, my God, Hallie.

Bemused, Hallie rises up on her elbows.

VERONICA: Are you, like, so totally worried about your missing boss? I know she had the power to kick you and your sisters off campus, but you must be, like, a basket case and a half. Your face is getting a little pinkish. You should flip.

Cut to a commercial break later. Hallie and Veronica are now in sitting positions, facing each other.

HALLIE: I'm Selma Rose's dog walker. So?

VERONICA: You having a job? Shock right there. It requiring that you wear a plastic bag on your hand while waiting for Fido to kick out a lodger? That makes me dizzy.

HALLIE: You don't know the first thing about me, Veronica.

VERONICA: I know like eight, possibly nine things. But you're right. I have no idea which one is first. Is it that you're a Theta Beta that'd do anything for her sorority?

Hallie scoffs.

HALLIE: You think I had something to do with Mrs. Rose's disappearance?

VERONICA: Perhaps.

HALLIE: If there's anyone you should be concerned about, it's that guy Brant. Mr. Rose's assistant? He's, like, in love with Mr. Rose, like Swimfan love. He won't let anyone talk to him. He follows him everywhere. At one time, Mr. Rose was taking a nap, and I saw Brant stroking his hair...so completely creepy. Ugh. Oh! And just a couple weeks ago, Mr. Rose asked him to help him with an anniversary party for Mrs. Rose, and Brant threw a teacup at the wall.

She laughs derisively.

HALLIE: I mean, the guy's been married for ten years, and Brant thinks he's going to switch teams for a sorry, teacup-throwing ass? I don't think so.

Hallie reaches for her pink shirt and puts it on.

[308/2425.jpg]VERONICA: That's very helpful, Hallie.

HALLIE: Uh, yeah. 'Cause it's the truth.

VERONICA: And sharing the truth is good. I say we ride that honesty wave all the way home. Side question: what do you know about Patrice Pitrelli?

She scoffs again.

HALLIE: God! What's with all the questions? What's next? Do you want to know where I buried Jimmy Hoffman?

VERONICA: Dustin's brother?

Hallie doesn't understand that Jimmy Hoffman isn't Jimmy Hoffa and gives Veronica a quizzical look before dismissing it.

HALLIE: I don't know who you've been talking to, but nothing happened with Patrice. I mean, I didn't go here yet, but my sisters told me everything. She had one too many hard lemonades and she fell off the roof. That's it. No one did anything to her.

VERONICA: I didn't suggest anyone did. Did Patrice claim someone did something to her?

HALLIE: No, it's all lies. Ask anyone in her pledge class.

VERONICA: That's an excellent idea, Hallie. Thank you. So what happened after she fell?

HALLIE: Nothing! It's not like she died or anything. Oh, and speaking of, you'll be happy to know. Karen? Our den mother? We had a car wash and raised enough money for another round of chemo.

Veronica sighs.

HALLIE: Stay sweet, Veronica. Bye.

Hallie picks up her towel and bag, and strides off.

INT - MARS INVESTIGATIONS - DAY.

Veronica enters Keith's office from the hall outside the front door of Mars Investigations.

VERONICA: I don't know about you, but I am dripping with information.

KEITH: And I have so much information, I have no place left inside for food.

VERONICA: Spill.

Keith goes into an over-the-top Jimmy Cagney impression.

[308/2552.jpg]KEITH: Hmm. Roger Hearst is halting Selma's "Buy American" plan, hmm? It'll save the company hundreds of millions, but it is exactly the kind of business practice Selma is fighting against. Hmm, suspicious? Hmm, I think so. Hmm.

Veronica plays along.

VERONICA: Hmm. Well, I rattled that sorority girl's cage, and she sang like a canary. She thinks that guy Brant is a wack job.

KEITH: Well, he's not a big fan of hers either.

Veronica heads for her own desk, talking as she goes.

VERONICA: Apparently, Brant is the Smithers to Mr. Rose's Monty Burns. There are tales of hair-stroking, Swimfan-ian-like love. Mr. Rose asked for help with his ten-year anniversary party. Brant's response? Throwing a teacup.

KEITH: A ten-year wedding anniversary?

Keith bangs on his desk in a moment of revelation.

KEITH: Have I taught you nothing?!

Veronica gets it immediately.

KEITH: What do we call a tenth anniversary in the P.I. biz?

VERONICA: Dine 'n' ditch.

KEITH: After ten years of marriage, a spouse is entitled to half of his partner's assets, so you cut the cord before ten years, you don't have to pay.

VERONICA: But she's the one with the loot.

KEITH: That's my point exactly. The brother says the marriage is in trouble.

VERONICA: You think the husband had her...you know...

Veronica gestures the breaking of a neck.

VERONICA: Crrk!

KEITH: That's one extreme possibility.

VERONICA: Yeah, what's the other?

KEITH: Play a hunch? Brant said Selma's dogs are the children she never had. If Budd's trying to, say, keep her hidden, I bet she'll be a lot quieter with her kids around.

Veronica smiles.

EXT - ROSE RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

Keith gives Veronica a hand up as she climbs over the wall by the gates to the property. She pauses at the top to whisper back at Keith.

VERONICA: This is just like that time we went to Disneyland! If I have another altercation with Snow White and her disapproving dwarfs, you're taking Sneezy this time.

Keith nods indulgently.

KEITH: Okay.

Veronica jumps down the other side, impersonating Jaime Sommers in The Bionic Woman.

VERONICA: Sha-na-na-na-na-na-na!

She grins and walks back to the gates, holding the bars as if peeking out of a cell.

VERONICA: The park is closed. The walrus out front should have told you.

Keith isn't in the same light mood and grimaces. Veronica dances back from the gates to find the point where the remote picks her up and opens them. She makes an "Open Sesame" sweep with her arms as they do. Keith walks in to join her.

[308/2729.jpg]KEITH: Honey, stealthy, remember?

Veronica hops.

VERONICA: Right!

She takes her place at his side with a skip.

VERONICA: Sorry.

At the door of the guest house, Ernest and Julio, the Poms, bark excitedly and scratch at the glass. Keith places a skeleton key in the door and opens it.

INT - ROSE RESIDENCE, GUEST HOUSE - CONTINUING.

The lights are on inside and someone is watching television. The dogs bark and wag their tails.

TV FEMALE: You are not going to find this anywhere else.

TV MALE: This is one of the top-rated bagless vacuum cleaners on the market-

TV FEMALE: On the market today, and if you call right now, you're not only going to get the upholstery attachment, but we are going to give you the...

Keith and Veronica venture in slowly. Keith does a double take. Selma is in her dressing gown, sitting on a large, comfy couch, watching television.

KEITH: Mrs. Rose?

Selma is mildly startled to see them. She points the remote at the TV to switch it off.

KEITH: Are you all right?

SELMA: I'd be better if you'd close the door and didn't try to rescue me.

Veronica and Keith glance at each other, confused. Keith walks forward towards her and Veronica follows.

KEITH: Mrs. Rose, my name is Keith Mars. I'm a private investigator. Cyrus O'Dell hired me to find you.

Keith and Veronica stop and stand in front of Selma. Selma pats the settee to invite the dogs up.

SELMA: Poor Cyrus. He can't get anything right, can he?

[308/2812.jpg] Selma notices Veronica.

SELMA: You were at the reception.

KEITH: This is my daughter, Veronica. She works with me...occasionally.

VERONICA: Ryan. Tatum.

Keith grins.

VERONICA: When he gets in a jam, I make with the cute.

SELMA: Well, you can tell Cyrus I'm safe.

KEITH: Well, can I tell him how you wound up missing in your own guesthouse?

Selma sighs and stokes one of the dogs which is on her lap.

KEITH: Are you in some sort of trouble?

SELMA: I will be if you tell anyone you saw me, so I would appreciate it if you didn't. I can appreciate it monetarily if that's necessary.

KEITH: It isn't. I'm already being paid by someone who's extremely concerned about you.

Selma gets up from the couch, heading for the kitchen area behind the couch.

SELMA: Well, how about I tell you my story and you find a way to let Cyrus know I'm okay without giving me up?

KEITH: No promises. He's afraid you've been kidnapped.

SELMA: Nope. No kidnapping here.

Selma opens a cupboard and gets out a glass to pour herself a drink.

SELMA: Just good old-fashioned blackmail. My husband knows about my lover, and he's demanded I "disappear" until after our tenth anniversary.

Veronica gives Keith a proud look. She pats him on the chest.

VERONICA: The dine 'n' ditch. What? He'd only wind up with ten million instead of a hundred?

SELMA: Something like that. Look, I've just got two days to go. You could stall Cyrus that long.

VERONICA: But why make you disappear? Why not just wait to make you sign the divorce papers until after the ten-year anniversary?

SELMA: I wish I knew.

KEITH: I know! Your brother is killing your "Buy American" plan. He's negotiating with southeast Asian companies. In a few days, your company will be locked in the contracts. Your stock's going through the roof. Budd stands to make millions more in a 50-50 split.

Veronica shakes her head.

VERONICA: What a bastard.

Keith admonishes her.

KEITH: Hey. Veronica.

SELMA: She's right. Our marriage was great until after his accident. Suddenly, he had something to prove, and having sex with as many women as possible was, apparently, the way to do it.

KEITH: You know, I'm sorry if this is out of line, but plenty of couples have split over infidelity. I'm sure you can find a lawyer who could get you out of this less expensively.

SELMA: Have you ever been a walking punch line, Mr. Mars? I mean, on a national scale?

KEITH: Actually...

SELMA: Because I've been, and I've spent the rest of my life trying to earn back a certain measure of respect.

Selma has walked back to one of the kitchen drawers and pulled out a couple of large sheets.

SELMA: This would put me back at square one.

She hands them to Keith. They are photographs of Selma in the arms of Hallie Piatt. Veronica is stunned.

VERONICA: Hallie?!

SELMA: So you've met. She called me out of the reception and broke the news. She didn't love me. She seduced me for Budd. They're going to run away together and live off my money.

KEITH: Maybe we can fix this another way. Were you wearing those earrings the night you went missing?

SELMA: I was.

KEITH: And do you have access to Budd's e-mail accounts?

Selma looks at Keith quizzically.

WALLACE: [offscreen] So the plan's in motion?

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, FOOD COURT.

Veronica and Wallace are eating at one of the tables.

VERONICA: As we speak. We found the perfect eyewitness to the "kidnapping."

Veronica uses air quotes.

WALLACE: That's not me, is it?

Wallace grins. Veronica checks her phone as she quotes Carole King's "You've Got a Friend."

VERONICA: Whatever happened to "winter, spring, summer, or fall; all I got to do is call, and you'll be there"?

Wallace smiles and cocks his head at her but is then distracted by something he sees over her shoulder.

WALLACE: Man, all my orifices just went on lockdown.

Veronica turns to see Chip Diller, a baseball cap on his head. He is, standing uncertainly with his tray. He walks forward towards the tables. Three guys are sitting at the table between Chip and Veronica and Wallace's table. They spot him and grin. One of them leads the others in a sing-song.

CONDUCTOR FRAT GUY/CONDUCTOR'S BUDDY/RIVAL FRAT GUY: [singing] Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin' down the bunny trail
Hippity-hoppity Easter's on its way

Passing the table, Chip initially ignores the taunt, but once past he stops and decides to respond. He spins around and throws his tray at Conductor Frat Guy, followed by himself, leaping over the table to get to him. A girl passing behind Conductor Frat Guy is caught in the momentum as Chip, Conductor Frat Guy and Conductor Frat Guy's chair all crash into her and send her flying. She can't get up as the chair pins her to the next table and the fight pins the chair against her. Her similarity to Jane Kuhne or his natural tendencies lead Wallace to leap up and pull her out of the fray. Chip and Conductor Frat Guy are locked in a fight as Conductor's Buddy and Rival Frat Guy look on. Having got the girl clear, Wallace tries to break up the fight.

WALLACE: Hey! Hey! Stop!

Wallace gets as far as starting to pull Conductor Frat Guy off of Chip, which gives Chip the opportunity to punch Conductor Frat Guy. Rival Frat Guy pulls Wallace off and punches him. This galvanised Veronica who grabs the taser and races in, using it on Rival Frat Guy as he pulls Wallace up for another punch. Conductor's Buddy is behind her and behind him, coming up fast is Mountain Man. Conductor's Buddy grabs Veronica, holding her arms to her body.

[308/3139.jpg]CONDUCTOR'S BUDDY:Who needs a spanking?

Veronica starts to struggle but Mountain Man is there before her, grabbing Conductor's Buddy by the head and then the arms, bodily flinging him across another table. Mountain Man then grabs Veronica, who starts to scream.

VERONICA: Aah!

Mountain Man puts his hand over her mouth and lifts her from the floor. He takes her out of the Food Court.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, HALLWAY OUTSIDE THE FOOD COURT.

Veronica is still struggling as Mountain Man sets her down.

[308/3154.jpg]MOUNTAIN MAN: It's okay, Veronica. It's okay. I'm here to help.

Veronica wrests herself out of his arms and turns on him angrily.

VERONICA: What the hell is going on?!

MOUNTAIN MAN: Just calm down, all right? Mr. Echolls has been concerned about your safety. I've been hired to keep an eye on you.

Veronica is furious.

INT - SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - NIGHT.

Lamb walks into the department, checking his cell. He looks up on hearing Deputy Sacks.

SACKS: Sheriff, hey. This man came in, wanted to file a report and-

Lamb snaps his fingers at Sacks to speed him to the point.

SACKS: He claims to have seen Selma Rose the night she went missing.

Lamb looks over Sacks shoulder.

[308/3218.jpg]LAMB: That guy?

Sacks looks back.

SACKS: Yeah. Said he saw her having a fight with a girl from the college. I got him looking at a Hearst yearbook right now.

MORTY: Found her!

Both law-keepers look back at Morty, who is pointing to a picture in the yearbook.

EXT - NEPTUNE STREET - NIGHT.

Lamb gets out of his vehicle. He has pulled over the silver BMW. Hallie checks her lipstick, gearing up to charm her way out of a traffic offence. Lamb reaches her and leans against the car.

HALLIE: Oh, my God. Was I, like, speeding? 'Cause I so didn't know.

LAMB: No, no, no. You were fine.

HALLIE: Oh, okay. I didn't think I was.

[308/3230.jpg] Hallie grins at him. Lamb brings up a document to show her.

LAMB: I'm gonna need you to step out of the vehicle.

Hallie's smile fades when she realises that things are not as she thought. The document is a Search Warrant and Affidavit (For the Seizure of a Person for whom a Warrant of Arrest Has Been Issued) sworn out by Lamb.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND, LOGAN'S SUITE - NIGHT.

Logan, watching TV, looks up as the door to the suite slams shut. Veronica, in high dudgeon, marches in to confront him. Logan readies himself but does not rise from the couch.

VERONICA: [angry] I have spent the last few days being terrified that I had some whacked-out rapist following me!

LOGAN: [softly] Look, I had the same fear.

VERONICA: So you pay someone to tail me?

LOGAN: No, so I asked you to stop putting yourself in danger, and you told me to piss off. Then I hired someone to protect you.

VERONICA: You had no right to do that.

LOGAN: Look, that's probably true...okay? It's just I don't care.

VERONICA: [disbelieving] You don't care?

LOGAN: Look, I don't give a rat's ass if it's right or fair. I don't care if you're angry. I care that you're safe.

VERONICA: That's all sweet and great, but it doesn't really work that way. It's not like this is all some new facet of my personality. You know who I am! You know what I do.

LOGAN: And?

VERONICA: And...it isn't gonna change. And if you can't accept that, this isn't gonna work.

Logan stands.

LOGAN: You know who I am. And you're constantly expecting me to change. And even right now, as you're thinking, "crap, he's got a point," you still think you're ultimately right.

Veronica frowns, her eyes filling as she stares into space.

LOGAN: I love you, Veronica.

This brings her stare back to Logan.

LOGAN: I love you.

[308/3358.jpg] Veronica looks away again.

LOGAN: But, do you love me?

Veronica takes a moment before staring at him again, the tears threatening to fall. She responds without conviction.

VERONICA: Yeah.

Logan nods and drops his voice.

LOGAN: Well then, can we try to go a little easier on each other?

He finally approaches her, stopping in front of her. Veronica's response is strangely casual.

VERONICA: Yeah, I think that's a good idea.

She doesn't look at him. He puts his arms around her.

LOGAN: So, are we okay?

She holds him back.

VERONICA: Yeah...we're okay.

INT - ROSE RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

The doorbell rings and Brant struts to the door.

BRANT: Can I help you?

LAMB: Yes.

Lamb holds up the warrant.

LAMB: You can move out of my way.

Brant backs away from the door quickly. Budd calls out from inside the house.

BUDD: Brant, who is it?

He rolls into view.

[308/3441.jpg]BUDD: Oh, is this about Selma? H-have you found her?

LAMB: No, sir, we didn't find your wife. We did find one of her earrings, though. It was in your girlfriend's car.

Budd is stunned.

LAMB: We also found love letters from you on Hallie's laptop. I can see why you like her so much. She's a very sweet girl. Not very tough, though. She said we should take a look in your guesthouse.

Budd swallows hard.

INT - SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT.

Budd is in one of the interrogation rooms. Lamb paces.

LAMB: Cute, young girlfriend, rich, older wife. I'm kind of shocked I'm not investigating a murder.

Lamb settles down on the table between them.

BUDD: Look...you can keep on talking all you want. But, I'm not saying one more word until my lawyer gets here.

There's a knock on the door and Sacks enters.

SACKS: Uh, Mrs. Rose is hoping for a moment alone with her husband.

Lamb glances back at Budd, then gestures for Sacks to bring her in. Sacks opens the door further and Selma walks in. Lamb and Sacks leave them alone, shutting the door behind them.

SELMA: Was Roger in on it, or were you just counting on him to do the wrong thing?

Budd snorts.

[308/3524.jpg]BUDD: He is reliable that way.

Selma drops a divorce settlement agreement onto the table.

SELMA: An early anniversary present, unless you had your heart set on prison.

Budd looks at it and then away. He sighs.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, RECEPTION ROOM - DAY.

The room is now furnished with a comfortable suite. Keith is sitting in an armchair as the dean pours himself a glass of water.

DEAN O'DELL: I'm grateful for your help but a little surprised I didn't get a discount - repeat customer and all.

The dean sits on the couch as Keith takes out an envelope and lays it on the coffee table.

KEITH: I didn't charge you for the photocopies or the stamps.

DEAN O'DELL: Oh, that was nice.

[308/3600.jpg] Both men look up at a knock at the door and rise to their feet.

SELMA: Who knew the cavalry would be so handsome?

DEAN O'DELL: Don't be nice to me, Selma. It'll ruin everything.

SELMA: I'm on my way to vote. Fate of the Greeks in my hands, and all.

DEAN O'DELL: How are they faring? I know it's a difficult decision.

SELMA: My official vote is "screw 'em." They're out of here.

Selma walks away. Keith grins but the dean is shocked and disappointed.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, HALLWAY - DAY.

[308/3610.jpg] Veronica pushes a button for a lift. She sees Hallie walking along the corridor. Hallie initially ignores her but has second thoughts. She returns to face Veronica.

HALLIE: I know you think I'm some kind of gold digger, but I love Budd.

VERONICA: And all of his beautiful money? Or is true love so blind you didn't notice he's an adulterer older than your father and confined to a wheelchair?

HALLIE: Budd Rose is more of a man than you could ever begin to handle.

VERONICA: Slow down, Anna Nicole. You're skeeving me out. And the fact is I don't care if he's Ron Jeremy on wheels.

Hallie's eyes narrow.

VERONICA: You want to impress me? Tell me the truth about Patrice Pitrelli.

Hallie backs away from Veronica.

HALLIE: I told you. I didn't go here then. Besides, Patrice's best friend in the whole world just faked a rape. Why aren't you picking on her?

VERONICA: Patrice was friends with Claire?

HALLIE: Yeah, they were in the same pledge class.

INT - NORDHOUSE RESIDENCE - DAY.

Veronica knocks on the door. It cracks open and Claire appears.

VERONICA: What did Chip Diller have to do with Patrice Pitrelli falling off the roof of the Theta Beta house?

CLAIRE: Come in. We'll enlighten you.

VERONICA: Who's "we"? [308/3659.jpg]

Claire opens the door wide, revealing Fern, sitting on a small couch, and Nish, sitting on a tall backed-stool at the kitchen counter.

CLAIRE: Look who just showed up asking about Patrice.

NISH: Veronica Mars.

Veronica steps inside with some trepidation.

NISH: Well, I'm impressed with your tenacity, if not your politics.

Claire shuts the door. Veronica smiles and snarks back.

VERONICA: I can die happy.

Claire passes Veronica and goes behind the kitchen counter.

FERN: What did you hear about Patrice?

VERONICA: She fell off the roof of the Theta Beta house.

CLAIRE: She didn't fall. She walked right off.

VERONICA: Why?

Claire stirs the cup of tea she is making.

NISH: Finally, a smart question.

CLAIRE: The Theta Betas used to take some pledges to a secret room where they'd have them undress.

VERONICA: Are you still trying to sell that?

Nish glares at Veronica.

VERONICA: I've been there. There is no two-way mirror.

NISH: Then they panelled over it.

CLAIRE: No, I saw it. The rush officer would have the girls strip in front of the mirror. Then they'd point out the parts that they thought needed work, like they were being helpful. They'd circle them with a magic marker like a plastic surgeon does during a consultation.

VERONICA: They did that to you?

CLAIRE: No. They only did it to the girls who they thought needed...help.

VERONICA: And Patrice needed help.

CLAIRE: They practically covered her in circles. I mean, she was pale and pudgy, but a legacy. She was already crying when someone turned on the light in the secret room. And there they were. A crowd of Pi Sigs laughing their asses off. Chip Diller started calling her "marshmallow," and the name stuck.

NISH: They used permanent marker. So not only does she have to deal with being called "marshmallow," she had those marks all over her for weeks.

Claire takes her tea and moves to sit next to Fern on the couch.

CLAIRE: The sorority sisters kept telling her a tan would fix everything. They kept insisting she lay on the roof with the rest of us. But she was still all marked up. She surprised us one day by walking out on the roof. But instead of plopping down on a towel, she just strolled right off the edge.

VERONICA: What happened to her?

FERN: She was in the hospital for a couple of months. Now she's in a mental-health facility.

Veronica looks away and shakes her head.

FERN: You don't believe it?

VERONICA: Oh, I believe you. And I think it's horrible. I also think it's powerful motivation for someone to take desperate action. Fake a rape, right? Possibly a series of rapes.

Claire looks guilty.

VERONICA: How many of them were real?

Nish scoffs.

VERONICA: I mean, other than Chip Diller's.

Both Claire and Fern are uncomfortable.

VERONICA: There hasn't been any forensic evidence; no semen, no hair found on any of the victims.

Nish slides off the stool to walk towards the other two.

NISH: The Greeks would be gone if you hadn't gotten them off. Are you proud of that fact?

VERONICA: The moral superiority would fit better if there wasn't already one fake rape on your résumé.

Nish glances over at the other two.

VERONICA: Nothing hurts the cause more than that.

Both Claire and Fern looks as if they might, in retrospect, agree.

VERONICA: You know I'm right.

Nish on the other hand remains defiant. Fern looks up at her questioningly.

VERONICA: I'll show myself out.

Veronica turns and exits the room.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, FOOD COURT.

Music: "Poison Cup" by M. Ward.

LYRICS: Wine, wine, wine
One or two won't do
'Cause I want it all
And I hope
I hope
Hope you know what I'm thinking of
I want all of your love

[308/3957.jpg] Veronica is at one of the food counters, having just paid for her food. Her cell phone starts to ring and she digs it out of her bag. She checks the caller ID. It's Logan calling from 1-858-555-01087. Veronica stands with her tray, staring at the phone. She punches "Ignore" or another button that stops the phone ringing and puts it back in her bag. She doesn't see Logan standing at the door to the Food Court, his cell phone at his ear, watching her. Veronica walks to a table and sits down. She starts to eat. Logan, devastated, lets the phone slip from his ear. He continues to watch her. With the phone still in his hand, he brings his hand to his mouth, his face one of despair. End. End music: "Poison Cup" by M. Ward. Executive producer Rob Thomas.

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