3.17 Debasement Tapes

Written by: John Enbom
Directed by: Dan Etheridge

Original Air Date: 8 May, 2007
Transcribed by Inigo.
Last edited: 15 May, 2007

VERONICA VOICEOVER: Previously on Veronica Mars...

Bronson and Mac lie in bed and kiss in 314 "Mars, Bars."

BRONSON: I like being sweet to you.

MAC: I'm really glad.

Cut to Mac and Max at Parker's birthday party in 316 "Un-American Graffiti."

MAC: You sell tests.

MAX: Yeah, it's not easy.

MAC: Tell me you're a business major.

MAX: Philosophy.

They laugh. Cut to Veronica and Piz on the balcony.

VERONICA: You've been so sweet to me. I just-

Piz kisses her. Cut to a few moments later with them kissing again outside the doors of the lift. The doors open to reveal Logan. End previously.

INT - MARS RESIDENCE - NIGHT.

Wallace is sitting in the armchair, taking notes. Veronica is stretched out on the couch. The Women is playing on the television. Wallace is concentrating hard on the movie.

LADY #2 IN BLACK'S: [on TV] Oh, that old bag! One more permanent and she won't have a hair on her head!

LADY #1 IN BLACK'S: [on TV] Um, she's got plenty on her arms, baby!

LADY #2 IN BLACK'S: [on TV] She sure does shed, don't she?

Veronica is sceptical.

VERONICA: I can't believe this is a class.

WALLACE: Hey, without film studies, how will we know what movies mean?

VERONICA: So...Piz didn't say anything...about the whole party...thing?

WALLACE: Like how you two made out in the hall and then you took off?

[317/0110.jpg] Veronica pulls a face. Wallace chuckles.

WALLACE: Why? Is he calling you all the time?

VERONICA: He called once. The day after. But...how would you interpret his mood?

WALLACE: You want me to have this talk? Am I a twelve-year-old girl?

VERONICA: No. But you're drinking Fresca and watching Joan Crawford movies.

WALLACE: Look, I told you: be honest, let him down easy. But-

VERONICA: [pained] So he's gone all mushy.

WALLACE: I don't know. My interpretation of Piz's mood? Normal. So is the girl talk over? I'm trying to watch The Women here.

Keith enters the apartment before Veronica can protest.

VERONICA: How was your day?

KEITH: It's official. Two fewer burglaries this month than last.

VERONICA: I smell trend.

KEITH: And the registration deadline for the special election is Monday...

VERONICA: So you're running...

KEITH: Unopposed. Might stand a chance.

Keith holds up two sets of crossed fingers.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, RADIO STATION - DAY.

Music: "Life Is Good" by Junk.

LYRICS: I know I can always win
I can do anything I
To more than dream I
Think
You make everything - everything just right
So alive
Life is good when you're around
Nothing can bring me down

Amongst the equipment and notices on the wall of the radio station is a poster headed "Extra - Desmond Fellows. Trish is sitting at one of the desks.

TRISH: Okay, Johnny Scopes and Desmond Fellows met where?

Piz and Arnold are standing in front of her.

ARNOLD: [triumphantly] NYU, Dean's office. Johnny dropping out and Desmond expelled. Formed My Pretty Pony the next day.

TRISH: Score one for Arnold.

Arnold looks over at Piz who waggles his fingers in a "So what?" gesture.

TRISH: Piz, name three My Pretty Pony songs that made the college-radio charts.

PIZ: "Black Cat," "You Break Me, You Buy Me," "Jesus Saves, But Where Does He Shop?"

Piz does his own share of gloating with a Danny Zuko cough-sneer.

PIZ: All right!

TRISH: Their last album was released?

ARNOLD: '96, More Problems. Game over.

Arnold, sure of his victory, gives a punch in the air.

[317/0211.jpg]PIZ: The Wake EP, 1997, released over Desmond's objections after Johnny died. Their official last album.

Without looking at him, Piz gives the defeated Arnold a "talk to the hand."

PIZ: Ah-oh.

TRISH: Congratulations, Piz. Job's yours.

Piz does his own triumphant punch.

TRISH: You replace Joe. There's a lot riding on this. Don't blow it.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, FOOD COURT - DAY.

Piz wanders in and spots Veronica.

PIZ: Hey, Veronica, guess what?

Veronica is awkward as she plays cool.

VERONICA: Uh, what?

They saunter through the Food Court together.

PIZ: You know My Pretty Pony?

VERONICA: Yeah. I totally love them.

PIZ: I know, right? So, Desmond Fellows is coming to Hearst. And guess who just won the My Pretty Pony-off and gets to be his guide?

[317/0233.jpg] Piz points to himself happily.

VERONICA: I'm guessing you?

PIZ: Mm-hmm.

VERONICA: Wow. That's awesome. Why is he coming here?

PIZ: One of our idiot deejays swore on air, and the FCC is literally fining us into oblivion, so...we got Desmond to come play a fund-raiser to pay them off. Otherwise the station is dead.

Veronica's nose wrinkles and she turns to face him.

VERONICA: Johnny Scopes died, didn't he?

PIZ: Yeah, but Desmond has the backing tapes with Johnny's vocals, so he plays all the My Pretty Pony songs along to the tapes. It's just awesome. I mean this guy is like one of my all-time heroes. And I can get tickets if you-you maybe want to...

VERONICA: Yeah. Maybe. Um...I'll see. I got to run. I'm late.

Veronica hurries away. He watches her go.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, BUSINESS CLASS - DAY.

A pointer is on a small poster which described the technology of the Shoe Storage System.

DONALDSON: ...as you can clearly see.

The camera pulls back to show the student giving the presentation.

[317/0318.jpg]DONALDSON: And finally, consider this. Do you know anyone who doesn't wear shoes?

Logan, sitting at the back of the class with Dick, is bored silly.

PROFESSOR CORRIGAN: Very nice, Donaldson.

As Donaldson retrieves his materials, the professor steps back up to the front of the classroom, consulting his class list.

PROFESSOR CORRIGAN: So...

Logan puts his head down.

PROFESSOR CORRIGAN: Logan Echolls. What have you got for us?

Dick smirks as Logan squirms.

LOGAN: Uh, actually, I was hoping I could present my business plan on Monday.

PROFESSOR CORRIGAN: Why am I not surprised?

He glares at Logan and makes a note on his clipboard.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL - DAY.

The lift dings and the doors open. Piz, Desmond Fellows and Jeff Ratner exit. Piz is carrying a plastic cup. Jeff is pushing the luggage trolley.

[317/0345.jpg]PIZ: I didn't get the chance to say this on the way over, but I was the biggest My Pretty Pony fan.

DESMOND: Sweet. Hey, that's my drink, right?

Piz hands him the cup.

PIZ: Uh, yeah, tonic and ice.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, DESMOND'S SUITE - DAY.

Having reached the room, Piz and Jeff watch Desmond as he pours four miniature bottles of vodka into the cup. Jeff gives Piz a disapproving sidelong glance.

PIZ: Hope this is okay. Nicest place in Neptune. All the amenities.

Desmond turns and takes a large gulp from the cup. He looks at Jeff, waiting patiently.

DESMOND: What's he still doing here?

JEFF: Waiting for the tip. It's a customary thing...in America.

Desmond sighs, puts down the cup, and checks his pockets, coming up empty save for a napkin. He grabs a pen and signs it. He holds it out to Jeff.

DESMOND: There you are, my good man. That'll get you twenty bones on eBay.

JEFF: Why?

DESMOND: I'm Desmond Fellows.

With all the disdain he can muster, Jeff turns away and exits.

DESMOND: Obviously, he's not cool.

Desmond throws the napkin onto the room bar top.

DESMOND: We'll leave that for the room-service guy.

Desmond grabs his backpack.

DESMOND: You know what, Fez? I'm pretty beat.

He grabs the cup and heads for the suite's bedroom.

DESMOND: Why don't you go out, see if you can't grab us a few of those old mini bottles off of a cart? That'll be great. I'm just gonna catch some z's.

Opening the door, a woman in animal print underwear is revealed to be on the bed, upright on her knees.

[317/0447.jpg]BLACKCAT70: Surprise.

Desmond looks at the woman, and then back at Piz.

DESMOND: Whoa. You really do have all the amenities.

Desmond happily enters the room but when he gets inside and gets a closer look, he is taken aback to see the woman, though attractive, is no spring chicken.

BLACKCAT70: You said "Surprise me," so...surprise.

DESMOND: Right. Wh-...I sai-...Who are you?

BLACKCAT70: Um... BlackCat70. [growling, with a clawing gesture] Arr! All the e-mails? "Surprise me when I'm in town."

DESMOND: Uh...that was you?

The woman's confidence evaporates in the light of Desmond's obvious disappointment.

BLACKCAT70: Oh, my God.

DESMOND: Right.

The woman hurries to find her clothes.

DESMOND: Misunderstanding.

BLACKCAT70: Yeah.

Desmond puts down the cup and the backpack and then leaves the room to give her privacy. He shuts the doors and looks helplessly at Piz. Cut to a few moments later. Desmond is on the couch, flicking through TV channels with the remote.

TV: Thunder is starting...are so cluttered...here we're drying apples. Apples for apple sn-...going to be Gabriel's Thunder. Ramone Goose is a double tonight....

As he settles on horse racing, the woman marches out of the bedroom.

DESMOND: Sorry. Do come see the show.

She pauses by Piz as she leaves.

BLACKCAT70: Advice? Never meet your idol.

DESMOND: More advice? Always confirm the accuracy of photos.

Piz, embarrassed by the whole thing, nods. Desmond switches off the TV and gets up from the sofa.

DESMOND: So you said there was a beach?

He disappears into the bedroom.

PIZ: Uh, yeah. More than one.

DESMOND: Yeah. Or we could forget the beach. Go to Mexico. Get really weird.

PIZ: Uh, Mexico. I-I'm not sure we can do.

Desmond comes out of the bedroom, carrying his backpack.

DESMOND: Show's off, so why not?

PIZ: W-what? W-why?

DESMOND: All the backing tapes and stuff used to be in this bag. Now it contains only this.

He pulls out a deep blue towelling robe. Piz stares at him, horrified.

Opening credits.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, FOOD COURT - DAY.

Music: "Power" by Shapes of Race Cars.

LYRICS: Electric telephone
Here's another miss
This dirty girl is blown
The final kiss
Boom, boom
Those lights affect her eyes
Don't tell 'em what you did
Go goldmine, it's show time
She says she tastes good in your kiss
You're ready, like many
To feel a power just like this
Her favourite word is mine
You gotta light out when
Like the girl in Frankenstein
You know she's going...in
Yo, goldmine, it's your time

Veronica and Mac are at one of the food counters. Veronica leans back against it, waiting for Mac to order.

[317/0701.jpg]MAC: Is the eggplant good?

SPAGHETTI SERVER: It's okay.

MAC: How about that stuff?

SPAGHETTI SERVER: It's good.

MAC: It's probably horrible for you, right? I'll stay with the-the eggplant. No, wait. What do you think?

Veronica throws back her head at Mac's indecision.

MAC: I need to see a psychiatrist.

VERONICA: I was thinking more an English professor.

Mac stares at her with incomprehension.

VERONICA: What we're dealing with here is an absurd level of symbolism.

Veronica turns to the spaghetti server.

VERONICA: Two veggie lasagnas.

SPAGHETTI SERVER: Okay.

MAC: Symbolism.

VERONICA: I mean, the Bronson parmesan is good for me, but oh! The maxuccine looks awfully tempting.

MAC: It's not my fault Max won't stop calling. Like you should talk.

VERONICA: Me? I'm not ordering good boy while wishing I ordered bad boy.

MAC: No. You gave up bad boy but keep asking for samples of good boy.

VERONICA: No. I...wait, what?

Veronica is saved from further comment when her phone starts ringing. She digs it out of her pocket. She checks the caller ID.

MAC: Okay, if Logan is the fettuccine...

VERONICA: It's the eggplant.

[317/0758.jpg] Veronica answers the call.

VERONICA: Piz. Actually, I wanted to talk to you, too. I...need to apologise. At the party, I was irresponsible.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, DESMOND'S SUITE - CONTINUING.

VERONICA: [on phone] I think we should file the party away and just be friends...for now.

PIZ: Uh, I kind of got that. I'm actually calling 'cause I need help with a case thing.

[317/0759.jpg] INT - HEARST COLLEGE, FOOD COURT - DAY.

Veronica cringes on hearing her pre-emptive strike was unnecessary.

VERONICA: Oh.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL - DAY.

Veronica paces in the lobby, waiting for the lift which finally arrives. The doors opens and Logan steps out, passing her as she steps in. He turns back and they stare at each other.

VERONICA: Hey.

LOGAN: Hey.

They are both smiling awkwardly until Veronica pushes the button for her destination. The lift doors start to close, but Logan jumps back in just before they do.

[317/0823.jpg]VERONICA: Forget something?

LOGAN: No, just saying hi. I haven't seen you since Parker's party. What brings you here?

VERONICA: Oh, just...a case thing.

LOGAN: Huh. Actually, can I ask you something?

Veronica nods.

LOGAN: The weekend that you almost got your head shaved, your dad said you were staying at Wallace's. Well, it was just you and Piz, huh?

VERONICA: Yes, but, no. No. I mean, I slept in Wallace's bed, and it was just a place to stay. Nothing was-

Further explanation is interrupted by the ping of the lift as it arrives at its destination. Piz is waiting.

PIZ: Oh, thank god you're here.

He sees Logan.

PIZ: Uh...hey.

It's all very awkward. Veronica breaks the standoff by exiting the lift to join Piz.

LOGAN: Hey.

She turns back to him.

LOGAN: Good luck.

Veronica smiles and nods before walking away as the doors close.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, DESMOND'S SUITE - DAY.

Piz shows Veronica into the suite.

PIZ: Empty. Just a hotel robe stuck in there to make it look full. Look, without those tapes, he can't-

Desmond is on the couch, staring at a miniature bottle. There's a laptop open on the table in front of him.

DESMOND: Hey, Pus, this is all we have left, which I won't touch. You need to contact management immediate-

He looks up and spots Veronica.

DESMOND: Hey, is that your girlfriend?

PIZ: Uh, no, just a friend.

VERONICA: Veronica. Hi. I'm a really big fan.

DESMOND: You're just using him to get to me. Mercenary. I like it. You know what, I'm doing a show tomorrow night. If you want to hang backstage, Monica-

PIZ: [quickly] Her dad's a P.I. Uh, she's gonna help us find the woman who took the tapes.

DESMOND: Oh, yeah, I think I figured that whole thing out. Come here.

He pats the sofa next to him.

DESMOND: Check it out.

He takes a swig from the miniature as Veronica sits down next to him. Veronica peers at the laptop screen on which there is a picture of a blonde woman.

VERONICA: Is that the woman?

DESMOND: That was my mistake. That's BlackCat80. The woman in my room was BlackCat70. Number trouble.

VERONICA: Uh, so, do you have any pictures of the woman who was in your room?

[317/1001.jpg] Desmond sighs resignedly. He ogles Veronica.

DESMOND: No. Anyone ever tell you you look like a feisty young Barbara Eden?

VERONICA: How did she know you'd be here?

DESMOND: How old are you, Monica?

VERONICA: I'm eleven. You arranged this how?

DESMOND: Instant messaging. But I didn't save any of the...

Veronica leans forward and starts tapping on the keys confidently.

DESMOND: Wow. All business. Deadly.

Piz grins as Veronica pulls up an instant messaging log. It shows messages from BlackCat70 and BlackCat80.

DESMOND: Yeah, there she is: BlackCat70.

Veronica opens one of the messages. His instant messaging name is PrettyPony01 and the following chat at 10:42 pm is recorded:
BlackCat70: Hey there, stallion. Did you miss me?
PrettyPony01: haha. hey kitty. sure i missed you
BlackCat70: "sure i missed you"? A girl likes to hear a little more than that,...
PrettyPony01: sorry. i missed you a lot. is that better?
BlackCat70: Hmph. Not very convincing, but I guess it will have to do.
PrettyPony01: sorry. long day.
BlackCat70: I bet it was... maybe I should come over and help you re...

DESMOND: It's a shame she was so old. She seemed cool.

He takes another swig.

VERONICA: So, you didn't get her name?

He shakes his head.

DESMOND: Just BlackCat70.

VERONICA: What's that?

Veronica points to the end of the chat where BlackCat70 has used a Chinese character to sign off.

DESMOND: She try and draw herself?

VERONICA: It's a Chinese character.

PIZ: I know a couple guys taking Chinese. We could ask them.

VERONICA: It's a start. Was there anything in the bag?

DESMOND: Just medications, pills.

VERONICA: What are you taking pills for?

DESMOND: Ah, you know. Life.

Veronica nods, unimpressed.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, LOGAN'S SUITE - DAY.

Music: "Ghost Ride It" by Mistah F.A.B. Dick, his toe bandaged, is lounging on the sofa, a laptop on his lap. Logan enters from his bedroom and collapses with a sigh onto the couch at the other end.

[317/1101.jpg]LOGAN: You ever have that nightmare where you forget you're taking a class and you have to take the final?

DICK: No.

LOGAN: I have to come up with an entire business plan by Monday.

DICK: Dude, that's a bummer.

Dick, far more interested in the video he is watching on screen, laughs.

DICK: Oh!

Logan looks over from where he is lying to see what he is doing.

LOGAN: What are you doing?

DICK: Getting famous.

Logan rolls off the couch and moves to sit next to Dick.

LOGAN: Who is that?

DICK: Dude, that's me. Ghost ridin' the whip! Check it out.

Logan peers down at the screen. The page on screen is GhostRideTheVideo.com. Amongst the adverts, there's a video playing of Dick getting out of a small yellow sports car that is moving. He dances alongside the car. Logan laughs. Onscreen, and sadly obscured by a tree, the car runs over Dick's foot, causing the dance to become a brief hop. Dick comes to a stop as the car rolls on. Logan looks down at Dick's foot. All the toes on his right foot are bruised, and the big toe and the one next to it are strapped up together.

LOGAN: You run over your own foot?

DICK: Yeah, which is why I think I have a real shot at the top of the charts.

Logan, having picked up the laptop looks down the page at the adverts.

LOGAN: This is something people do?

DICK: Cool people.

Logan nods as he gets to the bottom of the page, one that records 521570 hits. He clicks on the bottom ad for Pitwa Hydroponics and watches intently. End music: "Ghost Ride It" by Mistah F.A.B.

[317/1203.jpg] INT - HEARST COLLEGE, MAC AND PARKER'S DORM ROOM - DAY.

The door opens. Mac and Bronson enter, Mac groaning with exhaustion. They walk straight to the bed. Bronson is carrying a Frisbee.

BRONSON: You did good for your first time. Next time, it'll be easier.

MAC: The next and last time I run will be to chase down and kill the inventor of Ultimate Frisbee.

Mac's phone rings. Bronson throws his shoes off as she answers it.

MAC: Hello? Hey, Logan. Parker's not here. Me?

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, FOOD COURT - DAY.

The conversation continues at one of the tables in the Food Court.

[317/1222.jpg]MAC: Grade My Ass.

LOGAN: Dot net, yes.

Logan drops a bundle of papers on the table in front of her which she picks up and starts to flick through.

LOGAN: I need to present a viable business plan for a class. I need a lowest-common-denominator website with a simple, interactive element that I can build a business plan around. You can put this together in your sleep. I'll pay.

MAC: And the catch?

LOGAN: It's due Monday morning.

MAC: I'll need red bull and liquorice.

LOGAN: Deal.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, RADIO STATION - DAY.

Desmond is clearly bored to tears as he readies himself for his on-air interview. Trish is at the production desk.

PIZ: You're on the air with Desmond Fellows of My Pretty Pony, playing a benefit tomorrow night at Liberty Lunch, brought to you by Wrigley's Extra Gum.

Piz punches a button as Desmond's face scrunches up.

PIZ: Okay, caller, are you there?

DESMOND: Their leftover gum?

Piz is momentarily flummoxed.

PIZ: The brand.

He picks up the sponsor's product as an explanation.

PIZ: Extra Gum. Sugarless.

Piz coughs and quickly gets back to business.

PIZ: Okay, caller, are you there?

BLONDE FEMALE CALLER: Desmond, you rock. Make sure you play "You Break Me" tomorrow, okay?

DESMOND: Oh, yeah. All the old hit. You bet.

Desmond looks up and out onto the Food Court through the glass window of the studio. He sees a girl with dark red-hair (notwithstanding the closing credit writers calling her "Blonde Female Caller") sitting at one of the tables, her cell phone to her ear, staring at him.

[317/1312.jpg]DESMOND: Hey, are you that redhead out in the Food Court?

She smiles and gives a little wave. Piz gives a little wave back, until...

DESMOND: How do you feel about showing me those big old-

...when he cuts the call off. Desmond mines "chest" by sticking his out at her. She is mortally offended.

PIZ: Okay! Uh...second caller, you're on with Desmond.

MALE CALLER: Dude, you suck.

DESMOND: Oh, hey, thanks a lot, man. So, what's your question?

MALE CALLER: You scrounge money off the memory of your dead partner.

Piz and Desmond glance at each other. Piz shrugs.

MALE CALLER: How do you live with yourself?

DESMOND: Well, I drink heavily, and I abuse drugs.

MALE CALLER: Hack!

Piz quickly terminates that call as well.

PIZ: Moving on. You're on with-with Desmond.

MALE CALLER #2: I'm calling from Semites for the Saviour. We want everyone to know this man makes songs that mock our religious beliefs.

DESMOND: You're a Jewish group, and your initials are S.S.?

Piz cringes.

PIZ: Oh, God.

MALE CALLER #2: We encourage everyone to pray with us that he cancels the show and-

DESMOND: "Nazi" gonna happen. No, don't worry about it. The show's cancelling itself.

In the background, Trish rises with alarm and stares at them.

DESMOND: I would pray, instead, for a girlfriend.

Piz is trying to silently reassure Trish, so Desmond takes it on himself to lean forward and punch the button to end the call and bring up the next one, much to Piz's surprise.

DESMOND: Hey, what's up? It's Des.

MALE CALLER #3: Dude, party.

Piz rolls his eyes.

MALE CALLER #3: Miller Hall, room 404, tonight.

Desmond looks at Piz.

DESMOND: Got a pen?

Cut to later as Desmond and Piz exit the studio into the radio station's office. Desmond fakes enthusiasm...

DESMOND: That was great.

...only to quickly drop the act.

DESMOND: Home, please.

Piz starts to follow him out, but is called back. Desmond busies himself with checking out the shelves of LPs.

TRISH: Piz? What did he mean, "Cancelling itself"?

PIZ: It's nothing. He just misplaced the backing tapes. It's no big deal.

TRISH: You know what happens if we have to cancel this show.

DESMOND: Plax! Come on, I'm missing Night Court.

Piz gives Trish an apologetic gesture and then follows him out.

INT - SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - DAY.

Keith's name graces the door to the sheriff's office. Within the office, Keith throws some files down on his desk in frustration and shouts out.

KEITH: Sacks!

He marches to the door, still shouting.

KEITH: Where are those drug stats?

Keith pauses when he sees Sacks at the counter.

SACKS: Sheriff.

Sacks steps aside, revealing the person he has been speaking to at the counter.

KEITH: Leo.

LEO: Sheriff Mars.

KEITH: What brings you around here?

They shake hands.

LEO: I was hoping I could have a word with you.

Cut to a moment later in Keith's office as they take their seats.

[317/1500.jpg]KEITH: What have you been up to, Leo?

LEO: Doing security at Sport Haus, which is what I wanted to talk to you about. I was on the afternoon shift, and I noticed one of the stock guys acting kind of weird, making calls from the pay phone across the street, taking the occasional photo of the floors, back offices on the cell phone.

KEITH: What, like he's casing the joint?

LEO: Kind of. And I noticed a new name on the cleaning-crew roster. Danny Boyd.

KEITH: Fitzpatrick flunky.

LEO: I tell my supervisor my concerns. He says he'll look into it. Next day, I'm switched to a new shift. Something's not right.

KEITH: Danny Boyd, huh? I'm friendly with a judge who might give me a tap on Boyd's phone. You stay put, and I'll see what I can do.

EXT - HEARST COLLEGE - DAY.

[317/1527.jpg] Veronica and Piz walk together down an external stairway.

VERONICA: What I want to know is how did that guy write cool, insightful songs? Or did Johnny do the good ones?

PIZ: Desmond wrote all the good ones. I think he's just tired. I mean, he's been on the road all spring and he's-

INT - HEARST COLLEGE - CONTINUING.

They walk through a door into a classroom. Two students are waiting for them.

VINCENT: We got class in five minutes, so...

PIZ: Veronica: Vincent, Marty. I figured, between them, they'd know.

Veronica pulls a sheet of paper from her bag. It's a print of the end of the instant message:
PrettyPony01: i know i could...question is, what would hap...
BlackCat70: Ooo, then I would lick, nuzzle and moan like ne...
PrettyPony01: i'll be expecting that
BlackCat70: Ready whenever you are.
BlackCat70: Sorry to cut our sexy convo short, but I must depa...
BlackCat70: [Chinese symbol]
PrettyPony01: sweet dreams to you too ... night

VERONICA: Ugh, we need to figure out what that means.

Vincent takes the paper and peers at it, Marty looking from his side. Behind them, a woman walks towards the blackboard at the front of the class.

VINCENT: So, this represents...

MARTY: Um...

VINCENT: What's the word? It's like a pleasing quality, you know?

MARTY: Right, right.

VINCENT: Like...charming.

MARTY: Or-or-or more. It's a spiritual quality, but like charming or effortless. It's a...God!

VINCENT: I got it! Grace. Grace.

MARTY: Right, yeah.

Behind them, the woman at the blackboard turns around in surprise.

[317/1608.jpg]PROFESSOR SCHAFFER: What?

She and Piz recognise each other and she swallows hard. Cut to few moments later. The classroom is beginning to fill up. Veronica, Piz and Grace Schaffer talk quietly at the front and side of the room.

PROFESSOR SCHAFFER: Look guys, what is there to say? I was a huge Pretty Pony fan. Desmond and I exchanged messages. And believe it or not, I wasn't always a boring associate professor of Chinese. I was once...rather wild.

PIZ: Was? You climbed down from the room above on a sheet.

VERONICA: We're not the wild patrol. We just need his stuff back.

PROFESSOR SCHAFFER: What stuff?

VERONICA: From his bag...that you took after-

PROFESSOR SCHAFFER: I didn't take anything.

VERONICA: You were the only one alone with his backpack. He was a jerk, so-

PROFESSOR SCHAFFER: [emphatically] I didn't take anything of his.

VERONICA: [urgently] Professor Schaffer, the situation is life-and-death. There was medication in there, which Desmond needs...to live.

PROFESSOR SCHAFFER: Oh, my God. Is he okay? I'll cancel my class. Um, o-okay, we'll call my doctor. What's he missing?

EXT - HEARST COLLEGE - DAY.

Cut to moments later again. Veronica and Piz, having left the classroom, are walking across the campus.

PIZ: So you believe her?

VERONICA: I kind of do. She would have given a kidney to Desmond had he asked.

Veronica spots something of interest on a nearby notice board and walks towards it.

VERONICA: Who was that guy who called praying Desmond's show was cancelled?

[317/1721.jpg] Amongst the notices is one for Semites for the Saviour. Under the organisation's name is "Stop Desmond Fellows." An emergency meeting is being called for the next day at Hadley Hall, Rm 131.

PIZ: Semites for the Saviour.

Veronica reaches for it and pulls it off the notice board.

VERONICA: Maybe they heard that God is now helping those that help themselves.

PIZ: Huh.

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

Mac grabs a can of drink from the table that abuts the back of the couch. Logan is pacing with his notes. Dick is observing.

MAC: So, look-wise, you're thinking bright, fun, simple.

Mac sits down in front of her laptop.

LOGAN: Well, accessible. Quick loading to maximize click-throughs.

DICK: Don't put the best asses at the top. Make people hunt for 'em.

Logan takes a seat next to Mac.

LOGAN: I compiled studies of browsing behaviours and drew up ratios of-

DICK: But you don't want them too hidden. If you can't find the good ones, you'll feel cheated.

Mac looks at Logan.

MAC: And his role in this enterprise?

DICK: Consultant. I'm an ass expert.

LOGAN: Yes, except for the expert part.

Mac smirks.

DICK: I'm an ass? Who would you ask for advice about lions, a lion or a gerbil? Gerbil, you say? No, you would ask a lion, because by virtue of being a lion, a lion is an expert on lions. So...

[317/1750.jpg] Having glanced at each other in bemusement, they stare at him.

DICK: Okay. I don't see how you hope to launch a website about hot asses without me, but fine. It's Friday night. If I walk long enough in a straight line, I'll hit a party.

Disgruntled at their ingratitude, he gets up from his seat and heads for the door. Logan nods his approval.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, DESMOND'S SUITE - NIGHT.

Desmond, wearing a "Working Class Hero" T-shirt, has a small keyboard on the coffee table at which he is playing half-heartedly as the news is playing on the TV in the background.

ANCHOR PERSON: State legislators will meet later in the week to discuss a bill banning the sale of condoms in convenience stores within a six block radius of any public...

Desmond looks up as Piz enters, shutting the door behind him.

DESMOND: I take it you failed.

Piz sinks down on the opposite couch to Desmond and sighs.

PIZ: We found the groupie, but she said she didn't take the tapes. We have some other leads.

Desmond starts playing and after an intro sings an impromptu song.

DESMOND: We'll find the tapes
And get them back
Do the show
And I'm a ha-a-a-a-ck

Piz is captivated. Desmond rises from the sofa.

DESMOND: Party time. What to wear?

PIZ: Whoa-whoa, what was that? The song?

DESMOND: That? Nothing. It's a...thing.

PIZ: No, it's cool. It reminds me of the demo on the Wild Parties reissue.

Desmond holds up two jackets.

DESMOND: Indie rock or rock rock? Rock rock.

He puts on the selected jacket and gazes in the mirror.

DESMOND: 'Cause the bad boys get the chicks. I mean, look at you. You're single, and you're very nice, Pez. There's a correlation.

PIZ: Do you still write stuff?

DESMOND: Well, people want to hear the old hits, so, no.

PIZ: What about the one you just played? That was a cool song.

DESMOND: There's no bridge. Who cares, anyway, you know? I play the old hits, I get paid, go to parties. If it ain't broke...

PIZ: It's gonna be a lame party.

DESMOND: Really? I should go to Mexico.

PIZ: I mean, if you stayed here and worked on the song, you wouldn't miss much.

He turns back to Piz reluctantly.

DESMOND: My stuff's locked up in the club.

PIZ: I got a guitar in my room.

Desmond takes a long look at himself in the mirror.

DESMOND: [softly] Well, if it's gonna be a lame party, maybe.

PIZ: I'll be back in fifteen minutes, okay?

Piz gets up and races out of the room. Slowly, Desmond walks back to the couch and sits down in front of the keyboard.

ANCHOR PERSON: ...78-year-old woman neighbour opened the door, pointed a shotgun at them, and then chased the girl scout and her father off her property with the loaded weapon. And finally, a blast from the past.

Having been about to play, his head jerks to the screen.

ANCHOR PERSON: After ten years in the "where are they now?" file, Desmond Fellows appears tomorrow to give fans of cult fave My Pretty Pony a taste of what they've been missing.

A clip of My Pretty Pony singing "Payday" (actually Cotton Mather) comes onscreen, comprising Desmond and the late Johnny Scopes (played by the uncredited Rob Thomas). Both have very long hair.

[317/2033.jpg]MY PRETTY PONY: And back at work
They still love you
So why does it still feel
Like your interview?
Payday, and your money's
All that matters now
You're complaining
That you don't know how

ANCHOR PERSON: When we come back, a household item that could be dangerous to your pets and children...

Desmond grows increasingly jaded as he watches.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, PARTY ROOM - NIGHT.

Music: "No Emotion" by Idlewild.

LYRICS: So we speak no louder than a song
Means we're falling all day
Falling all day long
In whatever we say we show no emotion
We show no emotion
And when we kick back into the world of motion
We show, we show no emotion
Whatever we say we show no emotion

Desmond drains a bottle of beer as he props up a wall. Dick is standing next to him. The sounds of a wild party are going on around them.

[317/2055.jpg]DESMOND: Sorry about that one. Go.

DICK: Drew Barrymore.

DESMOND: Yeah.

DICK: Rose McGowan.

DESMOND: Ooh. Yes.

DICK: Jennifer Love Hewitt.

DESMOND: Twice.

DICK: Dude, you are my idol.

Desmond is unexcited by Dick's idolatry.

DICK: Who are you?

End music: "No Emotion" by Idlewild.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, DESMOND'S SUITE - NIGHT.

[317/2113.jpg] Piz arrives back at Desmond's suite carrying his guitar. He sees the suite is empty and sighs deeply in disappointment.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, FOOD COURT - NIGHT.

Veronica and Wallace are in the near-empty Food Court.

WALLACE: So, you surviving?

VERONICA: Surviving what?

WALLACE: Helping Piz. You know, his puppy-dog eyes on you all the time.

VERONICA: It's weird. Like you said, normal Piz. Like...nothing ever happened.

WALLACE: Which bothers you because making out with you is supposed to be some life-changing experience.

VERONICA: I don't know. I just... Why are we talking about this?

WALLACE: I thought you loved these kind of conversations.

[317/2147.jpg] Veronica takes a bite of food.

VERONICA: No.

WALLACE: I was hoping we could follow it up with a cuteness countdown of the Baldwin brothers.

VERONICA: I hope we're still friends after I taser you.

Wallace chuckles.

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

Mac and Logan are sitting side by side on the couch, the laptop open on the ottoman in front of them. Behind the laptop is a large jar of red liquorice.

[317/2201.jpg]MAC: This is totally modular. You can swap out content whenever.

LOGAN: Like franchisable.

MAC: You want to do boobs, legs, kittens, whatever, you can have a new site up and going instantly.

LOGAN: And bring your advertisers along. Okay, we'll sell that in the pitch. So the difference between income models would be what?

MAC: Eh. Not exactly my hacker forte. Information wants to be free. But I know someone who kind of knows.

LOGAN: Well, could we call this someone?

Mac stares at Logan for a long moment. Her nod is almost imperceptible. She grab her phone.

MAC: Max? Yeah, hi.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, PARTY ROOM - NIGHT.

Music: Unknown. Piz hits the party and looks around anxiously for Desmond.

DESMOND: Buzz! Bizen!

Desmond is in the middle of an appreciative crowd.

[317/2244.jpg]DESMOND: Dude, you're in time! We're going skinny-dipping!

Desmond throws his arm in the air and everyone cheers. Piz sighs in frustration.

EXT - NEPTUNE BEACH - NIGHT.

The party has moved to the beach. Desmond addresses the adoring crowd.

DESMOND: Okay, the key to good skinny-dipping is...what I call total nakedness.

He pulls off his jacket and throws it at Piz.

DESMOND: It's not just physical nakedness but spiritual, as well.

He unbuckles and drops his pants to the laughs of the crowd.

DESMOND: La Paz, capital of Bolivia...

He pulls off his t-shirt, throwing that at Piz too.

DESMOND: Get weird, man!

Naked, he throws up his arms.

DESMOND: This is my lifestyle!

He turns and runs into the water.

DESMOND: Whoo-hoo-hoo! Whoo! Whoo!

One of the girls on the beach pulls off her own t-shirt, revealing her bare back. Desmond reaches the water and starts to splash around.

DESMOND: Whoo-hoo-hoo!

Piz can only watch helplessly.

DESMOND: God, in his heaven, it's freezing.

The laughter on the beach comes to an abrupt halt when Sacks turns his vehicles spotlight on them. The crowd scatter, leaving only Piz. In the water, Desmond is shaking.

[317/2336.jpg]DESMOND: Oh, my God, I don't recommend this!

Sacks turns the spotlight on the water. By now, Desmond has climbed out of the water and grabbed a bottle. He squints in the brightness.

DESMOND: Hey, man, want to turn that off? It really kills the mood.

End music: Unknown.

INT - SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - NIGHT.

Keith is standing outside the jail cell. Desmond, now dressed, is sitting on the bunk inside.

KEITH: "Hey, Jude," "Yesterday," "Get Back."

DESMOND: [agitated] Catchy tunes, yes. Rock 'n' roll, no.

KEITH: What kind of musician doesn't recognize the Beatles as the greatest rock band of all time?

DESMOND: I don't recognize them as a rock band at all.

Veronica and Piz arrive and watch the debate quietly.

DESMOND: They were...tunesmiths.

He grins. Keith is fit to bust. Desmond gets up and walks to the bars.

[317/2418.jpg]DESMOND: Hey, man, I didn't get all pissy when you denied my claim that Marshal Dillon was the greatest sheriff of all time.

KEITH: Marshal Dillon was a marshal and, more importantly, is fictional.

DESMOND: That's what the Beatles are to me. Fictional.

KEITH: "Revolution," "Hey, Jude," these were real songs, man. "Norwegian Wood."

Desmond giggles.

DESMOND: I...sorry. I'm sorry. I used to know a rent boy from Oslo who called himself that.

PIZ: Uh, Mr. Mars, I think Desmond is just winding you up. Most critics reference the Beatles influence in Desmond's material.

DESMOND: Oh, you mean those Beatles. I'm sorry. I thought you meant the other ones with the two e's from the lower East Side. No, they're totally fictional. John, Paul, George, and the drummer? Oh, those guys are awesome.

KEITH: Veronica, could you have Sacks bring me the leg irons?

VERONICA: Come on, Dad. [soothingly] Let it be.

Veronica puts her hands together to beg her father, who has not enjoyed being wound up, to calm himself. Keith looks back angrily at Desmond and sighs.

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

Mac and Max are side by side on the couch, intent on the laptop screen. Logan is opposite them, leaning against the bar counter, drinking a cup of coffee.

[317/2533.jpg]MAX: Here's what I did on my term-paper site. Break it down. For the lazy, search and credit button there. For the dumb, billable links at the top disguised as functions.

MAC: So they link without realizing.

MAX: And I make a dollar. See, the point of the internet is to make money off stupid people.

LOGAN: I like how you think, Max.

MAC: That sound you hear is my idealism quietly shattering.

MAX: That other sound you hear is my cynicism laughing at your idealism shattering.

MAC: Well, it won't be laughing when I crash your greedy website.

MAX: I'll be laughing when you try.

Logan rolls his eyes at the foreplay.

MAC: Will you? Maybe I'm in your trusted host table already.

LOGAN: Should I get a camera? There's got to be someone that'll pay to see this hot nerd-on-nerd action.

The two look guilty and hurriedly return their attention to the screen.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, HADLEY HALL, RM131 - DAY.

GEORGE: Welcome to Semites for the Saviour.

Veronica and Piz arrive at the door of a slowing filling classroom where the chairs have been set round in a circle. A guy is at the door, giving out leaflets to the arrivals.

VERONICA: Hi.

GEORGE: Shalom.

VERONICA: Who's in charge here?

GEORGE: Me. You guys interested in joining?

PIZ: No.

VERONICA: Yes, we are. And we want to know what you guys are doing to try and stop that Desmond Fellows show.

GEORGE: That guy? Well, we sent a sternly worded letter to the dean's office. And we also called-

VERONICA: Realistically. Like a real way to, you know...take care of it.

Glancing around the room, Piz spots something of interest.

PIZ: Veronica.

VERONICA: Yeah?

Piz points. Veronica looks. Jeff Ratner is sitting in one of the chairs, chatting to a girl standing next to him.

PIZ: That was the bellboy who showed Desmond and me to the room.

VERONICA: Rrrratner.

Jeff looks up at her as she approaches.

JEFF: Oh, great. What are you gonna accuse me of this time?

Veronica strokes her chin.

VERONICA: How about...stealing Desmond Fellows' backing tapes?

Jeff claps.

JEFF: Congratulations. Wrong again.

VERONICA: You had Desmond's bags in your possession.

Veronica holds up the leaflet George gave her as she arrived.

VERONICA: You're a member of a group protesting his presence. That, to me, is a thing that makes you go, "hmm?"

JEFF: What's the thing that makes you go away? I didn't know who that guy was until George told me.

PIZ: Who else could have put the hotel robe in there? You had access.

JEFF: What robe?

PIZ: The big, blue hotel robe in the bag.

Veronica's eyes widen. Jeff looks at her smugly.

[317/2649.jpg]VERONICA: You said it was a Neptune Grand robe.

PIZ: Yeah. A fluffy blue robe.

JEFF: Neptune Grand robes aren't-

VERONICA: Blue.

JEFF: They're white.

Veronica digests this as Jeff continues to smirk at her.

VERONICA: Okay. I'm apologising. I'm sorry for thinking you were guilty.

JEFF: [snotty and superior] I don't accept your apology.

VERONICA: I'll live.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, DESMOND'S SUITE - DAY.

Desmond opens the door to Veronica and Piz.

VERONICA: So, can I see the bag and the robe?

Desmond gestures for them to enter. Cut to a moment later. Desmond brings the backpack and the robe out from the bedroom.

VERONICA: Right. Not a Neptune Grand robe.

Veronica takes the backpack and examines it.

DESMOND: So, what? That's a clue? What kind?

PIZ: Nothing else was in there.

Veronica pulls the address card out of the pocket on the side of the inside of the backpack. She reads it.

DESMOND: So...did you solve it?

VERONICA: Yes.

[317/2727.jpg] Veronica presses the small card to her forehead, a la Johnny Carson's Carnac.

VERONICA: The answer is Danny Cleaver's bag and all my time this weekend.

Desmond is clueless (ha!) and raises his eyebrows.

VERONICA: What are two things you didn't mean to take but did?

DESMOND: Huh?

VERONICA: This isn't your bag. You must have switched at the airport with Danny Cleaver.

The card in her hand says, "Danny Cleaver, 937 22nd Street, Los Angeles, Ca. 90068, 323-555-0109."

VERONICA: It's a Los Angeles phone number, and the show is in four hours, so...we should have your tapes back right on time.

Veronica grabs the robe and turns to leave. Piz follows her.

EXT - LOS ANGELES STREET - NIGHT.

Veronica and Piz exit the Saturn and run up the steps of a house. Veronica knocks. A man opens the door.

[317/2809.jpg]VERONICA: Danny Cleaver? Did you happen to notice that your backpack was full of tapes?

DANNY: I've been kind of hung over. My bags are still in the car.

EXT - IN THE CAR - NIGHT.

Veronica and Piz are back in the car, heading back to Neptune. Piz is checking Desmond's backpack the contents of which include a bottle of pills and something wrapped in foil that could be drugs...or thin chocolate.

PIZ: How does this guy make it through airport security?

They chuckle. Piz pulls out a CD which is entitled "My Pretty Pony, 96' 'More Problems,' Back-up vocals, Johnny Scopes."

PIZ: Johnny's vocals from More Problems. Okay, this album, my freshman year of high school, I had a job washing dishes at a nursing home, but all the boss did was talk about bar fights and weird sexual encounters.

VERONICA: How weird?

PIZ: Worst year of my life. But an off-brand mp3 player and this album got me through it.

VERONICA: When I was on dance team, I tried to convince them to do a routine to "Why You Shot Me Down," but changed the words to "We Threw a Touchdown."

PIZ: Wait, you were, uh...you were on a dance team?

VERONICA: I was a dance-teamer with a deep soul.

PIZ: Hmm.

VERONICA: Plus, I thought Desmond was cute. Who knew he'd turn out to be such a wastoid lech?

PIZ: I don't think he's always been like that. Still, it's gonna be a good show. I'm glad we saved it. Good thing I got the nerve to call you.

VERONICA: Why wouldn't you have called?

PIZ: You know. I thought it might be awkward. Me and you... After, uh...that.

VERONICA: Yeah.

[317/2933.jpg] They laugh uncomfortably.

VERONICA: I'm glad it's not. Awkward.

PIZ: Oh, it is. No, I'm very uncomfortable. I thought I'd be even more uncomfortable.

They laugh more genuinely. Piz continues to go through the bag and pulls out another CD. It has a handwritten label: "New Crap." Veronica glances over at it.

VERONICA: "New Crap"? What album was that?

Piz takes it out and puts it in the Saturn's CD player.

PIZ: This is not an album. He said he'd been working on some new stuff. He actually, uh...he played some stuff for me. It was pretty cool.

They listen to the music (which is Paul Rudd singing Cotton Mather's "My Before and After").

DESMOND: She picked me out of the millions
Thumbing an O.E.D.
Dressed me down to civilian
Cracks the code on the Rosetta Stone
Says the word for alone is "alone"

As they listen, Piz finds a notebook where Desmond has written lyrics for songs entitled "A Season in Hell" and "Delirium." Piz's expression shows he approves.

EXT - SPORTS HAUS - NIGHT.

A truck is pulled up at the delivery door.

LEO: [offscreen] That truck isn't supposed to be here.

KEITH: [offscreen] They're getting an early start.

The camera pulls back to reveal Keith and Leo pulling up in a car.

LEO: What?

Having parked, Keith reaches for the camera in the back seat. Using the camera's zoom lens, he focuses on the door and sees Danny Boyd exit the store carrying on end of a long, heavy box.

KEITH: It's happening now. Those are guns.

Danny's carrying partner disappears from view and is followed by another pair carrying another box of guns. The tail end of that pair is Vinnie Van Lowe.

KEITH: Jeez. Vinnie? He was their man getting the security layout?

Leo nods.

LEO: How do we play it?

Keith puts the camera back on the back seat and grabs his phone.

KEITH: Wait for backup.

Keith speaks into the phone.

KEITH: Yeah, Sacks, it's me. I'm at Sport Haus and there's a robbery in progress. Get some cars down here.

Keith swaps the phone for the camera again and continues to watch events through the lens. He sees Danny and the others go back into the store. Vinnie lags behind and stays outside, closing and bolting the door on them. Vinnie puts a padlock on the door.

KEITH: What the hell?

Keith watches as Vinnie pulls out and uses his cell phone. Almost immediately, Keith's phone rings.

KEITH: Yeah?

SACKS: [on phone] Someone else just called to report a robbery at Sport Haus. Says he trapped them inside the store. Isn't that where you are?

Cut to a few moments later. Vinnie is checking his watch, tapping it and putting it to his ear. He looks up at approaching steps as Keith and Leo arrive.

[317/3208.jpg]KEITH: Vinnie. What are you doing here?

Vinnie holds out his hands innocently.

VINNIE: Working for a living.

Vinnie, up on the step outside the locked door, crouches down to their level companionably.

VINNIE: Owner hired me.

He pulls off his fake moustache.

VINNIE: Ow! Got wind of some foul play and he brought me in. So I, uh, infiltrated their gang, and...

He bangs on the door. There is a response of bangs and shouts from the other side.

VINNIE: Sealed with a kiss, Sheriff.

VOICES FROM INSIDE: Hey, Vinnie, open the door! Vinnie, open the door!

Keith peers at him suspiciously as cars from the sheriff's department arrive.

INT - LIBERTY LUNCH - NIGHT.

A crowd is gathered at Liberty Lunch. Trish looks out at them with a frown from backstage. She turns and walks down to the dressing room. She puts her hands on her hips at what she sees.

TRISH: Are you kidding? Desmond?

She is unimpressed with the fact that Desmond is sitting on the couch, downing a bottle of beer.

[317/3251.jpg]DESMOND: I'm just waiting on the tapes. They should be here any second.

TRISH: I never should have let Piz handle this. You know, if we have to refund those tickets-

Her further recriminations are halted by the ring of her cell phone. She answers it.

TRISH: Piz, where are you?

She listens for a moment, then holds the phone out to Desmond.

TRISH: It's for you.

Desmond takes the phone.

DESMOND: Hey, man. Did you get the tapes?

EXT - IN THE CAR - CONTINUING.

Veronica and Piz are still in the car, although they are stationary.

PIZ: Yeah, we got them, but there's a problem. Uh, we're kind of stuck in traffic, and I don't think we'll make it in time.

INT - LIBERTY LUNCH - CONTINUING.

DESMOND: Oh, man. How long?

PIZ: [on phone] There's an accident. I don't know.

EXT - IN THE CAR - CONTINUING.

Piz glances at Veronica.

PIZ: Is there anything you can do until we get there?

[317/3313.jpg] INT - LIBERTY LUNCH - CONTINUING.

Desmond sighs and rubs his head.

EXT - IN THE CAR - CONTINUING.

PIZ: Did you ever finish any of those new songs?

INT - LIBERTY LUNCH - CONTINUING.

DESMOND: Um... Maybe a few.

EXT - IN THE CAR - CONTINUING.

PIZ: Can you start with one of those?

INT - LIBERTY LUNCH - CONTINUING.

DESMOND: Uh... Let me think about it.

Somewhat distressed, Desmond closes up the phone.

EXT - IN THE CAR - CONTINUING.

VERONICA: You realize you've left your fate in the hands of a spineless and semi-alcoholic has-been rock star.

[317/3343.jpg] Piz shrugs.

PIZ: What are you gonna do?

They chuckle and get out of the car. They are actually outside Liberty Lunch and hurry in.

INT - LIBERTY LUNCH - NIGHT.

Desmond comes onto stage to the applause of the crowd.

DESMOND: So, I-I bet you all want to hear some My Pretty Pony hits, huh?

The crowd cheer enthusiastically. He looks over at Trish in the wings to check if the tapes have arrived but Trish just shrugs helplessly. Desmond turns back to the crowd.

DESMOND: Um...how about some new solo material?

The response isn't as enthusiastic although, but for a few boos, it is encouragingly positive.

DESMOND: All right, new solo material it is.

Desmond starts strumming his guitar and ignores a voice of dissension.

VOICE IN THE CROWD: Aw, what's this? Come on, dude!

He starts to strum the introduction and then sings the song that Piz and Veronica were listening to in the car.

[317/3511.jpg]DESMOND: [singing] She picked me out of the millions
Thumbing an O.E.D.
Dressed me down to civilian
Cracks the code on the Rosetta Stone
Says the word for alone is "alone"
My before and after
My before and after
My before and after
Oh oh oh-oh oh

Both the crowd, which starts issuing random "Whoops" and Desmond are really getting into it.

DESMOND: [singing] She found that armour was truly
Some work of genius
She held...

Veronica and Piz are standing at the bar, leaning against it, side by side. Veronica glances at Piz and smiles.

VERONICA: Piznarski?

Piz glances down at her.

VERONICA: You're a good guy.

He smiles and returns his attention to Desmond. After a beat, Veronica reaches out to take his hand.

[317/3543.jpg]DESMOND: Said the church of his holiness light
This world's no dead and its park-and-ride

Piz feels and looks down at their clasped hands. He grins as he watches Desmond. Cut to later (or a very short set of one song) as Desmond finishes to enthusiastic cheers.

DESMOND: Thanks for coming. Have a good night!

He exits the stage and returns to the dressing room where Trish is waiting. She claps as he enters.

DESMOND: Thank you.

Desmond puts down his guitar and turns to see Piz and Veronica arriving.

DESMOND: Pez, you made it. Hey, were you able to catch the end of the show, at least?

PIZ: Yeah, we caught the whole thing.

DESMOND: What? Were you screwing with me?

PIZ: I wanted to hear the new stuff. It was just...it was awesome. It was awesome.

Desmond laughs.

DESMOND: You're a bad man, Piznarski.

Piz hands over the backpack. Desmond takes it and grins.

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

Displayed on the screen is a list: "Income Streams. *Multiple sources *Ad revenue generated by 'click-throughs' *Various incentives for advertisers *'Modular' ability allows for variety of advertisers and socio-economic visitors." At the bottom is the GrabMyAss logo.

LOGAN: [tiredly] Is this about right?

Logan is sitting on the couch, in front of the screen. Mac is sitting on the floor leaning on the ottoman. She stretches out her arms and yawns. Max is behind Logan, on his feet.

MAX: You're all set to fleece idiots.

MAC: Thanks for helping us out.

Mac grabs her jacket from the ottoman.

MAX: Hey, free food. Why not? Just remember, you got to link to me.

Max heads for the door. Mac gets up to walk with him.

[317/3648.jpg]MAC: Sure you want to compromise your reputation on your cheating site with a link to our ass site?

MAX: Anything to help you guys out.

They chuckle. They pause at the door.

MAX: You up for breakfast tomorrow?

MAC: I've got to finish up. Rain check.

Max nods, smiles and leaves the suite. Mac turns to faces Logan who smirks at her and gives her a knowing look.

MAC: What?

Logan shrugs.

LOGAN: Nothing.

INT - LIBERTY LUNCH - NIGHT.

PROFESSOR SCHAFFER: [offscreen] Hey.

[317/3713.jpg] Desmond, gathering up his stuff, looks towards the door. Professor Schaffer takes a step into the room.

PROFESSOR SCHAFFER: Uh, you're still kind of a jerk, but...that was kind of incredible.

DESMOND: Thank you.

They smile.

DESMOND: You want to go grab a drink, getaway from all these damn kids?

She chuckles.

INT - NEPTUNE GRAND HOTEL, LOGAN'S SUITE - DAY.

GrabMyAss.net is up and running. Mac gazes on it proudly.

MAC: If I do say so, a...mmmm-ass-terpiece."

Logan is standing near the window looking out on the balcony, leaning against the wall near a large Chinese cupboard, in contemplative mood.

[317/3739.jpg]LOGAN: So what's up with Veronica and Piz? She...she, like, dating him or what?

Mac is not comfortable with the question.

MAC: She's trying to let him down easy.

LOGAN: But, like... I don't know. When we were-when we were dating, did they ever...you know?

MAC: No more talk of Veronica's love life. Ever. But I will say if you think she was unfaithful, you're an idiot.

Logan's not satisfied with this answer and continues to look down in the mouth. Mac snaps shut the laptop.

MAC: Now, if you'll excuse me...it's morning.

Logan taps his head a few times on the cabinet before pulling himself together.

LOGAN: Okay.

He walks towards Mac on the couch, pulling out his cheque book.

LOGAN: So it's just, what? Just Mac?

MAC: Actually, forget the check. How about a 50% stake?

Logan grins.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, FOOD COURT - DAY.

Music: "Don't Take My Sunshine Away" by Sparklehorse.

LYRICS:
Your face is like the sun sinking into the ocean
Your face is like watching flowers growing in fast motion
All your kisses I swallowed
Brightened mornings and hollows
My vines and tree knots will come unwound
Baby you are my sunshine

Mac and Bronson are at one of the tables in the sparsely populated Food Court.

BRONSON: So you're part owner. Huh.

MAC: Saw his numbers and figured I'd be a millionaire by 2050.

Mac smiles slightly, then pauses, her face becoming more serious.

MAC: Bronson.

BRONSON: Hmm?

MAC: I, uh...

She lets out a deep breath.

MAC: You're a great guy, Bronson. You really are. And I really feel almost insane saying this, but I really think I have to.

[317/3902.jpg] Bronson senses what's coming and steels himself.

MAC: I think we should break up.

Bronson shakes his head and frowns.

MAC: I just-I think-I think that's how it should be. I'm really, really sorry.

Bronson is devastated. End music: "Don't Take My Sunshine Away" by Sparklehorse.

INT - HEARST COLLEGE, BUSINESS CLASS - DAY.

Logan is doing his presentation. He starts with a picture of Dick lounging on his bed.

LOGAN: The average teen spends sixteen hours a week online and clicks on hundreds of links. And in this day and age, someone is there to make a percentage on each click. What does the average teenager want to see?

[317/3930.jpg] He clicks the remote to bring up the next picture. It's an ass. The class erupts with cheers and whoops, Dick contributing loudly with a "Yeah!" Professor Corrigan, sitting amongst the students is not nearly so impressed.

LOGAN: The female posterior. It commands a huge slice of the average surfer's online attention. Our goal is to take that tiny percentage...

Logan brings up the next image, of the website home page, but Corrigan has had enough.

PROFESSOR CORRIGAN: All right, Mr. Echolls, thank you. We've seen quite enough.

LOGAN: No, I'm not screwing around, sir. Uh, this is about income streams and-

PROFESSOR CORRIGAN: That'll do. You can sit down now.

Logan's shocked at the professor's response, but acquiesces and turns off the display in some dismay.

LOGAN: [in a whisper] All right.

INT - SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - DAY.

Leo, sitting in Keith's office, has a look of amazement on his face.

LEO: Are you serious?

KEITH: Yeah. A, I feel responsible for you being fired. The owner was wrong to fire you, but-

LEO: What's B?

KEITH: B is we need men. What do you say, Leo? Feel like getting back in?

Cut to moments later as Leo leaves Keith's office.

LEO: I'll come in for the paperwork.

Keith follows him out and they shake hands. Veronica, just arriving, stands in astonishment.

VERONICA: Leo? Are you under arrest? Because I've got an in with the sheriff.

LEO: Me too. I'm a deputy again.

Veronica expresses surprise.

LEO: So I guess I'll be seeing you around. Just like old times.

They smile at each other and Leo passes her to leave. Veronica walks towards Keith, pointing back towards the exiting Leo.

VERONICA: He's back?

KEITH: Yep. How's your rocker friend?

VERONICA: On his way to play University of Alaska.

KEITH: Good. I don't want to be square, but you keep away from musicians.

Vinnie walks up behind Veronica.

KEITH: Mr. Van Lowe.

Veronica joins Keith at his side to face Vinnie. Keith puts his arms on her shoulders and hugs her.

KEITH: To what do we owe the honour?

VINNIE: Just a follow-up, you know? On that crime I stopped.

Veronica stares at him sceptically.

VINNIE: And to say thanks.

Vinnie pulls out a newspaper and starts to read from it.

VINNIE: "It was the actions of local private investigator Vincent Van Lowe..."

Vinnie taps his chest.

VINNIE: "...that led to the suspects being apprehended."

Vinnie gesture quote marks.

VINNIE: "'Vinnie did a great job on this one,' said acting sheriff..."

Vinnie extends a hand to Keith.

VINNIE: "Keith Mars. 'He's an asset to this community.'" "He's an asset to this community." That's great, Keith. You can't buy that kind of publicity. I've tried. You really can't.

KEITH: Hardly need to these days, Vinnie. You're the only P.I. in town.

VINNIE: Oh, I didn't mean for my business. I mean for my campaign.

KEITH: Campaign?

Veronica, still not taking him seriously, creases her brow.

[317/4125.jpg]VINNIE: For sheriff.

Veronica gives an amused snort. Keith elbows her to stop.

VINNIE: The special election. Sport Haus owner and a bunch of his pals said I should, so I...threw my hat in this morning. Vinnie Van Lowe: "He's an asset to this community" - Sheriff Mars. That's gonna look great on my posters.

He gives them a triumphant look, turns on his heel and exits. Keith and Veronica stare after him. End. Executive producer: Rob Thomas.