1.03 "Meet John Smith"

Aired Oct 12, 2004


school outside: Some nerdy freshmen discuss which girls are hot. One of the boys, Justin, thinks Veronica is hot. His friend Owen tells him that Veronica's dad is a P.I. and that she works with him. As Veronica walks along, Troy catches up with her. He teases her and leaves. A kid runs by and knocks Veronica's books out of her hands. She stoops down to pick them up and someone helps her. She becomes uncomfortable when she looks up and realizes that it's Duncan.

Kane home: Duncan is in the pool. His dad, Jake, is talking to him about doing something for his future, but Duncan turns up his music and ignores him.

Mars home: Keith mentions to Veronica that her guidance counselor wants to meet with him. He wants to know what about, but Veronica says she doesn't have any idea. She then asks Keith what he thinks Lianne was doing with Jake Kane at the motel. Keith isn't happy this came up and tells her to drop it.

Kane home: Celeste, Jake, and Duncan are eating dinner. Celeste and Jake discuss Duncan's ambitions or lack thereof as if he wasn't sitting right there. Duncan just stares at his food.

Mars home: Veronica tells Keith she's going to the library and not to wait up.

Kane home: Duncan tells his parents he's going to Shelley's.

car: Duncan and Veronica are passionately making out.

Veronica's bedroom: Veronica wakes up, breathing heavily, and realizes that the makeout session was just a dream.

Opening Credits

video store: Justin works at the video store. He talks to a female customer about a movie. Veronica and Keith come in talking about a movie. Justin asks Veronica for help but says it's private. She tells him to find her in school tomorrow.

Kane home: Celeste reminds Duncan to take his anti-depressant pill, saying he's only been on them for six months. The pill slips out of his hand and falls down the sink drain when Celeste isn't looking.

school hall: Veronica sees Duncan standing at his locker with Logan. Everything speeds up around her, as she seems to be dizzy and a little nauseous. She starts to walk away and bumps into Troy. He says hi to her and she replies, "Let's go out." Troy thinks it's about time. Logan asks Duncan if he hooked up with Shelley last night but Duncan says she's a talker. Logan changes the topic to Troy being all over Veronica when he sees them at her locker. Duncan tells him to let it be. He then starts to look sick and runs into the bathroom.

bathroom: Duncan washes his face off and looks in the mirror.

school hall: Duncan tells Logan he's fine. Veronica pulls Justin into the girl's room, causing Logan to make a remark about how strange Veronica is.

girl's room: Veronica asks Justin what he wanted to talk about. He tells her that he wants to find his dad who has been missing for 10 years. Justin hasn't seen him since he was six. His mother destroyed all pictures of his dad. His last known address is in L.A. Veronica is flummoxed when Justin tells her he doesn't have his dad's social security card or birthday and his dad's name is John Smith.

Guidance Counselor's office: Rebecca James tells Keith she is concerned about Veronica. She is late to school, falls asleep in class, is rude to some teachers, and is isolated socially. Keith says she's had a rough year and that she's doing well, all things considering. Rebecca offers to talk to Veronica but Keith isn't interested in the suggestion. He leaves.

Kane home: Jake makes fun of the idea that Celeste wants to get a life coach for Duncan. As his parents argue again as if he wasn't there, he watches them. He then stands up and wants to toast Molly, their old Labrador. Molly was sent away six years ago, because she kept peeing in the flower beds. Duncan toasts Molly and walks out.

school: Justin tells Owen that he's going to meet Veronica. He mentions that she is helping him find his dad. Owen says that his dad died about seven years ago. Justin comments that it will take a long time for her to find him then. He grins and walks away.

Mars Investigations office: Veronica is recording a message on the answering machine saying that they've reached an administration office. Keith walks in and introduces himself to Wallace. Veronica tells her dad that they are trying to locate a classmate's deadbeat dad. She says that she's narrowed the field to 440 John Smiths and is sending each of them a scholarship letter for Justin. She's hoping that his dad will read the letter and call say they have the wrong address. She's using one of the office lines and will trace all calls that come in. Keith goes into his office. Veronica asks Wallace to get her permanent file so she can see what Rebecca James is saying to her dad.

Kane home: Celeste reminds Duncan about taking his pill. Duncan drops it down the sink again.

school: Wallace and Veronica talk about her file and Wallace notes that it goes back to kindergarten. Justin gives Veronica a mix CD. Wallace laughs but frowns when Veronica asks him to get Justin's file.

restaurant: Troy and Veronica are on a date. Troy tells Veronica a story about him and Duncan. Troy hits a mini jukebox on the table in an attempt to change the song but nothing happens. Veronica jokes that she would have slept with him if it had worked.

restaurant parking lot: Troy and Veronica walk out of the restaurant. Troy enters his number into her cell phone. He gets closer to her but she babbles about getting home. Troy goes to kiss Veronica, but she stiffens then backs away. He's surprised, but still polite. He leaves; she looks on, regretfully.

Mars home: Keith asks Veronica how her date was. She replies that the conversation was lousy, but the sex was good. Keith says that's not funny. Veronica begs to differ. In her room with the door closed, Veronica wonders in a VO what's wrong with her.

car: Duncan is making out with Veronica. He mumbles, "Veronica" as they lie down. They pop back up as Shelley says, "What did just you call me?" Duncan laughs when he realizes that he called out the wrong name because he was fantasizing about Veronica.

school hall: Wallace gives Veronica Justin's file and tells her she better read it.

lunch outside: Veronica goes to the table Justin and his friends are sitting at. She tells his friends she needs to talk to Justin alone. They leave. She is angry at Justin. She makes him read his evaluation from first grade. It says there that his dad is dead. A teacher comes to give Justin a letter. When Justin opens it, he sees that it is one of the scholarship letters and his father has written a note on it. Justin, astonished, realizes that his dad isn't dead after all.

Mars home: Veronica is studying in her room. Her dad comes in and tells her that Justin's here. She goes outside to talk to him. Justin apologizes and says his mom told him his dad is alive, but that he shouldn't try to find him. Veronica tells Justin he may be better off heeding her advice. Justin says he has a dad out there somewhere and that he has to look for him. Veronica, able to relate, asks to see the letter again.

Veronica's bedroom: Veronica looks up John Smith on the computer. Of the 440 John Smiths, only three are in San Diego. Keith comes in and says he overheard her conversation with Justin. He says he doesn't want her to think Lianne is the villain. Veronica thinks Lianne is and that this is a healthier perspective than pining away, praying her mom will come home. Keith doesn't know what to say and leaves. Veronica's VO says that she figured out where her mom was living. The computer shows the Camelot picture of Lianne's license plate and an address match for the plate. Lianne is in Arizona. She writes the address on a post-it note and tacks it to her bulletin board.

school outside: Veronica catches up with Troy who is walking toward the athletic field. Duncan, Logan, and some other 09er boys are sitting in the bleachers. They are drinking while they watch the lacrosse team practice. Logan asks Duncan if Troy got waylaid by Veronica. Duncan's mad, but turns it into a joke. Dick helps an 09er boy onto the bleacher's railing and tells the guys to watch as the boy does a backflip off the bleachers. The other boys run to see if he is ok, but he has landed on some mats and is fine. They laugh and walk back. Duncan sees Veronica and Troy talking. Veronica tells Troy he may have misunderstood; she had a really great time. Troy interrupts saying, she needs more what? Time? Space? Veronica kisses him. Duncan sees the kiss and does not look happy. He flips over the bleachers himself and doesn't land as well. Veronica hears him land and runs over to him. Troy follows. Duncan's head is bleeding profusely. She helps him up. Logan and the 09ers are no help. Troy and Veronica walk Duncan to Veronica's car. She tells Troy she doesn't need his help.

car: Veronica drives Duncan to the hospital. Duncan asks Veronica if she remembers things used to be. Veronica asks Duncan in her VO if he means between them, before Lilly died, or two weeks ago before Troy took an interest in her. Duncan wants a response. Veronica says, "Not really, no."

hospital: Duncan tells the nurse that Veronica can stay with him. Jake comes in, says hello to Veronica, and tells her he can handle it from there. Jake says, "Off a bleacher?" Later, Dr. Levine says he's fine and will just need a few stitches. Duncan asks Jake if he can talk to the doctor alone.

car: Veronica is driving around looking for the three John Smiths from San Diego. She says in her VO that she plans to find and photograph them, hoping Justin will be able to ID his dad. Veronica calls Justin who is at work in the video store and asks him for pictures of his dad. Justin says he doesn't have any. In the meantime, the same female customer is back in the video store again, asking Justin about a movie.

hospital: Dr. Levine advises Duncan not to quit anti-depressants cold turkey or he could suffer some serious side effects such as nausea and hallucinations. Duncan says it's worth it.

Guidance Counselor's office: Rebecca James is not happy to see Keith. He apologizes and asks for help. She tells him it's ok and that she'd talk to Veronica. The phone rings and as Rebecca answers it, she knocks over her cup of coffee. Keith picks the cup up for her and smiles at her. She calls him Sheriff Mars and says he always had her vote.

school outside: Wallace, Veronica, and Justin look at pictures of the three John Smiths. Two are definitely not his dad but the last one could possibly be. Justin, with Wallace's help, convinces Veronica to let him go back with her to see if he can recognize the man as his father or not. He also shows Veronica two pictures of his dad. In both pictures, his dad's face has been cut out. They are standing by sports cars.

car: Veronica and Justin are following John Smith #3. They come to a stop when he gets out of his car. Veronica tells Justin to stay put, but he doesn't listen. Justin calls to the man but when John Smith #3 takes off his sunglasses, he realizes that's not his dad. John Smith #3 walks away. Veronica takes a grocery list from his car and asks Justin for the letter. The handwriting is exactly the same.

Kane home: Duncan is watching bowling. Lilly's voice is heard, asking him how he can watch something so boring. He looks up and Lilly is standing there in her pep squad uniform with her gushing head wound. She sits down and leans against him, saying that her murder doesn't make sense. Duncan looks puzzled. She sits up and says "The truth is gonna come out." Duncan is still confused. She tells him to clue in; that it doesn't add up and he knows that deep down. She tells him to break out of his stupor. "Wake up!" Duncan hears the crash of bowling pins on TV and is startled awake. He looks around, but the room is empty.

outside John Smith #3's house: Veronica tells Justin to stay in the car. Veronica breaks into the garage. John Smith #3 opens the door and tells her he's going to call police. Veronica says she followed him and knows what he does. John says he's a parole officer and wants to know why Veronica followed him. She says she's a friend of his son and he just wants to see his dad. John says he doesn't have a son and that he's calling the police. Veronica asks, "Are you trying to tell me you're not John Smith?" The man stares at her.

car: Justin doesn't listen again and gets out of the car, taking the taser with him. He runs toward the garage. A convertible with the top down pulls up into the driveway. The garage door opens just as Justin gets there. The female customer from the video store is in the car. She sees Justin, smiles and says, "Justin." Justin looks from John to the woman, then address the woman, "Dad?" Teary-eyed, the woman nods. Later, Justin is talking to the woman, Julia. Justin is shocked to discover that his dad is now a woman. He's crying. She says she wanted to tell him and she knows this is hard. Justin asks if Julia knew that he thought his dad was dead. Julia didn't know that but his mother threatened she'd say that. He asks about her visits to he video store and she said she wanted to see that he was okay. Justin says he's not ok; his mom is a liar and his dad is a "circus freak." Julia is crying now as well. Justin tells Veronica he wants to leave.

car: Driving back, Veronica tells Justin that his "dad" drives 90 miles from his house to the video store every week just to see him. She says her mom is also missing and that she'd give anything to know that she cared enough to do that.

Veronica's bedroom: Veronica takes the address off her bulletin board. Her VO says that she is going to leave after school to drive to Arizona to find her mom. Veronica's VO continues over the next four scenes, talking about how people react differently to tragedy in their lives.

Kane house: Duncan takes a long look at his pill and decides to take it.

school hall: Veronica, smiling, asks Duncan how his head is. He replies, "Better." Both Veronica and Logan look confused at his unemotional response.

coffee shop: Keith smiles and says hi to Rebecca James who is happy to see him.

video store: Justin calls Julia to tell her that the video she requested is in. He's a little teary. He tells her that he works there every Saturday and that it's okay for her to come.

car: When Veronica arrives at the address she has, she is excited when she sees a woman in her garden. She gets out and calls out, "Mom!" The woman turns around and it's not her mom. Veronica says she's looking for Lianne Mars. The woman recognizes that she's Veronica and gives her a hug. Her name is Adrianna and she's a college friend of Lianne. Lianne left a few weeks ago and didn't tell her where she was going, since Adrianna can't keep a secret. Veronica asks if her mother cares about her and Adrianna says she's all Lianne cares about. Veronica doesn't believe her and leaves. She says in her VO that a girl needs closure.

outside a home: Veronica, sitting on her car, makes a phone call. She says she's outside the person's house. Troy comes out and says, "It's about time." He hugs her while she cries.

Closing Credits


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