2.10 "One Angry Veronica"

Aired Dec 07, 2005


Details

school: lunch outside: Veronica is sitting at a table. Her VO tells us it's three hours to Christmas break. She is not in the Christmas spirit. Duncan joins her. He is in a light and cheery mood. Duncan notices her silence and questions it. Veronica tells him she saw Meg and that Meg's pregnant. Duncan says he knows. Veronica is shocked. He tells that he read it in a letter from Meg's aunt. Meg wrote to the aunt, hoping to raise the baby up there. Veronica wonders how such a thing could have happened, and Duncan begins to tell her about last spring before he and Meg broke up, but Veronica stops him. She doesn't want the details, but she wants to know why he didn't tell her. Duncan tells Veronica that it doesn't concern them. Veronica is skeptical that having his secret illegitimate child gestating in the womb of his comatose ex means nothing to her or him. Dick arrives and says he hopes that he's not spoiling some tender moment between the two of them. He wanted to make sure they got their vaccinations because the New Year's Eve bash of the century is just a week away. Veronica brushes Dick off and Duncan tells him that he's got plans with his parents. Dick tries to get him to change his plans and tells him that if he's not going because of relationship troubles with Veronica, there's a chance an old flame might be there. Dick elaborates that Meg woke up and that she'll be partying in no time. Veronica and Duncan look shocked as Dick walks off. Duncan is first to speak; he has to go see her. Veronica tells him that she has it covered. She still has the visitor's pass from when she picked up Abel Koontz's things. All she needs is a color copier and a laminator and she's good to go. Duncan is somewhat stunned that she'd do this. Veronica agrees that she is amazing and says she does this for all her boyfriends.

Woody's office: Woody and Keith enter his office. Woody thanks him for coming down so quickly and then apologizes that he must have sounded crazed during the voicemail. Keith says it's okay; he detected a sort of urgency. Woody explains that he got a call from Sheriff Lamb. The Aaron Echolls/Lilly Kane sex tapes have been stolen from the evidence room. Keith is shocked and questions if all of them have been stolen. Woody confirms that both originals and copies have been stolen and that they were in separate safes. Keith wonders if there were any signs of a break-in. Woody tells him no. It's an inside deal. Only an employee would have that kind of access. Keith says that that's going to put a huge dent in the prosecution's case. This type of thing can't stay a secret very long. Woody is concerned that when this comes out, Neptune will become Bozo-ville, a national laughingstock. Woody will hire Keith to get the tapes back. Keith tells him that he can't do it; he's just a private investigator. He doesn't have the staff or the access. Woody tells Keith that he's not going to do it as a private investigation. He's going to be doing it as an official independent inquest on behalf of the city. Keith's flattered, but wonders if Woody's got the right guy for the job, given Keith's history with the department. Woody tells Keith that it's precisely because of his history that he's the right person for the job. Woody pleads with him. Eventually, Keith agrees even though it's awkward and uncomfortable. Woody is relieved.

hospital: Meg's room: Meg is resting. As she wakes, the camera shows a blurry shot of Duncan who becomes more clear. He smiles and says hi, and then the camera goes over to Veronica, who quickly comes to Duncan's side. Weakly, Meg tells them, "Surprise." Duncan wonders what they are going to do. Meg says that she doesn't know. Her parents want her to put the baby up for adoption. She asks if they have heard about the Levi Stinson Sanctuary House. Duncan tells her no. She explains that it's horrible. Their adoption contracts are all about religious indoctrination and tough-love discipline, a virtual license for abuse. Meg doesn't want her child growing up like that. Duncan wonders if he has any say in the matter. Meg tells him that they want the sinner who knocked up their daughter gone. They've got lawyers digging up his medical history, his blackouts, and violent outbursts. All she wants is to have her baby and move up with her aunt Chris in Seattle. A nurse enters Meg's room, exclaiming that she does not know how Veronica and Duncan got into the room. Meg tells the nurse, Val, that it is okay. Duncan tells Meg that he and Veronica should go and that she should rest. Meg asks Veronica to stay for a second. Val and Duncan leave. Meg asks Veronica for her forgiveness for being such a bitch, but she knew that she was pregnant, and seeing Veronica with Duncan was just too much. Meg then asks for a favor: If anything should happen to her, don't let her parents send the baby away and no matter what, don't let them keep it.

Mars kitchen: Keith is going through the mail at the kitchen table as Veronica enters the house. He tells Veronica that she's late, and she tells her dad that she thought the chances of her day getting worse would be lessened if she came in closer to the end of the day. Keith wonders if that means she characterizes her day as being not good. Veronica tells him that it's more along the lines of bad. He asks her how much better it would be if he microwaved some two-day old lasagna. She says a medium amount, and then Keith wonders how much if she got ice cream too. She says a lot but wonders why her dad is being this nice. Keith hands her some mail with sincerest regrets. Veronica opens the piece of mail as Keith wonders which kind he should get: chocolate chip mint or butter pecan. She's got jury duty. Keith says he'll get both.

Opening Credits

jury room: As the jury files into the room, VMVO bemoans the fact that she and the other jurors must lose out on the normal Christmas trappings in order to participate in some drive-through justice. As Veronica takes her seat, a man in a business suit at the other end of the table stands and states authoritatively that they need to pick a foreman. When he asks for nominations or volunteers and gets no response, he cites the open-and-shut nature of the case and suggests Veronica for the job. Veronica is shocked and slightly annoyed as she is unanimously voted in.

sheriff's department: As he lifts weights, Sheriff Lamb explains to Keith how the security at the department has been upgraded, one of the main features being the trading out of traditional keys for passcards that are reset every few days. Keith spots Lamb as he sits up at the weight bench, then stands and admires himself in a mirror. Lamb tells Keith that Keith should have emphasized fitness more when he was sheriff. Keith brushes off this observation with a joke about crimefighting getting in the way then steering Lamb back to the topic: the security at the department. Lamb retrieves some freeweights and takes off his shirt as he further details the security measures, mentioning that "level one clearance" is only for senior staff, and there is no nighttime access without his written permission. Keith asks, a bit skeptically, if Lamb is telling him that the sheriff's department has more or less impenetrable security. Lamb confirms this, saying that he runs a tight ship. Keith sarcastically tells him that he looks good doing so, and Lamb suggests that this is why the people of Neptune elected him sheriff instead of Keith. Keith ignores this and informs Lamb that he will need full access to all of Lamb's staff, including full personnel files and pretty much all of the information available for everyone. Lamb agrees.

jury room: The same juror who suggested Veronica be foreman wonders if there's any need to deliberate at all, but Veronica suggests that reviewing the facts would not be amiss. He accedes, stating that they will do so briefly. He relates that the two defendants, both twenty-one years old and 09ers, are Robbie McKinnon and Hunter Hayes who are charged with aggravated assault on Anissa Villapondo. The prosecution's story is that Anissa missed her bus after getting off of work at a car wash in downtown Neptune, decided to hitchhike, and was picked up by McKinnon and Hayes. On the way, they smoked marijuana, which another juror, an older Latina woman, interjects belonged to the 09er boys. As the businessman continues, explaining that Anissa and the two boys decided to rent a motel room to "party" more, the Latina grandma also points out that the Ecstasy that the three intended to use also belonged to the boys. The businessman continues, noting that once the three arrived in the room McKinnon and Hayes allegedly asked for sex. Another juror, a black woman, notes that Anissa claims that McKinnon and Hayes got so aggressive at that point that she became frightened. The businessman picks up, relating that Hayes supposedly drew a gun, and subsequently forced Anissa back into the room and kicked her. The jurors pass around pictures of the crime scene, with blood stains on the bedding and the wall and bullet holes in the ceiling, as the businessman explains that Hayes reportedly placed the gun on the bedside table and climbed on top of Anissa, who fought back, grabbed the gun, and fired two shots into the ceiling. Veronica picks up the story here: the boys ran off and the police picked them up the next day based on Anissa's description and the security tapes from the motel. The businessman continues: Anissa claims that after the beating she staggered out to the balcony and threw the gun over the railing. The gun was never found. Veronica begins on the defendant's version of the story, which is that Anissa was a hooker who offered them a three-way for $80, but before they could get started a young black man, her pimp, burst in and fired the shots into the ceiling, ordering them to get out. The boys told the police that the pimp thought Anissa owed him money and they assume that he was the one who beat her. Another juror, a man with a moustache, notes that Anissa is a criminal, convicted for forgery when she was fifteen and is on parole for being the armed lookout during a liquor store robbery. Veronica continues with the final facts: after the attack Anissa called an old boyfriend, Anquan Simmons, who says that she asked for his help, but when the police arrived he was still on the line. Veronica notes that neither of the defendants have criminal records, and the businessman interjects that neither do they have any guns registered to their names. After the shots, Veronica continues, the hotel manager claims that he saw a young black man with a gun run through the parking lot and jump over the six foot fence surrounding the motel. Veronica moves on to the defendant's ace in the hole, Carnell Myles, who identifies himself as Anissa's pimp, turned himself in and his story matches McKinnon's and Hayes's perfectly. As she finishes, Veronica asks the businessman how she did, and he gives her a sign of approval. Veronica stands and asks if they're all ready for a vote. Everyone agrees, and as they vote, VMVO is thankful that the case does seem very clear-cut. However, when she counts the votes there are eleven for innocent and one for guilty. Veronica tells the rest of the jurors that she guesses she'll see them tomorrow.

sheriff's department: interrogation room: Deputy Sacks is sitting down talking to Keith about the security upgrades, including magnetic keys. Keith repeats what Lamb said before about only senior staff having the keys and then asks Sacks if they ever lost a card. Sacks says yes, but they found it and it's no good, because they changed the codes. Keith says that they still need a card, but Sacks says that Inga has the codes in her drawer and she can make another card right there, but only for Level 1 clearance, senior staff only. Keith compliments Sacks on staying on business and says he'd make a great White House Press Secretary, if not for the perspiration problem. Sacks wipes the sweat from his forehead. Keith repeats back that security is tight and that none of the staff took the tapes themselves.

jury room: Veronica walks around the table holding a cup of coffee as she says she knows nobody wants to be here and that she feels their pain. The businessman says that he's supposed to meet with an outsourcing company in Bangalore and asks her if she could explain to them why the CEO is missing. Another juror tells her to explain to the sports fans of Neptune why the mind of Madison Harwell is missing from the airwaves. Another woman says that as a divorced mother of two taking unpaid leave from her crap job, she wants to get on with it. Veronica agrees and they all sit down, but the businessman says that he wonders if the holdout voter would like to identify him- or herself. The Latina lady knitting raises her hand and tells the businessman that she's the one holding back his quarterly earnings. The businessman asks if it's the racial stuff that affecting her vote, but she shoots the question back at him. The businessman asks her why they should see the defendant's story as even remotely credible, so the Latina lady says she never heard of a ho that works her ass off all day in a car wash before hitting the streets. The rest of the jury looks like they agree with her. Veronica says they should discuss it.

sheriff's department: interrogation room: Deputy Leo says that he's not going to insult Keith's intelligence and that Lamb is good as a politician, but not as a lawman and administrator. Leo says security around there is a joke. Keith says that Lamb told him security was impressive, and Leo says that Lamb would think so, since he locks himself out pretty often. They laugh at the joke, and then Leo says that someone must have figured out what those tapes would be worth on the open market. Keith sighs and says that he's an idiot; he was so hung up on Aaron Echolls that he didn't realize how much the tapes are worth. Leo says that good celebrity porn is scarce these days. Leo gets up to leave but turns back to Keith to ask him to give his best to his daughter. Keith says he'll do it.

cubicle: Lloyd Blankenship is typing on his computer as the phone rings. He picks it up and it's Keith on the other end. Lloyd asks if he has any more true-crime semi-bestsellers for him. Keith says that fortunately, he doesn't, but he does have something that he needs Lloyd to keep on the backburner. Lloyd asks what's up and Keith tells him that the Aaron Echolls/Lilly Kane sex tapes are missing from the sheriff's department. He asks if he's heard anything on that. Lloyd says he hasn't, but he's not the target market; whoever has them has gone straight to the tabloids. Keith asks him in a roundabout way if he has any ties with the tabloids, and Lloyd says he does have a casual acquaintance at The Instigator. Keith asks if he would mine letting Lloyd know if he knows anything, and Lloyd tells him his acquaintance is a she. Lloyd says he happy to do it and Keith thanks him.

Java the Hut: Veronica is collecting dirty dishes from tables when she runs into a PCHer. She asks which one he is, Blinky, Humpty, or Zorro. He says his name is Thumper, not that she really cares. She says she cares deeply and that he probably heard about their new Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake. Veronica says that it's true: it's Cran-tastic. Thumper says he just stopped by because he and the boys were curious about something. Thumper inquires if, now that she's friendly with the 09ers, she's going to let two 09ers get away with beating a Mexican chick from their 'hood. Veronica says she can't talk about it while the trial is still on. Thumper says he wouldn't want to prejudice her or nothing.

jury room: Veronica walks to a TV set and VCR and says that these tapes are from a motel parking lot security camera. The other jurors watch the tape, which consists of a man running down the motel stairs and jumping over a fence. Veronica says it does support the manager's theory of a black guy fleeing the motel with a gun. The knitting lady says that speaking of the motel, she hasn't heard anybody talk about this: the motel manager says twelve minutes had passed between when he heard shots and when he saw the running man. The knitting lady asks why a man who just beat a girl and shot his gun would stick around so long before getting away.

sheriff's department: interrogation room: Keith sits as Logan walks in. Logan says in an upper-crust accent that he adores what Keith has done to the men's room and that the hefty bag over the busted urinal adds a delicious wabi-sabi feel. Keith says that's more Don's thing and he went more mid-century modern back in his day. Keith thanks Logan for coming by and guesses that by his blithe spirits, he has no idea what's going on. Logan says no, but they request his presence there weekly. Keith tells him that the tapes of Aaron and Lilly have been stolen from the evidence room and Logan yells, "What?!" Keith says that he needs to know anything that Aaron might have said to Logan about the case or the evidence. Logan says that sounds like a question one would ask a suspect or an accomplice. Keith says he did spend time with Aaron before the tapes were stolen. Inga knocks on the door and tells Keith that Lloyd Blankenship is on the phone. Keith excuses himself from the room.

cubicle: Lloyd tells Keith that his casual acquaintance at The Instigator has been contacted about the tapes. Keith asks if they know if anyone else has been approached. Lloyd says they didn't know, but the bids are coming in fast, and the current high is half a million. Keith thanks him and asks Lloyd to keep him posted.

sheriff's department: interrogation room: Deputy Sacks enters and leaves a folder on the desk without seeing Logan. Logan gets up and looks through the folder. He takes a few papers from the inside flap, folds them up, and puts them in his back pocket. Keith enters and says he's sorry about the interruption. Keith asks Logan if his father said anything unusual to him about the tapes while they were locked up together. Logan asks if Keith really thinks that he would conspire to help his father, Lilly's killer. Keith says he just wants to make sure he has every pertinent bit of information. Logan calls him dude and says that if he hears any pertinent information, he'll get back to Keith. Keith says that his name isn't dude, it's Mr. Mars. They stare at each other.

jury room: The working mother enters, snarkily remarking that her kids asked if they would still get leftover tater tots in case she got fired. Veronica rolls her eyes for a second and explains that no one is happy about the situation, but that they can't leave before they all have agreed on a verdict. The knitting lady chimes in, declaring that all she wanted was to take their job as a jury seriously and that she feels satisfied they have; if they vote again and nobody crosses over to her side, she will concur with the others. Everyone seems relieved. Veronica calls for a new vote, asking if everyone is for continued deliberation. The jurors look at each other; the Latina lady raises her hand, while the businessman demonstrably keeps his folded. Finally, the black woman raises her hand as well, to the groans of the remaining jury. Veronica sides with the two ladies, causing even more protesting sounds. Looking annoyed, the businessman rises and turns his back to the group.

Mars home: Keith enters, finding a festive Veronica preparing a couple of game hens. He pretends to not recognize the abundantly decorated living room and calls Veronica, who is wearing a becoming Christmas hat, an elf who can surely tell him where he has landed. While they kiss their hellos, she explains that she wanted at least an hour of holiday for them. They banter a little about cost issues and the size of the chicken (they are game hens) and sit down to eat. After dinner Keith offers an early look at one of Veronica's Christmas presents. In her room he indicates her laptop, assuring her that it contains the most up-to-date hardware, at least according to Mac. He encourages her to test it. Veronica obliges and discovers a fetching new desktop background: two six-year-old articles concerning Carnell Myles, Anissa Villapondo's alleged pimp. Veronica delves into the texts, wondering in her VO how everyone in town knows about her involvement in the Villapondo case.

jury room: Veronica closes the door behind her, asking if anyone of the more sports-savvy members of the jury knows why the name Carnell Myles sounds so familiar. Listening to her, something suddenly dawns on Madison: he explains that Carnell was "Matrix Myles," a vastly talented cornerback at San Diego State who got drafted by the Bengals. When the professor asks how Carnell ended up being a pimp, Madison tells them that Carnell blew out his knee the first day at training camp. Veronica looks mischievous. Just as mischievous, the Latina woman asks how an ex-athlete with a bum knee should have managed to jump that wall, causing everyone to mumble affirmatively.

sheriff's department: Keith is shifting through his file, finally calling out for Sacks. He tells the hapless deputy that the email list he requested is missing. Sacks assures him that he put it in the flap. Keith declares the flap empty, but Sacks insists that he put the list in there. Keith looks quizzically.

jury room: The businessman expositions that Robbie McKinnon's father is a sports agent and asks why this should be so important for their case. Veronica explains that it sheds new light on the possible reasons for Carnell Myles' involvement. The businessman wants to know if she speculates that McKinnon's father paid Myles off to take the fall for his son. Veronica dryly assures him that it happens. The man with a moustache asks why anyone should accept twenty years for assault just for some money, prompting the Latina woman to sarcastically remark on the usual way courts handle violence handed out by pimps to their prostitutes. She proposes that Myles would get six months in jail or maybe even less. Veronica concludes by asking if her theory is really crazier than the assumption that a pimp who beat up a cheap whore would then goodheartedly show up to keep a rich kid out of jail. Madison pipes up, saying that there is still the gun which can't be linked to the defendants. The man with a moustache endorses him, saying that they all saw the gun in the hands of the guy running away from the motel. Veronica thinks for a moment and then realizes that the gun must have belonged to Anissa Villapondo. Everyone looks at her in astonishment; the businessman leans back expectantly, declaring in a mock tone that this should be good. Veronica explains that since Anissa has a firearms rap, parole would forbid her to keep a gun. She speculates that when the boys attacked Anissa, she pulled the gun and they fled. Because of her parole, she needed to get rid of the gun before the cops arrived or face prison for sure. Being too beat up to lose it herself, she needs a friend to do it — Anquan Simmons, as the black woman throws in. Veronica then finishes that Anissa called him after the attack and that he must have been the one who was seen jumping over the wall. The businessman is not very impressed by this speculation and asks Veronica if she has anything apart from her imagination that ties the gun to Anissa. Veronica claims that process of elimination shows that Myles, who obviously did not run from the crime scene, didn't have the gun; neither did the boys, who wouldn't have needed to hide the fact. This leaves Anissa and the mysterious wall jumper as possible owners. Veronica finishes that since neither prosecution nor defense have proposed that the man was in the room the whole time, the gun must belong to Anissa.

sheriff's department: Keith stammers to ask Inga something but is diverted when she hands him a piece of paper. She explains that it is an anonymous email that she has just received. It contains an offer of $50,000 for the tapes. Keith asks Sacks if he has received a similar email. He has indeed, as has everyone else. Keith gives him a baleful look for not telling him before now. Sacks is defensive because he has already told the sheriff. Keith demands another copy of the staff email list. Cut to a little later, as Keith drafts a response to the email addressed to Inga, who incidentally bears the surname of Olofson. In it, he accepts the offer to purchase the tapes and requests delivery and payment details.

jury room: The jurors are watching the video clip of the man running from the scene again. The man leaps over a fence. Madison quips that is it not too shabby for a man with a surgically fused knee. Veronica, switching off the television, agrees. She holds up the picture of Anquan Simmons for her fellow jury members. The black woman juror opines that it would be easy to mistake Simmons for Myles. Veronica calls for another vote. Two jurors raise their hands to acquit — the business and the man with a moustache. The businessman snipes at Madison, asking if he wants to miss more ball games. Madison snaps back, calling him Daddy Warbucks, and starts to say that Veronica has laid out a good case. Before he can finish, the bailiff interrupts. The judge wants to see Veronica. The businessman obstreperously declares that he will never vote for conviction, no matter what, and that Veronica should tell the judge that the jury is hung.

sheriff's department: Keith is sneaking a look at Woody's letter to Lamb regarding Keith's appointment to investigate the stolen tapes, when he receives an email. It is a response to his earlier email - "Sorry dude, I already have the tapes." Keith knows immediately who it is from and mutters to the writer that it is "Mr. Mars."

jury room: The jurors are putting on their coats in anticipation of leaving. Veronica returns. The working mother asks what happened. Veronica reports that the judge asked if the jury was deadlocked, to which Veronica had responded "no." There are groans around the room. Veronica goes on to deliver the news that the judge has said that the jury is not going home until they reach a verdict. There is considerably more muttering and the faint hint of swearing. The Latina lady returns complaisantly to her knitting.

Duncan's suite: To the opening strains of Ivy's "Edge of the Ocean," a tape of Lilly and Aaron cavorting in bed plays. Logan watches tearfully, looking devastated and very, very lost. Eventually, he rises from the sofa and retrieves the tape and its label. He returns to the ottoman, where other tapes are neatly lined upon it, together with a lighter and a degausser. He runs the degausser over the tape, which he then adds to the rest. He collects all the labels and bends down, holding them over a metal bin. He uses the lighter to set the labels alight, only dropping them when they are nearly fully engulfed. As he watches the labels burn in the bin, there is a knock on the door. Logan wipes away the tears and opens the door. It's Keith. He instantly grasps Logan's emotional state and Keith's face shows a gentle sympathy. He comments on Logan paying fifty grand for the experience. Logan lets Keith into the suite before saying that all that matters is that the World Wide Web won't be hosting mpegs of his old man defiling the love of his life. Keith points out that Logan has done Aaron a huge favor. Logan dismisses this as he, and others who have seen the tapes, can testify as to the contents. Keith reminds him that he could also go to jail for what is a serious crime. Logan suggests that there is no evidence. Keith sees the tapes but Logan tells him that they are blank, ready for a Daria marathon. Keith wonders out loud how blank tapes would make Logan cry and how many people have a degausser. Logan shrugs. Keith wants to know at least how Logan managed to buy the tapes at a tenth of their market value. Logan smiles and says that he has always depended on the kindness of strangers. Keith doubts that such kindness would exist in the sheriff's department, but as he expresses this, he is struck with a contradictory and distressing thought.

jury room: Veronica leaps out of her seat, refuting that she is questioning the integrity of the person she is addressing. Unsurprisingly, this is the businessman, whom she challenges to respond to the logical points she has raised. He is derogatory, calling her Barbie, and accuses her of making sly digs. He declares that he will never send two boys from good families to jail on the word of "that" Mexican whore. His outburst reveals his true colors, and the rest of the jury hurry to distance themselves from him. The man with the moustache thinks for a minute, then slowly stands and announces that he is changing his vote. The businessman is disbelieving and mockingly asks if God just spoke to him. The man with the moustache is deeply offended and protests that the comment is out of line. The businessman insincerely apologizes and proclaims that he too is changing his vote. He adds that even lying hookers deserve a little holiday cheer. The Latina lady asks if he is serious. He is, but only because he is convinced that the boys will successfully appeal. He snidely ends by saying that he will sleep, confident that another jury won't kowtow to a high school cheerleader. Veronica gives a cheerleaderish "Yeah!" before thanking him for the lesson in civic responsibility. He has the grace to look uncomfortable. A little later, as the jurors are leaving, the black woman approaches Veronica, saying that she wants to congratulate Veronica for the superb job she did, especially given her age. The woman adds that, whether Veronica has made plans for college already or not, she would fit right in at Hearst. Veronica is not enthusiastic at the thought of staying in Neptune, telling the woman that she plans to have her car packed and running at graduation to beat the rush out of town. She also mentions that Hearst is pricey. The woman informs her that there are generous scholarship and grant programs. She warmly adds that Veronica is Hearst's sort of student and that she would fight for Veronica.

parking lot: It's dark. Veronica walks towards her car, musing in her VO about work, lack of holidays and the fact that her LeBaron has insulting graffiti smeared all over the windshield. She dryly observes that she is apparently on the outs with the 09ers again and enters the car.

Mars home: Keith is sitting at the kitchen counter as Veronica enters. She notices that he is working on tax reports and remarks that her dad's being an accountant would sound much less cool than his being a private investigator. They briefly talk about the verdict and its consequences for Veronica's popularity while Veronica takes some cleaning utensils out of the closet. She cheerfully explains that she has to clean her car and turns to leave as Keith stops her with a question about Leo's family. Veronica looks at him thoughtfully.

sheriff's department: interrogation room: Leo is typing away at a computer. Keith beckons him into an interrogation room and asks Leo to tell him about his little sister. Leo starts smiling brightly and states a few facts about his sibling, Tina, whom he seems to genuinely love. He ends his tale somewhat soberly with the revelation that she is afflicted with Down Syndrome and has some trouble at school because of this. Keith seriously asks if this is why he stole the tapes. Busted, Leo looks sideways and then sits down, putting his face in his hands. He says that he is sorry, that Tina is having a rough time at her school and that he wants to send her to a private institution to help her. Keith admits that this is rough but that he can't see how Leo can justify damaging the case against Aaron. Leo points out that several people, Veronica among them, saw the tapes and can testify about their content. He stresses that he didn't steal the tapes to get rich; he almost gave them back until he got Logan's email. Visibly sad and disappointed, Keith tells Leo that he can't let him get away free. Beaten down, Leo states that he knows and that he is not asking Keith to let it slide.

sheriff's department: Typing at his laptop, Keith remarks in a VO that insufficient security lead to the theft of the tapes, singling out Leo as the person most responsible. He mentions that Logan obtained the tapes but that the evidence has been destroyed and conviction therefore seems unlikely. Meanwhile, Leo hands in his weapon and badge to Sheriff Lamb. Keith receives a phone call. He is visibly saddened by the news and thanks his caller for notifying him.

Mars home: Veronica is writing on a notepad as Keith knocks and enters. She mockingly tells him about some apparently noisy neighbors moving out as he sits down next to her on the bed. He tells her that he got a call from the hospital and that Meg died because of a blood clot. The baby, a girl, was saved. Equally sad and relieved, Veronica hugs her father and starts crying. Later, the television set shows New Year's celebrations in New York City. Veronica is lying on the sofa, her head and shoulders on Keith's knees. In her VO, Veronica muses cynically about the false hope implied in the name New Year's Eve. Keith is tired and declares that he is heading for bed despite Veronica's protests. Even the prospect of pizza can't sway him, and he leaves for his bedroom, wishing his daughter a good night. Discontented, Veronica hugs her cushion. Someone knocks on the front door. She opens up to a smiling Wallace, who wishes her a happy new year. Veronica hugs him, her face brimming with emotion. Wallace chuckles, undoubtedly relieved. Later, Veronica and Wallace sit on the sofa talking and watching the continued New Year's festivities. In her VO, Veronica declares herself defeated and promises to give that New Year's thing one last chance.

Closing Credits

-Inigo, public displays of lust, alliterator, Inigo, grimsqueaker

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