AMC Recaps: The week of August 4, 1997 on All My Children
A strange man with unknown ties to Laura started to follow her around. As the jury was about to render its verdict, Erica suddenly decided to change her plea. A commuter plane carrying Edmund, Maria, Brooke, and Madeline crashed.
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August 11, 1997
Monday, August 4, 1997

Their getaway over, Gloria and Dimitri prepared for a return to Pine Valley. Gloria feared the return to town. She felt that she would be the subject of gossip. Their would be speculation as to why she and Tad were no longer an item. That's the trouble with living in a small town, Dimitri replied. Dimitri decided that it was possible to delay the return to Pine Valley. Gloria shook her head nervously. They were both subpoenaed to testify against Erica. There was no possible way that they could skip out on the court. As a smiled formed on his face, Dimitri reached for his air-to-ground telephone. He informed Gloria that nothing was impossible and that "extenuating circumstances" could prevent their timely return to town. "Trust me," Dimitri cooed, "and you're in for the ride of your life."

Opal broke up a chat between Tad and Liza. She was concerned about testifying against Erica. Opal moved around the issue of whether she thought Erica was wrong for taking Sonya/Madeline. Instead, she worried about whether Erica could forgive her or not. Tad told his mother that she would get by, but hinted that he had problems of his own. When asked, he revealed that he and Gloria were no longer together. Seeing that Liza was hovering in the wings, Opal immediately jumped to the conclusion that Tad had been sleeping with Liza. Opal raised such a hubbub that Palmer raced over to her side to quiet her down. Tad insisted that he had not cheated on Gloria and warned his mother not to spread rumors.

Jack told Erica that he cannot or should not be talking to Erica without her attorney being present. Erica claimed that Jack was treating her "like a criminal." Jack took several minutes to explain to Erica that she is, for all intents and purposes, a criminal. Erica asked Jack if he had forgotten heir night together at Linden. Jack shook his head. He hadn't forgot what went on between them, but he wished that he could. Jack told Erica that their feelings for each other risk clouding the matter at hand. On that note, Trevor entered the room and scolded Erica for speaking to the prosecution. He escorted Erica into another room and asked that she follow the guidelines he's set for her. Erica was furious that people were turning against her. Who, she asked aloud, will be the next to "draw and quarter" her? Esther poked her head through an open door and announced that she had been called as a witness against Erica. But Esther assured Erica that her friendship to Erica meant a great deal to her. So much, that she would risk going to jail rather than to betray her friend. Trevor told Erica that Jack had offered Esther a bargain; No criminal charges would be filed against Esther if she agreed to testify against Erica. Erica begged Esther to reconsider. In fact, she basically ordered Esther to take the stand and testify against her. In what was a very heartfelt and emotional response, Esther told Erica that she never felt at ease in society. Besides, she's used to small quarters and a jail cell would be a welcomed changed of scenery. Erica thanked Esther for standing by her during the kidnapping saga, but old Esther that she cannot bear to see her friend in jail. Belinda happened upon the tête-à-tête and told her client that she should not be talking to Erica. Erica smiled broadly and announced that Esther had decided to accept Jack's proposal. Esther will, Erica said, testify against her. Belinda was perplexed. She was even more confused when Erica and Esther smiled at each other and shared a hug after announcing the news that Esther would speak out against Erica.

A food critic showed up at Holidays and his presence created a frenzy for Mateo and Hayley. As it turned out, the critic, Mr. Gail, ordered a dish that they had just run out of. Jake, who got the last of the batch, offered to help Mateo and Hayley by running to the seafood store and buying a replacement fish. They agreed, but the critic became increasingly impatient as he sat for a long time without getting any service.

Back in court, Esther was called to the stand. She told the court about finding then-Sonya in Willow Lake. She explained that shortly after the wreck, Erica showed up at her door and claimed to be the baby's mother. She also stated that it was Erica's idea to claim that she was the baby's birthmother. She said that she thought that they were doing what was best for the baby. Jack asked Esther if she thought it was right to keep the baby from her real mother. Esther didn't want to answer and Trevor objected to the question, but the judge ruled that Esther had to answer the question. Esther said that it was not right, but quickly pointed out that Erica did give the baby back. Erica requested that Trevor not cross-examine Esther, saying that she suffered enough. Trevor told Erica that Esther had done damage to their case, but agreed to back off.
Liza was next on the stand and she had a bombshell to drop---but it had nothing to do with the case. When questioned by Jack, Liza told of how Erica concocted the Esther-is-the-baby's-mom story only after Dimitri learned that the Russian adoption story was a scam. She also told the jury that Erica had been hiding out in her attic. But on cross-examination, Trevor lashed out at Liza's credibility by forcing her to admit that she had contacted a film crew to Chandler Mansion before she contacted the authorities about Erica. Trevor also asked Liza about her appearance at Linden House with a hidden camera in her purse. Beads of sweat formed on Liza's forehead. She asked for a glass of water. Trevor thought she was avoiding the question and pressured Liza for an answer. Suddenly, Tad jumped to his feet and told Trevor to back off his friend. The judge was about to hold Tad in contempt, but Liza explained that Tad was only concerned for her welfare because she's pregnant. The courtroom gasped. Trevor backed off of his questioning and reserved his right to recall Liza at a later time. He then explained to Erica that he had to stop questioning Liza because the jury would turn against him if he badgered a pregnant woman.

Kevin attended another counseling session, but this time his mother was also at the session. Dr. Chapman implied that Kevin might be pretending to be gay to hurt his father. Kevin didn't like the implication that he was faking his homosexuality. Dr. Chapman asked for a few minutes alone with Kevin's mom. Kevin headed to a vending machine in the hall and on his way he bumped into Kelsey. Kelsey noticed the name on the wall and asked Kevin why he was visiting a doctor. He told her that at his parents' request, he was seeing a family therapist. Kelsey took the news well and said that she hopes the doctor can get Kevin and his family back together. The two shared an embraced just before Kevin returned to the office.
Inside, the psychiatrist told Judith that her son is becoming more rebellious. It might be impossible to make him change his ways, he informed her. A look of horror draped Judith's face. She begged the doctor to do whatever it takes to make her son "normal."

Jake picked up the fish and delivered it to the Holidays' chef. It was cooked up and served to a ravenous Mr. Gail. By this time Allie had also entered the restaurant. Mateo and Hayley were selfishly devoting all of their energy to the critic and thereby neglecting the rest of their paying custumers. The co-owners were eventually pried away from Mr. Gail. As they took Allie's order, tragedy struck. Mr. Gail began choking on his fish. Allie raced to his table an performed the Heimlich maneuver. Hayley feared that the critic would die in their restaurant. But the man came around and explained that his food was so good, he was wolfing it down. And, as the story so often goes, his food went down the "wrong pipe" and he began choking. Mr. Gail, now with a smile on his face, told Hayley and Mateo that he would give Holidays a glowing review. Jake and Allie chatted briefly and she told him that she had managed to find a solution to her housing crisis. She moved into a small studio apartment, she said but added that she had no furniture. Jake briefed his colleague on his dad's condition. Joe would be going home for a few days before his bypass surgery. To celebrate, Matt told Allie that she was no entitled to limitless food "on the house." Allie turned down the offer, but did accept a gift from Hayley. Allie, only have joking, said that if she keeps eating all of the goodies at Holidays she's going to need to see a fitness trainer. Hayley gave her the address of Tom Cudahy's fitness club and said that Holidays would pay for her membership as a "thank you." Hayley asked Allie where she could be reached. Allie responded that she was staying at the Pine Cone Motel.

Back at the trial, Adam escorted Liza to a private room and yelled at her for revealing her pregnancy. he claimed that she was trying to make a fool of him by flaunting her "love child." Liza told Adam that he was turning his back on her and his child. Tad entered the room, prompting Adam to snicker at Liza's claim that she was carrying his baby. Adam left the room in a huff. Tad apologized for making things even worse. He got a call from his private investigator who had tracked Gloria and Dimitri down to South Carolina. Now, however, they had disappeared. Is it possible, he asked Liza, for them to be more happy?
By this time, Opal had been called to the stand. She was a reluctant witness against Erica as she answered jack's questions with barely audible volume. She told the court about her run-in with Erica at the airport when she claimed that she was going to Russia. She also said that Erica seemed as happy as ever during their shopping spree in New York.
Myrtle was called next. She said that Erica may be "impetuous" but added that Erica has never been "malicious." She was just confused. And she said that she wishes she had known how confused Erica had been so that she could have been there for her.
Jack called for Dimitri to take the stand, but Dimitri was nowhere to be found. Initially, Erica feared her ex-hubby might be the nail in her coffin. But after she saw that Dimitri was nowhere to be seen, she felt much better. Jack then called Gloria Marsh to the stand. Suddenly there was a noise from the back of the room. Gloria, her eyes red and bulging and looking like she was in a drug induced stupor, stood along side of Dimitri. Dimitri announced that Jack had made a mistake. Gloria's correct last name is now Marick.

Tuesday, August 5, 1997

In New York City, Brooke, Laura, Edmund, and Maria dined out on the eve of Tempo's Endicott award acceptance. Edmund mooned over a photo of what he called a "good looking guy" on the front page of the paper. The picture was one of himself. From the wings, an unknown man watched Laura's every move. He instantly knew her name, saying her name aloud to himself. He also knew Laura's relationship to Brooke, also referring to Brooke by name. Even though Laura did not know that she was being watched, she still acted peculiarly. Brooke pulled her aside and asked her what was bothering her. Laura told her that she and Scott had gotten into another fight. She added that things were complicated even more by Scott's acquisition of her mother's diary. Laura told Brooke that just before her mother was killed in a fire, she and her mom had gotten into a huge fight. Laura ran off and by the time she had returned home, her mother had already been killed. She regretted never having the chance to apologize to her mother and tell her how much she loved her. Brooke knew that Laura wanted to talk to Scott and suggested that she call Pine Valley to talk to him. Laura nodded and headed toward the public phones. As she approached the phones, the man who had been hiding in the shadows confronted Laura. The man told Laura that she has blossomed into a beautiful young woman. He told Laura that it was a long time since they were together---since the days when her mother was very sick and taking a lot of pills. Perhaps, he suggested, Laura can fit him into her busy schedule sometime. Laura made no sound and she offered no reply. Instead she raced back to Brooke's table and created a false excuse to get out of New York. She told Brooke that she had called Mateo and was told that she needed to return to work because the staff was short-handed. Brooke knew that Laura was hiding something, but she agreed to let Laura return home.

Joe, now resting at home, told Ruth that he will not agree to undergo bypass surgery until after Tad and Gloria are married. He even went as far as to suggest that the wedding reception feature "heart smart" and vegetarian foods so that he could indulge in some good eating. In Joe's eyes, he was the reason why Tad and Gloria had not gotten married. Ruth decided that it was time to tell Joe the truth. She explained that Tad and Gloria suffered a falling out over Dimitri. But all hope was not lost. She said that she prodded Gloria and Tad into taking a romantic getaway to Nantucket. Hopefully, she smiled, this would help them resolve their problems. Ruth thought that Joe was going to scold her for meddling in Tad and Gloria's personal lives, but instead he praised his wife as "one of the smartest women in the universe." If Ruth is such a sage, perhaps Joe will take her advice and agree to heart surgery. Joe admitted that he was afraid of undergoing surgery---especially since his father had died on the operating table while undergoing heart surgery. As soon as he is strong enough, he will undergo the triple bypass surgery. But there was additional medication that Joe needed: his wife's arms wrapped tightly around him.

Things at Erica's trial took a dramatic turn. The judge presiding over the trial informed Dimitri that a bench warrant had been put into effect because Dimitri failed to honor his subpoena. Dimitri smiled and said that it was not his intention to miss his court appearance, but there were some unforeseen events that caused his delay. The reason, Dimitri explained, was that he was busy getting married to the woman he loves: Gloria! Tad rose to his feet and looked into Gloria's eyes. He asked Gloria to confirm what Dimitri was saying. It was true. Dimitri and Gloria were now husband and wife. Dimitri didn't like Tad touching Gloria and warned Tad to keep his hands to himself. Tad turned around and punched Dimitri, sending him falling to the ground. The judge didn't like the outburst in his courtroom and recessed court until the following morning.
Tad grabbed Gloria by the arm and hauled her off to a private room. He locked the door and told Gloria that no one was going anywhere until he got some answers. Gloria claimed that Dimitri loved her. Tad obviously didn't love her because he has been sleeping with Liza. Tad denied the allegations that he was having an affair with Liza, but Gloria didn't believe him. Tad explained that Adam had kicked Liza out of Chandler Mansion and that she needed a place to stay. He allowed her to sleep in his room because it was the only room that had easy access to a bathroom. He slept down the hall in the guest room. Suddenly a look of horror gripped Gloria. "If only I'd know," she gasped. The two hugged. Gloria broke the embrace and turned her back to Tad. She told him that she is married to Dimitri. Tad's face wrinkled up. He told her that the sham of a marriage could be easily annulled. With that, Dimitri showed up at the door and kicked it down! Gloria stepped in between Tad and Dimitri to prevent them from coming to blows. Gloria pleaded with Tad to leave peacefully.
Back in the courtroom, Adam told Liza that he feels sorry for her and her "bastard child." Liza was crushed by Adam's insensitivity and told Adam that she wants him to stay away from her and her baby. Before leaving to track down Tad and Gloria, Dimitri overheard Adam and Liza talking about her pregnancy. It was through Adam's rants that Dimitri determined that Liza was pregnant with Tad's child.

Liza went to WRCW to take her mind off of her troubles. Scott entered the room to drop off a tape. Liza told Scott that she is not pregnant with Tad's child---it's Adam's. Scott believed her and told her that he wishes her the best. Tad entered a few minutes later and told Liza that all hope for him and Gloria is not yet lost. Liza apologized for the constant trouble she causes Tad and told him that he should be with Gloria now, not her. Tad didn't want to leave Liza, but he honored her request.

In Dimitri's hotel room, Dimitri dropped his bomb on Gloria. He saw that Gloria was softening to Tad. And when Gloria suggested that she and Dimitri acted irrationally when they got married, Dimitri told her that Liza is pregnant with Tad's child. Gloria put on the television to verify what Dimitri was saying. The news reporters on several channels blurted out the news that Liza and Tad seem quite chummy. Rage hit Gloria hard. She began smashing anything breakable within her reach. Dimitri grabbed his new bride and comforted her with a passionate kiss. Outside, Tad was preparing to knock on the door. But he was prevented from making any further moves when two officers placed him under arrest for assaulting Dimitri.

Wednesday, August 6, 1997

Tad was jailed overnight. In the morning he met with Belinda and pleaded for her to get him out of jail He'd do anything---later he proved that he really wouldn't do anything. Belinda told Tad that the judge in charge of setting his bail was playing a round of golf. She advised him to hope that his honor had a good game and felt generous enough to let him out of jail.
A few hours later, Belinda returned. She told Tad that the judge shot a below-par round of golf (as opposed to a sub par performance, I suppose). Tad was released from bail. And about that promise Tad made to do "anything?" Belinda asked Tad to steer clear of Dimitri. Tad replied that he would not make any promises that he knows he cannot keep.

Scott, Kevin, and Kelsey sunbathed near the boathouse. While the three enjoyed the rays, a bikini-wearing classmate of Scott invited herself to the party. Ginny proudly announced that she and her good-for-nothing boyfriend had just broken up. After her statement on her eligibility, she quickly asked Scott if he was still seeing Laura. Scott said that he and Laura were still together. Kelsey offered to apply some suntan lotion to Ginny, but Ginny preferred to have Scott's hands massaging her body. And as Scott applied the lotion, Laura happened upon the party and assumed the worst. Kevin chased after Laura and told her that Scott and Ginny were not involved in any hanky panky. He was simply applying some suntan lotion. Laura claimed that she didn't care what Scott was doing because they "aren't married." Back at the party scene, Ginny asked Kelsey if she and Kevin were an item. With a bashful smile, Kelsey said that she and Kevin are boyfriend and girlfriend. Kevin and Laura returned to the scene. A few yards away, the Pine Valley University men's rowing team began its daily practice. Ginny's drooled as she described every inch of the men's bodies. Kelsey did some quick thinking and created a story about one of the rowers. She said that the man had just separated from his girlfriend and said that he is everything that Ginny could want. Ginny quickly dashed away to talk to the object of her desire. Scott and Laura went off to talk privately. Laura apologized to Scott for acting so foolishly. She told Scott that she wants to put her past behind her and start a new future with Scott. The two patched up their differences with a kiss.

Brooke, Edmund, and Maria had breakfast together even though Brooke's mind was elsewhere. Not knowing that the man who confronted Laura the night before was eavesdropping on them, Brooke told the Greys about Laura's past and how she lost her mother. Janet saw the trio sitting together and walked over to their table to say hello. Brooke told Janet that Laura had returned to Pine Valley because Holidays was short-handed. Janet looked confused and said that when she left Holidays had had more than enough help. That was enough to cause Brooke to worry. She apologized to Edmund and Maria for acting like an overprotective parent. Maria wouldn't accept the apology. She told Brooke that she had every right to be worried and told Brooke that she was justified in wanting to return home to check on her daughter. Brooke left to pack her things and Maria and Edmund were left to consider whether they should return home to spend time with Sam. They both agreed that returning home would be a good idea. The man, whose name will soon be revealed as Jim, called the airport and made a one-way reservation to fly to Pine Valley.

Dimitri took the stand to testify against Erica. He told the jury how he learned of Erica's faked Russian adoption and how easily Erica concocted the Esther-it-the-mom story. Jack decided that Dimitri's testimony had done enough damage to Erica's defense and asked no further questions. This enraged Dimitri, who wanted to see Erica crucified. He rose to his feet and implied that Jack was purposely trying to lose the case. He also announced that Jack and Erica had been intimate recently. The judge warned Dimitri that he was once again out of line and advised the jury to disregard everything Dimitri had said after Jack turned him over for cross-examining. Upon cross-examination, Dimitri began to look less credible. His believability had already been tarnished by his outburst but now he was forced to tell the jury about his affair with Maria. After Trevor was finished asking questions, Jack rested his case. Court recessed for several minutes, but there were still fireworks. Erica and Dimitri locked horns in the hallway outside of the courtroom. Dimitri told Erica that he wants to make sure that Erica gets what she deserves. Trevor warned Erica that she would be grilled when she took the stand in her own defense. Erica claimed that she was ready for it and the two went back into the courtroom.

At the airport, Jim readied to board the plane. Brooke tried to exchange her ticket, but she was told that there were no more seats left on the commuter flight to Pine Valley. Fortunately for her, Janet had been scheduled to return on the flight. She offered to swap tickets with Brooke so that she could return home to be with Laura. The flight boarded and Brooke and Jim walked down the hall to their plane.

Erica took to the stand in her own defense and painted a self-portrait of a woman confused by events she had no control over. She told the court how she was devastated by the loss of her child and how she felt a strong need to hold a baby after the miscarriage. She said that she knew it might not have been the best idea, but she needed to pursue the Russian adoption. She explained how she and Maria had come to their infamous confrontation at Willow Lake as well as how Erica's car crashed into the icy waters. The next crucial bit of testimony involved the intended return of Sonya to Edmund and Maria. She told the jury the already familiar story of how she overheard Dimitri say that the baby was better off dead than with Edmund. That brought Erica's childhood and her father's abandonment into play. Erica said that she "honestly felt that [Maria's] baby's future was in my hands." Sonya was a "gift from God," Erica continued. She concluded by saying that when she gave the baby back to Maria, Sonya seemed to ask "Why Mommy? Why are you giving me up?" At least one juror was moved to tears by the testimony. Jack rested his head in his hands, knowing that he had is work cut out for him. The question still left without an answer was to ask how Erica could justify stealing another woman's baby. Erica said that she could not justify what she had done. "When I lost my baby," she sniffled, "I lost my mind."

Thursday, August 7, 1997

Skye told her Uncle Stuart that she had written and inadvertently mailed her confessional to Edmund and Maria. She was relieved that she'd finally parted with her deep, dark secret, but somehow she still felt ill at ease. Stuart asked that Skye remain positive. If Edmund and Maria were not meant to read the letter, he explained, something will happen to prevent them from reading it. Perhaps the letter will blow away in the wind, Or perhaps something far more tragic and unforeseen. After Skye left, Esther dropped by Stuart's home. She needed a pep talk. It seems that Esther has been unable to return to court since her stint on the witness stand. She isn't being barred from the courthouse, she simply cannot must the internal fortitude to face the stares and whispers. Stuart assured his friend that she is not weak or less of a friend for not returning to the courthouse.

Gloria reflected on her "big announcement" at the courthouse. Actually, it was Dimitri who had made the announcement, but it still involved Gloria. In between shifts at the hospital, Jake made a brief return to the boarding house. He found Gloria in the living room with several suit cases. Jake hoped that Gloria's baggage meant that she and Tad had patched things up. He couldn't have been further from the truth.

Allie made a return appearance to Holidays. This time she wasn't required to save anyone's life. Jake entered the restaurant and saw Allie. He figured that he should tell her about the pending vacancy at Myrtle's. Allie was mildly interested in the vacancy and claimed that she might be able to "break" her lease to move to Myrt's. Mateo and Hayley overheard the comment and Mateo chimed in that it should not be hard for Allie to break a lease at the Pine Cone Motel. Jake was surprised that Allie had opted for such dumpy digs and urged her to move to Myrtle's. After Allie left for her shift at the hospital, Hayley told Jake that he picked the wrong time to return to his medical career. Why's that? Because Allie doesn't date co-workers, Hayley smiled. Jake guzzled some coffee and said that he doesn't fellow doctors either.

Erica testified that she "felt adrift" after her miscarriage. Trevor asked Erica how her life had been altered by her no-show father. Erica said that she felt very pained by not having her father around. This led Erica to believe that the only way Sonya/Madeline could avoid a life of hate an loneliness was to have a mother who understood her situation. Suddenly, Dimitri burst into the courtroom and broke into thunderous applause. He praised Erica for a "beautiful performance." The judge again showed that he had little control over the trial. He told Dimitri to quiet down and even after Dimitri refused to be silenced he still didn't charge Mr. Marick with contempt. He didn't even ask him to leave the room. Erica concluded her testimony with a statement that summed up her defense strategy. She said that she thought she was doing what was right for the baby. Now she knows otherwise. She is aware that she hurt a lot of people, but that was never her intention. "I'm sorry," she said with her head lowered.
Erica was not done. The cross-examination was still ahead. Jack's entire cross-examination dealt in questioning whether Erica was truly "insane." Was she insane when she lured Maria to Willow Lake? The district attorney went on a tirade, declaring Erica a vindictive woman who wanted to punish Maria for sleeping with Dimitri. But simply punishment wasn't enough. Jack implied that Erica wanted the baby dead and that she wanted Maria to suffer physical harm.
All that was left not, beyond the jury's verdict, was the closing statements. Trevor said that the experts he called to the stand (who were not shown) claimed that anyone could suffer temporary insanity if there were a great many odds against them. He explained that after not seeing her father, losing custody of Bianca, having her mother pass away, and suffering a miscarriage, Erica was no longer able to get "beyond the pain." There was no premeditation, Trevor added. There is only one possible verdict: Not guilty.
Jack saw it another way. He said that Erica planned to kidnap the baby. She knew the difference between right and wrong---and chose to do wrong. He asked that the jury find her guilty and punish her for her crimes.
The jury was sent to deliberate. Trevor sensed a quick verdict and suggested that he and Erica return to his office to await the verdict. Erica said that she would join Trevor, but added that she had to do something first.
Erica tracked down Jack at his office. She yelled at him for the way he grilled her on the stand. She accused him of plotting with Travis to keep her away from Bianca. How could Jack actually want to send her away? Jack told Erica that he could have done a lot more damage to Erica's case, but he let his heart get in the way of his job. Jack told Erica that thanks to her he might never be able to practice law again. Belinda knocked at the door. She said that the jury had reached the fastest verdict in history.

Myrtle returned home and gave Gloria a send off. Myrtle didn't judge Gloria on her quickie marriage, but did point out that Gloria was unable to refer to Dimitri as her husband. Before Gloria could defend her decision, Myrtle was summoned back to court to hear the jury's verdict. On her way out of the boarding house, Gloria came face to face with Tad.

On the commuter flight home to Pine Valley, Maria was allowed to switch seats after a vacancy became available. The empty seat would allow Maria to seat Madeline in a seat of her own. Maria suddenly remembered the letter that she had forgotten to read. As she played with Madeline, Maria opened the letter. Finally, the truth was revealed. Maria was overcome with emotion as she read Skye's confession that Edmund was really Madeline's father. Maria rose to her feet and prepared to walk down the aisle to tell Edmund the good news. Suddenly, the plane dropped and the power flickered. A flight attendant advised all passengers to return to their seats and strap in. Maria clasped her hands and prayed for God to help guide the plane back to the ground safely. Again, the plane dropped...

Friday, August 8, 1997

Tad was surprised to see Gloria with her bags packed. He shouldn't be surprised, replied Gloria. It is, after all, customary for husbands and wives to live together. Tad begged Gloria not to give up on their love. Gloria, however, felt that their future together had already been doomed when Tad slept with Liza. Over and over, Tad swore that he had not slept with Liza while he was involved with Gloria. But just as many times Gloria called Tad a liar. She reminded him that Liza, while on the witness stand at Erica's trial, told the court that she was pregnant. Tad nodded. He agreed that Liza was pregnant, but said that Adam was the baby's father. Gloria tired of Tad's "Liza was sick" explanation for the nights he and Liza slept under the same roof. Tad claimed that Gloria only married Dimitri because it was a "safe marriage." By that he meant that the marriage was loveless and that Gloria would not be hurt of the marriage were to end because she never loved Dimitri in the first place. That comment brought out Gloria's wrath. She knew what she had to say to rip out Tad's heart. And that was exactly what she said. She told Tad that her marriage to Dimitri was not "loveless." She and her new husband had a legitimate marriage---and that the secrets details from their bedroom were private. Tad was floored. He denounced Gloria for using sex with Dimitri to get back at him. He found Gloria's marriage to Dimitri hard to swallow and the notion that Gloria and Dimitri had sex was an even bigger piece of meat. Tad told Gloria that he promised never to cheat on her. He warned her not to claim that history has a way of repeating itself. If it did, he said, Gloria would be out on the streets working as a con artist. As has become the case, Tad's final comment came down to an ultimatum: Either Gloria loves him or not. Gloria didn't reply. Tad turned to leave. As he opened the door, Gloria asked him not to leave. With a turn of Tad's head, would he see the sparks of a love almost lost? No. Gloria fumbled through her purse and eventually found her engagement ring. She returned the jewel box to Tad and told him that she could not keep the ring. Tad, using biting sarcasm to mask his bruised masculinity, told Gloria that she taught him a very valuable lesson: Be careful who you trust. Tad said he made the mistake of trusting Gloria. He won't do it again. Tad left and closed the door behind him. As soon as he exited the house, he collapsed against the exterior wall and broke into tears. Inside, Gloria stumbled backwards and fell onto the steps.

Liza made the rounds in the courtroom to see how various people felt about the jury's quick verdict. Jack had no comment, but Dimitri felt that the quick verdict was a good sign. When court was about to resume and there was still no sign of Erica, Adam became frantic. he feared that Erica had jumped bail and that he would be out a cool million dollars. With that, Erica made a grand entrance into the courtroom. She stood at the doors for several minutes. Camera flashes cast a brilliant silhouette on her body, making her look like the Statue of Liberty in the middle of a Fourth of July fireworks display. Erica sauntered down the aisle and assumed her seat. Dimitri told Liza that he would seek blood if Erica got off. On what crime, Liza wondered---kidnapping or divorcing him. The Liza pointed out that Dimitri had made the perfect rebound by marrying Gloria. Dimitri tried to snap back by telling Liza that his decision to marry Gloria meant that Tad was a free man. Contrary to popular belief, Liza smiled, Liza has no interest in Tad. She only wants her husband to love her.

The jury returned. Trevor noted that one of the jurors flashed him a smile, a sure sign that Erica would be cleared. The foreman was about to read the verdict---and I do mean about. He uttered the words "We the jury find the defendant, Erica Kane..." when Erica jumped to her feet and asked to speak to the court before a verdict was rendered. The move was highly irregular, but their were no objections from counsel. The jury was escorted back to the deliberation room and Erica was allowed to speak to the court. Erica told the judge that she didn't believe that she was "mentally ill" until she took the stand in her own defense. Now, however, she's changed her mind once again. She said that Edmund and Maria got the ending they deserved---a reunion with their daughter. But with an acquittal, her ending would be less than just. That's why, she continued, she feels the need to change her plea. A loud gasp echoed from those watching the trial. Many of Erica's friends and colleagues rose to their feet.

Jack, Trevor, and Erica were called to the judge's chambers. The judge wanted to verify that Erica was changing her plea under her own will and not being influenced to swap pleas. Erica said that she would not use an excuses to rationalize her behavior. Trevor was flabbergasted. he said that he would not agree to Erica's decision unless there was some "wheelin' and dealin'" on the sentencing. Trevor reminded the judge that Erica did no harm to the child during the quasi-abduction and that there was no malice intended. The judge accepted Trevor's argument, but said that the decision on whether to sentence Erica for kidnapping ultimately rested on Jack's shoulders.

Outside the courtroom, Liza went live with the latest news on Erica's case. As she preened in front of the camera,Dimitri and Adam admired her work. Dimitri found himself on the receiving end of advice after he made inquiries into Adam and Liza's love life. Adam asked Dimitri to keep his nose out of their affairs. Instead, Adam commented, Dimitri should worry about keeping Gloria "on a short leash." Gloria has a tendency to be unfaithful, Adam stated. Dimitri assured Adam that he could keep an eye on Gloria.

As court prepared to resume, Tad stood in the hall outside the courtroom with Gloria's engagement ring in his hand. He reflected on his wedding day and the time he spent with Gloria, He recalled that when he and Gloria returned to Ruth and Joe's house after Joe was taken to the hospital, they indulge in some wedding cake. At the time, Tad warned Gloria that eating wedding cake before the wedding could result n bad luck. Back then they both chuckled. Would they react the same now? Tad's final recollection was of telling Gloria that one day hey would have the wedding they deserve. Back at Myrtle's, Gloria packed her wedding dress along with her belongings and bid a final farewell to the boarding house.

Back inside the courtroom, the judge announced that an agreement had been reached between the prosecution and the defense that would result in the kidnapping charges being dropped. Dimitri was outraged. He claimed that Erica and Jack's one night of bliss resulted in the dropped charges. Dimitri even taunted the judge, daring him to slap him with a contempt charge. If contempt charges were made, Dimitri said that all he would need to do would be to sleep with the right person to get the charges dropped. Dimitri was escorted out of the courtroom. There were still two charges for Erica to face---interfering with the custody of a child (a third degree felony) and concealment of a child's whereabouts (also a third degree felony). Erica plead guilty to both counts. Erica spoke on her own behalf, asking the judge to issue a punishment he deemed suitable. Trevor quickly chimed in that Erica deserved leniency because she does not pose a risk to be a repeat offender. The judge issued his sentence---one year in the county jail, two years of probation on the contingency that Erica would seek psychiatric help, and a fine of three hundred thousand dollars. The judge ordered Erica to be cuffed and taken to holding while she awaited transport to jail. Jack raced to Erica's side and gave her something to think about during her time in holding. He told her that he loves her.

Belinda requested that the police use a side exit when taking Erica to the county jail. That way she could avoid being photographed by the media vultures. The cop in charge declared that Erica would receive no special treatment. Jack entered the scene and told the officer that he should think again about his "no special treatment" decision.

In her cell, Erica received a lecture from Trevor about how she blew her case. He said that she would have been cleared of all charges, but that her sudden change of heart resulted in twelve months of jail time. Myrtle scolded Trevor for talking badly to Erica. Erica thanked Trevor for all that he had done and said that she did what she "had to do." Trevor left to check on Erica's transfer. While he was gone, Erica clued Myrtle in to her real problem: the fact that Jack told her that he loves her. Myrtle seemed to understand Erica's dilemma, but asked her if she could love Jack after all he's put her through.

Maria's prayers fell on deaf ears. The commuter flight slammed into a mountain top somewhere between Manhattan and Pine Valley. Strewn between chunks of broken fuselage were the bodies of the passengers and crew. Brooke laid motionless on the ground in a pool of blood. Edmund slumped over in his seat with a stream of blood trickling down his cheek. Maria, who didn't have time to latch her seatbelt, was buried under twisted metal and other debris. Then came the sound of life. Madeline cooed stirring Maria to life. Maria reached out her hand and held on to her baby, assuring her that everything was okay as long as mommy was there. Brooke was the next to come about. She called out for help. Jim, Laura's mysterious stalker, raced to her side and helped her to sit up. Brooke looked around at the carnage. Her eyes fell upon her former love, Edmund. He made no movement. A few rows back, Maria could stay awake no longer. She collapsed and had no visible signs of life.

Recaps for the week of August 11, 1997 (Following Week)