AMC Recaps: The week of September 22, 1997 on All My Children
Dimitri and Edmund's battle for custody of Maddie went to court. Jim revealed that Laura was responsible for the fire that had killed her mother. Liza caught Brooke's meltdown on tape. Stuart helped Adam and Liza resolve their differences. Gillian obtained copies of Laura's nude photographs.
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September 15, 1997
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September 29, 1997
Monday, September 22, 1997

Even though he has his own spot on campus, Scott still enjoys taking a trip back home. He showed up at his dad's house to review his French vocabulary for a quiz the next morning. Stuart asked Scott several questions about his studies as well as querying him on Laura's whereabouts. Finally, Scott had to break the news to his dad that he and Laura were no longer an item. Stuart wondered if sex was the reason for the breakup. Scott shook his head. In all honesty he could not offer a true reason for the relationship's crash. He told Stuart that sex was not an issue any more. It just seemed to him that Laura and him had grown apart. He added that Laura "shuts down" whenever he's around. Stuart, the eternal optimist, urged Scott not to give up on Laura. "She just might surprise you," Stuart smiled.

Miles assured Adam that Hayley would never make it to his office because he had told his secretary that he was unavailable. Adam laughed in spite of fearing that Hayley might discover him in Miles' office. He told his employee that his daughter doesn't accept excuses. Adam hid in a closet while Hayley and Miles went tête-à-tête. Hayley used her relationship to Adam to get her foot in the door, but she later apologized for name dropping. Miles insisted that he had no new information on the TransGlobal crash, but Hayley didn't but it. She knew that president of TransGlobal's parent company had to know something. Miles didn't confirm Hayley's suspicions outright, but when he said that his lawyers advised him to stay mum, Hayley knew that something wasn't quite right. She told Miles to pass along a message to his lawyers: Corview is about to be sued. Miles turned psychoanalyst as he told Hayley that her anger was a completely natural phase of the grief process. Hayley could've given Miles a lecture on anger; She told him about Sam and Maddie and how they will have to grow up without a mother. Hayley also told Miles that she'd done some digging and learned that TransGlobal's performance and safety records went down the drain. Miles refused to discuss the workers, saying that the hired help is irrelevant to the crash. Miles told Hayley that he had to take a phone call and asked her to leave his office. Miles picked up his phone and learned from one of his cohorts that there was "an incident" on a flight from Washington to Pine Valley. The only other information given to Miles was that the passenger, a woman, had been taken to Pine Valley Hospital for a mental evaluation. When Adam came out of the closet (not like that!), he didn't seem particularly worried about the news of a deranged passenger. Miles warned Adam that any bad publicity might further harm the airline. Miles told Adam that he would handle the matter. As Miles left for the hospital, Hayley, who had been hiding in the hall, followed closely behind.

Things at the hospital were quite amusing. Derek escorted Brooke to a check-in desk and ordered her to commit herself for psychiatric evaluation. "Is this what you went to the [police] academy for?" Brooke asked. "To arrest the woman who talked too much?" Derek didn't share in Brooke' lighthearted jesting. He told her that she violated a federal statute when she threatened the life of one of the flight attendants. Allie turned out to be the intern on duty and she helped aid Brooke and Derek through the admissions process. Brooke told Allie that she doesn't think she needs to be committed. Derek saw it another way. He told her that she either checks in the hospital or spends the night in lock-up. Laura arrived at the hospital and asked Brooke if everything was okay. Brooke remained surprisingly chipper for a woman who was about to be admitted to the psychiatric ward. She told Laura that there was a mix-up on the flight home and that things got a little out of hand. Just a little. Laura defended her mother all the way. She told Derek that Brooke was jumpy. Who wouldn't be a little nervous after nearly dying in a plane crash? Jim pulled Brooke aside and encouraged her to sign the admissions papers. The evaluation would be a piece of cake for her. All she needs to do, Jim smiled, is to tell the doctors that she does not channel ghosts, communicate with aliens, or have tea parties with Elvis. If she does what she's supposed to do, she'll be out of the hospital in no time. Brooke agreed and signed the admissions sheets. That's when Miles arrived. He looked towards the sky when he realized that Brooke was the deranged passenger he'd received the phone call about. He stepped over towards Brooke and introduced himself. Brooke found it odd that Miles would make himself accessible over an on-flight disturbance but remain hidden in the wake of a plane crash. Brooke asked Miles for answers about the crash, but Miles remained adamant in his insistence that he knows nothing. He offered Brooke complimentary flights on TransGlobal to help win back Brooke's confidence. Brooke, of course, refused the offer. Brooke was escorted into a room where she was asked a series of questions. Strictly off the record, Allie told Brooke that she admires her strength and conviction. Who else, she asked, could have saved the lives of two people in the crash. Brooke took no credit for the rescues. She said that it was Jim, her "rock," who had plucked Edmund from the wreckage. Brooke confessed that she still relives the crash. She told Allie that the one image that plays over and over in her mind is holding Maddie in her arms and showing her to Maria.
Outside, Hayley rejoiced in seeing Miles' attempt at damage control flop. She walked over to him and warned him that when "it hits the fan" Miles is going to end up with "it" all over his face.
Stuart arrived at the hospital for his duty at the hospice. He saw Laura in the lobby and worried that someone might be hurt. Laura filled Stuart in on Brooke's in-flight breakdown. Stuart knew something that could take Laura's mind off of her troubles: Scott. Stuart told Laura that she should pay Scott a visit and try to work through some of their troubles.

Back at Stuart's house, Scott was about to get a French lesson from an expert. Gillian dropped by to provide Scott with a distraction from his studies. A movie? Some music? Nope. Herself! Scott allowed Gillian to hang out with him. Scott and Gillian got to talking about Gillian's many sexual escapades. Gillian confessed that she is not as worldly as one might think. She embellishes her exploits because she has a reputation to live up to. Then, Gillian gave Scott some tutoring in French---the language and the kiss. After several steamy minutes, Gillian broke off the kiss. She told Scott that unlike their last kiss, Scott was definitely not preoccupied with thoughts of Laura. She caressed his face and pulled him down on top of her. As the two became more and more intimate, Laura followed up on Stuart's advice and stopped by to see Scott. She walked through the front door and found Scott and Gillian nearly naked on the sofa!

Kelsey fled to the boathouse to watch the lake. Kevin arrived a short time later and told Kelsey that they need to talk. Kelsey pleaded with Kevin not to end their relationship. She told Kevin that he's the best thing that's happened to her. If Kevin needs more space, Kelsey said that she'd back off. Kevin told her that space is not the issue; They need to stop pretending. Kevin told his friend that he's been leading her on. As Kevin went on to explain that he was trying to make his parents' happy be pretending to be straight, Kelsey continually interrupted him. She asked him to stay focused and discuss their relationship. Kevin claimed that he was staying focused. Kelsey stated that sex was not necessary in their relationship. She said she's had sex and never understood why sex is held in such high regard. Kevin told Kelsey that she was fooling herself if she thinks that she can live a life without a physical relationship. Then he finally clarified his expression of love. He told Kelsey that he loves her, but as a friend, not a lover. Kelsey was devastated. Kevin took all of the blame for confusing Kelsey. He said that allowing Kelsey to believe that they had a relationship was the worst thing he's ever done. Now, he wanted them to go back to the way things were. He wants to be friends. Kelsey shook her head. She told Kevin that they can never be friends. Once again, she sobbed, she had made a fool out of herself by going after the unobtainable man. In tears, Kelsey ran off.

Jim was allowed to visit with Brooke before she was taken to the psych ward, but when Jim entered the examining room, Brooke was gone.

Miles called Adam and gave him a report on the passenger that caused a stir at ten thousand feet. He told him that the woman was being admitted to the psychiatric ward. And that after she was released, no one would believe her tales because she was a mental patient. Without once mentioning Adam's name, Miles hung up the phone and walked away. Then Hayley, who had been hiding behind a cart, raced to the payphone and called Mateo. She told him that Miles is not the big man in charge---he has a boss. If they can find that boss, Hayley said ravenously, they'll be able to unravel the TransGlobal situation once and for all.

Tuesday, September 23, 1997

It was hard to tell if Laura experienced more shock or embarrassment upon barging in on Scott and Gillian. No matter what the answer, Gillian, as she put her hands over her chest to avoid flashing Laura, told Laura that she shouldn't barge into people's houses. Laura criticized Scott for his willingness to fall into bed with the first girl that came along. Scott provide cover for Gillian while she replaced her missing blouse and assured the young woman that they didn't need to "get permission" from Laura. Scott wondered why Laura dropped by. She told him that she'd spoken to Stuart and received from "bad advice" from him. Gillian and Laura traded barbs; Gillian called Laura a jealous prude and Laura called Gillian "trash." Laura insisted that she could never be jealous of a princess who offered up the royal jewels to any man that crossed her path. Gillian left, but not before issuing her own Pearl of Wisdom. "Life's a banquet," Gillian lectured Laura. "Be careful you don't starve." Laura apologized for breaking up Scott's party. Scott claimed that he was not going to go to any great lengths with Gillian because is father could have returned home at any time. Besides, he told Laura that men are not like machines; They do not need a quick lube job every few thousand miles. Laura repeated her reason for their dissolved relationship: Scott was a raging hormone factory who needs a physical relationship and she is not yet ready to commit to sex. Scott lifted his arms in the air, perhaps summoning some divine strength. He told Laura that she is mistaken if she believes that sex was the reason for their break up. He told her that he didn't want to sleep with Gillian, but Gillian seems to be the only thing that can keep his mind off of Laura. He told her that he still loves her. Laura returned the sentiment, but Scott wouldn't accept her at her word. He told her that until she can trust him, she cannot possibly love him.

Skye tidied up the main living area at Wildwind as she hummed a sweet song. She picked one of Edmund's sweaters off of the floor and held her to her face to smell his essence. Luckily for her, Edmund didn't catch her in the act. When Edmund did arrive a few minutes later he asked Skye if she'd like to join him for dinner. Skye scratched her head and recalled some work that she had yet to finish. Edmund shifted his weight onto one leg and gave Skye a quizzical look. He reminded her that he is her boss and gave her permission to take a few hours away from her work. Edmund suggested that they head to the Valley Inn, but as he talked of how Maria loved eating there, he decided that Holidays might be a better venue. Edmund summoned Mary into the room and told her of their plans. Mary nodded subserviently, but asked Edmund if he felt up to a night out. Mary was floored when she learned that Edmund was recuperating. As soon as Skye and Edmund walked out the front door, Mary raced to the phone to call Dimitri. Her voice dripped with horror as she told The Count that Edmund seemed to be on the road to recovery. She heard a noise from behind and turned to see what was going on. Standing behind her with a look that could kill---or at least do some serious bodily harm---on his face. He blasted Mary for being a spy for Dimitri. Mary pleaded her case, saying that Dimitri was concerned for Edmund's health and wanted to be kept in the know. Edmund shook his head. He told Mary that Dimitri wants to take Maddie from him. He accused Mary of dishonoring Maria's memory just before he ordered her to pack her bags and leave Wildwind.
Since their plans to eat out were altered, Skye decided that she would head to the kitchen and try to whip up a culinary masterpiece on her own. Edmund was surprised that Skye knew how to cook. Actually, Skye doesn't have the faintest idea of how to cook. But she can read, measure, and set the temperature on the oven. What more is needed? Edmund caught on to Skye's scheme. Skye's pulse raced as she assumed that Edmund meant that he knew Skye was trying to wheedle her way into his life. That's not what Edmund meant. He told Skye that he knew she was trying to distract him from his troubles. Because of that, Edmund felt that he should repay Skye for all she's done for him. Skye told Edmund that no repayment was necessary. Edmund insisted and told Skye that he was going to "let [her] go." Skye's face dropped. Edmund is repaying her by taking her job away? Edmund quickly clarified what he meant. He said that he wants Skye to get out of the house and have some fun. There's no need for her to waste away her years taking care of him and the kids. Skye smiled and told Edmund that she enjoys helping him out. Then she realized that she had forgotten about her dinner and raced off to the kitchen.

Brooke's bust out of the mental facilities took her to WRCW where she interrupted an interview of Jane Pratt. Brooke frantically begged for Tad's help. It was not a pretty sight. Tad apologized to Ms. Pratt and told her that they would continue the interview later. Brooke insisted that someone needed to listen to her. As the camera crew began to leave their posts, Liza ordered them to continue rolling film; Brooke English was dissolving before their very eyes and they were not going to miss it! Tad tried his best to calm down his former wife, but it did not good. Brooke's arms whipped around erratically as she talked about corporate conspiracies and the impending deaths of hundreds of TransGlobal passengers. Brooke described her return flight from Washington. Tad, exhibiting an astounding amount of common sense, asked Brooke what possessed her to fly on TransGlobal---especially after the crash! Brooke had no answer. Brooke's flight into borderline-insanity showed no signs of touching down. Tad offered to take Brooke to the hospital, but Brooke adamantly declined his offer. Tad suggested that the plane crash was "fate." Brooke called Tad's comment the "quintessential cop out" and accused him of being on TransGlobal's side. Brooke calmed down only after Jim arrived at the station. Somehow, he knew that she'd be there. Derek also arrived at the station and told Brooke that he'd have to escort her back to the hospital. Jim stepped in between Brooke and the officer and issued Derek an order, "Back Off!" Derek warned Jim to change his tone of voice or he'd find himself in hot water. Jim pulled Derek aside and plead his case. He said that Brooke needs time to relax and unwind. Perhaps a night in her own bed will help soothe her frazzled nerves. He promised to have Brooke at the hospital in the morning. Derek agreed to break department policy and allowed Brooke to return home. Derek looked across the studio and saw Liza standing my a camera still rolling tape.
Tad returned to the studio and asked Liza if she knew where the tape of the day's show was. Liza, who had only minutes before sent the tape off to editing, claimed ignorance. She said that the tape was probably trashed. Tad order Liza to stop "yanking his chain." He knew that she was lying. He begged Liza to reconsider airing the tape. He said that it was not fair to Brooke to embarrass her on national television. Liza wouldn't budge. She said that Brooke was a national figure and her melt down needed to be shown. This was an exclusive that had to be shown. Tad couldn't believe that Liza had become as cold as Adam and walked away shaking his head.

Brooke returned home and headed straight for the phone. She felt a need to phone Jack and ask for his legal advice in pursuing TransGlobal. Jim took the phone from her hand and slammed it down on the receiver. He asked Brooke to "give it up" and stop chasing the airline. Brook's demeanor changed. She accused Jim of being bought out by the airline. Jim insisted that he had not been bought. He warned Brooke that her crusade against TransGlobal would drive her insane. TransGlobal is Brooke's white whale. Whatever personal spirits Brooke is trying to hide by going after the airline will eat her alive if she doesn't take time out to deal with them. "No one," Brooke yelled is going to tell her "how to live or what to feel ever again." She rose from her chair and walked over to the steps. Then she went upstairs, but her stride was peculiar. Instead of walking up the steps normally, she walked like a small child as she stepped up to one step and then brought the other foot up to the same step before proceeding.

Back at Wildwind, Skye and Edmund dined on Skye's concoction. Edmund was kind in that he did not make fun of Skye's meal. Edmund asked Skye about the song she had been humming earlier in the day. Skye couldn't remember the name. She said that she remembered her mother humming the song. Oddly, she had not been able to remember the tune until now. Soon after they were done eating, the doorbell ring. A police officer stood at the door with a paper for Edmund. The document was a petition by Dimitri for custody of Madeline.

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Wednesday, September 24, 1997
by Dan J Kroll

Somehow Dimitri was able to track down Gloria. Gloria was surprised that her husband was able to locate her, but not disappointed. She apologized for leaving a note rather than telling him face to face that she needed time away. Dimitri understood. He said that she needed to think and during that time he stated that he also did some thinking. Dimitri called Edmund an unfit father and expressed his desire to get custody of Maddie. Dimitri told Gloria of his recruitment of Mary and her frequent reports on Edmund's condition. In a surprisingly deceptive comment, Dimitri told Gloria that Edmund is becoming more and more like Alf Gresham, Edmund's father. This comparison conjured up horrific images of Edmund unleashing violence against his small children. Dimitri told Gloria that he did not have an eyewitness to the abuse, but claimed that he is sure that Edmund beats his children. Gloria was troubled by the news and understood Dimitri's concern for Maddie's safety. Who, she asked, would take care of Sam? Dimitri reminded Gloria that he has no biological claim to Sam, but he said he could urge the Cortlandts or Martins to petition for custody of Sam. Dimitri asked Gloria to stand by his side while he struggles to win his daughter from the grasp of a tyrannical father. Dimitri begged Gloria to share her love with him and his daughter. Gloria responded by telling Dimitri that she had not made up her mind on the future of their relationship. That was fine with Dimitri. He only asked---and needed---Gloria to return home. By returning, Gloria would help Dimitri's claim that he has a suitable home and family with which to raise Maddie. That bit of information, however, he kept hidden from Gloria. Gloria agreed to return home with her husband, but only on a trial basis. Dimitri had no problem with her decision and told her that if all goes well, they'll be a family of three within 24 hours.

Edmund was furious as Dimitri's posturing. Skye pleaded with Edmund to calm down before his temper got the best of him. Edmund swore that he would kill Dimitri if he got the chance, but Skye managed to dissuade Edmund from his homicidal thoughts. Skye assured Edmund that a judge would not remove Maddie from her established home and convinced him to consult with his attorney.

Trevor suggested that he Tim and Amanda take a trip to the lake over the Columbus Day holiday. Tim liked the idea, but requested that Janet not be included in the plans. "She thinks she lives here," Tim groaned. Her ears must have been ringing because Janet showed up at the front door just as Tim was mentioning her name. Janet could tell that she was interrupting something, but she asked if she could drop off some books for Amanda. In another case of speak of the devil, Amanda chose that moment to wander downstairs. Upon seeing Janet, she asked her mother if she could tuck her into bed. While Janet was upstairs, Tim told his father that he doesn't like Janet hanging around the house. A phone call from Edmund came through and Trevor raced off to Wildwind to help Edmund with his custody battle.

Laura returned home, but her homecoming was ruined when she saw Jim sitting on the sofa. Jim explained that he had put Brooke to bed and was waiting around to make sure that Brooke didn't wake up. Laura was confused; Brooke was supposed to be in the hospital. She ordered Jim to leave, citing her ability to take care of her mother. Jim was frustrated by Laura's hostility and he demanded that Laura treat him with more respect. Laura refused. She told Jim that she's decided to come clean on her past and tell Scott and Brooke about "the photos." Jim encouraged Laura to tell the truth, but not for the right reasons. Jim reveled in the prospect of Laura's cozy life being turned upside-down. Grace arrived to discuss heating problems at the shelter with Brooke, but she was equally interested in talking to Jim: the Town Hero. Grace asked Jim if he'd mind stopping by the shelter. She told him of a young runaway who spoke little, but showed an interest in photography. Perhaps Jim could help open the young girl up to communication. Laura shouted her objection. Grace twisted her neck around and asked Laura why she objected. Jim offered the explanation. He claimed that Laura was concerned that his time with Brooke would be compromised if he helped out at the shelter. Grace applauded Laura's thoughtfulness and also praised her for her good work at the Youth Center. After Grace returned home to soak in a hot tub, Jim used Grace's praise as a weapon against Laura. He asked her what the children at the center would think if they learned that Laura posed naked. And Jim called Brooke "psychotic" and stated that she'd be unable to accept Laura's news. Laura ordered Jim out of her house. He obliged, but said that he'd be back.

Belinda went to the bar at the Valley Inn to unwind after an evening of work. She bumped into Miles Christopher and allowed him to join her at her table. The two talked about work, family, and Belinda's upraising in the projects. But things grew uneasy for Miles when Belinda asked him about his line of business. Miles nervously stated that he is the president of Corview, but stopped there. Perhaps he was waiting for a reaction from Belinda---to see if she knew of the Corview-TransGlobal link. She didn't. So when Belinda asked what Corview does, Miles was forced to tip-toe around the truth. He said that his company dabbles in real estate and other ventures. The chat was broken up when Dimitri showed up with a business proposition. He asked Belinda if he'd join his legal team in his forthcoming custody fight. Belinda felt that she was not needed on the legal team especially since Dimitri had two of the top lawyers in the country already on his legal counsel. She accused Dimitri of trying to use her, relative of Maria, to win sympathy with the jury. She out-and-out refused to help Dimitri "steal" Maddie from her real father and told Dimitri to hit the road. From there the evening was pretty much ruined and even flattering comments from Miles couldn't save the day. Frustrated, Belinda stomped off.

Trevor had the unpleasant task of telling Edmund that judges in most custody battles rule for the biological parent. Edmund was angry that love meant less than genetics. Trevor told Edmund that he would order another paternity test and have all of Dimitri and Maria's paternity files subpoenaed. Skye's eyes bulged at Trevor's news. Her mind flashed back to her test altering and Andy's, the lab technician she seduced to gain access to the results, threat to expose her. Edmund wasn't keen on subjecting Maddie to more tests and asked if they could use Dimitri's recent erratic behavior against him. Trevor wrote several comments on his notepad and agreed that Dimitri's demeanor could be used as evidence. He announced that he would send a summons to all those affected by Dimitri's ill-will: Joe, Palmer, Esther, and possibly Erica. Trevor also noted that Dimitri's decision to marry Gloria might help his case because it'll allow him to present a strong family unit. Trevor left for the evening and promised to take swift action on the matter. After all, the court hearing was first thing in the morning. Edmund refused to allow Trevor to use "foot dragging" methods in their case. He said that he does not want the case to drag on for months and years while a dark cloud hangs over him. Edmund thanked Trevor for his help and also praised Skye as a "sane woman" who's helped him a great deal.

Back at the Dillon house, Tim blasted his music loud enough to interfere with Amanda's sleep. When Janet asked Tim to turn down the volume, he challenged her authority. He told Janet that he was old enough to look after Amanda and that her help is not needed. As Tim lifted up his books and prepared to take his music to another room, a paper fell out of his binder and fluttered to the floor. Janet picked up the paper and shook her head. Janet called the paper, a pornographic photo from the Internet, trash and asked Tim not to leave the photos laying around the house. Tim refused to accept Janet's request. She isn't his mother. Janet nodded. She is, however, Amanda's mom and has a right to not want her daughter to inadvertently find the photo. The two bickered back and forth and were eventually interrupted by Trevor's return. Janet covered for Tim. She said that they were arguing over a rated-R movie. Tim left the room and Janet asked Trevor that he not tell Tim about their date. Trevor agreed. Later, Tim returned to the room and checked to see if Janet had told his father about the nudie picture. Convinced that Janet stayed mum, Tim headed for bed and ducked his father's questions as to why Tim dislikes Janet.

In the morning, Janet showed up to take Amanda on a picnic. Tim asked Janet why she didn't tell Trevor about the photo. Janet claimed that she is not a tattletail, but she's still opposed to the smut. Tim repeated his conviction: Janet is not his mother, she he doesn't care what she thinks.

Outside the courtroom, Edmund, Skye, and Trevor went over their defense. Edmund asked Skye to return to Wildwind and babysit Sam. Before she left, Skye asked Edmund if he had brought his pain killers. Edmund nodded and removed a pill bottle from his pocket. He had no way of knowing that Dimitri had come within hearing and seeing distance.

Jim kept his promise and returned to taunt Laura. He asked her if she had reconsidered her decision to come clean on her photos. Laura told Jim that she was going to tell that truth---the whole truth. Jim doubted that Laura would tell everything. "What will Brooke think," Jim asked, "when she finds out that you killed your mother?"

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Thursday, September 25, 1997
by Dan J Kroll

Liza's jowl drooled as she viewed the rough cut of her masterpiece. That, of course, being her tape of Brooke's unraveling at the WRCW studios. Adam entered the office to have a few words with his wife, but she hushed him so that she could focus on the video. Adam slowly walked to a better vantage point. He raised his hand to his mouth as the shock of the video hit him with all its force. Suddenly the pieces began to fall into place: The woman on the commuter flight from Washington was Brooke! He told Liza that she could not air the tape because it wouldn't be fair to Brooke. Liza insisted that the show must go on. Outside the room, Scott debated whether or not he should interrupt the fight to drop off some tapes. When Gillian arrived, his mind was made up. He decided to hand the videos over to another employee and head out to dinner with Gillian. Stuart, however, happened upon the office a short time later. He displayed an awful lot of courage because he decided to enter the office and face the Adam-Liza battle. Stuart scolded both for yelling at each other and asked what they were arguing about this time. They each explained their side of the argument. Stuart told his brother that the decision to air the video ultimately falls on Liza. Adam was angered that his brother took Liza's side. But Stuart continued on and said that he does not think Liza should air the video. Now, Liza was upset with Stuart for backing Adam. Simultaneously, Adam and Liza asked "who's side are you on?" Stuart told them that their were no sides and urged them to stop fighting sometime before the baby arrives. Adam groused about his brother's comment and Liza told Stuart to "go paint a landscape."

Trevor advised Edmund to take a pain killer before entering court, but Edmund refused. Neither knew that Dimitri had entered the courthouse and overheard them. Dimitri smiled coldly as he told Edmund that his custody battle isn't personal; He only wants what's best for Maddie. Tad entered from behind and from the moment he entered sight, Gloria was unable to take her eyes off of her former fiancé. Edmund warned Dimitri to wipe the smirk off of his face. Joe and Ruth were next to arrive. Joe shook his head as he disbelieving said that he thought he "knew" Dimitri. Katherine, Dimitri's attorney, entered and pulled Dimitri aside to review some facts. Tad asked to speak to Gloria, but she initially refused. He asked Gloria where they stand on their relationship. He explained that he's been unable to forget the kiss they shared in her hotel room. Gloria informed Tad that she took some time away from Pine Valley to think about her life and her loves. That's when Tad realized that Gloria had decided to stick out her marriage to Dimitri. "I love him," Gloria stated as she told Tad that Dimitri has never hurt her. Tad disagreed. He said that Dimitri has hurt everyone in town at one time or another and claimed that everything Dimitri touches "withers and dies." Gloria was offended by Tad's comment and boasted of Dimitri's devotion to Maddie. Tad reminded Gloria that Ray Gardner (Tad's biological father; See The Gardner Family Tree or Who's Who in Pine Valley/Tad Martin for more information) was also a "father," but Tad would hardly proclaim Ray the father of the year. Tad accused Gloria of fawning over the title of mother. That, he said sternly, is the only reason Gloria is sticking by Dimitri.
Inside the courtroom, Dimitri tried to play nice to Joe and Ruth. He asked Joe about his heart condition and generally made light of Joe's ordeal. Joe informed Dimitri that he was "not available for medical consultation" and walked away. Katherine asked Dimitri about his DUI arrest, but Dimitri felt that his driving record was not relevant to the case. Edmund hung up his jacket on a chair and mingled with Joe, Ruth, and Tad at the back of the courtroom. Dimitri slinked over to the other side of the courtroom and replaced Edmund's pills with some pills he had hidden in his suit jacket. He then slithered back over to his side of the room and sat down.

At the art gallery, Stuart and Esther discussed Adam and Liza's love-hate relationship. Both agreed that something had to be done to get the two together. Stuart picked up the phone and dialed Liza's office. Then, using his best Adam impersonation, he convinced Liza that he was, in fact, her husband. StuAdam apologized to Liza for arguing with her and told her that he wants to get together with her later. Liza was touched by the apology and agreed to meet Adam at the gallery. Stuart hung up the phone and giggled cheerfully with Esther. Esther was amazed by Stuart's impression and asked him how he mastered Adam's voice. Stuart blushed at Esther's praise and said that he'd been listening to Adam's voice since he was a child and knew what Adam sounded like. Unfortunately, he frowned, Adam also knew how to impersonate him. Stuart got back on the horn and phoned his brother. He said that Liza had called him and asked him to tell Adam to meet her at the gallery. The stage was set, Stuart later told Esther, for a reconciliation.

Court began with the judge calling the case a "clear case" of paternal rights. As Trevor presented his case, he challenged the judge's comment. Trevor agreed that Dimitri might be Maddie's biological father, but he refused to call Dimitri the child's "natural father." Dimitri, Trevor stated, is a "reckless misfit." Trevor called Tad to the stand and asked him about Dimitri's part in breaking up his wedding to Gloria. But on cross-examination, Katherine shot holes in Tad's testimony. Why, she asked, would Gloria marry a man who tormented her as Tad claimed. Perhaps, she suggested, Dimitri's attitude was part of a natural courtship and Tad was angry at Dimitri for stealing away his fiancée. Ruth was called next and told the judge how she feared for her husband's safety when Dimitri showed on her doorstep on the day of Tad and Gloria's almost-wedding. Later, Joe described Dimitri's callous attitude towards him and how he deserted him in the midst of a heart attack. Dimitri ordered Katherine to call for a recess. She found his request rather odd, but she agreed. The judge granted a five minute recess---just long enough for Dimitri to enact his devious scheme.

Jim told Laura that he was in the basement of the building where Laura lived just before the fire. There, he saw Laura set fire to the photographs that he had taken of her. Laura's eyes widened, her mouth gaped, and her heart raced. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. "That little lighter," Jim smiled, "gave quite a flame." Laura asked Jim why he hadn't told her before that he knew she caused the fire. She claimed that she only wanted to destroy the photos and that she did not mean for the entire building to burn down. Laura asked Jim why he didn't extinguish the fire if he saw it burning. Jim explained that he had ran away long before he knew the fire had gotten out of control. Laura told Jim that her mother had found the photos and tore into her for posing for the explicit snapshots. The last words Laura's mom issued were an expression of disgust; She called Laura "trash." Jim loved watching Laura squirm and rubbed salt in the wound by asking Laura what is what like to have those word be the last words that she ever heard from her mom. Laura began to sob and she said was responsible for her mother's death. Brooke wandered down the steps and asked Laura why she was so upset. Jim offered an explanation, saying that Laura still gets choked up over losing her mother when she thinks about Brooke's near death on the TransGlobal flight. Brooke announced that she was going to get ready for her appearance at the police station and went back upstairs. After getting ready, she told Jim that she did not need him to tag along with her. Laura told Jim that after she burned the photos, she spent time walking the streets and thinking about what she'd done. When she returned home, she saw the flames and everyone standing on the street. Everyone except her mother. No one, Laura said, other than Jim saw her in the basement with the photos. Jim saw a way to patch up their differences; If Laura keeps quiet on the kiddie porn photos, he will not tell anyone that she committed matricide.

Stuart and Esther headed to WRCW to find the tape with Brooke's meltdown. As the two searched around, the both eventually found a suspicious tape. AS they went to reach for it, their hands touched.

At the gallery, a romantic atmosphere had been set. A candlelight dinner and classical music greeted Liza when she arrived. A few minutes later, Adam arrived. Both smiled as they thought that the other was responsible for the display of affection.

Back in court, Dimitri waltzed over to Edmund and offered him one final attempt at settling their dispute amicably. When Edmund refused, Dimitri shrugged his shoulders and told his brother that he would have to retaliate for the way Trevor tarnished his image. Without warning, Dimitri pushed one of the extra chairs closer to the table and trapped Edmund's hand. He continued to apply the pressure until Edmund doubled over in pain. Dimitri apologized for the "accident" and walked away. Gloria noted that Edmund looked to be in terrible pain, but she declined Dimitri's suggestion to check out Edmund's hand when she saw Edmund popping one of his pills. The medicine should, she said, subdue the pain. "It should," Dimitri grinned.

At Holidays, Tim met with one of his schoolmates and they exchanged photos they had downloaded off of the Internet. Tim's friend called Tim's nudie photo weak and showed him a picture he had found. Tim's face fell as he looked at the photo. He called the photo disgusting and told his friend that the subject off the photo was just a kid. Tim said that he has a young sister and wouldn't want someone to display photos of her like that. Tim ripped the photo in half, crumpled it into a ball, and tossed it on the floor.
Across the room, Gillian, who had been lunching with Scott, bent over and picked up the paper out of curiosity. When she opened the crumpled up ball, she saw that the subject of the photo was.... Laura!

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Friday, September 26, 1997
by Dan J Kroll

As Stuart and Esther reached for a videotape, their hands touched. Both embarrassed, they pulled their hands away. Stuart apologized for the "accident," but Esther told him he has nothing to be sorry for. Stuart picked up the tape and put it into his bag. They were both pleased that Brooke's meltdown would not be broadcast. Esther glowed as she told Stuart that she was excited to be a part of life. Usually, life happens to her rather than with her. Stuart pulled a flashlight out of his bag, turned it on, and set it beam-down on the table. He then flipped off the lights in the office and asked Esther to join him at the table. The flashlight made a makeshift candelabra and Stuart and Esther dined on a chocolate bar and Valley Mart Cola. Esther told Stuart that her day was filled with preparations for the winter. She thinks it's safe to say that her trailer is fully winterized. As Esther talked, it became apparent that she was planning to head south for the winter. Stuart begged her not to go; He would miss her terribly and wants to enjoy the winter with her. He listed a variety of winter activities that they could do together. Esther blushed as she told Stuart that she'd love to stay in Pine Valley and spend time with Stuart.

Court resumed and Edmund was called to the stand. In his testimony, Edmund told the judge that Dimitri has sworn that he would never seek custody of Maddie. Katherine quickly pointed out that Edmund had no paperwork to verify his claim. The judge noticed that Edmund's demeanor had changed; He was definitely in pain. Edmund told the judge that he was fine and asked that the hearing proceed. Katherine asked Edmund several questions about the plane crash and tried to determine what injuries Edmund had suffered. She asked Edmund to sign his name. Edmund painfully struggled to scribble his name and his grimace let all those assembled in the courtroom know that he was having a hard time. Katherine noted that Edmund had suffered dizzy spells after the crash and asked if these spells were still a problem for him. Edmund rose from his seat to prove that he was okay, but he lost his balance and crashed to the ground. Dimitri rose to his feet and pointed mockingly at his brother. He ordered the judge to end the trial because Edmund was obviously unable to care for a child. His brother's taunts got the best of him and Edmund leapt over the witness box and lunged at Dimitri. Trevor pulled his client to the side and ordered him to cool his jets. Trevor advised Edmund to make an apology to the court. He concurred, but the judge didn't seem moved by the expression of remorse. Katherine next asked Edmund if his condition was part of a post concussion syndrome. Edmund didn't answer the question. Instead he said that he is still in the process of grieving for his wife and has had little time to concentrate on Dimitri's ambush. As Edmund started to issue his commentary on Dimitri, Katherine quickly ended her questioning. Trevor had but one question for Edmund: Does he love Maddie? Edmund professed his love for the child, saying that he has loved Maddie from the first moment he learned that Maria was pregnant. Next up was Katherine's attempt to rebuild Dimitri and make him look like a suitable father.

Laura asked Jim why he had decided to set up shop in Pine Valley. "I don't know," Jim smiled. "Why did you set the fire?" Laura growled that Jim has no purpose in town. He, of course, begged to differ. He told Laura that Brooke needs him. Sure she has friends and family, but she and him had been permanently bonded by surviving the plane crash. Laura threatened to break that bond by telling of Jim's dabbling in child pornography. If Laura speaks up, Jim said that he would have no choice but to tell the whole truth. And that truth includes a fiery end for Laura's mom. Jim vowed to take care of everything and urged Laura to play by his rules. "It'll be like old times," he said. Laura didn't want to play by Jim's rules. Jim had no objection to Laura's decision, but he warned her that she'd spend a long, long time in jail for murdering her mother. Laura professed her innocence and said that she'd take Jim down with her. Kiddie porn, she noted, carries a long jail term. Jim told Laura that Brooke would be devastated if her goodie-goodie daughter was sentenced to life in jail. He told Laura that the smartest thing to do would be to do as he said. He told Laura that she needs to "repackage" her past so that she can win back Scott. He urged her to tell Scott that her aversion to sex is a direct result of her days in New York, Jim suggested that Laura say that she was accosted by drunks and druggies who groped her and exposed themselves to her. That, he smiled, will make her look like "slightly damaged goods," but it'll keep her out of trouble. But he warned Laura that he'll expose her as a firebug if she even thinks about mentioning the photos.

Unlike Tim, Gillian instantly knew the subject of the photo---Laura! She quickly hid the photo as Scott returned to the table. Gillian told Scott that she had been people watching. She noted that everyone provides a mystery; They might look normal on the outside, but everyone has a mystery. "Take Laura," she said. Scott told Gillian about Laura's rugged life in a roach infested one room abode in New York. Gillian found it difficult to believe that Laura was such a "prude" considering her big city upbringing. Scott stuck up for Laura and said that she was not a prude. Gillian told Scott that she had been called a tramp by Laura and felt it only fair to retaliate. "I enjoy the opposite sex," Gillian smiled. "But that doesn't make me a slut." Scott told Gillian that he was Laura's first boyfriend, but never mentioned that Laura was his first girlfriend. Gillian chuckled as she realized that Laura was still a virgin. Gillian leaned in and stroked Scott's chin just as Laura entered the restaurant.

Adam asked Liza how she had time to plan a romantic dinner. She looked at his strangely and reminded him that it was his party. Adam was equally confused. He thought Liza had planned the dinner. It took but a few scant minutes to realize that Stuart was behind the plan. Liza turned to walk away, but halfway to the door she doubled over. Adam raced to her side and escorted her to a chair. Liza informed Adam that she was not in pain... the baby kicked. Liza smiled and said that their daughter obviously demands attention. Adam bowed his head. A daughter? Liza explained that she had no proof that she was having a girl. It was just a feeling. Liza was stunned that Adam was concerned about her. "If anything happened to you..." Adam said softly. "Thank God you're okay." They proposed a toast to their child and to a cease fire. Adam called himself a fool for causing Liza so much trouble. He asked her to return to Chandler Mansion and bask in the glory of motherhood. He offered her the best food, drink, help, and happiness. Liza wasn't so sure that a return to the mansion was the best idea. She reminded Adam that he is hardly an easy man to live with. And her raging hormones and mood swings won't help matters. Adam vowed to keep his cool while Liza's living at the mansion. There will be no fights, he promised. Again, Liza was impressed by Adam's devotion. She wondered why he would do all of these things for her. Adam thought the answer was obvious. He looked deep into Liza's eyes and told her that he loves her. He then leaned over and gave is wife a kiss.

Katherine called Gloria to the stand. Gloria said that Edmund is a good man and a great father, but said that she fears that his health problems will prevent him from providing adequate care to Maddie. In his own defense, so to speak, Dimitri said that it was not easy for him to go after custody of his daughter. But a defenseless child, he said, needs someone to protect it. Mateo was the final witness in the hearing. He told the judge that he and Hayley were Maddie's godparents, He also made it known that Maria had declared that he and Hayley would be the children's guardians if anything happened to her and Edmund. Nothing, he said, was ever mentioned about Dimitri.
In closing statements, Katherine said that Dimitri should be given his due parental rights. But even if the issue of paternity were to be tossed out, Dimitri still makes a better father than Edmund. "Obviously," she stated, "the [plane] crash took an unfair toll on" Edmund. But the fact remains that Edmund is simply "unfit."
Trevor defended Edmund without the flash of a bigwig attorney. He accused Dimitri of being a vulture who had waited until Edmund was down on his luck to move in for the kill. Maddie is a "living legacy" to Edmund from Maria. He begged the judge to honor that gift and allow Edmund to retain custody.
The judge reviewed her notes and decided that she'd heard enough. She was ready to render her verdict.

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Recaps for the week of September 29, 1997 (Following Week)
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