The heated passion of MEGAN and TONY is abruptly interrupted by an unexpected visit from NINA who has come to deliver a packet of information concerning Phillip's upcoming soccer tournament. She's surprised to see the sweaty, fevered expressions of the two not-yet lovers and realizes that she's interrupted a tryst. Nina finds this fascinating and begins to ask questions, especially concerning the whereabouts of Tricia. Megan answers vaguely and Nina realizes that she is silently being asked to leave. When she's gone, a frustrated Meg wonders if she and Tony are ever going to have any time alone. She suggests that they go back to Tony's apartment but he nixes that idea, telling Megan that Tricia will come home, figure out where they've gone, and come after him "with a sub-machine gun." Megan suddenly brightens and tells Tony that with spring break being two days away, they could take off to Daytona and kill two birds with one stone: Tony can earn brownie points with Joe by bringing back that car he needs delivered and they can spend time alone. Keith is away on business and Megan admits that she just doesn't care what Tricia thinks. Tony has to admit that he doesn't think the idea is a bad one, but he still has reservations.
At the garage, JOE gets a nasty phone call from a dissatisfied customer. Joe tries to explain that his driver backed out and will gladly refund the deposit but the infuriated man demands the car he ordered and wants it delivered immediately. Joe hangs up the phone and dejectedly runs his fingers through his hair. How on earth is he going to pull this off?
COLE and VICTORIA continue to argue about Victoria's continued intrusion into his and Ashley's personal lives. Just as Victoria is about to expound on the conversation she overheard at Rafael's studio door, ASHLEY breezes into the Abbott mansion to tell Cole about Victor's situation. When Cole starts to explain Victoria's presence, Ashley brushes him off and extends her sympathies to an unenlightened Victoria. When Ashley tells Victoria that Victor was in a small plane that crashed in the New Mexico desert, Victoria immediately rushes out of the house headed to NE where Ashley has told her she last saw Nikki. Once Victoria is gone, Ashley unloads the entire story of the company coup. Cole immediately tells her that Jack and Brad conveniently called the Board meeting with key Board members absent, especially Victoria. Ashley reminds him that he is now a part of the Abbott family and Cole should give Jack the benefit of the doubt until he hears all the facts behind Jack's actions and that he doesn't know enough about the business to pass judgment. She's annoyed that Cole is so ready to defend the father of his ex-wife. Cole promises to hear Jack out but tells Ashley that right now they need to pray for Victor.
LYNNE takes dictation from a distracted PAUL and suggests that they finish the letter at another time. CARL interrupts them and Lynne exits gracefully. Carl explains the fiasco with Charlie on the previous evening. He tells Paul that he tried to stay out of the situation but could not allow Charlie to lay a guilt trip on Mary, which caused harsh words between the two men. Even worse, Carl believes that Mary mistook his concern for jealousy. Now, Mary's not home and Carl's concerned. Paul tells him that perhaps she's at Sacred Heart involved in a church event. Carl asks that should Paul see Mary, please tell her that if she still wants to talk with him to call.
MARY stands outside RUTH'S home in Norfolk because she's decided that if Carl won't answer her questions, perhaps Ruth will. When Ruth opens the door and finds her there, she asks if Mary's come to gloat, saying that with "all of them working on Jim" she's sure that he's got his full memory back now. Mary tells her that isn't the case at all and she wonders if Carl will ever remember his former life. When Mary asks Ruth to tell her about her life with "Jim," Ruth delicately recalls how Carl slowly mended from his cuts and bruises and became Jim Bradley. They used to make up childhood memories for "Jim" and even gave him a birthday. Tears stream down Mary's cheeks as Ruth conveys the unconditional love she and "Jim" shared. Bitterly Ruth asks, "Excuse me. Did you ask me if I loved him?" Ruth is emotionally distraught and tells Mary that she can no longer talk to her. When Ruth leaves the room, Mary touches items in the kitchen that she knows belongs to Carl. As Mary picks up a photograph inscribed with a loving message from "Jim" to Ruth, the phone rings. In the hallway out of earshot, Ruth answers the phone and her hurt and bitterness melt away as she softly cries, "Oh Jim, I can't believe it's you."
BRETT greets Nina with a kiss when she arrives at their table at Gina's. He's ordered wine and two appetizers, which happen to be Nina's favorites. Nina tells her about her unusual confrontation with Megan and Tony and bets that Tricia has no idea what's going on in her apartment. Just at that moment, Brett sees TRICIA enter the restaurant.
GINA bemoans that fact that Ryan's return has been delayed a third time and promises Tricia a chocolate torte for dessert that may help soothe her lonesome spirit. Before she's seated, Tricia tells Gina that she sees "friends" and would like to speak to them first. When Tricia approaches Nina and Brett she is congenial and learns that Nina dropped off the soccer information at the apartment earlier. To Nina's awestruck surprise, Tricia asks if Megan and Tony were having a good time. Nina chooses not to tell Tricia that she interrupted a moment of passion between the couple and just mentions that they seemed to have enjoyed cooking dinner together. With that, Tricia excuses herself. Brett tells Nina that the only word to describe her is awesome. Nina admits that for the longest time she was a bitter woman and she took potshots at Tricia to keep Tricia off balance but now it's not fun anymore. "Besides," she says sheepishly. "It's too easy." Brett asks her what changed her attitude and she tells him that he has three guesses -- only the first two don't count. Before he can answer, she leans over to him and kisses him tenderly.
MALCOLM finds NEIL in Victor's office updating Victor's computer files. They briefly discuss Victor's crash but Malcolm has tracked Neil down because he needs to talk about Olivia and to admit that Neil was right about Olivia. He explains how their dinner at Gina's ended disastrously and now Olivia has pulled two overnighters at the hospital. It's evident to Malcolm now that his wife is avoiding him. Neil again suggests that he put himself in Olivia's shoes and give her time to digest what's happened. Malcolm tells Neil he has a better plan.
Surprising OLIVIA in her office, Malcolm suggests that they take a family vacation like the one they had planned at Thanksgiving last year. Olivia coolly tells him that now is not a good time but Malcolm adds that it would be the perfect time to introduce Nate to world travel and even suggests a trip to Europe. Despite Malcolm's pleading, Olivia is firm. "I'm sorry," she states. "I can't. The answer is no."
Victoria blows into Victor's office like a hurricane. Neil is still working there and she demands to know every detail about her father's accident. Neil tells her what he knows but explains that the search was called until morning off due to a severe storm in the area. The search team is confident that Victor is alive because they found footprints leading away from the wreckage. Victoria is near hysterics, stating that her father may be seriously wounded, lying out in the desert all alone. When Neil alludes to the takeover, Victoria becomes aGityated having no inclination as to what Neil is talking about. Neil realizes this and has the unpleasant task of explaining about Jack and Brad's conspiracy, ending in their coup of NE. Enraged, Victoria prowls about Victor's office like a wounded lioness and states that Jack and Brad's scheme will never work because her father will be found and Victor will rectify this mutiny. In shades of her father, Victoria shouts, "I'm back and we'll come down on those bastards before they know what hit them. We'll crush them. That is a promise!"
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Directed by Heather H. Hill
OLIVIA tells MALCOLM that the reason she must forego a vacation at this juncture is because she's been awarded a prestigious position, Director of Residents, and although it's not permanent, it is a three-month commitment. At first, Malcolm complains about Olivia's work getting in the way but immediately apologizes, telling her how proud he is of her.
RUTH is excited to hear from CARL/JIM and MARY takes notice of the phone conversation. When Ruth asks about the progress of regaining his memory, Carl tells her there has been none. He emotionally admits that this whole situation is tearing his soul apart. He loves Ruth but realizes that Mary and Paul are his family and he just can't walk away from them. Ruth soothingly tells him that's one of the reasons she loves him so much. He is an honorable man and Ruth respects that. When the phone call ends, Ruth announces to Mary that "Jim" called her and Mary tells her that she is aware of who Ruth was speaking to. Ruth also thought that Mary would have been gone and adds that she and "Jim" share a strong bond that's not been broken in a decade. With much dignity and restraint, Mary offers that she has shared a bond with the same man, but even longer with memories that were real. Mary doesn't know what will happen but things could change in a moment. She leaves quietly and Ruth embraces the photo of "Jim."
NEIL tries to comfort VICTORIA by reminding her that Victor is indestructible. A bid calmer, Victoria states that when her father returns he will have Jack and Brad for lunch. Changing the subject, Neil wonders why Victoria went to Spain and implies that she followed Cole there with ulterior motives. Victoria tells Neil that Cole was just present in Spain; the reason she left was because Neil broke their engagement but she doesn't want to rehash the past at this point. With semi-knowledge of something clandestine with Ashley, Victoria wonders if Cole was a part of the coup because she just doesn't believe that Jack and Brad could have planned this by themselves. Neil has reservations and states them. Victoria pursues thoughts of Ashley's possible involvement since she is Jack's sister. Neil and Victoria's ponderings are interrupted by a visit from COLE, who has come to check on the status of Victor. Neil and he exchange pleasantries before Neil leaves Victor's office. Victoria wastes no time in telling Cole that she feels that his wife was in cahoots with Jack and Brad. Cole is angered and reminds Victoria that he saw Ashley's reaction to the news of Victor's plane crash and her astonishment at the announcement of the company takeover. Victoria curtly tells Cole that he is now a member of the Abbott family and knows where his allegiance lies. Besides, Ashley is a fine actress. She dismisses him, saying that they have nothing further to discuss. After Cole leaves, Victoria stands before the mantle of the fireplace and gently touches the rim of Victor's portrait.
LYNNE asks PAUL if she should try to contact Mary but Paul admits that he wouldn't know what to say to her. CHRIS joins them and Paul fills her in on the situation concerning Charlie and also the fact that his mother has come to understand that his father is still in love with Ruth. Chris states that Mary must be devastated and Paul adds that he feels totally helpless. Paul then inquires about Cassie's case, which will be heard in court tomorrow. Chris doesn't have a fix on what might happen. Paul thinks that Al's record of child molestation should assure that Sharon would keep Cassie but Chris tells him that if Alice has a smart lawyer, he'll have the same information they have on Al and will advise Alice to cut her ties with Al. She also informs Paul that Fred is going to start surveillance 24/7 on Alice and Al because she feels that they will eventually lead them to Millie. Chris' greatest fear is that nothing will be clear-cut in court tomorrow and that Cassie will be forced into foster care.
MICHAEL is viewing his tape of Alice's attempt to extort money from the Newmans when GRACE pops in. She tells him that she tossed and turned all night and then realized that they have the perfect ammunition to squash Alice's chance of gaining custody. Michael lies to Grace, telling her that the video camera didn't work. Grace is angered but Michael tells her he's a lawyer, not a video technician. Grace continues to rant until Michael informs her that Alice has retained him as her lawyer. Ecstatic, Grace embraces him and is satisfied that Cassie's future is secure. Michael rushes her out, stating that he has to prepare for the case tomorrow which Grace finds unusual since she assumes Michael is going into the courtroom to intentionally lose. Michael tells her that he never goes into a courtroom unprepared and Grace gently kisses him on the cheek. When Grace has gone, he removes the tape from the VCR and wonders aloud about how much Christine Williams would give to see this tape.
In Madison, AL comes home and ALICE barks that he forgot to take out the trash and now it will sit there until it's picked up next week. Al soothes her and tells her that they need to go and get blood tests -- he's found a Justice of the Peace to marry them. Alice tells Al that she doesn't even know that much about him except for his beer preference and the color of his underwear. Al sweetly says that Alice's impassioned plea to Michael about winning custody of Cassie made him re-think his position on fatherhood. He wants to marry Alice, just as Michael suggested, and first go after Cassie. Then when Cassie is safely with them, they can travel down the avenue of revenge and make the Newmans pay for keeping Cassie from Alice all this time.
GINA welcomes ASHLEY at the restaurant. Ashley is looking for Jack but Gina hasn't seen him. Gina offers Ashley a drink and Ashley says that she could use a good martini but will settle for herbal tea instead. As she sits at the table hoping that Jack will stumble in, Neil joins her. They speak of the coup in great detail and he tells Ashley how he and Jill fought Jack and Brad tooth and nail. Not understanding how the coup could have been successful with a stalemate of two votes to two, Neil shares that Diane was the deciding factor and her Board seat was part of her divorce settlement with Victor. Despite how this all looks, Ashley states that she must hear her brother's side of the argument before she passes judgment.
Malcolm spooks Neil with a childhood game when he sees him sitting alone at Gina's. He tells Neil that he is planning a vacation for his family. Thinking that the trip is imminent, Neil offers to watch the apartment but Malcolm tells him about Olivia's new position at the hospital. Neil sympathizes that this has definitely thrown a wrench in Malcolm's plans but after Olivia's rotation as Director of Residents is over in three months, he is confident that the wounds of the recent past will be healed. Malcolm agrees.
Ashley paces in the Abbott living room and Cole returns. He tells Ashley that he doesn't think that Brad and Jack could have possibly taken over the company for the reasons they've stated. Cole rationalizes that Victor's vacation was to be short and even if funds had been misallocated, the matter could have waited for Victor's return. Ashley hears Cole out but staunchly stands that she must talk to Jack before she makes her own decision. Cole announces that he's tired and turning in but Ashley wants to wait up a while longer for Jack. Cole is interested in what Jack has to say as well and bids Ashley goodnight. Ashley looks torn and softly says, "Where are you Jack? If you're avoiding me -- why?"
DOCTOR HUNT comes to Olivia's office with the paperwork that Olivia will need for her new job assignment. He is surprised that Olivia came to him and requested this position because he realizes what a trying time her family has just survived. This new job is going to require many hours away from her husband and son. Olivia weakly smiles and tells him that being Director of Residents is an honor and a privilege and although she realizes the restraints that may affect her life, the position is worth the loss of her personal time. It's a good career move and this is just the time for her to tackle it.
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Directed by Mike Denney
Home from a night with Diane, ASHLEY finds JACK in the living room and greets him warmly but quickly tells him that she isn't interested in idle chitchat -- she wants to know why he and Brad pulled the coup. Jack presents his "facts" but Ashley tells him that she still feels that the Board meeting could have waited until Victor's return. Jack firmly states that Victor would have thrown his weight around and lied his way out of the situation. He wants Ashley's support because Victor never gave a thought to devastating their family when he took Jabot away from them. Ashley tells Jack that this whole business is about revenge but Jack tells her it's about being a smart businessman. The greatest problem Ashley has is the convenience of Diane's Board seat. Jack tells her that he needs all the allies he can get because Jill would definitely not back him due to their past. Neil also voted against them and Jack is sure this due to Neil's ties to Victoria. Looking his sister straight in the eye, Jack blatantly lies and says that Victor put the gun to his own head with the Forrester deal. He assures Ashley he had nothing to do with the numbers on the spreadsheet. Frustrated, Ashley tells Jack that she desperately wants to back him but how he and Brad handled the whole deal doesn't feel right to her.
MIGUEL informs NIKKI that she has an important message on the answering machine. When she hears Katherine's voice and hears the words she says, Nikki's eyes widen with fear. She immediately removes the tape from the machine and inserts it into a mini-tape recorder. She leaves for the Chancellor/Abbott estate. When she arrives, ESTHER greets her with great relief, expressing her worry for Katherine. Nikki swears Esther to secrecy as she plays the message for her and then demands to know what is going on. Esther tells her that she found the mirror broken and what worries her most is the broken glass she found smelling of liquor. Nikki cringes at the thought of Katherine drinking again but tells Esther that Katherine did not sound inebriated on the tape, so perhaps she is still sober.
Fresh from her bath, JILL joins them and tells Nikki that she didn't tell her of Katherine's disappearance when they spoke yesterday because of the situation with Victor. Nikki tells Jill that although she's very concerned about Katherine, her first priority is to Victor. Jill tells her that she will keep her apprised of any information concerning Katherine. When Esther sees Nikki out, Nikki whispers that Esther is to tell no one what they discussed. Katherine's message must remain a secret. Of course, Jill wants to know what Esther and Nikki were huddling about and Esther tells her that she was comforting Nikki, which Jill finds hard to believe. Esther angrily tells Jill she doesn't care what she believes and stalks out of the room.
The ever-useless SHIRLEY saunters into the living room and asks Jill what's going on. Jill is not sure but she's definitely interested in Esther and Nikki's little chat. Since Katherine has been gone, Shirley mentions that as an actress she really needs to be "making the rounds" and wonders if her job here is finished. Jill admits that she's been pondering the same thing but as of this morning, she wants Shirley to continue working for her. "The show may not be over just yet," Jill states coolly.
DORIS and GINA talk about the hearing for temporary custody while Doris waits for Sharon and Cassie to arrive. When they do appear, Sharon and Cassie are accompanied by a bodyguard, whom Sharon refers to as their "driver." Sharon sends Cassie to Doris' table. The guard is going to sit at the bar and have a sandwich. He assures Sharon that he won't take his eyes off Cassie and he has studied Alice in detail. His eyes will be searching for any signs of her. Joining her mother and Cassie, Doris tells Cassie that they will go to the Children's Museum. When Doris tells Sharon they won't need the "driver," Sharon communicates with her eyes that the "driver" is non-negotiable and Doris accepts it. Sharon and Gina ask a glum Cassie if she'd like to go and make a mug of hot chocolate in the kitchen. After Cassie is gone, Sharon admits that she is scared but Doris tells her that Christine Williams is a fine lawyer and everything will work out. Sharon must have faith, Doris declares. Sharon conveys that Cassie has had nightmares and has retreated into a shell. There is so much fear in her eyes, Sharon relates. Doris knows this because she sees the same fear in Sharon's eyes. Cassie filled a hole in Sharon's heart when she came back into her life. She lost Cassie once and now it just may happen again. "If I have to lose my little girl again it will kill me," Sharon cries.
GRACE comes to question MICHAEL about his change of heart concerning Alice. Michael is vague in his answers but manages to allow Grace to convince herself that he is going to act in Cassie's best interest, whether he truly is or not. They are interrupted by ALICE and AL'S arrival for the pre-hearing conference. Alice immediately wants to know why Michael is cavorting with "the enemy." Michael tells her that Grace was there for another personal matter as she exits the room. Al informs Michael that Alice left him at the altar and Michael is not happy that Alice isn't following his instructions. Alice pointedly says that no one is going to tell her what to do -- they never have and they never will. In fact, she adds, she doesn't know if she can trust either one of them at the moment.
NICK and VICTORIA catch up on each other's lives. Victoria is astounded to find that Sharon now has to fight for custody of Cassie against Alice. She comments how evident it is that Nick has claimed Cassie as his own little girl. "I love her," Nick admits passionately. However, he is torn. Nick knows he's needed here but he feels as if he should be searching for their father. Victoria tells him that the search for Victor is really out of his hands and Cassie needs him more. When his cell phone rings, the news from the search team is grim. The storm washed away all the footprints that led away from the plane so an air search is their only hope. Gripped by a mighty fear as well as enormous love for his father, Nick decides that he is going to New Mexico and search for Victor.
MAC informs KATHERINE that the police are going to come by for information on the muggers who tried to steal her coat. She tells Katherine that she will handle it for her, to which an out of character Katherine replies, "Cool." Later, Mac sadly tells Katherine that it's time for her to leave Genoa City. Katherine has questions she'd like to ask but she respects Mac's privacy. Mac does share that she came to see someone but when she stopped by they weren't home. Perhaps she'll stop by again before she leaves. Katherine shares that she's decided that it's time to quit running. This piques Mac's interest and although she would like to quiz Katherine, she too will respect Katherine's privacy. Mac leaves to find Ellen, one of the shelter's directors, and Katherine lies down on the couch to rest.
With wide-eyed wonder, a bedraggled Katherine enters the Chancellor mansion and cries out to everyone that she's back. Ecstatically, Esther and Nikki greet her with hugs, kisses, and tears. Katherine tells them that she's back home where she belongs. She can't imagine why she ever went away -- and then Katherine awakens and finds herself on the couch in the shelter. It was only a dream. She lies very still and contemplates her future.
Sitting at the table eating a breakfast of peanut butter straight from the jar, VICTOR finds that CHET'S truck is still inoperable but he's going up the canyon for awhile. While Chet is gone, Victor decides that he is going to fix the alternator for the truck himself. Chet comes back and finds Victor at work, surprised that Victor knows what he's doing. After Chet fetches Victor a torch, some soldering material, and a rag, he mentions that it seems that Victor hasn't always been able to afford to rent a plane. Victor tells him that he grew up in an orphanage and learned certain things out of necessity. He explains that the pilot of the plane he chartered did not navigate the plane through the storm well and they ran out of gas, forcing them to try to land. Chet suggests that since Victor is mechanically inclined, he might want to take a look at a cracked generator. Chet leaves and Victor continues to work until he hears the faint, but familiar buzz of a plane. He drags himself outside and Chet mentions that they are located in a tiny strip of the canyon. Chances are probably slim that anyone will locate him. Victor begins to limp toward an open area so that the plane might see him. He turns to Chet and states, "If it takes burning down this place, they're going to find me."
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Directed by Kathryn Foster
CHRIS questions TONY about the conditions in which he and Grace first found Cassie. He describes Millie's home in disrepair and Millie admitting that she was too old to take care of Cassie. Cassie was a shell of the child she is now. He remembers Cindy, a dirty rag doll Cassie took everywhere and called the doll her best friend. Tony isn't so sure he should testify because Alice's lawyer will tear him apart on the stand. Chris tells him that she's not going to ask him to testify today because it's only the temporary custody hearing. She wants to save Tony's testimony for the trial for permanent custody. Tony also gives Chris information about Raymond Becker, the lawyer that handled Cassie's adoption. SHARON comes into Legal Aid and is glad to see Tony because it's been a long time. They chat for a short while and Tony leaves. Chris and Sharon continue to prepare for the hearing but Sharon is tearful. Chris pleads with her to hold it together. It is important for the judge to see Sharon as an emotionally stable person. More than anything, Chris wants Nick at the hearing today. She tells Sharon she can call Nick from the courthouse because she doesn't want to be late.
VICTORIA and NICK discuss the search for their father and the hearing for Cassie. Victoria definitely feels like Nick should be in court with Sharon to show solidarity in their marriage and family. Nick wants to be there for Sharon but he suspects that Jack and Brad don't want his father to be found and wouldn't put sabotaging the search past them. Victoria is a bit skeptical but Nick tells her that Jack and Brad are fighting dirty.
NIKKI wanders aimlessly around the living room when Victoria pleasantly surprises her. She asks about her trip but Victoria tells her that there are more important things happening. Nikki emotionally tells her daughter that she can't stand the thought of Victor in the desert alone but because he's a fighter, Nikki knows he'll manage to come through it somehow. Victoria mentions the custody hearing, which astonishes Nikki. Victoria remembers that no one has told Nikki so she fills her in about the incident with Alice. Victoria is confident that Sharon will get custody but tells her mother that Nick is torn between going to New Mexico to help with the search for Victor or being with Sharon. Both of them feel like Nick needs to be in court with his wife but Nikki is afraid that Nick will go to New Mexico despite what she might say to him. Victoria is a bit more forceful and declares that she'll do whatever it takes to convince Nick that his place is with Sharon.
AL is furious with ALICE because she's turned down his marriage proposal. She tells him that she doesn't trust him. MICHAEL tries to reason with Alice, presenting her with the facts that the judge will consider. the kind of lifestyle Alice can offer Cassie versus the lifestyle she has now with Sharon and the fact that Cassie is in a loving two-parent home while Alice is living with a man she's not married to. It would be to her advantage to marry Al. When she won't be swayed, Michael states that she is a stubborn woman. "Haven't you ever heard of the saying 'Don't look a gift horse in the mouth'?" Michael asks. Alice tells him she's always lived by the adage that warns about lawyers who come bearing gifts. Since Al seems to be adding animosity to the situation, Michael suggests that he wait outside for a bit. When they're alone, Michael asks several questions about Al, including how well Alice knows him. He points out that Alice has been living with him for the last year. Why not make it legal? Alice tells Michael that when she looks around his office she sees the belongings of a man who hasn't been through the tough times she has. Michael tells her that she is wrong and he knows exactly what it's like to fight for something that you want badly. He suggests that Alice think about building a family with Al. If they put Al in a suit he might even look presentable. Al joins them and makes an emotional plea to Alice. Before she came into his life, there was something missing. Now he wants to marry Alice, adopt Cassie, and give Cassie his name. With Alice, things are finally right for Al. He's even willing to testify to that in court. Al gently clasps Alice by the shoulders and murmurs, "Let's get married."
KATHERINE dozes and her dream continues. She is immersed in the warmth of her home but it is shattered by Jill's tawdry promiscuity. Katherine demands to know who these men roaming around the house as if it were a brothel are. One young man makes unwanted and inappropriate advances toward Katherine and takes out a flask of liquor to offer her a drink. She begins to cry out and MAC finally awakens her when Katherine cries, "No! No! I can't go back!" Mac mentions that it must be have been some dream and Katherine states it was an absolute nightmare. Mac is dressed to go out and tells Katherine that she is going to try to visit the person she came to see once more. Katherine hints that she might tag along but realizes that this is something that Mac wants to do alone before she leaves GC. Mac promises that she'll come back to say good-bye. Mac asks if Katherine is going to "stay cool" while she's gone and Katherine promises to "be cool," hardly believing that she is communicating with this teenager so easily.
JILL sits at the desk in the mansion and yells for ESTHER to answer the door. OFFICER PENDLETON has come to update them on the case. They've searched all the usually places for missing persons but have come up empty handed. It would really help if the police could involve the media but Esther, knowing that Nikki has heard from Katherine, tells him that Katherine is such a private person and would be horrified. Jill is even willing to offer a reward for information but Officer Pendleton tells her that the problem with that is crank calls that lead nowhere and waste manpower. When he leaves Jill demands to know why Esther has had this sudden taken change of heart. Just what were she and Nikki whispering about? Tired of Jill's badgering, Esther tells her that she and Nikki were discussing how positively old Jill has been looking lately and stomps out of the room. Furious with Esther's antics, Jill answers a second knock at the door and finds Mac on the doorstep asking for "Mrs. Chancellor." When Jill tells Mac that Katherine is not there, she starts pumping Mac for information but Mac walks away with a frustrated Jill yelling after her.
Unfortunately for VICTOR the plane passes over the thin sliver of canyon without seeing him. CHET tells Victor that he built here in this narrow passage because it protects from the winds and the heat. Victor wants Chet to take him farther up into the canyon. Chet tells him that they can have the truck running in a couple of hours. Victor is sure that more planes and helicopters will be around and wants to travel up into the canyon so they can build a fire and be spotted. Chet says that Victor must be an important man to attract this kind of attention but even for him the climb up the canyon would be a task and he's not sporting a broken leg. Victor is having spasms in his injured leg and sits down. Later he uses the torch to weld a part for the truck. Because it's in his nature, Victor starts issuing orders and Chet puts a stop to that. Victor assesses the situation and apologizes for his rudeness.
PAUL waits in the empty courtroom looking out one of the windows. Sharon and Chris enter and Paul reassures them that things will go well. Sharon can't help but be nervous and Chris isn't quite herself because she has yet to find out who is representing Alice in the hearing. Chris desperately wants Nick here so Sharon leaves to call him. Paul surmises that their ace in the hole will be Al's record as a convicted sex offender. The worst possible scenario, in Chris' opinion, will be for the judge not to decide on temporary custody for either woman and put Cassie in foster care until the final hearing for permanent custody. Nick's presence will really make a difference.
Meanwhile at NE, Nick and CONNIE have been calling in favors from private companies and business alliances, all wanting to help search for Victor. Nick mentions that he needs to call Wally and Connie hesitates, stating that she really should call Jack or Brad for authorization of the company jet. Nick pointedly asks her how many years she's worked for his father and that he doesn't care if they get authorization. Connie smiles and says she was hoping he'd say that because she's already called Wally and he'll arrive within the hour. Nick answers his phone and tells Sharon that he's going to New Mexico to help with the search. Sharon wishes him luck but doesn't press him to come to the custody hearing.
When Michael walks into the courtroom, Chris tells him that he must be in the wrong place. She blanches as he smiles and states, "Oh, no. I'm in the right courtroom. I'm representing Alice Johnson."
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Directed by Sally McDonald
VICTORIA tries to persuade NICHOLAS that his place is in court with Sharon and suggests that she go to New Mexico instead. Nick tells her that she is the only Newman left with any power and needs to stay in GC in case Jack and Brad try anything else. He also confesses that he feels responsible for this entire fiasco because he allowed Jack to trick him into accessing Victor's files on false pretenses. It's obvious from this conversation that Nick isn't aware that Jack changed the information in the Forrester file and only believes that Jack "discovered" Victor's handiwork to use against him in the takeover.
JOE continues to barrage TONY with pleas to go to Florida and retrieve the car for him. Tony tells him that he'll agree only on one condition. Puzzled, Joe sits back to listen. Later at Crimson Lights, MEGAN meets Tony and again expounds on why they should take off to Daytona. Tony tells Meg that her father would have a heart attack if he knew what she was proposing. She tells him seductively that they could stay at a hotel and Tony teases her about knowing what's on her mind. On a serious note, Megan admits that she's been scared of sex in the past, but things have changed between them and she feels more comfortable with their relationship. If Tony would just agree to the trip, she's sure that they will do whatever is natural when the time comes. In the midst of Megan's pleading, Tony hands over a packet that holds two plane tickets to Daytona, courtesy of Joe. Tony tells her that the trip back in the car will be long but Megan tells him that it doesn't matter as long as they are together. Together they declare, "Daytona Beach, Florida...here we come!"
TRICIA and RYAN are passionately kissing after Ryan's return from Seattle. When Ryan tells her that he has to go to NE because he not even sure who his boss is or if he even has a job, Tricia pouts and complains that he's just returned from company business. He explains about the takeover and wonders if Jack and Brad will consider him "the enemy." He insists that he has to go and protect his interest in the company. Tricia doesn't understand Ryan's position and leaves the room.
Ryan meets with Victoria and she brings him up to speed on what happened while he was away and where things stand now. Victoria tells Ryan that she desperately wants her father back safe and sound but she honestly doesn't know what he'll be coming back to.
MICHAEL tells CHRIS that being in the courtroom seems like old times. Chris asks him if representing Alice is some sort of grudge match. Michael is disappointed that Chris would think that, much less speak the thought aloud. Outside the courtroom, Alice confronts Sharon and wants to know where Cassie is. Sharon informs her that this is not the place for Cassie today. Alice says that Sharon may be able to keep Cassie away from her for the moment but soon Cassie will be with her because the law is on Alice's side. As Alice enters the courtroom, Sharon fidgets in fear. Alice takes her place beside Michael at the defendant's table and mentions that Sharon's lawyer looks very familiar to her but she can't remember where she's seen Chris. Before she can discuss it further, the bailiff calls court into session as JUDGE JENNINGS enters the room. The first thing Michael is asks the judge not to refer to this hearing as "the Newman case" but rather "Newman versus Johnson." Chris says that Michael seems to be jockeying for position but it doesn't matter what the case is called. Chris presents her opening statement in which she tells of the circumstances pertaining to the adoption and Alice's subsequent abandonment of Cassie. Michael then presents his opening statement, saying that Sharon's actions were unlawful and that she kept Cassie for over a year before she decided to file for custody in an attempt to turn Cassie against Alice. After both sides have presented their statements, Judge Jennings calls for a short recess. Outside the courtroom, Michael and Alice wait and wonder where Sharon's husband is and why he's not testifying. Inside the courtroom, Chris explains to Sharon that she will testify first, followed by Alice. Chris again expresses her strong desire that Nick be present. Sharon says that she would think that the judge would understand because Nick is searching for his father. Chris isn't so sure and PAUL allows Sharon to use his cell phone to call NE to see if she can catch Nick before he leaves. Victoria answers the call to Victor's office and tells Sharon that she did her best to persuade Nick to be with her but he's consumed with finding Victor. "I'm sorry," states Victoria sympathically. When Sharon relays the information, Chris says that they will just have to win without Nick. Sharon knows that Chris is worried about Nick's absence and asks if Chris thinks that they won't be able to win without him. At that ominous moment, Alice and Michael enter the courtroom.
Megan visits Tricia and finds her sister upset about Ryan returning to work almost on the heels of his arrival from Seattle. Megan advises that Tricia just be patient because at the moment Ryan seems to be very much in demand. Preparing to tell Tricia about her forthcoming trip, she announces that she wants to be honest with Tricia and hopes that she'll understand -- she and Tony are going to Daytona during spring break. Awestruck, Tricia says nothing.
BIRDIE asks KATHERINE where Mac is and Katherine tells her that she's gone to take care of some personal business and although she'll be back, Katherine feels like Mac will soon be moving on. Katherine begins to fold towels as she and Birdie talk. Birdie states that a shelter really is no place for a young kid and Katherine agrees, although she will miss Mac greatly. Mac has taught Katherine so much in such a short period of time. She respects Mac's privacy enough not to ask questions and if Mac wants Katherine to know her personal business, Mac will tell her. She just can't stand the thoughts of Mac wandering the streets on her own.
JILL testily informs MAC that she now owns half of this house and accuses Mac of being part of Katherine's plan to retaliate against Jill. Jill's temper and hateful attitude do not deter Mac and she stands up to Jill boldly. When Jill demands to know how much Katherine is paying her, Mac denies that she's "working for Katherine," as Jill has stated. Mac just wants to know when Katherine will return and Jill spouts that Mac can pass along the message to Katherine that her scheme isn't working. Mac asks if things are always this weird around here and leaves Jill looking both miffed and perplexed.
ESTHER tries to avoid Jill but Jill catches her and tells her that she's wise to Katherine's game. Esther counters Jill's statement by saying that she is wise to the fact that Shirley is an actress, which momentarily throws Jill. When Esther leaves, Jill tells SHIRLEY to keep the fact that she's a professional actress to herself. Jill is certain now that Katherine's disappearance is only a hoax -- an elaborate production in which Esther, Nikki, and this young girl each have a part. "The whole thing is going to blow up in your pruny old face, Katherine Chancellor! I promise you that!" Jill angrily declares.
Mac returns to the shelter and tells Katherine that the person she was hoping to find wasn't home. She's decided to stick around in GC for a while longer because Mac thinks the people she talked to at the house she visited aren't being truthful. At first Mac says nothing else, and Katherine doesn't ask, but then Mac confides to Katherine that the person she wants to see is her grandmother. Without any movement or words, Katherine's heart goes out to this young girl who is clinging to the hope of finding a piece of her family heritage -- a grandmother that might give Mac a reason not to wander ever again.