Victoria went to Olivia's looking for Neil. Only Mamie and Nate were home, since Olivia was doing research at the hospital. Nate thanked Victoria for the games she'd sent him. When Victoria said she might give him more, as long as he kept up his grades, Nate said that he planned to get only A's because Neil had promised him plenty of Cubs games in return for good grades. He said he intended to do well in school because he knew he could count on Neil. After Nate left the room, Victoria expressed her concerns about Neil's state of mind to Mamie and told her about his behavior at their business meeting. Mamie said all they could do was hope that Neil wouldn't start drinking again.
Neil wandered into a bar in an area of town that was unfamiliar to him. The bartender, Serena, offered him a drink, but he only ordered ginger ale. Later, she told him that people drank for two reasons: to numb their pain or to forget. She said that he seemed like a man who would drink to forget his sadness. Later, Neil reacted when he realized that she'd shortchanged him for his soft drink. The bar owner figured out what she'd done and fired Serena on the spot. After she snapped at Neil, "Mr. New York Suit," for getting her fired over a few dollars that meant nothing to him, she walked out. Neil then ordered a Scotch, neat, and stared at it with disgust and sadness.
In the Caribbean, after skinny-dipping under a starlit sky, Nick told Sharon that as much as he enjoyed their island paradise, he was looking forward to going home. He reminded her of how happy their family and friends would be over their reconciliation, especially Diego. At that point, Sharon suggested they never go back to Wisconsin. Instead, they could bring the kids to live in paradise with them. Nick told her they'd get bored, and the kids needed to be in school. Sharon assured him that she'd never get bored with him; she loved him too much. When Nick wondered why she didn't want to go home, Sharon said that sometimes the world and its problems got between them. She then looked away, as if wondering whether to tell him about Diego.
Backstage, Diego congratulated Raul on his performance, saying he was surprised that instead of seeing sets designed by his little brother, he'd gotten to see him in a starring role. Raul asked how Diego was doing in his two jobs and if it was weird to be working for Nick and Sharon when they were having marital problems. Diego defensively said that he didn't think about his employers twenty-four hours a day, even as he lost himself in memories of having sex with Sharon.
Meanwhile, Brittany watched with envy as John Abbott, Ashley, and Brad gave Colleen flowers and praised her for her dance performance. The Abbotts then congratulated Brittany and Raul for their performances. They were happy to hear from Raul that Billy and Mac had gone for a walk, hoping that meant the couple was becoming friendly again. After the Abbotts left, Brittany talked about how lucky Colleen was to have a caring family. Raul reminded her that her parents had come to see her perform and sent her roses. When he went to help strike the set, J.T. came up to Brittany, explaining that his car had broken down. When Brittany insulted him, J.T. made disturbing comments about what Raul would expect later from Brittany when they were alone. Later, after reading the card that came with her parents' roses, Brittany suspected they had not even been at the play. When Erica confirmed that they hadn't picked up their tickets, Brittany told Raul she didn't want to go home. When Raul said they could go straight to the lake instead, Brittany turned on him, saying she knew he just wanted sex and she did not plan to have sex with him that night or maybe ever. She then ran out while Raul stared after her in disbelief.
When the Abbott family arrived back home, a tired Colleen went directly upstairs to bed. Ashley said she wanted to check on Jack and Phyllis and see how they were doing after the custody hearing. John and Brad exchanged a look of concern as she walked out. She returned after no one answered her knock on their bedroom door. John promised to call her the next morning and let her know what was going on, then he went up to bed. When Brad told Ashley she was a bit too preoccupied with what was going on with Jack and Phyllis, Ashley angrily told him that his desire to make her suppress her concern for her brother was much more draining than her medical treatment or her fears about her health.
When Billy caught up with Mac in the park, she was frantic and told him she'd just seen Ralph a few feet away. Billy believed her and looked for her stepfather, but Ralph had vanished. Mac and Billy hurried inside the school and told Amanda and Larry what Mac had seen and heard. Larry and Billy immediately took off for the motel address, but arrived to find it empty, while Mac wondered where her mother had disappeared to. When she found her mother, Amanda told her that the only thing that mattered to her was Mac's safety and that nothing ever come between them again.
While Billy paid the motel owner for the door they tore up when breaking into the room, Larry showed the man a picture of Ralph. The owner swore he'd never seen anyone who looked like Ralph and that the room had been empty for more than a week. After they left, Ralph showed up and the motel owner told him he was lucky "that woman" had called and warned him that someone was looking for him. Ralph gave the man some money for keeping quiet about him.
After Billy and Larry went back to Walnut Grove and told Mac and Amanda how their search had met a dead end, Mac realized they were beginning to doubt her. Billy finally suggested that he drive her home, and Mac asked Amanda if she'd spend the night with her. She said she'd feel better with her mother nearby. After they were all gone, Larry talked to himself, noting that Mac had been so sure of what she'd seen that he was going to get to the bottom of what was going on, perhaps beginning with a visit back to the motel.
Thursday, May16, 2002
John and Phyllis were visiting about the hearing when Jack returned from the court house. He was resentful and not in the mood to talk to anyone. He did give them the news that Diane had won the decision and was on her way out of the country with his son. Jack refused to have a civil conversation about it, and soon he was on his way out the door to say goodbye to his son.
Billy met Mackenzie at the park where she had seen Ralph. He helped her look for evidence that he had been there. She kept doubting that he believed her, then he went ahead and said it -- maybe she needed professional help with all that had happened and the things that she thought were happening with Ralph. There were no logical answers when it came to Ralph and the circumstances. They went back to the school to find Larry and Amanda visiting in the media center. Larry had suggested that they ask Katherine for the money to fly out to Tuscon to see for themselves whether or not Ralph was there. Amanda resisted and Larry asked Mackenzie what she thought. She had doubts now about whether it was necessary and wouldn't give them an answer.
Jill wondered why Amanda had spent the night and ranted and raved about Katherine being up to something again. Sean came downstairs and refused to have breakfast with her. She begged him to talk about it -- maybe have dinner with her. He was too busy at work and would see her when he could. Esther had been eavesdropping and told Katherine about what she had seen. Kay told her that it was not necessary to intervene -- that things would take care of themselves. . .
Victoria talked to her father about the episode with Neil and the foreign businessman. She tried to cover for him and Victor could see through it. He insisted that she stop defending Neil and that there was no excuse for his behavior. At the bar, Neil finished a drink -- he hadn't been home the night before. The bartender told him that it must be a woman causing his poor spirits. Neil thought back to the kiss he and Alex shared and the words they said to each other about guilt and blame for Malcolm's death. He realized that he had to get to work, so he rushed to his office to change clothes. He took a clean shirt from the drawer and found a bottle of booze. He held it up, thinking about taking a drink, when Victor entered his office. . . .
Diane and Michael were trying to say goodbye without leaving on a sour note. He wasn't happy about what they had done to Phyllis and, to some degree, blamed Diane. Despite their disagreements, he tried to be supportive and encouraged her to get going back to Italy. Just then, a messenger came to the door. It was a fax from her employer in Italy -- he had held her job long enough and it was too late -- she was fired!! Michael told her to call him back -- she told him that she wasn't going to beg for her job. He pushed harder for her to find a job soon -- he had lots of contacts all over the world. She told him that she needed time to evaluate her future and sent him packing. Soon, the phone rang -- it was her boss in Milan. He told her that he regretted having to send her the message and was jealous of the employer who swept her away from his company. She admitted that it wasn't another employer -- something more personal. She had asked him to let her go and was thinking about her next move after she hung up the phone. . . .
Friday, May17, 2002
Brad and Ashley talked about the strain the situation with Jack's custody fight was causing in their marriage. Brad asked if Ashley really felt it was right to take Kyle from his mother. Though Ashley apologized for being short with him earlier, she still felt that Brad should not stop her from being supportive of her brother. She also said she didn't want Brad to use her illness in their discussions about her priorities. She did not want to be treated as if she were an invalid. She intended to use her experience with early cancer detection at the following month's breast cancer awareness gala. Later, when she went upstairs to dress, as she was doing a breast self-exam, Ashley thought she felt a lump.
Paul reminisced about kissing Christine, while Isabella only wanted to talk about going home with him and the baby and being a family. When Dr. Thompson told her she would probably have a full recovery, with no ill effects from the stroke, Isabella told Paul it was time to think of other things, including a name for their son. Paul didn't seem too enthusiastic about naming him Carl, after his father, nor was he eager to call his mother and tell her the baby had been born. When he finally did, Mary asked if both Isabella and the baby were doing well, then Paul brought their conversation to a quick close. After he told Isabella that he'd hired a baby nurse, she began to get the idea that her idyllic view of the three of them alone together might not be shared by Paul.
Christine talked to Cody at Crimson Lights about their hopes that things were going well for Nick and Sharon in the Caribbean. Later, Phyllis accosted her about her part in the custody hearing, A startled Christine denied any involvement and expressed surprise that Michael had brought up Daniel. When Phyllis continued to blame Christine, Christine assured her that Phyllis, Danny, and Daniel were ancient history to her and she had not been part of the Abbott/Jenkins custody hearing. Phyllis didn't believe her and vowed she would not forget it.
Victoria was angry that Olivia wouldn't cancel the medical meeting that would take her out of town for a week, since it was possible Neil was in trouble. Olivia said that as the keynote speaker, she had to go, and argued that they didn't even know if Neil had a problem or if he was drinking again. Victoria told her that Neil had changed and there was reason for concern. Olivia said that even if he wasn't okay, she would only be gone a week and doubted Neil was going to go over the edge during that time. She encouraged Victoria to think about her own commitments, as it was possible Neil had to endure what he was before he could get better.
After Victor walked into Neil's office and saw him take a drink, Neil attempted to rationalize his behavior over the last couple of days. When he tried to leave for the meeting with Victoria and a client, Victor insisted that Neil was not going to any meeting. He told him that Newman Enterprises would pay for him to spend some time in rehab; as Neil's friend, he meant to see that Neil got help for substance abuse. Neil took another drink, raised his bottle to Victor, and said, "I quit." Then he walked out of the office.
Chantal gave Michael Alex's letter of resignation and said maybe it meant Christine would stay in town. Michael warned her that Chris could not be pushed. When Chantal asked if he felt good about winning Diane's custody case, Michael asked for the number of Diane's boss in Milan. After talking to him, Michael realized that Diane had set up her "firing" so she could stay in Genoa City.
When Jack came to say goodbye to Kyle before Diane took him to Milan, Diane assured him that she wanted Kyle to have a relationship with Jack. She made sure to leave her fax from her boss in plain sight when she went to put Kyle down for a nap. Jack read it and questioned her about her plans now that she had been "fired." He panicked when Diane assured him that she had a standing job offer at a firm in Tokyo. He offered to help her find something locally. Diane pretended to be reluctant and questioned whether it would be in Kyle's bests interest to be around Phyllis. Jack offered to let Kyle visit when Phyllis wasn't around. Finally, Diane made her pitch and suggested that she and Kyle move into the Abbott's' house so Jack and Kyle could have plenty of bonding time together.