The show opened with a very smug Diane going to visit Phyllis in jail. She told Phyllis she couldn't stay long, because she was meeting Jack and didn't want to keep him waiting. She told her the reason she was there was simple: that she wanted to tell Phyllis she forgave her. After going on and on about wanting to release all of the bitterness and anger in her heart-after all, with her starting to build a life with Jack and Kyle, all she wanted was a "light heart"-and was feeling better by the minute. Phyllis just looked at her in an even, zombie like way, as she rose, thanking Diane for coming. She moved closer to her and lowered her voice and told Diane she, too, had something to get off of her chest. Startled, Diane asked if she was confessing, and began to get flustered. Phyllis prefaced her next statement by saying if Diane repeated it she would deny it. She went on to say she was sorry she set the pool house on fire, and that it was wrong. Even more flustered, Diane stuttered and managed to say she thought Phyllis was playing games. Still in her zombie-like state, Phyllis asked, "you think?" Totally shook up, Diane mumbled something about not being able to stay long, and hurried out.
Jack was moping in Crimson Lights when Paul approached him, asking him about the case. When Jack told Paul he thought Phyllis was going to get nailed, Paul had other ideas. He explained his theory to Jack: that Diane had a whole lot to gain by setting the fire, yet Phyllis had very little to gain. Getting geared up, Jack asked if they could take the conversation outside, as Diane was scheduled to arrive soon. He opened up to Paul, telling him the latest developments, specifically about Diane's fake bum leg. When he commented he wanted to find a way to see her medical file, Paul got the details, and basically told him it was done and he'd be in touch.
Paul took Lynne on the quest to get Diane's file from the orthopaedic's office. They posed as a couple, upset because Paul's arm was hurt. Lynne threw a fit, saying her "husband" needed to see the doctor immediately, and the nurse tried her best to hold her off. When she escorted other patients with appointments to see the doctor, Lynne took the opportunity to really go off, following her and distracting everyone while Paul worked his magic. He dashed into the unmanned office, found Diane's file, and waved Lynne out of there.
When Diane came in, she and Kyle sat down with Jack. The subject of the fire came up and she started talking about how lucky she was that the sleeping pill wasn't very strong. Jack asked her what kind of pill she took, and when she told him, the wheels in his head began to turn. She asked him if he would like to go for a walk, and when he asked her about the pain in her leg a walk might cause, she just laughed and said he made her forget everything. With perfect timing, Paul called Jack on his cell phone, telling him he had the "goods." Jack agreed to meet him immediately, telling him he had information for him, as well.
Victoria went to talk with Nikki, and Nikki tried her best to get her to lighten up on Victor. She tried everything, including telling Victoria the situation was making her physically sick. Victoria was absolutely not going to listen, blaming all of the hurt she was feeling on Victor. She went on and on, saying all Victor wanted to do was manipulate and control everyone, and that's not what love was all about. Nikki didn't try to justify Victor's actions, but did remind you how much he loves her. She also pointed out that Diego's presence has caused nothing but grief to the family, and now she is more alienated than ever. As Victoria prepared to go down to visit Cassie, Nikki implored her not to fight with Sharon, and she agreed.
Nick went to go visit his dad and told him he was sorry about being so hard on him regarding Victoria. When Victor asked if he wanted to talk about it, he said yes. Nick told Victor he was mostly reacting to his sister being hurt, but also didn't like the way Victor handled the situation. Victor dropped a bomb on him: that Diego had gotten mugged and was in the hospital. Nick sneered that now he figured Diego thought he had it made now, and Victor said he hoped Victoria came to her senses soon. Nick wondered aloud how much worse it could get. He told Victor how much the situation was hurting he and Sharon, and especially hurting the children. He vowed he would do something about it before storming out of the office. Victor just warned him to be careful.
Mrs. Guiterrez went by Brittany and Raul's apartment to talk with Brittany. She told her she was very concerned about the relationship because of the great difference in their backgrounds. She asked Brittany what she wanted out of life, and Brittany played right into her hands by replying that she wanted to be happy and successful. Mrs. Guiterrez told her that it was a given that Brittany would likely achieve those things, but in Raul's world, it wouldn't be so easy. She told her the only givens in their world were hard work and sacrifice. Not truly understanding what she was saying, Brittany did the best she could in describing how much she loved Raul. Speaking to Mrs. Guiterrez's backside as she began to leave, Brittany gave a heartfelt explanation of how much she loved Raul, even though she fought it every step of the way. She explained how loving him made her a better person and pointed out how she gave up everything she knew to be with him because she loved him. Although Brittany couldn't see her face, Mrs. Guiterrez was obviously affected by what she said, but didn't let on before walking out the door.
Meanwhile at the coffee house, Mr. Hodges went to give Raul a piece of his mind. Raul told him under no uncertain terms he had no say so over he and Brittany being together. This of course, infuriated Mr. Hodges, who told Raul Brittany was simply rebelling, and she didn't really love him. When Raul didn't react, it made him even more angry. He told him he would never accept the relationship, and to make his point, he ended his sentence with a sarcastic and rude "comprende?" Getting red-faced, he told Raul he had no idea what kind of pressure he was about to get.
Much to Diego's surprise, he got a visit from Cassie. She told him she had ridden the bus to the hospital and told him how much she missed him. She also told him everyone was keeping her in the dark as far as the details went, and asked him to fill her in. He gently told her being angry wasn't going to help the situation any, and she should just let the adults figure it out. She accepted his advice and gave him a hug, telling him how much she missed him. At that exact moment, Nick walked in, scowling at the sight of his daughter hugging Diego.
Paul and Jack excitedly went through Diane's records, discovering the doctor advised her to discontinue use of her walking cast back on August 25. Jack surmised it really could've been Diane in the video, not Phyllis. He also told Paul that when he asked her about the sleeping pill she took on the night of the fire, she looked puzzled. He also told her to name which drug she took, and when he named it for Paul, Paul picked up the phone to call one of his contacts. When he found out the drug she took would be traceable in her blood stream for an entire week, he asked Jack if she had any blood work done immediately following the accident. Jack remembered that she resisted the urging of the paramedics to go to the hospital the night of the fire, but she did, in fact, go the next day.
The two of the immediately headed off to someone who would be able to give them answers...Olivia. After explaining the situation, Olivia confirmed the drug would show up for a whole week, and after just a bit of prodding, they convinced her to access the records to see if a blood test was run. When she looked in the computer, she discovered there was, indeed, a blood test, but that Diane was not tested for the drug they were looking for. Upon hearing that news, Jack insisted on talking with Diane's doctor, but Olivia insisted on making the call instead. She called the doctor, who although expressed friendly suspicion, told her she could access the results herself. She confessed she'd already looked at them, but the information she wanted was not there. He told her because Diane was involved in a crime, he performed extensive tests on her blood the following day to cover himself, just in case he was asked to testify in a court case. He confirmed there was no evidence of the drug in Diane's system, and Olivia gave Paul a hard copy.
After leaving Olivia's, they met with John Silva to tell him what they had uncovered. John was happy to see that Paul was involved, but that's where his happiness ended. He was glad to get the information about the leg cast and the sleeping pill, but told Jack the information wasn't exactly going to blow the case apart—especially since they didn't have a search warrant. Angry, Jack asked him what more he needed, and John advised the two of them to concentrate on trying to prove it was Diane on the video, rather than Phyllis. After John left, the wheels in Paul's head began to turn. He directed Jack to get Diane to meet him at her apartment in no less than one hour while he followed up on his hunch.
While Nikki was looking through the wedding album Victor gave her, Katherine rang her doorbell unexpectedly. As they caught up on each other's lives, Katherine was sad to hear about the state of chaos Nikki's family was in. Katherine encouraged Nikki by telling her the love in the family would carry them through their respective situations. After she left, to brighten the dank mood, Nikki decorated the room and lit candles to create a romantic ambience. When Victor came home, they had a romantic evening.
Nick stormed into Diego's hospital room, demanding to know if Sharon had brought Cassie there. Cassie told him she rode the bus there, and rather flippantly, asked if she needed permission to do that. Nick dismissed her into the hallway so he could talk to Diego. He demanded that Diego stay away from his family, to which Diego replied that Cassie had come on her own. He also wanted to tell Nick how Cassie was asking a whole lot of questions, and that she was pointing a lot of fingers toward Sharon.
After confirming that Diego hadn't spilled the beans, Nick began to make threats. He told Diego his presence in their lives was only making things worse, and that Vicki was totally alienated from the rest of the family. Diego told Nick they were in love, and had no intention of leaving Vicki, no matter who didn't approve. He also told him he had no desire to alienate her, that the Newmans were being unreasonable. For the last time, Nick told him not to mess with the Newmans—he'd surely lose.
Vicki went down to Nick and Sharon's to visit her niece and nephew. When Sharon told her they were both gone, Vicki opted to wait. She ended up telling Sharon about Diego being in the hospital, and when Sharon expressed concern, Vicki got jealous. Sharon clarified her concern by telling her that although he wasn't her favorite person, she didn't want to see any harm to come to him. The conversation turned to the rift between Vicki and her dad, and Sharon encouraged her to try to get past the hurt and pain. Not wanting to hear it, Vicki told her to keep her comments to herself, but Sharon was undaunted. She told her she still cared about the family, and Vicki should be glad she has a father who was willing to do whatever it took to protect her. Immediately feeling a bit guilty, Vicki apologized about Sharon not having a father, that it was probably something very difficult to get through. Sharon began tearfully reminiscing about her own father, saying she wished she had one to count on. Vicki told her she used to feel that way about Victor, but her feelings had changed. Sharon admitted Victor was overly protective, but she pointed out that at least he could be counted on. Her words obviously shook Vicki, who turned around and abruptly left, saying she'd catch up with Noah and Cassie another time.
Victoria was shocked to hear from Diego that Cassie had come to see him in the hospital without Sharon's or Nick's permission. He told her that Cassie was tormented by the lack of answers she was getting about her parents' breakup, but he hadn't told her anything. It upset him that the kids were suffering so much because of one mistake. Victoria was concerned about Cassie, but she was happy because Diego would be leaving the hospital soon. Diego wondered what would happen then, and Victoria said they'd get on with their lives, starting with finding a place to live. Diego said that wasn't all he meant. While he knew that their lives would be much better if her family dropped their anger and bitterness about him, he knew that wasn't likely to happen, especially after some of the things Nick had said. Victoria said they had no choice. She and Diego would be together.
Nick called Sharon to make sure it was okay if Cassie spent the night with him at the Genoa City Hotel. Sharon was confused, not knowing that he'd found Cassie at Diego's bedside, and she agreed. Nick then scolded Cassie again for riding the bus to the hospital without her parents' permission. At first she was belligerent, wondering why Nick was angry at Diego. Nick said it was because Diego should have called one of them to let them know Cassie was there. Cassie wasn't really buying it, and continued to press for answers that Nick wouldn't give her. He tried to distract her by talking about Christmas and what gifts she wanted. But Cassie said Christmas meant nothing to her anymore. When Nick tried to coax her into more holiday spirit and she was still depressed, he reminded her that anything could happen. He and Sharon might even work things out. Cassie said maybe it was best if they didn't. The Christmas before, her parents were also having problems, and Cassie had been thrilled when they worked them out. But since it had happened again, she was no longer going to believe in them. Nick sadly hugged her.
At the ranch, Sharon and Noah were taking out Christmas decorations. When he found some mistletoe, she remembered another Christmas with Nick, when he kissed her under the mistletoe. Later, she took out an ornament from Noah's first Christmas and cried as she remembered holding Noah while she and Nick placed the ornament on the tree. When Victor came in, she confessed that all her memories of better times were making her sad. Victor told her not to give up hope; he believed she and Nick might reconcile by Christmas. Sharon sympathized with him because of his estrangement from Victoria. She told him that she'd talked to Victoria earlier, reminding her how lucky she was to have a father who loved her so much and wanted to protect her. Victor thanked her and hugged her before he left.
Phyllis paced her jail cell, freaking out on the evening before her trial was to start as she contemplated having to spend thirty years in prison while Jack went on with his life. She fell asleep and dreamed of all the people she had wronged from her past. Danny appeared, telling her how much he hated her for breaking up his and Christine's marriage and lying to him about Daniel being his son. Michael appeared and reproached her for having him kidnapped and making him think he was going to die. Dr. Tim came and reminded her how he had been the only one who truly loved her, but she had just been using and blackmailing him into doing what she wanted. Daniel's father Brian came and reminded her how she'd lied to him, switching blood samples and manipulating him. Sasha showed up and reminded Phyllis how she'd let her die in the fire. And Paul accused her of running him down with her car. To each of them, Phyllis pleaded for mercy, reminding them that she'd been friends with them, or she had truly loved them, or that she was sorry and had changed. But they wouldn't forgive her, and descended on her. Phyllis woke up screaming and tearing her clothes off. The guards came and took her to the infirmary and gave her a sedative after her breakdown.
Jack and Paul continued to conspire to trap Diane in her lies about the fire at the pool house. John Abbott even agreed to go along with it. Once Paul was gone and Diane came over, John was cordial to her, apologizing to her for all the things he'd said after the fire. Diane was grateful and they shook hands before John left.
Lynn and Paul retrieved surveillance tapes from a sporting goods store: six months of tapes taken both inside and outside that store. Lynn was going to spend the whole night looking at them for possible evidence against Diane. Paul returned to Jack's house to search Diane's car for evidence. He had a bad moment when he realized that her car was locked and alarmed. He called Jack and told him the situation. Jack got Diane to go to the kitchen to get ice for his drink, took her keys from her purse, opened the front door, and deactivated her alarm. Paul then took a sample from inside the trunk of Diane's car.
After Diane made Jack a drink, she suggested that after the trial, she and Jack take Kyle to Aspen for a ski trip. Jack asked how she would ski with a cast on her leg. She recovered, saying she would just watch while he skied. When Jack said he needed to get some sleep, since the trial was starting tomorrow, Diane asked if he wanted her to stay. She could sense that something was wrong by the way he kissed her. Jack said he was just anxious about the trial, so Diane finally left to go back to her hotel. John Silva then came to tell Jack that the judge might allow him to introduce evidence about how Diane had gotten pregnant with Kyle. He said he was going to do everything he could to show that Diane hated Phyllis even more than Phyllis hated her, and Diane had much more to gain than Phyllis did by setting the fire in the pool house. When Jack said he needed to see Phyllis, John told him about her little breakdown and said he wouldn't be able to see her before the next day.
Paul talked to Jack at the Abbott household the morning of the trial. He wasn't having any luck with the angle that he had going, so he told Jack that he had better go help Lynne review those tapes from the hardware store. John Abbott was worried about his son and encouraged him to go to Phyllis to comfort her. John Silva was there preparing her for the trial, so Jack had decided to wait.
At the jail, Phyllis was insolent with John, hopeless and sarcastic about why they were even wasting their time when she would be found guilty in no time. John received a call telling him that the judge had decided not to accept the evidence about how Diane had impregnated herself, which disappointed him. John wanted Phyllis to write any thoughts that she had down on a notebook at the defense table. She agreed to stay calm, not murder Diane in front of the jury, not scream at the judge, not mumble or cry at the table -- but she asked him not to make her promise to be a happy defendant taking notes at her hanging. . .
Ashley was at home thinking about how she was going to tell Brad the truth, and then Traci paid her a visit. Her sister just wanted to check in on her, but every time the topic of Brad or Colleen came up, Ashley threw a fit about not wanting to be put in the middle of their problems. Traci didn't understand her behavior until Ashley admitted that she and Brad were having some troubles. Traci didn't pry and Ashley sent her off because she expected Brad to get home any minute.
Brad stopped by Olivia's apartment on his way home from the business trip. He came to share his disappointment about how things were going with Colleen, but at first it sounded like he had heard the news from Ashley and was coming to Olivia for a shoulder to cry on. Soon Olivia realized that he was talking about Colleen and Brad realized that she thought he was talking about something else. He couldn't get a straight answer when he pressed for one -- she told him it was none of her business. Brad was worried about how their closeness last fall hurt her relationship with Ashley and Olivia told him not to think about that. They talked about honesty and Olivia's words were daggers aimed at Ashley as she repeated how important honesty was in a relationship and how Ashley had told her that herself. . .
Victor awoke to Nikki's disapproval about his visits with Sharon and his insistence on being supportive of her during this time. Victor stood his ground and had encouraged their son to spend Christmas with the family. The two speculated about what may happen, but all they could do was hope.
Nick brought Cassie home in the morning in time for her to get ready for the bus quickly. He told Sharon what had happened at the hospital -- she was upset about it and wanted to talk to Cassie right away. Cassie had many reasons to get going to school without waiting, so Sharon asked her to come straight home that afternoon. Sharon hadn't known what to say to her anyway and needed time to think. Nicholas introduced his idea about coming home for the holidays. Sharon was thrilled until she realized that he didn't mean for good -- he would probably be leaving again after Christmas vacation. She was incensed that he would even consider getting the kids' hopes up for the holidays, then breaking their hearts once again in January. They argued briefly, but before long Nicholas could see her point. He stopped himself, apologized for yelling at her, and agreed that it would be best to share the kids on their own instead of making a huge change to which he could not commit.
Jack arrived at the jail for a few minutes with Phyllis. He asked for a kiss, but she didn't have one for him. She asked him to stop trying to make the best of it -- she was sure that it would be over in no time. She told about her nightmare and how most people do bad things in their lives, but she must have done more than most. He wouldn't stop telling her that he loved her and he had brought along clothes and makeup for the trial. She changed clothes and looked better. She gave him a short kiss before they were separated and repeated back to him that she loved him forever -- she couldn't help it. It was a fact. . . . .
Andy Richards paid Diane a visit at her apartment before she left for the court house. He wanted her to know that he didn't agree with how she was moving in on Phyllis's husband, taking advantage of the situation.
Jack and John Abbott arrived at the court house for the trial. Phyllis was brought in and Diane came to sit beside Jack after running into Isabella in the hallway. Isabella didn't sound too happy about having to be a witness. Diane told her that they were just trying to get to the truth and Isabella came back with a smart remark about how she hoped that they would find it. Before the judge arrived, Diane walked over to tell Phyllis something. She assured her that she would take good care of Jack while she was in prison -- Phyllis should just concentrate on surviving the horrible experience. When Jack asked her what she said, she told him that she wished Phyllis luck. The proceedings began with opening remarks from the prosecuting attorney. Phyllis and Jack exchanged wary glances, while Diane wondered what that was all about. . .
Brad could sense that Olivia was keeping something from him and questioned her about it. Olivia managed to evade his questions, reminding him that he only had a couple of hours to see Colleen before Traci took her back to New York. Brad said he was leaving, but they would talk about this again, since he could tell something was troubling her. He then went to the Abbott house and argued again with Traci about her decision to put Colleen in boarding school. He said it was a place for teens in trouble, and Colleen didn't need to be where other kids might be a bad influence on her. While Traci acknowledged his hurt over losing Colleen again, she said she had to do what she thought was best for their daughter. Colleen came downstairs and talked privately to Brad. She said that he shouldn't blame himself for anything that had happened. Not only was her mother's mind made up, but it really no longer mattered to Colleen where she was. Now that the special relationship she'd shared with J.T. was over, she didn't want to have to see him with anyone else. Brad asked if that was what J.T. had told her, then comforted her. Colleen said the best thing about everything that had happened was that she felt closer to Brad than she ever had, even though her timing was bad. Brad then watched sadly as Traci and Colleen left the Abbott house.
At Crimson Lights, Brittany congratulated J.T. on being rid of the hassle of Colleen. J.T. angrily replied that he'd never said she was a hassle, and he hadn't just been using her to build up his ego. He cared enough about her not to want to mess up her life any more than he already had. When Brittany realized that J.T. had lied to Colleen to make her leave with her mother, she told him that was a decision he'd always regret. She knew from experience it was never good to lie to a person you loved. J.T. said he was staying away from Colleen for her own good, and Brittany said in that case, he was lying to himself, too. J.T. said it didn't matter; Caitlin had told him that Colleen was leaving that day. Brittany called Mrs. Martinez and found out that Traci and Colleen had just left for the airport. Brittany told J.T. that he was just scared, but if he didn't see Colleen before he left, he'd be sorry. She urged him to go to the airport. When J.T. arrived, he searched the crowd for Colleen. Colleen, who was standing alone, reliving all her best memories with J.T. while her mother tried to change their boarding passes so they'd be seated together, did a double-take when she saw J.T. looking for her.
Ashley was sitting alone at Gina's when Victor walked in. She agreed to let him sit down, and Victor could tell by her face that something was upsetting her. When he asked if she was worried about Phyllis's trial, Ashley distractedly said she needed to go to the courthouse. Victor then realized something else was bothering her. Ashley admitted that she had a lot on her mind. When Victor asked if she was having problems with Brad, Ashley told him that she was uncomfortable discussing her husband and her marriage with him. Victor said that he'd hoped his staying away from her would make Brad happy. Finally Ashley said that she needed to tell Brad something that day. She appreciated Victor's support now more than ever, but she had to go.
Lynne and Paul continued to go through the surveillance tapes from the sporting goods store, although both of them were exhausted. They put in another tape and got excited as they saw something on it. Paul told Lynne to go by the lab and meet him at the courthouse. He grabbed the tape and took off.
In court, D.A. Glenn Richards questioned Detective Webber about the accelerant used to start the fire at the pool house. Webber told the jury about the video tape that showed a tall, redheaded woman buying the same kind of accelerant. He then said that the store employee had looked at several photographs of women resembling the woman on the tape and picked Phyllis's picture out of that group. When John Silva cross-examined him, the detective admitted that he'd been unable to get a positive identification from the store employee of Phyllis, so he'd had to use pictures. Silva asked Webber if he realized that Diane Jenkins had once bought a wig resembling Phyllis's hair for the specific purpose of impersonating her. He also established that there was no way to be certain that the particular can of accelerant bought that day was what was used at the fire or matched the sample in Phyllis's car trunk. In fact, forty other stores within a hundred mile radius of Genoa City had sold similar cans of accelerant.
The D.A.'s next witness was Diane, who hobbled to the stand, leaning heavily on her cane and still wearing the cast on her leg. Diane told the jury that Phyllis's hostility had been evident the entire time she was living on the Abbott estate. Not only had Phyllis struck her in the face, but she had made numerous threats against her. And although Diane had no proof that it was intentional, Phyllis had run over her with her car. John Abbott and Isabella Williams looked on in disbelief at that part of Diane's testimony.
Diane finished by saying that Phyllis, knowing that Diane's mobility was inhibited by her cast, and that she'd taken a sleeping pill that night, had taken advantage of the situation and set the fire in an effort to kill her. When Richards asked why Diane had stayed in such a threatening situation, Diane broke down, saying that it had all been for Kyle. Although she was a woman of means who could have stayed in Genoa City's finest hotel, she'd lived in cramped quarters with her son, using a bathroom she could barely turn around in, and begging to go into the kitchen of the main house just to cook meals for them, all because she wanted to give Kyle a chance to know his father. Their bonding would enable him to grow up to be a fine young man. And her reward for this desire was to be nearly killed by Phyllis, who was not able to get pregnant and give Jack a child herself.
When Diane was given a chance to compose herself before cross-examination, she said she was ready. As John Silva stood to begin his questioning, Jack turned around and saw Paul come in. Paul gave Jack a thumbs-up sign to let him know the evidence they'd been looking for was found.