Episode #377

Previously ...
- Sarah discovered a police file that recorded past violence in the Burkle family, but Brent informed her that it couldn't be used as conclusive proof of Matt's innocence. A disappointed Sarah feared that she might not be able to clear Matt.
- Molly excitedly prepared for the baby's arrival and discussed potential names with her family.
- Lauren encouraged Jason to skate with Courtney again if it is what he wants to do.


Their eyes are innocent enough. They glance at her, wave or offer some other quick greeting, and return to whatever else they were doing. Yet, as Sarah Fisher glides through the back area of her father's restaurant, she feels like a spy on a botched stealth mission, setting off alarms left and right. Any of the restaurant staffers could let it slip to her father that she is here, and she is fairly certain of what his reaction would be.

She makes it all the way to the staff room and, once there, pushes open the door with determination. If her timing is right ...

It is. She spots Jennie Burkle immediately and pauses, hands on hips, to watch her. There are two other people in the room, but they finish their business and exit with blessed quickness. Jennie, for her part, freezes in front of her locker once she notices Sarah, and they maintain their silent deadlock until the others have gone.

"I'm glad I caught you," Sarah says. "Do you have a minute to talk?"

The younger woman shakes her head, her short, flippy hair bouncing around accordingly.

Sarah moves closer. "This will only take a few seconds, anyway." Suddenly Jennie seems occupied beyond reason with the contents of her locker.

"I know you've been through some difficult things," Sarah says, "and I don't mean to discount any of them. But that bruise you had ..."

Jennie touches a limp hand to her chest. "The one Matt gave me."

"Here's a question: if Matt really did rape you, then why didn't you go to the hospital and have a sexual assault exam? At least you would've had physical evidence that way."

"Sorry, but I wasn't exactly thinking straight," Jennie says. "All I wanted to do was go home and shower and make it go away ..." Her gaze drops to the cement floor, and for a moment, Sarah buys it: this frail young woman, so burdened already, possibly having suffered the greatest violation. An alternate universe of possibilities spreads out before Sarah, and it halts her in her tracks.

But only for a moment. That isn't what happened. She saw Jennie with that bruise before the alleged attack took place. And she knows Matt. Not only is Jennie potentially ruining Matt's life, but she is making a mockery of a very real and tragic circumstance that haunts so many women--women like Claire, brave women--for their entire lives.

Sarah's hand flies out and smacks the locker shut. "Cut the crap, Jennie. You are going to drop those charges right now."


As he strides up the driveway and over the stone path to the front door, Jason Fisher is transported into the past. He spent so much of his teenage years and young adulthood here; at one time, the Chases' was a second home to him. Now, as he travels the same familiar path, he struggles to grasp how long it has been since last he was here.

The time warp only intensifies when Helen Chase answers the door. Her pleasant smile broadens at the sight of him, and Jason feels immediate guilt for not having kept in better touch.

"Jason! It's so good to see you!"

"Yeah, you too. How are you? How's Don?"

"Doing well. I had lunch with your mother a few weeks ago. She said you're coaching a lot these days."

"Sandy's been a big help in getting me established," he says. "I finally have a pretty full roster of kids I'm teaching."

"That's terrific!" Helen says, and her expression tells Jason that she genuinely is happy for him. "It sounds like Tim is starting to get back into the swing of things, too. And Molly is getting so far along with the baby!"

"Yeah, everyone's got a lot going on. It's nice to have Tim back. Now that he's here again, I keep wondering what we ever did without him."

They pass a few more minutes catching up, a routine that Jason finds supremely comforting.

"You can head up to Courtney's room," Helen tells him. "She's been waiting for you."

Jason thanks her and excuses himself. As he ascends the stairs and approaches the open bedroom door, he is overcome by history. Have years really passed? It doesn't seem possible.

Courtney, sitting cross-legged on the bed with her laptop, looks up before he even has the chance to knock. "Hey," she says, setting the computer aside.

"Hey ..." He trails off, too preoccupied with studying the room. Things have changed--the posters from Courtney's teen years have been replaced with more mature artwork; the bedspread is different, less busy--but it is the same room, and he finds the power of that overwhelming.

"So," he says, refocusing on her, "this idea of Kelsey's ... I've been thinking about it, and I think I've made up my mind."


Easing her eyelids shut, Molly Taylor rubs her temples with gentle but firm fingertips. She hasn't felt well all day, but since lunch, she hasn't even been able to focus on her work. When she hears footsteps entering her office, she doesn't even open her eyes.

"I was hoping I could have a word with you," Camille Lemieux announces as she breezes into the office. Molly can hear the shift that takes place as Camille takes in the sight of her. "Are you feeling all right, dear?"

Slowly Molly raises her head. "To tell the truth, no, but it isn't anything major."

"Are you sure? If you need to go home and rest--"

"I'll be fine, Camille. But thank you. What did you want to talk to me about?"

The older lady glances down at the loose pages in her hand and then back at Molly. "What's that you've got on?" she asks. "Is it Comme des Garcons?"

Molly shakes her head softly, careful not to rock things around too much. "Vivienne Westwood. Can't go wrong."

Nodding in agreement, Camille returns her focus to the papers. "I was hoping we could talk about the changes you made to those pieces for the new line."

Molly suppresses a groan. None of the designs felt right when she first submitted them, and her revisions didn't seem to help much.

"I want to make a really bold statement this time out," Camille says. "You know, really show people where the catwalk got its claws, so to speak. But I'm afraid, well, I'm not clear about your inspiration for this latest collection."

"You don't have to tiptoe around this with me, Camille. I know none of this new stuff is great, and I'm really sorry about it. I guess with everything going on lately, I haven't been in the most creative place."

Camille appears relieved. "I do think there a lot of interesting concepts here, so perhaps we could work together to refine some of them. This sketch, for example ..." She flips through the pages and then holds one up for Molly to see. "I'm not clear on your intention here. There's so much going on, style-wise. It's like a ping-pong match between Eastern and Western!"

Seeing the design now, Molly has to agree; she has no idea what she was thinking when she tried to shoehorn so many elements into one sketch.

She begins to laugh, but it is cut short by a sharp stab of pain in her abdomen. She grimaces, and after a few seconds, it starts to recede--only to flare up again as soon as she relaxes.

"Molly, what's the matter?" Terror is plain on Camille's face, and it makes Molly's decision for her.

"I need to get to the hospital."


Weakness flickers across Jennie's face, and Sarah knows exactly what it is: she thinks--fears--that Sarah has come upon something that could blow the case wide open. But that weakness is merely a flash, and it gives way to a haughty superiority that makes Sarah's hands itch to throttle Jennie. Instead she balls them into fists and holds them at her sides.

"Do you realize how tacky this is? Not to mention insensitive," Jennie says. "You seem nice enough, Sarah, and your dad has been great to me, but you've gotta face the facts: your boyfriend is an animal. He's a rapist."

Sarah grits her teeth. "You are so full of crap!"


She turns at the sound of her father's voice.

"Sid said he saw you come back here," Bill says as he yanks his daughter away from Jennie. "This is completely inappropriate. Jennie, I'm sorry about this."

"It's okay, Mr. Fisher," the waitress responds, every bit the innocent victim again. "I can't blame Sarah for being upset. I know how shocked I was that Matt was capable of something like--like what he did to me. It can't be easy to accept that he's going to jail for a long time."

That is the final straw. A grunt rips out of Sarah's chest as she lunges right at Jennie. A pair of hands grab her arms and pull her backward before she even gets anywhere.

"Come with me," Bill orders, and he drags her from the room.

"Dad, she is lying!"

Bill's expression indicates that he agrees, but he manages to keep things diplomatic. "You're not going to help Matt by harassing her."

A protest perishes on her lips. She knows he is right.

"If anything, you're going to make it worse," Bill says. "I suggest that you find another way to clear Matt."

Sarah's eyes and shoulders drop simultaneously. "That's the thing, Dad. I don't know if there is another way."


"We could probably just go back to the Carmen program. I bet I remember the whole thing," Jason says, leaning backward in the desk chair so that the two front legs hover above the floor. Once he shared his decision with Courtney, the awkwardness melted away, and now he sits in her room as though no time has passed since they were sixteen.

"You must have a way better memory than I do," Courtney says, "because I know I don't remember it."

"Hey, we've got videos. It can't be that hard to pick up again."

Courtney stretches out her legs so that her feet dangle off the end of the bed. "Jeez. Can you believe we're doing this? My mom is going to be so happy."

"Yeah, mine too. It'll allow her to complete her video collection of us skating together. I guess she could use some good news, though."

"Why, what's wrong?"

Jason shifts in the chair, planting all four of its feet firmly on the ground again. "Claire's having a really hard time with both Tim and Ryan around, and my mom's, like, caught in the middle. And Sarah's got this whole mess going on with Matt ... You know Jennie Burkle? The girl from high school who--"

"Works at your dad's restaurant. Yeah. I ran into her a couple of weeks ago at the store, and it was insanely awkward."

"Yeah, well, I guess she was interested in Matt or something," Jason explains, "and he and Sarah have been on-and-off for so long that Jennie thought she had a chance. So when Matt finally set her straight, she went to the police and said that he'd raped her."

"What?! Whoa." Courtney's face clouds over with shock, and her next words come tentatively. "Did he? I mean--is she making it up, or did they ..."

"Sarah seems pretty sure that Matt is innocent, so I'll take her word for it. The weird thing is, Jennie apparently showed up at Matt's while Sarah was there, and she had this huge bruise that she said she got from her father, but in the police report, she said that Matt gave it to her. And since Sarah was the only other person who heard her say that, she can pretty much spin it however she wants."

"I must've seen her right around the time this all happened," Courtney says, "because she had this gigantic black eye, and it looked pretty fresh."

"It was only a couple of weeks ago. It was actually, I think, the night before Kelsey came to talk to me about this little plan of hers--"

"That's when I ran into her." Courtney pauses and looks to Jason for affirmation. Her mouth widens when she sees that he is thinking the same thing. "I wonder if ..."

"Do you remember what time you ran into her?" Jason asks, ready to spring out of the chair. This could be just what Sarah and Matt need.


Will Courtney be able to help Matt's case?
Has Sarah made the situation even worse?
What news awaits Molly at the hospital?
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