Episode #380

Previously ...
- Armed with new information about the night of the alleged crime, Sarah and Matt confronted Jennie and her father. They convinced her to drop the charges against Matt, as well as leave her job at the restaurant.
- Diane showed signs of jealousy over Brian's relationship with Kelsey.
- Jason and Courtney decided to skate together for their final pairs test.
- Brent informed Tim that the police had offered Dr. Domingo a plea bargain, provided that he identifies the person who was having Tim held at the clinic in Vermont.


"Let me get those," Sarah Fisher insists, swatting Matt Gray's hand away from the empty dinner plates. "Cooking dinner was more than enough!"

Reluctantly, Matt sits back and allows her to clear the plates from the table. He turns to his brother, seated across from him. "You wanna go have those cigars?"

Jake agrees, and the brothers head out to the patio to enjoy the cigars that Jake picked up as a present earlier today. Sarah rinses the plates with weary hands; the sun is still shining outside, but she is exhausted from the day's activities.

Once the men have gone, Mia Davich rises from her seat at the table and joins Sarah by the sink.

"Can I help with anything?" Mia asks.

"Don't worry about it. I'm just going to rinse these and deal with cleaning up later." As Sarah runs water over the plates, she breathes a sigh of contentment. "Whew! That was an amazing meal, huh?"

"Matt really outdid himself, yeah." A soulful smile spreads over Mia's face. "I'm so glad that Jake and I could be here to celebrate with you guys."

"I just wish we didn't have to celebrate in the first place," Sarah says. The steady hum of the faucet fills the air for a few melancholy seconds.

"It's a shame Matt--and you--had to go through this, yeah. But it's done now, right? Nothing to worry about anymore."

"Yeah." Sarah pauses to think about that for a moment, and the relief overcomes the horror of what might have been. Even though she knows that Jennie went down to the station and recanted the charges, it doesn't quite seem real yet. "It really is over."

She moves to the refrigerator and pulls out the bowls of fruit that she prepared earlier. "We've got some seedless watermelon, chocolate-covered cherries, and whipped cream for dessert," she tells Mia as she sets the bowls on the dining table.

"Mmm." Mia helps Sarah set out the forks and plates. "And look on the bright side, girl. If not for this situation, you and Matt might've never gotten your act together."

Pursing her lips together, Sarah nods. Mia is right: this experience, as unpleasant as it has been, has managed to draw her and Matt back together.

"Tori!" she calls out. "We have some dessert!"

When there is no response from the little girl, Mia says, "I'll go get her." As Mia goes to the bedroom to retrieve Tori, Sarah leans against the countertop of Matt's small kitchen and breathes it all in: the warm meal in her stomach, the fresh dessert awaiting them, the good friends, family ... and the man of her dreams. Even her worries about her career have been soothed by their success in clearing Matt. She couldn't ask for a better life right now.


The can of diet soda hisses in its familiar way, and the sound is a comfort to Diane Bishop. The end of the workday is near, but not near enough, and stupid as it is, this kick of caffeine is just the thing she needs to carry her there.

She steps away from the small refrigerator, located in the corner of her office, just as Brian Hamilton appears in the doorway.

"The shipments are out," he says. "That Hannah lady in Distribution sent me an e-mail to let me know."

Diane throws down her first gulp of the soda with satisfaction. Alex Marshall's book is on its way to stores, and though it is only the first step, she is certain that there are big things in store for him--and for Vision.

"Beautiful," she says. "I'm dying to see some reviews."

"Me, too. I'm thinking that we'll get something out of the Seattle press after he does the signing there."

Diane nods in agreement; they both know how this process works. However, it has been a while since they worked together to launch a new author, and Diane isn't particularly keen on bringing up the last time or the name Serena Scott. She and Brian have reached a point, she thinks, where all that is better left unmentioned.

"Do you mind if I get out of here a little early?" Brian asks abruptly.

"I guess not, though if I'm gonna be stuck here 'til five ..."

"Cut out a little early. No one's going to notice."

She shakes her head. "I'm waiting for some idiot's agent, who's probably an idiot himself, to call me back. But you can go ahead and take off."

"Thanks." Brian's body jerks, as if he starts to leave and then stops. He flashes her an expectant smile and announces, "I'm going to look at rings."

Just like that. I'm going to look at rings. The same way he'd say something like "I had one of those amazing calzones for lunch" or "I just saved 15% on my car insurance." Diane bugs her eyes out, but no words come.

"I'm asking Kelsey to marry me," he says, providing an unnecessary bit of confirmation.

"Are you nuts?" she sputters. "You haven't been dating that long. And she's, like, sixteen!"

His tone turns rough, annoyed, making it clear that he is tired of correcting her even though she knows the facts and is only pretending not to for the sake of a cheap joke: "She's twenty-five."

"Whatever." Diane takes another swig of the soda and swishes it around in her mouth as she mulls over this news. "You? Getting married?"

"It's right. The time is right, and things are going well between us," Brian says, nodding in a way that looks to Diane as though he is leading her, wanting her to fall in line with the nodding to affirm his decision and its reasoning.

"You barely know her, Brian."

"I do know her. You just don't know her, so you assume that I don't, because you like to operate on the assumption that my world begins and ends with the parts that overlap with your life."

His annoyance is mounting, and she senses a blowup coming on. She doesn't have the energy to handle it at the moment, so she decides to let it go. For now.

"Good luck," she says, returning to her desk chair.

With an affable "Thanks" and a renewed look of excitement, Brian exits the office.


Jason Fisher has always loved the smell of the ice in the afternoons. There is something distinctive about it that takes him back to the early days of his skating, back when he wouldn't even think to consider it work. As he steps onto the ice on this particular afternoon, that scent is in the air, and it is fitting: the entire purpose of today's practice is to experiment with time travel.

"Let's see some stroking together," Sandy James announces once Jason and Courtney have each done a few warmup laps on their own. Their coach stands expectantly by the boards as Jason takes Courtney's hand in his--a sensation that he was sure he would never again experience--and they take a few tentative, synchronized pushes.

To his relief, the rhythm is more or less just how he remembered it. By the second lap, they have settled into the ice; he feels Courtney's grip relax, remaining firm but not tense. They pick up speed, and as the wind whips by and they maneuver through the other skaters on the ice, Jason feels that he has been transported in time.

Sandy motions for them to stop, so they return to her.

"That didn't look so bad," she says with a warm smile. Jason glances over at Courtney and is pleased--relieved--to see that she agrees. They run through a few more stroking exercises before Sandy declares that it is time to try a few lifts.

Courtney turns to Jason. "Want to try the star lift the way we used to--"

"Coming out of the corner? Yeah."

She adjusts her dark ponytail and, an instant later, they are skating together, approaching the lift the same way they used to approach it. Jason finds himself wondering how any time has passed between their first trip to Sectionals and now.

He tightens his grip and feels her press back, and her ascent begins. But when she is halfway up, something gives; the hold doesn't feel right. In an effort to avoid a crash, Jason starts to lower her, but Courtney's hands resist. She is determined to correct the problem and finish the move.

Too late.

Milliseconds later, she goes tumbling down in front of him. She doesn't hit the ice especially hard, but she slides several feet before turning an annoyed eye on him. Nevertheless, he helps her up, and they skate back toward Sandy.

"What happened?" the coach asks calmly.

"The grip felt funny," Courtney says, an edge of blame in her voice. "Something was weird."

"I did it the same way I've been doing it forever," Jason counters. "You're just used to the way Dylan--"

"I didn't change anything!"

"Hey!" Sandy booms, cutting them off in mid-squabble. She waits until they focus their suddenly shameful eyes on her before she continues. "We are not going to start this already. In fact, we're not going to start it at all. Both of you are more than capable of passing this test, and I'd love to see you do it together. But if you're going to act like a pair of teenagers, then I want no part of it."

Jason's cheeks burn with embarrassment.

"Do you think you can handle this like adults?" Sandy asks. Jason grumbles his acceptance of her terms, and Courtney follows suit.

"All right, then." Sandy takes Jason's hand. "I want you to show me exactly how you're gripping when you press up." She tests his hold and then does the same with Courtney. By the time they try the lift again, the problem has corrected itself. Jason finds himself hoping that it is a sign of things to come.


A plume of light gray smoke rolls out of Matt's mouth, and its sweet, spicy scent fills the patio area. A good cigar isn't a treat that Matt often affords himself, but tonight, it seems to be in order.

"Thanks for getting these," Matt says. "I didn't think you'd even remember that time we had them."

Jake lets out his own puff of smoke. "Please. It was one of the best cigars I ever had."

A few quiet moments pass as Matt breathes in the flavorful aroma. He gazes out into the apartment complex's grassy courtyard and the calm blue sky.

"Still can't believe this is over," he says.

"Believe it, Matt. It was only a matter of time before you guys figured out a way to get the truth out of that girl."

"There wasn't even a motive for this 'crime,'" Matt says, distaste thickening his tongue. "Jennie was a friend of mine. That's it. I thought I should help her out--"

"And this is how she repays you. Yeah, it's ... it's really something." Jake puffs on his own cigar thoughtfully before adding, "Just think, though: if it hadn't happened, you wouldn't have been open to me coming back here ..."

Matt nods as he thinks about how true that is. Jake's show of support during one of Matt's lowest times really turned things around in his mind; it helped him realize that second chances are possible.

"Thanks, bro," he says quietly, giving Jake a pat on the shoulder.

Jake's expression says that he understands how appreciative Matt is, and that he is just as grateful for their reunion, however many years it took to become reality.

"And then there's you and Sarah," Jake says, an inquisitive gleam in his eye. "Looks like things are working out with you two."

"Yeah." Matt pauses to contemplate the strange way in which things have worked out--when he least expected that they would. "I've got a feeling that Sarah and I are gonna be just fine."


Diane leads the way to the Fishers' front door, with Samantha behind her, focusing diligently on her steps so as to avoid the cracks in the sidewalk. Diane contemplates telling her to hurry up, but she knows there is no use; when the kid sets her mind to something, she devotes her full energy to it, and the pavement has commanded her attention for the time being.

Eventually they reach the door, and Diane allows Sam to ring the doorbell. Tim answers swiftly.

"Hey, Pumpkin!" he exclaims, dropping down to hug his daughter. "We've been waiting for you."

"Sorry we're late. I got tied up leaving the office," Diane says.

"Oh, don't worry about it. Do you want to stay for dinner?"

She considers it for only a second. "Sure, I'd love to, if it's okay with your parents."

"Yeah, not a problem at all." Tim steps out of the way to let both of them into the house. "Sam, why don't you go put your bag upstairs and then wash your hands for dinner?"

The little girl obliges, her ponytail bobbing behind her as she gallops up the stairs. Diane waits until she is out of hearing range before she asks Tim her next question.

"Have you heard anything from Moriani?"

He shakes his head, and his expression makes her sorry--well, almost--that she brought up the topic.

"You don't think he's going to go for it?" she asks.

"No, it isn't that." Tim goes quiet for a moment, then says, "I'm just not sure it's going to do a lot of good, regardless."

"Why do you say that?"

"Claire doesn't want to believe anything bad about Ryan. It's like she has this barrier up, and she's not letting any negative ideas about him get through it."

Diane frowns. "She's not gonna forgive him for pretending you were dead and locking you up in some mad scientist's lab."

Tim, however, doesn't look so confident of that fact, and Diane works hard to suppress her instinctive reaction--a burst of joy. Luckily, the chirp of a ringing cell phone saves her from having to work too hard.

Tim pulls the phone from his pocket, answers, and clearly is affected by what he hears on the other end. He begins to ask questions, but whoever it is apparently shuts him down.

"All right. Thanks, Brent," he says, ending the call. He clutches the phone in his hand as he addresses Diane. "Domingo took the police's deal."

Even though she might prefer to see Ryan's misdeeds go unexposed, Diane feels a flurry of excitement. She attributes it to the scent of scandal. "Did he tell them who was keeping you at the clinic?"

"You're never going to believe this," Tim says, pausing to absorb his own shock. "It was Nick Moriani."


What will happen when the news about Nick spreads?
Is Diane jealous of Brian and Kelsey?
Will Sarah and Matt finally catch a break?
Come discuss this episode in the Footprints Forum!

Next Episode