Episode #601

- After Sarah agreed to marry Graham, she and Tori began staying at his house.
- Brent caught Philip kissing Molly at Loretta’s party. Later, Molly dismissed Philip and returned to King’s Bay with her husband, hopeful about the future of their marriage.
- Claire received a package from an anonymous sender--and inside was a birth certificate that Claire feared would change lives forever.


The mid-morning sun spills through the bay windows of Graham Colville’s kitchen, a room that Sarah Fisher has spent much time overhauling. When she first began seeing Graham, his kitchen was the bastard child of the house, used as little more than a stopping point to grab a fork or store something in the refrigerator. Since Sarah moved in several weeks ago, however, her previously subtle transformations have risen to a new level. The refrigerator is fully stocked, a bowl of fresh fruit sits in the middle of the island, and the food processor from her apartment now stands proudly on a countertop.

Now Sarah stares out the window, sipping an unnecessary third cup of coffee and taking in the sights of a Washington summer: dewy green grass, a sky so blue that it’s difficult to believe it could unleash the normal barrage of Northwest rain, and a general air of serenity. Graham strides into the kitchen, outfitted in a gray suit and bold blue tie for an upcoming business meeting.

“I’m almost afraid to disturb your reverie,” he says, observing Sarah.

She turns with a soft smile. “Just trying to get my head together before I head out to work on a case.”

“Fair enough.” He pulls his wallet from his back pocket. “This is for the arrangements you said you’d be picking up from the florist.”

Sarah watches as he sets two fifty-dollar bills on the counter.

“I can pay for them myself,” she says. “It was generous enough of you to ask me to live here. If I want to do a little sprucing up--”

“Then you’re doing me an enormous favor,” he says with his characteristic charm, the faintest hint of a smile on his mouth. “I insist.”

Sarah contemplates the situation for another moment before saying, “Thank you.”

“No, thank you. For being here and for being a part of my life.”

They say their goodbyes, and Graham heads off to his meeting. Sarah attempts to return to the peaceful mindlessness of gazing out the window, but soon enough, Tori comes barreling into the room.

“Mom,” she says before she even hits the kitchen. “I’m gonna go to the mall with the Fees and Julie.”

“All right. Do you need a ride? I have a case--”

“Fee C’s mom is driving us. She said she’d pick me up.”

“Okay. If you need a ride later, call me. I’d be happy to come get you.”

“Thanks.” Tori clasps her hands behind her back and rocks back and forth on her feet; Sarah has a good sense of what is coming next. “There’s this bag I was looking at. A purse.”

“Another purse?”

“It’s L.A.M.B. You know, Gwen Stefani. It’s really cool. It has this yellow-and-pink print, and kind of this newspaper look to it...” She trails off, able to see that her appeal is falling on deaf ears. “Mom. I haven’t asked for anything in a while.”

“You asked for shoes less than two weeks ago, and I got them for you,” Sarah reminds her.

“I need this purse.”

“You don’t need it. Maybe what you need is a job.”

Tori’s face twists up, as if she just got a big whiff of the inside of a dumpster.

“I’m serious,” Sarah says. “It would be good for you. Maybe your grandpa could find something for you at the restaurant.”

Tori does not even respond. She is too busy contemplating either the prospect of a job or horrible mass genocide--Sarah cannot tell from her expression.

“I’m going to go get ready for my day,” she tells her daughter. “Have fun at the mall, and be safe. Check in with me later, please.”

“Okay,” Tori says with defeat. She acquiesces to her mother’s request for a goodbye kiss, and then Sarah proceeds upstairs to begin her day, wondering if she should be the one to get the ball rolling with Bill on this job thing.


“Didn’t expect to see you here.”

Claire Fisher turns with a start to find her ex-husband stepping up behind her in line.

“Hi, Tim,” she says. They both lurch forward awkwardly, realizing that a hug is appropriate but unsure about the logistics of this new phase of their relationship. The hug plays out clumsily.

“Shouldn’t you be at the office?” she asks.

“I had to run an errand, and I thought I’d grab a latte on my way back to work,” he says. “What are you up to?”

“Oh, nothing much. I’m not scheduled at the hospital today, so I’m just taking care of odds and ends.” She tries to speak as casually as possible, but as soon as she saw him, the thing that has been burdening her for days seems to increase its mass tenfold.

That birth certificate that was mailed to her anonymously--it means something. And as much as she has her suspicions, and as much as she wants to tell Tim and see what he thinks about it, she has no real information yet. It is too soon to dump this on him.

“What’s the matter?” he asks, apparently able to see through her nonchalant façade.

“Nothing.” Blessedly, the customer in front of her finishes his transaction, and Claire is able to stall by stepping up to the counter and ordering her black tea. She steps aside to wait for it while Tim places his own order.

He rejoins her as they wait by the bar. “You’re sure everything is okay?”

“Yeah.” The lie rests uneasily on the air between them.

“I feel like there’s something you aren’t telling me,” he says.

“Tim. I swear, everything is fine.”

The barista calls her order, and Claire swiftly takes her tea. “I should get going,” she says. “Have a good day, all right? See you soon.”

“You, too.” She can feel him watching her suspiciously, like he is convinced that she is hiding something and there is nothing she can say or do to sway him.

When she returns to her car, Claire pulls out her phone, looks up the number for an airline, and places the call. “Hi,” she says. “I’d like to book a seat on your next flight to Manchester-Boston Airport.”


Sarah is halfway out the door when she remembers that she has to stop by the florist later. She hurries back to the kitchen but sees no sign of the money that Graham was going to leave for the flowers. Quickly she calls him on his cell.

“Sorry to bother you,” she says, “but did you leave that money for the florist?”

“On the kitchen counter,” he says with concern.

“You didn’t... pick it up after I tried to fight you on it?”

“No. I distinctly remember leaving it on the counter. Two fifty-dollar bills.”

She scans the kitchen, to no avail. “That’s what I thought.”

The words are barely out of her mouth before the events of the morning reconstruct themselves in her mind. Graham leaving the money... Tori asking for a purse and being rebuffed...

“I’m sure it’s here somewhere,” she hurriedly tells Graham. She can just put it on her credit card, after all. He’ll never know the difference. And then she will deal with Tori.

“I know exactly where I left it,” Graham says. “Unless you moved it...”

“Maybe I did.”

“You sound strange.”

“No, no. I’m fine. I’ll let you get back to your work.”

“Sarah.” He says her name with firm, insistent immediacy, then allows it to hang between them for a few--very long--seconds. “Is there something you aren’t telling me?”

“I told you, it’s fine.”

“Did Tori happen to be in the kitchen this morning?”

She stumbles over her response. “I don’t know. Probably. I can ask--” She knows that she sounds thoroughly unconvincing.

Graham can apparently tell, too. “This is unacceptable. Where is she? I’d like to speak to her.”

“She’s at the mall with friends. Don’t worry. I’m calling her right now.” With that, Sarah hangs up. Eager as she is to prove that Tori did not steal the hundred dollars, she does not have much faith in that outcome.


After booking her flight, Claire rushes home, asks Travis to spend the night at her apartment to keep Tempest company, and drives the considerable distance to SeaTac. She passes through the surprisingly short security line--more easily than usual, since she carries only her purse--and is headed through the terminal to her gate when she spots a familiar face.

“Claire,” Philip Ragan says, derailing her plan to pretend she did not see him. “Where are you headed?”

She hitches her purse up on her shoulder. “That’s not really any of your business.”

“I see.”

She studies the man who was recently revealed to be her brother. Half-brother. He is a handsome man, well groomed and very poised. Under different circumstances, she would have no problem with him at all. She certainly did not mind him when she was only aware of him as Molly’s photographer. But his connection to Loretta Ragan changes all that.

“I could ask what you’re doing back in King’s Bay,” she says.

“In case you’ve forgotten, I was here because of work with Objection. I’m still under contract to them.” He pauses and takes a moment to stand his rolling suitcase upright. “Claire, I know it was a shock to find out that we’re related. It was for me, too. The things that my mother allegedly did to you and your family...” He shakes his head. “I’m still trying to comprehend the scope of it.”

“I find it difficult to believe that you had no idea whatsoever what she was doing.”

“I swear to you. It all came as an enormous shock.”

He sounds sincere, but all Claire can think about is her father--their father--and the way he lied to her face, without remorse, for so many years.

“Your mother never said anything about the fact that you were working in King’s Bay?” she asks. “How did that come to be, anyway?”

“I did a show here. I was doing them all over the west coast. Molly happened to see my work, and--”

“It seems awfully coincidental.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

She appraises him for another moment and, unable to come to a conclusion about how honest or dishonest he is being, begins to move past him.

“I have a flight to catch,” she says. An instinct tells her to turn back, to ask one more question, but it is something she doesn’t quite know how to articulate yet--and if he is in cahoots with Loretta, it might ruin everything to give her a heads-up. So she proceeds toward her gate without another look back at her half-brother.


“Mom, what’s the big emergency?” Tori calls out as she enters the house.

Sarah and Graham wait in the living room. When Tori spots them, she freezes in her tracks.

“What’s going on?” she asks. Sarah is very aware of how the teenager keeps casting wary looks at Graham.

“Did you happen to buy anything at the mall?” Graham asks.

“Uh, no.” Tori glares at Sarah. “Because Mom called and told me to come home so fast.”

Sarah can tell that Graham is ready to blow--as much as such a controlled person is capable of blowing up, anyway--and decides to do what she can to defuse the situation.

“Tori,” she says, “there were two fifty-dollar bills on the kitchen counter this morning. After you left for the mall, they were gone. If you took them, just admit it and that’s that.”

Tori’s eyes jump back and forth between her mother and Graham, as if trying to ascertain their sincerity.

“Did you take the money?” Sarah asks.

Silence and stillness seize hold of the next few seconds. Finally, with a shudder, it explodes out of Tori: “Yeah, I took it! I wanted to get that purse!” She produces the two fifties from her current purse, a tiny little black number with beading.

Sarah takes the money from her. “Thank you for being honest. Now go up to your room.”

“We’ll discuss what to do with you next,” Graham says. “This is unacceptable, Victoria. Absolutely unacceptable.”

Tori, who has already started to slink toward the stairs, stops and turns back. “Mom, I thought you said--”

Sarah lays a hand on Graham’s shoulder. “I did tell her that if she was honest with us, that would be the end of it.”

Graham shakes his head. “You can’t let this pass without some kind of repercussions. She stole money that wasn’t hers. What if she took it from a friend’s mother instead of from you?”

That thought gives Sarah pause. Still, she offered Tori certain terms, and she does not want to be one of those parents who deceives her child. It seems like the fastest way to lose all trust.

“You need to consider this a major lesson,” she tells Tori. “If for some reason there is a next time--and you’d better hope to God there isn’t--you will be in serious, serious trouble.”

“That’s why this is happening. Because you let her get away with things like this,” Graham says. He addresses Tori: “Go upstairs to your room. Your mother and I are going to discuss this. If you ask me, spending a week of your summer in the house without your friends seems like an appropriate punishment.”


“Go upstairs,” Sarah says. “Graham and I will discuss this.” As Tori obeys and drags her body up the broad, regal staircase, Sarah doesn’t know which of them she is angrier with.


When Philip arrives at Molly’s office on the eighteenth floor of Winston Tower, he finds her staring intently at her computer monitor. He knocks lightly on the open door and waits for her to acknowledge him.

“Philip...” Her jaw goes slack as she takes in the sight of him.

“I hope I’m not interrupting.”

“Oh. No.” She pushes her chair back from the desk, separating herself from her intimate connection with the computer. “I wasn’t even doing work. I’m ordering shoes for the boys. Have you used Zappos.com?”

“I haven’t.”

“It’s so convenient,” she says, rising from her seat. “The boys ruin their shoes way too quickly, playing outside all the time. I can go online and order replacements with just a few clicks of the mouse! No more worrying about driving to stores and seeing if they have the right size. Plus, they offer free shipping and a 365-day return window!”

He grins at her nervous rambling. “I’ll keep all that in mind. How have you been, Molly?”

“I’m doing all right.” She exhales heavily, seemingly at a loss for meaningful words. “I didn’t realize you were in town.”

“I just arrived, actually. I wanted to see you.”

He allows the statement to land with the appropriate weight. He means it.

“I don’t think this is a good idea,” she says suddenly.

“What do you mean?”

“You shouldn’t be here. Not after--” She cuts herself off and returns her attention to the computer monitor, simply staring at it.

“I have a professional obligation,” Philip presses. “I’m not going to simply disappear.”

“Maybe that would be best.” She levels a stern gaze upon him. “Philip, I’m going to release you from your contract with Objection. You no longer have any obligation to the company.”


“We’ll be in touch with your agent.”

She is only a few feet away from him, but there might as well be a colossal brick wall standing between them. He has no idea how they went from how close they were on their trip, only a few weeks ago, to this cold dismissal. Her marriage cannot have magically repaired itself this quickly... can it?

He looks at her again, hoping to see some softness, some sign of the woman who most definitely kissed him back, but all he sees is that stone-cold expression. He retreats from the office, uncertain what he is supposed to do next.


After Tori disappears to her room, Sarah and Graham remain in the living room, the tension between them as taut as the rope in a ferocious game of tug-of-war.

“I put an offer on the table,” Sarah says. “It’s not right to pull the rug out from under her like that. She was honest, like I asked.”

“She stole!” Graham replies. “And it was technically my money she took. I’m not going to sit back and have a little criminal running around my house.”

Sarah folds her arms. “Your house, huh?”

“You know what I mean.”

The doorbell sounds, and Sarah is all too happy to escape the confrontation and answer it. When she pulls it open, however, the situation suddenly becomes much worse.

“What the hell’s going on here?” Matt demands as he barrels into the house.

“Why are you here?”

“Because my daughter called me.” Matt turns to address Graham, who has just appeared in the foyer. “What did you say to her?”

“Your daughter stole from me so that she could buy some kind of frivolous handbag,” Graham says.

Matt recoils at the accusation and says to Sarah, “She said she borrowed money from your purse.”

Graham lets out a huff. “That’s a lie. What a surprise.”

Sarah sees Matt ready to pounce on Graham and steps between them. “We were just having a discussion about how to deal with her.”

“Well, listen.” Matt takes another step forward, a move that threatens to sandwich Sarah between him and Graham. “From what Tori tells me, you told her to just be honest and that’d be the end of it. So she came clean and then you, what? Go back on your word?”

“This is why your daughter is turning into a criminal,” Graham says. “Of course, that’s little surprise, given what Sarah has told me about your past...”

“Hey!” Again Matt lunges, this time with his hand balled into a fist.

Once again, Sarah blocks him. “Calm down! Both of you. Matt, get a grip. And Graham, stop it with the little snipes. She’s our daughter. We’ll deal with her in whatever way we think is appropriate.”

Jaw held tight, Matt takes a single step backward but never removes his eyes from Graham.

“If she’s going to be living in my house, then I have a say,” Graham says coolly. “Particularly when it’s my money she steals.”

“Then maybe she shouldn’t live here,” Matt says. “Look, I’m gonna go talk to my kid, okay? You two do whatever the hell you want.”

He takes off up the stairs, calling Tori’s name. Sarah and Graham remain in the foyer, the open door letting in the increasingly warm summer air.

“Who does he think he is?” Graham says, wagging his head in irritation.

“He’s Tori’s father. And he has just as much a say as I do in how we handle her.”

“Where does that leave me, exactly?” Graham doesn’t even allow her time to respond; instead he heads back to the living room. “Maybe we do need to reconsider this arrangement.”

Sarah, consumed by visions of future disasters, allows him to go.


Can Sarah, Matt, and Graham co-parent in peace?
Was Molly too quick to shut Philip out?
What will Claire learn when she travels back east?
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