Footprints Home Episodes People King's Bay Step Inside Forum Episodes People King's Bay Step Inside Forum Episodes People King's Bay Step Inside Forum


- Paula invited Spencer to join the Fishers for Thanksgiving. Tim warned her not to pressure him and risk pushing him even further away from the family, but to their surprise, Spencer accepted the invitation.
- Claire was also surprised to receive an invitation to the family Thanksgiving from Paula. Later, she saw Jimmy and Danielle having dinner and suspected it was a date.
- Travis went to meet his biological mother, Kathleen Bundy. She was initially skeptical of his story but warmed somewhat and was open to the possibility of communicating with him.


Claire Fisher doesn't realize how nervous she is until she parks the car at the curb. The house is so familiar; not only she did actually live here for a time, but more than that, it was a home to her for so long. But she has not been here in a long time--since last Christmas, nearly a year ago, when she stopped by to drop off a gift and felt like such an intruder at the family celebration that she rushed off unseen. 

Tempest Banks gets out the passenger side of the car, carefully holding the pecan pie that they baked earlier today. She closes her door with her hip, and Claire locks the door and goes to put the keys in her purse--but somewhere in the transaction, she loses her hold on them, and they clatter to the ground.

"You nervous?" Tempest asks over the top of the car.

Claire scoops up the keys. "What? No."

"You barely said anything the whole way here. And that's the third time you've dropped the keys."

"I'm just clumsy."

"They let you help out in surgeries and stick needles in people's arms, with you being that clumsy?" Tempest levels a stare upon her foster mother. "Freaking out 'cause Spencer's gonna be here?"

  Tempest Banks

"Maybe a little," Claire admits as they walk up the driveway. "That and being a guest in Paula's home again. She hasn't exactly been my biggest fan this year…"

"Then just focus on keeping me from punching Spencer in the damn head. That fool deserves it after what he did to Travis and Sam."

Claire stifles a laugh. "Yeah, please try not to do that." She takes a deep breath and rings the doorbell; she can already hear the merriment from inside the house.

The door opens, revealing Bill Fisher in a comfortable navy sweater. He greets them with a generous smile.

"Happy Thanksgiving! Come in!" Bill says, stepping aside. The women eagerly move out of the cold and into the cozy house, where Claire spots the familiar setup: a spread of hors d'oeuvres on the console table in the living room, a makeshift bar in the corner of the dining room. Caleb and Christian are playing video games on the flatscreen TV, oblivious to the world around them.

Claire leans in to give Bill a hug. "Happy Thanksgiving. And thank you for having us."

"Of course," he says, as if it is the most obvious thing in the world. She has never known Bill to be particularly confrontational--even at the height of the drama between Tim and Ryan, he tended to stay out of it as much as possible, offering gentle guidance from the sidelines--so she is not that surprised that he would skate over the tension between her and Paula this last year. 

"We made a pie," Tempest says, holding it out to him. "Where should I put it?"

"Why don't you bring that in the kitchen?" he says. "Sarah's been gathering all the desserts and side dishes in there."

Tempest heads off to do that, and Claire removes her coat and hangs it in the closet right beside the front door.

"How have you been?" Bill asks.

"I'm okay. Things are beginning to feel normal again, slowly," she says. "How about you guys? I keep meaning to make a reservation at the restaurant."

"Everything's going well. Like you said, it's been a really difficult few years, but it seems like things are looking up. We're so happy that Sarah and Matt are back together, and we're excited for Molly's wedding."

"Are they here yet?" Claire asks, her blood pressure spiking suddenly. She hasn't spotted Molly, Philip, or Spencer, whom she presumes is coming with them.

"Not yet. I'm sure I don't have to tell you how surprised I was when Paula said Spencer would be joining us."

"You're not the only one." 

Claire sees Paula emerge from the kitchen. The two women's eyes lock, and Paula pauses--fixing a smile upon her face--before she approaches.

"Happy Thanksgiving," Claire says. "Thanks again for inviting us."

"Happy Thanksgiving." Paula lingers just behind Bill, which thankfully for Claire removes the awkwardness of wondering whether or not they are supposed to hug. "I saw the pie Tempest brought in. It looks delicious."

"Let's hope it tastes that way," Claire says. "Is there anything I can help with?"

"No, just go and get yourself a glass of wine and relax," Paula says. 

Claire is about to do that when the doorbell rings. She freezes, already knowing what is on the other side… and when Bill opens it, the world seems to slip into slow-motion. She sees Molly and Philip as blurs, but her focus goes right to Spencer, and she clocks the exact moment that he notices her. 

* * * * *

"I'm sure some women would've been into the stripper pole right away," Tim Fisher says as he leans against the back of the sofa in his parents' den.

His younger brother swirls his gin-and-tonic, the ice cubes clinking against the sides of the glass. "I don't know that I'd want to be on a date with those women…"

"Maybe not." Tim gives Jason a hearty pat on the arm. "I'm proud of you, though. Takes a lot of nerve to get back out there."

"Well, it's a first step," Jason says. "I'm kind of realizing that I never did the casual dating thing, though. Like, I don't know how. I keep thinking that if we go out again, I have to, like, commit to a relationship."

"You don't."

"I know. But it just feels like this… pressure. It's stupid." 

Tim tilts his head. "Did you guys…?"

"No!" Jason takes a sip of his drink. "Seems like a little fast for that. Or not. Who the hell knows? I gave her a kiss on the cheek when I dropped her off." 

"Very… gentlemanly."

Jason's stomach tightens. "What? Was that lame? Should I have gone for a real kiss?"

Tim breaks out into a chuckle. "Calm down. I think it was fine. And it keeps her wanting more."

"I hope." 

The click of high heels in the hallway precedes by mere seconds the appearance of Diane Bishop in the doorway. "Sorry to interrupt, but I was on my way back from the restroom and thought I heard you two talking about that time Jason completely lost his mind."

"So you heard," Jason says, wincing slightly. 

"Of course I heard. And since it's a holiday, I'll refrain from asking what in the hell kind of blow to the head you must have taken to make you go on a date with my sister."

"They're enjoying each other's company," Tim says diplomatically, placing an arm in front of Diane for effect.

Diane widens her eyes. "Yeah. For now."

"I promise I'm a big boy," Jason says. "I can take care of myself."

"Good. You're gonna need that skill." 

"Diane!" Tim says.

"Fine, fine. I need a glass of wine, anyway."

"By the way, I heard you on the radio yesterday morning," Jason says. "You're good!"

Diane brightens. "Oh. Thanks. I'm having fun."

"Just don't go blabbing about your sister and me on the air," he says with a grin.

"Don't give me reason to," she says before sweeping out of the den. 

* * * * *

Claire decides that she will have to be the one to snap them all out of this surreal scene.

With her gaze focused firmly upon Spencer, she tells the group of new arrivals, "Happy Thanksgiving."

"Happy Thanksgiving," Molly says back, followed closely by Philip, and then there is a flurry of hugs and greetings amongst Claire, Molly, Philip, and Bill. Claire notices Spencer hanging back, perhaps using the dish in his hands as a way of avoiding having to engage.

She swallows the sudden lump in her throat. "Happy Thanksgiving," she says quietly to Spencer.

"You, too," he responds, and though she is certain that she can see him restraining himself, forcing himself to be polite, it still feels like progress for which she should be grateful. 

"Glad you could make it," Bill says to his grandson. "What have we got here?"

"Uh… some carrots," Spencer says, tossing a sideways glance at Molly.

  Spencer Ragan

"We made those glazed carrots Mom likes," Molly explains. 

"Why don't we go put those in the kitchen with the other sides?" Bill says. "I'll show you the way." Spencer falls in line behind him, and they head through the dining room and toward the kitchen.

"I can't believe he actually came," Claire says to Molly and Philip.

"I'm choosing to see it as a very good sign," Philip says. 

Claire nods. "Yeah. And how are you guys? The wedding plans must be getting down to the nitty-gritty."

"It's a little hectic," Molly admits with a sigh, "but it will all be worth it."

Philip takes her hand between both of his. "Yes, it will. It's going to be beautiful."

* * * * *

Travis stands at the bar in the corner of the dining room, using the bottle opener to pop the cap off his beer. As he hands the opener to Tempest, Bill leads Spencer through the room and into the kitchen.

"I can't believe he's actually here," Travis mutters.

"I told your mom she might have to hold me back from popping him in the face," Tempest says as she opens her own beer.

Samantha, waiting behind them, pipes in, "I guess we're going to have to get used to this."

Travis takes a slug from his bottle. "Don't remind me."

As Samantha weaves around the two of them to pour herself a glass of white wine, she asks, "Did you e-mail that woman yet? Your… mother?"



He shrugs. "Haven't gotten anything back yet."

"I'm sorry," Samantha says as she sets down the wine bottle.

"Whatever. It's fine." Travis takes another sip of beer. "I'm gonna go say hi to Mom." He slips away into the living room.

"I don't know why he's messing with some stranger who doesn't even give a crap about him," Tempest says.

Samantha turns to her. "Because she's his mom."

"He's got a perfectly good mom right there." She lifts her chin to indicate Claire across the room. "Be thankful for what you've got, that's what I say."

"You can't blame him for wanting to know about his birth parents."

Tempest thinks about that for a second before saying, "I guess not, but sometimes, stuff is better if you just leave it the hell alone. You know?"

"Maybe." Samantha lifts her wine glass to her lips, not quite convinced.

* * * * *

In the kitchen, Matt Gray is basting the turkey, which is now a glowing brown color and fills the kitchen with its delicious aroma.

“We’re almost done,” he tells Sarah Fisher, who is whisking the mashed potatoes.

“We have some glazed carrots to add to the spread,” Bill announces as he directs Spencer into the kitchen.

Sarah turns, hands outstretched, and Spencer places the covered serving dish into her hands.

“Thanks,” she says. “Happy Thanksgiving, Spencer.”

“Happy Thanksgiving,” he says back.

Matt sets down the turkey baster and extends his hand. “Matt. I’m Sarah’s, um--”

“Plus-one,” she cuts in.

“How’s that turkey?” Bill asks Matt.

"Just needs to cook a few minutes more.” Matt lifts up the pan. “Can you get the oven for me?”

Bill does, and as Matt slides the turkey back into the oven, Sarah resumes whisking the potatoes.

“So you guys do all this cooking yourselves?” Spencer asks, gazing around at the operation. Holidays at his mother’s estate always involved a staff, not to mention a full day of decorating and rented furniture setup.

  Sarah Fisher

“Yep. My dad’s a chef, and Matt is, too, so they kind of tell the rest of us what to do.” She pauses to taste the potatoes, adds some salt, and then continues, “Your car must be all fixed by now, right?”

Spencer’s brain, a little cloudy from the sensory overload of walking into this strange family’s celebration (and from the joint he smoked 20 minutes earlier), suddenly snaps into crystal-clear focus. “What?”

“It sounds like Philip banged it up pretty badly. But it’s been repaired?”

“Yeah. Totally. It was done a few weeks ago.”

“Well, that’s good. You must be happy to have that over with.”

“Yeah. I mean--” His nerves are suddenly on fire. “Hey, where can I get a drink around here?”

She turns and points through the doorway into the dining room. “Right in there, in the corner. There’s beer, wine, a bunch of liquor…”

“Awesome. Thanks.” He dips out of the kitchen, his throat suddenly very dry.

* * * * *

“No!” Sophie Fisher exclaims. “It’s ‘apposed to be green!”

“He can color the grass whatever color he wants to make it,” says Alex Marshall, who is seated on the stairs while Sophie and her younger cousin apply their crayons liberally to the pages of their coloring books. “Worry about your own picture.”

Sophie stands up and plants her hands on her hips, staring at Billy, who sits a few stairs below Alex. “The grass is green! Not blue!”

“Are you the coloring police?” Helen Chase asks as she walks up.

“I just want him to do it right.” Sophie’s eyes shift from her grandmother to Alex and back again, as if pleading with them to put a stop to this criminal lunacy.

“It’s art. He can do whatever he wants,” Alex says. He gives Billy’s coloring book another glance. “Though I’m not sure he knows he’s doing anything besides scribbling all over the page.”

With a huff, Sophie sits back on the ground and resumes coloring her own picture. Helen navigates around the kids and joins Alex on the stairs.

“Do you need a break?” Helen asks him.

“Nah. Until they start stabbing each other in the eyes with the crayons, I’m sort of content to sit here and space out.”

“Is everything all right?”

“Yeah. Just feeling a little… contemplative, I guess. The holidays make me miss my mom--which I know is stupid, since she’s been gone so long, but--”

“That’s far from stupid. It sounds like the most natural thing in the world.” Helen sighs. “I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing Courtney, but it is worse at the holidays, somehow.”

“I miss her, too.”

Helen gives him an encouraging pat on the hand. “I think she’s looking down at us right now, and she’s grateful that you’re here to help Jason and be such a big part of Sophie’s life.”

Alex smiles. “I hope so.”

“I know so. And so am I. I know Jason has his hands full as a single parent running a business. If you weren’t there…”

“He’d make it work,” he says, his tone carrying the slightest hint of warning not to push this topic.

“Of course he would. But he and Sophie are both in such good hands with you. The day you move out of that house will be very sad.” She lowers her voice a little as she asks, “How are things with Cameron? Still rocky?”

Alex shrugs. “Not even rocky. More like twisting in the wind. I think we’re both sort of apathetic about it.”

“That sounds like a pretty big sign.”


“I know there’s someone wonderful out there for you, and I hope you find him. Jason, too, though I suppose that might be a longer way off.”

“He actually--” But Alex stops himself. If Jason hasn’t told the Chases about his date with Natalie yet--and it makes perfect sense that he hasn’t, given what an early stage the whole thing is at--then he certainly isn’t going to be the one to pry open that can of worms.

“Who knows what’ll happen?” he says instead. “But I guess we should all be pretty grateful for what we do have right now. As bad as things have gotten, we’re all really lucky that we have each other.”

“That’s absolutely the truth,” Helen says, a smile brightening her face.

* * * * *

Spencer pours himself a generous bourbon on the rocks and then, grabbing Philip by the sleeve, drags his brother back into a hallway and then into the den, which is fortunately empty.

“This is perfectly nice, isn’t it?” Philip says.

“It’s fine. Someone offered me a, like, miniature hot dog thing.”

“It’s called a cocktail weenie.”

“Whatever.” Spencer cuts to the chase: “That Sarah chick was asking me questions about the accident.”

Philip’s eyes widen. “What kinds of questions?”

“Like is my car fixed yet, that kind of thing.”

“All right. Is that all? Did you get the sense that she was probing for something?”

“I don’t know! But she’s a P.I., isn’t she?”

“She is, yes.” Philip taps his index finger against his chin nervously. “Did she ask about anything beyond the car? Was she only making conversation?”

“I couldn’t tell. But it freaked me out. Won’t we get in huge trouble if someone finds out we lied?”

“Sarah is not investigating on behalf of the insurance company,” Philip says. “Don’t worry so much.”

“Excuse me for being kind of nervous.” Spencer gulps down some of his bourbon.

“Try and relax. Enjoy yourself. The food looks wonderful. Everyone’s being very nice. Maybe you could get to know some of the Fishers a bit.”

“I guess.”

“Listen to me. No one has any idea about what really happened with the car accident, and no one is going to find out the truth. All right?”

Spencer cringes, wanting badly to believe his brother. “I hope you’re right.”

“I am.”

Out in the hallway, Travis holds his breath and leans against the wall, unable to believe what he just heard.

* * * * *

In the living room, Claire sits on the couch, nursing what’s left of a glass of red wine and watching with amusement as Caleb giddily overpowers Jason in the football video game on the TV. Ryan Moriani walks up, folds his arms, and watches with a grin for a few seconds before he addresses Claire.

“Is this seat taken?” he asks, pointing to the sofa.

“I don’t think so. Travis went to the bathroom and hasn’t been back. Go ahead.”

Ryan sits down, careful to leave an appropriate amount of space between them.

“How have you been?” he asks.

  Claire Fisher

“Good. Truly. Having Tempest around has really been a blessing.”

“We love having her around the arena. She’s so reliable--and a complete riot.”

“You’re telling me.”

“Listen, I don’t mean to pry, and God knows you have no obligation to even listen to me,” he says, “so feel free to tell me to shut up. But I had a conversation with Travis a little while back, and he seemed interested in maybe meeting his biological parents.”

“He came to me already.” She swirls the wine around in her glass. “I had Sarah find out her address and phone number. He went to meet her.”

“Oh, wow. Never mind, then. I just thought I’d try to grease the wheels for the kid a little.”

“I appreciate you thinking of him,” she says.

“I know he’s had a rough few years. I see him in the coffee shop just about every day, and… well, he was like a son to me at one point.”

Claire nods solemnly; the wound of how badly their relationship ended is still raw, even after all these years, even if she rarely dwells upon it.

“So how did it go?” Ryan asks. “The meeting.”

“Not fantastic, but not a total disaster. I warned him that she might not be entirely receptive. It sounds like she was skeptical at first and then caught off-guard. She gave him her e-mail address, though.”

“That’s something.”

“I suppose.” She finishes her wine and holds up the glass. “Do you need anything from the bar?”

“Actually…” He pauses for a moment. “I’ve stopped drinking.”

Claire leans forward, elbows on her knees. “Really?”

“Yes. Alcohol was proving to be a… fairly destructive force in my life. Danielle deserves a lot of credit for helping me realize that.”

“I’m glad to hear that you’re improving your life. Truly. So are you and Danielle…?”

“No. No.” He shakes his head, and Claire swears that she sees something wistful in his expression. “Just more of a cumulative effect she’s had on me.”

“Ah. Just curious. I actually saw her out to dinner a few nights ago with her ex.”

Jimmy? Elly’s father?”

“Yeah. Did you know? Are they seeing each other again?”

“I have no idea what to think,” he says. “I happened to see them kissing a few weeks back. And Danielle certainly doesn’t owe me any kind of explanation about her personal life. What about you and Jimmy? Is that absolutely over?”

“Very. It has to be,” Claire says. “When I met him, I didn’t realize how… connected we were. It was too messy. The last thing I need these days is messy.”

“You’re preaching to the choir there.” Ryan bites his lips, and Claire can see thoughts churning just behind his eyes. Finally he asks, “Did it look like they were on a date? Or just having dinner?”

“I got the impression it was a date. They were at Windmills, and they were both dressed up. If you knew Jimmy, you’d know he is not a ‘dress up to grab dinner’ kind of guy.” Claire rises from the couch. “Can I get you anything? Club soda?”

“I’m fine, but thank you.”

“Okay.” She starts to go and then turns back. “I’m glad you’re doing well, Ryan.”

He smiles warmly, and for a split-second, it’s almost possible for her to forget how badly he hurt her years ago. Almost.

“Thank you, Claire.”

* * * * *

Spencer lingers in the den for a few minutes after Philip exits, checking Facebook on his phone, and then steels himself to rejoin the party. When he returns to the living room, though, he doesn’t see his brother anywhere, so he refills his bourbon, makes a minute of small talk with Tim, and then ducks into the kitchen.

Philip isn’t there, but Paula is, peeking under the foil of the turkey that is now resting atop the counter.

“Sorry, I’m just looking for Philip,” Spencer says.

“He and Molly took the twins to one of the bedrooms upstairs,” Paula explains. “They were going to do a video call with Brent.”

“Oh, okay.” He begins to back out of the kitchen, but Paula speaks again, holding him there.

“I really am so glad that you came,” she says. “I don’t want to pressure you at all, and I know this must be overwhelming.”

Meanwhile, Travis sees Spencer go into the kitchen. The three beers in his system tell him that now is the right time to do this--but when he reaches the kitchen, he hears his grandmother’s voice.

“But I do hope you’ll enjoy yourself,” Paula is saying, “and whenever you feel ready, we’re all here and eager to get to know you.”

“Thanks,” Spencer says, sounding oddly thrown.

What the hell is so bad about that? Travis wonders. Spencer has this whole family practically falling over themselves to include him in their lives, but only if it makes him comfortable. Everyone is catering to his moods, and he has no idea how lucky he is.

“I need to go get Matt to carve the turkey,” Paula says. She exits the kitchen, giving Travis a smile and a loving tap on the shoulder as she goes.

With a deep breath and a fresh beer, Travis heads into the kitchen before Spencer can escape.

“Having a good time?” Travis asks.

“Look, man, I’m trying to stay out of the way. I kind of got my arm twisted into coming.”

“Why? Paying your brother back for the way he saved your ass?”

Travis’s insides light up, a hot, burning orange in his mind’s eye, as he watches Spencer’s face turn to stone.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Spencer finally asks.

“I heard you and Philip talking. And Elly said you came to see her the day of the accident in your car, the red one.”

Spencer sneers. “She’s talking to you again? I always got the impression she wasn’t the brightest girl--I’m still not sure why Stanford Law let her in.”

Travis points to Spencer with his beer bottle. “You crashed that car into Aunt Molly’s house, didn’t you? You did it and you let Philip take the fall. What, he wanted to keep you from getting in even more trouble?”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“No, I think I do,” Travis says. “And you know I’m right.”

“Is he?” comes a voice from the doorway.

Both young men turn to see Molly standing there, arms at her sides.

“Spencer,” she says. “Is Travis right? Did you really crash the car into my house?”


Will Spencer be able to lie his way out of this one?
How would Molly react to the truth coming out?
How will Helen take the news that Jason is dating again?
Join us in the Footprints Forum to talk about it all!

Next Episode



Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

For a printable version,
click here.

Home / Episodes / People / King's Bay / Step Inside / Forum