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


- On his deathbed, Ryan married Danielle before succumbing to injuries from his shooting. The Fishers were devastated by his shocking death.
- Officer Rosie Jimenez discovered that Sabrina Gage is back in King's Bay. She attempted to visit Brent at home to alert him but met resistance from Travis, who eventually relented and called his uncle for her.
- Danielle shared with Jason her suspicions about the argument Ryan had with Helen Chase on the morning of the day he was killed.


Outside the funeral parlor, the sun sits high in the sky, its light causing the streets and signs and grass to glisten in a way that seems completely at odds with what this day is about. Paula Fisher stands over a table near the window of the room where Ryan's wake is being held, attempting to ignore the outside world as she shuffles picture frames and floral arrangements around.

"Do you think this one looks better on the end?" she asks her daughter, who stands behind her with a look of concern.

"I think they're all really nice pictures," Sarah says diplomatically. "People are going to be glad to look at them and remember Ryan."

Paula swivels around, her lips pursed. "Well, I don't want it to seem like we're playing favorites with anyone."

Sarah glances over the row of pictures. "I think everyone is well represented."

  Paula Fisher

Hands on hips, Paula returns to puzzling over the display. Sarah looks around the room, which has begun to fill up. Travis and Samantha are up by the open casket, their heads bowed as they pay their respects to their late uncle. She is about to try and move her mother along when a new group enters the room.

"Danielle is here," Sarah says quietly to Paula.

Danielle, with Brent, Josh, their father, Lauren, and Elly just behind her, stops at the entry to survey the room. She draws a deep, steadying breath before moving forward. Paula hurries over to meet her midway. The two women share a silent moment of common sorrow before embracing.

"How are you holding up?" Sarah asks Danielle. She feels foolish, since one can only be doing so well in the wake of her husband's shocking death, but she knows she has to say something. 

"I'm okay," Danielle says, nodding bravely as if to confirm this fact to herself. "Yeah. How about you?"

"I'm just sorry we couldn't be here before he passed away--or for the wedding. It happened so fast."

"I know."

"Paula, we're so sorry," Lauren says as she moves to give the other woman a tight hug. 

"Thank you, dear." 

The rest of the Taylor clan offers their condolences, and Paula thanks them for coming and for being here for her new daughter-in-law. Danielle's attention lands on the casket, where Ryan lies peacefully, dressed in a black suit with a red tie, his hands folded over his chest. 

"They did a good job," she says numbly, leaning over toward Paula. "He looks… like Ryan."

Paula hesitates, then offers a mere, "Yes." Before anyone can comment further on the matter, she says, "You should see all the photos we brought. It's really wonderful." Ignoring the others' reactions to the abrupt transition, she leads them over toward the table.


Watching his reflection in the mirror, Philip Ragan makes a final adjustment to the knot of his dark gray tie and then takes a step back, satisfied.

"Are you ready?" he calls out. But when he steps around the screen that sections off his bedroom area from the rest of the loft, he finds Spencer Ragan in the kitchen, wearing the same jeans and hoodie he was wearing earlier today.

"Spencer, we have to go."

"I'm not going." Spencer unclips a bag of pretzels, and the plastic crinkles as he opens it up. 

"What do you mean, you aren't going? Ryan was your uncle."

"I guess." The younger man grabs a handful of pretzels from the bag. "I didn't know the guy."

"Still. You could show your support for your grandmother, for Tim--"

"Tim hated him."

"He didn't hate him--"

"I sure as hell don't think he's crying over him." Spencer crunches on the pretzels. "I would feel weird there. And you just want me to go so you have an excuse to see Molly."

"That is not true!" Philip shakes his head and then grabs his keys from the leather valet on the counter. "I'm an adult. I can go pay my respects on my own."

"Enjoy," Spencer says, grabbing another handful of pretzels as Philip exits the loft. 


While Paula shows everyone the assortment of photos, Travis moves up behind Brent and taps him on the shoulder.

"Hey," Travis says, his voice low. Brent takes the hint and turns his back to the others.

"That girl who made me call you before--she was really a cop?"

"Jimenez? Yeah. She is. Thanks for not just giving my number away to any old person, though."

"No problem." Travis folds his arms in front of him, feeling the shoulders of his suit pull just a little bit; he was able to ignore it at Sarah and Matt's wedding, but now he has to admit that he has probably outgrown the jacket. "What she said about… about Sabrina. She can't be back--"

  Brent Taylor

"It's not her. It's another woman."

"What, some lunatic impersonating her? That has to have something to do with…" He gestures toward the coffin, overwhelmed by the entire idea. 

Brent pauses and looks around to be sure he won't be overheard. "There's a woman in town who claims she's the real Sabrina Gage--that Shannon stole her identity. Look, I'm trying to sort it out, but can you not mention this to your Uncle Jason for the time being?" 

"Yeah. No problem."

"Thanks, buddy. I'm gonna figure out what the hell is going on as soon as I can."

"I hope so," Travis says, unnerved.

* * * * *

Jason stands in front of the casket, his head bowed and his hands folded. It is still difficult for him to process that this is really Ryan lying there, looking so peaceful and still--or that any of this happened. That night at the hospital remains a blur, little more than a nightmare that Jason hasn't yet been able to shake. 

"I'll miss you, brother," he says aloud. There was a time when he would have felt silly speaking out loud this way, knowing that people can hear him, but the past few years have stripped away that self-consciousness when it comes to grief.

After a final moment of silent reflection, he steps away. He finds Sophie squirming on Natalie's lap in the back row of seats.

"Can we go?" Sophie says with a pointed look.

"Not yet. We're here for your Uncle Ryan."

Sophie buries her face against Natalie's neck. 

"How are you doing?" she asks Jason.

"Okay. It's so weird." He reaches out and takes Sophie's little hand in his, or tries to, but she yanks it away.

"Do you want to go talk to Uncle Ryan?"

"No!" the little girl says, too loudly. A few people look over at them.

"He's in Heaven with your mommy now," Jason continues.

Sophie shakes her head vigorously. "No. He's right there."

"He's…" Jason trails off and lets out a big sigh. 

"I don't want to see," Sophie says, again hiding her face.

"This was a bad idea," Jason says, taking the seat beside Natalie. "I thought maybe… it would be a way to talk more about Courtney…"

"She just isn't ready. You had no way of knowing how she'd react." Natalie lets Sophie down, and the girl quickly scurries away from them.

"I should probably take her home."

"Why don't I take her for you?"

"Are you sure?"

"I don't mind. You need to be with your family. Let me help out this much, at least."

Jason regards her quietly. "I'd appreciate it."

"Besides, it'll get me out of here before your ex-mother-in-law shows up to throw all kinds of shade at me," she says.

Jason lets a grin crack across his lips. "And there's that."

"Seriously, I don't mind. I'll take her back to your house, let her get changed into something more comfortable, and keep her entertained until you guys are done."

He rests a hand on her arm. "Thank you."

"I'm here for you. You know that, right?"

"I guess so," he says, surprised by the surge of warmth in his chest.

* * * * *

After Jason leaves the casket, Claire Fisher steels herself to walk up there. She has never been particularly religious, but she closes her eyes and tries to summon the words of one of the prayers that she recalls from childhood. It takes some work, but she runs through it mentally.

You might've done some terrible things, she thinks, her gaze focused on the motionless man in the casket, but I did love you, and I'm so glad you were able to turn your life around before this happened.

She turns to go back to her seat and finds Diane Bishop standing there, only a few feet away from her.

"This is bizarre, huh?" Diane says. 

Claire nods. "Very." Under normal circumstances, she would leave it at that and move along--but today, something about their mutual connection to Ryan makes her want to engage with Diane.

"Kind of funny that you wound up being the one who married him," she says.

  Claire Fisher

Diane's eyes widen. "I know. I keep thinking about what happened with the… if I hadn't lost that baby."

"He always wanted to be a father."

"Believe me, he made sure I knew that after it all went down." Diane looks past Claire and into the casket. "God knows he could be a bastard, but I have to admit, he sort of grew on me."

Claire flinches at Diane's choice of words, which seem sacrilegious and disrespectful given the setting and their proximity to Ryan's body, but she fully understands the underlying sentiment. 

"He could be very charming," Claire says.

"Yeah. He could be."

An awkward silence falls over them.

"I'll let you say your goodbyes," Claire says, taking a few steps to the side. 

"Thanks." Diane takes her place before the casket, and Claire moves off, still trying to wrap her head around the fact that this man she very nearly married--this man she interacted with so little, by choice, after their wedding turned into a living nightmare--is now gone forever.

* * * * *

Don and Helen Chase arrive several minutes later, Helen walking behind her husband. When they reach the threshold of the designated room, she stops.

"I wish we didn't have to do this," she says.

"It's only right to show our support."

"I know, but..." Her face creases with worry.

"Come on. We can do this." Don takes her hand and leads her inside. Helen glances around warily as they enter the busy room. 

"Oh, it's so good to see you guys!" comes a voice from beside them. Lauren Brooks smiles brightly at her late friend's parents. 

"Lauren! Hello," Don says, and the Chases take turns hugging Courtney's best friend. 

"How are you? And how's the baby?" Helen asks, fixing a pleasant expression on her face as best she can.

"We're doing well. She's with my parents today. I just wish we were visiting under better circumstances."

"It's such a shame," Don says.

"Yes," Helen adds. "It's terrible what happened to Ryan."

They talk to Lauren for several more minutes, chatting about her and Josh's young daughter and Sophie. That's when Helen realizes she hasn't seen her granddaughter yet.

"Do you know where Sophie is?" she asks Lauren.

Lauren looks around. "I saw her a while ago…"

"She's at home," Jason says as he walks over to them. "With, uh, a babysitter. She wasn't handling it well."

"You sent her off with a babysitter? I would have taken care of her," Helen says.

"I wouldn't ask you to do that."

Helen seems to be on the verge of responding but, for whatever reason, changes her mind and remains quiet.

"We're very sorry for your loss," Don tells Jason.

"Thanks. We're all still in shock, I think."

"Why don't we go pay our respects?" Don says to Helen.

She looks toward the casket quickly, then looks away. "I really need to see Paula."

"Okay. Let's go say a prayer for Ryan and then we can--"

"I said no!" Helen snaps, but she catches herself and quickly adds, "It's just difficult. Seeing Ryan like that… it makes me think of Courtney's funeral. I don't know if I can…"

Don bows his head somberly. "Of course. Let's go talk to Paula and see how you feel."

With another comforting word to Jason, the Chases move across the room. 

"Being here is bringing back a lot of bad memories," Lauren says. "I'm not surprised Helen is so shaken up."

"No," Jason says. "I guess I'm not, either." But he can't help thinking that there could be more to Helen's strong reaction--like that fight she had with Ryan on the day he was killed.

* * * * *

Travis shares only a polite greeting with Elly Vanderbilt when she arrives at the funeral parlor. Even though he knows that he should be focused on his family and his uncle's memory, he cannot stop thinking about the possibility of at least--finally--getting to have a real conversation with Elly in person. He keeps his distance for a while but, when he sees her sitting alone, decides that the time is right.

He slides into the empty chair next to hers. "Hey."

"Hey. I'm really sorry about your uncle."

"Thanks." He tips his head toward the front of the room, where Danielle is speaking with Brent and Josh. "I feel horrible for Danielle."

"Me, too. I wish I could've at least been there for the wedding." 

They both go quiet, lost in thought.

"It's so weird," Elly finally says.


She rotates in the chair to face him. "How have you been?"

He shrugs. "Okay. Just working and, I don't know, getting by." He pauses, considering whether he should raise the next subject, but he concludes that, of all people, she will understand. "I went and met my mother. Biological, I mean."

"You did? Wow. How was that?"

"Really weird. I kind of surprised her, which I guess was stupid. I just wanted to talk to her, you know?"

"That seems natural. More than natural."

"She was… not, like, totally dismissive, but I don't think she wanted to be reminded of any of it," he says. 

"I'm sorry."

"It's okay. At least I did it and I know, right?"

"True. I'm glad you did that, Travis."

He looks down at his black dress shoes. "Just trying to pull my life together. It seemed like something I had to do. How about you? You're already done with your first year. That's crazy."

  Travis Fisher

She fills her cheeks with air and then lets it all out in an exaggerated show of exhaustion. "When they say law school is intense, they're not kidding. But I think I did really well."

"That's really great. I'm happy for you," he says. "I mean that."

"Thank you. I'm really sorry that your family is going through this, but I'm happy you're doing well otherwise."

"I don't know about doing well…"

"You seem like you are. You had your whole life turned upside-down when you found out about Spencer. Getting back on your feet isn't going to be an overnight thing."

"Maybe not, but I wish I hadn't made such a mess of everything in the process."

"You made mistakes. Nobody's perfect." She brushes her chestnut-colored hair back behind her ear. "I have faith in you. You're going to do great things."

"I wouldn't place any bets on that," he says. She's so pretty, so kind; he still can't believe he betrayed her trust so badly.

"Nah. I have faith in you. You're a good guy, Travis. Believe that."

* * * * *

Molly Taylor circulates through the room, greeting visitors dutifully and being certain that everyone has a chance to sign the guestbook by the door. At one point, she excuses herself to the ladies' room, and it is when she is in there, washing her hands, that she catches sight of her reflection. Her dark hair is pulled into a simple ponytail, which now falls over the shoulder of her jewel-necklined black dress. She cannot deny that she looks exhausted--and she feels it all through her body. The past few days have been a constant surge of emotions and mandated activity.

Instead of returning to the room where Ryan's wake is being held, she slips out the front door of the funeral home. The fresh air is like a gift, crisp and clean. She breathes it in gratefully. 

The sign at the front door catches her eye. Gloria Brandis, Room A, it reads. Ryan Moriani, Room B. That is all her brother is now: a name on a list, a body being shuffled through the motions. She and Ryan were never particularly close, but--despite the things he once did to Tim--they got along well, and she is suddenly overwhelmed by sadness that this is what his life added up to. A name on a sign.

The tears come suddenly, a hot rush from the backs of her eyes. She is choking back a sob as she hears a car pull into the parking lot. Quickly she attempts to stop the crying.

A car door opens and closes.

"Molly?" a voice asks, and it is only now that she sees that the latest arrival is Philip. 

She turns slightly, exposing her tear-stained face and her ruined makeup.

"Oh, Molly," he says, rushing toward her. "I'm so sorry for your loss."

"Thank you," she says, and the tears come again. She lets them fall, and when Philip opens up his arms, there seems nothing more natural in the world than to collapse against his chest and have him hold her, his strong arms encircling her as she cries for her brother's lost life. 


Is Molly finally able to forgive Philip?
Was Helen acting strangely?
Should Spencer have attended the service?
Discuss all this and more in the Footprints Forum!

Next Episode



Thursday, May 21, 2015

For a printable version,
click here.

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