Episode 809

- Philip told Rosie, who was stationed outside Tori’s room, that she could take a break while he was in with the patient. Philip began to inject poison into Tori’s IV line. Bill walked in on him and questioned what he was doing. Trapped, Philip knocked Bill out and strangled him. 
- Before Rosie returned, Philip rushed out of the room and took Molly out to the balcony. 
- Paula went to join Bill and found him lying on the floor of their granddaughter’s room. 

“What’s wrong?” Rosie Jimenez asks as she rushes into the room.

Paula Fisher drops to her knees, but she barely feels the cold, hard linoleum through her pants as she reaches for her husband’s motionless form. Several feet away, she sees the vase that Bill brought for Philip’s flowers lying on the floor. 

“My husband,” she says through ragged breaths. “Help! Someone help!” 

Rosie darts back out the door and screams for assistance.

“Bill!” Paula cries as she places a hand beneath his skull. His eyes are closed, and his face bears the most awful hint of a bluish-purple hue. And his neck...

“Don’t touch him,” Rosie says as she kneels beside Paula. “Just in case…"

Tears pool in Paula’s eyes as she looks to the younger woman. “What happened? Weren’t you right outside?"

Rosie’s mouth opens and closes, but no sounds emerge. Suddenly a storm of feet and voices and energy descends upon them as a cavalcade of medical personnel fills the room. 

“Please, give us space,” a doctor says as he pushes his way in toward Bill. 

“Bill!” Paula screams, as a pair of hands gently pull her away from him. When his name escapes from her again, it is louder, even more frantic: “Bill!” 

“Let’s let them work,” Rosie says, and she manages to steer the sobbing lady into the hallway.

“What’s going on?” Sarah asks as she races toward them. “I heard you yelling—" She stops cold when she sees her mother’s face. “Mom?"

Paula looks up at them, at her daughter and at Matt hovering behind her, watching her with utter terror in their faces. 

Sarah dives for the door handle. “What happened to Tori?”

“It isn’t Tori,” Rosie says, while Paula chokes on another sob.

Sarah spins around, dark blonde hair whipping over her shoulders. “Then what the hell is going on?"

“It’s your father,” Paula says through her tears. 

“Bill?” Matt says incredulously. “We just saw him—"

“He was on the floor. He was…” Paula trails off as she struggles to catch her breath. Sarah, her own eyes wide, wraps her arms around her mother. 

“Was it a heart attack?” Matt asks.

Paula shakes her head as she struggles for words. 

“There were marks on his neck,” Rosie says quietly. 

“Weren’t you supposed to be standing guard?” Sarah snaps. 

Rosie recoils at the force of the question. “I went to use the restroom. Mr. Ragan said he would be in there…"

“Oh my god.” Sarah’s arms drop from around Paula. “It’s him."

“What are you talking about?” Paula asks. 

“I’ll be right back.” Sarah looks to Matt. “Stay with her.” Before he can protest, she dashes back up the corridor.

* * * * *

On the balcony outside the ICU waiting area, the cold morning air stings Molly Taylor’s nose, lips, and ears. 

“It’s beautiful out,” Philip Ragan says as he gazes out at the expanse of trees in the distance. Further away, even a hint of the bay itself is visible. 

“And cold,” Molly says with a smile. “Can’t we wait in the cafeteria?"

“Of course.” Philip encircles her with his right arm and pulls her closer. “I wanted to get out of that stale hospital air for a minute, that’s all."

Molly nods. “I’ll be glad when Tori goes home and we don’t have to come to this place for a long, long time."

“Yeah,” he says absently as he kisses the top of her head. 

Their peaceful moment is interrupted when the door to the balcony whips open. They both turn to see Sarah standing there. It is immediately clear to Molly that something is wrong, but Sarah hesitates for a painfully long moment before speaking.

“You have to come inside,” Sarah says, her voice as stiff and unnatural as her posture.

Molly furrows her brow. “What? Why?"

“It’s Dad. Something’s happened—"

Instinctively, Molly clutches Philip tighter. “What do you mean?"

“The doctors are working on him now.” Sarah’s eyes go to Philip. “Someone attacked him. We don’t know yet exactly what happened."

“Oh my god.” Molly touches a hand to her chest as she tries to process this news. “Is he…?"

Sarah forces her words out through a tight throat. “I don’t know. Come on."

Philip slides his arm from around Molly and edges his way toward the door.

“Where’s Mom?” Molly asks.

“She’s inside waiting.” Sarah grabs Molly’s arm. “Let’s go."

But Philip has skirted around them and is now standing between them and the door. “Perhaps we should give everyone a minute."

Sarah narrows her eyes at him. “No. We need to be with our mother."

Something flashes across Philip’s face, a desperation that doesn’t make any sense to Molly right now. 

“Get out of the way,” Sarah says.

“Sarah, he’s just…” But Molly doesn’t exactly understand what Philip is doing. 

In an instant, the lid that Sarah has been keeping on her emotions blows clean off. Her balled fist juts out and slams into Philip’s chest. “Let us go!” 

He draws back. “Sarah, you’re out of your mind with worry—"

“You’re out of your mind,” she says, and she grabs Molly’s hand and tries to push around Philip. This time, he forcibly blocks the way.

“What is going on?” Molly asks, completely lost. 

Sarah sets her jaw and fixes a stare upon Philip. “What did you do to him?"

Philip cocks his head. “Excuse me?"

“I know you did this.” 

Molly’s head goes light as she tries to make sense of what her sister is saying. 

“You’ve been under a lot of stress,” Molly tells her sister, even placing a hand upon her shoulder. “You haven’t slept, and you’re worried about Tori. Philip wouldn’t hurt Dad."

“Not just Dad. All of them. Ryan, Tori— all the others.” Sarah pulls out her cell phone. "He killed them all, and he isn’t getting away with it."

* * * * *

“Can I get you anything?” Rosie asks as Matt helps Paula into a chair in the waiting area. “Tea, coffee…?"

“No. I just want my husband,” Paula says as she reluctantly allows herself to be lowered into the seat. “I don’t understand. What was that on his neck?"

Rosie trades a concerned look with Matt. 

“I don’t want to take guesses before we know the whole story,” Rosie answers carefully.

Paula snaps her head toward Matt. “Will someone tell me the truth? Please?"

“I didn’t— I—” Matt stammers as he continues to play catch-up. “I didn’t see him. I dunno…"

“The doctors will have actual info for us soon,” Rosie says, shifting her weight uncomfortably from one foot to the other and back again as she watches the double doors, awaiting something concrete.

* * * * *

The wind sends strands of Molly’s hair scattering in a hundred directions, wild and free, but her face is motionless as she stares over her sister’s shoulder and at Philip. Sarah’s accusation is so crazy, so unbelievable...

“Sarah, why would you think that?” Molly asks. 

“It’s all the stress she’s been under,” Philip says. “She’s cracked. Sarah, dear, if you would just put the phone away…"

“Don’t you dare tell me I’m crazy,” Sarah warns without even a glance back at her sister. “Think about it. The setup in your office— What, Philip, did Cameron catch you in the act? You had to kill him to keep him quiet? Is that what happened with Tori, too?"

She doesn’t wait for an answer and instead begins dialing. Philip tries to snatch the phone from her, but she yanks her arm away. 

“She’s lost her mind,” Philip says plainly, but there is an unmistakable sense of derision right below the surface. It is a tone Molly has only picked up from him a few times before, and it seems so out-of-tune with his usual reserved demeanor — and yet, it fits in a strange way.

“I bet your mother put you up to this,” Sarah says, again dialing. 

“I said, put the phone away!” Philip snaps, and then Molly watches in horror as he reaches into his jacket and pulls out something that she never expected: a gun. With terrifying focus, he clasps it in his hands and raises it toward them.

* * * * *

Inside, Paula, Matt, and Rosie wait anxiously. Paula dabs at her eyes with a crumpled tissue, though it is little match for the constant stream of tears flowing from her eyes. Matt pulls a fresh tissue from the box on the end table and hands it to her.

She accepts it with a grateful smile, though it only remains on her face for an instant. They are still sitting in stunned silence when one of the doctors from earlier, a man with a horseshoe of buzzed gray hair around his head, enters the waiting area. He wears a solemn expression, and every step he takes toward them seems to last ten minutes.

“Mrs. Fisher,” he says, pausing for a deep breath. “I’m so sorry."

Paula feels as though her insides have exploded. “No… no…"

“Based upon the injuries and the marks on his neck,” the doctor says, “it’s clear that your husband was strangled. We tried to revive him, but it was already too late.” 

“Who would do that?” Paula asks as she collapses against Matt.

Rosie bolts to her feet. “I’m calling Detective Harris. Mrs. Fisher, I am so sorry about your husband."

Paula nods appreciatively, but an instant later, Rosie’s presence is all but forgotten. 

“The kids. My god… I have to tell them.” Paula dissolves into tears as Matt pulls her closer. 

“You don’t have to do anything yet.” Matt’s own eyes are misty as his mother-in-law rocks against him. 

* * * * *

“Here’s how this is going to go,” Philip says as he holds the gun on Sarah and Molly. “Sarah, you’re going to give me your phone and then stay out here and keep quiet. Molly, you’ll come with me."

With visible annoyance, Sarah sticks then phone into the pocket of her jeans. 

Molly’s face contorts with anguish. “How could you do this? Our brother— all those other people—“ Tears begin to stream from her eyes and blur the sight of him — this man she thought she knew so well, this man who is, in actuality, a complete stranger.

Her voice is ragged as she asks him, “Why?” If she can play on his sympathies, maybe he’ll put the gun away...

“I can explain everything,” he says. “But you need to come with me. We’ll go somewhere far away from here, and I promise it will all make sense."

Molly sniffles in an attempt to suck back the tears, but they won’t stop falling.

“You aren’t taking her anywhere,” Sarah says.

“The alternative is that you both die.” Philip stares at them over the handgun. His blue-grey eyes now look ice-cold. “Do I look like a man with much to lose? It’s up to you."

The sisters share a nervous look, and Sarah’s head spins as she tries to figure out a way out of this. 

“Go with him,” she tells Molly, nudging her sister forward.

Molly’s eyes bulge. “What?"

“Go with him. It’s the only way. He’ll kill us.” Sarah can already see Philip eyeing her pocket; he’s going to take her phone. But as soon as they leave, she can dart inside and deal with this. The panic in his face is apparent, and she knows that he isn’t used to situations like this. He isn’t thinking clearly. She isn’t going to be the one to point out the flaw in his plan.

“Molly, I love you,” Philip says.

She shakes her head. “This isn’t love."

Sarah gives her another shove in the back. “Go with him."

Philip reaches out one hand toward Sarah. “Hand over the phone."

Reluctantly, and as slowly as she can, Sarah withdraws her phone from her jeans. Philip keeps the gun trained on them with his other hand as he snatches the phone from her. 

“Now you’re going to…” He trails off, and Sarah can tell that he is thinking through the escape plan, attempting to iron out the kinks. All she has to do is think faster than him. 

“Never mind. You’re coming with us,” he says. 

All I have to do is get back inside and signal someone, she thinks. But before they even begin moving, the door goes flying open. It bumps Philip, who manages to stand his ground but drops his hands and swivels his head to look. 

“Girls,” Paula says, blithely unaware of what she has just walked into. “Your father…"

Her puffy, tear-stained face tells them all that they need to know.

“What?” Molly asks hysterically. 

Sarah’s gut churns with pain. Her father can’t be dead. He’s her father, and— She can’t think about that now. This is her chance. 

Swiftly, she swings a leg, nailing Philip in the arm. He loses his balance, and the gun clatters to the ground. Sarah leaps at him to restrain him. 

“Get the gun!” she shouts. Neither of the other women moves. “Get it!"

Frazzled, Paula ducks down and picks up the gun as if it were a live stick of dynamite. 

“You aren’t getting away with this,” Sarah says, as Philip pushes her off him.

“He did this?” Paula asks as fresh tears cascade down her face. “Why…?"

“Put down the gun. Please,” Philip says, his voice so measured and normal that he almost seems like the regular Philip.

“Don’t listen to him,” Sarah says. “He did this. He killed Ryan and the others. He beat Tori so badly that he put her in a coma. And he—” Her voice hitches as she tries to force the abhorrent thought out. “He killed Dad."

Paula’s eyes widen with realization, and Sarah sees in them an anger that she has never witnessed in her mother before. Not like this. Paula’s lips part, but Sarah has no idea what she is going to say.

But, instead of speaking, she raises the gun. With a wince, she uses her forefinger to pull the trigger.

The shot blasts Philip square in the chest. He goes down immediately, slamming into the railing on his way.

Paula shakes as she holds the gun aloft, too stunned by what she has done even to move. 


Will Philip survive the shooting?
Will Paula regret what she has done?
How can the Fishers pick up the pieces?
Talk about it all in the Footprints Forum!

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