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- Zane told Tori that he knows about her involvement in the Philip Ragan case and doesn’t judge her for it. He offered to hang out with her while she babysits Billy.
- Conrad told Sarah that the D.A. offered a deal of a fine and one year’s probation if she pleads guilty to perjury -- but if she violates her probation, she will lose her P.I. license.
- A
comment Samantha made about being “double cousins” with baby Peter made Spencer realize that Natalie must have switched a sample of Samantha’s DNA for his in the paternity test, hence the skewed results.

With his fury fueling him like a rocket engine, Spencer Ragan bolts from his meeting with his half-sister and jumps into his car. The red BMW weaves its way through the rain-slicked roads of King’s Bay, and with every turn of the wheel and slam of the brakes, Spencer’s conviction grows. By the time he arrives at his destination and parks sloppily in the driveway, he is certain that his suspicion is correct.

“I know what you did,” he declares when Natalie Bishop opens the door to her house, a baby monitor in her hand. 

“And what is that?"

Spencer pushes past her so that he is standing in the foyer before he answers. 

“You got a sample from Samantha,” he says. “Somehow, you switched it out with the one I gave. And that’s what they used to test against Peter.”

She folds her arms. “You’re out of your mind."

“Am I? It explains why the test said whoever gave the sample--"


“--was related to Peter but not his father. And why the doctor thought I had two X chromosomes."
  Spencer Ragan

“Maybe you do! I don’t know your life."

“I don’t. You got caught, Natalie, okay?"

She simply shrugs. “If you want to believe that…"

He lets out a guttural grunt of utter frustration and closes the door, hard. 

“Keep it down. The baby is sleeping,” she says. “Isn’t it time for you to head down to the park and start yelling at random women that you want to do paternity tests on their babies?"

“That is not what this is. Come on."

“You got your test. It said you aren’t the father. Just because it also told you something that you aren’t comfortable with--"

“I am not intersex!"

“That sounds like denial to me."

“You’re impossible,” he says. 

“What do you want from me, Spencer? I can’t magically make Peter your son because you’re on some crusade--"

“It isn’t a crusade. So here’s what we’re going to do: Peter’s going to have another test, and this time, we’re doing things my way."


“I know it’s lame that I live with my parents,” Tori Gray says as she leads Zane Tanaka up the front steps of her family’s home, “but after I got out of the hospital, they needed to take care of me--"

“It isn’t lame,” Zane cuts her off. “And after what you and your family went through… it’s kind of perfect."

They stand outside the front door, and Zane locks eyes with her. Tori feels a jolt shoot through her body. There is something soulful about his eyes, a depth that she can merely tell exists but has no idea how to access. The moment is charged, and suddenly she feels overwhelmed.

She turns and, without even checking the door, inserts her key into the lock. Since Philip’s rampage, it has become something of an unspoken rule that the front door is always locked, regardless of time of day or whether anyone is at home.

Tori removes her own coat and points to the set of pegs on the wall. “You can hang your jacket there,” she tells Zane. 

“Oh, you’re home,” Paula Fisher says as she bustles into the entryway. She stops when she catches sight of Zane. “And who’s your friend, Tori?"

“Grandma, this is Zane. Zane, this is my grandma, Paula."

Zane takes Paula’s hand. “It’s a pleasure."

“It’s nice to meet you,” Paula says. “Tori, if you had plans--"

“We just ran into each other when I stopped for coffee,” Tori explains. 

“I said I’d come hang out with Tori and her little brother,” Zane says. “If that’s all right."

Paula smiles. “Of course it is. I just don’t want everyone turning their lives upside-down for me."

“Grandma, it’s good for you to get out,” Tori says. “Besides, Conrad said it’s important for you to keep showing up for your volunteer stuff, right?"

“Yes, you’re right.” A worried frown plays upon Paula’s mouth. “Well, come on inside. I have a few minutes before I leave. Can I get either of you anything to eat or drink?"

As she cycles through the list of every possible item in the kitchen -- coffee, tea, soda, chips, cookies, and more -- they follow her into the living room.

“I’ll just put out a few snacks,” Paula says. “Billy is still upstairs with your mother."

Tori picks up the remote and flips on the television. Once she hears her grandmother moving around in the kitchen, she turns to Zane again.

“Sorry this is like high school,” she says with a nervous laugh.

“It’s fine. Seriously. We can watch a movie or play games with your brother or whatever while we have cookies and milk. I’m cool."

She breathes a minor sigh of relief. “Okay. Good."

“Tori,” Sarah’s voice calls from the staircase. “You’re back?"

“Yeah,” Tori responds. “You can head out whenever."

The stairs creak as Sarah makes her way down them and into the living room. “Billy is still--"

She stops dead in her tracks when she sees Zane standing beside Tori.

“Mom, this is Zane,” Tori says. “We ran into each other at Thaw. We’re gonna hang out while I watch Billy."

Sarah stands motionless at the foot of the stairs. 
  Zane Tanaka

“Zane, this is my mom, Sarah,” Tori adds, noting Sarah’s sudden weird demeanor. She can’t believe that her mother would get upset -- especially this visibly -- at Tori bringing a boy home. She’s almost done with college. And she’s doing everyone a favor by watching Billy today.

She tries to push aside the argument that she is preparing in her head as Zane steps forward and extends his hand to Sarah.

“It’s really nice to meet you,” he says.

“You, too,” Sarah says, slowly lifting her hand for a shake. 


Natalie clutches the baby monitor between both her palms and purses her lips. Spencer’s demand hangs in the air between them.

“So tell me,” she finally says, “what does ‘your way’ look like? Because the way I see it, we did everything your way last time. You picked the clinic. You saw Peter swabbed in front of you. What the hell else do you want?"

“I want to keep you away from the samples."

“I’m not just handing you my child so you can run around having all sorts of tests run on him. You don’t get an unlimited number of these, Spencer."

“I only want one that you haven’t fucked around with!"

“Well, you seem to think I’m a magician, since you’re telling me I switched your sample right in front of your face without you noticing, so I’m not sure anything’s going to make you happy. Why is this so damn important to you?"

“Because he could be my son."

“And you want a kid? Since when?"

“It’s not a matter of wanting,” Spencer says. “But if Peter is my son, I want to do this right. I never had the chance to be raised by my real parents. Yeah, maybe if Tim and Claire had raised me, I’d be some lame-o like Travis, but I’d know who I really was. And they would actually trust me. Have some faith in me."

“So you’re just projecting all your issues onto my and Jason’s son. Awesome.” She moves back to the door. “You need to go. Sophie’s going to be home soon."

Spencer sneers. “So? I’m her cousin. What’s weird about me being here?"

Natalie just shakes her head. Her chestnut hair brushes over her shoulders. “There was some grandparents thing at school, so Helen is dropping her off. The last thing I need is that old battle-axe seeing you here."

“Maybe that’s exactly what we need."

“Okay, you know what?” She yanks the door open. “Set up the test. Tell me what you need. I’ll make it work."


She shoves him by the shoulder, pushing him half out the door. “Now get the hell out of here."

“I’ll text you the details later,” he says.

“Fine!” Then she slams the door in his face.


“Grandma Helen?"

Helen Chase glances into the rearview mirror at her granddaughter, who is in the backseat in her hot pink parka. 

“Yes, dear?” Helen asks as she refocuses on the road while piloting her car through a green light. 

“Is Grandma Paula going to jail?"

Helen’s fingers grasp the steering wheel, and the all-too-usual soreness radiates through her joints. 

“Why would you ask that?” 

“I saw it on TV,” Sophie says matter-of-factly. “They said she killed Philip.” 

Suddenly Helen struggles to maintain her focus on driving. Her mind spins as she processes the little girl’s question and statement.
  Helen Chase

“Did she really kill him?” Sophie presses. 

“It’s all much more complicated than that,” Helen says carefully.


“Because.” Helen sighs as she turns the wheel. “Philip did some very bad things."

“He killed Grandpa Bill."

Helen’s head nods slowly as she looks again in the rearview mirror. Sophie is perfectly composed as she awaits a response.

“Philip was very sick,” she finally says. 

“Then why didn’t anyone give him medicine?"

“It wasn’t that kind of sick. It was… it was in his head.” She hesitates before adding, “I think we should tell your father that you have some questions and let him explain all of this to you. But you shouldn’t worry about your Grandma Paula. Remember how I got arrested? Twice? Everything worked out just fine!"

“But you didn’t kill anyone, right?"

“I most certainly did not! Sometimes even the police make silly mistakes.” Helen pauses the car at a stop sign before turning left onto Jason’s street. “You don’t have to worry about your Grandma Paula. The grown-ups are going to get everything sorted out."

“Okay,” Sophie says, though she stares pensively out the window as she considers this. 

Helen puts on her turn signal to pull into Jason’s driveway, only to see a red car backing out of it. 

“It looks like we just missed someone,” she says.

Sophie cranes her neck. “That looks like Spencer’s car."

Helen looks over her shoulder. “How do you know that?"

“Because it’s the one he drove into Aunt Molly’s house."

As she pulls into the driveway, Helen watches the BMW recede down the street. She remembers the scene she witnessed at the winery during the chili cookoff -- Natalie and Spencer huddled some distance from the event, having what looked like an argument that Helen couldn’t hear from her vantage point. 

“Let’s get you inside,” she says as she puts the car in park, her mind still turning over this confusing discovery. 


“I’ll see you all later,” Paula calls out as she opens the front door.

“Bye, Grandma!” Tori says. She and Zane sit on the living room floor with Billy, who has moved his collection of Legos into the center of the room. 

“You need a white one for that,” Billy tells Zane.

Zane pauses, a blue block in his hand. “Why white?"

“Because the roofs all have to be white."

“Why do the roofs have to be white?” Tori asks.

“Because I said they are,” Billy says. He hands Zane a white block. 

Tori pulls herself to her feet. “I’m gonna run to the bathroom. Are you okay?"

“I’m fine,” Billy says without looking up.

Zane laughs. “I’m cool. Go ahead."

She moves through the dining room and into the short hall where the downstairs bathroom is located. As soon as Tori exits the room, Sarah swoops in from the stairs. 

“Can I have a word?” she asks Zane, though it is more a command than a question.

He rises and joins her by the stairs. “What’s up?"

What’s up?” She casts a nervous glance at her son, who is completely engrossed in playing with his Legos. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?"

“What do you mean? I met a cool girl, and I’m hanging out with her."

“And you expect me to be okay with my daughter dating a criminal?"

He folds his arms. “Who’s calling who a criminal? I’m not the one up on charges."

“I still have that recording."

“Which would only get you in worse trouble.” He tosses a quick look behind him to be sure Tori hasn’t returned. “From what I can tell, all anyone knows is that you lied on the stand. If the judge found out you also conspired to hide that video…"

Sarah sets her jaw. “What do you want?"

“We’re all just trying to find our happiness or whatever, aren’t we?"

“Come on. Cut the crap."

He shrugs his shoulders. “I mean, I had big plans for some money I thought I was gonna come into. Plans that would’ve changed my life. But that fell through, so I’m just trying to, you know, fill that hole any way I can. If hanging out with a cool chick does that--"

“Are you seriously blackmailing me again?” she asks.

“Whoa. I did not say that. All I meant was that if I had the money to focus on my new ventures, I might not have time for a relationship. But since I don’t have that money…"

“Do you really think I’m going to let Tori keep seeing you?” 

Zane simply stares her down.

“Anyone want more water?” Tori calls from the hallway.

“I’m good. But thanks,” Zane responds. Then he offers Sarah a wink. “Nice talking with you, Mrs. Gray."

As Sarah fumes, Zane returns to his spot on the floor to help Billy with his latest construction project. 


What can Sarah do about Zane now?
Will Helen follow up on her suspicions?
Will Spencer finally get real test results?
Talk about it all in the Footprints Forum!



Monday, January 16, 2017

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