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Episode 41, originally published in 3 parts: 12,14,16-May-97.
The Setup | The Murder | The Investigation
Phyllis opens the door at her apartment. "Tim!" she says, her voice immediately reflecting her disappointment. "Now is not a good time," she adds quickly in a soft voice. "We need to talk, Phyllis," he says, trying his pathetic best to look like he's laying down the law. "Tim, I know you're just trying to be my friend, but could we be friends another night... say, tomorrow? This is just NOT a good time," Phyllis explains. "WHY, Phyllis? Is there something strange going on? Never mind, I know there is. People don't borrow that much money without something very strange going on." "Actually, Tim, if you do want to stay, I could sure use some more," Phyllis starts back in. "The answer is no, Phyllis," he says firmly. "Well, then, if you can say no then so can I," she says indignantly. "Come back tomorrow, Tim." She slams the door in his face.
Tim stands facing the door with his mouth hanging open, not sure what to do. But before he can think, he hears the elevator ping and he hides behind a conveniently placed plant. The door opens again and Phyllis growls, "Tim, I told you--" "Earth to Phyllis," Sasha says. Phyllis sees that it is not Tim. "Sasha," Phyllis says, as if the name is all that needs saying. "Where's my money?" Sasha responds impatiently. "I don't have it yet. I'm working on it." "You better be. Because bright and early tomorrow morning I'm going to be on the phone to the tabloids and you can be sure you-know-who's going to be the topic of conversation in the afternoon edition... I can't figure out a good headline, though. Do you like something cute and rhymy like ``Romalotti Baby Not His Because Naughty Babe Roamed A Lot--Hee!'' or just something straight and direct like ``Rock Star Learns Last Two Marriages Were Built on Lies''?" "Sasha, I could kill you," Phyllis says in a cold, matter-of-fact tone. "Well, aren't you going to invite me in?" Sasha asks. "Do you really want to have this discussion out here in the hall?" "No," Phyllis says. "I don't want to have this discussion at all. I'll get the money. Now get out of here, and don't you dare do anything stupid before I get back to you or you'll regret it." "Fine!" Sasha says huffily. "But tomorrow morning--no later," she adds, making sure to keep the upper hand. Then she marches off to the elevator.
Joanie enters from the bedroom and asks, "Is everything ok, Mrs. Romalotti?" "It's nothing, Joanie," Phyllis says. "Ok, but it sure sounded like she was threatening you and..." "Joanie, as much as I pay you, the least I can expect is a little peace and quiet at times like these, ok?" "Sure, Mrs. Romalotti. Sorry!" She goes back into the bedroom as Phyllis continues to ponder where to get the money she needs to pay Sasha.
As Sasha enters the elevator, Tim rushes to the stairs and dashes down them just in time to arrive at the base as she comes out. He exits through a side door and watches from the bushes as she walks by. As soon as she passes, he emerges and moves to his car under cover of darkness. Once inside, he tries to catch his breath as he waits for Sasha to enter her car and drive off. He follows her as she drives a few blocks and parks again. He pulls past her and parks as well, remaining there for a moment to verify her destination: Gina's.
Back at Phyllis's, Paul and the Bug are also in a car nearby. "Hey, wasn't that Sasha?" Cricket asks. "It sure looked like her," Paul says. "Should I follow her?" "No, I want to know what it is that Phyllis is up to--let's wait and see if she comes out."
After allowing time enough for Sasha to be seated, Tim enters Gina's. "Excuse me," he says. "Do you have any roses for sale?" Gina smiles and pulls one from a nearby vase. "Will this be suitable?" she asks. "How much?" "On the house," Gina volunteers, happy to play matchmaker. He scrawls a note to Sasha. "That was my money she gave you!" it says. He folds the note so that Gina can't read it and hands both it and the rose to Gina. "Could you deliver it to that young lady there?" He points out Sasha. Gina scurries off and offers the rose and the note to Sasha, who looks around questioningly. Gina points to Tim. Sasha motions for a second place setting at the table as Tim moves to join her. Gina winks at him. "Whatever you said, it really caught her attention!" Gina whispers.
Gina watches from afar as Tim sits down with Sasha but is surprised that the two don't appear friendly. She tries to listen but can't quite hear. She pretends to make a circle of the dining room checking on tables and manages to overhear Tim say, "I won't let you harm Phyllis." And Sasha replies, "It's already set in motion. I'm sorry about Danny, he's just an innocent bystander, but Phyllis deserves what she's going to get." Gina doesn't stay to hear more. She hurries back to her post at the front of the store and starts dialing the phone. She gets Danny and Phyllis's answering machine but hangs up without leaving a message. Then, after a moment, she dials Katherine Chancellor. Esther answers.
"Mrs. Chancellor's residence," Esther says. "Esther, it's Gina. Is Katherine around? It's very important." "Yes, she's right here," Esther says. She whispers to Katherine. "It's Mrs. Roma--she sounds upset," Esther whispers. "Well, then, don't just stand there--give me that," Katherine says impatiently motioning to the phone unit. "Katherine here. What can I do for you, Gina?" "I'm not exactly sure, Katherine. But there's something strange going on here. Some people in my restaurant are talking about some harm that might come to my brother, and--" "Say no more, my dear. I'll be right over, you can explain to me when I'm there." "Oh, thank you, Katherine!" Gina responds, obviously relieved not to have the burden resting solely upon her. "Uh, oh. He's getting up," Gina says. "I have to go. Hurry, Katherine." She hangs up the phone and motions to one of the waitstaff, who carries a camera. "Take a picture of that man who's about to leave and offer to sell it to him." "Without him asking? He won't want to..." the server says, confused. "I'm counting on that," she explains. "Now hurry--but act casual."
Phyllis is in a pawn shop. She has brought numerous household items in a bag. She spreads them on the table for the owner to peruse. She sees a tag on one and snaps it off, reading it with sneer. "``Love, Christine''," she says, as if about to vomit. "How much is this thing worth?" He holds up the bauble to the light. "It's an imitation," he says. "If you're looking for things that add up to thirty thousand, it's not even worth my time to make you a quote on this." She sighs. "Damned bug!" she mumbles. Malcolm enters and sees her flipping out. "Hey, hey, hey, what's the deal here?" he asks. "Malcolm, I--" she says, confused. "Mr. Winters," the pawn shop owner says, recognizing him. "The lady's just a bit short of cash," the owner explains. Malcolm surveys the booty on the table. "ApparentLEE," he says. "Phyllis, either you just got back from some high society scavenger hunt or you' in some desperate state, girl!" "Malcolm, I told you before. I really need to lay my hands on $30,000 and you said you couldn't help! So leave me to deal with this my way, ok?" "Hey, hey, hey, just chill, Phyl. Ain't no need to sob, Malcolm's on the job. Just heave them there trinkets back into your li'l treasure chest, and let's you and me go somplace where we can have a heart to heart, ok?" The owner, seeing Phyllis's look of indecision, nudges her verbally: "I'd go with him." Phyllis looks at him, surprised. "Why? What do you know about it?" The man shrugs. "Well, I know there isn't $30,000 of hock here on the table. Not even close. So if you really need rescuing, I'd say Malcolm here is your white knight."
At Gina's, Katherine has gotten the scoop on Sasha. "She's left, but the name she put on the register here was Sasha Green. I made some calls and found she's staying at the Genoa City Hotel. Oh, and here's a picture of the man." Katherine looks at the picture. "Isn't that Dr. Timothy Reid? The one who testified as counsellor for Danny and Phyllis in their trial?" Gina looks again at the photo. "You're right, Katherine. I thought he looked familiar," she agrees.
Malcolm and Phyllis are back on the street outside the pawn shop. She throws the bag of goodies she'd planned to hock back into her car's trunk. "Now what?" Phyllis says, exhausted. Malcolm goes and stands by the right-side door. "Now we get in and go visit whoever's blackmailing you." "Blackma--how did you know about that?" she asks. Malcolm looks at her in disbelief of his own. "Hey, you think maybe I was born yesterday? You have a rich, famous husband; a child; a happy home; and you could have any man in town if you wanted." "I could?" Phyllis mutters under her breath. Malcolm doesn't hear the remark and continues his explanation, "Suddenly one night, you need $30,000 before morning. Lessee now--what could it be? I know! You're hosting a very large party, the neighborhood cash machine is broken, and you're worried you'll run out of snacks before morning? Either that or you're being blackmailed. And my money's on the blackmail 'cause you was tryin' to hock some pretty fine potato chip bowls there."
Paul and Bug have managed to follow. They sit watching from their car but cannot hear the interchange (probably because Cricket forgot to suggest to Paul that he should buy some high-tech gadgets to enable eavesdropping). "So," Paul speculates randomly, "it looks like Phyllis had a little rendezvous on the side with Malcolm Winters." "I know," says Cricket. "Paul, do you suppose they could be having an affair?"
Phyllis opens the doors and they sit inside the car. "Ok, ok, I'm being blackmailed. So what now?" "Well, first, you tell me why." "Malcolm--I can't tell you why. You'd never respect me...." "Try me." "Well, okay, but you promise on your biggest camera lens you won't tell anyone?" "Hey, pretty lady, that ain't no camera lens you' admirin' in my pocket there, but shore. Consider this witness sworn." "Ok, well, when I was in New York, I had a baby and I thought it was Danny's... but it turned out not to be... and I fudged a DNA test to hide the fact." Malcolm laughs. "That's it?" "What do you mean, `that's it?'?" she asks. He smiles, "Hey, trust me, ok? That paternity stuff gets mixed up more often than you know. You shouldn't have to live with something like that on your conscience... Ahright, look, who's laying this trip on you?" "Sasha Green. She worked at the DNA lab with me." "You worked at a DNA lab? Hey, cool. But this Sasha--she's here in town?" "Yes, and she says she'll submit her story to the World Inquisitor for $50,000 if I don't pay her by morning." "$50,000? I thought you said thirty." "Well, originally it was twenty, and I paid that." "But then it went up? Aw, Phyllis, don't you see now--you just can't pay these people..." "But Malcolm, what can we do?" "I don't know, but we' gonna go talk to this Sasha, ok?"
Katherine is with Esther in the Genoa City Hotel lobby. Esther enters and comes over to her. "Hello, Mrs. C. I got someone to take care of Little Kate! I thought you might need some help." "Esther, look around you. This is a hotel. Do you see any ashtrays that need dusting or floors that need vacuuming?" Esther looks around. "Not here, Mrs. C. Do you want me to look in the next room?" "Esther! You miss my point. In a hotel, they already employ help to do these things. One doesn't require help for their help." Esther looks confused. "So what should I do?" Katherine despairs. "I am trying to look inconspicuous here so that I can watch comings and goings. Can you do that? No, never mind, I know the answer to that--why don't you go sit over there at the other end of the room. Perhaps it will draw attention away from me." Esther pouts and starts to back across the room, not looking where she is going. As she moves, she runs into Tim, who is wearing his rug and trying to look incognito, but as he stumbles into Esther, it comes loose and Katherine recognizes him. Fortunately, he is too busy and embarrassed to notice her. He continues on. Esther comes back toward Katherine and looks like she is about to apologize, but Katherine stares her down and Esther turns back to her post in exile across the room.
In Sasha's room, Sasha picks up the phone. "Danny, it's Sasha. ... No, I don't want to talk to Phyllis--I need to speak to you. It's Very Important. ... Can you come to my hotel room? ... Room 213, Genoa City Hotel ... I'll be waiting." She hangs up the phone. Outside, we hear a pounding on the door and Tim's voice. "Sasha, it's Timothy Reid. I need to talk to you." She shakes her head and opens the door. "What?" she says, obviously at her wit's end. "We already spoke and I told you there was nothing to be done. It's going to happen and you can't stop it." "I was afraid you'd say that," Tim says, but he pushes his way in anyway.
Malcolm and Phyllis enter the Genoa City Hotel and stop at the desk for a moment. After a short discussion, and Malcolm passing some money across the counter, they head around the corner to the elevator area. Esther comes rushing over to Katherine. "Mrs. C, Mrs. C.... wasn't that Danny's wife Phyllis?" Katherine buries her head in one hand and shakes her head. "Uh, yes, Esther. That was Phyllis. I believe she was with that photographer, Malcolm Winters." "Do you think what they're doing here is a secret?" Esther asks loudly. "Not any more," Katherine sighs. "Esther, please just sit down!" Esther bows her head in shame and sits like a scolded puppy next to Mrs. Chancellor. They turn back to the main room just in time to see Paul and the Bug ducking out of sight toward the elevators. They are followed almost immediately by Mary Williams carrying what looks like a picnic basket. "What do you suppose SHE was doing here?" Esther asks. Katherine replies, "Bringing lunch for her son, I suppose." "But, Mrs. C., you said they had staff here that did that for you--" Esther starts to protest. "Esther, if I knew what all these people were doing here, I wouldn't need to be here, would I?" Katherine says.
Esther and Katherine sit back down on the couch. Through a far door, they see Danny come rushing in and head out of sight toward the elevators without stopping at the desk. Almost at the same moment, Tim emerges from the elevators. But perhaps because each is in a hurry, they do not notice each other. A few more minutes go by, and Phyllis and Malcolm march out as well. They are obviously unhappy about something--even from a distance, it's easy to tell that Phyllis is fuming, but Katherine cannot make out what. Katherine taps a lone fingernail thoughtfully against her cheek, wondering what to make of all this.
Two minutes more pass when suddenly the room goes dark. There is considerable commotion and confusion but the voice of someone, presumably a desk staff employee, advises everyone to stay where they are. A moment later, he lights a lamp. "Everyone remain calm," he says. "Just a simple power outage. I'm sure everything will be back on shortly." In the distance of the darkened building, its sound magnified by the lack of competing background noise, we hear a gunshot. "Oh, dear God," Katherine says worriedly.
In the darkness of a hallway upstairs, we hear a door creak open and see the vague shadow of a lone figure hurrying down a hall. When the lights come back on, the elevator door opens and Danny emerges, relieved to be out. He rushes down the hall to Sasha's door, which is standing open. Paul and Cricket are standing over Sasha's limp body. "Paul. Chris. What's going on here?" he asks. "We were about to ask you the same question. Danny, what are you doing here?" Cricket asks as if shocked to not understand some detail of this unfathomable event.
There's a sound of water running in the bedroom and Cricket goes to investigate. "Paul," she whispers loudly, "there's someone in the there." Paul pulls his gun and yells into the room. "Come out with your hands up." He waits but nothing happens. Eventually, he enters and finds two guns sitting in a sink of soapy water. He turns off the sink and looks around. Deciding the culprit must be in the shower, he says "I know you're in the shower, now come out or--" "It's just me, boss," Lynne says as she steps out of the shower.
"Lynne?" Paul says, looking at Cricket. "I think I'd better not say anything until I talk to a lawyer," Lynne says. "I'm a lawyer," Cricket says. "A lawyer I can trust, I mean," Lynne clarifies. "You know..." "I'm very confused," Paul says. "I think it's time to call my dad."
It's the next day at the Genoa City Police Station. Carl paces the floor in front of an assembled group of suspects and witnesses. "Now let's review the facts," Carl says. "Joanie, you knew Phyllis was in money trouble and your job was in jeopardy, but you say you were nowhere close to the scene. Paul, you and Christine claim to have heard someone leaving the scene just around the time you arrived. Tim, you had paid money and knew about the escalating blackmail. Lynne, you were found nearby and are suspected of washing the murder weapon. Malcolm, you and Phyllis were seen near the scene of the crime just before it happened. Kurt, you were a Navy SEAL and used to kill people for a living--we suspect you on general principle. Miguel, you're a Hispanic, so same deal--general principle. Hope, you were suspected because we've learned that Ashley and Sasha wear the same perfume and because we know you're not inhibited by working in the dark--but we've learned that Sasha wasn't wearing any perfume that night, so you're free to go." "Thank you, sir," Hope says, getting up and heading for the door.
Carl continues: "Cole, we understand your latest novel is a murder mystery with a weak ending; so far, that sounds like what we've got here, too, so naturally we can't rule you out. Nick Newman, you were initially suspected also because of your generally hostile tendencies, but your wife has vouched for the fact that you were sulking alone in your room at the time of the crime, so you're free to go." "I was NOT sulking!" Nick says, getting a little hostile. "And I'm just as capable of doing this job as anyone here, no matter what all your names are!" "Nick," Sharon says from the door, "Just come home, okay? I'm sure everyone here knows you're perfectly capable of it." Everyone at the table nods. "See, they agree." "Well, ok, as long as they know," he says as he is ushered out.
Carl goes on. "Gina, I'm not sure why you're here. You were at the restaurant all evening." Gina nods. "I'm here in case this runs on and any of the suspects want to order lunch." Carl nods. Mary enters and says, "Carl..." "Mary, can't you see I'm busy with these suspects?" Carl asks. "Yes, but..." He shakes his head. "And Gina's already got lunch covered," he continues. "CARL WILLIAMS!" Mary shouts. "What do I have to do to get your attention?" she sighs. He turns to her, shocked. "What? What is it that's so important?" "I've been trying for years to get your attention. I just don't know what to do sometimes. I KILLED SASHA." "You? But I have all these suspects here who have real motives. You did this just to get my attention?" "No, I didn't do it just to get your attention," Mary explains in a condescending tone. "I just wish that having done it, it finally WOULD get your attention."
"All right," Carl says. "You've got my attention now. Would you please explain why I should believe you killed Sasha?" Mary sits down at the table and asks, "Aren't you going to swear me in?" "I'll trust you," Carl says. Mary sits and waits. "Does anyone have a Bible?" Carl sighs finally. Kurt reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a Gideon Bible. Everyone looks at him quizzically. "I, uh, picked it up at some hotel recently," he says sheepishly. Attention turns back to Mary when Carl places her hand on Kurt's Bible and says "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?" "I do," Mary says. "NOW, will you tell us?" Carl urges her.
"Sasha was blackmailing Phyllis," Mary says. "And so you killed her?" Carl prompts her, trying to move things along. "Not yet, I didn't know it yet. But Lynne found out. And I knew Lynne was going to kill her." "Why would Lynne do that?" Paul asks, turning to Lynne. "Because I love you, Paul." Lynne confesses. "But that's so stupid, Lynne. Sasha was going to break up Danny and Phyllis. If you'd just let her do it, I might have gone back with Danny--" the Bug says. "You would?" Paul asks. "Well, hypothetically," the Bug says. "I said I love him, Cricket," Lynne says. "I wasn't scheming to `get him' -- I just wanted him to be happy. So I didn't want Christine to be tempted..." Mary glares at Paul. "See, Paul? I always told you Lynne loved you more than Christine ever did. And I just couldn't let her go through with it. I figured if she could live with you and Christine, so could I. So I followed Lynne..." "From work?" Paul asks.
"No," Mary explains. "I know that every day when Paul leaves, Lynne leaves right afterward and follows him home." "She does?" Paul asks. Lynne blushes, "Sorry, boss. Just a habit--I like to make sure you get home safely." "Which you'd notice if you'd just open your eyes!" Mary chides her son. "Every day?" Paul says. "Every day," Lynn nods. "I guess I have the kind of face one never really notices." Paul nods. "Wow! I guess so--maybe you're wasted at the reception desk, Lynne. I should have you working on cases for me." "ANYWAY," Mary continues, trying to get focus back on her story, "I figured that even though Paul's never noticed Lynne back there, he might notice me if I was following, too." "Oh, I could never ignore you, Mom," Paul says. "Thank you, son," Mary says. So I parked near Paul's house and I picked up the tail on Lynne as soon as you and Christine had been escorted safely home. She went to buy a gun, and then she went to the Genoa City Hotel."
"Well, we never saw her walk by," Katherine comments. "But that's because she has such a forgettable face, Mrs. C." Esther chimes in. Katherine sighs and half-whispers to her, "Will you just be silent for once, Esther? You could learn a lot from that face."
"Anyway," Mary goes on, "I put the gun I always carry for protection into my picnic basket and carried it to Sasha's room, where I found Lynne about to shoot Sasha. The lights went out, and I shot Sasha before Lynne had the chance to." "So that's why Lynne was washing the guns," Cricket says. "She was going to cover for you." "Thank you Lynne, that was very sweet, but I don't need you to lie for me," Mary says. "And, it's not all bad, you know: if they keep me in the jail here, maybe I'll finally get to see my husband some of the time."
Paul looks dumbfounded. "Mom? You really did all this?" His mother smiles proudly. He turns to Lynne. "And Lynne! You were going to kill Sasha, to save my marriage?" Lynne nods. Paul then turns to the bug, "And Chris, you would have left me?" Cricket says, "Well, it's really just--well, I mean it's a hypothetical,--but I guess I--I--... might have..." "Well, it's about time I finally got a clue," Paul says. He turns back to Lynne. "Lynne, will you marry me?--after I divorce Cricket, I mean." "I will," Lynne says, finally happy. "Paul!" the Bug chirps. Then, realizing she's losing, she turns to Danny. But Danny is hugging Phyllis. He says to his wife, "If leaving you means returning to all of Chris's daily whining, I think I'll just accept your past transgressions. Come on, Phyllis--let's go consummate this marriage for real."
That's all for this episode.
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