Bad Bleach
July 30, 2017
Running time
Production code
Flash sideways
Written by
Directed by

"Bad Bleach" is the 31st episode of Devious Butlers.


What goes up must come down, and all good things must come to an end. The happiness stemming from the DeWars' wedding lasts them to the end of their honeymoon weeks later, but things from there only go from bad to worse. Rochelle's body has been found, Josh still refuses to speak to Joanna, and Meghan's health takes a drastic turn. Joe's recently expanded family is shrinking, while Rena's is driving him crazy, what with Theresa still living it up on Fanon Drive and even developing feelings for a certain other butler who, currently, is tending to his bosses' relationship woes. His ex-wife, though, may be a good influence for Josh.



Joshua Gibbons is sat on a sofa, contemplating what to say as he's face-to-face with a therapist during one of his sessions at Wikerly Meadows Psychiatric Hospital. As per usual, the camera proceeds to transition around the butler's head, and we're taken into the past...
We see Josh on his third date with Brad, the two of them sat at a nice candlelit dinner. They are seen to be having a rather lovely time, each talking non-stop, laughing at each other's jokes, until finally seeing how late in the evening it's become. "I guess I oughtta get going," Josh speaks up, preparing to bid his date a farewell, but Brad puts a halt to this. "Wait," he exclaims, "you could... spend the night with me," he suggests, and Josh smiles, finding this to be an appropriate offer to take his date up on.
Flash forward to a later moment in time, and we see Josh now sat outside in a cemetery as a priest gives a eulogy. We can see that it's Brad's funeral taking place, though Josh seems to have played a very little role in making the arrangements, with Brad's mourning parents sat a few seats away. Josh, meanwhile, has tuned out everything going on around him, having barely even managed getting himself there in the first place. His hair is a bit of a mess, there's some stubble on his face, and his shirt is even mis-buttoned. He's completely out of it, and then... he reaches out his hand. The camera pans and we see that, from Josh's point of view, he's taking the hand of his paraplegic husband for comfort.
And, finally, to but a mere couple weeks before the events of the present, we see Josh being escorted by Joe and Joanna into Wikerly Meadows Psychiatric Hospital. He turns back to the two of them before receiving a nod in confirmation, and with that he makes his way over to the nurse at the front desk. "Hello, my name is Joshua Gibbons and I'd like to admit myself for psychiatric observation," he says, to which she wonders what seems to be the problem, and so the butler admits: "I kinda just had a nervous breakdown."
With that, we're brought back to the present day where Josh finally manages to utter aloud, "I was going through a... really rough time," he admits, "having just been... assaulted by my old boss and arrested for his murder. Of course, at the time, I had just sought out Brad as a lawyer." "But he was more than that," the therapist comments, to which Josh nods at the obvious. "After he got me through the case, he confessed his feelings for me, and... well, I reciprocated. He was such a great guy. Very kind, funny, extremely smart, and sexy as hell. In the grand scheme of things we weren't together for that long, but I just knew he was the one." "And then you decided to get married?" "No, then I threw him aside for my ex," Josh admits, rather awkwardly, "It was... one of the biggest mistakes of my life. Deep down, I knew right away I was making the wrong choice, but I made it anyway... but because of that I also realized just how much Brad truly meant to me. And so I went and fixed everything, and after that I made a vow. He was my choice. For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, 'til death do us part... And then it did, just minutes later. Again, I'd lost everything, only this time it was different... this time I'd felt real, true love, and what it's like to have it ripped away just like that." Tears are now building in Josh's eyes, and the therapist sympathizes with her patient. Cautiously, she speaks up: "And that's when the visions started?" and the butler nods. "I felt so alone. Sure, I had my friends, but it wasn't the same. So one day... I pretended, just for a second... that he wasn't really gone. He was by my side, and we were together... and happy." "And so you chose to believe this?" the therapist wants clarification, and Josh answers, "Well, whenever I was sad, I let myself imagine that he was there with me, comforting me and holding me in his arms again... but then those moments started to mean more to me than what was real... so I just let myself have them and let them take over." "Well what about now?" the therapist wonders, "Is the medication helping you by any means?" and Josh lets out a bit of an awkward chuckle. "I definitely have a firmer grasp on reality now," he admits, "I can see things clearly now for the first time in a long while." The therapist gives a light smile at this, commending him for this bit of improvement. "That's great," she assures, but Josh kind of shakes his head, uttering, "No, not really," and the butler goes on to fully confess, "because now I can see what I've done to my life..." he wipes away some of the tears, " and how I've ruined it." He expresses a look of pure regret.


Act I

Joanna's arms are wrapped around Joe as he lifts her into his, kicking open the door to the Winters' mansion and carrying her over the threshold - a pair of newlyweds, back from their honeymoon. "Welcome home, Mrs. DeWar," he says, giving her a kiss, to which she says, "It's good to be back, Mr. DeWar." He then lowers her to the ground, and she comes to note, "Which reminds me, the Winters' mansion is no more." "What do you mean?" Joe wonders, to which she points out, "It's our home now. Yours and mine." "The DeWar mansion," Joe utters, and Joanna tells him that she likes the sound of that, giving him another kiss. "Man, I'm in such a good mood," she beams as she hovers over to one of the bars, "That breakfast martini I had on the plane was just excellent. You know, I don't give gin enough credit." "And the place was beautiful," Joe recalls fondly, at which Joanna gives up on her quest for wine in order to reconvene with him yet again, assuring, "The best weeks of my life," as more kisses ensue. "And now we get to just start our life together," Joe points out. "Just you and me, alone in the house," Joanna smiles, and then there is a knock on the door, and Joe rolls his eyes. "I knew it couldn't last long," he comments as he goes to answer it, and Silvia is waiting there for him. "Hi!" she beams, bearing a pitcher of iced tea, "I saw you pull up and wanted to be the first to greet you back from your honeymoon. How was it?!" "It was great," Joe assures, while Joanna takes the pitcher and questions, "Any chance this was spiked with anything?" "I don't 'spike' tea, dear," Silvia assures, "It's actually a trigger of mine." "Right," Jo nods, "Sorry. I'll just... drink non-alcoholic liquid I guess... that sounds fun." Her enthusiasm is noticeably lacking as she pours out some glasses for herself, Joe and her new sort-of mother-in-law, but then she takes a sip and can't help but exclaim, "Holy crap." "Mhm," Silvia nods her way, and then Joe sees the glowing answering machine and realizes that they must have messages. It tells him they have three new messages; the first is from an obviously drunken Aliza Little. "Hey Joooooeee! I just saw you get married 'n' stuff, and that was such a great reception, and I'm soooo happy for you but... but... I'm so-so-so horny, Joe. It's been so long, I ain't even lyin'. It's gettin' dry down there, sugar. Sugar's what I need. And I ain't askin' you to cheat on yo' wife. But do you 'memba that thing you used to do wicho'--" Joe quickly hits a button which causes the machine to play the next message, finding this awkward in front of his new wife and new mother, and then a message from Josh starts to play. "Hey Joe and, uh, hey Joanna. The pills have worn off a bit now, and I just wanted to tell you guys that it was, from what I remember, a beautiful ceremony. So... uh... that. See you when I see you." There is clearly an air of awkwardness in his voice, him having found that difficult, and Joanna frowns. The next message then plays, and it's from Tyson. "Joe," he exclaims, "You need to come hospital! Ma's real sick... I'm real sad... You needa come, now. Right now." The message ends. "Oh, my God..." Silvia utters. "When was that left?" Joanna asks, but Joe is stoic. "I... don't know," he admits. "I, uh... I guess I gotta go." "I'll drive you," Joanna assures, putting her iced tea down. "No, I will," Silvia tells them. "I can drive safely when I wanna," Mrs. DeWar tells her, but Silvia points out, "I just thought it would be better to take my car since..." She gestures out the window, at Joanna's car, and we see that it still has cans strung from the rear with the words JUST MARRIED sprawled across a banner. Joe sighs looking at this: "I guess the pause had to end sometime."

"Rena, fetch me my pocketbook," Silvia exclaims, rushing back into the Montgomery house for her car keys before going to leave for the hospital with Joe and Joanna. The butler, however, is seen to be outstretched on the living room sofa, eating some sort of Spanish breakfast while watching the morning news and typing out a message on his phone. He ignores Silvia's request, multi-tasking with his text and paying attention to the TV that currently notes there to have been no obscure murders in Wikerly Hills recently ever since Liz's stunt double, "...whose name I suppose we're not supposed to release to the public. Yeah," the news anchor speaks, but Rena isn't able to view any further as Silvia grabs the remote from the butler and flips the TV off. "Excuse you," Rena remarks, but Silvia demands to know where her purse is. "Try the kitchen counter. I slipped a 20 from it last night. Just deduct it from my paycheck or whatever." Silvia rolls her eyes as she proceeds into the kitchen, finding her purse on the counter and grabbing her keys. As she turns around to set off though, she's met by the surprise of a young, attractive, muscular-looking African American man wearing nothing but an untied, orange silk bath robe thus exposing his genitalia to the rich homeowner. She merely blinks before calling out, "Renato?" "Yeah?" he answers, making his way into the room having finished his breakfast, to which she responds, "Why is there a half-naked black man in my kitchen?" Rena is equally shocked upon seeing the man there, who stands both confused and embarrassed. "Okay babe, you gotta get going otherwise my butler will see you and--," but before Theresa Duarte finishes this statement she sees that it's already too late, for both Rena and Silvia glare at the houseguest. "Yeah, okay the jig is up. Anthrony, see yourself out?" Theresa says to the black man, who realizes what's going on. "Oh... oh," and he looks down at the robe before looking up at Silvia, "So then this is yo--" "Keep it," Mrs. Montgomery insists, shielding her eyes as Anthrony nods and sees himself out. "So can I whip you two up an omelette or something...?" Theresa wonders, hoping to rectify what she's done, but Silvia turns to Rena and demands to speak to him in the other room. Rena follows his bitter employer who, once checking to make sure Theresa is no longer nearby, says to him: "You need to get rid of her, so help me God." "I know, I know, but come on, she's family." "Not my family." "And I don't think she has anywhere else to go." "And that's not my problem. Rena, this woman has been here for over two weeks now, sleeping in my guest room, eating my food, and guzzling my iced tea. And what does she have to contribute?" "She wants to help me catch the Devious Butler," Rena argues, but Silvia shakes her head, telling her own butler that she isn't doing that good a job. "Look, I'll get her to cut back on the... well, everything. Just, come on, let her stay." Though Silvia is not yet ready to give in, she looks up at the clock and realizes that Joe and Joanna are waiting for her. "Ugh, I don't have time for this!" she beams, heading for the exit, "Just do something!" she begs, and with that she's gone. Rena sighs, making his way back to the kitchen where Theresa is currently whipping up a Spanish omelette. "You want one?" she inquires, and Rena shakes his head. "Look, Theresa, you gotta--" but the butler quickly becomes distracted by the vibration of his phone. He digs it out of his pocket, only to see that it was but a text from Ben. He doesn't even bother reading the full message before sliding his phone back into his pocket, simply not caring, and resumes trying to tame his sister. "Mrs. Montgomery is begrudgingly letting you stay here. You gotta stop bringing boys over and pretending this place is yours and mooching off her... well, not the boys part." Theresa raises an eyebrow at this. "I promise! I'm in a committed relationship... with a woman!" Rena claims, to which his sister responds with an "Mmmmmmhm." "And we're not gonna change the subject!" he says, "Just, like, cool it some, k?" "Alright, I'm sorry," Theresa admits, "I was out of line." "Okay, well... thank you," Rena concedes, satisfied with where this talk went, then going on to say that he would like an omelette. "Coming right up," Theresa smiles, motioning for Rena to take a seat and wait. The butler does so, pulling out his phone in the meantime to check to see if he's gotten a response from the person he was messaging earlier. "Awaiting a reply from someone?" Theresa wonders, picking up on this, and Rena confirms this... and then quickly denies it. "Er, it's nothing," he says, and Theresa merely nods, though not really believing this.

"There she is," Silvia points out as she, Joe and Joanna approach Meghan's sickbed, which Tyson is currently sitting beside. "Ma," Joe exclaims, immediately heading to the other side of the bed while Joanna and Silvia stand awkwardly nearby. "Joe," Meghan utters weekly, taking his hand. She's all bald now, scarf over her head, color drained and looking pale as hell. Gaunter than we've ever seen her. "You made it," she utters some more. "Of course I did," Joe assures, fighting the urge to start crying. "I didn't wanna interrupt your honeymoon," Meghan admits, giving a cough which makes the machines she's hooked up to beep faster for a moment, but Joe tells her not to be silly. "Maybe you and I should go and find some coffee," Silvia suggests to Joanna, who nods, wanting to leave her husband alone with his ailing foster mother. First though, she walks towards him and places a hand on his shoulder - her wedding ring gleams in the fluorescent lighting - as a sign that she's there if she needs him. Joe nods, knowing this, and then Joanna addresses Meghan, "I'm so sorry, Ma." "Don't be," Meghan assures, "I'm an old woman. You two have got years ahead of you yet. Together. You shouldn't be wasting your newlywed time stuck in a hospital." "We'll be here for as long as you need us," Joanna promises, with Joe squeezing Meghan's hand tighter and Tyson asking his mother, "Ma, where are you going?" Joanna can't bring herself to be around when this question gets answered, and so she begins to follow Silvia toward the cafeteria. However, Silvia's eye is suddenly caught, and she finds herself snatching a newspaper away from a nurse on break. "No way," she murmurs. "What is it?" Joanna asks, and then Silvia holds up the front page which reveals that recovered murder victim Rochelle Little is to receive a funeral hosted by Kathryn Kappelletti this very afternoon. "No way," Joanna echoes, getting a good look, and Silvia exclaims, "I can't believe that old, evil bitch finally bit the dust... I wonder if Joe knows." "I don't think we should distur--" Joanna tries, but Silvia's already gone, back to Meghan's sickbed in order to interrupt Joe's moments with his other mother. "Joe," she exclaims, but he commands that she wait a minute. "It's alright, dear," Meghan assures though, "This is gonna take me a while." She turns back to Tyson in order to properly explain to him the parameters of what's going to happen, and Joe nods, standing up to face Silvia a few feet away. He asks what it is, and she holds up the front page. Joe snatches it from her, eyes wide, and just says, "Excuse me," before wandering off. Joanna tries to catch him on his way, but he's too fast, and we next see him bursting into the hospital bathroom and hyperventilating in front of the mirror. He's still clutching the newspaper article, and his reflection tells him. "You're screwed now, huh?" "No," Joe replies, trying to steady his breathing, "I'm only learning about this now. Which means no authorities have tried reaching out to me. Which means, they haven't connected it to me. Or the guys. We're safe." "For nowwwwwwww," his reflection murmurs, and Joe splashes water at the mirror to shut it up. "Uh, Joe?" Joanna asks as she wanders into the restroom, and Joe turns to her in a startle. "You know you shouldn't be in here, right?" "It's 2017, I can use whatever bathroom I want," she argues, and then, "Are you okay? You look pretty rattled, I..." "Yeah," Joe promises, "I just... I, uh, I worked for her," he gestures the paper, "I thought maybe I should go to the funeral." "Oh," Joanna shrugs, "okay? Does that mean you're leaving? Because, I know what I said to Ma, but... after that message this morning, I was actually hoping I could go and see Josh at the asylum. It's nearby. I just... I've not properly seen him since the whole fire incident and..." "It's fine," Joe promises, calming down, "Go. I'll hold the fort here while I can." He approaches her and gives her a kiss, and she admits, "I don't want you to feel like I'm abandoning you or..." "You're not," Joe promises, "You do what you gotta do." Joanna nods.
"Joanna DeWar is here to see you," a nurse is heard telling Josh as he sits in a lounge area of the asylum, staring out the window and into space. He doesn't hear her at first. He seems almost in a state of bliss. And then, "Mr. Gibbons?" the nurse rocks him some, and he turns to face her. "Yes?" he asks. She goes to state the same thing over, but then Josh grows distracted by the sound of the front gate opening, and sees Joanna's car driving on in outside, having been let in via intercom. "Oh, my God," he exclaims, "Joanna is here to see me." "No way," the nurse rolls her eyes before wandering off, but Josh catches her before she goes, his state of bliss having been replaced by one of panic. "Wait," he begs, "Send her away." "What?" the nurse asks, confused. "I don't wanna see her," Josh breathes heavily, but this doesn't clear up her confusion. "But she's on your approved visitor's list," she states. "She is?" "Yes. Jo DeWar." "Joe DeWar," Josh rolls his eyes, "As in, Joseph. I... I can't see her. I can't stand seeing her. I... I..." he's going into a full panic, and sees Joanna find parking from out the window, then stepping out of her car. "What did she do to you exactly?" "She... saved my life." "I don't--" "Just get rid of her! Please!" He sees Joanna approaching the building some. "No, no, no," Josh begins exclaiming, grabbing a pillow from a couch and throwing it over his face. "No! No!" "Calm down," the nurse begs, prying the pillow away from him, "I'll... go and tell her she's not welcome." Josh's breathing begins to slow, and he sinks down to the couch. He then watches as the nurse leaves, and resumes his seat by the window to see her approaching Joanna and breaking it to her that the man she's come to visit has no interest in seeing her. He notices Joanna's expression drop, and it hits him hard. He closes his eyes and looks down, his hands balled into anxious fists. Depressed, Joanna is then seen getting back into her car and driving away, and Josh's fists relent.

Return to Fanon Drive now, and we see Ali sat at the dining room table as Ben sets out a breakfast plate for each of them. "I've been having my father give me updates about Cassie, and it's her first day at this new prestigious private school I managed to get her into," Ali reveals, to which Ben responds positively, "Aw, well I'm glad you've all pretty much buried the hatchet." "Considering the fact that she conspired to kill me, I'd say we're doing well enough." Ben chuckles at this, though feeling a bit awkward, and goes to the kitchen to bring out the coffee pot to refill Ali's cup before sitting down. In the meantime, Ali opens up her Snapchat where she sees that Kathryn Kappelletti has just posted an update on her Story. She pulls it up and we see that it's a video of the bitch of a blonde herself, dressed in all black, topped off with a little veil, but still revealing enough to show the tears in her eyes. "As, I'm sure you've all heard, my nearest and dearest friend Rochelle Little's body was found buried in a field like two weeks ago or something." It's then that Ali is startled by the dropping and subsequent smashing of the coffee pot as Ben stands in the doorway, completely shaken. "Anyways, there will be a memorial at the Wikerly Hills Cemetery today at noon, and I reach out to all my hashtag fans and hashtag haters in hopes that you will all band together and join me in honoring the amazing woman who made me who I am today. May she rest in peace," and with that, the video (or videos, since they can only be as long as ten seconds) comes to an end. Ali and Ben look at one another, the former not knowing what to make of this revelation whereas the latter doesn't know what this means for him and his friends. He looks down at the floor though, seeing the mess he's made. "I... should go clean this up," he utters, to which Ali replies, "You... don't have to do that now," but Ben insists, secretly needing a moment of privacy. He heads into the kitchen where he just leans against the wall, taking deep breaths, feeling almost as though a panic attack is about to come on. He soon returns though, with a rag, broom, and dustpan, and there remains an awkward silence in the room until Liz soon arrives, making her way over to give Ali a kiss goodbye as she prepares to head out for the day. "Oh, you're leaving early again?" Ms. Del Barrio inquires, seeing this as a good enough way to shift the tone left behind by the news of Rochelle's murder. "Yeah, sorry babe," Liz says, "but Mary is up everyone's asses right now about PR stuff for this damn movie. Honestly, it's more nerve-wracking than the actual filming. I'll try to be home by dinner." "You said that last night too," Ali feels the need to point out, "And the night before that and the night before that and, well, every night this week, as a matter of fact." "Sorry for having a featured career now?" Liz responds, not really knowing what else to say, "Again, I'll try to be home earlier tonight," and with that, she gives Ali another kiss goodbye, though a bit less lovingly. As Liz heads for the exit though, she turns back. "By the way, you all hear about Rochelle? Looks like someone finally did that bitch in." "Rochelle? Who's that? I don't know her," a voice then calls out, and the three all divert their attention to none other than Val, having let herself in. "Oh, is her just being here gonna be a regular thing now?" Liz asks, to which Ali shrugs. The redhead turns to the pregnant brunette, the two exchanging a glare before Liz sees herself out. Ben has now pretty much finished cleaning up the mess he's made, but rolls his eyes upon seeing his babymama, understanding that she's most likely in need of something to eat. "Just have my plate," he nods to the breakfast sitting in his spot at the table, "I've lost my appetite." Val shakes her head though, stating that that's not why she's here. "I've felt kinda lightheaded all morning," she admits, "so after some unpleasant exchanges with Kathryn, I keyed her car and came here." "You probably haven't been having enough liquids," Ben shrugs, "Cut back on the bacon and have a glass of OJ," he suggests. Val looks glum though, not really sure that that's what it is that's wrong. However, despite the butler desiring a distraction from the possibility of being exposed for covering up a murder, he sure doesn't plan to have that distraction be her of all people. And so, he turns to Ali: "Is everything alright with you and Liz?" "Ooh, trouble in paradise?" Val speaks up, interested, and Ali sighs. "I wouldn't say trouble, but... well, you know, she's never home anymore. Always filming ads, doing interviews, partaking in photoshoots... I get that it's part of the job, but at least when filming the movie there was a specific schedule they'd follow, and usually it came in advance. With this though, Mary's coming to her everyday with new jobs and such." "Oh, hun, no... she's totally cheating on you," the pregnant woman exclaims. "Val!" Ben beams, deeming her comment extremely inappropriate before turning to Ali, "I'm sure she is not cheating on you." "Yeah, I don't think so either," Ms. Del Barrio replies, "I mean, I trust that she isn't." "You sure about that?" Val wonders, taking a little pleasure in this, and Ali nods. "Yeah, actually, I am. I mean, I don't know, I just never had that fear with Liz. I know that's how her marriage to Eli ended, but my gut just tells me otherwise with us." "That's good," Ben speaks up, "go with what your gut is telling you." "My gut is telling me to have an abortion right now because these damn babies won't quit kicking," Val remarks, and Ben instinctively puts his hand of Val's belly to feel, all the while remaining focused on Ali and her woes. "But while I'm not afraid of Liz cheating on me or anything," Ms. Del Barrio says, "I am worried that, well, what if she's losing interest in me?" "Oh, don't think like that," Ben argues, but Ali shakes her head, "Liz is finally becoming the star she's always wanted to be, and it's not like she really needs me. I mean, she did initially move in here to just leech off me." "And then she decided to go out and get a job when she realized she wanted things to be different since she actually cares for you," Ben reminds her, finishing with, "I'm sure things between you two will be fine. Truly." Ali nods, hoping for this to be so, and there's a moment of silence. "I still think she's screwing someone on the side, to be honest," Val remarks though, resulting in a glare from both the butler and the boss.

Hours later, it having reached noon time in Wikerly Hills, the local cemetery is flooded with numerous people all there to pay their respects to the deceased Rochelle Little. Despite the majority being fans or haters of Kathryn Kappelletti, alerted via Snap Story, there are a few that stand out in the crowd. First we see Ali, accompanied by Val, there to pay some last respects. Then Aliza, as she currently stands next to a foldable table that has numerous assortments of foods, from fried chicken to porkrinds and some fruit punch to down it with. In her arms she carries the urn containing the ashes of Emmanuel Little. "I guess I'll stick ya in the coffin or whateva," she says to her late brother, only to turn and accidentally trip, thus dropping the urn causing the ashes to spill out everywhere. "God dammit!" Aliza mutters, looking down at the mess. She picks up the urn which she estimates to have about maybe half of her brother left, and the rest of him she proceeds to kick underneath the table, in the cemetery grass. The checkered table cloth is enough to cover it. With that, she begins to whistle and walk away, acting as if nothing happened. The camera then pans elsewhere and we see three of the four butlers gathered together, dressed appropriately to pay their respects. "Should we really be here right now?" Ben wonders, looking around at all those supposedly mourning Rochelle's loss, "What if this is some sort of trap?" "Wow, Ben, it's not all about you," Rena quips, "Put others first maybe?" But the Portuguese butler receives a glare from the Scottish butler, indicating that this isn't a joking matter. "We need to find out what people know or think they know," Joe points out to his friends, "and besides, it'd probably look suspicious if you and I weren't here, Ben. You worked with her, and I worked for her." Ben nods in understanding, and Rena speaks up wondering why he has to be there. "You don't have to be," Joe says, "You can get back to work now if you want." "K, fair enough," Rena responds, getting the idea, but then wonders, "Should we, like, tell Josh about any of this?" Joe shakes his head though, stating that his hands are full enough at the moment. "Would the judge go easy on him since he went crazy?" Rena wonders, resulting in being elbowed by Ben. "What?! It's a legitimate question!" Joe and Ben both roll their eyes at this, but before anything can be said further, Kathryn speaks up, asking for everyone's attention. She goes up to her hot pink pedestal that she had brought in, speaking into a microphone: "I would like to thank each and everyone of you all for stopping by to pay respects to my dear friend." "Yeah, y'allz great and stuff," Aliza speaks up, making her way to the closed coffin which she manages to pry the top part open of, slipping in the urn with what's left of Manny's ashes. "I'm sure mah mama's lookin' up at y'all right now, blushin' from all this worship and stuff that white bitch and makin' y'all do." "Don't you mean looking down at us, dear?" Kathryn inquires, resulting in a chuckle from Aliza. "Bitch, where? Nah, y'allz a buncha fools if you thinkin' that. Nah, mama's most certainly burnin' hell right now." Everyone looks indignant at this though, and Kathryn whispers to a security guard standing next to her to please escort Miss Little off the premise. Aliza sees this coming though, but doesn't care since she planned to leave anyway. "Bai, y'all," she says, and once gone, Kathryn sees fit to continue. "As I was saying," she goes on, forming some semi-fake tears in her eyes, "Rochelle Little lived a long and eventful life, and wow, what a woman she was. She really did set the bar high." "Sure, selling two innocent girls into human trafficking. Inspiring," Rena mutters to the other butlers. "She was a wife, at like, some point. And a mother. But most importantly she was a friend." "Ah, priorities," Rena then adds. "And now I'm going to make a promise to my dear friend," Kathryn reveals, her tone becoming more serious, "Some low-life, son of a bitch murdered Rochelle Little - snapped her neck - and I promise you all: I will not stop until I find out who it was... and I'm going to make them pay." Rena has no quip to make about this statement though, instead letting out a gulp. Joe and Ben do the same, the three each subtly glancing at one another, realizing how much trouble they could now be in.

Act II

"Are you hungry?" Meghan can be seen asking Tyson from her sickbed at the hospital. Always the mother, even in her current condition. "Yeah," Tyson nods, and Meghan looks like she's about to sit up; Tyson doesn't want this though, and he assures his mother, "I'll find the cafeteria. All by myself. I promise. I can do it by myself." He nods, asserting this to himself more than anything, and Meghan smiles at him as he heads off, knowing this may very well be untrue. Silvia is still sitting there, reading the rest of the newspaper which bore the news of Rochelle's departure from life, and tells Tyson which color line to follow if he wants to find the place that serves food. He nods, and keeps on going, and Meghan utters to herself, "That boy..." with a faint grin. She coughs again, and Silvia puts the newspaper down, asking the lowly cancer patient if she can do anything for her. "That's quite alright, dear," Meghan assures, "You just read your paper now." Silvia feels awkward at this, and tells Meghan, "Look... I'm sorry about interrupting your time with Joe earlier... I just... I guess I don't think about that kind of stuff. I've been pretty focused on me lately. How I feel. My relationship with Joe. And, that's gotta change." "It's... classy of you, to apologize," Meghan nods, and Silvia smiles towards her, noting how she didn't say there was no need to do so. "But," the dying woman continues, "You bring up an important point... your relationship with Joe..." "Look," Silvia interrupts, "I understand that he sees you as his mother. You're the one who raised him after all. I just gave birth to him. He wanted you to walk him down the aisle and... that made sense. I just loved seeing how happy he was." "I did too," Meghan smiles, "but I need you to listen. I'm not long for this world and we all know it. But Joe... Joe's got a long, long future ahead of him. A happy one. And I imagine you're gonna be sticking around for some years to come." Silvia hesitates. "I plan on it," she ultimately replies, "One never knows, these days." "Right," Meghan understands, "But, just... keep an eye on him, okay? While you're livin' down the street, just make sure he's alright. Take care of him when he really needs it, 'cause I'm not gonna be able to do that anymore." Meghan gives another cough, and Silvia steadies her by placing her hand on Meghan's. "I promise," she goes on to say, and the two mothers share a humble moment of quiet understanding. "I didn't find the cafeteria," Tyson admits as he returns with a cup and plastic spoon in tow, "But I did find this green jello on this tray in front of a sleeping guy." He proceeds to eat it, and Meghan furrows what's left of her brow. "It looks bleach flavor," Silvia notes of its luminescent green color, and then, "Joe isn't the only one who needs an eye kept on him, huh?" Silvia murmurs, and Meghan responds, "I'll get to that later. I got a lot to say, and not a lotta time to say it in." Tyson resumes his position by her bedside as she and Silvia let go of one another, and he eats his jello.

Meanwhile, across town, Ben is seen entering into a local gym. He looks around, feeling rather awkward as he passes all of the men and women who appear more fit than him - more toned and more muscular, overall healthier looking. He sighs, but proceeds to carry on until eventually finding Val sat down, dressed in exercising attire and guzzling down some water. "Oh, hey," she greets her babydaddy, to which he responds with a "Yeah, hi. Ready to go?". Val nods, going to stand up, though finds herself having trouble. "Can you uh...?" Val inquires as Ben raises a brow before outstretching his arm and helping his babymama up. "And why couldn't you drive yourself home?" Ben wonders, to which Val tells him that she still isn't feeling so well. "I got through about ten minutes of Pilates before I just could not anymore." "And after I paid for a months worth of classes," Ben mumbles. The two then prepare to head off, but Val stops, stating that she needs to go relieve herself first, proceeding to head for the restroom. Ben rolls his eyes, deciding to take a seat, figuring it'll probably be a while. As he's sat there though, he soon finds himself being approached. "Hi," a familiar voice exclaims, "you're Rena's friend, right?" We see that it's none other than Theresa Duarte, who Ben is having trouble recognizing at first. "I'm his sister," she reminds him, thus clicking for the butler, and he quickly stands up to shake her hand. "Right, hi, yeah, I am," he answers, "I don't think we've been properly introduced?" "No, we haven't," Theresa chuckles, "but Rena's mentioned you a few times." "Same for you," Ben recalls, "so you're in town for a while?" "Yeah, for now," Theresa answers, then wondering, "So how far along is your wife?" "My wife?" Ben is confused, then realizing, "Oh, you mean Val. Oh, no, she's not my wife." "Oh..." "But those are my daughters she's carrying." "Daughters?" "But we're not together." "Bad break up?" Theresa inquires, but Ben shakes his head. "No, you see, she thinks I mur-- actually, the details aren't really that important." Despite finding this a bit awkward, Theresa chooses to brush it off. "So you're not seeing anyone?" is what she takes away from this, and Ben nods. "Mkay," the Spaniard nods in turn, "well it was nice talking to you... Ben?" "Ben, yeah," he confirms, smiling, "and it was nice talking to you too, Theresa." She's flattered that he remembers her name without her having to say it, and with that she gives him a nod before setting off. It's then that Val rejoins her babydaddy, having caught some of the ending to that conversation. She can't help but chuckle as she joins Ben by his side. "You're a fool if you think I'm gonna let that ship set sail," Val says to him, resulting in a glare.

Joe is back at Wikerly Hills General, sitting at Meghan's sickbed as she takes a much-needed nap. Tyson is being escorted to the cafeteria by Silvia, and Joe's eyes are practically bloodshot from all that's running through his mind. The image of his frail mother leads him to remember himself back when he was standing over Rochelle's corpse, and then flashes run through his mind of he and the butlers standing over her filled-in grave, and then of him at the venue of his and Joanna's first wedding, using bleach to scrub blood away from the smashed window that he smashed through on a motorized wheelchair when being kidnapped. Quite the task for a butler. The scrubbing in his mind gets faster and faster, flashes of the basement and cleaning things from there as well, faster, faster, faster. "Hey, sweetie," Joanna greets as she returns to her husband's side with a cup of coffee in tow, sitting down next to him. She sips the coffee and grimaces some; "I'm drinking so many fluids that aren't wine lately, it's kinda scary." Joe cracks a smile, and then watches his wife as she continues to sip the hot liquid, and an involuntary sigh escapes her. "What's wrong?" he wonders. "Hm?" she questions, turning to him, and he arches an eyebrow. "Nothing," she promises, "This coffee is swill. Like that crap Justine used to make. Did I ever tell you about the time that I caught her sniffing Matthew's--?" "Joanna." "Fine," she exclaims, "I didn't wanna complain, because it seems petty compared to what you're going through..." "I'm going through a great many things right now," Joe assures, taking a deep breath, and Joanna looks confused as to what he means; and then, "Please, share. Your problems aren't petty to me and... a problem shared is a problem halved." "Are you keeping a problem to yourself?" Joanna suspects, only for Joe to point out, "Are you skirting around having to share your own problem?" Joanna turns away from him for a moment, taking a deep breath, and admits, "Things didn't go so well at the asylum. I thought things would be different between me and Josh after the whole... fire incident. But he refuses to even see me." "He's in a fragile state," Joe points out, "And things can't change overnight." "I know," Joanna admits, "It's just... what if things never change? What if I've just lost a friend... forever? All because that damned past of mine which keeps coming back to haunt me..." "I understand," Joe nods, "I just lost a brother I only just found, and now..." he looks to Meghan, signifying that he's soon to be losing a mother as well. Joanna looks down at this, sad, and then Joe adds, "But," and she looks up, "We have each other now. Like we said in our vows - forever." He takes her hand in his and points out, "We're married. And as long as we still have each other, we can make it through any loss." Joanna takes a moment and is able to smile. "I don't know what I'd do without you," she says. "Nor I you," Joe responds, and they share a kiss. "I'm sure Josh will come around. He just needs time," Joe figures, and Joanna tells him, "I hope you're right. Time helps forgive." "Other people, yeah," Joe nods, "But not yourself." "What?" "You were right," Joe confesses, making sure that Meghan is indeed still asleep, "I do have a problem." "What is it?" Joanna is curious to know, and, finally, "When I was kidnapped... the person who captured and imprisoned me was Rochelle Little. And... during my escape... I..." "Oh..." Joanna utters, realizing where this is going, "That's why she was found in the field where..." "Yeah," Joe nods, "Only place I could think of." A moment of silence washes over them, and Joe admits that he expected Joanna to be more shocked. "Well, it's not as though I can really judge," she points out, "And... I understand why you didn't tell me before. You didn't wanna endanger me. At least I presume that's why." "It is," Joe promises, "I know we made that promise to always be honest with each other and--" "And we've done a pretty crap job maintaining it," Joanna laughs, "But hey. In-keeping with the whole marriage thing... let's renew that vow. And half all our problems from now on." "I like the sound of that," Joe smiles. Joanna smiles in turn, pointing out, "Besides, with spousal privilege now on the table, I don't gotta say squat." Joe chuckles and kisses her again.

Ben is now back at the Del Barrio mansion, having dropped Val back off at home, and is now taking the trashcans to the end of the street. Perfect timing, so it seems, as this just so happens to be the exact moment Theresa is out on a jog. "Nice set of cans," she says to the butler, who is caught off guard, feeling a little embarrassed to be seen doing such a menial chore. "Oh, uh, hey," he utters, and Theresa stops to talk. "Hi," she greets back. "First the gym and now a jog?" Ben questions, to which Theresa responds that she likes to stay fit. "So this is what you do for a living," she observes, but upon sensing Ben's embarrassment she decides to rectify it some, "I've never had a man pick up for me before. Seems nice, to be honest." The butler cracks a light smile at this, as the two kick off a conversation. Meanwhile, however, unbeknownst to the two, Rena is currently watching all of this from outside one of Silvia's windows. Though he obviously can't make out what they're saying, he does notice both of them chuckling, as well as sees what appears to be the exchanging of phone numbers, each trading phones to add in the contact. He's not amused.
A few minutes later, Theresa re-enters the Montgomery house, done with her daily jog, where Rena stands waiting in the kitchen. "I saw you talking to Ben," is the first thing to come out of the Portuguese butler's mouth. "Yeah, he's really sweet," Theresa says, "We're talking about getting coffee sometime." She begins heading upstairs to take a shower, but Rena follows. "I'm not sure that's such a good idea," he says, to his sister's confusion. "And why not?" she inquires, to which Rena says, rather hesitantly, "Because Ben is... sensitive." "Come again?" Theresa asks of her brother, and so Rena explains, "You're the kind of girl who goes out, hooks up with a guy once or twice maybe, never contacts them again. Ben isn't like that. He doesn't do flings. He gets invested, and you're just gonna let him down." "Sure doesn't seem that invested in being with that woman he knocked up," Theresa shrugs, but Rena argues that that's different. "Too much to explain, but yeah, like, he's also about to become a father, so there's that." "And why should I care?" Theresa then points out, "You said it yourself: I'm not in this for the long haul." "So you're really not even into Ben then?" Rena needs clarification, but Theresa shrugs. "I don't know, I just met the guy! I'm not not into him. He's really nice, and he's cute enough. I'm just going with the flow here." "And once you're bored you're gonna throw him aside like a piece of meat." "I never said that." "You kinda did." "Well wouldn't you rather me bring home your friend - someone you're familiar with - rather than a random stranger?" "What?!" Rena is appalled, "No?!" "Listen, Rena, I love you, but you need to drop this. You can't just control my life." "And you can't just slut around my boss' house with one of my best friends!" This last comment really offends Theresa, but Rena only keeps going. "Why the hell are you even here?!" he barks, "You sure aren't helping with catching the Devious Butler, that's for sure! I keep looking for excuses for you, but wow is it becoming hard. So what's your game, sis? What, are you waiting out time here, having some fun before picking up another sugar daddy? Do you not have any money left from the last one?" "That's exactly it!" Theresa finally argues back, "I don't have any money left. I met this supposedly rich, older guy; he seemed nice enough and was looking for someone like me to parade around. It seemed like we'd both be benefiting, but it turns out he didn't have a cent to his name. No, he just scammed me. Ran off with all the money I had left. I went to mom, but she refused to support me any. Said I needed to learn to fend for myself." Theresa is now in tears, as she finishes, "That's why I came here. I knew you had a nice set up in Wikerly Hills, and you were all I had left." It's now that Rena is starting to feel sorry for his sister, having not expected any of this. "And the reason I was down at that gym earlier, where I met Ben, I wasn't signing up for a membership, I was applying for a job there," she further reveals, "I figured I could become a personal trainer or something, so yeah, I do plan to pay back Mrs. Montgomery for everything, and I'll try to be out of your life as quick as I can." But Rena shakes his head, "No, okay, I'm sorry," he says to her, "Really, I didn't know what was going on." Theresa doesn't respond though, and so Rena continues, "Look, I don't want there to be any disdain between us. I just... I don't wanna see my friend get hurt, and I don't wanna see my boss upset." Theresa sighs, admitting that she really does understand that. "And thank you for letting me stay here," she says to Rena, "It truly does mean a lot." Rena smiles, happy to see that this little argument seems to have been put to rest. With all that said and done though, he proceeds to slip out his phone, checking to see if he's been replied to yet. You can just see that it's Mary he's been trying to get in touch with, as does Theresa, who looks over his shoulder. "So is that the girl I saw you with when I got here?" she asks, to which Rena nods in confirmation. "So what's up? Having problems?" she asks, but Rena lies, shaking his head. "Uh, no," he answers, "everything's fine." Everything is not fine, but he doesn't want his sister knowing that. "Mkay," Theresa responds, not buying this in the slightest, and Rena sees now to be a good a time as any to go do something else now, not wanting this to be something that's dragged out though. Theresa, however, seems to have other ideas. "Mary..." she utters to herself, repeating the name with intentions to not forget it anytime soon.

We are taken to the cafeteria of the Wikerly Meadows Psychiatric Hospital, where Jennifer Gold - having well and truly shed the moniker of "Von Trump" - can be seen using her hands to brush her very unkempt hair out of the way of her face in order to get a good look at the slop she's being served as food. "Aye," she says, sticking a blunt plastic fork into some kind of mystery meat, "If only I were still a ruddy loon, I might be crazy enough to eat this curd. Reminds me of Goldilocks' basement." She drops the fork and pushes the tray away from herself, and the person sitting opposite her - Josh - appears deeply confused. "Are you talking to me?" he wonders. "Well I should hope so," Jennifer replies with a small giggle, "If I were talking to meself, then this place wouldn't have been doing much of a good job, now, would it?" Josh cracks a smile at this, and Jennifer squints, muttering, "Hang on a sec... you're Joshua Gibbons, aren't ya'?" "Oh..." Josh utters, "You recognize me from the news. Look, I know everyone's a little freaked out around me, but I promise, I am not gonna start another fire. I can sit by myself if you'd like. I usually do. I only came to sit here because, to be honest, with all that hair in your face, I thought you were just a pile of blankets. I'll go--" He begins to stand up with his tray, but Jennifer reaches an arm out to stop him, assuring, "I'm not afraid of you, silly. Sit back down." Slowly, Josh does as told, and then his friend's ex-wife reveals, "I know who you are from when I used to stalk Ben. You're one of his mates, aye? I used to be married to the bugger." "Oh!" Josh exclaims, "You're the crazy ex-w--" he stops himself, "You're Jennifer." "That's me," Jennifer smiles, reaching her hand across the table in order to shake his, "So, your mental antics made the news, huh? Mine weren't quite such a spectacle. Or, actually known at all to anyone. How are yeh not in real jail?" Josh shrugs at this, telling her that her guess is as good as his, but he points out that at least this place gives him the treatment and rehabilitation he really needs. Jennifer nods, saying that the doctors really know what they're doing, and that she feels saner than she's ever felt in such a short space of time. "One woman I know ended up marrying her doctor from this place," Josh reveals. "Huh," Jennifer ponders, "Certainly sounds like a sound way out. Though marriage hasn't exactly worked out too well for me in the past." "Yeah," Josh sighs sadly, "Me neither." He drops his fork, ceasing picking through his food, and Jennifer goes, "Awww, why so glum, hun?" Josh apologizes, explaining, "Sorry. I was just thinking about my husband. I, uh... The reason I'm in here is... Well, I'm just not used to not seeing him at my side when I think about him. But now... now I know he's dead, and he's never coming back." "My condolences," Jennifer nods, "I'm a widow myself, of sorts. But at least you know that, right? You're all better?" "I wouldn't say all better," Josh droops, "And sorry for dumping this all on you." "Think nothing of it," Jennifer assures, "A friend of Ben's is a friend of mine. After all, he's the one who got me into this place, getting the help I need." "The person who got me here," Josh tells her, "my old boss... she's why I can't move on. Why I can't fully let go of what happened to Brad." "How's that?" Jennifer wonders. "Because..." Josh admits, "Even though I understand what happened... and that I shouldn't blame her... I do. I blame her. I can't forgive her," tears are welling up in his eyes, "and it's holding me back. I can feel it. I want to move past it, but..." "It's okay," Jennifer promises, reaching out to take his hand, "This old boss of yours. You said she got you in here. So she's been trying to help?" "She's been trying to reach out... visit me... but I..." "You've been pushing her away," Jennifer finishes for him, and Josh nods. "I can't face her. Something in me, just... when I see her, I..." "You're scared of what you might do," Jennifer knows all too well, "To the person who hurt you." Josh nods again, and Jennifer continues, "Well, lucky for you, I've been on both sides of that situation." "What do you mean?" "Desperate women do desperate things, Joshy-boy," Jennifer tells him, "I know I've certainly been there. But if this woman is reaching out as you say... if she's truly sorry for whatever it is she did or didn't do... hear her out. Things escalate. Get out of our control. Heck, anyone who's ended up here should know that. And we all make mistakes. If that weren't true, the two of us wouldn't be conversing right now." Josh stays staring at Jennifer as she continues to talk, and he continues to take it all in.
The British butler is next seen by the phones, standing, staring and breathing heavily. "Okay, okay," he convinces himself, "I can do this, I can do this." More deep breaths, and then he picks up the phone and begins to dial. He gets greeted by Joe and Joanna's new shared answering machine message. "Hi," says Joe. "You've reached Mr. and Mrs. DeWar," Joanna adds. "If we're not available right now, it's probably because we're on our honeymoon." "Or just busy plain-ol' screwing," Joanna finishes, "Leave a message and junk." There's a beep, and Josh finally leaves, "Joanna... I'm sorry about earlier... I think you should come and visit me... please... um... yeah. Okay." He hangs up the phone, and takes another deep breath. From down the hall, Jennifer gives him a thumbs up, and Josh smiles back at her in return, nervous.


At the Montgomery house, Rena flips through a magazine, lying down on the sofa while using his right arm to push the vacuum cleaner back and forth, despite not even being plugged in. Upon hearing someone making their way inside though, he quickly sits up, but is relieved so see that it's just Theresa. "Let's go for a ride," she exclaims, to which Rena wonders, "Where?"
We next see Rena and Theresa as the latter is pulling into the parking lot of Solano Studios. "Oh, no, let's not," Rena pleads, realizing what's going on, but Theresa shakes her head. "You've been helping me out with my troubles, and now I'm going to help you without with yours," she says, "Now come on." Rena sighs, as the two get out of the car and make their way into the studio. They look around, finding different crew members running around and Liz to be standing in front of a camera. It seems she's filming some sort of advertisement for one of the movie's sponsors. Watching from next to the camera man is Mary, who Theresa instantly recognizes from when she first arrived in town. "There she is," she points out to Rena, but the butler would prefer to just go. "I don't know what's going on between the two of you, but you've seemed pretty miserable lately, so yeah let's fix this." "I don't know if it's something that can be fixed though," Rena argues, but Theresa doesn't care to hear him out. "Mary!" she calls, alerting the famous movie producer. Upon seeing her boyfriend and his sister waiting there though, she sighs, excusing herself from the other crew members and marching herself over. "Rena, now is not the time," she makes clear, and Rena nods, but Theresa outstretches her hand. "Hi," she greets, "I'm Theresa, Rena's sister." "Uh... hi," Mary greets, hesitantly shaking the girl's hand. "So why are you ignoring my big brother?" the Portuguese woman wonders, to Rena's dismay as he wishes this whole conversation could just end. "As you can see, I'm a bit busy," Mary points out, but Theresa doesn't believe that to be a good enough answer. "Okay, people, that's it for the day," Theresa calls out to Liz and the crew members, "You can all go home now." They all look at one another, confused at first, but simply shrug it off and decide to pack up. "Hi, Rena; bye, Rena," Liz says in passing, and Mary goes to argue this, but Theresa stands in her way. "Looks like your schedule's clear," she points out to Miss Solano, who sighs, then turning to Rena - "Fine. Speak," she says to him. Rena looks at Theresa, who gives a nod before stepping off to the sidelines in order to let them have their privacy. "Look, Mary, I'm... I'm sorry, okay? Again, for the whole accusing you of being the Devious Butler thing which was really poorly thought out and didn't have much logic and reason to it... but I do mean what I said afterwards. I do think I'm in love with you, and... well I wanna know if you reciprocate those feelings... and if you forgive me at all." There's a moment silence between the two, but Mary soon rolls her eyes, stating, "Of course I forgive you. I wouldn't have gone with you to your friends' wedding if I didn't." This makes Rena feel a bit better, but he's still left wondering about the latter part. "And as far as me loving you back... in all honesty, I don't know. Okay? I know I feel something for you. I know I care deeply for you." "But you don't love me," Rena's coming to understand, but Mary argues that she didn't say that. "I've never been in love before," she says, "You know that, so I don't exactly know how I feel right now, but... I do know that I don't want you out of my life. I know that you've made me happier, even if I don't always show it. And I know that I enjoy being with you." Though it's not the answer Rena was hoping for, it's still better than what it could've been. As such, he's happy that there still stands a chance between him and Mary. "Well, since your schedule has been cleared," Rena chuckles, "would you uh, would you like to grab a bite?" he asks her, to which Mary responds that she'd love to. The two then share a brief kiss, and Rena breaks away to go talk to Theresa just before heading off. "Hey," he says to her, "thanks for, like, helping out," he says. "So all's good now?" Theresa assumes, and Rena confirms so. "Great," she says, "well I guess I'll let you two be on your way." Rena smiles, preparing to go back to Mary now, but Theresa tells him to hold up for a minute. "One last thing," she says, "I know you're like totally against this, buuuuuuut... yeah, I'm totally gonna be hooking up with Ben. Anyways, see ya," she says, proceeding to head off, and Rena is left a bit annoyed, though he chooses to put this off and worry about it later on. With that, he rejoins Mary and they head off too.

After being allowed in by the intercom, Joanna is seen taking a deep breath before driving her car on through the gates of Wikerly Meadows. One can see where the cans have been severed and where the words JUST MARRIED have been mostly washed away, and, looking at where she is, Joanna sighs after stepping out of her car and noticing these things too. Just recently she was honeymooning with the man she loved, and now she fears rejection from a mental patient. She makes her way inside the hospital, and the nurse shows her to the visiting room. There, Josh can be seen sitting on one side of a table, using coloring pencils to shade in a sketch he's apparently been working on. Joanna then approaches, and he puts the pencils down when she greets, "Hi, Josh." He looks up at her as she takes a seat opposite him, and she asks, "Whatcha working on?" "It doesn't matter," Josh assures, keeping the sketch to himself, and an awkward silence looms, as it would. Joanna attempts to break it, telling her former butler and friend, "I was so glad when I got your message." "Why?" Josh would like to know, and Joanna appears confused at this. "Because you're allowing me to see you, of course." "But why do you wanna see me? I spent all those months blocking you out. You must hate me a little bit, surely." "I... don't," Joanna promises. "They won't let me have personal defects here," Josh goes on to reveal, "So I don't have any pictures or anything. This is the best I could do." He lays the sketch flat on the table, turning it around so that Joanna can get a look. It's a drawing of Brad, and not a bad one at that. "I was scared I wouldn't get his face right," Josh admits, "After all, I haven't exactly been wallowing in memories of him. To me, he's been right there beside me for the best part of a year. Who knows what my mind's been distorting... In truth, I've not seen my husband since the day the church exploded." "It's a good picture," Joanna tells him, uncomfortable, and Josh says, "I think so. Think. But a lot of what I think has been wrong lately. I thought you were somehow responsible for Brad becoming a paraplegic." "Josh..." Joanna tries, but he cuts her off. "Of course, now I know that that never happened, because he died instead. When that finally hit me, and you saved me from that fire, I thought maybe you weren't responsible. But you do feel guilty. If you didn't, you wouldn't be here. If you were innocent of my husband's death, you'd resent the apparently false accusations I've been making. So I need to know. A lot of words we exchanged weeks ago got lost to the flames and to my less than trustworthy mind. So tell me, and tell me clearly, so that I can hear it. Are you to blame for Brad dying?" Joanna doesn't quite know how to respond, or what the correct answer even is, and so she tells Josh, "Partially." He raises an eyebrow at this, and she tells him, "It was my old organization that struck that day. I'd recently been sent a message, of sorts, from my old co-leader, and because of my own anxieties I failed to warn anyone before allowing them all to step foot in that church - or even allow the outcome to enter my mind. I was stupid to think that. I tried to convince myself that the message wasn't real... that Nadia wasn't really back, that she hadn't really found me. I too got mixed up between what I thought, and what I knew. I'm sorry." "Are you?" Josh asks. "Of course," Joanna promises, tearing up by now, reaching across the table in an attempt to touch his hand only to have him then retract it. As he does, he turns the sketch of Brad back over to face him. "Is that why you wanted to come and see me? To say you're sorry, and stop feeling guilty?" "Again, partially," Joanna responds. "I came because I wanted to see how you were doing. To know if you were alright. Because, despite what you think, I love you, Josh. And I am sorry. For everything. For the church... for framing you... for allowing you to get in any way mixed up in my life in the first place." "You shouldn't be sorry for that," Josh tells her. "What?" she questions, and he explains, "For allowing me to get mixed up in your life." "But if you hadn't..." Joanna points out, "None of the awful things that have happened to you would have happened. You wouldn't be here." "And I wouldn't have met Brad," he goes on, "That was because of you, remember? You found his number. You paid his bills. You convinced me to go to him. If it weren't for you, I never would have experienced true love, and I'm so grateful for that." "I don't understand," Joanna admits. "And the truth is," Josh goes on, finally tearing up himself now, "I forgave you a long time ago. When you told us all your story, I began mulling things over, and weighing it all out, and I was about ready to tell you that I accept your apology. The one you gave all the way back then. And then it happened." He stares down at the picture, his tears leaking down onto it. "Josh..." Joanna tries, again reaching out her hand to touch his, and he doesn't flinch away this time. "When I was seeing him," he stares into his husband's crayon eyes, "A part of me knew it wasn't real. A tiny part. A part I learned to ignore, because that part was too busy focusing on something else. Hating you." "I don't understand," Joanna tells him. "I could've gotten so lost in that fantasy. I did, in fact. Heck, you saved me from a bloody fire, so you should know. But... it could've been worse. I could've been beyond saving. My mind beyond salvageable. But my hatred for you... the fact that I'd found someone to blame for Brad's death... that was real. That part of me knew that he was dead, because it was so angry. Given your history with churches exploding, it directed that anger onto you. And that's why I can't move on. Hating you meant so much to me - more than I even realized - because it was the only thing that kept me clinging to sanity. The only thing that bridged the gap between the life I was imagining for myself, and this life. Real life. I'm here today because of you. You saved my body and my mind, in a way you never even intended." "I'm so sorry," is all Joanna can think to say, still tearing up, but Josh tells her, "Don't be. Not any more. I was scared to let go of that hatred... I still am... that anger was the only thing I had that was real, and I don't know what I'm gonna be without it." "Sweetie, that's okay," Joanna assures, gripping his hand tighter, "I'm gonna be here to help you. Always." Josh looks her in the eyes now, and then bursts into more and more tears. "Do you promise?" "Of course I do," Joanna tells him, "You're my best friend. And I'm here for you." "I don't wanna hate you," he admits both to her, and himself, "I love you, too. I just... I just..." Joanna then gets up from her seat and moves around the table in order to embrace him. "I know," she says as she cries, "Shhhhh... I know..." "I forgive you," he utters softly, "And that's gonna make me better." "I think it's gonna make me better too," Joanna adds, not breaking the hug for anything. The sketch of Brad almost looks as though it's smiling up at them.

Meanwhile, Meghan can hardly muster a smile, because she's far too weak for that in her current state. "I don't think she has too long now," Silvia whispers to Joe, the both of them standing at the foot of her bed while Tyson remains sitting at his mother's bedside, and Joe somberly tells her, "I know." "Are you okay, Ma?" Tyson asks her as he holds her hand, and she tries to respond, but can only cough. "I don't know if I want him to see this," Joe admits to Silvia, who nods, and moves in. "Tyson," she greets him with a warm smile, "What do you say the two of us try and find some more jello, huh?" "I... I dunno," Tyson responds, at which Meghan tells her son, "Go..." "Ma." "I love you, my dear, sweet boy," she places her hand on his cheek, a tear in her eye, "You should go now." He nods, and stands up, and Silvia takes his hand and begins to steer him away, going past Joe. He gives his biological mother a silent "thank you", and then sits down beside the one who raised him. "He's not gonna be able to... to take care of himself..." she murmurs. Joe sighs sadly at this, saying, "I know. I..." "You..." Meghan squeezes Joe's hand, "My strong, strong man... I need you... to look out for him..." "I... I'll try," Joe promises, tears strongly welling in his eyes, "But..." "But what?" "But I don't know if you're right," Joe admits, "I don't know if I am strong. I've lost so much and... I don't know if I'm strong enough to lose you, too. Ma..." "Shhh, shhh now," Meghan comforts, "Don't think I didn't hear that conversation you were having with your wife..." Joe goes stark at this, and Meghan tells him, "It's okay. It's alright. I'm your mother... I'm not here to judge you. But you won't be alone... you'll have her..." "But I won't have you," he weeps. "You don't... need me... anymore. You are strong," she coughs, "You're the strongest person I know. You'll see... you'll see..." "I..." "You've done so much for me, for Tyson. I'm so happy I found you," she coughs again, "in that basket." "I'm glad it was you who found me," Joe tells her. "And as far as," she lowers her already weak voice, "killing that woman goes..." Joe looks uncomfortable, but lets her continue, "That's okay. You did what you had to do, to survive. To protect the ones you love. That's what makes you strong. You always wanted to help people... the best cop in Wikerly Hills... I know what it's like... to take extreme action... to protect the ones you love. Tyson's father, he... he was never so pleased with Tyson's condition..." "Ma?" "He beat Tyson, you know? I did what had to be done, to protect my boy. But you... you protect everyone. You can protect him, too. But you're better than me. You married... better." "Ma," is the only word Joe can cry now; the heart monitor's beeping is growing fainter. "I love you, son. My little hero... Let go of me now... Hold on to your love..." Meghan's eyes slowly close, and Joe begins uttering, "Ma? Ma?" And that's when her machine flatlines, and Joe weeps harder as doctors and nurses begin to crowd round.
Back at the DeWar mansion, Joanna can be seen pulling up into the drive, fresh off from her reconciliation with Josh. She is rather content, and steps on out of the vehicle, taking a deep breath as she does so. She has a husband she loves and her best friend back. Things may be sad, but they're certainly looking up in terms of the long run. She then approaches the front door, but stops. She senses someone. A figure in the background. It swoops by, avoiding her gaze. Just. Mrs. DeWar shrugs it off, and proceeds to enter her home. She swings the door shut behind her as she goes to pour herself a glass of wine, needing to relax after the day she's had. The door is stopped by a boot...

"Tomorrow night?... Sure!... Okay, I'll see you then... Bye." At the Del Barrio mansion, Ben is seen getting off the phone with Theresa, having officially scheduled a date, and he proceeds to head into the other room to tell Ali the good news, only to walk in on a screaming match between her and Liz. "Jesus Christ, Ali, can't you just be happy we have tonight to be together?! Mary let us off early, so instead of being a raging bitch for once, maybe you can cherish our time together?!" Liz barks at her girlfriend, to which Ali argues in turn, "Raging bitch?! Is that how you think of me?!" It's then that Ben decides to intervene though, seeing that this is already starting to get out of hand. "Okay, okay," he steps in between them, "what the hell is going on here?!" "Apparently me going out and making a living is a bad thing," Liz exclaims, "Yunno, I just figured that at least someone in this house shouldn't be living off the funds of a human trafficking ring." "Wow, okay, that's low of you," Ali retaliates, taking offense to this remark. "But do you deny it?" Liz wonders. Before Ali answers though, Ben speaks up that they both need to stop this now, and then - "Hey, Ben, I need to talk to you," - Val says, joining the butler and the bosses, to all of three of their dismays. "Val, now really is not the time," Ben says, deciding to ignore his babymama, "You're gonna have to wait your turn," and he turns back to Ali and Liz. "Look, girls, this whole thing is just petty." He turns to Ali, "Liz has a job. A career, even. She's making a name for herself and while you feel neglected you have to remember that it won't always be like that. So she's leaving you home now in order to shoot some promotional stuff? You're gonna be walking with her down the Red Carpet." And he then turns to Liz, "As for you," he says, "Ali is right in that you are gone a lot, and it doesn't seem like you're really doing much about it. Have you talked to Mary at all? Does she know you're all being overworked? Because if not then you really should. Put forth some effort and it'll go a long way." Liz sighs, turning to Ali, "He's right," she says, "Maybe I have just been sorta putting work first... but you have to understand, this is my first big film. It really matters if this goes well or not, and I'm just trusting that Mary knows what she's doing. She's been in the business for years, so if she thinks all this extra promoting and overtime will benefit in the long run then I'm not really questioning it... but maybe I should. Because I have been neglecting you, and that's not right. I'm sorry." "And I'm sorry," Ali says in turn, "I know how much this means to you, so I really shouldn't be making this all about me. I just miss you, is all." "And I miss you too," Liz says, "but I promise that from now on I'll try to be here more often." "And I promise I'll to be less selfish and needy all the time," she chuckles. The two then share a smile, looking at one another. All is forgiven, and they embrace in a nice, loving kiss." Ben is happy to see that, and finally turns to his silent babymama. "Now, Val, it's your turn," he says, "What did you wish to discuss." Ben, Ali, and Liz all direct their attention to pregnant woman, but she doesn't say anything. She just blinks... and proceeds to collapse to the ground. "Val..." Ben utters, in shock. Ali and Liz gasp, and Ben kneels down to the floor. "Val?!" he cries, but she's unconscious. "Someone call 9-1-1!" he cries out.

Finally, Joe arrives home from the hospital, and begins to approach the front door. As he does so, flashes run through his mind of, mere hours ago, him carrying his new wife over that threshold. Of marrying her but a matter of feet away. Saying "I do", hosting a reception, cutting the cake, kissing on demand of all the guests, driving off into the sunset to catch their flight, making love an impossible number of times over a matter of weeks... his somber mood at the death of his mother is lifted somewhat, and he's able to crack a smile. Excited to see his wife. And so, he opens the door to the DeWar mansion and he announces, "Honey, I'm--" He stops, still. He literally can't move. Not a muscle. For, right now, in the middle of his living room, Joanna is lying dead with a bloody stab wound having been issued to her gut. Red runs through the carpet, both from where the sharp implement has impaled her and promptly been removed, and from where the glass of wine she was apparently drinking at the time has been spilled. Her eyes are still open. She looks so serene. So young. So innocent. So dead. The light bounces off her wedding ring and glints itself into Joe's eye, and that's when he moves. His mouth is the first to go, as he lets out a spine-chilling cry of devastation. He begins calling his wife's name, as next his legs spring into action and he runs toward her. He crouches down, and lifts her body into his arms. Her lifeless body. More crying. "Joanna?" he tries, "Come on, baby, come on. Wake up. Joanna, please. Joanna..." He can't speak anymore, because his tears overwhelm him far too much. The word "no" is let out as a gasp at first, and then as an almighty wail. A series of wails. Heck, he's calling out to the heavens in defiance, hoping that his true love will be able to hear him. But she can't.

Unanswered Questions

  • What became of the real Joanna's body after Nadia took it away?
  • Did Nadia leave the knife for Joanna? If so, how did she come to suspect the switch?
  • Why did the church explode? Who was behind it?
  • Who paid Rochelle to kidnap Joe?
  • Was Troy involved in the church explosion?
  • Who killed Troy and why did he have Joe's name written on his hand?
  • Who are the Devious Butlers, and why are they murdering people in Wikerly Hills?
  • What did James discover in the freezer in the Von Trump basement? Why was Nadia there?
  • How was the site of Rochelle's burial known to Nadia?
  • Why did Val collapse?
  • Who killed Joanna?