Lives are forever changed once more when Wikerly Hills' abundance of murder, mystery and mayhem reaches an astoundingly epic boiling point the likes of which our beloved butlers have never before had to deal with. Something from Jose's past could provide a clue which Joe desperately needs, assuming he can find a way to properly unearth the info. A big decision awaits Josh, as does a big revelation, regarding the death of his late husband. Mary provides an answer to Rena's question, but soon finds she's bit off more than she can chew, as Liz and an increasingly fresh-start-inclined Ali prepare to host one last bash in the Del Barrio mansion. And Val going into labor strangely provides Ben with the chance to firmly assert his backbone. All this while Joanna's worst enemy starts to enact her master plan, and the fact that the butlers have an idea of just who's helping her and think they might have to take her down just comes to prove that there'll be no rest for the devious...
Where It All Began...
"I think what you people do is..." Jorgio Del Barrio pauses, trying to find the right word, and finally he settles on, "admirable. Truly, I do. I shan't bore you with a whole speech right now, but it's noble work. That being said, the more of these interviews I embark on, the more it becomes apparent to me that I really don't need a butler. After all, my wife is more than happy to take care of all the housework - aren't you, Alison, dear?" "Y-yes," Ali utters in that old nervous tone of hers, sitting beside (although a little bit behind) her husband in the study of his mansion; the balcony doors have been propped open so as to let in a nice breeze, and we now see that the person situated across from them, whom they are addressing, is none other than Jose Sanchez, apparently undergoing an interview for the Del Barrios' open butler position. "O-of course, dear," Ali feels the need to add after Jorgio turns for a moment to give her a look, one which lets her know she's not mindlessly supporting him quite enough. She gives a feeble nod and he turns back to Jose, who right now is purveying a blank stare, already having prepped for the job by fitting himself into a stereotypical butler's uniform and grooming himself remarkably well, from what we can see. "Mr. Del Barrio," he eventually speaks up, "I understand your concerns. Really. I mean, why would a... lucrative man, such as yourself, want a stranger roaming their halls all hours of the day? But I assure you, I am very good at my job. I promise I will keep this place spotless, and..." there's a distant, distant noise from down below - like the clanging of chains perhaps - but it's barely audible all the way up in the high study; barely - "...quiet." "Well, while I'm sure you're more than capable, Mr...?" "Sanchez," Jose smiles, and Jorgio raises an eyebrow. "Mexican name, is that?" "Mexican guy," Jose nods, pointing to himself with one of his thumbs and attempting to laugh, but he soon stops when Jorgio fails to join in. "And what country do the Del Barrios hail from, if you don't mind my asking?" "Argentina," Jorgio says curtly, turning colder, "and I do mind. Questions, Jose, are not the kind of thing I'm looking for from an employee in my... sacred home." "Of course not," Jose nods, now miming that he's zipping up his mouth, but then he "unzips" it and adds, leaning forward with a whisper, "But I think you'll find I'm very discreet, sir." Ali gives a little rattle and Jorgio again turns to her, admitting that he entirely forgot that she was even there. "Why don't you make yourself useful and go fix some food?" "I could always whip up a snack?" Jose suggests, only for Jorgio to shoot him down, saying that Ali needs to face certain hardships lest she grow too comfortable in the lavish lifestyle he lets her lead. "Right..." is how Jose responds, watching as Mrs. Del Barrio speeds out of the room, sneaking an anti-depressant into her mouth as she goes. He tries to look out the door, to see where she's going, but Jorgio quickly snaps his fingers to draw attention back to him, telling the Mexican, "I think it's time I show you out. If you will?" Jose rises out of his seat when Mr. Del Barrio does, and together they exit the study, beginning to proceed down the mansion's many stairs. "Place is looking a little dusty, sir," Jose admits, scraping his finger along the banister and blowing a mound off the end of it, "Seems to me you could use all the help you can get." "And why are you so interested in working for me?" Jorgio wonders, stopping as the two of them reach the landing looking out on the entrance hall. "Because," Jose replies, trying his best to sound honest, "I just really wanna live in a big-ass mansion." And at this, Jorgio returns the butler's earlier unmet laugh, telling him, "An ambitious man, eh? I can relate... I built this all from the ground up. An empire which could last a century..." "Um, what exactly is it you do for a living?" Jose wonders, only for Jorgio to snipe, "Questions, dear boy. If you're going to be my butler, you're really gonna have to work on that." "You mean... I got the job?" he asks hopefully, and Jorgio turns serious once more, inspecting Jose from head to toe, before his smile returns. "Well," he soon comes out with, "I suppose I could always have you deported if need be." Jose laughs some more, taking this as a joke, but Jorgio simply moves on, telling him, "Come. Let me show you around the place. I like my cleaning very particular." However, Jose has yet to follow his new employer down into the entrance hall, for he's too busy watching Alison drift across to a door on one side of it, looking sullen as always and carrying with her a silver tray full of food. "Sanchez," Jorgio barks, turning back to him, "Are you coming?" "Oh," Jose snaps back into reality, looking at him now that Ali has disappeared from view, "Yes, sir. Of course, sir." And he begins to scurry after him. "Obedience," Jorgio smiles, moving on, "I like that." With that, he goes on to show the butler around, completely unaware that Jose Sanchez now knows that his bosses are hiding something very peculiar indeed. And, as is evident by his facial expression as he continues to trail after Jorgio, right now he's making it his mission to find out just what their secret is... and not just theirs. We soon whip round his head, taking us not into his past, but into his future.
Which lands us in the Winters' mansion, where Jose has begun moonlighting; he watches as Joanna greets her husband, Matthew, home from work. It seems her wine has put her in a particularly cheerful mood, in that she tries to greet Matthew with a kiss, but he snubs it, making Justine smile as she dusts in the background. Jose, however, raises an eyebrow - for it seems he's now privy to the idea of the rich and famous guarding secrets in Wikerly Hills.
A lesson he carries with him to the Davis house, after again we whip round his head, and Justine remains in the background - this time flipping crepes in a pan for Mrs. Liz and Mr. Eli's breakfasts. Well, just Mr. Eli really, because Mrs. Liz would probably just go puke it up right away. Still, Jose watches the two of them as they enter the room, and, while Eli tucks into his crepes, Liz sneaks off, heading to a certain closet.
And, with a final whip around, we have Jose writing a letter in his bedroom at the Del Barrio mansion, the fireplace next to him roaring with life as he mutters aloud the words he's jotting down, "...if you want your lifestyle to remain intact, you'll adhere to my demands..." (see "Custodian Horror Story") However, he soon ceases his letter to Joanna and throws it into the fire, sighing. "No," he decides, "I have bigger fish to fry." And the next we see, he's sitting on his bed with a video camera stationed in front of him, recording something rather important by the looks of it. "If you're watching this, then it's more than likely I'm dead," he admits, plunging onward as, within the rather retro recorder, a videotape is fabricated...
A videotape which, in the present, remains within the grip of one Mr. Joseph DeWar, who's still staring down at the words "MARE ATHEI" emblazoned across the label in Jose's handwriting (the same as that letter, which Joe found so, so long ago now). "Oh, my..." Joe finds himself saying, and Ali, who's standing beside him next to a wagon full of Jose's things, asks, "What? What is it? Does that mean something to you?" "Oh, it means something, alright..." Joe smiles excitedly, at which point the door leading down to the basement reopens and his wife emerges with a very old bottle of wine in tow. "Only the finest to celebrate my baby's freedom," Joanna exclaims as she approaches the scene, then looking up from her beautiful wine and noticing Ali, the wagon, and the tape in Joe's hands. "What's that?" she wonders, popping the bottle down with some glasses, and Joe shows her the label. "Oh, my..." she echoes, and Ali can't help but grow more and more curious as to what's going on. "Thank you for bringing me this stuff, Ali," Joe tells her, "I think it's going to be a really great help." "Whose stuff is this?" Joanna wonders, gesturing the wagon, and Ali reveals, "Jose's." Joanna scoffs at this, murmuring, "Of-freakin'-course," and suggests that her friend head on back home while they give this tape its premiere viewing. The word "premiere" seems to remind Ali of the party she's supposed to be hosting the very next day, tipping her off that she should be heading back home, only for Joanna to realize that she doesn't own a VCR because she lives in the present. "We'll figure that out later," Joe assures, bidding Ali goodbye while taking his cell phone from his pocket, "The guys have got to hear about this." And so he dials.
Josh's phone rings over in another neighborhood, but he's too preoccupied to answer it, staring across from his mother and still trying to take in the idea that, to achieve his newfound ambition, he may have to leave Wikerly Hills.
Rena's phone rings down the street, in the Solano house, but he daren't move to go answer it because he's still down on one knee presenting Mary with one of Silvia's diamond rings, and she has yet to answer the big question he's just popped.
Ben's phone rings in his pocket, but he doesn't even hear it because he's currently loading the heaving, breathing Valentina into the back of a cab, her screaming as her first contractions take over and gripping her baby daddy so hard that his tears of pain rival hers.
"No one's picking up," Joe exclaims back at the DeWar mansion, putting his phone down annoyed, and Joanna suggests that she try calling them before seeing that her phone's on super low charge. "But we need to tell them; we need to--" he stops dead, his attention caught by the muted television. "What is it?" Joanna wonders, and then she too looks and realizes what it is - a news report, on yet another church which, mere hours ago, exploded in their town. "Nadia's plan seems on the way," Joanna deduces sullenly, "Whatever it is." "We need to find out what's on this tape," Joe says urgently, "Jose was so devious, he was even better than me at digging dirt. If anyone's managed to uncover something that we haven't that might be able to help take Nadia down, then it's him." "You think so?" Joanna questions, gesturing the MARE ATHEI label, "You sure he didn't support her?" "Either way, we have to find out what's on this," Joe continues to reason, looking from the tape, to his wife, to the TV, and back to the tape again. And then, "Who knows? Maybe the butler did do it after all..."
The grave of Jose Sanchez rests awkwardly in the backlot of a recently exploded church, with the four butlers currently gathered around the wreckage to commemorate their fallen group member. "Well..." says Joe, leading the pack, "We did it." "You did it," Ben assures, only for Joe to respond, "Please. I got it all wrong. If it wasn't for you three..." "Almost getting killed?" Rena wonders, "And by a Frenchwoman no less... I still can't believe she was the killer." "I kinda can believe it," Josh chimes in, looking up at the moon in the sky and then down at the church remains, asking, "When did this one go up?" "Not long ago," Rena responds, "It was on the news." (see "Grime of Thrones") "At least Jose's grave wasn't damaged," Ben is relieved to see, though that's about all the relief he can muster, for soon he's back to looking down at the engagement ring in his hand and fighting the urge to cry. "Oh, God," the Scottish butler then realizes, "Someone's gonna have to tell her family that she's... she's... She has a sister," he remembers, "She just announced our engagement to her." "I'm sorry," Joe tells him, genuinely feeling bad, but Ben tells him in turn, "Don't be. You did what you had to do. Justine brought it on herself." "Yeah, she did," Rena brazenly agrees, and the other butlers scowl at him some, leading Josh to request in a low tone, "Be delicate, won't you?" "Sorry, sorry, I'm all agitated," Rena defends. "Why?" Josh wonders, and the Portuguese butler is quick to respond, "No reason," before hastily turning around and adjusting the chastity belt that's still locked and fastened under his trousers courtesy of Mistress Elizabeth (see "Drop Dead Devious"). "Still," Rena adds, "Justine's sister - do you think she's as bad as Justine?" "Surely not," Ben figures sulkily. There's the sound of a phone buzzing, and soon Josh announces, "It's Brad. He says he's willing to take Ali's case, and he thinks he knows how he's gonna get the human trafficking charges against her dropped completely." "Well," Ben comments, wiping his face and pocketing the ring, "That's some good news, at least." Another text comes through, and Josh smiles, leading Joe to wonder what that one was. "Oh, nothing," Josh says coyly, and the others give him a stare, and so he concedes, "Just arrangements for our first date." "You're going on a date with your lawyer?" Joe clarifies, and Josh explains that things sort of... transpired after his alibi was procured. After reacting, Ben says, "Now, let's all just take a moment and... and remember Jose, I suppose." "Why?" Rena wonders, "He was kind of a jerk." Josh gives him a punch in the arm, and Rena yells, "Ow! What? He was! He was always the cold one, yanno?" "What do you mean?" Joe wonders, and Rena explains, "You know, like how you've become the main one, and Ben is the nice one, and Josh is the gay one, and I'm the hot, talented one." "Oh, please," Josh retorts, "If anything, you're the ethnic one." "Yeah, and we could do with a replacement," Ben quips, rediscovering his humor a little, "Maybe something in an Asian?" The others laugh, but Rena just frowns, folding his arms and stomping his foot, which sends a tiny, inaudible, metallic clank up his leg. "We've commiserated enough," he decides, and Ben decides, "I suppose so. You guys wanna go to the bar? Drown our sorrows?" "Celebrate, more like," Rena says excitedly, and Josh punches his arm yet again, though not quite as hard, for truth be told he too is in a celebratory mood. "Yeah, let's go," Joe nods, "We've had kind of a rough night, and I could do with some shut-eye before dealing with Joanna." "What do you mean?" Josh wants to know, interested, but Joe, not wanting to delve into it right now, assures the British butler that it's nothing; "Just paycheck stuff." Josh nods, and begins to follow as Rena (walking a little stiffly) leads the way to the bar. Ben gives one last sigh before heading off with Joe, patting the outline of the engagement ring in his pocket, and Joe says again, "I really am sorry." "So am I," Ben nods, "But Rena's right. We should celebrate. I'm betting you'll be back on the police force any day now. There's no doubt that you were a real hero tonight." "Yeah, well..." Joe smiles a little, as the four of them leave the grave and what's left of the church behind them, with the WIKERLY HILLS sign illuminated beautifully by the moonlight not too far away, "That's all I ever wanted..."
"You're under arrest!" Joe yells in flashback, as his childhood self slaps a pair of plastic handcuffs on a young Tyson's wrists, the two of them apparently engaged in a friendly game of Cops & Robbers. The WIKERLY HILLS sign is far more distant now, outside the window of the trailer, and Meghan smiles as she watches her two boys continue to play with one another; Tyson, playing the part of a criminal train robber, tries to plead with his captor, only for Joe to tell him that it's no use, and that he's going to be putting him in "jail" - otherwise known as the box that Meghan's new bout of cleaning supplies came in. Tyson puts his feet into the box, accidentally snapping the plastic handcuffs with the effort it takes him, and cries, "Aw, dang!" Meghan chuckles while Joe takes the handcuffs over to her, wondering if she'll be able to fix them, but Tyson exclaims, "I'll fix 'em," and snatches them back. "I'll help in a minute, sweetie," Meghan promises Joe, "First I gotta get some cleaning done. What did you actually do with the supplies in that box?" Joe then points to under the sink, where everything is currently stacked up, and promises, "I cleaned the sink before I put them there." "So you did," Meghan now realizes, nodding approvingly, "You'd make a mighty fine butler someday." "Butler?" Joe recoils, "I wanna be a policeman!" "I know you do," Meghan smiles, "And I bet you can, too, if you put yo-- Where's my damn mop?" "Huh?" Joe questions, while, in the background, Tyson works on reconnecting the links in the plastic chain, deep in concentration. "We'll find it, ma'am," Joe nods, getting up and standing on the chair so as to be eye level, "When did you use it last?" "Get offa' that, you'll break your neck." "I'll break no necks, ma'am," Joe promises, slumping down to sit, "When'd you last mop up?" "Urrrm..." Meghan tries to remember, "Ooh, I mopped up the porch after Tyson tracked mud all over it." "Stay right here," Joe orders, hopping out of the chair, "I'll go investigate." Bemused, Meghan remains where she is while Joe heads on out the door, into the vast trailer park, inspecting the porch part of the trailer. There's no sign of the mop... at first. Joe proceeds to peer over the edge of the railing, and then - "Aha!" he heads on down the steps and picks the mop up off the dusty trailer park ground, with it apparently having fallen off after being lazily propped up. He runs back up the steps and takes it inside, handing it to Meghan who at first is impressed, telling her foster son, "Well done," only then she takes a look at the dusty thing after taking it from him and concedes, "I should prolly get a new mop." "Case closed," Joe declares, and Meghan laughs, humoring him with, "Well, young man, with detective skills like that, I see no reason that there should be any case that you can't get to the bottom of."
"It's time to get to the bottom of this," says Joe in the present, "I hope." And he sticks the MARE ATHEI tape into the VCR that resides in his old room at the Del Barrio mansion - formerly Jose's, then Joe's, and then Val's, who it seems was able to swipe Justine's old VCR from the latter's old room in the Davis house after her stint working for Eli and Liz. "What do you think's on it?" Joanna wonders, sitting down on the bed to watch, and Joe admits that he hasn't a clue - "Hopefully some kind of proof. Maybe he managed to find dirt on Kathryn?" "Let's see..." Joanna utters, eagerly awaiting something on the screen before them; Joe sits beside her, equally eager... but nothing happens. The VCR just makes some odd stirring, grinding noises and, concerned, Joe quickly springs forward and ejects the tape. "What the hell?" he exclaims, inspecting it, and then he feels that the back is loose and manages to open it up, seeing that the insides are a little bit mangled. "Looks like someone trashed it," he exclaims, and Joanna gets up to have a look herself, wondering who would have done that. "I dunno, I mean it was locked in the garage for--" and then he stops, for he's noticed something: a tiny piece of paper stuffed within the insides of the tape. He reaches in and lifts it out, unfurling it to read:
Some secrets are meant to stay pocketed after all. I might just have to take this one to the grave.
"That selfish bastard," Joanna groans, "The one time we need him to have been a nosy little turd." "Jose always did like to be inconvenient, from everything I learned," Joe comments, pocketing the note and rolling his eyes as he reconnects the tape's plastic casing. "Can it be fixed?" Joanna wonders, and Joe recalls, "Ben fixed a tape that was smashed up by Jorgio once." (see "Grime of Thrones") "But he's not answering his phone," Joanna points out, and Joe reminds her that, according to Liz, Val's in labor with his daughter, and so it's not really worth disturbing him right now anyway. "Um..." Joanna ponders, "Ooh, what about Tyson?" "What about Tyson?" Joe wonders, and Joanna reminds him, "He was all good at fixing up those little trains he was always leaving about the house - and he moved onto radios and record players and stuff. Maybe he could repair the tape." "Maybe... But he's being moved to a home right now, remember?" Joe turns mopey again, and Joanna says, "Well, if Ben's baby hasn't popped out by then, then we'll have to go and see Tyson in the morning." "I don't know if I can face seeing him after what he did for me," Joe admits, but Joanna points out that he owes it to Tyson to go and visit him anyway; "He'll want to see you. You're his hero." "Okay..." Joe concedes, "But either way, I've gotta wait until tomorrow." "Then that's what you'll do," Joanna shrugs, trying to comfort him with a kiss on the cheek, "In the morning." "In the morning," Joe nods.
In a flash to the past, we can see that it's early morning for young Joshua Gibbons who is sat playing with a Superman and a Batman action figure. He's in the living room of his childhood home in England, and as he makes the two action figures kiss, as per usual, he quickly becomes startled by the shouting going on in the background. He turns to see his mother Regina, far younger in age, as she's chasing his father down the stairs. "Daniel, please!" she cries, "Don't do this! We have a son together!" but Josh's father shakes his head. "I can't... I've tried, but this... this isn't the life I wanted! I never asked for a wife and kids!" "Okay, well that's what you got," Regina says to her husband, "You have a beautiful son, and it's your responsibility to love him and take care of him!" The couple turn and see Josh looking up at them, having put his toys down; Regina's mortified to discover her son overhearing all of this, but Daniel is mostly indifferent. "He's no son of mine," he says in regards to Josh, making full and direct eye contact with the boy. Despite being very young in age though, Josh is fully aware of what his father is saying to him, and it stings. Tears well up in Josh's eyes, and so he looks away and goes back to playing with his toys, choosing to not act out in front of his parents and instead let them hash things out themselves. Regina, however, is able to sense the pain that Daniel's caused for their son just now. "Look what you've done!" she barks at her husband, but he shrugs his shoulders. Tears are now welling up in Mrs. Gibbons' eyes as well, and Daniel concludes with: "Goodbye, Regina." With that, he heads for the front door of their home, having suitcases sat nearby. "Daniel, please..." Regina cries, and one last time, "Daniel!" but it's of no use, as Daniel Gibbons exits the family home, never to return. Josh is now watching as his mother finds herself collapsing to the floor, tears streaming down her face, and it pains the boy to even watch. As such, he goes up to her, Superman and Batman action figures still in tact, and he taps her on the shoulder. "Mum?" he asks, causing Regina to look up at the one person she has left in the world. She quickly wipes away her tears, really not wanting to be seen by her son or anyone, for that matter, looking the way she currently does. And she then proceeds to stand up. Though she initially planned to pick her son up and give him a hug, she notices the two action figures in his hand. The two boy action figures that she knows he's been making kiss... and so, without hesitation, she grabs the Batman one. "Hey!" Josh cries out, and Regina heads over to Josh's toy chest. "Here," she says, tossing him a new action figure, "Play with Superman and Wonder Woman." Josh doesn't quite know what to make of this sudden decision of his mother's, but regardless he chooses to go along with it, sensing the immense pain she's currently in. No hug is shared between the two as Regina chooses to go start breakfast instead, leaving her son, comforted knowing that he'll only be playing with boy and girl paired toys from now on, quite confident in her decision.
And this brings us to the present day where Josh is now the one left with a decision to make: "Leave Wikerly Hills or give up my dream of opening a custodian placement agency..." he utters, contemplating his two choices. Regina reaches out to take her son's hand, assuring that it's his choice. "I know, I know..." he says to his mother, "I mean... this business could be a huge success." "Would be," Regina corrects, "I saw the numbers, dear. It would be a huge success." "But my life here," Josh is also considering, "Since moving to America, this is the only town I've really gotten to know. I have a safe job here... all of my friends are here... I just... I don't know, mum." But Regina assures that that's alright, and that he doesn't have to make up his decision now. "Think it out," she suggests, then going on to say, "I just want you to be happy... not wishing that much is exactly where I went wrong with you in the first place, and your father too." "My father?" Josh is confused, "Mum, what are you talking about?" "Oh, well, maybe if I had respected your father's desires then he might've still been apart of your life today." This doesn't help clear anything up for the butler though as he goes to retract his hand. "But I don't understand," Josh exclaims, "you always said dad left you for some right twat named Taylor." "Oh, and I stand by it. He was a right twat alright, but--" "He?" Regina is forced to nod her head at this, the truth finally coming out. "Dad was gay?!" Josh needs clarification, which Regina confirms. "He spent years trying to deny it, so he married me and we had you. When he finally came out to me, though, deep down I always knew, I tried to force him to stay... to uphold his responsibilities, but that only pushed him away more. He only grew to resent us both." "So is this why...?" And Regina nods, already knowing what Josh's question is going to be. "This is why I didn't accept you," she reveals, "Over the years I conceived this very negative image of homosexuals and their lifestyle. No, I wasn't brought up this way, and no it's not because of my religion, I'm ashamed to admit." "Mum..." is all Josh utters, and Regina goes on. "I suppose that makes me worse than your father? Or just as bad, at least... I let my growing resentment and hatred for him and his lifestyle cloud my judgement of you... the one person I'm supposed to love more than anything in the world. The one person I do love more than anything in the world... and I'm so, so sorry." Tears are welling up in both of their eyes now, but Josh reaches out to take Regina's hand again. "You're far better than dad," he assures, "You regretted your actions, and you actually loved me... Love me." "I did," she says to her son, "and I do." The two then stand, fully embracing in a hug. "And like I've already said," Regina continues to promise, "I'll be here for you, no matter what decision you make." The two break apart. "If being a butler in Wikerly Hills is what makes you happy, then so be it." Josh is grateful for this, though a little overwhelmed by this amount of maternal support. "Thank you," he says to Regina, "I just... I need to think about it more. Give it some more thought. It's just hard because... do I follow my heart, or do I follow my dreams?"
This brings us back into the past again, now focusing on a young Rena as he is sat playing dolls with his six older sisters. Having claimed the beautiful blonde Barbie for himself, his sisters are left with whatever rejects that are left in the toy chest. It's then that their mother Ana Duarte emerges from the kitchen, sighing. "I woke up this morning thinking it was all just a dream, me having eight children and a husband who always works," she sighs (Portuguese to English subtitles), holding a tray of her famous tequila slammers and downing one of the shots without any hesitation. Rena looks up at this intrigued. "Can I have one?" he asks, and Ana contemplates this for a minute before shaking her head at her eight, maybe nine year old son. "Tell you what, I'll teach you how to make your own when you get older," she agrees, to which Rena grins and nods his head, willing to take his mother up on that offer. As she downs a second shot, she looks over at her daughters still playing with dolls and begins to count them; however, she notices that only six are there, despite the fact that she knows she has seven. "Rena, where's your sister?" she asks of her only son, but he doesn't know exactly how to answer that. "Which one?" he questions, and he and Ana look around, soon peering into another room where they see Theresa sat alone in front of a globe of the world. After glancing at her youngest daughter, she turns to Rena, and then to the tray of remaining tequila slammers. "Rena, be a dear and go play with Theresa. Mommy's busy right now," and with that, she downs another shot. Rena, meanwhile, stands up to leave his mother and six other sisters be, heading into the other room where Theresa's currently examining the globe. "Hey," he greets, and she responds the same, though not paying him too much attention. She's currently reading off the names of other European countries, which Rena then inquires about. "Watcha looking at that for?" he asks, and Theresa kind of shrugs. "You ever wanted to visit France?" she wonders of her brother, who makes a disgusted face at the thought of it. "Ew," he says, then whispering, "women don't shave there." Theresa rolls her eyes at this comment, "Well, I do wanna go... someday... somehow." "Oh..." Rena utters, "well that's cool. You should!" "Not just France though," Theresa makes clear, "A lot of countries, like all over Europe... and America!" "Ooh, could you bring me back haggis from Ireland? I wanna know what it tastes like..." "Scotland," Theresa corrects, clearly having read up far more than her brother has, "and I'm not sure it'll ever happen," she then admits. "Well, why not?" Rena asks, and Theresa sighs, revealing that she told their mother who believes it to be very unlikely to happen. "She says I'll probably just end up meeting a nice man, have a bunch of babies, and start drinking a looooot of grown-up juice from those tiny glasses she keeps on the top shelf." "Oh..." Rena exclaims, "well, mom's wrong!" Theresa gasps at this, and Rena goes on, "If going to all of these different countries and traveling around the world is your dream, then you should do it! Set your mind to it, and never give up!" "But... what if I'm not able to?" Theresa wonders, but Rena shakes his head and assures her, "You can do anything you set your mind to. You wanna see the world, and I wanna become a star! We can both get what we want, Theresa. It's all about following your dreams, and going after what makes you happy!" These are words of advice that Theresa takes to heart from her big brother, and also words Rena won't soon forget.
Return to the present day where Rena is still down on one knee and pursuing his happiness, in the form of the love of his life: Maria Solano. "So... whaddaya say?" he inquires, holding up Silvia's old ring as Mary stands there, awkwardly not wanting to say anything at all right now. Rena starts to pick up on this and begins to frown; however, to Mary's absolute relief, the sound of her doorbell is heard, thus interrupting the proposal all together. "Lemme get that," Mary excuses herself, heading for the door only to be brought down by the arrival of none other than Elizabeth Davis. "Oh, it's you," Mary rolls her eyes, and Liz scoffs, stating that she wouldn't be there if it wasn't important. "I can't communicate with that Scottish chick and Ben's run off to go have his baby... or watch Val have his baby... whatever, point is that the party's coming up and there's yet to be any sort of catering staff hired. So like, yeah, handle that, would ya?" Mary sighs, agreeing to let her assistant Jackson know. "I'll have him send people over in the morning or whatever, k?" Liz nods, but then Rena pokes his head out, "Hi, Liz," he greets, "we're kinda in the middle of something." With only Rena's head sticking out, Liz furrows a brow and tries to take a peek inside, wondering if perhaps her former butler and sex slave is indecent. Mary picks up on this and quickly swats Liz away. "Hi, Rena," Liz then cheerfully greets, to Mary's complete and utter annoyance as Rena pulls the door open fully so that he can see his old friend. "Hey, wanna work the premiere party?" she asks, revealing that Mary will be paying. "You know he's like the worst butler in the entire world, right?" Mary questions, and Liz shrugs, stating that he never did much cleaning for her, this being a statement very much intended to trigger the producer/writer/director. "Rena and I actually were in the middle of something just now before you rudely interrupted," Mary exclaims, going into defense mode. She then turns to her boyfriend and takes Silvia's old engagement ring from him, forcing it onto her finger while fighting through the pain of it being too tight. "Rena and I are getting married," she then gloats to Liz, to Rena's joy. "So it's a yes?!" he needs official clarification, absolutely ecstatic, and it's then that Mary is starting to realize what exactly she just signed herself up for. "Oh... uh, yeah, I guess so..." "Aw, Mary!" Rena beams, embracing his new fiancée with a hug, followed by an ever-so-passionate kiss, at least on his part. Liz, meanwhile, has begun slow-clapping. While happy to see Rena so happy, she can see the look of dread in Mary's eyes. "Congratulations," she says to the couple, then turning to Mary, "He's exactly what you deserve." Satisfied that her needs have been met, as well as this extra treat in the form of her newest rival's misery, Liz sees fit to set off now. "I'll leave you two alone to celebrate," she says, then turning to her old butler, "and I guess that rules out you working the party. Oh, but look at the timing. Perfect for you two crazy kids to announce your engagement! Ah, love. It's great ain't it?" "It really is," Rena exclaims with glee, and Liz gives a nod as she sets off. Rena then turns to Mary, squealing and jumping up and down with joy; he embraces her in another hug, though he's unable to see the look of pure regret on her face.
A look of regret shared by young Ben. "Here, let me cut that for yeh, Benjamin," says Ben's mother in the past, grabbing her son's knife and fork for him and beginning to dig into his dinner. "I don't like haggis," the young Ben admits, at which his mother stops cutting, looks him in the eye, and says, "Yeh'll learn to like it then, won't yeh?" A few moments of eye contact go by, and Ben ends up replying, "Yes, mother." "Good boy," Mrs. Gold nods, continuing to cut up the meal, "Now sit up straight, fer bleedin' Christ. Posture is self-respect, young man, and if you don't have it then no one else will give it yeh." "Yes, mother," Ben nods, sitting with his back rigid against his chair as Mrs. Gold continues to dote on him, and, when she's done ("Now be careful when I hand you the knife, and blow on yer food before you eat it or you'll burn yer mouth and then it'll be my problem") she returns to her own seat at the head of the table and asks, after looking firmly at the clock, "Now where is that no-good father o' yours?" She takes a mouthful of her own haggis and rolls her eyes, sighing that it's cold and then berating young Benjamin for making her waste her own time by cutting his for him; he goes to reply, to defend himself maybe, but at that moment the door opens and a man in a kilt and toting a walking stick enters the house. "That you, Carl?" Mrs. Gold calls from the table, and then, "I'm home, Rachel, dear," Mr. Gold calls from the door. "Well duh," she responds, and he soon comes limping into the kitchen, looking rather young for a man relying on a walking stick. While Ben appears ecstatic that his father is home, Rachel looks less than pleased to see him. "Are yeh still toting that thing around the office?" she asks, needlessly exasperated, and Carl defends, "You know I need it, dear," as he removes his jacket and sits down at the table, "I can't move like I used to before--" "Before yeh went an' jumped on that grenade," Rachel rolls her eyes again, "I know. I've heard the story a thousand times." "Dad's a hero," Ben pipes up through mouthfuls of haggis, "When I grow up, I wanna be a soldier, just like him." "Like he was, you mean," Rachel points out, turning Carl's sudden smile into a frown, and she adds to her son, "And the hell you will, bein' a soldier. No, you'll have a nice, safe job." "But I want--" "Benjamin," she says pointedly, "Eat your dinner." "Yes, mother," and he does just that. "You won't be sent home for jumpin' on any grenades, and leave your family to be livin' off a desk-jockey income, eh?" "No, mother," Ben shakes his head glumly. "I hardly think it's fair to say--" Carl tries, but Rachel tells him, "Don't be playin' the hero card with me while yer still totin' that bloody cane. If anyone needs support, it's me, after my procedure, I--" "A procedure you never consulted me about," Carl spits his haggis some, looking angry now. Rachel matches his anger, and exceeds it - "What?" she exclaims, "Was I supposed to just go ahead and birth a second child? On your salary? I don't bloody well think so, Mr.! We have our hands quite full with one child, thank you very much!" Carl goes to respond, but can't find the words to do so, while Ben just continues to eat his haggis. "Now, eat your dinner, darling. It'll go cold," Rachel adds to her husband, who meekly replies, "Yes, dear," and gets on with it. Rachel rolls her eyes a third time - "Will yeh sit up straight, Carl?! What sort of example are yeh setting for yer son?!"
Ben is hunched over, dragged down by Val as he props her up, walking with her into the reception area of the hospital. "I am gonna kill you!" Val is screaming, breathing heavily and clutching her gigantic stomach, "You did this to me, you bastard!" "You did it!" Ben argues back as he approaches the desk, but Val responds, "I'm still gonna kill you! I'm gonna ruin you! Your friend killed my sister, you--" "Yeah, yeah," Ben cuts her off, finding Dr. Strange and pointing out that Valentina's in labor. Dr. Strange summons an orderly to provide her with a wheelchair and she plops herself on down, making the seat sink dramatically. "Son of a biiiiiiitch!" she screeches as another contraction washes over her, and Dr. Strange wonders how far apart they are. Ben explains that thus far they've had some pretty big gaps between them, and is ordered to take his babymama up to the maternity ward, where he'll meet them shortly after tending to another patient. ("There was another church explosion, you probably heard. The hospital's incredibly busy.") "Nuh-uh! He isn't allowed to push me! I want an orderly to--" but Ben has already grabbed the back of the wheelchair and begun shoving her away from the scene, checking what floor the maternity ward is on and then heading to the elevator. "Put your back into it, Nancy!" Val barks at him as her contraction finally calms down, and Ben just tells her, "Breathe." "Well no damn, idiot!" she responds as he pushes her into the empty elevator, hitting the button and allowing the doors to close. She doesn't do as instructed, and so again he orders, "Breathe. I know what I'm talking about." "Yeah, right! You've helped one woman through labor and the baby freakin' died! I'm not listening to anything you have to say!" And then the inevitable happens. The elevator reaches the maternity ward floor... and breaks down just short of opening, with a terrifying jolt. The lights go off, and Val screeches, "For crap's sake!" "Indeed..." Ben sighs, and Val begins yelling, "Well, if you think you are going anywhere near my lady business, you can just think again, bucko! Justine might've been into your tartan charms, but I don't roll that way! I'll sooner cross my legs and behead this little brat than let you deliver it! Do you hear me? Do you hear me?! Of course you had to take the elevator because you just follow every dumb haggis-riddled impulse that comes into your brain; you're stupid, you're..." She keeps ranting on, not even watching as Ben, unable to take this, says, "Nope," and slots his fingers between the minuscule gap in the lift doors and pulls with all his might. "...arrogant, lazy, and this just-just completely typical of you, and I'm totally gonna watch you rot in a jail cell when I release this recording, and you are just..." He prises the doors apart with his bare hands, really putting his back into it, and Valentina only shuts up when she sees that they're now fully open, and he re-grabs the handles of her wheelchair and begins pushing her through the maternity ward. "Good thing Theresa made me get that gym membership," he comments to himself as he continues to push her, and she cries out in pain yet again. "Breathe," Ben advises her, and finally she does so, clutching that baby bump some more and breathing heavily. "Here's hoping the doctors know how to deliver a baby that's half-human, half pure evil," Ben adds, pretty done right now. "Shut it, cuck! I'm missing work to birth your damn spawn!" Val shouts, and then, "I hope Kathryn got my message," she comments to herself through her tears.
"Where the hell is my whore maid?!" Kathryn asks herself back at the Von Trump mansion, realizing that she'll have to refill her own glass. As such, she simply abandons it on a nearby surface and seizes the letter from Nadia that she was earlier crumpling, proceeding to crumple it even more. She goes and stands before one of her home's many, many mirrors and stares at herself in it, looking from her face to the letter and to her face again. "I may have failed to dispatch one enemy," she nods to herself, tossing the letter to one side, "But that doesn't mean I can't still get my revenge against some others." Like her maid right now, she takes a deep breath, reminding herself, "The master plan is still a-go." She manages a devious smile.
Travel into the past now to some years prior as we see Josh standing at the baggage claim section of a Californian airport. Having stepped off to the side now, bags in tow, the Englishman is standing at one of the airport's payphones, having yet to set up his own in America. He dials in a number and waits as the phone rings, but to his dismay it goes straight to voicemail. Sighing, Josh begins to speak. "Hey, mum... it's me," he says aloud, "I thought I'd let you know I'm in America now. I missed you at my graduation celebration." Josh gives an awkward chuckle, attempting to cover up the hoarseness in his voice. "I'm a fully certified butler now. I know that's not what you wanted, but I guess you can just add that to the list of things you don't like about me. Um... well, I guess I should get going now. If you happen to be standing at the answering machine right now listening to this, well... please pick up. It's okay if you don't, though... I'm used to it by now." A single tear streams down the up-and-coming butler's face. "Love you," is the last thing he utters before quickly hanging up, unable to do this any longer. He looks away from the wall phone, consoling himself, all the while in England Regina Gibbons is doing the same; tears fill her eyes, but she can't bring herself to reach out to her son, not when he's the way that he is. Meanwhile, back in America, Josh takes a deep breath as he prepares to head out for a bus to take him to where he'll be staying until taking an official job; however, as he begins to head for the automatic doors, he hears a bit of ruckus going on behind him. Turning his head, Josh finds a couple security guards at the airport fighting to take away a man's luggage, apparently doing a random search. "Ugh, let go of me!" a voice cries, and we soon see that it's none other Juan Castillo, "This is racial profiling!" "Sir, I'm gonna have to ask you to get down on your knees and put your hands where I can see them," a security guard exclaims, motioning for one of his co-officers to pat Juan down. Josh, in the meantime, can't help but be disgusted by the way this stranger's being treated. "Hey!" he exclaims, marching over, "I'm a foreigner, so you wanna frisk me too?" The security guards give each other awkward glances, and Josh goes on, "Oh right, s'because I'm white." "It's standard procedure," the security guard tells Josh, "We check randomly for any illegal substances." The Englishman nods, but then looks the security guard up and down, quickly picking up on something. "Illegal substances, huh?" Josh exclaims, "The white stuff on your sleeve. How much are you willing to bet that's not from a powdered donut?" The security guards then exchanges another awkward glance, and Josh takes this to believe his hunch was correct. "So I believe we're done here?" he asks, and the security guards proceed to back away. Josh, meanwhile, reaches out his hand to help Juan up. "Thank you," the Mexican says to the Englishman, and he gives his name. "Josh," the Englishman says in turn, and the two exchange a light smile. "So," Josh then decides to quip, "would they have found an illegal substances on you?" "Perhaps," Juan answers, "but if they did then I'd have a lawsuit." Josh is a little taken aback by this, but still manages to chuckle. "Lemme help you with your bags," Juan offers, and Josh is grateful for this. The two proceed out of the airport, chatting all the while, unaware of what the future held for them.
And here were are, in said future, which is now actually the present. It's a new day, and Josh is currently sat across from Joanna on the living room sofa of the latter's mansion, the two sharing a bottle of red. "Life used to be so much easier," Josh whines, but Joanna shakes her head, "No, it did not," and downs her glass whole. "Well, maybe not for you," Josh sighs, "but for me... at the very least, everything was a lot less hectic. It wasn't like I was living a parody of The Passions of Falta or anything." It's then that Joanna fully sits up, first holding out her glass for a refill, and then wondering: "Where's all this coming from?" "It's just..." Josh says, filling up Joanna's glass and then topping off his own, "well, I guess you were gonna find out sooner or later..." "Oh?" Joanna questions, and Josh goes on, "Yunno how I was wanting to start up a business?" "A placement agency for butlers, yeah I remember. What's up?" "Well... my mother got around, spoke to some people, ran some numbers... basically if I'm to be a success then I need to move to New York." "New York?!" Joanna gasps, "Wh- what? Why?!" "Because this town is like really bad. My mum explained it all, but yeah. Basically if I wanna really commit to this and move forward with it... I'll have to leave Wikerly Hills." "Wow..." Joanna utters, taking the entire bottle of wine and beginning to chug it, "well, is that what you wanna do?" she asks, but Josh admits that he doesn't know. "I really wanna open up this business, but yeah, I have a life here... and really I just feel like there's something holding me back." "Well," Jo exclaims, finishing up the bottle, "I support you no matter what. I mean, yeah, it'll suck to see you go, especially since - and don't tell Joe this - you're the best butler I've ever had, but if you decide that going to New York is what you need to do to be happy then I want you to do it." Josh smiles, thanking Joanna for her support. "And really, I'm the best butler? Not Joe?" "No one removes wine stains like you, honey. We're an employer/employee match made in heaven. You know, if I believed in heaven," Joanna admits, and Josh chuckles as he stands up to grab his coat. "If it's alright with you," he announces, "I'd actually like to head out for a bit. You and my mother have both been so supportive lately, it's actually given me an idea of sorts." "Oh?" Joanna questions, and Josh replies that he'll fill her in when he's back. "There's someone I need to go see," and with that he sets off, leaving Joanna to finish drinking alone.
We next see Josh knocking on the door of the Solano house, soon being answered by none other than Juan. "Oh, hey Josh. You here for Mary? I can go--" "Actually, I'm here to see you," he reveals, to the Mexican gardener's surprise. "Your life... your job here... are you happy?" Josh asks, to Juan's confusion. "Um--" he tries, but goes interrupted again, "It's just lately I've been thinking about starting up a business... placement agency for custodian workers... basically I was wondering if I was successful at the first placement I arranged." Juan furrows a brow at this, but still answers: "Yeah, I'd say I'm pretty happy. Miss Solano pays well, gave me a nice room, and we pretty much just go about our own lives." Josh nods at all of this, but Juan can tell that there's a lot on his ex's mind. "Are you okay?" he asks, but Josh avoids the question. "Do you see this as a longterm thing, or do you think you'll have moved on in about a year?" "Well, I hope I won't be here forever... but for now, sure, it's nice." "Uh-huh..." "Josh, are you sure you're alright? You seem bothered." "I'm fine," he assures, but Juan raises a brow, and so Josh rolls his eyes, proceeding to sit down on the steps. "Fine, I'm not," he admits, and Juan pulls the front door shut behind him, sitting down next to his old lover. "And why's that?" he asks of him, to which Josh reveals, "I'm just... unsure about everything. I thought I knew where my life was heading, but now... well, I'm starting all over again, and I don't know what it is I wanna do." "But your placement agency--" "Means I'll have to uproot myself and go to New York, leaving behind everyone and everything that I know and love here in Wikerly Hills." "And people don't want you to go...?" "Well, it's not that they don't not want me to go... Everyone's being really supportive of whatever choice I make..." "But?" "But I don't know what choice I wanna make. Everyone just wants me to be happy, which is great and all, but that doesn't actually help me make a decision. It's still just up to me." "Well... what have you done about stuff like this in the past?" Juan wonders, "Like when you moved to America in the first place. You still uprooted your life then." "But I didn't have anything in England," Josh argues, "My father left when I was a kid, my mother wanted nothing to do with me, none of my friendships were that meaningful." "And when you married Brad?" "Well you see, that's the one decision in my life that I was one hundred percent sure about," Josh admits, "When I decided to marry Brad, after everything that happened with us... with you... I knew for a fact that he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with." "You say that, but I know it was my blue hankie that you wore as your 'something blue' (see "The Peasant and the Devious")," Juan chuckles, offending Josh. "Excuse me?" "Wearing my old hankie in your wedding to another man... sounds a little suspicious," he quips, but Josh doesn't find any of this funny. "Oh, I'm just kidding," Juan assures, patting his ex's leg, but Josh just blinks. He turns his leg away from Juan, yes because he's offended by these latest statements, but there's also a sense of strong discomfort that he's now feeling. "You... weren't at the wedding," Josh is remembering, "how do you know I had a blue hankie?" "Well, the explosion was all over the news," Juan reminds him, "I saw you with your friends." "Right..." Josh responds, still feeling off, "I'm... gonna head off now. Thanks for chatting..." Juan goes to offer to help him up, but Josh motions that he's got it, and with that he sets off. There's a look of suspicion on his face as he now becomes deep in thought.
Wedding bells ring in Scotland of the past, and Ben gets distracted seeing and hearing them out the window of the high school corridor - a dreamy, hopeful look encompassing his face, bolstered when he sees a poster on a nearby noticeboard for an upcoming school dance - not paying attention as he carries his books back to his locker. As such, he's unable to notice the teenage girl heading towards him, so self-involved that she too isn't paying attention, and so the two of them collide, landing on the floor as their books go flying in all directions and litter the hall. Those around them simply snicker, walk around them, or both, and, when Ben manages to sit up into a crouch, the girl gets all up in his face and exclaims, "What the hell d'yeh think you are doin'?!" We now see that this is a young Jennifer, and Ben recoils in fear from her, falling over on his back again and colliding with some floor-strewn books. "Ow!" he yells, and Jennifer rolls her eyes in a way that's familiar to Ben, before standing up and reaching her arm out, helping the wee lad to his feet. "Sorry," he says, getting up and beginning to dust himself off, and she tells him, "Aye, you should be, laddy. At least help me pick up these bloody books, would yeh?" "Oh, right, of course," Ben nods, crouching back down in order to gather up his own books as well as Jennifer's; he's not "helping", he's doing it for her, and she just continues to stand there, leering at him. "Lift with your back," she says, and then, "What's your name, anyway?" she'd like to know, and Ben, shooting back up with a massive stack of textbooks in his arms, having to look around them, says his name. "Benjamin, eh? I'm Jennifer," she introduces herself; he tries outstretching his fingers from the books in a feeble attempt to shake her hand, but she ignores this, simply looking him up and down and saying, "Walk with me. Hold my books." "Right, I guess I do owe you, not looking where I was going and all." "Yeah, yeah," Jennifer nods, setting off down the corridor, and Ben scuttles after her some. "There's a school dance coming up, y'know," Jennifer comments. "Oh, yeah," Ben says, "I saw a--" "Friday night," Jennifer goes on, "I don't have a date yet. You'll pick me up at seven, and I like roses." "Oh, I don't know if--" "Seven o'clock," she states sharply, whipping around and causing the books to give a frightful hop as Ben comes to an abrupt halt, "Friday night. Pick me up. Bring roses. And I'm not such a fan of the name Ben, so until I get used to it I'mma just call you Alex. Rolls more off the tongue. So I can count on yeh?" "Um..." Ben utters, and Jennifer just says firmly, after rolling her eyes again, "Yes, Jennifer." Giving up, Ben just says, "Yes, Jennifer," and she smiles and says, "Good. See you then, Alex." And just like that Ben has his high-school girlfriend, and he looks unsure of how to feel about it.
And looks equally unsure in the present; on the one hand, he's excited to be having his baby soon and wants the process to speed along; on the other hand, a part of him is enjoying Valentina's prolonged pain, as she screeches, "WHY THE HELL ISN'T THIS DAMN BABY HERE YET?!" "From the looks of everything, you're in for a very slow labor. I'm sorry," Dr. Strange tells his patient, who's now lying back in a bed in a patient's gown, Ben sitting beside her. "I get drugs, right?" Valentina wants to make sure, but Ben just cuts in and says, "Thank you, doctor," and Strange walks away to deal with his other charges. "I. Want. Drugs," Valentina hisses, "I've been here all night already. Get out!" she yells at her stomach, "Get out! Get out! GET OUT!!" "So, um, what did they do with your clothes?" Ben wonders, and Val turns to him with a deeply indignant look on her face, assuring, "If that was your lame attempt to find out where the recorder is, then you're even more of a dumbass than I thought. Or you think that I'm one which is even more annoYIIIIIIIING--" she screams this last syllable, going through another contraction, and Ben tells her to breathe, at which she snaps, "Yes, believe it or not, I know that by now!" She breathes through the rest of it, the pain eventually dying down, and Ben points out that the labor might move along a lot more smoothly if she calmed down and stopped yelling. "Oh, you would just love that, wouldn't you?" she hisses, at which he pauses and states, "Yes. Yes, I would." "Well... too bad!" she shouts, "I can barely even stand to look at you right now!" "Well, too bad, you're stuck with me," Ben assures. "Not for much longer," Val promises, "Because I have it now. What I need. You did cover up my sister's murder, Ben, and when your little bestie is wasting away in prison I am gonna see to it that you are put in a cell right next to him - oh, no thought gives me greater pleasure than all the new friends you're gonna make behind bars! You think conceiving this baby was traumatic for you, Ben? You have no idea!" "You're sick..." "And you're an accessory to murder! I've been exonerated from my crime!" "How can you just shout ab--" "Because no one pays attention to the crap a woman shouts when she's in labor, you idiot! Why don't you shout back, huh?! Oh, but then you'd be the bastard who's yelling at a pregnant woman! Ha!" "I hate you so much..." he hisses, and Val cackles, "HA! Meaningless words, that's all you have. No conviction to act on them, no will. You're just a pushover, Ben. You might hate me - and I'd think even less of you than I already do if you didn't - but all you can do is... tell me. Meanwhile, I despise you, and I've taken the appropriate actions to show you exactly how I feel!" "Sneaking, rapin--" "Yeah, yeah, alla that," she brushes aside, "But you could never do any of that to someone you hate, could you, Ben? No. Because you have no backbone whatsoever. That little lawsuit act was a fluke, if anything. All you've ever been good for is acting as a punching bag for every woman who waltzes into your life! Your crazy wife - my sister - me! I'm sure that hacked-up Portuguese chick would've walked all over you too if I'd allowed that to take off! Heck, even Ali - I'm sure she doesn't realize it, mind, but hey you're so goddamn spineless that even the nicest woman on the planet can't help but take advantage of you!" "SHUT UP, YOU EVIL BITCH! JUST SHUT UP!" And only now does everyone in the maternity ward turn to stare at Ben and Val, disgust etched on their faces for the father of the soon-to-be-birthed child. "DocTOOOOOR!" Val screams some more as another contraction overtakes her, and Dr. Strange soon re-arrives on the scene. Breathing heavily, Val says, "I want - this man - removed!" "What?!" Ben cries, and Valentina weeps, "Please, doctor, please!" in the same pathetic fashion she put on in the courtroom. "Ben... I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to go wait in the hall," Dr. Strange requests, and Ben begins yelling about how this is ridiculous. "Stop it! Stop stressing me out!" Val cries some more, and Ben looks at her with an expression of pure abhorrence. Dr. Strange gestures the door, and Ben begins to walk, looking back at the suddenly not-crying Val, who gives him a little wink. He stops; he looks like he could attack her right now, but of course he wouldn't and couldn't - especially with his baby still inside her. Val considers him for a moment, while he considers her, but he just keeps on moving. "If I were you, I'd be enjoying your freedom while you still can, soap-dropper!" she calls after him, ignoring another contraction as Strange, not listening to her words, continues to tell her to breathe, "You're never gonna get your hands on this baby! Not my little Justine! NEVER!" And a tear leaks from Ben's eye as the door is shut behind him.
And with that, another door swings open, in the past again, as Rena exits an audition room and, based on the look on his face, it didn't go well. "How was I supposed to know I wasn't supposed to actually take my pants off?" he mumbles to himself, unknowingly walking past Nicole Arbour, the two of which fail to take any notice of one another as she heads into another audition room. He sighs, "I guess this isn't as bad as the time they cut me from a game show for being too ethnic," before taking a seat on his bench where he takes out his phone to call for a taxi; to his dismay though, his phone service has been cut off due to not paying this past month's bill. "Ugh, this isn't fair!" he whines, "This isn't how it's supposed to be! I should be famous right now!" but no one around him pays him any attention; he's just another insignificant wannabe actor among many other insignificant wannabe actors. "I'm gonna have to find another job, aren't I? Rena's starting to realize, "And like... work." Though he looks as if he's about to break down into tears, the Portuguese man gets himself together when he notices two assistants, Jackson Deering and Marius Browning, entering the building with lunch for their respective bosses at the time. Despite being just an assistant, Jackson is somewhat of a known name in the industry, due to working for the infamous Maria Solano; Marius, well, he's just sorta there. "You hear that maids are getting the ax in Wikerly Hills now?" Marius asks the fellow assistant, and Jackson nods, "Miss Solano had to fire a whole staff's worth today. She's not happy." "Is she looking for anyone to replace them?" Marius wonders, but Jackson shakes his head. "She's decided to move into a penthouse, so it'll just be extra work for me. But I hear Elijah and Elizabeth Davis are looking for a butler. Could try there?" but now it's Marius who shakes his head. "Work for Elizabeth Davis, are you kidding me?! Word on the street is she's a total diva. I feel bad for whatever poor sap gets stuck assisting her one day." Jackson chuckles as he and Marius continue walking, passing by Rena who's overheard their entire conversation. "Elijah and Elizabeth Davis need a butler..." Rena is starting to formulate an idea, "This is perfect!" And with that, he jumps up, heading out of the studio in hopes of being able to stop a taxi driving by.
And, of course, he gets the job, hoping to be famous one day as a result. We see him dusting the award shelves at the Davis house, and Justine berate him from behind. "Do something else, Pig!" But he's not paying attention (not even seeing that she is currently entertaining her buddy Juanita; "Ugh, let us go just play Mr. Eli's Nintendo Oui."). He's just admiring his reflection in the shiny awards and hoping he'll have some of his own someday.
This brings us to the present where Rena and Mary are stood in the Del Barrio mansion, going through the promotional art made for Mary's film, one of which features a taxi. "What even is this movie about?" Rena asks, but Mary grows distracted by the arriving caterers. "You're twenty minutes late!" she barks, demanding that they go set up in the kitchen, "And I'm docking your pay!" "You're hot when you're angry," Rena comments, approaching Mary from behind and wrapping his arms around her, but she quickly moves away from him, going over to fiddle with the flower arrangements. Rena frowns, asking his fiancée if there's something wrong, but she motions that he step back. "I'm just... really trying to make sure this party's perfect, okay? It'd help if you weren't breathing down my neck the whole time." "Well lemme help!" Rena begs, "I mean, we're getting married, after all. We should be doing stuff like this together." The talk of their recent engagement only makes Mary more uncomfortable, but understanding that Rena won't be going anywhere, she sighs. "Go hang up some of the other promotional art," she instructs, pointing to numerous pieces displaying an erupting volcanoes, a couple salsa dancing, and an astronaut standing on the moon. "I'll be unveiling the main poster tonight," she reveals, "It's currently being kept under lock and key." "Will do!" Rena assures, and Mary uses this as her chance to get away from the Portuguese man, slipping away into kitchen to maybe yell at the caterers some. "Okay, this shouldn't be too hard," Rena exclaims, picking up one of the frames; however, he becomes startled by the ringing of the doorbell, causing him to drop the frame and it smash on the tile floor. Seeing as how he must now deal with the mess he's made, he yells out: "It's open!" and in comes none other than Silvia Montgomery, wheeling in two kegs. "Here's the iced tea for the party, just like Mary asked for," she reveals, and Rena abandons the broken frame to help his boss out. "Now if that'll be all, I need to go pick up Joe now," she says, heading off, but Rena stops her. "Wait, Mrs. Montgomery!" he calls out, "I actually have some big news." "Oh?" "Mary and I are getting married!" he exclaims, to Silvia's complete surprise and utter delight. "Oh, Rena, that's wonderful!" she beams, "You are so fired!" "Yeah... wait, what?!" Rena questions, and Silvia points out, "Finally I'll be able to hire someone competent enough to work for me since I'm sure you'll have your things packed up and out of my house by tonight." "Oh, um, yeah, I guess I can do that..." "Great!" Silvia exclaims, "and by the way, remind your fiancée that show owes me a hundred bucks." "Why's that?" Rena questions, and so his now-former boss admits, "We made a bet some time ago about which of us would end up being stuck with you forever. Looks like I won!" Rena frowns at this as Silvia tries to see herself off, but again is stopped. "Wait," he calls out, as he watches Mary emerge from the kitchen to scream at some other party workers, and he turns to his old boss, "I'm kinda... concerned," he admits. "Concerned?" "Yeah, it's just Mary's so stressed right now... It makes me wonder if she's really happy." "Aw, Rena..." Silvia pats the butler's back, "I'm sure she isn't." Rena turns to Silvia, dismayed, and Mrs. Montgomery shrugs her shoulders. "Mary's a busy woman, and you're a very stressful man." They watch as Mary storms back into the kitchen, apparently heading out the back door as they can both hear it slam, and Rena sighs. "I really wanna make her happy," he says, and Silvia tells him, "Maybe you should just step back and let her have her space." "You're right," Rena nods in response, "I'll leave her alone, let her finish preparing the premiere... all the while doubling it as an engagement party!" "Oh, dear..." "It'll be perfect!" Rena beams, "We'll be celebrating her new film and her engagement to me. Oh, she'll be so happy!" She most certainly will not be happy, and Silvia knows this; however, she looks down at her phone and sees a notification from Joe, asking where she is. Deciding that she has no time to talk Rena out of his delusions, she instead tells him that she really must get going. "Okay," Rena responds, now thinking about how he's gonna make this happen. "Don't let her forget she owes me money!" Silvia exclaims as she heads out the door.
"You owe me, Captain," says Officer Hall as he moves a perp through the police station, to the cells, "I told you I could get him to confess." "Good work, Hall," Huberd praises, making his way through the station and parking himself next to the donuts for his lunch break, where Joe - dressed in all his detective finery, for we are at the point in time where he worked for the Wikerly Hills Police Department - is also taking his. Sipping coffee, he asks where Hall is going with that perp, and Huberd tells him that he just made an arrest in the Belindro case. "What?" Joe questions, confused, "But I already questioned that guy for that - I told you, I believe he's innocent. Scum, sure, but not a killer." "I know what you thought, DeWar..." Huberd utters awkwardly, but Joe promises, "I didn't think it, I know it!" "But didn't you hear? Hall got a confession!" Joe only scoffs at this though, muttering, "Yeah, right," as he sips his coffee, and Huberd levels with him some, saying, "It's been a while now... and we needed an arrest in that case. The press has been all over our asses for this one." "You can't be serious," Joe complains, but Huberd goes quiet, just munching on his donut some. And then Hall emerges with another perp, telling him he's free to go and letting him out of the station. "Oh, what the hell?!" Joe yells as he watches the bastard go free, and Huberd asks a muffled, "What?" through a mouthful of processed sugar. "I was still questioning that guy! I was this close to cracking him for the Hernandez case!" "Well, I'm sorry, DeWar, but there just wasn't enough evidence to hold him." "So you're just letting that maniac back out on the street?!" "If we hold him any longer with what we have, he could get his lawyers on us - we'd be ruined!" "Right..." Joe nods, "Right. I forgot the rich own this town. Tell me, did his lawyers cut you a nice check?" "DeWar!" Huberd exclaims, only for Joe to spit, "Sorry, 'Captain'! Mean no disrespect, 'Captain'! Another donut, 'Captain'?!" "Just get back to work, DeWar!" Huberd yells, angry that his competence is being questioned, and Joe tells him, "I'd love to. But all my work keeps getting undone." He then makes his way back over to his desk, coffee in tow, and, when Huberd has disappeared back into his office with an armful of donuts in tow, Joe sneaks his bottom drawer open and takes a little flask from the bottom, angrily muttering to himself all the while. "Stupid town, stupid force, can't do anything," he gurgles angrily, discreetly pouring some alcohol into his beverage and sipping, "Isn't there any justice anymore?"
Which brings us to the home where Tyson Jepsen is currently being kept due to a crime he didn't commit. "Well this place looks nice," Silvia comments as she approaches with Joe, "Cute garden out front." Joe, however, isn't so able to appreciate it, for he still feels too guilty for allowing his mentally incapable brother to take the fall for something he did. "Come on," he says to his mother, still clutching Jose's MARE ATHEI tape, "Let's just go see him." "'Thanks for driving me, Mom,'" Silvia says to herself, and then, "Oh, really, it was no trouble. Nice to be appreciated." They then make it into the reception area, and Silvia comments, "Huh. Kinda reminds me of the old asylum." Joe turns to her, looking a little forlorn, but Silvia assures him, "Don't worry! That was a cute place, too. I have some fond memories there..."
We flash back briefly to Silvia in a white patient's gown, a veil over her head made out of paper napkins, as she marries her doctor Jason Montgomery at the head of the cafeteria, all the other crazies clapping for them as they kiss.
"...I've broken my house arrest rules sooooo many times. So, where's Tyson?" "Through there, I imagine," Joe tells her, pointing to a door which looks like it leads to a pleasant rec room full of patients; he begins to lead the way, but then the nurse receptionist interrupts, asking the two of them where they think they're going. "Oh," Joe utters awkwardly, "I'm here to--" "We're not having visitors today. Not after yesterday's terrorist attack. We have to keep the patients safe," the nurse receptionist makes clear, and Joe assures her, "I know... I'm just... I work here." "You work here?" "Yeah," Joe nods, "I'm this place's... butler." "Butler?" the nurse questions, while Silvia facepalms some, side-whispering to her son that he's rusty and that he really oughta get another gimmick. "I mean janitor," Joe lies, only for the nurse to point out that he looks a little well-dressed for a janitor. "Well, see, that's why I prefer butler," Joe goes on, and Silvia sighs, saying, "Let me handle this, son." She then swaggers up to the front desk, and parks her pocketbook right on top of it, proceeding to take out a big ol' thermos. "Lindsay Green's the name." "What's that?" the nurse wonders. "Iced tea," Silvia explains, "Made it fresh this morning." "That stuff's great," Joe promises from behind, "Makes me question why I was ever an alcoholic." The nurse eyes it up some, while Silvia asks, "So... we cool here?" "I'm allergic to tea," the nurse reveals, and Silvia steps back, blinking. She then turns to Joe and says, "Okay, I don't know how to deal with this one." "Think of something," Joe roars, and Silvia sighs, saying, "Okay, fine. You're lucky I'm gonna be winning this back from Mary," before taking $100 out of her pocket.. "Here," she says curtly, and the nurse takes the money happily, verifying the bills by holding them up to the light, and Silvia remains standing there annoyed - trying to convince her to just try the iced tea because she didn't brew it for nothing - while Joe slips into the rec room full of patients. His eyes scan all the handicapped individuals and finally find Tyson over by the model trains, him with a little conductor hat on his square head as he says, "All aboard," and makes the train stop and go again. Joe smiles seeing this, liking that his brother seems happy here, and approaches him from across the room. He taps him on the back of the shoulder and Tyson jumps a little, but when he turns around he is deeply excited to see his fave human. "Joe!" he exclaims, giving him a hug, and Joe requests to have a little chat with him. "Sure! Sure!" Tyson tells him, moving over to a table with two chairs either side of it. Joe sits opposite him and then pulls out the tape, asking his brother, "Do you think you could fix this?" At this, Tyson opens up the back, seeing the mangled insides, and he tells his brother, "I... I can try." Joe then sneaks a few tools from out of his pocket and says that Tyson shouldn't show them to any of the other patients - "The quicker the better; it's really important." "I'll do my best," Tyson promises, beginning to tinker with the mechanics of it all, and Joe looks a little impressed by what a natural his foster bro is, and how fast he works at this sort of thing.
"Just try it! Go on!" Silvia is still pressuring out in the reception area, nudging the thermos of iced tea closer to her. "I told you I'm allergic!" "You won't regret it, I promise! I..." and then she looks down at her hand and asks, "Hey, where the hell'd my diamond ring go?"
Back inside, Tyson has made good work of the tape, but then goes, "Ah." "Ah? 'Ah' what?" Joe needs to know, and Tyson turns the tape around and points to a broken piece of plastic near the top. "See this bit? This the pressure pad. It's needed to make the tapes spin round proper." "Can... can I replace it? With a part from another tape?" "Nuh uh," Tyson shakes his head, "It's been snapped. Would need to be the same shape, glued on real careful like." "Oh..." Joe utters, a little disappointed, "So... I have to find it..." "Sorry, Joe," Tyson tells him, looking glum, but Joe assures him that it's not his fault, and that he's been a great help - "Really." Tyson manages a smile, and he wonders whose tape this was anyway. "It belonged to Jose," Joe reveals, and Tyson goes, "Oh. Feels like so long ago we went to church together." "I know he was your friend," Joe recalls, but Tyson musters a shrug and comments, "He was kind of a douche." Joe smirks at this, nodding, "Yeah. He was."
We next see Joe making his way out of the rec room with the mostly repaired tape, and he's forced to yell, "Holy crap!" courtesy of what he sees - the nurse receptionist, her face puffed up ten times it's normal size, guzzling the thermos full of iced tea. "It's literally killing me," she gurgles, "But it's just... so... good." "Toldja," Silvia smiles, crossing her arms triumphantly, and Joe notes, "You really gotta gimme the recipe for that stuff."
"Ah, the recipe turned out perfect," says Brianna Klaveno in the past as she pulls a cake out of the oven, the young Joanna (not our one) cheering and clapping now that she's finished eating the leftover batter from the mixing bowl. "Now we get to ice it," the little girl exclaims, and her mother tells her that that's right, looking excited to be doing some baking with her daughter. "Hey," says the young Emilie - exactly like Joanna but a bit more raggedy - as she enters the kitchen from behind her mother and sister, "I smelled baking. What's going on?" "Mommy's teaching me how to make cakes," Joanna smiles, turning to her sister in a rather unpleasant manner, and Emilie utters, "Oh..." as it becomes clear that this is something that she'd like to have been involved in too. "Honey, I'm home," Robert calls from by the door, "Sorry I'm late, but I wanted to do a quick confessional on the way home. Keep my soul good 'n' clean." Brianna calls to her husband that they're in the kitchen, and he walks right past Emilie to kiss his wife, then greeting his eldest twin daughter as he asks what it is they're doing. Joanna explains that they've just baked a cake together, and now are deciding how to ice it; and then - "I know! We can decorate it with a nice cross. Right, daddy?" "That sounds great, munchkin," Robert beams, "Heck, why don't I help you gals out?" Emilie watches as her three family members continue baking together, none of them having bothered to invite her to join, and then Joanna dips her finger into the frosting and stares her down some, licking it off with an evil little smile on her face - of course unnoticed by either parent, who are too busy laughing and having fun. Emilie quite literally growls in response, and finally her parents' attention are caught. "If you're gonna take that attitude, young lady, then go wait in the hall," Robert tells her, turning around, and Emilie sighs and leaves. "I can tell you someone who won't be having cake for dessert tonight," Brianna says in what she thinks is a quiet tone, but Emilie can hear it from out in the hall. Joanna's smile widens. Moving down the hall, Emilie sees a family portrait - Robert and Brianna looking impressive, the two twins in front of them. They look like a pair of Joannas more than anything, not an Emilie in sight, and so she sighs again. "I hate my sister..." she breathes.
"You know I love ya', sis, so what's the big deal?" Nadia questions back at base, her and Emilie having just come from the church fire where the former's enemies from childhood burned to death (see "If I Were a Butler"). "I don't know, it just..." Emilie starts, and then, "No. You're right. It's not a big deal, I'm just being silly. They did... they did deserve it," though it's rather clear she's trying to convince herself more than anyone. "That they did," Nadia smiles, happy that her partner has come around, but Emilie tacks on, "We're not gonna be... killing anyone else, are we?" "What do you mean?" Nadia wonders, and Emilie states, "Well, you know I'm just in this whole thing to put an end to religion. Not... religious people. Burning empty churches and all that..." Nadia pauses at this, and offers Emilie a smile that looks genuine, telling her, "Of course." She then steps forward, brushing Emilie's hair out of her face from where the backlash of the explosion messed it up, "I'm sorry I made you uncomfortable." "It... it's okay," Emilie promises, and Nadia gives her a hug, suggesting, "Why don't we forget about all this awkward business and just... relax with a nice glass of wine?" "Oh, um... I'm not really in the mood," Emilie assures, and Nadia shrugs this off, telling her, "Fine. You can watch me relax then." Emilie gives a little laugh, which makes Nadia smile. A doorbell rings, and Nadia sighs in annoyance, going to look at a little screen in the wall which shows her a view of the front porch. "Ugh," she then grunts as she sees the three Kappelletti brothers standing there, "Probably about Troy. Okay, I'll deal with them now and relax later. I've been working on a brand new means of persuasion and if all goes well... Are you... gonna be okay?" "Yeah," Emilie promises her after a brief pause, "Yeah, I'll be fine." "Good," Nadia nods, leaving her "sister" to continue to get to grips with her self-blame for the fiery death, "good..."
"Damn, this is goooooood," Joanna says in the present as she pours the last of the fancy old wine she got from the basement into a glass, nursing it thirstily. "Drinking too much again?" asks Nadia, stepping into the room, and Joanna sighs, "Okay, I know you're a vision this time. The wine was the one part of Catholicism that you enjoyed." Nadia shrugs at this, perching herself down on the coffee table and asking, "Nervous, then?" "Nope, just waiting for my husband to get home with something that can finally take you down." "And while he's out doing his little investigation, you're here drinking? What a helpful wife you are..." "Hey!" Joanna protests, "I'll have you know I've been very helpful of late!" "It's true," says the vision of her twin as she too steps into view, "She drinks because it's how she copes with the fact that she's always been useless. Unwanted. That's my fault, I suppose..." she grins. "Oh, shut up," our Joanna whines, and "real" Joanna smiles even more, saying, "I never had a problem with alcohol." "No, you were too busy dealing with acids," our Joanna quips, holding up the hand which bears her acid scar ("A clue!" Nadia beams), and her twin gives off a maniacal little laugh - "Good one, wasn't it? A real Joanna classic. Of course, you've sullied my good name in your time living my life. Now a Joanna classic is just... downing five bottles of red in one evening. It's a shame." "You never did your own name any favors," Joanna argues, but her twin says, "Please. The only reason you enjoy using it so much is because it allows you to pretend that you were the daughter that our parents actually wanted. That everyone throughout the both of our lives actually chose..." "I chose her," says Matthew as he bursts into existence, but our Joanna rolls her eyes and comments, "That's not such a great reference, though, is it?" "I chose Emilie..." Nadia points out, and the "real" Joanna exclaims, "Ha! The best you could get was a sociopath." "Says you!" Joanna argues, "You killed our parents!" "And you killed me," she smiles. "And me," Matthew adds, but Joanna tells him, "Shush." "Shame you failed to ever get rid of me," Nadia chimes in, and Joanna scowls at her. "Y'all should ease up on her," adds another voice in the mix, "Let 'er glug glug her troubles away." "Wilma?" Joanna exclaims, realizing that a vision of her sister-in-law is now standing there, and then, "What the hell are you doing here? Go away." "Come on, I wasn't allowed at your wedding, I wanna be a part of--" Joanna sips more wine and says, "Leave," and vision Wilma gives a little scream before bursting out of existence. "Anyway," Joanna goes on, "I'm sick of all you people constantly crowding my living room. It's rude." "It's your guilty little mind we're crowding, Em," Nadia assures her, but Joanna says, "Zip it. I'm gonna finish this glass of wine, and when I do, all of you people are gonna be gone. Forever. Understand?" "Denial burns an even uglier hole through you than that acid," says her sister, but Joanna doesn't pay attention, downing the last of her wine with her eyes closed; and, when she's finished, and opens her eyes again, the visions are purged, forced from her mind with great effort. "That's better," Joanna breathes, putting the glass down, and then her phone buzzes, and she picks it up to begin reading a text from Joe - she only has time to read something about a part of the tape being missing when her phone dies completely, and she begins hunting for a charger when the doorbell rings. "In a minute!" she barks, but she can't find a charger anywhere, and so she just puts away her phone and heads for the door, answering it to... no one. "I forget kids live on this street," she sighs, "Stupid ding-dong-ditch little sh--" and then she looks down, and notices the sticky note on her doormat. "Right," she nods, "Naturally." She then bends down to pick it up, and reads:
Drink up while you can, Em. It's all gonna kick off real soon. Mare athei.
"I..." Joanna comments, forgetting about the charger, "am gonna need another glass."
"Would you like another glass?" Rena calls out from the bar of Mary's penthouse, about six months into the past. "Yes, please," Mary exclaims, typing away at her computer as her live-in boyfriend pours her another glass of gin, bringing it over to her on the sofa where she scoots over so that he can sit next to her. "Have I ever told you how nice it is, having you around?" she asks, pointing out, "I thought you living here would only add to my stress, but these past three months have been wonderful." Rena smiles, happy to have made such a positive impact on her. With that, she resumes typing while Rena is expected to go back to watching TV at a low enough volume so that she can concentrate on her work; however, as the silence between the two commences, Rena decides to try something different, and so he switches off the TV. "So, what are you up to?" he asks, to Mary's confusion. "Huh?" "Yunno," the unemployed butler says, "What'cha writing?" "Oh, um... just script revisions," Mary answers, a little weirded out, "Why?" "Well, it's just that we never really... talk." "Talk?" "Yeah, yunno, about our lives. I mean we live together, but we don't... live together." "I'm... not really seeing the issue here," Mary admits, and Rena sighs, explaining, "I didn't even know you finished your first draft." "Yeah, because my first draft was complete and utter crap." "But why couldn't you tell me that?" Rena wonders, to which Mary responds, "Because... I don't know! Why does it matter? Go back to watching TV or whatever, or better yet, get me another glass of gin." "But you've not even touched the one I just got you," Rena exclaims, only for Mary to pick up the glass and down it whole. "Now run along," she instructs, and Rena scoffs, "I'm not your servant! Get your own damn drink!" "You're also not paying rent!" Mary barks, but Rena argues that he thought she liked having him around. "I did!" Mary then lowers her tone, "I do... just, some personal space is all I'm asking for." Rena can see that this is all becoming too sensitive for Mary, though he can't quite place his finger on why. "I'm sorry," he says, "I just... want this to work, yunno? I really like you." "And I like you too," Mary assures him, "but..." "You don't wanna get close to me," Rena's coming to understand, a little disappointed by this. "Not right now," she says, "not yet, at least." Rena nods, holding out his hand so that Mary can hand him her gin glass. There's silence between the two as he gets up and refill it for her, allowing him to think for a minute. He soon returns, glass in tow, handing it to his girlfriend that he sits back down next to. "That's alright," he finally decides, "you don't have to open up to me right now or get close to me or any of that stuff. You know why?" "Why?" Mary wonders, genuinely curious about her boyfriend's quick change of attitude, and then he answers: "Because what we have is real, and I'm not leaving your side," he exclaims with glee, taking her hand and then raising his own glass of gin in order to clink it with hers. "Eh heh... right," Mary utters, downing this glass, and Rena smiles, turning the TV back on and to a louder, more distracting volume. Mary simply blinks at this.
...Just as she does in the present when re-entering the Del Barrio mansion, taking notice of a few changes that have been made since she was last there. "What in the world?!" she exclaims, looking around at the numerous pictures of her and Rena, as well as a large banner reading "Somebody's Getting Mary'd!" "You like it?" Rena asks, emerging from the kitchen, followed by a few men dressed in butler attire. "Who are they?!" she asks, and Rena reveals, "After exposing that bitch, Juanita Kwon, all the town's butlers pretty much owe me for saving their careers." Mary turns to the butlers - a white one, a black one, a Spanish one, and an Asian one - and they all nod their heads in confirmation. "Is there anything else we can do for you, Mr. Duarte?" the Asian butler asks, but before Rena can answer, Mary asks, "Would you mind giving us a minute alone here?" The butlers turn to Rena for the official order, who is met with the glare of his angry fiancée; he lets out a gulp, turning to the butlers and insisting that they run along. Just as Mary goes to berate Rena though, now that they're alone, another voice calls out: "My, God, what is that?!" The couple turn and see that it's none other than Kathryn Kappelletti who's just let herself in without permission. Rena gives Kathryn a wary look, but Mary rolls her eyes at the has-been actor. "What are you doing here?" she asks, but as Kathryn goes to speak, Mary interrupts, "Actually, I don't care. Move along!" Kathryn shrugs, making her way through the mansion and up the stairs, carrying with her a plastic grocery bag with items Rena isn't quite able to make out. "Uh, Mary, I don't think she should--" but Mary, quite frankly, does not give a single damn. "What on earth is the matter with you?!" she barks, causing Rena to jump in fear, "Engagement party?! Are you mad?!" "I just thought--" "You thought what, Rena?!" Mary growls, "That I'm gonna share the biggest night of my life with you?!" "Well, yeah, is that too much to ask for?!" Rena now raises his own voice, "We're getting married, so shouldn't we be telling people? This would be the perfect time!" But it's then that Mary lets out a harsh laugh. "I... need to sit down, oh my," she says, sitting down on one of the sofas, then turning to her fiancé, "I can't do this anymore." "Do what?" Rena wonders, and so Mary decides to just give it up already. "Hun, listen, we're not getting married. We were never getting married. I said yes to your annoying ass proposal because, well, I was hoping I'd be able to subdue you a while longer. Keep you on your leash until you eventually forgot you proposed to me in the first place." "Why... are you saying these things?" Rena asks, tears building up in his eyes. "Because I don't love you!" Mary barks, "I never have, and I never will!" "But what about when you rescued me from the Devious Butlers?! You told me that--" "That was the adrenaline talking, not me!" Mary cries, tears forming in her eyes as well, and so she begins to lower her tone. "The truth is, when we started dating, I was just in it for a good time... and I thought you were too. Then you kept wanting more, and I tried to give you that. I really did. There was a part of me that wanted to love you, that wanted us to be able to just be happy and get married and share a life together, but... the other part of me just knew that's not who I am. And, quite frankly, you deserve better than that... you deserve better than me." She then slides Silvia's old engagement ring off her finger, though having to put a bit of effort into it as it's still rather tight, and she hands it back to the man she tried to love. "So that's it?" Rena asks, and Mary nods in confirmation, "That's it". Believing there's nothing else to be said, Rena decides to stand up and see himself out. "I guess I'll be going," he says, as Mary watches him leave for the door and, despite some initial hesitation, Mary finally speaks up one last time. "Wait!" she calls out, and Rena turns back to her, his face lighting up, "We're... still a bit understaffed," she admits, and Rena simply blinks. "If you'd... like to work the party..." Mary continues, "I can, like... pay... or not..." She sees the blank look on Rena's face. "Yeah, it was worth a shot," Mary shrugs, awkwardly leaving for the kitchen to get away from her now ex-fiancé, and Rena opens the front door to leave. Kathryn Kappelletti, meanwhile, makes her way down the stairs. "Wait for me!" she exclaims, coming downstairs with the same bag she left with, though her hands now noticeably covered in red spray paint. "Thanks, hun," she says, in regards to Rena holding the door, and she hands him a $20 tip, "Go get yourself a tamale or something," and with that, Kathryn carries on, Rena being left all alone, again.
"Tamales?" Brad questions in the past as he and Josh walk away from a Mexican food stand, each bearing those little baskets of food that you get. "Well, it's the best I could afford, and you paid for the movie and popcorn so... I figured I best pay for--" "'Dinner'?" Brad questions, a little smile on his face, and Josh encourages him to just try them because they're really good. Brad shrugs at this, moving in and taking a bite, and then shrugs again, saying, "Not bad, I guess." "Toldja," Josh winks, and Brad comes to wonder how he found out about this little stand anyway. "Oh, well I came here with--" he stops himself short of saying 'Juan', realizing that that would be an awkward thing to talk about, and the last time he spoke to his ex-boyfriend he was being bitched out over the phone anyway (see "Butler Who?"), and so he just says, "a friend. I came here with a friend once." "It's okay," Brad assures, "I have exes too. And for the record, I didn't mind paying for the movie. I'm the one who asked you out; ergo, I pay." "Oh, you think just 'cause you topped me back in your office that you're the man?" Josh laughs (see "Drop Dead Devious"), "Well, as far as first dates go, this is one of the better ones I'd say I've been on. That Maria Solano, huh? Really knows how to pull off a twist." "Oh yeah, I'm a big fan," Brad nods, taking another bite out of his tamale, and Josh laughs again, saying, "You're hating that, aren't you?" "I..." Brad defends, but, before he can finish, Josh tells him, "It's fine. A bigshot lawyer like you mustn't be used to eating poor people food." "Hey, I lived plenty poor when I was out on my gap year." "Oh, poor college boy, out seeing the world," Josh teases, and Brad concedes, "Alright, alright. Fair to you, you don't have a job right now. First thing in the morning I'll make a few calls, see if I can't get you another butler position." "Well, the last position you got me was with the Littles, so... no rush," Josh quips, and Brad smiles, assuring, "I'll find you someone better, I promise." "Maybe someone LGBTQ," Josh suggests, "Would be nice not to have a homophobic boss for once." "I'll see what I can do," Brad assures (enter Selena), and Josh takes his hand, telling him that he can throw the tamale away if he wants. "Thank God," Brad nods, tossing it into a nearby trashcan, and Josh tosses the remainder of his own as well, assuring that he's not that hungry. "And we're nearly home, for me," Josh realizes, the two of them having been walking this whole time. Brad asks his date where it is he's staying right now, and Josh reveals that he's crashing with Ali and Ben until he finds a new job, and so Brad assures that he'll definitely buckle down to get him firmly out of that house of horrors. "There's no rush," Josh promises him as the two of them enter onto Fanon Drive, "After all, you've done so much for me already... aside from this date, you're helping Ali, you secured me that alibi... if it wasn't for you, I'd be back rotting in a cell next to... Rapey Randy." "They really called him Rapey Randy?" "Oh yeah, prison is just as cliche as you think," Josh nods, and Brad smiles again, saying, "Well you never have to go back." "Again, thanks to you." "But I don't mind helping you," Brad assures, "I... I like it." "Well, this is me," Josh points out as the two of them arrive in front of the Del Barrio mansion, and Brad goes, "Oh... so, um... we should do this again, right? Sometime?" "Yes," Josh nods assuredly, and Brad nods in turn, the two of them now facing each other in the driveway. "I'll... give you a call?" Brad suggests, and Josh tells him that he looks forward to it. There's then a moment where Brad leans forward briefly, and then moves out again, as though unsure of himself, and in that moment Josh grabs him and plants a massive kiss on his lips. After this long, drawn-out piece of public making out comes to a halt, Josh giggles and points out, "We already banged in the middle of a law firm, you were really gonna be all crotchety about giving me a goodnight kiss?" "What can I say?" Brad shrugs again, "I can be an old-fashioned kinda guy at times." "A romantic," Josh translates, and Brad coyly tells him, "Exactly." They share another, briefer kiss, and then their hands break apart, for it's time for them to bid one another goodbye and for Josh to head inside... Only, when he's halfway up the driveway, he suddenly turns back around, saying, "Brad?" "Yeah?" Brad answers, turning around also and re-approaching, though he doesn't have particularly far to go, having been somewhat reluctant to leave anyway. "I... don't exactly have anything I need to go inside for," Josh continues, "And, this has been such a lovely evening and all, so... I dunno, we could just... circle the block a couple more times? Talk some more..." "I'd... like that," Brad grins, and Josh returns it, stepping closer to the lawyer. Brad outstretches his hand and Josh takes it, continuing to talk about whatever as the two of them keep on prowling the nighttime streets, neither one of them wanting this night to come to an end. Brad can't help but keep his eyes fixed on his future husband; and, while it may take Josh a little while longer to fully realize his feelings (see "Malice in Workerland"), Bradley Sonya knows right there and then that he is hopelessly and irretrievably in love with Joshua Gibbons. The night seems to go on forever...
All good things must come to an end, though, as we've come to know with Josh, and this brings us to the cemetery about nine months prior to the events of the present day. Josh is among the many gathered for Brad's funeral, with Brad's mourning parents sat a few seats away. His friends are there too - Joe, Rena and Ben - as well as Ali, who was once Brad's client, currently holding hands with Liz. Joanna sits next to Joe, as far from Josh as possible, and Gregory Keating has come to pay his respects too. A priest is seen giving a eulogy, while Josh appears to have opted out of saying any words. One can tell by his appearance that he's not well, with his messy hair, the stubble on his face, and his mis-buttoned shirt. He's completely out of it, not taking in a single word the priest is saying. It's then that a familiar voice calls out: "Wow, who knew she had so many friends?" Josh turns his head in confusion. "Wh- what?" he utters, seeing what he believes to be Bradley Sonya rolling over next to him, in a wheelchair. "Selena," the vision of Brad answers, "Look around, everyone's come to mourn her loss." Josh turns his head, looking at the crowd of people, but everything seems a little fuzzy to him - everything except Brad - who's very much there. Alive. Paralyzed from the waist down, but nonetheless alive. "Oh..." Josh utters, "yeah, I suppose you're right." The couple then sit in silence, momentarily, before Josh slowly reaches his hand over, taking Brad's for comfort. All is well... or so he believes.
And here we are now, in the present day, as Josh stands in the basement of the Winters' mansion. He's currently looking up at the corkboard Joanna made, displaying all of the information currently gathered regarding Nadia. Filled with its pictures, documents, suspects, and clues; push-pins and colored bits of string; it's a masterpiece, really (see "Eye of the Dryer"). Josh's eyes wander across all of it - the church explosion, the picture of Brad with the cross put through it - and soon enough a single tear trickles down his cheek. It's then that Joanna comes up from behind, glass of wine in tow, putting her empty hand on his shoulder. "You ready?" she asks, and the butler turns to her, nodding.
Josh is next seen marching down Fanon Drive, Joanna close behind him with the sound of her heels clicking against the pavement, the both of them having looks of determination in their eyes. Currently clipping away at a set of hedges near the ending of Mary's driveway, Juan sees the butler and the boss coming, with the gardener locking eyes with the butler. From Josh's look, Juan can tell that he's not a force to be reckoned with, and so he ditches the hedge-clippers, meeting Josh and Joanna at the Solano property line. "Um, hey," Juan greets, "is everything alright?" "No everything's not alright," Josh answers, and Juan raises a brow, turning to Joanna. "Hi," she speaks up, "I don't believe we've properly spoken since my late husband had you deported," (see "Custodian Horror Story"). "Right... well--" "You were wrong," Josh interrupts his old fiancé, "when you said maybe I wasn't sure about marrying Brad. You were just... wrong." "Josh--" "I loved him! Love him... more than anything in this world. And for you to have the audacity to say otherwise is just appalling, really." Juan can sense the tensions are only rising as he notices looks exchanged between Josh and Joanna, and so he utters: "It... was just a joke." "Mhm, I'm sure it was," Josh admits, "a cruel, petty joke about some stupid hankie that I wore as my 'something blue'. Right, Joanna?" he turns to his boss, who shrugs, "I don't know, I never saw it." "Oh, and why is that?" Josh wonders, now in a sarcastic tone, and Joanna gives an equally sarcastic "hmm" before answering, "Could it have been that you never wore it to the altar?" And Josh snaps his fingers, turning to Juan, "That's right. I didn't wear it to the altar," he reveals, "I left my dressing room for a split second wearing it, and then I turned around. Contrary to your belief, when I realized it belonged to you, I realized how disrespectful it'd have been to wear it in my wedding to another man... not to mention it didn't match my suit in the slightest." "I'm... not sure I understand what you're getting at," Juan claims, "but I've got work to do, so..." He begins to walk away, but Josh calls out for him to stop. "This'll just take a second, dear," Joanna says to the gardener, as Josh adds, "Yeah, I just want you to admit you murdered my husband." And Juan stops in his tracks, turning back to face the two currently confronting him. "What?" he utters, and Josh shrugs his shoulders. "Well, why else were you snooping around the church?" "Josh, I--" "You were planting the bombs, right? Helping out, oh, what was his name again?" "Troy O'Neal," Joanna answers, "the Kappellettis' stunt coordinator and Nadia's explosives expert." "Right!" Josh remembers, turning back to his ex. "Troy built the bombs and you helped scatter them around the church. Hell, I bet you even got to press the detonator, didn't you?" "These... are very wild accusations you're making," Juan exclaims, to which Josh responds, "And yet, you've denied none of them." Tears start building up in Juan's eyes as Josh continues, "Tell me: how did it feel to watch the church burn, hearing the cries of all those innocent people? The injuries... the deaths. Tell me!" And it's then that Juan drops to his knees, in tears. "I had no choice!" he cries, "I was gonna be deported again, and I have a family to take care of! Th-- this woman, Nadia - as you call her -, she got in touch with me through an unknown number. She wouldn't tell me who she was, she just... she told me that she could get me citizenship, no questions asked, and could pay me a large sum of money to send back to my family. I just had to do one, single job for her. It was a one time thing. That was it... but I regretted it the second the bombs went off!" Josh shakes his head, though. "I don't believe you," he says, "No, I know you got some satisfaction from it. You knew what you were doing. You knew it was my wedding you were targeting, the one you tried oh so hard to be apart of. You seem to forget that I know you, how petty you can be, and I don't believe for a second that you didn't revel in Brad's death. My husband's death." And so Juan looks up, no more tears and no more whimpers, just a sinister grin as he stands. "Okay," he admits, "I killed Brad, your poor, innocent husband. Hell, I even put that blue-haired mutation out of its misery. I planted the bombs, pressed the detonator, and watched that church blow to pieces, all the while knowing your life would collapse around you in the process. And you're right, I did enjoy every second of it. It was a little hard to stomach at first, but knowing the pain it was bringing you... oh that made it all so worth it." Josh nods his head at all of this, and Juan is then left to wonder: "So what'cha gonna do now?" he asks, then adding, "Good luck getting those moronic cops to believe your story. You got nothing." But Josh can't help but chuckle. "You're such a dumbass," he says, before turning to his boss. "Joanna?" he asks, who smiles, proceeding to pull out a small microphone from inside her cleavage. "You get all that, Lieutenant Huberd?" she speaks into it, as Juan's eyes widen in realization, and soon enough several police cars make their way down Fanon Drive, sirens blaring, arriving in front of the Solano property line. "No... NO!" Juan barks at Josh and Joanna as the latter reveals, "A little request my husband put in to the W.H.P.D. After a few... misunderstandings, recently, they owed him one." Out steps Lieutenant Huberd from one of the cars, followed by several armed officers. "Juan Castillo, you're under arrest for explosion of the Wikerly Hills Catholic Church and, as a result, the deaths of Bradley Sonya and Selena James Washington. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." With that, Juan is slapped into a set of handcuffs as another officer holds out a Ziploc bag for Joanna to drop her little microphone into. Josh, meanwhile, approaches his former lover one last time before seeing him off for good. "The irony is that you did all this just so you could stay in America," he remarks, "Well the good news is you're never leaving this country again. Tell Randy I said hi." Juan looks at though he's about to spit at the man who's causing his ultimate downfall, but he's not given the chance as Josh steps away for Huberd to escort the former gardener into a car to be taken into police custody. Josh and Joanna both watch as the police cars drive away, the former having been victorious in bringing justice for the death of his true love. Joanna puts her hand on his shoulder again as the two turn to one another. "So now what?" she asks of her butler, and he reveals, "Now I pack for New York." "Oh," Joanna is a little taken aback, "so you've made your decision then?" and Josh nods. "I realized that, as long as Brad's killer was still out there, I was never gonna be at peace. There was always gonna be a part of me knowing that someone out there was getting away with it, but now... now I can move on. Start fresh." Joanna can't help but feel a little choked up about this, her best friend moving away, but still she manages to smile. "I'm gonna miss you," she says, opening up her arms for a hug, and Josh says the same in turn while embracing his own best friend.
"I wanted start fresh-over with full-time in-living position," Justine is seen telling Elizabeth and Elijah Davis at her interview, who are still living out of boxes in their new house on Fanon Drive. "Right..." Liz utters, a frown on her face, "And you speak like that... all the time?" "Ignore my wife, if you can," Eli chimes in, "She can be unnecessarily mean." "Pffft," Liz scoffs, "you bully a couple o' kids into finally taking the plunge and bringing shotguns into class, and suddenly you're 'mean' for life." "Where you go school?" Justine wonders, to which Liz idly replies, "Colorado." "Yes, well..." Eli responds, "We try to pretend that's not true, don't we, dear?" "Whatever," she addresses him, and then Justine, "Can you cook?" "Oui, oui," Justine chirps excitedly, "Cooking est un passion of mine; it was once my grandest dream to--" "A simple 'oui' would have sufficed," Liz assures, "It still would have annoyed the crap out of me, but it's better than your life story." "See?" Eli says to his wife, "Mean." "You wanna talk mean?" Liz argues, "Kathryn Kappelletti indirected me twice on Twitter in the past week implying I'm some sort of man-stealing whore, all because I managed to bag a black man and she didn't." "Why do you care what Kathryn Kappelletti thinks? You've barely just met her," Eli points out, and Liz exclaims, "I wanna make a good impression, alright? That woman is prime best friend material!" "If say so you do," Justine mutters under her snaily breath, to which Liz asks, "What's that, dear?" Justine passes it off as French cough though (like a normal cough, but more obnoxious) and purveys one of her squinty-eyed smiles, asking, "What cuisine is it you're liking best?" "Oh, I don't eat," Liz makes clear, and Justine wonders, "Then why you ask--" "Are you still here?" Liz sighs, and Eli rolls his eyes, telling Justine, "Once again, you must excuse my--" "Would you stop making excuses for me?" "Would you stop acting in such a way that means I need to make excuses for you?" "Ugh, we don't have time for our adorable to-and-fro, Eli - we've been invited to a dinner party, remember?" "Oh, right, the Winterses," Eli nods, and Justine's head perks up some, "The party dinner of the Winters'? I's working it." "Are you now?" Eli asks, interested, and Liz halts with, "Wait... you already work for other people on this street?" "Oui," Justine nods (Liz groans), "Fanon Drive it is basically just Jose et moi, lighting up the moon." "I want a maid whose attention is solely on my needs," Liz makes clear, but Justine assures, in a mangled order of words, that she is an excellent multi-tasker. "And our other option is a man named Jose, you say?" Eli inquires, and Justine does a squinty frown, nodding. "Oh..." Liz murmurs, "Well, you do sound like the lesser of two foreigns." "Liz--!" "But your English is gonna annoy the crap out of me... this is a toughie. Just... keep listing off maid crap you're good at." Justine does this, while Liz resigns herself to looking bored, rolling her eyes at Justine's bad English. Eventually, feeling as though he'd simply rather annoy his wife (see "Drop Dead Devious"), Eli asks her, "You want the job?" "Quelle?" asks Justine. "What?" asks Liz, and Eli repeats himself. "Well... oui! Oui!" "Dear lord, I wasn't serious about hiring her!" Liz scolds her husband, who's already being hugged by Justine, and tells his wife that it's too late. "Excellent maid I be, promise swear Mrs. Liz!" Justine yells, and Liz looks murderous. Then she just sighs, repeating to herself, "Lesser of two foreigns, lesser of two foreigns..." and then, "Want the job?" she shrugs, and Justine nods frantically, and Eli appears surprised at this, having just asked this himself. "What?" Liz questions, "I was gonna give it to her all along - I was just establishing an adorable to-and-fro with her as well. It's what everybody loves about me. Besides, this way it's my choice. You don't make decisions for me." "Mhm..." Eli scowls, then turning to his new French maid and saying, "Well, Justine... welcome to the family." Another squinted smile. "Alright, time to get ready for the party," Liz decides, "Justine, be a dear and wax me." "Wax?" Justine questions, confused by the concept, and Liz remembers, "Oh, right - French. Just fetch me some wine or something then."
Wine is poured freely as Justine is next seen serving Liz and Eli at the Winters' dinner party down the street, which Jorgio and Alison Del Barrio are also attending. "More wine, Mrs. Winters?" Jose asks Joanna, who replies, "Yes, please," and allows the butler to refill her glass. "A little more," she requests, "A little more. A little more..." Jose exhausts the bottle, and Joanna sighs, saying, "Alright, guess I'll just have a small glass for in-between meals," as she begins to nurse the rim. "More wine, Mr. Winters?" Justine asks Matthew hopefully, and Matthew scoffs, "No thank you, my dear. Are you trying to get me drunk?" He laughs, as do the other guests, while Justine's eyes simply dart from side-to-side, and she scurries away nervously. "It may be the blood of Christ, but I'm no vampire like my wife, eh? Eh?" Matthew asks jokingly, and Joanna stops drinking to laugh, simply so he'll drop it and she can continue drinking. Jose soon announces that dinner's going to be a little while, and that the guests might be better off dispersing for some drinks while they wait; as such, even more wine is poured for everyone as they all get up from their seats and move to the Winters' living area, standing around and mingling. "'Ere you are, Mrs. Liz," Justine says, topping off her new boss' drink, and Liz neglects to thank her; to fill the silence, Justine just nods to Jorgio, who's nearby, saying, "Mr. Joey," and he sighs deeply as she circulates off. "Dumb frog never could get my name right," he comments, and Liz laughs a little, with him explaining that his name is in fact Jorgio - Jorgio Del Barrio. "I'm Liz," she says, shaking his hand, and he takes an immediate interest in her, complimenting her gorgeous red hair and saying that he was thinking of making his wife, Ali, dye hers the same color. "Making her?" Liz questions, and then, "Well, I suppose I am all for dominion..." Jose hears this from nearby, and makes a mental note, moving on. "So, you've hired Justine?" Jorgio questions, and Liz tells him, "Yeah. She's not very good, though. Couldn't put up my bookshelf in a hurry." "You're a book fan?" Jorgio inquires, and Liz shrugs, saying that she can be. "Who's your favorite?" he wonders. "Oh, probably Dr. Seuss, but I'm also a fan of Du Maurier. She and I share a birthday." (see "Orange Is the New Plaque") "Really?" Jorgio raises an eyebrow, and Liz reveals that she hasn't gotten much reading done since she got married and entered the public eye - she fears it's rotting her brain as well as worsening her mood - "But oh well, all's worth it for fame, right?" "Right, right..." Jorgio nods, "And who's your husband?" Liz then points to Eli across the room, saying that he's Elijah Davis, the actor, and Jorgio mutters, "Oh... I assumed he was one of the servers." "Ha!" Liz exclaims, "Right?" "Well... must mingle with others. See you around." "Yeah, see ya," Liz shrugs, then moving through the guests and nearly bumping into-- "Oh, I'm so sorry!" Alison Del Barrio exclaims, "I could have ruined your whole outfit! That was so clumsy of me; my husband's always telling me not to be clumsy and I need to listen! Ugh, I'm so stupid!" "Jeez, honey, pop a Xanax maybe?" Liz suggests, and Ali looks as though she is indeed about to reach for some pills out of her purse, but thinks better of herself. "I'm sorry," she finds herself saying again, automatically, and then, "I'm Jorgio's wife." "You got a name?" Liz wonders, and then Ali exclaims, "Oh! Um, Alison. You can call me Ali." "Well hey Ali," Liz greets, outstretching her hand, "I'm Liz." Ali smiles, shaking that hand, and then Liz asks, "So, what's your secret?" "I-I'm sorry?" Ali asks in turn, nervously, and Liz just has to know, "I mean, what are you on? Is it Atkins? Diet pills? Cotton balls?" "Oh..." Ali utters, "I'm, um... I'm just thin." "Riiiight," Liz says suspiciously, eyeing Ali up and down and admiring the way her dress hangs off her ribcage a little bit, and then Joanna joins the two girls with two glasses of wine in tow. "Hey Ali," she greets, "And you're Elizabeth Davis, right? The actor's wife?" "The actress," Liz makes clear, and Joanna nods, saying that it's always nice to have more women on Fanon Drive - "We should all get together for a kiki sometime."
"I can't believe we haven't done this in, like, nine months," Joanna comments as she, Liz and Ali all sit by the Del Barrio pool with cocktails in tow while nearby workers set up a stage for the party. "I know, and after we managed to whittle away all those horrible extras like Rochelle, Kathryn, Selena..." Liz recalls, almost gagging before having a sip of her drink, and Joanna responds, "Let me tell ya', I really need this after that whole Juan arrest, and… note-givings. It's already been such a stressful morning." "You got a Mexican arrested?" Liz asks, proud, while Ali latches onto the latter part of Joanna's statement, saying, "I know, right? Preparing the mansion for this party has been a nightmare." "I'm sorry to have put you out, babe," Liz apologizes, but Ali assures her that it's fine - "I'm just happy now to relax and stay relaxed until the whole thing's over and I can get back to cleaning the place out." "Oh..." Liz utters, "You wanna... clean it out even more?" "Well, yeah," Ali shrugs, "Fresh start and all that." "Oh..." Liz utters again, while Joanna comments, "You sound like Josh. I'm gonna miss that li'l gay hunni..." "He's the butler I never interact with, right?" Liz clarifies, and Ali reminds her girlfriend, "He's the one who got Jennifer for us." "Ah," Liz nods, "yeah, he'll be really missed." She sips her cocktail, wishing that the certain maid who made it has used a little more ice, and, noticing the hardness of her slurp, Joanna asks her if she's stressed out too. "Well yeah," Liz exclaims, "this is about to be the biggest night of my career - the payoff everyone's been waiting for ever since I publicly came out as bisexual - I'm so nervous, I came this close to eating an appetizer earlier." She holds her finger a little away from her thumb, while Joanna wonders, "Should we have invited Mary to join us?" "What did I tell you about whittling away the extras?" Liz reminds, "Anyway, I think she's working on hiring musical entertainment for the evening or something." "Yeah, apparently Rihanna dropped out," Ali says, explaining that she overheard, and Joanna nods, "Of course she did. The Barbadians are quite unreliable from what I remember. That being said, I do miss the island a little..." "I empathize with her," Ali adds, "I wonder if she'd be willing to make a donation to my charity..." "Oh yeah, you have a charity," Joanna remembers, "How's that going?" "Good," Ali assures, "with this fresh start mojo underway, I really wanna focus on it, actually. And on that note," she puts her cocktail down, "I've just remembered that there was somewhere I wanted to head out to before the party starts. Excuse me," she goes by Liz and says, "Be back soon, honey," before giving her a little kiss and then hightailing off. "Where's she going?" Joanna wonders, and Liz sighs, "I have no idea..." "Well, maybe it's good this little social gathering's come to an end," Joanna decides, putting her cocktail down (having drained it, obviously), and Liz wonders why that is. Joanna eyes the security cameras dotted around the mansion and explains, "I have some business to tend to here. By any chance do you know how to work the security system?" Liz shrugs.
The two of them are next seen up in the security tower, on the topmost floor of the mansion filled with tapes and screens. "What is it you need?" Liz wonders, and Joanna tells her, "To look at some old footage of your garage. Joe texted me about a part being missing from this tape that Ali dropped off earlier with all of Jose's stuff, and I figured maybe someone coulda stole it." "Alright," Liz says, gesturing the tapes, "knock yourself out," and Joanna begins scanning the dates of the tapes, searching for the ones which depict the garage. "Joe said Jorgio moved Jose's stuff to the garage after he moved in, and I'm pretty sure I clocked the exact moment Joe's ass first arrived on Fanon Drive, meaning it should be around..." she mutters all this to herself, eventually selecting a tape from June 2016 and inserting it into the security mechanism, meaning one of the screens starts to play what's on it. They see some boring, still shots of the garage, and so Joanna hits fastforward, seeing as Jorgio comes in and begins to load Jose's boxes and such into that secret compartment in the far wall. "Ugh, what a gross," Liz comments, seeing her girlfriend's late husband, and Joanna agrees, fastforwarding at a higher speed in the hopes of finding out something relevant. "I get why Ali wants a fresh start from him," Liz adds, "I just..." she sighs. "Just what?" Joanna questions, keeping one eye on the screen, and Liz admits, "I dunno... it's probably just me being silly but..." "But what?" Joanna is curious, and Liz finally says, "I'm frightened." "Frightened?" "Of Ali, seeking a fresh start. I mean... what if... what if..." "What if...???" "What if she decides to completely start her life anew, you know? And I'm... not a part of the picture." Joanna droops some at this, asking Liz, "Now why would you say that?" "Sometimes I question if I'm really good for Ali," Liz comes clean, "I'm... I'm neurotic, and selfish, and needy, and... loud. And damn near abusive to everyone I meet." "Not her," Joanna points out, and Liz nods, "No... no, not her." "And you've risked your life for her," Joanna adds, and Liz nods, "That's true... but--" "But nothing. I see the way Ali looks at you. It's the way I look at Joe. The way you look at her. She loves you. Of course you're part of the picture." A pause, and Liz asks her friend, "You're really sure?" "I really am," Joanna smiles, "And if you're that worried, just... find a way to show her that you don't plan on going anywhere." "Huh..." Liz considers, thinking deeply about this, "Maybe I will." Joanna then turns to the screen and asks, "What was that?" "What was what?" Liz wonders, snapping out of her thought, and Joanna starts to rewind, seeing a blonde blur on the tape and then quickly playing the day from the top - a piece of footage from a few weeks after Jose's stuff was placed in the garage by Jorgio. A certain someone is seen opening up the compartment and taking something, and, just before that person turns around, Joanna utters, "Who is that?" and Liz, when the tape finally reveals this mysterious thief's face, is the one to grumble, "Justine..." Indeed, within the tape, Justine Dussault has just re-sealed the secret compartment door and is now heading out of the garage, keeping her big coat held close to her chest, clearly concealing something beneath it. "Bitch broke the tape," Joanna concludes, "The... pressure pad, or something. Man, I need to charge my phone." "Hmph," Liz says contemptuously, having paused the tape on the image of Justine sneaking through what is now her garage, "If only that chienne had been sent to prison where she belonged..." ("You know she killed Jose?" "Killed who now?")
"Ugh, why aren't you dead yet?" Fiona Pierce is seen asking, sat down in the Wikerly Hills Women's Prison, "Has a lifetime of pain and misery really not pushed you over the edge yet?" We see that she's talking to none other than Alison Del Barrio, this being the somewhere that she needed to be; however, she's clearly beginning to have regrets. "Maybe I should just go," Ali suggests, really not in the mood to be torn down by her vicious aunt, but Fiona sighs, shaking her head. "Don't," she demands, "you're the first visitor I've gotten since being put in this joint, and I'm bored." "Well, maybe that's something you should've considered before..." "Drugging your slut of a mother, slitting her wrists, staging her suicide, selling you into human trafficking and then trying to kill you and steal all your money?" Fiona gives a mocking grin and bats her eyes, "Yes, well, I've had a lot of time to reflect and, quite frankly, I would do it all again if given the chance." "Fiona--" "How's my daughter, by the way?" the madwoman inquires, "My only daughter who you took from me and turned against me." "Is that really how you remember it?" Ali is appalled, and Fiona shrugs. "Whatever paints me the prettiest picture." "Fiona, please... after everything you've done to me, can you please give me this one conversation?" "And for what?" Fiona genuinely wonders, "Really, why the hell are you here? Like you said, after everything I've done, why would you wanna see my rather beautifully aged face again?" "Because... I don't know," Ali admits, "Lately I've just been... reevaluating things. My life. What's in it. Who's a part of it. What I've gone through, and what's made me who I am today." "Have you ever considered picking up a hobby?" Fiona suggests, "Try self-mutilation?" "And, once more, I've been proven correct. This really is a waste of time." Fiona shrugs, pointing out that she's having a blast so far. "Really, what the hell is wrong with you?" Ali is forced to ask, to which Fiona admits without hesitation, "I've spent most of my life screwing my brother. Obviously there's some psychological issues, but I've chosen to just get over it and keep on keeping on!" "Well, at least you can admit to that much..." Ali utters, beginning to stand up to leave, but Fiona stops her. "Wait," she exclaims, "I actually have some questions for you." "Like what?" Ali asks, and Fiona smiles, sitting back in her chair. "What was it like with him?" she begins, "Being a slave for a good, what, ten years? I assume he beat you. How did he do it? Was it with his hands, or did he use hard objects?" "I--" but Ali isn't allowed to finish. "Ooh, and how did he defile your body? Do you still feel pain? Did he break you any? Do you have scars? Can I see your scars? Oh, I hope he made you bleed." And then - SMACK - right across Fiona Pierce's face as Ali stands to her feet. No tears. No cowering. Ali stands tall, a real force to be reckoned with, as she looks down at her shaken aunt. Everyone in the visitors' room have down turned towards the two women, a guard even approaching. "Ma'am, I'm gonna have to ask you to leave," he says to Ali, who puts her hand up to get in a last few words to her auntie dearest. "I came here today because I wanted closure of some sort. I wanted to have a better understanding of why you did all the things that you did, but I think it's pretty clear now that you're just... a really awful person. But that's not my problem anymore. The things you did to me, they're in the past now, and that's something I'm coming to accept." "Try to forget me all you want, dear. It doesn't change the fact that I'm a part of you forever," Fiona lets a sadistic cackle, but Ali shakes her head. "Your words will disappear, as will your name. Any memory of you will just... fade away, as this is it." Ali leans in close, one last time to say: "Goodbye, Aunt Fiona." With that, she's escorted away by the guard, out of the prison, and stands relieved, having removed Fiona from her life forever.
"I wanted to put the people who are meant to be in prison in prison and now..." "Now you're getting drunk at a bar with strangers," Joanna comments to Joe in the past, hours after the moment they first met (see "Custodian Horror Story" and "Buffing the Damp Mire Layer"). "I think you'll find we're no longer in a bar," Joe points out, for right now the two of them are strolling through Wikerly Hills at night time, heading back to Joe's apartment while he still has one, him having just been fired. "Yes, but," she pulls the bottle of wine they were drinking back out the bar from out of her purse, "I think you'll find we're still getting drunk." Joe laughs at this while she chugs some of the wine, then passing the bottle over to him so that he can have some. He takes a big swig but soon moves the bottle away from him, his tongue burning a little, and Joanna finds this incredibly funny. "Oh, sweetie, you need to learn to handle your liquor." "I know how to handle it, trust me," Joe assures, taking another, smaller swig, "I'm just... not on your level." "Ha," says Joanna, taking the bottle back and chugging some more, "No one is." It's not long before she throws the empty bottle to one side and we hear it smash against something, and Joe comments, "You know, if I were still a cop, I could arrest you for littering." "Littering as opposed to taking the bottle in the first place? I think your coply priorities are a little messed up," she teases. "I'd have to get you on multiple charges," he goes on. "Oh yeah?" Joanna arches an eyebrow at him, amused, "Well then we best hurry on back to your place - you can give me a proper punishment for all my many, many crimes." Joe grins and they continue walking, her asking, "So where is it you live, anyway?" "Just beyond here," he says, pointing at a nearby church, and Joanna goes, "Whoa. One that's still standing." "I know, right?" Joe agrees, "Yet another something that my former colleagues weren't so keen to investigate. You a religious woman?" Joanna can barely contain her cackle, asking, "Honey, I thought you were a good detective: do I look like a religious woman? That crap's for my hu-- humble beginnings." Joe's the one to raise his eyebrow now, again eyeing that tanline on her finger from where her wedding ring's been removed, but he's not in the mood to care right now. "Of course," Joe nods, "And you told me at the bar that you were quite the detective yourself. Seems to me we'd make quite the pair." "That we would," Joanna laughs as the two of them make it past the church, and Joe reaches his hand out some; she takes it. "Nearly there," he assures, and she tells him, "Glad to hear it. But you don't gotta hold on so hard. Unlike that church, I'm going anywhere." Joe, however, already knows that this isn't true.
And, sure enough, when he wakes up the next morning - a post-euphoric smile still etched on his face - he reaches out to cradle the woman he spent the night with and finds nothing but a vat of empty space in the bed next to him. "Bye, bye, 'Emilie'," he chuckles as he sits up, applying a pair of boxers and walking up to the window. While pouring himself a morning drink, he stares out at the world beyond, no longer having to go out into it for work, and wonders to himself where this rather spectacular woman could have gone. The church stands solidly in his view.
And a church lay crumbling in the present - the same one Jose was buried behind - having been reduced to ruin a long time ago. "You know, they should really build offices or something over all these wreckages," Silvia suggests as she approaches the place with Joe, who points out, "The town doesn't actually need that many offices." "Right, right, no one works," Silvia remembers, "Everyone's just magically rich. Still, it's ugly. What makes you so sure that what you're looking for is here, though?" "The note Jose stuffed into the tape," Joe explains, "About pocketing the secret and taking it to his grave." "You can't have taken that literally, though?" Silvia questions, "I mean, there's no way he coulda orchestrated that he'd be buried with a - what was it? - snapped pressure pad or whatever." "No, no," Joe agrees, "Though that is what gave me the idea. See, through all the snooping I did when I first arrived on Fanon Drive, I got to know the late Mr. Sanchez quite well. It was my belief until recently that he gave up on writing a blackmail note to Joanna because he was afraid of her - after discovering the tape, I think different, though. He decided to go after Nadia herself; thought he could cash more in." "But he didn't use it," Silvia figures, and Joe points out, "Because I was right. He was afraid. Just not of Joanna. See, Jose was perhaps the greediest little leech alive, only caring about himself and about money. He would have done anything to get his hands on a fortune... anything that wouldn't get him killed." "Well, that clearly worked out well for him..." "Indeed," Joe smirks, "So he made the tape so that he could blackmail Nadia - this is assuming the tape has information on her, anyway; here's hoping that my hunches are correct - but became too scared to send it because, well, if he dug up anything about her then he'd know that she's scary as all hell. But, he'd be willing to risk it if none of his other blackmail schemes worked out. So, he trashed the tape to stop anyone from viewing it before he was ready for it to be seen, but kept a little part of it safe so that he'd be able to use it if need be when he saw fit. He never did have to use it, and so the little part would have remained on his person. Pocketed." "That's... a lengthy hunch," Silvia nods, "So, shouldn't we just be searching all of Jose's old clothes?" "Oh, no, Jorgio had those all thrown out - he only kept the rest of Jose's things in case he was harboring sensitive blackmail material. Which, obviously he was, but not against the Del Barrios. See, I also learned during my initial investigation that Jorgio was the one who took care of Jose's burial proceedings. And, if I know my dearly departed father as well as I think I do, he'd have thrown the body into the coffin as is, bloodstains at all, clothes intact. And whatever was hidden in them." "Wouldn't the police have given the body a once-over?" "What? After they'd already made an astoundingly wrong arrest in the case?" Joe scoffs, "I know my former workmates all too well also." Silvia nods, surmising that it's worth a shot, and Joe adds, "So... let's get digging." They pop open the trunk of Silvia's car.
"I can't believe the groundskeeper bought that you're this place's butler," Silvia sighs as she plunges a shovel into the earth around Jose's grave, and Joe points out that it's a cover that's yet to fail him. "Nearly failed you back at the home," she points out, hitting something hard, and Joe offers to help her dig around that part with his own shovel. "Ah, a spot of midday grave-digging," Silvia says fondly, "This is exactly the kind of mother-son bonding activity I always wanted for us." Joe laughs, and the two keep digging.
Finally, the two are standing over a hole with the exposed coffin gaping at them, and Joe's the one to climb into the grave by cover of wreckage and prise the lid open. And there it is. The rotten skeleton of Jose Sanchez, still dressed in the stereotypical butler's uniform he died in. One can see the places Justine's knife pierced it, and even the ghosts of the lacerations in his worm-eaten neck. "God, he stinks," Silvia comments from above, and Joe assures his mother that he's well-aware. "Here goes nothin'..." he then replies, proceeding to defile the body even further by searching its pockets. And eventually, in the breast, he can feel something small and plastic. "I think I found it!" he exclaims, reaching in and pulling out... what looks like part of an old vibrator, and Joe sighs, "Damn, how many blackmail schemes did this bastard have on the go?" "Is that recyclable?" Silvia wonders, but Joe tosses it to one side and searches the pocket of the hip, which is when he pulls out the small piece of black plastic that is the snapped-off pressure pad of the videotape. "I knew it!" he exclaims, celebrating, and then, "I have moldy flesh under my nails..." "Yeah, you should really get out of there," Silvia agrees, and he tells her, "One sec. Lemme just text Joanna that I got it."
But Joanna never receives this text. Her phone's still dead, and she's still thinking, "Justine... she's the answer... Justine..."
Justine smiles before tearing some cotton candy away and stuffing it into her mouth, and we zoom out to see that she's toting a stout baguette which is filled with the sugary stuff. "What a fun carnival," she comments as she and Ben walk the busy street near the big town sign, and Ben says something muffled in response that we can barely hear ("Well, I know how down you've been feeling lately, it's only my pleasure to cheer you up, babe," (see "Butler Who?")) due to him carrying around what looks like a hundred stuffed animals he's apparently won for his girlfriend in various games. "You so cute shooting those cans, like," she makes a gun gesture with the fingers of her non-baguette-bearing hand and aims it at the stuffed animal that looks like Speedy Gonzalez, "Bang. Au revoir, Mexican." "Ahh!" is the first thing we properly hear Ben exclaim, as he trips over the tail of a plush unicorn and drops all the toys onto the pavement, and Justine rolls her eyes, quickly taking another bite out of her candyfloss baguette and saying, after taking a long while chewing and swallowing, "'Ere. Let me 'elp you." Ben appears greatly pleased by this, only for her to pick up a plastic Barbie-looking doll of a generic French woman - probably the smallest, lightest win of the bunch - and say, "There. Saison I close keep to moi." "Yeah," Ben grumbles, managing to find a better way to carry all the animals by seizing them by the tails and lifting them in two big bunches, so that they hang off either fist like giant, felt pom-poms, "I feel like a deranged cheerleader. Are you sure you want all these?" "All ones I can sell," Justine shrugs, and Ben asks, "What?" and she goes, "Hoh-hoh! You look like kiddy-lurer! You so funny, Benjamin." "Yeah, not the best look... reminds me of the preschool I used to work in." "You worker for a preschool?" "Well, yeah," Ben replies, "I was a janitor," and Justine looks utterly disgusted, then closing her eyes and trying her best to get past it, taking another bite of her baguette and then throwing it into the trash so she can brush her Saison doll's hair with her fingers. "I am, how you say, hungry." "The why'd you throw out the candyfloss I got you?" "The candy of the cotton does not up fill me proper." "Well, there's a new French restaurant around here I think - they might do your favorite snails." "Non!" Justine insists, "I have on tres authority that they is posers, from le Montreal!" "Probably for the best, I'm not dressed up for a fancy restaurant. I could do with a shave." "A what?" "A shave." "Quelle?" "What?" "You say word I no know," Justine tells him, stumped, and Ben says, "You know, with a razor." "Heh?" "Never mind," the Scottish butler decides, and then, "How about tacos?" "Non-non," Justine insists, "Brown people food is un non. Too much remind me of people I hate. Crepe-thief. Pig. Sister..." "Your sister?" Ben questions, and Justine stops brushing Saison's hair for a moment to express, "Sisterly relationship est... complicatique. Belle soeur avec le cœur laid..." "Aw," says Ben, "I'm sure she can't be tha--." "Enough chattering," Justine decides, shocking Ben into dropping the Pepé Le Pew his girlfriend wanted so much. As he hunches down to pick it back up, Justine decides, "Wik-E-Mart is where you shall take me. We find some good crémy Twinkies to snack on pour tonight." "Um, alright," says Ben as she does a hairpin turn and begins to head back the way they came, and he rotates slowly to avoid dropping anymore carnival wins, soon following after her. "Chop, chop!" she yells, clapping her hands together, and then her phone begins to ring. She sees who's calling, and mutters angrily, "The devil you speak of and she just appear she will," before answering with, "Bonjour, Valentina!" Ben is hardly listening anymore, simply trotting along in her wake and maintaining a firm grip with each hand, and Val says, "Hola, sis. Just thought I'd call, make sure you were safe. I heard there was a murder in your town recently - some rich guy, Matthew something-or-other? Killed by a butler?" "Oh..." Justine utters, turning sad, "Oui..." "I know you're dating a butler, so I just wanted to ch--" "They did that butler an arrest already," Justine assures, "Not a need for your worries, sister beautiful." "Okay, if you're sure," Val says from the other end, "Just be careful, alright? If there's one thing I don't trust, it's a man who does a woman's job." "Ben I trust," Justine promises, forcing her squinty smile, becoming more vehement in her dedication just to prove her sister wrong, while Ben is still behind her, panting some from all this heavy lifting, and murmurs between breaths, "I need to go to a gym... or a hospital..."
He remains waiting out in the hall of the maternity ward in the present, not knowing any news of the state of the woman who, right now, is giving birth to his child. Someone is wheeled past him as he sits there - a woman who looks like she's had a severe allergic reaction ("I told her not to give me tea! So... delicious!" she chokes as she's rushed off) - but he barely pays any attention, for all his thoughts are with his unborn daughter. Or maybe she's born. Who knows...
"Come on, Justine, you tiny, tiny bitch, just slide the hell out of me!!" Valentina screams, breathing more rapidly, as her feet remain risen up in stirrups. A nurse is to one side, and Dr. Strange is stationed at her nether-regions, assuring that she's fully-dilated and is really gonna need to start pushing now. Valentina tries this, and another harsh scream of pain escapes her, as she rages, "GaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! WHY DOES ANYONE DO THIS?!" The nurse mops her heavily sweating brow with a moist towel, as Dr. Strange asks her if she's sure she doesn't want the father in there with her. "No!" Val snaps, "He's not even gotta set eyes on this..." she coughs, "this thing..." She coughs again, and then it's a small fit of coughing, and the nurse gestures the heart monitor to her side so as to get the doctor to take a look at it. According to the machine, Val's heartbeat is most irregular at the moment, and, while the coughing has stopped, she's now shivering a little, all of which prompts Dr. Strange to ask the mother-to-be how she's feeling. Very weakly, she mutters, "Tengo frío... ¿Hace frío aquí...?" She looks genuinely afraid, moreso than we've ever seen her, and then her expression is just... vacant. Her heart monitor goes crazy and Strange rushes over to have a look, seeing that the fetal heartbeat's dropping while the nurse begins to shine a little torch into Val's eyes in hopes of a response. "Valentina?" Strange exclaims over the sound of the heart monitor, "Valentina?!" But she can't hear him, and then, "I need an O.R.! Stat!"
Ben is by the vending machine now, putting in some money for an Apollo bar. "Last meal as a free man..." he figures as he bends down to retrieve the candy, but he never gets it, for he grows distracted by the rapid footsteps approaching him from behind. He whips round to be met by a rather panicked-looking Dr. Strange, and immediately his heart sinks. "What is it? What's wrong? Is she here?" Ben demands to know, all his words coming out very fast. "There's been a complication," Dr. Strange tells the Scottish butler, just as quickly, "Valentina's suffering from an amniotic fluid embolism." "Wha-what does that mean?" Ben quivers, fear overtaking him, "Is the baby--" "We're prepping her for surgery as fast as we're able, and we'll do what we can to save them both, but... you're going to need to tell us who to prioritize: Valentina or the baby?" At first, Ben looks completely and utterly taken aback, too stunned to fully comprehend what it is that's being asked of him. But then he does comprehend it, and, just for a moment, the faintest hint of a devious grin flickers across his face before he's ready to give his answer...
"Your mommy thought she'd won," Ben is whispering down to the beautiful baby girl wrapped up in his arms some time later, "That she could push me aside, and be able to keep the two of us apart... but she was wrong." And then, without Ben so much as looking up, another patient is wheeled past him, heading for the elevator. "Wave bye-bye to mommy," Ben says to his little girl as her tiny hand reaches up to grab his finger, and he smiles lovingly. "Bye-bye, mommy," he adds on her behalf, as the patient's gurney comes to a stop in the elevator, and the person pushing it hits the button which leads down to the morgue. Her feet are the last thing we see before the doors close on her forever, with a little tag on her toe which reads, "Valentina Cortez". The maid's dead face is covered, plunged into the dark, and, as Ben joyously cradles his daughter and tells her softly, "I love you so much," he also stomps his foot on the ground, and Val's tape recorder shatters beneath his sensible shoe.
An overview of the Del Barrio mansion is shown, lit up with the music blaring as the premiere party for Maria Solano's new film finally takes place. The camera travels through the inside of the mansion and we see where Rena's banner has been torn down from his attempt to double it as an engagement party, and we travel out back to where the main set of events takes place. Among the crowds of people, at one end, we can see Elizabeth Davis welcoming guests to her party. Meanwhile, Mary is doing the exact same thing at the other end, the two women keeping as much distance from one another as possible. Aliza Little is stuffing her face at the buffet, Silvia Montgomery is making sure the caterers are passing out fresh glasses of iced tea, and Kathryn Kappelletti is finishing up sucking off a bouncer in order to get in at all. "I'm so devious," she snickers to herself, not realizing there's a white crust forming on the corner of her mouth.
"Dear Black People--" a video of Nicole Arbour exclaims, currently being watched on a contraband laptop Yas Belich has smuggled hidden in her bunk, but she finds it being snatched away from her by none other than Kristi Kappelletti and Fiona Pierce. "Nahhh, bitch!" Yas barks, "I'm watchin' that YouTube slag who just got murdered." "Don't talk about Nicole!" Kristi cries, briefly turning away to roll up the sleeve of her orange jumpsuit revealing the words "CUT FOR NICOLE" carved into her wrist. She holds back the tears, turning to Yas and assuring that it's important. "Liz's premiere party!" "And it's being held at my insipid niece's house," Fiona reveals, pulling up a livestream of the party, news reporters doing coverage on what is perhaps the biggest party of 2017.
Joe happens to pass one of the news crews doing coverage and, after of moment of being distracted, he bumps into Ali. "Oh, hey!" he greets, "Sorry!" "It's fine," Ali assures, having previously just been roaming around aimlessly. Joe looks at Ali though, furrowing a brow; things don't appear to be fine. "You sure?" he asks, and she nods. "Just been doing a lot of thinking, is all." That, Joe believes, but he doesn't have enough time to press her any further about it. Instead he needs to know: "Have you seen Joanna, by any chance?" he asks, insisting that it's important. "No, sorry," Ali frowns, and Joe nods. As he prepares to head back into the crowd though, he stops. "Hey," he says to Ali, "how would you like to be my hero for once?" Ali furrows a brow at this, as Joe re-approaches her.
We next see Joe back to wandering through the crowd, without Ali, soon coming across Josh and Rena, having grouped together. "So this is it?" Josh questions, "We're actually doing this?" "We're taking down Kathryn Kappelletti?" Rena needs confirmation, which Joe then gives. "I saw her by the pool earlier, so she's here. We just need to get her alone." "And get her to confess to what?" Josh wonders, to which Joe answers, "Anything and everything. Her involvement in the exploding churches, where Nadia is and what her ultimate scheme is. This master plan." "And you think she'll just confess?" Rena isn't sure about this. "Kathryn was already a very unpleasant person before we knew she was an international terrorist. Now... who knows what she could do?" "Which is why I have backup," Joe reveals, then turning to Josh, "After Juan's confession, Huberd was willing to hear me out. For once, it seems that the police have our backs." Josh and Rena still don't appear entirely convinced, but regardless they decide to put their trust in Joe, just as they always have before. "Now, once we find Ben I'll tell you all exactly what we're going to do." It's then that Josh and Rena realize that the fourth friend of their inner circle isn't there. "Huh," Josh utters, and Rena is left to ask, "Where is Ben?"
Ben, holding his beautiful baby girl, smiling down at her with the kind of affection that only a parent can have for their child. And then... she goes still, and his expression grows scared. As does Jennifer's, as she watches this from her hospital bed, for once again we are in the past...
In the present, Ben's newborn daughter is alive and well, and he's saying to her, "That's you all changed," as he moves out of the bathroom and through the party some, admiring his work with the fresh diaper, "Now let's find somewhere to go feed you." Jennifer is watching from afar, holding a tray full of crabpuff h'orderves for the guests, appearing rather sentimental. Ben, with a baby girl. For a moment, she considers putting the tray down and going to go talk to him, only for Liz to come up to her and ask, "These aren't haggis, are they?" "No," Jennifer replies to her boss, "Crab." "Excellent," Liz smiles, beginning to sweep the tray some, "Don't tell anyone I'm eating them, I'm under a lot of pressure here." "O' course," Jennifer nods, now distracted serving her boss; this means that, when Ben heads down the hall and into his bedroom, Ali is the first one to head in after him. "Oh, hey," he greets as he sits down on his bed and begins getting his little girl to drink the formula he's bought for her. "Hey," Ali greets sweetly, "I just wanted to make sure you're okay, after what happened at the hospital." "I... really am," Ben assures her, which Ali is pleased to hear. "She's beautiful," she adds, and Ben says, "Isn't she, though?" "I'm surprised they let you bring her home so soon." "Well," Ben begins, "the hospitals in Wikerly Hills are just as unorthodox as everything else here. Plus they're all backed up with church victims." "We'd be better moving," Ali jokes, though then the idea really seems to hit her some - in a pleasant way. There's a small pause, and Ali tells her butler, "You've probably clocked onto the fact that I'm going through a bit of a... clearing-out phase." "I happened to notice half the house was missing, yes," Ben smiles, the baby still drinking, and Ali tells him, "Yeah, well... I just want you to know, as far as fresh starts go, I'd still very much like for you to be a part of it. You're all that kept me sane while... he reigned, and, to be honest, with all the self-evaluations I've been undergoing, I've realized that I've taken you for granted in the past. And I wanna apologize, and give us a bit of a fresh start too." "Ali," Ben stops her, "to be fair, I think I've let you take me for granted. And that's gonna stop." "Good, because--" "I want a raise," Ben tells her. "You-- huh?" Ali asks, confused, and Ben tells her, "In fact, I demand one. I have a daughter to support, after all." He looks dead serious, but then starts to crack another smile, and Ali begins to laugh, assuring him, "You got it." He shares her laugh, and then she tells him, "I think Joe and the others are looking for you, by the way. Joe has some sort of job for you, about a tape?" "I'll go find them when I'm finished up here," Ben assures, gesturing the still-feeding baby. There's then a knock on the bedroom door, and Ali wonders what that could be, going to answer it. Jennifer is standing there, telling her boss, "I think this belongs to you?" She gestures Liz, who's currently throwing up crabpuffs into a plant pot ("I want coffee... Colombian... blegh..."), and Ali nods, saying she'll go and deal with it, meaning Ben and Jennifer are left alone in the former's room. She sets down her empty tray and grows entranced by the baby girl, uttering, "She's beautiful." "So I've heard," Ben grins, and Jennifer moves forward slowly, sitting down beside her ex-husband so as to get a better view. "What's her name?" she'd like to know, at which Ben reveals, "Alex." "Alex..." Jennifer repeats with an air of fond familiarity, "I like it." "Me too," Ben nods, and then Jennifer asks, "Can I... hold her?" Ben turns to his ex-wife, seeing that Alex has had enough formula, and considers her for a moment; the genuine longing and kindness in her eyes. And he says, "Sure," before passing the baby over. He begins to instruct Jennifer on how to hold her, begging that she be gentle, but Jennifer, it seems, doesn't need telling. She's quite the natural. And little baby Alex appears to beam while resting in the Scottish maid's arms. "Hello there," Jennifer greets with some tears welling up in her eyes, and Alex lifts her tiny fists to try and grab some of Jennifer's curls, which makes her giggle. "She reminds me of our little girl," she adds, and Ben says, "Yeah... both beautiful." "Yeah," Jennifer smiles, turning to Ben and telling him, "I always hated what I let it turn me into. What... what happened, that is." "It doesn't matter now," Ben assures, but Jennifer tells him, "No, it does. It does matter. I'm sorry, Ben." "So's everyone right now, it seems." "Really." "I know you are," Ben nods. "There's no excuse for the way I treated you... even before. I was never exactly a great wife." "And I should've stood up to you, but I didn't," Ben adds, "Instead I just... ran away. A coward's way out. I don't wanna be that guy anymore." "You aren't a coward," Jennifer promises, "All that you've been through... surviving that Spanish cur... I hear she's gone now." "Mhm," Ben nods, "though I wouldn't be too detrimental of the Spanish in front of Alex. She's a quarter-Spanish. And a quarter-French." "And a good, hefty fifty percent Scottish," Jennifer adds, and Ben chuckles. "She'll be a strong lass," Jennifer surmises, "I can feel it." "Me too," Ben nods, then considering Jennifer once more, and adding, "But not without the proper guidance." "What do you mean?" she wonders, so Ben tells her, "Well... as a single father, there's only so much wisdom I can impart. I think... that Alex would benefit, from having a mother-figure like you around." "You want me to... to help raise her?" Jennifer questions, taken aback, "Ben, I couldn't possibly--" "Sure you could," Ben assures, "You were meant to be a mother, Jennifer. You've been through so much too, and... here you are. Everyone else in this house is getting their second chance... I think you deserve one as well." Jennifer is fully crying now, staring from her ex-husband to the baby, and then carefully kissing her on the forehead, at the same time that Ben pulls Jennifer into a one-armed embrace and kisses her on the forehead. "Would you mind... watching her, for a while?" Ben requests after pulling away, "It's just, the others sorta need me right now." "I'd love to," Jennifer utters, and Ben tells her, "Good." "She has your eyes," Jennifer notes, again staring between her ex and the baby, "No wonder she's beautiful." "See you soon, girls," Ben bids with a smile as he leaves the room to go reunite with the other butlers.
Kathryn Kappelletti is seen near the open bar, a drink being served to her, as Ali watches from afar with a look of disdain on her face. She watches as Kathryn starts sipping from the alcoholic beverage, also hitting on the bartender, and Ali rolls her eyes. "Time to be the hero," she says to herself, starting to march over to Kathryn... and then taking a sharp right to the buffet set up semi-nearby. There, Aliza is still stuffing her face, having waved away all the partygoers. "White bitch, you dumb as a chicken if you think I'ma give you any o' 'dis chicken," the only surviving Little makes clear, but Ali assures that that's not why she's here. "Why then?" Aliza wonders, and then, "Is it 'cause you finally realized yo ship name with the ginga hooka is 'Aliz', which is 'Aliza' without duh 'uh'?" "Um... no," Ali exclaims, "but... clever observation?" "I do pride mahself, thank you," Aliza says, taking a bite out of a piece of fried chicken which she downs with some of Silvia's iced tea. "You really oughtta try this," she suggests, but Ali shakes her head, insisting that now's not the time. "I need your help," the blonde says, then pointing to Kathryn at the bar as an expression of pure rage comes across Aliza's face. "Ooh dat cracka slag, I still needa beat her ass." Aliza starts to march off, but Ali grabs the black woman by the arm to hold her off. "No, you don't understand," Ali exclaims, "Kathryn, she... Look, Joe needs my help, so I need your help." Aliza furrows a brow at this, taking one last bite of chicken. "Keep talkin'," she says, munching away.
Cut to a few minutes later where we see Kathryn turn into her seat at the bar, getting up to leave, only to find herself being approached by Ali. "Oh, hi... you!" Kathryn exclaims, feeling rather awkward being around her nemesis' girlfriend, who simply smiles at the stray Kappelletti. "I'm gonna need you to come with me," she states, and Kathryn feigns sadness. "Aw, you're kicking me out already? But the party's only just begun." Ali shakes her head though, assuring that that's not the case. "Joe would like to speak to you, actually," Ali reveals, to Kathryn's absolute disgust. "I have nothing to say to him," she makes clear, but Ali points out that Kathryn hasn't got much of a choice. "Or what?" Kathryn smirks, only to have a fistful of her hair grabbed from behind as Aliza barks, "Or I'ma pop you in duh pu--" "Let's just go," Ali suggests, "It can either be the easy way or her way." Kathryn, her hair still being clenched onto, lets out a gulp.
With that, a set of double doors swing open as Ali and Aliza guide Kathryn into the Del Barrio study, Aliza giving her a hard shove as she and Ali pull the doors shut. "You are so going to regret this," Kathryn growls, but then turns to see that standing before her are none other than Joseph DeWar, Joshua Gibbons, Renato Duarte and Benjamin Gold. "Christ, how bad is it that I only know like one and a half of your names?" Kathryn questions, the latter three butlers each turning to one another, wondering how that makes any sense, but Joe simply gets down to business. "It doesn't matter," he says, "because it's over. We know about you and Nadia, the Mare Athei group." "Mare Athei..." Kathryn utters, and then, "What the here do you know about that?!" "Hmmm..." Joe turns to his friends, "what do we know about that?" "Well, they're responsible for the exploding churches recently, here and all over Europe," Josh speaks up. "An international terrorist organization, founded by a woman named Nadia," Rena adds on. "That you're heavily affiliated with," Ben finishes, to which Kathryn scoffs, "Oh, piss off, Bill. You're honestly the least relevant person in this room right now, and I'm pretty sure you just killed my maid or something, so yeah if could just not, please and thank you." "Actually Aliza's probably the least relevant in this room, to be honest," Rena defends Ben, "She kinda is just leftover from the last case we cracked." "Don't start sumfin you can't finish, boi," Aliza warns, making a fist, and so Rena decides to shut up. "Anyways," Joe decides to steer back on topic, "I'll admit you had me fooled, masquerading as your average Wikerly Hills rich bitch, dumber than a box of rocks." "Excuse me?!" Joe doesn't let Kathryn finish though, "But then I started to look around, and I realized just how obvious it really was. First off, your ex-husband and his moronic brothers were bankrolling the organization for years, that much I've known for quite sometime now. But then your father was thrown into the mix, Nadia keeping a freezer in his basement which had," Joe looks up at the camera again and decides to be careful with his choice of words, "... yeah. So take all of that: your father, your husband and his family, Troy O'Neil, and lest we not forget your best friend who I'm willing to bet was hired by the organization... and there you have it." "The enemy of my enemy is my friend..." Kathryn finds herself remembering (see "Petty Maids All in a Row"), but this isn't interpreted by the butler the way that it's meant to, as they all look at one another. Ali and Aliza too, not quite knowing what to make of all this, but Joe is still left with one more question. "Now, what about the master plan?" he asks, and Kathryn's eyes widen as she shakes her head. "No... NO!" She starts backing away from Joe, deeming none of this to be worth it. She tries to make a run for it, catching both Ali and Aliza off guard, but ultimately slips and lands face-first on the ground and there's a loud POP. The butlers, Ali and Aliza each gasp, rushing over to Kathryn as they look down in horror. "Oh riiight," Ben chuckles, "I was meaning to clean that up," and we see that Kathryn is now covered in Val's amniotic fluid, left from when her water broke... but that's not the worst of it. Kathryn sits up, disoriented, but the focus isn't on her face - it's on her chest - as we see that her size D cups are no longer full, beginning to sag as her breast implants are no more. Kathryn looks at each of the six staring down at her, and then she looks down, letting out a horrific scream. With that, the study door is kicked in and in marches Officer Hall, followed by several other officers. "Kathryn Von Trump Kappelleti, you're under arrest and have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law," Hall is saying as he takes out a set of handcuffs to slap the defeated Kappelletti in as she continues to bawl her eyes out. Tears of pure agony. "Alright, take her away, boys," Hall says to one of the other officers, shoving Kathryn into their possession as she's marched out of the study. "Good work, DeWar," Hall then says to Joe, but he's confused. "I... wasn't exactly finished with her yet," he admits, "I mean, there wasn't really a confession." "It's alright," Hall assures, "you got us what we need, and we can take it from here. Thank you for upholding justice today." He sticks out his hand for Joe to shake, but the ex-detective appears a little wary of this. Still, he does so, and Hall and the other officers set off. "Well, it looks like it was a happy ending after all!" Ali exclaims, she and the others rejoining Joe. "Yeah, I'ma go get some chicken," Aliza excuses herself, "Bye, bitches." Ali, too, excuses herself. "I should probably make an appearance back downstairs," she says, "Liz is probably wondering where I am." The others nod as Ali sees herself out, but Joe still can't shake this feeling of his. "Did you all not find it... weird?" he wonders, "They all just... kinda took my word for it. That's not really right." "Who cares?" Rena questions, pointing out that they know it was Kathryn. "Yeah," Josh admits, "justice has been served." "It hasn't, though," Ben is the one to point out to Josh and Rena, "Nadia's still out there. And we still don't know Kathryn's master plan." "Ben, no offense, but yeah shush," Rena exclaims, now siding with Kathryn regarding Ben's irrelevance. "But Ben's right, this isn't over," Joe says, "If anything, our job has just been made harder..." "Hey, didn't you have something for me to do?" Ben then recalls, and it's then that Joe remembers, heading to the study's desk where he'd hidden the MARE ATHEI tape. "You think you can fix this?" he asks of Ben, who assures that he'll see what he can do.
"You can't do this to me!" Kathryn cries, downstairs as Officer Hall is carting her through the Del Barrio property for all of the partygoers to see, many people (Liz, Silvia, and Mary, to name a few) taking out their phones to record the scandal taking place, "I am Kathryn Kappelletti, and I demand you release me!" But Hall continues to parade Kathryn about until finally reaching his car, which he forcibly shoves her into the back of. Closing the door behind her, he gets into the front seat and turns on the ignition. "Please!" Kathryn cries one last time, in absolute misery. Her makeup smeared, hair a mess, breasts popped, and covered in her dead maid's amniotic fluid. "Mare Athei, Ms. Kappelletti," is all Hall has to say in response though, and her eyes widen in horror as he drives her away.
The party goes on… "Alright, people, it seems as though the police have vacated the premises, which means we can get on with the night," Mary is saying into a microphone as she gets up on a little stage outside overlooking the pool, around which the majority of party-goers have congregated.
Meanwhile, inside the mansion - up in Jose's bedroom - Ben has just finished super-gluing the snapped-off pressure-pad onto the MARE ATHEI tape, being incredibly delicate about it, before fastening the plastic back part back onto it. "There," he says to Joe, Josh and Rena, all of whom are crowded around him, "It's fast-drying, so it should be ready to play in a few moments." "Excellent," says Joe, seizing the tape, and Rena wonders what it is they're hoping to get from it since they've already had Kathryn arrested. "We could learn what the 'master-plan' actually is," Josh points out, and Joe says, "Exactly," hardly able to wait to find out what Jose was able to uncover while living.
"Now," Mary continues outside, "before the festivities continue, I'd just like to say a few words. As all of you are well-aware, this party is to commemorate my new film..." "My film; I'm the star, bitch," Liz mutters to herself while drinking, and Ali gives her a little pat on the back.
"Here goes nothin'," says Joe, receiving looks of encouragement from the other three before finally slotting the videotape into the VCR, and finally the tape starts playing. They're treated to a view of the very room they're in. "Whoa..." Rena utters, briefly looking behind himself as though expecting to see Jose there, "Surreal." Josh and Ben both elbow him at the same time, wanting to hear what it is that Jose has to say as, in the video, he finishes setting up the camera and parks himself down on the bed opposite. "If you're watching this," he begins, "then it's more than likely I'm dead..."
"I'm just dying to unveil this poster to you, I really am," Mary tells the guests, and we see now that a large curtain stands behind her, covering something, "and I just want to thank each and every one of you for turning up here today." "People just done here then?" Aliza questions, in reference to the now abandoned buffet, "A'ight." And she begins scooping food into her mouth happily.
"I know things," Jose reveals in the tape, "about Joanna Winters. Well, I should say Emilie Klaveno, because that's the name she was born with. I did some snooping, looked into birth records, and saw that she had a twin, and, if you track that twin, you find all these connections to this anti-religion terrorist group. No one ever knew who was behind the church explosions in Wikerly Hills, but these kinds of attacks have been happening all the way around Europe for years, and the group responsible has left traces. Well, just two words really, whispered cautiously by conspiracy theorists everywhere: Mare Athei..." "Here we go," Joe figures; the butlers would all be on the edges of their seats if they were sitting.
"It's been a long way getting here, to this point," Mary's speech plows onward, "I've really poured my heart and soul into this movie, and I want nothing more than for it to be enjoyed by the whole nation." "Dear lord, just get on with it, I want my hundred bucks," Silvia begs, tapping herself a glass of iced tea from one of the kegs she brought, and Aliza says, "Lemme get summa dat," as she pours one for herself. "Bet this thing'll flop harder than Sleepless in Sicily 2 anyway," Silvia adds with another sip. "The whole world," Mary goes on, "Because this isn't just my film... it's the people's." "It's mine," Liz growls.
"It means Sea of Atheists, or Atheism, or... I don't know, something Latin and pretentious. There are very few reports of their operations, but they haven't gone unnoticed - including a girl of exactly Mrs. Winters' description, apparently with a scar on her hand. Emilie Klaveno received a scar at the age of seven, according to the old church diaries, and I've seen Joanna putting makeup over a scar when I've spied on her in the past, so I'm pretty sure it's the same person. However... if she's hiding out here, then she must be retired. No longer a threat. Which brings us to the real dirt. That being... the mystery of Maria Solano." "Wh-what?" Rena reacts, and the other butlers appear stunned and confused too.
"My name's a big one, I know," Mary nods, and Ali scoffs, saying to Liz, "Okay, even I think she's being pretentious now. "But I can honestly say," the writer/producer/director keeps going, "that I've never been more proud of a picture than I am of this one. It has everything I could ever want anyone to see from me..." "Yeah, it has me," Liz nods. Marius is close enough to hear her, and rolls his eyes.
"What's Mary got to do with any of this?" Rena would like to know, and Ben tells him, "Shut up and you'll find out." "I mentioned conspiracy theorists. Well, if you go far enough into the deep web, like I have," Jose begins to explain, "You find all sorts of questions about the famous Miss Solano. The reason? Because Maria Solano doesn't exist."
"It has action, romance, comedy, drama; all my favorite genres melded into one... and, of course, what has come to be my forte - a big, dramatic twist," Mary smiles.
"Her past is completely fabricated. Forged. Maria Solano wasn't born where her biography says she was. She didn't go to school where she claims to have been educated. There's no real trace of her until just a couple of years ago, around the time that the big flop Double Benetration came out." "This is crazy..." says Josh, while Jose holds up a photograph of Mary at the DB premiere. "This," he says, "is Solano's first honest-to-God appearance. The earliest photograph you can find of her with no traces of forgery. Which also happens to be around the same time that the church attacks started happening here in Wikerly Hills... because she tracked Emilie here."
Joanna isn't at the party - she's across the street, approaching the Solano house. Which, of course used to be the Davis house. Meaning that if Justine had something hidden away, then it'll be in there. "Okay," she mutters to herself, "Just need to get inside." And then she remembers that her butler used to work there, and so she heads back to her own mansion to go search his things for a key.
"My guess is, Solano took Emilie's old job." "So it wasn't Kathryn?" Ben questions, and Rena elbows him - both as payback and because he's extra invested now in what Jose is unveiling. "Not much can be found on the actual leader of the Mare Athei organization, but there's plenty to connect Solano to them. On every single one of her films, she uses a stunt coordinator named Troy O'Neil, who just so happens to be an expert in explosives and hail from the same Italian region where the attacks began. His only other credits include Kicking Off with the Kappellettis, and, well... don't even get me started on them."
Kevin, Kerwin and Killian are at the back of the party, in the shadows. Mainly because Kerwin doesn't want anybody to see his deformed face. Mary's speech is still going on; most of the guests appear pretty put out by it now, though some are still paying avid attention. "...my vision... most important to date..." are a couple of choice phrases. Aliza's nearly done sweeping the buffet.
Down the road, Joanna's rummaging through Josh's things, and then, "Aha!" as she finds a key with a fob attached which reads Solano. She then begins heading out and, on her way, finally finds her charger on an end table and plugs her cell phone into it, leaving it there as she heads back out of the house. She misses the text from Joe which begins with several big red alert emojis and the words, "MARY IS..."
"The thing is," Jose is now pondering in the past, "All the fake stuff about her past... is actually kind of obvious, to all those willing to look. But... barely anyone does look, because she has the world literally brainwashed. I haven't been able to detect it, and I've been a little scared to try too hard in case I end up brainwashed as well, but word on the deep web is that she uses subliminal messaging in all her films. Tiny, unnoticeable inserts, influencing people. Just a little to start off with, and more and more heavily the more films she made; famous she got... So that no one would ever question what a big ol' phony she is. My guess? She's gonna use that technique for something real big down the line - maybe even something destructive." Joe gives a mighty gulp.
Joanna is making her way down Fanon Drive, back towards the Solano house, thinking she's excavating the missing piece of tape that, across the street, is just ending for our butlers.
"So, she's dangerous. That's established. If this gets out... I could die. But hey, if I do die trying to blackmail her... I may as well leave something behind that could help take her down. I'll make a sequel to this if I learn any more. But for now... Adiós, compadres." And he moves off of the bed to shut off the camera, and the tape ends. "Oh, my God..." Josh is the first to speak, "I... can't believe it." "The film," Joe figures, "that must be what Nadia's big plan is. She's using Mary to brainwash the nation. Heck, she's so famous this thing will probably be global." "But... this is Mary," Rena insists, "My Mary. What if Jose was wrong? What if Kathryn really was the culprit?" "I say we go find out," Ben adds, and the others nod, filing out of the room. Joe ejects the tape from the VCR and pockets it before following them out, shutting the door behind himself.
"And it's without further ado..." Mary finally starts to conclude on her outside stage, and Ali nudges Liz to say, "Honey, wake up, it's ending!" "...that I present to you... the premiere poster for my newest future hit - No Rest for the Devious! Jackson, if you please..." And it's at that moment that Jackson hits the button which causes the curtains to swing apart, that the butlers emerge from the mansion, watching the stage intently. As the poster is unveiled, everybody gasps, and Liz lets out a rather large scream. For, you see, the poster is of her... only it's been completely defiled by red spray-paint. Big glasses have been added over her eyes, along with acne and buck teeth, not to mention sideshow boobs, prudent chin hairs and a Hitler mustache. There are also a few big cartoon penises here and there. Everyone is in outrage, snapping pics and taking video.
"FOR THE LOVE OF UNICORN MILK, WHAT A TRAVESTY!" Kristi screeches as she watches her livestream over at the prison, but both Yas and Fiona can't help but burst out laughing, the former even bursting out with a signature, "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaas, bitch!" Wiping away a tear, Fiona then asks, "Okay, that turned out fun. Now can we watch The Real Prison Wives of Wiksteria? I just love me that Justine Abelho."
The butlers all stand there, stunned, while Liz rushes up on the stage to try and cover the giant poster, but of course it's no use. Mary too looks mortified, yelling at Jackson to cover it up, but he's fumbling with the buttons, unable to do so. "Kathryn..." Joe utters, because right there, in big red letters, sprayed across the place where the title should be, are the words, "LOVE FROM KATHRYN KAPPELLETTI! XOXO #MASTERPLAN". "That was her master-plan?" Ben questions, and Joe tells him, "I'm willing to bet that what Mary and Nadia have got planned is even worse." "Ladies and gentlemen," Mary again addresses the crowd, "I'm so sorry about this... please still buy tickets... I, um... have to go, for a short while. But, um, let the festivities commence, okay?" She hands Jackson the mic and again barks for him to fix this, and he continues to fumble around while Mary dashes off the stage and into the mansion. "Where's she going?" Josh wonders, while Rena just stands there Snapchatting the giant, defiled Liz poster. "What?" he questions when he realizes the other butlers are staring at him, "The woman I love is an evil mastermind - this is how I grieve!" "I can't see her," Joe says, trying to crane his neck to see where she's gone, and that's because he doesn't have the view she had from up on the stage - the view right through all the Del Barrio windows, to the other side of the street, where Joanna is seen using the key she found to bust into Mary's house...
"Alright, you little snail, where's it at?" Joanna finds herself muttering, standing inside of the current Solano/former Davis house, with Josh's old key to get her in. She scans the general premise of the first room of Mary's home, ignoring the fact that she's breaking into the home of a woman she's barely even acquainted with. "Come on, Justine. Where's it at?" And with that, Joanna begins roaming around the house, thinking to herself where on earth could Justine have stored the alleged piece of the tape... hell, if it would even still be in the house at all. Joanna starts to wander the halls, going from room to room, and then it finally hits her: "The safe." Liz having a safe isn't exactly prior knowledge of Joanna's, no, but who on Fanon Drive doesn't have a safe in their home? "Now where could that be?" Joanna asks herself, passing a hall closet, completely oblivious to the fact that it once served as a BDSM dungeon, and it's then that she notices a mirror. "How cliche," Joanna mocks, taking it off the wall and discovering Liz's old safe (see "Gritty Little Liars"). "Password, password..." Joanna thinks, "Oh wait!" And with that, someway, somehow, Joanna manages to punch the combination lock just right in order to bust it off without feeling a single ounce of pain. "I suppose there are some benefits of having been mentored by an international terrorist." The safe door is now open, thus allowing Joanna to reach inside and pull out none other than... a crepe pan. "You've got to be kidding me..." Joanna utters, aloud.
"I kid not, no, no when it come to protection of my pan for the crepe," Justine is muttering to herself, in the past, "Mexican rat boy think he get the way with stealing from me. No! I show up him! In your death ass, bitch! Hohoho!" We see her entering the combination to Liz's safe (51384, Liz's birthday) which she now knows following the blackmail attempt (see "Tedious Maids"), and she hides the crepe pan away inside, deeming it a nice, safe place for her prized possession. "Here you be safe in el safe, Valentina #2," she says, apparently having named the pan after her sister. She then stands on her tiptoes in order to kiss the pan sitting in the safe, and then she closes and locks the door, this having been the item she took from the Del Barrio garage. We also flash further back to what the cameras picked up: her sneaking the pan away under her big coat, muttering to herself in French.
"This... can't be it," Joanna says, back in the present day as she holds onto the crepe pan, proceeding to continue roaming the halls, "Unless Mary found it first...?" Jo is now in front of Mary's bedroom, the door having been left open, and so she raises an eyebrow before looking around. No one else is there. "Maybe it wouldn't hurt to give a quick check..." Joanna convinces herself, dropping off the crepe pan by Mary's dresser where she begins to walk around the room, peeking in the closet, looking underneath the bed and other furniture. Lastly she arrives at Mary's nightstand and, shrugging her shoulders, decides to open up the drawer. All that's in there is a small box, to Jo's intrigue, and so she takes it out, examining it before opening it up... and quickly dropping it to the ground as she lets out a massive yelp, and we flash back...
"There was this Priest," Nadia says to Joanna, "The way the whole thing worked it meant... it meant no one was really able to step in and do anything when he... when he..." She looks too emotional to go on, and so she just skips over the obvious, proceeding with "I tried to tell people, but they wouldn't believe me. That a man of God could be so monstrous."
"...so I took matters into my own hands," she adds rather cryptically, and Emilie asks, "...How?"
"That's how," Nadia reveals, opening a drawer back in her apartment to reveal something which shocks Emilie to her core. "You made it into a necklace?" she exclaims, resisting the urge to throw up. "After cutting it off, yeah," Nadia smiles, proud of herself, then closing the drawer in a vain attempt to block the dreadful rotting smell (see "The Lying Queen").
Joanna's now gasping, inhaling and exhaling at a fast rate as she doesn't know what to make of any of this, the "necklace" having dropped to the floor. "Oh, dear," a voice then calls out, "I so do wish you hadn't found that." Joanna quickly turns around and, standing in the doorway, is none other than Maria Solano herself, arms crossed with a devious grin on her face. And then Joanna realizes...
"You're not covering your scar anymore?" Joe asks her, months prior. Joanna confirms this, stating that there's really no point anymore.
Earlier that day. "Oh, hi!" she exclaims, putting down her wine bottle as she stands to her feet, quickly approaching Mary who's just been brought home as Rena's date. Joanna outstretches her hand for Mary to shake - the hand revealing her uncovered burn scar - "I'm Jo," she says, introducing herself. Mary sees the scar on Joanna's hand - a revelation - and proceeds to shake (see "The Peasant and the Devious").
"You... you're working with Nadia," Jo says to Mary in the present day now, taking a couple steps back. She doesn't quite know what to make of all this, but Mary can't help but laugh. "Oh, you idiot... haven't you figured it out yet, Em?" the world famous writer/director/producer asks of Joanna, who's taken aback by the name by which she's been addressed. It's then that Mary clears her throat, making quite clear to everyone just what exactly is going on here, and she says, in a different, familiar voice: "I am Nadia."
"The Kappellettis really do have a wonderful plastic surgeon," the voice of Nadia echoes from the mouth of Maria Solano as she strokes her beautiful, fake face. "N- no..." Joanna utters, shaking her head in disbelief, but Nadia nods her own. "Pretty convincing disguise, wasn't it?" the international terrorist champions herself, "Hiding in plain sight, all this time. Well, guess what? Mare Athei, Em! Maria-thei." Nadia drops her proud demeanor though, as Joanna still fails to react. "Oh, come on! That was clever, and you know it." Joanna scoffs at this, and so Nadia rolls her eyes. "I suppose it doesn't matter," she admits, "since you'll be dead in a few minutes anyway?" "Huh?" And Nadia proceeds to the side of her bed, kicking the underneath and causing a rather long stick to fall, using her foot to pull it out, kick it into the air, and catch it in her hands. It's a sharpened mop, one of the very same ones Rena found back when he accused her of being the Devious Butler (see "Soaplessly Devoted to You"). "Nadia, you don't wanna to do this," Joanna pleads, but Nadia believes otherwise, charging towards Joanna with the sharpened custodian tool, only for her to react by grabbing the night stand throwing it in the way of her former mentor, knocking her backwards some. Joanna then ducks, quickly looking under the bed and, to her luck another sharpened mop awaits. She grabs it, looking back up as Nadia has pushed the nightstand away, and it's now the student who charges the master. The two women swing their mops, each reflecting the others' attempt to run them through. Joanna jumps up onto the bed, thinking this'll give herself a bit more leverage, only for it to make her balance a bit uneasy. Nadia sees this, and so she ups her swings and quickens her reflexes. All the while the room is being torn to pieces. The walls are being torn apart, as is the bed, the blankets, the pillows being ripped open with feathers flying everywhere. Furniture is knocked over, even a window is busted as a lamp goes flying out of it. "Come on, Em," Nadia taunts, "you're never gonna win. You're just not... devious enough." But then Joanna looks up - the ceiling fan - and she jumps as Nadia takes another swing at her, grabbing onto the fan, blind-sighting Nadia as she makes a full 180, promptly kicking her mentor square in the chest, to the ground, as she jumps off of the bed and stands before her. Things look to be over for Nadia, as if Joanna has won, and so she towers over the terrorist, ready to put her out of her misery once and for all. She has the mop ready, but alas, it was not meant to be, for Maria Solano has one last trick up her sleeves... or rather up her pant legs. With that, she kicks Joanna now, square in the chest, knocking her to the ground. She retrieves her own sharpened mop and also controls Joanna's. All hope appears to be lost for our beloved anti-hero as she lies there, almost out of it. Nadia squats down now, pointing the two sharpened objects right at Joanna's throat. "Mare athei, Emilie," Nadia says to her former student, but then the unthinkable happens. Oblivious to Nadia, Joanna had been reaching around for something in particular, and she found it. WHACK. Right across the side of Nadia's face, she's hit with Justine Dussault's prized possession - her beloved crepe pan - and Nadia loses grip of the mops and falls fully to the ground. "Looks like the student has surpassed the master," Joanna quips, jumping up now, having mostly feigned her injury, and with that she runs. Nadia, still on the ground, maintains consciousness, and she does not look happy. "EMILIE!" she calls in a horrific tone - a combination of both Nadia and Mary's respective voices - and she stands to her feet, ready to pursue her greatest foe. But, she grows distracted by a noise coming from her laptop, which shockingly survived the brawl, despite being on the floor. It was closed, but now it's open a tad, and Nadia moves towards it to open it fully. Through it, she hears what the butlers are saying right now…
Everyone at the party still appears to be distracted by the defiled film-poster, even Rena to an extent, as the butlers now contemplate what they're going to do. "Okay, so where the hell is she?!" Joe is wondering, starting to become worried, to which Josh suggests, "Maybe her house?" "Or even just getting in touch with some of her corrupt allies?" Ben adds. "Guys, look at the technique on that swastika..." Rena utters, still distracted by the poster, and so Josh and Ben each give him a hard elbow to the side. "Right, yeah, sorry." "We need to go and find her... and Joanna!" Joe exclaims, but Ben stops him. "Wait..." he utters, "my daughter." The three other butlers then remember, as Ben is tearing up. "We're not facing an amateur like Justine, or even Silvia. This is an international terrorist we're talking about here. She's got the weapons, the supporters, actual power. She's the most dangerous person we've ever gone up against, and if that... if that means I might not be coming home to my little girl..." "You don't have to do this if you don't want to," Joe assures, then turning to Josh and Rena, "Neither of you do. I know I've asked a lot of all three of you, and Ben's right - this time isn't like all the others. Do I think we'd be more successful doing this together? Yes. But if any of you want to back out now then please do so. There'll be no hard feelings." The three butlers look at one another, as Joe puts his down down in the center. "Now who's in?" There's a moment of silence, but Josh is the first to break it. "These are the people who murdered Brad," and so he puts his hand on top of Joe's, "I'm in." "You think you know a person..." Rena utters, putting his hand on top of Josh's, "I need to see Mary, and just... know why. So, yeah... I'm in." Joe and Josh both nod at their Portuguese friend, and the three of them turn to Ben, the last man standing, and he sighs. "If this'll make the world a safer place for Alex to live her life," he puts his hand on top of Rena's, "then how can I not risk mine to do so? I'm in." Joe gives a hint of a smile, happy they're all still a team, but still fearing for what's soon to come. They then break apart, and Rena realizes: "The studio," he says, "that's been her base this whole time." "Then let's get going," Joe nods, as he and his friends set off. Ali sees this, the four mystery-solving butlers leaving together, and she's got a good feeling about it... but then she turns and sees Liz, sitting off to the sidelines, depressed. Ali frowns at this, going over to her girlfriend and sitting down next to her. "I'm sorry about the poster," she says to Liz, putting her arm around her, but Liz sighs. "It's ruined. Everything I worked so hard on these last nine months... all down the drain." "It's not!" Ali tries, "People will still see your film, and it'll still be a success." "Yeah, for Mary," Liz points out, "but for me?! My image is tarnished. This is what I'll be remembered for. Looks like Kathryn won after all..." "But she didn't," Ali argues, and Liz turns to her, confused. "Give or take, nine months ago, you and Kathryn were so much alike," Ali goes on, "Both of you were stuck-up, rude, entitled bitches who cared about no one but yourselves." "Way to make a girl feel better..." Liz utters, but Ali states that she's still not finished yet. "Since then, Kathryn's got divorced, her own reputation has been shattered, she's lost the few people in this world she cares about, and she's absolutely miserable. Meanwhile, you got to star in a big, blockbuster hit, just like you always wanted... and you got me." Liz looks up at this. "You got me... someone who loves and cherishes you, despite everything. I know things haven't always been easy, and we both have some serious baggage, but I know I love you more than anything in the world." Liz is now starting to tear up, as Ali already has. "Even though you're... cleaning out your life? Looking for a fresh start?" Liz wonders, and Ali assures, "Never once, not even for a second, did my desire for a fresh start not include you... though I would like to unload this house." The two women look up and around, and Liz smiles. "I really do wanna be apart of that fresh start," she says, "and now that I think about it, for like five minutes this was supposed to double as an engagement party... someone should probably be getting engaged." It's then that Liz stands up, only to then kick off her heels, making it easier to get down on one knee. Ali quickly stands too, in shock, as her girlfriend asks the question we've all been waiting for: "Alison Del-... Alison, will you... will you marry me?" "Yes!" Ali says without hesitation, "Yes! Yes, a thousand times yes!" And she helps Liz back to her feet, as the two women embrace in a ever-so-loving, passionate kiss. They don't even notice everyone gathered around them, applauding and cheering on the two women very much in love. No one's even looking at the defiled poster anymore. We see Silvia Montgomery clapping, a tear falling down her cheek as she's very much proud of Ali. Meanwhile, Aliza Little stands next to her. "This... is so beautiful," she utters, taking a bite of her chicken, "to have love like this, it... it makes me think about Mama... and Manny... and Antwon and Eli..."
We flashback to an unknown point in time where we see Aliza sat at a picnic table with a red and white-checkered tablecloth. Rochelle is sat in her wheelchair head of the table, Aliza on one side and Manny on the other. Aliza's old fiancé Antwon is then sat next to her, with everyone's favorite cousin Eli next to Manny. They feast on the finest fried chicken ever to be made, downing it with some store-bought Kool-Aid. Manny then goes to say something, but--.
Return to the present where Silvia elbows Aliza in the side, almost as if fate is telling Aliza there is simply not enough time for her to reminisce right now. "It really is lovely, isn't it?" Silvia smiles to Aliza, who's silent for a minute as she watches Ali and Liz. And then she bursts into tears, nodding her head. "It really is!" And she buries her head in Silvia's shoulders, being comforted by the older woman. "There, there," she says, "I'll get you some iced tea." We return to Ali and Liz, the two women there, still embracing on this beautiful, beautiful night.
Solano Studios is ominously dark tonight, with the moon behind some clouds, and Joe is seen dashing around through the parking lot to its main entrance, to catch up with the other butlers. "Where've you been?" Ben wonders, but Joe tells him, "Doesn't matter. Did you find a way in?" "Yep," Rena reveals, as he finishes up fiddling around with the door, "Turns out I can pick locks after all." "That'll be the Portuguese in you," Josh nods, patting him on the back, and Rena appears proud. Joe tells them, "Good, it would have been too noisy to use this," as he pulls out a handgun, and the others appear deeply surprised. "You brought a gun?" Ben exclaims, to which Joe points out, "Things might get ugly." "You're planning on using that on Mary?" Rena asks, worried, but Joe doesn't have to answer because Josh does it for him, saying, "If that bitch helped bring about Brad's death, then she deserves it. Let's go." Joe nods, holding the gun low, and Rena gulps before following the butlers through the dark halls of the studio. Past the place where Liz's stunt double was killed... through a dining hall for cast and crew... and, finally, to a pitch black room right in the massive building's center. All is eerily quiet, and Ben is the one to ask where the lights are in this place. More cautious footsteps forward, and then: "You're a butler," a familiar voice penetrates the darkness, "Can't you get them?" Joe is heard raising his gun, and then there's a bright, blinding flash as all the studio lights blare on at once, causing our four butlers to recoil in surprise. It's the sound of several machine guns being pointed at them which forces them to focus; and, as their vision returns, they see Mary - or rather, Nadia - standing center-stage before them, surrounded by several lackeys. The Kappelletti brothers on one side of her, all aiming their provided machine guns at the butlers; several members of the W.H.P.D. on the other (all the ones who didn't arrest Juan earlier, but several who did arrest Kathryn), including Officer Hall, doing the same. Assistants like Jackson and Marius are also stationed around the edge of the room, meaning that Joe, Josh, Rena and Ben are completely surrounded. And Nadia, the only unarmed villain, gives a great devious smile - one which finally cracks the surface of Maria Solano's beautiful, fake face and gives us a glimpse to the true sociopath hiding behind the surgery. "Of course, being butlers," she continues calmly, looking firmly down at them all, "You really should be the ones to arrange proper greetings - yet here I am, doing all the work. You really are bad at your jobs, aren't you?" "You call this a proper greeting?" Joe questions, keeping his handgun pointed at her, but Nadia just smirks, saying, "Try it, DeWar, and your buddies here get blown to smithereens." Joe considers her for a second, then gives a couple sideways glances to his friends, all of whom appear deeply nervous; and so, when Nadia demands that he, "Drop it," which is accompanied by the horrid metallic noise of those machine guns being raised yet again, he decides to do so, slowly placing the gun at his feet and kicking it over to the foot of the stage. "Ah, how lovely," Nadia comments, moving forward so as to bend down and pick the pistol up herself, "A relic of your time on the force, I take it?" Joe just stares at her while the other officers in the room snicker, and Rena finds himself the next to address the criminal mastermind. "That's... not your voice," he murmurs, and Nadia smiles his way. Indeed, it is the voice of Nadia coming through Mary's lips, and it's really quite unsettling. That voice says, "Nice catch, sweetie," before switching to the voice she always used as the famous writer/director/producer, asking, "Would you prefer I talk like this?" But she gets no reply, and so she soon drops it, concluding in her natural, evil tone, "With detective skills like those, it's a wonder you didn't catch the Devious Butler right away." This stings Rena some, while Nadia plows on, "In case you and your custodial pals haven't figured it out yet - and I know you already know that I'm not who I say I am - I'm--" "Nadia," Joe states for the benefit of the others, "She's Nadia. The same woman with a new face." "Our plastic surgeon really is the best," Kevin smiles, which makes Kerwin grumble some because he still only has half a face. Killian stares rather blankly into space, though his attention is soon caught when Nadia raises a hand to silence the brothers. Rena takes a tiny step back as all the info hits him, towards the unmarked door they came through, but again the clank of machine guns and he stays put, looking like he wants to throw up. Josh's anger rises, and Nadia gleams him a smile, while Ben asks her, "How did you know we were coming?" "Thank my ex-fiancé," she reveals, and the others all turn to Rena, who exclaims, "What? I didn't tell her anything! I swear!" "Hmmmmm - sort of true," Nadia concedes, and again the butlers' attention is hers, as she tells them, "It wasn't just a tracking app I put on your phone when we were out hunting that serial killer, Rena. It was a bug, too." "You've been... listening in on me?" "I knew you were good friends with the man who might be able to bring about my downfall, and I wanted to hear what it was he thought he knew. I have to say, hearing you all theorize about Kathryn Kappelletti being my #2... I almost had a laughing fit. But then you had to go and happen upon some annoyingly convenient little tape, and the whole thing unraveled." "And you came to head us off here," Josh nods, understanding, and Nadia nods politely in turn, only for him to growl, "I hope you rot in hell, you evil bitch." This makes her cackle though, as she goes on to shout, "You honestly believe such a place exists?! Newsflash: this is the only life we got. Ain't nothing after." "And you decided to waste yours blowing up churches," Joe remarks, and Officer Hall tells him, "It's noble work. Religion corrupts our society." "Well, you'd know all about corruption, I suppose!" "Oh, cram it," Nadia tells them both, waving the pistol in her hand somewhat idly, as though she's bored by this whole interaction. "I don't want to have you all killed," she sighs, looking away from them, "Killing really is... such a nasty business, and I try to avoid it, if I can. If it's not... necessary." "Don't tell me you believe in Karma," Joe smirks, but Nadia turns to look right at him as she barks, "Of course not! But I do believe in being a good person..." "Yeah, right." "You know, you're awfully quippy for a man with several firearms pointed his way." "And you're awfully sanctimonious for a sociopathic terrorist." "Um, Joe," Ben says quietly to his friend, "I would deeply implore you to stop antagonizing the woman who currently has our life in her hands." "Listen to your buddy, DeWar," Nadia nods, and Ben again addresses her, muttering, "Please... I have a child at home..." "And that's... regrettable," Nadia admits, "But... you all have to die... I mean, it's just a fact at this point. You all know too much, and I'm so close to my ultimate plan finally paying off - you know? So, I'm sorry, boys..." "You didn't seem so concerned about killing when it came to Brad, did you?" Josh goads, and Nadia tells him, "Collateral damage is, at times, unavoidable. Trust me, sacrifices like his will all be worth it when the new world I'm trying to build is finally established." "New world?" Joe questions, "What, with your little movie?" "That's right," Nadia beams, excitement refilling her, "Tickets are available in just a few days! Well, I suppose not for you..." "All this time..." Rena utters, "You've been lying..." "Not just to you," Nadia shrugs, "I had the whole nation fooled, as per my plan." "And... would you mind running us through that plan?" Joe eagerly requests, "A dying quartet's wish." "Um, my wish is to not die," Rena adds on, but this goes ignored, because Nadia only has eyes for Joe, looking him up and down; considering him. "I'd be happy to," she says, finally, "I'd be happy to tell you everything you want to know. After all, you've come this far..." "Great," Joe smiles, "Start with--" "But first," Nadia raises a finger to silence him, then lowering it as she points his own handgun at him more stoutly, "ditch the tape recorder." The others all turn to Joe, who sighs, "Fine," before removing a tape recorder just like the one Ben earlier destroyed in the hospital from his inside breast pocket. He puts it at his feet, and Nadia orders him to crush it, which he does, under his foot, rendering it useless. "That's better," Nadia smiles, "Puts me in more of a storytelling mood. Hold your fire everyone... just for now." The others are all looking at Joe, who shrugs, whispering that he swiped it from Val's old room while they were all in there watching the tape earlier; "Figured it was worth a shot..." "As are you," Nadia quips, waving that gun and laughing a little, and then, "I take it you're all familiar with all the parts of my story that I told to Emilie?" "You were abused by a Priest," Joe nods, "So started an anti-religion terrorist group designated to blowing up churches around Europe. My wife didn't much fancy all the - how did you put it? - collateral damage you were producing..." Josh winces at this, Nadia just nods along, "...and so she left. And you went hunting her down, mistaking her twin's dead body for her own, I presume." "Good boy," Nadia commends, "And funnily enough, that's around the time my new master-plan occurred to me..." "I'm so sick of the words 'master-plan' just being thrown about," Ben comments, but Nadia stares him down, pointing out, "I could have you all shot right now. You wanna hear the story or not?" "Oh, no. I mean, um, yes. Sorry. Continue," Ben pleads, and Nadia clears her throat:
"Well, at least one of my men is doing their job right," we again hear Nadia - looking like Nadia - comment as she stares down at the dead body of the real Joanna Winters, before crouching down to pull the knife from her belly, twirling it around in her fingers before she orders that she be taken away (see "The Lying Queen").
Joanna's body is placed into a freezer back at Nadia and Emilie's old base in Italy, with Nadia staring down at what she thinks is her "sister's" frozen corpse. "Mare athei," she whispers, welling up a little, but she soon wipes her tears and promptly shuts the lid, trying to banish any sign of weakness before she's to be confronted by anyone beneath her.
One of the doctors who apparently works for Nadia is seen using a needle-gun to implant a microscopic chip into the base of the skull of Kevin Kappelletti, who moans in pain after it's done. Nadia commends him though, satisfied that all three brothers can now be tracked, along with Troy O'Neil and a whole host of others, and then she orders the doctor to chip himself for good measure, which he does reluctantly.
"Kevin!" Nadia stops the pained Kappelletti as he tries to leave her presence post-injection, "A word." "Um... of course," Kevin says, "What do you want?" "Your expertise... or at least, as much as you're able to muster. The rest I'll gain from the contacts who made you famous in the first place." "My expertise?" "In the entertainment industry," Nadia nods, "I need to know everything there is to know about directing and producing films."
We see Nadia enter the office of the Kappellettis' plastic surgeon and, later, witness him removing several bandages which have been wrapped around her face like a mummy. Once the final bandage has been snipped, a mirror is held up for her to look in. Nadia smiles, and Maria Solano smiles back at her, before she blows her own reflection a kiss. "Why hell-o, Mary," she says in a brand new, rehearsed voice.
I fabricated a whole new identity. Mare Athei, Maria Solano: I thought I was being cute. No one important ever suspected anything, because I told them not to, once I got the hang of the whole directing thing.
Something we've seen before: "Mary", looking considerably more enriched, sighing with relief at a review for another film she's made several successes later, with the critics praising her deft plotting and on-point twists. She practically blushes, tossing the newspaper aside onto a pile in her old penthouse of a thousand other fantastic reviews (see "Petty Maids All in a Row").
We see "Mary" discussing new ideas with Jackson and Marius, wondering just what it is that all of the public will one day want to see...
Something else we've seen: Jackson telling Liz, "Miss Solano only has a couple more topics to address, one being that there's going to be a test screening in a couple days to see how audiences respond to the film." We then cut forward to a couple days later, to Gregory Keating's death, him dying in an explosion thanks to a juror who had an "exclusive opportunity" (as an attendee of the test screening) and then insanely went to go blow up a church (see "If I Were a Butler").
The grave of Jose Sanchez is zoomed in upon, right before - behind him - the entire church whose yard he's buried in suddenly goes BOOM, courtesy of Nadia. "Mare athei," Mary salutes from a hill nearby, proud of her and her followers' handiwork.
We're taken back to the dinner Rena and Mary had together after their first meeting, where they discussed the Kristi incident. She's just gotten Rena to open up a little, and now he just sits there, looking across the table at Mary, who's reaching out to him, and she looks at him too. There's a moment of silence before Rena clenches Mary's hands too, and finally a light smile forms on both of their faces (see "Houseboy Who Cried Wolf").
Which turned out to be an absolute blessing. Because who was your boss at the time? Why, none other than the woman who betrayed me so long prior; the woman whom I believed to be dead; whose body I thought I had frozen...
Yet again, we see as Joanna looks up, mid-chug, and is startled to see that her butler has company in the form of one Miss Maria Solano "Oh," she exclaims quickly sitting up, "hi!" She puts her wine bottle down, and Mary can't help but smirk as Joanna stands up to shake her hand. "I'm Jo," she says, introducing herself. Mary shakes Mrs. Winters' hand, who just glances at the famous writer, director and producer up and down, oblivious to the fact that her old "sister" has just clocked onto the acid burn which, having told her whole story to Joe and the others so recently, she's only just began to neglect covering (see "The Peasant and the Devious").
Joanna is seen picking up a box from her doorstep, inside which is the knife she used to kill her identical twin years before, and a note from Nadia (see "The Peasant and the Devious"). We also see her receiving the opera goggles Nadia sent (see "...Baby One More Crime"), as well as the note she got mere hours earlier, when Mary had wandered away from an increasingly annoying Rena.
Everyone files out of the church after Josh's wedding, to see Selena, Valentina and some other SJWs protesting Ben's accusation that Val raped him. We again hear Selena scream, "As it is, you and your privileged little buddies are gonna go up in flames!" (see "The Peasant and the Devious")
"Mare athei, white males!" we hear Selena cry back in Massachusetts (Boston, specifically), before clamping down on a rather cartoonish looking detonator, causing a church to go up in smoke. "Which I'm sure is Latin for 'Matriarchy'," ze nods proudly.
Juan and Troy are shown covertly setting up the explosives around the church, and then are shown far away hitting the detonator, causing it to explode and for all the guests to be thrown. Even from afar, one can hear Josh's cries of, "Brad? BRAAAAAAAAAAD??!!!!!" (see "The Peasant and the Devious") which makes Juan smile a little.
"I understand what you're saying, Mr. O'Neil," Mary nods to him, back at her penthouse, "Really, I do. And I don't want anyone in my organization to think I don't care about what's important to them." "Th-thank you," Troy tells her nervously, eyeing the door, and Mary adds, "But you see, there are certain things which are important to me, as well. And secrecy is paramount. And as this is my organization..." "P-please..." Troy begs, getting scared now, but Mary just says, "Sorry, Troy." He tries to run but she has the reflexes of a seasoned fighter, grabbing him at the same time that she picks up a knife and - quickly, painlessly, efficiently - slits his throat. He dies in an instant. She sighs looking down at the mess, commenting, "Great. Now I gotta clean this up before my boyfriend arrives home... I should really induct a butler into my li'l club. And I've got to make sure Rena moves out soon... don't want him happening across anything he shouldn't..."
Right before Jackson and Marius prepare to lift Troy's body up over a cliff and hurl it into the sea, Mary halts them, moving forward with a permanent marker in tow. She proceeds to write the name "Joseph DeWar" onto his hand before stepping back and saying, "Alright. Now," and the two lackeys dispose of him.
"Oooh Lordie yaaasss!" Rochelle squeals as she receives the money bags from Mary, "Blow my ass, I'd have done it for free!" "Well, in that case..." Mary tells her, only for Rochelle to snatch the bags and say, "Nuh-uh, bitch, too late - diz mine now! I'mma quit this job and hit the slots!"
Mary is shown among the wedding guests when it appears that Joe has gone and left Joanna at the altar. Figuring out what's transpired, she lets out a tiny smile, though is rather quick to conceal it as the butlers head off to investigate matters (see "...Baby One More Crime"). We then cut ahead to the moment of Joe snapping Rochelle's neck, followed by the butlers all standing around her grave (see "Kill n Tell").
After her meeting with Eli, during which she refused to aid his career while he was damning his wife (see "Landlady and the Tramp"), Mary can be seen exiting the Davis house, only to be approached by Juanita Kwon, who'd been serving the two of them. "Lady!" she yells to Mary before she gets into her white limo, "You forget this!" She hands Mary a half-eaten breadstick, and Mary takes it from her and says, "...thanks." "Butler who used to have this job never so helpful. You should be nice to Mr. Eli - he gives us maids a chance." "Does he now?" Mary raises an eyebrow, and then, "You ever think of avenging maids such as yourself?" Juanita nods, definitely having thought about this already. We later see Emilia Greenburg answering her phone, with Juanita telling her, "Stop what doing! New idea! Head to costume store!" "Um, alright, dear..."
A little nudge from me was all it took for Juanita to organize her family into a group-killing machine. But you used that to your own advantage, didn't you? When Troy O'Neil's body finally did wash up, and you blamed it on the Devious Butler...
Andrew, while his health was still intact, is seen overlooking the implementation of a freezer to his basement, inside which the body of the real Joanna Winters continues to be kept.
The wedding of Kevin and Kathryn Kappelletti, with Mary sat in the audience, having arranged the whole thing. Kathryn interrupts the flow of the vows so as to pull of piece of paper from betwixt her cleavage, announcing that the following is a list of all the reasons that (after having heard why Kevin loves her and she in turn loves Kevin) she loves herself. She unfurls the list, and it hits the floor. Kevin's groomsmen, Kerwin and Killian, appear wary of the match, but Andrew couldn't be more happy for his little girl.
When we again see the letter opener in Nadia's hand flash through the shadows, we see Mary's face flash through them too, all the while James is screaming in front of the open freezer containing the real Joanna's body. Cut forward, to Mary on a stepladder, tying the noose around his neck and hanging him from one of the mansion's chandeliers (see "Soaplessly Devoted to You" and "Manservant in the Mirror"). We then cut to Mary sitting with the other guests at Joe and Joanna's wedding, smiling as though she's never committed an act of evil a day in her life (see "What Might Have Bin").
After Rochelle grabs those money sacks from Mary, we hear her cry out in pain as a chip is implanted into the base of her skull, and she yells, "What the damn hell?!" "Just a precaution," Mary smiles at her, and then we see Mary happening upon the same field where she found Joanna's body, now knowing that Rochelle is buried there and figuring that it's time to compose a little letter to the cops.
After arriving home from her reconciliation with Josh, a boot stops the door to the DeWar mansion from closing behind Joanna, and then she's ambushed from behind while a few minions leave the real Joanna's body in her wake, for Joe to come home and find... which he does, crying to the heavens (see "Bad Bleach").
We see Nadia taunting Joanna in that freezer, only this time from the outside, so we can see Mary's face talking with Nadia's voice, just like she is in the present. And then, later, while Joe's off saving Joanna, we see Mary sneak into their house and retrieve a fingerprint of Joe's on a piece of tape, then composing a note to a cop telling him to dig up Rochelle's body and plant the fingerprint on it for an extra piece of evidence against him (see "Manservant in the Mirror").
We're shown the cops helping Joe and Joanna down from the chairs they've been stood on with nooses around their necks (see "Eye of the Dryer"), before a pair of handcuffs are slapped onto Joe's wrists.
We see the moment of Mary taking Rena's phone again, only this time are able to notice the little bug she plants onto it (see "Petty Maids All in a Row").
Mary battles against Juanita, who wields a sharpened mop, and we can now see that her fighting skills are inline with the fact that she's Nadia, who trained Emilie in the same brand of martial arts. Also, all the cops arresting the Devious Butlers in the background are all the ones which, right now, are aiming machine guns at Joe, Josh, Rena and Ben (see "Petty Maids All in a Row").
So I was forced to take Juanita down, ridding myself of a great distraction, but at least I finally had the time to really buckle down and finish the movie off while you were stuck in court, wrongly suspecting Kathryn...
While in the editing room, adding the subliminal inserts into her film, Mary hears through the bug that the butlers think that Kathryn Kappelletti might be the new Emilie (see "If I Were a Butler"), and she can't help but laugh her ass off some.
But then you got off, despite me invoking the oblivious Kathryn's help, and finally uncovered the truth, all thanks to Jose Sanchez. Yet another butler, I never even knew I had to worry about. You people really are the scum of the earth, aren't you? Anyway... that about brings us here, to the scene of your demise and whatnot. Any questions?
"No, I think that pretty much explains everything, thanks," says Joe as we flash ourselves back into the present, him standing amid the other butlers while Nadia/Mary remains center-stage in front of him, still clutching his pistol while all her lackeys maintain their grips on their machine guns. "Not everything," Rena adds on, tears in his eyes, "Why did you keep me around? Did you... did you really care for me? I-I need to know." "I said I did, didn't I?" Nadia reminds him, "It was dangerous to stay with you, to be honest, but... I just had this odd little fondness for you. It was nice coming home to you at the end of the day, having someone to kick back with without the strain of intelligent conversation..." "You're... describing a pet," Rena points out, getting no less teary, and Nadia responds, "Huh... yeah, I guess I am." "So are you gonna kill us?" Ben asks bravely, and Nadia wonders, "Why are you addressing me? You're like the only one here who I've barely affected. Irrelevant again..." "Do excuse me," Ben powers on, "It's just, you're about to make my daughter an orphan, so..." Nadia sighs at this, and Josh adds, "Just like you made me a widower. Drove me to insanity..." "Yes, yes, yes! All's my fault, I'm evil, blah blah! Forget the fact that I genuinely feel bad, and tried to get you to go to therapy! No, but I am just such a bad guy! I'm trying to do something good here! Can't you see that? The greater good! I'm sorry, but it's far more important than your tawdry little worker-day lives..." "Oh, Nadia," Joe says to her, "Haven't you learned by now not to underestimate a butler?" "Silence!" Nadia screams, "I gifted you with the truth, but I'm not going to stand here debating you all night long. It's just far too tedious." "I--" Joe tries, but Nadia raises her finger to her lips and screeches a, "Shhhhh!!" She raises his gun at him again, and comments that she'd rather not do this herself, because then she'd feel obligated to clean it up - "And your job isn't one I aspire to." As such, she addresses all those around her - the Kappellettis, the cops, the assistants - and cries, "Take aim!" And once again we hear the metallic noise of their machine guns as all of them point right at the four butlers, ready to tear them asunder. Ben reaches out his hand to take Joe's, who then takes Josh's, who then takes Rena's. They stand there in unity, closing their eyes, ready for the end as Nadia exclaims that inevitable little word... "Fire!" Every trigger of every machine gun in the room is pulled, with Nadia even preparing to cover her ears and shield her eyes from the carnage... but nothing happens. Joe's eyes are still open, and the other butlers begin to open theirs too, confused as to why they're not dead. The men who were supposed to gun them all down appear confused too, as they continually try to carry out their boss' demand but continually fail as well due to the fact that their weapons have apparently been drained of ammunition. "What the hell?!" Nadia screeches, only for Joe to quip, "I thought you didn't believe in hell." Nadia attempts to silence him by pointing his own pistol directly at his head and firing... but there's nothing to fire. Because the handgun doesn't have any bullets either. "What is this?!" Nadia demands to know, throwing the useless weapon to the floor, and Joe says, "I told you - you should have learned by now not to underestimate a butler." "What's going on?" Josh asks him, and Joe reveals, "My wife and I ran a little bit of intervention..." "Emilie..." Nadia hisses, but Joe tells her, "She prefers 'Joanna' these days. Anyway..."
I reconvened with her after she discovered who you really are...
We see Joe dash out of the Del Barrio mansion ahead of the other butlers and run into Joanna, who's just dashed from the Davis house. "Joe!" she exclaims, "Thank goodness! I have so much to tell you!" "I have so much to tell you!" he exclaims in turn, and she tells him that they're not safe where they are - out in the open - and that they need to discuss this someplace private. And, while they go off to do this, the other butlers emerge from the mansion. They don't know where Joe is and assume he went ahead of them to the studio, and so they head there as well, ready to confront Mary.
She told me you were the real Nadia all along. And we planned, very fast, against you. I found a side-entrance to this place before you managed to gather your forces to confront us...
We see Joe and Joanna busting in through Mary's office window, and discovering her hidden cache of machine guns, managing to empty them all so that they'll be harmless. "Okay," Joe nods, emptying his own handgun of ammo, "I'll meet the others and confront her. You plant them around the studio." Joanna nods to him, giving him a kiss before they part.
All the time we've been here, my wife has been working on something as destructive as your little 'master-plan'...
"Where've you been?" Ben asks Joe as he returns to them at the entrance, only for Joe to say that it doesn't matter. We then see Joanna planting something around the edges of the studio, and inside, all around, while the butlers go to see her arch-rival...
What I'm saying is... this place is ready to blow any minute now... so this isn't the scene of our demise after all.
Nadia's eyes widen in the present, while Joe stands there rather smugly, telling the evil mastermind, "So, if you don't mind, I think we'll be going now. Guys?" The other butlers, trying to fight how astounded they are, nod to him, breaking apart at the hands in order to turn on their heals and dash from sight. "After them!" Nadia screams, leaping from the stage and prepared to flee the building, and all her lackeys throw down their machine guns and prepare to give chase as well... but they don't get the chance. On their way out, Rena is able to hit the big red button on the side of the door which causes the reinforced steel shutters to come slamming on down - the very defense mechanism that Mary herself had installed in order to keep the Devious Butler firmly out of her studio (see "Soaplessly Devoted to You"). "No!" Nadia rages, reaching the shutters and beginning to bang on them with her fist, to no end, and she begins ordering her leftover followers to, "Get them open! Now! Now!" But it seems it's no use. Outside the door, Ben commends Rena on a, "Nice one," as they continue to run. Run, run, run out of the lioness' den, which, thanks to Joe and Joanna, is scheduled to explode at a moment's notice…
Ali and Liz, meanwhile, are strolling about the party now, holding hands as all the attention has died down and everyone else is back to regular mingling. The couple look ever-so-content, happily in love, but both are then notified by the vibrating of their phones. They look at one another, confused, each pulling out their respective devices and seeing that it's a joint text from Joe. "STOP THE MOVIE FROM COMING OUT AT ALL COSTS." The text being in all-caps indicates its urgency, and the two gals look at one another. "What's he talking about?" Liz asks, to which Ali responds, "He and the others must have just figured something out." "So what are we supposed to do?" "Just as he said," Ali makes clear, "stop that movie." "And you just trust him...?" Liz asks, unsure about all of this, and Ali admits that Joe's one of the people she trusts more than anyone. "There's something bad going on here, and if he says the movie has something to do with it... then I believe him, no questions asked." Though still appearing unsure, for a multitude of reasons - Joe's accuracy and the fate of her career being two of them - she nods. "Okay," she says, "if you believe him." With that, Liz takes out her phone and begins to dial.
"There's no signal," Kevin exclaims, having just tried to use his own phone to call for help, and Nadia cries as she continues banging at the steel shutters. "Well, this is an absolute nightmare!" Kerwin nods, while Killian just stands there, confused as to what is even going on. The corrupt policemen, meanwhile, are running around, each trying to find a way out. Jackson and Marius are there too, trying and failing to find a signal, but to no avail. "Let us out! Let us out of here!" Nadia continues to cry and bang, but it's of no use. Try as she might, the shutters won't open, and no one can hear her cries.
Joe, Josh, Rena, and Ben make it to the door of Solano Studios, and out they go. The four men each running towards the parking lot. "When's it set to blow?!" Josh asks, to which Joe responds, "Any time now." "You did all of this behind our backs?!" Ben exclaims, in shock, to which Joe responds that he couldn't possibly bring them in on this. "Goodbye, Mary..." Rena utters, not shedding a single tear.
"Listen to me," Liz is saying on the phone, "My name is Elizabeth freakin' Davis, and I am telling you to pull that movie from your theater right now. The world is at stake here!" Ali, meanwhile, calls attention to the crowd of partygoers. "Everyone, you have to listen to us," she calls out, gaining the attention of Silvia, Aliza, and everyone else in the attendance, "Stay away from the theater! Do not go and see No Rest for the Devious!" Everyone is confused though, the crowd of partygoers turning to one another and murmuring. "The hell she talkin' about?!" Aliza barks, to which Silvia shrugs her shoulders, equally confused.
"Please! You can't keep us in here!" Nadia's voice has now returned to that of Mary's, more innocent-sounding as she's genuinely fearing for her life now. "God, help us all..." "Miss Solano..." Jackson then utters, everyone else having gathered around something in particular, nearby. Confused, Nadia goes to see what exactly it is, what everyone has gathered around for the last moments of their life. And there it is: a timer. Nadia lets out a gasp, as all hope has officially been lost. 3... 2... 1... "Oh, fuck." These are the last words ever to be uttered by Nadia, or Maria Solano, if you prefer. She's hit with a burst of fire from underneath, as the whole studio goes up in flames, obliterating everyone left inside. Glass shatters as what was once sturdy concrete dissipates, and even from outside, the butlers are sent flying backwards by such a grand explosion, then proceeding to take cover behind a car.
At the party, meanwhile, everyone is startled by the sound coming from just down the street, looking up as the fire has brightened the night sky just enough for everyone to have a clue as to what just happened. Silvia spills some tea, as Aliza drops her chicken. "I've got a feeling that everything I'm telling you is about to make sense..." Liz utters, hanging up the phone and reconvening with her terrified fiancée. She and Ali embrace, with everyone prepared to head out to the front of the mansion for a better view.
And that brings us here, to the greatest view of all. From her home positioned at the end of the cul-de-sac, Joanna Winters looks out her window as she drinks from a glass of red, an empty bottle sat next to her. She revels in the destruction of Solano Studios, in the demise of her greatest enemy and her followers, as the fire continues to burn. A devious grin spreads across her face, but for all the right reasons. The world has been saved, and that, Joanna can drink to. She has one final sip, and then the glass is empty. Her final drink.
Sirens blare now as police, firetrucks and ambulances are heard in a nearby distance, having since been notified, presumably by someone from the premiere party. We then see the butlers reluctantly come up from behind the car, looking up at the destruction left behind. "Oh, my God..." Ben utters, to which Josh responds, "It's... all over, just like that." Rena, meanwhile, having yet to turn his head from the flames, says aloud, "She's dead... Maria Solano. Is dead." The other two butlers each put a hand on Rena's shoulder as they all continue to watch. "Her name was Nadia," Joe corrects, standing a little ways away from his three friends, "and she deserved exactly what she got." Josh and Ben each turn to Rena, who nods at this, accepting it as fact. The three then join Joe, who they see is now squinting his eyes at something in the distance. "What is it?" Josh asks, as Joe is looking at what was once the entrance to Solano Studios. Though in shambles, it still stands... sort of. And there, Joe is able to make it out. "Jose's tape..." he utters, "I must've dropped it. I... I need that for evidence." "Wait, what?" Ben questions, but it's too late, as Joe has already begun running. "Joe, no!" Rena calls out. "Get away from there!" Josh adds, as we now see the police, firefighters, and ambulances arriving, each emerging from their respective vehicles. "I have get that tape!" Joe shouts back at his friends, who are now being held back by officers. Lieutenant Huberd sees this, standing by the butlers. He goes to send men after Joe, but then it happens. As Joe stands in the entrance of the studio, grasping a hold of the tape one devious butler filmed all that time ago, another, latent bomb goes off. "JOE!" Josh, Rena and Ben each cry out in unison as the police prevent them running towards their friend. But there's no Joe left. No tape. Nothing. Only more smoke fills the air as the destruction of Solano Studios has been greatened. The three butlers look at one another and then back to at where their friend once stood, completely and utterly horrified. Joseph DeWar is dead.
Despite their victory over the biggest villain they've ever faced, our butlers' combined mood is noticeably somber as we see the three of them sitting at their regular booth in the bar where they often meet up in the evenings, once again mourning the loss of one of their own. "To Joseph DeWar," Ben toasts, raising his bottle, "A friend... to all of us." "Here, here," Josh and Rena add on as they clink their bottles against Ben's, with Josh being the one to say, "He really was a hero in the end. I mean... he sorta saved the world." "He was always a hero," Rena assures, and Ben nods, with Rena adding, "I mean... he was even better than me, you know? At some stuff..." A sad sigh, echoed throughout the trio, and Ben says that he should probably be going soon, for Jennifer's watching the baby. Josh admits that he should as well - for, theoretically, he should be packing to go to New York - "But... I mean, it almost feels wrong to leave now. My stuff made it through everything that happened but... oh, Christ, everything that's happened, I can't... To go and start my life anew while Joe and... while he's..." "Dead," Rena is the first to state out loud, and it has quite the dramatic effect on them all. "It doesn't feel real," the Portuguese butler points out, and Ben agrees, "It can't be... Joseph DeWar... dead..." "Hanging out, just the three of us," Josh goes on, "It's like a person missing an arm or something. It's just wrong." "If you went off the deep end again with your visions and whatnot, it'd be like it's the four of us," Rena suggests, "Kinda wish that would happen for me right now..." "No, you don't," Josh assures. "Maybe I'll stay for just another round," Ben says quickly, "I mean, we can't really toast enough, can we?" The others concede to this, and Ben flags down what looks like a member of staff, who walks straight by the table without making eye contact. "Rude," Rena scoffs, while Josh asks, "Hey, what's that?" and they all notice the envelope resting on the table. It wasn't there before, and Rena figures that the staff-member must have dropped it. However, as Ben reaches to pick it up, he reveals, "It's addressed to us..." "What?" Josh asks in surprise, and Ben opens it up and pulls out a letter, discarding the empty envelope which Rena takes and reads the front of aloud: "Ben, Josh, and Rena. Destroy After Reading. Huh?" In the time it's taken him to say this, though, Ben's already skimmed the letter, his eyes widening and a gasp escaping him - "Oh, my God," he finds himself exclaiming. The others want to know what it's about, and so Ben moves around to their side of the booth to show them; they read with interest...
It's me, it's Joe. I'm alive...
"What the crap?" Rena exclaims in the bar, only for Josh to flick him in the ear so that he can continue concentrating on the letter in Ben's hands.
I'm sorry for all the secrets and drama, but blowing up Nadia and her comrades like that was incredibly illegal, and I didn't want you guys being accessories to the crime. So, I faked my death, to avoid going back to prison...
We are taken back to the moment Joe "exploded", and see him still living behind all the smoke. Because that's all it is - smoke. A dummy grenade planted at the entrance, set to go off at a later time. And, in the distraction caused by the butlers' shock and grief, Joe is able to flee through the rubble, with the MARE ATHEI tape in tow, and into the night.
It was just a dud Joanna put at the studio's entrance, so that when we did what was necessary to protect the world from Nadia, I'd be able to return to her and nobody would be any the wiser...
After Joanna has put down her last glass of wine, the door is heard opening, as Joe sneaks into the DeWar mansion. "Honey, you're home," Joanna says proudly, and Joe immediately moves to kiss her. It's then that the two of them stare out the window together, allowing Joe to get a full scope of the wreckage they've just caused. Knowing that Nadia's just been blasted apart, Joe takes it upon himself to utter, "In your ass, bitch..." and Joanna smiles as he wraps his arms around her. He wonders if he can refill her glass, but she tells him no - "I don't think I need it anymore." "Joanna?" "It's time to go soon," she beams, "And that won't be my name anymore. My sister can have it back..." "Emilie?" Joe tries, and she smiles more widely, turning around so as to kiss him again.
See, Joanna discovered Nadia's laptop in her office as well as the guns and bombs...
Further in the past, we see Joanna hiding behind the door as Nadia and her lackeys barge in to fetch the machine guns which, unbeknownst to them, have already been drained of ammo. During this time, Mary drops her laptop off onto her desk, and, when she vacates, Joanna emerges. And she hears the butlers' conversation emanating from the laptop, from the bug on Rena's phone...
And, with the line we had to the police still being open thanks to the whole Juan business, she was able to relay Nadia's whole story to them, through us...
As Nadia is in the middle of delving into the mystery reveal, the shot moves to Rena's pocket, to his phone, where a bug still resides. And then we see Huberd and the other non-corrupt officers listening to it at the station - a little while delayed - and Huberd reacts, "Maria Solano is really a terrorist? No way..."
Not only that, but Joanna wrote out a confession, and sent it off to the cops so that they'd know everything they needed to know about Nadia and her organization. Including all of her own crimes...
We see Joanna typing out this confession quickly, and she takes a deep breath before making the decision to send it off, along with the MARE ATHEI video from Jose, knowing that there'll be no coming back from it.
Meaning, it was the both of us who needed to get the heck out of dodge. Hence we faked our deaths and... went...
"Josh's stuff been moved to a safe place?" Joe asks his wife, who confirms it; she asks in turn, "Jose's skeleton been planted in the wreckage to masquerade as you?" He nods, and she says, "Good," before he adds, "The guys will only be getting questioned for a short while longer now, so we gotta--" "Light this bitch up," she finishes for him. With that, she drops a match onto the floor, and she and Joe quickly flee the mansion. As they do, we see as the body of the real Joanna - having been dragged up from the basement - begins to thaw out and burn, ready to be found and pose as... well, herself really. Joanna is officially dead.
I shan't reveal to you where we left to, in case this letter falls into the wrong hands, but know that we're safe, and together, and happy (with Matthew's money)...
As the two of them drive off into the horizon, ready for a life in hiding, Joe and Emilie join hands, just as they did in the depiction of events where Jose wasn't murdered (see "What Might Have Bin"). Meant to be, indeed...
I'm sad to leave you guys behind. Really. And everyone else I love, too...
Back to the explosion - Silvia is the first to be seen emerging from the party at the Del Barrio mansion in order to get a look, and she spots Joe as he flees from it under the cover of darkness across the street. He spots her as well, and the two of them share a brief moment of eye contact, followed by Joe placing his finger to his lips. Silvia winks, and Joe smiles, before continuing on.
I hope they'll find a way to be okay without me...
And, for the first time, we flash into the future. In the home where he's kept, Tyson can be seen praying up to his mother Meghan in heaven, telling her that he hopes Joe is up there with her as well. "I don't think he is," comes Silvia's voice as she approaches, a visitor's badge pinned to her chest and a thermos of iced tea clutched in her hand. "What you mean?" Tyson wonders, and Silvia sits down opposite him, pouring him a cup of her specialty as she explains, "I reckon he's out there still... don't you?" Tyson smiles at the thought, and Silvia smiles in turn, nudging the cup towards him and encouraging him to drink. The two of them go on to simply chat, about anything and everything, keeping each other in much-wanted company. Tyson needs a mother; Silvia needs a son; and, as we see them sharing similar interactions day after day after day, it becomes clear that they fill this void for one another.
Which is exactly what we see happening. Over in Italy, federal officers can be seen throwing terrorists against the wall and cuffing them, ready to haul them off to prison.
And hey, I'm hoping the Fanon Drive park can be restored, because who the hell puts a movie studio in the middle of a neighborhood?...
And, once the wreckage has been cleared away, we see the beautiful sight that is Fanon Park in all its former glory, a far more welcoming scene for the dwellings of the rich and famous of Wikerly Hills.
In fact, I'm hoping the whole police force can be restored to the respectable team it once was, with some new (and qualified) blood put into it...
The W.H.P.D. can be seen running a training program, which Huberd has apparently decided to take, having accepted that he was never really cut out for a position of power. But still, he wants to better himself - and so, it seems, does Aliza Little, who's on the training program as well. "You know Joseph DeWar used to skulk around my house, diggin' shiz up, lookin' fo' clues 'n' whatnot," she brags to the other recruits, who seem deeply interested. Her cell phone then buzzes and she sees that it's Antwon, who apparently wants her back, but she just rolls her eyes, pockets her phone, and continues talking about Joe: "I learned a lot from him."
Who knows if they'll ever be able to figure out what we've done...
Along with some other officers, Aliza is shown inspecting Joe and Joanna's burned down mansion, at the center of which is the real Joanna's charred corpse. As Huberd is chalking it up, and says to herself, "But she killed her twin, ain't it obvious that--" And then she stops. "What's that?" Huberd wonders, but Aliza says, "Aw, nuffin'..." as she comes to realize that Joe and Joanna must have faked their deaths and run for it; when Huberd's away, she says to herself, "I hope them two's happy... even if I din't ship it..."
But it'd just be nice and incredibly comforting to know that Wikerly Hills has the protection and law enforcement it deserves...
And that's what it gets. As, down the line, we see Aliza chilling in her office in the precinct - now the chief of police. "Aw, hell's yeah," she says to herself, leaning back as she folds her arms and puts her feet up on the desk, triumphant.
I mean, the justice system is never going to be entirely perfect...
"Not guilty!" Judge Quinnson declares, banging down her gavel at the conclusion to the trial of one miss Juanita Kwon, who beams asianly at the fact that she's just been let off for her many crimes.
But justice is a funny thing. And, if I've learned anything while working with you guys all this time, it's that it always finds some small way to prevail. Maybe I'm a man of faith after all...
"I'm back, fam!" Juanita exclaims as she bursts through the doors to Kwon Mexiental, and her Mexican/Asian fusion family (the ones who were too young to be running around and killing people) all appear surprised to see her. "What?" she shrugs, "I did an OJ - the mask no fit, they must acquit - pinned all Devious Butler murders on faggy fag Dr. Strange." Her family all shrug, welcoming her back to the fold... at which point the police storm the place, with Huberd telling them that they're under arrest for the traces of people found in their food. "Aw, nuts," Juanita yelps before she's tasered, again, by the man whose boyfriend she sent packing to jail.
We next see Juanita wandering the prison cafeteria, and Kristi Kappelletti tells her, "Hi! My family all died, haha, but I hear you got a big one! I like the way you tried to kill Rena... you might say I'm your number one fan..." Juanita shrugs at this.
For instance, I have faith that Wikerly Hills is capable of changing for the better...
Which it does. With Juanita gone, butlers and maids are finally able to coexist in harmony with one another. A mixed-gender group of happy servants is shown busy frequenting the cafe where our butlers normally meet, on their lunch break, chatting peacefully.
Although, a part of me is very relieved to be gone. Because all the positive progression in the world won't be able to erase that place of the demons of its past...
And it appears as though Ali feels the same way. With a sad look on her face, she stares into what used to be her home's dungeon, and its history begins to live before her. The chains and shackles reappear on the walls, and she sees herself bound by them; and Jennifer; and Silvia; and poor Lily DeWar; and the ghost of every girl who ever had to suffer living down there... "living"... which is about when she realizes that this mansion isn't her home anymore. After sealing the dungeon firmly shut - forever - Ali can be seen digging the place's SOLD sign into the soil beside the boulder-lined driveway herself.
And I wish all those haunted - you guys included - the very best, and hope you can get the closure you need. Heck, that's why I'm writing this. And Ali, I want that fresh start for her...
Which is what she gets, as - in a different town, in a more homey, suburban neighborhood - she is pulling up to a brand new house in a Howell's Rent-A-Truck along with her fiancée Liz, her maid Jennifer, her butler Ben, and his daughter Alex.
Which, Ben, I hope will also mean a demon-free life for your daughter, and those around her as she grows up, and any other new additions to your families...
Alex smiles as Jennifer - Ali's maid of honor - cradles her while standing up at the altar, where Liz, in her stylish wedding gown, can be seen waiting along with her best man Rena. The wedding march soon begins, and Ali, in a more classical bridal look, is walked down the aisle by none other than her best friend in the world, Ben. Cassie is a flower girl, and even Marvin is shown in the crowd (along with guests like Josh, who Aliza's hitting on while adjusting her chief's badge), some sort of hatchet having been buried. A beautiful ceremony goes forth...
...and leads into a beautiful reception, where the two brides sit happily together, kissing for a camera. Liz soon tells her new wife, "I've been thinking and... you know... I really like having that little Alex chick around, and... if ever we were to, like... have a baby of our own or whatever..." Ali is very attentive now, and Liz finishes with, "I wanna be the one to carry it." "Y-you do?" Ali asks, surprised, and Liz tells her, "Yeah. Your body's been through enough for one lifetime." "But... your figure... your career..." "I can be a star and look like a real person," Liz decides, taking a slice of wedding cake and eating it. And swallowing. And, like, not throwing it up. Ali's a li'l shook.
Because family is important. Even if mine's been a bit whittled down, I'd be nothing without my wife. And I want you guys to be happy with yours...
Family. That's what they are. A few years down the line, when Alex is a toddler, Ben can be seen bringing out the turkey and exclaiming, "Happy Thanksgiving!" Liz asks for a nice big helping, and Ali laughs, taking her wife's hand as Liz's other hand drifts down to her belly, rubbing it some, implying that this family could soon be growing. As Ben begins to carve, Jennifer takes his hand, offering to do it for him, and he smiles, happy. Alex makes some fuss from her highchair and everybody laughs, with the beautiful noise carrying around the well-furnished, suburban room. The TV is switched off in the background (in the middle of a news story about Fiona Pierce being transferred to max). Looks like Ali and Liz have continued to be well off, as is indicated by Liz's many awards, littered around the shelves. One such award, we see, seems to have been garnered for something called Devious Butlers.
By the way, Rena - I had a chance to read over some of your film script before my trial, and I never got to tell you how much potential I think that thing has. Keep at it...
Which he does, because we see him finally finishing that very script, typing "The End" onto the screenplay. And now he just needs to get it made.
About the title. I really like the idea of claiming back the moniker for ourselves. The Devious Butlers. It's nice. But my advice? Drop the 'The', it's cleaner...
Advice he takes, for the poster for Devious Butlers is then zoomed in upon, without a 'the' in sight. In the forefront of this poster is Renato Duarte as Joseph DeWar - the brave butler's story having been told. Next to him? Well, aside from the other three butlers played by unknowns: Elizabeth Davis as Joanna Winters, because it's a love story as well, and this is the film which really launches Liz's career, as we can tell from all the paparazzi attention she's getting in the background as she walks the red carpet in a stunning gown, arm-in-arm with her wife. She isn't the only one, though. Rena is receiving just as much, if not more, attention, having been the one to write, produce and star in this thing, filling the industry void left behind in the absence of Maria Solano. As he smiles and waves, his sight briefly drifts up towards the night sky, and one of the stars almost seems to wink at him.
And who knows? Maybe your dream can come true, and you'll get a butler of your very own someday...
Over in Hollywood, Rena can be seen returning home to his swanky mansion, decorated with a clear star theme. And, as he approaches his case of awards, he finds his butler busy dusting them, clearly wishing he could have a case full of his own someday... "Don't worry, you will," Rena tells him, having translated his faraway look, and his butler turns to him and says, "Huh?" "If one lowly Portuguese butler can become a star..." Rena points out, only for his butler to say, "I'm Spanish." "Oh..." Rena utters, "Well, still," and he wanders off through his needlessly massive home.
Which, of course, should be courtesy of Josh's brand new business. Joanna told me you decided to head to New York to pursue it, Josh, and I'm really happy that you've realized your own dream, and want you to find what you're looking for there...
Josh sits in the head office of his successful butler/maid placement agency, answering a phone and promising whichever rich socialite is on the other end that a custodian worker should be arriving at their mansion pronto. Regina claps some from behind him, happy to have landed such a lovely New York office, and Josh looks to the picture of Brad on his desk, finding encouragement in it. And then Regina hands him an envelope, saying that it arrived for him today from his "silent partner", and Josh smiles as he opens it up and finds the note which reads, "From your bestie <3", followed by a nice, big, supportive check.
With Nadia out of the way, you can finally move on, because no one's needed closure more in the recent months than you, and now you can seize it...
Which happens for him in the form of a charity - the Bradley Sonya Foundation - dedicated to raising money for victims of terrorism. Josh is seen hosting a fundraiser in coalition with Ali's human trafficking charity. We are taken around the world, from Wikerly Hills to the borders of Europe, and see the effects of this charity as churches are restored and rebuilt all over.
More importantly, now that justice has been served...
Juan clutches a pillow as he wanders into his new prison cell, swathed in an orange jumpsuit, looking terrified now that the cell door has been closed and he's barred in with his new cellmate. "H-hi," he greets, terrified. "Hey," Rapey Randy greets in turn, a great smile encompassing his face. Juan shivers, which only makes Randy smile more, as he tells the Mexican, "I think me and you is gon' be real good friends." Juan gulps in fear.
...you can continue to uphold it...
"What do you mean I gotta pay reparations?! Just 'cause daddy helped one little terrorist group! And a teency human trafficking empire!" Kathryn Kappelletti weeps, out of jail, as repo men file in and out of the Von Trump mansion, taking everything of value that's not nailed down. "WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW?!" the no-longer-rich bitch screams, throwing her shoe.
...in more ways than one...
"I hate butlers... so much..." Kathryn spits as she's forced to scrub floors, down on her hands and knees, dressed in a ratchet maid's uniform, which does nothing for her now flat chest, all the way in Burbank.
Ultimately, I hope you all stay friends...
Josh, Rena and Ben are seen meeting back in Wikerly Hills - even though they've all long since moved on from that place - in the very bar they're still sitting in, reading, in the present. They raise a toast to Joseph DeWar, just like they do every year, and spend the rest of their time catching up with one another.
And I'm sorry that I can no longer be a part of it. Because you guys are the best friends I've ever had, and you've helped me in ways you don't even know. So I want you to know that I'm never gonna forget you...
At the same time that Josh, Rena and Ben are toasting to them, Joe and Emilie toast to the three butlers over in their remote mansion in Barbados, using iced tea in the stead of wine. Afterwards, they kiss, happy.
Which about sums up the point of this thing: I'm sorry, and thank you. For everything.
In the present, the three butlers are utterly stunned, all now having finished reading the letter from Joe. "I... don't believe it," Josh is the first to utter. "I know," Rena nods, having taken longer to finish than the other two, and Ben smiles, "He's alive." He begins tearing up the letter, destroying it as instructed. "They both are," Josh nods, and Rena adds that maybe another toast is in order after all - a celebration. "Yes," Ben agrees, raising his bottle again, "To Joe... and to us." "The Devious Butlers," Rena says, as he and Josh once again clink their bottles against Ben's. "Devious Butlers," they all repeat together.
Speaking of, one such butler is seen to be serving Joe and Emilie, years later outside their Barbadian home, following their toast to Joe's three best friends in the world. After pouring them another glass of iced tea each, he heads on inside - this being the same man who dropped off the letter for Josh, Rena and Ben to all read years before - and leaves his two bosses to lounge around in front of the pool, enjoying the Caribbean sun. Sighing deeply with alleviation, being more relaxed than she's been in years, Emilie turns to her husband and just feels like telling him, "I love you." Joe smiles, assuring his wife, "I love you, too," and they're able to share another kiss while lying back lazily in their poolside seats, the shade of their home preventing them from getting too hot with the aid of the iced tea they both proceed to sip: Joe's mother's very own recipe. It's such a picture perfect moment, one can't help but get the distinct impression that Joanna was right all that time ago when she said she thought she and Joe could be one another's happy endings... that the two of them are going to live happily ever after... which is round about the time that their butler falls from the highest balcony, splashing into the pool, his blood now mingling with the water as his mortal stab wounds seep out. Emilie sighs again, this time with exasperation. Lowering her sunglasses, she looks into the pool and comments, "Here we go again..." Joe looks into the pool as well, and then to his wife. "Well," he comments in turn, the sense of déjà vu heavy in his voice, "at least we know the butler didn't do it."
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? How was the site of Rochelle's burial known to Nadia? What grand plot is Nadia apparently so busy with? Why was the original Joanna's body being kept in the Von Trump basement? To what extent is the WHPD under Nadia's thumb? What connection exists between Nadia and Kathryn, if any? Is Kathryn the new Emilie? What was the juror's opportunity and why did they appear entranced into blowing up the church? Why did Jose have a tape bearing the Mare Athei moniker?
- Nadia's line before dying - "Oh, fuck," - was originally meant to cut before the completion of the second word. This was altered due to the fact that, when the idea was originally conceived, Devious Butlers was a more PG-rated series. The writers had already crossed the line with statements similar to this one, most notably in the previous episode, and so allowing Nadia to finish her statement before being blown to pieces - thus crossing a line that had already been so closely approached - was seen as an act befitting the finale's climax.