"Sweeping Beauty" is the 21st episode of Devious Butlers.
Selena is hellbent on making it so that the only male Josh is strolling with once upon a dream is Juan, treating Brad as a creature which must be slain. In the midst of all this, Josh also finds himself pulled back into the mystery surrounding the Littles, with Joe needing his help after pursuing Aliza's suggested method of gathering info. Meanwhile, Val tries her best to sweep Ben's custodian efforts under the rug and frame him for a series of mishaps, backed by Liz, whose soon-to-be ex-husband continues his quest to destroy her reputation. The broken couple's former butler remains in the clutches of the evil Kristi, and, with Joanna having to work the case alone, it becomes a time-sensitive mission for her to rescue her servant in distress before his captor puts a permanent end to his waking days, as well as her own.
Bradley Sonya stands outside of the Washington house, awaiting Josh to get ready for their date. He can't help but smile though, realizing how well he has it. How privileged he really is. And so he thinks back...
We see Brad in his teenage years, attending the most prestigious of private schools, getting one of the best educations in the country. He is sat with the guidance counsellor, looking over his transcript; she's impressed. "You sure have achieved quite a bit here," the counsellor says, "Must be pretty well off, huh?" "I suppose so," Brad admits, rather awkwardly.
Sometime later in Brad's life we see him facing his parents. "Mom... dad... I'm gay," he finally reveals over dinner in their lavish penthouse. Brad's parents turn to each other, and then back to him, simply shrugging their shoulders. "We love you regardless," Brad's mother says, to which his father adds on, "And you sure are lucky to live in a time where people have become much more accepting." Brad realizes how true this statement really is.
And lastly, flash to no more than a year ago where Brad has arrived back at his apartment from a date with Gregory Keating. Greg has accompanied him, and the two are now in the process of removing one another's clothing on their way to the bedroom. Brad is seeing Greg in the nude for the first time, and he's taken aback by how fit his date really is. Privileged, indeed.
Back in the present, Brad's smile only grows when the door finally opens up; however, to the lawyer's surprise, it's none other than Selena James Washington. "Bradley," she greets, "hello..." "Um, hi..." Brad says in turn, proceeding to take a few steps back. "Why're you backing away from me?!" Selena notices, continuing, "I don't bite. Ugh, you misogynistic butthole, quit treating me different like that. Ugh!" "I--" "Whatever! What do you want?! I saw you standing out here from my recently installed security system. After that incident with those rapists disguised as flower deliverers I decided I need to go to more extreme measures to secure my protection. Had I not seen it was you then I would've zapped you with my new laser by now." Selena points up, and sure enough there's a device attached to the roof of the house, pointing directly at Brad which appears to be a laser. "I'm pretty sure that's not legal," Brad exclaims, but Selena screams that he stop attacking her. "I'm... sorry? Look, I'm just here for Josh and then I'll be on my way." Selena smirks at this though, beginning to pace around Brad. "Hehe, oh Bradley, Bradley, Bradley... You're here for Josh. Joshie. My butler slash project to fix the male species." "K. Yes?" "Hehe. Okay, sure," Selena exclaims, intentionally and very forcefully trying to throw some shade, "Joshie will be right out, and then you two can go out on your date. Funny. Date. You two date. Hehe." "Uh" is all Brad can think of to say back at Selena's comments, and she just chuckles some. "Poor Joshie really shouldn't get too attached to you," she then adds, really wanting to make herself clear, "Because you hunni aren't going to be around much longer." She then makes the ^-^ face - however that would look in real life. "Excuse me?!" Brad exclaims, finally giving Selena a proper reaction, and she just sneers. Before Brad can say anything further, however, Josh finally makes his way out of the house, ready to go. "Hey," he exclaims with a smile, walking past Selena and kissing his boyfriend on the cheek. Brad is still glaring at Selena though, wanting to ask her what she means by her last statement, but Josh ushers that they should go because they have a reservation. "Yeah, okay..." Brad replies, and Josh takes his hand and they start walking to the car. Brad keeps turning back though, seeing Selena watching them, but eventually she goes back into the house and takes out her phone to put in a call. After a few moments of ringing, there's an answer on the other line. "Hai," she exclaims, "it's me." It's revealed that she's talking to Juan, who asks her what's up, and the feminist replies, "I just threw some massive shade at Brad. Mind games and stuff. Womyn always do that on TV and I felt so devious finally getting to do it myself. It was great!" "That's excellent, Selena," Juan says, kind of dreading having been called just for this. "Yeah, well, just a heads up that phase two can be initiated like tomorrow. For now we can sit back and watch as they start... tearing each other apart? Is that the quote? Ugh, whatever. You get it." "Yup," Juan replies, "gonna go now though." With that, he hangs up, and Selena is just left alone. She smiles though, doing the motions with her hands of tearing something apart, humming all the while.
"That... was... blacktastic," Aliza exclaims as she hits the floor, naked, beside Joe, the two of them covering their bare bodies with one of the many tarps kept up in the Littles' attic. "It was pretty good, yeah," Joe blandly agrees, feeling the carpet underneath him, and then with his hand, able to tell that things have been refurbished a tad (see "Little Red Patch of Blood"). "I've not been this out of breath since we was run outta town," Aliza continues, and Joe turns to her in shock, clarifying, "You were 'run out' of town?" "Ooh, did I say that?" Aliza asks with a smile, knowing full well now that the only reason Joe is sleeping with her is to be able to pump her for information after. She then sits up, covering herself with the tarp, and begins to grab for her strewn-about clothes, applying them discreetly. "Well, we don't have to stop now," Joe points out, wanting to know more, "We could always go for another round, right here in our favorite spot." "Mama will get suspicious if we're gone too long," Aliza tells him, but Joe lifts the tarp off of himself and says, "C'moooon." Aliza bites her bottom lip at this, tempted, but ultimately decides, "Naw," and gets up to start applying the rest of her already skimpy outfit. As Joe crawls to find his own clothes, he discreetly tries pulling back the bit of carpet from before, wanting to see that blood stain... but it's been nailed down since then, and he sighs. "Hurry," Aliza beckons, "or Mama will be wonderin' where we'z off to, and you know she gon' freak if she find out mine's the only pipe you've been cleanin'." "I'm a butler, not a plumber," Joe reminds her, only for her to say, "There weren't any good puns with feather duster or nothin'. Stop judgin' me! You're worse than Manny with his 'Black Lives Matters' crap, and that bull-honkey is why them hooded fools chased us tuh begin with." "What?" Joe asks at this, intrigued yet again, at which point Rochelle can be heard booming from all the way downstairs, "Aliza?! Where's yaw black ass?! You said you was gonna get yo' Mama's nails did!" Aliza then goes to open the attic door and calls, "Coming, Mama!" before turning back to Joe and exclaiming via whisper, "Hurry, bitch, I said hurry!" "I'm trying," Joe exclaims in turn as he nearly trips over his own pants, and Aliza rolls her eyes, "Look, I know you're totally disappointed we couldn't squeeze a round two in, but we'll have duh whooooole house to ourselves when Manny 'n' Mama go out to celebrate his birfday." "I thought his birf," Joe coughs, "his birthday was last month." "Yeah but we forgot," Aliza admits. "So why aren't you going?" he wonders, and she shrugs, "RSVP'd no." "Right." "Point is," she goes on, "Whole house to ourseeeelves. No sneakin' around this dumb attic." "Yes," Joe responds slowly, an idea clearly forming, "That does sound nice." "Doesn't it, though?" the vision of Joanna beams, fluttering her eyelashes almost sarcastically, and Joe rolls his eyes as he continues re-dressing.
"Cheers!" Ali exclaims, standing up at the head of her dinner table, "To getting up, dusting ourselves off, and managing to find happiness once again." "Cheers!" a group of ladies exclaim in unison, all sat at the dinner table with Ali. They all clink their glasses of champagne; all except Liz, anyway, who just began downing hers in the middle of Ali's toast. Ali glares at her friend upon sitting back down, to which Liz replies, "What? I wasn't one of Jorgio's basement bitches." Ali stares at her friend with a look of disbelief, as do the rest of Ali's guests, to which she turns to and apologizes for Liz's harsh words. "So you do these thousand course meals once a month, huh?" Liz questions, and Ali confirms. "We all like to meet up, catch up, and share how we've been doing since becoming free." She smiles at her friends, who smile back in turn. "I see..." Liz replies, "Just... how do you manage to throw all this up when you're done?" Again, Ali doesn't quite know what to say, as she and her friends once again exchange looks. Embarrassed, Ali simply calls out, "Ben, how's the appetizer coming?!"
Meanwhile, in the Del Barrio kitchen, Ben is seen running around trying to get everything together for Ali's guests. Val stands by all the while, barely lending a helping hand at all. "Would you mind doing something productive?!" Ben asks in frustration, "Blackmail me all you want, but at least do the job that you're paid to do." Val shrugs though, admitting to not being entirely sure if that's in her job description. "You're a bloody maid! Of course it is!" Val raises her hands though, realizing she's really triggered Ben, and so she gets up from her chair and begins pacing around the kitchen, looking around. Ben has prepared some sort of rich food with a name no one cares to know or could even pronounce, and it's just about ready. "I just need to add some last minute spices. Would you mind helping with that?" he asks of Val. "Well to be honest--" "Just do it!" the butler demands, and so Val rolls her eyes and approaches the spice cabinet. Not knowing what anything on those shelves are, and because Ben forgot to give her any clear instructions, she just shrugs her shoulders and grabs the salt and pepper and begins dumping that all over the appetizer. "This would've been out sooner had I known Ali's friend, Eva, was allergic to onions. Had to start all over because they were basically ingrained in there. I'm gonna go out and refill drinks, so please make start putting everything onto plate." Val nods, confirming that she will; she doesn't want to, but she will. Once Ben is gone though, Val turns to the counter, an idea having formed; there lies none other than an uncut onion. The maid grins.
Sometime later, Ben and Val make their way into the dining room carrying appetizer plates for Ali, Liz and all of the guests. "So sorry for the delay!" Ben exclaims, starting to put down plates at one end of the table, and Val at the other. As the maid puts Liz's down, the actress goes to take a bite, but Val quickly whispers into her ear, "Do not eat that." Liz's eyes widen, and she immediately drops the food. Val continues moving about though, handing out plates, as does Ben. Once they're done, Ben starts to head for the kitchen, but Val decides to take a step back and watch as everyone digs in. Quickly, reactions start to form on people's faces as they taste the overly done amounts of salt. And then one girl - Eva - abruptly stands up. It's clear that she's having a poor reaction to the meal, and the ladies gasp. "Eva, are you alright?!" Ali exclaims. "Is-- is there-- onions in this?!" Eva manages to exclaim, and all the ladies look down, starting to pick through their food until finally chunks of onion are found. Ben soon returns, wondering what all the commotion is about, and quickly Val points at him: "I bet the butler did it!" Everyone looks at Ben, who is confused, and Eva soon collapses on the floor. "Someone call 9-1-1!" Ali exclaims, and one of the other ladies quickly gets out her phone to do so. "Ben, what the hell?!" Ali exclaims, "I told you specifically not to include onions!" But Ben is confused. "I didn't! What?!" But Ali doesn't want to hear it; she just goes to her sick friend, helping her up. Liz takes a sip of her champagne, commenting, "Looks like Ben isn't as good a butler as you thought." She glances at Val, giving a light smirk, to which the maid does the same in turn. Ali doesn't reply though, simply helping her friend out of the room. The dinner has clearly been ruined at this point, as all Liz and all the other ladies begin excusing themselves. Ben is just left to look over the remnants of his dinner though, but soon sees Val still standing there, watching him. It's then that he starts to realize - seeing the smirk on her face - that it was she who was behind this. No words are exchanged though, as the maid finally leaves Ben to clean up the mess all on his own.
Josh and Brad are seen entering into the latter's apartment, having finished up their dinner date. "Dinner was good, movie was not," Josh recaps, making his way to Brad's fridge and asking him if he'd like a beer. "Yeah, sure..." Brad replies in a rather distracted tone. Josh picks up on this fast, grabbing two beers and making his way back over to Brad who has now sat down on the couch. "Hey, are you alright?" Josh asks, saying, "You've seemed off all night. Is something wrong?" Seeing no point in keeping it secret, Brad reveals that before he and Josh left, Selena started talking to him. "Oh boy," Josh exclaims, already knowing this conversation isn't headed anywhere good, "Look, if she threatened you with the laser, know that I was able to bribe the installer into making it just a badass looking Super Soaker." Brad shakes his head though, stating that that wasn't the case. "She was just... she was acting, I don't know, kinda shady. I say 'kinda' because she was so bad at it but made it super obvious she was trying really hard. Anyways, she was saying something about how I won't be around much longer..." "I'm sure that's just Selena being Selena," Josh replies, brushing it off, "She's probably just trying to screw with you some because, well, she's Selena." "I don't know," Brad admits, adding on that there just seemed to be something so... "Real, about it. If that's the right word, even," the lawyer says, "If she was just screwing with me then congrats to her because it worked." Josh shakes his head though, then giving his boyfriend a kiss. "You're not going anywhere," he promises, "No matter what that mistake of a person said." Brad smiles, a little bit more cheered up by this, and Josh gets down to the ground and on his knees. "I think I know how to really make things better," he says, beginning to unbuckle Brad's pants. Brad smiles at this, grateful to Josh; however, as his boyfriend gets down to business, the lawyer still can't help but wonder about what Selena said still.
Close up on the shackle which keeps Rena's ankle bound to Kristi's bedroom couch by a chain, for that's where he's been relocated once more. It's in an awkward position, the ankle still a little bruised from when he twisted it but not actually all that damaged, and he's lying down currently, sleeping. That is, until... "Wakey wakey, eggs and bac-y," a familiar voice whispers, and then Kristi Kappelletti lowers her lips down onto those of the man she loves - the man she imprisons - and holds them there for a moment. Rena, of course, wakes with a start, immediately jumping and sitting up, and Kristi giggles uncontrollably. "It's working," she cries, "That means it's true love!" The Portuguese butler just breathes heavily, his chest moving up and down, and we see that the breast pocket of his tartan pajamas has now been ripped out following his little stunt with the pills; instead, a small patch of vulnerable flesh is exposed, and it looks rather bruised after all this time locked up with an unstable maniac. Kristi lets out another giggle before sitting next to him, burying her head in his shoulder. "So," she then whispers, "I had a few thoughts on our big livestream event." "You mean the, uh, the murder-suicide?" Rena clarifies, fearfully, and Kristi smiles as she tells him, "Yes. That is what I mean. Anyway, I was thinking either... a buttload of pills each, so we slowly just sorta pass out on camera. Not very painful, but, not very dramatic either. It wouldn't make a great scene in the movie they make about us. Soooo I could get a real gun from upstairs maybe. Ooh, I don't know. It's all decisions, decisions." Rena just looks at her, and tears start to well up in his eyes. "Aw, don't be sad, baby," Kristi beckons, "Think of all the views it'll get. You're finally gonna be a star. And so am I. 'Rena and Kristi'. Our name in lights." "Our name in the obituaries," Rena utters sadly, and Kristi excitedly yells, "Mhm! I can't wait to look down and see it all!" Rena furrows his brow at this, for there's no way this mental bitch is going to heaven if such a place exists, and then she trails her fingers across the exposed part of his chest. He flinches, for the flesh is still tender, but she doesn't relent, merely pondering, "I wonder what I'm gonna dress you in for the big event. I'm still in the process of picking out my outfit. All I know is that I wanna wear my 'Kappelletti' necklace so that everyone from the world-over knows exactly what family I'm from. Do you wanna see it? It's my favorite!" "I... huh?" Rena questions, and Kristi jumps up excitedly, beginning to gush about how she was wearing it when they first met which adds to its sentimental value, and then she begins rifling through a nearby chest of drawers. However, she grows a tad distressed when she can't discover what she's looking for in its rightful place, then going through boxes and other drawers before eventually throwing a full glass of milk against the wall and allowing it to smash. She is breathing heavy as she roars, "Where is it?!" and Rena just utters, in an attempt to calm her down, "It's always in the last place you look." "Well that's freakin' obvious, isn't it, you dumbass immigrant!" she screeches, turning to him in a pure fury, and he looks afraid. She then takes a deep breath and begins rubbing her temples with her fingers, saying, "Sorry, hon. That's just bad Kristi getting back out. You should really stop upsetting her, haha." "You're right," Rena nods, missing the creepier, calmer Kristi, then suggesting, "Why don't we start shooting that new video you've been wanting to do? I mean, we should be building more revenue so we have maximum viewership when we... um..." "When we take our own lives?" Kristi finishes, a twinkle in her eye, and Rena uncomfortably replies, "Yeah." "Okay then!" she exclaims, "I'll set up the camera, and go get a few dresses to put you in! Ooh, I'm so excited!" "Me too," Rena utters, scared out of his mind, and, as Kristi gambles off to collect things, he looks up and prays, "Please, someone... save me." All he gets in the way of a response, however, is Kristi telling him that she's gonna make him lick up the milk she threw against the wall. Rena quivers.
Meanwhile, Joanna is pacing the Winters' mansion with a glass of wine in tow, as per usual, looking worried. Eventually, she comes to recall what Joe said about Rena's YouTube channel - still of course not knowing the whereabouts of her butler - and she comments to herself, "Looks like I'm alone on this one," before taking a big gulp of wine and then we cut to her, still with a glass in tow, sitting on her couch with a laptop on the coffee table in front of her. "God," she says, going through Rena's videos, "He really is no Jamie Pine." Another sip, another vid, and before she knows it she's watching his Top 10 favorite breeds of dog. "Dear lord," she slurps, and then she's taken aback by the expression on his face in the video; the background is greenscreened, not that she knows that but it does show a little, and he goes blank suddenly... as though he's looking at someone off-camera. "Hmmm," Joanna murmurs, and then she gets a notification to tell her that Rena Charming has posted a brand new video. "Huh," she figures, clicking on it, then beginning to watch as Rena "jokingly" models a bunch of pink lacy dresses. Some sort of fairy collection. "The hell...?" she asks herself, needing lots more wine as she notices Rena obviously fake laughing, faint traces of milk around his lips, and then he looks at the camera for a moment, and then another dress is shown. However, Joanna actually finds herself putting down her glass of wine - shock - and going back a few seconds. She replays the moment that he looks at the camera, and the faintest of whispers is heard. She plays it again, the volume turned all the way up, and then again, at a slower speed. It's distinct now. Rena speaking the words, "Help me," as softly as humanly possible. Joanna's heard his pleas for help now, and is shocked, simply wanting to know how she can do so.
"... just such an evil, evil bitch!" Ben is in the middle of exclaiming over at the cafe, and Joe suddenly responds with, "Sorry, I only caught the end of this, I assume we're talking about Valentina?" "Or is it Liz?" Josh wonders, and Ben responds, "Both, to be honest. I'm the only man in a house with three women and two of them don't want me there. And things with Ali these past few months keep being... fragile, at best." "Well, I'm sure it'll work out. Push come to shove, Ali will choose you over either of those, how did you put it?" Joe asks. "Evil, evil bitches?" Ben responds, then sighing, "Yeah, you're right. Still, I should head off, get some actual work done, prove myself an actual good butler. Maybe give Val a good yelling at." "What is it between you two anyway?" Josh ponders, and Ben quickly snaps, "Nothing. We just don't get along, that's all." "Fine, fine," Josh then responds, and Joe raises an eyebrow at his friend's random nervousness. Ben then adds, "Well, like I said, I should head off... You can get to discussing... whatever you discuss when I'm not around. Bye." The other butlers bid him goodbye, albeit a tad awkwardly now, and then there are two. "Weird, huh?" Josh goes to clarify, but Joe turns to the British butler and admits, "Actually, there is something I kinda wanna discuss with you." "Shoot," Josh says, and Joe begins explaining that he's been learning some extra shady things about the Littles of late: Manny's zealousness, Aliza's hints, and then of course that mighty bloodstain in the attic coupled with the whole white cloth incident. "What are they hiding up there?" Josh would like to know, and Joe tells him that that's what he intends to find out... "If you'll help me." Considering this, Josh wonders what exactly he'd have to do, and Joe explains, "Well, I never really get a chance to search the attic myself, not since Rochelle realized I was snooping and started keeping an extra strict eye on me. The only time I can get in there is when Aliza's with me. But, tonight, Rochelle is taking Manny out to dinner..." "And that means what?" asks Josh. "It means," Joe continues, "That while I, um, distract Aliza, you can search the attic and find out just what they're hiding up there." "I'm in," Josh says immediately, to Joe's shock. "I thought you'd take more convincing," the former detective admits, but Josh tells him that, to be honest, he'd love the distraction from all the relationship and Selena drama he's currently having to deal with. "Getting out of that mad bitch's house for however long'll be a godsend, really." Joe smiles at this, saying that a spare key is kept under the MLK lawn gnome by the door and that he'll text Josh with a more precise plan of action. "Maybe this is one mystery we can actually get to the bottom of," Josh excitedly exclaims, "Then maybe we can deal with a certain other mad bitch." "Rude," Joanna-vision comments to Joe, sitting in Ben's empty seat, "Admit it, you're dying to know about me far more than you care about this Little nonsense. Hehe, 'little nonsense'. Guess that makes me the big stuff." "I hardly even think about her anymore," Joe tells Josh, at which his vision hisses, "Liar. Bet you're wondering about what I'm off doing right now." Joe just sips his coffee, indeed wondering just that.
The real Joanna's heels are seen struggling against the grit of Wikerly Hills' poorer part of town as he makes her way towards the parking structure near the restaurant where Rena was supposed to meet with Taylor. As she clutches her purse close to her person and turns her rings around so as to not flash the jewels, she looks at the very spot where Rena was tased and kidnapped - not that she knows that.
We flash back to the night of the date in question. "Hey, what do you think of this tie?" Rena asks Joanna. "I'd have gone with the red over the white," she reveals, "But then again, I always do." (see "The Aristocatfish") She then goes on to ask, "So where are you meeting this 'Taylor'?" "On the North side of town," Rena reveals, at which Joanna's eyes widen. "The North side?" "Yeah," he says, beginning to remove his white tie, "I'm taking her to this Greek place. We're gonna meet near the big parking structure." "Right," Joanna nods, "A parking structure after sunset. How... romantic?"
Back in the present, and Joanna takes more steps towards the same spot, having noticed something gleaming on the ground off California's winter sun. Looking around to make sure she's not vulnerable to attack if she lets her guard down, she decides it's safe to crouch down, then reaching out and picking up... a necklace. She takes it and she stares at it, soon seeing that it's a silver mold of a certain word: "Kappelletti". The very same necklace that Kristi earlier thought she'd lost. With it continuing to dangle in front of her eyes, Joanna just stares at it and murmurs, "What the hell...?"
"That's it, you're done here," Ben exclaims, approaching Val as she lounges about the Del Barrio mansion, having just finished reading a text from Eli asking if she's going to be showing up for work anytime soon. "Excuse me?" "After that stunt you pulled last night, no. You need to go." But Val laughs, reminding Ben the leverage she still holds over him. "Do you really want the police looking back into my sister's death?" Ben gulps at this, and Val smirks, stating that she'll take that as a no. She gets up and begins walking away, but Ben isn't done. "I'm a butler, Valentina," he says, "and a damn good one at that." "So?" "So I don't make mistakes. Not like that, at least. And I think it's only a matter of time before even Ali realizes that." "Will she though? I mean your relationship has been a mess, at least since I've gotten here. You keep fighting and making up, fighting and making up... such an endless cycle. Maybe she'll be ready to just nip it in the bud with no questions asked." Ben squints at his coworker though, shaking his head. "Just stop, Val. Really, stop. Like, what are you even doing anymore?" he questions, "Are you trying to prove I killed Justine? Are you trying to destroy my life for the hell of it? What?" Val doesn't answer, as Ben continues, "I know you came here because you don't think your sister's death was an accident, but what do you think happened? After the couple months you've worked with me, do you really think I'm responsible?" "I know you were involved, and that's enough for me." "Was I though?" "You were. I know you were." "Then what are you doing now? Besides exposing Rena and Liz's affair, you seem to only be creating conflict just for the sake of it." Val shrugs, "What do you want me to say? I'm working on finding out the truth - the precise truth - but until then I know you were involved and I'm gonna make your life hell just for that." "Just face it, Val, you're gonna fail. You didn't think this through, and I'm 100% certain now that it's only a matter of time before everything falls apart for you. And it'll start when Ali realizes the truth." But Val smirks, "You have no proof I did anything. You were the one making the appetizers; I just showed up to serve." "You were in the kitchen and able to tamper." "...Nahhhh." She proceeds to let out a laugh, stating that she's going to go off and not do chores elsewhere now. "It's a big house, so please, it shouldn't be hard for you to just not cross my path and bother me again for a while. Thanks." And then she's gone. Ben is left upset, having failed to accomplish anything. He sighs, feeling defeated. He starts to think about how if he could at least prove that Val was responsible for the dinner party mess-up then that would be something. "If only it was like recorded or something..." And then his eyes widen as he realizes...
Ben is next seen upstairs in the Del Barrio mansion; he's running down the hall, finally making his way into none other than the room in which monitors recording the going abouts of the entire mansion is set up. He sits down at the computer and pulls up the kitchen camera, and decides to start playing back.
Meanwhile, down the street at Selena's house, Josh is outside sweeping away at the patio. There's really not much to clean up, but Selena figured that meaningless tasks like this were a good way to remind the butler of his place. As he goes about doing so, however, he sees a car pull up in the driveway, and soon enough Juan steps out. Josh sighs; he calls out that he thought they agreed to not talk for a little while. "I, um, I'm not here to see you," Juan lies, making his way to the butler, "Your boss put out an ad for a gardener. I figured since I'm Mexican and work for pennies then who else would be better?" Josh furrows his brow at this, but steps aside for Juan to enter the house. "Selena's not home right now, but her walking in to see a man sitting on her V-shaped sofa will be priceless." Juan nods, making his way inside, and Josh tries to resume sweeping. However, after doing this for a few more moments, he decides to just go inside and be of company to the guest. For one, he can't be arsed with sweeping anymore, and for two, Juan is Mexican, and Selena does own valuables. Abandoning the broom, Josh closes the door behind him and asks Juan if he'd like anything to drink. "No, I'm good," he assures, and Josh nods, getting one just for himself. The butler sits down in a chair near Juan, deciding to put something on TV to avoid the awkward silence. "Yunno," Juan interrupts, "I remember the days we used to hang out at Joanna's... well, before her husband became an issue." Sighing, Josh shuts off the TV, deciding to indulge in Juan. "If you're going to insist we talk then fine, but can we leave Joanna out of it?" "Oh, right, I forgot something happened between you two. Or is it just you being arrested and all?" Josh is growing annoyed though, stating, "Joanna isn't a good person, okay? Like, let's just leave it at that." "Fine, fine..." Juan accepts, "So how are things with you and Brad?" he wonders. Josh shrugs. "Better, really. We're happy." "Nothing bothering you? Or him?" Juan presses, "Like, no worries or anything?" "Um... no," Josh answers, though this isn't entirely true. Juan nods, lying that that's good to hear. "Yeah..." "And Selena? She's a good boss?" "Oh not in the slightest, but it pays the bills... She. They. Zer. Whatever." "Now don't go assuming one's gender now," Juan jokes, which actually makes Josh laugh. "Hashtag triggered," the butler says in turn, the two of them bonding over making fun of Selena and her kind. "She actually gave me a list of all of her pronouns," Josh recalls, "One was Stew, short for Milo Stewart, who she occasionally identifies as. Bitch DM'd her on Twitter once. I assumed it was to tell her off, but it was actually to congratulate her on being brave enough to take it to such a new level." "What a mess..." Josh nods in agreement, continuing, "It really can be entertaining at times, but then there's other occasions when I just can't get onboard..." "Oh? Such as?" "Well... she makes her money off of rape claims. Like legit. She's sued people and won, and she's never actually been violated before. Ever." "She's told you this?" "She's gloated about this." "I see." "And it just... it irks me, yunno? Rape is such a serious thing, and for her to just glorify it like this..." Josh is now starting to tear up some, and Juan quickly gets up to join his former beau. "Whoa, what's wrong?" "It's like she doesn't even care... she doesn't even care that there have been serious incidents. People have gone through that before and it haunts them forever. But she just makes a profit off of claiming it, and..." "Josh..." "And it's such a bitch move, okay? Especially when I..." But Josh realizes he's now said too much, and so he decides not to say anything further. "You what?" Juan inquires, knowing that he's now being held out on, "Josh, you can tell me anything," he assures, and so Josh finally bites the bullet: "Matthew raped me. After you were deported... Matthew raped me. And I've been dealing with that everyday since." "Oh, my God..." "So to see Selena just... it hurts even more. I try to play it off, especially because only a few people know about what Matthew did, but really it just makes me sick. If I could get a job anywhere else then I would, but no one wants to hire me once they've seen that I went to prison for a while." "I'm so sorry," Juan says, realizing the vulnerable position Josh is now in; and so he hugs him. "You're better than her, Josh," Juan swears, "And you're so strong for making it through this." Josh looks up, as Juan continues, "I can't begin to imagine the pain you must have gone through, but for you to have been this strong and fought through everything to find some happiness again, I just... I commend you." Josh is now staring at Juan though, seeing something different. Perhaps it's just the emotional state he's in right now, or maybe it's just how Juan has handled such a revelation, but he is seeing his former boyfriend from a different viewpoint now. "And Josh, I--" Juan goes interrupted though, for Josh suddenly leans in and begins to kiss Juan hard and passionately. This goes on for a few moments until Josh finally realizes what he's doing, but instead of backing off he only goes at it harder. Juan doesn't resist this at all, instead giving it his all too. Soon enough they make their way onto the couch, and before you know it they're starting to get undressed, all without disconnecting their mouths from each other. Their shirts are off, and their pants are half way down their legs; it's getting really heated for them, but then... Josh's phone starts to ring. Josh snaps out of it, picking up his phone from the coffee table and seeing that it's Joe. He remembers their earlier arrangement, and sees what he's about to do right now. It's finally hitting him. "I have to take this," the butler says to Juan, getting up, pulling up his pants and grabbing his shirt. He doesn't say anything else; he just simply leaves the room to talk to Joe in private. Juan watches though, and once seeing Josh is gone, he turns and sees that Selena is making her way down the stairs. "What's going on?!" she exclaims, "I thought you were going to have sexual intercourse?! I can go back and get him and make him finish this if you want," Selena finishes, going to fetch Josh, but Juan stops her. "Don't," he says smiling, "I think that was all he needed." Selena is confused, but Juan tells her not to question it, stating that everything is still going according to plan.
"Okay," Kristi says, having placed Rena on a deck chair but with his bruised ankle still connected to the couch leg via shackle, "How do you want to do it?" With that, she lays out two piles on the small table in front of him - the same one used for their dinner date. One is a pile of pills, intended for an overdose, and one is a pile of bullets, intended for a messier end to things. "I have a real gun this time," Kristi notes, taking a revolver from her sweater pocket and smiling at the fact that she's squeezed Rena into one that matches. Bye, bye tartan, hello pink fuzz. Rena just sits there, sweating, wanting to burst into tears over the fact that this is how he's going to meet his end but lacking the energy to actually do so. He's shaking, though, and so Kristi tuts, getting up in his face and uttering, "It'll all be over soon, my love. Now heel, boy. Heel."
Joanna's heels are once again fixed upon as she trots her way up the drive of the almost ridiculously large Kappelletti mansion (although most of it is just set). She continues to keep her hands clasped around the necklace she discovered at the site of Rena's kidnapping and, with her other hand, she eventually proceeds to ring the place's doorbell after a deep breath. From the inside, Kathryn can be heard screaming for the maid to get it, only to then recall, "Oh yeah, right, Liz left." And Joanna is left waiting for a little while as Kathryn grapples with the decision of whether or not to strain herself by answering her own front door. "If you're a weirdo stalker, we have a gun," she calls out as she eventually decides to get moving through the foyer, "At least we did."
"Gun, I think," Kristi decides, beginning to fill the revolver with bullets, but then she realizes, "Wait, what am I doing?" and so she clicks on the camera which has been set up to record the event. It is connected to her laptop, which has Rena's YouTube open. The event as it goes is now live on the internet. "There," Kristi says, sitting back down with the half-loaded gun in tow, "I know it doesn't need all six bullets, but the longer I take to load it the more dramatic tension there is for our viewers." Rena just quivers in fear.
Finally the door to the mansion is opened, and Joanna is stood there impatiently tapping her foot with her hand on her hip, the silver chain of the necklace hanging on down from between her fingers. Kathryn sees her there, and greets her with, "Joanna? What do you want?" "To come in," Joanna states bluntly, practically barging her way past the proprietor and right into the home. "Little rude," Kathryn points out, slamming the door shut, "Remind me, are we enemies? 'Cause I have so many, it just gets a little hard to keep track." "I don't know, are we?" Joanna asks curiously, and Kathryn shrugs, asking her if she'd like a drink. And then, to the shock of all, Joanna says the one thing no one ever expected her to say to such an offer: "No." She means business.
"A drink," Kristi says down in the basement, "To toast the end of our lives." And then she fills two cups with wine from the same bottle from the other night. "Just so long as you don't try drugging me again, mister," she giggles, putting it down and wiping the pills off the table; she then turns to the camera with that insane smile of hers and whispers loud enough for it to be heard, "He's such a kidder!" She then turns back to him and insists that he raise his cup, and so Rena stoically does as told, as though slowly admitting to himself that this really is the end. "Oh, how silly of me," Kristi notes as Rena finally grasps the wine, "We have yet to properly introduce ourselves to the audience! Viewers, this is of course Renato Duarte. Rena Charming, as you might know him. And I'm--" "Phoenix," Rena utters, putting the cup down, and Kristi turns to him in confusion. "What?"
"What's that?" Kathryn asks as Joanna holds up the Kappelletti necklace, "Looks like a cheap piece of crap, if you ask me." "Well I am asking you," Joanna says, letting it dangle in front of the reality star's face, "Have you seen it before?" "Do you know how much merch we churn out?" "Kathryn, please!" Joanna begs, "Focus. Why was a necklace bearing your family name present at the last known location my butler was in." Kathryn shrugs at this, asking, "Was he a fan?" and Joanna forces the necklace into her hand and angrily orders, "Just look at the damn thing." "Fine," Kathryn rolls her eyes, squinting as she stares down, and then she murmurs, "Oh." "Oh?" "Oh," Kathryn nods, walking over to a cabinet in the living room. In it are various framed photographs of the Kappellettis, and Kathryn opens it up and takes one out of herself, Kerwin, Killian and Kevin. She then gets into the frame and digs out the photograph that's resting behind it, now hidden from view, of Kerwin, Killian, Kevin... and Kristi. She holds the necklace up to the photograph and sees that it's the same one Kristi is wearing in it. "Who's that?" Joanna asks, coming up behind her frenemy, and Kathryn explains that she's kind of the cuckoo (this word is accompanied by a finger encircling her ear) of the Kappelletti birds' nest.
"Phoenix," Rena utters again, finding himself finally, "Rena Phoenix." "What are you saying, sweetie? I was about to introduce myself," Kristi points out, trying to remain calm for the camera but clearly beginning to grow enraged. "That's what I'm gonna rename my account, when I get out of here," he continues, "Because I will have risen again." Tears are in his eyes as he allows hope to overcome him; this undying certainty that he doesn't know how, and he doesn't know why, but something or someone will come and save him. "That's quite a thing to say," Kristi smiles, her eyes wide with anger, "Clearly all your time spent below ground level is starting to get to your head."
"And where is she now, this Kristi?" Joanna asks after some preliminary exposition from Kathryn, and the latter says, "Probably in her bedroom. In the basement. Why?" And Joanna demands that Kathryn show her the basement door.
"No, I'm seeing things clearly for the first time," Rena assures, "And I'm gonna get out of here. Away from you. Because good always triumphs over evil. You'll see. You'll see." And then he takes a deep breath, hoping for the best. When nothing happens, Kristi lets out a smile, her hand moving towards the revolver.
Joanna takes the necklace back from Kathryn so that the latter can open up the door which reveals the stairwell down to Kristi's bedroom door, which looks almost like a cell gate but covered in posters of pink stuff and unicorns and of course one for "Got Milk?". Staring down at it, Joanna curls her lip and asks, "Damn, what is it with this town and rich people keeping creepy things in basements?" But, then she remembers that that's exactly where she stuffed the chopped-up remains of her husband's dead body, and so she shrugs and adds, "Meh, I guess I get it." She then takes the first few steps down and Kathryn watches, bidding her, "Have fun."
"The time for fun is over," Kristi assures as she clutches the gun, "It's time for you to die with me now, and the whole world's gonna see. Maybe not today. Maybe not even tomorrow, given your subscriber rate. But one day. Good triumphing over evil? You're kiddin' yourself, hon. That stuff is for kid stories, and I ain't no Maleficent. Our story is so much more complicated. And this... well... this is how it ends."
Tearing down the stupid posters, Joanna tries to open the door, but of course it's locked. As such, she just presses her ear against it and attempts to listen in.
"I'll escape, I'll escape, I'll escape," Rena keeps muttering to himself, shaking like crazy now, pulling hard on the chain keeping him connected to the couch. It even looks as though it's coming loose at the screws a little. "I thought I told you," Kristi leans in to remind him, still clutching the gun but allowing it to rest on the table along with her hand, "Nobody's coming. Your maid friend quit. Your butler friends have stopped caring about you. And, well, you weren't exactly popular with anyone else to begin with, were you? Nobody appreciated you, Rena. But I did. I saw you for the amazing specimen that you are and now... we're going to share our grave. You have no one but me, remember? And I've got no one but you. The same goes for both of us. It's like I said. I'm all you've got." BOOM. "Wrong. He's got me," Joanna Winters exclaims, standing there in the entrance way behind the door she's just kicked the f*ck down. In the process, it's completely flattened the camera, meaning the livestream gets cut off, and Kristi gets to her feet and squeals, "NOOOOOOO!" She's utterly enraged, while Rena is utterly overwhelmed with relief, with Joanna then casually stepping over the door in her dainty-ass shoes. "You okay?" she asks Rena, and he smiles as he tells her, "Am now." She smiles too as she says, "Good," but Kristi remains standing there with a revolver in tow, now pointing it at Joanna as she demands to know, "Who the hell are you?" "How rude of me not to introduce myself," Joanna notes, "I'm Joanna Winters. The woman who's about to save the life of your hostage here." "No, you can't!" Kristi cries, tears welling up as she continues to point the gun, but she's shaking like a wreck with her finger over the trigger. She wants to shoot Joanna, but Joanna just walks towards her with such a casual disregard for her own well-being that the hostage-taker grows rather taken aback, meaning Mrs. Winters is able to rather easily snatch the revolver from her grip and throw it to one side of the room. "Now, if you'll excuse me," the rich woman adds, right before punching Kristi Kappelletti hard in her crying, petulant face. She grabs her now bleeding nose and goes hurtling backwards into the couch; the table goes over and the wine spills all over the floor, making Joanna wince a little, but she's also glad to see that Kristi's landing has made the couch go back several feet, meaning the screws in Rena's loose chain finally fly off and he's free... albeit with a metal lasso attached to his injured foot. "Stay down," Kristi then roars, tugging on the chain so as to enhance Rena's injury, and he groans in pain as he's forced down onto the floor, unable to get up. Kristi is up though, and she charges at Joanna, trying to use that surprising strength of hers against her. She tries moving her thumbs into Mrs. Winters' eyes in an attempt to gouge them out, but Joanna manages to lift her head upwards and bite down on the dumb bitch's fingers, making her cry more. Kristi then just slaps her, and so Joanna slings the girl's own necklace across her face, drawing more blood as she catches her eyelid. Screaming, Kristi eventually manages to tackle her adversary to the ground, and then it's a full-blown catfight which Rena watches from his own downward perspective.
The noise of furniture moving and things smashing and punches and kicks and screams emanate upwards with the basement door still open, but Kathryn just sort of stands there at the top of the stairs not knowing what to do. She thinks about going down, even moving her foot a little, but then she decides, "Nah. I'mma go shopping."
Kristi is on top of Joanna and actually gets a few good punches in, screaming, "YOU! SPOILED! EVERYTHING!" but then Joanna headbutts her krav-maga style and does a roll-around that shocks Rena greatly. It seems she's better at martial arts than one might assume of a rich trophy widow, and after a whole lot of commotion Kristi is now on her stomach and crawling for the gun. Not wanting her to get it, Joanna manages to get to her feet and removes one of her high heels, throwing it and managing to make it so that one of the high heels stabs Kristi in the hand. More blood drawn, and then Joanna pounces, having some trouble controlling the wriggling Kristi but managing, just. And then she grabs her by the back of her hair and begins shoving her face into the spilled wine, screaming, "Don't waste red, you sick, twisted bitch! Drink it! Drink it 'til you freakin' drown!" Kristi indeed starts choking and gargling as her face is continually held against the red liquid, but she manages to elbow her attacker in the stomach to get her off of her. Joanna falls sideways and gives a quick, "Hi," to Rena as they make eye contact, both of them lying on the floor, and now Kristi is the one to get up, seeing the entrance to her room still open and thinking maybe it's time to flee. "Oh, I don't think so," Joanna calls out, managing to get back up also, "You can't leave without your necklace!" Kristi turns to her at this, seeing her Kappelletti piece of jewelry dangled in front of her, and she angrily tries to snatch it away. However, she makes the mistake of allowing herself to get too close to Joanna, meaning the rich woman is able to wrap it around the woman-child's throat. "Let me help you put it on," Joanna beams, then pulling tight, choking Kristi with her own favorite possession. Seeing this gives Rena an idea, and he begins to make his way to his feet as best he can in his current predicament, his ankle sending jets of pain up his leg when he tries to put pressure on it. But soon enough, he's limping towards the scene, slowly but surely, dragging his chains with him. Kristi manages to headbutt Joanna mid-choke and sends her hurtling towards the couch, and then she thinks she's free to leave. But she's not. Rena is now in the way of the door, and he's carrying his own chains as they remain attached to his ankle. Kristi looks fearful, muttering, "P-please. I l-lo--" right as he whacks her with them, sending her to her knees, and then he says, "Here's a little something I learned from Princess Leia," as he begins wrapping them around her throat, "May she rest in peace." With the chains firmly wrapped, he pulls, and it isn't long before Kristi Kappelletti finally loses consciousness and slumps on down to the floor, defeated. Not dead, but unable to do anyone anymore harm for a while. Rena then turns to the couch to see Joanna, only to find that she's not there. Instead, she is standing right behind him with a key in tow, then crouching down to unlock his shackle. A great consolation washes over him as he truly becomes free, and then Joanna stands up to hug him. "I knew you'd come, I knew you'd save me," Rena weeps, "I don't know how, I just--" "Shhh, now," Joanna assures, "You're free. You're finally free." Rena nods, staring down at the subdued Kristi and smiling, but then he turns to Joanna and asks, "Where the hell did you learn to fight like that?" "Just some moves I picked up. Thanks for something, Nadia." "What?" "It doesn't matter," Jo smiles, taking out her miraculously unharmed cell phone and dialing 911. "You're right," Rena smiles in turn, "It's all finally over." The two of them remain standing over their slain beast.
A bruised, battered and bloody Kristi is seen being taken away from her home in handcuffs, crying and raging against the policemen like a maniac as various reporters arrive on the scene also. "Crazy bitch," Aliza Little comments as she watches the story of the crazed Kappelletti unfold on her television set, but then she gets bored and switches it off with the remote. "Alright, hon," Rochelle then calls, wheeling herself on into the front room with Manny at her side, dressed smart yet still looking kind of rough, "We'll be going now." "Have fun," Aliza tells them, looking at her new manicure as opposed to them, and Manny asks her, "Are you sure you don't wanna--" "I said 'have fun', what more you want fromme?" Manny frowns but Rochelle tells him, "She's right, boy, I almost RSVP'd no maself, now let's get tuh hustlin'. Mama's in the mood for some deep-fried sumthin'." It is then that Aliza absentmindedly waves and Rochelle and Manny finally leave the house, which Joe watches in anticipation from down the hall. Also watching in anticipation: Josh, outside, now hiding behind shrubbery and waiting for Manny to successfully load his wheelchair-bound mother into the car. Once they've driven off, he makes his move towards the front door, in search of that MLK lawn gnome. Meanwhile, indoors, Aliza calls Joe into the front room, addressing him as "angel cheeks" as she beckons him on top of her. It isn't long before Joe, who's happy to see Josh's silhouette in the front door, enters the room and begins macking with his employer's daughter, passionately kissing her on the couch while keeping one eye on the hall. Her eyes are closed, for which he is thankful, and she's getting so into it that she doesn't hear it when the front door unlatches and Josh eases himself inside with a surprising amount of skill. He then creeps by the door, which Joe notices, hardening his kiss, but Aliza opens her eyes and pushes Joe away, telling him, "You know what I could use right now? A snack. Mama chattin' bout them deep fried sumthin's got my tummy a-rumblin'. I'mma get some whipped cream for us to lick offa each other, how dat?" "No!" Joe begs as his lover gets up and leaves the room, and it isn't long before he hears her exclaim, "What the damn hell?!" as she discovers Josh in the midst of climbing her house's stairs. Joe winces at this, while Josh just stares at Aliza, stunned. "What the hell are you doin' here?" she asks him, and he descends the steps a little. "To be honest..." he thinks on the spot, "I was looking for you. I was headed for your bedroom right now, but... thank God I found you here." "Why?" Aliza wonders, confused, and Josh lies as best he can, "Because... you turned me, okay? You make me wanna be a straighter man and dammit I just could not hide it any longer! But I see you're creeped out by me coming here uninvited all sneaky and what have you so I'll just show myself out and--" "Don't you dare," Aliza cries as Josh descends the steps fully, hoping to leave, and then the young black woman grabs him and shoves her tongue down his throat, almost violently pushing him against the wall. Hearing the thud that comes with that, Joe pokes his head out the living room door and discovers his friend being wide-eyed rape-kissed by his lover. He wretches at the sight, for it's rather disturbing, and Josh just motions for him to go snoop himself, for it appears Aliza has well and truly forgotten that her other make-out buddy is even in the building. She shows no signs of relenting, making it difficult almost for Josh to breathe, but it makes it nice and easy for Joe to go on past her without being noticed, trying to block the image from his mind as he ascends the stairs and makes it up to the attic. The door is a little stuck when he tries it, but he manages to push whatever's blocking it out of the way and, with the only present resident currently distracted, he has free reign to snoop as he pleases. "Right," he says to himself, "Let's get to it." And then we see him going round and ripping tarps off of furniture, but finding nothing suspicious for a good while. He finally also manages to unstaple the carpet from where it's been repaired, but, when he peels it back, he is annoyed to find that no large bloodstain exists anymore. But, he does notice the clearly refurbished floorboard - where the nails are different to those used in all the others - and so he grabs a hammer from Manny's nearby box of tools and he begins prying the nails away with the back. And then the floorboard lifts, and what he finds is a whole bunch of ash buried beneath. Fine white powder that flies up in a cloud and makes him cough, but soon he's able to begin digging through it with his fingers. He has a start when he hits something hard, and then another little something hard; and not only hard, but all charred and black, as though someone's worked hard to burn it away. And then... a piece of skull. Human skull. An eye socket connected to a piece of jaw, with a couple of black teeth. It's been burned, but not too bad, and Joe drops it in shock and disgust, allowing it to land beside another small scrap of white cloth. Whatever he's looking at, it used to be a dead body, and now he knows what kind of mystery he's dealing with. "Well I don't know about you," Joanna-vision comments, crouching down beside him, "But I, for one, am shocked."
Meanwhile, downstairs, Aliza moves on to kissing Josh's neck and, not wanting to ruin this opportunity for his friend, he lets her. He needs to imagine something else though, and so he closes his eyes and manages a satisfied smile; but then he utters, "Juan..." in a cry of ecstasy, and Aliza stops suddenly. "The hell you just call me?" she demands to know. "I mean, Brad, um, no, Aliza," he fumbles, and she just yells, "Dammit, you still a 'mo!" "Uhhhh..." he tries, then turning his head and seeing that Joe has begun coming down the stairs, and so he just tells her, "Guess it didn't work. I'm here and queer. Bye now." He manages to escape her grip in all the confusion, heading for the front door and opening it just as Rochelle and Manny appear on the other side. "Da eff U Q?" Manny roars, and Josh just says, "Good day to you both," as he dashes past them and off their property, down the ramp and throwing the key back at the MLK gnome as he goes. "I'd question why on Earth that cracker faggot was back in our home, but I'm too angry that those unwaxed jokers wouldn't deep fry ma' snails." "That why you're back early?" Joe asks from the stairs, only now really making himself noticed to the three blacks as he stares them down. He moves a few steps forward, still a little dusty from the ash, and Rochelle asks him, "What the hell you want?" Joe, however, doesn't even know where to begin. "Some people, huh?" Joanna's voices echoes.
"Scandal! Scandal! Scandal! The Kappellettis sure couldn't kept this swept under the rug, noseree Bob," a news anchor is in the middle of saying on the TV over in the waiting room of Wikerly Hills Women's Prison, "With their shocking basement tapes now public..." However, Elijah Davis is barely paying any attention, too happy to finally be signaled by the nearby prison guard that it's now okay to proceed to the visitor's room.
Eli is next seen sitting on one side of a table, in a room filled with women in orange smocks chatting to their loved ones, and then the prisoner he's there to see finally steps out: none other than the one and only Yas Belich. "Yaaas, bitch?" is the first thing she asks when she sits down, and Eli greets her with a smile, "Yas." "The hell do you want?" she wonders, confused, and Eli tells her that he's happy she recognizes him. "Sure I do," she shrugs, "You're that black actor dude Liz married. I read the papers, you know." "But my guess is you haven't been reading them lately," Eli points out, gesturing around himself at the whole prison setting, and Yas rolls her eyes, demanding to know what it is he's even getting at. "Liz and I have... well, we've parted ways." "Awww," Yas responds, "I'm so happy to hear that." "Me too, as it goes," Eli tells her, "But certain other people? Not so much. See, people actually think I'm the bad guy." "Well, you are black," Yas nods, and Eli stifles offense, going on to say, "Yes, well, this black male would like to blackmail his soon-to-be ex-wife... or just straight-up humiliate her." "Okayyyyy," Yas says, intrigued, "I'm listening." "Good," Eli smiles, "Because you're the only person who can help me. At least, that's what I'm hoping." "I'm touched," Yas beams, "And not in the same way that I am in the showers." "Liz told me all about how you'd betrayed her when we first met... and also about the films you set her to work on. BDSM pornography. They've been hidden well, I hear, but I'm willing to bet that you might know where I might locate some copies." "Mayyyybe," Yas replies with a wicked grin, "But I'd like something in return." "Of course," Eli nods, then opening his mouth fully, out of view of the guard, to reveal a small bag of cocaine tucked away beneath his tongue. "Care for a kiss?" he wonders, for visitors are allowed but one, and Yas excitedly leans in over the table and kisses Eli on the lips, allowing the drugs to pass from his mouth to hers. A she sits back down, she swallows, telling him, "I can't wait to poop that out later. Now... here's how you can get a hold of the films." Eli listens intently.
"Kathryn Kappelletti, can we get a statement?!" one of the reporters calls out, live from the Kappelletti mansion as Kathryn is trying to get past the crowds of paparazzi trying to get coverage on Rena's kidnapping. "No comment," is all Mrs. Kappelletti says, clearly frustrated and embarrassed, but Brad takes no notice of this as he switches the TV off, confused as to why it was left on in the first place. He proceeds to get himself a drink from the fridge, but suddenly there's a knock at the door. Confused, he goes to see who it is, and upon looking through the peephole he sees that it's Josh. Quickly, he opens up to his boyfriend. "You don't have to knock," is the first thing Brad tells him, but Josh admits to not thinking it would be appropriate to just barge in. "Appropriate?" Brad questions, confused, "Why the hell wouldn't it be?" Josh goes to speak, but Brad quickly drops that subject, offering his beau a drink, but Josh turns him down. "Suit yourself," Brad says, re-closing the fridge, "So what's up?" he wonders. Josh takes in a deep breath, deciding how he wants to go about this. Again though, Brad interrupts, this time with some news, "By the way, I know you thought I was acting paranoid earlier," he says, "about Selena's threat and all. And I decided to find a solution to that - something to really get my mind off of it." "Oh?" Josh asks, intrigued, and Brad smiles. "I bought us two tickets for a month long vacation in Paris." "Wait, what?" "I know it's kind of on the spot, but with all that's being going on with us lately... Juan, Selena... I just figured we could do with some time away and to ourselves." Josh is really taken aback by this, not having seen this coming at all. "I... Brad--" But he interrupts, "And don't worry about having to schedule time off. I'll handle Selena for you... I really think it's time to just get back into the swing of things, yunno?" "I do... Brad, this is... this is amazing." Brad smiles, happy to see Josh approves... but then Josh continues, "It's just... I can't accept this." "What?" "Brad, I can't go to Paris with you," Josh finally drops the bomb. "I don't understand." "Brad, I... I love you. I do. So much." "Why do I get a bad feeling about where this is going..." Brad rhetorically questions, and Josh says, "Believe me, I love you so, so much... but today I did something. Well, almost did." "Josh--" "I almost had sex with Juan. He stopped by Selena's, and I indulged in a conversation with him. From there things transpired, and... if Joe hadn't called in that moment... things would've..." "I see..." Brad replies, now being the one taken aback. "I'm so sorry," Josh says, close to tears, "I love you. I really do love you." "Is that all?" Brad inquires. "What do you mean?" "Is that it? You're just confessing to almost having... with him?" "Brad--" "Because I forgive you." "What?" "I forgive you," the lawyer admits, "I just... Josh, you were honest. And I'm sick of the constant fighting. You didn't go through with it, and you also didn't hide it from me. So, yes, I forgive you." While Josh should be relieved by this revelation, however, he simply is not. "But Brad," he says, "I... I've now come to accept something that I had tried so hard to deny." "Josh..." "Brad, I love you... but there's a part of me that also has feelings for him too. Feelings that were just always there, and since he's come back, I just can't shake them." Brad is forced to take a seat, this really coming as a blow to him. It's something that he's certainly suspected, but to actually hear the words be said is something entirely different. "What are you saying?" he finally inquires, and so Josh makes it abundantly clear: "I think we need to break up." And then nothing further is said. The couple just looks at one another for a minute, and finally Josh removes the key to Brad's apartment from his pocket. Brad is forced to look away upon seeing what Josh is about to do next, and the butler proceeds to sit the key down on the coffee table before him. That having been done, he sees fit to leave, and Brad is just alone in his apartment. As such, he then stands to his feet, using one of his hands to wipe away some of the forming tears, and he makes his way to his home office. From there, he removes a small velvet box from his drawer, and upon opening it up we see that inside is none other than two wedding bands - one for himself and one for Josh. Thinking about what could have been, but now isn't, Brad can't help the tears that stream from his eyes.
"Wikerly Hills resident, Renato Duarte comes out triumphant after being held hostage in the Kappelletti basement for the past week," a news anchor is heard saying. Val is currently sipping away at a margarita when she can't help but laugh. "K?" she exclaims, proceeding to flip off the TV, not caring to hear anymore of that nonsense. Her drink now pretty much done, she sits it down on one of the end tables, without using a coaster, and decides to make her way upstairs. As Valentina roams the halls, just sort of snooping about the dozens of rooms and items Ms. Del Barrio possesses, she eventually comes to a halt when Ben steps out of one of the rooms - the security monitoring room - not that the maid knows that yet. "Valentina," he exclaims, revealing a tape, "we should talk." She furrows her brow at this, wondering what the hell that could be, and so Ben reveals, "It's from the security cameras last night during Ali's dinner party, yunno, where you tampered with everyone's dinner to get me blamed." "Uh-huh," Val responds, "and what do you plan to do with that?" she wonders, to which Ben smirks. "It's over, Val." "Oh, is it now?" and she proceeds to remind him, "Because if you're firing me then I'll just go to the police about the ring." "And say what?" "That it was missing the time of her death. They'll piece it all together from there." But Ben laughs, explaining, "See, I worried about that when you first set up your little scheme. I thought I was done for, really. But then I opened up my eyes and realized that that's not proof of anything." Val's own petty grin starts to fade away at this, as she asks, "What do you mean?" "I mean that Justine simply took the ring off before catering the Del Barrios' party. Or even gave it back to me so that I could have it resized. The point is, Val, there's a lot of explanations I could use as to why I had the ring; but I'll admit that I should've realized that far earlier on." Val is starting to see that Ben is right, and that she really didn't think this plan out well enough. Beginning to tear up, she says to him, "I know you're responsible. I don't know how or why, but I know you're the reason my sister is gone, and I will find out the truth." "Believe what you will, but your time in this house is over." Val contemplates for a moment what she should do now, and finally she lunges herself at Ben, grabbing the tape from his hand and knocking him to the ground. Standing over him, she then drops the tape and begins smashing it in with her foot, repeatedly. "I'm not going anywhere," she tells him, "and if Ali does start to question anything then it shouldn't be too hard to manipulate her into believing me. Bitch really is a pushover." With that, Val turns around to walk away, but when going to do so she's startled when seeing none other than Ali standing before her, followed by Liz. Ms. Del Barrio is not happy, and Val gulps, fearing how much of that her employer heard. "I... Ms. Del Barrio--" Val tries, but Ali cuts her off, "Time for talking is over, Valentina. You're fired... now get the hell out of my house." Val is now in a panic; she looks at Ali, and then to Ben, and lastly to Liz. "Liz," she says, "come on, help me out here." But Ben and Ali turn to Liz, who is completely unfazed by all of this. The actress just blinks at Val, with a light smile starting to come across her face as Val is seeing how she felt after her marriage imploded. "Ugh!" Val exclaims, realizing she's lost. She stomps her foot and storms past Ben. "This isn't over!" she tells him, making her way through the hall and down the stairs, leaving. Ben doesn't take what the maid is saying to heart though; he just stands up, relieved that the nightmare that is Valentina Cortez is finally over.
Some footage is replayed of Rena being escorted out of the Kappelletti mansion in a shock blanket, with the victorious Joanna at his side, but he soon turns it off, not really interested in reliving the whole ordeal just yet, as he parks himself back on the couch of the Winters' mansion. "You know what'll make us both feel better?" Rena asks, to which his employer replies, "Waaaaayyy ahead of you," handing him a glass of wine which is full up to the damn brim. Hers isn't, of course, because she's already given it a few preliminary sips, which she continues to do as she sits beside her butler. "Bless you," he says, beginning to nurse his own, and soon he goes on to tell her, "I really can't thank you enough, you know. You're... my hero." "Oh, I don't know about all that," Joanna says modestly, but Rena assures, "No. Really. Whatever Joe and Josh were saying about you... they were wrong. You're an amazing person, Joanna Winters." She half-smirks at this, uttering, "Joanna Winters... at this point I almost believe that that's the person I am." "What do you mean?" Rena wonders, confused, and Joanna switches the hand with which she holds her wine glass, revealing the burn scar which resides there. "The makeup which covers it came off in the scrap," she states, "I have secrets, Rena. You must realize that by now. And whatever I did today... it doesn't condone what I have done. So no, Joe and Josh weren't wrong." "Then... why do they hate you so much?" Rena needs to know, but Joanna shrugs, telling him it's a looooooong story. "Well," the Portuguese butler continues, "I think it's about time you tell it. Because the way you acted today, whatever you say, that was the real you. And someone like that can't be totally, completely evil. At least not in my book. So... whatever it is you've done, I'm willing to bet there were some good reasons behind it all, and at this point I think we all deserve to know just what they are." Joanna stares at him, tears welling up in her eyes, and asks, "What if they can't forgive me? What if telling the truth doesn't change anything?" Rena then places his hand over hers - over her scar - and points out, "It's worth a try. And no matter what, my opinion of you won't change. You're my hero, remember?" Joanna manages a smile through her tears.
Joe remains standing on the stairwell, wanting to confront the Littles but finding himself unable to, and they're all just sort of staring at him confused. "White boy, you gon' say sumthin or naw?" Rochelle asks, at which point Joe's phone vibrates and he sees he has a text from Rena. He can't quite read it yet but, too overwhelmed, he finds himself needing to retreat upstairs - to his bedroom. He slams the door behind himself and a box of photographs goes flying. The same box that Ben earlier delivered to him, from the Del Barrio storage (see "Landlady and the Tramp"). Rolling his eyes, he begins to sort through them, placing them back in the box. He sees the photo with Silvia. The photo with his mother. And then another catches his eye. It's an old photograph, of Jorgio shaking hands with Matthew Winters, and Joanna is standing nearby. She's younger than Joe's ever seen her, but something doesn't quite seem right. In fact, something seems downright wrong. He stares at it, and Joanna-vision asks him, "Something wrong?" "I don't know, I just..." "You do know," the vision goes on, "You know that that isn't me. Not really. So stop wasting your time with these blacks and just figure it all out already, okay?" Joe's phone buzzes again as Rena sends him another text, marked urgent, and the vision dissipates as he goes to read it. "Oh, my God..." he utters.
Josh is crying outside Brad's apartment building, almost appalled at himself over what he's just done, when his phone also buzzes and provides him with a nice distraction. However, when he too reads the text from Rena, he also can't help but utter, "Oh, my God..."
Ben is sharing a drink with Ali meanwhile, at which point his pocket vibrates and he sees that it's from Rena. "Oh, my God," he utters, to which Ali asks, "Everything okay?" "I don't know," Ben admits, "I'm sorry, I, uh, I gotta go." And with that, he goes to exit the Del Barrio mansion, headed for the Winters' one.
"I can't believe I'm back here..." Josh murmurs as the three butlers convene. "And I can't believe Rena was kidnapped," Ben adds, "We have to be there for him." "But... here," Josh almost weeps, but Joe assures him that it's okay, for Rena said Joanna wasn't home so he only has to be half-triggered. Josh nods, trying his best to power through, and then Ben rings the doorbell. Rena answers, and Ben is the first to embrace him. "Are you alright?" he asks, "What happened?" "I'm fine," Rena assures, beckoning them all into the mansion, "A lot happened, but, I'm fine. That's the important thing." "I'm so sorry I didn't come to find you," Joe says, also hugging him, but Rena says that it's okay; he understands. Josh is the last to enter, also giving Rena a hug, and he tells his friend that they should never fight like that again, because if he's ever kidnapped he wants his friends to know. Rena smiles. "So we're still friends?" "Of course we are," Josh nods. "Always," Joe chimes in, and Ben smiles as well, for he never really had a problem with Rena anyway. "How sweet," Joanna comments as she steps out of the kitchen, setting her glass of wine down on the coffee table as she approaches the four butlers. "What the hell?" Josh asks, and Joe adds, "You said she wouldn't be here." "I know, I know," Rena responds, "Just... hear her out, okay?" "Nuh uh," Joe adds, shook, "I'm leaving." "I don't think you wanna do that," Joanna tells him, and he turns to her, asking, "Oh yeah, why not?" "Because I'm ready to tell you, Joe. I'm ready to tell all of you." "Ready to tell us what?" Josh is curious to know, to which Mrs. Winters, rubbing the last of the makeup off of her scar, eventually replies, "Everything."
- What exactly did Matthew learn about Joanna ("Emilie") that Jose wanted to use as blackmail?
- What didn't the Littles want Josh to find out, relating to the blood-spattered white cloth?
- Why was Silvia chasing Lily and why was she dead-set on killing the baby?
- What is Silvia's history with Jorgio and why did she kill and frame him?
- How did Joanna come to obtain the burn scar on her hand?
- How did the church Joe was abandoned at come to explode?
- Why did Lily disappear a year prior to her death? Why did Silvia disappear also?
- What is Rochelle's history with both Lily and Silvia?
- Where did the blood stain in the Littles' attic floor come from?
- Why did/was Joanna a prisoner, refer to "mud huts", miss out on education and have a fake ID?
What's under the floorboards of the Littles' attic?
- Why did Silvia feel as though she had to push Ali down the stairs?
- Why did Manny's zealousness mean the Littles had to leave their old home?
- In what sense were the Littles run out of town and by whom?
- Where did Joanna learn to fight like that and who is Nadia?
- Whose remains are hidden in the Littles' attic?