06/29/2006 Erica Finds Jack With Brooke

"Immediately jumping to the worst case scenario, Erica opines about how of all of things that she thought could have happened when Jack didn't come home - seeing him come off of their boat with Brooke was the last option. She storms off, and Brooke, annoyed, asks Jack if they don't owe Erica an explanation. Blithely, Jack tells her no. Brooke takes off on her own, finds Erica and tries to explain what really happened. True to form, Erica assumes that she knows all that she needs to know and instead of listening to reason, takes a few potshots at Brooke. Mostly unruffled, Brooke notes that she should have listened to Jack and let Erica "sweat it out." Jack arrives on the scene, and follows by saying that Erica's current state of infuriation has nothing to do with the two of them. He then hands the floor over to Erica and suggests that she tell Brooke the real reason that she is upset. Brooke doesn't take the bait, she wishes Jack luck and takes her leave. Erica then says that she can't believe that Jack would take Brooke out on the boat that she gave him as a wedding present. Jack counters by saying that because it is his boat, he didn't think there were any rules. He tells her that they both know that nothing happened between him and Brooke overnight - just as they both know that Brooke is not symptomatic of the problem. Agreeing mutely, Erica waits a beat, and then asks if they are in trouble. Without hesitation, Jack tells her that they are. Erica tells him that it should have been the two of them stranded out on the boat alone, and Jack tells her that there are a lot of things that should have happened but didn't. Erica then asks if Jack thinks it's too late to save their marriage. Jack tells her that he is furious over all of the things that she failed to share with him, and that he isn't sure how he will get past it all. She asks if he thinks he will, and Jack honestly says that he doesn't know about that. He does know, however, that he is nowhere ready to throw in the towel and she happily echoes his sentiment.

As music blares within, Lily and Jonathan approach a music store. With Lily planning to apply for a job there, they discuss all of the precautions she would have to take. She tells him that she would be able to afford to replace the earmuffs she currently sports with earplugs. In addition, she tells him that she made a plan for how to tout herself as the best candidate. Jonathan asks her if she is going to fill him in on the plan, or if it's a secret. Lily lightly admonishes him, and reminds him that married people don't keep secrets from each other. She starts to put on her glasses and enter the store, thus missing the guilty look spreading across Jonathan's face. As they make their way to the music racks, Terry watches them from outside. He moves away as he sees someone come near his station on the other side of the window, and he misses Lily and Jonathan approaching the manager. Without making their intent clear, they start to spout Lily's strengths with regard to the layout of the store and the merchandise. The manager entertains them, hoping that at some point they will explain what they need from him. As they continue to talk, Terry repositions himself on the outside of the glass front door, and resumes watching the couple. He finally makes his way into the store when he sees them distracted by filling out an employment application. The manager is still not taking either one of them seriously, and after listening to Lily prattle on for a while, he tells them that they are wasting their time and that they might be better suited to work somewhere else. Lily asks the manager to try to give their application serious consideration, but he tells her that he is going to pass. He feels that music stores already have a bad enough reputation regarding who they hire - and he doesn't need to make it worse by hiring them. Offended, Lily tells him that he is rude and walks out. Jonathan leans in and, in his normal voice, tells the man exactly what he thinks of him. The manager does a double take and asks Jonathan to repeat himself. Jonathan then slips back into his role, and notes that the manager really upset his wife. He follows Lily out, and the manager throws their application in the nearest waste bin. Terry then materializes from behind a wall and, having seen everything, plots to make a beeline to retrieve the application. Outside, Jonathan assures Lily that they wouldn't want to work for a guy like that, and that they will get better jobs. A smile breaks through on her face, and they renew their commitment to find gainful employment with an air high five.

As Aidan loudly demands more information on Terry's case - such as a possible location for his ex-wife and child - Ryan enters the office. Seeing him, Aidan quickly wraps up his call and asks what Ryan needs. Ryan notes that Aidan is in about the same mood as his sister. Aidan tells him that Erin broke up with him, therefore landing him in his foul mood. Ryan lets on that he is aware of what happened, as Erin filled him in and then ran out of the house in tears. Because he loves her, Ryan feels that even though it's none of his business, he should ask what happened. Aidan tells him that he loves Erin too, and that he has no idea why one day they were perfect for each other, and the next day they weren't. He goes on to say that if he did something wrong, all Erin has to do is tell him - and he would do whatever he needs to do to fix it. Not meaning to sound arrogant, Aidan notes that Erin loves him as much as he loves her, and those facts make it hard to understand why she would just dump him out of the blue. Ryan chimes in saying that he could tell when they talked that Erin really didn't want the relationship to end. Rather, it was more like she was hiding a secret that she didn't want either of them to know about. Before they could mull it over any further, Aidan's cell phone rings an interruption. Upon answering it, he finds that there is a lead in Terry's case that he needs to follow up on. He asks Ryan to hang around so they can talk more about Erin, as he won't be long. Ryan has no problem with that, but does ask if his lead has anything to do with Kate Martin. Sadly, Aidan had to let him down - but he does tell Ryan that it has to do with a missing child, and a desperate client who is a father.

Erin shows up at Room 17 at the Pine Cone. She knocks at the door and the unseen occupant lets her in without question. She emerges a short time later, and before the door closes, she assures the occupant that she would be back soon, and that everything would be all right. The door closes, and as she turns around, she spots a familiar man. After identifying him as Jamal, and giving him a hug, they engage in some brief small talk. He then tells her that she did make one mistake regarding the current situation - hotels and motels are usually off limits. He notes that the average person might not be able to ferret someone out, but a good detective could. She fills him in about how a private detective was hired, and how good he is at what he does.

Aidan shows up at the Pine Cone and knocks on door 17, announcing that he is a member of hotel security. After asking if anyone is in and receiving no answer, he pulls out his lock picks and starts to go to work. Before he can give it an honest go, Erin opens the door and faces her newly dumped ex. She asks why he is following her, and he tells her that her belief isn't factual. He says that he got a tip from one of his men that a woman matching the description of his client's ex-wife was here, and he was merely checking it out. He asks her why she would check into a motel under a phony name, and she tells him that she needed to get away. Erin continues to throw up smoke screens in order to hide the truth, and blasts Aidan for not getting the fact that they aren't dating anymore and that any problems that she may have, she alone will deal with. Aidan, still not buying it, asks what she is hiding. Enraged, Erin invites him into the room and shows him that she is alone, and that there is nothing secret about her stay at the Pine Cone. She insists that she has laid it all out for him, and that it doesn't matter whether he likes it or not - they are over. He looks at her intensely, and then tells her that he hates it. He goes on to say that she can take all the time she needs - as long as she knows that when she is done with that she needs to do, she can come back to him. He tells her that he loves her, that he knows she still loves him, and then plants a kiss on her that she can't help but return. They fall on to the bed in a passionate embrace, but after a moment, Erin breaks it off and tells Aidan that he needs to leave. Aidan protests, asking her again why she is ending things. She tells him that she can't explain it any better than she has, so unhappily, he obliges and leaves.

Babe catches up with Jamie and JR in the park, and demands to know what they are up to. Jamie starts to deny it, but having known them both intimately, it's no tough task for Babe to read them. She notes that they have been sitting on a massive secret since the night that Greg Madden went missing - the night that they went AWOL - and she wants to know what it is. Jamie tells her that they were out that night looking for Greg, and that's all that she needs to know. Irritated, Babe says that if Jamie wants to keep the lid on his secret - fine. However, JR is a different story. Because of all that he did and the promises that he made to her, he owes it to her to be completely upfront. Thinking on this a moment, JR caves and notes aloud that he does indeed owe Babe the truth. They fill her in, and Jamie steps up - explaining that JR came on board after he took Madden. Babe freaks out, thinking that the man could die, and with JR's recent brush with the law, he could spend the rest of his life away from their son. They think that she is overreacting, as they don't believe Madden could die - and Madden certainly can't identify who the culprit is. They just think that the only way they will get the truth out of Madden is to scare him within an inch of his life. Babe thinks they are playing a game akin to Russian Roulette, and that they need to stop before someone's life is destroyed. She then makes a decision, and they question whether or not it is the best choice. Babe tells them they don't have a choice - as she is furious that they got in this deep already. Jamie hotly tells her that they were simply trying to bring their sister home, and while she understands, she thinks their methods were suspect. She admits that the smartest thing they have done thus far is stay anonymous - and says that they should keep it that way.

Babe arrives at a warehouse and hears cries for help. She goes to the walk-in freezer door and opens it. Inside, she finds Josh tied up and hung from a hook near the ceiling. Upon seeing her, Josh yells for assistance and Babe rushes to him, but not knowing what to do first. Josh tells her to pull the crates over and put them beneath his feet. She does that and now, able to stand, he is able to loosen up some of his restraints. As he does, he caustically vents about who he believes is responsible - Jamie and JR - and how much they will pay for what they have done. After listening to a few moments of his vitriol, Babe backs away and stops attempting to free him. He asks her why, and she tells him that a giant freezer is a suitable place for a meathead. She feels badly for him and doesn't leave him hanging for long. She rids him of the final ropes and helps him down from his makeshift perch. He suggests that she hold him for a while to help him warm up, but she rejects him. He then goes back to talking trash about Jamie and JR, unwavering in his belief that they are responsible for holing him up in the freezer. Babe tells him that her husband and brother-in-law have bigger fish to fry, and she just happened upon him by coincidence. Josh doesn't believe her, and notes that he can't seem to convince either brother that he has no idea where his father is. Babe finally cracks and tells Josh how sick she is of hearing him bash her family. Josh thinks that she has her head in the sand if she can't see what is right in front of her face. He continues to vent, voicing his feelings about everyone in town that he thinks is against him. Babe tells him that if he hates it so much he should just leave - and Josh yells back that he just might. She tells him to get out of her face, and frustrated, Josh stalks out of the freezer, hitting the door on the way out. Before Babe can stop it, the door swings shut, locking her in.

Back in the park, Jamie and JR are certain that Babe got Josh out of the meat locker. Jamie sounds defeated as he notes that they no longer have the means to put the screws to Greg. JR tells him to lighten up, as the ride is far from over. Jamie tells his brother that he should bow out of the plans they have, as he has a wife and kid to think about. JR reaffirms his commitment, but Jamie reminds him that with the way Babe freaked out earlier, it's possible that JR could lose her for good if he doesn't step aside. JR tells Jamie that there is no way he will lose Babe again.

As Kendall sends up a silent prayer that there will be no trial, the judge starts to make his ruling. He states that if he were to go solely by what his wife and lawyer have to say, Zach is a hero to be commended. However, the state presented a much different case - how a man barricaded himself in a room with his comatose wife, discharged his firearm in a hospital and threatened to shoot anyone who dared cross the line. According to the judge, this makes Zach an arrogant man - and he is left with only one way to rule on this case. Without enough evidence to warrant an actual trial, he dismisses the case. The ADA is instantly argumentative, but the judge shuts him down - saying that they can continue to go around in circles with the evidence they have, but the end result would be the same. Kendall, who was momentarily frightened that her wish wouldn't come true, insists that they run and see Spike before the judge changes his mind. The courtroom empties, and the Slaters take a moment to revisit what just happened. Kendall tells her husband that she thought for a split second that he was a goner, given the judge's "reckless and arrogant" lead-in. Zach tells her that he thinks that he could have been, as the judge was dying to throw the book at him. However, her eloquent and passionate speech ended up being his saving grace. They kiss in celebration, and then run out of the courtroom. In the hall, they run into Livia and Derek. Derek takes the opportunity to congratulate them on a performance well done. Kendall seems taken aback, and insists that her testimony was 100% true. As Zach remains stone-faced, Derek tells her that he wasn't referring to her - he was referring to the judge, and his suspicions that not only had the judge been paid off, but she had been duped. Zach blows off the accusation by saying that law enforcement, by nature, is suspicious. Livia notes that any client of hers found guilty of such shady practices would no longer be a client. Derek quickly notes that Zach must have been able to dupe Livia as well. Livia cuts his accusations off, and they make their way out of the courthouse. Kendall promptly grabs her husband by the arm and leads him back into the courtroom. She asks if what he said about her being key to his release was a lie, and he tells her that he stands by his opinion. Realizing that she would have to be specific, Kendall then asks if Zach paid off the judge or not. After thinking a moment, Zach admits that he made a contribution to the judge's re-election fund - and Kendall instantly bursts out laughing. Although she thinks it would have been nice if Zach had told her beforehand, she is convinced that all went as it should when Zach tells her that he wouldn't have wanted to miss her speech about what a great guy he is. Amused, they kiss and head for home.

Dixie shows up at Aidan and Tad's office and finds Ryan trying to get the best of the pinball game. They chat for a moment about his skills at the game, and then he offers her a shot. She declines, and asks if he's seen Tad. Ryan denies having seen her ex-husband, and she notes that it's probably for the best since they can't seem to tolerate each other. She goes on to say that she thinks Tad hates looking at her. Ryan tells her that for what it's worth, he likes looking at her. She can't imagine why, and he tells her that he thinks he's a sucker for a pretty face. He then racks up a pool game and as he takes a few shots, Dixie marvels that he doesn't hate her too. Ryan tells her that he is still furious that JR was let off the hook without serving time, but his anger is at JR. In addition, now that he is a parent, he can understand Dixie's role in how all of that came down. He notes that not only can he understand losing a child because of what happened with JR, but also because of Greg Madden. Dixie doesn't want to talk about it, but Ryan can't help noting that she amazes him for not having lost her mind after all of this time. Dixie notes that she isn't so sure that she hasn't. Ryan tells her that even though she has the best people working on her case, she should know that all of his resources - both personal and Cambias - are available to her; all she has to do is ask. He tells her that he admires her, but she can't fathom why, as there is nothing admirable about her. She notes that she made her own hell, and Ryan tells her that we all do. Ryan then reminds her that they have more in common than she is remembering - that he too pretended to be dead, and ended up hurting the very people that he swore he was protecting. She tells him that those people forgave him, and he corrects her by noting that only some did; the rest wrote him off. She then asks how he forgave himself, and he told her that mostly it took time. She tells him that while time gave him his son, it is her enemy - because every second that passes is another that she is away from her little girl. With no words left to say, Ryan simply wraps her in a comforting embrace."

- Soap Central