Per Diane's request, Michael Baldwin paid her a visit. Unfortunately, he didn't give her the support she was expecting; in fact, quite the contrary. He practically chastised her, telling her she was too cocky and careless to get away with what she was trying to do. She looked defeated, telling him she was not exactly enjoying the public humiliation. He was quick to retort it was better she go through that than to see Phyllis go to prison for a crime she obviously didn't commit. Then she got straight to the point: she asked him if she would be her attorney. After laughing in her face, telling her even Johnnie Cochran himself couldn't get her out of this mess. He asked if she was admitting she was responsible for starting the fire, because she was sounding a bit desperate. She came back defensively, saying she was ambushed on the stand, and who wouldn't sound desperate in that situation? He continued pressing her, bringing up all of the evidence they had against her, including the paint thinner, the sleeping pill and the video—all of which she had a quick excuse or explanation for. When he asked if she had an explanation for the cast as well, having had enough, she really snapped. She started getting hysterical, telling him she was still in a great deal of pain, and that he had no idea what he was talking about. Finally, she broke down completely, telling him she needed him now more than ever, and didn't he believe her? Before leaving, he told her it didn't matter what he believed, and that he would need some time to think about being her attorney.
Phyllis went to go visit Detective Weber in his office. The purpose of her visit, she said, was to make sure he was planning on going after Diane as relentlessly as he did her. She told him she felt Diane was a threat to her, and that she was afraid the next time she would go even further. He sort of snickered, saying he doubted very much her or anyone else—man or woman—could threaten her. After she left, he got another visitor: Michael. He explained to Weber he had been asked to represent Diane, and while he was considering it, he still hadn't made up his mind yet. He wanted to ask a few questions, but Weber was not interested in helping him out. Weber thought it was interesting that Diane was trying to hire an attorney before she had even been officially arrested. Undaunted as usual, Michael pointedly told Weber as a taxpayer, he was providing his salary, and as such, doesn't he have the right to ask a few humble questions?
At home, Phyllis and Jack were discussing the Diane situation. Jack told her he had just seen John Silva, and that it was questionable if Diane was even going to be arrested. Phyllis told him she had just been to see Diane, and that she was absolutely petrified of what was going to happen to her. Jack decided he was going to once and for all get full custody of Kyle, and now was the time to get it. He left and went to pay Diane a visit. He told her what a despicable person he thought she was, and how he can't believe he allowed her under his roof. She told him he was cruel and that he led her on and used her to help Phyllis. Ignoring her tears, he asked her if they could talk about Kyle—he wanted to make her an offer.
Over at the Carlton's, Jack came by to question Ashley about her recent behavior. She assured him it was not health-related, but wouldn't tell him what was really going on with her and Brad. In fact, she said, he's on his way home and they need to talk, so she asked Jack to hurry up and leave. After he left, Olivia stopped by, unannounced. She said she saw Jack leaving and wanted to know if he was consoling her, which infuriated Ashley, and prompted her to ask if Olivia was waiting for a crisis. Olivia boldly told her that she loved Bradley, and that she was going to be there to comfort him once Ashley got around to telling him. Ashley told her she planned on telling him that very evening, as she knew if she didn't, either Olivia or Dru would. She followed it up with the strong statement that Olivia was clearly underestimating the strength of their marriage. With that, she ordered Olivia out of her home. Once her unwanted guest left, she tried to call Brad. He didn't answer, so she left a voice mail saying he needed to come home because they had to have "that talk."
Meanwhile, Brad knocked on Olivia's door, which was answered by Drucilla. He had a present in his hand—a Christmas gift for Nate. Dru told him Olivia was not home, and surmised aloud if he was hoping she was there or hoping she wasn't. Unamused, Brad told her she was putting words in his mouth. She told him Olivia's holidays were not so great, and how unfortunate it was that he was unavailable. Getting irritated, he told her he was sure she would find herself a nice guy someday, and turned on his heel and left.
On his way to see Drucilla, Wes stopped by Neil's apartment first. He told Neil he knew he was found by Dru and Olivia at the Olive Tree. He went on to say Dru canceled the trip to Paris because of him. This made Neil angry, and he denied being the reason for the cancellation. He said he simply wanted to have his family around him during the holidays. He also said Lily was probably furious with Dru, but Wes corrected him and said Lily was furious with him. Neil said he was impressed with Wes's explanation, and added that he was sure Dru was on her knees with gratitude. On the contrary, Wes said, Dru didn't know the real deal yet. Having had enough of the conversation, Neil finished Wes off by telling him the reason they stayed was because Dru wants to rebuild their family. With that, he dismissed Wes.
Lily came home, and Drucilla tried to get her excited about an outing with the two of them and Neil. Lily went off about being furious with Wes for screwing up the reservations to Paris. Dru just kept her mouth shut and put together the pieces in her head. After she stomped off into her room, Wes stopped by. Dru told him she knew what was really going on, and thanked him over and over for taking the blame. She also told him once Lily calmed down, she would tell her the truth of the matter. Seeing that Wes was upset about something, she began pressing him. He told her he had just spoken with Neil, and sensed something more was happening between the two of them. She immediately put her arms around him and began sweet talking him, and the conversation ended with a kiss.
Due to the extended New Year's holiday, no original episodes of your favorite CBS soaps were shown today. Regular programming will resume on Thursday, January 2nd.
Due to the New Year's holiday, all soaps will be pre-empted for various holiday programming. On behalf of everyone at Soap Opera Central, I would like to thank you for making 2002 an incredibly successful year for us. It means a great deal that you visit the SOC site and take time to offer feedback, post on our boards or partake in the polls. I hope that we'll see you back in 2003. And here is hoping that your 2003 is even better than 2002.
Jack offered his help to keep Diane out of jail in exchange for full custody of their son. Diane was not receptive to his offer, especially when it meant that he was forcing her hand in order to get custody of Kyle. They argued back and forth, then he left her to think about it – she didn't have much time.
Michael tried to find out from Detective Weber whether or not they had evidence against Diane. From the conversation, he surmised that they didn't have anything important, then he ran into Phyllis at Gina's. She had taken time to spar with Gina for a minute or two about Danny before she met up with Michael. He told Phyllis that he was thinking about representing Diane – that he had to make a living and that there was really no evidence to put her behind bars. Phyllis told him in no uncertain terms that he COULD NOT be Diane's attorney.
Olivia was visiting with Neil at his apartment. He reminded her about the favor that he had asked earlier – for her to distract Wesley so that he could make his move on his ex-wife and daughter. He just wanted her to be his patient and was sure that Dru wouldn't have a problem with it if she found out that it was rigged. Olivia wasn't willing to cooperate, but Neil was persuasive. She had her own friend who was going through a lot right now – Neil asked if it was Brad. He confronted her about that situation, then backed off quickly. He wanted to take the girls skiing for a few days to try to rebuild his family. Olivia left abruptly when Lily walked in the door and found Neil holding her hand. He asked about how she was doing and ended up admitting that the reason her trip was cancelled was because of him. She was terribly upset and abusive upon hearing that news. She told her dad that he and her mom had better get their acts together because she was tired of them playing games with her life!!
Back at her apartment, Olivia left a message for Wesley then was surprised to find Dru at home. She started fishing into her sister's feelings for the two men in her life, not really coming to any conclusions as a result. Dru changed the subject to Brad and how upset he was going to be when Ashley told him the truth. Olivia revealed that tonight was the night for that to happen. Dru knew that her sister felt bad about her part in the whole thing, but was hoping for a relationship with Brad. She assured her that she was not to blame – it was Ashley's lies that were making the trouble. It was the little girl's future that was at stake that bothered Olivia the most. . .
Brad returned home with birthday gifts for Colleen, ready to put the baby to bed and talk to his wife. They repeated their love for each other continuously, making things even harder to Ashley. Soon it was time for them to sit down alone. She started off by saying that she should have told him a long time ago and was sorry for not doing so. She hoped that he would be as loving and understanding after he heard the news. . . .
Wes and Lily were talking at Crimson Lights. She told him she knew that he'd lied about mixing up the dates on the tickets to Paris. She was tired of being jerked around by her parents and him and felt that they never listened to her or cared about what she wanted. As Wes was trying to explain things to her, he had to take a call from France on his cell phone. While she waited for him, Colleen approached her, reminding her they'd been in the same French class. The two confided in each other about how bad their relationships were with their parents. Lily said that Dru, Neil, and Wes were so wrapped up in their own lives that they never thought about the effect on her. Colleen told her that wasn't a bad thing. If Lily flew under the adults' radar, she could get away with all kinds of things. When Wes returned, Colleen left, and Lily told him that she wasn't mad at him anymore. She suggested that if he really loved her mother, he needed to make something happen because she was tired of her life being so scattered.
Neil told Dru that he'd been honest with Lily about the tickets. He was concerned about Lily's behavior, attributing it to her feeling of rootlessness and her sense of not belonging anywhere. He didn't really have much respect for Wes's parenting skills, so he thought it was time for Dru and Lily to move in with him and become a family. Dru said that she thought he was just using Lily's situation to get to her. Neil said that even if he was, it would be good for Lily in the long run, since she needed to be in a home with love. Dru said that Wesley did love Lily and her, and Lily loved him. When Neil asked if Dru loved Wes, Dru was unconvincing in her assertion that she did. Neil smiled, told her they had a lot of past to work out, and kissed her. This time, Dru didn't push him away.
Phyllis was still arguing with Michael at Gina's about whether or not Michael should represent Diane, since Diane had obviously set the fire and been willing to see Phyllis convicted of it. Michael said he wasn't sure Diane was guilty, but even if she was, she deserved the best legal counsel she could get. Phyllis forbade him to take Diane's case. As the two were arguing, Jack came in. He added his voice to Phyllis's, telling Michael that Kyle was better off with him and Phyllis. Michael said that the police didn't have any convincing evidence against Diane, so it was doubtful the case would even go to trial. Jack told him that he could not tell Diane that, as Jack was in the middle of making a deal with her. He and Phyllis would help weaken the case against Diane if Diane would sign over custody of Kyle to them. Michael said he couldn't ethically keep the information about the police's weak case against Diane. When Jack and Phyllis continued to badger him, Michael refused to go along with their scheme.
Isabella went to see Diane and got caught up on what was going on with the arson investigation. Diane told her that she was innocent, but she felt like the police were going to go after her. She then told Isabella about Jack's offer. When Isabella asked what she was going to do, Diane said there was no way she was going to let Kyle be raised by Phyllis. After Isabella left, Diane anxiously tried to figure out what to do. Michael returned and told her that his answer was yes. He would take her case. She hugged him with relief, but Michael continued to look troubled.
Olivia was startled when Victor showed up at her office. He told her that he'd sensed something was bothering Ashley. Olivia refused to tell him anything, which only made Victor more suspicious. He refused to leave when Olivia told him that she didn't have time to talk to him. Instead, he sat down, reminding her that she was Ashley's best friend. He had abided by Ashley's wishes that he stay away from her for the good of her marriage to Brad. But if Olivia thought Ashley needed him, he wanted to help her. Olivia still refused to talk to him. Finally Victor wondered if Brad was having an affair. When Olivia grew more uncomfortable, Victor said that he would go to the Carlton house and get the answers for himself. Olivia told him that would be a mistake. The best thing he could do was wait for Ashley to come to him, otherwise he might be causing a lot more trouble for her. Victor seemed unconvinced as he left her office.
It shocked Brad when Ashley told him that she'd been artificially inseminated. He'd never even considered that. Ashley reminded him that she'd never anticipated getting married again, and her biological clock had been ticking. She'd done something drastic, and perhaps it had been a mistake to withhold information from him. Brad surmised that she was second-guessing herself because of health concerns regarding Abby. Ashley assured him that she'd used the best doctor in Chicago to handle the insemination. Besides, she knew the identity of the biological father. Brad became agitated and insisted that Ashley just tell him what was really bothering her. Ashley told him that Victor was Abby's biological father. Brad became angry, saying that he'd deserved to know that information. When Ashley asked if it changed his feelings about their daughter, or if he would not have married her if he'd known, Brad replied that at least he should have had all the information before he made his decision. He then angrily left the house, and Ashley sank to the sofa and cried.