Somerset Storylines 1973
Chrystal's secretarial skills are as impeccable as her beautiful looks, prompting Sam to hire her despite Lahoma's emphatic objections. Leo is pleased as he intends to use Chrystal to diminish Lahoma's influence over Sam. Meanwhile, Sam and Lahoma fight constantly about Delaney Brands, his endless late nights at work, Virgil Paris, Rex's accident, and now Chrystal. Very much afraid their marriage is in trouble, Lahoma vocalizes her feelings to Sam, who tells her that she's being unreasonable. Everything will be fine if she will just learn to trust him, he insists. Later, Sam visits the Hayloft, where bartender Phil admits he's heard about money trouble at Delaney Brands, since so many local men have been laid off. Puzzled, Sam denies any trouble.
Paris orders Carter to have Emily sell her Delaney Brands stock immediately or the syndicate will call in his outstanding debts. Zoe Cannell, Carter's sister, notices her brother's fear of Paris and becomes suspicious about their association. Rex, home from the hospital and in a wheelchair, insists on returning to work. Paris objects, but Leo warns him that the syndicate wants Rex to continue as production supervisor. Still blaming Leo and Paris for Rex's accident, Laura's suspicions make life miserable for Ginger until she and Tony find an apartment of their own and move out of the Cooper home. Leo confides to Tony that several employees have quit the company, forcing Paris to hire out-of-town replacements.
Julian and Zoe Cannell are constantly fighting, and Julian finally moves into a separate bedroom. Secretly visiting Andrea, Julian confesses that he only married Zoe for her wealth and lifestyle, but admits that it is she, his sister-in-law, that he really loves. Andrea stops his profession of love, begging him to never mention it again.
Dana has written a book for Andrea entitled Jingle the Clown. Thrilled, she takes it herself to her stepfather Phillip's publishing company where she accidentally discovers Phillip on his office couch in the arms of his secretary Millie. Andrea rushes out. She later assures Phillip she won't reveal his affair to her mother... for Emily's sake, not for his. To appease Andrea, Phillip agrees to publish Dana's book.
At her 21st birthday party, Andrea collapses. She makes David promise that he'll find a way for them to be alone together so that she can love him completely before she dies. He insists she won't die but agrees to her wishes. With Andrea's illness reoccurring, Dr. Kurtz fears poison is not the answer, considering Emily's strict supervision of her daughter's food and drink intake. However, David learns that Andrea has accepted nightly medication from Jingles the Clown, whom Andrea assumes is her brother Dana in disguise. When Andrea is told that "Jingles" is the suspected culprit, she refuses to believe it... until it is suggested that anyone in the house could be wearing the Jingles costume. A trap is set whereby Andrea will signal her mother the next time Jingles pays a visit.
Lahoma, instinctively distrustful of Sam's attractive new secretary and feeling threatened, arranges for Chrystal to meet Dr. Stan Kurtz. She is delighted when the two hit it off immediately. Meanwhile, Sam seems unconcerned by Stan's report that almost all of the new Delaney Brands employees have knife or gunshot wounds.
Returning to work after recuperating from his "accident," Rex is furious to learn that Paris has reduced production costs by cutting the quality of the whole canned food line. Leo promises that he will correct Paris' mistake. The strain and pressures of Rex's work take their toll on his already weakened condition, leaving Laura to fear that her husband will eventually collapse. She is further upset by Rex's frustration at being a "husband in name only" due to his paralysis. Leo visits Laura, seeking better relations between them for the sake of Ginger and Tony. Laura, distressed over her marriage, breaks down in tears and is comforted by Leo.
The plan to unmask Jingles works. Everyone is astonished when it is revealed that Emily's Aunt Rowena is the person who has been wearing the costume and bringing Andrea's medication. Rowena insists she only wanted to help Andrea get well. However, weed killer is found in the medicine bottle. Rowena, confused and incoherent, cannot recall that Zoe gave her the medicine and costume with instructions to dose Andrea every night! As Rowena's mental state deteriorates, plans are made to commit her to a sanitarium. Zoe secretly seethes with rage over Andrea, whom Zoe blames for Julian's rejection and their failing marriage. Confronting her rival, Zoe accuses Andrea of trying to steal Julian, but Andrea maintains her love for David. Zoe refuses to believe it as she has overheard Julian's declarations of love to Andrea.
Carter asks Emily to sign over her Delaney Brands stock, but having received glowing reports of its value from Sam, she denies the request. Panicking, Carter admits to Zoe that he was a failure in the investment business and owes the syndicate a million dollars. If he can't convince Emily to relinquish her stock, he will be killed by the syndicate's hired gun Virgil Paris. Later, Zoe visits Paris and manages to buy her brother two more weeks with $5000. She tells Paris she knows he's a hired killer. Would he consider doing a job for her? Paris expresses interest, and they arrange a visit to discuss the details. Leaving, Zoe is horrified to run into Andrea and David in the lobby of Dover House, Paris' apartment building.
Phillip begins plans for another "business trip" with his secretary Millie. When Andrea learns of his intentions, she implies Millie's presence is not for business reasons only. Phillip angrily denies her accusations, prompting her to recount the scene she witnessed between the two in his office. Phillip relents and tells Emily that Millie might not not accompany him on the trip. He admits he is hurt because Emily never feels jealousy and considers passion a heated emotion for the young.
When Paris turns down her request that he kill Andrea, Zoe decides to do the job herself. She invites her sister-in-law and David to a remote hunting lodge, and after sending David into the village for food, loads a rifle. Back in Somerset, Carter meets with Paris, who taunts him about Zoe's offer to engage him as a hired gun. Realizing his sister has taken Andrea to a secluded lodge, Carter races there to stop her. Meanwhile, Zoe admits her guilt in the arsenic poisoning to a horrified Andrea. Completely deranged, Zoe fantasizes how Julian will love her again once Andrea is out of the way. Just as she is about to shoot, Carter arrives. He begs Zoe to put down the gun, arguing that she'll never get away with murder now and promises to help her. Wavering, she accidentally pulls the trigger, shooting Carter in the chest. Andrea attempts to call for help, but Zoe has disconnected the phone. Aware Carter needs immediate medical attention, Zoe instructs Andrea to drive into the village for help, but they soon realize it is too late... Carter is dead. David returns from the village to find Zoe in shock and lamenting the fact she killed her own brother.
Ginger tells her father she is upset by Virgil Paris' pushiness with her. Leo promises to take care of Paris and reveals he intends to promote Tony to plant foreman. Later, Tony rejects the idea on the grounds other employees might misconstrue the gesture as nepotism and result in more plant friction; however, Leo insists. Paris, strangely piqued by Ginger's coldness to him, suggests Leo send Tony away for a three-day seminar.
Certain that attorney Ben Grant is responsible for any suspicions Sam has at Delaney Brands, orders Chrystal to surreptitiously tape record all conversations between Sam and Ben. From one of the tapes, Leo and Paris learn that Ben attended a secret meeting held by Herb Geller, Delaney's sales manager, where Ben learned suppliers are being strong-armed into cutting prices, employees have been threatened, and customers forced to accept inferior quality canned goods. Ben tells Sam that many people think gangsters now own Delaney Brands. Sam refuses to believe the rumors, but promises Ben not to tell anyone of the suspicions.
When Herb Geller is killed in a mysterious hit and run accident, Ben and Sam quarrel as Ben speculates Geller's death wasn't an accident, and Sam feels accused of criminal activity. Sam's doubts and anger lead him to drink too much, which causes a greater strain in his marriage. As Sam and Lahoma continue arguing, Chrystal makes herself available for sympathy and affection, which is what Leo hired her to do.
The court finds Zoe criminally insane and orders her confined to an asylum. Aunt Rowena, exonerated in Andrea's poisoning, is told she can go home, but she elects to remain in the sanitarium... she likes it there. Having already decided to divorce Zoe, Julian finds he can play the piano again. However, he decides to give it up, choosing instead to pursue a career in journalism, a field which he has always found interesting.
Andrea and David finally become engaged, while Emily searches for a way to keep them apart. When she suggests Andrea accompany the family abroad for a year, Emily is angered by her daughter's refusal, as she considers David an unsuitable choice for an heiress. Dana, determined to stop his mother's machinations, tells her that good breeding hasn't prevented Phillip from having an affair with his secretary. Stunned, Emily asks Phillip is she can accompany him on his upcoming business trip, but he gently discourages her. She still isn't convinced of his infidelity until Phillip leaves his briefcase behind. Searching through it, Emily finds an itinerary and a hotel reservation for Mr. and Mrs. Matson -one room.
Needing to know the truth, Emily flies to New York and finds he is indeed sharing a room with Millie under the names Mr. and Mrs. Matson. Shattered, she returns to Somerset, prepared to end the marriage. Certain this proves her theory that wealthy women must marry wealthy men, Emily offers David $100, 000 to establish a law career... if he'll break up with Andrea and convince her to go to Europe with the family. David politely refuses the money.
Meanwhile, Phillip comes home from New York to discover Emily has instigated divorce proceedings. He readily admits to the affair with Millie, arguing that Emily's cold, businesslike, passionless approach to their marriage led him to seek tenderness and romance elsewhere. Emily explains her fear of expressing emotion is a defense mechanism which evolved from her first husband's frequent infidelity. When Phillip assures her that her married because he loved her, not for the wealth and position, she asks if they might try again, if she can learn to be Mrs. Matson, not Mrs. Moore. Phillip happily agrees. Their reconciliation prompts Emily to finally accept and approve of David as Andrea's future husband. Andrea decides to purchase the failing Somerset Register newspaper as an investment. She quickly hires Julian as editor, providing him the opportunity to pursue his dream of a journalism career.
Virgil Paris plans a three-day plant management seminar for himself and Tony in Chicago, but mysteriously cancels at the last minute which doesn't allow enough time for Ginger to go with her husband. Paris becomes even more pushy and loathsome toward Ginger who makes no attempt to hide her revulsion of him.
Ben, realizing Herb Geller and his friends could be right about gangsters owning Delaney Brands, goes to New York to try to confirm or disprove the theory. Learning Ben's whereabouts, Leo presses Ben's wife Ellen to find out why he went. Ellen maintains it was to meet a prospective business client. In New York, Ben discovers that Delaney Brands' ownership is a holding company with complex corporate shells designed to conceal the identities of the owners. This secrecy leads Ben to assume that the suspicions are true. He offers his own home for the next meeting of the concern group, which is now led by Mr. Young. Ellen, recalling what happened to Herb Geller, fears for Ben's safety, though a police investigation reveals Paris' impeccable alibi for the hit and run.
Under orders from the syndicate through Leo, Chrystal proceeds with the plan to become involved with Sam and thus diminish Lahoma's influence over him. When the pressures of working late and close association with Chrystal strain his marriage to the breaking point, Sam, having had another fight with Lahoma, gets drunk and ends up in bed with Chrystal. His inevitable guilt afterward eats away him, and when Lahoma suggests a European vacation to get their relationship back on track, he eagerly agrees. However, Leo learns of the plan and makes an anonymous phone call to Lahoma, saying that Sam spent the night in Chrystal's bed. Sam's dogged denial and reassurances weather Lahoma's invective, and he pacifies her, if not completely convincing her, but Leo has Chrystal call Sam, threatening to leave Somerset for good that night. Using a business pretext, Sam hurries to Chrystal's apartment. They compromise; she won't leave town if he agrees not to go to Europe with his wife. Satisfied, Sam opens the door to leave, only to find Lahoma standing there!
Ginger confides her pregnancy suspicions to Andrea, and plans to break the news to Tony as soon as he returns from Chicago. Virgil Paris, responsible for Tony's absence, takes advantage of the situation and shows up at the Coopers' apartment. When Ginger refuses to let him in, Paris forces his way in and savagely rapes her. Afterward, he threatens to kill Tony if Ginger tells anyone and promises he'll claim that Ginger invited him over and seduced him. Realizing his threats are genuine, Ginger confides only in Andrea, who attempts to console her friend. When Tony returns from Chicago, he attributes Gingers apparent depression to his mother's obvious hatred of her. Tony confronts Laura, who once again throws Ginger's past him, prompting him to angrily remind her of her own premarital affair, which resulted in his birth. Later, Paris sees Laura and makes highly suggestive remarks. She puts him down, and Paris stuns her with the news that he "serviced" her daughter-in-law while Tony was away. Laura immediately confronts Ginger with the accusation, who breaks down, admitting that Paris raped her. Laura doesn't believe a word of the story and threatens to tell Tony that his wife is Virgil Paris' lover, unless Ginger voluntarily leaves him.
Julian meets with Herb Geller's widow, who convinces him to write an expose of criminal activities at Delaney Brands, but David and Ellen persuade him to wait until more concrete facts are known. They fear Ben could be in the same danger Geller was. Julian acquiesces, but decides to do some preliminary investigating, starting with Sam's attractive secretary Chrystal Ames. Meanwhile, Lahoma, devastated over husband's affair, gives him an ultimatum: fire Chrystal or move out. Sam professes his love for Lahoma, though he cannot bring himself to fire Chrystal even though the affair is over. With this, Lahoma orders Sam to leave their home and instigates a legal separation.
When Lahoma and baby Susannah mysteriously vanish from their home, Sam is frantic and calls the police. Chystal fears their disappearance has been engineered by Leo and Virgil. She threatens to end her association with the syndicate which is met with a counter-threat of bodily harm to her aging father. However, Chrystal announces she has hidden a dossier exposing everyone, and this insures the safety of herself and her family.
At the second meeting of concerned citizens, Ben learns that Delaney Brands is secretly gaining control of the Farmer's Cooperative. Sam accidentally stumbles upon the meeting and vehemently denies criminal involvement at the company, though he admits he has no idea who actually owns Delaney Brands. Leo, under pressure from New York syndicate boss Rudy Aloriz, leans on Ben to cease his investigation of Delaney Brands' ownership, but Ben refuses to submit to coercion. Ben discusses the latest developments with Sam as well as the meeting's participants in hopes of regaining Sam's trust. Under orders, Chrystal records the conversation on tape, which she turns over to Leo.
Still frantic over Lahoma and Susannah's absence, Sam files a missing persons report with the authorities and attempts to resign from the presidency of Delaney Brands, but Leo dissuades him from a hasty decision. Sam then learns that Lahoma has contacted Ellen, but she refuses to divulge her whereabouts. Sam begs Ellen to tell Lahoma that he has fired Chrystal as she demanded and wants his wife and daughter to return because he loves them both. Ellen relays the message to Lahoma, who maintains she's adapting to her independence and needs more time to decide whether she can trust her husband enough to rebuild a life with him.
After Ginger's pregnancy is confirmed, Leo confides he's giving her and Tony a down payment for house as a birthday gift for Tony. Meanwhile, Laura torments Ginger over the incident with Paris, threatening to tell Tony that Ginger slept with Virgil Paris. As she attempts to explain the events that occurred while he was away, Ginger suddenly collapses in excruciating pain and is rushed to the hospital. There, Tony learns about his wife's pregnancy. Dr. Kurtz reassures the family that Ginger's condition is not a physical problem, but the result from a deep, emotional shock. As Tony and Leo attempt to determine what could have caused Ginger such distress, Laura feigns innocence and concern.
Ben agrees to allow Julian's newspaper expose of suspected organized crime at Delaney Brands. He gives Julian all of the facts accumulated thus far, then Ellen gets angry when Julian suggests Sam is possibly a co-conspirator.
Realizing all of the problems in production are due to Paris' incompetence, Sam fires him as plant manager and gives the job to Tony. Paris is insolent and incredulous, certain this cannot be done as he's a valuable member of the syndicate. Leo reminds Paris that Sam must not know about any syndicate ownership, instructing him to simply beg for his job instead. When Sam flatly rejects Paris' pleas, he reveals that he is friends with owners of Delaney Brands and insists they want him there. Sam hands him the phone, suggesting he call the owners and ask. Paris walks out, making a veiled threat that the final decision isn't in yet. Sam stuns Leo by calling a company-wide meeting so that Leo can refute the syndicate ownership rumors once and for all. Leo begs off until Ginger has recovered from her collapse.
Discovering Lahoma's location, Chrystal calls and convinces her that she used every trick in the book to get Sam into bed, and only succeeded because Lahoma herself left the door wide open through a lack of trust and understanding of the pressures Sam faced at work. Believing the truth, Lahoma rushes home and apologizes to Sam for her part in their separation, and they enjoy a happy reconciliation.
Ellen is pleased at the idea of an upcoming trip to Boston to visit with daughter Jill and son-in-law Mitch, but she's also apprehensive about leaving Ben and David all alone.
Rex's doctor starts him on a program of intensive therapy, but is unable to tell if Rex's paralysis will ever be cured. Meanwhile, Ginger recovers from her emotional collapse, though she is warned by doctors she must remain calm to protect her pregnancy. Ginger finally reveals to Tony that Virgil Paris forced his way into their home and raped her while Tony attended the Chicago seminar. Enraged, Tony leaves to find Paris, threatening to kill him on sight, but Paris has already gone into hiding. Tony goes to Ben and David, revealing everything about his wife's assault, and the police are called. Tony becomes more upset when Sgt. Ruth Winter, an officer specializing in crimes against women, moves so routinely on the case.
Laura, nonplussed by all the attention Ginger's getting, lies to Leo that she has no idea what's bothering his daughter, then confides to Rex that Ginger could be carrying Virgil Paris' baby instead of Tony's. Having overheard this, an angry Tony rails at his mother, warning her to never mention a word of this again and storms out. Andrea sees Paris and remarks he's an animal after what he did to Ginger. Her comments make him realize that his victim has opened her mouth about the rape. He then calls Ginger, promising to make her pay for squealing on him.
Leo and Virgil are summoned to New York by their boss Rudy Aloriz. Virgil attempts to shift the blame for financial troubles at Delaney Brands to Leo, while Kurtz insists all of their problems stem from Paris' surly, incompetent, and menacing attitude. Rudy orders Leo to stop Sam's investigation into the ownership of Delaney Brands and all public hints of criminal activity at the plant. After Leo leaves, Rudy asks Paris to keep tabs on Leo by using electronic surveillance equipment. Later, when he learns the owners steadfastly refuse to allow disclosure of their identity, Sam angrily announces he's going to New York and force them into reveal themselves. Paris, having placed a bug in Leo's desk, overhears the conversation.
Chrystal visits her blind, ailing father Dennis McGuire in an upstate New York nursing home. McGuire, a former syndicate man himself, believes his daughter to be an airline hostess, and is unaware she has been compelled to work for the mob in order to secure his safety.
Ginger painfully recounts being raped by Virgil Paris to Sgt. Ruth Winter. She explains that Paris arranged for Tony to attend a seminar in Chicago, then forced his way into their apartment. Lt. Will Price suggests Ginger take a lie-detector test before he'll believe her accusations. This routine attitude taken by the police infuriates Tony. Laura, meanwhile, announces a desire to improve her relationship with Ginger, but it's all pretense. Laura still secretly believes that Ginger and Paris were consenting lovers.
When Sam continues to press Leo about the identity of Delaney Brands' owners, Leo counters that they are currently involved in delicate business negotiations and can't be revealed. Sam argues that immediate disclosure will stop rampant rumors of syndicate ownership around Somerset. A visit by Sgt. Ruth Winters further annoys Sam, who has already fired Paris as plant manager, but she can't tell him that she's investigating a rape case, as well as suspicion of organized criminal activity.
Under orders from New York boss Rudy Aloriz, Paris plants electronic bugging devices in the homes of Leo, Sam, and Chrystal. Paris learns from the bug in Ben's home that Delaney Brands employee Ron Smith confessed to Ben about providing a false alibi for Paris the night Herb Geller was killed by a hit and run driver. Sam agrees to accompany Ben and Ron Smith to the police the next morning to prove he is not involved with the syndicate and will do anything to eliminate its hold over Delaney Brands. However, Paris follows Ron Smith home and murders him. When Smith's wife reports him missing, Sam concludes Smith might have been lying after all.
Chrystal makes it clear to Leo that she is finished with the syndicate, reminding him that she was blackmailed into working for them anyway. Fearing syndicate retaliation against her father, she flatly refuses Leo's demands that she hand over the dossier which implicates them all. Julian, in turn, continues to see Chrystal socially, though finds he is not just gathering evidence for his expose but actually enjoys her company.
Andrea pushes David to set an early wedding date, though he insists he must first establish his law career. Ellen, returning from a visit to Boston, is upset to learn her son has applied for a full-time job with the police department and transferred to evening law school. When Ellen confides her fears about Ben and David's safety to her father Judge Brad Bishop, he immediately flies to Somerset. Ellen is further curious about the secrecy Judge Bishop maintains about his "lady friend" back in Boston.
After Ron Smith's body is found floating in the river, an autopsy is arranged to determine if death was a suicide. An article in the Somerset Register, implying a link between Smith's death and the criminal investigation at Delaney Brands, infuriates both Sam and Leo. Having spotted Ginger and Tony at police headquarters, Sam rejects their claim that they were there for personal reasons. Sam demands Tony tell him the reason for their visit...or else. Leo is upset to realize his daughter and son-in-law are obviously involved. Rudy Aloriz arrives in Somerset, and meeting with Leo, is told that Paris lied to Rudy about not being involved in Ron Smith's death.
Julian receives a request for a private visit from his wife Zoe, who has been confined to Palmer Heights sanitarium. He flies there, and she greets him warmly. Zoe assures him she is better and promises to spend her life trying to make up for all the harm she caused. She offers to cooperate fully in their divorce... if Julian will assist her in getting a good lawyer to help secure her release from the sanitarium.
When Tony accidentally blurts out that Paris raped Ginger, Leo goes into a black rage and decides to kill Paris himself. Leo visits Ginger, leaving a loaded gun for her protection. Chrystal attempts to dissuade Leo violence, and when Aloriz learns what has transpired, a syndicate contract is ordered for the life of Virgil Paris. However, Paris hears all of this with the bugging device he planted in Chrystal's apartment and leaves before Aloriz's hitman arrives.
Paris runs to the Cooper apartment, trapping Ginger alone. He tells her that he intends to kill her for going to the police about the rape, then admits responsibility for the murders of Harry Johnson, Herb Geller, and Ron Smith... as well as the "accident" that paralyzed her father-in-law Rex. Struggling with him, Ginger breaks away from Paris, grabs Leo's gun, and begins to shoot indiscriminately. When Leo returns to his daughter's apartment, he finds her unconscious on the floor, lying next to Virgil Paris, who has been shot to death! Leo wipes Ginger's prints off the gun, puts his own on it, and pockets the weapon. He then phones the police saying he killed Paris to protect Ginger. While Ginger is rushed to the hospital with a head injury, the police arrest Leo for murder.
Chrystal confides in Julian that she was blackmailed into working for the syndicate when Leo forced her to smuggle drugs while she worked as an airline stewardess. She further explains the plot to break up Sam and Lahoma's marriage otherwise Rudy Aloriz and the syndicate that owns Delaney Brands will kill her father. Stunned, Julian admits that he's fallen in love with her and will do anything to help her. Chrystal confesses her feelings for Julian, too, and decides to go to the police. Julian telephones Judge Brad Bishop to hear Chrystal's story. Judge Bishop warns her she could be subjected to prosecution herself. He suggests she not contact the police until he can arrange a deal for immunity. But, hearing about Paris' shooting, Chrystal insists on making a statement now. Judge Bishop advises against the idea as she might even be held as an accomplice in Paris' murder.
Ginger regains consciousness, but she has no memory of what transpired after she struggled with Paris. Tony leads her to believe that Paris is in custody, and her father will see her soon. Ginger is desperate to tell her father about Paris' confession to murder. Laura realizes that Tony believes Ginger's story completely and admits she's won, though Laura is still convinced Ginger and Virgil Paris were lovers. Meanwhile, Leo begs his brother Dr. Stan Kurtz to keep the police away from Ginger until he can speak to her first. When Sgt. Winter asks to see Ginger, Stan lies that she's too ill. Sgt. Winter is immediately suspicious since another doctor claimed that Ginger could receive visitors. Her suspicions are aroused even more after a paraffin test on Leo reveals he hasn't fired a gun recently.
As president of Delaney Brands, Sam holds a press conference regarding Paris' murder. He accepts full responsibility for not firing him soon enough, asserts Leo's honesty, and vows that rumors of a syndicate takeover at the company are untrue. Sam theorizes that Leo killed Paris because he exacted revenge for being fired against Leo's daughter. Sam further admits he doesn't know who owns Delaney Brands, but publicly encourages them to come forward and make themselves known. Ben feels Sam is foolhardy to make a public stance without all the facts and fears his friend is putting his job on the line by doing so.
At Palmer Heights sanitarium, Zoe continues to impress her psychiatrist with progress. She openly admits that she's lost Julian and is willing to give him a divorce so that he can move on with his life. Ben considers Julian's request that he help Zoe attain release from the sanitarium in exchange for an uncontested divorce.
Judge Bishop makes frequent phone calls to Boston, telling someone named Eve, whom he calls "darling," that he misses her terribly and will return to her as soon as possible.
As soon as her memory clears, Ginger confesses to Sgt. Winter that she shot Virgil Paris in self defense, not Leo. Since this fits the circumstantial evidence, Leo is released from custody. However, when Leo's gun fails a ballistics test as the gun that killed Paris, Sgt. Winter arrests both Leo and Ginger on perjury charges. Having learned about the gun, Leo realizes that neither he nor Ginger killed Paris, who was probably rubbed out by a mob hitman. He decides the only way to save Ginger is to come clean about his syndicate activity. To Ginger's horror, Leo confesses that he was the front man for Rudy Alroriz and knew all about the syndicate's plan to gain control of Somerset through Delaney Brands. Leo exposes all of the New York syndicate's members, then admits he knew that Virgil Paris engineered the murders of several Delaney Brands employees, as well as the accident that paralyzed Rex Cooper. On the basis of Leo's testimony, Rudy Aloriz and several syndicate executives are arrested in New York. Dr. Stan Kurtz is deeply hurt and angered
at the truth about his brother, but his family and friends rally around him for support.
Sam is stunned to learn Ben was correct all along about syndicate activities at Delaney Brands, and even though Leo has cleared him of any involvement, Sam tenders his resignation as president of the company. However, Rex tears up the resignation, arguing that Sam owes it to the company's employees to stay in his job. Since new therapy indicates he might walk again, Rex encourages Sam to join him in looking forward to the future.
Having decided she must confess her crimes before building an honest life with Julian, Chrystal wants to confess her part in the syndicate to the police. Judge Bishop advises her not to do so, as Leo never mentioned her when he exposed Rudy Aloriz and others, and the fact that he didn't make full disclosure might lead authorities to believe the rest of his expose can't be trusted either. Later, Leo assures Judge Bishop that he wants Chrystal to have a fresh start and promises to keep her name out of his testimony. With Chrystal now free and clear, Bishop agrees to defend Leo. Meanwhile, Chrystal pays a visit to her father and introduces him to Julian, the man she loves. He dies peacefully right after meeting Julian, secure in the knowledge his daughter has found happiness at last.
After months of torment and cruelty toward her daughter-in-law, Laura tells Ginger how very wrong she was about her. Laura begs her to forget the past and try to to build a close, loving family relationship together. Ginger wants very much to believe in Laura's sincerity, especially after Leo is granted complete immunity in exchange for his testimony against the Aloriz syndicate and must establish a new life away from Somerset in the Witness Protection Program.
Zoe, still confined to Palmer Heights sanitarium, meets with Ben, assuring him that she's much better and finally realizes her marriage to Julian is over. Ben later recounts her statements to Julian. Although he feels they might have been rehearsed, Ben says that he will accept her doctor's assurances that she is well.
Sam is virtually thrown out of the Delaney Brands presidency by employees who believe he was a member of the syndicate which owned the company. The police suspect he is Judge Bishop's syndicate client who has not come forward. When Chrystal hears about the rumors, she cannot allow Sam to be unjustly suspected and admits to Lt. Price that she is the mystery client. She explains how Leo tricked her into smuggling drugs, blackmailed her into working at Delaney Brands, and threatened her father's life. Since her information has already been turned in to the judge, the police decide
not to file charges against her. Sam, having learned what Chrystal did, thanks her and wishes her well. He understands she was as much a victim as he was.
David is now pushing wedding plans, but Andrea has become very involved with her career at the Somerset Register and resents the fact that David failed to share information about the Delaney Brands story to her. Andrea confides to Ginger that she feels more mature than David, and as much as she loves him, she fears they have no future together unless they can resolve their differences about her job, which David thinks she should quit as soon as they marry.
Judge Bishop discourages Ellen's attempts to visit his lady friend Eve in Boston and simultaneously rejects Eve's suggestion that she come to Somerset to meet his family. Eve, who is revealed to be very young and beautiful, wonders if any time will be the right time.
Julian and Chrystal happily plan to marry as soon as Zoe is released from the sanitarium and grants him a divorce. However, Zoe is secretly feigning sanity and repentance for her past actions. When the medical board refuses her request for release, she becomes completely violent, screaming that she'll kill Julian and Andrea when she gets an opportunity. The news disappoints Julian and Chrystal, but they are later terrified when word comes that Zoe managed to escape from Palmer Heights. Concerned about Andrea's safety, the police offer her protection, though she declines, insisting Zoe wouldn't try to harm her again.
After Ginger and Tony learn that their expected child could be twins, Laura once again begs for Ginger's forgiveness, asking that she try to consider her a real mother. Later though, Laura's true feelings are apparent when she asks Lt. Price if Ginger isn't under any suspicion because of Leo's involvement with the syndicate, causing Price to note that the police are more satisfied with Ginger's innocence than her own mother-in-law is.
Dr. Terri Martin, Rex's new therapist, feels he has progressed to the point where surgery might enable him to walk again. Although Rex is hopeful, Laura is not at all optimistic and appears to resent Terri. Terri plans to open a gift shop and sell handcrafts made by her patients. Andrea agrees to invest in the venture, while Ellen suggests herself as shopkeeper. Things aren't going as well for Terri's associate Stan Kurtz. Since brother Leo's confession, Stan finds his patient load dwindling. The support of clients like Mrs. Geller and Rex help him through a difficult, embarrassing period.
When the police learn Zoe has eluded capture upstate, they attempt to get a police guard to Andrea. However, she's walking in the woods with Ginger. A woman follows them, pulls a gun from her purse, and fires. Andrea falls to the ground, struck by the bullet!
Andrea isn't seriously injured by the gunshot, which strikes her in the arm. She's soon released from the hospital and assigned a police guard as everyone believes the culprit was Zoe, who must be hiding somewhere in Somerset.
Surgery to restore use of his legs is scheduled for Rex, but Dr. Terri Martin feels Laura isn't completely responsive to the idea. Meanwhile, Laura continues to pursue a close relationship with Ginger but seizes every opportunity to point out that twins do not run in either Tony or Ginger's family, a subtle hint that Laura believes the unborn child was fathered by Virgil Paris.
The police are astonished when a ballistics report on the bullet removed from Andrea proves it was fired from the same German Luger used to kill Virgil Paris. They now realize the intended victim must have been Ginger, not Andrea. Lt. Price speculates the syndicate might be retaliating against Leo, who is turning state's evidence against them, but everyone doubts a woman would be employed as a hired killer.
Realizing that Laura hated Virgil Paris for arranging Rex's accident and also believed him to be Ginger's lover, Andrea suggests to Stan that she might have killed Paris and attempted to murder Ginger. Stan recognizes her logic and passes the information to Rex, who is forced to admit that they do indeed own a Luger. Rex searches for the weapon, and determining that it's missing, gently confronts his wife. Laura, now deranged, admits that she shot Virgil Paris and tried to prevent his baby from being born by killing Ginger, too. She begs Rex to assist her in eliminating Ginger. He quietly tells her that she's ill and needs psychiatric help. As he phones the police, she decides that Ginger has tricked him, too, and now she doesn't have anyone, her husband or her son. Despondent, Laura walks into the bedroom, picks up the Luger, and shoots herself.
Rex, Tony, and Ginger are devastated by Laura's suicide. Rex plans to scatter Laura's ashes on a California beach where they had planned to retire some day and vows to have surgery as soon as he returns. Although Rex expresses a desire to live alone for a while, Ginger tells Tony that she wants to care for Rex during his convalescence from surgery. On Christmas Day, Leo telephones Ginger from an undisclosed location, letting her know that he is safe.
Ellen arranges a surprise for her father's Christmas Eve birthday by inviting his widowed lady friend Eve Lawrence to visit Somerset. However, it is Ellen who is more than surprised to find Eve isn't a delightful elderly lady as she had imagined, but rather a chic, sophisticated woman younger than Ellen herself. Ben and David are both taken with Eve, but despite her father's obvious adoration of the woman, Ellen is upset by their age difference. Eve and Judge Bishop discuss the possibility of living in Somerset after their marriage, but it depends upon the reaction of her seventeen year old daughter Heather.
Andrea lavishes David with an expensive sports car for Christmas. Despite the fact that he needs a car, David feels he cannot accept such an expensive gift and still maintain his self-respect. Andrea is furious with his decision, arguing that he's being unreasonable and immature. Their relationship is further strained by differing views of marriage and Andrea's career as publisher of the Somerset Register. David finds he's having trouble with his law studies, too. Although he's close to graduation, David toys with the idea of giving up his law career.