Christine in court

Image: Howard Wise/JPI

In the courtroom, Victoria’s on the stand. Michael asks her to tell the court about her relationship with JT Hellstrom. Victoria recounts how JT showed up after splitting with Mackenzie and they moved in together. She recalls how he became abusive, both emotionally and physically. Michael submits notes from Vikki’s therapist and footage of JT’s violent behavior. Everyone watches the video while cringing. Michael has Victoria explain the encounter. She admits she hit him while trying to fight back – never any other time. Michael puts a spotlight on the emotional abuse next, and Victoria relays when she finally had enough, he refused to leave; that’s why he broke in that night. Victoria on the standShe admits she wasn’t honest with the police, or Michael, because she was afraid no one would believe how afraid they were that night. They go over the girls’ night. Nick scowls as Victoria remembers JT’s harsh words to her after she refused to reconcile. Vikki describes how it turned physical after she threatened to call the police. She testifies her mother acted spontaneously – she didn’t want JT to die, she just wanted her to live. Victoria explains Phyllis convinced them to cover it up. Michael remarks on the irony of Phyllis getting immunity.

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In court, Christine cross-examines Victoria. She’s sorry for what she went through, but extracts that after the incident on the video, Victoria didn’t sustain injuries and they became engaged. She has Victoria confirm he never got physical again until the night Nikki killed him. Vikki explains he continued to be emotionally abusive and controlling. Christine suggests Victoria really broke up with him after discovering he was working for the GCPD investigating her father and recaps how they killed JT, covered it up, and buried him in the park. Michael redirects. Victoria expresses the terror she felt when JT became violent – she feared she’d never see her children again.Nikki watches court proceedings She adds you can’t understand unless you’ve experienced it. Michael asks what she thinks would have happened if Nikki hadn’t intervened. Victoria says, “I’d be dead.” It’s stricken from the record, but the defense rests. During a break, Brittany and Sharon reflect on Victoria’s experience. Sharon can’t believe anyone could doubt her. Brittany feels she built a strong defense for Sharon, and didn’t want to risk Victoria undoing it. Sharon glances at Nikki and Victoria eyeballing her and agrees. Meanwhile, Billy laments convincing Phyllis to attend the girls’ night – if she hadn’t been there, the women might have called 911. Nick still believes JT could be alive – it could save Victoria, his mom, and Sharon. Proceedings resume with Christine’s summation – the women buried JT like roadkill and were happy he was dead. She maintains Nikki murdered JT and Victoria and Sharon helped cover it up. Finding them not guilty would send a dangerous message – they are guilty of being judge, jury and executioner. Brittany next states Sharon’s case – she was used by the other defendants and a police officer. Michael is last. He reflects on the meaning of reasonable doubt before mocking the prosecution for painting his clients as malicious and JT as a victim. Nikki was only protecting her daughter, and if Victoria had no knowledge of what would happen, she can’t be a party to it. He concludes, “You must find the defendants not guilty.”

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In their apartment, Rey denies to Mia that anything’s going on with Sharon – she’s the woman he wants. Mia feels that’s only because he can’t be with Sharon after arresting her for murder. She challenges him to say he’s not in love with Sharon, and he complains she’s never satisfied. Mia felt like an idiot in that courtroom – how does he expect her to forgive this. Rey reminds her about his brother and mocksRey ends his marriage her for acting like an innocent betrayed wife. He recounts how he went to Sharon’s after Mia called Arturo’s name. Mia asks if he had sex with her. Rey says never. He announces he can no longer live this lie – she’s right; he’s in love with Sharon. Rey adds they only hurt one another. Mia questions if this is payback – she always thought he was better than her. She cries he promised to fight for their marriage, and it was a lie. Rey tried. Mia wants to fix this. She asks how he can do this to their child and pleads for another chance. Rey refuses – he will look after her and the baby, and clarifies this isn’t about his love for Sharon; Mia still has feelings for his brother and Rey can’t forget what she did to his sister. He leaves to visit Lola. Mia sobs.

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