|Chase after the Fox|
The arrival of Andrea Bedford in town coincides with the search for a dangerous criminal, known under the pen name of the Fox, who turns to be the murderer of her father. This chase already lasts for several years. Today, all this adventure seems to reach its end, because all the protagonists get grouped in Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara will be nevertheless only a stage among so many others of a manhunt which will have passed by the Hawaii islands to end in a small Mexican village.
If Andrea landed in Santa Barbara, it is of course to satisfy her personal vengeance, but also to obey Richard Matthews's orders, her superior at the agency. She has to find the Fox, this mysterious and dangerous terrorist who, for the INID, would be Harry Winslow, the young woman's former lover, but also Cruz Castillo's former team-mate.
It is in Hawaii that Eden and Cruz decided to go a little away from Santa Barbara to find themselves again, to take completely advantage the one of the other, and also to think of their wedding. During their visit on this paradisiac place, under the supervision of their tourist guide Danny, Eden unintentionally activates the anger of the gods by stealing a volcanic stone. In reality, all this is masterfully orchestrated by Richard Matthews : from their car accident to the operation to implant a chip under Cruz's skin. Richard has no other purpose than to oblige Cruz to work again for the service so that he renders harmless Harry, his former partner, against a nice sum of money.
Back in Santa Barbara, constantly spied on by Richard and his people, Cruz goes back again at the service : the objective of his mission is to find Harry Winslow. Using his former partner's old habits (the red hair prostitutes), Cruz eventually finds his track by the way of an ad in a newspaper. He is among others obliged to protect a prostitute named Tiffany Mallory, who will be murdered a few hours later. Of course, as usual, during his investigation, Eden has to intervene and to puts herself in danger. She disguises herself as a red prostitute and meets Harry, but this latter is not fooled by the trap. In the end, Harry and Cruz eventually find themselves and speak freely in Harry's den : a wooden house which he rents weekly on the city port. Before he dies shot by a bullet, Harry has just the time to explain to Cruz that the situation is not as simple as it seems to be and that he has never been a traitor. He is a double agent whose mission is to render harmless an international terrorist, the Fox, whom he suspects of being a woman.
And if Harry was right... It is what Cruz is eventually going to discover.
Cruz finds Richard in his hotel room to report him Harry's last words. Richard seems almost relieved when Cruz repeats him these words. Before leaving, Richard gives Cruz a suitcase supposed to contain the money. Immediately after his departure, Richard makes explode the suitcase, destroying the whole hotel room. Very fortunately, Eden, who was on the balcony, succeeds in rescuing Cruz. As soon as he is back on his feet, they go in the Last resort agency offices to find elements of answer to the questions asked by Harry's death and in particular by the identity of the Fox : the words of Harry are unequivocal, the Fox is a woman. Suddenly, somebody enters the agency offices, switches off the lights and fires several shots in their direction. While running away, Cruz understands that the men who pursue him always have a time beforehand, as if they always knew exactly the place where he is.
Very fast, Cruz makes the link with his light accident in Hawaii. And it is in the elevator that Dr. Scott Clark removes him the transmitter which he get implanted a few days earlier. The contact with his pursuers is broken. However, they are not still safe yet. Richard's men severed the cables of the Capwell Hotel elevator : Cruz, Eden, Cain and Scott have a fall of several floors. The elevator ends its fall in the basement of the building, in an immense crash. They eventually leave all the rubble caused by the fall, not without meeting Andrea in staircases. The transmitter finishes in a cake which is going to be served at the Orient Express.
Joining Cain's questioning, Cruz also begins to suspect Andrea Bedford to be the Fox, especially as her arrival date in Santa Barbara coincides perfectly with the coming of the Fox. A few days before the arrival in town of Andrea, a new nurse made also her arrival in town : she is named Kathleen McDougall. This latter was appointed to Dr. Scott Clark. Her personality is in perfect adequacy with her profession : Kathleen is of the most thoughtful with the patients, and she shows herself attentive and of good advice for the difficulties which Scott meets in his love relationship with Gina Capwell.
Kathleen thus possesses all the qualities required to be a very good nurse. However, Cruz's investigation, at the approach of the conference between the United States and some Latin American countries, is diametrically going to modify Kathleen's character and behavior (the real reason is that the writers made a change of direction : they do not want to make of Andrea Bedford the Fox any more).
A foreign delegation arrives in Santa Barbara for the conference. His head is Daniel Espinoza. The conference security is under the responsibility of Tony Martini, an INID agent, with whom Cruz has already worked in the past. If both men know and trust each other, Cruz knows that Tony will have difficulty in managing in case of crisis situation.
The conference is held in the Capwell Hotel, and even if Tony Martini makes condemn the accesses, Cruz finds flaws in the security. Daniel Espinoza completely agrees Cruz's recommendations; this latter even saves his life during an attack attempt. On Cruz's orders, which Tony is well obliged to obey, the place of the conference is changed. It will be held in former disused television sets. Around the security service also revolve other people, and in particular an emergency team, team into which Kathleen voluntarily became integrated.
There, she tries to make her mission a success : to kill Daniel Espinoza. She gets face to face with Andrea who prevents her from shooting and from reaching her target. Cain who, down below, attends all the scene, only sees Andrea holding a weapon which is pointed in the direction of the politicians. He acquires the certainty that Andrea and the Fox are the same person. Escaping shortly from her pursuers, Kathleen has then no other choices that to leave to Mexico to end her mission. She informs Richard about it, who is apparently very disappointed by this failure and who flies away for Mexico too.
It is aboard the boat which makes road towards Mexico that Kathleen was forced to take refuge. Andrea, who follows the spy, also manages to go on board. Eden proposes to Cain her help and her ingenuity : they pretend to be a famous duke and a duchess, what allows them to obtain very quickly and without the slightest question a cabin aboard the same boat. On his side, Cruz, without anyone knowing, edges his way into a big suitcase and finishes in the hold of the boat. Cruz gets angry when he recognizes under the mask of the duke and duchess Cain and his fiancée. He is forced to submit himself to their plan : Cain is going to pursue Andrea on the boat, whereas Eden and he are going to become the duke and the duchess of Westover.
In this cat and mouse game where everybody tries to escape his pursuers, Cain is the first one to be set by Andrea, who vainly tries to explain him that she is not the Fox. She explains him the truth : facts which are in Cain's eyes a deformed image to confirm her reality. If she shot in the television studio, it is not to try to kill Daniel Espinoza, but to prevent the real Fox from achieving her aims. Cain remaining deaf to her explanations, Andrea tries to convince her former classmate, Eden.
Nobody seems to want to grant her the slightest doubt. Andrea runs away hastily from Eden's cabin, closely pursued by Cruz and Cain. While they are on the deck of the boat, shots are fired in their direction. It is obvious for them that Andrea tries to eliminate them. Left in the pursuit of the shooter, Cain succeeds in catching Andrea who, with the support of the captain of the ship, is arrested in a cell of the hold.
Andrea swears them that she is not the Fox and that on the contrary her mission is to render the traitor harmless. She also begs them to release her because, locked here, she is an easy prey for the real Fox. Only Cain, because of his feelings for the young woman, eventually feels some doubts. Coming back on his steps, he prevents the real Fox from killing Andrea. Then he does not have doubts anymore : Andrea and the Fox are two different people. With Cruz and Eden's help, they set a trap to unmask her : it is Kathleen, the nurse of the hospital working in the service of Dr. Scott Clark. Pursued on the boat and without possibility of exit, Kathleen has no other solutions than to jump in the water.
And it is in Mexico, the land of Cruz's ancestors, that is going to continue the Fox storyline. Kathleen manages to join the dry land and to find the track of Richard Matthews, her superior. Richard firmly orders her to end her mission and if she meets constraints, she has to eliminate them. Nothing has to hinder the success of her mission. On the boat, Andrea forgives Cain, Eden and Cruz to have suspected her of being the Fox. The chase continues and the noose is tightening around Kathleen, who found refuge in the small village of Bambero.
Our four friends also arrive in Bambero. If they stop in Paco's bar, it is with the aim of gleaning information and reviewing their search. They do not know that Paco is a man payed by Richard. Paco takes advantage of Cruz's absence to drug their margaritas. They are led to another partner of Richard's whose mission is to drop them off a plane during a drug delivery.
Cruz, who worries about his friends' disappearance, makes a terrible discovery : there are many men in this village who work for Richard : it is the case of Paco, but also Manolo, the head of the local police. He eventually discovers where his friends are held prisoners and he hurries to go to free them. He succeeds in boarding the plane, in putting K.O. the pilot, whereas Eden, who released herself from her bonds, puts without incident the plane on the ground.
The chase after the Fox resumes. Kathleen managed to escape after having shot Cain; whereas Richard Matthews is arrested. Trapped, Kathleen locks herself into the church of the village with hostages as shield : the priest of the village, as well as the children who came for their catechism. Among them is Maria, the mayor's daughter. The negotiations begin, managed at first by Señor Renata. If he accepts the kidnapper's demands (to drink, to eat, a helicopter to leave the country and Richard's release), it is only partially because he makes deliver drugged almonds. Kathleen is not fooled and, to show that it is her who gives the orders, she fires a gunshot in the church. Worried for his daughter's life, the mayor orders Señor Renata to leave the command to Cruz.
Cruz knows that Kathleen is ready for everything, and that the children's life does not matter for her. He eventually proposes himself as hostage instead of the children, and Kathleen has no other choices than to accept him as hostage, even if she knows perfectly that he is going to want to play the heroes to save the children. Cruz immediately comforts the children. He also carries a microphone to allow Cain and Andrea to hear all that happens in the church.
Very fast, the situation gets deteriorated, when Kathleen discovers it and hurries to destroy it. If her demands are not accepted, Cruz will be her next victim. She requires that a car is left in front of the church to run away. When she tries to go out of the building protected by the children, Andrea does not succeed in shooting her. Cain then grabs the weapon and fires. His firing does not hurt anybody, but in the confusion the priest and the children succeed in escaping. Kathleen returns in the church with only a single hostage, Cruz who is hurt in the stomach, and a strong urge to survive.
The noose is tightening a little more around the Fox. On her side, Eden is completely worried : Cruz is hurt, perhaps fatally. She decides to ask to Kathleen to see him to make sure that he is fine, and succeeds in it. Cain and Andrea take advantage of this moment to hide a weapon at the church entrance. And when Kathleen goes out again, hidden behind Cruz, this latter grabs the gun and succeeds in escaping. Kathleen is again in hiding in the church, but this time, she is alone.
It is then time to go on the offensive : Cruz enters by force into the church by a stained-glass window, whereas Cain and Andrea enter by the main door. Cain and Andrea shoot at the same time, but only one bullet fatally hurts Kathleen. Before dying, Kathleen confides to Andrea that she is not the murderer of her father.
To celebrate the release of the children, a big party is organized by the mayor of the city and his wife. During this typically Mexican party, Cruz takes up with his roots, but he also takes up with his past, because he meets his uncle Guillermo who lives in mountains, very close to there.
Andrea, as for her, has deal with two concerns : the first one is that she has to face the fact of having killed Kathleen, because in spite of Cain's stratagems, she eventually learns that it is well her bullet which killed the young woman. Then, her second concern is connected to the death of her father : because if it is not the Fox, who is the murderer of Charles Bedford ? She joins the team which has to send Richard back to Washington. During the journey, he tries to exchange information concerning the death of ambassador Bedford for his freedom. Andrea succeeds in resisting the dilemma. He takes advantage to go to the toilets to escape Andrea and Tony Martini's supervision : Richard escapes by jumping of the plane in parachute. Fatally injured, he is found a few days later. Before dying, Andrea sees him a few seconds. Richard then confides her what she hopes for so many years, the name of the murderer of her father : Cruz Castillo, who was in Baghdad at the same time as her father. The murderer is him. It is him who killed Charles Bedford.
Andrea confronts Cruz. This latter explains to her what happened during this mission. He was then working with Richard and they had received the order to eliminate a person, without knowing at first his identity. During this mission, he had to immediately have surgery on a boat and thus he was not able to participate in the mission. The murderer can only be Richard. This is what Andrea's new investigation allows to verify quickly.
From then on, nothing more seems to get opposed to the relation between Cain and Andrea, or even to the fact that this new couple becomes one of Eden and Cruz's close friends. Besides, they hurry to invite them at their wedding, which takes place a few days later.
storyline around the character of the Fox
and the murderer of Charles Bedford knew in the middle of the writing a change
of orientation. It is obvious that at first, the writers wanted Andrea to be
this spy capable of everything. But, the ambiguity of her relation with Cain
modified the plans and, very fast, it seemed obvious that if the character of
Andrea had to survive and stay in Santa Barbara, she could not be the Fox.
It was necessary to find a substitute to her, and it is Kathleen, sweet nurse,
who shouldered the role with a change of personality of the most surprising.
This storyline will have allowed us to travel (from Hawaii to Mexico), to position more, if it was necessary, Cruz as the great hero of the show, to join to the regular characters an upcoming couple (with perhaps the ulterior motive to substitute it for a moment for Eden and Cruz who would be weakened after their wedding), and to rehabilitate the character of Andrea, by making of her a strong, independent woman, equal of a man. This woman is reminiscent of the character of Eden. This storyline allowed a real transition, even a transfer of power between both couples.
Was it necessary to see at the time a fear on behalf of the writers not to be able of writing again storylines for the couple Eden and Cruz, once married ?
Text written for this site by Lilian