If you were hoping to find out what happened after the last episode we saw, back in December, you're out of luck. This is that episode that was supposed to fall between "The Injured Party" and "The Summer House" (the one that was bumped by Barbara Walters' interview with Obama.
Anyway, this is the one in which Rena Sofer shows up and asks Clark all sorts of questions for a tell-all article she's writing about the Darlings for some tabloid. Clark basically narrates the whole episode, which ends up being a bunch of flashbacks and backstory bits about things we never really wondered about, and definitely don't wonder about at this point, since four more episodes have elapsed -- and everything has changed -- since this episode was supposed to air. Basically, we find out where Juliet is (at some island with her boyfriend), that Tripp was supposed to testify in a case against some mobsters he does business with, that Karen and Simon's wedding almost didn't happen because of Simon's 16-year-old son and ex-wife, and that Patrick plagiarized his biography. The reporter plans to run the plagiarism story only, since all of Clark's stories disproved what she'd found. But then he talks her out of it by promising to feed her the good stuff as it comes in. She agrees, and they shake on it. Then she leaves, and Clark is pleased with himself for feeding her so many lies. We watch as he looks at the wine bottle they were drinking, the tie he was wearing, the music on the piano, a newspaper. All have words on them that he used in his stories -- which were all a lie. Now I see why this episode being left out didn't mess with the continuity. It didn't advance the plot one bit, and I'm annoyed they even wasted resources on it.
There are no previouslies, either because so much happened on this show between when this episode was actually supposed to air (in late November) and now that previouslies wouldn't make sense, or because they realize it's futile since no one's going to be watching these burn-off episodes anyway. So, we jump right in with the New York City skyline. Then Rena Sofer is ringing the Darlings' doorbell. Clark answers, and she says she's "Kate Scott. Scandalous magazine." Well, at least they put it right out there in the title, right? Clark tries to brush her off, since the Darlings aren't home, but she sticks her foot in the closing door. Apparently the Darlings are away for Thanksgiving. Kate says she has a story about the Darlings and wants to check some facts. Clark tries to act like it's of no concern to the Darlings until she claims it's not a puff piece or pictures of Karen's "ya-yas." She says it's about family betrayal, criminal cover-ups, and murder. Clark pretends he's just the chauffer who doesn't see much, but she's not buying it. He reluctantly lets her in. She thinks the house is amazing, but he pretends it's just a family home. Wow, this is riveting. She says this will only take 20 minutes to an hour, and then starts recording and asking questions.
Her first question: She heard that before Letitia was arrested for Dutch's murder, the police were investigating someone else. Clark says they should have stayed focused on that person, since Letitia was found innocent. Kate says the other suspect was Tripp, but Clark says he was never under investigation, and she should check her sources. Kate says Patrick investigated his own father while he was attorney general, and the investigation mysteriously went away. Clark says she's half right. There was an investigation, but it wasn't about Dutch's murder. We go into a flashback in which Tripp's served a subpoena in "the Fantini Brothers case." Clark continues that Tripp needed the trial to go away, and the fact that it was brought by Patrick made it even more important.
In a fancy office, Nick says he can try to quash it, but Tripp says trying isn't good enough. He tells Nick and Brian he cannot walk into the courtroom. Brian wonders why, and Nick says, "They're mobsters, Brian." Tripp says their dealings with the Fantini brothers have always been above-board, and pristine, but if he's called to bear witness, the brothers will do everything in their power to make the court believe their corruption stems from the Darlings. Nick says he'll take care of it, then he sort of half-heartedly says "We," so that Brian doesn't feel left out.
The brothers (George, not Fantini) pay Patrick a visit in his office. They try to convince him to drop the case instead of having a lengthy trial, but Patrick says the Fantini brothers didn't want the plea deal he already offered. Brian jumps in screaming that Patrick needs to drop the case. Nick hushes him, and Patrick says asking him to do that is obstruction of justice. Brian asks him to drop the prissy tone since they're talking about their father. Patrick awesomely responds he can talk like Clint Eastwood if Brian would like, but his hands are tied as far as the case goes. Nick says we all know that Patrick is only going against the brothers (Fantini, not George or Darling) to hurt Tripp. Patrick ends the conversation and sends them out of his office.
Nick's doing something in his office when Brian barges in. Nick tells him he's called the judge's office, is waiting to hear on an injunction ruling, and now has to get home and see his daughter for dinner. Brian thinks it must be nice to accomplish nothing and go home with so much money. Nick says he's on it, but Brian says, actually, he's on it. He's going to Jersey to talk to the Fantini brothers and get them to make a deal. Nick wonders how Brian was ever a minister, and Brian asks him if he's ever read the Bible, because "It's full of aggravating people that get things done. Check it out." Clark goes on that when Brian gets an idea in his head...
And we're inside a strip club, apparently in Jersey, where Brian's meeting with some old gangster types. Brian asks them to make a deal and make this case go away. He says if they don't, they're going to end up rotting in his prison where they belong. He threatens to call Patrick to make sure they both go to jail for a long time. Clark narrates that he makes it policy to stay out of the family business, but Brian was in way over his head. He calls Nick, who heads to the strip joint. He's there only a couple seconds before he's talked the brothers into brokering the deal Brian couldn't. It's all about how much they trust Nick, simply because he's Dutch's son. That means so much coming from shady strip-club owners/gangsters. Clark ogles the strippers, and Nick has to call him twice to get him to leave. I'm not sure why Clark left that part in the story he's telling the hot reporter, but whatever.
Clark says that now all Nick had to do was to get Patrick to broker a deal that the Fantini brothers would accept. In this case, it involves Carmelita. Patrick had been having trouble with her: She'd flown the coop on Patrick's election night, so Nick tracked her down to get Patrick to cooperate. Nick mentions her name, and Patrick wants to know where to find her. Nick says he's not giving Patrick her number unless Patrick retracts the subpoena and makes the Fantini brothers a deal they'll accept. Patrick tells them they've sunk to a new low, using Carmelita, but he totally agrees to do it, and even signs Nick's statement saying he'll do it. Patrick wonders what's happened to Nick, but signs away.
Back in the "present" of the episode, which is now a month old in the context of the show, and eight months old in our lives (confused yet?), Clark says that was it, and would the pretty reporter please leave now. But she's not ready. She's been hearing some rumors about Ellen's death and Clark's involvement in a potential cover-up. Clark says it's ridiculous and she has no proof of anything. She says that's true, but if he doesn't cooperate, she'll make damn sure she finds some. But, you know, if he just feeds her some bullshit stories, she'll stop looking for proof. That's just the kind of high-quality reporter she is. Commercials.
Back with Clark and Rena Sofer. Apparently, she's blackmailed him into talking more. She says her next question is "Karen." He rightly says that's not a question. He pours her some champagne, since she's "parched." Rena says that she heard Karen almost broke off her engagement to Simon because of Nick. Clark says she did almost break it off, but it's back on now. Oh, and it had nothing to do with Nick. Clark says the ex stirring up trouble wasn't Nick.
We're farther in the past, where Karen and Simon are talking while they do yoga together. She is nervous about meeting Simon's 16-year-old son. They're going to have lunch the next day at 2 p.m. He says his ex-wife is going to cook for them, for Elon's sake and all. Karen obviously isn't happy about this, as she tells her mom later, as they eat ice cream in bed. Letitia thinks if Karen and Simon can overcome corporate espionage, they can talk this through. Karen calls Simon later and suggests it's just the three of them for lunch: Elon, Simon, and Karen, with no Alma. Simon agrees. At lunch the next day, Karen talks colleges with Elon. Then Alma walks in, looking just like Gina Torres. She's just there to return Elon's learner's permit, though. For some reason, this makes Elon run outside. Simon follows him, so it's just Karen and Alma. Karen tells her she's beautiful, but Alma says she's just here as the mother of Simon's child, but Karen's beautiful. Karen tells Alma she and Simon had sex three times that morning.
Karen was apparently mad after that, but Simon was still clueless. He calls her to invite her to brunch later. She says she could clear her schedule, but he says it's brunch with Alma. She