Season 7

Episode 715: “Thief Of Hearts”

Episode 715: “Thief Of Hearts”
Original Air Date:February 18, 2001
Written by::Jason Jersey
Directed by:Stuart Margolin
Produced by:

Martha Williamson
Jon Andersen
R.J. Visciglia, Jr.

Guest Cast:
Alice Dupree    Patti LuPone   
Corey  Paul Robert Santiago

11-year-old Corey Taylor is hanging out at the local newsstand when he spies a locket dangling near the cash register.  He steals the locket in plain view and runs off before anyone can catch him.  Alice Dupree, the newsstand attendant, contacts the police regarding the theft.  Monica arrives on the scene as the officer on duty to get all the information.  Alice gives Monica a photo of the culprit who was caught on her security camera as well as a sketch of the heart-shaped locket, which Alice describes as a priceless family heirloom given to her by her mother.

Monica pays a visit to Corey’s school and discovers that he’s an orphan with a heart condition.  But Alice remains unsympathetic, anxious to get her locket back.  Monica tracks Corey down at the local arcade and gives him the opportunity to return the locket on his own.  When he doesn’t show up, Alice is irritated with Monica’s trusting attitude.  It just confirms what she’s believed all along, that trust leads to disappointment.  Monica catches up with Corey at the arcade and spends some time getting to know him.  He explains what it’s like to live at the boys home, waiting for someone to adopt him.  He’s come close a couple times, but when they find out he’s got a heart defect, they change their minds.  Monica gives Corey a second chance to return the locket, but on his way there, some bullies rough him up and steal the locket.  Corey tries to explain this to Alice, but she doesn’t believe him.  Corey explains that he’s prayed for God to send him a mother and that he stole the locket so he would have a gift when the time comes.  Alice is unmoved until he collapses before her eyes.

Corey is rushed to the hospital.  Alice feels bad for him, but still considers herself the victim in all this.  Tess tells Alice to stop thinking of herself and go to the hospital and forgive Corey.  Monica notices that Alice is softening toward Corey and suggests that maybe God has already found a mother for Corey — Alice.  Alice doesn’t appreciate Monica’s meddling, but as she spends more time with Corey, Alice starts to consider the possibility of adopting.  But she’s still unsure that she has what it takes, feeling that she could never live up to being the kind of mom her own mother was to her.  But Tess encourages Alice to make the change.  Alice tells Corey the good news and he is elated.  Alice braces herself for all the legal red tape, but is amazed when things fall into place quickly.  Alice heads to the hospital with the final papers, but when she arrives, she finds that Corey has taken a turn for the worse.  Alice goes into a tailspin, unprepared to make the emotional commitment only to lose him.

Monica reveals herself to Alice as an angel, exposing the fact that Alice’s locket was not the cherished reminder of her mother she claimed it to be.  In fact, her mother was an abusive alcoholic who beat her.  Monica points out that Alice is a survivor, but that she hasn’t healed.  God wants her to learn what it’s like to love without fear.  With a renewed sense of purpose, Alice works up the courage to be the mother that Corey needs her to be.  Corey returns the locket to Alice, which now contains his own picture, and with his last breath, he is able to say the words he’s been waiting to say: “I love you, mom.”

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