Roman entered the courtroom where Kristen's bail hearing was about to begin and took a seat next to Melinda Trask just as Judge Thorpe banged his gavel. Trask reiterated her objection to bail, pointing out that Ms. DiMera was a proven flight risk. Trask continued that the charges against the defendant included flight from prosecution, and the police had spent considerable resources over the previous ten months trying to find and capture the defendant. Trask concluded that the defendant would use the vast resources of the DiMera family to flee the jurisdiction. She urged the judge to deny bail.
Don Lerner, Kristen's lawyer, announced that Kristen would like to address the court, and the judge cleared it. Addressing Judge Thorpe, Kristen insisted that she had been on her way back to Salem when she'd been abducted and taken there. She continued that she couldn't wait for everyone to hear the truth, especially the people she cared about, most of whom lived in Salem. "On my word, I have no intention of going anywhere," Kristen attested.
Judge Thorpe reminded Trask that bail was structured to provide incentive to ensure that defendants showed up for trial. Trask argued that the DiMeras' wealth and connections made it impossible to set a financial incentive to deter flight. "Your objection is noted for the record. Bail is set at one million dollars, cash only. The defendant is required to surrender her passport. She will be fitted with a tracking device," Judge Thorpe declared, banging his gavel to conclude the proceedings. Roman leaned over to Melinda and whispered, "Stefano bought that judge."
While Kristen was waiting for her ankle monitor, Roman perched on the edge of the table and asked how she'd managed to buy the judge. Kristen noted that perhaps the judge had simply seen that she had returned to Salem of her own free will. Observing that E.J. hadn't shown up, Roman said, "He did Sami his word that he was done with you." With a shrug, Kristen remarked, "Well, we all make promises, don't we? Sometimes, they're just so darn hard to keep."
A little later, a uniformed cop secured the monitor to Kristen's ankle. He warned her that she would be arrested if she attempted to remove the device. Lerner arrived after Kristen's bail check had cleared and handed her an envelope containing her belongings. Kristen grabbed it eagerly and fished out her phone. "Now that I'm free, I know exactly where I want to go," she said.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady was on the phone, trying to reach a specialist about John. The doctor's assistant finally put Brady through to Dr. Aquino. Brady offered to fly the doctor to Salem by private jet, but the doctor wouldn't even listen to Brady's pleas.
At the hospital, Daniel arrived at the nurses' station as Anne was reading Will's article on her tablet and doing a happy dance. Daniel guessed that Anne was celebrating because they'd cancelled Christmas. As she handed the tablet to Daniel, Anne told him that her suspicions that there had been something "fishy" about Abigail's resignation had been correct. "Abigail Deveraux was E.J. DiMera's secret lover. Someone has been very naughty!" Anne gloated in a singsong voice, just as Theresa rounded the corner.
Theresa looked worried until she heard what Anne and Daniel were actually talking about. "You dance on people's graves for exercise, don't you?" Daniel grumbled as he handed the tablet back to Anne. After Daniel walked off, Anne spotted Theresa and excitedly asked if she had read the article. Anne bragged that she Sami Brady had asked her about the hospital's morality policy, so Anne had actually had a hand in taking down "that prissy, sanctimonious little prig." Anne wondered why Theresa hadn't joined her in rubbing it in Daniel's face, but Theresa said she couldn't care less about Daniel.
Although she didn't think Jennifer was there, Anne suggested that they check Jennifer's office to make sure she had read the article. Theresa insisted that she had too much to do, and besides, she didn't feel like piling on to Abigail. Brady showed up just then and overheard. When asked what was going on with Abigail. A few minutes later, Anne had gone and Brady had finished reading the article, which he proclaimed "a train wreck."
Theresa explained that she had declined to rub it in because she knew how it felt to be gossiped about, and Brady thanked her for that. As he got out his phone to send text messages to Sami, Jennifer, and Abigail, he declared that none of them had deserved that article. Theresa asked if E.J. had deserved it, and Brady asserted that E.J. deserved whatever he got. Observing that Brady seemed stressed and distracted, Theresa asked if it were because of Kristen.
Brady insisted that he wasn't worried about Kristen because she was in jail. He explained that the leading expert in coma recovery had refused to even look at John, because after reviewing the charts and talking to the other doctors, the doctor felt there was no hope. Theresa expressed her sympathy and reassured Brady that he'd done everything he could have to get John back. After advising Theresa that the annulment papers should arrive soon, Brady announced that he was going for a run to clear his head. "At least John Black's never waking up," Theresa muttered bitterly after Brady had gone.
When Abigail returned to the Horton house, Jennifer told her that family members had been calling to check on Abigail. Abigail said that she would return the messages after the two of them wrote a press release about the article. With Jennifer's help, Abigail wrote, "The legacy of the DiMeras speaks for itself... Anyone who knows E.J. and Samantha as well as I do would certainly agree that they are absolutely meant for each other." When the doorbell rang, Jennifer warned Abigail not to answer it without checking to see who was there first.
Abigail was surprised to find Daniel on the doorstep. "I couldn't stay away... I wanted to make sure you're okay," he explained. Abigail acknowledged that she was so embarrassed that it was hard to face the people she respected. Daniel reassured Abigail that the people who really knew her wouldn't judge her, and the scandal would probably blow over in a week or two. With a comforting hug, Daniel urged Abigail to remember that she had people who cared about her. When Abigail's phone chimed, she said that she'd gotten a lot of voice and text messages, half of which had been from Will.
Abigail headed back into the living room and said that she had to go deal with Will. She promised to go out the back and avoid the press. Jennifer said that she would send out the press release right away. There was a moment of awkwardness after Abigail had gone until Jennifer asked how Daniel was. Touching his bruised ribs, Daniel assured Jennifer that he was fine, and he thanked her for rescuing him. The doorbell rang again, and Daniel volunteered to take care of any reporters who might be there while Jennifer finished sending out the press release.
Jennifer was sitting at her computer when Daniel returned from the door a moment later and declared that he'd gotten rid of the reporters by boring them with a "no comment." Chuckling, a pleased Jennifer said that she was already getting a positive response from the press release. Daniel pulled up a chair next to her to read what she'd written. He told her that she was very good at her job. Looking at Daniel intently, Jennifer fretted, "We both know what Kristen is capable of, and you could have been killed."
Daniel reminded her that everything had worked out, and that Kristen would have to face what she'd done to Eric. Jennifer berated herself for believing that Kristen had been her friend. Daniel urged Jennifer not to beat herself up, and he reminded her that Kristen was very good at manipulation. He added that Kristen had wanted to be Jennifer's friend, and Jennifer's opinion had mattered a great deal to Kristen. Daniel headed out somewhat abruptly, but before he closed the door behind himself, Jennifer thanked him for stopping by.
A little later, Anne arrived with a box of Abigail's things from her office at the hospital. Anne began to say something negative about Jennifer missing work, but Jennifer asserted that she would be at work first thing the next morning. "Really? So you're ready to hear what everyone is saying about your little principessa? Jennifer declared that she was and always would be proud of her daughter.
"She made a mistake and she has taken responsibility for that mistake because she's a decent young woman, and she has nothing to be ashamed of," Jennifer asserted. "Of course! What was I thinking? It's so very admirable to sleep with someone else's fiancÚ," Anne remarked snidely. Jennifer maintained that Anne, who fed on other people's misery and loved to stir up trouble by hurting people, should be ashamed. She slammed the door in Anne's face.
Theresa was telling a nurse that she hoped Brady would be able to find some peace after John was moved to a long-term care facility. Daniel expressed skepticism that Theresa knew what Brady was feeling. Theresa snapped that she had just talked to Brady so she was more attuned to what he was thinking than Daniel was. "And, by the way, not really a fan of the third degree, so how about you and I go back to our lovely policy of staying the hell away from each other?" Theresa added. Daniel wondered what had happened to change Theresa's mood since he'd last seen her. Theresa warned him, "You know who else you might want to avoid? Jennifer and her family. That is one hot mess of a scandal."
Brady stopped in the park during his run to catch his breath. He removed his earbuds, peeled off his shirt, and sat on a bench, wiping away sweat with the shirt. Just then, Kristen showed up, and she stood there beaming at a stunned Brady.
A livid E.J. barged into Will and Sonny's apartment to confront Will about the article, but Will asserted that every word he'd written had been true. E.J. pointed out that Will had gotten information from E.J. under the guise of helping Sami and E.J. reconcile. "You knew I was a writer," Will reminded E.J., who countered that Will had not been a journalist before. E.J. continued that ethical journalists let people know when they were on the record. "What you did was treacherous to the core. You're a disgusting little snake," E.J. growled through gritted teeth.
Will tried to order E.J. to leave, but E.J. made himself comfortable on the couch. Will emphasized that he'd been given an assignment to write about his mom, E.J., and what had happened, and he'd thought the readers deserved the truth. E.J. asked if Will even knew where Johnny and Sydney were, but Will maintained that E.J. had shielded the children from much worse. E.J. said that the moment Sami had heard about the article, she'd made sure to protect them -- the same way she and Lucas had always protected Will.
Will argued that his parents had been at war over him for years. E.J. reminded Will that Sami had stolen evidence to keep Will from going to prison, and that Lucas had gone to prison for the crime that Will had committed -- and that Will could still go to prison for it. Will insisted that it didn't excuse his mom's behavior give her the right to destroy Abigail. E.J. countered that Will had done a pretty good job of that with the article. Will insisted that he had shielded Abigail's identity in the article. He stunned E.J. with the news that Sami had given Abigail's name to the editor.
Will pointed out that if he had told the real story of Sami and E.J.'s relationship, Sami could have gone to prison for attempted murder. "Not without my testimony," E.J. countered. Will declared that Sami and E.J. were both crazy. "If you two had just kept it to yourselves, I might have backed off, because you two...you two deserve each other," Will asserted. He reiterated his order for E.J. to leave. E.J. mused, "And what about the consequences, William?"
Will asserted that what they were talking was about an article in a magazine, not life and death. E.J. declared that Will actions had appalled and disgusted him, because Will had shown no consideration for whom he might hurt, especially his own brother and sisters. "You can say what you like about me. I put my family first. You, evidently, do not. I wonder if whatever awards and accolades you get for this article will be worth the deadly price you are likely going to have to pay," E.J. added before he left.
Abigail was walking through Horton Square when E.J. spotted her. He grabbed her by the arm and whisked her to the park outside the gates. E.J. acknowledged that there had probably been repercussions from the article for Abigail. She calmly insisted that she was already bored with it, but E.J. didn't buy it. He urged her to let people believe the assumption that he had been the aggressor. Abigail refused, declaring that she had known exactly what she'd been doing, and she needed neither E.J.'s sympathy nor his help.
At the DiMera mansion, Sonny confronted Sami about what she'd done to Will. Sami pointed out what Will had done to her, to Kate, to his brother and sisters, to E.J., and to the business. When Sonny mentioned Abigail, Sami warned him, "[If] one more person talks to me about poor little Abby, I swear to God, my head is going to explode!" Sonny criticized Sami for not warning Will that she'd given Abigail's name to Will's editor. Sami countered that Will hadn't warned her about the article to give her a chance to shield his siblings from the fallout. Sonny complained that Sami was going after Abigail but giving E.J. a pass.
Sami reminded Sonny that she had gotten E.J. arrested and taken over his company. "I'm burning E.J. to the ground," Sami declared. Sonny maintained that E.J. had seduced Abigail. Sami argued that Abigail was a grown woman who'd known full well what she'd been doing and who had not cared who got hurt. Sonny accused Sami of destroying Abigail's life. Sami pointed out that Abigail had merely lost an entry-level position at the hospital -- and Abigail was the one who'd broken the hospital's rules. Sonny argued that Will had written the article to stop Sami from going even further with her revenge.
"What Will did is so much more damaging to Abby than anything that I did. He put this in motion, Sonny," Sami contended. Sonny acknowledged that he knew that, but he maintained that someone else would have written the article if Will hadn't. Sami quietly pointed out that Will had gotten details and insider information that no one else would have been able to get because they had all trusted him. "He had that knife because we gave it to him, and then he used it to stab me in the back," Sami said.
Marlena arrived just then and asked to speak privately with Sami. As Sonny left, Sami urged him gently, "Be there for Will. This is only going to get worse." While the phone rang incessantly in the background, Marlena joked, "What's new?" Marlena noted that she hadn't known a lot of the information in the article, and she wondered why Sami hadn't gone to her. Sami pointed out that Marlena had a lot on her plate with John in a coma and Kristen back in town, plus Sami hadn't wanted to hear how foolish she'd been to marry E.J. or what an innocent victim Abigail was.
Marlena said that she was very sorry about everything that had happened. She guessed that Sami had known about E.J.'s affair but had married him anyway. "Yes. Everything Will wrote in that article is the truth, so thank you for stopping by, Mom," Sami said quietly. Marlena asked how she could help Sami. Grasping her mom's hand, Sami declared confidently, "I've got this. But if I want to hold together the shreds of my life, I'm going to have to answering taking these calls." Marlena reassured her daughter, "I will be here if I can help in any way at all." Nodding at her mom, Sami finally silenced the ringing phone by answering it, and Marlena left.
A little while later, Marlena went to the apartment to see Will, who told her that she was too late if she'd wanted to chew him out and call him a "reckless idiot." Marlena said that she only wanted to understand how Will could have hurt his mother, Kate, and Abigail by writing the article. Will insisted that everything he'd written was true, but Marlena didn't understand why he'd made it public. Will explained that he had tried to talk to his mom about what she'd been doing, but she'd been determined to destroy E.J. and Abigail. "Someone had to stand up to her and tell her 'no', because clearly you never did," Will concluded.
Will quickly apologized, but Marlena understood that he'd merely been feeling attacked so he was lashing out. Will explained that he'd felt the only way to stop his mom was by doing something big. "Something like the cover of TruVista with your name on it?" Marlena wondered. Will asked if that were really what she thought of him, but she asserted that none of it made sense to her. Will admitted that he'd wanted to create something that he could be proud of.
"I got the cover with my very first article, and not one person near me has had one thing nice to say about it," he complained. Marlena acknowledged, "We can't talk about this. Maybe it's just too soon." Changing the subject, Will asked about John, but Marlena said that John was the same. Will was hopeful that Marlena would get some good news soon. Without another word between them, Marlena left.
At the Brady Pub a little later, Roman thanked Marlena for meeting him and explained that he'd wanted to talk to her in person. "It's about Kristen," Roman began.
On the phone with Sonny later, Will proudly said that the response to his article had been so great that the website had even crashed once, and Zoe had gotten a call from two local news stations to interview him once the story had gone national. Will added that he was meeting with Zoe the next morning to go over some of his new story ideas. "That's great," Sonny said without much enthusiasm. Will noted that he would be able to pitch more in toward rent bills soon.
As Sonny was insisting that he didn't care about that, Will suddenly had to hang up because there was someone at the door. Will opened it and found Abigail outside.
Sami continued answering and returning one phone call after another, pacing around the living room as she tried to convince the board that everything with her and E.J. was fine, and that her son's editor had had blown the story completely out of proportion. As the stress began to get to her, Sami poured herself a glass of whiskey. She hung up from a particularly stressful phone call and took a drink while she blinked back tears of frustration. She turned and saw E.J. standing in the living room, glaring at her. Sami reluctantly told her husband, "I thought I had it handled. I had warned them, but the entire board is freaking out. Everybody wants to talk to you, and everything is falling apart. You have to help me."