At the Brady Pub, Hope observed that she had never seen Ciara eat such a large breakfast before. Ciara explained that she needed fuel for her judo class. Hope mused that it seemed like Ciara was really focused because she had also woken up on her own early that morning so that she and Hope would have time to eat at the pub before the judo class began. Ciara matter-of-factly reasoned that it was important to be ready, prompting Hope to wonder what Ciara wanted to be ready for. "To give somebody a kick where it counts," Ciara replied.
At the Horton Town Square, Chase assured Aiden that he didn't mind attending an early-morning judo class because he loved judo. Aiden wondered if Chase was feeling any better about living in Salem. Chase shrugged and conceded that, while he still didn't like Salem, his judo class was cool. Aiden laughed and decided to accept that response as a small step in the right direction. Meanwhile, Aiden received a phone call, so he quickly pointed Chase toward what seemed to be the new venue for the judo class before walking away to answer the call.
A short time later, Chase emerged from the building after learning that the judo class was being held elsewhere. Chase called out to his father but didn't receive a response, so he retrieved his cell phone and started to call Aiden. Meanwhile, a passerby spotted Chase and, sensing an easy target, grabbed the boy from behind and ordered him to hand over the phone. Chase refused to comply and tried to defend himself against the mugger, and in the ensuing struggle, the man picked up Chase and threatened to break the boy's "scrawny neck."
As Chase screamed for help and tried to free himself from the mugger's grasp, Hope arrived and drew her gun on the man, ordering him to free and step away from the boy. The mugger futilely tried to claim that he and his son were simply having a disagreement, unaware that Hope and Chase knew each other. After making sure that Chase was all right, Hope handcuffed the mugger and called the police station to ask them to send someone to the town square to pick up the man. Meanwhile, Aiden returned and was shocked to hear Hope tell the police station operator that "some lowlife" had just tried to mug a little boy.
A short time later, a police officer arrived to transport the mugger to the police station, and Aiden promised that the man would never be able to hurt Chase again. Aiden offered to let Chase skip school that day so that they could do something fun together instead, but Chase still wanted to attend his judo class, especially after spotting a friend entering the correct building that would be housing the class for the foreseeable future. Aiden was reluctant to allow that after what had just happened, but he changed his mind after Chase pointed out that Aiden was always saying that Chase needed to learn how to defend himself.
After Chase left, Aiden thanked Hope for saving Chase earlier. "This was my fault, you know? This was my fault. See, from day one, I -- I -- I've told my son, you know, to stand up for yourself, you know? To fight back. Which is no surprise to you -- everything that happened with your daughter and those other kids at school, right? I just never taught him when to use judgment, 'cause sometimes -- sometimes it's a matter of survival not to fight. You know, maybe he wouldn't have his phone right now, but...he wouldn't have been in danger, and I did that. I -- I -- I -- I put him there. The worst things can happen in the blink of an eye. If anything was to happen to him, too -- I mean, he's my son. I just want to protect him, you know? He's -- he's my life," Aiden said, his voice shaking as he spoke.
Aiden apologized for lashing out at Hope after she had overheard part of his conversation with Chase the previous day, admitting that it had been rude and downright cruel. Hope assured Aiden that it was okay and that she had heard worse in her life. "Not -- not from me. And you're not gonna hear me talk like that again. I mean, quite frankly, I've been wrong about you from the start. I judged you without even trying to get to know you. I just want you to know, today, you know -- my -- my opinion has changed," Aiden replied. Hope started to say something, but Aiden stopped her and asked her to let him finish first.
"I'm not trying to say that we're suddenly two different people standing here, but I do have this newfound respect for you, and, uh -- well, whether or not you'll forgive me for what I said to you yesterday...I would like you to accept my apology," Aiden sincerely added. Hope accepted Aiden's apology and assured him that things between them were good. Aiden thanked Hope for her understanding, and she checked her watch as she changed the subject, noting that the judo class would soon be ending.
As Hope and Aiden waited for their kids to return, he suggested that he and Hope might be able to work together on St. Luke's Academy's future fundraising efforts after all. Aiden explained that, while he still had a desire to help the school raise money, Father Louis had made it quite clear that he didn't want Aiden to handle the project alone because Aiden didn't have the extensive connections that Hope had. Hope evasively offered to put Aiden in contact with some of the other wonderful parents who were also longtime residents of Salem and were therefore similarly equipped to team up with him and offer the connections that he lacked.
"No, no, no, no -- I want to work with you. I want to get to know you better. What do you say?" Aiden asked. Hope agreed, and she and Aiden shook hands to seal the deal. Meanwhile, Ciara rushed over to Hope and excitedly revealed that she had mastered the uchi mata earlier. Hope uncertainly congratulated Ciara, and Aiden explained that the move was a grab-and-pull technique. Hope asked about Chase, and Ciara reported that he had stayed behind so that the judo instructor could spend a few minutes helping him work on his front kick.
Ciara said that Chase had told her about what had happened earlier, and she raved that Hope was a hero. Hope humbly objected that she had simply done what any other parent would have done, but Aiden agreed with Ciara's assessment of the situation. Ciara demonstrated one of her judo techniques and wondered if Hope had used a similar technique on the bad guy, but Hope laughed and explained that she had simply used her badge instead. Hope picked Ciara up and hugged her, praising her for the perfectly executed judo move, and Aiden smiled as he watched the interaction.
At the park, J.J. and Paige paused for a moment during their run to catch their breath. J.J., who was sweating, observed that Paige still looked perfect after a two-mile run, and he wondered what her secret was. When Paige protested that she wasn't perfect, J.J. agreed and reached out to correct the one flaw that he could find -- a single strand of hair that was out of place. J.J. tucked the strand of hair behind Paige's ear, and his hand lingered on her cheek for a few seconds afterward.
Paige eventually ended the moment with a reminder that she and J.J. were going to be late for school. J.J. invited Paige to hang out with him at his place later that day, explaining that he would simply be working on music after school until it was time to attend to his community service duties. Paige was excited about the prospect of being right next to J.J. when he was playing his guitar instead of having to listen from afar, but the assumption that he would be willing to play something for her seemed to make him a bit nervous. As J.J. started to stammer out a response, Marybeth arrived and demanded to know if he was harassing Paige again.
J.J. advised Marybeth to mind her own business, but she ignored him and pulled Paige aside to give her a lecture. "Your rep is gonna be in the trash! You can't hang out with that criminal. I don't care how cute he is -- you need to ditch him, like, now," Marybeth insisted. Paige said that she knew what she was doing and didn't want to fight with Marybeth about the matter. Marybeth didn't appreciate her "best friend's" dismissive response to her advice, and she maintained that J.J. was bad news and that Paige could wind up with a criminal record due to her association with him. Marybeth dramatically added that she was simply trying to help Paige save her own life, and she stormed off after sarcastically wishing Paige luck.
After Marybeth left, Paige rejoined J.J., who had occupied himself with some stretches nearby during Marybeth's lecture. Paige tried to apologize for Marybeth's behavior, but J.J. insisted that it wasn't necessary for Paige to do that, adding that he had already known what Marybeth was like before that particular encounter. Paige excused herself so that she could change her clothes and get ready for school, but before leaving, she asked if she would see J.J. later that day, and he happily confirmed that she would. J.J. watched as Paige walked away, oblivious to the fact that Rory and Bev were watching him from a short distance away.
"You know what, Bev? You're not gonna like it, but you're dead right about J.J. -- he's totally into Paige Larson, and she's into him just as bad," Rory quietly but confidently observed. J.J. and Paige's interest in each other seemed to amuse Rory, but Bev clearly didn't feel the same way about the situation. "That bitch has got him so turned around, it's pathetic. And they're not even right for each other!" Bev complained after J.J. left. Rory doubted that J.J. would agree, so Bev shrugged and reasoned that she would simply have to change J.J.'s mind.
Intrigued, Rory wondered how Bev planned to accomplish that goal. "By making Paige see how wrong he is for her," Bev replied. Rory grinned and raved that Bev could be really smart about stuff sometimes -- like knowing how to get exactly what she wanted -- and she agreed that she was indeed clever in that respect.
Theresa was disappointed when Brady opened the front door of the Kiriakis mansion to greet her, since he had sent her a text message the previous night to inform her that he would be going out of town to take care of a work-related matter. Theresa observed that it seemed like Brady had never actually left Salem, and she wondered if he was really just gearing up to dump her. Confused, Brady wondered what had given Theresa that impression.
"When we made love, Brady, it was...incredible, okay? And I've never been so happy -- so deep into it -- and I just -- the thing is, is when I really start to like some guy, we, uh -- we hit the bedroom, and then...I'm history. Just -- he walks. So...are you gonna walk, too?" Theresa asked. Brady clarified that he had left Salem the previous night and had returned a short time before Theresa had arrived at the mansion earlier. Brady assured Theresa that he wasn't trying to blow her off or dump her, adding that he liked being with her and didn't care whether anyone else in Salem believed that being with her was a good idea.
Theresa laughed and admitted that she had just made a complete fool of herself and could be such an idiot sometimes. Brady disagreed and asked Theresa to stop putting herself down, and as he kissed her, she playfully stated that the one thing that she wasn't going to stop doing was having fun, since she was great at that, and Brady was, too. Theresa started to suggestively offer to go somewhere with Brady so that they could have some fun together, but before Brady could respond, he spotted Maggie entering the living room.
As Maggie approached the bar and started to pour herself a cup of coffee, she expressed her disappointment that Brady had not yet found himself a new source of amusement, prompting Theresa to wonder if she had just been compared to a movie. Meanwhile, Brady received a phone call and excused himself to answer it, leaving Theresa alone with Maggie.
Maggie suggested that Brady's departure from the room should have been Theresa's cue to leave the mansion entirely, and Theresa feigned shock at the realization that Maggie didn't want her to stick around. "Oh, but, by the way, Maggie...I heard what you've been doing -- badmouthing me all over town -- and I just wanted to say thank you. You know, Maggie, the great thing about Brady is...the more you tell him not to hook up with me, the more he wants to. So thanks," Theresa added.
"Oh, I see -- reverse psychology. Is that what you think this is about? Well, here's a newsflash, Theresa -- he's not with you because he wants to go against everyone who's telling him not to. No, he's lost -- horribly -- and with you just flitting around -- his little drinking buddy, easy sex, late-night games -- he doesn't have to face that fact," Maggie countered. Meanwhile, Brady returned, cleared his throat, and wondered if everything was all right. Theresa confirmed that it was, and after urging Brady to contact her later so that they could hook up, she abruptly excused herself.
Later, Maggie wondered if she could ask Brady a question -- one that had nothing to do with alcohol or Alcoholics Anonymous. When Brady didn't object, Maggie admitted that she simply didn't understand why he had chosen to get involved with Theresa, of all people. Maggie acknowledged that Theresa was attractive, but she added that there were plenty of other attractive women in the world and that Brady, as a very handsome guy, could just as easily get those other women to pay attention to him instead. Maggie insisted that Theresa was a tragedy waiting to happen, and Brady agreed that Maggie might be right about Theresa.
Brady assured Maggie that he was quite aware of the fact that many of his loved ones were concerned about his involvement with Theresa. "But here's the thing, Maggie -- here's the thing that she has going for her that no one else does. Every person in this town -- every coworker, every peer, every family member -- they all knew Kristen. They all knew what she did to me. They all knew how she betrayed me. They all watched her make a fool out of me. Everyone...except Theresa," Brady explained.
Brady's reasoning seemed to surprise Maggie. "I get it. I get it, okay? I know who she is; I know what she is. Self-involved doesn't begin to describe her. But...she doesn't give a damn about Kristen, Maggie, or what she did to me. Theresa doesn't ask me why my life is so screwed up all the time. She -- she doesn't pity me. Maggie, I got to tell you, that is -- that is the best gift anyone can give me right now," Brady elaborated.
After failing to catch Nicole before she left her hotel room, Eric tracked her down at Club TBD, knowing that she went there every morning to get a cup of coffee. Eric said that he had something important and life-changing to tell Nicole and that, while it was going to be difficult for him to find the words to do so, it was something that needed to be dealt with right away. Eric started to say something else, but Nicole interrupted and impatiently stated that she didn't have time to talk to him because she only had a small window of opportunity to catch Seth Burns at the hospital. Nicole abruptly walked away, and Eric chased after her when she ignored his attempts to stop her.
At the Horton house, Jennifer and Abe were trying to decide the best date to have a party at the hospital in honor of Lexie. Jennifer was certain that the hospital staff members would all be thrilled to participate, since Lexie had been a beloved colleague. Abe agreed and admitted that, while he still missed Lexie terribly, he was thinking about moving on with his life and wanted to talk to Jennifer about the matter.
Abe reported that, while Maxine was a nice lady, he had found himself feeling guilty about having a good time with her at Will and Sonny's wedding. Jennifer understood and admitted that she knew that feeling very well. Jennifer explained that a lot of people believed that she had handled a lot of things the wrong way after Jack's death, prompting Abe to make it clear that he was not one of those people.
"I just think they expect a widow to let a certain amount of time pass, and...I just knew what I felt for Daniel was right...even though the guilt was just popping up every day -- and probably because we did move a little too fast," Jennifer acknowledged. Abe pointed out that the memories of and the love for Jack and Lexie were still there and would never go away, and Jennifer agreed. "You can never, ever replace Lexie, no matter what happens. You're just simply living the life that you have now, and now is all we've got," Jennifer summarized, and Abe nodded and thanked her for the advice.
After drinking a protein shake, Daniel left his apartment and went to the hospital to get ready for his scheduled early-morning surgery. Maxine tried to strike up a brief conversation with Daniel, but he yawned throughout the conversation, making her somewhat concerned. Daniel approached the nearby coffee station as he assured Maxine that he would be fine after getting some caffeine in his system. Meanwhile, Liam lurked nearby and watched with amusement. Daniel drained his coffee cup and walked away after confirming Maxine's suspicion that it had given him the boost he had needed to be able to conquer the world -- or, at least, perform a double bypass.
Elsewhere, Anne found Nicole in one of the break rooms and informed her that Seth Burns was too busy to see her that morning. Nicole protested that she simply needed Seth to sign off on and provide her with a couple of promised quotes for a story about the hospital that she was working on. "Okay. Well, I will see that he gets this, and then, if he signs it, I'll return it to you...when it's convenient," Anne dismissively stated as she snatched a document from Nicole's hand. Nicole wasn't happy with that arrangement, insisting that she wanted to personally deliver the document to Seth, but Anne didn't seem to care, and she walked away with the document after insulting Nicole's outfit.
When Nicole entered the waiting area a short time later, she was on the phone with Miles, complaining about the "bitch" in the human resources department. As soon as Nicole ended the call, Liam approached and greeted her, and when she didn't immediately recognize him, he reminded her that they had met a few nights earlier at a roadside rest stop. Liam tried to engage in a round of small talk with Nicole, musing that her job as a television reporter was probably really fascinating, but she pointedly stated that the downside was that perfect strangers often felt that they had the right to approach and talk to her just because she was a public figure.
Liam took the hint and excused himself so that Nicole could get back to what she had been doing before he had interrupted her. After Liam left, Nicole asked Maxine to give Seth a message about Nicole's desire to reschedule her meeting with Seth that had been canceled earlier that morning. Eric arrived in time to hear Nicole's request, and he concluded that there was no longer anything stopping him and Nicole from having the conversation he had wanted to have with her earlier that day. Nicole tried to clarify that she was still too busy to talk to Eric, but he refused to be ignored a second time, insisting that the matter was too important to postpone any longer.
Eric dragged Nicole to a secluded section of the town square, where he reminded her that he had joined the priesthood because the church had saved him and restored meaning to his life after the horrors that he had witnessed in Africa. Eric pointed out that the church had also provided him and Nicole with a connection that had been the basis of most of the time that they had spent together since his return to Salem. Eric admitted that he wasn't sure that he could simply sweep all of that aside. Eric added that, while getting married in the church was something that was very important to him, he was terribly sorry if he had pushed that desire on her and made her unhappy in the process, because he never wanted her to be unhappy.
Nicole sighed impatiently, grabbed a tissue from her purse, braced herself for the bad news that was sure to follow, and urged Eric to just put her out of her misery already. "Nicole, you know that my faith means a great deal to me. As much as I've come to realize that's true, I can't imagine my life without you in it. I love you...as much as I know you love me. I want you to marry me...if you'll have me. Even if the church doesn't give us their blessing," Eric said.
Stunned, Nicole wondered if Eric was absolutely certain about his decision, admitting that, while she was selfish and wanted everything to go exactly the way that she wanted it to go -- which, in that particular case, meant being able to marry him -- she knew that his faith was much more important than her and that he wanted to stay close to the church. Eric assured Nicole that he was positive and that he wasn't going to let anything keep them apart ever again.
Eric reasoned that, after doing a lot of praying about the matter, he had reached the conclusion that God wouldn't have given him romantic feelings for Nicole unless God wanted him to commit himself to her. Eric assured Nicole that being together was the right thing for both of them, and she tearfully admitted that she had never truly believed that she would hear him say those words. Eric added that he knew that God no longer wanted him to be a priest, since no evidence had ever been found that could clear his name and make that possible again.
Nicole was overjoyed and told Eric that he had just given her the only thing she had ever wanted, but she quickly regained her senses and realized that, as she expected that Daniel would be sure to tell them himself in the near future, they couldn't rush things. "Plus, we don't want to steal any thunder from E.J. and Sami's wedding," Nicole jokingly added as Eric wrapped his arms around her and said that they were going to first focus on the most important thing -- their love and the planning of their future, which would involve spending the rest of their lives together.
Eric and Nicole happily kissed each other a few times before he reluctantly excused himself so that he could get to work, promising to contact her later so that they could have lunch together. After Eric left, Nicole struggled to contain her excitement as she retrieved her cell phone from her purse so that she could contact Daniel and tell him the good news, but she ultimately changed her mind and decided to just visit him at his apartment instead.
In one of the operating rooms at the hospital, a nurse and an assisting surgeon each observed that Daniel was acting a bit odd, but he assured them that he was fine and was ready to perform the surgery. However, when Daniel gripped a scalpel and prepared to make his first incision, he realized that he wasn't fine at all, and he abruptly placed the assisting surgeon in charge of the surgery before stumbling out of the room.
A short time later, Liam lurked outside a break room and gleefully watched as Daniel, who was sprawled out on a couch, trembled as he told Maxine that he had to get back to his patient right away. Liam crept away as Maxine, who was getting blood samples from Daniel, reported that she had heard approximately two minutes earlier that the assisting surgeon was handling the surgery on his own without any complications. Meanwhile, Jennifer arrived and said that she had just heard that Daniel had been forced to leave the operating room. Jennifer wondered what was wrong with Daniel, who replied that he wished that he knew the answer to that question.
After Maxine left to deliver the blood samples to the laboratory, Daniel told Jennifer about what had happened earlier. Jennifer suspected that Daniel might have contracted some sort of virus, but he feared that something much more serious might have occurred, and he extended his trembling hands as he wondered if his tremors had suddenly returned. Jennifer grasped and helped Daniel steady his hands, pointing out that they could simply be trembling because he was upset. Jennifer reminded Daniel that the doctor who had treated his tremors had said that they would never return, but Daniel no longer knew if he could trust that doctor's original diagnosis.
Daniel admitted that what he remembered the most about that trying time in his life was that Jennifer had been with him every step of the way. Jennifer assured Daniel that she was also going to be with him every step of the way during his latest struggle and that they were going to be just fine. Jennifer released Daniel's hands from her grasp, and he breathed a sigh of relief as he realized that they had stopped trembling. Jennifer once again theorized that there was a simple explanation for Daniel's condition, such as food poisoning or an allergic reaction to something, but he told her that the only thing he had consumed that day was a protein drink he had made himself.
Elsewhere, Theresa entered the waiting area as Abe and Maxine were talking about what had happened to Daniel earlier. Intrigued, Theresa lurked nearby so that she could eavesdrop. Abe received an important phone call and had to excuse himself so that he could answer it, but shortly after he left, Eric arrived and asked Maxine about the matter, which he had overheard people talking about when he had entered the hospital. Maxine admitted that, while no one knew exactly what had happened to Daniel yet, it was obvious that something bad had happened to him. "Good," Theresa happily muttered.
Back in the break room where Daniel had been recovering, a lab technician informed him and Jennifer that Kayla would soon be arriving. The technician somewhat smugly revealed that Daniel's symptoms weren't the result of a virus, an infection, or an allergic reaction, prompting Daniel and Jennifer to wonder what had caused the symptoms. "Dr. Jonas, you had fifteen milligrams of Dilaudid in your system," the technician revealed before handing Daniel the lab report and walking away. Jennifer vaguely recognized the name of the drug, and Daniel confirmed that it was an opiate -- a painkiller.
"Well, well, well...our own Dr. Jonas -- oh, he of the stellar reputation -- turns out to be a prescription drug abuser. Wow, I -- I just -- I wonder -- I wonder what Public Relations is gonna do with that one. You got any ideas, Jenny?" Anne, who had been eavesdropping in the doorway, asked as she entered the room.
In Daniel's apartment, Liam swapped a brand-new bottle of orange juice for the spiked bottle, pouring some of the new bottle's contents in the sink so that the levels of the two containers roughly matched each other. Liam stuffed the spiked bottle in his briefcase before turning his attention to the only glass that was on Daniel's rack of recently used dishes. It seemed like Daniel had already cleaned the glass after using it, but Liam rinsed it again with soap before placing it back where he had found it. Satisfied that he had left no trace of his presence behind, Liam grinned and wondered how things were going at the hospital.
Liam exited the apartment and waited for the elevator to arrive, but when it did, he was shocked to see that Nicole was aboard.