Lexie stopped by to see if Hope had any news on Ciara and Theo's whereabouts. Lexie blamed Hope for the kids being missing. Hope said that she and Bo knew what Ciara had been through, and they were working it out. She said that Ciara thought that Ciara was the reason Hope and Bo were having problems, and Hope wished Ciara had said something. Lexie asked when -- between Bo's relationship with Carly and Hope being sent to jail -- Ciara was supposed to tell Hope that she had a problem. Abe interrupted them and told them that they might have a lead on the kids.
Abe said that a landscaper had been working on Hope's neighbor's yard and had seen the kids hanging out near the landscaper's truck. When the neighbor arrived, Hope asked the neighbor to accompany her while she informed Bo. Abe left with the neighbor, and Lexie apologized for saying hurtful things to Hope. Hope understood why Lexie was so angry, and Lexie said she knew how hard Hope and Bo had worked to keep Ciara's world from falling apart. Lexie was worried that she would never see Theo again. Hope assured Lexie that they wouldn't stop looking until the kids were home safe.
Meanwhile, the kids got off the truck they were riding in and met a young teen runaway, who threatened to call their parents. The kids begged her not to call their parents, because they couldn't go home because it was bad there. The runaway said she thought she'd had it bad at home, because her parents had ordered her to break up with her boyfriend or they would kick her out. The kids informed her that they were camping in the woods and went into town to get something to eat.
The teen offered to help the kids get money if the kids did something for her. The kids introduced themselves to Leah, who gave them some food. In exchange, Ciara offered Lead her necklace. Leah noticed the necklace was really expensive. A cop asked Leah why she wasn't in school, and she dropped the necklace on the ground. The officer picked it up.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Melanie told Brady that she felt weird being in the mansion again, especially after Philip took Parker and left. She knew that she had to move on. Melanie thanked Brady for being there for her. She told him she should never have married Philip for money. Brady felt that Melanie was being too hard on herself, because he had seen her with Philip during the good times, and she had loved Philip.
Melanie said she had thanked herself into loving Philip. She wondered why Philip had never laughed at her jokes, and she realized that she and Philip had never had the connection that was needed to sustain a relationship. Brady informed Melanie that Victor had kicked Chloe out of the mansion when Philip left town with Parker. Brady said he could see Chloe's side of the issue because he'd made mistakes just like Chloe had. Melanie felt that Chloe's mistakes were worse, because she had hurt good people like Daniel. Brady said Chloe hadn't wanted to hurt Daniel, and Melanie said obviously Chloe had meant to hurt Daniel or else she wouldn't have slept with Philip.
At the Brady Pub, Victor asked Chloe where to send the rest of Chloe's things, and Maggie said he could send Chloe's belongings to Maggie's house. Victor couldn't believe that Maggie had taken in Chloe when Victor had thrown her out of the mansion. Victor said that Chloe wouldn't be alone for long, because men went through Chloe "like traffic through a tunnel." Maggie warned him to "keep a civil tone." She explained to Victor that she was giving Chloe the break that she needed.
Maggie felt that Victor shouldn't pass judgment on Chloe. Victor said he didn't like seeing Maggie being taken for a sucker, and Maggie said she didn't like seeing Victor being such a jerk. Victor didn't understand why Maggie had offered Chloe a place to stay. Maggie informed Victor that Kate had played a tape of Chloe threatening to run away with the baby and that Chloe had a problem with alcohol; Maggie was scared about what that would do to Chloe's life. Victor wondered why Maggie cared what happened to Chloe's life, and Maggie said she cared, because she herself was a drunk.
Victor asked when Maggie had last had a drink, and he said it didn't matter. Victor reminded Maggie that Chloe had parents, but Maggie pointed out that they hadn't been there for Chloe when she got married, was going through depression, or when she'd tried to kill herself. Victor said it would have made a world of difference if Chloe had killed herself. Chloe overheard him and ran off. Victor gave Maggie an ultimatum -- either him or Chloe. Maggie chose Chloe. She found Chloe later at the pier.
Chloe told Maggie that she didn't have to stick up for Chloe with Victor. Chloe didn't want to get between Maggie and Victor, so she offered to stay somewhere else. Maggie said that if a condition of her relationship with Victor was that he got to approve of who Maggie saw or didn't see, it wasn't much of a friendship. Maggie felt it was good to see Victor's other side.
Chloe didn't want to be responsible for messing up Maggie's relationship with Victor, but Maggie said it her relationship was messed up, it had nothing to do with Chloe. Maggie said that Chloe obviously had a problem with drinking, and Maggie didn't intend to allow Chloe to drink and mess up her life. Maggie said Chloe needed to find a job and stop depending on the kindness of strangers. Maggie took a phone call and walked away.
Victor walked in on Melanie's conversation with Brady and agreed with Melanie that Chloe had meant to hurt Daniel. Brady took a business phone call and left the room. Victor offered to have Troy killed, but Melanie said she wanted him to go to jail. Melanie thanked Victor for kicking Chloe out, and Victor informed Melanie that Maggie had let Chloe move in with her. Victor blamed Chloe for getting between him and Maggie. Victor told Melanie that she was always welcome in the Kiriakis mansion. Melanie thanked him and informed Brady that she had to leave but would be back.
Brady thanked Victor for being kind to Melanie. He also asked Victor not to tell Philip that Melanie lived there, because Philip had been trying to make a clean break, and Brady didn't want to "cloud the issue." Victor said he needed to talk to Brady about something too. He wondered if Brady had heard anything new about Ciara. Brady thought that was because Victor had blamed Bo's relationship with Carly on Ciara running away. Victor asked Brady if Brady and Victor were still family.
Melanie found Chloe on the pier and told her to stop messing up people's lives. Melanie asked Chloe to leave town because everyone hated her there. Chloe didn't think she could start over without her son, because as long as Victor lived in Salem, Philip would be back eventually. Melanie thought that it wouldn't be good for Parker to know that his mother was a mess. Chloe said she wanted to change, and Melanie said that sponging off of Maggie and ruining Maggie's life wasn't really changing. Melanie told Chloe that she would keep hounding Chloe until Chloe stopped hurting the people that Melanie loved. Maggie interrupted, saying, "Not if I have anything to do with it."
At the mental ward, the hospital worker discovered that Rafe had escaped, so he called for help. Meanwhile, Rafe put on regular clothes and told himself that he couldn't lose the key he wore around his neck, because it was all he had to go on. Rafe escaped the hospital and ran from the police dogs.
At Sami's apartment, Fake Rafe told the girl he had picked up from a bar that no one would interrupt them. She was glad, because they would have plenty of energy from the coffee she made to have sex again. They started kissing again when Dario walked in and caught them. Dario informed the woman that Rafe had a wife, and he ordered her to leave. Fake Rafe kissed the woman goodbye, while Dario chewed Rafe out for cheating on Sami.
Fake Rafe warned Dario never to get married. Dario accused Rafe of not caring about Arianna. He informed Rafe about Troy running down Arianna. Gabi walked into Sami's apartment and informed Dario and Rafe about Troy being in the hospital. Dario admitted that he had something to do with that. Fake Rafe told Dario to find another place to live because Rafe was leaving, and Sami probably wouldn't want Dario staying there anymore.
Gabi asked Dario if Rafe was trying to protect them by leaving town the day after finding Arianna's killer. Gabi said that Rafe wouldn't leave while Arianna's killer was caught. Dario said that it felt like the brother he knew was gone "and he's not coming back." Gabi asked if Dario was going to leave town again, and she thought there was no reason for him to stay in town.
Fake Rafe's car broke down near the woods while he was trying to leave town. Meanwhile, Rafe ran from the hospital workers who were tracking him. While Fake Rafe worked on his car, the real Rafe was surrounded by hospital security.
Rafe ran through the woods, away from his captors at the mental hospital. In a clearing, two of the hospital orderlies caught up with Rafe and held him at gunpoint. As Rafe backed away toward the edge of a cliff, the orderlies warned Rafe that there was no escape. Cornered, Rafe jumped off of the cliff into the river below. As one of the orderlies looked over the edge, he noted that Rafe likely had not survived the fall or the strong current of the river.
Down on the Salem pier, Maggie heard Melanie verbally tearing into Chloe. Maggie ordered Melanie to leave Chloe alone. "I am sorry for everything. But that will never be enough for you will it?" Chloe said sadly as she walked away. Once Chloe was gone, Melanie admitted that she was upset that Maggie was taking Melanie's side over hers. Noting Melanie's anger, Maggie compared her to Victor.
With a sigh, Melanie explained that she had attempted to give Chloe the benefit of the doubt, but when Chloe had neglected Parker, Chloe had lost any good will she had built up. "I'm not like you. I'm not a good person, and I'm sick of pretending to be," Melanie said. Maggie disagreed with Melanie's statement and countered that Melanie had a right to her anger. Maggie added that unlike Chloe, Melanie had a future. Maggie reminded Melanie that though Chloe had hurt people, Chloe had not hurt anyone intentionally.
"She needs acceptance and guidance, and that is what I plan to offer her," Maggie said. Melanie admitted that she felt neglected, but Maggie assured Melanie that she would always be available to Melanie. When Melanie noted that she did not want to be around Chloe, Maggie offered to meet Melanie anywhere in Salem if it made Melanie feel more comfortable.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady and Victor agreed to reconcile. Victor asked Brady to stay at the mansion, and Brady agreed, but he noted that Victor was on probation. When Victor wondered aloud whether anyone was on his side, Brady smirked. Brady reminded Victor that he had Melanie in his corner.
After her conversation with Maggie down on the pier, Melanie went to the Kiriakis mansion to talk to Brady. Cuddled up on the couch with him, Melanie admitted that she believed Maggie saw her as a "bad person." Melanie explained that Maggie had compared Melanie to Victor, and then she added that Maggie had chosen Chloe over her. With a sigh, Brady noted that Maggie had chosen Chloe because she needed more help from Maggie than Melanie did. Overhearing the tail end of the conversation, Victor entered the living room and apologized to Melanie. Victor explained that Maggie was mad at him.
After Victor left, Brady confirmed to Melanie that she was human for holding on to her anger toward Chloe. Brady added that he believed Maggie was not asking Melanie to forgive Chloe but instead to back off of her attacks against Chloe. Brady reminded Melanie that he would always be on her side. As a means of proving his loyalty, Brady asked Melanie to stay at the mansion and work through her emotions with him until Melanie felt like herself again. Touched, Melanie hugged Brady tightly.
At the DiMera mansion, Nicole helped Taylor into the living room as E.J. wrapped up a business call. Once E.J. was off the phone, Taylor announced that she would be moving out of the mansion. Upset, Nicole urged her sister not to blame herself for Fay's death. E.J. sat sullenly in the corner while Nicole pleaded with her sister. When Nicole asked E.J. to convince her sister to stay, E.J.'s cell phone rang, and he took the call. E.J. learned that Theo was missing.
Upset over the news, Taylor said that she was going to sit with Lexie and comfort her. As Taylor started to leave, E.J. looked Taylor in the eyes and asked her to tell Lexie that he loved her. With a sad smile, Taylor agreed, then left the mansion. Nicole lamented not having Sydney and Johnny to hug after hearing about Theo, but E.J. reminded Nicole that the children were safe with Sami. Nicole informed E.J. that Rafe had left town, and she was surprised when E.J. did not appear shocked by the news.
E.J. noted that since Rafe was married to Sami, he expected Rafe to leave sooner or later. Muttering to himself, E.J. wondered aloud whether Rafe even liked the children. "I'm still discovering how much you hate Rafe," Nicole marveled aloud. Nicole noted that she had seen how the kids adored Rafe. Angry, E.J. ordered Nicole to stop talking about Rafe as Stefano marched into the living room. In a hurry, Stefano asked Nicole to leave so he could speak to E.J. privately. After bitterly joking that Stefano had not asked about Fay's funeral, Nicole stormed out of the mansion.
E.J. closed the doors to the living room as Stefano informed E.J. that faux Rafe had left town. Nodding, E.J. admitted that Nicole had told him the same thing. E.J. urged Stefano not to yell or provoke Nicole, since she was suspicious of them. "We need to calm her down. She can't see this coming," E.J. said cryptically. "See what coming?" Stefano asked in confusion. "The divorce," E.J. answered.
Upset, Stefano reminded E.J that E.J. had not only married Nicole to create stability in the lives of the children but that he had married Nicole less than three months before. Raising an eyebrow, Stefano deduced that E.J. was divorcing Nicole because he could not sleep with Taylor until E.J. was divorced from her sister. E.J. denied Stefano's accusation, but Stefano countered that he was concerned that E.J. was willing to turn the lives of his children upside down in order to be with Taylor. Furious, E.J. warned Stefano not to talk about Taylor disparagingly.
As E.J. paced and fumed, Stefano received a call from one of the orderlies at the mental hospital. The orderly informed Stefano that Rafe had escaped and jumped off a cliff. The orderly added that he believed the prisoner was dead.
Taylor went to comfort Lexie at her house while Lexie awaited news about Theo. Lexie noticed the bandage on Taylor's ankle and asked her about it. Squirming slightly as she told the story about the car accident, Taylor averted her eyes from Lexie. Lexie pushed Taylor to talk to her, and Taylor admitted that she had been pinned in the car with E.J. and that the situation had been intense. Taylor informed Lexie that she had decided to leave town. With a hug, Lexie said that she would miss Taylor but added that if Taylor left town, E.J. would pursue her.
Outside the Brady Pub, Victor ran into Maggie and thanked her. When Maggie seemed surprise by Victor's thank you, Victor explained that he had reconciled with Brady. With a coy smile, Maggie noted that since Victor had forgiven Brady, he should forgive Chloe. Victor warned Maggie to stay away from Chloe because, whether she meant to hurt people or not, the people closest to Chloe always seemed to get hurt. Victor explained that Chloe was like someone drowning. "She's so needy, she's dangerous," Victor said.
At the Cheatin' Heart, Nicole met up with Chloe. Chloe informed Nicole that Philip had left town with Parker. Nicole encouraged Chloe to pursue custody, but defeated, Chloe wondered aloud if that would be best for Parker. Nicole gave Chloe a pep talk and urged her to fight. When Chloe asked Nicole how she was doing, Nicole confided that she believed E.J. had been involved in Rafe's car accident. Nicole noted that since the accident, everything seemed to be going E.J.'s way.
At the Brady Pub, Gus and Vivian discussed the results of the DNA test they had run on the evidence from the DiMera basement dungeon. With no person to match the DNA to, Vivian decided to fall back on her feminine wiles. Gus and Vivian left the pub and walked along the pier. As Vivian wondered aloud who the DNA belonged to, Nicole listened from a dark corner nearby. Vivian crumpled up the DNA test results and threw them in the trash. Once Vivian and Gus had left, Nicole rushed to the trashcan and examined the paper that Vivian had thrown away. When Nicole noticed that the paper named a prisoner, she remembered when E.J. had been doing construction in the basement of the mansion.
At the Brady house, Hope received a tip from a neighbor that a landscaper had been in the neighborhood around the time that Theo and Ciara had gone missing. Hope traced the landscaper truck back to Centerville. Bo received a call from the Centerville police. The police explained that they had picked up a homeless girl who had Ciara's necklace. Filled with hope, Bo and Hope raced to Centerville.
At the Centerville police station, Bo and Hope examined the necklace that the police had found on a homeless girl named Leah. Once Hope confirmed the necklace was Ciara's, Bo questioned Leah about Ciara and Theo. Reluctant to talk to the police, Leah asked Hope if she was the woman in the news that had attacked the men in Salem. Bo promised Leah that he would protect her and help her get back on her feet. When Leah remained quiet, Bo threatened to talk to Leah's pimp and inform him that Leah was keeping money for herself. Scared, Leah admitted that she had seen Ciara and Theo behind the Silver Diner before they walked off into the woods.
Along the side of the road, faux Rafe was working on the engine of his car when he heard a noise. Faux Rafe poked his head out from underneath the hood and spotted Theo and Ciara emerging from the woods. Theo explained that they were running away, and Ciara asked faux Rafe not to tell anyone that he had seen them. Faux Rafe countered that he would keep their secret if Ciara and Theo promised not to tell anyone that they had seen him. Ciara agreed, but Theo refused, noting that he did not want to lie. Faux Rafe threatened Theo to do things his way "or else."
Theo yelled that he would not lie, and then he started to run away. Faux Rafe grabbed Theo by the arm and said, "You're not going anywhere!" As faux Rafe tightened his grip, Bo ran out of the woods by the car.
Nicole dug through a trashcan on the pier until she found the piece of paper she'd seen Vivian and Gus toss out. She gingerly un-crumpled it and quickly scanned it. "DNA results? Prisoner? E.J., what are you up to?" Nicole muttered, taken aback. "I'm gonna find out," she declared, marching away from the pier determinedly.
When Nicole arrived at the Cheatin' Heart, she was pleased to find that Chloe was still there, drinking a martini. Nicole ordered one, as well, and divulged that she'd overheard Vivian telling Gus that the DiMeras had been keeping a prisoner in the basement, but they couldn't figure out who it had been. She continued that E.J. had cautioned her not to ask any questions about the work they were having done in the basement, but she'd started to think that the DiMeras had been keeping Rafe down there.
A skeptical Chloe questioned why Rafe had never mentioned being imprisoned. Nicole reasoned that the DiMeras had erased John Black's memory, so perhaps Rafe didn't even remember being locked up. She then showed Chloe the DNA report, and explained that if she could match the DNA to Rafe's, she could prove that Stefano and E.J. had kidnapped Rafe and were somehow controlling his mind. Chloe warned Nicole to be careful.
As Chloe went to the bar to order more drinks, Nicole wondered how E.J. could have turned Rafe from the man of Sami's dreams into a man Sami couldn't bear to live with. "My mom knew. Now she's dead," she said sadly. When Chloe returned, Nicole conceded that Chloe had been right. Chloe was glad, because she thought poking around in DiMera business was always a bad idea. Nicole then paid for their drinks, and left for home.
After Nicole had gone, Chloe went through a stack of mail, and found a large manila envelope from the Salem Superior Court Records Department.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefano informed E.J. that Rafe had escaped from the asylum that morning, and had then fallen off a cliff to his death. E.J.'s eyes widened in shock, and then he burst into relieved laughter.
Taylor entered the living room then, and excitedly informed Stefano and E.J. that the police were likely moments away from tracking down Theo and Ciara in Centerville. E.J. and Stefano were ecstatic -- and grateful that Taylor had shared the news with them, since Lexie hadn't yet. A beaming Stefano left to share the good news with Kate.
Kate walked in the front door of the DiMera mansion just as Stefano exited the living room. Kate was thrilled to hear about Theo, and suggested that the two of them go out for some fresh air. Stefano happily agreed, so they left together.
E.J. informed Taylor that the "intense" conversation that she'd just walked in on between him and Stefano had been about her. "I just told my fatherů I'm divorcing Nicole," E.J. revealed. Asserting that it would break Nicole's heart, Taylor declared that she would not let E.J. go through with it. E.J. maintained that even if Taylor left, he and Nicole couldn't go back to the way things had been before, because he'd fallen in love with Taylor. Taylor gently argued that E.J., Nicole, and the children were a family -- and Nicole loved him.
"That's why I have to divorce her. I have to do the right thing, because I love her, too," E.J. said quietly. Taylor became very upset, and railed at E.J. until he urged her to let him explain. He stated that he loved many things about Nicole, but he was not in love with her -- he was in love with Taylor. "What you are about to do is the emotional equivalent of running over Nicole with a truck," Taylor noted, adding, "And it seems that I'm a part of it whether I like it or not!"
E.J. countered that Nicole didn't deserve to spend her life waiting for him to love her, when he would never love her the way she needed him to. He continued that after the divorce, Nicole would be financially secure for the rest of her life, and she would still be able to have a relationship with Sydney and Johnny -- plus she could be with Brady, the man she truly loved. Taylor sadly stated that she wished she had never met E.J. E.J. declared that only proved his point, because they were meant to be, and it was beyond their control. He promised to be as gentle and kind with Nicole as he could, because he truly did not want to hurt her.
Taylor was worried that Nicole would hate her forever, but E.J. urged Taylor to do what was best for herself. He kissed her on the head and started to leave, but just as he opened the door, Taylor begged him to wait. She confessed that she was so confused that she didn't know what to do. E.J. took her face in his hands, and asked softly, "Can you deny you love me?" Taylor admitted that she couldn't any longer. "Then it's settled," E.J. whispered. They began to kiss -- just as Nicole arrived home and spotted them through the open door.
On the side of the road near the woods, Ciara urged Theo to promise Rafe not to tell anyone that they'd seen him. "No! I want to go now!" Theo declared angrily, and began to storm away. Just as faux Rafe grabbed Theo firmly, Bo ran out of the woods. "Daddy?" Ciara shouted. Bo rushed over and embraced his daughter. His voice breaking with emotion, he reassured her that none of her parents' problems were her fault -- and that they would never be happy if Ciara weren't there, because they loved her very much.
On the other side of the car, faux Rafe scowled and rolled his eyes, while Bo praised Theo for being such a true and loyal friend to Ciara. Bo then admonished the kids that running away was never the answer, no matter what the problem was. Theo echoed Bo's words, and Ciara promised never to do it again. Bo called Hope to tell her that the children were all right, and then put Ciara on the phone. An utterly relieved Hope said how much she loved her little girl. Bo took the phone back, and promised to hurry home.
Stefano and Kate were walking near the Brady Pub when Lexie called to tell her father that Theo and Ciara had been found. Stefano wanted to visit his grandson right away, but Lexie cautioned that Theo needed a little time to decompress after his ordeal. Stefano fought to hide his irritation as they agreed to get together the next day. After he hung up, Stefano announced that he wanted to call Chad. Kate pointed out that Chad was inside the pub with Abigail Deveraux.
Just as Chad was about to call Lexie to check in about Theo, Kate called to tell him that the police had found Theo and Ciara. She then claimed to need his technical expertise to fix a problem with her phone. They agreed to meet on the pier. Stefano watched until Chad had gone, and then joined Abigail at her table. Abigail surmised that Stefano wanted her to convince Chad not to take the summer internship at the hospital. Chuckling, Stefano admitted that he wanted Chad to work for him at DiMera Enterprises instead. After some discussion about Chad's future, Stefano "conceded" that Chad had probably already made up his mind as to what he wanted to do over the summer.
On the pier, Chad asked Kate why she'd really wanted to see him. Kate reluctantly "admitted" that she'd just been trying to keep Chad away from the house, because E.J. was about to ask Nicole for a divorce. Chad was disgusted that E.J. would do that right after the death of Nicole's mother, and asserted that Stefano should encourage E.J. to wait at least a little longer. Kate replied, "There's something that you'll learn: Stefano is always loath to interfere in his children's lives."
Later, Stefano and Kate were together on the pier when Chad returned. He explained that he'd gone back to the pub to see Abigail, but she'd been focused on her studies, so he'd left her alone. Chad then declared that he'd decided to work for Stefano that summer, and a thrilled Stefano asked what had changed Chad's mind. "I got the feeling that Abigail just didn't want me around the hospital this summer, like maybe she thinks I'd be crowding her," Chad replied. After Chad left again, Kate proclaimed to her husband, "You are the master."
When Bo and imposter Rafe returned to the station with the kids, Hope smothered Ciara with hugs and kisses. Theo and Ciara announced that they were hungry, so Hope took them to get something to eat. Faux Rafe stayed behind with Bo, who wanted to know how Rafe had found the kids even before Bo could follow up on the lead he'd gotten from a runaway girl.
Phony Rafe explained that after Roman had refused his request for a leave of absence, he had decided to look for the kids on his own. Faux Rafe continued that he'd remembered a case from his rookie year where a missing kid had stowed away on a delivery truck, and that was how he'd found Ciara and Theo. Bo wanted to know why he'd seen Rafe gripping Theo so tightly, and imposter Rafe claimed that he'd feared Theo might run again. Bo shook faux Rafe's hand and thanked him sincerely.
When Bo and Hope arrived home with imposter Rafe and the kids, Abe and Lexie were waiting for them. Theo ran over and gave big hugs to his mom and dad. Lexie offered heartfelt, tearful thanks to Rafe for returning the children safely. Everyone but Hope, Ciara, and faux Rafe then went into the kitchen to get some cupcakes. Imposter Rafe wanted to leave, but Hope asked him to stay.
Hope then sat Ciara down, and reassured the little girl that her mommy and daddy loved her and wanted her there more than anything. "Daddy and I are back together, and we're happy. We're really, really happy! And you're a big part of that," Hope enthused. Ciara replied, "I thought I was trouble." Hope assured her that it had all been a big misunderstanding, and urged Ciara to talk to her parents if she were ever worried about something again.
Later, when faux Rafe was alone with the kids for a few minutes, he explained to them that what had happened in the woods had just been a misunderstanding. Ciara was skeptical when phony Rafe insisted that he had been looking for them, and then he had found them. He got her and Theo to giggle by playfully dabbing cupcake icing on Ciara's nose, and they dropped the subject.
As imposter Rafe was saying goodbye to Hope, Bo stopped him at the door. Bo explained that Rafe couldn't begin his leave of absence until he'd gone to the station to give his official statement.
Meanwhile, the real Rafe heaved himself, battered and bruised, out of the river and onto the bank.
At the DiMera mansion, Taylor and E.J. shared a passionate kiss as Nicole quietly watched from the foyer. Nicole backed away from the living room door in stunned silence; as she struggled to catch her breath, Nicole spotted a stack of mail and a letter opener that had been placed on a nearby table. Nicole grabbed the letter opener and started to walk back into the living room. Taylor pulled away from E.J. and asked if he had heard a noise.
Outside the mansion, Nicole tossed the letter opener into a bush before exiting the property. Meanwhile, E.J. peered into the foyer and assured Taylor that they were alone, but Taylor wasn't convinced. E.J. said that he was tired of sneaking around; he promised that he was going to ask Nicole for a divorce. "E.J., when I think about being able to be with you without being afraid, without lying or hiding...it's all that I want. But when I think about what it's gonna do to my sister, I -- I just feel like I'm going into cardiac arrest," Taylor explained.
E.J. grabbed his phone and announced that he was going to call Nicole. Taylor tried to stop E.J., but E.J. insisted that he wasn't going to wait any longer to reveal the truth to Nicole. Meanwhile, at the pier, Nicole sighed when she heard her phone ring. Nicole answered the phone and calmly stated that she had been expecting E.J.'s call. E.J. asked Nicole to meet him at the mansion, but Nicole pretended that she had not been able to hear E.J.'s request due to poor reception.
E.J. told Taylor that the call had been disconnected. Taylor said that it was a sign that things had been moving too quickly, but E.J. wasn't convinced. Taylor insisted that they needed to slow things down. E.J. asked if Taylor trusted him; when Taylor admitted that she did, E.J. asked Taylor to follow him.
E.J. took Taylor to a secluded part of the DiMera property so that they could have a picnic together. E.J. proposed a toast to the future, but Taylor admitted that she was worried about what their future would look like after Nicole had learned the truth. E.J. pointed out that Nicole deserved to be with someone who truly loved her. Taylor reminded E.J. that Nicole had committed herself to E.J.'s family. E.J. insisted that he was going to ensure that Nicole was comfortable for the rest of her life.
E.J. said that he wanted Nicole to find the same type of love that he and Taylor had found. E.J. insisted that Nicole would one day thank them for being honest about their feelings. Taylor noted that E.J. had a talent for making complicated things seem incredibly easy to fix. "Look...Taylor, I've never felt this way before...about anybody. I really -- I didn't know that I could, and despite the fact that this is incredibly painful, I've never felt more at peace. I know that this is something that I want for the rest of my life," E.J. said.
Taylor smiled and kissed E.J. passionately. Taylor reluctantly agreed that she would trust E.J. to handle the situation with Nicole. Taylor insisted that they could not be together until after Nicole had learned the truth. "Then we'll be together tonight -- I'm going to tell her tonight," E.J. happily announced.
At the pier, Nicole tried to absorb the impact of the scene that she had witnessed at the mansion. "My sister and my husband...could I be a bigger fool?" Nicole muttered. Nicole was surprised to hear Fay's voice; Fay said that Nicole was not the fool. Fay said that Nicole needed to take care of herself; Nicole admitted that she wasn't sure how she would be able to do that. "You have more power than you know...now, use it," Fay cryptically stated.
Nicole pondered her mother's message; she recalled the crumpled piece of paper that she had found earlier. Later, Nicole met with a man at the pier. "I need you to match these DNA results against a Rafael Hernandez -- he used to work for the FBI and the Salem P.D. I'm sure someone like you could get access to files like that," Nicole said. The man agreed that it would be easy for him to do so. "Once you get the results, and if the samples do match Rafe's DNA, I need to know. I need you to prove it, and I need you to get it to me in writing," Nicole added. The man assured Nicole that she would not be disappointed.
After the man left, Nicole heard Fay's voice again. Fay wondered if Nicole was aware of what she had just done. Nicole said that she had taken care of herself; Fay smiled and told Nicole to be happy. "Happy? I don't think that's in the cards, Mom. I promised myself I would not let this happen to me again, and now...oh, they are not gonna get away with this. No way in hell," Nicole vowed.
At the Cheatin' Heart, Chloe looked over the divorce finalization papers as she tried to drown her sorrows. Justin walked in and asked if there was anything that he could do for Chloe. "Can you get me my marriage back? My child? My life?" Chloe asked. Justin said that he had heard that Victor had asked her to move out of the Kiriakis mansion. "'Asked' -- I was pretty much thrown out the minute that Philip left town with our baby," Chloe said.
Justin noted that Chloe could not have been surprised by Victor's actions. "I'm surprised he didn't beg me to stay so I could light up his life," Chloe dryly stated as she took a sip of her martini. Justin gently asked where Chloe would be staying. Chloe said that she had been staying with Maggie; Chloe added that Maggie was the sweetest person on earth. Justin wondered if Chloe had any money; Chloe assured Justin that she was fine, but Justin wasn't convinced.
Justin stated that Daniel would have been happy to give Chloe alimony. "Did you not hear me? I said I'm fine! I don't want any more of Daniel's money -- I don't want anything from him," Chloe said. Later, Justin took a plate of food to Chloe and told her to eat it, but Chloe wasn't interested. Justin suggested that Philip might change his mind after some time had passed. Chloe reminded Justin that Philip had decided that she was an unfit mother; Chloe admitted that she didn't think that Philip was going to get past that.
Justin told Chloe that she needed to remain hopeful. "Don't talk to me about hope, okay? You're one of them. Just leave me alone, Justin!" Chloe shouted as she threw the plate of food across the room. After Justin left, a man walked up to Chloe and introduced himself as the man that she had hit with her burger. Chloe apologized, and the man wondered if Chloe had been fighting with her boyfriend. After Chloe assured the man that she was single, he asked if he could buy her dinner.
Chloe explained that she was barely single, so she was not interested in dating yet. After the man left, Justin returned and said that he couldn't imagine what Chloe had been going through. Justin stated that he wanted to help Chloe. Chloe pointed out that Justin had helped Daniel divorce her. "Just go away, Justin, okay? Find another charity case; I'll be fine -- I always am," Chloe quietly stated.
At Daniel's apartment, Daniel tossed the divorce papers across the room in disgust. Daniel grabbed his keys and started to leave; as he exited the apartment, he ran into Jennifer. Jennifer wondered why Daniel wasn't at the hospital; Daniel explained that he had stayed home to change his locks. Daniel told Jennifer that Melanie had been attacked. Daniel invited Jennifer into his apartment for a cup of tea.
Jennifer recalled the intimate moment that she had witnessed between Carly and Daniel earlier. Jennifer nervously joked that she had not expected Daniel to be a tea drinker. Jennifer accidentally spotted the divorce papers that Daniel had placed on a nearby table. Jennifer apologized, but Daniel assured her that it was all right because he had moved on. Jennifer said that she was aware that Daniel had moved on.
Daniel wondered what Jennifer had meant by her statement. Jennifer said that she was happy for Daniel and Carly. Daniel was still confused, so Jennifer explained that she had seen Daniel and Carly kissing at the pier. Daniel said that Carly had kissed him because she had been worried about Theo and Ciara. "Look, she kissed me, okay? She kissed me -- I didn't kiss her. I don't know why I feel like I'm in high school," Daniel said with a sigh.
Jennifer apologized and admitted that the kiss had surprised her. Daniel wondered if Jennifer had been bothered by the kiss, but Jennifer denied Daniel's accusation. Daniel explained that he had been worried about Carly because she had been a total mess that night. Jennifer said that she had wondered why Carly had been avoiding her; Daniel assured Jennifer that Carly had been avoiding everyone. Daniel changed the subject and wondered why Jennifer had been trying to set him up with Carly.
Jennifer claimed that she had been motivated by the fact that Daniel and Carly shared a child together, but Daniel was convinced that there was another reason. "You don't want to have to deal with me coming on to you all the time, and I get that -- I've been down that road, believe me, like a half a dozen times," Daniel said. Jennifer tried to interrupt, but Daniel continued to ramble as he insisted that he understood that Jennifer wasn't interested in him in that way. Daniel's ramblings were mercifully interrupted when Melanie knocked on his door.
Melanie asked if Daniel had heard about Parker. Daniel was stunned when he learned that Philip and Parker had left Salem. Melanie tried to comfort her father, but Daniel asked her to give him some time alone. Daniel explained that he couldn't deal with his divorce finalization and the news about Parker on the same day. Melanie started to say something, but Daniel stopped her. "You know, Parker is Philip and Chloe's, and I have -- I have no say in this," Daniel said.
After Melanie left, Daniel hinted that he wanted Jennifer to leave as well. Jennifer insisted that she wasn't going to let Daniel push her away. Jennifer reached out to hug Daniel, but Daniel pulled away. Daniel said that he couldn't get close to Jennifer because he knew how Jennifer really felt about him. Jennifer wondered what Daniel had meant by his statement; Daniel explained that he understood that Jennifer just wanted to be friends with him.
Daniel started to ramble again, and Jennifer interrupted and asked if he was going to give her a chance to speak. Daniel apologized and admitted that he was a mess. "No, you're a hot mess...I'm -- my daughter says that about you all the time, I'm sorry. I think that you're sweet. I think you're very sweet, and...I appreciate you taking the 'awkward' hit for both of us. The truth is...is that...I like you -- that way -- a lot," Jennifer said. Daniel wondered if he had heard Jennifer correctly; in response, Jennifer leaned in and kissed Daniel.
At the hospital, Carly was horrified to learn that Melanie had been attacked. Melanie pointed out that she had left several messages for Carly about the incident. Melanie wondered what Carly had been doing that had prevented her from receiving the messages. Carly claimed that she had been exhausted because she had been looking for Ciara and Theo the previous night. Carly added that she had been so stressed out over the missing kids that she had overslept.
Melanie observed that Carly looked tired; Melanie wondered if there had been something more serious going on that Carly had not told her about. Carly ignored Melanie's question and apologized for not being there for her daughter when Melanie had been attacked. Melanie excused herself so that she could take care of some errands. Melanie said that she was concerned about Carly; she told her mother to get some rest.
After Melanie left, Adrienne arrived at the hospital and greeted Carly. Carly wondered how the honeymoon had been, but Adrienne said that she was more concerned about how Carly had been doing. Carly said that she didn't have anything exciting to report because most of her time had been spent at the hospital. Adrienne observed that Carly looked tired. Carly laughed and said that Melanie had told her the same thing.
Adrienne wondered if Carly was all right; Carly tearfully admitted that she was in trouble. Carly said that she had been through a lot, and everything had finally started to catch up with her. "When I first came back to Salem, I felt tired and anxious at the same time, all the time. It's -- how do they say it? Depression is anxiety turned inward," Adrienne said. Adrienne said that reconnecting with Justin had helped her recover from that depression. Carly hugged Adrienne and thanked her for her advice. After Adrienne left, Carly pulled a photograph of Melanie and Daniel out of her pocket and smiled weakly as she looked at it.
At the Brady Pub, Dario told Gabi that he was going to look for another job in Salem. Gabi was pleased to learn that Dario had decided to stay in Salem. Gabi wondered if there was a particular reason -- or a particular person -- that had made Dario decide to stay in town. Before Dario could respond, Will entered the pub and announced that Ciara and Theo had been found. Gabi told Will that Dario had been looking for a job because he had decided to stay in Salem permanently.
Will noted that he would be seeing more of Dario at Sami and Rafe's apartment. Dario laughed and said that he didn't want to spend another day there. Will assured Dario that things would not always be awkward at the apartment; Will explained that things would be better after Sami and Rafe had reunited. Dario bluntly said that Will needed to accept that Sami and Rafe were not going to get back together. Dario insisted that Sami was better off without Rafe.
Dario excused himself so that he could look for a job. Gabi followed Dario out of the pub and told Dario that Will had been really upset by Sami and Rafe's breakup. Dario apologized for being insensitive. Gabi pointed out that Dario had not answered her earlier question. Gabi wondered which girl had made Dario decide to stay in Salem.
Later, Dario ran into Melanie outside the pub. Dario wondered how Melanie had been doing. Melanie assured him that she was all right; she added that she didn't think that things needed to constantly be tense between her and Dario. Dario agreed and suggested that they should have dinner together to celebrate their new beginning. Dario quickly added that he was free later; when Melanie hesitated, Dario said that he would be free the following day too.
Melanie said that she wasn't ready to start dating. Melanie started to say something else, but Dario interrupted and assumed that Melanie was interested in Brady. Melanie quietly stated that she didn't want to talk about it. Dario claimed that he was happy for Melanie and Brady; Dario added that Melanie probably didn't want to give Brady any reason to doubt her, since they were in the beginning stages of their relationship. Melanie wondered if Dario considered everything to be a challenge; Dario said that it depended on the circumstances. After Melanie left, Dario muttered that he liked a challenge.
Later, Dario walked into the Cheatin' Heart and asked Adrienne about the job opening that he had read about in the newspaper. Adrienne wondered if Dario had ever had any experience as a bartender. "Uh, no, no. But someone just told me I like a challenge, and she's right," Dario said.
Back at the hospital, Carly asked someone to cover the rest of her shift so that she could spend some time with Melanie. Carly suggested that they could visit Daniel. Carly explained that she wanted to let Daniel know why she had not answered his calls about Melanie's attack. Carly said that Melanie meant more to Carly and Daniel than anything else in the world.
On their picnic on DiMera property, Taylor warned E.J. that they were delusional if they thought their relationship could ever work -- and that Nicole would hate Taylor so much for it that Taylor could never be happy. E.J. insisted that Nicole would end up stronger than before. Taylor was skeptical. E.J. reiterated his promise to be as kind as he could be when he divorced Nicole, and vowed to keep Taylor out of it, so that she could decide how to proceed. As Taylor declared that it was time to go home, E.J. urged her to have faith in him. Taylor admitted that she did, although she didn't think it was wise. E.J. just wanted her to be able to be happy to love him -- and soon.
At the Cheatin' Heart, Nicole wondered aloud to herself if the secret her mom had been trying to tell her had been that Rafe had been a prisoner in the DiMera basement, or if it had been that E.J. had been putting the moves on Taylor. Chloe arrived and was shocked to overhear the latter part of what Nicole said. Chloe asked sympathetically what Nicole was going to do. "What I always do -- fight back," Nicole replied with determination.
As the women commiserated over their respective failed marriages, Nicole expressed her resolve to get revenge. She ranted about how Taylor had been excited about having met a great guy when she'd first returned to town, and Nicole thought she should have recognized what had been going on when Taylor and E.J. had seen each other at E.J. and Nicole's wedding. Nicole declared that she was not giving up without a fight. Chloe pointed out that fighting the DiMeras could turn out very badly -- like when Nicole had gone to prison.
Nicole vowed to be careful until she had proof of what the DiMeras had done -- and then she would be the one calling the shots. Chloe gently reminded Nicole that Taylor had tried repeatedly to leave town, so Chloe thought that Taylor had been trying to do the right thing -- and besides, Taylor and Brandon were Nicole's only remaining family. Not buying it in the least, Nicole left.
Nicole went to the pier to call her contact, and ordered him to hurry up with the DNA results she'd asked for. "I need proof that Rafe was in that basement," she muttered to herself after she hung up. "And when I get it, I'll have E.J. right where I want him."
Shortly after E.J. and Taylor returned to the DiMera mansion, Nicole arrived home. "So there you two are. What have you guys been up to?" Nicole asked "casually."
At the hospital, Carly asked Melanie not to say anything about how Carly had lost track of time the night before. An understanding Melanie agreed. While Carly filled out some paperwork, Maxine reminded Melanie of the nurses' meeting the next day. Melanie was curious as to what the meeting was about, and Maxine confidentially informed her that there had been some problems with missing medications. Carly listened in worriedly, but feigned nonchalance when Melanie divulged what the problem was. They then left together.
At Daniel's, Jennifer and Daniel separated after their kiss. Daniel admitted to being a bit taken aback -- and that he'd been considering asking Jennifer out. After some discussion about what they might do, they settled on going to a sports bar to watch a Cubs game.
Carly and Melanie arrived just in time to overhear Jennifer and Daniel discussing their date. Melanie seemed to be horrified at first, but then she assured Daniel and Jennifer that she thought it was a great idea. When Melanie and Daniel went into the kitchen to open a bottle of wine, Jennifer checked to make sure that the date was okay with Carly. Carly claimed to be happy, even enthusiastic, that Daniel and Jennifer were dating. When Daniel and Melanie returned, Jennifer said that she had to meet Abigail, so Daniel walked her to the door. They quietly agreed that they were looking forward to their date.
After Jennifer left, Melanie wanted to know what her dad planned to wear on his date, but he refused to discuss it. Carly made an excuse about errands she had to run, and quickly left. Daniel wondered why they hadn't been able to reach Carly the night before, and Melanie explained that Carly had just been too tired to check her messages.
Carly returned to the hospital, and was working at a computer when a drug rep asked if Dr. Carver were around. When Carly learned that the man wanted to leave some drug samples for Lexie, she offered to let the rep leave them with her -- and make sure Lexie got them.
Adrienne bumped into Abigail at the Brady Pub, and after Abigail admired her aunt's brand-new engagement ring, Adrienne asked if Abigail knew where Jennifer was. From Adrienne's tone and expression, Abby guessed that it had something to do with her dad. Adrienne admitted that she had emailed Jack about her marrying Justin, and about Jennifer's terrifying ordeal -- and he had replied with a haiku about sunsets.
Abigail was online, reading Jack's blog, when Jennifer arrived. Jennifer wanted to know what Jack had done to upset Abigail. Abby quickly closed her computer, but an unconcerned Jennifer stated that she was ready to move on with her life -- while Abigail was stuck with Jack for a father. Abigail seemed pleased, so Jennifer admitted that she had a date with Daniel Jonas. Elated for her mom, Abigail pronounced Daniel "stupid hot." Jennifer confessed that she was trying not to get too excited about a first date with a guy, but all Abigail wanted to know was what Jennifer was going to wear.
At Bo and Hope's, a reporter took pictures of Abe shaking imposter Rafe's hand for finding Theo and Ciara. Afterward, faux Rafe was ready to leave, but suddenly, Sami showed up. When the others went into the kitchen to give Sami and Rafe some privacy in the living room, Sami congratulated her "husband" on finding the kids. She then asked about Rafe's requested leave of absence. Phony Rafe claimed that he'd just planned to leave town for a while to clear his head, but then the kids had gone missing. Sami confessed that she had missed Rafe while she'd been at Eric's, and asked if they could go home together to talk about things.
As the others returned just then, Theo shouted, "No, Rafe! Go away -- now!" Lexie and Abe apologized for their son's behavior, but Sami assured them that she understood. Lexie and Abe started to take Theo out through the kitchen, but fake Rafe asked if he could have a minute with the boy to try to clear things up. Faux Rafe assured the kids that he had just been trying to make sure they got home safely, but Theo complained that he just wanted to go home. Lexie gave imposter Rafe a grateful hug, and then the Carvers left. Sami suggested that she and Rafe should give the Bradys some privacy, and the two of them left together.
Once they were alone in the house, Hope, Bo, and Ciara discussed what to have for their celebratory dinner. Bo then commented that Theo didn't seem to like Rafe. Ciara admitted that Rafe was mean to kids unless grownups were around.
After Ciara had gone to bed, Bo and Hope discussed what Ciara had said about Rafe. Bo noted that Rafe had not been acting like himself since the accident. The Bradys agreed that they felt bad about what Sami was going through. Bo and Hope then happily concurred that since their daughter had finally returned, they were looking forward to putting their family back together.
Imposter Rafe and Sami returned to the loft -- without the kids, who were staying at Caroline's. Sami admitted that she'd been thinking about her and Rafe's relationship the entire time she'd been gone, but she wanted to get unpacked before they started discussing it. After she left the room, faux Rafe muttered, "Damn it. If it wasn't for those freaking kids, I'd be on a beach somewhere, drinking a margarita. Instead I gotta listen to her. That's all right, 'cause I'm resourceful. I knew what to do with Fay -- and I know what to do with you, too, Sami."