At the Kiriakis mansion, Bo and Hope arrived, and they greeted Maggie, Daniel, Melanie, Justin, Victor, and Henderson. Hope wondered if Maggie was nervous about the wedding, which was scheduled to take place the next day. Maggie admitted that she was excited.
Meanwhile, Melanie wondered if Daniel was all right. Daniel claimed that he was fine, but Melanie wasn't convinced. Henderson offered Daniel a glass of champagne, but Daniel refused the offer. Daniel muttered that he needed a stronger drink.
At the nearby bar, Daniel filled a glass with whiskey, and he quickly consumed the liquor. Maggie watched Daniel for a moment, then she walked over to the bar to talk to him. "Daniel...I think there was an elephant in the corner of the room there, and I'm not the kind of person who can pretend that she doesn't see the elephant," Maggie said.
Maggie assured Daniel that she was not trying to replace his parents. "Daniel, I hope -- I really hope -- that we don't lose the friendship that we have over this. I mean, if this turns out to be true, then I want you to know that the ball is in your court, so...we can take this -- or not -- just as far as you're comfortable taking it," Maggie added. Daniel breathed a sigh of relief, and he thanked Maggie.
A short time later, Maggie presented Melanie with a birthday gift. Melanie opened the package, and she found a necklace inside. Melanie thanked Maggie, and she wondered if she could refer to Maggie as Grandma. Maggie happily agreed, and she hugged Melanie.
Meanwhile, Daniel questioned Victor about his parentage. Victor claimed that he had never suspected that George and Lilian Parker were not Daniel's biological parents. "This is quite an adjustment. Look, if Maggie is your mother, and it turns out that you develop a new, deeper relationship...if your parents are watching down over you -- and I think they are -- they're not gonna feel betrayed. They're gonna feel joy," Victor added.
Later, Maggie approached Victor. "Tomorrow, when we get married...I just want to make sure that there are no secrets between us. I mean, I think -- I hope -- that I have been completely open with you, so now I want to give you a chance to tell me anything that you might have felt you had to hold back. I mean, I won't judge you, I promise...but, like I said, I just want to make sure that everything is out on the table," Maggie said.
"Yes, I have a secret. And I will not only tell you, but I will announce it to the whole world. I love you more than life itself," Victor said, as Maggie laughed and hugged him. Henderson interrupted, and he said that he had just heard a weather advisory on the radio. Henderson explained that the storm had caused blackouts and street closures throughout Salem. Victor asked Henderson to prepare guest rooms for everyone.
Hope called Doug and Julie, and Justin called Sonny and Adrienne. Meanwhile, Daniel received a text message. "Confirming the DNA is a match. Ms. Horton is your biological mother," the message read. Maggie observed Daniel's reaction, and she realized that her suspicions had been confirmed. Maggie started to sob, and Daniel cautiously embraced her.
At the DiMera mansion, E.J. invited Nicole to stay for dinner. "I have a huge amount of interviews next week, and I could really do with somebody to prep them with me. A few of them are bound to be fairly contentious, and...as I recall, when you and I disagreed, you were a very worthy adversary. You know, sometimes, I miss our little contretemps," E.J. said.
Nicole pointed out that the storm was getting worse, but E.J. suggested that they would just have to eat quickly. Nicole reluctantly agreed, and she and E.J. practiced for his interviews. Later, E.J. excused himself so that he could find another bottle of champagne. Nicole was shocked, and she wondered why E.J. had not summoned a servant to fetch the bottle.
E.J. explained that Stefano and Kate were out of town. E.J. added that he had sent all of the staff members home early, so that they wouldn't have to drive in the snow. "Everyone but me. I don't believe this. This is all a setup -- now you think you have me exactly where you want me," Nicole noted incredulously. E.J. insisted that Nicole was wrong, but Nicole wasn't convinced.
E.J. reminded Nicole that there were plenty of empty bedrooms in the mansion. E.J. jokingly suggested that Nicole was afraid to be alone with him. Nicole started to lose her patience, and E.J. quickly apologized. "We get on wonderfully, all right? I really enjoy your company, and I absolutely depend on you. The last thing I want to do is to screw...uh, things up," E.J. added with a smirk.
Nicole started to calm down, and she conceded that it would be a shame to let the meal go to waste. As soon as Nicole and E.J. returned to their seats, the lights flickered, then the power went out. Nicole noted that the timing was interesting. E.J. excused himself so that he could find a backup generator.
A short time later, E.J. returned, and he announced that the generators weren't working. E.J. added that the gas was still working, and he handed Nicole a cup of hot chocolate. Nicole was shocked that E.J. had added marshmallows and chocolate shavings to the hot chocolate. Nicole started to get suspicious, and she wondered how E.J. had known that she liked marshmallows and chocolate shavings in her hot chocolate.
E.J. reminded Nicole that they had been in a relationship for the past three years. E.J. wondered if Nicole really believed that he didn't care about her. "E.J., you have proved you don't care over and over and over again. You know what? I'm not doing this," Nicole said, and she started to leave the room.
E.J. claimed that Nicole was making a big deal about a cup of cocoa. "Do you think this happens in a vacuum? Do you think you get to make a gesture like that, and it doesn't mean anything? So, what -- what do we do, E.J.? We just pretend that everything with Taylor never happened? Do we pretend that you never blackmailed me so that I'd marry you, so I could be with Sydney? Pretend that you let me fall in love with you when you didn't love me back?" Nicole demanded to know.
E.J. insisted that something else was bothering Nicole. Nicole wondered what E.J. was talking about. "The fact that you've been here for hours, and I haven't done this," E.J. said, as he grabbed Nicole and kissed her. Nicole resisted momentarily, then she started to remove E.J.'s clothes.
In Madison's temporary office at Titan, Brady warned Madison that the storm was getting serious. Madison insisted that she couldn't leave, and she explained that she had a lot of work to do. Brady wondered if Madison would be interested in sharing a strictly professional dinner with him. Madison eagerly agreed.
Later, Brady and Madison shared a bottle of red wine as they waited for their food to arrive. "Okay, look...now that we're alone, I feel comfortable telling you that you had some really good ideas. It's just...I'm used to doing things my own way, and I have a very specific vision for my company -- I'm not willing to compromise that," Madison explained. Madison said that was the reason that she had never had a partner.
Brady wondered if Madison was still talking about work. Madison deflected, and she reminded Brady that they were still waiting for their food to be delivered. Brady called to check on the order, and the restaurant employee explained that the roads had been closed. Brady went to the vending machine to get some snacks.
Brady returned a short time later, carrying a large variety of snacks. Madison wondered if Brady always carried a lot of change in his pockets. Brady admitted that he had used a crowbar to break into his own vending machine. Madison briefly contemplated reporting Brady's theft, but Brady pointed out that he owned the company.
Madison sighed as she realized that she wouldn't be able to blackmail Brady. Brady dryly stated that Madison was going to fit in really well in Salem. Later, Brady noticed a picture from The Big Lebowski on Madison's computer. Madison prepared herself for a healthy dose of teasing from Brady, but she was surprised when Brady admitted that he was a huge fan of the film.
"I have to tell you something. It's more than my favorite movie; The Big Lebowski is like -- it's like a relationship test for me. I don't think I could ever be serious about a man who didn't love this movie as much as I love this movie," Madison said. Brady happily noted that he had passed that test, and Madison quickly changed the subject.
Madison told Brady that she had accepted that they were going to have to wait for the storm to pass. Madison admitted that she wasn't a very patient person. Brady joked that he felt like he was in a movie. Brady suggested that he and Madison were stuck in one of those scenes where the stranded characters started to reveal their darkest secrets.
Madison claimed that she didn't have any secrets, and she said that she had lived a boring life. Brady wasn't convinced, and he pointed out that she had launched a successful business on her own. "I didn't really have a choice about that, you know? See, I was the oldest of four kids, and...I had to take charge early on, and then when I was...like, twelve years old...my father took off with some stripper that he met, and -- the son of a bitch, he took everything we had with him. My mom had to work two jobs to take care of us, so at twelve, I was taking care of three younger kids," Madison explained.
Brady said that he was sorry that Madison had been forced to deal with that. "It was good...for a while. It worked, you know, till my mom got sick, and then...on the official death certificate, it said that she died of cancer, but I always thought that it was being abandoned like that, you know? Working like a dog for her kids, wondering why she was never good enough for my father. So, when she was dying, I just made a promise to myself that I would never be anyone's victim. I wasn't gonna end up like that. And here you are. See? Normal, average, everyday life," Madison added.
Later, Madison started to get restless, so Brady asked her to dance with him. Madison was reluctant, but she eventually agreed. After a brief slow dance, Brady kissed Madison passionately.
At the cabin, Jennifer was worried that she was going to miss Maggie's wedding, and she told Jack that they were trapped. Jack started to panic, and Jennifer wondered what was wrong. "I can't stay in here. I can't stay in here. I have to get out. I have to get out. I have to get out," Jack muttered repeatedly, as he started to hyperventilate.
Jennifer tried to calm Jack down, and she asked him to tell her what was wrong. Jack started to recall some of the abuse that he had suffered in Afghanistan, and he stumbled away from Jennifer as he remembered being tortured with electricity. Jack shouted at Jennifer, and he told her to get away from him.
Jennifer assured Jack that he was going to be all right. Jennifer asked Jack to tell her where he believed that he was. Jack muttered that he was trapped in a hole. Jack silently recalled being tortured by one of the guards. Jennifer gently wrapped her arms around Jack, and she tried to calm him down.
"Listen to me, okay? You are not in prison, all right? Listen to me -- you are not in Afghanistan. You're with me, Jennifer. We're together, the way we used to be, remember? Hey, do you remember the last time that we were in a cabin together? Do you remember? You delivered our baby, Jack -- you were my hero. You sang her the sweetest lullaby, Jack. Please try to remember, Jack. Please. You were so happy, you were truly happy. Please, just try to feel that, okay? Do you remember the lullaby that you sang? Do you remember it?" Jennifer asked. Jennifer started to sing the lullaby, and she slowly managed to soothe Jack's fears.
"It was like I was there. I was there -- I was in the cave, I was in the hole, and I -- it was...the smell, and the cold, and the heat sears in my head, and my heart, and my soul...I was there. I was right back there. It was so real. It was so real," Jack explained. Jennifer assured Jack that he was safe. Jack studied Jennifer's eyes for a moment, then he closed his eyes, and he leaned his head against Jennifer's shoulder. Jennifer said that she was sorry that she had yelled at Jack when he had returned to Salem, and she admitted that she had been wrong about him.
"I was afraid to tell you that I really missed you, but you needed to know that. And you need to know...that I will always love you, and that you are in my heart. You are in my heart forever," Jennifer whispered, as Jack drifted off to sleep.
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When Nicole awakened in E.J.'s arms on the couch at the DiMera mansion, she immediately clutched the blanket around her and pulled away from him as if he were toxic. Grinning, E.J. declared that the night before had been amazing, but Nicole insisted that it never should have happened. Despite her protests, they had sex again. Afterwards, Nicole berated herself for sleeping with E.J. after everything he'd done to her. As he put his arm tenderly around her, E.J. tried to convince her that it had been much more than sex.
E.J. acknowledged that watching Gus hold Nicole at knifepoint had made him realize that if he'd lost her, he would have lost the only person who accepted and understood him -- and he had finally realized that the two of them belonged together. Nicole confessed that at one time, she would have given anything to hear him say those words, because she had loved him to the point of addiction. E.J. acknowledged that he had taken advantage of her feelings for him, and apologized sincerely for it, but assured her that he had changed -- and she was the only woman for him.
Nicole reminded him that she knew all too well how he worked, therefore she could never trust him with her heart again. E.J. admitted that he was a "cad," but he did have some admirable qualities. Nicole confided that her brush with death had made her take a hard look at her life, and she wasn't happy with what she saw -- especially her habit of holding on to relationships that were so bad for her. "I had to stop and ask myself why I was so afraid to be alone, and why I would rather be with somebody and be miserable than just be miserable and alone," she continued. E.J. suggested that they should stop comparing their relationship to everyone else's, and embrace who they really were, faults and all.
"Take a chance on me. Take a chance on us," E.J. entreated her earnestly, adding, "I promise you, I'll make you happy." They began to kiss again, but Nicole pulled away. She confessed that both physically and mentally, they often seemed to be on the same wavelength, but she knew one of them was always going to hurt the other, and she couldn't risk the pain of losing him again. Although E.J. encouraged her to trust her heart, Nicole reminded him that being with him had almost killed her before. E.J. apologized again for hurting her, and vowed never to do it again. Nicole declared that she couldn't trust that. E.J. urged, "We've wasted enough time. Please, let's not waste any more."
As she got dressed, Nicole declared that her judgment was off when it concerned him -- or much of anything else, for that matter. E.J. asserted that Nicole's judgment had been fine when she'd accepted his job offer, and after they won the election together, they could be a family with Sydney and Johnny. Nicole admitted that she wished it really could be like that, but she couldn't forget what had happened, or the promises he'd broken. She pulled away from him again, and as she left, she said she was going to see if the roads were open yet. E.J. finished getting dressed and sat down by the fire, while Nicole put on her coat and walked out the front door -- and both looked miserable.
At the Titan offices, Madison awoke, naked, on the floor next to an also unclothed Brady. Dismayed, she looked at the empty wine bottles on the desk, and wondered how she could have had sex with Brady, since she didn't believe in casual sex. Brady crowed that it had been great, but Madison accused him of getting her drunk and taking advantage of her. Brady assured her that he didn't think she was the kind of woman who had sex with just anyone.
Finally Brady admitted that the reason Madison couldn't remember the act was that it had never happened. Furious, Madison attacked him. As he got dressed, Brady urged her to lighten up. Madison was determined to get back to her hotel, since she was supposed to be on a conference call with her staff soon. Brady cautioned her that she wasn't going anywhere, because the conditions outside were even worse than before. Madison contended that she had too much to do to stay there.
Brady remarked, "I think your history with your mom, it really did a number on you." Brady's reference to her childhood infuriated Madison, and she began to storm out, but Brady pleaded with her to stay. He quietly admitted that despite the vending-machine food, her company had made the previous evening's meal one of his most enjoyable in a long time. Madison softened a bit, but asserted that opening up to him had been a huge mistake.
Madison left the room to get dressed. When she returned, she tried, but failed, to get a ride to her hotel. Brady apologized for being an "insensitive jerk" about her childhood, and offered to tell her something extremely embarrassing about himself to even the score. Madison accepted, so Brady left to get some coffee and doughnuts from the vending machine. Later, Brady admitted that he really wanted to get out of there so he could go to his grandfather's wedding. Madison expressed her hope that Victor and Maggie would postpone their nuptials so that everyone could be there.
Madison asked about Brady's mother, and Brady told her that his mother had died of pancreatic cancer when he was very young. Madison gently asked Brady to tell her about his mom. Brady admitted that he often felt like Isabella was watching over him, and nudging him to do the right thing. He added that it had stirred some painful feelings to hear Madison talk about how close she and her mother had been, because he wished he had real memories of his mother, instead of just fantasies.
Madison admitted that sometimes Brady amazed her, because she'd imagined that he'd had the perfect life and had grown up with every advantage, but he hadn't. He admitted that he sometimes imagined what it would have been like to have been raised in the perfect family. Squeezing his hand, Madison confessed that she did the same thing.
Later, Madison produced a bottle of champagne, which she said she'd found in a refrigerator. She explained that even if Brady couldn't be at Victor's wedding, the two of them could at least drink a toast to Victor and Maggie.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie was disappointed to learn that Bo and Hope had just been whisked away on snowmobiles because of a police emergency, especially since so many others hadn't been able to make it there for the wedding because of the snowstorm. Victor broke the news that in addition, the florist, caterer, and musicians couldn't get there, and all phone service was out.
A worried Daniel tried to get to the highest point on the grounds to see if he could get a cell signal, but didn't make it very far because of the ice. Melanie guessed that her dad was worried about what might have happened on Jennifer's date with Jack. When Justin entered, Daniel informed him that the situation was even worse than the night before. Justin wondered if Victor and Maggie would postpone the wedding.
Maggie considered doing just that, and Victor assured her that she could take her time to think about it, because he would show up whenever she told him to be there. When Melanie and Maggie were alone, Melanie said that everyone would understand if Maggie postponed the wedding, but asked, "How are you going to feel if you wake up tomorrow and you're not Mrs. Victor?"
Daniel privately reminded Maggie that even if she decided to get married without the flowers or the fancy food, she would still have people who loved her surrounding her. Maggie agreed that marrying the man she loved was really the only thing that mattered. She then asked if Daniel would give her away, but quickly apologized for pressuring him when she'd promised not to. Daniel reassured her that he didn't feel pressured, and he would be honored to walk her down the aisle.
A happy Maggie started to hug Daniel, but he stiffened, so she just grabbed him by the hand to take him to where the others were gathered. "What's everyone doing standing around? We have a wedding to get ready for!" Maggie announced. Melanie sprang into action, and ordered everyone to get dressed, then quickly took care of lighting the candles and putting up the decorations.
After everyone else had left the living room, Henderson offered his heartfelt congratulations to Victor. Victor declared that he had never been happier, and Henderson remarked that it showed. Victor stated, "Albeit a cliché, I'm ready to live happily ever after with Maggie. Only one thing could mar that. No one can ever know our secret. Nothing from my past can ever ruin my future with Maggie." Henderson promised that the secret was safe with him.
Once Melanie had donned her purple maid-of-honor gown and the men were dressed in tuxedos, they gathered in the living room. Daniel escorted in Maggie, wearing a lovely, demure wedding gown with a lace jacket and pearls. Justin began the ceremony by stating that he knew Maggie and Victor's loved ones were there in spirit to wish the couple joy and happiness. On cue, Daniel took Maggie's hand and placed it in Victor's.
Victor then began his vows, in which he acknowledged how their families had objected when he and Maggie had begun dating. He confessed that despite all his wealth and power, the love of an amazing woman like Maggie had humbled him, and he promised to spend the rest of his life making her happy and proving himself worthy of her love. Maggie admitted that she had seen past all of her family's objections about who they thought Victor was to the man he truly was: a generous, warm, and honest man. She added that she had total faith in him and in their love, and she was overjoyed that they were going to spend the rest of their lives together.
Victor and Maggie slipped the rings on each other's fingers, and then Justin pronounced them husband and wife. They beamed at each other, and then shared their first kiss as a married couple.
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At the Brady Pub, Will explained to Sonny and Chad that the person who had hacked into their website had embedded a link on each page to a major online gambling site -- and they would have to manually remove each one. Chad emphasized that they had to keep everything between just the three of them for as long as possible, because the university would shut the site down -- and possibly expel them all -- if they found out about it.
Gabi and Abigail arrived, and were surprised to find that the guys were still working on the site. When Gabi saw how upset Will seemed, she asked if something was wrong with the site. Sonny and Chad tried to convince the girls that Will was just being a perfectionist. Gabi suggested that Will take a break, so the two of them left to take a walk. To distract Abigail, Chad congratulated her on acing a midterm that he'd helped her study for, and offered to take her to Chez Rouge to celebrate. They were kissing passionately when Melanie walked in. Chad and Abigail's open display of affection clearly made Melanie uncomfortable, so she slunk in quietly and sat at the bar.
Abigail left to check on her mom just as Will returned. The three guys agreed that they wanted to resolve the gambling issue with their website without involving the girls. Sonny, who had been working on the computer while the other guys were gone, determined that it hadn't been their fault that the site had been hacked. Chad wanted to find the guy who had hacked into their site, but Sonny maintained that fixing the problem and keeping it quiet were the most important things.
From the bar, Melanie had overheard most of the guys' conversation. She approached their table, and pointed out that most women didn't like it when their boyfriends kept things from them. While Sonny and Will continued working on the computer, Chad sat with Melanie at a nearby table. Melanie asserted that the guys should tell someone what was going on, but Chad didn't want anyone -- including Melanie -- to have to keep secrets for them.
Chad maintained that the tech-savvy Will would have the problem fixed in no time. Melanie warned Chad that he should let his girlfriend know what was going on before she learned that he'd been keeping things from her. Chad refused, so Melanie reminded him that he was asking her to keep a secret from one of her best friends because he was afraid to tell the truth. Chad gently reiterated that he didn't want to put anyone else in the position of having to keep the secret. Melanie reluctantly agreed not to say anything to Abigail.
Will announced to Sonny that he had successfully removed every link to the gambling site. Sonny declared that Will had "sick" computer skills, but Will wished that he could use those skills to find out who had hacked their site and why. Sonny then informed Chad and Melanie that Will had been successful, but as the four of them headed to the bar for celebratory coffees, a link labeled "Casino Dujour" popped up on the computer screen.
As Daniel and Brady jogged together through Horton Town Square, Brady expressed his regrets that he hadn't been able to get out of the Titan building for Victor and Maggie's wedding. Daniel divulged that Jennifer had also been stuck in the snowstorm -- in a cabin with Jack. Brady could tell that Daniel was worried about what might have happened between Jack and Jennifer, but Daniel informed him that they had all agreed on a "no-sex clause." Brady had a sneaky idea for him and Daniel to pass Jennifer's house on their jog, but knock on her door because they'd run out of water and were very thirsty. Brady poured out the two men's water bottles so that it wouldn't be a lie, so Daniel reluctantly went along with the plan.
When Jack took Jennifer back to the Horton house, he seemed prepared to just drop her off and leave, but she asked him to stay and talk about what had happened at the cabin. Jack assured her that although he'd freaked out, it was over and he was fine. Jennifer didn't buy that, and asserted that they would never have a chance at a future if he shut her out -- like he always had. Jack was embarrassed that Jennifer had seen him so vulnerable, Jennifer pointed out that being trapped had evoked terrible memories for him, and that was nothing to be embarrassed about. She implored Jack to let her help him.
Once Jack had agreed to stay, Jennifer asked if that had been his first panic attack since he'd returned from Afghanistan. Jack admitted that it hadn't been, but it had been by far the worst. Jennifer said that it sounded like posttraumatic stress, and Jack should see a doctor about it. Jack was adamantly opposed to talking to anyone about his experience, because that would mean reliving everything. He admitted that while imprisoned, thinking about Jennifer, Abigail, and J.J. had been the only thing that had given him any kind of hope. Jack told Jennifer that he loved her, and then kissed her. Jennifer hesitated, but began to kiss him back -- and then pushed him away.
Jack pulled Jennifer to him and kissed her again -- just as Brady and Daniel arrived outside. Daniel started to ring the doorbell, but stopped when he spotted the passionate kissing that was happening inside. Brady peeked in to see what had stopped Daniel, and realized that he'd given Daniel bad advice. The two men left.
Abigail arrived home, and was a bit dismayed to see her dad there. Jack started to leave, but Abigail asked him to stay. She then apologized for how hard she'd been on Jack since he'd returned to town, although she was still angry. Abigail admitted that she'd realized if she'd been that mad at him, it was at least partly because she had really missed him. Jack reiterated that he had never intended to hurt her. Abigail asked how, if that were true, he could keep leaving her. Jack gently insisted that his leaving had never had anything to do with her.
A hurt Abigail found that hard to believe, because she had always felt like she hadn't mattered enough to her dad for him to stick around. Jack vowed to spend the rest of his life trying to prove to her that she was his heart and soul. "No one should ever make you hurt or feel alone, especially not me. My leaving was because I didn't feel good enough for you, that I thought you could do a lot better than me, but -- it was my loss," Jack declared, his voice breaking. With some urging from Jennifer, Abigail conceded that she would try to work on things with Jack. Jack asked for a hug from his daughter, and his eyes filled with happy tears when she finally granted his request.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady produced a body shield and some boxing gloves. He encouraged Daniel to put on the gloves and take out his anger on the padded shield. Daniel resisted at first, but as he realized that he might actually lose Jennifer to Jack, he finally let out a yell and punched the shield with his bare fist. Brady urged Daniel to talk to Jennifer before he made up his mind about what he'd seen through the window, but Daniel was convinced that Jennifer had already chosen Jack.
After Daniel had aggressively pummeled the shield for a while, he admitted that it wasn't making him feel any better. Brady asserted that Daniel had to fight for Jennifer. Daniel reluctantly concurred, "I hate to admit it; you're right. You want something, you fight for it -- and that's what I'm going to do."
Jennifer was happily watching Jack and Abigail look through old family photos when her phone alerted her that she had a text message. "Call me when you can?" read the message from Daniel. Jack asked if there were somewhere else Jennifer needed to be, but she replied that she was exactly where she should be.
At the Horton Square café, Carrie admitted to Rafe that she was nervous about people finding out that the witness was arriving in Salem soon. Rafe assured her that he would take care of it. Carrie thanked him for going to bat for John, but Rafe was also grateful that Carrie had trusted him enough to let him lead the investigation. They briefly discussed how their respective spouses weren't exactly thrilled that the two of them were working together. They fought good-naturedly over the check, but Carrie won, since she could expense it.
At the penthouse, John and Marlena prepared for her to put him under hypnosis to try to determine the origin of his memory flashes. John expressed his love for his wife, but warned her that things were about to get worse -- especially if he were guilty. Marlena knew that John could not have embezzled the money. John pointed out her that he had been under Stefano's control for many years, and the people who'd had their money stolen wouldn't care why it had happened if John had done it. Marlena declared that she believed with her whole heart that John was not guilty.
When Carrie and Rafe arrived, Marlena explained that she would start the hypnotherapy session by asking John some questions to which they all knew the answers. Soon, John was reclining on the sofa with his eyes closed. Marlena asked him about a specific date, and John smiled as he remembered that it was his and Marlena's wedding day. He correctly recounted the details that she asked him about, so then she asked about another date. John became a bit agitated as he replied that he didn't want to talk about that day.
Carrie whispered to Rafe that John and Marlena had gotten remarried in Italy on that date -- but John recalled, "I killed a man." Upon further questioning, he stated that he had been ordered to kill a French diplomat named François Belmont. Carrie whispered to Marlena that François Belmont was actually alive. Marlena asked him for more details, and John described how he had eaten a croissant after shooting the man. While Marlena whispered to Carrie and Rafe that none of what John described had happened, suddenly John declared argumentatively, "I will not do it! I won't take orders from you!" Marlena snapped her fingers, and John instantly emerged from hypnosis.
Marlena recapped what had just happened, but assured him that what he'd remembered had to have been an implanted memory. John wondered how he could distinguish between his real memories and the manufactured ones -- and how they could prove his innocence if he couldn't tell the difference. John asked why Marlena hadn't asked him about the café, but she maintained that there hadn't been enough time before she'd had to stop the hypnosis.
Carrie declared that John's alibi witness, the worker from the clinic, would be enough to create reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury. Carrie and Rafe then headed for the door, and Marlena thanked them for all they were doing to help. Once they were alone, John confessed that it was very distressing not to know what was real and what wasn't. "We are real. This is real. This will never change. And our love is the realest thing I have ever known," Marlena declared confidently, and John pulled her into a grateful embrace.
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At the DiMera mansion, Nicole informed E.J. that she was planning to resign as his publicity manager. E.J. claimed that Nicole was running away. E.J. reminded Nicole that she had always embraced challenges. Nicole agreed, and she added that she had the scars to prove it.
E.J. reminded Nicole that they had made love earlier. "Look, we were stuck in the middle of a blizzard, all right? We needed something to do; the lights were out, the Internet was down," Nicole said. E.J. warned Nicole that she wasn't going to be able to just put the genie back in the bottle. "It's more like the old toothpaste story, E.J. -- once you squeeze it all out of the tube, it's just one big gooey mess," Nicole said.
Nicole reached into her purse, and she pulled out a stack of papers. "It's time, E.J. -- past time -- that we made this official. Our marriage is over," Nicole said, as she handed E.J. the divorce papers. E.J. was shocked, and he wondered why Nicole had chosen to resort to something as drastic as a request for a divorce.
"E.J., we talked about this. We filed months ago. We dragged our feet. We did nothing. This isn't a real marriage -- it never was," Nicole said. E.J. pointed out that he was in the middle of an election campaign, and that a divorce would probably cost him the election. Nicole explained that she was just asking E.J. to sign the divorce petition. Nicole assured E.J. that she wouldn't file the papers until after the election had ended.
E.J. refused to grant Nicole's request. "This isn't a joke, E.J. I know what I want -- this is what I want! It will clear the air between us, okay? It'll remind us of where we stand with each other," Nicole said. Nicole wondered if E.J. really believed that she was still interested in him, after everything that he had done to hurt her. E.J. insisted that he and Nicole had shared some great moments together.
"Nicole, since we started working on this campaign together, we've had more fun, and we've laughed together...I mean, come on, you got me to dress up like Elvis. Elvis! I am speaking from my heart, Nicole. God, you are just the most maddening, bewitching woman that I have ever met," E.J. said. E.J. leaned in to kiss Nicole, but she angrily dodged his advances.
"You're doing it again, E.J. -- you're...you almost sucked me back in! You're confusing sex with everything else that people need to share! Yes, yes -- sex is amazing with you. But what about all the other parts of a relationship? All the parts that we are lousy at? That is never gonna change, E.J., and we both know it!" Nicole shouted. E.J. conceded that he and Nicole had made a lot of mistakes as a couple.
"Look, E.J., I'm not trying to hurt you. But if there ever is a next time for me, I am looking for something that I have never had -- the whole package. Love, trust, support, and yes, if there's great sex thrown in there, then that's a bonus, but I wasn't kidding at the Horton Town Square opening when I said, 'I want to experience the kind of love that Tom and Alice Horton shared,'" Nicole said. Nicole braced herself for E.J.'s ridicule.
E.J. admitted that he wanted the same thing. Nicole told E.J. that their marriage had failed because it had been built on a foundation of lies and blackmail. E.J. begged Nicole to give him one more chance. "This moth has been burned enough to know when to step away from the flame," Nicole quietly stated. E.J. reluctantly signed the divorce papers, then he stormed out of the mansion.
In Carrie and Austin's new hotel room, Carrie asked Austin to thank Kate for helping them find a place to stay. Austin admitted that the task had been difficult, even for Kate DiMera. Austin noted that John's trial was scheduled to start the next day. Austin suggested that he and Carrie could take a quick road trip, so that Carrie could clear her head. Carrie smiled and said that she wasn't in the mood to leave the hotel room.
After making love, Carrie asked if Austin had ever wondered how certain people had ended up together. "Look at Jennifer -- what if she had met Daniel before Jack? Would he be the father of her children? Or Maggie and Victor -- I mean, it's a miracle that they found each other at this point in their lives. Then there's...Sami and Rafe. I just don't get it. She's always going on about how happy they are, but...all I ever see is them fighting," Carrie said.
Austin pointed out that Sami and Rafe had been under a lot of stress lately. Austin insisted that Sami and Rafe were in it for the long haul, but Carrie wasn't convinced. "With other couples, I can just see the connection, even if they're opposites. Like Bo and Hope -- they just fit. But I've been working with Rafe lately, and he's just such a straight shooter, and Sami's...you know," Carrie said.
At the Brady Pub, Rafe, Sami, Johnny, Allie, and Sydney enjoyed an impromptu party. Johnny was preoccupied with baseball cards, and Allie and Sydney were hosting a tea party with their dolls. Rafe explained that he had planned the party as a special surprise for the kids. Sami knowingly joked that Rafe had also been eager to celebrate the fact that Austin and Carrie had moved out of the apartment.
Rafe reminded Sami that John's trial was scheduled to start the next day. "Your grandmother is closing the pub tomorrow morning, so friends and family can come here and show their support for John before the trial. Now, your dad's going to pick up John and Marlena and bring them here without the press knowing," Rafe explained. Rafe said that he understood that Sami wasn't convinced that John was innocent.
Sami reminded Rafe that Stefano had messed with John's mind on more than one occasion. "But you don't blame him, right? Listen, I just know it would mean a lot to your mom, and to John, if you showed up and gave a little support, just like everyone else is gonna do," Rafe said. Sami said that she would think about Rafe's suggestion.
Later, Carrie and Austin entered the pub. Austin apologized for the interruption, and he explained that he and Carrie had decided that they wanted to spend the day with their family. Rafe hesitantly agreed that family was the most important thing, and Rafe and Austin shared a tense handshake. As the group huddled together for a photograph, E.J. stood outside and watched through a window.
At Titan, Madison reminded Brady that John's trial was scheduled to start the next day. Madison urged Brady to talk to John, and she offered to accompany him over to the townhouse for moral support. Brady wondered why Madison was concerned about his relationship with John. Madison said that she could tell that Brady really cared about John. Madison added that Brady just didn't want to admit that he cared.
"I said what I came here to say, so you can either man up to your feelings and go see your dad, or you can be that guy who doesn't see his father on his very last evening before his trial starts. Just to be clear, Brady -- I don't even wanna know that second guy," Madison said. Before Brady could respond, Madison exited the room.
Later, Brady and Madison surprised John and Marlena at the townhouse. John was thrilled to see Brady. Brady introduced John to Madison, and John said that Marlena was a big fan of Mad World's products. Marlena invited Brady and Madison to stay for dinner, and she and Madison excused themselves so that they could go to the Horton Town Square to order some food.
After Madison and Marlena left, Brady started to explain why he had been avoiding John, but John stopped him. John assured Brady that no explanation was necessary. "You know, Dad, I want you to know that even though I haven't come to see you before now, it doesn't mean I think you're guilty, and it certainly doesn't mean that I haven't been thinking about you," Brady said.
John said that he understood, and he added that he had noticed that Titan had refrained from criticizing him for his alleged crimes. John acknowledged that he had not always been the kind of father that Brady had wanted. Brady said that John didn't need to be hard on himself.
"Why not? I was hard enough on you. Wasn't very supportive during our phone calls, when I was in Switzerland. I know that got under your skin. I should have listened to you more, son -- I shouldn't have been so damn judgmental," John admitted. Brady conceded that he had not always been the kind of son that John had wanted, either.
"Ah, you've been a wonderful son -- a son any father would be proud to have. And I am proud of you, kid. That is a fact -- that's something you need to know. That is something that you always need to believe," John insisted. Brady was visibly moved by John's words, and he admitted that they had both made mistakes. Brady told John that it was time for them to start over.
John asked Brady to tell him more about Madison, and he guessed that they were more than just colleagues. Brady said that Madison wanted to keep things strictly professional, but John wasn't convinced. John said that he had seen a tabloid picture of Brady and Madison, and that he had sensed a connection between them. Brady was shocked that John was reading tabloids.
"Oh, man, you wouldn't believe the depths one sinks when they're under house arrest. But I haven't lost my last vestige of dignity -- I have not yet succumbed to the allure of reality television," John assured Brady. Brady laughed, and he said that he might need to watch reality television so that he could understand Madison's mixed signals. John said that if Madison was putting up walls, then Brady just needed to learn how to pole vault.
After John, Marlena, Brady, and Madison finished their meal, Marlena invited Brady and Madison to watch a movie with her and John. John said that the movie was one of his favorites, and Brady immediately guessed that it was Ghostbusters. Brady declined the offer, and he explained that he had an early meeting the next day. Brady offered to reschedule, but John insisted that Brady didn't need to do that.
Brady said that he was glad that he had stopped by to visit John, and he assured John and Marlena that everything would be all right. After Brady and Madison left, Marlena turned on the television so that she and John could watch the movie. A local news reporter was talking about John's trial. Marlena tried to change the channel, but John stopped her.
"With the John Black trial set to begin here in Salem tomorrow, we took a poll of local residents about this explosive case. An overwhelming majority of those polled here today believe that John Black is guilty; in fact, this large majority favors not only a conviction, but the maximum sentence -- life in prison," the reporter announced.
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At Jennifer's house, Bo dropped Hope off to talk to Jennifer. Bo headed off to the police station while Hope stayed behind to talk to Jennifer about John's case. "Even a guilty verdict won't be enough for some people," Hope said. Hope and Jennifer searched through boxes at Alice's house and attempted to determine what Alice's secret was. Hope and Jennifer combed through Alice's papers. "How many secrets did gran have?" Hope wondered aloud.
When Hope asked Jennifer about Jack and Daniel, Jennifer explained that dating two men turned out to be tougher than she expected. "I was being a little naive," Jennifer admitted. Jennifer told Hope about her ski trip with Jack and how Jack would never be able to live a life without stress again due to his captivity in Afghanistan. Jennifer told Hope that Jack was haunted by the memories of his captivity.
"Here I am looking at this man that I loved and he is scared out of his mind. And he needs me. He needs me to hold it together. And I don't know, I saw him like that and it just made me realize how much I loved him," Jennifer said. "It sounds to me like you've made up your mind," Hope remarked. Jennifer admitted that she had not decided between the two men. Jennifer explained that though she had learned things about Jack that had touched her, she still had feelings for Daniel.
With a sigh, Jennifer noted that she was worried about what both Jack and Daniel were going through. "I'm gonna take one day at a time and that's it," Jennifer said as she changed the subject. While Hope and Jennifer examined the files, Jennifer asked about the photo of the baby. Jennifer noted that the baby was not Daniel, but that the baby looked familiar.
As Jennifer looked through the box, she found a paperweight. Hope examined the engraving that mentioned a bond between the gift giver and Alice. When Hope flipped open the top of the paperweight, she was stunned to find the phoenix symbol of the DiMera family.
At the hotel, Austin watched a news report about John's case. When Carrie exited the bathroom, Austin hastily turned off the television. Carrie assured Austin that she was fine, but he was worried about Carrie being in the midst of so many angry people.
At the DiMera mansion, E.J. told Stefano that he planned to downplay his role in the case against John by appearing to be another victim of John's schemes. Stefano warned E.J. that if "justice prevails, you and I could both be behind bars." Stefano reminded E.J. that the people saw E.J. as their champion. "Luck has nothing to do with it," E.J. said with a wink.
E.J. practiced his opening arguments for the trial as Stefano listened. Stefano complimented E.J.'s speech, and he giddily added that he was pleased to see John squirm on the brink of ruin. "After all the hard work over these years that I have gone through, and now all of the sudden, this agony just happens," Stefano chuckled. E.J. warned Stefano that Marlena would likely return to the house to blame Stefano for John's misfortunes.
With a grin on his face, Stefano told E.J. that the excuses he gave Marlena were the truth. "I can say honestly that my hands are clean," Stefano said. "Well at least one of us can say that," E.J. said. E.J. admitted that he was to blame for John's misfortunes. Stefano told E.J. that he was proud of his son. "The idea of setting up John Black in an airtight case against him? Pure genius," Stefano said. "You are going to drive his misfortune straight to the mayor's office," Stefano added.
E.J. remarked that the real victory of his plan was that it would legitimize the DiMera family and give them real power. Worried about the plan, Stefano went over it with E.J. E.J. informed Stefano that he had cloned John's cell phone so that he could make the incriminating transactions and lead the trail back to John. E.J. explained that he then had his F.B.I. informant manipulate the evidence.
"My proudest moment, the one that I am going to savor, was when I managed to turn the people in his own company against him," E.J. said with a wicked smile. Stefano informed E.J. that he was disappointed that they could not tell John that they had taken him down, but E.J. was unfazed. E.J. noted that it was satisfying enough for him to build a future for Johnny.
Stefano wondered aloud if Johnny would take after his father and grandfather in terms of moral fortitude. With a grin, E.J. explained that he would chang how the town viewed the DiMera family and then Johnny would change how the world saw the family.
Sami was folding laundry at the loft, when Rafe walked into the kitchen. Sami was upset about the family gathering at the pub, and she admitted that she felt like she was being forced to attend the party. Rafe assured Sami that it was her decision whether she wanted to attend and counseled her to think hard about the consequences.
At the police station, Austin asked Bo how he could handle watching his wife Hope put herself in dangerous situations. Bo surmised that Austin was worried about Carrie, and assured him that Roman would protect Carrie. When Austin urged Bo to tell him how he dealt with his worry about Hope, Bo admitted, "I don't take my wife for granted."
While Bo read an email from Chelsea, Austin informed him that Billie was hoping the family could visit her in London. Bo informed Austin that Chelsea had asked him to bring the family over to England for the Olympics. Bo reviewed Austin's timeline, and he admitted to Austin that the case was damning.
"John's big problem is the chronology of the transactions. That's the case against John," Austin said. Shaking his head, Bo noted that the evidence looked tidy. Austin shrugged his shoulders and admitted that Rafe had said the same thing. Bo admitted that though John could have been set up, it was unlikely the work of Austin. Bo asked Austin if he would be interested in looking at Alice's financial records for him.
At the Brady Pub, Roman snuck John and Marlena into the pub through the back. Marlena and John thanked Roman for organizing the family gathering so that they could spend time with loved ones. Looking out the window, John noted that the security detail outside was small. Roman explained that he kept the detail light so that they would not draw attention to the pub.
While Roman went outside to talk to his men, Marlena assured John that they would get through their ordeal. In a nearby location, a masked man lurked in a dark room and monitored John and Marlena's conversation in the pub over a radio. While John and Marlena talked, the masked man set up a sniper rifle and looked out his window across the way through the pub window.
Inside the pub, John confided that he was not sure that his accusers were wrong about him stealing the money. Marlena cautioned John to show confidence in front of Caroline. John worried aloud that he was guilty and would shame his friends and family that were sticking up for him and supporting him through this trial. "You are innocent. I know that in my heart," Marlena said. Marlena urged John to remember that their session in hypnosis proved that John's memory flashes were not real.
Rafe arrived at the pub with Will, Allie, Johnny, and Sydney. As Marlena took note that Sami was not with the kids, her face fell. To Marlena's surprise, Sami rushed through the door and greeted everyone. John and Marlena hugged their grandchildren, while Sami smiled at her mother. John held Johnny and Allie on his lap as he complimented the card they had made him. John set the children down and crossed over to Sami to thank her for coming to see him. Lost for words, Sami hugged John and held back tears. Joking, John noted that Sami's kids were "funny and feisty" and reminded him of Sami.
When John returned to Johnny and Allie to talk, Marlena took Sami aside and thanked her for coming to the pub and bringing her children. John playfully chased Johnny and Allie around the room while Caroline fussed over everyone and offered breakfast. Wanting help, Will asked John for advice. Will explained that Sami was unhappy with the amount of time that Will was spending working on his website. John suggested that Will should determine whether he could receive academic credit for his work on the website through independent study in the computer science department.
In the corner, Roman thanked Sami for coming to the gathering. Sami reminded Roman that he did not need to thank her for supporting her family. When Roman noted that he knew Sami would not let her mother down, Sami quipped that she had let her mother down before. "I think those days are past," Roman said.
When Will and John finished talking, Will went over to the bar to talk to Marlena while John showed Johnny and Allie how to play tee-ball with a roll of paper towels Johnny asked John if he would watch him play his first game of tee-ball. Avoiding the question, John handed the paper towel roll back to Johnny and coached him on how to swing at the ball.
At the bar, Marlena told Will that she missed him and that she would make time for him if he needed her. Marlena asked about Gabi, and Will explained that Gabi was studying for a test. Short on time, Roman announced that John needed to make his way to the courthouse. Roman explained the plan to use a decoy at the courthouse and sneak John through the back door. John objected to any of his family accompanying him into the courthouse.
Citing the danger, John said that he wanted to go inside alone. Marlena stubbornly refused to leave John's side, and she assured him that they were in this situation together. John said goodbye to the children and Caroline, while Marlena thanked Roman for setting up the family gathering. John turned to Sami and told her that it meant a lot to him that Sami came to the pub with the kids. As Sami and John hugged, the gunman across the street opened fire.
Terrified, everyone in the pub dropped to the ground. John flipped a table over and pulled Marlena down beside him on the floor while the gunman continued to shoot. Rafe shielded Allie, Johnny, Sydney, and Sami over by the bar while Roman ordered everyone to stay down.
At the police station, Bo received a call about the gunfire at the pub. Worried about his wife, Austin ran out of the station after Bo. Inside the pub, the gunfire stopped while Roman called out to make sure everyone was okay. Just as Roman learned that no one was injured, the gunfire resumed.
As Stefano pondered E.J.'s plan to destroy John, he spotted a news report on the television in his living room. When Stefano turned up the volume, the reporter announced that there was gunfire at the Brady Pub. The news reporter noted that small children were at the pub for a family event, and E.J. realized that his children were likely at the scene. Terrified, E.J. yelled "this is not supposed to happen," as he rushed out the front door.
Outside the pub, Roman directed the police where to search for the shooter. Roman went back inside the pub to check on everyone. Bo and Austin arrived at the pub, and Austin rushed to Carrie's side. While Bo talked to Roman about the search for the shooter, a stunned John went to Sami to apologize for putting her family in danger. Nodding, Sami looked around for Johnny. Realizing that she did not see Johnny in the pub, a panicked Sami started to call out for her son. The family began to frantically search for Johnny, as John stood at the bar horrified.
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