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 Recaps for The week of December 12, 2011
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Monday, December 12, 2011
by Mike

At Titan, Madison entered Brady's office. Brady coldly stated that he was busy, and he asked Madison to leave. Madison ignored Brady's request, and she demanded to know why he had been avoiding her.

Brady said that he was just respecting Madison's boundaries. Madison admitted that she should not have tried to push Brady away. "I'm gonna need a neck brace from all the whiplash you've given to me. Okay, tell you what -- why don't you tell me how much you want me, how much you want to be with me, because I know within five seconds, you're gonna change your mind. That's what you do," Brady said.

Madison said that it was hard for her to let her guard down. Madison explained that she had a tendency to push people away as soon as they started to get too close to her. Madison admitted that she had learned to focus all of her energy on her company, and she added that her personal relationships had always been expendable.

Madison insisted that she didn't feel that way about Brady. Madison admitted that she cared about Brady, and she said that she didn't want to drive him away. Madison assured Brady that she was trying to be honest with him. Brady nodded, and he said that he could tell that she was being sincere. "I sure wish we could have talked this out the other night -- it would have saved me a hell of a lot of cold water," Brady added.

Madison was relieved, and she said that she had been worried that Brady would think that she was a tease, or that she was crazy. Brady smirked, and Madison realized that he already believed that she was crazy. Brady shook his head, and he insisted that Madison was brave. Madison said that she didn't feel brave, and she added that she just felt scared.

Brady said that it was normal to feel that way. Madison dryly stated that no other woman in the world would agree that it was normal to throw a guy like Brady out of her bed. Brady laughed, and he and Madison agreed that they would be honest with each other in the future.

At the Horton house, Abe, Lexie, and Jennifer discussed Abe's campaign strategy. Jennifer suggested that it was time to expose E.J.'s past, but Abe adamantly refused to resort to E.J.'s level. Abe said that Nicole would point out that Lexie was a DiMera, and that Theo was Stefano's grandson. Abe said that he didn't want his family to get dragged into the battle.

Jennifer suggested that she could seize the opportunity to shine the spotlight on Lexie. Jennifer pointed out that Lexie was an incredible wife, a great mother, and a respected doctor. "My point is that there are DiMeras like Lexie and Chad who make a wonderful, positive contribution to this community, okay? And then there's E.J., and I think that he should be exposed as the crook that he is in designer clothes," Jennifer added.

Abe wasn't swayed by Jennifer's argument. Lexie insisted that Abe was going to win the election without compromising his moral values. Jennifer seemed doubtful, but she smiled and agreed to focus on the positive aspects of Abe's campaign. Jennifer noted that Abe was going to be making a speech at the Children's Charity luncheon later that afternoon.

"When you announce your brilliant fundraising project for the children's recreation center, the voters are gonna be saying, 'E.J. who?'" Lexie assured Abe. Jennifer realized that Lexie was right, and she optimistically noted that it would be impossible for E.J. to top Abe's announcement. Abe agreed, then he excused himself so that he could review his speech.

After Abe left, Lexie said that she understood why Jennifer wanted to play hardball. Jennifer suggested that Abe was being naïve. Lexie assured Jennifer that Abe was just staying true to himself, and she said that was one of the reasons that she loved him.

Abe returned, and he wondered if Lexie and Jennifer were ready to go to the luncheon. Before anyone could respond, Jennifer received a phone call. After Jennifer ended the call, she announced that the luncheon had been moved to a different location. Jennifer explained that some sort of plumbing issue had occurred at the original location, so the luncheon was going to be held at a hotel at the Horton Town Square instead.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. and Nicole were lying in bed together. E.J. suggested that he and Nicole could spend the whole day in bed, but Nicole reminded E.J. that he had a luncheon to attend. E.J. insisted that the luncheon wasn't on his calendar, and he wondered what Nicole was up to.

"Well, you know that the Children's Charity is Abe Carver's pet project, right? So...I'm sure that he will be delighted to learn that the companies that I approached, that work with DiMera Enterprises...they just decided to donate gobs of money to help build the new children's rec center," Nicole explained. E.J. gleefully noted that Abe was going to be surprised by that development. E.J. excused himself so that he could take a shower. After E.J. left, Nicole smirked and muttered that she had more than one surprise in store for Abe.

At the Horton Town Square, Kate greeted Sami, and she mentioned Will's website drama. Kate wondered if Will was all right. Sami said that Will was exhausted, but she assured Kate that he would be fine. Kate wondered if Sami and Madison had patched things up. Sami admitted that Kate's advice had helped, and she thanked Kate.

Kate said that she wasn't going to pretend that she was happy to help, because that would imply that she actually cared about Sami. Sami nodded and agreed that neither one of them would want that to happen. "Anyway, I would love to stay here and trade barbs with you like vultures picking over roadkill, but I don't have time -- I have a meeting to get to," Sami said, and she started to walk away.

Kate wondered if Sami's meeting was with Anthony Morrison. Sami was impressed, and Kate said that she knew everything about the competition. Meanwhile, Sami's babysitter arrived, with Johnny, Sydney, and Allie in tow. The babysitter explained that her mother had been rushed to the hospital. Sami sighed as she remembered that Rafe had gone to the police station to fill out a statement about the website hackers.

Sami called Caroline, who apologetically explained that she was going to be spending the day at a quilting bee. Sami chased the kids around the town square, and she frantically tried to think of a solution. Meanwhile, Kate approached Sami, and she wondered what was going on. Sami explained the situation, and she said that Madison was going to kill her, and that the kids were going to end up as orphans.

Kate jokingly stated that every cloud had a silver lining. Sami dryly stated that Kate had probably done something to the babysitter's mother so that she would end up in the hospital. "Wow -- I wish I were that devious. Okay, I am that devious, but I can't take credit for this. Have you forgotten already? If it weren't for me, you would have been fired," Kate reminded Sami.

Sami started to call Marlena, then she stopped herself, and she muttered that Marlena was too busy stealing money with John. Sami quickly ruled Carrie out, for the same reason. Kate offered to help, and she reminded Sami that Johnny, Allie, and Sydney were her grandchildren. "Well, you wouldn't know it," Sami dryly stated.

"Oh, thank you. That's so sweet of you. You know, I owe this youthful appearance to Countess Wilhelmina," Kate jokingly replied. Sami clarified that Kate had not been spending a lot of time with the kids lately. "And whose fault is that? Maybe if you and E.J. could share a civil moment, that would be possible, you know? And every time that I want to see Allie, you refuse, because you're having a fight with Lucas or something," Kate said.

Sami insisted that Stefano was the true source of her apprehension. Sami said that she didn't like Stefano, and that she didn't want her kids at the DiMera mansion. Kate pointed out that she could see the kids anywhere, and she cited the town square as one example. Sami contemplated Kate's proposal, and she wondered why the hairs on the back of her neck were standing up.

Kate shrugged and said that Sami had always been slightly paranoid. Sami reluctantly agreed to let Kate watch the kids. The kids immediately started to ask Kate for candy and popcorn. "Mary Poppins had a spoonful to help the medicine go down," Kate innocently pointed out. Sami sighed and begged Kate not to buy candy, soda, cocoa, or presents.

"Can they have a bowl of gruel and a stick to play with? You know, Sami, I raised children all by myself, and they turned out beautifully -- until you corrupted them," Kate said. Sami smirked at the not-so-subtle jab, then she rushed off to her meeting. After Sami left, Kate told the kids that she was going to buy them some hot chocolate and candy. Kate warned the kids not to tell Sami.

Later, Sami returned, and she found the kids drinking hot chocolate. Kate was holding Sydney, who was drawing on a piece of paper. Sami smirked, and she muttered that she should have known. Kate innocently agreed that Sami should have known that Sydney was a gifted artist. Kate asked about the meeting, but Sami wasn't ready to change the subject. Sami reminded Kate that she had promised not to give the kids sugar.

"Actually...I didn't. You see, grandparents are really sly that way, okay? Besides, what difference does it make? A few snacks and trinkets? It's not gonna cause any long-term damage -- that is a parent's job," Kate joked. Kate added that the kids had behaved like angels, and she admitted that Sami had to have done something right. Sami thanked Kate, and she said that she was trying to do her best.

The kids showed Sami some photographs from their visit with Santa, and they said that they loved Santa and Grandma Kate. Sami jokingly wondered if Kate had bribed the kids with money, too. Sami sincerely stated that she appreciated Kate's help. Kate said that she had enjoyed every minute of it, and she added that Sami could put her on the short list in case she ever needed a babysitter again.

Sami agreed to keep that in mind. Kate asked about the meeting again, and Sami said that she had won Morrison over. Johnny wondered when Kate would be able to play with them again. Kate smiled and told Johnny that she would love to play with him again soon. Kate added that Stefano would love to see his grandchildren.

Sami said that spoiling them with candy was one thing, but taking them to see Stefano was another matter entirely. Kate shrugged and said that Sami couldn't blame her for trying. Sami noted that Kate was a loyal wife, and she said that she admired that. Before Kate could respond, Sami received a message from Rafe, so she excused herself so that she could take the kids home.

The kids hugged Kate, and Sami thanked her again for her help. Sami said that she wasn't sure if Kate was being nice to her because of the holidays, or if it was just a sign of the apocalypse. Sami added that she was grateful either way.

Elsewhere, Abe, Lexie, and Jennifer realized that they had been given the wrong information. The hotel that Jennifer had been told to go to had never heard about the luncheon. Jennifer apologized, and she assured Abe that she was going to get everything straightened out.

Meanwhile, at the luncheon, E.J. was giving his speech. E.J. tried to pretend that he wasn't interested in using the charity as a way to garner support from the voters. To prove his point, he asked all of the reporters to leave. "It's been a struggle, right? To raise the money that you need for this rec center, and for the after-school facilities. Well, I'm here to tell you that that struggle is over. Myself and my staff have contacted some of the companies that we're associated with, and we have raised enough money to pay for the rec center and the after-school facilities," E.J. announced.

Back at the town square, Lexie received a text message on her phone. "Oh, my God...get this. 'Mayoral candidate and philanthropist E.J. DiMera gave a rousing speech today at the Children's Charity luncheon. DiMera announced that he received funding from local businesses to underwrite the cost of the new children's recreation center and after-school program,'" Lexie read aloud.

A short time later, Nicole and E.J. entered the town square. Nicole and E.J. loudly announced that they were lucky that Abe had missed the luncheon, and that Nicole had been able to arrange for E.J. to step in as Abe's replacement, despite the short notice. Jennifer insisted that luck had nothing to do with it. Jennifer added that E.J. was playing dirty again, but E.J. and Nicole feigned ignorance.

Jennifer said that it was despicable that E.J. had manipulated a charity event in order to get votes. E.J. agreed that helping poor children was despicable. Lexie lashed out at E.J., as Abe quietly observed the situation. "Are you really that desperate to win? You are a pathetic human being," Jennifer said.

E.J. dryly stated that his first act as mayor was going to be to test the water supply for extremely high levels of paranoia. "Just when I thought I couldn't get any more disappointed in you," Lexie said with contempt. Abe and Lexie walked away, and E.J. excused himself so that he could make a phone call.

After E.J. left, Jennifer reminded Nicole that she had been warned not to play dirty. "Or what? You're gonna get your little blonde self down in the mud with me? Politics is dirty business -- it doesn't matter who's in the game. You should know that more than anyone. It's just sad that Abe won't learn that until he loses on election day," Nicole said.

Later, at the DiMera mansion, E.J. admitted that Lexie and Abe had a right to be angry, and he noted that Nicole had tricked Jennifer so that Abe would miss the luncheon. Nicole pointed out that there was no way to prove that, but E.J. insisted that he knew the truth. Nicole said that she wanted E.J. to win, and she wondered if he was trying to say that she had gone too far.

E.J. pointed out that Nicole had also strong-armed the donators into spending millions of dollars. Nicole said that she loved E.J., and that she wanted him to be the next mayor of Salem. Nicole said that she was willing to do whatever she had to do to make that happen. Nicole wondered if E.J. was upset. E.J. dropped the act, and he admitted that he could never be upset with the sexiest, savviest campaign manager ever.

Back at the Horton house, Jennifer reiterated that they needed to play dirty, but Lexie was still convinced that Abe would not cross that line. Jennifer wondered if Abe really wanted to be mayor, or if he was willing to let E.J. take the position. Jennifer said that she loved Salem, and she added that she didn't want Abigail's future to be in E.J.'s hands.

"I love your principles -- I share them with you. But what I'm asking you to do pales in comparison to the sacrifices you're gonna have to make if E.J. gets elected. I am not asking you to dive into the muck and come up slinging mud. I'm not asking you to do that -- I'm asking you to fight...or just accept defeat. It's your choice," Jennifer said.

Lexie agreed that E.J. would destroy Salem if he was elected to be the next mayor, but she reiterated that Abe wasn't willing to play dirty. Lexie excused herself so that she could make a phone call. After Lexie left the room, Abe turned to Jennifer.

"Do what you have to do. I will do whatever it takes to win this election," Abe said, and Jennifer nodded. Lexie returned, and she praised Abe for sticking to his principles.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

At Titan, Madison apologized for having to run out to a meeting while she and Brady had been kissing. She offered to make it up to him, and to try to start over. After letting her think he had no intention of participating, Brady led her into his office. Madison was touched to see that Brady had recreated the night they'd been trapped in the Titan offices during the blizzard, complete with wine and chips from the vending machine. He had even rigged a light show of snowflakes. Madison proclaimed, "I think it's the most romantic thing anyone's ever done for me."

Brady had also ordered take-out Thai food for them, since that was what they had tried to order the night of the storm. As they sat down to eat, Madison thanked him for not giving up on her. Brady pointed out that she wasn't an easy woman to forget, especially after she had opened up to him the night of the snowstorm. He also thanked her for jumping in to help when Johnny had been missing. After dinner, Brady asked if Madison were serious about trying to make a go of things with him, and she assured him that she was. Instead of sealing the deal with a handshake, Brady put on some music, and asked Madison to cement their arrangement with a dance. She happily took him up on it.

Afterward, Brady escorted Madison to her hotel room, and told her goodnight. As he opened the door to leave, Madison asked him to stay with her. A bit later, she emerged from the bathroom, wearing a negligee, and found that Brady had lit candles and strewn rose petals on the bed. Madison expressed her appreciation by kissing him passionately. Brady then picked her up and carried her to the bed, where they began to disrobe each other.

Marlena arrived at the jail with a picnic basket so that she and John could share dinner together. She laid out a checkered tablecloth and votive candles just outside the bars, and the pair sat as close together as they could as they dined. Marlena had apparently gotten special permission from Roman, as well as from John's guard, who evidently held John in high regard. Marlena concurred that John was the finest man she had ever known. She asked how the hearing, which she had not been allowed to attend, had gone earlier that day.

John admitted that it had been difficult to listen to the stories from people whom he had allegedly bilked out of their life savings, and he was more determined than ever to get the money back for them. Marlena then filled John in about the photograph of him in Paris that had possibly been altered, but John already seemed to know about it. He warned his wife that he might never get out of prison, so she had to make plans for a possible future without him. Marlena urged him not to worry her; she was keeping busy, and was considering an offer to head up the psychiatric residency program at Salem University.

Although pleased, John was worried that she was consigning herself to a life of obligation to him. Marlena emphatically asserted that it wasn't obligation; it was devotion -- and she planned to be by his side until the day she died. She vowed to do anything necessary to get John out of there. John demanded to know what she was up to. Finally Marlena admitted that she was doing some investigating to prove that Stefano had set John up. "Are you out of your mind?" John bellowed.

Marlena swore that Stefano would never know what she was doing, but John ordered her to stop whatever she was doing immediately. Marlena insisted that Stefano would never lay a hand on her, but John agonized over the thought that something could happen to her while he was locked up. He begged her to leave things in Rafe's very capable hands.

Marlena appeared to concede, and asked if they could please just drop the subject and move on to dessert. Reaching into the picnic basket, she produced a can of whipped cream and some strawberries, which she fed to a grateful John through the bars. Marlena declared that if not for the bars, their night would end very differently. John admitted that he missed sleeping next to his wife. "John, don't get hurt in here," Marlena cautioned him tenderly, to which he replied in a whisper, "Don't you get hurt out there."

When Daniel arrived at the Horton house to see Jennifer, they compared notes on how their daughters were handling the previous day's ordeal. Daniel refused to give Jennifer any further hints about their date except that while she might be black and blue afterward, she would probably find it exhilarating.

Soon, Daniel was escorting Jennifer to the ice rink, but before they could even don their skates, Jennifer got a call from Jack. Daniel watched a bit ruefully as Jennifer giggled at something Jack said. After hanging up, Jennifer explained that Jack had just been checking on Abigail, and had asked Jennifer to thank Daniel for helping Jack through an episode of PTSD. While Jennifer left to order hot chocolate for the two of them, Daniel got to work trying to untie the knots in her skate laces, but his hands stiffened up. When Jennifer returned and the knots were still intact, she joked that Daniel should have just used his scalpel on them.

After skating, Jennifer and Daniel headed to the Brady Pub. Both admitted to feeling a little sore, but agreed that they'd had a lot of fun. Daniel then invited Jennifer to the ballet for the following night. She reluctantly informed him that Jack had already bought tickets to the same ballet for him and Jennifer. Daniel thought they should discuss the situation with her dating both men. He believed that his relationship with Jennifer would have progressed a lot further if Jack had not returned -- but Jack had returned, and they were all in a sort of holding pattern. Daniel added that the situation had become like torture for him, and he guessed Jack felt the same way -- but Jack and Jennifer had children together.

Daniel confessed that he felt literally sick to his stomach on the nights Jack and Jennifer went on their dates. Jennifer tried to express her regrets about the entire situation, but Daniel reminded her that the situation was not her fault. He knew that she was no closer to a decision than she'd been when they'd begun the experiment, so he was going to decide for all of them. "I'm out. I'm pulling my hat out of the ring, Jennifer," Daniel declared softly. Crushed, Jennifer admitted that she loved Daniel and didn't want to lose him, but she didn't know how to reconcile those feelings with how she felt about Jack.

A frustrated Daniel stated that he couldn't compete with the history Jack and Jennifer shared, and with the deep connection they had -- so he wasn't going to. Jennifer conceded, "I can't do this to you anymore. I'm sorry." Daniel assured her that they had both tried, but they just weren't meant to be. Jennifer reminded him that she wouldn't even be there if it hadn't been for him, but her heart was breaking because she couldn't bear the thought of losing him.

When Daniel dropped Jennifer off at her front door, neither seemed to know what to say. Daniel expressed his hope that the two of them could remain friends -- maybe not right away, but after they both had some time to heal. "More than anything else, I want you to be happy," he stated earnestly. "I want you to be happy, too," Jennifer agreed, adding, "I do love you, and I'm so sorry that I've hurt you." Daniel reminded her that no one had set out to hurt anyone; even though they loved each other, they just weren't meant to be together.

As Jennifer fought back tears, Daniel reminded her that after Chloe, he had completely given up on love -- but Jennifer had shown him that he could love again, so he would never regret anything they had shared. He urged her to take care of herself -- especially her heart. Jennifer asked for a goodbye hug, and they embraced tightly, until Daniel had to force himself to walk away. Jennifer entered the house, closed the door, and collapsed in tears on floor in the entryway.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

At the Brady Pub, Sami was working on a project for Mad World over dinner when Kayla stopped by to check on her. Sami was pleased to see Kayla and ordered her to sit down and talk. Kayla explained that she had made a spontaneous decision to visit Salem with Joe. With a grin, Kayla noted that Caroline had showed her pictures of Sami's children.

While Sami and Kayla chatted, Austin walked in the pub and happily greeted Kayla. Kayla went to the bar to get a beer for Austin, and Sami furiously began to text on her cell phone and shake her head. As Austin sat down at Sami's table, he began to chuckle.

"I know that look. That's the Sami's not getting her way look. Who you mad at this time?" Austin asked. Sami explained that she and Rafe were going to renew their wedding vows. Curious, Austin asked whether Rafe or Sami had messed up. Sami became defensive, and Austin explained that he was joking. Nodding, Sami apologized.

"Didn't you and Rafe just get married? I mean why the rush to renew your vows?" Austin asked. Sami explained that the holidays were a symbol of change and promise and that it was an important statement to make. As Austin nodded, Sami excused herself to go home to her family. Sami was packing her work files into her briefcase as Austin told Sami that he was proud of her.

"You've become the Sami I always knew you could be. The one you always wanted to be," Austin said. Sami told Austin that she appreciated that he noticed how she had changed. Austin added, "I've heard you say that Rafe brings out the best in you, and you know, maybe that's true, but the best was always there. Remember that."

At the loft, Carrie rejoined Rafe in the living room after putting Sydney down to sleep. Rafe informed Carrie that he had enlarged the photo of John in the Paris cafe. Excited about the new evidence, Carrie started to chatter on about what the picture could mean for John's case. With a sigh, Rafe interrupted Carrie and broke the news that he had been wrong about the photo.

When Carrie worriedly started to prattle on about how she needed the photo for John's case, Rafe quieted her and explained that he meant that John had been at the cafe but that he had been there at a different time than originally believed. Rafe pulled up the cafe's website and explained that he had spoken to the owner of the cafe. The owner had explained to Rafe that an awning had been installed at the café, and the photo of John predated that renovation.

With proof that the date stamp on the photo had been doctored, Rafe noted that they were on their way to clearing John. Rafe asked to accompany Carrie when she went to tell John about the new evidence. Excited about the case, Rafe thanked Carrie for letting him work with her. As a thank you, Carrie happily hugged Rafe as Sami arrived home.

Hearing the door, Rafe spun around and greeted Sami. Excited, Rafe explained that they had found new evidence. When Sami countered that she was happy for Rafe and Carrie, Rafe noted that once John was exonerated, their family would no longer be in danger. In reply, Sami mentioned the hostage situation that involved Will. Rafe apologized to Sami for not telling her what was going on, but he explained that he had not wanted to worry Sami after Johnny's disappearance.

Carrie put on her coat and announced she was going to meet Austin. With a smirk, Sami noted that she had talked to Austin on the way home and that he was waiting for Carrie. Carrie thanked Rafe for his help, then left. Once Carrie was gone, Sami asked about the kids and how Rafe had gotten them to go to bed while he was working with Carrie. With a sheepish grin, Rafe admitted that Carrie had put the children to bed and read them bedtime stories. Sami nodded but avoided looking at Rafe.

Suspicious, Rafe noted that Sami seemed upset. Sami admitted that she was annoyed by her sister but that she was upset because the church would not be available on Christmas Eve for Rafe and Sami to renew their vows. Rafe assured Sami that they could renew their vows in the new year and would be able to invite everyone that had not been at their wedding. Disappointed, Sami argued that it was important to her to renew their vows before Christmas.

Rafe attempted to console Sami, and he asked her why she was in a rush to renew their vows. Sami apologized for pushing Rafe, and she explained that the dedication of Horton Square had reminded her of how much she loved Alice and wanted to make her proud. Sami noted that she wanted to be a good wife and show everyone how much she loved Rafe.

"If this is about the Hortons then I think I have the answer. We'll renew our vows in front of them," Rafe said. Rafe suggested that they renew their vows in Horton Square. With a smile, Rafe added that they could have their 50th anniversary vow renewal at St. Luke's Church. Noting that Christmas was coming up, Rafe suggested that they needed to rehearse. Sami countered that she preferred to be spontaneous with their wedding vows. Waggling his eyebrow, Rafe explained that he meant rehearsing the wedding night. Rafe scooped his wife up in his arms and kissed her.

Chad and Gabi sat down at the Mandalay Cafe in Horton Square and talked about their college classes. When Chad admitted that he was struggling with class, Gabi offered to help Chad study for a test. Gabi thanked Chad for saving her life and admitted that she was ready to move on from Will.

After drilling Chad on information for his history quiz, Gabi began to talk about her history with Chad. Chad thanked Gabi for putting up with him when they had dated. With a smile, Gabi explained that she had learned a lot about the strength of relationships by dating Will. When Chad asked Gabi is she was thinking about someone, Gabi blushed and admitted she was. As Gabi returned to studying, Chad thought about kissing Melanie while they were held hostage.

Chad was woken from his daydream when Gabi asked him if he was done studying. Shaking his head, Chad said he wanted to continue to study with Gabi but that he was having difficulty concentrating. Chad promised to talk to Gabi soon, then excused himself.

At the Horton house, Abigail and Melanie walked into the living room and found an envelope with Abigail's journalism award inside. Still shaken by the hostage situation, Abigail said that she realized that she did not have all the time in the world to go after what she wanted in life. A somber Jennifer entered the living room and quietly shuffled through some papers. When Abigail called out to her mother and did not receive a response, Abigail grew worried.

Jennifer said she was fine, but her demeanor prompted Abigail to push Jennifer to talk. "Daniel broke up with me tonight," Jennifer said quietly. Stunned, Melanie and Abigail sat on the couch as Jennifer explained that she was sad about the breakup but that "these things happen." Concerned, Melanie announced that she was going to talk to her father and see how he was doing. Jennifer called out to Melanie and asked her to give Daniel some space.

Melanie was reluctant to follow Jennifer's advice, but Jennifer explained to Melanie that Daniel had had difficulty dating Jennifer at the same time she had been dating Jack. Abigail went to console her mother, but feeling guilty, Jennifer noted that Daniel was the one that had been hurt. "I love him, but it's not fair to him, and I just hope that maybe we can stay friends," Jennifer said.

"I would really hate to believe that he wouldn't be in my life anymore," Jennifer said. "I know what you mean," Abigail said as she stared at her hands. Worried, Jennifer asked Abigail if she was worried about her relationship with Chad. With a sigh, Abigail admitted that though things were going well with Chad, she was interested in someone new. From across the room, a concerned Melanie shifted uncomfortably at Abigail's announcement.

Jennifer theorized that the emotional rollercoaster in Abigail's life might be the root of Abigail's feelings for this new man. Jennifer suggested that Abigail and Melanie were in shock after the kidnapping. Feeling guilty, Melanie agreed with Jennifer. Jennifer cautioned Abigail not to make any major decisions while she was still emotionally volatile. When Jennifer mentioned that she was going to talk to Marlena, Abigail noted that she was interested in talking to Marlena as well.

Curious, Jennifer asked Abigail who the new man was in her life. As a playful smile spread across Jennifer's face, a nervous Abigail changed the subject. "It's not fair to Chad for me to be talking about this with you guys. Especially since I have no intentions of telling him ever," Abigail said. Surprised, Melanie blurted out, "You're just not going to tell Chad?" Confused, Abigail noted that she loved Chad and that she would rather die than hurt him.

With a sigh, Abigail explained that she had never expected to have feelings for two people at the same time. Shrugging, Jennifer chimed in that she had never expected to feel that way, either, but that it had happened with Daniel and Jack. Abigail noted that Daniel was brokenhearted and that Jennifer was miserable. "I don't want that to be me," Abigail said. Jennifer agreed but added that Abigail should not be dishonest with Chad.

Abigail noted that she could not stop thinking about the new man and that she had difficulty breathing when he entered the room. "I didn't plan it, Mom. It just happened," Abigail whispered as Melanie nodded thoughtfully in the corner. Melanie slipped out of the living room to the hallway and left a voicemail for Daniel, urging him to call her back. When Melanie returned to the living room, she overheard Jennifer counsel Abigail to be careful.

Nodding, Abigail theorized that her emotional turmoil might stem from the hostage situation. When Jennifer asked about Abigail's relationship with Chad, Abigail countered that she did not want to hurt Chad when his only misstep had been accidentally kissing Melanie, thinking it was Abigail. "That doesn't really count, right?" Abigail asked Melanie with a smile. Melanie shook her head no eagerly.

"Telling him feels wrong. Not telling him feels wrong. What do you think I should do?" Abigail asked her mother. Across the room, Melanie thought about Chad's confession to her when they were being held hostage. Melanie remembered how Chad had kissed her after confessing that he did not regret their kiss on Halloween.

When Abigail asked Melanie for advice, Melanie said that she thought Abigail should do what was right for Abigail. Nodding, Abigail noted that her feelings for the new man had to mean something. Jennifer asked Abigail whether the man she liked felt the same way about her. Abigail admitted that she did not know how the man she liked felt about her, but that she did not want to say anything to him. Hoping to lift her daughter's spirits, Jennifer suggested that they go to Horton Square.

While Jennifer went to collect her coat, Abigail asked Melanie why she had been so quiet during her conversation with Jennifer. Worried about her friend, Abigail asked Melanie how she was feeling since her kidnapping. Melanie admitted that she was having a difficult time, but that she was okay.

Abigail noted that she was happy that Melanie had Chad to lean on during her ordeal, and Melanie agreed that Chad had been the one to keep her sane while she had been held captive. Abigail noted that she loved Chad. "If Chad and I are the real deal then why am I having these other feelings?" Abigail wondered aloud.

Austin returned to his hotel room to find that Carrie was not home. "Why am I not surprised?" Austin muttered to himself. Austin reached under the bed and pulled out a wrapped package. When Carrie arrived home to the hotel room, she apologized for her lateness. "You are my husband. You're my top priority. I don't want you to think that I don't think about you," Carrie said. Austin assured Carrie that he was not upset.

Carrie and Austin reminisced about their last Christmas in Zurich and how much they missed their home. With a sigh, Carrie noted that if they bought a home in Salem, they would be able to find that comfort again. Austin grinned and pulled out his Christmas present from behind the door. Carrie eagerly unwrapped the present to find her Christmas album from Zurich. "How do you always know exactly what I need?" Carrie marveled at her husband. "You've made me the happiest wife ever," Carrie said.

Austin and Carrie sat on their bed and flipped through the Christmas album, looking at pictures. Austin and Carrie laughed at the old photos in the album, and Carrie noted that she had told her mother they were moving back to Salem. With a grin, Carrie put the album aside and noted that she wanted to go out Christmas shopping with Austin and hang an ornament for her mom on the Horton tree.

In Horton Town Square, Abigail and Jennifer walked arm in arm with Melanie right behind them. While Jennifer stared at the tree with Abigail and talked about the Horton legacy, Melanie turned around and saw Chad entering the square. Chad and Melanie shared a longing stare, then Chad sadly walked away.

Over at the tree, Carrie and Austin hung ornaments and hugged each other lovingly. On the other side of the tree, Jennifer smiled and pointed out Carrie and Austin. "Look at them over there, Carrie and Austin. Now talk about a couple who has had a go of it, and they're still together. You know Gram said that they would live happily ever after. She was right," Jennifer said. Carrie thanked Austin for giving her the Christmas spirit and kissed her husband. Hurt, Abigail fought back tears as her mother stared at the tree.

Thursday, December 15, 2011
by Mike

In Madison's room, Brady and Madison were decorating a Christmas tree. Madison admitted that she didn't know if there was a proper way to decorate the tree. Madison explained that her mother had stopped celebrating Christmas after Madison's father had abandoned them.

Brady was sympathetic, but Madison insisted that her siblings were the ones who had really missed out. "Hey, would it bother you too much if I went all-out this year and made Christmas really, really special for you?" Brady asked. Madison smiled, and she thanked Brady for the kind gesture.

Later, Madison asked about Brady's childhood Christmas memories. Brady admitted that he had been a stubborn kid, and he said that he had probably ruined more than a few holidays for John and Marlena. Madison knowingly suggested that Sami had likely managed to ruin her fair share of holidays, too. Brady said that Belle was the one who had really missed out, because she had always been stuck in the middle.

Later, Madison thanked Brady for the amazing day, and she admitted that she was glad that he had talked her into taking the day off. Madison noticed that there was a present under the tree. Brady reminded Madison that she would not be able to open the present until Christmas morning. Madison warned Brady that she wasn't a patient person, but Brady managed to distract her with a kiss.

At Sami and Rafe's apartment, Carrie and Rafe told Bo and Hope about the café photograph. Hope knowingly suggested that Stefano had altered the photograph. Rafe noted that it would probably be impossible to prove that Stefano had framed John. Hope grinned, and she announced that she might have something that she could use as leverage.

Hope showed Rafe and Carrie the DiMera voucher. "If Stefano gave this to Mrs. H because she helped save E.J.'s life, I'm thinking he's too superstitious to now say that it means nothing," Bo said. Hope nodded, and she added that she might be able to force Stefano to exonerate John. Rafe shook his head, and he insisted that Stefano was going to laugh in Hope's face.

Hope pointed out that Stefano had made a deal on E.J.'s life, and she noted that E.J. had a lot of enemies. Bo added that E.J. had managed to bounce back from several life-threatening injuries in the previous few years. "Stefano will try to back out of his promise, but I know he'll be thinking, in the back of his mind, 'What's gonna happen the next time E.J. gets hurt, or someone tries to take him out? Will he be as lucky?'" Hope suggested.

Rafe pointed out that Stefano had made the promise to Alice, and Carrie wondered if Stefano would claim that his obligation had died with Alice. Hope insisted that she was going to convince Stefano that Alice would have wanted to save John. "And that crossing Alice Horton would have dire and eternal consequences. And...heck, this may be why Mrs. H saved this thing all these years. She knew that eventually, we would need to use this against Stefano," Bo added.

Rafe was still skeptical, and he noted that Stefano would have to implicate himself in order to exonerate John. "The defense is allowed to present an alternative theory for how a crime was committed. If Stefano can give us that without naming names, we'd be a heck of a lot better off than we are now," Carrie explained. Rafe wondered if everyone was willing to let the DiMeras get away with another crime.

Carrie pointed out that John was her main priority. Hope said that she wanted the DiMeras to pay for their crimes, but she added that she would settle for being able to help John regain his freedom. "Listen, Bo said it before -- Stefano is old world, and very superstitious, especially when it comes to his children. He better honor this promise to my grandmother...or else," Hope added.

At the courthouse, John and Marlena were waiting for someone in a private room. John explained that he wasn't sure what was going on, and Marlena wondered if she should call Carrie. Stefano and E.J. entered the room, and Marlena sighed. "You two traveling in pairs now? Shall we expect forty days of rain?" Marlena asked. E.J. explained that he was interested in making a deal with John.

John and Marlena told Stefano and E.J. to leave, but E.J. assured them that it would be beneficial for them to listen to his offer. Marlena sarcastically noted that it was heartwarming that Stefano and E.J. were concerned about John and Marlena's best interests. Marlena started to call Carrie, but Stefano stopped her, and he said that he didn't feel like waiting all day. Marlena feigned concern, but John shrugged, and he agreed to play Stefano's game.

E.J. and Stefano noted that Basic Black was in trouble, and that the company might collapse as a result of John's conviction. "The people who really stand to lose in this situation are your investors and your employees, the latter of whom stand not only to lose their pensions, John -- they're going to lose their jobs. When you lose this civil suit -- and you will lose the civil suit -- your company, Basic Black, is just going to disappear," E.J. added.

Stefano claimed that he and E.J. were trying to give John an opportunity to salvage what was left of his reputation, and that they were offering him a chance to save his company. Stefano said that he wanted to buy Basic Black, and E.J. added that he would be willing to drop the civil suit if John agreed to sell Basic Black to Stefano.

"And why would you want to drop the lawsuit against John? Isn't that the cornerstone of your so-called campaign? Why, you'd have to stop calling yourself the champion of the little people, the hero of the underdog. I can't believe you'd want John's company that badly," Marlena mused. John smirked, and he explained that Stefano did not want the civil suit to proceed.

"He's the one who cooked the books. He's the one who set me up to look guilty, he's the one who stole all that money from all those people," John knowingly stated. E.J. claimed that John was delusional, but Marlena wasn't convinced. John added that E.J. had realized that his plan was starting to unravel, and that E.J. was afraid that the truth would be revealed during the trial.

"So...this incredibly generous offer really is a cover-up. I'm shocked!" Marlena sarcastically stated. John nodded, and he observed that Stefano's purchase would make E.J. look like a hero. Marlena added that it might also cause E.J. to win the election. "But they're gonna need my help to get that done. So, I guess I'll...just see you in hell," John said.

Stefano said that John was letting his ego cloud his judgment. E.J. claimed that John's accusations were completely false. Stefano wondered how John's employees would react when they learned that John had turned down an opportunity to save them from the unemployment line. John smiled, and he applauded Stefano's move.

John noted that if he accepted Stefano's offer, then the DiMeras would gain control of his company, and he would still be forced to spend the rest of his life in prison. Marlena nodded, and she added that if John declined Stefano's offer, then the DiMeras would simply tell the world that John had refused an opportunity to help the victims. "What you call a Hobson's choice -- looks like a free choice, but there's really no good alternative," John explained.

E.J. handed John a legal document, and he urged John to do the right thing. "You're holding my employees hostage, and you want me to cave? Well, I don't negotiate with terrorists, so you can take your damn offer, and you can shove it," John calmly stated, as he threw the document back at E.J. and Stefano.

Stefano noted that John had robbed people, and he claimed that John needed to stop acting self-righteous. John reiterated that he was innocent, but E.J. pointed out that John had entered a guilty plea. Marlena said that John had done that to protect his family. "And how do you think the people are gonna react when they find out that he could have sold this miserable business of his, but he blocked it off while he was in prison?" Stefano asked. E.J. suggested that the public would be furious, and that they would want revenge.

Stefano said that he was trying to offer John salvation, and he added that he and E.J. were trying to help the little people. "Of course -- the great humanitarians. Almost forgot about that part. You wanna help the little people? Pay back the money you stole, and leave us the hell alone," Marlena suggested. John wondered how Stefano had managed to steal the money.

"I think the psychiatrist wife needs to put him on some medication," E.J. whispered to Stefano. Stefano agreed, and he said that John was seeing things that weren't there. John ignored Stefano and E.J., and he wondered if they had planted someone inside the company to help them steal the funds. Stefano claimed that John wasn't making any sense, but Marlena assured Stefano that John was making perfect sense.

"Wait a minute...that new executive assistant to my CFO. The hiring committee, they checked out her résumé, and they said, 'John, too good to be true, but...all of her references checked out.' She was brilliant, she was personable, she was...shrewd. And she was gone, right before the FBI made first contact with me. She was yours, right?" John asked. E.J. and Stefano continued to feign ignorance, but Marlena realized that John was right.

Marlena assured Stefano and E.J. that they would never gain control of John's company. "My poor queen of the night. Your fury is misplaced. Your husband is starting all this bologna because he thinks that his ego is more important than his employees. Personally, I think it's sickening," Stefano said. Marlena sarcastically admitted that Stefano lived on a higher moral plane, and she added that John was protecting his employees from Stefano's blood money.

E.J. said that John's employees would happily accept any form of money that would allow them to put food on their tables. John knowingly stated that the DiMeras would eventually betray the workers, because that was the DiMera way. Stefano feigned indignation, and he claimed that his reputation was better than John's. Stefano added that he wasn't the one who was serving a life sentence.

Marlena noted that Stefano and E.J. might be trading places with John soon. E.J. reiterated that he was innocent, but Marlena pointed out that E.J. and Stefano were starting to sweat. E.J. told John to consider the offer, and he warned that it would expire after twenty-four hours.

"I don't need twenty-four seconds, pal -- answer's no," John replied.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Chad escorted Abigail to the spa to sign her up for self-defense classes from Quinn. Chad confessed that he felt guilty about not having been able to do more to protect Melanie from the kidnappers. Gabi appeared in a spa uniform, and informed her friends that she'd gotten a job there -- and she was also signed up for the self-defense classes. The girls agreed that after learning how to protect themselves, they'd feel much more confident the next time someone attacked them. While Abigail filled out the enrollment forms, Gabi expressed her gratitude to Chad for saving her life.

Austin arrived just as Abigail was returning to the desk, and the two bumped right into each other. Austin gently questioned Abigail about how she was doing. She admitted that he hadn't slept well thanks to nightmares about the kidnapping -- but then she'd remembered how he'd saved her, and it had made her feel better.

When Quinn arrived and Austin learned that the spa taught self-defense classes, he asked about enrolling Carrie, since she was still defending John and no one could be sure that the threats against him were over. Quinn described the other services that the spa offered, so Austin decided on a gift package to pamper Carrie. Quinn offered to give Austin a tour, and Abigail asked if she could go along.

After the other three left, Chad and Gabi discussed having Melanie take the classes, as well. Gabi thought it was a great idea, but that Chad should probably ask Melanie before just signing her up. When Chad mentioned encouraging Sonny and Will to take the classes, Gabi wasn't sure that Will would be receptive. Chad asked how Gabi was feeling about the breakup. She pointed out that she had really tried to work things out with Will, but added, "How do you make something work when you don't even know what the problem is?"

Chad noted perceptively, "Something must be really eating away at him for him to blow up the way he did at Maggie's." Chad assured Gabi that she would have no trouble finding a new guy, because she was smart and beautiful. With a shrug, Gabi asserted, "All of the good ones are taken."

When Abigail and Austin returned from their tour, she informed him that she'd thought about taking his class at Salem U -- as long as he wouldn't mind. Austin thought it was a great idea, but Abigail had to hide her disappointment when he added that he was going to ask Carrie to be a guest lecturer. As the men went into the locker room with Quinn, Gabi pointed out that Austin was really hot. Abigail claimed that she hadn't noticed.

As Jack entered the Horton house, he found a frustrated Jennifer trying to think of a new slogan for Abe's mayoral campaign. Jack picked up a wadded-up ball of paper that Jennifer had hurled across the room, and read aloud, "E.J. DiMera is a venal jerk!" Although Jack voiced his approval, Jennifer complained that in order to help Abe with the election, she was going to have to think like a DiMera. Jack pointed out that Jennifer could never think like a DiMera, because she was such a good person -- and that was one of the many things he loved about her.

Jack asked how Abigail was holding up after the hostage situation. Jennifer admitted that Abigail seemed all right, but Jennifer was worried about the aftereffects from the trauma, so Abigail had agreed to see Marlena. Jack was glad, because Marlena was helping him a great deal with his PTSD. He was also worried that maybe Abigail's phone had gotten lost during the ordeal, and he wanted to make sure that his daughter had a working cell phone.

Jennifer realized that if Jack had owned a phone with GPS, things might have been different when he'd been held hostage in Afghanistan. Jack agreed that if he had, Jennifer could have tracked him down and rescued him -- and the two of them might still be together. Jennifer pointed out that they had to move forward, and not dwell on what might have been. She assured Jack that she had forgiven him, but he needed to heal from what had happened to him. Jack promised that he would prove to Jennifer just how much he had changed -- fundamentally. Jack then discovered that Jennifer had barely eaten that day, so he affably demanded that she let him take her out for a decent meal.

Over coffee in Horton Square, Daniel warned Melanie that he wasn't very good company. She assumed that he was worried about the outcome of his myasthenia gravis test, but reminded him that her tests had turned out fine. Daniel expressed his concerns for his daughter's physical and mental health after her kidnapping. Remembering the kiss that she and Chad had shared while in captivity, Melanie admitted that she wasn't managing so well mentally. She switched off her cell phone, since reporters had been calling to interview her about the kidnapping.

Daniel urged Melanie to deal with her feelings about what had happened. Melanie seemed receptive, but joked that she'd never really liked thinking things through. Daniel noted that she had grown into a woman whose days of hurting other people were over. Melanie confided, "I did something that I have to tell someone about." Daniel reassured her that as her dad, he'd be there for her, and asked if she wanted to tell him about it. Although she couldn't keep thoughts of Chad from intruding, Melanie instead declared that she'd applied for a second job at the spa.

She explained that she wanted to earn a little extra money so she could afford to move out of her dad's, even though she didn't like the idea of leaving him alone -- since he'd been dumb enough to let Jennifer go. Daniel didn't want to discuss Jennifer, but he did seem surprised when Melanie mentioned that Jennifer had been "bawling her eyes out" over him. Daniel countered he no longer wanted to participate in a competition for Jennifer's affections when Jennifer was clearly having such a hard time making up her mind. He tried to reassure Melanie that he would be fine. Although she wasn't convinced, she had to rush off for her interview at the spa.

Moments after Melanie had gone and Daniel was alone at the table, Jack and Jennifer arrived in the square. While Jack looked over the café's menu, Jennifer and Daniel greeted one another awkwardly, and each asked how the other was feeling. Jack made some excuse about the soup special so that he and Jennifer could dine elsewhere, but Daniel graciously offered to leave. Jack earnestly declared, "Daniel...You're a good guy. You're very decent, and you did the stand-up thing the other day when you tried to help me when I was freaking out over Abigail, and the fact was both of our daughters were in danger. I appreciate that."

Jack continued that he would not back down from trying to win Jennifer back, because the two of them belonged together. Daniel was taken aback to realize that Jennifer hadn't told Jack that Daniel had bowed out, so he left so that Jennifer could tell Jack what had happened. Jennifer couldn't look Jack in the eye as she admitted sadly, "Daniel and I are no longer together." Assuming that Jennifer had chosen him, Jack could barely contain his enthusiasm as he raved about how he and Jennifer were soul mates who were meant to be together.

Jennifer corrected Jack's assumption by informing him that Daniel had been the one to break things off. Taking Jennifer's hand, Jack declared that Daniel was a fool. "And now there's nothing standing in our way," Jack added a bit breathlessly. Jennifer firmly asserted that Daniel's backing out didn't mean that Jack had won by default. Jack insisted he understood that, and admitted that he could even see why Jennifer had loved Daniel. "Still love him," Jennifer clarified, and pointed out that while she understood why Daniel had stepped aside, it didn't change her feelings for him.

Jack believed that Daniel had ended things because he could see that Jack and Jennifer were meant to be together. Jennifer argued that no matter how deep her connection with Jack was, they couldn't simply pick up where they'd left off -- because they'd obviously had serious problems if Jack could take off for Afghanistan without telling his family first. Jack swore emphatically that he was not the same man who had walked away the previous year, and he would never leave Jennifer again. Jennifer declared resolutely, "Love, for us, is not enough to make a marriage work. I will not go into this again unless I am sure it can. So I am telling you, I cannot face seeing this fail one more time." She had to return to work then, leaving a speechless and crestfallen Jack behind.

When Melanie arrived at the spa, Gabi filled her in about the self-defense classes that Chad had signed them up for. Abigail and Gabi reviewed the class schedule, while Chad privately told Melanie that he hoped she didn't mind his signing her up without asking first. Melanie assured him that it was fine, and each confessed to thinking about going to Dr. Evans for therapy. "And about the other stuff that happened, I'm really sorry," Melanie added quietly -- but Abigail overheard, and asked what Melanie was sorry for.

Melanie covered quickly that she had really freaked out while she and Chad had been kidnapped. Chad reassured her that it was all right. Her initial suspicions somewhat eased, Abigail said she understood that Chad and Melanie had been through a very intense experience together. She added that she couldn't decide whether it was better to talk about what they'd all been through, or just try to put it in the past. As Chad and Abigail left to have lunch, they invited Melanie to join them, but she informed them that she had an interview with Quinn. Abigail was surprised that Melanie hadn't mentioned it, but wished her luck. As Chad and Abigail left, Gabi noted that Melanie seemed a little upset, but Melanie insisted she was fine.

After Quinn arrived to take Melanie in for her interview, Austin paid Gabi for the spa package for Carrie. Gabi mentioned that Austin and Abigail seemed like friends, and he'd even been at Abigail's journalism award presentation. Austin explained that he and Carrie had known Abigail since she was a little girl. "She's all grown up now," Gabi noted, and Austin concurred.

Melanie and Quinn returned from her interview, and he declared that she was perfect for the job -- as long as she didn't mind his giving her as many hours as she could handle. Quinn had Gabi get Melanie started filling out all the necessary paperwork. After Quinn left, Gabi remarked that Melanie would be awfully busy with the two jobs. "I think that might be exactly what I need," Melanie said.

Chad and Abigail looked over the menus outside the café, and then Chad went inside to place their order. As Abigail looked for something in her purse, she found Austin's knit cap. She gazed at it and held it close to her as she remembered the exchange when Austin had given it to her. When Melanie arrived, Abigail quickly stuffed the hat back into her purse. Abigail confessed that when she'd overheard Melanie apologizing to Chad, she'd thought that Melanie had just invented a cover story for what she'd really been planning to say.

"I was worried that you were going to tell Chad about the other guy I have a crush on," Abigail explained. Melanie reassured her that she would never tell Chad something that Abigail had said in confidence. Abigail was relieved, and admitted that she'd felt uncomfortable even bringing it up, because she knew she could trust her best friend. Melanie then asked gently, "If you have a crush on this guy, what's going to happen with you and Chad?" Abigail replied that nothing could ever happen with her crush, and it didn't change her feelings for Chad.

Chad returned then, and when he heard about Melanie's new job, he asked her to join him and Abigail for lunch. Melanie declined, claiming that she had to check in at the hospital -- but she watched wistfully from the gate while a chivalrous Chad pulled out Abigail's chair.

Jennifer returned home to resume working on Abe's campaign, but found that she was too upset and distracted to focus on work.

When Daniel arrived at the Brady Pub, he was pleasantly surprised to see Kayla working behind the bar. She explained that she'd returned to Salem to help her mom. Daniel heartily welcomed Kayla home, and then ordered a drink, despite the somewhat early hour. While Daniel began to drown his sorrows, Kayla tried her best to cheer him. Austin arrived for a bite to eat, and took a seat next to Daniel at the bar.

Kayla introduced the two men, and then asked their opinion about possibly adding a big television above the bar. Almost simultaneously, the guys agreed that it would be a great addition when baseball season started, and they bonded over their love for the game. Austin confided that baseball was one of the reasons he'd wanted to move back to the states, but he regretted that he no longer had season tickets. Daniel divulged that he did have season tickets, and Austin was more than welcome to be his guest. Austin was thrilled and grateful.

As Austin left to take a phone call, Jack entered. Kayla greeted Jack a bit coolly, while Daniel tried to conceal his dismay. Finally Daniel offered to buy Jack a beer. Although taken aback, Jack accepted, and joined Daniel at the bar. Jack reiterated his gratitude for Daniel's help while their daughters had been missing, and then asserted that Daniel was being an idiot about Jennifer. Daniel stated with as much sincerity as he could muster, "I really do hope that you guys are very, very happy." Jack informed Daniel that he could hold off on the congratulations, because Jennifer hadn't made a decision yet.

Austin returned and joined the other two guys, and tried to get Jack to look on the bright side of how things had played out with Jennifer. Austin pointed out all the things that Jack could do around the house without having a woman to answer to. Jack didn't want to talk about it, so Austin tried to change the subject back to baseball. Daniel, meanwhile, was paying the tab, and his hand stiffened a bit as he signed his name. Kayla looked at Daniel's credit card receipt, and joked, "You know, you surgeons are all alike -- you can tie a knot with one hand, and you can't make out your signature."

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