At the police station, Rafe informed Hope that Shawn had concluded that Ben's fingerprint had been transferred to the can of accelerant from another surface. Hope didn't want to believe that, but Rafe was quick to stress that Shawn had triple-checked and was absolutely certain that Ben had, in fact, never touched the can of accelerant; instead, someone had planted Ben's fingerprint on the can in an effort to link Ben to the cabin fire.
"'Someone'? [Don't] you mean me?" Hope asked Rafe defensively. He assured her that he still believed that she was innocent.
Softening, Hope admitted to having always known, deep down, that the whole thing had been too good to be true. "So, who planted that evidence?" Hope wondered. "Whoever it was, [they] ended up doing more harm than good," Rafe noted. "Yeah. Now the whole case has been tainted," Hope agreed with a sigh. Rafe thought it would be best to release Ben right away, but Hope refused to give Ben another chance to get near Ciara.
At the loft apartment, Ciara elaborated for an unsure Tripp, "[I want you to] make love to me." She then began kissing him passionately to further stress the point. He responded favorably to her kisses but didn't make any efforts to lead her toward his upstairs bedroom, undress her, or otherwise advance things to the next level. She eventually pulled away from him and breathlessly wondered if there was a reason for his hesitation. "Believe me, there is nothing I want to do more than take you upstairs right now," he assured her. "But I was just thinking [that] I want our first time to be special -- [rose petals], candles, music, the whole nine yards," he added.
Ciara told Tripp that rose petals were overrated. "Well, how about...lilies? [Or] lilacs? [Or] those little plastic ones that dance?" he excitedly suggested. She laughed and clarified that she was trying to tell him that he didn't need to mark the occasion for her with grand romantic gestures because they had already gone that route once, and it hadn't worked out very well. "[Right now], we have the whole place to ourselves, so why not take advantage of it?" she reasoned, reminding him that there would be no interruptions because one roommate was at a photo shoot, and the other was in jail. "I'm ready to take the next step...if you are," she flirtatiously added.
"I am definitely ready to take the next step," Tripp assured Ciara with an eager grin. "But I don't want to pressure you," Tripp quickly added. "Because of what I went through with Chase? [Look], Tripp, I've already dealt with that. I really have. I won't let it have any power over me -- not anymore," Ciara insisted. Tripp was glad to hear that but still had another concern. "You told me [earlier] that you felt bad [about] making me feel like you were into Ben -- [like] you were choosing him over me -- [and] I don't want you to feel like you owe me anything," Tripp explained to Ciara.
Taken aback, Ciara concluded that, in other words, Tripp was worried that she had decided to sleep with him as a way of apologizing for having made him feel second best. He regretfully conceded, after hearing her rephrase his concern in that way, that it had been wrong of him to even consider that she would ever sleep with someone for such a terrible reason. She assured him that she understood. "It's like...you don't trust your feelings for me," she observed. "I suppose [you're right]. I mean, I want to trust in them -- I do -- [but]..." he began to explain. She quickly silenced him.
"This is all on me. I made you feel insecure -- about me and about us -- [and] I didn't mean to, [but even so], I obviously did, [so] I am the one who should be sorry," Ciara stressed. "Or maybe we should stop talking so much," Tripp flirtatiously replied. "I think that's a great idea," Ciara agreed before giving Tripp another passionate kiss.
Ciara soon pulled away from Tripp and added, "I am gonna say one more thing, though..." Chuckling, he assured her that she had his permission to do so. Nodding, she stressed, "This is about you and me -- just us, [and] nobody else, okay? I want to show you how I feel about you." He flashed her a smile and agreed that, in that case, it was definitely time for them to head up to his bedroom. "But, uh, let me clean [it] first. Nothing like dirty laundry to kill the mood, so..." he added before starting to rush off. Scoffing, she stopped him and pulled him into her bedroom, not wanting to wait any longer.
At the police station, Rafe warned Hope that keeping Ben locked up without just cause was a bad idea. "[You'd be opening] yourself up to a lawsuit, [if not] a criminal investigation... Best-case scenario, you lose your job," Rafe continued. Sighing, Hope maintained that Ben was guilty. "[Then we] let him go quietly [so] we still control the situation, [and then we] find another way to [nail him]," Rafe countered.
At the loft apartment, Ciara and Tripp lounged in bed together. "I've never been with anyone like this before...and I kinda thought it was perfect," Ciara told Tripp. He was glad to hear that she hadn't missed the grand romantic gestures at all. "You know, this is the first time in a long time that I don't feel so alone," he admitted. "Me, too," she agreed. "I love you," he hesitantly stated. "I love you, too," she replied.
Ciara and Tripp kissed again then went to the kitchen to refuel with quiche. Just then, Ben entered the apartment. Tripp and Ciara -- wearing only a pair of boxers and a shirt, respectively -- stared at Ben in shock. Meanwhile, at the police station, Rafe assured Hope that releasing Ben had been the right thing to do. Still unsure, Hope sighed worriedly and seized a hug from Rafe.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan told Sami that Kristen had never shared any information about E.J.'s supposed resurrection while hiding in the secret tunnels. "[Oh, come on -- I'm sure you two didn't spend the whole time] playing gin rummy. I bet Kristen loved filling you in on all the family gossip," Sami skeptically countered. "She didn't really [share any family gossip with me, but she did tell] me what a complete whack-job you are...and, clearly, she wasn't exaggerating. I mean, did you really shoot off some guy's --" Stefan started to respond. "He deserved it," Sami insisted. "[And] if you don't tell me what you know about E.J., maybe you'll be next," Sami warned Stefan with a shrug. Unfazed, Stefan maintained that Kristen had never shared any information about E.J.'s supposed resurrection.
Stefan stuck to that story, even as Sami shifted from threats to flattery, then tried to tug at his heartstrings, and finally tried to bribe him with millions of dollars, all in an effort to sway him. "Sometimes, information is more valuable than money, and in this moment, I just don't feel like making [a deal with you]," he explained with a shrug. Undeterred, she urged him to take some time to think about her generous -- and extremely serious -- offer of a bribe. "You don't give up, do you?" he observed, somewhat impressed. "Not when [something] means this much to me," she confirmed. "[And] fair warning -- I'm never letting this go," she added before leaving.
At the hospital, Abe and Belle watched John expectantly. "You may kiss your bride," Abe repeated. "You heard the man! What are you waiting for?" Hattie asked John. "I'm just savoring the moment," John explained, cringing. "Oh, you know what? We -- we should -- we should immortalize it, you know? We should save it for posterity!" Hattie spontaneously declared, prompting Belle to reach for a nearby cell phone.
Sighing, John reluctantly leaned in to kiss Hattie, who kept the kiss going for so long that Abe and Belle eventually started feeling uncomfortable. John eventually pulled away from Hattie with obvious effort. "Sorry -- guess I got a little carried away there," Hattie admitted with a chuckle. Abe and Belle both insisted that was understandable. John carefully tried to chase Abe and Belle off, but Belle didn't want to let the wedding ceremony end without a toast. Hattie eagerly agreed that it was never wise to pass up an opportunity to drink Champagne. John forced a laugh and raised both hands in a display of defeat, having lost all control of the situation.
Meanwhile, Marlena squirmed in helpless fear as Kristen approached and mused, "Ah, we finally get to talk, just the two of us. Oh -- well, maybe [just] one of us, but you're a shrink, [so] you're used to listening, [anyway]. Hurts just to move, [doesn't it]? Feel like a prisoner in your own body? Yeah, I felt the same way after you pushed me out that window in Italy. [But] it would take me a lifetime of punishing you [just to even up the score between us], and who has time for that? I don't...so I'm ready to get this over with. I'm just so glad you decided to wake up [and] greet the day so that I can bid you a farewell. [It would have been] so poetic -- dying at the hands of your own daughter -- but alas, you pulled through. [But maybe] I should look at the bright side -- I finally get a chance to say what I want to get off my chest..."
"Like how much I hate your holier-than-thou attitude! [Or] the little things -- like how you're always correcting people's grammar! I mean, you're educated; we get it! And do not get me started on how nauseating it is when John calls you 'Doc'! 'Doc'! 'Doc'! And you just melt! That has been going on for decades, [and] it's not cute anymore!" Kristen continued, getting increasingly agitated.
"I was in love with John, and you took that away from me! [Then], by a miracle, I got a second chance with Brady, [and] you took that from me, too! So, it's no wonder why I hate you so much! You. Ruined. My. Life, Marlena! And for that, you will have to pay..." Kristen continued, dropping to a menacing whisper.
"[You know], the two of us had so many fights, I can hardly keep track of who won. I think we've [actually] been evenly matched, wouldn't you say?" Kristen noted while leaning over Marlena. "Wow -- I am actually going to miss you, Marlena. And I'm not ashamed to say it," Kristen admitted before kissing two fingers and pressing them against Marlena's forehead.
"But...I will find a way to get over it," Kristen promised, backing away from Marlena and raising a gun. Just then, Kayla arrived. Kristen turned and pointed the gun at Kayla, who was thrilled to see that Marlena was awake. "You're wasting your time, [since] the patient here is gonna die in a few minutes, so would you mind leaving so I can get this over with?" Kristen impatiently demanded as Kayla began checking Marlena's vitals. "Haven't you done enough? Because of you, John's son Paul may never walk again!" Kayla pointed out. "Uh, I didn't ask the guy to tackle me through a window," Kristen tiredly countered.
"But I did ask you to leave," Kristen added. "Gonna have to kill me first," Kayla insisted, protectively shielding Marlena. "Fine, suit yourself," Kristen replied with a sigh while cocking the gun.
"Kristen, please... [You know], I have heard that when you first came to Salem, you were a loving, compassionate person [who] loved working with children [and] devoted all your time to so many charities..." Kayla began, hoping to reason with Kristen. "[That woman] died a long time ago -- thanks to Marlena," Kristen replied through gritted teeth. Kayla quickly switched to a different tactic, warning that people would soon start noticing changes in Marlena's vital signs. "Nice try," Kristen declared with a cackle, knowing that no one else who worked at the hospital was even aware that Marlena was still on a ventilator.
"[No one's coming] to rescue either one of you," Kristen triumphantly concluded, unaware that Roman had just returned.
After Belle's toast, Hattie produced a marriage license for Abe to sign. "I'm just gonna hold it still so your signature is legible," Hattie explained to Abe while strategically placing a hand over the top part of the document. John eyed Hattie suspiciously as Abe began to write. "I will file this with the clerk's office as soon as I get back to City Hall," Abe promised before starting to leave. "Hold on, Abraham," John called out, suddenly concerned. "[Let me walk you out]. There's a few things that I want to talk to you about," John continued. Hattie grabbed John's arm and insisted those things could wait. John sighed and reluctantly agreed to let Abe leave.
As Hattie admired Marlena's rings, John hinted that Belle needed to leave, too. Belle smirked, assuming that John and Marlena wanted some privacy. "Before I leave, I just want to thank you both for letting me be a part of this," Belle began. Turning to John, Belle added, "I'm just so sorry that we fought while Mom was sick." Nodding, John hesitantly replied, "So am I, honey. And now that I've got a cooler head, I -- I -- I know that you...only had your mother's best interest at heart." Relieved, Belle seized a hug from John. "[And] we're good, [too]," Hattie assured Belle. "Thank you for this lovely wedding. It means a lot to me...[and], in fact, I think it makes up for that whole pulling-the-plug debacle," Hattie added while accepting a hug from Belle. John, who was standing behind Belle, silently protested, but Hattie didn't bother to do anything to make the comment sound less harsh.
"Ready to consummate the marriage?" Hattie asked John after Belle left. "You are out of your mind! You may have forced me into a wedding, but we are not 'consummating' anything!" John replied in disgust, glaring at Hattie. "I was kidding, you dope!" Hattie clarified, adding that Roman was the only man who would ever be given that honor. "Lucky him," John sarcastically mused. Oblivious, Hattie forged ahead, grudgingly promising to remain faithful to John. Confused, John wondered if Hattie was aware that the marriage wasn't real. "[Maybe] not in the biblical sense, but the mayor just walked out of here to file the paperwork with my name -- with Hattie Adams' name -- on it, so this is [otherwise] as real as it gets!" Hattie countered. "Don't remind me," John grumbled, having already guessed as much.
"Oh, by the way -- I know that you've got one of your guys [watching over Marlena], but I should probably tell you that Kristen came to see me [earlier]," Hattie casually revealed while admiring Marlena's wedding rings again. Outraged and horrified, John demanded to know why Hattie hadn't mentioned that sooner. "She warned me not to! [And] she scares me! [But] now that we're married, I can't keep secrets from you..." Hattie conceded. Annoyed, John impatiently ordered Hattie to get to the point. "Okay, fine -- Kristen, um, is looking for Marlena...and she has a gun," Hattie admitted, choking out the final word.
Kristen tiredly agreed to give Kayla thirty seconds to say goodbye to Marlena. While Kayla was causing a distraction, Roman pounced on Kristen and tried to seize control of the gun. A shot rang out during the struggle.
Kayla holds Kristen at gunpoint
At the loft, Tripp confronted Ben when he returned home. Ben explained that the evidence against him had been planted, and the police had let him go. "I would never hurt Ciara or anyone else. I'm innocent," Ben said. Tripp stared down Ben as Ciara called Hope to confirm Ben's story. Ciara told Tripp that Shawn had confirmed that the fingerprint had been transferred to the can.
"My mom swears she didn't do it," Ciara added. "Yeah, right," Ben muttered. Ben grumbled that he needed a shower, and he walked away. Tripp asked Ciara if they should let Ben stay. Ciara asked for a moment alone with Ben when he returned to the living room. Tripp was wary, but Ciara insisted on privacy. "Don't you even think about trying anything," Tripp growled to Ben before he went upstairs.
"You need to leave," Ciara told Ben. Ben reminded Ciara that the evidence was fake. Ben said the only thing that had changed was that someone had attempted to frame him. With a shake of her head, Ciara said she believed Ben. Ciara noted that having Ben in the same apartment as her boyfriend confused matters. Ben asked Ciara to clarify.
"It isn't fair to Tripp," Ciara said. Ciara added that she had asked too much of her boyfriend already. "I am grateful for everything that you have done for me, but I honestly think that it would just be the best thing for everybody if you just moved out now," Ciara said. Ben agreed to go. Ben said he knew it was time to move on, and he reminded Ciara that she would always have his friendship.
"I'm really going to miss you," Ben said as Tripp watched from the bedroom doorway. Tripp asked what was going on. Ciara explained that Ben was leaving. "Good luck," Ciara added. Tripp walked over and put his arm around Ciara. With a nod, Ben left the loft. "You did the right thing," Tripp said quietly. "I know," Ciara said.
In Paul's room at the hospital, Eve visited. Eve asked about Brady, but Paul said he had not seen Brady. Paul asked about the wedding date. "I don't think Brady and I will be getting married anytime soon," Eve admitted.
By the nurses' station, Sami ran into Brady. She told him about John and Marlena's surprise wedding. With a guilty look, Sami said it had been clear that Marlena had not wanted her in the room. Brady assured Sami that Marlena would forgive her eventually. Sami asked about Kristen. Brady said he had not seen her. As Brady left to visit Paul, Will arrived. Will asked his mother why she had not returned his calls. Sami admitted she was looking for Kristen.
"Shouldn't you leave that to the cops?" Will asked. "I thought you remembered everything?" Sami said with a chuckle. Will smiled. Sami asked about Paul. With a sigh, Will explained about Paul's condition. "Paul is a strong, strong man. He's tough. And he's got you standing next to him," Sami said. Will's face fell. Sami asked what was wrong.
"When I got my memory back, I remembered my feelings for Sonny, and I still feel them," Will confessed. "You're still in love with him?" Sami asked. Will nodded yes. Will changed the subject to Marlena. Sami said she regretted the shooting at Marlena's wedding in the square. Sami said she was not prepared to give up her search for E.J.
"Are you prepared to give up your life with Sonny?" Sami asked. Will said he was certain. Sami asked Will if he might reconsider his choice later, but Will said he and Sonny had agreed that the best thing for everyone was for Will to stay with Paul. "He may hate you, but it is better than living a lie," Sami counseled. Sami warned Will not to be a martyr. In disagreement, Will said he had done many selfish things, but he would not destroy Paul.
Brady went to Paul's hospital room, and they discussed his physical therapy. Brady offered to provide any transportation Paul needed after Paul left the hospital. With a smile, Paul thanked Brady. Paul mentioned that Eve had visited. With a grumble, Brady said he would be fine if he did not see his lying fiancée again. Brady told Paul about Eve's betrayal.
"Maybe she was scared," Paul suggested. Brady argued that Eve had been the exception to the women in his life, but Eve had turned out to be a liar as well. With a sigh, Paul noted that Will had regained his memory. Paul asked Brady if he believed Will had been honest when he had said he wanted to be with Paul still. Brady did not answer. Sami and Will walked in, and Brady excused himself and left.
Sami thanked Paul for saving her life. With a smile, Paul said he would do anything to save the life of the mother of the man he loved. "He would do the same for you," Sami said. With a nod, Sami left to give the two men privacy. Awkwardly, Will offered to turn on the baseball game. Will and Paul stared at the TV in silence. Paul asked why Will was tense. Will blamed the baseball game. After a moment, Will turned off the TV.
"We need to talk," Will said. Worried, Paul encouraged Will to say what he felt. Will explained that he had found a wheelchair-accessible apartment. "For me?" Paul asked quietly. "For us," Will added. Paul's face lit up, and his eyes filled with tears. As Will hugged Paul, Will's face showed no happiness.
In Hattie's hospital, room, Hattie told John about Kristen's visit. John was livid that Hattie had not told him about Kristen sooner. Worried, John called Roman. There was no answer. John said he felt like something was wrong. Hattie asked if Marlena's hiding spot was safe. With a nod, John rushed out of the room.
Eve stopped by to visit "Marlena," but Hattie did not recognize Eve. Eve said her name. With a furrowed brow, Hattie thought about the name, then she remembered that Eve was Brady's fiancée. "I'm not so sure about that anymore," Eve admitted. Hattie urged Eve to open up to her about her relationship troubles. Eve explained that she had been responsible for Brady's loss of custody of Tate.
"I don't expect an ounce of compassion," Eve said. "I don't know where this guy gets off judging you," Hattie said. Eve's face wrinkled in confusion. Curious, Eve asked Marlena if she knew Eve was talking about Brady. Hattie said it was clear that Eve had acted out of love for Brady. With a grin, Eve said she had said the same thing to Brady. Hattie told Eve to tell Brady, "Marlena says get over it!" Shocked, Eve thanked "Marlena" for her guidance.
As Eve left Hattie's room, she saw Brady walking toward her. Brady asked Eve if she planned to walk past him without a word. Eve said she could not win because Brady would yell at her either way. Angry, Eve said she had talked to Marlena, and Marlena had agreed that Eve had not done anything worse than what Brady had done in the past. "I lost my son because of you!" Brady said indignantly. As Eve and Brady argued, Kristen eavesdropped from nearby.
"[I meddled] with every good intention I had in my body, but you just had to call it quits. Am I wrong about that?" Eve asked. "No, you're not. I'm going to go back to our room, and I am going to pack," Brady growled. Eve shook her head in disbelief and walked away. As Brady marched off, Kristen followed him.
When Brady returned to the hotel room, he threw away a framed photo of him with Eve. "Good riddance," Brady muttered. Brady grabbed his bag and opened the door to leave. "Hello, handsome," Kristen purred. Brady sighed with annoyance.
In Hattie's room, Sami cautiously walked in. Sami apologized for interrupting Marlena's hospital wedding. Hattie said it was fine. Sami said she understood that Marlena was still mad at her because of the shooting, and Sami said she hoped Marlena could forgive her one day. Hattie said, "I forgive you!" Elated, Sami hugged Hattie and offered to give her anything she wanted. Hattie asked for a burger from the Burger Barn. Reluctantly, Sami agreed.
After Sami left, Hattie played music on the radio then climbed out of bed to dance. As Hattie wiggled around the room, Sami returned with the burger. Hattie stopped mid-dance as a dumfounded Sami walked in.
In Marlena's hidden hospital room, Roman and Kristen fought over her gun. The gun fired as Roman and Kristen fell to the ground. Kayla grabbed the gun off the floor and pointed it at Kristen as Roman lay unconscious. "First, do no harm, remember?" Kristen said with a chuckle. Kristen noted that both Roman and Marlena needed Kayla's immediate attention. Kristen backed out of the room. "Marlena! You dodged another bullet," Kristen said as she trotted away. Kayla dropped to the ground to examine Roman.
When John arrived, Kayla blurted out the short version of the story about Kristen. John rushed over to Marlena's side and was shocked to see she was conscious. John clutched Marlena's hand and cried out with joy. "You're awake! It's a miracle," John whispered. Kayla concluded that Roman needed stitches. Roman wanted to chase after Kristen, so he denied Kayla's request to check for a concussion. Kayla offered the gun to Roman, but he urged her to hold onto the weapon in case Kristen returned.
Once Roman was gone, Kayla removed Marlena's breathing tube. Weak, Marlena whispered, "John." "I wasn't sure I was ever going to hear you say my name again, Doc," John said. Marlena cried as John assured her that she was safe. When Roman returned, John pointed the gun at the door. Roman threw up his hands and announced that he was alone. Roman explained that he had not found Kristen.
"Nobody knows Marlena is here," Roman said. "What?" Marlena asked in confusion. John told Marlena that he did not want to cause any more excitement for her. Marlena insisted John explain the situation. John said they had moved Marlena into hiding to protect her from Kristen. Not fooled, Marlena asked John what he was not telling her. John asked for a minute alone with Marlena. Kayla and Roman said goodbye then left.
"When you were in your coma, Belle found your advance directive, and when the hospital became aware of your wishes, they wanted us to take you off of your ventilator. And I couldn't let that happen, Doc. I wasn't ready to lose you," John confessed. John added that only Kayla and Roman knew about the plan. Marlena asked about everyone else.
Sami sees through Hattie's ruse
Eli went to the Kiriakis mansion to question Chad about Kristen's whereabouts. Chad told Eli that Kristen hadn't been in touch yet -- and probably wouldn't be, since there was another DiMera in Salem who could be turned to for help and was far more likely to be willing to provide it. "[Stefan] says he knows nothing," Eli reported. "[Don't believe him]. He's the only person I trust less than Kristen," Chad replied.
Gabi entered the DiMera mansion while Stefan was daydreaming about Gabby. "Did I just hear [you say] my name?" Gabi asked, feigning ignorance. "You most certainly did. I was dictating a text [for you]," Stefan claimed.
Stefan wondered if Gabi had the latest sales figures for Gabi Chic. Nodding, Gabi produced a document and handed it over while casually talking about the possibility of expanding Gabi Chic to include a line of designer clothes for pregnant women. "[Things] a woman like Abigail would wear," Gabi elaborated. "She has good taste," Stefan raved. "Yes, she does...[but it's just] really hard to find stylish clothes when you're pregnant -- especially when you're showing so much, like she is [now]," Gabi continued. "She most certainly is," Stefan agreed. "You've seen her?" Gabi asked. "Just last night," Stefan confirmed.
Feigning outrage, Gabi insisted that Stefan needed to stop harassing Abigail. "I'm not 'harassing' her. She invited me over," Stefan clarified. "Why would she do that? [She wanted] absolutely nothing to do with you until after the baby's born, so...what changed?" Gabi asked. Shrugging, Stefan showed Gabi the text message that had been sent from Abigail's cell phone.
"I was as surprised as you [when I saw that]," Stefan admitted as Gabi read the text message. "This makes no sense! [I mean], she is doing everything that she can to fix her marriage, [so why]...? [I mean], unless... Do you think that maybe she didn't send this?" Gabi mused. "Interesting theory," Stefan replied. Scoffing, Gabi guessed that Stefan hadn't really been dictating a text message earlier. "You were talking about [Gabby]. You think she's back, don't you?" Gabi concluded with a shake of the head.
Stefan explained to Gabi that Abigail had claimed that the text message had been meant for J.J. "[Makes sense]. I send texts to the wrong people all the time," Gabi replied. "Sure...but [that's] probably because, you know, you were texting two people at the same time [and got them mixed up]. Abigail never texts me," Stefan countered. "[So...what, you think Gabby's] trying to send you a message somehow?" Gabi asked incredulously.
"Possibly," Stefan confirmed with a shrug. "[But] if everyone knows that Abigail's alters are coming back, [she'll] be sent away -- and so [will] your baby. [That's why you're not] doing everything in your power to get Gabby out," Gabi guessed. Stefan admitted that Gabi was right. "[Besides, who'd] believe me, right? [But] you believe me, though, don't you?" Stefan added. "Why are you so interested in this?" Stefan asked curiously.
Just then, Eli arrived. "Am I interrupting? Butler said it'd be all right if I come in..." Eli explained, joining Stefan and Gabi in the living room. "I was just leaving, actually," Gabi replied before rushing out of the mansion.
"What do you want now?" Stefan asked Eli tiredly. "We still haven't found Kristen..." Eli began. "And I still don't know where she is," Stefan preemptively countered.
"You know, instead of bothering me, you should be focusing on that, uh...what is it, 'Sami Brady'?" Stefan continued, revealing that Sami had broken into the mansion earlier to look for Kristen. "So, you want to file a formal complaint against Sami?" Eli asked, somewhat confused. "No. I'm just saying that I think the woman should be behind bars. I mean, she did try to kill her own mother, right? She's every bit as dangerous as Kristen, [and]...I don't know, I feel like no one in Salem is safe with either one of 'em on the loose," Stefan dramatically declared.
Chad entered the Horton house while J.J. was in the process of trying to convince Abigail to open up to others about the possibility that the alters were returning. "I don't know if Chad could handle that," Abigail fretted, unaware of Chad's presence. "Handle what?" Chad asked curiously, joining Abigail and J.J. in the living room. "Oh, I was just saying, um...the sandwiches that I ordered [for our picnic -- I thought they had] mustard on them, which I know you hate...[but] I was wrong," Abigail claimed. "Whoa -- you don't think that I can handle mustard?" Chad asked teasingly. "It's an overreaction, I know, but I just want everything to be perfect," Abigail explained with a shrug. "Yeah, she's putting a lot of pressure on herself," J.J. helpfully added. Nodding, Chad urged Abigail to relax.
After Chad went upstairs to get Thomas, J.J. warned Abigail that it might be best to postpone the picnic. Abigail agreed that it would be disastrous if Gabby emerged while Chad was around. When Chad returned with Thomas a few minutes later, Abigail claimed, "You know, this is so embarrassing, [but] I can't come to the picnic, [after all]. I want to, but I just got an alert on my phone, [and] I guess I forgot I had a doctor's appointment today." Chad was disappointed but understood that it was important for Abigail to keep the appointment. Chad and Thomas decided to have a "dudes' day" instead.
"I know that wasn't easy for you," J.J. told Abigail after Chad left with Thomas. "I just thought that this was all over. I thought that I was finally stronger than my alters. [But]...I don't know, maybe I underestimated Gabby," Abigail admitted with a sigh. "[I think you were just so] focused on the pregnancy and fixing things with Chad [that] you were vulnerable. But now that you see her coming, you'll be ready. You're gonna get the help you need, and you're gonna beat this thing, just like you did last time," J.J. countered. Abigail smiled and thanked J.J. for the support. J.J. guessed that Abigail was happy to once again be able to count on Gabi's support, too.
Gabi returned to the Kiriakis mansion and found Chad in the living room, cleaning up the remnants of a picnic. "You know picnics are supposed to be outside, right?" Gabi asked teasingly. "Thomas and I were supposed to go to the park today with Abby, but, uh...she bailed on the picnic, so..." Chad explained. "Again?" Gabi asked incredulously. "She forgot she had a doctor's appointment, so..." Chad elaborated, shrugging. "That's weird. I feel like she just had a checkup. Are you sure this was an OB doctor?" Gabi asked curiously. "What else would it be?" Chad replied, confused.
Gabi tried to dodge the question, but Chad refused to drop the matter. "I guess, um...well, I just thought...maybe...that...she was consulting a psychiatrist," Gabi hesitantly clarified. Taken aback, Chad reminded Gabi that Abigail no longer had a reason to seek treatment from a psychiatrist because the alters had been integrated. Gabi agreed that Chad was probably right. "[I mean], those alters -- they're in the past, right? [And you see] no reason to worry, [and] I'd believe you before I'd believe..." Gabi innocently continued before suddenly stopping. "Believe who?" Chad asked curiously.
"Stefan, okay?" Gabi clarified with feigned reluctance. "Stefan thinks that [Gabby's] back," Gabi elaborated.
Stefan went to the Horton house to see Abigail. When she opened the front door, he barged inside while insisting, "We need to talk."
At the Salem Inn, Kristen stopped Brady from calling the cops, warning, "If you turn me in, someone you care about is gonna suffer." He reluctantly let her into his room and tiredly demanded to know who she was holding hostage. She assured him that she wasn't holding anyone hostage. "The person who is going to suffer if I go away is you," she clarified. Confused, he wondered why she was still in town.
"[I shouldn't be]. Every cop in Salem is looking for me. [But] I couldn't leave...[because that] would mean never seeing you again, and I couldn't live with that," Kristen explained. "I knew coming here was taking a risk, but it's worth it, [because] I love you, and I want us to be together," she seductively added. Brady tried to reject her advances, but she forged ahead, revealing that she was aware that he was a free man again.
"[I saw you arguing with Eve at the hospital earlier]. I knew she would let you down, and I was right. You can do so much better..." Kristen told Brady, who didn't want to discuss the matter. "I can see how much she hurt you," Kristen continued, ignoring Brady's attempts to end the conversation. "You don't deserve that -- just like you didn't deserve it when Theresa left you, or when Nicole chose Eric... They took you for granted -- all of them. You loved them -- you gave them your heart and soul -- and where did it get you? [Look], it's not too late. You can just put Eve behind you [and] be with someone who truly loves you, the way you deserve to be loved," Kristen continued. "This is crazy. Why are we even having this conversation? I should call the cops right now -- that's what I should do," Brady mused.
"I can't stop you if that's what you want to do," Kristen told Brady, who wasn't making much of an effort to dial the number, anyway. "Just know that you'll be missing out on your chance to be with a woman who will appreciate you, will put you first, and [will] never leave you. Don't you want that? Don't you want to be happy?" Kristen seductively added.
Brady pulled away and wondered if Kristen felt even the least bit guilty about what had happened to Marlena and Paul. "How is Paul?" Kristen asked. "He's paralyzed, Kristen! He may never walk again! That's how he is!" Brady reported. "Well, I'm pulling for him," Kristen stressed. "You're so loyal to your brother -- to your whole family -- [but]...I just have to wonder if they would be loyal to you if they knew what you did to Nicole," Kristen continued.
Stunned, Brady wondered how Kristen had found out about that. "Doesn't matter. What matters is [that] it proves what I've been saying all along, which is [that] we are soul mates -- two of a kind," Kristen replied. "I am nothing like you!" Brady dismissively insisted. Kristen disagreed, arguing that love had clearly caused Brady to cross lines from time to time, too.
"If your plan is to use what I did to Nicole as leverage against me..." Brady began. "I'm not trying to force you to be with me! I want you to be with me because you want to!" Kristen clarified. "[Then] you're gonna be waiting a long, long time," Brady insisted. Undeterred, Kristen continued, "Don't you see? When your family finds out what you did, they're gonna side with Eric against you! [I mean], people judge, and they make you feel like a terrible person, because they don't understand! [But] I do! I will never judge you [for] going after what you want! I respect what you did! I am the only one you can count on, Brady -- the only one that will never, ever leave you!" Brady grudgingly conceded that Kristen had a point.
"Eric already found out what happened with Nicole, [and] he, uh, turned his back on me, [just] like you said -- told me that he's no longer my brother," Brady revealed with a sigh. "And how do you think the rest of your family will [react]?" Kristen asked. Shrugging, Brady admitted, "[All I know] is that I have made a mess of my life. My brother hates me, Eve and I are over, I've lost my company, I've lost my son...and I'm not sure what I have left."
"You have me," Kristen quietly assured Brady. "I am the one person who will always love you," she seductively added. "Please, just give me another chance -- let me prove to you that I can make you happy," she concluded before leaning in to kiss him. "This would be a mistake, and you know it," he insisted, dodging her advances once again.
Chuckling, Kristen told Brady, "If the police weren't looking for me, I would make love to you right here and now, but...hey, you know what, we have the rest of our lives to do that, if you leave with me. Come away with me, Brady. There's nothing left here for you except pain and regret. Let's just leave Salem behind, [along with] all the bad memories."
Conflicted, Brady gave the matter a few seconds of thought then picked up some luggage and told Kristen, "Let's go."
At the hospital, Sami curiously observed, "[Mom], I have seen you at weddings, and you are [always] light on your feet, but I have never seen...[dance] moves like...that...[before]." Hattie nervously explained, while returning to bed, "[I guess I just] wanted to have a little bit of fun, you know -- just get my groove thing going and take a big bite out of..." Pausing, Hattie sniffed the air then exclaimed, "Burgers!"
Hattie greedily reached for Sami's bag of food, but Sami pulled it away and continued questioning Marlena's odd behavior. "You should be happy that I'm feeling better, [since] you're the one who shot me," Hattie pointed out. "Mom, I am happy that you are better. It's just...[I mean], you were in a coma yesterday. You weren't even breathing on your own. [And now you're asking for burgers and] turning your hospital room into Dance Party USA," Sami countered.
Shrugging, Hattie reasoned, "I'm just a 'never quit' kind of person, I guess. I mean, how many bad people have tried to kill me in the past, you know? And here I am! I'm like a cockroach -- I'm unkillable!" Sami was shocked that Marlena would make that kind of analogy. Hattie dismissively insisted it was the hunger talking.
Sighing, Sami handed the bag of food to Hattie, who quickly retrieved a burger and removed the wrapping. "Ooh, grilled onions -- my fave!" Hattie raved before taking a big bite out of the burger. "That's my burger. You hate grilled onions," Sami pointed out, suddenly even more confused. Hattie clarified, without bothering to swallow first, "I used to hate grilled onions. Isn't it fascinating? I mean, as a woman of science, it's amazing to me that a person in a coma can suddenly have all their taste buds change!" Unconvinced, Sami countered, "Bull. You are not my mother."
Hattie gasped and scolded Sami for being disrespectful. Hattie maintained that the coma was responsible for any sudden changes in behavior, but Sami was quick to point out that being in a coma for a few days wouldn't turn someone into a completely different person. "Maybe getting a bullet in you [would]!" Hattie gruffly countered. "Boy, you're right, 'Mom' -- [and] you know what else a bullet does? Gives you a big wound. So, let's see it. Show your daughter Sami that scar in the middle of your chest, 'Mom,'" Sami demanded. Squirming, Hattie took another bite out of the burger then hid under a blanket in a defensive position.
Kayla arrived while Sami was trying to seize the blanket from Hattie. "She's lost her mind! She's lost her marbles! She thinks I'm somebody else!" Hattie told Kayla. Getting the hint, Kayla tried to assure Sami that Hattie was indeed Marlena. Unconvinced, Sami insisted, "I'm not going anywhere until I see what's underneath that gown!" Hattie gasped and told Sami, "Get out of here, you little pervert!" Fed up, Sami grabbed a nearby scalpel and advanced toward Hattie with it, determined to get the gown off one way or another. As Kayla tried to stop Sami, Hattie fearfully blurted out, "Okay, I'm not your mother!"
"I knew it! [My mother] would never talk to me the way that you did! [You're] Hattie Adams!" Sami triumphantly concluded. Kayla feigned shock at first, but when Sami threatened to call the police, Kayla dropped the act and cleared everything up. Sami demanded to be taken to Marlena at once, but Kayla refused. "All you need to know is that your mother is okay -- [and] safe," Kayla stressed. "Do you mean [she's safe] from me?" Sami asked, hurt. "Look, Aunt Kayla, I shot her by accident! I didn't mean to! I am her daughter! I love her!" Sami insisted. "And I am her doctor, [so] I am gonna do what's best for her," Kayla unapologetically countered.
Undeterred, Sami stormed off, vowing to search the entire hospital for Marlena if necessary. "She's crazy," Hattie matter-of-factly informed Kayla, who had failed to stop Sami from leaving. Annoyed, Kayla started to lash out at Hattie for having done a poor job of imitating Marlena. Kayla also seized the opportunity to chastise Hattie for having waited such a long time before telling anyone about Kristen's appearance at the hospital. Hattie was quick to warn Kayla to show some respect. "[As long as] Marlena stays unconscious, you're gonna need me," Hattie pointed out. "Well, here's a little news flash -- Marlena's awake, so your services are no longer necessary," Kayla countered.
Meanwhile, Sami ran into Eli while rushing through the halls. "Just the person I was looking for," he began. "I don't have time for you, okay?" she tiredly replied while trying to sidestep him. He blocked her path and announced, while cuffing her, "You're under arrest for violating the terms of your bail."
Elsewhere, Marlena listened in shock as John regretfully explained how Hattie had taken advantage of the shooting. Marlena couldn't believe that John was legally married to Hattie. John assured Marlena that there would be plenty of time to deal with that later. Nodding, Marlena changed the subject, eager to see the kids right away. "[About that]...there's something you need to know about Sami..." John hesitantly began. "Sami shot me at my wedding. What else do I need to know?" Marlena hoarsely replied. John revealed with a sigh that Hattie had really been making Sami feel guilty about that -- and had been giving Belle a guilt trip, too.
"Oh, my poor girls," Marlena fretted. "Belle was just following my instructions, [and] Sami must feel terrible about pulling that trigger..." Marlena began to add before suddenly remembering something important.
Marlena realizes something about the shooting
At the Horton Town Square, Victor complained to Maggie about the martini he had just been served. "What?" she asked distractedly. "Martini -- nectar of the gods! [I was saying] I'm gonna have to get Henderson to come down here and teach these people how to build a proper [one]!" he repeated. "I can't believe we had to leave the sanctity of our own home to find some peace and quiet!" he added.
Maggie predicted that Susan would be gone soon enough. That failed to comfort Victor, who found Gabi's presence almost as annoying as Susan's. Maggie was quick to remind Victor that Gabi was Arianna's mother, but Victor didn't care. "Admit it -- this is getting to you, too, isn't it? [I mean], you've been preoccupied all day, [and I'm sure it's because] our home has turned into a cracker factory! [Look], when we get home, anyone whose name is not Kiriakis is getting walking papers!" Victor promised. Maggie sighed and vaguely insisted that wasn't the problem. Concerned, Victor curiously probed for more details.
"After you went to bed last night, Eric showed up. He wanted information on where Nicole is. I told him I had no idea...[but] that was a lie," Maggie explained. Victor was surprised to hear that Maggie had been in contact with Nicole all along. "She keeps me informed on how Holly is doing...but she does it with a condition that I tell no one where [they] are," Maggie elaborated. "[And] I understand why she feels that way, but lying to Eric [has been] horrible!" Maggie fretted.
Victor showed the usual lack of sympathy for Nicole but was quick to praise Maggie for being a trustworthy confidante. "You're a woman of your word, [and that's] one of the reasons I love you. So, if you have to tell Eric what I consider to be a little white lie..." Victor reasoned with a shrug. "But if you had seen his face... He is so desperate to find her..." Maggie countered, still conflicted.
"You know, he told me that she left him because Brady forced her to -- and that Brady is the reason that she doesn't want anyone to know where she is!" Maggie revealed with obvious confusion. "[And] I tried to get him to tell me more, but he wouldn't, [so] that's everything I know. [Victor], do you know anything? I mean, can you explain why Brady did this?" Maggie continued. Sighing, Victor replied, "I'm not gonna lie to you, Maggie. I've done enough of that to last us a lifetime. [The truth is that] I know more than something; I know the whole damn story...and it's an ugly one."
"Brady really did that?" Maggie asked incredulously at the end of Victor's tale. "[I mean], I know that he believed that he and Nicole were gonna make a life together, and I also know how hurt he was when she was drawn back to Eric, but to do something so hateful and so vindictive... I don't know what to say! [I mean], Eric was devastated, [and] Brady just watched that -- and enjoyed it!" Maggie continued, appalled. "It's pretty stunning," Victor agreed.
Maggie thought it was almost as stunning that Victor had known Nicole's secret for months and had kept quiet about it, despite hating Nicole and presumably wanting justice for Deimos. "He was threatening to go away and take her little girl with him -- your granddaughter. Can't say I blame her for sticking a knife in the S.O.B.," Victor admitted, shrugging. "[Besides, Brady] would have been in a world of trouble if I opened my mouth. He obstructed justice," Victor added. "I wonder if Eric knows that you know," Maggie mused. "So do I, 'cause if it ever gets out, I'd be in a world of trouble, too," Victor acknowledged with a sigh.
In light of the new information, Maggie began to wonder if lying to Eric truly was the right thing to do. "I think your first instinct was right. Just stay out of it. If he wants to find Nicole, let him hire a pro," Victor advised. "I suppose..." Maggie conceded. "[But] I called Nicole last night [and told her] that Eric was looking for her, and she said I was right to tell him I didn't know how to find her, and she begged me to keep saying that, [but] she sounded so scared, [so] maybe the right thing for me to do is to tell Eric where to find her," Maggie added. "Well, I know better than to try and talk you out of something once you've made up your mind, so...whatever you decide, I'll back you up," Victor assured Maggie.
Chloe was at Doug's Place, recording a voicemail message for Lucas, when Eric arrived and started begging for a lead on Nicole's whereabouts. Confused, Chloe curiously wondered why a happily engaged man would suddenly be so desperate to find an ex. "You are happy, [right]?" Chloe asked, prompting Eric to vaguely clarify that the engagement had recently ended because Brady had blackmailed Nicole into leaving Salem the previous year -- and Jennifer had known that for months but had kept it a secret. Chloe assumed that meant that Eric suddenly wanted Nicole back. "I don't know what -- or how -- I feel right now, and I can't let myself go there until I find her," Eric replied.
"If I could help you, I would, but I truly don't know anything. [I mean], I've called Nicole's cell a million times, [and] it always goes to voicemail, and she never calls me back," Chloe apologetically informed Eric. "I've done that, too. I don't know if it's [even] still her cell, though," Eric replied. "It's probably not. She's smart enough to have [changed the number] by now," Chloe guessed.
Chloe advised Eric to check with Maggie, who was Holly's grandmother, after all. Eric reported that Maggie didn't know where Nicole was, either. "Maybe [it's] no use. Maybe there [really] is no one who can help me find her," Eric concluded with a sigh. "You're wrong. I can help you," Maggie replied, joining Eric and Chloe at the bar. "I was lying [earlier]. I know where Nicole is," Maggie admitted.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Gabi made a show of informing Chad, with feigned reluctance, that Stefan had recently received a text message from Abigail's cell phone and was convinced that Gabby had sent it. "[But Stefan] loves to start problems between you and Abigail, [so]...you know, he probably wanted me to tell you all of this, [and] I'm such a moron for falling for it!" Gabi concluded with a groan. Chad assured Gabi it wasn't a big deal.
"[Anyway, Stefan said that Abigail] didn't remember sending that text because she was asleep..." Gabi revealed. "Again? So, she missed the picnic because she was sleeping, and then she went [right] back to sleep?" Chad asked incredulously. "Well, either that, or..." Gabi began. "She's losing time again, and Stefan's right [about Gabby being back]," Chad concluded with a sigh.
Chad guessed that Gabby might be practicing for a complete takeover of Abigail's body just in time for the baby's birth. Chad wanted to discuss the matter with Abigail right away, but Gabi warned that Chad might want to get definitive proof of Gabby's return first, just to avoid having to worry Abigail for no real reason.
"If Gabby is back, wouldn't she have some of her stuff lying around -- like wigs, Gabby-type outfits...?" Gabi suggested. Nodding, Chad resolved to check the Horton house right away, believing that Abigail was at a doctor's appointment. Gabi helpfully volunteered to watch Thomas while Chad was gone. "You're the best," Chad raved before rushing off. "Definitely not the best...but I'm pretty darn good," Gabi muttered, grinning mischievously.
Meanwhile, at the Horton house, Stefan demanded to talk to Gabby. Scoffing, Abigail maintained that Gabby was gone for good. Stefan wasn't convinced, having decided that Abigail's explanation for the mysterious text message had been a lie. "[Look, if Gabby] is back, I know her better than anyone, so maybe I can help you with her," Stefan reasoned. "Help me out of existence?" Abigail guessed.
Stefan sarcastically confirmed that was the plan. "Your emotional health is important to me -- and to our baby," Stefan added in a more sincere tone. Abigail remained suspicious of Stefan's true intentions. "You have to tell someone what's going on with you..." Stefan insisted while dialing Chad's cell phone number.
Not wanting Chad to know what was going on yet, Abigail reluctantly admitted to Stefan, "I don't remember sending the text, [but] obviously I did, and I've been losing time. I just keep telling myself it's because I'm sleeping a lot, [but] I've told myself that before." Stefan guessed, after hearing that Abigail had unintentionally sabotaged a planned picnic with Chad, that Gabby was trying to prevent Abigail and Chad from getting back together. Abigail conceded that was a possibility. "[Anyway], I'm gonna go see a psychiatrist. That's what I was getting ready to do before you got here," Abigail concluded.
"I'll go with you," Stefan offered. Abigail tried to object, but Stefan insisted. "I just want to support you," Stefan claimed. "No, you want to see Gabby," Abigail guessed. "I won't deny that," Stefan replied, shrugging.
"Look, if you're worried about me saying anything to Chad..." Stefan started to add. "You're threatening me, aren't you? If I don't let you come with me, you're gonna tell him everything I told you," Abigail angrily realized, reading between the lines. "I didn't say that," Stefan pointed out. "You didn't have to," Abigail countered before storming out of the house, with Stefan close behind.
A few minutes later, Chad arrived to search the house for evidence of Gabby's return -- and eventually discovered the dark-haired wig that Gabi had planted.
Meanwhile, at the Kiriakis mansion, Victor found Gabi roaming around. "Shouldn't you be with Arianna? Isn't that the whole purpose of your staying here?" Victor asked. "Arianna has a play date, and Thomas is taking a nap, so..." Gabi began. "[Doesn't mean you] have the run of the house," Victor insisted. "Talk to Sonny, not me," Gabi replied with a shrug. "Believe me, I will," Victor vowed before walking away.
"You're not gonna bring me down, you old grouch -- not when things are finally going my way," Gabi muttered once the coast was clear.
At the hospital, Stefan tried to keep Abigail from getting cold feet. "I've been keeping tabs on [Marlena] through a friend on the board. She's recovering well, and I know that she would want to help you," Stefan assured Abigail, who was disturbed but not particularly surprised to hear that Stefan had been spying on Marlena. "She's the one who figured out you have DID. She can tell when one of the alters is speaking to her, which makes her the foremost authority on you. And you want to know the truth, don't you?" Stefan continued. "It's the only way I can get control of the situation," Abigail conceded while eyeing Marlena's room apprehensively.
Elsewhere, Sami told Eli, "Stefan DiMera's the one you should be arresting! He was harboring a fugitive! You know, I know for a fact that Kristen was down in those tunnels, [because] I went down there, [and] she locked me in! [I mean, I didn't see her], but she was down there! She locked me in! It had to be her! [Look], you can go down there! You can be the hero! Look, I can tell you where the secret tunnels are! There's a door in the DiMera living room! The button is under Stefano's portrait, and it opens the secret passage to the tunnels! You can be the hero and solve this entire case! Just go check it out, please! You'll see that I'm telling you the truth! And in the meantime, you can just unlock [these] handcuffs, and then I can find my mom before Kristen does --"
Confused, Eli wondered what Sami was talking about. "You're not gonna believe me, anyway, so why bother explaining?" Sami evasively replied. "We'll just do this your way, [and] you can run me down to the station...but you know what? These charges aren't gonna stick, because I don't care what anyone says -- I didn't pull that trigger!" Sami continued before practically dragging Eli out of the hospital in an effort to protect Marlena's secret.
Meanwhile, Marlena -- still hidden in an unused part of the hospital -- started remembering what had happened at the wedding. "It all happened so fast, [but after Eric] tried to get the gun [from Sami], I think I saw something behind Sami -- way, way in the distance -- [and] I think it was...somebody...[with] another gun!" Marlena realized with a gasp. "It was across the square -- by the bushes, I think -- [and] Sami was right in front of me, [but] the shot came from much farther away... Oh, John, that means that Sami's innocent -- that Sami wasn't the person who shot me!" Marlena concluded with a sigh of relief.
"You know, Sami was saying all along that she didn't pull that trigger," John revealed. "If only we could prove that..." Marlena fretted. "Maybe we can," John noted while picking up the gun that Kristen had left behind. "It's gonna be easy to determine if the bullet that hit you came from this gun. [Of course], we don't know if this is the gun that Kristen had at the wedding, but..." John continued.
"It is. [I know because] when Kristen was waving it around, she said, 'This is the gun that I gave to Sami,'" Marlena recalled. "[Then] I'll take it downtown, [and] we'll run it through the police lab. [They] have the fragments of the bullet that hit you," John assured Marlena, who wanted it done right away so Sami's name could be cleared. Nodding, John rushed off after informing Marlena that an old friend from the ISA -- "built like a cement mixer" -- was standing guard outside.
When John arrived at the police station a few minutes later, Sami wondered why Hattie was posing as Marlena. John quickly explained the ruse to Sami, who was extremely grateful to John for having gone to such great lengths to save Marlena's life. "Sounds like something I would have done!" Sami proudly mused. "Yeah, well, I would have done that and a hell of a lot more for your mother," John admitted.
"And it paid off, Samantha. She's out of the coma, [and] she's talking, [and] --" John began to add. Overjoyed, Sami tearfully hugged John then started to wonder where Marlena had been stashed. "[Never mind]. You don't want me anywhere near her, and I understand that, 'cause it's my fault she was in a coma in the first place," Sami quickly conceded. "No, actually, I don't believe it's your fault she was in the coma," John clarified.
As John was sharing Marlena's recollection with Sami, Eli returned from the evidence locker. "I just retrieved the bullet fragment from evidence --" Eli began. "Well, what are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to test it?" Sami asked impatiently. "I don't have to. The bullet and the gun aren't even the same caliber, so there's no way that that gun fired the bullet that [struck] Marlena," Eli revealed.
Sami breathed a sigh of relief and triumphantly declared, "That's what I've been telling you all along! It wasn't me!" Meanwhile, back at the hospital, Marlena struggled to recall the identity of the real shooter.
Eric tracks Nicole
In the square, Roman approached Kate as she sat in the café. After sitting down at Kate's table, Roman asked if she had worked with Leo to file a fake lawsuit against Sonny. Kate denied the accusation. Roman said he had seen the photos of Kate with Leo. With a raised eyebrow, Kate asked Roman how he knew about the photos. Kate thought about when she had found Kayla in her hotel room.
"Kayla. The day I found her in my room. Someone sent her to spy on me," Kate said. Kate groaned in disgust. Roman explained that Stefan had forced Kayla to spy on Kate. "She feels terrible about it. Which is why I want to help you get out of it," Roman said. Roman explained what had happened between Stefan and Kayla over the bionic eye. Roman said he wanted to end "this nightmare" for both Kate and Kayla. Roman asked for Kate's help to destroy Stefan.
As Kate stared at Roman in silence, Roman reminded Kate that they were bonded through their children, Rex and Cassie. Kate urged Roman to stick to his proposal and not bring up their children. Chastised, Roman asked what had happened to Leo. Kate thought about her last conversation with Stefan about Leo. Kate lied to Roman and said she did not know anything about Leo's disappearance. Suspicious, Roman asked Kate to tell him everything she knew. Kate refused.
"I guess we can't work together," Kate said. As Roman started to leave, Kate called out that Roman's plan was too risky. "If we work together, we can bring this bastard down," Roman said. With a worried groan, Kate shook Roman's hand.
In the hospital, Abigail tapped her fingers on the arm of her chair as she waited to see Marlena. Stefan, seated next to her, reached out to touch her hand. Abigail pulled away. From across the room, Kayla noticed Abigail recoil from Stefan. Kayla rushed over and asked Abigail what was wrong.
Abigail jumped to her feet and confided that she was worried she was sick again. Abigail explained that she had been missing time and had sent a text message to Stefan that she had not remembered typing. When Abigail mentioned her sleeping issues, Kayla assured Abigail that extra sleep was normal. Worried, Abigail asked Kayla if she could talk to Marlena. Kayla promised to talk to Marlena and determine if she was well enough to talk to Abigail.
As Abigail turned to leave, Stefan offered to drive Abigail home. Abigail refused. Stefan started to pursue Abigail, but Kayla stopped him. Kayla said she regretted that she had helped Stefan, and Kayla refused to help him anymore. As Stefan started to speak, Kayla told Stefan she would not respond to his threats at all. Kayla remembered that Roman had warned her not to confront Stefan or tip her hand. Kayla shook off the memory.
"Nothing is worth the cost of being indebted to you," Kayla said. Kayla said she would accept Steve's fate if Stefan turned off his eyesight. Stefan growled that Kayla still owed him. Kayla threatened to tell Abigail about Stefan's coercion, and Stefan countered that he would tell Abigail that Kayla had given him Abigail's records. "If Gabby's back, she won't be staying. I'll make sure of that," Kayla said. Stefan chuckled.
At the Horton house, Chad found a black wig in Abigail's room. "So, Gabby's back," Chad whispered. Downstairs, Jennifer opened the mail and found invitations for her wedding to Eric. With tears in her eyes, Jennifer looked at her naked finger and thought about when she had returned her engagement ring to Eric. When Chad walked downstairs, he hid the wig in his coat before he said hello to Jennifer. Chad asked Jennifer if she knew where to find his wife. Jennifer answered that Abigail was at a doctor's appointment.
"It's not about where she is. It is more about who she is," Chad said as he pulled the wig out of his jacket pocket. Chad told Jennifer about Stefan's concerns and Abigail's lost time. Jennifer was hesitant to believe anything Stefan said, but Chad argued they should be concerned about Abigail. As Jennifer pleaded with Chad to find Abigail, Abigail returned home.
"I came over because I'm worried about you," Chad said softly. "And he found this," Jennifer said as she held up the wig. Abigail was defensive. When Chad explained that Gabi had told him about Abigail's fears about her DID, Abigail asked how Gabi would know anything about her DID. Chad noted that Stefan had told Gabi. Abigail was annoyed that Gabi was involved. Chad asked Abigail if she had talked to Marlena. With a groan, Abigail said she had not been able to see Marlena.
"The first time you got sick was right after Thomas was born," Chad said. Chad assured Abigail that the stress of the baby and their marriage had affected her. Chad blamed himself for driving Abigail toward Stefan because of the tension from their separation. Abigail said she had no memory of texting Stefan, and she hated him. Chad countered that Gabby's alters felt different about Stefan.
"This is scary for all of us, and we love you so much. We just want you, our wonderful, loving Abigail, and we don't want for you to suffer anymore. So, I am glad that Gabi went to Chad," Jennifer said. Abigail argued that she had not heard any voices, and she disputed that her health was anyone's business but hers. "Don't go through my things. I wouldn't do it to you," Abigail barked before she stormed out.
At Doug's Place, Maggie told Eric that she knew where to find Nicole. Maggie apologized for lying, but she explained that she had promised Nicole she would not tell anyone. Eric asked Maggie what had changed her mind. Maggie explained that Victor had told her about Brady's blackmail and the real reason Nicole had left Salem.
"I know what Nicole did, but don't worry. I'm not going to tell anyone," Maggie said. Maggie added that she believed Eric was the only person that could help Nicole. Maggie wrote down an address and explained that Nicole was renting Sarah's apartment in Chicago. With a hug, Eric thanked Maggie and ran out the door in search of Nicole.
Chloe sat down with Maggie at the bar, and they talked about baby Bonnie. Dismayed, Maggie shook her head as Chloe explained about Bonnie's attempt to keep Lucas away from his child. Chloe confided that she was worried about Lucas' sobriety. Maggie urged Chloe not to worry because Lucas had both Chloe and Maggie to rely on.
"We have to believe that he is going to rise to those challenges," Maggie said. Maggie asked Chloe if she was ready to be a mother to baby Bonnie. Chloe said she was concerned about how Parker would react to the baby. With a smile, Chloe said she had always wanted a sibling for Parker. Chloe confessed that her initial reaction to the news about the baby had upset her because it had reminded her of her struggles with Mimi as a teenager.
"What if this little Bonnie turns out to be anything like her big sister?" Chloe asked. Maggie reminded Chloe that baby Bonnie was a child and would have Chloe and Lucas as her parents as she grew up. Maggie wondered aloud if Mimi had turned out poorly because her childhood with Bonnie had been terrible. Chloe agreed that she had worried needlessly about baby Bonnie's family connections. "I will not let her have any power over me ever again," Chloe said about Mimi.
At the police station, Lucas yelled at Bonnie in the interrogation room for dragging him to Brookville to find their baby without success. Bonnie explained that the baby should have been in Brookville. Lucas did not believe Bonnie. "I have had enough of you and your lies! I'm done with it!" Lucas yelled. Lucas told Bonnie he would send her back to prison. Bonnie was furious and swore she had not broken the deal. Bonnie asked for a phone call. Reluctantly, Lucas agreed and handed her his phone. Bonnie asked for privacy, and Lucas grudgingly left the room.
"It's me. Where the hell are you?" Bonnie asked the person on the phone. Bonnie screamed that she was headed for prison if she did not produce the baby. In the bullpen outside, Lucas called Chloe and updated her on the situation with the baby. Lucas vowed to make sure that Bonnie did not escape with his daughter. When Lucas returned to the interrogation room, Bonnie said she had the right location for the baby.
After traveling, Bonnie and Lucas arrived at a hotel room. Lucas was livid when he did not see the baby in the room. As Lucas grabbed Bonnie and yelled that they were going back to the police, a baby cooed in the corner. Lucas walked over to the window and pulled back the curtain to find a baby in a carrier on the floor. Lucas scooped up the carrier and cooed over the little girl. Lucas complained about Bonnie's neglect of the baby. Bonnie objected that the baby had not been alone long, but Lucas gave Bonnie the stink eye. Bonnie told Lucas to leave, but he refused.
"I'm not going anywhere without my daughter," Lucas said. Bonnie reminded Lucas that they had not discussed custody. Lucas countered that they had not argued for a two-second visit, either. Lucas scooped up the carrier and walked out. With a groan, Bonnie closed the door after Lucas left.
"You can come out now," Bonnie yelled. "Mom. What the hell did you just do?" Mimi said as she exited the bathroom. "How could you let Lucas walk out of here with my baby?" Mimi demanded.
In Chicago, Eric knocked on the door to Sarah's apartment. There was no answer. As Eric looked around the hallway, the door opened. Nicole's eyes went wide as she saw Eric standing there.