At Avery's apartment, Joe threatened to lie about his accidental fall from the balcony and have charges pressed against Avery if she didn't make love to him. With tears streaming down her cheeks, Avery told Joe that she could be disbarred and sent to prison if he lied about what had happened. Joe pleaded with Avery to make love to him to remind her of their past. Joe added, "You'll feel what you once felt for me." Avery insisted that what they'd felt for each other in the past was gone.
Joe refused to believe Avery's feelings had changed and insisted she give him one night to prove her wrong. Avery mentioned the meal he'd pleaded with her to share with him the night of the accident. Joe noted that Avery had been with Dylan then. Joe said, "You'll be able to open up and see the connection that we have by letting me love you." Avery's facial expression displayed her intense fear as she flippantly agreed to have "one night of sex, not love." Ranting and sarcastically mocking Joe's demands, Avery hurriedly turned on her stereo, offered to light candles, and grabbed a bottle of wine out of her refrigerator.
Joe pleaded with Avery to slow down, but she quickly downed a glass of wine and poured herself another when she realized she'd forgotten to make a toast. Seething with anger, Avery said, "To the night neither one of us is going to forget!" Joe looked on stunned as Avery again gulped down another full glass of wine. Avery ripped her blouse open, pushed Joe onto the sofa, and said, "Let's do it right here!" Joe lifted Avery to her feet. She yelled, "What? I'm not doing it right?"
Joe violently grabbed Avery's arm and yelled, "Damn you!" Avery suddenly recalled a similar incident with Joe in the past. She jumped back away from him. Joe said, "I want you to want me. I still love you, Avery." Avery ordered Joe to leave at once. Avery said that she no longer blamed herself for what had happened and no longer cared about Joe. She again ordered him to leave. Avery sobbed and said that Joe's lies had cost her everything. Joe stepped outside the door and said he wasn't the only one who'd made a mistake. After he left, Avery slammed the door and sobbed.
At Chancellor Park, Lauren and Cane kissed. Someone unseen watched through a thicket of bushes. Cane's phone went unanswered as Lily left an apologetic message and told her husband that she knew nothing was going on between him and Lauren. After Cane and Lauren's passionate kiss ended, Lauren exclaimed, "Where did that come from?" Both talking at the same time, Cane and Lauren agreed that the kiss had been a mistake, and they both agreed never to tell anyone about it.
When Cane returned to the Genoa City Athletic Club, he was shaken. He slumped against the bar and held his head in his hands. Lily questioned Cane and learned that he hadn't yet listened to the messages she'd left for him. Lily humbly apologized and said that she'd been petty and jealous. Lily thanked Cane for being a friend to Lauren. Lily explained that she'd lashed out at Cane because of the stress she'd endured from her dad, Hilary, and Devon.
Cane tried to apologize, but Lily interrupted him and insisted that she was to blame for having lost faith in the power of love. Cane nodded when Lily told him that she trusted him. He pulled Lily close and kissed her. Lily giggled and suggestively said that perhaps she should've apologized in private. Cane insisted that Lily had done nothing that needed forgiveness.
Lily offered to phone Lauren and apologize. Cane became frustrated and demanded that Lily not contact Lauren. Lily was taken aback by Cane's unusual demeanor. He claimed he'd been facing too much stress at work. Lily seemed concerned about Cane's odd behavior.
At the police station, Paul told Detective Harding that the FBI would be investigating the message left anonymously from someone pretending to be the killer. Paul and Det. Harding were unaware that Mariah had left the message. Paul told Harding that the person who'd posted the message taunting police to catch him might be able to lead police to the real killer. Later, Paul received a phone call. After the call, Paul summoned Det. Harding and said he'd learned information about the person who'd posted the "catch me if you can" message. The two men hurriedly left together.
At the Underground, Mariah nervously knocked a tray to the floor when Kevin walked in. Kevin told Mariah that she needed to calm down. Mariah replied, "I panic every time someone walks through the door. What if they come after me? I'm going to be arrested for posting that bogus message. If the cops don't come after me, the killer will."
Ben and Abby stopped by to talk to Kevin and Mariah. Ben warned that Kevin and the others involved would be placing targets on their backs if they appeared on a televised interview, claiming that Tobias Gray wasn't the killer. After Abby backed out, Mariah became upset and said that only she and Kevin seemed interested in finding the person who'd murdered Austin and Courtney. Kevin noted that the others had already backed out, so the interviewer would call it off, anyway. Kevin said they'd have to find another way to lure the killer out of hiding.
Abby suggested that Kevin utilize his computer-hacking skills to learn the identity of the person who'd posted the message. Kevin said he'd been suspended from his job and wasn't allowed near the police department's computers. Ben, miffed, asked Kevin why he continued to put his friends in jeopardy instead of backing off. After Ben and Abby left, Mariah asked Kevin to cover her tracks and not reveal that she was behind the fake message left on G.C. Buzz. Kevin replied, "Sorry, no. I cannot do that."
Kevin explained to Mariah that the authorities had likely already traced her IP address. Kevin advised Mariah to approach the authorities and admit what she'd done. Mariah panicked. Kevin said he'd phone Michael and ask him to work with the police on her behalf. Mariah cried that she wasn't the type of person who successfully evaded punishment. She begged Kevin to run away with her. Mariah said she knew how to disappear, and she told Kevin that he could avoid facing his misdemeanor charges.
Kevin told Mariah that her plan was crazy because they'd have to remain on the lam forever. Kevin added that the authorities would end up wasting time searching for them instead of catching the person who'd murdered Austin and Courtney. Mariah said she'd leave without Kevin. She kissed Kevin on the cheek. As Mariah rushed toward the exit, Detective Harding and Paul intercepted Mariah and placed her under arrest.
At the police station, Paul and Det. Harding took turns berating Kevin and Mariah for interfering. Paul explained that his plan was to make the real killer feel overconfident in hopes that he would make a mistake. When Kevin realized that Paul was aware of Tobias' innocence, he told Paul that he should have trusted him with the information instead of placing him on suspension. Kevin suggested that Paul approach the press and put increased pressure on the killer. When Det. Harding attempted to place Mariah in handcuffs, Paul summoned the detective into his office.
In private, Paul told Harding that Kevin's plan was viable. Paul acknowledged that the killer had always made a move whenever he'd felt he was close to being captured. Paul and Detective Harding stepped back into the booking area. They told Mariah and Kevin that they wouldn't be detained. Paul warned Kevin and Mariah not to interfere again because they'd not be given leniency the next time.
After Mariah and Kevin returned to the Underground, they watched Paul's press conference. Paul announced that Austin and Courtney's murder cases would be reopened. Paul acknowledged that Tobias Gray, once believed to be the killer, had actually been the real killer's third victim. A reporter mentioned that Sharon had also been a suspect at one time. Paul explained that the killer was adept at framing others.
Paul claimed that police had obtained Austin Travers' tablet, on which Tobias had placed backups of all his computer files. Paul added that the tablet was being analyzed at an undisclosed location. Kevin told Mariah that Austin had never owned a tablet. Kevin said that Paul was using the power of the press to lure the killer out into the open. Kevin seemed pleased, but Mariah look worried.
At the Jabot laboratory, Michael stopped by to see Ashley after she'd summoned him. Ashley said she knew that Jack had recently named her as the executor of his estate, so she'd decided to update her will and get her affairs in order. Michael told Ashley that she was wise to be prepared because one never knew what could happen. Ashley asked Michael to consult with her on the changes right away, but Michael explained that his assistant would need to schedule a two-hour office appointment to handle the matter.
After Michael left, Ashley retrieved a pill bottle from her purse, took out a pill, and washed it down with a gulp of water. She rubbed the left side of her neck and winced in pain. When Abby and Ben entered the lab, Ashley overheard them discussing the message the killer had supposedly posted. Ashley, worried, cried, "The killer made another threat? That means it wasn't Tobias." Using her phone, Ashley read the threatening message posted to the newspaper and panicked. Ben promised to protect Abby. Ashley angrily replied, "What if you can't keep her safe?"
Ben and Abby became concerned when Ashley suddenly seemed unable to speak and sat on the edge of her desk when she became dizzy. Abby asked her mom if she was okay. Ashley held up her pill bottle and explained that she was suffering side effects from her migraine medication. Ben claimed that he needed to check on a shipment and asked Abby to look after Ashley. After Ben left, Abby asked her mom when she'd begun having headaches. Ashley blamed stress from the recent merger.
Abby mentioned her recent attack in the park and asked if she'd worried her mom sick. Ashley replied, "I'm concerned about you, honey, but it has nothing to do with that." Abby suggested that if she stopped seeing Ben, it might improve her mother's health. Ashley said she wouldn't expect Abby to give up Ben, and she admitted that the couple obviously cared for each other deeply. Abby seemed guardedly relieved.
At the hospital, Ben told Dr. Barton that he'd seen the doctor's name on Ashley's migraine medication. Ben reported that Ashley was suffering from dizziness and slurred speech, and he asked Dr. Barton to run additional medical tests to determine the cause. Dr. Barton said that Ben had no business diagnosing illnesses because he'd lost his privileges to practice medicine. Ben said he was an excellent doctor and had observed troubling symptoms that needed investigation. Dr. Barton said he was concerned about the privacy of his patients. Ben expressed frustration after Dr. Barton abruptly ended the conversation and walked away.
When Ben returned to the lab, Abby noticed that he seemed uneasy. Ashley noticed, too. When Ashley entered her office, she received a call from Dr. Barton. The doctor explained that Ben had told him about Ashley's dizzy spells and speech difficulties. He insisted that Ashley visit the hospital to determine the cause for her symptoms. Ashley said she'd go there the following day.
Ashley stepped out into the lab and confronted Ben. He admitted having spoken to Dr. Barton. Ashley became irate and said, "Don't be concerned about me! You're involved with my daughter! Be concerned about her!" Abby pressed her mother to admit that she still cared about Ben. Ashley became irate before suffering a seizure.
At Crimson Lights, Michael recalled having seen Cane and Lauren kissing earlier at Chancellor Park. Lauren arrived and asked Michael why he'd seemed lost in thought. Michael said he'd been thinking about Lauren and hoped she'd changed her mind about refusing to sign their divorce papers. Lauren replied, "I'm not going to sign them. I will contest the divorce if you proceed." Lauren pleaded with Michael to remember all the obstacles they'd overcome in the past. Michael replied, "We haven't really faced anything like this before."
Lauren said Michael was pushing her away because he was scared, but she refused to let him give up on their marriage. Michael said he didn't blame Lauren for what she'd done because she was a passionate woman. He said he could no longer provide what she needed. Lauren cried that they could remain close without being physical. Michael replied, "I saw you kissing Cane."
Lauren blamed Michael and said that he'd taken every part of himself away from her. Lauren cried, "You left me without even a sliver of our marriage that I could hold on to. You left me untouched and unwanted. I kissed Cane because I'm human, and I'm the one who's dying inside of loneliness." Lauren got up to leave. Michael yelled, "Divorce me!" Lauren didn't reply as she turned and hurried away.
Lauren rushed to find Cane at the Genoa City Athletic Club. Lauren took a seat beside Cane at the bar. Cane attempted to distance himself from Lauren. Distraught, Lauren told Cane that Michael had seen her kiss Cane. Cane sighed heavily and held his head in his hands. Cane said, "I'm going to tell Lily before Michael does. That's what I'm going to do." Lauren nodded.
Lily entered the patio at Crimson Lights and found Michael sitting alone. Lily said she'd hoped to find Lauren, and she asked why Michael had asked for a divorce. Michael wiped his nose with a napkin and said, "Yeah. Uh, allergies." Lily said she believed that Michael should reconsider because Lauren loved him very much. Michael said that it was none of her business, much like her problems with Cane were none of his business. Lily replied, "What do you mean about my problems with Cane?" Michael said he wasn't the one she should be talking to about it. After Michael left abruptly, Lily seemed confused and uneasy.
At the hospital, Abby wondered where Ashley had gone, and Stitch tracked down Barton, who said Ashley had checked herself out of the hospital against his advice. Barton refused to divulge any more information, but he urged them to convince Ashley to return to the hospital. Stitch suggested that Abby look for her mother, and after she left, he asked Barton what was wrong with Ashley. Barton maintained that he couldn't breach his patient's confidentiality, but Stitch refused to leave until he found out why Ashley had suffered a seizure.
Stitch argued that he'd been a good doctor, but Barton reiterated that violating Ashley's confidence would be illegal and unethical. Stitch countered that not telling him might end up killing her, since he could convince her to get treatment, but he had to know what he was dealing with. Stitch suggested that they just bend the rules a little instead of breaking them, and Barton asked how. Stitch proposed that he would guess what he thought Ashley's diagnosis was, and Barton could tell him if he was wrong.
At the lab, Ashley fought fatigue, and Abby walked in and lectured that Ashley needed to be in the hospital. Ashley insisted on working, and she declared that there was no better medicine than work to make her feel energized. Abby argued that the doctors thought otherwise, and Ashley downplayed her seizure as a side effect from her migraine medication. Abby was concerned that Ashley was suffering from something more serious, and she pointed out that it wasn't like Ashley to ignore medical advice. Ashley said she had too much to do, and she told Abby to either get to work or leave.
Abby encouraged Ashley to at least go home, but Ashley insisted that she had to protect the Jabot brand, even if she had to do it on her own. Abby thought Jack, Billy, and Traci would want to know what was going on, but Ashley swore it was nothing to worry about. Abby suspected Ashley was as scared as she was, and she assured Ashley that it was okay to admit she was afraid. Ashley said she knew Abby loved her, and Abby guessed that Ashley wished she had a partner in her life. Stitch walked in and announced that Ashley could die if she didn't go back to the hospital.
Ashley snapped that her doctor hadn't had any right to discuss her condition, but Stitch explained that he'd figured it out himself, and Barton had just confirmed that she had an aneurysm in the base of her brain. Stitch added that the doctors could fix it with a surgical procedure, but Ashley contended that as long as she could function and contribute, she wanted to be working and living. Stitch argued that she wouldn't be doing any of it if the aneurysm claimed her life, but Ashley argued that she could die or become incapacitated if she had the surgery, and she insisted on living her life the way she wanted. Abby pleaded that she couldn't lose Ashley.
At the hospital, Abby recited a comforting poem from her childhood, and Ashley was touched that Abby remembered it. Abby recalled that Ashley had always been there for her whenever she'd been scared, and Ashley said she loved Abby. Abby replied that she loved Ashley more, and Ashley declared that she loved Abby most. They hugged, and Stitch asked if Ashley was ready for a few simple tests. Stitch promised he and Abby would be waiting for Ashley, and Abby crumpled into Stitch's arms as an orderly wheeled Ashley out.
At the Athletic Club, Joe told the bartender to charge his drink to his room, and Phyllis noted he was staying there. She asked if he'd moved out of Avery's apartment, and Joe revealed that he could walk, so he hadn't wanted to put Avery out anymore. Phyllis coolly congratulated him.
Across the dining room, Marco stared at the picture of a captive Jack on his phone, and he received a message informing him that he'd won the bid. Phyllis sat down and griped that Joe was a liar, and "Jack" looked at the next message, which asked if he wanted his prize dead or alive. Jack was surprised Phyllis wasn't happy because Joe had moved out, and Phyllis replied that she would be if she didn't think there was more to it. He urged her to talk to Avery, and she kissed him goodbye and departed. He made a call and said he needed to see someone right away.
At Crimson Lights, Summer and Kyle commiserated about the murder investigation taking over their lives. Kyle asked if she believed the story Paul had given to the press about Austin's tablet, and Summer asserted that she would have known if it existed, but it was a way to lure out the killer. Sharon overheard and remarked that at least they knew it wasn't her, but Summer was unconvinced, and Sharon asserted that she'd been cleared of the charges even before the police had suspected Tobias. Summer sarcastically congratulated Sharon.
Sharon presented Summer with coffee on the house, and she told Summer and Kyle to let her know if they needed anything else. Joe arrived and asked if Summer had a moment, and Summer assured Kyle that she'd be fine. Kyle stepped aside, and Summer surmised Joe wanted to talk about her tattling to Avery that Joe could walk. He recognized that Summer had been looking out for Avery, and he explained that he'd wanted to surprise Avery, but Avery had thrown him out.
Summer defended that she'd only relayed what she'd seen, and Joe requested that Summer tell Avery it had just been a misunderstanding. After Summer departed, Sharon concluded that Joe had been lying about being able to walk, and Joe said his moving out wasn't good for either of them, since there was nothing to stop Dylan from going back to Avery. Joe implied that Dylan already had, and he asked if Sharon had seen Dylan that morning. Sharon replied that Dylan was standing right behind him, and Joe turned around and faced a glaring Dylan.
Dylan asked what was going on, and Joe claimed he'd been sharing his good fortune. Joe stood up, and he credited Avery with his recovery. After Joe headed out, Sharon asked where Dylan had been that morning, and he vaguely replied that he'd had something to take care of. She guessed that Avery had called right after throwing Joe out, and Dylan had raced over to be with his ex. Dylan stated that he hadn't heard about it until then, and he pointed out that it didn't mean Avery wanted to reunite with Dylan. He assured Sharon that he was happy with her and that she could trust him.
Kyle met Jack at the club, and Jack inquired whether he had Kyle's complete trust, since no one could know a thing about what Jack had to ask him. Kyle became concerned, but he promised to keep his mouth shut, and Jack asked Kyle to wire money from Jabot's reserve account but to make sure Jack's name wasn't connected to the transfer. Kyle grumbled that it sounded sketchier by the minute, and he asked if Jack was in trouble. Jack swore he wasn't, and Kyle agreed to do it if it was important to Jack. Jack thanked him, and he handed over the details on a piece of paper and called it an investment in their future.
Kyle swore he'd do anything for his dad, but he gasped when he saw the dollar amount. Jack insisted that he'd never enter into something illegal or dangerous, and Kyle said he'd feel better if he knew what the money was for. Jack claimed that he was investing in a South American cargo company that could save Newman-Abbott millions in shipping fees, and Kyle questioned why Jack was keeping it a secret. Jack claimed it was a sensitive transaction, and Kyle was the only person he could trust. Jack referred to the stronger bond they'd developed since the car accident, and he implored Kyle to trust him, since their future was riding on it.
Later, Kyle returned to the table and informed Jack that the money had been wired and that the transfer couldn't be traced back to Jack. Jack declared that he was proud of Kyle for trusting him, and Kyle pointed out that Jack was his dad. Jack said Kyle would never know how much it meant to his old man, and Kyle's faith wouldn't go unrewarded. Kyle called it a win if Jack was proud of him.
On the cargo ship, Jack attempted to free himself, but Marisa said he was wasting his energy, since "Marco" had held many men captive the same way, and they'd never gotten free. Jack questioned how she could love a man that cruel, but she countered that Marco had never been cruel to her. The captain entered and announced that he had determined the highest bidder, and the winner got to choose whether he'd see Marco alive or dead. Jack asked to talk to the buyer to offer him something other than Marco's life, but the captain huffed that Marco had nothing except Marisa, and even she couldn't save him. The captain declared that it was a done deal, and once the money was delivered, he would complete the transaction.
Jack begged the captain to release him, and he promised he would disappear again. The captain growled that Marco would disappear permanently, and he regretted that he had to kill a beautiful woman, as well, but it was the price of her betrayal. The captain suggested that Marco and Marisa say their goodbyes, and he walked out. Marisa ordered Marco to save them like he always had by summoning his men, but Jack informed her that he wasn't an international drug lord. He revealed that he was Jack Abbott from Wisconsin, and he was about to die without ever seeing his family again.
Marisa was astounded that Jack wasn't Marco, since the men had the same face, but he said that was where the similarities ended. He chalked it up to a case of mistaken identity, and Marisa wondered why he'd tried to make her believe he was Marco. Jack explained that he'd do or say anything to see his family again, and Marisa mused that she'd spent her life running from hers. Jack stated that his family meant everything to him, and she contemplated how he expected to get out of the mess without any henchmen. Marisa imagined that Marco would tell her to fight with all she had, and Jack might not know how to get out, but she did.
Marisa said she'd survived on her own for years, and she'd risen from the ashes like a phoenix. The captain returned and divulged that the ransom money had been wired into his account, so he was a rich man, but Marco was a dead one. Jack offered to make him richer if the captain called Jack's family, but the captain refused to risk his own life by double-crossing the buyer. Marisa reasoned that no one had paid for her, and she swore that she and Marco had only shared one kiss. The captain snarled that it had been one too many, but Marisa begged him not to make her pay with her life for one mistake.
Marisa seductively said that she knew the captain hadn't forgotten what it felt like to feel her lips on his, but he suspected it was a trick to save Marco. Marisa insisted that she just wanted to save herself. The captain was hesitant to believe Marisa, but she offered to prove her desire was real by sharing a meal with him alone. She guaranteed he'd be convinced, and he lustily stated that she'd whet his appetite. He kissed her and removed her cuffs, and she smirked at Jack.
In Avery's apartment, a ceramic bowl lay broken on the kitchen tile with drops of blood next to it. Summer arrived and called out for Avery, and she was startled when Phyllis approached behind her. Summer mentioned that the door had been open when she'd gotten there, and Phyllis spotted the broken dish. Phyllis found no sign of Avery in the apartment, and she instructed Summer not to touch anything. Phyllis left a message for Avery, and Summer found Avery's phone and noted that Dylan had been the last person Avery had called.
Dylan informed Sharon that a repairman was on his way to look at the fridge, and Sharon recalled that it had been acting up since she'd owned the place. Dylan asked if they were okay, and she admitted it had been ridiculous for her to expect everything to fall apart. Dylan swore he wasn't going anywhere except to do payroll, and she offered to keep an eye on things. He stepped into the back, and his phone rang on the counter.
Sharon spotted a call from Avery's apartment, and she answered the phone and testily ordered Avery to stop calling. Phyllis identified herself and asked to speak to Dylan, and Sharon handed him the phone and said Phyllis sounded upset. Phyllis asked if Dylan had seen Avery, since there appeared to be signs of a struggle at the apartment. She mentioned the broken bowl and the blood, and Dylan said he was on the way. Sharon looked irked as he hurried out.
Phyllis thanked Paul for stopping by, and he noted that Dylan had seemed upset on the phone. Summer explained that she'd found the door open, and she pointed out the broken bowl and the blood. Phyllis added that she hadn't been able to reach Avery, and none of the neighbors had seen her sister. Paul theorized that perhaps Avery had gone to the hospital, and he asked if Avery's car was there. Paul instructed an officer to check for her vehicle, but Dylan entered and reported it was gone.
Paul put out an APB on Avery's car, and he asked Phyllis to go over the last time she'd seen Avery. Phyllis recalled that she and Avery had argued about Joe living with Avery, but he'd moved out after making a miraculous recovery. Summer clarified that Avery had thrown him out, and Phyllis realized Joe had just lied to her. Summer revealed that Joe had been hiding his ability to walk, and Phyllis concluded that Joe had done something to Avery. Phyllis prepared to find Joe, but Paul said he was tired of people taking the law into their own hands, and he sternly stated that it was a police investigation.
Phyllis refused to do nothing while Joe was chugging back expensive scotch at the club, and she ranted that Joe had been guilt-tripping Avery ever since he'd been hurt. Phyllis speculated that Joe had lost it when Avery had seen through his lies and manipulations, and Paul suggested Phyllis go to the police station to file a missing person report. Phyllis agreed to let Paul handle it, but she warned that neither she nor Dylan would back off. Paul turned around and discovered that Dylan had taken off.
Sharon approached Joe at the Athletic Club bar, and he wondered if she was alone because Dylan had run off to be with Avery. Sharon reported that Dylan was with Phyllis to tend to a problem at Avery's apartment, and she thought Joe could tell her what had happened. Joe reiterated that it was in both of their best interests if Dylan and Avery weren't together, and Sharon said she had the impression Joe would be willing to do anything to keep them apart. Joe replied that he loved Avery, and everything he'd done had been so they could be together. Joe admitted he and Avery had had a fight, and she'd thrown him out, but he'd never hurt her.
Sharon ran into Dylan in the foyer, and he revealed that Avery was missing, so he needed to find Joe. Sharon mentioned that Joe had seemed alarmed when she'd told him something was wrong at Avery's apartment, and Dylan wished Sharon hadn't talked to Joe. Dylan asked Sharon to go back to the coffeehouse, and he stormed over to Joe and demanded to know what Joe had done to Avery. Joe said he'd moved out of Avery's place, but Dylan clarified that she'd tossed Joe out after she'd seen through his act, and he suspected Joe had done something to retaliate.
Joe ranted that both Dylan and Avery had the righteous thing down, considering they were the ones who'd had an affair. Joe asked if Dylan had been too busy playing knight in shining armor to Sharon to know where his one true love was, and he had figured Avery was with Dylan. Joe suggested that Dylan check his bed, since perhaps Avery had turned back into the "needy bitch" who had once loved Dylan. As Sharon looked on, Dylan punched Joe.
Jack and Kyle joined Phyllis and Summer at the police station, and Phyllis admitted she was scared. Kyle assured Summer that Avery was tough, but Summer whimpered that it might be all her fault if Avery was in over her head. Phyllis asked if Paul had sent officers to ask Joe questions, and Paul told her they were doing everything they could. Phyllis suggested that Paul force Joe to tell them what he'd done to her sister, since she was sure that was what Dylan was doing.
Phyllis stressed that Joe knew something, but Jack contended that Paul knew what he was doing. Phyllis said she'd just started to like Avery, but her voice trailed off as she imagined what might have happened. Kyle tried to convince Summer it hadn't been her fault, and he pointed out that they didn't know anything. Paul announced that they'd found Avery's car at Concord Lake, but there was no sign of Avery.
At the police station, Paul announced that the police had found Avery's car at Concord Lake, but there was no sign of Avery. Paul continued that his officers had started Avery's car, but it had died, so they were having it towed, and the state patrol was searching around the lake. The Jack impostor finished a call from Billy, and he revealed that Ashley was in the hospital.
Jack insisted that Kyle stay with Summer while Jack found out what was going on, and he promised to update everyone later. After Jack left, Phyllis questioned why Avery wouldn't have called for help, and Summer worried that her aunt was hurt. Paul said his officers had been checking emergency rooms in the area, but no one with Avery's description had turned up. Kyle optimistically stated that Avery would be fine, just like he and Jack had been after their accident. Phyllis was certain that Avery's disappearance had been no accident.
Paul revealed that the cops hadn't found any signs of foul play with Avery's car, and Phyllis reiterated that Joe had been the last person to see Avery. Phyllis couldn't imagine why Avery would have been driving around in a remote area, and she theorized that Joe had either chased or taken Avery there. Paul refused to jump to conclusions, but Phyllis remained convinced that Joe had been involved, and she recalled that she and Avery had argued about Joe the last time they'd spoken. Phyllis regretted that she and Avery had said awful things to one another, and she would never forgive herself if she didn't get the chance to talk to Avery again. Summer comforted Phyllis.
At the Athletic Club, Sharon broke up the scuffle between Dylan and Joe, and Joe threatened to press charges. Sharon pointed out that Dylan's father would laugh Joe out of the police station, but Joe sternly stated that assault was a crime. Dylan snarled that Avery was the real victim, and he wanted to check Joe's room to see if she was there, but Joe huffed that it was none of Dylan's business. Dylan stepped aside to take a call from Paul, and Sharon implored Joe to let Dylan check his room to prove Joe hadn't been involved in Avery's disappearance. Dylan reported that the police had found Avery's car, but no one knew where Avery was. Dylan observed that Joe didn't seem surprised.
At the police station, Paul told everyone to go home, and he promised to call if there was news. Phyllis suggested that Summer and Kyle go to the hospital, and after they left, Phyllis demanded to know why Paul wasn't doing anything more. Paul reasoned that they'd found no evidence to link Joe to Avery's absence, but Phyllis corrected that it was a disappearance, and she threatened to confront Joe herself. Dylan and Joe entered the station, and Phyllis asked if Joe had confessed anything, but Joe retorted that he was there out of concern for Avery.
Joe and Dylan bickered, but Paul lectured that it wasn't the time or place for personal issues, and he asked if Joe minded answering a few questions. Paul ordered Dylan to leave or he'd be arrested, and Paul and Joe stepped into Paul's office. Paul noted that Joe had been the last person to see Avery before she'd disappeared, and he needed to know everything that had happened between them. Paul instructed Joe to begin at the point Avery had found out Joe had been lying to her for weeks.
Paul explained that Summer had made a statement about Joe deceiving Avery about his ability to walk, and he imagined Avery had been upset. Joe stuck to his story that he'd wanted to surprise Avery with his progress, but she hadn't bought it. Joe continued that he hadn't left her apartment right away, since they'd once been very much in love, and he'd wanted to discuss things further. Joe claimed that he'd suggested that he move out, and Avery had agreed, so he'd left.
Paul asked what Joe and Avery had last said to one another, and Joe flashed back to telling Avery that he hadn't been the only one to make a mistake that night, but he told Paul that he couldn't recall the exact words when they'd said goodbye. Paul showed Joe to the door and thanked him for his cooperation, and Phyllis ranted that Joe had done something to Avery. Later, Paul checked in with an officer who was tailing Joe, and he said he wanted to know every move Joe made.
Dylan returned to the coffeehouse, and he informed Sharon that Avery was still missing. She hugged him and said she was sorry, and he spied Avery peering in through the patio window. Dylan pulled away and told Sharon he needed to close up, and she offered to help, but he insisted that she go home. She kissed him as incentive to get there faster, and he said he'd be right behind her. Sharon left, and Dylan raced over to the patio. Avery hurled herself into his arms, sobbing, and he assured her it was okay.
Dylan said he'd been scared he'd lost Avery, and she cried that he hadn't lost her. Sharon returned and saw their embrace, but she silently walked out. Dylan murmured that he was glad Avery was there, since everyone had been freaking out about where she'd been. Avery explained that she'd needed to get away, but her car had broken down, and she hadn't been able to get cell phone reception, so she'd walked to the main road. She added that she hadn't been thinking clearly, and Dylan asked what had happened with Joe the night before.
Avery recounted that she and Joe had fought, and Dylan revealed that he knew Joe had been lying about his ability to walk. Avery divulged that after she'd thrown Joe out, she'd been afraid he'd act on his threat to tell the police she'd pushed him off the balcony on purpose. She fretted that a jury might believe Joe's word over hers, and there was plenty of evidence that she'd wanted Joe out of Genoa City. Dylan pointed out that she'd never run from threats before, and she acknowledged that she'd been targeted by unknown people for work-related things, but they'd never scared her the way Joe had the previous night.
Dylan noticed a bruise on Avery's arm and asked if Joe had caused it, and she confided that it hadn't been the first time, since it had also happened when she and Joe had been married. Dylan was shocked that she'd never told him, and she explained that it had only been one time, but Dylan replied that it had been one time too many. Avery confessed that she'd been ashamed, and she'd blocked the incident from her mind, but there was no telling what Joe would do next. Dylan vowed to keep her safe, but she worried that Joe knew how not to get caught, so the only person who could help her was herself. She declared that her only choice was to leave town.
Joe returned to the club, but Phyllis chased after him and growled that she hadn't bought his story. He snapped that she'd convicted him of a crime that didn't exist, and he accused her of being out to get him ever since she'd made up her mind that he was a terrible guy. Phyllis countered that she'd had no opinion of him until he'd shown what an incredible liar he was, and Joe swore he would never hurt Avery.
Joe asked if Avery had ever mentioned he'd been violent in the years they'd been married, and Phyllis conceded that she had no proof, but she had a feeling. Joe declared that there was another reason Avery was missing, since he hadn't been involved in Avery's disappearance. Phyllis lashed out at Joe, but Sharon entered and ordered Phyllis to back off, since he hadn't done anything to Avery, and Avery was with Dylan at the coffeehouse.
At Newman-Abbott, Victor entered Victoria's office, but she had been expecting Jack for a meeting. Victor suggested that she put the meeting on hold indefinitely, since he suspected that Jack was about to double-cross them. Victoria wondered why Victor was suddenly wary, and Victor relayed that the accounting team had informed him that Jack had inquired about the availability of certain funds. He added that Jack hadn't withdrawn anything yet, but he found it disturbing.
Victoria urged Victor not to assume the worst, and she recommended that he go to Jack to get to the bottom of it, but Victor preferred not to let Jack know he was aware of the inquiry. Victor suggested that Victoria broach the subject with Ashley, and Victoria revealed that Ashley had left her an urgent message to talk about Hex, but Ashley had been nowhere to be found. Victor remarked that the behavior wasn't like Ashley.
At the hospital, Billy asked Abby where Ashley was, and Stitch revealed that he'd contacted Billy, since Ashley would want her family around. Abby revealed that Ashley had a brain aneurysm, and they'd had to drag Ashley back for tests after she'd left the hospital on her own. Stitch imagined that Ashley was more afraid than she'd been letting on, and an orderly returned with a wheelchair-bound Ashley. Dr. Aquino said the tests had confirmed Barton's initial diagnosis, and they needed to perform surgery as soon as possible. Stitch wanted to get the procedure scheduled immediately, but Ashley pointed out that she hadn't consented to it.
Ashley wanted to know her options, and Stitch replied that her choices were to have the surgery or die. Dr. Aquino warned that about half of such aneurysms were fatal, and only surgery could prevent permanent brain damage or death. Abby whimpered that she couldn't lose her mother, and Billy asserted that the entire family needed Ashley, including him. Ashley was grateful they wanted her to live, and she began to sob at the thought of the fatality rate. Ashley declared that she would do it.
Dr. Aquino asked when Ashley had last eaten or drank, and she realized he wanted to proceed right away. Billy and Abby urged her to do it, and Ashley agreed. Ashley unconvincingly stated that it was no big deal, since she would be fine, and Stitch assured her that she was doing the right thing. She replied that when he said it, she kind of believed it.
"Jack" arrived and was shocked to hear Ashley was being prepped for surgery, and Billy said he'd reached Traci, who was traveling in Switzerland, but he'd told her to wait to return home until they had news about the surgery. Billy recounted the last Abbott family powwow they'd had to discuss Ashley's health, and Jack squirmed. Abby explained to Stitch that Ashley was a breast cancer survivor, and Stitch commented that Ashley was obviously a fighter. Jack excused himself to make calls, and he stared at the text message with the question about whether he wanted his prize dead or alive.
Victoria and Victor arrived at the hospital. Medical personnel wheeled Ashley out on a gurney, and Ashley quipped that nothing drew family together like a corporate merger or a medical emergency. Stitch offered to be in the operating room to cheer Ashley on, and she thanked Dr. Aquino. She said she loved her family as she was taken away, and Victoria commended Abby for being brave. Abby said Stitch had been very calm, and she credited him with convincing Ashley to go to the hospital.
Victoria was glad Stitch was there for Abby, but Abby questioned how Victoria could be fine with Stitch and Abby being together. As Billy listened, Victoria explained that she and Stitch had known their relationship wouldn't last, and they had denied it for as long as they could, but their breakup had been simple, not bitter. Victoria added that she and Stitch had needed one another at one time, but they had drifted apart, and there had always been someone else in the picture. Abby swore she and Stitch wouldn't drift apart, and Victoria said she was glad to hear it.
Abby left to go to the chapel, and Billy and Victoria made small talk about Dr. Aquino's good reputation. Billy said he was really grateful she was there, and he admitted he'd heard what she'd said about someone else always being in the picture. He found it funny that they'd both insisted they had been ready to move on, but it had never really been the case. He apologized for anxiously babbling, and Victoria suggested that they focus on Ashley, but she'd listen to him babble all he wanted once his sister was in the clear. They hugged.
Marco asked if Victor had found out where Jack was, and Victor replied that he would. Victor walked off, and Marco replied to the text message.
Kyle and Summer joined the waiting area, and Jack informed them that they were waiting for Ashley's surgery to be over. Summer reported that there was no word on Avery, and she and Phyllis were really worried. Abby returned and hugged Kyle, and Stitch announced that Ashley was in recovery. Stitch continued that Ashley needed to be monitored, but they had every reason to believe she'd be fine. In the recovery room, Abby commented that an unconscious Ashley looked really pretty, and Stitch said there was every indication Ashley would make a full recovery.
Kyle was amazed at how fast everything had happened, and Billy was glad the aneurysm had been caught in time. Jack proclaimed that he had a get-well gift lined up for Ashley, since he had a plan for the company. Summer interrupted, and the men quickly clammed up, but Jack offered to tell Ashley that Summer had been asking about her. After Summer stepped away, Jack told Kyle and Billy that it was time to overthrow the king and get Victor out of the picture to take the company for themselves. The men grinned broadly and put their fists together as a sign of solidarity.
Victoria asked Summer what was up with the Abbott men, and Summer guessed they were celebrating Ashley's recovery. Summer added that the men had stopped talking when she'd walked over, and she imagined they had been too macho to show how relieved they were. Summer went to call Phyllis to exchange updates, and Victoria approached Victor and admitted she was beginning to wonder if Victor was right, since she'd gotten the impression the Abbotts were up to something. Victor told her to trust her instincts.
On the cargo ship, the captain released Marisa, and she promised him a night he'd never forget. He groused that he knew her heart belonged to Marco, but she purred that the rest of her body belonged to the captain. The captain pulled her into a rough kiss and suggested they go to his cabin, and she caressed Jack's face on her way out. Jack tried desperately to free himself, and he winced in pain as he managed to release one hand from his shackles.
Jack grimaced and wailed that he couldn't do it, but a vision of Phyllis appeared, and she asked when her Jack Abbott had ever said he couldn't do something. He said he missed her, and he rambled about trying to get back to her, since he wanted to believe she was alive and trying to find him. Phyllis told him that the only way to know for sure was to get out of there alive, and she believed in him, but he had to believe in himself to get home to her. Jack doubted he could do it, and Phyllis vanished. He took a deep breath and tried again to break free.
Jack wriggled out of his bindings. He ran behind the door when he heard a noise, and he prepared to strike. Marisa entered and informed him the captain was asleep, and she marveled that he'd gotten free. She cautioned that there was a guard outside, and Jack thought they could handle him, but she warned that the captain's men were on every deck, so there was no place to go until they got to shore. Jack asked if she'd found out more about the high bidder, and Marisa revealed that the captain had been exchanging messages with someone in the 262 area code in America. Jack crowed that it was his home area code, and he figured someone was trying to save him.
Jack planned to create a diversion, and he recounted a trick he'd learned when he'd been a scout as a kid. He gathered steel wool and a battery, but the captain yelled for Marisa, and he angrily asked if she'd left his bed to return to Marco. She exited the cargo hold and claimed she'd wanted to tell Marco goodbye for the last time, and the captain showed her a text message instructing him to deliver Marco alive, since the buyer wanted to kill Marco himself.
Jack pieced together his contraption, and he started a fire. Outside the cargo hold, Marisa chided the captain for sending Marco to a killer, and he sarcastically apologized and asked how she'd thought things would end. The captain prepared to enjoy telling Marco the news, but he found the room in flames.
The captain yelled to his men for help, but Jack whacked him over the head and mumbled thanks to his former scout leader. Jack urgently told Marisa that they didn't have much time to "get the hell off" the boat, and they raced to the deck. Moments later, the ship exploded.
At the Underground, Cane ordered a beer, and he joined Michael in a booth. Michael hoped domestic tensions hadn't driven Cane to drink, and Cane wondered if that was why Michael was there, but Michael replied that he wasn't allowed to have alcohol while he was on hormone therapy. Cane mentioned that Lauren had told him that Michael had seen them in the park, and Michael clarified that he'd seen them kiss. Cane implored Michael not to be angry at a mistake, and Michael insisted that he was quite the opposite.
Cane couldn't imagine that Michael was fine with Lauren kissing another man, but Michael explained that the cancer had changed his perspective. Cane noted that Michael sounded completely detached, and Michael replied that he was at peace, so Lily wouldn't hear about the kiss from him. Cane wanted to forget it had ever happened, but Michael said there was no reason to do that, since it was a load off his mind to know Lauren had turned to Cane for comfort. A disbelieving Cane asked if Michael wanted Cane to sleep with Lauren, and Michael contended that he wanted his wife to be happy.
Cane reiterated that he and Lauren didn't have that kind of relationship, but Michael pointed out that they obviously found one another attractive. Cane asked if Michael had lost his mind, but Michael said his mind was fine, even if the rest of him was a mess. Cane thought Lily would have something to say about it, and he made it crystal clear that he loved his wife and children. Michael asked if Cane was happy, and Cane insisted that he and Lily were trying to work things out. Michael mused that he'd once thought that was possible, but Cane ordered Michael not to impose his way of thinking on Cane.
At the Athletic Club, Lily told Lauren that she'd spoken to Michael late the evening before, and she'd pressured him into telling her every last detail of what he knew about Lauren and Cane. Lauren said Lily had lost her, but Lily swore Cane had told her everything, so Lauren didn't have to lie to her anymore. A relieved Lauren said she was glad everything was out in the open, since she'd hated not being able to make eye contact with Lily over a harmless little kiss. "You kissed my husband?" Lily incredulously asked.
Lauren insisted that she and Cane were only business partners, and the kiss had been nothing. Lily mimicked Lauren saying that she'd never be into Cane, and Lauren swore it would never happen again, but Lily questioned why she should believe it. Lauren contended that Cane didn't want Lauren, but he felt the distance Lily was putting between them, and he knew Lily didn't trust him. Lily told Lauren not to put the blame on her when it was on Cane and Lauren, and Lauren advised Lily not to ruin something great for no reason. Lily warned Lauren not to even think about telling Cane what they'd discussed.
Later, Cane returned to the club, and Lily coolly greeted him and said she'd thought he might be working late with Lauren. He revealed that he hadn't heard from Lauren in hours, and Lily claimed he'd missed the excitement of a wife catching her husband checking in with another woman. With sarcastic sweetness, Lily said she'd been happy to think she had complete trust in her own husband, since they didn't have secrets from one another. Cane guessed Michael had told her what he'd seen, but Lily divulged that the tramp Michael was married to had, and she demanded to know how Cane could have done it.
Cane swore it had been a mistake that had meant nothing, but Lily hissed that she'd already heard all of Lauren's excuses. Cane insisted that Lauren wasn't a threat to their marriage, but Lily blasted him for making her feel stupid for thinking Lauren had feelings for him and hiding his guilt. Cane defended that Lily's reaction was the reason why he was hesitant to share things with her, but Lily snapped that there was nothing innocent about the situation, and she rushed off. Lauren approached Cane with some great news about the boutique, but she guessed from his expression that he'd talked to Lily.
Lauren explained that Lily had sounded like she'd already known, and she felt like she'd been tricked into telling the truth. Lily rushed over and asked if they were trying to embarrass her, and Cane said Lily was doing it to herself by trying to turn something that wasn't there into a reality. Lily angrily asked if she'd made the kiss up, and Lauren said she and Cane had let it go. Lily growled that Cane was working with a woman who'd done nothing but throw herself at other men, and Cane said he couldn't be around Lily while she was being like that. Lily retorted that she felt the same way about him.
In the foyer, Joe asked Sharon if Avery was okay, and Phyllis wondered if perhaps Sharon had hallucinated seeing Avery at Crimson Lights. Sharon was adamant that she'd seen Avery in Dylan's arms, and Phyllis realized Sharon wouldn't make that up. Sharon assured them that Avery was alive, and Joe expected an apology from Phyllis for falsely accusing him. Phyllis said she was sorry for slapping him, and a confused Joe replied that she'd never slapped him. Phyllis smacked him across the face.
Sharon asked why Phyllis had attacked Joe when he'd had nothing to do with Avery's so-called disappearance, and Joe demanded to know why Sharon hadn't confronted Avery. Phyllis thought Joe was glad, since Avery might have said something incriminating about him, but Joe maintained his innocence. Phyllis urged Joe to pack up and get out before someone really messed up his pretty face, and she stormed off. Joe said he didn't understand why Sharon had sneaked off instead of fighting for her man, and Sharon contended that she trusted Dylan. Joe sensed Sharon was a bad girl at heart, and bad girls took what they wanted.
Joe speculated that Dylan and Avery were planning a future together, and he thought he and Sharon could work together to send Dylan and Avery a "hell of a message," but Sharon said she didn't want any part of it. Joe recalled that she'd taken a torch to the Newman ranch, and she feigned ignorance, but he taunted that she knew in her heart that she needed to stake a claim. Sharon admitted she had insecurities, but she refused to let them control her. Sharon expected to find Dylan waiting for her at home, and Joe skeptically said they'd see. Sharon departed, and a man followed Joe.
At Crimson Lights, Dylan implored Avery to stay and stand up to Joe, but she thought it wasn't worth it. Dylan asked if Joe had been responsible for the blood he'd seen at her house, and she denied it. He guessed there had been a struggle, but she told him to leave it alone. Dylan said her disappearance and the blood had led him to believe he'd lost her, but his voice trailed off. Dylan inquired whether Avery had staged her place to frame Joe for her murder.
Avery asked why on earth Dylan would think she'd set Joe up for murder, and Dylan pointed out that she'd said Joe wouldn't walk away or be held accountable. She argued that it didn't mean she'd tried to get Joe hauled off to prison, and she reminded Dylan that she'd worked to free the wrongly accused, so it would go against every fiber of her being to set someone up for something he hadn't done. Avery claimed that she'd knocked over a bowl and cut her finger when she'd been worked up, and she'd accidentally left the door open when she'd hurried out.
Dylan noted that Avery had been scared enough to leave her family, friends, and law practice behind, and he questioned whether she wanted to spend her life running. He swore he would be there for her if she stayed, and he suggested that she show the cops her bruises and get a restraining order against Joe to force him to leave town. She called it a nice fantasy, but Dylan cautioned that Joe would always be in her life if she had to keep looking over her shoulder, and he urged her not to let Joe win. Dylan added that many people would be upset if she left, and even though they weren't together anymore, he would miss her. He begged her not to go.
Phyllis popped in and hugged Avery, who insisted she was fine other than a few bruises and a cut finger. Dylan reported that Joe had spooked Avery, and Phyllis inspected Avery's bruises and vowed that Joe would answer for them. Phyllis recalled that Joe had seemed offended when she'd slapped him after Sharon had informed them that Avery was alive, and Dylan was dumbfounded that Sharon had seen them. Avery worried that returning home hadn't been such a good idea, and Dylan told Phyllis that Avery had been about to skip town.
Phyllis contended that she and Avery had never been meant to be sisters if Avery had never even given Phyllis a second thought, and she pointed out that Summer had been worried sick that someone else she loved had been killed. Phyllis asked if Avery's departure had been Phyllis' punishment for leaving years earlier, and Avery explained that she'd needed to get away. Phyllis blared that it was what cowards did, and she claimed not to care if a great liberator like Avery slinked away from a man in the middle of the night. Phyllis sauntered out over Avery's protests, and Dylan assured Avery that she had the power to fix things, but she couldn't let Joe take it away from her.
Avery tearfully contemplated taking Joe down, and she hugged Dylan. Joe appeared in the doorway and commented that it looked like a cozy reunion, and Dylan snarled that Joe had crossed the line, so Dylan wouldn't ever allow Joe near Avery again. Joe argued that he'd been the one who'd been assaulted and falsely accused, and Avery spat that he'd gotten violent with her, but Joe questioned why she'd seduced him with wine and music if that had been the case. He recounted that Avery had unbuttoned her blouse and had ripped his shirt when she'd thrown him on the couch, and she said she'd been mocking him.
Joe taunted that Avery hadn't been able to keep her hands off him, and if he hadn't stopped it, they would have had sex right there. Officer Howard, the plainclothes cop who had been following Joe, introduced himself and asked if there was a problem. Dylan accused Joe of putting on a show, but he said there was no cause to file charges. Joe agreed that there was no need to file a complaint against Dylan, but he ordered the officer to arrest Avery.
Alone at home, Sharon got out a bottle of wine and two glasses. She set them on the table and poured one glass, and she gazed at the front door and hesitated before she poured the second glass. She stared forlornly at the bottle.
At the police station, Avery worried about what Joe was telling Paul. Paul and Joe exited Paul's office, and Dylan hoped Paul hadn't listened to a word Joe had said. Avery observed that Joe was milking the use of his cane, and Joe said she could downplay the whole thing, but she'd have to answer for her crime. Avery swore that she'd only defended herself when Joe had tried to force himself on her, and Paul noted that it seemed like a "he said, she said" situation. Joe huffed that it was Paul's job to find the evidence, unless Paul was ignoring his responsibilities in order to protect his son's ex-fiancée.
Dylan revealed that he'd had officers take photos of Avery's bruises as evidence of Joe's handiwork, and Joe wrote it off as a man getting worked up when a woman had been on top of him. Avery recalled that she'd told Joe that she'd never love him, and it had resulted in violence, just like it had when they'd been married. Paul realized it had been a pattern, and Joe pointed out that Dylan had hit Avery in the face at the Underground. Paul remarked that Joe wasn't credible, and Joe barked that he'd see about that.
Avery announced that she was filing a restraining order, and Joe threatened to file one against Dylan. Paul advised them both to walk away, and Avery told Joe to walk back to Chicago. Joe berated Avery for cheating on him and making him think she had feelings for him, and he snarled that she was no better than he was. Later, Paul looked perplexed as he reviewed the photos of Avery's bruises.
Dylan returned to the cottage, and he apologized for being late. He began to explain, but Sharon said she knew he'd been with Avery, and she suggested they talk about it over some wine. He was surprised that she wasn't angry, but Sharon acknowledged that he'd been really worried about Avery, and she was glad that Avery was okay. Dylan thanked her for understanding, and Sharon said she couldn't ask him not to care. She added that it was entirely up to him whether he wanted to stay with her or go back to Avery.
Dylan said he'd already made his choice, and he would always care about Avery, but he was committed to Sharon. Sharon said she'd been hoping he would say that, although she'd been pretty confident he would because he made her feel safe. He said it had been a long time since he'd been able to do that for anyone, and she asked what she could do for him. He groaned that it had been a long day, and all he needed was her. They embraced.
Phyllis found Michael at the Underground, and she accused him of keeping her in the dark about Avery ditching Genoa City, since there was no way Avery would have taken off without alerting him. Michael swore on his life that he'd had no idea Avery had left, and Phyllis reported that Avery was back, but her sister was leaving again for good to get away from her stalker ex-husband. Phyllis ranted that it had been selfish of Avery to let everyone think she was dead, and Michael remarked that people were forced to make hard choices in desperate situations. Phyllis guessed he was talking about himself, and she asked what he'd done.
Michael lamented that the hormone therapy would lead to a long, unhappy life, but Phyllis told him to stop feeling sorry for himself and be grateful the doctors had caught the disease early enough. She chided him for pulling away from Lauren just because he couldn't be a stud in bed, but Michael doubted a platonic life was a dream for any woman. Phyllis argued that his issues could be temporary, but if they weren't, he and Lauren would adapt. Michael said he'd made sure Lauren wouldn't have to, even though other people had been hurt in the process. Phyllis asked what she could she do to help, and he encouraged her to remember how much she loved Avery and to stop taking things for granted.
At the Athletic Club, Lauren hoped Cane and Lily would get through the rough patch, and Cane thought Lily would forgive him with time and space, but Lauren grumbled that she'd thought the same thing about Michael. Cane mentioned that he'd talked to Michael earlier, and he thought there was something Lauren should know. Lauren was scared it was something about Michael's health, but Michael entered, and Cane said it was best if Lauren heard it from her husband.
Cane excused himself, and Lauren told Michael that Cane was troubled by the conversation the men had had earlier. Michael said it wasn't important anymore, but Lauren contended that their marriage was falling apart, and Michael had caused problems for Cane and Lily by raising suspicions about Cane and Lauren. Michael asserted that he hadn't said anything about the kiss, but he truly felt bad for Lily. Lauren said she didn't know who Michael was anymore, and she stormed off.
Lily sipped a martini at the Underground, and Joe sat down with her and asked if there was a problem. She inquired whether he thought she was attractive, and Joe recalled that Lily had chastised him in the past for saying she was, but she said she needed to hear it that day. He assured her that he found her very attractive, and she got up to go home to her kids, but she thanked him for the nice words.
Phyllis arrived at Avery's apartment, and she conceded that she'd acted on impulse once or twice herself, so she couldn't be too hard on Avery. Avery announced that she'd decided to stay, and Phyllis pledged to be there for Avery if she was in trouble. Avery said she'd been embarrassed for defending Joe and lashing out when Phyllis had tried to protect her, and she wished she'd seen Joe for who he was sooner. Avery confided that the prior night hadn't been the first time Joe had been violent, and Phyllis vowed to make Joe pay before he hurt another woman.
Phyllis suggested that they turn the tables on Joe by making him think he had a stalker, but Avery didn't want to stoop to his level by playing sick mind games. Avery declared that she was better than him, and she had to believe the restraining order was enough. Phyllis questioned whether revenge was off the table, and Avery firmly stated that it was, but her expression indicated otherwise.
At the hospital, Nick observed that Sage didn't look happy that she was about to be set free, and she worried that she was being sent home too soon. He reassured her that she and "Jabberwocky" would be fine, and he left to find out her release status. She lovingly touched her belly, and Victor appeared and asked how she was doing. She mentioned that she might be going home that day, and Victor asked where home was for her.
Victor pointed out that the child Sage was carrying was his family, and Sage reported that the baby had made it out of surgery fine. He asked if she planned to move into Nick's house, but she replied that she was staying at the Athletic Club. Victor thought it wise of Nick and Sage not to rush into things, but the notion of his grandchild's mother staying in a hotel didn't sit well with him, and he revealed that he'd arranged for a house for her on the ranch with around-the-clock staff. She questioned why he would do that for her, and he replied that she was having his grandchild and that he took care of his own.
Victor prepared to have Sage's things moved in, and she noted that it sounded like she had no choice in the matter. He swore it was a comfortable place, and Nick returned and asked what was going on. Sage revealed Victor's generous offer, but she had to decline. Nick asked what Victor was up to, but Sage insisted that Victor had just been trying to help, and Victor told her to reconsider and let him know. She asserted that she had enough money to take care of herself and her baby, and Nick had arranged for someone to help her find a house.
After Victor stepped out, Nick informed Sage that the nurse was looking for the doctor, and he left to see what was up. In the corridor, Victor told Nick that he was impressed, since most women would have jumped at his offer. Nick wondered if it had been a test, and he asked if Victor was being overprotective because of what was happening with Nikki. Victor clarified that he was making sure his family was safe from anyone who might want to go after them, and Nick looked concerned.
Later, Nick reentered Sage's room and apologized, and she said Victor hadn't been the first overbearing man she'd dealt with. Nick recognized that she wanted to support herself and the baby on her own, but he swore she wasn't in it alone. He informed her that she'd passed her tests with flying colors, and he reported that the doctor had said she could go home with one caveat -- "Dad" had to make sure "Mom" took it easy. She asked if the doctor had really referred to her as "Mom," and Nick thought she'd better get used to it. He asked if she was ready to go home, but she wanted to stop somewhere first.
At Crimson Lights, Sage told Nick not to judge as she wolfed down a pastry, and he commented that the doughnut had never stood a chance. She promised to incorporate food that Victor would consider acceptable into her diet, and Nick jokingly suggested that she hire a guard to keep Victor away once she had the baby. Nick conceded that his dad had been right about one thing, since she couldn't stay at the club forever, and Sage wondered if the Realtor would take her back to a particular house. Nick informed her that the place was no longer available, but he knew of a better home that was perfect, and he described it as rustic but homey. She realized that he was talking about his place, and he pointed out that if she moved in, it would be their place.
At the Athletic Club, Phyllis anxiously checked her watch, and when "Jack" entered, she hugged him and thanked God he was okay. She explained that she'd had a dream the night before in which Jack hadn't survived a horrible accident, and he assured her it had only been a dream, since the only things on his agenda were breakfast and a meeting. Jack proclaimed that he was indestructible, and she said she didn't know what she'd do without him, but he replied that she was stuck with him. He answered an incoming call, and a man with a heavy accent informed him that the boat had exploded, so Jack Abbott was dead.
Jack said he had to take the call, and Phyllis warned him to be careful. Marco stepped aside and hissed that he'd wanted Jack delivered to him, and he asked what had caused the explosion. His contact said he didn't know, but the boat was in a million pieces, and Marco could kiss his money goodbye. Marco demanded that the minion get access to the bank account, or the lackey could kiss the world goodbye. Marco tried to compose himself as he returned to the table, and Phyllis saw his expression and asked who had died.
Jack asked why Phyllis had asked him that, and she explained that she hadn't meant it literally, but he looked like he'd lost his best friend. He claimed that a business deal had just gone south, and she apologized and said she was still upset from the dream. Jack guessed that she'd been thinking about Avery going missing, and he told her not to worry, since every day would be the fresh start of something exciting and new for them. They kissed, and Summer rushed in and said she'd received Phyllis' message about Avery. Jack took off for his meeting.
In the lab, Kyle asked if Billy had heard about the top-secret meeting, and Billy turned on some loud music to cover up their conversation. Billy revealed that Jack would send a text message with the meeting location just before he wanted them there, and Kyle thought Jack and Billy were being overly cautious, but Billy recalled that Victor had bugged the lab and hired Tobias as a spy. Victoria entered and wondered what the men didn't want her to hear, and Billy fibbed that he was considering using the music for cross-promotional purposes. Victoria made it clear that she wasn't falling for the story, and Billy claimed that he'd been running the subscription idea by Kyle.
Victoria asked what Kyle thought about it, and Kyle stammered that it could be good, but it seemed the selection in the packages favored Newman's old products at the expense of Jabot's new, innovative ones. Victoria replied that the products had been chosen based on the demographic, but Kyle griped that it was an excuse to promote her brand over theirs. Billy declared that Newman and Jabot had become one and the same, and Kyle defended that he'd only been giving his opinion. Victoria questioned whether Kyle was still backing the merger.
Kyle and Billy received text messages, and Victoria asked if it was something she should know about. Billy lied that Jack had sent an update about Ashley, who was doing better but needed her rest. Billy said he had a meeting about the office renovations, and Victoria offered to go with him, but Billy suggested that she fill Kyle in about her perspective on the subscription idea. After Billy left, Victoria explained how the subscription would work, and a disinterested Kyle said he had to run to the hospital to see Ashley. Victoria pointed out that Billy had said Ashley needed rest, but Kyle claimed he wanted to drop off a gift. He congratulated Victoria on the project and hurried out, but she looked skeptical.
Victor arrived to see Victoria, and she reported that no one else was there. She informed him that Billy and Kyle had taken off after they'd received text messages from Jack, and she'd also caught them whispering together. Victor reminded her that he'd warned her to watch out, since he'd bet Jack was hatching something, and he asked if she'd seen Gabriel or Chelsea. Victoria said they hadn't shown up for work yet, and Victor suggested she use Billy to dig for information. Victor said Victoria was the only one of his children he could count on to protect the Newman legacy, and she agreed to call Billy.
At the penthouse, Adam informed Chelsea that the nanny had taken Connor out, and he asked if Chelsea trusted the caretaker with the boy. Chelsea said Amanda was great, but Adam said the nanny had looked at him funny when he'd asked if Connor had been buckled in safely. Chelsea guessed the look had been because "Gabriel" had spent the night, and she imagined that Connor would soon be aware of what was going on. Adam hoped to win the tot over before then, just like he'd won Chelsea over, and they kissed. He suggested they return upstairs, but she informed him that Jack had called a private meeting that morning.
Chelsea said Jack had told her to wait for further instructions, and she hoped Victoria hadn't convinced him to drop Chelsea's new lines. Adam didn't think Victoria would do anything to damage the company, but Chelsea suspected that Victoria wanted to shake Chelsea's confidence. Adam questioned whether it had been Victoria or the little voice in the back of Chelsea's head that was making Chelsea doubt herself, and he urged her to have confidence in her talent and to believe in herself. Chelsea asked how he knew her that well, and Adam replied that he'd made it his job to get to know her -- all of her. They kissed and sank down on the couch in a passionate embrace.
Later, Chelsea was surprised when Billy stopped by her home, and he said he was there for Jack's meeting. He realized that Chelsea hadn't received Jack's latest text message, and he asked if she'd been off the grid for the past 20 minutes. She looked uncomfortable, and Billy rambled about finally overthrowing Victor and taking back the company for the Abbotts. Adam descended the stairs as he put on his shirt, and Billy coldly questioned whether Chelsea and Gabriel had moved in together. Chelsea pointed out that Billy had shown up uninvited, and it was his problem if he didn't like what he'd found. "Would it kill you to button that shirt, Fabio?" Billy quipped to Gabriel as Jack entered, and Jack ordered Billy and Gabriel to bury the hatchet.
Kyle walked in and asked what he'd missed, and Jack said they had to put their differences aside to defeat Victor. Billy and Adam half-heartedly agreed, and Jack said he'd fill in Ashley once she recovered, but he wanted to lay out his plans for all of them. Jack mentioned that Kyle had gotten the ball rolling, and Kyle revealed that they'd bought a shipping company with funds from Jabot's reserve account. Jack explained that the transfer had been their first move, but the funds had really gone into a dummy account in Victor's name to make it look like Victor was embezzling from Jabot.
Jack asked everyone to find areas in their budgets from which to discreetly siphon money into the dummy account, and Chelsea worried that the cash would be traced back to them, but Jack said to let him worry about it. Billy marveled that he was seeing a different side of Jack, but Jack was determined to get down and dirty to defeat Victor. Jack added that Billy had the hard job -- to use his Abbott charm to keep Victoria off their scent. Billy refused to lie to Victoria, and Adam sarcastically stated that Billy had never done it before. Jack said the love Billy and Victoria shared had outlasted their marriage, and he urged Billy to capitalize on it for their family's sake.
Everyone stared at Billy, and Jack reasoned that he wasn't asking any more than he had asked of Kyle or himself, since they also weren't being honest with the women they loved. Billy received a text message from Victoria, who wanted to meet with him, and Jack thought it was Billy's chance. Billy agreed to keep Victoria off their trail, and Jack commended "Billy Boy," but Billy snapped that Jack had to stop calling him that. Kyle walked out with Billy, and Chelsea went to grab her purse.
Jack told Adam that everyone would thank him in the end, and Adam observed that he'd never seen Jack that confident about taking down Victor. Adam asked what had changed, and Jack replied that he had Adam, so Victor had no idea what he was up against that time. As Chelsea hovered on the stairway, Adam stated that as much as Jack wanted to see Victor burn, Adam wanted it twice as much. Jack said he was counting on it, and he left. Chelsea asked what Gabriel and Jack had been talking about.
Adam claimed Jack had told him to make sure the funds weren't traceable, but Chelsea pointed out that Jack had said that already. She reminded Gabriel that she had to be able to trust him if they were going to be in a relationship. Adam admitted he hadn't been honest, and he said Jack had warned him to leave Billy alone, but he'd been embarrassed to be reprimanded by his boss. Satisfied, Chelsea suggested they get to the office, but he called her out on saying they had a relationship. She clarified that they were taking it one day at a time, but he was clearly pleased.
At the Underground, Victoria thanked Billy for meeting her on short notice, and he promised to be there when she needed him, even though that hadn't always been the case. She said they were in a good place, and she wanted it to stay that way. Victoria mentioned a day camp she was considering enrolling Johnny in, and Billy thought it was a great idea. They agreed that it was nice to be on the same page, and she remarked that it seemed to be happening more and more often.
At the Athletic Club, Summer thought it didn't sound like Avery to run off without telling anyone, and Phyllis blamed Joe for messing with Avery's head, but she was glad Avery had finally seen what a creep he was. Phyllis imagined that Kyle was worried about Ashley after the brain surgery, and Summer mentioned that she and Victoria had seen the Abbott men whispering together at the hospital. Phyllis guessed that Victoria had suggested the guys had been up to something, and she suspected that Victoria had been reminding Summer that her loyalty belonged to the Newmans.
Summer thought the family rivalry should have settled down after the merger, but Phyllis anticipated that nothing would ever really end the feud between the families, although she believed that if anything ever happened to Victor or Jack, the other man would be devastated. Summer said she didn't care if the families wanted to fight, but she hated being stuck in the middle and forced to choose sides. Phyllis empathized that she'd felt the same way when she'd returned from Georgia, since she had been grateful to Victor but had felt disloyal to Jack. Summer hoped things didn't blow up again, and Phyllis said Summer always had her.
Summer fretted that Kyle was a half hour late, and he hadn't responded to her messages, but Phyllis said she'd taught Summer to make men think she was the one who wasn't interested. Summer bemoaned that she didn't want to play games, and she was afraid the family rivalry would get between her and Kyle. Kyle showed up and apologized for being late, and she said she'd been worried that he'd blown her off because she was a Newman. Phyllis explained that they'd been discussing the family rivalry, and she hoped Jack and Victor joining forces had put an end to it. Kyle seemed unconvinced, and Summer asked why he was being weird. He replied that he had a lot going on at work.
After Phyllis left, Summer complained that it felt like Kyle was hiding something, and she asked why he and Jack had been whispering at the hospital. Kyle wanted to drop it, but Summer ranted that she couldn't deal with him keeping secrets and lying to her, since Austin had done those things, and she had thought things would be different with Kyle. Kyle said he'd never lie about his feelings for her, but he'd made a promise to his dad about work, and it had nothing to do with Summer. He refused to let anything get between them, and she wished she could believe it.
At Newman-Abbott, Victor ordered Marco to be on time the next time Marco asked to meet, and Marco announced that Jack Abbott was dead. Victor asked how that was possible, and Marco remarked that death was a fact of life. Victor demanded to know where Marco had gotten the information, and Marco replied that Victor wasn't the only one with sources. Marco added that there was no question that Victor's rival was dead.
Victor barked that he'd never ordered Jack dead, and Marco admitted that he'd wanted Jack gone and that it had only taken ten million dollars. Victor incredulously asked if Marco had paid to have Jack murdered, and Marco revealed that technically, Kyle had unknowingly done it. Victor bellowed that Marco didn't get to make decisions on his own, but Marco argued that Victor had set things in motion by leaving Jack with a whack job on the island. Victor ordered Marco not to do anything on his own initiative, and he told himself that Jack couldn't be dead. Phyllis arrived and asked what was going on.