At the Horton Town Square, Ben emerged from the yogurt shop and handed Abigail a cup of the ice cream she was craving. After taking a seat next to Abigail, Ben started talking about Serena's murder -- and Chad's possible involvement. Abigail, who had only eaten one spoonful of her snack, handed the cup back to Ben and told him she didn't want the rest.
Abigail was certain that Chad couldn't have possibly killed Serena, but Ben didn't share her confidence, and as he walked over to a nearby trashcan to dispose of the ice cream, he wondered aloud if Chad even had an alibi. Abigail didn't think Chad needed one, but Ben disagreed, reminding her that Chad was possibly the last person who had seen Serena before the murder had taken place -- and he was, after all, a DiMera.
Frustrated, Abigail asked Ben to stop using Serena's death as an excuse to trash Chad. Ben apologized and insisted that he hadn't meant to disrespect Serena's memory or trash Chad. Abigail conceded that Ben had every right to want to trash Chad, given what Chad had done to Ben in the past as well as her own history with Chad, but she stressed that the latter was exactly that -- history -- and she wanted to focus on Ben and their baby.
Abigail regained her appetite and asked Ben for another cup of ice cream. While eating the dessert, Abigail fretted about how big she was going to look when she walked down the aisle at Christmastime. Ben had been hoping to marry Abigail within the next couple weeks but reluctantly assured her that, while he was in a rush to get married because he loved her, he would wait until December if that was what she wanted.
At the DiMera mansion, Rafe questioned Chad about what had happened with Serena the previous night. Chad said he and Serena had parted ways after drinking far too much alcohol together at Club TBD, and he had gone for a walk in the town square afterward to clear his head. When Rafe asked about Chad's busted lip, Chad claimed that he had apparently bumped into something while drunk.
When Chad explained that he and Serena had each been drinking to forget about an incredibly bad day, Rafe wondered if their foul moods had caused any tension or ill-will between them. Chad hesitantly revealed that he had kissed Serena, but he claimed that she had kissed him back and had then realized it wouldn't be a good idea to let things go further while they were both drunk. Chad said he had been disappointed but had understood Serena's reason for wanting to end the night early. Chad maintained that he hadn't seen Serena again after her departure from the club. Rafe seemed skeptical but had no further questions, so he showed himself out.
Chad started to pour himself a drink. "Isn't that how you got into this mess in the first place?" Stefano pointed out as he entered the study. Chad hoped Stefano didn't really believe he'd had anything to do with Serena's death. Stefano wondered if Chad was sure he hadn't, since there was an obvious gap in Chad's memory. "I may be a DiMera, but unlike you, I am not a killer, and I resent the hell out of the fact that you're even implying that I am," Chad snapped before grabbing his luggage and leaving the mansion. Later, at the Salem Inn, Chad wondered why he couldn't remember everything that had happened the previous night.
At Edge of the Square, Hope laughed nervously and admitted that she'd had no idea Aiden had been planning to ask her to marry him. Hope gulped down the rest of her wine and refilled her glass as Aiden apologized for rushing things, realizing he had been wrong to assume she was just as ready to take their relationship to the next level as he was. Hope assured Aiden that she loved him and wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. Hope added, however, that ending her marriage to Bo had made her feel a mixture of defeat and failure, and she couldn't agree to another marriage until she was absolutely sure it was the right thing to do.
Aiden agreed to accept Hope's "maybe," and he promised not to pressure her for an answer. After ending the date with one last dance, Hope decided it would be best for her and Aiden to sleep in separate beds that night, since she had a lot to think about. Aiden told Hope to take the engagement ring with her. "So I can have it appraised?" Hope jokingly guessed. Aiden laughed and clarified that he wanted Hope to take it because it was useless to him unless it was on her finger. Hope received a text message from the police station and headed there after promising to take good care of the ring.
At the hospital, Joey protested as Kayla hugged him tightly. "New rule -- no public displays of affection," Steve advised Kayla. "Don't give me tips on parenting," Kayla snapped before finally letting go of Joey and taking a step back to inspect him and assure herself that he was okay.
After contacting Joey's school and assuring the administrator that she didn't blame the school for what had happened, Kayla ended the call and made it clear that she wasn't going to let Joey off the hook that easily. "Why on earth would you leave school without telling anybody where you were going? And why would you drop in on your pretty-much-absentee father's doorstep in New York City? Do you know you scared the hell out of me? Or maybe you don't even care about that!" Kayla asked, leaving Joey no time to get a word in edgewise.
Suggesting that it might be best for him to field Kayla's questions himself, Steve told Joey -- whom he referred to as Joe -- to go get a drink. "Do I have your permission?" Joey tiredly asked Kayla, who hesitated a moment before okaying the idea. Steve wanted to talk to Kayla in a more private location, so she reluctantly took him to her office. "Nice digs. Oh... 'Dr. Kayla Brady,' huh?" Steve noted when he saw the nameplate sitting on Kayla's desk. Kayla said the surname meant a lot to her. "And Johnson doesn't, right?" Steve guessed.
"Sure it does. It's my children's name," Kayla answered uneasily before changing the subject, guessing Steve hadn't asked her to take him to a more private location just so they could discuss the two surnames. Steve confirmed the suspicion, explaining that he had assumed Kayla would want to raise her voice while chewing him out. "You are the same as always," Kayla muttered with a shake of her head. "You're looking mighty fine yourself, Sweetness," Steve smoothly replied. Unimpressed, Kayla asked Steve to explain how Joey had ended up in New York City, which wasn't exactly walking distance from his school in Ohio.
Steve took a seat and sighed as he admitted that he was to blame for that. "You see, Joe and I have been, um...we've been in touch. For a while now," Steve explained. Kayla wasn't surprised to learn that Steve was responsible for Joey's trip to New York City, but she admitted that Joey had never mentioned that he had been in contact with Steve lately. Steve said he thought there was a good reason Joey had kept their communications a secret. "Well, it's been a long time since I heard one of your explanations. They were always so creative," Kayla bitterly mused.
Steve suggested he and Kayla could skip the sarcasm and instead talk about their son. As Kayla agreed, Joey approached her office door and started eavesdropping. Steve explained that, thanks to social media, he and Joey had reconnected and begun corresponding via text messages and emails. Steve added that the conversations had been mundane at first, and when he admitted that they had also been a bit awkward, Kayla suggested that could be attributed to the fact that it had been a really long time since Joey had last seen Steve.
Nodding, Steve continued that the conversations had eventually started getting more personal, and he had learned that Joey hadn't been thrilled about leaving Salem and being dumped at a boarding school in Ohio. Steve explained that he had tried to sympathize with Joey and see things from his point of view. Kayla assumed that meant Steve had backed Joey up and invited him to drop out of school and fly to New York City on his own, but Steve insisted that he'd had no idea that Joey had been planning to do that. "He just showed up. And when I realized he had dropped out of school --" Steve started to add.
"He brought me home," Joey concluded as he entered the office. Kayla declared that Steve had done the right thing but added that it would have been nice if someone had bothered to let her know what had happened. Steve apologized, explaining that he had hoped to return to Salem with Joey before Kayla had realized Joey wasn't at the school. Kayla conceded that Steve had almost managed to achieve that goal. Steve added that he'd had another reason for escorting Joey back to Salem himself. "I'm thinking about staying in Salem -- permanently," Steve revealed.
Kayla insisted that Steve needed to return to New York City because Salem was no longer his home. Steve disagreed, but Kayla maintained that New York City was the most exciting city in the world, and that was what Steve wanted -- a life filled with excitement and devoid of ties to others. "I want my family," Steve clarified. "For how long this time? I mean, just because you're feeling a little nostalgic? I don't think that you should be using Joey to try to recapture the past," Kayla countered. Rolling his eyes, Joey put away his cell phone and turned his attention to his parents' conversation.
Steve clarified that he wasn't trying to recapture the past -- he was instead thinking about the present and looking toward the future. Steve added that his family was in Salem. "You do not get to talk to me about family. You made your decision about family in Africa, when you, completely unilaterally, made a decision to join the ISA. And I had no choice but to learn to live with that decision, and learn to live without you. And so did our children," Kayla reminded Steve. Assuring Kayla that he was no longer involved with the ISA, Steve stressed that he just wanted to start over.
"You're just done with that? Because our son shows up at your front door, you just want to waltz back into our lives?" Kayla asked incredulously. Steve started to respond, but Kayla interrupted and told him not to say another word. "Just go, and I will handle this, just like I always do," Kayla quietly added. Steve agreed to leave but warned Kayla that he didn't intend to just go away. Kayla took Joey to the Brady Pub for some food, and when he showed a lack of interest in what she had ordered, she reminded him that it had once been his favorite meal. "I changed, okay?" Joey replied with a shrug.
"Yeah, I know. You used to talk," Kayla recalled. Kayla told Joey that she wasn't just upset about what he had done; she was also worried about him. Kayla pointed out that Joey was a minor and that going off on his own could have proven to be dangerous, but he countered that he had managed to get to New York City just fine on his own. Kayla warned Joey not to cop an attitude with her. "Do you see why I didn't tell you I was talking to Dad? 'Cause you think everything I do is wrong," Joey complained. Kayla clarified that she simply believed Joey had been making some mistakes lately.
Kayla started to add that she understood that Joey wanted to get to know his father, but Joey interrupted. "Look, you don't need to explain things to me, okay? Yeah, at first I thought he did want to be my dad, but it's just like you said -- he's only using me as an excuse to come back here," Joey conceded. Kayla acknowledged that she had some issues with Steve. "Nice way to put it," Joey muttered. Kayla continued that Steve loved Joey and hadn't been using him. "That's why you were so glad to see him -- 'cause he was being such a good dad," Joey sarcastically agreed.
Kayla clarified that she had simply been taken aback and hadn't known what to make of Steve's announcement that he would be staying in Salem. "You heard him -- he's here 'cause his family is here," Joey reminded Kayla, his words still dripping with sarcasm. Not wanting to trash Steve to Joey, Kayla carefully explained that she believed Steve had meant what he had said; she just wasn't convinced he could follow through with his promises.
"Come on, how could you possibly not be sure?" Joey replied. Ignoring the continued sarcasm, Kayla noted that Joey and Stephanie knew what to expect from Steve. "I think that he loves you the best he can; it's just that sometimes it's not as much as you want," Kayla added, grasping Joey's hand as he remained silent.
While passing through the town square, Steve paused to take a look at Tom and Alice's memorial plaque. "Mrs. H and Dr. H, still at the center of it all. That's nice. It is good to be home," Steve mused. Steve went to the police station to see Hope, who was stunned to see that he was back in Salem. At Steve's request, Hope gave him a hug, but it wasn't exactly a warm one.
After telling Hope about what Joey had done, Steve jokingly wondered why present-day kids couldn't be reliable and obedient, like his and Hope's generation had been. Hope sarcastically agreed that those were the exact words she'd use to describe the younger version of Steve, and he countered that taking off on the back of Bo's bike hadn't exactly been a reliable and obedient thing for her to do as a youth.
Hope tensed as Steve wondered how Bo was doing. Hope said she didn't know because Bo had gone undercover for the ISA, and it had been three years since she had last seen him. "That's just not like him," Steve noted with obvious confusion. "Really? Well, people change, don't they, Steve? That's exactly what he did -- he deserted me," Hope replied. When Steve asked about Ciara, Hope tersely reported that she was doing wonderfully. Steve could tell that Hope didn't want to talk about the situation with Bo, and she confirmed the suspicion before changing the subject, wondering when Steve planned to head back to New York City.
Steve admitted that he wasn't sure what he was going to do next. Hope was surprised to learn that Steve was no longer involved with the ISA. Steve explained that he had been hanging out with Joey recently in an effort to get to know him better. Steve added that Kayla hadn't exactly welcomed him back to Salem with open arms. "Shocker," Hope dryly replied. Conceding that Kayla had a reason to be skeptical about his return, Steve noted that her reaction had made him realize just how hard he would have to work to make things right with his family again.
"Well, when you're put in the position to have to make it on your own -- because your husband's deserted you, and you're left having to raise the children on your own -- you find that the happy memories are the most painful, so you don't get sentimental about the good old days, Steve," Hope replied. Hope's cell phone chimed before Steve could respond, and she excused herself, explaining that she was working on a case. Steve said it had been good to see Hope again, and she stiffly returned the sentiment. "We'll talk later...if you decide to stick around this time," Hope added before walking away.
When Kayla returned to her office, she found Steve waiting for her. Steve told Kayla that he had just talked to Hope. "She told me about Bo, and it made it painfully clear what I did to you. I'm here to say I'm sorry. And I know I should've called you about Joe, but the truth is, I wanted to come back here and see you, Kayla. I missed you. I missed you so much," Steve added. Kayla interrupted and protested that Steve couldn't just swoop back into her life and act like nothing had happened.
"You left me and your son in Africa, and I can never, ever forgive you for that," Kayla added. Steve assured Kayla that he understood, but she wasn't convinced that he could possibly understand what his abandonment had been like for her and Joey. "You want to make our past your present and your future? That isn't gonna happen, because what we shared...is over, and you're just gonna have to learn to live with that," Kayla quietly concluded. Kayla excused herself after receiving a phone call, telling Steve to show himself out.
At the park, Rafe showed Hope a bloodstained cocktail napkin from Club TBD that he had found near the crime scene. Because Serena had been strangled, Hope and Rafe knew that the blood wasn't hers, and they were hopeful that the pending blood analysis would lead them straight to the killer.
Meanwhile, in the town square, Aiden received a phone call from someone. "Look, I'm telling you, I am good for the money. I just -- I need a little more time; just a month or so... Because I'm coming into a sweet windfall, that's why... Look, it will not be long, I promise you. I'm gonna be able to pay you back...and then some," Aiden said before ending the call with a nervous sigh.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Theresa attempted to strike up a conversation with Brady about Tate. Turning serious, Theresa thanked Brady for helping have Xander arrested. Theresa commented that she believed that Xander had once been a sweet boy but that no one had shown him how to treat women. Brady stared in silence, and Theresa remarked that she had told Tate that his father would show him how to treat women "like royalty."
As Theresa reached out to touch Brady's shoulder, he grabbed her wrist and growled, "You just don't know when to quit, do you?" Brady left in a huff, and Theresa sat nervously on the couch. Maggie entered the room. Maggie offered to listen if Theresa needed to talk. After hesitating, Theresa explained that she had thanked Brady for saving her from Xander, and he had reminded her that he had not helped her because he cared for her.
"He's never going to love me, is he?" Theresa asked quietly. Maggie suggested to Theresa that she learn to love herself first. Theresa was defensive. Unfazed, Maggie told Theresa to be herself. Theresa told Maggie about the time she had saved Brady from drinking a spiked drink, and she had bonded with Brady about her good deed. When Theresa noted that Brady had been dating Melanie at the time, Maggie's face grew dark, and she reminded Theresa that she had returned to scheming then.
Flustered, Theresa apologized for hurting Melanie. Theresa said that she wanted to change her life to honor her son. Maggie wondered aloud if Theresa was afraid of being hurt. With a sigh, Theresa said that her parents had not been around while she had been growing up, and she had learned how to take care of herself. With a nod, Maggie said that one could be strong and vulnerable. When Maggie suggested that Theresa show her vulnerable side, Theresa refused.
"No, I'd rather look like a witch than a pathetic, needy..." Theresa started. Maggie cut her off, and she promised not to offer any more unsolicited advice. With a shrug, Maggie wondered if Brady was talking to John about the sale of Basic Black. Theresa commented that she had missed out on her chance. Suspicious, Maggie asked Theresa to explain. Theresa admitted that she had wanted to be a fashion designer when she'd been a kid, until Kim had discouraged her.
"You don't seem like the type to give up on your dreams that easily," Maggie said. Theresa agreed. Theresa said she wanted to earn Brady's respect. Maggie suggested that Theresa work as an intern, but Theresa wanted something more.
When Brady returned, Theresa asked him about a job at Basic Black. Brady informed her that they were selling the company. Theresa nodded. Brady offered to talk to the new buyer about an entry-level position for Theresa, but she declined. Theresa said she wanted to buy Basic Black. With a raised eyebrow, Brady asked Theresa how she would raise the money. When Theresa suggested that Brady loan her the money, he groaned.
"How much experience did you have before you became a mogul?" Theresa asked Brady. Brady said no. Upset, Theresa said she would prove Brady wrong and raise the money. Theresa walked over to the hospital and talked to Anne. When Theresa asked for help buying Basic Black, Anne wished Theresa good luck. Theresa swore to find an investor.
Daniel visited Nicole at her office to tell her that Serena had been murdered. Nicole was stunned. Nicole said that she felt like Serena's death had been her fault because she had wished her ill. As Daniel counseled Nicole not to take on any blame, Nicole's boss, Miles, entered her office and crassly asked her to interview Eric about Serena's murder. Nicole refused.
Miles persisted. Nicole warned Miles to give the story to another reporter. When Miles threatened Nicole, she countered that he could not fire her because she quit. Daniel grinned. After Miles left, Daniel helped Nicole pack up her office. Nicole said that she had been happiest working at Titan. When Daniel asked what she was thinking, Nicole explained that she had heard that John was selling Basic Black. Smiling, Nicole said she wanted to buy the company.
Nicole called about the sale, and she learned that the asking price for Basic Black was too steep. Daniel offered to talk to Victor about fronting the money that Xander owed Nicole. Thrilled, Nicole thanked Daniel for acting like Basic Black was his dream as well. Daniel countered that his dream was to make Nicole happy. Daniel offered to chip in, but he added that they did not have enough money to buy the company, even if they pooled their money. With a smile, Nicole swore she would figure something out.
In the park, Clyde met up with Kate. Clyde was annoyed that Kate was late for their meeting, and he demanded that things change. Clyde said that he wanted to be the most important thing in Kate's life. Frustrated, Kate asked Clyde if he was going to make her a priority. As Clyde sighed, Kate commented, "What is this, the 1960s? Did I wander onto the set of Mad Men? Is this the Twilight Zone?"
As Kate turned to leave, Clyde grabbed her arm and shook her. "Do you have a problem with me asking for due respect?" Clyde yelled. "I have a problem with you acting like a chauvinistic jerk," Kate countered. Kate warned Clyde to find someone that enjoyed being with a narcissist because it did not interest her. "Just consider yourself dumped," Kate said as she walked away.
In the Edge nightclub, John surprised Marlena with a romantic evening alone. John said he wanted to prove that he would put Marlena first by taking her on a trip down memory lane. With a grin, John asked Marlena about the nearby table setting. Marlena smiled, and she commented that the table reminded her of their first date at Shenanigans.
"Being us against the world was so much easier than..." Marlena started. "Us against us?" John finished. Worried, Marlena wondered why this go-round together would be different between her and John. John said he wanted to show Marlena how things would be different. John uncovered a plate with a yellow rose on it. Marlena thought about when John had left her a yellow rose on her pillow. The two chuckled over the memory.
"You remember what Belle called us that morning?" John asked. "The most married parents she'd ever met," Marlena said. John admitted that he had been running away in the past. John promised to fight for Marlena in the future. When Marlena asked how many memories John planned to talk about, John said, "As many as it takes." Marlena admitted that she was scared.
"The years that we spent together were the happiest years of my life, and they were also some of the most painful. We hadn't even ended our honeymoon before I thought that I had lost you. If I open up my heart to you again, my whole heart, I run the risk of going thorough that pain all over again. But you know what? Now it's even worse because you'll be risking your life every single day with that job," Marlena said through tears.
John peeled a napkin off of another table that held reminders of their time in New Orleans. John told Marlena that he was grateful for his lost memories there because it had saved his life. "I chose New Orleans because our future always starts with our past," John said. As Marlena sighed at the memory, John asked her if their relationship had been worth the pain. Marlena said it had been.
"What I can promise to you is that my commitment to you will be unshakeable," John said. John uncovered one last table display to reveal a bouquet of roses that was a replica of the one she had carried at their first wedding. Marlena and John thought about their wedding vows to one another. Holding back tears, John repeated part of their vows. "I am yours," John said. John handed Marlena an empty journal, and she shrugged in confusion. John looked around the room.
"This was our past, and it's been an amazing ride. This is our future, and I firmly believe the best is yet to be," John said as he gently shook the journal. John said he wanted to fill the pages with Marlena. "I'd like that too," Marlena said as her voice cracked. Marlena commented that she wanted to fill page one, and she kissed John.
Justin met with Abe at the police station to discuss the mayor's resignation. Abe informed Justin that the city council had appointed him to act as mayor. After Justin congratulated Abe, Abe expressed his desire to replace the current district attorney with Justin. Justin was flattered, but he noted that he was inexperienced. Abe disagreed. With a chuckle, Abe said that Justin's name would strike fear into the hearts of criminals.
Shaking Abe's hand to accept the job, Justin said, "I'm looking forward to nailing the bastard who stabbed my son. And getting this killer off the street."
In the town square, Jennifer ran into Eve and accidentally knocked her bag out of her hands. As Jennifer realized that she had run into Eve, she yelled at Eve for what Eve had done to endanger Jennifer's son. When Eve asked what Jennifer meant, Jennifer accused Eve of sending Sonix magazine a tip about J.J. dealing drugs out of the Horton Center. Eve denied the charge. Jennifer argued that Eve had placed a target on J.J.'s back.
"Once an addict, always an addict," Eve said. Furious, Jennifer slapped Eve. Eve slapped Jennifer back. Before the two women could fight more, Justin and Abe intervened. Jennifer stormed off with Abe chasing her. Eve grumpily greeted Justin. When Justin asked if Eve wanted to talk, she said that she wanted a drink first. Justin followed Eve to Club TBD, and he marveled as she knocked back a drink like it was a shot. Eve complained about Jennifer, and she noted that Jennifer would cause everyone trouble.
"Unlike you. Who has never caused anyone any trouble," Justin commented sarcastically. Eve asked Justin about his problems. With a grin, Justin said the he had just been hired as the new district attorney. Eve congratulated Justin. Laughing, Justin said they could be friends if Eve stayed out of trouble. Eve told Justin she was sorry to hear about his marriage, and she added that Adrienne had been a fool to let Justin go. With a shrug, Justin said that he had been the one to mess up the marriage.
Across the room, Daniel and Nicole gazed lovingly into one another's eyes, while Kate had a drink with Roman and complained about men at another nearby table. Kate commented that she needed to take a break from dating. Roman joked that the men of Salem would be relieved. As Kate rolled her eyes, she said that she was bored in her job. Kate said she wanted to shake up her life.
At the other table, Nicole talked to Daniel about finding an investor to help her buy Basic Black. Daniel noted that John would have no difficulty selling Basic Black, just as Kate was leaving the club. Overhearing Daniel's comment at the doorway, Kate stopped dead in her tracks.
At Kyle's apartment, Kyle asked J.J. to sample his new meth delivery to check the quality. Stammering, J.J. said he would sell the product but that he had worked hard to quit drugs and did not want to backslide. Kyle clarified that he needed J.J. to quality check the product, not use all of it. Kyle added that if J.J. refused to check the meth, he would have to rethink whether he could trust J.J.
J.J. argued that Kyle did not want one of his dealers using the product, shorting customers on their deliveries. Kyle countered that J.J. would not steal from customers because he valued his life. Kyle pulled out his gun and noted that he needed to clean it again. As Kyle leveled his gun at J.J., he told J.J. he would find someone else to test the meth and that J.J. could find another job. Crumpling to the pressure, J.J. grabbed the drugs and agreed to test them.
With his lips against the pipe, J.J. hesitated. Kyle urged J.J. to hurry up and smoke the drugs. With a shake of his head, J.J. refused, citing his desire not to get hooked. Kyle pushed his gun into J.J.'s chest, and he patted down J.J. Kyle asked J.J. if he was wearing a wire. "You just failed your first and last test," Kyle said. Kyle called Clyde to tell him there was a problem. Clyde reluctantly agreed to meet with Kyle.
J.J.'s phone rang. When J.J. noted that his mom was calling, Kyle grabbed the phone. Jennifer left a voicemail asking J.J. to call her and tell her that he was fine. Back at Kyle's apartment, Kyle waited nervously while holding J.J. at gunpoint. When Clyde arrived, J.J.'s mouth dropped open in surprise. "Too many drug dealers for one room," Clyde said. Kyle hit J.J. over the head with the butt of his gun, knocking J.J. out.
At the police station, Rafe informed Hope that the lab had finished testing the blood on the napkin found at the crime scene. Rafe confirmed that there was no record of the DNA in their database.
On the porch of the Kiriakis mansion, Adrienne asked Lucas for a rain check on their lunch. Grinning, Lucas said that he had an idea. Lucas showed Adrienne an advertisement for a mini-triathlon. Lucas said he was excited to do something with Adrienne. Adrienne was not sure whether she was fit enough for the race, but Lucas assured her that he had found a trainer to whip them into fighting form. Lucas invited Adrienne to join him in the park to work out with the trainer. With a giggle, Adrienne nodded yes.
In Kayla's office, Hope stopped by to talk. Hope asked about Steve, but Kayla said she did not want to talk about her wayward ex. Kayla changed the subject to Aiden's proposal. Hope admitted that she loved Aiden, but the situation felt rushed. With a smile, Kayla advised Hope that her gut would tell her when the time was right.
After Hope left, Joey visited his mother in her office. Kayla called the headmaster of Joey's school, and he informed Kayla that Joey was not welcome back. Joey shrugged. With an exasperated sigh, Kayla reminded Joey that he had been doing better academically when he had started at the school. Joey's phone beeped, and he grabbed his phone to check the text message. Exasperated, Kayla ordered Joey to put his phone away.
As Joey rolled his eyes, Steve opened the office door and poked his head in. Holding a vase of flowers, Steve asked Kayla and Joey if they were interested in lunch. Steve placed the flowers on Kayla's desk. She curtly informed Steve that Joey had been expelled from school. When Steve joked that expulsion was expected when Joey had left school, Kayla blew up.
Furious, Kayla ordered Steve to behave like a father. Steve countered that he did not want Joey to go to boarding school and that he was making an effort to be a father. With a scowl, Kayla said that she had sent Joey off to school to help him. While Kayla and Steve argued, Joey fumed in his chair. Finally, Joey cried out and ordered his parents to stop fighting. Kayla apologized, but Joey was clearly uncomfortable, and he left.
"We can't do that to him again," Steve said. "No we can't," Kayla growled. Steve pleaded with Kayla to give him a chance. Shaking her head, Kayla noted that flowers would not repair the damage of the years that Steve had been absent from her life and from Joey's life. Steve swore that he wanted to remain in Salem. Steve pleaded with Kayla to give him a chance to "do right by" her.
Down the hallway, Caroline was from the hospital. Hope grabbed Caroline's luggage and wheeled her over to the waiting area. Hope told Caroline that Aiden had proposed to her. Caroline gasped. As Hope reached out to Caroline, Caroline explained that she had been having dreams about Bo being in danger. Hope said she understood that Caroline was unnerved by Bo's absence.
Softly, Hope cautioned Caroline to remember that Bo might never return home. Caroline refused to accept that she would never see her son again. Caroline reiterated that she was upset by her dreams about Bo. Nodding, Hope promised that she had not accepted Aiden's proposal and that she would take her time reaching a decision.
Victor and Maggie arrived at the hospital. Maggie mentioned that she had spoken to Hope, who had said that Caroline had been upset. Caroline stressed that she was fine. With a nod and a smile, Maggie asked Caroline if she could help her talk to Victor. Victor frowned. Maggie told Caroline that she believed that Victor should rethink his opposition to Aiden's proposal. Maggie argued that Hope deserved to be happy.
"You don't like the idea either?" Caroline asked Victor. When Victor said no, Caroline told Maggie that she agreed with Victor and that Maggie would need to change her mind. Maggie was taken aback, and Victor grabbed the handles to Caroline's wheelchair and guided her down the hallway in a victory lap.
Alone in the park, Hope thought about her wedding to Bo and when they had sailed around the world together. Hope also thought about the last voicemail she had left for Bo, and when she had written her Dear John letter to Bo. In the park, Hope wiped away tears.
In his office, Aiden talked to someone on the phone, and he stressed that he would make things work with Hope. Aiden walked to the town square and ran into Hope there. Aiden invited Hope to join him for lunch, but she declined, citing the need to work. As Aiden kissed Hope, Steve walked into the square. Hope was startled to see Steve, and she broke away from Aiden's arms and called out to Steve. Stuttering, Hope introduced Steve to Aiden as "an old friend."
"And Aiden's a new friend?" Steve said with a mischievous smile. "Hope and I go way back, don't we? I'm Bo's best friend," Steve said as he firmly shook Aiden's hand. Hope apologized for skipping lunch, and she left. Steve asked if he could buy Aiden a drink. Unnerved, Aiden reluctantly agreed, and the two men walked to Club TBD.
Over drinks, Steve explained that he had been in the merchant marines with Bo. As Aiden nodded, Steve added that he had known Bo and Hope for years and that Bo and Hope were soul mates. Aiden countered that Bo had abandoned Hope and Ciara, and Hope deserved better.
Adrienne and Lucas met up in the park to work out. When Adrienne asked about the trainer, Lucas smiled and noted that he was the trainer. "We'll get in great shape, we'll spend a lot of time together, and then we'll go eat waffles," Lucas said. Adrienne laughed and agreed to follow Lucas' guidance.
On her way to the police station to meet with Rafe, a frantic Paige left a voicemail on J.J.'s phone, asking him to call her about Kyle. When Paige arrived at the police station, Rafe informed her that he was interviewing everyone that had been at Club TBD on the night of Serena's murder. Rafe asked Paige about Serena.
Paige told Rafe that she had arrived at the club as Serena had been running out of the room. Paige added that Chad had run out of the club after Serena had left. "He was really upset, and he seemed a little unsteady. And there was some blood on his lip," Paige said. When Rafe asked if Chad had spoken, Paige shook her head.
After talking to Rafe, an upset Paige marched over to the Horton house to speak with Jennifer about J.J. Paige explained that she had left a message for J.J., and she was worried that he might take her message the wrong way. Jennifer said that J.J. had left hours earlier, and she had not heard from him. Worried, Paige told Jennifer that she suspected that Eve had told Kyle that J.J. was working with the police.
While sitting at Club TBD, Chad thought about when Serena had slapped him. Chad shifted uncomfortably. A man sat down at Chad's table and asked him about Serena. Chad said he had no comment. As Chad walked out of the club, the reporter yelled questions after him, but Chad ignored it all. Outside the club, a police officer stopped Chad and asked Chad to accompany him to the police station to talk to Rafe. With a sigh, Chad walked with the officer.
When Chad arrived at the police station, Rafe asked Chad to provide a DNA sample. Chad chuckled. With a shrug, Chad consented, noting that he did not want to appear guilty. After taking the sample, Rafe took it down to the lab and ran the sample against the blood from the crime scene. Chad asked why Rafe needed the sample. Rafe informed Chad that Chad's blood matched the blood found on a napkin at the crime scene.
Stunned, Chad explained that Serena had slapped him, drawing blood on his lip. Chad added that he had wiped his face with a napkin. Leaning closer, Rafe noted that Chad had previously not remembered how he had hurt his lip. Angry, Chad asked Rafe if he had ever forgotten part of an evening after drinking. When Rafe asked how the napkin had ended up in the park, Chad stressed that he had taken a walk after he had left the club.
Rafe noted that Chad had not checked into the hotel until daylight. When Rafe asked for an explanation for the lost time, Chad babbled that he did not know where he had walked. Justin arrived and asked Rafe if they were ready to book Chad for Serena's murder. Flustered, Rafe asked Justin to talk in the hallway.
Out of Chad's earshot, Justin told Rafe that he was anxious to close the case. When Justin asked Rafe when he planned to charge Chad for the murder, Rafe corrected Justin and said that he would arrest Chad if he collected enough evidence to press charges. Justin reminded Rafe that there were witnesses and matching DNA.
Rafe called Hope's cell phone and updated her on the developments in the case. Concerned, Hope asked Rafe if he had focused on Chad as a suspect because of their history. Rafe firmly denied the charge. When Rafe returned to his office, Justin was sending Chad home. After Chad left, Justin gloated, "I am going to love sending Chad DiMera to Statesville."
While Aiden worked in his office, Hope met up with him. Aiden told Hope about his lunch with Steve. Aiden noted that Steve did not appear to like him. Nodding, Hope interrupted to tell Aiden that she could not accept Aiden's proposal because she was not ready. Aiden said he understood. Smiling, Aiden said that he was pleased that Hope had not said no definitively. Aiden added that he believed Hope was "the one." Hope thanked Aiden for understanding.
After Hope left, Aiden sighed in exasperation and muttered, "What am I going to do? I promised, I promised." Aiden threw an item from his desk against the wall in frustration.
In Kyle's apartment, a groggy J.J. woke up on the floor of the living room. J.J. hurried to leave, but Clyde returned to the apartment and shoved J.J. onto the couch. When J.J. asked about Kyle, Clyde commented, "He's where all bad employees go." J.J. looked at a bloodstain on the carpet. When J.J. asked if Clyde had killed him, Clyde said he had taken care of business. Clyde wiped his hands with a rag, and he leaned over to look into J.J.'s eyes.
"Whatever I want to get done gets done. And I don't even know how to spell the word failure. You get me?" Clyde said. "Yes, sir," J.J. said eagerly. Clyde wrapped his hand around J.J.'s neck and asked J.J. if he was working for the police. With a firm voice, J.J. said unequivocally that he did not work for the police. When Clyde noted that Kyle had said otherwise, J.J. explained that his ex-girlfriend's mother was out for revenge.
When Clyde asked for details, J.J. said that he had slept with Eve and that it had destroyed Eve's relationship with her daughter. Clyde laughed. With a twinkle in his eye, Clyde asked J.J. for details about sex with Eve. J.J. shrugged. Analyzing the situation, Clyde noted that Eve appeared to be the kind of woman who wanted a younger man all to herself to make her feel younger. Surprised, J.J. nodded and told Clyde that he read the situation right.
"When I say it's over, she goes all psycho. She goes and tells her daughter, and everything goes south for me and Paige. It was a really bad scene. Then she goes and tells Kyle that I'm working for the cops, and he is stupid enough to believe her," J.J. said. Clyde shrugged, and he asked J.J. why J.J. had worked for Kyle if he thought Kyle was stupid. J.J. said that he needed the money.
"If you'll keep me on, I'd really appreciate it, sir. I won't breathe a word of who you are and everything that happened here today. Nothing. I know how to keep my mouth shut. Believe me," J.J. said. Clyde agreed to use J.J. with the caveat that J.J. never speak to Ben about Clyde or his business. J.J. agreed. Clyde told J.J. that he would take Kyle's place. As J.J. nodded, Clyde threatened to hurt Paige if J.J. told anyone about Clyde's involvement in the drug trade. Clyde cleaned out the safe, and he advised J.J. to be careful.
"Ill go by the book. Your book," J.J. said. Pleased, Clyde told J.J. that he liked his attitude. On his way out the door, Clyde reminded J.J. of his threat. After Clyde left, J.J. sank onto the couch and sighed in relief. J.J. rushed home and found Jennifer and Paige waiting for him in his living room. J.J. lied and said that Kyle had not believed Eve's story, and that Kyle did not suspect that J.J. was a police informant.
When Jennifer asked J.J. why he had not responded to her texts, J.J. explained that he had lost his phone. J.J. reminded Jennifer that she needed to attend a meeting for the Horton center. Jennifer was reluctant to leave her son, but J.J. insisted. After Jennifer left, J.J. motioned to Paige to be quiet. J.J. turned on loud music and he pulled Paige aside to whisper that Clyde was the drug kingpin. J.J. stressed that no one knew about Clyde.
When Paige insisted that J.J. tell the police, J.J. told Paige that it was too dangerous. J.J. informed Paige that Clyde had killed Kyle. Worried, J.J. said that Clyde would know if he talked to the police and that Clyde would murder everyone that J.J. loved. J.J. said that he wanted Paige to know the truth so that she would not go digging for information about Kyle.
"Are you going to tell your mom?" Paige asked. "Never! She will call the cops in a heartbeat, and the only way to protect her is to keep her in the dark," J.J. said. Paige thanked J.J. for telling her the truth. J.J. swore he would do whatever he had to do to protect Paige.
Abigail gasped as she awoke from a nightmare about the cops catching Chad just as he was about to flee the country -- something she presumed, in the dream, that he would only be doing if he was guilty of killing Serena. When Ben wondered what was wrong, Abigail blamed morning sickness, prompting him to offer her a bag of animal crackers to settle her stomach, since he had noticed that she had been eating them practically every five minutes lately. Ben excitedly started talking about the doctor's appointment he and Abigail would be attending later that day, assuring her that he planned to be at every single one because nothing was more important to him. Later, at the hospital, Abigail introduced Ben to Andrea, the midwife who would eventually be delivering their baby. Abigail laughed awkwardly when Ben confirmed Andrea's suspicion that he was the father.
Stefano was waiting in Chad's hotel room when Chad emerged from the bathroom after taking a shower. Chad insisted that he had nothing left to say to Stefano, but Stefano disagreed, warning that Justin had been appointed the new district attorney and was gunning for Chad's arrest. Chad wondered why Stefano cared about the fate of someone he had recently disowned. Stefano claimed that he was simply concerned about mitigating the effects of bad publicity. "After all of the monstrous things you've done, isn't it a bit late to worry about disparaging the DiMera name?" Chad pointed out.
Chuckling, Stefano clarified that he wasn't talking about the past; he was talking about the future -- specifically, Chad's future. Stefano added that he'd had a change of heart and would be willing to welcome Chad back to the family and help him clear his name -- if Chad agreed to win back Abigail's heart as well as her inheritance. Chad refused, insisting he wasn't going to be a pawn in Stefano's twisted game, and he wasn't going to allow Abigail to be one, either. Later, after Stefano left, Chad contacted someone and asked to meet with them right away, explaining that he needed their help.
Justin went to the police station and demanded to know why Rafe hadn't arrested Chad yet. Rafe pointed out that Chad didn't appear to have a motive for the murder, aside from the fact that Serena had refused to sleep with him. Rafe added that there was no reason to believe that Chad was anything like Stefano -- or even his late siblings, E.J. and Kristen, for that matter. Rafe also reminded Justin that no DNA had been found on the necktie Serena had been strangled with. Rafe argued that Serena's death had been a crime of passion, as opposed to a premeditated murder, and it was highly unlikely that Chad would have just randomly been carrying around a pair of gloves that night to protect his identity. Rafe concluded that Chad was a DiMera and wasn't dumb enough to kill a woman immediately after being seen arguing with her in public.
"During the time you were away, [did] you just [forget] how to build a case, or [are] you now bending over backwards to appear impartial? Well, whatever the reason, something is stopping you from seeing this case for what it is -- an open and shut case! And as the new D.A., I want this case closed -- ASAP!" Justin insisted before storming off. Later, Justin ran into Chad in the town square and advised him to confess to the murder, since everyone already knew he was guilty of the crime, anyway. Trying to remain civil out of deference to Sonny, Chad proclaimed his innocence, but Justin remained convinced that Chad was the murderer.
As Chad and Justin argued, Abe arrived and intervened, wondering what was going on. "Abe, you might want to reconsider appointing this man D.A., because he is already drunk with power. See, not only does he think he is district attorney, he seems to think he's judge and jury, too," Chad explained before walking away. Abe stressed that Justin couldn't go around accusing people of murder when they hadn't even been arrested yet. Justin assumed Abe was just being loyal to Chad because Chad was Abe's brother-in-law, but Abe insisted that wasn't the case at all.
Justin maintained that Abe was soft on the DiMeras, but Abe countered that he was fair to them, adding that Chad was actually a decent guy. Abe pointed out that Justin didn't have anything concrete to back up his belief that Chad was guilty, and he advised Justin to start using his brain and stop accusing Chad publicly of things he couldn't prove Chad had actually done. "Abe, I'm doing my job! And if Chad DiMera is as guilty as I suspect he is, I am not gonna rest until he's behind bars. He will be the first of the DiMeras I bring down. I will make damn sure of it," Justin vowed.
Eric met with Rafe at the police station and agreed to look through Serena's personal effects, but he didn't notice anything that could help the investigation. After spotting Serena's camera, Eric reminisced about how she had always been a horrible photographer but had never been willing to give up on her goal to eventually take at least one perfect picture. Eric could only think of one person who would want to kill Serena, and when Rafe informed him that Xander had been in police custody at the time of her death, Eric decided that her murderer had to be the last person who had seen her alive -- Chad.
Hope was already awake when Aiden finally got up after a night of fitful sleep. Hope revealed that she hadn't slept very well, either. When Aiden asked if something was bothering Hope, she admitted that she felt like he was keeping something from her. Aiden was relieved when Hope elaborated that she thought he might be upset because she hadn't accepted his marriage proposal yet. Aiden assured Hope that he understood and wasn't concerned about that. Aiden added that he was a very patient man and would give Hope all the time she needed to make her decision.
Later, at Club TBD, Hope met with Maggie, Julie, Caroline, and Kayla to discuss plans for the bicentennial celebration. Julie found it difficult to focus on the task at hand because she was upset about the fact that Jennifer had been forced to step down from her position on the Horton Center's board due to the vicious rumors that had recently started circulating about her and J.J. After discussing the matter with the women for a few minutes, Julie decided to move on to a happier subject -- Joey's return to Salem. Kayla admitted that, while seeing Steve again had been hard, she was thrilled to have Joey back home. Kayla added that Joey would soon be attending school in Salem because he was not allowed to return to his old school in Ohio. Hope was eager to see Joey again, so she made plans for her and Ciara to visit soon.
Maggie pointed out that there was some other good news worth cheering about, and Julie agreed, declaring that she was happy and excited about Hope's engagement to Aiden. Caroline remained silent as Maggie and Julie tried to get Hope to fill them in on her plans for the wedding. Julie eventually noticed and apologized to Caroline for being insensitive. Maggie issued her own apology, but Caroline assured both women that she understood and wanted Hope to be happy just as much as they did. Maggie and Julie wanted Hope to make her wedding to Aiden part of the bicentennial celebration, but Hope clarified that she hadn't even accepted his proposal yet.
Caroline excused herself so she could get back to the pub, which was short-staffed that day. Hope pulled Caroline aside and clarified that she hadn't tabled Aiden's proposal because of what Caroline had said about Bo during their last conversation. Hope explained that she simply needed to be completely sure, before accepting Aiden's proposal, that marrying him was the right decision for her as well as Ciara. Caroline left after once again stating that she understood. When Hope rejoined the other women, they again apologized for being quick to assume that she had already accepted Aiden's proposal. Hope stressed that, regardless of whether she ultimately decided to accept or turn down Aiden's proposal, she felt incredibly lucky because she had managed to find love again -- with a good man who was great for her and Ciara.
Outside Club TBD, Caroline was struggling to remember the passcode she had set for her cell phone. As Caroline shook her head in frustration, Victor approached her from behind and suggested trying 1-1-0-5. After explaining that it was also his passcode, Victor reminded Caroline that it was Bo's birth date. Caroline entered the numbers and laughed at herself when her cell phone accepted the passcode. "I remember that that's Bo's birthday!" Caroline dismissively assured Victor before walking away, leaving him looking a bit concerned.
Later, back inside the club, Kayla and Hope continued talking after Julie and Maggie left. Kayla hoped Julie and Maggie would give Hope the peace and time she needed to make up her mind about whether to accept Aiden's proposal. Hope agreed, stressing that she needed to be sure it was the right decision not only for herself but also for Ciara. Kayla said she had been thinking a lot lately about how her rift with Steve had affected Joey over the years. Hope was sure it had been hard on Joey but nevertheless assured Kayla that he would be fine, since he knew just how loved he was.
Hope told Kayla about Steve's recent encounter with Aiden. Kayla groaned and complained that Steve shouldn't have talked to Aiden about Bo. Hope agreed but pointed out that Steve had never been one to censor himself, and he would always be in Bo's corner, regardless of the situation. Kayla predicted that if Bo were still in Salem, he would be advocating for her to give Steve another chance. Hope wondered if Kayla was considering doing that. "Are you out of your mind? I don't know why you would even ask me that. No, I don't want anything to do with Steve! I am never gonna give him the chance to hurt me like that again," Kayla vowed.
Upon request, Joey met with Steve in the park, but he stayed silent while Steve tried to converse with him. Steve conceded that he deserved the silent treatment. Steve added, however, that he was hoping he and Joey could eventually reach an understanding. Steve stressed that he didn't expect that to happen anytime soon but was determined to put all his effort into repairing his relationship with Joey because he loved Joey a lot. "I know how hard it must have been on you all those years I was away. But you're older now, so I'm hoping that when I get a chance to explain things to you, maybe you'll understand," Steve added.
"Yeah, good luck with that," Joey replied. Undeterred, Steve wondered if Joey knew what his job had involved. "Yeah, saving the world," Joey muttered. Steve denied that, clarifying that he hadn't exactly been saving the world but did like to think he had helped people during his time with the ISA and had done important work. "But no matter where I was in the world, I was always thinking about you, Joe. You know, that's why I sent you all those gifts -- those little gifts, you know, from Tunisia, Tanzania; I thought if I could send you some little souvenir from wherever I was in the world, that you would know you were not forgotten by your dad," Steve added.
Joey turned his attention to his cell phone, prompting Steve to ask if they could just talk for a second. "What do you want me to say -- that everything's okay now? Trying to make me think we can be really close now? And in case you're wondering, I did get your packages from all over the world, with all the fancy stamps. I just never opened them. I threw them all away, 'cause I didn't give a damn where you were or where you'd been. All I ever cared about is that you weren't here," Joey replied.
"I'm here now," Steve pointed out. "Too little, too late," Joey countered before walking away. Later, Steve went to the Kiriakis mansion to see Victor and Maggie after realizing that one of Victor's men was tailing him. Victor admitted that he knew all about Steve's recent return to Salem. Victor added, however, that what he didn't know was why Steve had returned to Salem in the first place. Steve said he would be happy to answer that but would want to ask Victor some questions of his own afterward. Maggie took that as her cue to leave, and once they were alone, Steve asked Victor to tell him what had happened to Bo.
Aiden met with Chad in the town square and agreed to represent him but demanded absolute honesty in return. Chad told Aiden everything he could remember about the time he had spent with Serena, including the fact that he had blacked out at one point and was consequently missing a chunk of time. Aiden observed that Chad didn't seem completely certain of his own innocence. "That's because...I'm not, all right? I... Damn it, I don't know what happened. I don't know where I went; I don't know where I was. I don't know where I was when Serena Mason was killed," Chad admitted.
Aiden advised Chad never to say any of that again. "All I ever want to hear you say from this point forward is, 'I'm innocent,'" Aiden stressed. Meanwhile, Ben and Abigail entered the town square and, after spotting Chad with Aiden, deduced that Chad had hired Aiden to represent him. Ben believed that was a clear indication of Chad's guilt. As Chad parted ways with Aiden, Eric arrived and demanded to know if Chad had killed Serena. Aiden quickly intervened, and Eric chastised him for agreeing to represent Chad, who proclaimed his innocence as Eric stormed off. "I believe him," Abigail chimed in.
At the police station, a cop delivered a gift box to Hope. When she opened it, she found a watch inside. The attached card -- "We have all the time in the world, my love" -- wasn't signed, but Hope assumed it was from Aiden.
Maggie arrived home at the Kiriakis mansion and found Victor sitting alone in the living room. As she began telling her husband about the Salem Historical Society meeting she'd just attended, Maggie realized that Victor wasn't paying attention. Victor claimed he'd been thinking about the Titan board meeting, but Maggie guessed that he was worried about Caroline. Victor confessed that Caroline's stroke had really shaken him up. Maggie reassured him that the stroke had been mild, but she understood Victor's concern.
When Henderson sent Julie in without announcing her arrival, she accidentally interrupted the tender moment between Maggie and Victor. Victor used the interruption as an excuse to leave for his board meeting at the hospital. As Julie and Maggie looked over some old photographs and papers, Julie voiced her surprise that the Salem Historical Society had possessed so much information about a single house.
Julie regretted that her grandparents weren't alive to attend the bicentennial celebration -- but she was also glad they weren't around to see the trouble J.J. had gotten into. Maggie was optimistic that J.J. would exonerate himself. The women were excited about the big event, but they realized that November wasn't terribly far in the future.
Caroline slept fitfully in her hospital bed until Kayla entered the room with news that Caroline was about to be released. Caroline admitted that she was feeling nervous about that, though she didn't know why. Kayla offered to keep her mom in the hospital for another night, but Caroline insisted that keeping busy would be better for her health than sticking around there another minute. Kayla suggested that Caroline's feelings were residual anxiety from the frightening experience she'd just been through.
Kayla confessed that she was also feeling a bit anxious because she hadn't heard from Joey since he'd returned to school in Ohio a week earlier. Caroline urged her daughter not to worry, but Kayla pointed out that she and Joey had always been close, and it wasn't like him to be out of touch like that. Caroline suggested that Kayla get in touch with the school to check on Joey. A grateful Kayla kissed her mom and left.
Caroline was dozing -- and frowning in her sleep -- when Victor slipped quietly into her room a little later. Caroline blinked with surprise when she awakened and found Victor sitting at her bedside. He explained that he'd been at the hospital for a board meeting and had wanted to stop in and see Caroline, as well. Caroline admitted that she'd just had a horrible dream about Bo in which he had been alone in a dark and filthy place. She'd called Bo's name, but he hadn't heard her, and she had been unable to move, although she'd been able to tell that he'd been in terrible pain -- and it had all seemed very real.
Meanwhile, in an undisclosed location, in what appeared to be a cell, an unidentified man lay on a bare, dirty concrete floor.
Near the nurses' station, Kayla called Joey's school, but someone there informed her that Joey had never shown up at school. "I most certainly did not send a letter explaining his absence!" Kayla insisted, alarmed. She ordered the school to get in touch with all of Joey's friends immediately to find out if any of them had heard from him. As an anxious Kayla hung up, she informed the school that her next call would be to her brother -- the police commissioner.
Just then, Joey got off the elevator. Kayla rushed over and hugged him, breathlessly asking where he'd been. A second later, Steve exited the elevator, as well. "Hello, Sweetness. It's been a while, huh?" Steve said.
As John was dropping off a case file for Hope at the police station, Roman questioned why John was leaving to work for the ISA. John confessed that being a cop had made him realize how much he'd missed working for the ISA. Roman reminded John how dangerous that work was and how worried and scared Marlena had been when John had worked there before. "You put that woman through a lot the last several years. Don't top it off by getting hurt or getting yourself killed," Roman warned.
Ben and Abigail strolled through Horton Square after a visit to the bookstore, where, according to Ben, Abigail had purchased almost every book written about pregnancy. Laughing, Abigail admitted that she just wanted to make sure she was doing everything right for their baby. Abigail got a text message from Maxine, informing Abigail that Serena Mason, with whom Abigail had been acquainted since they'd both worked at the hospital, had been murdered the previous night. Ben was stunned when Abigail relayed that news to him.
Clyde walked up just then and overheard what Ben and Abigail were discussing. Clyde revealed that he'd seen Serena "in a hell of an argument" with Chad DiMera the night before. Abigail maintained that Chad couldn't possibly have been responsible for Serena's death, especially since he hadn't even known Serena. Clyde asserted that Chad had clearly been trying to change that situation at the club -- but Chad had obviously taken things too far, because Serena had slapped him, and when she'd left, Chad had followed her.
When Ben learned that Chad and Serena had been drinking a lot, Ben pointed out that Chad was a DiMera and could have killed Serena if he'd been angry enough. Clyde agreed with Ben, but Abigail was adamant that Chad had never wanted to be like his father. Ben pointed out that Abigail knew better than most people about how badly Chad tended to treat women, but Abigail argued that Chad had never killed anyone. Before the conversation could become more heated, Abigail suggested they stop speculating about such a serious topic. She kissed Ben goodbye and left for work.
An obviously thrilled Ben beamed as he described what he'd learned from glancing at the books Abigail had bought. "You are in for quite an adventure," Clyde declared. When Marlena approached the Weston men and said hello, Ben headed out to do the grocery shopping, as he'd promised Abigail. Marlena apologized to Clyde for canceling their last therapy session, explaining that she'd had a family emergency. Clyde said that, during the session, he had intended to tell Marlena that he was discontinuing therapy because he felt much better, thanks to her.
A disappointed Marlena started to say she thought that she and Clyde had made a lot of progress, but Clyde interrupted. "I don't care what you think," he snapped. Softening his tone a little, Clyde said he was ready to face things on his own, and he felt he was a different man because of Dr. Evans. Marlena subtly expressed her skepticism that Clyde was "cured," hinting that his overconfidence had blinded him to reality. Clyde asserted that he could see things more clearly than he ever had before. Marlena's eyes narrowed as she watched Clyde leave.
A little later, John joined Marlena in the square. John was carrying a box of his belongings from his desk at the police station. He reiterated his promise not to let working for the ISA interfere with his relationship with Marlena. John added that he also planned to sell his interest in Basic Black, once he made sure that he and Brady were in agreement, in order to focus more completely on Marlena. "I'm just trying to find a way to make you believe that nothing comes before you in my life. How about if I asked you to marry me? Would that do the trick?" John inquired.
Taken aback, Marlena demanded, "Are you thinking that was a marriage proposal?" John assured her that it hadn't been. Marlena said it would take much more than a proposal to make her believe that John was "in it for the long haul," especially since they had already walked down the aisle together quite a few times. John asked what he could say to convince Marlena that being with her forever was what he wanted. "It's not what you say," Marlena replied. John kissed her to demonstrate that he knew what she'd meant.
In his room at the Salem Inn, Chad took a big swig of whiskey before sitting down to read a news article on his tablet. The article reported that Serena Mason had been found dead in Salem Park, near Horton Square. Chad didn't think he had followed Serena to the park, although he couldn't remember many other details after Serena had slapped him and left Club TBD -- and he had followed her to the square, where they'd gotten into an argument. Chad told himself that he'd better remember what had happened, because the cops would soon learn what had happened at the club.
A little later, Chad went into Club TBD and looked around. As fuzzy memories from the previous night returned to him, Chad slipped into a booth and tried to remember what had happened after Serena had departed and he had stumbled out after her.
In the park, as a cop zipped Serena's lifeless form into a body bag and took it away, Hope admitted to Rafe that she was glad the department had put a rush on his reinstatement so he could work the case with her. Rafe and Hope agreed that Serena's manner of death -- strangulation with a necktie -- suggested the murder had been personal. Hope said the first person she'd thought of when she'd heard about the killing had been Xander Cook, although he was still in jail.
Rafe wondered if Serena's earlier resistance to answering questions about Xander after the incident with Nicole and Eric had been because Serena were loyal to Xander or afraid of him. When Aiden showed up at the crime scene, Hope reluctantly informed him that she might have to cancel their date that night. Rafe assured Hope that he would cover for her. Aiden was grateful, since he had a surprise planned for Hope.
After a search of the area, Hope found a disposable coffee cup and sealed it in an evidence bag. Rafe grumbled that the weather had been too hot and dry to find any usable footprints at the scene. Rafe got a text message from forensics informing him that they'd tracked Serena's cell phone usage to the courthouse, the hospital, Horton Town Square, and Club TBD. Hope handed the coffee cup to Rafe and headed to the station to question Xander.
Alone in a corner booth at the Brady Pub, Aiden got a text message that read, "Meet me immediately. Take the usual precautions." With a sigh, Aiden rose to leave.
As Abigail arrived at the park, a few bystanders were snapping pictures with their cell phones while the police continued their investigation. She gaped in horror at the yellow crime scene tape until she heard Chad's voice behind her. Admitting that she'd heard a rumor, Abigail quietly asked Chad, "Is it true you might've been the last person to see Serena alive?"
Chad and Abigail headed to the benches outside Horton Square so they could talk with more privacy. Abigail said she'd heard about Chad and Serena from Clyde Weston -- who'd also revealed that Serena and Chad had fought. Abigail asked what Chad had done after Serena had left the club. Chad claimed that after Serena had left, he'd realized how drunk he was, so he'd gone to the Salem Inn and booked a room because Stefano had kicked him out of the DiMera mansion. A stunned Abigail guessed that Stefano had disowned Chad because he had tried to protect her from Stefano.
Chad pointed out that he'd disappointed his father by not toeing the line like his siblings. Abigail thanked Chad, asserting that his actions had been brave and selfless. Chad pointed out that he'd always claimed not to want to be a part of the DiMera family. "It's about time I put my money where my mouth is. Or his -- I don't have any anymore," Chad joked. Abigail assured Chad that he would do just fine on his own. She added that she was glad he was away from his father, because she believed Chad was nothing like Stefano.
The subject turned back to Serena, and Abigail asked why Chad and Serena had fought. Chad maintained that they had simply had too much to drink, plus Serena had already been upset when she'd arrived. A cop walked by before Chad could answer Abigail's question about why Serena had been upset. As Chad and Abigail went their separate ways, Chad stated with seeming sincerity that he was very happy for Abigail about the baby.
Rafe went to Club TBD and showed Serena's picture to the bartender, who said Serena and Chad had "put a dent in a bottle of Scotch" the night before. The bartender added that when his shift had ended, it had appeared as if Chad and Serena had been getting quite "chummy."
Hope met Roman in her office after she'd questioned Xander, who had seemed shocked when she'd told him about Serena's murder. Hope noted that no one had visited Xander, plus his phone had been confiscated. Roman and Hope agreed that it seemed unlikely that Xander had arranged a hit on Serena, but they were hopeful that the necktie would provide some evidence that would lead them to the killer.
Aiden entered the room, and Hope apologetically told him that she would probably have to cancel their date that evening. A dejected Aiden began, "Well, I guess I can cancel all my plans that I made..." Roman interrupted and told Hope to head out and let him and Rafe cover things -- as long as she returned early the next morning. Hope gratefully headed out with Aiden.
When Chad went to the DiMera mansion to pick up a few things, he assured Stefano, "Don't worry... Harold's going to send the rest. You'll never have to lay eyes on me again." Chad removed some keys from his key ring and set them on a table, promising to mail back the key to the main gate, which he hadn't been able to find. "It did not have to be this way, you know that? If you had only done as I asked...we could have both had what we wanted," Stefano pointed out irritably.
Chad argued that he would have had to swindle the woman he loved for a "stupid piece of land." Stefano maintained that the land would have ensured the family's fortune. Chad sarcastically countered that he was well aware that he'd betrayed Stefano and the rest of the family. "You have also broken my heart," Stefano declared, noting that he and Chad had gotten very close over the previous couple of years. Chad said it had seemed more like Stefano had been manipulating Chad to get what he'd wanted. Chad vowed to make a life for himself as far away from the "DiMera shadow" as possible.
Just then, Rafe entered the study. "Hey, guys! Harold said it would be okay if I came on up. Is it a bad time?" Rafe asked, holding up his badge. "Where'd you get that? A yard sale?" Chad quipped. Rafe explained that he'd been reinstated, and he thought, as one of his first official acts, that he and Chad should have a chat about Serena Mason.
Over a candlelit dinner, Hope and Aiden reminisced about their terrible first date. "We've come a long way from that night, huh?" Aiden said, taking Hope's hand as he continued, "And every day, I've fallen more and more in love with you. Hope, I never want that to end." Aiden opened the ring box and showed Hope the beautiful ring inside as he asked, "Hope, will you marry me?"