At the hospital, Marlena and Roman exited an elevator together and greeted Maggie and Kate, who were standing outside Will's room.
"Have you heard the wonderful news about Will?" Maggie asked. "Yeah -- Kayla called to tell us about it. Finally, some hope!" Roman replied. Like Kate, Marlena and Roman seemed to find it somewhat troubling that Rolf's diary had been a gift from Xander, of all people, but Maggie still just seemed proud of Xander for having done such a good deed for Will.
Meanwhile, Will awoke and groggily greeted Sonny. "Oh, my gosh -- is that...a smile?" Will asked curiously, studying Sonny's face. "It just might be. I have some great news!" Sonny excitedly replied.
Will was surprised when Sonny elaborated that Rolf's diary had finally been located. "It's a complicated story," Sonny vaguely explained when Will probed for more details. "The important thing is that Kayla and Rex and the other doctors are working around the clock on Rolf's diary to formulate a cure for your tumor," Sonny added. "Will, our prayers have been answered! We are gonna beat this, okay? And tomorrow, we're gonna get married, and it's gonna be the start of a very long and happy life together," Sonny concluded, beaming with joy. "Wow... That's...great," Will replied, still struggling to process the unexpected development.
Changing the subject, Sonny informed Will that Gabi was planning to stop by soon -- with Arianna in tow. "Really? [But]...well, I mean, what if I...scare her with, you know, how I -- how I look?" Will asked worriedly, gesturing broadly to the oxygen tube and the various other pieces of medical equipment that illustrated just how dire things had gotten since the previous day. "You look great," Sonny assured Will, who responded with a scoff of skepticism. "You always look great to me," Sonny lovingly conceded, understanding Will's reaction.
Just then, Marlena entered the room with Arianna, who immediately rushed to Will's side and offered a hug. "I missed you so much, Daddy!" Arianna stressed, and Will returned the sentiment. "Are you going to get better soon?" Arianna wondered. As Will struggled to think of the appropriate response, Marlena helpfully interjected, vaguely admitting to Arianna that Will was pretty sick. "Are you going to go away again?" Arianna asked Will. "You don't have to worry about Daddy Will, okay?" Sonny began, but Will interrupted, wanting to be honest with Arianna.
"Ari, um...this, uh...is, um...not easy for me to say, [but] the -- the -- the truth is that, um...we don't know...if I'm gonna go away again. I don't want to, you know? I -- I never want to leave you. But, if I have to, I...I want you to always remember how much I love you," Will told Arianna as Sonny and Marlena struggled to stay composed. "I love you, too," Arianna replied before giving Will a kiss on the cheek. Afterward, Marlena changed the subject, offering to take Arianna to the cafeteria for some ice cream so Will could get some rest.
"I know that was hard, okay? But this is not goodbye -- not anymore!" Sonny reassured Will after Marlena and Arianna left the room. "I'm all for being honest, but..." Sonny began to add before stopping abruptly. "Are you okay?" Sonny asked worriedly, noticing that Will looked really drained. "Yeah... I'm, um... I'm just -- I'm thinking..." Will explained, recovering slightly. "I -- I -- I know that, you know, we're waiting for this miracle cure to -- to happen --" Will began to elaborate. "It's going to happen," Sonny tried to stress, but Will just forged ahead. "And I know we're waiting for -- for my mom and dad to get here..." Will acknowledged.
"But...Sonny, it's...getting a little hard to talk...and -- and -- and breathe..." Will admitted. "Want me to get a doctor?" Sonny offered. "No, no, no -- the, um...the doctors said this would happen...near the end..." Will explained. "Will --" Sonny tried to protest, getting emotional, but Will interrupted. "I -- I don't need a doctor; I need to marry you," Will stressed. "And we will, okay? We're gonna get married tomorrow," Sonny reminded Will.
"No -- tonight," Will insisted. "Tonight? You mean, like...right now?" Sonny asked incredulously. "Yeah. I don't want to risk leaving this earth without being married to the man that I love," Will explained.
Sonny again tried to protest, but Will again interrupted. "I know what I'm feeling, Sonny. When I fell asleep earlier, I was not sure that...that I -- I would wake up," Will admitted, devastating Sonny. "But I did -- I did -- and the first thing I saw was -- was you, with the most -- with the handsomest, most -- most beautiful smile on your face --" Will continued. "Because I have hope!" Sonny stressed, fighting back tears. "That means everything to me... I -- I can't explain how...how comforting it is to -- to have you here with me... I don't need another reason to fight -- you are my reason; you're...you're the only reason that matters," Will assured Sonny.
Sonny hesitated, clearly conflicted. "Say yes. Come on, Sonny. Marry me. Marry me tonight," Will begged as tears finally began rolling down Sonny's cheeks.
Meanwhile, at a coffee station within sight of Will's room, Gabi shakily attempted to fill a cup with coffee. Kate soon noticed and rushed over to help out. "What am I gonna do? My daughter has already lost her father once! I -- I don't -- I don't know what I'm gonna tell her if --" Gabi tearfully fretted. "Has she been asking about that?" Kate wondered. "No...but, to be honest with you, I'm just worried that she doesn't understand that death is permanent," Gabi explained. "Okay, well, that wouldn't be surprising, considering how many people come back from the dead in Salem," Kate acknowledged.
"Like Nicole Walker..." Gabi grumbled, giving Kate the sense that there was a story behind the irritation. "I mean, come on -- [Nicole] just lost her daughter, she dumped Eric, she loses all her friends, and she's [talking on the phone with someone], saying that she's gonna get everything she's ever wanted? I mean, who could be on the other side of that line?" Gabi wondered after telling Kate about what had happened at the DiMera mansion earlier. "Xander?" Kate suggested, recalling the odd exchange between Nicole and Xander at the Salem Inn that had never really been convincingly explained.
"I know people conspiring when I see them," Kate reasoned after summarizing the odd exchange for Gabi. "What do you think they were conspiring about?" Gabi wondered. "With those two? Nothing good," Kate insisted.
Marlena and Roman soon returned with Arianna, and a short time later, Sonny emerged from Will's room, looking more composed than before. "I'm glad you're all here. Um...Will has requested that we move the wedding up," Sonny announced. "He doesn't want to wait?" Kate asked, confused. "He doesn't want to take any chances," Sonny vaguely explained, sighing heavily.
"My daddies are getting married!" Arianna excitedly declared, but the others weren't quite as thrilled with the change of plans, realizing the implications.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Xander discovered that Holly's original autopsy report was missing. "Ted Laurent -- that sneaky son of a bitch must have stolen it. But why?" Xander curiously mused.
At the DiMera mansion, Kristen, still posing as Nicole, tried to figure out what to do with Ted, who remained unconscious.
Kristen soon heard Stefan in the foyer, wrapping up a phone conversation with someone. Kristen started to panic, but before Stefan could enter the living room, the doorbell rang, announcing Abe's unexpected arrival. "I stopped by to give you an answer on your job offer," Abe explained when Stefan opened the front door. "Excellent. Let's talk in the living room," Stefan suggested, pointing Abe in that direction.
Kristen managed to hide Ted behind a couch just before the living room door flung open. "Nicole? What are you doing here?" Abe asked curiously. "She's my guest," Stefan explained before proceeding to tell Abe about DiMera Enterprises' newest employee. "You're...working for DiMera? [That's] surprising, given the history..." Abe mused. "Well, Abe, I mean, I -- I have to find a way to move on with my life somehow," "Nicole" innocently reasoned, forcing a few tears. "Of course," Abe conceded -- just as a cell phone began ringing. "Whose phone is that?" Stefan wondered, eyeing a cell phone that was lying on the floor.
"Mine," "Nicole" claimed, picking up the device. "Unknown caller. Probably spam," "Nicole" added with a sigh of irritation before sending the call to voicemail.
The real caller, Xander, began recording an angry voicemail message for Ted from behind the closed doors of one of the Kiriakis mansion's many bedrooms. "I know what you took from my room. I can't imagine what you're planning to do with it, but if you've shown it to anyone -- or even suggested that Holly might still be alive -- then you will live to regret it," Xander snapped before realizing that Maggie had entered the room. "You were threatening someone," Maggie curiously noted after Xander ended the call. "I didn't hear what it was about," Maggie added. "Damn telemarketers," Xander claimed, relieved.
Meanwhile, back at the DiMera mansion, Abe wondered why "Nicole's" phone had been on the floor when the unknown caller had tried to make contact. "Well, I...dumped my bag over. It probably fell out," "Nicole" claimed with a shrug. "This must've fallen out, too," Stefan assumed, picking up Holly's original autopsy report. "That is my daughter's autopsy report! Do you mind?" "Nicole" snapped, snatching the file out of Stefan's hand. "Sorry -- I didn't mean to upset you. I was just...trying to be helpful," Stefan explained. "Why are you carrying that around?" Abe asked curiously as "Nicole" noticed that Ted was beginning to stir behind the couch.
"Maybe it's...something I need to do; maybe it just reminds me that this is real, and it's not just some horrible nightmare," "Nicole" reasoned with a shrug, and Abe admitted that made sense. "And now...I just -- I just need some time alone, so could you both please just get out and leave me alone?" "Nicole" added as Ted continued stirring behind the couch. "Nicole" immediately softened and backpedaled, claiming that the request had sounded ruder than it had been meant to sound. "But I really just do need a moment alone," "Nicole" maintained. "You know, we only want to help in any way we can," Abe stressed, and "Nicole" nodded in agreement.
"Did you decide to accept Stefan's job offer?" "Nicole" asked, desperate to get Abe and Stefan focused on something else right away. "Well, the truth is...I came here to turn it down," Abe admitted, disappointing Stefan. "For years, I've watched Lexie and Theo struggle and get pulled into the orbit of the DiMera family, and it led to nothing but disappointment and heartbreak," Abe began to explain. "I'm not my father," Stefan defensively reminded Abe, not yet ready to give up. "I know. And I hope you mean it when you say that you want to turn this family around," Abe replied. "I do. I just need you to help me do it," Stefan stressed.
"Well, in that case...the answer's yes," Abe decided, delighting Stefan. "I know it would make Lexie proud if I were part of something that erased the terrible legacy of Stefano and those in his family that supported him," Abe reasoned as "Nicole" tapped a foot impatiently, ready for the conversation to end. "What made you change your mind so quickly?" Stefan wondered. "I made a promise to Fay to look out for her children. [So], if you're being honest, I'll be happy to join your efforts to clean up the DiMeras...and if not, I want to be around to watch Nicole's back and make sure you don't take advantage of her," Abe explained, eyeing Stefan suspiciously.
"Oh, Abe...you don't have to do that... [But] it really is your decision," "Nicole" stressed before asking again for some time alone. Nodding, Abe headed out to the terrace with Stefan to continue discussing DiMera Enterprises' future. Kristen followed Stefan and Abe to the terrace doors and closed the curtains so they couldn't see what was happening inside while they were outside.
Meanwhile, back at the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie demanded to know why Xander had lied earlier. "You implied you got Dr. Rolf's diary in Nashville, [but] everyone says it disappeared here, in the hospital," Maggie noted. "I didn't want to admit to being a thief," Xander claimed. "You've done much worse than that," Maggie gently pointed out, and Xander sheepishly admitted that was true.
"Why did you steal the diary?" Maggie wondered. "Well...when we were in Nashville, Rolf was always bemoaning his missing diary, and going on and on about how valuable the formulas inside it were...so, when I got back to Salem, I...decided to...get my hands on it. [See], I thought I could use it as insurance -- in case of a rainy day. [And] I have to confess [that], even when I saw how much you and Sarah were both suffering over Will, I still considered holding the diary hostage...but I realized time was of -- was of the essence, and that I couldn't risk Will's life for my own personal gain," Xander claimed.
"I'm no angel, Maggie, but...I couldn't do that -- not to you, not to Sarah, and not to Will," Xander stressed, and Maggie beamed proudly in response.
Just then, Xander received a phone call, and Maggie took that as a cue to leave, not wanting to hear a telemarketer get threatened again. "Laurent, what the hell did you do with that report?" Xander demanded to know as soon as the coast was clear. "It's me, you moron," Kristen clarified. "You've got the report?" Xander assumed, relieved. "How the hell did Ted get it?" Kristen wondered. "I don't know... It was in my room..." Xander vaguely explained. "Never mind. Just get to the DiMera mansion, and make sure no one sees you. [And] hurry, or it will be over for both of us," Kristen stressed.
"[Ted's] too heavy for me to move, [so] you need to drag him through the tunnels," Kristen explained when Xander arrived. "And then what?" Xander wondered. "We'll figure it out later," Kristen replied.
At the hospital, Marlena, Roman, Kate, Gabi, and Arianna joined Sonny in Will's room for the impromptu wedding ceremony. Gabi handed a gift-shop bouquet to Arianna, who was delighted to be Will and Sonny's flower girl. Sonny, who had changed into a tuxedo, produced a gift box and handed it to Will, who was too weak to open it without help. "I always said you were my anchor," Sonny explained after revealing the enclosed anchor pin and attaching it to Will's hospital gown. "I remember every...single word you said that day. It was...the first thing back in my head when my memories came back," Will replied, flashing Sonny a smile.
Sonny leaned in to kiss Will, but Kate quickly protested, pointing out that it wasn't time for that yet. "Sorry... Didn't -- didn't -- didn't want to wait..." Will explained. "I don't blame you," Kate replied.
"Oh -- I got, um, something for you, too," Will told Sonny before instinctively trying to retrieve the gift without help -- and quickly realizing that was an impossible task. Marlena retrieved the gift for Will instead, and although Sonny recognized it right away, Arianna had never seen such an item before. "It's an MP3 player. It's an ancient technology from 2013. It's like a -- a phone...but without the phone part. I got it for your daddy for Valentine's Day," Sonny explained to Arianna. "And it was loaded with, um, a playlist of songs -- 'Will and Sonny's Greatest Hits,'" Will elaborated.
Sonny was somewhat surprised that Will had never gotten rid of the gift, but Will acted like getting rid of a gift from Sonny was a completely foreign concept. "You know, I -- I actually updated it recently to cover our whole lives together, and I was thinking that maybe it could be the deejay at our reception," Will told Sonny. "Because this is a celebration, [and] a celebration deserves a party," Kate acknowledged with a forced smile while producing a bottle of Champagne and a stack of plastic cups. "We already had a big wedding, and it was perfect..." Will noted. "[So], this one's gonna be intimate, and it's gonna be perfect, too," Sonny concluded for Will.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to share in this joyous celebration... It's a celebration of the enduring love between Jackson Steven Kiriakis and William Robert Horton," Marlena shakily began after Will gave the signal. "A lifetime...no matter how long...is never long enough for people who love deeply. Sonny and Will have already lived a lifetime together. They've certainly had obstacles, and because of the obstacles, Sonny and Will's love has had to be more honest, more patient, more...resilient. Despite all the bumps in the road -- and there have been a few doozies -- your love has grown, and thrived, and endured," Marlena continued.
"And it always will -- always," Will interjected, speaking directly to Sonny, who clearly still considered what was happening to be a bittersweet experience.
Knowing that Will and Sonny had written vows for each other, Marlena prompted Will to go first.
"I must have done something right to deserve this second chance with you. I -- I can't believe how lucky I am. My grandmother said that our lives are never long enough when we have love in them, and she's right -- no amount of time would ever be enough with you. I love you. I'm so proud, and so blessed, to be your husband...always," Will said to Sonny.
"I'm not a writer like you...um, so I -- I borrowed words from another author..." Sonny told Will. "It's a quote from E. M. Forster -- uh, he wrote a book that, uh...that's very special to us," Sonny explained to everyone else.
"'A happy ending was imperative. I shouldn't have bothered to write otherwise. I was determined that, in fiction anyway, two men should fall in love and remain in it for [the] ever and ever that fiction allows, and in this sense, Maurice and Alec still roam the greenwood.' We're getting our happy ending, Will. This is marriage, which is a beginning, not an end, and just like E. M. Forster said, marriage should be 'for the ever and ever.' And this time, I know we're gonna have it; I know it will be," Sonny assured Will, who managed a nod in response.
After instructing Will and Sonny to join hands, Marlena led the couple through the exchanging of the traditional vows. Sonny went first, and then it was Will's turn. "I...um, William...take, uh...take you, Jackson...to, um..." Will began with great difficulty, causing Sonny and the other adults to get emotional. "To be my lawfully wedded husband," Kate helpfully concluded for Will, who nodded in agreement. Kate continued reciting the vows for Will, and Marlena and Roman soon joined in, but Gabi was too emotional to help out. "All the days of my life," Will managed to finish.
"These are the hands that have supported you, held you, comforted you..." Marlena began as Sonny slipped a ring on Will's finger -- the same ring that had been there before. "These are the hands that will never let you go," Marlena continued as Will weakly managed to slip an equally familiar ring on Sonny's finger. "May your love continue to strengthen you both -- always," Marlena concluded.
"And now, by the power and the love vested in me, I now pronounce you husbands for life," Marlena declared, and Sonny gently kissed Will while fighting back tears, happy but also clearly concerned.
Sami and Lucas arrive in Salem
When Stefan entered the DiMera living room with Nicole's paperwork, he heard the lock clicking on the entrance to the tunnels. Suspicious, Stefan approached the portrait of Stefan. Gabi walked into the room. Gabi was surprised to find Stefan there instead of Nicole. With a scowl, Gabi asked Stefan if he intended to hire Nicole.
"It's time for some new blood at DiMera, Gabi. Abe Carver has accepted my job offer, as well. I'm sure it's driving the old man nuts, but you know what? I don't do business the way that he did. Nicole has the business savvy, Abe has the honest reputation, and it's the dawn of a new day at DiMera," Stefan said. Gabi said she understood, but she expressed her worry that Stefan wanted to push her out of the company. Stefan denied the accusation.
"I cannot take another loss, okay? I just finished taking my daughter to her dying father's wedding," Gabi said. Gabi expressed her fear that the wedding would be the last time that Arianna saw her father. "[Will] is the father of the only child I will ever have. He's my best friend," Gabi said. Stefan gently took Gabi into his arms and hugged her.
Gabi opened up to Stefan about how devastating it had been to take her daughter to visit Will in the hospital. Gabi worried aloud about Arianna growing up without her father. When Gabi talked about growing up with Rafe as a surrogate father, she noted that Arianna would experience a similar thing with Sonny. "It's just not the same," Gabi said.
Stefan glanced over at Stefano's portrait, and he told Gabi that he understood what she meant. "I guess growing up without fathers is another thing we have in common," Gabi commented. Stefan told Gabi that he had been thinking about his father after a conversation with Victor wherein Victor had told Stefan that he did not measure up to Stefano.
"Take that as a compliment. Your father was not a good person. Neither is Victor," Gabi said. "Thanks, but I think what he was getting at was that I have a lot to learn. Which is true," Stefan countered. Gabi reminded Stefan that he had been successful in the past. "I'm part of a dynasty. I feel like I have to prove something to an old man I've never met before," Stefan said. Gabi said she thought Stefan was doing well.
"The company is not stable. It's not what it used to be," Stefan said. When Gabi noted that Stefan was exactly what the company needed, he scoffed. "You don't have to say that," Stefan said. "I don't. You know me by now. I don't say anything I don't believe," Gabi noted. Stefan argued that the exception was when lying got Gabi something she wanted. Gabi stressed that she was being honest.
"You've had a lot of distractions lately, but you're pretty focused now. I don't know, I think you have what it takes to make people say 'Stefano who?'" Gabi said. Stefan grinned in spite of himself, and he thanked Gabi for "the pep talk." Stefan told Gabi again that he was sorry about Will.
"'He just needs to make it. I'm not ready to think about what life will be like if he doesn't," Gabi said softly. With a nod, Gabi said goodnight and left.
In her hotel room, Eve called the hospital to ask about Rolf's diary. When the lab asked Eve if she was family, Eve stressed that she was the police commissioner and that Rolf's diary was part of an investigation. The lab attendant offered to ask Kayla, Rex, or Sarah to call Eve, but Eve declined, citing the importance of focusing on a cure instead.
"At least they have the diary. I just hope it is not too late," Eve whispered to herself. There was a knock at the door. It was Claire. Claire told Eve that Ben had told Ciara that Claire had set the fire and that Ciara had refused to believe him. "If [Ciara] thinks that [Ben] is wrong, then everybody else will, too," Claire said with a smug smile. Eve asked Claire to throw Tripp "under the bus."
"Everything I've done so far is because I love Tripp, and now you want to make him hate me?" Claire asked. Eve reasoned aloud that Tripp would likely never reunite with Claire because of the recording. Eve asked Claire to make a statement to the police about when Tripp had framed Ben so that Ben would have a motive to kill Tripp. Claire was resistant, but she noted that Tripp had been willing to leave the country with Haley.
"Well, you don't know that," Eve countered. Claire reminded Eve that Tripp had ordered a passport. Eve asked about J.J., and Claire rolled her eyes. "All those times that Tripp was telling me he wasn't serious about Haley, it was lies!" Claire barked. Eve noted that when Haley had been in the hospital, it had been J.J. that had sat at her bedside. Claire ranted that Tripp deserved to pay for cheating with Haley.
"The reality here is that you almost killed three people," Eve whispered. Eve suggested that Claire should talk to a psychiatrist. With a furrowed brow, Claire noted that if Eve wanted her to confess, it would ruin Eve's plan to nail Ben. Eve explained that she did not want a confession, but that she felt Claire should talk to someone. With a sigh, Claire said she would give Eve a statement if Eve promised not to go after Tripp.
After Claire left, Eve stared at a photo of her daughter, Paige. "Beautiful girl. I know I wasn't the best mother to you while you were here with me but I promise you this: I will bring your murderer to justice. No matter what I have to do," Eve said.
Ciara went to the loft to talk to Tripp about Claire. Tripp gruffly greeted Ciara and asked her if she intended to attempt to clear Ben's name. Ciara admitted that she did not believe Ben had set the fire. Ciara told Tripp that she and Ben believed that Claire had set the fire. Tripp shook his head in disbelief. Ciara explained that she had not wanted to believe that Claire was to blame, but she had learned that Claire had set the first cabin fire, as well.
Ciara told Tripp about Ben's hypnotherapy and how Ben had recovered a memory of Claire's ringtone at the scene of the first fire. Tripp scoffed at the notion. Ciara added that Claire had possession of a lighter like the one that Ben had had at the cabin. When Ciara noted Claire's strange behavior, Tripp defended Claire and noted that Claire had been stressed by his treatment of her.
Frustrated, Ciara informed Tripp that Ben had caught Claire in the act of preparing to light Tripp's clothes on fire. Tripp's face softened. "Yeah, I remember smelling [nail polish remover] on a sock," Tripp admitted. Tripp asked Ciara why Claire would want to kill him. Ciara explained that she believed Claire's jealousy was out of control. Ciara told Tripp that Rory had confirmed that Claire had gone to the island.
"After everything I put Claire through because of Haley, and now knowing she wasn't in her right mind, I guess I could see her wanting me dead," Tripp said. Tripp asked Ciara why Claire would have wanted her dead. Ciara shrugged. Ciara asked about Claire's mood after Ciara had moved out. With a sigh, Tripp noted that Claire had kissed him, and he had rebuffed her because he had still been interested in Ciara at the time.
"How could Claire find you and the whole police force couldn't?" Tripp asked. Ciara explained that Claire had had access to an app to locate her phone. Ciara added that she had turned on her phone before the fire. With a nod, Tripp told Ciara that he had remembered that Claire had been on the computer the night of the fire. "So, she must have tracked my phone!" Ciara said. Ciara suggested that Claire had lit the first fire because she'd been jealous that Tripp had rejected her for Ciara.
"I think she is a lot sicker than you or I know. I mean, look at what she tried to do to you and Haley," Ciara said. Tripp was quick to note that there was no proof that Claire had set the fire at the Horton cabin. With a groan, Ciara noted that they could not go to the police because Eve was in charge. Ciara suggested that they force Claire to confess.
"[Claire] is sick, and she's obviously been sick for a very, very long time," Ciara said. "Yeah, I guess," Tripp said. Ciara noted that Claire had attempted to kill her, Tripp, and Haley. Tripp agreed to help Ciara. "Help her with what?" Claire asked as she walked into the loft.
In Will's hospital room, Sonny said he was excited to have Will as his husband again. Will thanked Marlena for marrying them. "It was my great privilege to pronounce you husbands for life," Marlena said. As Sonny and Will kissed, Marlena left so the newlyweds could have time alone. Sonny confided that he had known that he and Will would find their way back to one another after Will's amnesia.
"And here we are," Will said. "And here we'll stay," Sonny added. Sonny chuckled as he poured some Champagne and noted that Will's grandmothers were always well prepared with wisdom and alcohol. When Sonny offered Will a glass of Champagne, he suggested a toast to not giving up.
"I do try to be realistic, so I would like to toast to right now," Will said. As Sonny started to speak, Will interrupted to note that he and Sonny had been through "so much" together already. "We have one more thing to overcome, and it's a beauty, but I have faith in us," Sonny said. Will said he wanted to think about his family and the memory of their wedding day.
"We'll have that forever, and it won't matter how long forever ends up being. So, to right now," Will said. Sonny and Will clinked glasses.
In the hospital waiting area, Kate fretted over the fact that the doctors were using Rolf's diary to synthesize a cure for Will. Roman comforted Kate and assured her that the diary was the doctors' best option.
"The kid is a fighter, and he just married the love of his life. If that's not worth fighting for, then I don't know what is?" Roman said. Kate leaned on Roman's shoulder and sighed. Marlena exited Will's room, and Roman left to check with the lab for an update. "They deserve to grow old together," Kate said about Will and Sonny. Marlena agreed that she was hoping for a miracle.
Sami and Lucas arrived at the hospital. When Sami asked about Will, Marlena announced that Will and Sonny had married. "They don't know how much time he has left," Sami said. Marlena nodded. Marlena added that Will was fighting. Lucas asked about treatments for Will. Kate explained that Rex and Kayla were working feverishly in the lab to synthesize a cure. Roman returned from the lab, but he had no news. Sami wanted to "motivate" the doctors, but Lucas stopped her and suggested that they spend time with Will instead.
Sami and Lucas had an emotional reunion with Will in his room. Lucas congratulated Will on his marriage, and Will apologized for not waiting. Lucas reminded Will that he and Sami had been at the first wedding.
"Happiest day of my life," Lucas said. Sami smiled and mentioned Caroline's story about her friends James and Robert. "They'll be who they were meant to be," Will recalled. With a chuckle, Sami said she had worried at the time that Caroline had been lost in thought and then had been relieved when Caroline had finished the ceremony.
"It was perfect," Sami said with a smile. Sami added that Caroline had been unable to travel to visit Will. "I know the feeling," Will joked. Lucas told Will that the doctors were working on a treatment but were not sure if it would be ready in time to treat him. With a nod, Sonny left to talk to the doctors.
Will told Sami and Lucas that he appreciated that they had dropped everything to see him. Sami assured Will that he did not need to worry about her responsibilities to anyone else. "You're our son, and there is nowhere in the world we would rather be right now," Lucas said. Sami put her head on Lucas' shoulder and nodded in agreement.
"Will, my heart is always with you," Sami said. "I mean, how many times have you come to our rescue?" Lucas joked. Will smiled. Lucas credited Will with helping him to get sober. When Lucas lamented that he had not been there for Will through his life, Will disagreed. "You were there for me. You're here for me now," Will said. Will asked Lucas not to start drinking again if Will did not survive the tumor. Lucas vowed he would never drink again.
"It should be me lying in that bed, not you," Lucas said through tears. Will pulled his father into an embrace so that Lucas could cry. After a moment, Lucas apologized and excused himself so that he could get a handle on his emotions in the hallway. Alone with her son, Sami asked Will what he was thinking. Will said he did not like what the situation was doing to his loved ones.
"If I didn't take the serum," Will started. "Stop that! Will, you did what you felt was right. And it brought you back to us. Now it's time to find a way to keep you with us," Sami whispered. Sami suggested that she call around to other doctors, but Will asked Sami to have faith in the people already working to find a cure. Sami agreed but grumbled that she felt helpless.
"I know you love me, and I know it's hard for you not to fix this," Will said. "Who says I can't fix this? I'm a mother. Mothers are supposed to be able to help their children," Sami said with her voice shaking. As Sami devolved into tears, Will hugged his mother to soothe her.
In the hallway, Sonny talked to his parents on the phone and told them about the wedding. Roman overheard and, once Sonny ended his call, asked Sonny how he was doing. "Not so well," Sonny admitted quietly. Sonny noted that his marriage was his dream come true but he was sad that fate had "a different plan" for his life.
When Lucas exited Will's room, Kate informed Lucas that she had talked to Billie and Austin. "Every time [Will] looks in my eyes, it just reminds me of all the times I let him down as a father," Lucas said. Kate disagreed and reminded Lucas that he had been focused on Will's well-being since Lucas had first learned that Will was his son.
"I have so much respect for you as a father," Kate said. "You mean that?" Lucas asked. Kate said yes. Lucas thanked Kate for treating Will as if he was her son and not just her grandson.
When Sonny returned to Will's room, Sami eagerly asked if there was any news from the lab. Sonny shook his head no. Frustrated, Sami said she needed to talk to the doctors. "How is Kayla supposed to help me if you are all over her?" Will asked. Sami promised not to interfere but added that she needed to motivate Kayla to save Will. As Sami rushed out of Will's room, Roman grabbed Sami in the hallway. Sami yelled that she could not sit around while her son died. Roman hugged Sami tightly to calm her down.
In Will's room, Sonny assured Will that it was only a matter of time until the doctors figured out a way to help him. "I am not giving up on you. Not again," Sonny said. "I'm glad that you're with me," Will whispered. Will's eyes rolled back, and he passed out. The monitors started to beep frantically.
Will's life hangs in the balance
At the loft apartment, Claire waited expectantly for an answer, wanting to know what Tripp had just agreed to help Ciara accomplish.
"I have to go back to the [DiMera guesthouse] to grab the rest of my stuff, and I'm just not sure if I can face it alone. I'm -- I'm so scared of Ben," Ciara claimed, prompting Claire to point out that Ben was in police custody at that moment. "Maybe it's not logical, but...I just -- I want to get all of my stuff out of there as fast as possible, and...I -- I wanted someone to protect me, in case Ben showed up. Like I said, I know it's not logical..." Ciara explained, shrugging. "But I get it, [so I told Ciara] I'd be more than happy to help her bring her stuff back here," Tripp helpfully concluded for Ciara.
"She's moving back in with us?" Claire asked incredulously. "Do you have a problem with that?" Ciara countered. "This is your place..." Claire grudgingly conceded, forcing a smile.
Changing the subject, Claire began fretting about Tripp's recent near-death experience -- and seized a hug in the process. Tripp quickly pulled away, giving Claire the impression that something was wrong. "It's just...when you hugged me, I kind of...I kind of felt...a little guilty...[you know, for] telling you I was gonna go visit my dad, [even though] I was really helping Haley," Tripp claimed, not wanting to admit the real reason for being reluctant to hug Claire. "Tripp, don't worry about that, please. Look, I would not trust me, either, after [I made] that recording of you and Haley," Claire assured Tripp.
"Like everything else in our relationship, [that] was my bad... Bad, bad, bad... Really bad... And now everything between us is really screwed up...and, honestly, I don't really know how we got here, but I do know that it's all my fault, and I -- I'm sorry," Claire continued. "If you would have just told me how jealous you were of Haley, I would have understood," Tripp stressed. "But would you have forgiven me?" Claire skeptically countered. "Actually, I think I could forgive anything, if you were just honest [about it]," Tripp pointedly insisted. "Really?" Claire asked excitedly.
"I really hope you mean that, because I'm -- I'm about to be very honest with you, Tripp... I've done something awful...and I -- I really need to tell you about it..." Claire continued, surprising Tripp and Ciara, who both waited expectantly for the confession. "I did not mean to hurt you -- I really didn't -- [but] I was just under so much pressure..." Claire explained.
"[And that's why] I told Eve that you were the one who framed Ben, not Wyatt. [I mean, she was just] really pressing me about why Ben would try to kill you, and she got me all tied up in knots and basically pulled it out of me," Claire elaborated, disappointing Tripp and Ciara, neither of whom bought that story. "Tripp, listen -- I really do not think that Eve is gonna go after you, [because] she is only interested in getting Ben," Claire assured Tripp. "I am so sorry. Please, please -- tell me that you can forgive me," Claire begged. "If Eve does decide to come after me, then I'll just be getting what's coming to me," Tripp conceded.
"Like I said, I really don't think she will, okay? [I mean, you were just] trying to protect Ciara, the one person in the world who refused to believe what everyone else knows -- that Ben set the fire," Claire reassured Tripp before turning to Ciara, who had been silently stewing while out of view. "Honestly, at the end of the day, I'm just -- I'm grateful that you finally know who he really is, and what he's capable of, [because] it's just scary --" Claire continued until Ciara suddenly interrupted, fed up. "You know, I -- I don't think we should be talking about Ben right now, Claire. It's -- it's just...too soon," Tripp helpfully interjected to explain Ciara's irritation.
"That's it -- it's just too soon," Ciara agreed. "You just have no idea how hard it is to realize that someone you loved and trusted tried to kill you," Ciara elaborated, glaring at Claire.
"Remember when you told me that I should try talking to my Grandma Marlena? Maybe she could help you!" Claire spontaneously suggested. "You think I need a shrink?" Ciara asked incredulously. "You know what, Ciara? It's getting late. We should probably go get your stuff," Tripp quickly interjected before rushing off to another room to grab a set of keys. "He's right, you know -- you should definitely head over there [now], while Ben's still locked up. [I mean], God forbid you ran into him!" Claire noted. "You're right. Being near the person that almost killed you would just be...sickening," Ciara agreed, glaring at Claire again.
At the hospital, Sami, Lucas, Marlena, Roman, and Kate huddled together, anxiously waiting for an update on the hospital staff's efforts to save Will's life.
Marlena helpfully suggested that saying a prayer for Will might make Sami feel better. "I can't pray, Mom! I can't stop thinking about the fact that I put E.J. ahead of my own son!" Sami fretted. "Don't go there," Marlena advised, but Sami forged ahead. "I don't deserve to have a son like Will -- and he certainly doesn't deserve to have a mother like me!" Sami argued. "Sami, I love Will more than anything in this world...[but] the thing I love most about him is -- is the you in him," Lucas interjected. Touched, Sami hugged Lucas -- just as Rex approached the group, carrying a vial.
"Sarah and I found the formula for the serum that Will used in Rolf's diary, and we think we have an antidote -- or, at least, as close to [one] as we can get," Rex announced, drawing sighs of relief from the others. Meanwhile, Sarah went to the chapel to update Eric, who was equally relieved. All eight people were unaware of what was happening in Will's room at that moment.
Sonny started to dash out of Will's room in search of help -- but Kayla arrived just then, having heard the flatline alarm that was blaring.
"Do something! He's dying!" Sonny urgently shouted at Kayla, who rushed to Will's side to double-check for a pulse then reached for a defibrillator. Meanwhile, Will headed toward a blinding light -- and passed the Brady Pub on the way. A sign revealed that the pub was closed, but just as Will was about to continue heading toward the blinding light, the sign magically flipped over, indicating that the pub had just opened.
Confused and intrigued, Will entered the pub and called out a greeting, but no one responded. He approached the bar and discovered one of his wedding photographs, which had been torn into four pieces.
Will stared sadly at the remains while recalling the wedding -- and the speech that Caroline had given during it. "Congratulations, Will...and Sonny. I wish you a lifetime of laughter...and finishing each other's sentences. If you live long enough, that might come in handy!" Caroline had joked at the end of the speech, drawing laughs from the grooms and the other wedding guests. Will couldn't help smiling at the memory of the joke, but the smile quickly faded. "I did finally marry Sonny again...but it was the last thing I ever did. And instead of laughing together, I left him with pain -- terrible pain," Will mused with a sigh of regret.
Meanwhile, Rex entered Will's room with the antidote and realized what was happening. "Will, please, please -- I need you! Come back to me, please!" Sonny begged as Kayla used the defibrillator on Will for the third time. "He's alive!" Sonny excitedly observed as the flatline alarm stopped blaring and Will's heart monitor started registering activity again. "Kayla, Sarah and I have made an antidote. It's -- there's no guarantee, but -- but...it's the closest we're gonna get," Rex summarized. "He is barely hanging on. I don't know if he would survive it," Kayla warned. "Do you think we can afford to wait?" Rex countered.
"No, you cannot wait; you have to give it to him right now!" Sonny worriedly insisted, and Rex complied, injecting the antidote into Will's I.V. "We're hoping that this is gonna work quickly to reduce the tumor and the pressure on his brain," Rex summarized afterward. "Hang on, Will, please!" Sonny begged, grasping Will's hands and kissing them. "I cannot live without you!" Sonny fretted.
Meanwhile, Will stepped behind the pub's bar and filled a glass with beer. "Grandpa Shawn always said, 'Deaths are sad...but nothing beats an Irish wake,'" Will mused with a sad smile, raising the glass.
Instead of trying to drink the beer, Will simply placed the glass on the bar, next to the remains of the wedding photograph -- and, in doing so, realized that the photograph had magically been put back together during the toast. As Will stared at the repaired photograph with a mixture of sadness and confusion, someone else suddenly appeared in the pub and called out a greeting.
Meanwhile, Sami started to barge into Will's room, sick of waiting for another update. Roman insisted that Rex needed space to treat Will, but Sami didn't think that was a valid argument, since Rex had allowed Sonny to stay in Will's room. "He's Will's husband, Sami," Kate pointed out. "And I'm his mother!" Sami countered, but Marlena gently agreed that Sonny was the person who had the most right to be in Will's room while Rex was administering the antidote. "Why don't you go to the chapel and wait with Eric?" Marlena suggested. "We'll go together, okay?" Lucas offered, and Sami reluctantly nodded in response.
"You know, I have to admit -- I'm a little surprised that Sami took your advice to go to the chapel," Kate told Marlena after Sami left with Lucas. "I'm surprised she ever takes my advice," Marlena admitted to Kate.
Meanwhile, in the chapel, Sarah hoped that Eric hadn't just made another bargain with God in order to save a loved one's life. Eric said there were no bargaining chips left to offer, anyway, since Nicole seemed to be out of the picture for good, and Sarah clearly belonged with Rex. Sarah complained that the way Nicole had been treating Eric since Holly's death had been completely unfair and totally self-indulgent. "You sound like my mother," Eric noted. "What did she say?" Sarah wondered. "She...suggested that maybe it wasn't too late for [you and me]," Eric hesitantly admitted, surprising Sarah.
"[Then] Rex walked in, [so] I took that as a sign. It was clear that my brother loves you -- and that there was no future for us," Eric added with a shrug -- and Sami and Lucas entered the chapel just then, giving Sarah no chance to respond. Sami and Lucas reported that Rex was administering the antidote to Will, and Sarah took that as a cue to leave. Alone with Sami and Lucas, Eric offered to pray with them. "I think God would find that a little hypocritical [of me]," Sami noted, but Eric clarified that it didn't have to be a formal prayer. "Just talk to God [and] give him a reason why Will should live," Eric suggested.
"Well...Ari. And Sonny. I don't think that they could face the hole he would leave in their lives -- not again. And I know he hurt Sonny -- I know he screwed up -- but...but now he's Will again, and he just gives -- he doesn't take; he gives. And everyone he knows is better because he is back," Sami reasoned. "We need him. We all need him -- so much," Sami tearfully added.
Meanwhile, Roman decided to contact a few people who were waiting for an update, giving Marlena and Kate a chance to talk privately. Marlena told Kate that Sami was lucky to have Lucas to lean on for support during such a difficult time. "He may not be the love of her life, but he sure does love her -- [and] those kids," Kate noted, and Marlena nodded in agreement. "You know, if I haven't said it...I think you should be very proud of your sons," Marlena suddenly declared, surprising Kate, who appreciated the compliment. "I know they're not perfect -- I'm not perfect -- but I do love them; I love them across the board," Kate stressed.
Meanwhile, Sonny waited anxiously with Kayla, Rex, and Sarah, hoping for a sign that the antidote was helping Will. "How long before it works?" Sonny, who was still holding Will's hands tightly, asked. "We don't know. Just like we don't know if it's going to work," Rex gently admitted. "You don't think it's gonna work," Sonny concluded, fighting back tears. "I...I just think that his family should be here," Kayla carefully replied.
Meanwhile, Will stared in disbelief at the person who had just appeared in the pub. "Great-Grandma Caroline?" he asked incredulously. "What are you doing here? What...what am I doing here?" he continued.
Meanwhile, Rex apologetically informed Marlena, Roman, and Kate that Will had gone into cardiac arrest earlier. "Kayla brought him back, [and then] I gave him the antidote, but...he's not responding," Rex continued, devastating the trio. "Is there anything else you can do?" Kate asked hopefully. "I'm sorry -- it's out of our hands now," Rex replied, sighing heavily.
Marlena and Roman raced into Will's room with Rex, and Kate rushed off to the chapel to alert Sami and Lucas, having promised earlier to keep them informed.
Meanwhile, Caroline finished telling Will something in the pub. "Are you sure?" he asked, and she nodded in response. "Well, thanks for telling me," he said. "I wasn't sure what to think when I saw you here, but...now I understand," he assured her, and she nodded in response again then gave him a hug as the pub began filling with the same bright light he had headed toward earlier.
Just then, as Sami, Lucas, and Kate joined the others in Will's room, Kayla noticed something. "Look -- his vitals are getting stronger!" Kayla pointed out. Sonny once again tearfully begged Will to wake up -- and as everyone else watched hopefully, Will's eyelids fluttered then slowly opened. "You guys have nothing better to do than to hang out here?" Will groggily joked, drawing laughs and sighs of relief from the rest of the group.
With the room a bit crowded, Kate and Roman ducked out after making sure that Will was going to be okay. "Kind of hard [for me] to wrap my head around the fact that it was actually our son who figured out how to save our grandson," Kate mused with a shake of the head. "Well, as Ma always says, things always seem to work out in very mysterious ways," Roman replied, grinning.
Meanwhile, Kayla, Rex, and Sarah also ducked out of Will's room, leaving just Sonny, Sami, Lucas, and Marlena behind. "So...so I...I died?" Will incredulously summarized, struggling to process just how dire things had been earlier. "Well, Kayla said you didn't have a pulse or a heartbeat..." Sonny gently confirmed. "Oh, my God... [You know], I saw...uh, like, a bright light... It was so bright... It should have blinded me, but...uh, it didn't... [And then]...I was at the pub...but -- but it, like, wasn't the pub...and...I looked on the bar, and I saw a picture of us...but it was -- it was...ripped in half," Will recalled, and Sonny immediately understood.
"I was just telling Roman about ripping it up [last year]... I -- I tore it up because I -- I felt like I had lost Will forever..." Sonny explained, confused. "Maybe Will heard you say that," Sami suggested. "No, that's the thing -- I was [near] the nurses' station, [and] Will was here, [so] there's no way..." Sonny insisted. "I am so sorry that you had to see that --" Sonny began to stress, but Will interrupted. "No, no, no -- it's okay, because then I looked again, and it was back together. It was...it was crazy; it was like...I was -- I was meant to be with you," Will recalled, smiling at Sonny.
"You know, your -- your great-grandma always said, 'He works in mysterious ways,'" Marlena noted, prompting Will to recall something else. "Great-Grandma -- she was there; she talked to me," Will revealed. "I looked up from the picture, and I saw her sitting at a table, so I went to her, and she said she had something to tell me, so I -- I took her hands in mine, and I helped her up, and she sort of cocked her head [and] looked me right in the eyes [then] said 'now is not your time' -- that I needed to go back to Sonny and Ari and all of you [who] loved me and needed me -- [and then] she was holding me [and] sending me home to you," Will elaborated.
"I do that all the time -- when I'm in trouble, I imagine Grandma," Sami admitted with a laugh. "I wasn't imagining it; it really happened! I -- I -- I had her hands in mine! I talked to her! I -- I -- I held her! I came back because she told me to!" Will insisted. "Will, it's not like you were on the other side or something, you know? I mean, Grandma's still alive," Sami gently pointed out.
Meanwhile, at the nurses' station, Kayla tried to say something to Roman, who didn't respond right away. "I just, uh...I just spoke with Kimberly..." Roman, who had wanted to give Kimberly the good news about Will, eventually began, fighting back tears. "Kay...Ma is gone. Kimberly said that she died just a little while ago...in her sleep. She's -- she's gone, Kay. She is gone!" Roman continued.
Roman and Kayla broke down in each other's arms, both blindsided.
Caroline's loved ones gather to honor her
At the hospital, Will received a visit from Sami, who wanted to know how he was feeling. "Alive...which, after last night, is no small accomplishment. I think the -- the treatment is working," he reported, delighting her.
"Where's your handsome husband this morning?" Sami asked curiously, looking around the otherwise unoccupied room. "You know, I don't know... He was gone when I woke up... [But] he, uh, left me a note, saying he had some errands to run," Will replied with a shrug. "[And] you haven't talked to anyone else in the family yet today?" Sami wondered. "No..." Will hesitantly confirmed, sensing that wasn't just a random question.
"I have some sad news... But, somehow, I feel like maybe you already know..." Sami began before telling Will about Caroline's death.
"So... The -- the timing of it... If -- if Great-Grandma passed before my heart stopped beating... [Then that means] I really...went into the light -- I really saw her..." Will mused afterward, stunned. "They don't know for sure [what the exact time of her death was], but, um...I think so -- [I think] she sent you home. It was her last gift to the family. She gave you back to us, sweetheart," Sami agreed, fighting back tears of gratitude.
Kayla went to the Kiriakis mansion to see Victor, who didn't exactly offer the warmest of greetings. "Well, if it isn't the heroic doctor herself! Taking a little victory lap for saving Will's life, [or just] looking for a big donation?" Victor asked dryly. "You don't know," Kayla guessed, ignoring Victor's cynicism. "Know what?" Victor impatiently wondered. "Um...my mother passed away last night," Kayla revealed, sighing heavily.
"How?" Victor asked, softening at once. "Peacefully, in her sleep. I think her heart just gave out," Kayla reported, fighting back tears.
"Listen, um...we're gonna have a wake today at the pub, [and] I know that you...you might be hesitant to come, given our family history, but I want you to know that you're welcome, and I think that's...I think that's what my mother would want," Kayla stressed. "Thank you for the invitation, but, uh...I won't be coming," Victor insisted. "There won't be a funeral, [so] this wake is your only chance to say goodbye," Kayla warned. "I'll say goodbye in my own way," Victor maintained. "Please give Roman and Kimberly my condolences," Victor requested, and Kayla nodded in agreement. "If you change your mind, you're welcome --" Kayla began. "I won't," Victor vowed.
Kayla started to leave but soon stopped and asked if anyone else was around, prompting Victor to report that Maggie and Brady were at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. "I don't think you should be alone," Kayla fretted. "Thank you for your concern, but I'll be fine," Victor insisted, forcing Kayla to finally give up. "I know how much my mother meant to you. I just hope you know how much you meant to her," Kayla stressed before leaving.
While passing through Horton Town Square, Hope recorded a voicemail message for Ted. "It's me again. Where are you? I -- I just...am starting to get a little concerned, because it's...well, it's not like you not to call me back," Hope said before ending the call and pausing in front of Tom and Alice's memorial plaque. "Gran... Grandpa... Look out for Caroline for us, okay?" Hope requested -- just as Shawn approached and offered a hug.
At the loft apartment, Claire second-guessed a chosen dress, believing that blue wasn't an appropriate color for a wake. "Grandma Caroline said she didn't want us wearing black," Ciara reminded Claire. "I know, [but] it just feels so bright and cheery, [and] I...don't," Claire argued, tugging at the dress uncomfortably. "Yeah, well, today isn't about you, Claire," Ciara tiredly countered, and Claire grudgingly conceded the point.
Hope and Shawn arrived a short time later. "[Your mom] had that trial she had to focus on, so she couldn't make it," Shawn explained to Claire, who nodded in response then changed the subject, eager to show off a social media post that celebrated Caroline's life. "When I called you last night, we didn't talk about Ben's arrest," Hope reminded Ciara while Shawn was busy indulging Claire. "Yeah, and I don't want to talk about it today, either," Ciara warned Hope, who agreed to back off. "I'm here if you need me, [though]. Family's everything," Hope stressed. "Yeah -- if you can't count on family...who can you count on?" Ciara mused, glaring at Claire.
At the Brady Pub, Eric helped Roman prepare for Caroline's wake. "That smile," Eric wistfully observed while examining a large framed photograph of Caroline that had been prominently displayed near the bar. "People said it would, uh, light up a room, but I would argue that it lit up an entire town for a lot of years," Roman proudly mused. "Ma said that, uh, she never wanted a sad, depressing funeral, [so] she asked me for an upbeat wake -- not just a celebration of her life but [of] her friends and family, as well -- and we are gonna do our very best to abide by those wishes," Roman told Eric, who nodded in agreement.
Carrie soon arrived, and John and Marlena were close behind, as were Sami, Kayla, and Abe. Hope, Shawn, Ciara, and Claire entered the pub together a short time later. "Kim had a little surgery last week, and the doctor didn't okay her to fly," Roman informed everyone, adding that Theresa was staying in California to help Kimberly, and a videoconference was planned for later that day. Eric reported that Rex had been summoned to the hospital for an emergency and wouldn't be able to attend the wake as a result, and Sami jokingly decided to let that slide because Rex had, after all, just saved Will's life.
Kayla pulled Hope aside and explained why Victor was absent. "I better check on him," Hope decided, and Kayla nodded in agreement.
Hope said goodbye to everyone individually, starting with John and Marlena, who went to talk to Kayla afterward. "[Steve] called me last night," Kayla vaguely reported when asked. "Sorry he couldn't be here," John stressed.
At the hospital, Sonny entered Will's room, armed with balloons and a cake. "Oh, good -- you're awake!" Sonny said to Will, who had been looking at digital photographs of Caroline. "What is all this?" Will asked curiously. "Well, I thought we could do a little [post-wedding] celebration, celebrating us and our future," Sonny excitedly explained. "That is so sweet of you..." Will stressed before thanking Sonny with a kiss. "What's wrong? Did you get bad news?" Sonny asked worriedly, sensing that Will appreciated the surprise but was preoccupied. "Great-Grandma Caroline passed away last night," Will revealed, prompting Sonny to offer a few words of comfort.
While talking to Will about Caroline, Sonny suddenly realized something. "My Uncle Vic -- he loved your great-grandmother so much... It's gonna break his heart," Sonny worriedly predicted.
Hope entered the Kiriakis mansion and found Victor alone in the living room, staring sadly at a wooden keepsake box. "Shouldn't you be at the wake?" he asked in lieu of a greeting. "I was," she replied.
"Kayla said that you wanted to grieve on your own, [and] I can respect that -- if that's what you really want -- [but] I know it isn't easy for you to reach out to the people you love, even when you need us most, so...I'm here for you, if you want me to be," Hope stressed, grasping Victor's hands. "Why are you here with me [instead of] with Shawn and Ciara?" Victor asked, refraining from pushing Hope away. "Because I think, um...right now, Caroline and Bo want me to be here with you," Hope replied before asking Victor about the keepsake box. "Just some trinkets that I've held onto," Victor explained, handing it to Hope.
Hope removed a letter from the keepsake box, which also contained an Irish-themed handkerchief, a shawl, and a worn photograph of Victor and Caroline. "[That's a letter from Caroline] from long ago, telling me that one of her children was not fathered by Shawn Brady but by me. Changed my life forever," Victor explained. "Bo's, too," Hope quietly noted.
"I built my entire fortune on the hope that I could win Caroline from Shawn Brady, [but] I didn't account for the life that she had created with Shawn. Took me a long time to accept that; took me even longer to accept the fact that she'd be better off with him. At least I came away with, uh...a lasting symbol of our love," Victor mused. "Bo," Hope quietly concluded.
"I miss my son more today than I ever have," Victor admitted before accepting a hug from Hope.
Meanwhile, back at the pub, the wake continued, with each guest eager to say a few words about Caroline.
Abe recalled, "I grew up in this town, and I don't remember a minute when Caroline Brady wasn't in my life. And when I became partners with her son, she made me a member of the family -- an honorary Brady. I didn't realize how important that was until Theo and I lost Lexie... Caroline became my lifeline to the outside world [then]; at least once a week, she would show up on my doorstep with this huge vat of her famous clam chowder, and then, sometimes, she would realize that I needed something more, and she'd just sit and talk...or she'd just sit... I will love her always -- for her kindness and her generosity."
John recalled, "I had the great fortune of being able to call Caroline my mother for, uh -- for a few years... Talk about winning the lottery; what a hell of a gift, for no fiercer, more loving woman ever walked the planet... [And] when I found out that I was not a part of this amazing family, one of my biggest fears was that I was gonna lose the connection with this woman, and I think she sensed that, because, one day, we were in the fish market, and she pulls over this lobster crate, and she climbs up on top of it so, you know, we could be eye to eye, and she grabbed me by the shoulders, and she looked me dead in the eyes [and said], 'I want you to listen to me -- once I let you into my heart, I will never let you go!'"
Marlena recalled, "Caroline was a woman of tremendous faith, [and] she let that faith guide her in everything that she did, from...from the way that she raised her children to the way she helped Shawn keep the doors open of this amazing place that helped so many people -- especially people in need. [But]...she was also pretty feisty. From time to time, she would grab a few girlfriends, and she would head to, uh, an establishment that was known for having handsome men that would dance in various small outfits. She was a pistol, [and she'll] be missed."
Ciara showed off a rosary and recalled, "Grandma gave me this rosary when I was a little girl. She said that it got her through the toughest times in her life, and that it would do the same for me...and she was right. Holding this rosary whenever I pray -- it, uh...it always makes me feel better. It's like Grandma's right there, giving me a hug."
Later, Ciara held the rosary and scoffed incredulously as an oblivious Claire recalled, "Grandma Caroline was the best at giving advice, and even when I was doing something that she didn't really approve of at all, she always made sure that she was helping me become a better person, rather than judging me, and she made me want to be a better person, too. I wish that Grandma Caroline was still here to guide me, but I will never forget the things that she taught me, and the way she made me feel loved."
Shawn recalled, "When I was a little kid, traveling all over the world with my parents, [no matter where] we would end up -- Hong Kong, London, Paris -- I would, uh...I'd always receive these postcards -- it was like magic. 'Greetings from Salem' -- that's what they would say -- and then Grandma would write a little note, telling me about, uh, all the crazy things that [were] happening here, and she would always end it with, 'You'll always have a home here.' Those postcards -- they reminded me that...that I have a place full of people who love me, and that she would always be there for me."
Eric recalled, "My, uh, wonderful, feisty, big-hearted grandmother was not just an optimist about her world [but also] saw the best -- the best in everyone. You know, when I was a kid, right here [in this pub], I remember her talking to a total stranger who sat alone at the end of this bar, who then became a friend. She always made everyone feel important [and] connected, [and] all of us who've been affected [and] changed by her for the better -- her legacy lives on [in us]."
Carrie recalled, "As the oldest granddaughter, I can speak for the others when I say that Grandma was a true role model for us. By example, she -- she taught us how to be strong, independent women, and how to value hard work [and] be compassionate and very kind, and though we can't all live up to those ideals at all times [because] we all have bad days where we fall short -- myself included -- [we know] we have a lot to live up to, and we'll never stop trying."
Sami made a joke about being the poster child for Carrie's speech then recalled, "This family has been through its ups and downs, but Grandma Caroline was there for all of us -- for me -- through all of it... She was there with a bowl of chowder -- and, often, a very stern talking-to, but it was filled with love, not judgment. She was wise and warm -- a woman of deep, deep faith, but filled with love and humor... [And] she was tough as nails, and I like to believe that maybe I inherited a little of that from her. I'm gonna miss [her] so much... [And] I really believe that she brought Will back to us, and I will be grateful to her forever for that."
Kayla announced, "I've been elected to read a [text] message from Frankie and Max. Of course, they sent it together, so I had to give them grief for that. [Anyway]... 'Caroline saved us. We were each alone in the world, and we were given the gift of a lifetime when she and Shawn adopted us. They not only gave us a place to live but [also] the greatest family anyone could ever ask for. We will never stop being thankful for the love she gave us.'"
Roman recalled, "As the oldest son, I think it's my responsibility to tell you that Ma was not a saint, and she would not want to be canonized as such. She was strong, she was scrappy, she was stubborn [and] tough, and she did not suffer fools gladly, even if one of those fools was her own son. [And] Ma and Pop cherished this [pub] -- in particular [because] it brought people together. No matter the age, race, gender, religion...[everyone was] accepted and respected. [And] this was a safe place -- when the world out there got to be too tough, or way beyond insane, this is where we wanted to be; this is where we felt good together."
Roman added, "My parents were married 60 years when Pop passed away, and even though Ma and Pop aren't here anymore, the family they created [and] the love they shared [is -- and] could there be a better legacy?"
Kayla recalled, "Sami, I have news for you -- there were a lot of willful kids in this family, way before you came along. But our mom treated us equally. She was tough. She'd kick our butts if we didn't behave. She supported our strengths, and she encouraged us to work on our weaknesses. She was my best friend, and I always knew that she would do anything for me -- like trying to take the murder rap for me so that I didn't have to go to prison... I loved [her] sacrifices, and I loved how [she] loved."
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor insisted that Hope didn't have to stay any longer. "You've done your good deed, and I appreciate it. You'd best get back to your family [now]," Victor reasoned. "Shawn, Ciara, and Claire are your family, too, Victor. We love you. We love you very much," Hope stressed. After Hope left, Victor sighed and mused, "Maggie, I love you very much...but Caroline, you are, and always will be, the love of my life."
At the hospital, Will and Sonny finished sampling their wedding cake. "I wish Ari had more time with Grandma Caroline. She probably won't remember her very much as she gets older," Will suddenly realized. "Why don't you write a profile on Caroline for the Spectator -- [you know, as] your first piece back," Sonny spontaneously suggested. "Hand me my laptop," Will immediately requested, having already thought of a headline.
"'Caroline Brady: A Legacy of Love'..." Will began, speaking the words for Sonny's benefit while typing them.
At the pub, Kayla proposed a toast to Caroline. "This old Irish poem was one of her favorites: 'Those we love don't go away; they walk beside us every day. Unseen and unheard, but always near; still loved, and still missed, and very dear,'" Kayla recalled. "My heart is so full today, because I know that my mom and my pop are finally reunited in heaven," Kayla added while fighting back tears, and everyone raised a glass to that thought.
Outside the pub, invisible to anyone who might have happened to pass by, Caroline and Shawn watched the wake through a window, their arms wrapped around each other.
Kristen orders Xander to kill Ted
Ciara stood outside the pub and texted Tripp about Claire. When Hope approached, she asked Ciara if something was wrong. Ciara said she was upset about Caroline. Claire exited the pub and hugged Hope hello. Ciara barely concealed a scowl on her face. Hope pulled Ciara and Claire into a group hug and told them how much she loved them.
"Right now, it is really important for us to support each other, right?" Hope asked. "You're right, Mom. I've learned to not get hung up on my petty problems. And it may have taken awhile, but I finally appreciate Claire for the person she really is," Ciara said. Oblivious, Claire smiled.
Inside the Brady Pub, Sami helped Eric clean up after the memorial for Caroline had ended. "Can't believe we're never going to see her again," Sami said. Eric reminded Sami that Caroline had lived a full life. With a nod, Sami noted that Caroline would want them to focus on Will and his recovery.
"Thank God for that," Eric said. "I am thanking everyone involved, including that creepy Xander Cook. I don't care why he decided to hand over Rolf's diary, I'm just glad he did," Sami said. Eric poured a drink for Sami, a symbolic one for Caroline, and a water for him so that they could toast to Caroline.
"She was a wise woman, but her true gift is that she knew how to love," Sami said. "I wish she had passed that gift down to me," Eric griped under his breath. With a raised eyebrow, Sami asked Eric about Sarah. Eric countered that Sarah was engaged to Rex. "Engagements can be broken," Sami said. Sami said she had felt a connection between Sarah and Eric when she had seen them together in the chapel.
Sami started to ask a question about Nicole then muttered to herself not to ask. With a sigh, Eric encouraged Sami to ask her question. "Why aren't you with [Nicole]?" Sami asked. Eric explained that Nicole blamed him for Holly's death.
"I finally accepted that this is just the way it is going to be. Even though I still love her, we're never going to be together," Eric said. Sami grinned. "Say it again! Never going to be together. That's the best thing I've ever heard!" Sami shouted with a smile as she hugged her brother. Overcome with joy, Sami started to dance as Eric half-heartedly asked her stop. Sami said she was thrilled to know that Eric's romantic relationship with Nicole was finally over.
"This is really hard for me," Eric complained. Sami apologized. "Nicole Walker is a totally screwed-up human being. I know you two had, you know, whatever, chemistry, but was it really more than that? No. She's not worthy of a great guy like you," Sami said. Sami told Eric to pursue Sarah. Sami shoved Eric toward the door as he protested that Sarah was engaged to Rex.
"Rex? Didn't he cheat on her, anyway, with her sister or something?" Sami asked. "How did you know that?" Eric asked. Sami noted that she had her sources in town. Sami asked Eric to think about pursuing Sarah. Reluctantly, Eric said he would consider it. Eric asked about E.J. With a shrug, Sami said E.J. was doing fine despite what Kristen had done to him. Sami wondered aloud if Kristen could have survived the fire at the warehouse.
Claire returned to the loft and found Tripp sitting on the couch. When Tripp asked about the wake, Claire hugged Tripp and said that the event had been heartbreaking. "I'm just really glad I'm here. With you," Claire said. As Claire leaned in for a kiss, Tripp leaned away and asked to talk. Defensive, Claire said that Eve had forced her to make a statement to the police. Tripp said he understood that Claire had needed to give a statement to the police. Claire urged Tripp to tell her what was on his mind.
"The thing is, I don't think we should get back together," Tripp said. Claire asked why. Tripp noted that he and Ciara were both traumatized and that they needed to lean on one another. "You and Ciara?" Claire asked in amazement. Claire reasoned aloud that Ciara had many people in Salem that could support her. Tripp countered that no one else in Salem had gone through the same situation that he and Ciara had survived.
"It's like we had this bond. We both had this horrible experience of someone trying to kill us. My God, to burn us alive," Tripp said. "You're right! I've never been caught in a cabin fire," Claire said mockingly. Frustrated, Claire told Tripp that it was cruel of him to treat her so horribly on the day of her grandmother's wake. "I really needed you there today. I really did. More than Ciara or Haley or anyone else in the world," Claire said. With a sigh, Claire said she had realized that she was capable of taking care of herself.
"You are going to be so sorry that you ever hurt me," Claire growled. Tripp reached out to Claire, and she warned him not to touch her. Claire threw a box on the floor. "I think I should go before I do something I will really regret," Claire barked. Claire knocked over another box as she marched into her room.
At the police station, Eve visited Ben in the interrogation room. Ben demanded an arraignment, but Eve played dumb about the legal process. With a smug smile, Eve announced that she had determined Ben's motive for the fire. Ben demanded a phone call with his lawyer, but Eve said the phone lines were down. With a chuckle, Eve walked out.
When Ciara arrived at the station, she slipped into the interrogation room to meet with Ben. "You shouldn't be in here," Ben whispered. Ciara told Ben not to worry because she had signed in as Ben's attorney. "I got to tell you that you are a big improvement from my old lawyer, Ted Laurent," Ben said. When Ben noted that Ciara had even dressed the part, Ciara explained that she was dressed for her grandmother's wake. Ben took Ciara's hand in his and told her how sorry he was for her loss.
"So many sweet memories of my grandma," Ciara said. Ciara told stories about cooking with Caroline and Claire. "Claire and I were so close back then," Ciara lamented. Emotional, Ciara said she should leave before someone discovered her. Ben asked Ciara if everything was going to plan. Ciara noted that she and Tripp had agreed on a plan to force Claire to confess.
"Tripp and I are going to get back together," Ciara said. Ben did not like the idea. Ciara stressed that she and Tripp were only friends. With a shake of his head, Ben said he was not worried about Tripp. "You provoke Claire like this, she might try and hurt you again," Ben warned. Ciara was adamant that she did not want Ben to pay for a crime that he had not committed. Ciara kissed Ben goodbye.
In the town square, Hope flagged down Eve as she walked past. Eve was eager to gloat about Ben's arrest. "Thanks to me, Ben Weston is going to be behind bars, locked up, for the rest of his life where he belongs," Eve said. Hope argued that the evidence was circumstantial, but Eve disagreed. Eve told Hope that she should thank her for saving Hope from the same fate Eve had suffered over Paige's murder.
"I know what it's like to lose a child. We both carry that pain with us every single day," Hope said. Eve said she was comforted by the knowledge that she had secured justice for her daughter. "I understand you offered Ted his old job back," Hope commented. Eve said she was hopeful that Ted would reconsider, and she asked Hope to encourage Ted to accept the position. Hope argued Ted would never agree to work for Eve and Jack.
Eve mentioned that Ted had not called her back to decline the job. With a smirk, Eve wondered aloud if Ted had reconsidered both his professional and personal options. When Eve returned to the police station, she saw Ciara exit the interrogation room. Ciara explained that she had visited Ben in order to return his apartment key.
"Told him I basically never wanted to see him again. And I owe you an apology, Eve. With everything that Paige went through, I just, it must have been so hard for you to just watch me give Ben the benefit of the doubt, and I'm so sorry for that. And I'm grateful for you and what you did. Thanks to you, I finally know the kind of man Ben Weston really is," Ciara said. As Ciara walked away, Eve raised a questioning eyebrow.
When Ciara returned to the loft, Tripp noted that Claire was in her room. Ciara saw the boxes on the floor. "I told her that we couldn't be together anymore. She didn't take it that well," Tripp explained. Ciara told Tripp that she had updated Ben on the situation, but she had run into Eve on the way out. "I came up with a cover story. Eve doesn't suspect a thing," Ciara assured Tripp.
At the police station, Eve confronted Ben in the interrogation room about Ciara's visit. "Looks like she had kicked you to the curb because she had finally realized what kind of monster you really are," Eve said. Ben nodded yes. Eve asked Ben for the key that Ciara had given him. "You can't have sharp objects in the cell," Eve said. As Ben looked away, Eve said she had a lot of questions about why Ciara had lied to her about the visit.
"She wasn't lying," Ben said. Eve asked again for the key. Ben reached into his pocket and pulled out a key. Ben thought about when Ciara had given it to him during their meeting. "My cover. In case Eve finds out I was here," Ciara had said. As Ben handed the key to Eve, she scowled.
At the hospital nurses' station, Sarah thought about when she had talked to Eric in the chapel about Will. Eric had complimented Sarah and Rex's work on the formula. Sarah had demurred to give credit to Xander for giving them the diary, but Eric stressed that Sarah had been the one to save Will. Eric had thanked Sarah and told her he was grateful. Sarah smiled at the memory.
Rex exited the elevator and greeted Sarah. "What are you smiling about?" Rex asked. Sarah lied and said she had been thinking about how Will's tumor had gotten smaller. "I'm just happy," Sarah said. Rex suggested that they get married. Rex explained that he had picked up the marriage license and wedding bands. As Sarah stared at Rex, speechless, Rex said they could find the chaplain on Sarah's break and get married in the chapel.
"We can't get married on my ten-minute break!" Sarah said with a laugh. Rex countered that the emotional strain of Caroline's death and Will's illness put a damper on the idea of a festive affair. Rex added that Maggie did not approve of him still. "We don't need anybody else because we have each other," Rex said. Rex asked Sarah if she really wanted a big wedding. Sarah said no. Concerned, Rex asked Sarah if she had another reason for saying no.
"Give me one good reason you don't want to marry me right now," Rex said with a chuckle. Eric exited the elevator, and he saw Rex and Sarah staring into one another's eyes.
At the Salem Inn, Xander met up with Kristen in her room. Xander commented that Kristen would not need to worry about visitors if she kept her "Nicole" mask on. "I spent so much time as that simpering idiot that I'm starting to lose brain cells!" Kristen yelled. With a grin, Xander asked Kristen why she had summoned him to her room. Kristen showed Xander the autopsy report she had confiscated from Ted.
"Thanks to your carelessness, that sleaze was about to tell all of Salem that Holly did not die in the crash," Kristen said. Kristen pointed out that Xander was not incompetent, and he likely had held onto it as leverage against her. Xander asked Kristen what she had done to Ted.
"Ted Laurent has to die," Kristen said. Kristen explained that Ted had outlived his usefulness and was a liability. When Kristen pointed out that Ted had wanted to hand over the real autopsy report to score points with Hope like Xander had turned over the diary to score points with Sarah, Xander protested.
"I don't give a damn about the old witch doctor's journal. I just want you to remember where your loyalties lie. And forget about getting the good doctor back into your bed," Kristen growled. Xander pouted with disappointment. Unfazed, Kristen noted that Ted had left incriminating messages for Nicole, but she had managed to delete them. Through gritted teeth, Kristen added that Hope had called Ted several times.
"[Hope] is unlikely to give up," Kristen said. "Well, that situation will have to be dealt with," Xander countered. With a nod, Kristen asked Xander to deal with Ted first. Kristen handed a gun to Xander and instructed him to use the tunnels. "You're the one that wants Ted dead. Why don't you do it yourself?" Xander asked as he handed the gun back to Kristen. Xander reminded Kristen that she was an expert at murder.
"Are you refusing to do what I asked?" Kristen said indignantly. Kristen warned Xander not to find his moral compass like Ted had done. Kristen argued that it was Xander's mess because he had allowed Ted to steal the autopsy report.
After Xander left, Kristen burned the autopsy report in the trash can. Kristen stared at her mask. "Sorry, Nicole. It looks like your precious Holly died in the car crash, after all," Kristen said. Hope knocked at the door. Kristen froze. "I'm looking for Ted Laurent," Hope yelled through the door. Kristen hurriedly pulled on her mask and voicebox, and she opened the door.
"What are you doing here?" "Nicole" asked. Hope explained that she was looking for Ted. When "Nicole" asked why Ted would be in her room, Hope told "Nicole" that Ted had left a message stating that he had had good news for Nicole. With a nervous chuckle, "Nicole" said she did not know what Ted had meant. "Nicole" said she was late for an appointment, and she rushed past Hope. Hope called Ted's phone. In "Nicole's" room, Ted's cell phone rang. Hope raised an eyebrow, and she turned toward the hotel room door.
"Nicole" ran out of the inn and marched over to the town square. In the square, "Nicole" ran into Sami. "Who the hell do you think you are?" Sami asked.
In the DiMera tunnels, a groggy Ted woke up in a locked room. "What happened? Where the hell am I?" Ted muttered. Ted thought about his last memory, which was Nicole's sour reaction to the news about Holly. "Why would she attack me?" Ted wondered aloud. Ted tested the door and found it locked. As Ted called for help, Xander opened the door. Ted stammered that Nicole had knocked him out and placed him in the locked room.
"I'm glad you found me," Ted said. Xander entered the room and closed the door. "You might want to rethink that sentiment, because I'm not here to rescue you," Xander said as he pulled out Kristen's gun. "I'm here to end you," Xander said.