At the Salem Inn, Jack watched in horror as Eve picked up a heart-shaped marble paperweight and threatened to use it to smash all six vials of Rolf's memory-jogging serum.
Jack desperately begged Eve to refrain from destroying the vials. "I didn't mean to hurt you --" he tried to stress. "You told me I didn't love my daughter, Jack -- my dead daughter! Of course you meant to hurt me!" she countered. "I know you loved her...but you say you love me, too --" he began to argue. "I do love you!" she insisted.
"Do you still love me?" Eve asked Jack. "I do. I'm mad as hell at you, but I do," he replied. "Then why do you want to remember your past?" she skeptically demanded to know. "Because it's mine. Because everybody in this town knows me better than I do. Because I got kids...kids I don't even know --" he tried to explain. "You can reestablish your relationship with [your kids and] build memories even stronger [than the ones you had before]!" she dismissively argued. "What if you get sick, [and] the antidote doesn't work?" she continued. "I don't know," he admitted, shrugging. "Well, 'I don't know' doesn't work for me!" she snapped.
"I. Don't. Want. To lose you, Jack! Please -- can't you hear that?" Eve tearfully stressed. "You never will," Jack quietly promised.
Eve studied Jack's face for a moment then hesitantly placed the paperweight and the box of vials on the desk, right next to each other. He breathed a sigh of relief then approached and thanked her with a kiss.
Afterward, Eve picked up the paperweight again and slammed it against the vials, perhaps having sensed that Jack's kiss had lost all of its former passion.
"You bitch! How could you do this to me?" Jack asked between wails of despair. "'Bitch'? 'Bitch'! There it is -- there's how you really feel about me!" Eve bitterly replied.
"If I can't have you, neither can Jennifer!" Eve defiantly spat. "I loved you. I trusted you. And you used me," Jack sadly summarized. "[Oh, and] you didn't use me? I made you the mayor, [and] I gave you a life when you had absolutely nothing, [and] all I asked was for you to put me first!" Eve snapped. "I tried," Jack insisted. "You didn't try hard enough!" Eve countered. "[But] we can still have an amazing life together. I'm not gonna give up on you," Eve promised. "[When] you destroyed these vials, [you also] destroyed us. Our marriage is over. I want a divorce," Jack stressed before storming out of the hotel room, leaving Eve in tears.
Jennifer went to the hospital in search of Kayla, who was at the nurses' station. "Have you seen Dr. Shah?" Jennifer asked. "I thought he was on a date with you," Kayla replied. "Well, we were...[but] it ended abruptly," Jennifer explained. "Do you think that you could give this to him? 'Cause I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to see me right now," Jennifer continued while producing Henry's cell phone, which the doctor had left behind at Doug's Place earlier. "Wow -- that bad, huh?" Kayla deduced, and Jennifer nodded in response then proceeded to share the whole story.
"I shouldn't even have gone out on a date with [Dr. Shah]. I thought that I was ready to move on...[but], obviously, I'm not. [I've tried enough times to] know that Jack is my one true love," Jennifer admitted with a sigh at the end of the tale. "And you were his, too -- I really believe that. [I mean, he's only with] Eve because he doesn't remember who he is, [so] if he gets his memory back, [then] all bets are off," Kayla optimistically assured Jennifer, who wasn't quite as confident. "What if he remembers, and he [still] doesn't want to come back to me?" Jennifer fretted.
Just then, Jack approached and curiously wondered why Jennifer wasn't having dinner with Henry at that moment. "J.J. told me that you decided to take the serum," Jennifer explained. "I asked him not to say anything," Jack grumbled before admitting that it wasn't exactly surprising that J.J. hadn't listened. "Have you remembered anything?" Jennifer asked hopefully, prompting Jack to recap everything.
"I know that [Eve] is cruel, but --" Jennifer began afterward, outraged. "She was afraid -- that's all," Jack stressed, unable to completely condemn Eve. "[So], you're divorcing her?" Jennifer assumed. "As soon as I possibly can," Jack confirmed before changing the subject, wondering if Kayla could think of anything that might still exist in the hospital's records that could be used to recreate the serum once again.
Kayla apologetically informed Jack that the hospital's records of Rolf's formula had all been destroyed. "[But] the private lab that manufactured the serum [for you] might be able to help," Kayla suggested, and Jack agreed.
After a brief phone conversation with someone at the lab, Jack hung up and sadly informed Jennifer and Kayla, "It's over. I'm never gonna get my memory back."
Jennifer accompanied Jack to the police station, where Eve was waiting. "You shut down the lab that made the serum [and had your officers] seize the notes so [it can't be made again]?" Jack asked incredulously. "I heard a rumor that, um, that lab was manufacturing drugs that aren't, you know, approved by the FDA," Eve innocently explained, having gotten the idea from Xander when they had crossed paths earlier.
"What did you do with the formula?" Jack demanded to know, prompting Eve to nod at a nearby shredder. "Just doing my sworn duties -- protecting the public," she unapologetically summarized. "You're fired," he snapped.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Xander watched from the living room doorway as Brady, who was standing in front of a wall-mounted mirror, wiped away a lipstick stain that "Nicole" had left behind earlier.
"Ooh -- looks like someone's long, sad drought with women is finally over..." Xander teasingly observed, smirking. "Wonder if I know the 'lucky' lady... Oh, wait -- I think I know her very well... [Yeah], I'm gonna take a stab in the dark and guess that my erstwhile [wife] was throwing herself at you," Xander knowingly continued. "Why do you think it was Nicole?" Brady asked curiously. "Who else but Nicole would wear that shade [of lipstick]? It made its way onto my person more than once, [so I'd recognize it anywhere]," Xander innocently replied, prompting Brady to cringe at the crass implication.
"Why are you all up in Nicole's business, anyway?" Brady tiredly demanded to know, eager to change the subject. "What, exactly, did she say I was doing?" Xander asked innocently, not wanting to give away too much. "[She told me about that] bizarre gift that you gave her -- the wrestling mask," Brady elaborated, drawing a chuckle of realization from Xander, whose briefcase was nearby. "I hope I didn't offend her. The nights that we spent in Nashville were, uh...long...and we had to keep them...interesting," Xander explained, playing along. "I called myself El Erotico," Xander continued while opening the briefcase and withdrawing the mask from it.
"She seemed to dig it, but you can make up with your own gimmick if you want," Xander concluded while tossing the mask at Brady. "There's a lot wrong with you," Brady mused before tossing the mask back at Xander with obvious disgust. "[You] don't know what you're missing, mate -- El Erotico vanquishes the men and seduces the women!" Xander stressed, donning the mask and flexing.
Brady exited the living room with a scoff and a shake of the head. "Doesn't anybody here know how to have fun?" Xander grumbled as Sonny entered the living room.
Xander, who was still wearing the mask, turned and roared loudly, startling Sonny. "Oh -- it's you. I was hoping it'd be Victor, and I'd give him a heart attack," Xander explained, disappointed. "Isn't that the mask that Susan gave you?" Sonny asked. "Susan...? Oh -- yeah, why?" Xander replied. "Well, she said she was gonna ask you to give it back to her, [so I'm just wondering]...why do you still have it?" Sonny elaborated. "Come on -- everybody likes a bit of role-play now and then. You and Will should try it -- spice things up a bit," Xander evasively suggested, removing the mask and tossing it at Sonny.
"I'm...just gonna return it to Susan, actually," Sonny informed Xander, who shrugged in response then rushed off, wanting to exercise a bit.
Brady soon returned and wondered why Sonny was holding the mask. "Xander gave it to me. I think I'm just gonna send it to Susan," Sonny explained. "Why would you do that?" Brady asked, confused. "It belongs to Susan, so..." Sonny reasoned with a shrug. Brady, who was still trying to forget about what had happened with "Susan," cringed and changed the subject without giving Sonny's claim much thought.
Brady bragged to Sonny that DiMera was vulnerable -- and that Titan might be able to take advantage of that vulnerability and finally take down the rival company for good.
At the DiMera mansion, Gabi innocently reminded Stefan and Abe that only DiMeras were allowed to run DiMera Enterprises. "[Stefan, if you marry me, then] I can stand in as [a] temporary placeholder [while you're] fighting these phony kidnapping charges. [Look], I know that it's drastic, but if you don't do something about this -- right now -- [then] somebody could come in [and] take your company, and you [might] never get it back," Gabi reasoned with a shrug. "Shin and his cronies would never make you CEO of DiMera -- even if you were my...'wife,'" Stefan dismissively insisted, choking out the final word.
"Uh, why not? Gabi Chic is the best-performing company under the DiMera banner! The board loves me!" Gabi proudly countered. "She's right about that...[but while] there's merit behind [this idea], I think we should all probably just take a minute and think it through," Abe advised. "We don't have a minute to think this through!" Gabi impatiently argued, but Stefan agreed with Abe. "What if this whole thing backfires? What if the board not only wants me out [but also] my 'wife'? [Then] you'll lose Gabi Chic. [And besides, why would you ever be] okay marrying me, given all of our...history?" Stefan reasoned as Gabi fumed.
"Why are you fighting this, Stefan?" Gabi demanded to know. "Abe can [marry us] right now -- I mean, unless you think that's crossing the line, [Abe]," Gabi continued. "Well, after marrying John to Hattie Adams, I can't argue that it is...[and] I do still have a license to officiate, [so] I'm willing to perform the ceremony if you both want to do it," Abe replied.
"There'd have to be a prenup..." Stefan stressed after giving the matter a bit of thought. "It's the smart thing to do -- protects you both," Abe agreed.
Taken aback, Gabi nervously argued that there wasn't time to draw up the necessary paperwork -- and that marriages were supposed to be built on trust, in any case. "This is not a matter of trust. I would be an idiot not to sign a prenup," Stefan insisted, adding that it wouldn't take long to draw up the paperwork. "Fine," Gabi reluctantly agreed, unable to think of another way out of the dilemma. Satisfied, Stefan agreed to marry Gabi.
A.D. was sitting in a wheelchair in one of the apartments of a complex somewhere in Chicago when he suddenly realized that he was no longer alone.
"Nicole Walker? What the hell are you doing here?" A.D. asked incredulously after turning to face the intruder. "Stand back!" he warned while reaching for a nearby cane. "How did you get in here? [I mean], there are only two keys to this apartment -- [the] one that I have, and [the one that's] kept by --" he continued, confused.
"Tony! Don't you recognize your very own sister?" Kristen snapped with mock indignation before removing her mask. "Hello, brother -- long time no see," she continued afterward, smirking.
"That's...quite a convincing mask you have there. I presume it's the work of Dr. Rolf," Tony mused. "He was a wonder..." Kristen wistfully confirmed. "Why are you passing yourself off as Nicole, of all people?" Tony asked curiously. "When Kristen DiMera 'died,' she was at the top of Salem's most-wanted list, [so] I had to assume another identity so that I could walk around freely, [and since Nicole] didn't survive the warehouse explosion, I figured she wouldn't be needing her face anytime soon," Kristen explained.
"Why are you here?" Tony wondered. "I wanted to check on your progress," Kristen innocently claimed. "[I'm] about the same," Tony grumbled. "You seem much improved to me, considering how devastating your injuries were; [after all], if it weren't for Dr. Rolf...I mean, you wouldn't be here at all," Kristen argued. "I'm just glad to be out of that...'room'...in Nashville," Tony admitted, shuddering. "[But] I'm not gonna be happy until I'm 100%," Tony continued. "You were almost there before the warehouse caught fire," Kristen recalled. "If you hadn't pulled me out..." Tony acknowledged, shuddering again.
"Antony DiMera..." Kristen randomly mused while eyeing the initials on Tony's robe. "I always thought that had a lovely ring to it," Kristen revealed. "Too formal for me. Father used to like calling me 'Antony'...but with as many lives as I've had, I just like simply 'Tony,'" Tony stressed, shrugging. "[Look, I pulled you out of the warehouse because] we're family, and that's what we do for each other," Kristen explained, getting the conversation back on track. "That's [also] why I set you up here -- to get [you] back to 100% [so you can] return to Anna, like you always wanted," Kristen sweetly continued.
"I think staying away from her [has been] the hardest thing I've ever done," Tony admitted, sighing heavily. "You don't have to wait any longer. It's time you return to the land of the living," Kristen declared, surprising Tony, who didn't feel ready to take that major step just yet. "What's the rush?" Tony asked curiously. "Stefan O. DiMera is the rush!" Kristen derisively replied. "Father's son with Vivian Alamain?" Tony summarized, still confused. "His bastard son -- the interloper at DiMera! He is on the verge of being kicked out of power!" Kristen clarified. "[And] you feel you're in a position to take the company back from him," Tony assumed.
"Yes, [and] I deserve it -- [but] the only problem is [that] I can't reveal my true self without being arrested...and, [as I'm sure] you remember, the board stipulates that only a DiMera can be CEO," Kristen elaborated. "So, you've come here for my help," Tony realized with a chuckle. "Oh, Kristen... I'm sorry, but if you want me to take that job, my answer is no. Listen, you saved my life, and I shall be eternally grateful, but I have no interest in subjecting myself to the stress of DiMera Enterprises," Tony insisted with finality. "I'm not asking you to take over the company," Kristen began to clarify.
"I knew you wouldn't be interested in that...and besides, I've worked way too hard to be someone else's sidekick," Kristen continued, scoffing. "Then...what is it you want?" Tony asked. "What I need you to do...is marry me," Kristen replied. "[That way], I can be -- officially -- a DiMera in the eyes of the board, [and then] I can take over as CEO, [and] you can be involved as much or as little as you like," Kristen elaborated.
"[Need] I remind you that Stefano, all those years ago, groomed us to be husband and wife -- and [that], although we are not blood-related, the incestuous implications were [still] rather troubling?" Tony pointed out. "As far as the world's concerned, you'd be married to Nicole Walker," Kristen countered, dismissing the concern. "That's even worse! Do you realize that it was her face that I last saw on the docks before I was impaled?" Tony fretted. "Okay, so...when we're alone together, I'll make sure to take off the mask," Kristen offered, shrugging. "Ah -- that's so considerate of you..." Tony sarcastically mused.
"Your plan is commendable, but you'll just have to find another DiMera to help you execute it, [because] I will not marry you," Tony apologetically insisted, annoying Kristen.
"I already have a wife," Tony explained. "You were declared dead -- legally dead -- [so] your marriage is legally dead, [too]," Kristen countered. "[I might be single] in the eyes of the law, but my heart [still] belongs to Anna," Tony maintained. "Do you know how long I've been waiting [to] come back out and find [her]? She's all I ever thought about when I was hidden away! And what happens when I come back to Salem with a young wife on my arms? She'll be devastated!" Tony fretted. "I can't do that to her...and I won't," Tony insisted with finality, further annoying Kristen.
"This is not a love match; this is a business deal between family members! I just need the DiMera name so I can get my foot in the door! [And then], when I get into place, I'll work my way out of legal jeopardy..." Kristen vaguely tried to assure Tony. "Didn't you try to murder Marlena?" Tony skeptically pointed out. "Let's just stay on topic!" Kristen tiredly snapped.
"This is temporary! [As soon as I get those charges dropped], I can reveal to the world who I really am, and we can end this marriage, and you can run straight back into the arms of Anna! [And in the meantime, doesn't my plan] beat the alternative of sitting around here, staring at these four walls? Assuming you still have that...[because] if you continue to be unreasonable, I may just decide to take away my protection -- and this apartment -- which means you will be out on the street -- just you and your little cane," Kristen continued, drawing a chuckle from Tony, who didn't seem to find the sudden threat particularly surprising.
"All right -- I'll marry you," Tony agreed after some thought. "You won't regret it!" Kristen promised. "I'm not quite sure about that...but let me ask you [this] -- how in the world are you going to explain, as Nicole Walker, that you crossed paths with a dead man and wound up married to him?" Tony asked curiously. "Oh, don't you worry, dear brother -- I have it all figured out..." Kristen coyly replied.
At the police station, Jack informed Lani and Eli that he had fired Eve as police commissioner. Jack asked for suggestions on who he should hire to replace Eve. After Lani and Eli suggested Hope and Rafe, Jack confirmed that both had already turned down the job. Jack asked Eli if he was interested.
"You're a detective with FBI experience, seems like a pretty good fit to me," Jack said. Lani encouraged Eli to take the job. Jack added that Eli could take the job on a trial basis and return to being a detective if the commissioner position did not suit him.
After Jack left, Lani assured Eli that she believed he could do the job. "Besides, I am going to like being Mrs. Commissioner," Lani joked. Eli added that the extra salary would help pay for their wedding. With a grin, Lani reminded Eli that they needed to set a date. Lani told Eli that she had informed her mother about their engagement and that her mother was excited for the wedding.
"Really? She's never even met me," Eli said in surprise. Lani asked Eli if he had talked to Valerie. Eli said Valerie was happy with the news, too. "Even if things didn't work out with her and my dad?" Lani asked. "If she didn't hold it against Abe, she is definitely not going to hold it against you," Eli said. Eli assured Lani that they would have the perfect wedding. As Eli spun Lani around in a dance, Rafe chuckled as he walked in.
Rafe asked Lani and Eli if the news about Eve's dismissal was true. Lani confirmed that Jack had been asking about Eve's replacement. When Rafe asked who, Lani and Eli exchanged glances. "What are you not saying?" Rafe asked with a grin. Lani noted that Jack had made an offer, but the person had not made a decision yet.
"Actually, he has," Eli said. "Oh, has he?" Rafe asked. With a laugh, Eli told Rafe that Rafe would need a new partner because Eli was Rafe's boss. Rafe smiled and shook Eli's hand.
After Eve packed up her office and left, she ran into Jennifer in the park. Eve growled that she had made sure that every bit of the serum, including any notes, had been destroyed.
"He's never going to remember you or those bratty two kids of yours, because I made sure there was nothing left of those drugs," Eve said. "[Jack] may never get his memory back, but at least he will see what a vindictive, evil woman you really are," Jennifer countered. Angry, Eve threatened to knock the "smug smile" off of Jennifer's face. Eve threw her purse down on the bench and flew at Jennifer. Abe spotted the scuffle, and he intervened to pull Eve off of Jennifer before any punches were thrown.
With a sneer, Eve told Abe that Jennifer would be happy to explain the situation. Eve marched off. "We were fighting about Jack," Jennifer admitted as Jack rounded the corner into the clearing. "Who was fighting about Jack?" Jack asked. With a glance at Jennifer, Abe noted that he needed to leave for an appointment. After Jennifer confirmed that she was fine, Abe left.
Jennifer told Jack about her fight with Eve. Jack apologized. "You've had a lot of changes in your life today. How are you doing?" Jennifer asked. "I'm just trying to wrap my head around the fact that there wasn't one honest minute between me and Eve," Jack said. With a shrug, Jennifer assured Jack that Eve was a professional manipulator. Jack shook his head and marveled aloud how he had not been able to see that Eve had conned him.
"She was the only person that you had any connection with since your accident," Jennifer said. "And now it's over. I feel like such a fool," Jack admitted. Jennifer urged Jack not to feel bad because Eve had manipulated Jack's desire to find a connection with another person.
"I can't even imagine how you must feel, not having any memories from your past. Then, in comes Eve, and she convinces you that she has all the answers and that she can give meaning to your life. She is assertive and so persuasive," Jennifer said. When Jack noted that Jennifer was only being kind, Jennifer shook her head no. Jennifer said that despite her anger toward Jack since his return, she had felt sorry for him that he'd had to struggle to remember his past.
"You're very compassionate," Jack whispered. "Sometimes. And I can be really unforgiving and judgmental sometimes," Jennifer said. Jack said he was done with Eve. Jennifer urged Jack to follow his instincts.
"You want to know what killed me? It killed me to see the Jack that I knew turned into some slimy, political hack," Jennifer said. Offended, Jack asked, "Really?" Jennifer clarified that she meant it was not like Jack to behave that way.
"In the future, let's keep our opinions to ourselves, shall we?" Jack said. Jennifer pointed out that Jack had stated that he had come to his senses. "About Eve, yes, but I'm rather proud of my accomplishments as mayor," Jack said. In disbelief, Jennifer's eyes went wide, and she asked, "Really?" Jack announced that he needed to run the city, and he walked away.
At the Salem Inn, Kristen finished putting on her Nicole mask. Tony called Kristen on her cell phone. "Are you ready to make your triumphant return to the land of the living?" Kristen asked. Tony looked at his photo of him with Anna, and he admitted that he was not so sure he wanted to go through with the plan. Furious, Kristen argued that she needed Tony to marry her.
"You know what annoys me? It is when people use the word need when they want to use the word want," Tony said. Kristen countered that semantics did not matter because "Nicole" could not become the CEO of DiMera Enterprises unless "Nicole" married Tony. Frustrated, Tony reminded Kristen that she had not informed him how she intended to explain his resurrection from the dead. There was a knock at the door. Kristen ended the call abruptly.
At the door was Brady. As "Nicole," Kristen acted distraught. "I had a disturbing dream," "Nicole" said. "Nicole" said she had recovered a memory of the man that had saved her from the fire, but she was not sure who it was. When Brady pressed for details, "Nicole" explained that the person had either been Andre or Tony. Brady discouraged the idea and noted that both men were dead.
"Everyone thought that Rolf and Jack and E.J. were dead, but they were in that place of Kristen's. Just like I was, and there were initials on the doors, and I think one of the letters were AD," "Nicole" said. With a nod, Brady admitted that Tony's full name was Antony. Brady asked "Nicole" if she was sure that the dream was a memory. "Nicole" said she was sure.
"If I can track him down and get him to marry me, I will become a member of the family," "Nicole" stressed. Brady asked "Nicole" how she intended to convince Andre or Tony to marry her. With a smile, "Nicole" purred that she could be very persuasive. Brady sighed. "Nicole" said she was certain.
"Whomever it was? He saved my life. And I want to find him. I want to find him no matter what," "Nicole" said. Brady asked "Nicole" where they should start. "Nicole" suggested that they call the hospital where she had recuperated. "Nicole" pretended to call the hospital, but she actually called Tony. Based on the one-sided conversation, Tony quickly surmised that "Nicole" was faking the call for an audience. "Nicole" pretended to sweet-talk the information about Tony out of a hospital worker. Tony protested and asked Kristen to listen to him before she hung up the phone.
"I am having grave concerns about this whole scheme of yours," Tony said. "Nicole" ignored Tony and ended the call. "Nicole" told Brady that she had an address in Chicago for the man that had saved her. Brady volunteered to go with "Nicole" to see the man.
As Brady and "Nicole" left the Salem Inn, Abe called out to them in the square. Abe told "Nicole" that he had been worried about her. "Nicole" confirmed she was feeling better. Abe told "Nicole" that he was there for her if she needed him.
"I hope you mean that. I know you're not mayor anymore, but do you still marry people?" "Nicole" asked. Abe confirmed that he was on his way to a wedding. With a chuckle, "Nicole" cautioned Abe not to get too drunk at the reception because she might need his services. Confused, Abe looked over at Brady. Brady said he was not the groom. "Nicole" said she did not have time to explain, but she would contact Abe with the details later.
At the Hernandez house, Gabi paced the kitchen and talked to Stefan on the phone. Stefan confirmed that he had obtained the marriage license. Gabi reminded Stefan that they needed to get married before the board removed him from the company. With a playful eye roll, Stefan chuckled and noted that Gabi had said that "about a million times."
"Only because it's very important. Don't you want me to protect your interest?" Gabi asked. Stefan asked Gabi if she understood how big a step she was taking. "This is what we need to do. This is what I want. For our present, for our future," Gabi said. Stefan smiled, and he asked Gabi if she intended to take his name.
"Of course, I'm going to take your name, my hubby-to-be. By the end of this day, I will be Mrs. Stefan DiMera and proud of it. Talk to you later, groom," Gabi said. After Gabi ended her call, she turned to see her brother Rafe staring at her.
"You got to be fricking kidding me," Rafe said. Rafe asked Gabi to tell him that he had misunderstood. With a sigh, Gabi admitted that she and Stefan were getting married. "Over my dead body," Rafe said firmly. Gabi argued that she was a grown woman and could make her own decisions. Rafe reminded Gabi that she had a history of making poor decisions.
"You're marrying the scum of the earth? Why would that possibly blow up in your face? I'm sure the two of you are going to spend the rest of your lives in matrimonial bliss," Rafe said. Gabi yelled that she would live happily ever after to spite Rafe. When Rafe argued that Gabi was only hurting herself, Gabi asked for a chance to explain.
"This is business. We are getting married to protect his job. The board wants to fire him," Gabi said. "Because he kidnapped two people who he had locked in his basement!" Rafe interjected. Gabi argued that the charges against Stefan hinged on Xander's testimony. Gabi added that once Stefan was removed, she would take over his job as CEO until Stefan could clear his name.
"Why are you upending your life for him? Has it slipped your mind that he tried to frame you?" Rafe asked. Suspicious, Rafe asked Gabi if she was falling for Stefan. Gabi strenuously insisted that she hated Stefan, and Rafe raised an eyebrow.
"Right, but you're willing to throw your life away so you can save his job?" Rafe asked. Rafe asked Gabi for the full story. Gabi argued that although she was not a big fan of Stefan, she knew what it was like to be railroaded, and she sympathized with his situation.
"If he loses his job, I have no idea what happens to me," Gabi added. Rafe argued that marrying a DiMera was trouble. Gabi said she could handle herself. Rafe was not so sure, and he urged Gabi to think the situation through. Rafe asked about Arianna.
"Everything that I do, I do for her," Gabi stressed. Gabi said she wanted her daughter to have financial stability, and she needed to secure the future of Gabi Chic. Frustrated, Gabi waved her hand and announced she needed to get ready for her wedding. As Gabi started to walk away, Rafe gently grabbed her arm and stopped her.
"You're right. You are an adult. I cannot make you do something you do not want to do, but I am telling you this right now. This marriage will be a huge mistake," Rafe said.
Ciara woke up in Ben's bed at the DiMera guest house, and Ben informed Ciara that the DiMera board was in the process of removing Stefan from the company because of the kidnapping. "Do you really think he did it?" Ciara asked Ben. With a shrug, Ben said he did not think Stefan had a motive to do it, and if Stefan did, he would not have reached out to Xander for help.
Ben said he wanted to help Stefan prove his innocence. With a nod, Ciara noted, "You are so loyal to him." Ben admitted that he needed to worry about losing his job and home if Stefan was booted from the estate. When Ciara said she loved living there with Ben, he kissed her. As the two lovers fell onto the bed, Stefan knocked on the door.
Once inside, Stefan informed Ben and Ciara that he had a plan to fight the board. Stefan explained his plan to marry Gabi and that he needed them to witness the ceremony. Ben asked why. "To make her a DiMera," Stefan said. Stefan explained that the charter required a member of the family to run the company and that Gabi would protect his job until he could clear his name of the kidnapping charges.
"If it has to be a DiMera, then why can't it be Chad?" Ciara asked. With a scowl, Stefan argued that if he handed the job to Chad, he would never be able to unseat his brother. "Gabi is just going to be a temporary placeholder," Stefan added. Ben asked Stefan if he was certain that the board would appoint Gabi as the new CEO. With a shrug, Stefan said Gabi's record worked in her favor.
"If Gabi is good at anything, it is manipulating people. Like my cousin Abigail, for instance," Ciara said. Ben chimed in to remind Stefan that until recently, Gabi had been plotting against him. "You're counting on [Gabi] to hold your job for you by making her your wife? How is that a good idea?" Ben asked. Ciara agreed.
"You may know a lot about big business, but I know way more than you do about women like Gabi. Abigail was her best friend, and she backstabbed her, so do you really think that she won't do the same thing to you, Stefan?" Ciara asked. Stefan explained that he and Gabi had been seeing one another secretly and had developed a bond.
"Are you sure that bond goes both ways?" Ciara asked. "It took me by surprise, too, but you know what? Since I was arrested, she has been by my side. She hasn't questioned my innocence once," Stefan said. "So, maybe this marriage is more than a business deal," Ben added. Ben agreed to be a witness at the ceremony.
After Stefan left, Ciara noted that Stefan would regret marrying Gabi. "Yeah, I don't trust Gabi, either. I think he has fallen for her," Ben said. With a groan, Ciara noted that asking Gabi to protect Stefan was like asking a fox to protect a henhouse. Ben shrugged. "It seems like he doesn't have any other options," Ben said.
After getting dressed, Ben helped Ciara with her necklace. Ben took the opportunity to nibble on Ciara's neck. "You keep doing this, and we are never going to make it to this wedding," Ciara said. Ben admitted that he wished he had declined Stefan's invitation so that he could spend the afternoon in bed with Ciara. Ciara reminded Ben that he wanted to keep his job. With a smile, Ciara asked how she looked.
"I truly don't deserve you," Ben said. "All this wedding talk has put you in quite the mood," Ciara said. Ben said it was Ciara that had put him in the mood. Ben added that Ciara was the best thing that had ever happened to him.
In the DiMera living room, the nervous groom waited for his bride. Gabi sauntered in, wearing a sequined jumpsuit. Stefan's eyes went wide, and he smiled. "What? Wrong outfit? I didn't want to wear white. Sorry," Gabi said. At a loss for words, Stefan stammered out, "No. Right. Outfit. Perfect. You look perfect. Radiant even." Stefan confirmed that all the arrangements had been made, and he pulled a ring out of his pocket.
Gabi was surprised. When Gabi opened the box, she was taken aback. "It was my mother's. I hope it doesn't bother you," Stefan said. Gabi gave Vivian credit for her good taste. With a chuckle, Stefan took the ring and slid it onto Gabi's finger.
"This is all happening very fast, and this is a marriage of convenience, but it's more than that for me, at least. I've developed real feelings for you, and having said that, under normal circumstances, we would not be getting married like this," Stefan said. Gabi said she understood. With a grin, Stefan added, "If I have to be in a fake marriage with someone, there is nobody I'd rather be in it with." Gabi said she felt the same way.
While Gabi and Stefan sipped on drinks, Gabi told him about how her brother had told her that the marriage was a huge mistake. With a chuckle, Stefan clinked his glass against Gabi's in a toast of solidarity. "You didn't change your mind," Stefan said with a smile. Gabi reminded Stefan that the only person that could change her mind was Gabi.
"I have...the courage of my convictions. Always," Gabi said. "I like that about you," Stefan said. "I like that about me, too," Gabi shot back. With a laugh, Stefan joked that Rafe probably regretted taking a bullet for him. Stefan reviewed the items on his list, then awkwardly pointed across the room at the prenuptial agreement on the desk.
"You got that together pretty fast," Gabi said. Stefan asked Gabi if she was still upset about the request. Gabi shook her head no. "Even Abe said it was a good idea," Stefan argued. "For you," Gabi said as she stared into Stefan's eyes. When Stefan asked why the reason for the prenuptial agreement mattered, Gabi said she had thought Stefan trusted her. Gabi noted that she was making a big sacrifice for Stefan, and he laughed.
"Moving into a mansion. Taking over a multi-national corporation as CEO. Girl, I feel for you," Stefan joked. Gabi reminded Stefan that she was "saving [his] ass." Stefan joked that he should marry someone else. "No one could stand you," Gabi quipped. "I don't know. I have caught Julie Williams giving me the eye once or twice since she caught us having sex on her desk," Stefan said. Suppressing a laugh, Gabi walked over and signed the prenuptial agreement.
"All right. Signed, you jerk," Gabi said playfully. "Well. If it isn't the happy couple," Ben said as he walked in with Ciara. Abe arrived, too. "This might not be my only wedding of the day. I was offered another gig on my way here," Abe announced. Ciara asked about the happy couple.
"Well, the groom, I don't know who that is, but the bride is Nicole," Abe said. Stefan and Gabi exchanged a glance. "Nicole? She's getting married today?" Stefan asked. Abe admitted it was a possibility. "What the hell is she up to now?" Gabi asked Stefan.
In Chicago, "Nicole" went to knock on the door to Tony's apartment, but Brady stopped her. Brady urged caution because they were dealing with a DiMera. With a nod, "Nicole" knocked on the door and asked if anyone was home. There was no answer. "Nicole" turned the knob and opened the door. Brady asked to go in first, and "Nicole" stepped aside.
Once Brady and Nicole were in the apartment, they saw there was no one in the room. As "Nicole" looked around, Brady announced that he knew what DiMera they were dealing with. Brady picked up the photo of Tony with Anna. "Nicole" sighed.
At the police station, Eli wondered if Lani had gotten the sense that Rafe, who had just left, wasn't particularly pleased with Jack's choice for the town's next police commissioner.
Lani dismissed the concern, assuring Eli that Rafe was likely just preoccupied because Gabi was about to marry Stefan, of all people. "I still don't get [that]," Lani stressed. "Nothing Gabi does surprises me anymore," Eli admitted. "Maybe they can honeymoon in the prison conjugal trailer," Lani dryly suggested, drawing a laugh from Eli.
Changing the subject, Lani offered to take Eli to Doug's Place for dinner. "We can celebrate [your promotion and] tell Julie at the same time," Lani reasoned. "She's gonna be really proud of you," Lani predicted, but Eli wasn't quite as sure about that. "Hope should have never lost that job...and we both know how my grandma is when someone she loves gets a raw deal," Eli fretted.
Ted went to Doug's Place for a drink but got sidetracked after noticing that Chloe was wearing an extravagant diamond necklace.
Surprised, Ted claimed true ownership of the necklace and demanded to know how Chloe had ended up with it. After hearing the whole story, Ted ordered Chloe to remove the necklace and hand it over immediately. "[Xander] had no business giving that to Sarah. He got it from me [as a bribe after he kidnapped me -- and Kate], too, by the way. From what I heard, you two don't have the warmest friendship...[and] keeping that necklace actually makes you an accessory of our kidnapping, [so] I'm not sure how [she] will react to that when she hears it," Ted pointedly stressed when Chloe refused to comply. "Help me with the clasp," Chloe replied.
Shortly after Ted left with the necklace, Eli and Lani entered the club and asked Chloe if Julie was around. "No, she's not here today," Chloe replied. "That's too bad -- we have some good news to share," Lani revealed before proceeding to tell Chloe about Eli's promotion. "I'm one of the few people who actually likes Eve, but even I knew that she wasn't cut out for that job," Chloe admitted before congratulating Eli.
"I'm guessing the promotion wasn't the only good news," Chloe mused, eyeing Lani's engagement ring. "You have great taste -- in women and jewelry," Chloe told Eli.
"I think I should take you shopping with me. I'm suddenly feeling like I need a new necklace..." Chloe continued.
Hope and Will met up in the Horton Town Square to catch up with each other over cups of coffee. "I was so glad to hear from you. It's been awhile since we got together," Hope began. "Yes... [But], um...I have to admit, I have an ulterior motive -- I'm hoping that you will consent to an interview for a piece I'm doing [for] the Spectator," Will revealed. "Oh? What's it about?" Hope asked. "The Stefan DiMera case," Will replied.
"I'd love to help...but I can't. You know I'm not on the force anymore," Hope stressed. "[But you're still involved in the case as] the one who rescued Grandma and Ted from the DiMera tunnels," Will argued. "And I gave my statement to the police [already]," Hope countered. "[And] I read that [already...but, right now, I would] like to focus on one particular aspect of the case -- namely, Ted Laurent," Will clarified.
"I know you have a personal relationship with him --" Will continued. "And I know you don't approve," Hope acknowledged. "I'm sorry for blowing up on you that day," Will reiterated. "It's okay. I know it wasn't you; it was the tumor," Hope stressed. "Maybe...um, but...honestly, my opinion of him has not changed [since then] -- he is still a blackmailer, and that is a really crappy thing to be," Will countered. "I'm not defending him...but I am not gonna debate his character with you for a newspaper article, [either]," Hope gently insisted. "Right... I -- I'm sorry -- um, I did not mean to make this personal..." Will awkwardly clarified.
"[Anyway], here's my question -- regarding this whole kidnapping thing...are you absolutely sure that Ted was just an innocent victim? [Because] I read Ted's statement, too...[and] in it, he claims that he was lured to the docks by Xander and then kidnapped from there, but I checked the [surveillance] footage from the docks [for] that day, [and] there was no sign of Xander or Ted," Will continued.
"You're sure?" Hope asked, and Will nodded in response. "I'm sorry -- I think Ted's lying to you," Will summarized, unaware that Ted was nearby and might have heard at least part of the conversation.
"You two look pretty serious. What's up?" Ted began while approaching Hope and Will's table. "Will's working on an article. He was asking me about rescuing you and Kate," Hope revealed. "Well, I'd be more than happy to speak on the record about that -- [and] say things like, 'Without our former police commissioner, I'd be dead,'" Ted stressed while giving Hope a flirtatious look.
"Um...you know, I do have some questions for you --" Will began. "Maybe another time. I need to talk to Ted," Hope insisted. "Okay... Um... Well, then, I will be in touch later," Will agreed before rushing off.
"So...he said he wants to interview you about an article?" Ted summarized once the coast was clear. "Well, he said he just wanted to get together...[and] when I got here, [that's] when he told me about the article he was writing," Hope clarified. "Hmm. And -- and you're sure that's -- that's all he was keeping from you?" Ted asked. "I think Will was...really just looking for an angle for a story," Hope replied. "Well, I think [the] 'angle' [he's looking for] is a way to stick it to me," Ted grumbled. "You can't really blame him, can you? [I mean], after what you did to him and Sonny..." Hope countered.
Ted squirmed and quickly changed the subject, producing the extravagant diamond necklace and begging Hope to finally accept it. Hope agreed while thinking about Will's earlier warning.
Will received a phone call while preparing to enter the Brady Pub. "Hey... Yeah, I talked to her -- told her about Xander and Ted not being on the [surveillance] footage... No, the timing sucked -- uh, Ted himself showed up just as I was telling her he's lying to her, [so] Hope shut down the conversation... Uh, I don't know -- I mean, she's hard to read, [so] the best I can hope for is [that] I planted some doubt in her mind, [because], more than anyone [else], she can expose him for the liar he is," Will told the caller.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan and Gabi worriedly pondered not only the underlying motive behind Nicole's sudden desire to get married but also the identity of the potential groom, sensing that the two mysteries were somehow related. "It must be Brady," Gabi quickly decided. "He told me [that] Nicole's been trying to get him back since she got to Salem," Gabi explained, prompting Stefan to wonder when that particular conversation had taken place. "I...don't remember... It must have been at the Kiriakis house. I spend a lot of time there with Arianna. It must have been in passing," Gabi claimed, and that response seemed to satisfy Stefan's curiosity.
After Abe shot down Gabi's theory with a recap of Brady's earlier behavior, Ben helpfully suggested that Nicole was probably more interested in getting married for the same reason that Stefan suddenly wanted to get married, anyway -- and that the groom would therefore have to be a DiMera. "Damn it -- she's trying to beat us at our own game!" Gabi angrily summarized while throwing random items that were within reach, having realized right away that Ben's hunch was solid. "Could you give us a minute, please?" Stefan asked Ben and Ciara while watching Gabi's meltdown with obvious confusion. "Sure," Ben and Ciara agreed before rushing off.
"Calm down," Stefan gently advised Gabi. "Even if Ben is right, who could Nicole possibly marry?" Stefan continued as Gabi began taking deep breaths. "It would have to be a DiMera by blood," Abe pointed out. "When was the last time you spoke to Theo?" Gabi wondered, stunning Abe, who dismissively insisted that Nicole would never go after Brandon's brother, of all people. "[Maybe] not the Nicole we knew, but ever since she lost Holly, she's been more unpredictable," Gabi argued. "Even if this far-out theory of yours were true -- which it isn't -- I don't think Nicole would ask me to marry her if the groom was my son," Abe countered.
"You got a point," Gabi conceded. "So, if it's not Theo, then who is it? Chad's...married, E.J.'s with Sami, [and] the rest are dead," Stefan noted, choking out the part about Chad. "There is one more..." Abe pointed out, eyeing Stefano's portrait. "For all we know, he's still out there somewhere," Abe continued. "Even if he were alive, he would take the power for himself, not help Nicole get it," Stefan argued.
"True," Abe admitted. "[Then...unless] there's somebody else..." Gabi hopefully began. "Well, Kristen has a [biological] brother -- Peter -- but...he disappeared after he got out of prison, and I don't think Nicole would be able to track him down," Abe revealed. "Really? I wouldn't put anything past her. If there's a DiMera out there, she will find him," Gabi worriedly predicted.
"We may not know what she's doing, but we know that she's up to something, [so] we need to get married -- immediately," Gabi told Stefan.
In Chicago, Kristen, still posing as Nicole, convinced Brady to search the exterior of Tony's apartment complex for the missing DiMera.
As soon as the coast was clear, Kristen tried to contact Tony, but the call went to voicemail. "Where the hell are you? I swear to God, if you double-cross me to go be with Anna, I will kill you myself -- and I promise [that] no one's gonna bring you back [to life again afterward]!" Kristen warned before ending the call.
A short time later, Brady returned and informed "Nicole" that the search of the exterior of the apartment complex had been a waste of time. As Kristen struggled to remain calm in Brady's presence, Tony suddenly entered the apartment, walking with the help of a cane, and pretended to be surprised to have company. "You really are alive," Brady observed, stunned. "That's what they tell me," Tony confirmed with a chuckle.
Kristen -- still trying to seem calm, despite being furious -- carefully probed, as Nicole, for details about Tony's earlier outing. "I actually went for a walk. Doctor says I need the exercise to build up my strength. I'm just not 100% since I came back from Nashville," Tony explained with an innocent shrug, further annoying Kristen.
"[So], you really were in the warehouse with the others?" Brady concluded. "Yes, I was one of Dr. Rolf's patients being brought back from the dead -- [which, as] you can imagine, is no easy task. It takes time -- and just when I thought I was strong enough to leave, [the explosion occurred], and...I have to say, it was quite the setback, to put it mildly," Tony elaborated. "How did you get [Nicole out]?" Brady asked. "I saw [her] as I was trying to find my way out of the building, [and] I think it was just a burst of adrenaline [that allowed me to pick her up and take her out of the building, and then] we went to the hospital, and then I passed out," Tony claimed.
"[And] when I woke up, I realized where I was, and what had taken place, [but by then]...you were gone," Tony told "Nicole," who sweetly seized the opportunity to finally offer a few words of gratitude for the good deed. "It was another long recovery, to put it mildly, [and] when I was able to get discharged, um...I found my way here," Tony concluded, gesturing around the apartment. "Quite palatial, isn't it?" Tony bragged.
Brady wondered if anyone else -- namely, Kristen -- had survived the explosion. Tony delighted in making Kristen squirm for a bit before answering Brady's question. "No -- I doubt that very much. [See], it was when I was carrying Nicole out of the building that I [last] saw Kristen, [and] I called out to her, [but] she just turned away and walked into the flames. I cannot see how anyone could have survived that -- not even a DiMera," Tony claimed, drawing a sigh of relief from Kristen, who observed, as Nicole, that it seemed like Brady had been hoping for better news. "No, I was -- I was just -- I was curious, that's all," Brady insisted.
Tony tiredly changed the subject, wondering what had prompted Brady and "Nicole's" unexpected visit. "Nicole" explained to Tony that DiMera Enterprises was in trouble. Tony pretended to have no idea who was running the company, forcing a quick recap of Stefan's backstory. "Well, that must have taken an ocean of Strega," Tony mused with a cringe after Brady revealed that Stefano had fathered a child with Vivian, of all people. "Nicole" impatiently forged ahead, sharing the plan to seize control of the company through marriage to a DiMera. "I can't marry you! Anna is the love of my life!" Tony stressed, annoying Kristen again.
"Nicole" encouraged Tony to enter into a fake marriage just long enough to gain real wealth and power -- attributes that could be used to give Anna the kind of life that most people would never be able to live. Tony gave the matter a great deal of thought -- drawing a discreet scowl from Kristen in the process -- then agreed to go along with the plan. "Okay... I guess I'm gonna make a call to Abe," Brady announced, surprised.
"Nicole" insisted that there was no time for that. "Getting more romantic by the minute... Um... I guess I'll go find [out] who I have to pay off in order to get this thing done," Brady decided before rushing off.
As soon as the coast was clear, Kristen started complaining about Tony's earlier antics. "I swear, if you blow this for me --" Kristen began to warn. "Hey -- you're in no position to threaten me!" Tony pointed out. "[Your plan requires] my full cooperation, [and] I have enough information on you to blow you out of the water, so you watch that tone with me!" Tony continued, prompting Kristen to grudgingly apologize.
"Are you still on board?" Kristen wondered. "What you're asking is a lot -- [it's] bizarre and disgusting!" Tony stressed. "For. Our. Family!" Kristen reasoned. "Kristen, this is me -- Tony. You can use 'family' and 'legacy' all you want, but I know this is all about Kristen and what Kristen wants -- as always!" Tony countered. "[It's] for you, too," Kristen insisted.
"I can help you get back with Anna. We can help each other," Kristen argued. "I know this was difficult for you, so I'll go along with your cover story," Tony decided after some thought.
"What 'cover story'?" Brady asked curiously, having just reentered the apartment. "Well, Nicole, why don't you explain it to Brady, being that it's your story?" Tony coolly suggested, drawing another discreet scowl from Kristen. "Nicole" claimed that the conversation had been about ways to explain the sudden union of such a seemingly odd couple, adding that the cover story that had ultimately been chosen was a touching tale of a bond that had developed between two lost souls who, through a twist of fate, had wound up in the same hospital, recovering from the same devastating injuries.
Someone soon arrived to perform the wedding ceremony. As Tony and Kristen proceeded to get married, Stefan and Gabi were also declared husband and wife -- perhaps even at the same exact moment.
At the hospital, Sarah thanked Eric for having just convinced a patient to start counseling sessions at the Horton Center.
"Do you have dinner plans?" Sarah asked casually. "I was, uh, you know, gonna stop by the pub [instead of eating at home]. Since you and Rex moved out, it's been kind of quiet [there]. I was actually thinking about getting a dog," Eric replied, drawing a squeal of delight from Sarah, who excitedly encouraged the idea -- and even offered to help out with the pet from time to time. "I love dogs -- especially the King Charles Spaniels -- [but] Rex isn't really into dogs..." Sarah grumbled, unaware that Rex had just exited a nearby elevator.
Rex waited until Eric was gone then approached Sarah and seized a hug. "Was that Eric I just saw leaving?" Rex asked casually. "Oh -- yeah, we were...talking about a patient," Sarah replied. "It just looked kind of...intimate, that's all," Rex curiously observed. "No -- what you saw was concern," Sarah defensively insisted. "For the patient, or...?" Rex wondered, still confused. "For Eric, Rex! I -- I thought that you were worried about him, too, after we moved out so abruptly," Sarah clarified. "That was your idea..." Rex pointed out.
"I'm grilling you right now, and I -- and I don't want to be. [Look], we both worked a double shift, and [we're] exhausted, [so]...can I start over?" Rex apologetically backpedaled, and Sarah nodded in response. "Hi... I'd love to take you home and draw you a nice, hot bath -- if you're up for that -- [because] I just want you all alone -- all to myself -- [and] I don't want to share you with colleagues, or patients, or...anyone," Rex stressed before seizing another hug from Sarah, who liked the idea of unwinding with a relaxing bath but seemed less thrilled about the idea of being alone with Rex for the rest of the evening.
Kristen, still disguised as Nicole, rushed back to Salem with Tony and Brady after learning that Shin had just flown there to see Stefan. "So strange to be back [here] after all this time," Tony mused while following "Nicole" and Brady through Horton Town Square. "Some things feel familiar...yet look different," Tony pointedly elaborated, eyeing "Nicole" instead of their surroundings.
Kristen shot Tony a discreet scowl -- then perked up after spotting Eric nearby. Kristen delighted in hurting Eric with the revelation that "Nicole" had just gotten married to Tony during an impromptu wedding ceremony that Brady had attended. "How could you let Nicole make such a terrible decision?" Eric asked Brady incredulously. "It was her decision to make," Brady replied with a shrug. "Now you're letting Nicole make her own choices..." Eric bitterly grumbled. "Listen, I know this is hard for you, [and] that you're disappointed --" Brady began. "'Disappointed'? I'm devastated!" Eric stressed.
"Eric, I'm sorry, all right?" Brady continued. "No, you're not...but you will be," Eric countered before shoving Brady through the doors of the nearby Salem Inn.
Rex arrived with Sarah just then and stopped Eric from getting even more violent with Brady, who had been reluctant to fight back, anyway. "What the hell is going on?" Rex demanded to know. "Brady stood by and did nothing while Nicole married Tony DiMera!" Eric explained. "Tony DiMera is --" Rex dismissively began to argue before suddenly noticing, for the first time, that Tony was standing nearby. "The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated," Tony helpfully explained before walking away with "Nicole," who tiredly ordered Eric to accept the marriage and move on with life.
Eric angrily chased Brady off then apologized for having inadvertently involved Rex and Sarah in the earlier drama. "I'm gonna just go back to my place and crash," Eric announced before starting to walk away. "No, no, no -- you shouldn't be alone tonight. You have to come home with us," Sarah insisted. "I thought you and I had plans tonight..." Rex reminded Sarah. "Well, not really..." Sarah argued, annoying Rex. "Listen, it's okay -- you've hardly had a minute since you moved out, so I think you [could use] an evening alone," Eric politely reasoned. "Not tonight, we don't," Sarah maintained, and Rex grudgingly agreed.
Will entered the Kiriakis mansion and greeted Sonny, who was sitting alone in the living room. "Hey -- I was just about to text you. What are you thinking for dinner tonight?" Sonny asked. "I'm...not... Uh, sorry -- I'm too focused on writing this piece about the Stefan DiMera case," Will replied. "I wish you could have questioned Ted when you were with Hope earlier. [So, you still think he] was involved as more than just an innocent victim?" Sonny, who was apparently the person Will had spoken with on the phone earlier, wondered. "Yeah...but we both know [he] can lie his way out of anything," Will grumbled.
"Hope is a very smart woman...but she's [also] involved with Ted, so [do you think] she could be protecting him?" Sonny suggested. "From being charged with a felony?" Will assumed. "No, I don't think she would do that...and we're not there yet, [anyway]. At this point, [I'm just wondering if she might be] trying to protect [him] from a sharp, determined, and incredibly handsome reporter," Sonny lovingly clarified, drawing a smile from Will. "[I mean, she probably] doesn't want her boyfriend's face plastered on the front page of the Spectator," Sonny reasoned.
"[Maybe...but] the way she looked at me [earlier], when she said she wanted to talk to Ted alone... I know my aunt pretty well, [and she might already be] doing a little detective work of her own," Will predicted.
Meanwhile, Hope agreed to have dinner with Ted -- and suggested that eating in private at his place would be much better than eating in public at a restaurant. Delighted, he took her to a nearby market so they could pick out fresh ingredients for the meal that he planned to cook for her. Afterward, they headed over to his apartment, where they soon discovered, while preparing the ingredients, that they had left the basil back at the market.
Hope, who had seemingly left the basil behind on purpose, dismissed the herb as a nonessential ingredient -- and, therefore, the best one to accidentally misplace -- but Ted insisted on going back to the market to get the basil, arguing that it was actually the most important part of the planned meal. As soon as he exited the apartment, she began searching it -- and quickly discovered several suspiciously large stacks of cash, which he had hidden under some towels in a kitchen drawer. While she was counting the cash, he returned and announced that he had forgotten to take money with him to the market. "Looks like you found some," he observed.
Sonny secretly ordered food from a Chinese restaurant and had it delivered to the Kiriakis mansion, knowing that Will would probably forget to eat if left to focus solely on work for the rest of the evening.
"No, you didn't -- all my favorites?" Will excitedly realized when the order arrived. "This is enough food to feed an army!" Will continued. "Well, we usually have an army here...but, uh, tonight, Brady's out of town on business, and Maggie and Uncle Vic have a dinner at the club, [and] Sarah and Rex are hung up at the hospital, so it's just us," Sonny revealed. "Well, I am very happy to have a little bit of time alone with my husband," Will admitted with a grin. "That makes two of us," Sonny agreed, also grinning. Will thanked Sonny for the surprise with a passionate kiss.
Just then, Rex and Sarah entered the mansion with Eric, and the trio hungrily eyed the array of foods that had been spread out on the coffee table. "We are starving," Sarah announced. "But if you two newlyweds want a nice, private, romantic dinner alone, that's totally cool," Rex stressed. "Um...well, actually, you know, the four of us are all newlyweds...[and, Eric, you're] a newlywed-in-law...[and], in this house, there's no such thing as a romantic evening alone...[so]...um...join us," Sonny hesitantly insisted after exchanging a look with Will, who was clearly just as reluctant to turn away the hungry intruders, despite having an obvious motivation to do so.
After eating, the group eyed a small stack of fortune cookies. "Hey, Will, open one for [the two of] us," Sonny suggested. "Love conquers all," Will read aloud after selecting a fortune cookie and breaking it apart. "Ain't that the truth," Sonny agreed, exchanging a look with Will. "Eric, your turn," Sarah declared. "A new companion is in [your] future," Eric read aloud after opening one of the remaining fortune cookies. "It's that King Charles Spaniel!" Sarah excitedly concluded. "You're getting a dog?" Rex asked Eric, confused. "No," Eric clarified. "Uh, yeah -- the fortune-cookie gods have spoken, so it's pretty much a done deal," Sarah firmly insisted.
Later, Eric helped Will and Sonny fill a bag with takeout containers and other pieces of trash then started to leave the mansion with the bag, planning to discard it elsewhere so the couple wouldn't lose any more alone time. Eric ran into Brady on the way out of the mansion but just kept walking. Meanwhile, Rex and Sarah retreated to one of the bedrooms and climbed into bed together. "I love you so much, Sarah," Rex stressed while massaging Sarah's shoulders. "I love you, too, Eric," Sarah, who was already drifting off to sleep, replied.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan tried to assure Gabi that Nicole wasn't going to be able to swoop in and take over DiMera Enterprises. "I hope you're right; [otherwise, this will all have been] a whole lot of trouble for nothing," Gabi grumbled. "[It's] not 'nothing' to me," Stefan stressed before starting to lead Gabi to a bedroom. "Consummating our marriage is a good idea -- from a practical standpoint -- [because then], if anybody asks if our marriage is legit, we can honestly say yes -- unlike Nicole and whatever sucker she tries to get down the aisle," Gabi reasoned, annoying Stefan, who didn't want to waste any more time talking about Nicole.
As Gabi started to follow Stefan upstairs, the doorbell rang. "Ignore it," Stefan suggested. "Maybe we shouldn't, with everything going on," Gabi argued, drawing a groan of frustration from Stefan, who reluctantly opened the front door -- and found Shin standing on the other side of it. "I felt I owed it to you to tell you this in person -- the board met early today, and the decision was unanimous: you're fired," Shin informed Stefan.
"We have already begun looking for a successor...though finding a DiMera may prove difficult," Shin continued. "You can call off your search. I can step in for Stefan. [You see, in addition to being] a great businesswoman, I'm also a DiMera. [Stefan and I] just got married," Gabi announced. "Is this some kind of stunt?" Shin suspiciously demanded to know. "No, no -- we've been together for quite some time now," Gabi innocently explained. "We've been keeping it a secret to avoid any appearance of impropriety," Stefan elaborated. "[But] we were just tired of sneaking around, so we made it official," Gabi concluded, shrugging.
"This is a lot to take in. I'll have to speak with the board," Shin declared. "I think that they will appoint me. [After all], I happen to be the only Mrs. DiMera available," Gabi reasoned.
Just then, Kristen entered the mansion, still disguised as Nicole, and cheerfully clarified that there was, in fact, another Mrs. DiMera to consider choosing as Stefan's successor. "This is a stunt. She's desperate, and unstable, and completely out of her mind," Stefan warned Shin, but "Nicole" insisted it wasn't a stunt. "We all know there are no more DiMeras left to marry," Stefan argued, prompting "Nicole" to call Tony into the mansion. "Andre?" Gabi assumed, stunned. "Nicole" clarified that Gabi was looking at Tony, not Andre -- but was looking at a DiMera nevertheless. Gabi and Stefan stared at each other in disbelief, both looking sick.
In the DiMera living room, Kristen, disguised as Nicole, announced to Gabi, Stefan, and Mr. Shin that she had married a DiMera. "I knew you were up to something," Gabi grumbled. When Stefan noted that there were no DiMera men to marry, "Nicole" escorted Tony into the room.
"Tony DiMera. My new husband," "Nicole" said. Tony shook Mr. Shin's hand then turned his attention to Stefan. "I'm Tony DiMera. Your brother," Tony said. Tony explained that Dr. Rolf and Kristen had saved his life. "Nicole" claimed that she and Tony had fallen in love while they had recovered in the hospital.
"And all this time, you didn't bother to tell anyone, not even his family, that he is alive?" Stefan asked. "Nicole" explained that she had recently recovered the memory of her time with Tony and had tracked him down. Gabi pointed out that Tony was not well enough to run a large corporation.
"I'm not interested, but my wife, she is more than capable, Mr. Shin, of lifting DiMera to new heights," Tony said. "Mr. Shin is not buying any of this; you know that, right?" Gabi yelled. Mr. Shin said he was uncertain how to proceed, since there were two Mrs. DiMera. "Nicole" asked Mr. Shin what he meant, and Gabi jumped in to announce that she and Stefan had wed.
"It's up to you, Mr. Shin. Who will run DiMera? The rightful heirs or the pretenders?" "Nicole" asked. Gabi argued that Stefan was the only one in the room with DiMera blood. "You're adopted. You're trash," Gabi said as she pointed at Tony and "Nicole" respectively. "Nicole" argued that Tony's history with the family was more extensive than Stefan's.
"Tony is not the one running for the job," Stefan noted. Tony argued that he had faith in his wife's ability. "Two last-minute weddings with a DiMera as a prize? That doesn't sit well," Mr. Shin said. Mr. Shin added that he needed someone in charge that was motivated by what was best for the company and not by their ego. "Nicole" jumped in to note that she was selfless and therefore the best person for the job.
Stefan argued that Nicole was running a con. When Nicole noted that the company and the DiMera family were her priority, Stefan countered that Nicole had not been a part of either since she had fought with E.J. after their breakup. "E.J. would agree with me that this family's legacy has to be preserved!" Stefan argued.
"What do you know about the DiMera legacy?" "Nicole" growled. After a deep breath, "Nicole" turned to Mr. Shin and reminded him that most of Stefan's tenure with the company had been in pursuit of his sister-in-law. Gabi interrupted to note that "Nicole" had badgered Stefan for a job and then not shown up for work.
"That is not the kind of dedication DiMera requires," Gabi argued. "Which is also why I tried to fire you," Stefan added. "And then she tried to kill me," Gabi said. "Nicole" noted that Gabi was fresh out of prison. Through gritted teeth, Gabi said she had been framed.
"By Stefan. Who now you claim you are madly in love with. Is anyone buying this? I'm not buying this," "Nicole" said with a chuckle. Gabi turned to Stefan and said that they were in love and that they were a team. Gabi called "Nicole's" relationship a joke. "Nicole" countered that Gabi had made clear that Stefan would still run the company.
"No one pulls my strings," Gabi growled. "Nicole" reminded Mr. Shin that the board had removed Stefan because of the concern about Stefan's guilt. "I'm innocent," Stefan stressed. "The optics. His judgment. If you just replace him with Mrs. Stefan, well, I mean, is that really a fresh, true start? A way to move a company forward, unsullied by his crimes?" "Nicole" asked. Mr. Shin noted that public perception was important to him.
"You want optics? I started Gabi Chic from the ground up, and now it is one of the company's most successful subsidiaries. My bona fides qualify me to run this company on my own!" Gabi argued. "Nicole" countered that Gabi was susceptible to her husband's influence.
"Not if I strip my new husband of all his power," Gabi said as she turned and looked at Stefan. Concerned, Stefan grabbed Gabi by the arm and asked to speak to her privately. Once in the foyer, Stefan asked Gabi what she was doing. Gabi argued that Nicole had made headway with Mr. Shin and that until Stefan was exonerated, they needed to play Nicole's game.
"Would you rather Nicole be in charge and you lose everything?" Gabi asked. Stefan stewed. Gabi assured Stefan that the arrangement would be temporary. Nervous, Stefan paced while Gabi assured him that she had his back. Gabi took Stefan by the hand and led him back into the living room.
When Gabi and Stefan returned to the room, hand in hand, Mr. Shin asked them if they had made a decision. Stefan said that for the good of the company, he would sign over everything to Gabi. When Mr. Shin asked Stefan if he was sure, Stefan turned to Gabi and said, "I trust her with everything." Stefan added that the situation was temporary until the charges were cleared.
Outraged, "Nicole" yelled that Mr. Shin should not seriously consider Gabi as CEO. Mr. Shin noted that he admired Nicole's work at Basic Black, but her track record was not as good as Gabi's work at Gabi Chic. "Nicole" sighed in exasperation then yelled that Mr. Shin did not understand all she had done for the company. Mr. Shin stated firmly that he had made his decision. "Nicole" argued that the only thing she had left since her daughter's death was her job, and she was concerned that Gabi would fire her.
"You have my promise. You will continue to run Basic Black," Mr. Shin said. When Gabi argued that Nicole had not bothered to show up for work, Stefan gently squeezed her shoulder in a signal to Gabi to stop arguing. Gabi switched gears and said she sympathized with Nicole's grief. Gabi agreed to continue to employ Nicole as long as she "gave her very best." Angry, "Nicole" warned Gabi not to patronize her. Tony interrupted to push "Nicole" away from Gabi, and he loudly said they were grateful for the job. When "Nicole" continued to yell that Gabi had made a big mistake, Tony grabbed her by the arm and dragged her out of the house.
Gabi apologized to Mr. Shin for "Nicole's" outburst, and she assured Mr. Shin that he had made the right decision. Mr. Shin warned Gabi that she was on a short leash, and he would give her the boot if she disappointed him. Gabi nodded. "I'll take care of the paperwork," Mr. Shin said as he walked out of the house. Gabi and Stefan smiled at one another.
In the Brady Pub, a distraught Eric told Roman about "Nicole's" marriage. Without hearing about the groom, Roman said he was disappointed to hear that Brady had not been able to resist his attraction for Nicole. Eric corrected his father and explained that Nicole had married Tony DiMera. Eric told Roman about Tony and Nicole's story.
"Doesn't make sense. Anna is the love of Tony's life," Roman said. Eric said that none of Nicole's actions since she had returned to Salem made sense. "It just seems like she is a completely different woman," Eric said. Eric complained that Brady had stood by and watched a vulnerable Nicole marry Tony.
"Which is why I attacked him," Eric spat out. Eric added that Rex had pulled him off of Brady, and then he had gone to the Kiriakis mansion for dinner with Rex and Sarah. Roman noted that Eric's mood had not improved. Eric admitted that he was upset to see the two women he cared for with other men. Eric wondered aloud what was wrong with him. Roman suggested that Eric take a break from women, and Eric agreed.
"I swore I would never act on my feelings for Sarah. She is committed to her marriage and to Rex. I'm glad," Eric said. Roman said he hoped Rex would never learn about Eric and Sarah's feelings for one another.
In their room at the Kiriakis mansion, Rex snuggled up in bed behind his sleepy wife and told her that he loved her. "I love you, too, Eric," Sarah said. Sarah's eyes went wide as she realized what she'd said. Rex asked her about it. Sarah claimed that she was exhausted from her double shift at the hospital, and that Eric had been on her mind.
"Stop, Sarah. I have seen you two together," Rex said. Rex pointed out several moments when Sarah and Eric had appeared to have a romantic connection. Rex demanded to know what was going on between Sarah and his brother. When Sarah asked if they could talk in the morning instead, Rex declined.
"Eric loves you, and he nearly destroyed his relationship with Brady when everything happened with Nicole. He would never do it again. He would never hurt you. Neither of us would," Sarah said. When Rex pointed out that Sarah and Eric had kissed, Sarah argued that the kiss had happened after she and Rex had broken up. Sarah added that she had not hidden the kiss from Rex. Rex asked what Sarah had not told him about.
"Eric and I, we had feelings that went deeper than I would admit, even to myself, and when I realized that Eric shared those feelings, too, we decided that we would tell you the truth," Sarah said. "But you haven't. Why the hell not? Why the hell did you marry me?" Rex asked. Sarah explained that she and Eric had intended to tell Rex, but when they'd returned home, Nicole had returned from the dead. Sarah said she had married Rex because she knew they could have a good life together.
"I am the one that told Eric to fight for Nicole, and I meant it," Sarah said. Sarah admitted that the more that Nicole had pushed Eric away, the more difficulty she had had fighting her feelings for Eric. "You married me because you couldn't have Eric?" Rex asked. "No!" Sarah protested. With a nod, Rex reasoned aloud that Sarah had been in a hurry to move out of Eric's apartment because of her feelings for him.
"I wanted to be a good wife to you, Rex. I wanted to be faithful," Sarah said. Rex asked Sarah if it was about his unfaithfulness. Sarah said no. "Do you love my brother?" Rex asked. "Yes," Sarah said quietly. Rex walked out.
While Ted went to the store to get basil for a recipe, Hope took the opportunity to snoop around Ted's apartment. Hope found several wads of bills underneath a stack of towels in a drawer. When Ted returned home, Hope confronted him. Ted explained that he liked to keep cash around for an emergency.
"Looks like you were anticipating a great emergency," Hope whispered as she rifled through the bills. Defensive, Ted reminded Hope that he had been held captive on an island and then in a dungeon. "It's just so strange that these things keep happening to you," Hope said. Ted asked Hope what she was implying. Hope said that, in her experience as a cop, she had seen dirty money like the stash in Ted's house. Ted asked if Hope thought he was a criminal.
"Are you?" Hope asked. "Most of my clients are criminals. I accept whatever form of payment they offer," Ted explained. When Hope warned that the money could be blood money, Ted countered that he had quit his D.A. job for Hope and that he could not be choosy about his clients. When Hope stared at the money, Ted grabbed it and offered to throw it away. Ted opened the garbage and saw the container of basil that Hope had tossed in the trash.
Ted accused Hope of setting up their evening at home so that she could search his place. Hope admitted Ted was right. Hurt, Ted asked Hope if Will had made her suspicious of him. Hope noted that the details of Ted's story did not add up and that Will had felt the same way. Hope told Ted about the dock footage. Angry, Ted noted that Will did not have footage for every second of the day for every dock in Salem.
"I'm guilty until proven innocent," Ted yelled defensively. Hope said she did not think Ted was telling her the whole truth. "You said you were ready for a relationship with me, and now you are standing in front of me, saying I'm a liar?" Ted asked. Hope said she wanted to believe Ted, but she had needed to be sure. "And now?" Ted asked. Hope said she was still uncertain.
"You don't want to trust anyone because you are afraid. You are afraid to feel again," Ted charged. Hope disagreed. When Ted declared his love for Hope, she countered, "Then tell me the truth." Ted turned his face away. Hope asked Ted to trust her. Ted thought about Kate's warning about Kristen. "It's because I love you that I won't say another word," Ted said. With a nod, Hope took off the necklace. Ted begged Hope to let go of the investigation, but she refused.
At the Kiriakis mansion, a shirtless Xander answered the front door. It was Kate. "If you're looking for your boyfriend Victor, he retired for the evening," Xander said. Kate said she was there to see Xander. With a waggle of his eyebrow, Xander asked Kate if she had been unable to resist his "animal magnetism." Kate scoffed in disgust.
"Why don't you put your shirt on for a change and get your mind out of the gutter. This is serious," Kate said as she marched past Xander into the living room. Kate asked Xander to set up a meeting with Kristen. When Xander asked why, Kate said she had been so on edge about retaliation from Kristen that she had accidentally hit Sarah over the head. Concerned, Xander asked if Sarah was okay.
"She's all right. I'm the one with the threat against my life, and so is the rest of my family. Luckily, most of them are safely out of town, except for Rex," Kate said. Kate added that she could not warn Rex because she did not want to worry him. Xander asked Kate what she hoped to accomplish with a meeting. Kate shrugged. Xander suggested that Kate stick to her story.
"The story that the police are already poking holes in?" Kate asked. Kate informed Xander that Stefan had visited her hotel room and had threatened her. With a chuckle, Xander said, "So, now you have two scary DiMeras after you." Kate warned Xander that Stefan would be after him, too. Xander noted that Stefan would not be a threat from prison.
"But Kristen is still out there, and I don't like that," Kate argued. Xander noted that Kate had helped Kristen get what she wanted, and that meant Kate was on Kristen's list of allies. When Xander reminded Kate that he had kept her alive, Kate grumbled that she had been stuck in hell. "Really? In cramped quarters with a handsome guy like Ted?" Xander asked. "Nothing happened because he is hot on Hope Brady," Kate said with a shrug. With a groan, Kate said she would focus on her family and steer clear of Xander, Kristen, and Hope.
After Kate left, Sarah rushed into the living room and called out to Rex. Xander said he had heard someone slam the front door. When Xander asked if there was trouble in paradise, Sarah said, "You could say that."
At Eric's apartment, he returned home and found Rex waiting for him in the dark. "What are you doing here?" Eric asked. "I just wanted to thank you for destroying my marriage," Rex said.
While Kate walked through the park, Ted called her cell phone. "I need your help. Everything just fell apart with Hope," Ted said. Kate noted Hope was not her problem. Hope rounded the corner in the park and said hello.
At the Salem Inn, Kristen complained to Tony that Gabi had ruined her plans. "You certainly met your match, and that's saying something," Tony said. Kristen said she knew how to handle Gabi. "I'm going to eliminate [Gabi]," Kristen said as she pulled a gun out of a drawer.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan poured two glasses of Champagne. "To my wife, the new CEO of DiMera," Stefan announced. Stefan said he had not liked the idea of stripping away all his power, but Gabi's plan had worked. Gabi thought about her conversation with Kate where she had said she was not in love with Stefan and planned to destroy him. Gabi looked over at the portrait of Stefano.
"What do you say we take this celebration upstairs?" Stefan whispered as he handed Champagne to Gabi. "Better idea. Why don't you pack your bags and get out of my house? Now," Gabi said.