At the seemingly abandoned cabin in Chicago, Eric awkwardly began to tell Nicole about recent developments in Sarah's life.
Nicole was surprised to hear that Sarah had been living in Salem since the previous fall and was no longer with Rex. "You know, Sarah was a really good friend to me. We didn't know each other that well, but she gave me a place to land when Brady forced me out of Salem. And Holly and I -- we were happy there...that is, of course, until Xander ruined everything," Nicole mused before optimistically suggesting that Sarah and Rex might find a way to reconcile at some point. "[That] won't happen...[because] Sarah's in love with me," Eric admitted, leaving Nicole even more surprised.
"After what happened with Brady, [I swore] I was not gonna fall in love with a woman [one of my brothers] loved -- I was not gonna cross that line again..." Eric continued. "But you did," Nicole guessed, and Eric nodded in response. "[Anyway], I just wanted to be honest with you about what I shared with Sarah...and, yes, she'll be deeply hurt by this, and I'll have my regrets, too...[but] you're the woman [who's] the love of my life -- the one and only [woman] I want to spend my eternity with. [So], I'm gonna take you and Holly home to Salem, [and] this time, it really will be forever," Eric stressed, delighting Nicole.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor matter-of-factly explained to a horrified Brady that Ben needed to die -- for Ciara's sake. "[Now], go away, forget what you saw, [and] let me finish him off," Victor ordered Brady before starting to strangle Ben with Xander's tie again. "Is this what you meant [when you talked about] 'eradicating' Ben from Ciara's life?" Brady asked incredulously, snatching the tie from Victor. "Kind of poetic, don't you think?" Victor replied, shrugging unapologetically. "You are unbelievable!" Brady snapped at Victor before checking on Ben, who was in the midst of another coughing fit as a result of the repeated strangulation attempts.
"[And you] -- just standing by and letting this happen!" Brady continued, tossing the tie at Xander. "I refused to do the deed, thank you very much," Xander clarified. "Yes -- a very inconvenient time to develop a conscience," Victor grumbled. "When are you people gonna realize that I'm not just muscle -- [that] I have feelings?" Xander wondered. "Take your 'feelings' and get out of here. [And] keep your mouth shut about this," Brady countered.
"What were you thinking? [We] agreed that I was gonna handle the situation with Ciara!" Brady snapped at Victor after Xander left the living room with the tie. "Always good to have a backup plan," Victor reasoned, shrugging again. "You were in on this together?" Ben incredulously interjected. "I wasn't 'in on' anything," Brady bitterly clarified, glaring at Victor.
"What if he goes to the police?" Victor asked worriedly as Brady started loosening Ben's bindings. "You should have thought about that before you started this whole damn thing," Brady dismissively replied.
"Sorry about this, Ben, but my grandfather can be a little...heavy-handed...at times. I'm hoping, for Ciara's sake, that maybe you can forget that this happened," Brady continued after freeing Ben. "Like hell! I think Ciara deserves to know exactly what her grandfather's capable of!" Ben snapped before storming out of the mansion with a shake of the head.
Meanwhile, Xander entered Sarah's bedroom with a freshly cleaned trash can. "[I just talked to Eric, and he gave me] the most wonderful news -- Nicole and Holly are safe!" Sarah informed Xander while hiding the results of the pregnancy test. "That is great news -- especially for wee Holly -- but you don't have to put on a brave face with me," Xander assured Sarah, who had been home for a while but seemed oblivious to what had just happened in the living room. "I'm fine," Sarah dismissively insisted. "Are you?" Xander skeptically countered, noticing that Sarah was a bit pale. "[It's] just, uh...that stomach bug that's been going around," Sarah claimed.
After Xander left, Sarah reached for the hidden results of the pregnancy test. "What am I gonna do? Eric deserves to know that I'm carrying his child...doesn't he?" Sarah mused. "[But he's] with the love of his life, [and that's] where he wants to be -- [and] where he belongs," Sarah decided before tearfully crumpling the paperwork and tossing it in the trash can, which Xander had left next to the bed.
When Xander returned a short time later to check on Sarah, she was asleep, so he covered her with a blanket -- and, in the process, spotted the crumpled paperwork, which he couldn't resist inspecting.
At the hospital, Ciara received a phone call from J.J., who wanted to know if it was a good time to visit Julie. "Yeah, [and I'm sure] Grandma would really love to see you...[but we're still] waiting for the perfect time to tell her and Grandpa that, uh...well, she needs a heart transplant," Ciara warned J.J. before ending the call -- just as Gabi exited a nearby elevator, carrying a big vase that was filled with flowers.
"How's Julie?" Gabi asked. "Like you actually give a damn," Ciara replied. "I really am concerned," Gabi insisted. "Well, excuse me if I don't believe you. [I mean], everyone knows that you hate my grandmother's guts, so why don't you tell me the real reason why you're here," Ciara challenged Gabi, who handed over the vase with a sigh. "I know that flowers don't really make a difference -- coming from me, especially -- but maybe you can put them in her room and liven things up," Gabi suggested before starting to walk away. "Wait," Ciara hesitantly called out, stopping Gabi, who was surprised when Ciara apologized.
"I should not have gone off on you like that -- it's just...we're, uh...we're all kind of really freaked out," Ciara explained. "Julie's a rock, [so I'm sure] she's gonna be good as new [after] some rest [and] medication," Gabi predicted. "Her heart is really badly damaged -- [in fact], it's failing, [and] she needs a new one," Ciara clarified. "So, she'll just get a transplant, [then]," Gabi reasoned, shrugging. "Apparently, she's not a great candidate for that," Ciara elaborated. "Does that mean they're just gonna let her die?" Gabi asked incredulously. "I don't want to believe it, [but...yeah, Kayla] said that there's nothing we can do," Ciara sadly replied.
"If [someone] had gotten [to my grandmother] sooner, then maybe the damage wouldn't be as bad, and maybe she would actually have a chance..." Ciara mused as Gabi squirmed guiltily.
After Gabi rushed off, Ben arrived and apologized to Ciara for having been gone for such a long time. "I figured that maybe Stefan needed you to do something for him --" Ciara began. "It was your grandfather," Ben clarified. "He tried to talk you into breaking up with me, didn't he?" Ciara guessed. "'Talking' me into it doesn't quite describe what happened... It was a whole lot more...insistent... [But] how did you know?" Ben replied. "The timing. [See], Brady just offered me a job at Titan," Ciara explained. "Wow -- didn't see that coming..." Ben admitted before asking if Ciara was interested in the offer.
"It depends on the terms. Right now, it's pretty much all about me ending things with you -- which is obviously, you know, a deal-breaker...even though [turning down the offer] would be me giving up the chance of a lifetime," Ciara elaborated. "A job at Titan means that much to you?" Ben asked, surprised. "Yeah -- I mean, it's the family business...and I've been trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life for so long now, [and] it's kind of obvious that my career as a waitress at the pub didn't really work out, [so] that's off the table..." Ciara replied, shrugging. "So...'big-time executive' it is?" Ben summarized.
"[Yeah], I think I could really make a difference [at Titan...plus, it's] been this, like, boys' club for so long, [so] it could really use some girl power, [and] if my grandfather thinks that I'm actually good enough for this -- I mean, it's huge!" Ciara confirmed before reiterating that Ben was more important than the job.
"What if you didn't have to choose?" Ben asked. "Well, the more I think about it, the more excited I get...[and] it's not just about learning about the business; it's [also] about spending time with my family. [See], I think that my grandfather's been kind of depressed ever since they sent Claire away to Bayview, [so] maybe this is his way of making a stronger connection... [I mean], I know that he tries to intimidate people with his tough-guy façade, but...deep down, he really is just a big ol' softy," Ciara replied. "Yeah..." Ben muttered, rubbing a faint neck wound Ciara hadn't noticed.
"Well, if the job means that much to you, I think you should take it," Ben advised. "Really?" Ciara asked excitedly. "All I care about is your happiness," Ben lovingly replied.
Thrilled, Ciara rushed off to talk to Victor, with Ben in tow. "Are you here about Ben?" Victor asked nervously when Ciara entered the living room alone. "I'm here about the job that Brady offered me," Ciara cheerfully replied, oblivious to Victor's concern. "Are you going to accept the position?" Victor wondered. "It would be my honor to work for the family company...but not if it means giving up Ben -- [who, by the way, knows] all about the offer [and] supports whatever makes me happy," Ciara stressed. "What a guy..." Victor muttered. "I really want this job, [but] if it's about me breaking up with Ben, then...I'll pass. It's your call," Ciara maintained.
"You are your father's daughter -- I'll give you that," Victor acknowledged with obvious admiration. "So, uh...does that mean you accept my terms? Ben is totally off-limits?" Ciara asked. "You drive a hard bargain...but I do want you in the company, [so] I can keep an eye on you," Victor replied. As Ciara thanked Victor with a hug, Brady joined Ben in the foyer and nervously wondered if the police were about to storm in.
"Relax. Ciara wanted to see Victor about the job offer. Turns out, she's really happy and wants to work with her grandpa, who's such, uh...'a big softy' -- [those] were the words she used. So, no, I didn't tell her that he just tried to kill me," Ben clarified. "I appreciate --" Brady began to stress. "I don't care or give a damn [about] what you appreciate or [don't]. The only thing I do give a damn about is making sure that Ciara is happy. But just so that we're clear, I'm not just gonna forget what happened...so you damn well better not try to come between us," Ben warned Brady, who nodded in response.
At the police station, Rafe asked Lani for an update on Julie's condition. "Eli just called a bit ago -- no change," Lani reported. "Oh... Well, she's hanging in there, so...that's good, right?" Rafe reasoned.
"Look, Rafe...there's something you don't know," Lani awkwardly began as Rafe was walking away. "Oh, yeah?" Rafe curiously replied, turning to face Lani again. "I was with Julie earlier today, and...she was really weak, but she managed to tell me...that while she was having her heart attack, your sister was with her -- until she just walked away and left her for dead," Lani elaborated.
"Julie must have been confused, because Gabi would never leave someone who was in trouble," Rafe insisted. "[Gabi] admitted to it. [She] claims that she thought Julie was faking it," Lani clarified. "Okay, that makes sense, [because] Julie pulled a stunt --" Rafe began to inform Lani. "This is not a 'stunt' -- Julie is fighting for her life, and if she dies, it's on Gabi," Lani stressed. "[You really] think that Gabi did this intentionally?" Rafe asked incredulously. "I think your sister is out of control, and you need to do something about her," Lani bluntly replied.
Rafe sighed and nodded then rushed off to the DiMera mansion to confront Gabi. "I can't believe you think I'd leave Julie there to die [on purpose]!" Gabi grumbled. "If [it happened the way] you say it happened, then I believe you...[but] can you blame me for wondering? [I mean], revenge -- it's turned into your whole thing. [Remember] what you did to Abigail? [And] you only married Stefan so that you could screw him over. So, why wouldn't you leave a woman that you hate lying there to die?" Rafe reasoned. "Julie's...gonna be fine," Gabi dismissively insisted.
"And, [as it] turns out, I love [Stefan], and he loves me, too, [so] I am fully committed to this marriage...even if it means putting up with the old witch," Gabi continued, bitterly muttering the last part of the sentence. "Which witch?" Rafe asked, confused. "Kate...of course..." Gabi replied, squirming. "You know, being named CEO wasn't enough for her; she had to move in here, too! [But] it's not for long, because Stefan and I -- we have a plan to get rid of that bitch, and we will be on top very soon," Gabi cryptically vowed, leaving Rafe concerned again.
After Rafe exited the mansion, Gabi rushed off to the police station to confront Lani. "Mind your own business and stop spreading rumors that I left Julie there to die...[or] you're gonna be sorry," Gabi warned Lani, scowling.
At the cemetery, Vivian finished burying Kate in the freshly dug grave that had been awaiting someone else's coffin. "There -- it looks like there's only one badass bitch left standing [now]! Rest in hell...because, unlike me, you are not gonna be coming back -- no way!" Vivian triumphantly called out to Kate while gleefully smacking a shovel against the dirt that had been used to fill in the grave.
After leaving the cemetery, Vivian returned to the Salem Inn, where Stefan was waiting. "What's with the leaves [in your hair] and the dirt [on your hands]? Where have you been?" Stefan asked suspiciously. "I was...foraging. I've become a big advocate of it," Vivian innocently replied. "Okay, well...whatever you say... [But] you're gonna have to put your hobby on hold [for now]. No more field trips until we spring your resurrection on Kate and get her out of DiMera for good. [And] I'm not talking about just torturing [her]; I want you to haunt her into a confession [that] she killed you in cold blood -- [and] get it on tape," Stefan stressed.
"Yes -- that's...one way to go..." Vivian agreed. "You have a better idea?" Stefan asked. "It is not, darling, that I don't value your scenario...but...Kate isn't gonna be a problem anymore --" Vivian replied. "[Because] I'm gonna bury her!" Stefan stressed. "That's what I'm trying to tell you -- I, your mama, took care of the problem [already]! I shot Kate dead, and I buried her in the Salem Cemetery!" Vivian bragged. "I thought we agreed [not to rush things -- that] the timing had to be perfect!" Stefan protested, stunned. "Me, Kate, Belinda, and an open grave -- the timing couldn't have been more perfect!" Vivian reasoned, shrugging.
"What if someone saw you?" Stefan fretted. "Honey, you worry too much!" Vivian countered. "So, you [really] did it -- you killed her?" Stefan asked. "She killed me, [so] I killed her back," Vivian replied.
"But, unlike me, Kate DiMera is not coming back. There's no way in hell that bitch is rising from the dead," Vivian insisted -- unaware that, at that moment, Kate was digging her way out of the grave.
In the hospital, Doug sat at Julie's bedside while she slept. When Doug asked Haley about Julie's status, Haley said, "She's stable." Doug demanded the truth. "I have a feeling you or Kayla are not telling me something, and I want to know what that is," Doug said.
In the hospital hallway, Eli called Valerie to ask for her help with Julie. Hope overheard the conversation. When Eli ended the call, Hope said, "Sounds like Valerie didn't have very good news." Eli explained that someone needed to offer their heart to Julie explicitly. Fighting tears, Hope said she was desperate to find an option to give Doug hope.
"How do I tell my dad? How do I tell him that the love of his life is going to die?" Hope asked as she broke down in tears. After a brief hug, Eli escorted Hope into Julie's room. At the elevator, Jennifer walked in and ran into Kayla. Jennifer apologized for not arriving sooner to visit Julie. Kayla assured Jennifer that there was nothing she could have done. Kayla asked about Dr. Rolf.
Jennifer updated Kayla about what they had found in Chicago, and she asked Kayla if she could provide a lab for Rolf. "He said he wants to use it so he can also do some of his pet projects," Jennifer said. Kayla said she did not know how to pitch the idea to Seth Burns. Jennifer agreed it would be tough, so she recommended that Kayla tell Seth that the lab had been requested by the mayor.
"If he doesn't [approve the lab], I'll just tell [Seth], Tom Horton is my grandfather, and he founded this hospital. And if that doesn't work, I will go right to the board!" Jennifer said excitedly. Reluctantly, Kayla said she would authorize the lab, but she asked Jennifer to keep it a secret.
Across the room, a bloody, filthy Kate stumbled out of the elevator. Kayla rushed to Kate's aid as Kate collapsed on the floor, unconscious. Kayla evaluated Kate and shouted out orders to a nurse to prepare an operating room.
In Julie's room, Doug asked Haley when he could take his wife home. Haley noted that she could not speak to Julie's prognosis. Doug asked Haley to page Kayla, but Hope interrupted and asked Doug to talk. Doug complained that Haley would not give him a straight answer about Julie. Hope noted that Haley did not want to frustrate Doug.
"I deserve to know what is going on with Julie!" Doug argued. Hope told Doug that Julie's heart was not strong enough to pump blood through her body. Doug asked about a transplant, but Hope noted that a transplant was not an option because of her age. "Without a new heart, without a miracle, my sweet beautiful girl is going to die?" Doug asked.
In the hospital hallway, Eli took a call from the station about a woman staggering down the street. Eli promised to investigate. When Eli ended the call, he spotted Jennifer in the waiting area. Jennifer hugged Eli and told him how sorry she was about Julie. Eli told Jennifer that they had held off on telling Doug about the seriousness of Julie's condition. With a nod, Jennifer said the day was only getting worse because she needed to call Lucas and tell him that someone had shot Kate.
"What are you talking about?" Eli asked. Jennifer told Eli about Kate's entrance into the hospital. Jennifer said she had no information about the shooting. "Who would have a motive to want her dead?" Eli wondered aloud. When Jennifer noted that the list was long, Eli pointed out that Kate had falsely accused Stefan of kidnapping and had taken his job. Jennifer added that Vivian hated Kate even more than Stefan did.
Jennifer broke the news that Vivian was not dead. Jennifer told Eli about what she and Jack had found in Chicago, including the return of Rolf. Jennifer added that she had lost track of Vivian. With a nod, Eli noted that it made sense that Vivian would settle her unfinished business with Kate.
When Eli noted that Kate had been cleared because the shooting had been declared an accident, Jennifer asked, "You think Vivian feels that way?" Eli said they needed a statement from Kate. Eli added that he would head over to the DiMera mansion to find Vivian first. After Eli left, Jennifer called Adrienne to warn her about the pending story of Kate and Vivian.
At the pub, Jack and J.J. watched as Rolf finished a bowl of chowder. Rolf looked at the menu and asked about the chicken. "It takes 45 minutes to make!" J.J. objected. With a shrug, Rolf stated he had all the time in the world. "My dad doesn't!" J.J. stressed. Jack quietly assured J.J. that he was fine. Rolf said he wanted to enjoy a quiet meal for once.
Once a plate of pot roast arrived, J.J. took Jack aside to talk. Jack urged J.J. to remain calm. Rolf shouted out that they could not rush a hungry genius. After Rolf finished his food, he rose to use the restroom. J.J. warned Rolf not to leave his sight. Rolf added that he also intended to peruse the bar menu.
"He's playing us, dad. You do know that," J.J. said. Jack cautioned J.J. to have patience. J.J. argued that Rolf might crawl out of the bathroom window and escape. "This guy is the only hope we have," Jack countered. J.J. said he was anxious to have his dad back.
"You and probably most of the people in Salem would like to get rid of the new Jack," Jack said. J.J. nodded yes. Jack argued that his only chance to regain his memories was to wait for Rolf to help him. "I'm really nervous about trusting a mad scientist who has taken orders from Stefano and Kristen," J.J. said. Jack reasoned aloud that Rolf was a free agent, and they needed to humor him.
When Rolf returned to the table, J.J. apologized for his comments. J.J. told Rolf that the man he had returned to life was not the same man as his father. "My dad would never have done the things that this guy has done since he came back. He looks the same. Sounds the same. It's not just his memories that are missing. It's his heart," J.J. said. J.J. apologized for disrespecting Rolf because of his desperation to see the return of his father.
"I accept your apology, but you have to understand that without my precious diary, the record of my life's work, I will have to begin anew to recreate the serum that will give him his memory back. It will be a dangerous undertaking. One false step, and the consequences for your father will be devastating," Rolf said. J.J. nodded. Rolf asked J.J. to stop pressuring him so that he could relax and complete the task at hand. Jack agreed to Rolf's terms. With a nod, Rolf ordered a coffee.
Gabi arrived home at the DiMera mansion and spotted Stefan descending the stairs. Gabi informed Stefan that Lani had told Rafe that Gabi had left Julie to die in the park. "Did you tell her it wasn't true?" Stefan asked. Gabi said she'd told Lani the truth, but it had not changed her mind.
"If [Julie] dies, then the entire town is going to think I'm a murderer," Gabi complained. Gabi asked about Stefan's day. "Turns out you may be called a murderer, but my mother is one," Stefan said. Stefan told Gabi that Vivian had shot and killed Kate. When Gabi noted that Kate was at the office, Stefan suggested that Gabi call the office to confirm.
Stefan told Gabi that he had visited Vivian at the Salem Inn and had found her dirty and disheveled. "I got the truth out of her," Stefan said. Gabi asked about the gun. With a sigh, Stefan admitted that he had given a gun to Vivian because she had been scared and paranoid. When Stefan pulled the gun from the back of his pants, Gabi exclaimed in disbelief, "You gave Vivian Alamain a gun!" Stefan reiterated that Vivian had been concerned for her safety, and he had given her the gun for peace of mind.
"Turns out she wanted [the gun] to kill Kate," Stefan muttered. Gabi asked Stefan if he was sure that Kate was dead. "I'm sure. And there's no Dr. Rolf to bring her back," Stefan said. Stefan explained that Vivian had shot Kate and then buried her in an open grave. Gabi complained that the plan had been to use Vivian's return for leverage, not to kill Kate.
"Lani already thinks that I left Julie there to die. If she dies, Kate's blood is gonna be on my hands, too," Gabi argued. Stefan apologized, and he noted that he had no control over his mother. Gabi dialed the police on her phone. Stefan begged Gabi not to make the call because he had just had his mother return to him. Stefan reminded Gabi that Kate had not shown Vivian any mercy.
"Your plan is to keep your mouth shut, hope that no one notices Kate's missing, and the whole time, your mother is going to be living upstairs?" Gabi asked. Stefan admitted that he had not thought of a plan. Gabi argued that she and Stefan would be named as accessories to a murder.
"If we're going to have a future, you cannot ask me to cover for Vivian," Gabi said. "That's exactly what I'm asking you to do. Gabi, I love you. What we share is the most incredible thing I've ever had in my life, but if you betray my mother," Stefan said with a shrug. Gabi asked Stefan to finish his sentence. When Stefan remained silent, Gabi asked if his loyalty to his evil mother was greater than his loyalty to his wife.
"Don't call her evil," Stefan whispered. "Oh, I'm sorry. You're offended? What should I have said? The woman that's killed people? Buried them alive?" Gabi asked. Stefan stewed. Gabi told Stefan that it was insane to support a woman like Vivian.
"Then I must be insane to want to help a woman that had nothing in her life but me," Stefan retorted. Stefan asked Gabi to think about the situation and consider that she would do the same thing for her mother. "It's too late for Kate, because she's gone, but it's not too late for us," Stefan said as he hugged Gabi.
"I've never felt so close to anyone in my whole life. My beautiful, sweet Gabriella," Stefan whispered. "Even if you infuriate me, I find you irresistible," Stefan added with a grin. Gabi smiled at Stefan and informed him that he could sweet-talk her, but she would not cover for Vivian. Stefan asked Gabi to cover for Vivian for his sake.
"How is it that you are more beautiful when you are mean and stubborn?" Stefan asked. "Your mother murdered a member of my family, and I'm the one that's mean?" Gabi asked in surprise. Stefan admitted that fiery was a better word. As Stefan noted that it was an endearing quality, Gabi countered that Stefan's blind loyalty to his mother was not. Eli knocked on the door, and Stefan hurriedly tucked the gun in the back of his pants before he admitted Eli into the house.
"Whatever your fiancée said is a lie," Gabi blurted out. Eli said he had not spoken to Lani, and he asked if there was something he should know. "I overreacted," Gabi said. Gabi and Stefan exchanged glances. Eli announced that he was there because someone had shot Kate.
"Kate was shot? I can't believe this," Gabi said. Eli informed Gabi and Stefan that Kate had walked to the hospital and survived. "That can't be true," Stefan said. Eli said Kate was headed into surgery. Stefan thanked Eli for telling them the news, and he invited Eli into the living room. Eli asked Stefan if he had shot Kate.
"Absolutely not," Stefan said firmly. "What about your mother?" Eli asked. Stefan blinked, and Gabi shifted in discomfort.
In the hospital, Kayla examined Kate's abdomen and noted that there was an exit wound. "The bullet went straight through but it caused a lot of damage," Kayla said. Kate struggled awake. Kayla asked who had shot her, but Kate could not stay conscious. Kate's heart rhythm started to become abnormal. Haley handed Kayla the defibrillator paddles, and Kayla shocked Kate's heart. When Kate's heart returned to a normal sinus rhythm, Kayla sent Kate down to the OR.
"Whoever did this to you is going to have to answer for it," Kayla said. After Kayla walked away, Kate whispered, "Vivian."
Down the hallway, Hope told Jennifer that Doug was struggling with the news about Julie's heart. "I'm not giving up," Hope said. When Hope said she would track down Kayla, Jennifer informed Hope that Kayla was working to save Kate's life. Jennifer told Hope about Kate's entrance.
Jack, J.J., and Rolf arrived at the hospital. Jennifer told them that Kayla had offered to set up a lab but had been called away on an emergency. Jennifer took Jack and J.J. aside as Rolf walked over to Hope. Hope welcomed Rolf back to Salem. Rolf bowed. "It's so good to see you again. It's been far too long," Rolf said.
In Julie's room, Doug kept watch as Julie slept. "I don't give a damn what anyone else says. I'm not going to lose you," Doug vowed. Doug thought about past moments of his history with Julie. Julie stirred awake. Doug brightened. "What did the doctor say? Am I going to go home soon?" Julie asked.
Eric, Nicole, and Holly returned to Salem together -- then headed straight over to the Evans-Black townhouse to see Marlena, who had been anxiously awaiting their arrival.
"I'm so happy for you...[but] I am [also] a little concerned about Sarah," Marlena admitted to Eric while Nicole was getting Holly settled in one of the bedrooms. "So am I," Eric agreed. "Have you spoken to her since you got back?" Marlena asked. "No, not yet -- [well, I mean, she] called earlier, when I was still [in Chicago, and] I explained that I had found Nicole and Holly, [but we haven't spoken since then]," Eric replied. "I told Nicole everything about Sarah. I didn't want us to have any secrets between each other. [And Nicole's] been very understanding -- and so has Sarah," Eric continued.
"Well, I'm a big believer in honesty...[but], in this situation, it can't be easy -- [I mean], I know you really came to care for Sarah," Marlena acknowledged, unaware that Nicole had just returned. "Would you mind watching Holly for us for a little while?" Eric asked Marlena after spotting Nicole. "I have to go to the police station and [give] a full statement on what Kristen DiMera did to me," Nicole explained. "[It would be] my absolute pleasure," Marlena agreed with a smile. "I am so glad that you're home, where you belong," Marlena told Nicole before going to check on Holly.
Nicole grabbed a purse and started to follow Eric out of the townhouse -- just as Brady approached it. "I'm a little shocked right now, just looking at you..." Brady admitted while staring at Nicole. "It's so good to see you...[and], um...I'm happy for you -- I'm happy for both of you..." Brady awkwardly continued. "How's Holly?" Brady wondered. "She's okay...[although] the last few months have been...challenging..." Nicole reported. "Nicole did her best [to] keep things as normal as possible, [so Holly] never knew [they were] being held against [their] will," Eric elaborated. "She's reading now," Nicole bragged.
"You can see her now, if you want -- she's [gonna be] hanging out with my mom while we run down to the station," Eric revealed. "Great...[but]...before you guys go...can, um...can I say something to you right now, please?" Brady awkwardly requested. "Sure," Nicole replied, and Eric nodded in agreement. "I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. For everything. [It was] wrong, and it was cruel, and I have never regretted anything more in my life, honestly, [and] I'm gonna do whatever I can to make it up to you," Brady continued. "You've already done something [for us]," Nicole argued.
"You pulled Eric out of that burning warehouse just in time to save his life," Nicole elaborated. "[And] I'm sorry, too, [because] Kristen used me -- she transformed herself into me so she could take advantage of you -- and I let it happen, [and] I even coached her on how to pull it off," Nicole continued. "I don't blame you for that. Kristen was threatening you, [and] you needed to save Holly, [so] there is nothing to forgive," Brady insisted.
"Then how 'bout you forgive me [instead] -- for accusing you of trying to get close to 'Nicole' [and] taking advantage of her grief," Eric requested. "You were out of your mind," Brady acknowledged. "But I never should have taken it out on you," Eric maintained. "[And I'm so] angry at myself for not seeing through [Kristen's act]," Eric continued. "If anybody should have seen through it --" Brady regretfully began to argue.
"You know what? It's over [now, and] neither one of you should blame yourselves or each other," Nicole interjected, clearly sick of the apology tour. "This entire thing was no one's fault but Kristen's, so can we just...put this behind us?" Nicole continued, and Eric and Brady both nodded in agreement then shook hands to further seal the deal.
After Eric and Nicole exited the townhouse, Marlena joined Brady in the living room and wondered if everything was okay. "I think things are gonna be better, actually, between Eric and I from now on," Brady happily replied.
"[But it was] a shock to see the...the real Nicole..." Brady continued. "Yeah... What about the...the fake Nicole?" Marlena countered. "Kristen? She's -- she's behind bars," Brady reminded Marlena, waving a hand dismissively. "[But] everybody's back in Salem now, [so] she's fulfilled the terms of her agreement, [and] I guess [that means] she'll go free," Marlena reasoned.
"I do hope that doesn't mean she'll walk out of jail [and] into your arms," Marlena continued. "I am finished with Kristen DiMera -- promise," Brady insisted. "She's gone to some extraordinary lengths to get you. [She] won't give up so easily," Marlena warned. "She can try whatever she wants, [but] I'm not gonna return [her] feelings," Brady maintained. "Maybe, on a very subconscious level...you do," Marlena gently suggested.
Vivian sneaked out of the DiMera mansion as Eli continued questioning Stefan and Gabi about Kate's shooting. "I know [Vivian's] alive," Eli revealed, stopping Stefan from trying to pretend otherwise. "I'd like to question her," Eli continued. "Why? She had nothing to do with Kate's shooting!" Stefan protested. "She had motive -- Kate shot her first -- [so] I need to speak with her. Now," Eli countered.
"She's upstairs," Gabi blurted out. "[And, again, she] had nothing to do with Kate being shot -- she came straight here from Chicago, [and] she's been with me ever since. [But] she's sleeping right now, [so] when she wakes up, I'll have her call you," Stefan quickly elaborated. "If you're lying, [that] makes you an accessory," Eli warned. "I'm not lying," Stefan insisted before trying to chase Eli off. "You've been awfully quiet," Eli said to Gabi, staying put. "Know anything about Kate's shooting?" Eli asked. "I would tell you if I did. Kate is my friend. Vivian, on the other hand, I am not a fan of," Gabi replied.
"That's why I didn't hesitate to tell you she was here -- I thought you were gonna drag her off," Gabi continued. "As I've said, my mother's not going anywhere," Stefan maintained. "Well, then...when Vivian wakes up, tell her I will be back with a warrant," Eli began, shouting the words so they could be heard upstairs. "And when I do come back, I'll have some more questions for you," Eli warned Stefan. "Oh? Like what -- my favorite color?" Stefan asked. "I'd like to know where you were when Kate was shot. Vivian may be our number-one suspect, but you are a very close second," Eli replied before exiting the mansion.
"Do you have an alibi?" Gabi wondered once the coast was clear. "I'm more concerned right now with protecting my mother," Stefan admitted before heading upstairs to talk to Vivian.
Stefan returned a short time later and worriedly revealed that Vivian was gone. "Maybe she went to go kill somebody else," Gabi dryly suggested, but Stefan wasn't amused. "Maybe [she] overheard us talking about Kate [and] went to the hospital to finish her off," Gabi continued. "I still have [her] gun," Stefan argued. "We both know there's more than one way to skin a cat," Gabi countered.
At the police station, one of the police officers escorted Kristen to one of the conference rooms. "Ooh -- I have a visitor? That means I am about to get some very good news! [See], I heard that Dr. Rolf is back in Salem, [so] I'm guessing the D.A. is here to see me -- or the commissioner, [or] maybe the mayor himself -- to tell me that I am about to be released!" Kristen bragged to the police officer during the trip. "You think?" the police officer replied with a knowing chuckle of anticipation before opening the door to the conference room and watching as Kristen's smile faded at the sight of the visitor -- John.
"You must be here to thank me for my cooperation," Kristen guessed after the police officer left the conference room. "I'm here to tell you to stay the hell away from my boy," John clarified. "My, my -- someone's testy today," Kristen observed with a smirk. "Just the thought of me going anywhere near Brady makes you --" Kristen continued. "Sick? Yeah," John confirmed. "I was going to say 'jealous,'" Kristen countered. "You're wasting your time with my boy," John insisted, ignoring Kristen's taunt. "Brady wants nothing to do with you," John continued. "If you're so convinced [of that, then] why bother coming here?" Kristen asked.
"You're worried, because you know the pull between Brady and me is as strong as ever," Kristen guessed. "He thought you were Nicole," John stressed. "He says that...[but], on some level, he knew it was me...and once he accepts that -- once he admits that I am under his skin, and I always will be -- well, the next thing you know, I'll be calling you 'Daddy,'" Kristen countered.
Nicole burst into the conference room just then, with Eric right behind. "You evil bitch!" Nicole spat while slamming Kristen against a wall, but Eric and John intervened before things could escalate further.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Kristen asked incredulously. "What the hell do you think is wrong with me? You stole my face! You stole my whole life! You would have done anything to get what you wanted, including trying to kill my daughter!" Nicole angrily replied. "I was your prisoner, but I'm free now, and you're gonna spend the rest of your pathetic life, rotting behind bars!" Nicole continued. "Wrong! I made a deal with the mayor -- I told Jack exactly where you were in exchange for complete immunity -- and here you are, so my information was good, and now it's my turn to go free!" Kristen countered.
"I know about your whole deal with Jack -- Eric told me everything -- [but] I'm gonna give my statement [to] the police and the press, and then the whole world is gonna know all the demented things you did to me...and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Jack tore up your little deal, locked you in a cage, and threw away the key!" Nicole warned. "[Jack] wouldn't do that," Kristen insisted. "Jack's whole campaign was about being tougher on crime -- that's how he got elected -- so how do you think the public will react --" Nicole began to argue. "That's not my problem," Kristen reasoned, shrugging dismissively.
"You bunch of ingrates! I dragged you from that burning building [and] saved your life, [Nicole -- and] I gave Holly back her mama -- [and]...what, I don't even get an ounce of gratitude?" Kristen complained. "You want us to thank you? You've caused our families unbelievable pain!" Eric snapped. "Yeah, [but] for good reason -- the best reason! Everything I did, every action I took -- it was to get back the love of my life!" Kristen explained. "You deceived Brady in the most twisted way, [and] you used my child to break [Eric's] heart!" Nicole spat. "[But] I didn't make [Eric] fall in love with another woman," Kristen countered.
Nicole lunged at Kristen again, but Eli entered the conference room just then. "It's time to get your statement," Eli said to Nicole. "You should be arresting her for assault!" Kristen complained.
"What Kristen said about Sarah --" Eric began after following Nicole out of the conference room. "[You told me I was] the only woman that you want to spend your life with, [and] I believe you," Nicole assured Eric.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Will and Sonny ran into each other in the living room. "Did you hear?" Sonny, who had been looking for Will, excitedly began. "No? What? Tell me!" Will, who had gone to the kitchen to get some ice cream, excitedly replied. "Eric found Nicole and Holly -- [and, according to Maggie, they're already] back in Salem, safe and sound!" Sonny elaborated. "That's incredible! I'm so happy [to hear that -- and] Eric's gotta be over the moon!" Will declared. "Um...but...Sarah..." Will continued, sighing. "Yeah -- she's probably having some, uh...mixed feelings...right about now," Sonny agreed, also sighing.
"What do you think [this] is gonna mean for Sarah and Eric?" Will wondered. "I can only speak from my own experience, but, um...you know, I did love Paul, and I was going to marry him...but, deep down, in my heart and in my soul, I knew that you were the only one for me, so...I'm pretty sure that's what Eric is feeling about Nicole right now," Sonny guessed. "So, Sarah's gonna get her heart broken, and all we can do is...be there for her?" Will summarized. "We can start right now. I think she's upstairs," Sonny suggested, and Will nodded in agreement.
The doorbell rang just as Will and Sonny were about to head upstairs -- and both men were shocked to discover that the visitor was someone who was supposed to be dead.
"What are you doing here?" Sonny asked as Vivian barged into the mansion and began searching the living room. "At the moment, uh, I'm looking for where you boys hid the bar cart," Vivian replied. "No -- he means, 'How are you here?'" Will tiredly clarified, sharing Sonny's confusion. "Oh? As I understand it, you and I [were both] the recipients of a really miraculous injection," Vivian explained, surprised that the answer hadn't been immediately obvious to Will. "Rolf's serum," Will realized. "Yes! He restored my life [and] my memory -- which is...quite a miracle, after what your grandmother did to me," Vivian elaborated.
"What do you want?" Will impatiently demanded to know. "I came to apologize to Sonny -- well, and to you, too," Vivian sweetly explained before turning to Sonny.
"It was really wrong of me to hire that horrible Leo Stark to come after you," Vivian acknowledged. "He didn't 'come after' me; he falsely accused me of sexual harassment!" Sonny bitterly countered. "[But] when he found out that I was dead, [I'm guessing] he gave up [on] being able to get his grubby little hands on any more money, [and then he just] slithered back from whence he came," Vivian dismissively argued, implying that no real harm had ever been done. "No -- actually, Kate took over your little plan," Sonny clarified. "Real-ly? My, my, my -- she's even more ruthless than I thought!" Vivian dramatically declared.
"We moved past that...but it all started with you, Vivian -- you tried to destroy Sonny's life, [and] you cost him his job, [and] his reputation, [and] his dignity --" Will snapped. "I'm really, deeply sorry for that...[but you have to] understand that, at the time, I was blinded by my need for revenge," Vivian stressed. "So...what, we're just supposed to let it go?" Sonny incredulously summarized. "There's nothing I can do about the past...but, I promise you, I'm gonna be a better person [from now on]," Vivian insisted. "Yeah, I don't believe you," Will argued. "Nearly dying can change a person -- you ought to know that," Vivian reasoned.
"I just want to make amends to everyone that I have ever harmed -- and I know there are a lot of people -- so...I'm beginning, uh, with the two of you," Vivian innocently explained. "And, uh...next, there would be Maggie, [so]...is she at home?" Vivian asked sweetly. "No," Will and Sonny curtly replied in unison. "Okay, then... Next in line would be...your grandmother -- Kate," Vivian said to Will, struggling to utter Kate's name without contempt. "Now, I went to the DiMera mansion, [and] I also checked all of her other haunts in town, [and] she was nowhere to be found, so...do you have any idea where she might be?" Vivian continued.
"You expect me to believe that you want to make amends to Kate after she shot you?" Will asked with a scoff. "My enemies cannot forgive me unless I forgive my enemies," Vivian replied with a smile.
"We've just gotta learn to live together peacefully, so...think of me as, uh...an ambassadress of goodwill," Vivian continued -- just as Sarah burst into the living room. "I just got a call from the hospital -- [Kate] is in surgery, [and], apparently, she was shot!" Sarah apologetically informed Will and Sonny, who were both too shocked to notice Vivian's reaction to the news. "Who -- who -- who shot her?" Will asked. "I don't know -- I don't have any of the details," Sarah replied. "We gotta get to the hospital!" Will said to Sonny. "I'll drive," Sonny assured Will, who was clearly upset.
As Will and Sonny rushed out of the mansion, Sarah tried to contact Rex, and Vivian seized the opportunity to sneak out through a back door. "You're not going anywhere," Sarah called out, stopping Vivian. "I recognize you, Vivian Alamain," Sarah continued. "And you would be...?" Vivian countered. "Sarah Horton -- the daughter of the woman you tried to bury alive!" Sarah spat. "Oh -- you mean Maggie," Vivian realized after a moment of thought. "There was more than one?" Sarah asked incredulously. "Ages ago. I'm a changed woman now. A near-death experience will do that to you," Vivian dismissively replied.
"You were shot," Sarah recalled. "Yes -- in cold blood, by a vicious, vindictive slut!" Vivian spat. "But, uh...I have been recuperating for the past year with Dr. Rolf in Chicago," Vivian continued in a much sweeter tone. "[And] Holly and Nicole?" Sarah assumed. "Yes -- until they escaped...and then that...that 'Eric Brady'...showed up, looking for them," Vivian reported. "He found them," Sarah muttered. "You don't seem too happy about that, [so]...was, um, there a thing going on between you and Eric?" Vivian asked curiously. "[It's over]. I have resigned myself to the fact that Eric wants to be with Nicole now," Sarah sadly replied.
"A moment ago, when you stopped me from going out of the door, I thought, 'There's one feisty little pistol!'" Vivian admitted. "Boy, did I read you wrong. [Turns out], you're just like your mother -- [a] namby-pamby goody two-shoes; a wimp," Vivian decided, annoying Sarah. "If you were smart, you'd listen to me, [because] I've gotten to know 'the other woman' over the past few months, and I can tell you, the word 'resigned' is not in her vocabulary; she's as feisty as they come! [And] that's clearly what Eric likes. And, clearly, you still care a lot about him. So, I ask you...why are you giving up so easily?" Vivian continued.
"I am no wimp, and neither is my mother...and, to answer your question, I'm 'giving up' because Eric and Nicole are in love, and he and I would have never gotten together in the first place if he knew that she was still alive," Sarah defensively explained. "If I were you -- madly in love with someone [whose] old flame [just] showed up -- I would use every weapon in my arsenal [to keep him for myself]," Vivian shamelessly countered.
After Vivian left, Sarah started considering the advice. "Test results don't lie... I am pregnant with Eric's baby..." Sarah mused -- before suddenly realizing that Eric had just entered the mansion.
John returned home and regretfully began to share some bad news with Marlena -- bad news about Kristen, whom Brady soon ran into while passing through the park. "I'm free!" Kristen cheerfully summarized.
At the hospital, Sonny tried to assure Will that Kate, who was still undergoing surgery, was going to be okay. "You don't know that, though," Will worriedly argued. "She was shot, and I want answers; I want to know who did this," Will continued. "It's gotta be Stefan, right?" Will decided. "Stefan's a viable suspect...but I keep wondering if the person who did this was right under our noses before," Sonny suggested. "Vivian," Will agreed with a nod, sure that Sonny was right -- that Vivian's earlier apology tour had simply been an act, meant to establish an alibi of sorts. "She's not gonna get away with it," Will vowed, scowling.
Meanwhile, Vivian returned to the DiMera mansion and hinted to Stefan that Kate was going to have to be dealt with again.
At the hospital, Jennifer burst into a lab, eager to find out how Rolf's attempt to recreate the memory-jogging serum was progressing.
The sudden interruption caused Rolf to drop a vial to the floor, where it shattered, spilling its contents. "Well, there goes Jack's memory -- down the tubes yet again," Rolf declared with a sigh.
"How could you drop the serum?" Jennifer snapped. "You startled me!" Rolf explained. "You're a doctor! You're supposed to have steady hands!" Jennifer argued. "Even the steadiest hands are no match for the proverbial bull in the china shop!" Rolf countered. "But all is not lost -- the suspension hadn't finished titrating, [so] I still have some of the source chemical left," Rolf assured Jennifer, pointing to a suspended tube with a stopper that still contained a generous amount of the same chemical that was pooling on the floor. "The incredibly difficult to obtain source chemical," Rolf pointedly stressed as Jennifer breathed a sigh of relief.
"Enough chitchat -- did you bring what I asked for?" Rolf eagerly wondered. "Yes, I did...[though] I had to drive halfway across town to find the flavor that you [wanted]," Jennifer complained while producing a bag of licorice laces, which Rolf greedily snatched. "Did you change the serum? Because I do not remember my sister-in-law needing this to make that," Jennifer asked, pointing from the bag of licorice laces to the suspended tube of serum. "Perhaps she preferred coffee," Rolf replied with a shrug before removing one of the licorice laces from the bag and biting into it.
Rolf released a sigh of contentment while savoring the treat, and Jennifer scoffed in response, annoyed to realize that there had never been a truly important reason for the troublesome errand. "With this lab at her disposal, I'm not surprised your sister-in-law didn't need any extra energy," Rolf admitted, oblivious to Jennifer's irritation. "Ah, to have this beautifully appointed space [with] state-of-the-art equipment and supplies... Well, I can't believe it's all mine!" Rolf continued. "Actually...this lab is mine," Dr. Henry Shah protested, joining Rolf and Jennifer, the latter of whom was particularly surprised.
"It's been a long time...but perhaps that's by design... Have you been avoiding me?" Henry asked Jennifer, who vaguely claimed to have simply been really busy lately. "Clearly..." Henry skeptically muttered. "What are you doing in my lab?" Henry demanded to know. "Well, technically, it's not [my lab]...but the hospital loans out [its] labs sometimes to doctors doing important research work, [and] I have booked this one for the next several months," Henry clarified. "Oh, my goodness -- Kayla thought this lab wasn't in use..." Jennifer apologetically explained. "Of course she did..." Henry grumbled.
"I'm sure it was an honest mistake -- we were in such a hurry, [because] we're in the middle of this very urgent medical matter --" Jennifer elaborated. "[And] if this discussion is over, I'd like to get back to it," Rolf impatiently interjected. "Is this...gentleman...even on staff here?" Henry asked. "No, he's -- he's not... This is Dr. Wilhelm Rolf," Jennifer replied. "Rolf, this is --" Jennifer continued. "Not important," Rolf insisted. "Dr. Henry Shah," Henry snapped. "I've heard your name in the news," Henry told Rolf. "Which leads me to assume that the 'urgent medical matter' has something to do with getting your ex-husband's memory back," Henry said to Jennifer.
"Yes, it does," Jennifer confirmed. "Well, what could be more important than that?" Henry reasoned. "Good luck, Dr. Rolf -- and, Jennifer, I wish you and Jack all the best," Henry stressed before walking away.
Jennifer soon exited the lab, too, realizing that Rolf wanted privacy. While leaving the hospital, Jennifer spotted Henry and seized the opportunity to apologize again for the misunderstanding -- and for what had happened a few weeks earlier. "Please -- [that was] entirely my fault. [After] two years on this merry-go-round, you'd think I'd have known better. 'Fool me once' and all that," Henry reasoned with a hint of bitterness. "I never meant to hurt you," Jennifer stressed. "But you did," Henry countered. "Nevertheless, I accept your apology. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go find myself some new lab space," Henry added before walking away.
After a hearing, Jack chased Eve from the courthouse to the town square, wanting to talk about what had just happened. "How do you walk so fast in those [heels]?" Jack breathlessly marveled after finally catching up to Eve. "The judge is about to rule! This is your last chance to drop this frivolous lawsuit!" Jack stressed. "'Frivolous'? You fired me because we 'broke up' -- [and] I do believe that that is illegal!" Eve countered. "I fired you because you were grossly unqualified for the position of police commissioner!" Jack clarified.
"The judge will surely [agree...and when that happens], not only will you be humiliated, but you'll [also] be liable for all the court costs -- not to mention my damages!" Jack warned. "Your 'damages' for what? For giving you your life back? [Do I really] have to remind you that you were absolutely no one before me? You were locked up in some clinic, like some vegetable, not knowing who you were, where you came from, or what you wanted! And then you had the nerve to fire me [after everything I did for you -- which was] the biggest mistake that you will ever make!" Eve argued.
"Some people would probably say it was the best decision I ever made, given that you are a liar, a vandal, and a thief!" Jack spat. "'A thief'? [Let's not forget that] the only so-called 'evidence' you have of me even taking that diary is just a videotape of me leaving Seth Burns's office!" Eve dismissively countered. "[Let's also not forget that] you've already admitted to me that you took the damn diary!" Jack irritably stressed. "Hearsay!" Eve summarized. "See? I do know a thing or two about the law! And you, Jack-o, ain't got no case!" Eve concluded before starting to storm off.
"I got a lot more than you think," Jack insisted, stopping Eve. "You destroyed evidence when you smashed Claire's phone. You knew that she had set those fires, [and] you covered it up so that you could frame Ben Weston, and because of that, she was free to set more fires -- which she did, nearly killing Haley and Tripp --" Jack continued. "Oh, don't act like you give a damn about Haley! You were more than happy to send her back to a country she barely knew!" Eve argued. "That was your plan, not mine!" Jack countered.
"You were totally behind every decision I made!" Eve pointed out. "You never consulted me about any of it until after the fact!" Jack shot back. "Oh, but you were willing to keep your mouth shut about it back then, weren't you? Just like you were willing to keep your mouth shut about it today, [because while] you're more than happy to turn over to the court all of my wrongdoings, [you also know that] I have nothing to lose here, and I'm not gonna sulk away with my tail between my legs!" Eve reasoned, glaring at Jack.
"You are gonna lose absolutely everything, [because] if I can't share the rest of my life with you, nobody gets to share their life with you!" Eve warned Jack before starting to storm off again. "I should probably tell you..." Jack began, stopping Eve again. "All the trouble that you went to -- destroying the diary, keeping me away from the serum, doing your damnedest to keep Jennifer and me apart -- it didn't work, [because], you see, I'm about to get my memory back," Jack bragged. "How?" Eve asked skeptically. "Simple -- we don't need Dr. Rolf's diary...because we found Dr. Rolf," Jack replied.
"He's supposed to be dead!" Eve incredulously protested. "Weren't we all?" Jack reasoned, shrugging. "In any event, who needs the man's notes when you've got the man himself? He's over at [the] University Hospital lab, whipping up a new batch of that serum, even as we speak," Jack cheerfully elaborated. "[Then] your life is about to become a complete nightmare, Jack! You mark my words -- if you get your memory back, you'll be wishing to hell that you could put that genie back in its bottle! Mark my words!" Eve warned before finally managing to leave the town square, having shocked Jack into silence.
Jack soon recovered and headed off to the Brady Pub to meet up with Jennifer. "You tried to tell me -- again, and again, and again -- but I wouldn't listen," Jack regretfully acknowledged after complaining to Jennifer about what had just happened with Eve. "Because you are the most stubborn man I know," Jennifer explained. "You always have been...but that is what brought you back from Afghanistan; that is what brought you back to our family, time and time again. It's not always a bad thing. [Actually], I always kind of liked that about you. And...you don't remember, but...um...I'm a little bit stubborn myself -- maybe a lot," Jennifer continued.
Just then, Jack's cell phone rang. "My lawyer," Jack informed Jennifer before answering the call. "Did you win or lose?" Jennifer asked after the call ended, prompting Jack to flash a triumphant grin. "[I wonder] what Eve's next move is gonna be..." Jack nervously mused. "Doesn't matter," Jennifer dismissively insisted. Meanwhile, at Doug's Place, Eve wrapped up a phone conversation with Justin then smashed a vase in anger. "No way, Jack Deveraux -- you don't just get to cast me aside and leave me with nothing! Hell no -- not if I have anything to say about it!" Eve vowed before storming out of the club.
At the park, Brady admitted that it was shocking to see Kristen walking around as a free woman again. "[Jack's] a man of his word," Kristen explained with a shrug before starting to flirt with Brady, who claimed to be uninterested. "That is a lie -- and we both know it," Kristen argued, stopping Brady from walking away.
"You ruined people's lives!" Brady snapped. "If anything, I saved people's lives -- I saved Tony, and Jack, and Rolf, and Vivian, and --" Kristen countered. "Whoa, whoa -- excuse me? Vivian Alamain is alive?" Brady asked incredulously. "Yes -- thanks to me," Kristen proudly replied. "I wouldn't go bragging about that," Brady advised, groaning at the news. "Not to mention, I just reunited Holly and Nicole with their families!" Kristen continued. "Yeah, you're a real heroine," Brady sarcastically agreed.
"You can deny your feelings for me all you want, [but] we both know that you were more than a willing participant," Kristen maintained. "'Willing'? I think you're a little fuzzy on the qualifications of what consensual sex is...but you did rape my brother, [so] you should be well aware of what you did to me --" Brady argued. "I didn't ruin your life, Brady. If I am guilty of anything, it's loving you more than anyone else has ever loved you -- or ever will," Kristen countered before kissing Brady.
"Keep your hands off me -- [and] those lips, too!" Brady demanded, shoving Kristen away. "I was just proving my point -- you're never gonna get over me, [because] you'll never find someone like me," Kristen explained with a cackle of triumph. "Face it, Brady -- you've careened from one disastrous relationship to another," Kristen continued. "As opposed to you? [I mean], how many deluded years did you spend chasing after my father [before] you chose to go after your next victim?" Brady countered. "You're not a 'victim'!" Kristen insisted, scoffing dismissively.
"Face facts, Brady -- you like 'bad' girls," Kristen argued, citing Nicole, Theresa, and Eve as other examples. "Because, deep down, you know you're not the 'good' little choirboy your brother [Eric] was," Kristen reasoned. "Stop trying to shrink me -- it's not your style," Brady protested. "I bet you get enough of that from the insufferable 'Doc' -- [in fact], I bet she, uh, [already] gave you an earful about me [recently], huh? Did she tell you to 'be very, very careful' of me? Did she tell you 'it's painfully obvious you're not over' me?" Kristen teasingly guessed.
"Here's a news flash for you, Brady -- you're never gonna get over me," Kristen insisted while groping Brady, who tried to squirm away. "I am in your blood, and you can struggle all you want, but sooner or later, you'll have no choice but to succumb," Kristen predicted, whispering to Brady seductively. "After [my] stint at the slammer, I need a long, hot shower, so...I'm gonna get my old room back at the, uh, Salem Inn, and I'm gonna wash the Salem P.D. off every inch of my body, and then I'm gonna crawl into that king-size bed and luxuriate inside those comfy sheets..." Kristen pointedly continued.
"And I could really use some company, [so] you know where to find me when you change your mind," Kristen concluded. "Never," Brady insisted. "Oh, we will see..." Kristen countered before walking away.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Xander knocked on Sarah's bedroom door then partially opened it and peeked inside, politely keeping both eyes focused on the nearest wall instead of the bed. "Room service -- just checking [to see] if there's anything else you..." Xander began before realizing that Sarah was gone. A nearly empty glass of ginger ale was sitting on the nightstand, so Xander stepped inside the bedroom to grab it, still wanting to be helpful -- and noticed, in the process, that the crumpled results of Sarah's pregnancy test were no longer in the trash can, which was still near the bed. "I hope someone else hasn't learned your little secret..." Xander mused.
Maggie walked past Sarah's bedroom just then and suspiciously demanded to know why Xander had entered it. "Easy, mama bear -- I was just checking on Sarah. She wasn't feeling well earlier, [so] I just brought her some ginger ale," Xander explained. "With no ulterior motive, I'm sure," Maggie sarcastically countered. "Maggie! I thought we'd come to an understanding!" Xander defensively protested. "Okay -- I'll admit, I've started to grow fond of you...but, um, that doesn't mean that I trust you around the people that I love," Maggie clarified.
"You may have heard [that] Eric found Nicole and Holly...[and], while words just can't describe how happy I am that my granddaughter is alive -- and her mother, too -- there is a part of me that's so sad for my daughter, because now that Nicole is back in Eric's life, in all likelihood, Sarah is gonna lose the man that she loves. [And] you may think you're perfectly positioned to pick up the pieces, but --" Maggie continued. "Oh, Maggie, you can save the lecture -- I mean, there's something you don't know..." Xander blurted out before stopping abruptly, prompting Maggie to curiously probe for more details.
"Victor just tried to force me to kill Ben Weston," Xander informed Maggie, realizing that sharing Sarah's secret would be counterproductive. "But I didn't do it, and Ben is fine, so...you know -- no harm, no foul," Xander quickly added, shrugging. "[Ciara's] been dating [Ben] for months, so why did, uh, Victor [suddenly feel] the need to intervene now?" Maggie asked. "You'd have to ask him," Xander replied.
"And, when you do...maybe leave my name out of it?" Xander suggested, flashing a hopeful smile. "That is not what you were gonna tell me [originally]. We were talking about Sarah," Maggie suddenly remembered. "Sarah's the reason that I couldn't go through with killing Ben. [She's]...appealed to my better angels," Xander innocently explained. "Hmm. And I'm gonna appeal to my husband's -- right now," Maggie vowed.
Meanwhile, in the living room, Sarah started to show Eric the results of the pregnancy test -- but Nicole entered the mansion just then, with Holly in tow.
"Would you mind [taking Holly] to the kitchen [for] a drink?" Nicole pointedly asked Eric after Sarah and Holly reunited. "Eric told me --" Nicole began to inform Sarah once the coast was clear. "Nicole, I --" Sarah tried to respond. "Please, do not apologize. I owe you so much, Sarah -- [I mean], you took care of my daughter when I wasn't able to, [and] I am so grateful you were there for her. [And Eric, too] -- I can't imagine the kind of pain he was in, and you helped him through it. [And] you gave me a place to stay in Nashville when I had nowhere else to go, [and] you didn't even know me [back then]," Nicole acknowledged.
"It was the least I could do," Sarah reasoned with a shrug. "I just wish that I could have kept Xander away..." Sarah began to add before stopping abruptly, prompting Nicole to wonder if something was wrong. "Xander's back in Salem, [and] he's working at Titan, and he's...he's living here," Sarah revealed, stunning Nicole, who was still absorbing the news when Eric returned -- alone -- a short time later.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner -- it's just...so many things have happened..." Eric explained with a shrug. "I understand that...but have you forgotten how that man made my life a living hell -- not to mention the fact that I'm still married to that bastard?" Nicole fretted. "You don't have to worry about that. He can't hold anything over your head anymore," Eric assured Nicole before explaining what Xander had been willing to do in exchange for a job at Titan. "Kristen is the one who signed the original [divorce document, so]...technically, it may not be valid...but it won't be that hard to make it official," Eric promised.
Nicole started to thank Eric with a kiss then quickly pulled away, remembering that Sarah was still in the living room. "I'm so sorry -- I don't mean to be insensitive..." Nicole stressed. "Don't worry about it... Um...you're back, and -- and that's all that matters... I hope you know how happy I am that you're home," Sarah insisted. "Are you? Really?" Nicole skeptically wondered. "What kind of question is that? What kind of a person do you think I am?" Sarah defensively countered. "[I think you're] human," Nicole clarified with a shrug and a nod of understanding before rushing off, wanting to give Eric and Sarah some time to talk privately.
"Before you walked in here with Nicole, I'd actually realized that, as much as stepping aside was the honorable thing to do, the last thing that I cared about was being honorable. I care about you, and I was gonna fight for you, because I love you so much...[but] the second that you and Nicole walked in that door together, I knew that it was hopeless," Sarah tearfully admitted to Eric.
"You want to be with Nicole, [so] you and I are over," Sarah knowingly concluded. "I'm sorry," Eric quietly confirmed. "[But I'm] hoping that maybe you and I [can still be] --" Eric continued. "Please, don't say 'friends' -- I can't be your friend... Not...not yet, [anyway]," Sarah insisted. "[But] I want you to be happy, and I promise you that I will never come between you and Nicole..." Sarah stressed between sobs.
"But...before you guys go running off into the sunset...there is something that you deserve to know..." Sarah cryptically announced, puzzling Eric.
Meanwhile, Nicole ran into Xander upstairs. "I won't let you have any power over me anymore. Eric and I are together now, and I'm not gonna let you come between us," Nicole quietly vowed. "The path to happiness might be a bit...rockier...than you think," Xander cryptically warned, sounding more apologetic than threatening.
At the Salem Inn, Brady lumbered toward Kristen's room, as if it were an execution chamber, and knocked on the door with a heavy sigh. "I knew you would come!" Kristen excitedly declared after opening the door.
Rolf went to the pub to inform Jack and Jennifer that the serum was ready -- but when the trio got back to the hospital, they discovered that the lab had been trashed.
Will paced the floor next to the nurses' station at the hospital as he talked to Lucas on the phone. After ending the call, Will told Sonny that Lucas was on his way back to Salem. Sonny calmed Will when Will worried aloud about the extended length of Kate's surgery. When Will looked at his watch, he said he was late to go home and read to Arianna. Sonny offered to go home instead, and an exhausted Will gratefully accepted.
At the DiMera mansion, Vivian called the hospital and asked for an update on Kate's condition. Vivian lied and said that she was Billie Reed. When the nurse noted that Billie was not on the list of family members, Vivian pretended to cry. The nurse told Vivian that Kate was still in surgery.
"Do you think she is going to survive?" Vivian asked. When the nurse said she could not answer the question, Vivian mumbled, "Thanks for nothing." Vivian looked over at Stefano's portrait. "The bitch is alive. I don't want her to wake up and whine that I shot her and buried her. So, I guess I'll just have to take matters into my own hands. Yet again," Vivian said as she donned her sunglasses.
In the lab at the hospital, Jack told Jennifer that Rolf was upset about the destruction of his lab. "He's a nervous wreck because someone deliberately destroyed his life's work. He had to go lie down," Jack explained. Jack said that Rolf wanted to rest in the on-call room, but he had said he was anxious to get back to work after that. Jennifer wondered aloud who would have destroyed the lab. Jack said he was certain Eve was to blame.
"I was stupid! I had to boast to [Eve] that Rolf was over here, mixing up a new batch of the serum. It was like hanging out a big, stupid welcome sign!" Jack lamented. Jennifer agreed that Eve was to blame. When Jack started to complain that he had nothing left, Jennifer cautioned Jack not to despair.
"You are not going to think like that. You are the stubbornest man I know," Jennifer said. Jack said he would not give up, but he recommended that they be careful with Eve. Jennifer encouraged Jack to focus on the positive. While Jack and Jennifer walked around the hospital, looking for Rolf, they ran into Will. Will updated Jack and Jennifer on Kate's condition. Frustrated, Jack announced that he was going to look for Eve. Jennifer offered to stay behind and search for Rolf.
When Jennifer returned to the lab, Rolf was still not there. Jennifer looked at the mess on the floor. "Eve, you're not going to get away with this," Jennifer said.
In the park, Eve looked at a newspaper article about her lawsuit against Jack. "Eve Donovan Deveraux never loses!" Eve barked as she marched on. Eve walked to the DiMera mansion. As Vivian opened the door to leave, she ran into Eve. Eve reminded Vivian that she had been involved with Brady. Vivian's face soured, and she noted that Eve had stood by when Brady had attempted to strangle Vivian.
"Throwing stones, Viv? That's mighty rich from a woman who has a history of burying people alive," Eve quipped. Eve marched past Vivian into the living room. Eve said she wanted to talk to Stefan about at job at DiMera Enterprises. With a smirk, Vivian noted that Eve had previously been the deeply underqualified police commissioner. After a little banter, Vivian announced that she liked Eve.
"I have to say, you look mighty fabulous for someone who has been dead for two years," Eve said. Vivian laughed. Eve looked over at Stefano's portrait and pointed at it. "I mean who is to say, maybe you have your own portrait hanging in a closet somewhere. You know like Dorian --" Eve started. "Enough! I'm familiar with the reference," Vivian interrupted. Vivian said she believed the company could use Eve's fire and anger. Vivian suggested that Eve leave her contact information on the table. With a flourish of her hand, Vivian marched out of the house.
After Eve left the DiMera mansion, she walked home through the park. Jack spotted Eve, and he ran over and grabbed her wrist. "I know what you did!" Jack yelled.
At the Salem Inn, a reluctant Brady knocked on Kristen's door. "I knew you would come. Don't be shy," Kristen whispered as she gestured inside her room. Brady entered. "I promise you, you are not going to regret this," Kristen told Brady. "I already regret this," Brady said. Kristen said that their night together would be the start to a new life. Kristen poured Champagne.
Kristen told Brady that she did not judge him, and she loved Brady, warts and all. As Kristen handed a glass of Champagne to Brady, he reluctantly took it and held it close to his lips. Brady put the glass down and reminded Kristen that he was sober. With a shrug, Kristen said the only thing she needed to celebrate with was Brady's lips. Brady muttered that he was disappointed with himself for thinking of giving in to his lust. Kristen told Brady that he was free to be who he truly was with her.
"We belong together," Kristen purred before she kissed Brady. Brady pulled away and reminded Kristen of her most recent foul deeds. Kristen argued that she had fixed everything when she had returned Nicole and Holly to Salem, unharmed. Brady kissed Kristen and pushed her down onto the table. As the kissing grew more heated, Brady pushed himself off of Kristen and across the room.
"No! I'm not doing this!" Brady yelled. "I can feel in my soul that you want me," Kristen said. Brady argued that he was not the same man that he had been when he had originally dated Kristen. Kristen countered that she and Brady were soul mates. Frustrated, Brady admitted, "Yes! I do want you, Kristen!" Brady admitted that even when he had thought he had been with Nicole, a part of him had known that it was Kristen. Brady added that he had felt his connection to Kristen even with her Nicole mask on.
"You're the fire that I can't fight," Brady said. Brady said he hated his attraction to Kristen as much as he hated his addiction to alcohol and drugs. Brady vowed not to let Kristen destroy him. "Giving in is not weak," Kristen whispered. Kristen picked up Brady's glass of Champagne and offered it to him. Brady shook with temptation. With a deep breath, Brady smacked the glass out of Kristen's hand and left. "This isn't over, Brady. Not by a long shot," Kristen muttered to herself.
In Sarah's room at the Kiriakis mansion, Nicole told Xander that there was nothing he could do to get between her and Eric. "The road to happiness might be a bit rockier than you think," Xander advised. Annoyed, Nicole yelled at Xander, "It's obvious you want to throw a grenade on my happiness." Xander thought about Sarah's pregnancy test. Xander told Nicole that he wanted her to know that Eric had been involved with someone while Nicole had been "dead." Nicole mocked surprise, then sighed.
"You mean Sarah? Eric told me. I know all about it," Nicole said. "I wouldn't be too sure about that," Xander responded. Nicole said that Eric was in the living room with Sarah, "letting her down gently." Nicole added that she felt sorry for Sarah because Sarah had lost both Rex and Eric. When Xander cautioned Nicole about Eric and Sarah's relationship, Nicole asked why.
"Because I care," Xander said. Nicole rolled her eyes. "You didn't seem to care when Kristen was parading around as me. You said nothing," Nicole complained. Xander protested that he had not known that Nicole was alive, and Kristen had threatened him.
"You kidnapped Holly, you coward! And you let everyone think she was dead," Nicole shot back. Xander explained that he had gone along with the kidnapping because he had believed Kristen would take care of Holly. Frustrated, Nicole said she did not believe that Xander cared. Nicole told Xander that the situation was as much his fault as it was Kristen's fault.
"I accept that. Or some of it, anyway," Xander said. Xander argued that he cared about Holly and Nicole, and he was glad that they were both home. Nicole told Xander that she would believe him if he gave her a divorce. Confused, Xander noted that he had already signed the divorce papers. When Nicole pointed out that the divorce was invalid because Kristen had signed the papers, Xander agreed to sign an official document.
"I'm not about to stand in the way of true love," Xander said. Xander admitted that he had once hoped that Nicole would grow to love him, but he had realized that it was never meant to be. Xander assured Nicole that his feelings for her were in the past. Suspicious, Nicole asked Xander who he was interested in. Xander explained that he was interested in Sarah. Nicole laughed.
"Another one-sided relationship that exists only in your mind?" Nicole asked. Xander pouted slightly, and he said his relationship with Sarah had not always been platonic. "Who knows? Maybe our interests align," Xander suggested. Xander noted that Sarah made him want to be a better man. Xander explained that Sarah already knew about his sordid past, and he added that Sarah was the type of woman that might forgive his past actions. Nicole was not so sure. Nicole said she had no hard feelings toward Sarah, but also, she did not wish Xander on Sarah.
In the Kiriakis living room, Sarah promised Eric that she would never get between him and Nicole. "Before you go riding off into the sunset, there is something you should know," Sarah started. Sarah fumbled for the words. "I hope you don't hate me," Sarah mumbled. Eric's brow furrowed with concern. "I could never hate you. I'm so sorry for hurting you like this," Eric said.
"You found the love of your life again. Who gets that? I've seen the love that you and Nicole have for each other. It's huge. I would never want to do anything to come between you," Sarah said. Eric told Sarah to open up to him and tell him what she was holding back. Sarah reiterated that she did not want to upset Eric. Eric reminded Sarah that she could tell him anything.
Before Sarah could tell Eric about her pregnancy, Sonny walked in and interrupted. Sonny updated Eric and Sarah on Kate's condition. Sonny said he and Will believed that Vivian had shot Kate because her visit to the mansion to mend fences was out of character for Vivian. Sonny added that Will had vowed to make Vivian pay for shooting Kate. With a nod, Sonny announced that he was going upstairs to read to Arianna before he headed back to the hospital.
Once alone again, Sarah chickened out and did not tell Eric about her pregnancy. Sarah said she needed to reach out to Rex. When Rex did not respond to her calls or her texts, Eric urged Sarah to talk to him. Sarah hesitated.
"Every moment I spent with you made my life better. Made it richer," Sarah started. Nicole walked into the living room, and Sarah fell silent. Nicole offered to leave, but Sarah assured her that her conversation with Eric was over. Sarah told Eric and Nicole that they deserved happiness. With a nod, Sarah raced out of the room and upstairs.
Eric told Nicole that he regretted that he had hurt Sarah, and he added that Sarah accepted that the relationship was over. "I'm glad you were honest with her," Nicole said. Eric noted that nothing would keep him and Nicole from getting back together. With a grin, Nicole noted that Holly wanted to stay the night with Maggie. Eric said he was eager to start his private reunion with Nicole.
Upstairs, Sarah ran to her room to cry. Sarah pulled the pregnancy test results out of her pocket and stared at the paper. Xander walked in. Sarah hurriedly shoved the paper in her pocket. "You don't have to hide that from me, Sarah. I know you're pregnant," Xander said.
Sonny returned to the hospital and met up with Will by the nurses' station. Will said he was waiting for an update. As Will looked around the area, he saw a doctor walking by with a mask on. Hopeful that it was a surgeon, Will asked the doctor about Kate's status. The doctor was Vivian in disguise.