At the hospital, Chloe received a visit from Brady, who was carrying a bouquet of purple and pink tulips. "I can't believe you remembered after all this time!" Chloe raved. "[That the tulip is] your favorite flower? [Yeah, well, what can I say] -- I know you better than --" Brady began to explain -- just as Philip entered Chloe's room, also carrying a bouquet of purple and pink tulips. "Anyone," Brady concluded with a sigh.
"I see you've chosen the smaller bouquet..." Philip said to Brady. "I thought the big bouquet was a little ostentatious," Brady said to Philip. "Can we talk about me now?" Chloe suggested, silencing Philip and Brady. "I get to go home today!" Chloe revealed, delighting Brady and Philip -- who immediately began arguing with each other again, both eager for a roommate.
"I really appreciate you both caring about me..." Chloe eventually managed to interject before announcing an intention to stay with Philip, not Brady. "Victor only calls me names -- Kristen and Jan Spears tried to kill me," Chloe explained to a disappointed Brady after a thrilled Philip rushed off to check on the status of the discharge. "I guess when you're right, you're right..." Brady conceded.
"[Plus], I just think that it would be a mistake to go home with you after I told you how I feel about you," Chloe continued. "I told you how I feel about you, [too]..." Brady argued. "But you just ended things with Kristen, and I know that you had such high hopes for the two of you... [Look], I'm sure that your heart is broken right now, [but] as much as I would love to comfort you...[well], I just don't think it's fair, and I think that I would be taking advantage, [so] I just think that maybe we both need some time and space to heal," Chloe countered. "When you're right, you're right..." Brady conceded again before giving Chloe a farewell kiss on the forehead. Chloe's eyes filled with tears as Brady exited the room.
Nicole entered Basic Black and found Xander waiting in the CEO's office. "Do you know what a bad idea it is for you to be here?" Nicole snapped. "Well, someone needs to shape this place up -- I mean, you're coming in now? How's Basic Black gonna bury Gabi Chic when you're working part-time?" Xander reasoned. "I am a working mother -- my daughter had a school play this morning, and... Wow, I can't believe I'm defending myself to you..." Nicole countered.
"Gabi Chic is turning out these little dolls in Gabi's designs -- it's a pretty ingenious marketing idea... Why don't we order in some lunch and toss some ideas about..." Xander said to Nicole before contacting a Basic Black intern and requesting two protein shakes. "Do be careful with them -- my previous assistant had a habit of spilling them all over himself, and he ended up dead..." Xander warned the intern before ending the call.
Nicole stressed that the intern's services were only available to Basic Black employees, prompting Xander to contact the intern again. "Could you get Sami DiMera on the line?" Xander asked the intern while glaring at Nicole, who instructed the intern to disregard both requests. "You're just delaying the inevitable -- if you can't meet my terms, I'll be forced to tell Sami all about our night of lust... Poor Eric -- he may never come back from Africa [then]..." Xander warned. "Ugh -- having you hold the biggest mistake of my life over my head is unbearable!" Nicole grumbled. "Try living on Jack Deveraux's charity!" Xander countered.
"The best thing for both of us is for you to get me on the payroll here. [Look], I'm used to being where I'm not wanted, and I know how to prove my worth -- [remember], you rejected my...'services'...before, and then you found out I had all kinds of things to offer... [This business arrangement] is just like being in my bed -- relax, go with the flow, let it happen..." Xander advised while seductively advancing toward Nicole, who pretended to be on the verge of giving in to the seduction -- then grabbed Xander by the necktie instead and tightened it. "I like it rough, Nicole, but I can't breathe..." Xander choked out. "Oh, come on, Xander -- just lie back and let it happen," Nicole advised before starting to shove Xander out of the office -- just as Brady entered it.
At the hospital, Kate reached for a tablet computer that was partially hidden under a pillow -- then began reconsidering the idea. "Why the hell did they leave that damn door open?" Kate grumbled while glaring at the entrance to the DiMera room. "I better not chance it..." Kate, who had been in the process of climbing out of bed to shut the door, muttered while returning to a resting position under a blanket.
After a few more seconds passed, Kate released a sigh of boredom -- then reached for the tablet computer again, no longer able to resist the temptation to look at a news alert that had arrived earlier. "Kristen DiMera still at large... No idea of her whereabouts, but the police commissioner is confident that they will bring her to justice for the kidnapping of Kate DiMera... All levels of police enforcement have been assigned to the case..." Kate read aloud.
"Well, that leaves me plenty of time to focus on sticking it to her little brother and his grifter girlfriend..." Kate mused with a scowl while setting aside the tablet computer -- just as Jake entered the room. "What's with that tablet?" Jake wondered. "Oh... Lucas brought it by -- he wants me to listen to a podcast about the challenges of being a blind person. But my first challenge [as a blind person] is trying to figure out how to use this device [without sight]," Kate responded. "You're one of the strongest people I know -- you're gonna make it through this," Jake predicted, ignoring Kate's hint about needing help with the tablet computer.
"There's something I need to talk to you about..." Jake hesitantly began. "I'm feeling kind of tired --" Kate warned, sensing trouble. "This can't wait -- [it] has to do with the gap in your memory..." Jake continued before starting to reveal everything, to Kate's dismay. "I forgive you," Kate declared before Jake could get to the critical phase of the confession -- the breakup phase.
"What matters is [that] you've been here for me, at my side, since you found out the truth, and I know that you wouldn't have given Gabi even a second look if Kristen hadn't lied to you," Kate continued as Jake listened in stunned silence. "I act tough, but the truth is...right now, it is an act, because I am terrified...[and], honestly, I would not have gotten through all of these days if it wasn't for you," Kate tearfully concluded before blindly reaching out in search of Jake, who grasped Kate's right hand while struggling to think of a response.
"You're not gonna stay like this -- Dr. Snyder said that the blindness might be temporary, right?" Jake eventually argued. "He came to see me this morning...and he said...that he now believes that my blindness may be permanent... [And] I have to admit, I cried like a baby..." Kate coolly countered before blindly reaching out in search of a comforting hug, which Jake hesitantly initiated. "I only feel safe when you hold me," Kate declared. "I'm right here," Jake stressed. "You don't know how important that is to me..." Kate replied, flashing a mischievous grin that Jake couldn't see.
Gabi went for a jog then returned to the DiMera mansion and entered the living room in search of water -- just as Chad began a phone conversation with Harold. "Kate's coming back from the hospital soon; I want to make sure she has everything she needs to feel comfortable -- well, as comfortable as she can, given the circumstances..." Chad stressed. "I don't know -- audiobooks? Ask Jake if he can think of anything else -- he's been spending most of his time with her; he'll know better," Chad advised before thanking Harold then ending the call.
"You're completely wrong about Jake's role in her life," Gabi teased. "I always knew you were desperate! Still holding out hope Jake's coming back to you?" Chad guessed. "It's a done deal -- [see], we're back together...and we don't care what anyone else has to say about it," Gabi clarified. "You really don't care that Kate almost died -- or that she may never see again?" Chad incredulously challenged Gabi. "I feel very bad about what happened to Kate...but I am happy, and I am not gonna let her condition ruin my happiness," Gabi shamelessly responded.
"Yeah -- I've learned that you just go through the motions of being a decent human being, when the reality is [that] you don't care who you hurt as long as you get what you want," Chad conceded. "Come on, Chad -- we're not talking about Helen Keller; we're talking about Kate Roberts, [and] if she wanted Jake and I had him, she would do the exact same thing to me -- in fact, she knows I love Jake, and she threw her affair with him in my face every single chance she got -- so I'm not gonna apologize for being with him," Gabi maintained.
Gabi headed off to take a shower -- and Jake eventually entered the mansion and joined Chad in the living room. "You don't have a choice, man -- you're gonna have to forget about Gabi and do right by Kate," Chad insisted after Jake revealed what had just happened at the hospital. "No wonder you're day-drinking," Chad mused as Jake, who had already gulped down a generous serving of whiskey during the tale, went back to the bar for a refill. "[But] it's your fault for being stupid enough to let Gabi talk you into spilling your guts," Chad snapped at Jake. "Keep things good with Kate [and] put Gabi on hold," Chad advised, drawing a scoff from Jake. "What, am I some crappy, bitter customer service representative? 'On hold' -- you make it sound so simple! And, pray tell, how do you suggest I break the news to Gabi?" Jake protested. "Hell if I know, man -- she's your problem," Chad responded, prompting Jake to gulp down the second generous serving of whiskey.
At the Evans-Black townhouse, Sami and Lucas stared in shock at E.J., who apologized to them for the interruption then wondered if they had been in the middle of something. "Samantha, I do believe this is the first time I've ever seen you rendered utterly mute," E.J. declared when Sami didn't immediately answer the question. "You're looking well," Lucas, who also hadn't answered the question, said to E.J. in an effort to buy Sami more time to recover. "As are you," E.J. said to Lucas before asking if Sami needed to sit down for a while. "No, I'm okay," Sami stammered.
"I [just] didn't expect that you would have the..." Sami continued, still stammering. "It's amazing what a man can accomplish with the proper motivation," E.J. reasoned, understanding what Sami was trying to say. "I had been given to understand that some swine is trying to come between me and my wife, [so] it seemed the proper time to come and take her home with me," E.J. elaborated while glaring at Lucas -- who, like Sami, gulped in response. "E.J., I --" Sami began to explain. "We're all adults here, [so] we don't have to resort to name-calling, do we?" Lucas challenged E.J. before Sami could say anything else.
"I'm at a bit of a loss as to why you're defending the man who raped your daughter," E.J. countered, confusing Lucas and Sami. "I'm not 'defending' him... You brought Charlie Dale up... Why is Charlie Dale coming between you and Sami?" Lucas stammered. "She left me in Rome and flew here to confront the man -- and then, of course, she ended up confessing to his murder in what proved to be an unnecessary maneuver to shield Allie from prosecution..." E.J. reminded Lucas.
"I'm sure the support of both of you meant the world to [Allie...though it] must have been hard not to fall into your old patterns -- [I mean], as I remember, you two couldn't be left in the same room without sparks flying..." E.J. mused, making Sami and Lucas squirm. "We were a lot younger then," Sami explained with a nervous laugh, and Lucas nodded in agreement. "I owe you a debt of gratitude for helping Samantha through this terrible time," E.J. admitted to Lucas. "I didn't mind -- Allie's my daughter, [after all]. But someone had to be here for Sami -- why the hell wasn't it you?" Lucas snapped at E.J.
"You're well enough to hop on your private jet and try to get your wife to come home, but where were you when she was accused of murder? You didn't show up then! What's wrong with you, man?" Lucas challenged E.J. "Well, a great deal, it seems..." E.J. responded while glaring at Lucas, who returned the glare. "Okay, let's just...let it go," Sami begged. "For now," Lucas agreed before heading off to the hospital, guessing that Sami and E.J. had a lot to talk about privately. "He hasn't changed a bit..." E.J. observed. "Don't mind Lucas -- he's just really worried about Kate," Sami stammered. "I'm sorry about Kate -- I heard what Kristen did to her," E.J. declared.
"But I don't think she's the reason why the bloke spoke to me like that," E.J. argued. "I can't imagine what else it could be..." Sami countered. "Lucas seems to think that I haven't been much of a husband to you...[and] he's right --" E.J. began to explain before pausing to silence Sami, who was trying to object. "When we were living here together, I remember people accusing you of always putting your own needs first...[but] in the last few years, I saw the sacrifices you made to take care of me -- [and] in return for all that love and devotion, I was petulant and distant --" E.J. continued before again pausing to stop Sami's second attempt to protest. "But you have that stubborn streak, and you never gave up on me, even when I ordered you to leave me alone -- you did everything you could to heal my body and my spirit. And now, I want to do everything I can to heal our marriage...if you still think we have one," E.J. concluded.
"Of course, we still have a marriage! You don't know how long I've waited to hear you talk to me like that..." Sami tearfully assured E.J., who responded with a hug and a kiss. "I'm going to be right beside you, no matter what lies ahead..." E.J. promised Sami while maintaining the embrace, hiding a curiously blank expression. "It feels so good to have your arms around me..." Sami raved -- but E.J. soon pulled away.
"There's just one more thing I'd like cleared up before we move forward..." E.J. warned before demanding to know what had happened between Sami and Lucas. "I don't know what you're talking about --" Sami stammered. "You don't have to deny it -- I know everything," E.J. revealed. "You don't understand --" Sami insisted. "I know Kristen hired Victor's nephew to kill the two of you, [and] that's why you asked me to wire ten million dollars to his account," E.J. elaborated, drawing a sigh of relief from Sami -- whose panic soon turned to anger.
"You're upset that I didn't tell you what I was doing...but, Samantha, we've both done things to hurt one another... [Look], when Kristen revived me and stored me in that warehouse of hers, I spent more time than I would have liked in Xander Cook's custody...[and] I may have been barely alive, but I could still take the measure of a bloke like him -- he's a thug, but he doesn't have the makings of a killer; he also wasn't terribly bright, [so] I knew you'd get the best of him," E.J. reasoned. "Thanks for the vote of confidence..." Sami grumbled before fretting that E.J. was underestimating Xander. "Leave Xander to me," E.J. advised Sami with a scowl.
At the hospital, Lucas informed Kate that E.J. was back in Salem. "If I'm ever shot in the chest and blown up in an explosion, I'd really like his plastic surgeon," Lucas declared. "Sami must be thrilled," Kate guessed. "I don't know about that..." Lucas argued. "Why? Did she confide in you? I didn't know the two of you were so close!" Kate countered. "A lot has changed since Sami's come back to Salem..." Lucas vaguely explained.
E.J. entered the DiMera mansion and settled in a chair in the living room. "Hello, Father -- it's been a long time...but as you always said, 'It's good to be back,'" E.J. said to Stefano's portrait with a grin. Meanwhile, Lucas rejoined Sami at the Evans-Black townhouse and gleefully observed that E.J.'s car was no longer in the parking lot. "You send him packing?" Lucas guessed. "I'm the one who's packing, [Lucas] -- this is goodbye," Sami clarified.
At the hospital, Kate produced a compact and some makeup, eager to freshen up. "Not so bad for a blind woman..." Kate joked while applying the makeup. "Gabi and Jake are just going to have to realize that they are not going to be together -- not on my watch..." Kate added -- just as Chad entered the room.
When Gabi exited the shower in her bedroom, Jake greeted her. Gabi asked Jake about his conversation with Kate. "It was harder than I thought," Jake whispered. "It's the right thing to do. Don't feel bad for her," Gabi said. Jake confessed that he had not told Kate that he was with Gabi because Kate had forgiven him. Suspicious, Gabi argued that Kate did not even forgive a stolen parking spot, much less an affair.
"Did you or did you not tell me that you wanted to be with me whether Kate was in the picture or not?" Gabi asked. "I did," Jake confirmed. Gabi asked Jake why he had not told Kate the whole truth. "You got to understand that [Kate] is scared. She is vulnerable," Jake started. "She is playing you! Guilting you!" Gabi yelled. Jake argued that he could not kick Kate while she was down.
"Fine. You're so worried about your reputation, go stand by your blind, geriatric girlfriend. I'll be seeing you," Gabi said. Jake grabbed Gabi and pulled her into his arms. "I don't want Kate. I want you," Jake stressed. Jake kissed Gabi, and they made love. Afterwards, Jake asked Gabi if she believed that she was the one he wanted.
"It's not that I don't believe you. I know that you're trying to do what's right for Kate while she recovers, but I just think the right thing to do is tell her the truth," Gabi said. Jake argued that Kate was not strong enough to hear the truth. "I just feel like I'd be kicking her while she is down," Jake said. Jake asked Gabi if they could wait to tell Kate until she felt better.
"I'm not happy about it, but I know you think it's the right thing to do. And doing the right thing is part of what makes you, you," Gabi said. Gabi snuggled close to Jake, and she suggested that they could continue their affair on the side. Jake argued that Chad disapproved of any action that would hurt Kate. "Since when does [Chad] have a say in this?" Gabi asked. "Because he's right! If I leave her now, I'm just the bum everybody thinks I am," Jake said.
In Kate's hospital room, Kate stared in her compact mirror and applied makeup. "Gabi and Jake are just going to have to realize that they are not going to be together. Not on my watch," Kate said. Chad walked into the room. "What are you doing?" Chad asked. Kate dropped her compact and pretended to be blind again.
"If you can't see anything, then what's with the mirror?" Chad asked. Kate admitted that she had faked her blindness, and she reminded Chad that he had once pretended to be dying to get Abigail. "Pretending to be blind makes you mean," Chad joked. Chad asked Kate why she had faked her blindness. Kate asked Chad why he was there. With a shrug, Chad said he'd almost believed that Kate had had amnesia and blindness.
"But when Jake told me that you forgave him, I just thought, no. Something seems fishy," Chad explained. Chad told Kate that he was on her side. Chad advised Kate to drop her act. "You're Kate. You don't grovel and connive to get a man. Especially one that doesn't want you. Why do you want someone like that, anyway?" Chad asked. Kate said she did not want Jake back. "I want to punish him. And his little dog, too," Kate said with a grin.
When Chad asked Kate how long she planned to keep up the charade, she noted, "For as long as it's fun." Kate explained that her doctor knew the truth, and she had convinced him to stay quiet. "Are you going to help me or not?" Kate asked. Chad promised that he would not snitch. "Gabi tried to put my wife back into a mental institution. Go nuts. Make her life hell," Chad said. Kate asked about Jake.
"Teach him not to underestimate you," Chad said. Kate asked Chad to look her in the eyes and promise her that he would not tell anyone her secret. Chad shook Kate's hand. "I promise. I won't say a word," Chad said.
E.J. settled into an armchair in the DiMera living room, and he talked to the painting of Stefano. "It's good to be back," E.J. said. Tony walked into the room, and he stopped at the sight of brother. E.J. and Tony hugged. "How long has it been since we have actually seen each other?" Tony said. E.J. asked if the warehouse counted. Tony waved off the memory, and he asked E.J. to toast to their lives.
"To my brother. Home where he belongs," Tony said. "I won't be here for long. I'm only here to reclaim my wife," E.J. announced. Tony asked E.J. to stay in Salem to help with the company. Tony explained that Jake was "essentially a garage mechanic at heart," and did not have the killer DiMera instinct. "That is odd. We both know what father was like, and Vivian Alamain made Lady MacBeth seem passive," E.J. said. When E.J. asked if Shin had approved of Jake's appointment as CEO, Tony pointed out that Jake was a way for Shin to steal control of the company.
"Why in the hell did Chad step away?" E.J. asked. Tony explained that Chad wanted to spend more time with his family. "You mean he screwed around and got caught," E.J. said. E.J. asked if Chad and Abigail planned to divorce, but Tony shook his head no. "I know that Chad is trying everything he can to get Abigail to forgive him," Tony said. "He has a lot of groveling ahead of him," E.J. muttered. With a chuckle, Tony noted that E.J. had experience.
"Don't remind me. My affair with Abigail almost cost me the love of my life," E.J. said. Tony asked E.J. why he needed to return to Salem to collect Sami. "I'd forgotten how much chatting with members of my family could feel like crossing a minefield," E.J. muttered. Tony pressed E.J. for an answer. E.J. explained that he needed to prove to Sami that if she returned with him to Italy, it would not be to the same hellish relationship she had left.
"A cold kind of hell," E.J. whispered. E.J. told Tony that the fire had intensified the darker parts of his personality. "Samantha moved heaven and earth to take care of me, and I was just this black hole of despair. And I took it out on her," E.J. said. When E.J. asked Tony if he had met anyone with as much fire as Sami, Tony chuckled and pointed at the painting of Stefano. "But I would say that Samantha is a close second," Tony joked.
"I was thisclose to extinguishing that fire altogether. I took almost all the oxygen out of her life. But when Allie needed her, all that fire came back. She was Samantha again. And that made me realize what I'd been doing to her. What I'd let myself become," E.J. said. "So, she's gonna come home?" Tony asked. E.J. nodded yes. E.J. explained that he had apologized to Sami. Tony laughed.
"You don't like apologizing. Like a true DiMera, you did everything you could to get exactly what it is you want," Tony said. E.J. asked Tony why he did not take over the company from Jake. "Anna's made it very clear that we are so much happier without me having to take over the reins," Tony said. "How helpful to have someone to tell you how to feel," E.J. said. Tony laughed, and he said that he had never been happier in his life.
"I don't want the job," Tony said. "Even if that garage mechanic ends up destroying father's legacy?" E.J. asked. "Maybe you should be the one to take over," Tony suggested. E.J. said he needed to focus on his marriage. "I always remember you and Samantha being happiest when you were here. She had her family and her friends. You had your family," Tony said.
Tony argued that it was a bad idea for E.J. to spend too much time alone with Sami. "They also say that all unsolicited advice is self-serving," E.J. countered. Tony laughed. "I want you back at DiMera Enterprises," Tony said.
After E.J. left, Tony talked to Stefano's portrait. "The outpouring about [E.J.'s] marriage was a tad studied," Tony said. With a grin, Tony noted that the old E.J. was back.
At the penthouse, Sami told Lucas that she planned to return to Italy with E.J. "I think it's what's best for everyone," Sami said. Sami told Lucas that they should forget about what had happened between them. "We just need to say our goodbyes," Sami said. "Like hell we do!" Lucas objected. Lucas told Sami that if she returned to E.J., it would be the biggest mistake of her life.
"[E.J.] made you pay for his suffering. Why would he do that? He's not living up to his vows [of marriage]," Lucas argued. Sami countered that E.J. had suffered immense pain. "He's not in any pain now, is he? And he still treats you like you're his property. Not the beautiful woman who helped save his miserable life," Lucas said. Sami disagreed, but Lucas reminded Sami that E.J. had not traveled to Salem during Allie's ordeal.
"I held you in my arms while you cried to me and told me how horribly he treated you!" Lucas yelled. "And look how that turned out," Sami said. "We made love," Lucas countered. When Sami argued that sex had been a mistake, Lucas asked if the second time had also been a mistake. "Stop throwing that in my face!" Sami yelped. Sami stressed that she loved E.J.
"You're in love with a man who doesn't show you any kind of love at all. Who doesn't touch you. That's what you told me," Lucas said. Sami explained that E.J. had told her that he wanted to work on their issues. Lucas rolled his eyes. "Stop making this harder than it already is," Sami growled. With tears in her eyes, Sami told Lucas that they would always have a deep emotional connection.
"I care about you. But this ends now," Sami said. Lucas refused to let Sami go. "We made love, Sami. We didn't have sex. You and I both know the difference," Lucas said. Lucas argued that they had made love because they wanted one another and still loved one another. "Please don't make this harder than it already is," Sami said. Lucas warned Sami that her relationship with E.J. would blow up.
"You know where to find me," Lucas said. As Lucas turned to leave, Sami called out to him. "Thank you for everything," Sami said. Lucas walked over and pulled Sami into a passionate kiss. Marlena walked into the penthouse and saw Sami and Lucas together. Sami pulled away and gasped as she saw her mother in the doorway. Marlena started to leave, and Sami stopped her.
"We were just saying goodbye," Sami explained. "Yeah, actually I should go," Lucas said. Lucas wished Sami a safe trip home, and he walked out. "Safe trip home?" Marlena asked. Sami explained that she was going back to Italy. "I'm sure E.J. will be happy to see you again," Marlena said. Sami explained that E.J. was in Salem. Sami thanked Marlena for her support, and she apologized for leaving Salem suddenly.
"E.J. swept in and asked you to go home immediately, and that seems a little high-handed to me," Marlena said. "It's something I feel that I have to do," Sami said. Sami explained that she and E.J. needed to spend time alone to reconnect. "You know about the problems that E.J. and I have been having, but he said out loud, he came right out and said he wants to work on them. And I can't say no to that," Sami said. Marlena argued that E.J. had made an emotional ultimatum.
After Sami packed her suitcase, she encouraged Marlena to visit her in Italy. When Marlena stared at Sami in silence, Sami sighed. "You're not done explaining me to me, are you?" Sami said. Marlena reminded Sami that she studied human behavior for a living. "[I've been] trying to process what I walked in on with you and Lucas," Marlena said. "We were just saying goodbye," Sami stressed. Marlena asked Sami if she had decided to return to Italy to be with E.J. or because she wanted to flee from Lucas.
Flustered, Sami asked Marlena what she meant. "That kiss reminded me of something Bogart might have given to Bergman," Marlena said. Marlena asked Sami what blackmail Kristen had on Sami and Lucas. Before Sami could answer, there was a knock at the door. "That's my husband. The man I'm going home with. Understand?" Sami said. Marlena nodded yes. Sami ran to the door, and she kissed E.J.
"I understand that you're going back to Italy right away," Marlena said. "I was just telling my mom that we are on our way home," Sami said. "We are, but not to Italy," E.J. said. E.J. announced that they were going to stay in Salem.
At Basic Black, Nicole strangled Xander with his own tie as she shoved him toward the exit. Brady opened the door as Nicole remarked that she needed to remove Xander before anyone saw him at the office. "What's going on here?" Brady asked. "I've joined the team," Xander said breathlessly. "I don't want [Xander] in the office," Brady said. Nicole explained that she had wanted to talk to Brady about hiring Xander. Brady laughed.
"We talked about that. That's a huge no. An emphatic no," Brady said. When Nicole stared in silence, Brady asked Nicole if she was serious. "I think that we should keep [Xander] around," Nicole said. Nicole explained that Xander had inside information on the competition that they could exploit.
"How is Eric going to react to this?" Brady asked. "What will Eric think?" Xander added with a grin. Brady asked Xander to step outside so that he could talk to Nicole in private. "I am so looking forward to our collaboration," Xander said. After Xander left, Brady argued that Nicole was angry about Eric's unilateral decision and that she had decided to make her own unilateral decision that would anger Eric.
"I cannot fathom why you would want Xander working here," Brady said. Nicole reminded Brady that he had once left Nicole on her own, and she had not held it against him when he'd asked for his job back. Brady argued that he had acted irrationally when he had left the company, and he believed Nicole was doing the same thing. Nicole gave Brady a withering look.
"You took me back with absolutely no recriminations. So, it appears that I owe you one," Brady said. Xander returned. "Make any big decisions?" Xander asked. "Apparently you're hired," Brady said. Brady said he believed that Xander would screw up, and he told Nicole that Xander was her problem. After Brady walked out, Xander told Nicole that he would win Brady over.
"You didn't win me over. You blackmailed me," Nicole said. Xander suggested that they start their relationship over. "I think you'll find I'm a fantastic partner in the boardroom as well as the bedroom," Xander whispered as he caressed Nicole's back. Nicole punched Xander in the stomach. "Touch me again, and that punch will be six inches lower, got it?" Nicole said.
While passing through the town square, Roman called out to Abe, who was staring at Tom and Alice's memorial plaque. "I didn't mean to intrude," Roman stressed after finally managing to get Abe's attention. "Oh, no, not at all -- I was just...thinking," Abe responded. "About Tom and Alice?" Roman assumed. "Actually...Paulina Price," Abe clarified.
"Why, Abraham -- you sound a little smitten; I am sensing romantic possibility!" Roman teased while Abe was gushing about Paulina. "I don't know -- I'm not sure it's a good idea," Abe admitted. "What, you don't want to mix business and pleasure?" Roman assumed. "I don't think Paulina would have a problem with it, but... I don't know -- maybe I'm old-fashioned...[or] maybe I'm hesitant because Paulina is Tamara's younger sister," Abe clarified. "Tamara and you have been over for years...[so], for what it's worth, I don't think that ought to get in the way of you becoming involved with Paulina. [And] maybe it's time you get back out there -- [I mean], I don't want you to blow your chance, like I did," Roman advised before telling Abe about having recently tried -- and failed -- to get back together with Kate.
At the Price condominium, Paulina and Chanel sampled the sweet potato pie they had made earlier. "That is a little slice of heaven right there -- almost as good as your grandmother makes [it]!" Paulina raved. "And we did it together," Chanel stressed. "You sound surprised," Paulina observed. "I am," Chanel confirmed. "Oh, come on -- we used to make sweet potato pie together every Thanksgiving!" Paulina protested. "Yeah, but when's the last time we spent the holidays together?" Chanel countered. "Hmm... I guess it's been a few years," Paulina admitted. "Yeah -- you were off doing your thing, and I was doing mine...[and then] we ended up here, [and] we haven't stopped fighting since... [But] once we put on [our] aprons, there was no stress [and] no drama -- just me hanging with my mama. And it feels great," Chanel declared, and Paulina agreed.
"When you said you were proud of me [earlier], that meant everything to me!" Chanel informed Paulina. "[And] I'm proud of you, too -- I've always admired how much of an amazing businesswoman you are, but you're also an amazing person; [I mean], you could have took this opportunity [with the town square as a way] to maximize your profit...but, instead, you're using it to help people!" Chanel gushed, making Paulina squirm. "What is it, Mama?" Chanel wondered, noticing Paulina's discomfort. "I really feel guilty about something, and I need to tell you just what it is..." Paulina began with a sigh. "I always said, 'Eat healthy...and then we'll talk about sweets!' [So], to make up for setting a bad example, I'd like to take you out to eat -- my treat," Paulina concluded, unable to finish the confession.
At the Brady Pub, Allie and Tripp debated whether to end their dinner with chocolate mousse or apple pie. "Why not both?" Tripp suggested. "There's also cheesecake," Allie, who was reading a menu, noticed. "Ooh -- that also works..." Tripp responded. "I wonder if we'll have to learn how to make cheesecake -- and apple pie... For the bakery, I mean," Allie mused.
"How's that going, by the way?" Tripp wondered. "Oh, Tripp, I am so excited -- I mean, I have the chance to go into business with my friend and make money and change the square for the better... It's more than I could have ever hoped for!" Allie raved, drawing a grin from Tripp -- and Chanel entered the pub with Paulina just then.
Chanel approached Allie and Tripp's table and started to take care of the introductions, but Paulina quickly interrupted. "I know who this is -- [after all], I'm the one who picked up the tab for that Champagne brunch [you] tried to stick [him] with!" Paulina reminded Chanel. "It's very nice to see you again," Tripp said to Paulina. "Tripp and I are cool now --" Chanel informed Paulina. "We are -- it's really all good," Tripp assured Paulina. "[And] he's not the person I wanted to introduce you to," Chanel clarified before introducing Paulina to Allie.
"There is something very important about the two of us that you need to know..." Chanel began to explain to Paulina, drawing looks of surprise from Allie and Tripp, who both clearly had the same expectation for the next part of the sentence. "Allie's the one I was telling you about earlier [who's] gonna be working with me at the bakery," Chanel concluded, oblivious to Tripp and Allie's inaccurate assumption. "It's very nice to meet you," Allie said to Paulina while extending a hand. "No offense, honey, but...what, exactly, qualifies you to be part of my project?" Paulina challenged Allie, ignoring the attempt at a handshake. "Your first hires -- shouldn't they be people of color?" Paulina advised Chanel. "As the owner, I can hire whomever I want...and I want her," Chanel countered while grinning at Allie somewhat flirtatiously -- and Tripp silently reacted, as if pondering how to interpret the last part of the statement and the smile that had accompanied it.
"When Chanel first offered me this opportunity, I had a lot of the same reservations that you do -- and if she wants to hire someone else, I will step aside --" Allie began to explain to Paulina. "So, you don't really need the job," Paulina translated. "Oh, no, I do -- very much -- and I'm really grateful to have it. I'm a single mother, and I've been relying on my friends and family to keep me afloat, but I am determined to stand on my own two feet and make a good example for my son," Allie clarified. "[And] I really support everything that you're doing for Salem -- I mean, really, I'm so honored to be a part of it; I think it's amazing! And the square is very special to me -- it was named after my family, and I know that my great-grandparents are looking down from heaven and smiling on all the fabulous work that you're doing. And, speaking of fabulous, this look is beyond -- I can totally see where Chanel gets her sense of style!" Allie added.
"Oh, I like her," Paulina conceded as Chanel and Tripp both looked at Allie with obvious admiration. "So, are you in the baking business, as well?" Paulina asked Tripp. "No -- I'm actually a med student," Tripp replied. "Oh, a doctor -- how wonderful! Now, Chanel, this is the kind of man you should be dating -- substantial, serious..." Paulina declared as Tripp and Allie flashed Chanel sympathetic cringes.
"Oh, my God -- #Mortified!" Chanel fretted to Allie and Tripp after an oblivious Paulina rushed off to greet Abe, who had just entered the pub with Roman. "I will be pretty bummed if [my mom still] doesn't want me to hire you, but there's no way I'll let you go," Chanel assured Allie -- and Tripp silently reacted again but didn't have much time to ponder the last part of the statement before being summoned back to the hospital.
"I'm happy for you," Chanel said to Allie after Tripp left. "Really?" Allie responded. "Yes, I'm genuinely happy for you -- about Tripp and about your new career path," Chanel maintained.
Meanwhile, Abe introduced Roman to Paulina, who raved that the pub was a fine establishment with great atmosphere. Roman rushed off to the kitchen to get a complimentary bowl of chowder for Paulina, who flirtatiously extended a dinner invitation to Abe once the coast was clear. "I thought you'd never ask," Abe responded with a grin before following Paulina to Chanel and Allie's table -- just as Allie was teasing Chanel about Paulina's earlier dating advice. "I just can't help wondering...[you know], how she'd react if she ever found out that we kissed," Chanel fretted to Allie before either woman sensed Paulina and Abe's presence.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Justin received a phone call from Steve, who was at the hospital. "I'm calling about our dinner tonight --" Steve began. "Right, right -- Bonnie is getting ready as we speak," Justin reported. "I'm here in [Kayla's] office to pick her up, and she's not here yet, so I think we should put the dinner off --" Steve continued, unaware that Kayla had just entered the office. "What? 'Put the dinner off'? I just got here -- I'm ready to go!" Kayla protested. "I heard that," Justin informed Steve with a scoff. "Right... Well, I guess we're on for tonight..." Steve conceded with a sigh.
Bonnie entered the mansion's study, unnoticed, as Justin continued the phone conversation with Steve. "You wanted to cancel -- yet again -- didn't you? Not because Kayla was working late -- which she obviously isn't -- but because, much as you say you want to get to know Bonnie better, you just can't bring yourself to do it, can you? [Look], just admit it, Steve -- you're thinking, 'To hell with Justin and what he wants! Why should I make an effort to get to know Bonnie Lockhart better when I've already made up my mind about her? The truth is, there's nothing she can say or do that's going to change [my opinion], because I just can't stand the woman!'" Justin challenged Steve. "I thought Kayla might be working late --" Steve insisted. "Like hell you did!" Justin snapped.
Kayla snatched Steve's cell phone and greeted Justin. "It turns out that I'm not working late, and so we will be at Julie's Place on time!" Kayla assured Justin before ending the call and demanding an explanation from Steve. "I was trying to get out of the dinner -- [and] I know it wasn't very good to cancel at the last minute like that, but I just figured, you know, they'd be okay having dinner on their own," Steve admitted. "No, they wouldn't -- not when they are planning to have it with us! And you know damn well how hurtful this is to Justin -- that you would not even attempt to accept Bonnie as somebody important in his life!" Kayla argued. "I don't like having to be friendly to someone who made a mess of my sister's life -- and I really don't understand what Justin sees in her!" Steve countered. "Relationships are complicated -- who knows what two people see in each other -- [but] if Bonnie makes Justin happy, then I say...'Swell!'" Kayla reasoned -- and Steve grudgingly accepted defeat.
Meanwhile, Bonnie forced a smile then greeted Justin, wearing a sequined pink dress and a feathery white shawl. "Wow -- you look beautiful...and shiny!" Justin raved before wondering if Bonnie was ready to head off to Julie's Place. "I just need a little time to primp --" Bonnie began to respond, prompting Justin to argue that no further primping was necessary. "I guess I'm just a little nervous -- you know, it didn't go too well last time we saw Steve and Kayla... [Anyway], you go ahead, [and] I'll see you in a few," Bonnie continued. "Okay, if you're sure... [Look], everything is going to be just fine -- they're going to get to know you better and start to see you the way I see you," Justin assured Bonnie before rushing off.
Kayla and Steve were already at Julie's Place when Justin arrived. "Where's Bonnie?" Kayla wondered. "She'll be here in just a few minutes -- she wasn't quite ready when I left, and she didn't want to make us both late," Justin answered. "Eh, we wouldn't have minded," Steve insisted.
"Listen, Steve...I'm sorry if I was a little harsh on the phone --" Justin began. "No, dude -- please don't apologize. It was wrong of me to try to cancel at the last minute," Steve interjected. "Steve has decided, as have I, that we're gonna try with Bonnie, because we know how much you care about her -- and, in fact, that's all we need to know," Kayla stressed.
Bonnie soon entered the restaurant, wearing a glittery black dress. "You look nice..." Justin raved with obvious confusion. "Why, thank you, Justin... So good to see you, Kayla...Steve... I'm so glad we could do this -- you know, I'm just hoping we can make it a regular occurrence..." Bonnie responded.
The group soon decided to start the dinner with a round of drinks. "I assume you'd like the usual kamikaze?" Justin asked Bonnie. "I would not -- I would like a white wine, please; [something] dry, preferably a Chardonnay," Bonnie replied, leaving Justin even more confused than before.
"Ooh -- this...pricks fixy menu...looks interesting!" Bonnie observed. "Prix fixe," Justin politely clarified. "Oh, of course -- I guess I need to brush up on my French," Bonnie admitted with a laugh, drawing patient nods of understanding from Justin and Kayla -- and a scoff from Steve.
"Are you trying to impersonate my sister?" Steve incredulously challenged Bonnie. "Adrienne was not only your sister!" Justin irritably reminded Steve. "You're dressed like Adrienne, you're talking like Adrienne, you ordered dry white wine like Adrienne -- [I mean], are we supposed to find this comforting, [or] funny, [or]...what? [Seriously], do you really think that this ridiculous Adrienne imitation is going to endear you to us? It's gonna do anything but! [So], just...be yourself, [because] this pathetic Adrienne act, it's unbearable!" Steve spat at Bonnie, ignoring Kayla's attempts to interrupt.
"Okay, I'll be myself -- and as myself, Steve, I'd like to say that I feel like a damn fool...[and] not because I'm trying to look like Adrienne so you'd maybe like me more, but because I was actually looking forward to this night; [in fact], ever since we agreed to have this date a few days ago, I've thought about almost nothing else --" Bonnie countered. "I'm really sorry about this --" Kayla interjected. "I so, so wanted to make a good impression tonight -- but not for me; it was for Justin. [But] I can't do it anymore -- I am sick and tired of trying to prove to you two that I am worthy of Justin...especially because...I know damn well I'm not," Bonnie continued. "Now, we may not agree on a whole lot of things, but we can agree on that, can't we? Justin is a wonderful man, and he deserves a hell of a lot better than the likes of me, hmm? [I'm] the worst thing that ever happened to [him]!" Bonnie concluded.
"That is not true!" Justin assured Bonnie. "[And] we do not think that," Kayla insisted. "We don't," Steve agreed before apologizing for having upset Bonnie. "I'm upset a lot -- I'm used to it," Bonnie responded with a mirthless laugh. "Well, you shouldn't be used to it," Justin declared before chastising Steve for having humiliated Bonnie. "I wasn't trying to humiliate anyone, okay? All I can say in my defense...is that...watching Bonnie trying to be like my deceased sister is painful for me," Steve explained, getting a bit emotional. "Bonnie wouldn't have to resort to channeling your sister if she thought that you would like her for just who she is," Justin stressed. "That's exactly right," Bonnie confirmed.
"I never should have even come tonight -- [and] I know you wish this night would never have happened, [too, because] I overheard Justin on the phone, just twisting your arm, trying to get you not to cancel...again," Bonnie said to Steve, surprising Justin and making Kayla squirm. "We're here, aren't we?" Steve argued. "Not in spirit, you're not -- you're only here so you don't hurt Justin's feelings," Bonnie countered. "I definitely wanted to be here -- in fact, I was really looking forward to it --" Kayla insisted. "When I suggested this 'double date' thing so long ago, we said we'd do it the very next week, but you two put it off for at least three months! And, frankly, right now, I just wish we'd put it off forever," Bonnie responded.
Chloe spotted Shawn while leaving the hospital in a wheelchair that Philip was pushing. "What are you doing here?" Chloe wondered. "Belle wanted to see with her own eyes that Jan's not gonna be able to hurt anyone ever again," Shawn answered.
Meanwhile, Belle entered the Spears room and approached Jan, who was on a ventilator. "I bet you think you're gonna get away with everything again, [but] not this time -- no, this time, you don't get to just sleep your way out of being punished, you don't get to just lie there like nothing ever happened, you don't get to torment me and my family and not pay for your crimes... I'm here to tell you, Jan -- no more tricks, no more stunts; you are done torturing my family and terrorizing my friends! It is over, bitch; it ends now, [because] after everything you've done to us, there is no way in hell you get a pass -- I'm gonna make sure of that..." Belle spat before unplugging Jan's ventilator.
Shawn soon entered the room and wondered why an alarm was blaring -- then started inspecting Jan's ventilator when Belle didn't immediately respond. Shawn found and fixed the problem then continued trying to get a response out of Belle as Philip wheeled Chloe into the room -- and then a nurse joined the group, having heard the alarm, and wondered what had happened. "Nothing -- it just started beeping," Belle claimed. "She seems fine now -- there's no changes in her condition..." the nurse observed before leaving the room with a sigh of confusion.
"Please tell me that you did not intentionally unplug that ventilator!" Shawn begged Belle once the coast was clear. "Who cares if she did? Jan deserves it --" Philip argued. "Oh, shut up, Philip!" Shawn countered. "Relax -- when I pulled the plug, I wasn't trying to kill Jan --" Belle started to explain to Shawn. "So, you did do it on purpose," Shawn concluded with a groan. "Yes -- to prove that she's faking!" Belle clarified. "[Snyder's] not gonna get fooled again! And neither is Kayla -- [listen, I already] insisted that she examine Jan herself, and she agrees with Snyder, okay? This is a coma, and it's real!" Shawn assured Belle.
"I was so sure she was faking... I was just trying to protect Claire -- and, you know, protect everyone [else] that I care about... I lost control," Belle admitted with a shrug, fighting back tears. "You don't have to be scared of Jan -- she's not gonna hurt us ever again," Shawn insisted. "We've said that so many times..." Belle countered. "Well, this time, it's true -- if Jan ever comes out of this coma, Claire and I will testify that she confessed to murder, [and she'll] be locked up for good," Chloe interjected. "I am so sorry for everything that happened to you," Belle stressed, but Chloe dismissed the concern. "I'm glad Claire is safe," Philip declared before wheeling Chloe out of the room.
"So, my beautiful wife...are we finally ready to put Jan Spears behind us?" Shawn asked. "I'm so ready -- I have been for decades!" Belle replied. "Well, then, let's do it -- let's call this the official end of any connection between us and Jan Spears, [and let's go] home and celebrate," Shawn suggested, and Belle agreed -- but as soon as they exited the room, Jan's right pinky finger started moving.
At Julie's Place, Bonnie demanded to know why Justin had never bothered to mention the earlier phone conversation with Steve and Kayla. "Why didn't you tell me that they'd rather poke out all three of their eyes than have dinner with me?" Bonnie wondered. "That is not true --" Kayla insisted. "Oh, really? 'Cause your husband's rolling his one good eye at me as we speak!" Bonnie countered.
"You know what? Forget this pricks fix -- I'm sorry, 'prix fixe' -- four-course meal; I've lost my appetite!" Bonnie spat before starting to storm out of the restaurant. "I'm sorry, Bonnie -- I never should have agreed to this dinner [in the first place]. I have been working to try to put what you did to my sister in the past, and I was gonna try [again] tonight to put it aside -- I really was -- [but] when you showed up [here], dressed like her and trying to be like her, I just lost it, because it reminded me of the hell you put her through...and it made me miss her more," Steve explained with a shrug. "Okay, I'm done -- I really have lost my appetite!" Bonnie reiterated before continuing to storm off, annoyed with the backhanded apology. "I've lost my appetite, too," Justin declared before also exiting the restaurant, even though Bonnie had begged to be left alone.
"Are you upset with me?" Steve asked. "I think maybe you're upset with yourself," Kayla replied. "I am...but, you know, I was willing to try -- [it's just that] when she came in here [and] started imitating Adrienne, I just couldn't take it, [so] I just wanted to make her go away," Steve explained. "Well, you succeeded at that...but you made Justin go away, too," Kayla stressed.
"He'll probably never forgive me, huh?" Steve fretted. "Oh, I think he will -- [that is], if you can try to put your grief and anger aside and have compassion for [someone who], like you, was brokenhearted when he lost Adrienne... [You know], after that whole thing that happened [between him and me], I have been hoping that he would find happiness [with someone else]...and if Bonnie makes him happy, who are we to judge?" Kayla responded.
Justin found Bonnie outside Julie's Place, sitting on a bench and crying. "You know, the first time I ever met Adrienne, I was walking through the park, and she was sitting on a bench and crying --" Justin revealed. "Oh, great -- I'm an Adrienne copycat again," Bonnie grumbled. "No, you are not... [Look, the point is], when I first met her, she didn't know which fork to use or how to pronounce a single word of French," Justin continued.
"Adrienne was one of a kind...but so are you, Bonnie. [Look], I don't want you to be Adrienne -- I don't want you to be anyone but yourself, 'cause you're perfect just the way you are...[and] I love you," Justin concluded, drawing a gasp from Bonnie. "I could've sworn you just said --" Bonnie stammered. "I love you," Justin repeated. "Say it again!" Bonnie begged. "I love you," Justin maintained. "Okay -- now pinch me, 'cause I know this ain't real --" Bonnie requested. "It's as real as it gets," Justin insisted. "Oh, Justin -- I love you, too!" Bonnie swooned before kissing Justin.
At the Brady Pub, Chanel and Paulina stared at each other in awkward silence as Allie and Abe watched uncomfortably. "Did I hear you say you two kissed?" Paulina eventually challenged Chanel. "Mama, I can explain --" Chanel began. "Chanel, I'm very disappointed in you!" Paulina snapped.
"Mama, it's not a big deal --" Chanel insisted. "Of course, it's not -- the 'big deal' is that you've been keeping things from me! Why didn't you just tell me you were gay? [I'm] a very straightforward, modern woman, [so] why were you afraid to tell me the truth about who you are, baby girl?" Paulina countered.
"Mama, I'm not a lesbian!" Chanel protested. "Uh... Okay... Then why were you swapping spit with this girl? Was she...trying to recruit you -- you know, like...for her team?" Paulina wondered. "Allie's not a lesbian, either!" Chanel started to clarify -- just as Roman emerged from the kitchen with two bowls of chowder. "First of all, I kissed Allie -- once --" Chanel continued, prompting Roman to awkwardly offer to step back into the kitchen for a few more minutes -- and Abe also tried to step aside, eager to leave the conversation.
"I'm sorry if this conversation is making you both a little uncomfortable -- I realize not everyone is as forward-thinking as I am --" Paulina started to explain to Abe and Roman. "Well, now, I don't know about that --" Abe began to protest. "As a matter of fact --" Roman began to object. "Actually, my big brother is gay, and Grandpa here is totally cool with it...so, like Chanel said, it's not a big deal," Allie clarified for Paulina. "[Then] this is a wee bit confusing!" Paulina grumbled. "I'm not confused -- sometimes I kiss girls, sometimes I kiss boys..." Chanel summarized with a shrug. "Oh -- well, so, you're bisexual!" Paulina translated with a smile of sudden understanding. "No," Chanel insisted. "Okay, I give up... What are you?" Paulina begged Chanel to reveal. "I'm your daughter, Mama!" Chanel informed Paulina, who didn't find that answer particularly helpful.
"Sit down -- we'll have dinner, and we can talk about --" Chanel urged Paulina, prompting Roman to offer to fetch two more bowls of chowder for Abe and Allie. "Actually, I should probably get going --" Allie argued. "Do you have to?" Chanel countered. "No -- I can stay for a little while longer," Allie decided after realizing that Chanel was in desperate need of backup.
"So...you're saying you're...fluid?" Paulina summarized after further discussion with Chanel. "That's right," Chanel confirmed. "Just so I'm clear -- this is different from bisexual...how?" Paulina wondered. "Look, everybody has their own way of identifying -- and I'm not really into labels, anyway --" Chanel answered. "Hmm... Your closet full of designer clothes says otherwise..." Paulina muttered, drawing a sarcastic laugh from Chanel and genuine laughs from Allie and Abe.
"I'm sorry if I'm being obtuse, but... Well, help me out here, Abe!" Paulina stammered. "With what?" Abe responded. "Well, back in our day, you were either gay or not gay, you know? It was, you know, black or white...if you know what I mean... Like, since when did people start signing their emails with all their pronouns?" Paulina clarified. "Not soon enough, if you ask me!" Allie declared. "Well, I don't have a problem with it -- it's just that I met a 'they' the other day, and I'm like, 'I'm looking for all the other people!'" Paulina admitted. "You'll get used to it -- I mean, my Grandma [Marlena] freaks out if you use an apostrophe in the wrong place, [but] even [she] says that 'grammar evolves with society,'" Allie assured Paulina, who was pleasantly surprised to hear that Marlena was Allie's grandmother.
"So, Allie, your pronouns --" Paulina began to ask. "Are 'she' and 'her,'" Allie replied. "I'm glad we got that out in the open!" Paulina declared with a sigh of relief. "Me, too -- thank you for understanding, Mama," Chanel responded. "I'm doing my best, baby," Paulina stressed. "I was a little afraid about you finding out -- you know, about Allie and me kissing -- [because you're always telling me], 'You should never mix business with pleasure!'" Chanel admitted. "Really? Is that what she says?" Abe interjected with a laugh, silently recalling a conversation in which Paulina had claimed to be a firm believer in the concept of mixing business with pleasure. "Well..." Paulina stammered -- but Roman returned with a takeout bag for Allie before anything else could be said.
Belle and Shawn entered the Brady house while Claire was in the process of sweeping the living room floor. "You need to be resting after everything you've been through!" Belle protested. "I have all of this nervous energy I need to get out... I'm fine," Claire countered. "Are you sure?" Shawn wondered. "Yes!" Claire maintained.
"I just wish that I could say the same about Ben -- [I mean], I've tried calling him a few times, and he's just not picking up, [and] he's so upset about Ciara sending the divorce papers... He loves her so much, [and] I don't think he knows what to do without her," Claire fretted. "Honey, I know that you and Ben have gotten closer lately --" Belle began. "And we can't tell you how grateful we are for everything that he did to make sure you got home safe --" Shawn added. "But [he] needs to find a way to move on from Ciara...and you can't help him do that. I mean...I am so proud of the caring friend that you've become...but I just think that you need to concentrate on taking care of yourself right now," Belle concluded, and Shawn agreed.
"I'm fine, okay? As long as we don't have to worry about Jan Spears, you don't have to worry about me," Claire insisted, prompting Shawn to report that Jan was in a coma and would probably never recover -- a prediction that Belle was seemingly still unable to fully trust.
Rafe went to the cabin -- and found Ben inside. "Didn't expect to find you here..." Rafe admitted. "Yeah... What's going on, man? Is there a new lead on Chloe and Jan?" Ben responded. "[Chloe was] rescued last night, [and] she's gonna be all right -- [and] Jan is never gonna hurt anyone again," Rafe clarified, drawing a sigh of relief from Ben.
"[Then] what brings you up here?" Ben wondered. "I got a call about some suspicious activity," Rafe explained. "I guess that 'suspicious activity' would be me -- at least, I haven't seen anybody else..." Ben admitted. "Shawn said that you stayed behind after you saved Claire --" Rafe recalled. "Yeah -- I just needed to clear my head," Ben confirmed. "[But] that was yesterday -- why are you still here, man?" Rafe protested. "Because of Ciara," Ben answered before producing the divorce paperwork and showing it to Rafe.
"[She] keeps calling me about signing these, [but] I can't seem to bring myself to do it," Ben elaborated. "Well, letting go is hard, man -- I can't blame you. [In fact], I went through the same thing with her mother, [remember]?" Rafe responded, drawing a nod from Ben. "I just feel like...these past few weeks, I've been going crazy..." Ben fretted before telling Rafe about Jordan's recent appearances. "You know, sometimes, I see her, too --" Rafe admitted. "My sister visits you, too?" Ben incredulously repeated. "In my dreams," Rafe matter-of-factly confirmed. "Rafe, I'm talking about her showing up and talking to me while I'm awake," Ben stressed. "Okay... Have you talked to Marlena about this?" Rafe wondered. "No -- but I will," Ben answered.
"Right now, I'm just focusing on these damn divorce papers -- I've just been sitting here, staring at 'em... Now, a part of me is wondering if maybe Ciara really is better off without me, [but] the other part is why I came here... [You know], this is where it all started for us...[and] now it's killing me because this might be the same place where it all ends," Ben continued before wondering how Rafe had handled Hope's request for a divorce. "I was totally in denial when Hope first sent me those papers, [so] I threw 'em away...[but] she just kept sending me new copies -- [so], finally, I realized that if I really did love her, I needed to accept the fact that she didn't want to be in the marriage," Rafe recalled. "So, I need to love Ciara enough to let her go," Ben translated with a sigh.
"I'm not gonna tell you what to do...[but] if it's what Ciara wants, I don't know that you have a choice, [because she is] a lot like her mother, [which makes her the] most stubborn kid that I have ever met... [And] I know that you are holding onto the hope that she's gonna get her memory back, but even if that does happen...you know, there's no guarantee that things are gonna go back to the way they were," Rafe warned. "Yeah -- I guess they hardly ever do..." Ben conceded before thanking Rafe, who soon started the drive back to Salem.
At the Hernandez house, Ava received a visit from Tripp. "I thought you were on a date with Allie," Ava admitted. "I was, but I had to cut it short when I got called back to the hospital," Tripp explained. "Is everything okay?" Ava wondered. "It just turned out to be a test -- Dr. Snyder sometimes likes to remind me who's boss," Tripp clarified. "You really shouldn't have to put up with that," Ava declared with a groan. "It comes with the job," Tripp reasoned with a shrug.
"On the bright side, a patient did bring me pignolis, and I don't know anyone who loves them more than you do, so..." Tripp added before handing over a brown paper bag. "Homemade?" Ava assumed. "Homemade!" Tripp confirmed. "Thank you for thinking of me," Ava raved.
"But what about poor Allie?" Ava wondered. "Oh, she doesn't like nuts," Tripp revealed. "You left her alone!" Ava clarified. "Oh -- no, we were at the Brady Pub, actually...and she wasn't alone..." Tripp explained. "'Chanel'... Wait, why do I know that name... Oh -- wasn't that the girl you told me about who ordered all that Champagne and then left you and Claire with the tab?" Ava recalled while Tripp was trying to elaborate. "Turns out, she and Allie go way back..." Tripp informed Ava before finishing the story.
Ava grumbled that it was quite a coincidence that Allie and Chanel just happened to know each other from London -- and Tripp agreed. "This...'Chanel' girl...does not sound like someone that I would want to go into business with..." Ava argued. "Well, she didn't make the best first impression, I'll give you that...but once you get to know her, she's actually really cool, and I hope [this bakery idea] works out for [her and Allie]..." Tripp stressed. "But...?" Ava prodded Tripp. "This job means a lot to Allie -- and Chanel's kind of all over the place... [I mean], one week, [she's] marrying Xander Cook for his money, and the next, she's kissing Allie --" Tripp answered. "Wait -- Allie is cheating on you...with a woman?" Ava interjected.
"It's not like that -- [look], Allie and I weren't together then, and Allie said it was nothing, okay? Chanel is not the threat to our relationship," Tripp clarified. "Then who is?" Ava wondered. "My dead brother," Tripp answered before telling Ava everything.
Ava continued to feel responsible for Charlie's actions -- and, therefore, also felt responsible for Allie's trauma. "She's probably never gonna recover," Ava fretted. "I don't agree -- I mean, she'll never forget what happened, yeah...but she will recover. And she has Henry now," Tripp argued.
"Another positive thing to come from all this [was] Rafe moving you in here for protection," Tripp noted. "I've never had anything like this in my life -- I mean, yes, I loved your father, and he's a wonderful man, but...as you know, most of our relationship was not very healthy," Ava admitted. "And you're being realistic about Rafe?" Tripp asked. "What, you mean am I obsessing over him like I did with your father? No -- no, I do not spend all my time fixating on him. But I will tell you that when Rafe comes home at the end of a shift, it's really the best part of my day," Ava replied -- and, as if on cue, Rafe entered the house just then.
"You don't have to run off on my account," Rafe stressed when Tripp started to say goodbye to Ava. "Actually, I have a freezer full of chicken breasts to practice sutures on, so..." Tripp clarified. "Ooh -- fun...and gross," Rafe declared.
After Tripp left, Rafe told Ava about the earlier conversation with Ben. "I know [Hope] means a lot to you," Ava admitted at the end of the tale. "She did," Rafe confirmed. "Past tense?" Ava observed. "Yeah -- because of you. I love my job -- I really do -- but I have to say, the best part of my day is when I walk in that door and I see you," Rafe responded before giving Ava a kiss then leading the way to a bedroom.
Abe walked Paulina from the Brady Pub to the Price condominium -- where they shared a kiss. "Never mix business with pleasure?" Abe teased. "I never said that I practice what I preach," Paulina explained. "Lucky me," Abe declared before accepting Paulina's invitation to step inside the condominium for a nightcap.
While passing through the town square, Allie and Chanel discussed everything that had happened earlier. "Sorry my mom thought we were a couple," Chanel stressed. "It's cool -- [I mean], it is a little bit weird that my grandpa knows we kissed...[but] if people think you and I... I don't mind," Allie insisted.
Chanel and Allie locked eyes with each other -- but Tripp approached just then, ending the moment. "I thought you were at work," Allie said to Tripp. "Yeah, I was...for, like, two seconds," Tripp explained. "Oh -- well, that's good, 'cause I was just on my way to the hospital to bring you this [slice of key lime pie], since we didn't get to order dessert," Allie revealed while handing Tripp a brown paper bag.
Chanel started to rush off so Allie and Tripp could have some privacy -- but Allie gave Tripp a quick farewell kiss on the cheek then followed Chanel, citing a need to check on Henry. Tripp stood frozen in place, seemingly pondering either the nature of Allie's farewell kiss or the meaning of Allie's earlier moment with Chanel -- or, perhaps, pondering both things.
At the Brady house, Shawn and Belle began making out on the living room couch while undressing each other -- then rushed off to their bedroom to finish what they had started.
Claire entered the cabin while Ben was staring at the divorce paperwork. "Rafe told my dad that you were still up here, [and] I'm worried about you --" Claire explained after apologizing for having startled Ben. "Is that why you came up here?" Ben wondered. "Partially -- I was also getting the vibe that my parents needed some time alone," Claire answered.
"Still figuring out what to do?" Claire asked Ben, eyeing the divorce paperwork. "Well, my head -- and not to mention everybody else I talk to -- has been telling me one thing...but my heart is telling me another," Ben replied before telling Claire about the earlier conversation with Rafe. "So, does that mean that you're gonna sign them?" Claire wondered at the end of the tale, prompting Ben to pick up a lighter.
"Someday, it might truly be over for Ciara and me; it's just not gonna be today -- I'm not done fighting for her," Ben declared before setting fire to the divorce paperwork then dropping it to the floor and watching it turn to ashes.
As a peace offering, Jake delivered Gabi a cup of coffee in the DiMera living room. "I've already had my morning coffee," Gabi said dismissively. "I understand that you're upset that I wasn't honest with Kate," Jake noted.
"I'm going to pick up [Kate] from the hospital this morning. There will be a transitional period with her, but I promise you, as soon as she becomes confident in managing her blindness," Jake started. "Apparently Kate's needs matter more than mine," Gabi interrupted. Gabi told Jake to leave.
When Jake argued that he had been surprised that Kate had forgiven him, Gabi rolled her eyes. "You're giving the woman props for being cool with us sleeping together? I think you do want to be with her!" Gabi said. As Gabi started to walk out, Jake grabbed her arm.
"I let you walk out of my life once before. I am not going to let it happen again," Jake said. Jake argued that if Gabi had been honest with him before, he would have run away to Mexico with Gabi rather than get involved with Kate. "It has always been you. I love you. And we will be together," Jake said. "I really want to believe that," Gabi whispered. Jake pulled Gabi into a kiss.
"Looks like someone let in a couple of dogs in heat," Chad commented as he walked into the room. Chad told Jake to control himself or tell Kate the truth about his relationship. When Gabi encouraged Chad to tattle to Kate, Jake asked Chad not to say a word. "So, she wants to be honest, and you don't?" Chad asked. Gabi smiled.
"Kate took the high road and forgave you," Chad said. "Right, and after that happened, I couldn't bring myself to tell her that I wanted to be with Gabi," Jake said. Chad called Jake a coward. Jake promised to tell Kate the truth when he felt Kate could handle it. With a nod, Jake walked out.
"Don't look at me like that. Jake and I didn't even share the same bed last night," Gabi said. Gabi noted that she and Jake would keep their distance when Kate was around. Chad argued that it would be easier for Gabi to move out and not to have to watch Jake attend to Kate's needs. "It's not forever," Gabi said. Gabi stressed that Jake wanted to be with her, not Kate. Gabi argued that Jake would tell Kate the truth when she was no longer "helpless."
"Kate isn't as helpless as you think," Chad said. Suspicious, Gabi asked Chad what he knew. Chad noted that blindness did not make Kate helpless. Gabi agreed, and she said that she had argued to Jake that Kate was stronger than he believed. With a smirk, Chad asked Gabi if she was worried that Jake would change his mind.
"Change his mind about being with me?" Gabi asked. "The more time they spend together," Chad said. Frustrated, Gabi told Chad to worry about his own relationship, and she stomped out of the room. Gabi returned to Jake's room, and she thought about when Kate had walked in on her with Jake in bed. Gabi saw Jake's jacket, and she clutched it to her chest.
In Kate's hospital room, she thought about her conversation with Chad about her desire to torment Jake and Gabi. "It's going to be fun making those two suffer, and I can't wait," Kate said. "Can't wait for what?" Anna asked as she walked into the room. Kate said she was anxious to leave the hospital.
"Tony and I have been very worried about you," Anna said. Kate said she was fine. Tony entered with a bouquet of flowers. When Kate commented on the lilies, Anna asked how Kate knew what type of flowers Tony had with him. "I can smell them from here," Kate said. Anna apologized for her suspicions. Curious, Tony asked Anna why she was suspicious.
"Didn't your brother Andre pretend to be blind once?" Anna asked. Tony said he was not aware of that scheme. Kate said that Andre had faked blindness in order to toy with John and Kristen. "Well, that sounds about right. The man was quite shameless," Tony said. Kate called Andre's scheme a brilliant way to get revenge for a betrayal.
After Tony and Anna left, Kate complained about Jake's lateness. Jake walked in. "I missed you so much," Kate said. Kate asked Jake how Gabi had taken the news about Kate's forgiveness.
"I'm sure that she was disappointed that I didn't just send you packing, right?" Kate asked. "Gabi knows where you and I stand, and she knows where she and I stand," Jake said. Kate assured Jake that the situation at the house would be fine. "We'll figure it out," Jake said.
Sami woke up in her room at the penthouse, next to Lucas. "Good morning. I am so glad you sent E.J. packing," Lucas said with a grin. Sami startled awake from her dream, and she gasped at the sight of E.J. "Were you expecting someone else?" E.J. asked. Sami noted that she had not shared a bed with E.J. in a long time. "I was just drinking in the sights of my beautiful wife," E.J. said. E.J. asked Sami about her dream.
"I was dreaming of being reunited with my husband," Sami said. "I couldn't be happier about it. I hope you feel the same," E.J. said. Sami asked E.J. why he doubted her. E.J. explained that after a prolonged separation, he was surprised that he and Sami had not made love. "I'm not sure exactly why," E.J. said. Sami reminded E.J. that he had spent months pushing her away.
"It was truly unfair to you. That's why I came back to Salem. To apologize for keeping you at a distance, and to get our marriage back on track," E.J. said. "I want that, too," Sami agreed. E.J. told Sami that he loved her and wanted to be with her. "I love you, E.J. And I am so glad that you want to work on our marriage," Sami said. E.J. kissed Sami, and he asked her what was wrong as she pulled away.
"It would be so easy just to fall back into bed with you, but I want more than that. I want the messy parts, too. I want everything," Sami said. "Then we will have everything. I only want to make you happy," E.J. countered. As E.J. started to kiss Sami again, she reminded him that Marlena expected them for breakfast. Sami slipped out of bed to get dressed.
When Sami returned to the room, E.J. announced that he had repacked Sami's bag for the move to the DiMera mansion. Sami mentioned Sydney and Johnny, and E.J. assured Sami that the teens could take care of themselves. When Sami admitted that she was unsure about the move, E.J. explained that Tony had convinced him that the business was in trouble.
"So, you're gonna dive back into DiMera family politics so soon? E.J., it's a swamp," Sami said. "I owe it to my father to get it back on track," E.J. said. Concerned, E.J. reminded Sami that she had been the first one to return to Salem, and he asked her why she was hesitant to stay in town. Sami admitted that she wanted to focus on rebuilding their marriage.
"There's a lot of drama in Salem," Sami said. With a chuckle, E.J. countered, "Usually brought on by you, love." E.J. told Sami that he knew that it had been hard on her to be far away from her friends and family. "I thought you would cherish being around [your family]," E.J. said. E.J. asked Sami why she wanted to leave the people that she loved.
In the penthouse living room, John and Marlena talked about Sami and E.J. "I thought I heard somebody leave in the middle of the night," Marlena said. John suggested that E.J. had taken a walk to cope with the time change. When Marlena stared into the distance, John pushed her to open up. Marlena told John about the kiss between Sami and Lucas.
"Lucas and Sami? They haven't been together for a long time," John said. Marlena shrugged. "Lucas really stood by her when she was arrested for Charlie's murder," Marlena said. "Not to mention they were locked up together by Kristen, too," John said. John asked Marlena if Sami still loved E.J.
"Of course. We both know that Sami's heart is complicated," Marlena said. With a nod, John suggested that they not read anything into the closeness between Sami and Lucas. "What's between Sami and Lucas?" E.J. asked as he rounded the corner with Sami. A look of panic fluttered across Sami's face. John rose to his feet and greeted E.J.
"You haven't answered my question," E.J. noted. Marlena said she and John had been talking about Lucas and Sami's efforts to support Allie. "We are her parents," Sami said. E.J. put his arm around Sami. "We both think it will be awfully good for Allie to have you both in Salem. That is the plan, isn't it?" Marlena asked. Sami said that E.J. was determined to stay.
"And I assumed that Samantha felt the same way," E.J. noted. Sami laughed nervously. John invited E.J. and Sami to stay in the penthouse, but E.J. explained that he was anxious to return to his family. "E.J. is going to get back involved with the DiMera family business," Sami announced.
At the Brady Pub, Lucas updated Roman on Kate's health. Roman offered to go with Lucas to pick up Kate at the hospital. Lucas explained that Kate had asked Jake to drive her home. "But you're going to be there to help her get settled, right?" Roman asked. Lucas explained that he had insulted Gabi, and she had kicked him out of the mansion. Lucas asked if he could rent the room above the pub.
"You are still family. You always will be," Roman said. Lucas thanked Roman for the help. With a laugh, Roman said that the offer was selfish because he hoped that Allie would visit with Henry more often. Roman suggested a dinner with everyone, including Sami. "Sami left Salem last night," Lucas said. Roman noted that Sami would not leave town without a goodbye.
"You know how selfish [Sami] is. She's probably caught up in being reunited with her husband. Doesn't think about anybody else but herself," Lucas complained. Roman was surprised that E.J. was in town. When Lucas muttered about E.J., Roman noted that Lucas sounded upset. "Did something happen with you and Sami?" Roman asked. Lucas shrugged. Roman pointed out that Lucas was more upset than usual about Sami's travels. Roman asked if Lucas and Sami had fought.
Lucas explained that he did not understand why Sami needed to leave her family because E.J. told her to go. "E.J. is [Sami's] husband," Roman said. With a nod, Lucas announced that he would pack up his stuff then return to move in.
As Chad worked at the desk in the DiMera living room, E.J. and Sami walked in. "Look who it is," E.J. said. Chad grinned. "He doesn't look that surprised," Sami said. Chad explained that Tony had told him about E.J.'s return. As E.J. and Chad hugged, Sami set off to find Harold.
"I should warn you that when Stefan died, he left the house to Gabi. So, if you want to stay, she is going to have to approve it. You do know who Stefan is, right?" Chad asked. E.J. said he knew about their new brothers. When E.J. asked about the trouble Stefan had caused between Chad and Abigail, Chad's smile fell away.
"[Stefan] took advantage of her while she was sick," Chad clarified. "That must have been awful for you. But I would have thought it would teach you to be on guard," E.J. said. Confused, Chad asked E.J. what he meant. E.J. said that he knew about Chad's history with Jake and Abigail.
"I don't want to talk about Jake," Chad grumbled. "No? Shall we not even discuss the fact that you abdicated your position at DiMera and ended up letting that low-life mobster ruin our family's legacy?" E.J. barked. Chad explained that he had resigned because Shin had forced his hand. "Father always believed in fight rather than flight. I tend to agree," E.J. said. Chad explained that he had chosen to work on his marriage.
E.J. encouraged Chad to use Abigail's absence as an opportunity to oust Jake from the company. "You want to team up to take down Jake?" Chad asked. "Are you in?" E.J. asked.
"It just warms my heart to see my two little brothers getting acquainted in true DiMera fashion: plotting somebody else's downfall," Tony said with a chuckle as he walked in with Anna. Tony asked what he had missed. "Didn't mean to leave you out of our plotting," E.J. said. Chad explained that E.J. had been telling him that he was unhappy with how Chad had handled things at DiMera Enterprises.
"As the sons who Father truly loved, we have an obligation to wrest control of our company from the grease-monkey-in-chief," E.J. said. "You don't approve of Jake?" Anna asked. E.J. argued that Jake had no rights because Stefano had been unaware of Jake's existence. Anna warned Tony not to get involved.
"Don't tell me you're siding with Jake, Anna?" E.J. said. Anna stressed that she did not want Tony involved in the family business. Tony agreed. Anna suggested that they leave the plotting to Chad and E.J. Chad told E.J. that he would consider E.J.'s offer. "If we're going to overthrow Jake, we have to do it soon," E.J. stressed.
When Jake returned to the mansion with Kate, Gabi was still in Jake's bedroom. Kate wobbled in with a cane and dark sunglasses. "Gabi? What are you doing here?" Kate asked. "How did you know I was in here?" Gabi asked. Kate said she could smell Gabi's perfume. "What are you doing in Jake's room?" Kate asked. Gabi lied and said that she had been looking for misplaced dry cleaning.
"I'm going to leave you two alone," Gabi said. Kate said that Jake had told her that Gabi and Jake had only slept together once after he had believed that Kate had dumped him. "So, that's why I forgave him," Kate added. Gabi looked over at Jake. "I understand," Gabi said. Kate said she did not want Gabi to get her hopes up about a reconciliation with Jake. Gabi pulled an exaggerated face to show her displeasure to Jake.
"You care about my feelings? Seems a bit out of character for you, Kate," Gabi said. "I'm just trying to be sensitive," Kate countered. Gabi joked that though Kate had lost her memory and sight, she seemed to have gained empathy. "I'm going to leave the two of you alone," Gabi said. Gabi squeezed Jake's butt as she walked out the door.
"That wasn't so bad," Kate said. Jake told Kate that he was glad she was home. "I would love to feel your arms around me," Kate said. Kate reached out to Jake, and she whispered in his ear, "Make love to me, Jake."
John and Marlena went to the pub, and Roman asked them about Sami's decision to leave Salem without a goodbye. Marlena explained that Sami had changed her mind, and she had decided to stay in Salem with E.J. "E.J. wants to jump back into DiMera business. That's not great news," John added. Roman asked if things were okay between Sami and E.J. Marlena said she was unsure.
"Hopefully, [the time in Salem will] give Lucas and Sami enough time to resolve whatever is going on between them," Roman said. Marlena raised an eyebrow, and she asked Roman what he knew. Roman told Marlena about his conversation with Lucas. John asked Roman if he knew what Lucas and Sami had fought about. Roman said, "It certainly felt personal." John and Marlena exchanged glances.
When Lucas arrived at the DiMera mansion, he was surprised to run into Sami in the foyer. "I thought you were leaving town with E.J.," Lucas said. "Change of plans," Sami whispered. Hopeful, Lucas asked Sami if she had decided to stay because of him. "You told [E.J.] it's over between you and him, right?" Lucas asked. Sami explained that E.J. had decided to stay. With a smile, Lucas told Sami that he was glad she was still in town, no matter the reason.
"Don't be glad. Don't get any ideas," Sami stressed. E.J. walked into the foyer. "Ideas about what?" E.J. asked. Lucas smirked.