At the Brady Pub, John and Abe continued playing poker after Roman bowed out of the game. "It's too bad that we cleaned Roman out so fast," Abe shamelessly declared. "Something tells me he was more interested in getting upstairs to Kate than he was staying downstairs [and] bro-ing it up with the boys," John knowingly responded. Abe and John agreed that it was nice to see Roman and Kate back together again.
"I thought you were bluffing," John admitted after seeing Abe's hand -- two pair, jacks over deuces -- at the end of a round. "I knew you were bluffing," Abe stressed with a confident grin. "Not this time, buddy!" John revealed with a triumphant laugh, beating Abe's hand with three of a kind. "6-6-6 -- The Devil's Hand..." Abe observed as John reached for the pile of chips in the center of the table. "Don't go there, Abraham," John begged, no longer laughing.
"The demon's gone -- and if he knows what's good for him, he'll stay gone!" John added before changing the subject, warning that an apology tour was in progress -- and that Abe was one of the stops on the tour. "None of this was [Marlena's] fault, [so] no apologies are necessary -- especially since...well, the devil, I think, might have done me a favor," Abe responded. "My friend, you have not mastered the poker face," John warned.
"Maybe I was wrong about that poker face..." John admitted later, while Abe was on a winning streak. "You know what they say -- 'lucky in cards, unlucky in love'..." Abe explained to John with a forced laugh. John bowed out of the game and rushed off, but Abe stayed behind to play solitaire. "Looks like you're stuck, Abe -- not a winning hand... Time to fold them..." Abe eventually concluded while staring at the queen of hearts.
At the hospital, Susan fought back another wave of nausea then complained to Tripp and Marlena about the bad timing of the premonition-related queasiness. "I'm not gonna be able to go to that big party that my son is throwing!" Susan fretted. "I'm sorry to be missing it myself," Tripp admitted. "I bet you it's gonna be one heck of a bash!" Susan declared.
Tripp eventually rushed off to the lab with a vial of Susan's blood, promising to return as soon as possible. "Why can't I shake this bad, bad, bad feeling that the devil is not done with us?" Susan grumbled. "You were right about the devil before...[but] he's gone now, [and] he will never try to get inside me again -- I promise [you], the devil's days in Salem are over," Marlena stressed.
At the DiMera mansion, Chanel and the other partygoers struggled to process what "Johnny" had just announced. "Is this some sort of joke?" Chanel sputtered. "No, Chanel -- I'm dead serious," the demonic presence insisted as Johnny.
"You little swine -- what the hell are you trying to pull?" Paulina snapped as the demonic presence sipped Champagne while eyeing Stefano's portrait. "Just owning my truth," the demonic presence explained as Johnny -- and Paulina lunged forward in response, but Tony and Anna quickly intervened. "Oh, you arrogant twit... How 'bout you take your damn 'truth' [and] stick it where the sun don't shine!" Paulina spat.
Chanel nearly collapsed just then as a result of hyperventilation, momentarily distracting Paulina -- and also Lani, but not the demonic presence, which just continued sipping Champagne. "Johnny, what is going on? Why are you doing this?" Allie wondered after seeing that Chanel was in good hands. "Turns out you were right all along, sis -- I'm just not that good at relationships, you know? I thought this one might be different, but I was wrong -- obviously..." the demonic presence answered as Johnny. "So, you're saying..." Chanel tried to translate between sobs. "I'm saying that it's over, Chanel -- I want a divorce," the demonic presence stressed as Johnny.
"As I said [during my toast], my son is his own man, and he makes his own decisions!" E.J., who was also sipping Champagne, raved before giving "Johnny" a nod of approval. "I'm genuinely sorry to be upsetting you like this, Chanel, [but] I realize now that I need my freedom," the demonic presence reasoned as Johnny. "[So], you end the marriage like this, in front of all these people? You heartless bastard -- I have a mind to just wring your neck!" Paulina countered. "Mama, please -- stop! [Look], as much as I appreciate you having my back...your daughter can fight her own battles," Chanel, who was no longer crying, interjected before approaching "Johnny" with a scowl.
"Upstairs, just before this party, you told me -- and you showed me -- how much you love me; I looked into your eyes and I saw, inside of your heart, that all you wanted was to be with me. So, maybe this is just cold feet, or jet lag, or --" Chanel began. "It's neither, Chanel -- it's much more profound than that, [and] it goes deeper... [Look], you are an incredible woman, and from the moment I met you, I was struck by your beauty [and] your intelligence... [However], we're both young, and there's so much more we need to explore [and] experience --" the demonic presence clarified as Johnny. "Speak for yourself!" Chanel objected before guessing that "Johnny" simply wanted to explore and experience other women. "Not at all -- although I don't rule that out..." the demonic presence responded as Johnny. "Oh, you son of a bitch..." Paulina grumbled as Lani silently fumed.
"I understand that you've been burned by this sudden turn of events...but, honestly, it hurts me, as well, to break your heart this way," the demonic presence stressed as Johnny before reaching out to comfort Chanel. "Not only have you broken my heart, but you've made a fool of me!" Chanel fretted while recoiling. "Please don't succumb to feeling foolish -- you trusted in my love because you're a kind, trusting person. And that's why, in time, I hope we can still remain friends -- maybe even friends with benefits..." the demonic presence argued as Johnny, drawing a smirk from E.J. "Oh, Chanel, if you don't slap this bastard, I will do it for you!" Paulina offered -- and Lani also volunteered to take care of "Johnny" on Chanel's behalf. "Eh, you can slap me, if it'll make you feel better," the demonic presence encouraged Chanel as Johnny.
"I'm not gonna slap you -- but I just want to know...who the hell are you, and what have you done with my Giovanni? [Because] this is not the Johnny DiMera I know and love --" Chanel responded. "You don't really know me, [though] -- but my sister does, and she warned you," the demonic presence pointed out as Johnny. "She did...but I was convinced that she was wrong about you, because the guy that I knew was wonderful and kindhearted, and he made me laugh, and he showed me more love than anyone else ever has..." Chanel admitted.
"Was that all an act?" Chanel wondered. "No -- I mean, not really... I guess I was just trying to convince myself that I was capable of loving someone, that I could commit myself to that someone... But as soon as this marriage became a reality -- which it did tonight at this party, with everyone addressing us as 'husband and wife' -- I realized I'm just not there yet," the demonic presence answered as Johnny, drawing another nod of approval from E.J. "[Well], if this is who you are -- if you can turn on a dime like this and toss me out of your life at what was supposed to be a celebration of our marriage -- [then I am] grateful as hell that I found this all out now, [because] you are the last man on earth that I would want to be with...[and] you can go straight to hell, Johnny DiMera!" Chanel spat before storming out of the mansion -- and Allie followed after giving "Johnny" a quick scolding.
"My apologies to my family for the theatrics -- [and] my regrets to the family of the bride...especially you, Mama Price --" the demonic presence declared as Johnny. "You have the nerve to call me that after what you just did to my little girl?" Paulina objected. "Stay calm --" E.J. advised Paulina. "You had the audacity to assume that my daughter is going after your son's money, [but] anybody here with eyes can see [that] he isn't worth a damn!" Paulina snapped at E.J.
"Now, [Johnny], I told you that you'd have to answer to me if you didn't deliver on your promise to keep my baby girl happy --" Paulina noted. "Well, I did...for a while..." the demonic presence argued as Johnny. "[And] nobody who hurts someone I love can get away with it --" Paulina warned. "Seems like I just did..." the demonic presence bragged as Johnny before shrugging then starting to head upstairs. "Oh, no -- don't you dare walk away from me!" Paulina protested, catching up to "Johnny" on the staircase. "You hold it right there -- there's gonna be hell to pay for what you did, you bastard!" Paulina spat while grabbing "Johnny's" right hand.
Meanwhile, at the hospital, Marlena fetched a glass from one of the cabinets in Susan's examination room. After filling the glass with water, Marlena handed it to Susan, who gulped down its contents with a sigh of contentment -- then dropped it with a gasp of horror. "It was an accident," Marlena assured Susan before rushing off to find someone who could safely clear away the shards of glass. "This was not an accident -- something compelled me to drop that glass...and when it shattered, something else was broken... I just wish to God I knew what it was..." Susan fretted while alone in the examination room. Marlena soon returned with Tripp, who gave Susan a clean bill of health. "Lucky me..." Susan grumbled.
Back at the DiMera mansion, E.J., Anna, and Tony stared in shock at a chandelier that had just fallen to the floor in the foyer -- and would have landed on Paulina if Lani hadn't intervened. "Hate to say this, Mama Price, but...seems like God punished you for taking his name in vain," the demonic presence mused as Johnny before continuing to head upstairs. "I told you we should have gotten rid of that ancient light fixture!" Anna reminded Tony. "It was an original Louis XVI!" Tony fretted. "Yeah, well, ol' Louis got his head chopped off at the guillotine, and history almost repeated itself with poor Paulina right here in the family mansion!" Anna noted. Paulina, who had sustained an ankle injury, entertained the thought of suing the DiMeras -- but decided to take Lani's advice and seek medical attention instead.
Upstairs, the demonic presence celebrated in Johnny's bedroom. "Damn, that was fun -- [and], as sweet as Chanel's bits are, it had to be done; I had to cut that poor girl's heart out... And I nearly cut her mother into a thousand pieces -- you'd think that bitch Paulina would have learned her lesson the first time she tangled with me... That's twice you've laid hands on me now, Paulina Price -- if there's a third time, you won't be so lucky..." the demonic presence declared as Johnny.
"Johnny, what the hell's gotten into you?" E.J. called out from the bedroom doorway. "What's gotten into me is that I decided to acknowledge my mistake and fix it," the demonic presence explained as Johnny. "In a very public way, which was rather cruel and cold and --" E.J. noted. "DiMera-like?" the demonic presence offered as Johnny. "There was a certain element of bravery to it, too...but what struck me as odd was the comment you made after the chandelier came crashing down around Chanel's mother -- [so, tell me], when did you get religion, son?" E.J. added. "Don't be ridiculous! I haven't found God -- not in the least! It's just...what that woman did -- it infuriated me!" the demonic presence clarified as Johnny.
Downstairs, Anna fretted to Tony about everything that had happened earlier. "What a night -- and the year is still brand new... I hope this isn't a sign of things to come..." Anna mused -- just as Tony heard someone entering the mansion. Tony headed into the foyer and found Susan staring at the broken chandelier and the rubble from the ceiling. "What in God's name happened here?" Susan wondered. "You missed quite the party," Tony responded.
At the hospital, Paulina and Lani waited for a doctor in one of the examination rooms. "When that pile of glass was about to come raining down on me, you called out to me [and] told me to look out -- [and] you called me 'Mom'..." Paulina reminded Lani.
At the Walker apartment, Allie comforted Chanel with a hug. "You tried to warn me, [and] I should have listened," Chanel admitted while removing her wedding ring. "I thought I was wrong, honestly -- I thought Johnny had changed and that he loved you... [But] to hell with him, okay? He doesn't deserve you!" Allie responded. "Or maybe I'm just one of those people who is tough to love, the one who is everybody's second choice -- my mom's, Johnny's, even yours --" Chanel fretted. "Do not say that, okay? Don't even think it. [Look], you're gonna find your person, [and] when you do, that person is going to be the luckiest person on the planet," Allie insisted, prompting Chanel to seize a kiss -- and Tripp called just then, but Allie's cell phone was in silent mode.
At the DiMera mansion, Susan stepped into Johnny's bedroom. "I heard about what happened," Susan began. "Yeah -- so sad," the demonic presence responded as Johnny. "Yeah, but you don't seem to be feeling sad at all -- in fact, you're looking pleased as a peacock just now..." Susan observed. "Have you been spying on me, Grandma Susan?" the demonic presence wondered as Johnny. "Why would you be calling me 'Grandma' when we both know that you are not my grandson?" Susan countered, having realized what had caused the incident with the glass at the hospital.
Ben and Ciara debated whether to open the envelope that confirmed the sex of their baby. There was a knock at the door, and Ben and Ciara decided to let the visitor open the envelope. When Ben opened the door, Shawn was in the hallway. "Yes or no?" Ciara asked. "I've learned never to give an answer without knowing the question first," Shawn said. Ciara groaned. Shawn asked about the doctor's appointment.
"The doctor was able to determine the sex of the baby," Ben said. Ciara handed the envelope to Shawn. "Do either one of you have a preference as to whether you want a boy or a girl?" Shawn asked. "No, of course not. As long as the baby is healthy," Ciara said. Ben agreed. Shawn suggested they open the envelope so that they could pick colors for the nursery. Ciara assured Shawn that they would paint the nursery a neutral color.
"We are not about gender stereotyping our child. We're even going to teach them to choose their own pronouns when they get old enough," Ciara said. "I'm totally cool with all that, so why don't we open the envelope so we can find out," Shawn countered. Ben and Ciara groaned with indecision. "I don't think we're going to decide tonight," Ben said. Shawn told Ben and Ciara to take their time.
As Shawn prepared to leave, Ciara asked Shawn to take the sonogram envelope home with him. "Just for safekeeping until we decide if and when we want to open it," Ciara said. "You're scared you're going to take a peek," Ben said. Ciara countered that Ben might, too. "Take that temptation," Ben told Shawn. Shawn promised to look at it on the way home. Ben and Ciara yelped. "I'm joking!" Shawn assured his sister.
After Shawn left, Ben wondered aloud if they had made the right decision. Ciara noted that if they had not given the envelope to Shawn, they would have spent the night staring at it. "There's still plenty of time to find out the sex of the baby," Ciara said. "If we want to," Ben countered. Ciara noted that nothing could break them apart.
At the hospital, Paulina asked Lani why she had called out "Mom" when the chandelier had fallen at the wedding reception. Before Lani could answer, Tripp entered the room. When Tripp asked what had happened, Paulina groaned. "Johnny DiMera happened. I could wring that boy's neck for hurting my baby!" Paulina grumbled. Confused, Tripp asked what Johnny had done to Chanel.
Paulina told Tripp that Johnny had dumped Chanel at the wedding reception in front of both their families. Worried, Tripp asked what had happened to Chanel. Lani explained that Allie had run after Chanel. "That must be why she hasn't returned my call," Tripp said. Paulina noted that Allie was a good friend. Tripp promised to check on Paulina's x-ray and then call Allie again.
"Don't tell Chanel anything about my injuries. She's got enough to worry about," Paulina said. With a nod yes, Tripp walked out.
In Chanel's bedroom at Paulina's apartment, a teary-eyed Chanel said, "I don't know what I'd do without you, Horton." Allie comforted Chanel. "When the world gets one of us down, we hold each other up," Allie said. "You and me against the world," Chanel whispered. Chanel kissed Allie. After a moment, Allie backed away.
"I can't do this," Allie said. Allie apologized, and she stressed that she was committed to Tripp. As Chanel took a step toward Allie, Allie ran out the door. In the living room, Allie gathered her things, and she saw that Tripp had called her phone. Tripp called again, and Allie answered the call. "Is Chanel okay?" Tripp asked. Allie said that Chanel was heartbroken but would be fine. Allie confirmed that Chanel was at her mother's house, and Allie told Tripp that she was headed back to her own apartment.
"I'll see you tomorrow. Love you," Allie said. As Allie turned to leave, Chanel rushed out of the bedroom. "Please don't bail the way your brother did," Chanel pleaded. After a moment, Chanel apologized for the comparison. "I know how bad he hurt you," Allie whispered. Chanel argued that, unlike Johnny, Allie would never humiliate the person that she had claimed to love. Allie hugged Chanel as Chanel sobbed.
"My brother isn't worth your tears," Allie said. "I know I took it too far before, but if you could, please stay. As friends. I don't want to be alone tonight," Chanel said. Chanel promised that nothing romantic would happen. "My whole life was ripped apart in front of everyone I care about, and I just feel sad, humiliated, lost," Chanel said. Allie promised to stay. With a shake of her head, Chanel said she could not believe that Allie and Johnny were twins.
"I hate him for what he did to you. I don't think I'm ever going to forgive him for it," Allie said. "I thought he loved me. I thought that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. I don't understand how I could have been so wrong about him," Chanel said. Allie called Nicole, and she arranged for Nicole to watch Henry overnight.
Chanel asked Allie to sleep in her bed so that she could feel her nearby. Reluctantly, Allie agreed. Chanel helped Allie unzip her dress, and the two climbed into bed together with their backs to one another. As Chanel continued to sniffle back tears, the two turned toward one another to talk.
"I'm really glad you're here," Chanel said. "So am I. I want you to know, my brother is an idiot," Allie said. Allie told Chanel that she was "the smartest, fiercest, most beautiful woman I know."
"Anybody would be lucky to be with you," Allie whispered. "Do you really mean that?" Chanel asked. "Yeah. I do," Allie admitted. Allie kissed Chanel.
At the hospital, Tripp returned to Paulina's exam room to update her on Chanel. "A good night's sleep will help," Lani assured Paulina. "I've got to be there for her!" Paulina objected. Tripp and Lani gently pushed Paulina back onto the exam table to keep her from leaving the room. "We need to get this ankle treated first," Tripp said.
While Tripp went to track down the results of the x-ray, Lani told Paulina that she was worried about Chanel, too. "A mother never stops worrying about her children. All of her children," Paulina said. When Tripp returned, he confirmed that Paulina had a sprained ankle, and he wrapped it up for her. "Doctor Tripp, you got a nice bedside manner," Paulina said. With a grin, Tripp noted that his stepmother, Kayla, was his mentor.
"I'm sure she is as proud of you as I am of my girls," Paulina said. Paulina put her hand on Lani's shoulder. After Tripp left to finalize discharge papers and secure a cane for Paulina, Paulina asked if Lani had been offended when she had called Lani one of her girls. "No, I wasn't," Lani said. Paulina asked Lani again why she had called her "Mom.
"I'm not sure why I said it. I saw that you were in danger, and I just said it in the moment," Lani admitted. "I see," Paulina whispered. Lani told Paulina that she would always see Tamara as her mother. "Of course," Paulina agreed. "Deep down, I guess I see you that way, too," Lani confessed.
Tripp returned with the discharge papers and a cane. "Please tell Chanel I hope she's okay," Tripp said. With a nod, Tripp walked out. Lani helped Paulina to her feet, and she offered to take her home. Paulina assured Lani that her driver was downstairs. "You go home to your beautiful twins and their beautiful daddy," Paulina insisted. Lani promised to call Chanel to check on her. "Lani, I'm so glad you were there for me. You can't imagine how much that means to me," Paulina said.
After Lani loaded Paulina into her car, Lani returned upstairs to thank Tripp for his care. "My pleasure. She is something else," Tripp said. "She sure is," Lani agreed. Lani asked Tripp to thank Allie for being there for Chanel.
Paulina returned home to her apartment, and she headed straight to Chanel's room to check on her. When Paulina opened the door, she saw Chanel and Allie kissing in bed together. Paulina quietly closed the door.
At the DiMera mansion, Susan hissed at Johnny, "We both know that you are not my grandson." "Johnny" chuckled, and he asked Susan if she felt okay. Susan said she knew that "my Johnny" would never have hurt his wife the way he had. "You are that mean, mean, mean devil himself. And as God is my witness, I am going to put an end to your reign of terror, once and for all," Susan vowed. As Johnny reached out to assure Susan that all was well, she pulled her arm away.
"Don't you touch me! You're the one who is not himself!" Susan yelped. Susan grabbed her cross from her purse. "Johnny" insisted that he was her grandson. "I can smell the brimstone on your breath," Susan whispered. Susan theorized aloud that the devil had jumped into Johnny during Marlena's exorcism. "You can't fool me! Not anymore!" Susan cried out. Johnny's eyes changed color.
"I guess you're not as dumb as you look," devil Johnny said. Susan said she had known that the devil had not retreated to hell. "It's too bad you won't live long enough for anyone else in Salem to find out," devil Johnny said. Susan told the devil that he could not take her soul. "Now what?" Susan asked.
"Maybe I'll turn you into a bug so I can squash you under my cloven hoof," devil Johnny growled. "I have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost on my side. Not to mention Mr. John Black," Susan countered. Susan swore to stop the devil. As Susan turned to leave, devil Johnny slammed the door.
"Let's talk about your beloved Elvis. Perhaps it's time that I dispose of him?" devil Johnny said. Susan warned the devil to stay away from her son. The devil promised to rip E.J.'s heart from his chest. Susan called the devil's bluff. "There are witnesses downstairs," Susan argued. The devil laughed. When the devil noted that people would believe Johnny had snapped, Susan countered that everyone would know that the devil was still in Salem. The devil agreed that Susan had a point.
"I'm going to have to find another way to silence you. Permanently," the devil said. Susan shouted at the devil again, and the devil called her infantile. Susan gasped. "You are still after Ben and Ciara's poor, innocent young'in," Susan said. The devil grinned. Susan promised to keep the devil from the baby, and the devil laughed. When Susan promised to tell E.J. everything, the devil opened the door for her.
In the living room downstairs, E.J. told Belle what had happened at the party. Belle noted that Johnny's behavior had been brutal, "Even by DiMera standards." "The boy is half Brady," E.J. said. "Half Sami Brady," Belle corrected. "What would you have him do, stay in a loveless marriage?" E.J. asked. Belle said she wished Johnny would have ended things in a more humane way.
Curious, Belle asked E.J. if he was proud of what Johnny had done. "When I walked in here, you were having drinks with your father, and maybe you and that vampire were toasting to Johnny's cruelty," Belle noted. E.J. reminded Belle that she had no trouble cashing the paychecks with the DiMera name on them. With a nod, Belle said she needed Chad to sign some contracts. E.J. said that he had more important matters than keeping tabs on his brother.
"You mean your kidnapping trial is starting tomorrow?" Belle asked. "Yes, that," E.J. said. Belle noted that the evidence was flimsy and that E.J.'s attorney should be able to handle the case. "I don't have an attorney," E.J. announced. E.J. explained that he wanted to represent himself in court. When Belle noted that it was a foolish decision, E.J. asked Belle to represent him. Belle noted that as counsel for DiMera Enterprises, it was a conflict of interest.
"We can get around that," E.J. said. "Okay, what about the part where you're being prosecuted for my sister's kidnapping," Belle said. E.J. argued that it would be to his advantage that the victim's sister believed him. "Who says I believe you're innocent?" Belle asked. Belle argued that Chad would fire her if she represented E.J.
"You leave Chad and the DiMera board to me. I will make them see that it is in the company's best interest to have these ridiculous charges against me dropped," E.J. said. Belle noted that the company was adamant that it wanted to keep its distance from E.J. and the kidnapping case. "What if you're my best chance at making this whole thing go away?" E.J. asked. "Even if by some miracle the board did approve it, what makes you think I'd want to represent you?" Belle asked.
E.J. told Belle that he understood her reluctance to represent him, but he had been framed. "Even if I believed you, and I am not saying that I do, Sami thinks you're guilty. So, it would be as if I'm betraying my own sister," Belle said. E.J. argued that Sami had repeatedly betrayed Belle in the past.
"If you don't want to help me for me, do it for your niece and nephew," E.J. said. "Think of your children? That's your pitch?" Belle asked. Belle noted that Johnny had already proven that he was not a child when he had dumped his wife. "I know I've done some terrible things in my life, but I did not kidnap Samantha," E.J. stressed. E.J. told Belle that despite his anger, he had loved Sami too much to have held her hostage.
"I cannot represent you," Belle reiterated. "Go ahead. Abandon me, just like your sister did," E.J. grumbled. Belle offered to find an attorney for E.J., but he asked her to leave instead. Belle left the contracts for Chad to sign, and she wished E.J. luck in court. After Belle left, E.J. poured another drink. Susan ran into the room.
"I have something very important to tell you!" Susan said. E.J. asked what was wrong. Susan said everything was fine, but she had wanted to tell E.J. that she was leaving town. "Roger needs me, ASAP," Susan said. "Surely you can wait until the morning," E.J. said. "She really wants to go," "Johnny" said as he walked into the room. Concerned, E.J. asked Susan, "What's the emergency?" Devil Johnny thought about when he had hypnotized Susan upstairs.
"I'm the one who convinced her to go," "Johnny" said. Confused, E.J. asked why. Johnny said that it was obvious that Susan missed Roger. "I still don't see what difference one more night would make," E.J. said. Susan hugged E.J., and she told him that she loved him. After Susan left, E.J asked, "What just happened?"
Without a word, devil Johnny headed back to his room. "Goodbye, pesky granny, and good riddance. And that goes for you, too, Chanel," devil Johnny said to the mirror. The devil took the wedding band off of Johnny's finger. Devil Johnny crushed the ring to ashes in his hand. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust," devil Johnny said.
Nicole was just about the head inside the Brady Pub when Rafe approached with Ava, who called out a greeting. "What a surprise! You know, Rafe and I, we were just going in for some breakfast -- why don't you join us?" Ava offered. "I would love to...except...I'm running late, [so] I was just gonna grab something from Sweet Bits... Maybe another time?" Nicole responded before rushing off.
At the Horton Town Square, Tripp ran into Trask while en route to Sweet Bits. "Sorry to tell you -- looks like you wasted a trip...Tripp," Trask began. "Ha. Yeah. That's weird -- they should have opened, like, a half an hour ago," Tripp responded. "Yeah, I know when they should have opened... I also know that I just came all the way across town just to cool my heels for the last 20 minutes..." Trask grumbled. "Sorry?" Tripp offered. "It's not your fault..." Trask acknowledged.
Trask produced a cell phone and started writing a review for Sweet Bits -- "Adequate baked goods, completely unprofessional management" -- but Tripp objected to the idea of posting it online. "Why shouldn't I?" Trask wondered. "Well, for one, it's not true -- and, mainly, it's not fair; you have no idea why they're late," Tripp answered. "And you do?" Trask translated. "Yeah, kind of -- and, look, I'm telling you...this morning, Chanel doesn't need any more grief, okay?" Tripp elaborated.
At the Price condominium, Allie woke up in Chanel's bed -- then groaned while remembering what had happened the previous night. "Wasn't a dream..." Allie muttered. "You're freaking out," Chanel observed. "No!" Allie insisted. "You're playing with your hair -- you only do that when you're freaking out," Chanel argued, prompting Allie to stop fidgeting.
"I know last night was your first time with another girl... [So], you're weirded out, aren't you?" Chanel guessed. "No, not really -- being with you last night, it felt...natural; [I mean], we made love, [and] in the moment, it was so wonderful... [It's just]...this morning, I just can't help thinking about --" Allie tried to clarify -- and, as if on cue, Tripp called just then.
"I stopped by the bakery to see you, but it's closed," Tripp began when Allie answered the call. "Yeah... I knew Chanel was not gonna be in any shape to work today, and I just didn't feel like running things by myself -- it was kind of a long night..." Allie explained. "So, where are you now?" Tripp wondered. "Home," Allie claimed. "Great -- I have some time before work; I'll come right over and see you --" Tripp decided. "Actually...I...am running out the door, 'cause I'm gonna go check on Chanel," Allie backpedaled before trying to wrap up the conversation. "I love you," Tripp stressed after getting the hint. "I...love you, too..." Allie responded.
"Was he suspicious?" Chanel wondered after Allie ended the call. "No, not at all -- he was completely understanding, which just makes it clear that I am the worst person on the planet," Allie fretted. "You're being too hard on yourself," Chanel argued. "I cheated on my boyfriend!" Allie stressed. "I cheated on my husband! Not that he gives a damn..." Chanel countered.
Allie wanted to tell Tripp the truth right away, but Chanel didn't think that was a good idea. "What happened between us last night, it was a one-time thing, and it was special -- you were there when I needed you -- but you still love Tripp...[and] -- don't you dare laugh -- I still love Johnny," Chanel reasoned. "No -- I have to tell Tripp; I don't have a choice," Allie maintained, recalling what had happened when Sami had tried to keep a similar situation hidden from E.J.
"I want you to know that what happened last night, it wasn't planned -- when I asked you to stay, I did not intend for that to happen," Chanel stressed. "I know," Allie responded. Allie assured Chanel that what had happened wouldn't ruin their friendship.
Ava ran into Tripp while en route to Sweet Bits. "Now that you are a full-fledged doctor, I feel like I never get to see you anymore!" Ava fretted while hugging Tripp.
Tripp told Ava that Sweet Bits was closed -- then explained why. "Wow -- poor Chanel... You know, I'm a Vitali, and I even think the DiMeras are cruel bastards," Ava declared before warning Tripp to keep an eye on Allie and Chanel, since there was some history between them that went beyond friendship. "That little tirade sounded pretty personal -- is everything okay with you and Rafe?" Tripp wondered. "Perfect -- [but] it is personal, because you are my son, and I don't want anyone hurting you," Ava responded. "You don't have to worry about me, Mom, all right? Chanel is not a threat -- Allie and I are in a really good place," Tripp insisted.
Later, at the hospital, Tripp received a visit from Allie. "You seem pretty upset," Tripp observed. "I am -- last night, Chanel and I..." Allie tried to confess. "Go on," Tripp eventually prodded Allie. "We had a really long talk, and the more she was talking about Johnny, the more that I realized that I am so lucky to have you -- [and] I feel like I don't tell you that enough, and maybe I sometimes take you for granted," Allie backpedaled. "You don't have to tell me anything -- I mean, when it's the real deal, you just know; no words necessary," Tripp insisted before hugged Allie.
At the DiMera mansion, the demonic presence grinned at Stefano's portrait while alone in the living room. "So, last night -- now, that is what I call 'a party'; Champagne, caviar, chaos, pain... Oh, but that is just the beginning -- oh, Nonno, wait 'til you see what I'm gonna do next..." the demonic presence teased.
"Johnny? Who are you talking to?" E.J. called out from the living room doorway. "You caught me -- sometimes I talk to Nonno... Crazy, right?" the demonic presence responded as Johnny. "Only if you hear him answer back," E.J. argued before guessing that "Johnny" had been telling Stefano about what had happened the previous night. "You think I was...indiscreet?" the demonic presence wondered as Johnny. "Indiscreet, melodramatic, self-indulgent... That would be your mother in you," E.J. declared. "Eh, it might have been a little melodramatic...but effective!" the demonic presence insisted as Johnny. "Effective, calculated...and, although there were moments where you did seem genuinely contrite, it was still very cruel," E.J. noted. "And that would be my father in me," the demonic presence countered as Johnny. "Touché," E.J. muttered.
"I just hate those long, drawn-out postmortems -- 'It's not you; it's me!'" the demonic presence explained as Johnny before changing the subject, admitting that E.J. had been right about not only Chanel but also the idea of pursuing a career as a filmmaker. "I was just telling Nonno, right before you walked in, what I'm about to tell you now -- [that] I've been running from my legacy, [and] my place in this world is not in Hollywood; it's here, at DiMera," the demonic presence announced as Johnny while pacing around the living room. "Damn it, Johnny, would you sit down? I feel like there's a vulture circling overhead!" E.J. fretted.
"[Now], as swell as that is to hear, your timing is unfortunate -- if the D.A. has her way, you'll be visiting me in Statesville," E.J. added. "But wouldn't it be nice to have someone looking after your interests at DiMera? [And] my interests are very closely tied with your interests," the demonic presence countered as Johnny while playing with one of the chess table's black bishops. "Would you please stop fiddling with that? Put it down!" E.J. demanded. "Sorry -- I was just thinking about Nonno, chess, strategy, the move after the next move..." the demonic presence explained as Johnny. "My God, you're so full of DiMera this morning!" E.J. observed.
"I am -- and I'm thinking...if you do go to prison, I'm the only one left to get you out, deal with Fredo -- I mean, Chad -- and make damn sure that DiMera Enterprises has a triple-A buy rating by the time you get out and I hand you back the reins. [Now], I haven't worked out all the details yet, but I know where it starts -- you need to sign all your shares over to me, [because] if you go to prison, the second you enter that cell, Chad's going into action, [and] I'm gonna need the power to vote your shares in order to fend him off," the demonic presence advised as Johnny.
"You already have shares of your own -- and, on your last birthday, you became old enough to vote on the board, so --" E.J. tried to argue. "That's not enough to counteract any moves Chad might make -- and tell me you don't believe Uncle Tony and Kate are gonna be angling for all they can get," the demonic presence countered as Johnny. "When I gave your mother power of attorney, she used it to screw me and take over DiMera --" E.J. recalled. "Trust me -- I will look out for you and Sydney, and I will make sure that when you're out, you can pick right back up where you left off. [Now], I know I'm asking you to have faith in me, and I also know that I haven't done much lately to inspire that faith...but, bottom line, I'm what you've got," the demonic presence stressed as Johnny.
"Okay, fine -- I'll sign them over, temporarily, and only if I actually go to prison," E.J. agreed after some thought. "Of course -- and I'm hoping that this entire conversation is moot, that you'll be cleared of all the charges...but we have to be prepared for the worst. [Now], I promise, you won't regret this," the demonic presence responded as Johnny before promising to be at the courthouse later to support E.J.
"That was almost too easy! Ah, everything is going exactly as planned..." the demonic presence bragged as Johnny after E.J. exited the living room. "And what plan is that?" Chanel called out from the living room doorway before tossing her wedding ring and mansion key at "Johnny" then storming off. "Go to hell!" Chanel spat while exiting the mansion. "Been there, done that..." the demonic presence joked.
At DiMera Enterprises, Chad finished signing the contracts that Belle had dropped off at the mansion the previous night. "I'm glad I caught you before E.J.'s trial -- you're going, right?" Belle began after Chad handed over the contracts. "I have to -- I'm a witness...for the prosecution," Chad responded. "I knew you and E.J. weren't getting along, but...to testify against him -- that's pretty harsh..." Belle mused. "I don't really have a choice -- I'm the one that found the payments made to the goons who were guarding Sami, so..." Chad explained. Chad was stunned when Belle revealed that E.J. would probably be spending the next eight to ten years in prison if convicted. "It's a felony offense!" Belle stressed, surprised that Chad was surprised.
After leaving DiMera Enterprises, Belle headed over to Basic Black to get Nicole to sign the contracts. "Reading about E.J.'s trial?" Belle observed as Nicole set aside a tablet computer. "I just can't stop thinking that E.J. should not be representing himself," Nicole explained. "I think he's having the same realization -- last night, he asked me to represent him," Belle revealed. "Are you going to?" Nicole wondered. "No!" Belle insisted.
"'Sami would lose her mind' -- [that] seems to me like a really good reason to do it," Nicole argued while Belle was justifying the decision to turn down E.J.'s request. "I wouldn't take E.J.'s case just to spite my sister," Belle declared. "Then how 'bout a more noble motivation -- how 'bout stopping an innocent man from being railroaded?" Nicole reasoned. "You think E.J. is innocent?" Belle translated. "I know that E.J. is more than capable of kidnapping Sami...[but] I also know that if he had, he would have never let Sami escape, and he sure as hell wouldn't have left a paper trail at DiMera Enterprises. [And] this is coming from a woman who really freakin' hates his guts right now," Nicole explained.
Nicole vented to Belle about E.J.'s betrayal. "Being the kind of gal I am, I want E.J. to pay for what he did to me...but he didn't kidnap Sami, and he shouldn't have to pay for that," Nicole concluded. "I get that the execution was a little clumsy, [but] that guard, Jason, said it was E.J. --" Belle protested. "You don't think Jason said what the highest bidder told him to say? I mean, come on, the 'giant sleuth' that 'cracked the case' was Chad -- the little brother, the co-CEO that E.J. effectively neutered...oh, I'm sorry, 'marginalized'..." Nicole responded. "You think Chad is setting him up?" Belle translated. "I'm not sure it was him...but I am sure someone's orchestrating things to frame E.J. -- and I'm also sure that if E.J. is not careful, it's gonna work," Nicole fretted.
At DiMera Enterprises, Kate joined Chad in the CEO's office. "Good morning, Hamlet -- something is rotten in the state of DiMera?" Kate began. "You know there is," Chad responded. "No, I don't know that -- E.J. may be facing trial for something he might not have done, but in the history of DiMera family business, that's like pilfering office supplies," Kate argued. "We both know he didn't do it -- and that I'm the primary reason he was charged," Chad fretted. "Yes, well, I suggest you wait and see if he's convicted before you don your sackcloth and your ashes," Kate countered. "Oh, he's gonna be convicted -- for one thing, he's defending himself, like a..." Chad stressed.
Chad settled on calling E.J. "an idiot" instead of succumbing to the urge to use a harsher term -- then told Kate about Belle's take on the matter. "You knew that I had qualms about this from the very beginning, and you convinced me to keep quiet... [Look], if you tell the truth, Lucas is going to be in that prison --" Kate noted. "The difference is, Lucas actually committed the crime, so maybe he's the one that should pay for it," Chad reasoned. "I know what Lucas did was misguided --" Kate conceded. "'Misguided'? He locked up Sami for three months, and now she's traveling the world with her kidnapper -- I think that deserves a word a little stronger than 'misguided'!" Chad argued.
"'Criminal'? 'Sociopathic'?" Chad suggested. "Stop!" Kate snapped before reminding Chad about what E.J. would likely do to Lucas if the truth was ever revealed. "Okay -- I'll say that I planted the evidence, and I'll keep Lucas out of it," Chad decided after some thought. "You're gonna lose your job if you do that," Kate warned. "Maybe I should -- maybe that's the only way I can keep myself from turning into E.J., into Father... [But] I have to do what's right [and] take my chances, [because] E.J.'s been a real son of a bitch since he got back to town, but he's my brother, and he welcomed me into the family when he didn't have to," Chad reasoned.
At Basic Black, Nicole received a visit from Ava, who insisted that it was time for them to stop avoiding each other -- and also insisted that they were going to have dinner together that night. "But it may just be you and me, because, ugh, Rafe -- his job, it's...ugh, poor guy, he never knows what may come up next..." Ava fretted.
At the police station, Rafe received a visit from Trask, who revealed that a serious allegation was being investigated. "That you planted evidence to get a conviction," Trask elaborated while showing Rafe two formal complaints that had been filed. "I already forwarded the matter to Internal Affairs," Trask warned as Rafe vehemently denied the accusations. "What the hell is going on here?" Rafe muttered after Trask stormed off.
Trask headed over to the courthouse and joined E.J. in one of the courtrooms. "I'm actually glad you decided to represent yourself -- I'm actually looking forward to going toe to toe with the infamous E.J. DiMera," Trask admitted. "Some other time, perhaps -- today, you'll be dealing with me," Belle called out from the courtroom doorway.
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail rushed into the foyer as someone repeatedly rang the doorbell -- and was surprised to see that the visitor was Xander. "Took you long enough!" Xander grumbled while sidestepping Abigail, desperate for refuge from the elements. "You don't have anyone to answer the door around here?" Xander marveled while shivering. "It happens to be Harold's morning off," Abigail clarified before adding that, in any case, no one was ever standing right beside the front door at all times in anticipation of unannounced visitors. "I didn't want to waste any time after I got your message!" Xander explained with a shrug.
Xander begged to know everything that Abigail had learned about Sarah's method of departure from Salem. "I went to the DiMera travel department to see when the jet was last used for non-DiMera business...[but] it wasn't --" Abigail began to explain. "That's your 'lead'? How is that a 'lead'?" Xander protested. "We have more than one jet -- the company keeps several older models as a part of their fleet that can be reserved for personal use -- and, apparently, one of them was used for non-official business around the time that Sarah disappeared...[but the pilot's] gone --" Abigail tried to clarify. "The pilot's dead?" Xander sputtered. "No, he's not dead -- he just quit...and, apparently, not that long after the non-official flight possibly transporting Sarah to God knows where," Abigail managed to conclude. "Well, that's not suspicious at all..." Xander muttered.
"Let's hop online and track him down!" Xander begged. "Oh, yeah -- him [and] everybody else that's got the same name," Abigail noted. "Well, how do you suggest we track him down?" Xander countered. "I'm gonna go back to the DiMera travel department [and] see if he left any contact information," Abigail answered. "Then why do you need me?" Xander wondered. "I don't!" Abigail insisted. "You called me!" Xander stressed. "To update you -- [but] it was your big idea [to] show up here!" Abigail explained. Xander conceded the point then rushed off, not wanting to delay the next phase of Abigail's investigation.
Abigail headed over to DiMera Enterprises and was disappointed to discover that everyone in the travel department was in the middle of a meeting -- but the trip wasn't a total waste, since Chad was still around. "[Ned Grainger]? Yeah, he was here for years -- until last spring..." Chad recalled. "Know why he left?" Abigail wondered. "I don't...but it was pretty sudden, if I remember correctly -- [and], now that I think of it, it was a headache for Payroll; Grainger's last check was returned, and they were never able to track him down," Chad answered before saying goodbye to Abigail then starting to rush off to the courthouse.
"Aw -- look at you, all excited to bury your brother," Abigail teased. "Yeah, no -- yeah, I'm starting to think that he might be innocent," Chad admitted. "You have hard evidence that E.J. is guilty as charged..." Abigail began to protest before realizing that Chad was planning to take the stand and lie under oath. "I didn't say that --" Chad tried to explain, but Abigail wasn't convinced.
Chad and Abigail didn't have time to discuss the matter further because they were already late for the trial. "You don't have to go just for me --" Chad objected. "I'm not -- the reporter I assigned to the trial is sick, so I'm covering it," Abigail clarified.
At the courthouse, Trask protested that no one had mentioned anything about Belle representing E.J. "Oh? Well, you were misinformed -- about a lot of things, actually..." Belle responded with a shrug before prodding E.J. to formally accept the offer of help as a way of appeasing Trask. "This is hardly standard procedure!" Trask, who was apparently still unappeased, pointed out before wondering how DiMera Enterprises' board members were going to feel about Belle's decision to represent E.J., since they had been trying to distance the company from the case in recent days. "I think you should be focusing on coming up with a new strategy...because you're gonna need it," Belle advised Trask as E.J. smirked.
Trask turned away with a sigh -- and E.J. seized the opportunity to pull Belle aside so they could have a private conversation. "Not that I don't appreciate this, but...just the other day, you went on and on about not wanting to represent me, yet here you are, [so] what made you change your mind?" E.J. wondered. "Nicole Walker," Belle answered. "Nicole stood up for me?" E.J. sputtered. "Yeah...but she still hates your guts -- and that's pretty much a quote," Belle clarified. "And I don't blame her...but I'm grateful that she convinced you to do the right thing," E.J. admitted.
"Defending me will, in all probability, risk your position as general counsel at DiMera," E.J. acknowledged. "I can handle the board," Belle insisted. "And what about your other concern?" E.J. wondered. "Don't worry -- I can handle Sami, too," Belle responded as the judge -- Kirk Barnes -- entered the courtroom.
Barnes was pleased to see that E.J. had decided against the idea of self-representation -- but, like Belle and Trask, was stunned when another decision was announced. "Did I hear you correctly? You waive your right to a jury trial?" Barnes sputtered. "I do, Your Honor --" E.J. confirmed. "May I have a moment to confer with my client?" Belle interjected. "It would certainly help if the defendant and his counsel were on the same page, so..." Barnes agreed.
Trask smirked as Belle pulled E.J. aside for another private conversation. "What the hell are you doing? I am the attorney; you are the client -- which means you sit there and shut up and let me do my job!" Belle snapped. "Just saving us a lot of time," E.J. reasoned. "You are an attorney -- you know full well it is harder to sway a judge than a jury!" Belle argued. "I think he'll be fair...[and] I'm feeling lucky, [and] I'm innocent, [and] I trust the system --" E.J. explained. "Oh, please -- you don't trust anyone or anything! So, what is it -- you think that you're gonna get to the judge? Or have you already?" Belle countered.
"I just think Barnes seems like a reasonable person -- and, given the details of this case, I certainly trust someone who has passed the bar [more than] the hoi polloi of this town who would love nothing more than to bring down a one-percenter," E.J. elaborated. "Oh, God -- do you know how arrogant you sound?" Belle grumbled. "I'm simply speaking the truth!" E.J. declared. "Okay -- well, then, do us all a favor and stop speaking," Belle advised.
"We are gonna run this defense my way -- or I'm out," Belle warned. "I am very grateful to have you on my side, Belle, so...I will leave my fate in your very capable hands," E.J. conceded after some thought -- just as Barnes returned. Belle requested a day to get up to speed on E.J.'s case, but Trask objected -- and Barnes agreed that there was no good reason to delay the proceedings.
Chad entered the courtroom with Abigail just then. "There's something I want you to know before I testify --" Chad informed Abigail -- but Barnes interrupted just then, ready to continue the trial.
At the police station, Rafe confided in Shawn about the Internal Affairs investigation. "I have never had one complaint against me -- and now I've got two in the same damn day!" Rafe grumbled. "You're sure these guys don't know each other?" Shawn assumed. "Right now, I'm not sure of anything!" Rafe responded. "Maybe they ran into each other, and they realized they have something in common -- [a desire] to punish you for whatever reason -- and they, you know, decided they would, I don't know, help each other out..." Shawn suggested. "Or...someone put them up to it," Shawn added.
At the Horton Town Square, Ava and Gwen collided then started lashing out in unison -- but each woman backed down after realizing that the other wasn't a stranger. "Bad day?" Ava guessed, prompting Gwen to start venting about Xander and Abigail's joint effort to locate Sarah. "Abigail says [this] has nothing to do with me, [but] I don't buy that for a single minute, [because] I've seen her dark side -- [you know], how she revels in payback," Gwen eventually concluded.
"Well, that's something we have in common, because I am reveling in payback myself right now," Ava admitted before telling Gwen how Rafe's infidelity was being punished. "You want to send the man that you say that you love to prison?" Gwen repeated. "Oh, it's already in motion -- [see], I have a connection with a few gentlemen who have found themselves recently 'wrongly' incarcerated, and I may have convinced them to file a report saying that a certain commissioner planted evidence on them... [But] this is just between us, okay? I need you to keep your mouth shut about it --" Ava confirmed.
"Hello, ladies... What does Gwen need to keep her mouth shut about?" Xander called out while approaching Ava and Gwen. "I thought you were on your way to go and see Abigail," Gwen responded. "I already did," Xander explained. "Oh... Right... Well...okay... You know Ava?" Gwen muttered. "In my former life as a caregiver. But don't worry -- those days of altruism are long behind me," Xander answered.
"So...what, exactly, were you two discussing that Gwen needs to keep her mouth shut about?" Xander repeated. "Rafe's surprise party -- his birthday is in a few weeks, and I am getting a jump-start on planning, so I was swearing Gwen here to secrecy," Ava claimed. "Trust me -- my lips are sealed," Gwen promised. "You, too!" Ava warned Xander before saying goodbye to Gwen then rushing off.
"That was strange -- [I mean], you two, chatting away... How do you even know each other?" Xander challenged Gwen. "Through her son Charlie," Gwen answered. "My former intern who turned out to be a rapist?" Xander sputtered. "[He and I] sort of just bumped into each other once or twice and ended up sharing sob stories -- turns out we both know what it feels like to be an outcast, so we sort of bonded... [Anyway], after he died, I wanted to offer Ava my condolences -- it was such a horrible tragedy, after all, [and] I know what that feels like, [and] I felt that Ava deserved to know that her son wasn't just some soulless monster," Gwen explained. "You bonded with a psychopath!" Xander teased before praising Gwen for the gesture.
Ava headed over to the police station with some takeout food for Rafe, who claimed to be too busy to eat at that moment. "I could be way off base here, but...I've got the feeling that Ava is involved in this," Rafe admitted to Shawn after Ava left. "You guys having problems?" Shawn wondered, prompting Rafe to explain that Ava had shown signs of jealousy toward Nicole in the past -- and that Nicole had recently found a beheaded teddy bear at Basic Black, which could have been Ava's way of sending a message. "She's been talking about turning over a new leaf and being a new person, [though], and I just can't imagine that she would want to destroy me..." Rafe backpedaled. "Ava Vitali is not exactly known for playing nice," Shawn noted.
In Italy, Steve and Kayla infiltrated a convent as Father Nichols and Sister Mary-Elizabeth, believing that Kristen might be hiding out there. Kayla found the ruse sacrilegious, but Steve had managed to successfully argue that it was for a good cause.
"Father Nichols" explained to the convent's Mother Superior that "Sister Mary-Elizabeth" had been stationed at a very small parish in the Tuscan countryside that had recently burned to the ground -- and that "Sister Mary-Elizabeth" was in need of a place to stay as a result. The convent's Mother Superior promised to consider the request and get back to "Father Nichols" and "Sister Mary-Elizabeth" with an answer as soon as possible. "Father Nichols" and "Sister Mary-Elizabeth" rushed off after providing the convent's Mother Superior with their contact information -- and as soon as the coast was clear, Kristen appeared out of nowhere and asked the convent's Mother Superior about the visitors.
"We do try to find a place for everyone -- as we did for you..." the convent's Mother Superior stressed after repeating Steve and Kayla's cover story to Kristen. "Yes, and I am so grateful -- especially since you're allowing me to wear this habit, even though I don't deserve it, given that I'm not one of the sisters..." Kristen responded before requesting permission to make a private phone call -- a request that the convent's Mother Superior granted without hesitation.
"Damn it -- did you sic your little friend Patch on me?" Kristen snapped when Ava answered the call. "What are you talking about?" Ava responded. "He and Kayla showed up here tonight --" Kristen explained. "Where's 'here'?" Ava wondered. "It doesn't matter -- just answer the question!" Kristen demanded. "I don't know, all right? Although...well, I know that Xander wanted to hire Steve to find Sarah Horton... I thought he turned him down, but...I don't know, maybe he took the case, after all..." Ava suggested. "Damn it -- the last thing I need right now is that little caper coming to haunt me!" Kristen fretted.
"Is there anything else?" Kristen wondered. "Nothing -- except that Gwen is desperate to get Xander off of Sarah's trail; she's convinced that if he finds his ex, then he's gonna leave her," Ava responded. "Yeah -- I know exactly how that feels..." Kristen grumbled. "Still there?" Ava prodded Kristen after enduring a few seconds of silence. "Yes, I'm still here -- and since you and Gwen helped me, I'm gonna help you in return," Kristen answered. "How?" Ava challenged Kristen. "You'll find out," Kristen assured Ava before ending the call.
When Victor was unable to talk, Jake and Gabi met with Maggie at the Kiriakis mansion. "If you are here about your grand plans to run Titan and DiMera, I know all about them," Maggie said. Over tea, Jake noted that he, Gabi, and Victor would run Titan and DiMera. "The geezer you think you could put something over on?" Maggie asked. Gabi stressed that she did not believe that they could manipulate Victor.
"I'm glad to hear you say that, because Victor is as sharp and savvy as he's ever been. And there is no way I'm going to let anyone take advantage of him," Maggie said. "That was never our intention," Gabi said. Jake explained that they wanted to partner with Victor because they respected him.
"We want to create a strong, lasting partnership that's going to benefit all of us. Secure a legacy for our children," Jake said. Jake asked Maggie not to shut them down before they had talked to Victor. "Who said anything about shutting you down? I think it's a perfectly fine idea. I just wanted to make sure that you can deliver on your promise," Maggie countered. Gabi admitted that she was surprised.
"You can't be married to Victor Kiriakis all these years and not have some of his ambition rub off on you. I'm deeply invested in Titan and in Titan's future," Maggie explained. "And you see me and Gabi as part of that future, huh?" Jake asked. Maggie noted that Victor had wanted to keep the company in the family.
"But Victor believes that it's time to consider broadening that pool of potential executives," Maggie added. Jake noted that Victor had admitted to them that the next CEO of Titan would be an outsider. Maggie said that after Philip's disappearance, Victor needed a distraction and a win.
"The idea of bringing his biggest rival to its knees, ooh, that's a big one," Maggie said. "I would love to see nothing more than my backstabbing brothers get exactly what's coming to them," Jake said. Maggie suggested that with Chad and E.J. preoccupied with the kidnapping trial, it was the perfect time to strike. Maggie added that Victor would not move forward unless she approved of a team-up with Jake and Gabi.
"Are you?" Gabi asked. "I am all in on this plan if you two are successful in getting Victor a seat on the DiMera board," Maggie said. "We will be," Jake said. Maggie asked Jake and Gabi if they had the votes. "We believe so," Gabi said. "That's not good enough. We need an ironclad guarantee. Then and only then will Victor sign off on this deal," Maggie countered. Maggie thanked Jake and Gabi for their time, and she left the room.
Jake asked Gabi if she believed they could deliver for Victor. "Hell, yeah! Let's go lock down those votes," Gabi said. Jake and Gabi went to the bistro in the square, and they made calls to board members. "I just counted up the votes, and without one more DiMera on our side, we're going to come up short," Gabi said. "Not necessarily," Jake said. Jake explained that he had learned that E.J. wanted to sign his stockholder shares over to Johnny.
In the DiMera living room, devil Johnny talked to Stefano's portrait. "Thanks to you, E.J. is convinced that there is nothing more important than family. And he is so desperate for his son's love that he'll sign over his shares to me, no questions asked. I'll take over DiMera, and your precious heir will rot in prison," devil Johnny said.
At Basic Black, Brady told Chloe that Steve and Kayla had gone undercover in Italy at Kristen's convent. "Is that where she is now?" Chloe asked. Brady said that Steve had not located Kristen yet. "So, we don't know if Philip is alive or dead?" Chloe asked. "Not yet," Brady admitted. Brady urged Chloe to keep the faith that Philip was alive.
"If he's not dead, then where is he?" Chloe wondered aloud. "We're going to find him. We're going to get some answers, okay?" Brady said. Chloe's phone rang with a call from her mother, Nancy. Chloe ignored the call because she did not want to talk to Nancy about Philip. "It's like Philip just disappeared off the face of the earth," Chloe lamented. Brady reminded Chloe that she could talk to him as a friend. With a grin, Brady suggested that they get food.
Lucas walked into the Brady Pub, which surprised Kate. Lucas explained that he was there for E.J.'s trial. "What [E.J.] did was unforgiveable. They need to throw the book at that guy, and you know it," Lucas said. Kate rolled her eyes. "This righteous indignation of yours may work with Sami but not with me, because I know for a fact that you're the one who had her kidnapped," Kate said.
Lucas acted indignant, and he chastised Kate for having believed E.J.'s lies. Kate told Lucas that Chad had told her the truth. "He's such a DiMera. That makes me sick," Lucas muttered. Lucas explained that he had been desperate to protect and hold on to Sami. "I'm trying to help you here," Kate said. Kate told Lucas about Chad's plans to exonerate E.J. on the stand. Nearby, devil Johnny eavesdropped at a table with the hood of his jacket up to hide his face.
Lucas argued to Kate that E.J. had committed enough crimes that he deserved to go to prison. Kate said that Chad disagreed. "Chad agreed with me. He knew it was time that E.J. got what he had coming," Lucas whispered. Kate explained that Chad was fine with the company firing E.J., but he could not watch his brother go to prison.
"It's not about you. It's about [Chad's] conscience," Kate argued. Lucas countered that all DiMeras were animals. Kate told Lucas that Chad was different. "He couldn't live with himself if he hurt a member of his family," Kate said. "We'll have to do something about that," devil Johnny whispered at his table. The devil slipped out of the pub, unnoticed.
"If the truth comes out, I'm going to prison. That or Sami is going to kill me. Either way, I'm screwed," Lucas said. Kate told Lucas that Chad planned to testify that Chad had planted the evidence himself. "What?" Lucas asked in disbelief. "No one will ever know that you're guilty," Kate said. "Guilty of what?" Brady asked as he walked in with Chloe.
Lucas lied and said he had been lamenting that he had not figured out sooner that E.J. had kidnapped Sami. "But she's safe now. You rescued her," Chloe said. With a shrug, Lucas explained, "I could have avoided the whole trauma of this situation. [Sami] wouldn't have been held in that cabin against her will for months."
While Brady stepped aside to talk to Kate privately, Chloe asked Lucas why he was on edge. Lucas said he was worried about Sami. When Chloe asked if Sami would return to town to testify against E.J., Lucas said he had talked Sami out of testifying. Lucas said that he hoped Sami's deposition and his testimony would be enough to put E.J. behind bars.
Across the room, Brady informed Kate that he suspected Kristen had been involved in Philip's disappearance. "I hired Steve Johnson to look for [Kristen]," Brady said. Kate admitted Steve had already told her about the investigation. "You know that you're no longer under suspicion, so there is no need," Kate said. "I'm not doing this to clear my name. I feel responsible for what Kristen did," Brady explained. "You don't know what Kristen did," Kate countered. Brady said he wanted answers.
"I want you to call off this search," Kate said. "You don't want to know what really happened to your son?" Brady asked. Kate said she wanted to hold on to hope that Philip was alive. "If Steve can find Kristen, Kristen could lead us to Philip. He could be alive and well somewhere," Brady said. Kate argued that Steve would get in the way of the investigators that Victor had hired.
"The more people that are searching, though, the better, right?" Brady asked. "I've made my wishes known," Kate stressed. With a nod, Brady said he understood, but he had promised Chloe that he would get answers. "I'm sorry, I'm not gonna tell Steve to back off," Brady said.
Lucas interrupted Kate to tell her that he needed to go to the courthouse. "I'm going with you," Kate insisted. After Kate and Lucas left, Chloe and Brady sat down to eat. Brady was distracted. When Chloe asked what was wrong, Brady told Chloe about his conversation with Kate. "You'd think that Philip's mother, of all people, would want to get to the bottom of this and find answers as soon as possible, right?" Brady said. Chloe reminded Brady that Kate had always been strange.
When Chloe drew a comparison between Kate and Nancy, a voice yelled, "Chloe!" Chloe looked around the room and saw her mother walk over. After a hug, Nancy asked why Chloe had not answered her calls. "You came here from New York to ask me that in person?" Chloe said. "I needed to talk to you!" Nancy yelped. Chloe told Nancy that she had been too upset to talk to anyone about Philip.
"This is not about Philip! It's about your father," Nancy said. Chloe asked what was wrong. "I think he's having an affair," Nancy said.
At the courthouse, D.A. Trask questioned Chad on the stand about the irregularities in the expense report in evidence. When Trask treated Chad as a hostile witness, Belle took notice. Chad argued that he could not answer questions with just a yes or no. "I think Chad is trying to help us," Belle whispered to E.J. When Trask ended her questioning, Belle started hers.
"Do you have additional information about those payments made to Jason Smith?" Belle asked. "What I wanted everybody to know was how the record of those payments got into the computer system at DiMera in the first place," Chad started. Chad started to choke on his words. In the corner, devil Johnny squeezed his hands together. Chad stumbled to his feet and clutched his throat. Belle dropped the glass in her hand, and it shattered on the floor. Abigail ran to Chad's side, and she escorted him out of the courtroom.
"There is never a shortage of drama when the DiMeras are involved. I will see you when we reconvene," Trask said. After everyone else had cleared the court, E.J asked Belle if she was okay. "Yeah. I just don't know how that glass slipped out of my hand," Belle stammered. "Johnny" walked into the courtroom. An excited E.J. hugged his son and thanked him. E.J. told "Johnny" what had happened with Chad on the stand.
"I think that Uncle Chad got exactly what he deserved for turning on his own brother. You know what the Bible says about Cain and Abel," "Johnny" said. When Johnny quoted the Bible, Belle and E.J. exchanged a glance with one another. "Last night, you said you hadn't gotten religion," E.J. said. "I haven't," "Johnny" said. E.J. asked "Johnny" how he had been able to quote the passage from the Bible.
"Because it's appropriate. Uncle Chad is a Judas. He came here to stab you in the back," "Johnny" argued. "I'm not so sure about that," Belle said. Belle explained that Chad had appeared to have been attempting to help E.J. on the stand. "I will give him another chance," Belle said. With a dismissive wave, "Johnny" changed the subject to E.J.'s stock shares. "Johnny" pulled paperwork out of his pocket.
"What is this about?" Belle asked. "Much to my delight, my son has realized that his rightful place is at DiMera," E.J. said. Belle asked "Johnny" about his film career. "Obviously, after what happened with Grandma Marlena, I'm not moving forward with the film. The whole experience actually made me realize it's time for me to get serious about a real career," "Johnny" said. E.J. explained that "Johnny" had offered to watch out for his interests if E.J. was sent to prison.
"Which I can't do unless I have power," "Johnny" added. When "Johnny" noted that E.J. planned to transfer his ownership shares to "Johnny," a concerned Belle noted that the transfer was premature. "I mean, you could be acquitted, in which case, this would all be completely unnecessary," Belle said. "Johnny" argued that they needed to be proactive because Chad could consolidate power if they waited too long to make the trade.
"Remember, this agreement is only temporary," E.J. said. "Can I at least give it a thorough review?" Belle asked. E.J. started to hand the papers to Belle, but "Johnny" snatched them out of E.J.'s hand. "I am his son, and he trusts me. With all due respect, this is between us. So, if you wouldn't mind just leaving us alone for a minute?" "Johnny" asked. Belle nodded curtly, and she left the courtroom.
"I know that Aunt Belle is just trying to protect you. But you don't need protection from me. You need protection from Uncle Chad," "Johnny" stressed. "I appreciate that. It means so much to know that you're looking out for me," E.J. said. "Johnny" told E.J. that he loved him and that he would be on his father's side. E.J. took the papers and signed them.
In the witness waiting room down the hallway, Chad drank some water to soothe his throat. "Should I call a doctor?" Abigail asked. Chad assured Abigail he was okay. "One minute I was fine, the next I couldn't breathe," Chad explained. Abigail asked Chad what he had been attempting to say on the stand before Trask had cut him off.
"You told me you were not going to lie under oath to save [E.J.]. Did you change your mind?" Abigail asked. "No," Chad said. Chad added that he did not want to tell Abigail before he announced it in court. "That way, you're not complicit," Chad said. "You're scaring me," Abigail said. Chad asked Abigail to trust him.
Abigail asked Chad if she could help him. With a grin, Chad said that Abigail's smile was what he needed. Abigail squeezed Chad's hand. While Chad started to return to court, Abigail promised to catch up with him after she filed an update with the paper.
On the way to the courtroom, Chad ran into Belle in the hallway. Chad apologized for his behavior. "I have no idea what happened," Chad said. "Melinda Trask happened," Belle joked. As Chad nodded in agreement, Belle told Chad that she would give him the opportunity to say whatever Trask had prevented him from saying. "I can't tell you what it is ahead of time, but I think you and E.J. will be pleased," Chad said. Chad said he would return to the courtroom after he grabbed his phone from the witness room.
In the witness room, Abigail finished up her report for the paper on her computer. E.J. walked in. "You shouldn't be in here," Abigail muttered. "I need to talk to you about something," E.J. said. Abigail noted that Chad had an obligation to testify. "I, too, feel compelled to be honest," E.J. started. E.J. told Abigail that he could not suppress his feelings. "I want you," E.J. said. Confused, Abigail looked around the room.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Abigail asked. E.J. told Abigail that since he had returned to Salem, he had been unable to stop thinking about her. "That's insane. Just get away from me," Abigail said dismissively. E.J. noted that he could not dismiss his feelings.
"You have a wife that you were obsessed with, and you were dating Nicole," Abigail reminded E.J. "Only to distract myself. I've been using them to try and get you out of my head, but it didn't work," E.J. said. Abigail rose to leave, but E.J. blocked her exit. "How I've longed to ravage you. I never thought I'd get the chance, yet here we are alone," E.J. whispered. As E.J. advanced on Abigail, her eyes went wide.
Down the hallway, Belle returned to the courtroom. E.J. was there. E.J. told Belle that he had signed the papers for Johnny. "You are operating on emotion and not logic. And that is never a smart place to be when you're making big decisions," Belle advised. E.J. countered that Johnny wanted to protect his legacy. Suspicious, Belle asked why Johnny had had a change of heart about his career.
"I never would have done it if I thought there was the slightest chance that [Johnny] would undermine me," E.J. said. "Hopefully, this is all moot," Belle said. Belle explained that she had talked to Chad, and she had gotten the impression that Chad was on E.J.'s side. "You may just go free," Belle said. E.J. sighed with relief.
E.J. added that Chad might be a wild card, but Johnny was not. "I trust that Johnny is going to do not only what is best for me but also what's best for the company," E.J. said. In the witness room, "E.J." kissed Abigail. Chad walked into the room and saw them.