Sarah entered the Kiriakis mansion and found Maggie in the study. "I'm so sorry I had to rush out to work and miss your anniversary party, so I just wanted to drop this off," Sarah explained while handing Maggie a gift bag.
Maggie forced a smile while removing a stainless-steel picture frame from the bag, prompting Sarah to conclude that there was a problem with the gift. Maggie clarified that Sarah had simply walked in on a really tense situation.
Justin and Alex found Bonnie slumped over in a chair in the Kiriakis garden shed. Justin roused Bonnie, who was still tied to the chair and gagged, while Alex was removing the bindings. Bonnie breathed a sigh of relief then told Justin and Alex about what had happened. "So, where's Susan now?" Alex wondered. "The clown took her," Bonnie responded.
Justin reported the incident to the police then helped Alex escort Bonnie back to the mansion. Maggie rushed off to the kitchen while Sarah was examining Bonnie in the study. Maggie returned with a cup of chamomile tea while Sarah was announcing that Bonnie didn't need to be taken to the hospital. Maggie tried to hand Bonnie the cup of chamomile tea, explaining that it was good for frazzled nerves. Bonnie thanked Maggie for the thoughtful gesture then countered that Long Island iced tea was also good for frazzled nerves, prompting Alex to step over to the bar and start preparing the stiff drink. Rafe arrived before Alex could finish the task, and Bonnie got even more frazzled after being asked to do a formal interview without liquid courage.
Rafe eventually got around to asking Bonnie for a description of the kidnapper. "The last time I did this, I IDed the wrong person," Bonnie reminded Rafe with a sigh of concern before giving the matter some thought then recalling that the kidnapper had been wearing a suit. "A clown suit?" Alex translated. "No -- a blue business suit," Bonnie clarified before elaborating that Alex was actually wearing a very similar suit. "You're not implying --" Sarah sputtered. "That it was Alex? No!" Bonnie insisted before reasoning that Alex simply didn't have the face of a criminal. "Just for the record, Alex was here with me and Maggie during the time that this clown was down at the shed," Justin assured Rafe so Alex could be definitively ruled out as a suspect.
Bonnie, having just inadvertently pointed a finger at Alex, suddenly felt even worse than before, so Justin asked Rafe to wrap up the interview. Rafe thanked Bonnie for the information then started to leave. "Even though this guy wore a clown mask, he wasn't very clown-like," Bonnie mused, stopping Rafe. "He was more like a strongman," Bonnie elaborated.
Ava, still hiding in the DiMera crypt, rejected Charlie's advice. "Susan may be insufferable, but she's innocent -- she's done nothing wrong," Ava argued. "Which is why her death will hurt E.J. even more!" Charlie reasoned. "That is not the deal I made," Ava maintained. "Since when has E.J. honored a deal?" Charlie countered. "E.J. disrespected you -- and we both know there is only one way to answer for that," Charlie continued. "Put him in his place! And the best way to do that? Put his mother in this place!" Charlie concluded before giving Ava a wicked grin then disappearing from view -- just as Xander arrived with Susan.
Susan quickly realized that "Mr. Clown" had been taking orders from Ava all along. "To think that my grandson, Johnny, trusted you -- I mean, he stood up for you against his own daddy! Shame, shame, shame on you! He's gonna be so disappointed in you!" Susan incredulously declared. "How am I ever gonna survive?" Ava dryly responded.
Ava was furious with Xander for having moved Susan to the crypt. Xander reminded Ava that Susan's previous place of captivity had been compromised. Xander wondered if Ava was ready to release Susan yet. Ava announced a change of plans then ordered Xander to kill Susan. "We had a deal -- no one gets hurt," Xander protested. "Oh? Well, then, it's clear we have had a little bit of a misunderstanding here, because my goal, from the very beginning, has always been to hurt E.J.," Ava countered. "That's what we did --" Xander argued. "Money means nothing to E.J. -- he was born with it, he will always have it, he will always get more... We need to take away something that he cannot replace. He has to pay in blood," Ava interjected.
Xander refused to go along with Ava's plan then promised to escort Susan to the relative safety of the DiMera mansion. Ava grabbed and yanked off the clown mask while Xander was walking away with Susan. "Xander Cook? You bad, bad, bad boy -- how could you do this to me?" Susan sputtered, but Xander ignored the question and started lashing out at Ava for the dirty move. "You brought Susan here and outed me -- I just returned the favor. And now, you have no choice but to do what needs to be done," Ava reasoned with a shrug before rushing off, leaving behind a gun so Xander would be able to kill Susan.
Rafe entered the DiMera mansion and found Tony in the living room then demanded to know where E.J. was hiding. Tony informed Rafe that E.J. was en route to the airstrip and was armed with a gun. "Why the hell didn't one of you call me?" Rafe snapped. "Well, he was about to call you when Ava's call came in -- and at that point, the ball was already rolling, so he had no choice but to act," Tony explained. "I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't worried," Tony admitted to Rafe with a sigh.
Bonnie finished drinking a Long Island iced tea while alone with Justin in the study of the Kiriakis mansion. Bonnie breathed a sigh of relief then raved to Justin that the stiff drink really was a great cure for frazzled nerves. "When I find this clown, he's gonna be very sorry that he ever laid a finger on my wife," Justin declared while hugging Bonnie tightly.
Xander, alone at the roach-infested motel, flopped down on the bed with a sigh. "Thought a shower would help you wash away some of that guilt, didn't you, mate? Well, you were wrong," Xander fretted.
Ava met up with E.J. at the airstrip and promised to release Susan after receiving the ransom money. E.J. wired the funds to Ava's offshore bank account then demanded to see Susan right away. "I'll release her body to you," Ava clarified, horrifying E.J. "You thought you could take my son Tripp -- you could threaten my flesh and blood -- and then just pay me off?" Ava continued. "That look on your face, E.J., it is worth more to me than 30 million dollars," Ava concluded.
E.J. produced a gun and aimed it at Ava's head. "If it's true that my mother's dead...then you're next," E.J. warned. "Go ahead, E.J. -- kill me. But you and I both know I won -- I beat you, and I will gladly go to my grave knowing that," Ava countered.
Susan arrived just then and stepped between E.J. and Ava in an effort to prevent bloodshed from occurring that night. Ava was shocked at first but soon recovered and put Susan in a chokehold while E.J. was still processing the unexpected turn of events. Ava produced a gun and aimed it at Susan's head before E.J. could react. "Oh, here we go again... I mean, how many times in one night can a girl get held at gunpoint?" Susan grumbled during E.J. and Ava's standoff.
Xander, still alone at the roach-infested motel, sighed while marveling that Susan had been seconds away from death earlier and had chosen to say a prayer for his soul instead of saying a prayer for her own soul -- and that show of compassion had been what had saved her life. "I bet she's telling the whole world what I did right now," Xander fretted -- just as Sarah entered the motel.
Sarah told Xander about what had just happened at the Kiriakis mansion. "The weirdest thing? The kidnapper was wearing a blue suit," Sarah concluded. "I have to tell you something," Xander began while eyeing the blue suit that was lying on a chair.
Rafe arrived at the airstrip and found a knitted hat that seemed to confirm that E.J., Ava, and Susan had all been there at some point. Meanwhile, E.J. drove a vehicle through the twists and turns of a treacherous stretch of road, trying to catch up to Ava's vehicle and rescue Susan. "Ava, you've got no place to go now but prison...or, better yet, hell...and once I catch up with you, I get to decide," E.J. muttered.
Charlie, riding with Ava and Susan, warned that E.J. was getting closer. "Seeing as he used to drive race cars, it's only a matter of time before he catches up to you. What's the plan when he does? What are you gonna do? You gonna drive all the way to Seattle? The DiMeras will hunt you to the ends of the earth -- you know that," Charlie challenged Ava. "Shut up, okay? I am trying to think!" Ava snapped at Charlie. "I didn't say anything!" Susan assured Ava.
Susan couldn't resist begging Ava to be careful. "It would be horrible if we got into an accident -- it would be terrible, terrible, terrible!" Susan explained to Ava. "Look at you -- you're scared," Charlie observed, giving Ava a shake of the head. "I am not scared," Ava assured Charlie. "You're crying like a baby," Charlie maintained. "Because I lost everything!" Ava fretted. "Not everything. Yeah, it's true that Steve didn't want you, Rafe didn't want you, Jake's dead, Tripp abandoned you to move across the country... But you still have me, Mother -- I'm still here, and we can be together forever, just like I always wanted, and you can still win this!" Charlie countered.
Ava gave Charlie a quick look of confusion before focusing on the road again. "You can still hurt E.J. You know what you have to do," Charlie advised, drawing a nod of understanding from Ava, who gave the steering wheel a hard turn to the right.
Stefan and Chloe went to the bakery, but it was closed. "Should have had dessert at the restaurant," Stefan said. "Even with no dessert, I had a really lovely time," Chloe said. "It was our second first date. I wanted it to be perfect," Stefan said with a grin. "It was," Chloe said. Stefan kissed Chloe. Gabi rounded the corner, and she scowled when she saw the two lovebirds.
"I am so glad I ran into you guys!" Gabi said. Gabi handed Stefan and Chloe one of her wedding invitations. "Very heavy. You can almost slit someone's throat with these," Stefan said. Chloe smirked at Stefan. With a smile, Gabi told Stefan and Chloe that they were invited to the wedding. Chloe noted that she and Stefan would be out of town for New Year's Eve.
"Aren't you working for Li now?" Gabi asked. Gabi noted that Chloe's boss would want her to be at his wedding. Stefan said that Chloe would be his plus one. "It's nice when fate steps in and brings the right people together. Don't you think?" Stefan said. Gabi swallowed hard, and she nodded in agreement.
At the Salem Inn, Li wondered aloud why Wendy was in Jakarta. Rolf called Li from outside his lab on Wendy's phone. "What the hell are you doing with my sister's phone?" Li asked. "I received your message warning about Jing-Wen. Only it came too late," Rolf said. Rolf explained what had happened.
Inside Rolf's lab, Wendy and Johnny slept on gurneys. In the hallway, Rolf informed Li on the phone of the situation. "You have my sister tied in restraints and Johnny DiMera, too?" Li asked. Rolf told Li that Wendy had questioned Rolf while Johnny had recorded the conversation. "I wouldn't have known this was happening, but my equipment caused her microphone to feed back. Surely now you understand that I had to detain them," Rolf said. Li asked Rolf how Wendy and Johnny had discovered Li's involvement with Rolf.
"All I know is what's on the recording. Destroying it will be simple enough, but that still leaves you with a problem," Rolf said. With a grin, Rolf told Li that he required a set of vocal cords for a new robotics experiment. Li gasped in horror. "I have a much better idea," Li countered.
Inside the lab, Johnny stirred awake. Panicked by the restraints, Johnny called out to Wendy. "What happened? Last I heard was feedback from the mic," a groggy Wendy whispered. Wendy remembered that Rolf had injected her with a needle. Jonny confirmed that Rolf had injected him with a substance, too. "We had him. He spilled his guts," Wendy lamented. "Not totally. We still don't know my dad's involvement," Johnny said. Johnny suggested that they should escape before Rolf returned.
At the Salem Inn, Li asked Rolf on the phone to confirm the plan. Gabi quietly crept into the room so as not to disturb Li's phone call. "So, we're on the same page. Good. When my sister gets back home, she'd better be empty-handed," Li said. When Gabi closed the door, Li was startled, and he ended his call. "I didn't hear you come in," Li said. Gabi asked about Wendy. Li told Gabi that Wendy and Johnny had taken the company jet to Indonesia.
"Why? What's in Indonesia?" Gabi asked. Li lied and said that he did not know why Wendy and Johnny had gone to Indonesia. Gabi asked Li why he had told the person on the phone to make sure that Wendy returned "empty-handed." "I don't want her shopping for souvenirs," Li explained. Li argued that he needed Wendy to take her job seriously.
"What are you gonna do when she gets back?" Gabi asked. "Fire her," Li said. Gabi asked Li to give his sister a break. "She and Johnny are actually kind of cute together," Gabi said. "Cute? How?" Li asked. Gabi said that he had seen a spark between Wendy and Johnny. "I asked Johnny about it, and he admitted that he has a crush on your little sister," Gabi said. Li yelled that Johnny was a spoiled brat.With a nervous chuckle, Gabi noted that Li was unusually angry. Gabi admitted that a plane trip was an over-the-top date, but she urged Li to let Wendy and Johnny enjoy their time together. Li asked Gabi if she would have forgiven a joyride by a new employee if Gabi was still CEO.
"Just think about it. What's more important? Some wasted jet fuel, or true love?" Gabi asked. Li called Gabi a softie. When Gabi kissed Li, he sighed. "You've convinced me. But there will have to be consequences," Li said. "Just tell her she's grounded for a week," Gabi joked. Li promised not to overreact. "After all, no real harm was done," Li said. Gabi showed Li their wedding invitations, and she told Li that she could not wait to get married.
In Rolf's lab in Jakarta, Wendy and Johnny struggled against their restraints. Rolf returned. "You better let us go. My brother will be mad as hell when he finds out what you did to us," Wendy growled. "I wouldn't be so sure about that," Rolf said. Johnny asked Rolf his plan for them. Rolf said he did not appreciate when people recorded his conversations.
"Yeah, that must really bother an honorable guy like yourself," Johnny said. Rolf destroyed the recording. Wendy demanded to speak to Li. "[Li] and I had a very fruitful chat on your phone," Rolf said. Rolf explained that Li had ordered him to ensure that neither Wendy nor Johnny could tell anyone about what Rolf had done. Rolf picked up a needle, and he stuck it in a vial. Wendy attempted to appeal to Rolf's emotions.
"We're here because of Gabi, because we think she got a raw deal from my brother," Wendy said. "Why would you come so far and put yourself in grave danger for a person who means nothing to you?" Rolf asked. "Because what happened to her was wrong. She just found out Stefan was alive. He was the love of her life," Wendy said. "And now, Stefan wants nothing to do with her," Johnny added. Wendy asked Rolf if there had ever been someone in his life that had meant everything to him.
"Maybe love is the farthest thing from your brain right now, right? But what if it just happens anyway?" Johnny said. Johnny looked at Wendy. "It was meant to be," Wendy whispered as she looked at Johnny. Johnny looked back at Rolf. "Till someone like you screws it up," Johnny said. Wendy asked Rolf if it scared him to keep "messing with the natural order of things." Rolf looked away. Wendy and Johnny pleaded with Rolf to let them go.
"Just let us go, and we'll let Gabi know the truth," Johnny said. Rolf scoffed at the idea. "[Gabi] does know the truth. Only she's forgotten it, thanks to this," Rolf said as he indicated the drug in his hand. Rolf said that Johnny and Wendy would learn the effectiveness of the drug, as well. With a laugh, Rolf explained, "You two will return to Salem, believing that you came here for nothing." As Rolf prepped Wendy's arm for the injection, she struggled to get away.
"I won't say anything!" Wendy promised. "You should have thought of the consequences before you lied your way into my lab," Rolf said. As Rolf held up the needle, Johnny grabbed his arm. "Get your hands off her," Johnny growled.
With Johnny's arms untied, he shoved Rolf across the room. Johnny hurriedly untied Wendy's restraints. "Behind you!" Wendy shouted. Johnny jumped over his gurney, and he blocked Rolf's needle stabs with a metal tray. Wendy grabbed another metal tray, and she knocked out Rolf.
Johnny and Wendy tied Rolf to a gurney. When Rolf woke up, Johnny told Rolf that even without the recording, they would undo Rolf's plans. "I am going to tell Gabi personally what you did to Stefan's mind," Wendy said. "And she is going to come after you with more than a scalpel," Johnny said. As Johnny and Wendy walked out, they told Rolf he could figure his way out of the restraints on his own.
When Sarah returned home to her motel room, she told Xander about Bonnie's kidnapping. "I have to tell you something," Xander said. Sarah started to look around the room. "Did you hear what I said?" Xander asked. Sarah noted that she was distracted by a roach. Xander thought about when he had kidnapped Susan, and his face went white.
"Something's happened, hasn't it? Something bad?" Sarah asked. "Something terrible. And I did it," Xander confirmed. Sarah asked Xander to come clean so that they could figure out how to handle the situation. Xander thought about when he had told Susan that Sarah would never forgive him for what he had done.
"I broke my word to you," Xander said. Sarah asked Xander to explain. After a moment, Xander whispered, "I quit my job." When Sarah asked why, Xander thought about when Ava had ordered him to kill Susan. "The job, it just wasn't what I was told it would be. The boss asked me to do something that I knew was wrong, and I thought of you. And I just couldn't go through with it," Xander said. "You told me this Rednax company was legit. So, what's with your boss?" Sarah asked. Xander reiterated that the job was different than what he had been told.
"What did she ask you to do?" Sarah asked. "I'd just rather not talk about it," Xander said. "Was it like cooking the books or something?" Sarah asked. After a moment, Xander smiled sadly. "Yeah. Like that," Xander whispered. Sarah told Xander that she was proud of him. As Sarah hugged Xander, a look of guilt covered his face. After a moment, Sarah asked Xander why he had said that he had done a terrible thing.
"You know how much I've wanted to find a good-paying job, and I thought I had it sorted, and I was gonna be able to take care of you," Xander said. Xander said he felt like he had let Sarah down. "I know that you want to be the provider. But it means more to me that you want to make an honest living," Sarah said. Xander averted his eyes. Sarah told Xander that she loved him, and he sighed.
"I love you so much. I don't know what I'd do without you," Xander whispered. Xander kissed Sarah, and they stumbled into bed. After Xander and Sarah made love, she joked, "I do know one talent that could make you a millionaire." Xander said he had learned an important lesson from his job at Rednax. "I need to think about more than money when I'm looking for a job. I want to be proud of the way I make my living," Xander said.
On the highway, Ava drove her car with Susan in the back seat. E.J. pursued Ava in his own car. Ava continued to hallucinate Charlie in the passenger seat, and he warned Ava that E.J. would catch her. "What's the plan when he does?" Charlie asked. Ava yelled at Charlie to shut up. "I'll stay shut up, just please keep your eyes on this curvy road. It'd be terrible if we got into an accident," Susan pleaded.
In E.J.'s car, he stared intently at Ava's car as he followed her. "Ava you've got nowhere to go but prison. Or better yet, hell. And once I catch up with you, I get to decide," E.J. muttered.
In Ava's car, she cursed E.J's name. "Vitalis don't run!" Charlie yelled. Ava yelled at Charlie that she had lost everything. "You still have me, Mother. I'm still here. And we can be together forever, just like I always wanted. And you can still win this. You can still hurt E.J. You know what you have to do," Charlie said. Ava jerked the wheel to the side.
In E.J.'s car, he gasped. "No, no, no!" E.J. yelled. E.J. stared in horror as Ava's car drove off the road and over a cliff. After E.J. pulled his car to the side of the road, he ran to the edge and called out, "Mother! Mom!"
At the airstrip, Rafe called in an APB for Ava Vitali. Rafe then called the FBI to report the kidnapping. As Rafe explained the situation, an officer called in to report a car crash. "Damn it, Ava," Rafe muttered.
When Rafe arrived at the crash site, E.J. was still yelling out to his mother from the edge of the cliff. Rafe held E.J. back from climbing down into the ravine. "Ava deliberately drove off the road!" E.J. yelled. Rafe urged E.J. to wait for the rescue squad. "They have a much better shot of getting to [Susan] than you do, okay?" Rafe said. As E.J. screamed that he could not wait, the car at the bottom of the ravine exploded. E.J. and Rafe were blown off their feet.
After a moment, E.J. struggled to stand up. Rafe grabbed E.J. to hold him back again. "I'm not gonna stay here and watch my mother burn," E.J. said. E.J. wrenched himself away from Rafe, and he looked over the edge.
When emergency services arrived, E.J. sat at the edge of the road, in shock. Rafe draped a blanket over E.J.'s shoulders. E.J. shrugged it off. "The fire is almost out," a firefighter said. E.J. asked about his mother. "I'm sorry, sir. No one could have survived that blast," the firefighter said. Rafe sat down next to E.J. "I wish to hell this hadn't happened," Rafe said. Rafe asked E.J. to accompany him to the station.
"Tony told me that Ava had kidnapped your mom, but he didn't know the rest. So, I'm gonna need that from you," Rafe said. "Why? It's not going to bring my mother back," E.J. said as his voice cracked with emotion. "I want to make sure that we get it all in the public record," Rafe said. E.J. refused to "relive the nightmare" for the public, and he walked away.
At the motel, Sarah sat in bed and watched a news report about Susan's kidnapping. When Xander exited the shower, he saw the TV report. "Did they say who did it?" Xander asked. "Same thing that Bonnie told me. Some guy in a clown mask," Sarah said. Xander asked about the details. "Did Susan tell them who did it?" Xander asked. "Susan couldn't say anything. She's dead," Sarah said. Xander's eyes went wide with surprise.
When Stefan and Chloe returned to the DiMera mansion, Stefan checked that the chef could make them a dessert. "Hopefully, that will help us forget about our little run-in with Gabi," Stefan said. Chloe asked Stefan why he had told Gabi that they would not miss Gabi's wedding. Stefan explained that Gabi had played him at their wedding.
"As soon as we exchanged vows, she turned on me, kicked me right out of the house. So, yeah, I can't wait to see what [Gabi] has in store for Li," Stefan said. "You think she's going to do the same to him?" Chloe asked. Stefan noted that Gabi did not love Li, yet she was eager to make a big production of the wedding. "Can't wait to find out why," Stefan said. Chloe asked Stefan why he did not believe that Chloe loved Li.
"I don't think Gabi is capable of loving anybody. I think she's too obsessed with money and power," Stefan said. Stefan argued that Gabi had dated Li to help her return to power at DiMera. "Then why is she so anxious to have you at her wedding?" Chloe asked. Stefan shrugged. Chloe argued that even ambitious people were capable of love. Stefan stressed that he had told Gabi repeatedly that they were over. Chloe noted that Gabi did not take no for an answer.
"That's stubbornness. It's all based in greed for her. It's not love," Stefan said. "I saw her face after she saw us kissing, and she was upset," Chloe said. "So, why would she react by waving her wedding invitations in our faces?" Stefan countered. Chloe shrugged. Stefan argued that Gabi would regret the invitation when she saw Stefan and Chloe together at the wedding.
"Why do you want to hurt her?" Chloe asked. After a moment, Stefan said no. "It's not about that. I want to get through to her. That's it. I don't care about Gabi enough to want to hurt her. And I don't care who she marries. I only care about you," Stefan said. Chloe kissed Stefan. After a moment, Stefan hinted that they should go upstairs. Chloe shrank away.
"I'm moving too fast. You're still not over Brady," Stefan said. "No, I'm not, honestly, but I do want to move on with my life," Chloe said. Stefan smiled. Chloe kissed Stefan again, then pulled away. Stefan grinned. "This is turning out to be one of the best nights I've had in a long time," Stefan said excitedly.
E.J. stumbled into the room, covered in soot. As E.J. poured a drink, Chloe gasped. "What happened?" Chloe asked. When E.J. did not respond, Stefan asked E.J. if he had been in an accident. "No. But my mother was. She's dead," E.J. whispered. E.J. threw his glass across the room, and he fell to the floor in tears. "My mother's gone, and it's all my fault," E.J. said.
Allie paced around the Horton apartment while wrapping up a phone conversation with Tripp. "Chanel is still in police custody -- my Aunt Belle is trying to get her bail, but I haven't heard anything," Allie grumbled before thanking Tripp for thinking about other people's troubles even in times of personal tragedy. "I'm so sorry about your mom," Allie reiterated before saying goodbye to Tripp and ending the call -- just as someone knocked on the apartment door.
Allie opened the apartment door with a gasp of hopefulness then released a sigh of disappointment after seeing that the visitor was Abe. "I'm always happy to see you -- I just thought it was Chanel," Allie explained before inviting Abe into the apartment then rushing off to the kitchen to check on a sweet potato pie. "I've been baking a lot to keep myself from worrying about Chanel 24/7 -- in a weird way, it kind of makes me feel close to her," Allie admitted to Abe.
Abe, who had just returned from Maryland, reported that Lani was also worried about Chanel's legal predicament. Allie asked if Abe thought that a jury would be more likely to vote for acquittal or conviction if Chanel's case proceeded to trial. "It's hard to say, you know? What concerns me is the cover-up -- Paulina meant well, but...well, that could be a problem," Abe declared before comforting Allie with a hug. "Today was supposed to be our first real holiday as a couple -- Chanel and I were so excited to spend Thanksgiving with you and Paulina," Allie fretted. "I still haven't stepped down as mayor, so perhaps I could pull a few strings, and we can still spend the holiday together," Abe assured Allie with a wink.
Paulina entered the police station and joined Chanel in one of the conference rooms. "I was praying that I was gonna see you today," Chanel admitted. "I should have come sooner -- I wanted to, but Belle advised me to stay away," Paulina responded.
Chanel apologized for having tainted the start of Paulina's political career. "The only person to blame for how it all went down is that horrible D.A. -- she insisted that Detective Brady arrest you at the worst possible moment," Paulina assured Chanel.
Paulina added that Chanel also wasn't responsible for what had happened years earlier. "No matter what that spiteful daughter says," Paulina grumbled, confusing Chanel. "Sloan Petersen is not just some random lawyer," Paulina began to clarify. "She's the daughter of Martha and Nathan -- and she's hellbent on revenge," Paulina elaborated before telling Chanel the rest of the story. "He told me that he had two kids, but he never told me their names," Chanel informed Paulina with a sigh.
Paulina insisted that everything was going to be okay, but Chanel was concerned that their scandal would hurt not just them but also their significant others. "I'm sure Abe's reputation is taking a hit -- and then there's Allie..." Chanel fretted. "Now that she knows about my past, what if she decides that she doesn't want to be with me anymore?" Chanel concluded. "That is never going to happen," Allie declared while helping Abe carry bags of takeout food into the conference room.
Nicole headed over to the Hernandez house to pack and was surprised to find Rafe there. "I thought you would be at the station," Nicole explained. "That is so 'Nicole' -- always taking the easy way out," Rafe grumbled.
Nicole sighed then changed the subject, wanting to talk to Rafe about the tragedy that had occurred the previous night. "I know we had our issues with Ava, but I still feel terrible," Nicole fretted. "Yeah -- me, too," Rafe agreed.
Nicole produced a key and handed it to Rafe then rushed off to another room to start packing. Rafe was aggressively chopping vegetables when Nicole returned to the kitchen with two suitcases. "I got everything Holly and I need for now -- I'll send for the rest later," Nicole announced. "How is Holly?" Rafe wondered. "She's a little confused about everything that's going on...but generally, she's okay. She's with Maggie right now, until I find a place to settle down," Nicole responded.
Nicole probed for details about Rafe's dinner menu then gasped while listening to the answer. "I was supposed to make my mom's pie -- please tell me you have another dessert," Nicole fretted. "Well, actually, I did send Gabi to Sweet Bits...but they were closed, so..." Rafe muttered. "You cannot have Thanksgiving dinner without dessert -- please, Rafe, it's the least I can do...if not for you, then for your family," Nicole offered. "For Ari -- that's the only reason," Rafe conceded.
Rafe worked alongside Nicole in silence for a while then broke the silence to talk about the future. "With Jada being pregnant now, I don't know where I stand with Eric," Nicole admitted. "I meant with our divorce," Rafe clarified with a scoff, drawing a wince from Nicole. "Sorry... You know, I haven't really thought about it yet..." Nicole backpedaled. "We'll just call it 'irreconcilable differences,'" Rafe suggested before telling Nicole that they might as well start the process as soon as possible.
Nicole finished the pie then apologized to Rafe for everything. "You didn't deserve this," Nicole declared. "Maybe I did -- when you and I hooked up, I was still with Ava, so..." Rafe acknowledged. "I just wish that we could still be friends -- that we could resume what we had before things got complicated," Nicole fretted. "I don't see how that's possible -- at least not now," Rafe protested. "Okay -- I understand," Nicole conceded before saying goodbye to Rafe then rushing out of the house in tears.
Jada was packing on the second floor of the Brady Pub when Kate stopped by to announce that dinner would be ready soon. Jada declined the invitation under the assumption that it had only been extended because Kate hadn't heard the news yet. Jada shared all the recent developments with Kate, who admitted that only one was unexpected. "Before you came into the picture, I was encouraging Eric to get back with Nicole," Kate elaborated. "Probably saw their undeniable chemistry," Jada grumbled.
Kate insisted that Eric had a connection with Nicole but also had a connection with Jada. "And you're carrying his baby now -- and for a man like Eric, that carries weight," Kate stressed. "Meaning...?" Jada wondered. "If you're really interested in a relationship with him, don't let pride get in your way -- fight for him," Kate clarified. "I appreciate your advice, Kate, but Eric's made his decision -- and now it's time for me to make mine...on whether or not I'm gonna keep this baby," Jada fretted before confessing to Kate that the thought of being a single parent was daunting. "This is your life, your body, and your decision," Kate assured Jada.
Kate urged Jada to reconsider attending dinner, if only as a temporary distraction. "You don't think that would be a little awkward?" Jada sputtered. "Thanksgivings are always awkward," Kate joked. "I'll think about it," Jada promised.
Eric emerged from the kitchen while Roman was wrapping up a phone conversation with Kayla. "We are gonna miss you today, but I am glad you guys are there for Tripp -- let him know we're thinking about him," Roman declared before saying goodbye to Kayla then ending the call and greeting Eric. "Poor kid's having a tough time -- I mean, losing his mom right before the holidays..." Roman mused. "At least he's in good hands," Eric noted.
Roman soon started fretting about having made too much food, prompting Eric to admit that the dinner table would probably be missing three guests instead of only two. Roman was surprised to hear about the recent developments in Eric's love life. "What does this mean for you and Nicole?" Roman wondered. "I want to be with her...but we're just gonna have to have a long conversation of how this is gonna work if Jada does keep the baby," Eric responded.
Kate approached while Eric was fretting that the whole situation was just one big mess. "That's quite an understatement," Kate agreed. "Just heard the news," Kate explained, gesturing to the staircase. "Not to break a confidence, but I don't think she could feel worse about having conceived a child with a man who's in love with someone else and always has been," Kate reported, drawing a sigh of regret from Eric.
Kate told Eric and Roman about having encouraged Jada to join them for dinner. Jada approached just then and checked with Eric and Roman then accepted Kate's invitation. Kate dragged Roman off to the kitchen so Eric and Jada could talk privately before dinner -- then, after dinner, each person shared a reason for being grateful that year. "Jada has decided to keep the baby -- and we are going to be raising this baby together," Eric revealed, unaware that Nicole had just entered the pub.
Stephanie entered the Kiriakis mansion and found Alex in the study, lighting a pair of candles that were sitting on a table that had been set for two people. "You said there was a work emergency!" Stephanie protested. "There is -- it's Thanksgiving, and you have been working way too hard. And you promised me a second date, so...this is it," Alex explained.
Alex added that Steve and Kayla were out of town and that someone else therefore needed to step up and save Stephanie from the depressing fate of being alone on a holiday. "I feel so awful for Tripp," Stephanie fretted. "Yeah -- me, too," Alex agreed. "But now my Thanksgiving is truly complete," Stephanie raved before thanking Alex for the perfectly timed dinner invitation.
Stephanie was shocked that Alex could even stand to see or smell, let alone eat, another Thanksgiving dinner so soon after the Kiriakis feast. "It was kind of a hot mess. Bonnie's still a bit traumatized over Ava and Susan -- she just keeps going on and on about how easily she could have been killed," Alex reported. "But she wasn't -- thanks to you," Stephanie stressed.
Alex dismissed the praise then directed Stephanie's attention to a plate cover that was hiding an appetizer. "Me and my brothers, we used to fight over these bad boys right here. Stephanie Johnson, you are about to indulge on a rare culinary delicacy," Alex declared. "Grandma Jo's stuffing muffins!" Stephanie observed when Alex removed the plate cover. "You know about Grandma Jo's stuffing muffins?" Alex sputtered.
Alex and Stephanie ate all but one of the muffins. "Cook did a good job with these -- maybe a little bit too much sage, but..." Alex mused. "Tasted great to me," Stephanie countered. "I have a very sophisticated tongue," Alex explained. "Palate -- I meant palate," Alex backpedaled after getting a look from Stephanie. "These are orgasmic, though!" Alex declared between bites of the final muffin, which Stephanie had declined.
Stephanie continued eating dinner with Alex and ended up feeling stuffed before dessert arrived. Alex offered to provide Stephanie with an alternative type of dessert. Stephanie accepted a kiss from Alex then asked for a second helping of that dessert.
Gabi and Li entered the Hernandez house together and greeted Rafe, who assured them that dinner would be ready soon. Rafe escorted Gabi and Li to the living room and served bottles of beer and a charcuterie board to make their wait more bearable. "Where's Ari?" Rafe wondered. "She stayed over at Sonny's after the parade," Gabi responded before sensing that Rafe was disappointed. "She was talking with Holly about this cheesy Christmas movie they wanted to watch, so I told her it was okay," Gabi explained to Rafe with an apologetic shrug. "So, if Nicole and Holly were here, it wouldn't even be an issue," Rafe translated.
Gabi declared Nicole "a ridiculously fickle person" then insisted that Rafe deserved better. Gabi predicted that Nicole would eventually start to feel like "an idiot" for having left Rafe and would "regret the hell out of" that decision. Rafe wasn't willing to go that far but did admit to Gabi that Nicole's plans for the future had already been derailed. Gabi hoped that Rafe wasn't giving Nicole any sympathy. Gabi found it comical that karma had given Nicole "a swift kick in the ass" to even the score, but Rafe protested that an innocent baby was involved and that the situation was therefore not a laughing matter. Gabi conceded Rafe's point about the baby but still hoped that the development meant that Nicole was going to end up alone and miserable.
Gabi produced a cell phone and started shopping for baby gifts while Rafe was revealing that Nicole had stopped by earlier and had insisted on baking a pumpkin pie. "Ooh -- I love pumpkin pie!" Li interjected. "You should have shoved that pie right in her face!" Gabi advised Rafe. "Actually, after she left, I did throw it in the trash," Rafe confessed to Gabi. "Does that mean there's no dessert at all?" Li fretted.
Gabi glared at Li then asked Rafe if it was time to eat yet. Gabi dragged Li off to the kitchen without waiting for a response, and Rafe followed with a sigh after hiding a framed wedding photograph in the drawer of a side table.
Nicole sneaked back out of the Brady Pub's side entrance while Roman and Kate were celebrating Eric and Jada's plans for the future.
Roman and Kate soon retreated to the kitchen to wash dishes, wanting to give Eric and Jada more time to talk privately about the future. "I'm really happy you decided to keep the baby -- and I promise you, Jada, I'm gonna be there for our kid 100%; I'm going to be a good dad," Eric stressed. "I'm not trying to throw shade, but...real talk? The Nicole Walker that I've seen is incredibly insecure and territorial -- there is no way she's gonna take this news in stride," Jada warned.
Nicole ran into Abe and Paulina while passing through the town square and seized the opportunity to ask for an update on Chanel's legal predicament. Paulina and Abe took turns informing Nicole that Chanel was stuck at the police station for the holiday but had at least gotten to spend some time with family and eat a proper meal. Abe and Paulina offered to share the leftovers with Nicole, explaining that Chanel hadn't had much of an appetite.
Nicole accepted the offer then followed Abe and Paulina to a nearby table. Paulina and Abe soon realized that Nicole also didn't have much of an appetite. Nicole sighed then told Abe and Paulina about everything that had happened that day. "Seems pretty clear -- Eric's gonna dump me and stay with Jada and the baby," Nicole concluded. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves --" Abe advised. "Eric has always wanted children so much, and we all know how old-fashioned he is, so I think he feels he owes it to the baby to be with the mother -- plus, he and Sami came from a broken home, and we all know how messed up she is, so he just doesn't want the baby to turn into another Sami," Nicole insisted.
Abe maintained that Nicole was jumping to conclusions and needed to talk to Eric about the matter to make sure that there were no misunderstandings, but Paulina didn't think that was a good idea. Paulina argued that Eric was the one who needed to make the first move, but Abe countered that Nicole couldn't let stubborn pride further complicate the situation. Paulina suggested that Abe could give Eric a nudge on Nicole's behalf. "Start off by telling him he's being a big dummy," Paulina spat.
Abe didn't want to interfere, so Paulina volunteered to handle the matter, but Nicole conceded that dealing with Eric directly was probably the best course of action.
Jada headed off to the second floor of the Brady Pub to take a nap, and Eric considered seizing the opportunity to talk to Nicole but decided to check on Marlena instead.
Marlena entered the DiMera mansion and found E.J. in the living room, holding a glass of whiskey in one hand and a framed photograph of Susan in the other. "Excuse me for interrupting -- Harold thought it might be all right if I came in... I just want to offer you my condolences -- you and Johnny," Marlena explained. "Johnny's out of town," E.J. revealed. "So...he doesn't know?" Marlena translated. "I don't think so -- and I have no idea how I'm going to tell him...especially since this is all my fault," E.J. fretted before confessing everything to Marlena. "My ego, my vindictiveness, my absolute refusal to relinquish control -- it's what got my mother killed, just like it got Abigail killed," E.J. summarized for Marlena with a sigh.
Marlena tried to assure E.J. that Ava was responsible for Susan's death and that Clyde was responsible for Abigail's death. "That so easily could have been your daughter instead," E.J. pointed out, feeling unworthy of Marlena's compassion.
Marlena insisted that Susan wouldn't want E.J. to feel guilty about what had happened. "You were the love of her life, and she was so proud of you," Marlena stressed. "I think she was a bit biased," E.J. muttered.
E.J. laughed about Susan's "unlikely friendship" with Marlena. "She made me a gift when I got married -- she made a doll that looked exactly like me," Marlena informed E.J. "She went to such trouble for it -- I mean, she even made a miniature dress of the gown that I was wearing when John and I got married in 1999. I think it was the most touching gift I had ever been given. I wish I had told her," Marlena elaborated. "There's a lot I wish I had told her. Most certainly, I inherited many qualities from my father -- my ambition, my temper -- but if I have any good in me at all, it came from my mother," E.J. admitted to Marlena.
Marlena eventually headed back to the Evans-Black townhouse and removed the doll from storage then found a prominent spot for it on the mantel. Meanwhile, E.J. took a bouquet of flowers to the crash site and broke down there.
An emotional E.J. visited the crash site of his mother's car accident, and he sipped from his flask as he sat on the edge of the cliff. Rafe arrived at the scene. "I thought I might find you here," Rafe said. Rafe told E.J. that he still needed E.J.'s statement. "You already know most of it. When I met up with Ava to pay the ransom, she lied and said my mother was dead. But then, [Susan] turned up at the airstrip," E.J. explained. E.J. told Rafe that Ava had dragged Susan off at gunpoint.
"I pursued in my car. Ava swerved hard. And now my mother's gone. Dead," E.J. said. "Why do I get the feeling that you're still not telling me the whole story," Rafe asked. Rafe noted that Ava's reaction was extreme. "Who knows what drives a lunatic like Ava Vitali?" E.J. muttered. E.J. offered his flask to Rafe, and Rafe took a swig. E.J. was surprised.
Rafe admitted he had had a rough week. "Obviously, nothing compared to what you're going through," Rafe said. Rafe told E.J. that he and Nicole were getting a divorce. "I'm sorry to hear that," E.J. said. "Really? I would have thought, considering how much you hate the two of us, you'd be gloating right now," Rafe said. "I guess I'm not in a gloating mood. So, what happened?" E.J. said. Before Rafe could respond, E.J. guessed that the breakup involved Eric.
"How did you know?" Rafe asked. "That the two of them were destined to be together? Everyone knew," E.J. said. E.J. noted that Eric and Nicole always returned to one another, time after time. "I once thought Samantha and I had that kind of connection. But clearly, I was mistaken," E.J. said with a rueful laugh. Rafe noted Eric and Nicole's bond was not unbreakable. "There is already trouble in paradise," Rafe said. After a call from the station, Rafe asked E.J. to give his statement in the morning. E.J. agreed.
Eric visited Marlena at the penthouse. Eric noticed the Marlena doll on the mantel. "Is that new?" Eric asked. "No. That was a gift from Susan Banks. I was just thinking about her," Marlena whispered. "I'm sorry. I know you two were close," Eric said. Marlena apologized for having canceled dinner plans, and she asked Eric if he had enjoyed Thanksgiving at the pub.
"I wanted to share some news that I'm very thankful for. I'm going to be a dad," Eric said. Marlena hugged Eric. "I know how much you've always wanted a child of your own. It's wonderful news," Marlena said. Eric noted Marlena's hesitation. "I know what you're thinking," Eric said. Eric admitted that that the situation was complicated, and he credited Kate with having helped Jada decide to keep her baby.
"You said it was complicated. What does that mean?" Marlena asked. Eric told Marlena that Jada had caught him kissing Nicole, and Jada had dumped him. "That doesn't mean I'm walking away from my responsibility," Eric said. Marlena asked Eric if he wanted the baby. Eric told Marlena that he believed he could co-parent with Jada.
"We just gotta figure a way to make it work together," Eric said. Eric explained that he still wanted to be with Nicole, and he hoped Nicole could accept his decision to co-parent with Jada. "It's not too much to hope that all things can work out, right?" Eric asked. "Of course not," Marlena said. Eric admitted that he was nervous to talk to Nicole about the pregnancy.
"I just hope she doesn't feel threatened by this baby," Eric said. "This will be a difficult conversation to have, and it could get complicated. But you know what? You and Nicole have been through so much together, and you love each other so much. I just know you'll find a way to work this out together," Marlena said.
In Jada's room, she unpacked her suitcase. Nicole knocked on her door. "If you're looking for Eric, he's out," Jada said. "Actually, I came here to see you," Nicole said. With a sigh, Jada gestured for Nicole to enter the room. "I'm pretty tired," Jada said. "Of course, you're tired. You're in your first trimester," Nicole said. Nicole admitted that she had seen Jada having Thanksgiving dinner with Eric.
"I couldn't help but overhear Eric say that you two are gonna raise the baby together," Nicole said. "So, if you were there, why didn't you say anything?" Jada asked. Nicole said she had not wanted to interrupt. "I was afraid that I would spoil the heartwarming moment by bringing up the fact that Eric broke up with you a few days ago to be with me," Nicole said. Jada narrowed her eyes.
"So, you're here to what? Give me hell for ruining your little happily ever after with Eric?" Jada asked. When Nicole said no, Jada asked Nicole if she was there to stress that co-parenting would not lead to a romantic relationship with Eric. "Let me be clear, Nicole. I have enough self-respect to not want to be with a man who is in love with someone else. And Eric knows that," Jada said. Nicole nodded in agreement.
"I'm assuming his intentions toward you haven't changed, but you'll have to take that up with him," Jada added. "I'm so sorry. Eric and I never meant for this to happen. We never meant for you or Rafe to get hurt," Nicole said. "Just shut the hell up!" Jada yelled. Nicole looked taken aback. Jada argued that Nicole was not sorry, because Nicole had gotten what she wanted.
"So, don't pretend to feel bad for me or that you even care about me, because your fake sympathy, it just makes it all worse," Jada said. "I'm sorry," Nicole said again. Jada glared at Nicole. Jada asked Nicole how she would feel if her boyfriend's ex returned to the picture under the same circumstances.
"So, at the same time [Eric] is cutting me loose, I find out that I'm tied to this man for the rest of my life," Jada said. "You seem really angry," Nicole pointed out. "Why the hell wouldn't I be?" Jada snapped. "Well, I would be, too," Nicole agreed. Nicole asked Jada why she wanted to be tied to someone for life if that person made her feel so angry. Jada was offended by the question.
"I know you're resentful of me. That's putting it mildly. And I don't blame you, I'm just trying to give you some perspective here, okay?" Nicole said. Nicole explained that she was a single mother and that she knew it was a bad idea to "go into parenting with a negative attitude." "I did not ask for your perspective," Jada growled. "I wish someone had painted a realistic picture of motherhood for me," Nicole countered. "What the hell does that mean?" Jada asked.
Nicole warned Jada, "You need to decide before it's too late if you're ready for this change. If this is something you really want." Nicole asked Jada if she had considered how a baby would affect her career. When Jada noted that Rafe had promised her leave from work, Nicole asked if the leave would be paid. Nicole added that Jada would also spend months behind a desk, which could affect her ambitions.
"Enough!" Jada said. "And when you do go back to work, you're going to be exhausted, and torn, and crying all the time, and not just because of your hormones. It's guilt because you love your job, and you love your baby. And you try to put your whole heart into both, and it's impossible. And it leaves you feeling bitter and not to mention depressed," Nicole said. Jada held back tears. Nicole added that Eric would support Jada, but even with help, it would be difficult.
"I'm gonna be in Eric's life now, which means I'm gonna be in yours. And I'm just trying to figure out a way to work this out," Nicole said. "Get out," Jada said. "I'm trying to help you," Nicole countered. "Get out!" Jada yelled as she opened her front door. Nicole walked out.
Maggie visited Sarah at the motel to deliver leftovers. "I was hoping you could join us for dinner," Maggie said. "Xander wasn't feeling well," Sarah explained. Maggie looked around the room. Sarah explained that Xander had gone out for air and that she hoped he was able to eat when he returned. "No one had much of an appetite tonight," Maggie said. Maggie noted that Bonnie was still upset.
"Let me guess. Victor got on [Bonnie's] case and ruined Thanksgiving dinner?" Sarah said. Maggie explained that Bonnie had been so shaken by her experience in the shed that she had been rattled by every noise at the dinner table. "Poor Bonnie. Do the police have any leads on Ava's accomplice?" Sarah asked. Maggie shook her head no. Maggie said the only description was a muscular man in a blue business suit. Sarah looked concerned.
"A blue business suit?" Sarah asked. Sarah walked over to Xander's jacket on the chair. "Kind of like this one?" Sarah asked. Maggie asked Sarah what she meant. "Surely you don't think?" Maggie said. "I don't know. A lot of things are starting to add up," Sarah said. Sarah told Maggie that Xander had quit his job because his boss had asked him to do something "that was very wrong."
When Sarah noted that Xander's boss had been a woman, Maggie dismissed the idea. "This sickness came on suddenly, as soon as he heard that Susan and Ava had died. And you know that I love Xander, and I want to believe in him. But he was under a lot of pressure to get this job. And he is the type of person that Ava would hire to do something like this," Sarah said. "Xander's not that man anymore," Maggie said. Maggie asked Sarah why she was suspicious. Sarah argued that the situation did not feel right, but Maggie was unsure.
"Okay, what about the fact that the kidnapper was keeping Bonnie and Susan in the Kiriakis shed? Which is where Xander worked when he was the gardener. He knows the grounds. He knows how to get around unnoticed. And remember that Victor said that he had never heard of the company that Xander claimed he worked for," Sarah said. "It was a startup," Maggie countered. Sarah suggested that Xander had made up the job to hide the fact that he had been working for Ava.
"When Xander first got his job at the pharmaceutical company, I was skeptical of his honesty at first, because he wasn't giving you any details," Maggie said. Maggie added that she believed that Sarah was letting her imagination run wild. "Xander has a blue suit. So do a million other men," Maggie said. Maggie argued that Ava had access to a number of muscular mafia men for the kidnapping.
"I've been married to a changed man for a very long time, as you know. In spite of what I said to you the other day, which now I regret, because I never like it when people plant seeds of doubt with me regarding Victor's behavior. Or his honesty," Maggie said. Maggie urged Sarah to trust that Xander was honest with her, unless there was overwhelming evidence against him. "You think that Xander is being honest?" Sarah asked. "I think that Xander loves you more than anything. And now that he has you back, I don't think he would do anything to risk losing you again," Maggie advised.
At the Horton house, Xander visited Gwen. "Are you sure we're alone?" Xander asked. Gwen assured Xander that Jack, Chad, and the children were in New York. "I feel like my whole life is going to go up in smoke," Xander admitted. Gwen asked Xander to tell her what had happened.
"I assume you've heard the news about Ava and Susan," Xander said. Gwen confirmed that she had heard about the car accident. Xander told Gwen how Bonnie had stumbled onto Susan in the shed. "I should have taken that as a sign and ended the whole fiasco," Xander whispered. "But you wanted your payday?" Gwen said. Xander nodded yes. Xander confirmed that he had moved Susan before Justin had found Bonnie.
"Susan wasn't nearly as lucky," Xander whispered. Xander lamented that he had had multiple chances to call off the kidnapping, but he had failed. "I was just greedy and cowardly," Xander said. "Ava can be extremely scary," Gwen said. Xander called Ava insane, and he told Gwen about when he had found Ava talking to the walls in the crypt.
"It just got worse from there. She finally lost it and ordered me to kill Susan," Xander said. "What did you say?" Gwen asked. Xander explained that he had refused, and Ava had ripped off his mask in front of Susan. "In other words, if you didn't kill Susan, everyone would know what you'd done," Gwen said. "Sarah would know. In the end I just couldn't bring myself to disappoint her yet again. And I just let Susan go," Xander said. Gwen asked what had happened next.
"I don't know. Somehow, Ava got Susan back. And apparently, the ransom handoff went bad. They got into a car chase and wound up driving off a cliff," Xander said. "This is not your fault. You tried to save Susan. You helped her escape. You were not the one behind the wheel of that car," Gwen said. Xander argued that if he had not agreed to kidnap Susan, Susan would still be alive.
"I'm going to keep telling you this until you hear me. Xander, this was not your fault. Okay? Ava promised that Susan would not get hurt," Gwen said. "And I was stupid enough to believe her!" Xander countered. Gwen said that she believed Ava had meant what she had said when she had hired Xander.
"This was supposed to be a simple kidnapping. But like you said, it took a horrible turn. And if you would have known how this would have turned out, you never would have taken that job," Gwen said. Xander admitted that he had believed Susan would go to the cops. "I almost confessed to Sarah, but then I remembered when Susan was begging for her life, she swore she'd keep her mouth shut. And I thought, what if? What if by some miracle she doesn't say anything?" Xander said. Xander confirmed that he had only told Sarah that he had quit his job.
"I got my miracle. Susan will never say anything, ever again," Xander said. "You didn't want Susan to die, and you did not kill her," Gwen reiterated. With a sigh, Xander argued that he had terrorized and drugged Susan. "I'm not a changed man, Gwen. I'm the same worthless piece of garbage I've always been," Xander muttered. "That's not true. Your intentions were good and honorable. This was about you being a supportive husband," Gwen said. Xander scoffed.
"I should just tell [Sarah] the truth," Xander said. Gwen reminded Xander that no one could tie him to the kidnapping. "And I'm certainly not going to bloody say anything," Gwen added. "Do you mean that?" Xander asked. Gwen told Xander that after everything, she still cared about him. "I understand you probably better than anyone. Which I'm pretty sure is why you're here. You trusted me with your secret. And I promise you, your secret is safe with me," Gwen said.
When Xander returned to the motel, he told Sarah that he felt better. "Something smells good,' Xander noted. Sarah explained that Maggie had delivered leftovers. "We can dig in if you have your appetite back," Sarah said. "I'm starving," Xander said. As Xander unpacked the food, Sarah said, "And I will just move your blue suit, so we have somewhere to sit." Sarah stared into Xander's eyes, and he asked her if anything was wrong. "No, I was just thinking that maybe over dinner, you could tell me if you were the clown that kidnapped Bonnie and Susan," Sarah said.
In the town square, Nicole ran into Eric. "I'm so happy to see you," Eric said as he hugged Nicole tightly. Eric told Nicole that Jada had decided to have the baby. "It won't change anything between us," Eric said. "Are you sure?" Nicole asked. Eric stressed that his romantic relationship with Jada was over. "We are going to co-parent, and that's it," Eric said. Eric told Nicole that he loved only her. "It's going to be okay," Eric said.
When Rafe returned to the station, Jada was working at her desk. "What are you doing here? You didn't draw a holiday shift," Rafe said. "I wanted to clear my head," Jada said. Jada noticed that Rafe was not wearing his wedding ring. "Nicole and I talked earlier. We're getting divorced," Rafe said. "I'm sorry," Jada whispered. Rafe explained that there was no point in staying married, even if Nicole decided not to get back together with Eric because of Jada's pregnancy.
"My pregnancy will not be an issue," Jada promised. "Have you made a decision about the baby?" Rafe asked. Jada said she had decided to have the baby, but then she had reconsidered how a baby would affect her life. "I realized I can't do it, after all," Jada said.
At the penthouse, Marlena was reading a book on the couch when there was a thud. Marlena looked over, and she saw the Marlena doll had fallen to the floor. "That's strange. How did that happen?" Marlena wondered aloud. At the crash site, E.J. stumbled to his feet. There was a rustle of leaves nearby. "Mother?" E.J. said.