Leo entered Small Bar and saw that Johnny was sitting alone at one of the tables but had ordered a bottle of wine and two glasses. "I'm waiting on my date!" Johnny objected when Leo claimed the table's extra chair. "She -- or he...or they -- isn't -- or aren't -- here yet," Leo countered before begging for a comment on the latest DiMera drama then realizing that Johnny hadn't even heard about any of it yet.
Leo explained that Johnny's "indefatigable Auntie Kristen" had just been released from prison after securing an immunity deal. "It's like a revolving door with her, isn't it? One minute, she's in -- the next minute, she's out," Leo noted with a yawn before stressing that getting commentary on Kristen's latest move was therefore less of a priority than getting the inside scoop on another one of Johnny's aunts.
Leo was disappointed to learn that Johnny had not yet had any interactions with Megan and therefore had nothing to share about the woman -- but when Wendy entered the bar and interrupted the interview, the gossip columnist sensed another potential story and changed course without hesitation. "It is just so hard to keep up with things around here -- people change partners the way they change underwear!" Leo complained before recalling that Johnny had proposed to Chanel just a few days earlier and that Wendy had then rushed off to Seattle to spend some time with Tripp. "Double your pleasure, double your fun?" Leo teased with a suggestive wink.
Leo also considered the possibility that Wendy's "special salad dressing" had been served to Tripp in Seattle and that the doctor had then been dumped for having a "bedside manner" that didn't measure up to expectations. "I don't know what that means...but if you print a word of this, I will hack into all of your accounts and make your life a living hell," Wendy snapped. "No need to get testy, honey -- I am on your side!" Leo countered.
Leo assured Wendy that feeling torn between two "super-hot" men was an understandable conundrum -- then advised that choosing the one who was "a successful doctor" instead of the one who was "an out-of-work dilettante" would probably be the best course of action. "Leave. Now!" Johnny demanded while advancing toward Leo. "Hey, I heard that Gabi and your brother filed for divorce -- please feel free to give Li my number!" Leo called out to Wendy while backing away from Johnny. "He's just trying to stir up drama, as usual --" Johnny explained to Wendy after chasing Leo out of the bar. "But he wasn't exactly wrong about me and Tripp," Wendy acknowledged with a sigh, prompting Johnny to dismiss the concern.
Johnny conceded that Leo had been right about Tripp being the more successful love interest for Wendy. "I need to hurry up and jump-start my film career," Johnny grumbled before fretting about needing an idea that didn't involve family members.
Eric's unexpected visit to the hospital forced Sloan and Nicole to make up a cover story to explain why they were splitting a box of test kits, so they claimed that visitors to Colin and Abe's floor of the building were being screened for a virus because that area had been hit with an outbreak earlier that day. "I was gonna share one of my tests with Sloan -- you know, since the hospital is low on supplies," Nicole reasoned. "But you should have that test, Eric, 'cause Mayor Carver is a family friend -- and, I mean, despite my own feelings about his family, I'm sure you'd like to visit him," Sloan insisted. "I think it's more important that you be with your family," Eric countered.
Nicole and Sloan each released a sigh of disappointment while watching Eric leave the hospital. "Well, it was a good idea...although it failed miserably," Nicole grumbled.
Anna gulped as Tony continued speaking during the family gathering at the DiMera mansion. "I can't let you do this!" Anna blurted out before releasing a nervous laugh then apologizing to everyone else for Tony's behavior.
Anna claimed that Tony had consumed too much alcohol during their dinner at the Bistro earlier that night. "When he gets like this, he makes unwise decisions -- and I wouldn't want him to say anything that he will regret later," Anna stressed while giving Tony a pointed look. "Seems as sober as a judge to me," Kristen argued. "Because I am!" Tony insisted.
Anna gulped again as Tony forged ahead -- but the speech turned out to be a pitch for E.J. to be recognized as the best candidate to run DiMera Enterprises. "You were right, Anna -- he is completely wasted," Gabi declared.
Anna dragged Tony off to the foyer at the end of the speech. "I can see that Anna is still quite the drama queen," Megan whispered to Kristen, who laughed in agreement.
Anna admonished Tony for having considered telling E.J. about Nicole's pregnancy -- then admitted that pivoting at the last minute to a speech about DiMera Enterprises' ongoing leadership dispute had been a convincing save. "That was not a cover story -- I said what I intended to say in the first place!" Tony clarified. "Oh, don't play innocent with me --" Anna warned. "There's a power struggle going on in there between E.J. and Stefan, vying for my sisters' votes -- I just wanted to make it clear that I support E.J.," Tony maintained. "So...you were not planning to expose Nicole's secret?" Anna translated. "No, I was not -- but you almost did that on your own!" Tony responded.
Anna sheepishly apologized for having doubted Tony, who bitterly pointed out that such misunderstandings were common in their relationship. "Come on, give me a break -- I mean, when we were at the Bistro, you seemed to be on the fence --" Anna argued. "Because E.J. has a right to know --" Tony explained. "'A right to know' what?" E.J. interjected, joining Tony and Anna in the foyer.
Tony claimed to have been trying to convince Anna that being transparent about favoring one brother over another had been the right move because they both deserved to know where they stood. "I sincerely appreciate that, Tony -- in this family full of liars and vultures, it's good to know that you've always had my back," E.J. raved before hugging Tony, who gave Anna a look of discomfort during the embrace.
Gabi and Stefan advised Megan to disregard everything Tony had said earlier. "Not only does he have a screw loose -- he's completely biased," Gabi declared. "He's basically E.J.'s lapdog," Stefan elaborated. "The way these two fawn over each other is nauseating -- I mean, it's, like...'Come on -- get a room!'" Gabi joked. "That's a bit crass, considering they're brothers!" Megan protested. "I...didn't mean it literally --" Gabi backpedaled.
Stefan jumped in to do some damage control for Gabi. "They're not related by blood, anyway -- let's not forget that Tony's the gardener's son," Stefan stressed. "Not to mention...he's hooked up with one of his siblings," Gabi whispered. "You and Tony?" Megan challenged Kristen after realizing that Gabi wasn't referring to Renee. "Relax -- it was more or less an arranged marriage set up by Father...and the man that I married turned out to be Andre," Kristen responded. "But eventually you did marry Tony, when you were pretending to be Nicole," Gabi pointed out before changing the subject, making a pitch for Stefan to be recognized as the best candidate to run DiMera Enterprises.
Megan wondered if Stefan could offer anything that E.J. either couldn't or wouldn't offer -- and Gabi responded that the former man would do much more than the latter man to make the mansion's newest resident feel at home. "That is simply not true," E.J. insisted, rejoining Megan and the others in the living room. "I'm willing to turn over my master suite," E.J. continued. "After being locked up in Statesville, I think you deserve the largest room in the house, which also boasts the best views," E.J. concluded. "I was locked up in Statesville, too, you know!" Kristen objected. "Yes -- but Megan has seniority," E.J. responded.
Kristen scoffed then warned Megan not to trust the wrong person -- and Stefan elaborated that E.J. had betrayed practically every other DiMera at some point.
E.J. squirmed as Megan begged to hear more details. "I was wondering when we were going to get to all the DiMera drama that I have so sorely missed," Megan raved.
Nicole entered the mansion while Anna was fretting to Tony about the earlier close call with E.J. "What the hell, Anna!" Nicole snapped, prompting Anna to apologize then explain what had happened -- and Tony waited until the end of the tale then expressed concerns about having to keep such important news from E.J.
Nicole promised that a paternity test would be performed as soon as possible and that the secret would be revealed once the results were obtained -- and Tony gave the matter some thought then decided not to interfere with that plan.
Nicole breathed a sigh of relief then changed the subject, asking for advice on the matter of the test kit -- and Anna produced a bottle of sleeping pills that had been prescribed for insomnia, confident that just one dose would be enough to turn a light sleeper into a heavy sleeper whose cheek could be swabbed without incident.
Kristen escorted Megan out of the living room just then, having offered to provide a tour of the mansion. "You're out of prison again?" Nicole sputtered while staring at Kristen in disbelief. "You're gonna be living here?" Nicole realized after being introduced to Megan. "We're DiMeras, darling -- where else would we live?" Megan countered before heading upstairs with Kristen.
Sloan entered the Petersen apartment and greeted Eric then admitted to having agreed to represent Colin in court. "My sister Sami, she's done a lot of terrible things over the years -- and I, too, struggled to defend her, but I stood by her as best I could, and I admire you for wanting to do the same," Eric stressed. "That means so much to me -- with everything going on, I really couldn't stand to lose you," Sloan responded.
Sloan seized a hug from Eric and raved that allowing their relationship to evolve from a fling into something more serious had been a good decision. "I love you," Sloan confessed before insisting that Eric was under no obligation to return the sentiment. "I love you, too," Eric responded before giving Sloan a passionate kiss -- and they soon began undressing each other.
Nicole entered E.J.'s bedroom and wondered how Megan and Kristen had managed to secure residence at the DiMera mansion. E.J. explained that Kristen and Megan's votes could be crucial during future battles for control of DiMera Enterprises -- then complained of a migraine while venting about what had transpired in the living room earlier, prompting Nicole to advise that taking a sleeping pill would be the best way to ensure plenty of hours of good rest.
E.J. started to accept Nicole's offer but reconsidered after Wei Shin phoned to reveal that a DiMera Enterprises representative was needed in Chicago right away to salvage a business deal that was on the verge of being lost due to an investor's cold feet. E.J. agreed to handle the matter in the hope of scoring points with Wei Shin, and Nicole supported the decision with a forced smile but released a groan of frustration while alone in the bedroom later that night.
Megan and Kristen returned to the living room and started discussing everything that had occurred earlier that night. "It's very satisfying that our brothers are working overtime to win our allegiance," Kristen declared. "But chauvinistic of them to assume that our only option is for one of them to run the company," Megan countered. "The boys had their turn at the top -- perhaps it's time for the girls to take charge," Kristen agreed after giving Megan's argument some thought.
Sloan phoned Nicole from the Petersen apartment while Eric was asleep. "Mission accomplished -- I've got Eric's sample in my hot little hands," Sloan bragged, drawing a sigh of relief from Nicole.
At the Johnson apartment, Stephanie and Alex talked over a beer about his unemployment. "I still think you need to give Maggie time to cool down," Stephanie counseled. With a shake of his head, Alex said his failure to finalize the deal for Maggie had been the last straw. "The sad fact is, my career at Titan is over," Alex said. Stephanie advised Alex not to be too hard on himself.
"You had no idea how the client was going to behave at that meeting. Maggie completely overreacted by firing you," Stephanie said. "I think she may have a point," Alex countered. Stephanie sighed in frustration. While Stephanie went to grab another beer, Alex apologized for having been rotten company. "Maybe you could talk to Dr. Evans about that," Stephanie joked. The doorbell rang, and Alex answered it. Chad's smile fell away when he saw Alex.
"You're back!" Stephanie said as she ran into Chad's arms. Stephanie kissed Chad, and she told him she had missed him. Alex avoided looking at the couple, and Chad asked Stephanie why Alex was there. Stephanie told Chad what had happened with the failed Titan deal.
"I don't think he really cares," Alex said. Chad smiled, and he said he knew how much it sucked to be kicked out of the family business. "But damn. I mean, getting fired by Maggie? That would be like getting canned by Glinda the Good Witch," Chad joked. Chad noted that the situation had to have been humiliating for Alex.
"I'm going to let you guys have a little alone time," Alex announced. Alex thanked Stephanie for the beer. "Maggie is just about the nicest person I know. I just feel horrible about letting her down," Alex said. After Alex left, Stephanie said, "Did you really have to kick the guy when he is down?" Chad assured Stephanie that Alex would be fine.
When Stephanie raised an eyebrow, Chad apologized. "I just got back from Greece, where Kate was almost killed, your father was shot, and Bo Brady is still in a coma. So, you know, I'm sorry if I don't have the patience to come in here and see Alex pretending to cry in his beer over a job that, quite honestly, he never should have had in the first place," Chad argued. "He was a guest in my home," Stephanie said. Chad asked Stephanie how she could forgive Alex after what he had done to her.
"Is Alex really what we want to talk about?" Stephanie asked. "I don't want to talk about Alex anymore," Chad agreed. Stephanie asked about Dimitri. "He and his mother are a bit like James Bond villains," Chad said. Chad put his arms around Stephanie, and she pulled him toward the couch. "I don't really want to talk at all," Chad whispered.
After Chad and Stephanie made love on the couch, Chad gave Stephanie the highlights of his interactions with Dimitri. "Apparently, my father never wore protection," Chad joked. Stephanie argued that it was only a matter of time before Dimitri committed another crime and went back to prison. Chad told Stephanie that Dimitri had decided to move to Salem. "I don't think he's here to be part of the family. I think he's coming here to destroy it," Chad said.
Gwen was working in her hotel room when Xander stopped by. "If this doesn't have to do with work," Gwen grumbled. "It does have to do with work, as does your foul mood, I bet," Xander countered. Xander blamed Gwen's mood on the resignation of the ad sales director. When Xander argued that Gwen's managerial style had forced the man to quit, Gwen disagreed.
"He was looking for an excuse to quit. He saw my father as walking on water, and he saw me as the bitch who shoved [my father] off of his own paper," Gwen said. "You are the bitch who shoved Jack off his own paper," Xander said. Gwen reminded Xander that she had pushed Jack out for him.
"So, if you don't mind, just get the hell out of here so I can pull a new sales manager out of a hat," Gwen demanded. Xander told Gwen that they should hire Chloe. "Over my dead body," Gwen said. "Come on, Gwen. You're desperate," Xander argued. Gwen noted that she was not desperate enough to hire Xander's girlfriend.
"Chloe's not my girlfriend. We're just roommates," Xander said. Gwen scoffed. "Why are you so interested?" Xander asked. Xander noted that Gwen had Alex. "That's over now. He ended it," Gwen said. "He did?" Xander asked. Gwen explained that Alex had said he wanted to be a better person. Xander stifled a laugh. Annoyed, Gwen changed the subject back to work. Xander listed off items on Chloe's résumé, and he insisted she was qualified.
"Well, she can get a job elsewhere then, can't she? Because we are not hiring her at the Spectator," Gwen said. Xander reminded Gwen that they were partners. "You don't get to just make unilateral staffing decisions," Xander said. Gwen agreed that they would review all qualified applicants for the position together.
"Chloe is more than welcome to apply," Gwen said. Xander smirked, and he noted that Gwen's jealousy was sad. "I am not jealous," Gwen stressed. "Keep telling yourself that," Xander said with a grin. Gwen called Xander egotistical, and she reiterated that they needed a qualified candidate.
"We don't have time to recruit and screen candidates," Xander said. Xander told Gwen that he had offered the job to Chloe, and the discussion was over. Gwen glowered at Xander. "Fine. Hire her. But when this turns out to be an absolute unmitigated disaster, it's coming out of your half of the profits," Gwen growled. "Agreed," Xander said.
At Xander and Chloe's apartment, Brady knocked on the door. "Sorry for not calling before showing up," Brady said. Chloe told Brady that she had already run into Kristen. "Did she threaten you or anything?" Brady asked. "No. It was fine," Chloe assured Brady. Brady sighed with relief. Brady added that Kristen would likely leave Chloe alone, since Brady and Chloe were no longer together.
"As always, Kristen got what she wanted," Chloe muttered. Brady told Chloe that he had a proposition for her. "I want you to come back to work at Basic Black," Brady said. Brady explained that Nicole was working with E.J. and that he needed Chloe. "I'm not sure," Chloe said. Brady promised to keep the situation professional.
"That's easier said than done," Chloe said. "You have my word. It's not the same without you. You know that we work well together," Brady countered. Brady told Chloe that he respected Chloe's abilities and work ethic. When Chloe said no, Brady promised to add security at the building to keep Kristen away.
"It's not Kristen," Chloe said. Chloe explained that she had accepted a job at the paper. "With Xander," Brady said. Brady asked how Gwen felt about Xander's decision. "She's fine with it," Chloe lied. Brady asked Chloe if she wanted to live and work with Xander. "I'm not saying it's ideal," Chloe admitted. "Xander is a sleaze, but he is nothing compared to Gwen," Brady said. Brady joked that Gwen might attempt to murder Chloe.
Frustrated, Chloe asked Brady why he deserved a say in her employment. "[Gwen and Xander] know nothing about running a newspaper," Brady argued. Brady told Chloe that he did not want to see her hurt when the paper inevitably went under. Xander returned home.
"Tell us how you really feel, Brady," Xander said. Brady wished Chloe luck with her new job. "I have a feeling you're going to need it," Brady said. As Brady walked out, Xander said, 'Pop by anytime! Always a pleasure." Chloe asked Xander not to antagonize Brady. "The mature thing is to ignore him," Chloe advised. "Maturity has never been my strong point," Xander said.
Chloe asked about Gwen. "You've got the job," Xander said. Xander admitted that Gwen was displeased but that he believed she would "come around." "Plus, the only alternative is that you go back to work with Brady, and we can't have that," Xander said. "I suppose we can't," Chloe said as she smiled.
In the town square, Alex spotted Gwen exit the Salem Inn. Gwen attempted to avoid Alex, but he stopped her. "I was actually on my way to see you," Alex said. "You rethinking all of that better person rubbish?" Gwen asked with a grin. "No. I heard your ad director quit. And the thing is, I happen to be looking for a job," Alex said. Gwen asked Alex why he would leave Titan.
"I got fired," Alex admitted. "That's unfortunate," Gwen said. As Alex recounted his experience, Gwen explained that the paper had hired a new ad director. "It's a shame, because you would have been quite good. But Xander has forced me into hiring his roommate. Turns out he wants to spend even more time with her," Gwen muttered.
With a grin, Gwen suggested that she and Alex could help distract one another. Alex started to let Gwen down easy, and she waved him off. Gwen asked about the new, improved Alex Kiriakis. "It's going well, actually. Dr. Evans is helping me out a lot," Alex said. "I'm glad," Gwen said. Gwen wished Alex luck with the job search.
As Gwen walked away, Brady said hello to Alex. "I wasn't eavesdropping, but if you need a job, I may have something for you," Brady said. Brady explained that he needed help at Basic Black. Citing the work that Alex had done at Bella magazine, Brady argued that Alex had a knack for marketing. When Alex joked that Maggie and Victor did not agree, Brady smiled.
Brady noted that for 30 years, Victor had dangled the CEO position in front of various family members, and that Brady had only been happy once he'd left the family business. Brady asked Alex to declare his independence and work for Brady instead.
In the Kiriakis mansion, Justin welcomed Maggie home. Justin asked Maggie why she and Victor had not stayed in Greece. Maggie noted that there was nothing they could do to help Bo, so Maggie had decided that she and Victor should return home.
"Seeing Bo like that, it was hard on [Victor]," Maggie said. "I understand. Family is everything," Justin said. Confused, Maggie asked Justin why he was not in Chicago with Bonnie. "Bonnie went, but when I heard you were coming home, I decided to stay here," Justin said. Justin asked Maggie why she had fired Alex. Maggie objected to Justin's tone.
"What tone should I use? You canned my son over the phone," Justin grumbled. "Because he didn't follow direct orders. And as a result, we lost a multi-million-dollar deal," Maggie argued. Maggie explained that Alex had scared off the client. "Alex didn't scare him off. The deal did. There were problems in that deal from the start," Justin countered. Maggie sighed.
"I guess that is Alex's version of what happened. He's very good at coming up with excuses," Maggie said. Justin noted that Maggie had not worked as a CEO long enough to decide that Alex was not qualified for the job.
"And there it is. That's it, isn't it? You don't think I'm qualified. Well, the fact is, Victor does," Maggie said. Maggie added that Victor agreed with her about Alex. "Letting Alex go was a business decision. He asked me to give him a chance, I gave it to him, begrudgingly. But he didn't deliver," Maggie argued. Maggie asked Justin not to make it a family issue.
"This is a family business, Maggie. It's all personal," Justin stressed. Justin admitted he was overprotective of Alex because of Anjelica. "[Alex] is in therapy," Justin said. "Yes, he told me," Maggie admitted. Maggie countered that therapy had not changed the fact that Alex had ignored her specific instructions.
"I understand that Alex blew this deal by going rogue, as you put it. But what's killing him, it's not that he lost the job. It's letting you down," Justin said. Justin asked Maggie if she could give Alex another chance. "I've given him so many chances," Maggie said.
"This time will be different, because I personally am going to be watching him like a hawk. Maggie, he really needs this," Justin pleaded. Maggie groaned with frustration. "You Kiriakis men, you just don't give up until you get what you want," Maggie complained. "It's in our DNA," Justin said. Maggie agreed to hire Alex back for one last chance.
When Alex returned home, he was surprised to see Justin with Maggie. Justin announced that Maggie had agreed to give Alex his job back. "Really?" Alex said. "That's all you can say? Nothing like 'Thanks, Aunt Maggie'?" Justin said. Alex admitted he had had a strange night.
"I just spent the better part of an hour trying to convince Maggie that you're not a flake," Justin said. Alex told Maggie that he was pleased that she thought she could trust him again. "But I'm not going to be able to take back the job," Alex said. "Why not?" Maggie asked. Alex explained that Brady had offered him a job at Basic Black.
In the square, Brady approached Gwen. "I need to talk to you about a mutual problem we have that only you can solve," Brady said. Gwen and Brady agreed that they thought it was a bad idea for Chloe to work at the paper. "Then I can count on you to stop it from happening?" Brady asked. Gwen said it was too late.
In Chicago, Bonnie visited Rex's apartment, unannounced. Bonnie explained that she was in town to visit Mimi and Emily, and she had learned that it was Rex's night with the little girl. "Where's Emily? My sweet grandbaby!" Bonnie said. Rex told Bonnie that Emily was already asleep.
After Bonnie begged to take a peek at her granddaughter, Rex pointed to Emily's door. While Bonnie checked in on Emily, a pregnant Sarah rang the doorbell. "I'm so sorry to show up like this," Sarah said as she walked past Rex into the apartment. Sarah told Rex that one of their patients in their clinical trial had had a breakthrough. "Really?" Rex said. "We did it!" Sarah said.
After a moment of celebration, Rex attempted to warn Sarah that Bonnie was in the apartment, but Sarah kept talking. "This is going to change the way that we treat infectious disease," Sarah said. "Sarah! Bonnie is here," Rex said. "Sarah Horton? Is that you?" Bonnie called out from the other room. Sarah turned her back to Bonnie as Bonnie entered the living room.
"Aren't you going to turn around and say hi?" Bonnie asked. Sarah used her oversized purse to cover her stomach, and she turned to face Bonnie. Through gritted teeth, Sarah said, "Rex didn't tell me you were here." "You didn't let me," Rex countered. Bonnie explained that she was in town to visit Mimi.
"And I'm sorry, but that handbag isn't fooling anyone," Bonnie said. Bonnie pulled Sarah's bag away from her belly. "I had no idea you were expecting, sweetie," Bonnie said. "Yeah, that's cause [Maggie] doesn't know. No one in Salem does," Sarah said. Bonnie guessed that Sarah had kept the secret because it was Xander's baby.
As Bonnie rubbed Sarah's belly and cooed, Sarah rolled her eyes. "You're way off base here," Sarah said as she pushed Bonnie's hands away. "You left town right after you learned that Xander was up to his old tricks. You wanted him out of your life and out of your baby's life, too," Bonnie said. Sarah shook her head no. Bonnie said she understood how protective Kiriakis men were of their children.
"My ex-husband was a complete piece of work. But listen, I really, truly believe that Xander had changed this time, for the better. And if I could forgive him--" Bonnie said. Sarah interrupted to yell that the situation had nothing to do with Xander. "[Xander is] not the father. I am," Rex said. Bonnie raised a suspicious eyebrow.
"Mimi didn't tell me that you were back together," Bonnie said. "Cause we're not," Rex said. Sarah explained that when Xander had slept with Gwen after the breakup, she had slept with Rex on the rebound. "We didn't find out until we moved to Chicago. We tried dating, but it didn't work out," Sarah explained. Bonnie asked Sarah why she had kept the secret from Maggie.
"I didn't want her to judge me or tell me that I was making a mistake. You know how my mom can be," Sarah said. "Yeah. Forgiving and open-minded and sweet as the day is long," Bonnie countered. "Sounds like you don't believe us," Rex said. "'Cause I don't," Bonnie said. With a smirk, Bonnie surmised that Sarah had wanted to have Xander's baby and that Sarah had left town in order to hide the pregnancy.
"This is none of your damn business!" Rex yelled. Sarah hushed Rex, and she thanked him for his help. With a sigh, Sarah confessed, "The baby is Xander's." Bonnie smiled. Rex cautioned Sarah to keep quiet, but Sarah argued that it was too late.
"You're right. I did want a baby with Xander. But that was before I found out what he did to you and Susan. And before I found out he was mixed up with Gwen Rizczech again," Sarah explained. Sarah said she did not want Xander around her baby. "This isn't your news to tell," Sarah stressed. Sarah asked Bonnie to promise not to tell anyone that Xander was the father of Sarah's baby.
At Eric and Sloan's apartment, Eric confronted Sloan for having lied to him about an alleged virus outbreak at the hospital the previous night. Eric demanded to know why Sloan had lied. Sloan admitted that Nicole was pregnant. Eric asked if the baby was his. Sloan said that Nicole wasn't sure if Eric or E.J. was the baby's father.
Sloan admitted that she had grabbed a DNA sample from Eric when he had been asleep. A visibly upset Eric told Sloan that she had a brother to visit at the hospital, and he said vaguely that he would "handle" the DNA sample himself. Before she left, Sloan said she hoped things wouldn't change between Sloan and Eric if Nicole's child turned out to be Eric's.
At the DiMera mansion, Anna hammered Nicole with a series of questions about Nicole's life -- the first about what it would mean for Nicole and E.J. if Nicole learned that the baby was Eric's. Nicole told Anna about E.J.'s proposal, as well as the fact that she had rejected it.
Anna asked if Nicole loved E.J. Nicole said that it was "complicated," and she added that she was confused by her feelings over both E.J. and Eric. Anna continued to pry, and she asked if Nicole loved Eric. Nicole asked Anna to stop putting her on the spot. Anna apologized, and she hugged Nicole and sought to reassure her.
A short while later, as Nicole prepared to leave the mansion, she opened the door and found Eric standing outside.
In the interrogation room at the Salem Police Station, Jada visited a bruised Talia, who was handcuffed to a chair with her arm in a sling. Jada said that Abe was expected to live. Talia reacted to Jada's news by expressing relief that Colin couldn't be charged with murder.
Jada was angry and taken aback that Talia's first concern was for Colin. Jada asked why Talia had purposefully hurt people Talia hadn't even known. Talia replied that she had done it for Colin. Talia added that she had been afraid of losing Colin, and she said that she was in love with him.
Talia recalled that Colin would always get angry whenever she would try to talk him out of his plans for Chanel and Paulina. Jada asked if Colin had ever been violent or physically aggressive toward Talia.
Talia denied that Colin had ever been physically abusive, and she continued to support and excuse his behavior. Jada screamed for Talia to "snap out of it." "Talia, you know very well that emotional abuse is a real thing, and it sounds to me like that's how Colin was abusing you," Jada said.
Talia continued to make excuses for Colin, and she said that he had had a "hard life." Jada reached a boiling point with Talia.
"How can you just sit here and give this man a pass because he had a 'hard life?' So, you're telling me that anything Colin Bedford does is justified? He could have killed Mayor Carver! He could have killed Paulina and Chanel! Hell, he could have killed me!" a fiery Jada yelled.
Talia started to cry, and she said she had pushed Colin off the roof to save Jada, Chanel, and Paulina. Talia added that it had taken the sight of Colin pointing a gun at Chanel to make Talia realize that she'd had to do something to stop Colin.
Jada said that she had hired Belle to represent Talia. Talia was touched by Jada's announcement. Jada said through tears that she and Talia were sisters and that she still loved Talia. "I love you, too, Jada. And I am so, so sorry about everything," Talia said as she started to sob.
In Colin's room at Salem University Hospital, Colin lashed out at a nurse who resembled Paulina in appearance. The nurse chided Colin, and she lectured Colin about repenting for his sins to allow Colin "entry into the kingdom of heaven."
After the nurse left, Rafe entered. Rafe boasted that Colin would be facing charges for kidnapping, false imprisonment, and attempted murder. Rafe added that he had arranged for a police escort to transport Colin to the police station. Colin said that if anyone should be charged for attempted murder, it should be Talia.
Colin called Talia a "double-crossing bitch" who had pushed him off the roof. Colin tried to place the blame for the harassment of Paulina and Chanel squarely on Talia's shoulders, but Rafe wasn't buying it. Rafe left to check on Colin's transfer.
In Abe's room at the hospital, Paulina pleaded with Abe to wake up. Chanel entered, and she offered to stay with Abe while Paulina left to search for Kayla. After Paulina left, Chanel whispered that she felt responsible for what had happened to Abe. Just then, Abe opened his eyes. Chanel smiled, and she told Abe what had happened to him. "Who... who are you?" Abe asked Chanel, who was taken aback.
Chanel used her phone to show Abe photos of his and Paulina's Juneteenth wedding from a year earlier. Abe stunned Chanel when he said he had no memory of either Chanel or Paulina. Chanel left to find a doctor. Afterwards, the nurse that Colin had mistaken for Paulina entered. Through blurry eyes, Abe thought that he was seeing Paulina. The nurse smiled and blushed at Abe.
By the nurses' station, Chanel told Paulina that Abe was awake. Chanel warned Paulina that Abe hadn't been able to recognize her or Paulina from the photos Chanel had shown. Paulina and Chanel headed back to Abe's room.
Back in Abe's room, Abe continued to mistake the nurse for Paulina. The nurse continued to smile as Abe said he didn't remember anything. The nurse called Abe "sweet, kind, and gentle," and she added that Abe was still in danger because Colin was at the hospital. "Oh, my darling. Sweet, sweet Abraham. You are not safe," the nurse said.
At the same time as the nurse's warning, Rafe stepped back into Colin's room. Rafe was shocked to find one of his officers handcuffed to the bed that Colin had been in. Rafe asked what had happened. The officer said that Colin had overtaken him when he had gone to escort Colin. Rafe was furious that Colin had escaped, and he left to find Colin.
By the hospital elevators, Colin donned the officer's uniform, and he sneaked into an elevator to leave the hospital. Sloan had stepped onto the floor, narrowly missing sight of Colin.
Later, Paulina and Chanel were stunned to find that Abe was no longer in his room. "Where the hell is he?!" Paulina yelled.
At the same time, the nurse who resembled Paulina wheeled Abe to a separate elevator by the nurses' station. "Don't you worry, my sweet Abraham. You're safe with me now," the nurse said, and she continued to smile from ear to ear.
At the Brady Pub, Marlena joined Kayla for coffee. Marlena mentioned the alleged viral outbreak at the hospital the previous night. Kayla was taken aback, and she said there had been no outbreak.
Marlena posited that either Eric had been misinformed or that Nicole had lied. Kayla flashed back to having told Nicole that she would need a sample of Eric's DNA to determine if he was the father of Nicole's baby. Marlena confided that she knew Nicole had a secret, but Kayla remained tight-lipped.
At the DiMera mansion, Eric told Nicole that he knew she was pregnant. Nicole admitted that she had been surprised by her pregnancy, given that she had thought she was in the early stages of menopause. Nicole added that E.J. didn't know she was pregnant.
Nicole lamented that her life was a "giant, hot mess again." Nicole grew teary as she recalled how much Eric had always wanted to be a father. "I don't want to get your hopes up for you to find out that you're not the father. I don't want to break your heart. But the truth is, I still might," Nicole said.
Nicole noted that the chances of her carrying a baby to full term were "practically zero." Nicole apologized through tears for being "such a wreck," and Eric sought to reassure Nicole.
Eric asked what was next for Nicole. Nicole said that Kayla would analyze the DNA sample to learn who the baby's father was. Nicole took Eric by the hand, and she reminded him that they had both moved on with other people. Eric asked Nicole to tell him as soon as she had the results of the DNA test. Nicole agreed, and she thanked Eric for his friendship and support.
After Eric left, Nicole called Kayla. Nicole and Kayla agreed to meet at the hospital, and Nicole left the mansion. Later, Nicole handed Kayla the DNA sample. Kayla said she would let Nicole know as soon as the results came back.
Back at the Brady Pub, Eric told Marlena that Nicole was pregnant and that he could be the baby's father.
A short while later, Nicole returned to the DiMera mansion and found E.J. in their bedroom. E.J. said that he had just returned from his trip and that he had looked for Nicole. "I couldn't find you. Where have you been?" E.J. asked a weary Nicole.
In Colin's room at the hospital, Sloan and Rafe traded barbs after realizing that Colin had escaped from police custody. Rafe said that Colin would only contact two people: Sloan or Talia. Paulina and Chanel approached Rafe by the nurses' station. Paulina said that Abe was missing, and she yelled for Rafe to find her husband.
Rafe told Paulina about Colin's escape. Paulina noted that Abe and Colin had gone missing at the same time, and she worried that Colin had taken Abe.
A short while later, Paulina lay in a hospital bed. Chanel said that the hospital wanted to admit Paulina because her blood pressure and heart rate had gone up. Chanel and Rafe tried to persuade Paulina that Abe would be okay. Paulina noted that Abe had suffered two head injuries within the previous year, and she said she wasn't sure that Abe even knew who he was.
Rafe asked what Paulina had meant. Chanel told Rafe about Abe having not been able to remember her or Paulina when Abe had woken up. Paulina thought that Abe could be in danger without even knowing it.
Earlier at the hospital, the nurse who resembled Paulina and claimed to be Abe's wife had promised to move Abe "far away" from the hospital. The elevator door had opened, and the nurse left with Abe. Moments later, Abe was wheeled into a modest home. "Here we are, my love. Home sweet home," the nurse said cheerfully.
Abe noted that "Paulina" had several stuffed cats. The nurse handed Abe one of the cats, and he sneezed at once. The nurse froze when she realized she had let slip that she had a housekeeper named Whitley, whose name Abe didn't recognize.
The nurse told Abe that he needed to rest, and she wanted to put him to bed. Abe mentioned Chanel, and the nurse was confused by who Chanel was. Abe reminded "Paulina" that Chanel was her daughter. The nurse then pretended to call Chanel.
As the nurse feigned that she was talking to Chanel, she took on Paulina's tone of voice and other mannerisms. Afterwards, the nurse handed Abe a stuffed animal named "Cats Domino." Abe scoffed, and he was visibly turned off by the nurse's affection for cats.
Abe noted that nothing about the house looked familiar to him. The nurse claimed that Abe's memories would come back to him in due time. "Until then, Paulina's gonna take good care of you," the nurse told Abe, who tried to manage a smile.
In the park, Colin donned a police officer's uniform. Leo spotted Colin and said he recognized Colin. Leo thought that Colin moonlighted as an adult entertainer. Colin said that Leo was confused, but Leo insisted he knew Colin from somewhere. An impatient Colin ordered Leo to get away from him. Leo noted Colin's accent, and he realized that Colin was Sloan's brother. Leo tried to leave, but Colin grabbed him.
Leo offered Colin an exclusive interview for the Lady Whistleblower column, and he said that people would want to know Colin's full story about Chanel and Paulina. "I can see the headline already! 'The British Banger,' that's you, 'Mashes Mayor, Then Dishes to Lady W.' What do you say?" Leo asked excitedly.
Leo pulled out his phone, and he asked for Colin's response to being "an unhinged psychopath." Colin grabbed Leo's phone, and he crushed it with his boot. "I can confirm that. Till we meet again, Mr. Stark," Colin said as he shoved his way past Leo.
After Colin left, Leo saw Sloan in the park. Leo said that he had just seen Colin in a police officer's uniform. Sloan left in a hurry to try to find Colin.
Steve returned home, and he called Hope to check in with her about Bo's rehab facility. "Don't worry about Megan Hathaway. There's no way she is going to find you," Steve said. As Steve ended his call, Harris knocked on Steve's door. "What are you doing here?" Steve asked. Harris asked to talk, and Steve grudgingly let Harris inside. Steve said that Shawn had told him about Harris' plan to keep an eye on Megan.
"The thing is, there are a whole lot of people already doing that job," Steve said. Steve told Harris that he did not want Harris in Salem because Steve did not trust him. Harris agreed that Steve had no reason to trust him. "I respect you, but I'm not going anywhere," Harris said. Harris stressed that he could be a useful asset.
"This place is the closest thing I have to a home. We're on the same side. We don't have to be friends, but I think we can put aside our differences, work together to make sure that Megan does not hurt Hope again," Harris argued. Harris held out his hand to shake, but Steve did not move. Kayla returned home, and Steve greeted her.
Steve explained that Harris had moved back to Salem to keep an eye on Megan. "We have more than enough cops and detectives and spies in the family," Steve said. "Actually, I think we need all the help we can get," Kayla countered. Kayla told Steve about Abe and Colin's disappearances.
"What can I do to help?" Steve asked. Kayla explained that Jada's sister was involved in Colin's case and that Jada needed help with the manhunt. Kayla added that she was worried about Abe's health. "I take it Mayor Carver is a good friend of yours?" Harris asked. "He's more than just a friend. He's really family," Kayla said. Steve wanted Kayla to get some rest, but she noted that she had to return to the hospital.
After Kayla left, Harris offered to help find Abe. "Thanks, but we're good," Steve said. "Are you sure? Because if you're out there looking for Abe, who can keep an eye on Megan 24-7?" Harris countered. Steve said no. With a nod, Harris walked out.
In the DiMera living room, Kristen was staring out the window at the yard as Megan walked into the room. As Kristen downed the rest of her drink, Stefan and Gabi walked into the room. "I love a celebratory drink," Stefan said. "What exactly are we celebrating?" Megan asked as she poured a drink for Stefan. Stefan explained that they were celebrating E.J.'s demise.
"Demise?" Megan asked. "Not literally," Stefan said. Kristen guessed that Stefan wanted her and Megan's help to oust E.J. from his job. "What's in it for us?" Megan asked. "You both will play major and noteworthy roles in the company's future," Gabi said. Gabi presented a packet to the sisters with the title "The plan to save DiMera" emblazoned on the cover.
Megan and Kristen sat down and read through the proposal. "So, as you can see, once we vote E.J. out, you'll both take on very prominent roles at the company," Stefan said. "The details are a little vague," Megan complained. Gabi noted that the proposal had been left vague so that Megan and Kristen could choose what they wanted to focus on with the company.
"I'm just concerned that the 30-year employment gap on my résumé might be of some concern to the board," Megan said. "Didn't you bring back, what, four people from the dead? That's a skill set not everyone can brag about, no?" Gabi countered. "I think I brought back a few more than that," Kristen muttered. Stefan argued that was why he and Gabi wanted both Kristen and Megan to be a part of the company.
"So, it's not because you need our votes?" Megan asked. "There is that, too. But your determination and ruthlessness know no bounds, and you're also very skilled at coloring outside the lines," Stefan said. Kristen smiled. Kristen asked Stefan and Gabi if their plan was to get her and Megan to do all the dirty work. Gabi said no.
"Listen, take a look, read the proposal, offer your input. We'll see what happens," Stefan said. "We'll take it under advisement," Megan said. With a nod, Stefan and Gabi headed upstairs. Once alone, Kristen asked Megan her thoughts on the proposal. Megan took the packet over to the fireplace and threw it in. "Got a match?" Megan asked. Megan argued that jobs at Gabi Chic were a waste of her and Kristen's talent.
"I agree with you. We should be running DiMera, not our baby brothers, and certainly not that little lowlife operator, Gabi," Kristen said. "My ambitions extend far beyond running DiMera," Megan said. Curious, Kristen asked Megan what she wanted.
"Father was a grand puppet master. The whole town of Salem feared Stefano DiMera. The world feared him. And all of his other offspring have had their shot at emulating him. Now it's my turn," Megan said. Megan argued that she was her father's daughter. "Just like the Phoenix, Megan DiMera is rising again," Megan said.
"So, you are aspiring to take over the world. Have I got that right?" Kristen asked. "I'm not being delusional or grandiose, Kristen. I'm dead serious," Megan said. Kristen reminded Megan that she did not control the company's money. "I won't be needing DiMera money. I have another plan," Megan said with a grin. Kristen asked for details.
"You'll find out soon enough," Megan said. "You don't trust me?" Kristen asked. Megan said she trusted Kristen more than anyone. "Which means not very much, am I right?" Kristen asked. Megan told Kristen that she would tell Kristen the details when the time was right.
"Father called Marlena his 'Queen of the Night.' Bo is going to be my queen," Megan said. Kristen held up her hand to stop Megan. "What is my role in all of this?" Kristen asked. "It is a vital one," Megan said. Kristen argued that Megan's promise was as empty as Stefan's proposal. Megan countered that Kristen's focus should be on Rachel until Megan needed Kristen's help.
"You are paramount to all of this," Megan assured Kristen. "You're damn right I am. And I'm going to make something clear. I will not be sidelined," Kristen growled. "Duly noted," Megan said. Kristen agreed to help Megan -- if Megan agreed to secure full custody of Rachel for Kristen. "Have you considered kidnapping her?" Megan countered. Kristen raised an eyebrow.
"I know you've moved heaven and earth to be with your son, right?" Kristen said. Megan nodded yes. Megan admitted that she was worried that she had not heard from Dimitri. "I was under the impression that you had eyes everywhere," Kristen joked. Megan reminded Kristen that Dimitri was an ex-spy.
"Why would he not want to be found?" Kristen asked. "Well, I know for a fact that the Alamain family were desperate to get him back into custody, and I just hope that they haven't intercepted him somehow," Megan said. Dimitri walked into the living room. "Your son's right here," Dimitri said.
Upstairs in Stefan's room, Stefan gave Gabi a foot rub. Stefan wondered aloud if, because Megan could mastermind healing technology, she might be able to help with technology to improve the comfort of stiletto shoes for Gabi Chic. Gabi shrugged. "[We got] to come up with some idea that helps [Megan and Kristen] feel useful and keeps them out of our way," Stefan said. Gabi argued that Megan had not seemed interested in the proposal.
"What about Kristen?" Stefan asked. "Kristen is too preoccupied with getting her little family back to fall out of line," Gabi said. Gabi noted that Megan's obsession was on another continent, so that gave Megan plenty of free time. "And even though she may be power-hungry, I can't imagine the board's gonna be okay with her just waltzing in and trying to run things," Stefan added. Stefan argued that Gabi made the best CEO.
"On top of all that, we have the backing of the staff and the management, as you know, so no, Megan is not gonna be in charge. There's no way in hell," Stefan said. Gabi agreed, but she warned that Megan was after world domination. Stefan and Gabi talked about their engagement. "What truly matters is that we're together again," Gabi said. "How lucky we are, and we can have it all. You and I. All of it," Stefan said. With a grin, Stefan noted that he and Gabi were an unstoppable team.
After Stefan and Gabi made love, they curled up in bed and talked about their wedding and honeymoon. Stefan said he was eager to get married. "Taking over DiMera is important to me, but marrying you, it's everything," Stefan said. With a sigh, Gabi noted that the divorce decree was still pending. Worried, Stefan asked Gabi if she wanted to delay the wedding.
"I guess I'm a little gun shy after my last wedding turned into a farce after, you know, 30 minutes," Gabi said. "This time, it's gonna be perfect," Stefan assured Gabi. Stefan said he was grateful for a second chance. With a grin, Gabi suggested that they get married on the anniversary of their first wedding. "I'm going to make this an event to remember -- and for all the right reasons this time," Gabi said.
E.J. was unpacking his suitcase in his room when Nicole entered and greeted him. "I missed you," E.J. said. E.J. asked where Nicole had been. "I left the office early to go to the hospital," Nicole explained. E.J. asked Nicole if she was okay. Nicole confessed that she was not menopausal.
"I don't understand. How could Kayla make such an error?" E.J. asked. "She didn't. I lied to you," Nicole said. Nicole told E.J. that she was pregnant. After a moment of stunned silence, E.J. smiled. "Oh, my God, you're pregnant?" E.J. said. Confused, E.J. started to ask Nicole why she had not wanted to tell him about the pregnancy, then he stopped as the realization hit him.
"Because it's not mine, is it?" E.J. asked. Nicole admitted that she did not know who the father was. "So, first, you don't tell me that you slept with Eric during biscuit-gate, and then, after apologizing profusely and assuring me that you would never lie to me again, you didn't tell me that you were pregnant," E.J. growled. Nicole apologized. "I would have told you sooner, but I couldn't get a paternity test until I was seven weeks along," Nicole said. E.J. asked Nicole why she had decided to tell him the news.
"Because Eric found out," Nicole admitted. E.J. groaned with frustration. "That's why, when I got down on one knee and asked you to be my wife, you looked at me and said the timing was bad," E.J. grumbled. E.J. reminded Nicole that she had been unable to tell him that she loved him. "I felt guilty for not telling you the truth," Nicole said. After a moment, E.J.'s eyes widened.
"You want to keep your options open," E.J. said. E.J. argued that Nicole had rejected his proposal so that she could get back together with Eric if Eric were the father. "This is not about me wanting to go back to Eric or keeping my options open," Nicole stressed. "What is it about?" E.J. asked. Nicole explained that she had waited to tell E.J. because she had not wanted E.J. to live with the uncertainty of the paternity.
"Especially since there's a good chance that I might not be able to carry this pregnancy to term," Nicole said. E.J. softened, and he gently put his arms around Nicole. "Have you spoken to the doctor yet? I mean, surely there have been some medical advances from when you were last pregnant," E.J. said. Nicole nodded yes, but she admitted she had not talked to a specialist yet. E.J. asked how Eric had learned the news, and Nicole told E.J. about Sloan.
"Who else knew before I did?" E.J. asked. "I confided in Anna, and she accidentally told Tony," Nicole confessed. E.J. pinched the bridge of his nose and chuckled. "I feel like such a fool," E.J. whispered. "It was only going to be for one more day," Nicole stressed. Nicole told E.J. about the plan with the DNA swabs and what had happened. Kayla called Nicole's phone.
"I have your test results," Kayla said. Nicole asked if she could meet with Kayla at the hospital. Kayla agreed. "She couldn't give you the results over the phone?" E.J. asked. "I was actually hoping you'd come with me. Hear the results when I do," Nicole said. Nicole explained that after she had agonized over the results for weeks alone, she hoped that she and E.J. could go through it together. E.J. took Nicole's hands in his.
"I know that I've been rather harsh with you over all of this, me having not known sooner. But I want to be clear with you, Nicole, nothing would make me happier than having a child with you," E.J. said. E.J. caressed Nicole's chin, and she thanked him.
At the Brady Pub, Eric informed Marlena that Sloan had told him about Nicole's pregnancy. "Nicole just confirmed. She's at the hospital getting a paternity test as we speak," Eric said. Marlena noted that Nicole's lie about the virus at the hospital made sense. "How did Sloan find out?" Marlena asked. Eric told Marlena about the prenatal vitamins.
"Sloan was hoping that the baby wasn't mine, so she agreed to help Nicole get a DNA swab without me knowing about it," Eric said. "Was Nicole ever going to tell you the truth?" Marlena asked. Eric explained that Nicole had planned to tell everyone after she got the results of the paternity test. Curious, Marlena asked Eric how he felt about the pregnancy.
"I haven't had the time to process this. I mean, we don't even know if the baby is mine or if Nicole can even carry the pregnancy to term, and E.J., my God, how is he going to respond if he finds out he's not the father?" Eric said. "We do know how E.J. would react, but you didn't answer my question. How do you feel about the idea of Nicole carrying your child?" Marlena asked. Eric admitted that part of him wished he was the father.
"It just feels wrong saying that," Eric whispered. "There is no right or wrong about that. This is about your feelings. You gotta respect those. Especially after what happened with Jada," Marlena said. With a sigh, Eric explained that he was worried about Sloan because she had suffered enough. Marlena asked Eric if he still had feelings for Nicole.
"The other day, I told Sloan I loved her. I mean, she said it first, and then the next thing you know, I said it back," Eric admitted. "You wouldn't have said it if you didn't mean it," Marlena said. Eric stressed that he had meant it "in the moment."
"I know how much you want a family, and when that happens, you're going to be a spectacular father," Marlena assured Eric. Marlena urged Eric to consider whether he wanted to co-parent with E.J., or if he wanted to reunite with Nicole. "I think you need to be honest about your feelings, regardless of what the test shows," Marlena counseled. Eric's phone beeped with a text from Nicole.
When Nicole and E.J. arrived at the hospital, E.J. paced nervously. "I don't know why you felt the need to summon Eric," E.J. complained. "Because I promised I would tell him when the results came in, and I wanna do this one time and then have it over with," Nicole said. Eric walked off the elevator, and his smile faded when he saw E.J. Nicole explained that they were waiting for Kayla.
"I'm not in any suspense, actually. Odds are strong that you are not the father, given the fact that you only had sex with Nicole once," E.J. said. "Recently," Eric said. E.J. put his arm around Nicole, and he noted that he and Nicole had spent a lot of time together. Annoyed, Nicole pulled away from E.J. "Just stop! This is not some sick competition, okay? This is about a child, a life, so I need you two to be kind to each other and to me," Nicole pleaded. Nicole fought back tears.
"It breaks my heart that something I've been longing for for so long, something that is such a blessing and a miracle, could end fraught and painful. So, I need you to help me through this, whatever the results, whoever the father of this baby is, okay?" Nicole said.