At the Brady Pub, Roman continued trying to convince Hattie to reconsider quitting and moving out.
"You have become very important to me -- [and] the Brady Pub, [and] Marlena, [and] this town. You make Salem better. You have a home here. [And] that's why I don't want you to go -- [because] you have gained the respect of every single person in this town who has gotten to know you," Roman explained to Hattie.
"And as far as the other thing goes...come on -- despite what you think, I sure as hell am not the only guy in the world for you. There are lots and lots of guys out there that would be lucky to have you in their life," Roman assured Hattie. "I bet that's true...[but] the thing is...[well], I'm done with all that -- [I mean], I don't care anymore, [because] I don't need some guy to complete me or make me feel whole, [because] I am fine just the way I am! [So], I know [that] we don't have a relationship, [or] anything really special between us, but...in spite of all that...I'm dumping your ass!" Hattie maintained, surprising Roman.
"You're breaking up with me?" Roman summarized. "Yeah...[but] I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, though," Hattie stressed. "Well...[I mean], it does hurt...[but] I totally understand," Roman replied. "And the important thing is [that] if I hadn't broken up with you, I could make you fall so crazy in love with me [that] you wouldn't be able to see straight!" Hattie insisted. "I have no doubt of that," Roman agreed. "[But] that wouldn't change my life [or] make me feel like I was somebody!" Hattie acknowledged. "No, because you already are somebody," Roman declared. "I guess I am!" Hattie conceded with a grin.
"[So], I was thinking about putting my...you know, my amazing talents...to some sort of, uh...some sort of use...in creating the next chapter for myself...[and, I mean], I'm a really great cook, and I've got this sparkling personality, [so] I was thinking maybe I could do, uh...a cooking show on the Internet --" Hattie began to explain while starting to pack again. "I would watch that," Roman admitted. "[And] I've got this gift of gab -- like Will -- [so] I was thinking maybe I could [also] do, uh...an advice blog --" Hattie continued. "I think you could pretty much do whatever you choose to do," Roman stressed, delighting Hattie.
Hattie soon finished packing then rushed off after a bittersweet farewell exchange with Roman.
Brady and Kristen finished setting up the memorial fund for Rachel then started to leave the hospital together -- just as Kristen's cell phone chimed. "A text from Chad -- something urgent, family matters..." Kristen explained to Brady after checking the device. "When you see him, ask him if there are any leads on Steve, all right? [And, in the meantime, I'll] go check on my dad and see if there's any news on Marlena," Brady replied.
At Maison Blanche 2.0, Marlena entered the living room and tensely greeted Stefano, who was in the midst of a solo round of chess. "I missed you this morning, but I decided to let you sleep -- last night was, uh...emotional for both of us," Stefano began. "Yes -- the evening...was eventful..." Marlena agreed. "I feel we're growing closer every day..." Stefano continued before realizing that something was bothering Marlena. "I had a hard time going to sleep -- I, uh...I kept...thinking about someone..." Marlena explained. "Him," Stefano guessed with a scowl while picking up one of the pawns and squeezing it tightly.
"John is your past, [and] I am your present -- and your future," Stefano insisted. "I wasn't...thinking about John," Marlena clarified. "Then who?" Stefano wondered. "Kate [and] Gabi," Marlena elaborated. "[Them] again..." Stefano grumbled. "If anything happens to [them], I will walk out that door and never look back," Marlena warned with finality.
"Very well -- I know that when your mind is set on something, there is no changing it," Stefano conceded with a sigh of defeat. "[Then] you'll put a stop to this? You promise? No one will be hurt?" Marlena challenged Stefano. "As you wish," Stefano assured Marlena. "[Just] allow me to make a phone call...[and], in the meantime, why don't you go back upstairs and look in your bedroom closet," Stefano continued. "I left you a present [there] -- something I think you'll like, something that is almost as beautiful as you," Stefano concluded before giving Marlena a parting kiss on the cheek -- a gesture that wasn't returned.
At the DiMera mansion, Kate and Gabi remained trapped together in a room in the secret tunnels, both suffering from hunger and thirst. "So, what's Chad gonna do -- [is he just] gonna starve us down here?" Gabi wondered. "Oh, believe me, we're gonna die of dehydration before the hunger gets us," Kate replied. "Oh, God -- that's very comforting..." Gabi grumbled -- just as Chad entered the room, armed with a gun.
"Good morning, ladies. Last night, I was distracted. Today, you have my full attention," Chad began while raising the gun, prompting Gabi to duck behind Kate.
"You don't want to kill us," Kate said to Chad. "Yes, I do," Chad insisted. "No -- you think that you do, [because] Stefano has brainwashed you," Kate countered. "You're desperate, [so] you're reaching," Chad reasoned. "[No] -- I know the truth, because I spent time with Steve," Kate explained. "Stefano," Chad stressed. "Whatever -- [the point is that] I know how he got to you. [I mean], all those mysterious communications that he had with you, [and] the chess games -- [that was all just about him] laying the groundwork to pull you back into his web. [See, he] was brainwashing you the entire time," Kate continued.
"My father didn't do anything to me," Chad insisted. "Show him the letter," Gabi urged Kate, who nodded and produced Stefano's note to Chad. "[See], this is the trigger that sets you into motion -- [the part of the letter that says], 'The most important thing in life is La Famiglia,'" Kate explained to Chad -- who cocked the gun in response. "Why the hell did you do that? Why did you trigger him?" Gabi snapped at Kate, forgetting whose idea it had been to show Chad the note in the first place. "I was trying to..." Kate began to clarify for Gabi before deciding to focus on Chad instead.
"Chad, please -- you're gonna regret it..." Kate warned, but Chad simply raised the gun a little higher in response, deciding to go for headshots.
Kate and Gabi braced for the worst -- but Chad's cell phone rang just then. Chad glanced at the device then left the room without saying a word to Kate or Gabi, who each breathed a sigh of relief.
"Is it done yet?" Stefano began when Chad answered the call. "I was on the verge of eliminating Kate and Gabi [just now]," Chad replied. "[Don't, because] there's been a complication...[and] there are more important things we need to deal with [right now, anyway -- like] the family meeting I requested you set up," Stefano continued. "I left word for Tony and Kristen [but] haven't heard back yet," Chad reported. "We need them on our side, [so] say whatever you have to say to get them to me immediately, without alerting anyone. [Look], I cannot afford any more of your mistakes -- La Famiglia needs you," Stefano concluded. "Yes, Father," Chad agreed.
Meanwhile, Kate and Gabi started bickering with each other again, both still irritable due to hunger and thirst. "I swear to God, if I get out of here alive, I'm gonna make sure that this room is stocked with granola, jerky, and cases of water," Kate vowed while opening a bottle of Champagne -- which Gabi seized and upended. "Why did you just pour out a perfectly good bottle of Champagne? It's the only thing that might keep us alive!" Kate protested after Gabi finished emptying the bottle. "Yes, actually, it might keep us alive -- but that's because I'm thinking about using it as a weapon," Gabi replied.
Kate argued that Chad seemed to be fighting Stefano's influence and would never actually commit murder, but Gabi disagreed.
Meanwhile, Tony and Anna entered the mansion and greeted Abigail, who was in the process of searching for Chad. "What are you guys doing here?" Abigail wondered. "Didn't your husband tell you?" Anna replied. "Chad had asked us to come back from Europe -- said some very important family meeting was taking place," Tony explained. "Oh..." Abigail muttered.
"No, I -- I'm sure that he -- he told me... I just...must have...forgotten..." Abigail claimed, but neither Anna nor Tony was convinced. "I'm sorry -- I know it can't feel good to know that Chad didn't let you know what's going on," Anna acknowledged. "My father has a history of demanding loyalty from his children above all others -- even their spouses," Tony stressed.
"Well, that's -- that's not true with Chad," Abigail argued -- just as Kristen entered the mansion. "Ugh -- I didn't know you'd be here," Kristen said to Anna. "Ugh -- do I really have to act like I'm happy to see you?" Anna said to Kristen. "No, no -- no pretending necessary," Kristen assured Anna before turning to Tony and wondering why Chad had called a family meeting. "[I'm not sure, because] he's nowhere to be found," Tony reported with a shrug. "We've had, uh...a small pest problem [in the tunnels]... I told Chad to call the exterminator, but I think he's probably down there, just handling it himself," Abigail explained.
"What kind of pests?" Kristen wondered. "Rats," Abigail clarified. "Sounds fitting for this place..." Anna mused. "Are you sure that's what is going on in the tunnels?" Kristen challenged Abigail. "What else would it be?" Tony asked Kristen. "Stefano," Kristen guessed. "That was Chad's first thought, as well -- uh, and that's [probably another reason] why he's down there now, checking it out," Abigail reported. "Well, I'd like to see for myself," Kristen requested. "That's not necessary," Abigail insisted. "At least let me go with you -- [I mean, after all], nobody knows [the tunnels] better than I do," Kristen protested.
"She doesn't want you with her, [because] Chad called this meeting and didn't tell her about it, [so] she obviously wants a word alone with him," Anna explained to Kristen on Abigail's behalf, prompting Kristen to back down -- just as Chad emerged from the secret tunnels. "I'm sorry -- I must have been so happy that you were home, it slipped my mind," Chad explained to Abigail after learning of the issue. "Yeah... So, what's this about?" Abigail replied, clearly not satisfied with Chad's excuse. "I'm sorry -- it's a DiMera family matter. I'm gonna need to speak to Tony and Kristen alone," Chad stressed.
"Well, we should have expected this..." Anna said to Abigail, forcing a smile. "We'll talk about this later," Abigail warned Chad before exiting the mansion with Anna.
"We've been summoned for an important meeting. [But] Father didn't give me the details -- [he just] said we'd find out [what it's about] when we got there," Chad informed Kristen and Tony once the coast was clear. "You swear he's not down there in the secret tunnels?" Kristen challenged Chad. "There's nothing but rats [down there]," Chad insisted. "Well, then, where is he?" Kristen wondered.
"Why is it so important for you to know right now?" Chad asked Kristen. "Because I would like to call Brady --" Kristen began to explain while producing a cell phone. "I can't let you do that," Chad insisted, seizing the device. "If you know where Father is, we need to tell John and Brady!" Kristen countered, reclaiming the device. "[And] call the police," Kristen continued, speaking to Tony, who nodded in response then also produced a cell phone. "You will do no such thing," Chad maintained. "Father made it very clear that no one is to know about this meeting -- especially the police," Chad stressed.
"This whole situation is absurd -- [I mean], you're talking as if he's actually Stefano! This is Steve Johnson!" Tony reminded Chad, and Kristen agreed. "He is not Steve -- [I mean], he may look like Steve, but he has our father's consciousness, [and] his desires, his drive, his ruthlessness... For all intents and purposes, he is our father," Chad insisted.
"Chad's right -- [I mean], we need to treat Steve as if he is our father," Kristen said to Tony after some thought. "God, I hope Brady will forgive me --" Kristen fretted, deciding to play by Stefano's rules for the time being. "Not our problem," Chad declared. "Brady and I have come so far, and I am not gonna let the love of my life just slip through my fingers!" Kristen countered. "You think Anna's just gonna be okay with you protecting Stefano?" Kristen asked Tony. "No, it wouldn't go [over] very well," Tony predicted with a shudder. "[And] you could lose Abigail over something like this!" Kristen warned Chad.
"[And yet] I'm not telling her where we're going or what we're doing, [which] should show you how vitally important this is," Chad replied. "[You see]...if anyone breathes a word of this outside this room, Marlena is gonna die," Chad claimed in an effort to finally secure Kristen and Tony's full cooperation. "I don't believe for a second that Father would really hurt Marlena -- [I mean], he loves her," Kristen argued. "I don't deny that, but there's no doubt in my mind that he would rather have her dead than with someone else," Chad maintained. "He said that to you?" Kristen challenged Chad, who ignored the question.
"Kristen, I know that you are not a fan of Marlena...but I [also] know that you don't want her blood on your hands. [And, like you, Tony], I care about Marlena, too, and I don't want to see her hurt, [either -- which is] why we have to do everything Father asks, [and] make him believe we're loyal to him," Chad stressed. "But...we're not, right? [I mean], we're doing this to keep Marlena safe," Kristen said to Chad. "[Look], I know you both just think I'm Father's little messenger boy, [but] if we do everything he asks, [maybe] he'll tell us where Marlena is hidden, [and then] we'll be able to protect her," Chad replied.
"[So], for Marlena's sake, [can we all] agree that we will not tell anyone that we are meeting with our father? [I mean], no one can know where we're headed -- not Abigail, not Anna, [and] certainly not Brady or John," Chad said to Kristen and Tony, who both agreed -- just as Abigail and Anna returned. "We have a meeting to attend [at] DiMera Enterprises," Kristen informed Abigail and Anna. "You're leaving? Now?" Anna incredulously summarized. "Oh, yes -- but not for long," Tony stressed. "Everything okay?" Abigail asked. "It will be," Chad predicted.
"You trust them?" Abigail asked Anna after the DiMera siblings exited the mansion together. "About as far as I could...throw their father!" Anna replied with a scoff, and Abigail sadly agreed.
Brady entered the Evans-Black townhouse and greeted John, who was inspecting a document. "Divorce decree -- dated today," John summarized while handing Brady the document. "These papers have, uh...a notary seal..." Brady observed. "Yeah, Carter Wilson -- never heard of him," John replied. "I've heard of him," Brady admitted before starting to rush off in search of Carter. "I'm gonna check out the security footage [while you're gone] -- hopefully we can zero in on who dropped this package off," John told Brady before revealing that a note from Stefano had been included with the divorce decree.
"You are but a pawn, John Black. The queen is mine, now and forever," the note read.
At Maison Blanche 2.0, Stefano joined Marlena in one of the bedrooms. "Do you like it? I had it designed just for you," Stefano said as Marlena eyed a wedding gown. "It's all happening way too fast..." Marlena protested. "Not for me, it isn't -- I have waited my whole life for this," Stefano replied. "Now, I know you have had your doubts, [but] I did as you asked --" Stefano continued. "You stopped the killing," Marlena translated, relieved. "[Because] I made you a promise. [So], I have shown you my devotion...[and] now it's time for you to show me yours," Stefano concluded before suddenly getting down on bended knee and proposing to Marlena.
"I'm still married to John," Marlena protested. "Your marriage to John Black is over," Stefano revealed. "[But] I never signed any papers," Marlena objected. "I've taken care of everything," Stefano explained.
"[So], the party you were talking about -- that's...that's a wedding; that's...that's our wedding," Marlena realized. "Yes -- and I want my children there to witness the moment when you become Mrs. Stefano DiMera, Queen of La Famiglia. [Now], all you have to do is say yes," Stefano replied, and Marlena hesitantly complied.
Stefano rejoiced then started to rush off so Marlena could change into the wedding gown. Stefano paused in the hallway and watched with a hint of suspicion as Marlena removed the wedding gown from the bedroom closet. Stefano soon continued heading back to the living room, seemingly satisfied -- and found Chad, Kristen, and Tony waiting there. "So, Father, what is this family meeting all about?" Kristen wondered. "Actually, it's not a family meeting -- it's a wedding. [See], I'm marrying my Queen of the Night -- [and] I want you all to be a part of it," Stefano clarified, surprising Kristen and Tony but not Chad.
Brady returned to the Evans-Black townhouse and greeted John again. "The cameras were disabled, so no way to tell who dropped that package off," John reported. "It was Steve [who] brought in the divorce decree. [He] was alone, [and he] paid in cash [and] convinced [Carter] to put the seal on the document, despite some...inconsistencies... [Anyway, this all] happened this morning," Brady reported.
John excitedly predicted that Stefano couldn't have gotten very far since then -- and might even still be in Salem.
"[Steve told Carter] it was urgent that [the divorce decree] be delivered to you today...[because] otherwise, he and his 'fiancée' wouldn't be able to get married tonight," Brady continued, horrifying John, who doubted that the divorce was legal but feared that wouldn't matter, since Stefano ultimately just needed to convince Marlena that it was legal. "The ultimate goal here is not just to marry her [but] to consummate that marriage, [which means] I gotta find her tonight, son -- I gotta stop this sham of a marriage, and whatever Stefano thinks is gonna happen afterwards!" John fretted.
At Maison Blanche 2.0, Marlena finished putting on the wedding gown -- and suddenly heard John say, "Don't do this, Doc -- don't marry him!"
• John and Brady enlist Hope's help.
• Abigail stumbles upon something shocking.
• Marlena struggles with conflicting emotions.
• Kristen and Tony realize what Stefano has done to Marlena.