Kristen was alone in her hotel room, angrily punishing a pillow for John's decision to lie about what Theresa had done to him, when she received a phone call from Stefano. Kristen started to say that she was glad Stefano had called, since she needed someone to talk to, but he impatiently interrupted and painfully revealed that E.J. had died earlier that night after being shot in the park.
Stunned, Kristen managed to ask if Stefano was all right, and after he replied that he would be, she abruptly ended the call, stating that she needed a minute and would call him back later. "This can't be happening. I don't want you gone, E.J. I don't want you gone," Kristen tearfully muttered before beginning to throw glasses and decanters across the room, shattering them against a wall.
After trashing the entire room, Kristen paused to catch her breath as she recalled the moment she had met E.J. for the first time, as well as the more recent moment when she had warned that she would destroy him if he betrayed her. "I didn't want you gone. I didn't mean it. I never meant it," Kristen regretfully reiterated.
At the Brady Pub, Kate ordered champagne for herself and Chad so they could celebrate the impending destruction of Stefano and E.J. Chad seized the opportunity to raise his glass to Kate in appreciation for the way she had always looked out for him. Chad pointed out that he probably never would have known he was a DiMera if it hadn't been for Kate, but she wasn't sure if it had been a blessing or a curse for him to learn his true identity.
Chad admitted that he had really enjoyed having a brother and sisters -- at least at first -- and that he really loved his nephews and nieces. Chad was also willing to count Kristen as a family member he still loved, but that was where he ended his list, stating that he had absolutely no use for Stefano or E.J. because neither of them could think about anyone other than themselves. Kate agreed that the assessment definitely applied to Stefano, but Chad argued that E.J. was even worse. "I take a bullet for the guy, and how does he repay me? By sleeping with Abigail. And now he's trying to play the family card with me. [...] Yeah, E.J. is dead to me," Chad declared.
As Chad symbolically wiped his hands clean of his brother, he received a phone call from Stefano, who sadly reported that E.J. was dead. "Yeah, he's dead to me, too," Chad flippantly replied, but his smirk faded when Stefano clarified that E.J. had been murdered earlier that night. Chad suspected that Stefano might be playing some sort of prank, but Stefano insisted that he would never joke about the death of one of his own children.
As Chad stammered that he didn't know what to say, Stefano interrupted and explained that he had to take another phone call but would contact Chad again later. Chad lowered his cell phone from his ear in shock, and a concerned Kate wondered what the call had been about. "E.J. He's dead," Chad revealed. Kate also suspected that Stefano was playing some sort of sick game -- likely because he had figured out that she and Chad were working together -- but Chad was certain the news was true because, unlike Kate, he had actually heard Stefano's voice when Stefano had made the announcement.
Chad guessed that the shooting had occurred shortly after he had seen E.J. head into the park earlier that night. Chad groaned as he remembered that he had sent Sami into the park after E.J., and he started to leave so he could check on her, but Kate stopped him and reasoned that they needed to find out if the news was true first. Kate contacted Roman, who confirmed the news but stressed that she needed to keep it quiet because the kids didn't even know what had happened yet. After ending the call, Kate assured Chad that Sami was okay, but gently added that the news about E.J. was indeed true.
Kate told Chad she was sorry. "Are you? I mean, am -- am I? God, after everything I just said about the guy, I have no -- I have no right," Chad admitted with a heavy sigh. Chad laughed ruefully as he recalled that the last thing he had said to E.J. had been that if E.J. ended up dead, it would be a deserved death. Kate assured Chad that E.J. had known that the comment had been made in a moment of anger. Chad still regretfully thought of the remark as his parting gift to his brother, but Kate pointed out that Johnny and Sydney were going to need their uncle, and she reasoned that being there for them could be Chad's true final gift to E.J.
Chad sighed with concern as his thoughts shifted to the kids, and Kate mused that turning into a good father had been the one thing E.J. had done right in life. Chad thought it might be best for him and Kate to go over to the DiMera mansion, but Kate dismissed the idea, guessing that they were probably two of the last people Sami wanted to see at that time.
Kate ordered stronger drinks for herself and Chad. After Chad drained his glass, he wondered when he and Kate were going to go back to the DiMera mansion to pack their things and move out. Kate was confused, so Chad pointed out that Sami likely wasn't going to want them to continue living there. "Well, maybe she doesn't, but we're staying," Kate replied.
Chad didn't think he could do that, but Kate explained that they weren't going to do it for themselves -- they were going to do it for the kids, who would need to be protected. "Now that E.J.'s gone, there is no way in hell [Stefano's] going to let Sami raise his precious grandchildren, all right? He will do absolutely anything it takes to get control of their lives. But we...are not gonna let that happen," Kate added as she refilled Chad's glass.
Stefano ended another phone call after telling someone to call him back as soon as everything was in place. Stefano fought back tears as he grabbed a framed photograph of E.J. that was perched on his desk, and he regretfully recalled how he had stood and watched as E.J. had literally begged him the previous year to help Sami in exchange for taking back everything E.J. had stolen from him.
"I know that things were complicated between us, my son, but...I loved you," Stefano admitted as he recalled a happier moment, when he had proudly praised E.J. for framing John for embezzlement, declaring that E.J. had proven himself to be a true DiMera. Later, Stefano called Kristen back and told her he needed her help. "Listen carefully. Time is of the essence," Stefano cryptically added.
After the party at Will and Sonny's apartment, Roman took his three young grandchildren back to the DiMera mansion. The kids reported that they had enjoyed the party but would have had more fun if Sami and E.J. had been in attendance. Roman assured the kids that E.J. and Sami were sorry about missing the party, but he kept the details vague and quickly distracted them with games on their tablet computers.
While the kids were preoccupied, Roman received a phone call from Marlena, who had heard about Sami missing the party. Concerned, Marlena wondered if Sami was all right. Roman stepped into the foyer and quietly reported that Sami was at the hospital because E.J. had been shot and killed earlier that night. Marlena rushed off to find Sami, knowing that the loss would be devastating for her.
In the hospital morgue, Sami tearfully recalled meeting E.J. for the first time eight years earlier, and she mused that, in one way or another, he had been a part of every day of her life since then. Sami acknowledged that, while E.J. had always maintained that it had been love at first sight for him, she couldn't say the same -- in fact, after learning that he was a DiMera, she had grown to hate him more than she had ever hated anyone else.
Sami admitted that even when she had hated E.J., there had still been a part of her that had always known she had been meant to love him. Sami mused that if she had told E.J. that sooner, things between them might not have gotten as ugly as they had -- although she wasn't terribly confident about that because he had still had a mission to perform back then, regardless of his feelings for her, so things had always been destined to get bad.
"But that's why we needed now. I mean, that's why we need years and decades of now, and...after everything that we lived through, and everything that we did to each other, we deserve this, E.J. -- we deserve more time, and it's not fair -- it's not fair -- that we are here. And of all the lies that you ever told me, this one is the worst, do you hear me? This one is the worst! 'Cause you promised me -- you promised me 'now and forever,' and now look where you are. How could you do this, you selfish bastard?!" Sami demanded to know as she sobbed over E.J.'s lifeless body.
Regaining her composure, Sami fondly recalled a dance she had once shared with E.J., and she mused that, while his original motives had been less than pure, he had nevertheless given her a gift she had once thought she would never receive -- he had shown her that she could be first in a man's heart instead of being the consolation prize. Sami admitted that, while she had initially been a pawn in Stefano's war against her family -- and E.J. had taken full advantage of that fact -- she had understood E.J.'s tactics -- especially his worst ones -- because he had never done anything to win her that she wouldn't have been willing to do to win someone herself.
"I understood you better in two years than most people I have known my entire life," Sami acknowledged as she recalled how she and E.J. had once faked a marriage to fool an immigration officer. Sami grasped E.J.'s bare left hand and vowed that she was going to find his wedding ring -- the worst thing the "son of a bitch" who had killed him could have possibly taken.
"We worked so hard for these rings. I mean, the last couple days, they -- they felt like the final hurdle, you know? [...] We came really close to losing [everything], but these rings -- it was like the start of 'now and forever,' you know? We were gonna put away all the ugliness and move past all the betrayals, and -- and we were gonna start our 'now and forever,'" Sami sadly stated as she thought about her and E.J.'s recent private vow renewal ceremony. Sami started sobbing again as she climbed onto the metal table with E.J., rested her head against his chest, and wrapped his arm around her body.
Sami refused to let E.J. go, stating that, while she might not be able to take his body with her, he was still going to be a part of every day of her life because she was going to carry him and his heartbeat with her, keeping their love alive forever. Sami promised E.J. that she would raise their children the way they had planned to, ensuring that they would always know him and would always be safe from Stefano.
"You know, Johnny is already talking about racecars. I think he's gonna grow up to be just like his daddy. I don't know who's gonna teach Johnny about girls, and I -- and I don't know who's gonna walk Sydney down the aisle, and I don't know who's gonna help Allie finish those origami cranes, but whoever it is, you'd better be standing there with them -- with me. You have to stay with me, 'cause I can't do this without you. I can't -- I can't do this without you, E.J., so you're coming with me, okay?" Sami added between sobs.
Marlena quietly entered the room and placed a comforting hand on Sami's shoulder, and Sami gently kissed E.J.'s cheek before descending from the table and hugging Marlena. Sami said E.J. had been the only person who had ever truly known her and loved her completely. "Some people never even get to have that," Marlena pointed out. Sami nodded and admitted that she didn't know how to leave the room, since she knew what would happen -- to E.J. and to her -- once she did. Marlena stressed that Sami wouldn't have to go through the tragedy alone.
Sami asked about the kids, and when Marlena revealed that Roman had taken them back to the DiMera mansion earlier, Sami decided that she wanted to go home and be with them so they wouldn't overhear the staff talking about what had happened. Marlena gently pointed out that Sami would need to change into some fresh clothes first. Sami's face whitened as she glanced down and realized that E.J.'s blood was all over the clothes she was already wearing, but she managed to maintain her composure and nod in agreement.
Marlena wondered if Sami was ready to leave. "Never," Sami replied, but she nevertheless turned to face E.J. and give him a gentle goodbye kiss on the lips. "You were worth everything," Sami told E.J. before reluctantly leaving the room with Marlena, unleashing a wail of anguish as the door closed behind them.
In the waiting area, Abe informed Rafe that E.J.'s shooter was apparently a random junkie who likely had no idea he had shot and killed a DiMera. Stunned, Rafe admitted that he had never expected that to be the way E.J. would die. Abe spotted Marlena and Sami approaching, so he stopped Rafe so Sami wouldn't hear anything upsetting.
Marlena asked Abe to find an unoccupied room where Sami could change into the clean clothes Marlena had grabbed on her way to the hospital earlier. After Abe left, Sami thanked Rafe for being supportive earlier and for keeping E.J.'s death out of the news. Sami acknowledged that Rafe had not been obligated to show her that courtesy, especially since he had never liked E.J., but Rafe insisted that she and the kids were all that mattered.
Rafe stressed that if Sami needed anything from him, she just had to ask, and as they hugged, Abe returned to let Marlena know which room Sami could use. Sami wondered if Theo knew about what had happened yet, and Abe replied that he would tell Theo the following morning. "I think it might help him to know that his [uncle] is with his mom now," Abe reasoned. Abe promised Sami that E.J.'s killer would be found and punished.
When Sami returned home, everything she looked at in the foyer -- the staircase, the mirror hanging on the wall, the wall itself -- reminded her of moments she had spent there with E.J. As Sami sobbed, Roman quietly emerged from the living room, and they hugged as Marlena entered the mansion. Sami asked about the kids, and when Roman informed her that they were still awake, she decided that she needed to tell them the news right away, since they would otherwise wonder what had happened to E.J. because he had always talked to them before bedtime. Marlena and Roman assured Sami that they would be with her the whole time.
Sami composed herself and entered the living room, with Marlena and Roman in tow. "Where's Daddy?" Johnny curiously wondered when he looked up from his tablet computer. Sami joined the kids on the couch, and Johnny observed that she was acting weird. Sami started to explain that she had something to tell the kids, and she confirmed Allie's suspicion that the news was related to Sami and E.J.'s absence from the earlier party.
In response to Johnny's inquiry, Sami hesitantly admitted that E.J. wouldn't be returning home. Johnny guessed that Sami and E.J. had fought earlier, but she dispelled the assumption and clarified that something really sad had happened. Sami proceeded to tell the kids about E.J.'s death as they all hugged her tightly.
Meanwhile, Kristen sneaked into the hospital morgue and injected a syringe filled with an unidentified substance into E.J.'s right arm.
A ticked-off Nicole showed up on Daniel's doorstep and demanded to know why, after months of giving her the cold shoulder, he had sent her a text message that said, "I'm so sorry." Daniel explained that he'd thought Nicole would have already heard: E.J. had been murdered the night before. Daniel filled a shaken Nicole in on what he knew of the details, and she explained that she hadn't heard anything about it because she'd been in Chicago for work.
Fighting back tears, Nicole admitted that through all her and E.J.'s ups and downs over the years, she had wished him dead many times, but she had never really meant it. When Nicole broke down, Daniel put his arms around her. After she regained her composure, Nicole called the mansion and spoke to Mary to make sure the kids were all right. "No, it's best that you don't mention I called," Nicole added before hanging up. She told Daniel that she was worried how Johnny and Sydney would handle their father's death.
Daniel asked if Nicole wanted to go the DiMera mansion, but Nicole declined, believing that Sami would think she was intruding and that Marlena and Eric would think Nicole was manipulating the situation. Nicole started to leave and get out of Daniel's way, but he urged her to stay and talk to him about her feelings, because he knew better than anyone how much she had loved E.J. Nicole admitted that she had loved E.J., even though they had ultimately tried to destroy one another. Daniel pointed out that E.J. would never have been able to hurt Nicole if she hadn't loved him.
Nicole confided that she had tried countless stunts to hang on to E.J., but she had finally realized that she would always be second to Sami. Nicole continued that they had eventually moved past everything, and the last time she'd seen E.J., they'd enjoyed a nice conversation. Nicole rose to leave and thanked Daniel. "For a minute there, it kind of felt like...we were friends again, way back when," Nicole added. Daniel asked if Nicole would like to join him for coffee at the Brady Pub after he dropped some things off for Parker. "I'd like that," Nicole agreed.
In her hotel room, Kristen left a message for Chad, reassuring him that she was there for him. As she hung up, a knock at the door from Brady surprised Kristen. "I wanted to make sure you were all right," Brady said. Kristen threw her arms around him -- but Brady pulled away when she held the embrace a bit too long. Kristen apologized for falling apart and admitted that the previous night had been difficult, because she'd been alone. Brady acknowledged that Kristen had loved E.J.
Kristen noted that she and E.J. had grown close in recent years, and she felt bad that she'd been mad at him when she'd returned to town. She asked how Sami and the kids were, but Brady said that he hadn't been to the house yet. Kristen was touched that she had been Brady's first visit. Brady urged Kristen not to read anything into that, clarifying that Marlena and Roman were with Sami, and Brady wanted to give the family some time before he went to the mansion.
Kristen admitted that she didn't know how to cope with E.J.'s death, and she regretted every terrible thing she'd said to him since she'd returned. She asked if Brady perhaps could relate to that because of what had happened to his dad. Brady acknowledged that he hated himself for what he'd said and done to his father, but he had a second with John because of Kristen -- and Brady wished he could somehow give that to Kristen, as well.
When Kristen asked how John was doing, Brady said that Kayla and Daniel believed that John would make a full recovery. Brady added that he was glad that John had remembered everything about the night Brady had put him in a coma. Kristen insisted that it hadn't been Brady's fault, but Brady misunderstood what she'd meant. Kristen wondered if John's memories were completely accurate, pointing out that he had just emerged from a coma -- and perhaps there was more to the story than John had remembered.
"What are you talking about?" Brady demanded, perplexed. Kristen suggested that they could talk about it some more, but Brady was incredulous. "We have nothing more to say to each other. Look, I'm appreciative of what you did. I am. But please, make no mistake: this is the last time that we will be meeting. This is goodbye," Brady declared firmly. Kristen pointed out that Salem was a small town, so they were bound to run into one another occasionally. Brady suggested that Kristen should really consider leaving town, perhaps to visit Stefano, wherever he was.
"You think I should leave town because everybody here hates me, right? But you don't hate me because of what I did for your father. That's what you said, right?" Kristen asked. Before Brady could answer, Kristen's phone rang. Kristen saw that it was her father and noted that he would call her back. She implored Brady not to leave before they talked some more -- and after that, they never had to see one another again. Brady glared at her and left without another word.
Ben had just stopped by Will and Sonny's to pick the guys up for a game of basketball when Will got a call from Sami, who was in bed at the DiMera mansion, surrounded by some of E.J.'s ties and photographs of her husband. Not hearing the obvious sorrow in her voice, Will assumed that his mom was calling to tell him that she and E.J. hadn't shown up at the party because they were still angry. Sami's attempt to explain why she hadn't called sooner was a bit rambling, so Will interrupted and told her that he didn't have time to hear what a "royal screw-up" he was.
"Stop. Just stop it, okay? E.J. is dead," Sami said. She explained that she'd assumed that Will would have already heard that morning, and she had wanted to tell him the night before, but telling the kids had been draining for her. Will asked what had happened. Sami explained that E.J. had been shot during an apparent mugging, and she'd been the first one there. She began to cry as she described how much blood E.J. had lost, and finally she broke down. "I'm sorry, Will. I just can't," Sami cried.
"Mom, it's okay. We're coming over there. Just hang on, okay? Hang on," Will urged Sami. He hung up and told Sonny and Ben what had happened. While Will went into the bedroom to change, Ben hurried out. After the guys had changed clothes and were about to head out the door, a guilty Will admitted that he didn't know what to say after complaining on the phone about his mom and E.J. not showing up at the party. Sonny reassured his husband that Sami would understand. "Nothing ever works for my mom. Everything always just crashes and burns," Will remarked sadly as he and Sonny headed out.
Abigail returned to the Horton house after a run and found a grim Jennifer and J.J. waiting for her in the living room. Jennifer broke the news to her daughter that E.J. had died the previous night. A thunderstruck Abigail asked if there had been an accident. "He was murdered," J.J. said. Jennifer helped Abigail to the couch and told her that there had apparently been a mugging, and E.J. had been shot.
Her hand covering her mouth in horror, Abigail exclaimed, "Oh, my God, his poor children!" As J.J. got up to answer the doorbell, Jennifer pulled Abigail to her and held her as she cried. Abigail confessed that it felt hypocritical to feel so sad when she'd been angry and resentful toward E.J. for so long.
Ben was on the doorstep when J.J. answered the door. J.J. encouraged Ben to return later because it wasn't a good time. "J.J., I heard what happened. I need to make sure [Abigail's] okay. Now," Ben said. J.J. stuck his head in the living room and informed Abigail that Ben was there. Abigail quickly wiped away her tears and told J.J. to let Ben in. Ben explained to Jennifer that he'd just wanted to make sure Abigail was all right. Abigail stepped into Ben's open arms, and as he held her, Ben apologized to J.J. and Jennifer and offered to give the family some alone time.
Jennifer said that she had to head to the hospital and put out a statement, since E.J. had been on the board. J.J. made an excuse to leave, as well. After Abigail cried on Ben's shoulder for a while, she apologized. "Abigail, the guy was murdered. I mean, you have to feel something," Ben noted sympathetically. Abigail admitted that she was surprised E.J.'s death had hit her so hard, especially since she had spent so much time hating him.
"The last thing I ever said to E.J. was that I never wanted to see him again. I sure got my wish, didn't I? In the worst possible way," Abigail said, as Ben kissed her cheek to try and comfort her. He emphasized that Abigail hadn't wished for anyone to die. "E.J. DiMera was a liar, and he hurt you badly, but he sure as hell didn't deserve to be killed -- and his kids didn't deserve to lose their dad," Ben added. He asserted that Abigail should be able to feel whatever she felt, without having to apologize for it. "I'm glad you came," Abigail said.
As J.J. and Jennifer got off the elevator at the hospital, he explained that he had accompanied her because he'd wanted to give Ben and Abigail some time alone. Jennifer asked what J.J. thought about Ben. "I've only a talked to him a couple of times. He seems fine. Definitely a step up from E.J. DiMera," J.J. said. Jennifer shot her son a scolding look.
Jennifer wondered aloud if she should invite Ben to dinner, adding that they could also invite Paige to take some of the pressure off. J.J. wasn't sure inviting Paige was such a good idea, because he'd been thinking that he and Paige should "ease off" a little. Before Jennifer could question him about that, J.J. got a text message and rushed out, leaving his mom puzzled.
Eric, Caroline, and Marlena were in the living room when Sami went downstairs. Wearing an old shirt of E.J.'s and bedroom slippers, her hair pulled back into a messy bun, Sami sobbed in her brother's arms. Marlena and Caroline headed upstairs to be with the kids and give the nanny a break. On her way out, Caroline grabbed her granddaughter's hands and assured her firmly, "Samantha Gene, listen to me: you are going to get through this. So are the kids. Your family is here for you, always. Understood?" Sami nodded.
Once Sami and Eric were alone, Eric promised to spend more time with the kids. Sami tearfully admitted that all she wanted was to wake up from the terrible dream she was having. She continued that she and E.J. were supposed to have had the rest of their lives together, to raise their kids and watch them grow up. When Sami began to sob again, Eric pulled her into an embrace and let her cry. "Dad said that you were the one who found E.J.," Eric said.
Sami described how she had held E.J. and tried to will the blood back into his body. Sami continued that she knew he had heard her when she'd told him she loved him, but there was a lot more that she'd wanted to say. "Nobody understood me the way that he did. Nobody loved me the way that he did," Sami said despondently. Stroking his twin's hair, Eric reassured her, "I want you to know that your feelings, your memories, the memories of everyone who loved and knew E.J. -- they belong to you."
Eric handed Sami a photo from the side table of her with E.J. and the kids and urged her to hang on to it. Sami clutched the frame to her chest and wept some more. She acknowledged that she had to focus on her kids. "I going to protect them, and I'm going to get them away from here," Sami added, as determination replaced the grief on her face. "God, I can practically feel E.J. backing me up on this. I have to get them away from here, and from Stefano and his evil -- his evil daughter," Sami declared.
When Will and Sonny arrived, Sami embraced her son-in-law then held on tightly to Will. Her mood seemingly much lighter, Sami said that she was very glad they were there. Sonny offered to help in any way they could. Will pulled his mom aside and apologized for what he'd said on the phone before he'd learned what had happened, and for how he had recently treated her and E.J. Sami assured him that none of it mattered.
"Just know that whatever I did, whatever I said -- I still really cared about E.J.," Will said, his voice breaking with emotion. Sami said that E.J. had been very proud of Will, and he had been determined that Will and Sami would be close again.
Caroline returned and told Eric that someone at the pub needed her key to the storeroom. Eric volunteered to take the key over for his grandmother so she could stay with the kids. He quickly said goodbye to Sami and left. Will advised Sami that Lucas was on his way home, but it was a very long flight from Hong Kong. "I should have thought of that. I really should've called Lucas. Of course he's worried about Allie," Sami fretted.
Will urged his mom to stop thinking that everything was her responsibility and let him and Sonny help. Will added, "There's something else you should know, too. All that stuff we've been fighting about -- it's done, over." Sonny chimed in that Will had intended to tell Sami and E.J. that at the party.
Nicole sat in a booth at the Brady Pub, breaking the news of E.J.'s death by phone to her sister, Taylor. Nicole explained that while neither woman had been involved with E.J. for quite some time, she'd thought Taylor should hear the news from Nicole first. After Nicole hung up, she got up to order a drink, and Eric's presence behind the bar startled her.
Nicole assured Eric that she hadn't gone there to see him; she had assumed that he would be with Sami. Eric explained that he had just been there. Nicole inquired about how everyone was doing, asking especially about Sydney. Eric said that E.J.'s death was hard for Sydney to understand. "I know Sami and I never got along, but I know how much she loved E.J., so could you please just tell her I'm sorry?" Nicole requested, fighting back tears. Eric agreed, adding that he had intended to call and check on Nicole because she'd been married to E.J.
Nicole assured Eric that she was fine. Right after Nicole stepped into the back room to take a phone call from work, Daniel arrived. He asked Eric to pass on his condolences to Sami. When Daniel said that he was meeting Nicole, Eric expressed surprise that she and Daniel were friends again. Daniel clarified, "I'm not really sure we are." Eric wanted to know if Daniel and Kristen were friends again, too.
Nicole returned just in time to overhear Eric say, "Daniel, with all the great news about John's recovery, you never did explain why you were secretly speaking with Kristen." Nicole was incredulous that Eric would make such an accusation, but Eric maintained that Daniel had, indeed, been talking to Kristen.
Marlena was in the foyer of the DiMera mansion when the doorbell rang, so she answered it. A man stood on the doorstep, holding a large box, which he extended wordlessly to Marlena. She gasped with recognition when she realized what the box contained.
A moment later, Marlena entered the living room, carrying a bronze urn filled with E.J.'s ashes. Sami froze when she saw it. Marlena set the urn down gently on a table. Sami explained that E.J. had wanted to be cremated, though Will remarked that it seemed kind of soon. Sami continued that E.J. hadn't wanted Stefano to bury him with the rest of the DiMeras. Marlena asked if there would be a service, but Sami explained that E.J. had felt that the publicity would be hard for the children.
Overwhelmed, Sami made an excuse about checking on the kids and fled from the room. She started to head upstairs, but she stopped, clinging to the railing at the bottom for support, and broke down in silent tears. Just then, Brady arrived. He saw the state that Sami was in and extended his arms, and Sami ran to him, hurling herself into his embrace and wailing against his chest.
Brady escorted Sami back into the living room, and Marlena hugged him gratefully. As Will and Sonny headed upstairs to stay with the kids, Brady spied the urn and asked how Sami was doing. "You know what? I'm good. I can be strong, and I can protect our family. That's what I'm going to do. I'm going to protect our kids," Sami declared with determination, picking up the picture that Eric had handed her earlier.
Kristen spoke with Stefano on the phone and informed him that she'd done exactly as he'd instructed. "Thank you for acting so quickly... Elvis' body just arrived. My son is now where he belongs, with his famiglia. That bitch Samantha will never know the ashes in that urn aren't her beloved E.J.'s!" Stefano declared angrily.
In the DiMera living room, Brady sat quietly in a chair and stared contemplatively at the urn for E.J.'s ashes. Marlena returned to the living room and informed Brady that Sami was resting. Brady admitted that it felt weird to mourn for someone he did not like. Marlena reminded Brady that Sami loved E.J., and Brady nodded. Kate entered the living room and groaned at the sight of the urn. Brady said goodbye to the women and left.
When Marlena offered to talk to the cook about food for Kate, Kate shook her head and countered that she needed to talk to Sami. Marlena resisted, but Kate insisted, noting that Sami's children could lose their mother if Sami did not act. Concerned, Marlena asked Kate what she had meant. Kate argued that Stefano was vindictive and that they needed to take action with the company. Protective, Marlena ordered Kate to stay away from Sami. Kate reluctantly agreed. Marlena asked Kate to stay at a hotel for the night, but Kate refused.
Outside the DiMera mansion, Brady was surprised to bump into Theresa on the porch. Theresa explained that she had stopped by to offer her condolences to Sami. When Brady noted that Sami was resting, Theresa said she would return later. Theresa asked Brady if they could talk privately.
At the hospital, Jordan asked Rafe if he had any leads on the person that had killed "Chad's brother." Rafe bristled and noted that he could not discuss police business. When Jordan asked if there was a danger to other members of the DiMera family, Rafe grinned.
"Oh! You're worried about Chad," Rafe said. Jordan said she was worried about Sami and the children. Rafe assured Jordan that the death appeared to be a mugging and that the family was likely not in danger. When Jordan asked about Sami, Rafe explained that E.J. had died in Sami's arms. Jordan's phone buzzed, and she excused herself. Rafe frowned as he watched Jordan walk down the hallway.
In John's hospital room, John reviewed his chart and thought about his conversation with Kristen about Theresa. Worried about Kristen, John announced to the empty room that he needed help to get rid of Kristen and Theresa. When Marlena arrived at the hospital after John had summoned her, she found John lifting weights in his bed. John noticed the look on Marlena's face, and his smile fell away. John asked if something was wrong with Brady. Shaking her head, Marlena said the problem was E.J. Marlena informed John about E.J.'s murder, and she talked about how she understood how Sami felt.
"I know how it feels to lose the man you love and think you'll be alone with nothing but regrets the rest of your life," Marlena said. Shaking off her tears, Marlena asked John what he had wanted to talk about. John said they could talk later.
In the park, Miguel met with Clyde to discuss how to handle the aftermath of E.J.'s murder. Clyde reminded Miguel that he had ordered him not to make contact. Shaking his head, Miguel countered that they needed to have a plan for when the DiMera family sent thugs to investigate E.J.'s murder.
"Hear me on this. We didn't kill E.J. DiMera. You did," Clyde said firmly. When Miguel noted that E.J. had punched Clyde, Clyde countered that Miguel had not thought before acting and that Clyde had never asked Miguel to kill E.J. Clyde assured Miguel that everything would work out. Clyde promised to handle Stefano, and he asked Miguel to go underground.
In her hotel room, Kristen stared at a photo of E.J. and told him that she missed him. Sniffling, Kristen dried her eyes and announced that she needed to move forward with her life. Kristen looked at her phone and stared at a photo of Brady. "We need to grab every little bit of happiness we can," Kristen murmured.
At the pub, Eric accused Daniel of being friendly with Kristen. Nicole disagreed, but unfazed, Eric insisted. Daniel did not deny that he had been talking to Kristen, but he did say that he did not need to explain his motives to Eric. Furious, Nicole demanded an answer. Kristen interrupted and announced that she and Daniel has reached an understanding. Kristen explained that she had worked with Daniel to help John and had gotten to know him better.
"Kidnapping didn't do the trick, huh?" Nicole joked. Kristen said she had been surprised to learn that Daniel was a "brilliant healer." When Kristen lamented that Daniel's healing powers had not been there for E.J., Daniel and Nicole offered their condolences. Kristen offered her condolences to Nicole in return, and Nicole gruffly admitted that E.J. had been special to her. Kristen said that she was pleased that Sami had been with E.J. when he had passed. Nodding, Kristen told Eric that nothing had meant more to E.J. that Sami and the children. As Kristen gently placed her hand on Daniel's arm and thanked him for his skill helping John, Eric and Nicole each raised an eyebrow.
When Kristen said that she had been surprised when she and Daniel had grown close, Daniel interrupted to add that they were not close. Without missing a beat, Kristen continued that she had learned from E.J.'s death that she needed to grab happiness wherever it could be found. With a smile, Kristen noted she, Daniel, and Eric had saved John and that Nicole could leave, since she was not a part of the discussion about John.
Angry, Nicole threw her purse on the ground and advanced toward Kristen. Daniel grabbed Nicole and pulled her out of the pub. Alone with Eric, Kristen asked him to pass along her condolences to Sami. Kristen said that because of Eric's generosity, John had been healed. When Eric noted that Kristen had blackmailed him, Kristen countered that the outcome had been beneficial to John. Kristen asked Eric if they could leave their issues in the past.
Kristen explained that hatred and regret would hurt them both. Eric agreed that he was angry, but he explained that he was not ready to let go of his anger yet. Smiling, Kristen told Eric it would be a wonderful day when Eric could let his anger go. With a glare, Eric growled that letting go was his goal for himself and had nothing to do with Kristen. She nodded, smiling serenely at Eric.
Outside the pub with Daniel, Nicole stewed over the fact that Kristen was chatting alone with Eric. Nicole wondered aloud how Eric could stand to spend any time with Kristen after what she had done. When Nicole saw Kristen hug Eric inside the pub, Nicole could wait no longer. Nicole marched into the pub and asked Kristen what she was doing. Kristen explained that she was grieving her brother and did not want to argue. Nicole reluctantly agreed. Kristen asked Daniel to talk in private, and the two left the pub.
"Would you just look at that? She snaps her fingers and he..what's going on between those two?" Eric wondered aloud. Furious, Nicole said she did not care. Nicole demanded that Eric explain what had happened with Kristen. Eric stressed that Kristen was distraught over the death of her brother. Eric noted that he understood that Nicole was also grieving. With a sigh, Nicole admitted that though she and E.J. had been getting along, she had mixed feelings about his death. When Nicole asked Eric how he felt about E.J., Eric explained that he had spoken to E.J. before his death.
"Oh, my God! You forgave E.J.?" Nicole asked. "I want you to know that forgiving E.J. was not easy. If I couldn't somehow find a way to do that for Sami's sake, but mainly for my own, I might not ever get my life back," Eric said. Nicole argued that she understood why Eric would have talked to E.J. but she did not understand why Eric had let Kristen put her hands all over him. With gritted teeth, Eric explained that he needed to attempt to get past his anger for his own sake.
"I do not freaking believe this! E.J. knew Kristen drugged you, and you forgave him. Kristen raped you, and you are working on forgiving her. But the one person, the only person who loved you, you can't forgive? You can't forgive me?" Nicole shouted as she banged her fists on the table. Eric said he could not forgive Nicole because what she had done was unforgivable.
"You were the one person that I trusted more than anyone, and you betrayed me. Yes, I hate you. But I hate myself for not being able to try and at least forgive you. It's something that will never happen," Eric said. As Eric walked away, Nicole broke down in tears.
In Daniel's apartment, Daniel asked Kristen why she had told Eric and Nicole that they were close. Kristen shrugged and explained that she and Daniel were partners. Daniel shook his head in disbelief. Daniel ordered Kristen to say her peace and leave. Kristen argued that John hated her too much to see that Theresa was the only threat to Brady. When Daniel asked Kristen to get to the point, Kristen explained that Daniel needed to tell Brady the truth about Theresa, or he would regret it when Theresa ruined Brady's life.
Suspicious, Daniel told Kristen that he was not falling for her machinations. Daniel refused to help Kristen. Daniel noted that though Kristen might be able to convince Brady that she wanted what was best for Brady, Daniel saw through Kristen. Angry, Kristen argued that Daniel was helping Theresa ruin Brady's life, and she stormed out. After Kristen left, Brady thought about what Kristen had said. Afraid to play into Kristen's hands, Daniel hesitated to call Brady. With a sigh, Daniel dialed the number.
In the park, Chad met with Theo and Abe. Theo asked Chad not to die like Uncle E.J. Chad promised that he would not leave Theo. Nodding, Theo said that Lexie and E.J. were together in heaven. Abe added, "Lexie's not alone now." Chad handed Theo a glider airplane and noted that E.J. had bought Theo the plastic glider so that it would not break as easily as the wooden one that Theo had played with before. Theo ran off to play with the plane. Abe smiled and guessed that Chad had bought the plane.
"I knew he liked the one E.J. got him. I thought he should have something to remember him by," Chad said. Abe thanked Chad for the thoughtful gift and asked Chad how he was doing. Chad nodded and said that Stefano had asked if a reward would help the police catch the murderer.
Abe asked Chad to hold off on offering the reward until Abe had talked to the district attorney. Abe cited concerns for protecting the investigation from a media circus. When Abe asked Chad if the reward was out of Chad's guilt over his rift with E.J., Chad flatly denied the accusation.
Brady and Theresa returned to her apartment to talk. Upon entering the apartment, Brady cracked that he had never seen Theresa's apartment when he was sober. Theresa asked Brady why he was shutting her out of his life. Brady asked Theresa why it was so important to her to stay linked together. Theresa explained that that she needed to know that Brady believed in her. Brady said he understood that both John and Theresa wanted to protect him.
With a gasp of disbelief, Theresa asked Brady if he honestly believed that she and John had both lied to protect Brady. Theresa stressed that she and John had told Brady the truth and that it was important to her that Brady believed her. With tears in her eyes, Theresa said that Brady had not done anything wrong and that she was not lying. Theresa asked Brady if they could start over. Theresa explained that she cared about Brady, and he had made her life better.
"I just know that all the bad times, they're in the past. So I thought that maybe we could start over," Theresa said. Brady said he should leave. When Theresa stopped him, he stared down at her. While Brady's phone rang with a call from Daniel, Brady and Theresa had sex on the couch.
Abe escorted Theo to the hospital for his therapy session. While they waited for the doctor, Theo cried out excitedly when he saw Jordan. Theo told Jordan that Chad had given him the plane then he ran off for his therapy session. Jordan asked Abe about Chad, and she explained that she was friends with Chad. With a grin, Abe told Jordan that Chad could use a friend.
In the town square, Chad saw Kate reading her phone, and he stopped to chat. Kate informed Chad that Marlena had thrown her out of the mansion. With a scowl, Chad asked Kate if she had harassed Sami. Kate grumbled and admitted that she hated when someone proved her wrong. With a small grin, Chad asked Kate if she was admitting that Marlena had been right. Kate smiled sadly. Chad asked about the children. Kate said she had not seen the kids but that she had seen E.J.'s urn resting on the desk.
Chad returned to the mansion. Standing in the living room, Chad stared at the urn and muttered, "You son of a bitch." Pacing the empty living room, Chad spoke aloud at his frustration with E.J. and what a selfish brother E.J. had been. Chad noted that there were people dancing in the street, celebrating E.J.'s death because he had hurt so many people. As he spoke, Chad choked back tears.
"It wasn't supposed to end like this," Chad said. "We were supposed to work things out," Chad added quietly. Jordan rested a hand on Chad's shoulder. Chad was surprised to find her there but gently put his hand on hers and sighed.
At the police station, Abe informed Rafe that the last call made to E.J.'s cell phone had been from a disposable phone. Rafe told Abe that he doubted there had been a mugging. Rafe explained that there had been no reason for E.J. to be in the woods. Abe added that if E.J. had been conducting business, he would have had a bodyguard with him. Nodding, Rafe said he was checking E.J.'s payroll. When Abe asked Rafe why he suspected someone other than the junkie they had arrested, Rafe explained that junkies did not erase their tracks and remove DNA at a crime scene.
Clyde met with his cohort Jeremiah to discuss the cover-up. Jeremiah confirmed he had planted evidence for the police. With a nod, Clyde noted that Miguel was falling apart, and if Stefano's men found Miguel, Miguel would crack. Clyde instructed Jeremiah to hide Miguel deep in the soil of Jeremiah's soy farm back home.
Kristen returned to her hotel room to regroup. Kristen rifled through photos of Eve and Theresa, and she mumbled to herself that one of the women would help her destroy Theresa.
At the Horton Town Square, Hope was on the phone with Aiden, assuring him that she didn't want to postpone their date in light of Sami's recent loss, since she had already spent time with Sami earlier that day, and she planned to check on Sami again later, as well. Hope said she was looking forward to the picnic Aiden had prepared, and he echoed the sentiment, jokingly adding that red sauce wouldn't be on the menu. "Good plan. Then, uh...it's a date," Hope replied with a smile of anticipation.
"What's a date?" Ciara asked as she approached from behind, causing Hope's smile to quickly fade. Hope abruptly ended the call and pointed out that Ciara was supposed to be on a pumpkin-picking field trip. Ciara gestured toward her nearby school bus and explained that it had broken down earlier. Ciara added that she had spotted her mother and had sneaked over to say hello after she and the other kids had exited the vehicle.
"So, what's up with this date, Mom? I know what a date is, so you can skip that part. Unless it's a different kind of date, like a lunch date with Jennifer or something," Ciara asked. Hope remained silent, prompting Ciara to guess that Hope had been talking about the real kind of date. "I don't get it. How could you go on a date? What about Dad? What about Dad?" Ciara demanded to know.
Maggie stumbled upon Aiden's picnic in the park and observed that it looked like he had gone to a lot of trouble just to make someone's day. Maggie guessed that the lucky woman was Hope, and she revealed to Aiden that Hope had talked to her and Victor about everything earlier. Before Aiden could respond, he received a text message from Hope, who apologetically explained that she needed to cancel their date because something was going on with Ciara. "Well, um...you know, I set this up for one beautiful woman, but she can't make it. Maybe another would like to join me?" Aiden suggested.
Hope took Ciara to a secluded section of the town square and hesitantly explained that there was something she had been meaning to tell Ciara but hadn't gotten around to saying yet because it had never seemed like the right moment to do so. Hope pointed out that Bo had been gone for a while, and she acknowledged that his absence had made Ciara sad -- and that it had made her sad, as well. "So...what's your point?" Ciara wondered.
Hope said her point was that she didn't know when Bo -- who had been gone for over two years -- would finally return home, and she couldn't keep hoping and waiting for him to do so. "You're married to him. You have to wait," Ciara argued. Musing that what she was about to say to her daughter was the most difficult thing she had ever had to say to anyone, Hope clarified that, while she was married to Bo, that wouldn't be the case for much longer, since she had recently filed for divorce. Hope stressed that, while she still loved Bo, she couldn't put her life on hold forever for him, and neither could Ciara.
Ciara wondered if Hope was absolutely sure that Bo would never return home. Hope admitted that she didn't know, and she added that what she did know was that Bo loved Ciara wholeheartedly and would never stop feeling that way about her. "That means you are sure. I mean, that you're not gonna wait for him anymore," Ciara sadly concluded.
Ciara started to remove her jacket -- which had once belonged to Bo -- but Hope pointed out that it was too chilly to go without it. With one arm already out of the jacket, Ciara stopped and instead sadly hugged Hope. Ciara wondered who her mother was going on a date with, but before Hope could respond, Aiden interrupted and greeted them. "No! No, no, no, no, no, no! Not you!" Ciara protested as she backed away from Aiden.
In Eve's apartment, Paige quietly ended a phone call as Eve entered the living room. Eve disapprovingly guessed that Paige had been talking to J.J., but Paige dispelled the assumption. "Well, you were being awfully hush-hush with somebody. Who was it?" Eve demanded to know. Paige irritably replied that she was an adult and that her private conversations were none of Eve's business.
Hurt, Eve reminded Paige that they had once been willing to share everything with each other, but Paige clarified that their relationship had actually always been pretty one-sided. "I used to listen to everything you said, and [I] took care of you because you had such a hard time with Dad and every other guy you ever met. [...] I'm not gonna make the same mistakes you did -- especially not with J.J. I'm not gonna let you ruin this for me," Paige added before exiting the apartment.
Later, while Eve was wistfully staring at a few old photographs from Paige's childhood, Marybeth arrived to pick up Paige so they could head to a class together. Eve reported that Paige had stormed off earlier -- and had likely headed straight into J.J.'s waiting arms. Eve mused that it seemed like her and Marybeth's attempt to tear Paige and J.J. apart had actually managed to instead drive the couple closer together.
Marybeth suggested that it might be best for her and Eve to back off a bit, but Eve didn't like that idea at all. "Listen, please don't abandon me now, 'cause I need you to be my eyes and my ears, 'cause there's no way I'm gonna let that creep spawn of Jack Deveraux's get his hooks into my little girl, okay?" Eve vowed.
After Marybeth left the apartment, she bumped into Paige outside Club TBD, and the collision caused a pharmacy bag to fall out of Paige's purse. Marybeth picked up the bag, read the label, and realized that it contained birth control medication. "Oh, my God. Are you having sex with J.J.?" Marybeth demanded to know.
Paige replied that, while it was none of her friend's business, she hadn't slept with J.J. yet but wanted to be prepared for when they decided to take their relationship to the next level. Marybeth argued that it was her business, since she was Paige's best friend. "Then keep this between us, please. [...] If you dare say anything -- to my mother or anyone else -- this 'bestie' thing is through, got it? [...] I mean it -- if you say a word, we're done," Paige warned before walking away.
At the hospital, Daniel received an unexpected visit from J.J., who wanted to talk to him about something but didn't want the details of the conversation to be shared with anyone else. J.J. explained that he didn't feel comfortable talking to any of his family members about the matter because it involved his father. J.J. revealed that Paige had recently overheard Kayla talking about being a rape survivor. J.J. added that Paige had no idea that his father was the person who had committed the crime.
"How do I explain...when -- when I don't even understand it myself? Because...the man that did that to Aunt Kayla...is nothing like the dad I knew. [...] You know, when -- when I first learned about it, it made me angry -- you know, that no one told me before, and that my dad could actually do something like that. But just -- now...I'm really worried [...] because I -- I keep thinking that on some level, um...I'm just like my dad," J.J. admitted.
Daniel stressed that, while he knew J.J. hadn't always treated girls with the respect they had deserved, that was still a long way away from the kind of behavior Jack had once exhibited. J.J. started to explain that he was worried that he might have inherited that behavior from Jack, but Daniel insisted that it didn't work like that. Daniel added that he had grown to like Jack a few years earlier -- despite his best efforts not to -- and that Jack had changed for the better and had been a truly good man in the end.
Daniel's argument seemed to make J.J. feel better, but the young man was still worried about finding a way to articulate all of that to Paige and get her to understand. J.J. added that Jennifer had figured out that something was bothering him, and he admitted that he felt like he had nowhere to hide. Daniel reiterated that his apartment was available as a refuge, and he added that it would be empty for a few more hours that day because he was going to be stuck at the hospital for a while longer, anyway. J.J. gratefully hugged and thanked Daniel before exiting the office.
When Daniel went to the waiting area later, Eve was in the middle of badgering a nurse for Eric's contact information, since Eric's work was on display in the hospital and had attracted Eve's attention because she wanted new headshots for when she revived her singing career. Eve flagged Daniel down and thanked him for the great throat surgeon recommendation he had given her a few months earlier.
Daniel suggested that if Eve truly valued his opinion, one way she could prove it would be to start judging J.J. based on the young man's own merits instead of Jack's flaws. Eve countered that Daniel was an extraordinary doctor but knew next to nothing about human nature, and she walked away after insisting that she was the only person who was qualified to decide what was best for her daughter.
Later, Eve ran into Marybeth in the town square and wondered if Marybeth had managed to track Paige down earlier. Meanwhile, Paige went to Daniel's apartment to see J.J., and she revealed that, while she had given him mixed signals in the past, she wasn't going to do that anymore. "I'm ready. [...] J.J., we're so close. We don't have any secrets. We -- we talk about everything. Hey, you're the kind of guy I dreamed about finding. I want you to be my first," Paige informed J.J.
Kate approached the Brady Pub as Rafe was ending a phone call, and she overheard him saying something about a big break, so she wondered if he had been talking about the investigation into E.J.'s murder. Rafe reminded Kate that he couldn't discuss an ongoing police investigation with her, and he assured her that she would find out the latest news as soon as it was made available to the public.
Kate took the hint and changed the subject, reporting that, while she had stressed that her recent dinner with Clyde hadn't meant anything, Jordan had still seemed pretty upset about it. Kate casually asked if Rafe knew why Jordan wasn't getting along with Clyde, but Rafe pointed out that it was none of Kate's business. Kate wondered if it was still painful for Rafe to talk about Jordan. Rafe shrugged and replied that Jordan had moved on and that he was trying to do the same.
Elsewhere, Clyde was on the phone with someone, checking to make sure the local police had found exactly what he had wanted them to find so he could get back to business right away. Later, Clyde entered the pub and greeted Kate, who had agreed to meet with him after he had sent her a text message that had stated that he was worried about her. Kate didn't understand why Clyde was concerned, since she had previously made it clear to him that she could take care of herself, but he explained that he was worried because he had heard about what had happened to E.J.
Kate admitted that she hadn't been on good terms with E.J. at the time of his death, but she stressed that the situation wasn't about her -- it was about his kids, whom she loved. Clyde recalled that E.J.'s widow was Kate's business partner, and she claimed that she was also very concerned about Sami. Clyde stepped away to take a phone call, and he returned with a smile on his face, prompting Kate to wonder if he had just received good news. "Oh, yeah. Don't you just love it when everything falls into place?" Clyde replied, and Kate agreed.
Changing the subject, Clyde observed that it seemed like E.J.'s death had hit Kate harder than she had admitted earlier, and he retrieved a gift from his jacket pocket and handed it to her, hoping it would cheer her up. Kate halfheartedly protested that it was inappropriate for Clyde to be buying gifts for her, but he ignored her objection and urged her to open it.
Inside the box, Kate found a fortune cookie. Recalling the story Clyde had told her during their dinner date, Kate guessed the fortune would predict that she would meet a handsome stranger who would change her life, but he smoothly reminded her that that had already happened. Kate cracked open the fortune cookie and smiled as she read the fortune -- "Have fun; it's only naughty if you get caught."
At the DiMera mansion, Sami went to Johnny's bedroom to try to convince him to eat something for lunch, since he had skipped breakfast, but he wasn't interested. "It's my fault! What happened to Daddy is all my fault!" Johnny insisted with a sigh of despair.
Johnny retrieved a rock -- the good-luck charm he had found at sleep-away camp but had forgotten to give to E.J. upon returning home -- from a box of keepsakes, and he reasoned that it could have protected his father. Sami assured Johnny that the good-luck charm wouldn't have prevented E.J.'s death. Sami claimed that E.J. had asked her to stress that he would always be in Johnny's heart, and that seemed to provide the boy with some comfort.
Meanwhile, in the living room, Chad hugged Jordan and admitted that he hadn't wanted his brother to die. "You know, it feels like it did when I lost my mom. Things weren't right between the two of us, and then, suddenly, she was just gone," Chad regretfully recalled. Jordan reasoned that E.J. had known that his brother had loved him and would have eventually forgiven him. "Like hell he did," Sami argued as she entered the living room.
Chad escorted Jordan to the front door, and she advised him not to get into an argument with Sami, who was just understandably upset. Chad thanked Jordan for visiting him and being understanding, and he hoped he would see her again soon. When Chad returned to the living room, he tried to ask about the kids, but Sami angrily demanded to know when he had started caring about them. Chad stressed that he had always cared about them, but Sami didn't think he had given them much thought while he had been trying to destroy E.J.
"Stefano's last words to E.J. were 'you are dead to me' -- does that sound familiar? Why do I think that maybe you said something very similar? Hell, you said it to me. Well, you and Stefano, you got your wish, didn't you? 'Cause he's dead...to you, and he's dead to Stefano, and he's dead to me, and he's dead to my children! Your brother is dead! Does that make you feel better? Does it make you feel satisfied? Does that make it up to you, him dying? Wouldn't you rather him still be alive, and then you could just torture him forever? You could have just tortured him. Why did -- why did you have to do that?" Sami shouted as she repeatedly slapped Chad's chest before eventually curling up on the floor and sobbing uncontrollably.
Chad knelt beside Sami and gently assured her that if she wanted to continue to scream at and hit him, he would be fine with that. Chad added that he would also be willing to leave the mansion if Sami asked him to do so, although he stressed that he would really prefer to stay and try to help her and the kids deal with their loss. Once Sami regained her composure, she accepted a glass of water from Chad and admitted that there was nothing he could do. Chad nodded and told Sami to let him know if she ever thought of anything he could do, since he wasn't going anywhere.
Meanwhile, Rafe entered the mansion and announced that the evidence that had been recovered seemed to point to one particular person as E.J.'s murderer. Chad wondered if the person was in custody. "In a manner of speaking. [...] He's in the morgue. [...] He was already dead when we found him -- he ODed, apparently right after he shot E.J. [...] We found him with E.J.'s watch [and] wedding band, and a gun, and [the guy's] prints were on the gun, and there was gunpowder residue on his right hand," Rafe reported, to Sami's dismay.
Rafe added that the guy had not had any cash on him, suggesting that he might have gone straight from the shooting to a dealer to purchase drugs, although they wouldn't be able to verify that until they found the dealer. Chad wondered if Rafe was sure the man in the morgue was E.J.'s killer. Rafe reiterated that all the evidence pointed to that person, but Chad said that wasn't the question he had asked. "Like I said, are you sure that this dead son of a bitch is the one who killed my brother?" Chad demanded to know. Rafe noncommittally replied that, while a ballistics test was pending, the caliber of the gun matched the bullet that had killed E.J.
Sami tearfully wondered why the mugger hadn't just taken the money and allowed E.J. to live. Rafe shrugged unknowingly and apologized, admitting that he had hoped -- perhaps foolishly -- that the news would give Sami some closure, since it meant the murder hadn't had anything to do with E.J. or the DiMera family. "No, it wasn't -- it wasn't about anything. And -- and...he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and now he's just -- and now he's just gone." Sami sobbed as she stared at a framed picture of E.J.
Outside the Brady Pub, Jordan watched as Kate and Clyde laughed and conversed with each other. Jordan sighed disgustedly and walked away, recalling a painful memory from her past, when Clyde had grabbed her arm as she had tried to get away from him and had assured her that they would always have each other.
When Aiden arrived at the park outside Horton Square, Ciara freaked out when she realized that Aiden was her mom's date. Hope gently pointed out that Ciara and Aiden had started to become friends, and Hope knew that Ciara liked him. "Just because I like him doesn't mean I want him to be my new dad!" Ciara snapped. Hope firmly told her daughter that she would never suggest that Aiden or anyone else could replace Ciara's dad. Ciara demanded, "Isn't that what a date is for? To see if you like someone enough to marry him? [...] You're the one who's divorcing dad! Isn't that so you can marry someone else, someone like him?"
Julie arrived just then and urged Ciara to take a deep breath. Pointing an accusatory finger in Aiden's direction, Ciara complained that her mom was going out on a date with him. Julie was taken aback. She recognized Aiden as J.J.'s lawyer and from his help with the gala. After Hope introduced Aiden to Julie, he suggested to Ciara that the two of them go into the square to give the ladies some privacy. Before Aiden and Ciara left, Julie explained that she had thought she was "the person closest to Hope of anyone in the entire world."
After Aiden and Ciara had gone, Hope admitted that she should have told Julie what had been going on. Julie asserted that Bo had put Hope in a terrible position, so if Hope were ready to move on, Julie supported her -- but Julie wanted to know something about Aiden. Hope admitted that Aiden was difficult to describe. "Good-looking comes to mind," Julie noted. Laughing, Hope acknowledged that Aiden was, indeed, very good-looking, and although she knew a lot of external things about him, he was really private.
Hope continued that Aiden was a good dad, he was sweet with Ciara, and he made Hope laugh. "Been a long time since I heard you laugh, darling," Julie pointed out. Hope said that she and Aiden were friends, and she would listen if that friendship turned to trust, but she wouldn't push him. She admitted that she wanted to find out where things were going with Aiden. "Then I want you to find out. Hope, darling, all I want is a happy ending for you," Julie emphasized. Hope embraced Julie gratefully.
At a table in Horton Square, Aiden told an obstinate Ciara that he really liked her mom, adding, "We wouldn't be having this conversation if I didn't like you, too." He reminded Ciara that they had become friends when they'd teamed up to "save the day" during the auction. Ciara just stared at Aiden, who suggested, "Think about law school, kid, 'cause you don't give an inch." Ciara giggled in spite of herself. Aiden reassured her that he would never even try to take her dad's place, because Aiden respected how she felt about her dad. Aiden solemnly promised never to do anything to hurt Ciara or Hope.
Julie had gone when Aiden and Ciara returned to the park. Hope asked if Ciara wanted to talk. Ciara replied, "Nah, I'm kinda talked out. And maybe you two could, I don't know, go on a date? Maybe it won't be so bad." With a broad grin, Ciara warned Aiden that she would be watching him.
When Eve ran into Marybeth in Horton Square and saw how glum the girl seemed, Eve demanded to know if something had happened to Paige. Privately recalling her earlier encounter with Paige when Marybeth had spied birth control in Paige's bag, Marybeth maintained that nothing had happened. She added that she hoped Eve could find a way to make Paige see what a "loser" J.J. was.
In her apartment later, Eve looked at some old flyers advertising one of her singing performances. When Eric arrived to take Eve's new publicity shots, Eve flirtatiously gushed that he was attractive enough to be in front of the camera instead of behind it. While the two of them looked through some photographs, Eve said that she had waited a long time for her comeback. Eric was surprised to learn that she hadn't had the surgery yet, but Eve was confident that it would be a success. She insisted that Eric attend her debut performance.
Eric set up some lights in the apartment and took photographs of Eve. Once he was satisfied with what he'd gotten, Eric said that he would print a proof sheet so they could go over it later. Eve remarked that she couldn't believe Eric had once been a priest. She proposed that instead of looking at a proof sheet, they view the images on Eric's camera over drinks to celebrate how well the shoot had gone.
Eric tried to decline, but Eve insisted that it would be her treat -- plus she playfully pointed out that he had to keep the client happy. Eric agreed to go. As he began packing his equipment, Eric questioned whether Eve needed to stay home for her daughter. Eve said that Paige had her plate full with school and was probably still studying.
At Daniel's apartment, Paige's announcement that she wanted J.J. to be her first caught J.J. off guard. Paige showed him the birth control she'd gotten earlier that afternoon. "Everything's changed, J.J., ever since Kayla," Paige said. She explained that ever since she'd found out what had happened to Kayla, Paige had seen how supportive and protective J.J. was of his aunt -- and his whole family -- and it had convinced her that he really was as "amazing" as she'd thought. J.J. insisted that he wasn't.
Paige said that J.J. had shown her that all guys weren't like the string of terrible men her mom had dated. "You're good and decent, and I love you. And I know you, and I know you mean it when you say you love me," Paige asserted. J.J. assured her that he did love her. "Then it will be perfect," Paige murmured, kissing J.J. passionately. Before things went much further, however, J.J. stopped. He explained that he had promised Daniel that nothing like that would happen there.
Paige said that one of her friends had offered to let them use her dorm room, but J.J. worried that they weren't giving the friend enough notice. Paige asked if J.J. really wanted the two of them to be together. J.J. maintained that he did, but he was really tired and just wanted to go home and get some sleep. As he hurried to gather his stuff, J.J. asked Paige to lock up when she left. Paige seemed utterly bewildered when J.J. left.
On her way home, Paige walked through the park, where she ran into Rory. His voice dripping with sarcasm, Rory said it was "shocking" that J.J. had already left Paige for the evening. "Just be sure that he's not ditching you to steal someone else's date," Rory added. He said that J.J.'s story about the night of the party might not be what had actually happened. Paige didn't buy it. "Fine. You believe what J.J. said about that night and that he's just tired and wanted to go home. And Scarlett Johansson isn't totally hot," an exasperated Rory said as he walked away.
J.J. went home to the Horton house and headed upstairs, but he accidentally left the front door unlatched and slightly ajar. In his bedroom, J.J. looked in the mirror and urged his reflection to just tell Paige, who would understand. He turned out the lights and climbed into bed.
When Paige arrived at the Horton house, she was surprised to find the front door open, although the house was dark. She walked inside, locked the door behind her, and remarked to herself with a smile, "So you're tired, huh?" Paige ascended the stairs and tiptoed into J.J.'s room, where she peeled off her outer sweater and slid into bed next to a startled J.J.
At the Brady Pub, Clyde's gift -- a fortune cookie with a fortune inside that read, "Have fun -- it's only naughty if you get caught" -- amused Kate and bewildered her a bit. Clyde explained that he'd just wanted to distract Kate after the way E.J. DiMera had died. "There's just no understanding why things happen the way they do," Clyde mused. He asked if there would be a memorial, and he was surprised when Kate informed him that there wouldn't be. "You'd think a man like Stefano DiMera would want some kind of tribute to his son," Clyde noted.
Kate explained that Stefano and E.J. had experienced a very volatile relationship, and they hadn't been able to make up before E.J. had died. "I'm sorry. That's just wrong," Clyde blurted a bit vehemently. Kate bristled, pointing out that Clyde didn't know any of the people involved. Clyde apologized and explained that he'd only meant that Stefano was wrong. Clyde continued that Kate's remarks had hit close to home because his kids hated him, and he felt that people should try to fix things between them before it was too late.
Kate suggested that Clyde's kids could always reach out to him. Clyde accepted full responsibility for what had happened between him and his children. He added that he knew that it was too late with Jordan, but he hoped he could get Ben to see how much he had changed. "I want a second chance, like the one that E.J. and his daddy didn't have," Clyde maintained. He asserted, "You gotta be open to...things that might help you change, you know? Become the person that your kids want you to be." Kate quipped, "Within reason. I think my son Lucas would like me to become a cloistered nun."
Clyde pointed out that change could happen in many ways -- for example, if the right person happened along. Kate stepped a few feet away to take a phone call. "Are you sure? Did you double-check? No, it's just worse than I thought," Kate said on the phone. She hung up and told Clyde that she had to cut things short, because she had to deal with an emergency. An understanding Clyde said that he hoped to see Kate again soon. "If I don't fix this, it might be ten to twenty," Kate noted wryly before heading out. Outside, Kate muttered, "Sami, you idiot!"
In a back booth at Club TBD, Abigail asked Ben, "Remember the last time we talked? You were talking about E.J., and you started to say that you never wanted anyone to die, but then you stopped yourself... I feel like there was something that you weren't saying. Did you once want someone dead?" Ben reluctantly admitted that he had once wished his father were dead. Ben hastened to add that he didn't think they should be talking about that, or him, when she had lost her own father and someone she knew had just been murdered.
Abigail pointed out that they almost never talked about Ben, but she wanted to know him. She said that Clyde had told her that he'd made some bad mistakes when Ben had been young, but she guessed that wasn't the whole story. Ben admitted that Abigail was right. He explained that his mom had died when he'd been very young, and things had gotten bad after that, especially for Jordan when she would try to protect him. "Dad could get pretty nasty with that belt," Ben added, much to Abigail's horror.
Ben continued that the beatings had been why he and Jordan had fled, and he had never wanted to see Clyde again -- but Clyde was in Salem. "Do you still wish he were dead?" Abigail inquired. Ben wondered if his father had really changed as advertised -- which Jordan didn't buy -- since he had seen flashes of Clyde's anger since he'd arrived in Salem. Abigail pointed out that everyone got angry occasionally. Ben acknowledged that he had gotten his temper from his dad, but he didn't wish his dad were dead. "I just wish he would go away," Ben asserted.
Ben remarked that he needed a second job so he could afford to move into a better place -- one that actually had a front door he could lock. Abigail pointed out that she would never see him if he got a second job. Ben said that his only other option was to use some of the money he'd been saving for college, but Abigail urged him not to do that. "College is way too important to you... Something else will come up; it always does," Abigail reassured him. As Ben kissed her appreciatively, Clyde arrived outside and gaped at the two of them through the window.
Abigail had to leave because she had a job interview the next morning. Ben was optimistic that she would get the job. When Abigail walked out, Ben noticed his dad waiting at the bar. After calling Clyde a "stalker," Ben said that he didn't have the money to pay Clyde back yet. Clyde assured Ben that it wasn't necessary to repay it, but Ben was determined. "Keep the money, please? You deserve it after the hell I put you through. You got a right to it -- that and a whole lot more," Clyde insisted.
At the DiMera mansion, Sami put a tentative hand on the urn containing E.J.'s ashes and tearfully swore to him that she would figure out how to stop crying so she could be strong for and protect their children. She wondered aloud how she would be able to keep that promise. "You do it with the help of the people who love you," said Lucas' voice behind her. Grateful and relieved to see her ex, Sami hurried to him, and the two embraced. Lucas reassured her that she would be able to keep her promise because she was "the most amazing survivor" he'd ever known.
Sami filled Lucas in about the police finding the guy who'd killed E.J., but she was having a hard time accepting that E.J. had been the victim of something so random. Just then, Allie ran into the room and into her dad's arms. Lucas apologized that he hadn't been able to get there sooner and asked how Allie was and how Johnny and Sydney were. "They're never going to see their daddy again," Allie cried. She added that although her brother and sister had cried, she'd tried not to. Lucas reassured Allie that it was all right to cry, because E.J. had loved her as if he'd been her dad.
"It's not fair. [...] I still have my daddy, but Johnny and Sydney... Daddy, will you be to them as E.J. was to me?" Allie implored Lucas. Tears streamed down Sami's face as she listened. Lucas promised to help Johnny and Sydney as much as he could because he loved them just as much as E.J. had loved Allie. Lucas added that he would make sure to tell the kids how much E.J. had loved all of them, as well as Sami. Allie headed back upstairs to be with her brother and sister because she thought the three of them should stick together.
Grabbing Lucas' hand, an awed Sami expressed her sincere gratitude. Lucas offered to help in any way that he could, such as helping to plan E.J.'s memorial. Sami informed him that E.J. hadn't wanted the kids to have to endure the "circus" a service could become, although she wanted to put together something private so the kids could say goodbye. "And then I have to get to work figuring out how to get them the hell away from here, get them out of this place for good -- and away from Stefano for good," Sami declared.
After reassuring Sami that she would be all right, Lucas headed upstairs to "distract" the kids. As soon as she was alone, a weeping Sami picked up the photo of the whole family and set it next to E.J.'s urn. Kate returned to the mansion just then. She stormed into the living room, slammed the double doors, flung her purse in a chair, and declared to a startled Sami, "You have really stepped in it this time!"
As she strode over and shut Sami's laptop, Kate ordered Sami to stay off the computer and the phone. "What are you talking about? What the hell?" demanded a baffled Sami. "It's about you headed for prison. I don't want to get dragged along for that ride," Kate declared.