Chad accused Abigail of lying about her son's paternity in a "pathetic" attempt to get him to take her back. Abigail explained that Thomas was sick -- and that, while trying to figure out what was wrong with him, his doctor had discovered that he and Ben weren't genetically linked. "You are the only other man I slept with, so unless you want to accuse me of lying about that also..." Abigail added before letting her voice trail off.
"No," Chad quietly replied, shaking his head. Abigail told Chad that his son needed him -- and that she could really use his support, too. Maintaining his belief that Abigail was lying, Chad angrily ordered her to leave. "Who are you?" Abigail wondered, noting that the Chad she had known would have dropped everything in a second to help Thomas.
"That is the real you, and who I'm looking at now has to be something else -- has to be...I don't know, Andre's creation of you, or something," Abigail added. As Abigail spoke, Chad struggled to block out mental images of happier times with her. "No! This is what you do! Stop trying to use me! Get out! Get out! Get out!" Chad shouted as he shoved Abigail out of his hotel room and slammed the door in her face.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor handed Maggie a glass of sparkling cider and admitted that he didn't know how she could stand to drink it. "[But] I suppose it toasts just as well as the Champagne does," Victor added, raising his glass of Champagne to make a toast to Maggie -- the love of his life. Maggie said she couldn't drink to that because she believed that Victor had an ulterior motive.
"Me?" Victor asked incredulously. Maggie guessed that Victor could tell that it was somewhat uncomfortable for her to have Caroline living with them. Victor pointed out that Maggie had been really decent about the whole thing when he had proposed the idea to her. "How could I not be decent?" Maggie replied, acknowledging that Caroline was Bo's mother and was in need of protection.
Victor stressed that Maggie was the last person he thought of before going to sleep every night, and the first person he thought of when he woke up every morning. "How a cantankerous old man like me got a lady like you, I'll never know, but here we are, at the dawn of a new year, and I'm looking forward to spending it all with you. You are my inspiration," Victor added before setting his glass aside and giving Maggie a kiss and a hug.
While strolling through the town square with J.J., Gabi admitted that she had been terrified during the fashion show because she had never done that sort of modeling before. J.J. assured Gabi that she was a natural who had "killed it" and "rocked the house," and when she laughed and told him not to go overboard, he insisted that he wasn't. "Seriously, when you walked out in that dress, all I was thinking to myself was, 'When the show's over, I'm walking out with her,'" J.J. added.
Gabi started to teasingly admonish J.J. for being overly confident that they would be leaving the fashion show together, but when he tried to backpedal, she told him she had been kidding. Gabi wondered if J.J. would like to accompany her to an after-party that the models were having. "A party with you and a roomful of models? Sorry, I've got some other plans," J.J. replied, feigning a lack of interest. After assuring Gabi that he, too, had been kidding, J.J. stepped aside to call Jennifer and let her know where he was headed.
At the Basic Black hangar, Nicole told Kate that the fashion show had been "a freaking triumph," prompting Kate to concede that, according to Nicole's standards, it probably had been precisely that. "Is that fun for you? Do you think putting us down keeps you in the driver's seat? Well, let me tell you something, woman -- you are wrong. Tonight was a dream come true for us, and we are not gonna let you or anyone else turn it into a nightmare," Nicole insisted, speaking for herself and Theresa.
Kate hesitantly acknowledged that she had been pretty tough on Nicole and Theresa that night. "I tried speaking as the voice of the company, and I suppose that could have seemed like I was taking all the credit," Kate added. Kate stressed that if the evening had instead been a disaster, she would have likewise taken all the responsibility. "I wouldn't have liked it -- I hate admitting failure -- but I would have done it," Kate assured Nicole and Theresa when they expressed their skepticism.
"The truth is...I'm terrified of failure," Kate admitted. "So, you cover by being an arrogant know-it-all?" Nicole asked. "Pretty much," Kate confirmed. Stressing that she and Theresa were scared, too, Nicole urged Kate to work with them. Before Kate could respond, Nicole received a phone call from someone. At the same time, Marlena and Victor's phones began ringing in their respective homes. Meanwhile, J.J. leaned in to kiss Gabi -- something he said he had been wanting to do all night -- but received a phone call before he could do so.
Nicole and Theresa were the first ones to arrive at the hospital, and John and Marlena weren't far behind. When Victor and Maggie arrived, Nicole told them that no one had been willing to tell her anything about Daniel yet. "Oh, well, they'll tell me," Victor assured Nicole. Meanwhile, Fynn approached, and Nicole begged him to tell her what was going on. "I'm so sorry I have to tell you this, but Daniel suffered brain death," Fynn sadly revealed.
When John got to Brady's room, Theresa was already there, so he listened in the doorway as she tearfully urged Brady to keep fighting. John eventually approached Theresa but remained silent. A short time later, Victor arrived and wondered how Brady was doing. "Well, the doctor said that he's holding his own," John replied. "Whatever the hell that means," Victor muttered. John added that Brady had suffered blunt force trauma to the chest, and his heart had been badly damaged as a result. Victor optimistically pointed out that Brady was young, strong, and healthy.
Theresa started to ask about Maggie but quickly realized that she was probably with Daniel. John wondered how Daniel was doing. "Daniel -- my, uh...my godson, who was like a son to me -- I'm afraid didn't make it," Victor sadly replied. Elsewhere, Kate asked a nurse for information about two friends of hers who had been in a car accident earlier that night -- Daniel and Brady.
Nicole grasped Daniel's hand and observed that it was still warm. "Can you just do me a favor? Could you tell me I'm having a bad dream? Because things like this -- they happen to other people; they don't happen to someone like you, right? You're everyone's rock -- the guy everyone counts on, especially me. And you and I -- we worked things out, and we were gonna have it all, so don't you tell me it's gone now. Baby...don't tell me you're gone. Please. Especially when I can still hold your hand. I can hold your hand, baby. How am I gonna live without you? I can't. I can't. I love you so much," Nicole said, sobbing as she clutched Daniel's hand tightly.
When Maggie arrived, Nicole gave her a hug then left the room. Maggie backed into a corner and sank to the floor in despair, sobbing uncontrollably. Later, Victor arrived and found Maggie sitting at Daniel's bedside. Maggie wondered if Brady was all right. "He's touch and go. Too damn hard to get a straight answer around here," Victor replied. "Not in every case," Maggie sadly countered.
Victor apologized for his insensitivity, and Maggie assured him that she understood. Maggie started to leave so Victor could say goodbye to Daniel privately, but Victor asked her to stay. "We both love him. We're in this together," Victor reasoned.
In the waiting area, Nicole broke down while watching the video Daniel had sent her earlier. Later, after Maggie and Victor left Daniel's room, Nicole reentered it, took a seat at Daniel's bedside, and began sobbing again while idly twisting her engagement ring around her finger.
Kayla entered Eric's room and informed Marlena that Eric had suffered a collapsed lung. Kayla added that she was waiting on the results of an echocardiogram, prompting Marlena to wonder if something was wrong with Eric's heart. Dodging the question, Kayla asked if Eric had ever had an upper respiratory infection, and Marlena confirmed that he had occasionally experienced that problem during the winter months.
Roman arrived before Kayla could say anything else. After giving Roman a hug, Kayla left the room, and Marlena proceeded to recap, for Roman's benefit, everything that she and Kayla had just discussed. Roman revealed that Eric had been involved in a three-car accident that had occurred because Eric's car had been in the wrong lane and had been headed straight for Jennifer's car, which had hit a patch of black ice and skidded when she had swerved to avoid Eric's car. Marlena guessed that Eric's car had also hit a patch of black ice. "No. He was driving drunk," Roman informed a stunned Marlena.
Jennifer -- who was in a neck brace -- asked J.J. to tell her what had happened, and he apologetically informed her that he hadn't been given any answers yet. J.J. offered to call Abigail to let her know what was going on, but Jennifer told him not to, knowing that Abigail was busy dealing with Chad at that time. Jennifer filled J.J. in on what had happened with Thomas earlier that night, and he assured her that he would check on Thomas then track Abigail down.
Abigail was in the town square, staring at a stuffed bear in a store window, when she received a phone call from J.J. As Abigail rushed off to the hospital, Chad arrived and began staring at the same bear. Chad soon started seeing more mental images of happier times with Abigail, but he once again blocked them out, reminding himself, "La famiglia."
Kayla and Fynn tracked Maggie and Victor down in one of the break rooms and apologetically informed them that Brady's heart wasn't going to recover from the damage it had suffered in the crash. Fynn stressed that Brady could still survive -- but only if he received a heart transplant. "And I'm afraid there's more," Fynn hesitantly added. Kayla revealed that Eric had a heart infection -- something he had probably had for quite a while but had never known about. "That's how it happens in young, healthy people," Fynn explained, and Kayla added that an upper respiratory infection could have caused it.
As a result of Eric's heart infection -- which had caused inflammation and damage to the heart muscle -- he had gone into heart failure, so he, too, needed a donor heart as soon as possible. "Well, I'll get on the phone [and] throw some money around," Victor offered. "Hear me out first, and then you can do that," Kayla replied, and she proceeded to gently explain that Brady and Eric were both compatible with Daniel's blood type.
Sobbing, Maggie realized that Kayla and Fynn wanted to give Daniel's heart to either Brady or Eric. Fynn confirmed that it would probably be possible to bypass the donor registry, given the circumstances. "If I agree...which one gets my son's heart?" Maggie asked. "I'm afraid it's up to you," Kayla replied.
John makes a bold decision
Joey, Chase, Claire, Ciara, Theo, and Henry sneaked into Club TBD for an after-hours party, using the security code that Adrienne had left out at home. After learning that the liquor was locked up and inaccessible, the teenagers had a dry toast to the New Year. Seeing Claire sulk at the bar, Ciara asked her what was wrong. Claire said she was thinking of moving out on her own.
When Claire complained about her parents' behavior, Ciara gently reminded Claire that she should be happy that both her parents were still alive. Claire apologized for her insensitivity. Ciara casually mentioned that Hope might go to jail for shooting someone, but before a shocked Claire could ask any questions, the boys interrupted. The boys suggested that the group play truth or dare.
The teens sat around the table. Henry challenged Chase to kiss someone in the room, but when Chase begged off, Henry asked Chase to tell the truth about who Chase liked. Chase answered that he liked any band but the one playing and offered to change the music. For Joey's turn, Ciara asked him if he had ever been in love. Joey said he had loved an older woman once, but he refused to provide details.
For Theo's turn, Claire asked him what had been the worst thing that had ever happened to him. With a nod, Theo responded that his worst moment had been when his mother had died. Theo announced as an alternative moment the fact that he had a new sister that was spending a lot of time with Abe. When the confused group asked why that was bad, Ciara jumped in and said that it was bad because Abe had not been around when Theo had been bullied. Embarrassed, Theo asked Ciara not to talk about it. Concerned, Joey asked what had happened. Ciara mentioned that Theo had been bullied by texts.
When Claire commented that only a coward would bully someone by text, Henry and Chase shifted uncomfortably. Theo asked everyone if they had been bullied or had bullied someone. Ciara raised her hand. Ciara explained that she had been a bully, and Chase chimed in that Ciara had bullied him mercilessly. Henry added that he had been bullied as well. The group offered their support to Theo then toasted to the New Year.
At the hospital, Abigail was surprised to run into Chad. When Abigail asked if he was at the hospital because of the accident, Chad was confused. Abigail informed Chad that there had been a car accident involving her mother. When Abigail asked again why Chad was at the hospital, he said that he wanted to run his own tests to prove that he was not Thomas' father.
"I'm glad you're here," Abigail whispered. "Not for you," Chad responded coldly. Setting her jaw, Abigail said she understood and that she only cared that her son would get better. At the nurses' station, Chad hesitated before signing the consent for blood testing. Abigail promised Chad that if he was not the father of her son, then she would never bother him again. Chad noted that Abigail sounded calm.
"I can live with you not wanting me," Abigail said. "But your son could need you, and if he is sick and you can fix it, then you have to help him because he is your family," Abigail said. "If he is. You're right. Nothing matters more than family," Chad said. While Chad and Abigail waited for the test results, Chad asked about the original paternity test. Abigail said the most recent blood tests proved that Ben was not the father.
Dr. Oakes interrupted to inform Abigail that Thomas was improving. When Dr. Oakes noted that Thomas' illness might have been a viral infection, Chad smirked and shook his head. After the doctor left, Chad asked Abigail if she was setting him up. Abigail shook her head no. Chad announced that he already knew the results of the paternity test and that he would wait outside for Abigail to tell him when the results were available. Abigail stopped Chad and asked him to give her five minutes.
Chad followed Abigail down the hallway to visit Thomas in his hospital room. Chad lingered in the doorway before Abigail convinced him to approach Thomas. As Chad looked down at the baby, Abigail told Chad that he had to feel a connection to his son. Chad shook his head no. Chad thought about his memories from the brainwashing treatment, including all the happy moments from Thomas' short life so far. Chad stared blankly at the wall.
As Abigail asked Chad what he was thinking about, Dr. Oakes entered the room and informed them that Chad was the father of Thomas. Dumbfounded, Chad asked Dr. Oakes if she was sure. Nodding, Dr. Oakes said that Chad was a carrier for Von Willebrand's disease and that Thomas had the same genetic marker for the disease. Dr. Oakes advised the parents that the problem was treatable and that they did not need to worry.
Alone, Chad asked Abigail whether she had set him up. Chad argued that Thomas had never been sick. Abigail said that she would never trick Chad. Abigail approached Chad and offered him the opportunity to get to know his son. When Chad looked at Abigail with suspicion, Abigail admitted that she wanted more from Chad, but what was important was that Chad remained in his son's life. Abigail placed Thomas in Chad's arms.
In Eric's hospital room, a frustrated Roman left in search of a doctor. John and Marlena talked about Eric's condition. With a sad smile, Marlena looked at her son. When Roman returned, Marlena talked to him and John about the high-risk antibody protocol that the doctors wanted to use on Eric. Marlena was concerned.
In Brady's hospital room, Theresa talked to an unconscious Brady and reminded him that he had promised to tell their son in twenty years about Theresa's runway debut. "I'm gonna hold you to that," Theresa said, choking back tears. Theresa told Brady that she had forgotten to tell him that Tate had pulled himself up to his feet and would be walking soon. Overwhelmed, Theresa warned Brady that he was not allowed to leave her alone with Tate and all of their son's milestones.
In the hospital lounge, Kayla and Fynn broke the news to Maggie and Victor that Daniel was an organ donor and that she needed to choose whether Eric or Brady would get Daniel's heart, since both were a match for a transplant. As Maggie shook her head in disbelief, J.J. entered the lounge. Kayla assured Maggie that there was no way to save Daniel's life. Kayla asked Maggie to decide who would receive Daniel's heart. Angry, Victor told Kayla that Kayla's request was unacceptable. Victor refused to give up on Daniel. J.J. slipped out of the room.
Fynn assured Victor that Daniel was only breathing because of a machine. Fynn added that Daniel had left end-of-life directives specifying what Daniel had wanted. Maggie agreed with Fynn. Nodding, Kayla added that Daniel would have wanted to save someone's life if his own life could not be saved.
"So they both will die without a transplant?" Maggie asked. Kayla noted that both Eric and Brady were not doing well. "I watched those boys grow up, but right now, all I can think about is my son. The one I had so little time with," Maggie said through choked sobs. Victor said the choice should be left up to the doctors. With a sigh, Kayla explained that if the choice were left up to the hospital, Kayla would have to report Daniel's status to the organ donor registry, which might mean that the heart would go to neither Brady nor Eric. Kayla stressed that the only legal option to keep the heart from the registry was if the next of kin identified a recipient instead.
Focused, Maggie asked Kayla if Brady or Eric had any hope of recovery without a new heart. Fynn explained that there was an experimental antibody treatment for Eric that could be used to battle his heart infection. Victor swore to find another donor, but Kayla begged Victor to back off so that it would not tip off the donor registry.
J.J. entered Jennifer's hospital room and told her about Daniel's injuries and the accident. J.J. told Jennifer that Eric had caused the accident and that Eric had been driving drunk. Upset, Jennifer burst into tears over Daniel's pending death. J.J. then informed Jennifer that Brady was also critically injured. When J.J. explained that both Eric and Brady were in need of heart transplants and that Daniel was the available donor, Jennifer shook her head in disbelief.
In Daniel's hospital room, Nicole broke down in tears. Nicole wondered aloud how she would live the rest of her life without Daniel, and she told him that she loved him. Nicole climbed onto Daniel's bed and rested her head on his heart. Nicole sobbed. As Nicole dried her eyes and returned to her chair, Maggie entered the room. Nicole walked over to Maggie, and the two women cried in one another's arms. Once Nicole left the room, Maggie sat at her son's bedside.
"I tried to pray on this, but I realized that I needed good, compassionate advice. And you were the one who always gave me the help I need. I never would have wanted to live to see you leave this world. I wanted... you deserved so many more years. Happy years. But here we are. It doesn't surprise me that you would leave your heart behind to save someone else. I'm so proud of you, my son. I'm so lucky to have known you at all. It would have seen so easy for me to be angry all the time for the childhood with you that we lost. But instead, I'll get to remember and remember and remember all the precious time that we had," Maggie said before breaking down into tears.
Down the hallway, Victor paced the lounge and made calls about a donor heart. When Kayla entered the room at the conclusion of one of Victor's calls, she hesitantly asked if she should be concerned about Victor's friends. With a sigh, Victor told Kayla that there were no hearts available. Victor added that he had also contacted a friend in the donor network and confirmed that there were no other hearts available through the registry. Nodding, Kayla confirmed that she already knew that nothing was available.
Victor complimented Kayla on her courage for skirting the law and risking her medical license in order to help Brady and Eric. Kayla gently urged Victor to get an answer from Maggie. With a nod, Victor went in search of Maggie. Victor found Maggie in the chapel. "God has already taken Daniel. And I'll just have to accept that that is part of a divine plan. But if even God hasn't taken Brady or Eric, how can I choose which one lives or dies?" Maggie asked.
Maggie said she did not know how to choose. Maggie added that she wanted to give Daniel's heart to whomever needed it the most. When Victor asked what they should do, Maggie noted that Victor had not mentioned Brady. Maggie pointed out that Victor had just lost his son, and she did not want him to lose his grandson as well. Maggie added that if she chose Brady, she would not be able to look Eric's family in the eye. With a sigh, Maggie said that whomever was not chosen would likely be condemned to death.
Victor escorted Maggie back to the lounge to sign the papers for the transplant. Victor advised Maggie to "do what gives you peace." Shaking her head, Maggie said she did not believe she could find peace. Victor suggested that Maggie not make the decision and leave the situation up to fate. Maggie refused, citing the possibility of losing both Eric and Brady. Kayla returned and informed Maggie that they needed to start prepping for surgery.
As Maggie nodded, John entered the lounge and encouraged Maggie to give Daniel's heart to Eric. Victor asked about Brady. Nodding, John said that there was another donor. When Victor asked who, John said that he would give up his heart so that his son could live.
Kayla helps Maggie make a huge decision
As Hope dozed on her couch, she dreamed of searching the warehouse for Dr. Malcolm and finding a video of a bound Ciara instead. The dreamscape transformed into a memory of becoming furious with Stefano for showing up at her wedding to Aiden. Hope immediately awakened and sat bolt upright.
Rafe and Gabi strolled through Horton Square, chatting about her appearance in the Basic Black fashion show, which Rafe had been unable to attend. Before their conversation could get much deeper, Rafe got an urgent text message from Hope. Rafe called Hope instead of replying to her text. Her voice betraying her anxiety, Hope demanded to see Rafe right away. When Rafe hung up and headed toward Hope's, Gabi teased him for doing Hope's bidding.
When Rafe arrived at the Brady house, Hope recounted the events that had led up to Bo's kidnapping. Hope suspected that the kidnapper had used Claudia to lure Bo so he would lead them to Salinas' drug -- and the kidnapper was likely the person whom Dr. Malcolm had called before he'd been shot. "There's someone I kept eliminating because I thought it was too easy," Hope said. "Stefano?" Rafe guessed, trying to remain patient. Hope explained that they had ruled out everyone else, and she vowed to make Stefano pay -- for good.
Hope said she would turn the DiMeras over to Rafe, but she knew they would keep going after the people she loved. Rafe gently pointed out that Hope had been through a lot in a short period of time. "I am fine!" Hope shouted. "You are not!" Rafe countered, noting that Hope had been a great cop who'd believed in the letter of the law. "That's not who I am anymore," Hope contended. "If you use Stefano's tactics to go after him, you are no better than they are," Rafe asserted. "Maybe I'm not," Hope said defiantly.
Rafe pointed out that there was no direct link between Malcolm and Stefano. Hope maintained that Stefano had been responsible for every terrible thing that had ever happened to the Bradys. She was determined to get justice for Bo -- and a confession from Stefano. As Hope became more and more agitated, Rafe gently grabbed her by the arms and urged her to let him find proof before she got into any more trouble.
In the NICU at Salem University Hospital, a dazed Chad held baby Thomas. As Abigail observed Chad closely, she quietly declared that Stefano and Andre had underestimated Chad's strength and ability to resist their manipulations. She encouraged Chad -- the real Chad -- to return to her and their son. Chad began to have flashbacks; some was of the imagery that Andre had foisted upon Chad, while some were actual memories of happy times with Abigail. Although Andre's brainwashing had intended for Chad to associate hideous images with Abigail and beautiful ones with Belle, it was clear that Chad's brain began to reverse that.
Suddenly, Chad gasped, shuddering as he began to sob. "How could I treat you like that? How could I treat my son like that?" Chad cried quietly, his lower lip trembling. An utterly relieved Abigail stroked Chad's tear-streaked cheek and kissed the top of Thomas' head. "I'm so sorry," Chad whispered.
Abigail admitted that Chad's behavior hadn't made sense to her, so she had presumed it had been because she'd chosen Ben over Chad. Stung, Chad practically ordered her to stop thinking like that. He told Abigail that he was very impressed with how fierce she had been when she'd shown up at his hotel room. "You are going to be an amazing mother," Chad murmured, stroking Abigail's face and looking deep into her eyes. They expressed their love for one another and shared a tender kiss.
Dr. Oakes told Abigail and Chad that, although Thomas would need to have his blood monitored regularly, he would otherwise lead a normal life. After Dr. Oakes left, Chad seemed a bit downcast. Abigail looked at him with concern and asked, "You're back, right?" Chad reassured her, "I'm back, and I'm yours." Abigail suddenly remembered that she needed to check on her mom. As Abigail gathered up her things, a beaming Chad said he wanted to stay and hang out with their son.
Chad visited with Thomas and promised that they -- all three of them -- had a lot of happy times ahead of them. Chad left, informing a nurse on his way out that he had to take care of something.
Chad went to the DiMera mansion and waited in the study until Harold entered. Chad said he wanted to see his father and brother right away. "I'm afraid they've retired for the night, sir," Harold said. "Too bad. Go wake 'em up," Chad ordered. Harold complied.
Nicole sat at Daniel's bedside, as close to him as the respirator would allow. Although she was heartbroken at the thought of losing Daniel, Nicole told him that his heart would save the life of one of his best friends, and she knew that would mean a great deal to Daniel.
At the same time, Roman sat with an unconscious Eric and urged his son not to let the heart infection beat him. "I love you so much. You hang in there. Don't leave me, all right? Don't you leave me," Roman quietly pleaded.
Meanwhile, Theresa was at Brady's side, trying to sound as cheerful as she could, under the circumstances. "Everybody's trying to help you. And you know Victor; he just doesn't stop. In this case, it's a really good thing. We're going to come through for you, Brady. One way or another, we're going to get you a new heart," Theresa reassured an unconscious Brady.
Marlena entered the waiting room as John was offering to donate his own heart to Brady. Marlena was horrified. Kayla declared that what John was suggesting was insane -- and only making an already horrible situation worse. Asserting that she could not make the decision herself, Maggie implored Kayla, "All I want is for Daniel's heart to save a life. You're a doctor; you know the risks for Brady and Eric. You have to tell me who has the best chance of surviving, and I'll back you up!"
John, Marlena, Victor, and Maggie listened intently as Kayla outlined things for them as clearly as she could: Eric's infection had caused heart failure, but the infection could still be treated. Brady's heart was damaged beyond repair, and he had no other option but a heart transplant -- right away. Fynn entered while Kayla was speaking. "Then we know what we have to do," Maggie said with finality. "Prep Brady to receive Daniel's heart," Kayla instructed Fynn. Kayla promised a distressed Marlena that they would do everything possible for Eric. Unable to speak, Marlena turned and hurried out, with John right behind her.
Marlena was a bit calmer when she reached Eric's room. John tried to comfort her, but Marlena noted, "You know they say that everything happens for a reason; I just don't see the reason here. So, what if Brady lives and Eric doesn't? What does that do to us? How do we get through that together?" John urged Marlena not to give up hope and to be strong for Eric -- which was something they could do together.
Maggie quietly entered Daniel's room and hovered near the door as she informed Nicole that they had made a decision: Brady would get Daniel's heart. Barely able to get the words out, Maggie explained that the orderlies were waiting outside to take Daniel to the operating room. Bursting into anguished sobs, Nicole wailed that she couldn't say goodbye. Maggie rushed over and stroked Nicole consolingly, reassuring her that saying goodbye didn't mean they had to let Daniel go.
The orderlies entered and waited silently as the women said their goodbyes. Nicole thanked Daniel for loving her and giving her many great memories. "You were an unbelievable gift in my life, and I will always, always love you," Nicole cried. Leaning around the respirator, she caressed one of Daniel's cheeks while gently peppering the other with kisses. She moved away and waited by the door for Maggie. "I'll see you again someday. Goodbye, sweetheart, my beautiful son. Safe trip home," Maggie managed before leaning down to kiss Daniel's forehead. While the orderlies prepared to move Daniel, the women broke down in each other's arms.
After the orderlies had taken Daniel to the O.R., Nicole sat on his bed with the bag of Daniel's personal effects. In it, Nicole found Daniel's bracelet, which made her cry all over again. She slipped the bracelet on her wrist and opened Daniel's wallet, which was filled with smiling pictures of the two of them. Rising from the bed and staring angrily upward, Nicole demanded, "Is this fun for you? Making innocent people suffer because I love them? First my babies that never drew breath and then the man I thought I was going to be with forever. Why?" Through her tears, Nicole screamed, "What did I ever do to you? Why? Why do you hate me so much?"
Abigail finally located Jennifer near the nurses' station and found her mom's visible injuries startling. Jennifer said she'd been released but had wanted to stay to see how Brady was doing. Abigail was puzzled because J.J. had only told her about their mom. Upset, Jennifer quickly told her daughter about the accident and about Brady's and Eric's conditions. Abigail noticed Jennifer's omission and asked what had happened to Daniel. "He didn't make it," Jennifer cried. She explained to a shocked Abigail that Brady was getting Daniel's heart.
Jennifer asked about Thomas, so Abigail filled her in that Thomas had a minor blood disorder but would be fine. Abigail added that Chad had seemed to snap out of it the second he'd held Thomas, and Chad had declared that he had never stopped loving her. Abigail felt guilty for being happy about any of that after what had happened to Daniel.
In the operating room, Daniel and Brady lay side-by-side, respirators breathing for them, as Fynn and the other surgeons got ready. Looking down at Daniel, Fynn sighed and asked his old friend, "Make sure I do this right, like you would."
Brady and Daniel's family members -- Maggie, Victor, Theresa, John, Philip, and Belle -- waited anxiously but silently as the hours ticked by for news about the surgery, standing, sitting, and pacing around the waiting area. At last, Kayla entered the room and announced that the operation had gone "beautifully." Brady was breathing without the respirator, and his new heart was beating normally. Everyone was very relieved, but no one more so than John. Kayla pointed out that they would have to make sure that Brady's body didn't reject the heart.
Maggie left to call Melanie as she had promised to do when the surgery was over. John wanted to see Brady, but Kayla said he had to wait until Brady was in intensive care. After John left to call Paul, Kayla headed off to find Roman. Theresa hurried after her aunt and asked what the chances were of Brady rejecting the heart. Kayla reassured her that they would adjust the medications if that were the case. With grateful tears, Theresa hugged her aunt.
Marlena was in Eric's room when the alarms on his monitors suddenly started beeping. She hurried to the door and shouted for a nurse. After the nurse had given Eric a beta blocker, she informed Marlena that Eric had experienced an arrhythmia caused by his heart infection.
Maggie returned to the waiting room and reported that Melanie was doing as well as could be expected. She added that they had talked about the years they'd missed with Daniel -- but also about how lucky they were to have had him as long as they had. Paul arrived and joined the others. Kayla returned and informed the group that Brady had no fever and was breathing well, both of which were signs that he was accepting the heart.
As the medical examiner led Nicole into the morgue, she thanked him for letting her see Daniel. Once she was alone with Daniel's body, Nicole pulled back the sheet and wept inconsolably when she saw his face. Fynn entered and tried his best to comfort Nicole. "Is there anything I can do?" Fynn asked. "No. No, there's nothing anyone can do. Not anymore," Nicole cried. Devastated, she hurried out.
Belle was sitting next to Eric's bed when Philip quietly entered the room. "I'm glad about Brady," Philip said. "Me, too. Do you think it's too much to ask for two miracles in one night?" Belle wondered.
As Marlena sat alone in the chapel, she told God, "I try not to ask for things because I want them or because I think they'll make me happy. I think I should get those things for myself. I can't make my son well. I'm not even sure the doctors can do it. You'll have to help him. Please. Please bring my son back to me. Please make my son well." John entered while Marlena was praying but stood in the doorway so as not to interrupt her.
Victor offered to take Maggie home and sit with her until she fell asleep before he returned to the hospital. "Oh, Victor. I don't think I'm ever going to sleep again," Maggie said mournfully.
Theresa sat at Brady's bedside, her hand on his leg, and promised, "Someday, I'm going to tell our little boy about the night his daddy came back to us." Brady stirred ever so slightly to reach his fingers toward Theresa's. Relieved, she clasped both of her hands around his.
Hope remains determined to avenge Bo's death
While napping in a break room at the hospital, Abigail dreamed about Chad shunning the DiMeras in favor of his new family with her and Thomas. Later, a nurse tracked Abigail down and informed her that Thomas would be released as soon as he woke up.
Elsewhere, Belle ran into Philip, who wondered how she was doing. Belle claimed that she was fine, but when Philip called her a liar, she admitted that she was simply coping, just like the rest of her family. Belle was headed to John and Marlena's townhouse to get some fresh clothes for them, so Philip offered to drive her there, reasoning that she needed to let someone take care of her while she was busy taking care of everyone else.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad told Stefano and Andre that he had finally convinced Belle to open up to him -- and he was certain that neither she nor her parents had any idea where Sami was nor what Sami had done with Stefano's money. Chad advised that it was time to give up on trying to get to Sami and the money through Belle.
After Chad left, Andre insisted that it was time to "tighten the screws," not give up. Stefano disagreed, telling Andre to forget about Sami, Belle, and "the whole business." Andre protested that he and Stefano were getting closer to finding the money every day. "Don't you see?" Andre added. "What I want to see is a graceful endgame," Stefano replied before dismissing Andre and turning on a somber Italian aria.
Chad went to John and Marlena's townhouse to let Belle know that Stefano and Andre had been forcing him to get close to her in an effort to find out where Sami had hidden Stefano's money. Chad was pretty sure that Stefano and Andre had believed what he had told them earlier, but he was still worried that they might try something else soon, so he warned Belle to watch her back and trust no one.
Belle suspected that Chad might be playing another game with her, but he assured her that he was done playing games. "So, this is it? You're just out of my life?" Belle asked. Chad clarified that, because Stefano and Andre still believed that he was under their control, he might have to occasionally go through the motions and bother Belle a bit, just to maintain that illusion. "But I'll make sure I'm not a problem. Just never forget -- they are. Especially my brother," Chad stressed before leaving.
Chad headed to the hospital and tracked down Abigail, who wondered where he had been all night. Chad explained that he had gone to the DiMera mansion and told Stefano and Andre what they had needed to hear to keep them off his back for a while. "It felt, actually, kind of cool to play them like they think they're playing me. Guess I'm more DiMera than I thought," Chad mused.
Abigail warned Chad to be careful. "Always," Chad assured Abigail before changing the subject, wondering how Thomas was doing. Abigail excitedly informed Chad that Thomas was going to be released soon. As if on cue, a nurse arrived with Thomas and handed him over to Chad. Abigail and Chad took Thomas to the Horton house and soon resumed their earlier conversation about Stefano and Andre. Chad believed that it would be best to let Stefano and Andre continue to think that they were in control, at least for the time being. "Otherwise, we'd all be in danger," Chad predicted.
Belle went to Club TBD to get some decent food for John and Marlena, and while she was there, she ran into Philip, who noticed that she seemed a bit jumpy. After swearing Philip to secrecy, Belle quietly filled him in on what Sami had done to Stefano -- and how she had been dragged into the mess.
Belle wanted to return her half of Stefano's money to him so she would no longer be involved in the situation, but Philip predicted that if she did that, it would just make Stefano even more determined to get the rest back. Philip advised Belle to keep the money, and he assured her that he would protect her from the DiMeras. Belle said she wasn't really up for letting Philip be her protector -- in fact, between Chad's stunts and the divorce, she wasn't really up for much of anything at that time -- but Philip planned to keep his phone on for her, just in case.
At Hope's house, Rafe tried to convince Hope to let him handle the DiMeras himself, but she insisted that, while she appreciated his attempts to protect her, she wasn't going to stop until she avenged Bo's death. Realizing that he would never be able to change Hope's mind, Rafe reluctantly showed himself out.
Steve took Kayla home, and, despite her insistence that she wasn't tired, she soon fell asleep on the couch. Steve called Hope and told her that he needed to talk to her because something really bad had happened. "Now's not a good time. Sorry," Hope replied before ending the call.
Steve went to Hope's house and knocked on the door, but Hope refused to open it. "Two minutes, all right? You need to hear this," Steve shouted through the door. "No, I don't! Goodbye!" Hope shouted back. As Steve walked away, Hope went back to poring over her notes on Bo's kidnapping. "God, what if I never get the proof? What if I can never prove it?" Hope worriedly muttered.
At the Salem Inn, Ava stuffed a small stack of baby photos in a manila envelope and started to seal it before deciding that it would be better to leave it open. Later, at the Horton Town Square, Ava feigned a coughing fit to attract Steve's attention. When Steve asked if Ava was okay, she replied that, like all sick people, she had good days and bad days. "[Today is] not one of my good ones," Ava added with a shrug.
Steve wondered if Ava had checked into alternative or experimental treatments. "I'm part of a drug test right now, as we speak," Ava confirmed. Ava added that, at that time, she was just concentrating on the one last thing she needed to take care of before she died. Steve probed for more details. "Um, I just have to... Never mind," Ava replied with a coy chuckle.
Ava left after thanking Steve again for forgiving her. Ava feigned another coughing fit as she walked away, dropping the envelope in the process. Steve picked it up and called out to Ava to let her know that she had dropped it, but she pretended not to hear him. Steve tucked the envelope in his jacket pocket and went to order some food for Kayla, but his curiosity later compelled him to take a peek at the envelope's contents.
When Steve returned home, Kayla was awake, so he told her about what had happened. "Whose baby is this?" Kayla wondered as she flipped through the pictures. "I don't know. Ava's?" Steve replied with a shrug. Meanwhile, back at the Salem Inn, Ava turned on some music and danced around her hotel room while slowly stripping off her clothes. "Hmm. Shower time," Ava muttered as she removed her shirt, revealing a large tattoo of a fanged snake, the head of which was centered in the middle of her back, with the rest of its body curving down her lower back and disappearing under the waistband of her jeans.
Rafe went to the DiMera mansion to talk to Stefano and Andre, but Andre said Rafe would have to settle for him because Stefano was resting. Rafe wondered if Andre had ever heard of Dr. Seth Malcolm. "No, not that I can recall," Andre replied. Rafe explained that Malcolm had been gunned down in Salem the previous week. "Oh, a murder? And, of course, [it's assumed] that the DiMeras did it. Should we remind the police that the last time they made that assumption, they allowed a serial killer to kill and kill again?" Andre mused.
Rafe suggested that it would be best to stick to the topic of Malcolm's murder, but Andre ignored the advice, marveling at the Salem Police Department's ability to always "fail upwards." Andre hoped that Salem wouldn't have to be subjected to another police department disaster anytime soon. Rafe conceded that mistakes had been made during the hunt for the serial killer, but he pointed out that Ben had planted very convincing evidence that had linked Chad to the murders. "And you were doing the very best job you could. Which says a lot...about incompetence," Andre dryly replied.
Andre impatiently demanded to know what Rafe wanted. Rafe started asking questions about Stefano's mind, and Andre quickly surmised that Rafe was trying to figure out if Andre knew anything about the serum that Caroline had been given. "Perhaps my father could use it as well, right?" Andre guessed.
Rafe pointed out that Andre was putting words in his mouth, but Andre forged ahead, wondering if Hope had sent Rafe to question him. "I heard that she's blaming my family for all the tortures of the damned that her husband had experienced before he died," Andre mused. Rafe dodged the question and tried to once again ask about Stefano's health, but Andre kicked him out. Later, at the police station, Rafe checked his tablet computer and was stunned to learn that Daniel had died.
At Hope's house, Ciara awoke from a nightmare and rushed outside. Hope went to see what was wrong with Ciara, who explained, between desperate gasps for air, that she'd had a dream about her kidnapping that had left her feeling like she couldn't breathe. Hope led Ciara back inside and calmed her down, promising to make sure that her captors never hurt her again.
After Ciara fell asleep on the couch, Hope grabbed her gun -- which, according to the nameplate on the lockbox, had once belonged to Bo -- and went to the DiMera mansion. "Get your father down here. Now!" Hope shouted at Andre as she stormed into the study.
Hope commits a terrible crime
Maggie sat on the couch in the living room of the Kiriakis mansion, gazing sadly at a framed picture of Daniel. In the foyer, Caroline told Julie that Maggie had barely spoken -- and hadn't cried -- since returning from the hospital. As the women entered the living room, Maggie insisted that she needed to be alone. "Well, darling, I'm sorry, I'm just not going to go anywhere," Julie said as she and Caroline sat beside Maggie.
While Maggie was putting Daniel's photo back on a side table, Julie returned with a tray of tea. Maggie politely declined the other women's offers of tea or conversation. "Well, we'll just have to keep you company," Caroline said. Julie gently asked how Maggie's conversation with Melanie had gone. Maggie replied shakily that she'd told Melanie that Daniel had saved Brady's life. Maggie admitted with some anger that the knowledge that Daniel's heart had helped save one of his best friends should have helped her accept Daniel's death, but it hadn't.
Maggie confessed that when she'd learned Daniel was her son, she had been bitter that she had missed being with him when he'd been a baby, or a little boy, or a young man graduating from medical school -- but then she'd realized that she would get to see Daniel raise Parker. "Parker! Oh, God, Parker!" Maggie wailed. Julie and Caroline held Maggie while she cried.
Nicole was walking through the square, wearing Daniel's jacket and no makeup, when Chloe arrived with Parker. After hugging Nicole, Parker observed that Nicole was wearing his daddy's coat and asked where Daniel was. While Nicole was trying to formulate an answer, Parker spotted a friend and, after getting his mom's permission, ran off to play with him. Unable to hold back her tears any longer, Chloe apologetically told Nicole that she hadn't been able to find a way to tell Parker about his dad yet. The women embraced and wept together.
Nicole understood why Chloe hadn't been able to tell Parker yet and suggested that the two of them tell Parker together. When Parker returned, Chloe and Nicole reassured him that Daniel had loved Parker with all his heart. "What we're going to tell you is going to hurt your heart. Your daddy is in heaven with the angels now. He's gone," Chloe said with tears streaming down her cheeks. "He's watching over you now," Nicole added. Both women held Parker and cried as the news sank in.
Victor and Theresa waited at Brady's bedside for Brady to awaken after his surgery. Just as Victor was about to get a doctor to find out why it was taking so long, Brady's eyes began to open slowly. Theresa tried to remain cheerful but struggled to fight back tears as she greeted Brady, who groggily asked why he was in the hospital. Acknowledging that Brady had a lot of questions and urging his grandson to rest and stay calm, Victor explained that Brady had been in a car accident. Brady asked weakly, "Why does it feel like someone's standing on my chest?"
Victor quietly encouraged Theresa to tell Brady what had happened. Theresa informed Brady that he'd had a heart transplant -- but he was going to be fine. Brady wondered how he'd gotten a heart when other people waited years for one. Victor and Theresa remained silent. Brady guessed that Theresa and Victor were withholding information. Theresa tearfully described how scared everyone had been for Brady -- to the point where she and Victor had been getting along -- but Brady was going to be fine. She urged Brady to get some sleep.
In Eric's room, Marlena admitted to Roman that she wished she weren't a doctor, because then she wouldn't know what myocarditis was. In a strained voice, she added that the antibiotics would have already started to work if they were going to work at all. John entered Eric's room and suggested that Marlena go out to get some air, since she'd been there all night. She reluctantly agreed and left to take a walk around the block.
Roman offered John sincere thanks for offering to donate his heart to Brady so that Eric could have Daniel's heart. John said the offer had been as much for Marlena as it had been for Eric. The men both admitted they were worried about Marlena. Since John wanted to know what else Marlena might have to face, he asked, "If Eric pulls through this, he's going to be arrested, isn't he?" Roman admitted that he couldn't answer that -- and he didn't really want to talk about it, because he didn't know if he would even have a son the next day. John sincerely apologized for being inconsiderate.
Marlena returned and informed John that Brady was awake, and his prognosis was very good. After Roman left to check in with the station, John urged Marlena to head home with him, just for a little while, but Marlena refused to leave. She asked for some time alone with Eric. An understanding John left and advised Marlena that he would be with Brady. Marlena sat next to her son and took his hand in hers. Eric stirred and opened his eyes.
At the police station, Rafe read the police report about the accident. "God, Eric. Blood alcohol was through the roof. Could have killed them all. Poor parents," an upset Rafe muttered. He set that file aside and picked up the one on Dr. Seth Malcolm's murder, which held Hope's mug shot. Lani entered the room as Rafe was ending a call to his FBI buddy Tim. Rafe told Lani that not even the FBI could tell if Andre had paid Malcolm a visit in the Yucatán. Rafe was determined to prove that Malcolm and Stefano were connected.
Rafe and Lani were reviewing the case files when Roman called Rafe. Roman said they were still waiting to see how Eric responded to the drugs. "Everyone here is thinking about you," Rafe said. He told Roman that they'd started working a new angle with Hope's case because they suspected that the DiMeras were involved. Roman agreed that it made sense. As Roman ended the call, Rafe reiterated his good wishes for Eric.
A little later, Lani told Rafe that she'd learned all of Malcolm's calls had gone through the same cell tower in the lake district. Rafe noted that Stefano DiMera and Victor Kiriakis lived there. Rafe praised Lani for finding a good lead and thanked her for watching his back while internal affairs was watching him so closely. He pulled on his jacket and headed out.
Rafe went to the Brady house, and Ciara answered the door. Ciara didn't know where her mom was, but Hope had left before Ciara had awakened early that morning. Ciara added anxiously that her mom always left a note but hadn't that morning. Rafe brightly suggested that Hope had just gone out to get breakfast. As he left, he muttered, "Oh, God, Hope, what the hell are you up to?"
Relieved that her son was awake, Marlena wanted to get the doctor, but Eric stopped her. He wanted to know why he was in the hospital. Marlena described the events that had led to Eric's hospitalization as clearly and succinctly as possible. "An accident? I was drinking. Is that why?" Eric croaked. Marlena confirmed it. Eric asked if anyone else had been hurt, and Marlena answered that in the affirmative, as well. Eric was stunned to hear that Brady had needed a heart transplant but relieved that Jennifer hadn't been badly injured.
Eric asked, "And Daniel? Mom, you haven't told me anything about Daniel... Tell me Daniel's okay." Shaking her head mournfully, Marlena admitted, "I can't." Eric began to cry as he turned his head away. "I killed my best friend, didn't I?" a devastated Eric realized.
Fynn arrived to check on Brady and was pleased that Brady had awakened so quickly. Worried that Fynn would reveal too many details, Theresa advised him that they hadn't told Brady anything except that he'd gotten a new heart. Brady tried to ask Fynn a question but suddenly began gasping for air. "I don't feel good," Brady managed, explaining anxiously that his heart was beating too rapidly. Fynn listened to Brady's chest and said Brady's heart rate seemed normal. While Fynn was bent over Brady with his stethoscope, Brady whispered that he wanted to talk to Fynn alone.
Fynn urged Victor and Theresa to go home to get some sleep so Brady could rest. Theresa kissed Brady goodbye and left with Victor. "They won't tell me what happened. I need to know," Brady explained to Fynn. Fynn said he didn't want to upset Brady, but Brady wanted to know if other people had been hurt. "Yeah. Other people were hurt," Fynn admitted. He told Brady that Jennifer and Eric had been injured, but Jennifer had already been released. Remembering that he had been driving and Daniel had been in the car with him, Brady asked what had happened to Daniel.
"Is Daniel dead?" Brady asked, his eyes widening with worry. Fynn nodded. Brady blamed himself because they had turned around to retrieve something he had forgotten. "He would be alive if --" Brady began, covering his eyes with his hands, but Fynn stopped him. "Listen to me, Brady. You have to look after yourself, for his sake. For Daniel's sake." Brady finally looked at Fynn, who revealed, "Brady, the heart donor...it was Daniel." Brady broke down in sobs.
With her hands planted on Stefano's chess table, Hope demanded to see Stefano. With false concern, Andre said Hope wasn't looking well and suggested she go home. A henchman rolled Stefano into the room. "What the hell are you doing here?" Stefano demanded. Hope informed Stefano that she was there so the two of them could "have a little chat." Andre taunted Hope about her mental health, but Stefano interrupted. After ordering Andre and the minion to leave, Stefano told Andre to find Chad.
Once Hope and Stefano were alone, Hope declared that she knew what Stefano had done, but he countered that she had no proof. "Which is exactly why I'm not leaving here without a full confession," Hope hissed. Stefano snorted that Hope's continued declarations that he was bad and she was good were boring. Hope angrily recounted all of the horrible things Stefano had done to her over the years. Through clenched teeth, Hope vowed, "Bo is dead, and I know you took him from me, you son of a bitch! But this time, you are going to pay."
Stefano ordered Hope to leave before he called security. "How? We're alone, and I'm armed," Hope pointed out. Stefano growled that he hadn't done anything to Bo, who had only gotten what he'd deserved. Hope spat that Stefano had put Bo "through hell." Stefano accused Hope of being crazy, but she defiantly declared that she was finally sane. Hope expressed incredulity that Stefano had framed her for murder and kidnapped a grieving Ciara. Hope asserted that Stefano's days of doing what he wanted with no repercussions were over. "It will never be over as long as I have breath in my body," Stefano warned.
Stefano declared that Hope was a terrible cop -- and only Bo had been worse. Stefano pointed out that despite their worthless efforts, all the Bradys had ever managed to do to him was make empty threats. Hope warned, "That's yet to be seen. This time, there's going to be a different ending. That I promise." Stefano was skeptical that Hope was really armed because she was no longer a cop. "You are going to get me to confess? With what? The force of your personality?" he asked, laughing at his own joke.
To "level the playing field," Stefano pointed Hope to a drawer where she would find a loaded gun -- but he guessed she didn't have the guts to follow through on her threats. Hope just stared at Stefano while he launched into a contemptuous tirade about how ineffective she and the "ape" she'd married had always been, even though Stefano had wished for worthier adversaries.
Stefano declared maliciously, "You won't leave without a confession, is that it? Then in order to get you the hell out of my sight, I must obviously resort to flat-out lying. So -- yes, yes, I did it. All of it: Bo's questioning, your daughter's abduction, your life sentence for a murder you didn't commit -- all me. All me. So there's your confession, bogus though it is. And there is nothing that you can do with it, because you are powerless; you are defeated. You are a joke." Hope reached into her waistband, under the back of her jacket, and produced a handgun, which she leveled at Stefano.
Stefano chortled as he pushed himself up out of his wheelchair. "We both know you don't have the guts to pull that trigger," Stefano said. Hope's hands began to shake. She lowered the gun and turned away. Stefano taunted her malevolently, "Predictable to the very end. You are, at heart, a coward -- just like that banal dead husband of yours, may he rest in peace."
Screaming, Hope whirled around and shot Stefano in the chest. A shocked Stefano let out a strained guffaw, then Hope shot him again. As Stefano fell back into his chair, he knocked several of the chess pieces off the board. Even though Stefano's head lolled backwards and he let out what was clearly his final breath, Hope shot him one more time for good measure.