At the Horton cabin, Ciara scrolled through a series of mean-spirited text messages on Chase's cell phone, each addressed to Theo. Meanwhile, Chase emerged from the bathroom, wearing only a towel, and wondered if Ciara was having trouble finding his clothes. "You're the one sending these texts to Theo? What the hell is wrong with you, man?" Ciara angrily replied before throwing Chase's cell phone at him and storming off.
Later, Hope and Rafe returned to the cabin with the fish they had managed to catch. After realizing that they were both terrible cooks, Hope and Rafe called out to Ciara and Chase for help. When the teens didn't respond right away, Rafe searched the cabin and was alarmed to discover that they were both gone. Hope started to panic, fearing that Andre had followed her to Smith Island, but Ciara soon returned and explained that, roughly thirty minutes earlier, she and Chase had gotten into a fight because she had figured out that he was the one who had been bullying Theo.
Rafe rushed off to look for Chase, believing that he couldn't have gotten far in such a short amount of time. Meanwhile, Hope wondered if Ciara knew why Chase had targeted Theo. Ciara feared that Chase had developed a crush on her and was therefore jealous of her close relationship with Theo. Ciara thought that made her indirectly responsible for the bullying, but Hope insisted that Ciara couldn't blame herself.
Rafe soon returned and reported that he had been unable to locate Chase. Concerned that Chase might not be able to survive a night outdoors in the middle of winter, Hope and Rafe decided to get the rest of the police department involved so they would have a better chance of finding the teen before sunset. Rafe contacted the police department then headed off to join the search. A short time later, Ciara received a text message from Chase -- "Ciara, I'm really sorry. I can't even explain... I hate what I did to Theo even more than u must hate me. But u won't have to worry about me hurting u -- or anyone -- anymore. Bc this is goodbye."
Fearing the worst, Hope told Ciara to call Chase immediately. Chase didn't answer at first, but Ciara kept trying, and he eventually took her call. Ciara urged Chase to return to the cabin, assuring him that she was no longer upset -- and that Theo would be able to forgive him for what he had done. "I can't forgive myself," Chase replied. Ciara reminded Chase that they had managed to get past the fact that she had once bullied him, and she insisted that they could find a way to get past what he had done to Theo, too. Ciara wondered where Chase was. "Home," Chase revealed, and he reluctantly agreed to stay there and wait for Ciara.
Philip passed through a secluded section of the town square while on the phone with Deimos, who ordered him to immediately hand over the formula for the serum that had been used on Caroline. "I'm a very patient man, Philip. I've waited thirty years to destroy your father. Now, if you continue to disappoint me, I'll be happy to put that plan on hold a bit longer [and instead] turn my attention on destroying my brother's son," Deimos warned before ending the call.
Belle soon ran into Philip and guessed that something was bothering him. Philip denied the suspicion, but Belle could tell that he was lying, and she wondered if she was the cause of his distress. "Belle, the sun does not rise and set on that fair head," Philip replied, and as Belle started to respond that she was aware of that fact, he added that he wouldn't try to change her mind if she decided to give her marriage another shot. Belle claimed that she didn't know what she wanted, but Philip found that hard to believe because the Belle he had known had always had a plan. "You broke my heart before. You're not gonna do it again," Philip stressed.
Belle said she cared about Philip and had enjoyed her time with him in Las Vegas. "But Shawn is saying that he wants to try to work things out. I feel like I owe it to him -- and to Claire -- to try and see if my marriage is actually over," Belle added. Belle continued that she needed Claire to know that she had at least tried to keep their family together. Philip advised that Belle couldn't sacrifice her happiness for Claire's, especially since Claire was just a few years away from heading off to college. "I know she's growing up, and she needs me less and less, but right now, this is what I have to do," Belle maintained.
Belle steered the conversation back to Philip's problem, and when he realized that she wasn't going to let the matter go, he handed her some cash and told her to consider it an advance on her retainer -- meaning that anything he told her from then on would be privileged information. Belle pointed out that Philip could just confide in her as a friend instead, but he feared that she might not want to continue being his friend after he told her about the mess that he had gotten himself into. Philip proceeded to tell Belle about Deimos, who wanted to destroy Victor -- and was forcing Philip to help him achieve that goal.
Belle wondered what Deimos had on Philip. "I had a fling with this girl," Philip began, prompting Belle to chuckle and muse that she should have known that the story would involve a girl. "She was a lot of fun. Always knew where to find a party. But one night...she ODed in my hotel room. By the time I found her..." Philip continued, and as his voice trailed off, Belle realized that he had found the girl dead. Confirming the suspicion, Philip explained that it had been too late to call 9-1-1 at that point. "[And] her father was a Chicago police captain. If she was found with me, I knew I'd fry. [So] I had a friend help me move her into another room," Philip added.
Philip explained that the girl's father had never found out that she had actually died in his hotel room -- but Deimos had been watching him in the hope of eventually obtaining evidence that could be used to blackmail him into betraying Victor. Philip insisted that he couldn't do that to his own father, even if they didn't always see eye-to-eye on business matters. Philip feared, however, that he wouldn't be able to stall Deimos much longer.
Belle suggested that Philip could tell Victor everything, but Philip feared that Deimos would ruin his life if he did that -- and Victor would also likely hate him for the mistake he had made. Philip mused that his best bet would probably be to dig up something he could use to turn the tables on Deimos. To Philip's surprise, Belle agreed, and she advised him to turn to John for help. Philip started to protest, but Belle interrupted. "He would do anything for Victor, and you can trust him with your life," Belle assured Philip.
Victor and Maggie went to the town square to visit Daniel's makeshift memorial, which had grown even larger than the last time they had been there. Maggie wanted to talk to one of the people who had just left something at the memorial, so Victor promised to wait for her to return. After Maggie left, Deimos approached Victor from behind and mused that Victor had already lost a son and a godson recently. "One could only hope that you don't suffer any more [losses]," Deimos cryptically added.
Deimos observed that Victor's earlier chest pains obviously hadn't been worth worrying about, prompting Victor to counter that Deimos hadn't been worried, anyway. Deimos claimed that he might have been worried if Victor had been a better actor. "Or not," Victor guessed. Victor added that Deimos' lack of concern had proven that he had never really been interested in a reconciliation in the first place. Victor turned to leave after concluding that he and Deimos had nothing more to discuss. "Don't you turn your back on me. You did it thirty years ago, and that's why we're here today," Deimos snapped.
Victor wondered what Deimos was really after. "The one thing you and I share in common is that we always settle our scores, and I'm gonna settle mine with you by taking everything that's yours," Deimos replied. Victor countered that Deimos had already tried that once, but Deimos insisted that Victor couldn't blame him for what had happened to Helena. "You know, it's so ironic -- you always spoke about how family always comes first, but after what you did to Titus, and Alexandros, and me, you don't deserve loyalty from anyone. You're not gonna know the hour or the minute when retribution comes, my brother, but I promise you, it's coming," Deimos added.
"You know, your life's ambition has always been to best me. And you were an utter failure, always ending up put in your place. For thirty years, that was a cage. And now, if it's a coffin...so be it," Victor mused. "And that goes doubly for you," Deimos replied. As Victor and Deimos glared at each other, Maggie returned and wondered what was going on. Deimos politely extended his condolences to Maggie then turned to face Victor again as he mused that one could never be too prepared for the sudden loss of a loved one. After Deimos left, Maggie looked to Victor for an explanation, but he told her to forget about Deimos and focus on remembering Daniel.
At John and Marlena's townhouse, Claire sang a song for Eve, who wasn't completely satisfied with the performance because she suspected that Claire was holding back. Frustrated, Claire complained that Eve had given her the same feedback the last five times she had performed the song. Claire insisted that it would be impossible for her to compete with the other girls at the Juilliard auditions because she was years behind them in terms of training, but Eve disagreed, assuring Claire that she had more natural talent than her competition and only needed to work on building her confidence and allowing herself to bare her soul during her performances.
Claire's next performance made Eve cry, and Eve assured Claire that if she sang like that during the audition, Juilliard's panel of judges would be begging her to join their music program. Later, as they prepared to part ways in the town square, Claire thanked Eve for stopping her from giving up on herself. Eve said it would have been a shame if Claire had done that, and Claire agreed, adding that she didn't want to be like the people around her who were quick to give up on things. Claire thanked Eve for believing in her, and as they shared a warm embrace, Belle turned a corner and spotted them.
At the Johnson house, Joey joined Steve in the living room, where Ava was asleep on the couch. Joey admonished himself for having been stupid enough to fall for Ava's lies, fearing that he was somewhat responsible for the dangerous situation that Kayla was herself in, but Steve urged him not to waste time focusing on regrets. Steve promised his son that he was going to find Kayla and get her back home safely -- then make Ava answer for everything she had done to their family.
When Ava awoke later that morning, Steve told her that he had sent Joey out for a while so they could talk privately. Ava suggested that Steve might first want to let her go take care of Kayla, who had been without food and water for quite a while. Steve wanted to go with Ava, but she refused to let that happen, and he refused to let her out of his sight for a single second. "I guess we have a bit of a problem then," Ava mused with a mischievous grin. Ava warned that Kayla might die during the stalemate, but Steve suspected that Kayla wasn't in any real danger yet.
Steve revealed that he had gotten a lead from an ISA contact earlier. After Ava confirmed that her father had owned a compound somewhere near Kansas City, Steve explained that a guy in that area had been convicted of sending black-market babies to Indonesia around the same time that Ava's son had been born. Ava warned Steve that it would take more than that to get her to reveal Kayla's whereabouts. Steve said he was prepared to make a deal with Ava, who hoped, for Kayla's sake, that it was a good one.
"If you let [Kayla] go, I promise you I will go with you to look for our son. I'll walk away from Kayla and Joe, if that's what you want. Anything to keep them safe. You free Kayla, and I'm yours," Steve explained as he released Ava from her handcuffs. Ava suspected that there had to be a catch, but Steve insisted that he was being sincere -- and that he would hold up his end of the bargain because he had grown up in an orphanage and didn't want to see any child grow up without a mother -- even if he turned out not to be the child's father.
"Ava, I'm offering you everything you want. I'll go with you. And I know how bad you want your child. Isn't the reward worth the risk?" Steve reasoned. Ava confirmed that nothing was more important to her than finding her son. Ava added, however, that there was nothing that Steve could do to convince her that he could be trusted. Conceding that words were pretty meaningless on their own, Steve promised to show Ava, with actions, that he could be trusted -- and he proceeded to kiss her.
Kayla awoke and found herself trapped in a small room. A snake had been painted on one of the walls -- and it was identical to the one that had been tattooed on Ava's back. Kayla cried out for help, but no one responded.
Joey catches Steve and Ava kissing
At the police station, Shawn talked to Roman about a job. Shawn explained that he was moving back to Salem. After checking with the Salem CSI, Roman told Shawn that he was hired. Elated, Shawn thanked Roman for his help. Roman stressed that Shawn was hired based on his credentials and not because of nepotism.
After a shopping trip, Claire thanked Eve for all her help in preparing for her Juilliard audition. As Claire hugged Eve in the park, Belle stopped as she walked by and watched her daughter talk to Eve. Eve thanked Claire for letting her be a part of her audition. When Claire asked if Eve could join her in New York for the audition, a thrilled Eve agreed and suggested that they catch a Broadway show while they were there.
After Claire walked away, Belle warned Eve to stop overstepping her boundaries with Claire. Eve explained that she was helping Claire prepare for her audition. Belle countered that she would find a new vocal coach. When Eve argued that it would be difficult to replace her as Claire's vocal coach, Belle scoffed. Belle remarked that Eve was no longer a singer and was of no use to Claire. Eve asked why Belle wanted to separate Claire from her.
Belle accused Eve of using Claire as a surrogate daughter to deal with the loss of Paige. With a sigh, Eve stressed that she did not want to take Claire away from Belle. Eve added that Belle could not blame her if Claire felt neglected by her mother. When Belle growled, Eve said that Claire had said that she had felt neglected. Furious, Belle argued that Eve was not fit to work with teenagers after she had slept with Paige's boyfriend.
"I learned, the hardest way possible, that blaming other people for your failings as a mother will only push your daughter further away from you. And I hope that you never, ever have to have the kind of regrets that I do," Eve said. As Eve walked away, Claire walked into the clearing. Claire asked Belle why she did not want Claire to go to New York with Eve. Belle said that she supported Claire. When Belle suggested that they find a new vocal coach, Claire asked why Belle did not like Eve.
Belle explained that she and Shawn did not believe that Eve should be involved in Claire's personal life. Claire said Eve was not. When Claire noted that Belle and Shawn had agreed on something, Belle shrugged and said that they wanted what was best for Claire. Belle stressed that Claire should not get her hopes up. With a smile, Claire said that Shawn had told her that he regretted filing for divorce and that he wanted to reconcile with Belle. With a sigh, Belle said she was not sure that she wanted to reconcile with Shawn. Claire blamed Belle for tearing apart their family. Furious, Claire stormed off.
In Eduardo's hotel room, Vadim broke in and started to frantically look around the room. As Vadim turned to leave, Eduardo jumped out of hiding and knocked him unconscious. Kate knocked on the hotel door as Eduardo tied up his assailant. When Kate called out to Eduardo, he stuck a gun to the back of Vadim's head as a warning to be quiet. Eduardo asked Kate to give him a second. Eduardo threw on a bathrobe then opened the door to his room a crack so that he could talk to Kate. Kate invited Eduardo to join her for a drink, and he told her he would meet her at Club TBD. Smiling, Kate said she would see him there.
Once Kate left, Eduardo turned his attention to Vadim. Eduardo growled that "the student had become the master." Vadim said that it would be best if Eduardo killed him. Shaking his head, Eduardo suggested that Vadim run away. Eduardo added that if Vadim hurt John or him -- or their families -- Eduardo would kill Vadim. Vadim promised never to return. Eduardo untied Vadim. Reluctantly, Vadim left. Eduardo returned his gun to its case and placed it under the bed. Eduardo then texted John to tell him that the threat against them had been neutralized.
In Theresa's living room, Theresa and Nicole discussed plans for exiting Basic Black. Theresa asked Nicole for flexibility so that she could work from home in order to take care of both Tate and Brady. When Nicole mentioned that Daniel would have agreed, Nicole's voice faltered. Theresa apologized for pushing Nicole to work, but Nicole said she was thankful to be out of her apartment and focusing on something other than Daniel. When Nicole asked if they should talk to Brady about their plans to leave Basic Black, Theresa shot down the suggestion.
Theresa said she was not comfortable asking Brady to bankroll her startup company with Nicole. Theresa explained that she was worried that Brady might never work again and that she did not want to stress Brady out. When Nicole asked for suggestions, Theresa suggested that they use the money from Kate's buyout to form their new company. Theresa added that loans were an option as well. When Theresa said that recent events had shown her that there was a lot to lose, she faltered and looked at Nicole.
"You're worried about Brady. I am too. And it's comforting to know that Daniel's heart is still beating in his chest. And if anything ever happened to him, honestly, I think I would die," Nicole said. As Brady entered the living room, he overheard Nicole. Theresa jumped to her feet to check on Brady. Brady said he felt fine. When Brady noted that they were working, Nicole said she was thankful for the distraction. Nicole told Brady that he looked great. Chuckling, Brady said he was feeling better.
When Brady asked about Kate, the two women grew quiet. Brady asked what was going on. Nicole explained that she and Theresa were hoping to sell their shares of Basic Black to Kate. Worried, Brady asked Theresa if she was willing to give up her dream. Theresa explained that they were going to start their own company. When Theresa mentioned that the new company did not even have a name yet, Nicole suggested that they call their company "DJ Wear." Brady said the name was perfect.
Brady said he was happy to see Theresa and Nicole getting along so well. With a devilish grin, Nicole said that she and Theresa had been having an argument. Nicole explained that she wanted to ask Brady about an investment but that Theresa had disagreed. Brady said he would invest as a partner if a percentage of the proceeds were earmarked for one of Daniel's favorite charities. Nicole happily accepted the condition.
The ladies made a quick phone call to Kate, asking her to meet them for five minutes, and Kate arrived at Theresa's apartment. Nicole said she had no patience to deal with Kate's negativity, and Theresa added that she did not want to design clothes for someone that was not interested. Confused, Kate asked them if they were quitting. Nicole said she wanted Kate to buy out their shares. Nicole handed Kate an offer on a slip of paper. With a nod, Kate agreed to the price and promised to have the money for them soon.
In the town square, an emotional Eve walked past Eduardo. When Eduardo called out to her, Eve gruffly said hello. Sensing that Eve was upset, Eduardo noted that the school was getting positive feedback. Eduardo then asked Eve what was wrong. Overcome, Eve asked Eduardo why he had never been around when they had been married but suddenly he was always checking in on her. When Eduardo asked for details about Eve's troubles, Eve reluctantly opened up. Eve talked about her situation with Claire and Belle. With a sigh, Eve added that Belle was behaving the way Eve had behaved with Paige. Eduardo cautioned Eve not live in the past but to learn from it.
"Even if things don't work out with Claire, you got to remember that you're doing a lot of good. She is not the only kid in the program that you're helping. I mean, Paige would be really proud of you. And she definitely wouldn't want you to give up," Eduardo said. Eve thanked Eduardo. Eve then snuggled close to Eduardo and put her head on his shoulder.
In the park, Shawn saw Belle sitting on the bench and approached her. Belle said she was thinking about Claire's trip to New York. When Shawn reminded Belle of their first trip with Claire to New York, the two smiled over the memory. Shawn reminded Belle that she would always be Claire's mother. With a groan, Belle complained that Eve was closer to Claire than Belle was. Shawn gossiped that Eve would not be at the music school for very long because he had heard from Kim that Eve was difficult to work with.
"We're always the hardest on the people we love the most. It's because we always assume that they're always gonna be there. Always," Shawn said. Emotional, Belle got up to leave, and she lost her balance. Shawn caught Belle. Nervously, Belle looked up into Shawn's eyes. When Shawn leaned in for a kiss, Belle pulled back and said she was not ready. Belle added that she appreciated what Shawn had said, but she was not ready to reconcile.
After Shawn walked away, Belle's phone rang with a call from Philip. Philip asked Belle to meet him for a drink. Belle looked in the direction that Shawn had left then agreed to meet Philip.
In the town square, Claire met up with Eve again. When Claire asked Eve if Belle had given her a hard time, Eve asked what Claire meant. Claire explained that Belle had urged her to get a new vocal coach. As Eve stared in silence, Claire hurriedly assured Eve that she had told her mother no. When Eve asked if Belle was okay with Claire's decision, Claire shrugged and noted that Belle did not have time to be upset.
"You are her only daughter, you are her world. Letting go is so very, very hard," Eve said. When Eve asked if Claire still intended to go to the audition, Claire said she was going to New York no matter what.
At Club TBD, Eduardo met up with Kate. Eduardo noted the Champagne and asked what they were celebrating. Kate explained that she was her own boss again. Kate toasted to herself. With a nod, Eduardo clinked glasses with Kate.
At Theresa's apartment, an excited Theresa suggested a toast then apologized to Nicole for being insensitive. Nicole hushed Theresa and told her that Daniel would want her to celebrate. With a grin, Theresa and Nicole toasted to better days ahead. In his bedroom down the hall, Brady dreamed of Daniel's beach in Malibu. In the dream, a woman with long hair sat on the sand. Brady awoke with a start.
At Steve and Kayla's house, Ava said she did not trust anything Steve said. Nodding, Steve kissed Ava. Steve asked Ava to let Kayla go so that he and Ava could work together to find their son. Ava narrowed her eyes in suspicion. Ava asked Steve if he believed that she was so desperate that she would believe Steve could go from hating her to wanting her. When Ava argued that Steve was only interested in finding Kayla, Steve countered that his son and Ava were family.
"Well then, I should be able to ask for more than one half-assed kiss. That did not earn my trust. There's only one thing you could do now that would," Ava said. When Steve asked what Ava wanted, she ordered Steve to make love to her, and only then would she tell Steve where to find Kayla. After hesitating, Steve agreed but said he would not have sex in a place where Joey could find them. Rolling her eyes, Ava said she would not release Kayla until Steve met her demands. Ava added that after Kayla was freed, she would tell Kayla that she and Steve had made love unless Steve helped her find their son.
Thinking over his options, Steve kissed Ava and the two fell back onto a chair. As Ava started to pull Steve's shirt off, Joey returned home. Joey cried out in surprise. Steve scrambled to his feet while Ava grinned from ear to ear. Disgusted, Joey ran out of the house. Ava told Steve to let Joey go. As Ava pulled Steve back into a kiss, Steve wrapped his hands around her throat and choked her. Steve demanded that Ava tell him where to find Kayla. Gasping, Ava said she was already dead, but if Steve choked her, Kayla would die too. Steve released his grip.
"I can't stand the sight of you!" Steve spat out. Ava said she had a new offer. Ava told Steve to accompany her to Indonesia, and once there, she would call Joey and tell him where to find Kayla.
In a nondescript, barren room, Kayla looked around for escape. Kayla dropped to her knees and worked to unscrew the air duct grate from the wall. With no way out, Kayla screamed for help. Panicked, Kayla hyperventilated and passed out.
Hope makes Chase apologize to Theo
Lucas and Jennifer accompanied Eric to an A.A. meeting held at the hospital. As Jennifer started to sit next to Eric in the back of the room, she suddenly grasped her back and groaned in pain. While Eric helped her to her feet, Jennifer explained to Lucas that she had pain pills for it, but she didn't want to take them.
When Eric and Lucas left to get coffee for the three of them, Jennifer headed to the front of the room for some water with which to take a pain pill. Eric returned and saw what Jennifer was doing but didn't let her know he was there. Soon Lucas started the meeting. He introduced Eric and asked if Eric wanted to say anything. Eric muttered, "I can't do this. I'm sorry," as he got up and hurried out the door.
Eric stalked through Horton Square with Jennifer and Lucas close behind. Eric expressed skepticism that A.A. could help him, but the others asserted that Eric couldn't fight his addiction on his own. "You don't know what I can and cannot handle!" Eric snapped. Lucas gently stated that Eric thinking he could get sober on his own was just arrogance, and Lucas had never thought of Eric as arrogant. Lucas promised that he would be there whenever Eric needed him, and he suggested that Eric could go to a meeting on the other side of town if it made him uncomfortable to see people he knew.
After Lucas left, Eric accused Jennifer of being a hypocrite because she'd taken a pain pill, but only after he and Lucas had left the room. Jennifer pointed out that it was prescribed medication, but Eric maintained that she was abusing it. "I take those pills because I'm in pain -- because I am in physical pain -- and the reason I'm in pain...was because I injured my back in a car accident, which you caused when you were dead drunk behind the wheel!" Jennifer fumed.
Eric apologized for taking out his pain on Jennifer. She urged him to let that go but not to give up on getting help. Eric promised to attend another meeting. Quoting the A.A. mantra as she left, Jennifer reminded Eric to take things one day at a time.
Chad met with Justin and Adrienne at Club TBD to discuss selling his interest in the club to Sonny. Chad explained that he needed to pay the back property taxes on the DiMera mansion so he could buy it and live there with Abigail and the baby. "I think that's a truly terrible idea," Adrienne declared. Chad informed Adrienne and Justin that neither Stefano nor Andre would be living there by the time Abigail and Chad moved in. Returning to the original topic, Adrienne promised to speak to Sonny about buying Chad out.
During a visit to the Horton house, a grinning Theo remarked to Abigail that "nonno" had to love his new grandson, Thomas. Abigail gently broke the news to Theo that Stefano had moved to Europe and hadn't met Thomas. Theo was upset because Stefano hadn't said goodbye to him. As Abigail was trying to reassure Theo, J.J. walked in and overheard Abigail say she and Chad were buying the mansion to live in. "You're moving into Stefano's place? Are you nuts?" J.J. demanded.
Abigail walked Theo to the door and assured him that he could visit nonno's house any time he wanted. J.J. joked sardonically about the mansion, "When Thomas gets a little bigger, he can play Dungeons & Dragons, but in a real dungeon." J.J. reminded Abigail that Chad wanted to cut all ties to the DiMeras. Abigail informed her brother that there would be no other DiMeras in the house because Stefano had left town, and Chad was going to throw Andre out. J.J. didn't buy it, but Abigail warned him that he wouldn't be welcome there if he didn't change his attitude.
J.J. asserted that Abigail shouldn't be making a big decision like getting married after everything she'd been through over the previous year. Abigail called J.J. an ass, but he countered, "An ass who loves you and is on your side. Look at all the things Chad and his family have done to you!" Abigail quietly insisted that Chad's bad behavior was in the past. "Every single DiMera, at one time or another, has proclaimed that they've turned over a new leaf, and every single time, it has been a lie... He's a DiMera, Abs, and that is pretty much the same thing as being cursed," J.J. contended before leaving the room.
Eric went to Club TBD and ordered a whiskey. He pondered the liquid in the glass for a long moment and urged himself, "Don't do this. Be strong." J.J. watched from the back of the room as Eric shoved the glass across the bar without taking a sip. Placing some money on the bar, Eric mumbled to the bartender that he wasn't in the mood for a drink, after all.
At the DiMera mansion, as Andre ran his fingers over the barrel of a Colt pistol, he speculated, "So, you took your husband's gun, and you used it to kill my father. Oh, you will pay, Hope. Oh, you will pay dearly." He placed the gun in a wooden box, inlaid with a phoenix, just as Harold rapped on the door and entered the room. "Sir, I'm sorry to tell you that two Treasury agents have just served an eviction notice." Andre laughed and quipped that he felt like Little Nell.
Harold continued gravely, "They said, sir, that if the back taxes weren't paid before Friday...they would escort any occupants off the property and seize the contents of the house." Harold left. Although Andre was furious with Stefano for letting the tax payments lapse, Andre was really only concerned with avenging his father's murder. Andre left a voicemail for Chad, chiding him for dodging Andre's calls and urging Chad, "I need you to come to the mansion now. It's imperative that we talk."
Groaning, Andre gingerly peeled back the bloody bandage on his face and revealed a row of butterfly closures underneath. He got a phone call, letting him know that Hope and the others had returned from Smith Island. "Now, let's see how we start the dance of death," Andre purred to his reflection.
Chad got Andre's message and headed toward the DiMera mansion, but Andre was no longer there. Just as Harold entered the study, Chad found Andre's discarded bandage and asked Harold if Andre had been hurt. "Mister DiMera explicitly told me not to give any information to anyone about his condition, sir," Harold replied. Chad was puzzled and annoyed that Andre had left after ordering Chad to meet him there immediately. Chad asked if Harold had heard from Stefano. "No, sir. I don't understand anything, sir," Harold admitted on his way out.
Chad arrived at the Horton house and tiptoed over to the crib to look in on a sleeping Thomas. Chad informed Abigail that he was close to having enough money for the down payment on the house. Abigail reacted with reluctance, so Chad assured her that they wouldn't move forward with it unless it were a completely mutual decision. He added that when he'd been there earlier, he'd tried to see it through Abigail's eyes -- and he'd realized that although it was in dire need of redecorating, it was a good house that they could make their own.
Beginning her sentence as if she were truly unenthusiastic, Abigail said, "To be honest, it is a little hard for me to pass up the chance of throwing Andre out of the house." She added that she needed Chad to be completely sure about severing ties with his family. "Stefano and Andre will not be welcome in our home -- ever," Chad promised. Grinning, Abigail said that if it were really what Chad wanted, she wanted it, too.
"Let's seal the deal," Chad declared, taking an engagement ring from his pocket and getting down on one knee. Stammering, a thrilled Abigail said "yes." As Chad slipped the ring -- featuring an enormous diamond -- on her finger, Abigail pronounced it gorgeous and perfect. Chad stood up, and they shared a long, ecstatic kiss.
Jennifer arrived home and paused outside the front door to gaze contemplatively at the bottle of pain pills in her purse. After a moment, she unlocked the door and went inside.
Chase was sitting alone in the dark at the Brady house when Hope, Rafe, and Ciara burst through the front door, worriedly calling Chase's name. Hope hugged Chase with great relief but admonished him for running off without telling anyone. Rafe reminded Chase that Hope had been working on a dangerous case, and there were people who might want to hurt her or the people she was close to. Ciara irritably backed up what Rafe had said. Hope informed Ciara and Chase that there would be guards posted at the house and following the kids -- so the teens weren't allowed to go anywhere without notifying someone.
Hope wanted to know about the cruel text messages that Chase had sent to Theo. Ashamed, Chase admitted that even he didn't know why he'd sent them. Assuming that the Bradys wouldn't want him to live there anymore, Chase started to head upstairs to pack. Hope sincerely reassured Chase that she didn't want that because he was part of the family -- but since their family always had to make things right when they made mistakes, it meant that Chase had to apologize to Theo.
While Hope and Rafe unloaded the car, Chase hesitantly asked Ciara if she really forgave him, as she'd said on the phone. Ciara said she couldn't forgive Chase until he told her why he'd been so cruel to someone as sweet and kind as Theo. With tears in his eyes, Chase admitted that he'd seen how close Ciara and Theo were, and Chase hadn't wanted to lose Ciara. Ciara asserted that she and Theo had known each other their whole lives and would always be friends. "And because of that, you decided to make fun of him because he's autistic?" Ciara demanded incredulously.
Chase confessed that the day they'd decorated the Christmas tree in the square, he'd felt alone and angry because Ciara had practically ignored him after Theo had shown up. Chase acknowledged that what he'd done had been really wrong, and he didn't know how Ciara would be able to forgive him when he couldn't forgive himself. "I'm just like my dad! I'm no good!" Chase declared miserably. Ciara apologized if she'd ignored Chase -- but he shouldn't have taken it out on Theo.
A glum Chase said he wanted to make it up to Ciara, but she asserted that he needed to make it up to Theo. Ciara offered to go with Chase when he apologized to Theo. Rafe and Hope returned as Ciara and Chase were leaving, so Hope alerted the guards that the kids were going to the square.
Theo met Ciara and Chase in the square and asked why they'd wanted to see him. Chase shamefacedly confessed that he'd sent the text messages to Theo and had left the note in Theo's locker. "I'm really sorry, Theo. It was an absolute crap thing to do," Chase said earnestly. He explained that he'd been jealous of Theo and Ciara's closeness. Theo blew up at Chase, declaring, "I've always known I've been different, and those texts, they made that worse! Just so you know, no one's ever been that mean to me before!"
Chase tearfully reiterated that he was sorry and hadn't meant the things he'd said. Theo continued lashing out at Chase, who agreed that he was a loser and had done an awful thing. "I hope maybe, at some point, you can try to forgive me," Chase added. Theo asserted that would never happen.
While Chase sat on a bench, an emotional Ciara offered her own apology to Theo. She threw her arms around Theo and encouraged him to forgive Chase so Theo could move on. Theo agreed to think about it. He thanked Ciara for being a good friend. After Theo left, Ciara turned toward the bench, but Chase had gone.
Hope anxiously admitted to Rafe, "I hate living like this. I hate that my kids have to live like this. Maybe I should just get the hell out of town -- for good." Rafe didn't think running away was a good idea, and besides, they could beat Andre just as she had beaten Stefano. "I beat him by breaking the law," Hope reminded Rafe. Rafe argued that she had simply snapped after Stefano had pushed her to the breaking point. "You're not in this alone, you know. I'm here. We're in this together," Rafe softly reassured Hope.
Hope expressed her gratitude to Rafe for helping her get through everything, although she admitted she felt as if she were failing Ciara and Chase. Rafe urged Hope to stop beating herself up, reminding her that she was the reason that Chase had a home and was going to talk to Theo. Rafe declared that Hope would feel better after she had something to eat. He headed into the kitchen to cook the fish he'd caught and ordered Hope to get some wine. Hope playfully called Rafe smug for suddenly claiming that he was a great cook, but she followed him into the kitchen anyway.
Rafe and Hope returned to the living room after dinner, each carrying a glass of wine, and Hope praised Rafe's surprisingly edible cooking. Hope got a message from a guard, letting her know that the kids had made it safely to the square. Rafe suggested that Hope should have a guard, too. She reminded Rafe that she was a cop -- and she didn't need anyone to take care of her.
Hope said she wanted to light a fire, but she and Rafe rose to do so at the same time, knocking into each other and spilling wine all over Rafe's shirt. They laughed, but as Hope brushed Rafe's shirt as if to brush off the wine, her hands lingered on his chest. After a long, awkward moment, Hope offered to wash Rafe's shirt. He declined, maintaining that he should leave because it was late, but he urged Hope to call if she needed anything. After Hope let Rafe out, she leaned against the door and let out a flustered sigh.
Hope turned off the lights and switched on the TV then she got comfortable on the couch as the blue light flickered over her face. Andre arrived outside the living room window and peered in at Hope with a malevolent smirk.
Ava forces Steve's hand.
While passing through Horton Town Square, Paul and Gabi discussed the photo shoot they had just completed. Paul thought it had gone well, but he could tell that Gabi was less enthusiastic about it.
Paul guessed that modeling was "just a job" to Gabi. Gabi confirmed that, while modeling was definitely better than working in the prison laundry room, she wasn't particularly thrilled about the unpredictable schedule because she believed that Arianna needed to be able to rely on a stable routine. Gabi added that she would, of course, like to have more time for other things, as well. "Gosh, I wonder what you mean by that?" Paul knowingly replied.
At the police station, J.J. ran into Lani while returning a book that Rafe had loaned him. J.J. admitted that the book had been instrumental in helping him prepare for the police academy's forensics exam, which had been pretty brutal. Lani wasn't convinced that J.J. had really needed the book to do well on the exam, since she had heard that he had aced it -- along with all the other exams. "You got people's attention," Lani added.
Knowing that J.J.'s graduation ceremony was scheduled for the following day, Lani warned him not to trip on his way to the podium to accept his badge. Lani also hinted that J.J.'s first week on the job might be pretty tough because no one liked to make things easy for rookies, but he puffed out his chest and teasingly replied that he was more worried about her, since she might not be able to handle having him as competition.
When J.J. returned home, he found Gabi waiting for him outside. J.J. wanted to know how Gabi's photo shoot had gone, but she was more interested in talking about his impending graduation from the police academy. J.J. couldn't believe that it was really about to happen, but Gabi told him to start believing it because he had worked really hard and deserved to savor the moment.
As Gabi followed J.J. into the Horton house, she noticed that he was favoring his left shoulder. J.J. tried to brush off the injury at first, but when Gabi pressed him for details, he admitted that his earlier self-defense class had gotten pretty intense. Gabi started massaging J.J.'s shoulder, and he confirmed that she was making it feel much better.
As Paul exited one of the town square's shops, a man called out to him. "You're that, uh, gay baseball player," the man observed as he shook Paul's hand. "Not anymore," Paul replied. Confused, the man wondered if Paul was saying that he was no longer gay. Paul clarified that he no longer played baseball professionally. "So, if you're still gay, what were you doing with that girl [earlier]?" the man asked.
"That was a girl?" Paul sarcastically replied. Oblivious, the man confirmed that he was positive that Gabi was a girl because he worked at the prison and had seen proof there. "Man, she was hot in that orange jumpsuit, but now? Wow. She could be a model," the man added. Paul revealed that Gabi was a model -- and was also his friend. "But...you're gay," the man reminded Paul.
"You know, you keep pointing that out. It's amazing, isn't it? I mean, things are really changing for us; not only can we get married, but we can be friends with girls! It's a brave new world out there. And Gabi -- I mean, she's got a ton of gay friends, but...she probably got permission. Crazy, huh?" Paul countered before walking away.
Later, J.J. took Gabi to the town square for some frozen yogurt. J.J. received a phone call while he was telling Gabi that, thanks to a comment that Lani had made earlier, he suddenly couldn't stop thinking about the possibility of tripping in front of everyone at the graduation ceremony. After J.J. stepped aside to answer the call, the prison guard approached Gabi from behind and whispered in her ear, "Hernandez! Fire on the line!"
Gabi jumped and turned to face the man, who wondered if she remembered him. "Hard to forget," Gabi uncomfortably confirmed. The man observed that Gabi looked good in her street clothes, but he added that she had always looked pretty sweet to him, regardless. Gabi turned to leave, stressing that she didn't want to talk to the man. "Hey! What's with the attitude? I always looked out for you. You too good to talk to an old friend?" the man demanded to know.
"She said she doesn't want to," J.J. replied as he rejoined Gabi. Unimpressed, the man observed that it seemed like another one of Gabi's "friends" had arrived, just in time to protect her. "Looking for your boyfriend? He just left. Why don't you go look for him, and leave us alone?" the man advised J.J.
The man reached for Gabi's hand as he offered to buy her a drink, but she declined and told him not to touch her. Undeterred, the man continued reaching for Gabi's hand while assuring her that he knew of a really nice place they could go to. As Gabi once again told the man not to touch her, J.J. grabbed the man's arm and twisted it behind the man's back. "You just made a big mistake. I'm a corrections officer!" the man warned J.J. "And I'm a cop. And cops don't like men who disrespect women, so get out of here before I drag you in," J.J. countered before releasing the man with a shove.
After the man left, J.J. wondered if Gabi was okay. Although Gabi claimed that she was, she sighed as she added that every time she started to forget about what she had done in the past, something always ended up happening to force her back to reality. J.J. understood because he had done some pretty bad things when he had first arrived in Salem -- and, in his case, there hadn't been a catalyst, like Nick, pushing him to do them.
"We keep talking about these weird things we have in common. Well, here's another one: we both need to focus on the present and the future, and we both need to get over our pasts," J.J. reasoned. Gabi didn't think that was the easiest advice in the world to follow, and J.J. agreed but added that it was easier to follow that advice when there was something -- or someone -- that made the present more enjoyable.
Later, J.J. pointed out that if Gabi planned to continue modeling, she would unfortunately experience more harassment in the future. J.J. offered to teach Gabi some of the things he had learned in his self-defense class so she would be more prepared to protect herself the next time some "creep" started bothering her. Gabi accepted the offer but was surprised when J.J. wanted to start the first lesson right away.
J.J. reached for Gabi's arm, the same way the prison guard had earlier, and told her how she could counter the attack. Gabi grabbed J.J.'s arm as instructed but forgot to push him away, leaving them inches apart from each other. J.J. leaned in and gave Gabi a kiss then quickly pulled away and apologized, stressing that he hadn't meant to make a move on her while teaching her how to defend herself.
Gabi assured J.J. that she hadn't minded the kiss. J.J. admitted that he had liked it, too, but he reminded Gabi that they had previously established that they were both trying to avoid complications at that time. "Another thing we have in common," Gabi pointed out. Nodding, J.J. said he didn't want to push too hard, and he suggested that he and Gabi could just take things slowly. Gabi smiled and confirmed that she could do that.
At the Salem Inn, Deimos received a visit from a landlord who seemed very anxious to get him to sign a lease for a fully furnished apartment in Salem. When Deimos wondered why the landlord was willing to rent the place out for considerably less than what other landlords in the area were asking for their unfurnished apartments, the man nervously explained that the previous tenant had been Ben Weston -- who had turned out to be a serial killer. The man was quick to stress, however, that none of the murders had taken place inside the apartment. Chuckling, Deimos assured the landlord that the place actually sounded perfect.
Belle joined Philip for dinner at Club TBD but expressed reservations about being with him, musing that she seemed to be seeking him out precisely because he was just as messed up as she was. Philip insisted that he and Belle were perfect for each other because they had no unreasonable expectations for each other. "Speak for yourself. My expectation is that you will be everything I need -- when I need it. You know what that makes you, right? You're like a drug to me, Philip, and [that's] just not healthy. I feel...drawn to you, and I don't want to be," Belle replied.
Philip argued that Belle deserved to have something good in her life. "'Good' is not a word I would associate with you," Belle countered. Philip conceded that his moral standards were a bit fluid, but he added that he was good at certain things, such as being a distraction for Belle. Belle agreed that being with Philip in Las Vegas had been fun, but she added that it hadn't been real.
As Philip complained that reality was vastly overrated, Belle continued that Las Vegas had been nothing more than an escape from their problems. "Whether you like it or not, we are back in reality [now], and your problems are actually more intense than mine -- not to mention potentially dangerous," Belle reminded Philip. Philip conceded the point but reasoned that Belle didn't have to get on a plane to escape her problems because just being with him would provide the break from reality that she needed. Philip leaned in to kiss Belle, and she responded and soon found herself back in Philip's room at the Kiriakis mansion.
After having sex with Philip, Belle received a text message from Claire, who was in New York, nervously awaiting her Juilliard audition the following day. Belle offered to get on a plane that night so she could be with Claire the following morning, but Claire declined, stating that she had Eve with her for support, and that was all she needed. Belle was disappointed, but Philip guessed that she hadn't wanted her mother at big events in her life when she had been younger, either. Philip stressed that Claire loved Belle and was simply trying to figure out who she was on her own. Smiling, Belle thanked Philip for saying exactly what she had needed to hear.
Philip soon received a phone call from Deimos, who insisted that they needed to talk in person right away. Philip reluctantly went to the Salem Inn, where Deimos was packing. Philip optimistically asked if Deimos was leaving town, and Deimos gleefully dashed Philip's hopes, explaining that he had actually just rented an apartment in Salem. "Fun fact: the last tenant was a serial killer," Deimos added. "And you couldn't care less 'cause you're cold as ice. I get it," Philip muttered in response.
Deimos voiced his suspicion that Philip had been stringing him along lately. "Even if you have been loyal to me [this whole time], you've been nothing but incompetent. A trained monkey could have gotten me that serum by now," Deimos added. "Have you tried trainedmonkey.com?" Philip dryly replied. Unamused, Deimos said he was only giving Philip the benefit of the doubt because they were family. Deimos added that he had devised a simple plan to test Philip's loyalty, and if Philip failed the test, a certain high-ranking police officer in Chicago -- a very dirty and vicious one -- would find out the truth about his daughter's overdose.
Belle got dressed in Philip's room then found herself unable to resist the urge to snoop through his desk drawers. Belle found a gun in one of the drawers, resting on top of a small manila envelope. Belle pushed the weapon aside and opened the envelope, which contained photographs of a scantily clad young woman. After tucking the photographs back in the envelope, Belle drew a big question mark on the front side with a black permanent marker then propped it up against a lamp on Philip's dresser and left the room.
Theo went to the Johnson house to see Joey, who told him it wasn't a good time. Theo forged ahead, revealing that Chase had been bullying him lately. Joey tried to assure Theo that Chase would never do something like that, but Theo clarified that Chase had owned up to everything earlier. As Theo continued to explain what had happened, Joey impatiently interrupted, reiterating that it wasn't a good time.
Calming down, Joey added that he wasn't trying to hurt Theo's feelings; he simply didn't have time to talk because he was busy trying to fix something that was wrong. Theo noticed a shattered picture frame on the floor, and when Joey claimed that he had accidentally broken it earlier, Theo observed that it looked like Joey had intentionally thrown it. "I was mad, okay? I was mad at myself. I trusted someone, and she... I shouldn't have trusted her," Joey explained.
Theo assumed that Joey was talking about Kayla. Joey firmly denied the suspicion but declined to elaborate, explaining that talking about the matter would only make things worse. Theo wondered if Joey could use Abe's help. "No! Thank you, but... Theo, do you ever just need to be alone? Just to think?" Joey replied. Nodding, Theo said he was sorry that Joey was upset. "I mean, whatever happened, it must have been really bad," Theo added. "Really, really bad," Joey confirmed.
As a storm raged outside his hotel room, Steve ended a phone call and complained that all flights in and out of the nearby airport had been canceled. From the bathroom, Ava pointed out that there were worse things than being stranded in Maui for a while. Steve impatiently ordered Ava to call Joey and tell him where Kayla was being held. Ava emerged from the bathroom -- wearing lingerie -- and reminded Steve that if he wanted to free Kayla, he needed to do something for her first. "And this time, your son isn't gonna interrupt us," Ava added.
Steve handed Ava a bathrobe and told her to put it on, but she pointed out that adding clothing would just delay the inevitable. Steve refused to give Ava what she was asking for, insisting that helping her find her son was going to have to be enough for her. Ava countered that, while she had hoped that the lingerie would make it impossible for Steve to resist her, she was, if nothing else, a determined survivor. "I want you. I love you. And I am gonna have you, no matter how long it --" Ava began to add before stopping herself.
"You were gonna say 'no matter how long it takes,' implying you can wait; you have time. But you don't have time, do you, Ava? Unless you're not really dying," Steve concluded. Steve marveled that Ava had outdone herself and had proven to be even more despicable than her father, but she insisted that wasn't true because his misdeeds had been done in the name of money and power, while hers had been done for love. Steve assumed that Ava had bribed a lab technician to confirm that she had leukemia, but she clarified that she had actually hidden some infected blood under a patch of fake skin on her arm.
"I saw it on a TV show, and I thought, 'Why not?'" Ava added with a shrug. Steve suspected that Ava had also lied about having a son, but she insisted that part had been true -- as had the part about her being in love with him. Steve said that Ava didn't know the meaning of the word. "All right, well, screw semantics, okay? Use whatever word you want. I want you, and I'm gonna do anything to have you, just like I know you will do anything -- you will sacrifice anything -- for Kayla and Joey. So try to relax, okay? 'Cause once you accept the inevitable, you might realize that you enjoy your sacrifice," Ava replied as she caressed Steve's chest.
Removing her bathrobe, Ava concluded that she possessed all the power, and there was only one way for Steve to save his precious wife. "Sweetness is counting on you. And so am I, Patch. Because I know that once this happens, everything changes. You think that sounds crazy? Indulge me. A girl can dream. Stop fighting this. Stop pretending this isn't happening. It is happening... Right. Now," Ava added before kissing Steve. Steve angrily gave in, had sex with Ava, and promptly handed her the phone afterward so she could contact Joey. "Don't spoil the moment," Ava mischievously protested, but Steve wasn't amused.
Joey lashed out at Ava when she contacted him, but she told him to grow up and stop throwing tantrums. "This better be about my mother," Joey snapped, and Ava confirmed that it was. Ava told Joey where to find Kayla, and he rushed off to rescue her. Meanwhile, Steve got dressed and told Ava he hoped she was happy, since she wasn't going to get anything else from him. "Oh, Patch. A little credit, please. I mean, if all I wanted was some quickie in a hotel room, I wouldn't have gone through all this rigmarole. I am getting much, much more from you, my love...unless you want Kayla to know what we just did," Ava replied.
Abigail tries on her wedding dress
Kate was on the phone with her stockbroker when Deimos crept up behind her. When Kate realized Deimos was eavesdropping, she quickly hung up. Deimos offered to give Kate the money she needed. Kate declined because, as Victor's brother, that made Deimos automatically untrustworthy.
Deimos offered to buy Kate lunch to demonstrate that she could believe what he said. Deimos explained that he'd been in prison for a long time, and that was why Victor had never mentioned him to Kate. Deimos continued that he had slept with Victor's fiancée, and Deimos had been wrongfully convicted of later murdering her -- although Victor had actually committed the crime.
Deimos asserted that Victor had believed he was better than everyone else. "Hubris," Kate pronounced, and Deimos concurred. He explained that he was in Salem to try to make things right with his brother. Kate wanted to know how Deimos had money to lend her when he'd been in prison for thirty years. Deimos stated that he'd had the money before that and had invested it wisely. He added that he wanted to invest it in Kate's venture because she fascinated him.
Kate was laughing at Deimos' brazen directness when Eduardo walked in. Kate introduced Eduardo and Deimos, who made an excuse to leave. He asked Kate to let him know what she decided. After Deimos left, Eduardo asked what Kate was deciding about. Kate told Eduardo about the proposed loan. Eduardo admitted that he hadn't been able to do that favor for Kate because long-term investments weren't really his style.
Kate noted that Eduardo had told her almost nothing about himself, and it made her wonder if he had something to hide. Eduardo cagily pointed out that everyone had something to hide. Kate asserted that she had no desire to be with a man who kept secrets after being with so many men like that. "I don't want to have my hand slapped every time I've crossed some invisible line that you've drawn in the sand. I'm in a new place in my life, and I want to know exactly who I'm dealing with -- or there's no deal," Kate declared.
Eduardo said he was sorry that Kate felt that way, implying that he had no intention of changing. "Well, that tells me that we don't have anything else to talk about," Kate said decisively. Without another word, a clearly dissatisfied Eduardo left.
Back in his hotel room, Deimos sifted through the photos of Victor and the people closest to him -- Maggie, Justin, Caroline, and Philip. Kate rapped on the door a moment later and amiably informed Deimos that she had to decline his offer. She explained that she wanted to do things on her own, with no silent partners. Deimos said he was impressed.
After his police academy graduation ceremony, J.J. arrived at the police station in a police uniform. An obviously pleased Roman declared that Jack would have been proud of his son.
Shawn was working in the squad room when Rafe showed up with coffee for some of the officers. An upset Theo arrived to see his dad, but Roman informed the teen that Abe was in a meeting. As Theo was headed back out, Lani offered to take him to lunch so they could talk, and Theo somewhat reluctantly agreed.
Roman informed Shawn and J.J. that he wanted them to start tailing Deimos Kiriakis, who'd just gotten out of prison and was on Interpol's watch list. Roman added that Stefano had apparently left the country and should no longer be a problem for the people of Salem.
Andre was waiting in the shadows of Chad's room at the bed and breakfast when Chad returned. Unruffled, Chad asked why Andre was wearing a hat. Andre removed said item and slowly turned to face Chad, who found the gash on his brother's face disconcerting. Andre blamed the wound -- and Stefano's death -- on Hope Brady, against whom Andre swore revenge. He described the events that had led up to him finding Stefano's body in some rubble in an abandoned warehouse, and how he had been in the building when it had been demolished -- which had caused his injuries.
Chad admitted that he'd witnessed the warehouse's destruction, though he didn't believe that Hope had killed Stefano. Andre produced Bo's gun, which he'd swiped from the Brady house, and maintained that Rafe Hernandez had helped Hope move Stefano's body. Unwilling to participate in Andre's plans for revenge, Chad declared, "What you're saying is insane, and I don't want any part of it." Andre took Stefano's pinkie ring from his pocket and put it on, asserting that he'd taken it from Stefano's "stone-cold hand."
When Chad reacted with stone-cold indifference, a livid Andre blew up at him -- but Chad icily ordered his brother, "Stay out of my life." Andre informed Chad that there was a lien on the family home due to unpaid property taxes, thanks to Sami's theft. Chad stated calmly that he was paying the taxes and taking possession of the house -- and he intended to live there with Abigail and their baby, at which time Andre would have to move out. "If you turn your back on me now, you turn your back on your legacy," Andre warned as he donned his hat and left.
Hope paced in her living room, fretting aloud to herself about Andre. "I'm stronger than that son of a bitch. He is not going to take me down," she vowed.
Chad showed up a little later, demanding to talk to Hope about Stefano. Chad related Andre's claim that he'd seen Stefano's body in the building that had been demolished -- and that Hope had killed Stefano, and Rafe had helped her cover it up. Chad asked if it were true. Hope guardedly confirmed that she'd been with Stefano the night he'd disappeared, but she added, "Andre...is out of his mind." After Chad had gone, a panicked Hope called Rafe and asked him to get there as soon as he could.
When Jennifer and Abigail returned home after J.J.'s graduation, Jennifer was in a lot of pain from having to sit through the long ceremony. After Jennifer headed upstairs to lie down and check on Thomas, Theresa arrived with Abigail's wedding dress. Theresa unzipped the dress bag and showed the gown to Abigail, whose eyes filled with happy tears. Theresa urged her to try the dress on, so Abigail hurried upstairs with it.
A few minutes later, Abigail descended the stairs, carefully holding the dress so she wouldn't step on it. Abigail stood in front of the mirror to admire Theresa's creation -- a full-length white dress, essentially strapless but with a swath of tulle wrapping around from the back to the front to create a sheer one-shouldered effect, and with a loose layer of gauzy chiffon over a slimmer underskirt. As Theresa was suggesting slight alterations, Jennifer entered the room and gasped when she saw her daughter. Jennifer gushed over the dress, proclaiming it perfect for Abigail.
Abigail observed that her mom seemed different from when they'd returned from J.J.'s graduation. Jennifer brightly asserted that she felt much better after lying down for a bit. "I love that dress! I really do. I had no idea that you could be so creative," Jennifer declared. After Jennifer left the room, Theresa asked Abigail if Jennifer were all right. Abigail explained that her mom had been in a lot of pain since the accident. Pointing out that she had some experience in that area, Theresa guessed that the doctors had put Jennifer on an opiate painkiller.
Theresa gently cautioned Abigail to keep an eye on Jennifer to make sure wasn't taking, more than the prescribed dosage, explaining, "Opiates, they kind of set up shop in your brain and make you think you need them when you don't." Although Abigail appeared incredulous, it seemed as if Theresa's words had hit home. When Theresa gathered her things to leave, Abigail requested to wear the dress a little longer.
While Abigail stood in front of the mirror, gazing pensively at herself in the gown, Chad walked in. "Oh, my God," he exclaimed softly when he saw Abigail. She freaked out and tried to cover the dress with a pillow and an afghan, shrieking that Chad wasn't supposed to see her and ordering him to turn around. Chad maintained that not seeing the bride in her gown was just a superstition. He reassured Abigail that nothing would break up their family.
Chad informed Abigail that he'd asked Rafe to be his best man, because Rafe had never stopped trying to prove Chad's innocence when he'd been accused of being the serial killer. Abigail grudgingly gave Chad permission to turn around when he requested it. "Can I just say how beautiful you look?" Chad said in quiet amazement. Abigail's eyes filled with tears as she moved in to hug Chad.
Chad told Abigail about his encounter with Andre and about Andre's claims. "He wants me to help him avenge our father's murder," Chad said. Chad proposed that he and Abigail should take Thomas and elope to Paris.
At Brady and Theresa's apartment, Nicole showed Brady the business plan she'd worked up for her and Theresa's new design business. Brady commended Nicole on the realistic proposal, which capitalized on Nicole's business sense and Theresa's designs. As Nicole thanked Brady for his praise and honesty, she accidentally called him "Daniel." Embarrassed, she apologized, but Brady assured her that he understood. Brady questioned whether starting a new company was really what Nicole wanted so soon after Daniel's death.
Nicole reassured Brady that she wanted him to participate in the business, to help guide them, and -- Theresa probably felt the same way. Brady said, "It's not the same for her. Nicole agreed, "No, to her, you had a transplant, and she's grateful it worked. To me, you're alive, and you're keeping Daniel alive." Brady admitted that he felt as if the heart still belonged to Daniel, and he guessed that was why he'd been having the dreams. Nicole acknowledged that it had to be strange for Brady to dream things that had turned out to be true.
Nicole asked if Brady had talked to Fynn about the dreams. Brady said he had, but he didn't want to discuss the details with Nicole because he knew it was difficult for both of them, especially Nicole, to hear. Nicole apologized for pestering Brady for information just so she could feel closer to Daniel, when Brady was still recovering from a heart transplant. Stressing that he understood Nicole was grieving for the man she'd loved, Brady ordered her to stop beating herself up. Nicole became emotional as she said, "That's what Daniel used to say to me."
"Exactly," Brady noted, taking Nicole's hand in comfort -- just as Theresa entered. As Brady walked over to greet Theresa with a kiss, Nicole explained that she'd been showing Brady her business plan and wanted to show Theresa, as well. Theresa was worried that their plan could fall apart if Kate couldn't raise the money to buy them out.
When Kate arrived a little later, she presented Theresa and Nicole with a check for the amount they had all agreed on. Nicole promised to sign the papers as soon as the check cleared. Kate curiously asked what the other two planned to do with the money. "We're going to start our own company," Theresa began, and Nicole finished, "A clothing line, using Theresa's designs." After a dubious Kate left, Nicole, Theresa, and Brady celebrated with ginseng soda in Champagne glasses. "To D.J. Designs," Theresa toasted.
Brady went to lie down, and while he was asleep, he dreamed of the woman on the beach -- but that time, he could see her face. His heart thumping as he awakened, Brady wondered aloud, "Who the hell is she?"
When Rafe arrived at the Horton house, Hope agitatedly informed him that Andre had been in the building and had seen Stefano's body -- although Chad thought Andre was insane. Rafe assured Hope that Andre had no evidence and, without Stefano there to back him, would fold. "We've just got to ride this one out," Rafe concluded. "What if I can't do that?" Hope asked.
Andre dialed Hope's number from the DiMera study and held up the phone so she could hear the opera music blasting in the background. He remained silent as a wide-eyed Hope put her phone on speaker so Rafe could listen, as well. She hung up, edgily noting, "So much for Andre folding!"
A little later, Rafe charged into the DiMera mansion and angrily confronted Andre: "You stay the hell away from Hope!"