In Malibu, Brady awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of someone knocking insistently on his hotel room door. When Brady opened the door, Summer barged in and began talking at a rapid pace, complaining that she hadn't been able to sleep because she couldn't stop thinking about all the bombshells he had dropped on her earlier that day.
Rubbing his eyes, Brady interrupted and tiredly asked Summer to slow down. "I guess you [weren't having] any trouble sleeping. What's the matter -- you don't like me for real as much as you like me in your dreams?" Summer guessed, sensing annoyance in Brady's voice. Brady confirmed that he had been asleep before Summer's arrival. Brady clarified, however, that for the first time since the accident, he actually hadn't been dreaming about Summer; in fact, he had been sleeping quite peacefully for a change. "Well, dragging a drunk chick out of the ocean -- I guess that'll put you right to sleep, huh?" Summer joked.
Brady said he understood that it had probably been a very bad and very weird night for Summer. "Tonight was bad...before I even saw you. You just came along, and you screwed up my plan. I -- I wasn't drunk; I went into the ocean on purpose," Summer admitted. Unsurprised, Brady wondered if Summer wanted to tell him why she had done that. "I'm just so damn lonely. And I -- I looked in the water, and I thought... 'What's the difference? My whole life, I've been drowning,'" Summer tearfully explained.
Brady offered to help Summer, who struggled to understand why he would want to. "Let's get real here: I could be working you, giving you this line [about] how Daniel and I are friends, and that he thinks that I'm his sister," Summer pointed out. Brady conceded the point but countered that it wouldn't be wise of Summer to do that, since he could easily turn to Fynn for verification of her story.
Changing the subject, Summer asked Brady to tell her about Daniel's mother. Brady revealed that Maggie was his sponsor, and when Summer expressed disbelief that he was "a drunk," he clarified that coke had been his thing. "Maggie was always there when I needed her. But she never took any crap from me when she knew that I had been using. She's full of life, full of truth...probably one of the most loving people that I know. And strong -- she's...she's so strong, but I don't know how she's gonna get past losing Daniel. I thought maybe getting to know you might help her do that," Brady added.
"And if I'm not [Daniel's] sister? Then you'll dump me, and so will this Maggie, [and] I will be back to square one," Summer predicted. Brady promised that he wouldn't let Summer down either way. "I don't need your charity! My life's been hard, but it's been my life!" Summer insisted. Brady understood but stressed that he owed it to Daniel to help Summer. Summer bluntly countered that Daniel was dead and would therefore never know whether Brady had helped her or not. "Besides, I don't like small towns like Salem. You can be invisible here if you want to be," Summer added.
"What if the time comes that you don't want to be invisible [anymore]?" Brady countered, wondering if Summer even had any friends in Malibu. Summer defensively insisted that she did, citing Dario as an example. Summer admitted, however, that with her parents dead, she didn't really have any family left. Brady asked Summer to tell him what her parents had been like. "They were too strict, but they said it was because they loved me," Summer replied with a sigh of impatience.
Revealing that he would be flying back to Salem the following morning, Brady urged Summer to tag along, pointing out that she would be under no obligation to stay there forever. "Why not? I've got nothing going on [here] right now, anyway," Summer conceded, adding that, if nothing else, the trip would give her the opportunity to pay her respects to Maggie -- who was, at the very least, Daniel's biological mother, if not her own.
"So, we flying first class?" Summer wondered. Chuckling, Brady clarified that transportation would be provided in the form of a private jet. "If that's okay," Brady dryly added. Summer excitedly wondered what that kind of lifestyle was like, prompting Brady to advise her to show up at the airport the following morning and find out for herself. Nodding, Summer started to excuse herself so she could head home and pack, but Brady stopped her and offered to let her crash on the couch so she wouldn't have to be alone. "I just, uh...I don't want you taking long walks on the shore tonight," Brady explained.
Summer assured Brady that she would be fine. "I am flying on a private jet plane tomorrow morning. I would have to be nuts to try and kill myself tonight," Summer jokingly added. Summer stepped into the hallway outside Brady's hotel room then surprised him with a hug. "I forgive you for saving my life," Summer whispered in Brady's ear before releasing him and walking away.
After shutting the door, Brady turned and found Theresa staring groggily at him. "I sure hope you know what you're doing," Theresa told Brady. "So do I," Brady admitted. Theresa wondered if Brady had managed to find his sobriety chip yet. Shaking his head, Brady guessed that he had lost it in the ocean earlier. Brady thought there was still a chance that Summer might change her mind about traveling with him to Salem, but Theresa confidently predicted that wouldn't happen.
"You saw that hug," Brady realized. Brady started to stress that it hadn't meant anything, but Theresa interrupted and insisted that she didn't view Summer as a threat. Theresa added that she was simply worried about Brady because he had decided to take on a rescue project while still recovering from major surgery. Brady tried to protest that Summer wasn't a rescue project, but Theresa pointed out that she knew how to spot one because she had once been one herself. Brady reminded Theresa that Summer had been important to Daniel. "According to her," Theresa skeptically countered.
Theresa warned that Summer might try to use Brady, but he argued that he deserved more credit than Theresa was giving him. "I sobered up and saw through you, didn't I?" Brady pointed out. Theresa conceded the point, and Brady continued that he simply wanted to take Summer back to Salem with him so they could figure out if she was Maggie's biological daughter. Theresa suggested that Brady should have asked for Maggie's permission first, but Brady was confident that Maggie would want to know if she had another child in the world -- especially since she had just lost one.
While Dario was working, he received a visit from Nicole, who was surprised to see that the bar was pretty empty. "The regulars checked out early. All that's left are the lost souls with no place to go and the people who can't sleep," Dario explained. "Looks like I came to the right place. I fit in both of those groups," Nicole mused with an uneasy chuckle.
After realizing that Dario had not yet heard the news from one of his siblings, Nicole sadly revealed that Daniel had died in a car crash a couple months earlier. Dario asked about Melanie, and Nicole reported that, like the rest of Daniel's loved ones, Melanie was trying to just be grateful for the time she'd had with him. Nicole wondered if Dario knew anything about Summer's connection to Daniel. Dario said he only knew what Summer had told him: that Daniel had been a good friend who had protected her. "From what?" Nicole asked.
"From herself, mostly. I mean, she can go from laughing to screaming her head off in two seconds flat," Dario explained. Dario recalled that Summer had praised Daniel as the most patient man she had ever met -- someone who had never lost his temper when dealing with her. Nicole agreed with Summer's description of Daniel then hesitantly asked if they had ever been romantically involved with each other. "[If they were], she's keeping it to herself. Drunk or sober, she only talked about Daniel as the best friend she'd ever had," Dario answered.
Changing the subject, Nicole wondered why Dario had given up his job at Titan -- a job he had been quite good at, according to Brady -- to work at a bar. Dario explained that the corporate world simply wasn't a world in which he wanted to reside. "I like money as much as the next guy, but I'm not willing to sell my soul to get it," Dario added. Nicole doubted that Dario would find his true calling in a beach bar, but he reasoned that there were worse places to try to figure things out. Dario offered to show Nicole around the following day, since it was his day off, but she declined, believing that it was time for her to get back to the real world.
After saying goodbye to Dario, Nicole went to see Brady and Theresa, who had just finished checking on Tate. When Brady revealed that he and Theresa were planning to return to Salem the following morning, Nicole wondered if she could join them. Brady agreed and proceeded to tell Nicole when to meet him, Theresa, and Summer at the airport. Nicole was surprised to learn that Brady had talked Summer into tagging along. Nicole wanted to know why, so Brady explained that Daniel had suspected that Summer might be related to him.
Nicole was skeptical at first because she thought that Daniel would have shared his theory with her at some point, but Brady reasoned that Daniel might have wanted to wait for confirmation before saying anything to anyone. Conceding the point, Nicole decided that the trip to Malibu had been a really good idea. "What if Summer is Daniel's last gift to his mother?" Nicole mused. Meanwhile, at Summer's place, Summer finished packing then took a seat on her bed and began reading the inscription on a sobriety chip.
Gabi entered Edge of the Square and greeted J.J., who wondered what she was doing there. Gabi made up a story about a nearby photo shoot then backpedaled and admitted that she had actually seen J.J.'s car parked outside. "Maybe you should have kept walking," J.J. grumbled, leading Gabi to conclude that he'd had a bad day at work. Gabi assured J.J. that regardless of what had happened that day, he was going to be a great cop.
When a slow song started playing, J.J. asked Gabi to dance with him, and they kissed as they swayed to the music. Later, J.J. tried to walk Gabi home but expressed confusion when he realized that she seemed to be leading him in the wrong direction. "I think that you and I have been dancing around something for quite some time now, and I think it's time for us to stop dancing," Gabi explained, adding that when she had gone to the restroom earlier, she had arranged for Arianna's babysitter to watch the child all night -- and had then booked a room at the Salem Inn. "Are you sure about this?" J.J. asked, and Gabi gave him a kiss to confirm that she was.
In a secluded section of Horton Town Square, Hope fretted about the possibility that Deimos had been responsible for Bo's kidnapping, not Stefano. Rafe was skeptical but stressed that even if Deimos was the true culprit, Hope couldn't go after him. Hope promised that she wouldn't go rogue again. "[But] if Stefano wasn't behind Bo's kidnapping, I'm never gonna sleep another night," Hope added. Rafe thought it was impressive that Hope had managed to stay strong for as long as she had, but she admitted that she had actually been falling apart inside the whole time.
Rafe excused himself after receiving a text message from Roman, who wanted to see him right away. Before leaving, Rafe stressed that Hope needed to stop worrying about what she had done to Stefano. "Think about all the lives you saved by getting rid of him. You don't have to worry about him anymore, and neither does anyone else," Rafe reasoned.
A short time later, Rafe arrived at the police station and found Roman sitting alone in one of the conference rooms, looking at Stefano's case file. Roman explained that he wanted to talk to Rafe about the case. Rafe claimed that everything he knew about the case was already in the file. "Really? Does that include everything you know about Hope's activities?" Roman wondered. "Why wouldn't it?" Rafe coolly replied.
Sighing, Roman pointed out that Rafe had already lost his badge once for covering up a crime. "When I reinstated you, I had very high hopes something like this wouldn't happen again," Roman added. Ignoring the statement, Rafe argued that Andre was a psychopath who had already killed before and stood to benefit from Stefano's death more than anyone else except Chad. "He's guilty," Rafe concluded. "Of many things. On that much, we agree," Roman replied. After confirming that Roman had nothing more to say to him, Rafe stood and left the room.
Rafe headed to the Horton house to see Hope, who invited him to join her for dinner, explaining that she had ordered a lot of food without realizing that everyone else was out of the house at that time. Rafe accepted the offer, and while he was waiting for Hope to retrieve the food from the kitchen, he received a phone call from Dario. Rafe was stunned to learn that Dario had been living in Los Angeles for more than a year and had simply never bothered to call before. "[And] if you give me a hard time, I'm not gonna call [again]," Dario warned.
Rafe moved on, wondering if everything was okay. "You always think there's something wrong. And you wonder why I don't call," Dario complained. Rafe stressed that he wasn't trying to pick a fight with Dario; he was simply wondering why Dario had suddenly decided to call him. Dario claimed that he was just checking in. "So stop interrogating me and tell me how you, Gabi, and the baby are doing," Dario added.
Rafe and Dario wrapped up their conversation just as Hope returned with the food. "Who were you talking to?" Hope asked before quickly apologizing, realizing that she was being nosy. Assuring Hope that he didn't mind, Rafe explained that he had just received a phone call from Dario, with whom he had been out of touch for quite some time. Rafe confirmed that he had told Dario about Eduardo's return but added that he wasn't sure if the news would prompt Dario to head back to Salem because he didn't really know how Dario felt about Eduardo.
"Maybe [Dario will] come back, though, right? You never know. And then maybe I could talk to my mom, and she'd come back, and we'd have, like, a big family reunion," Rafe mused. Hope wondered if that would be a good thing. "Probably not," Rafe replied before abruptly changing the subject. Later, after Rafe and Hope finished eating, they prepared to part ways for the night. Before leaving, Rafe urged Hope not to dwell on what Victor had told her about Deimos. Hope promised that she would try to stop thinking about it. "No regrets, right? For either one of us," Rafe concluded. "I really want to believe that's possible," Hope replied with a smile.
At the police station, Lani approached Roman and wondered if he was still working on Stefano's murder investigation. "Not anymore. The case is closed," Roman replied. Sensing that Lani had some reservations about his decision to end the investigation, Roman firmly told her to let it go. Lani nodded and walked away.
Alone again in the conference room, Roman closed the folder that contained Stefano's case file, which had been started almost thirty-four years earlier.
Joey confesses to Kayla
In Jennifer's office at the hospital, Jennifer worked late. Eric stared though the doorway at Jennifer and remembered the kiss they had shared. Eric knocked. When Eric mentioned their kiss, she chuckled dismissively. Jennifer suggested that Eric was confused, but Eric stressed that he remembered he had kissed her. Eric told Jennifer about their fight at her house, including that Jennifer had admitted that she had a problem with her painkillers.
Shaking her head, Jennifer told Eric that he was confused. Eric told Jennifer that she likely had suffered a blackout. Jennifer sighed in frustration. Eric begged Jennifer to go to an A.A. meeting with him. Jennifer chuckled and said okay dismissively. Surprised, Eric nodded and told her he would see her at the meeting. After Eric left, Jennifer started to breathe rapidly, panicked.
At the DiMera Mansion, Chad stared at the portrait of his father. "I still can't believe you're gone. Really gone. How many times have you done this? Hmm? Disappear, been presumed dead, you would come roaring back, terrorizing everyone. Epic fights. E.J. Tony. Forgive me now that I feel a little bit cheated," Chad said.
Chad imagined Stefano was sitting in the room with him. Stefano asked Chad to tell him whatever it was he wanted to tell him. Chad told Stefano that he was the "scariest son-of-a-bitch" Chad had ever met. With a faint smile, Chad said that he would have run away from the family if not for Johnny and Lexie. Stefano told Chad that he was a "good boy." With a chuckle, Chad said that his goodness irked Stefano.
"I always did want to make you proud. It's a terrible feeling to look at your father and feel like a pale substitute for what he really wants. For a son that he really wants. You know, that son to take over the empire, right?" said Chad. Stefano said he was listening. Chad retorted that Stefano was only listening because he was dead. With a sigh, Chad asked what had happened to Stefano.
"I don't know who to be or how to be, and it's like there is a part of me that can't go on living my life unless I know," Chad said. Stefano told Chad that he had loved him. Stefano added that he would pay for his mistakes for all eternity, and he urged Chad to be his own man. Crying, Chad hugged his father.
When Abigail walked into the library in the morning, Chad was asleep on the couch. Abigail sat next to Chad and gently woke him up. Abigail asked why Chad had not gone to bed. With a haunted look on his face, Chad said he had spoken to his father in a dream. Chad said that the chat had not felt like a dream though. With a nod, Abigail admitted that she had spoken to her father after he had died. Chad said he felt free after talking to Stefano. When Abigail asked Chad what he wanted to do next, Chad suggested that they marry as soon as possible.
After traveling over to the Horton house, Chad and Abigail planned their wedding in the living room there. While the couple kissed, Jennifer returned home from work. Eric texted Jennifer and asked her why she was not at the meeting. Thrown off by the text, Jennifer stammered out that she had been working late at the hospital to catch up on matters.
Jennifer asked Abigail to reveal the big surprise that Abigail had called about. Grinning, Abigail told Jennifer that she and Chad planned to marry at the DiMera mansion the following week. Jennifer was hesitant, but she agreed to help with the plans. When Abigail noted that Jennifer did not seem happy, Jennifer smiled and congratulated her daughter with a hug. After Chad and Abigail left, Jennifer raced to her purse and took one of her pain pills.
At the police station, Roman talked to Steve in the interrogation room about Ava's murder. Steve refused to change his story that he had smothered Ava. Roman asked why there was blood on the pillow that did not match Steve or Ava's blood. Steve recounted that he had lost his temper when Ava had threatened Kayla. Steve added that Joey had interrupted him.
Concerned, Roman asked about Joey. Steve stressed that Joey had entered the room after Ava had died, but that the cut on Joey's hand had to have bled on the pillow. Steve begged Roman to leave Joey out of the investigation so that he would not need to testify against his father.
In his house, Joey imagined that Ava's ghost visited him. Joey screamed in terror and ordered her to stay away from him. The figure in the room was Kayla, and she gently reached out to her son. Through tears, Joey cried out that Steve should not go to prison for killing Ava. Kayla was optimistic for Steve's chances, but Joey was not. Kayla noticed the cut on Joey's hand. Joey explained that he had cut his hand on a broken bottle. When Kayla mentioned bandaging the wound, Joey quietly said he had bandaged the wound but that it had fallen off.
Kayla assured Joey that Steve was tough. Joey repeated over and over that the situation was not fair. When Kayla pushed for Joey to open up, he confessed that he had killed Ava. Joey told Kayla that he had been drunk and angry and had confronted Ava. As Joey wept, Kayla held her son and promised him that he would not go to jail. Kayla firmly stated that Steve had already confessed and would handle everything. Kayla begged Joey not to tell anyone else what he had done.
In the morning, Kayla awoke on the couch as Roman banged on her front door. Kayla asked about Steve. Roman said the case appeared to be open and shut. With a raised eyebrow, Kayla asked Roman what he meant. Roman asked Kayla to tell him anything she knew about Ava's murder. Kayla quickly said she only knew what Steve had told her. With a nod, Roman promised to talk to Caroline but not tell her about Steve's arrest. Roman left. Once alone, Kayla gasped. Nervous, Kayla ran through the house to find Joey.
At the penthouse, Belle informed John and Marlena that Steve had confessed to smothering Ava. John groaned and noted that Ava had been pushing Steve's buttons. With a nod, Belle said she would look into the mitigating circumstances in Steve's case. After John left to check on Steve, Belle informed Marlena that she should be prepared for Eric to serve prison time. When Marlena asked how long, Belle said that the sentence would likely be fourteen years.
At the police station, John offered Steve his help investigating his case. Steve declined the offer. Belle escorted Steve into the interrogation room to talk. While John waited in the main room, John asked Roman about the case. Roman explained that the case appeared to be open and shut and that there would likely not be a trial. When Belle finished talking to Steve, she informed Roman that she would be moving forward with a trial and would claim self-defense. John smiled.
At the hospital, Eric waited for Jennifer outside the A.A. meeting. Marlena spotted her son and said hello. While chatting, Belle texted Eric about a court date for his case. Marlena asked Eric if he was distraught over the possible sentence for his case, but Eric shook his head and explained that he was worried about a friend. Eric noted that his friend had not shown up for an A.A. meeting as planned.
With a sigh, Eric confided that he was worried that there would be no one to help his friend if he went to prison. When Marlena pressed for details, Eric told her that the woman was Jennifer. Confused, Marlena said she had never seen Jennifer drink. Shaking his head, Eric explained that Jennifer was addicted to her pain medication.
"I caused the accident, mom. I'm the reason that she was injured and why she was taking the painkillers in the first place," Eric said. Marlena stressed that Jennifer's problem was Jennifer's problem and not Eric's fault. Eric said that he believed no one knew that Jennifer was suffering, and he asked Marlena to keep an eye on Jennifer. Marlena agreed. Eric ran off to find Jennifer.
At the Horton house, Eric confronted Jennifer about missing the meeting. Jennifer apologized. Jennifer explained that she needed to help Abigail plan her wedding. Shaking her head, Jennifer told Eric to go to the meeting without her then she grabbed her purse and ran out of the house.
In the DiMera library, Abigail told Chad that he seemed much lighter since his talk with his father. Chad smiled. Abigail left to run errands, and Chad turned to the portrait of his father. Chad told Stefano that it felt "good to be free." As Chad smiled at the portrait, J.J. walked into the library, demanding to talk to Abigail. When Chad said that Abigail had left, J.J. informed Chad that Ben had escaped from prison.
Stefano's enemies celebrate his demise>
While a thunderstorm raged outside, Caroline closed the Brady Pub. Abe and Roman entered through the back door, and as they each hugged Caroline, she remarked, "I'm so glad you two got off work early for this...I don't know what to call it!" John and Marlena blew threw the front door, shaking rain off their coats and umbrella. Kate soon joined the others, explaining that she'd cut her trip to New York short because she hadn't wanted to miss the gathering, and Victor arrived right after Kate.
Once all the invited guests had arrived, Caroline reached over the bar and got a bottle of scotch. "My husband, Shawn, was saving this for a very special occasion. It is forty-year-old Brannigan's Irish whiskey -- on the shelf twenty-five years. So, in honor of Shawn, I suggest that we grab a glass and grab a seat," Caroline declared. Hope showed up as the others were pulling up chairs around a large table.
Once everyone had gotten settled and filled a glass, Caroline stood at the head of the table and announced, "We're here to celebrate the end of an era. For thirty-four years, this town has endured unspeakable horrors and unrelenting torment because of one man. Because of him, everyone here has suffered terrible losses. By the grace of God, his reign of terror has finally come to an end." She finished her toast fiercely: "So here's to the death of Stefano DiMera!" The others cheered quietly, although Roman and Hope remained silent, exchanging a private glance across the table.
Marlena admitted that, because of the countless times the Phoenix had risen from the ashes, she hadn't believed the news when she'd first heard it. Roman assured everyone that Shawn-Douglas had tested Stefano's DNA in the police lab against police records. Kate noted her surprise at hearing that one of Stefano's sons had killed him -- instead of John, since he'd suffered the most at Stefano's hands. Victor added that any one of them would have been justified in shooting Stefano. Hope and Roman shared a look again.
The gang discussed the longstanding feud between the DiMeras and the Bradys, thanks to the disastrous love affair between Stefano's father, Santo DiMera, and Shawn's sister, Colleen Brady. Roman declared that Stefano DiMera was the evilest man he'd ever known. John chimed in that Stefano could have "made a career out of" hypnotizing people. Roman related an incident in which Stefano had taunted Abe and Roman via closed-circuit television about a noxious gas being released in the hospital. Stefano had demanded that the police arrest Marlena for paralyzing him with a deadly toxin.
Roman admitted that, since Stefano's death, he'd begun to realize that going outside the law had been the only way anyone could have defeated Stefano. Hope looked uncomfortable. As everyone poured a little more whiskey into their glasses, Abe admitted that he felt bad for Theo, whom Stefano had always treated with respect and affection and who had just begun to realize how evil his nonno had been. Abe continued that however much Stefano had loved his children and grandchildren, to Stefano, love had meant control -- and he had corrupted his children, even the "good" ones like Lexie.
Abe told about overhearing Lexie telling her father that Abe had refused to see the love in Stefano. Stefano only cared that Lexie saw it, and he had promised to always be there for her. Abe had been furious. Abe noted that no matter what astoundingly cruel things Stefano had done, Lexie had always loved him. The group recounted the offspring of Stefano who hadn't survived what he'd done: Tony, Renée, Benjy, Megan, Kristen, and E.J. "Let's just hope that Chad has learned to move beyond his father's shadow," Kate remarked.
Hope swallowed hard when Victor mentioned Andre and Peter, but Roman's eyes twinkled with respect. Victor said he'd almost felt sorry for Stefano when his children had met "grisly" ends, and Kate called him on it. "I said 'almost,'" Victor protested lightly, and the group broke into laughter and raised their glasses again. Victor asked if Kate had shed any tears for her late ex-husband. Kate admitted that she hadn't been able to muster any, but she acknowledged that Stefano had helped her reinvent herself -- after he'd essentially forced her into prostitution. Victor and Marlena pointed out that Stefano's so-called kindness had really been manipulation.
Kate maintained that, despite his faults, Stefano could be charming, funny, and even loving at times. She described the day of her wedding to Stefano, when he had urged her not to be sad anymore. "It's your time," he had promised as they had clinked Champagne glasses. When Kate finished, the others squirmed and giggled. Kate asserted that Stefano had understood her in a way that no one else ever had, but he had been jealous, possessive, and unable to forgive mistakes. Kate added that she'd gotten her revenge by taking over his company, and she still wasn't sorry that he'd kicked her out of it, because he was out of her life -- and all of their lives -- forever.
The increasingly tipsy group rose and milled about the pub. Caroline asked Victor if he had any more proof that Deimos and Dr. Malcolm had worked together to kidnap Bo. Victor said although he didn't doubt Caroline's vision, he still believed that Stefano had been behind Bo's kidnapping. When Caroline asked, Hope concurred with Victor.
Victor admitted to everyone that his only regret was that Stefano had died owing him a favor. Abe noted that Stefano had gotten a stay on the tax-evasion charges, perhaps because the judge had been Victor's friend -- which had allowed Stefano to reclaim his company. Kate was livid because that meant Victor had double-crossed her. Victor interrupted her tirade to point out that it wasn't all about her. He admitted that he would miss having a formidable opponent like Stefano. Kate reminded Victor that Stefano had blamed Philip -- Kate and Victor's son -- for Tony DiMera's death.
Victor recalled how Stefano had vowed to make sure Victor knew how it felt to lose a child. Victor conceded that it had been cavalier of him to say he would miss Stefano in any way. "When it comes right down to it, I'm glad the bastard's dead. May he roast in hell," Victor pronounced. After the group had sat back down, a cranky Kate requested they put on some music to lighten the mood. Caroline obliged and went behind the bar, but there was nothing but static on the old radio. Kate wondered aloud why Stefano had been so obsessed with Marlena. Marlena confessed that she'd never understood it.
Marlena said Stefano had once told her that he'd considered her his equal, and he had gone to great lengths to win her over -- but he'd only wanted to win because it had been a challenge. Marlena described a game of chess between her and Stefano, during which they had both acknowledged that she'd tried to seduce him to save herself and John. When Marlena had guessed that Stefano's only goal had been to win, he had proclaimed, "To win without risk is to triumph without glory."
Marlena recalled how she had agreed to have sex with Stefano to gain her freedom from the cage he'd placed her in, but she had backed out at the last minute. "The price is just too high!" Marlena had asserted, but Stefano had known that she'd really refused him because of John -- who Stefano had sworn had died. Marlena had declared confidently that she would not betray John's love for her by having sex with Stefano. Marlena noted that Stefano had kept her and Roman away from their children. She nearly let it slip that Sami had stolen Stefano's money but stopped herself just in time.
Abe and Roman pointed out that Stefano had tormented John the most. John confided that, although he knew little about his life before Salem, thanks to Stefano, John had recently learned the identities of his birth parents. John remembered how he'd gone to the DiMera mansion to make Stefano pay for what he'd done to John's loved ones. Stefano had thought that John's conscience would trouble him, but John had said he would sleep like a baby, knowing that Stefano would never have been able to hurt anyone else.
John noted that, in the end, Stefano had died alone. "And I ended up with the love of my life," John added, kissing Marlena. Caroline observed that Hope had been quiet all evening and suggested that Hope talk about her feelings for Stefano. Privately reflecting on the night she'd killed Stefano, Hope declined. She explained that she preferred to leave Stefano in the past and felt more comfortable listening than sharing.
John rose to say a few words about Stefano. John reminded them all that Stefano had tried for years to destroy all of them and innumerable others but had ultimately been unsuccessful. "So, Stefano's gone, and we're all still standing. Yeah, we suffered, but we're stronger -- so, in a way, I would like to thank Stefano DiMera for testing us, for making us stronger, and for proving that love always wins out in the end. Checkmate, DiMera," John declared, raising his glass. "Checkmate!" the others echoed with raised glasses.
Roman announced that it was time for their little party to be over, so the group rose, gathered coats and umbrellas, headed for the door, and found that it had stopped raining. As Caroline embraced Hope, Hope had a vision of Stefano, standing in the doorway and laughing. The specter quickly vanished, but it left Hope shaken. After everyone had gone, Caroline turned off some lights and picked up the empty whiskey bottle to throw away. "Shawn, dear, I found the right occasion to drink your prized Irish whiskey. I think you'd approve," Caroline said, chuckling.
As Caroline headed through the bar, she tossed the bottle in the trash -- and it caused the radio to turn back on and emit static. A bit rattled, Caroline looked around to make sure there was no one there then turned and headed into the kitchen. In the darkened pub, the strains of "Ride of the Valkyries" blared, while a beaming phantom Stefano conducted an imaginary orchestra.
Steve puts a plan in motion
Brady and Theresa entered their townhouse, with Nicole and Summer in tow, and learned that Tate's babysitter had taken him out for a walk. Brady showed Summer to the guest room, and Nicole seized the opportunity to remind an obviously annoyed Theresa that Summer's residence was only temporary. "I don't know if Summer sees it that way," Theresa muttered.
Brady soon returned and announced that he was going to head over to the hospital to get checked out, just as a precaution. "You might want to mention that you pulled Miss Thing out of the ocean and carried her up the beach," Nicole suggested. Brady said he would, and he added that he was also going to try to find out what had happened to the DNA test that Summer had supposedly sent to Daniel a few months earlier.
After Brady left, Summer emerged from the guest bedroom and wondered where he had gone. "Out. It's just us now," Theresa tersely replied before turning her attention to her tablet computer, which contained sketches of Abigail's wedding dress that she wanted to show Nicole. Nicole gushed that Theresa had done an incredible job on the dress. Knowing that Chad and Abigail's wedding was going to get a lot of press coverage, Nicole suggested that she and Theresa could plan the launch of their new clothing line to coincide with the event. Theresa wasn't sure that would be appropriate, so Nicole started to explain why it was actually a great idea.
Summer interrupted and thanked Theresa for letting her stay at the townhouse while Summer was in Salem. "No problem. Hope it all works out the way you want it to," Theresa said with a forced smile before resuming her conversation with Nicole. Summer interrupted again, wondering if another tablet computer happened to be available. "I would love to go online," Summer explained. Pointing toward her open purse, Nicole said Summer could use hers. Summer retrieved the device and seized the opportunity to also snatch a pair of sunglasses from Nicole's purse. As Nicole continued trying to sell her idea to Theresa, Summer searched online for information about Maggie.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad was furious to learn that Ben had sweet-talked a female guard into letting him walk out of "the funny farm." J.J. reasoned that it would be crazy of Ben to return to Salem, of all places, but Chad didn't find that comforting, pointing out that Ben was crazy. J.J. maintained that Ben would be sent back to the psychiatric hospital -- or killed -- if he ever dared to show his face in Salem again. "Which might mean something to a normal person, but Ben Weston is not normal," Chad countered.
J.J. suspected that Clyde was responsible for Ben's escape. Chad pointed out that Clyde was locked in a federal penitentiary, but J.J. argued that Clyde still had a network of loyal contacts who could arrange such a thing. "I bet you Clyde has [Ben] on a flight right now to a country that doesn't extradite to the U.S.," J.J. guessed. J.J. pointed out that someone was going to have to tell Abigail the news. "Tell me what [news]?" Abigail asked as she joined Chad and J.J. in the study.
When Chad invited J.J. to tell Abigail the truth, J.J. hesitantly explained that he had heard about the new wedding date and didn't want Abigail to walk down the aisle under the impression that he didn't support the marriage. "I [see] how happy [Chad] makes you, and I'm glad that you two found each other," J.J. added. Chad shook J.J.'s hand and thanked him for the kind words. Abigail wondered if J.J. was saying that he would be present at the wedding. "I'll even wear a tux if you want me to," J.J. confirmed. Relieved, Abigail fought back tears as she embraced J.J., who gave Chad a pointed look while promising that nothing -- and no one -- would ruin her big day.
After J.J. left, Chad excused himself so he could run an errand. Abigail started going over a list of last-minute wedding details and quickly realized that Theresa was not yet aware of the new wedding date. Abigail contacted Theresa, who said the wedding dress would still be ready on time -- and, in fact, might already be ready, for all she knew. "The dress isn't ready! You know that!" Nicole quietly pointed out, but Theresa shushed her and assured Abigail that the change of plans wouldn't be a problem.
"Abigail moved the wedding up to Friday," Theresa nervously explained to Nicole after ending the call. Theresa rushed off to let the seamstresses know that they were going to have to work overtime in order to meet the new deadline, leaving Nicole alone with Summer. Nicole seized the opportunity to get to know Summer a bit better.
Nicole was relieved when Summer assured her that Daniel had never been more than a friend. Summer wondered if it was tough for Nicole to accept the fact that Brady had Daniel's heart. Nicole admitted that it had taken some time to get used to the idea. Nicole added, however, that Brady was a dear friend, and she was glad she hadn't lost both Daniel and Brady on the night of the accident.
Summer wanted to know more about Brady, but Nicole thought it would be best for Summer to question him directly. Nicole added that she was more interested in learning more about Summer, anyway. "There's nothing to tell. You'd be bored to death," Summer evasively replied before excusing herself so she could take a walk around the nearby town square and get to know Salem a bit better.
After his checkup, Brady ran into Maggie at the hospital and assured her that his recent trip to Malibu hadn't jeopardized his health in any way. Brady started to explain why he had gone to Malibu, but Maggie interrupted and said they would have to continue the conversation some other time because she was late for a meeting with a distributor at Chez Rouge -- the first of many commitments she had made for that day. "I just do better if I stay busy," Maggie explained when Brady commented on her hectic schedule.
After leaving the hospital, Maggie bumped into Summer while passing through the town square, dropping some documents in the process. Summer seemed to recognize Maggie but said nothing about their possible connection while helping her pick up the documents. Maggie rushed off after apologetically acknowledging that she needed to stop trying to compose text messages while walking. Summer watched Maggie leave then unclenched her fist and studied a charm that had fallen off Maggie's bracelet.
Later, Nicole emerged from a restaurant with a takeout order and started rummaging through her purse in search of her sunglasses. Nicole instead found a business card for the bar Dario worked at, so she contacted him to see if she had left her sunglasses there. Dario hadn't seen Nicole's sunglasses, but he promised to be on the lookout for them, just in case.
Dario wondered what life was like in Salem at that time. "Interesting," Nicole replied. Nicole elaborated that Brady had taken Summer back to Salem with him, prompting Dario to wonder how that was working out. Nicole admitted that she wasn't sure yet. Dario said he would see for himself soon enough, since he was planning to return to Salem in the near future to visit his siblings and niece.
Theresa went to the DiMera mansion to reassure Abigail that her wedding dress would be finished in time for the ceremony. Abigail apologized for springing a new wedding date on Theresa at the last possible minute. "Hey, it's your wedding. Do it any way you want," Theresa replied. Abigail skeptically observed that it seemed like something was bothering Theresa.
"Oh, it's nothing with your dress. It's, uh...it's [about] my life," Theresa clarified. Theresa quickly tried to change the subject, but Abigail stressed that, while they weren't exactly friends, she would still be happy to listen if Theresa needed someone to talk to. "Well, it's a little weird," Theresa warned before proceeding to tell Abigail about Summer.
Abigail found it very hard to believe that Summer could possibly be Maggie's daughter. Theresa revealed that she was also skeptical -- and, in fact, she believed that Summer was really just playing Brady. Abigail encouraged Theresa to talk to Brady and convince him that Summer couldn't stay with them. Theresa agreed and rushed off after thanking Abigail for the advice.
Later, Abigail received a phone call from a blocked number, and when she answered it, no one responded on the other end. Meanwhile, Chad grabbed someone in the town square who, from the back, resembled Ben. The man pushed Chad away and demanded to know what his problem was. Chad apologetically explained that he had mistaken the man for someone else. "Well, if I run into that guy, I'll let him know that a real jerk's looking for him," the man replied before walking away.
Chad returned home and surprised Abigail with a gift -- a bracelet that had Thomas' birthstone attached to it. Chad explained that he had ordered the bracelet the minute he had learned that Thomas was his child. Chad suggested that Abigail could wear the bracelet during the wedding ceremony, and she agreed with a smile, assuring him that she loved it. Abigail mused that, considering how Thomas had entered the world, it was hard to believe just how well things had turned out in the end. Chad promised Abigail that nothing like that was ever going to happen to her again.
Theresa returned home and found Summer standing alone in the living room, looking at a picture of Tate. "You have a beautiful family," Summer mused as she put the picture back where it belonged. Theresa guessed that Summer didn't really know what that was like. Changing the subject, Summer stressed that she didn't like being a guest in Theresa's home any more than Theresa liked having her as a guest. "I just don't have the money to [stay] anywhere else," Summer explained. Theresa seized the opportunity to offer to pay for a hotel room for Summer, who quickly accepted.
Brady didn't return home until after Theresa had already moved Summer to a hotel room. Theresa claimed that Summer had insisted that she didn't want to stay at the townhouse. Theresa admitted, however, that she hadn't really tried to talk Summer out of the idea of moving to a hotel room because she didn't want Summer around Tate, anyway. Brady insisted that, while Summer was a bit neurotic, she was only a danger to herself. Unable to follow Brady's logic, Theresa pointed out that he didn't even know Summer. "No, but she's a woman that's trying to make a new life for herself. Why is it so damn bad that I'm trying to help her do it?" Brady wondered.
Kayla visited Steve at the police station and revealed, once they were alone, that Joey had confessed to her earlier. "He feels horrible, and he wants to take responsibility," Kayla quietly added, but Steve insisted that couldn't happen. Steve informed Kayla that Roman already knew Joey had been present at the time of Ava's death because Joey's blood had been found on a pillow at the crime scene. "I covered for him -- I hope -- but he has to keep quiet," Steve stressed.
Kayla wondered how Joey was going to live with the guilt, especially if Steve failed to beat the charges. Steve assured Kayla that he would beat the charges. "I know this is a nightmare, but we can't give up. That's what Ava wanted -- she wanted to destroy all of us," Steve added. Steve revealed that he planned to plead self-defense, explaining that Belle believed she could make a solid case for mitigating circumstances because of what was already on the record about Ava. Kayla said she would testify about what Ava had done to her, hoping that would further strengthen Steve's case.
Steve assured Kayla that they would find a way to help Joey put the whole thing behind him. Kayla said she had managed to keep Stephanie out of the loop for the time being, knowing that Stephanie would quit her job and return to Salem in a heartbeat if she knew what was going on. Meanwhile, Belle entered the conference room and announced that it was almost time for Steve to appear before a judge.
Adrienne and Justin arrived as a police officer was escorting Steve out of the conference room. Adrienne hugged Steve, who assured her that Belle would take care of everything. "You'd better get going. This is the last arraignment of the day, and you have enough problems without making the judge cranky," Justin advised Steve, who wondered what that was supposed to mean. "I should think it would be obvious," Justin replied.
"If you think this is some kind of slam dunk for your side --" Steve began. "Then he is very much mistaken," Belle concluded. Later, a police officer returned Steve's belongings to him and announced that he was free to go. Steve turned to Belle and praised her for handling the arraignment well. Belle said she couldn't believe that the assistant district attorney had requested remand. "Whose idea was that?" Belle wondered.
"Mine," Justin replied as he entered the room. Shocked, Kayla protested that Steve wasn't a flight risk. "Look, I have to be impartial, even though I consider Steve family," Justin explained. Belle assured Justin that she was going to prove that Ava had posed a threat to the Johnson family. Not bothering to acknowledge Belle's statement, Justin asked to talk to her privately. After Belle left with Justin, Steve told Kayla he was glad that Joey hadn't shown up for the arraignment. "If he'd heard what Justin just said..." Steve added before letting his voice trail off.
Elsewhere, Justin wondered if the self-defense plea had been Belle's idea or Steve's. Belle refused to answer that, so Justin forged ahead, wondering why Steve had hired Belle instead of a "heavy hitter." Belle shrugged and replied that Justin would have to ask Steve that question. Justin suspected that he already knew the answer. "He wants a lawyer who will let him call the shots," Justin guessed.
Justin theorized that Steve knew more about what had happened to Ava than he had told the police. "Are you trying to intimidate me?" Belle wondered. Justin clarified that he was actually trying to save Belle from walking into an ambush. Justin advised that it would be best for Belle to convince Steve to let her plead him out.
Belle insisted that Steve would never agree to that. "You can't win this, Belle. I'm being completely honest. Do not let this go to trial," Justin stressed. Belle observed that it seemed like Justin wasn't very confident about his case. Belle added that she truly believed she could sell self-defense to a jury. "See you in court," Belle concluded before walking away.
Jade ran into Joey in a secluded section of the town square and quickly surmised that something was wrong. "And don't tell me it's just a hangover," Jade warned. Dodging the question, Joey apologized for the way he had treated Jade earlier, acknowledging that he had been a jerk. "You were way worse than that. But...I might have something in my bag that could help you mellow out a bit," Jade replied, producing a joint. Jade invited Joey to get high with her in the park, but he declined after receiving a text message from Kayla about Steve's arraignment. Jade scoffed and shook her head as Joey rushed off.
After looking for Steve and Kayla at the courthouse, Joey returned home and found them sitting in the living room. Steve insisted that Joey shouldn't have gone to the courthouse, but Joey ignored Steve's concerns, anxious to know what had happened during the arraignment. "I'm out on bail. This is going to trial," Steve explained, and Kayla added that Steve had pleaded not guilty. Steve assured Joey that Belle believed a solid case could be made for self-defense, given Ava's history. "We just have to hope for a sympathetic jury," Kayla added.
"And if you don't get one? Dad goes to jail for a murder he didn't do? I'm not gonna let that happen!" Joey insisted. Steve advised Joey that it wasn't the time to do something crazy, but Joey failed to see how not wanting Steve to go to prison could possibly be considered crazy. Steve assured Joey that he wasn't going to go to prison and that everything was going to be all right. "Dad, come on. Ava may be gone, but she got what she wanted. Look at us. She tore this family apart -- and I helped her do it," Joey regretfully protested.
Kayla insisted that Joey needed to stop blaming himself for what had happened because Ava had worked on him until she had finally managed to get him to do her bidding. "And it worked," Joey pointed out, slumping down on the couch. Steve took a seat next to Joey and acknowledged that Joey was right. "Ava put us through hell. But she's dead now. She can't do anything else to us. So you know what we've gotta do? We've gotta pull together now and find a way out of this mess," Steve added.
"How?" Joey wondered. Steve left after replying that he might know where to start. Confused, Joey wondered if Kayla knew where Steve was headed. Kayla admitted that she didn't. "[But] one thing that I learned about your dad a long time ago is to never underestimate him. And I can tell you for sure that he's not gonna let Ava Vitali have the last word," Kayla added.
Steve sneaked into Ava's hotel room and began searching it for the diary he knew she had always kept on hand. In a dresser drawer, Steve found a small pouch that was filled with assorted items, including a key ring that had a key and a snake charm attached to it. "Well, it's not a diary, but it's a start," Steve muttered.
Ciara finally confides the truth to Claire
When Belle entered the Edge of the Square, Philip was waiting for her in the dark. Philip explained that he'd just learned Belle had purchased the club -- but he really wanted to know why she hadn't been there when he'd awakened that morning. "I shouldn't have been there. It was wrong," Belle stated. She said she wanted to build a life for herself and Claire. A perplexed Philip demanded, "Who am I to you? Just some friend with benefits? ...Help me out here, will you? How do you really feel about me?"
Belle reminded Philip that they'd agreed not to put labels on things, but he insisted that he did want to discuss how they felt about each other. Philip declared that he didn't just want something casual, and he didn't want to be with anyone but Belle -- or for her to be with anyone else. Belle maintained that although she sometimes liked to hook up with Philip, she wasn't ready for a commitment. Philip quietly asserted that there was no denying their chemistry, and he suspected Belle felt it, too. He kissed Belle, who returned his kiss enthusiastically.
Belle soon pushed Philip away and reminded him that she didn't want any strings in their relationship. Philip asserted that being with Belle was what he really wanted, but she asked him not to push her into anything. Philip realized that Belle would never change her mind because she had no idea what she really wanted. "Fair warning: Belle, until you figure that out, you're never going to be happy," Philip cautioned her before he left.
In his hotel room, Deimos was on the phone as he reviewed his dossier of photos of Victor's loved ones. Deimos told the person on the other end of the line, "I have gone over the file Philip gave me on the serum. Seems genuine. I'm having a lab test it as we speak. If it passes, I'll send it right over."
As Maggie was having breakfast in Horton Square, Deimos spotted her and said hello, but she gave him the cold shoulder. Undeterred, Deimos sat down at the table next to her. Maggie wanted to know why Deimos was so determined to hurt Victor. Deimos guessed that Victor hadn't told Maggie the truth and had lied to her. Maggie was skeptical, so Deimos suggested that she let Victor explain things to her.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor cautioned Caroline to steer clear of Deimos, who intended to hurt Victor. Caroline pressed Victor to tell her why. Victor told Caroline about his history with Deimos, up to Victor's fiancée, Helena, stumbling and falling down the hillside into the Aegean Sea and hitting her head on a rock. Victor continued that when he and the police had found Helena's body, Deimos had been right next to her with blood on his hands and a note in his pocket that had said she had never wanted to see Deimos again.
Victor confessed that when the police had arrested Deimos for murder, Victor had kept silent, because he'd thought it was a fitting punishment for what Deimos had done. Caroline wanted to know if Victor had told Maggie what had happened. Victor said he hadn't because he didn't want his wife to hate him. Caroline cautioned Victor that his feud with Deimos could prove too stressful. Victor asserted that Deimos would continue to seek revenge, but instead of going after Victor directly, he would go after the people Victor loved.
When Maggie arrived, she and Caroline exchanged pleasantries then Caroline left. Maggie said she'd just run into Deimos, who'd claimed that Victor was keeping something from her. Victor told Maggie the part of the story that he had omitted before. Afterwards, Victor declared that he would never regret keeping his mouth shut and letting "that bastard" get what he'd deserved.
Maggie wondered why Victor had never told her about it before, and he confessed that he'd been afraid of losing her. When Victor implied that Deimos was out for revenge, Maggie guessed that she was next on Deimos' list. "Yes, and it's going to stop right now," Victor declared, heading out the front door despite Maggie's protests.
Caroline was strolling through Horton Square when she suddenly had another vision. In it, Victor appeared to be having a real heart attack; he was clutching his chest, gasping for breath, and trying to loosen his tie. Caroline stumbled a bit as she lowered herself onto a bench to catch her breath.
Victor and a very large henchman, Kostas, barged into Deimos' hotel room. Victor ordered Deimos to get out of town, but Deimos proposed that he wait to watch Victor fall off his pedestal. When Deimos taunted Victor about Philip and Maggie, Victor gave Kostas a quick, pointed glance. The burly Kostas grabbed Deimos and pinned his arms behind his back. Victor ripped Deimos' shirt open and ran the back of a knife along Deimos' skin.
Victor used the knife to carve a symbol of the devil into Deimos' chest, explaining coldly, "When you make a deal with the devil, you need to bear the mark. Now you do." Victor left with his bodyguard trailing behind him. A furious Deimos arrayed the photos of Victor and his loved ones on the desk then savagely stabbed each one of them, leaving the knife plunged into Victor's image.
In the hideout where Andre had situated him, Chase started to send a text message to Ciara but thought better of it. Instead, he called his Aunt Sharon in Chicago and asked if he could take her up on her offer to live with her. Apparently, his aunt had just sold her house so it wasn't a good time for Chase to live with her. "Now what the hell am I supposed to do? And where the hell is Andre?" an anxious Chase muttered after he hung up. He grabbed his backpack and rushed out.
Upstairs at the Horton house, Ciara was having a nightmare about Chase appearing in her room and accusing her of flirting with him. "Nobody's going to believe that you didn't want me to. So now I'm going to do it again," Chase declared in Ciara's dream, climbing into bed with her. When Ciara headed downstairs, she paused in the living room and stared at the couch, remembering how Chase had forced himself on her there. Hope returned after picking up some coffee and immediately noticed that Ciara was upset. Ciara claimed she was just "coming down with something."
Hope sat Ciara down and acknowledged that Ciara had just experienced a lot of heartbreak. Hope reassured her daughter, "Baby, I need you to know that I love you with all of my heart. I'm here for you one hundred percent -- you're my priority. You are the most important thing. Nothing else matters in this world but you." Ciara threw her arms around her mom. Hope asked again what was bothering Ciara.
Ciara admitted that she needed to tell her mom something. Unable to form the words she wanted to say, Ciara finally said she wished she were as strong as Hope. Hope pointed out that she only acted tough because, as a cop, it wasn't a good idea to show emotion or weakness. She added that she was thinking about returning to the force, and Ciara thought it was a great idea. Claire arrived to walk to school with Ciara.
The minute the girls were on the porch, Claire asked Ciara what was wrong. She refused to believe it when Ciara claimed she was fine. Ciara and Claire headed to the park so they would have some privacy. Claire reassured Ciara that she was very good at keeping secrets. Ciara seemed poised to confide what had happened, but the memories of what Chase had done to her upset her too much. As Ciara headed through Horton Square toward school, Claire hurried after her. "Ciara, stop!" Claire urged Ciara, grabbing her arm. Ciara whirled around and snapped, "Don't touch me!" As Ciara walked away, she ran right into Chase.
Flustered and alarmed, Ciara reminded Chase that he was supposed to have left town. Refusing to listen to Chase's mumbling explanation, Ciara fled the square. Claire stopped Chase before he could leave and demanded to know what was going on. Noting that Ciara had been upset and had freaked out when she'd seen Chase, Claire asked if he had hurt Ciara. "No. Did she say anything about me?" Chase said awkwardly. Claire took Chase's hand and suggested flirtatiously that they should all try to help Ciara.
When an uncomfortable Chase declined, Claire asked if he wanted to hang out later. Chase said he was leaving the next day to live with his aunt in Chicago. Claire wanted to at least have coffee before Chase left, and when he made excuses, she accused him of being hung up on Ciara. Chase asserted that Ciara didn't even want him around anymore. He promised to text Claire later if she still wanted to hang out.
Moments after Claire left, Theo confronted Chase. "What'd you do to Ciara?" Theo demanded. Chase irritably replied that everyone should ask Ciara what was up with her. A persistent Theo hotly vowed to figure out what Chase had done. "I'm so glad I am going to leave tomorrow, so I don't have to deal with you guys and all your...paranoia and your dumb questions!" Chase snarled before storming away.
Claire returned to the Horton house and found Ciara huddled in Alice's wing chair. Ciara was glad when Claire informed her that Chase was leaving town the next day. Claire didn't understand why Ciara was so "down on" Chase, when Claire wanted him to stay in town and even planned to meet up with him later. Ciara implored Claire, "Don't you dare go meet that piece of... Don't meet him anywhere, okay? He's insane! He's just like his dad! He's -- dangerous." Annoyed at first, Claire softened as she asked what Chase had done to Ciara.
It repulsed Ciara to hear Claire say she thought Chase was sweet and kind of sexy. Observing Ciara's reaction, Claire asked if Chase had hurt Ciara, who couldn't look Claire in the eye. "Did he hit you? Is that what he did?" Claire asked gently. Pressing her lips together and shaking, Ciara fought back tears but didn't reply. Claire's eyes widened as she put the pieces together. "Oh, my God... Ciara, did he rape you?" she softly asked Ciara. Ciara managed a nod, and Claire grabbed Ciara and hugged her fiercely as Ciara's tears finally flowed.
Claire got a box of tissue for Ciara and asked if Ciara could have misconstrued what had happened. Ciara irritably insisted that wasn't the case. When Ciara admitted that she'd been too ashamed to tell her mom, Claire firmly pointed out that it wasn't Ciara's fault; it was Chase's. An upset Ciara worried that her mom would be "disgusted and horrified." Claire wanted to know if Ciara had gotten checked out at the hospital, but Ciara said it was too late. Claire urged her to at least get tested for STDs and have a pregnancy test. Ciara maintained that nobody would believe her.
Claire asserted that she believed Ciara, as would Ciara's mom. Ciara begged Claire not to tell anyone, and Claire agreed. Ciara hoped that, one day, the horrible memories would stop making her so sick and angry and she could stop thinking about it. Theo arrived to check on Ciara, who claimed she wasn't feeling well. She apologized for her behavior at the party and started to head upstairs. Theo picked up on Ciara's distress and reminded her that she could talk to him because he was her friend.
Just then, Hope returned. Surprised that the kids weren't in school, Hope immediately sensed that something was wrong. Ciara claimed that Theo and Claire were there to check on her because she had started feeling ill at school and had gone home. As Hope got a blanket to cover Ciara with, Theo and Claire headed out. Hope gently asked Ciara what was really going on. Ciara maintained that she was feeling "weird and achy" and thought she should get back in bed. She trotted to the staircase then ran up the stairs.
When Chase spotted Rafe and Shawn as was he walking through the square, he hid. Chase overheard the men discussing Hope's possible return to the police force, which both were excited about. Chase headed out to the park. He paced and bounced on the balls of his feet as he waited for Claire to show up. He sent Claire a text message, but she ignored it.
Outside the front door of the Horton house, Theo wanted to make sure Ciara was all right, but Claire just thought their friend needed some time alone. Theo wanted to know why Claire wouldn't tell him if she knew why Ciara was so upset. Claire said she knew, but she had no idea how to help Ciara.
Upstairs, Ciara lay in her bed in a ball, clutching her knees to her chest and sobbing.