While dining with his parents at the Brady Pub, Joey reasoned that, in light of the literal shrine of new evidence that Steve had found to prove that Ava had been "a whack job," it would be impossible for anyone to dispute that she had been killed in self-defense. Joey thought that meant it was safe for him to finally step forward and admit that he was the one who had killed Ava, but Steve remained determined to take the blame himself.
Kayla asked Joey to clear the table and see if Caroline needed any help in the kitchen. After Joey left, Kayla mused with a sigh that he was a lot like Steve. "I know. Scares the hell out of me," Steve admitted. When Joey emerged from the kitchen a short time later, he lingered near the bar and watched as Kayla and Steve continued talking. Steve grasped Kayla's hand and assured her that everything was going to be okay.
Steve soon headed off to the town square to meet with Belle. After Steve left, Joey approached Kayla and optimistically observed that it seemed like she and Steve were starting to get along again. Kayla noncommittally confirmed that the whole family needed to stick together at that time. "If you don't forgive Dad, it's like Ava won," Joey pointed out, but Kayla dodged the subject, excusing herself so she could get back to work.
Joey wondered if Kayla believed that Ava's shrine would be enough to ensure that Steve wouldn't have to serve time for her murder. Shrugging, Kayla said she thought that Steve's chances were certainly better than they had been before. The answer failed to reassure Joey, who waited until Kayla was gone then slumped into a chair with a heavy sigh.
During his meeting with Belle, Steve showed her pictures of Ava's shrine and made a point of stressing that the threats against Kayla had been scrawled on the walls in blood. "Wow. [Ava] not only lived in Crazy Town, she was the mayor of Crazy Town," Belle mused as she flipped through the images.
Steve thought the shrine would be enough to prove self-defense, and Belle agreed, less confidently, that it certainly gave her something to play with. "Play with?" Steve repeated incredulously. Belle elaborated that the shrine could support the claim of mitigating circumstances but didn't really do anything to prove that Ava had been an imminent threat. Belle thought, however, that it could help explain why Steve had taken matters into his own hands instead of seeking help from the police.
Somewhat deflated, Steve admitted that he had expected Belle to be more excited about the evidence he had gathered. Belle pointed out that it really didn't matter what she thought because Justin was ultimately the one who needed to be convinced. With a hint of a smile, Belle added that if she were in Justin's shoes, the shrine would certainly be enough to deter her from taking the case to trial. "Wish me luck," Belle said before heading off to see Justin. "I was hoping you wouldn't need it," Steve muttered after Belle left.
When Belle presented the pictures to Justin at the police station, he dismissed them -- and her argument that they proved self-defense -- as laughable. Belle didn't think a jury would agree, but Justin was confident that no jury would vote to acquit Steve after being told exactly what self-defense meant. "It doesn't mean smothering a woman half your size in a hospital bed. It doesn't mean getting away with murder," Justin reminded Belle.
Justin reasoned that Steve could have gotten a restraining order against Ava or told the police that she had kidnapped Kayla, but he had instead chosen -- not for the first time in his life -- to take matters into his own hands. "In fact, I could argue -- persuasively, I think -- that by not having her arrested, he was actually laying the groundwork for her murder. And then you start throwing words around like premeditation," Justin added.
Belle argued that Steve had simply been in reaction mode, and Justin assured her that he understood that. Justin continued, however, that although the pictures of the shrine were lurid and disturbing, they didn't change the facts of the case. "Steve Johnson will have to stand trial for murder," Justin concluded before walking away.
Belle returned to the town square and told Steve about what had happened. Belle assured Steve that she wasn't going to give up, and she urged him to adopt the same attitude. "Well, it'll be what it'll be. If I can't beat it, I'll do the time. I've made my peace with that," Steve replied, unaware that Joey was listening nearby.
A short time later, Joey ran into Jade while passing through a secluded section of the town square. Jade could tell that something was bothering Joey, but he said he couldn't talk about it. Undeterred, Jade assured Joey that he could trust her. Joey remained silent, so Jade forged ahead, guessing that he was worried about the charges that his father was facing for killing Ava. "He didn't kill her. I did," Joey hesitantly admitted.
After filling Jade in on the details, Joey concluded, "It's okay if you hate me. I do. I mean, what I did was horrible, but letting my dad take the blame -- that's even worse." Jade pointed out that Joey had been pretty drunk on the night of Ava's murder. Jade added that she understood how Ava's actions could have pushed Joey to the edge. "I went over the edge!" Joey countered.
Jade admired Steve's willingness to take the blame for Joey. "If it were my dad, he'd let me rot in prison," Jade admitted. Joey pointed out that taking the fall for murder wasn't exactly part of a father's job description. Jade reasoned that Steve was probably just doing what he thought was right.
"So shouldn't I do what I think is right? If my dad gets convicted, I won't be able to live with myself. I can't let my dad do this," Joey insisted. Jade tried to argue that Steve probably knew what he was doing, but Joey had already convinced himself that if the case was going to trial, he would fare better than Steve because he was a minor. "Don't you see? I don't have a choice. I have to turn myself in," Joey concluded.
At the hospital, Fynn rushed Eduardo into surgery as Rafe and J.J. began to fill Gabi in on what had happened. Marlena soon arrived and wondered where John was. Rafe pulled Marlena aside and explained everything to her. Marlena shared what she knew about the agency that had turned John and Eduardo into assassins years earlier. "[This] was never about Arianna and me; it was always about John," Marlena realized.
Later, Shawn arrived and informed Rafe that a toxicologist had determined that the liquid that John and Eduardo had been forced to drink had been laced with a narcotic that was popular with Asian street gangs. Shawn also reported that a symbol had been found tattooed to the chest of each man who had died in the shootout at the abandoned warehouse. "It was a Chinese symbol, and it stood for 'phantom,'" Shawn continued, prompting Rafe to conclude that the agency had its roots in Asia. Rafe decided to contact Shane Donovan and find out if he had any additional information that could prove useful.
While waiting in a break room for news about Eduardo, Gabi suddenly realized that J.J. was missing Abigail's wedding. J.J. insisted that he didn't want Gabi to feel bad about that. "Do you have any idea how much I care about you?" J.J. added. Gabi said she was grateful that J.J. had made it out of the abandoned warehouse in one piece. "I don't think I knew till now how much I really need you," Gabi continued as she embraced J.J.
Later, Fynn tracked Rafe down and informed him that Eduardo had made it through surgery and was going to be okay, mainly due to the fact that he had taken a clean shot that hadn't caused extensive damage. Fynn agreed to let Rafe talk to Eduardo after Rafe explained that Eduardo was probably the only person who could help determine John's whereabouts before it was too late.
When Rafe entered Eduardo's room, Eduardo immediately asked about Arianna. Rafe assured Eduardo that Arianna was all right. Rafe also thanked Eduardo for saving his life, prompting Eduardo to joke that he hadn't started having second thoughts about doing so until after it was already too late to change his mind.
Before Rafe could get to the point of his visit, Marlena arrived and beat him to it, wondering if Eduardo knew where John was. Eduardo tried to climb out of bed so he could lead the search himself, but Rafe stopped him and insisted that he was in no condition to do that.
Eduardo referred to the agency as the Phantom Alliance but wasn't able to provide Rafe with much more than that, since everyone who was connected to it had multiple fully documented identities, and he had almost never reported to the same person more than once. "It's one level of encryption on another," Eduardo explained. Eduardo suspected that he had never met anyone from the highest ranks of the organization, which was based "nowhere and everywhere." Eduardo apologetically informed Marlena that he had no idea where John could have been taken.
Later, Gabi took Arianna to see Eduardo, who felt guilty because his "insane life" had put Arianna in danger. Eduardo acknowledged that he had a lot to explain to Gabi, but she said that could wait until he was feeling better. Meanwhile, Rafe stood guard outside Eduardo's room, not wanting to leave until someone showed up to relieve him of the duty. At the nearby nurses' station, Steve insisted, to Kayla's dismay, that he wasn't going to let his impending murder trial stop him from doing whatever it took to help find John.
At an undisclosed location, John protested that Yo Ling couldn't be his father because his father had died on the battlefield during the Korean War. When John added that he was wearing his father's tags, Yo Ling curiously inspected them then yanked them off John's neck and tossed them aside. "There are more things in heaven and earth, John, than are dreamt of in your philosophy," Yo Ling began.
"This Western syllogism...it's so narrow and so literal. There's no room for exploration; there's no room to breathe. It's stifling, like a summer afternoon in Korea. The heat just keeps coming and coming and coming; it curls through your mind like an army of ants. There's no end in sight. But I transcended all that, John," Yo Ling continued.
Yo Ling explained that when Timothy Robicheaux had died on the battlefield, a new being had been born. "The man known as Robicheaux was left for dead, but he summoned a strength most men can't even imagine, and he escaped into the mountains of China. He recovered. He trained with masters of the martial arts. He rebuilt his strength. And he took the name Yo Ling," he added. John recognized the name as the Chinese word for "phantom." Nodding, Yo Ling elaborated that phantoms lived everywhere and nowhere, in the dark matter where light didn't exist, and although they couldn't be seen, they still influenced everything around them.
John said he could see Yo Ling just fine, but Yo Ling doubted that. Yo Ling noted that John had abandoned his commitment to the agency and had turned his back on them, prompting John to counter that Yo Ling had done the same to his family as well as his country. "My country left me for dead. And now my mission is to right the wrongs of that sewer that you call Western civilization," Yo Ling argued. Yo Ling continued that the agency had caused real changes to occur, dethroning despots and toppling governments as part of its movement, which was synonymous with revolution.
"At the beginning, we were disorganized and irrational, but I was able to transform that chaos into the most effective organization of spies, assassins, and fighters in the world. I took a handful of passionate believers and created what the world came to know as the Phantom Alliance," Yo Ling added. Stunned, John wondered how long Yo Ling had been watching him, completely aware of their connection. "A long time," Yo Ling admitted.
Yo Ling offered John some tea, claiming that it would help John feel better, but John declined and sank to the floor, finally succumbing to the effects of the drug he had been forced to consume earlier. Yo Ling put his cane aside, filled a bucket with cold water, and poured it on John's face, snapping John back to full alertness. After placing the empty bucket on the floor, Yo Ling slowly limped over to a nearby stool, prompting John to observe that the act had clearly taken a lot out of him. "Maybe you ought to call up some of that inner strength other men can only imagine," John mused with a taunting laugh.
Yo Ling could tell that John had a lot of anger toward him. John said that was because Yo Ling had destroyed his life and turned him into a killing machine, but Yo Ling clarified that he had given John purpose, and that alone meant that John had always been more than just a machine. John wondered how many people he had killed for the agency. "Does it matter now?" Yo Ling answered.
Yo Ling recalled that it had taken him a while to track John down after John's mother had abandoned John. Yo Ling said he had eventually figured out which orphanage John had been placed in, but the Alamain adoption had gone through before he had managed to make it to the orphanage to claim John. Yo Ling had then watched and waited until the time was right, at which point he had made the Alamains a financial offer they had been unable to refuse, along with a promise to send John to the prestigious Winterthorne Academy.
"When you arrived at Winterthorne, John, I almost came to you, but I felt you needed to stand on your own. You were chosen for special training [and] groomed to be one of the Alliance's elite, and that proved to be a very wise decision on our part," Yo Ling explained. John was outraged that his father had sat back and watched as he had been brainwashed, but Yo Ling preferred to think that John had been educated. Yo Ling recalled that John had eventually been on the verge of commanding his own brigade of two hundred fifty men, but Ilya Petrov had then betrayed Yo Ling and delivered John to Stefano DiMera.
"And now, after all this time, you've got me back. Why is that?" John wondered. Musing that bacteria were the oldest members of the food chain and would probably inherit the earth one day, Yo Ling explained that he had contracted an insidious disease -- the same one Caroline Brady had recently recovered from. "Unfortunately, my condition is more advanced than hers," Yo Ling added after a timely coughing fit.
John guessed that Yo Ling was the one who had kidnapped and tortured Bo in an attempt to obtain the cure, but Yo Ling clarified that he had actually hired someone to handle the job. "Unfortunately, I did not exercise sufficient oversight there, and I regret that," Yo Ling added. Unsatisfied, John stressed that Bo was dead because of Yo Ling. John mused that Yo Ling had seemed willing to let Marlena and Arianna suffer the same fate. "Yes, that would have been unfortunate collateral damage," Yo Ling conceded. Yo Ling reasoned, however, that the loss of a single life, or even multiple lives, was sometimes the price to be paid for the greater good.
"You ever heard of the 38th parallel? Of what happened there in 1950? They teach you about that in your schools? Of course not; not the real story. The United States of Amnesia: never tell -- never tell -- the unvarnished truth. The coup of MacArthur and Marshall -- they overrode Truman, and they took their armies [and] crossed into the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, cutting down innocent people. Women. Children whose only crime [was] being born too far north. The United States of Aggression," Yo Ling ranted. Scoffing, John argued that Yo Ling was in no position to take the moral high ground and complain about aggression.
John wanted to know what had happened to Timothy Robicheaux, who had been a kind, decent, charitable man. Yo Ling said that man had been a nobody who hadn't had the power or the resources to truly affect his world. Yo Ling added that he was a man who had made a difference. "So did Stalin," John pointed out. "So did Che. So did Malcolm. Mandela, Allende, Emilio Zapata, Crazy Horse... But all those men, they thought outside the box, and they left this world before their time. I don't want that to be my fate...and that's where you come in," Yo Ling countered.
Yo Ling explained that in addition to the disease he shared with Caroline, he had also developed an acute blood disease, which he needed to cure right away to buy himself time to cure the other disease. "I need fresh, healthy, compatible blood. Who's a better source for that than my own son?" Yo Ling reasoned. Yo Ling added, almost as an afterthought, that the process could potentially kill John. "But you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you died for the future of this planet, and for a sacred cause," Yo Ling concluded.
Abigail and Chad marry
In the town square, Brady talked to Maggie while she was on her way to pick up a prescription for Victor. Brady sent Victor his regards. When Maggie asked about Summer, Brady said that Summer had felt terrible about blowing her interview with Maggie. Brady asked Maggie to give Summer a second chance. Concerned, Maggie asked Brady why he was fighting so hard for Summer.
Brady explained that Summer had been Daniel's friend and that he wanted to help her. Maggie countered that Summer had no training to work at the hospital. With a mischievous glint in his eye, Brady noted that Alice Horton would remind Maggie that Alice had given Maggie a volunteer job at the hospital when she had not had any experience. Maggie grumbled that she had worked in a snack bar. Maggie argued that the job required a lot of responsibility.
Sensing a crack in Maggie's armor, Brady added that if Daniel were there, he would have asked the same thing of Maggie. Maggie agreed to keep her eyes open for a better volunteer opportunity for Summer. Brady smiled, and Maggie rushed off to the hospital to pick up Victor's prescription.
While at the hospital, Maggie ran into Summer. Summer apologized for running out of the interview. Summer blamed her nerves. With a shrug, Maggie said she did not understand why Summer had been so nervous. Summer offered to buy Maggie a cup of coffee. With a nod, Maggie agreed.
At the Brady Pub, Nicole and Theresa talked about plans for the launch of their new company. While the two chatted, Maggie and Summer walked into the pub. Nicole pointed them out. Brady texted Theresa and asked her to meet him at home. With a grin, Theresa said goodbye to Nicole and left. Curious, Nicole stared over at Summer and Maggie.
Maggie and Summer sat in a booth in the corner, and Summer talked about her past. Summer said that she had been adopted but had moved to California to start a new life. When Maggie asked about school, Summer said that she had not found herself until later. Maggie asked about Summer's relationship with Daniel, and Summer admitted that Daniel had been the best friend she had ever had. Maggie grew teary-eyed.
"He would never think about himself; he would always ask about others," Summer said. Seeing the tears in Maggie's eyes, Summer apologized for upsetting Maggie. Maggie said she was crying happy tears. With a smile, Maggie asked again about school. Summer explained that school had not panned out. Nodding, Summer told Maggie that she was easy to talk to. Summer said she had wanted to tell Maggie everything so that there were no surprises later. Concerned, Maggie asked Summer what she meant.
Stammering, Summer said that she wanted Maggie to know everything about her for the job. Maggie nodded. When Maggie asked Summer if she had any questions, Summer cheerfully noted that Brady had told her about Maggie's farm background and Maggie's husband. Her smile falling, Maggie clarified that she had been referring to the job. Maggie asked Summer why Brady had talked to her about Maggie's personal life. Summer said that Brady had told her to make her more comfortable around Maggie.
Midway through her response, Summer apologized for making things awkward. As Summer rose to leave, Maggie grabbed Summer's wrist and demanded to know what Summer was hiding. Maggie asked Summer if she had information about Daniel. Summer shook her head and said that everything was fine.
In his apartment, Brady lit candles around the living room for a romantic evening with Theresa. Brady opened a ring box and stared at an engagement ring. With a nod, Brad hid the box in the cushions of the couch. When Theresa arrived home, she smiled. Brady told Theresa that he wanted "us time" with Theresa. Brady thanked Theresa for being patient with him. Smiling, Theresa told Brady that there was nowhere else that she would want to be in the world. The two kissed.
As Theresa and Brady moved toward the couch, Brady asked Theresa about the future. As Theresa kissed Brady, she said she saw herself with Brady. Brady said he wanted to make Theresa's dream come true. As Brady reached between the cushions for the engagement ring, Summer knocked on the door. With a sigh, Brady opened the door, and Summer rushed in. "I think I just ruined everything," Summer blurted out.
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail freaked out during the wedding service when she thought she had seen Ben through the glass patio doors, standing in the garden. As no one else had seen Ben, Jennifer urged her daughter to calm down while Chad searched the grounds with the police. Doug, Julie, and Jennifer told Abigail that it was unlikely that Ben had staged an escape in order to track her down. Upset, Abigail told her family that they did not understand the depths of Ben's insanity.
Outside, Chad looked for Ben and ordered the guards to secure the tunnels and work with the police. Lucas and Eric met up with Chad to inform him that they had not found Ben on the grounds. J.J. arrived after hearing on the police scanner that Ben had been spotted at the DiMera mansion. While Lucas and Eric headed inside to inform the wedding guests that Ben had not been spotted, Chad stayed behind to tell J.J. that Abigail believed she had seen Ben outside. Chad added that there were no signs of intrusion.
"The truth is that Abby's been jumping at shadows ever since she found out that Ben escaped," Chad said. Worried about Abigail, Chad said he had an idea. J.J. and Chad went into the house to check on the bride. Abigail apologized for stopping the wedding, but Chad said he understood that she had seen something. J.J. joked that he was glad Abigail had stopped the wedding so that he could arrive in time. Wiping away nervous tears, Abigail asked J.J. why he was late. Without going into details, J.J. explained that Arianna and Marlena were at the hospital after an incident. Lucas and Adrienne went into the foyer to call the hospital and check on Arianna.
With a sigh, J.J. told Abigail that he had heard on the radio that Ben had been spotted in Louisiana. Chad said he had heard the same thing from the watch commander at the police station. Abigail was confused, but she accepted the news as true. Relieved that Ben was not in Salem, Abigail sighed. Chad promised that he would never let Ben get close enough to hurt Abigail. With her nerves calmed, the wedding was restarted.
Doug pulled J.J. and Abigail aside and suggested that J.J. should give his sister away. With a smile, J.J. looped his arm into Abigail's and walked her down the aisle. The service started with Jennifer reading a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning as selected by Abigail. Next, Julie read a passage from Jack's book, "The Forgotten Hostage" as chosen by Chad. The book passage recounted how Jack had stared at a photo of his family while he had been held captive.
"Family was the thread that held me together. It's the unbreakable bond that sets us free. Makes us brave, makes us howl in pain and cry with joy as nothing else can. Family is the reason we transcend any hardship and know that no matter where we are flung in this world, we have a home," Julie read. When Julie finished, the couple spoke the vows they had written.
"Chad, all I want in this world is to be the woman that you see in me. Your Abby. If I can somehow give you half as much as you've given me, then you will always be loved and cared for. God knows our story has not been perfect, definitely had its ups and downs, but our love has always been bigger than the two of us. We finally learned that we should just get out of its way. Chad DiMera, you are my hero, you're my soul mate, you're my best friend, and you're my true love. I'm so honored to spend the rest of my life with you as my husband and me as your wife," Abigail said.
Chad responded, "This is new for me. The idea of love and family was always loaded, to say the least. When I look at you and our son, I see everything. Everything that I could ever want. And you made me the richest man in the world because you give me love and a real family. Now I could never say it as well as your father did, but I will spend my life honoring that and honoring you, and loving you with everything I have in me."
With the written vows spoken, the priest read the official vows, and the couple said their "I do's." Theo handed Chad the rings, and Chad and Abigail placed the rings on one another's fingers. The priest finished the ceremony, and the room erupted in cheers as the couple kissed. The guests rushed to congratulate the couple and pose for pictures.
In the foyer, Jennifer called her mother to tell her about the ceremony. Eric walked up behind Jennifer and waited for her to finish her call. As Jennifer hung up the phone, Eric told Jennifer that the ceremony had been beautiful. Eric commented that he was amazed that Jennifer had not cried during the reading of Jack's book. When Jennifer smiled, Eric asked her how many pills she had taken that day. Indignant, Jennifer warned Eric to butt out of her life. Eric nodded and then poured an alcoholic drink in the living room when no one was looking.
Chad and J.J. stepped aside to talk about the lie they had told about Ben. J.J. said the lie had been worth it to see his sister happy. As Chad stared across the room at his wife, he said he would make sure that Ben did not go anywhere near Abigail. Chad approached Harold and asked him to check the windows and safety bars on the front floor. Harold nodded.
With a smile, Chad went to Theo and told him that he felt like Lexie had been in the room for the wedding. Theo grinned. Chad asked about Theo's date, and Theo's smile grew wider. When Chad asked about Ciara, Theo said that she was just his friend. Across the room, Abigail talked to J.J. J.J. apologized for almost missing the wedding, and he stressed that Gabi was upset that she had missed the wedding. Nodding, Abigail smiled and told J.J. to leave and check on Gabi. With a goofy grin, J.J. hugged his sister and ran out the door.
At the bar, Eric started to pour another drink but then stopped himself. Eric looked over at Jennifer, and he went over and apologized to her. Eric offered to walk Jennifer home, but she politely declined, saying that she wanted to stay with Abigail for a bit. Eric nodded and went over to the bride and groom to say goodbye.
After everyone had left, Abigail stood in the living room and stared out the glass doors that she had seen Ben at earlier. Shaking off the memory, Abigail turned to the buffet and poured a glass of Champagne. A wind blew open the doors to the patio, and Abigail heard Ben's voice call out her name. Hearing Abigail cry out, Chad rushed in to the living room. Abigail explained that the doors had opened on their own and that a voice had called to her from the garden. Fighting tears, Abigail backed away as Chad closed the doors. Chad assured Abigail that no one was outside.
Upset, Abigail said she wanted to see her son. Chad gently grabbed Abigail to stop her, but Abigail said she would not feel comfortable in the house until Ben was back in prison. Chad stressed that there was no safer place in Salem than the mansion. "I am leaving Salem tonight, Chad," Abigail cried out.
Brady proposes to Theresa
Kate showed up at Deimos' new apartment -- which had formerly belonged to Ben Weston -- with a housewarming gift. As Deimos stared at the small, gourd-shaped brass trinket encircled by a red tassel, Kate explained that it was a wu lou, a feng shui item to remove negative energy in the home and to attract luck and prosperity to its possessor. Kate reiterated her warning that a vendetta against Victor wouldn't end well. "You're right about that. For Victor, it wouldn't," Deimos replied.
Deimos confessed that Kate had "gotten to" him, although he hadn't thought anyone could again, and it had made him realize that, instead of seeking revenge, he would rather enjoy what was left of his future -- with Kate, he hoped. "Why would I want to obsess over my dilapidated brother when I could obsess over you instead?" Deimos added. He took Kate's face in his hands and kissed her. Kate got caught up in the moment until she remembered that she had a meeting with a vendor. As Kate left, Deimos made her promise that she would return again soon.
Once alone, Deimos made a phone call and ordered some medication he'd ordered to be delivered right away. While he was waiting, Deimos researched myasthenia gravis online. When J.J.'s old buddy Rory delivered the medication, he cautioned Deimos, "This stuff can mess you up bad." Rory giggled as he counted his cash, noting that he hoped Deimos would be a regular customer. "I never want to see you again. If you value that worthless life again, you'll keep it that way," Deimos said without bothering to look at Rory. A carefree Rory left.
Steve, Marlena, and Rafe were gathered in Eduardo's hospital room to try to determine why John's kidnappers had taken him. Eduardo wrote down what few contacts he had in Rafe's notebook. Steve said he would find out whatever he could from the ISA. Hope arrived and promised Marlena that they would get John back from the Phantom Alliance.
While Rafe and Marlena were waiting near the nurses' station, a nurse cautioned them that Eduardo needed to rest. Hope returned from making a phone call and advised Rafe and Marlena that another cop was reviewing footage from every security camera within a five-mile radius of the warehouse. The three of them were confident that they would find John.
When Marlena walked away, Rafe asked Hope how she was doing after Chase's arrest for sexually assaulting Ciara. Hope was grateful for Rafe's concern, though she didn't want to talk about it. Steve announced from Eduardo's doorway that they had a lead. The group returned to Eduardo's room, where Steve passed along Eduardo's insight that when police got involved, the agency's move was always to take cover immediately, so they presumed that the alliance had safe houses all around town, where they were likely holding John.
Later, Eduardo instructed Rafe to call a number in his wallet, and for Rafe to tell them who he was and what had happened. Hope entered while Rafe was getting the card from Eduardo's wallet and observed that Rafe seemed a little out of sorts. Rafe explained that he'd recently learned why he hadn't heard from his father for so long: Eduardo had been a trained assassin.
Later, Rafe informed the others that his father's contact had given Rafe a list of locations in the tri-state area where the agency could have set up camp -- but the list was so long that it could take days to find where they were keeping John. Steve wanted to divide up the list between himself, Rafe, and Hope, but Rafe decided that none of them should go anywhere alone. When Steve protested, Marlena firmly declared, "We're wasting time arguing, and by the way, I am going with you." As the foursome headed out, Rafe pulled Hope aside and urged her to stay close to home so she could be with Ciara. Hope agreed.
In Yo Ling's lair, John struggled mightily to escape his bonds, but before he'd made much progress, Yo Ling hobbled in on his cane, followed by a couple of underlings. John wasn't interested in hearing any of Yo Ling's speeches, asserting that he wished he'd known Yo Ling back when he'd been a war hero, instead of wishing that Yo Ling had died on the battlefield. Yo Ling stomped on a cockroach and held up its gooey carcass, nattering on about their tenacity and ability to make collective decisions, while humans bred discontent and dictators. Yo Ling said he was fighting against that, and John would be part of it.
As Yo Ling retrieved what appeared to be a blanket from his bed and tossed aside his cane, one of the henchmen picked up the cane. "I love you, and it hurts me that you may lose your life in the effort we're about to engage in," Yo Ling said as he placed the blanket around John's shoulders. "If you want to do the world some good, why don't you go crawl in a hole and let this filthy disease consume you?" John hissed. Disregarding John's venomous words, Yo Ling informed his son that the transfusion would happen the next morning. He left with his minions.
John was fighting again to free himself when Yo Ling's underlings entered, dragging a man with a black hood over his head. John demanded to know what was going on, but the men ignored him and bound the unconscious man to the pipe across from John. The goons stood up and yanked the hood off the man's head, and John gasped when he saw that it was his son. "No! Oh, my God. No -- Paul! No!" John shouted.
Maggie was looking forlornly at a framed photo of Daniel when Nicole arrived. Nicole explained that she wanted Maggie's opinion about what to do with Daniel's medical books, adding that Maggie was the only one who shared Nicole's grief over Daniel. The women commiserated about how much they missed Daniel. Maggie asserted that the only thing stronger than grief was love. Nicole confided that it had seemed, at first, that Daniel had still been with them after receiving Brady's heart, but then Brady had become obsessed with Summer.
Nicole said she didn't trust Summer because she wondered what Summer wanted from Maggie. Maggie was puzzled about how Nicole knew Summer. Nicole explained that she'd been in L.A. when she and Brady had pulled Summer out of the water. Maggie and Nicole concurred that whatever Summer's intentions had been when she'd walked into the ocean, Summer needed help.
Nicole cautioned Maggie to be careful with Summer, because Summer clearly wanted get to know Maggie. With a shudder, Maggie fretted, "You don't think she's dangerous?" Nicole didn't think Summer was dangerous, but she hoped Maggie would point out to Brady that Daniel wouldn't want him to let Summer's drama disrupt Brady's life. Maggie was grateful to Nicole for sharing her concerns with Maggie.
After Nicole left, Maggie called and left a message for Brady, asking him to call her. As she hung up, Deimos appeared in the doorway. Startled, Maggie asked, "What are you doing here?" Deimos said, "I thought you and I should have a little talk."
Summer burst into Brady and Theresa's condo, upset because she'd almost revealed to Maggie that they were mother and daughter. Theresa suggested that Summer go ahead and tell Maggie the truth -- and if Summer were too afraid, Theresa could do the job. A panicked Summer insisted that Maggie should hear the news from her. Brady agreed, though he thought it should happen soon. He encouraged Summer to return to her hotel room.
Back at her hotel room, Summer was researching Maggie online when Dario showed up on her doorstep with a duffel bag. He explained that he hadn't been able to get in touch with his brother or sister and needed a place to crash. Summer declared that it had been a huge mistake to go to Salem, because Maggie already had two grown daughters and didn't need another who was as messed-up as Summer. Dario reminded Summer that she had just been in the loony bin, pointing out, "Now it turns out you've got a mom who's loaded. You'd be crazy not to take advantage."
Dario added, "Of all the cons we've pulled, this is the one, the one that we've been waiting for. Except it's not even a con, because nobody needs to pretend. You're her long-lost daughter, the heir to the Kiriakis fortune." He urged Summer to go for it so she could buy the mansion in Malibu she'd always wanted. "I can't screw over the mom that I've waited my entire life to meet!" Summer argued. She was also worried about messing with the powerful Victor Kiriakis. Dario shrugged off her concerns, but he left to look for his own family.
Later, Nicole spotted Dario as he was walking through Horton Square. They exchanged in light banter about Nicole's missing sunglasses. Dario said he was in town to see Gabi and Rafe -- and to collect on the drink Nicole had promised him. Nicole said she couldn't get together that night. Dario noted that, since he hadn't been able to get in touch with any of his family members, he didn't have any friends in town besides Nicole and Summer. Nicole hid her concern at the mention of Summer's name and agreed to have a drink with Dario that night.
Theresa noted to Brady that she wasn't usually jealous, but it was difficult not to feel that way with Summer -- and Nicole -- around. Brady reassured Theresa that he and Nicole did not love each other and that Theresa was the most important woman in his life. Brady began making a romantic declaration and surreptitiously reaching his hand under the sofa cushions to retrieve the ring he'd hidden there earlier, but a cry from Tate interrupted. Theresa hurried off to check on the baby.
When Theresa returned, Brady was on the phone with one of her work contacts, informing him or her that Theresa wouldn't be available until the next day. He locked the door and unplugged the landline so they would not be interrupted again. As Brady relit the candles, Theresa tried to pull him away into the bedroom. "There's something that I want to do first," Brady declared, dropping slowly to one knee and kissing Theresa's hand. Theresa looked at him with huge eyes as if she dared not believe what was happening.
Brady apologized for the lack of fanfare, explaining, "I just couldn't wait any longer." He counted all the reasons he loved Theresa, including a shared sense of humor. Beginning to cry happy tears, Theresa agreed that they had always had fun together, "even in the bad old days." Brady expressed his genuine gratitude to Theresa for standing by him through the tough times over the previous few months. Brady reached between the couch cushions, removed the tiny velvet box, and opened it to show Theresa the ring.
Theresa just glanced at the ring before sharply inhaling. Brady began, "Jeannie Theresa Donovan, will you --" Before he could finish, Theresa exclaimed, "Yes!" and hurled herself into his arms, knocking both of them to the rose petal-strewn floor, and giggled as she kissed him ecstatically. "Brady Black, you are the only man I have ever loved, and the only man I'm going to love for the rest of my life," Theresa declared between kisses.
"Do you want to see the ring? I don't think you even looked at it... Tell me you like it," Brady requested as he retrieved the ring from the floor. Theresa pronounced it "beautiful" while Brady put the ring on her finger.
Abigail tries to set aside her fears
At Edge of the Square, Claire sang along to a song she was playing on a keyboard, unaware that Belle was watching her. After Claire finished the song, Belle applauded and wondered if Claire had written it herself. Claire confirmed it, explaining that it was a birthday surprise for Ciara.
Claire thanked Belle for agreeing to let Ciara have her birthday party at the club. "Oh, of course. You know I'd do anything for you," Belle replied. "Except stay with Dad?" Claire countered. Taken aback, Belle hesitantly explained that although she cared about Claire's feelings and was working hard to get along with Shawn for that reason alone, the fact of the matter was that she had moved on -- with Philip.
Claire revealed that she was already aware of that because she had caught Belle and Philip kissing earlier that day. Claire explained that she had intended to check out the club because she had started thinking that having a place to perform wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but when she had seen Belle and Philip together and had realized just how serious they were about each other, she had changed her mind about taking a look around. "All I wanted to do was disappear," Claire admitted.
Belle wondered if getting back together with Philip would be the worst thing in the world, especially if being with him made her happy. Conceding the point, Claire acknowledged that she needed to get over herself and just be content with the fact that Belle had found someone who made her happy, even if that person wasn't Shawn. Belle said she hoped that Shawn would eventually find someone who made him happy, too.
After Shawn and Lani finished working for the day, they went to the town square for drinks then moved on to the Brady Pub for clam chowder. When Shawn was almost done with his, he glanced over his shoulder to make sure Caroline wasn't watching then raised the bowl to his lips and gulped down the remaining drops, giving himself a "chowder mustache" in the process.
Lani was quick to point out Shawn's new look, and although he felt humiliated, she assured him that it was actually kind of cute. Lani wiped Shawn's lips with a napkin and gave him a kiss. Meanwhile, Belle and Philip entered the pub. Philip immediately suggested that it might be best to find a different place to eat, and Belle agreed, but Shawn spotted them as they were leaving.
Shawn pulled away from Lani, who had her back to the entrance and therefore assumed that she was simply moving too quickly for him. "No, actually, you just made my day," Shawn replied before giving Lani another kiss. Outside, Philip wondered if Belle was okay. "Yeah. I told Claire earlier today that I wanted Shawn to move on, and...well, he obviously has. Yeah, I'm more than okay," Belle assured Philip before kissing him.
Alone at Edge of the Square, Claire imagined Shawn and Belle back together again, listening to her sing her song for them. When the fantasy ended, Claire shook her head sadly, fighting back tears.
While Theresa was sleeping, Brady went to get some takeout food from the Brady Pub, where he ran into Summer. Brady observed that Summer seemed to be doing better, and she jokingly confirmed that her mood changed as often as the weather. Brady tried to convince Summer to tell Maggie the truth about their biological connection to each other, reasoning that Summer had nothing to lose because it wasn't like she was trying to get a handout from Maggie.
Summer stared at Brady in silence for a moment, prompting him to wonder if he had said something wrong. Dodging the question, Summer pointed out that Maggie had given her up for adoption years earlier and had never even tried to find her afterward. Brady argued that Summer deserved to know why Maggie had done that. "You know what? You're right. I'll do it," Summer spontaneously decided. Summer wanted Brady to be there with her when she told Maggie the truth, though, and she didn't want to wait another minute to do it, fearing that she would lose her nerve if she gave herself time to second-guess the decision.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Deimos asked Maggie to help him end his feud with Victor. Maggie found it hard to believe that Deimos had suddenly decided to forgive Victor, but Deimos explained, while unbuttoning his shirt to reveal his scarred chest, that he had reached the decision after a recent visit from Victor. "I spent thirty years of my life behind bars for a murder I did not commit. Victor stabbed me in the heart when he did that to me. This was him merely signing his handiwork. Despite that fact, I'm here tonight because I came to a realization: if I'm gonna have any kind of life, I need to find a way to put this behind me," Deimos continued.
Maggie was still skeptical, and she pointed out that it was kind of late for Deimos to have such an epiphany, anyway. Deimos conceded that he was probably asking too much of Maggie. Deimos hoped, however, that Maggie would eventually change her mind. "Don't hold your breath," Maggie advised. Changing the subject, Deimos wondered if he could trouble Maggie for a glass of water, since his throat was really dry. Maggie reluctantly went to fulfill the request, and while she was gone, Deimos rummaged through her purse and replaced her myasthenia gravis medication with the drugs he had purchased from Rory.
Maggie soon returned with a bottle of water so Deimos wouldn't have to stick around to drink it. Deimos took the hint and showed himself out. A short time later, while Maggie was gulping down a dose of her medication, Brady arrived with Summer, who admitted that she had something to tell Maggie. After Summer finished her story, Maggie rushed out of the room in tears, feeling overwhelmed. Stunned, Brady tried to assure Summer that Maggie was in shock and simply needed some time to absorb the information. "Time isn't gonna change a damn thing!" Summer insisted between sobs.
Alone in her bedroom, Maggie cried as she looked at an old photograph of herself from her days of living on a farm. Meanwhile, Summer returned to her hotel room, still in tears, and started packing. "She doesn't give a damn about you. It was so stupid to come here!" Summer told herself as she angrily tossed clothes into her suitcase.
Brady returned home and told Theresa about what had happened. Theresa wondered if Brady believed that he had done the right thing. "I'm sure I didn't handle [this] well at all, but I know it's what Daniel wanted me to do. I didn't have a choice," Brady insisted.
In a honeymoon suite at a hotel somewhere outside of Salem, Chad and Abigail celebrated the fact that they were officially married. Chad promised that he would eventually take Abigail on a real honeymoon, and she assured him that she was in no rush. Abigail fretted that she had ruined the wedding with her false vision of Ben, but Chad dismissed the concern, insisting that the wedding had been amazing.
After making love, Chad and Abigail drifted off to sleep, but Abigail soon awoke with a start, rousing Chad in the process. When Chad wondered what was wrong, Abigail explained that she had just dreamed that she had turned to face Chad in bed but had found Ben staring back at her instead. Chad assured Abigail that she was safe and that everything was going to be okay.
Abigail was relieved that her cry of fear hadn't disturbed Thomas, who was still sleeping peacefully. Abigail fretted that she didn't want to turn into the kind of mother who was always freaked out about everything, particularly because she didn't want Thomas to pick up on and share her fears. Chad stressed that Abigail had nothing to worry about, not just because Ben was probably in an entirely different country at that point but also because Chad would always protect Abigail and Thomas from any and all dangers.
Chad went to take a shower, and while he was gone, the hotel phone rang. Abigail answered the call, but no one responded to her greeting. "Ben, is that you?" Abigail nervously asked. After a few more seconds of silence, Abigail ended the call. Later, after having dinner at a family-friendly restaurant near the hotel, Chad and Abigail returned to their room and put Thomas to bed. Abigail went to the closet to get a new nightgown she wanted to model for Chad, but when she pulled it out, they were both horrified to see that someone had shredded it.
Ciara gets out of control at her party
In Yo Ling's lair, John quietly called to Paul to try and awaken him. Paul was terrified when he returned to consciousness, and he had no idea where he was or why. "What's going on? Where the hell are we?" Paul asked, his eyes darting around the cavernous space in a panic. When John questioned him, Paul described how the men had abducted, drugged, and handcuffed him before throwing him into a van. John explained what he knew about why he was there and about Yo Ling's history to a bewildered Paul. John admitted that he had no idea why Yo Ling had taken Paul there. On John's instruction, Paul and John began trying to free themselves.
When Yo Ling entered, his two henchmen stood watch near the entrance, and Yo Ling introduced himself as Paul's grandfather. John ordered Yo Ling to let Paul go. Looking back and forth between John and Paul, Yo Ling said, "I intend to. After all this time, look at us here, all together in one place. It's a family moment worth celebrating." Yo Ling smiled, while Paul looked petrified and John appeared furious.
John reiterated his demand for Yo Ling to release Paul, who had his whole life ahead of him. Yo Ling replied, "You make my point for me. He's young; he'll live a long time. But you -- you've served the cause; you've done what you can. And now your blood will afford us the time that we need to finish some vital tasks -- tasks that only I can accomplish. But Paul -- Paul will still be here when I'm finally gone, and he'll be the young, vibrant future of everything that I've built."
Yo Ling explained that Paul's mind would be cleared of the "putrid trash" that Western culture had put there. John angrily accused Yo Ling of intending to brainwash Paul, but Yo Ling contended that the garbage of Western civilization had brainwashed them all. Paul demanded to know why, if Yo Ling found them so disgusting, he wanted Paul and John. In Paul's ear, Yo Ling whispered that he wanted Paul's strength and longevity. John pleaded with Yo Ling to take him instead of Paul.
Yo Ling fussed with his vials and beakers while assuring John of his profound love, although John didn't buy it. Yo Ling fiddled about, making tea, as he blathered on about fate. After gulping a cup of tea, Yo Ling signaled his men, who grabbed Paul and dragged him out. John shouted after his son to be strong, while Paul begged the men to let him go. Yo Ling tottered toward the exit, as well, while John yelled, "Don't do this to my son! Take me! Take me, not my son! Old man! Take me, not my son!"
Steve and Marlena were at John and Marlena's townhouse, awaiting further instructions in their search for John. Rafe arrived with a more pinpointed location as to where John could be. Marlena was ready to head out with the men, but Rafe argued that she wasn't a cop and shouldn't go along. Marlena grudgingly concurred. Rafe pointed out that Steve hadn't violated the terms of his bail, so it wasn't too late for Steve to back out, but Steve was determined to see the mission through.
Gabi was sitting at her father's hospital bedside when he woke up. Eduardo was relieved when Gabi assured him that Arianna was all right. Gabi acknowledged that she'd learned from Rafe that Eduardo had once killed people for a living. Eduardo said he would understand if Gabi decided she didn't want him in her, or her daughter's, life. Gabi was just grateful to Eduardo for saving Arianna. Eduardo said circumstances beyond his control had forced him to abandon his family, whom he had missed. "I want you back, even though I know I don't deserve you," Eduardo added sincerely.
Eduardo praised Gabi for her compassion but warned her that it was dangerous for her to be close to him. Gabi asserted that, with her past, she was in no position to judge -- and she was incredibly grateful to Eduardo for saving her daughter and brother.
Hurrying through Horton Square, Rafe was surprised when he saw Dario. The brothers embraced, and although Rafe couldn't talk, he urged Dario to stay at his place. After Rafe gave Dario a quick update on what was going on with Gabi and Eduardo, he handed over his keys and rushed off.
Gabi spotted Dario near the nurses' station as she exited Eduardo's room. Stunned, she welcomed her brother with an embrace. After Dario gave Gabi a brief explanation as to why he was in Salem, she filled him in about why Eduardo had been shot.
Eduardo was surprised when Dario entered his room. "Look at you. You turned into a man," Eduardo murmured. "And you're a little older than I remembered. A lot older, actually. You know, I heard a little bit about what you were up to all those years while you were gone, and I gotta say, if they're true, it's too bad that bullet that put you in here didn't kill you," Dario declared quietly.
As Joey dozed on a park bench, he dreamed of Roman arresting Steve for Ava's murder. Joey jerked awake, gasping. After he got an invitation by text message to Ciara's 18th birthday party at the Edge of the Square, Joey called Roman and said he would be at the police station shortly. Kayla arrived and overheard Joey's side of the conversation. Joey claimed that he had only been checking his messages.
Not buying it, Kayla urged Joey to trust his father. Joey pointed out, "That won't change what I did. Will it?" Kayla acknowledged that was true, but Joey had to remember that Ava had pushed him until he'd snapped. "It doesn't matter! Especially if Dad pays the price for what I did," Joey declared, hurrying away.
Joey arrived at the police station and asked Roman if they could speak alone. Kayla showed up on Joey's heels and tried to talk Joey out of talking to Roman. Roman pointed out that he and Joey could chat, uncle-to-nephew, without making it official -- unless Kayla interfered. Kayla reluctantly left her son and brother to talk. Roman took Joey into the interrogation room and suggested that the teen start at the beginning.
In Horton Square, Henry and Jade got messages identical to Joey's, while Theo got a more personal one, assuring him that Ciara wanted him at her party more than anyone else. Henry and Jade left Theo in the square when they left to prepare for the party. Theo gazed in the window of a clothing store and counted his cash as he walked away.
At the Edge of the Square, Ciara fussed over the party decorations and playlist. Claire urged Ciara to breathe. When Claire left the room, Hope asked how Ciara was doing. Ciara insisted that she was fine, but she didn't want any adults at her party, worrying about her. Claire returned and reminded Ciara that the night was supposed to be a party. Claire painted on an appreciative smile when a club bartender, Travis, ambled through the room. She explained that her mom had hired him -- and locked up the liquor -- to keep the party from getting out of hand.
Hope returned to present Ciara with her birthday gift: keys to Bo's 1967 Mustang. Hope explained that Bo had loved the car, and it hadn't seemed right to leave it in storage when his beautiful eighteen-year-old daughter was around to drive it. Ciara threw her arms around her mom in gratitude.
Henry and Jade were the first to arrive at Ciara's party. Ciara promised to open Henry's gift later, but Jade insisted that Ciara open the one from her right away. Ciara found a bottle of tequila in Jade's gift bag, but since they were being chaperoned, Ciara said they would have to stick with soda for the evening. Henry asked about Chase, but Ciara and Claire said they couldn't talk about Chase anymore. Ciara spotted Theo entering and hurried over to greet him. When Theo gave Ciara her birthday gift, she hugged him gratefully.
Henry got the guests' attention and introduced Claire. "Happy birthday, Ciara! I love you so much. I hope you like the song," Claire said before beginning the song she'd written especially for the occasion. Although the crowd listened appreciatively, it clearly made Ciara uncomfortable. Tears streamed down her cheeks until, overcome, she fled the club. Claire and Theo observed the change in Ciara's demeanor, and Theo followed Ciara out into the square.
Theo caught up to Ciara as she was trying to catch her breath. Theo asked why Ciara had run out in the middle of Claire's song. "Theo, I keep telling people I don't want to talk," Ciara declared as she grabbed Theo and kissed him hard. Shoving him away again, Ciara announced that it was time to get back to the party. She headed back inside, leaving a bemused Theo in her wake.
An upset Kayla was in the park outside Horton Square, trying to get in touch with Steve, when Hope showed up. Hope could tell immediately that something was wrong. Kayla confessed that Steve hadn't killed Ava; Joey had. Hope offered a sympathetic ear as Kayla broke down about Justin shooting down Steve's case for self-defense. Kayla suspected that Joey was confessing everything to Roman. "God, what is happening to our families?" Hope mused sadly. "Chase was arrested...[for] raping Ciara," Hope admitted, acknowledging that Ciara was hiding her true feelings about it. Crying, Hope blamed herself for losing her judgment and failing to protect her daughter.
As the sisters-in-law vowed to protect one another's children, Kayla got a text message from Roman. She gave Hope a goodbye hug and hurried off. Hope got a call from Theo, who said, "I think you need to come to the club." That was all Hope needed to hear; she immediately headed in that direction.
Ciara was dancing on the bar with the bottle of tequila, to cheers and applause from her party guests. She was drinking from the bottle while making her own declaration of independence when Hope walked in. Ciara's behavior stopped her mother in her tracks.
Roman and Joey were still in the interrogation room when Kayla arrived. "What's going on?" she asked, gulping in fear.
Steve headed out of the townhouse with promises to return with John. When Steve looked at his phone, he saw an urgent text message from Kayla about Joey's probable confession.