On the night of Hope and Aiden's wedding, Aiden changed his mind while preparing to murder Hope, realizing that he couldn't do that to the woman he loved. Aiden started to leave Hope's house, but when he opened the front door, he was shocked and confused to find a man standing outside who looked exactly like him.
As Aiden backed away from the impostor, Andre sneaked out of the kitchen and grabbed him from behind, injecting the contents of a syringe into his neck. "Father and I always thought you'd be too squeamish to finish the job you were hired to do," Andre muttered as Aiden collapsed in his arms. The impostor helped Andre stuff Aiden in the trunk of a car then returned to Hope's house to kill her. Meanwhile, Andre transported Aiden to an unknown location and left him locked in a cell there.
When Aiden regained consciousness, he started searching desperately for a way out of his cell. A cloud of smoke soon filled the room, knocking him out again. The next time he regained consciousness, he discovered a plate of food waiting for him at the foot of his bed, along with a bottle of water. He refused to touch the provisions at first, shouting that he was on a hunger strike, but he eventually gave in, realizing that he would need to keep his strength up in order to figure out how to escape from the cell.
The cycle continued, and each time Aiden regained consciousness after being knocked out, he found evidence that someone had visited his cell. On one of those visits, some pens and blank notebooks were left behind in addition to the expected food and water. On another visit, a television was left just outside his cell, and when he regained consciousness, it began playing a video montage that started with clips from his and Hope's wedding ceremony and ended with images of the impostor strangling Hope.
As the months passed, Aiden struggled to maintain his sanity, recording seemingly nonsensical thoughts in the notebooks while talking to the corpse of a bird that had died after a trip through the vent that was being used to fill the room with smoke every time he needed to be incapacitated. He explained to the bird that, with the help of his watch, he was keeping a coded journal that detailed the date and time of each incapacitation. He was also keeping track of how long he had been able to hold his breath each time before passing out.
One day, a news report about Chase's arrest for rape was played for Aiden, who refused to believe the news at first but soon realized that Chase had probably lost every shred of humanity after being told that Aiden had killed Hope. Distraught, Aiden begged for death, but when the room filled with smoke again, he stuck to his routine, holding his breath for as long as possible then quickly jotting down his progress before losing consciousness. Later, he told the bird his theory that the smoke was never cleared from the room until after he passed out.
When Aiden was finally ready to make his move, he waited for the next appearance of the smoke then held his breath for a while before pretending to pass out. A guard soon entered the cell to leave food and water for Aiden, who waited until the guard's back was turned then pounced, wrapping his arms tightly around the guard's neck. The guard struggled but eventually lost consciousness, and Aiden released a triumphant cheer before rushing off with his feathered friend. Later, after stopping at a gas station to cut his hair and shave, Aiden left the bird behind in the restroom then hitchhiked to Salem.
Aiden made his way to Hope's house and checked a familiar hiding spot for the spare key, which he used to let himself in. While he was looking around upstairs, Hope returned home and went to the kitchen to make some tea. Later, after receiving a text message about Ciara's whereabouts, Hope was stunned to find Aiden standing in her living room. Hope dropped her cup of tea and backed away from Aiden, trying to assure herself that he couldn't possibly be real. Insisting that he was, Aiden begged Hope to let him explain everything to her, but she refused to listen.
After dialing 9-1-1, Hope shoved Aiden away then grabbed her gun before he could recover. "You're dead. Bo shot you! I saw your dead body. You're dead!" Hope protested while keeping her gun pointed at Aiden, who tried to explain that Stefano and Andre had been responsible for everything that had happened.
Aiden begged Hope to believe him, but she ignored his pleas and proceeded to cuff him. A couple police officers soon arrived and took Aiden into custody after Hope informed him that he was under arrest for attempted murder. "You have the right to remain silent, and I suggest you do so before I lose it," Hope warned, her gun still aimed at Aiden.
After the police officers escorted Aiden out of the house, Hope finally lowered her gun and began to sob.
Gabi's health deteriorates
At the hospital, a feverish Gabi worried about the health of her baby. Adriana offered to check on Arianna while J.J. watched over Gabi. Exhausted, Gabi passed out. When Gabi woke up, she talked to the doctor about where she had been during the day. The doctor said he needed to talk to everyone that Gabi had contacted throughout the day. When Gabi told the doctor she had been at a photo shoot with Paul, the doctor asked for details.
Down the hallway, John worried aloud to Marlena about Paul's rapidly deteriorating health. John explained that there were a number of patients with flu-like symptoms. While John and Marlena talked, two more people stumbled into the hospital. John saw Adriana and stopped her. Adriana informed Marlena and John that both Gabi and Arianna were sick in the hospital. Worried, Marlena went to check on Arianna. With a weary sigh, Adriana said the family had had a wonderful day together until "this." John assured Adriana that everything would be fine.
In her living room, a visibly shaken Hope thought about when she had confronted Aiden. When Hope walked into the kitchen, Ciara returned home. Hope rushed into the living room, and Ciara asked what was wrong. Short on details, Hope said she needed to go to the station. When Ciara stopped her, Hope asked what was wrong. Ciara thought about when Theo had told her that he loved her. Shaking off the memory, Ciara said she was just upset about the ramifications of her scheme to trash the car at the prom.
When Ciara mentioned that Abe had forbidden Theo from hanging out with her, Hope admitted that Abe had talked to her. When Hope offered to talk to Abe, Ciara asked Hope to stay out of her life. Frustrated by the evening, Hope raised her voice to remind Ciara that she was letting her move out. Equally snippy, Ciara said Hope was clearly annoyed, judging by the look on Hope's face. Hope said she was concerned about Ciara. Hope said she wanted to help Ciara, and she did not know how to reach out to Ciara without upsetting her. With a groan, Ciara told Hope to go handle her emergency at the police station.
At the Hernandez house, Rafe cleaned up the dishes from his date with Hope. Smirking, Dario asked Rafe about his evening. Dario and Rafe sat outside and talked about their father. Dario apologized for yelling at Eduardo over dinner, and he added that he had been upset when Eduardo had acted like a father when he had grilled J.J. With a shrug, Rafe apologized for treating Dario like a kid brother over the years. Rafe said he wanted his brother to be happy. Dario insisted that he would be fine.
Suspicious, Rafe asked Dario if anything was wrong. Dario said he was fine and went inside the house. Rafe's phone buzzed, and he saw a text message from Roman asking him to meet at the station.
At the police station, a flummoxed Roman ordered the arresting officer escorting Aiden to fingerprint him and determine who had been arrested. Once Aiden was seated in the interrogation room, Roman questioned him. Aiden wanted to talk to Hope first, but Roman ordered Aiden to talk. Aiden steadfastly refused. As Roman returned to the bullpen of the station, Rafe arrived. Roman pointed through the conference room window at Aiden.
Roman explained that they were running Aiden's fingerprints and DNA, but Aiden had refused to explain anything about the situation with anyone but Hope. When Rafe asked what had happened, Roman told Rafe that Aiden had entered Hope's house, and she had arrested him. Furious, Rafe marched into the interrogation room and demanded to know Aiden's real identity. Rafe growled that he had seen Aiden's dead body be buried. Aiden sighed. As Rafe turned to leave, he saw Hope in the hallway.
Rafe escorted Hope over to the bullpen to talk with Roman. Hope explained that Aiden had not attempted to hurt her. When Hope asked what Aiden had said, Roman informed her that Aiden had refused to talk to anyone but her. With a nod, Hope agreed. Rafe begged Hope not to talk to Aiden, but Hope said she needed to know the truth. Before Hope could confront Aiden, Roman asked Hope to tell him everything about what had happened at her house.
With a sigh, Hope said Aiden had shown up in the house, and she had been upset. Rafe butted in to argue that Hope should not be the one to question Aiden. Hope disagreed. Hope said she believed that she was the only one that could get answers out of Aiden. Roman reluctantly agreed, but he ordered Rafe to join her. Hope demanded to question Aiden alone. With a sigh, Roman allowed it if Hope recorded the conversation while they watched through the window. Hope said yes.
As Hope walked to the door, Roman stopped her. Roman informed Hope and Rafe that Aiden's fingerprints were missing from his file. Roman told Hope he could not let her question Aiden without more information. With a nod, Hope said she would be able to ascertain the man's identity by asking about information that only she and Aiden would know. Hope marched into the interrogation room.
In the Brady Pub, Kayla talked to Caroline about Joey's trouble with the police. Caroline laughed. Caroline explained that Kayla and her brothers had done much worse when they were younger. Exasperated, Kayla said that she had fought with Steve about Joey, and she was tired. Caroline encouraged Kayla to eat her order at the pub rather than head back to work. As Kayla contemplated the suggestion, Fynn slid into the chair next to Kayla. With a grin, Fynn said he wanted to order whatever Kayla had ordered. With a nod, Caroline said she would get two beef stew specials.
Fynn and Kayla ate dinner together and talked. Steve called Kayla's phone, and she ignored the call. Fynn offered to talk about Steve, but Kayla declined the invitation. Kayla stressed that her relationship with Steve was over. When Fynn asked if Kayla was doing okay, Kayla said that Steve had been in and out of her life over the years. Kayla asked Fynn about his personal life. With a shrug, Fynn said he had been a player, and his only real interest was his work.
After the meal, Fynn went to the restroom, and Caroline sat at the table to talk to her daughter. Caroline noted that Fynn was handsome and seemed to be a nice person. Blushing, Kayla stressed that she was only friends with Fynn. Kayla's phone beeped as Fynn returned to the table. With Fynn's phone beeping, the two rushed back to the hospital.
In his hotel room, Steve paced anxiously. Steve looked around for his jacket. With a furrowed brow, Steve called Joey and left him a voicemail asking about his missing jacket. Steve walked down to the town square and saw Theo and Abe. When Steve asked Theo about Joey, Theo said he had not seen Joey. Theo promised to tell Steve if he saw him.
After Steve left, a sullen Theo asked if Abe was checking up on him. Abe asked Theo if he had seen Ciara. Theo said that Ciara had said she did not want to see him. Angry, Theo said that Ciara had said that so that he would not get in trouble with Abe. Abe said he approved.
Furious, Theo yelled at his father. Theo said that he loved Ciara and that he believed that Ciara loved him too. With a patient sigh, Abe said he understood that it seemed like Ciara loved him. Theo cut off his father, stressing that he knew Ciara loved him.
When Abe noted that Theo could have gotten into trouble at the prom, Theo countered that Ciara had made sure that he had not known about the scheme in order to protect him. Abe said that Ciara was overly emotional. Theo demanded to know why Abe was angry with Ciara but not with the boy that had ridiculed him at the prom as "stupid." Abe argued that Ciara had been wrong to take matters into her own hands. Abe said he needed proof that Mark had been the bully.
"Is that it? Or are you scared of his father?" Theo asked. Abe said his job was not more important that his son. When Theo pointed out that Abe had taken the judge's side, Abe agreed. Abe noted that the judge had not wanted to listen to reason. Abe added that what Ciara had done was impulsive and that she often did not think about the consequences of her actions. With a nod, Theo said Ciara was hurt after losing her father and after Chase had raped her. Theo argued that if he had known about Ciara's plan, he would have attempted to talk her out of going through with it.
"Ciara isn't a bad influence on me. I'm a good influence on her," Theo said. With a sigh, Abe noted that Theo had turned into a young man. Abe said he wanted his son to be happy. "I am happy. With Ciara," Theo said softly.
At the Brady house, Claire arrived to talk to Ciara. Ciara told Claire about her plan to move into the guesthouse at the DiMera mansion. When Ciara asked Claire if she could join her, Claire admitted that she had not talked to her parents yet about moving out. Claire added that she had been busy writing music. Claire suggested that they think more about moving out before going ahead with the plan.
When Claire asked about Theo, Ciara told her that Abe had refused to let Ciara and Theo hang out. Ciara told Claire that Theo had professed his love and then had kissed her. Claire giggled. With a smile, Claire asked Ciara how she felt. A knock at the door interrupted, and Ciara eagerly rushed to answer it and avoid Claire's question.
On the porch was Steve. When Steve asked Ciara if she had seen Joey, Claire looked away from Steve, avoiding his gaze. Ciara said she had not seen Joey. Steve looked across the room at Claire, who continued to look away. Ciara said that she had talked to Joey earlier, and he had seemed fine. Suspicious, Steve asked Claire if she had seen Joey. Claire thought about her earlier conversation with Joey and Jade about leaving town.
Suspicious, Steve warned Claire and Ciara that Joey was out on bail and would be rearrested if he did not attend his hearing. Claire admitted that Joey had talked about running away with Jade. When Steve asked for details, Ciara said she did not believe that Joey had meant it. Steve asked the girls to call him if they heard from Joey.
After Steve left. Claire wondered aloud if Joey and Jade had run away. Ciara shrugged. Claire worried about the legal consequences to leaving town. Ciara lamented that her plan to trash Mark's car had hurt so many people. When Ciara said she was relieved that she had not told Theo about the plan, a smiling Claire said that showed that Ciara loved Theo. Ciara insisted that relief was not the same as love. Shaking her head, Claire said she had seen Ciara with Theo, and she believed that they loved one another.
"Maybe part of me is falling for Theo, but another part of me, a part that scares me, wants something different. I mean, it's easy to be around Theo. It's nice, and it's comfortable, but it's not exactly exciting," Ciara said. Claire asked Ciara if she was looking for a bad boy. Ciara shrugged. Ciara explained that she wanted someone more like her father.
After Claire left, Theo stopped by the house. Theo said he wanted to finish their conversation from earlier. With a nervous smile, Theo asked Ciara if she loved him. Ciara said she was not sure. Theo said he believed that Ciara loved him and that she knew it. With a smile, Ciara said he "may be right." Theo grabbed Ciara and kissed her.
Steve returned to his hotel and called Jade's parents. The parents informed Steve that they had not seen Jade but that her disappearance was not unusual.
When Kayla and Fynn returned to the hospital, Gabi's doctor, Dr. Chung, informed them that other people from the photo shoot had been admitted to the hospital with the same flu-like symptoms. Kayla, Fynn, and Dr. Chung discussed how to proceed with treatment to prevent any deaths. When the blood work returned from the lab, Fynn showed Kayla the results. Neither doctor had ever seen this particular strain of the flu virus before.
Down the hallway, Adriana held a cold washcloth on Gabi's forehead as she slept fitfully. Dario arrived and was nervous when he touched Gabi's feverish face. Dario held his sister's hand. Gabi cried out for her mother. Crying, Gabi said she could not see. Dario and J.J. ran down the hall to grab Fynn. While Kayla worked at the nurses' station, Steve called her cell phone. Steve told Kayla that he believed that Joey had run away from home.
Aiden tells his story to Hope
After informing Kayla that Joey might have run away from home, Steve continued to look for him. After checking on the location of Joey's cell phone, Steve called Kayla and reported that there was no signal on Joey's phone to track. Kayla suggested that Joey would recharge his phone then Steve would be able to track him.
At the hospital, Kayla and Fynn worked to treat those affected by the viral outbreak. Kayla contacted the CDC then she instituted a quarantine for that section of the hospital. Two more patients with the virus died.
In Gabi's triage area, Gabi grew delirious. Worried about the spread of the virus, Dr. Thompson ordered Dario, Adriana, and J.J. to leave Gabi's area. After the doctor left, J.J. crept behind the curtain to sit with Gabi. Gabi was worried about giving J.J. her illness, but J.J. pointed out that he had kissed Gabi earlier, and it was too late. Fighting tears, Gabi begged J.J. to help her hold her daughter.
After donning a protective suit, J.J. stole a wheelchair and wheeled Gabi down to Arianna's room. Crying, Gabi held her daughter tightly. Once calm, Gabi thanked J.J. for helping her see her daughter. Gabi told J.J. that she appreciated having him in her life. J.J. lowered his mask so that he could smile at Gabi. As Gabi smiled back, Adriana entered the room to check on Arianna and was surprised to see Gabi there. Adriana ordered Gabi to return to her bed to rest. Gabi kissed Arianna goodbye. After returning to her bed, Gabi noticed that J.J. appeared to be ill. J.J. promised he was just tired.
At the nurses' station, the staff suited up in protective gear. Adriana offered her services as a nurse, and Kayla willingly accepted the help. Across the hall, Marlena noticed John walking toward Paul's room, and she stopped him. John argued that he had missed too much of Paul's life not to be there for him when he was so ill. Marlena handed John a protective suit, which he gratefully took.
Once dressed in the protective suit, John went into Paul's room. Groggy, Paul woke up and smiled at his father. Paul asked about Gabi and Arianna. John assured Paul that the hospital staff was taking care of Gabi and Arianna and not to worry. When Paul asked what John was hiding, John admitted that one of the models from the photo shoot had died. Paul shared his worry that he had been injected with the virus when his grandfather had kidnapped him.
John reported the new information to Kayla. With a nod, Kayla and another doctor went to chase down the new lead. John called Eduardo and updated him on the situation at the hospital. Eduardo offered his help, and John said he had an idea.
When John returned to check on Paul, Paul blamed himself for the outbreak. John urged Paul to remain calm. John said that Paul would have been better off without him in his life. Shaking his head no, Paul said that he did not regret finding John and getting to know him. Paul said that it meant the world to him that he had John in his life. Fighting to maintain consciousness, Paul said he loved John. John told Paul he was strong and would beat his illness.
At the police station, Roman and Rafe watched helplessly as Hope questioned Aiden in the interrogation room. Aiden told Hope that the DiMeras had kidnapped and replaced him. When Aiden suggested that Hope check his fingerprints, Hope informed him that his fingerprints were no longer in his file. Frustrated, Aiden told Hope that the DiMeras were to blame. Hope asked Aiden why the DiMeras would bother to kidnap him. With a sigh, Aiden confessed that he had been hired by Stefano to seduce Hope and make her forget about Bo. Aiden professed his love, and he swore that he had had no intention of killing Hope.
When Hope asked when Aiden had been kidnapped, Aiden lied and said Andre had taken him the night he had proposed to Hope. Hope argued that Andre had not returned to Salem until months after that night. Aiden swore that Andre had been to blame. Upset, Hope accused Aiden of strangling her on their wedding night. When Hope said she had stabbed Aiden in his right shoulder, Aiden showed her that there was no scar.
Hope said she believed that there was an imposter but that she was not sure whether that was Aiden or not. Aiden offered details of their lives together that only she and he would know. When Aiden mentioned their dance on their first anniversary, Hope started to cry. Aiden said that the worst part of his incarceration had been not knowing whether Hope was alive. Wiping away tears, Hope said that even if Aiden was not an imposter, he was still "a lying piece of garbage."
"I fell in love with who I thought you were. These past months have been a complete nightmare. And I was finally starting, finally starting to get my life back in order. Then you turn up. With this convoluted, implausible story dredging up all of this. Horrible memories. Trying to persuade me that you were somehow the victim in all this. Well here's the deal; maybe you're Aiden, maybe you're not. But either way, I want nothing to do with you," Hope said.
Hope returned to the bullpen and told Roman and Rafe about Aiden's tale. Hope said that the man had known things only Aiden would know, but she could not believe the man was Aiden. Hope added that Aiden had said that he wanted to win her back, but she could never forget what had happened. Rafe reminded Hope that the DiMeras were capable of finding an imposter. Shaking her head, Hope wondered aloud what the end game was for Stefano. Hope said she did not understand how Andre could benefit from returning Aiden to Salem.
"What if Andre is hoping that I can find this guy and confess to killing Stefano," Hope said. Rafe nodded. When Hope mentioned that Andre had called her and hinted about Aiden, Rafe's eyes grew wide. Hope noted that Andre had to have connections in prison that were able to get him a cell phone. Roman returned to the bullpen and told Hope and Rafe that he was waiting on the DNA report.
At the Brady house, Theo and Ciara kissed in the front hall. Theo told Ciara he did not want to pressure her. With a smile, Ciara said she was glad that he had stood up to his father. Theo told Ciara that she was the best thing that had ever happened to him and that he loved her. When Theo mentioned that he was looking forward to graduation, Ciara said she wanted to avoid the ceremony after what had happened at the prom. Ciara said she would think about going.
With a smile, Ciara said that dancing at the prom had been the highlight of that night. Theo asked Ciara to dance with him. Grinning, Ciara asked Theo to follow her to her bedroom so that she could play some music for him. After a moment's hesitation, Theo ran up the stairs after Ciara. Once upstairs, Theo and Ciara curled up together on her bed and shared her ear buds as they listened to music.
Downstairs, Rafe escorted Hope home. Hope looked at the spot on the living room floor where Aiden had died. Rafe assured Hope that they would get to the bottom of Aiden's story. Rafe promised that he would stay with Hope for as long as she needed him. As Hope kissed Rafe, his phone beeped with a text message. Rafe was alarmed to read that Gabi and Arianna were in the hospital. Hope offered to accompany him to the hospital, but Rafe begged her to stay home and rest. Rafe promised to return later.
When Rafe arrived at the hospital, he learned that it was quarantined. Looking for answers, Rafe walked over to the police station. Rafe arrived as Eduardo asked Roman to retrieve the I.V. bags from Paul's kidnapping from evidence. While Roman went to retrieve the I.V. bags, Rafe asked Eduardo for updates about the hospital, and Eduardo told him what he knew. Worried, Eduardo commented that he did not want to lose anyone else. Rafe assured Eduardo that everyone would be fine.
While Hope sat in her living room, she thought about the night Aiden had attempted to strangle her. Shaking off the memory, Hope walked into the kitchen. Ciara and Theo walked downstairs. When Ciara heard noise from the kitchen, Ciara urged Theo to leave before Hope saw him. As Theo kissed Ciara goodbye, Hope returned to the living room and noted that Theo and Ciara had been quiet upstairs. Hope commented flatly that it was late. Ciara explained that they had been listening to music.
After Theo left, Ciara promised that she and Theo had only been listening to music. Hope said she believed her but that she was worried what Abe would say when Theo returned home so late. Noting the look on Hope's face, Ciara asked what was bothering her mother. Hope told Ciara that Aiden was alive. Freaked out, Ciara worried aloud that Aiden would be able to get Chase out of jail. Hope promised Ciara that she would not let Chase hurt her.
At the police station, Aiden begged Roman to let him see his son. Roman refused. When Aiden mentioned Eric, Roman lost his temper and ordered Aiden to shut up. Aiden said that everyone would see that he had done nothing wrong.
At the hospital, Fynn sent the I.V. bags from the police over to the lab to see if the virus was present. Kayla informed the staff that the photographer from the photo shoot had died. Rallying the troops, Fynn gave a speech reminding the staff that everyone's immune system reacted differently and that there was hope that the remaining patients would get better. Marlena spotted John listening in the waiting area, and she reminded him that Paul was strong. As John nodded, Marlena noticed he was sweating. Marlena felt his forehead.
"You are burning up!" Marlena exclaimed. "I know," John agreed.
Steve gets a lead on Joey's whereabouts
Kate ran into Victor at the town square and wondered if he had heard the wonderful news yet. "That you whored yourself out to my brother Deimos?" Victor guessed. Unamused, Kate told Victor to try again. "That you whored yourself out to my brother Deimos for a lot of money?" Victor clarified.
Ignoring the dig, Kate proudly revealed that she had been given full control of Titan. "What, you're not gonna congratulate me? Not even a 'well played, Kate'?" she asked when Victor failed to respond. Victor sarcastically mused that playing with Deimos was the equivalent of running in traffic with scissors and would surely end well for Kate. "Enjoy your time at the top. We both know it won't last very long," Victor added before walking away.
At Victor and Maggie's townhouse, Summer offered Maggie some tea that was supposed to improve circulation. Maggie warned that although it might succeed in doing that, it wouldn't be able to make her forget that something was obviously bothering Summer. Summer claimed that she was simply nervous about moving into the townhouse because it was clear that Victor didn't like her. Maggie dismissively assured Summer that Victor didn't like most people. When Maggie asked if anything else was wrong, Summer shook her head and quickly changed the subject.
Later, Victor returned home while Summer was checking online to see if anyone had discovered Clark's body. Victor wondered why Summer hadn't moved in the previous night as expected. Summer vaguely explained that she had gotten delayed. Victor warned Summer not to disappoint Maggie.
Nodding, Summer reported that Maggie was resting. Summer offered to make Victor a sandwich, but he cringed at the idea of eating a "boxed lunch" and added that he wasn't hungry. Stressing that she would be glad to make Victor something else instead, Summer urged him to let her know if he changed his mind -- and to try to give her a chance, since she only wanted to help him and Maggie.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Deimos received an unexpected visit from Nicole, who announced that she had decided to accept his offer. Delighted, Deimos invited Nicole to join him for a drink so they could celebrate their new partnership. Nicole started to protest that it was a bit early for alcohol, even for her, but Deimos clarified that he'd had coffee in mind.
As Deimos prepared two cups of coffee, Nicole looked around the living room and observed that he had made some changes to the décor, including adding a baby grand piano. Deimos explained that he had studied piano as a kid and had picked it up again while in prison, where he had promised himself that if he ever got out, he would make a point of buying a baby grand piano so he could continue playing.
Nicole ran her fingers over all the keys then challenged Deimos to impress her with a demonstration of his talent. Deimos began playing a melancholy piece of music, and as he watched Nicole close her eyes and sway back and forth, he recalled how Helena had always gotten lost in music the same way. Taken aback, Deimos abruptly ended his performance, prompting Nicole to wonder just how much she reminded him of Helena.
"Doesn't really matter, does it? That was the past. I live in the here and now," Deimos replied. Nicole claimed that she didn't like thinking that she was disturbing Deimos. Chuckling, Deimos skeptically guessed that Nicole probably lived to disturb people. "Maybe. Once upon a time," Nicole admitted. Deimos warned that he planned to always keep an eye on Nicole, who seductively countered that taking a chance on her would be more fun.
As Nicole took a seat next to Deimos, her lips less than an inch away from his, Kate entered the mansion and announced her presence. Deimos and Nicole stood and backed away from each other as Kate entered the living room and asked if she was interrupting something. Deimos assured Kate that his business with Nicole had just concluded, adding that she had agreed to run Basic Black. "Yippee," Kate dryly muttered.
Steve contacted Kayla to give her an update on his investigation into Joey's whereabouts. Steve thought it sounded like something was wrong with Kayla, but she claimed that she was just tired. Kayla added that Steve needed to stop worrying about her and instead focus on finding Joey. "I'm on it. Don't worry," Steve assured Kayla before reluctantly ending the call, still clearly concerned about her.
Later, Steve met with Jade's father, Hal Michaels, at the Brady Pub. Hal wasn't surprised to hear that Jade might have skipped town with Steve's son, whom Hal guessed had probably never gotten into any sort of trouble before getting involved with her. "Well, uh, I wouldn't go that far," Steve vaguely replied, but he added that, generally speaking, Joey was a good kid.
Hal complained that Jade wasn't; in fact, she seemed determined to throw her life away with both hands. Steve squirmed uncomfortably, prompting Hal to conclude that Steve didn't like hearing a parent badmouth his own child. Hal stressed that he and his wife had done everything they could possibly do for Jade but had never been able to figure out a way to stop her self-destructive behavior.
Hal guessed that Jade had decided to leave Salem because he and his wife had laid down the law after her arrest, formulating a plan for her to earn the money to pay them back for bailing her out of jail. Claiming that he had no idea where Jade might have gone, Hal added that he didn't see the point of searching for her because she would probably return eventually, as usual. "We just enjoy the peace and quiet in the meantime," Hal explained with a shrug. Steve produced a business card and asked Hal to contact him if Jade called home at any point. Hal took the card but warned Steve, "Don't hold your breath."
Later, Steve ran into Claire in the town square and informed her that Jade was also missing. Stressing that Joey and Jade could be in danger, Steve urged Claire to let him know if there was anything else she could think of that might help him locate them. Claire reluctantly revealed that Joey and Jade had mentioned something about heading to Los Angeles. Steve thanked Claire and assured her that he wouldn't let Joey and Jade know that she had betrayed their confidence.
When Steve contacted Kayla to let her know what he had found out, he again observed that it sounded like something was wrong with her. Kayla claimed that she was simply hoarse because she had been barking orders for hours, and she added that she couldn't accompany Steve to Los Angeles because the hospital was still under quarantine. After Kayla ended the call, Steve contacted Hal and left a voicemail message, wondering if he had any family or friends in Los Angeles.
At the hospital, Fynn informed Marlena that he had managed to confirm that Yo Ling had infected Paul with some sort of contagious synthetic virus. Fynn had no idea how long it would take the CDC to analyze his findings, but he assured Marlena that a chemist would be arriving shortly to start the process. Meanwhile, Kayla found herself stuck in one of the hospital beds as the latest victim of the virus.
In Los Angeles, Jade led Joey into a somewhat dingy building, apologetically acknowledging that it wasn't exactly beachfront property. Joey assured Jade that he was satisfied with the place because it was far away from Salem. "So, your aunt runs a youth hostel?" Joey asked as he looked around, observing some of the other residents. "My dad calls it a commune," Jade replied.
Meanwhile, a woman rushed over to Jade and excitedly welcomed her and Joey to Nirvana. Referring to the woman as Aunt Simone, Jade started to complain to her about Hal, explaining why she had decided to move to Los Angeles. Simone sympathetically agreed that her brother was a "hard-ass," adding that her other brother was even worse.
Turning her attention to Joey, Simone wondered what he was running from. "I just need a fresh start," Joey evasively replied. Grasping Joey's hands, Simone knowingly observed that he was carrying the heavy burden of more than a few demons. Joey shot Jade a questioning look, prompting Simone to assure him that Jade hadn't said anything to her about what Joey was going through. "She didn't have to. I can feel it," Simone added.
Joey started to deny the suspicion, but Simone interrupted and stressed that she didn't care about his past. "This is a space of non-judgment and freedom. You're safe, Joey. Whatever it is, you can let it go," Simone promised. Simone added that she had a spot in the atrium for Joey and Jade, who would probably enjoy its view of the desert sky at night. Simone promised that Joey and Jade could stay for as long as they wanted to, provided that they pulled their own weight while there. When Joey wondered what that would entail, Simone vaguely replied, "Whatever it takes."
"Do you not know how rigged the game is, Joey? How a tiny number of people are holding all the strings [and] everything that righteously belongs to the ninety-nine percent? We are outcasts here; we're the people they couldn't be bothered with. We do whatever it takes to survive, and we don't apologize," Simone continued. Joey was confused, but Jade thought she understood, so Simone excused herself so Jade could fill him in.
Jade explained that it seemed like Nirvana was essentially a separate country with its own set of rules. "What, like survival of the fittest? We've gotta fight each other for lunch?" Joey joked. Laughing, Jade clarified that she and Joey would probably just be expected to do whatever it took to look out for the community, including things like stealing food and money if necessary. "You're okay with that? She's okay with that?" Joey asked incredulously. "I guess. I mean, in the Republic of Simone, anything goes," Jade reasoned with a shrug. Joey forced a smile as Jade gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and cuddled next to him on the couch.
Chad took Thomas to the psychiatric facility to see Abigail, who got upset when he revealed that Jennifer and J.J. would be arriving later. "It's bad enough that you brought my son here!" Abigail snapped, stressing that she didn't really want anyone to see her in an institution. Abigail suggested that it might be best for Chad to stop visiting her and start getting used to the idea that she was going to be institutionalized for the rest of her life, but he insisted that wasn't going to happen.
Abigail pointed out that she wasn't getting any better. Chad maintained that Abigail just needed to give herself some time, and he urged her to approach Thomas and say hello to him. Abigail hesitantly complied, and Thomas immediately began crying. Abigail tried to comfort Thomas but eventually got frustrated and gave up. Chad reasoned that Thomas was probably just cutting a tooth or something, but Abigail was certain that Thomas simply couldn't stand her. Abigail walked away, and when Chad returned to Thomas' side, the child stopped crying.
Later, Jennifer arrived and apologized for her tardiness, explaining that J.J. had been hospitalized earlier. Chad told Jennifer about what had happened earlier with Abigail, whose doctor soon joined them and suggested that it might be best for Abigail's family to stay away for a while. Chad and Jennifer were reluctant to agree to that plan, but they eventually decided to listen to the doctor's advice.
Jennifer accompanied Chad back to the DiMera mansion and tried to urge him to let her watch Thomas for a night so Chad could get some sleep. Chad refused, and when Jennifer demanded to know why, he blurted out, "Because I'll be damned if I'm gonna let my son go home with somebody in your situation!" Jennifer tried to deny that she had a drug habit, but when Chad reminded her that he had seen signs of a serious problem, she backpedaled and assured him that she had been going to meetings lately. Chad was glad to hear that but refused to change his mind.
Meanwhile, at the psychiatric facility, Abigail found one of Thomas' stuffed animals, which Chad had accidentally left behind. Abigail stared at the item for a moment then tossed it in a nearby trash can.
Hope confronts Andre
At the hospital, Seth Burns asked Fynn for an update on the research into the virus, explaining that every news source in the country was camped outside, waiting for a statement. Frustrated, Fynn reported that the virus seemed to be resistant to every known protocol. "So, everybody that's been infected could be doomed?" Seth realized.
One patient was actually showing signs of improvement, though: Gabi, whose immune system the CDC wanted to study in the hope of figuring out how to combat the virus. Fynn grumbled that the proposed study would take too long to complete. Meanwhile, in Gabi's room, Adriana reported that Arianna's fever hadn't broken yet. Gabi begged Adriana to make a poultice to put on the child's forehead, recalling that Adriana had often used the same treatment on her own kids to stave off fevers. Adriana suspected that the hospital would have rules forbidding the use of such holistic remedies, but Gabi didn't care.
After talking a nearby health food store into delivering the necessary ingredients to the hospital, Adriana sneaked into Arianna's room with Gabi and began applying the poultice to the child's forehead. A nurse soon returned from a break and insisted that Adriana and Gabi needed to leave, but they refused to do so. The ensuing argument quickly attracted Seth's attention, as he had heard raised voices while passing through the halls.
Adriana explained that she was a trained nurse and had received permission from the chief of staff to help out during the crisis. Seth protested that Kayla wasn't authorized to grant such allowances, but Adriana maintained that if he wanted her to leave, he would have to forcibly remove her from the room. Later, Adriana and Gabi were relieved when a nurse checked Arianna's temperature and confirmed that although it had not yet returned to normal, the fever had at least broken.
Meanwhile, Fynn discovered that Kayla, despite still suffering the effects of the virus, had decided to return to work. Fynn tried to protest that Kayla needed to rest, but she insisted that she couldn't because she had a hospital to run. Fynn reluctantly agreed to back off but warned that he would be keeping a close eye on Kayla to make sure she remembered to take care of herself.
At the psychiatric facility, Dr. Robinson urged Abigail to open up about her earlier visit with Chad and Thomas. Abigail explained that she had sent them away because she didn't want to hurt them anymore, adding that she could tell that it was humiliating for Chad to see her in her mentally ill state. Robinson wondered if Abigail would feel the same way if she were physically ill. "That's different," Abigail insisted.
Revealing how Thomas had reacted to her presence, Abigail tearfully admitted that she believed she was a bad mother. Robinson stressed that Abigail wasn't a bad mother; she was just a woman who was going through a very tough time. Robinson retrieved Thomas' stuffed animal from her pocket and showed it to Abigail, who smiled as she recalled how much Thomas had always loved it.
"Then why'd you throw it away?" Robinson asked. Taken aback, Abigail wondered what Robinson was talking about. Robinson explained that one of the aides had spotted Abigail tossing the stuffed animal in a trash can earlier. Abigail had no memory of the incident and struggled to understand how she could have done such a thing.
Robinson suggested that it might have been too painful for Abigail to look at the stuffed animal because it was a reminder of the things she could no longer do for Thomas, such as comforting him with his favorite toy when he was upset. Handing the item back to Robinson, Abigail tearfully fretted that she might never be able to be a good mother to Thomas again. "What [would] I have to live for [then]?" Abigail wondered.
At the DiMera mansion, Ciara found Chad in the study, struggling to put together a scrapbook. Chad explained that it wasn't a hobby of his; he was simply using it as a way of hopefully giving Abigail a reason to want to return home. Chad admitted that although he knew Abigail needed help, he was constantly having to fight a strong urge to remove her from the psychiatric facility because he also knew being there was her worst nightmare.
Desperate for a distraction from his own problems, Chad encouraged Ciara to tell him about what was going on in her life. Ciara was willing to do so because she felt like Chad was the only person she could talk to who wouldn't go ballistic when she shared things with him, but she warned that her news was quite unbelievable. Chad braced himself, and Ciara proceeded to tell him about Aiden's return. Ciara feared that the shocking development would be more than her mother could handle, but Chad assured her that Hope was one of the strongest people he had ever met.
Later, while Ciara was giving Thomas a bath, Chad received a phone call from Abigail, who had managed to gain permission to use Robinson's cell phone to contact him. Chad started to reveal that he was working on a gift to give to Abigail during his next visit, but she interrupted and explained that she had actually called to let him know that she didn't want him -- or anyone else -- to visit her anymore. Chad tried to protest, but Abigail refused to change her mind, insisting that she couldn't handle seeing her loved ones while institutionalized. Abigail abruptly ended the call then began to sob.
Chad stormed off to see Robinson, who confirmed that she was aware of his earlier phone conversation with Abigail. Chad demanded to know what Robinson planned to do about it. "I can't force [Abigail] to see someone she doesn't want to see," Robinson stressed. "She's in a mental institution; she doesn't know what she wants!" Chad countered. Robinson patiently told Chad she was sorry, and he reluctantly walked away after asking her to give Abigail his love. Chad returned home and broke down while trying to put away the scrapbooking materials, and Ciara soon found him and put a comforting hand on his shoulder.
At the prison, Andre received a visit from Hope, who informed him that Aiden was alive and well. Andre feigned ignorance when Hope shared Aiden's story, dismissively insisting that it was science fiction. Unconvinced, Hope pointed out that evil twins were a DiMera specialty, citing Rafe's doppelgänger as just one example.
Andre claimed that if Stefano had indeed cooked up such a scheme, he had acted alone. Hope mused that Stefano was a convenient scapegoat, since he was dead. Andre countered that Hope was responsible for that. "Goodbye, Hope. Have sweet dreams," Andre tauntingly added before summoning a guard to escort him back to his cell. Hope kept a smile plastered on her face until the coast was clear then began to crumble.
At the police station, Rafe and Roman received confirmation that Chase's DNA wasn't a match for the body in Aiden's grave but was a match for the person who was claiming to be the real Aiden. Choosing to keep Aiden detained on charges of breaking and entering until Hope could be warned about the development, Rafe seized the opportunity to pull him into a conference room so they could have a private chat. Rafe made it clear that he wasn't going to let Aiden hurt Hope, who had already been through enough lately. "Well, well, well. You still love her, don't you?" Aiden guessed.
Rafe dodged the question, confirming only that he would do whatever it took to protect Hope because she was his partner and his friend. Aiden stressed that he had never -- and would never -- hurt Hope, whom he still loved. Aiden added that he only cared about winning Hope back and helping Chase. "Well, that's gonna be a little bit difficult, don't you think, seeing as how your son raped her daughter?" Rafe pointed out. Aiden insisted that Chase would never do such a thing, especially to Ciara, of all people, but Rafe countered that Chase had confessed to the crime -- and Aiden wouldn't be able to get him out of it with a temporary insanity defense.
Later, Rafe and Roman told Hope about the DNA test results. Hope didn't want to let Aiden go but knew the charges of breaking and entering wouldn't stick because she had given him a key to her house. "He'll tell the judge that he believed that we were still a couple and that he had every right to use that key," Hope guessed. Hope reluctantly joined Aiden in the conference room and informed him that he was free to go. Hope stressed, however, that she wanted nothing to do with Aiden anymore. Undeterred, Aiden vowed to wait as long as necessary for Hope to realize that, deep down, she still loved him.
Hope told Aiden about what had happened to Bo, prompting Aiden to wonder why she was sharing the news with him. "Because a lot of the things that I believed about my life turned out not to be true. Bo never stopped loving me, and you only started to love me when you were paid a lot of money to do so," Hope explained. Hope added that she didn't want to think about anything at that time, and she didn't want any pressure from Aiden to do so.
After Aiden confirmed that he understood, Hope abruptly left the room and told Rafe that she needed to get some air. Rafe insisted on accompanying Hope, so they headed to the Brady Pub, where Caroline let Rafe know that she was thinking about Gabi and Arianna. After Caroline left, Hope wondered why Rafe hadn't bothered to fill her in on what was happening at the hospital. "Because there's nothing you can do," Rafe explained.
Later, Rafe received a phone call from Adriana, who was hopeful that Gabi and Arianna had both made it through the worst part of the virus. After ending the call, Rafe changed the subject, urging Hope to talk to him about what was going on with Aiden. Hope fretted that she had no way of knowing which parts of Aiden's story were true and which parts were false, meaning that there was actually a chance that she was still married to him. Rafe wondered how Hope felt about Aiden's claim that he still loved her and wanted to be with her.
After being released from police custody, Aiden went to the prison to visit Andre.