At the clinic, Deimos rejoined Nicole and Chloe and started complaining about how he had been kicked out of the lab. Chloe asked him to wait outside so she could continue her conversation with Nicole.
Guessing that Chloe was trying to turn Nicole against him, Deimos insisted that she was wasting her time because Nicole knew he was a decent man who was simply trying to uncover the truth. Chloe maintained that the truth was that Deimos wasn't the baby's father. "You'd better not be lying to me this time, Chloe," he warned.
"Do you hear him threatening me?" Chloe asked Nicole, who argued that Deimos had the right to be angry after everything Chloe had put him through. "You just don't get it," Chloe sadly insisted, adding that she hoped Nicole would wake up before it was too late. Meanwhile, Deimos went to see how much longer it would take for the lab to complete the paternity test.
After Deimos left, Chloe wondered why Nicole had agreed to help him ambush her and demand another paternity test. Nicole explained that she had empathized with him because she understood his strong desire to have a child, and she also knew what it was like to have that dream crushed. "Chloe, I swear, Deimos is not a monster. And yes, he has done some stuff in his past that he's not proud of -- I mean, he suffered in his childhood -- but he is striving to be a better man. He doesn't want to hurt anyone anymore. He really does have a good heart," she insisted, her voice wavering slightly as she spoke.
"Do you love him?" Chloe asked. Shrugging, Nicole admitted that she wasn't sure if her feelings for Deimos were quite that strong yet. "But there is something about him --" she started to add. Before she could finish her sentence, he returned and sadly reported that the paternity test had confirmed that he wasn't the baby's father. Glaring at Chloe, he added, "Whoever it is, I gotta feel sorry for him, because either you'll deny him the right to ever see his kid, or you'll make his life a living hell when he does."
Deimos grabbed his jacket and started to leave, but he stopped at the door to ask if Nicole would be joining him. "Yeah. We're done here," she sadly replied after taking one last look at Chloe, who sighed and fought back tears as she watched them walk away. Later, Chloe asked to meet with Philip at a nearby café. When he arrived, she admitted that she had expected him to refuse her request. "You're not still mad at me?" she asked.
"I thought you were mad at me," Philip replied. Chloe admitted that she had been angry at first but had eventually realized that he had simply been trying to help her. He assumed that she had arranged the meeting so she could apologize to him in person, but she clarified that she actually needed some advice. He wondered why she was seeking advice from him for once instead of Nicole.
"She's the last person I can talk to about this," Chloe explained. Philip assumed that was because of Nicole's involvement with Deimos, but Chloe admitted that there was also another reason. "See, this baby that I'm carrying -- the mother is Nicole," she revealed, and she proceeded to fill him in on the whole story. She fretted that she no longer felt confident about telling Nicole the truth because of Nicole's involvement with Deimos. She reasoned that it was her responsibility to protect the child because it wasn't just Nicole's biological baby; it was also Daniel's biological baby and Parker's biological sibling.
Philip understood Chloe's concerns but argued that she would want to know the truth if she were in Nicole's shoes. "I'm not saying that I'm never gonna tell her, but as long as she's with Deimos, I can't risk it. It's not safe!" she maintained. She begged him to keep her secret to himself, and he agreed without hesitation.
"Do you want to know why I'm agreeing to something I think is wrong?" Philip asked. Chloe assumed that he agreed with her assertion that letting Deimos be involved in the child's life would be a horrible idea. She was stunned when he clarified that he was willing to keep her secret because he loved her. "You don't have to say that you love me, too -- or even that you don't. I just needed to get it out there, and you need to let it sink in. Just know that whatever happens, I've got your back," he stressed.
Nicole followed Deimos back to the Kiriakis mansion. When they arrived there, she informed him that she never had figured out why Chloe had asked to meet with her in the first place. He wasn't particularly interested in solving the mystery, preferring to talk about how Nicole had risked her long-standing friendship with Chloe to help him figure out if he was the baby's father. He said that proved, more than anything else, that she still cared about him -- and that there was still a chance for them to make their relationship work.
Nicole assumed that Deimos just wanted her back in his life because she had passed some sort of test. "I'm not gonna deny that what you did today helped gain my trust, but even before that, I knew -- I knew how lucky I was to find someone so beautiful, so kind, loyal, strong, and independent," he clarified. He apologized for everything he had said and done recently that had hurt her, prompting her to concede that it wasn't like she hadn't been warned of that possibility. She added that she had tried to walk away from him more than once but had never been able to get him out of her head. He urged her to trust her heart and give him a chance to prove himself worthy of her love.
At the Horton house, Jennifer helped J.J. get settled on the couch in the living room. He admitted that although he was glad to be back home, he was anxious to get back to work as soon as possible. She thought it was too soon for him to think about returning to active duty, and he admitted that Gabi shared her concerns. "Because she loves you," Jennifer mused. He said he had felt the love of both women when he had been comatose.
Jennifer guessed that J.J. truly loved Gabi, and he smiled as he admitted that he did. "Which is why what I heard just -- it doesn't make any sense," she continued, proceeding to tell him about the things he had said when he had been in and out of consciousness. He tried to blame his ramblings on the medications he had been on at that time, but she thought there might be more to the story because it had sounded like he was struggling with feelings of guilt about something. He claimed that he simply felt guilty about everything he was putting Gabi through due to his line of work.
Jennifer remained suspicious, but J.J. asked her to forget about what she had heard -- and to promise that she would never say anything about it to Gabi. "I'm not trying to cause trouble between you and Gabi, but if you are hiding something, you need to deal with it," Jennifer advised. She started to excuse herself, but he stopped her and admitted, "I can't lie to you. I cheated on Gabi."
J.J. explained that he had been unfaithful during his time in Miami. "The day they called off the search and officially declared that there were no survivors from the plane crash, that's when it hit me that my big sister -- the one who I always looked up to, and who always looked out for me -- was gone. One of the worst days of my life," he recalled. Jennifer assured him that it had been one of the worst days of her life, too.
"In a way, it -- 'cause I was alone, it -- it didn't seem real. [But] then that pain would come back again," J.J. continued. He explained that he had gone to a bar and had ordered a drink, and he had kept ordering them until he had managed to dull the pain. He guessed that he had blacked out at some point, because he had later woken up in his hotel room with a horrible hangover. "I didn't have any clothes on, and there was an empty bottle of tequila on the floor, [and] there was a napkin on the nightstand with kiss marks on it, [along with] a message that said, 'Thanks for an amazing night. Call me,'" he regretfully recalled.
"J.J., you don't even remember her name? Or meeting her? How drunk were you?" Jennifer asked incredulously. "Drunk enough to stop the pain," J.J. tersely replied. She conceded that she was in no position to judge him. "I just -- I wish that --" she started to add. "That it didn't happen? You're not alone on that," he assured her.
J.J. explained that he had wanted to tell Gabi the truth the moment he had returned to Salem, but he had never been able to find the right time to do so. "[And now] it seems selfish. Even if it would make me feel less like a lying creep, how about how she would feel? Is it worth breaking her heart over a mistake I made one time with a stranger who I'll never see again? I don't think so. I love her way too much to want to hurt her like that," he added. Jennifer understood but warned that the secret wasn't going to just go away.
"I wish that I wasn't this type of guy," J.J. admitted, sadly acknowledging that it wasn't the first time he had cheated on someone. "Maybe I just don't deserve someone as great as Gabi," he added.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad received a visit from Kate, who gave him a hug and revealed that she had heard about Hope's confession. He vowed to make sure that Hope was held accountable for her actions. Kate suggested that it would be best for him to let Andre handle that. "The best way that you can honor your father's legacy is by focusing on the empire that he built," she reasoned.
"That's what I'm doing!" Chad snapped before quickly apologizing. He continued that he was actually planning to spend the evening entertaining a potential investor. He wasn't looking forward to having to attend a symphony in order to impress the man, but Kate pointed out that there were worse things one could be forced to endure while trying to close a business deal. She knew the investor -- Brad Bush -- and assured Chad that the man had boatloads of money to spend.
Gabi soon arrived to help Chad choose a suit for the meeting. He apologized for keeping her from spending time with J.J., but she dismissed the concern, guessing that Jennifer needed some alone time with J.J., anyway. Kate suggested that it would be a good idea for Gabi to accompany Chad to the meeting, and although Gabi tried to decline at first, Chad and Kate eventually managed to talk her into going along with the idea.
After the symphony ended, Chad and Gabi joined Brad and his wife, Vicki, at the town square for drinks. When Chad and Brad stepped aside to discuss business, Vicki probed Gabi for information about Chad's wife, having noticed that he was wearing a wedding band. Gabi explained that Chad's wife had died suddenly a few months earlier, leaving him to raise their son on his own. "He must be so lonely," Vicki mused.
Later, at the DiMera mansion, Brad asked for more time to consider Chad's business proposition before making a final decision. Chad understood but warned that he had approached other investors, as well. Meanwhile, Gabi went to check on Thomas, who had just started fussing in the nursery. Vicki soon rushed Brad off to grab her jacket from the car.
Once the coast was clear, Vicki asked Chad to join her on the couch. She assured him that Brad liked him a lot. "I like you, too, Chad," she added as she put a hand on his chest. She started to work her way down to his belt, and when he tried to politely move her hand away, suggesting that she'd had too much to drink, she whispered, "Just high on you." She leaned in and gave him a kiss on the lips, but he quickly pulled away and moved to the other side of the room. "I'm sorry. You're a very beautiful woman, Vicki, but you're married, and, uh, you're married to a man that I want to do business with, so..." he stammered.
"You're wise to remember that," Vicki replied, stressing that if Chad wanted to seal the deal with Brad, he would first need to seal the deal with her. She stood and tried to give him another kiss, but Gabi returned just then and interrupted. "Sorry, Vicki -- Chad belongs to me," she said as she grabbed Chad and gave him a passionate kiss.
Theresa lashes out at Brady
At St. Luke's, Steve and Kayla lit a candle for their families. Kayla said she wished the justice system would show compassion to Hope. With a nod, Steve added that Hope had done the world a good deed when she'd killed Stefano. As Steve noted that he would not be surprised if Hope walked out of the courtroom a free woman, Andre entered the church and commented that Steve was a hypocrite.
Andre complained that the Brady and Horton families scolded the DiMera family for going outside the law but had no trouble defending members of their own family for murdering Stefano. Steve warned Andre not to act like a victim. Angry, Kayla argued that the DiMera family had tortured Hope for years and that Stefano had goaded her into shooting him. Andre was indignant. Steve warned Andre to remember that they were in a church. Andre countered that Stefano was the real victim, and he left.
As Kayla finished measuring the altar for the flowers for Adrienne's wedding, Steve told her that she would be the most beautiful matron of honor ever. Steve took Kayla's hand in his and said, "God, you're so beautiful. And you're smart. You're strong. And you're sweet. Why do you think I call you Sweetness? Because you take care of everyone. Not just your family, you take care of everyone in the town. You've always been the love of my life, even when I was really blowing it with you. But finally I think I'm on the right track. I feel it. We're on the right track. We're going to make it this time, Kayla. I just know it."
Steve pulled the bullet engagement ring out of his pocket and showed it to Kayla. "So, you told me to hang onto this until we figure out how to get it right. Well, I think we got it right," Steve said. Steve dropped to one knee. "Kayla, will you please marry me?" Steve asked. Kayla stammered yes. Overjoyed, Steve swept Kayla into his arms, and they kissed.
With Joey at their house, entertaining friends, Steve escorted Kayla to a hotel room. Kayla looked around the room and smiled. "You had this all planned out, didn't you?" Kayla asked. He admitted that he had. Steve said the he would never let Kayla go again. Overwhelmed with happiness, the two made love.
In the Horton living room, J.J. lamented that he had blown his relationship with Gabi by sleeping with another woman. Jennifer listened patiently and counseled that Gabi had made her own mistakes. Shaking his head, J.J. argued that he and Gabi had agreed to live better lives than they had in the past. Jennifer countered that Gabi understood the importance of forgiveness. J.J. dismissed the possibility. J.J. said he would not tell Gabi about the affair because he did not want to hurt her.
While J.J. was in the kitchen, Jennifer called Adrienne to confirm that the checks for the purchase of the Spectator had cleared. J.J. walked into the living room and overheard Jennifer's conversation. Jennifer told J.J. what had happened and that she would be the new editor. When J.J. asked about Jack, Jennifer admitted that she had met and fallen in love with Jack at the paper. Jennifer added that she felt like she was honoring Jack's memory by working at the paper with Adrienne.
"You and dad, you guys had your problems, but you never stopped loving each other," J.J. said. "Never," Jennifer said with a sad smile. J.J. said he wanted the same thing with Gabi. J.J. swore to do whatever it took to make Gabi happy. Jennifer nodded and left the room without a word. J.J. texted Gabi and asked if she still planned to visit him.
In the DiMera living room, Gabi kissed Chad passionately in an attempt to scare off Vicky from blackmailing Chad into sleeping with her. Suspicious, Vicky asked Gabi why she was putting on a show. Gabi explained that she and Chad had wanted to keep their romantic relationship secret. When Vicky asked why Gabi had made such a production of kissing Chad, Gabi shrugged and explained that she had jealousy issues. Vicky asked Chad to forgive her bold move.
As Vicky asked Chad to keep her seduction a secret from her husband, Brad walked into the living room and asked what Vicky wanted to keep a secret from him. Stammering, Vicky said she had learned that Gabi and Chad were a couple. Chad kissed Gabi's head. Vicky explained that she had guessed the secret. With a chuckle, Brad said that Vicky's keen eye was why he liked Vicky to meet with his possible business partners.
Chad asked Vicky what she thought of the deal. With a chuckle, Brad asked Chad and Vicky to join him for a discussion about the pending deal. Chad insisted that Gabi stay as well. Gabi suggested a late dinner, and the couple agreed. Gabi escorted the group to the Brady Pub. Over pie, Vicky asked Gabi and Chad how they had met. Gabi told a version of her history with Chad, and she ended saying that they had reconnected after Chad had hired her at his company.
Under the table, Vicky pushed her foot into Chad's crotch. Chad jumped in surprise. Across the table, Vicky smiled at him. Chad lied and said he'd seen a mouse near the door. As Vicky reached her foot underneath the table again, she accidentally grazed Gabi, who jumped. When Brad walked away to take a phone call, Gabi growled at Vicky to back off. Vicky shrugged and said she was only having fun. Gabi threatened to tell Brad how Vicky was able to help him broker deals with businessmen. Annoyed, Vicky scowled at Gabi.
When Brad returned to the table, he announced that he was unsure about entering into a deal with Chad. Chad told Brad that Brad was his first choice. Gabi pointedly noted that Vicky was on board with the deal. Grudgingly, Vicky said she was on board with dealing with DiMera Enterprises. Swayed, Brad agreed and shook hands with Chad. After Brad and Vicky left, Chad laughed and thanked Gabi for her help.
"Hiring you is the best thing I've ever done, and tonight was super weird, but it was amazing. It was so much fun. I haven't had that much fun in so long," Chad said. Gabi agreed. When Gabi checked her phone, she saw the text messages from J.J. and said goodnight. After Gabi left, Chad's smile faded.
At the Horton house, Jennifer typed on her computer in the living room. J.J. asked her what she was doing. When Jennifer explained that she was typing up an editorial announcing the changes at the paper, J.J. commented that Abigail would be proud. Smiling, Jennifer said that she would have loved to hire Abigail to work at the paper. Taken aback with emotion, Jennifer sighed. J.J. hugged Jennifer. The doorbell rang.
J.J. answered the door and found Gabi, still in her evening gown. Gabi apologized for her lateness. Confused, J.J. asked Gabi what she had done that evening. Gabi said hello to Jennifer, and she explained that she had been at the symphony with Chad to help with a client. With a grin, Jennifer said goodnight to the young lovers and went upstairs. Gabi apologized for her lateness again. J.J. pulled Gabi close and told her that he did not care that she had been late. J.J. kissed Gabi passionately.
At the Kiriakis mansion, a worried Brady stared at his watch and wondered aloud when Theresa would be home. In the foyer, Theresa muttered to herself that Victor was her last hope. Shaking off the memory of her confession to Victor, Theresa whispered, "Showtime." Theresa marched into the living room and told Brady that she had been at happy hour with Anne. Theresa poured a drink from the cart and attempted to pick a fight with Brady.
When Brady noted that Theresa had failed to pick up Tate, Theresa acted as if she was drunk and said that she had forgotten but that it was no big deal. Confused, Brady asked what was wrong. Theresa ranted that she was celebrating the end of the craziness with the escaped felons. Theresa asked Brady to go with her to a club.
"You want to go get wasted, seriously?" Brady asked. "Do you have any idea how long it has been since I've had any fun at all?" Theresa yelled. With a sigh, Brady told Theresa that she was right. Frustrated by her inability to anger Brady, Theresa pushed harder to act belligerent. Brady apologized for leaning on Theresa and making her unhappy. Brady took Theresa's face in his hands and promised to make her see that she was the best thing that had ever happened to him. Brady promised to stand by Theresa.
Crying, Theresa backed away. Brady suggested a romantic evening, and Theresa lashed out. Theresa yelled that she felt trapped and bored. Brady offered to make coffee, but Theresa insisted on leaving to drink. Brady blocked Theresa from leaving. Theresa yelled that she needed a "judgment-free zone," and she left.
Later, Victor walked into the darkened living room, turned on the light, and found Brady sitting in a chair alone. Wiping tears away from his eyes, Brady said he was just thinking. Victor offered to talk, but Brady grew jittery. Victor asked what was wrong. Brady was reluctant to talk, but Victor persisted. Brady explained that Theresa was drunk and out getting drunker because she wanted to have fun.
Brady said that Theresa had forgotten to pick up Tate then had picked a fight with him. When Victor asked why, Brady said Theresa had gone out of her way to push him away. Shaking his head, Brady said he did not understand why.
"I know how much you want to be Theresa's salvation. Maybe she just can't be saved," Victor suggested quietly. Brady said he was disappointed that he had not realized how much Theresa was hurting. Brady asked Victor how he could help Theresa. With a groan, Victor said he was sorry. Victor hugged Brady. "I'm so, so sorry," Victor said.
At the DiMera mansion, Andre asked Chad where he had been all evening. Chad announced that he had closed a deal with Brady Bush. Andre was taken aback. Chad explained that Gabi had closed the deal, and he told Andre a shortened version of the events of the evening. Chuckling, Andre thanked Chad. While Chad reviewed some papers in the living room, Andre retreated to the hallway to take a phone call.
"Hello, Laura. Are you taking good care of our mutual friend? But you're Abigail's grandmother, you're supposed to keep her in line. Bloody hell! She's gone?" Andre said. "Where did she go?" Andre wondered aloud.
Hope requests a meeting with Andre
At the Horton Town Square, Justin overheard Sonny talking to Adrienne about her impending nuptials. He interrupted and asked to talk to Sonny about some Titan business. Adrienne didn't object, conceding that she and Sonny had already discussed everything they'd needed to discuss, anyway.
After Adrienne left, Sonny commented on the tension he had noticed between her and Justin. He suspected that Justin was upset about the wedding and felt betrayed because his own son had agreed to stand up for the happy couple during the ceremony, but Justin grumpily insisted, "I'm dealing with it." Unconvinced, Sonny guessed that Justin was having trouble maintaining a friendship with Adrienne because he was still in love with her.
Justin uncomfortably changed the subject, reiterating that he needed to talk business with Sonny. He explained that he was wary of a deal Eduardo and Deimos had recently made. "Deimos might not care what Eduardo is shipping in, but I do, so...I need someone to keep an eye on the docks," he continued. Realizing who Justin had in mind, Sonny pointed out that he hadn't exactly done the best job of handling dock business lately. "Here's your chance to turn [that] around," Justin reasoned, adding that Sonny could perhaps hire someone to keep an eye on the situation. Sonny considered the request for a moment then agreed to take the assignment.
Pleased, Justin went to get coffee for himself and Sonny. While he was gone, Paul and Derrick entered the town square and greeted Sonny. After a brief chat with him, they took a seat at a nearby table and started talking about what to order for breakfast. Justin soon returned and finished his conversation with Sonny then excused himself so he could get to the police station in time for Hope's arraignment.
After Justin left, Sonny, looking a bit uncomfortable, watched Paul and Derrick steal food off each other's plates. Derrick soon received a call from the hospital and stepped aside to answer it. Sonny seized the opportunity to approach Paul and offer him a job monitoring the docks for suspicious activity. Paul was intrigued but wasn't sure it would be a good idea for him and Sonny to work together. Sonny didn't think it would be an issue, but Paul asked for some time to think about the offer before making a decision. Sonny nodded and walked away after promising to send Paul more details later.
Elsewhere, Theresa met with Shane and told him that she had stayed with Caroline the previous night and had been ignoring Brady's calls. She sighed as she admitted that her plan to push Brady away was killing her. Shane tried to convince her to tell Brady the truth, but she maintained that she couldn't do anything that would put Brady or Tate in danger.
Later, Theresa met with Mateo near the docks. He presented her with a necklace and asked her to wear it, but she hesitated, promising instead to wear it on the day she left Salem with him. As she tucked it in her purse, she wondered why he was determined to get her back. "What's to understand? I love you. The time we spent together was the happiest of my life. I never should have let you walk away -- the only woman I ever felt this way about, and the only one who ever walked away," he explained. She assumed that he was trying to get her back as a matter of pride, but he insisted that wasn't the case. "It's about love," he reiterated.
"No, Mateo. If you really love me, you would let me go," Theresa argued. Mateo insisted that he and Theresa belonged together, adding that he had been trying for years to get her out of his system but had failed miserably. "You want this. I know you do. You just can't admit it to yourself. I have, though -- and I've never been happier, knowing love like this. Theresa, I've never gone to this kind of trouble for anyone before. That's how deeply you've gotten under my skin. Theresa, I'm gonna rule the world. A king needs a queen," he added.
Mateo tried to kiss Theresa, but she turned away. He forced her to face him again then warned, "No one ever says no to me. You shouldn't, either." She nervously requested more time to make a clean getaway from Salem, explaining that she needed to convince Brady that she no longer loved him so he wouldn't try to track her down after she left town. "He has enough resources to be a problem for you," she warned. Mateo agreed to wait a bit longer then started to walk away, but she stopped him and asked for a favor.
Brady went to the hospital to talk to Marlena about Theresa's sudden change in behavior. She reasoned that Theresa was probably just feeling overwhelmed due to all the recent traumas in her life. She urged him to be patient with Theresa, who would likely confide in him once she felt comfortable doing so. "And, you know, when that happens, maybe suggest a -- well, a trip. Get away somewhere," she advised. He thought that was a great idea.
When Brady returned to the Kiriakis mansion later that day, he found Theresa lying in bed. He wondered where she had gone the previous night. Turning away from him with a complaint about how he was judging her, she claimed that she had visited every bar within a ten-mile radius with a few of her friends. He insisted that she wasn't acting like herself and needed to straighten up. "Okay, Grandpa," she dismissively replied.
Brady offered to take Theresa on a vacation. "Whatever," she replied before rising from the bed and stumbling out of the room, explaining that she was going to take a shower and try not to vomit in the process. After she left, he flung a nearby shirt across the room in frustration. As he paced the floor, he noticed something sticking out of her purse. When he approached to get a closer look, he realized that the item was a bag of drugs.
Joey went to the hospital to get his scorpion-shaped scar removed. Afterward, he told Steve that the removal process had been much more painful than the branding process, and the doctor had seemed to enjoy his suffering. He started to describe the smell of burning flesh that had filled the room during the procedure, but Steve groaned and insisted that he didn't want to hear about that.
Joey knew Kayla would be pleased to see that the scar was gone. "Jade will be pretty bummed, though. She liked having matching symbols," he added. Steve wondered how things had been going for the couple since Jade's return to Salem. "To be honest, not as good as I'd hoped," Joey admitted. Steve assumed that some sort of fight had occurred. "No, no fight. We just... I don't know, maybe I'm just...not ready to commit? I mean, I'm too young to be tied down...right?" Joey replied. Steve agreed and wondered if Joey was thinking of ending things with Jade. "Yeah, I am," he confirmed.
"Just be straight with her. Tell her the truth. It might hurt her to hear it, but it's the only way to go. Shows you have respect," Steve advised. He conceded, however, that he might not be the best person to talk to about the matter because he didn't exactly have the best track record with relationships. "But you [and Mom] are good now, right?" Joey asked.
Nodding, Steve happily revealed that he and Kayla were engaged again. Joey was thrilled to hear that. "The way you and Mom love each other, always find your way back to each other -- that's the kind of love that I want," he admitted. Steve said he was confident that Joey would find that kind of love eventually.
Later, Steve went to the docks to meet with someone who had sent him a text message about needing to hire a private investigator. As he was waiting for the person to show up, someone approached him from behind and placed a hand on his shoulder. He started to react defensively but let the person go when he realized it was Shane. "It is really good to see you, Guv'nor," he told Shane, who groaned at the use of the seemingly inescapable nickname. Steve dismissively insisted that Shane secretly loved being called that.
Steve pointed out that it wasn't exactly the best time to be sneaking up on people, given everything that had happened in Salem recently. Shane apologetically explained that he was in town on family business and was trying to keep a low profile. "Oh, so you're the 'client' who contacted me earlier," Steve guessed. Shane confirmed the suspicion and said he wanted to touch base with Steve about the situation with Hope. "So that's why you're here?" Steve asked. Shane didn't bother to correct the assumption, instead stressing, "I want to help -- any way I can."
At the Martin mansion, Andre received a visit from Rafe, who revealed that Hope wanted to talk to him about the terms of their agreement. Surprised to learn that Hope had discussed the agreement with Rafe, Andre sarcastically mused that it was heartwarming to hear about the ways in which the couple chose to show their devotion to each other. He wondered how they would be able to do that once their dates began taking place within the confines of the prison's visiting room. "What? You haven't thought that far ahead?" he guessed when Rafe didn't respond right away. He promised Rafe that he would make Hope pay for what she had done.
After Rafe left, Kate returned home and found Andre preparing to head to the police station. She admitted that she was disappointed with Andre because she had been under the impression that he had given up on his petty revenge project. "Petty? Really? Vengeance makes the world go 'round," he insisted. "Vengeance makes the earth a graveyard," she countered.
Andre reminded Kate that Hope had killed Stefano. "How many people did Stefano have killed?" she asked. He insisted that was irrelevant. "Only to people not in their right mind," she countered. He claimed that he was trying to get justice for his family, but she maintained that vengeance was his true motive. "If you're sincere about wanting to improve your image and your status in Salem, then you need to be a bit more forgiving, especially if you expect people to be forgiving with you," she advised. He considered her words for a moment then left the mansion without responding.
With Hope's arraignment looming, Marlena went to the police station to see how she was doing. Hope seemed resigned to her fate, but Marlena assured her that Justin was going to find a way to keep her out of prison. Later, Marlena ran into Andre and chastised him for the way in which he had chosen to expose Hope's crimes. "Well, it was all in the name of justice. Hope is a murderer. I thought the public had a right to know," he explained.
"And while we're on the topic of justice -- doing the right thing, as you will -- I never did get that thank-you for saving your life and Kayla's," Andre pointed out. He conceded, however, that seeing Marlena alive and well was good enough for him. She wondered how he had managed to figure out where Orpheus had taken her and Kayla. "I'm a clever man," he replied with a shrug. He walked away after adding that his talks with Marlena always managed to put him in a good mood.
When Andre joined Hope in one of the conference rooms a short time later, she explained that she needed his word that if she entered a guilty plea during her arraignment, he would never reveal that Rafe and Roman had helped her frame him for Stefano's murder. He confirmed that he would be satisfied with seeing her pay for her crimes.
"Life is going very well for me. My father's killer is just steps away from being in prison for life. My brother Chad and I are making progress. Kate has become -- well, she's decided to be the voice of my conscience. After all this time, I think I've finally found my footing -- and after [only] a year in Salem's warm embrace. So, what's the point of bringing down the police department? Why push for more when I've been blessed with so much?" Andre reasoned. He added that revealing the truth about Rafe and Roman would cost him his leverage against Hope, allowing her to enter a different plea and perhaps escape punishment entirely.
Later, Hope told Rafe and Justin about her meeting with Andre. "Something's up. He didn't seem himself. He actually seemed geared toward cutting me some slack," she revealed. Meanwhile, Kate found Andre in the foyer of the Martin mansion, staring contemplatively at a chessboard. She wondered if his meeting with Hope had gone well. "Let's just say that your words of wisdom were not lost on me," he replied as he seized a queen with a rook.
After Hope's arraignment, she returned to the police station with Justin and Rafe. "What the hell just happened?" Rafe asked. Shrugging, Justin said he had truly believed that things would go a different way. "Trask is bucking for a promotion, but I still did not expect her to ask for special circumstances," he added. Hope guessed that Trask planned to use the number of bullets in Stefano's body to press for one thing -- the death penalty.
Gabi surprises J.J. with a party
At the hospital, Kayla greeted Theo and guessed that he was excited about finally being able to take Abe home. He wondered if she believed that there was no longer a reason to be concerned about Abe's health. "Well, Dr. Grant signed his release, so..." she replied. He stressed that he was only interested in her opinion. She assured him that she believed Abe was going to be just fine.
Meanwhile, Valerie warned Abe that she was going to need to do one last echocardiogram before releasing him. He was fine with that, and he assured her that he would make a point of scheduling yearly checkups in the future. He added that he wanted to take her out for dinner before she returned to Washington, DC, as his way of thanking her for saving his life. She happily accepted the offer.
Theo, who had been listening from the hallway, entered the room and wondered if Abe was ready to go home. "This would be a good time for you to thank Dr. Grant," Abe suggested. "For almost killing you?" Theo replied. Abe insisted that Valerie wasn't responsible for what had happened. He wanted Theo to apologize to her, but she said she understood Theo's criticism. She promised Theo that she would be more careful in the future.
Without bothering to acknowledge Valerie's promise, Theo excused himself so he could call Claire and let her know that Abe was about to be released. After Theo left, Abe sighed and apologized to Valerie, admitting that he had hoped Theo would grow to like her before her departure from Salem. "Well, I haven't left yet. Give me another chance to, uh, make things right with him," she replied.
Later, Valerie went to say goodbye to Kayla, who casually mentioned that there was an opening in the hospital's cardiology department. Valerie politely declined, explaining that she had a life to return to in Washington, DC. Kayla protested that Salem was a much less hectic place. "Salem gives Beirut a run for the money," Valerie countered. Kayla reluctantly conceded the point. Changing the subject, Valerie wished Kayla luck with Steve, guessing that her engagement ring meant that they were back together again. Kayla mentioned that she had sensed a connection between Valerie and Abe, but Valerie insisted he was just a friend.
Elsewhere, Theo confided in Claire about what he had witnessed earlier. She understood that he didn't like change, but she assured him that his relationship with his father wouldn't change, even if another woman entered the picture. He stressed that he didn't expect his father to stay single forever. "But there's just something about Dr. Grant that I don't like -- or trust," he explained.
Claire knew Theo was simply looking out for Abe, just as she had been looking out for her father when she had warned him earlier that year about her mother's blossoming relationship with Philip, prompting him to return to Salem to stop it from progressing further. Theo sadly pointed out that, in his case, there was no way to reunite his father with his mother. "And I don't want that woman taking her place," he added. Claire suggested that Theo needed to find a way to stop that from happening, just as she had stopped Philip from taking her father's place, but he didn't think that was a good idea. "Come on. Do you want [Valerie] gone or not?" she asked.
Later, Theo went to Abe's room and was surprised to see that Abe wasn't there. Valerie soon joined him and explained that Abe was in the middle of one last test. "So, then, you're not sure he's okay," Theo concluded. She clarified that she was sure but had to follow certain rules and regulations, including sending Abe for one last echocardiogram before releasing him.
Theo started to excuse himself, but Valerie stopped him. "Listen, medicine is science, but healing? Healing, it's not scientific; it's emotional. And I also happen to believe it's spiritual. And the way you love your father -- the way his eyes light up when he sees you -- well, that's stronger medicine than I could ever offer him. See, you're part of the reason I'm sure he's gonna be fine," she stressed.
Taken aback, Theo hesitantly thanked Valerie, who added that it seemed like Abe had plenty of good reasons to be proud of him. Before he could say anything else, she received a phone call and excused herself so she could answer it. He followed her out of the room and overheard part of her phone conversation. When he found Claire, he revealed that Valerie had just told someone she was in New York. Claire wondered why Valerie would want to hide her true whereabouts. "I don't know. But I'm gonna find out," Theo vowed.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Theresa rejoined Brady in their bedroom and happily announced that she had managed to get through her shower without vomiting. She asked him to get her a cup of coffee and some dry toast, but he ignored the request. When she started rummaging through her purse, he held up the bag of drugs he had found earlier. "Looking for these?" he guessed.
Theresa tried to snatch the bag out of Brady's hand, but he kept it out of reach and demanded to know what it contained. "Vitamin C," she joked, but he wasn't amused. "Oh, come on, Brady. You know what that is. You've done it yourself," she pointed out. He angrily guessed that she hadn't just spent the previous night drinking; she had also spent it high on ecstasy.
"I was having some damn fun!" Theresa snapped. She wondered if Brady even remembered what that was like. He said he remembered that it had almost killed them. "This is crossing a line!" he added. She claimed that she hadn't really crossed any lines at all -- at least not recently -- because she had actually been using drugs since Tate's kidnapping. She flirtatiously encouraged Brady to lighten up and start joining her.
Brady shook his head and sadly admitted that he had been holding out hope that Theresa's sudden change in behavior was just part of one of her schemes. "I guess it's not," he added before going to dispose of the drugs. Once the coast was clear, she broke down then quickly regained her composure. When he returned and announced that the drugs were gone, she dismissively pointed out that she was rich and could just buy more.
Theresa added that she had more pills in her purse, anyway, but as she started rummaging through it, Brady snatched it out of her hands and dumped its contents on the bed. He didn't find any pills, but he did find the necklace Mateo had given her earlier. He demanded to know where she had gotten it. She took it from him and claimed that she had purchased it with money she had skimmed off the top of D.J. Wear's profits.
Brady ordered Theresa to return the necklace, but she refused. She quickly stuffed all her belongings back in her purse then started to excuse herself. He stopped her and insisted that he wasn't going to bail on her just because she was acting out. "I made vows to you in this room, [and] I intend to keep them, for better or for worse," he added. Fighting back tears, she scoffed and informed him that she had been high during that ceremony. Stunned, he urged her to get some help. "No, you know what I need? To get the hell out of here!" she replied before storming off.
Theresa went downstairs and sadly informed Tate that she was being forced to do something terrible to keep him and Brady safe. When she heard Brady's footsteps in the foyer, she changed the subject, making it seem like she had instead been complaining to Tate about how Brady was trying to force her to go to rehab. "You're excusing doing drugs to your baby. That doesn't tell you that you need help?" Brady asked incredulously. She shoved Tate into his arms then stormed off, reiterating that she just needed to get away from him.
Theresa went to the Brady Pub and tearfully filled Kimberly in on what had just happened. Kimberly urged Theresa to go back to Brady and tell him the truth, certain that Shane could figure out a way to handle Mateo once Theresa, Brady, and Tate were tucked away in a safe hiding place. Theresa insisted that there was no such thing. "I have to do this, okay? I don't have a choice!" she added before storming out of the pub.
"Well, I do," Kimberly muttered to herself. Later, she received a phone call from Brady, who explained that he needed her help because Theresa had fallen off the wagon. "Brady, what I think you need to know is the truth," she replied.
At the Martin mansion, Andre received a phone call from Laura, who was in a panic over Abigail's disappearance. She wanted to know how he intended to find Abigail, but he insisted that was none of her business. He added that Abigail's disappearance really wasn't his problem anyway, since he had done his part when he had agreed to help Abigail fake her death so she wouldn't be a burden to Chad and Thomas. He reminded Laura that Abigail had flown the coop on her watch, not his. He assured her, however, that he would find Abigail for her. "[Hopefully] before she does something stupid," he muttered to himself after ending the call.
As Chad was pushing Thomas through the town square, a stuffed animal fell out of the boy's stroller. A woman picked it up once the coast was clear. Meanwhile, at the Horton house, Jennifer tried to convince J.J. to tell Gabi about his one-night stand so he could stop beating himself up about it. She was confident that Gabi would understand and forgive him, but he expressed skepticism, pointing out that he couldn't even forgive himself.
J.J. decided to go for a walk to clear his head, but when he opened the front door, he found Gabi and Sonny standing on the other side, holding flowers and a box of party supplies, respectively. They explained that they were throwing J.J. a surprise party to celebrate his release from the hospital. He unenthusiastically thanked them for the kind gesture then retreated to the living room.
Jennifer stepped into the foyer to say hello to Gabi and Sonny. Gabi quietly observed that it seemed like J.J. was really depressed. Jennifer said she thought he was just going stir-crazy. "Well, that's why we're here," Sonny replied. He carried the box of party supplies into the living room and placed it on the coffee table. "Listen, if you got the impression that we're here because you were shot, you were wrong. We're here because I want a rematch," he informed J.J. as he retrieved a classic video game console from the box. The blast from the past instantly changed J.J.'s mood.
Before Sonny could set up the console, someone rang the doorbell. Jennifer offered to greet the visitor, but Gabi asked Sonny to handle the job. He pointed out that he was busy, but she was adamant. He expected to see Chad on the other side of the front door, but he found Paul standing there instead. Gabi watched from the living room and feigned innocence when Sonny glared at her accusingly.
Sonny wondered how Paul's date with Derrick had gone. "It was fine," Paul reported. "Oh. That's great. That's great," Sonny replied. When Chad arrived a short time later, the guys decided to play the video games in teams. J.J. chose Chad as his partner, leaving Sonny with Paul. The first match went in Sonny and Paul's favor, prompting J.J. to demand a rematch and Chad to demand a new partner. Gabi protested that Sonny and Paul needed to stay together because they made a very good team.
Jennifer urged the guys to follow her into the kitchen for doughnuts before starting the next round. Chad, Paul, and J.J. happily complied, but Sonny stayed behind to talk to Gabi. "I know what you're doing, and I wish you would stop, because Paul is seeing someone," he quietly told her. She claimed that she had no idea what he was talking about. "Yes, you do. You're playing this little matchmaker," he clarified. Feigning indignation, she insisted that she would never interfere in someone's personal life like that.
After Sonny walked away, J.J. returned to the living room and gave Gabi a hug to thank her for the party. "You are the best girlfriend," he stressed. "Then we are well matched, because you are the best boyfriend," she replied. Meanwhile, Jennifer and Chad emerged from the kitchen. Not wanting to interrupt J.J. and Gabi's moment, they lingered in the foyer and had a quiet conversation with each other. Jennifer hoped that Chad would one day find someone who would make him as happy as Gabi made J.J.
Outside, the woman from the town square watched through a window as everyone reconvened in the living room for the next round of video games. Chad eventually received a phone call from Brad, and after he ended it, he apologetically asked to borrow Gabi for a few minutes. Gabi and Chad explained to J.J. that they had faked being a couple the previous night to keep Brad's wife from hitting on Chad. J.J. hesitantly encouraged Gabi to go with Chad, conceding that it sounded like he could use her help again.
Later, Sonny watched as J.J. competed against Paul in one of the video games. J.J. was pleased when he emerged victorious, but after he went to the kitchen to get some more bottles of beer, Sonny guessed that Paul had let him win. Paul tried to deny the accusation, but Sonny wasn't fooled, knowing that if J.J. had won fair and square, Paul would have immediately demanded a rematch because he hated losing and was never willing to give up. "That's right. I'm not giving up," Paul vowed as he eyed Sonny intently. He quickly clarified, however, that he had meant that he wasn't going to give up until he managed to defeat J.J.
J.J. soon returned and distributed the bottles of beer. He then showed Sonny a picture that Jennifer had just found -- one that had been taken at a karaoke bar he had gone to with Abigail, Sonny, and Will right after he had gotten out of boarding school. "I'll never forget you and Will singing that duet," he said with a chuckle. "'I Will Always Love You.' That was the moment I knew I was in love," Sonny recalled with a wistful smile. J.J. retrieved his cell phone, knowing that he had a video of the duet saved on it. Meanwhile, Paul awkwardly cleared his throat. "Hey, you know what, guys, I, uh...it was a great party, but I gotta run," he announced before rushing off.
At the Horton Town Square, Brad presented Gabi with a cake from his favorite bakery -- his way of bribing her into letting him steal Chad for a few minutes so they could finalize their business deal. After the men walked away, Vicki complained that she didn't appreciate being blackmailed into convincing her husband to do business with Chad. Gabi warned that she would have a revealing chat with Brad if Vicki didn't lose the attitude and start pretending to get along with her. Chad and Brad soon returned and announced that the deal was officially done. Vicki forced a smile as Brad invited Chad and Gabi to join them for a toast to the new partnership.
Later, the woman from the town square watched from afar as Chad gave Gabi a hug to thank her for helping him close the deal.
Jade drops a bombshell
Kim called Brady at the Kiriakis mansion. A worried Brady explained that something was wrong with Theresa. Brady pleaded with Kim to help him figure out the problem. Brady asked Kim about Theresa's past. Kim suggested that Theresa's happiness might have been dashed because of Theresa's self-esteem. Worried, Brady begged Kim to talk to Theresa. Stammering in response, Kim suggested that Theresa might not be capable of changing.
Angry, Brady asked Kim to break the cycle. As Kim looked around the Brady Pub, she lied that she would take the first flight to Salem. Victor entered the Kiriakis living room as Brady hung up the phone. Victor asked about Kim. Sighing, Brady grumbled that Kim was pessimistic but had agreed to fly to Salem. Victor asked about Theresa. Brady admitted that things had grown worse with Theresa.
Victor noted that Brady should not hold his breath over Theresa, but he quickly apologized. Victor clarified that he did not want to insult Theresa. Brady vowed to keep Theresa from destroying herself. When Brady said he would remove the liquor, Victor's eyes shifted away. Suspicious, Brady asked what was going on. Victor told Brady that during the siege, the liquor decanters had been emptied every night after bed, and Henderson had repeatedly watched Theresa drink a lot.
With tears in his eyes, Brady plopped into a chair, stunned. Brady chastised himself for not spotting Theresa's downward spiral sooner. Curious, Brady asked Victor why he was acting like he knew more than he was saying. Victor insulted Theresa and argued that Theresa had been playing a character and was finally showing her true self. With a nod, Brady said he was relieved that he had not been imagining that people were acting strangely around him. Brady left. "No, Brady, you're not paranoid," Victor whispered to himself.
At St. Luke's, Theresa kneeled before the altar and prayed. Crying, Theresa asked God for guidance and strength. From the doorway, J.J. was startled to see Theresa. When J.J. expressed his surprise, a tearful Theresa turned to face him. J.J. joked about Instagramming a picture of Theresa so that he would have a record of that moment. Confused, Theresa looked at the heavy bags that J.J. was carrying. Theresa asked J.J. why he was not resting in bed after his release from the hospital.
J.J. admitted that he had been stir crazy at the house and had volunteered to drop off material for Adrienne's wedding at the church. Concerned, J.J. asked Theresa why she had been crying. Theresa noted that they were not friends. J.J. said that they had both been in a bad place when Theresa had moved to town, but he knew that she had changed.
"No matter how motivated I was to change, underneath, I'm still the same pathetic loser that I always was. And eventually, all the horrible things that I have done have come back to haunt me. There is no escaping them," Theresa said. J.J. asked Theresa to talk to him, and he told her he was sorry. J.J. confessed that he had continued to make the same mistakes. Shaking her head with a smile, Theresa told J.J. not to be so hard on himself. When J.J. added that these were new mistakes, Theresa's eyes went wide.
Theresa begged J.J. to tell her all the lurid details of his affair. J.J. did not want to talk about it. With a nod, Theresa said she understood. J.J. asked Theresa how he could tell Gabi what he had done. Theresa advised J.J. to own up to his mistake.
"If I could be honest with Brady right now, it would be the best thing that ever happened to us," Theresa cried out. J.J. asked why. Ignoring the question, an animated Theresa warned J.J. to tell Gabi the truth so that he could love Gabi without guilt.
"Just remember, no matter what horrible mistakes we've made in the past when we weren't able to do the right thing, it doesn't mean we aren't able to do the right thing now," Theresa said breathlessly. J.J. nodded in agreement. Fighting tears, Theresa asked J.J. to leave. J.J. thanked Theresa, and he told her that she had helped him. Thankful, Theresa hugged J.J. tightly and said that she was glad she could help someone. After J.J. left, Theresa broke down, sobbing.
After collecting herself, Theresa rose to leave. She turned and saw Brady staring at her from the entryway. Theresa accused Brady of tracking her phone. Brady explained that he had seen Theresa's car in the parking lot. With a nod, Theresa lied and said she had gone to the church to find an A.A. leader to remind Brady to accept the things he could not change. Theresa growled and shoved Brady. Upset, Brady argued that Theresa was clearly at the church because she wanted help. Brady swore to help Theresa.
Theresa told Brady that she did not want help, but he refused to give up on her. Brady apologized for not being there for Theresa. When Brady said he would make it up to Theresa, she yelled at him to cut out the white knight routine. Theresa told Brady to leave her alone. Brady asked Theresa to let him love her.
"You told me that I was the only person that ever really knew you. You told me that you loved Tate and me more than anyone else in the world, and you told me you would die for either one of us. Now that we're in this church, and I'm standing here with you, maybe we should make it official. I want to get our friends and our family and our son, and I want to stand in front of them, including God, and just tell everyone that I love you. And I want to repeat those vows right here. Baby, I love you so much," Brady said. Theresa slapped Brady across the face and ran out. Devastated, Brady went to the altar and prayed to God for guidance.
In the park, Chad hugged Gabi, then guiltily pulled away and thanked Gabi for her help. Gabi asked Chad to take the pie home with him so that she would not eat it all. With a grin, Chad asked Gabi to wait for him in the park while he ran a quick errand. Chad walked to the flower cart in the square. From the back of the square, a mysterious woman watched Chad as she clutched the stuffed animal that Thomas had dropped. At the cart, Chad bought a bouquet of flowers. When the woman at the cart called Chad a woman in love, the mysterious woman nearby ran away.
In the park, Gabi sat on the bench and texted J.J. about meeting up. Behind Gabi, the mysterious woman peeked out at her from the entryway to the park. When Chad returned with the bouquet of flowers, Gabi gushed over the gift. Gabi reminded Chad that she was his employee and told him not to give her any more gifts. As Chad playfully put a flower behind Gabi's ear, the mysterious woman watched from the hedge.
Chad leaned in close to Gabi on the bench. When Gabi told Chad that he was a sweet boss, he said he thought he might be more than that. Gabi giggled. Chad explained that they were friends, and Gabi agreed. Gabi's phone beeped. Gabi excused herself to meet with J.J., and she rushed off without her bouquet of flowers.
In a café near the square, Claire and Joey shared a plate of French fries as Joey's phone beeped. Claire asked about the phone, and Joey admitted that Jade had been texting him nonstop. With a groan, Joey said he wanted to avoid Jade. Claire looked at the phone and told Joey that Jade wanted him to meet her at her house. Joey said he needed to break up with Jade. Claire offered to talk to Jade to see if she was open to a more casual relationship with him. Grateful, Joey accepted Claire's offer.
Claire walked around until she found Jade walking through the square. Claire asked to talk. Claire warned Jade that she was driving Joey away by bombarding him with texts. When Jade asked what was going on, Claire explained that Joey did not want to be a couple. Jade told Claire she was wrong. Claire argued that Jade was imagining a more serious relationship with Joey than he was. Claire told Jade that she was acting like a stalker. Shaking her head, Jade told Claire that she was misreading the situation.
"Joey and I are meant to be together. I feel it, and I know it," Jade said firmly. Shocked, Claire warned Jade to lessen her expectations. Jade argued that Claire was jealous because she was lonely. Grossed out, Claire denied the accusation. Jade stated that she needed to plan her future, and she walked away. Claire returned to the café where she had left Joey and told him what happened. Claire advised Joey to be brutally honest with Jade.
At the Horton house, Gabi met up with J.J. per his request. J.J. guided Gabi to sit on the sofa, and he told Gabi how much she meant to him. J.J. confessed that he had cheated on Gabi after Abigail had died.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad watched his son sleep in his crib in the living room. Work called Chad's cell phone. While Chad stepped out of the room so as not to wake his son, the mysterious woman from the square crept into the living room, still clutching the stuffed animal. The woman approached Thomas.
In the park, Joey met up with Jade. Excited, Jade told Joey she had missed him. Joey said he and Jade were not working out as a couple. Angry, Jade interrupted to tell Joey that she was pregnant.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Theresa paced her room nervously, fighting a panic attack. Theresa grabbed a pill from a drawer and chased it with a gulp from a flask. Still panting with stress, Theresa dumped out her purse and poured a pile of cocaine onto a mirror.