When Xander hinted that Victor had sprung him out of prison so he could murder Deimos, Paul expressed skepticism, certain that Victor wouldn't let Sonny take the fall for a crime he had orchestrated. John, meanwhile, struggled to understand why Xander would have done Victor's dirty work then gone straight back to prison instead of retreating to a beach in Mykonos to live out the rest of his days in luxury on Victor's dime.
"You find a way to get me on that beach, and I'll tell you everything you need to know," Xander promised. Paul pulled John aside and quietly pointed out that Xander might be Sonny's only shot at freedom, but John regretfully explained that the ISA would never agree to Xander's demands without first receiving concrete proof that he was telling the truth. Xander refused to provide the needed proof without first receiving a guarantee of full immunity from the ISA, leaving the men at a stalemate. "I hope Sonny enjoys his date with the electric chair," Xander tauntingly stated as John and Paul started to walk away.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor angrily smashed a vase after a frustrating phone conversation with Justin, who was no closer to getting Sonny released from police custody than he had been during any of their previous conversations. "I'm going to confess," Victor spontaneously decided. Brady and Nicole, who had both joined Victor in the foyer after his outburst, insisted that a false confession would only make things worse.
"Well, then, what the hell am I supposed to do -- stand on the sidelines, praying for a miracle?" Victor asked incredulously. Brady clarified, "[No], we're gonna find the real killer."
At the hospital, Marlena ran into Adrienne, who was there for an appointment with her oncologist. Taking note of the stack of paperwork Marlena was carrying, Adrienne suggested, "You might want to think about switching to digital, because you could put all that on a tiny little tablet." Chuckling, Marlena admitted that although she still preferred writing things out by hand, she might have to consider going digital if doing so would make her paperwork more manageable. "Sometimes I wish there were two of me," Marlena continued. "Believe me, I know the feeling," Adrienne replied.
Marlena and Adrienne soon began discussing Sonny. "John and Paul are working so hard to clear [Sonny's] name; they're following every lead," Marlena assured Adrienne. "Lead? Is there a lead? Do they know who killed Deimos?" Adrienne asked excitedly. Backpedaling, Marlena apologetically claimed that she had meant to say that John and Paul were tirelessly pursuing every avenue in their efforts to help Sonny.
Smiling, Adrienne mused that Sonny was lucky to have so many people in his corner. Marlena insisted, "Luck's got nothing to do with it. He deserves it. He's such a wonderful man. I mean, I think of him as my grandson. Standing before him [and] Will on their wedding day [and] marrying them...well, it was one of the proudest days of my life, [and] I will never, ever forget that." Marlena added that she was grateful to Sonny for doing his part to provide Arianna with reminders of Will so the child would never forget her other father. Marlena assured Adrienne, "[John won't] stop until he brings Sonny home -- to you and to his daughter."
While catching up with Bonnie at Statesville, Hattie decided to finally ask about the circumstances surrounding her friend's imprisonment. "I'd do anything for my Meems, you know? She had a hard childhood because of me, and just knowing that she is out there, free, happy, and living large in Arizona -- eh, it makes it bearable to be in here," Bonnie explained with a shrug.
Hattie argued that Bonnie also deserved to have a life -- one that didn't involve rotting behind bars for a murder she hadn't actually committed. When Bonnie insisted that ship had already sailed, Hattie countered, "What if I told you I could sail you right out of this hellhole?" Bonnie knew that Hattie was capable of springing people out of prison, but she doubted that her story would end as happily as Hope's had, since it was highly unlikely that her charges were going to be dropped anytime soon. Accessing a picture of Adrienne on her cell phone, Hattie pointed out that Bonnie wouldn't have to worry about those charges if she assumed another identity.
Stunned, Bonnie observed, "That face! We could be twins! I mean, if I didn't know any better, I'd say I was looking at a picture of me -- except I'd never be caught dead in that hideous outfit!" Hattie regretfully informed Bonnie that if she wanted to steal Adrienne's identity, she'd have to wear Adrienne's clothes. "Oh, hells no!" Bonnie insisted, returning the cell phone to Hattie.
Undeterred, Hattie urged Bonnie to think of all the things she'd be able to do on the outside -- such as finally getting revenge against Maggie Horton. Groaning, Bonnie complained that "Old Red" had stolen her soul mate, Mickey Horton. "He was the sweetest man in the whole world! And, you know, when I set my eyes on him, Maggie was out of the picture; I mean, she was gone -- dead -- and the poor man, he was devastated!" Bonnie told Hattie. "We fell in love -- deep love -- and I was thisclose to getting everything I ever wanted...and then she rose from the grave, that auburn-haired zombie!" Bonnie continued.
"Nothing was the same [after] Maggie came back from Gilligan's Island or wherever the hell she was from!" Bonnie grumbled, adding that Maggie hadn't just stolen her "cutie-patootie" but also her livelihood. "Every time I think about her and what she did to me and my Mickey, I just want to take my hands and put 'em around her scrawny little neck!" Bonnie continued through gritted teeth.
Hattie insisted that Bonnie couldn't do that. "[But you] can get payback," Hattie promised, adding that Maggie had married Victor Kiriakis after Mickey's death and had been living "like one of those TV housewives" since then. Bonnie admitted that she had always loved watching those women -- especially Lisa Rinna, who reminded her of someone she had once known. "Oh, my God, I'd be great on that show! Oh, I'd be hosting fancy parties, and getting into fights, and flipping tables -- and what I wouldn't give to see the look on Old Red's face when I became a star!" Bonnie mused. "Let's do it!" Hattie encouraged Bonnie.
Suddenly suspicious, Bonnie wondered what Hattie was going to get out of the arrangement. "Well, it's kind of a package deal, you know? You become Adrienne, and...and I gotta become that snooty Dr. Evans," Hattie reluctantly admitted. Amused, Bonnie started teasing Hattie, who continued, "Look, it's a chance for both of us to be living our dreams...[so] what do you think? Should we do it?"
Bonnie wondered if Hattie had managed to think of such a spectacular plan on her own. Hattie admitted that she'd had a bit of help, but she added that she couldn't reveal "the boss lady's" identity until Bonnie agreed to go along with the plan. Bonnie wasn't sure that she could pull off such an elaborate ruse, since she didn't even know Adrienne, but Hattie dismissively insisted that there would be plenty of time to address that problem later. Practically salivating at the idea of finally getting revenge against Maggie, Bonnie excitedly told Hattie, "It's time for these leopards to change their stripes!"
After a visit with Holly, Maggie returned home and shared some new pictures with Nicole, who was saddened to see that she had missed out on being around for Holly's first tooth. "I hate that another family is raising her -- that some stranger gets to hear her first word and see her first steps!" Nicole complained, adding that being provided with pictures and videos of those moments wasn't the same as actually witnessing them in person. Maggie and Brady assured Nicole that Holly would be back in her custody eventually. Nodding, Nicole stressed that she didn't know what she would do without Maggie and Brady in her life.
Later, while getting ready for a shift at the Horton Center, Nicole once again assured Brady that the Halo-induced kiss she'd shared with Eric at the Martin mansion had meant nothing.
Jennifer went to the Martin mansion to see Abigail and J.J., but they were both gone, so she decided to leave them a note -- and a batch of fresh doughnuts. While Jennifer was writing the note, Eric joined her in the dining room and started chatting with her. Jennifer eventually let it slip that Brady had recently encouraged her to get back together with Eric. Jennifer assumed that Brady had simply been trying to be a good friend, but Eric suspected that a more selfish motive had prompted the unsolicited advice. After Eric finished telling Jennifer about Brady's recent displays of jealousy, she rushed over to the Kiriakis mansion to confront him.
At the Horton Center, Nicole sobbed while looking at one of her newest pictures of Holly. Unable to find any tissues in her desk drawers, Nicole walked over to Eric's desk and started searching his drawers -- discovering, in the process, the stacks of letters he had addressed to her but had never mailed. Eric arrived just as Nicole was about to open one of the letters.
Dario makes a deal with Eli
In his bedroom at the mansion, Chad pulled a wedding band out of his pocket and stared at it. As Chad threw the ring on the bed along with his watch, Gabi walked in with a vase full of lavender. Noting the pained look on Chad's face, Gabi rubbed his shoulder and asked about his day. Chad admitted that he had lied to Gabi. Upset, Gabi ranted about Abigail. When Gabi lost some steam, Chad announced that Dario had been caught counterfeiting and stealing money. Gabi did not believe him.
After telling Gabi everything he knew, Chad admitted that he had learned about Dario's thieving from Abigail. Gabi was upset that Chad had talked to Abigail but had lied to her. When Gabi asked Chad if he was going to talk to the police, Chad said Abigail was convinced she could talk Dario into "doing the right thing." Chad said that Dario was involved in a lot of activities that would eventually get noticed by the police.
Worried, Gabi wanted to talk to Dario. Chad urged Gabi to let Abigail deal with her husband. Gabi was anxious to see her brother, so Chad hugged her and let her cry. "You are an incredibly fierce woman, but you don't need to take on everything yourself. You have me," Chad said. After the tears subsided, Gabi apologized for losing her temper. Gabi said she was worried about Dario and Abigail's relationship. Shaking his head, Chad said he believed Abigail would stand by Dario. While Chad was in the shower, Gabi picked up Chad's things from the room. Gabi found the wedding band.
At Club TBD, Abigail informed Theo that Dario had been arrested before she had been able to steal his phone. Theo said he had not been able to access Dario's photos on the cloud. When Theo explained that it could take days to go through Dario's cloud storage, Abigail urged him to work faster because their window was closing. Theo asked Abigail to describe the photo. When Abigail declined, Theo asked for a date. Abigail told Theo the date of the photo, and when pressed, she admitted that the photo implicated Chad in the murder of Deimos.
Shocked, Theo reminded Abigail that Sonny had been arrested. Theo did not believe that Chad was capable of murder or letting his best friend take the fall. Abigail reminded Theo that Chad did not remember the night because of the drugs. With a sigh, Abigail said she was sorry for involving Theo in the scheme to find the photo. Taking Abigail's hand, Theo said they needed to protect Chad. Theo swore he would find the photo and eradicate it from existence.
At the police station, Dario's cellphone rang. Dario warned Rafe that the phone was private property when Rafe glanced at it. When Dario made a joke directed at Hope, Rafe advised Dario to stop talking. Dario asked for his phone. Suspicious, Rafe asked Dario why he was anxious to access his phone. Dario said he needed to speak with his lawyer, but Hope interjected to remind Dario that he had already called his lawyer. Dario then asked to call his wife. Hope said no.
"So much for family helping family," Dario grumbled. Furious, Rafe reminded Dario about the charges against him. Rafe said Dario had not learned anything from what had happened to their father. With a grin, Dario said he had a "get out of jail free card." Rafe asked Dario what information he had to offer. Raines entered the precinct and growled that he was furious that he had not been contacted about a warrant for Dario. Hope explained that Raines had been unreachable, and she had contacted Eli for the warrant.
"You're out now. Both of you. I'm taking over," Raines announced. As Eli entered, he stopped Raines and argued that the FBI had jurisdiction. Raines argued that Eli had taken advantage of his generosity. With a shrug, Eli apologized and said he needed to take over the investigation. When Eli walked Dario into the interrogation room, Dario asked to make a deal.
When Abigail arrived at the precinct, she demanded to see her husband. Hope denied Abigail's request. An angry Raines grumbled that he would deal with Rafe and Hope later as he walked away. Rafe cautioned Abigail to wait until after Eli talked to Dario. As Abigail groaned, she noticed Dario's phone on the desk. Abigail grabbed at it, but Hope stopped her. Hope noted that the phone was evidence.
When Hope asked about Dario's "get out of jail free card," Abigail stuttered that she did not know. Eli returned to the bullpen, and Abigail rushed over to ask Eli what Dario had said. Eli said Dario had asked for Abigail. Anxious, Abigail rushed in to see her husband. Hope asked Eli about the deal, but Eli said he could not discuss the terms yet.
In the interrogation room, Abigail asked Dario what he had told Eli. Abigail asked about Chad. Shaking his head, Dario complained that Abigail was not concerned about whether he went to prison or not but was instead only concerned about Chad. Dario said he had not told Eli about Chad. Abigail thanked Dario. Dario explained that he had made a deal to implicate his partner. Reaching across the table, Dario said he would not say a word about Chad if Abigail joined him in witness protection.
At Club TBD, Theo was able to find the incriminating photo in Dario's cloud storage. Confronted with a picture of his uncle holding the knife in Deimos' chest, Theo's mouth gaped open. Abe and Valerie walked in and said hello as Theo stared at his computer screen. With frustrated tears in his eyes, Theo looked up at his father.
In the Kiriakis living room, Jennifer lit into Brady for encouraging her to pursue Eric. Jennifer accused Brady of using her to keep Eric out of Nicole's life. Jennifer told Brady about her meeting with Eric at the Martin house. When Jennifer accused Brady of jealousy, Brady denied the charge but was defensive about it.
"I think you are trying to put me in the middle of Eric and Nicole," Jennifer yelled. Jennifer reminded Brady that Nicole loved Brady and wanted a future with him. Jennifer added that Eric respected Brady and Nicole's relationship and would not intervene. When Brady countered that Eric was Nicole's first love, Jennifer stressed that that was in the past. Brady dismissed the accuracy of Jennifer's premise on the basis of her love for Eric.
When Jennifer reiterated her charge that Brady was jealous, Brady repeatedly said no. Jennifer badgered Brady until he yelled out that she was right. Brady apologized. Brady admitted that he loved Nicole and was terrified of losing her. When Brady mentioned that Eric and Nicole had kissed, Jennifer was taken aback. After a moment, Jennifer shrugged. Brady explained that Nicole had believed she had been kissing Daniel. Noting Jennifer's face, Brady asked Jennifer if she was still in love with Eric.
Jennifer said she did not see a future with Eric because he had "unresolved issues." With a raised eyebrow, Brady asked Jennifer if Eric still had feelings for Nicole. Jennifer said that Eric had not said so, but it was her suspicion. Jennifer reminded Brady that Nicole loved him and that they had a family together. With a sigh, Brady said he knew he needed to let go of his jealousy. Brady added that he would not attempt to match-make for Jennifer and Eric again. With a nod, Jennifer warned Brady not to let jealousy ruin his relationship. Brady countered that Jennifer should not let pride ruin her relationship either.
At the Horton Center, Nicole discovered Eric's hidden trove of unsent letters meant for her. Eric walked in and angrily ripped the letters out of Nicole's hand. Nicole demanded to know what was in the letters. Eric threw the letters back in the desk drawer and slammed it shut. Eric asked Nicole not to look through his desk again.
"When you were first in prison, you wrote to me. I read the first letter. I sent the second one back, and I didn't open the rest of them. But those, those were never sent to me," Nicole said. Eric ordered Nicole to get back to work. Annoyed, Nicole growled that she was anxious to finish her community service and reunite with her daughter. While working, Nicole asked about the proposal for the center, causing Eric to snap at her. Nicole suggested they combine their efforts to finish the proposal. Eric yelled out, "Stop it! I can't do this."
Frustrated, Eric stood up and told Nicole about the letters. Eric said he had hoped to find the words to help him find peace. Eric added that he had wanted to be more than the man who had killed Daniel. When Nicole asked if the letters had worked, Eric said the night of the Martin house party, Daniel's vision had asked him to move on. Eric admitted that when he looked at Nicole and Daniel's family, he knew that what he had done was unforgivable. Eric reached into the desk drawer and held a lighter to the letters. Nicole rushed over and stopped Eric.
"You loved Daniel as much as I did. I knew you were suffering, but I didn't care. I wanted you to burn with guilt and grief until there was nothing left of you," Nicole said. Nicole said she had felt Daniel's presence and love for both of them that night at the Martin house. With a sad smile, Nicole said it had been easy to hold on to her anger. Sniffling back tears, Nicole asked to read the letters. Eric hesitantly handed the letters to Nicole then left the office.
With a deep breath, Nicole opened the first letter. "The sun is hot. The sky is clear. Daniel would want to be anywhere but indoors. My guilt rises and sets with that damn sun. Every breath is a reminder that the wrong man died that night. And so I write letters you'll never read. Begging for forgiveness I don't deserve. And hope for a miracle that will never happen. On the day I killed Daniel, I didn't just lose my best friend. I lost myself, and there is nothing I can do to bring either of us back," Eric's letter read.
After finishing the letters, Nicole waited for Eric to return. When Eric quietly entered the office, Nicole thanked him for letting her read the letters. Nicole asked if she could keep them. With tears in his eyes, Eric gently picked up the pile and handed them to Nicole. "Eric, I forgive you," Nicole said softly before she left. Eric choked back tears.
Abigail faces off with Dario>
Steve entered the Brady Pub and found Kayla sitting at a corner table, poring over invoices that had been piling up in Caroline's absence.
Recognizing that Kayla was overwhelmed, Steve pointed out that it wasn't her responsibility to act as the pub's accountant. Sighing, she admitted that she would rather be dealing with invoices than clearing out her office. He eventually managed to convince her to at least take a break. While she was closing the pub for the evening, he sneaked off to the Horton Town Square. Later, she emerged from the kitchen and found that he had filled the main section of the pub with lit candles and yellow roses. "And here I thought you forgot about our first anniversary," she admitted. "Well, we have a few, but you know what they say: you never forget the first," he replied.
Steve presented Kayla with a silver charm bracelet, to which a matching anchor charm was already attached. "Happy anniversary, Sweetness," he told her, using sign language to further express the sentiment.
At Club TBD, Abe suspiciously wondered why Theo had closed his laptop so quickly. Theo explained that he had been working on something as part of his new IT job at DiMera Enterprises, adding that Kate and Andre had made it clear that everything he did for the company was to be kept confidential. "And that wasn't a big red flag?" Abe asked incredulously, struggling to absorb the news.
Valerie tried to step in as a mediator, but Abe quickly shushed her. "I don't want you involved with those people," Abe told Theo. "'Those people' are my family -- mine and Mom's," Theo countered. Insisting that having the DiMeras as employers was an entirely different matter, Abe ordered Theo to quit the job immediately -- and he seized his son's laptop to further stress the command. Ignoring Theo's protests, Abe started to storm off, and Valerie followed him after giving Theo a sympathetic look.
While passing through the town square with Valerie a short time later, Abe wondered why Theo hadn't bothered to mention his new job sooner. "Maybe 'cause he guessed [that] you might respond this way," Valerie gently suggested. Confused about Abe's extreme reaction to the news, Valerie pointed out that Chad had been focused on legitimizing DiMera Enterprises lately and had been using the DiMera fortune to do a lot of good for the hospital. "Making up for past sins," Abe dismissively insisted. Sighing, Abe continued, "I'm afraid of history repeating itself."
Still confused, Valerie assured Abe that Theo knew the difference between right and wrong. "So did his mother. But when Lexie learned that she was Stefano's daughter, it was a constant battle for her to resist his influence," Abe explained. Valerie reminded Abe that Stefano was no longer in the picture, but Abe countered that Andre still was, adding, "[The thought of] Theo spending time with that bastard just scares the hell out of me."
Valerie thought that Abe was getting ahead of himself, since there was no indication that Theo was doing anything shady for the DiMeras. Abe wanted to check Theo's laptop to make sure that was true, but Valerie pointed out that doing so would be a betrayal of Theo's trust -- and that Theo was an adult who was capable of making his own decisions. Realizing that Valerie was right, Abe decided not to snoop. Valerie tried to get Abe to also agree to return Theo's laptop, but he was only willing to consider doing that. Hoping to get his date with Valerie back on track, Abe set aside the laptop then presented her with a necklace he had purchased earlier.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad emerged from his bathroom, half-dressed and still wet from his shower, and found Gabi standing in his bedroom, staring at a ring. "It fell out of your jacket pocket," Gabi explained, hoping that Chad wouldn't be too upset with her for inadvertently ruining the surprise. "Surprise?" Chad repeated, clearly confused. "I thought, um... Never mind," Gabi replied, trying to hide her embarrassment.
Suddenly realizing how Gabi had misconstrued the situation, Chad awkwardly clarified that she was holding a ring that had once belonged to Abigail. Gabi took that to mean that Chad was still pining for his ex-wife, and although he insisted that wasn't true, he couldn't stop stammering while trying to explain how the ring had ended up in his pocket, leaving her skeptical about his version of events. Frustrated, Chad wondered why Gabi couldn't just let the matter go instead of allowing it to make her insecure and needy. Gabi took offense to that, prompting Chad to explain that his point had been that she was usually neither of those things.
Fed up, Chad finally assured Gabi that he would take the ring to a jeweler the following day and sell it. She found it interesting that he wanted to wait another day before parting with the ring, but he pointed out that he had no other choice because every jeweler in town had already closed for the night at that point. "Well, I don't want that thing [near] me. I'm not gonna sleep here with that. It's that or me," she insisted.
Meanwhile, in the living room, Theo explained to Andre and Kate that his father had taken his laptop before he'd had a chance to delete the incriminating photograph of Chad. "What a judgmental, pompous --" Andre began to complain. "Father! [He's] Theo's father," Kate interrupted to remind Andre. Changing the subject, Kate wondered if Theo needed that specific laptop to hack into Dario's devices and delete the photograph. Theo explained that while he could technically use any computer, the process would be much faster if he could do it from his own laptop. Andre fretted that time was of the essence, adding, "We've got to protect Chad at all costs!"
"Protect me from what?" Chad asked, having just stepped into the living room, fully dressed, to stash Abigail's ring in a desk drawer so it would be far away from Gabi for the rest of the night. Andre claimed that the conversation had been about protecting Chad from Dario, whom Theo had just named as the person behind the Countess Wilhelmina hack. "Dude! I thought we were gonna keep that between us!" Chad reminded Theo. "I know. Sorry," Theo replied.
Insisting that Andre and Kate couldn't go after Dario yet, Chad explained that he had promised Abigail that he would give her time to handle the matter on her own. "Can we please respect something I say for once?" Chad requested. Kate assured Chad that nothing would be done without his approval. Before Chad could respond, Theo excused himself. "I'll walk you out!" Andre volunteered. "No, I'll walk you out!" Kate offered.
"Oh, that's cute," Chad said as he watched Andre and Kate rush off with Theo. Alone in the living room, Chad put Abigail's ring back in its jewelry box then tossed the box in a desk drawer with a sigh.
A short time later, Chad rejoined Gabi in his bedroom and apologized to her, conceding that she'd had every right to be upset about the ring, which he should have gotten rid of back when his relationship with Abigail had first ended. Gabi assured Chad that she wasn't going to argue with him about that. After adding that she didn't feel like talking anymore that night, Gabi got settled on the bed and turned her back to Chad, ignoring his flirtatious hints that he was still interested in the massage she had promised him earlier.
At the police station, Eli pulled Lani aside and revealed, after swearing her to secrecy, that Dario was offering to give up his partner in exchange for immunity and enrollment in the Witness Protection Program. Lani wanted to know who Dario's partner was, but Eli explained with a sigh that he couldn't divulge that information yet. Lani assured Eli that she understood. Relieved, Eli apologized to Lani for suggesting earlier that she wasn't taking their partnership seriously. With the case stalled until Dario's claims could be checked for credibility, Eli encouraged Lani to take a quick break from the police station to spend some more time with J.J.
Meanwhile, in one of the conference rooms, Abigail refused to enter the Witness Protection Program with Dario, even after he made it clear that he would show the police the incriminating photograph of Chad if she didn't cooperate. Abigail angrily slapped Dario and demanded to know why he was trying to blackmail her -- and, before that, had tricked her into marrying him -- after everything they had been through since her return to Salem.
Stunned that Kate had revealed the truth to Abigail, Dario reluctantly admitted that he had indeed lied about the deportation matter. "[But I only did that] because I love you. I tried to be the good guy, okay? I fought my feelings for a long time. But when I saw the way that Chad treated you -- how he broke your heart into a million pieces -- I knew I would do whatever it took to win you over," Dario explained.
Abigail insisted that she didn't -- and never would -- love Dario, but he argued that she had never given him a real chance because she was still hung up on Chad, despite the fact that Chad had moved on with Gabi. Dario pointed out that Abigail had left her loved ones once before, but she angrily countered, "If you really loved me the way that you say that you do, you would never even consider asking me to leave [them] again -- not after everything you watched me go through!" Abigail maintained that she wasn't going anywhere with Dario, prompting him to warn her again that there would be dire consequences for Chad if she didn't cooperate.
Abigail reminded Dario that, as someone who worked at the police station, she could easily access his cell phone while it was in the evidence locker and delete the incriminating photograph, leaving him with no leverage. Dario encouraged Abigail to do that, assuring her that he had plenty of copies of the photograph stored elsewhere. "I wouldn't be so sure," Abigail calmly countered, prompting Dario to wonder what she had done. "Nothing...yet. But don't kid yourself into thinking that you've got this whole thing figured out, 'cause I'm gonna figure out a way to protect Chad, but I'm not gonna do it by going with you," Abigail vowed.
Before Dario could respond, Eli entered the conference room and told Abigail that he needed to talk to her husband privately. Nodding, Abigail started to walk away. Dario stopped Abigail and stressed again that he loved her, adding, "Think about what I proposed. I think you'll realize that it's the best solution for everyone involved." After Abigail left, Eli informed Dario that the FBI was willing to cut a deal with him -- if he held up his end of the bargain. Dario told Eli that Abigail would need to be included in the deal. "[She's] going with you?" Eli asked incredulously. "She wouldn't have it any other way," Dario insisted.
Meanwhile, Abigail tracked Theo down at Club TBD and asked him to give her some good news. "We may have hit a little snag," Theo reluctantly revealed.
Andre tries to recover Theo's laptop
While hanging out with Joey at their apartment complex, Tripp received a text message from Jade, who wanted to know how his plan to take Kayla down was progressing.
When Joey asked about the text message, Tripp admitted that it was from Jade; he claimed, however, that she was simply keeping him posted on how things were going in her life. "She's getting a second chance with her mom, and I wanted to hear what it was like [because] it's something I never got," Tripp continued.
"Oh, man -- if Claire used all the protein powder, I'm gonna kill her!" Joey grumbled, eager to change the subject. Joey breathed a sigh of relief when he checked another cabinet and found an unopened container of protein powder inside. Tripp declined to let Joey make him a protein shake, insisting with a grimace that protein powder was nasty stuff.
"So, I shouldn't even mention my mom to you?" Tripp concluded, having noticed how his brother's demeanor had changed after his earlier comment about Ava. Joey claimed that talking about Ava made him uncomfortable because she had done horrible things to his parents. Finding it hard to reconcile that version of his mother with the one he had seen in the videos she had recorded for him before his birth, Tripp insisted, while showing Joey printed photographs of Ava that he had captured from the videos, that she looked nice. Trying to ignore the images, Joey countered that Ava had been good at being two completely different people.
Joey added that he was sorry that Tripp had never gotten a chance to meet Ava. "I'm glad you have a family now. I, uh -- I've always wanted a brother. Dad seems really happy to have you around. [And] Mom thinks you really have a shot at becoming a doctor. I know she's not your real mom, but take it from me -- she's, like, the best one ever," Joey continued. Scoffing, Tripp protested, "Oh, come on! She's no saint."
Confused, Joey admitted that he had been under the impression that Tripp liked Kayla. Tripp argued that Kayla could be quite cold at times, citing her treatment of Jade as a prime example. Joey tried to assure Tripp that Kayla had gone out of her way to show Jade kindness at first, but Tripp guessed that Kayla wouldn't have done that if Jade had been pregnant with anyone else's baby. "Look, Kayla's not my mom, okay? And I'm never gonna think of her that way," Tripp continued. "Fine, but you have to admit, she's been really good to you," Joey countered, jokingly adding that he was starting to get jealous.
"Yeah, well, don't worry about that; I'm no saint, either," Tripp stressed. "I'm the furthest thing from it," Joey muttered, but Tripp found that hard to believe.
Joey fretted that his mother didn't need drama at the hospital, especially after everything he had put her through over the years. Tripp optimistically pointed out that Kayla would still have a good life, with or without her job at the hospital. "A good family life, maybe, but if she can't be a doctor anymore, that would kill her," Joey replied.
Joey casually revealed that Kayla was being forced to clear out her office that day -- and that Steve was helping her with the task, not just for moral support but also because he wanted to check her computer for clues that could help him prove his theory that someone had set her up. Suddenly worried, Tripp quickly excused himself, vaguely claiming that he had just remembered that he had something to take care of that day. Alone with Tripp's photographs of Ava, Joey stared at them and quietly muttered, "I'm so sorry."
Steve noted, after checking Kayla's office computer, that Shelly -- the nurse Kayla had once reported for badmouthing the hospital in the presence of patients -- was the only member of the staff who had been on duty each time Kayla had supposedly made a mistake. Having also learned, thanks to a background check, that Shelly had already been fired from one job due to insubordination, Steve told Kayla, "We've got means, motive, and opportunity; [the only thing] we don't have is hard evidence." Steve was hopeful that the members of the review board would clear Kayla when they met later that day to discuss the matter, but he promised that if they didn't, he would. After Steve left to continue his investigation, Kayla sadly placed her diplomas in a box with the rest of her stuff.
Steve ran into Tripp at the nurses' station and revealed with a heavy sigh that Kayla had just finished clearing out her office and had, in the process, found a stack of heartfelt letters that patients had written to her over the years to thank her for everything she had done for them. "[She's] the best doctor in this whole damn place, and somebody is doing this to her. Maybe it's Shelly; maybe [it's] someone else. But I'll tell you something: I'm not gonna stop until I find out who it is, and then I'm gonna make 'em pay," Steve vowed as Tripp squirmed nervously.
At the police station, Rafe was shocked to learn that Dario was out on bail. "If anyone's a flight risk, it's him! What idiot made that deal?" Rafe wondered. "Me," Eli replied, confidently adding that Dario would stay put because he was in a lot of trouble and knew that it was in his best interest to cooperate with the FBI. Unconvinced, Rafe insisted, "The only way to get through to this guy is to lock him up!"
At the DiMera mansion, Chad told Gabi that he was going to visit a jeweler later that day. Regretting the way she had acted the previous night, Gabi tried to assure Chad that he didn't really have to sell the ring that had once belonged to Abigail, but he insisted on sticking to the plan, knowing that he would have had a similar reaction if he had discovered that Gabi was hanging on to something J.J. had given her.
Changing the subject, Chad wondered when Gabi would be free for dinner that evening. When Gabi opened her tablet computer to check her schedule, she saw a news alert about Dario's arrest. Stunned, Gabi looked to Chad for an explanation. Chad insisted that he didn't know anything about the matter. Chad wanted to find someone to watch Thomas so he could accompany Gabi to the police station, but she refused to wait for him to do so.
Elsewhere, Andre was on the phone with Abigail, assuring her that he would find a way to recover Theo's laptop so she wouldn't have to agree to Dario's demands. "I didn't raise you from the dead so that you could end up in the middle of nowhere with that little rat!" Andre continued. Meanwhile, Dario joined Abigail in their room at the Martin mansion and demanded to know who she was talking to. Stunned, Abigail told Andre, "Guess what, Mom -- Dario's home." Groaning, Andre grumbled, "What, have the police lost their bloody minds?" Andre promised Abigail that he would pry Theo's laptop out of Abe's cold, dead hands if necessary.
After subtly assuring Andre that she would stay put in the meantime, Abigail ended the call and wondered how Dario had managed to get released from police custody. Dario explained that his lawyer had managed to get him out on bail. Adding that the terms of his deal were still being finalized, Dario assured Abigail that he was going to insist on being relocated to a beach. "You know, I think even a sunny spot can be a real drag with a woman who hates your guts," Abigail spat. Producing his cell phone, Dario warned Abigail that she would learn to love their new home -- or else. "Better start packing," Dario added.
After talking to Rafe at the police station, Gabi stormed over to the Martin mansion to confront Dario. While lashing out, Gabi revealed that Rafe had told her the truth about Dario and Abigail's marriage. Gabi thanked Abigail for helping Dario and noted that, on the bright side, his arrest meant that the ruse could finally end. "Actually...Abigail doesn't want to get out of this [marriage]. She's coming with me," Dario clarified.
Gabi was suspicious, but Abigail played along, claiming that her marriage to Dario had started out as an act but had since turned into something real. Abigail asked Gabi to be a good mother to Thomas in her absence. Stunned, Gabi admonished Dario for taking Abigail away from her loved ones. "Stop busting my chops [and] give me a hug," Dario dismissively replied, wrapping his arms around Gabi.
"I'm glad you're finally seeing things my way," Dario told Abigail after Gabi left. "I'll go with you, Dario, but I'm never gonna love you," Abigail stressed.
Abe entered the DiMera mansion and greeted Chad, who wondered if there was any particular reason for his unexpected visit. Abe explained that Andre had asked to see him. Andre, who had hoped to get Chad out of the mansion before Abe's arrival but had failed to do so, reported that Abe had recently learned about Theo's job at DiMera Enterprises and wasn't happy about it. Chad realized that was the real reason Theo had visited the DiMera mansion the previous night. "He didn't want you to know about the situation; he was afraid you might be disappointed in him," Andre told Chad.
Andre stressed that in order for Theo to sever ties with DiMera Enterprises, Abe would need to hand over Theo's laptop so that sensitive software, available only to the company's employees, could be removed from it. Abe said he would happily do that if it would end Theo's involvement with DiMera Enterprises. "Absolutely. Think of him as being terminated," Andre assured Abe.
"Not so fast!" Chad protested, wanting to keep Theo as an employee. Chad reminded Abe that Theo was a part of the DiMera family and therefore had a right to a job at DiMera Enterprises. Chad added that he cared about Theo and would never ask him to be a part of anything shady, but Abe countered that Andre had proven to have no such qualms.
Abe wanted Chad to fire either Theo or Andre so the two would never work together, but Chad refused to do that. "Then you won't get the laptop back," Abe insisted. Still hoping to resolve the conflict, Chad reminded Abe that Theo was a brilliant, moral kid with a great heart who, as a Carver, would never let anyone push him around. "I think you need to give him credit for that and allow him to have an active part in living his own legacy," Chad continued, adding that Theo hadn't done anything for DiMera Enterprises that Abe would deem inappropriate. Abe remained skeptical of Andre but conceded that Chad had made some very good points.
Abe showed himself out after promising to give the matter some serious thought. Once the coast was clear, Chad asked Andre to explain why he was so interested in Theo's laptop. "I don't know what you're talking about. I have so many calls to make! Excuse me," Andre replied before rushing off, passing Gabi on his way out of the living room.
Gabi told Chad that Dario was out on bail and had made a deal with the FBI. Chad was stunned to learn that Dario was about to enter the Witness Protection Program -- and that Abigail was planning to go with him. Insisting that Abigail wasn't going to abandon Thomas again, Chad started to rush off to the Martin mansion to confront his ex-wife and her new husband. "Listen, I have to tell you something about why they're married..." Gabi said as Chad walked away. Too focused on Gabi's earlier news, Chad didn't stop to find out what else she had learned.
While Dario was packing some things in the bathroom, Abigail contacted Andre and quietly asked if he had managed to get his hands on Theo's laptop yet. Andre explained with a sigh that Abe was reluctant to hand it over -- and that Chad wasn't willing to fire Theo to speed up the process. "Try not to panic. I'll think of something," Andre assured Abigail.
Meanwhile, Dario emerged from the bathroom and demanded to know who Abigail was talking to. Abigail ended the call and claimed that she had simply been arranging for Thomas to be waiting for her at the police station so she could say goodbye to him. Suspicious, Dario grabbed Abigail's cell phone to see if she was telling the truth. When Dario observed that Abigail's most recent call had been to a private number, she explained with a shrug that her mother was a journalist and therefore had to take certain precautions.
At the police station, Eli informed Rafe that Dario's deal had been finalized. Observing that Eli seemed nervous, Rafe concluded, "My brother must be turning state's evidence against a pretty big fish." Rafe was stunned to learn that Abigail was going into the Witness Protection Program with Dario. Struggling to understand why she would ever agree to do such a thing, Rafe insisted, "Something's not right. We're missing something."
Meanwhile, Dario and Abigail ran into Chad while trying to exit the Martin mansion. "Going somewhere?" Chad asked.
Chad fights with Abigail
In the park, Hattie met with Anjelica to confirm that Bonnie was "on board" for their revenge scheme. Worried, Anjelica asked Hattie if there was a danger that Hattie was too obsessed with Roman to fool everyone into believing that she was Marlena. Hattie assured Anjelica that she would play the role convincingly. Anjelica handed a copy of Marlena's penthouse keys to Hattie and urged her to make her move.
At the Brady Pub, a smiling Marlena told Roman that John was on his way home from his trip with Paul. Marlena handed Roman a photo of their grandkids that Sami had mailed to her. Beaming, Roman said he was anxious to frame the picture. The two talked about Kayla's suspension, and Marlena noted that no one at the hospital could believe that the hospital was pushing Kayla out of her job. Roman assured Marlena that Steve was on the case and would get to the bottom of the matter.
Seeing the distracted look on Marlena's face, Roman asked Marlena if things were okay with John. Marlena said things were good but that the long-distance aspect of her relationship was exhausting. Marlena added that she respected John's dedication to his work, but she was lonely. Grinning, Marlena asked Roman if there was a special woman in his life. With an emphatic no, Roman joked that he had broken enough hearts in his life. As Marlena said goodbye and walked out of the pub, a man at a table made a phone call and warned someone that Marlena was headed home.
After returning to the penthouse, Marlena changed into lingerie and placed a tray with strawberries, whipped cream, and Champagne on the bed. In the living room, the front door slammed. Marlena hurriedly arranged herself provocatively on the bed in her room, and she called out to John. Instead, Hattie walked into the bedroom. Marlena scowled.
At the loft, Joey looked at the photos of Ava that Tripp had left on the counter. Joey apologized to Ava's photo. As Claire exited her bedroom, she overheard Joey. Claire asked about the photos. Joey explained that Tripp had shown him the photos and had said that he had not had a chance to connect with his mother. Claire asked Joey if he felt guilty. When Joey shifted uncomfortably, Claire reminded Joey that she did not know exactly what had happened with him and Ava, but she knew enough. Claire encouraged Joey to talk to her.
Before Joey could say a word, Theo exited his bedroom and asked what was going on. Joey left for work. Alone, Claire and Theo lamented the awkwardness of their friendship. Concerned, Claire asked Theo what was bothering him. Theo admitted that someone he cared about was in trouble. When Claire pressed for details, Theo was cut off by a knock at the door. It was Abe. Late for the hospital, Claire left the men alone to talk.
Abe held up the confiscated laptop. Citing his fears, Abe said he was concerned that Theo would follow in the footsteps of his mother and let the DiMera family corrupt him. Theo promised he would make better choices. With a nod, Abe said he trusted his son and hoped that he had taught Theo to make the right choices. Abe apologized for taking the computer. With a shrug, Abe added that he had not looked at the contents of the computer. Theo stressed that the DiMeras were also his family, and like Abe, he would help them when needed. After Abe left, Theo opened the computer and stared at the photo of Chad. Shaking off the image, Theo worked on deleting all traces of the picture.
At the pub, a preoccupied Joey stared at a dirty table. Noticing Joey's failure to bus the table, Roman asked Joey what was wrong. Joey said he was worried about his mother's job. Nodding, Roman noted that something else was bothering Joey. Roman sat Joey down and urged him to talk. With a sigh, Joey said it hurt him to know how much pain he had caused Tripp. Joey stressed that his actions had robbed Tripp of a life with his mother. Roman advised Joey to remember that he was a good person, and he urged Joey to make peace with what he had done to Ava. Joey admitted that his guilt had been getting worse the more time he spent with Tripp.
At the hospital, Steve and Tripp talked to Kayla in her office as she packed her things. Kayla reminded Steve that there were protocols for the hospital investigation and not to interfere. Shaking his head no, Steve refused to give up on his wife's innocence. Tripp offered to help. After determining that the only staff member on duty during the three dosage issues had been Shelly, they cornered her in an empty hospital room. Presented with the evidence, Shelly countered that she would not risk the lives of patients.
Shelly added that although she had a personality clash with Kayla, she respected her. Shelly said that Kayla was a great doctor and administrator, and she hoped that Kayla would be reinstated soon. With a supportive nod at Kayla, Shelly said that if someone had set up Kayla, she hoped they caught the person.
After Shelly left, Kayla said she believed her. Steve was uncertain. When Steve asked Tripp about his thoughts, Tripp said Shelly was the only other possibility. Kayla wondered aloud if someone could have hacked into her tablet, and Steve agreed to investigate the possibility. While Steve and Tripp were at the nurses' station, they ran into Claire. Claire provided Steve with a peek at the candy stripers' schedule.
While Steve looked over the list, Claire pulled Tripp aside to ask him why he looked so worried. Tripp confided that he was concerned about Kayla because at the time of the mistakes, she had been unfocused. Tripp said he was not sure that Kayla had been set up. When Tripp asked if he should talk to the hospital board about his concerns, Claire advised Tripp to let Steve handle the investigation. Claire argued that Kayla had likely done nothing wrong.
"Kayla is not as wonderful as everyone says she is," Tripp snapped at Claire. Across the room, a startled Steve looked over at his son and Claire. Steve walked over and asked Tripp to cross-reference the names on the schedule. While Tripp sat down in the waiting area and reviewed the schedule, Steve took Claire aside. Steve asked Claire if she had heard or seen anything suspicious around the hospital. Claire shook her head no.
Claire off-handedly talked about Tripp's dedication to the hospital. Claire said that Tripp had been at the hospital constantly, hanging around the nurses' station, even when Kayla had not been there. "He must really want to be a doctor," Claire said. Steve's eye widened as he looked across the room at Tripp.
At the Martin house, Chad confronted Dario and Abigail in the living room as they prepared to leave Salem. Abigail asked Chad to leave. Shaking his head no, Chad refused to let Abigail abandon their son. Dario warned Chad to leave and growled that Chad would never see Abigail again. Furious, Chad threatened Dario. Dario leaned in closer and argued that as a DiMera, Chad had no problem murdering someone. Abigail intervened. Quietly to Dario, Abigail warned him not to give up his leverage by telling Chad that he might have murdered Deimos.
While Dario loaded his and Abigal's suitcases in the car, Abigail told Chad goodbye. Chad chased Abigail into the garden, and he begged her to tell him the truth. Abigail said she was leaving town in order to help Chad. Frustrated, Chad argued that Abigail was using the same excuses to run away that she had used the first time. Chad called Abigail selfish. When Abigail stood firm, Chad urged Abigail not to give up. With tears in his eyes, Chad confessed that he had not been able to stop thinking about his life with Abigail. Chad added that the thoughts had consumed him and hurt his relationship with Gabi.
"You complicate everything, always," Chad said. Chad showed Abigail her wedding ring that he had kept in his pocket, and he told Abigail about his conversation with Gabi. Abigail stared in silence at Chad. Angry, Chad bellowed that if Abigail left, they were done for good. Chad wiped the tears from his eyes and said that he was ready to move on. As Abigail stood there in silence, Chad yelled that she was dead to him. "Stay dead!" Chad barked.
Abigail said that she hoped Chad would understand someday that she had done the right thing by leaving town. Dario interrupted. While Chad and Dario argued, Abigail's phone rang. Abigail took the call, and Theo confirmed that he had erased all traces of the incriminating photo of Chad from Dario's servers. In the distance, the sound of an engine revving grew closer. Headlights flooded onto Dario and Chad. Dario leaped out of the way, but Chad stared in horror at the oncoming car.