At the police station, Gabi curiously noted that Eli didn't seem particularly surprised to hear that Lani was carrying his baby. He apologetically confirmed that it wasn't exactly news to him.
Stunned, Gabi made it clear to J.J. that she wouldn't have decided to keep him in the dark about Eli and Lani's one-night stand if she had known the whole story. "What is wrong with you? What kind of monster are you?" Gabi asked Lani incredulously. Eli started to say something, but Gabi cut him off and stormed out of the conference room in disgust.
As Eli chased after Gabi, J.J. sadly noted that Lani clearly wasn't the woman he'd thought she was. She tried to assure him that she loved him, but he didn't want to hear that. "I am so...so sorry," she stressed between sobs. "Because your pathetic one-night stand got outed on the witness stand? Embarrassing, right? In front of all those people! The judgment!" he bitterly countered.
Lani insisted that J.J.'s opinion was the only one that truly mattered to her. "And I am...I am so..." she began to reiterate. "Sorry?" he tiredly concluded for her.
"Yeah, yeah -- you know, I get that. But here's the thing -- I'm thinking you are not so sorry about letting me believe that baby in your belly was mine!" J.J. angrily continued, adding that, after all, Lani and her co-conspirator had both been perfectly fine with the idea of passing their child off as his. "That's not true!" she protested. "Then how come Gabi and I -- the people you and Eli claim you love and trust so damn much -- [were] the last people to know?" he countered, having realized that other people knew the truth about the baby's paternity, too.
Lani explained that Kayla and Valerie had both been forced to keep the information to themselves for different reasons -- doctor-patient confidentiality in Kayla's case; fear of repercussions for secretly accessing confidential medical records in Valerie's case -- and that no one else knew. Chuckling mirthlessly, J.J. admitted that Valerie's recent behavior -- and Eli's, for that matter -- suddenly made much more sense.
Lani told J.J. that she was ashamed of herself for lying to him. "Because you got caught," he concluded. "Because you are a wonderful man, and I would never want to break your heart," she clarified.
Lani begged J.J. to give her a chance to make things up to him, pointing out that their relationship had withstood other trying times in the past. "I think of this baby as yours, [and] I want to raise this baby with you," she stressed, adding that she loved him. "Then how could you let me get so wrapped up into making all these plans with our kid -- dreaming about our future as a family -- when you knew it was all a lie? Who does that to someone they love?" he countered, shaking his head in disbelief. She tearfully assured him that they could still build that happy life together, but he disagreed.
"You burnt it down to the ground, Lani. There's nothing left," J.J. insisted. "You need to go. I need you out of my sight. Get the hell out of my sight," he added.
J.J. waited until he was alone then took a few deep, shaky breaths, struggling to maintain his composure.
Meanwhile, Gabi, still under police custody and therefore unable to go very far, reluctantly listened to Eli's story about how he had learned that the baby was his -- and why he had decided to keep that information from her. Unmoved, she insisted, at the end of the tale, that she could never forgive him for his latest act of deception. He tried to promise that he would happily devote the rest of his life to making things up to her, but she bitterly reminded him that he had already proven that his promises meant nothing. "So, no, we cannot fix this, and no, we are not moving forward. So just take me to my cell, and after that, I never want to see you again!" she spat.
Rafe, focused on his cell phone, nearly ran into a couple while passing through Horton Town Square. "Sorry," he said, still distracted.
"You should be sorry, you son of a bitch!" Doug snapped, making Rafe aware that he hadn't just offended two strangers. Doug started to walk away in disgust, but Julie stopped him.
"I have a few thoughts I want to share [first]," Julie explained to Doug while glaring at Rafe. "You cheated on Hope, then you forced her out of the country, and instead of chasing after her to beg her forgiveness -- which you don't deserve -- you chose to stay here and support your murdering little sister! I mean, what the hell, Rafael?" she continued, incredulous. "What kind of a man do you think you are?" she wondered.
Rafe told Julie that he was a man who believed in his sister's innocence and understood that chasing after someone who was trying to get away from him -- and had every right to want to do so -- probably wasn't the best idea. "It'll be up to Hope to decide whether or not she wants to stay married [to me]," he added with a sigh.
Confused, Doug and Julie wondered what Rafe was talking about. "She didn't tell you," Rafe realized, groaning.
Julie was even more upset after learning that Hope had been so worried about history repeating itself that she had arranged a private wedding ceremony just to calm her fears. Julie couldn't believe that Rafe, who had known all along that Hope had needed their wedding day to be her sign that it was okay for her to put her trust in a man again, had "lit a match to all of that for a roll in the hay" -- and with Sami, of all people.
"You should have been a man about it, Rafe! You should have owned up to what you had done!" Julie insisted. Nodding, Rafe quietly conceded the point. Julie started to add that Rafe was no better than the rest of the members of his family, but he told her to leave them out of her summary of his act of betrayal -- which, he agreed, was unforgivable. "I'm sorry. I'm sorrier than you will ever know," he concluded with a heavy sigh.
After Rafe walked away, Julie turned to Doug and braced herself for a lecture, guessing that he believed that she had gone too far. "Nope. You nailed it," he assured her. "The words you said were speaking for me, too. That lying, cheating coward simply destroyed my princess' happiness," he continued, scowling. He seized a hug from his wife while wondering if his daughter would ever fully recover from the betrayal.
In Hong Kong, Chad called out to the woman who was trying to enter Stefan's hotel room, assuming that she was the mystery person who had been caught on DiMera Enterprises' surveillance footage on the night of Andre's murder. Gabby froze, stunned and terrified. Meanwhile, someone from the hotel's security team approached Chad and insisted, "You need to come with me, Mr. DiMera." Gabby ducked inside Stefan's room while Chad was arguing with the man. "This isn't a request," the man stressed, opening one side of his suit jacket to reveal a gun. Gabby breathed a sigh of relief as Chad reluctantly agreed to cooperate.
Shawn and Hope were in the lobby, discussing her decision to have her marriage annulled, when they noticed that someone was escorting Chad out of the hotel. Shawn introduced himself to Chad's escort as a consultant for the Hong Kong Police Department and wondered what was going on. "A bellhop took Mr. DiMera's luggage to his room. [The bellhop] dropped one of the bags, and it fell open, [and] he found drugs inside," the man explained. Chad tried to protest that he was being set up, but the man insisted on taking him to the police station for questioning. Sighing, Chad quietly told Shawn to look for the mystery woman in Stefan's room.
Hope followed Chad to the police station. While they were waiting for Belle, who was stuck in traffic on the other side of town, Shawn arrived and informed them that he had managed to sneak into Stefan's room with a master key card he had swiped from a maid's unattended cleaning cart. Chad was annoyed to hear that there had been no sign of the mystery woman -- or his brother, for that matter -- in the room.
Panicking, Chad contacted Abigail, whom Shawn had chosen not to disturb, and left her a voicemail message to let her know what was going on.
Meanwhile, Stefan -- who was with Gabby in her room -- calmly ordered room service, certain that there would be nothing else to worry about for the rest of the night. Gabby was grateful to Stefan for protecting her. "There's something about [Chad] that just...unnerves me. [I mean], when I hear his voice, it just...freaks me out. [And] I know that she hears it, too, and she...wants out. I can feel it," she admitted with a worried sigh.
Stefan assured Gabby that he would do everything in his power to help her maintain control of her host's body for as long as possible. She feared that her time would expire as soon as she returned to Salem, but he dismissively advised her to stop worrying about the future and focus on the present. Grinning, she admitted that what she wanted, in the present moment, was him.
Stefan started kissing Gabby but soon pulled away, not wanting to take advantage of her. "This is Abigail's body, [and] she doesn't even know what's happening right now," he pointed out. "Well, it's my body, too, and you're the one who keeps telling me that I'm real, so..." she countered. Sighing, he admitted that she had a point -- and that she was really hard to resist.
Stefan rushed off to his room to get something, promising that he would be right back. While waiting, Gabby noticed that someone had left a voicemail message for Abigail. "Don't do it, Gabby. Don't do it. Just ignore it..." she advised herself. "Ugh. Damn it," she added with a sigh while reaching for the cell phone, unable to take her own advice. She started listening to Chad's message -- and soon felt a sharp pain in her head.
"Oh, my God! Where am I? What is happening?" Abigail fearfully wondered while scanning her unfamiliar surroundings.
Dr. Laura confronts Stefan
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny set up a date with his mystery man on a dating app, not realizing that Vivian was catfishing him on the other end. Maggie entered the living room and greeted Sonny. Sonny confided that he was going out with a man named Leo. Smiling, Maggie said she was proud of Sonny for dating again. Maggie expressed concern about online dating. "How do you know that the person you are dating is really who they say they are?" Maggie asked. Sonny said he wanted to make the leap of faith.
At the DiMera mansion, Vivian greeted a man that looked like Leo from Sonny's dating app. Leo said he would "do anything for the right price." When Leo asked what Vivian had against Sonny, she shrugged. Vivian said she needed Leo to reel Sonny in. From behind the staircase, Kate watched as Vivian handed Leo an envelope of money. Once Leo was gone, Kate stepped out of the shadows and said, "What are you up to now, Vivian?"
Kate said it was obvious that Vivian had paid an escort money. Vivian lied and said the man had been her masseuse. Kate warned Vivian that she would make Vivian and Stefan pay for murdering Andre. "Me, Abigail, and Chad want you gone. We are of one mind about that," Kate said as she walked out of the foyer. "Maybe you and Chad are of one mind," Vivian muttered under her breath.
Paul and Will chatted about basketball as they stood outside Doug's Place. Smirking, Will said he preferred to play basketball over filling out brackets. Paul suggested they play basketball on their third date. "Let's see if we make it through our second date first," Will joked as he held the door open for Paul. The two men sat down and chatted. Will thanked Paul for their first date, and he apologized for its sudden end. Paul assured Will that he understood why Will had been hesitant to have a romantic evening after his divorce papers had been finalized.
Will complained about his lack of funds. Paul suggested that Will should look into a job at the Spectator. With a shrug, Will said he was not sure he had the skills to be a journalist. Paul assured Will that his help with John showed that he had good instincts. Will suggested that it might be difficult to get a job at a paper owned by Sonny's mother. With a nod, Paul added that Jennifer was the other owner. Paul noted that Will had talent and that his skills were still there.
"Isn't print media dying?" Will asked. Paul said that online subscriptions were up, and it was worth a shot. With Paul's encouragement, Will looked online at the listings at the paper and saw that there was an opening for a reporter. Will wondered aloud if he should stick to working as a bartender. Paul encouraged Will to apply for the reporter job. Will asked what would happen if he ran into Sonny at the paper. Paul noted that Salem was a small town and that he was bound to run into Sonny.
Outside Doug's Place, Sonny met up with Leo. Sonny was relieved that Leo matched his photo. "What you see is what you get," Leo said. As they entered the restaurant, they saw Will and Paul sitting at a table. Sonny awkwardly introduced Leo to Will and Paul then headed over to the bar. Leo asked about the weird vibe. Sonny said he had been involved with both Paul and Will. "Their loss is my gain," Leo said with a flirty smile.
Paul and Will left Doug's Place and walked through the park. Paul admitted that he had been surprised to see Sonny with another man but that he had also been relieved. Paul said he felt less guilty about dating. Will asked Paul how he really felt. Paul kissed Will and suggested they go back to Will's place. The two men went to Will's apartment. After undressing one another, Will and Paul fell into bed together, kissing passionately.
At the end of Sonny's date, he apologized for talking so much about himself. Sonny said he wanted to know more about Leo. With a shrug, Leo suggested that Sonny would need to ask him out on a second date. Sonny eagerly accepted the offer. After Sonny left, Leo called Vivian and told her that Sonny was smitten. Vivian reminded Leo to keep up his end of the bargain. "My entire plan depends on it," Vivian said as Kate listened from nearby.
In the Kiriakis living room, Maggie talked to Victor about life without her in the mansion. Chuckling, Victor told Maggie that Vivian had attempted to seduce him. Victor added that Vivian had proposed a merger then threatened to destroy Titan. When Victor noted that Vivian had made the same threat to Sonny, Maggie raised an eyebrow. Maggie warned Victor not to underestimate Vivian.
In Hong Kong, Chad waited impatiently with Shawn for Belle to arrive. Chad said he was worried that Abigail was in danger if she ran into the dark-haired woman. When Belle arrived, she cautioned Chad not to leave the precinct until they addressed the drug charges. Chad said they should talk to Mr. Shin about Stefan's part in planting drugs. Belle cautioned Chad not to do anything to attack Stefan without evidence. Belle added that the board could see Chad's accusation as a desperate attempt to save himself from drug charges.
While Belle talked to the police, Chad paced impatiently with Shawn. Chad complained that he had not expected Stefan to frame him. Shawn told Chad that he needed to calm down so that he could collect his thoughts and even the playing field with Stefan. Belle returned and told Chad that he had been cleared of charges. Eager to confront Stefan, Chad started to leave. Belle warned Chad not to return to the hotel because Stefan would do something else to Chad. Belle advised Chad to return to Salem. Chad promised not to confront Stefan, but he refused to leave town without checking in on Abigail first.
After Chad left the precinct, Shawn told Belle that he was hopeful that Hope and Rafe would reconcile. As Shawn turned to leave, Belle said she wanted to wait at the precinct in case the police arrested Chad again. With a smile, Shawn told Belle that Chad loved his wife almost as much as Shawn loved his wife.
In her Hong Kong hotel room, Gabby cautiously checked her voicemail messages. A message from Chad about his arrest caused Gabby to clutch her head in pain. A confused Abigail looked around the room. As Stefan returned to the room, Abigail asked what was going on. "Abigail?" Stefan asked. "Yes! Who the hell else would I be?" Abigail cried out. Stefan calmly told Abigail that she was in Hong Kong on business with him. Abigail had no memory of boarding a plane. Stammering nervously, Abigail said the last memory she had was when she had entered Kayla's office for tests. Stefan said that Abigail's test results had been fine.
"My God. What did you do to me?" Abigail asked. Stefan asked Abigail to listen to him. Afraid, Abigail grabbed the phone. As Abigail looked up, she saw herself in the mirror, wearing the dark wig. Abigail asked about the wig and her clothes. Stefan lied and said that Abigail had been brainstorming for Gabi Chic. Panicked, Abigail said she wanted to talk to Chad. As Abigail lifted the phone to call Chad, she grabbed her head in pain again. After a moment, Dr. Laura reasserted herself. Dr. Laura told Stefan that he had pushed Gabby too far and that he needed to sever his emotional connection to Abigail's alter.
"You have been leading with your heart, and you are in way over your head, and it needs to end right now, right here," Dr. Laura said. Stefan demanded to talk to Gabby, but Dr. Laura refused. Stefan threatened to turn Abigail in to the police for murder, but Dr. Laura said she believed that was an empty threat. Dr. Laura ordered Stefan to fuel up the jet. Stefan complained that he needed to wrap up a deal first, but Dr. Laura was unswayed.
Dr. Laura headed downstairs and saw Chad enter the hotel. Dr. Laura took off her glasses then greeted Chad. Chad asked about Abigail's suitcase. Dr. Laura said she had planned to return to Salem, and she was happy to leave with Chad. Shaking his head, Chad said he did not think they should leave. Chad told Dr. Laura that he had seen the dark-haired woman. Chad said he believed they should look for the woman. Dr. Laura resisted and begged Chad to take her home. Suspicious, Chad raised his eyebrow as Dr. Laura marched toward the exit.
Upstairs, Stefan packed up his things and stared at Gabby's wig on the bed. Stefan thought about when he had kissed Gabby. "I'm not giving up on you, Gabby," Stefan said as stuffed the wig into his bag.
Kate hires Paul to investigate Vivian
At the Martin mansion, Will and Paul awoke in each other's arms and shared a kiss. "We took a big step last night," Paul pointed out. "Yes, we did...a big step, [and] also...an impulsive step," Will replied.
Frowning, Paul noted that it sounded like Will was starting to have second thoughts about their developing relationship. "[But, just for the record], I have no regrets about last night. It felt right to me," Paul stressed. "It felt right to me, too," Will assured Paul, who was happy to hear that.
Paul admitted that having no regrets about moving forward with Will didn't mean that he wasn't still a bit nervous about the whole thing, since, after all, they were in a fairly complicated situation. Paul hoped that Sonny's decision to start dating again would make things less awkward. Paul reiterated that knowing that Sonny was dating again certainly made him feel less guilty about moving on with his life.
Nodding, Will said he was happy for Sonny. "But...I would like it if we could, uh, focus on us right now...and how happy I am to be here with you," Will added. Grinning, Paul gave Will another kiss.
Later that morning, Paul, knowing that he needed to get ready for work soon, reluctantly forced himself out of Will's bed. "What are you up to today?" Paul casually asked Will while getting dressed. Will revealed that he was planning to head over to the Kiriakis mansion sometime that afternoon to talk to Adrienne about the job opening at the Spectator.
Paul was pleased to hear that Will had decided to take his advice. Will feared that his father, who wanted to help him land a job at Countess Wilhelmina, wouldn't be quite as happy about the sudden change of plans. Paul confidently guessed that, at the end of the day, Will's happiness meant more to Lucas than anything else. "Stick to your guns on this, okay?" Paul advised, teasingly squeezing Will's biceps.
Chuckling, Will promised to do that. Will thanked Paul for helping him realize that he needed to at least try putting himself back out there as a writer, even if it didn't work out in the end. Paul was proud of Will for being brave enough to take that chance. Will didn't feel deserving of Paul's praise just yet, since failure was still a possibility, but Paul dismissively insisted that Will was definitely going to get the job -- and be great at it.
While passing through Horton Town Square, Eve received a text message from Brady, who wanted her to know that he was looking forward to seeing her later. "Hmm. Well, that makes one of us..." she muttered.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady stared at his cell phone expectantly, hoping for a reply to the text message he had just sent. Sonny soon joined Brady in the living room. Sonny wondered if Brady was really planning to move forward with the contest that had originally been devised as a cross promotion between Basic Black and Bella. "[I mean], I was under the impression that you and Eve weren't on the best of terms, so if you're gonna be at each other's throat, the entire promotion's gonna go up in smoke, and --" Sonny continued. Interrupting, Brady tiredly guessed, "It's gonna make the family look bad?"
Brady dismissively advised Sonny not to worry about that -- and to mind his own business. Sonny observed that Brady sounded pretty certain that everything was going to be just fine. "I am...because, unlike you, I'm not about to give up on the person that I love," Brady countered. Sonny objected to the comparison, insisting that he'd had real love -- the kind that was worth more than personal gain.
Sonny tauntingly summarized that Brady had lost Eve for good and didn't even have control of Titan as a consolation prize. Annoyed, Brady shoved Sonny and ordered him to shut up. Adrienne arrived just in time to stop the argument from escalating further. "I'm gonna get Eve back. Then I'm coming after you," Brady warned Sonny before storming off. "Take a number," Sonny dismissively replied.
Adrienne advised Sonny to steer clear of Brady, who was clearly "hellbent" on revenge, and focus on his own life -- especially in the wake of the finalization of his divorce. Sighing, Sonny admitted, "I wanted nothing more than for Will and me to get back the life we once had...but he just doesn't remember, and wishing [that he would] is just a big waste of time." Sonny sadly added that Will had already moved on, anyway.
Adrienne was stunned to learn that Will had moved on with Paul, of all people, but Sonny was quick to assure her that he had accepted their relationship -- and was even trying to follow their lead. Intrigued, Adrienne asked for more details about the new man in Sonny's life. Sonny assumed that Leo was genuinely interested in him, since, after all, his revelations about his exes hadn't sent the poor guy running in the opposite direction.
After talking to Adrienne, Sonny started to head off to work -- and ran into Will outside the mansion. Sonny assumed that Will wasn't aware that Arianna was at school at that moment, but Will clarified that he was actually looking for Adrienne. Confused, Sonny started to probe for more details but quickly stopped himself, acknowledging with a sigh that the reasons were no longer his business.
Sonny informed Will that Adrienne was in the living room. Will started to head that way, but Sonny stopped him. "[What I said before] was completely out of line. [It's just], I had just gotten the divorce papers, and I wasn't in a good place...[but] that's not an excuse at all, and I just want to tell you, face to face, that I'm...I'm sorry," Sonny stressed. Nodding, Will thanked Sonny and accepted his apology.
"I just want you to be happy. I hope you know that," Sonny continued. "I want the same for you," Will replied. Sonny, relieved to have that settled, said goodbye to Will then continued on his way.
Will took a deep breath then joined Adrienne in the living room. Adrienne was surprised -- and confused -- to learn that, of all the people who could usually be found at the mansion, she was the one Will was there to see. "I saw that, um, you have an opening for a beat reporter, and I would like to, uh, apply for the job," Will hesitantly explained. "And...look, I know I'm going out on a limb here, but I thought I would, you know, come to you first, before talking to Jennifer," he awkwardly continued. "But...you know what? I can see by the look on your face that I made a mistake, so..." he concluded.
Adrienne started to say something, but Will interrupted, assuring her that he understood. "I heard you weren't a big fan of mine when Sonny and I were dating, and now that I've divorced him..." he continued, prompting her to ask him not to presume to know what she was thinking. "If anything, I'm [just] surprised you even considered coming to me first," she clarified.
Will reasoned that Adrienne was owed at least that much from him, since she was, after all, his ex-mother-in-law. She said she appreciated that. She admitted, because he had opened the door for such comments, that she wasn't thrilled about the fact that his decision to get a divorce was hurting her son. "But if there's one thing I've learned in my life, [it's that] you can't pretend you feel something that you don't. I mean, that just never works -- and I know firsthand because of what happened with me and your father," she continued, surprising him with her willingness to be understanding of his dilemma.
Adrienne surprised Will again when she revealed that, thanks to her son, she knew about his new relationship. "Well, I mean, you know, [Paul and I are] taking it slow...and just...kind of...seeing where it goes," he explained with a shrug. Forcing a smile, she said she hoped the relationship would work out. "Even though..." she started to add before stopping herself. "Even though...what?" he asked curiously. "Even though I believe in my heart that if you had your memory back, you and Sonny would still be together," she elaborated, her voice wavering as she spoke.
Will conceded that Adrienne might be right about that. "But, um...unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be in the cards, so I just...gotta play the hand I was dealt," he added, shrugging again.
Nodding, Adrienne changed the subject, guessing that Will hadn't done any reporting lately. He confirmed the suspicion but was quick to add that he had been keeping a journal and was confident, after reading all of his old articles, that he was still capable of the same caliber of work he had been known for before his memory loss. "And I think that if you just give me a chance --" he continued.
Interrupting, Adrienne assured Will that he didn't have to sell himself to her because she was already well aware of the fact that he was a talented writer. "I will reach out to Jennifer. It shouldn't be a problem," she added.
Thrilled, Will thanked Adrienne, whose cell phone had just started ringing. She apologetically excused herself, explaining that she had been expecting the call and couldn't ignore it. He started to show himself out but paused when he noticed a framed picture on a side table -- a picture from the life he could no longer remember, depicting a happy moment he'd shared with his daughter and the man who was no longer his husband. He walked over to the side table, a hint of wistfulness in his expression, and took a closer look at the picture. After a moment, he put it back down and exited the mansion with a sigh.
Lucas, unaware that Will had decided to go in a different direction, went to the DiMera mansion to talk to Kate about job openings within Countess Wilhelmina. Vivian, who was on her way out of the mansion, greeted Lucas as "Mr. Twelve Step, Take Two" and hoped he was still on the wagon. Scoffing, Lucas told Kate that he still couldn't believe that she was actually living under the same roof as her archenemy. "You can't believe it? I can't believe it! I keep on thinking I'm going to wake up from this nightmare, and she'll suddenly disappear," Kate replied with a sigh of irritation.
Kate assumed, when Lucas started to reveal the reason for his visit, that he had decided to accept her earlier offer, but he clarified that he was still unwilling to sacrifice his own happiness just to get a job. She grudgingly conceded that she wouldn't be willing to do that, either. She maintained, however, that he was pursuing a relationship with someone who had a history of leaving him miserable, not happy, at the end of the day.
"You think [Chloe's] now a one-man woman who's ready to settle down and devote herself to you?" Kate asked with obvious skepticism. Lucas clarified that he wasn't exactly looking for devotion at that time; he was simply looking for a good time. "And I'm sure you'll have a really good time with her...until she gets bored and takes off to be with someone else," Kate countered, adding that Chloe had surely been with men while in Vienna.
Lucas maintained that Chloe had changed -- and that his love life was none of his mother's business, anyway. "But your grandson is your business, so...[do] you want to take a chance on him for me?" Lucas asked. "Well, if he's really interested in the company, [then] of course," Kate replied. "He is," Lucas assured Kate.
Satisfied, Lucas started to rush off, but Kate stopped him and stressed that she truly did want him to be happy -- and she hoped, for his sake, that she was wrong about Chloe. "You're dead wrong," Lucas insisted. "Then why does trouble follow her everywhere?" Kate muttered to herself as Lucas exited the mansion.
Vivian met with Leo in the park and eagerly asked for all the sordid details of his first date with Sonny. Leo wasn't completely comfortable with the idea of talking about his love life with a complete stranger, but Vivian argued that she no longer qualified as a complete stranger -- and, in any case, her payments were surely generous enough to alleviate any feelings of discomfort.
"I think he really likes me," Leo assured Vivian. "Don't think. Know. Because the sooner you get Sonny into bed, the sooner I can execute my plan," she countered, flashing a wicked grin. He protested that he couldn't rush the process, especially since his mark had been through a lot lately. "[He's] also a man with a lot of needs -- and you, my fine-looking friend, will fulfill them," she demanded. He said he didn't have a problem with that because he was, in fact, really attracted to his mark. "But if I sleep with him before there's a real connection, I doubt you'll get what you're after," he added.
"All right, fine -- take your time, go to a concert, have dinner, have coffee... Just make sure you end up in his bed," Vivian ordered Leo, who decided that, of those options, coffee sounded best -- at least for the time being. Grinning wickedly again, Vivian informed Leo that she just happened to know where Sonny liked to go for coffee each morning. Vivian advised Leo to "accidentally" bump into Sonny there and declare it a moment of kismet. Leo wasn't familiar with the word, so Vivian tiredly explained it to him in simpler terms. "I got it," he eventually assured her, mainly to shut her up.
"Just remember -- you're the predator, and Sonny is our prey," Vivian concluded with yet another wicked grin -- an expression that seemed to disturb Leo a bit more each time he saw it.
Later, while Sonny was passing through the town square, Leo bumped into him and joked that the random encounter was kismet. Chuckling, Sonny revealed that his mother was actually quite fond of that word. Vivian watched from a nearby table, her face hidden behind a menu.
Leo -- who described himself as a struggling artist and claimed that he worked as an office temp to pay the bills but was off that day -- tried to get Sonny to skip work and spend the day with him, but Sonny didn't feel comfortable doing something he wouldn't want his employees to do. Sonny agreed, however, to go out with Leo after work that evening.
Paul went to the DiMera mansion to see Kate, who wanted to hire him to do some research for her. "The kind that reveals the dark underbelly of a person's character -- in this case, a woman [who], I believe, poses a very dangerous threat to my family," she elaborated. He took that to mean that she wanted damaging information on the person. "I want to bring her to her knees," she confirmed.
Kate explained to Paul that the person -- Vivian Alamain -- had most likely been involved in the hostile takeover of DiMera Enterprises as well as Andre's murder. Kate added that, while no one had been able to connect Vivian to either of those crimes yet, there had recently been strong indications that she was plotting another nefarious act. "I'm thinking [that] if we can grab [this] loose thread and yank it, all of her dirty dealings will start to unravel, just like the cheap dress she was wearing today," Kate concluded. Grinning, Paul admitted that it was hard to turn down the opportunity to help Kate do that.
After sharing all the relevant information with Paul, Kate changed the subject, explaining that she had been meaning to thank him for being there for her grandson during the ordeal at the mausoleum. "[We] kind of looked out for each other," Paul clarified. Somewhat surprised, Kate said she was glad to hear that Paul and Will had found a way to be friends, even after everything that had happened.
"About that..." Paul began with an awkward chuckle. "I guess you're gonna hear about it soon enough, [so]...Will and I are...dating...now," he continued. Kate started to wonder how Sonny felt about that, but she quickly backpedaled, acknowledging that it was really none of her business. "No, no, no -- it's okay. Um...I am happy to say that...we're all moving on with our lives," Paul assured Kate, who was pleased to hear that.
At Doug's Place, Eve greeted Chloe, who was admiring a bouquet of flowers she had just received. "They're from Lucas...I think. [I mean], the card wasn't signed, but I'm just assuming..." Chloe explained with a shrug. "You celebrating the anniversary of a divorce or something?" Eve guessed jokingly. Eve was stunned when Chloe clarified that Lucas had actually taken her out on a date the previous night.
Chloe, on the other hand, wasn't stunned when Eve revealed what had happened with Brady. Nodding, Eve acknowledged with a sigh that Chloe had warned her from the start that she might end up getting hurt. "[Now, whenever Brady's] around me, he's always trying to win me over, but I can tell you this right now -- that is never, ever gonna happen," Eve assured Chloe -- just as Brady entered the club.
Sighing, Eve reluctantly followed Brady to a table so they could get their scheduled meeting started. She tried to act standoffish but soon found herself fantasizing about kissing him. Annoyed with herself, she insisted that she hated working with him -- and she wasn't going to do it any longer.
Meanwhile, Lucas entered the club and greeted Chloe, who was quick to thank him for the flowers. "I wish I could take credit for them," Lucas admitted with an awkward chuckle. Confused, Chloe wondered who had sent her the bouquet. "Someone you met in Vienna?" Lucas teasingly suggested, perhaps still thinking about his mother's earlier warning. Chloe assured Lucas that she hadn't gotten involved with anyone there.
A man soon approached Chloe -- the same man who had secretly been watching her since her return to Salem. "I'm the one who sent the flowers," he clarified.
Steve's condition worsens
Tripp was in the kitchen of his apartment, making a fresh pot of coffee, when his roommates started talking about Bella's contest, which had just gone live on the magazine's website. Ciara was quick to humbly note that there were a lot of hot girls in the competition, but Claire took the observation as a sign of fear. Claire insisted that she wasn't worried at all because she was clearly the standout candidate.
"You really should work on your confidence," Ciara sarcastically advised Claire, who refused to apologize for being sure that she had more to offer than any other contestant did. Ciara took that to mean that Claire was going to boldly vote for herself. Claire reasoned with a shrug that, since each visitor was only allowed one vote, there was no point in wasting hers on someone who was less deserving of it.
"Fine. If you can do it, so can I," Ciara countered. After Ciara and Claire finished casting their respective votes, they turned their attention to Tripp, expecting him to break the tie. He refused to play their game.
"Nice dodge, Tripp. I mean, obviously, we all know that you would vote for me, but since you are a genuinely nice person, you just don't want to hurt Ciara's feelings," Claire concluded. Tripp tried to insist that wasn't the case, but Claire forged ahead, assuring him that she respected his decision to feign neutrality. Grinning triumphantly, Claire rushed off to her bedroom to contact Theo, certain that he, on the other hand, would have no qualms about admitting whose side he was on. Ciara couldn't help wondering if Claire was right, but Tripp maintained that he simply didn't see a reason to pick a side.
"You're not in competition with Claire -- not in my eyes. I mean, you're a unique person, and so is she. And it shouldn't be about outer beauty to begin with, should it? I mean, that's what objectifying women is all about, [and] I don't want to be the kind of guy who does that. And, you know, I'm beginning to hate this damn competition, so...so I'm standing by my decision, okay? And I don't have to validate it -- or validate your [competition] with Claire over who's prettier -- by voting," Tripp insisted with finality.
Ciara understood Tripp's reluctance to participate in the objectification of women but wondered why he had even bothered to encourage her to enter the contest in the first place if that was how he felt about it. "Guess [I've] just had more time to think about it [since then]," he explained with a shrug. "[And] even if I did think [in the beginning] that this was all a lot of fun -- [and kind of] exciting -- I wouldn't want to get in the middle of this," he added, referring to the pointless war between his friends and roommates. "I want to keep the peace," he concluded.
"Then keep it. Do what you want," Ciara grumbled. Confused, Tripp wondered why Ciara was upset. "I just thought, [after we] took those photos [together], that maybe there was something going on between us...but I guess I was wrong," she explained. "You weren't wrong," he assured her, adding that he simply didn't see the need to cast a vote in a "stupid" contest to prove how he felt about her.
Claire watched from her bedroom doorway, pleased with herself for having caused the rift.
At Doug's Place, Brady told Eve that she couldn't sever ties with him -- especially since their contest had just launched a few minutes earlier. She was annoyed that he had put a rush on the launch but insisted, as she picked up a steak knife and waved it threateningly, that there were still ways to sever ties with him. "You know, you cut my heart out, Brady...[and the] last time I checked, turnabout was fair play," she warned him.
Brady coolly reminded Eve that he was actually using another man's heart. "True...so, out of respect for that much better man whose heart that really is, I'll, uh...I'll leave it in there...for now," she conceded.
Moving on to a different plan, Eve produced a legal document and handed it to Brady. "In lieu of cutting out that very kind heart of Dr. Daniel Jonas' -- which is being sadly corrupted and contaminated by your devious soul, which is probably the size of a pea -- you can sign that agreement, and I will run [the contest] without you," she suggested, offering him a pen.
Scoffing, Brady wondered if Eve really expected him to just sign Bella over to her. "If you value your life..." she confirmed, waving the steak knife again. He reminded her that running the magazine was his only job at that moment because she had fired him from his other job. Shrugging, she countered that he could always beg his favorite CEO for a job at Titan -- or just live off the money she was prepared to pay him for the magazine. She coldly added that the benefit of the latter option was that it would give him not only enough money but also enough free time to drink himself to death -- and that would be just fine with her.
Brady ripped up the check, which had been tucked inside the legal document, and tossed the pieces back at Eve. "Whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me," he told her. She maintained that she wanted nothing to do with him anymore, but he guessed that she was only pushing him away because she didn't want to admit that she still had feelings for him. He vowed to devote himself to reminding her, on a daily basis, of the reasons they had fallen in love with each other in the first place. "[And maybe you'll eventually] come around to the fact that we're only gonna be happy together," he optimistically concluded.
Meanwhile, at the bar, Chloe apologetically wondered if she knew her admirer from somewhere. "No," the man admitted. "My name is Miguel Garcia," he continued, extending a hand.
As Chloe shook Miguel's hand, he observed that she was breathtakingly beautiful, especially in person. Annoyed, Lucas demanded to know why Miguel had sent Chloe flowers. "You are...?" Miguel asked curiously. "Her ex-husband," Lucas explained. "I see," Miguel replied with a knowing smirk. "No, you don't see," Lucas insisted, clarifying that Chloe was still a friend.
Lucas argued that it simply wasn't appropriate for a complete stranger to send a woman an extravagant bouquet of flowers, and Chloe agreed that it was, frankly, kind of creepy. "[And] if we've never met, then why would you be thinking of me?" Chloe wondered, referring to the note that had accompanied the bouquet. "I wasn't. My boss was," Miguel vaguely clarified.
"[You see], my boss appreciates good opera, [and he] said he'd never seen a performance of Salome that matched yours," Miguel elaborated, still choosing not to identify his boss. "He sent flowers to your dressing room, along with an invitation to dinner. He wanted to tell you in person how much he enjoyed your performance. But you never responded," Miguel continued.
Chloe, despite Lucas' objections, felt the need to apologize for that, explaining that she had received an overwhelming number of floral arrangements during her time in Vienna and had likely overlooked the one in question. "[Well], I feel I must tell you -- when you failed to respond, [my boss] was extremely disappointed," Miguel revealed. "And, since I was in Chicago on other business, [he] suggested I pay you a visit in person [and] invite you to dinner on his behalf -- [perhaps] one night this week?" Miguel continued. Chloe politely declined, and Lucas elaborated that, for starters, she couldn't have dinner with the mystery man because she was already seeing someone else -- him. Miguel expressed skepticism, recalling that Lucas had previously introduced himself as an ex. "We're reconnecting, okay?" Lucas irritably clarified.
Lucas impatiently ordered Miguel to take a hike, but the man wasn't done yet. "Before I leave, I would also like you to consider an offer that my boss would like to make to you -- [an offer] to star in your own opera, [which] he will produce in Mexico City," Miguel continued, handing Chloe one of his business cards. He urged her to give the offer some thought, pointing out that it would be a great opportunity for her.
At the Brady Pub, Kayla emerged from the kitchen with a fresh pot of coffee and rejoined Steve, who had been waiting for her at a table near the bar. Sighing, he reluctantly admitted that, while she had been gone, his eyesight had suddenly worsened. "Before, I could see you -- I could make out vague images, you know, [and] flashes of light -- but...now there's nothing," he explained, his voice wavering as he spoke.
At the hospital, John greeted Marlena, who quickly shut off her tablet computer. She tried to claim that she had simply been looking at confidential medical records, but he didn't buy that because she was a terrible liar. Caught, she reluctantly revealed that she had been contacting colleagues about potential trials for patients with rapidly deteriorating eyesight. She added that she had been keeping her search a secret because she hadn't wanted to give anyone false hope -- and, unfortunately, it hadn't yielded any promising results yet, anyway. He thanked her for at least trying to find a solution.
John guessed that Marlena had been hoping to find a way to not just help their friends but also ease his guilt. "Not gonna happen," he quietly insisted.
Kayla soon approached, with Steve clinging to her arm, and sadly admitted, when asked, that his condition had worsened. Flustered, Kayla struggled to remember how to get to Steve's specialist's office. Marlena offered to take Kayla there, but Kayla didn't want to leave Steve's side. Steve assured Kayla that John could help him find an available examination room. Conflicted, Kayla reluctantly agreed to leave Steve in John's care.
Steve seized the opportunity to try to convince John to buy his share of Black Patch Investigations, believing that he could no longer be of any use there -- and that he was going to need the money to pay his medical bills, anyway. John refused, insisting that Steve was still a valuable asset, with or without his eyesight. "We'll see," Steve skeptically replied.
Meanwhile, Marlena forced Kayla to sit down and try to relax for a moment while waiting for the specialist to finish treating another patient. Sighing, Kayla sadly explained to Marlena that Steve was trying to act like everything was going to be okay, regardless of what happened to his eyesight. "But if you could hear the fear in his voice when he realized that he couldn't see anything..." Kayla continued. She knew that her husband hated seeming vulnerable, and she admitted, while fighting back tears, that seeing him that way had therefore been the most heartbreaking thing of all.
A few minutes later, Kayla and Marlena joined Steve and John in one of the examination rooms. John started to leave with Marlena after assuring Steve and Kayla that they could ask for help anytime they needed it. John was touched -- and surprised -- when Kayla thanked him for the offer. "I don't need eyes to know that my Sweetness understands how precious your friendship is to me," Steve assured John. "I know it is to her, [too] -- yours and Marlena's. And no matter what we've been through lately -- or what we're gonna go through in the future -- that hasn't changed...and never will," Steve continued. Kayla didn't agree -- but she didn't object, either.
Later, after Steve and Kayla's meeting with the specialist, the couple lingered in the examination room for a few minutes, discussing what they had just learned. "[That doctor] sure didn't pull any punches," Steve grumbled. "[He's] never been known for his bedside manner," Kayla agreed. She wanted to remain hopeful that some sort of treatment would eventually be discovered that would restore his eyesight, but he insisted that they needed to accept that he was beyond help at that point. "Didn't [I hear] something about a cane?" he asked. She fought back tears as she reluctantly handed him the white cane, which he greeted as his new best friend.
"[The doctor] also, um...he left some special glasses -- you know, to protect your eyes from, uh...the intense sunlight and, uh...and glare..." Kayla hesitantly informed Steve, who wondered how that was going to work with the patch he was already wearing. "You're gonna have to give it up," she sadly replied. "My patch?" he asked incredulously, his voice wavering again.
Sighing, Steve recalled how angry he had been when he had first lost his left eye. "When they gave me that crummy patch in the hospital, I felt like a freak...but then I had one custom made out of leather, and I got used to it -- like an old friend, you know? Made me feel like a badass," he continued, smiling. Kayla assured him that, with or without the patch, he would always be the man she loved.
Nodding, Steve started to remove the patch but soon broke down, not wanting to part with it. Kayla begged him to let her help him remove it, and he reluctantly agreed. "Well, now I really can't see anything," he joked after she replaced the patch with the special pair of darkened glasses. She insisted, when asked, that he looked even more handsome than he ever had before.
Meanwhile, at the nurses' station, John told Marlena about Steve's attempt to leave Black Patch Investigations. Marlena was glad to hear that John had refused the request. John vowed to find a way to restore Steve's mojo.
Kayla soon approached, holding Steve's patch in her hand. John and Marlena were confused -- until Steve rounded a corner, cautiously walking with just the aid of his cane, and worked his way toward them, sporting his new eyewear. John and Marlena struggled to maintain their composure as Kayla hugged Steve tightly and repeatedly insisted, as much for her sake as his, that he had done a great job.
Dr. Laura shocks the courtroom S
At Doug's Place, Eli informed Valerie that everyone knew that he was the father of Lani's baby. Valerie was surprised that Lani had confessed the truth. Valerie said the truth would be the best thing for everyone. When Eli explained what had happened in the courthouse, Valerie shook her head in dismay. Eli told Valerie that she had been right when she had urged him to tell Gabi the truth at the start. Eli added that J.J. had hit him and been arrested. When Valerie expressed concern, Eli assured Valerie that J.J. had been right to hit him. Eli said that he had gone to the courthouse, but Gabi had ordered him to leave.
"She's fighting for her life, and I can't even be there for her," Eli said. "There are other ways to be there for her," Valerie assured her son. Valerie reminded Eli that he was going to be a father. Eli was not sure what to do, but Valerie urged Eli to remember that he needed to step up for his child's sake. "You have to make sure that she doesn't shut you out of your baby's life," Valerie stressed.
In the town square, Lani met up with Abe to tell him the truth about her baby. Abe was shocked to hear that Eli was the baby's father. Lani explained what had happened on Christmas Eve. When Abe asked about J.J.'s fragile state, Lani admitted that J.J. had wanted to commit suicide because of his guilt over shooting Theo. Lani told Abe that Gabi had saved J.J.'s life. "He was really looking forward to rebuilding his life with the baby and me," Lani said sadly.
Lani told Abe that she had lied to J.J. because she had been worried that J.J. had not been strong enough to hear the truth. Abe claimed he was to blame. Abe explained that he had piled onto J.J. and had made J.J. feel like a killer. Shaking his head, Abe lamented that he had not realized sooner that the shooting had been an accident. "I failed him. I failed you," Abe told Lani. Lani blamed herself for having made the wrong choice.
"When I was forced to tell Eli the baby was his," Lani said before Abe cut her off. Abe pushed Lani to tell him what she meant by "forced." Lani resisted. On Abe's insistence, Lani admitted that Valerie had pushed her to tell Eli the truth. When Abe asked Lani if she had told Valerie the truth, Lani admitted that Valerie had read her medical records. Abe was shocked and angry. Lani pointed out that Valerie was walking through the square. Abe called out, "Valerie!"
At the police station, J.J. told Jennifer that he was not the father of Lani's baby. J.J. said he could not trust Lani after what had happened. Shaking his head, J.J. complained that Lani had taken away his dream of a family. Jennifer reminded J.J. that the news about the baby had helped J.J. get through a dark period of his life. Jennifer argued that Lani had known how depressed J.J. had been when she had learned about her pregnancy. Scowling, J.J. yelled at Jennifer to not defend the woman that had ruined his life.
"I'm not defending Lani, I'm just trying to understand," Jennifer said. "I'll never understand," J.J. said gruffly. Jennifer advised J.J. to remember that he was young and had a full life ahead of him. J.J. confided that he felt empty and was not sure what to do. Jennifer begged J.J. to talk to Eric. J.J. promised his mother that he did not want to commit suicide. J.J. explained that he did not know what to do with his life. After Jennifer paid J.J.'s bail, she told him that he needed to stay away from Eli as a condition of his bail. J.J. nodded. As the two walked out, they ran into Eli.
In the DiMera living room, Stefan looked up as "Abigail" asked to talk. "Okay. But first, I need to know. To whom am I talking? Dr. Laura? Or Gabby?" Stefan asked. Dr. Laura pulled out a pair of eyeglasses and put them on. Dr. Laura chastised Stefan for making the situation worse in Hong Kong. Stefan assured Dr. Laura that he wanted to protect Abigail. Disgusted, Dr. Laura accused Stefan of being only interested in sleeping with Gabby. Stefan reminded Dr. Laura that Gabby had pushed him to have sex. Curious, Stefan asked Dr. Laura how long she planned to remain in control of Abigail's body.
"If Abigail came back, it would be very bad for you. She would certainly demand some answers, and it wouldn't take her very long to find out what happened to Andre, and I won't let that happen. I'm not going to subject her to that truth," Dr. Laura said. Dr. Laura warned Stefan to back off. Stefan apologized for causing any harm to Abigail. Stefan promised to apologize to Abigail when she reemerged. As Dr. Laura narrowed her eyes, Stefan removed the dark wig from his bag, and he asked Dr. Laura to let him apologize to Gabby.
"I don't really see the point in that," Dr. Laura said. Stefan reasoned aloud that Dr. Laura and Gabby were a team. Dr. Laura countered that she did not have time to worry about Gabby's feelings because she needed to focus on her court testimony. With a dramatic flourish, Dr. Laura removed her glasses, handed them to Stefan, and then left for the courthouse.
At the courthouse, Chad rushed in and hugged Gabi in a show of support. Gabi asked about Abigail. Chad said Abigail was visiting Thomas but would head over to give her testimony afterward. Chad told Gabi that he had seen a dark-haired woman in Hong Kong. Furious, Gabi started to threaten the dark-haired woman if she ever saw her in Salem. Chad cautioned Gabi not to make any more threats against people. With a nod, Gabi said she would keep her mouth shut. Chad swore to take down Stefan.
When Justin arrived, he informed Gabi that Rafe was not at the courthouse because he was chasing down a witness who might be able to corroborate Gabi's alibi from the night of the murder. Dr. Laura arrived and pretended to be Abigail. "I know when you said you wanted to kill Andre that you didn't mean that seriously. I'm going to make sure that the jury knows that," Dr. Laura told Gabi. Stefan arrived. Annoyed, Chad confronted Stefan but Dr. Laura intervened and warned Chad to back down.
After everyone settled into their seats, the bailiff called the court to order. Trask called Abigail DiMera to the stand. As Dr. Laura marched to the witness box, Stefan stared at her. Trask handed Abigail's statement to Dr. Laura. Squinting, Dr. Laura asked to borrow Trask's reading glasses. After donning the glasses, Dr. Laura read Abigail's statement aloud. Dr. Laura testified that she did not believe that Gabi had seriously intended to hurt Andre when Gabi had threatened him on the night of his murder. On cross-examination, Justin asked Dr. Laura if she had believed that Gabi had wanted to kill Andre.
"No. I thought it was a figure of speech," Dr. Laura said. After her testimony, the court took a break. Chad stepped outside to take a phone call. With an opportunity to talk to Dr. Laura, Stefan pulled her aside. Stefan asked Dr. Laura why she had not done more damage to Gabi's case.
"Abigail is Gabi's loyal friend. It would have raised a lot of red flags if I attacked her, and I don't need anyone figuring out who I really am," Dr. Laura whispered. Chad returned. Suspicious, Chad asked what was going on. Dr. Laura said that she had been telling Stefan to stay away from Chad. "Gladly," Stefan said. The court was called back to order, and Trask called Stefan to the witness stand.
After taking an oath, Stefan testified about the security cameras. On cross-examination, Justin asked Stefan who had given the order to shut off the security cameras. Stefan admitted that he had ordered the shutdown. Justin then asked about Stefan's rocky relationship with Andre. Stefan admitted that he had argued with his brother, but it was not unusual for families to argue. When Justin noted that Andre's cell phone had been in Stefan's possession, Stefan confirmed that was the case.
The judge called another recess. While Gabi stepped out to use the bathroom, Dr. Laura followed her. When court was called back in session, Trask recalled Abigail to the stand. Dr. Laura innocently told Chad she did not know what was going on, but she walked up to the stand. Trask asked Dr. Laura about her conversation with Gabi in the bathroom. Hesitantly, Dr. Laura apologized and said, "Gabi said that she felt guilty because she knew that I was close to Andre and that she was, in fact, the person that had killed him."