J.J. entered the Brady Pub while Hope was in the process of recording a lengthy, rambling voicemail message for Marlena, the gist of which was that Ciara needed someone to talk to about what had happened with Chase.
After Hope ended the call, J.J. expressed concern, knowing that she only rambled when she was really upset. "You have sharp powers of observation, young man -- one of the many reasons I miss working with you," she told him. "It seems to be Old Home Week for ex-cons," she began to explain. "Xander Kiriakis is back in Salem...[but] that's not even the worst of it," she continued, sighing.
J.J. was stunned to hear that Ben had been deemed fit to be released from Bayview Sanitarium. "I don't even know what to say. I -- I feel like I'm short-circuiting or something," J.J. stammered. "I'm right there with you," Hope replied. J.J. feared that Abigail, who was already in a fragile state, might not be able to handle the news. J.J. also feared that Ben would kill again if given the opportunity.
Eli soon entered the pub with Lani, who was craving clam chowder. Hope gave J.J. a sympathetic pat on the back as Eli and Lani approached to say hello. J.J. squirmed uncomfortably as Hope got Eli and Lani up to speed on what was being discussed. "Remember when you and I arrested Ben together?" Lani asked J.J. "[Abigail] had just given birth to Thomas, and [Ben had] offed the midwife in cold blood," J.J. recalled. "The world seems pretty evil tonight," J.J. added with a sigh. "I hate the idea of bringing a baby into a world like that," Lani agreed before telling Eli that clam chowder no longer sounded good.
"Talk about a one-two punch," Hope said to J.J. after Eli and Lani exited the pub. Nodding, J.J. admitted that caring about Lani and the baby was proving to be a tough habit to break. J.J. insisted, however, that there wasn't even the slightest possibility of an eventual reconciliation with Lani. "I said the same exact thing about Rafe, [and] I was wrong," Hope pointed out. "[But] there's one big difference between your situation and mine, [and that is that] Sami didn't get pregnant," J.J. countered. "A baby changes everything, [and] this baby is Eli's. [I just] can't deal with that," J.J. added.
While jogging through Horton Town Square, Xander bumped into Eve -- and quickly noticed that she was no longer wearing an engagement ring. "So, Theresa's [back] in, and you're out? That was fast. But, you know, there's no reason for a beautiful woman like you to be alone if she doesn't want to be," he flirtatiously stated. "I would rather die an old maid than hook up with you," she spat.
Eve added that Theresa might be back out again soon enough, anyway. "[See], you and Theresa just left [Chloe] down there in that Mexican hellhole, [and] Brady knows now," Eve explained to Xander. "You do know that Brady and Chloe go way back, [right]?" Eve tauntingly continued. Eve predicted that Xander, like Theresa, would soon begin to regret having decided to set foot in Salem again.
"I wouldn't count Theresa out just yet. She's like me -- she'll do whatever it takes to hold onto what she wants," Xander warned Eve before continuing on his way.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady refused to let Theresa go anywhere near Tate ever again. "Brady, you grew up without a mother! You know what it's like! You wouldn't do that to [Tate]!" Theresa tearfully protested. "He's gonna have to deal with it, 'cause I know you -- the minute you see something shiny, [you'll run] off [and] leave him again," Brady countered.
Scoffing, Theresa complained that Brady was being cruelly dismissive of the incredible sacrifice she had made for her family. "How am I supposed to [still] believe that you were all about self-sacrifice?" he asked incredulously, adding that it was starting to seem like she had actually only returned to her family because her new boyfriend had gotten tired of her. "I deserve that," she quietly conceded.
Theresa tearfully assured Brady that she had earned his trust once and would do everything in her power to earn it again. She seductively added that she had never stopped loving him. "Nice try," he countered, dodging her attempt to kiss him. Frustrated, she defensively argued that if he'd been in her shoes, he would have made the same choices she had made.
Brady insisted that wasn't true. "I never would have abandoned [Chloe] the way you did, [and] I definitely wouldn't have [set up] my brother and my father [to] be ambushed [during the rescue operation]! Of course, I don't know why [it surprises me that you threw my dad under the bus] -- I mean, you did hit him over the head with a fireplace poker, and then [you] made me think that I [had done it] while I was in a drunken stupor! And, by the way, I forgave you for that!" Brady continued. Theresa was quick to point out that Tate wouldn't exist if Brady hadn't forgiven that particular transgression, but Brady clarified that Tate only existed because of one night of drunken, lustful, unprotected sex. "Yeah, well, I'm still the only woman who ever gave you a child!" Theresa countered.
Brady conceded that Theresa was right about that. "[And] what have you done to use that child in your favor? Let me think about that..." Brady began. "Remember how happy Melanie and I were? Then Tate came along, [and] you said, 'Brady, if you don't dump her ass, I'm gonna take your son, and I'm gonna move to L.A. with my parents!'" Brady recalled.
Theresa told Brady that she had only done that to hold onto the best man she'd ever known -- and that she had always stayed faithful to that man, which was more than he had managed to do for her. Scoffing, Brady reminded Theresa that she had tricked him into believing that she no longer wanted to be with him and that he was therefore free to move on with his life. Ignoring the point, Theresa argued that it was no coincidence that Brady's attempts to move on had been with women who didn't exactly have the best reputations. "You don't want a good girl. [I mean], Nicole's not a good girl, [and] neither is my sister -- [in fact], she's just the old-school version of me. Well, now I'm back, baby! You've got the genuine article [again]! And you're not getting rid of me that easily," Theresa continued.
"And you know what? I think [that] if you calmed down [and] were actually honest with yourself, then you'd admit that you don't want to get rid of me," Theresa concluded.
Brady assured Theresa that he was actually quite calm -- and quite certain that he wanted her out of his life for good. She refused to believe that, insisting that he was only fighting with her because of her sister's interference.
"[Eve only bowed out] because she knew that you would respect her [for doing so]. It was pure manipulation!" Theresa began to explain, prompting Brady to interject that Theresa was certainly an expert on that subject. "No, I'm an expert on my sister, [who] has had some weird, demented competition with me [my whole life, where] she's always gotta prove that she's kinder, and smarter, and more beautiful, and more honest than I am," Theresa countered. "No comment," Brady interjected again.
Theresa maintained that Eve had never truly given up on being with Brady. "Why do you think that she pranced [in here] with Chloe [and tried] to make me out to be a villain?" Theresa continued. Brady dismissively argued that Theresa was just upset that her sister had ruined her one chance to put a nice spin on her reprehensible actions.
Undeterred, Theresa told Brady that they shared a bond that her sister would never be able to break -- their son. He scoffed and pointed out that she didn't even know much about their son anymore. She reminded him that it wasn't her fault that she had missed out on a lot of precious time with the boy. "I'm a good mother! You know I am!" she insisted. "A good mother would never threaten to take her precious little boy out of the only house that he has ever known just to get back at his dad, [and she'd never put] her needs in front of her kid's," he spat. "Is that what you think I was doing in Mexico?" she asked, giving him a shove.
Shrugging, Brady argued that Theresa hadn't exactly done much to protect Tate since returning to Salem. "You thought that Mateo was still alive. You didn't even know that he had been killed. You realize that you could have brought him right to your son's bedroom door?" Brady continued, adding that it actually seemed like Mateo was the only person Theresa had been trying to protect lately.
"Oh, for God's sake, Brady! Chloe's fine! Your father and Paul are fine! They're here! El Fideo's dead! Okay? It's over! Are you really willing to cut me out of your life and my son's life because of what could have happened?" Theresa asked Brady between sobs, adding that she had, in fact, made a recent effort to save their friend's life.
Brady refused to believe that Theresa had asked Victor to save Chloe. "When I walked in on you talking to my grandfather tonight, I overheard him saying to you that I would never hear any of 'this' from him, [so you clearly] had no intention of asking [him] for help," Brady reasoned. "What else are you lying about?" Brady asked. "Nothing!" Theresa insisted.
"Well, I have some truths to tell you," Brady began before proceeding to inform Theresa that he had actually been planning to choose her sister over her until the choice had been taken away from him. She insisted that he was only saying that to hurt her, but he maintained that he was actually saying it because it was the truth.
"Guess I should have stayed in Mexico [and] let Mateo finish me off. It'd be better than this," Theresa mused, chuckling mirthlessly. "If you think that my sister is just gonna come running back to you [now], then you don't know her like I do. But go ahead and try. You'll definitely end up alone [then]," Theresa added. Brady refused to fall for Theresa's new tactic.
Brady insisted that Theresa couldn't be a part of Tate's life anymore. "How in the hell do I know there's not another Mateo out there, huh? [Or] that you're not gonna screw up Tate the way you screwed up J.J. Deveraux?" Brady reasoned. Scoffing, Theresa stormed out of the mansion after warning that Brady could kick her out of his life but wouldn't be able to kick her out of their son's life quite so easily.
At the hospital, Ciara approached Kayla at the nurses' station and asked if Marlena was still around. Kayla reported that Marlena had left earlier. Ciara declined to leave a message for Marlena.
"How was the dinner?" Kayla asked as Ciara started to leave. Ciara suddenly broke down, remembering that Tripp had enlisted Kayla's help to make the dinner really special.
A few minutes later, in the privacy of Kayla's office, Ciara explained what had happened after the dinner -- and what had happened earlier that night, as well. Kayla encouraged Ciara to talk to Tripp about the rape. Ciara remained reluctant to do so, still concerned that the truth would change Tripp's opinion of her. Ciara added that telling Tripp the truth wouldn't make it any easier for her to be intimate with him, anyway. She feared that she would never feel comfortable getting intimate with any guy, and she reasoned that it would therefore be best for her to stay single forever because it wouldn't be fair of her to ask any guy to put up with that.
"Ciara, the way you are feeling right now -- [that] won't last forever. You will heal, and there will come a time that you will want the intimacy -- with the right man, [of course]. I...I'm speaking from experience," Kayla told Ciara. "Oh, my God -- you, too?" Ciara asked incredulously. Nodding, Kayla informed Ciara, "Statistics show that one out of five women are sexually assaulted...and some women are too ashamed to come forward and report it, so the [true] percentage is probably higher." Stunned, Ciara disgustedly mused, "God, men are pigs!" Kayla reminded Ciara that not all men were like that.
"The best way to fight back is to open up about what happened to you. [And] know that you did nothing wrong, [so] you shouldn't be ashamed," Kayla advised Ciara, who remained convinced that Tripp would be better off with someone else. Kayla disagreed, having seen firsthand that Tripp really cared about Ciara. Kayla could tell that Ciara really cared about Tripp, too.
"Why should you give up someone that you really care about just to keep this secret? Is that how you want to live?" Kayla asked Ciara. "I know you're scared, [but] I believe that if you told Tripp that you had been raped, he would not see you any differently; in fact, [if anything], I think it will make you guys closer," Kayla continued. Ciara maintained that confiding in Tripp wouldn't make it any easier for her to be intimate with him -- at least not right away. "And how long do you think that I should ask him to wait?" Ciara added. "Longer than you think," Kayla replied, knowing that Tripp was a patient guy who would likely see that Ciara was worth the wait.
Meanwhile, Tripp started to respond to Claire's kiss then pulled away from her and retreated to the opposite end of their apartment to put plenty of distance between them. "This is a really stupid thing for us to do," he insisted. "Why?" she asked. "It just is," he maintained. She disagreed and reasoned, while approaching him, that they were both alone -- a fate that neither one of them deserved -- and they were therefore free to do whatever they wanted to do with each other. "Ciara was an idiot to break up with you. I would never be that stupid," she added before kissing him again. He responded more favorably than before, and they soon began undressing.
Back at the hospital, Kayla received a text message from Ciara: "Thanks SO MUCH for your help, Aunt Kayla! I'm definitely going to talk to Tripp."
Meanwhile, Tripp pulled away from Claire again, stopping things before they progressed too far. "I thought I wanted this, but...I don't," he explained while trying to catch his breath. "It just...doesn't feel right," he continued.
Ciara soon entered the apartment -- and stared in shock at Tripp and Claire, who were both still naked under a blanket on the couch.
Eve went to the Kiriakis mansion to see Brady, who had asked to talk to her in person. He told her about what had happened earlier and stressed that he was grateful to her for opening his eyes to her sister's true colors. "I was hoping that it wasn't too late for the two of us -- [that you would] eventually consider taking me back..." he added. "I'm not gonna eventually consider coming back to you...'cause I'm [already] here," she replied.
J.J. emerged from the Brady Pub just as Theresa was walking past it. They stared at each other in shock.
While passing through the town square, Eli and Lani overheard the end of a phone conversation Hope was having with someone. It was obvious that it was upsetting her.
"I can't believe this happened so fast! It's already a done deal!" Hope told Eli and Lani after ending the call. "Ben Weston's been released...[and] he said he was heading to Salem!" Hope continued.
Kate introduces Leo to his attorney
Leo met up with Kate and her lawyer, Ted, in the park. The attorney admitted that he knew that Leo had fabricated his story. Leo took Kate aside to talk. "I know that he is greedy and unscrupulous; that is all I need to know," Kate told Leo about Ted. When Kate and Leo rejoined Ted, Ted warned Leo to let him do the talking in the meeting with Justin.
In the town square, Justin cautioned Sonny to remain calm and let him explain the facts of the case to opposing counsel. Frustrated, Sonny said he could not understand why Leo had lied about their interactions. Sonny and Justin agreed not to give in to any monetary demands because it would hurt Sonny's chances at regaining his position at Titan. Sonny confided that he was worried the lawsuit could destroy the family business. Justin promised he would protect Sonny.
Ted arrived with Leo. Sonny narrowed his eyes, barely containing his anger. The group sat down together at the café to discuss the case. Justin started by saying that Sonny had denied all of Leo's claims. When Sonny said he had met Leo on a dating app, Leo denied it. Sonny looked on the app for Leo's profile, but it had been deleted. Leo denied that he had ever used a dating app. Leo explained that he had met Sonny at work and that Sonny had invited him to dinner in exchange for a job. Justin asked Leo for evidence of harassment.
"All you had to do was ask," Ted said as he opened his briefcase. Ted pulled out printed copies of the text messages that Leo had sent himself from Sonny's phone. After reading over the messages, Sonny remembered that his phone had gone missing and that Leo had "found" it later that day. Sonny argued that Leo had taken his phone and created the evidence on it.
"This is a setup, and it's been a setup from the beginning," Sonny growled. Ted handed over photos of Leo shirtless. Sonny argued that Leo had spilled coffee on himself and had changed his shirt in the office. Ted then gave Sonny a photo of him kissing Leo on Sonny's desk. Sonny pointed out that the hidden camera proved that Leo had set him up. Leo countered that he had planted the camera as protection because he had been too afraid to go to work without proof of harassment. Ted called Sonny a sexual predator.
With a smile, Ted turned to Justin and asked if he was confident in his case. Ted explained that his client would not settle for anything less than what he had demanded. Justin refused to pay. Sonny yelled at Leo, and Justin pulled Sonny back from attacking his former assistant. Sonny ordered Leo to tell the truth. "You forced me to have sex with you, and now you're going to pay," Leo lied.
Once alone, Sonny asked Justin about their chances in court. Justin said he believed Sonny, but it would be hard to prove their case to a jury. In the park, Ted met up with Kate and told her about the meeting. Ted invited Kate to join him for a drink, but Kate reminded Ted that she could not be seen in public with him. Reaching out for Kate's hand, Ted suggested that he and Kate meet privately sometime. Kate pulled her hand away.
In the Kiriakis mansion foyer, Brady talked to Eve on the phone. Brady told Eve that he was looking forward to planning his wedding with her. "I have one more thing I have to take care of," Brady said before he ended his call. Brady walked into the living room to talk to Victor. Victor asked Brady to take over as CEO at Titan. "I'm done with Titan. And I'm done with you," Brady said. Maggie stared at Victor with suspicion. Defensive, Victor said he stood by his decision to keep quiet about Theresa's real reasons for leaving town.
When Brady asked about Chloe, Maggie asked Victor what was going on. Brady told Maggie that Theresa had not told anyone that Chloe had been kidnapped. Concerned, Maggie asked if Chloe was okay. Brady said John had rescued Chloe, "No thanks to Theresa and [Victor]."
Victor argued that Mateo had threatened Theresa and her loved ones, and he understood why Theresa had kept quiet about Chloe. Victor added that his priority had been to protect Brady and Tate. Maggie was furious. Brady informed Victor that he had rejected Theresa because Chloe had reminded him of the type of person that Theresa had been.
"You're not taking Theresa back?" Victor asked with surprise. "Not now. Not ever," Brady said. Victor called Brady a child and ordered him to grow up. Maggie bristled at the idea that Victor believed Brady's love for Eve was "childish." Victor told Brady that the company needed him.
"Until you don't," Brady retorted. Brady rejected Victor, and he told Maggie that Victor had also previously offered the job if Brady dumped Eve. Brady warned Victor that he had driven everyone away by attempting to control his family members.
"Tomorrow morning, I'm taking Tate, and I'm getting the hell out of here," Brady said. Victor warned Brady that he would regret choosing Eve over his family. Brady said he did not trust or like Victor anymore. Brady added that if he stayed, he believed Victor would spend every day undermining his relationship with Eve. After Brady left, Maggie whispered, "I'm starting to wonder if I should trust you myself." Maggie reminded Victor that Chloe was her family. Maggie yelled at Victor that he should move into the guest room until further notice.
When Maggie caught up with Brady in the foyer, Brady explained that he was moving to the Salem Inn. Maggie apologized for what had happened with Victor. Shaking his head, Brady said he needed to move out of Victor's shadow. "Eve and I are good together. We belong together. We're going to be happy," Brady said. Maggie pointed out that Theresa would fight Brady's decision.
At the Brady Pub, Theresa wiped her eyes and sat down at a table with J.J. "Tate must have been over the moon to see his mom," J.J. said. When J.J. asked Theresa what was wrong, Theresa said she was upset about Eve's relationship with Brady. With a shrug, J.J. noted that Theresa had given up the chance to weigh in on Brady's relationships after she had abandoned her son to return to partying.
"I didn't leave to party. I left to save their lives!" Theresa cried out. Theresa told J.J. what had happened with Mateo. Sympathetic, J.J. asked Theresa how she had lived through a year of captivity. Through tears, Theresa said she had envisioned returning home to her family. "I was so close to reclaiming my life with them," Theresa said sadly. Theresa wondered aloud if losing Brady had been bad karma for abandoning Chloe. Theresa grumbled that she was still "a selfish bitch."
"Hey, you made a sacrifice to protect your family. That does not sound selfish to me. If Brady is smart, he is going to see that too," J.J. counseled. Theresa reasoned aloud that Brady would eventually realize that he loved her more than he loved Eve.
"My sister is completely wrong for him," Theresa said bitterly. J.J. told Theresa that he did not judge her. When Theresa complained about looking for a place to stay because she did not want to talk to Roman or Kayla, J.J. offered his place. Theresa was surprised. J.J. explained that his place was small, but he was happy to have Theresa stay with him. J.J. added that he could sleep on an air mattress. "With any luck, I won't be staying too long," Theresa said hopefully.
In the loft, a naked Tripp pulled away from an equally naked Claire on the living room couch. Tripp told Claire that he could not sleep with her. Ciara walked in. Furious, Ciara accused Tripp and Claire of having sex together. Tripp dressed and swore that he had not slept with Claire. Claire chimed in that Tripp had told the truth. When Ciara noted that Theo would be upset, Claire yelled that she was not with Theo anymore. Claire added that Tripp had stopped before they had gone too far.
"You have a beautiful woman in front of you, and you stopped it? Why?" Ciara asked. "Because of the way I feel about you," Tripp said. Claire argued again that Tripp had told the truth. Ciara lit into Claire for punishing her for winning the Bella contest. Ciara chastised herself for believing that she and Claire had made peace with one another. Tripp intervened to say that Claire had been upset about Theo, and he had been upset that Ciara had dumped him.
"I was coming here to talk to you. I wanted to work things out," Ciara said. "You said you and I didn't want the same things," Tripp stammered. Tripp asked what had changed. Ciara refused to say any more. "You and I are over for good," Ciara said sadly. Claire told Ciara she was sorry that Ciara was hurting but that Ciara had dumped Tripp to focus on her career at Bella. Ciara shook her head and said Claire was wrong. Tripp asked Ciara for the truth about their breakup if it was not about her job.
"Why does it matter now?" Ciara asked. "Because I thought that you and I had a future. But all of [a] sudden, you just pull away from me," Tripp said. When Tripp noted that Ciara had pushed him away every time they had been close to having sex, Claire's face fell with the realization of why Ciara had dumped Tripp.
"He didn't tell me the whole story, I swear," Claire said quietly. Claire urged Ciara to tell Tripp the truth. Confused, Tripp looked at both of the women questioningly. "The reason I couldn't sleep with you, and the reason I broke up with you is because I was raped," Ciara said.
Stunned, Tripp asked when that had happened. Ciara told Tripp that her stepbrother had raped her two years earlier. Shaking her head, Ciara said she had thought she had gotten over the attack, but it had flooded back to her when she and Tripp had made out. Ciara said she had not wanted Tripp to look at her like she was damaged goods.
"I would never, ever think of you that way," Tripp stressed. "But I see it in your eyes. I see pity and disgust," Ciara said. Tripp swore that he did not see Ciara as a damaged person. Ciara called Tripp the damaged one because he had jumped into sex with Claire so quickly after their breakup. "Guess I never meant anything to you at all," Ciara said coldly.
Claire promised Ciara that she and Tripp would never have kissed if she had known the real reason Ciara had broken up with him. Ciara yelled that she did not believe either of them. Ciara told Tripp and Claire that she could not forgive them and that she hated them both. With a sniffle, Ciara stormed out of the loft. Tripp ran after Ciara, but he could not find her. When Tripp returned to the loft, Claire apologized for not realizing sooner why Ciara had broken things off with him.
"I was broken up for five seconds, and I moved on. What kind of person does that?" Tripp asked. Claire reminded Tripp that she had done the same thing. Claire apologized to Tripp for kissing him. Worried, Tripp called Ciara's phone to make sure she was okay. In an alleyway, Ciara saw the call from Tripp and ignored it. Ciara climbed onto her motorcycle. At the loft, Tripp worried aloud about Ciara's emotional state. On a dark highway, Ciara lay next to her crashed motorcycle, unconscious.
Ben tries to make amends
Ciara, injured and sprawled out on her back on the side of a seemingly remote road, awoke to the ring of her cell phone. She tried to grab the device, which was just out of reach, but found that moving her body wasn't easy.
"She's not answering," Tripp worriedly informed Claire as the ringing continued. "Yeah, because that's Ciara, Tripp -- she gets upset [and] disappears, [and] there's no talking to her until she is ready to talk," Claire dismissively replied. Meanwhile, Ciara's voicemail service finally activated. Tripp recorded a message for Ciara then ended the call.
"If I had known the truth..." Tripp began to fret. "But you didn't," Claire stressed in an effort to stop Tripp from feeling guilty.
Tripp thought about contacting Ciara's mother, but Claire argued that there was no reason to worry Hope, because Ciara was probably just blowing off steam with a joyride, as usual. Claire advised Tripp that it would be best to just give Ciara space for the time being. "I -- I -- I can't do that. I -- I have to go find her," Tripp stammered before rushing off, already dialing Ciara's cell phone number again.
Tripp's contact entry popped up on the screen of Ciara's cell phone, which was in her line of sight. She struggled to grab the device but remained unable to do so. She could see that he had called many times. Feeling defeated, she imagined that he would soon give up on her, having realized -- with a certain roommate's help -- that she was "a mess" and that he needed to be with a woman who was willing and able to satisfy his needs.
Tripp entered the Brady Pub just as Steve pounded on a table in frustration -- a move that knocked over a glass, which fell to the floor and shattered on impact. Tripp offered to clean up the mess for Steve, who testily refused the help then started searching for the broken pieces of glass, one of which soon sliced his hand. "Well, since I don't want to get blood all over the pub floor, I'll take you up on your offer," Steve said with a sigh of defeat as Tripp gave him a napkin to press against the wound. Tripp said he was happy to help because, after all, his father had cleaned up plenty of his messes in the past.
Steve apologized for snapping at Tripp then asked about Tripp's recent dinner date with Ciara, eager to change the subject. Tripp sadly admitted that it hadn't exactly gone as planned. "I had no idea that Ciara was raped. I mean, Kayla tried to warn me about it, but..." Tripp began to explain. Steve guessed that Kayla had decided it wasn't her story to tell.
Tripp understood and respected Kayla's decision but felt terrible about everything that had happened since the dinner, believing that it could have all been avoided if he had known the truth right from the start. "[And] Claire swears that, you know, [Ciara] just needs time and space to deal with everything, but I don't agree with that, okay? I want to talk to her, and I want to explain things to her, and I want to help her," he stressed.
Steve understood Tripp's perspective but echoed Claire's take on the matter. "Ciara's going through something really heavy right now, [and] I know from experience [that you shouldn't push]. As hard as it is for you to stand by and watch someone you love suffer, the best thing you can do for Ciara right now is respect her boundaries," Steve advised. Tripp reluctantly conceded that, as usual, Steve was probably right.
Chuckling, Steve joked that he wasn't just good at giving advice; he was good at breaking glasses, too. He explained, when asked, that he had been upset earlier because of something that had happened right before his son had arrived. He summarized the promising developments of Visionary Bionics and revealed that he had been trying to find out if any other companies were working on similar types of technology.
"So, I checked in with Shane [earlier, but] the ISA says it's a dead end," Steve concluded with a sigh. Tripp was sorry to hear that. "Eh. I wasn't even getting my hopes up. It's just some sci-fi, futuristic fantasy [that] probably wouldn't work, anyway," Steve dismissively replied. Tripp didn't buy that Steve wasn't the least bit excited about the possibility of being able to one day see again.
"I know how you feel about Stefan and the DiMeras, but have you even thought about going to him?" Tripp asked. "It wouldn't be worth the price that he would demand. After what he did to Abigail -- and after everything Stefano and most of his spawn [have] done to the rest of our family -- I'm keeping all of us as far away from the DiMeras as possible," Steve insisted with finality.
Meanwhile, at the hospital, Kayla learned, through a series of conversations with colleagues, that Visionary Bionics' technology was quite promising -- and that no other company was working on anything similar.
Elsewhere, Hope overheard Marlena recording a voicemail message for Will. "Look, I'm sure the police will be contacting you soon, but...I -- I wanted you to hear this from me. Ben Weston has been released from the sanitarium. I know that's not news you wanted to hear, and neither did I, but...there it is. Honey, I -- I promise you, I will not let him hurt you again," Marlena said before ending the call.
"Are you sure that's a promise you can keep?" Hope asked Marlena. Hope maintained that no amount of psychiatric treatment could turn a serial killer into someone who was no longer a threat to society. Marlena, in turn, maintained that it wasn't appropriate or fair to let personal feelings factor into the matter. "[I simply] don't have the right to challenge another psychiatrist's diagnosis if I believe it's true," Marlena stressed.
"Even if it means putting [your own grandson] at risk -- again?" Hope asked incredulously. Marlena refused to be swayed but assured Hope, "I'm gonna keep a very close eye on Ben."
After Marlena walked away, Hope went to Kayla's office, wanting to vent to someone. "[Marlena] could have stopped this whole thing if she wanted to -- all she had to do was just file an objection -- but she wouldn't do it! And, Kay, my gut is telling me [that Ben] is still a huge danger to society. [And], I mean, I know [Marlena's] the best -- I have tremendous respect for her professional opinion -- [but]..." Hope complained.
"Which is why you suggested that Ciara talk to her," Kayla interjected. Hope was pleasantly surprised to hear that Ciara had already tried to reach out to Marlena and had even confided in Kayla about what had happened with Tripp. Hope thanked Kayla for offering Ciara advice, knowing that Ciara could really benefit from the wisdom of a fellow survivor. Kayla optimistically revealed that Ciara might be opening up to Tripp at that very moment.
"At least I could do something for someone," Kayla added, sighing. "Want to talk about it?" Hope asked curiously.
"It's just that my husband didn't get the memo that it's not a badge of honor to be the tough guy twenty-four-seven. I mean, you know, when I lost my hearing, I let him help me -- he even learned sign language -- and, yeah, it was hard -- I felt like a burden at first -- [but, you know, it] actually brought us closer together. I just wish he'd let me be that for him," Kayla explained, sighing again.
"You have done everything in your power to help him," Hope supportively stressed. "That's not true," Kayla quietly admitted.
Meanwhile, at the crash site, Ciara kept struggling to reach her cell phone -- and realized, when she finally accomplished the feat, that its battery was dead.
Kate was sitting on a bench in a secluded section of Horton Town Square, reading a text message, when Stefan approached and took a seat next to her. She started to walk away, but he followed her, explaining that he wanted to give her a gift. "[See], after the police failed to do their job and arrest you, they released my mother's gun to me. I don't know -- some perverse consolation prize, I suppose. But now, when I look at it, I see my dear, dear mother...and you," he elaborated while revealing the weapon. He pointed it at Kate and cocked it then continued talking to her, making sudden noises from time to time to keep her on edge.
Kate nervously asked Stefan if avenging his mother's death was really more important to him than his freedom. "Haven't you noticed, Kate? Murderers in Salem don't go to prison," he replied with a dismissive shrug.
Marlena soon stumbled upon Stefan and Kate. Concerned, Marlena tried to reason with Stefan, stressing that she understood that he was in pain because he had lost not only his mother but also the woman he loved.
"How sick does a person have to be to [fall] in love with a figment of someone's imagination?" Kate spat. "You know, if you want to live through this, you should stop talking," Marlena advised.
Marlena continued trying to reason with Stefan, pointing out that Gabby had worked hard to keep him out of prison and wouldn't want him to throw his life away.
Stefan suddenly tossed the gun at Kate, who caught it without thinking. He delighted in watching her tense in anticipation of an accidental discharge.
"Oh, come on, Kate -- it's not loaded! We're in a public place! There's witnesses! Besides, I'm not the killer; you are," Stefan said between laughs. "So, what was this -- some kind of sick joke?" Kate asked incredulously. "No -- simply a gift from me to you as a reminder [of] what you did to my mother. And just so we're clear...next time, you won't see me coming," Stefan replied before walking away.
Marlena wondered if Kate wanted to talk about what had just happened. "No, I'm fine. It's not like you're my therapist anymore, anyway," Kate replied. "There's no expiration date on that," Marlena pointed out.
Kate gave the offer some thought. "There is something about the night that Vivian died..." Kate hesitantly began to admit. "She was so...determined...and hateful...and we were struggling over the gun, and I knew -- I knew -- that she was gonna kill me..." Kate continued -- just as an alert popped up on her cell phone. Kate stopped talking and fished the device out of her purse.
"Oh, my God -- Ben Weston has been released!" Kate revealed, forgetting all about Vivian. "I know," Marlena admitted.
Kate couldn't believe that Marlena hadn't done anything to prevent Ben's release. "There's nothing I can do," Marlena explained with a shrug. "Or is there nothing you want to do? You can't just lie this one time?" Kate countered. "I have a professional responsibility," Marlena stressed. "What about your responsibility to our grandson? [I mean], you're putting him at risk because you think you're a miracle worker!" Kate snapped.
At the Martin mansion, Will, who had just finished taking a shower and hadn't heard Marlena's voicemail message yet, received a visitor. He finished getting dressed then opened his door and stared at the person in horror.
Will tried to slam the door shut, but Ben held it open and stepped into the room. "I'm not gonna hurt you," Ben promised, keeping both hands open and raised. Will threatened to call the cops. "Please, just hold on. This is legit. I didn't escape. I was released. My doctor says I'm of a sound mind -- a bit sounder than yours, actually," Ben continued. "No offense; [I just mean that] I can remember who I am," Ben quickly clarified.
"I wish I couldn't remember you," Will replied before demanding to know what Ben wanted. "I just wanted you to be the first to know I'm back," Ben explained.
Ben took a step toward Will, who nervously backed away, despite the fact that Ben's hands were both still open and raised. "I just want to talk," Ben stressed as Will demanded space.
"Talk to me," Chad suggested, joining Will and Ben in the room. Will breathed a sigh of relief and explained to Chad, "This...maniac...claims that he was released."
"I know. I was coming to give you the news. I guess he beat me to it," Chad replied, stepping between Will and Ben. "I didn't come here to make trouble," Ben stressed. "I just -- I want to make amends," Ben added. Chad was quick to point out that Ben couldn't make amends to Paige, Serena, or Wendy because all three women were dead. Ben ignored the comment.
"I'm sorry about Abigail," Ben said. "Don't mention her name," Chad warned, giving Ben a shove. Undeterred, Ben started to talk about Abigail's recent relapse, knowing just how devastating such things could be. "You caused the illness to begin with," Chad spat. "I could argue that she pushed me to the edge when she cheated on me with you," Ben countered.
Chad lunged toward Ben, but Will quickly intervened, stopping things from getting more physical. "Thank you, Will. Chad's never been good at letting bygones be bygones, but that's what I'm trying to do," Ben calmly stressed. "Bygones? You kidnapped Abigail when she was pregnant, you lit the cabin on fire [and] nearly killed both of us, and you kidnapped my son!" Chad incredulously countered.
Ignoring Chad, Ben pointed out, "They wouldn't even know you were among the living if it weren't for me, Will -- not that they believed me. [But] you believe me, don't you, Will? I'm trying to be a better person. I've changed."
Scoffing, Chad advised that it would be best for Ben to try to be a better person somewhere else. "Nobody wants you here, [and nobody in this town is] ever gonna look at you with anything other than disgust and terror. You're not gonna be able to get a job. You're not gonna be able to rent an apartment. You'll be lucky if you even get a cup of coffee. [So] why don't you go back and find your sister and live with her in Missouri, or Siberia, or wherever the hell it is you hillbillies came from?" Chad continued. Ben conceded that it would indeed be difficult to start over in Salem, of all places.
"[But] even if I wanted to go somewhere else...I can't. I don't have any money. I hitched a ride just to get here," Ben added, prompting Chad to quickly hand over a stack of cash.
"But I haven't even done what I came here to do," Ben protested, ignoring Chad's offer. "Oh -- which is...make amends? Yeah, sure, let's -- let's get it over with," Will replied while hesitantly stepping forward.
"Will, you will never know just how sorry I am for what I did to you -- and to the others," Ben began while shaking Will's hand. Will nodded and tried to take a step back, but Ben kept a firm grip on Will's hand. "There was a rage in me, and I was lost in it, but when your mother hired me to reenact what I did to you, and I looked into your eyes, I saw the monster I was, and I was ashamed. But the rage is gone [now], Will. All that's left is sorrow and regret -- and a hope that maybe I can redeem myself...starting right now, with an apology that isn't nearly enough," Ben added before finally letting go of Will's hand.
Chad sarcastically praised Ben's speech. "[Now], I'm gonna drive you to the edge of town, and when we get there, you're gonna get out [of the car], and then you're gonna go as far away as you can, and you're gonna keep going," Chad added. "I'll go," Ben promised, still more focused on Will than on Chad. Will remained silent as Chad led Ben out of the room.
At the hospital, Stefan entered Kayla's office. "Lovely surprise it was to get your call. I'm very pleased you've changed your mind about working with me," Stefan told Kayla.
"This goes against everything I believe, and although I don't care about Kate as a person, the idea of hurting her --" Kayla began to stress. "I prefer the word 'decimating' myself," Stefan interjected.
Stefan urged Kayla to focus on how her husband would benefit from her sacrifice. "You don't have to spin it for me, Stefan. I'll do it. But only because you are my husband's only hope, and I love him too much to sit back and do nothing," she replied. Nodding, he eagerly urged her to continue -- then expressed disappointment when he realized what she had on his enemy.
"You're gonna have to do better than that," Stefan told Kayla, not wanting to force Theo to testify against Kate just to expose a crime that might result in a bit of prison time. "I need something on Kate that will grind her world into dust. And I know that is...contrary to your delicate nature...but if you love your husband as much as you say you do..." Stefan continued. "I'll do it," Kayla quietly replied.
Meanwhile, Kate, alone again in a secluded section of the town square, eyed Vivian's gun while muttering, "No matter what you think, Stefan, I did not set out to kill Vivian. But if you push me too hard..."
Marlena went to the Martin mansion to tell Will that Ben had been released from Bayview. Nodding, Will filled Marlena in on what had happened earlier.
Will was still on edge, not just because of the encounter with Ben but also because Chad had unwittingly revealed horrifying information about Ben during the encounter -- information that Will had never heard before. "And to think that I'll have to remember even more of what he did to me [if Rolf's formula restores my memory]..." Will mused.
Marlena was surprised to hear that Will had decided to pursue that lead. She admitted to having concerns and guessed that he had concerns, too.
"I do...but I'm only living half a life right now. I mean, I don't remember my daughter, I don't remember my family, I don't remember falling in love, and I don't even remember what my favorite color was. I know some of those memories will be bad, but if there's a chance I could get it all back...I have to take it," Will insisted.
Hope ran into Chad in the town square. He told her about what had happened at the Martin mansion earlier that night.
"The good news is, I think I convinced [Ben] to leave Salem for good. [See], I gave him money, drove him to the outskirts of town, parked, [and] watched him walk down a long dirt road until I could no longer see him... Now, there's no telling with him, but let's just hope [he's] smart enough not to come back this time," Chad concluded. Nodding, Hope agreed, "Yeah, let's just hope Weston is out of our lives for good."
Meanwhile, Ben continued walking -- and soon stumbled upon Ciara's crash site.
Ben knelt beside Ciara, who was unconscious, and checked her pulse. Then, after weighing his options, he pocketed her cell phone and carried her away.
Preempted by NBC Sports coverage of the French Open
Due to NBC's annual coverage of the French Open tennis tournament, Days of our Lives did not air. This was a planned preemption and there were no "lost" episodes as a result. Regular programming resumed on Monday, June 11, and picked up where the Wednesday, June 6 episode concluded.
Preempted by NBC Sports coverage of the French Open
Due to NBC's annual coverage of the French Open tennis tournament, Days of our Lives did not air. This was a planned preemption and there were no "lost" episodes as a result. Regular programming resumed on Monday, June 11, and picked up where the Wednesday, June 6 episode concluded.