At the park, Mimi stormed toward Chloe while demanding the baby. "You're as charming as ever," Chloe sarcastically observed. "[Baby Bonnie's] father asked me to watch her," Chloe added, shielding the child from Mimi.
Mimi tried to sidestep Chloe while again demanding the baby. "My mom's gonna take her and leave town," Mimi explained. "[See], that's where your mom is wrong, because Lucas is gonna sue for full custody," Chloe countered. Scoffing, Mimi insisted, "If you think you and Lucas Horton are going to play house with [that] little girl, you're more full of it than I thought!"
Chloe argued that Lucas had a great chance of winning full custody of the baby when the matter went to court. "I mean, it's not gonna be difficult to make a case against Bonnie being unfit to raise a gerbil, let alone a baby. She's a con artist [and] a criminal, and you are living proof of her mothering skills," Chloe added before starting to leave with the baby.
"Wow -- you're even more of a bitch than you were in high school," Mimi spat with a shake of the head. "There's no way [Lucas is] getting custody of her! He's not even..." Mimi started to add before stopping abruptly.
"'He's not even' what?" Chloe asked curiously, turning to face Mimi again. "One year sober," Mimi hesitantly elaborated.
"And...what, this baby needs to be with someone 'stable,' like your mother?" Chloe countered. "I don't think you're in any position to judge," Mimi shot back. Unfazed, Chloe refused to ever go back to being someone Mimi could bully into submission. "[Besides], you're not a mother, so you don't understand," Chloe insisted. "[Now], I'm gonna take this little girl back to her father, where she belongs, and there's nothing you can do about it," Chloe added. Mimi chased after Chloe and the baby, muttering through gritted teeth, "You're wrong about that, Ghoul Girl. There's no way in hell you're taking my kid!"
Meanwhile, at Doug's Place, Bonnie desperately tried to talk Lucas out of suing for full custody of the baby. He refused to reconsider. "And I'm not letting you anywhere near that baby until we have our day in court, [because that's the only way to guarantee you won't run off with her] and pull one of your genius moves again," he added.
"You have to give me that baby [right now], or Mimi's gonna kill me!" Bonnie blurted out. "What's Mimi got to do with this?" Lucas asked curiously. "[She's] in town. She came to see the baby. In fact, she is just dying to meet her baby sister for the very first time, and I promised her -- I promised her -- that the three of us would have a family day together -- today," Bonnie claimed.
Unmoved, Lucas refused to reveal the baby's whereabouts to Bonnie, who furiously vowed to track the baby down one way or another. As Bonnie started to storm off, Chloe entered the club with the baby. Bonnie tried to seize the baby from Chloe, but Chloe wasn't willing to cooperate. "I just told Bonnie I was suing for full custody. She's not that happy about it," Lucas explained to Chloe as Mimi entered the club. "She's not the only one," Mimi announced, glaring at Lucas. Mimi threatened to call the cops and have Lucas charged with kidnapping unless the baby was returned at once. "Do it," Lucas coolly challenged Mimi.
As if on cue, Eli entered the club. Mimi and Bonnie were both relieved -- until Eli refused to let them leave with the baby.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor entered the otherwise unoccupied living room and poured a stiff drink while musing, "Prometheus was chained to a mountain while an eagle ate his liver...[but at least the] lucky bastard didn't have Susan Banks as a houseguest." Victor settled into a chair and groaned as Marlena's look-alike doll, which had been stuffed under the seat cushion, made its presence known in a particularly painful way. "I don't know how much more of this I can take," Victor grumbled while removing the doll and tossing it aside. Just then, Eve entered the mansion. "[But] I think I'm about to find out..." Victor added, groaning again.
Eve wondered if Victor had seen Brady lately. Confused, Victor pointed out that Eve was the one who was living with Brady. "He moved out," Eve admitted. "Ah -- so he's finally come to his senses!" Victor happily assumed. "No, Victor -- he found out that I am the reason that Theresa got full custody of Tate," Eve clarified before proceeding to tell Victor the whole story.
"[Well], go on -- gloat. I know how much you just love seeing me kicked in the teeth," Eve told Victor after finishing the tale. "I'm not going to gloat. Actually, I'm sorry," Victor replied. "Yeah, right," Eve countered before realizing that Victor was being serious. "I admit that I'm not your biggest fan...[but] Brady seems to love you, [and] God knows [that] he's been done in by enough women too many times, so I was hoping this time would be different...[and] since I was in on [your scheme], I know you were just trying to protect him," Victor explained with a shrug.
"I did what I did because I love him," Eve sadly confirmed. "[See], I have a hard time relating to that, 'cause I've never done anything for anyone that I've loved that [later] turned around and bit me in the ass," Victor sarcastically replied. Eve groaned at the thought of having something in common with Victor. "Imagine how I feel," Victor countered.
"Are you saying you...understand...and forgive me?" Eve asked. "Yes, I suppose so," Victor replied. "I must have entered an alternative universe," Eve mused. "Hey, I'm not proposing we go bowling," Victor clarified.
Victor offered Eve a drink but refused to get up and pour it. Sighing, Eve walked over to the bar, poured a stiff drink, gulped it down, and refilled the glass. "I have more to tell you," Eve began before proceeding to warn Victor that Eric knew about the recording of Nicole's confession and would probably be visiting soon to demand it. "Brady has it," Victor replied with a dismissive shrug. "No, Brady doesn't have it. [He] swears that you have it [and have been lying] about not knowing where it is," Eve clarified. "[Then] someone else was in my safe...and I know exactly who that someone is..." Victor mused, sighing.
"Sonny told me he saw Xander taking cash out of the safe [a few months ago], so it's a pretty sure bet that he also has Nicole's confession," Victor continued. "What do you think he's up to?" Eve asked. "[For starters], John told me that [Xander's] the one who shot Marlena," Victor revealed. "So, Xander was at the wedding...and so was Kristen. You think he was her plus-one?" Eve wondered. "Wouldn't put it past her," Victor replied.
"But, if we're lucky, they're long gone by now -- [and] far enough away that they can't do any more damage," Victor added. Eve worriedly informed Victor that Stefan suspected that Brady was with Kristen. Victor dismissed the theory, reasoning, "[Brady] knows that she's too dangerous. He'd never do that." Eve hoped that Victor was right about that but was quick to point out, "[Brady] was so angry and hurt... Maybe he's not thinking straight..."
"If I hear from him, should I tell him you're looking for him?" Victor asked. "Yeah. He and I have some unfinished business, whether he likes it or not," Eve replied before exiting the mansion.
At Sarah's apartment in Nashville, Eric tended to Nicole's injured eyes while angrily demanding to know why Sami had pulled such a horrible stunt in the first place. "I didn't think it was gonna be [Nicole]. I thought it was gonna be Kristen!" Sami defensively explained. "[See], Stefan gave me this address. [Actually], he didn't give it to me; I had to buy it. I wasted millions of dollars on this wild goose chase..." Sami began to add before stopping abruptly. "Wait a minute -- what is she doing here?" Sami asked Eric while gesturing toward Nicole. "She lives here," Eric replied.
"[Then] you deserve every bit of that pepper spray!" Sami spat, glaring at Nicole. "[Eric], do you not get it? Stefan gave me this address, meaning [Nicole's] in on it with Kristen! Those two rotten sluts are working together!" Sami added. Scoffing, Nicole insisted that Sami was mistaken. Sami was skeptical at first, but Eric confirmed that Nicole was actually living with Xander, not Kristen.
"Huh. How 'bout that? You ended up with a homicidal maniac like Xander. You really deserve the bottom of the barrel, Nicole. Congratulations," Sami declared, amused. "Wow, what a surprise -- Sami Brady, shooting her big mouth off when she has no idea what she's talking about," Nicole countered. "I'm here with Xander because he blackmailed me into marrying him," Nicole added. "Okay, well...that does suck," Sami conceded.
"But you had to know that Xander was working with Kristen," Sami added. "I try to stay as far away from Xander as I can. I don't want to rock the boat," Nicole replied. Eric still wasn't convinced that Xander and Kristen were working together, but Sami reasoned that it was obvious because Xander had shot Marlena for Kristen. "[Xander] wasn't after Mom. He was after me," Eric clarified.
"Oh, really? So, it's just a coincidence? Just like it's a coincidence that Kristen has this address?" Sami skeptically countered. Refusing to believe that, Sami started dialing Rafe's cell phone number. Eric begged Sami not to summon Rafe to Nashville to arrest Xander, pointing out that doing so would hurt Nicole. "And since appealing to your better nature never really works, think about this -- if you turn Xander over to the cops, you're gonna blow any chance you had of finding out what he's doing with Kristen," Nicole added. "Just give me a day. I'm gonna follow [Xander] tomorrow. If I can get what he has on Nicole, I might [also] be able to find out if it's Kristen who's calling the shots," Eric told Sami. Sighing, Sami reluctantly agreed to wait. "But I'm going with you tomorrow," Sami insisted. Eric didn't bother to object.
"I think that Xander is gonna lead me to the facility that Kristen told Stefan about. [And that's where] I'm gonna find E.J. I know he's still alive," Sami excitedly predicted.
At Kristen and Xander's lair, Brady crept toward the patient, trying not to make any more noise. Meanwhile, Xander rejoined Kristen and quickly realized that something was wrong. "I heard something [while you were gone], and when I went outside, no one was there...but I don't like it," Kristen explained. Xander confirmed, after a quick check of the basement stairwell, that Kristen hadn't been hearing things.
"Someone broke in," Xander informed Kristen while revealing the dropped crowbar that had produced the noise. "So, we have company..." Kristen mused with a nervous sigh. Xander rushed off in search of the intruder.
Brady stopped at the back of the patient's wheelchair and reached out to turn it around -- just as Xander entered the room and swung the crowbar.
"Oh, my God -- Brady!" Kristen exclaimed when Xander returned, carrying Brady. "What did you do to him?" Kristen worriedly demanded to know as Xander dropped Brady's motionless body to the ground. "I did what had to be done," Xander explained with a shrug while tossing aside the crowbar. "I told you not to trust him! He was in there with our...'patient'!" Xander added. "Did he see?" Kristen asked. "He was about to," Xander replied.
"Leave me alone with him," Kristen demanded after Xander tied Brady to a chair. "You sure that's a good idea? I mean, I know you've always fancied him, and I bet you're partial to the odd bit of bondage every now and then..." Xander replied. "Get out. Now," Kristen impatiently repeated. "Fine," Xander reluctantly agreed. "But I'll leave you the gun, just in case you do come to your senses and [decide to] put him out of his misery," Xander added, placing a gun on a desk. Kristen waited until Xander was gone then angrily doused Brady's face with water. "You followed me? You didn't run away with me? This was all a ploy?" Kristen asked incredulously.
"So, when we made love, that didn't mean anything to you? It was just [about] trying to find out what I was up to?" Kristen continued. "Don't bother lying to me, either! You did all this -- all this -- because you wanted to find out the truth about E.J., right?" Kristen concluded. "Yeah, that's the million-dollar question -- [is] the guy in the wheelchair [E.J.]?" Brady asked curiously. Kristen ignored the question and picked up the gun.
"God, Brady, I would have done anything for you! I would have gotten Tate back... We could have started a family... [But] now you're never gonna see your son again," Kristen declared while pointing the gun at Brady's head. "You are not gonna kill me, because you can't," Brady countered, guessing that Kristen's feelings wouldn't just fade away at the first sign of betrayal.
"Maybe you're right," Kristen conceded, still pointing the gun at Brady's head. After a moment of thought, Kristen sighed and decided not to pull the trigger, instead striking Brady's head with the butt of the gun. "But I can still pay you back," Kristen added after Brady lost consciousness. Xander soon returned and offered to finish Brady off for Kristen, who had started trembling.
"No. Leave him alone for now," Kristen told Xander, struggling to stay calm. "We have more...pressing matters...to attend to," Kristen shakily added. "Like what?" Xander asked curiously. "[Well], we don't know if anyone followed Brady, so this place could be compromised...which means all [our] work will have to come to an end...before anyone else finds out," Kristen explained while sadly taking one last look around the morgue-like lair.
Meanwhile, the patient, alone in his room, muttered, "Samantha..."
Claire and Ben make a deal
At the loft, Ben woke up Ciara as she slept in her room. "Did you forget something when you moved out?" Ciara asked. "I always had a feeling deep down that you still believed in me. Even when nobody else did," Ben said. Ciara admitted that she believed in Ben. Ben thanked Ciara for her faith in him.
"What I feel for you is more than gratitude. It's a lot more," Ben said. As Ben leaned in to kiss Ciara, she woke up from her dream. "Ciara, get it together," Ciara muttered to herself. Tripp walked in with a cup of coffee for Ciara. Blushing, Ciara averted her eyes. Tripp asked what was wrong. Ciara said she had woken from a nightmare. Ciara assured Tripp that she was fine.
With a grin, Tripp told Ciara that the past 47 hours had been the happiest of his life. "Wanna shoot for 72?" Ciara asked with a smile. "I love you so much," Tripp said. "I love you, too," Ciara said. After making love, Tripp suggested that they go to the café and get food.
In the town square, Claire looked through her social media feed on her phone at work until Ben called her attention to his table. Claire asked why Ben was still in Salem. With a shrug, Ben said he did not have any money to leave. Ben asked for a glass of water. Claire offered to get coffee and find some food for him. With a groan, Claire complained about the PDA between Tripp and Ciara online and in the loft. As Claire painted a picture, Ben lost his temper and yelled that he did not want to hear about Ciara.
After Claire clocked out of work, she joined Ben as he finished his free meal. Claire asked Ben if he had moved out because of Ciara's relationship with Ben. Ben explained that Ciara had asked him to leave because she had not wanted Tripp to feel uncomfortable. "She always takes your side," Claire said in confusion.
"She doesn't want him to notice that she had a thing for you!" Claire exclaimed. Ben disagreed. Claire reminded Ben that Ciara had not slept with Tripp until after Ben had been arrested the second time. Claire posited that Ciara was in deep denial and overcompensating for her feelings for Ben. Ben said he was not interested, but Claire countered that Ben had not fixed Ciara's bike for fun.
"I want her, but I can never, ever have her," Ben said. "Never say never, Ben. That's my motto," Claire said. Ben joked that Claire's singing career was currently a bust. With narrowed eyes, Claire said that her luck was about to change. "You love Ciara," Claire said. Uncomfortable, Ben countered that he had not planned to fall for Ciara. Ben explained that he had rescued Ciara on the road to help someone in need, but he had grown close to her in the cabin.
"She stood up to her own mother for me. She believed in me when nobody else did. She made me feel like redemption was a possibility. How could I not fall for her?" Ben said. Claire asked Ben why he had given up. Ben said he could not change his past as a murderer. Claire suggested that Ben leave town with Ciara so that they could start fresh somewhere where no one knew his past. Claire offered to help Ben win Ciara over.
"I start fighting for Ciara, and I look like the predator that everyone thinks I am," Ben argued. "If we work together to break up Tripp and Ciara, I think that we can end up getting exactly what we want," Claire said. Ben countered that he had been working to be a good person, and he did not think conspiring with Claire was a good idea. Claire argued that Tripp and Ciara were not good for one another. With a raised eyebrow, Ben reconsidered and agreed to work with Claire. As Ben and Claire shook hands, Ciara and Tripp walked into the square. Ciara asked what was going on.
At the Horton House, J.J. asked Abigail about the wig. Abigail was still angry that Chad had searched her room without her consent. Abigail blamed Gabi for Chad's behavior. "So, you don't think she was just trying to help?" J.J. asked. Through gritted teeth, Abigail argued that Gabi was still out to punish her. J.J. said he did not want to think the worst of Gabi. Abigail countered that Gabi had changed after her stint in prison.
"[Gabi] is doing this deliberately," Abigail argued. J.J. asked Abigail about the wig. Abigail suggested that Gabi had hidden the wig in her room, not Abigail's alter Gabby. J.J. asked Abigail how Gabi could have convinced Chad to search the house. Abigail argued that Gabi had manipulated Chad. When J.J. asked about the lost time, Abigail was adamant that her lost time felt different from before she had been integrated. J.J. asked about the first time she had lost time recently. Abigail noted it had been the day of the picnic, and she had not remembered going to sleep.
"You think Gabi Hernandez did all of it?" J.J. asked. Abigail argued that all of Gabby's stuff had been from Gabi Chic. Abigail noted that she had not found any charges on her credit card for a wig or anything else suspicious. J.J. asked about the text message to Stefan. Abigail admitted that she had always kept her phone locked. J.J. added that Gabi could not have made Abigail fall asleep.
"She would have to be a mastermind to make you think that your alter is back. Wouldn't she?" J.J. asked. "Yeah. You are probably right," Abigail admitted. Abigail asked J.J. as a cop if he would believe Gabi as a suspect. J.J. said he would hesitate to believe that Gabi would go to such lengths. J.J. encouraged Abigail to avoid conspiracy theories and remember that he had her back.
At the police station, Hope asked Rafe if there were any new leads on Kristen or Xander. Rafe said there was no news on the search. Hope complained about the long list of names of people that could have planted evidence implicating Ben. Rafe reminded Hope that he and Hope were on the list. With a nod, Hope opened her case file and reviewed the evidence with Rafe. Rafe noted that Ben's prints were on file at the station.
"Are you saying a cop could have done this?" Hope asked. Rafe noted that a number of cops had been frustrated that Ben had been released. When Rafe mentioned J.J.'s name as a suspect, Hope was unsure. Rafe noted that J.J. had the ability to access prints and a motive to punish Ben.
Rafe called J.J. down to the station to talk. J.J. denied he'd had any involvement with the evidence. Hope told J.J. that she believed him. J.J. lamented that whomever had planted the evidence had helped Ben. Hope asked Rafe to interview everyone with a motive to frame Ben. Hope added that she had a feeling that someone not on the list was to blame. After a moment, Hope's eyes flew open with a realization. "I know who it was!" Hope yelled.
In the Kiriakis living room, Gabi asked Chad about his search at the Horton house. Chad showed Gabi the wig. Gabi feigned surprise. "Abby was doing well, so I don't know what could have happened," Chad said. Gabi asked Chad what he planned to do with the revelation. With a shrug, Chad said he had shown the wig to Jennifer, but Abigail had walked in on them discussing the wig. Chad noted that Abigail had been defensive and had lashed out at him and Jennifer.
"It sounds like she doesn't want to get better," Gabi suggested. Chad explained that Abigail had not been able to talk to Marlena because Marlena was still recuperating. Gabi argued that Abigail was too stubborn and that Abigail's alters were dangerous. Chad countered that Abigail was integrated. When Gabi suggested that Chad commit Abigail, Chad balked. Gabi noted that Abigail could be a danger to the baby. When Chad grew quiet, Gabi added that Thomas was the only thing standing between Gabby and Stefan.
"It is up to you to protect your son. I really don't like to say this but you are Abigail's husband and Thomas' father, so you need to do something before it is too late," Gabi said. Chad said he understood that Gabi was concerned, but he felt that committing Abigail was a step too far. Chad said he would fight by Abigail's side to help her get better. With tears in his eyes, Chad said he needed to check on Thomas.
After Chad went upstairs, Gabi grabbed the wig from the table. "Time for Plan B," Gabi whispered. Gabi called Abigail and asked her to meet at the Kiriakis mansion. Abigail gruffly asked Gabi what she wanted. Gabi said she wanted to talk with Abigail in person. Gabi hurriedly mixed sleeping pills into a pot of tea and hid the evidence underneath a seat cushion. As Gabi turned around, she saw Abigail standing in the doorway.
Outside the Brady Pub, Chad ran into J.J. Chad said he was grateful that Abigail had talked to J.J. Chad said he was concerned that Gabby was back. J.J. urged Chad to keep an open mind and let Abigail take the lead on her health. J.J. suggested that there might be another explanation for Abigail's behavior. Chad asked what J.J. was suggesting.
Gabi's plot against Abigail escalates
At the police station, Hope confidently theorized that Ben was the one who had planted the can of accelerant at the cabin. "Ben...was...trying to frame himself?" Rafe asked skeptically. "No -- me," Hope clarified.
"[It's like J.J. said earlier] -- whoever planted that [can of accelerant just] made things worse. [So], what if the person was trying to [make things worse -- to] upend the entire investigation [with phony evidence]?" Hope continued. Rafe was immediately convinced, acknowledging that Ben was certainly clever enough to do such a thing. "[And] I played right into his hands," Rafe grumbled. Nodding, Hope surprised Rafe with a kiss of gratitude then explained, "Thank God that you did, [because] if we had gone to trial based on what I found, it would have blown up in our faces, [but now we have] a second opportunity [to] nail that bastard!"
Rafe wanted to find and confront Ben right away, but Hope thought it would be best to wait. "Jumping in headfirst without thinking [is] what got me into trouble in the first place. We can't accuse Ben based on a theory. We need proof -- we need solid evidence -- [and we need] to build this case twice as carefully [as we normally would, since] everyone knows that I have a vested interest in [nailing] Ben because of Ciara," Hope reasoned. "[Let's keep this] just between us. [We'll] let Ben think that he has the upper hand [for now], while we get what we need to nail him. And just when he thinks that he's gotten away with it..." Hope added, grinning mischievously.
At the Horton Town Square, Claire innocently explained to Ciara and Tripp, "[Ben and I] were shaking hands because [he] said that he needs a job, and I said I'd put in a good word for him here at the café." Nodding, Ben hesitantly added, "Right...and I was just thanking her."
Tripp suspiciously wondered why Ben suddenly wanted a job at the café, of all places. "I mean, I'll take whatever I can get at this point," Ben replied with a shrug. Ciara suspiciously wondered why Claire was suddenly being nice to Ben. "Well, he couldn't afford to buy breakfast this morning, and...honestly, I just felt kind of bad for him -- especially after the police had to admit that the new evidence against him was phony, which means that he's innocent...right? [I mean], isn't that what you're always saying, [Ciara]?" Claire replied with a shrug. "[Of course, that] didn't stop you from kicking him out of our apartment...[but] I know that you had no choice," Claire added.
"Why did you 'have to' kick Ben out?" Tripp asked Ciara, confused. "I told you [earlier] -- I did it for us," Ciara reminded Tripp before shooting Claire a glare. "Oh, come on," Claire skeptically interjected, flashing Ciara a subtle look of mischief. "You did it...for Grandma Hope, and you know it," Claire added after letting Ciara sweat for a moment. "[After all], Ben accused her of trying to frame him, so how could you let him live with us [again after that]?" Claire continued. Tripp was quick to point out that Claire's decision to get Ben a job probably had an equally good chance of being seen as an act of betrayal from Hope's perspective. "I did not guarantee him a job; I just said I'd put in a good word for him," Claire clarified. "Besides, you feel really bad for saying that about Grandma Hope, right?" Claire asked Ben pointedly. Ben nodded.
"If they offer you a job [at the café], I think you should take it. Claire and Tripp get free meals all the time," Ciara told Ben. "Free food doesn't sound half bad," Ben admitted. "Yeah -- why do you think [Tripp and I are] here?" Ciara agreed with a chuckle. "You're probably sick of the menu by now, though, right?" Tripp asked Ciara, suddenly eager to leave. "Let me treat you to lunch somewhere else," Tripp spontaneously suggested.
Realizing what Tripp was trying to do, Claire scoffed and insisted that it was silly to waste money on food from other restaurants when the café offered perfectly good food to employees for free. "As long as it's to-go..." Tripp grumbled before rushing off to place an order. Claire decided to help Tripp get the food bagged for transport, leaving Ciara alone with Ben -- which seemed to be the point.
Ciara seized the opportunity to find out where Ben was staying. "Went back to the homeless shelter. It's really not that bad. [And] when I get a job, I'll find a better place to live," Ben replied. "[You know], I wait about half as long to take a shower now as I did when I lived with you and Claire," Ben teasingly added. Ciara tried to put all the blame on Claire, but Ben insisted that Ciara was just as guilty of hogging the bathroom. "Okay, I guess it takes me longer than I thought to put on the 'natural' look," Ciara conceded with a laugh. "Oh, you don't need it. I've seen you first thing in the morning, and you are beautiful," Ben replied before quickly apologizing.
Just then, Tripp and Claire returned. Ben watched as Ciara walked away with Tripp. Claire noticed and flashed a triumphant grin, sensing that something had happened while Ciara and Ben had been alone together.
Tripp and Ciara soon returned home and began eating in Ciara's bedroom. "I love the food at the café. Why did you [think] I might be sick of it?" Ciara asked Tripp between bites. "Honestly, I was just trying to get away from Ben," Tripp explained with a shrug. "And now I might end up working with the guy..." Tripp added with a sigh.
Ciara was quick to point out that Ben needed money and therefore needed a job, but Tripp countered that there were plenty of other towns that had job openings -- and didn't know about Ben's past. "I mean, who in this town is gonna be thrilled when Ben walks up to take their order? I mean, you do realize that we have to wear neckties on this job, [right]?" Tripp continued. Ciara insisted that Ben wasn't that person anymore. "[Maybe], but there's a big gap between [thinking] the guy is different now [and] wanting to hang out with [him]," Tripp argued.
"[Ben's] dad used to beat him and his sister up when they were kids," Ciara suddenly revealed. "So...what, nothing's his fault?" Tripp asked, confused. "No, I'm just saying...I'm just saying that he has a good heart, you know? I mean, look at all the time and effort he put into fixing my dad's bike," Ciara elaborated. "Yeah, well, he probably felt guilty [for] trying to burn you alive," Tripp dryly countered. "He didn't do that!" Ciara insisted. "Would you please just...not judge him based off of who he was? He's a totally different person now. Even Claire's come around [and seen] that he's not so bad," Ciara added.
"[Well, in any case, at least Ben] doesn't live here anymore. I mean, the guy snored like a truck driver," Tripp mused in an effort to both change the subject and lighten the mood. "I never heard him," Ciara argued. "Yeah, well, maybe [that's] because your snoring drowned him out," Tripp countered. "I don't snore!" Ciara defensively insisted while throwing a handful of ketchup-covered fries at Tripp. "I cannot believe you just did that! This is, like, my favorite shirt!" Tripp complained, staring down in disbelief at the stains on the otherwise completely white shirt. "Guess you're just gonna have to take it off," Ciara suggested, shrugging unapologetically.
Tripp complied -- then retaliated, staining Ciara's gray sweater with ketchup. "Guess you're just gonna have to take it off," Tripp suggested, shrugging unapologetically. "Or...I could do this," Ciara countered before flinging ketchup at Tripp's bare chest. The food fight continued until all the food had been thrown, at which point the couple collapsed onto the bed, still covered with ketchup, and began making out and undressing.
Meanwhile, back at the town square, Claire helped Ben fill out a job application. "You've worked in a restaurant before?" Claire asked, surprised. "Yeah, back [when] Doug's Place [was] Club TBD," Ben clarified. "Are you really gonna try to help me get a job here? I mean, I know the whole thing was an excuse --" Ben started to add. "It's a very good excuse that could work in our favor. It'll give us a cover for hanging out while we work out how to break up Tripp and Ciara," Claire reasoned. "You know, I've actually thought a little bit more about that, and, uh...I'm not gonna be any part of that," Ben revealed, stunning Claire.
"I just didn't like the way you lied to [Ciara]. And then I had to back you up, and I really didn't like that. [I mean], it was the first time I've ever lied to her since we met," Ben explained. Scoffing, Claire pointed out that lying wasn't exactly the worst thing Ben had ever done to someone. "I wasn't in my right mind back then, Claire. [Ciara] was the first person that I connected with when my head was on straight. I won her over, [and] she's always gonna be special to me [because of that]. We've been honest completely, from the very start, and what we have is just...pure," Ben clarified. "'Pure' is...great...I guess...but, um, you know, Tripp's the one she's having sex with, and it's gonna stay that way unless we do something about it," Claire bluntly countered. "Yeah, [but] you want to do something dishonest," Ben noted with obvious disapproval.
"They are wrong for each other, okay? And we're gonna help them figure that out. I belong with Tripp, and you belong with Ciara. [Now], are you on board with me or not? [Look], this plan isn't gonna work if you keep going back and forth," Claire stressed. Before Ben could respond, Hope and Rafe approached. "If you're gonna give [Ben] a hard time about sitting here with me --" Claire preemptively began. Interrupting, Hope clarified, "Actually, I...I'd like to apologize. I want to apologize to him." Surprised, Claire rushed off to turn in Ben's job application, leaving Hope and Rafe alone with Ben, who assumed that Hope had lied to get Claire to leave.
"No, I meant it -- I want to apologize to you, Ben, for arresting you on the basis of faulty evidence. It was obviously planted, as you stated, and I am sorry [that] I treated you unfairly," Hope elaborated. "I just want to put the whole thing behind me," Ben suspiciously replied. Hope smiled and thanked Ben for being so gracious about the whole thing. Ben nodded and apprehensively shook Hope's outstretched hand.
Ben watched as Hope walked away with Rafe. "I know that couldn't have been easy," Rafe whispered to Hope. "Worth it, [though]. Next time, he's not gonna see me coming," Hope quietly replied.
Outside the Brady Pub, J.J. suggested to Chad that someone might be trying to make it look like Gabby was back. "Stefan?" Chad guessed. "He definitely benefits...[but] Abigail thinks it's Gabi," J.J. clarified.
Chad found it hard to believe that Gabi was gaslighting Abigail. "It'd be ridiculously cruel," Chad argued. "Yeah, well, remember way back when you and Melanie Jonas were talking about getting married, and Gabi hired that creep Andrew to kidnap Melanie? Well, that was pretty cruel, but Gabi did it," J.J. countered. Chad hadn't forgotten about that but felt confident that Gabi had changed since then.
"We at least owe it to Abigail to keep our minds open to the idea that she might be right," J.J. insisted. "Yeah, but we wouldn't [need to speculate in the first place] if she would just go see a doctor, and she won't, so...I don't know, maybe I'm the one that has to...you know, force [the issue]," Chad countered. "How?" J.J. asked protectively. Chad dodged the question, stating only that Thomas' welfare was just as much of a concern as Abigail's.
At the Horton house, Jennifer received an unexpected -- and unwanted -- visit from Stefan, who wanted to know how Abigail was doing. "My contact at the hospital told me that she wasn't able to meet with Dr. Evans," Stefan explained. "You're spying on her now?" Jennifer asked incredulously. "No, I'm just concerned," Stefan clarified. "Well, Abigail doesn't want any part of you or your concern," Jennifer spat.
"I'm not trying to cause trouble; [I'm simply] worried about Abigail's state of mind," Stefan insisted. "Is she here?" Stefan continued. "No," Jennifer replied. "Then may I come in and ask you a few questions? Please?" Stefan asked. Jennifer gave the request a moment of thought then told Stefan, "I'll make a deal with you -- I will answer every single one of your questions if you [will] stop badgering my daughter."
Stefan disagreed with Jennifer's assessment of the situation but still decided to accept the terms of the deal. "Make it fast," Jennifer demanded as Stefan stepped into the foyer. "Do you know why Abigail didn't go to see Dr. Evans?" Stefan asked. "Because Marlena wasn't feeling up to it yet," Jennifer explained. "She can't see someone else?" Stefan countered. "We suggested that, but Abigail believes that Marlena knows more about her case than any other therapist, so she's willing to wait," Jennifer clarified. "But if she's suffering from DID again --" Stefan began to argue. Interrupting, Jennifer irritably reminded Stefan, "We don't know that!"
Stefan forged ahead, reasoning that it would be best for Abigail's relapse to be confirmed and treated as soon as possible. Jennifer insisted that was Abigail's decision to make. "Unless [Gabby is] the one in control," Stefan countered. "Stefan, this is a really painful subject, and it's really none of your business..." Jennifer tiredly protested. "I understand that, [but] do you think Abigail's alters have come back? [I mean], I already know that [she] has lost periods of time, and she sent me a text message that she doesn't remember sending. [Have] there been any [other] incidents?" Stefan asked. "I am not going to inform on my daughter to you," Jennifer replied.
"So, there have been," Stefan concluded. "Don't you put words in my mouth!" Jennifer snapped. "Hold on -- you and I made a deal here," Stefan reminded Jennifer.
Sighing, Jennifer reluctantly admitted, "Okay, fine, fine -- there was something..." Stefan was delighted when Jennifer revealed that Chad had recently found a dark-haired wig hidden in Abigail's bedroom. Jennifer was quick to repeat the terms of Stefan's end of the deal, hoping to keep Abigail from being exploited. "I wouldn't do that," Stefan insisted. "Oh, really? All of a sudden, you're a man of honor?" Jennifer asked skeptically.
"You don't care about [Abigail]! You [only] care about yourself [and] your sick needs -- at [her] expense! [She] may be sick again, and look at you -- you are thrilled about it!" Jennifer observed, disgusted. "I'm not a monster. I've always thought of Gabby as the true essence of Abigail, and I would never pressure her. It's bad for her, and it's bad for the baby, and whether you like it or not, I am that child's father, and I will be there for Abigail if she needs me," Stefan countered. Jennifer insisted that Abigail's loved ones had the matter covered. "[Now], get out of my house -- [and] out of my daughter's life!" Jennifer demanded, shoving Stefan outside.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Abigail curiously observed that Gabi seemed a bit jumpy. "Sorry -- I just, uh...I want this to go well," Gabi explained while trying to serve Abigail some tea. "I gave up tea and coffee," Abigail revealed. "It's herbal -- no caffeine," Gabi countered. "I wanted to apologize for what happened the other day. And [Chad] told me about finding the wig in your bedroom, [and he said] that you were pretty upset at him, and I just feel like it's...it's all my fault," Gabi continued while waiting for Abigail to drink the tea. Abigail refused to buy Gabi's innocent act. "You knew exactly what you were doing when you told Chad about the text message I supposedly sent to Stefan," Abigail guessed before taking a sip of the tea. "I only told Chad because I was worried about you, and it wasn't until later [that] I realized I was doing exactly what Stefan wanted," Gabi claimed.
"You are too smart to be played by [Stefan]. You're in on the game," Abigail maintained after finishing the tea. "What game?" Gabi asked innocently. "I don't care what you say -- you are not on my side!" Abigail snapped before passing out. "You're catching on way faster than I thought you would...but it's not gonna make a difference," Gabi muttered while fetching the wig. "Time for a little field trip, 'Gabby,'" Gabi added.
At the Horton house, Jennifer filled J.J. in on what had happened during Stefan's earlier visit. Jennifer and J.J. both grew worried after realizing that neither had heard from Abigail recently.
Stefan entered the DiMera mansion and found Abigail passed out on the couch, wearing a dark-haired wig and a Gabi Chic dress. "Gabby?" Stefan asked hopefully.
Chad entered the Kiriakis mansion and found the living room in disarray. Gabi was lying on the floor, pretending to be passed out -- and sporting a self-inflicted head wound, courtesy of the heavy tray on which the tea had been served during Abigail's earlier visit. Chad gently shook Gabi, who made a show of slowly regaining consciousness. "What happened?" Chad asked. "Abigail attacked me," Gabi claimed with a groan of pain.
Sami gets closer to the truth
At the Kiriakis mansion, Gabi spun a dramatic tale for Chad.
"[It wasn't really Abigail who attacked me; it was Gabby]. I just wanted to [apologize] to Abigail about the situation with the text messages and stuff, and I wanted her to know that I didn't mean to cause any trouble, [so I invited her over, and] everything was fine -- we were having tea -- and then...[well], she saw the wig, [because] I forgot that it was sitting out, [and] it just felt like somebody...flipped a switch, and Abigail changed! [And] I yelled out her name, and then she said to me, 'I'm not Abigail; I'm Gabby.' [And then] she said she needed to go see Stefan," Gabi claimed between stunned reactions from Chad.
"[And] I tried to stop her, [and] she got really mad -- she spit in my face; it was horrible -- [so] I moved away quickly, and...oh, and then she -- that's when she really lost it! She came in here, and she started trashing the room, [and] she was yelling horrible things, [and] she started throwing things around, [so] I tried to grab my phone to call you, [and that's when] she hit me over the head with that tray!" Gabi continued.
"I'm sorry -- I know that [this is] a lot to process," Gabi concluded. "Yeah, it is...I mean, assuming it's all true," Chad replied. "You think I'm lying about Gabby attacking me? Why would I do that?" Gabi asked defensively. "Honestly, I'm just -- I'm not sure [about any of this], and I'd like to get Marlena's opinion first," Chad explained with a shrug. Not wanting Marlena to get involved, Gabi stuck to the story and insisted that Chad needed to take action before someone else got hurt. "I'll find her," Chad noncommittally promised. "Okay. [And] you believe me, right?" Gabi asked. "I'll call you when I track her down," Chad evasively replied before exiting the mansion.
Annoyed, Gabi waited until the coast was clear then contacted Kate. "I need to see you. Now," Gabi demanded when Kate answered the call.
A short time later, Kate entered the mansion and joined Gabi in the trashed living room. "Let me guess -- Operation Make Abigail Look Crazy hit a snag," Kate preemptively concluded. "And now Chad thinks I'm a liar," Gabi grumbled. "You are a liar," Kate pointed out. "Whose side are you on?" Gabi irritably countered before proceeding to explain what had happened. Kate couldn't believe that Gabi had gone to such lengths to convince everyone that Gabby was back. "Well, no one will ever accuse you of not being committed..." Kate dryly mused. "What? Don't look at me like that!" Gabi defensively protested.
"[Even after everything I did to sell it, Chad] still doubted my story! I don't understand why!" Gabi complained. "Maybe because you made up that story," Kate suggested, shrugging. "Why should that change anything? He always trusts me!" Gabi argued. "More than he trusts Abigail?" Kate countered. Ignoring Kate's point. Gabi forged ahead. "You know, this is Abigail's fault, as usual! She's the one that's been shooting off her mouth to the entire town, saying that I'm the one setting this whole thing up!" Gabi grumbled. "You are setting this whole thing up," Kate tiredly pointed out.
"Let me get this straight -- you lied to Chad, and now you're offended because he doesn't believe you?" Kate added. Gabi failed to see the irony. "This is just another way of Abigail getting her way, no matter what! This is not good for me! [And] I was the only one that was with Abigail when Gabby supposedly returned, so it's my word against hers!" Gabi fretted. "Heh -- you're never gonna win that battle," Kate predicted. "I know...which is why I need you to back me up," Gabi replied. Kate refused, not wanting to get so directly involved in Gabi's plot. "I have a lot to lose, and I am not putting my neck on the line for this," Kate insisted.
"Kate, your neck is already on the line. I mean, you wouldn't want Chad to find out that you've been disclosing confidential information about Titan to Stefan DiMera..." Gabi countered.
"What has happened to you?" Kate asked Gabi with a shake of the head. "Abigail happened to me," Gabi bitterly replied.
Meanwhile, at the DiMera mansion, Abigail slowly woke up as Stefan continued calling out to Gabby. Abigail groggily reminded Stefan that Gabby was gone for good. "How did I get here? What did you do to me?" Abigail demanded to know. "I didn't do anything to you -- I swear. I walked in here, and I found you like this," Stefan replied. "Like what?" Abigail asked, confused.
"Go to the mirror," Stefan advised. Suspicious, Abigail apprehensively approached the nearby wall-mounted mirror and gasped in horror. "This cannot be happening!" Abigail tearfully fretted. "It is happening!" Stefan excitedly countered. Stefan started trying to communicate with Gabby again, but Abigail firmly maintained that Gabby was gone for good. "I know what I see in front of me," Stefan argued. "And I understand why you don't remember --" Stefan began to add. Interrupting, Abigail insisted, "No, I do remember! [See], I was having tea with..."
"She did this," Abigail suddenly realized with a shake of the head. "Who?" Stefan asked, confused. "[The real] Gabi Hernandez. She set us both up," Abigail clarified.
"How do you expect me to believe that when you're standing here with your wig --" Stefan skeptically began to argue. Interrupting, Abigail stressed, "Because it's true. I'm healthy. This illness almost took everything from me, but I worked really hard to integrate my alters, and I am not going back there -- I don't care how much you want Gabby [back]."
Just then, Chad entered the mansion. "This is not what it looks like," Abigail assured Chad while removing the wig. "Abigail?" Chad asked, confused. "Yes, it's me! It's always been me!" Abigail confirmed. "Then why are you dressed like Gabby?" Chad countered. "Because [the real] Gabi dressed me like --" Abigail began to explain. Interrupting, Chad revealed, "I was just with Gabi, [and] she said that you had attacked her [while] you were having tea." Abigail insisted that wasn't what had happened. "[Gabi's] the only one that says that she's talked to me! This is all fake! [Look], she probably drugged my tea, and then she changed my clothes, [and] she put a wig on me, [and] she drove me over here!" Abigail continued. Stefan stifled a laugh of skepticism, and Chad agreed that Abigail's theory was pretty far-fetched.
"I know that it sounds crazy, [and] I know that it's really hard to believe..." Abigail began, fighting back tears. "I didn't say I didn't believe you," Chad pointed out. Stunned, Abigail breathed a sigh of relief and thanked Chad for being willing to keep an open mind. "I've already had my [own] doubts about Gabi's story, [so] why don't we get to the bottom of it [together]? Let's go see Gabi and find out the truth," Chad told Abigail, who agreed.
Stefan, who had been silently fuming with jealousy during Abigail's moment with Chad, insisted on tagging along for the interrogation. Chad immediately began arguing with Stefan about the matter. Abigail soon interrupted and declared that Stefan could tag along, if only to hear firsthand that Gabby had never actually returned. As the trio exited the mansion together, Kate arrived.
"Do you think that we could, um, talk privately?" Kate asked Chad. "I have some information..." Kate vaguely added. "Go on -- say it," Chad encouraged Kate. "Say it!" Chad impatiently repeated when Kate hesitated.
"I saw, um, Abigail earlier, leaving the Kiriakis mansion, [and] she was dressed [as she is right now], and she was wearing a black wig -- the same [type of] wig she was wearing when she was Gabby. [And] I tried to stop her, [but] she pushed me aside, [and] I dropped my phone, [and] I lost her. [And] I've been driving all over, trying to figure out where she would go, and then I saw her car here in the driveway, so I thought I'd come in," Kate claimed. "I don't remember any of [that]!" Abigail protested. "Because it wasn't you; it was Gabby!" Stefan excitedly countered. "Okay, everyone, now we have confirmation -- she's back!" Stefan added.
Chad struggled to remain calm as Stefan gloated. "Are you sure it was Gabby?" Chad asked Kate. "[Yes]. She was wearing a black wig, [and] she was very aggressive," Kate replied. "Still believe [Gabi's] setting you up, Abigail?" Stefan asked triumphantly. Abigail remained convinced that Gabi couldn't be trusted; however, Abigail couldn't think of any reason to doubt Kate. "[Abigail], I'm sorry to be the bearer of such bad news, [but] I saw [Gabby] with my own two eyes. We all remember what you did before, [and now] you've already hurt two people, [so] you need to get help...before someone really gets hurt," Kate insisted.
Meanwhile, at the Kiriakis mansion, Gabi breathed a sigh of relief and mused, "Thank God that Kate came to her senses. [Now] Chad will have no choice but to believe [my story] -- and no one's gonna believe Abigail."
At Sarah's apartment in Nashville, Xander emerged from the bathroom, wearing only a towel, and caught Nicole sending text messages to someone. "What are you up to?" Xander asked suspiciously. "I was...texting with Sarah -- [you know], just letting her know everything's fine here," Nicole claimed. "Oh, good, [because] for a second there, I thought maybe you were communicating with Eric," Xander replied.
Nicole -- who, of course, had been communicating with Eric moments earlier -- assured Xander that there was no reason to worry about that because the stakes were too high. "[That's right], my lovely wife -- I hold all the cards," Xander agreed before starting to get dressed. Eric lurked outside the apartment with an ear pressed against the door, impatiently waiting for Xander to say goodbye to Nicole.
Eric soon received a phone call from Sami. "Where are you?" Eric asked quietly, stepping away from Sarah's apartment door. "I wasn't about to sit around and do nothing, [so] I spent the night canvassing the neighborhood, and it finally paid off. [Apparently], a woman matching Kristen's description was seen leaving this creepy motel room yesterday, [so I've been waiting] for housekeeping to change shifts so that I could search the room," Sami explained. Sighing, Eric warned Sami, "If you want to help me follow Xander, you better get over to Nicole's right away, 'cause if you're not here [when Xander leaves], I'm leaving without you."
As Sami ended the call, someone else entered Brady and Kristen's motel room. Sami was alarmed at first but breathed a sigh of relief after realizing that it was just the manager. "I'm looking for my friend. [See], I think that she was here yesterday. Her name is Kristen DiMera," Sami explained. "Never heard of her," the man insisted. "She might have checked in under a false name. She does that sometimes -- she's kind of famous," Sami continued. "What's she famous for?" the man asked curiously. "Being a bitch," Sami muttered. "What?" the man replied. "She's an actress," Sami said instead. "Movies?" the man guessed. "Yeah, she's great. She always plays the bad girl [who's] causing trouble," Sami confirmed while producing a picture of Kristen. "Yeah, she was here yesterday. [So], is the guy [who was] with her famous, too?" the man wondered.
Intrigued, Sami excitedly produced a picture of E.J. "Him?" Sami asked. "Uh...you know, I think I already said too much..." the man replied. "No, please, you have to help me! [This] is my husband!" Sami protested, making the man even more uncomfortable. "No, I didn't mean it like that! I don't think he's cheating! [He's] Kristen's brother," Sami clarified. The man took a look at the picture of E.J. then told Sami, "[That's] not him. [And] the guy she was with [was] definitely not her brother. Those two couldn't keep their hands off each other." Confused, Sami bribed the man to secure the opportunity to search the motel room for clues.
At Kristen and Xander's lair, Brady woke up, still tied to a chair, and saw that Kristen was back. "You came back [because] you still love me," Brady assumed. "Because it's time to say goodbye," Kristen cryptically clarified.
Concerned, Brady tried to reason with Kristen, who still felt betrayed. "I did not betray you!" Brady insisted. "[Look], if you want to be upset [with me] for wanting to help my sister find E.J., fine, [but that] has nothing to do with the way we feel about each other. [And] at the end of the day, Kristen, all we have is each other. I lost my son, and my family is gonna side with Eric over me, [so] I don't have anything left...[except] you, [and] you're enough for me," Brady continued. "Do you know how long I've fought my feelings for you? [I did that because] I was afraid of the way I felt about you, and what that would mean for my life, [but] you were right [when you said that] we belong together. We work. We click. We want the same thing -- we always have -- and we've always been willing to do whatever we need to do to make it happen," Brady concluded.
"Yeah, and we could have had it, [but] you put Sami before me!" Kristen snapped. "Sami's my sister!" Brady explained with a shrug. "And E.J. is my brother -- [in fact], he's the only real family I have left!" Kristen countered. "Fine, then we'll take him with us," Brady suggested. Scoffing, Kristen guessed, "Even now, you're scamming me [to try to] get information! [And] that is why I [have to] say goodbye."
"But you're not gonna kill me?" Brady asked. "No. I could never do that," Kristen admitted. "But you will never see the outside world again," Kristen added. "What, you're just gonna leave me here?" Brady incredulously concluded. "You have given me no choice, Brady. [I mean], I can't trust you anymore. [And since] no one knows about this place except Xander, and he hates your guts..." Kristen explained, shrugging.
"Goodbye," Kristen said before giving Brady one last kiss. "I will always love you," Kristen added before leaving the room.
Kristen went to the patient's room and tried to get another reaction out of him, but nothing worked. "What the hell? Come on, you're supposed to be better by now! [I mean], he said you'd be up and around by now! What is taking so long?" Kristen complained. "Damn you, Rolf! You brought back Will with no problem!" Kristen shouted at the ceiling before focusing on the patient again. "I can't do this alone! You have to fight! Fight, damn it!" Kristen begged, getting emotional. "I need to do something...[and] fast..." Kristen added in a whisper.
Outside, Eric discreetly watched as Xander entered the building. Sami soon joined Eric, not making much of an effort to be stealthy. Eric started to follow Xander into the building, but Sami insisted that Eric needed to hear something first because it was important. "Remember I told you how I found the motel that Kristen was staying in? The manager told me that she was with a man, [but it wasn't E.J.] -- it was Brady. [I know because] I found his bag [in the motel room, and] it had his luggage tag on it," Sami elaborated. "What if Brady's been working with Kristen this entire time?" Sami added. "Son of a bitch," Eric muttered, scowling.
Meanwhile, Xander joined Brady and wondered where Kristen was hiding. "I don't know, Xander. I assume she went to go check on, uh...E.J.?" Brady replied, clearly fishing for confirmation of the patient's identity. "Never assume," Xander evasively countered. Resisting the urge to kill Brady, Xander headed off in search of Kristen. Once the coast was clear, Brady began trying to break free from the chair.
Xander soon found Kristen in the patient's room. "Hey, boss. Something I can help you with?" Xander asked. "Leave [the patient] to me. Right now, I want you to take care of Brady," Kristen replied. Xander was excited at first, but Kristen irritably clarified, "No, you can't [kill him]! Just...take him out of the building somewhere. Just...stash him where I can't see his face."
Xander wondered why Kristen wasn't willing to get rid of Brady permanently. "Do not ask me any more questions! We have no time to lose!" Kristen stressed. "You're the boss," Xander conceded.
After Xander left the room, Kristen focused on the patient again. "I have waited so long for you to come around!" Kristen grumbled, getting emotional again. "Time to take drastic action..." Kristen decided.
Meanwhile, Eric and Sami entered the building and began looking around. They soon found the morgue-like room, which was otherwise unoccupied.
"Looks like somebody was being held prisoner [here]," Eric observed, gesturing toward an empty chair that still had thick pieces of rope attached to it. "E.J.!" Sami guessed hopefully. Sami insisted on searching the rest of the building for E.J. while Eric was busy searching the morgue-like room for the recording of Nicole's confession. "Be careful," Eric urged Sami. "I don't really do 'careful,' but I will call you if I need you," Sami replied.
Eric soon found a locked desk drawer -- and a set of keys, which had conveniently been left on the desk. He unlocked the drawer then opened it and immediately spotted a recording device hidden inside. He turned on the device and breathed a sigh of relief as the recording of Nicole's confession began playing.
Nicole was packing for an eventual escape with Eric when someone knocked on the apartment door. Nicole excitedly rushed over to the door and opened it, expecting to see Eric. "Honey, I'm home!" Xander exclaimed.
As Sami searched Kristen and Xander's lair, Eric lay unconscious on the floor of the morgue-like room. Sami eventually found a door that had a sign on it that read, "E.D."
"This has to be where they're keeping E.J.!" Sami concluded before turning the doorknob and stepping into the room.
Xander tells Nicole she can say goodbye to Eric before he kills him
In their hotel room, Bonnie and Mimi argued about the baby. Mimi was anxious to get her daughter back. "All cons can't be great ones. I'm sorry, honey," Bonnie said. Mimi argued that it was time for Bonnie to tell the truth so that Mimi could get her daughter back. Bonnie begged Mimi to give her more time.
"You're making me choose between you and my little girl. You know what I have to do," Mimi said. "Yes, I do, because I chose my little girl. I took the rap when she killed her father," Bonnie said. Bonnie added that she would make sure the police knew the whole truth if Mimi insisted on telling the police about the baby. Mimi told Bonnie she did not believe that Bonnie would turn her in.
Through tears, Bonnie said she had, always loved Mimi although she had not always been good at showing it. Bonnie admitted that she had spent her life surviving instead of putting her children first. When Mimi suggested that Bonnie should put someone else first for once, Bonnie asked Mimi to think about how much Bonnie had suffered in her life. With a groan, Mimi agreed to go along with Bonnie's plan a little longer. Worried about the case, Bonnie noted that they needed a good lawyer.
At Doug's Place, a contented Belle talked about Marlena's progress. Chloe told Belle she was glad to hear the news. Talk turned to Xander, and Belle and Chloe said they were hoping the police would catch the fugitive soon. When Belle asked about Chloe's life, Lucas walked in with baby Bonnie. With wide eyes, Belle said, "Clearly, I've missed a lot."
"We have a baby, but it's not ours," Lucas said. Lucas explained the situation with Bonnie Lockhart to Belle. "I'm gonna sue for sole custody," Lucas said. Belle warned Lucas that Bonnie would not go down without a fight. Chloe chimed in that Mimi wanted to fight, too. Belle was surprised that Mimi was in town. Chloe told Belle that Mimi had mentioned the Holly situation. With a grimace, Belle apologized for telling Mimi about Holly's custody fight.
"It's hard for me sometimes because I love you and I love Mimi, and I just don't want to get caught in the middle," Belle said. Belle said goodbye to Lucas and Chloe and left. As Belle walked out of the restaurant, her phone rang. Mimi called and asked to meet up with Belle.
In Nashville, Nicole paced her apartment. There was a knock at the door. Hopeful to see Eric, Nicole rushed to answer the door. It was Xander. "Hoping to see someone else?" Xander asked. "Who else would I be expecting but you, my loving husband," Nicole grumbled. Xander said he had dealt with Eric. Xander waggled an electronic tape recorder in front of Nicole's face. Worried, Nicole asked Xander what he had done to Eric.
"Your true love is still alive. I wanted to put him out of his misery, but I wasn't sure what brilliant plan you two had cooked up, so I needed to rush back here to make sure you didn't disappear," Xander said. Xander noted that Nicole had clearly packed in anticipation of leaving town with Eric. Xander stroked Nicole's face with his hand.
"For you, our marriage was just a business transaction. To me? Those vows are real. I promised to be with you until death us do part. Is it really that time already?" Xander asked. Nicole reminded Xander that Holly was in the next room. With a grin, Xander said he did not want to hurt Nicole. Xander urged Nicole to pack up and get ready to leave. Xander told Nicole he would let her say goodbye to Eric before he killed him.
"If you hurt Eric, I will never forgive you," Nicole stressed. Xander countered that Nicole would never be his true wife unless Eric was out of the picture. Nicole ran her hand across Xander's face gently. "You will learn to love me, and if not, I will be forced to destroy your life, too," Xander said as he held up the recorder.
After packing, Xander escorted Nicole and Holly to Kristen's facility. Nicole reached into the stroller, and a jumpy Xander grabbed her arm. Nicole pointed out that she was retrieving Holly's water bottle. Xander opened the door to the lab. While Xander's back was turned, Nicole slammed her metal water bottle onto Xander's head, knocking him unconscious. Nicole fished the recorder out of his back pocket.
At the Brady Pub, Bonnie complained to herself about her lack of funds. Roman walked over and asked Bonnie to take a seat. Bonnie said she was on her way to a meeting. "Well, you do own a paper," Roman said. With a twinkle in her eye, Bonnie asked if she could put her breakfast on a tab. Roman agreed.
"Almost like you're eating for two," Roman said as he carried out two plates of food. When Bonnie chuckled and reached out for the food, Roman raised a suspicious eyebrow. "You're not Adrienne. You're Bonnie Lockhart. Just get the hell out of here," Roman said. Bonnie grabbed her purse and ran out of the pub.
At the Salem Inn, Belle met up with Mimi. Belle asked Mimi about the baby. "I want you to fight [Lucas]. I want you to represent my mother," Mimi said. Belle pointed out that Lucas was family and that Chloe was her friend. "Apparently, Chloe just loves to play mommy with other people's kids," Mimi grumbled. Belle said she did not want to get between two of her friends. Belle added that Bonnie should not have custody. When Mimi yelled that the baby should be with her mother, Belle asked Mimi if she truly believed that.
"Yes. Because that baby's mine," Mimi blurted out. Mimi explained Bonnie's plan. Belle noted the plan did not make sense. Reluctantly, Mimi confessed that she had killed her father by accident in order to protect Bonnie. Mimi explained that Bonnie had threatened to tell the police the truth about the murder if Mimi did not go along with the plan to pass off Mimi's baby as Lucas' child. Belle agreed to help Mimi if she told her the whole truth.
"Lucas is related to the real father," Mimi explained. "Please, tell me it's not Philip's," Belle said. Grossed out, Mimi said Philip was not the father. With a chuckle, Belle said, "Oh. The baby's father is..." "Bingo," Mimi said.
In the square, Lucas fussed over baby Bonnie as Chloe smiled. Chloe noted that she was lucky to have Lucas in her life. Bonnie walked into the square and walked over to the baby. Lucas warned Bonnie that she was violating a restraining order. With an eye roll, Bonnie reminded Lucas that she was walking in a public square. Lucas scowled and pushed the stroller away. Bonnie stopped Chloe and asked her to talk. Bonnie asked Chloe to help her end the custody case. Chloe said she wanted what was best for the baby.
"Just because Mimi picked on you in school doesn't mean you have to punish her now," Bonnie complained. "What does this have to do with Mimi?" Chloe asked suspiciously. Bonnie lied and said it would mean the loss of a baby sister. Flustered, Bonnie rushed off.
At the Brady Pub, Roman was cleaning up a table when a familiar face walked in the door. "Hey, Dad," Rex said. "Rex," Roman said with a smile.
At Kristen's morgue facility, Eric and Sami looked for evidence of E.J. Eric found a photo on a desk of Xander with Nicole. Sami told Eric to look for the recording while she searched for E.J. Eric was reluctant to let his sister go off on her own, but Sami could not be stopped. The siblings wished each other well.
After Sami ran off to search the other rooms, Eric broke into a desk and found Nicole's recorded confession. Eric listened to it.
Sami wandered the corridors until she found the room with "E.D." on the door. Sami burst into the room. There was no one there. Brady entered the room and startled Sami. Brady informed Sami that she was too late. Eager for news about E.J., Sami asked Brady if he could confirm that E.J. was alive. Brady explained that he had seen someone but had not been able to confirm it was E.J. Sami yelled that she had found Brady and Kristen's "love nest."
"How could you do it? How could you work with that crazy bitch?" Sami asked. Brady explained that he had cozied up to Kristen so that he could determine if Kristen had information about E.J. Sami told Brady that she wanted to believe him but that she was reluctant to listen after what Brady had done to Eric. Brady admitted that what he had done to Eric was awful and that he felt terrible.
"When have you been team Nicole, by the way?" Brady asked. "Never! I can't stand that baby-stealing tramp. I don't want her with Eric," Sami said. Sami added that Brady had crossed the line by blackmailing Nicole. When Sami mentioned that Eric and Nicole were back together, Brady offered to help them by continuing to work with Kristen.
"Where is E.J.?" Sami asked. Brady said he did not know. Sami lost her temper. As Sami ranted about Brady's betrayal, Brady interrupted to stress that he would not stand between Sami and E.J. Brady argued that he had not learned anything concrete about Kristen yet. Brady told Sami about the man in the wheelchair and that he had not seen the man's face. Brady noted that the build of the man in the chair had been similar to E.J.'s body. With a groan, Brady explained that Xander had knocked him out before he could identify the man in the chair for certain.
Sami asked what had happened after Brady had woken up. With a furrowed brow, Brady said he had returned to the room later, but the man in the chair had been gone. With a nod, Sami recounted that Stefan had said E.J. was in a private facility, and this was likely the complex.
"We just have to find where he is," Sami argued. Brady noted that the facility had many rooms. As Brady reached into his pocket, he realized that he had keys. Sami grabbed the keys then locked Brady in the room as she ran away.
Brady begged for Sami to let him out. Brady argued that Sami needed his help to check all the rooms. Sami refused and noted that she did not trust Brady. With an apology, Sami ran off.
Down the hallway, Eric lay on the floor, unconscious. Kristen stood over Eric. "Look what the cat dragged in," Kristen muttered. "I guess Xander took care of Brady. Which means we have other company," Kristen said. When Eric woke up, Kristen asked him if he was looking for Nicole's taped confession. Kristen explained that Xander was her employee. With a grin, Kristen told Eric that Brady was in town.
"Brady's here? I didn't know that. I need to talk to him," Eric said. "He is temporarily indisposed," Kristen purred. Kristen explained that Brady had been unable to fight his feelings for her. "I am the only person in the world who accepts and loves Brady for exactly who he is," Kristen said. Eric argued that Brady was drowning in guilt and that if Kristen let Eric escape, Brady might be able to forgive himself.
"I really do admire your devotion, Eric. You're better than this, though. You deserve someone much better. You ask me, she and Xander deserve each other," Kristen said. Eric argued that Kristen understood what it was like to fight for love.
"Nicole is my soul mate. She is my heart. She is my everything. That's why I need to get to her," Eric said. Kristen asked Eric if he was asking her to let him go "in the name of love."
"If that is the case, are you rooting for Brady and I?" Kristen asked. Eric said no. Eric urged Kristen to let him go so that Kristen could concentrate on Brady and her work. "You're going to have to let Nicole take care of Xander on her own," Kristen said. Eric told Kristen that it was not too late for redemption.
"My salvation has got to be another day," Kristen said. Kristen argued that she needed Xander's help with an important project. Eric asked what Kristen had done. Kristen cryptically said that Xander needed her help transporting precious cargo. "Are you talking about E.J.?" Eric asked. "Among others," Kristen responded.
Down the hallway, Nicole crept into the facility with her baby. Nicole opened a room and called out Eric's name. Nicole opened up several rooms, but each room was empty. Nicole found several locked doors with labels reading, "A.V.," "V.A.," "A.D." "S.D.," and "W.R." Nicole cried out Eric's name in frustration.