At the police station, Hope wrapped up a phone conversation with Rafe then informed Ben that Jordan was en route to Bayview.
"I don't understand what could have made her snap like that," Ben admitted with a sigh and a shake of the head. "I wish I had the opportunity to talk to her and just ask her why..." Ben began to add before suddenly sensing that Hope already knew the answer to that question. "Tell me? Please?" Ben asked, prompting Hope to apologetically recap everything that Jordan had shared with Rafe earlier.
"[So], all these years, she's [been] convincing herself [that our mother's death] was an accident...and then the second car accident happens, and she just remembers what really happened?" Ben incredulously summarized at the end of the tale, fighting back tears. "[And starts] to lose touch with reality," Hope quietly confirmed. "[And becomes] fixated on the idea of protecting people -- from me," Ben elaborated.
"Maybe she's right. Maybe I just need to be locked away," Ben conceded with a shrug of uncertainty, thinking about what had happened at the hospital earlier. "You were fighting like hell to save Ciara's life," Hope dismissively argued. "You're trying to let me off the hook?" Ben asked, stunned. "Ever since I came back here, you've been the one to tell me that I haven't changed and that I couldn't change, and I'm here to tell you right now that maybe you're right!" Ben added. "And I am telling you [the same thing] I told Ciara this morning -- that I have been wrong about a lot of things...[including] you," Hope replied.
"I really thought that you had taken my daughter and Charlotte, and I believed that you started that [other] fire...but I don't believe that -- not any longer," Hope continued, stunning Ben again. "I was wrong -- I was wrong on all three counts -- and...I'm sorry. I am sorry, [Ben]. Truly. For everything that I have put you through," Hope concluded. "What the hell changed your mind?" Ben asked curiously. "Jordan," Hope replied.
"I don't know if I'll ever be 100%...okay...with you being with my daughter, but you did save her life, and for that, I'll always be grateful, so...I am going to recommend to the, uh, new D.A. not to pursue charges against you for escaping custody and for what happened to Jordan, [which means] you're a free man, Ben," Hope added, gesturing to the nearest exit. "Thank you," Ben replied, breathing a sigh of relief.
Hope nodded in response, and Ben turned and walked out of the police station in a bit of a daze, still struggling to process what had just happened.
At the hospital, Claire confidently assured Ciara and Tripp that Jordan and Ben had each started only one of the three fires that had occurred at the cabin. Ciara took that to mean that Claire knew who had started the fire that had not yet been linked to anyone. "I did it! I set [that] fire! I tried to kill you!" Claire admitted, stunning Ciara and Tripp. "[And when you survived, I thought I'd be able to] live with the constant reminder of what I did, but I can't do it anymore!" Claire added. "How did you figure out [where] Ciara was?" Tripp asked. "Same way [the police] did -- when [she] turned on her phone, my laptop picked up her location," Claire explained.
"Look, I really was gonna save you -- I promise," Claire assured Ciara, recalling that the original plan had been to reap the benefits of a heroic act -- benefits that often included worldwide fame. "[But] something about [walking] into the cabin and [seeing that] your leg was hurt... [I don't know] -- you just looked so helpless, and something just came over me, [and suddenly I] saw how to get you out of my way...for good," Claire explained.
"All of these thoughts just started racing through my head -- [thoughts] about how you always took things away from me, like that stupid Bella contest that meant nothing to you and everything to me. You know, if I had won that contest, I would have been able to have a singing career. [And] if you had not entered that contest, then I wouldn't have had to rig it, and Theo wouldn't have dumped me, [since he only did that because he] always liked to take your side about everything, even though I was his girlfriend, and I was the one who really loved him," Claire elaborated before turning from Ciara to Tripp.
"[And right] before I got Ciara's location, I kissed you, [and] I told you that I was falling for you, [and] you said that you only wanted to be with [her]. You just totally rejected me," Claire reminded Tripp. "[So], I wasn't thinking straight [that night]; I was angry, and I was hurt, and I couldn't stand the thought of losing to her one more time," Claire added before turning to face Ciara again.
"[So, I picked] up Ben's lighter, [and] before I really knew what was happening, I was lighting the whole cabin on fire...[and] then I just walked away," Claire recalled. "When I was about halfway to my car, I realized what I had done, [so I went back]...but you had already been saved [by then]," Claire continued while managing to produce a single tear, the timing of which seemed to suggest bitterness instead of regret. "So, I just ran out of there as fast as I could, and then, uh, the next morning, when Grandma Julie called me, I just...I pretended to be very, very surprised [to hear about what had happened]," Claire concluded with a shrug.
"I can't believe this," Ciara admitted with a shake of the head. "You little bitch! What the hell is wrong with you?" Tripp snapped while angrily shaking Claire.
"Claire?" Tripp said while gently shaking Claire. "You haven't said a word the whole time we've been standing here," Tripp pointed out. "Sorry -- I was just...thinking..." Claire replied, snapping back to reality.
"[We were just saying] that it must've been Jordan who set [that other] fire," Tripp explained. "Yeah, you're right -- it must've been Jordan," Claire agreed.
Tripp and Claire soon left -- and a short time later, Ciara received a visit from Hope, who was surprised to learn that Ben hadn't returned yet. "We had a nice talk [earlier], and then he left, and I thought...well, I thought for sure he would come here to see you," Hope explained, somewhat confused. "Wonder where he went..." Ciara replied with a shrug.
Meanwhile, at the park, Ben struggled to block out constant memories of his earlier attempt to kill his sister.
At the Salem Inn, Eve informed Jack that the first mayoral debate was going to be televised later that day. "It'll be the perfect opportunity to expose that Melinda Trask has been lying about the fact that her little sister is an undocumented immigrant. [That] won't just be a 'temporary setback' for her; it'll be permanent. [And once she's out of the way, we can] go after Abe," Eve cheerfully added while applying makeup.
"You are one scary woman," Jack observed with a shake of the head. "[I mean], you are really something. You can just sit there, putting on lipstick, [while] casually talking about destroying people's lives," Jack added, clearly awestruck -- and not necessarily in a good way. "Lucky for you, [this 'scary woman' is] Team Jack -- Team Mayor Jack," Eve replied with a wicked grin, but Jack wasn't amused.
"Haley's really gonna get hurt with all of this. Do you really think we should just ship her off to China so I can be mayor?" Jack asked incredulously. "I'm sure her hotshot sister will pull the appropriate strings," Eve dismissively argued. "Yeah? And what about J.J.? How's he gonna react when he finds out that I betrayed his trust for my own personal gain?" Jack wondered. "He might be angry for a while, but he will come to understand that you were just trying to protect him," Eve predicted, adding that Jack needed to stop overthinking things. "[In other words]...you do the thinking, and I just do what you say," Jack knowingly summarized.
Jack wanted to at least give J.J. the courtesy of a warning, but Eve insisted that would ruin the element of surprise, since J.J. would warn Haley, who would warn Trask, who would then be prepared for a confrontation during the mayoral debate. Jack sarcastically agreed that it was vitally important to cause the maximum amount of damage to the maximum number of people for the maximum level of dramatic effect. "[As if] I haven't [already] hurt enough people around here," Jack added. "All right -- let's just go to the debate tonight, [and] if you feel uncomfortable, and you can't go through with any of this, then we'll just forget all about it," Eve reluctantly conceded.
"It's completely up to you," Eve sweetly promised. "All right -- let's go, then," Jack agreed after a moment of thought.
Jennifer went to J.J.'s apartment and knocked on the door while calling out a greeting.
J.J. and Haley stopped kissing and shared a quiet, awkward laugh with each other. "She has to go away at some point," J.J. whispered to Haley as Jennifer continued knocking. "[You can't ignore] your mom," Haley argued in an equally hushed tone, dodging J.J.'s attempt to restart what had just been interrupted. J.J. sighed and reluctantly conceded the point. "Be right there!" J.J. called out to Jennifer.
J.J. opened the apartment door after donning a shirt that had been removed seconds before Jennifer's arrival. "I can come back..." Jennifer began to offer, realizing that J.J. wasn't alone. "No, no, no -- stay," J.J. replied, trying to act and sound casual. Haley stifled a laugh as J.J.'s voice cracked, ruining the performance. "What's going on?" J.J. asked, relieved that Jennifer seemed oblivious. "I came over because I [have] some pictures for you that Doug took at the wedding," Jennifer explained while producing an envelope. J.J. was surprised that Doug had gotten the pictures printed so quickly -- and that people still printed pictures in the smartphone era.
Jennifer noted that the pictures made it quite clear that J.J. was getting along well with Jack. "[Seems like] he's really trying...at least with you," Jennifer added with a hint of sadness. J.J. optimistically predicted that Jennifer's relationship with Jack would improve eventually, but Jennifer doubted that Eve would ever allow that to happen. "[Anyway], I need to get going, because I am the moderator for the mayoral debate tonight," Jennifer announced, eager to change the subject. "And I know that I have to be impartial, but just between us, I really hope that Abe Carver mops the floor with Melinda Trask, because that woman is a monster," Jennifer spat.
After Jennifer left, J.J. apologized to Haley, who dismissed the concern. "[Your mom] doesn't know [she's talking about] my sister -- [and] that's the way it has to be," Haley reasoned with a shrug. "The way it has to be sucks," J.J. insisted. "Yeah...[but] if anybody finds out that she has an undocumented sister, there goes her chance of being mayor, [so] I get it," Haley replied. "'Cause that's what matters -- the election," J.J. grumbled. "That's why she freaked out when I told you the truth...[but] I promised her that you would never [say] anything to anyone," Haley continued, ignoring J.J.'s outrage. J.J. squirmed and nodded as Haley spoke.
"[Anyway], mind if we, uh, watch the debate tonight?" Haley asked J.J. "I can't be there in person, and it's a really big night for my sister," Haley explained. "[And] maybe after [it's over], we could, uh, pick up from where we left off [earlier]," Haley suggestively added. "Debates never go into overtime, do they?" J.J. excitedly wondered before fetching two bottles of beer from the refrigerator and tuning the television to the appropriate channel.
At the Horton Town Square, Abe greeted Sheila, who was disappointed to see that he was wearing dress shoes. He defensively argued that they were perfectly appropriate for the occasion, but she dismissively insisted that he should have instead worn the sneakers she had recently bought him, since they would have given him some "street cred" to go along with the "establishment" statement he was making with the rest of his ensemble.
Abe soon received a phone call from Valerie. "What happened?" Sheila asked after Abe ended the call with a sigh. "There's a snowstorm in D.C., and Valerie's flight was canceled, so she's going to miss the debate," Abe explained. "And Lani and Eli have to work, so it's looking pretty grim for me, not having support for the debate," Abe added. "Should've worn the sneakers. [I mean], I told you they were good luck," Sheila pointed out.
Sheila assured Abe that he would still have at least one supporter at the debate. "[Yeah, because if] I lose the election, you lose your job," he concluded for her. "[No] -- because I really believe in you," she clarified with a shrug before starting to walk away so he could have some private time to get ready for the debate. "Sheila..." he began, stopping her. "Obviously, we're not compatible..." he continued. "Ya think?" she agreed. "But I'm getting used to you, [and] I'm realizing that you care about the things that I care about, and...maybe the fact that we're not alike makes us a good team," he concluded. "Tell me something I don't know," she replied.
Just then, Trask approached and observed that Abe and Sheila both seemed to be in a good mood. "Trust me -- after the debate, you're not gonna have anything to smile about," Trask confidently added.
Jennifer soon interrupted to find out if either Abe or Trask had any questions about how the mayoral debate was going to be conducted. "I just have one -- how did you get assigned to be our moderator?" Trask demanded to know, recalling that Jennifer had once worked as Abe's campaign publicist. "I'm a journalist. I know how to be objective," Jennifer defensively replied. "I find that doubtful...but it doesn't matter, [because] I'm not afraid of liberal bias," Trask countered, sneering at Jennifer. "Good luck, 'Mayor Carver' -- you're gonna need it," Trask said to Abe as they headed off in opposite directions to finish getting ready for the debate.
While waiting, Jennifer did a quick scan of the gathered crowd -- and almost immediately spotted Jack and Eve. "What are you two doing here?" Jennifer asked. "Oh, I'm sorry -- I thought the debate was open to the public," Eve replied. "Even though Jack was squeezed out of the race, we're still very interested in the issues," Eve added. "Yes, because you've always been so civic-minded..." Jennifer sarcastically countered.
A short time later, the debate began, with Abe winning the coin toss that determined which candidate would be speaking first. "[My sister] hates losing anything -- even a coin toss," Haley said with a groan while watching the debate from J.J.'s apartment. "I'm gonna talk to her after this. I think she definitely needs to smile more," Haley added. "Smiling once would be smiling 'more,'" J.J. dryly noted. "Be nice," Haley protested.
After Abe finished making an opening statement, Trask began speaking -- and was quick to inform everyone that Xander Cook was still a free man, despite having shot and nearly killed Dr. Marlena Evans a few months earlier, because crucial evidence had been lost on Abe's watch. When given a chance to respond to the accusation, Abe admitted that it was true and tried to take full responsibility for it, prompting Sheila to interrupt. "It was all my fault. Cook isn't just a murderer [but also] a con artist, and I fell for [his act]," Sheila clarified before attempting to resign. "Thank you, Ms. Watkins, for your offer...[but] I do not accept your resignation," Abe insisted. "We're only human. Mistakes happen," Abe reasoned with a shrug.
"How do you know this was a mistake? Ms. Watkins is a convicted felon, [and] you've given her access to highly sensitive materials! Who's to say that she wasn't just helping out a fellow ex-con?" Trask argued. "I am not surprised that you are willing to throw out baseless accusations; [after all], during your tenure as district attorney, you made a habit of rushing to judgment. That's why you kept prosecuting innocent people, and that's why you ended up with a conviction rate that can only be called dismal. You never took the time to do your due diligence, because you were only interested in the win, [and] something tells me that this bid for mayor is no different -- that you are in this for all the wrong reasons," Abe countered.
J.J. raved that Abe was definitely winning the debate, but Haley argued that Trask was doing just as well.
Trask soon started blaming Abe for something else -- Chloe Lane's recent attack at the hands of a Mexican drug lord's henchmen -- and Eve seized the opportunity to ask Trask to comment on immigration, ignoring Jennifer's request to hold questions until the end of the debate. Trask irritably repeated Jennifer's request, wording it in a much more forceful way. "You're not in court! You can't just bark out orders here!" Jack snapped, springing to Eve's defense. "A citizen has asked a question of a candidate, and you damn well better answer it -- both of you! What is your position on immigration? Or, more specifically...what do you think about illegal immigration?" Jack continued as Eve happily stepped aside.
"Oh, God..." J.J. said with a groan. "You told him?" Haley asked incredulously.
"I believe that's more of a federal issue," Abe replied. "Okay, well, Ms. Trask, your campaign literature paints a very scary picture of Salem being threatened by an 'influx' of criminals, so clearly you think it's actually a very local issue," Jack continued. "Well, I certainly think that there are cases --" Trask carefully began to reply. "Yes or no -- do you think illegal immigration is a threat to the people of Salem?" Jack impatiently demanded to know. "Yes, I do," Trask reluctantly admitted. "And you would take a firm stance against it?" Jack assumed. "Of course," Trask confirmed. "Interesting...considering the fact that your very own sister is an illegal immigrant, and she lives right here in Salem," Jack dramatically revealed.
Eve smiled triumphantly as everyone in the town square reacted to Jack's unexpected announcement, which had left Trask speechless.
J.J. released a scoff of disbelief then looked up from the television and realized that Haley was crying.
Eve relishes the chaos of Jack's announcement
At the Kiriakis mansion, Gabi entered the living room and greeted Brady, who had just turned off the television in disgust after seeing the stunt that Eve and Jack had pulled during the mayoral debate.
"Ari wanted to thank you for her goodnight kiss," Gabi said. "She needs the extra love, now that Will and Sonny are in jail," Gabi added with a sigh.
Brady optimistically predicted that Will and Sonny would be released soon enough, prompting Gabi to grumble that the couple never should have been locked up in the first place. Brady nodded in agreement but was quick to admit to being concerned not only about what Leo's accusation could do to Will and Sonny but also about what it could do to Titan. Gabi dismissively insisted that Titan would probably be okay because Brady seemed to know a lot about the fine art of damage control. "A compliment from the competition? I like that!" Brady admitted, pleasantly surprised. "Not anymore, actually -- Stefan fired me," Gabi clarified.
Brady was speechless at first but quickly recovered and conceded that firing an employee out of spite was exactly the sort of thing that Stefan would do. "I can't believe that Chloe's living [with that] dirt bag!" Brady complained. "I had heard that he saved her life, but...she moved into the DiMera mansion?" Gabi asked incredulously. "She did. [He] somehow convinced [her that's] the only place where she's going to be safe," Brady bitterly confirmed. Gabi confidently predicted that Chloe would see Stefan's true colors soon enough, but Brady feared that might not happen until it was already too late for Chloe to emerge from the situation unscathed.
At the DiMera mansion, Chloe entered the living room and saw that Stefan was sitting at the chess table, carefully applying superglue to a broken queen.
"Picking up the pieces?" Chloe observed. "I'm trying...but sometimes, things that are broken can't be fixed," Stefan replied with a sigh. "Well, whatever made you break these in the first place [the other night], I didn't want to bother you [about it then...and] if you'd rather be alone now, [too], I can go..." Chloe offered. "No -- stay," Stefan requested, gesturing to the unoccupied chair at the chess table.
Chloe walked over to the bar and filled two glasses with whiskey. "So, you told me once that you came to Salem to get to know your family..." Chloe began, joining Stefan at the chess table and handing over one of the glasses. "Oh, yes -- the, um...the conversation at Doug's Place, after Chad and I almost pummeled each other to death...again," Stefan recalled with a bitter laugh. "Yeah... [Anyway], I don't understand why you've done some of the things that you've done, but I do know what it's like to want to be a part of a family -- and what it's like to lose someone you love," Chloe gently continued.
"Everything I wanted when I came to Salem, [like] a family, [and] a woman who loved me, [and] a child -- it all fell apart [so quickly]. My mother was murdered, [and] I lost that woman who loved me [and] a child that I thought was mine..." Stefan said with a sigh. "[And] a brother," Stefan added. "I thought you hated Chad," Chloe argued, confused. "He's still my brother," Stefan reasoned, shrugging.
"And Abigail -- Gabby... I really loved her," Stefan quietly stressed. "You were obsessed with her," Chloe countered, sounding empathetic instead of judgmental. "Sometimes, that kind of a loss is even harder to get over," Chloe acknowledged. "What do you know about obsession?" Stefan asked skeptically. "Oh, I've been there," Chloe insisted. "At first, the love consumes you -- it's all you can think about -- and then you make bad choices [and] hurt people, because all that matters is that love, and having it all to yourself. It's a really difficult spell to break," Chloe continued. "Unless [it's] broken for you," Stefan argued.
"Look, Stefan, I know that you've had a lot of loss, but that doesn't mean that you can't find love again -- you know, real love," Chloe pointed out. "Eh, I don't know -- maybe I'll just, uh...spend the rest of my days rattling around this empty old house, all by myself," Stefan replied. "It's not so empty anymore. It's pretty noisy and chaotic since the kids and I moved in," Chloe reminded Stefan, who insisted that wasn't a bad thing.
Just then, a cell phone chimed, and Stefan curiously noted that Chloe had jumped in response to the alert. "It just makes me think of El Fideo's men and their threats. [I mean], what if that's another text message from them?" Chloe nervously explained. After determining that Chloe's cell phone was the one that had chimed, Stefan stood and walked over to the bar, where Chloe had left the device earlier.
"[It's] Brady," Stefan told Chloe. "Just checking in. Wondering how everything is going..." Stefan began to read aloud. "Living with that lowlife sleaze," Stefan dryly concluded.
"Well, at least I'm not a lowlife drunk..." Stefan said while typing those exact words in a reply to Brady's text message. Chloe seized the cell phone before Stefan could send the response. "The kids and I are just fine. Don't worry about us," Chloe said while typing those exact words in a new reply to Brady's text message. "I like my response better," Stefan told Chloe.
Just then, something banged against the side of the mansion, startling Chloe, who watched worriedly as Stefan stepped outside to investigate.
"Just the wind, I guess," Stefan announced after rejoining Chloe inside the mansion a short time later. "You and your kids are safe here," Stefan added as Chloe breathed a sigh of relief.
Outside, someone lurked behind a group of trees and watched the front door of the mansion.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady read Chloe's text message to Gabi, who curiously noted that it seemed like it had hit a nerve. Brady denied being jealous, explaining that it was simply difficult to believe that Chloe was truly "fine" with Stefan at the DiMera mansion, as the text message had suggested. Gabi understood Brady's concern, knowing from personal experience that Stefan might just be even more dangerous than El Fideo's crew.
"Hire me at Titan, [and] we can take down Stefan DiMera for good," Gabi spontaneously suggested. "Tempting...[but] DiMera owns Gabi Chic, [and] I can't do anything with you as long as Stefan owns the brand," Brady pointed out. "I actually don't think Stefan cares. His plan is to dismantle [the company]," Gabi revealed. "He did run [that] through the board [first]...right?" Brady asked, stunned. "I don't know," Gabi admitted.
"[Okay], you need to fight this, [Gabi]. Call Shin and convince [him] that Gabi Chic is a gold mine...because it is. And without you, there is no Gabi Chic. [Just] convince Shin of that, and Stefan will have to hire you back," Brady advised. "I like the way you think...but why would you help me work for your rival?" Gabi asked curiously. "Well, you hate him as much as I do --" Brady began to explain. "More," Gabi insisted. "[So], I think if we teamed up, we could cause a heck of a lot of damage...I mean, if you're interested," Brady continued. Gabi didn't respond but definitely seemed interested.
At the Horton Town Square, Jack wondered if Trask needed the earlier question repeated.
"I heard [it]...but I have no idea what you're talking about," Trask replied. "[So], I'm mistaken? You don't have a sister named Haley Chen?" Jack asked. "No, I don't," Trask claimed. "Interesting...because Haley Chen lives with my son, [and] he's told me the whole story," Jack revealed. "So, for the record, you deny having a sister who's undocumented?" Jack continued. "I don't have a sister, [period]," Trask insisted.
"You promised you wouldn't say anything!" Haley snapped at J.J. as they continued watching the debate at his apartment. "I'm so sorry --" J.J. began as Haley turned off the television in disgust. "'Sorry'? [J.J.], you lied to me -- over and over again!" Haley incredulously countered. "You swore to me! You looked me in the eye, and you told me [your dad] didn't know!" Haley continued. "[Haley], I -- I -- I can't believe this -- like, that he would -- I begged him, over and over, never to tell anyone!" J.J. insisted. "Yeah, well, you know what? He just told the whole world!" Haley tearfully noted.
"Let's acknowledge this for what [it] really is -- a personal attack," Trask defensively declared as the debate continued in the town square. "It is no secret that Mr. Deveraux was hoping to run for mayor. Lacking the courage to actually enter the race on his own merits, he's instead taken the cowardly tactic of attempting to discredit me," Trask argued. "Is it 'cowardly' to want to know the truth?" Eve wondered, springing to Jack's defense.
"This is how you moderate?" Trask asked Jennifer as Eve continued talking. Jennifer took the hint and quickly ended the debate.
Abe and Sheila watched as a group of reporters swarmed Trask, each eager to ask about Jack's earlier accusation.
"[Look at that] feeding frenzy! [It's] a shame [that] whatever substantive issues were addressed tonight are just [gonna be] buried under this...sideshow!" Abe complained. "You could put in your two cents..." Sheila pointed out. "I don't want to be drawn into...whatever this is," Abe dismissively insisted. "Why don't [we just] blow this drama and go celebrate, [then]?" Sheila suggested, certain that Abe had just secured a reelection. "I think that might be just a little premature --" Abe began to protest -- just as a reporter approached to get a statement. "[On second thought], you're right -- let's...'blow this drama,'" Abe told Sheila, ignoring the reporter.
Meanwhile, Jennifer dodged a different reporter and stormed off in search of Jack.
"What were you thinking? Do you have any idea what this could do to our son -- [you putting him] in the middle of a scandal? Do you know what these reporters are gonna do to him?" Jennifer snapped at Jack, outraged. "He can handle it," Jack dismissively insisted, adding that it was best to get J.J. away from Haley as quickly as possible, before things got even more complicated.
Eve, who had been more than happy to talk to a reporter, soon rushed back to Jack's side to join the conversation with Jennifer.
"Jennifer, why are you throwing such a hissy fit? [I mean], you're the one that's always yammering about how important it is for the truth to come out," Eve noted. "Was it the truth? Because Melinda denied everything that you said," Jennifer countered. "Obviously, she is lying," Eve insisted. "[You know], the whole point of a debate, Jennifer, is for the voters to find out where their candidates stand on the issues [and then determine] whether they're trustworthy or not. Jack is just being --" Eve began to add. "'A concerned citizen' -- I got it," Jennifer tiredly concluded for Eve.
"Did you lie about Melinda so that she will drop out?" Jennifer asked Jack. "Do some digging. You'll see I'm telling the truth. There's a witness who saw and overheard Melinda Trask talking to her sister and warning her that no one could know about them," Jack replied. "And you have corroboration for that claim?" Jennifer assumed. "Don't need any," Jack insisted with a shrug. "Right -- because that witness was Eve," Jennifer guessed.
"I can't believe this is happening right now!" Haley fretted while pacing J.J.'s apartment. "I am so sorry --" J.J. began again while reaching out to put a comforting hand on Haley's shoulder. "Stop saying that!" Haley snapped. "[And] don't you touch me -- ever again!" Haley warned, recoiling in disgust. "You wanted me to feel safe, so you gave me a place to stay, [and] you convinced me to trust you -- all because you just wanted to get me into bed!" Haley assumed with a shake of the head. "[And] it almost worked! [I mean], God, if your mom hadn't walked in --" Haley added, but J.J. interrupted and vehemently denied the accusation.
"I made a mistake," J.J. regretfully acknowledged. "A few weeks back, I said some things about your sister [that] upset you, [and] you took off, [and then] my dad showed up, [and] he saw [that] something was up, [so] he asked if he could help me, [and] he told me that I could trust him...and after all the years without my -- without my dad..." J.J. explained. "Well, I am so glad that my drama gave you and your dad a nice father-son moment," Haley bitterly stated. "Look, I told him he [couldn't] tell anyone -- more than once! [And] I thought he understood! Haley, my dad totally betrayed me!" J.J. stressed. "Well, now you know how it feels," Haley replied.
"I swear, Haley, I never told [my dad] that Melinda was your sister. He must have found [that] out some other way," J.J. stressed, but Haley didn't think that distinction was particularly important. "[The bottom line is that now] some reporter is gonna dig up that I lived with [Mel] and that she put me through nursing school, [and then] all her dreams of being mayor [will be] over -- because of you and your big, stupid mouth!" Haley spat at J.J.
Just then, someone knocked on the apartment door. Haley panicked and retreated to another room to hide, fearing that the visitor was going to turn out to be a reporter or an immigration officer, but it was just Trask, who glared at J.J. for a few seconds then barged into the living room. "I'm so sorry --" J.J. began to stress. "I don't want to hear it! And I can't waste my time talking to a liar like you!" Trask spat. "I need to talk to my sister," Trask loudly added, prompting Haley to emerge from the hiding place. "Alone," Trask demanded. J.J. nodded. "I'm gonna find my father and see what the hell he was thinking," J.J. said before rushing off.
"You said he could be trusted!" Trask snapped at Haley once the coast was clear. "I'm beyond sorry, Mel! [Look], I didn't know he was gonna tell his dad -- or that his dad was gonna call you out like that on television!" Haley stressed. "What are we gonna do now? [I mean], you told everybody that you don't have a sister!" Haley added. "I was blindsided. The words came out of my mouth before I could think it through," Trask explained. "Now we have to do damage control, [so] you need to stay out of sight," Trask continued. "I have to work!" Haley protested. "Well, if any reporters corner you, you just deny everything," Trask advised.
"Mel, it's gonna come out! [I mean], I lived with you when I got here from China! There are papers, there are documents, there are neighbors... It's gonna come out," Haley insisted.
"We can't let it! This could ruin my campaign!" Trask fretted. "This could ruin your 'campaign'? This could ruin my life!" Haley countered. "I have worked my entire life for this!" Trask unapologetically stressed. "And this is the only country that I've known most of my life, Mel!" Haley pointed out. "If this gets out, I could be arrested [and] deported to a country where I don't even know anybody [or] have anybody! I don't even speak the language anymore! [I mean], how do you expect me to survive [if that happens]?" Haley continued. "There's always your nursing skills," Trask noted, shrugging.
"Wow. Did you ever even care about me [at all]?" Haley replied, stunned and hurt. "Of course I care about you! I love you! You're my sister!" Trask stressed. "But I didn't ask for you to get dropped on my doorstep -- or for you to confide in some random guy when the one thing [that] I asked was [that] you be discreet! [Now], I am sorry for your situation, but you put your trust in the wrong people, and you have only yourself to blame!" Trask added. "Maybe we can --" Haley began. "No, no, no -- there's no 'we,' Haley. I have my own problems. From now on, you are on your own," Trask insisted before storming out of the apartment.
J.J. entered the town square and stormed over to Jack's location, ignoring a chasing group of reporters. "We need to talk," J.J. insisted, dragging Jack away.
"It must just cut to the bone [that] I found out something that you -- 'crack' journalist [and] 'amazing' mother -- didn't know but should have, [which is that] your son is living with an undocumented immigrant," Eve said to Jennifer, adding that it was a good thing that Jack was around to protect J.J. "This has nothing to do with protecting J.J.! This has to do with your ambition! [You just] want to destroy Melinda so that Jack can be back on that ballot [and] you can parade all over Salem on the mayor's arm, lording it over everyone in this town -- especially me!" Jennifer countered. "I would love that..." Eve unapologetically admitted.
"[But] here's the thing -- Jack is really [just] trying to be a good parent. [And] I was just trying to help," Eve innocently added. "The hell you were!" Jennifer spat. "When are you going to leave my family alone?" Jennifer asked.
Meanwhile, in the park, J.J. lashed out at Jack, who claimed to be a concerned parent who was simply trying to protect a child from danger.
"Stop claiming that you did this for me! You did this for yourself!" J.J. spat. "You're upset, [and] I get that, but I know I've done what I can to protect you," Jack maintained. "You destroyed me! You let me think that I could trust you -- that you were the father I remember! [But] the dad I loved...he never would have done this!" J.J. insisted. "You're right -- I'm not the father you loved...because I don't remember being your father," Jack reasoned with a shrug. "Don't blame your amnesia! This was a choice -- basic human decency!" J.J. countered.
"I'm sorry I hurt you. It was never my intention to do that," Jack stressed. "Were you even thinking of me at all?" J.J. asked skeptically. "I was thinking we were building a relationship...but I have messed this up -- I can see that -- [so] maybe we're better off without each other," Jack replied. "You finally got something right, [because] I'll definitely be a hell of a lot better off without you in my life!" J.J. agreed before storming off.
Abe and Sheila went to the Brady Pub for a round of drinks to celebrate the end of the first mayoral debate. Abe still didn't take any pleasure in seeing Trask get publicly skewered, but Sheila had no such qualms, arguing that Trask deserved to be taken down a peg or two simply as punishment for having tried to publicly blame Abe for what had happened to the surveillance footage that linked Xander to Marlena's shooting.
"You almost took yourself down [by] offering to resign," Abe pointed out. "Yeah. [Well], I messed up -- big-time -- and there was no way I could let you take the hit," Sheila explained with a shrug.
"Stepping up like that took a lot of courage," Abe raved. "[Well], this is the first time in my life where I've actually had a job I'm proud of -- one that makes me want to step up and do better -- [so] when someone like Trask comes along and messes with you, they're messing with me," Sheila explained, shrugging again. "Thank you for that. It's good to have someone in my corner," Abe replied, grasping Sheila's hands and flashing a smile.
"[Anyway], it's getting late, so, uh...I think I better call Val and let her know what happened tonight," Abe added before parting ways with Sheila.
Jack rejoined Jennifer and Eve in the town square. "How's J.J.?" Jennifer asked. "He's upset, of course...but, in time, he's gonna see that I did the right thing," Jack replied, waving a hand dismissively.
"You two deserve each other," Jennifer said to Jack and Eve before storming off in disgust.
J.J. returned home and saw that Haley was in the process of packing.
"Haley, don't do this! My uncle's a lawyer, [and] now that this is out in the open, we can fight it! I will help you!" J.J. protested. "I don't need your kind of help," Haley insisted. "Where are you going?" J.J. wondered. "I don't know...but even if I did, you'd be the last person on earth I would tell," Haley spat before storming out of the apartment with some luggage and slamming the door shut.
Diana finds an ally
At Eric's apartment, Rex woke Sarah, who had been in the middle of an unexpectedly steamy dream -- about Eric.
"I think it's time for me to take my favorite girl out to breakfast. I kind of worked up an appetite last night. I think you did, too," Rex began. "Unless, of course, you want to pick up where we left off..." Rex flirtatiously added before leaning in to kiss Sarah, who dodged the attempt. "What's wrong?" Rex asked, confused. "I have a confession to make..." Sarah hesitantly admitted before proceeding to tell Rex about what had happened on Valentine's Day, hoping that would explain the sudden reluctance to get intimate. "You...do know that Marcy is gay...[right]?" Rex asked at the end of the tale. "Yes," Sarah sheepishly confirmed.
"[This is all] on me. I need to do a better job of earning back your trust. And I will do that. I'm gonna prove to you that you are the only woman for me," Rex assured Sarah, who finally accepted a kiss.
At the hospital, Marlena received a phone call from Sami, who had heard about Will's arrest.
"Sami, you've got to calm down," Marlena patiently advised when the opportunity finally presented itself. "No, no, no -- don't get on a plane, honey; you've got to be there when E.J.'s specialist flies in," Marlena pointed out. "Yeah, well, excuse me -- I'm here, and I'm taking care of it. Truly. I will move heaven and earth to make sure that nasty Leo doesn't do anything to wreck Will's life," Marlena promised.
At the Salem Inn, Diana turned on a tablet computer and starting reading the Spectator's online article about Will and Sonny's arrest.
"'Leo Stark Kiriakis has pressed attempted murder charges against the man he accused of sexual harassment and later married. Prior to joining the Kiriakis family, Stark -- whose real name is Matthew Cooper -- was known to be a prostitute.' Well, isn't that grand -- blaming the victim! Typical! Oh, I should never have sold Jack Deveraux my paper!" Diana said, tossing the device aside in disgust.
Just then, someone knocked on Diana's hotel room door.
After peering through the peephole and seeing that John was the unexpected visitor, Diana opened the door and offered a warm greeting, making sure to show a bit of skin beneath a robe in the process. "We need to talk," John insisted, barging into the room. "What the hell is going on here? [Leo] puts up Will and Sonny for attempted murder? Marlena's grandson is sitting in jail right now -- on a bogus charge!" John complained.
"[I understand that] you're upset, and I'm sorry it had to come to this...but Will and Sonny tried to kill Leo --" Diana began. "It was an accident! [Leo] provoked it!" John protested. "They left him for dead!" Diana countered. "My son is not very well-liked -- for good reason -- but [when] you have a life like Leo's, it scars you! What he needs is understanding, not more hate!" Diana added. "Well, let's help him, [then]..." John suggested. "[But first we have to] get him out of this sham marriage [and] convince him to drop these charges," John continued. "By blackmailing him with some piece of information you think I have?" Diana assumed.
"If you [do] have something -- if there is something that we can use to neutralize [him] -- please, just tell me," John begged. "'Neutralize'? What a cold way to speak about your own son!" Diana observed.
"[Hey], I don't know what you have," John reasoned with a shrug. "But whatever it is, I can protect him. I have the means and the connections to do just that. [So]...please, Diana...if I ever truly meant anything to you, just tell me what you know [and] help me end this nightmare -- right now," John added. "[I did love you]...so much. I made a terrible mistake when I walked away," Diana admitted.
"[And] an even bigger one when I lied about Leo -- Matthew's -- paternity," Diana continued. "Well, at least he had a father in his life," John pointed out. "[Who] was abusive -- emotionally and physically," Diana revealed. "Whoa. Well, I'm sorry I wasn't there for [Leo] -- and you," John said with a sigh. "[He] blames me, of course -- [you know], for staying with the man -- [and] our relationship is damaged [as a result]," Diana admitted.
"That is why I came back to Salem -- to try and fix things with him. And, if I can be completely honest...I also came back to see you again," Diana continued. "I am glad [you did]," John claimed, hoping to flatter Diana.
"It's nice to finally...have some closure...after all these years, because I was devastated when you left, Diana. You never said anything. I didn't know where you had gone, I didn't know if you were all right..." John continued, seeing that the flattery was working. "I have wished, a million times, that I had made a different choice," Diana admitted. "For Leo's sake," Diana quickly added. "One of the reasons I fell in love with you, John, [was] because I saw what an amazing father you were to the twins and Carrie. Matthew -- 'Leo' -- would have had a very different life if you had been a part of it," Diana wistfully noted. "[But that's] all on me, because I guess I was a coward. I had enough trouble competing with Marlena's ghost. When I found out she was alive, I knew it was hopeless," Diana concluded.
"She is the only woman for me, Diana, and our family means everything..." John confirmed. "[But] that doesn't mean there isn't room in my life for Leo," John added. "I wish I could tell him the truth...but there's [already] so much anger [and] volatility in this whole mess with Will and Sonny, [and] the revelation that you are his father [would just] be throwing kerosene on the flames," Diana dismissively insisted.
"Look, I understand [that] there might be a better time for the truth to come out, but I don't like lying to Marlena, and I'm not gonna do it [anymore]. I'm gonna tell her -- right now," John warned.
"You can't!" Diana dramatically protested as John started to exit the hotel room. "Your son is the reason her grandson is going on trial for attempted murder! [Look], please, just [wait] a little while longer!" Diana begged. "[Only if] you tell me what you know about Leo -- right now," John countered. "I...will..." Diana carefully began. "I will do everything I can to get through to our son [and] convince him that it's best for everybody, including him, to drop these charges and let Sonny out of this marriage," Diana offered. "[Guess] that's all I can ask. Thanks," John replied. "Anything for you," Diana cooed, seizing a hug from John.
At the police station, Justin joined Will and Sonny in one of the conference rooms and immediately began lashing out.
"A word of advice before we head to the bail hearing -- keep your mouths shut unless spoken to! Do you think you can manage that?" Justin snapped. "Yes?" Will replied while looking at Sonny, who seemed to find Justin's outrage just as confusing. "What the hell were you thinking? Spilling your guts to Eli without an attorney present?" Justin continued. "You were out of town. We didn't want to get another lawyer," Sonny explained. "Well, you should've kept it zipped until I got back!" Justin insisted. "Well, we hoped that if we told Eli and Hope the truth, and they knew that what we did to Leo was an accident, then they wouldn't press charges," Will elaborated. "They are your relatives, not a jury of your peers! And they're cops who just did their job!" Justin pointed out.
"Now, thanks to your unbelievably stupid decision, you have essentially admitted that the photographs weren't doctored and that you caved to blackmail, which shows a consciousness of guilt! And [then there's the fact that] instead of dialing 9-1-1 like [any] reasonable, innocent person [would have done], you disposed of Leo's body to make it look like he just dropped off the face of the earth!" Justin summarized.
"I know it looks bad --" Sonny began. "'Bad'? It's worse than 'bad'!" Justin insisted, prompting Sonny to tiredly argue that exaggerating wasn't going to solve anything. "Let me put it to you this way -- the new interim D.A. is Ted Laurent," Justin revealed to make it clear to Sonny that nothing was being exaggerated. "Ted?" Sonny incredulously repeated. "He was the one who was in on Leo's fake lawsuit -- and the blackmail!" Will noted, equally shocked. "He was extorting us! He sent those crazy 'I know what you did' letters!" Sonny pointed out. "Can we get him removed from the case [because of that]?" Will suggested. "Did you save the letters? Do you have any proof?" Justin asked. "Didn't think so," Justin added, gauging Will and Sonny's reactions to the questions.
"[But Ted] knows Sonny didn't really harass Leo -- [and that] we weren't trying to kill [Leo]! He knows we're innocent!" Will protested, finding it hard to believe that a district attorney could knowingly prosecute innocent people. "[That just means that] Teddy Boy is going to fight like hell to prove your guilt, because if he doesn't, he goes down with Leo," Justin pointed out.
"So, what are you saying, Dad?" Sonny asked. "That if I weren't your father, there's no way in hell I would take this case, because I am not optimistic we can win," Justin replied.
After the hearing, Justin returned to the police station with Will and Sonny, who were both in a good mood. "You're both very lucky. I'm actually shocked that the judge granted [bail]," Justin admitted. "Well, when you have a kickass attorney on your side, it's not really such a surprise," Sonny reasoned. "Buttering me up will do you no good," Justin insisted before stepping aside to get Will and Sonny's release paperwork started.
While alone, Will and Sonny shared a celebratory kiss. "I'm just so sorry for getting you into this mess," Sonny said with a sigh of regret, but Will immediately dismissed the concern. "As bad as [this is], I'm just happy to be with you," Will lovingly stressed. "You know, the one good thing about Leo turning us in is that he no longer has anything to hold over our heads, so you and I can be together," Sonny excitedly noted.
"Think again," Justin snapped, rejoining Will and Sonny. "You two are in this situation because you provoked Leo! Gabi tying him to a bed so you could spend Valentine's [Day] together? Did you [really] think [that] was a good idea?" Justin continued. "I mean, from what Gabi said, the pillow placement was perfect, so..." Sonny jokingly replied, sharing a laugh with Will. "You think this is funny? Both of your damn futures are at stake here!" Justin humorlessly chastised the couple. "Leo is the gatekeeper [here], and you are still married to him, [Sonny], so if you throw this love and happiness in his face, God knows what he'll do!" Justin worriedly added.
"Well, at least it can't get any worse..." Will reasoned with a shrug. "Oh, yes, it can! You are dealing with a very unstable person who has a corrupt D.A. on his side!" Justin countered. "My job is already hard enough, [so] don't make it any harder! No more secret rendezvous, all right? In fact, no contact whatsoever!" Justin demanded with finality. Will and Sonny stared at Justin -- then at each other -- in stunned, pained silence. "Can we at least say goodbye?" Sonny finally asked. "I'll give you a minute," Justin replied before walking away. Will and Sonny hugged each other tightly, both looking devastated.
Later, while following Justin through the park, Sonny stopped abruptly and impatiently demanded to know Justin's defense strategy.
"I'm gonna be as aggressive as I can be, but exposing Laurent for his part in all this could blow up in our faces, so I don't want to take that risk unless I have no other options," Justin said. "I'm all in for going nuclear. I want this over," Sonny stressed. "Well, then, maybe you shouldn't have pushed Leo to the breaking point," Justin pointed out.
"This is my breaking point! Leo is my breaking point!" Sonny countered, fed up with Justin's lack of sympathy.
"I already lost Will to the Necktie Killer, [and] then I got him back, but then I lost him to amnesia, and then I lost him to Paul! I have lost so much time with Will, [and] I do not want to lose another second! [So], if my options are to go to jail or stay married to Leo, I choose neither! [In fact], I'm thinking that Will and I should go on the run -- start a new life somewhere else," Sonny continued. "I just got you out on bail by convincing the judge that you weren't a flight risk!" Justin incredulously protested. "I know, and I'm sorry! I don't want to do [it]! But if Leo gives me no other choice..." Sonny reasoned, shrugging.
"Dad, I cannot live my life without Will -- ever again!" Sonny fretted.
At the hospital, Marlena received an unexpected office visit from Eric, who was carrying a stack of fliers.
"I have got to start locking that door..." Marlena jokingly grumbled, getting a laugh out of Eric. "I just, uh, wanted you to know that the Horton Center's having a fundraiser for the new playground equipment," Eric said while handing over one of the fliers. "John and I will be there," Marlena promised before curiously observing that Eric looked exhausted. "Sarah -- she spent the night with Rex...[and], you know, with the walls being thin and all..." Eric awkwardly explained. "[But] I told Rex he could stay indefinitely, [and] I'm not gonna kick him out because I can't deal with my..." Eric began to add before stopping abruptly.
"I don't want to talk about my feelings. We've [already] had this conversation," Eric concluded. "And maybe we should have [it] again," Marlena countered. "What if you were counseling somebody in the same situation? Would you tell them they just had to...what, set aside their own personal feelings?" Marlena asked pointedly. "No," Eric reluctantly admitted. "Then you know what you have to do," Marlena concluded with a shrug.
Just then, Marlena received a text message. "Will is out on bail," Marlena happily read aloud to Eric. "Poor kid should've never been arrested," Eric grumbled. "[You know], if he hadn't gotten bail, Sami would've been on the first flight and busted him out -- and strung Leo up while she was at it," Eric added. "I see you spoke to her, too," Marlena replied with a laugh.
Rex entered the Brady Pub and began chatting with Roman about Kate's recent brush with death then asked for help with something.
Sarah ran into Eric at the hospital and seized the opportunity to apologize again for what had happened on Valentine's Day. "I almost ruined a perfectly lovely dinner because of my damn insecurities. My cray-cray was out of control that evening, and you didn't even run away screaming," Sarah gratefully noted. "It's my apartment," Eric dryly pointed out, shrugging. "Yeah, there's that..." Sarah conceded with a laugh. "And you didn't ruin anything. It was a great night, and it gave us a perfect chance to get to know [and] be honest with each other," Eric assured Sarah. "And...that's what I want to be -- honest," Eric hesitantly admitted.
Just then, Rex approached, carrying balloons, roses, a bottle of Champagne, and a box of doughnuts.
"You weren't supposed to see me," Rex grumbled. "I was, uh, gonna set all this up in the lounge as a surprise, but I guess the, um, grand gesture's gonna have to happen right here," Rex continued.
Eric watched jealously as Rex began proposing to Sarah with a diamond ring that was tied to the string on the end of one of the balloons.
John entered the Brady Pub and began chatting with Roman about the outcome of Will and Sonny's bail hearing then asked for some advice.
"[We both] know what secrets can do to a relationship," Roman pointed out after learning that John still hadn't told Marlena the truth about Leo's paternity. "Nothing I want more than to tell Doc...[but] Diana insists that if Leo were to find out the truth right now, he would become even more of a loose cannon than he already is," John explained. "I feel sorry for the kid," John admitted. "[You feel sorry] for the kid who's turning Will and Sonny's life upside down?" Roman asked incredulously. "[He] was abused by his stepfather," John clarified. "If I would've known -- you know, if I would've been there..." John added, sighing.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Leo finished showering and headed downstairs to get some breakfast, wearing only a towel.
"Who's moving in this time?" Leo asked while joining Victor in the living room, having noticed a cluster of suitcases in the foyer. "You mean 'who's moving out' -- [and the answer is that] you are," Victor replied.
"Put a shirt on. I'm tired of you hitting on every male in this house with a pulse," Victor complained. "Which doesn't include you," Leo countered. "All my shirts are packed, so I can't put one on," Leo shamelessly added.
"There better be some family jewels in [those suitcases], because I'm not going anywhere until I get what's entitled to me," Leo insisted. "And just what do you think you're entitled to, you little buzzard?" Victor asked. "I'm still Mr. Jackson Kiriakis, and I am not granting a divorce without a fight -- a big one," Leo warned. "Since your marriage to Sonny was as real as a wooden nickel, an annulment shouldn't be any problem," Victor pointed out. "You were all in on this 'holy union,' Victor -- you practically walked Sonny down the aisle and into my arms to save your company -- [and] now you want to tell the world that the marriage was fake [and] that you knew all along? What will the board say when they find out you lied to them? You're no victim; you're practically my co-conspirator! 'Complicit' -- such an ugly word these days..." Leo countered.
"You really don't know who you're dealing with," Victor warned. "I wouldn't underestimate me if I were you," Leo shot back. "Or me," Diana added, barging into the mansion.
"Diana Colville. I heard that you were this brat's mother," Victor mused. "You two know each other?" Leo asked, stunned. "Oh, Victor and I go way back," Diana vaguely confirmed before chasing Leo off.
"Oh, Victor, you've hardly changed since you tried to bilk me out of my inheritance all those years ago," Diana observed once the coast was clear. "And you got older," Victor dryly countered.
"Now it all makes sense -- you sent your spawn over here to torture us. Part of your revenge, isn't it?" Victor guessed. "So what if it is?" Diana coyly replied. "Well, you got your money back and then some, so why don't you call off that dog you call a son and go home?" Victor suggested. "Maybe...someday...but not until I get everything I want," Diana insisted. "There's nothing more for you to leech. Leo is bleeding us dry," Victor revealed. "I taught him well," Diana proudly noted. "The cookie jar is empty, Diana. There's nothing more to give," Victor declared with finality. "Don't worry about it -- I've got plenty of money," Diana dismissively reported.
"[And] there are so many more important things in life..." Diana added. "Name one," Victor challenged Diana. "I am still in love with John Black --" Diana began to reveal. "Bully for you," Victor muttered. "And you and John are close --" Diana continued. "Not that close," Victor insisted. "I could make this whole mess go away -- and I will...[but] only if you help me get John back," Diana concluded.
"I don't hold that kind of sway over John. And have you forgotten [that] he is married to Marlena -- the love of his life?" Victor replied. "Men have many loves in their lives. He was married to Isabella, your daughter, wasn't he? And you really don't care about Marlena, so...what's to lose?" Diana dismissively countered. "I know how much you love Sonny [and] want him to be free to enjoy his daughter and a life with the love of his life, Victor...[and] you could make all of that happen -- you can be the hero," Diana pointed out. "Or...you can sit back and do nothing, [and then] Will and Sonny will most certainly spend decades in prison. Your choice," Diana added with a shrug. "[So], do we have a deal or not?" Diana asked expectantly. "Fine -- we have a deal," Victor grudgingly agreed.
Sonny watched from the foyer as Diana shook Victor's hand.
While passing through Horton Town Square, Leo spotted Will, who was sitting alone at a table, looking miserable.
"Out of jail already?" Leo observed, storming over to the table. "Where's my husband?" Leo demanded to know. "Avoiding you...which seems like a really good idea," Will replied before starting to walk away.
"You slut! I hope you enjoyed your Valentine's Day romp with my husband, 'cause it's gonna cost you at least a decade of your life -- [and] his, too!" Leo spat. "So angry. Are you compensating for something?" Will calmly replied, amused. "If you'd just controlled your urges... But you couldn't! [You just] had to jump into bed with my husband!" Leo continued. "Your husband who hates you and would never, ever share a bed with you...and, from what I hear, no one else in this town wants to, either," Will countered. "Shut the hell up!" Leo snapped, getting right in Will's face.
"Keep your hands off my grandson!" Marlena demanded, rushing over to shove Leo away from Will. "Grandma to the rescue! How sweet!" Leo derisively observed.
"What is going on here, [Will]? Did he come onto you?" Marlena asked, making an assumption about Leo's earlier proximity to Will. "No, he threatened me. I'm not sure which would be worse," Will dryly replied. "Your whore grandson slept with my husband!" Leo complained. "The one you're trying to railroad into prison?" Marlena countered. "They tried to kill me!" Leo defensively protested.
"[Look], I understand [that] you've had a difficult life [and] that your mother can be impossible --" Marlena sympathetically began. "Leave my mother out of this!" Leo angrily demanded. "And that you might not have [had] a whole lot of friends [or] stability, [but that] doesn't mean you can behave this way," Marlena continued. "Maybe just give a thought to why you behave the way you do, why you try to inflict pain on everybody around you --" Marlena started to suggest. "You sound just like my ass of a father right now! Why don't you stop inflicting pain on the people around you and shut the hell up!" Leo countered.
"Don't talk to my grandmother that way!" Will warned, sidestepping Marlena to get right in Leo's face.
"Wow! Spoken like an enraged lover! I've heard of 'Oedipal,' but, Dr. Evans, what do you call it when Grandma makes his loins stir?" Leo teasingly wondered. "Excuse me?" Will incredulously snapped. "What, is that too close to home, big boy? Here's some advice -- why don't the two of you spend as much 'quality time' together as you can, because once Will is in prison, your opportunities are gonna be limited," Leo continued.
Fed up, Will silenced Leo with a swift punch to the face.
"You bitch!" Leo spat after recovering from the blow. "You may have cheated death once, but I swear to you, I will finish what Ben Weston started!" Leo furiously added, lunging toward Will with a fist raised.
"Oh, no, you don't!" Marlena protectively snapped, grabbing Leo's arm and twisting it. "Take your hands off of him!" John demanded, rushing over to separate Marlena and Leo.
"Leo was threatening Will --" Marlena began to explain to John. "He punched me!" Leo pointed out. "That's what you get when you shoot your mouth off!" Will unapologetically replied.
"Will, go home!" John demanded. "No, I'm not finished!" Will protested. "No, you are finished!" John insisted.
"This is not Will's fault!" Marlena stressed. "If he hadn't rolled Leo up in a carpet and left him for dead, we wouldn't be here right now!" John countered.
"Are you actually defending Leo?" Marlena asked John, stunned.
Victor drops a bomb on Marlena
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan opened the front door and knelt down to pick up a newspaper, unaware that someone was watching from behind a group of trees.
Later, while Stefan and Chloe were in the middle of a chess match, something shattered outside. "What was that?" Chloe asked worriedly. "Stay here," Stefan replied before going to investigate, armed with a gun.
Stefan returned a short time later, dragging Gabi by the arm. "She broke a vase -- a rather expensive one that she will be paying for," Stefan informed Chloe, who was relieved to have such a simple explanation for the earlier noise. "Get your hands off me, you jerk!" Gabi demanded, struggling to break free from Stefan's grasp. "How did you get [on the property]?" Stefan asked while shoving Gabi away. "I just told [the guard] that I was here on DiMera business," Gabi innocently explained. "That's funny, because you don't work for DiMera anymore! I fired your ass, remember?" Stefan pointed out as Chloe awkwardly retreated to another room.
Stefan started to forcibly remove Gabi from the mansion -- and the property itself -- but received a phone call at that exact moment. "You should probably get that. It might be important," Gabi pointedly advised, prompting Stefan to curiously reach for a nearby cell phone. After a brief conversation, Stefan ended the call and glared at Gabi, who innocently wondered if something was wrong. "You went behind my back [and talked to] Shin!" Stefan snapped. "I told you not to dismiss Gabi Chic," Gabi replied, shrugging. "You know, I -- I -- I should have known that you'd pull something like this, because you are nothing but a scheming bitch!" Stefan spat.
Gabi raised a hand to slap Stefan, who was ready for the move and quickly grabbed her arm to stop it. "I am not afraid of you," she insisted as he tightened his grip. "You should be," he countered through gritted teeth.
"What's going on here?" Chloe asked, having returned in time to witness the exchange. "Stefan and I -- we were having a misunderstanding...but everything's been cleared up," Gabi replied.
"Oh, Chloe -- Brady told me that you're living here now, [and] I hope you know what you're getting yourself into," Gabi added before rushing off.
"Sorry you had to see that, but she provoked me," Stefan vaguely explained once the coast was clear. Chloe accepted that answer, not wanting to be nosy, but Stefan soon began elaborating, grateful to have someone to confide in for a change. Seeing that Stefan was really worked up about Gabi's power play, Chloe spontaneously decided to show off some basic massage skills that always seemed to make everything better.
Someone watched through a window as Chloe rubbed Stefan's temples and shoulders.
At the hospital, Rex waited expectantly for an answer from Sarah, assuming that she needed time to recover from the shock of his marriage proposal but would ultimately accept it. "I'm sorry, Rex -- my answer is no," she eventually replied, leaving him stunned and confused. "I am in the middle of my shift. Can we just -- can we talk about this later?" she added. "You just declined my marriage proposal. I'd like a reason why," he protested.
"I'm gonna leave you two alone," Eric awkwardly interjected before rushing off. "So?" Rex asked Sarah impatiently, ignoring Eric. Sarah sighed and dragged Rex into the nearest unoccupied examination room for privacy.
"What you just did was...very sweet and romantic...but, Rex, did it have to be so public? And with Eric standing right there?" Sarah asked. "I got carried away. I didn't even realize that Eric was standing there," Rex claimed, despite having shoved a box of doughnuts at Eric before proposing. "I was excited -- overly excited -- [and] I should have waited 'til we were alone, [but] is that why you said no?" Rex added. "No! Of course not!" Sarah insisted. "Then why?" Rex wondered. "It's...complicated," Sarah vaguely explained. Insisting that wasn't a real answer, Rex impatiently pressed for a better explanation, prompting Sarah to blurt out Eric's name.
"What does he have to do with this?" Rex asked, confused. "He..." Sarah hesitantly began. "He's still in mourning, [and] we are rubbing our reunion in his face!" Sarah eventually added. "I think that we are being pretty discreet," Rex argued. "Seriously? 'Cause you just proposed to me in front of him! [And] every time he turns around, we're either coming out of the bedroom or going into it!" Sarah pointed out. "I think you're exaggerating just a little bit -- [and] besides, I have spoken to Eric about this [before], and he's [always] like, 'No, I'm fine with it,'" Rex dismissively insisted. "He's being polite," Sarah guessed. "He's an adult," Rex noted.
"A few days ago, you weren't even speaking to Eric, and...what, now you're all concerned about his feelings? [Come on -- this is about] more than you just looking out for my brother, your friend. There is something you're not telling me. What is it?" Rex demanded to know. "Rex...I --" Sarah began, but Rex interrupted just then, having decided that there was only one explanation. "[This is about] your trust issues," Rex guessed.
Rex again assured Sarah that infidelity would no longer be an issue, adding that the proposal had been intended as a way of proving that for good. "My answer is still no," she gently informed him, wanting time to think first.
At the Horton Town Square, Marlena impatiently challenged John to name one good reason for defending Leo, of all people.
"I...am...not trying to defend Leo here; I am simply trying to take everything down a notch," John carefully replied. "By sending Will home after Leo has threatened him?" Marlena asked incredulously. "Uh, excuse me, Dr. Evans -- I believe it was you who was threatening me after your grandson clocked me!" Leo argued. "Plenty more where that came from," Will promised, earning another scolding from John in the process. "Stop blaming Will! He's done nothing wrong!" Marlena protectively snapped at John, clearly confused and frustrated. John sighed and pulled Marlena aside after ordering Will and Leo to stay put.
"Will needs to walk away from this -- for his own good -- [and it'd be nice if you'd] back me up on this!" John quietly insisted. "I will not let that slime hurt our family [and] walk all over everybody we love!" Marlena protested in an equally hushed tone. "I hear that, but right now, Leo has got Will and Sonny on the ropes, [and] if this goes to trial, Leo can use this little run-in here to his advantage!" John pointed out.
"You're lucky John showed up when he did," Will told Leo as John and Marlena continued talking. "Your grandma's silver fox of a husband is my knight in shining armor," Leo curiously summarized.
"Thank you for sticking up for me," Leo began when John returned with Marlena. "You're not so bad, after all," Leo finished telling John before walking away, looking surprised.
"Will...I'm sorry if it, um...if it seemed like I was sticking up for Leo --" John began. "You were," Will matter-of-factly replied, shrugging. "John was just trying to keep things from getting out of hand," Marlena explained, having started to see John's earlier point. "Oh, I think we're way past that," Will argued. "Leo is trying to send Sonny and me to prison for something that -- that we didn't do, and instead of defending that creep, I -- I -- I thought you would -- you would be loyal to your family, John!" Will added, hurt. "Grandma, thank you for -- for -- for standing by me. At least I know whose side you're on," Will concluded with a sigh before walking away, ignoring John's protests. "Well, that didn't go well, did it?" John acknowledged. "No, it didn't," Marlena agreed, not particularly surprised.
"Ugh! I'm so sorry that I put my hands on Leo! I was trying to maintain my cool, [but] then he threatened my grandson, and I just lost it!" Marlena said, more as a personal admonishment than as an explanation for John. "What Leo is -- is pulling on Will and Sonny is reprehensible, but...come on, they never should've rolled him up in a carpet and left him for dead!" John said, laughing at the foolishness of the act. "You already said that!" Marlena irritably pointed out. "I know, but come on, Doc -- it's just not smart!" John insisted. "Well...it was impulsive," Marlena conceded. "And they regret that, and -- and they're paying for it now," Marlena added. "Doesn't mean you need to get in on the action. [I mean], the last thing we need is for you to be brought up on assault charges on top of everything else," John argued.
Marlena appreciated John's concern but still didn't understand John's sudden desire to treat Leo in a civil and respectful manner. "I told you, if we keep pushing the guy's buttons --" John began, squirming a bit. "Then we give him more ammunition to use against Will and Sonny," Marlena tiredly concluded for John. "I get that...but you're -- you're not just asking us to back off of Leo; you are openly defending him! This is a man who poses a serious threat to our family!" Marlena pointed out. "It just makes me wonder...what it is that I don't know," Marlena added, eyeing John curiously.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady caught Sonny in the foyer, watching Victor shake hands with Diana.
"Eavesdropping?" Brady quietly assumed. "Just happened to walk by [and see] Uncle Vic talking to Leo's mother, Diana Colville," Sonny clarified in an equally hushed tone. "Did you hear what they were saying?" Brady asked. "No, [but it] looks like [they made] some kind of deal, [because] they shook on it," Sonny replied.
Meanwhile, in the living room, Diana released Victor's hand and grinned triumphantly.
"I can't believe I am sitting here, making a deal with the almighty and powerful Victor Kiriakis," Diana bragged. "And I can't believe I'm pimping out my ex-son-in-law to save my nephew, yet here we are," Victor replied. "I know there are no guarantees, Victor, but I expect you to do your best to deliver, [because] you owe me!" Diana insisted. "I don't owe you a damn thing!" Victor argued. "You stole my fortune!" Diana pointed out. "And you stole it back!" Victor countered. "Instead of squabbling about the past, I suggest you let me think, [because] getting John to leave Marlena is gonna be like getting the Earth to stop spinning, [so] we need a big idea," Victor added. "Good thing I have one..." Diana began with a wicked grin.
"Is that all true?" Victor asked after Diana finished talking. "And now that I've loaded the gun...it's up to you to pull the trigger," Diana coyly replied before exiting the mansion through a back door.
Victor immediately contacted Marlena, who was still in the town square, pressing John for answers.
"Victor wants to see me. [It's] something about Sonny and Will, [and] it's urgent," Marlena told John after a brief conversation with Victor. Before letting Marlena go, John revealed that Leo's father had been abusive, hoping that would be a suitable explanation for what had happened earlier. "You're amazing. That you can find compassion for a worm like that... Yeah, you're a better person than I am," Marlena gushed.
John sighed guiltily as Marlena walked away.
Eric entered the Brady Pub and greeted Will, who was sitting alone at a table, drinking a beer and looking miserable.
Eric understood that Will still had an attempted murder charge to deal with and was probably worried about that; Eric curiously noted, however, that, on the bright side, Will was out on bail and could finally be with Sonny, and it seemed like that was cause for at least a brief celebration. "Until this is all settled, [Sonny and I] can't see each other, talk to each other -- nothing," Will explained with a heavy sigh. "Who said that?" Eric asked, confused. "Justin. He's our lawyer, [and] he says we can't do anything that might make Leo go off," Will replied.
"That also means I gotta avoid [Leo]," Will added. "That's probably best," Eric pointed out. "I know...[but] I just want to break his face so much. And I know that -- that it was a mistake, but my -- my fist -- it just felt so good to have my fist connect with his jaw," Will admitted, smiling at the memory. "Yeah...[but] Justin's right -- you don't want to make things worse by getting into it with Leo," Eric maintained. "[Honestly], I'm not the one you need to worry about. That would be your mother," Will replied before beginning to tell Eric about what had happened at the town square earlier.
"I love that Grandma's in my corner. [You know], Eric, she was -- she was angry. I don't know what she would have done if John hadn't shown up," Will admitted while nearing the end of the tale. "[So], John forced Leo to leave?" Eric assumed. "Actually, John asked me to leave, which really -- [you know], Grandma and I were pissed, because how are you gonna defend that scum over us?" Will clarified, clearly still hurt. Eric guessed that John had to have simply been trying to maintain a neutral stance to make it easier to defuse the situation.
"I understand how that works..." Eric grumbled, prompting Will to curiously probe for more details. "Rex has been trying to make things work between him and Sarah, [and] unfortunately, I've been kind of [caught] right in the middle of it," Eric explained before proceeding to tell Will about what had happened at the hospital earlier. "Poor Uncle Rex... But...I think maybe, you know, somewhere deep down, Sarah knows that he's not the right guy for her," Will suggested with a shrug at the end of Eric's tale, assuming that was why Sarah hadn't accepted Rex's marriage proposal.
Rex entered the pub as Will was exiting it a short time later.
Rex was determined to find a way to change Sarah's answer to the earlier marriage proposal, but Eric suggested that it might be best to back off a bit, at least for the time being, if only to avoid making things worse. "Okay...[but] just because I have to back off, [that] doesn't mean that I can't have some sort of a -- like, an advocate..." Rex pointedly replied, eyeing Eric hopefully. Eric groaned and firmly refused to get involved in Rex's relationship with Sarah yet again. "I'm asking you, Eric, as my brother, to help me secure a future with the woman that means everything to me. Why would you turn me down?" Rex wondered.
At the Salem Inn, Diana received a visit from Leo, who immediately began lashing out.
"You better start talking about this powwow you had with Victor -- [right now]! He wants me gone for what I did to Will and Sonny, [and] I know you have a past with him, and I know he can make people disappear, [so] how do I know you didn't join forces with him to make that happen?" Leo suspiciously snapped. "You don't," Diana coyly replied. "It was bad enough when you cut me off and left me to make my own way! I swear, if you mess up my plans --" Leo continued through gritted teeth. "Don't you dare threaten me. I know you killed your father -- and I have the proof," Diana countered. "What kind of proof?" Leo asked nervously, stunned.
"You have more pressing issues to deal with," Diana pointed out before ordering Leo to leave. "I will find out what you're up to," Leo vowed. "Tell you what -- you do you, I'll do me," Diana dismissively countered.
While passing through the town square, Gabi spotted Brady and seized the opportunity to brag that the plan to get Shin to save Gabi Chic had worked perfectly.
"Now that you're back in, it might be a good time for us to team up," Brady suggested. "We'll see," Gabi noncommittally replied before rushing off.
John went to warn Diana after deciding that it was time to reveal the truth about Leo's paternity. Diana desperately tried to change John's mind, insisting that would be a disastrous move.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny and Brady joined Victor in the living room and demanded an explanation for the earlier meeting with Diana.
"When I agreed to become CEO of Titan, you promised me -- you promised me -- there'd be no more secrets," Brady pointed out when Victor didn't respond right away. "This has nothing to do with Titan," Victor dismissively insisted. "If it involves me and Will, I need details," Sonny argued. "All right, I'll tell you this much -- I told Diana [that] if she can get her gold-digging whore of a son to back off, I'd make it worth her while," Victor carefully revealed. "Okay, well, what exactly did you offer her?" Sonny curiously wondered. "Never mind what I offered Diana. Just know I'm doing everything I can for this family," Victor evasively replied.
Just then, Marlena entered the mansion. "What brings you by?" Brady asked warmly. "Victor called [and] said he needed to see me right away," Marlena explained with a shrug of uncertainty. "Really? Why is that?" Brady suspiciously wondered, turning to Victor. "We need some privacy," Victor demanded, refusing to entertain any more questions from Brady or Sonny.
Brady and Sonny reluctantly left the room. Sonny paused in the foyer to contact Will, who was surprised to hear that Victor had made a deal with Diana to get Leo out of the picture.
"I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with your grandmother," Sonny informed Will.
Meanwhile, Marlena listened as Victor admitted to having known Diana years earlier. "[We have] bad history. [So], when I found out that she was Leo's mother, I [asked] my people [to start] keeping tabs on her...[and] it seems she's had several private encounters with your husband," Victor revealed. "I'm aware that John has met with her --" Marlena began. "Are you aware that he's keeping a secret from you?" Victor asked, silencing Marlena.
"When Diana left Salem all those years ago, she was pregnant -- with John's child," Victor revealed, stunning Marlena, who insisted that couldn't possibly be true. "I'm afraid it is. John is Leo Stark's father," Victor maintained.
The police search for Haley
In the loft living room, Claire looked through her jewelry box and pulled out the lighter she had used to set Ciara's cabin on fire. Claire thought about that night. Tripp returned home, and he asked Claire what she was hiding in her hand. Claire clutched the lighter tight. Through gritted teeth, Claire said that she had a present for Tripp in her hand. Claire shoved the lighter into the jewelry box and closed it. With a nervous smile, Claire explained that it was not Tripp's birthday yet.
Claire changed the subject to Haley. Tripp was astonished by the news from the mayoral debate. While Tripp grabbed his tablet to read the story online, Claire gripped the jewelry box. Tripp was furious that Haley was going to be deported. When Claire rolled her eyes and said that Haley could not break the law without consequences, Tripp scowled.
"Interesting coming from you," Tripp commented. Claire grew defensive. Tripp explained that he had been referring to the Bella magazine contest. "If Haley is so great and you two are so tight, then why didn't she tell you she was here illegally?" Claire asked. Tripp said he refused to judge Haley until he heard her side of the story.
"Very much like you to give her the benefit of the doubt. You do that with everyone. Even me," Claire said. Tripp apologized for throwing the magazine contest in her face. Claire admitted that she had made mistakes but that she was not evil. While Claire went into her room to change for work, Tripp opened her jewelry box to see what she had shoved inside it. When Claire returned, Tripp held up the lighter and asked Claire if that was his present.
Jennifer went to J.J.'s apartment to ask him if Jack had told the truth about Haley. J.J. said Haley had trusted him, and he had trusted Jack. Jennifer asked J.J. why he had confided in Jack. With a nod, J.J. said he wished he had talked to Jennifer instead. Jennifer asked J.J. if he had told Jack that Melinda was Haley's sister. When J.J. said no, Jennifer chuckled ruefully. Jennifer noted that Eve was manipulating Jack and had given him the information about Melinda.
"I know that you have idolized your father, growing up, and J.J., he wasn't a perfect person. He did a lot of really bad things in his past," Jennifer said. J.J. argued that Jennifer had made Jack a better man. With a shake of her head, Jennifer countered, "Sometimes, we don't know what people are capable of." Jennifer added that Rolf had experimented on Jack and might have changed him. In response, J.J. whispered that Will was unchanged. Jennifer said she believed that Jack was still there, deep down inside of Jack's mind.
"Yesterday, he told me he loved me," J.J. said. Jennifer reminded J.J. that Jack had been a loving father and would not have done anything to intentionally hurt J.J. Eli and Lani knocked on the door. J.J. was annoyed that the Salem PD was working for ICE. J.J. gruffly noted that Haley was not there. Eli warned J.J. that it would be worse if J.J. hid Haley. Eli asked J.J. to go to the station and give a statement.
"So you can help the Feds deport her? The hell I will!" J.J. yelled. Lani explained that she did not want to take Haley into custody, but it was her job. J.J. apologized for taking his anger out on Eli and Lani. Softening her voice, Lani told J.J. that he needed to convince Haley to turn herself in.
After the police left, J.J. called Haley's cell phone and left her a voicemail warning her about the cops. J.J. was worried someone might see a text if he sent one to Haley. Jennifer warned J.J. not to get further involved, but J.J. brushed past her and left in search of Haley.
At the Salem Inn, Jack thought about his conversation with J.J. when he had told Jack, "The dad I loved never would have done this." Jack then thought about when Jennifer had asked Jack if he had any concept of how publicly outing Haley would affect their son. As Jack sighed at the memory, Eve put her arms around Jack and told him that he had done what was best for J.J.
"Best for J.J.? Or best for you?" Jack asked. "I have told you over and over again, I was just looking out for J.J., just like you were," Eve said. Jack said he had been proud that J.J. had confided in him as a father. Eve said she had felt glad that Jack had confided in her, as well. With a groan, Jack countered that Eve's first thought after Jack had told her the secret had been to use the information against Melinda. Eve reminded Jack that it had been his choice to stand up at the debate and tell the world about Haley. Eve lamented that Jack's choice would put a strain on his relationship with J.J.
"It's not just a strain, Eve. The relationship is over," Jack complained. Jack said his decision to announce Haley's status in public had hurt both Haley and J.J. Eve argued that Jack's decision showed that he would be a great mayor. "Well, I am the son of a senator, aren't I? And who knows? Maybe I'm meant for greater things?" Jack said. "I love the way you think," Eve purred. Eve kissed Jack passionately.
In Ciara's room at the hospital, Ciara called Hope on the phone to ask when Hope would be there to pick her up. Hope explained that she was at Bayview to check on Jordan. Ciara assured Hope that she was fine and to take her time with Jordan. Ciara added that she was worried about Ben. After Ciara ended the call, Ben walked in. Ciara asked Ben where he had been.
"Wandering the streets, trying to justify why I almost killed my sister," Ben said quietly. Ben argued that his instinct had been to kill Jordan. "I'm still an animal. I'm still a killer," Ben said. "What if I set that fire at the cabin and just don't remember it?" Ben wondered aloud. Ciara told Ben that she did not believe he had started the fire. Ben confessed that he was scared.
"Jordan was my rock. Now she is insane. What if that sickness is in me?" Ben asked. Ben said he needed to go somewhere that he could not hurt anyone. Ciara begged Ben not to leave her. Ben noted that other than Ciara, Jordan was the only person he had been able to count on.
"Look what I did to her! What if I did that to you and no one was there to stop me? Aren't you afraid of that?" Ben asked. Ciara admitted that she had been scared of Ben when they had first met, but she added that Ben had won her over. "I believe you with all my heart," Ciara said.
"Even if I didn't set that fire at the cabin, I'm not well," Ben said. Ben argued that he could fall apart like Jordan. "You're not evil," Ciara said. "I still have evil inside me. I used to think I had control over it, but I don't think that anymore," Ben said.
"If you're really scared of what you might do, then we have to deal with that," Ciara countered. Ben did not want to involve Ciara, but she insisted. "I will stand by you always," Ciara said. "When I tell you I don't have any control, I really mean it. I can't take the chance of doing to you what I almost did to Jordan," Ben said. Ben added, "I'm no good for you, Ciara. The best thing that we can do right now is just not see each other anymore."
In the police station bullpen, Eli told Lani that he had called her in to work to help him with a federal request from ICE to pick up Haley Chen. Lani did not want to take the case, but Eli insisted that the federal government could order Haley's pickup. When Melinda arrived at the station, she announced to Eli that she had believed her sister had entered the country legally.
"If you have issues with my sister, I suggest you take it up with her," Melinda said before she marched away. Melinda walked over to the Salem Inn to confront Jack and Eve in their room. Melinda informed Jack that she had lost the backing of her political party.
"I never thought I'd be casting a vote for Mayor Carver, but talk about the lesser of two evils," Melinda grumbled. With a huff, Melinda left. Eve eagerly rushed over to the computer to look up the deadline to file as a candidate. Eve asked Jack if he wanted to stop her from throwing his hat into the ring. With Jack's blessing, Eve called party headquarters to check out their interest in Jack. The party was interested. With a gleeful smile, Eve said they needed to find a campaign manager.
"I'm looking at her. I think we make one hell of a team," Jack told Eve. While Eve and Jack discussed strategy, Jennifer interrupted them. Jennifer informed Jack that the police wanted to arrest Haley. Eve reminded Jennifer that Eve had not forced Haley to enter the country illegally and that Haley was not an innocent victim.
"I can't believe you took [J.J.'s] unselfish act and used it to your advantage," Jennifer growled. Jennifer asked Jack how it felt knowing that Haley was going to be picked up and detained because of Jack's actions.
"This is the second time you've let me have it, but I still think I've done the right thing," Jack said. "The only right thing that will come out of what you've done is that Abe Carver will win," Jennifer said. Jack told Jennifer that he was running for mayor. Barely suppressing a rueful laugh, Jennifer told Jack that he had been selfish when she had first met him, but she had not believed Jack would put his own ambitions ahead of his children's well-being. Jennifer stormed out.
In Kayla's office at the hospital, Haley apologized to Kayla for lying on her job application. "I heard what happened at the debate last night," Kayla said. Haley nodded and confirmed that Melinda was her sister. Kayla noted that Haley needed a government-issued ID in order to work at the hospital. Haley confirmed that her ID had been fake. Haley handed over two case files to Kayla for her patients and told Kayla about their care.
"You're a good nurse," Kayla said. Kayla asked Haley if her immigration status had been the reason she had attempted suicide. Haley nodded yes. As Haley started to grow teary-eyed, Kayla walked over and hugged her. Haley confessed to Kayla that Melinda had supported her and had taken care of her. Kayla assured Haley that Melinda cared about her. With a shake of her head, Haley said she was on her own because Melinda had turned her away.
Kayla suggested that Haley research a visa based on her nursing abilities. Haley worried aloud that the political climate around immigration was against her. Kayla promised to talk to the administrative staff on Haley's behalf. Relieved that Kayla believed in her abilities, Haley thanked Kayla.
"I really thought J.J. was beginning to care about me, but it just shows you how wrong you can be," Haley said. Haley told Kayla that J.J. had helped her through a rough time, and she had believed she could trust J.J. With a shrug, Kayla suggested that J.J. had reached out to Jack for advice and not to betray her. Panicked, Haley said she was worried that she would have to be returned to a country she did not know. "I think J.J. feels as betrayed by Jack as you do. By his own father," Kayla suggested.
After Haley left Kayla's office, Eli and Lani arrived. Eli asked Kayla about Haley. Kayla shifted her eyes away guiltily. Down the hallway, J.J. spotted Haley and warned her that the police were looking for her.