At the park, Eve informed Jack that Steve Johnson's son Tripp Dalton was hiding Haley Chen.
"Tripp? Why would my brother name his son Tripp? That's like signing him up to get his ass kicked in fourth grade!" Jack incredulously noted, prompting Eve to impatiently point out that Tripp's name wasn't the important part of the revelation. "I was out running errands this morning, [and] everybody was talking about [Haley]. They want her found...[and] you could be the one to do it," Eve excitedly elaborated.
"[We'll need] photos! If there's no photos, it's like it never happened!" Jack decided after giving the matter some thought, causing Eve to squeal with delight.
Ted entered the Brady Pub just as Eli and Lani were preparing to leave it.
"You still haven't found Haley Chen. I want her picked up -- tonight," Ted said to Eli and Lani, blocking the couple's path. "We've followed up with every known associate we have for Haley Chen," Eli reported. "And no one has seen her," Lani added. "And we're off duty," Eli stressed. "Oh, no -- you're off duty when I say you're off duty," Ted countered.
"This is serious!" Ted dramatically continued. "Yeah, yeah -- I mean, who knows what Haley's up to right now! She could be taking care of a sick person or something!" Eli sarcastically agreed.
Annoyed, Ted stepped aside to contact Hope, wanting permission to stop Eli and Lani from calling it a night. Eli and Lani tried to sneak off while Ted was distracted, but Eve entered the pub just then and cheerfully revealed Haley's whereabouts. "We're off duty," Eli informed Eve as Ted finished talking to Hope. "[Your boss] says differently," Ted announced, joining the conversation.
"Don't you two have better things to do than harass that poor girl?" Lani asked Ted and Eve with obvious disapproval. "That 'poor girl' is in this country illegally!" Eve stressed. "It's called 'improper entry' -- and the law says entering this country improperly for the first time is a misdemeanor, punishable by fine and/or up to six months' imprisonment," Eli tiredly clarified. "Y'all acting like she's public enemy number one," Eli added with a shake of the head. "Don't tell me what's in the law," Ted snapped. "Why don't you just do your jobs?" Eve demanded, and Ted agreed.
At the loft apartment, Claire continued pretending to be on Haley's side as Tripp brainstormed legal ways for an undocumented immigrant to avoid deportation.
"What [Haley] needs is a lawyer, so...what about your mom?" Tripp eventually asked Claire. "My mom's in Hong Kong," Claire dismissively reminded Tripp. "Yeah, so she probably knows Chinese law better than anybody [here]," Tripp countered. "She's not an immigration lawyer," Claire pointed out. "Yeah, but she probably knows the name of one," Tripp argued. "It's probably the middle of the night in Hong Kong," Claire guessed. "No, it's tomorrow morning [there right now]," Tripp clarified. "Really? Oh... Well, I was never meant to be a math major..." Claire admitted with a laugh.
Out of excuses, Claire pretended to dial her mother's cell phone number. "Voicemail," she claimed before pretending to record a message.
A short time later, someone knocked on the apartment door. Tripp waited until Haley was out of sight then checked and saw that Jack was standing outside. "I come at a bad time?" Jack asked innocently. "No, no -- not at all," Claire insisted while gesturing for Jack to enter the apartment. Jack claimed to have just decided that it was finally time to pay Tripp a long overdue visit.
"My dad said you guys didn't even know you were brothers until you were grown," Tripp recalled. "Seems to run in the family," Jack joked. "Eh...no, my -- my dad's not like your dad was," Tripp argued. "He's been an amazing father from the minute he found out about me, and, uh...I really miss him," Tripp added with a sigh. "I understand that Steve and I didn't get along a lot at first. I, uh -- I hope he comes back soon, so that we can work at being closer," Jack declared. "How are you and J.J. getting along these days?" Tripp asked pointedly. "Not very well," Jack admitted. "I can see why," Tripp said.
"What happened between J.J. and me was a misunderstanding," Jack dismissively insisted. "That's not the way I heard it," Tripp argued. "I heard that you used Haley's situation to make political points for yourself...which, in my book, makes you a complete tool," Tripp added, glaring at Jack. "I was trying to keep J.J. from getting into trouble with the law," Jack claimed. "Nah, I don't believe that. A lot of people don't [believe it]. No, no, no -- this is about you wanting to run for mayor," Tripp countered. "I'm running because I sincerely believe I can do good things for Salem," Jack defensively replied.
As Tripp continued arguing with Jack, Claire received a text message from Eve: "Let Jack know where Haley is hiding!" Claire discreetly pointed Jack toward Tripp's bedroom.
"I want you to leave -- now," Tripp ordered Jack before opening the apartment door -- and finding Eli and Lani outside.
"May we come in?" Eli asked. "What choice do I have?" Tripp replied, reluctantly stepping aside.
Eve followed Eli and Lani into the apartment, filming the whole thing on a cell phone. "Are you kidding me? What is this? Come on!" Tripp incredulously protested, but Eve ignored the objection and focused the cell phone's camera on Jack. "I have reason to believe that Haley Chen is hiding out here," Jack dramatically announced for the camera. "I'd start upstairs, if I were you," Jack advised Eli and Lani, prompting Tripp to point out that the detectives couldn't search the apartment without a warrant. Eli quickly produced one then followed Lani into Tripp's bedroom.
"You rotten son of a bitch!" Tripp spat, grabbing Jack. "Calm yourself down, son," Jack advised. "I'm not your 'son'!" Tripp countered, shoving Jack away. "And thank God, too -- I've seen the way you treat your son!" Tripp added with a shake of the head before again trying to get Eve to stop filming. "I can't believe you just came in here, talking all friendly, just so you could set the trap!" Tripp snapped at Jack after failing to get through to Eve. "Harboring a fugitive is against the law," Jack replied with a shrug. "We were just helping out a poor girl who has done nothing wrong!" Claire stressed for Tripp's benefit.
Eli and Lani soon returned with Haley, who was in tears. "I snuck in here, okay? Tripp and Claire are not to blame!" Haley told Eli and Lani. "Don't say anything else," Tripp advised Haley.
Eli produced a pair of handcuffs. "Is that really necessary?" Tripp asked incredulously. "Unfortunately, yes," Lani insisted as Eli started to handcuff Haley. Eve continued filming, excitedly reminding Jack to stay in the shot.
Jack stood beside Eli and Haley and began talking over Lani, who was trying to recite the Miranda rights. "The appeal I made earlier today regarding the whereabouts of Haley Chen has not fallen on deaf ears. Someone came forward who is as concerned about this city as I am," Jack summarized for the camera. Tripp started talking over Jack, angrily ordering everyone to leave immediately. Eve assured Jack that enough of the speech could clearly be heard on the recording. Eli and Lani started to leave with Haley, who dismissed Tripp's offer of help, insisting that it was too late to do anything else.
"If you go with us quietly now, there won't be any consequences for Tripp and Claire," Eli assured Haley, who nodded and tearfully thanked Tripp and Claire for everything.
After Eli and Lani left with Haley, Tripp angrily demanded Eve's cell phone. Eve refused to hand over the device -- and warned Tripp not to try to forcibly procure it. "You're not in trouble now, but if I were you, I wouldn't screw with that," Eve advised before starting to exit the apartment. Jack tried to offer an apology of sorts, but Tripp didn't want to hear it. "The law is the law," Jack reasoned with a shrug, ignoring Tripp's objection. Tripp shoved Jack out of the apartment and slammed the door shut. Claire immediately comforted Tripp with a hug. "If I ever find out who did this, they're -- they're gonna regret it," Tripp vowed as Claire grinned triumphantly.
At the Salem Inn, John received a phone call from Marlena.
"I just had a call from Will... Uh, Sonny doesn't know where Leo is, but Will thinks [Leo] might have gone over to see Diana and find out what she knows," Marlena warned. "Well, he's gonna strike out, 'cause I'm pretty sure I got here first," John replied while eyeing the envelope that had been hidden in Diana's safe. "Oh, oh -- John, I have the test results," Marlena added. "I'll meet you at [your] office. We will face this together, sweetheart. I love you," John stressed before ending the call and opening Diana's hotel room door, unaware that Leo was standing on the other side of it. "What the hell are you doing here?" Leo asked John, barging into the room.
"You were searching the room, weren't you?" Leo suddenly realized, noticing that John was holding an envelope. "Give me that!" Leo worriedly demanded, but John refused and kept the envelope just out of reach. "Then I'm calling the cops," Leo warned while producing a cell phone, but John easily seized the device. "I don't think your mother's gonna like it too much if you call the police on me," John advised. "My mother's likes and dislikes mean nothing to me," Leo dismissively countered before reaching for the desk phone. "Are you sure you really want to make that call and turn in your own father?" John asked pointedly.
Leo was skeptical at first -- until John shared the whole story.
"All this time, she let me believe that I..." Leo began to complain before stopping abruptly. "All this time, she let you believe...what?" John asked curiously. "That I was the son of an abusive man who called me a pansy," Leo said instead of finishing the earlier confession. "She never stood up to him, she never took my side..." Leo continued with a shake of the head. "I know. She told me all about it. And I am sincerely sorry you had to go through it," John stressed. "It's fine. It made me tough," Leo replied, fighting back tears. "[Well, maybe the DNA test will prove that] you didn't come from the Richard Cooper gene pool," John helpfully pointed out.
"Look, give me the envelope. I won't call the police. We can pretend we never saw each other," Leo begged John. "I know you want me to believe you're doing me a real big favor here, but let me tell you how this plays out -- the Salem P.D. and I, we go way back. They will never take your word over mine. That's just a fact. And if they were to see what is inside this envelope, I'm pretty sure it's gonna mess up your life for good," John coolly replied. "I don't have a clue what my mother thinks she has over me. I haven't done anything wrong," Leo innocently insisted. "Then what do you say we just open this and take a look..." John skeptically countered.
"She's been threatening me with that since I came out!" Leo desperately stressed, stopping John. "Hard to imagine a mother doing that to her own son, right? But apparently this is the woman who lied to me about who my father is, so I shouldn't be surprised..." Leo bitterly added. "Leo, I don't want to hurt you -- especially if you're family -- but you gotta understand, Will is family, also, and the only reason I broke into that safe is because we suspected that your mother had something on you that we could use as leverage," John explained. "[To get me] to drop the charges against Will and Sonny," Leo guessed. "Why am I not surprised..." Leo grumbled.
"And since possession is nine-tenths of the law, it kinda looks like I have the upper hand here..." John pointed out. "But I'll tell you what -- I'm gonna make you a deal. [If] you drop the charges against Will and Sonny, [I'll] drop this in the trash, [and] no one ever has to know what is inside of here. Your call," John offered. "Okay -- you win," Leo agreed after a moment of thought. "I'll hand this over when you make it official," John told Leo before contacting Ted, who was still at the Brady Pub. Leo agreed to head over there with John right away to let Ted know about the turn of events.
Ted was surprised to hear that Leo had decided to drop the charges against Will and Sonny. "I thought about it, and I don't -- I don't think [they] ever meant to hurt me," Leo explained. "Are you sure you're not being pressured to say what you just did?" Ted asked Leo while eyeing John suspiciously. "No, I'm -- I'm not being pressured. I just realize now that family is important, and Sonny is my husband..." Leo replied. "[And] you cannot be forced to testify against a spouse," Ted concluded for Leo. "And without your testimony, there is no case," Ted acknowledged. "I will arrange to drop all the charges as soon as possible," Ted promised.
"I did my part. Now, please...give me that envelope," Leo said to John after Ted left the pub. "I hope whatever's in here doesn't come back to bite you," John said to Leo while handing over the envelope. "But if it does and you need some help, you give me a call," John added, surprising Leo. "Shouldn't you wait to find out if I'm your son before you make an offer like that?" Leo asked, but John didn't try to take back the one-time offer of help -- and made it clear that it would be a lifetime offer if the DNA test results confirmed Diana's claim.
"Now, my wife just called, and she said the DNA reports are in. I'm gonna shoot over to her office, and we're gonna open them together. Would you like to be there?" John asked. "I have someplace else I need to go," Leo replied after a moment of thought. "I see. So, you're not interested in knowing for sure who your father is?" John assumed. "No, I am -- I am very, very interested...but I need to find out why my mother lied to me all these years," Leo clarified before rushing off with the envelope that John had handed over earlier.
At the hospital, Shelley warned Diana that Marlena was in the building. "Shelley, you don't have any way -- [perhaps] a master key -- that might get me into some of the other offices, do you?" Diana asked, claiming to need more evidence to prove that Marlena was helping Haley avoid deportation. Shelley hesitantly handed over an identification badge then rushed off to continue tracking Marlena's movements for Diana.
Diana followed Shelley out of Marlena's office -- but soon returned with a box of cookies and a note card from the gift shop, along with a bottle of penicillin and a syringe from the pharmacy.
Meanwhile, Marlena thanked Kayla for having made the DNA test a priority.
"I haven't looked at [the results] yet. I think John should see them first, [so] he's on his way over here right now," Marlena added. "John must be pretty conflicted about the possibility of being Leo's father," Kayla guessed, knowing that Leo was the one who had been causing trouble for Will and Sonny. "I hope [the test results] come out the way [you're hoping...but] what if [they] don't?" Kayla asked gently. "If it turns out that Leo is John's son, I'm sure he'll try to find a way to fit Leo into our family," Marlena replied. "Well, it can be done -- Steve and I did it with Tripp," Kayla pointed out.
Marlena nodded then changed the subject, seizing the opportunity to ask Kayla about Steve. "He's [still] halfway around the world, trying to repair the damage that Stefan DiMera caused to his reputation," Kayla reported. "Is he still upset that you spoke to Stefan privately?" Marlena wondered. "Well, he says he understands...but he's mad -- I know he is," Kayla replied.
"I believe that's the reason he's staying away," Kayla sadly admitted. "Oh, I'm so sorry," Marlena stressed. "Me, too," Kayla replied with a nod. "You know, it's really hard on the boys, too -- I mean, Joey so looked forward to his visits, and he and Tripp were just getting so close," Kayla noted. "And he's not here, and it's because of what I did," Kayla added, sighing heavily.
Later, Marlena entered her office and found a box of cookies and a note card sitting on her desk.
"Thank you for everything you tried to do for me. Sincerely, Haley Chen," Marlena read aloud before eyeing the cookies hungrily.
Diana soon returned -- and was delighted to see that Marlena was passed out on the floor. "Still ticking...but hopefully not for long," Diana muttered after checking Marlena's pulse.
Satisfied, Diana reached for the incriminating box of cookies -- and noticed an envelope sitting next to it, with a label that made it clear that the envelope contained the results of a DNA test that John Black had ordered.
Shortly after Diana left the office, John arrived -- and was horrified to see that Marlena was passed out on the floor.
Diana entered her hotel room and immediately noticed that the panel that was meant to conceal her safe was slightly ajar -- and that the safe itself was empty.
"Looking for something, Mummy?" Leo asked tauntingly, joining Diana in the room -- and holding up the missing envelope.
Marlena struggles to survive
After a particularly busy shift at the hospital, Sarah and Kayla raised their cups of coffee at the nurses' station. Sarah toasted the quiet. Kayla joked that Sarah had jinxed the calm.
"I'm hoping that with Rex coming on board, it will lighten the load," Kayla said. "What are you talking about?" Sarah asked. Kayla informed Sarah that Rex had applied for the open attending position. Stunned, Sarah turned away and whispered, "No, he didn't say anything to me."
Kayla apologized to Sarah for springing the news on her. With a shake of her head, Sarah said she was sure that Rex had planned to surprise her with the news. Kayla asked about Sarah and Rex's engagement. Sarah explained that she wanted to take things slowly. With a nod yes, Kayla told Sarah not to let anyone pressure her into anything she did not want to do. Kayla offered to schedule Rex's hours around Sarah to give her space.
Down the hallway, John walked into Marlena's office. Marlena was unconscious on the floor. When Marlena did not rouse after John shook her, John checked Marlena and could not find a pulse or breathing. John started CPR. When Marlena did not improve, John called out for help. On hearing John's cry, Kayla and Sarah rushed to his aid. Kayla noted that Marlena had a weak pulse and had shallow breaths, thanks to John's efforts. Sarah called for a crash cart.
Once Marlena was stabilized in a hospital room, Sarah asked John if Marlena had complained of any symptoms. John shook his head no. John asked if her condition was related to her health from the coma. Kayla noted that Marlena's heart rhythm was normal, and she did not believe it was related. Marlena's blood pressure dropped.
"Gonna have to intubate," Kayla said. Sarah grabbed a tray to prepare for the procedure. As Kayla examined Marlena, she realized that Marlena was suffering from an allergic reaction. Sarah administered medication to counteract the allergic reaction. When Sarah asked if Marlena had allergies, John shrugged and noted that the only allergy he knew about was penicillin.
"She is very careful to avoid any exposure to penicillin. I can't even imagine how she came into contact with it," John said. Kayla assured John that Marlena would be fine but that they needed to determine what had caused Marlena's allergic reaction. Kayla offered to look around Marlena's office for the allergen. Relieved, John thanked Kayla for saving Marlena's life.
"You were the one that saved her," Kayla said. Kayla squeezed John's arm then left to search Marlena's office. John sat next to Marlena and begged her to fight for her life. "You come back to me, Doc. One last time," John whispered. John kissed Marlena and held her close.
At Eric's apartment, Rex told Eric that he had applied for a position at the hospital. Eric asked if Rex planned on moving out of the apartment. With a shrug, Rex said he was hopeful that Sarah would accept his proposal so that they could buy a house together. A knock at the door interrupted the conversation. It was Brady. Visibly upset, Brady marched into the apartment.
"Holly should not be living with Stefan DiMera. I need to know if I can count on you to get her the hell out of there," Brady demanded. Eric countered that Chloe felt safe at the DiMera mansion. Frustrated, Brady argued that Stefan was interested in Chloe romantically.
"We need to get her the hell out of there before he ruins her life," Brady growled. "It was never about Holly, was it? It is just that you are jealous that Chloe is living with Stefan," Eric said. Brady insisted that he was only friends with Chloe. Rex advised Brady to butt out of Chloe's situation. When Brady warned Rex to stay out of the conversation, Rex reminded Brady that he had almost been shot by Brady's bodyguard. Brady refused to apologize for trying to protect Chloe.
"He doesn't care how she feels. That's the whole point. The only thing he does care about is himself and what benefits him," Eric said. Brady argued that Eric did not care about Holly. Annoyed, Eric blamed Brady for pushing Chloe into Stefan's house with his actions.
"If Nicole was still alive, Holly would be living with her mother, not Chloe and Stefan," Eric grumbled. Brady groaned and apologized again for running Nicole out of town. Eric argued that Brady was at fault.
"No, I'm not! What about Kristen? What about Xander? Did you forget about them?" Brady asked. Eric noted there was enough blame to go around. Eric added that, unlike Kristen and Xander, Brady was supposed to be a good person.
"So were you. But that didn't stop you from going after the woman that I loved behind my back. And you're still not going to take responsibility for that. You better just keep on blaming me instead of yourself on that one, huh, brother?" Brady said. Eric ordered Brady to leave. Brady warned Rex to watch out for Eric because he had a tendency to "go after his brothers' women."
"Keep an eye on Sarah when this guy is around," Brady said as he headed toward the exit. "Leave me out of this. Eric and I? We're cool," Rex said. "I thought we were, too," Brady warned Rex. Eric's phone rang with a call from Sarah. Sarah told Eric that Marlena was in the hospital from an allergic reaction. Worried, Brady asked what was wrong with Marlena. Eric grunted as he walked out the door. Brady and Rex followed closely behind.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan and Chloe played a game of chess together. When Stefan won, he promised that Chloe's game was improving. Chloe suggested a rematch. "I'd much rather pick up where we left off," Stefan said. Chloe coyly asked where they had left off. With a grin, Stefan suggested that he could refresh Chloe's memory. As Stefan walked over to Chloe, her smile faded.
"I thought I made it clear," Chloe started before Stefan interrupted. "I know it is not why you came here to stay. And I know it is not why I offered, but I kissed you, and I felt something, and I think you did, too," Stefan said. As Stefan took a step closer to Chloe, Holly screamed upstairs. Worried, Chloe called out Holly's name and ran out of the room.
When Chloe returned downstairs with Holly in her arms, Stefan asked what had happened. Chloe explained that Holly had suffered a nightmare. Chloe bundled Holly up on the couch. Stefan noted that Chloe was shaken, and he asked her if she was okay. Chloe admitted that Holly's scream had terrified her.
"As long as you are under my roof, nothing will happen to you, that little girl, or Parker. I promise," Stefan said. Chloe got Holly a bottle to soothe her. When Stefan asked if he could help, Chloe noted that Holly missed Nicole, and she did not know how to help Holly deal with that loss.
"Mind if I try?" Stefan asked. Chloe was unsure because Holly was wary of new people, but she nodded toward the couch for Stefan to take a seat next to Holly. "Listen, do you mind if I show you something that is important to me?" Stefan asked Holly. Stefan pulled out his cell phone and showed Holly pictures of Charlotte.
"I loved [Charlotte] very much. I still do. And even though I don't get to see her anymore, she is still right here, right here in my heart. She always will be. One thing I've learned is that even though you can't be with someone, that doesn't mean they're gone. It's how you're with them that matters because that's the magic. It's magic," Stefan said.
"Just like your mommy, your mommy who is way, way off in heaven is still right here in your heart. And that's called love. And that's a special kind of magic. That's the most powerful magic in the whole universe," Stefan continued. Stefan showed Holly the sign language motions for magic, love, and heaven.
Stefan encouraged Holly to make those motions whenever she did not know what to say but wanted to express herself. Holly smiled, then yawned. Chloe scooped Holly up in her arms, and she thanked Stefan for his help. As Chloe carried Holly upstairs, Stefan fought back tears. "Damn it," Stefan muttered.
When Chloe returned to the living room, Stefan's tears were gone, and he was pouring a drink. Chloe noted that Holly was asleep thanks to Stefan's help. "Growing up in an orphanage, I kind of got used to consoling the little ones who missed their parents," Stefan explained. Chloe admitted that she had grown up in an orphanage, as well.
"I mainly kept to myself. I wish I would have had someone as nice as you around to help me feel better," Chloe said. Chloe told Stefan that she believed he would have been a good father to Charlotte. "I'm not sure Abigail would agree," Stefan said. Stefan told Chloe that Nicole had done the right thing when she had entrusted Holly to Chloe's care.
"Sometimes I don't know," Chloe confessed. Stefan told Chloe that she was doing a wonderful job with her children. Chloe said she was worried about when Parker would lose his innocence and stop believing in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. With a shrug, Stefan said he did not like to lie to kids.
"I think it undermines their trust. I think they are intelligent, and they deserve to be treated with respect," Stefan said. Chloe asked Stefan why he had told Holly about heaven and about "love being the most powerful magic there is." "I meant every word of that," Stefan said firmly.
Stefan took a step closer to Chloe, and he suggested that they pick up where they had left off earlier. Chloe took a step back and explained that she was exhausted. Chloe thanked Stefan for his help, and she said goodnight. Chloe kissed Stefan's cheek. Once Chloe was gone, Stefan smiled sadly.
Sonny paced in the Kiriakis living room, anxious for news about John's break-in. Will walked in. Panicked, Sonny asked Will why he was at the house. With a smile, Will informed Sonny that John had forced Leo to recant his story to the D.A. "We're free! We're free! There is nothing to stop us from being together!" Will yelped. To celebrate the good news, Will kissed Sonny. Sonny called Justin and confirmed that the case was officially dead.
"Every time we've gone down this path, Leo has always come up with some new scheme to destroy our lives," Sonny said. "Not this time. He's got nothing left to blackmail us with. This is real," Will added. Sonny said he was eager to tell the world that he and Will were back together. With a shake of his head, Will said he wanted to spend time alone with Sonny before they celebrated their reunion with the rest of the world. Will and Sonny ran upstairs together, and they made love.
Afterward, Sonny joked that anticipation was underrated. Will countered that instant gratification was pretty great, too. With a sigh, Sonny wondered aloud about Leo. Will said he did not know or care where Leo was lurking. Will added that Leo would never separate them again.
In Diana's hotel room, she was frustrated to find that her safe was empty. "Looking for something, mummy?" Leo asked as he held the envelope aloft. Leo noted it was evidence linking him to his father's murder. "Was Richard Cooper actually my father? Or is my real father the one and only John Black?" Leo asked.
Diana played dumb and asked Leo why he would have asked such an outrageous question. Leo explained that John had told him after he had broken into Diana's safe and then had offered Leo a deal for the evidence. Concerned, Diana asked Leo for what help John had asked. "To clear Will and Sonny," Leo said dismissively. Leo asked Diana why she had let an abusive man pose as his father and then make Leo believe he had murdered him.
"Is it true? Is John my father?" Leo demanded. "I never wanted you to find out this way. But, yes -- yes, it is true. John is your father," Diana said. Leo shuddered. "I spent years, my entire childhood, being tormented by that man. Beaten down physically, emotionally. Why, why would you put us through the horror that is my childhood?" Leo asked. With a sigh, Leo asked Diana if she had lied about the paternity because she wanted to get John back in her life. Diana said no.
"I know a grift when I see one! You saw an opportunity, and you took it," Leo charged. Leo argued that Diana was still in love with John and would do anything to be with him. "Yes, I won't deny it. I want John back. We do what we have to do to survive in this world," Diana said. Confused, Leo asked Diana if she was admitting that John was not his father.
"I hate it when you always think the worst of me," Diana whispered. "You have a safe with evidence to blackmail me, your own son, and now you want to act like I'm hurting your feelings?" Leo pointed out. Diana said she had never planned to use the information against Leo. Unsure, Leo asked why Diana had the evidence at all. "So nobody else could!" Diana cried out. Diana said she had protected Leo from the consequences of killing Richard because she loved Leo.
"I blame myself for subjecting you to all that suffering," Diana said. "Why did you let me believe that that monster was my father if it wasn't true?" Leo asked. Diana said she had believed Richard when he had promised to take care of her and her son. Leo asked about John again. Through tears, Diana said that John had learned that Marlena was alive.
"When [Marlena] came back, I knew it was time for me to disappear. I honestly thought we would have a good life with Richard," Diana pleaded. Leo shook his head no. Leo complained that Diana had refused to share Richard's money with him after he had graduated high school. Diana argued that she had wanted Leo to make his own way in the world without her help.
"Well, I've done that, and I've sure made a mess of things," Leo said. Diana argued that Leo had made mistakes. "I almost got myself killed. And now it's over. I have nothing. I have nobody," Leo said. Diana cautioned Leo not to give up on his happiness. "That was very touching, but you didn't answer my question," Leo mumbled. Leo vowed to find the answers.
When Leo mentioned that John was on his way to the hospital to meet with Marlena and review Leo's DNA test results, Diana appeared alarmed. Leo noted that John would know the truth any minute. "Thank you for the warning," Diana whispered. Diana said she was not worried about the results because she was confident about the report's conclusion.
When Eric arrived at the nurses' station at the hospital with Brady, Sarah told Eric that Marlena was doing well after suffering an allergic reaction. Sarah promised Eric that Marlena had the best care. Relieved, Eric hugged Sarah. Rex exited the elevator and watched Eric and Sarah hug. Rex thought about Brady's words of warning about Eric stealing Sarah from him. Rex and Brady exchanged glances.
When Sarah pulled away, she spotted Rex and said hello. Eric noted that Rex had driven them to the hospital. As Eric and Brady headed down the hall to visit Marlena, Rex stayed behind to talk to Sarah. With a sigh, Sarah noted it had been a long evening. Sarah told Rex she had heard about his application for the position at the hospital. Sheepishly, Rex said he had decided to keep it a secret until he learned whether he had been hired. Sarah asked Rex when he had applied.
"Right before I proposed to you. Of course, I didn't expect you to say no," Rex said. Rex promised Sarah that he would withdraw his application if Sarah did not want to work with him. "I would never stand in the way of you working here. You are an excellent doctor, and we are understaffed," Sarah joked. Rex smiled. Sarah encouraged Rex to take the job. With a nod, Rex said he believed that working together would "bring us closer."
In Marlena's hospital room, John informed Eric and Brady that Marlena was fighting but that he did not know what had made her ill. John said he wanted to examine Marlena's office. With a nod, John encouraged Eric and Brady to talk to Marlena because she might be able to hear them.
"It would do her a world of good to know that you guys are getting along. Acting like brothers again," John said. With a pat on Eric's back, John left. Eric leaned over Marlena and whispered that he was there with Brady. "We were in the middle of a pretty ugly fight," Brady added. Eric asked Brady what he was doing. Brady pressed on.
"I know how much it means to you to have us getting along but it has been pretty rocky. And I'm not saying it's gonna go away, but I want you to know that I'm gonna be doing my best," Brady said. "Me, too," Eric added. Eric kissed Marlena on the forehead.
In Marlena's office, Kayla shuffled through the items on the desk. John joined Kayla and announced that he had called everyone to inform them about Marlena. John asked if Kayla had found anything yet. Kayla showed John a box of cookies with a note from Haley. Confused, John asked Kayla why Haley would have sent cookies to Marlena. With a shrug, Kayla said she intended to send the cookies to the lab for testing.
As John scratched his head and thought about the situation, Kayla gasped as she remembered the DNA test results. Kayla grabbed the envelope off of Kayla's desk and handed it to John. With a deep sigh, John opened the envelope. "It's true. 99.9% match. Matthew Cooper, a.k.a. Leo Stark, is my son," John said.
Diana realizes that Marlena is still alive
Tripp entered the loft apartment and immediately began complaining to Claire that the police weren't allowing Haley to have any visitors.
"Oh, God -- that is so unfair!" Claire declared with a feigned scoff of outrage. "This whole thing is unfair!" Tripp angrily stressed. "I still can't believe the cops just came and dragged her away like that... I mean, how -- how did Jack and Eve know that she was even here? Hardly anybody knew that Haley was hiding out here, which means somebody ratted her out...but who? I mean, who would do something like that?" Tripp continued. "Only three people knew that Haley was hiding here, which means one of them has to be the narc, and --" Tripp began to conclude, eyeing Claire suspiciously. "Ciara!" Claire blurted out.
Tripp found it hard to believe that Ciara would do something like that, especially after having passionately defended Haley's right to stay in the country, but Claire insisted that was the only explanation that made any sense. "Just think about the position Ciara was in," Claire reasoned, reminding Tripp that Ciara's mother was the police commissioner. "And she hasn't been around much since she left the hospital, [so] maybe she just feels a little guilty [about ratting out Haley] and doesn't want to face you," Claire added. "Face him about what?" Ciara asked curiously, joining Claire and Tripp inside the apartment.
Tripp awkwardly began to explain what was being discussed. "Only the three of us knew that Haley was hiding out here, and you've been MIA, so..." Tripp concluded. "I've been gone for one night!" Ciara clarified. "Were you avoiding me?" Tripp asked. "No -- I was staying at my mom's, actually. She was trying to help me feel better about Ben," Ciara replied. "You didn't say anything to Hope about Haley?" Tripp wondered. "No," Ciara assured Tripp. "[And] you obviously didn't say anything. That just leaves one other possibility," Ciara added, eyeing Claire suspiciously.
"Oh, God... You know what? Ugh, I -- I bet it was Mrs. Carney," Claire immediately suggested. "The old lady with the cats?" Ciara asked skeptically. "She might look like a space case, but I'm telling you, that woman does not miss a beat," Claire insisted. "The old hag is up into everybody's business all the time, and I think she listens through the walls, so as hard as we tried to keep Haley hidden, Mrs. C obviously got an earful and called the cops," Claire continued. "[And] after she complained to the building manager for the third time that I always play my music too loud, I kind of confronted her on it, [and] I called her a nosy old witch, [so] this is all my fault!" Claire concluded with a feigned sigh of regret. "Well, look, if Mrs. Carney did this, then we'll deal with her..." Tripp began.
"But the bigger issue here is that Haley's still in deep trouble, no matter who turned her in," Tripp added. Ciara nodded in agreement and stressed that Haley needed to find a good lawyer right away, prompting Tripp to ask Claire to try calling Belle again. "Don't forget -- she's in Hong Kong, with the time difference..." Claire pointed out. "It's the middle of the afternoon there," Tripp countered. "Right... Sorry -- like I said last night, math is not really my thing..." Claire replied. "I need to update my mom on Grandma Marlena, anyway, so...I'll go call her right now," Claire promised before retreating to her bedroom.
"I know that you're really into Claire and everything, but...don't you think she was selling that Mrs. Carney story a little too hard?" Ciara asked Tripp once the coast was clear.
"You didn't buy it," Tripp guessed. "Did you?" Ciara replied. "I'm actually surprised that Claire agreed to let Haley live here," Ciara continued when Tripp didn't respond right away. "Because she's undocumented?" Tripp assumed. "Because she's cute," Ciara clarified. "In case you haven't noticed, Claire can be a little insecure sometimes, [and] when she feels threatened, she's capable of doing some pretty messed-up things, [so if she] did something that was bad or secretive because she was jealous, it wouldn't be the first time," Ciara added. "Just keep your eyes open," Ciara advised Tripp, who nodded in response.
At the police station, Eli joined Haley in one of the conference rooms and immediately began asking questions about Marlena's poisoning.
Haley vehemently denied having given Marlena a box of poisoned cookies. "This isn't even my handwriting! Compare it to anything I've ever written!" Haley added, dismissively tossing aside the note card that Eli had presented as evidence. "We will," Eli threateningly promised before continuing to interrogate Haley, getting much more aggressive. Haley admitted to having made a brief visit to the hospital the previous morning but was quick to add that it would have been quite difficult to find an opportunity to carry out an elaborate plan to poison someone while also trying to hide from Eli and Lani, who had both been in the building at that same time.
Haley insisted that someone was framing her. "[And] with all the anti-immigration people who would love to see me kicked out or locked up, you have no shortage of suspects," she pointed out.
At the hospital, Sonny followed Will out of the chapel, offering words of encouragement about the power of prayer -- and the power of love. "Thanks for being here for me," Will said to Sonny, managing a smile. "Of course. I'm -- I'm always gonna be here for you. We're never gonna be apart again, now that Leo is finally out of our lives," Sonny replied, causing Will's smile to get bigger.
Meanwhile, Diana found John in one of the rooms, sitting beside an empty bed. "I am so deeply sorry!" Diana claimed while placing a comforting hand on John's shoulder, assuming that Marlena was dead. John pulled away from Diana and clarified that Marlena was still alive and was simply undergoing a series of tests in another part of the building at that moment. "Oh... Thank God..." Diana muttered, forcing a smile.
Diana soon began probing innocently for details about what had happened, eager to determine Marlena's prognosis as well as the status of the investigation into the cause of the poisoning. Shortly after John finished answering Diana's questions, Eli entered the room and announced that Haley had denied having any involvement in Marlena's poisoning -- and seemed to be telling the truth.
"Do you know of anyone who would have had a reason to target your wife?" Eli asked. "Years ago, Kristen DiMera tried a similar stunt -- you know, box of chocolates for Doc that were laced with penicillin, note was left by Susan Banks..." John recalled as Diana listened intently. "Kristen's presumed dead," Eli pointed out. "Well, Eli, you know, if there's one thing I've learned about Kristen DiMera...never presume anything," John replied.
After Eli left, John started to admit something to Diana, who quickly interrupted to report that Leo had already revealed everything that had happened the previous day.
"I'm not angry, [and] I'm not surprised. You always do what you have to do to protect the people you love," Diana noted, letting John off the hook for the safecracking incident. "Well, regarding the DNA results, uh...Diana, I'm really sorry that I doubted you --" John began. "No, no, no -- I completely understand," Diana assured John. "So, you know what Leo did..." Diana assumed. "No, no -- I never opened the envelope," John clarified.
"So, we can all just move on?" Diana asked. "That's what I was hoping," John confirmed before rushing off to check on Marlena.
At the police station, Haley received an unwelcome visit from J.J., who refused to leave without first saying a few things. "I am so sorry about what happened," J.J. began as Haley listened reluctantly. "I know that this is my fault, [and] I'm going to make it up to you -- that's why I brought reinforcements," J.J. continued as Justin entered the conference room. "He's here to help you. I hope you'll let him," J.J. concluded.
"I don't want your help!" Haley snapped at J.J. "I know you're angry --" J.J. patiently began to reply. "'Angry'? You know what? 'Angry' is an understatement! J.J., I might be thrown out of this country!" Haley stressed. "Which is why you need an attorney. And I don't see your sister stepping up," J.J. argued. "We can fight [this] together. You just have to give the okay," Justin helpfully added.
Just then, Eli returned to take Haley to the courthouse for a hearing. Haley worriedly agreed to accept Justin's help.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Leo entered one of the bedrooms and watched as Brady slept. "Aw... That is too bad..." Leo mused with a sigh, admiring Brady's nearly naked body.
"Wakey, wakey..." Leo eventually whispered, leaning over the empty side of the bed to get right in Brady's face. "What are you -- what...?" Brady groggily began, startled and confused. "Oh, my God -- what are you doing here? Get out of here!" Brady demanded while backing away and covering up with a sheet. "Relax," Leo calmly urged Brady. "'Relax'? Last time you were around me, you stuck your tongue in my mouth, dude!" Brady pointed out. "That's not gonna happen again..." Leo dryly promised. "You're damn right it's not gonna happen again!" Brady agreed before again ordering Leo to leave.
"Will you just listen to me for a second, bro?" Leo requested. "'Bro'? Don't -- okay, don't ever 'bro' me! I'm not your bro, all right?" Brady snapped. "Actually...you are," Leo insisted.
"What kind of scam you working now?" Brady asked, dismissing Leo's claim with a laugh of disbelief. "Don't take my word for it..." Leo replied before proceeding to share Diana's story -- and detail John's efforts to verify it. "I'm asleep still, [and] this is a nightmare," Brady decided while turning away from Leo, fluffing a pillow, and tightly shutting both eyes. "Oh, come on -- don't be such a drama queen!" Leo protested, taking a seat on the empty side of the bed. "Can't we just agree to put the past behind us and move forward? We have so much time to make up for -- and I know the perfect way to do it," Leo added.
"Does it involve you dropping dead and me going back to sleep?" Brady asked hopefully. "No, silly -- it involves you giving me a job at Titan," Leo clarified, quite serious.
Sighing, Brady reluctantly climbed out of bed. "I worked there before. Why wouldn't you hire me again?" Leo asked as Brady began getting dressed. "Oh, I don't know... Oh, wait -- it might have something to do with the fact that you sued the former CEO for sexual harassment and tried to drive the company into the ground!" Brady replied.
"Ancient history!" Leo dismissively insisted. "Really? You want to ask Sonny about that? You know, you almost ruined his life!" Brady pointed out. "And what kind of person do you think could pull that off?" Leo proudly countered. "A psychotic perv, maybe?" Brady suggested. "No, a smart person -- someone with vision, drive, and guts," Leo clarified. "You may not like me, but you cannot deny that I have had complete control over this family for months," Leo added. "Trust me -- you want me on your team," Leo concluded. "Trust me -- that's the last thing I want," Brady stressed.
"I've talked to Will and Sonny. I know that you dropped the charges against them," Brady suddenly revealed. "What can I say? I'm a great guy!" Leo replied with a shrug. "No, Leo -- you're desperate. You're watching your lavish lifestyle just come to a screeching halt, and now this is your last-ditch effort to get a handout," Brady guessed. "[Not] a 'handout' -- a job," Leo defensively clarified.
"I deserve something! I'm a victim, too!" Leo insisted. "You tortured people that I happen to love in this world with blackmail and threats, [and now] you come into this room, and you want pity?" Brady incredulously summarized. "You're not gonna get it. I don't give a damn if we share a father, Leo -- I want you to get the hell out of our lives," Brady added with finality.
"I'm sorry to hear you say that. We would have made a good team...bro," Leo said to Brady before exiting the bedroom. Leo headed downstairs and found Will and Sonny chatting in the living room.
"What are you still doing here?" Sonny asked. "Ugh! Why are you so rude? I dropped the charges against you two -- a little gratitude would be nice!" Leo replied. "We'll be grateful when you're gone," Will promised, and Sonny nodded in agreement. "Unbelievable! I do something kind and selfless --" Leo began to complain. "Oh, save it -- we talked to John last night, [so] stop pretending this is an act of charity on your part," Sonny impatiently demanded. "You're one to talk! Since we've been married, you haven't shown me a single ounce of kindness -- or anything else I wanted to see..." Leo bitterly countered.
"[Because] we don't have a real marriage," Sonny tiredly reminded Leo. "You blackmailed him into marriage because you wanted his money," Will helpfully added. "Good luck proving that," Leo dismissively countered. "We don't have to! It's over, Leo -- it's done! You are no longer a threat to us!" Will pointed out with a grin. "And I can finally divorce you," Sonny warned, also grinning.
"There's no need to use the 'D' word!" Leo protested. "I do not want to be connected with you -- legally or otherwise -- for another second," Sonny stressed. "You want to be with Will," Leo acknowledged. "I'm cool with that," Leo added. "Really? Because you have done nothing but try and keep us apart," Will skeptically argued. "Let's just say...I've evolved," Leo explained with a shrug.
"People want what they want, and they should have it -- all of it," Leo continued. "So...what, you're suggesting that we stay married in name only, and that I sneak around behind your back with Will?" Sonny asked incredulously. "That's not happening," Will insisted. "We have waited so long to be together. I want the world to know that [Will] is the man that I love -- the man that I'm committed to for the rest of my life -- and you are a parasite that I want to get rid of," Sonny elaborated. "Yes, but...why go through the whole rigmarole of a divorce? Let's just keep things the way they are," Leo reasoned.
"Or...better yet...we could bring Will into our relationship," Leo suggestively added. "We don't have a relationship, you moron!" Sonny reiterated. "But we could. I mean, why not? We're all modern, forward-thinking people..." Leo argued. "Okay, enough! Pack your bags and get out!" Sonny impatiently demanded. "For good," Will stressed. "Eh...not quite," Leo countered with a smirk.
Will and Sonny were both stunned when Leo suddenly claimed to be John's son. "Which means we're family," Leo cheerfully summarized. "I won't be Mr. Jackson Kiriakis anymore, [but] I will still be Uncle Leo, and that, dear boys, means I'm not going anywhere," Leo added before walking away. Will and Sonny stared at each other in silence, both looking sick.
Brady went to the hospital to check on John, who reported that Marlena was still in critical condition. After offering a few words of encouragement, Brady awkwardly changed the subject, unable to resist the urge to ask John about Leo's earlier claim. "I'm sorry, kid -- I'm afraid it's the truth," John confirmed, stunning Brady.
Meanwhile, Diana stood frozen in Marlena's room, staring at the empty bed in anger. "I almost pulled it off...but I am not giving up being with John -- not when I am so close. All I have to do is finish the job," Diana eventually decided, eyeing the I.V. bag.
Shelley threatens to expose Diana
Chloe went to Eric's apartment to see Rex, who opened the door, wearing only a towel, having just finished taking a shower.
"The kids and I baked some cookies, and we had some extras, and...I'm not sure if you eat cookies..." Chloe began, eyeing Rex's toned body. "But I wanted to bring some as a thank-you for helping me with Brady's goon," Chloe concluded. Rex expressed appreciation for the kind gesture then hungrily reached for a cookie -- and nearly lost the towel in the process. Chloe took the close call as a sign that it was time to leave, but Rex insisted that wasn't necessary. "I could actually really use a friend to talk to," Rex admitted before retreating to another room to get dressed.
Rex returned to the living room a short time later and told Chloe that Brady had fought with Eric about Nicole yet again the previous day -- and had hinted, during the fight, that Eric might go after Sarah next. "Brady's passionate. Sometimes he just says things. He might have been lashing out, or..." Chloe started to assure Rex at the end of the tale before stopping abruptly. "Unless you think something's going on between Eric and Sarah," Chloe eventually continued, getting the feeling that Rex was concerned. "They're friends. They're -- they're -- they're just friends," Rex insisted. "You don't really sound so convinced," Chloe curiously observed.
"Even if there is a hint of chemistry between them, there's no way Eric would go there after what happened with Brady," Chloe confidently predicted. "Right," Rex agreed after a moment of thought. "I love Sarah, she loves me, and I trust my brother," Rex added before deciding to go to the hospital to offer Eric some support. "Please tell everyone I'm praying for Marlena," Chloe requested while following Rex out of the apartment.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan and Gabi argued about possible additions to the Gabi Chic line of products, including a decorative throw pillow.
Stefan munched on cookies and barely listened as Gabi passionately explained the benefits of expanding Gabi Chic to include a collection of home décor. "Chloe made me these, and they are fantastic. You need to sell these," Stefan insisted through a mouthful of cookies. "You're still trying to get into Chloe's cookie jar," Gabi realized with a teasing laugh. "And you're still so damn jealous, you can't see straight," Stefan countered after finishing the cookies. Gabi vehemently denied the accusation but failed to convince Stefan, who pointed out that there was such a thing as protesting too much.
Gabi tried to steer the conversation back to the topic of home décor, but Stefan remained unwilling to allow the development of such a line. "I can call Shin..." Gabi warned, producing a cell phone. "What are you gonna do -- call Daddy every time I say no to you?" Stefan asked incredulously, snatching the device out of Gabi's hand. "No -- just every time you're being a brat," Gabi replied while trying to take the cell phone back from Stefan, who dropped it during the struggle. "You cracked my phone!" Gabi complained, picking up the device and staring at its damaged screen in disbelief. "It was probably already like that," Stefan skeptically countered.
Fed up, Gabi grabbed the pillow and smacked Stefan with it. "What are you gonna do -- attack me with your ugly pillow?" Stefan asked dismissively. "Maybe I'll just smother you instead," Gabi warned.
"God, you could cut the sexual tension in here with a knife," Leo teasingly observed from the foyer as Gabi advanced toward Stefan with a scowl, still holding the pillow. "Oh, please -- I hate this creep. He makes me sick," Gabi stressed as Leo barged into the living room. "You keep saying that, but anyone with two eyes can see how bad you want me," Stefan countered, pleased to have Leo as an agreeable witness.
Gabi threw the pillow at Stefan in anger. "I recognize that!" Leo blurted out as Stefan caught the pillow. "You used that heinous thing to cover up my private parts on Valentine's Day, when you tied me up," Leo recalled, causing Stefan to drop the pillow with a mixture of shock and disgust. "Oh, no -- that's a different one. I had yours burned," Gabi clarified. "Be careful with this one. She's not just kinky -- she's twisted, too. Once she had me all trussed up, she came at me with a pair of scissors," Leo warned Stefan, who went pale after realizing the implication. "What is it that you want, you little worm?" Gabi tiredly asked Leo.
Leo stayed focused on Stefan while responding to Gabi's question. "As I told the hottie guarding the front door -- I think he said his name was Ben -- I have some important business to discuss with you, Mr. DiMera," Leo explained. "I've been living at the Kiriakis mansion, [and] I've had the pleasure of listening to Victor and his merry band of morons plotting their evil deeds. In other words, I'm sitting on a giant pile of inside dirt that I'm happy to shovel in your direction," Leo elaborated. "How do I know it's not a giant pile of poo?" Stefan asked skeptically. "I detest that family. I want nothing more than to watch [their] company go down in flames," Leo replied.
"Even if it means I have to go head to head with my new brother Brady," Leo continued, stunning Gabi. "You couldn't stay married to Sonny, so now you're going around town, telling everybody you're Brady's brother? What's next? Are you gonna tell everyone that Prince Harry's your long-lost cousin?" Gabi asked incredulously, prompting Leo to reveal that a DNA test had already been conducted to verify the claim.
"I haven't seen the results yet, but I'm certain they'll prove I'm half Black," Leo bragged. "You know what I mean," Leo added after getting odd looks from Stefan and Gabi. "[And once Brady] sees the results, he'll have no choice but to embrace me as his own flesh and blood," Leo concluded. "Doesn't always work out that way," Stefan warned. "Well, I have every intention [of] getting close to my new brother," Leo maintained. "Who also happens to be the CEO of Titan..." Leo pointedly reminded Stefan. "You're gonna pump Brady for information and then pass it along to me?" Stefan summarized. "In exchange for some sort of compensation," Leo stressed.
Gabi advised Stefan not to trust Leo. "This is a legit offer," Leo assured Stefan in response to Gabi's warning. "You want to bring down Titan, and I have what you need to do it," Leo continued. "Do we have a deal?" Leo asked hopefully. Stefan, having heard a lot about the con man formerly known as Matthew Cooper, agreed with Gabi's assertion that Leo wasn't the least bit trustworthy. "[But] if you can back up all this big talk here and bring me something of real value, I might be interested in doing business with you," Stefan told Leo, who excitedly promised to deliver. "I'll let you get back to your foreplay," Leo joked before exiting the mansion.
"He totally played you," Gabi said to Stefan once the coast was clear. "I can handle Leo -- without going to the lengths that you did," Stefan dismissively insisted. "Did you really tie him naked to a bed?" Stefan asked. "Who's jealous now?" Gabi teasingly replied as Chloe entered the mansion. "He's all yours," Gabi said to Chloe. "I'm gonna tell Production to go full speed with the home collection, okay? And I'm gonna leave you to your...'cookies,'" Gabi said to Stefan before leaving the mansion. Outside, Gabi contacted Brady and recorded a voicemail message: "I have some information that I think you're gonna find useful. Call me back."
At the hospital, Shelley found Diana in Marlena's room, eyeing the I.V. bag. "Dr. Evans will be through with her tests soon. I need to prep the room," Shelley announced. "Then I will get out of your way," Diana replied.
"Before you go...why don't you tell me how you tried to kill Dr. Evans?" Shelley suggested as Diana was leaving the room. "What an outrageous accusation!" Diana indignantly protested, but Shelley wasn't convinced, having decided that Haley had no reason to poison Marlena. "You could have very easily have pulled Dr. Evans' medical history [while in her office] and found out that she was severely allergic to penicillin," Shelley pointed out.
Shelley started to contact the police, but Diana insisted that would be a very bad idea.
"I had nothing to do with Marlena's most recent brush with death...but it is an odd coincidence that this all happened after you let me into her office [and] gave me access to the hospital computers [as well as] your very own key card," Diana pointed out, producing Shelley's identification badge and holding it just out of reach. "If I am accused of any wrongdoing, you are the one who's going to have a problem proving you weren't involved," Diana warned. "I would never help you hurt [Dr. Evans]! You used me, lied to me... I had no idea what you were planning to do!" Shelley stressed. "My word against yours," Diana noted.
"And just so you know...when I was going through those personnel files that you helped me get into, I took a peek at yours," Diana revealed. "You had no right to do that!" Shelley protested. "You're not very popular around here, are you, Nurse Shelley? Seems you've had your own run-ins with authorities over the past few years. It seems that [at] your last job, you got fired for repeated acts of insubordination," Diana continued. "That was in the past," Shelley insisted. "I don't think so, because since you've been here, again and again, you have problems with authority. [And] Dr. Johnson even reported you for badmouthing the hospital to patients," Diana countered.
"All of that was cleared up," Shelley maintained. "Still...I get the impression your colleagues won't come to your defense. You really should have been nicer to them," Diana mused. "I don't care that people like me; I care that they respect me. And around here, they do. I'm a damn good nurse, so I let my work speak for itself," Shelley explained. "You really do like this job?" Diana asked. "I love this job," Shelley confirmed. "I took an oath to help people. That's why I have to tell the truth about Dr. Evans -- about what you did to her," Shelley added. "If you open your big mouth, you will go down right along with me," Diana warned.
"You will lose your license [and] you will lose this precious job you say you love so much," Diana continued. "Maybe that's a chance I'm willing to take," Shelley replied.
Meanwhile, at the nurses' station, Brady struggled to process the confirmation that John was Leo's father. "I'm really sorry that you had to find out like this. I would have told you myself --" John began to stress. "You know what? Forget it. Forget it. I don't want to talk about it right now," Brady insisted, knowing that there were more important things to worry about at that moment.
As if on cue, Kayla approached and assured John and Brady that Marlena was almost finished with all of the tests that had been ordered.
"I think I might know who tried to poison her," Kayla revealed. "Normally, an antibiotic wouldn't raise any red flags, because it's not a controlled substance...but after what happened to Marlena, I went to the medical records department to have them check for any irregularities, [and] as it turns out, the day that Marlena got sick, someone did withdraw a vial of liquid penicillin...and it was not given to any patient," Kayla elaborated. "Who checked out the drug?" John asked. "One of our nurses on staff here -- Shelley Santos," Kayla replied.
John and Brady wanted to find and confront Shelley immediately, but Kayla insisted that there was a protocol that needed to be followed. "Forget about the protocol here! I want to talk to Nurse Santos -- right now!" John impatiently demanded. "I'm right here," Shelley said, approaching the trio. "Why would you try to kill my wife?" John asked angrily. "I didn't -- I swear -- but I know who did," Shelley replied.
"Kristen DiMera," Shelley claimed, having decided to blame the one person who, according to Diana, would make a perfect scapegoat. "Kristen DiMera is dead," Brady skeptically protested. "Wouldn't be the first time she came back from the grave," John pointed out. "That awful woman came here and tried to kill Dr. Evans once before. Her face was all over the news. That's how I recognized her," Shelley continued. "You saw Kristen here yesterday?" Kayla asked. "She approached me. She said that she'd kill me if I didn't do everything she asked," Shelley explained. "Including giving her access to the pharmacy?" John assumed. Shelley nodded in response.
Meanwhile, in Marlena's room, Diana eyed the I.V. bag again. "I'm glad I saved some of this for you, Marlena," Diana mused while producing the stolen vial of penicillin. "Kristen and I both tried it with sweets, but now it's time for a more direct approach. Here's hoping the third time's a charm," Diana added, advancing toward the I.V. bag with a wild look of determination.
Members of the Salem Police Department soon arrived to take Shelley's statement and begin the search for Kristen.
"I just can't believe that Kristen is still alive, Dad -- and she had the nerve to come back here and go after Marlena again," Brady admitted with a shake of the head. "Doesn't surprise me. She's been gunning for Doc for years," John replied. "I just thought this time -- this time -- she was gone for good," Brady continued, sighing. "Never make an assumption when it comes to the DiMeras," John advised.
Just then, Kayla returned with an orderly who was wheeling Marlena on a gurney. Kayla stopped the orderly so John could have a moment alone with Marlena, who had not yet woken up.
Sarah went to the chapel to check on Eric -- and regretfully reported, when asked, that Marlena's condition hadn't improved yet. "Pray with me?" Eric requested, extending a hand. Sarah awkwardly grasped Eric's hand and looked around the room uncomfortably, waiting for the prayer to end. "Amen," Eric eventually concluded. Relieved, Sarah immediately released Eric's hand.
"You okay?" Eric asked curiously. "Yeah, yeah -- I'm just, um...I'm not really good at...all this," Sarah explained, gesturing around the chapel. "I guess it's kind of embarrassing to say it in here -- and to you -- but...I don't know if I buy it," Sarah added. "Well, I can only speak for myself, but I can't imagine my life without it," Eric replied. "[Then] why did you stop being a priest?" Sarah wondered.
"It's complicated," Eric warned before proceeding to tell Sarah the whole story. Sarah was horrified to hear about what Eric had been through but couldn't help noting that it meant that Nicole wasn't the only woman who had ever gotten between Eric and Brady. Eric confirmed that, technically, that was true. Eric added, however, that Brady really only had a right to be upset about what had happened with Nicole, since what had happened with Kristen hadn't been consensual. Confused, Sarah wondered if Brady truly was still upset about what had happened with Nicole. Eric nodded and began telling Sarah about the fight that had occurred the previous day.
"At least things with Rex are all right," Sarah noted. Eric seized the opportunity to find out if Sarah had decided what to do about Rex's proposal yet. "I know you have your doubts about my brother, but I really, really think you should trust him," Eric advised when Sarah didn't respond right away. "What if he shouldn't trust me?" Sarah eventually asked. Eric assumed that was a reference to what had happened with Xander, but Sarah vaguely clarified that it was a reference to something else. "What?" Eric asked, confused. "Listening to my heart," Sarah replied before kissing Eric.
As Eric responded to the kiss, Brady entered the chapel. "Brady, this is --" Eric began after pulling away from Sarah. "Not what it looks like?" Brady skeptically concluded for Eric. "'Cause it kind of looks like history repeating itself, brother," Brady continued. Before Eric could respond, Rex entered the chapel and wondered what was going on.
Diana found John at the nurses' station and innocently asked for an update on Marlena's condition. John reported that there had been no improvements yet -- but, on the bright side, the tests had all finally been completed. John added that Kristen had been identified as the person who had poisoned Marlena. "Everybody's on high alert here, [and] I've got a guard posted right outside [Doc's] door, so she's safe," John stressed, not noticing Diana's smirk. Meanwhile, in Marlena's room, the contents of the I.V. bag steadily dripped down to the tube that was connected to Marlena's arm.
Marlena's heart stops
At Doug's Place, Ciara helped Julie set up for dinner. Julie asked Ciara if she was feeling better. "I just want to put the whole incident [with Jordan] behind me," Ciara said. With a grumble, Julie said she was not surprised that Jordan was as bad as the rest of her family. Ciara asked Julie to stop talking about the Westons. With a shrug, Julie apologized for talking ill of Ciara's boyfriend.
"He's not my boyfriend. Anymore," Ciara said. Julie's eyebrows raised high in both surprise and mild glee. "So, you've finally seen the light about Ben?" Julie asked hopefully. "Actually, Grandma, he broke up with me," Ciara corrected. Ciara told Julie what had happened after the incident with Jordan. Ciara said she was certain that Ben would never hurt her, but Julie countered that if Ben had doubts, Ciara should, too.
"It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. [Ben] sees himself as someone who's too damaged to live a normal life. To be a decent person. Someone who is deserving of love and respect," Ciara said. Ciara added that without anyone to dissuade Ben from those thoughts, Ben would become the monster that he feared. Julie advised Ciara to remember that Ben could snap at any moment. Upset, Ciara countered that Julie had supported Abigail through her mental illness.
"Abigail did not murder three people!" Julie exclaimed. "She tried!" Ciara countered. Ciara reminded Julie that Abigail had almost suffocated Marlena, Kate, and Vivian in the tunnels. "And Abigail actually did kill one person: Andre," Ciara finished. Julie grumbled that Abigail had done the world a favor when she had eliminated Andre.
"[Abigail] was terribly stressed with PTSD, which was brought on by Ben," Julie noted. Ciara pointed out that Abigail's main issue had been mental illness, and she had recovered enough to lead a normal, healthy life. "If Abigail can be cured, why can't Ben?" Ciara asked. Julie raised a questioning eyebrow. Ciara said that Ben deserved a second chance like Abigail.
"If the entire population of Salem would stop calling Ben a monster, maybe he wouldn't see himself as one," Ciara said. Julie told Ciara that she was a lot like Bo and Hope. "They had big, loving hearts, just like you do. They always wanted to give everybody a chance," Julie said. Julie added that Hope was not likely to be as open-minded about Ciara's choices as other people's choices.
"You are precious to [Hope]. As you are to me," Julie said. Ciara asked if Julie could make an effort to open her mind about Ben. Ciara reminded Julie that Doug had once been a con man. "People can change, Grandma," Ciara said. Julie said she believed in second chances, but Ben had been given multiple chances already. Julie added that Ben was in danger of suffering a relapse.
When Julie noted that Ben could hurt other people, Ciara mentioned that Ben no longer worked for Stefan. Julie's eyebrows shot upward, and she rolled her eyes. Julie confirmed that Ben was working for Stefan again. Ciara asked Julie how she knew about Ben's employment. Julie explained that Chloe had taken the day off work because Ben was installing security cameras at the mansion.
"I guess I understand why he took the job. He needed the job, and no one else would hire him, and since we're not even together anymore..." Ciara said. Julie asked Ciara if she understood that Ben's employment could drive him into a downward spiral.
At the DiMera mansion, Ben escorted Leo out of the house. Leo invited Ben out for drinks, but Ben declined. "You're straight, I know. It is painfully obvious, but I just meant as friends," Leo said. Ben noted that he was working. With a sigh, Leo said he needed to see about "a daddy." Ben asked Leo if he was talking about a sugar daddy. Leo sighed wistfully and said, "I only wish that's what I meant."
When Ben returned to the living room, he informed Stefan that the new cameras had been installed. Stefan thanked Ben for his work, and he told Ben to take the afternoon off. With a shrug, Ben explained that he had nowhere to go. With a smirk, Stefan noted that Ben appeared determined to stay away from Ciara.
"I have to forget her," Ben said. Ben explained that he did not want to hurt Ciara. Stefan asked Ben if he believed he could hurt Ciara. Ben said he was concerned about the darkness inside him.
"Whatever you got inside of you, Ben? Isn't going to turn you into some big, scary monster," Stefan advised. "I almost killed my sister," Ben countered. Ben argued that he was from a violent family and a violent childhood. Stefan noted that his own father was a violent man. Stefan added that, like his father's obsession with Marlena, he had been obsessed over Abigail.
"But that doesn't mean that I am doomed to obsess over only unattainable women or cursed to walk this earth alone, Ben. Just because our fathers directly or indirectly set us up for failure, doesn't mean that we have to fall into that trap," Stefan said. Stefan argued that he and Ben could break the cycle of violence and have love in their lives. Stefan added that Ben had to want love first.
"Do we deserve it?" Ben asked. "I believe I do, but you must decide that for yourself," Stefan said. With a nod, Stefan walked out. Ben looked over at Stefano's portrait and asked him if Stefan was right about breaking the cycle. Ben told Stefano's portrait that though he loved Ciara, he did not want to condemn Ciara to the same abusive fate Ben's mother had suffered at the hands of Clyde. Ciara knocked on the front door.
At the hospital, Diana sat with John in the waiting area and reminded him that she was there for him. Kayla updated John on Marlena's condition. John was eager to visit with Marlena, even though she was still unconscious. Diana volunteered to go with John, but he asked to be alone with his wife. Diana offered to get food for John instead.
As John went in to see Marlena, Diana thought about when she had injected penicillin into Marlena's I.V. fluid bag. "Hopefully, by the time I get back, it'll be goodnight for good, Marlena," Diana whispered.
In Marlena's hospital room, John muttered that he could not believe that Marlena was fighting for her life again, thanks to Kristen. "I should have known better when they didn't find her body, but I let my damn guard down," John complained.
"Nothing is going to happen to her now," Kayla assured John. After Kayla left to attend to other patients, John sat in the room alone with Marlena and told her that she was the love of his life. John reminded Marlena that she had promised in their wedding vows to grow old together.
"Don't you bail on me now," John said softly. Leo knocked on the door. John invited Leo in. Leo asked about Marlena. With a nod, John confirmed that Marlena was stable.
"I know your focus is on your wife right now, but did you have a chance to look at the DNA results?" Leo asked cautiously. John confirmed that he was Leo's father. Leo's mouth fell agape, and he grabbed John and hugged him.
"If I'd known you were my father, maybe things would have been different," Leo said solemnly. "We're together now, and we will make up for lost time. I can promise you that," John said. John turned toward Marlena and added that his reunion with Leo would have to wait until Marlena was doing better. With a nod, Leo said he understood.
"I heard that she was poisoned. I could be totally wrong here, but I just have this nagging feeling. Do you think it could have been my mother that tried to kill Marlena?" Leo asked. John narrowed his eyes.
"Why would you think your mother would try to kill Doc?" John asked. Leo noted that Diana had a thing for John. With a shrug, John countered that Diana understood that he was committed to Marlena. John added that the Diana that he remembered was not the kind of person that would poison a romantic rival. Leo hesitated, then explained that Diana had been damaged by her marriage to Richard Cooper.
"Do I think she could have done this? I know she is capable of anything. Even killing your wife," Leo said. Concerned, John looked at Marlena. "You must think I'm awful for trying to pin this on my own mother," Leo whispered. John said he understood that Leo and Diana had a difficult relationship.
"I thought that things would be better after he was gone, but she even blamed me for his death," Leo said. John asked why. Leo averted his eyes and noted that Diana blamed him for everything. Leo stressed that Richard's death had been a freak accident. Leo changed the subject to John's life.
"Trying to explain my life is a little complicated, especially when it comes to my past. That's why Marlena is so important to me. Through all the chaos and confusion, she was always my anchor. My lifeboat. And to this day, I don't know how I would survive without her," John said. Marlena's monitors started to beep. John called out for help, and Kayla rushed in. Kayla ordered John and Leo to leave the room. Leo slipped out, but John refused to leave.
In the pub, Diana sat at a table, stared at her phone, and muttered, "Will the woman just put me out of my misery and die already?" Diana imagined what it would be like to go into Marlena's room as John cried over a dead Marlena. In the fantasy, John told Diana that Marlena's last wish was for John to move on with another woman.
"The only person I would want to move on with is you," John said. Diana swooned and kissed John. Lost in her fantasy, Diana smiled to herself. "Soon, my darling," Diana whispered.
In the hospital chapel, Brady walked in as Sarah and Eric kissed. Sarah saw Brady in the doorway. Eric started to say the situation was not what it looked like. "It kind of looks like history repeating itself, brother," Brady said gruffly. Rex walked in. Brady said that there was some bad news that Rex needed to know. Concerned, Rex asked what was wrong.
"Kristen DiMera is alive," Brady announced. Brady explained that Kristen had poisoned Marlena. Rex asked Brady who had seen Kristen. Brady explained about Shelly's confession. Sarah stammered that she and Eric had been talking about Kristen before Brady had walked in. With a raised eyebrow, Brady asked if that was what he had walked in on. Suspicious, Rex narrowed his eyes as he watched Brady, Eric, and Sarah trade glances.
Brady and Eric suggested that everyone go check on Marlena. Still concerned, Rex asked if the brothers needed anything. "You're lucky to have a brother like him," Brady said pointedly to Eric. "I am. I know that," Eric said firmly. With a nod, Brady and Eric left and walked to the nurses' station.
Eric started to say something to Brady, but Brady cut him off and noted that he was more concerned with locating John. Kayla interrupted to inform Brady that John was in Marlena's room. With a nod, Kayla added that Marlena was not up to having more visitors. Eric asked Kayla about Marlena's status.
"She's the same. Her body just needs time to heal. Cautiously optimistic," Kayla reported. Brady said he was glad to hear the news. Concerned by the obvious tension, Kayla asked Eric and Brady if everything was okay with them. Eric and Brady both lied and said there was no problem. With a nod, Kayla left to inform John that Eric and Brady were in the waiting area.
Back in the chapel, Rex remarked to Sarah about the tension between Eric and Brady. Rex said he hoped the brothers could work out their differences without going to war with one another. Sarah nodded in agreement.
"I'm really concerned for my brother. [Eric] just seemed so on edge," Rex said. Sarah assured Rex that Eric was only worried about Marlena. "I hope I didn't make things worse," Sarah lamented. When Rex asked how, Sarah explained that she had a knack for saying and doing the wrong things. Rex disagreed. Rex reminded Sarah that she had been a rock for Eric after Nicole's death. Rex said he was glad that Sarah and Eric had been close.
"I have to admit, Brady told me something, and I can't get it out of my head," Rex said. When Sarah asked Rex what Brady had said, Rex groaned awkwardly. "He told me that Eric goes after his brothers' girlfriends, and I should watch out, because he might try to make a move on you," Rex said. Guilt fluttered across Sarah's face. Sarah assured Rex that Brady had no insight into her friendship with Eric.
"You would never go after my own brother, though you might be justified doing so based on what happened with Noelle and me," Rex said. Rex said he was more concerned about Eric's feelings than Sarah's feelings. With a smile, Rex told Sarah that she was perfect. Sarah groaned. Sarah assured Rex that Eric had never made a move on her and was not the kind of man that would do that.
"I promise I will not let Brady's words get to me. Especially since Eric has been so supportive of me," Rex said. Rex asked Sarah if Eric had talked to her about accepting Rex's marriage proposal. Sarah told Rex that Eric had talked to her. With a raised eyebrow, Rex asked if Sarah had made a decision. Rex assured Sarah that he did not want to push, but he was also anxious to spend his life with her. Sarah said she knew how much Rex loved her. Sarah added that she needed to be certain that she was ready to commit to Rex before she accepted his proposal.
"I get it. Although it is completely against my nature, I will be patient," Rex assured Sarah. Sarah's phone beeped with a hospital page. Sarah noted that there was an emergency with Marlena.
In the waiting area, Brady quipped to Eric, "You know, for an ex priest, you are a hell of a liar." Eric told Brady that he appreciated that Brady had not said anything to Rex in the chapel. With a glare, Brady argued that Rex had a right to know that Eric was "an untrustworthy bastard."
"After everything that we went through, how could you do this again?" Brady asked Eric. Eric explained that Brady had misunderstood the situation. "I am not pursuing Sarah Horton. That's all I'm gonna tell you. That's all you need to know," Eric said firmly.
"So, you're not pursuing Sarah?" Brady asked. "I'm not pursuing Sarah," Eric confirmed. Confused, Brady asked Eric if Sarah had kissed him. Eric stressed that he cared about Sarah, but that he respected that Sarah was in a relationship with Rex. "Like you respect that Nicole and I were a couple?" Brady asked. Rex warned Brady not to talk about the kiss for the sake of the family.
"You know damn well if you tell Rex what you saw, it will be pointless. It will be destructive. Especially right now with my mom. She is fighting for her life," Eric said. Rex joined Eric and Brady and asked about Marlena. Rex explained that the hospital had texted Sarah about an emergency. Eric and Brady warily eyeballed one another. Suspicious, Rex noted that although he could feel the tension, Eric and Brady needed to pull it together for Marlena. "Rex is right. All that matters is family. I think everything else can wait," Brady said.
In Marlena's hospital room, Kayla used a defibrillator to shock Marlena's heart. Sarah rushed into the room and surveyed the scene as John fidgeted nervously. John yelled at Marlena to fight for her life. Kayla stopped shocking Marlena, and she looked at John. "I'm sorry," Kayla whispered. John's eyes filled with tears.
After picking up takeout for John at the pub, Diana ran into Leo as she exited the restaurant. Leo warned Diana that it was not a good time to visit John. "I just left him in Marlena's room. She's flatlined," Leo said. Diana feigned surprise and said the news was terrible. "You really think so? Or is this exactly what you wanted?" Leo asked. Diana barely managed to suppress a smile.