Hope and Ted went to the DiMera mansion to talk to Stefan, whose security team had reviewed the surveillance footage of the shooting and had determined that there had indeed been two gunmen.
"Unfortunately, there wasn't a clear enough shot of either of their faces," Stefan reported. "Our lab may be able to isolate and enhance the images," Hope pointed out. "I'll have my team send the footage over to the station," Stefan promised while reaching for one of Chloe's hands. "It's important we find these people as soon as possible -- before anyone gets hurt," Stefan stressed as Chloe remained silent.
"As soon as we identify which members of El Fideo's cartel are threatening you --" Hope began to assure Chloe. "We'll let you know," Ted finished for Hope, causing Stefan to laugh at the absurdity of the partnership -- and, more specifically, the absurdity of Abe's decision to temporarily appoint Ted, of all people, as Salem's district attorney. "I don't know why it would seem strange to you, Mr. DiMera -- I'm an excellent lawyer...[which] may be something you should remember next time you break the law," Ted defensively countered before leaving the mansion with Hope. As soon as the coast was clear, Chloe pulled away from Stefan.
Outside, Ted tried to convince Hope to join him for a cup of coffee so they could continue discussing the case.
"Stop," Hope told Ted. "Stop what?" he asked innocently. "This -- playing games, pretending I'm not a married woman," she clarified.
"That shouldn't prevent us [from having] a good working relationship -- maybe even a friendship," Ted argued. "It shouldn't...but what does prevent me, um, from feeling comfortable with that is that you seem to want more," Hope pointed out. "I did cross a line [when I kissed you that one time], and I'm very sorry...[but] have I not been 100% professional with you [since then]?" Ted countered. "74%, maybe," Hope replied.
"What can I say? When I'm the presence of an extraordinary woman like you, I have a tendency to turn on the charm [and] flirt -- that's the Frenchman in me," Ted told Hope. "That's your excuse?" she asked with a scoff of disbelief. "I think it's a pretty valid one," he defensively argued. "I guess [it will] have to do...but would you please tell the Frenchman in you that this woman would like [him] to stop flirting and would prefer that he not flirt in her presence? Comprenez-vous?" she replied. "Oui," he confirmed before flirtatiously adding a few more words in his native language, prompting her to walk away with a shake of the head.
At the Brady Pub, Rafe greeted Kate, who had stopped by for a cup of coffee and had been surprised to see that the place was already closed for the evening.
"[Roman] lent me the place so I could have a private dinner with Hope," Rafe explained. "Sounds romantic," Kate mused. "It was...'til she took off with Pepé Laurent," Rafe grumbled.
Kate was stunned to learn that Ted, of all people, had been chosen as Salem's new district attorney, even if it was only a temporary assignment. "With his shady past, how many skeletons do you think he has in his closet?" Kate mused. "That's a good idea -- I [should] dig up some dirt on him, [and] then I [can] get him out of that job and out of my life...for good," Rafe suddenly realized.
Shortly after Kate left the pub, Hope entered it and gave Rafe a passionate kiss. "Sorry I left before," Hope stressed after pulling away from Rafe. "I get it -- duty calls," Rafe acknowledged. "I just wish it wasn't Ted who had interrupted us. I mean, the guy -- he clearly likes to ignore boundaries, and it's just...you know, one day, he's gonna cross the line with you," Rafe added. "If he does, I'll handle it," Hope assured Rafe, who nodded and agreed to drop the subject. Hope smiled and thanked Rafe for the thoughtful anniversary celebration. "I love you, my sweet husband," Hope stressed before giving Rafe another kiss.
At the hospital, Marlena wondered why Leo was looking for John. "Well, for starters, my brother here tried to screw me over --" Leo began, glaring at Brady. "To keep him from trying to screw me over," Brady clarified. "And now he's trying to keep me from my father because he doesn't want me to be a part of this family," Leo continued. "I don't want you hitting my father up for a handout, okay? Especially when he needs to focus on her right now," Brady explained, gesturing to Marlena. "Do you hear yourself? 'My father.' He's our father, and you don't get to decide when I can and cannot see him!" Leo countered.
"You won't keep me from seeing him, will you?" Leo asked Marlena hopefully. "Of course I won't...uh, but I'm -- I'm afraid he's busy right now," Marlena vaguely replied. "[So] get lost. My mother needs her rest," Brady interjected. "Busy with what?" Leo asked Marlena, ignoring Brady. "He's trying to track down the woman that tried to kill me," Marlena carefully elaborated. "Is there a lead?" Brady wondered, assuming that Marlena was talking about Kristen. "I don't know," Marlena replied, prompting Brady to produce a cell phone and start monitoring a newsfeed for updates on the matter.
"Why are you so impatient to find [John]?" Marlena asked Leo. "Uh...well, I don't -- I don't know if John told you, but...since I got kicked out of the Kiriakis mansion, I've been staying at the Salem Inn...which, as you probably know, isn't cheap. I'm running out of money -- fast -- and I need just a little bit to tide me over...just for a little while," Leo explained.
"Oh, God -- there was a, uh, shooting at the DiMera mansion," Brady, who was still monitoring the newsfeed, suddenly realized. "Is everybody all right?" Marlena wondered. "I don't know, but I have to, uh -- I have to check on Chloe, okay?" Brady worriedly replied. "Of course. Let us know," Marlena requested, also concerned. "She is not an ATM," Brady pointedly reminded Leo.
"Do you think that $500 might be enough?" Marlena asked Leo after Brady left, already reaching for a nearby purse to write a check. "That would be plenty. Thank you," Leo replied, surprised. "Why would you do that for me?" Leo wondered. "Because you're John's son. That makes you family," Marlena explained while handing over the check.
"Um...I know we started off on the wrong foot..." Leo awkwardly began, finding Marlena's generosity touching. "Maybe blackmailing my grandson...I don't know, didn't endear you to me?" Marlena somewhat teasingly suggested. "I -- I'd really like to start fresh. It's really important to me to have a good relationship with my dad -- and you," Leo stressed.
At the police station, Diana innocently wondered why John was in Hope's office. "I could ask you the same question, but I already know the answer -- you were planning on tampering with evidence [to hide the fact that] you were the one who tried to kill Marlena," John replied, adding that Leo had expressed doubts about Kristen being the culprit -- and had made a pretty convincing case. "And you believed him?" Diana asked, acting hurt.
"When Detective Eli Grant came to the hospital, I -- I -- I got him and Marlena caught up to speed on my theory, and I asked him to lift some prints off the I.V. line. And he said he wasn't sure he could get a clear image, but I said [that] once you knew that the I.V. line was in police custody, [and] you thought there was an outside chance that you would get caught, you would try to retrieve that evidence," John continued. "How would I even find it?" Diana innocently argued. "That was the easy part -- all you had to do was overhear Eli and Lani talking. [See], they knew you were gonna show up [here], so they made sure you knew where the evidence was," John explained.
"You have no proof," Diana coolly pointed out, and John admitted that was true. "Maybe I should just have Detective Grant bring in Nurse Shelley. He's been questioning her for the last hour," John revealed, stunning Diana.
"Fine, you're right -- I am the one who poisoned Marlena," Diana finally confirmed, admitting defeat. "I am so sorry --" Diana began to add. "I don't want your apologies; I want some answers!" John snapped. "What the hell is the matter with you, anyway? What kind of a psychopath are you? How long were you plotting to kill Marlena?" John demanded to know. "This was not premeditated," Diana insisted.
"It just got out of hand. [See], I thought that if you knew that Leo was your son, it would bring us closer together...but it is so obvious that you were -- and will always be -- devoted to Marlena," Diana continued. "I even went to Victor," Diana revealed, surprising John. "We made a deal. I said I would help Sonny if he would do me just this one little favor -- [if he would just tell] Marlena that you are Leo's father -- [but] as he predicted, [that wasn't] enough to split up your marriage...[so, I got] desperate and more determined to have you," Diana continued. "You think I'd really turn to you if Marlena died?" John asked. "You did before!" Diana pointed out.
"We loved each other, John!" Diana continued. "That was years ago!" John protested. "Yes, I know -- and I thought I had moved on...but when you showed up at my hotel room, all of those feelings came rushing back, and I realized I still loved you...and I was willing to do anything it took to get you back," Diana explained. "I don't understand," John admitted with a shake of the head, still struggling to process the truth.
"I don't even recognize you! You were never so ruthless, so heartless..." John continued. "No, you don't understand!" Diana agreed. "[You have no idea] what my life has been like since I ran away from Salem all those years ago! I shot you, John...and I have lived with that guilt for all of these years! [I carried it] until it finally broke me!" Diana explained, fighting back tears.
"And then I met Richard Cooper, [and] I convinced myself I loved him...[and] I know I should have done more to protect Matthew and myself from the cruelty and the -- the beatings... God, I wish I had... But I was drowning, and I didn't know how to save either one of us!" Diana continued. "I thought everything would get better [after Richard died] -- I thought I would finally be free of him -- but instead...I spiraled down into a deeper, darker despair... [And then] I saw your man spying on me, and he let me know that my Matthew was now called Leo [and] was living in Salem..." Diana recalled with a sudden smile.
"And for the first time, it gave me hope, [because] I thought the fates would bring us together again, and I could recapture the past -- my youth, and all the happiness I'd lost..." Diana explained with a wistful sigh. "I realize how desperate I've become -- how sick I've become -- and my need and my want for you is overwhelming me, and I know I went too far, John, and I am sorry -- I am so, so sorry!" Diana stressed, hiding behind one end of a coat to avoid John's look of disgust. Unmoved, John turned Diana over to Eli then contacted Marlena to provide an update. Leo, who was still with Marlena, was horrified to learn that Diana really was guilty.
Brady arrived at the DiMera mansion shortly after Stefan managed to convince Chloe to sing something from an opera as a way of forgetting about the shooting for a while. Stefan tried to tell Ben to chase Brady off, but Chloe objected. "I thought you were mad at him," Stefan argued, confused. "I am...but he's still my friend," Chloe explained with a shrug. Stefan sighed and reluctantly told Ben to let Brady into the mansion.
Brady stormed into the living room and started lashing out, but Chloe quickly interrupted, insisting that El Fideo's men were proving to be relentless -- and that there was therefore nothing else that Stefan could have done to prevent the shooting from happening. Brady demanded some time alone with Chloe -- who, to Stefan's dismay, didn't object. As soon as the coast was clear, Brady began trying to convince Chloe to move into the Kiriakis mansion. Chloe refused, not wanting to uproot Parker and Holly again. "Is that the only reason you don't want to leave [this place]? Or is it because you're starting to have feelings for Stefan?" Brady asked.
"Okay -- not like it's any of your business, but...yes, Stefan and I shared a kiss or two," Chloe reluctantly confirmed after realizing that Brady had somehow learned that information. "I knew that guy had an ulterior motive!" Brady grumbled. "That is not why he moved me in here!" Chloe insisted. "I know he has a bad reputation, but he's been nothing but wonderful to me and my kids -- [and] he saved my life!" Chloe added. "You're being naïve," Brady dismissively argued. "You're being judgmental," Chloe countered. "I cannot believe you are falling for this guy!" Brady complained. "I never said I was falling for him," Chloe pointed out.
"But even if I was, what does it matter to you?" Chloe added. "It matters to me, Chloe, [because] I care about you..." Brady began to stammer in response before spontaneously deciding to just kiss Chloe instead.
Stefan watched from the foyer, having just returned to make sure that everything was okay. Hurt, Stefan quietly headed back upstairs then called out to Chloe from there to stop the kiss, claiming that Holly was crying.
Chloe rushed off to check on Holly, ignoring Brady's protests. "I think that's your cue to leave," Stefan said, joining Brady in the living room. "Next time you want to commit corporate espionage, you should probably use a more reliable source than Leo Stark," Brady advised while exiting the mansion. "Next time you want to play hero to a damsel in distress, make sure she actually wants it," Stefan countered.
Chloe soon returned and informed Stefan that Holly was still sleeping soundly. "My mistake," Stefan replied with a shrug before encouraging Chloe to sing something else. "It's kind of late. I think I should probably just get to bed," Chloe said before heading back upstairs. "Damn you, Brady Black..." Stefan grumbled once the coast was clear, scattering some chess pieces in frustration.
Leo burst into the police station just as Eli finished recording Diana's confession. "I cannot believe you tried to kill Marlena!" Leo snapped at Diana as Eli stepped into another conference room to finish dealing with Shelley, who had also confessed. "I told you she was crazy!" Leo said to John. "So much for family loyalty..." Diana grumbled. "After the way you've treated me for years, you expect loyalty?" Leo incredulously countered. "I don't expect you to understand," Diana dismissively stated. "Oh, I understand -- you have finally and completely lost it!" Leo summarized. "Thank God you're gonna be behind bars so you can't hurt anyone --" Leo continued.
"You are not a saint! You cannot judge me!" Diana, who had not yet been restrained in any way, shouted while springing out of a chair, enraged.
John quickly intervened, telling Diana -- and Leo -- to calm down. "I'm calm," Leo assured John. "And, for the record, thinking totally clearly [when I say that] this is the last time you are ever going to see me. I want nothing to do with you -- not after the way you went after my dad's wife. They are my family now -- my only family," Leo told Diana. "You ungrateful little loser," Diana spat. "I am so happy to be rid of you!" Leo shot back. "Thank God the truth is out. You are an honest and good man. I am proud to call you my father," Leo said to John.
"He's not your father, you idiot. I made the whole thing up," Diana matter-of-factly revealed, stunning Leo and John.
"When I left Marlena the cookies, I went back to her office a little while later to see if the penicillin had done the trick, and that's when I found the DNA test on the desk, and I saw an opportunity to take a situation and turn it to our favor, so I made the necessary changes, and I put it back where I found it," Diana elaborated. "No, that can't be right..." Leo protested, hurt. "Get another test. You'll find out I'm not lying," Diana replied with a shrug. "So...you're saying that...Richard Cooper really was my father?" Leo realized. "Yeah," Diana confirmed. Leo silently absorbed the news then lunged for Diana's neck.
John quickly pulled Leo away from Diana. "You are the most evil person in the history of the world! No wonder every moment of my life has been a struggle just to stay sane!" Leo spat at Diana, fighting back tears. "I agree," John assured Leo. "Let's go outside and get some air," John suggested. "What for? You heard what she said! You're not my father! I'm not your problem!" Leo argued. "I know you're hurting, and I am here for you if you need me," John stressed as Leo took a few deep breaths, struggling to calm down. "I just need to be alone," Leo eventually replied. "I meant what I said -- I never want to see you again," Leo told Diana before leaving.
"He'll come back. He always does," Diana assured John, waving a hand dismissively. "He would be a fool to come back to you. Anybody would," John countered. "John, don't you turn your back on me -- not the way Leo just did!" Diana begged. "I don't have anybody [else]! I am alone!" Diana stressed. "That's what you deserve," John spat before walking away, ignoring Diana's protests. "Colville -- she tampered with confidential hospital records, so why don't you just add that on to her list of crimes," John advised Eli before exiting the police station -- just as Ted entered it from the opposite side, having been informed of Diana and Shelley's confessions.
Kate went to the hospital to check on Marlena, armed with a bouquet of flowers. "I just hope they find Kristen sooner or later so you can have a little bit of peace of mind," Kate stressed after realizing the seriousness of Marlena's recent ordeal. "It wasn't Kristen that tried to kill me; it was Diana Colville," Marlena clarified. "Who's that?" Kate asked. "She is...John's...sort-of ex," Marlena clarified. "Oh -- the other part? She's also Leo's mother," Marlena added, stunning Kate. "So, Leo is a lying blackmailer, the mother is a homicidal maniac... What do you think the father's like?" Kate mused with a shake of the head.
"How many secret sons can one man have?" Kate asked incredulously after Marlena revealed that John was Leo's father. "As far as I know, hopefully just the two," Marlena replied with a laugh. "So, what happens next? I mean, do you play nice with Leo and be the not-so-wicked stepmother?" Kate wondered. "Well, I'll try to -- I'll try to stay positive," Marlena confirmed, shrugging. "And you know John -- maybe he'll be a good influence on [Leo]," Marlena added. "Oh, yeah -- yeah, that would be great, [because] then you and John and Diana and Leo can be one big, happy family! Great!" Kate sarcastically agreed, making Marlena laugh again.
Shortly after Kate left, John returned and told Marlena about what had happened. "I know you cared about [Diana] once. It must be a little hard for you to come to terms with what she did," Marlena sympathetically mused. "Yeah...especially because [she] had one more trick up her sleeve. As it turns out, Leo is not my son, after all," John replied with a sigh, leaving Marlena even more sympathetic but not particularly surprised.
While passing through Horton Town Square, Leo ran into Brady, who was obviously in a foul mood. "My mother lied. John isn't my father. You're not my brother. So...congrats! You got what you wanted -- you and everyone else in this town who hates me...so, basically everyone else in town. You can throw me to the wolves now, free of guilt," Leo sadly revealed before walking away, assuming that news would cheer Brady up.
At the police station, Diana greeted Ted in French. "Been a long time," she added, and he nodded in agreement.
"How's your wife?" Diana asked. "Passed away," Ted revealed. "I'm so sorry. When did that happen?" Diana replied. "About two years ago," Ted clarified. "Really? Hmm. That's strange..." Diana mused. "Why?" Ted asked. "Because I just saw her six months ago. I was in Avignon -- at that charming little hotel, La Mirande, in the center of the city -- and she was there...coincidentally," Diana explained.
"That's impossible. We laid my wife to rest two years ago. You must have mistaken her with someone else," Ted insisted. "Yes, I must have..." Diana skeptically agreed.
Brady give Eric an ultimatum
Ben paced in front of the DiMera mansion as Ciara approached with a cup of coffee. Ben warned Ciara to go home. With a smirk, Ciara noted that she was in disguise. Ciara noticed that a cut on Ben's knuckle was infected. Ciara insisted that Ben go to the hospital, but he refused.
"I have to be here for Chloe and the kids," Ben stressed. Ciara countered that Ben was no use to anyone if he lost his hand to gangrene. Ciara gently pushed Ben to agree with her, and reluctantly, Ben agreed to go. Barely able to pull his phone out of his pocket with his bad hand, Ben grinned sheepishly. Ciara took the phone and dialed the number for Ben to talk to his security team.
In Marlena's hospital room, Brady paced as Will talked to Marlena about Diana. "That woman is more delusional than her sleazebag son, and I'm sorry, I know, Leo is John's son too," Will said. Marlena explained that Diana had changed the test results. Stunned, Will asked Brady if he had heard what Marlena had said. Brady nodded yes.
"Aren't you massively relieved that you're not related to that dirtbag?" Will asked Brady. Brady stared at the floor, silent. Marlena asked Brady if he was okay. Brady said he was preoccupied. Will asked Brady what could be more important than the news about Leo. Brady thought about his kiss with Chloe. Shaken by the memory, Brady excused himself to get a cup of coffee.
By the nurses' station, Sarah informed Eric that Marlena was cleared to go home. Eric thanked Sarah for helping to save his mother's life. With a nod, Eric walked away. Brady watched from across the room. "Heart trouble?" Brady asked as he crept up behind Sarah. Sarah pretended to be confused.
"I know there is something still obviously going on between you and my brother," Brady said. Sarah swore that there was nothing between her and Eric, and it was not Brady's business. Brady countered that Eric had an impulse control problem with the women that dated his brothers. Sarah objected.
"Eric does not have a thing for me," Sarah said. When Brady asked Sarah why she was so sure, Sarah explained that Eric had told her that he was not interested. "I admitted to him that I had feelings for him, and he made it very clear that it does not go both ways. He only sees me as a friend and nothing more," Sarah said.
"It didn't look that way a couple minutes ago," Brady observed. Angry, Sarah reminded Brady that Eric was not over Nicole. "Whatever you thought you saw, meant nothing," Sarah said. Sarah added that she was with Rex, and she ordered Brady not to tell Rex any of his romantic theories about Eric.
"Sarah, you can't blame me for not wanting Rex to get screwed over the same way I did," Brady said. Sarah promised that Rex would not get hurt. "Did all those failed relationships screw you up so badly that you enjoy ruining things for other people?" Sarah asked. Sarah encouraged Brady to find someone to love and to leave everyone else alone.
"I found someone," Brady objected. "It's Chloe, isn't it?" Sarah asked with amusement. Brady admitted that he was interested in his ex-wife. Sarah appeared taken back by the admission. Brady said he was worried about Chloe because the cartel was after her, and Chloe had chosen to live with Stefan for protection.
"[Stefan] is pretending to protect her because he wants to get her in the sack," Brady complained. Sarah thanked Brady for his honesty. "Now I understand why you are on the attack all the time," Sarah said. Brady was confused. Sarah reasoned aloud that Brady had lashed out at her and Eric because he was frustrated over Chloe.
"It has a lot to do with the both of you. Holly is your niece. And Nicole's dying wish was that Eric protected Holly," Brady said. Sarah groaned in exasperation. Sarah accused Brady of interfering between Eric and Chloe in the custody situation for his own selfish reasons.
"You're trying to use a child as a weapon all because your old flame is just not that into you!" Sarah yelled. When Brady yelled back, Rex interrupted and advised both Sarah and Brady to calm down. Rex asked what they had been fighting about. Sarah explained that they had been discussing Holly. Rex reminded Brady that Chloe had been clear about her desire to protect Holly, not Brady. Rex advised Brady to back off.
Down the hallway, Eric visited Marlena in her room. Marlena noticed that Eric was distracted. "What is it? Is it something to do with Sarah?" Marlena prodded. Eric avoided the question, but Marlena advised Eric to talk about his feelings with her. Eric explained that Sarah had kissed him in the chapel, and Sarah had confessed her feelings for him.
"I told her the only thing I felt for her was friendship," Eric said. Marlena asked Eric why he had lied to Sarah. Eric explained that he had promised God that he would give up Sarah if Marlena recovered. "I appreciate that you made that promise for me, but I think what helped me was great medical care," Marlena interjected. Eric noted that Marlena had flatlined at the same moment he had made his promise to God. Eric refused to break his vow.
"I have so much respect for your beliefs, and I'm so happy to be alive, but I don't want that to cost you your happiness," Marlena stressed. After he had talked to Marlena, Eric walked into the hallway. Eric saw Brady as he walked past the nurses' station. Brady told Eric he had seen Eric's "girlfriend." Annoyed, Eric stressed that nothing would happen between him and Sarah.
"The goo-goo eyes that you were giving to one another told a different story. She actually told me she has feelings for you," Brady said. "She'll get over it. It doesn't matter, anyway, because I don't have any feelings for her," Eric said. Brady asked Eric if Rex knew that Eric and Sarah had kissed. Frustrated, Eric asked Brady why Brady hated him. Brady countered that he did not hate Eric, but he wanted Eric to do the right thing.
"I'm not going to tell Rex about your make-out session with Sarah. On one condition,"' Brady said. Brady asked Eric to use his influence with Chloe to convince her to move out of the DiMera mansion. Eric reminded Brady that he had already denied Brady's request before.
"That was before El Fideo's crew decided to shoot up the place. Now, by sheer luck, Holly wasn't there," Brady argued. Eric countered that Chloe was Holly's legal guardian. Brady suggested that Eric threaten to take the custody case back to court. Eric gasped in disbelief. Brady argued that Holly was in danger.
"I told Chloe I would not fight her for Holly. I don't want to fight her," Eric stressed. Brady warned Eric to think of a way to convince Chloe to move out of the mansion, or else Brady would be forced to tell Rex about the kiss.
In the ER, Rex examined Ben's hand as Ciara hovered nearby. Ciara congratulated Rex on his first day at the hospital. When Rex asked what had happened to Ben's hand, Ciara noted that Ben had injured it during the shooting. Rex noted that the hand was infected and that he needed to remove glass from Ben's wound.
"I'm really glad we came," Ciara cooed as she rested her head on Ben's shoulder. Ben smirked. Ciara held Ben's left hand as Rex cleaned the wound on Ben's other hand. Once the work was done, Rex informed Ben that he needed an I.V. and blood work before he could leave the hospital. While Rex retrieved the I.V., Ciara giggled and gave Ben a smile that said, "I told you so." Ben chuckled.
After Rex started the I.V. drip, Ben drifted off to sleep. Ciara's phone chirped as she sat by Ben's side. It was Hope on the phone. Hope asked Ciara why she had been at the mansion. Ciara asked Hope not to spy on her. Ciara explained that when she had gone to the mansion to check on Ben, she had convinced him to go to the doctor for an injury. Ben's eyes fluttered open, and he listened to Ciara talk on the phone.
"Don't try convincing me to leave, because I will not. I will not go. I'm gonna stay right here, right by his side," Ciara said firmly. After ending the call, Ciara turned to see Ben smiling at her. Ben thanked Ciara for sticking up for him with her mother.
"I love her, but as I'm sure you know by now, I make up my own mind," Ciara said with a mischievous grin. Ben smiled in agreement. Ben started to get up from the exam table, but Ciara gently pushed him back down. Ben told Ciara not to fuss over him. Ciara reminded Ben that he had watched over her after her motorcycle accident. "It's my turn to take care of you," Ciara said.
Down the hallway, Rex and Sarah checked on Marlena. Sarah informed Marlena that she was cleared to go home. Marlena congratulated Rex on his new job. With a grin, Rex thanked Marlena, and he added that he was more happy about Marlena's miraculous recovery. Sarah agreed that Marlena's recovery had been a miracle.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny gave Leo annulment papers. "I can finally get rid of you and be with the man I love," Sonny noted. "You want to pretend this marriage never existed?" Leo asked. Sonny warned Leo that he was lucky Sonny had not charged him with fraud. Sonny added that the papers included a one-time payment to Leo.
"Hell, no," Leo stressed. Leo demanded better terms. Sonny asked Leo what he wanted. Leo asked Sonny if he had spoken to Brady. When Sonny said no, Leo noted that the paternity test had proven that Leo was John's son. "Think about what I could do with that information. I'm thinking tabloids, talk show, tell-all book," Leo said. Leo promised that he could drag out the divorce for years.
"Tack on a few more zeroes, and we'll be out of each other's lives for good-- or don't, and Uncle Leo will make your life a living hell," Leo said. "Except he is not Uncle Leo," Will said as he entered the room. Leo warned Will to butt out. Will explained to Sonny that Leo knew he was not John's son and that Diana had tampered with the results of the DNA test.
"I just found out this morning, but Leo found out before that, and now he is trying to bleed you dry before the truth comes out," Will noted. Will warned Leo to take the offer because a court would not give Leo a penny more. Sonny whispered to Will that he did not want a public trial.
"We can end this right now. Just take that number and make it bigger," Leo said as he pointed at the papers. Will argued that Leo had no leverage. With a nod, Sonny picked up the annulment papers and offered them to Leo. Sonny warned Leo that it was his last chance to accept the offer before it was rescinded. Leo argued that a jury would take pity on him. With a grunt, Sonny countered that Leo could not afford an attorney.
Reluctantly, Leo agreed to sign the papers. Once Leo and Sonny had both signed the annulment, Sonny asked Will to sign as a witness. With a grin, Will happily signed his name to make the annulment official. Leo gave Will "the evil eye" and told him he was cursed. Sonny rolled his eyes at the superstition. Will reminded Sonny about the cursed amulet that had crashed the plane. Will's brow furrowed with concern.
Leo explained that the curse would start with a headache, and then Will's life would fall apart. With a toss of his hair, Leo sauntered out of the room. "Leo is a bitch, not a witch," Sonny reminded Will. Sonny promised Will that he was not cursed. With a wide grin, Sonny pointed to the annulment and exclaimed that he and Will were free to lead their lives. Sonny ran upstairs, and when he returned, he handed a charm to Will. Sonny noted it had been a gift from Victor.
"It is to ward off the effects of the evil eye," Sonny explained. "So, you think I'm cursed?" Will asked. Sonny said that he wanted to put Will's mind at ease. Will smiled as Sonny placed the charm around Will's neck. "The next piece of jewelry I put on you is going to be a wedding band," Sonny said with a grin. When Sonny took Will's hand to lead him upstairs, Will groaned.
"I just got a headache," Will complained. "You've never used that excuse before," Sonny joked. Sonny asked Will if he had a different idea how to celebrate their reunion.
"I'm serious. It really hurts. It came out of nowhere," Will complained as he raised his hands to his head. When Sonny suggested that the pain was psychosomatic, based on Leo's warning, Will disagreed. Will clutched the charm around his neck. Sonny ran off to retrieve aspirin, and when he returned, he found Will unconscious on the floor.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan carried in a tray of breakfast to Chloe's bedroom. With a big smile, Chloe thanked Stefan for the gesture. Chloe gasped when she realized the time. Stefan assured Chloe that the children were already awake, dressed, and playing with the nanny. Chloe thanked Stefan.
"I'm sorry I ran off so quickly last night. I was just exhausted," Chloe said. "I know what happened, Chloe. I saw Brady kissing you," Stefan confessed. Chloe's smile faded away. Chloe asked Stefan if he had spied on her. Stefan promised that he had accidentally walked in on the kiss between Brady and Chloe. Stefan added that Chloe's relationships were not his business, and he did not want to put any pressure on her.
"But now you are. Why? I told you that I need some time to figure things out, and you said that you are a patient man," Chloe noted. Stefan explained that after the time he had spent pining after Abigail, he did not want to wait for someone that was not interested in him. Chloe noted that the situation was different.
"But you do have an ex-husband that you were kissing last night. You said you and Brady are just friends. I want to know if that's changed," Stefan asked. Chloe stressed that she and Brady were just friends and that she did not know why Brady had kissed her.
"Which is a clear indication that Brady's feelings for you are well beyond friendship. I just want to know where I stand," Stefan said. Chloe explained that she shared a connection to Brady, despite their divorce. "I would be lying if I said I didn't feel something when he kissed me," Chloe admitted. Stefan asked Chloe if she had felt anything when she had kissed him. Before Chloe could answer, Stefan apologized for "sounding needy."
"When you kissed me, it was nice," Chloe said. Stefan laughed. "Very nice," Chloe added with a smile. "Do I stand a chance, despite your connection with Brady?" Stefan asked with a charming grin. Chloe said she was not ready to encourage Stefan to pursue her. Stefan nodded. Chloe said that until the people hunting her were captured, she could not think about anything but her kids. Stefan promised to support Chloe. As Stefan started to leave, Chloe called out to him.
"I know it's not what you want to hear, but Stefan, you have to know how grateful I am. For everything that you've done for me, and continue to do for me," Chloe said softly. Stefan responded, "The invitation to stay here was without strings." Stefan said he understood that Chloe was focused on her children's well-being. Stefan promised to work overtime to eliminate the threat to Chloe and her children.
Will is rushed to the hospital
At the DiMera mansion, Chloe finished eating breakfast then headed downstairs, carrying the rose that Stefan had provided as a centerpiece of the meal, and entered the otherwise unoccupied living room.
While taking a long whiff of the rose, Chloe thought about an earlier conversation with Stefan -- and smiled at the memory. "Don't tell me you're actually falling for that jerk," Gabi began, joining Chloe in the living room and assuming that Stefan was responsible for both the rose and the smile. "None of your business," Chloe snapped before changing the subject, seizing the opportunity to admonish Gabi for having a big mouth. "You couldn't wait to run to Brady to tell him that Stefan kissed me," Chloe guessed. "So what?" Gabi unapologetically countered. "Maybe [Brady] has a right to know what his ex-wife is up to," Gabi continued, shrugging.
"Are you ladies fighting...over me?" Stefan asked teasingly, joining Chloe and Gabi in the living room. Chloe quickly got Stefan up to speed on what was being discussed. "Gabi is a pain in the ass who doesn't understand the word 'boundaries,'" Stefan told Chloe at the end of the summary as a way of explaining why Gabi had decided to blab to Brady about the kiss. Chloe, sick of talking about the matter, thanked Stefan for the delicious breakfast then started to rush off to Doug's Place. As Chloe was leaving, Stefan made it clear that security guards would constantly be watching the club to prevent El Fideo's men from making another move.
"Puppy-dog eyes," Gabi mockingly observed once the coast was clear, having noticed the way that Stefan had looked at Chloe earlier. "You're jealous," Stefan guessed, amused. "In your dreams," Gabi dismissively replied. "So, you [only] stirred things up with Brady to save Chloe from me?" Stefan asked skeptically. "Well, somebody had to do it," Gabi reasoned, shrugging. "Right... See, if there's one thing I know about you, Gabriella, [it's that] you don't do anything for anyone except yourself, so let's go big here [and admit] the truth -- you can't stand the thought of Chloe being with me because you wish it was you," Stefan maintained.
"You are straight-up loco," Gabi said to Stefan with a dismissive scoff. "Hmm. And 'loco' turns you on, doesn't it?" he countered, flashing a knowing smirk. "You destroyed my life! You framed me for murder, kidnapped me, put a hot poker in my face..." she pointed out. "None of that changes the fact that you want me," he maintained, shrugging. She stared at him in silence for a few seconds then spontaneously seized a kiss.
Stefan pulled away from Gabi in shock and demanded an explanation. "I just wanted to give you a taste of something that you will never have!" she claimed. "Get the hell out of my house before I do something that we will both regret!" he angrily countered. She stormed off but paused in the foyer, just out of his view, to catch her breath, looking a bit shaken as a result of what had just happened.
At the Horton Town Square, J.J. ordered a cup of coffee then claimed a table and started flipping through a stack of magazines that someone had left behind -- and soon found a bridal magazine. J.J. tossed it aside with a shake of the head. Claire approached just then and made it clear that J.J. wasn't the only one who was unhappy about Tripp and Haley's plan to get married.
Claire started to suggest a few romantic things that J.J. could do to make himself look like the better man to marry, but he was on duty and soon received a call for help, cutting the conversation short.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny assured Will, who was still unconscious, that help was on the way. "You have to hold on for me, okay? We're finally together -- everything that we want is right in front of us -- so you have to be okay; you need to be okay!" Sonny desperately stressed while holding Will -- who, on the bright side, did not seem to need CPR.
J.J. soon arrived with another EMT, who helped J.J. get Will onto a gurney. "What's wrong with him? Why -- why did he faint?" Sonny asked worriedly as J.J. checked Will's pupils for response to light. J.J. didn't bother to acknowledge Sonny's questions, instead cracking open a packet of smelling salts to rouse Will. "What happened?" Will asked groggily, drawing a sigh of relief from Sonny. "I remember having a huge headache, and then feeling woozy, and then..." Will began to recall, confused. "I came back in the room, and I saw him lying on the floor," Sonny concluded for Will, speaking to J.J.
"Well, I feel -- I feel fine now, so..." Will said while trying to sit up. "Not so fast," J.J. replied, believing that Will's symptoms warranted a trip to the hospital. Will started to protest, but Sonny agreed with J.J., not wanting to take any chances. Outvoted, Will settled back down on the gurney without any further objections. J.J. and the other EMT wheeled Will off to the ambulance that was waiting outside, with Sonny close behind.
At the loft apartment, Haley struggled to concentrate on the pictures in a bridal magazine, knowing how risky it was to try to fake a marriage for the sole purpose of acquiring a green card.
"How 'bout we get our stories straight?" Tripp eventually suggested, hoping to calm Haley's nerves. "The best kind of lie is the one that sticks as close to the truth as possible," he continued, and after she agreed that he was right about that, they began working together to create their love story, using real details from their previous interactions and making up new details as needed.
At the hospital, Rex and Sarah entered Will's room and began explaining the series of tests they planned to run to figure out what had happened earlier.
"I know what happened -- Leo, uh, put a curse on me," Will matter-of-factly revealed, surprising Rex and Sarah, who were both clearly skeptical. "I know it sounds ridiculous, but it -- everything played out exactly the way Leo said it would. He said I was gonna get a headache, then I got a headache; he said, you know, it was gonna get worse, and then I -- I -- I passed out, so..." Will began to elaborate before pausing abruptly, having just realized something else. "Leo's mother just poisoned my grandmother! What if he just did the same thing to me?" Will suggested as J.J. entered the room.
J.J. thought that Will's strong vital signs were an indication that poison wasn't the issue, but Rex and Sarah still decided to test for all known toxins, just to be safe. "I will bet you a six-pack of beer that when we get your blood test results back, there will be a very logical and realistic explanation [for what happened]," Rex told Will, still finding it hard to believe that a curse was responsible. "You're on," Will agreed, still finding it just as hard to believe that the timing of everything was completely coincidental. Rex promised to make the blood work a priority but warned that the lab was backed up.
"Can't I just go home and, like, come back tomorrow?" Will asked. "I gotta keep you here, bud. Better safe than sorry," Rex replied, not wanting to release Will without any explanation for what had happened.
Meanwhile, Eric refused to give in to Brady's demands. "You're blackmailing me -- which seems to be in your comfort zone, since you blackmailed Nicole, and now she's dead," Eric snapped, adding that Brady clearly hadn't learned anything from that tragic incident. "And she asked you to protect her daughter, [so] please be a man of your word and help me protect her!" Brady countered without a hint of shame. "Not a chance in hell," Eric insisted, guessing that Brady's real motivation for getting Chloe away from Stefan was jealousy, not concern. Brady defensively denied the accusation then smugly walked away after repeating the earlier ultimatum.
At the Salem Inn, Eve received a visit from Claire, who immediately began begging for help. Eve was horrified to learn that Haley -- first with the help of J.J. and later with the help of Tripp -- had devised a plan to avoid deportation; however, Eve soon grew excited about the unexpected development, seeing it as an opportunity to further increase Jack's chances of winning the upcoming election. Eve quickly started making plans to hold a press conference in which Claire would expose Tripp and Haley as liars and frauds, but Claire refused to play along, fearing that Tripp would never forgive such a betrayal -- and would suffer punishment for the ruse.
Eve observed that Claire was clearly quite serious about Tripp. Eve argued that Claire, therefore, had a right to be upset about Tripp's plan to marry Haley, since it was disrespectful of Tripp to put a girlfriend through such a thing. Eve mischievously assured Claire that there was another way to ruin the plan. "All we have to do is to get Tripp to admit on tape that his relationship with Haley is a fraud. Then Jack and I make the public declaration, and then...poof -- no more wedding!" Eve reasoned. "Tripp is not stupid enough to let you and Jack back into the loft," Claire warned. "I know...so I have another idea on how we can get what we need," Eve replied.
At the loft apartment, Tripp and Haley decided that, in their alternate universe, they had met and had gotten to know each other just as they had in the real world, but they had kissed after the dinner they had shared in the wake of fights with the love interests they had each previously been involved with, and they had quickly realized that they were head over heels in love with each other and wanted to get married right away.
Shortly after the cover story was solidified, J.J. arrived to try to talk Tripp and Haley out of getting married, fearing that the plan wouldn't work. Haley refused to reconsider marrying J.J. instead. Undeterred, J.J. waited until Haley left the living room then began trying to convince Tripp to step aside. "Just think this through -- there's a hell of a lot better chance that people will believe Haley and I are the real deal," J.J. reasoned, knowing that Tripp's relationship with Claire had never exactly been a secret. "I talked to Claire, and I'm pretty sure she's as against this marriage as I am," J.J. added, but Tripp insisted that, deep down, Claire was on Haley's side.
Haley soon returned and wondered if Tripp and J.J. wanted to be left alone for a while longer, having immediately sensed some tension. "No, not at all -- I was actually just about to ask my cousin here to be my best man," Tripp claimed. "And, uh...I was -- I was just about to accept," J.J. awkwardly replied. "I'm just...I'm not sure ICE [will] believe that you two actually fell in love," J.J. added. "We got this," Tripp and Haley assured J.J. in unison.
After leaving the hospital, Brady headed over to Doug's Place to apologize to Chloe for what had happened earlier. "I came on a little strong --" Brady began. "Oh, is that what you're calling it -- coming on strong?" Chloe asked incredulously. "Kissing me like that -- what, was that move like marking your territory [and sending] a big, fat warning to Stefan that I'm off-limits?" Chloe continued, furious. "Maybe it was more than that," Brady suggested, confusing Chloe. "You have no idea how many people have been coming up to me lately and asking me if I have feelings for you," Brady vaguely elaborated. "Like...'friend' feelings?" Chloe asked, still confused.
"That's what I thought initially...but I think I'm dealing with a little bit of denial, Chloe; I think what I'm feeling for you has less to do with the past and more to do with the present...and maybe even the future," Brady clarified. "When you kissed me, I did feel something more than just friendship...but, Brady, our marriage wasn't exactly sunshine and roses," Chloe replied. "I know, [but] we're a little older now -- [and] hopefully we're a little wiser -- [so] I think maybe we could get it right this time," Brady argued. "I can't think of romance right now," Chloe insisted, still worried about El Fideo's men. "That was not a 'no,' was it?" Brady happily observed.
At the hospital, Sonny, who was alone with Will, reasoned that poison couldn't be the cause of what had happened earlier because Leo had never had an opportunity to administer it. "What if something's actually wrong with me?" Will asked worriedly, realizing that Sonny was right. "Then we will deal with it just like we deal with everything else -- together," Sonny assured Will.
Meanwhile, Sarah approached Eric and immediately realized that something was wrong. Sarah was stunned to learn that Brady was trying to use what had happened during Marlena's recent crisis as a way of forcing Eric to do something underhanded. "This is ridiculous! All because of a stupid kiss that was completely -- and embarrassingly -- all my fault! Brady's an ass! He doesn't get to hold this over your head!" Sarah insisted before resolving to talk to Brady about the matter. "[This is] my mess, and I'm gonna clean it up," Sarah vowed, ignoring Eric's protests.
Rex arrived before Eric could get Sarah to elaborate. "I have a confession to make," Sarah told Rex.
Sarah tells Rex about her feelings for Eric
At the Salem Inn, Eve told Claire about her plan to stop Tripp and Haley's wedding. As Eve started to talk about Haley's deportation, Jack returned home.
"What plan is that?" Jack inquired. Eve assured Claire, "You can do this." With a nod, Claire left. Jack asked what he had missed. With a devilish grin, Eve said she had ensured that Jack would be the next mayor of Salem. Eve told Jack about Haley's plan to marry Tripp. Frustrated, Jack wondered aloud why Haley and Tripp believed they could fool ICE with a green card marriage.
"It could be convenient for us," Eve suggested. With a groan, Jack asked who had been stupid enough to create the plan. "That would be your son. J.J. offered to marry Haley first," Eve said. Jack's eyes went wide. Eve noted that J.J. loved to help damsels in distress.
"It's more than that. J.J. is still furious with me for outing Haley. He just wants to grind me into the dirt," Jack argued. Eve told Jack not to worry because Haley had refused to marry J.J. Jack was still unhappy that Tripp was wrapped up in the situation. With a grin, Jack asked Eve about her plan. Eve explained that Claire would convince Tripp to post a video of Tripp proposing.
"Phase two, Claire and Tripp have their own little romantic interlude right here at the Salem Inn," Eve said. "And that's when we bust them," Jack interjected. Eve nodded. Eve said they would expose the fake marriage and make Jack "the hero once again." Jack worried aloud that Tripp would get in trouble with the federal government. Eve dismissed the complaint. Jack added that hurting Tripp would further sever his ties with his family.
"Tripp is my brother's son," Jack said firmly. Eve argued that Jack did not even know his brother Steve. Eve added that if Tripp wanted to break the law, then he deserved to face the consequences. Jack was unsure. Worried, Eve asked Jack if he wanted to be mayor or not. Eve counseled Jack to work on his killer instinct.
"You've got to want it as badly as I want it for you," Eve said. Jack smirked. "You're right. I want it. I want to be mayor. If Tripp falls, so be it. He made his own bed," Jack said. Relieved, Eve said she had been worried that Jack was more interested in his family's approval that winning the election. Jack stressed that he owed his family no allegiance.
At the loft, J.J. asked if Claire was going to be the maid of honor at the wedding. Tripp shook his head no, and he said it would not make sense, since he had "dumped" Claire for Haley. Tripp assured J.J. that Claire supported the marriage.
When Claire returned home, Tripp explained that he and Haley had been practicing the details of their fake relationship. Tripp asked J.J. for help with their backstory. J.J. nodded yes but remained stone-faced. Concerned for his girlfriend's feelings, Tripp asked Claire if she was comfortable rehearsing the story with him.
"I get that this is all an act," Claire said with an overly eager smile. Tripp started to tell the story that he and Haley had worked out. As Haley nervously talked about her first meeting with Tripp, J.J. watched warily. Tripp asked Claire and J.J. for their opinions. "I thought the story sounded solid," J.J. said. Claire agreed, but she encouraged Tripp to create evidence of a relationship.
"You need to deliver this really romantic proposal right now...and that will be a way to show the world that you are super proud of your engagement to Haley and you want everyone to know how in love you are," Claire said. J.J. agreed that a video would make the relationship appear more legitimate. Tripp asked Claire if she had a ring they could use for the video. With a toothy smile, Claire nodded yes.
When Claire returned with her jewelry box, Haley told Claire that she would be happy to pick up a new ring instead. Claire insisted that Haley use hers. When Claire opened her jewelry box, the lighter from the cabin fire shined on top. Claire grabbed the lighter and flicked it on.
"If you so much as think of making this marriage with Tripp real, I will burn you alive," Claire said through gritted teeth. It was a fantasy. As a dreamy, smiling Claire shook off the daydream, she brushed past the lighter and picked out a ring for Haley from the box. Claire asked for Tripp's phone to record the event.
When a nervous Tripp asked if they should rehearse, Claire waved him off but added that they needed to set the scene for romance first. When J.J. asked for the lighter in Claire's jewelry box for candles, Claire yelled no, and she slammed the lid closed. While J.J. lit candles with matches from the kitchen, Claire ordered Haley to go into the bedroom to make her entrance. Claire started to record.
"Hey, guys, it's me, Tripp. Um...I'm about to propose to the woman I love. I don't think she has any idea, and she's in the other room, and I think I hear her coming, so wish me luck," Tripp said. Tripp turned toward the bedroom door as Haley called out his name. When Haley walked into the living room, she laughed nervously.
"What's going on? What is this?" Haley asked. Tripp got down on one knee. "Haley, I know we haven't known each other very long, but I fell in love with you the day you bandaged my arm at that hospital. Since that moment, it's changed my life forever. I couldn't stand the thought of you going back to China, and I never want to be without you ever again," Tripp said. Tripp asked Haley to marry him. Haley played the role of an excited girl.
When Tripp and Haley kissed, Claire cried out, "Oh, my God! Cut! That's enough." Tripp sheepishly apologized. Claire posted the video online. "No backing out now," Claire said. Haley looked over at J.J., and they stared at one another.
Eager to start the plan to expose Haley's fake marriage, Jack paced the hotel room and asked Eve what was next. Eve checked her phone and announced the proposal video had been posted. After they watched the video, Jack commented that Haley and Tripp were very convincing. Eve reminded Jack that Haley's life depended on selling the relationship as a love match. "Sex, lies, and videotape. Now it feels like a real political campaign," Jack said with a chuckle.
At the loft, J.J. whispered to Tripp, "Are you sure you're going to be able to make this work?" Tripp said he was confident that they could pull off the marriage if everybody committed to their part of the plan. Tripp noted that with J.J. acting as the best man, it backed up the story that Haley and J.J. were still friends.
Across the loft, Haley thanked Claire again for her support. "I appreciate the sacrifice that you and Tripp are making for me," Haley said. Claire reminded Haley that the marriage to Tripp was an act. "So, keep your hands to yourself," Claire said as she leaned in close toward Haley's face. Haley smiled nervously.
Tripp announced to the room that the number of views was increasing. "People go crazy for a good love story," Claire said. Tripp pulled Claire into his arms and thanked her for the idea. Tripp promised to make things up to Claire. With a grin, Claire suggested that Tripp could start with a romantic evening at the Salem Inn.
"You can show me just how grateful you are and how much I mean to you," Claire purred as she nuzzled against Tripp. "Claire, you know how much you mean to me, but we can't do that," Tripp said. Claire's smile fell away.
By the hospital, Sarah confessed to Rex that she and Eric had kissed. Rex raised an eyebrow and looked over at Eric. "You are unbelievable. You were hitting on Sarah when your mother was fighting for her life?" Rex said in disbelief. As Rex rambled about how stupid he had been to ignore Brady's warnings, Sarah attempted to explain. Rex grabbed Eric. Sarah begged Rex to stop.
"You looked at me in my eyes and promised me that you would help me win back Sarah. You wanted her for yourself," Rex yelled. Sarah jumped between Eric and Rex and yelled that the kiss was not Eric's fault. "I kissed him," Sarah protested. Rex asked Sara if Eric was the reason she had turned down his proposal.
"It's not Eric's fault. He made it very clear that he does not have any romantic feelings for me. Isn't that right?" Sarah said. Eric nodded yes. Rex asked Sarah why she was confessing at that moment. Sarah explained the blackmail situation with Brady. Unconvinced, Rex asked Sarah if that was the truth or if she had confessed because she wanted to tell him before Brady had a chance.
"I'm sorry. The last thing I ever wanted was a woman to come between us," Eric said. "Is that what you told Brady before you stole Nicole from him?" Rex countered. Eric muttered that the situation was different. Sarah asked Eric to leave her alone with Rex. Reluctantly, Eric walked away. Rex asked Sarah if she had kissed Eric out of revenge. Sarah explained that prior to Rex's return to town, she had spent a lot of time with Eric.
"[Eric] had lost Nicole, and I had lost you. And maybe there was a part of me that turned to him 'cause I was angry with you," Sarah said. Rex agreed that Sarah's anger had been justified. Sarah and Rex agreed that they could only move forward if they were totally honest with one another. Rex asked Sarah if she had feelings for Eric.
"The more that we spent time together, the more I started to rely on him, and my friendship grew into something more for me, I guess. It wasn't anything that I was seeking out," Sarah explained. Sarah added that Eric had made it very clear that he did not feel the same way. When Rex asked what happened next, Sarah said that she was confident that she could put her feelings for Eric behind her.
"Do you wanna be with me?" Rex asked. "I love you, Rex. And we are going to have a good life together. I want to be with you. Only you," Sarah said as she clasped Rex's hand in hers. Rex asked Sarah if she was sure. Sarah asked for the ring.
With a chuckle, Rex said he had been carrying the ring with him in the hopes that Sarah would change her mind. Sarah held out her hand for Rex to place the ring on her finger. Rex got down on one knee and held up the ring. "Will you marry me?" Rex asked. Sarah said yes, and they kissed.
In the police station, Ted apologized to Rafe for interrupting his special evening with Hope. Ted stressed that it had been his responsibility to update Hope about cartel activities in town. Rafe continued to work at his desk and ignored Ted. Disgusted, Ted told Rafe to take Hope to a nicer place for dinner than the pub.
"Don't tell me how to treat my wife," Rafe grumbled. Ted argued that he and Rafe were colleagues and needed to get along. With a shrug, Rafe said if he had his way, Ted would be removed from office because of his unethical past. Abe walked in and noticed the tension. Abe asked what was going on between the two men.
"There is no problem. Just a difference of opinion," Ted said. Curious, Abe asked Rafe to talk privately in the interrogation room. Once they were behind closed doors, Abe asked Rafe if he and Ted had been arguing about personal issues. Abe noted that Hope had recommended Ted for the D.A. position. Rafe muttered to himself.
"Am I missing something?" Abe asked. Rafe avoided the question, but Abe clarified that he was asking Rafe a question as his boss. "Do I need to worry about this guy, and I expect your honesty, detective," Abe said. Rafe was reluctant to tell Abe what he knew. Worried about his campaign, Abe argued that he needed to know about any skeletons in Ted's closet.
At the pub, Hope urged Jennifer not to give up on Jack because things would get better, just as things had gotten better for Hope and Rafe. With a sigh, Jennifer said she was relieved that Hope and Rafe were repairing their relationship. Hope told Jennifer that Rafe had been upset that Ted had befriended her while Rafe had been in Europe.
"Why do I feel like you are holding something back from me?" Jennifer asked. Jennifer pushed Hope to open up to her. "Ted kissed me," Hope confessed. Surprised, Jennifer asked for details. Hope admitted she had been blindsided by the kiss.
"I was so embarrassed. I mean, it was awkward," Hope said. Jennifer noted that it was no wonder that Rafe did not like Ted. Hope shifted her eyes away guiltily. "I haven't said anything to Rafe. I haven't told him," Hope admitted. Hope argued that the kiss had not been her fault and that it would infuriate Rafe.
"You didn't 100% completely hate it, Hope," Jennifer noted. Hope protested. Jennifer explained that Hope had been alone and had enjoyed that someone had been interested in her. Hope raised an eyebrow, unsure. Ted walked in and asked to join the table. Jennifer looked at Hope, and she shifted her gaze away. Jennifer's phone beeped, and she stepped away to answer a call.
Ted took Jennifer's seat. Ted informed Hope that Rafe had been talking to Abe at the station. Concerned, Hope lied and said she had forgotten a meeting at the office. Hope ran out of the pub. When Jennifer returned to the table, Ted explained that Hope had been needed at work. Ted told Jennifer that he was interested in getting to know Hope's cousin better.
"I want you to know that Hope and I are like sisters. I love her very much. It concerns me that you are causing so many problems for her," Jennifer said. Ted asked for an explanation. "You kissed her," Jennifer hissed. Ted asked Jennifer what Hope had said about the kiss. Jennifer countered that she was more interested in what Ted had to say about the kiss. Ted stressed that his only interest was Hope's happiness and that the kiss would not have occurred if Rafe had been treating Hope well.
"What happens in Rafe and Hope's marriage is their business," Jennifer said. Ted agreed. Ted added that Jennifer was the one interfering in Hope's marriage, not him. As Ted walked to the bar, Jennifer rolled her eyes.
At the police station, Hope interrupted Abe and Rafe's conversation in the interrogation room. Annoyed, Abe told Hope that he had named her commissioner because he had believed that Hope cared about the rule of law. Hope asked Abe what he was talking about. Abe explained that Hope had not told him that Ted had blackmailed Sonny and Will. Hope argued that she had made sure that Ted had recused himself from Leo's attempted murder investigation.
"I'm not talking about that. You encouraged me to make a blackmailer the district attorney of Salem! You may have just cost me the election," Abe growled. "I made a mistake. I am so sorry," Hope said. Abe reasoned aloud that he could not fire Ted because it would draw attention to him, and if did not fire him, Jack's campaign could learn about Ted's past. Frustrated, Abe told Hope he would let her know his decision.
After Abe left, Rafe explained to Hope that Abe had overheard him talking to Ted. "Bull. This is what you were waiting for. The perfect opportunity to blow Ted right out of the water," Hope said. Rafe denied the charge. Rafe added that he was glad that Abe knew the truth because it could backfire on Abe's campaign. Hope asked Rafe if his interest was in protecting Abe or in getting Ted fired.
"You got me. You're right. I don't want Ted around my wife. Newsflash, who would want that sleazy son-of-a-bitch around their wife?" Rafe asked. Hope reminded Rafe that he had promised to trust her. Rafe said he trusted Hope. Hope started to speak, then gasped.
"Were you trying to get me fired?" Hope asked. Rafe said he would never do that. Hope was unsure. "Maybe because you never came to terms with Abe making me the commissioner?" Hope asked. Rafe laughed in disbelief.
Ted spotted Abe as Ted exited the pub. With a smile, Ted asked Abe if he was available to talk about plans on how to deal with the drug cartel in Salem. When Ted suggested that his ideas would help Abe's mayoral campaign, Abe scowled. "The last thing I want to do is talk about my campaign with you," Abe grumbled.
Jordan shares a secret with Rafe
At the loft apartment, Tripp reminded Claire that Jack and Eve were staying at the Salem Inn -- which, as a public place, wasn't exactly the best choice for a forbidden rendezvous, anyway.
"Haley and I can go back to my place..." J.J. helpfully suggested. "But you told me about that nosy neighbor of yours who's always watching your door through her peephole! [And besides], Ciara could show up here any minute!" Claire protested, and J.J. conceded the point. "All right, just -- just let me think... I'll -- I'll figure something out..." Tripp tried to assure Claire. "I don't want to figure anything out, Tripp -- I want to go to the Salem Inn, and I want to go tonight!" Claire impatiently snapped, prompting J.J. to wonder why it was so important to go to that particular hotel. "[It's] the nicest place in town," Claire reasoned with a shrug, calming down a bit.
"Nobody will see us, okay? We can go there separately, and then we can leave at different times, okay?" Claire said to Tripp, who hesitantly agreed. Satisfied, Claire pretended to call the Salem Inn and make a reservation.
Meanwhile, at the Salem Inn, Jack and Eve rigged Tripp and Claire's room with a tiny camera, aiming it straight at the bed to capture any action that might occur that night.
"[Let's] make sure that we have just the right angle..." Eve seductively suggested, leading Jack toward the bed. He tried to play along but soon pulled away, prompting her to wonder what was wrong. "The way you're acting, one would think that we haven't actually shared a bed over the last few months. I mean, I know that we haven't actually made love yet, but --" she tried to note. "Can we not talk about this now?" he requested, clearly uncomfortable. "I just don't understand what's holding you back," she continued. "Do you remember the part where I said 'let's not talk about this now'?" he asked irritably.
"Are you sure it's not Jennifer?" Eve wondered. Before Jack could respond, Claire entered the room and warned that Tripp wasn't far behind. As Eve explained how to work the camera, Claire complained about how hard it had been to get Tripp to agree to the idea of a forbidden rendezvous. During the rant, Claire revealed that J.J. was still hanging out with Haley -- information that left Jack concerned.
After leaving Claire's room, Eve tried to lead Jack back to theirs, wanting to continue their earlier conversation. "I got something else I need to do first," he vaguely insisted, rushing off in the opposite direction.
At the loft apartment, Haley lost Claire's ring, which was a bit too big. J.J. found it and tried to put it back on Haley's finger. "We shouldn't," Haley awkwardly insisted, pulling away from J.J. "I don't want to lose it [again]," Haley claimed when J.J. expressed confusion. "I'm just gonna keep it in here [for now]," Haley added while opening Claire's jewelry box, which had been left in the living room.
"I still don't get it. What is this doing in a jewelry box?" J.J. curiously mused, picking up and inspecting the lighter that Claire had stolen from the cabin. "Claire smokes?" Haley asked. "Not that I know of," J.J. replied, still eyeing the lighter intently. "What's wrong?" Haley wondered, observing that J.J. suddenly looked quite serious. J.J. started to tell Haley about what Ben had done to Abigail and Chad a few years earlier. "When my partner and I arrived at the [cabin], we found a lighter that looked just like this one," J.J. revealed at the end of the tale. "It can't be the same one," J.J. decided, returning the lighter to the jewelry box.
"Seeing that lighter must've brought it all back..." Haley guessed, giving J.J. a look of concern. "Yeah," he admitted with a sigh. "You know, if you need someone to talk to about it...I'm here," she stressed.
Before J.J. could respond, someone knocked on the apartment door. When Haley opened it, Jack and Eve barged in, ignoring J.J.'s protests. "We just saw that adorable engagement clip that you posted on social media," Eve explained to Haley. "I came to congratulate Tripp," Jack claimed. "Yeah, I'll bet you did," J.J. skeptically replied. "Where is Tripp?" Jack asked while looking around. "Not here," J.J. vaguely revealed. "But you are, [and] you and [Haley] used to be an item," Jack suspiciously mused. "We were never 'an item' -- and thanks to you two, she's barely speaking to me now," J.J. impatiently countered.
Jack pointedly noted that the timing of Haley and Tripp's engagement was quite convenient. "You listen to me, you son of a bitch -- Tripp is in love with Haley. They're getting married. And there isn't a damn thing you can do about it," J.J. snapped. "Why would I do anything about it?" Jack asked innocently. "Because you would sell your own mother -- if you could remember her name -- to be mayor of this town," J.J. replied.
"What I don't get is why you want it so bad," J.J. added. "Because I care about the people of this town," Jack claimed. "That's bull. You're [only] making a crusade out of getting Haley deported because you need the publicity," J.J. knowingly countered. "Getting people riled up is all you have to offer. Haley's a bigger asset to this community than you'll ever be," J.J. continued.
"You know, I just -- I -- I wish to hell that you'd stayed dead!" J.J. spat, glaring at Jack. "Is that any way to speak to your father?" Eve asked disapprovingly. "He's no father to me," J.J. insisted.
J.J. chased Jack and Eve off then slammed the apartment door shut, seething with rage. After calming down, J.J. reluctantly said goodbye to Haley, explaining that it was almost time for the start of another work shift. "If there is anything I can do, please call me," J.J. stressed before rushing off, leaving Haley looking a bit disappointed.
At the Salem Inn, Tripp and Claire finished eating the meal that they had ordered earlier. "Look, I know you didn't really want to do this..." Claire began. "Of course I did. Why would you say that?" Tripp replied, confused. "'Cause of Haley. She's all you think about now," Claire explained. "How many times do I have to tell you, okay? Haley and I are just friends -- that's all, okay? There's nothing real about this marriage, all right? It's just me doing a favor for a friend. You're the one I want to be with, all right? As soon as Haley gets her green card...you know, she'll go back to living her life, and I'll go back to living mine -- with you," Tripp stressed.
Satisfied, Claire gave Tripp a hug and a kiss. After pulling away from Claire, Tripp wheeled the food cart out to the hallway. When Tripp returned a few seconds later, Claire was in the process of pressing a button on the hidden camera that would send its footage to Eve's cell phone. "What are you doing?" Tripp asked curiously. "I...am...just...getting a little surprise ready for you," Claire nervously claimed, opening the top drawer of the dresser that was serving as a stand for the camera. "What do you think of this?" Claire asked, revealing some lingerie. After Tripp gave the lingerie a smile of approval, Claire stepped into the bathroom to put it on.
A short time later, while Tripp and Claire were climbing into bed together, a cell phone began ringing. Tripp's device was quickly identified as the one that was receiving a call, and Claire was annoyed to learn that Haley was the caller. Claire wanted to ignore the call, but Tripp decided to take it, arguing that Haley wouldn't be interrupting unless there was a good reason. After a brief conversation with Haley, Tripp ended the call and told Claire about Jack and Eve's visit to the loft apartment. Tripp decided to head back there to check on Haley, who had sounded a bit shaken. Claire was frustrated but didn't protest too much, knowing everything would change soon.
While passing through the park with Eve, Jack admitted that going to see J.J. had been a bad idea. "You and J.J. will make up once Haley is out of the picture," Eve dismissively assured Jack. "And she will [be] when everyone sees this!" Eve excitedly added, having just received the footage of Tripp's confession. "Perfect!" Eve declared after watching the footage with Jack. "Now we just -- we just have to call a press conference [and] let the media know that that little scammer is trying to put one over on the Feds so she can become --" Eve started to summarize. "No, we are not going to do that," Jack insisted with finality, confusing Eve.
At the police station, Rafe denied having any lingering resentment about Abe's decision to appoint Hope as the commissioner. "[Then] why are you always second-guessing me?" Hope wondered. "I'm not; I'm simply trying to understand why it is that you covered up Ted's criminal past," Rafe clarified, adding that it seemed like the answer was that Hope wanted to continue working closely with Ted for some reason. "Don't tell me how I feel," Hope demanded. "I made it very clear to Ted that if he ever..." Hope began to add before stopping abruptly, leading Rafe to conclude that Ted had crossed a line at some point and had received some sort of warning as a result.
"Don't try to change the subject. This is not about Ted; this is about you," Hope evasively argued. "Oh, okay -- so, I'm the problem," Rafe incredulously summarized. "You could have cost me my job!" Hope pointed out. "You do realize that Abe's interim D.A. blackmailed your nephew, [right]? Don't you think that Abe deserved to know that?" Rafe countered.
Before Hope could respond, Rafe's cell phone began ringing. "Saved by the bell," Hope muttered. "Yeah," Rafe agreed before greeting the caller -- Kayla.
"I'm at Bayview with Jordan. Her psychiatrist called me [because] she's agitated and disoriented, and, uh, they thought it was physiological, but it isn't... [Anyway], she's asking for you," Kayla explained. "Uh, okay... Look, I'd really like to help you and Jordan out right now, but I just don't think it's a good time for me to leave Salem," Rafe apologetically replied before ending the call with a sigh.
Hope could tell that Rafe wanted to go to Bayview to check on Jordan. "I don't 'want' to go, okay? I just think that there might be something..." Rafe tried to clarify.
"Can we just finish this later?" Rafe asked Hope after a moment of thought. She forced a smile and nodded then watched sadly as he rushed off.
A short time later, Ted arrived and began complaining to Hope about Abe's earlier behavior. Ted was surprised when Hope explained why Abe was suddenly being rude. Hope was quick to stress that Abe had apparently forced Rafe to talk about what Ted had done to Will and Sonny the previous summer. Ted found that hard to believe but conceded that Abe had a right to know that information. "I should never have asked you to put in a good word for me [with Abe]," Ted regretfully noted, knowing that Hope's job was in jeopardy as a result of that request. Hope refused to let Ted take the blame.
Ted wondered why Hope had vouched for him in the first place. "For months now, I -- you just happened to be there, Ted, when I needed Rafe, and he was somewhere else with someone else..." Hope began to explain. "[So], you got back at him by getting me the job?" Ted assumed. "Not consciously...but maybe subconsciously? I mean, I did -- I did keep you around, didn't I?" Hope conceded. "Now my marriage is a mess. And you and I... I mean, our jobs -- they're in jeopardy. And God knows what's gonna happen if Jack becomes the next mayor. I guess I am scared [of] losing everything that means anything to me," Hope continued.
"Rafe and I love each other, and we have tried so hard to make this work -- this marriage -- and...it's just not going to -- not unless something changes," Hope admitted. "The problem is me, not you, [so] I'm gonna go find Abe, and I'm gonna give him my resignation," Ted spontaneously decided, surprising Hope. "You're a married woman -- you made that very clear -- and I care enough about you not to stand in the way of what's best for you. I hope that you and Rafe work things out, if [that] is what you truly want," Ted added. Hope gave Ted a nod of gratitude then extended a hand, and he shook it -- then kissed it. She went weak in the knees as he walked away.
At Bayview, Kayla informed Rafe that Jordan had fought with a nurse earlier and had then tried to escape. "They had to sedate her to stop her, but, uh, now it looks like it's wearing off," Kayla continued as Jordan, who was restrained to a bed, began to stir. "The staff was, um, hoping that you could calm her down. You know, it's not good for her health -- her heart rate's been elevated, her blood pressure's sky-high..." Kayla concluded.
Rafe gently roused Jordan, who was happy to see a friendly face. "You tried to break out?" Rafe asked. "I have to get to him. I have to make things right," Jordan groggily explained.
"You're worried about Ben," Rafe assumed. "You don't have to be. They -- they dropped all the charges against him," Rafe revealed. "Why?" Jordan wondered. "Because we know you set both of the fires at the cabin," Rafe explained. "You told me at the police station that you were watching Ben from the moment that he was released, [which means you knew] he discovered Ciara after the bike accident [and] took her to the cabin --" Rafe began to elaborate after Jordan expressed confusion. "I didn't set the [other fire]! It wasn't me!" Jordan insisted with absolutely certainty, surprising Rafe.
Kayla urged Jordan to calm down and get some rest. After Jordan promised to try, Rafe pulled Kayla aside and quietly asked for a professional assessment of the unexpected revelation. "You said that she was sedated, but she seems lucid -- it seems like she knows what she's talking about..." Rafe noted. "Well, her therapist said that she's very self-aware during her therapy sessions, [and] she certainly seems adamant," Kayla agreed. "Well, if she is telling the truth about not setting that [other] fire, then we've got no idea who did," Rafe revealed with a sigh of concern.
At the hospital, Ben encouraged Ciara to go home and get some rest, knowing that he wasn't the best company at that moment because he was tired and grumpy -- and in desperate need of a shower, not just because he had spent most of the day working but also because his fever was starting to break, and he was sweating as a result. She dismissed his concern, insisting that she didn't mind staying with him until he was released. She spontaneously decided to give him a sponge bath, and although he was reluctant to allow the idea at first, she eventually managed to change his mind -- and even got him to admit afterward that it had felt pretty good.
Ben and Ciara soon began kissing passionately, but Kayla entered the room before things could progress any further. "We were just..." Ciara awkwardly tried to explain. "She was just trying to make me feel more comfortable," Ben, who was still half naked, elaborated for Ciara while covering up. "Right..." Kayla skeptically agreed before starting to examine Ben's injured hand, which was no longer hurting. Kayla teasingly guessed that it wasn't the antibiotics that had caused Ben to stop feeling pain. After confirming that Ben's temperature was back to normal, Kayla decided that there was no reason to wait any longer to start the discharge process.
"Sorry I wasn't here sooner. [See], I was called to Bayview to examine your sister," Kayla told Ben before proceeding to explain what had happened. "I did hear her say that she did not set the [other] fire at the cabin," Kayla revealed at the end of the tale. "Oh, man... If these police believe Jordan -- that she didn't set that [other] fire -- I'm about to be the number-one suspect all over again," Ben told Ciara after Kayla left, groaning at the thought.
Later, while Ben and Ciara were waiting for an elevator, J.J. spotted the couple. "You're still hanging with him? Are you out of your mind?" J.J. asked Ciara incredulously.
"I might as well tell you -- my sister just told Rafe Hernandez that she didn't set that [other] fire," Ben revealed, trying to ignore J.J.'s comments. "Why am I not surprised..." J.J. grumbled. "Ben didn't do it. I know -- I was there. Somebody else had to have done it," Ciara confidently assured J.J., who couldn't help thinking about the lighter that was hidden in Claire's jewelry box.
At Bayview, Rafe wondered if Jordan knew the identity of the person who had started the fire that had not yet been definitively linked to anyone. "I don't want to talk about the fire," she tiredly insisted. "What do you want to talk about?" he wondered. "The baby," she replied. "What baby?" he asked, confused. "Mine," she clarified, stunning him.