At Bayview, Jordan stunned Rafe with the claim that she had a son who was still in California.
"I couldn't risk bringing him here. What if Ben had found him? What if -- what if he had done to my little boy what Clyde did to me?" Jordan reasoned. "All I wanted was to keep him safe...and I failed!" Jordan added, getting emotional. "I just want to go home, and I'm stuck in this horrible place, and I just -- and I just want to go home, 'cause I have to be home for my little baby!" Jordan, who was no longer restrained but was still tethered to a bed with various pieces of medical equipment that were monitoring vital signs, tearfully insisted while halfheartedly tugging at the nuisances. "Please, Rafe -- I need you to help me!" Jordan begged.
"You can't leave Bayview, all right? Not 'til you get help," Rafe gently reminded Jordan, who countered that there was a child out there somewhere who needed help, too. "I'll get in touch with Child Protective Services --" Rafe began to offer. "No! My child cannot end up in the system!" Jordan insisted. "Well, I don't know what other option I have, then..." Rafe replied, shrugging. "You could get him!" Jordan suggested.
"He's with a friend," Jordan revealed after Rafe agreed not to get Child Protective Services involved in the matter. Still a bit skeptical, Rafe probed for more details. "You're gonna bring my baby back to me? You're gonna go get him, and you're gonna bring him back to me?" Jordan asked hopefully. "I promise," Rafe replied. Relieved, Jordan hugged Rafe tightly and, through tears of joy, began explaining how to track down the boy.
When Rafe left a short time later, Jordan balled up a blanket to make it look like a baby then cradled it in her arms and began singing a lullaby to it.
At the police station, Hope recorded a voicemail message for Ted, urging him to hold off on quitting his job for the time being so they could talk about the matter some more.
Ciara and Ben arrived just as Hope was ending the call. "We came to ask you about what Jordan said," Ciara explained, confusing Hope, who hadn't heard the news yet. "Apparently, Jordan told Rafe that she didn't set [that other] fire at the cabin," Ciara clarified. "Then..." Hope began, eyeing Ben suspiciously. Ciara groaned and preemptively warned Hope not to start blaming Ben again -- especially on the word of "a crazy lady" alone. Hope took the passionate defense as an indication that Ciara and Ben were back together again. Ciara confirmed the suspicion then started to leave with Ben, still somewhat upset about Hope's earlier implication.
Hope protested that Ciara couldn't go back to the DiMera mansion, of all places. Ciara dismissed the concern, assuring Hope that El Fideo's men were only after Chloe.
As soon as Ciara and Ben left, Hope contacted a police officer who had been keeping an eye on the DiMera mansion since the shooting. "Don't take your eyes off my daughter until she leaves -- and when she does, let me know," Hope ordered the police officer. Shortly after Hope ended the call, Rafe arrived and began to reveal everything that had happened at Bayview. "If [this is] about Jordan saying she didn't start the first fire, I already know -- and I'll need you to reopen the investigation," Hope somewhat coldly stated. "All right, will do...uh, but it's not that," Rafe replied before forging ahead.
"How do you know any of this is true?" Hope asked skeptically at the end of the tale. "I don't...but, uh, right now, I'm the only one she seems to trust," Rafe replied. "Of course..." Hope grumbled.
"Rafe, I need you -- I need you here, I need you on the force, I need you doing your job [instead of] searching for a baby that may not even exist!" Hope protested. "What's the big deal? You've got your D.A. Ted here [to] help you hold down the fort while I'm gone," Rafe dismissively countered. "Ted's gone. He went to resign because he was worried about me losing my job -- and our marriage," Hope tiredly revealed. "The only reason [he] would resign is because he knows that Abe's gonna fire him. [You] think that Jordan's got me wrapped around her finger, and meanwhile, Ted [is] doing a complete snow job on you!" Rafe argued.
"I'm gonna go home, and, uh...I'm gonna pack, and I'm gonna book a flight -- see if I can get out tomorrow..." Rafe concluded with finality, but Hope was barely listening at that point.
Ben took Ciara to a guesthouse on the DiMera property. "[This] was the, uh, old groundskeeper's place, [but] he has a family now, so he commutes," Ben explained. "[I've] got a lot of privacy now. Had the security team check it out -- did a clean sweep of the whole grounds, the home... 100% completely safe," Ben added, failing to notice that the comment about privacy had piqued Ciara's interest.
"I saw the look on your mom's face. As soon as she heard [about what Jordan told Rafe], she went right back to thinking that I was responsible [for that other fire]," Ben noted with a sigh. "That's her problem, not yours," Ciara insisted. "I'm not so sure about that, Ciara. If your mom doubts me, I can't help but think that eventually you might, too," Ben admitted.
"That is never, ever going to happen, [because] I don't care about what Jordan, or my mother, or anybody else says about you, Ben; I believe in you [because] I've gotten to see you for the man that you really are, [and] that man would never, ever, ever have set the fire that almost killed me. And I feel [that] with all of my heart, Ben -- I feel it with everything I have -- and no one is ever gonna convince me otherwise," Ciara assured Ben, who was clearly touched. "No one has ever, ever cared about me, Ciara -- not like you do," Ben admitted.
Ben began kissing Ciara passionately but soon pulled away with a groan. "It's not safe for you to be here right now, and I need to get back to work..." he reasoned, and she reluctantly conceded the point.
At the Salem Inn, Claire dialed Eve's cell phone number. "I need to see you," Claire demanded when Eve answered the call. "[Tripp] left me for Haley...and it's all thanks to you and Jack!" Claire added, furious.
When Eve and Jack arrived a short time later, Claire started lashing out again. "[You two] showing up at the loft really freaked Haley out, [so] she decided to call Tripp, [and he] decided to leave me to go comfort her, [and] now my amazing, romantic evening that I spent so much time planning is all ruined!" Claire snapped at Eve and Jack, who both insisted that the poorly timed visit to the loft apartment had been an important part of the plan to expose Tripp and Haley's engagement as a sham. As Jack stepped out of the hotel room to take a phone call, Eve tried to calm Claire down, promising that Haley would soon be out of Tripp's life for good.
"You're damn right, Eve...'cause you're gonna release [that] footage -- right now!" Claire demanded. "Sorry, Claire -- we cannot do that," Jack insisted, reentering the hotel room.
Eve stopped Jack from saying anything else, wanting to be the one to break the bad news to Claire -- gently. Jack agreed to wait for Eve at the Horton Town Square. Once the coast was clear, Eve apologetically explained to Claire that Jack had decided to hold off on exposing Tripp and Haley's engagement as a sham until after the fake couple met with -- and lied to -- ICE for the first time, since the reveal would cause more damage and get more press coverage at that point. "I can't wait that long!" Claire protested. "The meeting is tomorrow, honey. It'll be over with before you know it," Eve soothingly countered.
"What if it isn't? What if none of this goes as planned? And what if I lose Tripp forever? [You know], what if they actually end up falling in love, and then they don't get in trouble with [ICE, and] instead they end up getting married and [being] really happy, [and] I end up alone?" Claire worriedly argued, making Eve think of Paige. "You know, there were times when she was so cheery and optimistic, but then there were also times that she was filled with all kinds of self-doubt -- always worrying about the what-ifs and the maybes -- and it was my job as a parent to assure her that everything is going to be okay," Eve told Claire.
"Well, my mom can't really help me -- she's far away," Claire pointed out. "I know...[so] let me be here for you, okay?" Eve replied.
"Why do you always feel like the sky is falling, [and] that you don't deserve happiness?" Eve asked while wiping away Claire's tears. "I don't know why I feel this way. I just do," Claire claimed with a shrug while silently recalling what had happened at the cabin the previous year. "If something's eating at you, talk to me," Eve skeptically urged Claire. "Jack's waiting for you," Claire evasively pointed out after briefly considering the idea of confessing to Eve. As Eve reluctantly left the hotel room, Claire sank onto the bed, got into the fetal position, and started sobbing quietly. Eve quickly returned and comforted Claire with a hug.
At the hospital, Kayla ran into J.J. and quickly realized that something was bothering him.
"Are you suggesting that Claire might have set that [other] fire?" Kayla asked incredulously after J.J. finished explaining what was wrong. "It's just strange to find out that Jordan's saying she didn't do it right after I see the lighter in Claire's jewelry box," J.J. replied with a shrug of uncertainty. "Are you sure it's the same kind of lighter that Ben used?" Kayla wondered. "The exact same kind," J.J. confirmed. "Is there anything unique about [it]?" Kayla asked. "No, it's pretty generic," J.J. admitted. "[Then] anyone could have one," Kayla pointed out. "Yeah, they could...but why does Claire?" J.J. countered.
"Well...I mean, I know that Claire doesn't smoke, but she could have a lighter for a lot of reasons -- you know, candles, incense, whatever..." Kayla argued, and J.J. conceded the point. "[And] Ben was living at the loft for a while, [so] maybe the lighter is his, and he -- he decided to put it in the jewelry box to -- to hide it for safekeeping," J.J. suddenly realized, and Kayla agreed. "I need to talk to Claire," J.J. decided, still troubled.
Changing the subject, Kayla guessed that J.J. was still upset with Jack for having exposed Haley as an undocumented immigrant. "'Upset' wouldn't even begin to cover it," J.J. admitted. "I just can't believe that the man who's stirring up all this trouble and making Haley's life a living hell is my dad," J.J. added with a sigh and a shake of the head. "Well, let's just hope it backfires," Kayla replied, and J.J. agreed.
Later, while passing through the town square, J.J. spotted Jack -- and walked right past him without saying a word.
At the loft apartment, Haley received an unexpected visit from Trask, who had seen the engagement video. "Do you really think this charade is gonna work?" Trask wondered. "Honestly, I don't know...but what other choice do I have, Mel? It's not like you're helping me! I believe your exact words were...'You're on your own now,'" Haley bitterly replied. "That wasn't my finest moment," Trask admitted. "Oh, please -- it's every hour of every day! You -- you hated that your -- your little sister had to show up and ruin your shiny new life!" Haley countered. "I was nothing but a burden to you...which is why you don't care if I'm deported," Haley sadly added.
"That's not true, Haley! Of course I care!" Trask insisted. "I'm sorry I haven't been there for you -- not the way you wanted -- but now...I need to talk to you about something really important..." Trask added.
Just then, Tripp entered the apartment, stopping Trask from elaborating. "I'm guessing you're gonna be my brother-in-law," Trask mused, forcing a smile. "Looks that way," Tripp confirmed.
"I'm honored to be marrying Haley," Tripp added, putting an arm around Haley. "You know, if any of this were real, I -- I would be very impressed by that sentiment...but you and I both know that it's not," Trask replied. "You may think that you're doing something noble, but I am warning you, ICE is gonna be all over you two, and instead of Haley going back to China, you two could end up in prison," Trask stressed. "That's a risk I'm willing to take," Tripp insisted without hesitation. "For a woman you just met?" Trask asked incredulously. "For someone as great as Haley," Tripp clarified.
"And I know what I wouldn't do -- cut and run like you did," Tripp added. "Well, I see my sister has already spoken for me. No need for me to stay here," Trask replied before rushing off.
"I shouldn't have lashed out at Melinda like that. I mean, even if I disagree with every word she says, she's still your sister," Tripp apologetically admitted, but Haley dismissed the concern with a laugh, half expecting it to be a joke. "You stood up for me, Tripp -- and not many people have done that before. Sadly, my sister never has," Haley gratefully acknowledged.
"It looks like the coast is clear, so you're good to head back to the inn," Haley added, but Tripp insisted on staying, still worried that Jack and Eve might return for another round of harassment. "Keeping me here sounds like it's becoming a full-time job for you," Haley regretfully acknowledged. "It's not too late to back out..." Haley continued. "Even if I wanted to back out -- which I don't, by the way -- our engagement is all over social media, so if we don't go through with this now, we could be in a lot of trouble. So, thank you for the offer, but you don't need to let me off the hook, all right? You're stuck with me," Tripp replied with a shrug.
Changing the subject, Tripp asked Haley for more details about Jack and Eve's earlier visit. "J.J. was so furious at his dad, and I -- I hated seeing [that, because] I feel like if it weren't for this situation, [he] and his dad might have a decent relationship," Haley said with a sigh at the end of the recap. "You really care about J.J.," Tripp observed. "Yeah, of course I do," Haley admitted. "[But] you don't think [you two] could ever have a future together?" Tripp assumed. "No, I don't," Haley confirmed, still unable to forget about J.J.'s betrayal.
Later, Haley shared a childhood photograph with Tripp, who didn't have any of his own to share. They soon began bonding over childhood memories in an effort to prepare for their upcoming meeting with ICE.
Meanwhile, at the Brady Pub, Trask drank a glass of wine while staring sadly at the same photograph of Haley.
Maggie questions Sarah about her accepting Rex's proposal
Over breakfast, Maggie and Victor sat in the living room at the Kiriakis mansion and talked about Sonny's annulment. As Victor beamed, Maggie jokingly suggested that Victor should get the annulment papers framed. Maggie asked about Sonny, and Victor told her that he was at the hospital with Will because Will had fainted. Maggie was concerned, but Victor waved his hand and noted that Will had been overly dramatic.
At the hospital, Sonny gamely looked at remedies for the "evil eye" on his phone while Gabi and Will talked about his unexpected illness. "If it is a curse, then they are not going to find anything," Gabi said. "For the love of God, there is no such thing as a curse!" Sonny shouted in exasperation. After Sonny walked out, Will told Gabi about his headache and collapse. Will admitted that he had been unnerved by his fainting spell. Gabi agreed that Will's situation was strange, but she warned Will to stop looking up his symptoms on the Internet.
"You're gonna be fine. I know that. You know why I know that? Because you need to be fine. For me. For your little girl," Gabi said. Will promised he would not let anyone down. An annoyed Sonny returned to inform Will that the lab was backed up. Kate and Roman arrived to check on Will, and Sonny escorted Gabi out of the room to give them family time. Roman asked Will to be honest with him about his condition.
When Rex walked into the room, he told Will that he had not been poisoned. Rex noted that the only thing out of the ordinary was that Will had a high white blood cell count. Rex recommended more tests. Will was reluctant, but Kate insisted that Will needed to know what was wrong. Rex ushered Kate and Roman out of the room so that Will could rest. As Kate and Roman reached the doorway, Rex told them he and Sarah were engaged.
In the hospital hallway, Gabi complained to Sonny about Kate's attitude. Sonny reminded Gabi that Kate had many reasons to not get along with her. Gabi shrugged in agreement. Sonny grumbled about getting rid of Leo but still not getting to celebrate his reconciliation with Will. Gabi complained about being similarly stuck with Stefan, and Sonny raised an eyebrow. "Your buttons seem pushed to me," Sonny noted. Gabi confessed that she had kissed Stefan.
"How stupid are you?" Sonny asked jokingly. "So glad I shared that with you," Gabi noted sarcastically. Sonny argued that Gabi had kissed Stefan to "stir him up, shut him down, in order to leave him wanting more." Sonny hinted that Gabi was attracted to Stefan, but she reminded Sonny of her reasons for hating Stefan.
"Trust me, I have never hated a man the way that I hate Stefan DiMera," Gabi said. When Sonny noted that Stefan had hurt Abigail, Gabi reminded Sonny that she had hurt Abigail, as well. Gabi's phone beeped with a text. Gabi hugged Sonny goodbye and left.
Rex exited Will's room and saw Sonny. "You have great news for me, right?" Sonny asked hopefully. After Rex told Sonny about the test results, Sonny went into Will's room. Will apologized that his illness had delayed their celebration. Will jokingly asked Sonny about his plans, since he was single. After mentioning his online dating profile, Sonny suggested that he and Will could be a match. Will kissed Sonny, and he announced that they were. When Rex returned to take Will to an MRI, he asked Will to remove his necklace. The chain broke. Will said he hoped that was not another bad sign, but he added that he had grown sick after donning the necklace, so he was not too concerned.
At the DiMera mansion, a shirtless Stefan carried a breakfast tray into Chloe's room as she heatedly argued with Julie on the phone. Stefan assured Chloe that he was going to take care of the cartel situation. "When I finally do, I'm going to take you out on that date," Stefan said. With a grin, Stefan promised that the date would be worth the wait.
After Chloe dressed and went downstairs to the living room, she asked Stefan about his conversation with Gabi. Stefan said he had argued with Gabi, and he believed Gabi was jealous of Chloe. Chloe asked Stefan if he believed all women were interested in him. With a chuckle, Stefan told Chloe that Gabi had kissed him to show him what he would never have. Chloe raised an eyebrow and asked Stefan if Gabi was right.
"I don't think I have ever hated anyone as much as I've hated Gabi Hernandez. You remember, she led me to believe that Charlotte was my daughter just so she could take her away from me. So, no, I can't stand the sight of her, much less desire her or whatever the hell she thinks," Stefan said. When Chloe pointed out that Stefan talked about Gabi a lot, Stefan countered that Gabi got under his skin.
"So, you felt nothing when Gabi kissed you?" Chloe asked. Stefan said he had felt a wave of disgust. With a wide smile, Chloe said, "Methinks the dude doth protest too much." Chloe announced that she was going to take the kids to school. "I will leave you with your thoughts of the despised yet alluring Gabi," Chloe said. Stefan chuckled.
In the park, Eric met up with Brady. Brady reminded Eric of his choices. Eric said he chose not to be blackmailed. When Brady said he planned to tell Rex the truth, Eric explained that Rex already knew the truth. "You're bluffing," Brady said in disbelief. Eric encouraged Brady to call Rex. Brady rolled his eyes and noted that saintly Eric had been compelled to tell the truth. Eric explained that Sarah had told Rex about the kiss.
"You're too high minded to go after her, but that doesn't mean you don't love her, does it?" Brady asked. Eric turned away, unable to answer the question. Brady pushed Eric to answer. Eric thought about his promise to God to avoid acting on his feelings for Sarah.
"Sarah is my friend, and that is all," Eric stressed. Eric started to walk away, and Brady stopped him. Brady said he still needed Eric's help with Chloe. When Eric noted that it was Chloe's decision where to live, Brady warned Eric that he would be to blame if something happened to her. Furious, Eric argued that Brady was more concerned about Brady's feelings for Chloe than about Holly.
"Chloe and I are just friends, much in the same way that you and Sarah are just friends," Brady said. Eric warned Brady to stop manipulating Chloe like he had Nicole, because it would end badly. Eric said he wanted Brady to avoid repeating his past mistakes.
"I haven't forgotten about Daniel, have you?" Brady barked. Brady immediately regretted mentioning Daniel. Eric said that he would not help Brady with Chloe. As Eric walked away, Brady muttered that he would go to Plan B. Brady texted Gabi, and when she arrived to meet, Brady asked Gabi to stop Stefan from hitting on Chloe.
At Rex's apartment, Sarah poured a cup of coffee and thought about her conversation with Eric about her feelings for him and the kiss. "I hope I did the right thing," Sarah whispered as Rex walked into the kitchen. With a grin, Rex asked Sarah if she was talking about the ring on her finger.
"I said yes, and I meant it. I want to marry you," Sarah said. Rex kissed Sarah. Sarah wondered aloud if she should have told Rex about her kiss with Eric. Rex said he was glad he knew about the kiss, and he believed that Sarah's confession would help her move on from her interest in Eric.
After Rex and Sarah made love on the couch, Rex said he would have deserved it if Sarah had decided to end things for good. Sarah assured Rex that she was excited to marry him. When Rex offered to go with Sarah to tell Maggie about the engagement, Sarah declined the offer. Rex said he understood that Maggie hated him. With a groan, Sarah said that Maggie had no right to bad-mouth Rex when Maggie was married to Victor.
When Sarah arrived at the Kiriakis mansion, she told Maggie and Victor that she was engaged. Victor asked Sarah if Xander had knocked her up during their "night of passion." Victor joked that he had burned the sheets. Maggie grumbled at Victor.
After Victor ambled out of the room, Maggie asked Sarah if she was sure about her decision to marry Rex. Maggie shared her concern that Rex was incapable of keeping his promise to be faithful. When Maggie asked about Eric, Sarah explained that Rex knew about her feelings for Eric and about the kiss. Maggie said that she believed Sarah was marrying Rex for the wrong reasons. Sarah disagreed. Sarah firmly said that her interest in Eric had been due to her anger with Rex.
"Why can't you just fake being happy for me?" Sarah pleaded. Maggie took her daughter's hand in hers and said she hoped that Rex had changed. Maggie added that she hoped Sarah would be happy with Rex.
At the pub, Roman told Eric about Will's health issues. When Roman mentioned Rex's engagement to Sarah, Eric nodded slowly. "Great. He's a lucky guy. I'm happy for him," Eric mumbled. Roman noted that Rex loved Sarah very much, despite his mistakes. Eric nodded in agreement. When Eric got up to leave, Sarah walked into the pub.
At the DiMera mansion, Chloe informed Stefan that Holly had a fever and could not go to her school picnic. Stefan offered to have a picnic in the living room. Stefan took Holly from Chloe's arms and teased her about gross-sounding food combinations. After grabbing snacks and juice boxes, Stefan, Chloe, and Holly sat on a blanket in the living room and had a picnic. Chloe watched Stefan interacting with Holly, and she smiled, clearly smitten.
In the town square, Kate sat down next to Victor in the café. "What do you want?" Victor muttered. Kate told Victor that she would consider a job at Titan. "How do you deal with the fact that no one has made you an offer?" Victor asked. Kate reminded Victor that she had helped to build Titan to the corporation it was. Victor said he did not trust Kate.
"You'll come back to Titan over my dead body," Victor said. "Sounds good to me," Kate purred.
Stefan's attraction to Chloe grows
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.
J.J. questions Claire about the lighter
At the DiMera guesthouse, Ciara listened to Ben's end of a phone conversation with Stefan.
After ending the call, Ben hurriedly donned a suit jacket while informing Ciara that El Fideo's men were on the move. "Bastards left the jurisdiction, [so] the police can't pursue [them]...but I can," Ben continued, stunning Ciara. "No, you can't!" Ciara worriedly protested as Ben grabbed a set of keys. "You're not some X-Man!" Ciara argued, adding that Ben didn't even have full use of both hands at that moment. "You're not doing it, and that's the end of that," Ciara insisted. "You are so cute when you're all concerned and bossy..." Ben observed, amused. "But there's no way I'm letting Stefan down," Ben apologetically maintained.
As Ben finished preparing for the mission, Ciara watched helplessly -- then breathed a sigh of relief when an unexpected visit from Hope delayed Ben's departure. Ciara's relief turned to frustration when Hope started to talk to Ben about what Jordan had told Rafe, but Hope was quick to assure Ciara that the conversation was going to be about something other than the unsolved cabin fire.
Ben and Ciara were both stunned to hear about the secret that Jordan had shared with Rafe -- and were both quick to question whether it was true. "If this baby's real, I guess it makes sense why Jordan didn't tell me about it," Ben conceded after a moment of thought. Ciara wondered if there was a way to prove or disprove Jordan's claim, prompting Hope to somewhat bitterly reveal that Rafe had dropped everything to fly to California and investigate the matter. "If Jordan is lying about having this baby, then she could also be lying about setting the first fire that nearly killed me. Maybe she did do it, after all," Ciara pointed out.
Hope left without bothering to respond to Ciara's observation. "I can't believe that Jordan could have a baby," Ben said to Ciara with a scoff and a shake of the head. "Or...not," Ciara skeptically countered. "I mean, when we were in the cabin together, she was never really hugely maternal with Charlotte...and I get that she's not well, but what kind of a person just walks away from their own baby?" Ciara continued. Ben noted that the old Jordan certainly wouldn't have been able to do such a thing. "How does somebody go from being so good and kind...?" Ben began, struggling to reconcile the two very different sides of Jordan. "I don't know," Ciara replied.
"Part of me wants to jam out to California right now and see if this is all real -- if this baby's real -- but I know Rafe's on it, so I'm gonna go handle these creeps in the meantime," Ben decided while fetching a gun. "I have a permit," Ben assured Ciara, who was eyeing the weapon nervously. "Situations like this, usually words aren't enough," Ben explained with a shrug. "Oh, so you're going full vigilante on us?" Ciara incredulously summarized. "I'm doing exactly what I have to do in order to protect Chloe and the kids," Ben patiently clarified. "Yeah? And it could be committing suicide! Ben, we know what these men are capable of!" Ciara warned, starting to panic.
"What if you don't come home?" Ciara fretted. "That's not an option, because I have a very, very good reason to get back to Salem as soon as possible," Ben replied. "Me?" Ciara assumed. "You," Ben confirmed.
Just as Ben was about to leave, Stefan called to postpone the mission. "Apparently, he wants to explain to me later, and for now, I'm supposed to stay put," Ben told Ciara after ending the call.
"Best news ever!" Ciara excitedly declared, breathing a sigh of relief. "But you know what? The truth is, I was gonna come with you, anyway," Ciara admitted. "There's not a chance in hell I --" Ben started to protest, but Ciara interrupted. "I cannot stay away from you -- I really can't. I need you. I need you close to me -- just like this. I need you so, so much," Ciara stressed before giving Ben a kiss.
At the Horton Town Square, Ted spotted Abe and seized the opportunity to hand in a letter of resignation.
Abe admitted, after reading the document, that trusting Hope to reveal all of the relevant details about Ted's past had been a mistake, since it was ultimately a mayor's responsibility to personally vet any candidate for the position of district attorney. "Don't blame it on Hope. I'm the one who asked her to vouch for me," Ted protectively stressed.
"She should have laughed in your face," Abe insisted. "Instead, she lied by omission -- took advantage of me," Abe grumbled, ignoring Ted's attempt to debate Hope's true intentions. "Hope and I are more than employer and employee. We've known each other for many years. Our families are close, and she's one of my most trusted friends. So, for her to withhold this kind of information from me, especially at a critical time like this... It puts me in a terrible position," Abe complained, clearly hurt. "I realize that, and I'm very sorry...but please -- don't take it out on Hope," Ted repeated.
"Take it out on me. Accept my resignation," Ted urged Abe -- just as Jack and Eve approached. "Resignation?" Eve asked curiously. "Don't tell me there's trouble in the ranks," Jack teasingly mused. Annoyed, Abe made it clear that Jack and Eve were interrupting what was supposed to be a private conversation. "We, as the taxpayers, have a right to know [what's going on]," Jack argued. "This is the second D.A. to resign in a matter of weeks. It's not exactly a testament to the stability of your administration," Eve pointed out. Fed up, Abe started to walk away, and Ted decided to follow suit.
Jack and Eve chased after Abe and Ted, refusing to drop the matter. "Melinda Trask tendered her resignation, and then we found out that she was hiding the fact that her little sister was in this country illegally, [so] what are you hiding?" Eve asked, eyeing Ted suspiciously. Realizing that there was only one way to shut Jack and Eve up, Abe irritably confirmed that Ted had just offered to resign.
"Ted is an American citizen, but he was born in France, and given Jack's virulent anti-immigration stance, [he] feels he would be a liability to my campaign," Abe claimed, and Ted gave a nod of confirmation. Jack and Eve pretended to be shocked that Ted was a Frenchman, but Abe wasn't amused. "I'm not about to accept Ted's resignation. This country's always welcomed immigrants -- and will continue to do so," Abe stressed. "I have no issue with immigrants, Mr. Mayor...as long as they're here legally," Jack countered before walking away with Eve.
"Why did you do that?" Ted asked Abe once the coast was clear. "They just...tick me off! They're...relentless! They're...vultures! [And] if they find out I hired a D.A. without vetting [him -- and that he turned out to be] a crooked, blackmailing son of a bitch -- they'll vaporize us!" Abe explained. "So...I stay?" Ted assumed. "For now," Abe confirmed, believing that was the best way to protect Salem from ending up with Jack, of all people, as its mayor. "Just do your job and keep your mouth shut," Abe advised Ted before storming off.
Later, Abe ran into Jack and Eve again. "I would really like to hear your official position on illegal immigration," Jack began, blocking Abe's path. "I mean, I know that you support Ted Laurent -- a naturalized citizen -- but this thing with Chen... Did you know that she and her faux fiancé are being interviewed by ICE today?" Jack continued. "I'm aware," Abe replied. "An illegal who got caught is trying to game the system, and you're...fine with that?" Eve assumed. "Maybe they're in love," Abe suggested, shrugging. "I happen to know for a fact that their relationship is a lie!" Jack blurted out. "How do you know that?" Abe asked curiously.
"You can't be naïve enough to believe that Tripp Dalton and Haley Chen are actually in love," Eve answered for Jack. "I'd believe that they have genuine feelings for each other before I'd believe whatever this...'relationship'...between you is supposed to be," Abe countered. "Now, Abraham, that's hitting below the belt," Jack complained.
"You say my name with such...familiarity," Abe observed. "Because you know him," Eve pointed out. "No. I don't know him," Abe argued, eyeing Jack sadly.
"I hear and I see my old friend standing in front of me -- the man we lost too soon; the man who used to barbecue at our house, drink all of our beer, bore Lexie to tears with his lame-ass jokes -- and yet...the man in front of me is a completely different person," Abe elaborated. "He's changed for the better," Eve insisted. "Sadly, no," Abe countered.
"The man you used to be would champion a person like Haley Chen. You would use the power of your brilliant pen to make her case, hold her up, shine a light on the caring [and] compassionate young woman she is... And if some opportunistic, wannabe politician came along and preyed on her situation to grab a chance at power, you'd be the first to call him out. Where is that Jack? If this is the man you've become, my old friend might as well still be dead," Abe told Jack, who didn't react. Eve dismissed Abe's speech as the talk of a man who was feeling threatened.
At the police station, Hope received an unexpected office visit from Ted. "Abe wouldn't accept my resignation. Looks like we're stuck with each other," Ted informed Hope, who was happy to hear that. "I don't think Rafe's gonna be happy," Ted noted. "Then he'll have to take it up with Abe," Hope replied with a shrug. "Maybe I should talk to Rafe [and] try to clear the air," Ted suggested.
Hope somewhat bitterly explained that Rafe had actually gone to California the previous day to look for Jordan Ridgeway's baby. "Well, the man definitely has a pattern," Ted observed with a shake of the head after Hope added that Rafe and Jordan had once dated. "Must be pretty difficult -- not easy, right?" Ted sympathetically mused. "No, not easy -- not at all," Hope confirmed with a sigh.
Just then, Rafe entered the office. "Oh, what a surprise -- Ted's here," Rafe dryly observed. "When did you get back?" Hope asked, slightly flustered. "I just did," Rafe replied.
"What happened in California? Was it a wild goose chase?" Hope asked with a smirk, apparently feeling quite confident about what the answer was going to be. "Actually...not so much," Rafe reported, stunning Hope.
After checking out of the Salem Inn, Claire returned to the loft apartment and found Tripp and Haley chatting with J.J., who had arrived a few minutes earlier.
"Practically a welcoming committee!" Claire observed with a forced laugh, pretending to be in a good mood. Tripp tried to apologize again for having bailed on Claire the previous night, and Haley also tried to offer an apology, but Claire sweetly assured the fake couple that there was no reason to feel bad about the matter -- and that it had actually been nice to spend a night alone for a change.
"[Haley and I] crammed all last night -- you know, just to get ready for the ICE interview," Tripp informed Claire. "I'm practically an expert on all things Tripp [now]," Haley bragged before revealing a random fun fact -- that camping was one of Tripp's favorite things to do. "You like to camp?" Claire asked Tripp, clearly surprised. "Yeah...but you knew that," Tripp confidently insisted.
Claire pointedly guessed that there was at least one thing that Haley still didn't know about Tripp. "What you like more than anything in the world," Claire elaborated, turning to Tripp. "I was gonna give that to you last night...but, um, you had to leave, so..." Claire continued, making everyone else -- including Tripp -- a bit uncomfortable. "We need to go," Tripp awkwardly informed Haley, eager to end the conversation -- and aware that it was almost time for the ICE interview. On the way out of the apartment, Haley paused to adjust Tripp's tie. Once the coast was clear, Claire heaved a purse at a wall with a scream of jealous rage.
"Do you hate this as much as I do?" Claire asked J.J., who had been forced to duck to avoid taking a heavy purse to the head. "Uh...you know, I didn't really come by to see the happy couple; I just came to see you," J.J. hesitantly replied, clearly trying to decide what to make of Claire's outburst. "I need to ask you about your lighter," J.J. explained, horrifying Claire. "You went through my jewelry box without my permission?" Claire asked incredulously. "Haley wanted to put your ring back in your jewelry box to keep it safe, [and] I was with her," J.J. clarified. "Still, [it's] really weird that you did that without my consent!" Claire dramatically complained.
"If you don't mind telling me...what's the big deal about a lighter? 'Cause a lot of people have those," Claire defensively pointed out. "This one -- it reminded me of the one that Ben used back when he held Chad and Abigail hostage at that cabin," J.J. explained. "You think that it's the same lighter?" Claire asked nervously. "I know that it's far-fetched -- maybe nothing more than a coincidence -- but I just heard that Jordan is swearing that she didn't set the fire that almost killed Ciara last year --" J.J. began to clarify. "And...what, do you think it was me?" Claire demanded to know, suddenly even more defensive and nervous. "Ciara's my aunt!" Claire added.
"I really think you need to relax. I'm not accusing you," J.J. calmly assured Claire, who breathed a sigh of relief. "Ben used to live here, [and that just] got me wondering -- maybe he left the lighter behind...or hid it in your jewelry box," J.J. continued. "I just -- I found it lying around here, and I kept it [because]...you know, for a while, I, uh -- I took up smoking," Claire claimed. "Then...it could be Ben's," J.J. concluded. "Or it could be Joey's...or Jade's..." Claire argued. "Still, I think it's possible it's Ben's," J.J. maintained. "Okay, sure -- I guess so... So what?" Claire replied. "It could be evidence that Ben started that [other] fire!" J.J. reasoned.
"Sounds like a long shot to me," Claire mused with a dismissive laugh. "But it's possible," J.J. countered. "Which means I need to go to the police with this," J.J. added, surprising Claire.
At the police station, Tripp and Haley met with someone from ICE -- Agent Laverne Smith -- for an interview. "Just so you know, I'm not a fan of fairytales. I have read your application, and I don't buy one bit of this case," Smith began, eyeing Tripp and Haley suspiciously. Unfazed, Tripp and Haley took turns sharing the details of their love story. "You've known each other a few weeks. This is one of the fastest courtships I've ever heard of," Smith skeptically noted at the end of the tale. "It was love at first sight. I was completely knocked out from the moment I laid eyes on her," Tripp explained with a shrug while gazing lovingly at Haley, who smiled and nodded.
Smith soon began asking Tripp questions about Claire. "She has quite the social media presence," Smith noted, and Tripp confirmed the observation. "It looks like, from her posts and tags and emojis and status, that you were pretty much her world," Smith continued. "I was kind of on the rebound when we hooked up, [so] it wasn't like it was a super-serious relationship [for me]," Tripp coolly replied.
Next, Smith questioned Haley about J.J. "We're just friends -- nothing more," Haley insisted. "If your relationship with Mr. Deveraux was completely platonic, why did you kiss him?" Smith countered. "I don't know where you got your information --" Haley began. "From J.J.'s father, Jack Deveraux. His son confided in him about the alleged kiss, and he made it sound like you two were an item," Smith explained. "Mr. Deveraux doesn't have his facts straight," Haley dismissively insisted. "There was a kiss -- J.J. kissed me -- [but then] I told him that I just saw him as a friend," Haley clarified, managing to stay fairly calm.
"I know how this looks to Immigration, and social media, and Mr. Deveraux, but...Tripp and I..." Haley began to add while taking note of Smith's wedding band. "You're married. You know how crazy love can be. It happens, and it comes out of nowhere -- especially when you least expect it -- but when it does, it does, and that's what happened with me and Tripp, and I am just the luckiest girl in the world that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me," Haley continued while locking hands with Tripp. "Well, he may have to move to China to do it," Smith bluntly countered, unmoved and still quite skeptical.
After the interview, Tripp and Haley returned to the loft apartment, where J.J. was still in the process of trying to convince Claire to hand over the lighter. Grateful for the interruption, Claire asked to hear all about the interview. J.J. was annoyed to learn that Jack had talked to ICE. "[I said our kiss] was totally one-sided and that I only see you as a friend," Haley explained. "Good answer," J.J. muttered, hurt.
Claire rushed off to get some air after learning that Tripp and Haley had passed the first interview and were going to be moving forward with the wedding. Outside the apartment, Claire contacted Eve, who was pleased to hear that Tripp and Haley were feeling optimistic. "We've got 'em exactly where we want 'em," Eve bragged. "[Now], release the recording [so] we can blow up this demented charade -- once and for all," Claire wildly replied.
Eve holds a rally to show Tripp's confession
In Hope's office at the police station, Rafe informed Hope and Ted that Jordan had given birth to a baby boy, David, six months before. Rafe told Hope that the baby was with Eli. After Rafe told Hope how he had tracked down the baby, Hope asked what the next step was. "I did what I promised I would do," Rafe said. Ted sarcastically noted that returning a child to a mother in a mental institution was a huge improvement for the situation.
"Who is the baby's father?" Ted inquired. Rafe admitted that he had no information on the father or on the next of kin. Ted asked Rafe what he intended to do with the child. Rafe explained that he could not have left the baby in the care of someone that could not watch him indefinitely. Rafe asked Hope not to place David in foster care because Jordan might lose her child. Hope asked Rafe for other options. Rafe said he wanted to talk to Jordan first. Hope's phone beeped with a reminder about their rescheduled anniversary dinner.
"Should I confirm?" Hope asked hopefully. "I very much want to have an evening alone with my wife," Rafe started. Rafe continued that Jordan was worried about her baby. When Hope noted that Jordan had abandoned her baby weeks earlier, Rafe said Jordan was panicked, and he wanted to deal with it. "Why do some promises mean more to you than others?" Hope asked. Rafe sighed in frustration. Hope canceled the dinner reservation.
Rafe reiterated that there was no place he would rather be than with Hope. With a nod, Hope told Rafe that every time he left her, he was making a choice to prioritize someone else over her. "Every time I turn around, you're with Ted Laurent," Rafe countered. Hope asked Rafe if she needed to decide whether to stay in their marriage. Rafe shook his head no, but emotional, Hope walked out.
Lani stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Eli holding a baby in the precinct. "Who is this precious little guy?" Lani asked with a giggle. Eli explained that the baby was Jordan's son. The baby was fussy, so Lani took the baby from Eli and rocked him. When Lani asked the baby's name, Eli reluctantly told her that the baby's name was David. Eli added that the baby was about the age of his and Lani's son David. With a nervous chuckle, Lani noted that the baby needed his diaper changed.
At the loft, Haley and Tripp told J.J. that they were getting married the following day. J.J. appeared distant. When Tripp asked J.J. why he was preoccupied, J.J. confided his theory that Claire was connected to the fire at the cabin. Tripp was unsure, but J.J. clarified that he wanted to ask Claire about the lighter in case it was the evidence that connected Ben to the fire.
In the building hallway outside the loft, Claire talked to Eve on the phone about releasing the video footage of Tripp confessing that his marriage was fake. When Claire walked into the loft, she saw J.J. removing her lighter from the jewelry box. Claire was annoyed, but J.J. stressed that he needed to examine the lighter. Claire argued that the lighter had been in the loft for a while and was likely a dead end. Tripp chimed in that J.J. should investigate all avenues. Reluctantly, Claire agreed, and J.J. left with the lighter.
While Claire settled on the couch, Tripp and Haley stood in the kitchen and compared their likes and dislikes. Claire announced that the Deveraux mayoral campaign had announced a rally that related to Haley. Tripp assured Haley that the rally was meaningless.
"Jack and Eve really are just so horrible, but you don't think maybe we really need to be there?" Claire asked. Haley was reluctant to attend the rally, but Claire noted that it would be good to hear what the enemy had to say. Tripp agreed that it would be good PR to appear together as a united front. Claire was going to join them, but Tripp reminded her that she was his ex, as far as the rest of the world was concerned.
"I will do my best to play the angry ex-girlfriend," Claire said. After Tripp left, Claire muttered that she would not have to pretend to be angry and that she expected Haley to be out of the loft by the end of the night.
When J.J. arrived at the police station, he ran into Lani and Eli with baby David. After Lani stepped outside with David, Eli explained that Jordan had told the truth about her son. With a nod, J.J. announced that if Jordan had told the truth about the baby, she might have also told the truth about the fire. J.J. handed Eli the lighter.
In the square, Jack warned Abe not to play the friend card. "You are smug and arrogant," Jack said. With a furrowed brow, Abe warned Jack to watch what he said to Abe. Abe accused Jack of chipping away at the values of the country and the community. "Frankly, it makes me sick at heart," Abe said before he walked away. Eve told Jack to look to the future.
As Eve stepped away to make calls, Jennifer approached Jack and demanded to talk. "After our last conversation, I think it is just best if we walk away," Jack said. Jennifer refused to back down. Jennifer noted that if Jack were elected mayor, she would work with him regularly in the future. Jennifer informed Jack that the Spectator had decided to endorse Abe for mayor. Jack bristled, but Jennifer noted that the decision had been Adrienne's.
When Jennifer asked Jack who he believed had been hurt by Haley's actions, Jack pointed out that both J.J. and Tripp had been hurt by Haley. "Somewhere in there, you care, don't you?" Jennifer asked. Jennifer wondered aloud if "my Jack" was still there. As Jack stared at Jennifer, she reached out and placed her hand on his neck. Jack and Jennifer stared into one another's eyes until Eve returned and broke it up. Eve took Jack by the arm and led him away.
Eve asked Jack what he had been talking about with Jennifer. Jack said he was worried about J.J. Eve counseled Jack not to lose his nerve. "Tonight, we go in for the kill," Eve growled.
Jennifer watched Jack and Eve out of the corner of her eye as J.J. approached. J.J. said he was there for the rally. When Jennifer noted that Jack cared about J.J, J.J. shook his head and said he did not want to talk about his father. Jennifer crossed over to the press pool as Claire walked over to J.J. Claire asked about the lighter, but J.J. would only say that he had handed the evidence over to the police.
When Haley arrived with Tripp, Tripp assured her that they would be married the next day and out of Jack's reach. Across the square, Eve started the rally and talked about Haley. The crowd cheered when Eve noted that Haley was to be deported. "Haley Chen continues to game the system," Eve said. Eve announced that Haley intended to enter into a green card marriage and take advantage of taxpayers. Eve pointed Haley out to the crowd.
"That's not what I want!" Haley shouted. The crowd chanted, "Send her back!" Claire joined in, and J.J. scowled. Claire explained that she needed to play the part of the angry ex. Jack stared at Jennifer, who frowned. Eve introduced Jack to the crowd. Jack thanked the crowd for supporting him and the important issues he believed in. Eve pressed the button on the remote to start the video.
"Let the fireworks begin," Eve whispered. The video did not start. Eve nervously announced that there were technical difficulties. When Jack asked what was wrong, Eve whispered that the video was gone, and they no longer had proof that the marriage was a sham.
"The screen is as blank as Deveraux's brain," J.J. shouted. Jennifer announced that she was going to file "this non-story." Jack whispered that the rally was a disaster. Eve stepped forward and announced that though they did not have proof that Haley's marriage was a sham, she had news about a real relationship. Eve announced that she and Jack were getting married. Jack plastered on a smile as J.J. and Jennifer stared at Jack in astonishment.
At the pub, Abe complained to Sheila about the situation with Jack, Eve, and Haley. "You're not a quitter, and there is no way you are going to lose to a guy like Jack," Sheila said supportively. Abe worried that Jack would continue to twist his words against him. Abe confided to Sheila that he had hired Ted without vetting him. Sheila was annoyed that Abe had decided to keep a blackmailer in the D.A. job for optics.
"I decided it was better for the town to have a corrupt district attorney rather than a corrupt mayor," Abe grumbled. Sheila counseled Abe to get the attention of the constituents. When Abe asked for ideas, Sheila suggested that they go negative. Sheila promised to dig up information on Jack to use against him. When Sheila mentioned that Jack was a rapist, Abe countered that he would not allow Sheila to drag his friend Kayla into the election.
"How do you feel about playing matchmaker?" Sheila asked. Sheila suggested that they separate Eve from Jack and push Jack back to Jennifer. Abe declined the suggestion, and he asked Sheila to give up the dirt angle. Abe told Sheila he was grateful for her help. Sheila appeared upset that Abe had dismissed her ideas, and Abe looked Sheila in her eyes and thanked her. Abe and Sheila's faces hovered close to one another.
At Doug's Place, Ted approached Hope as she sipped wine at the bar. "Thought you and Rafe would be here celebrating his return home. Where is he? [With] Jordan?" Ted asked. Hope remained silent. Ted asked Hope if she was okay. Ted touched Hope's arm, and she whispered that she'd thought she would be with Rafe, too. Ted kissed Hope, and she did not stop him.