At the Horton Town Square, Brady told Eric about the deal that had been struck with Xander in exchange for Nicole's freedom.
Eric was grateful to Brady for having found a way to get Xander out of Nicole's life for good. Brady was quick to diplomatically acknowledge that Eric probably could have found a way to neutralize Xander, too, if things hadn't gone south with Nicole after Holly's death. Eric considered skipping Holly's funeral, which was scheduled to take place the following day, out of respect for Nicole, but Brady thought that would be a big mistake.
At the hospital, Sarah approached Rex at the nurses' station. "Where have you been?" Rex, who had been looking for Sarah, asked curiously, sounding more relieved than irritated. "What does it matter?" Sarah evasively replied, confusing Rex. "Okay, fine -- since you're aching to know, I was with Eric," Sarah reluctantly elaborated, prompting Rex to wonder why that hadn't been the original answer. "I don't want to have to account [for] every minute of my life [that I'm not with] you," Sarah defensively explained. "I never asked you to," Rex insisted. "All right, [then] can we just drop it?" Sarah requested.
Changing the subject, Sarah revealed that Xander was back in town -- and had already fallen back into old habits. Rex was furious to learn that Xander had tried to hit on Sarah earlier. Rex grumbled that Xander deserved a punch to the face for that, prompting Sarah to reluctantly reveal that Eric had felt the same way -- and had already taken care of the matter.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Kate put a hand on Victor's knee and sweetly promised to keep an eye on Xander -- and do anything else that needed to be done for the good of Titan.
"What's going on here?" Maggie demanded to know, joining Victor and Kate in the living room. "Kate and I were just discussing Titan --" Victor began to explain, but Maggie didn't want to hear that excuse again, since Kate was supposed to be discussing business matters with the company's CEO instead of its chairman of the board. "[Not when] the problem is Brady," Kate clarified.
Maggie was shocked to learn that Brady had given Xander, of all people, an executive position at Titan. "[Brady] hates Xander as much as anyone! He'd never hire him!" Maggie insisted, confused. "Well, he did," Kate replied with a shrug. "You know, Maggie, you have been through a lot lately, and believe me, I am the least of your worries," Kate added. "You will be...once you leave my house," Maggie countered. "It's Victor's home, too," Kate pointed out. "[But] I can see that you're still very upset about Holly, [so] I'm gonna go," Kate continued. "Stay gone," Maggie advised.
"I mean it, Victor -- this can't happen again!" Maggie warned after Kate exited the mansion. "You're too smart not to know that she's up to something, so don't pull this naive act on me!" Maggie continued. "What act? [Look], everything is on the table. Of course she's after Brady's job. She's not trying to hide that," Victor dismissively insisted. "She's after you!" Maggie argued.
Although fairly certain that Maggie was wrong, Victor argued that it didn't really matter either way. "Well, what does really matter is that I came to tell you that my granddaughter had died, and you refused to come home with me. You stayed and had a drink with her instead," Maggie countered. "I'm sorry about that," Victor stressed, sighing. "I'm not here for words, Victor. I just want you to promise me -- promise me -- that you will stay away from her!" Maggie demanded. "I can't, damn it!" Victor insisted, adding that Brady had put Titan back in danger again, and Kate was the only one who could be trusted to protect the company.
Maggie advised Victor to make Brady fire Xander. "He won't do it!" Victor tiredly explained, adding that Brady was too worried about protecting Nicole from Xander. "Though I can't, for the life of me, figure out why [Brady] thinks she'd need [his help]. If you put Nicole and Xander in a room [for] a bare-knuckled fight to the death, Nicole would be home by cocktail time," Victor curiously noted.
John and Marlena went to the Brady Pub for a round of drinks after learning the outcome of the mayoral race. "It boggles the mind. How in the hell could Jack Deveraux -- [at least] in his current, vile persona -- win that election?" John said to Marlena with a shake of the head. "In his current persona, I wouldn't want him for my cat-walker. [Of course], we don't even have a cat, but..." Marlena dryly declared, making John laugh. "The first lady -- she's a real prize, [too]," John sarcastically mused. "Yeah -- xenophobic and vindictive," Marlena agreed with a groan.
Will and Sonny soon entered the pub, both looking somber. As Marlena and Will greeted each other with a warm embrace, John and Sonny each moved an extra chair over to one of the tables to make room for four people. As soon as everyone claimed a seat, the elephant in the room was addressed. "We're definitely not giving up...but it was a little discouraging," Sonny admitted as John and Marlena absorbed the disappointing news that the first round of radiation had failed to shrink Will's tumor. "I did this to myself," Will glumly noted, but Sonny insisted that wasn't true.
"You know, you're right," Will told Sonny after a moment of thought. "It's your fault!" Will snapped, glaring at Marlena. "You're a doctor! You should have known what would happen! You should have warned me!" Will reasoned. "I tried to," Marlena pointed out. "You didn't try hard enough!" Will insisted, getting even more upset. "You should have talked me out of it, but instead, you injected that thing into my body, and now look what happened! This morning, I forgot Holly was dead! That serum was supposed to give me my memory back, and now it's taking it away, and now it could kill me!" Will continued.
"You begged her to give you that serum," John reminded Will. "Maybe we should just, um -- we should get out of here. You've been under a lot of stress, and, uh...you know, we can do this another time," Sonny told Will, already standing to leave. "He didn't mean to attack you," Sonny assured Marlena, who understood and insisted it wasn't a big deal. "Sorry -- what are you talking about? What -- what did I do?" Will, who had looked confused from the moment that Sonny had begun talking, finally asked. "You, uh...you blamed your grandmother for the tumor," Sonny explained. "No! I wouldn't do that! I don't think that!" Will argued.
"Oh, my God... Oh, I did, didn't I?" Will added after realizing that Sonny wouldn't joke about such a thing. "Oh, that was so mean and so unfair! I'm -- I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!" Will told Marlena, who insisted it was okay. "I love you, and I need you, and you've always been there for me -- 100% -- and to have blamed you for any of this is so --" Will began to stress, but Marlena interrupted and again insisted that it wasn't a big deal. "I don't want to upset you, but I think we should go back to the hospital," Sonny gently advised Will. "We'll go with you," Marlena offered, knowing that John would agree.
"We're gonna get through this, okay? We're gonna do it together," Sonny assured Will. "I'm scared," Will admitted with a sigh. "I know," Sonny quietly replied.
Kate met the group at the hospital, having received a heads-up from Rex through Sarah. After Will was admitted, Sonny summarized the earlier incident for Rex, Sarah, and Kate. "I talked to Kayla, and she agrees that we need to proceed with another radiation treatment, and we're hopeful that once we shrink the tumor, these side effects will clear up," Rex announced. "Maybe there's some chemical in the tumor that can give us the key to all this," Marlena mused. "Yeah, but the thing is, the FDA -- they're not gonna release the drug," John pointed out. "I'm gonna keep hounding them on that," Rex promised.
"Rex, Rolf was your mentor. Is there a chance that you worked on the serum with him?" Kate asked. "Not that I knew of, [but] he was very secretive; sometimes I was doing research and didn't even know why I was doing it," Rex replied. "Well, then, perhaps you did," Kate suggested. "I don't know... I mean, Kayla was the one who saw the parallel in the biopsy. [When] I looked at the same report, I didn't see any red flags," Rex argued. "Okay, well, it was just a thought," Kate conceded with a shrug. "It's a good one, though," Rex decided. "I'm gonna go back into my notes from when I worked with him, 'cause I know what I'm looking for now," Rex added.
Sarah suggested that, in the meantime, it might be best to let Will get some rest. "See you in the morning?" Will asked Sonny as everyone else left the room. "I'm not going anywhere. As long as you're here, so am I," Sonny insisted, taking a seat at the edge of Will's bed. "Thank you," Will quietly stated. "You don't have to thank me. There's nowhere else I'd rather be," Sonny stressed, smiling.
"What is happening to me? I'm forgetting things, I yelled at Grandma... It's like...it's like I'm not me anymore," Will worriedly mused. "It's the tumor, [and] once we're able --" Sonny tried to reason. "What if we're not able? What if they still can't fix it? What if this is just how it's gonna be for --" Will began to fret, but Sonny maintained that everything was going to be okay.
Sonny stretched out on the bed and wrapped a comforting arm around Will, who soon calmed down and drifted off to sleep. Meanwhile, at the nurses' station, Marlena admitted to John that, while it didn't hurt to let Will and Sonny have some hope, Kate's theory about Rex's notes probably wouldn't lead to any useful discoveries. "We need [Rolf's] diary -- that's where the formula is," Marlena reasoned. "I just can't imagine why it would have disappeared into thin air..." Marlena added. "Well, lucky for you, you're married to someone who just might be able to help. No, no, no -- scratch 'might'; I know I can find that damn diary," John assured Marlena.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie sat alone in the living room, sobbing over a loose photograph of Holly. Maggie's hands eventually began shaking, causing the photograph to fall to the floor. It landed under a desk, close to a trash can, and Maggie realized, while reaching for it, that the trash can was filled with the remains of a figurine. Suddenly even more devastated, Maggie retrieved a cell phone and shakily dialed a number.
"How could you?" Maggie snapped when Kate answered the call. "You know how much I love this little figurine, [so] you smashed it, and you left it in a place where you knew I'd find the pieces!" Maggie tearfully continued. "Why the hell would I do something like that?" Kate asked, confused. "To hurt me! To upset me! Like everything else you've been doing!" Maggie reasoned. "You are not making any sense at all. You're really losing control," Kate noted. "Isn't that what you want?" Maggie replied. "I really don't have time for this at all. I really don't. Will is back in the hospital, and you're yelling at me about your stupid figurine!" Kate complained.
"What about Will?" Maggie asked. "He had a setback, Maggie. You're not the only one who has problems," Kate replied before hanging up. Maggie immediately rushed over to the bar, clearly at a breaking point.
As Maggie opened a decanter and took a longing whiff of the liquor within it, Brady entered the mansion and called out a greeting. She quickly closed the decanter but wasn't able to move away from the bar before he entered the living room. "You all right?" he asked, concerned. "It's broken, Brady -- everything is broken!" she fretted before seizing a hug from him.
At the Salem Inn, Nicole teasingly referred to Xander as nothing more than "the hired muscle," prompting him to remind her that he was much more than that. "Without my brilliance, my singular imagination, and my off-the-charts determination to finally get what I deserve -- and what you deserve --" he began to summarize. "None of this would have happened," she tiredly concluded for him.
"I get it. Hats off to you. You're amazing. You're a genius. You're God's gift to the universe," Nicole sarcastically declared, but Xander wanted to hear more sincere praise. "Oh, Xander, you are the most brilliant man I have ever had the good fortune of conspiring with, and I am eternally grateful that you allow me to bask in your glory," she said with a dramatic swoon, leaving him much more satisfied than before.
Xander filled a glass with Champagne and handed it to Nicole then raised the bottle to his lips, gulped down quite a bit of what had been left in it, and burped loudly. "God, you're a class act," she observed with a cringe of disgust. "I could get used to this stuff," he raved. "Really? I think it's a little burned, actually...but what can you expect in a place like this, hmm?" she complained while searching the hotel room for bedbugs. "At least I won't be in this fleabag for long. I am on to bigger and better things. I mean, what's the point of coming back from the dead if you're not gonna have it all?" she added, grinning triumphantly.
After finishing off the bottle of Champagne, Xander began hitting on Nicole, who firmly rejected his advances and made it clear that she planned to go through with the divorce that he had just agreed to grant her a few hours earlier. "But you said you were moving on to bigger and better things. I'm both," he crassly bragged, drawing a scoff of doubt from her. "You'd better get yourself in line -- and stay in line -- or I will screw things up for you at Titan," she warned. "You wouldn't do that," he dismissively insisted. "Wouldn't I? [After all], I don't feel any loyalty to you," she countered. "You should. Look at all I've done for you," he argued.
"[But] whatever. It's your loss, because I promise you, I would rock your world," Xander told Nicole, who didn't even want to picture that, let alone experience it. "I'm just saying -- I have made some women very happy. References available upon request," Xander confidently maintained. "References?" Nicole skeptically repeated. "Sarah Horton, for one," Xander elaborated, drawing a dismissive laugh from Nicole, who clearly wasn't impressed. "Has there ever been a simpier little simp?" Nicole wondered. "Really? Daniel? Eric? Not exactly 'macho men on parade,' is it?" Xander countered. "Eric is history," Nicole insisted.
Nicole laughed while mockingly recalling recent conversations with Eric, who was under the impression that they were in a bad place at that moment because of Holly's death. "I mean, come on! I don't even actually give a damn about that whiny little brat!" Nicole noted with a shake of the head. "Well, aren't you a sick little puppy, laughing at a child's [death]..." Xander observed. "What? Why not laugh? It's not like she's really dead," Nicole reasoned with a shrug. "[Besides], do you have any idea how exhausting all that weeping and gnashing of teeth was? What, I don't deserve a little comic relief? Come on!" Nicole added.
"I mean, you start to act miserable, [and] after a while, you feel miserable. I was so happy when I actually got to switch gears and tear into Eric. It was actually fun. He was so pathetically sad and guilt-ridden," Nicole continued. "He's a wimp," Xander declared. "When you're right, you're right," Nicole agreed. "I mean, he made the decision to give the kid to Chloe because he thought it was the right thing to do, so why not just stand by that and tell me [that] if I don't like it, I can go to hell? That would -- I would actually respect him more [then]. But no, no -- he had to whine, and cry, and grovel, and whatever else he did," Nicole added.
"You know, as far as I'm concerned, Sarah can have him," Nicole insisted before telling Xander to open another bottle of Champagne. "I want to look haggard [for the funeral] tomorrow," Nicole explained. "Coming back from the dead has hardened you," Xander noted. "You try it. It takes a toll," Nicole countered, shrugging. "So, I guess you're not gonna suggest to Eric that you two try couples therapy," Xander mused, prompting Nicole to wonder why it mattered. "Oh...hmm, I get it -- you want me to get Eric out of the picture so you can have Frau Doktor Horton all to yourself," Nicole quickly realized, and Xander didn't bother to deny it.
"Don't you think you should worry about Rex?" Nicole asked. "Oh, they're engaged, yeah, but Eric's the real competition," Xander insisted.
Suddenly ready for some privacy, Nicole ordered Xander to leave. "Tomorrow is going to be endless grief on parade -- how tedious," Nicole grumbled. "I know what you mean. I hate funerals -- even when the person's actually dead," Xander agreed. "You know, maybe Maggie will provide us with some excitement... [I mean], I saw her flirting with the vodka bottle [recently, so] maybe she'll make a drunken spectacle of herself. Oh, it's so nice to have something to look forward to!" Nicole mused, grinning. "Fun's over," Nicole impatiently added, shoving Xander out of the hotel room.
"Okay, okay, I'm going...but remember, we're still partners for the long haul," Xander reminded Nicole before walking away, unaware that Kate was watching nearby. "What the hell is going on with that?" Kate wondered.
Nicole locked the hotel room door with a mischievous grin. "Oh, I do like it when everything works out exactly as I planned..." Nicole mused before releasing a wicked cackle that could have rivaled Kristen's best.
Jack announces a new police commissioner
In Ben's apartment, he and Ciara stirred awake in each other's arms. Ciara told Ben that she was concerned about Claire because Tripp had broken up with her. Ciara confided that Claire had done something stupid, but Ciara still believed that Tripp had been cruel to dump Claire.
"The least Tripp can do is be a little more understanding, considering how much he has asked of her," Ciara said. Ben asked why Ciara was concerned about Claire after everything Claire had done. With a shrug, Ciara said that Claire was family, and Claire's actions had also led Ciara to Ben. Ciara said she wanted to be friends with Claire again.
"Tripp and me weren't a good match, and to be honest, I don't think Claire is really right for him, either," Ciara said. Ben joked that Ciara should not mention that to Claire. After Ciara and Ben dressed, Ciara groaned when she realized the charging cable for her phone was broken. Ciara said she did not want to pick up her spare at the loft because it was likely a war zone between Claire and Tripp. Ben offered to pick up the charger for Ciara.
"I am off to talk to Rafe about you spending more time with David," Ciara said. Ben and Ciara agreed that it was weird that Lani had lied about David's health. Ciara promised to get to the bottom of the situation.
At the Salem Inn, Claire paid a visit to Eve. Eve noted that Claire should be happy, since Haley was gone. "Haley is gone all right. So is Tripp," Claire said. Claire blamed Eve for Claire's breakup. Eve asked Claire to tell her what had happened.
"You blackmailed Haley in front of J.J.," Claire said. When Eve instructed Claire to lie about her involvement in the recording, Claire said Tripp had pushed her until she had confessed. Eve said she was sorry, but Claire lashed out at Eve for using her. Claire lamented that she had trusted Eve. Eve cautioned Claire to calm down.
"Do you know what happens when someone treats me like dirt? I get very, very angry. And you know what happens when I get very angry, right?" Claire asked. Eve urged Claire not to do anything rash. Claire warned Eve not to tell anyone about the fire.
"Your secret is safe with me," Eve promised. "That's funny because that's exactly what you said about my other secret. Nobody was supposed to find out that I was behind those recordings," Claire said. Claire ordered Eve to tell Tripp that she had forced Claire to record the conversations. When Eve objected to telling a lie, Claire scoffed at the idea of Eve being opposed to lying.
"If I thought that talking to Tripp would help, I would do it. I would do it in a heartbeat," Eve stressed. "I actually thought that you were on my side. Nobody's on my side. No, I am all alone," Claire said. Eve assured Claire that she was there for Claire. Eve told Claire that she should accept that Tripp was gone and let him go. Claire shook her head no.
At the loft, Eli asked Tripp if he had any information about J.J. and Haley's plans. "I have no clue where Haley and J.J. went," Tripp said. Tripp promised to tell Eli any information if he learned anything. Tripp's phone beeped with a text from J.J. that asked for help. Eli asked about the text, but Tripp lied and said it was nothing. Eli was suspicious, but before he could press Tripp any further, Claire returned home.
"Have you heard anything from J.J. or Haley?" Eli asked Claire. "I am the last person they would reach out to," Claire said. With a nod, Eli left. Tripp asked Claire why she was at the loft. Claire apologized again for what she had done to Haley. Tripp admitted that what he had asked of Claire had been unfair.
"I didn't mean to be cruel or selfish, and I just, I love you. I love you so much," Claire said. Claire added that she had been driven crazy by the thought of losing Tripp to another woman. Claire begged for another chance. Tripp's face darkened. Tripp barked that he would never take Claire back.
"You're acting like you've never made a mistake in your life," Claire said. Tripp argued that Claire had known what she was doing and had ruined both Haley and J.J.'s lives with her selfishness. "I didn't force him to break the law. He made that choice on his own," Claire countered. Tripp argued that J.J. had protected Haley because she had needed someone. Claire yelled that Haley was a criminal, and she was tired of everyone defending Haley. Tripp ordered Claire to go home.
"This is my home. I only moved into Pop Pops because you kicked me out. Do you have any idea how much that hurt me? And how humiliating that was?" Claire asked. With tears in her eyes, Claire swore Tripp would forgive her in time if Tripp let her move back in.
"If you want to move in with a guy that hates you, then fine, yeah. But I can tell you right now that you will never change my mind," Tripp said. Claire refused to leave. Tripp walked out. Claire packed a box of Tripp's things and muttered, "After everything I've done for you, you think you can just walk away from me? You think you can just ignore me?"
Claire dumped the box of clothing on the floor and emptied a bottle of fluid on top. Claire pulled the lighter out of her pocket and stared at the flame. Ben walked into the loft behind Claire, and she froze.
After setting baby David down for a nap at the Hernandez house, Lani asked Rafe about the papers in front of him. With a sad smile, Rafe explained that he was looking at his signed divorce papers. Before Rafe could say any more, Jack knocked on the door. When Rafe answered, Jack strolled on in without an invitation.
"I want you to get out there and find J.J. before the Feds do," Jack said. "Here's the thing. You're not my boss, and Hope is, and I have been suspended," Rafe said. Jack explained that he had fired Hope. Confused, Rafe noted that Jack was not the mayor yet. With a wave, Jack explained that he intended to fire Hope after his swearing-in ceremony.
"That's nuts. Why?" Lani asked. Jack told Lani and Rafe that Hope had made it clear that she would not support him as mayor. When Jack asked Lani if she intended to quit in support of her father, Lani said she had no intention of resigning from the force. Rafe asked about the new commissioner. Jack said, "I'm thinking it should be you."
Rafe refused the honor, so Jack reminded Rafe that Hope would be fired whether Rafe took the job or not. With a smile, Jack walked out. Rafe explained to Lani that he did not want to work for Jack.
"What about working for whatever crooked cop he'll hire if you don't take [the job]?" Lani asked. Lani pointed out that it appeared that Rafe's suspension was over. Rafe added that his first case would be to track down J.J., and he was concerned about whether Jack would let him "do everything by the book." Rafe said he did not want to break the rules for Jack's vendetta against Haley.
While Lani checked on David in the other room, Ciara stopped by to talk to Rafe. With a sheepish look, Rafe apologized to Ciara about the divorce. Ciara was surprised by the news. "I knew you were going through a rough patch. I just sort of thought you guys would find a way to work through it," Ciara said. Rafe nodded in agreement. Ciara sniffled. "I feel so sad," Ciara added.
"I just feel like we were fighting a losing battle from the start. Too many problems to overcome. You know that no matter what's happening, you are always family," Rafe said. Ciara agreed. Rafe asked Ciara the reason for her visit. Ciara asked Rafe if he would consider letting Ben spend time with David. Ciara explained she had spoken to Lani, and Rafe said he had not heard anything about Ciara's request. Ciara told Rafe that Lani had lied and said David had been sick. Lani entered the kitchen and overheard Ciara's comment.
At the Salem Inn, Jack returned to his room and found Eve dressed and ready for the swearing-in ceremony. "I think every man is going to wish you were their First Lady," Jack joked. Eve asked about Jack's talk with Rafe. Jack shook his head no. When Jack wondered aloud whether anyone would want to work for him, Eve pointed out that Jack had won the election. "Starting today, this power couple is taking over Salem," Eve said with a grin.
At the police station, Jennifer and Hope were chatting in the interrogation room as Eli walked in. Anxious for news, Jennifer asked about J.J. and Haley. Eli said Tripp had not heard anything, but Eli had leads from the tip line. Jennifer's face fell. Eli promised not to stop searching for J.J. With a nod, Jennifer excused herself to go to the swearing-in ceremony.
Hope told Eli that Jack intended to fire her. Eli was taken aback by the news. Hope wished Eli luck with the new commissioner. While reviewing leads from the tip line, Eli's eyes lit up. After a phone call, Eli told Hope, "I got it. I know where they are."
In the square, Ben ran into Eve. "I still can't believe that you are roaming the streets, a free man," Eve grumbled. Eve suggested that Jack might be able to do something about Ben. Ben argued that Eve could not harass him. With a scowl, Eve reminded Ben that he had killed three people, including her daughter.
"No words can express how terribly sorry I am. I'd give my life right now if it meant saving theirs. But since that's not possible, all I can try to do now is be a decent person and try to help other people," Ben said. "Though I'm moved by your groveling little speech, my daughter? She's still dead. Thanks to you. And that fire from last year is unsolved," Eve said. Ben noted that there was no evidence tying him to the fire. Eve refused to accept that Ben was reformed.
Overwhelmed with anger, Eve slapped Ben's head as he covered his face and took the beating. Jack saw Eve and pulled her off of Ben. "I'm putting that sociopath on notice for killing my daughter!" Eve screamed. Jack asked Ben if Ben had attacked his wife. Ben proclaimed his innocence and noted that it was not the first time that Eve had attacked him. Jack warned Ben to leave or be arrested.
"For what? This is harassment," Ben said. "You move now, or I'll show you harassment," Jack growled. Fuming, Ben walked away, popping a few balloons angrily as he left the square. Shaken, Eve told Jack that she could not control her anger around Ben, and she hated that Ben had that kind of power over her. Jack reminded Eve that they had the power. Jack's phone beeped with a message from Rafe.
As Jennifer approached, Jack asked about J.J. "As if you care," Jennifer muttered. Jack insisted that he was worried about his son. Jennifer noted that if Jack truly cared about finding J.J., he would not have fired Hope. Jack argued that Hope's list of unsolved cases was a prime reason why Jack had been elected mayor.
"You were elected because you whipped up a frenzy of fear and hate, and you vilified a young woman who was trying to make a better life for herself. It is your fault that J.J. is gone because you sold your soul for power," Jennifer said. Jack countered that Haley had confessed to using Tripp. Jennifer scoffed and noted that Jack had ruined Haley's life for a few votes.
"I told you that that woman was gonna use our son, take advantage of him, and I was right. Someday, you're going to see that I was just trying to protect him," Jack said. Jack argued that he and Jennifer were on the same side. "No, we are not," Jennifer said firmly before she walked away to join the rest of the press.
The ceremony started, and a judge swore Jack into office as Jennifer watched. When the crowd cheered, Jack thanked the voters and his wife. "Thank you for putting your trust in me. As promised, big changes are coming. Changes to make your lives better," Jack said. Jack announced that his first act as mayor was to remove Hope Brady as the police commissioner.
"I am, after careful consideration, thrilled to let you know that I have a highly qualified replacement," Jack said. Jack announced that he would crack down on crime. "I'm pleased and proud to announce my new and improved police commissioner, Eve Deveraux!" Jack said. Jennifer's mouth fell open.
In a motel, Haley woke up and found J.J. sitting in a chair nearby. J.J. explained that he had just returned to the room after ditching their car and phone. J.J. handed over a bag of doughnuts to Haley. With a shrug, J.J. lamented that he did not have access to more cash.
"Where are we supposed to go? We didn't think this through," Haley said in a panic. Haley argued that they had made a terrible mistake in running away. Haley wanted to return to Salem, but J.J. refused to let Haley turn herself in. With tears in her eyes, Haley told J.J. that she did not want him to go to prison.
"You need to trust me. All we need to do is make ourselves disappear," J.J. said calmly. J.J. said he was waiting to hear from Tripp. "I feel so bad. The guy ruined his life for nothing," Haley commented. "I feel bad that my father used you," J.J. said. With a shake of his head, J.J. noted that he did not want to return to a town that had been stupid enough to elect his father. J.J. suggested that they go to Canada.
"Are you saying you'd stay with me?" Haley asked. "Of course, I'd stay with you. I'd never leave you behind," J.J. said. Concerned, Haley asked J.J. if he was willing to give up his job and his family. J.J. noted that he could get another job, and, with the exception of his mother, there was no one to keep him tied to Salem.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Haley asked. "Yes. Because if I don't, we'll never know what could have been," J.J. said as he stroked Haley's face. While J.J. and Haley ate breakfast, Tripp called J.J.'s cell phone. Tripp agreed to deliver money to J.J.
Hope and Eli arrived at a motel and knocked on a door to a room. "J.J.? C'mon, open up!" Hope said. Eli handed Hope a credit card, and she jimmied the lock open.
Ben grows suspicious of Claire
At the Horton Town Square, Jack effusively introduced Eve, who didn't hesitate to accept the responsibility of being the town's new police commissioner.
"Any questions?" Jack asked the crowd afterward, and Jennifer immediately raised a hand, making the new mayor somewhat nervous. "Have you lost what's left of your mind?" Jennifer wondered, staring at Jack in disbelief. "[Eve] has no background in law enforcement! She's more likely to commit a crime than stop one!" Jennifer added.
Jack, following Eve's advice, abruptly ended the swearing-in ceremony instead of engaging with Jennifer, who chased after the couple as the crowd dispersed. "I know that you are upset about your cousin [being fired], but I'm the decider, [and] I've made my decision!" Jack snapped at Jennifer in an effort to settle the matter. "News flash for you, Jennifer -- [being] police commissioner is an administrative job, [and] you don't have to be a cop [to get it]," Eve added, prompting Jennifer to counter that, apparently, being the mayor's wife was suddenly the only requirement.
"I'm sure you're gonna put that in that little hatchet piece that you're gonna write about us after this, but I can tell you right now, I'm completely independent!" Eve defensively insisted, but Jennifer wasn't convinced. "You're gonna be a complete failure, because you are no more qualified to run a police department than [Jack] is to be mayor," Jennifer told Eve.
Eve started to respond, but Jack quickly interrupted, pulling Jennifer aside for a private conversation. "Change has come to Salem, [and] if you could just accept it --" Jack began once Eve was out of earshot. "Don't you sling your slogans at me, and don't you tell me how to feel!" Jennifer tiredly snapped, silencing Jack. "I don't know how [Eve] talked you into giving her that job, but she is not the right person for it, and she is manipulating you!" Jennifer added. "I know what I'm doing!" Jack defensively insisted. "Oh, I wish that were true...but it's not!" Jennifer countered.
"As a journalist and citizen of this city, I am not going to let you jeopardize anybody else's lives with this reckless decision that you have made, [so] I am gonna be all over the two of you, and I am going to expose both of you for the con artists that you are!" Jennifer vowed before walking away. Jack, who was seemingly desperate for Jennifer's approval and support, appeared to find the threat hurtful instead of concerning. "Do not let that shrew get to you. This is your big day," Eve said, approaching Jack from behind. "And yours," Jack replied, flashing Eve a forced smile.
Hope and Eli broke into a motel room and were surprised to see Tripp there instead of J.J. and Haley. "I was listening to my dad's police scanner, and I heard you guys might have a tip -- that they might be at this motel -- [so] I came here to try to convince them to turn themselves in, but they -- they were gone. Hell, I don't know if they were ever really here at all," Tripp claimed with a shrug. "You married Haley to keep her from being deported, [and] all of a sudden, now you want her to turn herself in?" Hope asked skeptically. "Eh, things are getting a little out of hand," Tripp innocently explained, but Hope still wasn't convinced.
"You know more than you're saying," Hope guessed, eyeing Tripp suspiciously. "He leaves us no choice but to bring him in for questioning. Cuff him," Hope said to Eli, surprising Tripp. As Eli produced a pair of handcuffs, Hope received a text message from Jack, making it clear that there was a new police commissioner in town. "What is it?" Eli asked curiously. "My pink slip...[and] Tripp's lucky day," Hope summarized. "He's still on the force," Tripp noted, eyeing Eli. "True...but I have no idea who my new boss is, [so] without clear orders on how to proceed, I have to make a judgment call, and my judgment is to take your story at face value," Eli replied.
Relieved, Tripp thanked Eli for the favor. "I know you're trying to help J.J. and Haley, but this is serious business. ICE does not play games," Hope warned Tripp, who promised to be careful.
J.J. and Haley hid at the Horton cabin on Smith Island, dressed in disguises that had been bought with the money that Tripp had loaned them. "This is my family cabin. We'll be safe here for a little while -- you know, until we figure out how to get into Canada," J.J. said to Haley while checking the cabinets for canned goods. "[Looks like there's not] much around here except a few cans of beans and weenies," J.J. added, and Haley skeptically admitted to being unfamiliar with that particular dish. "My mom always, uh, kept a few cans around for sentimental reasons. Apparently, uh, she and my dad survived on these when they were on the run," J.J. recalled.
Haley couldn't believe that Mayor Jack Deveraux had ever deigned to eat that sort of meal. "My dad acts all high and mighty, but...in addition to being a rapist, uh...my dad was -- was sentenced to prison...um, for life...for murder," J.J. revealed, stunning Haley. "It was an accident, and the guy turned out to be alive, but my dad still got locked up. That's why it's -- it's amazing to see how self-righteous he is now -- going after you with a vengeance [even though he once] broke out of prison and went on the run with my mom," J.J. added with a shake of the head.
"They hid out in a circus," J.J. revealed, drawing a laugh from Haley, who thought that was a joke. "I swear. My dad was an animal keeper, and my mom got knives thrown at her, and my sister was a clown...[so] if Canada doesn't work out, we could always give that a shot," J.J. continued. "Your dad sounds like he was a very different man back then...and your mom must have really loved him if she decided to tag along on that crazy ride," Haley noted. "Yeah, she did...[but] seeing them now, it's hard to believe they were ever happy..." J.J. replied, sighing.
Changing the subject, J.J. began to tell Haley about an old friend who would surely know how to acquire a pair of fake passports. "We've had our issues, but I...I think we're good now," J.J. mused. "I don't know, J.J. -- this Rory guy sounds a little shady," Haley warned. "So was I back then -- I mean, dealing drugs, getting busted, angry at the world..." J.J. countered with a shrug, surprising Haley, who found it really difficult to believe that such a good guy could have ever been such a bad guy. J.J. and Haley locked eyes with each other, but before anything could happen, the burner phone rang.
After a brief conversation with Tripp, J.J. ended the call and angrily informed Haley that Jack had just fired Hope. "She taught me so much. She was an amazing detective," J.J. raved. "Selfishly speaking, I pray that her replacement isn't nearly as good," Haley worriedly mused, prompting J.J. to insist that, either way, everything was going to be okay. "I know that your whole world just got turned upside down -- finding out your sister's really your mother -- [and] I know that you must feel like everything you believed in turned out to be untrue, [but] you can believe in this -- I'm going to take care of you," J.J. stressed, making Haley smile.
Random police officers watched suspiciously as Eve paraded around the police station with Jack, discussing immediate plans. "My first order of business is to find that fugitive Haley Chen and bring her to justice," Eve loudly declared. "What about J.J.?" Jack asked. "If you're asking me to protect him --" Eve began in a much quieter tone. "I'm not. If J.J. is indeed harboring a fugitive, that's a crime, and he'll have to suffer the consequences," Jack conceded with a shrug as Hope and Eli entered the building. "I assume you got my text," Jack said to Hope. "Better than being fired by tweet," Hope joked.
"For the record, Commissioner Brady is the best boss I've ever had," Eli stressed. "Thanks for the input, Detective, but the time for change has come," Jack dismissively countered.
Hope and Eli were both shocked to learn that Jack had chosen Eve, of all people, as the new police commissioner. "Don't you think that people are going to see through this? This is nepotism at its worst!" Hope said to Jack, who didn't seem to care. "After I take over, all of those bad guys out there that are busting a gut over this department here aren't gonna be laughing anymore," Eve pointedly bragged.
Eve seized Hope's gun and badge then walked away with Jack. "Anything I can do?" Eli asked Hope. "Yes -- your job. This town is gonna need you," Hope worriedly replied.
After Hope left, Eve returned and demanded an update on the search for Haley and J.J., prompting Eli to summarize what had happened at the motel. Eve couldn't believe that Eli hadn't bothered to haul Tripp in for questioning. "I didn't feel we had probable cause," Eli explained with a shrug. "You...do know what that means...right?" Eli added. "You know what 'insubordinate' means?" Eve irritably countered. "I was genuinely concerned that you might not be familiar with the terminology," Eli innocently insisted. "Starting now, your number-one priority is to find Haley and J.J.," Eve stressed with finality, glaring at Eli.
"[And] pull the file on the Ben Weston fire investigation. [He's] guilty, and he needs to be behind bars," Eve added. "There's no proof that Ben set that fire --" Eli began to argue. "Just pull the file!" Eve tiredly demanded.
At the Hernandez house, Lani admitted to having lied to Ciara about David the previous day. "I was only trying to protect David," Lani explained. "From what?" Rafe wondered. "Ben! There's no way that man is stable enough to be around his nephew!" Lani elaborated, adding that it was kind of weird that Ben, for no apparent reason, suddenly wanted to spend time with David. "When Ben was growing up, Jordan took care of him, and when they finally ran away from his sadistic father -- her stepfather -- she was all that Ben had, so all he's trying to do is be there for her son, the same way she was for him," Ciara explained to Lani, who wasn't moved.
"I'm sorry, but why, exactly, is Lani a part of this discussion? Who is she to say whether Ben is stable enough to spend time with his own nephew?" Ciara asked Rafe, who gently agreed that it wasn't Lani's call to make. "I'm gonna talk to Jordan [about this...and] if she says it's okay, then I guess I'm okay with it," Rafe decided after some thought, pleasing Ciara and annoying Lani. "Mind if I took a couple of pictures of David real quick, just to show Ben?" Ciara requested, still speaking to Rafe. "He's napping right now --" Lani tried to object. "I won't wake him," Ciara countered, shrugging. "It's okay. Go ahead," Rafe encouraged Ciara, further annoying Lani.
After Ciara left, Lani apologized for having kept information from Rafe. "I understand your reasons...but this is my decision to make," Rafe reiterated. "It won't happen again," Lani promised.
Later, Lani received a phone call from Eli, who revealed that Jack had chosen Eve as the new police commissioner. "Maybe I should just make my leave of absence permanent," Lani mused after sharing the news with Rafe. "I'm tempted to walk myself, [but] we need every competent cop that we can get now," Rafe insisted with a sigh, already regretting the decision to make Jack find a different replacement for Hope.
At the Brady Pub, Hope and Jennifer drank wine while fretting about everything that had happened earlier. "The inmates really are running the asylum now," Hope mused, and Jennifer agreed.
At the loft apartment, Ben curiously wondered what Claire was doing. "Haven't you heard? Tripp broke up with me!" Claire explained, turning to face Ben with the lighter hidden from view. "Ciara told me. I'm sorry," Ben replied as Claire began returning Tripp's clothes to a laundry basket. "Tripp's the one who should be sorry!" Claire insisted while discreetly tucking the lighter in one corner of the laundry basket. "What's up with his clothes? What, are you...gonna torch 'em?" Ben asked with a chuckle. "Why on earth would I do that, Ben? I'm angry, but I'm not crazy!" Claire defensively snapped.
"Tripp tossed me out like trash, so...I figured I would...toss his clothes into the hallway [to] show him how mad I am," Claire continued. "I don't blame you," Ben stressed. "You don't?" Claire asked, pleasantly surprised. "What Tripp did was completely unfair [to you]. Honestly, I think you could do a lot better [than him]. I haven't really been a big fan of that guy since he tried to frame me for setting that fire at the cabin," Ben elaborated. "Yeah, I know... That was...a horrible thing to do..." Claire muttered, squirming a bit. "You know they reopened the case, right?" Ben casually stated, watching Claire closely.
"Jordan swears she had nothing to do with it, [so] even though there's zero proof linking me to the fire, I'm back to being the number-one suspect...[and it's] all because of that cigarette lighter -- you know, the one J.J. found in your jewelry box," Ben continued, making Claire squirm even more. "If the police decide that lighter's mine, I'm gonna go to prison, [which is] why I would like to take a look at it for myself, [so]...can I see it, please?" Ben asked, holding out a hand expectantly. "No!" Claire snapped. "Why...can't I...?" Ben wondered, confused. "I threw it out," Claire claimed after calming down a bit.
"I didn't want to be tempted to smoke again, so..." Claire added with a shrug. "Okay..." Ben replied, somewhat disappointed. "I really wish I could have seen it [first, because] maybe I could have told the police it definitely wasn't the lighter I used --" Ben began to add. "And you think they would just take your word for it?" Claire asked. "Good point," Ben conceded.
"What are you doing here, anyway?" Claire wondered, eager to change the subject. "I just came by to grab Ciara's spare phone charger..." Ben explained while reaching for the item, which happened to be near the laundry basket. "Hey, do you smell that?" Ben added, inhaling deeply while looking around the room in confusion. "Chemicals," Ben decided. "No, I don't," Claire impatiently claimed.
"Maybe it's lucky for Tripp you tossed that lighter..." Ben mused before exiting the apartment.
Later, Tripp returned home and found Claire folding clothes. "What are you doing?" Tripp asked coldly. "Your laundry. I wanted to do something nice for you...to, um, make up for what I did to Haley," Claire claimed. "And you thought...what, washing my clothes...will make everything okay?" Tripp incredulously summarized. "Can we at least just try to be civil to each other?" Claire suggested. "I can't even look at you!" Tripp stressed. "Well, the reality is, um...you kinda have to, 'cause you signed a lease on this place, and I don't think you can afford to live on your own," Claire reasoned. "Maybe I'll get a second job," Tripp irritably countered.
"I'm gonna use every second of every day to prove to you that I can be a better person -- a person who's worthy of your love," Claire vowed. "Don't get your hopes up. And from now on, I'll do my own laundry," Tripp spat.
Ciara met up with Ben in the town square and showed off pictures of David while excitedly revealing that Rafe had agreed to talk to Jordan. Ben thanked Ciara for convincing Rafe then changed the subject, wanting to talk about what had happened with Claire at the loft apartment. "When I walked in...she was, like, standing over Tripp's clothes, and for a second, I thought..." Ben summarized before stopping abruptly.
"What?" Ciara asked curiously. "Never mind. I'm sure it was nothing," Ben replied.
Holly's funeral service is held
Kate entered the Horton Town Square and quickly spotted Victor, who was sitting alone at one of the tables outside the café.
"I hope the wife didn't throw a fit because you're meeting me," Kate began while taking a seat at the table. "I didn't tell her," Victor admitted. "You snuck out? Such a coward!" Kate teasingly declared. "Eh, I saw no point in making her more upset than she already is," Victor reasoned, and Kate understood, knowing that it was the day of Holly's funeral.
"What's so urgent?" Victor wondered, ready to change the subject. "I have info about Xander," Kate explained. "Already? You haven't even started working with him yet!" Victor noted, clearly impressed. "It's not about Titan. I got back to the Salem Inn last night, and [Xander] was there -- with Nicole. And it was very, very weird. [He] was coming out of Nicole's room, and the thing is, they didn't seem unfriendly, if you know what I mean; [in fact], they seemed kind of chummy," Kate elaborated. "Could you hear what they were saying?" Victor asked. "No...[but] they were shaking hands -- almost as if they had agreed to a deal," Kate replied.
"Maybe Nicole was just making nice so Xander would give her a divorce," Kate suggested. "No, the divorce is a done deal; Brady negotiated it with Xander," Victor revealed. "Is that the reason that Brady gave Xander a job at Titan?" Kate wondered. "Partly," Victor vaguely confirmed. "Are you never going to tell me the full story?" Kate asked irritably. "No," Victor bluntly replied. "Fine..." Kate grumbled. "[But] if Xander and Nicole have really already worked out their divorce, it even makes less sense that she was there with him..." Kate added, and Victor agreed.
"If that idiot is in bed with that whore -- so to speak -- then there is definitely something fishy going on...and I intend to get to the bottom of it," Victor vowed.
Chloe went to the Kiriakis mansion to see Maggie but ran into Brady first -- right at the front door. "Heading to St. Luke's?" Chloe assumed. "I'm gonna go see Nicole first," Brady clarified. "I can't even imagine how she's feeling this morning...but at least you're there for her," Chloe mused. "Eh, I don't know how happy she is going to be to see me," Brady admitted.
"I'm gonna try to convince her to let Eric come to the funeral. She's still angry with him," Brady explained. "She's still angry with me, as well," Chloe revealed with a sigh.
Meanwhile, Maggie entered the otherwise unoccupied living room and found a note from Victor on the desk. "Important errand to run. Will meet you at the church," she bitterly read aloud, fighting back tears.
Maggie slowly approached the bar, already reaching with both hands for the decanter of vodka, but Chloe entered the living room just then and seized a hug, oblivious to what had been about to happen. "I wanted to return this to you," Chloe explained after pulling away and producing a necklace. "You gave this to Holly," Chloe continued. "I remember," Maggie tearfully replied, accepting the item with shaky hands. "I was gonna suggest that Holly be buried with it, but Nicole made it very clear that she doesn't want any of my input with the burial arrangements, so..." Chloe explained.
"Is it okay if I get a ride [to the church] with you?" Maggie asked. "Of course...but aren't you going with Victor?" Chloe replied, confused. "Apparently, he has something more important to do," Maggie grumbled. "Is everything all right with you two?" Chloe wondered. "Holly's death -- it's kind of stirred up a lot of emotions, and Kate is taking advantage of it [by] putting herself right in the middle of things that don't concern her...like my marriage," Maggie explained. "That woman's all fangs and claws. Whatever she's up to, you need to put a stop to it," Chloe gravely advised.
At the Salem Inn, Xander entered Nicole's room -- and was horrified to see that she was wearing a revealing red dress. "You've completely lost your mind!" he declared. "[This doesn't] say 'grieving mummy'?" she asked innocently while proudly modeling for him. "What if somebody else had been at the door?" he fretted, unamused. "Oh, please -- I knew it was you. Those patchouli fumes were knocking on the door while you were still getting out of the elevator," she countered. "Yes, I'm hearing this too much [lately]..." he tiredly grumbled, having received similar complaints from people the previous day.
"How about I take you shopping tomorrow, and we can find you a new scent -- something less...robust?" Nicole suggested. "Aw, that's a lovely idea...except for the fact that no one can see us out and about together, 'cause no one can know we're working together," Xander pointed out. As if on cue, Brady knocked on the hotel room door and called out a greeting. "Hide!" Nicole quietly ordered Xander, who rushed into the bathroom. "Just a minute..." Nicole called out to Brady while donning a robe and trying to look sad.
"How are you holding up?" Brady wondered when Nicole finally opened the door. "I couldn't sleep... All I could think about was Holly -- all the days lost, all the days I'll never have..." Nicole claimed while pretending to fight back tears, prompting Brady to offer a comforting hug. "Having a little, uh, Champagne?" Brady asked curiously after pulling away, having noticed an open bottle on the desk. "Mimosa," Nicole hesitantly explained. "I know I shouldn't, but my nerves... I just needed something," Nicole continued, shrugging.
Brady nodded then awkwardly changed the subject, ready to plead Eric's case. "I know you're angry with him right now, but I think it would mean the world to him to be [at Holly's funeral, so] I was hoping you'd consider it... [I mean], he loved Holly, [and] he was ready to be a father to her, [so] he's grieving, [too] -- a lot -- [and] he just wants to say goodbye..." Brady stressed. "Fine," Nicole grudgingly agreed.
Satisfied, Brady offered to drive Nicole to the church. "I can wait 'til you get dressed..." he added. "That's very sweet...but, uh, I still need some time alone," she replied.
"It smells like cheap cologne in here. Is there somebody [else] here?" Brady asked curiously while preparing to leave. "The room service waiter who delivered the Champagne was wearing way too much cologne," Nicole hesitantly claimed. "He should consider a lighter scent or something," Brady said with a cringe before exiting the hotel room.
"For the record, women usually love the way I smell!" Xander defensively insisted, emerging from the bathroom. "Oh, would you get over it?" Nicole tiredly snapped. "We've got bigger problems to worry about, which is why I wanted to see you," Nicole added. "We have to make sure that the autopsy report doesn't contradict what everyone thinks -- that Holly died in the explosion -- so I need you to break into the hospital and change the records," Nicole elaborated. "On it," Xander promised. "Are you up to playing the grieving mother at the funeral?" Xander asked worriedly. "Piece of cake," Nicole dismissively insisted, flashing Xander a mischievous smirk.
Gabi entered the DiMera mansion and found Stefan in the living room, tying a tie in front of a mirror. "It's crooked," she observed before reaching out to fix the tie, prompting him to recoil. "I'm not gonna bite you...unless you want me to," she suggestively stressed, but he refused to accept help. "What the hell are you doing here?" he demanded to know while struggling to straighten the tie. "Isn't it obvious?" she asked.
"I told you -- it's over. I'm committed to Chloe. You need to get that through your head," Stefan insisted, giving up on the tie. "The ego on you! I didn't come here for sex!" Gabi innocently countered, but Stefan wasn't convinced. "I came to pay my respects to Chloe," Gabi claimed. "You can hardly stand to be in the same room with her," Stefan skeptically noted. "True...but Parker and Ari -- they're besties. And, I mean, I'm a mom, okay? Chloe just lost a child. That is just...unimaginable," Gabi reasoned, and Stefan seemed to accept that explanation.
"How's Parker?" Gabi wondered. "He's pretty shaken up. Chloe thinks the funeral will traumatize him, so he's staying here with the nanny," Stefan reported. "I have an idea -- why don't I, uh, bring Ari over, and he can play with her until you and Chloe are done at the service? I'm sure that he could use a friend right now," Gabi suggested. "Wow -- you actually make it seem like you might have a heart..." Stefan observed, somewhat impressed but apparently convinced that the display of kindness was just a fluke. Gabi shrugged and flashed Stefan an innocent smile.
After leaving the mansion, Gabi headed over to the town square and quickly spotted Kate, who was sitting alone at one of the tables outside the café. "Congratulations -- I heard you're over at Titan again," Gabi began after approaching Kate. "Yes, thank you...[but] you're Team DiMera, so I guess that means that we're rivals," Kate somewhat coldly replied. "Well, not necessarily -- I mean, we're still on the same team [when it comes to] bringing down Stefan," Gabi argued. "After your big, fat revenge scheme blew up in your face? I would have thought that would have been a learning moment for you..." Kate mused.
"I'm never gonna forgive Stefan, and I'm not gonna stop until he pays," Gabi insisted. "Well, good luck with that," Kate dismissively replied.
"I'm sorry," Gabi stressed, getting the message that Kate was still not over the things that had happened in the recent past. "I was just so hung up on destroying Stefan's life [that] I didn't really think [twice] about destroying your life [in the process], and I regret that," Gabi continued. "I know that we aren't as close as we used to [be], and this is probably asking a lot, but...I was hoping we could be...friends...again -- I mean, at least for Ari's sake," Gabi suggested. "How is Ari?" Kate asked. "She's confused about Holly and everything that's happening," Gabi reported.
"You could come see her [sometime]..." Gabi added. "I would like that," Kate replied, expecting that to be the end of the conversation. "Is there something else?" Kate asked when Gabi didn't leave right away. "I just...I -- I miss having my co-conspirator; I miss bouncing ideas off you," Gabi explained, not yet satisfied with the responses that Kate had been offering.
Kate eyed Gabi suspiciously for a few seconds then pointed to the other chair at the table. "Do not make me regret this," Kate warned as Gabi happily claimed the seat.
"Sex as a weapon -- [it's] a classic ploy," Kate summarized after learning Gabi's idea. "But it can be a double-edged sword," Kate pointed out, drawing a dismissive laugh from Gabi, who wasn't even the least bit concerned about the possibility of falling for Stefan, of all people. "Everything is going according to plan," Gabi insisted. "Except for one small glitch -- [and that's] Chloe Lane. [See], Stefan thinks that she...makes his heart sing...or something...so I need her out of the way -- today," Gabi added. "[But today is] Holly's funeral. That's a bit cold, don't you think?" Kate argued. "You disapprove?" Gabi asked skeptically.
"Eh...it's Chloe," Kate conceded with a dismissive shrug before agreeing to help Gabi.
At Doug's Place, Julie and Doug prepared for the reception that would follow Holly's funeral. "Darling, you know how much I love hosting gatherings at our club...but not for such a sad occasion as this," Julie said with a sigh while stepping behind the bar to fetch something. "It's gonna be a tough day for a lot of people you and I care about," Doug agreed, also sighing.
"What's this?" Julie asked Doug curiously, removing a gift box from one of the bar's built-in storage shelves. "You weren't supposed to see that until tonight..." he began to explain while looking around the club to make sure that no one else was present yet. "But, um...now that you already have...maybe we could just celebrate, um, a great milestone before everybody else arrives," he somewhat awkwardly continued, clearly conflicted about the idea of celebrating anything on such a somber day. "And what milestone would that be?" she wondered, feigning ignorance. "After all these years together, I know you never forget anything," he skeptically warned her.
"Happy 25th anniversary," Doug added before giving Julie a kiss. "I don't suppose my gift's around here anyplace..." he teasingly mused, looking around the club again. "I was going to give it to you after dinner," she insisted. "Go ahead -- open [yours]," he encouraged her, and she excitedly complied. "Oh, it's beautiful!" she raved with a gasp after uncovering an ornate silver jewelry box. "This reminds me of --" she began. "Switzerland, when you and I finally reunited [and] married for the third and final time," he concluded for her. "And the rest is history," he gushed. Still alone, they shared one quick dance to finish the impromptu celebration.
A short time later, Nicole arrived, and the rest of the mourners were close behind.
Stefan soon received a phone call from Gabi, who was back at the DiMera mansion. "Parker's really upset about Holly, and I don't know how to calm him down... I didn't want to pull Chloe away from her friends and family at a time like this, so I just figured I'd call you instead," Gabi innocently claimed, pretending to be concerned. After ending the call, Stefan apologetically informed Chloe that some important business needed to be handled right away. Chloe understood and encouraged Stefan to leave the reception to deal with the matter.
Rex had been summoned to the hospital before the funeral service had begun -- and had consequently asked Eric to take care of Sarah throughout the difficult day -- but Eric and Sarah went to great lengths to avoid being seen together at either event, not wanting to substantiate Nicole's belief that something was going on between them. When Nicole coldly rejected Eric's offer of comfort, though, Sarah couldn't resist getting involved. "Oh, look -- your girlfriend's here to defend you!" Nicole said to Eric, feigning surprise. "Eric loves you," Sarah stressed. "Well, unfortunately, any love I had for Eric is dead and buried with my daughter!" Nicole countered.
"Now, please, get the hell out of my face!" Nicole shouted at Eric and Sarah, who reluctantly exited the club together.
While Brady was trying to calm Nicole down, Victor approached and suspiciously demanded an explanation for what Kate had witnessed the previous night. Maggie overheard and snapped at Victor for having met with Kate earlier. "Answer me," Victor ordered Nicole, ignoring Maggie. "Not that it's any of your business, Victor, but...[Xander was going] on and on about how he needed closure [for the divorce, and then] he tried to kiss me, [but] I reminded him that it wasn't a real marriage, [and] I told him a handshake was all he was gonna get," Nicole defensively claimed.
"I don't buy it. There's something else going on," Victor guessed. "I am telling you the truth!" Nicole insisted. "Yes, well, you and the truth haven't always been simpatico, have you?" Victor countered. "Victor, please -- not now; not here," Maggie interjected. "Maggie, I don't need you to defend me!" Nicole snapped. "I was just trying to help..." Maggie tried to explain, stunned and confused. "Where was your help when Holly needed it?" Nicole spat before storming out of the club. As Brady chased after Nicole, Victor feebly tried to comfort Maggie, who immediately began lashing out in response.
"What's all the yelling about now? Did someone smash another one of Maggie's figurines?" Kate asked, joining everyone inside the club. "I warned you to stay out of my marriage!" Maggie snapped, still upset that Victor had met with Kate earlier. "You're blowing everything out of proportion," Victor insisted. "I am so tired of being told that I'm wrong [and] that I'm overreacting!" Maggie countered. "Please, don't make a scene," Victor requested, prompting Maggie to defiantly smash a glass. "Damn you, Victor!" Maggie spat before storming out of the club.
"I didn't mean to upset the wife..." Kate told Victor. "Sure you didn't..." Chloe skeptically agreed. "I came by to see you, actually," Kate insisted, turning to face Chloe. "I was talking to Ari on the phone, and she told me that she was having a play date with Parker... [He's] really upset," Kate continued, alarming Chloe.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan found Gabi in one of the bedrooms, half naked. "Parker spilled some juice all over me," Gabi innocently claimed. "Uh-huh..." Stefan skeptically replied, staring.
"I just saw Parker downstairs, and he's playing with Arianna -- seems just fine," Stefan added. "I managed to talk him down," Gabi explained. "Sorry that you had to come all the way over here for nothing," Gabi continued as Stefan uncomfortably retreated to the other side of the room. "Any way that I could make it up to you?" Gabi wondered, following Stefan. "I should, uh, get going. I told Chloe I wouldn't be long," Stefan said, trying to sidestep Gabi. "She needs you...[but] what do you need?" Gabi asked suggestively. "Don't," Stefan demanded, and Gabi shrugged in response and started to leave with a strut.
"Damn it..." Stefan grumbled before pulling Gabi into an intense kiss.
At the hospital, Xander sneaked into an office and found Holly's medical file then logged into a computer and made the necessary changes to the autopsy report.
As Xander was about to leave, Rex arrived and demanded to know what was going on. "I had a physical for my new job. I was just looking for the results," Xander innocently claimed. "This is a restricted area," Rex pointed out. "My mistake," Xander conceded. "You're the bastard who slept with my fiancée," Rex suddenly realized. "And you must be Rex. What a lucky man. Have a good day," Xander replied before trying to rush off.
"What are you hiding behind your back?" Rex wondered, blocking Xander's path. "Nothing," Xander insisted, prompting Rex to reach out and snatch the item. "Why the hell do you have Holly Jonas' file?" Rex asked.
Eric returned home with Sarah, who curiously mused that it was odd that Nicole only wanted comfort from Brady, given their history. "I keep telling myself that she's gonna get past the anger [and] come back to me, but what if she doesn't? I mean, how do I live with knowing that I...I destroyed us?" Eric fretted. "You didn't destroy anything, Eric. You are too good a man," Sarah insisted.
Eric and Sarah locked eyes with each other and soon began kissing passionately.
At the Salem Inn, Nicole apologized to Brady for having made a scene at the reception. "Everyone understood," Brady insisted. "No, they didn't," Nicole argued. "[But] you do..." Nicole added before kissing Brady.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie sobbed while holding Holly's necklace -- then approached the bar, shakily filled a glass with vodka, and slowly gulped it down.
Chloe catches Stefan and Gabi together
At the hospital, Rex caught Xander in a restricted area with a copy of Holly's autopsy report. "It's not what you think," Xander said. Xander said he had wanted to review the report. Suspicious, Rex opened the file to look over the results. Rex noted that the file looked fine.
"What the hell were you really up to?" Rex asked. Xander told Rex that he was there on a family matter, but Rex was still suspicious. Xander explained that Victor had believed that the child in the accident had not been Holly and that Xander had wanted to find proof in order to ease Victor's mind. Rex said he knew that Maggie had been upset, but he had not heard that Victor had also been having difficulty.
Rex warned Xander that even if his heart had been in the right place, Xander needed to go to the police for information on the case. Xander nodded in agreement. As Xander started to leave, Rex reminded him to stay away from Sarah. Xander suppressed a smile and left.
In the Kiriakis living room, an emotionally overwhelmed Maggie drank a glass of vodka. "Damn you, Kate. Damn you, Victor," Maggie muttered. Maggie walked over to look at a photo of her with Victor. As she cried, Maggie sipped her drink, and she collapsed on the couch in tears.
At Doug's Place, Kate told Chloe that Arianna had mentioned in a phone call that Parker was upset. With a nod, Chloe said she would go home and check on her son. A suspicious Victor surveyed the look on Kate's face. "You're up to something. And it's never good," Victor said. Kate swore that she was not up to anything.
"I'm not the heartless soul everyone thinks I am. I actually felt bad about Maggie leaving here," Kate said. "It's not your fault. Maggie is fragile these days. With Holly's death, she's even more vulnerable, to the point of paranoia," Victor said. Victor explained that Maggie suspected that Kate was romantically interested in him.
"Are you?" Victor asked bluntly. Kate laughed. Kate said she was only interested in a business relationship with Victor. Victor agreed that he and Kate made a good team. "If you feel that our relationship is threatening your marriage, then let's just rethink the whole thing," Kate suggested. Victor refused to fire Kate, and they cautioned one another to not screw each other over.
In Stefan's room at the DiMera mansion, a half-dressed Gabi asked Stefan if he needed her to comfort him. Stefan was barely able to tell Gabi no, and he backed away as Gabi slowly approached him. When Gabi offered to sleep with Stefan one last time, Stefan whispered, "I don't think it's such a good idea."
"I understand. Well, it was worth a shot, right?" Gabi whispered in Stefan's ear as she walked past him. Stefan grabbed Gabi by the wrist and pulled her close. Startled, Gabi yelped. "Damn it," Stefan whispered before he kissed Gabi and fell onto the bed with her.
At the Salem Inn, a teary-eyed Nicole sat next to Brady on the bed in her room. After reminiscing about their past relationship, Nicole commented that they had been happy once. When Brady agreed, Nicole kissed him. After a moment, Brady pulled away.
"I can't do this. This isn't right," Brady said. Nicole told Brady that she needed to be with him, but Brady said, "Not like this." Brady said he did not want to take advantage of Nicole when she was emotional. Taken aback, Nicole asked, "Are you rejecting me?" Brady stressed that he only wanted to help Nicole make a good decision.
"You just buried your daughter. You're grieving. You're not in your right mind," Brady pointed out. Nicole interrupted to shout, "Why are you fighting me on this? Just forget about Holly!" Nicole gasped, then apologized. Nicole said she was looking for a way out of her grief. When Brady reasoned aloud that sleeping with him would not eliminate Nicole's pain, Nicole countered that it would help her feel more alive.
"No. I have a feeling you will thank me one day after this," Brady said. Nicole asked Brady if he believed that she was still mad at him for blackmailing her. "Because I'm trying to put that behind me," Nicole said. Nicole reminded Brady that she had cheated on Brady, and she said she had understood why Brady had been furious with her. Brady told Nicole that he did not hate her.
"Can we just forget about the past and how much we hurt each other? And focus on the right now? This moment? You and me together?" Nicole asked. Nicole's face hovered near Brady's. Though tempted, Brady gently pushed Nicole away. Brady said that it meant a lot to him that Nicole wanted to forgive the past, but he did not think they should sleep together.
"I can't cross the line. I can't do that to Eric," Brady said. Nicole stressed that her relationship with Eric was over. Brady said he believed that Nicole would get past her anger toward Eric. "What happened to Holly is not [Eric's] fault," Brady said. Frustrated, Nicole asked Brady why he was defending Eric. Brady reminded Nicole that he had always been her friend.
"Eric loves you. And he should be the one comforting you. It should not be me," Brady said. With a sigh, Brady left. Frustrated, Nicole grabbed a pillow and screamed into it.
When Brady returned home to the Kiriakis mansion, he found Maggie passed out on the couch. Brady gently attempted to wake Maggie, then picked up the empty glass and sniffed it. As Maggie roused awake, Brady asked what had happened. Maggie grew agitated, and said, "I just had a really difficult day." Brady nodded and said, "I think you're forgetting who you're talking to. It's pretty clear to me you've been drinking." Maggie started to cry.
"What's wrong? Is it Holly?" Brady asked. Maggie noted that Nicole had blamed her for Holly's death. With a shake of his head, Brady argued that in her grief, Nicole had lashed out at Maggie. Brady said he knew that Maggie had loved Holly. Maggie countered that love was not enough.
"Victor and Kate," Maggie whispered. With a chuckle, Brady said that Victor loved Maggie and only worked with Kate. Maggie disagreed. "Kate wants Victor. It's so obvious," Maggie said through sobs. Maggie said that she needed Victor, and he had abandoned her for Kate. "I lost Holly. What if I'm gonna lose Victor, too?" Maggie wondered aloud. Maggie stammered, unable to speak in full sentences. Brady pulled Maggie into his arms and let her cry.
"You slipped a little bit. That's what you do. And you know that I know about slipping, right?" Brady said. Brady assured Maggie that a slip-up was okay and that she would be fine. "You have always picked me up and dusted me off when I needed it. It's my turn to help you," Brady said. Brady joked that in the morning, he and Maggie had a date at an A.A. meeting. Brady encouraged Maggie to head upstairs and sleep. Maggie begged Brady not to tell Victor. Brady assured Maggie that he would not tell, and he suggested that Maggie sleep in his room in order to avoid her husband.
As Brady helped Maggie to her feet and out to the foyer, they ran into Victor as he returned home. Victor asked what was wrong. Brady said that Maggie was not feeling well and that he intended to escort her up to his room. "What's wrong with our room?" Victor asked with suspicion. Brady said Maggie needed alone time. Victor asked Maggie if they could talk about what had happened at Doug's Place.
"I have nothing to say to you," Maggie said. Brady helped Maggie up the stairs. When Brady returned downstairs to the living room, Victor was waiting for him. "How's she doing?" Victor asked. "I have something to tell you, and you're not going to like it. You need to fire Kate," Brady said. When Victor asked why, Brady said that Maggie was struggling with Holly's death, and Kate's closeness with Victor was hurting Maggie.
"There's nothing going on between Kate and me. She is critical to Titan, especially now that Xander needs looking after," Victor protested. "You need to fire Kate. Before any more damage is done," Brady insisted. Victor said he would fire Kate if Brady fired Xander.
"You know I can't do that," Brady said. "Then Kate stays," Victor insisted. When Brady argued that he could not hurt Nicole, Victor reminded Brady that Nicole had destroyed Brady's life, too. "Nicole and I are working past our differences. We're resolving our issues. Hell, she's even forgiven me at this point," Brady said. Victor was curious. Brady admitted that Nicole had kissed him.
In Eric's apartment, Eric wondered aloud to Sarah what he would do if Nicole never returned to him. "You are too good a man," Sarah said as she placed her hand on Eric's. Eric leaned over and kissed Sarah. After a moment, Eric pulled away and apologized. "I can't do this," Eric said. Eric said he loved Nicole and could not give up on her. Sarah apologized for the kiss, but Eric noted that the kiss had been mutual.
"I can see how much you love Nicole, and I'm rooting for you. I really am. This never happened. And it never will again," Sarah said. Eric touched Sarah's face. As Eric stared into Sarah's eyes, Rex returned home. Rex asked if he had interrupted anything. "Tough day," Sarah said. Rex hugged Sarah. Eric told Rex that Nicole had been upset with him at the memorial.
"She kicked us out," Sarah added. "I really hope she comes around," Rex said. Sarah asked about Rex's patient. Dismissively, Rex changed the subject to his run-in with Xander. When Rex explained what had happened, Eric noted, "The real question is, what's the real reason Xander wants a copy of Holly's autopsy report?"
"Maybe, for once in his life, Xander actually is trying to do the right thing and give Victor closure," Sarah mused. Rex noted that the report had positively identified the body as Holly. "I think I know exactly what Xander is up to," Eric said.
In Stefan's room at the DiMera mansion, an exhausted Stefan panted in bed next to Gabi as she commented that their sex had been better than a Pilates workout. "And a lot more fun," Gabi added. Stefan waved at Gabi to warn her to stop. With a groan, Gabi said she understood that Stefan needed to return to Chloe.
"That's the last time, and I'm fine with it," Gabi said defensively. Gabi said she respected Stefan's decision to pursue Chloe. "What is it about her?" Gabi asked. "She's got a big heart," Stefan said. "That's one word for them," Gabi joked. After an annoyed sigh, Stefan explained that he thought Chloe was kind, a good mother, and able to run a business.
"Sounds familiar," Gabi muttered. "I'll never forget the first time I saw her walk into Doug's Place. She did not hesitate to set me straight," Stefan said. Stefan said his admiration for Chloe had continued to grow as he had continued to spend time with her. Gabi nestled her head into Stefan's shoulder and said, "You've got it bad." Stefan agreed.
"What the hell?!" Chloe barked from the doorway. Gabi pulled away from Stefan. Stefan leaped out of bed as he wrapped a sheet around his waist. "What are you doing here?" Stefan asked Chloe. "What are you doing here?" Chloe countered. As Stefan stammered for words, Chloe explained she had left Holly's memorial because Kate had told her that Parker had been upset.
"It turns out [Parker's] fine. He is in the other room, playing with Ari while the two of you are in here playing with each other," Chloe said. "It's not what you think," Gabi said. Chloe raised an eyebrow. "You're a pig," Chloe told Stefan. Chloe turned to Gabi and noted that she had been "sniffing around for a while." Gabi slipped out of bed and out the door to give Stefan and Chloe privacy.
"You are not the person I thought you were, or maybe you are exactly who I was afraid you would be," Chloe said. Stefan begged Chloe to hear him out. As Stefan dressed, Chloe commented, "I thought you hated Gabi." Stefan admitted that he did hate Gabi. Stefan swore that the sex had been meaningless.
"That woman, she gamed the board into forcing me to keep her on. We have been at each other's throats ever since," Stefan said. Confused, Chloe noted that those were not reasons to sleep with someone. Stefan said that there was an intense anger between him and Gabi. Chloe groaned.
"Neither of us had been with anybody for a long time and emotions were running high. One thing led to another," Stefan started. Angry, Chloe asked Stefan if he was blaming Chloe's hesitancy to start a relationship for his affair with Gabi. Stefan denied the charge, but Chloe insisted, "That's certainly what it sounds like!"
"I know this is screwed up, but this is the last time. I told Gabi that," Stefan promised. "The last time? So, this has been ongoing?" Chloe asked. Frustrated, Chloe threw up her hands. "I told Gabi everything. How I feel about you. And that Gabi and I were nothing. It's just meaningless sex, and it's over now," Stefan said.
"How many times have you told yourself that?" Chloe asked. Stefan swore that there was nothing between him and Gabi. "You left me at Holly's memorial so you could come here and have sex with Gabi! That's not nothing," Chloe said. Stefan explained that Gabi had called him and told him that Parker had been having a meltdown. Stefan added that he had decided that Chloe should stay at the memorial and that he would help Parker.
"I walked in here, Gabi was in my bedroom, in her underwear!" Stefan exclaimed. "Of course, she was," Chloe said with a rueful chuckle. Stefan explained that Gabi had told him that Parker had spilled punch on her dress. "And you just couldn't resist," Chloe said. "I made a mistake, but I promise you, it will not happen again," Stefan stressed. Chloe said she did not care who Stefan had sex with because she was no longer interested in a relationship with him.
"You can't mean that. There's something between us. You felt it, I know you did," Stefan argued. "You came here to have sex with Gabi Hernandez while I was mourning the death of a child that I loved!" Chloe yelled. Chloe announced that she was going to get Parker and leave. Stefan begged Chloe to stay. "I never want to see you again," Chloe growled.
In the park, Kate met with Gabi. Kate asked if their plan had worked. "Like a charm," Gabi said with a laugh. Gabi told Kate that Chloe had walked in on them in bed together. "The look on her face? It was almost better than the sex," Gabi said. Annoyed, Kate reminded Gabi not to tell her any details about sex with Stefan. Gabi said Stefan had been fumbling around, attempting to explain himself to Chloe, when Gabi had left the mansion.
"What if he manages to talk his way out of it?" Kate asked. "Trust me, Chloe is dumping his ass as we speak," Gabi said with a satisfied smile. Kate reminded Gabi that Stefan was resourceful. "Chloe can't unsee what she saw. She is never going to forgive him," Gabi said. In a mocking tone, Gabi promised to be there to help Stefan pick up the pieces of his heart after Chloe walked out.
"Unless he blames you for what happened with Chloe, and then he is going to dump your ass, as well," Kate said. "With Stefan, you know, his fatal flaw is that he wants strings. He wants a relationship. He wants a family. And I come with that," Gabi noted. "Not that you would ever use your child, right?" Kate asked. "Of course not. I'm just saying I'm the total package," Gabi said.
"What happens if you fall in love?" Kate asked. Gabi said she had no interest in love anymore. "After I get what I want, I'm going to kick Stefan's broke and broken carcass to the curb. I thought you, of all people, would understand that," Gabi said. "As a matter of fact, I do," Kate responded.
At the Salem Inn, Xander met up with Nicole in her hotel room. Xander gave the original autopsy file to Nicole, and he informed her that he had changed the results in the computer. Nicole was alarmed to learn that Rex had caught Xander , but Xander assured Nicole that he had talked his way out of the situation.
"Rex might be a doctor, but the man is an idiot," Xander commented. With a smile, Xander said Rex had been annoyed with him because Xander had hit on Sarah at the pub. Nicole rolled her eyes as Xander noted that he could have taken Rex in a fight. Nicole complained that Xander was more interested in flexing his muscles at Rex than in her plan.
"I need you focused," Nicole said. "You needed your little girl to appear dead so you could blame Eric and dump him. I did that for you. I made that happen, so don't lecture me about focus," Xander growled. Nicole marveled at the fact that Eric had refused to give up on her.
"The only man I want is Brady Black," Nicole said. Nicole complained that Brady had resisted sleeping with her. As Xander poured a glass of Champagne, Nicole took the glass and purred that it was only a matter of time before Brady gave in to his feelings for her.
"What exactly did you do?" Xander asked. Nicole confessed that she had kissed Brady. Concerned, Xander asked Nicole if the proper moment to make a move on Brady was the day of her daughter's funeral. Nicole argued that she had acted vulnerable.
"This plan is about one thing and one thing only: Brady. These weak, pathetic fools have no idea what's going on. If they only knew!" Nicole said with a laugh. Xander smiled. Nicole sat in front of a mirror and tugged at a latex corner of a mask that covered her face.
"You played the part brilliantly. Sometimes I even forget that the part of Nicole Walker is currently being played by none other than the one and only Kristen DiMera," Xander said. Nicole tugged the mask and wig off to reveal Kristen underneath.