At the Hernandez house, Rafe pulled away from Lani's kiss and wondered what had prompted it.
"Don't you see? Your marriage with Hope is over, and Eli and I are done, [so] we're both free, and there's -- there's nothing stopping us," Lani explained. "From?" Rafe asked. "Being together -- you, me, and David," Lani clarified. "We are great together, and we're great with David. You feel connected to him, just like I do, [and] you shouldn't have to [raise him] alone -- not when it feels so right for us to do it together. We can do this -- we can be a family," Lani added, grasping Rafe's hands. "It makes perfect sense, right?" Lani excitedly concluded. "Wrong," Rafe gently replied, pulling away from Lani.
"I have been so damn selfish and self-absorbed, I did not even see how this was affecting you," Rafe mused with a regretful shake of the head. "Why can't everyone just stop psychoanalyzing me [and stop] acting like it is so crazy for me to want to care for a child who has no one? What is so wrong with that?" Lani defensively replied. "No, I was wrong," Rafe patiently clarified.
"I should have never let you get so close to [David after you had just] lost your son," Rafe acknowledged. "'Let' me? I chose to be here," Lani stressed. "I know you did...but here's the thing [that] you are losing sight of -- David's not your baby, [and] he never will be, [because] he is Jordan's," Rafe gently reminded Lani, who countered that Jordan was of no use to David while stuck in a mental institution -- and that Jordan might never be released from that mental institution. "[Still], the idea that you're gonna raise [him] -- that there's a future, that there's, uh, a family here -- it's fantasy," Rafe insisted.
"Not to me!" Lani protested. "This is all very real! Why can't you see that? My love for that little boy is real! His love for me is real!" Lani tearfully argued. "I can feel it when he -- when he is sleeping, and I go to pick him up, [and] he looks at me [like] he is so relieved that I'm still there to comfort him, and to -- to feed him, and to -- to nurture him...and -- and I'm -- I'm relieved, too, because I have so much love to give my little boy..." Lani continued before stopping abruptly, realizing what had just happened. "Oh, my God..." Lani muttered with a gasp of horror before breaking down.
"It's okay," Rafe tried to assure Lani. "It's not okay!" Lani insisted, refusing to accept a comforting hug from Rafe. "He's not my little boy!" Lani tearfully acknowledged. "My little boy -- he's gone, [and] I need to apologize [to him], because no one could ever replace him in my heart!" Lani stressed. "It's just...I had all this love inside of me, and no one to give it to, [and then Jordan's baby comes along, and] he's so precious, and he's so beautiful, and -- and he's healthy, and...he needed me, and I needed him, and I let it take over my life [and] my heart, [even though] some part of me always knew that it wasn't right," Lani explained.
"Maybe, going forward, uh...maybe I should have someone else help me out with David," Rafe gently suggested. "Yeah," Lani agreed.
Lani went to say goodbye to David then started to exit the house. Rafe optimistically suggested that it might not be too late for Lani to work things out with Eli, but Lani feared that Eli wouldn't be able to forgive and forget.
At the park, Eli overheard Rory telling Ciara about Ben's threats. Rory jumped when Eli approached to find out more information. "Listen, I don't want any trouble with the cops, all right?" Rory stressed while backing away from Eli. "Then tell me why Ben Weston threatened you," Eli demanded, grabbing Rory. "Ben wouldn't do that. Rory's high. He's just being paranoid," Ciara interjected, but Eli wasn't convinced. "Unless you want to go back down to the station -- where I am sure I will find the stash that's on you right now -- you'll tell me where Ben Weston is," Eli warned Rory, who reluctantly gave in after realizing that the threat wasn't an idle one.
As Eli rushed off in search of Ben, Ciara demanded more answers from Rory, wanting to know exactly what was going on at the Horton cabin on Smith Island. "[Ben's] going after someone," Rory vaguely explained. "Who?" Ciara asked. "I've said too much already, all right? That guy's crazy, all right? I don't want to die!" Rory fretted before rushing off, ignoring Ciara's protests.
At the Horton cabin on Smith Island, Claire tossed the fake passports onto the burning stack of firewood and watched as they, too, began to burn.
When the flames reached the front porch, Claire turned and ran back to the dock to catch the next ferry back to Salem. Meanwhile, inside the cabin, Tripp and Haley anxiously wondered why Rory hadn't arrived with the fake passports yet. Tripp eventually smelled smoke but agreed with Haley's assumption that someone on the island was simply building a campfire.
Ben soon arrived and noticed, while looking for a way to put out the fire, that a lighter was lying on the ground, right next to the burning stack of firewood. He searched the nearby bushes for a stick, which he used to move the lighter a safe distance away from the fire. After tossing aside the stick, he removed a handkerchief from a back pocket and used it to pick up the lighter.
"Claire, what the hell have you done?" Ben muttered between coughs.
Meanwhile, inside the cabin, Tripp and Haley started to pack for the trip to Canada -- and soon noticed that smoke was rolling in through a gap between the front door and the floor below it. "Oh, my God -- the cabin's on fire! We -- we -- we gotta get out of here!" Haley worriedly declared, already racing toward the door. "There's no way we're going out that way," Tripp insisted, pulling Haley away from the door and shutting it before the flames could get inside. "There's a back door," Haley recalled before starting to lead the way -- and tripping on one of the legs of a table, resulting in a headfirst fall to the floor.
Tripp rushed to Haley's side and discovered that she was unconscious.
Eli arrived with backup just as Ben was about to rush into the cabin. "Thank God you're here, man! Listen, there's people trapped inside! I saw the door open and close! They're trapped inside right now!" Ben, who was still holding the lighter, worriedly informed Eli. "You son of a bitch!" Eli snapped, seizing the lighter from Ben. "Take him in and book him for arson! Bag that lighter, and get him the hell out of here! And call [in] the fire!" Eli instructed the backup crew. "Whoa, whoa, whoa -- hey, I didn't do this; the cabin was on fire when I got here!" Ben tried to explain to Eli, who wasn't convinced.
Meanwhile, inside the cabin, Tripp tried to carry Haley to the back door -- but soon passed out as a result of smoke inhalation.
Eli used a jacket to beat back the flames near the front door then rushed inside the cabin and began the process of getting Haley and Tripp out of it.
"Eli, you just saved our lives, man. Thank you," Tripp weakly stated afterward. "You're very welcome. You're also under arrest," Eli replied, and Tripp and Haley both sighed in response.
At the Salem Police Station, Eve reminded Sonny that it wasn't wise to threaten to kill a person -- especially when that person was the police commissioner. "Maybe you don't understand. I will do anything to save Will's life -- including ending yours -- so if I were you, I would give me the damn diary!" Sonny countered, glaring at Eve. "I can't give you something I don't have," Eve coolly insisted, shrugging.
Undeterred, Sonny forged ahead, refusing to buy Eve's innocent act. "I need to make something very clear to you -- the tumor in Will's head is growing, and the only way to treat it, and the only way to stop it, is with Rolf's formula! It's the only hope that we have!" Sonny desperately stressed, causing Eve to soften in an instant. "I just want the diary! That's it! No one will know I got it from you!" Sonny promised. "Do you want money? I can write you a check! Better yet, I will give you cash! Just name the price!" Sonny continued.
"Sonny, stop," Eve gently interjected, having heard enough. "I will not stop!" Sonny snapped before starting to break down. "The man that I love is dying, and I will do whatever it takes to save him -- not...not for me, but for our daughter!" Sonny continued through tears. "Sonny...I understand your pain -- I truly do -- and I wouldn't wish that on anyone...but I swear to you, on my daughter's grave, that I do not have Rolf's diary," Eve stressed. "Does that mean that you destroyed it?" Sonny asked worriedly. "I did not destroy it," Eve vaguely replied.
"You better hope to God that you're not lying to me...because if you have the power to save Will's life, and you're choosing not to, his death will be on you," Sonny warned Eve before storming off.
As soon as the coast was clear, Eve tried to contact Xander, but the call went to voicemail. "I've had it, Xander. You give me that diary -- now -- or you're gonna be sorry," Eve said before ending the call.
At the Horton Town Square, Claire overheard Ciara recording a voicemail message for Ben. "Ben went to Smith Island?" Claire asked curiously after Ciara ended the call. "If you believe Rory," Ciara replied, drawing a smirk from Claire, who was clearly pleased with the unexpected stroke of good fortune. "If I hurry now, then I can probably make the last ferry," Ciara realized after recapping everything that had happened since the moment that Claire had disappeared earlier. "Wait, wait, wait -- you can't go to Smith Island!" Claire insisted, confusing Ciara. "You have no idea what's going on up there. It could be super dangerous," Claire reasoned.
"But, Claire, I'm worried!" Ciara stressed, sensing that something was wrong. "Something is wrong -- with Ben," Claire blurted out, but Ciara insisted that wasn't true. "He is a good person," Ciara argued. "Even good people can snap," Claire countered. "Who knows why it happens -- maybe the person just feels unloved, or taken advantage of, or maybe just hurt very, very badly -- [but] the point is, once you cross that line, there's no coming back," Claire continued. "Why would you think that Ben snapped? He's been taking his meds, he's been going to therapy..." Ciara pointed out, confused.
Before Claire could respond, Ciara's cell phone chimed, announcing the arrival of a news alert about the fire on Smith Island. "Are they dead?" Claire blurted out. "Who's 'they'?" Ciara wondered. "I don't -- like, anyone who was there," Claire replied, shrugging. "Um...no, it doesn't say..." Ciara began with obvious confusion -- just as a second news alert arrived, revealing that Ben had been arrested.
At the police station, Eve waited impatiently for a call from Xander. "Fine -- if you won't come to me, I will come to you," Eve eventually decided before starting to storm off in search of Xander -- just as a police officer arrived with Ben. "Well, well -- what do we have here?" Eve asked excitedly, pleased to see Ben in handcuffs. "[Detective Grant] caught Weston setting fire to the Horton cabin on Smith Island," the police officer explained. "Here's the lighter he was holding," the police officer added. "I'll take it from here," Eve dismissively assured the police officer, who handed over Ben and the bagged evidence then walked away.
"I'm assuming that you would like your attorney present before making your statement," Eve began after taking Ben to one of the conference rooms. "I have nothing to hide," Ben insisted. "All right, then -- I'm all ears," Eve replied before starting a recording on a cell phone. "I did not start that fire. [It] was already raging when I got there. And I know who really did start it -- her name is Claire Brady. [And] it's not the first time; Claire also started the fire that almost killed Ciara," Ben informed Eve before recapping everything that had led to that conclusion.
"Hypnosis? Ringtones? Hearing things? I don't know, Ben -- it seems to me like the cheese is sliding off your cracker again," Eve skeptically mused at the end of the recap. "No, Eve, it's not, because I'm better now, okay? I know you don't care, but I'm better now! I didn't do this! I know you hate my guts, but I'm not gonna sit back and let you frame me! I'm innocent!" Ben insisted. "No, what you are is a freak -- a delusional psychopath who's trying to make all this up so you can frame Claire Brady for a crime that you committed!" Eve countered.
"You've gotten away with far too much for far too long, and you know what, Ben Weston? You are gonna pay for what you did to my daughter!" Eve added, glaring at Ben.
At the hospital, Will slept soundly as Roman filled Kate in on the dire prognosis that Kayla had delivered earlier. "Days? You're telling me my grandson has days to live?" Kate asked Roman incredulously, fighting back tears. "I don't accept that!" Kate insisted. "Look, I know this is...hard -- very hard -- but Kayla thinks we need to prepare ourselves," Roman stressed. "Kayla needs to prepare herself for a lawsuit right now, okay? Because, clearly, your sister is only worried about covering her own ass, because she doesn't want her hospital held responsible for our grandson's death!" Kate countered.
"Stop," Roman patiently ordered Kate as Sonny entered Will's room. "This has nothing to do with Kayla. And nobody's giving up on Will, okay? But the reality is [that] we have one option, and time is running out," Roman added. "Then we need to find the notebook," Kate stressed. "Don't bother. It's a dead end," Sonny sadly reported before telling Kate and Roman about what had just happened with Eve. "So, what are we supposed to do -- throw our hands in the air [and] just accept that Will's gonna die?" Kate asked Sonny incredulously at the end of the tale. "Yes, you should...because I have," Will groggily interjected, sighing heavily.
"Honey, you can't lose hope," Kate protested. "I'm not; I'm -- I'm just being realistic," Will clarified, shrugging. "I promise you, I'm fighting this, but it -- to be honest, it feels more and more like a losing battle," Will admitted. "Are you in pain?" Kate wondered. "No, not right now," Will replied. "But, you know, sometimes I feel myself...slipping away, and... This is happening, and we need to prepare," Will added.
"Will you call Dad for me?" Will asked Kate, who tearfully agreed. "I am not going to give up on finding a solution -- I just can't," Kate stressed. "Thank you. I know," Will replied, smiling at Kate's tenacity.
Kate followed Roman out of the room, entertaining the idea of beating information out of Eve.
Alone with Will, Sonny turned away guiltily, avoiding eye contact. "What is it?" Will wondered. "I feel like I failed you," Sonny admitted, fighting back tears.
"I threatened Eve, [and] I begged her, [and] I even offered her money, but she was adamant that she -- she doesn't have the diary," Sonny elaborated. "That's okay. Thank you for trying --" Will began to respond, but Sonny interrupted, insisting that it wasn't okay -- and that simply trying to locate Rolf's diary wasn't good enough. "I hate that I can't fix this!" Sonny fretted. "Stop it," Will gently ordered Sonny. "It was my decision to take the serum, and I -- I don't have a single regret about that, even if it kills me, because you and I -- you and I were able to love each other again," Will stressed.
"I cherish every moment with you," Sonny whispered after calming down, and Will nodded in response, knowing that was true.
"Is it selfish of me that I just want to lock this door and keep you all to myself?" Sonny asked Will. "No, but...you think a locked door is gonna stop my mom? She's gonna -- she's gonna break the thing down if she has to," Will replied with a chuckle, and Sonny conceded the point. "When Marlena talks to her, I know she's gonna be on the next plane out here -- Lucas, too," Sonny predicted, and Will agreed.
"I don't want my parents to come all this way for a funeral; I...would rather them come...for a wedding," Will decided, surprising Sonny.
"I hope you'll give me a pass for not getting down on one knee, but...Sonny, I want to marry you again," Will continued, causing Sonny to get emotional. "Will, I love you so much... There's -- there's no way I could love you more than I do right now, okay? Married or not. So, if you're doing this for me..." Sonny began to protest. "No, no -- are you kidding me? I'm doing this for me," Will insisted.
"I want everyone in the world -- especially our daughter -- to know that the most amazing, wonderful man wants to be my husband. I love you, Sonny. You're the love of my life. And even if that life, you know, lasts just a few more days, nothing in the world would make me happier... So, Jackson Steven Kiriakis...would you do me the honor of marrying me?" Will continued, and Sonny smiled in response.
Ben tells Ciara about Claire
While in his hospital bed, Will proposed to Sonny. "I could never love you more than I do right now, married or not," Sonny said. Will stressed that he wanted everyone to know, "the most amazing, kind, wonderful man in the world wants to be my husband." Will told Sonny that he was the love of Will's life, no matter the length of it.
"I never could say no to you. Why would I start now? Yes, I will marry you," Sonny said eagerly. After a quick kiss, Sonny noticed Will's journal. As Sonny flipped through the journal, he asked for permission to read it. Will nodded yes.
"I forgot about our love for a long time. When I finally remembered, when it all came back to me, I thought this is my life. My story," Sonny read. "What memory is, is moments. The good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly," Sonny continued. Choking back tears, Sonny handed the journal to Will.
"Our story, the one that Sonny and I wrote together, is only so many moments. So, I promise the next time, the next moment I see you, that I kiss you, that I hold you in my arms, that moment, I will remember forever," Will read. Sonny told Will that his words were beautiful. "So was the man I wrote it for. And I'm gonna marry that man," Will said. Will asked Sonny to call everyone and tell them about their engagement.
At the nurses' station, a worried Gabi arrived and asked Kayla for news about Will. Kayla escorted Gabi to the waiting area and told her about the rapid growth of Will's tumor. Kayla explained that she did not have the formula for the serum to counteract the tumor.
"Days? My God, I've been worried about these stupid things that were so important to me, that I haven't been there for Will. Or Sonny," Gabi muttered. Kayla told Gabi to take care of herself. Emotional, Gabi rushed into Will's room. "I am not letting you go! I will fight this. Whatever you need," Gabi blurted out. Will asked for a hug.
"I can't do this. I don't know how to do this," Gabi said through tears. Will told Gabi to keep hugging him as long as she needed. After she collected herself, Gabi noted that she hated it when people saw her cry.
"I'm a total badass except when I'm in front of you guys. I'm just mush," Gabi said. "You're pretty badass with us, too," Sonny said with a chuckle. Will said he also had good news. "Sonny and I are getting married. Again," Will said. Gabi broke into fresh tears. All three smiled and cried together. Gabi asked about the ring, and Will and Sonny looked at one another. With a groan, Gabi took off one her rings and insisted that Will propose again.
"It's Arianna's birthstone. I want you to ask Sonny so that he can have it, and then you can make this engagement official," Gabi said. Will relented and took the ring. "Jackson Steven Kiriakis, will you do me the honor of marrying me again?" Will asked. With a smile, Sonny said, "You could ask me that question an infinite amount of times, William Robert Horton, and my answer will always be yes."
Will slipped the ring onto Sonny's pinky, and they kissed. Overcome with emotion, Gabi hugged Sonny and Will. Once alone, Sonny told Will that they would take their moments "one at a time."
Outside the pub, Jennifer thanked J.J. for managing to trick Jack into dropping the assault charges against her. Jennifer cautioned J.J. to be careful around Jack, because Jack would not stop until he learned where to find Haley. J.J. confided, "Haley is long gone."
While J.J. went into the pub to get coffee, Jennifer called Abigail and updated her on the situation with Jack. Jennifer said she hoped Jack would remember his past. When J.J. returned with the coffee, J.J. said he was happy that Abigail was not around to see Jack's antics. Jennifer's phone beeped, and she gasped.
"There was a fire at a cabin on Smith Island?" Jennifer said. "Oh, my God, mom! That's where I left Haley and Tripp," J.J. said.
On Smith Island, Eli pulled Tripp and Haley from the fire. When Eli told Haley that she was under arrest, Tripp pleaded with Eli to reconsider. Eli stressed that there was an outstanding warrant. As Haley told Tripp not to worry, Tripp continued to argue with Eli. Eli announced that Tripp was under arrest, as well. While Eli snapped handcuffs onto Tripp, Haley argued that Tripp had visited her in the cabin to convince her to turn herself in to the police. Haley started to cough then collapsed. Tripp begged Eli to take Haley to a hospital. Eli helped Haley to her feet and escorted her away from the scene.
In the town square, Ciara's mouth fell open as she read a news report on her phone about Ben's arrest. Claire asked for information about the fire, and an annoyed Ciara told Claire that she did not know any details. As Ciara started to walk away, she said she needed to go to the police station to protect Ben from Eve. Claire ran after Ciara.
In the interrogation room at the police station, Ben yelled that Claire had started the fire, not him. Eve cautioned Ben to calm down, or she would have to restrain him. Ben took a deep breath and said, "You're making a mistake." Eve told Ben that she would not let him intimidate her. Ben proclaimed his innocence.
"Here's the thing, Ben. You got no power here, and I'm finally the one that has my hands around your throat, and my God, it feels so good. You'll be crazy to think that I would ever, ever let you go," Eve growled. With a smirk, Eve walked out and answered a phone call from Eli. Eli informed Eve that he had arrested Haley and Tripp. Ciara walked into the station with Claire and demanded to see Ben.
"Why do you need to see a man who just tried to murder two people?" Eve asked. Ciara asked Eve what had happened. Eve explained that Ben had set fire to a cabin that had contained Haley and Tripp. "Wait! Are they okay?" Claire asked. Eve announced that Haley and Tripp were alive. Claire breathed a sigh of relief.
"No. Ben didn't try to kill them. This all makes zero sense," Ciara argued. When Ciara asked for a motive, Eve suggested that Ciara visit Ben in the interrogation room and ask him. Ciara rushed over to see Ben. Claire started to leave for the hospital, but Eve stopped her. With a scowl, Eve told Claire, "You have some serious explaining to do."
Eve escorted Claire into her office and asked why she had set the fire on the island. "And Ben was found just outside with the lighter in his hand so it's perfect, right?" Claire said with a grin. "Except he didn't set the fire; you did," Eve countered. Claire noted that Eve no longer had to frame Ben. With a deep breath, Eve looked Claire in the eyes and told her that innocent people could have been injured by Claire's actions.
"I didn't plan any of this!" Claire shouted. Claire explained that she had run into Rory and had seen Tripp's passport. "He was going to leave me for that little bitch!" Claire screamed. Claire added that if she could not have Tripp, no one could. Eve adopted a calming tone and told Claire that she would not tell anyone that Claire had set the fires.
"Tripp promised that he was going to forgive me, but he was never going to forgive me. He was just playing me so that they could run off together," Claire said bitterly. Claire told Eve that when she had arrived at the cabin, she had looked through the window and seen Tripp hugging Haley. Claire explained that before she knew it, she had been holding a lighter in one hand a can of kerosene in the other.
"I was so angry. I just wanted to see them burn," Claire said quietly. A look of realization crossed Claire's face. "What the hell is wrong with me?" Claire wondered aloud. "I'm here, and I'm not going to leave your side. If you want me to help you, you have to help me help you," Eve said. Eve told Claire to take a deep breath to clear her mind.
"Did anyone see you at that cabin?" Eve asked. "No. Nobody saw me," Claire said. Eve breathed a sigh of relief. Claire asked about Ben. Eve countered that Ben had been found at the scene, and they just needed to create a viable motive for the arson. With a nod, Claire informed Eve that Ben and Tripp hated one another, and she explained why. Eve argued that revenge was the perfect motive for Ben to attack Tripp. When Claire wondered aloud why Ben had been on the island, Eve explained that Ben had remembered that he had heard Claire's ringtone at the scene of the first fire.
"So, Ben knows that I set the fires? Eve, no. I knew that he suspected me, but now he actually has proof!" Claire said, panicked. Claire argued that Ben was telling Ciara everything. Eve assured Claire that she would handle Ben. Eve ordered Claire to change her ringtone. Concerned, Claire asked Eve how to handle Ben. Eve said she would argue that Ben was losing his mind and hearing things. Claire thanked Eve for her help.
"You remind me so much of my little girl sometimes," Eve said. Eve advised Claire to go home and not say a word to anyone. As Claire turned to leave, Eve added, "Don't set any more fires." Claire nodded.
In the interrogation room, Ciara asked Ben what had happened on the island. "It was Claire," Ben said. Ciara asked Ben if he had witnessed Claire start the fire. Ben shook his head no. Ben explained that he had realized that the music he had heard at the scene of the first cabin fire had been Claire's ringtone. Ben added that Claire had used the same lighter to start the fire on Smith Island.
"Oh, my God. No, it can't be true," Ciara said through tears. "Claire set both of those fires. She tried to kill you," Ben said. Ciara shook her head in disbelief. Ben explained that he had not told Ciara sooner because he had wanted to find proof first. Ciara asked about Rory.
"I'm assuming you talked to him," Ben said, averting his eyes. "[Rory] was really freaked out. He said that the Necktie Killer threatened to kill him," Ciara noted. Ben explained that he had been desperate to find Claire and had bullied Rory to get the information. With a shake of his head, Ben noted that he had been dumb enough to pick up the lighter at the crime scene. When Ben wondered aloud why Claire had set the fire, Ciara suggested that Claire had set the fire because Tripp and Haley had been in the cabin. Ben asked about Tripp and Haley.
"[Tripp and Haley] are okay. They're alive because of you, Ben," Ciara said. Ciara theorized aloud that Claire had seen Tripp and Haley together and that Claire's jealousy had taken over. "She could have killed you, too," Ben said. Ciara started to cry. Ciara vowed to get the truth out of Claire. Ben warned Ciara that Claire would deny the accusation. Ben told Ciara that he had an idea.
As Ciara left the interrogation room, she ran into Claire in the bullpen. "What did Ben say about setting the fire?" Claire asked. "He actually swore to me that you did it," Ciara said. Claire asked Ciara if she believed Ben. With a shake of her head no, Ciara said she had wanted to believe that Ben had changed, but she had been mistaken.
"You and I are family. We love each other. I know that you would never do anything to hurt me," Ciara said. Claire hugged her cousin. A look of disgust crossed Ciara's face, and she thought about when Ben had told her his plan. Ben had told Ciara to play along and pretend to turn on him. Ben had said he believed it was the only way to get Claire to admit what she had done.
At the hospital, the EMTs wheeled in Haley on a gurney. J.J. and Jennifer arrived at the hospital at the same time, and J.J. rushed to Haley's side. Tripp told J.J. that Haley had suffered smoke inhalation. Kayla told Eli to stay behind, but Eli refused and explained that he needed to accompany Haley because she was under arrest.
While Kayla examined Haley, Tripp told J.J. and Jennifer that Rory had never shown up on the island with the passports. Tripp said he did not know how the fire had started but that Eli had told him that Ben had started the fire. J.J. called Rory, but it went to voicemail. While Jennifer stepped aside to take a work call, J.J. assured Tripp that J.J. had done everything he could to help Haley.
Kayla returned and informed J.J. and Tripp that Haley would be fine. With a smile, Kayla told J.J. that Haley wanted to see him. Tripp started to follow J.J., but Kayla stopped him and insisted that she examine Tripp first. After a quick review of Tripp's vital signs, she told Tripp he had been lucky.
"What were you doing there, anyway? Were you helping her try to escape ICE?" Kayla probed. When Tripp told Kayla it was better if she did not know anything, Kayla smirked. "Spoken just like your father. And I didn't like it when he said it, either. But I understand," Kayla said. Kayla told Tripp that she loved him, and they hugged. As Tripp ran off to see Haley, Jennifer joined Kayla.
"Can't stop our boys from being heroes, can we?" Jennifer asked. "Just have to be here to pick up the pieces," Kayla agreed. Jennifer asked about Will, and Kayla noted that Will only had a few days left to live. "There has to be something that can be done," Jennifer said. Kayla explained that their last hope had refused to help. Jennifer was furious to learn that Eve had been the one that had taken Rolf's diary.
"[Eve] swore to John that she didn't have it, but he believes she knows where it is," Kayla said. "Unbelievable! [Eve] doesn't even care about Will's life because that diary also means that Jack could have his memory restored, and that is the last thing that she wants," Jennifer said. With a shrug, Kayla noted that there was nothing they could do to retrieve the diary. Jennifer was unfazed. "We'll see about that," Jennifer grumbled.
In the commissioner's office, Eve called Ted Laurent and left a voicemail. Eve offered Ted his job back as the D.A. With a smile, Eve looked at Ben's mugshot and said, "You are going down hard, Ben Weston." Jennifer barged into the room and demanded to talk.
In Haley's room, J.J. asked Eli if he could talk privately with Haley. Reluctantly, Eli said he would wait outside. Once alone, Haley apologized to J.J. for dragging him into her problems. J.J. stressed that he had understood the risks and that he did not regret his actions. When Haley joked that J.J. needed to learn Chinese, J.J. suggested that they make a run for it to Canada. J.J. suggested that they get Tripp to cause a distraction so that he and Haley could escape.
"I appreciate everything you've done for me and what you are trying to do now, but no more. I'm so tired of running, so it ends now," Haley said. J.J. asked Haley not to give up. In tears, Haley said she did not want to fight anymore. "I feel like I failed you," J.J. said. Haley asked J.J. to sit with her and hold her hand.
Out in the hallway, Tripp thanked Eli for saving his life. Tripp asked if there was anything Eli could do to help Haley. Eli said he hated having to go after Haley but that he needed to follow the law. Eli urged Tripp to be careful.
"Are you sure it was Ben who started [the fire]?" Tripp asked. Eli explained that although Ben had denied that he had set the fire, Eli had found Ben with the lighter in his hand and a can of kerosene on the ground in front of him. Eli asked Tripp who else he suspected. With a shake of his head, Tripp noted that Ben had had no motive to be at the cabin. Eli pointed out that Ciara was Ben's motive, but Tripp disagreed. Tripp argued that he did not think an old romantic rivalry was enough motivation for Ben to kill Haley.
Kristen and Xander hatch new plans
Jack entered the Brady Pub just as Abe was leaving it.
"Ex-Mayor Carver! I'm so glad I ran into you! [This gives] me a chance to give you a chance to congratulate me in person," Jack began with a smug grin, but Abe declined and continued walking. "Mad that I beat you [and have] accomplished more in a few days than you did in several terms?" Jack bragged. "You also had your son and ex-wife arrested. You must be so proud..." Abe countered, causing Jack's grin to fade in an instant. Abe exited the pub before Jack could think of a response.
At the police station, Jennifer accused Eve of having stolen Rolf's diary from Burns's office.
Eve feigned innocence, but Jennifer wasn't convinced, knowing that Rolf's memory-jogging serum couldn't be recreated without the formula that had been found in the diary -- and that no one else had a reason to try to prevent the serum from being recreated. "Will Horton is a brilliant, sensitive young man, and he is going to die, [and] you could save his life!" Jennifer stressed. "Are you really such a monster that you're just fine with him dying instead of [you] doing the right thing?" Jennifer asked incredulously.
Jack soon arrived and wondered what was going on. "John Black has good reason to believe -- with corroborating evidence -- that Eve stole Rolf's diary, and she's keeping it from you because she is scared to death of losing you," Jennifer revealed, stunning Jack. "I know what this is -- you're going on the warpath again because you need for me to get my memory back!" Jack decided after a moment of thought.
"I don't need anything from you," Jennifer dismissively insisted. "This isn't about you; this is about Will Horton. [He] has days to live, and that diary -- the doctors need it [because] there's a formula in it [that can help them] make an antidote. And your wife will not give it over," Jennifer continued. "I understand [that] you're 'a changed man,' but I don't believe that you are heartless. We have to help Will, [so]...please, talk to your wife [and] tell her to do the right thing for a change," Jennifer concluded before storming off, leaving Eve alone with Jack, who demanded the truth.
"Will Horton is on his deathbed, Jack! If I...if I could save him -- [if I could] give him the diary -- [then] of course I would! [I mean], what kind of person do you think I am?" Eve defensively stated, squirming the whole time. "You believe me, don't you?" Eve asked hopefully. "Absolutely," Jack confirmed after a moment of thought, drawing a sigh of relief from Eve.
"[It's just] so important that we're honest with each other...'cause, you know, a lie between us could shatter everything that we've built," Jack added, causing Eve to start squirming again.
While passing through Horton Town Square, Stefan spotted Chloe, who immediately tried to rush off in the opposite direction.
Stefan blocked Chloe's path and begged to know what needed to be done to make up for what had happened. "You think you can make up for sleeping with Gabi just hours after I buried Holly? What, are you arrogant or stupid?" Chloe asked incredulously. "Both," Chloe quickly decided. "What you did was disgusting. You're disgusting," Chloe spat before storming off, ignoring Stefan's protests.
Victor, who was sitting at a nearby table, began applauding to get Stefan's attention. "You know, every once in a while, Chloe Lane gives a bravura performance," Victor admitted with a chuckle. "Almost worked with Brady...[but], lucky for him, he got away before she ruined his life. Too bad you couldn't [have held] onto her a little longer [so] she could've ruined yours, [but], clearly, you're just as much of a failure in your private life as you are in business," Victor continued, prompting Stefan to get defensive. "[DiMera's] on life support," Victor maintained, unimpressed with Stefan's arguments to the contrary.
"And I have just the solution," Stefan dismissively countered, having just spotted Abe nearby. "I played chess online with Theo yesterday. He pulled me into a double pin that I did not even see coming. Said you taught him the move. Kudos," Stefan began after calling Abe over. "I've been thinking about flying out to see him soon," Abe revealed. "Well, now that you've lost the election, you have plenty of time on your hands," Victor bluntly interjected. "Hopefully, you're not thinking of retiring, 'cause I'd like to offer you a job -- at DiMera," Stefan announced, surprising Abe.
"I'm sure you're aware DiMera's facing some PR challenges --" Stefan began to elaborate. "It's a shambles," Victor bluntly interjected again. "And that needs to be rectified as soon as possible, [so] I'm looking for a CCO," Stefan continued. "You really think that a Chief Communications Officer's gonna solve your problems?" Victor asked, amused.
"A CCO is the guardian of the company culture -- its values, its beliefs -- [and] it requires somebody of impeccable, unimpeachable integrity...[so], naturally, I thought of you, [because] the public loves you," Stefan explained to Abe. "He lost the election," Victor pointed out. "Because the other side played dirty," Stefan dismissively countered. "[This is] a very sensitive position; it requires a lot of trust, and, to a DiMera, that means family...[which], let's face it, I don't exactly have a lot of," Stefan reminded Abe. "I'll think about it," Abe promised Stefan. "This is the kind of bad judgment that lost you the election!" Victor called out as Abe walked away.
A short time later, Abe ran into Jennifer. "I heard about J.J.'s arrest. I'm so sorry. [You know], I just ran into our new mayor, and he seems pretty damn pleased with his 'accomplishments,'" Abe told Jennifer. "What I wouldn't give for you to be back in that job..." Jennifer grumbled. "Well, I might have a new one...[but] you might not be pleased to hear what it is," Abe began.
"You're not gonna take it, right?" Jennifer asked after Abe elaborated. "I'm not sure," he admitted with a shrug, stunning her.
At Eric's apartment, Rex tried to convince Sarah that it was time to tell Maggie that Will was dying. "How do I tell her that she's about to lose someone else that she loves? I don't think that she could take another hit like that," Sarah fretted. Rex understood Sarah's concern but maintained that Maggie needed to be told right away -- before it was too late to say goodbye to Will.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady found Maggie sitting alone in the living room, holding an ice pack against her forehead and groaning in pain. "I hope this isn't your way of trying to get out of a meeting," he began, drawing a different kind of groan from her. "How do I face all those people that I've let down?" she fretted. "You haven't let anybody down," he assured her.
"Did you talk to Nicole last night?" Maggie asked, eager to change the subject. "I did...[and] Kristen DiMera was nowhere in the room, [so] you must've imagined seeing her," Brady replied.
"Oh... Well, everything about yesterday was a little fuzzy... [So], I guess I have to admit that I was wrong. [After all, Kristen] is dead, right? It just, um...it just seemed so real..." Maggie mused. "I know exactly how alcohol can play on your mind..." Brady agreed. "Which might explain what I walked in on last night..." Brady continued, recalling how Maggie and Xander had fallen asleep on the couch together. "It, uh, freaked me out, to be honest with you," Brady admitted. "Why didn't you wake me?" Maggie wondered. "You were both schnockered, so I just picked you up and carried you to your bed," Brady explained.
Maggie tried to apologize for the trouble, but Brady insisted it hadn't been a big deal. "Anything to keep you away from that maniac, whom I'm sure you wouldn't have been in conversation with in the first place if you had been sober," Brady reasoned. "[Actually]... He totally surprised me. He was very sweet. [I mean], we really talked, [and] that young man is so wounded [and] vulnerable... [You know], his father died, [and] his mother was an alcoholic, [so] the kid practically raised himself. [And] I know alcohol clouds your perception and all that, but...I saw another side of him, and it was genuine," Maggie argued.
Brady found it easier to believe the story about Kristen. "Make no mistake -- Xander knows [that] you have a heart of gold, [and] he will take advantage of you if given the chance. You need to remember what he did to our family and to our friends. Please, don't make the mistake of trusting him. He always has an ulterior motive. You need to keep your guard up," Brady warned. "You're probably right..." Maggie conceded, sighing.
Just then, Sarah burst into the mansion and started to reveal that Will was dying. Brady quickly interrupted, explaining that it wasn't a good time because an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting was about to start. "You've been sober for decades, Mom. Why are you going to a meeting?" Sarah asked, surprised and concerned. "I need this," Brady claimed as a way to protect Maggie, who rushed off in search of a purse, clearly uncomfortable.
"You were gonna tell her about Will," Brady guessed once the coast was clear. "He only has days to live! [I mean]...if not now, then when?" Sarah reasoned, and Brady agreed that Maggie needed to be told in the very near future. "Can't you just go without her?" Sarah asked. "I know this seems like it's selfish [of me, but] it's important to her, too," Brady vaguely insisted, adding that Sarah could give Maggie the bad news afterward.
Rex entered Doug's Place while Chloe was in the process of polishing silverware -- in a very angry manner. "[That] lousy, no-good, terrible day you had yesterday didn't get any better?" Rex assumed. "I've made some lousy mistakes in my pathetic love life, but this -- this ranks right up there...[and] the worst part is [that] I have no one to blame but myself," Chloe admitted with a sigh before telling Rex about what had happened with Stefan. "Who does that? What kind of jerk can't keep it in his pants because a relationship isn't quite going his way?" Chloe asked at the end of the tale, prompting Rex to sheepishly raise a hand.
Chloe started to apologize, but Rex insisted that wasn't necessary. "It was the worst mistake I ever made, [and] I'm just lucky that Sarah forgave me and took me back. I want to do things right this time around. I'm a dad now. I have a daughter. I want to set the best example I possibly can," Rex stressed. "How is Emily?" Chloe asked. "Perfect -- just giggling and growing... I don't see her enough, but she's my light," Rex replied. "Kids have a way of doing that to you... We lost one of our sweetest lights..." Chloe tearfully noted. "How do you deal with this kind of thing every day?" Chloe wondered. "Doesn't get any easier," Rex admitted.
"You seemed pretty upset yesterday about a patient. Do you have any better news today?" Chloe asked. "No...[and] I hate to tell you this, but I think you should know [that it's] someone that you know and care about," Rex revealed. "Lucas barely got Will back, and now he's gonna lose him again?" Chloe sadly summarized after Rex elaborated. "Unless we get Rolf's formula...and that's written in his diary, which we don't have," Rex confirmed. "I went through every last note that I took when I worked with Rolf, [but] it was just a whole bunch of mad-scientist stuff, [like] prosthetic masks that he makes for people so they can look like somebody else," Rex added.
Xander went to the Salem Inn to see Kristen, who had been wistfully recalling a sexual encounter with Brady and wasn't the least bit happy about the interruption. "You should tone back the bitchiness a little bit -- very un-Nicole-like," Xander advised. "Nicole was a royal bitch in her day...and, for your information, when I'm alone in this room, I'm Kristen DiMera, and I can be as bitchy as I want -- nobody's business but mine," Kristen stressed. "And Maggie Horton's, apparently," Xander noted. "That's your fault! I thought it was you at the door, bugging me again!" Kristen defensively explained, knowing what Xander meant.
Kristen insisted that Maggie's discovery wasn't a big deal. "Who are people gonna believe -- poor, heartbroken Nicole...or that pathetic lush Maggie?" Kristen reasoned with a shrug. "[Maggie] has a drinking problem, [and] she thinks she just lost her grandchild -- thanks to us -- so...just give her a break," Xander irritably demanded. "Since when do you give a damn about Maggie?" Kristen curiously wondered. "Maggie and I...sort of...bonded over some melted ice cream. She...kind of reminds me of my mother," Xander explained. "'Cause they're both drunks?" Kristen assumed.
"You know, I actually feel sorry for you sometimes. So cynical," Xander observed. "And you're not? Please! Your 'bonding' with Maggie is -- is nothing more than you trying to score points with her daughter," Kristen argued. "You know, actually, I hadn't thought of it that way, but that's not a bad idea! Maggie can't stand Sarah's cheating fiancÚ! If she puts a good word in for me...who knows!" Xander optimistically mused.
"Good luck with that," Kristen sarcastically stated. "In the meantime, I need to figure out how I'm gonna convince Brady to give Nicole another shot," Kristen added. "Careful -- push too hard, and you might lose him," Xander warned, and Kristen grudgingly conceded the point. "I guess I'm gonna have to play it cool for a while...[so, for now, we'll just] focus on the next prize -- taking control of DiMera," Kristen decided.
"You take over DiMera, I pull off my coup at Titan -- what sweeter justice could there be? The families that shunned us, marginalized us, made us feel 'other' -- we win; we get to rule their world for a change," Xander mused with obvious bitterness. "Excuse me, but you're [the one whose] family can't stand you. My father loved me. That's why I have to save what's left of his legacy," Kristen argued.
"DiMera does seem to be in a bit of a tailspin... [But] why do you care so much about [Stefano's] legacy? You're not even his blood," Xander noted. "I'm a DiMera in every way that counts! Stefano adopted me, and he loved me like I was his own! He made me who I am today!" Kristen defensively stressed. "I doubt there's many people that'd thank him for that..." Xander dryly mused, but Kristen didn't appreciate the joke.
"For better or for worse, I am my father's daughter, and I am going to make him very proud!" Kristen declared with finality. "Stefan means well [but tends to get] a bit distracted, [and] he doesn't understand that this company is our family's lifeblood, and without it, we're nothing. E.J. understood that. That's why Dr. Rolf and I worked so hard to revive him -- so that we could get ahold of the House of the Phoenix and restore it back to its glory day. [But] E.J. got lost to that shrew Sami, [so] now I am going to have to take the reins back from Stefan all by myself," Kristen added.
"Why go it alone? What about the others?" Xander asked. "E.J. wasn't the only one you were trying to revive. There was Jack Deveraux -- good ol' 'J.D.' -- [and] that was a smashing success --" Xander started to add. "For you," Kristen stressed. "Oh, yeah -- Eve Donovan paid me a pretty penny to drop him into her nasty little hands," Xander agreed. "Which you did without my consent!" Kristen bitterly noted.
"Because you were so busy with all the others -- 'W.R.' and 'A.V.' and 'A.D.' and 'S.D.' [and]..." Xander innocently reasoned. "You insisted on looking after 'A.D.' and 'S.D.' all by yourself...so, smart man that I am, I connected those dots, [and] you know what I came up with? Andre DiMera and Stefano DiMera," Xander continued. "You clearly put a lot of thought into this. Must've been quite a strain," Kristen evasively replied. "I also considered that maybe 'A.D.' wasn't Andre DiMera but Antony DiMera -- everyone's beloved Tony," Xander proudly revealed.
"One never can tell with the DiMeras, can they, my dear Phoenix? You may have lost your tattoo, but you still rose from the ashes, didn't you? So, the question is...did Andre? Did Tony? Did Stefano? Come on, Kristen -- inquiring minds want to know," Xander continued. Just when Kristen seemed to be about to give a real answer, Xander received a text message from Eve.
"Lucky you -- saved by the bell...for now," Xander noted. "What does she want?" Kristen asked curiously. "Just some unfinished business..." Xander vaguely explained, smirking.
After Xander left, Kristen transformed into Nicole then headed off to the DiMera mansion to talk to Stefan.
While passing through the town square with Brady, Maggie tried to figure out what Sarah had been so eager to announce earlier. "I guess that it would be too much to hope that she wants to call off her marriage to Rex..." Maggie mused before jumping in shock, having just spotted Victor nearby. "What are you two doing out and about?" Victor asked. "We...went to a meeting," Brady admitted as Maggie squirmed.
"Maggie should be home, resting," Victor insisted. "I wanted to go," Maggie managed to stress. "'Cause Brady guilted you into it?" Victor assumed. "Can't you go to one damn meeting without dragging Maggie into it? She just lost her grandchild. She's not feeling well," Victor snapped at Brady, annoying Maggie. "It wasn't Brady who fell off the wagon, Victor -- it was me," Maggie tiredly clarified, rendering Victor speechless.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sarah received a phone call from Rex, who wanted to know how the talk with Maggie had gone. "I still haven't told her, [because] she had to go somewhere with Brady...[and I guess I'm glad because I'm still] hoping that...that it just would be an unnecessary conversation -- that we'll find the diary, and we'll figure out an antidote, and Will will be okay," Sarah admitted. "That's a hell of a long shot," Rex gently pointed out. "All we need is a miracle...and I'm counting on it," Sarah countered before ending the call and realizing that Xander had been eavesdropping the whole time.
"I'm the miracle you've been hoping for!" Xander excitedly insisted.
Xander seizes an opportunity to impress Sarah
At the DiMera mansion, Kristen, posing as Nicole, convinced Stefan to take a quick break from work so they could talk.
"Ah -- I have so many memories of living in this house..." Kristen wistfully mused while looking around the living room, prompting Stefan to slowly recall that Nicole had once been married to E.J. Kristen made a point of asking if Chloe was around, forcing Stefan to vaguely admit that the mansion's total number of residents had recently decreased. Kristen bitterly insisted that Stefan was better off without Chloe, anyway.
Changing the subject, Kristen acknowledged that DiMera Enterprises was going through a rough patch. "I can help you turn things around," Kristen promised, surprising Stefan. "You just lost a child. You sure you're ready to jump back into a job?" Stefan asked. "There has to be some light at the end of this grief -- something to hope for, a reason to go on..." Kristen reasoned.
"And it's not like I don't have any business experience. I ran Basic Black for Titan and made it a huge success. I could do that again for you. [After all, when you sold the company, you] retained the rights to the name. You could revive Basic Black, put me in charge, and watch it soar," Kristen continued. "No," Stefan decided after a moment of thought, seeing no reason to revive a company that had already proven to be a failure.
"You swore that you would protect [Holly, but] those cartel thugs still got [her, so] if you have any conscience at all, you would grant me this little favor," Kristen argued. "Okay, first of all, giving you a company to run is a huge favor, [and] secondly, using Holly to sway my decision one way or another is highly manipulative," Stefan countered.
"Okay, well, I'm desperate. I need this. And if you think about it, you need me just as much, because it's no secret that DiMera is being thrashed by Titan," Kristen reasoned. "Victor Kiriakis didn't hesitate to bring that to my attention earlier today..." Stefan grumbled. "Yeah, well, Victor is Satan. It was awful being married to him," Kristen declared, surprising Stefan, who hadn't heard about that particular detail of Nicole's past before. "There's something we have in common -- hating Victor," Kristen noted. "And wouldn't it be fun to bring that old bastard down together?" Kristen gleefully added.
"I am making some changes at DiMera..." Stefan admitted. "Then this is the perfect time [to hire me]!" Kristen argued. "I've offered Abe Carver the position of Chief Communications Officer," Stefan elaborated. "Abe Carver?" Kristen incredulously repeated. "Not a fan?" Stefan assumed. "Low blood sugar," Kristen claimed, backpedaling after remembering that Nicole and Abe had always been pretty close. "Abe's great. In fact, he's my brother's father," Kristen declared, prompting Stefan to ask about Nicole's father. "My father...wasn't upstanding like Abe," Kristen vaguely revealed while taking a quick, subtle look at Stefano's portrait.
"So, did [Abe] take the offer?" Kristen wondered. "Not yet," Stefan admitted. "Well, I hope he does. I mean, your company does need new blood -- you're smart to think that. Stefano, Andre, Kristen -- they're relics. You need to revitalize DiMera with people like Abe and me -- well, especially me," Kristen argued. "All right -- I surrender. Welcome to DiMera," Stefan decided.
"To the new CEO of Basic Black," Stefan declared after filling two glasses with whiskey and handing one over. "Brought back from the dead -- just like me," Kristen joked.
"My lawyer's on his way for another matter. I'll have him start the paperwork, and I'll call you when it's done," Stefan promised. "I'll just make myself at home," Kristen insisted, ignoring the hint, and Stefan shrugged in response then walked away. "Because it is my home, little brother. I am finally back where I belong," Kristen happily added once the coast was clear.
Kristen took another look at Stefano's portrait. "I know what you're thinking, Father. This is extreme, even for me -- pretending to be poor, pathetic Nicole Walker, begging Stefan for a job when, by all rights, it should be the other way around... But it will all be worth it when I take rightful control of our family's company. This Phoenix is rising again," Kristen proudly mused.
Ted approached Doug's Place while Hope was in the process of calling to check on Ciara.
"Ben was arrested," Hope explained to Ted after recording a voicemail message. "I know that. Eve Deveraux left me a message -- offering me my job back, believe it or not. Of course, I'm not interested," Ted replied.
Hope wasn't quite as happy about Ben's arrest as Ted had expected. "Going after Haley and Tripp... [I mean], come on -- what's the motive here? There isn't one!" Hope noted. "And you wish you were in the middle of the investigation [instead of] on the outside," Ted guessed before offering to treat Hope to dinner as a distraction of sorts. Hope accepted the dinner invitation but balked when Ted tried to take things a step further, producing an extravagant -- and quite familiar -- diamond necklace. "Put [that] away. I'm not gonna accept it -- ever. I can't. [See], I'm not the type of woman that... I don't move quickly," Hope firmly stressed.
Ted nodded and pocketed the necklace then followed Hope into the club for dinner. Rex was sitting at the bar, and Hope seized the opportunity to ask about Will, having heard the dire news from Roman earlier. Rex sadly confirmed that Will's prognosis was still the same. "There's just so much damn tragedy in this town as of late," Rex mused with a shake of the head. "Luckily, I was able to stop Xander [from causing another one]," Rex added before telling Hope about Xander's attempt to tamper with Holly's autopsy report. "To exploit Holly's death by convincing Nicole her daughter's really alive -- [that's] pure evil," Hope declared as Ted squirmed.
After saying goodbye to Rex, Hope tried to get back in the mood to enjoy a dinner with Ted -- but soon apologized and rushed off, unable to stop thinking about Will.
At the hospital, Marlena and Kate left Will's room together, both clearly distraught. "It's just so hard to see Will suffering like this," Kate noted with a shake of the head. "Well, he's resting now, so that's...something," Marlena reasoned. "Believe me, I am well aware that life is not fair, but it seems like we were just making up for that lost time we had with him, and now...we're gonna lose him all over again," Kate continued, sighing heavily. "You know that everybody is working on a cure," Marlena reassured Kate. "Of course, without Rolf's diary...all we can do is hope for the best," Marlena sadly added.
Marlena revealed that Paul had been devastated to learn that Will was dying. "John and I agreed that he should -- he should be there with Paul right now. He's left already, but he'll be back by tomorrow," Marlena added.
"Is Lucas coming?" Marlena asked. "He's taking the next flight out," Kate confirmed. "He's feeling so guilty because he wasn't here the whole time, [but] I told him there was no way that any of us could have known this -- this would happen," Kate added, and Marlena agreed. "What about Sami?" Kate asked. "Sami is making arrangements, and, uh...we're hoping she gets here in time," Marlena reported.
Not wanting to dwell on that grim thought, Kate forced a smile and reminded Marlena that there was a wedding to be planned. "I have orders from Will, and I'm gonna get started," Kate decided.
Shortly after Kate left, Eric arrived to check on Will. Marlena, clearly grateful for another distraction, seized the opportunity to find out if things had gotten any better between Eric and Nicole yet. Eric sadly reported that it was beginning to look like things were probably never going to get any better with Nicole, prompting Marlena to carefully suggest that, in that case, it might be time to start thinking of Sarah as a potential love interest again. "Sarah is marrying Rex," Eric reminded Marlena. "Yes, well, maybe [Sarah] shouldn't; maybe Sarah ought to be with you," Marlena countered -- just as Rex approached.
"Sorry to interrupt. I assume you were talking about Will," Rex began, and Marlena and Eric played along, both relieved. "Has there been any change?" Eric asked hopefully. "I just saw his latest test results, and I'm afraid there's...nothing promising to share...[but] we're not giving up -- we're all working very hard to find [a] cure," Rex replied before walking away.
A short time later, Hope arrived to check on Will. "I was about to check on him [myself]. If he's awake, I'm sure he'd like to say hello to you," Marlena told Hope before rushing off to Will's room.
At the Horton Town Square, Victor struggled to absorb the news that Maggie had fallen off the wagon after Holly's funeral. "Am I the one that drove you to drink?" Victor asked regretfully. "Mostly, it was about Holly," Maggie replied before quickly adding that, ultimately, sobriety was a personal responsibility. "What can I do?" Victor wondered. "I would like to talk later," Maggie requested. "I'd like that, too," Victor stressed.
Shortly after Brady left with Maggie, Kate approached and wondered if Victor would like some company. "Whatever," Victor grumbled. "Well, you're in a mood..." Kate observed. "I just got some very disturbing news," Victor explained. "About Will?" Kate assumed. "Believe me, your precious grandson is the furthest from my mind," Victor dismissively insisted. "You really are a son of a bitch, you know that? Do you realize that Will only has days to live?" Kate snapped, hurt. "I haven't spoken to Sonny since yesterday... I'm sorry. I didn't know. Can't seem to say anything right today..." Victor replied, sighing heavily.
"Okay, I get it -- you found out that Maggie got totally trashed, didn't you?" Kate guessed. "You knew?" Victor asked. "Oh, yeah, I know -- she came to my room, drunk as a skunk, and wanted to take me on," Kate explained. "About us?" Victor assumed, and Kate nodded in response. "I bet she had a horrific hangover this morning," Kate mused. "I wouldn't know. She just told me she had a relapse -- just before you arrived -- [and] I didn't handle it very well," Victor admitted. "You're being too tough on yourself," Kate argued. "The idea of Maggie drinking again is just -- it's intolerable! I mean, she's been sober since before we met!" Victor fretted.
"Brady took her to a meeting...but is that enough -- a bunch of people sitting around, talking -- [or] do we need something a little more drastic?" Victor asked, knowing that Kate was well versed on the subject of alcoholism. "Lucas' last relapse was very raw. He fought intervention, he wouldn't accept help... He -- he almost died before he decided that he wanted to get sober. [But] Maggie went to a meeting, which means that she wants to stop, and I think that's a good start," Kate assured Victor, adding that the tough-love approach -- which was usually employed when Brady relapsed -- would probably do more harm than good with Maggie.
Victor and Kate each ordered a drink. "To the promise of a miracle," Kate suggested, raising a glass. "Hope I don't have to stop drinking. That would be very difficult. I like my cocktails," Victor dryly mused.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sarah scoffed at what had seemed like a bad pickup line from Xander. "That's the best that you've got -- that you're the miracle I've been hoping for? Go away!" Sarah tiredly demanded. "Just give me a chance to explain! I know exactly what you need!" Xander maintained, further irritating Sarah, who again misinterpreted the comment.
Undeterred, Xander clarified that Rolf's diary was what Sarah needed. "I can make that happen!" Xander excitedly insisted. "You know where Rolf's diary is?" Sarah asked, surprised. "I have a pretty good idea," Xander vaguely confirmed. "And you're willing to retrieve it? Why?" Sarah suspiciously continued. "I know how important it is to you and your mom," Xander innocently explained. "My mom? Since when do you care about her?" Sarah wondered. "Oh, Mags and I had a major bonding sesh last night. Turns out, she's not as uptight and judgy as I thought," Xander replied.
"She listened to me whine about my childhood, which can't have been much fun for her -- even though there was ice cream... [Anyway], I just want to do something nice for her in return -- and for you," Xander continued. "Even if I believed that you have the diary, you're not exactly the kind of guy that does things out of the goodness of whatever heart's in there, so what's your angle?" Sarah demanded to know. "Well...yeah, I mean, I guess if you wanted to thank me with another roll in the hay, then..." Xander began with a grin before leaning in for a kiss -- and receiving a slap instead.
"I am engaged to Rex -- and even if I wasn't, I wouldn't want those lips anywhere near me ever again!" Sarah stressed. "He doesn't deserve you, you know. [I mean], he already cheated on you more than once -- [including] with your sister, no less -- [so] how are you ever going to be able to really trust him again? [But I know] how to treat a lady," Xander insisted. "You trapped Nicole in a cage!" Sarah pointed out. "She was being very uncooperative," Xander dryly explained. "You blackmailed her into marriage!" Sarah continued. "Mostly just for kicks," Xander dismissively summarized.
"You have done a lot of terrible things!" Sarah maintained, adding that Xander was a greedy, arrogant, self-absorbed con artist. "So, you're just gonna roll right past 'handsome'?" he joked. "[Look, that's] exactly why I want to offer you the diary -- to prove that I'm not all those things," he stressed, but she remained skeptical, assuming that he was simply running another con.
Xander started to assure Sarah that wasn't true, but Brady and Maggie entered the mansion just then and interrupted the conversation. "I'm so glad you're here -- I have some very, very exciting news!" Xander began to tell Maggie, but Sarah quickly interrupted. "Is there a problem?" Maggie asked, confused. "Xander [is] just making an ass out of himself," Sarah explained. "That's not fair," Maggie snapped at Sarah before thanking Xander for having been such great company the previous night. "How are you feeling?" Xander asked Maggie with obvious concern, puzzling Sarah and Brady. "Much better, thank you," Maggie replied.
"Okay, that wasn't weird at all," Sarah sarcastically declared after Xander left the room. "He, um -- he got me through a very difficult time," Maggie explained before telling Sarah exactly what had happened the previous night. "I should've been paying attention! It should've been me that was there for you -- not some jerk like Xander!" Sarah fretted at the end of the tale, but Maggie dismissed the concern.
Sarah thanked Brady for having protected Maggie earlier, suddenly understanding why that hadn't been the right time to reveal more bad news. "What are you two talking about?" Maggie worriedly wondered. "I don't want to upset you any more, [but] I can't put off telling you [this] any longer..." Sarah began before gently informing Maggie that Will was dying.
Meanwhile, Xander retrieved the briefcase that contained, among other things, Rolf's diary. "Who knew this diary would prove so valuable? But how to play it -- go for gold and sell it to the highest bidder, or put it in Sarah's sweet hand and score some major points?" Xander mused with a mischievous smirk. After a moment of thought, Xander headed back downstairs with Rolf's diary -- just as Ted approached the front door.
"What are you doing here? We can't be seen together, remember? What if somebody else had answered the door?" Xander snapped after joining Ted outside. "Relax. I had a cover story ready," Ted assured Xander. "I know you changed the autopsy report to make everyone believe Holly was dead, [and] I heard Rex Brady caught you, [so] I just want to make sure there are no loose ends," Ted explained. "Don't worry. Loose ends are not my style," Xander insisted. "How 'bout that original report -- the one that proved that Holly didn't die? Please, tell me -- did you destroy it?" Ted asked. "It's safely tucked away from prying eyes," Xander replied.
"Now, get the hell out of here," Xander ordered Ted before heading back inside. Ted waited until the coast was clear then checked the front door and discovered that Xander hadn't locked it. Ted sneaked upstairs and located Xander's bedroom, where the briefcase was still in plain sight on a desk -- and still unlocked. Ted, who had devised a scheme earlier to score points with Hope, eyed the original autopsy report with a mischievous smirk.
Xander entered the living room while Sarah was in the process of explaining to Maggie that Rolf's diary was missing -- and that finding it was probably Will's only hope. "Maggie, I'm so sorry. I know -- I know how much you love Will. But I think I have something that will ease your pain," Xander began, ignoring Sarah's protests. "Thank you for your concern, Xander, but there -- there isn't anything anyone can do," Maggie sadly stressed.
"Oh, but there is!" Xander excitedly insisted, producing Rolf's diary. "This could be the key to saving your beloved Will!" Xander explained, delighting Maggie, stunning Sarah, and confusing Brady.
Ted tells Nicole about Holly
At the Kiriakis mansion, Ted Laurent sneaked into Xander's room and found the file with the original autopsy report that proved Holly had not been killed.
"This will be my redemption. Everybody will see me as a kind, decent, honorable man. Especially Hope. All I have to do is call the mother and share the good news," Ted said. Ted called Nicole. When there was no answer, Ted left a pleading voicemail for Nicole to call him back. Ted wondered aloud how to keep his hands clean in his cover story.
At the DiMera mansion, Kristen continued to impersonate Nicole as she paced the living room. Fake Nicole's phone rang with a call, but the caller was unknown. "I don't have time for calls from annoying nobodies," "Nicole" scoffed as she rejected the call. "Nicole: looked at the portrait of her father and said she had learned from him not to get distracted.
"I am finally back where I belong," "Nicole" said. As "Nicole" threw back her head with a chuckle, she noticed Gabi standing in the doorway. "How long have you been standing there?" Kristen asked nervously. Gabi asked why "Nicole" felt like she was back where she belonged. "Nicole" explained that she was working at DiMera Enterprises. Gabi was surprised.
"Stefan decided to revive Basic Black, and he made me CEO," "Nicole" explained. "Nicole's" phone beeped with a message. Confused, Gabi wondered aloud why Stefan would revive Basic Black when he already had Gabi Chic. "We'd be doing the same thing," Gabi said. "Only my company would do it better," "Nicole" stressed.
"Just like Stefano did so many times in his lifetime, Basic Black is rising from the dead. Just like me," "Nicole" said. Worried, Gabi asked if Stefan wanted to push her out of the company. With a shrug, "Nicole" said that Stefan had never mentioned Gabi's name. "Nicole" added that Stefan was in his office with the lawyer. Annoyed, Gabi said she would talk to Stefan. After Gabi walked away, "Nicole" groaned.
"Nicole'"s phone rang again, and this time she answered it. "Hi, Miss Walker, hi, this is Ted Laurent," Ted said. "Nicole" asked Ted to stop harassing her. "Nicole" told Ted that she was too busy talking to Stefan to have time for Ted. Annoyed, "Nicole" ended the call.
Brady and Sarah stood in the Kiriakis living room and stared in disbelief as Xander gave Rolf's diary to Maggie. "This is some kind of trick, right?" Brady asked. "There is no way that's real," Sarah added. "Xander wouldn't lie. Not about this," Maggie said. Xander thanked Maggie. Xander took back the diary and opened it to the page with the formula. Sarah reviewed the notes.
"It actually does look legit. This could be what we need to save Will's life," Sarah said. Brady asked Xander where he had found the diary. Xander reminded everyone that he had worked for Kristen and Rolf in Nashville. Xander said he had had access to the diary at the warehouse.
"Why are we wasting precious time on details? You have to get that to the hospital straightaway. If you'll just indulge me for one moment. Maggie, I know this situation with Will has been killing you. And Sarah, you've been amazing, working non-stop to save your cousin's life. I just pray that now you can finally make that happen," Xander said. Maggie hugged Xander and thanked him. Sarah hesitated then nodded and followed Maggie out of the house. Brady slow clapped Xander's performance.
"I think they bought it. Unfortunately, I don't. So why don't we get real? The truth this time," Brady asked. Xander said he had taken the diary from the warehouse. Brady reminded Xander that the last time anyone had seen the diary had been at the hospital after the warehouse fire. "So, don't tell me that you swiped it from Rolf's fun factory, Xander. How did you really get it?" Brady probed.
Before Xander could respond, his phone buzzed with a call from Kristen. Xander stepped into the foyer to talk to his partner privately. An annoyed "Nicole" asked Xander if he had told Ted that she was Xander's partner. "Relax, Kristen," Xander said soothingly. "Don't call me that! Idiot," "Nicole" said. With an eye roll, Xander noted that he was alone. Xander confirmed he had not told Ted anything about Kristen.
"You better keep it that way, because I'm in like Flynn at DiMera, and I'm going to prove to everyone that I'm the best, and even Brady will have to admit there is no one better," "Nicole" said. Xander asked what would happen when "Nicole" removed her mask to reveal Kristen. "Nicole" grumbled that Xander's only job was to stay out of her way.
"Everything I ever wanted is finally within reach. I'm not going to let you or anyone else screw it up!" "Nicole" said. "Who are you talking to, Nicole?" Gabi asked as she returned to the living room. With a smile, "Nicole" told Gabi that it was none of her business. "Nicole" asked Gabi why she was still in the mansion. With a grumble, Gabi noted that Stefan had refused to see her and that she was waiting until Stefan was available.
"Obviously, he is avoiding you," "Nicole" said. "What for?" Gabi asked. "Nicole" argued that Stefan did not want to tell Gabi that she was on her way out of the company. "Nicole" told Gabi about the job offer to Abe. When "Nicole" made a crack about "Shabby Chic," Gabi asked "Nicole" why she was being a bitch.
"How dare you say that to me. My daughter is dead," "Nicole" said with a look of hurt. "I'm sorry. That was insensitive of me," Gabi said curtly before she turned and left. As Gabi walked out, "Nicole" muttered, "Bye, bitch." Impatient, "Nicole" wondered what was taking Stefan so long to draw up the paperwork. As "Nicole" wandered into the foyer, there was a knock on the front door. It was Ted.
"You seriously did not just come here. Well, I'm busy!" "Nicole" yelled. As "Nicole" started to shut the door, Ted stopped her. Ted insisted that "Nicole" listen to what he had to say. "Your daughter Holly is alive," Ted said with a grin. "Nicole" ushered Ted into the living room and asked him if he was a scammer. Ted explained that he was a lawyer and had found Holly's file in a stack of papers from his office. Ted handed "Nicole" the autopsy report.
"This can't be right. I was told the remains were positively identified as my daughter's," "Nicole" said. Ted pointed out that his file was an official report, and, unlike the one previously given to "Nicole," this report had not been altered. Confused, Ted asked "Nicole" if she had heard what he had said.
"I heard you, but I don't understand. How could this happen?" "Nicole" asked. While "Nicole" turned her back so she could make aggravated faces over the turn of events, Ted explained that Xander had to have changed the file. "Nicole" asked why Xander would want her to think that Holly was dead. Ted suggested that Xander wanted to hurt "Nicole."
"None of that matters anymore. Your precious daughter is alive. And this report can prove it," Ted said. "Nicole" sighed. Suspicious, Ted asked "Nicole" why she did not appear happy with the news. "This has to be fake," "Nicole" stammered. Ted assured "Nicole" that the report was real. With a nod, "Nicole" asked Ted if anyone else knew about the report. Ted promised that he had not told anyone else yet. Ted asked if he could tell Hope the good news.
"I'm sorry. I can't let you do that," "Nicole" said. Confused, Ted asked why. "Nicole" hit Ted and knocked him unconscious.
In the waiting area of the hospital, Hope said hello to Kate. "I'm so sorry for everything that you're going through," Hope said. Kate countered that she was sorry that Will had yelled at Hope for going on a date with Ted. Hope sighed. Kate advised Hope to think before she got involved with "a creep like Ted."
In order to talk privately, Hope and Kate went to the hospital lounge. "Hard to believe that you would end your marriage over a low life like Ted," Kate purred. Hope insisted that Ted was not the reason for her divorce. Kate shrugged. "He's a liar. He's a cheat. And he is a two-faced snake, and you should get out before you regret it," Kate advised. With a nod, Hope announced that she needed to check on Will.
As J.J. sat at Haley's bedside and held her hand, Eve entered with a federal agent. Eve told Haley that she was cleared to check out of the hospital and leave. Haley and J.J. were stunned. Eve nodded at the agent and said, "Officer Stites here is going to take Haley into custody as soon as all the paperwork is done at the hospital. So, within an hour, she will be out of here on her way back to China."
"You really are nasty," J.J. started to say before Haley stopped him. Haley said she did not want to spend her last moments angry, but instead focused on J.J. Eve walked out and passed by the nurses' station. Kayla asked Eve, "How do you live with yourself?" Eve sighed. "Haley Chen is the one who broke the law," Eve countered. Kayla corrected Eve's assumption and said that she was referring to Eve's refusal to turn over Rolf's diary.
"You know everybody thinks I'm a monster, but I'm not. I want Will to live," Eve said. "Then prove it and turn over that diary!" Kayla yelled. Eve reiterated that she did not have the diary. Sarah and Maggie rushed out of the elevator, and Sarah held the diary above her head in triumph.
"We got it! We got Rolf's diary!" Maggie yelled. Confused, Kayla asked Maggie and Sarah where they had found the diary. "From Xander," Maggie explained. While Kayla and Sarah rushed off with the diary to examine the formula, Eve asked Maggie if Xander had told her where he had found the diary. Maggie admitted that Xander had not had time to explain everything.
When Xander returned to the Kiriakis living room, Brady asked about the diary again. "Why are you so fixated on where it came from? All that matters is where it's going. Which is to Will's doctors. Thanks to my selfless act, they might be able to save his life," Xander said. Brady said he did not believe that Xander had handed over the diary out of the goodness of his heart.
"Why would a hustler like you just give [the diary] up for free without asking for something in return?" Brady asked. Brady accused Xander of making a push for his job. Xander argued that there were more important things in life than a job. With a chuckle, Brady asked Xander what was more important.
"Love," Xander said. Brady scoffed. "Do you know the meaning of that word? Define it for me" Brady asked. "It means putting the needs of others before your own. Like Maggie, for instance," Xander said. Brady muttered that he knew about Xander's bonding session with Maggie. Brady chastised Xander for enabling Maggie by drinking with her.
"You really are a judgmental S.O.B., aren't you? Fortunately, Maggie is not," Xander said. Brady said he wished Maggie would reconsider her evaluation of Xander. Brady asked about the diary again. "I saw people suffering, and I did what I could to make it stop," Xander said firmly. Brady asked Xander if he meant Sarah. A guilty look crossed Xander's face.
"I swear to God, I thought I saw you making some puppy dog eyes at her. Good job taking advantage of her while she was heartbroken," Brady said. Through gritted teeth, Xander responded, "What happened between us was mutual, and it wasn't just sex." Brady mockingly asked Xander if he had real feelings for Sarah.
"You're damn right I do," Xander growled. Brady said he did not believe Xander was capable of any human emotion. Xander scowled. "You're a pig! You're a pig who would sell his firstborn for the right price, and you know it," Brady said. Xander countered that it was a funny thing to hear from the man that had blackmailed Nicole and had driven her out of Salem.
In the foyer, Eve entered the house and eavesdropped on the conversation. Brady warned Xander that their conversation was not over. With a huff, Brady stormed out the back door.
"Hey! What the hell were you thinking?" Eve barked at Xander as she walked into the living room. "You were the one that was begging and pleading and sending me a thousand desperate messages!" Xander pointed out. Eve stressed that she did not want Will to die, but she needed to know if Xander had told anyone that she had given Xander the diary. Xander said no. Eve was suspicious.
"Did it ever cross your mind that maybe I was feeling charitable or generous?" Xander asked. "No. Greedy or opportunistic is more your speed," Eve countered. Xander explained that he had felt genuine sympathy for Maggie and Sarah and had wanted to give them relief.
"And where do you get relief in all this?" Eve asked. Xander said he had decided not to disclose the source of the diary because it would make him look bad. Surprised, Eve asked Xander if that meant that the matter was over. Xander told Eve that in return for his silence, Eve owed him a favor in the future.
At the hospital, Kate rounded the corner and groaned when she saw Maggie. Kate warned Maggie not to mention Victor, but Maggie cut her off and noted that she was at the hospital because of Will. "I am far too happy to insult you," Maggie added. Kate scowled. Maggie told Kate that Xander had handed over Rolf's diary.
"I would prefer that you don't talk to Will," Kate said. Maggie asked why Kate did not want her to tell Will the good news. Kate argued that Xander was not trustworthy and she did not want to get Will and Sonny's hopes up. "If you need redemption, then you find it somewhere else," Kate spat out. Unfazed, Maggie said she was going to tell Wil the news.
When Maggie returned, she told Kate that Will had been asleep but that she had told Sonny about the diary. Kayla and Sarah returned to the waiting area and announced that they had been able to synthesize the drug that had caused Will's tumor. Kayla confirmed that the lab was working on finding a treatment to save Will's life.
In the hospital lounge, Hope checked her messages and listened to Ted's voicemail. "I have some very good news about Nicole Walker. I need to talk to her first, then I'll come find you," Ted had said on the voicemail.
After Haley dressed in her hospital room, J.J. asked her if she was sure she did not want to make a run for Canada again. "I'm done running. What I have to do right now is figure out a way to say goodbye," Haley said. Melinda stormed in. Angry, J.J. blamed Melinda for not telling the truth sooner in order to secure citizenship for Haley. Melinda said she had been working on Haley's green card application in an effort to help Haley.
"Now that you can prove that you have a parent who is a US citizen, you might be able to expedite the process," Melinda said. Melinda added that there was hope but that Haley would have to return to China first. "It could still take years," Melinda said. Melinda explained that Haley would need to fight from China. When J.J. argued that Haley would be alone in a foreign land, Melinda announced that she would accompany Haley to China.
Melinda informed Haley that she had secured an apartment in Beijing and set up job interviews for Haley at hospitals. "This is supposed to make up for what you did?" J.J. asked. Haley thanked Melinda but told her she was confused.
"I'm your mother, and I know I haven't been there for all those years, but I am here now. And I promise you, you're never going to be alone," Melinda said. With a nod, Melinda stepped into the hallway so that Haley could say goodbye to J.J. Haley marveled at Melinda's announcement. As Haley breathed a sigh of relief, J.J. suggested that he go to China with Haley.
"Don't you even think about trying to get to China," Haley warned. Haley told J.J. that she was thankful to J.J. for all the times he had saved her life. "You saved me, too," J.J. said. J.J. told Haley that she had helped him get in touch with his emotions again. Haley asked J.J. not to wait for her. Disappointed, J.J. asked why.
"You're so devoted, and you're passionate, and you're so loyal, but we need to be realistic," Haley said. Haley noted that she might not be able to return to the US, and she wanted J.J. to live his life. "Go find someone else," Haley whispered. "I don't want anyone else," J.J. said. Haley noted that their relationship was not meant to be.
"I have to leave. You have to let me go," Haley said. "How am I supposed to let you go?" J.J. asked. Haley said it would be less painful if they made a clean break. Haley asked J.J. to promise to let go. "I love you," Haley said in Chinese. When J.J. asked what she had said, Haley said, "It means thank you." Haley kissed J.J. goodbye.
When Melinda returned with Agent Stites, Haley thanked Melinda in Chinese. "You don't need to thank me," Melinda said. Confused, J.J. noted, "I thought what you told me before meant thank you?" "It does. And I meant it from the bottom of my heart," Haley said. The agent handcuffed Haley and escorted her out with Melinda.