At the Horton Town Square, Rex continued fretting to Brady and Chloe about the distinct differences between Kate's most recent two text messages and all the other ones.
"I can contact Titan's Asian offices [ASAP and see if I can] confirm Xander's story," Brady offered, and Rex gratefully accepted. "So...you...don't think she's in Malaysia?" Chloe asked, confused. "I don't know what to think," Rex admitted with a shrug and a sigh. "[And]...you...did try to call her...right?" Chloe continued.
"Of course I tried...to...call...her..." Rex defensively began. "I did not try to call her," Rex sheepishly admitted before starting to dial Kate's cell phone number.
Xander, who was still busy dealing with Hope at the Kiriakis mansion, fumbled with Kate's cell phone, not knowing exactly how to ignore a call on it. "Go on -- what, exactly, do you think is happening [here]?" Xander asked Hope curiously after managing to send Rex's call to voicemail. "I think Ted was gonna tell Nicole [that] Holly didn't die in that accident -- that [she's] still alive," Hope guessed, stunning Xander, who scoffed and innocently wondered what had prompted such a crazy, random theory. "[I know that] Rex found you in the hospital lab with Holly's autopsy report in your hand," Hope explained.
"You made a copy [and] altered it, and then you had it sent to Ted -- [perhaps because you were planning] to demand ransom for Holly's return, [or maybe just because you] wanted to punish Nicole [for divorcing you by giving] her false hope that her daughter was still alive," Hope guessed. "False hope..." Xander repeated, relieved. "[Yeah -- because] you knew it wasn't true," Hope elaborated.
"Oh, Hope... If you only knew how very wrong you are..." Xander stressed with a mocking chuckle. "Is it really so hard to believe that [Ted] dumped you by text and skipped town?" Xander continued. "I never made any mention of Ted dumping me by text, so how'd you get that idea?" Hope suspiciously countered. "[Ted] told me when he sold me the necklace at the pawn shop," Xander claimed without missing a beat. "Oh? Well, then, maybe he also told you that he was [planning on] meeting up with me after he spoke with Nicole?" Hope asked. "He didn't tell you that," Hope triumphantly concluded when Xander didn't respond right away.
"And then, suddenly, out of nowhere, he dumps me? Via text? [No], it was you, Xander -- you sent that text from Ted's phone to cover your tracks [because] you're the one who made Ted disappear," Hope continued -- and as Xander laughed off the accusation, Kate's cell phone started ringing again. Xander again sent Rex's call to voicemail, prompting Hope to curiously wonder why Xander was ignoring what seemed like an easy way out of an uncomfortable conversation. Xander dodged the question and pocketed Kate's cell phone. Hope, who was watching Xander's every move, noticed that another pocket contained a cell phone, too.
Hope guessed that one of those cell phones belonged to Ted, since that would explain why Xander had seemed unsure of how to ignore the first of the two phone calls, but Xander innocently claimed that one cell phone was for personal use, and the other was for business use -- and was still quite new and confusing. Hope didn't buy that claim at first but was forced to admit, when challenged, that neither cell phone looked like Ted's.
"You're not a cop anymore, and I don't have to listen to your ridiculous conspiracy theories, [so] we're done here," Xander insisted. "Whatever you've done with Ted, I'll find him -- I will," Hope vowed.
At the hospital, Marlena entered the chapel and greeted Eric and Sarah, who both jumped in shock, having been seconds away from possibly kissing.
"How is Claire?" Eric asked awkwardly. "Sedated at the moment. Belle and Shawn are with her," Marlena reported. "[I'm] gonna go check on Claire's test results. I ordered a CT scan to rule out anything physiological," Sarah announced, clearly uncomfortable. "I hope Claire realizes how lucky she is to have so much support -- not to mention the best therapist as a grandmother," Eric mused after Sarah rushed off. "I wouldn't say I'm 'the best' -- [after all, 'the best'] would have seen all the signs, [because] there were certainly plenty of them," Marlena regretfully admitted. "We were all [preoccupied with] Will's illness. You can't blame yourself," Eric countered.
"What was going on with you and Sarah when I walked in?" Marlena asked curiously, eager to change the subject. "Let's say...you just came in at the right time," Eric vaguely replied, squirming.
"I've said this before, [but] this is not over -- it's not over for you [or] for Sarah. You [both] need some closure," Marlena advised. "Her marrying my brother isn't closure enough?" Eric countered. "That will more than likely just open up the wounds," Marlena predicted. "You should have told everybody the truth from the beginning --" Marlena started to add. "Well, I didn't, [and] now they're married, so can we just move on?" Eric tiredly suggested. "It doesn't work like that...[especially since] you don't have a very good poker face. [Rex has] been trying not to notice so far, but when he does -- and he will -- it's gonna be painful for everyone," Marlena warned.
Meanwhile, Rex ran into Sarah and seized the opportunity to make a confession. "About?" Sarah asked nervously. "Chloe Lane," Rex elaborated. "Oh, my God -- please tell me you did not sleep with her!" Sarah quietly snapped. "Of course I did not sleep with Chloe Lane!" Rex insisted before regretfully acknowledging that Sarah had two good reasons for having immediately jumped to that conclusion.
"I gave [Chloe] the necklace from Xander," Rex clarified. "My necklace!" Sarah incredulously stressed. "It was a wedding gift, so...technically, it was both of ours," Rex reasoned with a shrug before sheepishly admitting that was a bit of a stretch. Rex started to apologize, but Sarah conceded, after a moment of thought, that there was no good reason to keep any gifts from Xander, of all people.
Relieved to have that settled, Rex quickly changed the subject, telling Sarah about Kate's mysterious -- and possibly false -- business trip. Sarah was quick to suggest that Kate's cell phone might not work as reliably in Malaysia as it did in the United States, and Rex conceded the point but remained concerned enough to want to get the police involved -- an idea that Sarah encouraged, reasoning that it was better to be safe than sorry.
Rex soon changed the subject again, concerned about Sarah's earlier suspicion. "I really thought that I had put our trust issues behind me," Sarah admitted. "We have a lot of work to do [still, but] we're gonna get there," Rex promised, and Sarah spontaneously suggested that a honeymoon might be the best way to start. "I need that, Rex. I just want to be with you -- and only you," Sarah stressed -- just as Eric and Marlena approached.
Before parting ways with Chloe in the town square, Brady admitted to being pleased that Stefan was no longer in the picture. "[Not because I want] you for myself or anything; [I just] never thought Stefan was good for you, [and] I never will," Brady stressed. "I used to think that he was, [but then] I found him in bed with Gabi Hernandez -- the day of Holly's funeral," Chloe revealed, stunning Brady.
"I know they say that there's that fine line between love and hate, but...come on -- the guy framed her for Andre's murder, [and] she went to prison for it [and] was beaten within an inch of her life [while there]! How do you go from that [to having] sex with the guy? It just -- it doesn't make any sense," Chloe mused. "Unless you know the whole story..." Brady began before helpfully filling in the blanks.
"Now that you know...what are you gonna do? Are you gonna blow Gabi out of the water?" Brady asked afterward. "After everything that Stefan's done...I think he deserves to be destroyed," Chloe replied, shrugging.
At the DiMera mansion, Gabi seductively offered Stefan a fun way to pass the time while waiting for Nicole to return from the secret tunnels.
Meanwhile, Kristen, still posing as Nicole, stood frozen in place, shocked to have just found Ted and Kate in one of the rooms in the secret tunnels. Ted and Kate glanced at each other then simultaneously lunged toward "Nicole" in an effort to escape from the room, but Kristen recovered and slammed the door shut just in time to thwart the escape attempt. "That little weasel..." Kristen quietly grumbled from the other side of the door, referring to Xander. Meanwhile, Ted and Kate desperately tried to appeal to "Nicole's" conscience. "Kristen DiMera -- she's behind this, isn't she?" Kate asked "Nicole," giving Kristen another shock.
"Nicole" incredulously reminded Ted and Kate that Kristen was dead. "Everyone [else who was] in that warehouse fire has turned up alive," Ted pointed out. "Including you...and have you forgotten that Kristen's father is the Phoenix himself?" Kate noted. "Holly is not dead, either," Ted stressed. "But you desperately wanted everyone to believe that -- [because] Kristen faked Holly's death and is holding her somewhere [as a way of] forcing you to do her bidding," Kate reasoned. "And you're terrified [that] the truth will come out, and then Kristen will really hurt Holly," Ted guessed.
"Nicole" skeptically dismissed the theory as a creative but ridiculous one, but Kate disagreed, pointing out that Maggie had seen Kristen in Nicole's hotel room on the day of Holly's funeral -- and that it had to have been Kristen because, after all, Nicole wouldn't have been wearing a red dress on that day. "I'm also pretty damn sure that [when I was eavesdropping outside your room], that voice I heard behind the door was Kristen DiMera's, [not yours]," Kate told "Nicole," drawing a sigh of frustration from Kristen. "I know that you're feeling desperate right now," Kate continued. "We can help you," Ted stressed.
"Nicole" scoffed and skeptically demanded to know how Ted and Kate could possibly help. "For starters, I know exactly how to deal with Kristen," Kate assured "Nicole," causing Kristen to get a bit defensive. "She may be a DiMera, but I've been married to two of them," Kate pointed out when "Nicole" challenged the claim. "Nicole" dismissively noted that if Kate's theory was correct, then Kristen had already gotten the upper hand once. "She has a point," Ted whispered to Kate, who was clearly annoyed. "Nicole" tiredly said goodbye to Ted and Kate then rushed off, ignoring their desperate pleas for reconsideration.
Meanwhile, Stefan struggled to resist Gabi's advances, insisting that discretion was extremely important. "Nicole's already threatened enough by you, [and] it wouldn't be helpful if she knew that we were...involved," Stefan reasoned. "Who cares if she knows?" Gabi dismissively argued. "I don't need her running to Abe Carver or HR, trying to get me tossed out of my own company," Stefan maintained.
"If Nicole knew that we were --" Stefan began to add -- just as "Nicole" emerged from the secret tunnels. "What took so long? And where's the Champagne?" Stefan asked impatiently, ignoring "Nicole's" curious attempts to probe for details about the conversation that had just ended so abruptly. "Nicole" hesitantly claimed that the servants had apparently raided the stash of Champagne in the secret tunnels, but Stefan found that hard to believe, knowing that there had been quite a few cases of Champagne in the secret tunnels just a few days earlier. "She's probably just trying to get out of doing the heavy lifting," Gabi told Stefan.
"Forget it -- I'm just gonna go down there and get it myself," Gabi decided before starting to head into the secret tunnels. "Nicole" quickly stopped Gabi, reluctantly claiming to have decided, while wandering the tunnels, that it would be better to go with the idea of a margarita party, after all. "Nicole" grudgingly apologized for having been so combative earlier, admitting that stubbornness was a long-standing personal character flaw that clearly still needed to be worked on further. "I accept your apology...and I'm sure Stefan does, too," Gabi declared, prompting "Nicole" to curiously wonder why Gabi felt comfortable speaking for Stefan.
"Nicole" rushed off without bothering to wait for an answer, claiming to still be a bit sick -- and probably contagious. "Does she have, like, multiple personalities or something?" Gabi asked Stefan once the coast was clear. "Sorry -- terrible choice of words," Gabi acknowledged after receiving a look of irritation from Stefan -- who, despite taking issue with the wording, suspiciously agreed that Nicole might be up to something.
Outside, Kristen tried to contact Xander, but the call went to voicemail. "How dare you ignore me, Xander! There's gonna be hell to pay!" Kristen snapped after ending the call.
Meanwhile, Ted and Kate paced around the room in the secret tunnels, each armed with a broken piece of a Champagne bottle that could be used as a makeshift weapon the next time either Nicole or Xander visited.
Kristen, still posing as Nicole, waited in the secret tunnels and soon caught Xander approaching Ted and Kate's room. "It seems you have some explaining to do," Kristen told Xander, who gulped in shock.
The judge decides Claire's fate
In the loft, a towel-clad Tripp heard noises in Claire's room. Tripp grabbed a bat and threw open the door to Claire's room. Haley screamed. "Haley? What are you doing here?" Tripp exclaimed. After Tripp changed into clothes, Haley told Tripp that she had climbed up the fire escape into Claire's bedroom because no one had answered the front door. With a chuckle, Tripp asked Haley why she was in Salem.
"It turns out my mother had an in with a senator who pulled some strings at the last minute," Haley said. Haley said she still needed to wait to hear about her green card. Tripp asked about J.J. With a grin, Haley said she and J.J. had reconnected. Haley confirmed she was there to pick up her remaining things.
"How are you doing? I heard about what happened with Claire, and I'm just so sorry you got hurt," Haley said. "I'm fine. Claire is the one who isn't," Tripp countered. Tripp admitted that he still could not believe that Claire had been the arsonist. Haley said she felt guilty for helping to push Claire over the edge. Tripp shook his head no. Tripp said he had not realized how fragile Claire had been.
"The good news is that since our marriage has been outed as a fraud, it's been officially annulled," Haley told Tripp. Tripp joked that he had gotten really good wedding cake out of the marriage. With a smile, Haley said, "You're the best fake husband I ever could have asked for."
After Haley packed, Tripp told her that there was room at the loft if she ever needed a place to stay. "That would be a little weird, but thanks for the offer," Haley said. Tripp laughed. When Tripp asked Haley what was next, Haley explained that she was headed to the hospital to ask Kayla for a job. Tripp complimented Haley and told her she was his favorite nurse.
In the living room of the Kiriakis mansion, Victor hid his tumbler of bourbon under the coffee table when he heard someone in the foyer. John walked in. "It's just you," Victor grumped as he pulled his drink out of hiding. Victor explained that he had thought John was Maggie. John informed Victor about the situation with Claire. Victor asked John to fetch his bottle of bourbon from behind the couch.
"Interesting place you keep your liquor," John commented as he fished the bottle out from under the couch. Victor explained that he had hidden the liquor to keep temptation out of Maggie's sight. "I'm sorry to hear that she is struggling," John said. Victor asked John about Ciara, and John confirmed that Ciara was fine and that a judge would determine Claire's fate. Victor asked if Claire could be sent to Bayview as an outpatient.
"What Claire did was too serious," John responded. With a scowl, Victor noted that Ciara was family and would not press charges. John corrected Victor and explained that the situation had not only affected Ciara. Victor stated that he could fuel up the jet and whisk Claire away. John shook his head no and told Victor that Claire was too ill to go on the run. Victor said he did not want to risk Claire's freedom.
"Why do you think it's up to you, Vic?" John asked. John noted that Belle, Shawn, and Marlena were supporting Claire and that Claire needed to face the consequences of her actions. "She always was a little troublemaker. I admired that about her," Victor said with a smile. Victor shook his head and said he could not believe Claire had committed arson. When Victor wondered how no one could have seen how ill Claire had become, John told Victor that Eve had known.
"I always knew that lowlife was a piece of trash but this is a new low," Victor grumbled about Eve. Victor vowed that Eve would not get away with what she had done. With a chuckle, John asked Victor to leave the investigation up to the police. "I'm an impatient man, and the clock is ticking," Victor warned John.
Eli met up with Hope in the park to discuss an off-the-books investigation. "Not a problem, especially since I don't think the boss lady is going to be around too much longer," Eli said. Eli told Hope about Eve's voicemail on Claire's phone and the text warning.
"She knew Claire was unstable. She did nothing. How could she not see the danger both girls were in?" Hope said. Eli noted that Eve had intervened because of Ben. "That bitch!" Hope blurted out in frustration. Eli explained that Eve had denied the accusations, and she had refused to drop the charges against Ben. Hope countered that Claire's confession would force Eve to drop the charges. Hope suggested to Eli that he move Claire's phone to a safe location, inaccessible to Eve.
At the hospital, Marlena talked to Ciara and Ben about Eve. Marlena said that Eve had denied that she had had any knowledge of Claire's arson spree. "That bitch. She obviously knew and was helping Claire cover it up. The voicemail is proof," Ciara complained. Ben added that Eve was in a position of power and would be tough to break.
"Hopefully, Eve will be fired, and Ben, the charges against you will be dropped. Then, if there is any justice in the world, Eve will spend a lot of time in jail," Marlena said. "What about Claire? What's going to happen to her?" Ciara asked. Marlena explained that a psychiatrist had submitted a report to the court, and they would have to wait to hear from the judge.
"Prison or a psych hospital? I'm sorry but I can't imagine Claire in either of those places," Ciara said. Ben noted that Bayview was a good facility and that the doctors had helped him. Ciara asked Marlena if she could visit Claire and make sure she was okay.
In Claire's hospital room, Belle told Claire and Shawn that she had submitted paperwork with the court and that she was hopeful the judge would send Claire to Bayview for treatment. "And if he doesn't?" Claire asked. Hesitant to answer, Belle haltingly said that Claire would have to stand trial for attempted murder. Claire said she wanted to get better, but she was frustrated by the wait to learn her fate. Belle suggested that they stream a movie to pass the time, but Claire asked if she could be alone and rest.
"Claire," Eve whispered. "What are you doing here?" A surprised Claire asked as Eve crept into the room. Eve explained that she wanted to see how Claire was doing, and she wanted to beg Claire's forgiveness. "Forgive you for what? I'm the crazy one. I did all the horrible things," Claire said. Claire added that Eve had attempted to help her. Eve disagreed.
"I'm so sorry about so many things. I heard what happened at the cabin," Eve whispered. "What kind of monster am I? Really? I tried to kill Ciara. Again," Claire said. Eve sat on Claire's bed and noted, "You tried to take your own life." Ciara countered that Marlena had talked her out of suicide, but she was not sure she should have listened.
"I tried to kill people I love, Eve. I put my family through hell, and it is not even over," Claire said. When Claire argued that she should have killed herself, Eve firmly said, "Don't you say that! Don't you ever say that!" Eve told Claire that suicide was not a solution. When Claire said that Eve did not understand, Eve told Claire that she had attempted suicide when she had been a young girl.
"I made it through, and so will you, because you are so much stronger than I was back then," Eve said. Eve reminded Claire that there were a lot of people that loved her. With a deep sigh, Eve lamented that she had not gotten Claire help. Claire countered that Eve had wanted to protect her.
"That's what I told myself, but the truth -- the truth? I was just so hell-bent on framing Ben for what he did to my daughter that nothing mattered, including making sure that you were all right," Eve said. Eve apologized. Eve told Claire that Marlena and John had found Claire's phone. As Eve started to tell Claire that she had attempted to deny her part in the cover-up, Marlena and Ciara walked into the room.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Marlena demanded. Eve said she was checking on Claire. "Now you care about her?" Ciara asked with contempt. Marlena warned Eve to leave. Claire said it was okay for Eve to stay, but Ciara argued that Eve had failed to intervene because she had not cared about Claire. Eve grew defensive. Ciara lit into Eve, but Marlena interrupted and said, "Not the time or the place."
"Eve will get everything that is coming to her. You're going to lose your job, your freedom, everything that you love," Ciara growled at Eve. "I know that you don't believe this, but I care deeply about Claire, and I feel terrible about what happened to her," Eve said. Marlena told Eve that she only felt terrible because she had been caught.
"You have it all wrong! Eve had no idea that I set the fires. She's completely innocent," Claire said. "You don't have to cover for her," Ciara said. Claire stressed that she was telling the truth. With narrowed eyes, Marlena escorted Eve out of the room. Alone with Ciara, Claire asked why Ciara was there. Ciara said she wanted to see how Claire was doing. Confused, Claire said, "I tried to kill you. You should hate me." Ciara said she did not hate Claire.
"You should, because I hate myself," Claire countered. Claire apologized for her actions. With tears in her eyes, Ciara smiled as she looked at a vase of tulips on the counter. Ciara reminded Claire of the time their families had met up in Amsterdam one summer. "You were always my favorite person to visit, you know that? Always so glamorous and interesting," Ciara said. Claire chuckled in disbelief.
"You traveled the world. You saw all these amazing places. You did all this cool stuff. I was totally envious of you, Claire," Ciara said. Claire countered that she had been envious of Ciara because she had grown up in one town. "You had a real home. Always surrounded by a bunch of families, friends," Claire said. Crying, Ciara told Claire that she had been her best friend.
"I don't know if we can ever go back to the way we used to be, but I would really like to," Ciara said as tears fell from her eyes. "So would I," Claire agreed with a sniffle. Belle and Shawn returned to the room and announced that the judge had reached a decision.
In the hallway, Ben stared daggers at Eve as Marlena accused her of manipulating Claire. Eve protested her innocence. Marlena told Ben that Eve had convinced Claire to say that Eve had not known about Claire's arson spree. "Because it's the truth!" Eve exclaimed. Ben said the voicemail proved that Eve had known. Eve argued that there was no proof.
"There's no way in hell that you are going to get away with this," Ben said. Eve asked Ben if he was threatening the police commissioner. "No, of course not. We'd like you to know, though, that we have turned Claire's phone over to Eli, and it is now evidence," Marlena said. Marlena argued that the voicemail would implicate Eve. "We'll see about that, won't we?" Eve said as she walked away.
"I don't know how that woman lives with herself," Marlena said through gritted teeth. Marlena worried aloud that Eve was using Claire's vulnerability. Ben suggested that they focus on helping Claire and let the police worry about Eve. Hope arrived with John as Ciara exited Claire's room.
"Shawn and Belle just heard from the judge. Claire is going to Bayview, and she won't even have to stand trial," Ciara said. Marlena offered to make the arrangements for transfer. Hope took Marlena aside and confided that she felt like she had failed Claire. "Can she come back from this?" Hope asked. Marlena nodded yes.
In Claire's room, Belle told Claire that Bayview was the best result they could have expected. Claire asked how long she would have to live at Bayview. "That's up to your doctors to decide," Shawn said. Shawn added that Bayview was close enough that her family and friends could visit, including him and Belle. Claire's eyes went wide. Belle confirmed that she and Shawn planned to stay in Salem. Claire apologized for ruining her parents' lives.
"All that matters is that you get well. That's all that matters," Belle said. "I let you guys down so badly. I'm sorry," Claire said. Belle told Claire that she and Shawn had let her down. "You were suffering, and we didn't know. I should have been there for you," Belle said. "You needed your parents, and now you have us. We're gonna focus on the future. We are going to make sure that you get better," Shawn said. Shawn promised that he and Belle would be there to support Claire.
Belle exited Claire's hospital room and asked Marlena for help with the forms for Claire's transfer to Bayview. With a warm smile, Marlena escorted Belle over to the nurses' station. Shawn pushed Claire's wheelchair into the hallway, and John warmly greeted his granddaughter while Ben and Ciara looked on. Hope told Claire that her family loved her and that everything would be fine. Ciara said, "I guess this is goodbye. For now." Ciara offered to visit Claire at Bayview.
"I would really like that. Eventually," Claire said. Claire apologized to Ben for letting him take the blame for her fires. "You're one of the good guys. And I get that now. And I hope that everyone else will see it, too," Claire said. Ben told Claire, "Given my past, people are always going to have their doubts." Claire noted that she and Ben would have to deal with the same issue when she left Bayview. Ben told Claire to focus on the work and listen to her doctors.
While Belle and Marlena worked on the papers, Claire asked Shawn if she would be able to listen to music at Bayview and maintain her fan following. Shawn told Claire to focus on getting better instead of her fans. Across the room, Tripp and Haley exited the elevator. Defensive, Shawn cautioned Tripp and Haley that it was an inappropriate time to confront Claire. Tripp swore he had not known that Claire would be at the hospital. Claire told Shawn that she wanted to say goodbye.
"Where are you going?" Tripp asked. "Bayview. I am so sorry for everything that I did. I know that is not nearly enough to make up for it, but I'm just so glad that you guys are okay," Claire said. Tripp and Haley said they wanted to apologize, as well. "We never meant to hurt you, Claire. I'm so sorry that we did," Haley said. Tripp kneeled beside Claire's wheelchair and looked her in the eyes.
"You kept me from running out of town and away from my problems. You showed me how to be strong when all I wanted to do was just give up. I will never forget that. I will always, always be sorry that I ever hurt you so deeply," Tripp said. With a sigh, Claire told Tripp, "You're so you even after everything I did. You're just so kind and sweet, and I am so sorry. And I really, really hope that you find true happiness one day because you surely do deserve it." Tripp said he felt the same about Claire.
At the police station, an angry Eli confronted Eve about Claire's phone, which had gone missing from the evidence locker. "Oh, dear. I hope it hasn't been misplaced," Eve said with mock sincerity. Eli grumbled that someone had to have misplaced the phone on purpose because he had personally entered the item into evidence.
"The only person that had something to gain was you," Eli said. Eve warned Eli to show her respect. "You not only covered up a crime, you tried to pin it on an innocent man," Eli said. Eve told Eli not to throw around baseless accusations if he wanted to keep his job.
In the park, Tripp spotted Ben. "I heard you saved Ciara's life again," Tripp said. Ben said that Hope had talked Claire down. "If it weren't for you, we might have lost them both," Tripp said. As Ben turned to leave, Tripp said, "Now that I know you didn't set the fires, maybe you're not as bad as I thought you were."
At the hospital, Claire asked Marlena to accompany her, Belle, and Shawn to Bayview. With a smile, Marlena said she would be happy to help Claire settle in at Bayview. John and Hope promised Claire that they would visit her. With a relieved smile, Claire left with her parents and Marlena.
Hope and Eli grow suspicious of Eve
Eli joined Hope at the Brady Pub and apologetically reported that Eve had gotten to Claire's cell phone first.
Meanwhile, Jack caught Eve in one of the conference rooms at the police station, preparing to smash Claire's cell phone with a rather large chunk of decorative marble.
Eve set aside the decoration with a sigh, leaving Claire's cell phone intact. "You're in the clear [now], right?" Jack asked after Eve explained everything. "God, I hope so," Eve replied before admitting with a groan that dealing with an incriminating cell phone was proving to be a lot easier than dealing with a guilty conscience. "I should have put Claire first, [but] I had no idea that she was gonna go this far," Eve stressed. "I believe you," Jack assured Eve, who was relieved to hear that. "But you know what you have to do now, right?" Jack continued. "Resign?" Eve guessed. "Drop the charges against Weston," Jack clarified.
Eve was quite reluctant to let Ben off the hook but eventually realized that Jack was right, since Claire had confessed everything to a prosecutor and a judge in exchange for leniency.
At the DiMera guesthouse, Ben tried to ease Ciara's concern about Claire, stressing that Bayview was a good place. Ciara still felt responsible for what had happened to Claire, but Ben maintained that no one could have ever predicted that what had started as a fairly common and petty feud between two family members would eventually spiral so far out of control. Ciara accepted a comforting hug from Ben but feared that it wouldn't be appropriate to let things escalate further at that time, given the circumstances. Ben convinced Ciara that it wasn't wrong to move on and experience joy again, because life was fleeting.
Later, while lying in bed with Ciara, Ben received a text message from Justin. "[They] just dropped [the] charges against me -- [and] Eve and Jack are holding a press conference right now," Ben excitedly informed Ciara. "Do you think they're gonna give me an apology?" Ben asked with a laugh of disbelief. "No way...[but] I'm still excited to see this bitch have to say that she screwed up," Ciara replied.
Ben and Ciara quickly found a live stream of the press conference, which was already in progress. "[The Salem] Police Department has uncovered the name of the serial arsonist that's terrorized our community over the past year," Eve revealed, and Jack helpfully prompted the gathered crowd to applaud the development. "Due to a series of missteps, the previous commissioner was unable to accomplish this. [You see], the guilty party is a troubled relative of ex-Commissioner Brady's," Eve continued. "You're the one who knew about Claire and didn't do a damn thing, you crazy bitch!" Ciara snapped at the screen.
"This could have been dealt with sooner, but an overzealous police detective [identified] the wrong perpetrator. He will be dealt with accordingly," Eve stressed. "Now she's going after Eli?" Ciara incredulously summarized. "It is getting pretty crowded underneath that bus..." Ben mused with a shake of the head as the press conference ended.
A short time later, Ben received a phone call from an unfamiliar number. "Watching the news?" Eve asked when Ben answered the call. "You may think that you have skated, but what you've done is gonna follow you for the rest of your life, and if it's the last thing that I ever do, I'm gonna make you pay for murdering my daughter," Eve vowed.
Meanwhile, Ted and Kate continued pacing around a room in the secret tunnels, each still armed with a broken piece of a champagne bottle that could be used as a makeshift weapon the next time either Nicole or Xander visited. Ted and Kate soon began bickering with each other again, both quite cranky due to a lack of food and water. "[You know], the only reason why you're not [already] dead is because Xander and I are such good --" Ted blurted out during the argument, wanting some gratitude from Kate for a change. "'Such good'...what?" Kate asked curiously, prompting Ted to reluctantly elaborate.
"You are the reason that we're here! This is all your fault!" Kate incredulously snapped at the end of Ted's confession. "Maybe I should just use [this] on you," she mused while threateningly waving her makeshift weapon at him. "If I don't get out of here alive, I would at least like to have the satisfaction of knowing that I got even with the bastard who got me in this mess," she explained, drawing a gulp from him.
Hope, who was still with Eli at the pub, revealed that Ted was missing -- and that Xander might somehow be involved. "What?" Hope asked curiously when Eli reacted to the news with a groan of realization. "I got a call from a 9-1-1 operator [recently, and] she said she got an anonymous tip from a woman who was staying at the Salem Inn. [Apparently], the woman said that she overheard Xander say that he had just killed Ted Laurent. [As] I was on my way [over there to check it out], Eve came in, stopped me, and told me that she'd handle it herself. [And] I didn't hear anything else about it, so I just assumed it was a prank [or] a false alarm," Eli explained.
Hope and Eli agreed that Eve probably hadn't looked into the tip at all. "Why would [Eve] cover up for Xander?" Eli wondered. "Well, Xander and Eve came back to Salem [together] -- with Jack -- [and] John is convinced that Eve was the one who stole Rolf's diary from the hospital, [even though] Xander was the one who turned it over to Maggie --" Hope began to theorize. "Which he wouldn't have done unless he was getting something in return," Eli acknowledged. "Exactly -- so, if he knew that Eve stole that diary, and he made it look like she didn't, then --" Hope continued. "He's got the police commissioner right where he wants her," Eli realized.
Eli quickly contacted a friend at the 9-1-1 call center, who found and sent over the recording of the anonymous tip -- which made it obvious to Hope that Kate was the tipster.
"I'm gonna go back to the squad room and see if Eve made any attempt to follow up [on] Kate's call...and then I'm gonna go have a little chat with Xander," Eli announced. "Watch your back [and] work quietly, [because] if Eve is covering up a crime, it'll be dangerous for anyone she thinks is getting close to the truth," Hope warned. "I'm not scared of Eve," Eli insisted before rushing off. "Maybe you should be..." Hope mused.
Gabi entered Doug's Place and awkwardly approached Chloe, who didn't exactly offer the warmest of greetings. "[Look, I'm only] here because I'm your client," Gabi explained, confusing Chloe, who had no idea that Stefan was planning to host a party at the club that night. Gabi realized with a groan that Nicole, who had been in charge of booking the event, had apparently dropped the ball yet again.
Gabi started to complain about Nicole's flakiness, but Chloe was quick to point out that unnecessarily saddling a still-grieving mother with time-sensitive responsibilities probably hadn't been the wisest idea. "[Stefan and I] just thought that this would take [Nicole's] mind off Holly --" Gabi began to explain. "[No, you and Stefan just knew that] Julie and I would say no to you guys," Chloe guessed.
"When I was at Holly's funeral, you were having sex with a guy that I thought I cared about, [so] I don't want your business," Chloe declared with finality. "That was wrong, [and] I'm sorry," Gabi tried to stress, but Chloe doubted that the apology was sincere. "Brady told me everything," Chloe revealed, stunning Gabi. "And...what, you're planning on telling Stefan?" Gabi worriedly guessed. "Nope. I can't stand you, but I hate him, so...go for it -- take him down," Chloe encouraged Gabi. "I'll even help you, if you want me to," Chloe offered -- just as Stefan entered the club.
"I was just telling Gabi that I think the two of you deserve each other," Chloe innocently informed Stefan, who apparently hadn't heard enough of the earlier conversation to dispute the claim. "[But] I'll let you have your party here...for triple the going rate," Chloe offered, and Stefan grudgingly accepted, fearing that it would be impossible to find another suitable venue on such short notice.
At the Salem Inn, Kristen lashed out at Xander for having lied about killing Ted and Kate. "You double-crossed me! Give me one good reason why I shouldn't slit your throat!" Kristen snapped while picking up a letter opener and pressing it against Xander's neck. "You're not gonna really kill me; [after all], you didn't have the stomach to kill Ted and Kate, and you hate their bloody guts," Xander reasoned while struggling with Kristen for control of the makeshift weapon. "Back in the day, if you wanted those two dead, you would have found a way to do it yourself," Xander pointed out. "Don't be so sure I've changed!" Kristen warned.
"Look, I'll do a lot of things for you, but I draw the line at executing two people just because they got in your way," Xander insisted. "Okay, fine -- don't kill them," Kristen sarcastically agreed before shoving Xander away and dropping the letter opener. "Just leave them in the [secret tunnels] to starve, and then you can tell your shiny new conscience that you didn't lay a finger on them. You know, I heard dying of starvation is easy -- you just pass out and slip away... [But] if those two do escape, then they're gonna point the finger at [you, ending] your promising new life here in Salem," Kristen tauntingly warned, making Xander squirm.
Later, Kristen, posing as Nicole, joined Stefan and Gabi at Doug's Place. "You're fired," Stefan unceremoniously informed "Nicole," stunning Kristen.
Meanwhile, Xander ran into Chloe outside the pub. "Where did you get that?" Xander asked incredulously, eyeing the extravagant diamond necklace that Chloe was wearing. "Rex Brady gave it to me," Chloe replied before walking away. "Does Sarah know he did that? She couldn't..." Xander mused -- just as a cell phone rang. "Oh, bloody hell -- it's bad enough you're on Ted's trail, but now you're calling Kate, [too]?" Xander grumbled while sending Hope's call to voicemail. "Kate's voicemail is full..." Hope curiously noted.
Later, Hope ran into Jack in the town square. "I just saw Eve's press conference. Is there nothing she won't stoop to? I mean, Jack, is there no limit to your corruption?" Hope asked incredulously. "Don't be so melodramatic," Jack dismissively replied. "The people of this town are scared of getting in your way!" Hope stressed. "Really? Why? Nothing to be afraid of!" Jack insisted. "God, I wish that were true..." Hope countered.
Xander returned to the Kiriakis mansion and soon received a visit from Eli. "I'm taking you in for questioning, [because] you're under suspicion of murdering Ted Laurent," Eli announced, stunning Xander.
Kristen decides to stop posing as Nicole
At the Horton Town Square, Hope, who had just parted ways with Jack, received a text message from Eli, who was preparing to question Xander about Ted's supposed murder. "I'll stall Eve!" Hope wrote back.
Eve was still in the midst of a tense phone conversation with Ben when Hope approached seconds later. "Mind your own business," Eve snapped at Hope after ending the call, realizing that at least one of the threats made to Ben had been overheard. "This is my business," Hope insisted as Eve started walking away. "You went after Ben, [even though you knew that] he was innocent -- and [that] Claire was in desperate need of help. My daughter was almost killed because of you," Hope summarized, managing to stay calm. "I had nothing to do with [that]," Eve claimed while looking around the town square.
"He left," Hope revealed, guessing that Eve was searching for Jack. "With any luck, he came to his senses and went to hire a new police commissioner. Or file for divorce. Or maybe both," Hope mused, annoying Eve. "I wouldn't be commenting on anybody's marriage if I were you; I mean, how many divorces have you had --" Eve defensively began to counter, but Hope interrupted, refusing to allow the deflection. "We're talking about how many people could have died because of you [and] your decision [to] keep quiet about how much Claire was suffering," Hope stressed. "I didn't know," Eve maintained.
"Claire herself even admitted that I was innocent," Eve reminded Hope, who nodded skeptically, knowing that Claire had simply been covering for Eve. "You have absolutely no proof [of that]," Eve pointed out. "You've left several incriminating messages on Claire's cell phone -- which just happened to disappear from the evidence room at the station," Hope countered, prompting Eve to curiously wonder how Hope had found out about that. "You're in the public eye [now], Eve. We're watching you," Hope vaguely explained. "Is that a threat?" Eve asked incredulously. "Just a heads-up," Hope clarified.
"You're using your position to cover up crimes and frame innocent people, [and you will] be held accountable," Hope insisted. "Keep on talking, Hope, [and] I'll sue you for defamation so fast, your head will spin...and if you even think about interfering with one of my investigations -- maybe by using one of your buddies at the police department to keep tabs on me -- [then] I'll bring you up on charges," Eve countered.
Meanwhile, at the police station, Eli played the recording of Kate's 9-1-1 call about Ted's murder, and Xander reacted with feigned shock and indignation. "You can't trust a word she says, [because] she hates me [and] wants me gone [from Titan]. She resents the fact that I outrank her," Xander claimed. "So, she...set you up for murder? Sounds a bit extreme," Eli argued. "It's a very nasty battle," Xander explained with a shrug.
"My [most recent] move? I [sent her] halfway around the world on an extended business trip, just to get her out of my hair...at least for now. You should have seen her face when I gave her the news -- I thought she was gonna spontaneously combust!" Xander bragged. "Couldn't she just refuse to go?" Eli asked. "And look petulant in front of all the bigwigs? Not a chance!" Xander insisted.
"We'll see if Kate corroborates your story once I get ahold of her..." Eli skeptically began while reaching for a desk phone. "Good luck -- I've been trying to get ahold of her for days, but she's in nonstop meetings, and her voicemail is full," Xander claimed. "Pretty convenient for you," Eli suspiciously noted. "She's a busy woman -- and I'm a busy man, so..." Xander countered with a shrug before starting to leave. "You're not going anywhere, [because I still] have probable cause to detain you -- and that's what I'm gonna do," Eli announced, prompting Xander to tiredly demand an immediate meeting with Eve.
Eve eventually arrived and demanded to know what was going on. "Your detective is harassing me -- and, from what I hear, he's already in hot water...which means that, [as his boss], you are, too. [And] if I decide to go public [and] show the world [what else has] been going on behind closed doors...well, that could make things much worse for you, couldn't it?" Xander pointedly stressed, making Eve squirm a bit.
"I told you that this was my case. Why are you interfering?" Eve asked Eli. "Just trying to see justice done," he replied, eyeing her suspiciously. "Well, I'll deal with you later, okay? Get out!" she tiredly ordered him.
"What the hell, Xander? Making threats like that in front of one of my detectives?" Eve snapped as soon as the coast was clear. "Desperate times," Xander explained with a shrug. "Listen, we made a deal, [and I already] held up my end of the bargain, so you're on your own [now]," Eve insisted. "And you will be, as well -- the instant Jack finds out that you lied to him. I bet he'll set a new land speed record [while] running back to Jennifer," Xander countered. "Okay -- you win," Eve grudgingly conceded after a moment of thought. "You can leave...[but] stay out of trouble, [because] this is your last time," Eve warned Xander, who rushed off with a smirk of triumph.
Eve exited the conference room while Eli was in the midst of a phone conversation with Hope. "You're skating on thin ice here, detective," Eve stressed after Eli ended the call. "You're already in serious trouble for, you know, screwing up the arson investigation, and now...[well, it just] seems like Hope has a direct line to what's going on around here. I'm assuming you know how I feel about leaks," Eve continued. "Actually, I don't," Eli coolly replied. "Well, then, let me fill you in -- if I catch any of my officers going behind my back, feeding inside information to a civilian who is actively trying to undermine me, they're gonna end up unemployed," Eve warned.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie entered the otherwise unoccupied living room and found magazines and newspapers scattered around it. "Really, Victor? Would it kill you to pick up after yourself every once in a while?" Maggie grumbled before starting to collect the periodicals -- and discovering Victor's hidden bottle of whiskey in the process.
Maggie picked up the bottle with a gasp and a chuckle, unscrewed its lid, and took a longing whiff of its contents. "Don't. Don't. Just don't, Maggie. Put the bottle down, call Brady..." Maggie halfheartedly muttered -- all while approaching the bar, picking up a glass, and shakily pouring a relatively small amount of whiskey into it, as if on autopilot. "Just a little bit..." Maggie decided -- just as Sarah entered the mansion.
"Victor agreed to get rid of all the alcohol in the house!" Sarah incredulously noted after Maggie explained everything. "Don't blame him -- he's suffering, too, [after] what happened with Claire," Maggie argued, and Sarah conceded the point. "I can't expect the world to bend around me. [I just] need to be stronger," Maggie admitted. "You are strong. [I mean], yeah, you went off on a little bit of a bender, but...from what I've seen, after that, you've had [things back] under control," Sarah countered. "Well, it looks that way...but the truth is, I'm scared," Maggie quietly revealed, fighting back tears.
"I was sober for over 30 years... The days, and the weeks, and the months went by, [and I eventually got to the point where] drinking [just] never crossed my mind... [But since my slip], I'm tempted every day -- it's like I'm starting all over again!" Maggie explained. "Do you need to go to rehab?" Sarah wondered. "I couldn't leave my family right now -- I just couldn't bear it," Maggie insisted. "There might be another option -- the hospital has this new program [that involves] short-term residential treatment, followed by outpatient counseling," Sarah revealed. "Yeah, I heard something about it," Maggie replied before promising to at least give the idea some thought.
Maggie thanked Sarah for offering support without judgment -- and vowed to start doing the same in return. "I haven't been very nice to your new husband, [but that is] going to change," Maggie assured Sarah.
Later, Xander entered the mansion and rushed straight over to the bar. "Where's the vodka? Where's the scotch?" Xander wondered with a gasp of concern while conducting a desperate, extensive search of the bar and the surrounding area. "I got rid of [everything, including] Victor's secret stash," Sarah revealed, joining Xander in the otherwise unoccupied living room. "[And] you let your husband [get rid of] the necklace I gave you?" Xander asked before telling Sarah about the earlier encounter with Chloe. "I can explain --" Sarah apologetically began. "Save it. I just didn't need that on top of...everything else...I've been through today," Xander grumbled.
"Yeah, well, I've been through a bunch today, too," Sarah dismissively stressed. "Maybe you should have thought of that before you threw away all the damn liquor," Xander teasingly suggested, but Sarah wasn't amused. "I had to do it, you jerk, [because] my mom was about to fall off the wagon!" Sarah blurted out before instantly regretting the betrayal of Maggie's confidence. "Maggie's struggle isn't a secret -- at least not to me. And don't worry -- I won't tell anyone. You know how fond I am of your mom. I'm just so sorry she's having such a hard time right now...and I'm sorry I snapped at you about the necklace," Xander sweetly stated.
"For the record...Rex did that on his own -- I didn't even know about it until after he gave it away," Sarah clarified. "I apologize for jumping to conclusions," Xander stressed. "I was pretty harsh, too," Sarah admitted. "You're obviously dealing with something, and...I hope it gets easier," Sarah continued.
"What would make things easier is having an incredible woman like you in my life," Xander insisted. "I know -- you're a married woman now, and I'm just a single bloke who's drowning in problems I have no idea how to solve," Xander acknowledged when Sarah didn't respond right away. "Want to talk about it?" Sarah asked. "This is my cross to bear," Xander replied.
Just then, Sarah received a phone call from someone at the hospital. "Bad news?" Xander asked after Sarah ended the call. "This elderly woman that the EMTs brought in two days ago -- she didn't want medical attention, and now she's refusing to eat, and refusing an I.V., and she is basically starving to death, and it's awful," Sarah explained with a sigh.
"I thought that was one of the gentler ways to go. Isn't it just like...slipping away?" Xander argued, recalling what Kristen had said earlier. "Oh, my God -- no, starvation is torture! [I mean], it's a slow, and long, and agonizing breakdown of your entire body. Your -- your organs shrivel up, and then they fail -- but first, your immune system goes, which leaves you susceptible to basically any hideous disease, and it could be weeks before death finally comes in to relieve you," Sarah clarified with a shudder before rushing off to the hospital, leaving Xander speechless.
"I don't care what Kristen says -- I can't let Ted and Kate die like that," Xander eventually decided before rushing off to the kitchen to find food and water for Ted and Kate.
When Xander exited the mansion a short time later, Hope emerged from a hiding place and followed at a safe distance.
At Doug's Place, Kristen, still posing as Nicole, angrily told Stefan, "You can't fire me! This is my company!"
Stefan curiously questioned the claim, prompting "Nicole" to clarify that it had been a reference to Basic Black, not DiMera Enterprises. "[I may have put you in charge of Basic Black], but I still own the company, which means I can fire you any time I want," Stefan dismissively reminded "Nicole," further annoying Kristen. "Nicole" threatened to retaliate with a wrongful-termination lawsuit and a public revelation that Stefan was sleeping with an opportunistic, ex-con employee whose influence seemed to be extending from the bedroom to the boardroom -- the kind of scandal that could singlehandedly destroy DiMera Enterprises overnight.
Stefan and Gabi were both surprised to learn that "Nicole" had figured out their secret, but the threat of public exposure -- the only threat worth taking seriously, since a wrongful-termination lawsuit would never hold up in any court, given the circumstances -- wasn't enough to stop Stefan from firing "Nicole," and the realization of that failure sent Kristen into a fit of rage. "Nicole" lunged forward, wrapped both hands around Stefan's neck, and started squeezing tightly, ignoring Gabi's attempts to intervene. Seconds later, Abe entered the club, pulled "Nicole" away from Stefan, and demanded to know what was going on. Gabi told Abe that "Nicole" had gone crazy.
"Nicole" vowed to destroy Stefan, one way or another. Stefan laughed off "Nicole's" latest threat then started to contact the police to report what had just happened, planning to use Gabi and Abe as witnesses. Abe stopped Stefan and again demanded to know what was going on -- then suggested, after getting the whole story, that it would be best for "Nicole" to quietly bow out of Basic Black in exchange for Stefan's promise to forget about the earlier attack. "Nicole" scoffed, leveled one more threat at Stefan, then stormed out of the club. Abe started to follow, clearly concerned, but "Nicole" irritably insisted that babysitting services wouldn't be necessary.
Abe warned Stefan that it would be impossible to hide what had just happened, since people were expecting to see Nicole at the party later that night. "[Then] find a way to put a positive spin on this; [after all], that's your job. [You can] start by talking to Nicole. [Tell her that if she doesn't] say it was her decision to leave, [then I'll] go public with what she just did, [because] I have cut her a lot of slack [already, and] I will not let her take this company down," Stefan told Abe, who reluctantly agreed, despite having serious misgivings about the idea of bullying a grieving mother into telling a lie. "You have an hour," Stefan stressed.
After Abe left, Gabi lobbied for consideration as Nicole's replacement at Basic Black, confidently assuring Stefan that running two companies wouldn't be much more difficult than running one. Stefan eyed Gabi suspiciously, wondering if it would be wise to listen to "Nicole's" earlier warnings about the "opportunistic ex-con." Gabi seductively managed to convince Stefan that there was no reason to heed those warnings.
At the Salem Inn, Kristen trashed her hotel room while complaining to herself about what had just happened.
"Stefan, you are nothing but Vivian Alamain's bastard son, and I'll be damned if I let you run my company into the ground!" Kristen spat. "I have to stop you...and I will," she vowed while clawing at the edges of her disguise. "It is time for Kristen DiMera to be back in charge -- once and for all," she spontaneously decided before removing the disguise.
"I am so sick and tired of all these losers! Stefan and Gabi, Ted and Kate, and Xander -- every one of them is just slowing me down, standing between me and what I deserve!" Kristen continued. "I. Have. Had it! No more delays, no more cleaning up their messes -- I am gonna end them all!" she vowed before retrieving a gun from a desk drawer.
When Abe arrived a short time later, the door to the hotel room was ajar, the room itself was still in disarray, and "Nicole" was nowhere to be found.
At the DiMera mansion, Ted remained trapped with Kate in a room in the secret tunnels, desperately trying to convince her that killing him would be a bad idea because they needed each other at that time.
Kate decided to spare Ted -- just as the room's only door swung open. "Oh, my God -- you are alive!" Kate noted, staring at Kristen in shock. "Yeah, well, that makes one of us," Kristen replied, drawing a gun.
Hope finds Ted and Kate
At the hospital, Haley pushed Will's wheelchair out of his room. Will grumbled that he wanted to walk, but Haley reminded Will that the wheelchair was hospital policy for any patient's release. Will started to rise from the wheelchair, but Sonny ran over and gently pushed Will back down. Sonny promised Haley that he would not let Will get out of the chair until they were in the lobby.
While Haley worked on paperwork at the nurses' station, J.J. met up with her. Haley asked J.J. if he was ready to head home. With a frown, J.J. showed Haley an eviction notice for his apartment. J.J. called his landlord and learned that his landlord had evicted him because of Haley. Haley apologized.
"You have nothing to be sorry for. It is not your fault," J.J. stressed. Haley offered to move out so that J.J. could keep his apartment. "There is no way in hell I'm going to live in a building that's owned by a racist pig," J.J. grumbled. J.J. said he did not want to live anywhere without Haley. When Haley resisted, J.J. asked Haley to let him support her and stick up for her. Haley nodded yes.
At the cafť in the square, Will and Sonny sat down to eat. Will thanked Sonny for giving him the courage to face his illness. "Every time I felt hopeless, I would look at you and see the love in your eyes and realize I can't give up. I got to keep fighting," Will said. Sonny reminded Will that a lot of people loved Will.
"I'm very lucky," Will said. "We're very lucky," Sonny corrected Will. Tripp carried out sandwiches and congratulated Will on his recovery. Will and Sonny told Tripp that they were sorry to have heard what had happened with Claire.
"I've gotta take my part in what happened," Tripp admitted. Tripp said he had pushed Claire over the edge when he had married Haley. "Claire is mentally ill. You can't blame yourself for that," Will said. Sonny reminded Tripp that Claire had set the first fire before Tripp had even met Haley. With a shake of his head, Tripp said he wished he had paid more attention to Claire and her struggles. Will argued that no one had noticed.
"Hopefully, she is getting the help she needs," Will said. With a nod, Tripp said he needed to get back to work. "Rent's gone up now that Claire isn't there," Tripp explained. Tripp started to walk away then he returned to the table. Tripp suggested that if Will or Sonny wanted to move out of the mansion to be closer to downtown, he had space.
"Would you guys have any interest in moving into the loft?" Tripp asked. Will and Sonny thanked Tripp for the offer, but they noted that they needed more space because of Arianna. After Sonny paid the check, Tripp moved on to the next table, which was Haley and J.J.
"I'll have a burger, medium-rare, and a one-bedroom apartment," J.J. said. Haley explained that J.J.'s landlord had evicted J.J. because of her immigration status. J.J. said he wanted to take the landlord to court, but he needed to find a place to stay in the meantime. "Well, maybe that might be on the menu, after all," Tripp said with a grin. Tripp suggested that Haley and J.J. could move into the loft.
J.J. noted that it might be weird to move into Claire's room. Haley agreed, but she added that the loft was a great apartment. "Are you saying you want to take it?" J.J. asked. Tripp jumped in to say that the circumstances were not ideal, but it would be a huge help to him, since he could no longer afford the rent.
"I think you got yourself a deal," Haley said. J.J. agreed. After Haley and J.J. ate, they went to their new apartment with Tripp. "I'm pretty relieved to have friends living here," Tripp said. Haley and J.J. were thankful that Tripp's landlord had not been swayed by the media coverage like the landlord in J.J.'s last apartment.
While Tripp headed upstairs to shower, J.J. asked Haley if she was comfortable at the loft. "I don't care where we are, J.J. As long as I have you," Haley said.
Will and Sonny returned home to the Kiriakis mansion. Sonny attempted to carry Will over the threshold, but a laughing Will said no. Will said he wanted to prove he was in good health and carry Sonny into the house. Will and Sonny playfully bickered and stumbled into the mansion living room, arm in arm. With a grin, Will said he was full of energy and happy to be out of the hospital bed. Sonny reminded Will that Kayla had cautioned Will not to do too much.
"I cannot wait to get back to work at the Spectator," Will said. Sonny's smile fell away. Will apologized for mentioning work when Sonny was in "career limbo." Sonny said he was excited to see what was next, but he did not know what to do. With a chuckle, Sonny said that until that moment, he had always known what he wanted to do.
"Whatever you decide to do next, you will be great at it," Will said. Will suggested that they start the job search in the morning so that they could head upstairs for the evening. Sonny kissed Will. "Can I carry you up there?" Sonny asked. "I think you want to save your strength," Will countered with a grin.
After finalizing the arrangements for the launch party in Julie's office at Doug's Place, Stefan questioned Gabi's interest in him. Gabi kneeled before Stefan's chair and kissed him. As the kissing grew more heated, Gabi swept all the items off of the desk with her arm. Stefan pushed Gabi onto the desk, and they kissed passionately.
"When you were talking to Nicole, that really turned me on. That woman is just crazy. She is not used to getting what she wants," Gabi commented. "Neither am I right now. All I want is you," Stefan whispered. Stefan kissed Gabi again. Gabi pulled Stefan's shirt off. As Stefan and Gabi writhed around on the desk, Julie dumped a glass of water on them.
"You two need some cooling off," Julie said before she marched out. Stefan laughed. "Really?" Stefan said. Gabi grunted in frustration. Out in the restaurant, Julie called Eli to report that there were two intruders in her office. Gabi grabbed the phone out of Julie's hand and told Eli that there was no emergency. Julie demanded her phone back, but Gabi countered that she needed to hear the magic words.
"Give me back my phone, you little witch," Julie grumbled. As Stefan walked over, he buttoned up his shirt and noted, "I think she was going for 'please.'" When Julie called Stefan and Gabi "lowlifes," Gabi noted that they were paying customers that had rented the place out for the night.
"You think renting my club means you can have sex in my office?" Julie asked. Stefan noted that Chloe had approved the deal, and the press had been notified. "Over my dead body," Julie protested. Julie noted that whatever deal had been struck, Stefan and Gabi had violated the terms of the agreement.
"After what you did to Abigail, I am amazed at you. I am amazed that you have the gall to show your faces here, let alone your other body parts," Julie quipped. Julie added that Stefan and Gabi deserved one another, but she refused to let the party move forward as planned. Julie shoved Gabi and Stefan out the front door.
Outside the restaurant, Gabi lamented that the event was ruined. Stefan countered that they would reschedule. When Stefan asked Gabi to walk with him, a confused Gabi asked where they were going. "Back to my place. To finish what we started," Stefan said with a grin.
"I'm sorry, Stefan. I can't do this with you anymore," Gabi said. Taken aback, Stefan pointed out that Gabi had been very interested in him back in the office. With a nod, Gabi admitted that she was attracted to Stefan, but it was likely that Julie would tell everyone in town about Gabi and Stefan's affair.
"I don't want to be the girl that everyone is talking about. Is she sleeping with her boss just to get ahead? I don't want to be that. I respect myself way too much," Gabi said. Gabi added that she was willing to admit that there might being something more between her and Stefan other than sex. Stefan asked Gabi what she was implying.
"I know it sounds crazy, but maybe we can make this real. Maybe we can't, and if that is the case, we can just drop this right now. But if I'm right, I think we should just take the next step," Gabi suggested. Stefan shifted his weight, but he said nothing. "Okay, I have my answer," Gabi exclaimed as she turned to walk away. Stefan stopped her.
"You're right. There is something more between us, and yes, it started as just a physical attraction, but somehow, someway, yeah, I've developed feelings for you. And so now, I'm willing to take a chance and be real with you. Be a real couple, and I don't care who knows," Stefan admitted. Gabi smiled and kissed Stefan. When Stefan asked Gabi if she wanted to go back to his place, she declined.
"I have to go pick up Ari," Gabi said. Stefan nodded. "I can't wait to see you tomorrow," Gabi whispered. Gabi hugged Stefan, and a devilish grin crossed her face.
As Ted thanked Kate for promising to keep his connection to Xander a secret from Hope, Kristen unlocked the door of the dungeon. Dressed in her red dress and sunglasses, Kristen leveled her gun at the captives. "Oh, my God! You are alive!" Kate exclaimed. "Well that makes one of us," Kristen said. With a scoff, Kate noted that Maggie had not hallucinated seeing Kristen in Salem.
"It looks like the two of you have been having quite the party," Kristen joked as she looked around the room at the empty bottles. "We did whatever we could to survive. Xander left us without any food or water for days," Ted said. Kate chimed in, "Xander told us that his partner in crime was Nicole, and clearly that was wrong." Kristen smiled.
"Dead wrong," Kristen said. With a chuckle, Kristen noted that broken bottle was not an effective weapon against her gun. Ted and Kate dropped their bottles onto the bed. Kate asked if Kristen wanted them dead because they knew that Holly was still alive. Ted asked Kristen if she had been threatening Nicole and the baby.
"You both are too clever for your own good," Kristen said with a laugh. "Why are you doing it? What do you want?" Kate asked. Kristen said she wanted everything that had been taken away from her. Kate asked if Kristen was using Nicole to reacquire DiMera Enterprises.
"Well, unfortunately, Stefan just fired Nicole. Without cause!" Kristen yelled. Ted and Kate agreed that they fully supported Kristen's effort to take down Stefan. "We would never let anyone know that you're alive," Kate said. Kristen laughed. Kristen noted that Ted and Kate's stay in the tunnels had already exceeded Kristen's instructions because of Xander's misplaced affection for Ted.
"I had counted on Xander killing you both, but unfortunately, he didn't have the nerve to shoot you, but guess what? You know what? I do," Kristen said.
In the Kiriakis living room, Xander packed up supplies for Kate and Ted. Xander muttered to himself that he would not let Kate and Ted die from starvation. When Xander left the mansion, Hope popped out of the bushes and followed him. Xander stopped in the park and talked to himself out loud.
"You are going soft, mate. What do you care if Ted and Kate starve to death? You are a bastard, but you're not that cruel. I have to get to that tunnel before it's too late," Xander said. As Xander continued to walk, Hope crept along behind him, but she lost sight of Xander.
Hope looked frantically in a garden for Xander, to no avail. Eli called Hope, and she explained what had happened with Xander. "I have this terrible feeling that if he hasn't killed Ted already..." Hope said. Hope thanked Eli for his help, and she ended the call. As Hope looked around, she noticed a chain attached to the grapes on a stone statue. Hope pulled the grapes, and a doorway to the tunnels opened. Hope crept inside.
In the DiMera tunnels, Kristen locked the door to the dungeon and muttered, "If you want something done right." Xander arrived. "Does that mean what I think it does? Did you kill them?" Xander asked. Kristen asked Xander what was in the bag. When Xander stayed silent, Kristen pointed the gun at Xander and urged him to walk with her.
As Xander and Kristen walked away, Hope walked around the corner. Hope jimmied the lock to the dungeon and opened the door. Ted and Kate were sitting on a cot, unharmed. Ted rushed over and hugged Hope. Hope escorted Ted and Kate upstairs into the DiMera living room, and Hope offered to take them to the hospital.
"How did you find us?" Ted asked. "The necklace," Hope said. Ted smirked at Kate. Hope explained that she had talked to Xander and then followed him to the tunnels. "I gave it to Xander, knowing that you would see it," Ted said. Hope asked Kate if she had been kept prisoner because of the 9-1-1 call she had made.
"It turns out that Xander was only the muscle. He has a partner in crime," Kate said. When Hope asked for details, Ted and Kate exchanged glances. "Xander's partner is a DiMera," Ted said.
Kristen and Xander returned to her trashed room at the Salem Inn. When Xander commented on the mess, Kristen complained that her little brother, Stefan, had fired her. "We are here to talk about the mess you've made," Kristen said. Kristen grabbed the bag that Xander had been holding and shook the contents onto the floor.
"I knew it. You lied to me!" Kristen yelled. "I was famished," Xander lied. "You expect me to believe that all this food was for you? The patron saint of 3% body fat?" Kristen joked. Kristen reminded Xander that they had discussed leaving Ted and Kate to wither away. Xander explained that he had talked to Sarah about starving to death, and she had told him that starvation was a long and painful way to die.
In disbelief, Kristen yelled at Xander for letting Sarah talk him out of their plan. Defensive, Xander noted that Sarah was a well-respected physician. Kristen shook her head in frustration. "You took a shot at Eric, ended up putting a bullet into Marlena, but Sarah Horton gets into your head, and now you're losing your edge?" Kristen asked. Kristen told Xander that he did not need to worry about Ted and Kate anymore. Concerned, Xander asked Kristen again if she had killed the prisoners.
"I made an executive decision to postpone Ted and Kate's execution for the time being," Kristen said. Kristen explained that she still had use for the prisoners. "Are you sure that's a good idea? They may not have the whole truth, but they definitely have enough of the picture to hurt us," Xander said. Kristen said she was certain that Ted and Kate would choose their words carefully. Xander asked why. Kristen refused to answer because she said did not trust Xander.
"If anything, I did you a favor. You just said yourself you suddenly realized their value. Seems to me it's a good thing I didn't kill them," Xander said. "But I'm still not happy about you disobeying my orders," Kristen countered. Kristen said she would have the last laugh.
In the DiMera living room, Kate told Hope, "Stefano's child needs to be stopped before someone else gets hurt." Ted told Hope that Stefan DiMera was to blame. Stefan walked into the room, and he raised an eyebrow in confusion when he saw Hope, Ted, and Kate in his house.