At the DiMera guesthouse, Ben ended a phone call then informed Ciara that Gabi had just demanded the immediate launch of a search for more security guards so Stefan would never be able to gain access to the property again. "Well, hey -- I guess the good news is...that means you're not fired," Ciara cheerfully pointed out. "Yeah..." Ben agreed, relieved but also conflicted.
Just then, Stefan knocked on the guesthouse door and called out to Ben, asking for help. "Uh...I really wish I didn't have to say this -- I actually hate it -- [but]...technically, I work for your wife now," Ben pointed out after letting Stefan in. "Look, man, I'm sorry she double-crossed you like that..." Ben continued, and Ciara nodded in agreement. "Well, you both tried to warn me about what a backstabbing bitch she is," Stefan acknowledged with a sigh. "But what's done is done. The important thing now is [for me to] get cleared of these bogus charges," Stefan summarized.
"Gabi might be my boss [now], but like I told Ciara [earlier], my loyalty's to you. [I mean], you had my back when nobody else would, [so] of course I'm gonna help you," Ben assured Stefan, who was happy to hear that -- and quickly proceeded to recap everything that Hope had shared earlier. "I'm gonna do whatever the hell it takes to find this woman [Hope saw]," Ben promised Stefan afterward.
At the hospital, Marlena received an unexpected office visit from John, who shared the good news that Tony was alive and well.
"Wait, wait -- Tony...and Nicole? [But]...Tony is the love of Anna's life! Can you imagine how she'll feel when she hears [about this]? And what about Eric?" Marlena fretted after John explained everything.
At Doug's Place, Chloe wondered why Brady, after having spent the night in Nicole's bed, was suddenly looking at digital photographs of another old flame -- Kristen. "For some reason, I cannot get Kristen out of my mind," Brady explained with a shrug and a sigh after tossing aside the cell phone that held the images.
"Wait -- can we just back up a minute?" Chloe requested when Brady started to say something else. "Last I heard, [Nicole] wanted to start things [back] up with you, but you said no because of Eric, [so]...what changed?" Chloe continued, prompting Brady to share the whole story, including the part about Tony.
"[And] you have no idea why you're [suddenly] thinking about Kristen?" Chloe asked afterward. "Well, this is gonna sound really nuts, but, uh...I think it has something to do with her tattoo," Brady replied. "[See], she had a phoenix on her back shoulder -- she got it right after her near-death experience in Italy -- [and] I noticed that Nicole [has] scar tissue on the very same [area] where Kristen had [that] tattoo. And, at first, I thought [it was just some] weird coincidence, but I'm just wondering now..." Brady continued. "Wondering...?" Chloe impatiently repeated.
Just then, John and Marlena entered the club and started asking Brady and Chloe questions about Nicole and Tony's sudden marriage. John and Marlena were both relieved -- for Anna's sake -- to learn that the marriage was essentially just a business arrangement. "[Anna] was devastated when she lost [Tony]," Marlena recalled. "That's putting it mildly," John stressed, stifling a chuckle. "I just think those two belong together...and if they [had] a chance at a future, [and] that didn't happen because of Nicole, I think that would kill Anna," Marlena continued.
Chloe and Marlena soon headed to the bar together, giving John and Brady a chance to talk privately. John was stunned when Brady admitted to having slept with Nicole the previous night. "It was sudden [and] unexpected, but I gotta be honest with you -- even though I've been with Nicole before, this time, it was...it was...it was strange," Brady revealed. "'Strange' [as in] wrong!" John assumed, but Brady clarified that it had actually felt oddly right. "I know what you're thinking -- you know, damsel in distress, Brady rides to the rescue..." Brady preemptively began for John. "Just...be careful," John requested, and Brady agreed.
Meanwhile, Marlena quietly asked Chloe for a favor. "[John and I have an anniversary coming up] next week, and I thought it might be nice to have, uh...well, a party...right here," Marlena explained. "Didn't you and John get married a few months later because --" Chloe began to argue, confused. "Yeah, but the truth is [that] I always think of [our] first wedding, 30 years ago, as our real anniversary...[plus], I thought, you know, if we have the party now, John would never see it coming. [He's] always surprising me with these spectacular, romantic anniversaries, and I just thought it might be nice if he were on the receiving end this time," Marlena clarified.
Chloe made the reservation then asked Marlena for a favor. "I've been really worried sick about [Nicole -- I mean], she rejects Eric, and then she marries Tony DiMera out of nowhere, [and now] she and Brady [are getting] a lot closer..." Chloe began to explain, and Marlena sighed in response, understanding the implication. "I just feel like [she's] gonna end up in a really bad place [if] she keeps going down this road. [And] I know that she won't talk to me..." Chloe continued. "Hmm... You know, I was gonna talk to her [at one point but] wasn't sure [it'd be] appropriate...[but] I am worried about her, [too, so]...yeah, I'll talk to her," Marlena promised.
At the Brady Pub, Anna guessed, with a hint of disappointment, that Roman and Kate were back together again. "No, no -- Roman was just comforting me," Kate clarified. "Yeah -- our son just left town," Roman elaborated.
"Besides, even if we were, why would you care? You're back because of Tony, right?" Kate continued, surprising Anna, who confirmed the suspicion then wondered what had prompted it. "Well, I assumed it [because] Tony was the love of your life," Kate explained with a shrug. "That's true...and [he] will forever be in my heart [as a result]," Anna admitted with a sigh.
"But not in my bag. [See], since you last saw me, I have done some serious soul-searching...and had a lot of therapy...and I finally realized that it's time to let Tony go, [so] that is what I am here to do," Anna continued while removing an urn from a purse. "What are you doing with that?" Kate wondered. "Yeah, uh...that's the weapon that killed Andre," Roman, who was just as confused as Kate, pointed out. "Oh, like I could ever forget that, after the police pointed the finger at me!" Anna indignantly countered, clearly not over the incident yet.
"But those same Keystone Kops managed to get Tony's ashes off of the carpet of Andre's office, and they gave them [back] to me. [And, as I said earlier], I know now that my...attachment...to Tony was unhealthy, and my sweetheart deserves a much better final resting place than my purse, so I am here to have Tony's ashes interred in the DiMera museum," Anna explained. "You mean 'mausoleum,'" Kate helpfully clarified for Anna, who didn't seem to find the distinction particularly important. "Anyway, Tony's birthday's coming up, [so] I thought it would be an appropriate time," Anna continued.
"Anna, you really don't know, do you?" Kate gently began after exchanging a look with Roman. "Know what?" Anna asked, confused. "Those are not Tony's ashes in that urn," Roman explained. "Salem P.D. gave me someone else's remains?" Anna incredulously summarized. "No, you don't understand, Anna -- Tony is alive," Kate clarified, stunning Anna.
"You're not messing with me?" Anna asked tearfully after Roman and Kate explained everything. "No -- [and] I know it's a fact because he spent the night with me in my hotel room," Kate replied. "He did what?" Anna incredulously snapped before lunging toward Kate in anger. "Calm down -- nothing happened! For God's sake, I was married to his brother!" Kate clarified as Roman kept Anna at bay. "Well, they have the same face -- and for all I know, you're into that kind of thing!" Anna countered, not yet fully convinced. "I am most definitely not into that kind of thing!" Kate insisted.
"[Look], he had no place to go, [so] I let him crash on my sofa," Kate explained. "What are you talking about? Tony has tons of friends in this town -- and he has me!" Anna argued. "Oh, my God -- has Tony forgotten about me?" Anna continued after a moment of thought. "No, no, no -- nothing like that," Roman stressed. "Then why didn't he reach out to me [instead of spending] the night on Kate's sofa?" Anna wondered. "Because his wife kicked him out," Kate clarified, stunning Anna again. "Nicole must have had a gun to his head, because there's no other way..." Anna began to protest after Kate elaborated.
"Or maybe this is about revenge -- Nicole's way of getting back at me for helping E.J. kidnap Sydney from her!" Anna suddenly realized. "Oh, my God -- that scheming skank! She's probably been planning this for years!" Anna fretted. "Where are they?" Anna asked, but Roman and Kate both tried to dodge the question. "Tell me where they are!" Anna impatiently demanded.
At the Salem Inn, Tony lashed out at Kristen, sick of being treated unfairly.
"You [banned] me from coming [back] here last night because you wanted a roll in the hay with your lover, [but] when I mention the fact that I want to connect with the woman that I love, you forbid it -- [so], in other words, you get everything, and I get nothing!" Tony incredulously summarized. "I agreed with this twisted little plan of yours 'cause you promised me that once 'Nicole' was made CEO, you would help me reunite with Anna, [and now]...what, I'm supposed to stay in limbo and go along with this charade indefinitely? [Why should I] have to do that for you?" Tony continued, outraged.
"Because I saved your life!" Kristen stressed through gritted teeth, clearly annoyed that Tony wasn't showing more gratitude. "[My plan] has hit a bit of a snag, [which] is unfortunate...but we need to stay the course and see it through to the end," Kristen insisted with a shrug. "But there's no end in sight!" Tony protested. "Where's your faith? I promise you -- DiMera and Brady will be mine," Kristen maintained. "I understand that you have a goal, and you're very passionate about achieving it...but I have one, too, [and I've put] blood, sweat, and tears [into it] for close to a decade," Tony countered.
"I've waited long enough, [so] I'm gonna go and find [Anna now], whether you like it or not," Tony decided before starting to exit the hotel room, prompting Kristen to block the door. "You're not gonna keep me prisoner here," Tony insisted. "You want to make a bet? [I mean], I'm an able-bodied woman with a loaded gun, [and] you are a sad little weakling, hobbling around on a cane," Kristen countered with a mocking laugh, hurting Tony. "You'll be dead before you reach the door," Kristen continued with a scowl, no longer laughing. "Get out of my way, or I'm gonna --" Tony began while raising the cane.
"What? What? What are you gonna do?" Kristen demanded to know while easily snatching the cane from Tony and tossing it aside. "You gonna kill me? Like you killed Ted Laurent?" Kristen continued, sounding more amused than concerned. "That was an accident, and you know it!" Tony defensively pointed out. "The police don't...and if you tell them the truth, they're not gonna believe you, and you'll go to prison -- for life! [In fact], you miserable ingrate, if I hadn't covered up your mess, you would already be in jail, [so] now it's time for you to honor your agreement!" Kristen angrily countered.
"[Look], if you so badly want to be with Anna, [then] sneak around, like Brady and me. This isn't a real marriage. I don't care what you do, or with whom," Kristen reminded Tony, who quickly rejected the idea, insisting that Anna would never be able to accept such an arrangement. "She's far too principled," Tony proudly explained. "You mean 'obsessed'? I heard she lugs around your 'ashes' everywhere she goes, droning on and on, to anyone who will listen, that you two are 'soul mates,'" Kristen mockingly countered. "We are soul mates!" Tony defensively insisted.
"On second thought, the sharing option is off the table, [because] I can't trust Anna to keep her big mouth shut -- [which] means that you'll have to stay away from [her] entirely; otherwise, I'm gonna have to eliminate her," Kristen suddenly decided. "You would murder the woman that I love?" Tony asked incredulously. "Well, I don't want to...but unless you swear to steer clear of [her], I'm not gonna have a choice," Kristen replied, shrugging. "You are completely insane!" Tony declared with a shake of the head, horrified. "You are so evil!" Tony continued, stunned.
"No -- I'm focused. [And] you should know by now that I'll do whatever it takes to get what I want," Kristen unapologetically countered. "I can't even stand to look at you anymore," Tony spat before again starting to exit the hotel room. "Yeah, just leave -- and if you do anything to ruin my plan..." Kristen began to reiterate, but Tony slammed the door shut before the threat could be completed.
At the Brady Pub, Roman prepared a martini for Kate. "I know that you're fond of that loony..." Kate began while waiting, drawing a look of disapproval from Roman. "That woman..." Kate backpedaled. "But, frankly, I think you're lucky that you're not with her anymore," Kate concluded. "Okay, yeah," Roman agreed. "[But] she's a good person, and I consider her a friend, [so I can't help worrying] about the effect that what we just told her will have on her," Roman continued. "I'm concerned about Tony, because after Anna gets through with him, he's going to wish he was in that urn," Kate predicted.
Tony exited the Salem Inn just as Anna was about to storm into it, and they stared at each other in disbelief.
At Doug's Place, Marlena apologetically informed John that a patient needed immediate help. John waited until Marlena was gone then seized the opportunity to approach Chloe and ask for a favor. "Next week's my wedding anniversary, and I want to throw a big bash right here to celebrate my beautiful bride, so...I'm gonna need your help in keeping this a surprise," John explained as Chloe squirmed and forced a smile.
At the Salem Inn, Kristen sent a text message to Brady, suggestively revealing that Tony was going to be gone for a while. A short time later, someone knocked on the hotel room door. "Wow, Brady -- that was fast!" Kristen happily muttered before rushing over to the door and preparing to open it. "Nicole, are you in there?" Marlena called out just then, causing Kristen's smile to turn into a scowl.
Kristen pulls a gun on Marlena
Fresh off a run, a shirtless Xander walked through the living room, and he stopped to look at a photo of Sarah. "All the booze, ice cream, and exercise in the world can't make me forget you. If only you felt the same," Xander said. There was a noise in the foyer, and a hopeful Xander called out Sarah's name. Xander frowned when Sonny and Will walked in instead.
"Sorry to disappoint you, cousin," Sonny grumbled. Will asked Xander if he could comment for a story on Ted Laurent's murder. Surprised, Xander sat down and furrowed his brow. Xander told Will that he had not heard the news.
"You did admit to kidnapping the guy," Will said. "So now you're suggesting that I killed the guy, too?" Xander asked. Will shrugged. Xander told Will and Sonny that he was not stupid enough to kill Ted. Will reiterated his request for a comment. Xander said he did not want to give Will fodder for a story spinning Xander as the bad guy.
"You kind of are," Sonny said. Xander reminded Will that he had kept Ted and Kate alive. Changing tactics, Will asked Xander if he had any idea who might have killed Ted. Xander thought about Kristen's previous comment that Ted would need to die.
"Come to think of it, I do have a suspect for you," Xander said. Xander argued that Will and Sonny had a motive to kill Ted because Ted had blackmailed them. Sonny countered that his grudge was as distant at Leo Stark. With a shrug, Xander suggested that Kate also had a motive.
"All I'm saying is, it could be anyone. It sure as hell isn't me," Xander said firmly. Will asked Xander why the CCTV footage from the docks did not match Ted's statement. "If you did not kidnap Ted from the docks, how did he end up in the DiMera dungeon?" Will asked. Xander refused to answer on the grounds that he did not want to compromise his immunity deal. After Xander left, Will swore to find out what Xander was hiding.
Eric prepared a romantic dinner for Sarah at his apartment. When Sarah returned home from work, Eric kissed her. "I don't know if dinner is going to be as good as that," Sarah said. While Eric tended to dinner, he and Sarah reminisced about the last time they had cooked together. The smile fell from Sarah's face, and Eric asked what was wrong.
"That was the night Rex showed up, determined to win me back. If I could have been honest with everyone and myself, I could have saved us all a lot of pain," Sarah said. Eric noted that they had done what they had thought was the right thing at the time. With a smile, Eric suggested that they treat the evening as a reboot of that night before Rex had arrived in Salem. Sarah and Eric bantered about each other's cooking until Sarah playfully wiped pasta sauce on Eric's shirt.
"Retaliation," Sarah said with a chuckle. Eric splattered Sarah's outfit with sauce. Sarah grabbed Eric's shirt and pulled him into a kiss. Laughing, Sarah and Eric fell onto the couch and left dinner to grow cold on the table.
In the square, a furious Anna marched over to the Salem Inn to confront Tony. As Anna approached the door, Tony walked out. At the sight of the love of his life, Tony beamed. "My Anna! At last," Tony said. Anna slapped him across the face. When Tony remarked that the slap hurt, Anna hit Tony two more times.
"The first one was for being alive all these years and not telling me. The second one was for spending the night in Kate's hotel room," Anna yelled. When Tony asked about the third slap, Anna yelled, "For marrying that money-grubbing tramp, Nicole Walker!"
Tony escorted Anna into the park. Visibly upset, Anna said she did not understand why Tony had not reached out to her for ten years. "I can explain!" Tony protested. "All those years, Tony. And I mourned. I wept. I tried to avenge your death. I even shot poor, Steve," Anna lamented. Tony explained that he had barely escaped the warehouse fire and had been recovering ever since.
"I wanted to see you, but the news about coming back from the dead is not news I want to share with you on the phone. I wanted to be there to touch you. To hold you," Tony said. "And instead, you touched Kate and held Nicole, you bastard," Anna muttered. Tony said that he had thought about Anna through the years and had longed to reunite with her.
Confused, Anna asked Tony why he had married Nicole. "Because she needed my help to get a foothold into DiMera Enterprises," Tony explained. Anna reminded Tony that his involvement with DiMera had gotten him killed. Anna admitted that she had searched the world, looking for Stefano, to avenge Tony's death.
Tony told Anna that Stefan had been destroying the company, and he was needed to save it. When Anna asked Tony why he had not asked to be CEO, Tony answered that he was not interested in the job. "But the legacy of this family needs to be saved," Tony added. Tony told Anna that Nicole had the passion to run the company. Suspicious, Anna asked Tony why he would help Nicole when he had never liked her.
"I saved her life when the warehouse exploded. When you save a life, you feel responsible for that person," Tony said. "That sounds so like you. So compassionate. Kind. That is what I've always loved about you -- but what I hate about you now," Anna said. Tony said that Nicole had lost her daughter, and he had wanted to give Nicole something to focus on.
"What about me, Tony? I lost everything when I lost you," Anna said. Tony swore that his marriage to Nicole was a matter of convenience. "There is nothing convenient about it for me," Anny retorted. "I thought my heart could never break again, but I think it has," Anna said quietly. Tony said he had fought to survive because of his love for Anna.
"I've always wanted only you," Tony whispered. Anna kissed Tony. With a chuckle, Tony told Anna that he was more in love with her than ever. Anna noted that her restlessness through the years had to have been because a part of her had known that Tony was alive. Concerned, Anna asked who was in her urn.
"Perhaps it was one of Dr. Rolf's cats," Tony joked. With a laugh, Anna snuggled up against Tony. "You just need to divorce that tramp," Anna whispered. "About that. I don't think we can," Tony responded. Confused, Anna asked why. Tony said he had promised to help Nicole. Tony added that their separation would not be too long.
"One night, and it's already been too long," Anna complained. Tony said that the board had ruined their plan when they had chosen Gabi as CEO. Anna argued that Tony had done his best, and his only option was to divorce Nicole and walk away. "I've got to see this fight to the end," Tony whispered. When Anna asked how long it would take, Tony said he did not know.
"I have to make sure that Nicole is crowned CEO of DiMera; otherwise, there is going to be severe repercussions," Tony said. Angry, Anna said there would be severe repercussions to their relationship. "If you loved me, and wanted to be with me, it would be [easy]," Anna complained. Tony begged Anna to have patience.
"I've already waited ten years, and I won't wait a day longer. So, you better figure this out," Anna demanded. Furious Anna marched off. "Damn you, Kristen," Tony muttered to himself.
At Doug's Place, Brady sat at a table and waited for Chloe. "Nicole" texted Brady and asked him to meet. John walked over and told Brady that Chloe had had to leave. With a nod, Brady said he needed to go anyway.
"Nicole wants to see me," Brady said with unease. John stopped Brady. With a sigh, Brady said he had heard John's warning to be careful with Nicole. John shook his head no. John explained that he wanted to tell Brady that he had a surprise planned for Marlena for the anniversary of their first wedding.
"It's because of Kristen that Doc almost died," John commented. Brady thought about when Kristen had talked to him about her back tattoo. Brady shook off the memory, and he admitted to John that he had been thinking about Kristen. When John raised a questioning eyebrow, Brady told John not to worry.
At the Salem Inn, Marlena knocked on Nicole's door. Inside the room, Kristen fumed. "You want to play, Dr. Evans? Let's play," Kristen said as she picked up her gun. Marlena continued to knock. Kristen opened the door. "Kristen! You're alive!" Marlena said. Kristen grabbed Marlena's arm and pulled her into the hotel room.
"Just like daddy, I rose from the ashes. You're not going to be so lucky," Kristen said as she leveled her gun at Marlena. Kristen vowed to kill Marlena once and for all. With a chuckle, Kristen said, "I am all talked out." Kristen shot Marlena in the stomach. As Marlena lay dead on the floor, Kristen muttered, "Rest in peace, you nosy old witch."
There was a knock on the door, and Marlena's voice said, "Nicole! I know you're in there." Kristen snapped out of her daydream about killing Marlena. "I think it is important that we speak," Marlena said through the door. Kristen put on her Nicole mask and answered the door.
"I hope you know how heartbroken I am about Holly," Marlena said. "Nicole" said she had received Marlena's letter. Marlena urged "Nicole'' to talk to her. Reluctantly, "Nicole" let Marlena into the room. Marlena counseled "Nicole" to remember that grief triggered other emotions like anger. "Nicole" countered that she was well versed in the stages of grief, thanks to Eric's failure to keep his promise to protect Holly.
"He loves you. He loved her. I think in your heart of hearts, you know he wasn't responsible for what happened to Holly," Marlena said. "Nicole" said she understood that Marlena was a doctor, but Marlena did not understand her feelings. "Nicole" said she was not the same Nicole and that she was fine with who she had become.
"Why did you marry Tony?" Marlena asked. "Nicole" snapped that her personal life was not up for discussion. "Your personal life affects my son and my stepson, so I am going to insist," Marlena demanded. "Nicole" explained that she had married Tony to help Brady. Marlena said she would not let Nicole break Brady or Eric's hearts again. Annoyed, "Nicole" noted that Marlena's boys could take care of themselves.
Marlena urged Nicole to get help, but "Nicole" argued that she did not need to be fixed. "Nicole" walked over to her desk and kept her back to Marlena. With a scoff, Marlena asked "Nicole" if she intended to call security. As "Nicole" pulled the gun out of her purse, she muttered, "No. Something much, much worse." "Nicole" shoved the gun back in her purse and warned Marlena that she would get a restraining order if Marlena did not leave.
Brady knocked on the door. "Saved by your stepson," "Nicole" said. "Nicole" admitted Brady into the room. "I thought you were going to see a patient," Brady commented. With a nod, Marlena said she had believed that Nicole might need some help. "And I guess you thought wrong," "Nicole" said. Marlena offered her services if Nicole had a change of heart.
After Marlena left, "Nicole" called Marlena "a pain in the ass." "Nicole" added that the only person that had made her feel any better was Brady. "Nicole" grabbed Brady and kissed him. After a moment, Brady pulled away and furrowed his brow as he looked at "Nicole."
"The way you kiss me. The way you feel. It's just familiar, but it's different, too, and I don't understand why," Brady said. "Nicole" suggested that she and Brady were not the same people they had been when they had first fallen in love. With a grin, "Nicole" told Brady to enjoy the moment. Brady swept "Nicole" into his arms, and they fell onto the bed.
At Doug's Place, Hope told John, "I need your help." Hope informed John about her run-in with the mystery lady in the park and about Hope's theory that the woman had been involved in Ted's murder. "You don't have any proof on this?" John asked. With a shrug, Hope said that the police had the necklace, and she had nothing else. Hope asked John for his expertise and gut instincts.
"I'm really hoping we can team up and find whoever killed Ted," Hope said. Hope said she thought the mystery woman had been involved in the kidnapping, as well. When John asked about a suspect, Hope said, "Nicole Walker." After Hope explained the facts, John asked why Kate and Ted would lie for Nicole.
"Nicole hasn't seemed like herself lately," Hope said. "Nicole Walker, she is not capable of murder," John countered. With a shake of her head, Hope noted that too many elements of the case did not make sense. John suggested that they get a copy of the police report from the murder scene.
Switching gears, John asked Hope for help with a surprise for Marlena. Hope cheerfully promised to help John, and he told her he would text her the details for the party. As John told Hope that he did not want Marlena to know anything about what he was doing, Marlena walked in and overheard. John covered and said that he and Hope had agreed to work on a case together. Marlena nodded in understanding.
As John stepped outside to answer a phone call. Marlena told Hope, "I'm planning an anniversary party for John that is going to knock his socks off." Hope did not spill John's secret. "It sounds great," Hope said. Marlena looked over at John and smiled.
Eve vows to make Jack pay
While passing through the park, Jack spotted Trask, who was attempting, between fits of hysterical laughter, to read something on a tablet computer.
Jack tried to sneak past Trask without being spotted but wasn't successful. "I heard you and Eve are splitting up. Such a pity. You really were the perfect match -- [both] absolutely rotten to the core," Trask declared. "You're judging me? The woman who lied to her daughter for years? [Because] that is rotten to the core," Jack countered.
"You, of all people, do not get to lecture me about parenting. You threw your own son to the wolves -- just to get elected mayor," Trask pointed out. "My son broke the law," Jack stressed, shrugging unapologetically. "And you used [that] -- and you used him -- to fire up your base and crown yourself the king of Salem," Trask summarized. "I hope it was worth it...[since] it's all about to come tumbling down," Trask added, confusing Jack. "You haven't read your ex-wife's latest article about you? It posted to the Spectator website an hour ago," Trask clarified.
Kayla caught up with Adrienne over dinner at the Horton Town Square but ended up eating only a few bites of food the whole time.
"I guess I'm not really that hungry," Kayla explained with a shrug when Adrienne finally decided to question the oddity. "Translation -- you haven't heard from Steve in a while," Adrienne knowingly summarized. "Not since my mom passed away," Kayla sadly confirmed. "He's still working undercover, though, right?" Adrienne asked. "That's what he says," Kayla replied. "Well, then, it's just work," Adrienne tried to assure Kayla before quickly acknowledging that having a reason for Steve's silence didn't make it any less difficult to bear. "I just miss him -- [and] Tripp misses him, [too]," Kayla admitted with a heavy sigh.
"It's been almost a year [since Steve left]... I know that [he] feels responsible for the security leak -- [even though it] was my fault -- [and he won't] walk away from a mission until he makes things right. And I love that about him. [But] I just don't know if we can go on living like this forever. [I mean], I love him, and I believe he loves me, but we just can't stay in limbo like this forever," Kayla continued.
"You're...not talking about getting a divorce...[are you]?" Adrienne asked Kayla worriedly -- just as Jack stormed through the town square.
"Why are you trying to destroy my life -- again?" Jack angrily demanded to know after spotting Adrienne. "You and Jennifer are once again using your failed newspaper to spread lies about me, and I demand a retraction!" Jack snapped before producing a cell phone and loading an online copy of the article. "The mayor hired his completely unqualified wife as police commissioner, then summarily fired her. In addition, the prosecutor's office is in complete disarray after months without a new D.A. According to sources who shall remain anonymous, no one wants to be associated with Mayor Deveraux or his troubled regime," Jack read aloud.
"Okay, so...when are you gonna get to the part with the lies?" Adrienne dryly wondered, further annoying Jack, who continued lashing out until Kayla threatened to call the police.
"This is nothing but slanted political spin, and I want that retraction!" Jack reiterated after calming down enough to satisfy Kayla. "Jennifer was reporting the truth, Jack. [She's] a professional -- trained by you, I might add. Well, the old you," Adrienne stressed. "Her so-called 'anonymous sources'? She made that up so she could trash me! [I'm telling you], the woman hates me!" Jack insisted.
"'The woman' loves you," Adrienne argued. "She loves the old [me]!" Jack clarified. "Well, can you blame her? There's not a lot about the new [you] to love," Adrienne reasoned.
"Thanks a lot," Jack grumbled. "I'm sorry, brother dear. I know you're going through a rough time. I heard that Eve destroyed Rolf's serum," Adrienne backpedaled. "I'm not even sure if I want to remember my past," Jack dismissively declared, but Adrienne wasn't convinced. "You know, you could contact the FDA and check on the approval for the formula," Kayla interjected. "And get my hopes up again? No, thank you! And, frankly, I'm perfectly happy with the way I am today!" Jack insisted. "Well, that makes one of us..." Adrienne muttered.
"Hey, sister, what about 'live and let live'? Or, better yet, just leave me the hell alone -- in person and in print!" Jack spat before storming off.
"I'm telling you, I could just strangle both my brothers..." Adrienne admitted to Kayla once the coast was clear.
"Now, let's get back to what we were talking about before..." Adrienne suggested -- just as Kayla's cell phone chimed, announcing the arrival of a text message from someone at the hospital. "Saved by the bell," Kayla declared with a sigh of relief before saying goodbye to Adrienne. "[When] you're ready and willing to talk, I'm here for you," Adrienne called out as Kayla rushed off.
At the Brady Pub, J.J. caught up with Jennifer over dinner -- and was disappointed to learn that things with Jack hadn't gotten any better since Eve's lies had been exposed.
Before heading over to the hospital to start a work shift, J.J. called Haley, who was at the loft apartment with Tripp. "I'm gonna miss sleeping next to you [tonight]. I love you," Haley told J.J. as Tripp listened with a hint of jealousy. "J.J. working an all-nighter?" Tripp asked after Haley ended the call. "Yep...which means that I will be sleeping alone in Claire's [old] room tonight," Haley replied before cheering sarcastically.
"[But] I actually haven't had a hallucination since I started [taking these sedatives you gave me, so...maybe I'm] cured," Haley optimistically added after swallowing one of the pills. "I'm glad to hear that...but I still think you should talk to Dr. Evans, [because] if it is PTSD [you're dealing with], it's not something you can just self-medicate," Tripp warned, but Haley dismissed the concern.
Tripp pointed out that J.J. surely wouldn't want Haley to go through such an ordeal alone. "I'm not 'alone' -- [after all], I've got these pills, and I've got you," Haley argued.
"Not that I look forward to sleeping in there tonight..." Haley admitted while apprehensively eyeing the door to Claire's old bedroom. "Then don't. You can sleep in my bed," Tripp suggested. "I didn't mean [we could] share the bed; I meant you can sleep in my room, and I'll sleep down here, on the couch," Tripp clarified after realizing that the offer had made Haley a bit uncomfortable. "That's so sweet...[but] I'm not gonna let you do that," Haley insisted. "What if I don't take no for an answer?" Tripp countered. "Anybody ever tell you [that] you are just so...stubborn?" Haley wondered. "Every day," Tripp confirmed.
Haley admitted defeat then headed off to Tripp's bedroom to get some sleep. Once the coast was clear, Tripp stripped down to a pair of boxers then settled on the couch, next to a loose photograph Haley had found earlier.
J.J. entered the apartment while Tripp was staring at the headshot of Haley. Startled, Tripp quickly hid the photograph then tried to act casual, wondering why J.J. wasn't at work. "Shift was canceled," J.J. explained while trying not to look directly at Tripp, who was still wearing only a pair of boxers and hadn't had time to cover up with a blanket. "Where's Haley?" J.J. asked. "She's already in bed," Tripp replied.
"I'll join her," J.J. decided before starting to head off to Claire's old bedroom. "Uh, actually, J.J. --" Tripp awkwardly began to clarify, but Haley entered the living room just then -- and quickly collapsed.
"Are you all right? What happened?" J.J. asked after Haley regained consciousness a short time later. "I heard your voice, and then I -- then I got out of bed, and everything was just...spinning..." Haley explained before wincing in pain, prompting J.J. to insist on an immediate visit to the hospital. "I'm gonna pull the car around," J.J. told Haley before pulling Tripp aside. "Obviously, now is not the time, but I expect an explanation about why Haley was sleeping in your bed," J.J. quietly stressed. "It's not what you think," Tripp insisted. "Better not be," J.J. countered before exiting the apartment.
At the hospital, J.J. tried to get answers from Tripp while waiting for Kayla to finish examining Haley. "I'll let Haley explain...[but] there was nothing going on -- I swear, okay? You're my cousin; I wouldn't do that to you," Tripp assured J.J., and Kayla interrupted just then to call the two men into Haley's room. After realizing that Kayla had no other explanation for the collapse, Tripp mentioned the sedatives, and Haley reluctantly proceeded to explain everything. "This was my idea, not hers," Tripp stressed afterward. "But [she] went along with it -- [and] what you both did is unethical and dangerous!" Kayla countered.
"Please don't fire me," Haley begged Kayla. "If I don't have a job, [that] could jeopardize my [chances of] staying in the country while I wait for my green card," Haley stressed. "We'll talk about it later," Kayla replied.
"You could have killed her!" J.J. snapped while slamming Tripp against a wall, but Kayla intervened before things could escalate further.
"What were you thinking?" Kayla asked after dragging Tripp out of Haley's room to give J.J. some time to cool off. "I just wanted to help Haley," Tripp explained. "Then you should have encouraged her to talk to me -- or Marlena," Kayla argued. "I did...[but] I guess I could have tried harder," Tripp replied. "If anything would have happened to her..." Tripp fretted. "You have feelings for her," Kayla realized. "I guess I do," Tripp admitted.
Meanwhile, Haley begged J.J. not to blame Tripp for what had happened. "I didn't want to be a burden," Haley explained. "You can come to me about anything," J.J. stressed.
Eve went to the Kiriakis mansion to see Justin, who was sitting alone in the living room, reading something on a tablet computer. "I hate to interrupt you, but I'm desperate here, [and] I need your help. [See], I am gonna take Jack Deveraux to court, [and] I need an attorney," Eve explained. "Yeah, I was just reading about how Jack fired you and is now filing for divorce...[but] Jack is my brother-in-law, and even though he and Adrienne are not getting along, I don't think I should get involved," Justin insisted. "Well, what if I told you my husband raped me?" Eve countered, stunning Justin.
"It happens more often than you think -- husbands raping their wives -- [and] just because you're married, [that] doesn't mean a man has a right to force himself on a woman without her consent! [And] it's not like it hasn't happened before [with Jack] -- I mean, he did rape Kayla when they were married, you know!" Eve continued.
"Okay...if you can look me in the eye and tell me that Jack raped you, I will do everything in my power to put him behind bars...but before you answer, I want you to think long and hard about the fact that there are a lot of people out there who are just looking for an excuse not to believe a woman who accuses a man of rape," Justin challenged Eve, who quickly crumbled.
"I just wanted to hurt Jack as badly as he hurt me," Eve admitted to Justin after recovering.
"Can you believe that I, uh...I actually fell for that jerk? [And] I thought [that] this time [I had gotten] it right, but...once again -- drumroll, please -- I ended up screwing up everything. [I mean], why do I keep doing this?" Eve continued, groaning. "Classic self-sabotage. I've done it myself once or twice. I think the psychologists say it has something to do with, uh...not believing you deserve to be happy," Justin knowingly summarized. "Kimberly used to spew that baloney all the time...[but] you don't buy into that psychobabble, do you?" Eve argued. "There might be some truth to it," Justin reasoned.
"Yeah, whatever... All I know is, it's pretty obvious that I am doomed to be alone and miserable for the rest of my life," Eve fretted, prompting Justin to offer a hug -- just as Adrienne entered the mansion.
"What in the hell is she doing here?" Adrienne demanded to know as Justin pulled away from Eve. "How you have the gall to come into this house and ask for my husband's help after what you did to my brother --" Adrienne began to snap after Justin explained the reason for Eve's visit. "I loved Jack!" Eve insisted. "You brought Jack back to town as your personal wrecking ball, [then] you turned him against Jennifer, [and] you ruined any chance of him having any relationship with his kids, and you destroyed any hope of him getting his memory back!" Adrienne countered.
"You are miserable, selfish, and vindictive!" Adrienne spat. "'Vindictive'? No, no, no -- that would be Jack! [I mean], firing me for no reason, after everything I did for him?" Eve argued. "You ruined his life!" Adrienne insisted. "No, I made his life better! I gave him confidence! I gave him a sense of purpose! I. Made. Him. Mayor! And now that he's on top, he has...he has no right to throw me out like yesterday's trash!" Eve countered.
"Eve has a point," Justin admitted, stunning Adrienne -- and even Eve.
"Eve pretty much got [Jack] elected mayor," Justin reasoned. "By turning him into the antithesis of everything he once stood for!" Adrienne argued. "Nonetheless, she contributed to his success, which means she is entitled to be compensated. [And] it would seem that she was fired not for cause [but instead] for personal reasons, which is an actionable offense," Justin maintained. "[You're] actually considering representing her? Jack's my brother!" Adrienne protested. "You don't even like him right now," Justin pointed out. "You know who else I don't like right now? You," Adrienne countered before walking away.
Adrienne returned a short time later and was pleased to see that Eve was no longer around. "I hope you kicked her to the curb," Adrienne said to Justin. "Actually...I decided to represent her," Justin replied, stunning Adrienne.
Eli and Lani entered Doug's Place and greeted Julie, who didn't exactly offer the warmest of greetings.
"Are you upset with me [because] you wanted Hope to get her job back as commissioner?" Eli asked. "I am upset...[but] it has nothing to do with Hope," Julie replied.
"You got engaged, and I found out about it from Abe!" Julie continued. "We came by yesterday to tell you --" Eli apologetically began to explain. "Well, when you saw I wasn't here, why didn't you pick up a telephone [or] text me? You are so important to me...[and] I thought I was important to you, [too]!" Julie snapped. "You are," Eli insisted.
"That's why we wanted to tell you in person," Eli continued. "[Plus], it's kind of hard to flash this over the phone," Lani added, showing Julie the engagement ring.
"I see my grandson has good taste in diamonds...as he does in women..." Julie grudgingly acknowledged. "So...am I forgiven?" Eli wondered. "Almost," Julie stressed.
"Okay, then...what can we do to make it up to you?" Eli asked. "There is one thing -- let me give you an engagement party," Julie replied.
Eli and Lani agreed with obvious surprise, and Julie instantly softened then rushed over to the bar to fetch a bottle of Champagne for the happy couple.
Trask entered the club just then, and Julie seized the opportunity to stress that it was nice to have Trask's sister back in Salem. "Daughter," Trask politely clarified. "I forgot. Pardon me," Julie replied. "It's okay. [Our] relationship is complicated. I'm sure you think that we're crazy," Trask conceded. "You'd be surprised how clearly I understand the situation," Julie stressed.
Trask followed Julie back to Eli and Lani's table. "You certainly have your shortcomings, but you're a hell of an improvement over Eve Deveraux, [so] I just wanted to congratulate you on your promotion," Trask told Eli.
Jennifer exited the pub just as Jack was walking by it. "You read my article," Jennifer guessed after realizing that Jack was upset about something. "You mean that steaming pile of journalistic hackery?" Jack spat. "I thought that I made some very salient points," Jennifer argued. "You took a hatchet to my character!" Jack complained. "It wasn't personal," Jennifer stressed. "Like hell it wasn't!" Jack snapped.
"You're just upset because I will not conform to your idea of how Jack Deveraux should act!" Jack guessed. "No, I'm upset because you will not conform to being a good mayor and how a good mayor should act. [I mean], your whole term has been filled with turmoil and bad decisions," Jennifer clarified, further annoying Jack. "You are so judgmental! You've always gotta be right!" Jack grumbled. "And you can never admit that you are wrong -- which is the one thing that reminds me of the old you," Jennifer countered. "I happen to like [the new me]! I happen to think that Mayor Jack Deveraux is a pretty swell guy!" Jack defensively stressed.
"Really? Well, the problem is, no one else cares about you, Jack. No one [else] thinks you're a 'swell guy,' [and] nobody wants to work with you," Jennifer matter-of-factly declared. "What about your cousin Eli?" Jack asked. "Oh, give him time, because he's a man of integrity, and he respects the law, and once he sees all your shenanigans, he will quit," Jennifer replied.
"[And] your administration is so toxic [that] you cannot even find a respectable attorney to work with you [as district attorney]," Jennifer continued -- just as Trask walked by. "How would you like to return as Salem's district attorney?" Jack spontaneously suggested. "After the hell that you put my daughter through?" Trask asked incredulously. "I'm a passionate man. Occasionally, I go too far. I hope you'll accept my apology...and a 10% raise," Jack replied. "Think you can buy me off?" Trask snapped. "15," Jack offered. "Sold," Trask agreed, stunning Jennifer and delighting Jack.
After Trask walked away, Jack turned to Jennifer and triumphantly asked, "You were saying?" Jennifer scoffed and walked away with a shake of the head, leaving Jack looking a bit disappointed.
While walking past the pub a short time later, Eve noticed that Jack was inside, enjoying a drink. "I've had enough battles for one night," Jack tiredly protested when Eve approached. "You better gird your loins, Jack, 'cause you are now at war. [See], I've hired an attorney, and you will be hearing from him very soon," Eve announced. "The sooner this divorce is over, the better," Jack stressed with a dismissive shrug.
"I couldn't agree with you more...[but] to add a little fun to the mix, I'm gonna sue you for wrongful termination, you son of a bitch," Eve spat before storming back out of the pub, leaving Jack speechless.
John and Hope manipulate Xander
At the Salem Inn, Kristen, still disguised as Nicole, slept soundly next to Brady, who was awake -- and was preoccupied with thoughts about tattoos and scar tissue.
Kristen's cell phone was lying facedown on a nightstand on "Nicole's" side of the bed. When the device suddenly began vibrating, Brady quickly reached for it, perhaps wanting to silence it before it could disturb "Nicole" -- or perhaps just wanting to snoop. Kristen woke up just then and groggily -- and somewhat nervously -- wondered, as Nicole, what Brady was doing with the cell phone.
Brady curiously explained that "Nicole" had just received a voicemail message -- from Xander, of all people. "Why is he calling you?" Brady asked. "I thought the guy got the message to leave you the hell alone after all that -- that stupid mask business," Brady added. Caught off guard, Kristen ignored Brady's question and excitedly pointed out, as Nicole, that it was hopefully going to be a really big day for DiMera Enterprises. Kristen was relieved when Brady took the hint, guessing that "Nicole," who was planning to meet with Shin later, wanted to focus entirely on the meeting instead of getting distracted with conversations about other topics.
At the DiMera guesthouse, Ben and Ciara discussed the possibility that Nicole could be the mystery woman who was somehow tied to Ted's murder. Ben wanted to break into Nicole's hotel room and search for evidence that could prove that theory, but Ciara insisted that wasn't a good idea. "You have a record. If you get caught --" Ciara began to fret. "I won't," Ben promised before rushing off.
At Doug's Place, Chloe received a phone call from Marlena, who was about to send over an email with a guest list for the anniversary party. Chloe hinted that it might be better to have the event on a different date, but Marlena didn't take the bait. Unable to think of another way out of the dilemma, Chloe silently expressed frustration then quickly wrapped up the conversation with Marlena, having just spotted John at the club's entrance. John approached and produced a printed copy of a guest list for the anniversary party, which Chloe accepted with a forced smile. Just then, Marlena's email popped up on Chloe's cell phone, but John didn't notice it.
Marlena went to the Brady Pub to talk to Roman about the anniversary party but got sidetracked after seeing that Anna was sitting alone at one of the tables, crying over a plate of comfort foods. Roman quietly informed Marlena that Anna had spent the night in the pub's guest room and hadn't gotten much sleep. Marlena guessed that Anna's reunion with Tony hadn't gone very well, and Roman confirmed the suspicion with a nod.
Marlena claimed the extra chair at the table and listened sympathetically as Anna vented about Tony's marriage to Nicole.
"Look, Anna, I can assure you that Nicole's feelings for Tony are strictly platonic -- [and that] he only married her to help her take over DiMera," Marlena stressed afterward. "[But] she failed, so there's no point to the marriage [anymore, and] they should get divorced!" Anna argued. "[And] I'm sure he will divorce her -- and then come right back to you," Marlena soothingly reasoned. "Well, one would think so...but, apparently, he has agreed to stand by her side until she is crowned the Grand Poo Bah of DiMera!" Anna clarified. "Well, that could take awhile..." Marlena acknowledged, surprised. "Exactly -- [or] forever!" Anna fretted.
"Did he explain why?" Marlena asked. "Some drivel about...oh, saving her life, and feeling responsible for her...[but] I'm not buying it!" Anna replied. "Yeah, well, it -- it is curious..." Marlena conceded. "No -- it's wrong, is what it is!" Anna stressed before suddenly deciding that Marlena might be the one person who could help.
Tony was distractedly strolling through Horton Town Square, consumed with feelings of regret about the way in which the reunion with Anna had played out, when Kate approached and again asked for help with Kristen. "I'm sorry, Kate -- I don't think it's wise to stir things up," Tony insisted. "When did you start playing it so safe?" Kate snapped as Tony walked away.
Later, Marlena entered the town square and spotted Tony, who was sitting alone at a table at the café, looking miserable. "Mind if an old friend joins you?" Marlena asked, causing Tony to perk up in an instant. "I'm a bit worse for wear, but...happy to be among the living," Tony summarized for Marlena with a chuckle. "[And] free to be with the woman you really love," Marlena pointed out, making Tony squirm a bit.
"Well, there are several factors [preventing that right now]... [See, I still] feel a certain responsibility to protect and defend the family legacy, [and] as far as Nicole is concerned, I saved her life, [so] I feel protective towards her, as well," Tony explained. "Why are we talking about responsibilities [when we should be] talking about love? [I mean], if love conquers all -- even your own death -- [then] you must do everything that you possibly can to be with Anna," Marlena argued. "Sorry, Marlena -- there's nothing I can do. I have to stay with Nicole for now," Tony maintained.
Marlena could tell that there was more to the story, but Tony refused to say anything else about the matter.
Brady went to Doug's Place to talk to Chloe about Nicole. "I think [we] might have a chance to [get it] right this time...[but] there's people out there that don't think that we should be rekindling this relationship," Brady grumbled. "What, did you take a poll?" Chloe dryly wondered. "No, but the other night, I went to [Nicole's] room, and Marlena was there...and, apparently, the two of them got into it," Brady clarified. "Oh... Yeah, that -- that's on me," Chloe admitted. Brady understood Chloe's concerns but promised to personally look after Nicole from that point forward.
Changing the subject, Brady wondered if the details of John and Marlena's anniversary party had been finalized yet. "There's a little bit of a complication," Chloe admitted. "It's kind of cute that they're in sync like that," Brady mused after Chloe elaborated. "No, it's a nightmare! [I mean], the logistics -- his guest list, her guest list, all the arrangements that have to be made, not to mention keeping the guests from spilling the beans..." Chloe fretted. "Leave 'the beans' to me," Brady assured Chloe, who gratefully accepted the help.
At the Salem Inn, Ben approached "Nicole's" hotel room and discovered that the door was slightly ajar. Ben listened at the door for a moment then sneaked inside -- and was stunned to see Ciara standing in the middle of the room, grinning mischievously. "What are you doing here?" Ben asked. "I convinced the maid that I was Nicole's assistant and absolutely had to be let into her room to get some important documents, or else [she] would fire me," Ciara replied. "You need to leave -- right now!" Ben worriedly insisted, but Ciara refused. "[See, this way], if we get caught, we can say it was all my idea, [and] you came to stop me," Ciara proudly explained.
Ben sighed and reluctantly agreed to go along with Ciara's plan -- but as the couple began searching the room, someone else approached it and started to sneak in.
Kristen, still disguised as Nicole, paused outside the Brady Pub to listen to Xander's voicemail message -- "Really? Voicemail? Do you think you can just ignore me, 'Nicole'? Because that would not be a very good idea. People are asking about Ted Laurent's murder, so you better call me back soon, unless you want me to send them straight to you for the answers." Annoyed, Kristen immediately called Xander back.
Just as Kristen finished recording a voicemail message for Xander, Anna stormed out of the pub, ready for a fight with "Nicole," who delighted in refusing to cut Tony loose anytime soon. "[Then] I'm going to kill you [and] make Tony a widower!" Anna vowed before lunging toward "Nicole" -- but Roman rushed out of the pub just then and stopped things from escalating further.
As Roman dragged Anna back inside the pub, "Nicole" received a phone call from Kate. "You know, you really shouldn't leave your jewelry hanging around. Someone could pick it up," Kate cryptically advised when "Nicole" answered the call, horrifying Kristen, who knew that meant that Kate was in "Nicole's" hotel room. "The door was open, so I let myself in," Kate innocently explained when "Nicole" demanded an explanation. "I'm not going anywhere until we talk -- face to face," Kate stressed before ending the call, further annoying Kristen, who grudgingly sent a text message to Shin about a delay then stormed off.
Marlena soon returned to the pub and apologetically informed Anna that the conversation with Tony hadn't really changed anything. "Oh, my God -- Nicole has gotten to him, hasn't she? She's gotten into his head! This is payback -- that's what it is! I helped E.J. steal Sydney, so [Nicole's] gonna steal Tony!" Anna fretted. "Well, I don't know about all that...[but] I do know that he loves you [and] wants to be with you, [so] you must not give up hope," Marlena advised. "Oh, what good is hope? Nicole Walker is a vindictive...bitch...and there's no way she's going to let my Tony go!" Anna argued.
Kristen returned to the Salem Inn and threatened, as Nicole, to have Kate arrested for breaking and entering. "I told you -- I didn't break in," Kate coolly countered before curiously observing that "Nicole" seemed worried about what someone might find in the hotel room. "Nicole" nervously dismissed the accusation then demanded to know what Kate wanted to discuss. "Well, let's start with the fact that it wasn't Stefan who arranged for Ted and me to be kidnapped," Kate suggested. Ben and Ciara, who were hiding under the bed, looked at each other in shock while waiting for the conversation to continue.
Tony gave Marlena's advice some serious thought then headed over to the Brady Pub to say something to Anna, who quickly interrupted. "If you are here to beg me to take you back, you're too late," Anna snapped.
"I'm marrying Roman!" Anna announced, stunning Tony -- and Roman, who was clearly hearing about the plan for the first time.
John and Hope went to the Kiriakis mansion to question Xander about Ted's murder. Xander was quick to blame Stefan for the crime, prompting Hope to reveal that the police had reason to believe that someone else could have been involved. "You see, they have evidence that places you in Laurent's apartment, which makes you the last person that saw Ted alive," John elaborated, stunning Xander.
"You're bluffing. What evidence could you possibly have?" Xander countered after recovering. "We found a $100 note in Ted's apartment with only two sets of prints on it -- his [and] yours," John explained. "We had a friendly wager on the European Championship -- Scotland versus France," Xander claimed. "We also found the necklace that Ted said he had given you," Hope revealed. "That string of bling has been gifted and regifted so many times [that] half of Salem's had their mitts on [it]," Xander argued. "But, you see, Ted had [it] spit-polished, and the only prints the cops pulled off it were yours," John clarified, leaving Xander speechless.
Xander soon recovered again and dismissed John and Hope's revelations as poor attempts at a setup. "It's not like you two have any authority -- I mean, you're just a washed-up ex-police commissioner, [Hope], and you're just a poor man's 007, [John], so who the hell are you to --" Xander began to add. "We are giving you an opportunity to get out in front of this! Take it -- before the police arrest you for murder one!" Hope urgently advised. "[Or] kick us out -- [it's] your call," John tiredly acknowledged, pretending not to care either way. "That reminds me -- I have to make a call," Xander claimed before rushing into the living room.
"I think our bluff is working. He's a bit rattled," John told Hope once the coast was clear. "Xander can talk all he wants about being a dealmaker, [but he's really just] a coward. Let's hope he flips," Hope told John. Meanwhile, in the living room, Xander listened to Kristen's voicemail message -- "You know I don't know anything about Ted's death...but you already admitted that you kidnapped him, and it's only a matter of time before the police figure out that Stefan paid you to shoot that poor man in the chest." Afterward, Xander grumbled, "Oh, no, you don't, Kristen -- there's no way you're throwing me under the bus!"
Xander called John and Hope into the living room. "Self-preservation is a priority, [and] I'm a born dealmaker, so let's make a deal. [I'll tell you] everything I know -- including who put me up to all this," Xander declared.
Xander confirms Stefan is innocent
In the Brady Pub, Anna informed Tony that she was engaged to Roman. "This is not what you want. I don't believe this," Tony said. Anna grabbed Roman and kissed him. "This is not real. You love me, not him," Tony said. Anna said she had loved Tony but had moved on.
"But I'm standing right here!" Tony objected. Anna explained that she had returned to Salem to inter Tony's ashes and move on with Roman. Roman remained speechless as Anna told Tony that she had grown closer to Roman when he had stood by her when the police had accused her of Andre's murder. Anna noted that she and Roman had dated, and she encouraged him to confirm her story.
"Yeah. But we broke up," Roman stammered. "What kind of game are you playing here?" Tony wondered aloud. Anna admitted that she and Roman had broken up because she had been unable to let go of Tony. Anna added that she had gotten past her feelings for Tony and was ready to move on with Roman.
"This doesn't make sense! I was with Marlena, and she told me that you were heartbroken this morning because you and I are gonna spend another day apart," Tony cried out. With a smile, Anna said that Marlena had been mistaken.
"I see it in your eyes. You love me just as much as I love you," Tony said. Tony told Anna that they belonged together. "Then why are you still married to Nicole?" Anna asked. Tony promised that his marriage to Nicole would not be forever. Annoyed, Anna said she did not want to wait for someone that believed a company was more important than her. Anna said she and Roman were anxious to spend their lives together.
Tony leaned in close to Roman and asked if he intended to make Anna his wife. Roman hesitated then said, "We didn't get it right the first time, and I am a big believer in second chances." Upset, Tony said that he had battled back from death because he wanted to return to Anna. "I am not about to give you up for another man!" Tony yelled. Anna told Tony that the only way he could win her back was to divorce Nicole.
"I understand what is going on. You're using Roman to try and force my hand," Tony said. Anna denied the charge, but Tony countered that Anna would have married Roman if she had truly loved him. "All I know is that I want a husband who truly loves me. It might be Roman; it might be you. May the best man win," Anna said. Tony said he would think about it.
After Tony left, Anna thanked Roman for playing along. "I don't appreciate being blindsided," Roman grumbled. Anna argued that her bluff would force Tony to return to his senses and divorce Nicole. "What if he doesn't?" Roman asked. Anna said she was certain that Tony was stewing with jealousy. When Roman reiterated his question, Anna said they would "cross that bridge when we come to it."
At the police station, Gabi asked Rafe if he had found any evidence to clear Stefan of Ted's murder. Rafe warned Gabi that she could not ask him about an ongoing investigation. "He's my husband. If he is innocent, I have a right to know," Gabi insisted. With a look of disbelief, Rafe pointed out that Gabi had only married Stefan to get revenge. Rafe noted that Gabi did not appear happy, and he asked her if she had second thoughts about destroying Stefan.
Before Gabi could answer, an officer called Rafe down to the evidence room. While Rafe was away, Gabi rifled through the folders on Rafe's desk until she saw one labeled: "Laurent -- Homicide." As Gabi opened the folder, Rafe returned and complained that Gabi had jeopardized his job with her snooping.
"I need to know who that woman is in the file," Gabi argued. Confused, Rafe asked Gabi what she meant. Gabi handed the folder to Rafe and barked, "This mystery woman." As Rafe sat at his desk, Gabi explained that Hope had seen a woman in the park. Gabi shared her theory that the mystery woman had been in Ted's apartment, and she added that she was sure that the woman had killed Ted.
"All I can tell you is that I am asking the same questions that you are asking me," Rafe confirmed. With a nod, Gabi argued that the woman could have shot Ted before Stefan had arrived at the apartment. Frustrated, Rafe told Gabi that he was looking for the woman already.
"If Stefan didn't kill Ted, then he is not going to go to prison. This changes everything," Gabi said. Concerned, Rafe countered, "I still don't get why you care, but if you hate Stefan, then why are you worried about what happens to him?" Gabi explained that if Stefan was cleared of wrongdoing, he could go after her.
"You want him to be cleared on one hand, but yet on the other, you're worried if he is cleared that he is going to come after you?" Rafe asked. Gabi said she did not want Stefan to be wrongfully convicted, but she also worried that "he could be a maniac." Unconvinced, Rafe said, "I think you're in love with him."
"How could I possibly love a man that framed me for a murder that I did not commit?" Gabi countered. Rafe said he understood that Gabi had suffered, but he warned her that revenge would not make her feel better in the long term. Rafe urged Gabi to be honest with herself about her feelings for Stefan. Rafe pointed out that Gabi had defended Stefan against the kidnapping charges, and Gabi was hopeful that Stefan was innocent of murder.
"I never said that," Gabi protested. "Didn't have to. I can see it," Rafe said. Rafe added that although he did not want Gabi to be with Stefan, he would not stand in her way. "I hope he is innocent and that it all works out," Rafe said.
In the Kiriakis living room, a defensive Xander told John and Hope that he would tell them who had made him kidnap Ted and Kate. "If it wasn't Stefan, who were you working for?" John asked. When Xander paused, Hope assured him that he could tell them anything, and it would not surprise them.
"Trust me. You will be blown away when I tell you who is really running this show," Xander said. Xander offered to spill the beans if he could secure another immunity deal. When John demanded the information, Xander explained that John had warned him that his immunity deal would be invalidated if he changed his testimony.
"I don't want to end up being charged with Ted's murder," Xander muttered. John explained that neither he nor Hope could give Xander an immunity deal. When Xander shrugged, Hope warned Xander that the police would suspect him. "If you tell us the truth right now, we can help you get out in front of all this and avoid a long stretch in prison," John said. Xander reiterated that he had not killed Ted. Xander urged John and Hope to track down the real killer.
John took Hope aside to talk privately. John said his gut told him that Xander had information they wanted. Hope agreed it was worth a shot to talk to the D.A. about an immunity deal. "Let's head down to the station and see what we can do for you," Hope said to Xander.
At the Salem Inn, Ben and Ciara hid under the bed in "Nicole's" room and listened as Kate and "Nicole" talked. Kate said she wanted to discuss the fact that Stefan had not ordered the kidnapping. "Nicole" played dumb, but Kate argued that she knew that Xander had not taken Ted from the docks. When "Nicole" pushed for details, Kate explained that Ted had told her that he had been hit over the head by Nicole.
"I don't know why Ted would tell you that, but he was lying," "Nicole" said. "My eyes weren't lying when I saw you open the door to the secret room. You saw Ted and me, and you slammed the door shut," Kate countered. Kate asked if "Nicole" had knocked her out, too.
"Either it was you, or it is the person that is threatening us both," Kate said. Annoyed, "Nicole" opened the door to show Kate out. "I know you're as scared as I am," Kate said. Kate offered to team up against their shared nemesis. "Nicole's" phone rang. It was Mr. Shin calling from the town square. Mr. Shin complained that "Nicole" had kept him waiting.
As Stefan rounded the corner in the square, he overheard Mr. Shin on the phone. "I will support [Gabi] as CEO unless you can make an extremely compelling argument as to why you should replace her," Shin warned "Nicole." As Shin ended the call, Stefan marched over and warned him that Nicole was "dangerous, erratic, and untrustworthy."
"That's rich coming from a man that's just been charged with murder," Shin countered. Stefan argued that Nicole was the criminal, not him. Stefan added that Nicole would swear loyalty and then stab that person in the back. As Shin appeared to mull over Stefan's words, Stefan stressed that someone had framed him for the kidnapping and the murder.
"Miss Hernandez?" Shin asked. Shin noted that Nicole had informed him that Gabi had married Stefan in order to settle a score. "That is true, Gabi wants to destroy my life, but Nicole is the one who is trying to frame me," Stefan argued. "Another personal vendetta?" Shin asked. With a sigh, Stefan admitted that he did not know Nicole's motivation.
"I think Nicole killed Ted to put the final nail in my coffin," Stefan said. Shin noted that Stefan's accusation was a serious charge without proof. Stefan promised that he had someone investigating Nicole.
At the Salem Inn, "Nicole" was eager to meet with Shin, but Kate refused to let her go. "Don't you realize we could both end up like Ted?" Kate asked. "Nicole" said she was not worried because she was doing what she was supposed to do. "Nicole" added that Kate had made a big mistake in her attempt to team up. Worried, Kate begged "Nicole" not to tell anyone that she had been there.
"I'm sorry, Kate, but, unlike you, I know where my loyalties belong," "Nicole" said. With a satisfied grin, "Nicole" walked out. "What the hell have I done? Who's going to help me now?" Kate muttered to herself. "How about us?" Ben said as he and Ciara crawled out from under the bed. Kate hurriedly closed the door and asked why they were hiding in Nicole's room. Ben explained that they were helping Stefan.
"Mr. DiMera believes that Nicole is setting him up for your kidnapping and Ted's murder. We came here to find proof," Ben said. "And based on what we just heard, Nicole isn't the only one involved," Ciara added. Ben asked who was pulling the strings. Kate warned Ben and Ciara to forget everything they had heard. Ben reminded Kate that she had told the police that Stefan was to blame.
"I had no choice. My family was threatened," Kate growled. Ben argued that Stefan was as much a victim as Kate and that they should team up together. "Nicole is already out there reporting what I wanted to do. I'm as good as dead," Kate said. Ciara asked to whom Nicole reported. Upset, Kate yelled at Ben and Ciara to leave. Under threat of security, Ben and Ciara reluctantly left.
When Tony returned home to the Salem Inn, Kate was still there. Kate informed Tony that she had attempted to convince Nicole to help her fight back against Kristen. "She is totally under Kristen's control," Kate lamented. "I don't know anything about that," Tony said. Kate said she hoped Tony was truthful because her life was on the line. With a nod, Tony said he had his own problems because of his marriage to Nicole. Tony told Kate about Anna's ultimatum.
"Roman wouldn't marry Anna," Kate said. Tony noted that Roman was with Anna. With a shrug, Kate suggested that Tony was better off without someone as unstable as Anna. After Kate left, Tony stared at a photo of Anna and thought about Kristen's warning to steer clear of her.
In the square, "Nicole" was annoyed to arrive and find no trace of Shin. "Nicole" left a voicemail stating that she was anxious to talk about how to oust Gabi from the company before she could destroy it. When Shin failed to show, "Nicole" grumbled that Gabi was to blame. "Nice try, bitch. You're going down," "Nicole" muttered.
In the park, Stefan thanked Shin for moving their conversation to the park for privacy. Stefan urged Shin to get rid of Nicole, but Shin reasoned aloud that without proof, he was reluctant to force Nicole out of the company. Shin's phone rang. It was "Nicole." Stefan asked Shin not to answer Nicole's call until Stefan could gather more proof. With a nod, Mr. Shin agreed to ignore Nicole for the time being, but he noted that there was no guarantee that he would restore Stefan as CEO. Shin argued that the company was at risk if Gabi decided to destroy it.
After Shin left, Ben and Ciara met up with Stefan in the park. Ben told Stefan that Kate had interrupted them during their search and that they had overheard a conversation between Nicole and Kate. "So [Nicole] did try to frame me?" Stefan asked. Ben explained that there was a third party that had leverage over Kate and Nicole.
"So we need to get Kate alone?" Stefan suggested. Ben told Stefan that he had pitched the idea to Kate to team up with Stefan, but she had turned him down. "If Kate won't play ball, then I'll go to Nicole," Stefan said.
At the police station, Hope, John, and Xander met with Rafe to discuss an immunity deal. "So, Stefan's not involved?" Rafe asked. Xander explained that he had been in fear for his life and had lied to protect himself. Rafe escorted Xander to talk to Melinda Trask then he returned to the bullpen to tell John and Hope that Xander's testimony was wobbly because he was a liar.
"Whoever this mystery woman is, we need to catch her before she hurts someone else," Rafe said. After John and Hope left, Rafe texted Stefan and asked him to meet at the station. When Stefan arrived, Rafe informed him that Xander intended to point the finger at someone else.
"I told you I was innocent," Stefan said. When Stefan said he was eager to tell Gabi that he was going to take his company back from her, Rafe nodded. As Stefan started to leave, Rafe stopped him.
"For the record? I just spoke with my sister, actually, and as much as she wants revenge, I actually think she regrets what she did to you," Rafe said. Rafe added that he did not want Stefan to go near his sister, but he knew that Gabi had feelings for Stefan.
"I think you feel the same way about her. So why don't the two of you just grow up, be honest with each other, and put this behind you," Rafe suggested. Without a word, Stefan walked out.
In the square, Hope and John agreed that their interrogation of Xander had been beneficial. "I wish we had more to go on. If we could identify that mystery woman," Hope said. As Ben and Ciara approached, Ciara said, "Actually, we have some new leads."
At Doug's' Place, Kate left a voicemail for Xander to set up a meeting with Kristen. "This needs to be over," Kate said. Kate sat down and sipped a martini, and Shin sidled up beside her at the bar. Shin admitted that neither Gabi nor Nicole inspired much confidence in him. "There is another Mrs. DiMera I could consider," Shin said.
When Gabi arrived home, she thought about what Rafe had said about her feelings for Stefan. Gabi started to text Stefan, but she stopped herself. "Nicole" barged in and exclaimed, "Where is Shin? What kind of bull have you been feeding him?" Gabi said she did not know what Nicole was talking about. "Nicole" explained that Shin had failed to meet up with her because Gabi had stopped him.
"You're sounding paranoid," Gabi said. "Nicole" informed Gabi that she had told Shin about Gabi's plot to destroy Stefan. "He knows that you're a schemey little bitch, and he is going to fire your ass and make me CEO!" "Nicole" said with glee. "You're the one that kidnapped Kate and Ted and tried to pin it on Stefan," Gabi countered. Gabi said that the cops agreed with her and were investigating a mystery woman.
"You didn't just frame Stefan for kidnapping; you framed him for murder!" Gabi exclaimed. "Nicole" smirked. "It was you. You killed Ted Laurent," Gabi said. "Nicole" denied that she had been a part of Ted's murder. Gabi shook her head no. Gabi argued that Nicole had killed two birds with one stone by killing Ted because it had kept Ted quiet, and it had framed Stefan.
"You don't know what you're talking about," "Nicole" said. Gabi said she would not let Nicole frame Stefan or take the company. "Nicole" grabbed Gabi and banged her head against the table. Gabi cried out in horror, and she struggled with "Nicole." Gabi clutched "Nicole's" hair in her hand and pulled. When the mask gave way, Gabi fell to the ground and stared at it. Gabi looked over and exclaimed, "Kristen?"