Eli and Lani watched helplessly as Xander started to walk out of the police station as a free man yet again.
"Well, well, well -- if it isn't the Teflon Don of Salem," Eli called out, stopping Xander. "It's within my legal rights to seek as many immunity deals as the D.A.'s willing to allow...and, so far, she's been very willing," Xander reasoned, shrugging unapologetically. "How is it that you make everything sound so...sleazy?" Lani asked with a cringe of disgust. "It's a gift," Xander proudly replied.
"You know, instead of shaming me, the police should be thanking me -- for exposing Kristen DiMera's latest reign of terror," Xander argued. "A hell of a lot sooner would have been nice," Eli countered.
"[Yeah, well], now you know...and I suggest that you and the lovely Detective Price get off your bottoms and go and arrest Kristen [right now, because I know] I won't feel safe walking the streets of Salem until that bitch is behind bars," Xander continued. "Actually...we [already] have Kristen in custody...[and] she was not happy when Hope told her that you ratted her out to D.A. Trask," Lani revealed, drawing a gulp from Xander. "Care to say hello?" Eli teasingly wondered, delighting in watching Xander squirm. "There's no way Kristen can be released...right?" Xander asked hopefully. "You sound nervous," Eli curiously observed.
"[But] I guess I would be, too, if I flipped on Kristen DiMera," Eli conceded with a shake of the head. "I, uh...have someplace to be," Xander announced before rushing off.
Outside Doug's Place, Anna listened in shock as Tony regretfully admitted to having accidentally killed Ted while trying to protect Kristen.
"Kristen's [been] using [the shooting] as leverage [to keep me married to her...and she also] threatened to hurt you if I didn't [cooperate...so], as much as I wanted to come back to you, there was only one choice to be made, and that choice was to protect your life at all costs, [because] your life, whether I share it or not, is the most precious thing on earth for me," Tony summarized afterward, making Anna swoon.
Maggie was sitting alone in the living room, reading a book, when Sarah and Eric entered the Kiriakis mansion.
"I didn't expect to see you tonight," Maggie admitted, pleasantly surprised that Sarah and Eric had decided to stop by after John and Marlena's anniversary party had ended. "How's Victor doing?" Sarah asked. "Better -- it was a good idea to keep him home," Maggie replied before changing the subject, wanting to hear all about the party.
"Were John and Marlena surprised?" Maggie excitedly wondered. "We...all were..." Sarah awkwardly began to explain.
"So, then, I [really did see] Kristen in the red dress [in Nicole's hotel room]. I know I'd been drinking, but I wasn't hallucinating," Maggie realized after hearing the whole story. "I am so sorry that we doubted you," Sarah stressed. "No apologies, sweetie -- I was drinking, and I shouldn't have been," Maggie acknowledged with a shrug.
"[Kristen] didn't act alone -- she had an accomplice," Eric began to inform Maggie -- just as Xander entered the mansion. "[And] there he is now," Sarah concluded with a sigh of disgust.
"You knew 'Nicole' was Kristen, and you said nothing?" Maggie asked incredulously. "I didn't have much choice. [I mean], I wanted to -- I did -- [but] I've been working with Kristen since her science experiment in Nashville, and when she gets her hooks in you, she doesn't let go," Xander sheepishly replied. "I told you I saw Kristen, and you made me think I was hallucinating!" Maggie snapped. "I am so sorry for that," Xander stressed. "Victor is right -- you don't deserve to be a part of this family!" Maggie spat. "I made mistakes," Xander acknowledged.
"[And] I regret them, [but] I'm trying to make good [now]. I just sang like a bird to the police about Kristen [to ensure that] she won't get away with what she's done," Xander continued. "Things that she did with your help!" Sarah stressed. "You know, [I already] thought you were a piece of trash [for] helping Deimos kidnap Nicole, but what you did to Holly was pure evil," Eric insisted.
At Doug's Place, Susan complained to Will and Sonny -- the only other people who were still at the club -- that the "mean, mean, mean" Kristen DiMera had ruined John and Marlena's anniversary party. "Well, thanks to you, Marlena is alive and can celebrate many more anniversaries," Sonny told Susan. "That's true. Last time Kristen showed up, [my grandmother] wasn't so lucky," Will pointed out.
"The only good thing that came out of that ruined wedding was that you got your memory back," Sonny said to Will with a smile of gratitude. "Yeah," Will agreed, smiling back at Sonny. "[But], as thrilled as I am about that, Kristen set off a chain of events [back then] that devastated too many people in this town," Will fretted. "Yeah. Well, hopefully, this time, it'll be different," Sonny stressed.
Will filled a glass with water and handed it to Susan, who scoffed at it. "I need somethin' [much] stronger," Susan insisted while pouring the water onto the nearest flower arrangement, leaving Will and Sonny speechless. "Um... All right... Well, one shot, [then] -- coming right up," Sonny announced after recovering from the shock of Susan's unexpected move. "[Actually], can you make me one of those, um, Blue Hawaiians -- [maybe] with a little extra crème de la coconut?" Susan asked hopefully. "Um...no?" Sonny replied after failing to locate the needed ingredients. "[A] shot's gonna do fine, [then]," Susan grumbled.
"Make it a double," Susan impatiently demanded as Sonny began filling a different glass with whiskey. Sonny looked at Will with obvious confusion as Susan first gargled then gulped down the whiskey. Will shrugged at Sonny, equally confused, then suddenly realized that Susan might be trying to use the whiskey to numb sore teeth. Susan bitterly confirmed that chewing through rope bindings with teeth that had already suffered at the hands of the "mean, mean, mean" Kate Roberts earlier that night had been a very unpleasant experience. "How could she think I could be Kristen bein' me?" Susan wondered.
"It was obviously Kristen who showed up at our door last month," Sonny told Will. "No, no, no, Sonny -- that was me," Susan insisted. "[But Kristen] showed up first," Will clarified, realizing that Sonny was right. "[And] she was, like, [acting] really weird -- like, even for..." Sonny began to elaborate before stopping abruptly, and Will nodded in agreement. "What? What? 'Even for'...whom?" Susan impatiently prodded Sonny and Will, oblivious. Sonny and Will ignored Susan's questions and forged ahead, guessing that Xander had stolen Kristen's mask at one point and had replaced it with a novelty mask.
"I don't [even] want to think about what would have happened if we hadn't taken the gun from her that day," Will told Sonny as Susan struggled to keep up with what was being discussed. "[So, that's why] you two gave me that gun -- just outta the blue," Susan eventually realized. "Yeah, because we thought it was yours," Will confirmed. "[And why] you accused me [of] throwin' myself at [Brady, even though] you know that I only have, in this love tank of mine, room for my Roger," Susan continued, making a few suggestive movements. "[Kristen] practically just stripped [Brady's] towel off of him," Sonny explained.
"My God -- she besmirched my good name! [And then] she did the same to my sister -- Sister Mary Moira! Oh, that little she-devil! She made us [both] look like floozies!" Susan complained with a gasp of horror. "I should have known that I wasn't talkin' to my sister [after she told me she was] elopin' with the gardener [and takin' a] cruise around the world -- [I mean, she's been] a prude from the get-go, [and] she gets seasick just takin' a bath! Why didn't I know? [I mean], I may be some things, but I am definitely, definitely, definitely no fool!" Susan continued, prompting Sonny to stress that Kristen had fooled everyone.
"[And she did it] with the help of Xander...which explains the payments that she was making to [him]," Sonny told Will. "If only we'd figured that out sooner. [Maybe] we could have stopped Kristen from terrorizing Salem again," Will fretted. "And who knows -- maybe even Ted Laurent would still be alive," Sonny mused. "I just hope [that], for once, the police figure out a way to put Kristen in jail -- for good and for keeps -- 'cause that woman [is] a terror!" Susan, who had never stopped knocking back shots of whiskey, drunkenly declared before asking Will and Sonny for a refill -- all while struggling to stay upright on a barstool.
"I think you've had enough," Will insisted, and Sonny agreed, causing Susan to start pouting in protest.
Outnumbered and defeated, Susan hesitantly rose from the barstool and prepared to leave the club, prompting Will and Sonny to start raving again about how Susan had saved Marlena's life earlier. Susan quickly perked up but tried to downplay what had happened, arguing that any other decent person would have done the same thing if given the opportunity. Will and Sonny allowed for that possibility but insisted that didn't make Susan's act of heroism any less impressive. Susan tried to object to being called a hero but eventually agreed to accept the praise. "I'm so grateful to have you in my life, Susan -- really," Will stressed.
"We should probably stay and clean up, but why don't we get our hero a cab?" Will suggested to Sonny, who nodded in agreement. "To the airport," Susan requested, missing Roger.
"I didn't get to dance tonight!" Susan suddenly remembered. "We can dance to the cab," Will offered while helping Sonny ensure that Susan managed to exit the club without falling.
At the police station, Kristen stunned Brady with the revelation that Tony had killed Ted.
"If all of this is true, then you won't mind telling the police, will you?" Brady challenged Kristen after hearing the whole story. "If it will prove to you that everything I've done was a way to find my way back to you," Kristen assured Brady, who quickly called Eli and Lani into the conference room to record the statement.
Tony and Anna entered the police station shortly after Eli and Lani finished recording Kristen's statement. Tony -- who had decided to confess to being responsible for Ted's death -- was surprised to learn that Eli and Lani already knew -- or, at least, thought they knew -- everything, thanks to Kristen. "My sister must have told you that [Ted's death] was an accident," Tony assumed. "[Actually]...she left that part out," Lani revealed, leaving Tony even more surprised -- and hurt, too. "Tony is a hero! The only reason he didn't tell anyone what that evil woman was up to is because she threatened to kill me if he did!" Anna explained to Eli and Lani.
Meanwhile, Brady challenged Kristen to admit to being responsible for Holly's death. "If you ever cared about me at all --" Brady began to add. "'If' I ever cared about you?" Kristen incredulously repeated.
"How can you even doubt that you're my world? Everything I've done is for you! [See], I love you -- and I know you love me, [too]! You can tell yourself whatever you want, but I know [that] when you made love to 'Nicole'...deep down, you knew it was me! [After all], you know every curve on this body -- my body -- [and] that mask [may have] let you believe what you needed to believe to make you feel safe, [but] you felt my love -- you felt me -- every time you [touched] that scar of the phoenix. [You even] admitted it to 'Nicole' -- [that] you still have feelings for me," Kristen argued.
"You asked 'Nicole' if she saw me in the fire because you were hoping that I was still alive. And 'Nicole' asked you if you would go back to me if I was. [And] I knew, at that moment, that you still wanted us to be together, [even if] you weren't ready to say it [yet]. I am the only woman that you have ever wanted, [and you still] want me now -- I can see it," Kristen triumphantly concluded, annoying Brady.
Meanwhile, Tony and Anna made plans for the future while waiting for Eli and Lani to finish talking to Trask about Ted's death. "So, am I free to go?" Tony asked hopefully when Eli and Lani finally returned. "I'm afraid that I spoke too soon when I said that D.A. Trask might be willing to cut you a deal. [See, she's just] been reappointed by the mayor, [and] she's afraid that if she does cut you a deal, it'll make her look soft on crime. And it doesn't help that you're a DiMera; she has a vendetta against your family," Eli apologetically replied before placing Tony under arrest, leaving Anna horrified.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie, Sarah, and Eric continued lashing out at Xander, who eventually managed to shut them up long enough to clarify that Holly wasn't dead.
At the police station, Brady vehemently denied being in love with Kristen. "You murdered a child! How in the hell am I ever supposed to have feelings for you [again after that]?" Brady reasoned. "Except...I didn't," Kristen countered. "Holly's alive? [Then] where is she?" Brady asked incredulously. "Where every little girl should be -- with her mother," Kristen teasingly replied.
Stefan confesses his love for Gabi
In the police station bullpen, Lani booked Tony for murder charges, and she held him at her desk while she waited for a cell to open up. Anna held Tony's hand, and he urged her to go home. Anna refused to leave. Anna promised to raise Tony's bond and spring him from jail. With a shake of her head, Lani informed Tony and Anna that Tony was considered a flight risk. Anna wiped away tears as Tony comforted her.
"To mourn you for all those years and thinking I'd never see you again, and then to have this miracle gift of you being back only to be locked away," Anna said. Tony gasped. When Anna asked what was wrong, Tony said he had remembered that Kristen had told him she had locked up Gabi and Stefan in the tunnels.
"You know she wanted me to kill both of them? And when I refused, she got very upset," Tony said. Thrilled, Anna urged Tony to use the information for leverage to gain his freedom. Tony did not think the information would be enough to secure his freedom. Tony worried aloud that he could not guarantee that Gabi and Stefan were still alive. Tony was anxious to tell the police about Gabi and Stefan, but Anna urged him to remain calm.
"You know those tunnels are airtight? There is a limited amount of oxygen down there," Tony muttered. Anna complained that Tony was putting the needs of his family ahead of her again. "What is important to you, Tony? Do you really want to risk your life and our future for Vivian Alamain's bastard son?" Anna asked.
After putting a drunken Susan into a cab, Will and Sonny returned to an empty Doug's Place. Sonny's phone beeped with a text from Arianna's babysitter. "Gabi never called her back. Where could she be?" Sonny wondered aloud. Will called Gabi, but she did not answer her cell phone. Sonny suggested that Gabi was busy at work, but Will reminded Sonny that as a CEO, Sonny had always made time for personal calls from home.
"You're right. So would Gabi," Sonny said. Sonny noted that Gabi had left her phone with Nicole earlier. Will's eyes went wide. "Hold on! The last person who saw Gabi was Nicole," Will exclaimed. "It was Kristen DiMera!" Sonny yelled. Sonny told Will about his run-in with Nicole in the DiMera living room.
"So, we only have Kristen's word that Gabi left the mansion, and we know that she was furious that Gabi was running DiMera," Will noted. "What if Kristen did something to hurt Gabi?" Sonny asked with worry. With Rafe out on a stakeout, Will and Sonny decided to go to the police station.
In the wine cellar of the DiMera tunnels, Stefan yelled for help until a frustrated Gabi urged him to "give it a rest." "Now that we've got a little time to kill, you want to discuss what the hell just happened between us?" Stefan asked. Gabi thought about the sex she had had with Stefan in the wine cellar.
"Please tell me you're not reading into this. Into what we just did," Gabi said with a nervous chuckle. "I don't think there's much reading that needs to be done," Stefan returned. Gabi reminded Stefan that they had had "hate sex" numerous times before. When Stefan pushed, Gabi admitted that she had enjoyed the sex. Gabi waved it off, and Stefan laughed. "Is there something funny?" Gabi asked defensively.
"[It's] only your continuing insistence that there is nothing between us but the physical when it is obvious that you have feelings for me," Stefan pointed out. Gabi shrugged. "I've never denied that I had feelings for you. Feelings like disgust and hate, the heartfelt wish that you were dead," Gabi joked. As Gabi continued to talk about her loathing for Stefan, he walked closer until he was almost touching her.
"Go ahead. Loathe me, hate me. Do whatever the hell it is you want. The truth is I've gotten past it," Stefan said. Stefan explained that he had hated Gabi for plotting against him, but underneath, he had seen something more.
"Underneath all that hate and anger, there was something else. Something I don't even know how to describe. So, all that time we spent side by side, working together, I saw how your mind works. I saw that you go after what you want, anything you want, anyone else be damned," Stefan said.
"Everything about you, all the deviousness, the passion, the treachery, the genius, all those qualities are exactly what caused me to fall for you," Stefan said. "You fell for me?" Gabi asked quietly. Stefan nodded yes. "I should have admitted it before now, but my pride, my ego, wouldn't let me do it," Stefan admitted. Stefan said he did not want to leave anything unsaid in case they died in the cellar.
"I care for you, Gabi Hernandez, and I'm done pretending I don't," Stefan said firmly. "It was just sex. Nothing more," Gabi said. Stefan noted that although Gabi might feel that way, he did not.
"If we get out of here, you can keep on trying to destroy me, you can keep on hating me, hell, you can use what I just confessed to you against me, but I am opening my heart to you, knowing full well you promised to break it," Stefan said. Gabi nodded. "You're right. After what you did to me, I vowed to seduce you and crush your heart into a million pieces," Gabi confirmed.
"So, what are you waiting for?" Stefan asked. Gabi softened. "I can't," Gabi said. When Stefan asked why, Gabi muttered, "I am going to hate myself for this so much more than I hate you." Gabi admitted that she felt the same way about Stefan that he did about her. Stefan laughed. Gabi noted that Brady and Kate had warned her that she might fall for Stefan.
"I didn't listen. I said to myself, 'No, you're never going to get hurt again. You're never going to fall for a guy again.' But the joke's on me, because not only did I feel something for the man that I most despise on this planet, but I actually fell in love with him," Gabi said. Stefan grinned and slowly approached. As Stefan leaned in to kiss Gabi, the door to the room opened. It was Anna.
"I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" Anna asked. Gabi rushed over and yelled that they had been trapped in the room. "You're both okay, all right?" Anna asked. Gabi and Stefan said they were fine. When Stefan thanked Anna for rescuing them, she wrinkled her nose. Anna explained that their rescue would take a little longer. Anna threw two bottles of water in the air, and as Stefan and Gabi caught the bottles, Anna closed the door. Stefan and Gabi pounded on the door, but it was locked.
"I am so sorry! I'll be back as soon as I can," Anna yelled through the door. While Gabi paced and wondered aloud how Anna could have left them there, Stefan started to sip from his water bottle. Worried, Gabi snatched it out of his hand and warned him that the water could be tainted.
"Why would Anna poison us?" Stefan asked. Gabi suggested that Anna could be working with Kristen to eliminate loose ends. With a sigh, Stefan gently took Gabi by the shoulders and assured her that they would get out of the room.
"We've finally admitted our true feelings for one another, so maybe being trapped down here wasn't the worst thing. I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to be rescued anytime soon," Stefan said. Gabi agreed, and Stefan kissed her.
In the bullpen at the police station, a panicked Will and Sonny rushed in and told Lani that Gabi was missing. Across the room, Tony raised his head.
In the interrogation room, a stunned Brady muttered, "Holly's alive?" Brady demanded to know where to find the little girl. "[Holly] is exactly where she should be. With her mother," Kristen said. Brady reminded Kristen that he had watched Nicole burn to death. Kristen shook her head no. "I found Nicole. I got her out. I saved her life," Kristen explained.
"You're telling me they're both alive?" Brady asked. Kristen said she had watched Brady drag Eric out of the building. Confused, Brady asked Kristen how she had freed Nicole. Kristen explained that she had located a window and pulled Nicole out that way. Kristen added that Nicole had been grateful but desperate to see Holly. When Brady asked what Kristen had done, Kristen said she had made Nicole an offer.
"Her baby for her life," Kristen said. Kristen noted that Nicole had been no threat to her, so she had let her live. "I wanted nothing more than for Nicole to be with her daughter," Kristen said. Kristen explained that in exchange for Holly, Nicole had helped Kristen learn to mimic her movements so that Kristen could masquerade as her when she returned to Salem. "I made sure that no one would come looking for [Nicole] or Holly," Kristen added.
"Why should I believe a single word that you say?" Brady asked. "You should know by now that I would go to any lengths to be near you," Kristen purred as she reached out and caressed Brady's hand. Brady noted that Kristen had lied to him with her words and her physical presence, and he had no reason to believe she was truthful then. Kristen smiled.
"I think a part of you, I mean, maybe even a part that is bigger than you are willing to admit, knew it was me all along," Kristen said. Kristen added that Brady had lied to himself. "Nicole never kissed you the way I did. Nicole never touched you the way I did," Kristen said. Brady pulled his hand away. Kristen urged Brady to trust her. Brady asked Kristen to trust him first.
"I trust you more than any other man in this entire world. Why else would I tell you that Nicole is alive?" Kristen said. Brady said he was reluctant to believe Kristen after everything that had happened. Brady asked for information about Nicole. "You remember when you said that I was a different person when I was with you? Same is true of you," Brady said. Brady reminded Kristen that she had once said Brady made her want to be good.
"I would love to see that goodness in you now, this moment," Brady said. Brady demanded that Kristen tell him where to find Nicole. Kristen said she wanted to believe that there was a chance for her to be with Brady, but she was concerned that Brady would ignore his feelings and rush after Nicole. Kristen told Brady that if he secured her immunity from all her crimes, she would tell the police where to find Holly and Nicole.
Brady explained that he did not think Melinda Trask would be open to helping a DiMera, but Kristen argued that the D.A. would be interested in the return of Nicole and Holly. Brady countered that Kristen's demand sounded like she was threatening the lives of Nicole and Holly if Kristen did not get what she wanted. "I can't help how it sounds. All I know is that you have a choice to make," Kristen said.
In the Kiriakis living room, Eric and Sarah stared daggers at Xander. "I knew that you were a sadistic, opportunistic creep but to do this, to tell us that Holly is alive? That's cruel," Sarah spat at Xander. Xander swore he had no reason to lie. Maggie asked Xander if he was having fun at their expense.
"I wouldn't do that to you, Maggie. I swear to you. To all of you," Xander promised. Xander explained that he could tell the truth, since Kristen was behind bars. Stunned, Maggie noted that she had no reason to trust Xander, but her heart told her that Xander had been truthful.
"Our little Holly is alive," Maggie said as she fell into Sarah's arms. Eric demanded to see Holly. Xander said that he did not know where Kristen had sent Holly, but Kristen had assured him that Holly was in a safe home. When Xander said that he hoped his truthfulness proved that he was committed to being a better person, Eric argued that Xander was a heartless bastard.
"Who in the hell would trust Kristen DiMera's judgment in how to care for a child?" Eric asked. "Despite everything else she has done, Kristen would not hurt a child. If she did, she would have to answer to me," Xander growled. Eric grumbled that he could not believe Xander. Sarah pulled Eric aside to talk.
"I swear to you, I'm telling the truth," Xander whispered to Maggie. "Yet you had no problem watching me grieve [Holly's] death," Maggie noted. Xander said he wanted to be a better person, and he hoped that Maggie understood that he was acting in good faith.
In the corner, Eric told Sarah that he had no reason to believe that Xander was lying. "What would I have to lose by proceeding on the assumption of truth?" Eric asked. Eric promised to move heaven and earth to find Holly, and Sarah swore to stand by his side. Eric said he would force Kristen to tell him the truth about Holly, but Sarah worried aloud that Kristen would string Eric along.
"There is one person that [Kristen] might talk to. But he's definitely not one of the good guys," Maggie said. Eric, Sarah, and Maggie turned to Xander. Maggie asked Xander to prove that he truly wanted to help the people he had harmed. "Go to Kristen. Get her to tell you where Holly is," Maggie pleaded. "You said you wanted to be a better man. Prove it. Do this for Holly. For my mom. Xander, do it for me," Sarah added.
"Kristen already knows I flipped on her. The only thing she is going to tell me is to go to hell," Xander said. "You have a better chance than either of us," Eric said. Xander started to apologize then he saw the tears in Maggie's eyes. Xander agreed to talk to Kristen. Eric followed Xander out the door. Maggie picked up a photo of Holly, and said she had been too scared to hope that Holly was alive. With tears of joy, Maggie said, "[Holly] is alive!"
Anna jogged into the police station and sat down next to Tony. "I found Stefan and Gabi," Anna confirmed. Tony asked if they were okay, and Anna said it seemed like Stefan and Gabi were enjoying their time alone together. Anna said she had given Stefan and Gabi water to tide them over so that Tony could make a deal with the D.A. "I think it's a little too late for that," Tony said.
In the DiMera wine cellar, Stefan and Gabi continued to kiss. As the kisses grew more passionate, Sonny and Will opened the door. Stefan and Gabi stopped and looked over. Gabi smiled sheepishly.
At the police station, Tony told Anna that he had not wanted to risk any more lives, so he had told Will and Sonny where to find Gabi and Stefan. "They're on their way to rescue them now," Tony confirmed. Anna worried aloud that Tony did not have any leverage to make a deal with the D.A.
"You told me that I compromised myself by teaming up with my insane sister. Absolutely true. So, I decided that I want to really be the kind of man that you can be proud of. I hope you're not mad," Tony said. "I've wasted far too much time being cross with you," Anna whispered. As Anna and Tony kissed, Lani announced that a cell was ready for Tony.
When Xander and Eric arrived at the police station, Xander hesitated at the door. Annoyed, Eric told Xander that he would talk to Kristen if Xander was too scared. "Just to be clear, I'm not doing any of this to help you ease your guilt over what happened with Holly. I'm doing this for Maggie and Sarah," Xander said. Brady exited the interrogation room, and he confirmed to Xander and Eric that he had talked to Kristen.
"There could be a chance that Holly is still alive," Eric said. "I know. And there's more," Brady said. Confused, Xander asked what else Brady knew. "Kristen claims that Nicole is still alive," Brady confirmed.
Marlena and John enjoy the last hours of their anniversary
At the Evans-Black townhouse, John and Marlena discussed what had happened at their anniversary party earlier that night -- and how it might affect Brady and Eric.
"I think we need to call a timeout here from worrying about our boys and just try to enjoy the last couple hours of our anniversary," John eventually suggested to Marlena. "You know, if it hadn't been for Kristen, this would have been a perfect night," Marlena declared. "I'm here with my incredible wife, [and] we have just celebrated another year together, [so] as far as I'm concerned, it couldn't be any more beautiful than this," John countered.
"[And] I can promise you this, sweetheart -- we are going to enjoy many more happy anniversaries...especially now that Kristen DiMera is finally out of our lives for good," John assured Marlena.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sarah fretted to Maggie about how difficult it was going to be for Eric to once again say goodbye to Nicole, who had apparently died in the warehouse explosion, after all. Sarah was furious with Kristen for having toyed with Eric's emotions for months, but Sarah also couldn't help also feeling somewhat relieved. "I would never ask or expect -- or even want -- Eric to forget Nicole, [but] maybe now [he] can finally find closure, and maybe now we both can finally move forward," Sarah reasoned with a hopeful smile.
Sarah felt guilty for having such selfish thoughts, but Maggie understood. "I had a few private moments of my own when I found out that Kristen was masquerading around as Nicole, and they weren't entirely noble, [either]. I was relieved that I didn't hallucinate Kristen. I had been drinking, [so] when I saw her in 'Nicole's' room...well, everyone thought I was delusional, and that made me feel terrible about myself. But I was right. I know what I saw," Maggie explained. Sarah seized the opportunity to congratulate Maggie on ten weeks of sobriety.
At the police station, Brady summarized everything that Kristen had just revealed about Nicole, stunning Xander and Eric, the latter of whom refused to believe it at first but eventually realized that it might actually be true. As Eric stormed into one of the conference rooms to confront Kristen, Brady began to confront Xander. "I didn't know anything about Nicole -- I swear! All Kristen told me was that Holly was 'in good hands'; I had no idea she was with her mother until you told us just now!" Xander insisted, but Brady found that hard to believe.
Meanwhile, Kristen refused to reveal Nicole and Holly's whereabouts to Eric without first securing an immunity deal. "This is not a negotiation. You get me a deal...or you will never see [them] again," Kristen warned Eric, who lunged forward in anger, determined to get answers one way or another. "Tell me where they are -- now!" Eric demanded while placing Kristen in a chokehold. An officer soon burst into the conference room and pulled Eric away from Kristen, having heard the commotion. Brady also rushed in and told Eric to leave Kristen alone.
Eric stormed out of the conference room in disgust, with Brady close behind, but before the officer could follow, Xander approached and asked for a minute alone with Kristen. "You have some nerve, showing up here," Kristen snapped at Xander between coughs after the officer left. "Come on, K.D. -- can't you tell me where Holly and Nicole are? Just for old times' sake?" Xander sweetly suggested, perhaps hoping to thwart Kristen's attempt to secure an immunity deal. "Go to hell," Kristen spat, refusing to take the bait, and Xander gulped nervously in response.
"The charges against you are very serious. You have to give something to get something," Xander reasoned. "Oh, I'm gonna get everything -- Brady, DiMera...and sweet, sweet revenge on you," Kristen vowed.
Later, while being escorted to a holding cell, Kristen spotted Brady and seized the opportunity to express gratitude for what had happened earlier. "The way you leapt to my defense --" Kristen began. "I did it for my brother, all right? I didn't want to see him get arrested," Brady explained. "You can tell yourself anything you want, but I know the truth -- you didn't want me to die, because the connection between us is still there. You can feel it right now, [just like] I can feel the fire inside of you right now -- passion only I can stir in you. I'm in your blood, Brady -- and I always will be," Kristen countered.
Ben and Ciara entered the DiMera mansion and headed into the living room while discussing the shocking news that Kristen had been living in Salem for months and had been posing as Nicole in public for most of that time. "Do Stefan and Gabi know?" Ciara asked. "I'm not sure. I've been trying to reach them, but there's no answer. I'm starting to get worried," Ben replied -- just as the false panel that led to the secret tunnels swung open, revealing Stefan and Gabi, who took turns explaining everything that had happened. "You're fired!" Gabi snapped at Ben afterward.
"[Being] the head of my security [means] you're supposed to keep me safe!" Gabi continued. "I'm sorry, okay? [But] we honestly just found out that Kristen DiMera was passing herself off as Nicole. [And] we were just about to start searching [for you]," Ben stressed. "I know that you're upset, but this really is not Ben's fault. [I mean], how were we supposed to know that Kristen was running around in a Nicole mask? You [and Stefan] didn't know. Nobody did," Ciara argued. "She has a point," Stefan acknowledged.
"Why would you get rid of your most dedicated employee? [Ben] works his tail off, day and night, [and will] go without food [or] water [or] sleep -- [even] put his life on the line -- just to keep other people safe. He is smart, he is loyal, and he always does his best," Ciara insisted. "[But] I can't stand him!" Gabi spat. "It wasn't too long ago [that] you felt that way about me, [but] you changed your mind. [Look], the important thing is [that] we are free and unharmed...[and] probably better off for having been locked up together, if you know what I mean," Stefan argued.
"You can have your job back," Gabi grudgingly informed Ben after a moment of thought. "Thank you...Mr. -- and Mrs. -- DiMera," Ben began with a sigh of relief while trying to shake hands with Stefan and Gabi, the latter of whom ignored the attempt. "You won't regret this," Ben concluded before exiting the mansion with Ciara.
"'Mr. and Mrs. DiMera' -- has a nice ring to it," Stefan flirtatiously declared as soon as the coast was clear, but Gabi ignored the comment and started to rush off, eager to see Arianna. "Promise me you'll come back and spend the night?" Stefan asked hopefully. "I can't make any promises," Gabi replied, shrugging. "It's late. [I mean...what are you gonna do], watch her sleep all night? [Listen], we will have you up and out of the house and back [at her side] before she wakes up," Stefan reasoned. "I need to get going," Gabi evasively countered, leaving Stefan suspicious.
While enjoying a late-night stroll through the park, Ben and Ciara discussed what had just happened with Stefan and Gabi. "[They] seem to be getting along [now]," Ben noted, and Ciara agreed. "[And] since Stefan wants me to stick around, and Gabi seems [willing] to listen to him [again now], I think we'll be able to keep our place," Ben continued. "You just [called the guesthouse] 'our place,'" Ciara pointed out, grinning. "That's...how I think of it," Ben explained with a shrug. "Me, too," Ciara assured Ben, who was relieved to hear that. "I never had a real home...[and] now I do -- with you," Ben declared, beaming.
"[And] I have never been happier in my entire life. [I mean], you believe in me, you encourage me... The way you just stood up for me to Gabi... I don't deserve that; I don't deserve you," Ben continued. "What? No, don't say that!" Ciara protested. "No, it's how I feel. But, at the same time, I [also] feel like the luckiest guy in the world," Ben stressed before giving Ciara a kiss.
Victor went to the Salem Inn to see Kate, who was surprised to get a visit from someone who, just a few hours earlier, had supposedly been too sick to attend John and Marlena's anniversary party. "I feel like hell," Victor insisted, sensing Kate's skepticism. "[And] from what I hear, it was just as well that I didn't [attend]," Victor continued, and Kate confirmed that the event had indeed been a disaster.
"[Anyway], I dragged myself over here to find out why you lied to my face about Shin," Victor revealed. "I don't have a clue to what you're talking about," Kate innocently insisted. "Oh, save it, [because] I can always tell when you're lying...[and besides], when I met you earlier at the club, you feigned disdain for [Shin, but] the bartender told me you [and Shin] had your heads close together [and] didn't seem upset [with each other] at all," Victor tiredly countered. "You were spying on me?" Kate concluded, outraged. "No, I simply tipped the man," Victor clarified, shrugging unapologetically.
"[But], obviously, I should have been spying on you," Victor continued, eyeing Kate suspiciously. "It wasn't my idea. [Shin] approached me -- and quite aggressively, may I add," Kate explained to Victor. "Ugh -- now you're gonna make me nauseous," Victor grumbled, cringing. "Oh, my God, no -- not to sleep with me; to hire me...as CEO of DiMera," Kate tiredly clarified.
"[And] I declined -- [because] I work for you," Kate continued. "You're telling me you turned down a shot to be top dog at DiMera...and [you did so] out of loyalty to me?" Victor skeptically summarized. "Is that so hard to believe?" Kate asked. "Yes!" Victor replied. "[Okay]...I told [Shin] I couldn't work for him because of my allegiance to you...but, truthfully, [I turned him down] because I was afraid of Kristen. She had [already] threatened to kill me [and] my family, [so] I thought it best not to defy her," Kate admitted. "[But] that cuckoo's in a cage now," Victor pointed out. "Exactly...so now I'm free to accept the offer," Kate stressed.
"And is that your plan?" Victor asked. "That all depends [on whether you're willing to match the offer] -- demote Brady [and] make me CEO of Titan," Kate replied.
"I can't do that to Brady," Victor decided after giving the request some thought. "I do a better job, and you know that. I [have] earned this. I deserve it," Kate argued.
"I'm sure Shin has moved on by now," Victor optimistically predicted. "On the contrary -- it's an open-ended offer, so all I have to do is say yes...and, as Andre's widow, I qualify," Kate cheerfully clarified.
"DiMera already has a CEO," Victor pointed out. "Gabi Hernandez? She's about as qualified and as capable as my shoe of running a multinational corporation! [And] Stefan's a joke. And Kristen will be totally out of the running by the time they throw her into prison," Kate dismissively countered.
"I'm just not sure I can do it," Victor maintained. "The Victor Kiriakis that I know always puts his company first, because he knows [that] by ensuring the continued success of Titan, he's taking the best care of his family -- and his family is more important to him than anything [else]," Kate summarized. "But if I demote Brady, he's never going to forgive me," Victor predicted. "Brady's a big boy. He's going to get over it. He knows it's only business. And if he doesn't, then he's really not up to the task," Kate argued.
Gabi returned to the DiMera mansion while Stefan was in the process of recording a voicemail message for Shin. "You were right -- [Arianna] was sound asleep," Gabi admitted after Stefan ended the call.
"So, how come you were on the phone with Shin?" Gabi asked curiously. "Just checking in, since I assume I'll be getting my job back," Stefan, who had apparently taken Gabi's somewhat unexpected return as a sign that everything was still okay between them, explained with a shrug. "Why would you assume that? Shin named me CEO, and I've been doing a pretty good job while you've been away," Gabi argued. "Sure, but I was only 'away' because I was framed for kidnapping and murder, which is why you were tapped to step in. I would imagine Shin and the rest of the board want things to get back to normal [now]," Stefan countered.
"That's...not gonna be a problem...is it? For you? And by 'you,' I mean 'us,'" Stefan asked Gabi, suddenly concerned again. "It's just not as easy [to go back to] taking orders [once] you're used to giving them," Gabi replied. "You've been under me before," Stefan suggestively noted. "Yeah, but I prefer to be on top, [and] I thought you liked it, too. I mean, you weren't complaining earlier..." Gabi suggestively countered.
Victor entered the Kiriakis mansion and greeted Maggie, who teasingly admitted to having big news to share. Victor teasingly countered that Maggie wasn't the only one who had big news to share. "I thought you weren't feeling well. Where have you been?" Maggie asked curiously. "With Kate," Victor replied. "Oh. Well, I'm not happy to hear that," Maggie grumbled. "Yeah, well, you will be happy to hear this -- she's leaving Titan," Victor revealed. "Why?" Maggie wondered. "She wanted to be CEO, and I wouldn't throw Brady over for her, so she resigned -- effective immediately," Victor explained, delighting Maggie.
Kate entered the DiMera mansion just as Stefan and Gabi began kissing passionately. "You got some nerve -- walking into my house after falsely accusing me of kidnapping [and] getting me thrown in jail when you knew it was my sister the entire time!" Stefan snapped. "Sorry, not my choice -- Kristen threatened to kill me and my family if I told the truth. Anyway...I'm hoping the both of you can let it go, seeing that it's in your best interest. [See], there's been a development, so I came by because I thought the two of you should be the first to know...[that] I'm the new CEO of DiMera," Kate countered, stunning Stefan and Gabi.
Sarah went to Eric's apartment after receiving an urgent message -- and was stunned to learn that Kristen had claimed that Nicole was alive.
"Do you believe her?" Sarah stammered. "I don't know what to believe...but the one thing that I do know is [that] I have to find out," Eric replied.
Trask refuses to give Kristen an immunity deal
At the Kiriakis mansion, Xander entered the living room and greeted Sarah, who was clearly upset about something.
"From the forlorn look on your face, I presume you heard about Nicole...[and] I also presume, from the fact that you're [at] Chez Kiriakis at this hour of the morning, [that] you slept here last night," Xander noted with thinly veiled excitement. "I am so sorry --" Xander began to stress, assuming that Eric had dumped Sarah after hearing that Nicole was still alive. "The hell you are!" Sarah countered while slapping Xander. "You've always been a bit touchy when it comes to Eric," Xander grumbled after recovering. "That wasn't about Eric; that was about Nicole [and] Holly! [And] not that it was any of your business, but Eric didn't dump me!" Sarah clarified.
"I didn't know anything about Nicole [being alive -- and] I don't know where [Nicole and Holly] are. [From the beginning], Kristen knew that this was her trump card. There's no way she was gonna share it with me," Xander insisted, and Sarah grudgingly conceded that made a certain amount of sense. "I can't defend what I did, but if I knew where Holly and Nicole were, I would tell you -- I swear!" Xander assured Sarah, who angrily agreed that there was no defense for Xander's actions. "[But I was] sitting here last night, telling my mom how much easier it would be if Nicole was dead, [so] maybe we're just two of a kind," Sarah reluctantly admitted.
Eric went to the police station to talk to Trask, who wasn't the least bit interested in giving Kristen an immunity deal. "I get why you want this to be true -- I get why everyone wants this to be true -- but Kristen is using that; she's holding out hope to desperate people in order to make sure that she doesn't have to pay for her latest one-woman crime wave. [Besides, if Nicole] is alive, isn't it her choice whether she wants to come back or not? [I mean], there's no indication that [she] is in any danger," Trask dismissively argued. "Her choice?" Eric incredulously repeated.
Eric tried to make it clear that Nicole probably wasn't being given the luxury of free will, but Trask wasn't swayed. "I'm not gonna let Kristen DiMera play me for a sucker," Trask insisted. "[So], Nicole and Holly are not as important as you saving face," Eric summarized before starting to count fingers. "What are you doing?" Trask asked with obvious confusion when Eric got to the third finger. "Counting the number of people who risked going to prison to save your daughter," Eric replied. "That was different, [because] trying to protect Haley did not put this entire town in danger," Trask argued.
"I'm sorry, Eric, but you're gonna have to look elsewhere for the answers you need," Trask declared before walking away, ignoring Eric's protests.
Chloe entered Doug's Place and greeted Brady, who was drinking a cup of coffee at the bar. "Every time I say that I'm not gonna take the red-eye, I take the red-eye, and it's awful," Chloe declared with a sigh of regret while placing an overnight bag behind the bar. "How'd the audition go?" Brady asked excitedly. "I don't know -- it was kind of like singing to a sphinx," Chloe dryly replied.
"But I do love being in New York and seeing my parents... Oh -- tell me, how was the party? Were John and Marlena surprised?" Chloe continued. "Uh... Yeah... Yeah, we all were..." Brady began to explain.
"Wait -- so...Kristen was pretending to be Nicole? No, that doesn't make sense -- I would have known!" Chloe protested after Brady elaborated. "I saw it with my own eyes," Brady assured Chloe.
"Oh, my God -- Brady, you slept with her!" Chloe suddenly remembered after accepting that the story was true. "Yeah, I know that -- [but] we can skip that part," Brady defensively replied.
Brady quickly changed the subject, revealing that Chloe hadn't heard everything yet. "Both of them are alive?" Chloe incredulously repeated after Brady gently shared Kristen's claim about Nicole and Holly. "That sick, sadistic bitch!" Chloe spat after Brady explained that Kristen had refused to reveal Nicole and Holly's whereabouts until an immunity deal was in place.
"You know what she said to me [last night]? She, uh...she said that there was a part of me that actually knew it was her -- you know, a part of me that still wants her, and always has wanted her, even after everything she's done," Brady revealed with a dismissive scoff. "Is she right?" Chloe wondered. "[Maybe there was] a part of me that knew the truth all along... [I mean], I never really understood [why Nicole] would want to have me back after what I did to her, [but] I wanted forgiveness from her so badly that I was willing to overlook how crazy it all was," Brady decided after a moment of thought.
Just then, Chloe's cell phone rang. "Apparently, the sphinx liked me," Chloe told Brady after the call ended. "That was the general manager. He just offered me the job to join the company for next season," Chloe elaborated, stunned. "That's great...[but] you don't look happy at all," Brady curiously observed. "Well, I can't go to New York now that Holly's missing," Chloe explained.
"You know, I remember when you were offered a spot in that opera company when we were living in Vienna, and you turned it down [because] our marriage was in trouble -- which is a really nice way of saying that I was a mess at the time. You can't keep putting everybody else first, Chloe. [And] if Nicole's alive --" Brady argued. "Oh, yeah -- then [Holly] doesn't need me," Chloe realized, fighting back tears.
"No, no, no... [What I'm trying to say is that] when we find [Nicole and Holly] -- and we will -- you will be a very important part of [Holly's] life...[but] until then, you really shouldn't be waiting around here, tending bar, [because] that's not where you belong; you belong in New York, doing what you were meant to do," Brady clarified, and Chloe nodded in response, clearly convinced.
Hope entered the Brady Pub and spotted Jennifer, who was sitting alone at a table, reviewing an article that had just been posted on the Spectator website -- an article that bore the headline "UNDEAD DIMERA SIBLINGS WREAK UNTOLD HAVOC ON SALEM" and argued that Kristen and Tony were simply continuing a dark time in the town's history that had begun with Jack and Eve months earlier.
Hope headed into the kitchen without saying a word to Jennifer then returned a short time later with a pot of coffee and a fresh chocolate cake. "You look like you've been working on that story all night, [so] I thought you might like a little caffeine," Hope explained while placing the treats on Jennifer's table and claiming its extra seat. "[You brought] the whole cake?" Jennifer observed with a gasp of delight, eyeing the cake hungrily. "You look like you have not had the greatest night, either," Jennifer acknowledged. "I couldn't sleep. I kept thinking about all the signs I missed," Hope explained.
"I was the police commissioner until...well, not so long ago...[so] shouldn't I have realized that Kristen was back in Salem [and] that Ted was somehow involved in her crazy...? And now he's dead, [and] I keep thinking...could I have saved him? [You know, Kristen's] just like Stefano, always getting someone else to do her dirty work -- Xander, Tony, Ted... He was trapped -- I mean, he just had no other way out; he had to do whatever she told him to do. [And] he tried to protect me --" Hope continued between bites of cake. "Okay, that's it -- I've had enough. [Ted was] not noble," Jennifer protested.
"I know... [But] he told me he loved me... [And] I think he really did -- in his own way," Hope mused before abruptly changing the subject, wanting to know how things were going between Jennifer and Jack.
"Do you remember the movie where the devil gives Dudley Moore [some] wishes, [but] then it has this horrible twist? That's my life right now, because I always wanted Jack back, and this is what I got," Jennifer fretted. "Don't give up -- that's what I say, still. I mean, at least you got rid of Evil Eve," Hope argued. "Yeah, but she's the reason he'll never get his memory back. She destroyed the serum, she destroyed Rolf's diary..." Jennifer began to counter before stopping abruptly, having just realized something. "What?" Hope asked expectantly when Jennifer didn't continue right away.
"We know that Rolf is alive, because Sami saw him [before the warehouse explosion]...so, even if there's no notes [and] no serum, if we find Rolf, Jack still might have a chance to get his memory back!" Jennifer mused.
At the hospital, Kayla listened from the nurses' station as Jack, who had just exited a nearby elevator, continued a phone conversation with Adrienne. "You're making Salem sound like Gotham!" Jack complained, clearly referring to the Spectator article about Kristen and Tony. "Yes, of course -- you had to cover [the story]...but you didn't have to bury the lead, which is that the DiMera siblings are both safely behind bars!" Jack stressed. "I'm the mayor, [but I'm also] your brother, [so] what the hell do I have to do to get some good coverage from that rag that you put out?" Jack demanded to know.
"Uh...maybe start [with] 'stop acting like a jerk' -- oh, but that would be an impossible dream, [wouldn't it]?" Kayla tiredly interjected, having heard enough. "I'll call you back," Jack, who hadn't noticed Kayla until that moment, hurriedly warned Adrienne before ending the call. "I was just looking for you," Jack began while approaching Kayla. "Ugh! Why?" Kayla grumbled. "I need your help," Jack explained.
"Oh, this is gonna be good..." Kayla predicted, amused. "Eve is suing me for wrongful termination --" Jack started to elaborate. "I think the whole town of Salem should sue you for hiring her," Kayla declared. "You said that the hospital security people have footage of Eve going into Seth Burns's office at the exact time that the diary was stolen. You're chief of staff, [so] come on -- you could just get me a copy," Jack continued, ignoring the dig. "Do you have a subpoena or a warrant?" Kayla asked. "Look, I know that I'm not your favorite person in the world --" Jack began to protest. "Aw -- you are so perceptive!" Kayla raved.
"All right, I'm sorry I jumped down your throat [the other day] because you took Adrienne's side!" Jack grudgingly conceded. "Yeah, I took Adrienne's side -- and Jennifer's. And I always will, because I care about them," Kayla unapologetically stressed. "Right..." Jack grumbled, seemingly hurt. "All right -- I care about you, too, damn it," Kayla admitted after a moment of thought.
"I will help you...if -- and only if -- you start treating Jennifer with the respect that she deserves," Kayla challenged Jack. "That's blackmail!" Jack protested. "That's right -- I'm trying to blackmail you into not being a jerk," Kayla confirmed. "Jennifer is not perfect, you know!" Jack insisted. "Oh, puh-lease!" Kayla countered. "There's two sides to this story!" Jack maintained.
"Do you hear yourself? Eve finds out that you want to remember who you actually are -- I mean, the nerve of you, seriously -- but that doesn't really suit her needs, so she destroys the serum and the diary that could help you remember your wife and kids, then you fire her, and she sues you...and you are mad at Jennifer! I mean, really!" Kayla incredulously summarized. "I'm mad at both of them!" Jack clarified. "Confirming what I said -- that you are acting like a total... Well, we have been over that [already], haven't we?" Kayla countered. "So, you're not gonna help me," Jack concluded.
"I didn't say that. Listen, I -- I want you to remember who you were," Kayla stressed. "That's not gonna happen now, [though], is it?" Jack grumbled. "Well, I don't know -- did you reach out to the FDA like I suggested?" Kayla asked. "No... No, I've been -- I've been too busy running this town!" Jack replied. "I don't think that's what it is; I think that you are [just] scared -- of having feelings, and possibly even a conscience," Kayla argued. "Have you always been this high and mighty and condescending?" Jack countered. "Touché...and the answer to that question is...I think, with you, yes -- you do seem to bring out the worst in me," Kayla conceded.
"All right -- you know what? I'm gonna get you that footage," Kayla decided after a moment of thought. "But you better think about what I said," Kayla added before walking away.
At the loft apartment, Haley finished packing and joined J.J. in the living room. "Ready?" J.J. wondered. "Not really," Haley admitted. "[Yeah, I get it...but] we're only staying with your mom until we find a place of our own -- and maybe it'll be a good thing; [maybe] you and your mom can, you know, have a chance to...you know," J.J. optimistically reasoned. "Bond? Bake cookies together? Yeah, no -- she's...she's not exactly the maternal type," Haley countered, scoffing dismissively. "I know...but she's also a workaholic, [so] she'll probably be gone most of the time, [anyway]," J.J. predicted.
Tripp entered the apartment just then and greeted Haley and J.J., the latter of whom immediately handed over a set of keys as a way of saying goodbye. "You know what? No -- don't go," Tripp insisted, tossing the keys back at J.J., who caught them with a look of confusion. "Um...Tripp, that's -- that's so nice of you, [but] we've already made plans to move in with my mom, so..." Haley, who was just as confused as J.J., stressed. "And like I said last night, after everything that's happened, I don't think it's a good idea for the three of us to be living here together anymore," J.J. reiterated.
"I agree...but the reason that you guys don't have to leave is...I'm the one who's going," Tripp clarified, leaving J.J. and Haley even more confused. "A couple months ago, I applied to medical school in California. And I got waitlisted and didn't really think anything would come of it, but...a spot just opened up, and they offered it to me, [so] this place is yours. I start tomorrow," Tripp elaborated.
Haley and J.J. were both excited for Tripp, who seized the opportunity to apologize one more time for everything that had happened recently. "Stop it, Tripp -- you were just...you were just trying to help," Haley maintained. "Yeah, I...I don't want any bad blood between us -- especially with you leaving," J.J. conceded. "I'm good if you are," Tripp stressed with a shrug, and J.J. nodded in response.
"I'll send for my stuff," Tripp assured Haley and J.J. before saying goodbye and exiting the apartment.
Tripp went to the hospital to see Kayla, who quickly realized that something was going on. "I don't know how you're gonna feel about this, but...do you remember when I worked here -- [and how] I loved [not just] the medicine [and] the science part of it but also the whole idea of helping people heal? [And how], in the great way I have, I screwed everything up -- I went after you when you were helping me, and every day, I saw how much good you were doing for people, and I still tried to...I still tried to go after you?" Tripp began. "Of course I remember...[but] I told you I was over that, [and] that I'd forgiven you, [so] you have to let that go," Kayla stressed.
"Thanks. I try, but I guess I, uh...I've just never, you know, fully forgiven myself," Tripp admitted with a shrug. "Well, I really hope you do," Kayla declared.
"[Anyway]...I want to be a doctor -- like you -- and, uh, I knew I couldn't work here after what I did, so I applied to medical school in California, and I didn't tell you because --" Tripp continued. "You didn't think that I would approve?" Kayla guessed, and Tripp nodded in response. "Well, you are wrong," Kayla stressed. "And when the school saw that you had worked here, they called me, and I gave you a rave review, and I told them I thought that you would make a hell of a doctor," Kayla revealed. "Wait -- so...you're saying you're the reason I got in?" Tripp concluded, stunned.
"No, I'm not the reason that you got into medical school; you are. I just gave them an assessment of who you really are. And, like I said, I do think that you would make a hell of a doctor. [In fact], I know it. I have always known that you had incredible potential, and now I have seen how hard you have worked to turn your life around," Kayla assured Tripp.
"I just hope that you're not running away -- [you know], from your feelings for Haley," Kayla admitted. "Uh...maybe that's...part of it... [But] I decided a long time ago that I'd go if I got in," Tripp stressed. "I do not deserve all of the things that you've done for me. I mean, I was so screwed up when I got here..." Tripp acknowledged. "That's probably why you were such a good fit for our family," Kayla joked. "You'll always have a home here," Kayla stressed before giving Tripp a hug.
Trask went to the loft apartment to drop off a set of keys for J.J. and Haley, the latter of whom awkwardly explained that there had been a sudden change of plans. "I hope you're not too disappointed," Haley concluded. "'Disappointed'? No! I mean, I am crazy busy at work, and it'll be a relief not to have my house turned upside down!" Trask reasoned before rushing off.
"That...was...my mother being emotional?" Haley assumed. "[I'd say] that was your mother being...kind of sweet," J.J. argued, certain that Trask really was disappointed.
Trask ran into Hope in the park and seized the opportunity to hand over a letter. "This was found in Ted Laurent's personal effects. It doesn't appear to be pertinent to the murder investigation, and it's addressed to you," Trask explained before walking away. Hope stared at the letter in disbelief, debating whether to read it or throw it away.
Jennifer entered the police station while Eric was in the process of trying to enlist Jack's help. "The people of Salem would have my head on a pike if I let Kristen DiMera out of jail!" Jack predicted. "I'm not asking you to set her free, but there's gotta be something we can do -- some kind of offer..." Eric countered. "Come on, Jack -- this is right up your alley! Nobody thinks outside the box like you do!" Jennifer interjected.
"You need to get the truth out of [Kristen]. You need to give her something in exchange for the whereabouts of the people who allegedly died in that warehouse. And your future depends on it, [because] if we can find Nicole and Holly, then there's a chance that we can find Rolf, too. [After all], if Kristen had this Nicole mask that was supposedly made by Rolf, doesn't it stand to reason that they survived that fire together, and they were working together? Which means Kristen knows where he is -- [and he's] the only person that can help you get your memory back," Jennifer elaborated, and Eric agreed.
"Can't you come up with a way to keep everyone safe and still get the truth out of Kristen?" Jennifer urged Jack -- just as Trask entered the police station.
Jack makes a deal with Kristen
At Doug's Place, Julie happily danced alone as music blared. Lani and Eli walked in and smiled. "What's going on?" Eli asked. "I'm free at last! Thank God almighty, I'm free at last!" Julie announced. Eli and Lani exchanged a frustrated look with one another. Julie explained that Chloe had moved to New York. "Let someone else deal with the questionable work ethic, the wild swings, the excessive vocalizing," Julie said.
"I'm celebrating my emancipation!" Julie yelled. "We need to talk," Eli said. Eli and Lani sat Julie down and explained to her that she had been culturally insensitive when she had quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to express her joy about Chloe's exit. "Why? It's a well-known phrase?" Julie asked.
"When you use those sort of expressions, it has a way of minimizing the experiences that those experiences were meant to convey," Eli said. "I'm not allowed to quote one of my all-time heroes because I'm white?" Julie asked. Lani corrected Julie and said that was not what they meant. Lani added that she understood that Julie had grown up in a different time. Defensive, Julie noted that she had marched in the Civil Rights movement.
"I'm not the PC police. All I'm saying is that there are a lot of people who would take the things you say offensive," Eli said gently. "Why don't you say what you think. You think your grandmother is a racist," Julie said pointedly. Eli rubbed his jaw in frustration.
"I don't think you're a racist. I know your heart, but sometimes you say things that are racially insensitive," Eli said. Eli recounted the derogatory names that Julie had called Gabi. "I've called Gabi names because of the despicable things she has done to me, not because she is Latina!" Julie protested. Eli stressed that he was not defending Gabi's actions.
"You know she pushed me down that staircase. What am I supposed to do, just forget it?" Julie asked. "All I'm saying is that you need to choose your words more carefully," Eli said. Julie asked Eli how long he had felt that way about her. "I speak my mind. I do not mean to hurt anybody," Julie said. Lani said they knew that, and they wanted to tell Julie because they loved her.
"It hurts, but in the future, I will do better," Julie said. "That's all I can ask for," Eli returned. Julie said she wanted to make it up to Eli with an engagement party. "We don't want to have an engagement party here," Eli said. Julie looked crestfallen. Lani explained that she was superstitious because so many parties at Doug's Place had gone wrong in the past.
"You don't want to start your marriage off with bad mojo," Julie said. Julie offered to smudge the restaurant. With a chuckle, Eli asked about the practice. Lani explained that it was a way to get rid of negative energy. When Lani noted that the practice had started with Native Americans, a worried Julie said, "Don't tell me this is going to be another one of those cultural appropriations!" Lani said smudging was fine, and she informed Julie there were kits in the mall. Julie said she would pick one up.
"I hurt you," Julie lamented. "You didn't," Eli said. A relieved Julie smiled and left for the mall. "You think I hurt her feelings?" Eli asked Lani. "You gave her a gift, and it's better that she knows what was problematic. You're supposed to be honest with the people you love. And I don't know anyone who appreciates honesty as much as your grandmother," Lani said.
Kate met with Kristen in the interrogation room at the police station, and she informed her that she had given a statement to the police about Kristen's threats to her. "What do you want, a reward?" Kristen joked. "I already got my reward. Not only can't you touch me now, I have everything I want," Kate said. Kate informed Kristen that she was the new CEO of DiMera Enterprises.
"You lose, bitch," Kate growled. Kristen warned Kate that she intended to take the position back. "After all the crimes you've committed, the only place you are going to be going is maximum-security prison," Kate said. Kristen said Kate had made things personal and that Kate had become her enemy.
"Did you just hear her threaten me?" Kate asked as Jack entered with a police officer. Jack asked Kate to step outside so that he could speak with Kristen in private. "I hope you rot behind bars for the rest of your life," Kate said as she walked out. Once alone with Jack, Kristen asked if they had a deal.
"You've got your deal," Jack said. "I knew you were a smart man, Jack," Kristen said. Jack asked Kristen when she had last seen Rolf. Kristen said she had not seen Rolf since the warehouse. "Did he survive, too?" Jack asked. Kristen smiled. Kristen guessed that Jack wanted the key to his memories. Kristen said she had the information Jack wanted.
"Are you telling me that Rolf is alive?" Jack asked. "I certainly didn't buy a Nicole Walker mask at the convenience store," Kristen countered. Kristen noted that Rolf was Nicole and Holly's babysitter. Jack asked for proof. "You give me my freedom first. Then we'll talk," Kristen said. Kristen noted that Jack had a personal stake in finding Rolf and that he was too selfish to pass up the opportunity.
When Jack noted that the police would find Nicole and Holly, Kristen chuckled and noted that Jack did not care about them. "This is a very strange way of winning my cooperation," Jack noted. "You need mine more," Kristen countered. Kristen reminded Jack that she could give him his life back. "How badly do you want that?" Kristen asked.
Jack returned with an agreement for Kristen to sign. As Kristen eagerly read through the paperwork, she exclaimed, "Did you really think you could slip this past me? There is no way I'm taking this deal." The deal mandated that the police would not release Kristen until after Nicole, Holly, and Rolf were recovered alive.
"I am happy to lead you straight to Rolf, but you have to let me out of here. Right now," Kristen demanded. Jack said there was no guarantee that Kristen would not skip town, but Kristen argued that she wanted to stay and take over DiMera Enterprises.
"I promise you, they are all very, very much alive," Kristen said. "I'm sorry, I can't release you on good faith. It's really your call, Kristen. Do you want to get out of here again or not? The only way you are going to get your freedom is after they are found safe and sound," Jack said as he slid the agreement back toward Kristen.
At the loft, Jennifer stopped by and told J.J. her theory that Dr. Rolf was alive. "We need to talk to Kristen!" J.J. said excitedly. Jennifer informed J.J. that Kristen was waiting for a deal from the D.A. before she would talk to anyone about anything. J.J. informed Jennifer that Tripp had moved to California for medical school.
Talk turned to Jack's part in J.J.'s eviction from his last apartment. Jennifer stressed that Jack did not hate Haley. "At a certain point, he is who he is, with or without his memories," J.J. said. J.J. noted that though Eve was persuasive, he believed that if Jack had integrity, he would have stood up to Eve.
"[Jack] had integrity, J.J.," Jennifer said. "What if he gets his memory back and nothing changes? What if he remembers everything and is still the same guy he is now?" J.J. wondered aloud. Jennifer cautioned J.J. to realize that he had an idealized version of his father. When J.J. asked if Jack had been a good man, Jennifer said yes.
"This side of him, being selfish and ambitious, that's also who he is. That's who he's always been," Jennifer explained. Jennifer said that although Jack had been vindictive at times, Jack had always strived to be a better person. "Are your hopes up?" J.J. asked. Jennifer said she did not want to get her hopes up because she did not want to lose Jack again. J.J. promised Jennifer that she would never lose him.
When Jack arrived, he announced that he had secured a deal with Kristen and was on his way to Chicago to find Holly, Nicole, and Rolf. "[Rolf's] alive? Jack, that is amazing!" Jennifer exclaimed. Jack noted that the Salem P.D. had no jurisdiction, so he would travel alone. Jack told Jennifer she could not go.
"We have followed a thousand leads together, Jack. We're a good team; you just don't remember," Jennifer said. When Jack told Jennifer he did not need her, she retorted, "You always need me with you." Jack started to leave, and Jennifer asked Jack about his detective skills. Frustrated, Jack relented and agreed to take Jennifer rather than argue. J.J. smiled as he watched his parents banter.
"I just hope that your mother doesn't think that this is some good opportunity for us to spend some alone time together," Jack grumbled. Jennifer announced that they needed to take someone else with them.
In the DiMera living room, Gabi walked in and overheard Stefan talking to Mr. Shin on the phone. "Mr. Shin come to his senses?" Gabi asked as Stefan ended the call. Stefan confirmed that Shin wanted to give Kate a trial run.
"Why? I was doing everything [Shin] hired me to do and more. He didn't even give me a chance!" Gabi said. Stefan explained that Shin believed Kate could provide the company with a sense of stability. Stefan added that Shin had forced Kate to keep Gabi and him on the payroll. "Although it is unclear what our roles are," Stefan said.
"We still have a shot. Kate tried to pin us against one another, but now we are a team, and Kate doesn't stand a chance," Gabi said firmly. With a shrug, Gabi noted that Shin had not understood her vision because her views were more modern, and Gabi Chic proved that. Stefan agreed that Gabi Chic was the largest income generator for the company.
"And you're DiMera by blood. I mean, what is Kate? She's a serial ex. She is not even a member of your family," Gabi complained. Stefan grinned. "I love when you get feisty," Stefan said. "I'm always feisty," Gabi purred as she kissed Stefan. Gabi shook her head and noted that she could not believe that she had spent so much time attempting to destroy Stefan and had instead fallen in love with him.
"Revenge can be overrated," Stefan said. Gabi whispered that it would be great to take down Kate. "Is it too early to go to bed for the rest of the day?" Stefan whispered with a smile. "Never too early for that," Gabi confirmed. As Stefan and Gabi kissed, Kate walked in.
"Do you two ever do anything else? No wonder you flamed out as CEO in record time. It's clear where your priorities lie. Flat on your back," Kate quipped. Gabi sarcastically noted that it was a classy move on Kate's part to pursue the job after Gabi had been kidnapped. As Gabi started to call Kate a bitch, Kate warned her not to speak ill of her new boss.
"That's not going to last. You murdered my mother, and you will pay for that one day, but for now, get the hell out of my house," Stefan said. Kate announced that she was moving into the house. Kate explained that Shin was tired of Stefan and Gabi's bickering and had sought Kate out for the position. Gabi stressed that she and Stefan were a united team.
"Then the two of you can work together and help me make this company a success again," Kate said. "We're not helping you with anything," Stefan said. Kate offered an apology for the false accusation against Stefan to the police. Kate stressed that Kristen had forced her to help frame Stefan and that Kristen was the real enemy. Kate warned Stefan that Kristen would drive the company into the ground in order to regain control. "Would you rather work for me or a homicidal maniac?" Kate asked.
In the Kiriakis living room, Eric told Sarah that Melinda had refused to offer Kristen an immunity deal. Eric added that he had asked Jack to force Melinda's hand. "If Kristen accepts the deal, it may help us find out where Holly is," Eric said. "And Nicole," Sarah noted. Eric softened.
"If we find Nicole, the real Nicole --" Eric said with a sigh. "I know what it means for us," Sarah finished. Sarah said she knew that Eric would never stop until he found Nicole, and she supported him. Eric apologized for subjecting her to more emotional stress.
"You have nothing to apologize for. Here's the thing: if you find her, then you're going to have the love of your life back. And if you don't, then you're going to spend forever wondering what could have been," Sarah said. Eric said that Sarah was getting ahead of herself. Sarah countered that she was being realistic. Fighting back tears, Sarah suggested that they end their romantic relationship.
"Is that really what you want?" Eric asked. "It's the last thing that I want!" Sarah yelped. Sarah explained that Eric's love for Nicole had not changed. "It has changed for me. I care about you," Eric said. When Sarah sighed in frustration, Eric corrected himself. "What I meant is that I love you," Eric said. Eric added that he was numb and did not know how to process his feelings. Sarah said she was hoping that Holly and Nicole were alive.
"The ugly truth is that there is a part of me that wishes Nicole would just stay dead. And it makes me a horrible, terrible, disgusting person, and it is part of the reason that you and I can't be together anymore," Sarah cried out. Eric hugged Sarah as she wept. Eric assured Sarah that she was not a terrible person, just human. Jennifer called Eric's phone and told him about the trip to Chicago. Eric told Sarah about the trip, and she said she was happy for him.
"I will let you know if I find out anything," Eric told Sarah as he hugged her tightly. Sarah wished Eric luck. As Eric started to leave, Sarah stopped him and said, "Bye." Eric told Sarah he would see her soon. Once Eric was gone, Sarah broke down in tears.
At the police station, Lani informed Eli that Kristen had given Jack an address for Holly and Nicole. Eli was preoccupied. When Lani asked what was wrong, Eli admitted that he could not stop thinking about the look on Julie's face when he had called her a racist. "You didn't call her a racist," Lani said. "That's how it felt to her. You don't think I was too hard on her, do you?" Eli asked. Lani reminded Eli that Julie was tough and would be fine.
In the square, Julie ran into Gabi as she left the office. "Why don't you watch where you are going?" Julie yelled. After a deep breath, Julie added, "I'm sorry. I should have been more careful." With a shrug, Gabi started to walk away, but Julie asked to talk for a moment. Gabi said no and walked away. Julie chased her into the park.
"Are you following me? Do you just want to call me more names?" Gabi asked. Short of breath, Julie said she wanted to apologize for past offensive statements. Confused, Gabi asked what Julie meant. "Terms I've used that might have referred to your ethnicity," Julie said. "I see you're finally realizing that you've been a total bitch to me," Gabi said. Julie said she only wanted to apologize for the derogatory racial terms.
"Believe me, I still think you are a terrible person," Julie confirmed. "This might be the worst apology I've ever received," Gabi said. Julie pointed out that Gabi had married Abigail's rapist after Abigail had dropped all charges against Gabi. Gabi reminded Julie that Abigail had let Gabi get sent to prison. Julie was adamant that the frame job had been all Stefan's work. Julie absentmindedly rubbed her arm as she told Gabi that she and Stefan deserved one another.
"You old racist ass. Why don't you just drop dead," Gabi said. Julie gasped and fell to the ground. With wide eyes, Julie looked up at Gabi, scared. Gabi groaned.
In Chicago, Jennifer listened at the door to a hotel room. "Stand back," Jack said. Jennifer refused. Jack argued that he could not have Jennifer's death on his head, and Jennifer joked, "Gee, I didn't know you cared."
Eric urged Jack and Jennifer to get on with it. Jennifer stepped aside, and Eric said, "On three." Confused, Jack asked Eric about what he meant. With a roll of her eyes, Jennifer reached out and turned the doorknob. The door opened. "Oh, my gosh," Jennifer said as she, Jack, and Eric rushed into the room.
At the DiMera mansion, Kate looked at the portrait of Stefano. "I'm back, mi amore, and there is nothing you can do about it. But you're in luck, because I intend to put the house of DiMera back in order again," Kate said. "You two having a nice chat?" Stefan asked Kate as he walked into the living room. Kate chuckled. Stefan informed Kate that he had asked Harold to unpack her things.
"After all, we're family, right? We should get along," Stefan said. Kate said she hoped Stefan was sincere. "Of course, that doesn't mean I've forgotten that you killed my mother in cold blood," Stefan said as he pulled out a gun. Stefan confirmed that he had found the gun in Kate's things. When Kate objected, Stefan noted that it had been his mother's gun.
"I'd like it back," Stefan said. Kate agreed. Stefan cocked the gun. "You used her own gun to kill her, and now I'm going to do the same to you," Stefan said.