At Statesville, Rafe joined Ciara and Ben in the infirmary.
Rafe informed Ciara and Ben that David was still missing. "[Ciara], did Evan -- Christian... Whatever the hell his name is, did he say anything to you about David?" Rafe asked. "No -- not a word," Ciara replied. "I'm so sorry -- I know I should have asked that bastard where he hid David while I had the gun on him --" Ciara fretted. "It's okay -- I totally understand [that] you were focused on saving Ben's life," Rafe stressed.
"Hey, Ben...uh, I was wrong about you, [and] I owe you an apology. [I mean], you swore to me that you were innocent, [and] Ciara backed you up, [but] I had my mind made up...[and, as it turns out, this whole time], you were living with a death sentence, [and] Jordan's [true] killer was living under my roof," Rafe conceded with a sigh. "The guy fooled everybody," Ben pointed out, and Ciara agreed. "You guys are way too understanding. I'm a cop, [so] I should have investigated this guy further," Rafe maintained. "Don't be so hard on yourself, Rafe. I know how easy it is to hide your dark side from good, decent people," Ben countered.
Ciara soon changed the subject, asking Rafe for an update on Hope's condition. "Shawn told me that he got a court order to make her have an MRI, [but] after that, things...kind of got...crazy [on my end]," Ciara explained. "I know that he had her admitted to the hospital, [but] I don't know if she's had the MRI yet, [because] Princess Gina was making things...difficult," Rafe reported. "I just -- I feel really, really bad, you know? I feel like I should have been there with her," Ciara fretted. "No, no, no -- [look], you saved Ben, [and] Shawn has been great [with your mother in the meantime]," Rafe stressed.
Rafe promised to keep Ciara and Ben posted on Hope's condition as well as the search for David.
After Rafe rushed off, Ciara tried to contact Justin -- apparently not for the first time in recent hours. "[This is] driving me absolutely crazy!" Ciara complained to Ben when the call, like all the ones before it, went to voicemail. "I need him to overturn your conviction so you can get the hell out of here and come back home to me!" Ciara continued, ending the call without bothering to record a voicemail message.
"Maybe you should ask him to represent you, too -- or hire a [different] lawyer -- [since, you know], you brought Maddox in here at gunpoint and forced him to confess --" Ben tried to advise. "So what? [After all], he was the one who killed Jordan -- [and besides], they wouldn't even let me be here with you right now if they were gonna arrest me, okay? You think they want to bring attention to the fact that I stopped them from putting an innocent man to death?" Ciara countered.
"When they stuck that needle in my arm, I thought, 'This is it...'" Ben admitted, shuddering at the memory. "You know how they say your whole life flashes before your eyes when you know you're dying? It wasn't like that for me -- all I saw was our time together, [because] I didn't start living until we started loving each other. [And] then everything went black, [and] the next thing I knew, you were there to save my life. Ciara, our story...it's not over -- not by a long shot -- [and that's] because of you," Ben continued before giving Ciara a kiss.
Later, Ciara fretted to Ben about Hope's condition, fearing that it might be permanent. "The only reason why I'm still living is because you never stopped believing [in me, so] don't you give up on her," Ben advised Ciara. "We have been through hell, but it feels like, for the first time in more than a year, things are almost all right again -- you know, Maggie confessed, Will's back with Sonny and their daughter, Evan's confession should get me out of here, I know Rafe will find David...and Kayla's gonna find a way to get through to your mom," Ben assured Ciara.
At the Brady Pub, Roman and Hattie fretted about the fact that they had not yet gotten an update on Justin, John, and Marlena's mission to save Kayla from Stefano. "We should have just gone with them!" Hattie insisted.
Meanwhile, Kayla cried out for help as John and Justin shoved various items in front of the air vent that was blowing a noxious gas into the locked storage shed. "Save your breath -- there's no windows, [so] this place is soundproof," John said to Kayla. "This is futile -- we can't seal [the air vent] tight enough," John said to Justin. "That bastard thought of everything!" Justin grumbled.
Meanwhile, Marlena tried to flee from the DiMera guesthouse, prompting Stefano to draw a gun. "You have been toying with me and making me chase you for years, but that's all over [now] -- we will do things my way [now]! You have always been my destiny, and now...I am yours!" Stefano declared after Marlena froze.
Stefano soon lowered the gun, looking a bit uncomfortable. "You know, you had me going there for a moment," Marlena admitted. "What does that mean?" Stefano wondered. "Well, you may -- you may walk like Stefano, and you may do the things that Stefano did...but you're not Stefano," Marlena observed. "I am!" Stefano insisted.
"John and I spent years matching wits with Stefano, and he loved the game, [so] he would never want a robot for his 'Queen of the Night' -- he would want to dominate the real me, his real equal," Marlena reasoned. "And that is exactly how I feel," Stefano stressed. "Well, then, why are we waiting for Rolf to come in [and] turn me into a zombie? I mean, Stefano would never have done that -- he wouldn't diminish me in that way, because that would not be 'fun' for him; that would not be a 'conquest,'" Marlena maintained.
"You just want to turn me into an imitation of Marlena because you are an imitation [of Stefano]," Marlena summarized. "How dare you call me 'an imitation'!" Stefano snapped.
Meanwhile, Roman and Hattie arrived at the storage shed -- and found John, Justin, and Kayla passed out on the ground inside.
Roman and Hattie took turns trying to rouse John, Justin, and Kayla but didn't get any responses. "Oh, my gosh -- they're all dead!" Hattie fretted, giving Roman a look of horror.
Meanwhile, Stefano calmed down and laughed off Marlena's accusation. "You cannot trick me into changing course by insulting me. [Soon], you will realize what you have been denying for so long -- that you and I are soul mates -- [and] you will thank me for helping you to see that," Stefano insisted -- just as Rolf entered the guesthouse.
"I am ready to begin the procedure," Rolf announced. "So are we," Stefano replied as Marlena gulped.
Meanwhile, Justin and Kayla finally regained consciousness -- as did John, who mistook Hattie for Marlena at first. "He got her!" John fretted to Roman after realizing that Hattie wasn't Marlena. "We'll find her, [but] you gotta get to the E.R. --" Roman began to respond. "No time for that --" John tried to argue. "You don't know what you were gassed with. You're no good to Marlena dead," Roman maintained.
John grudgingly conceded the point and agreed to accompany Justin and Kayla to the hospital for a checkup.
Meanwhile, Stefano handed Marlena over to Rolf. "I will perform upon you the same procedure I used on your friend Hope Brady," Rolf began to explain to Marlena. "I never understood how you got to her," Marlena admitted, stalling for time. "Simple -- I lured her into the lab by telling her I would help Julie, who was quite ill at the time," Rolf bragged. "You really are scum," Marlena spat. "Talented scum," Rolf stressed.
"[Anyway], I will first administer to you a cocktail of sedative and local anesthesia, then I will make a tiny incision in the back of your neck and implant a microchip into the base of your brain," Rolf continued explaining to Marlena. "[Now], it may take several days for the chip to become fully effective, but when it does, Dr. Evans will find herself totally and completely devoted to you," Rolf assured Stefano.
Marlena tried to flee from the guesthouse again, prompting Stefano to draw a gun again. "Do it," Stefano instructed Rolf, who immediately opened a medical bag and began preparing for the procedure.
At the hospital, Chad picked up a pillow and squeezed it tightly with both hands while staring at Gabi, who was still sleeping soundly. "Wrap this up, boy!" Chad heard Stefano impatiently demand.
Chad shakily pushed the pillow toward Gabi's face in an effort to comply but dropped it at the last second. "What am I doing?" Chad wondered between gasps for breath, looking around Gabi's room in confusion.
"Why are you just standing there? This is the woman who convinced you to put your wife in an asylum! She made you believe your daughter was your brother's child -- and turned you against him [in the process]! She did anything she could to destroy your family -- and she's not done yet! Don't you remember what I taught you? Niente č pių importante della famiglia -- 'nothing is more important than family'!" Chad heard Stefano angrily protest. "La famiglia," Chad robotically agreed, picking up the pillow again.
"For your crimes against my family, Gabriella Josephina Hernandez, I sentence you to death. May God have mercy on your soul," Chad declared before pushing the pillow toward Gabi's face again, this time without any hesitation. "What the hell are you doing?" Rafe demanded to know, joining Chad in Gabi's room. "Just giving your sister hell," Chad coolly replied. "With a pillow in your hands?" Rafe skeptically observed, snatching the pillow from Chad. "Just scaring her -- [not just] for what she did to Julie, Lani, and Eli [but also] for what she did to Abby," Chad elaborated. "Get the hell out of here!" Rafe snapped, but Chad stayed put.
"You know, she got off for [all of that]," Chad pointed out. "You know, she just saved a child's life," Rafe countered. "One day, she's gonna get what she deserves," Chad warned before walking away.
Gabi soon woke up and groggily greeted Rafe. "I heard voices -- was that Chad?" Gabi asked. "Yeah...[but] don't worry about him -- he's not gonna bother you anymore; [he] just wanted to give you hell for everything you've done," Rafe replied. "Oh, please -- like he's one to talk, like he's lived this exemplary life..." Gabi declared, waving a hand dismissively. "Yeah...but what about the things you've done? I don't even know who you are anymore!" Rafe countered. "All right -- you know what, Rafe? If you're here for the same reason Chad was, you can go!" Gabi snapped, but Rafe stayed put.
"I don't need anybody to dredge up the past," Gabi insisted. "'The past'? Do you realize that people are still suffering for all the miserable crap that you've done?" Rafe countered. "Yeah, that's all I've done -- 'miserable crap'! My whole entire life!" Gabi sarcastically agreed. "What about all the wonderful things that I've done?" Gabi continued. "What wonderful things?" Rafe wondered. "I am here to save little Mackenzie Horton's life!" Gabi reminded Rafe. "People give bone marrow all the time, Gabi -- and most people, by the way, [only] do it out of the goodness of their hearts!" Rafe shot back.
"[And] that's why I did it -- [I mean], why else would I have gotten tested?" Gabi reasoned. "I don't know -- seems totally out of character, actually," Rafe declared. "Great -- so, my own brother thinks I'm a heartless bitch," Gabi grumbled. "I never said you were 'heartless,'" Rafe pointed out. "[So, then]...just a bitch," Gabi concluded. "There's a heart in there [somewhere] -- I know that there is -- [but] it's just buried under anger, resentment, [and] God knows what else," Rafe summarized. "You can go!" Gabi snapped again, but Rafe still stayed put.
"I'm sorry -- I just...I need someone to talk to, and I don't know who else to turn to," Rafe admitted. "Yeah, I can see it in your eyes -- something's going on besides me," Gabi realized. "It's David," Rafe began to explain.
"So, Evan is really David's father? [But] I thought he was gay!" Gabi protested after Rafe shared the whole story. "I'm not sure how that's relevant..." Rafe admitted. "Well, no -- yeah, I know, but...it just kind of adds to the weirdness of it all," Gabi reasoned before changing the subject, assuring Rafe that everything was going to be okay. "Who knows..." Rafe fretted.
"[I mean], even if I find [David]...I entrusted a killer to look after him! Do you understand -- [I mean], if you were Child Welfare, would you trust me?" Rafe continued. "You got conned, okay? It happens! They're not gonna take him away because of that!" Gabi argued. "He's not my son -- they can do whatever the hell they want!" Rafe countered, prompting Gabi to insist that David was Rafe's son in every way that mattered. "We're gonna find [him]," Gabi predicted, and Rafe numbly nodded in response.
"We're okay, right?" Gabi called out as Rafe was leaving. "Yeah, we're good -- I mean, I hate all the things that you've done, but I love you," Rafe confirmed. "Even though you think I'm a bitch on wheels?" Gabi asked. "I just think you're...screwed up --" Rafe replied. "I guess I like that better..." Gabi grumbled. "But, damn it, being screwed up is not an excuse for you to go around hurting people [and] trying to get revenge for all the -- the wrongful things you think people have done to you!" Rafe continued.
"[So], if somebody treats you like dirt...what, you're supposed to just take it?" Gabi incredulously summarized. "Yes, [because] whenever you try and exact revenge on someone, it just makes your life worse -- you wind up getting more hurt than to begin with," Rafe reasoned. "Not always -- sometimes it can be satisfying!" Gabi argued, drawing a groan from Rafe. "What do I have to do to get through to you?" Rafe wondered. "I'm teasing you -- I get it, [and] I am turning a new leaf, I promise," Gabi backpedaled.
"I'm gonna believe it when I see it, [but] I really hope you are, [because] you need to become a responsible adult -- [after all], you got a kid that needs you...just like my son needs me," Rafe stressed before rushing off.
Meanwhile, Roman and Hattie caught John trying to leave the hospital. "You can't leave here [yet] -- you almost died [earlier]!" Hattie protested, and Roman agreed. "Not even close -- that gas they pumped in the room wasn't lethal; Steve just wanted to knock us out so he could make his escape with Marlena," John clarified, having already gotten a clean bill of health from Kayla, who was tending to Justin's head wound elsewhere.
"Do you have any idea where Steve might have taken Marlena?" Roman wondered. "No...[but] that's not gonna stop me from looking for them," John replied before trying to leave the hospital again.
"Dr. Marlena Evans is a friend of mine, and I know her, and -- and she's not some fading flower; she's got street smarts, and she will figure out a way to -- to get the drop on that...'Stevano' or whatever he calls himself!" Hattie stressed in an effort to comfort John. "I don't have any doubt that Doc is putting up a hell of a fight, but God only knows what Steve will do to force her into submission!" John fretted.
Meanwhile, Kayla and Justin discussed Steve. "At least [now] you know that the man who divorced you, who didn't go to his sister's funeral, who kidnapped you -- [that] that man didn't think he was Steve anymore, [and] he didn't do any of that garbage of his own free will," Justin summarized. "Well, I -- I hope that Stephanie and Joey and Tripp find that comforting...[but] whether Steve believes that he's Stefano or not, [that] doesn't change anything with us. I am with you, and I love you," Kayla insisted.
Kayla and Justin quickly embraced, each seemingly desperate to hide clear signs of doubt from the other.
Meanwhile, at the DiMera guesthouse, Stefano watched excitedly as Rolf advanced toward Marlena with a filled syringe, ready to begin the procedure with the promised cocktail that was intended to prevent discomfort. Marlena tried to flee from the guesthouse once again, correctly assuming that Stefano wouldn't be able to fire the gun -- but Chad approached the guesthouse just then, inadvertently blocking Marlena's escape route.
"Thank God you're here -- we've gotta call the police and turn these two in!" Marlena said to Chad. "I'm sorry, but you're not going anywhere," Chad replied, pushing Marlena back into the guesthouse. "Oh, no -- they've gotten to you, too..." Marlena said to Chad with a groan as Rolf again approached with the filled syringe.
"I wasn't able to neutralize Gabi Hernandez -- her brother showed up before I could complete the mission," Chad said to Stefano as Rolf plunged the needle of the syringe into Marlena's neck. "Gabriella can wait -- I need to give my full attention to my Queen of the Night," Stefano said to Chad as Marlena lost consciousness.
Stefano orders Chad to kill Kate
At the hospital, Sarah told Jennifer and Jack that she was optimistic that the bone marrow transplant would be successful. "I'm so glad that she is doing well. And I'm really hopeful that we have some good news about Hope," Jennifer said. Sarah said she had the results of Hope's MRI. Sarah showed Jack and Jennifer the scan and pointed out the microchip.
"Can it be removed?" Jennifer asked. "Given its position, it would require a very skilled surgeon," Sarah said. With a smile, Jack noted that there was a good one in the family.
As Kayla slept next to Justin in their apartment, she dreamed of her ordeal with Stefano. "Your Steve Johnson is dead and gone," Stefano said. Kayla startled awake and cried out, "No!" Justin calmed Kayla. "What was your dream about?" Justin asked. Kayla said she did not remember.
"Please. You need to talk about this. We need to," Justin said. Kayla explained that her dream had been more of a memory. Justin asked what Kayla remembered. "That Steve is never coming back," Kayla said. Justin said he knew that the news was upsetting.
"Listen to me, I will always care about Steve. He is the father of my children. But he is my past, and you, Justin Kiriakis, are my future," Kayla stressed. Justin argued that the situation had changed because Kayla had learned that Steve had not willingly ended the marriage. Kayla countered that she was happy. Justin asked Kayla what she would do if the real Steve returned. The doorbell rang before Kayla could answer.
While Justin answered the door, Kayla dressed for work and headed downstairs. Jack was there. Jack explained that Sarah had shown him Hope's MRI and that it had confirmed that there was a microchip in Hope's brain. "It can only be removed with the help of a talented surgeon, and since you're the talented surgeon I know, I was hoping that you could weigh in," Jack said. Kayla agreed to look at the MRI.
After Kayla left, Jack told Justin that he was hopeful that Kayla could "bring Hope back to us." Justin made coffee, and he sat down with Jack to talk about the ordeal with Stefano. Justin said he was fine. "I imagine it can't be easy watching your brother act like this," Justin said. Jack countered that the situation was not easy for Justin, either, since they had learned that Steve had been brainwashed into leaving Kayla.
"I'm afraid you're right," Justin admitted. Justin said that he had not believed that he could love anyone after Adrienne, but Kayla had supported him through a tough time. "You were there for each other," Jack said. Justin added that the situation had changed. Justin admitted that if Adrienne was restored to life, he would jump at the chance to be with her again.
"I have to believe that Kayla would do the same with Steve," Justin said. Justin said that although Kayla had told him that she was happy with Justin, he believed that Kayla would take an opportunity to get Steve back. "If I truly loved Kayla, and I do, how could I possibly deny her that?" Justin asked. Jack warned Justin not to overthink the situation.
"Kayla loves you," Jack said. "And Kayla loves Steve. And now we know that Steve never stopped loving Kayla," Justin reasoned aloud. Jack told Justin that it might not be possible to remove the microchip from Steve's head. "You should be rooting for Kayla to bring your brother back," Justin said. With a nod, Jack said he wanted his brother back, but he did not want to see Justin get hurt, either.
When Kayla arrived at her office at the hospital, she met with Jennifer. Kayla offered her condolences for Bill. "He didn't suffer, so I'm grateful for that," Jennifer said. Jennifer asked Kayla if she was okay after her abduction. Kayla told Jennifer that other than the physical resemblance, there was nothing left of Steve. Jennifer reasoned aloud that if Jack could recover his memories, so could Steve.
"If John can find him," Kayla said. "He has Marlena; John will find him," Jennifer assured Kayla. Jennifer asked about Hope's microchip. With a nod, Kayla pulled up the MRI on her computer. Kayla noted that Rolf had attached the microchip to a sensitive area near the spinal cord. Kayla agreed with Sarah, and she noted that only a skilled surgeon could remove the chip.
In disbelief, Jennifer wondered aloud how Rolf had had the skill to insert the device. Kayla told Jennifer that Rolf had ranted about his scientific breakthroughs. "Are you saying that we have lost Hope and that Steve is gone forever?" Jennifer asked. Kayla cautioned Jennifer to expect the worst but hope for the best. Kayla promised to do everything she could to help Hope.
"Now that you know the truth about everything, what does that mean for you and Justin?" Jennifer asked. Kayla said the only thing she could think about was whether she would be able to undo Rolf's damage. Kayla talked about the risks, and she argued that Rolf might be the only person that could successfully undo the procedure. "One slip, and I could kill her," Kayla argued.
John visited Gina in the police interrogation room. "You're the last person I would have expected, but I am so happy to see you," Gina said. John asked Gina for help finding Marlena. When Gina asked why, John argued that if Gina loved him, she would help him. "I'm begging you," John said.
"I love you far too much to help you find your way back to a woman who is not worthy of you," Gina said coolly. With a nod, John asked Gina if she was willing to help him in order to pay back Stefano for leaving her to rot in prison.
"You are right. To hell with Stefano. He should not get what he wants when I did not get what he promised me," Gina said. Gina said she would help John if it meant she could get even with "that ungrateful traitor." John asked Gina where Stefano might run. Gina told John that Stefano would take his queen back to his castle. With a shake of his head, John said it was possible that Stefano was at the mansion, but Chad would have told him if he had seen Stefano on the grounds.
"I'm not sure you should trust Chad. You know how much he loves his father," Gina said. John said he did not think Chad would approve of kidnapping. With a shrug, Gina noted that Stefano had told her that Chad would be an integral part of his plan to recover his business.
"Oddly confident that he would bring [Chad] back into the fold. That he would ultimately side with La Famiglia," Gina said. "Interesting. I think I'll have a talk with [Chad]," John said. When Gina asked for a thank you, John begrudgingly gave her one as he walked out.
When Justin arrived, Gina asked him to be her attorney. "You must be joking. I have no intention of representing you," Justin said. Justin argued that Gina had been a part of a plan that had involved Kayla's kidnapping. Gina countered that it was in Justin's interest to help her. Gina explained that if the doctors discovered a way to remove her from Hope's body, they would do the same to Stefano. Gina argued that Kayla would drop Justin for Steve.
"It is very much in your interest to insure that no further medical procedures are performed on me," Gina said. Gina urged Justin to think about her offer. "Unless you want to end up alone," Gina added.
In the DiMera library, Chad asked Kate about Marlena. With a shake of her head, Kate said that the police had no leads. Chad thought about when he had run into Marlena in the guesthouse and had stopped her from leaving.
"I hate to say it, but my father may have taken her out of the country. Honestly, they could be anywhere," Chad said. Kate lamented that she had not told anyone about Stefano sooner. Chad argued that John was wasting his time searching for Marlena. When Kate pushed the issue, Chad warned her, "I know you're worried about your friend, but you should be worried about yourself." Kate asked why.
"You're facing multiple felony charges for being my father's accomplice. They're going to put you in prison. For years," Chad said. Chad reiterated his offer to provide the DiMera lawyers in exchange for Kate's stock shares. Kate scoffed at the suggestion. "They are of more than financial value to me. They have sentimental value, as well," Kate said. Kate added that she had an attorney. Chad argued that his attorneys were better.
"I will even bribe the judges," Chad promised. "You really are your father's son," Kate said. Chad noted that Stefano was with him in spirit. Chad handed Kate papers to sign. Kate read through the document. "It's good that you are paying for my defense, but you're going to have to do a lot more," Kate said as she wrote a figure on the document. Chad agreed to the amount. With a nod, Kate signed the papers.
In the guesthouse, Stefano sat at Marlena's bedside and watched her sleep. "Everything is falling into place," Stefano told Rolf. Stefano added, "Thanks to your help, Chad is under my control and working to restore my empire, but that empire means nothing without my Queen of the Night by my side." Worried, Stefano asked Rolf when Marlena would wake up. Rolf said he was confident that Marlena's surgery would be as effective as Gina's surgery. In her sleep, Marlena called out John's name.
"That does not sound so magnificent to me," Stefano growled. Stefano asked Rolf how he should talk to Marlena during her transition period. Rolf suggested that Stefano remind Marlena of the good times they had spent together. "She will come to cherish the strength of your bond," Rolf said. Marlena opened her eyes.
"It's you," Marlena whispered. Stefano told Marlena that she was safe. When Marlena asked what was wrong, Stefano told Marlena that someone had attempted to take her. "Where is John? Why are you here, Steve?" Marlena asked. "I am not Steve. I am Stefano," Stefano said. Marlena noted that Stefano looked like Steve. Stefano asked Marlena to listen to his voice. With a nod, Marlena said she knew she should be afraid of Stefano but that she was not scared.
"You have nothing to fear from me," Stefano said. Stefano promised to care for Marlena if she would let him. "Why would you want to help me?" Marlena asked. Stefano said that Marlena had helped him after he had been pushed off of a balcony.
"You were there for me, by my side, night and day. You nursed me back to health. We grew very close during that time. Do you remember that?" Stefano asked. Marlena said her memory of the time was hazy. Marlena asked for a glass of water. Stefano stepped to the side to get a glass of water and ask Rolf for help. Rolf handed Stefano a book of Keats poetry, and reminded him that Marlena had read to him from the book in the past. "Perhaps it will help things along," Rolf suggested.
Stefano returned to Marlena and asked her if she remembered the book of poetry he had once given her. As Marlena recalled the memory, she smiled. Stefano said he wanted to read to her from the book. Marlena asked Stefano to start with "Ode on a Grecian Urn." Stefano obliged. When Stefano finished the poem, Marlena sighed contentedly.
"I live to make you happy. You know that," Stefano said. "Where's John? I need to see John," Marlena said. Stefano suggested that Marlena freshen up. Marlena wobbled slowly into the bathroom. Stefano complained to Rolf that his procedure had failed. Rolf urged patience. Rolf argued that Marlena's memories of John would fade away.
When Chad arrived, he handed his father the signed agreement from Kate for her shares in the company. "Once we have Kristen's stock, we'll have the majority," Stefano said. Chad told Stefano that he had convinced Kate to sell her stock in exchange for keeping Kate out of prison and cash. Chad asked about Marlena.
"It's a work in progress, although Katerina is not. She is untrustworthy," Stefano said. Stefano argued that Kate was no use to them since they had her stock shares. "You must eliminate her," Stefano said. "You want me to kill Kate?" Chad asked. Stefano reminded Chad that La Famiglia always came first. With a nod, Chad promised to kill Kate.
After Chad left, Stefano smiled at Rolf and commented, "You've done a fine job with Chad. Would that Marlena was so compliant." Rolf reiterated that Stefano needed to be patient. With a grunt, Stefano said he was desperate to be with his queen.
In the DiMera mansion, John walked in and asked Kate why she was there. "Chad offered me a place to stay," Kate said. Kate asked about Marlena. Angry, John asked Kate why she had not warned him and Marlena about Stefano sooner. Kate apologized. "I will do anything I can to make it up to you," Kate said. Kate asked John if he had any leads. John told Kate about his visit with Gina. With a raised voice, John asked Kate if she had seen anything suspicious.
"Chad told me that Stefano snuck in here, and he left him his ring," Kate said. Kate added that she had not seen Stefano in the house. Hopeful, John announced that he would search the grounds. Kate offered her help, but John said, "You've done enough. If anything happens to my wife, it's on you!" John walked out the door and explored the garden. John heard a noise behind a door, and he worked to pry it open. "Hang on, doc. I'm coming," John whispered.
In the house, Kate was reading the news on her tablet as Chad creeped into the house behind her. "Marlena, please, you have to stay strong," Kate whispered as she looked for updates on the search. Chad grabbed a letter opener from the desk, and he stood behind Kate.
Rolf faces a dilemma
At Statesville, Ciara reentered the infirmary after a doctor finished examining Ben.
"I swear, you almost look like your old self again," Ciara raved. "My vitals are good, [so...as soon as] I get some strength back, I get the all-clear to get out of this bed," Ben reported.
"You don't seem too excited about that," Ciara noted. "No, I am -- but until my conviction is thrown out, my future's kind of up in the air," Ben explained. "It won't be long now -- [see], according to Justin, Evan's case is still pending, [but] once he's formally charged for Jordan's murder, it will expedite the process with the Department of Corrections, [and then] you'll be free," Ciara assured Ben.
At the police station, Justin dismissed Gina's prediction that Kayla would reunite with Steve if the opportunity ever presented itself. "You [act] as if you almost believe that [it will not happen...but] are you willing to take that chance? I am offering you the opportunity to take control of the situation -- to ensure that Steve Johnson remains Stefano, and that [the] pretty Dr. Johnson remains in your bed! [Remember], if you help me fight off these yokels' attempt to tamper with my brain, they will not be able to tamper with Stefano's, either -- we both win, counselor! [So], what do you say?" Gina countered.
Before Justin could respond, Shawn entered the conference room and wondered what was going on. "The 'princess' wanted to hire me as her attorney...and I was just about to turn her down," Justin explained. "You are making an awfully big mistake!" Gina warned. "Maybe...but it's mine to make," Justin countered before exiting the conference room.
"Well, that didn't go to well, did it?" Shawn said to Gina with obvious amusement. "What do you want?" Gina snapped. "Oh, I just thought maybe you would be interested in, uh...seeing the results of your MRI," Shawn explained while pushing a tablet computer toward Gina, who couldn't resist taking a peek at the device's screen. "And what is it I am looking at?" Gina wondered. "Oh, that's just, uh -- that's just an image of the microchip that's been implanted in your head," Shawn clarified. "This is the end for you, Princess -- [because] as soon as we locate Dr. Rolf [and] force him to remove [that chip], your reign is over," Shawn stressed.
"Good luck with that -- [I mean], Wilhelm [is] a master at disappearing, [after all]," Gina countered, waving a hand dismissively.
Meanwhile, a guard led Evan from a holding cell to the commissioner's office, where Rafe was in the process of printing a stack of missing-child fliers. "I don't know what you think you're doing -- I have a lawyer; you're not allowed to question me," Evan said to Rafe with a scowl after the guard left. "[You're right] -- I'm not -- so...maybe there's another reason you're here," Rafe said to Evan with a shrug while casually loading a gun. "What are you doing?" Evan asked with a hint of nervousness. "Just checking that the safety's on," Rafe replied with an innocent shrug.
"Wouldn't want to take any chances," Rafe reasoned while placing the gun on the desk, with the barrel pointed directly at Evan's chest. "Is that why you brought me here -- to threaten me?" Evan wondered. "That would be incredibly unprofessional," Rafe replied while casually resting a hand on the gun. "Then why am I here?" Evan demanded to know. "Your arraignment -- it's coming up," Rafe explained. "Finally!" Evan grumbled. "Yeah...[and maybe then] you'll 'finally' realize that you're gonna be spending decades behind bars -- at best -- and then you'll reconsider talking to me [about] where David is," Rafe suggested. "Probably not," Evan warned.
At the DiMera mansion, Kate jumped out of a chair with a gasp and turned to face Chad. "I didn't hear you come in," Kate explained after recovering from the shock of Chad's sudden presence. "What are you doing?" Kate demanded to know after noticing that Chad was holding a letter opener -- and was twirling it in a somewhat menacing manner. "Just gonna open some mail," Chad claimed before comforting Kate with a hug.
"So, did anything exciting happen while I was gone?" Chad casually wondered after pulling away from Kate and walking over to the nearby desk, where a stack of mail was indeed waiting to be opened. "Well, I wouldn't say 'exciting'..." Kate began before telling Chad about John's earlier visit. "I gave him permission to search the grounds -- I hope that's okay," Kate concluded. "Of course," Chad coolly replied.
Meanwhile, John broke into the guesthouse -- but found only signs that Marlena and Stefano had been there at one point, including Marlena's favorite book and a few takeout containers of half-eaten meals that were still warm. Frustrated that Stefano had managed to escape with Marlena -- and unaware that Chad had made the escape possible after overhearing John's earlier conversation with Kate -- John started to rush back out of the guesthouse with the intention of continuing to search the property, but a sudden noise put a stop to that plan.
While doing a more thorough search of the guesthouse, John found Rolf hiding in one of the closets. "Where the hell is Marlena?" John demanded to know. "She is no longer your Marlena -- Stefano made good on his promise [to transform her into] his Queen of the Night. [She did] put up quite a fight, but in the end, not even [her] fire was a match for Stefano's will -- or my genius!" Rolf reported.
"[And now] she and Stefano have gone off to live their new life together...[and] they didn't invite me!" Rolf continued, pretending to be upset about the slight. "But, um, I was headed for parts unknown, so...if you'll please excuse me..." Rolf concluded before trying to flee from the guesthouse. "If you don't tell me where she is --" John began, blocking Rolf's path. "You really don't know me, [even] after all these years -- my loyalty, my superior ability to keep a secret..." Rolf mused, unimpressed with John's attempt at intimidation.
Meanwhile, Kate demanded to know when Chad's end of their deal was going to be honored. "I just spoke with the lawyers, and they assured me that you would not spend one day in prison," Chad claimed while beginning to twirl the letter opener in a somewhat menacing manner once again. "Enough!" Kate protested, snatching the letter opener from Chad. "Let's celebrate! I knew that you would come through for me!" Kate continued, turning away from Chad to place the letter opener on the bar and open a bottle of Champagne. "Of course I did..." Chad replied while discreetly reclaiming the letter opener.
Just as Chad was about to slit Kate's throat from behind, John dragged Rolf into the mansion and explained what had just happened at the guesthouse. "I'm gonna take [Rolf] down to the station [and] get some answers," John announced, prompting Chad to secure a tighter grip on the letter opener -- a reaction that only Rolf noticed.
"I have nothing to tell you!" Rolf informed John while subtly advising Chad not to strike. "We'll see," John replied before dragging Rolf back out of the mansion. "I'm going, [too]. Something has to be done about this -- [I mean, we] can't let that creep get away with this! [Look], we'll celebrate later," Kate said to Chad before following John and Rolf out of the mansion.
"Kate's demise will have to wait, Father," Chad said to Stefano's portrait once the coast was clear, slamming the letter opener down on the desk in frustration.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Arianna won an Uno match against Will and Sonny -- for the third time that morning. "You have not lost your touch at all -- well done!" Will raved, making Arianna beam with pride.
Changing the subject, Will noted that it was time for Arianna to get ready for school. "Do I have to go?" Arianna wondered. "You love school!" Sonny pointed out, confused. "[Yeah, but] what if I come home...and Daddy Will's gone again?" Arianna fretted, clutching Will's right arm tightly. "I promise you that I'm not going anywhere," Will assured Arianna, who perked up at once.
"So...can we be a family again?" Arianna asked hopefully. "Absolutely," Will happily replied. "And play games every morning?" Arianna asked excitedly. "Uh...some mornings?" Will hesitantly replied. "And maybe get a puppy?" Arianna begged. "There it is," Sonny said to Will with a laugh. "How did we not see that one coming?" Will said to Sonny, also laughing.
"Um...how 'bout this -- I'll take you to school, and on the way, we can get some doughnuts and hot chocolate?" Will evasively offered. "Just don't tell Daddy Sonny," Will warned in a loud whisper. "Daddy who?" Arianna replied, giving Sonny a teasing grin. "Exactly," Will agreed, also giving Sonny a teasing grin. "I'm sitting right here, you two!" Sonny pointed out with a laugh. "And sugar before school is --" Sonny began to protest. "Awesome?" Will concluded for Sonny. "It's what every kid needs," Will continued, and Sonny played along, conceding the point.
Arianna requested a group hug with Will and Sonny then rushed upstairs to get ready for school.
"We have the greatest daughter ever," Sonny said to Will once the coast was clear. "Yeah, for sure -- and I have the greatest husband ever," Will said to Sonny before seizing a kiss. "Having you wake up next to me, and having our family back together, is something I will never take for granted again," Sonny stressed after pulling away from Will. "Yeah -- neither will I," Will agreed.
Changing the subject, Will told Sonny about a plan to visit Ben at Statesville after dropping Arianna off at school. "He should be getting out soon, right?" Sonny guessed. "Yeah, hopefully," Will confirmed.
Changing the subject again, Will wondered if Sonny had heard anything about the search for David recently. "I spoke to Rafe [earlier], and...unfortunately, Evan still isn't talking," Sonny reported.
Shortly after Will left the mansion with Arianna, Justin entered it and greeted Sonny, who had already heard a bit about what had happened the previous night.
"I don't know if I'll ever be able to wrap my head around [this]," Sonny admitted after Justin elaborated on Stefano's latest reign of terror -- and Steve's role in it. "It's even crazier in person...but I have to believe that Steve is still somewhere in there, fighting to get out -- [and] I hope [he does get out], because the longer that madman is in control, the greater the danger to Marlena," Justin stressed. "[Yeah...but] I have to ask -- if Uncle Steve does come back, where does that leave you and Kayla?" Sonny wondered. "Hopefully, right where we are," Justin replied with a shrug.
"[Anyway], enough about your old man -- how are you?" Justin continued. "I'm great!" Sonny raved with a big grin. "Will -- he's back where he belongs...[and] Ari -- she can barely let him out of her sight...and I kind of feel the same way -- I'm able to look the man that I love in his eyes and know that he's not responsible for Mom's death, [and that] just means everything to me," Sonny continued.
"[But], you know, if Mom was here right now, she would give me a real talking-to about getting involved with Evan [and letting] my daughter around him," Sonny predicted with a sigh of regret. "You weren't the only one [he] duped," Justin pointed out. "I know...but David's out there right now, God knows where, 'cause Evan's a flippin' psychopath, and he's not telling anyone where he stashed his own son... I hope someone throws the book at him, and he gets locked up forever!" Sonny stressed. "[He's] being arraigned today -- let me see what I can find out," Justin offered.
At Statesville, Ben excitedly rummaged through a bag of treats that Will had just delivered. "Dude, you're a mind reader!" Ben raved. "No -- I was your roommate, so I know what you like," Will clarified.
"You know, um...you look a lot better than the last time I saw you," Will observed. "Well, considering I was, uh, an injection or two away from death, I'll consider that a compliment," Ben replied. "It meant a lot that you showed up," Ben stressed. "Eh, that's what friends do," Will explained with a shrug. "But it was Ciara showing up that changed everything... [You know], I thought she'd -- she'd be here with you now..." Will continued. "Oh, she was, but I told her she needed to go help her mom," Ben clarified, drawing a nod of understanding from Will, who had already heard a bit about Hope's condition.
"So, life on the outside -- how is it?" Ben wondered. "Doesn't get any better!" Will raved. "I'm sure Ari was happy to have you home," Ben guessed. "I gotta say, waking up to her sweet little face to start the day -- it, uh...no offense, but it...it beats the hell out of waking up to your ugly mug in a jail cell," Will joked, drawing a fake scowl from Ben. "How 'bout you and Sonny -- you guys good now?" Ben wondered after dropping the act. "Um...we've still got some things to work through...but, uh, I think...as tough as it's been, it...it's -- it's made our love stronger -- you know, it's made us stronger," Will reported with a smile.
At Kayla's request, Shawn took Gina to the hospital for more tests -- and Ciara arrived a short time later, while Gina was handcuffed to a bed and was repeatedly calling out to the hospital staff for help. "Oh, goodie -- Hope's other child... I almost forgot she even existed..." Gina muttered, taking a break from the screaming fits. "You're right -- she really is obnoxious..." Ciara said to Shawn with a shake of the head. "You are the one aiding and abetting a serial killer -- how many innocent people did he murder in cold blood, hmm?" Gina countered.
"I was trying to save an innocent man's life...[but] now that he's safe, I'm here to help you," Ciara stressed. "How quaint -- savior complex. She is just as irritating as you and your mom," Gina said to Shawn. "You can insult us all you want, 'Princess'...but there is no way in hell that we're gonna give up until [our] mother is back," Ciara warned.
"We're gonna find Dr. Rolf --" Ciara continued. "Oh, please -- even if you [do], do you honestly believe that he would turn on me? Never! Your mother is gone -- she is gone forever!" Gina countered.
Kate entered the police station -- with Chad, who had decided to tag along -- while Rafe and John were trying to think of a way to convince Rolf to reveal Marlena's whereabouts and remove the chips from Hope and Steve's brains. "I am my father's son, [and] I understand [Rolf's] loyalty to my father [as well as] his ego and his vulnerabilities, [so] maybe I can convince him to cooperate," Chad offered, and Rafe agreed.
"Your father was very grateful for the warning about John," Rolf revealed once alone with Chad in one of the conference rooms, adding that Stefano had managed to escape with Marlena as a result. "Good...[but] now the question is...what are we going to do about you?" Chad replied with a scowl, surprising and confusing Rolf. "You screwed up, Wilhelm -- you were supposed to be getting the hell out [of the guesthouse], not waiting around for John to find you!" Chad elaborated. "My deepest apologies -- I've always been a slow packer!" Rolf explained with a shrug.
"But I hope I've made myself clear -- I have no intention of cooperating with the small minds and provincial laws of this backwater town," Rolf stressed. "Your loyalty to my father is appreciated...[but] you might want to reconsider your position," Chad countered, surprising and confusing Rolf again. "If you don't give them something, they will never leave you alone," Chad reasoned. "Like...what?" Rolf wondered. "Not 'what' -- who. Give them Hope Brady," Chad advised. "I don't think Her Highness would like that!" Rolf protested. "'Her Highness' isn't of any use to us anymore," Chad countered.
"[And, while doing] the operation -- [well], you're a genius; you'll be able to figure out a way to escape... In the meantime, Marlena and my father will have the time to disappear...for good," Chad elaborated -- just as John entered the conference room. "Rolf won't crack -- he refuses to give us Stefano's location," Chad reported. "Then why don't you give me one good reason why I shouldn't tear you limb from limb right now?" John challenged Rolf. "Because I've convinced him to give us Hope," Chad answered for Rolf. "As much as it pains me to destroy one of my greatest creations..." Rolf agreed, surprising John, who immediately contacted Shawn.
Gina was horrified -- and Ciara was delighted -- when Shawn revealed that Rolf had been caught and had agreed to cooperate.
While waiting for Chad at the police station, Kate went to the commissioner's office to give Rafe a few words of comfort, knowing that David was still missing.
"How did I not see who Evan really is?" Rafe fretted. "I don't think you should beat yourself up over this -- [I mean], if anyone could have done something about it, it's me, [because] the first time I met...'Evan'...he was trying to charm his way into Sonny's life, [and] every alarm I had went off, [so] I warned Sonny, I warned Will, I even tried to dig up dirt on him... I couldn't find anything, [since I didn't know his real name, but] I just wish I had come straight to you and told you my suspicions," Kate admitted. "I appreciate that, but...uh, you're not the one who invited him into my home," Rafe countered.
A guard soon entered the office with Evan, whose arraignment had just concluded.
"I knew I would see you in handcuffs one day," Kate said to Evan. "I hear you're in a bit of trouble yourself, lady," Evan countered. "Tell you what -- I'm gonna say hi to Sonny and Will for you...'cause, you know, they're back together again, and they are so much in love!" Kate stressed, drawing a scowl from Evan. "[And] you're gonna rot away in prison!" Kate predicted before shoving past Evan and exiting the office.
"I wouldn't be so sure about that..." Evan warned Rafe with a smirk. "I know you were all excited about me spending the rest of my life behind bars, but...the judge just threw out my confession. Lucky me!" Evan elaborated.
Meanwhile, at the Kiriakis mansion, Justin wrapped up a phone conversation with someone at the courthouse then apologetically informed Sonny of Evan's legal victory -- and, at that same time, Will left the Statesville infirmary after cheerfully predicting that, thanks to Evan's confession, Ben would surely be a free man very soon.
Brady helps Kristen remember Rachel
Brady stormed into Basic Black and started complaining to Kristen that, according to John, Rolf was still refusing to reveal Marlena's whereabouts.
"Are you listening?" Brady eventually asked Kristen. "I know how you feel about Marlena, but...I mean, I'm worried about her, and I would --" Brady continued before finally realizing that Kristen was crying -- and was staring at Rachel's death certificate. "I requested, uh, a copy, and it arrived today," Kristen explained. "Why would you want Rachel's death certificate?" Brady wondered. "Because I have never seen it, and I needed to," Kristen clarified. "It's not supposed to be this way, is it? [I mean], all this pain, [and] the feeling of loss -- it's [getting] worse instead of better," Kristen admitted.
"[And] I keep trying to figure out why, [and] I really think it's because of Mackenzie -- [I mean], being at the hospital [with her], and knowing that she is fighting for her life, just like Rachel did... And I keep having that same dream -- [you know], for the first few months after [Rachel's] death, I had a dream [that] I was holding her in my arms, and I was playing with her, but now...the dream has changed, [and] she's gone. [And] I know that I am blessed that I got to hold her for those few precious moments, [but] that memory is just -- it's just fading away, little by little, [and] I'm starting to forget her," Kristen continued.
"And that's why this is so important -- because it reminds me," Kristen concluded, clutching the death certificate tightly. "[That's just] a piece of paper --" Brady tried to argue. "[No -- it's] proof that she was here," Kristen stressed. "[You know], we never got a picture of her, [or] that little footprint, [or] a lock of her hair... [I mean, she's] my own precious daughter, [and] for the life of me, I don't remember my baby's face!" Kristen fretted. In an effort to provide some comfort, Brady walked Kristen through a memory exercise that Marlena often employed -- and the exercise provided Kristen with a clear image of Rachel.
Kristen happily recalled every detail of Rachel's body, including one detail that Brady had never known about -- a heart-shaped birthmark that was on the child's neck, just below the chin.
At the hospital, Xander exited an elevator and quickly spotted Nicole. "Where have you been?" Nicole wondered when Xander approached. "Taking care of some urgent Titan business," Xander claimed before asking for an update on Mackenzie's condition. "[She's] asleep. I just stepped out of her room -- Dr. Raynor wanted to speak to Eric and Sarah privately," Nicole reported. "Raynor? What the hell does she want?" Xander snapped. "I assume Dr. Raynor wants to update Eric and Sarah on Mackenzie's condition -- she is the baby's doctor, after all," Nicole replied.
"[But] what's the big secret?" Xander wondered. "There is no 'secret' -- you're just not one of the parents," Nicole clarified. "Why are you acting so nervous? Does this have something to do with the argument I saw between you and Dr. Raynor earlier? [Because] I heard her say something about a secret [then, and when I asked her about it, she told me] she was referring to doctor-patient confidentiality, [but] she was sweating bullets, and I'm pretty good at spotting when someone is lying to me -- like the way you're lying to me right now," Nicole continued, eyeing Xander suspiciously.
"Stop interrogating me -- I haven't done anything wrong!" Xander snapped at Nicole before starting to walk away. "Did you know that Dr. Raynor delivered Kristen and Brady's baby?" Nicole wondered, following Xander. "Yes, I did know that -- and their baby died, so why would anyone trust her with their child?" Xander countered. "Kristen doesn't blame Dr. Raynor --" Nicole began to clarify. "I'm just trying to make sure that Mackenzie gets the best possible care, and it's clear to me that Raynor isn't capable of providing it," Xander reasoned.
Meanwhile, Raynor considered telling Sarah and Eric the truth about Mackenzie -- but instead revealed that the child was already responding positively to the bone marrow transplant. "It's working -- [her] bone marrow has already started, um, engrafting, [and it's] producing new blood cells," Sarah excitedly translated for Eric before giving Raynor a hug of gratitude.
Raynor stiffened and quickly pulled away from Sarah, insisting that the gratitude wasn't necessary. Sarah tried to disagree, and Eric joined in, but Raynor interrupted and changed the subject. "This is very good news, and you should celebrate -- [after all], it's rare to see such encouraging results so soon -- [but just] remember, this is only Mackenzie's first step in a very long road to recovery. [But she's] the toughest little girl I've ever seen --" Raynor stressed. "Yeah, well, she takes after her mother," Eric explained. "I'm sure she does..." Raynor agreed, forcing a smile. "Well, I will leave you two alone with your...with Mickey," Raynor concluded before rushing off.
Raynor ran into Xander and Nicole outside Mackenzie's room. Xander nervously demanded to know what Raynor had told Sarah and Eric about Mackenzie. "I can't get into specifics with you -- all I can say is that it was good news," Raynor replied before rushing off. "This is great!" Nicole raved with a sigh of relief. "I have to go," Xander insisted before chasing after Raynor.
"Something very strange is going on here..." Nicole mused -- just as Eric approached.
Nicole was thrilled to hear the exact details of the good news that Raynor had just shared with Eric and Sarah. Nicole hoped that Eric would soon receive good news about Marlena, too.
When Eric returned to Mackenzie's room, Sarah was in the process of admiring a heart-shaped birthmark that was on the child's neck, just below the chin. "You know, it's so funny -- when you were born, I didn't even notice that little birthmark of yours, [so] when Xander brought you back to me [at the hospital later that night], I thought that you couldn't possibly be the same baby," Sarah said to Mackenzie. "You never told me that," Eric informed Sarah. "Well, no, 'cause it -- it doesn't make any sense," Sarah explained with a shrug and a laugh.
Nicole entered Basic Black while Kristen was thanking Brady for the earlier memory exercise. Kristen rushed off to a bathroom to freshen up, leaving Nicole alone with Brady, who was thrilled to hear that Eric and Sarah had just received good news about Mackenzie's bone marrow transplant. "I know I'm gonna regret asking this, but...what's up with Kristen?" Nicole eventually wondered, prompting Brady to explain what had happened earlier.
After visiting Ben at Statesville, Will returned to the Kiriakis mansion and started looking for Sonny -- but found Victor instead. "Oh -- hello, Will," Victor cheerfully began. "Victor," Will coldly countered. "I heard that you moved back in after you got released from prison...yet this is the first I've seen of you," Victor noted. "It's a big house...and, also, I have been avoiding you," Will explained.
"Where's Sonny?" Will wondered. "I don't know... Oh -- I did see his car dash out of here a little earlier. I don't know where he was going, but he was in a hurry to get there," Victor replied.
Meanwhile, at the police station, Rafe laughed off Evan's claim of a legal victory. "I'm telling the truth. My admitting that I killed Jordan -- it's like it never happened," Evan maintained, but Rafe still wasn't convinced.
Sonny stormed into the commissioner's office a short time later, just as Rafe ended a phone call. "Guess you heard the news," Evan cheerfully began, excited to see Sonny. "My dad just told me that the judge threw out Evan's confession -- is that true?" Sonny said to Rafe, ignoring Evan. "Yeah -- the D.A. just confirmed it," Rafe admitted with a sigh.
"Why would the judge do that?" Sonny asked Rafe. "Because it was a coerced confession, and he knew it," Evan explained. "That's a load of crap!" Sonny insisted, finally acknowledging Evan's presence. "Is it, Sonny? I had a gun to my head -- literally and figuratively!" Evan countered. "I can't believe this is happening! W-what does this mean? Are they gonna let him go?" Sonny said to Rafe. "Even without the confession, I doubt the judge would let Evan walk -- [I mean, the] DNA evidence --" Rafe began to reason. "Is totally circumstantial," Evan stressed. "Ben Weston was convicted on circumstantial evidence," Rafe pointed out.
"So, the charges against Evan haven't been dropped?" Sonny asked Rafe. "Not yet -- [but] my lawyer is in court as we speak, arguing that they should be, [and] I'm optimistic the judge will do the right thing," Evan said. "The 'right thing' is that you should go to prison for the rest of your life!" Sonny snapped. "You don't mean that, Sonny -- not after everything we've meant to each other," Evan protested, prompting Sonny to lunge forward in anger. "Are you kidding me? You son of a bitch! You think you're gonna get away with this? You're not gonna get away with this!" Sonny spat while slamming Evan against a wall.
"I still care about you, and I always will," Evan said to Sonny after Rafe intervened. Sonny scoffed in response and stormed back out of the office with a shake of the head, not wanting to deal with Evan any longer.
Meanwhile, at the Kiriakis mansion, Victor wondered if Will and Sonny's plan to divorce had been canceled. "Yes, indeed -- disappointed?" Will replied. "I have no animus for you, Will," Victor insisted. "Except for the whole 'allowing me to rot in prison for the rest of my life for a crime I didn't commit' thing..." Will countered. "That wasn't personal -- I was protecting Maggie," Victor stressed.
"Well, I guess it was all for nothing, [then], wasn't it? Because Maggie ended up remembering what she did on her own, anyway," Will noted. "Victor, you need to understand that just because I was willing to keep quiet for Maggie, [that] does not mean that I forgive you for what you did. I spent the better part of a year in there, separated from my daughter and my husband...but -- but worse than that was the oppressive, crushing guilt that I felt because I thought I had killed my husband's mother. Can you understand that? Do you feel any guilt?" Will continued. "I have no regrets for what I did," Victor admitted with a shrug.
"Well, maybe you should, because while I was in prison, Sonny shacked up with a murderer," Will pointed out. "You think Sonny's relationship with Evan was my fault?" Victor incredulously summarized. "I think what you and Xander did had consequences -- not just for Sonny and me but for a lot of [other] people in this town -- and the effects of that are gonna be felt for a long time," Will replied, making Victor squirm a bit. "You and Sonny are young. You're in love. You'll be fine," Victor dismissively declared. "[But] this could ruin Maggie's life!" Victor concluded.
"She's dealing with it --" Will began to counter in an effort to assure Victor that Maggie could handle living with the consequences of a terrible lapse in judgment just as well as anyone else who had ever had the misfortune of being in a similar situation. "'Dealing with it'? She's determined to go to prison for her crime!" Victor protested. "And I understand that -- [you know, the] guilt [leaves you] believing that you deserve to suffer --" Will began to explain. "Why? What good would it do? Won't bring Adrienne back!" Victor argued. "Maggie has to decide that she [still] wants to fight for her life!" Victor fretted.
"I understand wanting to protect Maggie from the knowledge that she caused Adrienne's death...[but, again], she's dealing with it, [and] the judge --" Will again tried to assure Victor. "This is not just about Adrienne!" Victor blurted out. "Then...what is it about?" Will wondered. "Well...what I meant was..." Victor stammered, squirming again -- but before anything else could be said, Will's cell phone rang.
"You need to come down to the police station," Sonny began when Will answered the call. "Why? What's going on?" Will asked. "I'll tell you when you get here...but you're not gonna be happy about it," Sonny replied.
After ending the call, Will started to rush out of the mansion -- just as Xander entered it. "Xander," Will coldly stated while walking past Xander.
"That was close," Victor said to Xander once the coast was clear. "I was so on edge about Dr. Raynor's pangs of conscience, I almost said something to Will that would have given away the whole thing," Victor elaborated. "I have to worry about you [now, too]?" Xander assumed with a groan. "No, I'll be fine -- as long as we're sure that quack has been taken care of," Victor insisted. "Well..." Xander began with a sigh before telling Victor about what had happened at the hospital earlier. "I couldn't confront [Raynor] with Nicole right there -- and then she just [disappeared] on me," Xander explained at the end of the tale.
"Get back down to that hospital [and find her -- and then] forget about Mr. Nice Guy; be the devious bastard that you are and take care of this situation with the doctor...once and for all!" Victor ordered Xander.
Will entered the police station and greeted Sonny, who was still fuming about Evan's legal victory. "They stopped Ben's execution based on Evan's confession," Will pointed out after Sonny explained what had happened. "I was just with [Ben] -- he's expecting to get released any moment. I mean, does this mean he's not getting out?" Will continued, giving Sonny another reason to be upset about the situation.
"It's gonna be okay. Ben's still getting out. And, you know, we'll be all right, too," Will predicted in an effort to calm Sonny down. "How do you figure?" Sonny wondered. "Because no matter what happens in that courtroom, Evan can't touch us, and he -- he would be an idiot to try," Will reasoned. "I just -- I can't believe that I would ever fall for a guy like that, Will! I -- I'm -- I'm so sorry --" Sonny stressed. "Stop! [Look], you have nothing to apologize for. We're together now. That -- that's all that matters," Will countered, putting a comforting hand on Sonny's shoulder.
Sonny calmed down and gave Will a nod and a smile of gratitude -- just as Rafe approached. "The judge has declined to drop the charges against Evan --" Rafe began, prompting Will and Sonny to start celebrating. "Hold on -- it's a bit more complicated than that..." Rafe continued, drawing groans from Will and Sonny. "Guess who just made bail!" Evan concluded for Rafe, sauntering into the police station with a triumphant smirk.
Xander returned to the hospital and cornered Raynor in an elevator that was otherwise unoccupied. After stopping the elevator between floors, Xander demanded to know why Raynor hadn't left Salem yet. "I can't just pick up and move -- [I mean], I'm still in the middle of Mackenzie's case, [and] I have [other] patients, [too]... I need a few days -- maybe a week..." Raynor explained.
"You should know, there have been...discussions...about a more...permanent...solution -- [and] I'm the one who's been advocating for your safety [so far, but] Victor Kiriakis is a very dangerous man, so if you don't do the right thing, I'll have no choice but to find some other way to compel your silence," Xander warned, and Raynor gulped in response, getting the hint.
Meanwhile, at Basic Black, Nicole inspected Rachel's death certificate while thinking about the earlier conversation with Brady, during which the child's birthmark had been mentioned.
Brady soon rejoined Nicole, having just completed a search of the building, and curiously revealed that Kristen had apparently sneaked off during the earlier trip to the bathroom.
Meanwhile, Kristen entered the hospital and headed over to Mackenzie's room, where Eric was admiring the child's birthmark -- and, at that same time, Xander exited an elevator with Raynor and began to issue another threat, unaware that Sarah was nearby.
An old nemesis returns
Lani and Eli strolled through the square and discussed whether they were ready to exit their love bubble yet. Lani reasoned aloud that they should leave the bubble and help Rafe track down David. Eli agreed. "We'll make it up to each other for the rest of our lives," Lani said. As Eli smiled at Lani, a man in a hoodie and sunglasses ran into Eli's shoulder. Angry, Eli called out after him. Lani called after the man when she saw that he had dropped something. "He definitely heard us, right?" Lani asked. Lani bent over and picked up a toy train from the ground.
At the police station, Sonny and Will were outraged when Evan told them that he had posted bail. "I'm gonna hit the road," Evan said. Rafe guided Evan into the conference room, and he told Evan that he needed to wait for paperwork. While Evan stewed in the conference room, Rafe returned to the bullpen and informed Will and Sonny that he had asked the judge to set the bail low enough for Evan to pay. Rafe explained that he had set up a tail to follow Evan upon his release so that they could track down David. Will and Sonny agreed to continue to pretend to be angry.
Rafe asked about Arianna. Sonny said that Arianna was happy and that they had not told her about David. "Let's hope Evan loves [David] enough to keep him safe," Rafe said. Will and Sonny said goodnight, and they left.
When Will and Sonny returned home to the Kiriakis mansion, Will said he was hopeful that Evan would be "locked up for good." Sonny attempted to explain how he had fallen for Evan. "You were lonely," Will said with understanding. Sony said that Evan had been sweet and good with Arianna when he had met him. "[Evan] listened. He was not like the guy at the station," Sonny added. Will urged Sonny to stop blaming himself for falling for Evan. Will asked Sonny to pour some wine while he tucked Arianna into bed.
After reading Arianna a story Will had written for her, Will returned downstairs to spend the evening with his husband. "[Arianna] is happy to have you home. Almost as happy as her dad is," Sonny said. After a kiss, Will suggested that they move the evening upstairs. With a chuckle, Will and Sonny grabbed the wine and ran up to their room.
"I didn't think it would be possible for me to love you more than I did, but I do," Will said. "I love you with all of my heart," Sonny countered. Will and Sonny made love. Afterward, Sonny ran out of the room. When Sonny returned, Will teased Sonny about his absence, and he asked Sonny if he had run off to post on social media about their reunion. Sonny handed Will their wedding rings. "I have really missed having it on my finger," Sonny said.
At Basic Black, Brady was alarmed to realize that Kristen had run out of the office after her emotional breakdown. Nicole shrugged. Nicole said that she felt for Kristen, but she refused to forgive Kristen for what she had done to her. Brady's phone beeped with a text from Kristen. Kristen's text said that she had gone to see Mickey at the hospital. "I can't imagine Eric is going to be too pleased about that," Nicole muttered. Brady suggested that they go see Eric.
Near the nurses' station at the hospital, Xander threatened Dr. Raynor to "take the money and run." Sarah overheard him. When Xander plastered on a fake smile, Sarah pointed out that he and Dr. Raynor looked uncomfortable. Xander explained that he had had questions for the doctor. "Where were you?" Sarah asked Xander. With a shrug, Xander explained that he had been forced to leave the hospital to meet with Victor earlier.
Still suspicious, Sarah noted the continued tension between Xander and Dr. Raynor. Xander smiled again. Sarah thanked Dr. Raynor for all her work in saving Mackenzie's life. "[Mackenzie] is only going to get better," Dr. Raynor said. Sarah asked Dr. Raynor if they could schedule a meeting to talk. With a nod, Dr. Raynor promised to text Sarah.
"Victor Kiriakis asked me to pass along his gratitude and admiration," Xander announced. Dr. Raynor's face went pale. After Sarah walked away to call Maggie, Xander asked Dr. Raynor, "Are you going to leave Salem, or are we going to have a problem?" Dr. Raynor noted that Sarah was a friend and a colleague. When Dr. Raynor pointed out that Sarah was not Mackenzie's mother, Xander growled at Dr. Raynor to not say that out loud ever again. Dr. Raynor said that she felt responsible for Mackenzie's life.
"It is your own life that you need to worry about," Xander said. Dr. Raynor shook Xander's hand and confirmed that they had a deal. Across the room, Brady and Nicole stepped off of the elevator. Nicole raised an eyebrow when she saw Xander with Dr. Raynor. Nicole urged Brady to go check on Eric. Nicole hung back so that she could eavesdrop on Xander as he made a phone call to Victor.
"The situation is handled. Dr. Raynor agreed to leave town. So, our secret is safe. No one will ever know what we did," Xander said. As Xander turned, he saw Nicole was standing directly behind him, smiling. Nicole asked about the call. Xander lied and said that he had been talking about Titan business. Nicole asked Xander why he had been shaking hands with the woman that Xander had accused of malpractice for Rachel's death. Xander said he was grateful to Dr. Raynor because she had saved Mackenzie's life.
After talking to Maggie, Sarah returned. With a groan, Sarah commented that she had forgotten to get food for Eric. Nicole offered to go to the cafeteria. As Nicole walked away, Xander asked Sarah out to dinner. Sarah was reluctant to leave the hospital, but Xander encouraged Sarah to celebrate her daughter's good health. "All I want is to make you happy," Xander said.
In Mackenzie's room at the hospital, Eric smiled down at his little girl. "I'm right by your side. So is your mommy," Eric said. Kristen walked in. Startled, Eric stammered that Mackenzie was not allowed to have visitors. Kristen apologized for what she had done to Eric and Nicole. Kristen added that she genuinely cared about Mackenzie.
"I'm invested in her recovery," Kristen said. Kristen explained that Rachel had changed her, and because Mackenzie and Rachel shared a birthday, Kristen felt a connection to Mackenzie. Eric told Kristen that he appreciated her concern, and he thanked her for submitting for the bone marrow registry. With a grin, Eric told Kristen that Mackenzie was responding well to the treatment.
"Dr. Raynor is optimistic for a full recovery," Eric said. Kristen looked down at Mackenzie, and she beamed. Kristen told Eric that she had been praying nonstop for Mackenzie to get better. Eric told Kristen that he was sorry for the pain she was experiencing over the loss of her child.
"I think about her every day, and I wish that there was some way, something that I could have done to save her life," Kristen said. Kristen asked Eric if she could hold Mackenzie. Eric's eyes went wide with surprise. Eric gently told Kristen no, and he explained that no one could hold Mackenzie because her immune system was suppressed. Kristen hurriedly apologized. With a smile, Kristen told Mackenzie that she was "a little angel." Brady walked into the room.
"Everything okay in here?" Brady asked tentatively. Eric nodded yes. Brady promised that he would update Eric with any news about Marlena so that Eric could concentrate on his daughter. Kristen said goodbye to Mackenzie, and Brady guided her out of the room.
When Brady and Kristen returned to the Salem Inn, Kristen apologized to Brady for running out on him without an explanation. Brady suggested that Kristen had left him in the dark because he would have talked her out of going to the hospital. Kristen agreed. When Brady asked Kristen why she had gone to the hospital, Kristen explained that she had been gripped by a sudden urge to see Mackenzie after she had remembered Rachel. "There is this connection in my mind," Kristen said. With a sad smile, Kristen thanked Brady for the gift of the memory of Rachel.
In Mackenzie room at the hospital, Nicole handed Eric a tray of food. Eric told Nicole about Kristen's visit. "She was in a lot of pain," Eric said. "I know that pain well," Nicole whispered. Nicole called Mackenzie a miracle. As Nicole leaned in to look at Mackenzie, she furrowed her brow. Nicole asked what was on Mackenzie's neck. Eric said it was Mackenzie's birthmark. Nicole thought about when Brady had told her that Rachel had been born with a birthmark on her neck. As Eric hugged Nicole, a look of concern crossed Nicole's face.
Sarah and Xander returned to the Kiriakis mansion. Sarah said that she was nervous to be away from Mackenzie, but Xander urged Sarah to take a shower and relax while Eric watched over the baby. "I can't wait to take out the most beautiful woman in the world to celebrate the most beautiful baby in the world," Xander said. With a nod, Sarah headed upstairs. Xander walked into the living room and assured himself that everything would be fine. "Sarah will never find out that her daughter is really Kristen's," Xander whispered.
At the police station, Rafe set Evan free. Rafe reminded Evan not to leave town. "I'm not going anywhere," Evan said. Rafe asked Evan where to find David, and Evan again declined to tell Rafe anything. Rafe promised to use his influence to plead for leniency for Evan and to get visits with David for him, as well. Evan scoffed at the idea. After Evan walked out, Rafe called the officers outside to let them know that Evan was on the move.
When Eli and Lani stopped by, Rafe apologized to them for Gabi's behavior. Lani and Eli agreed that they did not hold Rafe responsible. Lani said that she and Eli wanted to offer their help. Rafe told Lani and Eli that Evan was out on bail and that Rafe had set a tail on him. Rafe's phone rang. It was the officer that had been tailing Evan, and the officer confirmed that Evan had given the officers the slip.
While Rafe called in an APB for Evan, Lani rooted through her purse, looking for something. Lani pulled the toy train out of her purse as she continued to search. Rafe's eyebrow raised. Rafe said that the toy train had belonged to David.
Somewhere in Salem, Evan entered a motel room littered with toys. "How's my son?" Evan asked. The hooded man from the square said the boy was fine. When Evan noted that he had given his police tail the slip, the man chuckled. "You learned from the best. You learned from Orpheus," Orpheus said as he turned to face Evan.