At the Kiriakis mansion, Sarah and Eric watched as Mackenzie slept soundly. "I'm really sorry [that your mom is still missing]...but I know that John is gonna find her -- and when he does, you can tell her the good news about her granddaughter!" Sarah said to Eric. "'Cancer-free' -- [that has] to be the most beautiful [phrase] in the English language," Eric raved, and Sarah agreed.
Xander soon entered the mansion and joined Sarah, Eric, and Mackenzie in the living room. "So...I made myself scarce while you two brought Mackenzie back from the hospital and got her settled in, but...you've done that now, [and] I'm sure Nicole is waiting for you at home..." Xander said to Eric. "You telling me to leave?" Eric assumed. "That's exactly what I'm doing," Xander unapologetically confirmed, horrifying Sarah. "Hey, when are you [and Nicole] gonna tie the knot, anyway? What are you waiting for, man?" Xander randomly challenged Eric, leaving Sarah even more horrified.
Eric exited the mansion without taking Xander's bait. "You do know that you [just] acted like a complete jackass...[right]?" Sarah snapped at Xander once the coast was clear. "Yeah, well...sorry 'bout that -- I just didn't want him hanging around, ruining our night," Xander explained with a shrug. "Why are you pushing Eric to propose to Nicole?" Sarah wondered. "Yeah, that probably was a little much..." Xander admitted with a sheepish grin. "It doesn't matter when they get married, [because] Nicole is the only woman for Eric, just like [you] are the only man for me," Sarah stressed.
Changing the subject, Sarah told Xander that they probably wouldn't get much sleep that night because they would be too worried about every little noise Mackenzie made -- and that it would therefore be a perfect night for them to start planning their wedding. "[But...I] thought you didn't want to plan anything until we knew if your mom could be there," Xander admitted. "It's gonna be years before she gets released, [so]...I just think I have to go on and live my life, even if it hurts to do it without my mom... [Plus], I just want to seize the moment, before anything can ruin it," Sarah explained. "Nothing's gonna ruin it," Xander promised.
Unable to find any other date in the near future that worked for both of them, Sarah and Xander ultimately decided to get married the following day.
At Eric's apartment, Nicole received an unexpected visit from Abe, who wondered if it was a bad time. "[Holly] is sound asleep...[and] Eric's not here," Nicole reported, sensing the reason for Abe's visit. "He and Sarah took Mackenzie home today," Nicole elaborated, delighting Abe. "[I still] can't believe [the results of Mackenzie's maternity test -- I mean], Xander is in this up to his eyeballs, [and] if he forced Dr. Raynor to switch those babies, he could force a lab technician to phony up [those] results," Nicole fretted. "The only way you're gonna prove your theory is if Dr. Raynor admits what she did," Abe predicted.
"[And] that's the reason I came by -- [see], I still have contacts from my time as police commissioner, and they tracked her to a new address in New York City," Abe continued while handing a piece of paper to Nicole, who was grateful for the lead -- and felt obligated to pursue it, no matter what the consequences might be. "Would you like me to go with you?" Abe offered. "[No] -- you're needed here, and you've already done so much..." Nicole replied. "I just don't think I'll have any peace of mind until I know the truth...and I'm hoping what's on [the maternity test] is the truth, because I don't want to tell Eric about any of this," Nicole admitted.
"Tell me about what?" Eric, who had just entered the apartment, asked curiously. "Uh...I -- I'm so sorry, Abe -- uh, I shouldn't have promised not to tell Eric, because we don't keep secrets from each other..." Nicole began. "[See, Eric]...Brandon... Abe came over here because [Brandon's] going through a rough time right now," Nicole continued, prompting Eric to offer Abe some words of encouragement and a promise to keep the matter quiet. Abe played along, thanking Eric for the support. A short time later, while Eric was answering Abe and Nicole's questions about Mackenzie, Abe's cell phone rang.
After a brief phone conversation with someone at the police station, Abe ended the call and explained that Kate had dialed 9-1-1 to report that Anna had figured out where Stefano was hiding and had headed over to that location in search of Stefano -- but hadn't bothered to share the address with anyone beforehand. Abe promised to keep Eric posted.
After Abe left, Eric offered to take Nicole to Julie's Place for dinner. "I have to go to New York," Nicole revealed, stunning Eric. "It's just a business trip... [But] it's kind of an emergency... [Anyway], I will hopefully be back by tomorrow," Nicole elaborated. "Would you mind watching Holly?" Nicole requested. "Of course I don't mind...[but] I just don't know what's gonna happen with my mother, [so...I mean], couldn't Brady or Kristen go on this trip [instead]?" Eric replied. "I wish...[but] I have to take care of this myself -- you know, this project, it's...it's my baby," Nicole explained.
After Nicole rushed off to a bedroom to pack, Eric retrieved a jewelry box from a pocket and inspected the enclosed diamond ring with a sigh.
Nicole eventually finished packing and said goodbye to Eric. "I got a seat on the last flight out to New York," Nicole raved before rushing off.
At Maison Blanche 2.0, Stefano and Marlena continued making out in one of the bedrooms, unaware that John had just found them. "Get your paws off my wife!" John ordered Stefano with a scowl. "Ex-wife -- she's married to me now," Stefano informed John with a grin. "You lousy son of a bitch!" John spat before lunging toward Stefano.
Marlena jumped off the bed with a gasp and backed away as John and Stefano started throwing punches at each other.
Meanwhile, in the living room, Brady kept a gun aimed at Chad, who still had a gun aimed at Tony -- and was still choking Kristen. "What, are you out of your mind?" Brady asked Chad incredulously, struggling to understand what was going on. "In a word, yes -- Father, in the person of Steve Johnson, reprogrammed [Chad]," Tony helpfully explained to Brady, and Kristen breathlessly managed to elaborate that Stefano had turned Chad into a puppet. "Shut up!" Chad defensively snapped at Tony and Kristen before demanding Brady's gun.
Brady reluctantly surrendered the gun, realizing that Chad truly was capable of murder -- at least for the time being. Chad shoved Kristen aside then took Brady's gun and aimed it at Brady while keeping the other gun aimed at Tony. Kristen rushed to Brady's side, gasping for breath. "[Chad] lied to us to get us here," Kristen eventually explained to Brady. "We were witnesses to Father's wedding," Tony elaborated. "[And...what], you couldn't stop it?" Brady snapped at Kristen and Tony. "Of course they couldn't -- it was destined," Chad declared, drawing scoffs from the others.
Meanwhile, John pulled a gun on Stefano during a brief pause in their fight -- prompting Marlena to knock John out with a punch to the back of the head.
"Well done, my queen!" Stefano raved with a chuckle, causing Marlena to beam with pride.
Meanwhile, Brady warned Chad that other people knew about Maison Blanche 2.0 -- and that Stefano's plan for Marlena was about to be thwarted as a result.
"All the more reason for me to take matters into my own hands," Chad countered.
Meanwhile, Stefano finished restraining John, who soon regained consciousness. "Doc..." John muttered. "She doesn't answer to that asinine nickname anymore," Stefano informed John on Marlena's behalf.
"So, Rolf fixed her up, too, huh?" John concluded. "I assure you, Marlena is still very much her own woman, [and] she did this [all -- marrying me, attacking you] -- of her own free will," Stefano insisted. "Isn't that so, my queen?" Stefano prodded Marlena. "You're my past. He's my future. Nothing's ever going to change that," Marlena said to John.
Meanwhile, Chad guessed that Kristen had somehow led Brady to Maison Blanche 2.0, prompting Tony to admit that Chad was labeling the wrong sibling a traitor.
"Fine -- then I will kill all of you," Chad decided. "Starting with you," Chad continued with a scowl, aiming Brady's gun at Kristen.
Brady lunged forward just as Chad pulled the trigger.
"Something's gone wrong," Stefano realized as the gunshot rang throughout the mansion. "I need to get downstairs and see what happened," Stefano said to Marlena. "But not before I take care of you..." Stefano continued, scowling at John. "You should go," Marlena urged Stefano. "Not while he's still breathing!" Stefano protested. "He won't be for long," Marlena promised, picking up John's gun.
Stefano rushed out of the bedroom with a grin as Marlena aimed the gun at John and cocked it.
"You shot him in cold blood!" Kristen snapped at Chad as Brady, who had taken a bullet to the left shoulder, writhed in pain on the floor. "It's all right -- it's not bad; [the bullet] went in and out," Brady assured Kristen between gasps for breath -- just as Stefano burst into the living room and wondered if everything was all right. "Oh, I see -- [so], John Black did not come alone, huh?" Stefano mused after realizing that Chad had shot Brady. "John Black is here?" Chad repeated. "Nothing to worry about -- he's under control," Stefano assured Chad. "[And] I see you've taken charge here," Stefano continued, giving Chad a nod of approval.
"'Taken charge'? He shot the man I love, Father!" Kristen, who was tending to Brady's wound, snapped. "He barged in here [and] started making threats against our family," Chad explained to Stefano. "Chad tried to shoot me, [and] Brady took the bullet!" Kristen clarified for Stefano. "She sold us out, Father," Chad reasoned. "She did no such thing!" Brady insisted.
"I will handle La Famiglia for now," Stefano decided, unable to determine who was telling the truth. "Yes, Father..." Chad muttered as Stefano snatched Brady's gun.
"You married Brady's stepmother tonight -- that makes Brady part of the family," Kristen reminded Stefano. "He needs medical attention, and she would want that for him," Kristen continued.
"There's a first-aid kit in the parlor," Stefano informed Chad, who led Kristen and Brady there at gunpoint. "What have you done to John?" Tony asked Stefano once the coast was clear. "My bride is in the process of making short work of him right now," Stefano bragged. "You can't force her to do something like that!" Tony protested. "I didn't 'force' her -- she volunteered," Stefano clarified.
"You don't have to do this," John assured Marlena. "I don't have a choice -- [you see], I have to purge you from my body and soul for all time," Marlena countered. "Just because he wants you to?" John guessed.
"Think about our kids. Think about our grandkids. Think about what this is gonna do to our daughter. [Think] about Brady -- you raised him as your son, [and he] loves you so much that he came here with me tonight, and that gunshot you heard downstairs -- I am so afraid that he just wound up on the wrong end of it," John said to Marlena, fighting back tears. "You're a healer -- you help people; you don't hurt people. [And] Brady and I, we need you to be you -- we need you to help us right now," John continued. "Brady is your son, not mine," Marlena countered.
"I know what you're going through -- I spent years as Stefano's pawn, and then I didn't even know my name... But you know what saved me? You did -- [because] your love was always stronger than his hatred," John reminded Marlena. "You're still Stefano's pawn -- because Stefano is the king, and I'm the queen!" Marlena declared. "Stefano has tried, over and over, to take you away from me, [and] your family, [and] everything that mattered...[but] he never won [because] our love was too strong for him, [and] we can beat him again, Doc," John continued.
Marlena raised John's gun a bit higher but did so shakily. "Put that gun down -- you hate guns," John urged Marlena. "I promised Stefano," Marlena countered. "You hate Stefano, too," John stressed. "No! He took me to Paris!" Marlena argued. "He kidnapped you [and] had you living in the sewers," John clarified. "We went to the opera, [and] we danced in grand ballrooms!" Marlena continued. "He lied to you -- he always had to have you under some kind of spell because when you were you, you wouldn't give him the time of day, and he knew that," John explained.
"I'm married to Stefano!" Marlena revealed. "It was all a lie -- [that] whole marriage was a farce. He made up the divorce decree right here. I never signed any divorce papers, Doc -- you and I are still married," John clarified. "We exchanged wedding vows!" Marlena protested. "We took vows, too, Doc," John countered before starting to remind Marlena of what they had said to each other during their most recent wedding ceremony.
Anna and Abigail tracked Tony's cell phone to Maison Blanche 2.0 -- but a guard stopped them at the front gate and refused to let them go any farther.
"We are members of the DiMera family!" Anna stressed. "[And] I'm the Prince of Wales," the guard countered. "Want to see our ID?" Anna offered. "I don't need 'em -- I got a list of everyone who's allowed inside tonight," the guard revealed while producing a document, adding that everyone on the list was already inside the mansion. "[Look], I'll radio Mr. DiMera and see if he'll give permission for you two to go in..." the guard decided after some thought. "But even if he gives you the green light, you're still gonna be too late," the guard warned, confusing Anna and Abigail. "[You know -- for] the wedding. It already happened," the guard clarified.
After failing to reach anyone inside the mansion, the guard tried to chase Anna and Abigail off -- prompting Abigail to distract the guard long enough for Anna to remove a stiletto and swing it at the back of the guard's head.
Meanwhile, Tony urged Stefano to stop Marlena from killing John. "If you were truly sure of her love for you, you wouldn't have to get John out of the way -- and no matter what you've done to her, there will always be a part of her that will love John, [so] if she goes through with this, she'll never be able to live with herself again," Tony reasoned. "You will speak when spoken to! I am not interested in your opinions!" Stefano snapped. "Well, I'm sorry, Father, but I can't go through with this -- someone's gotta stop this insanity," Tony countered before starting to rush off in search of John and Marlena.
"One more step, and you're a dead man," Stefano warned, aiming Brady's gun at Tony.
Meanwhile, Chad locked Kristen and Brady in the parlor then started to rush off to see if help was needed elsewhere -- just as Abigail approached.
At that same time, Marlena broke down at John's side, remembering their wedding -- and seemingly returning to normal.
Meanwhile, Tony scoffed at the idea that Stefano would actually fire Brady's gun. "You may be ruthless, but you wouldn't shoot you own son -- not if you're really Stefano," Tony reasoned. "I'm sorry, Antony, but you give me no choice," Stefano countered before cocking the gun -- just as Anna burst into the living room. "Don't you hurt him!" Anna demanded while raising a stiletto and preparing to swing it at the back of Stefano's head.
Stefano turned around just before the blow landed -- then screamed in pain as the heel of the stiletto sank deep into his surgically repaired left eye.
Abigail works to deprogram Chad
Ciara and Ben continued to enjoy time alone in their room at the Salem Inn. Ciara told Ben that Hope had remembered that Stefano had built a replica of Maison Blanche. Ciara said that John and Brady were looking for Marlena at the newly constructed house.
"God only knows what they're going to find," Ben said. Ben started to talk about his execution, and how he had looked at Marlena and had marveled at her desire to help him through it. "God, please do not let anything happen to her," Ben whispered. Ben apologized to Ciara for being distracted. Ciara said she had been thinking about Marlena too, and she kissed Ben. With a giggle, Ciara pointed out that Ben had dropped cookie crumbles in the bed.
"I do want dessert, just not that kind," Ciara said. Ben kissed Ciara, and they made love. After, Ben said he was happy to spend time alone with Ciara but that he wanted to get back to work. "I want to be the kind of guy that can take care of himself and the ones he loves," Ben said. Ben told Ciara that he wanted a life with her. Ciara talked about her parents' life together and how much she wanted to have a life like that with Ben.
"So, I guess the first thing I have to do is find a place to live, find a job to pay for that place to live," Ben said. Ciara suggested that Ben work at Titan. "What happens when Victor Kiriakis does a favor for someone?" Ben asked. "He takes over," Ciara said. With a nod, Ben joked that he was out of prison and did not want to go back. Ciara said she did not want to go back to Titan, so Ben and Ciara agreed to move forward together in a different environment.
Ben and Ciara joked about his résumé and whether he should add prison to it. Ciara asked if they could delay looking at help wanted ads until after their last night in the hotel. "Being together and being us, that's all I've ever wanted. And now, I have it," Ciara said.
At the hospital, Kayla told Justin that she had just resettled Hope in her hospital room after their trip to see John at the penthouse. "She was just so determined to help Marlena," Kayla clarified. Kayla told Justin that Hope had remembered that Stefano had built a house.
Over a cup of coffee, Kayla updated Justin on the situation with Stefano and Marlena and their planned marriage. "John got those [divorce] papers after Stefano had already taken Marlena. He already had her," Kayla said with a shake of her head. Justin suggested that Kayla not think about Stefano.
"It wasn't enough for him just to possess her. He wants her to submit to him, and he is using Steve's body to do it," Kayla said with disgust. Kayla said she could not believe that Steve would hurt Marlena. "Steve is not doing this. Stefano is," Justin corrected. Justin urged Kayla to remember that the man that had kidnapped Marlena was not the father of Kayla's children. Kayla sighed in frustration, and she apologized to Justin for worrying about Steve.
"That you still care? For the man that you married? The father of your children? If it makes you feel any better, not that it's a great analogy, I still feel the loss of Adrienne very deeply sometimes," Justin said. Justin told Kayla that she had revived him, and he was grateful to Kayla for saving him from his grief. "No matter what happens," Justin added. Kayla said she felt the same way about Justin.
"I know we're good together and that we love each other. But I also know you're very scared that something bad is going to happen to Steve," Justin said. Justin suggested that he and Kayla should discuss the future and what would happen if Steve "was Steve again." Kayla shifted uncomfortably.
"First of all, we had to drive a hard bargain to even get Rolf to perform the operation. I really don't think that he would go along with operating on Steve," Kayla said. Kayla pointed out that if Rolf removed the chip, it would erase Stefano from existence. Justin argued that they should not stop working to save Steve.
"[Steve's] Adrienne's brother. He's Stephanie and Joey's father. He's a human being, for God's sake. We can't give up on him. We have to do whatever it takes to bring him back," Justin stressed. Justin added that he was scared he would lose Kayla if they were able to save Steve. Kayla admitted that she was confused by the situation with Steve. "But I still want Steve to be himself," Kayla confessed. "Of course, you do," Justin agreed. Kayla told Justin that she'd meant what she had said about Justin and that she loved him.
In her bedroom at Maison Blanche, Marlena fought her urge to shoot John. Instead, Marlena untied John from the chair. John embraced Marlena. "I almost killed you!" an emotional Marlena cried out. "That wasn't you. It's all over now, and I've got you in my arms. I'm never going to let you go," John assured Marlena. Worried, John suggested that they leave before Stefano returned. "God only knows what's happened to Brady," John added.
Down the hall, Brady checked the door of the parlor while Kristen paced. "[Chad] locked us in here," Brady confirmed. "I can't believe my father turned him into his Manchurian Candidate," Kristen complained. Frustrated, Brady slammed his body against the door until Kristen pulled him over to the sofa and sat him down to rest.
As John and Marlena rushed down the hallway, Kristen called out, "Help us! Let us out!" Brady confirmed that he was there with Kristen, and he asked about Marlena. "I'm here. I'm fine," Marlena confirmed. John kicked in the door. When John and Marlena rushed into the room, they were horrified to see that Brady had been shot. Brady assured John that he was fine. Marlena said she was fine, too.
"What are you doing here?" John asked Kristen with suspicion. Kristen explained that Chad had summoned her for a family meeting, but that Chad was not Chad. "He tried to shoot me, and Brady took the bullet," Kristen said. "That's bad luck," John countered. Marlena reminded John that they were all on the same side.
"Are you sure? You sure [Marlena] is not leading you to Stefano?' Kristen asked John. John said he was sure. Kristen noted that Stefano was downstairs with Tony. "Good, because he thinks Marlena has killed me, and he's in for one hell of a surprise," John said.
After John and Kristen went downstairs, Marlena examined Brady's wound. Marlena was anxious to help, but Brady agreed with John that Marlena should not be anywhere near Stefano. "In my experience, Stefano was never more dangerous than when he thinks he has nothing more to lose," Marlena agreed. Brady asked how Marlena was faring, and she admitted that she was doing well enough, considering she had "married a man that I loathe, then fell into bed with him." Marlena said she was anxious to remove the chip and take a long shower.
Marlena thanked Brady for accompanying John to rescue her. With a chuckle, Brady said that he owed Marlena after how he had treated her in high school. Marlena stressed that Brady had acted appropriately for his age and not to worry. "You've never treated me like anything other than a son. You're my mom, and I love you," Brady said. With a grin, Marlena told Brady that she loved him, too.
Brady told Marlena that during her absence, John had confronted Kristen about where to find Marlena. Brady explained that although he had wanted to argue with John, Kristen had been the one to say that John had every right to question her and mistrust her. "[Kristen] even said that if she knew where Stefano was that she would turn him in just to get you home," Brady added. Brady informed Marlena that Kristen had told her about their conversation and that he appreciated Marlena's offer to make amends with Kristen for the past.
"I just truly believe that she has seen how crazy her father was and how crazy her family was and in turn how crazy she was," Brady said. Brady said he hoped that Marlena and John could one day see Kristen as the woman that he saw. "How about one day at a time?" Marlena offered. With a relieved smile, Brady asked if they could leave.
In the living room, Stefano pushed the barrel of his gun close to Tony's throat. "You wouldn't shoot your own son. Not if you're really Stefano," Tony said. "I'm sorry. You give me no choice," Stefano countered. "Don't you hurt him!" Anna cried out as she ran into the room. Anna swung her heel as Steve turned, and she hit Steve in his repaired eye. As blood gushed from his face, Stefano dropped to his knees. Anna stared at her shoe in horror.
Abigail surprised Chad in the foyer of Maison Blanche. "I just came from the tunnels. Kate and Gabi were locked in there, and they said that you put them there. Is that true?" Abigail asked. Chad said Kate and Gabi were lying. Frustrated, Abigail countered that she could not trust Chad.
"I'm going to make you remember who the hell you are," Abigail said. Down the hallway, the sounds of Stefano crying out in pain echoed. "My father!" Chad noted as he looked down the hall. Before Abigail could stop Chad, he ran down the hall to the living room.
"What have you done?" Tony asked Anna as Stefano writhed on the floor of the living room. "I was trying to knock him out so he wouldn't shoot you!" Anna yelled. Tony and Anna both dropped to their knees on either side of Stefano to check on his wound. "You were just about to kill your own son! You horrible man!" Anna yelled at Stefano. When Tony asked about the shoe, Anna said she had not expected Stefano to turn around.
"My God! Steve Johnson seems cursed with that eye," Anna commented. "I am not Steve Johnson! I am Stefano DiMera. You will pay for what you've done!" Stefano groaned, and he lurched forward to strangle Anna. Tony pulled Stefano off of Anna. "Touch my wife again, I'll take out your other eye," Tony growled as he hugged Stefano from behind in a restraining hold. Stefano lurched out of Tony's grasp and collapsed onto the couch.
"What is going on?" an alarmed Chad asked as he rushed into the room and over to Stefano. "He was going to kill his own son. I had to stop him," Anna explained. Chad pulled a gun out of his waistband and pointed it at Anna.
"Well, now Tony can live, but you are going to die," Chad said. Tony pleaded with Stefano to order Chad to stop. Abigail walked in. "Chad, put the gun down," Abigail said. Chad told Abigail to leave because the situation was a family matter. "Your famiglia is right here. Chad, I am your family. Thomas and Charlotte, we are your family, and we are not losing you," Abigail said. Stefano urged Chad to shoot Anna.
Abigail warned Chad to do what was best for Stefano and seek medical attention instead of revenge. "Focus on him and deal with Anna later," Abigail advised Chad. Chad agreed, and he set the gun down on the coffee table. Abigail handed a scarf to Chad to put pressure on the eye. As Chad turned his back to Abigail, she picked up the gun from the table and pointed it at him. With a scowl, Chad walked over to Abigail until the barrel of the gun was against his chest.
"You take care of [Stefano], and I will take care of everything else," Abigail said to Tony. "I'm not losing you, Chad," Abigail announced. Kristen and John rushed into the room. Shocked by the blood, Kristen went to her father. "That bitch took our father's eye," Chad said to Kristen. "Why aren't you dead?" Stefano cried out as his good eye saw John.
"My wife was supposed to kill you," Stefano whispered. "My wife couldn't go through with it," John countered. John told Stefano that he was "another pathetic loser." John reached over and delicately took the gun from Abigail. With the gun pointed at Chad, John told Stefano that his reign was over. When Chad warned John to back off, John countered, "This is my time to gloat."
John yelled that Stefano's plan to turn Marlena into his Queen of the Night had failed. "Because she's out of your league. Always has been, always will be," John said. Tony argued that because Marlena was a doctor, she should tend to Stefano's wound. John was adamant that he did not want Marlena to be in the same room as Stefano.
"Cops are going to be here soon enough," John said. Tony helped Stefano to his feet, and Tony announced that he was taking Stefano to the hospital. John continued to hold Chad at gunpoint. "It's over. Now and forever," John said as Stefano walked out with Tony and Anna. As John sat Chad down in a chair, Kristen made a joke about the evening being like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Unamused, Abigail asked Kristen if she thought the situation was funny.
"No. I don't. I think it's sad, because I've spent my life not just loving my father, but trying to be like him, to be his favorite. DiMera heir apparent. And tonight, I have come face to face with the undeniable fact that the man I devoted my whole life to is, as John so eloquently put, a pathetic loser," Kristen said. "You are a traitorous bitch," Chad grumbled. With a shrug, Kristen wished Abigail luck, and she left with John to go upstairs.
Abigail turned to Chad and told him that Stefano's behavior was sick. Programmed to bristle at any negative comment directed at Stefano, Chad warned Abigail not to talk about his father. Abigail stressed that Stefano was not alive. Abigail vowed to get both Steve and Chad back. "I'll do whatever it takes to get you to see that your children, Thomas and Charlotte and me, we are all the famiglia that you will ever need," Abigail said.
John and Kristen went upstairs to retrieve Brady and Marlena. Brady asked about Steve. With a nod, John confirmed that Steve was on the way to the hospital. "Will he be all right?" Marlena asked. Concerned, John raised an eyebrow. Marlena gasped.
"I'm worried about the man after all he has done. Why is that?" Marlena wondered aloud. Brady noted that the chip was still in Marlena's head. "You're not completely free of him yet," John said. Marlena admitted that she was still drawn to Stefano, and John promised to make Rolf extract the microchip. Kristen asked what the plan was to restore Chad.
In the living room, Chad looked away from Abigail. Abigail said that she knew Stefano had programmed Chad not to look at her because Stefano had known that Chad's love for her was Chad's weakness. "[Stefano] knows that our love is stronger than his hate," Abigail said. Abigail reminded Chad that they had never given up on one another, and she promised to fight for him. Abigail turned Chad's head to face her.
"It's me. I love you," Abigail said. Abigail kissed Chad. "Abigail?" Chad said. Chad looked down at his wrists, and he asked why he was tied up. As Abigail untied the ropes, Chad commented that the smart thing to do was wait for the cops before Abigail freed him. "I believe in you," Abigail said. "I believe in us," Chad said as he kissed Abigail. With a sigh, Chad noted that Abigail and the kids were the only family he needed. Chad removed the Phoenix ring. "You're everything to me," Chad told Abigail.
When Tony, Anna, and Stefano arrived at the hospital, Kayla rushed over to inspect "Steve's" wound. "He ran into the wrong end of my stiletto," Anna told Justin.
Old residents return to Salem
Nicole entered Eric's apartment and called out a greeting. "I wasn't expecting you 'til later tonight," Eric admitted. "Well, I got done early, so I caught a shuttle from LaGuardia," Nicole explained.
"I wasn't completely honest with you about why I went to New York..." Nicole admitted. "Maybe you should sit down -- uh, I have a lot to tell you..." Nicole continued -- just as someone knocked on the apartment door.
"Oh, for God's sake..." Nicole grumbled before opening the door -- and finding Daniel standing on the other side of it. "Aren't you gonna let me in?" Daniel impatiently prodded Nicole as Eric approached in shock. "Who are you? Because you -- you can't be Daniel..." Nicole, who was obviously just as shocked as Eric, protested. "It's me -- I swear," Daniel insisted while barging into the apartment. "Hey, Eric," Daniel casually added. "I was drunk. I crashed into you. I went to prison because of it," Eric objected. "Sorry 'bout that," Daniel replied with a shrug.
"How can this be?" Nicole wondered. "It is a long story. Have you ever heard of a Dr. Rolf and his crazy serum?" Daniel began to explain, prompting Nicole and Eric to exchange knowing glances. "[Anyway], we can talk about all that later -- the point is, I am alive, [and] I am here to take my life back!" Daniel summarized before asking Nicole about Holly, having somehow found out about the child. Nicole hesitantly agreed to let Daniel see Holly, even though Eric was certain that the child was still asleep. Daniel kissed Nicole before they headed into Holly's bedroom together.
Nicole and Daniel rejoined Eric in the living room a short time later. "We have been apart for so long, but all I ever thought about was getting back to you, and now that I know [we] have a daughter...[I mean, we can] finally be a family! [And] I want to pick up right where we left off," Daniel said to Nicole before suddenly getting down on bended knee and proposing.
"Stand up," Nicole begged Daniel, who reluctantly complied. "These last five years, uh...a lot has changed in my life... [Look], losing you was the worst thing that ever happened to me, [but] I had to go on -- I didn't have a choice -- [so]...Eric and I are together now," Nicole awkwardly explained to Daniel. "I wondered why you were here..." Daniel, who had apparently been under the impression that the apartment belonged to Nicole, admitted to Eric. "[But] you brought it up yourself -- I mean, the reason I lost the last five years of my life [was] because of you, [so]...I hate to say that you owe me, [but]...you owe me," Daniel reasoned with a shrug.
Nicole asked for a minute alone with Eric, prompting Daniel to retreat to a corner of the kitchen. "I love you so much...[but] I love him, too, [and] I have to do what's best for Holly," Nicole decided, stunning Eric. "If he wants to be married to a mom of one of his children, tell him to go run off and marry Chloe!" Eric protested, but Nicole stood firm.
Nicole gave Eric a farewell kiss then contacted Abe, who arrived a short time later, ready to perform the wedding ceremony.
While Abe was staring at Daniel in disbelief, Nicole emerged from a bedroom, wearing a white dress. Abe rushed through the wedding ceremony, but as the traditional vows were being exchanged, Eric emerged from a bedroom and insisted that Nicole couldn't marry Daniel. "He's already married," Eric explained while showing Nicole some wedding posts on Daniel's social media account.
"You married her?" Nicole snapped at Daniel while staring at the posts on Eric's cell phone. "She means nothing to me," Daniel insisted. "Who?" Abe wondered. "If you were free to marry her, then you were never held by Rolf or Kristen...[so]...what took you so long to come back home?" Nicole challenged Daniel. "I needed to just clear my head...[so]...I went to Australia to catch some tasty waves --" Daniel explained with a shrug. "You went surfing?" Nicole repeated before lunging toward Daniel in anger. Eric and Abe kept Nicole from attacking Daniel, who quickly exited the apartment.
After Abe followed Daniel out of the apartment, Nicole apologized to Eric, who was willing to just forget about the whole incident.
Nicole decided to wait until the following day to tell Eric about what had happened in New York.
At the Salem Inn, Ben and Ciara woke up in each other's arms and agreed that it would be nice to just stay in bed all day again. "But I have to think about getting a job..." Ben acknowledged. "You know, I could just, uh, pay you to stay here and make love to me all day..." Ciara suggested. "Like a gigolo?" Ben incredulously summarized. "It sounded a lot more romantic in my head," Ciara sheepishly explained.
Just then, someone started pounding on the hotel room door. "Didn't you put the, uh, 'do not disturb' sign on the door?" Ciara asked. "Yeah, I did...[but I guess] whoever it is really doesn't care," Ben replied.
After Ciara climbed out of bed and ducked into the bathroom to get dressed, Ben climbed out of bed and donned a pair of pants then opened the door -- and found Clyde standing on the other side of it. "I went over the wall -- you gotta hide me!" Clyde said to Ben. "How did you know where to find me?" Ben asked while letting Clyde into the hotel room. "I got friends on the outside," Clyde reminded Ben with a shrug. "Then ask one of them to hide you," Ciara, who had just emerged from the bathroom in a robe, advised Clyde. "Ben owes me," Clyde argued. Ben conceded the point, but Ciara disagreed.
"You got every right to turn me out," Clyde admitted to Ben. "The only reason I'm here is 'cause I got nowhere else to go," Clyde continued. "Don't you turn your back on me -- I'm beggin' you!" Clyde concluded.
"You can stay...for now," Ben assured Clyde after some thought, horrifying Ciara.
"To show my appreciation, I want to get you in on the ground floor of a great business opportunity," Clyde said to Ben, ignoring Ciara. "I was puttin' together a business empire the whole time I was inside. It's really taken off now -- you can make a pile of money in no time at all -- [and], trust me, it's legit. [Now], if you're interested, I can get you started today -- [and] all you gotta do is deliver a package," Clyde elaborated.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Will wrapped up a phone conversation with someone then started searching for Sonny, who was ultimately located in the living room.
"I just found out my grandmother was rescued last night!" Will excitedly reported. "Did you hear anything about my Uncle Steve?" Sonny asked. "I think he still thinks he's Stefano...[but] he's in police custody," Will replied. "Which is more than I can say for Evan..." Sonny grumbled, confusing Will. "Rafe called [earlier -- apparently], they couldn't tie Evan to the kidnapping...especially since [he] led the cops [to] where Orpheus was keeping David," Sonny clarified. "So, that murdering psychopath is just walking around free?" Will incredulously summarized. "They released him this morning," Sonny irritably confirmed.
"[Of course, he's still just] out on bail [for Jordan's murder], so he has to stick around Salem until the trial..." Sonny reminded Will. "[But], hopefully, we won't ever cross paths with him again," Sonny concluded, and Will agreed -- just as someone rang the doorbell, prompting the couple to exchange nervous glances. "That couldn't be him -- I mean, he knows not to come here..." Sonny reasoned. "Only one way to find out..." Will acknowledged before walking out to the foyer to see who was at the front door. "Oh, my God..." Will grumbled. "Is it Evan?" Sonny asked worriedly. "Worse," Will flatly replied.
"What could be worse?" Sonny wondered while en route to the foyer. "Him," Will summarized. "I'm ba-ack, bitches!" Leo announced in a singsong voice.
"I think I would have preferred the murdering psychopath..." Sonny muttered to Will after Leo -- who was wearing a pastel-colored, floral-patterned suit -- barged into the mansion.
"If you think you can come between Will and me again, you're dreaming. Ever since you left town, we've gotten through a lot," Sonny warned Leo, and Will nodded in agreement. "Brain tumor..." Sonny continued. "Homicidal boyfriend..." Will added. "And a prison sentence," Sonny concluded. "I heard about poor Willie going to the slammer for mowing down Mother Kiriakis!" Leo admitted, stifling a laugh.
"How did you get out?" Leo asked Will. "Long story -- [and] I'm sure you have other people to torment, [so]..." Sonny replied for Will before starting to drag Leo toward the front door. "You haven't even heard my offer!" Leo protested, wriggling away from Sonny. "We're not interested," Sonny insisted. "You have every right to be suspicious of me...[but] I'm not here to cause any trouble for you -- I promise!" Leo stressed.
"I understand that before Will got sent to the slammer, the two of you were thinking about having another kid...[and] I can make those dreams of baby bliss come true!" Leo explained. "You want to be our surrogate?" Will dryly assumed. "No!" Leo insisted, unamused. "I have a baby for you to adopt!" Leo clarified -- just as Ben entered the mansion, carrying a baby in a car seat. "How are you a part of this?" Will asked Ben. "I was asked to make a delivery. I had no idea the 'package' would be a little baby," Ben replied. "I had no idea the deliveryman would be such a babe," Leo declared, eyeing Ben lecherously.
"Where did you get the baby?" Sonny challenged Leo after Ben exited the mansion. "It's my new business endeavor -- placing children in need in good homes with loving parents...for a reasonable fee," Leo explained. "That doesn't sound like a legal way to adopt a child," Sonny noted. "I assure you, it is all on the up and up," Leo insisted. "This little girl was taken from a negligent mother, and I knew the two of you would make perfect parents," Leo elaborated. "You can't just barge in here with a baby and expect to sell her to us!" Sonny snapped at Leo as Will removed the baby from the car seat.
"First of all, it's disgusting, [and] second of all, Will and I -- we need to figure out if we still want to adopt --" Sonny continued. "I want her," Will announced, stunning Sonny and delighting Leo.
At J.J.'s apartment, Eli treated Lani to breakfast in bed. "What's the occasion?" Lani wondered. "[I just] wanted to do something for you. I know how scared you were for [David -- you know, especially since] you helped [Rafe] raise him after we lost our David," Eli explained. "'Our' David..." Lani wistfully repeated. "You think it's...maybe time we start...thinking about trying again?" Eli spontaneously suggested.
Before Lani could respond, someone knocked on the apartment door. "Let me get rid of whoever this is..." Eli said to Lani before opening the door -- and finding Sheila standing on the other side of it. "I need your help," Sheila, who apparently remembered the apartment as one of Eli's old addresses, explained. "Are you in trouble with the law again?" Eli guessed. "No!" Sheila insisted.
"Somebody took my baby!" Sheila revealed. "You had a baby?" Lani repeated. "Yeah, I did -- prettiest little girl you ever saw -- but I left her with a sitter to go out with a friend, [and then] I come back [to] pay the sitter, and I go to check on the baby, and she's gone!" Sheila continued. "What about the baby's father -- could he have taken her?" Lani suggested, prompting Sheila to shoot Eli an accusatory glare.
"You had a baby with Sheila?" Lani snapped at Eli. "This is the first time that I'm hearing about it, [too]!" Eli assured Lani. "When did you two even hook up?" Lani wondered. "It was a one-night stand," Eli explained. "I can't believe you didn't tell me!" Eli snapped at Sheila. "I didn't want you to feel obligated," Sheila reasoned with a shrug before reminding Eli that there were more pressing concerns.
"You know, it's funny -- Eli and I were just talking about trying for another baby, [and then] you knock on the door, and now he has one -- with you," Lani said to Sheila while Eli was getting in touch with an old FBI contact. "Crazy world..." Sheila summarized with a shrug. "You gonna be okay with this? [I mean], babies have a way of bringing people together..." Sheila continued. "Yeah, but you and Eli were never 'together'...and he's with me now," Lani pointed out. "And he was with Gabi last year, so...goes to show, you never can tell..." Sheila countered.
Eli soon ended the call and reported that a baby-brokering ring was under investigation -- and the key players were actually believed to be in Salem, of all places.
When Ben returned to the Salem Inn, Ciara shakily started to reveal that something had happened earlier -- and, just then, Ben moved farther into the hotel room and spotted Clyde, who was sprawled out on the floor and had a head wound. "You killed my dad!" Ben incredulously summarized after checking Clyde's body for a pulse. "I knew [that] business of his was illegitimate, [and] I didn't want him to drag you down with him, [so] I was calling the police [to] turn him in, [and that's when he started] trying to strangle me, [so] I hit him in the head as hard as I could [with this] bottle of wine [from the minibar]... I didn't want to kill him!" Ciara tearfully explained.
Ben understood -- and admitted that Ciara never should have been left alone with Clyde in the first place. Ben wanted to report the incident to the police, but Ciara was quick to point out that it would be hard to explain why a fugitive had been allowed into the hotel room in the first place. "[We'll just] say that he showed up while I was gone," Ben decided. "No, we can't do that, [because] people know [about] that errand that I ran for him," Ben quickly backpedaled. "[Then] we've gotta get rid of the body," Ciara realized with a shudder -- just as someone knocked on the hotel room door. "I need to talk to you about your father," Lani called out to Ben.
Ben opened the door and talked to Lani from there, where the bed was hiding Clyde's body from view. Ben claimed that Clyde had reached out for help earlier and had been turned away. Lani warned that Clyde was involved in a baby-brokering ring. After Lani left, Ben and Ciara decided to go on the run instead of trying to get rid of Clyde's body, since bodies that were disposed of in Salem had an annoying habit of turning up sooner or later.
Sheila stormed into the Kiriakis mansion with Eli and demanded the baby. "What's going on?" Will, who had been trying to convince Sonny to agree to adopt the baby, asked while sadly cooperating. "[This baby] was kidnapped from [Sheila's] apartment a week ago --" Eli explained. "I knew you were up to no good!" Sonny snapped at Leo, who had been trying to sneak away.
"I can't believe your bitch ass is behind this!" Sheila spat at Leo. "I thought the two of us were tight, but the only reason you all invited me to drag-queen bingo was so your partner could kidnap my baby!" Sheila realized. With no authority to arrest Leo, Eli simply followed Sheila and the baby out of the mansion.
"I've got binders full of babies -- give you a two-for-one deal on some Chinese twins?" Leo said to Will and Sonny once the coast was clear. "Do you want to end up in a rug again?" Sonny snapped, grabbing one of Maggie's figurines and raising it threateningly. "I'll throw him out," Will assured Sonny before dragging Leo out of the living room.
Eli accompanied Sheila and the baby to the town square, where Lani was waiting. "FBI was right -- the head of the operation was none other than Leo Stark," Eli explained to Lani.
"I think that I should be with [Sheila, because] I don't want my daughter to grow up the same way that I did -- she deserves to have both her parents under one roof," Eli continued, stunning Lani. "Okay -- I will be a grownup about this...after you get a DNA test," Lani said to Eli, who decided that was actually a good idea. "She's not yours," Sheila grudgingly admitted to Eli, unable to think of a way out of the dilemma.
"What are you doing here?" Daniel asked while approaching Sheila, who had the same question for Daniel -- and they both dodged it. "This is my husband -- Dr. Daniel Jonas," Sheila explained to Eli and Lani, the latter of whom recognized the name as that of Maggie's presumed-dead son. "You're the father?" Lani assumed. "No -- she was pregnant when we met," Daniel insisted -- just as Abe approached. "What a surprise -- you know, I haven't seen you since your last night in Salem," Abe said to Sheila. "Yeah...and we made a lot of memories that night -- um, and this beautiful baby girl," Sheila replied, stunning Abe and horrifying Lani.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny called out to Will from the hallway outside their bedroom, the door of which was closed. "Look, I'm really sorry [about] how that all turned out, but we can always get a baby legally..." Sonny continued before deciding to enter the bedroom, having heard nothing from Will yet. "What the hell?" Sonny snapped after opening the bedroom door -- and catching Will having sex with Leo.
"How could you do this to me?" Sonny challenged Will. "I'm so sorry... I just -- I...I couldn't help it... I mean, he's such a good salesman -- first he talked me into buying a baby, and then he kind of...talked me out of my clothes..." Will explained to Sonny with a shrug. "I can't hear this!" Sonny spat before starting to storm back out of the bedroom. "Can I just say one last thing before you go?" Leo asked. "What?" Sonny snapped.
Instead of continuing to speak to Sonny, Leo turned to the camera and said to the audience, "April Fools'!" The episode ended with canned laughter, intended to depict the audience's realization that the whole episode had been one big practical joke and that none of the events would carry over to future episodes.
Nicole confronts Raynor in New York City
Gabi emerged from the town square's Gabi Chic store while rummaging through a shopping bag -- and bumped into two people who were walking side by side. "Watch where you're going!" Gabi snapped before looking up from the shopping bag and realizing that the two people were Eli and Lani. "I'm sorry -- um, that...that was all my fault... I had all these samples, [and] I wasn't watching where I was going..." Gabi backpedaled. "Obviously," Lani agreed as Eli knelt down to help Gabi pick up the samples that had spilled out of the shopping bag.
"I'm actually really glad I, um...I ran into you guys..." Gabi admitted after the mess was cleaned up. "I was wondering if I could talk to you in private," Gabi continued, speaking directly to Eli. "Not interested," Eli insisted. "It's important, and it's just gonna take a minute," Gabi stressed. "It's fine," Lani assured Eli after some thought. "You sure?" Eli asked Lani. "Yeah -- look, uh, I'll go meet my dad at the pub, and [you can] join us after," Lani replied before giving Eli a kiss -- then shooting Gabi a glare. "So, what do you want?" Eli asked Gabi impatiently as Lani walked away.
"Well, we -- we haven't -- we haven't spoken since our wedding day here at the square..." Gabi began to explain. "What is there to say?" Eli wondered. "Plenty!" Gabi insisted.
"I truly loved you --" Gabi began to elaborate. "As if you know what 'love' means," Eli spat. "I know that I -- I can't defend what I did...[but] I was consumed with revenge, [and] I would have done anything to hurt Lani for what she did to Stefan --" Gabi continued. "That shooting was an accident," Eli stressed. "My husband was dead, and Lani was the reason, [and] I couldn't see past my pain... [And] I never thought that I would fall in love with you again, [but] it happened, and I need you to know that I really did love you, and I hope that, someday, you can forgive me," Gabi concluded. "Never," Eli snapped.
"You know what the sad thing is? I loved you, too -- or, at least, the woman that I thought you were," Eli admitted. "I'm still the same woman!" Gabi insisted. "I don't know who the hell you are [anymore] -- and, to be capable of the things you did, you're lucky you're not in prison," Eli declared. "I'm not in prison because I donated my bone marrow [and] saved a child's life! [I mean], doesn't that count for something?" Gabi protested. "Hell no -- it doesn't, [because] you only did that to save your own ass!" Eli countered.
"Face it -- you don't care about anybody but yourself...and that's why you will always be alone," Eli summarized before walking away, leaving Gabi clearly hurt.
A short time later, Eli arrived at the Brady Pub and joined Abe and Lani at their table. "Everything okay?" Lani wondered. "It's all good," Eli insisted.
Abe, who knew why Lani and Eli hadn't arrived together, admitted that there was an ulterior motive behind the breakfast meeting. "I'm representing the Salem P.D., and they want you back -- both of you," Abe elaborated. "Look, you both have a calling...and it's not to be a nun or a head of security. You're cops. And you're both among the most dedicated, talented detectives I've ever seen. And the Salem P.D. needs you -- right now, [because] there are too many crazies running around this town. [So], what do you say?" Abe concluded.
Lani and Eli, having both been caught off guard, each requested some time to think about the offer, prompting Abe to stress that there was no expiration date on it.
Lani and Eli ate breakfast with Abe then headed back to J.J.'s apartment. "You were pretty quiet on the way home," Lani said to Eli as they entered the apartment. "This isn't our home," Eli reminded Lani. "I know, but it's where we live," Lani reasoned. "Temporarily, while he's away," Eli countered. "Do you miss it?" Lani wondered. "Having my own place?" Eli assumed. "No -- being a cop," Lani clarified, guessing that was the reason for Eli's earlier silence. "Every day," Eli admitted. "Me, too," Lani revealed. "So...we tell your dad it's a yes?" Eli summarized. "Yeah," Lani agreed.
At the DiMera mansion, Gabi stared at a framed photograph of Stefan while thinking about what Eli had said earlier.
At the hospital, Kristen joined Brady in Marlena's room, armed with cups of coffee, and wondered where John was hiding. "He's at the station -- he's trying to convince Rolf to take that chip out of her head," Brady reported. "That's gonna be a tough sell -- Rolf is forever loyal to Stefano," Kristen warned. "I am really sorry that my father has turned your family's world upside down yet again," Kristen stressed. "It can't be easy for you, either -- I know that," Brady replied. "How is he?" Brady wondered. "He's still in ICU," Kristen revealed. "Stefano..." Marlena, who had been sleeping soundly, suddenly muttered without waking up, as if dreaming.
At the police station, John joined Rolf in one of the conference rooms. "If you are expecting me to tell you where Marlena is, you're wasting your time," Rolf preemptively warned. "No, that's over with -- I've already rescued Marlena, and Steve's been arrested," John dismissively countered. "No!" Rolf protested. "Yes," John maintained. "Well...well, it's -- it's -- it's -- it's a temporary setback -- I mean, you know, better than anyone, that the Phoenix always rises again!" Rolf insisted. "I wouldn't count on it," John advised. "But, right now, I don't give a damn about Stefano -- I'm here for you," John clarified.
"You're gonna take that chip out of my wife. Whatever you did to her, you are about to undo," John demanded. "You can lock me up forever -- I will never reverse what I've done!" Rolf vowed. "Why's that? You think Stefano's going to reward you for your loyalty?" John guessed with a mocking laugh. "I don't think Stefano is in any condition to reward anybody anything [right now] -- he sustained grievous injuries when I rescued Marlena, [and] I don't even think he made it through the freaking night," John continued. "Please, please -- take me to him immediately!" Rolf begged, horrified.
"Perhaps I can be of some service in restoring his health!" Rolf reasoned. "That's only gonna happen if you agree to help Marlena first," John replied.
At the hospital, Kristen settled in a waiting area near Marlena's room -- and soon spotted Sarah and Mackenzie at the nearby nurses' station. Kristen was relieved when Sarah explained that Mackenzie was only back at the hospital for a checkup, which had gone well. Meanwhile, Eric entered Marlena's room and shared the same good news with Brady, who was also relieved to hear it.
Brady told Eric about what had happened with Marlena earlier. The brothers hoped that John would somehow be able to convince Rolf to remove the chip from Marlena's brain.
Eric offered to stay with Marlena for a while so Brady could take a break. "It's okay -- I mean, Sarah, she's taking Mackenzie home, and Holly, she has a play date after school, [so I'm free for now]," Eric assured Brady. "Where's Nicole?" Brady wondered. "She's in New York for business," Eric reminded Brady. "We don't have any operations in New York -- [I mean], all of our business is based out of L.A.," Brady informed Eric. "Are you sure?" Eric asked. "Yeah, I'm sure. [Look], I don't mean to freak you out, man, but...she's not in New York on Basic Black business," Brady replied.
"I talked to her this morning, while she was walking through Central Park on her way to the meeting..." Eric objected. "So, you're saying she's lying to me?" Eric incredulously summarized. "I'm afraid so," Brady hesitantly confirmed. "I don't understand -- after everything we've been through...I mean, why would she do that? Unless...the real reason for this trip is something personal..." Eric mused, recalling the mysterious test results that Nicole had recently received and had never really explained. "We've been through hell and back with Mickey -- maybe the last thing she wants to lay on me [right now] is a medical crisis," Eric theorized, and Brady agreed.
Meanwhile, Rolf exited an elevator -- with John and a police officer close behind -- and quickly spotted Kristen, who was still with Sarah and Mackenzie. "Have you seen your father? How is Stefano?" Rolf asked Kristen worriedly. "Is he still alive? Did he make it through the night?" Rolf continued. "If you're talking about Steve...yes, he's still alive -- he's in ICU," Kristen replied. "I'm sorry -- what is he doing here?" Sarah interjected, speaking directly to John while eyeing Rolf nervously. "Well, Rolf has agreed to remove Marlena's chip if I let him see Stefano," John clarified.
"I explained to him that Stefano's life is hanging in the balance, but he was still desperate to see him, so we came to an agreement," John pointedly elaborated, hoping that Kristen would play along. "Why aren't you by your father's side in his time of need?" Rolf challenged Kristen. "Because...he's in intensive care, and...visitors are restricted," Kristen explained with a shrug. "I'm not sure I believe you..." Rolf admitted, eyeing Kristen suspiciously. "It's the truth -- the man took a...spiked high heel to his eye socket, and the surgery barely saved his life," Kristen elaborated. "I can vouch for that," Sarah helpfully interjected.
"I have to see him -- now!" Rolf fretted. "As a matter of fact, Kristen, why don't we go together?" Rolf suggested. "First things first -- you're gonna remove that chip from Marlena's brain," John demanded. "I'll visit Father, Rolf...and if you want to see him, I think it'd be wise that you do as John asks," Kristen declared, pleasing John.
As Kristen headed off to the ICU, John summoned Brady and Eric to the waiting area via text message. When the brothers arrived, John explained everything to them then rushed off to explain everything to Marlena. Sarah left Mackenzie in Eric's care then headed off in search of Kayla, wanting to get the preparations for Marlena's surgery underway as soon as possible. Rolf followed Sarah, with the police officer close behind.
Alone with Eric and Mackenzie, Brady offered to watch the child for a while. "I know you're worried about Nicole, [so] go figure out what's going on," Brady encouraged Eric, who gratefully accepted the offer.
Eric rushed off in search of Abe, who was still at the Brady Pub. "Your assistant -- she told me where to find you..." Eric began after joining Abe at the pub. "I consider you to be one of Nicole's closest friends, [so]...you wouldn't know the real reason why Nicole went to New York, would you?" Eric continued, surprising Abe.
Nicole eventually found Raynor's apartment. "Despite your best efforts to disappear, a good friend of mine helped me locate your nice new digs here in New York City. I noticed the mail slot says 'Smith' -- was that the name of the former resident of this apartment...or the alias you're currently using?" Nicole began when Raynor opened the apartment door. "I was just about to head out," Raynor claimed, ignoring the question. "In your bathrobe? Oh -- and with banana bread baking in the oven?" Nicole countered, recognizing the aroma. Raynor watched incredulously as Nicole barged into the apartment and settled on the living room couch.
"I'm here because I want to know the truth about exactly who Mackenzie Horton's parents are...and I'm not leaving until I get it," Nicole explained. "I already told you -- I did not switch those babies! Now, I don't know where you got this crazy idea, but you're delusional!" Raynor nervously insisted. "Then how do you explain...these DNA test results?" Nicole coolly countered, producing the test results but not bothering to give Raynor a close look at them. "Mackenzie is a perfect match to Kristen DiMera -- whose baby supposedly died the same night Mackenzie was born -- so, [again], how the hell do you explain that?" Nicole challenged Raynor.
"Whatever those test results say, I wasn't involved!" Raynor claimed. "Really? Because you signed the death certificate for Kristen's daughter," Nicole countered. "Stop lying to me...or I promise I will make your life a living hell. You tell me everything you know, or I will not only make sure that your medical license is taken away [but also make sure that you] go to prison. Do you really want to go down for Xander's crimes?" Nicole continued. "Leave this alone!" Raynor begged, prompting Nicole to produce a cell phone and ponder whether to call the medical board or the police first. "Okay -- enough!" Raynor conceded.
"Yes, Sarah Horton and Eric Brady's baby died last Mother's Day," Raynor admitted to Nicole.
Meanwhile, back in Salem, Brady playfully interacted with Mackenzie. "You are just a little miracle, aren't you?" Brady said to Mackenzie. "This little head is a miracle, and these little fingers are miracles, [and] even your ears, and..." Brady continued before stopping abruptly. "Even your little birthmark..." Brady concluded, stunned and confused.
Dr. Raynor tells Nicole the truth
In New York, Nicole threatened to call the medical board about Dr. Raynor. "I will tell you the truth. Yes, Sarah Horton and Eric Brady's baby died last Mother's Day," Raynor said. "I was afraid of this. So, the baby that Eric and Sarah have been raising all this time, the baby that they have fallen head over heels in love with, belongs to Kristen DiMera?" Nicole asked. "And Brady Black," Raynor added.
Nicole demanded to hear the full story, and Raynor obliged. Raynor explained that Xander and Victor had entered the nursery when Mackenzie had gone into distress and died. Raynor said that she had left Xander and Victor alone with the baby to mourn, and Xander and Victor had to have planned the switch then.
"When I realized what they'd done, when I realized what they wanted me to do, I was horrified. I mean my heart broke for all of them, but especially Sarah. She's not just a colleague, she's a friend," Raynor said through tears. Nicole asked why Raynor had not said anything. When Raynor said Victor had paid her to keep quiet, Nicole bristled.
"I did it out of fear. Along with a very large check, Xander gave me a one-way ticket out of town. I couldn't just leave. I couldn't abandon Sarah," Raynor said. "So, you stayed to take care of the baby that Sarah thinks is hers," Nicole finished. Raynor said that Xander had threatened her life when she had returned to care for Mackenzie.
"That's when I knew I needed to leave Salem," Raynor said. Raynor added that Xander might kill her if the truth came out, and she asked if Nicole intended to go public. Nicole said she was not sure. "I have been living with the most unbearable guilt," Raynor confessed. Raynor said that she hated that she had lied to Sarah, but she was relieved that Sarah was not in pain over the death of her daughter. When Raynor lamented that Kristen had been harmed, Nicole assured Raynor that Kristen had "caused plenty of pain herself."
With a nod, Raynor said the only thing she knew about Kristen was that she had been responsible for Haley's death. "[Haley] was such a caring nurse, and a genuinely kind person," Raynor said. Raynor explained that to assuage her guilt, she had rationalized her actions as what was best for the baby. Nicole asked Raynor what she meant.
"By having [Mackenzie] grow up with Sarah as her mother, and not someone like Kristen DiMera," Raynor explained. "You're right. Kristen would be a terrible mother," Nicole agreed. Nicole added that Brady was an incredible father. "But so is Eric. Whom I love very much, and to think what this would do to him," Nicole said. Nicole gasped.
"First, I kept him from knowing that Sarah's baby was his, and now that baby has died, and he doesn't even know," Nicole said. "And I'm sure you don't want him living a lie. Now that you know that the child he is raising isn't his, I understand why you have to put a stop to it," Raynor said. Raynor told Nicole to call the police because the truth needed to come out. Nicole said no.
"I just wanted to know what happened, and now that I know, I realize you're not the villain," Nicole said. Raynor thanked Nicole. Nicole agreed not to tell Xander that they had spoken. With a nod, Nicole thanked Raynor and walked out.
In Salem, Kristen went to see Stefano at the hospital, but she found only Tony in the room. Tony informed Kristen that the doctors had taken Stefano for an MRI. "They're trying to locate the chip that turned Steve Johnson into our father," Tony said. Kristen asked Tony why he was at the hospital after all Stefano had done. With a shrug, Tony asked Kristen why she was there.
"Rolf guilted me into checking in on him," Kristen explained. "You saw Rolf?" Tony asked with surprise. Kristen explained that Rolf had agreed to remove the chip from Marlena in exchange for a visit with Stefano. Tony smiled. Tony wondered aloud if a deal were struck to remove the chip from Steve's brain whether that would mean Steve would return.
"Gina turned back into Hope. I would assume the same would happen to Steve," Kristen said. "If that is the case, what happens to Father?" Tony asked. Tony reasoned aloud that if the chip were removed, Father was essentially gone. "You really want him back in our lives?" Kristen asked. "I don't want to see him dead," Tony said. Kristen chuckled.
"We want to be free and yet we are compelled to be a dutiful DiMera," Kristen said. Kristen said the love of Brady had changed her. "I used to love that people feared me the way they feared Stefano," Kristen confessed. Kristen said she no longer wanted to be a monster, and she wanted to make amends to the people she had hurt.
Kristen apologized to Tony for not helping him when he had been accused of murdering Ted. Through tears, Kristen said she liked to think that she would have been a good mother to Rachel. Kristen told Tony about the donation to the hospital in Rachel's name.
"I know that all babies are precious, but the one that I am most drawn to is little Mackenzie," Kristen admitted. Kristen said she had an overwhelming urge to hold Mackenzie. "Why do I feel this overwhelming pull to this little girl, Mackenzie, every time I see her?" Kristen asked. Tony noted that it was reasonable for Kristen to be attached to a baby after losing her own. Kristen thanked Tony for his kindness. "You're my sister. You're my family," Tony said. Kristen hugged Tony.
Down the hallway, Brady sat in the waiting room and snuggled Mackenzie. As Brady smiled down at the baby, he noticed the heart-shaped birthmark on her neck. Brady thought about when Kristen had told him about the birthmark on their daughter Rachel. "No. It can't be," Brady whispered.
John walked in and told Brady that Marlena was in surgery. John assured Brady that Kayla was watching Rolf "like a hawk." Brady explained that he was babysitting for Eric. "Something about Nicole," Brady explained. Brady placed Mackenzie in the stroller. "Hard to imagine what that little tyke has gone through," John said. Preoccupied, Brady nodded in agreement.
"When I hold her, this is going to sound really strange, I get the feeling, she just reminds me so much of Rachel," Brady said. John asked Brady what he meant. Brady told John about Kristen's memories of Rachel, including the birthmark. "Mackenzie has a birthmark that is exactly the same," Brady said. Brady showed the mark to John.
"Same size. Same shape. Same place. Right on her neck," Brady said. "Well that's some coincidence," John said. Brady agreed. John asked Brady what he was thinking about. With a sigh, Brady said it was not healthy for him to think about conspiracies. "We need to move on," Brady said. John urged Brady to give it a little time.
"I know how attached Kristen is to this baby, but Dad, I think, subconsciously, Kristen just feels that that little girl is here and our little girl is gone, and it happened on the same night," Brady confessed. Brady stressed that Raynor had signed the death certificate and that wishful thinking would not change the fact that Rachel was dead. John said that he would always be there for Brady. After John left, Brady picked up Mackenzie and cuddled her.
"I know that you are Eric and Sarah's. I know. I know you are. I know you are. It's just a coincidence," Brady said. "What's a coincidence?" Kristen asked as she walked into the room.
After John left Brady, he wandered down to the waiting area by the nurses' station. Tony asked John about Marlena. "I just found out that the surgery is over. So, I guess we are about to find out," John said.
In the DiMera living room, Kate talked to Stefano's portrait. "You knew I loved Chad like a son, and still you brainwashed him to kill me," Kate said. Chad walked in. Kate jumped to her feet, and she glanced at the letter opener in Chad's hand. Kate asked about the letter opener, and Chad apologized.
"I was just going to open the mail," Chad explained. "Is it really you?" Kate wondered aloud. Abigail walked in and explained that she had been with Chad all night as he'd undergone intensive work with a psychotherapist. "I ditched the ring," Chad added. With a sigh of relief, Kate apologized.
"I should be the one apologizing. Can you ever forgive me?" Chad asked. Kate said she forgave Chad because he had been under the control of Stefano. "While I, on the other hand, chose to be his partner in crime," Kate said. "Stefano can be quite persuasive," Abigail interrupted. Chad said he wanted to return Kate's shares, but Kate refused to accept. Kate said she no longer had any interest in the company.
Abigail headed upstairs to call her mother and update her on the situation with Chad. Abigail asked Jennifer not to worry, and she promised to update Jennifer about Marlena as soon as there was news. Emotionally drained, Abigail told Jennifer that she was going to take a nap before the kids returned home. Jennifer promised to call J.J. and update him so that Abigail could get some rest. Abigail reached in her purse and found the Phoenix ring. With a groan, Abigail shoved the ring into the back of a drawer.
When Chad entered, he asked who Abigail had been talking to on the phone. "La Famiglia," Abigail said. "You testing me?" Chad asked with a grin. "I have to make sure you are okay," Abigail explained. Chad stressed that Abigail and the kids were the only family he needed. "You're the love of my life," Chad said. "You're the love of mine," Abigail countered. Chad and Abigail made love.
Outside the pub, Eric pushed Abe to tell him the reason that Nicole had gone to New York. Abe played dumb. Eric said he had overheard Abe talking with Nicole about a secret, and Eric said he did not believe the conversation had been about Brandon. "You need to tell me what it is," Eric said. Eric asked Abe if the secret was about medical test results.
"If Nicole, if she is sick, I need to know," Eric said. Eric pleaded with Abe to tell him the truth. "I gave my word to Nicole. I can't betray her confidence," Abe said. Eric begged Abe to tell him the truth, but Abe refused. "This is between you and Nicole," Abe said.
When Abe arrived at Julie's Place, he called Nicole to warn her about his conversation with Eric. "Please tell me you're making some headway," Abe said. Nicole said she had been right and that the babies had been switched. "[Mackenzie] belongs to Brady and Kristen," Nicole said. Abe asked Nicole what she planned to do. Nicole admitted that she was torn.
"I thought knowing the truth would give me peace of mind and maybe some clarity, but how can I tell Eric that this little girl that he loves with all his heart, and he has watched go through cancer treatment and finally allowed home, that she is not his daughter? And the worst part, that he has to hand her over to Kristen," Nicole said. Nicole said she was still angry about what Kristen had done to her. "It doesn't matter what choice I make, someone I love is going to get hurt," Nicole said.
At the pub, a sullen Eric complained to Roman about the situation with Nicole. "We promised each other no more lies," Eric said. Eric said he was frustrated that Nicole did not trust him enough to share her concerns with him. Roman counseled Eric to find Nicole and talk to her directly. Eric rushed out and headed to his apartment to pack a bag. While Eric was on the phone, attempting to secure plane tickets to New York, Nicole walked through the front door.