Alone at the Brady townhouse, Justin worried about what Kayla might do if Steve ever returned to normal.
Someone eventually knocked on the townhouse door, interrupting Justin's thoughts. "Not interested," Justin insisted after opening the door and finding Xander standing on the other side of it. "Hold on, mate -- I have a very important question for you," Xander explained, stopping Justin from slamming the door shut. "What question could you possibly want to ask me?" Justin wondered. "Justin Kiriakis...will you marry me?" Xander elaborated. "Very flattering, Xander...but you're not my type," Justin replied. "Very funny," Xander countered, again stopping Justin from slamming the door shut.
"But Sarah is very much my type...and we are getting married tomorrow. You're ordained, so I was kind of hoping you'd officiate," Xander clarified, sidestepping Justin and barging into the townhouse. "Why don't you just go down to City Hall? I hear they have a nice 'vows and brunch' package," Justin suggested. "Sarah deserves better --" Xander began to argue. "Than you," Justin stressed before pointing Xander toward the townhouse door. "I'm not your favorite person -- understood -- but...we are family, and Sarah needs all the family around her [that] she can get right now, with Maggie in prison," Xander argued, staying put.
"[So]...please, will you do it?" Xander asked hopefully. "Not a chance in hell," Justin bluntly replied.
"Come on, cousin -- please reconsider! For Sarah!" Xander begged. "You nearly destroyed my son's marriage. You let his husband -- an innocent man -- go to prison. You let his daughter, Ari, think that she had lost her father once again. Blood or no blood, what you did is unforgivable!" Justin snapped. "I was trying to protect our blood -- Victor and I both were! And Will was not totally innocent -- he was texting and driving, [and] even he thought he was responsible, so..." Xander countered with a shrug. "You let him believe it, when you could have set the record straight," Justin summarized with a shake of the head.
"We couldn't do that -- we had to protect Maggie! We couldn't let her live with the knowledge that she had killed Adrienne, let alone..." Xander started to explain before stopping abruptly. "'Let alone'...what?" Justin wondered. "It's just...look, it's bad enough that Maggie killed Adrienne, but Sarah was in the car, as well, and she and the baby could have been hurt, too -- that's all," Xander claimed. "I'm sure Maggie thinks about that every second of every day -- especially now," Justin mused. "Sarah does, as well -- which is why I'm just trying to give a little happiness to the woman I love," Xander replied.
"So, please...can't you just -- just for an hour -- just forget how much you hate me, and help me do something special for Sarah?" Xander begged again, and, after some thought, Justin reluctantly agreed.
At the hospital, John contacted Belle to report that Marlena was out of surgery -- then hastily ended the call as Kayla and Rolf approached to provide an update on Marlena's condition.
"I removed the microchip, thus upholding my end of the bargain; now it's time for you to uphold yours. I would like to see Stefano -- tout suite!" Rolf said to John. "I fully intend to honor our agreement here...once Kayla confirms that you have extracted that microchip," John assured Rolf. "I watched every move -- it looked like he replicated the procedure he did on Hope," Kayla reported while showing John a sealed bag that contained the microchip. "No funny business?" John summarized. "Not that I could tell," Kayla confirmed.
"Although we need to wait 'til Marlena wakes up before we know for sure that the procedure worked," Kayla continued. "The agreement was that I remove the chip," Rolf countered. "I've done my part; now it's time for you to take me to Stefano. You yourself said his life hangs in the balance, so time is of the essence if I'm to have any chance to save him," Rolf said to John. "Fine," John agreed. "Finally!" Rolf raved. "But...if Doc wakes up, and she's not totally back to herself, I'm coming for you," John warned. "I assure you, there is no need to threaten me -- Marlena will be her radiant, original self," Rolf promised.
Kayla led Rolf to Stefano's room, where a police officer was stationed. Stefano, who was handcuffed to a bed, was somewhat disappointed to receive a visit from Rolf instead of Marlena. "They told me you were near death!" Rolf protested after realizing that, aside from the injury to Stefano's left eye, everything seemed fine. "I am not!" Stefano insisted. "Perhaps I can create a new --" Rolf mused while inspecting Stefano's injury. "Have you seen Marlena?" Stefano wondered. "Yes, sir -- I...I...I have...and I'm here to beg your forgiveness..." Rolf replied. "For what?" Stefano impatiently demanded to know.
Rolf requested some time alone with Stefano, and Kayla agreed after warning the police officer to stay nearby and watch for any sign of funny business.
"John Black forced me to remove the microchip from Marlena's brain," Rolf explained to Stefano once the coast was clear. "Why would you ever agree to help John Black?" Stefano snapped. "Well, he exaggerated the extent of your injuries -- uh, made it sound as though your very life were in danger -- and, of course, I wanted to help --" Rolf clarified. "Idiot! He waved a bait in front of your ego, and you took it! How could you let him manipulate you this way?" Stefano spat. "I am sorry, sir..." Rolf stressed.
"[But] may I say...it -- it is wonderful to see you in such good health...uh, except for, uh --" Rolf continued. "How is Marlena?" Stefano impatiently demanded to know. "Well, um...she has not yet awoken, according to what I understand," Rolf reported. "And when she awakens? Whose name will she speak?" Stefano worriedly wondered. "I believe...there is...a very great probability...it will be...'John,'" Rolf admitted, drawing a roar of anger from Stefano. "How can I make this up to you, sir?" Rolf asked. "Never!" Stefano replied. "But...there may be something you can do..." Stefano continued.
Meanwhile, John went to see Marlena. "Stefano..." Marlena groggily muttered, perhaps sensing someone's presence.
John was concerned -- until Marlena finished emerging from the anesthesia-induced slumber and insisted that everything was okay.
"Where is Steve?" Marlena wondered. "He's in the hospital, but he's in police custody. That...incarnation -- never gonna hurt you again," John replied.
Meanwhile, in one of the break rooms, Kristen waited for clarification about the coincidence that Brady had just mentioned to Mackenzie.
"[The coincidence is]...just that I was, uh...free and clear to watch Mickey while Eric had...something to do," Brady eventually claimed, squirming a bit. "Oh? Well, what was so important that he had to leave this little girl behind?" Kristen wondered, leaning in to get a closer look at Mackenzie. "All I know [is]...that Eric was in a bind, [so] I just offered to watch her until Sarah was free," Brady elaborated while casually turning Mackenzie away from Kristen. "I am so jealous of you -- that you get to be with this little lady..." Kristen admitted.
"Can I hold her?" Kristen asked hopefully. "I don't think that's a great idea..." Brady apologetically replied. "I know that Eric had some reservations about me holding her, but...I just want to hold her -- is that so wrong?" Kristen defensively argued, fighting back tears. "No -- of course it's not," Sarah, who had just entered the break room, conceded before taking Mackenzie from Brady, who was clearly concerned that Sarah was going to let Kristen hold the child -- and was clearly relieved when that didn't happen. Brady rushed off to see Marlena, and Kristen followed after taking one more look at Mackenzie.
Brady and Kristen entered Marlena's room just as Kayla was assuring John that Marlena seemed to be perfectly fine.
"I am so relieved that you're okay," Kristen said to Marlena after Kayla left the room. "Your father wreaked havoc on all of our lives," Marlena replied. "Well, I'm as much to blame as he is -- [see], my father first came to me as Steve, [and] I kept his secret, [because] I chose loyalty to a man that didn't deserve [it] over your safety, [and] John's, [and] Brady's, and so many others..." Kristen admitted. "Yeah -- you could have stopped it right then, and none of this would have happened --" John snapped. "It's all right," Marlena insisted. "No, it's not," Kristen argued.
"I apologize to you, Marlena, from the bottom of my heart, and I really do hope that you can forgive me," Kristen stressed. "When Stefano was leading me out of the [living] room...to our 'honeymoon'...you were concerned -- you were the one that intervened. I'm so grateful to you for that. Now, I know there's been a lot of tension between us, [but] I think it's time we put that to an end -- I think it's time we all move forward," Marlena declared before extending a hand. "Thank you," Kristen replied, pleasantly surprised. Brady smiled, and John watched in stunned silence, as Marlena and Kristen shook hands.
"Well, you know, uh...I think that, um...that part of that 'moving forward' is to get Dr. Rolf to remove the microchip from Steve's brain -- once that happens, the Phoenix will never rise from the ashes again," John eventually noted, apparently resisting the urge to say something about Marlena and Kristen's truce. Meanwhile, Stefano continued talking to Rolf. "Do you understand?" Stefano wondered. "Yes -- completely," Rolf confirmed. "And I have your solemn word that you will see this through?" Stefano assumed. "I won't let you down," Rolf promised -- just as Kayla entered Stefano's room.
"Your time is up," Kayla said to Stefano and Rolf. "Is there any word on Marlena?" Stefano asked hopefully. "She's awake...[and] I am happy to report that she is back to her old self again -- [and] she's with John," Kayla tauntingly replied. "Sorry if that put any kind of crimp in your day --" Kayla sarcastically continued. "Why should it? I'm not about to give up -- the connection between me and my queen is too strong! She will be mine again one day -- and for all eternity!" Stefano confidently declared. "You are so delusional..." Kayla noted with a shake of the head.
"But go ahead [and] enjoy the fantasy while you can, because your days are numbered," Kayla continued. "The hell they are -- I am the --" Stefano began to brag. "Phoenix," Kayla tiredly concluded. "For now," Kayla warned Stefano before turning to face Rolf. "You removed the chip from Hope and Marlena, and you're going to do the same for Steve," Kayla ordered Rolf. "I have no intention of doing any such thing," Rolf countered, laughing at Kayla dismissively. "You can threaten me -- do your worst -- but you will never, never make me destroy the one man who has always supported me," Rolf stressed. "You have to!" Kayla insisted.
"Actually, he doesn't...which means Steven Johnson will be hosting yours truly 'til the end of his life," Stefano declared, also laughing at Kayla dismissively.
"So, you and my mom -- you're, like, practically besties [now]," Brady teasingly said to Kristen after they exited Marlena's room together. "Oh, I wouldn't go as far as that...but it was kind of her to forgive me for my part of Stefano's plan," Kristen replied. "That's over [now -- and] Stefano's reign of terror is done," Brady declared. "God, I hope so...but the Phoenix always has a --" Kristen began to counter. "Don't say it," Brady begged, silencing Kristen. Meanwhile, at the nurses' station, Justin -- who had gone to the hospital to check on Marlena -- listened as Kayla complained about Rolf's refusal to remove the chip from Steve's brain.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Xander informed Sarah that Justin had agreed to officiate their wedding ceremony. "I'm so lucky to have you in my life!" Sarah raved, touched that Xander had been willing to face Justin's wrath in order to make the wedding ceremony more special. "I can't believe it's finally happening -- I'm marrying the woman of my dreams, and, for once in my life, things are gonna work out!" Xander mused.
Eric hastily wrapped up a phone conversation with an airline ticket agent then ended the call and greeted Nicole. "I was just trying to get a ticket to New York to find you," Eric revealed. "Why?" Nicole replied while shutting the door to Eric's apartment. "Brady told me there was no business trip for Basic Black...which means you lied to me -- and I'm pretty sure I know why," Eric elaborated.
"I can explain --" Nicole began. "Listen, I understand -- you were afraid to tell me the truth, especially after everything we've gone through," Eric summarized. "But I thought we promised -- no more secrets," Eric continued. "You're right -- we...we did..." Nicole agreed, forcing a smile. "Okay -- then be honest with me," Eric begged. "Are you sick? Because you said you weren't, but the way you've been acting, and this last-minute trip to New York --" Eric continued. "This trip...wasn't about me; it was about you," Nicole clarified, surprising Eric.
"I went to see Dr. Raynor..." Nicole hesitantly began to explain. "[Who] left Salem because of a secret...about Mackenzie..." Nicole continued, fighting back tears. "[Mickey] already had a checkup, and everything was okay..." Eric protested. "She's fine -- it's just..." Nicole tried to clarify. "Nicole, please --" Eric impatiently replied, confused and concerned. "Dr. Raynor knows the truth...about who your daughter really belongs to," Nicole regretfully elaborated. "You're not making any sense," Eric declared while Nicole was explaining everything. "I'm so sorry, Eric...but Mickey is not your little girl; she belongs to Brady and Kristen," Nicole sadly concluded.
"No -- this has gotta be a mistake..." Eric insisted. "I'm so sorry --" Nicole repeated. "You are? You lied to me before! Is this another lie -- a new lie?" Eric countered. "I didn't want this to be true, Eric -- it's horrible! [And that's why] I didn't want to tell you until I was sure. [But] Dr. Raynor admitted everything. The night the babies were born, the baby that died was...yours and Sarah's," Nicole continued, causing Eric to break down while clutching one of Mackenzie's toys. "And Xander knew the truth?" Eric repeated after recovering. "And Victor," Nicole reiterated. "That son of a bitch -- I'm gonna kill him!" Eric spat. "And Victor!" Eric added.
Eric tossed the toy at a wall in anger then broke down again. "What am I supposed to do now? Am I supposed to tell Sarah? Am I supposed to say goodbye to my daughter?" Eric wondered after recovering again. "Maybe you don't have to," Nicole suggested. "Are you saying that we should keep quiet [and] not tell anyone the truth?" Eric assumed. "Sarah is a wonderful mother, and you are a great dad, [and] you are the parents that Mackenzie loves -- you are the parents that little girl deserves," Nicole reasoned. "But we're not her parents," Eric acknowledged.
"We need to tell the truth," Eric insisted. "[And] put her in the arms of an unstable, hateful woman?" Nicole summarized. "Brady says Kristen's changed," Eric noted. "Oh, please -- no one can change that much, that quickly," Nicole argued. "But Brady --" Eric fretted. "Is already grieving the child he believes he lost," Nicole concluded with a shrug. "No, it's wrong -- Brady deserves to know that he has a daughter," Eric maintained. "I know how much you love your brother, and I know how you feel about secrets and lies, but Mackenzie's best chance at a happy life is with you and Sarah," Nicole countered.
"It's up to you -- I will follow your lead on whatever you decide -- but, for all intents and purposes, Mackenzie is your child [right now]. Sarah, Brady, and Kristen never have to know the truth," Nicole told Eric.
Just then, Brady approached Eric's apartment, with Kristen close behind, and knocked on the door then called out a greeting, wanting to share the good news about Marlena's recovery.
Stefano says goodbye to his family
In the DiMera mansion, Abigail and Chad lay in bed and talked about their lives together. "My only commitment is to you," Chad told Abigail. Chad said that he was grateful to Abigail for rescuing him from himself. "What if it's not over?" Abigail asked. "My father plays to win. I play for love. I play for family," Chad said. With a scowl, Chad said he didn't want to talk about his father anymore. Chad pulled Abigail close to him, and they made love.
Downstairs in the living room, an elated Tony informed Anna that Marlena was back to normal. Anna admitted that she felt bad for hurting Stefano, but she did not regret protecting Tony. "There is always more shoes. There is only one you," Anna said. Tony chuckled and kissed Anna.
"I'm here to stay, and once they remove that chip from Steve Johnson's brain, this nightmare will be over," Tony said. "Will that mean the end of your father?" Anna asked. Tony admitted that he was torn. "It's not that I want to see him dead, but you should know, if you don't know already, that I'm committed to you, to our future. Whether father lives or dies," Tony said. Anna told Tony that she loved Tony's heart, but that Stefano manipulated it.
"Your heart. Chad's loyalty. Kristen's ruthlessness. And if [Stefano] somehow manages to survive this and rise again from those damned ashes, I'm scared to death that he will draw you all back in," Anna said.
In the hospital, Stefano sat alone in his room and chuckled. "They think the game is over. That they've won. This isn't checkmate. Far from it. Very soon, they will see that the master still has a few moves left," Stefano said.
By the nurses' station, Kayla complained to Justin about Rolf's refusal to remove the chip from Steve's head. "So, Steve is going to believe that he is Stefano forever?" Justin asked. "I can't let that happen," Kayla vowed. Kayla argued that Steve was as much a victim as anyone else in the situation. With a sigh, Kayla reminded Justin that Steve had spent the bulk of his life fighting against Stefano. "I can't just stand by and watch Stefano continue to hurt Steve," Kayla admitted.
When Kayla went into Stefano's room to check his eye, a belligerent Stefano pushed Kayla away. "I don't want you or anyone else in this third-rate hospital to touch me. I'm refusing treatment," Stefano said. Kayla refused to leave. "I am going to bring Steve back," Kayla said. With a smirk, Stefano commented that Rolf's loyalty outweighed his self-preservation.
"When the doctor put that chip in this brain, Stephen Johnson ceased to exist. You'll never see him again," Stefano said. Kayla announced that she would do the surgery herself. Stefano scoffed at the idea, but Kayla showed Stefano a court order that gave her the mandate to handle the operation.
"I came here to say goodbye to the bastard that took away the man that I loved," Kayla said. Stefano laughed. Stefano warned Kayla that she might kill Steve. "Steve would want me to take the chance, because there is no way in hell he would want to live like this," Kayla growled. Kayla reminded Stefano that she had observed the surgery twice. As Kayla turned to leave, Stefano asked for a last request.
When Kayla left Stefano's room, Justin was waiting for her by the nurses' station. Justin asked Kayla if she wanted to talk about the surgery before she went into the OR to prepare. "You are always so grounding for me. You help me see clearly," Kayla told Justin. Justin said he would be there to support Kayla.
"I need to take care of something first. I made a promise that I intend to keep," Kayla said. Kayla called Chad and informed him that Stefano had requested that Chad, Tony, and Kristen say goodbye to him before the surgery.
In the Kiriakis living room, Sarah excitedly told Xander about her wedding dress and how she had begged Nicole for help in securing it in time for her wedding. "So, I have Nicole to thank for this smile?" Xander asked. Sarah chuckled. Xander said he was surprised that Nicole had agreed to help provide anything for the wedding. Sarah reminded Xander that she did not care what anyone thought about their wedding. Xander said he only cared about Sarah.
"When you look at me like that, I'm convinced that I really can be the man you deserve," Xander said. With a grin, Sarah said that Mackenzie looked at Xander like he could do no wrong, too. Xander said he was disappointed Maggie could not take part in the ceremony. Fighting back tears, Sarah promised to take a lot of pictures for Maggie. Sarah rattled off the items on their to-do list.
Xander mentioned the honeymoon, and Sarah gasped. "Don't worry. I've got it covered," Xander said. Sarah grabbed Xander and kissed him. Xander told Sarah that he had booked the Titan jet and that they could fly anywhere that Sarah wanted to go.
"I'm just in love with the most extraordinary woman I've ever known," Xander said. With a grin, Sarah suggested that they take Mackenzie with them on their honeymoon. Xander appeared to be lukewarm on the idea, and he explained that as much as he cherished his time with Mackenzie, he wanted to spend time alone with his new bride.
"We almost lost her. I don't know if I could stand being away from her," Sarah said. Before Xander could respond, Kayla called on the phone and asked Sarah to assist her with Steve's surgery. Sarah was worried about her dress, and Xander offered to pick it up for her. When Sarah said no, Xander asked her if she was superstitious. "Why tempt bad luck?" Sarah asked. Xander stressed that nothing could change how much they were in love.
As Eric and Nicole debated in their living room whether to tell Brady and Kristen the truth about Mackenzie's parentage, Brady and Kristen knocked on the door. Eric escorted the visitors in. Brady informed Eric that Marlena was doing well. With an awkward silence, Brady nodded and said that he and Kristen would leave Eric and Nicole alone to talk.
"Nicole, she wanted to tell me something, and I think it is something you need to hear," Eric announced. Kristen saw one of Holly's dolls, and she smiled. Nicole commented that the doll was Holly's favorite.
"The other day, you said that I didn't deserve a child," Kristen noted. "I shouldn't have said that," Nicole countered. Kristen waved Nicole off. Kristen said that she had done horrible things to Nicole and Eric, and though she did not expect forgiveness, she felt empathy for the emotional pain that everyone was experiencing over Mackenzie's illness.
"The idea that if you blink, she's gone. Brady and I went through that. I just don't wish that about anyone," Kristen said. Nicole thanked Kristen. Kristen offered to leave so that Nicole, Eric, and Brady could talk in private. "You should stay," Nicole said. With a nod, Kristen sat down next to Brady across from Nicole and Eric at the dining room table.
"What's this big secret that Nicole has been keeping from us?" Brady asked. "I understand how you've suffered after losing a child," Eric started. Kristen's phone beeped with a text from Chad. With a groan, Kristen noted that she needed to meet Chad at the hospital.
"My place is at your side," Brady said. Brady asked Eric if his announcement would keep. "Yeah, sure," Eric said quietly. At the door, Kristen said, "I really am grateful that your little girl is going to be okay." After Brady and Kristen left, Nicole asked Eric if he had decided not to tell Brady the truth. "I can't keep this secret," Eric said. Eric explained that he wanted to tell Sarah before he told Brady and Kristen.
"We do have to show her the proof," Nicole noted. Eric said he did not want to wait for DNA test results to tell Sarah the truth. Nicole suggested that they talk to the lab tech that had changed the test results that Nicole had ordered. When Nicole and Eric arrived at the hospital, they cornered the tech in the doctors' lounge.
"Admit it. Xander Cook Kiriakis paid you to switch them out!" Eric yelled. When Eric threatened to beat up the tech, Nicole intervened and asked for the real test results. Nicole promised not to tell Xander that they had obtained the results from the tech. The tech retrieved the results and handed the envelope to Eric. "You never got this from me," the tech said before he rushed out of the room. Eric opened the envelope.
"It's like you said. There was still some hope in me that you were wrong," Eric whispered. Eric confirmed that Brady and Kristen were Mackenzie's parents. The air appeared to rush out of Eric. "Which means that Sarah and my little girl is dead," Eric said. Sarah walked into the room. With a big smile, Sarah asked Eric if he would take Mackenzie for her while she was on her honeymoon. As Eric said he needed to talk to Sarah, her phone beeped. Sarah explained that she was headed into Steve's surgery. Reluctantly, Eric let Sarah leave. Nicole comforted Eric.
While Kristen went to the hospital to meet up with her brothers, Brady went to the office to pick up the check for the donation to the hospital in Rachel's name. As Brady searched the desk drawers, he found Rachel's death certificate. Xander walked in. Suspicious, Brady asked Xander what he wanted. Xander explained that Nicole had helped Sarah secure a wedding dress.
"Sarah is one bride that should say yes to the dress and no to the groom," Brady joked. Xander smirked. "Make your jokes. I don't care because tomorrow I'm marrying the girl of my dreams," Xander countered. While Brady went to retrieve the dress, Xander picked up the death certificate from the desk. A guilty look crossed Xander's face as he dropped the certificate back on the desk. Brady returned with the dress.
"There is something I have to tell you," Xander said. Brady raised an eyebrow. Xander said he was sorry for Brady's loss. "Thank you, Xander. We're doing the best we can to move on," Brady said. Xander averted his eyes and whispered, "I think that is for the best." Xander rushed out of the office.
At the hospital, Justin asked Kayla if she was sure that she wanted to operate on Steve. "What I'm worried about is you. What if something goes wrong during the surgery and Steve doesn't make it? You would never forgive yourself," Justin said. Kayla said she had thought about it and that she did not have a choice. Kayla argued that Steve would ask her to take the chip out of his head rather than spend another day helping Stefano.
In Stefano's room, Kirsten, Tony, and Chad met with their father. Stefano thanked his children for visiting him without their partners. Stefano apologized. "We're just supposed to forgive and forget?" Kristen asked. Tony refused. Chad said they had all been fooled by Stefano before. Chad told Stefano that his children would not help him escape.
"You're wary of trusting a father who has let you down so many times, but there is no escape plan. No grand exit scheme. There is only goodbye," Stefano said. Stefano stressed that "La Famiglia" meant everything to him. "I know you all have reason to hate me, but I also know that you all love me," Stefano said. Stefano apologized to Tony for attempting to murder him and stranding him on an island. Stefano added that he admired how fiercely Anna loved Tony.
"My Chad. My boy. I had to resort to brainwashing to get you, my youngest, to do my bidding, because of all the DiMeras, you have such goodness in you. I admire that. It may be a mystery to me, but I admire it," Stefano said. With a smile, Stefano turned to Kristen and noted that though she was not blood-related, she was the most like him.
"You share my drive, my ambition. You let nothing get between you and what you want," Stefano said. Kristen said that she was no longer that person since she had lost her daughter. Kayla walked in and announced that it was time for the surgery. With a nod, Stefano said okay. As Kayla wheeled Stefano into the hallway, he told Chad, Kristen, and Tony to remember that they were DiMeras.
"I know that my actions have caused each of you to consider renouncing this family, but remember you will always be stronger together than you will ever be alone. It is together that you defeated me. And although your resistance to my wishes greatly pains me, I do take some comfort in knowing that in your opposition to me, I managed to finally bring you together," Stefano said. Stefano told his children that he loved them. Kayla rolled Stefano away down the hallway.
Kayla faces trouble during Steve's surgery
At the Salem Inn, Ben and Ciara complained to each other about the first day of their respective job searches, which hadn't gone well in either case.
At the police station, a guard led Evan from a holding cell to a conference room, where Rafe was waiting. "Why am I here? Is there something wrong with David?" Evan asked. "David's fine...no thanks to you and your father," Rafe replied. "Where is my father?" Evan wondered. "That's actually what I want to talk to you about -- [see], the Feds took Orpheus to a facility for questioning...[and, since] you and your father have entered into a joint defense agreement, the lawyer you share has gone with him, [which means that] until that situation is resolved, you're stuck here," Rafe explained.
"[And] it could take awhile -- in fact, it could take quite awhile -- unless, of course, you want to enter a guilty plea --" Rafe advised. "How stupid do you think I am? I was out on bail, [and then] I helped return David to you, [and]...what, now I'm in cuffs?" Evan countered. "The only reason that you knew where David was is because you were involved in his kidnapping -- [and] we now have hard evidence to prove that --" Rafe began to explain. "He's my son!" Evan stressed. "But if you'd like to testify against your old man, we might be able to work a deal --" Rafe continued. "To hell with you and your deal!" Evan spat.
"Suit yourself," Rafe replied before starting to exit the conference room. "Wait," Evan called out, stopping Rafe. "You and I got to know each other pretty well when I was taking care of David. You know that I'm not a bad guy," Evan reasoned. "You killed Jordan -- the mother of your child --" Rafe began to argue. "It was an accident!" Evan maintained. "[And] you were gonna let someone else hang for it --" Rafe continued. "I regret that!" Evan stressed. "[Not to mention] all the lies you told every single day," Rafe concluded. "The only thing that I am guilty of is wanting to be a part of my son's life!" Evan insisted. "Tell it to the judge," Rafe countered.
"I want to make a phone call," Evan spontaneously decided. "I already told you -- your lawyer is unavailable," Rafe reiterated. "I don't want to talk to my lawyer," Evan vaguely clarified.
Jack entered the hospital and joined Justin in one of the waiting areas, armed with two cups of coffee. "I'm glad that Sarah's in there with Kayla... Still, I gotta question the wisdom of Kayla performing brain surgery on her husband -- [sorry], her ex-husband -- [without calling in] a consultant [or] a neurosurgeon... [I mean], what is the rush?" Jack mused. "I'd say it's a testament to just how badly she wants Steve back," Justin replied. "Kayla loves you --" Jack tried to assure Justin. "I know...[and] what we have is amazing...but I also know it can't hold a candle to what she had with Steve," Justin countered.
"Adrienne was the love of my life, and I can never have her back, but Kayla has, uh, a real chance of having Steve back...and I want that for her, [and] for Adrienne, [and], hell, for my own sake -- he's my brother-in-law, [and] he has a life, he has a family, he has friends... I care about him," Justin continued. "Stop being so damn noble," Jack advised. "Okay -- I wish I could say I meant that with my whole heart..." Justin admitted.
"I get it -- you're crazy in love with Kayla, [and] you're lucky to have found this kind of a love the second time around, [so] you just don't want to lose it," Jack summarized. "Yeah... [But], the way I see it, there are really only three possible outcomes to this surgery -- Steve dies, and Kayla will never forgive herself for killing him; the real Steve comes back; [or] Steve lives, but he's never the same. [So], I'm not being noble, Jack -- I'm being selfish as hell...and realistic, because, pick any scenario you want, [and] none of them ends well for me. [Whether] Steve dies, lives, or otherwise, it's the beginning of the end for me and Kayla," Justin predicted.
Meanwhile, Sarah offered support as Kayla nervously began the procedure to remove the chip from Steve's brain -- and the doctors almost immediately encountered an unexpected complication. "[You know, I had a] nagging feeling [that Rolf wasn't] going to let it be easy for me to destroy the Phoenix once and for all...[and, sure enough], the location of this chip -- it's surrounded by all this tissue... Marlena's and Hope's [were] much easier to remove... The only way to remove this one is to cut straight through the vital areas of the frontal lobe...[and] that could destroy Steve -- everything about him..." Kayla fretted to Sarah.
Sarah offered to take over for Kayla, who declined -- and decided to stop the procedure then call in a specialist for a second attempt.
Just then, an alarm started blaring. "It's coming from the chip," Kayla realized. "Self-destruct mode engaged. Self-destruct in two minutes," a robotic voice announced. "This is exactly what I was afraid of -- Rolf's revenge! He's made it impossible to remove the chip!" Kayla fretted. "One minute, thirty seconds," the robotic voice continued. "Okay, that's it -- everybody needs to get out of here right now! I don't know what's gonna happen!" Kayla decided. "Go!" Kayla ordered Sarah and the other people who were in the operating room. "I'm not going anywhere," Sarah insisted, and everyone else agreed.
"One minute," the robotic voice continued. "What if the only way to keep the chip from self-destructing [is] if we cut it off from the power supply?" Sarah suggested. "That means cutting into his brain...which means all of his memories -- his kids, our life together, everything -- would be wiped out," Kayla summarized. "But it could save his life," Kayla acknowledged. "Thirty seconds," the robotic voice continued. "Okay -- it's coming out," Kayla decided. "Ten seconds," the robotic voice continued -- and, just then, Kayla removed the chip, stopping the alarm.
"Steve's vitals are stable," Sarah observed. "God, what have I done to you?" Kayla fretted to Steve.
Meanwhile, Eric fretted to Nicole about how difficult it was going to be to tell Sarah the truth about Mackenzie. "It's not too late to change your mind," Nicole pointed out, but Eric remained determined to do the right thing. "Sarah's gonna marry Xander tomorrow -- she has to be told what he's done [before then]," Eric stressed. "Sarah already knows all the [other] horrible things that Xander has done -- yet she's marrying him, anyway," Nicole countered. "You cannot tip off Xander that we know -- at least not until you tell Sarah -- 'cause God only knows what Xander will do to stop the truth from coming out," Nicole warned Eric.
"Under all that muscle and attitude, he's nothing but a coward, and I'm not gonna let him dictate what I can and cannot do," Eric insisted before spontaneously deciding to head over to the Kiriakis mansion. "You're not gonna confront him [now, are you]?" Nicole asked worriedly. "No...[but I always] read Mickey a bedtime story [and kiss] her goodnight, [and] tonight's the last time I can do that as her father," Eric sadly replied.
Ben and Ciara entered the police station together and greeted Rafe. "How's David?" Ben wondered. "David is great -- he's, uh...he's walking and talking a mile a minute," Rafe reported. "You need to come and see him," Rafe suggested. "I'd love that -- thank you," Ben agreed. "So, why does Evan want to see Ben?" Ciara, who had convinced Ben to grant Evan's request as a way of getting some closure, asked. "Well, I, uh...I think Ben should find out for himself," Rafe replied. "Then I might as well get this over with..." Ben decided. "I'll come with you," Ciara offered. "No, no, no -- thank you, but I would rather do this one-on-one," Ben insisted.
"Ben was pretty dark on the way over here, Rafe -- are you sure it's a good idea to leave them in that room alone?" Ciara fretted as Ben entered the conference room in which Evan was being held.
Meanwhile, Ben wondered why Evan had requested a meeting. "To apologize --" Evan began to explain. "For killing my sister, or [for] almost letting me fry for it?" Ben asked. "Both," Evan clarified.
"This your way of sucking up to the court -- maybe show a little remorse, [and] they'll knock a year or two down off your sentence?" Ben guessed. "I never intended to touch Jordan -- you have to believe that!" Evan insisted. "[When] I found out I had a kid, I was excited...and then she started to say I was never gonna see him again, and I lost it, [and] the next thing I knew, I..." Evan continued. "Look, you -- you know what that is like, right? You know what it's like to lose control!" Evan concluded. "This is your apology?" Ben summarized with a scoff.
"What I'm trying to say is...[that] being, uh, a dad...[well], that connection that you have [to] your kid -- [that] pull -- [is] more magnetic than anything I've ever imagined," Evan explained. "I don't know what it's like to have a kid...but I do know that if you had gotten your way, I never would have had the chance," Ben countered. "I didn't want you to die," Evan insisted. "You looked at me in the eye [while] there was a needle in my arm, [and] still, you didn't confess until there was a gun pressed up against your head!" Ben recalled. "I love my son more than anything, okay? More than doing the 'right' thing! There -- I said it!" Evan admitted.
"And I was finally getting the chance to be with him! If I would have came clean, then I -- I would have lost that all, and I would have broken David's heart, and I would have lost him! I couldn't do that!" Evan continued. "You didn't want to break David's heart? How do you think he's gonna feel the day he learns you killed his mom?" Ben countered. "I regret that, okay? And what I did to you! More than anything!" Evan maintained.
"Feel better now that you got all that off your little chest?" Ben wondered. "Maybe I was right all along -- all this remorse is just a big play for leniency," Ben mused. "No, I -- I -- I mean it!" Evan insisted. "Even if you do, it doesn't change the facts, Evan -- [or] Christian, [or] whatever the hell your name is -- [and those facts are that] my sister's still dead, and if it wasn't for Ciara, I would be, too," Ben countered.
"How did it go?" Ciara asked when Ben emerged from the conference room a short time later. "I said what I needed to say...[and now] I hope I never have to look at that bastard again," Ben replied.
After Ben and Ciara left the police station, Rafe reentered the conference room in which Evan was being held. "I'm not a monster. I don't want my son to think I'm a monster. I've always tried to do what's best for him -- that's gotta count for something," Evan stressed. "I don't think kidnapping is what was best for him," Rafe countered. "David's gonna miss me -- can you at least tell him that I was asking about him [and] that I love him?" Evan requested, fighting back tears. Rafe exited the conference room without giving Evan an answer.
At the hospital, Kayla and Sarah told Jack and Justin about what had happened earlier. Sarah, Jack, and Justin each tried to offer words of encouragement, but Kayla remained fearful that, one way or another, Steve would never be the same again. Kayla soon headed off to Steve's room to wait for the anesthesia to wear off. "The memories we made -- even if you forget, I will never forget," Kayla assured Steve.
At the Salem Inn, Ben opened up to Ciara about what had happened earlier. "I couldn't just accept Evan's apology. [You know], I've done heinous things -- unforgivable things -- and there have been people out there that were able to forgive me, [so]...I mean, shouldn't I be able to show that same type of generosity to Evan?" Ben fretted. "Hearing him out was generous enough," Ciara insisted, but Ben still seemed conflicted.
Xander entered the Kiriakis mansion and joined Sonny in the living room. "You may be taking this, uh, 'softer side of Xander' [thing] a little too far," Sonny dryly warned, eyeing the garment bag that Xander was holding. "It's Sarah's, obviously -- [you know], for the wedding. [She] was called into emergency surgery, so I nipped by Basic Black to pick it up for her," Xander explained, unamused. "Wow -- it's nice that you're embracing the nontraditional roles," Sonny acknowledged. "Of course, you know, your wedding's gonna be nontraditional -- starting with the, you know, lack of guests," Sonny mockingly continued.
"I can't say I'm sorry I wasn't invited," Sonny concluded. "Oh -- well, you know, Sarah and I have had to throw this together last minute, so we haven't had a chance for formal invitations, but I would very much like you to be there...[and], in fact, I was hoping you'd be my best man," Xander replied, surprising Sonny. "Why would you want me to be your best man? I despise you! You let my husband sit in jail for a crime he didn't commit!" Sonny spat. "[I already] heard it all from your father...who still ultimately agreed to officiate our ceremony," Xander countered, surprising Sonny again.
"I think maybe Justin understands that I'm trying to become a better person," Xander reasoned, drawing a scoff of skepticism from Sonny. "If you would just reserve your judgment for a second [and consider that] everything I did has been to protect our family --" Xander began to argue. "Because you love our family just so damn much," Sonny sarcastically agreed. "Yes!" Xander insisted. "Didn't stop you from screwing me over," Sonny pointed out. "I do regret that...but Maggie had to be protected," Xander explained with a shrug. "So, Will and I were just collateral damage," Sonny bitterly summarized.
"I'm sorry that's how it played out -- [and] that's why I want to make a new start [by] extending this olive branch," Xander maintained. "Well, you know exactly where you can put your olive branch," Sonny countered. "[Besides], we both know the only reason you're asking me is out of desperation because you don't have a single friend. Maybe you should ask yourself why," Sonny continued. "There's no need to pile on!" Xander protested. "I just feel so bad for [Sarah] -- whatever she thinks she sees in you, I want her to come to her senses...but it's just too bad it'll be late; it'll be after she walks down the aisle," Sonny concluded.
"I'd be careful if I were you -- you know, if Victor heard you talking to me like this --" Xander began to warn. "Ah, there it is -- reverting to form, puffing out your chest, making threats..." Sonny observed. "I knew you wouldn't turn over a new leaf," Sonny continued. "And, just so we're clear, my RSVP to the wedding is, um...'no chance in hell,'" Sonny concluded before exiting the living room.
A short time later, Eric and Nicole entered the mansion. "I want to see Mickey," Eric demanded. "He's not asking you, Xander -- he's telling you," Nicole stressed. "Polite as always...but, unfortunately, Mickey's gone nighty-night, so...maybe tomorrow?" Xander countered. "Listen, you son of a bitch, don't play around with me -- not after what you've done!" Eric snapped.
"What, exactly, have I done?" Xander asked innocently. "What haven't you done?" Nicole helpfully replied for Eric. "And what would Sarah say if she knew you were keeping Eric from seeing his little girl?" Nicole continued. "Fine -- just...don't take too long, and don't wake her up," Xander conceded. Eric and Nicole rushed off to Mackenzie's bedroom without saying another word to Xander.
Eric told Mackenzie a bedtime story then promised to always love the child the same, whether as an uncle or as a father. Nicole still felt guilty for having exposed the truth about Mackenzie, but Eric maintained that the truth had needed to be exposed -- and that Xander and Victor were to blame, not Nicole. Eric said goodbye to Mackenzie then headed back downstairs with Nicole -- and discovered that Sarah was asleep in the living room.
"I'd like to have a word with her, [so] you're gonna have to wake her up -- this is very important," Eric said to Xander, who refused to cooperate without more details. "Sarah asked us to watch Mickey while you're on your honeymoon, and we just wanted to discuss living arrangements," Nicole claimed. "There'll be plenty of time for that tomorrow," Xander declared before pointing Eric and Nicole toward the front door.
"You've done everything you can for now, so let's just wait until tomorrow," Nicole said to Eric once they were alone together outside the mansion. "As long as it's before she marries that son of a bitch," Eric agreed.
Eric races to locate Sarah before the wedding
Jennifer went to the hospital to wait with Jack and Kayla for Steve to wake up -- and was surprised to see that Justin was still there, too.
"I didn't want to leave Kayla [last night]. She's so worried about Steve," Justin explained. "I can't even imagine what you're going through right now," Jennifer stressed. "The worst part is, I feel really terrible, because...I -- I know how selfish this sounds, but...I'm worried that if Steve wakes up [as] the real Steve, it will be the beginning of the end for me and Kayla," Justin admitted.
Meanwhile, Kayla waited anxiously at Steve's bedside, replaying every moment of the surgery. "I know it was a huge risk, but I didn't see any other way," Kayla explained to Steve, who wasn't awake yet.
Jack soon entered Steve's room and asked Kayla for an update. "He should have woken up by now...[and] I don't know what [the fact that he hasn't] means," Kayla admitted. "I cut through his frontal lobe, [and that's] the center of everything -- communication, memories, emotions... It's Steve's entire personality! [I mean], what if I botched something?" Kayla fretted. "That's highly unlikely --" Jack tried to argue, but Kayla wasn't convinced. "You did the best you could --" Jack continued. "But maybe my 'best' wasn't good enough -- maybe I made the wrong call [and] damaged Steve for good," Kayla countered.
"What choice did you have but to operate on Steve [after] Rolf refused? [I mean], what were you gonna -- leave the chip in? There's no way you could have accepted the status quo!" Jack reasoned. "No, I couldn't -- I couldn't tolerate, for one more minute, hearing that monster's voice coming out of Steve's mouth," Kayla conceded. "You had to end the nightmare -- you had to bring back the father of your children!" Jack stressed. "But I could have waited -- [you know], consulted with a neurosurgeon before I attempted to do the procedure by myself," Kayla acknowledged. "You did what had to be done!" Jack maintained.
"Steve would [have told] you, 'Get this thing the hell out of me -- regardless of the risks!' And you never would have doubted his decision, so stop doubting yours!" Jack advised Kayla.
When Kayla didn't respond, Jack headed back to one of the waiting areas to give Justin an update and find out if Jennifer had arrived yet.
"I feel so bad for Kayla and Justin right now," Jennifer fretted to Jack after Justin rushed off to see Kayla. "[No matter what happens], someone's definitely gonna get hurt," Jack predicted, and Jennifer agreed.
Meanwhile, in Steve's room, Kayla dodged Justin's attempt to offer a comforting hug. "I'm just so sorry you're going through this --" Justin tried to stress. "Are you, Justin? Or is this what you really wanted?" Kayla snapped before quickly apologizing. "I didn't mean it -- [it's just that] I'm just so exhausted [and] stressed, and I'm taking it out on you..." Kayla explained before seizing the comforting hug that Justin had offered earlier.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Xander awoke with a start after a nightmare in which Sarah had learned the truth about Mackenzie on their wedding day -- and had called off the wedding as a result.
Clearly rattled, Xander climbed out of bed and called out for Sarah -- then spotted a note on the desk.
Meanwhile, at Statesville, Sarah joined Maggie in the visitor's lounge. "This is your wedding day! Shouldn't you be home, getting ready?" Maggie protested. "Well, I, um...I needed to come here first, so that -- that you could see me in my dress..." Sarah explained before opening a full-length jacket. "So beautiful!" Maggie declared while inspecting Sarah's wedding dress. "I'm so happy! I mean, like, I never, in a million years, imagined that I'd be marrying Xander, [but]...I love him so much, Mom -- and so does my daughter, which is the most important thing to me," Sarah raved. "He surprised us all," Maggie agreed.
"I wish you could be at the wedding," Sarah admitted, fighting back tears. "I will be -- in spirit. And you'll just have to send me tons of pictures," Maggie reasoned, also fighting back tears.
"Can't we ask the warden just to -- to let you have a few hours?" Sarah suggested. "No, [because] as much as I want to be a part of your big day, I don't deserve any special privileges," Maggie replied. "Nobody would look at it like that --" Sarah argued. "I would. [Look], when I think of dear Adrienne -- and I think about her every day -- my heart aches, knowing she'd be alive if I hadn't been so damn stupid and irresponsible. And it could have been so much worse -- you and my sweet granddaughter, you [both] could have been killed, too. [So], I'm where I belong, and this is where I'm going to stay," Maggie countered.
"As much as I hate that you're not gonna be at the wedding, I...I respect your wishes," Sarah assured Maggie, who quickly changed the subject, producing a handkerchief. "I made this, uh, in the craft room... I -- I didn't have much here for you to borrow, and nothing blue, so this is your 'something new,'" Maggie explained. "I like the stitching -- it's beautiful!" Sarah raved. "It's not very much --" Maggie acknowledged. "It's perfect," Sarah insisted.
Meanwhile, Xander ran into Victor while en route to the kitchen of the Kiriakis mansion. "Where's your bride-to-be?" Victor wondered. "When I woke up this morning, she was gone...which was...alarming..." Xander admitted. "But then I was much relieved to find a note that she left, telling me that she went to see her mom... [That was a relief because] Eric and Nicole came by last night to talk to Sarah, [but] she was asleep, [so they didn't get to]... They made up some lame excuse, [but] there was [an] urgency in their tone [that] made me suspicious... [Look], I hope to hell I'm wrong, but..." Xander continued.
"Spit it out!" Victor impatiently prodded Xander. "Something about their demeanor [and] the way they looked at me just gave me a feeling...[well, that] maybe they know about the baby switch," Xander concluded. "They damn well better not know -- [or] we're both screwed!" Victor fretted. "[But] you said that Nicole stopped sniffing around once she saw the results of the DNA test that you tampered with," Victor recalled. "That's what I thought..." Xander confirmed. "And...you know what? That's what I still think," Xander decided after further consideration.
"I just had, uh...a moment of panic that, clearly, I shouldn't have shared with you because it freaked you out...but I'm fine -- we're fine -- and I really do believe [that] blonde bitch is done playing detective -- once and for all," Xander assured Victor. "She damn well better be!" Victor grumbled. "Agreed -- and not just because it will be a disaster for you and me [if she continues]. I mean, if Sarah ever finds out her baby died [and] her mother was responsible --" Xander fretted. "[And] if Maggie ever finds out --" Victor fretted. "They can never find out the truth -- neither Sarah nor Maggie. It would destroy them both," Xander stressed.
"[But] it's a bit unsettling to think I'm gonna be saying my vows [to Sarah later today] -- pledging my eternal love and devotion -- with this enormous secret between us --" Xander admitted. "Oh, here we go -- 'the softer side of Xander'..." Victor tiredly summarized. "Sometimes I wish you'd downshift to the old Xander -- all muscle, no morals. You were a hell of a lot easier to deal with [then]," Victor continued. "[Just] walk down the aisle and don't look back. [If] you tell her the truth, she loses Mackenzie and the relationship she has with her mother -- and she'll hate your lying guts with every fiber of her being!" Victor concluded.
"You're right," Xander conceded before changing the subject, asking Victor to attend the wedding ceremony. "Last time I came to a wedding in this house, I was traumatized -- walked in to find Sonny marrying some grifter with a sharkskin suit," Victor recalled. "[But] that was about blackmail, [and this] is about love," Xander argued. "Nobody loves Sarah more than Maggie, and I'm sure she'll be heartbroken not to be here today, so my place is at her side," Victor decided. "Of course," Xander agreed.
"I know I haven't been the best uncle to you in the last few years, but you have proven to me that you are a true Kiriakis, and of that, I'm very proud," Victor stressed. "That means the world to me," Xander admitted. "I want you to have this," Victor continued, producing a coin. "Is that from the old country?" Xander asked. "Yes. This coin belonged to Yurgos Kiriakis -- my father, your grandfather. He used to give one to the children that he loved on their wedding day, [and] he would say, 'As long as you carry this, your family will carry you.' I know if your father was here, he'd want you to have one," Victor replied.
"I don't know what to say..." Xander began, clearly touched. "Thank you," Xander eventually concluded. "Go get ready for your wedding day," Victor urged Xander, who nodded then rushed off.
Roman went to Eric's apartment to find out what had happened in New York City. "I actually didn't end up having to go," Eric revealed. "I came back just as Eric was about to leave," Nicole explained. "Okay... So, uh...I take it everything's okay between you two?" Roman concluded. "We had a miscommunication, but it's all good now," Eric confirmed. "I'm fine -- we're fine. Eric and I couldn't be happier," Nicole agreed.
Satisfied, Roman gave Eric and Nicole a quick update on Steve's condition then rushed off to the hospital.
"I hate keeping secrets from my dad...[but] Sarah needs to know first...and then we have to tell Brady and Kristen the truth, [too]," Eric explained to Nicole once the coast was clear.
After Justin reluctantly left the hospital to get ready to officiate Sarah and Xander's wedding ceremony, Kayla started begging Steve to wake up and confirm that everything was okay.
Roman eventually joined Kayla in Steve's room. "How ya doin', sis?" Roman wondered. "Not good," Kayla admitted before breaking down in Roman's arms.
Roman echoed Jack and Justin's arguments about how necessary it had been to remove the chip from Steve's brain, but Kayla remained conflicted.
Meanwhile, Jack and Jennifer worried about how Steve would cope with the knowledge of everything that Stefano had done while in control of Steve's body.
Sarah returned to the Kiriakis mansion just as Eric and Nicole arrived there. "Look, I -- I know that you are not a fan of my fiancÚ, [but] I love him, [so] if you're here to rip him apart --" Sarah preemptively began, guessing that Eric and Nicole were about to make a last-ditch effort to stop the wedding ceremony. "It's not about that," Eric insisted. "Xander didn't tell you Eric and I came by last night," Nicole realized. "No...but I -- I left this morning before he was awake..." Sarah replied. "What is going on?" Sarah wondered. "It's about Mickey --" Eric tried to explain. "Is she not feeling right?" Sarah guessed. "She's fine," Eric reported.
"What I'm about to say is very difficult [and] very painful, [and] I prayed to God that it wasn't the truth..." Eric tried to explain again. "Okay, I -- I'm starting to freak out, [so] can you please just tell me what's going on?" Sarah impatiently begged. "Maybe I should talk to Sarah alone," Eric said to Nicole, who nodded then rushed off.
"Please -- whatever it is, just tell me," Sarah begged Eric again. "I will...but not here," Eric decided before dragging Sarah away from the mansion.
At the hospital, Kayla continued monitoring Steve -- who eventually woke up.
At Statesville, Victor joined Maggie in the visitor's lounge. "Xander makes my daughter very happy, [and] I'm hoping [that] lasts... [You know], I wasn't so sure about him at first, but now...I'm -- I'm as certain as Sarah is that he's the right one," Maggie admitted. "As you are for me," Victor replied.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Xander finished showering then started getting dressed. "Uncle Vic is right -- Sarah can never, ever find out the truth," Xander conceded again.
At Eric's apartment, Sarah again begged to know what was going on. "Mickey... she is not our daughter," Eric gently began to explain.
Eric tells Sarah the truth about Mackenzie
At the Kiriakis mansion, Xander held Mackenzie and playfully chastised her for "showing up the bride at her wedding." "We're about to become a family. I'm marrying your mum today. Which kind of means I'm marrying you, too. We're going to be together forever, and I've never wanted anything more," Xander said. Xander whispered to Mackenzie that Sarah's love for him had developed because he had helped Sarah deliver her baby.
"That's the main reason I switched her dead baby with you. Brady and Kristen's daughter. All I wanted was to be her hero. Sounds selfish doesn't it? It was never really about what I wanted. It was about Sarah. What she wanted. What she needed," Xander confessed.
"She'd be devastated if she found out that her mother caused that accident. I did what I did to spare Sarah that pain," Xander whispered. "What exactly did you do?" Justin asked as he entered the room. Xander played it cool, but Justin pushed Xander to tell him what he had spared Sarah from. With a chuckle, Xander said he had been telling Mackenzie he had advised Sarah to spare herself the pain of wearing high heels for their wedding.
"You look exhausted. What's the matter?" Xander asked. Justin told Xander that he had been at the hospital all night after Kayla had operated on Steve. Xander said he did not blame Justin for worrying about what happened when Steve woke up. Changing the subject, Justin turned his attention to Mackenzie.
"I never noticed that birthmark on her neck before," Justin said. "Lots of kids are born with them," Xander countered. Justin shrugged. With a sigh, Justin asked Xander if he was ready to start the ceremony. Xander explained that Sarah had gone to the prison to visit her mother. Concerned, Xander texted Sarah on the phone. When Sarah failed to answer the text, Justin suggested that Sarah was driving home. Xander called Victor at the prison. "Is Sarah still with you?" Xander asked. Victor said no. "Why hasn't she come home?" Xander wondered aloud.
For privacy, Eric escorted Sarah back to his apartment to tell her the truth about Mackenzie. "Mackenzie is not our daughter," Eric said. In disbelief, Sarah told Eric he was wrong. Sarah was angry and demanded an explanation.
"Our daughter is dead," Eric said softly. "Our baby is not dead. Xander delivered her on the side of the road. I heard her first cries, Eric. He put her in my arms, and I held her until we got to the hospital," Sarah protested. Eric explained that the baby had survived until she had arrived at the hospital.
"After that, I cannot explain what happened," Eric said. Sarah said Xander had taken Mackenzie to the doctors for an examination and had then returned the baby to her after the doctors had confirmed that Mackenzie was healthy. "The baby that they brought back to you was not our baby," Eric said. Eric explained that their baby had been switched with another.
"Whose baby is it?" Sarah asked. "Brady and Kristen," Eric said. Sarah refused to believe it. Eric told Sarah that Nicole had run a DNA sample on Mackenzie. "What gives her the right to do that?" Sarah demanded. Eric explained that Nicole had seen something suspicious and had followed up to be sure. Eric showed Sarah the DNA test results.
"This doesn't prove anything. Nicole could have paid to have those tests faked!" Sarah yelled. Sarah demanded a second test to prove that she was Mackenzie's mother. "Nicole confronted Dr. Raynor. Everything that I am trying to explain to you right now. So, it is the truth, and you can call her if you want," Eric said. Sarah shook her head no. Sarah argued that Dr. Raynor was a friend and a colleague.
"[Dr. Raynor] is a good doctor, and she's a good person. So, there is no way that she would let a mistake like our babies being switched with Brady and Kristen's happen!" Sarah yelled. Eric explained that the switch had not been a mistake. "The babies were switched on purpose," Eric said. "Switched by who?" Sarah demanded. When Eric explained that Xander was to blame, Sarah groaned.
"That doesn't make sense! None of this makes sense!" Sarah shouted. Eric told Sarah that Xander had switched the babies and had paid Dr. Raynor to keep the secret. "Xander loves Mackenzie. After she was examined, he brought her back into my room, and he put her in my..." Sarah started. Sarah thought about the night of Mackenzie's birth and how she had told Xander that her baby had looked like a different baby.
"Oh, my God!" Sarah gasped. Sarah told Eric about the moment in the hospital when she had not believed that the baby Xander had given her was Mackenzie. Sarah broke down in tears. "Have you told Kristen and Brady?" Sarah asked. Eric said he had wanted to tell Sarah first. "I wasn't going to let you marry Xander without you knowing," Eric added. Sarah's phone rang. It was Xander.
At Basic Black, Brady shuffled through some papers and saw Rachel's death certificate mixed into the pile. As an emotional Brady stared at the paper, Nicole walked in. Nicole asked Brady if he was looking at the new sales figures. Nicole's smile fell away as she saw the death certificate. Brady said he was still struggling to get over the loss of his daughter.
"The pain won't last forever. I promise you that," Nicole said. "I'm wondering if I'm ever going to get over losing Rachel. I don't know if Kristen will, either," Brady said. Brady asked Nicole about her trip to New York. "We will continue that conversation, I promise, but Eric has to be involved," Nicole said. Concerned, Brady asked Nicole not to deliver any bad news.
"Since last year, Kristen and I have had our share," Brady said. "I know how hard things have been for you since you lost your daughter," Nicole said. Brady admitted that when he had held Mackenzie at the hospital, he had repeatedly thought about Rachel. With a sigh, Brady told Nicole that Mackenzie had the same birthmark as Rachel.
"Are you thinking it's more than a coincidence?" Nicole asked pointedly. "That's what my dad asked me," Brady admitted. Brady said that he was still grieving his daughter, and the thought had crossed his mind that the baby was Rachel. "I know it's a stretch, but I keep thinking about that night, when those two little girls were born at the same time," Brady said. Nicole shifted uncomfortably.
"Is it crazy to think that there might have been a baby switch?" Brady asked. Nicole stared silently at Brady. With a laugh, Brady asked Nicole if she thought he was crazy. Brady said he knew that the thought of a baby switch was wishful thinking. Brady admitted that when he had held Mackenzie, he had been stuck on the idea of a baby switch. "I don't think [Kristen] is ever going to recover," Brady said.
Nicole said she understood how it felt to lose babies. "You got your happy ending, though. That's what I want for me and Kristen," Brady countered. Brady said he did not want to believe in a baby switch because then Eric would have to go through the pain of losing a child.
"I don't want anyone to go through what I'm feeling right now. Let alone my brother," Brady said. Nicole told Brady that he deserved the best. Brady thanked Nicole for listening to him. After Brady left, Nicole wished aloud that Eric would tell Sarah the news so that she did not have to keep the secret from Brady any longer. Nicole placed the death certificate into a drawer. Eric walked in.
"I think I finally got through to her. Now it's time that we start the process of saying goodbye," Eric said. Nicole urged Eric to talk to Brady first. "I don't know how to tell him," Eric said. "Tell me what?" Brady asked as he walked back into the office.
In the Kiriakis living room, Xander worried aloud to Justin, "I just want her to be all right." Sarah returned home. Furious, Sarah stared daggers at Xander.
At the hospital, Kristen visited the pediatric ward. "Are you ready to hold your baby?" a nurse said as she carried a child into the lounge. As Kristen reached out her arms, the nurse clarified, "The baby you were assigned to hold." Kristen's smile fell away. "Yes. Of course. I've been looking forward to volunteering for this," Kristen said. The nurse explained that baby Lily's mother was recovering from complications from a C-section. With a nod, Kristen said she understood how important it was for babies to have loving contact.
The nurse placed the baby in Kristen's arms. The nurse confirmed that Kristen would hold the baby for 30 minutes. "I got this," Kristen said. Reluctantly, the nurse left the room. "It's just you and me, kid," Kristen whispered. When the nurse returned, Kristen was hesitant to give the baby back. "I just got her to sleep," Kristen said. Kristen refused to hand over baby Lily.
By the nurses' station, John signed Marlena's release papers. Marlena asked about Steve. "He's gonna wake up, Doc. And God willing, he will be right back to the old Steve," John said.
In Steve's room, Kayla pleaded with him to wake up. Steve's eyes fluttered open. "Talk to me, please!" Kayla said. "Who's Steve? Who are you?" Steve asked. Kayla told Steve that he was in the hospital after an operation. Kayla told Steve his full name. "You're my doctor?" Steve asked. Kayla explained that she was Steve's doctor and ex-wife. Steve asked why they had divorced.
"Long story," Kayla whispered. Steve asked what was wrong with him. "Do you really not remember me?" Kayla asked. When Steve shook his head no, Kayla started to tear up. Emotional, Kayla left Steve's room in order to calm down and get a coffee. As Kayla sat in the waiting area, John and Marlena walked over and asked about Steve.
"He doesn't have any idea who he is. Or who I am, for that matter," Kayla said. Kayla explained that something had gone wrong with the surgery. "You think Rolf is behind this?" John asked. Kayla shrugged. Marlena offered to help. Kayla escorted John and Marlena in to see Steve.
"I don't really feel up for any visitors," Steve said. "You don't recognize us?" John asked. "No. Should I?" Steve asked. John explained that he and Steve had worked together and were best friends. With a chuckle, Steve shrugged. "I don't even know the pretty doctor who says I was married to her," Steve said. As Marlena started to explain that brain surgery was complicated, Steve gasped in concern.
"Sometimes there can be a little memory loss because of swelling, but if that is the case, it should disappear in a few days," Marlena said. When Marlena explained that she was a psychiatrist, Steve asked if he was crazy. Marlena smiled. Marlena assured Steve that he was not crazy and that she might be able to help with hypnosis. Worried, Steve demanded to do the hypnosis right away. Marlena sat down next to Steve and asked him to focus on her voice.
Once under hypnosis, Marlena asked Steve if he was Stefano. "Who is that? They said I was Steve Johnson," Steve said. Marlena asked Steve what he recalled about his life. "It's a blank. I just can't. Just like a fog," Steve said. Marlena asked Steve to focus on Kayla and tell Marlena if she reminded him of anything. "She seems familiar," Steve admitted. Frustrated, Steve said he could not remember anything about Kayla.
After Marlena's session with Steve, she met up with Kayla and John by the nurses' station. Marlena explained that although Steve had not remembered anything, he had admitted that Kayla was familiar to him. "You just need to reach him," Marlena advised Kayla. Kayla thanked Marlena for her help then she returned to Steve.
"I was so hoping this nightmare would be over once that chip was removed," John said. "I was, too," Marlena admitted. When John asked Marlena if Steve would remember his life, Marlena said she did not know. John said he sympathized with Kayla because he knew how awful it had felt when Marlena had forgotten her love for him. "We know Steve's love for Kayla is inside him," Marlena said.
In Steve's room, Kayla told Steve that she did not want him to give up. Kayla told Steve that she wanted to talk about their story. "How did we meet?" Steve asked. Kayla told Steve a portion of their story. When Kayla told Steve about when she had lost her hearing and voice and how he had supported her, Steve listened quietly. Kayla said Steve had helped her find her voice.
"Now I want to do the same for you," Kayla said. Kayla told Steve that he had used sign language at their wedding to give her the courage to find her voice. "I want you to have the strength and the courage to remember what we meant to each other," Kayla said.