At the Evans-Black townhouse, Sami watched as Allie's baby slept soundly.
"I'm so sorry that you heard what I said to John yesterday... I was so upset [that] I said horrible things, and he ended up with a burst blood vessel in his brain..." Sami whispered to the baby. "Please, God, let John be okay -- and please don't let anyone else find out what I said to him..." Sami continued. "It'll just be our little secret, okay?" Sami concluded.
"What 'little secret' are you keeping now, Sami?" Belle, who had just entered the townhouse, wondered. "Um... Okay, I'll tell you -- I got sick of calling him 'baby,' so...I gave him a name," Sami claimed. "[But] it's just between me and the little guy [for now, because] if Nicole and Eric found out, they would think I was being presumptuous [and] use it against me," Sami explained.
Satisfied, Belle hesitantly changed the subject, informing Sami that there had been a development. "Um...the reason I left the hospital [and came here] is because I heard from the court clerk -- Nicole and Eric have requested an emergency hearing. [Apparently], Justin's gonna argue to overturn the restraining order and give Nicole and Eric temporary custody. [So], we're gonna have to be at court [this afternoon...and] if the judge rules in their favor, this could go really fast, [so] I think that you should pack up some of the baby's things, [just in case]," Belle elaborated.
"I just can't believe that Nicole and Eric are doing this to you [right now, after] your father just had brain surgery --" Sami complained. "Oh, no -- Justin filed this motion before Dad collapsed. It's not their fault," Belle clarified. "[Still], can't we find a way to postpone the hearing, [given the circumstances]?" Sami suggested. "I've already agreed for us to be there -- and, listen, there's nothing I can do for Dad right now, anyway, [so] I'd just rather be busy," Belle admitted.
"How is he doing?" Sami wondered. "He had a seizure [earlier, but] he is stable now," Belle reported. "Oh, my God -- [then] what about Mom? Shouldn't someone be with her?" Sami fretted. "Yes, but, uh, I have to prepare for the hearing --" Belle explained. "Right... Okay, well, if you could prepare for the hearing here, you could watch the baby, and I could go be with Mom," Sami decided. "Okay... Do you want me to pack up some of his stuff?" Belle replied. "No, don't worry about it, [because] I am not handing my grandson over to Nicole Walker -- not today, and not ever," Sami declared before rushing off.
Eric and Nicole went to the hospital to check on John -- and they both grew concerned when Marlena revealed what had happened earlier. "He's stable now...uh, and this isn't really uncommon with brain surgery -- [having a seizure afterward]," Marlena assured Eric and Nicole. "[Still], you must have been terrified," Nicole guessed. "I still am," Marlena admitted.
Eric and Nicole apologetically told Marlena about their most recent encounter with John, who had seemed fine then. "This is not your fault," Marlena insisted. "[Or Sami's] -- after you left, um, she and John had, uh, a very civilized visit," Marlena continued. "'Civilized'? Really?" Nicole interjected, surprised. "Look, these things happen," Marlena concluded.
"I'm sorry, Mom -- Nicole and I, we decided this before we knew about John... [See], there's a hearing scheduled for this afternoon -- [we were gonna] see if we could get the restraining order overturned --" Eric revealed. "And we also were gonna ask for temporary custody," Nicole revealed. "Oh... Guess I was hoping this wouldn't end up in court... [Well, look], John understands -- [he] knows that you're just trying to do what Allie wanted and that Sami got involved and overstepped [and] brought Belle in [as a lawyer, and that's why things are getting ugly]..." Marlena replied.
"[You know], I just think that the baby belongs with you, and I told Sami that --" Marlena stressed. "Well, uh, I hate to ask you this under these circumstances, but...would you be willing to say that to a judge? [I mean], I know you can't come to court today because you need to stay with John, but a written statement would be helpful --" Nicole requested. "I'm not sure that it would, [because] I'm just so...I'm so frazzled right now..." Marlena admitted. "Of course you are. [Look], don't give the hearing another thought," Eric interjected before offering to take Marlena to the chapel.
Nicole stayed behind at the nurses' station, clearly disappointed -- and Sami soon exited a nearby elevator.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Sami demanded to know. "I'm here with my husband -- your brother. Like it or not, Sami, I'm a family member [now]," Nicole tauntingly explained. "Look at you -- you can't even fake that you care [about John]; you're so busy trying to get me into court today --" Sami disgustedly countered. "You started this!" Nicole stressed.
"Why aren't you with [the baby] right now?" Nicole challenged Sami. "I asked my sister to watch him so that I could come check on my mother!" Sami clarified, and Nicole seemed to soften a bit in response -- but only for a second. "You look exhausted," Nicole critically observed. "I'm worried about John...and the baby didn't sleep well last night," Sami defensively explained. "That's what newborns do. When's the last time you raised one? Because Sydney is practically grown up now, so --" Nicole mused. "You remember, just as well as I do, that I didn't get to be a part of Sydney's childhood -- I didn't know she was mine when she was a newborn -- and that's because of you, because you take what you want, and you don't care about anyone else!" Sami snapped.
"You are poison to everything you touch -- Brady, Eric... Your own sister won't have anything to do with you!" Sami spat. "Me? What about you? No one knows where your daughter is -- she was so desperate to get away from you because you're so...you're toxic!" Nicole countered.
Meanwhile, in the chapel, Eric apologized to Marlena for Nicole's earlier request. "[She] put you on the spot --" Eric acknowledged. "Please, don't worry about that," Marlena advised. "I know you don't want to take my side against Sami, and I understand," Eric continued. "[We'd all] be better off if Allie was here," Eric concluded.
When Eric returned to the nurses' station a short time later, Nicole and Sami were in the midst of a shoving match. "I am not letting you steal another child from me!" Sami vowed. "If you really cared about this baby --" Nicole began to argue. "Ladies!" Eric interjected, getting between Nicole and Sami. "If the judge hears about this, there's no way [any of us will] get custody of this baby, [and] nobody wants Allie's baby in foster care," Eric continued, silencing Nicole and Sami. "[Look, Sami], Mom is in the chapel, [and] she's not in good shape, [so] why don't you go sit with her...[and just] try not to make things worse than they already are," Eric concluded. "Why don't you try telling that to your wife?" Sami countered before storming off.
"I'm so sorry, [Eric -- it's just]...Sami is...unhinged... [Anyway], I'm sorry if you feel like you're in the middle of all of this --" Nicole began once the coast was clear. "I don't feel like I'm in the middle; I'm on your side," Eric insisted. "And we're both on Allie's side," Nicole stressed.
"[I should] go see Belle --" Eric decided. "You can't -- she's at your mom's [townhouse], watching the baby," Nicole revealed. "I don't think she's gonna enforce the restraining order if you're not with me. [And besides], I'm not gonna push my way through the door, demanding to see the baby -- [I'm just] worried about Belle, [and] I need to see how she's doing," Eric maintained.
Meanwhile, at the Evans-Black townhouse, Belle watched as the baby continued sleeping soundly. "You've been asleep a long time... I bet you didn't sleep well last night -- new crib, new place, all these new people... You know, all of them want you... My baby went through something similar when she was your age -- Shawn and Philip fighting over her... Ugh, it was miserable... I wonder, sometimes, if Claire remembers that time, and if, somehow, that's what's made her so sad inside all these years... Oh, baby -- I sure do hope this ends quickly, 'cause there's nothing worse than seeing a child suffer..." Belle whispered.
Eric eventually arrived and apologized to Belle for the poor timing of the hearing. "I don't know how things work at the courthouse, but...is it possible we could postpone?" Eric asked. "Yes...but I -- I just don't think that's a good idea; you know, I think that the -- the sooner we get this resolved, the better it is for everyone," Belle replied.
"How are you doing?" Eric wondered. "I'm...good... I'm -- I'm just tired -- you know, I was at the hospital all night last night... And I'm just scared about Dad... [And this custody battle] has just been a lot more stressful than I thought it was gonna be -- [I mean], it's just sad; you know, you and Sami have always been so close, [and] I just can't believe [what's] happening [now]... I told Sami I would see her through this, [though, so] I have to do that... [Look], I'm sorry..." Belle fretted.
Meanwhile, Sami joined Marlena in the hospital's chapel. "I'm sorry -- I wish I could be stronger for you --" Marlena began, embarrassed to have been caught crying. "You don't have to be strong for me -- I'm not a little girl anymore," Sami insisted. "I'm sorry --" Marlena repeated while accepting a hug from Sami. "Stop saying you're sorry!" Sami instructed Marlena.
"I'm the one who's sorry," Sami admitted to Marlena as Nicole approached the chapel.
"What happened to John is all my fault -- [and] I know I should have told you the truth right from the beginning, [but] I was afraid of what Belle would do; I thought she would just drop me as a client, and... [Anyway], you know how I told you that John and I were just talking when he collapsed? Well, that was a lie -- [see], he asked Eric and Nicole to leave, and I thought [that] meant he was on my side, [but] it didn't... [He said] he was angry at me for what I'm doing, [and] he told me that I was wrong, and I just got so angry at him -- I mean, all the past feelings, and all my resentment towards him, [it all] just came flooding out, and I started yelling at him, and I told him [that] he's not my family, [and] that he is nothing to Allie [and] nothing to my grandson..." Sami elaborated.
"I didn't mean it -- I really didn't mean it, Mom; I was just so mad... And before I could tell him that -- before I could take it back -- that's...that's when he grabbed the back of his head, and...and he collapsed... I'm so sorry -- it's my fault that he's hurt; he could die, and it's all because of me!" Sami tearfully concluded.
Nicole sneaked off with a shake of the head. "Sami --" Marlena began to respond. "I know -- you're mad. [And] I don't blame you -- you have every right to be mad at me. [Look], I don't know what's wrong with me sometimes -- I mean, I just get so angry, and then I just start yelling at people, and now John could be dead because... [Anyway, look, just] please don't tell Belle what I said, okay? I don't want her to be mad at me. And I know you think that Eric and Nicole would be better for that baby than I am, especially now that I've told you what I did --" Sami preemptively summarized, ignoring Marlena's attempts to finish talking.
"Sami, please -- don't do this!" Marlena finally managed to interject. "Listen to me -- you did not cause John's collapse," Marlena insisted before explaining to Sami that John's aneurysm had developed long before that argument and could have ruptured at any moment -- and that it was actually good that it had ruptured in someone's presence.
Meanwhile, at the Evans-Black townhouse, Belle and Eric received an unexpected visit from Nicole. "You might want to rethink representing Sami," Nicole said to Belle.
While waiting for Vincent to return to their motel room, Eve read Paige's obituary and continued listening to one of Paige's songs. "Oh, baby... I will get justice for you, [even] if it's the last thing that I do... The day that you died was the worst day of my life, [but] the son of a bitch who took you from me -- well, today is gonna be the worst day of his life," Eve whispered.
Meanwhile, at the Salem Inn, Vincent hid behind the door to the Brady-Weston room as Ciara opened it and, without bothering to close it, approached Ben. "I just talked to Rafe, and he said that they're close to finding out where Eve and that creepy Vincent guy are," Ciara reported before noticing that something was wrapped around Ben's hands. "What's with the tie?" Ciara wondered. "It's a surprise," Ben whispered.
"'It's a surprise'? What are you doing with a necktie, Ben?" Ciara asked with a hint of uneasiness. "It's -- it's not, uh, a bad thing -- really..." Ben replied while setting aside the item. "I didn't mean to scare you -- I'm sorry," Ben stressed before giving Ciara a hug and a kiss -- and Vincent seized the opportunity to sneak out of the room. "I'm fine -- you didn't scare me. It's okay," Ciara insisted after Ben pulled away.
Changing the subject, Ciara wondered what had happened during Ben's earlier session with Marlena. "Actually, I didn't have my session with Dr. Evans..." Ben revealed before telling Ciara about John's health scare -- news that left Ciara concerned -- and not just for John's sake. "[This] means you're not gonna be able to see [Marlena] for a while," Ciara guessed. "Doesn't sound like it," Ben confirmed. "And I was really, really looking forward to Marlena helping you with the whole 'Eve and Vincent' situation," Ciara grumbled. "Actually, I'm feeling a lot better," Ben admitted while wrapping a hand around Ciara's neck. "That's great! [So], do you have any idea why?" Ciara replied. "[I just] know what I have to do [now] to get past this -- once and for all," Ben explained.
"I just remember everything that Marlena told me [in the past] about everything that happened to me as a kid, [and it applies to] everything that Eve and Vincent put me through, [too] -- it's called 'cumulative trauma,' [and it basically means that] I have to come to terms with my past, or I'm not gonna have much of a future. [And I can do that right now], but I need your help -- [see], I need a distraction...[and] we haven't had fun in a pretty long time, so I'm gonna go put on my suit, and I want you to put on your favorite dress, and I am gonna give you a night that you will never forget," Ben elaborated. "Okay... Where are we going?" Ciara wondered. "It's a surprise," Ben whispered again.
Rafe and Hope, having received a tip from one of the motel's employees, burst into a room, unannounced -- but it was otherwise unoccupied. "We just missed her," Hope informed Rafe after touching a lamp, which had been turned off but was still warm. "Damn it!" Rafe grumbled as Hope silenced the device that was still playing one of Paige's songs. "You think someone tipped her off?" Hope asked. "I don't know -- [I mean], obviously, they left here in a hurry," Rafe replied. "Yeah... [Well, she] left this kind of stuff behind, [and] it's her connection to Paige, [so]...she'll be back," Hope predicted, showing Rafe the mementos Eve had been looking at earlier.
Meanwhile, Vincent entered the cemetery and approached Eve, who was kneeling beside Paige's grave. "Damn it, Vincent, you had no business following me here then coming up behind me and scaring me half to death!" Eve snapped. "I came to inform you that I've given Ben his final instructions -- and he received them without resistance; he has been completely programmed," Vincent explained. "[And] nobody saw you?" Eve assumed. "[Ciara] came home before I had a chance to disappear --" Vincent admitted. "What?" Eve shouted. "[But] I hid before she saw me, [and then he] distracted her so I could get out of the room," Vincent elaborated.
"[See], I own him now -- he could have killed Ciara on the spot, but he's biding his time until he can inflict the maximum amount of pain. He'll destroy Ciara soon, [though] -- and, ultimately, himself," Vincent assured Eve.
"I know you took a big risk, helping me with this plan, [and] I just want you to know [that] I'm grateful," Eve said to Vincent. "I did it for the money...[although it's also] very satisfying for me to think of Ben Weston suffering," Vincent reasoned. "Well, it looks like it's actually gonna happen," Eve raved before asking Vincent for some privacy.
Meanwhile, Rafe and Hope continued searching Eve and Vincent's motel room. "I have a video of Zack singing 'Happy Birthday' to Julie -- I've watched it over and over again; I...I never want to forget the sound of his sweet little voice..." Hope admitted to Rafe as a way of explaining why it seemed so obvious that Eve would return for the mementos.
Hope dialed the Brady-Weston hotel room's phone number and revealed, when Ben answered the call, that Eve and Vincent were on the loose. "Stay put," Hope advised. "We will," Ben promised.
Ciara emerged from the bathroom just as Ben ended the call. "Who was that?" Ciara wondered. "Robocall," Ben claimed before leading Ciara out of the hotel room.
Rafe, who had been looking at the mementos during Hope's phone conversation, tossed them aside with a sigh. "My old man [was] a piece of work -- [I mean], he ran out on Eve and Paige, just like he did [to] our family... [You know], maybe if I had known her, I could have done something..." Rafe mused. "You can't blame yourself for this," Hope insisted.
"Do you have any idea how many people look up to you -- how much you mean to them? [And, you know], I'm one of those people," Hope stressed. "Even after everything we've been through?" Rafe wondered. "You still mean the world to me," Hope admitted, locking eyes with Rafe -- who soon seized a kiss.
At the cemetery, Eve saw a vision of Paige. Meanwhile, Ben and Ciara arrived at their destination. "This is a dorm room...[and] the entire building is completely abandoned...[so]...why did you bring me here?" Ciara asked. "This is the room where I strangled Paige Larson," Ben replied.
Ben corners Ciara in Paige's dorm
At the hospital, Justin asked Sami if she had any news about John. "He had a seizure after the surgery," Sami informed Justin. When Justin asked about Nicole and Eric, Sami said she had not seen them. Justin pulled out his phone and started to dial his clients. Sami asked Justin not to take sides, but Justin argued that he was a lawyer. When Sami countered that Justin should recuse himself, Justin refused.
"Sonny and Will almost broke up because of your boneheaded interference," Justin said. Justin reminded Sami that it was her fault that Will and Sonny could not adopt the baby. Annoyed, Sami accused Justin of working to keep her from her grandson as payback for keeping the baby from Justin's son. Justin argued that the judge would make the decision, not him.
"What Sami Brady wants is not part of that equation," Justin said. Sami asked Justin why he had taken Nicole's side. Justin explained that he had read Allie's letter, and her intentions had been clear. "Allie doesn't know what she wants," Sami scoffed. "Allie doesn't want what you want, and you can't accept that," Justin countered. Sami stressed that Nicole had manipulated Allie.
"Why would your daughter run away from you when you have such faith and belief in her? What a comfort you must be in her," Justin said sarcastically. "That's a terrible thing to say to me," Sami grumbled. Justin suggested that they end the conversation. With a sigh, Sami noted that Belle would "wipe the floor" with Justin. "So, this isn't about the baby? This is just about winning?" Justin asked. "Why can't it be about both?" Sami said as she walked away.
At the penthouse, Nicole informed Eric and Belle that Sami had been arguing with John about the custody suit when he had collapsed. "That doesn't make sense," Belle said. Eric suggested that Nicole stop talking about Sami. Belle demanded to know what Sami had said to John. "That he wasn't part of her family. That he meant nothing to her or her grandson," Nicole said. In disbelief, Belle noted that a statement like that would kill John.
"Sami wouldn't say something like that to my dad. They worked out their stuff years ago," Belle said. Eric asked Nicole if she was sure. Nicole told Eric that she had overheard Sami confess to Marlena. "So, you were eavesdropping?" Eric asked. Nicole explained that she had gone to the chapel and overheard the conversation. Eric reminded Nicole that confession was confidential. Taken aback, Nicole reminded Eric that Sami was challenging them in court.
"I will be damned if I'm going to abide by some random code of ethics while she gets away with murder," Nicole said. Belle pointed out that Sami was under a lot of stress. "Self-manufactured stress," Nicole muttered. Belle noted that Sami likely regretted what she had said to John. "Of course, she regrets it. That's why she told mom in private. In a chapel. There's no way she caused John to have an aneurysm," Eric said.
"[Sami] said horrible things to him. You don't think maybe that triggered something?" Nicole asked Belle. Eric reminded Belle and Nicole that they were not doctors and should not speculate. Nicole argued that Sami had cleared her conscience with Marlena but would keep lying to everyone else about her fight with John. Nicole told Belle that Sami had not told Belle because she wanted Belle to represent her in court.
"John thought of her as his own daughter, and she said those horrible things to him and lied to your face about it. Do you really want to represent someone like her?" Nicole asked Belle.
While Rafe and Hope waited for Eve or Vincent to return to the motel, they shared a passionate kiss. Rafe apologized for taking advantage of Hope's sympathy. Hope assured Rafe that he had not taken advantage of her. When Rafe reminded Hope that they had agreed to keep things professional, Hope said she was no longer sure that was what she wanted. Hope admitted that she had been worried about messing up her friendship with Rafe, and Rafe said he had been afraid of the same thing.
Rafe and Hope admitted to their mutual romantic attraction. Hope told Rafe that Jennifer, Kayla, and Shawn had urged Hope to give her relationship with Rafe another chance. Rafe said Ciara and Eli had said the same thing. "Our family and friends, they think we should give it another shot," Hope said. Hope asked Rafe what he thought. With a chuckle, Rafe commented that couples therapy was an interesting way to spend a stakeout.
"We've always done things differently, haven't we? Our way?" Hope asked. Rafe nodded yes. Hope reminded Rafe that they both hated to talk about their feelings. With a shrug, Rafe noted that they had already figured out their feelings. "The question is what are we going to do about it?" Rafe asked. Rafe and Hope agreed that they both felt "a pull." Rafe suggested that they give their relationship another shot.
"Do you think that we can pull it off?" Hope joked. Rafe and Hope both groaned at her bad pun. "I know how much I care about you, and I know I never, ever want to hurt you again," Rafe said. "You're afraid, too," Hope said. Rafe and Hope agreed to try again. Rafe's phone beeped. "The alarm's going off at my house," Rafe said. Hope told Rafe to head home, and she would continue surveillance without him. Rafe promised to send an officer to back Hope up.
"I don't think I've ever been this anxious to get off duty," Rafe whispered to Hope. "Good," Hope said with a grin. Rafe kissed Hope's hand, and he left. Hope sorted through the box of evidence she and Rafe had collected. Hope read a news clipping about Paige's murder at her dorm room. With a furrowed brow, Hope called the officer en route to the motel to back her up. "Get here soon. I think I know where Eve Donovan is," Hope said.
When Rafe arrived at home, a hooded figure stood in the living room, holding a picture of Rafe with Gabi. "Freeze!" Rafe yelled as he leveled his gun at the intruder. The intruder turned around. "Dad?" Rafe asked.
When Sami returned home to the penthouse, Nicole and Eric were gone, but Belle was still there. Belle asked Sami about John. "Still the same. Sorry," Sami said. "Are you? Sorry? Or was that just another lie?" Belle asked. Belle told Sami that she knew what Sami had said to John. "Nicole told me," Belle explained. In shock, Sami blurted out, "That bitch was spying on me?" Belle turned the conversation back to what Sami had said to John.
"I hate what I said to him, and I am going to apologize as soon as he wakes up," Sami said. "You always apologize later, but he still ended up in the hospital," Belle argued. Sami apologized, and she explained that Marlena had told her that the argument had not caused the aneurysm. When Sami mentioned that Marlena had been grateful that Sami had been there when it had happened, Belle grew frustrated. "You practically saved his life!" Belle said mockingly. Sami apologized for lashing out at John when she had been upset.
"What you said to him could be the last words he ever hears," Belle said through tears. Sami stressed that John would wake up. "You don't know that. And maybe you don't even care," Belle said. When Sami noted that they did not have time to talk because the hearing was about to start, Belle countered, "Don't let me stand in your way." Confused, Sami asked Belle what she meant. Belle told Sami to find a new lawyer.
Sami called Belle spiteful, and Belle countered that Sami had lied to everyone. "I was going to tell you the truth," Sami said. "Yeah. After you got what you wanted," Belle complained. Belle argued that Sami had kept the truth from her because Sami had feared she would drop the case. "You were right," Belle said.
In the judge's chambers, Nicole told Eric that they needed to fight for the baby. "I think what you're doing is not about what's best for the baby. It's about beating Sami," Eric said. "I could see how you could think that. Maybe part of it's true," Nicole conceded. Nicole added that she was fiercely protective of children, and she believed that Allie was right to entrust them with her son. When Justin arrived, Nicole told him about what had happened with Belle.
"There is a chance that Belle is so angry at Sami that she won't represent her," Nicole said. Eric asked how to proceed. Justin said he was confident that he could get the restraining order dismissed. "Does that mean we could get custody until the case is settled?" Nicole asked. Justin shrugged. Nicole said she was hopeful that Sami might give up.
When Sami arrived, she called Nicole a bitch for interfering. Justin asked Sami if she was there to withdraw her case. "No, Justin. I'm going to represent myself," Sami said. Justin smiled.
In the Salem cemetery, Paige visited Eve at her grave. "You came back to me! Oh, my God, you're alive!" Eve shouted. Paige explained that she was a figment of Eve's imagination. "I'm losing it," Eve whispered. "You're in terrible pain, and you needed me. So here I am, just like after my funeral, remember?" Paige said. Paige reminded Eve that she had cautioned Eve not to be angry for the rest of her life.
"As usual, you didn't listen to me. But you should have," Paige said. Paige warned Eve that she was making a horrible mistake that she would regret. When Paige asked Eve why she would think that Paige would want Ben to murder Ciara, Eve argued that Ben deserved justice. "[Ben] has paid. You framed him for a crime he didn't commit. Don't you think you've made him suffer enough?" Paige asked. Eve said that watching Ben be happy made her physically ill.
"I know how much you suffer because of what he did. But what has Ciara Brady ever done to you?" Paige asked. When Eve remained silent, Paige noted that Ciara had not done anything. "[Ciara] married a vile, evil man, knowing that he was vile and evil," Eve said. Paige reminded Eve that Ben had been mentally ill at the time of her murder.
"Are you excusing him now?" Eve shouted. Eve stressed that Ben was a psychopath and that the only way to hurt Ben was to hurt Ciara. "You will do to another mother the worst thing that ever happened to you," Paige said. "Maybe Hope will not be so quick to forgive him this time," Eve countered. "So, you're mad at everybody who forgave him," Paige pointed out. Eve noted that murder was unforgiveable, but Paige countered that Eve had married an assassin.
"Your father never told me that -- I didn't know that!" Eve argued. Paige reminded Eve that Eddie had told Eve that he had regretted all the people he had killed, even the ones that had deserved it. "It haunted him, just like it will haunt you when Ben kills Ciara on your orders," Paige said. Eve disagreed. "I have to do it to make it up to you. I have to do it because I love you," Eve told Paige. "I love you, too, but this is wrong. You know it's wrong," Paige said. Eve said she could not help herself. "You never could. All I can do now is pray for your soul," Paige said before she disappeared. Eve screamed Paige's name.
Hope arrived at the cemetery as Eve screamed at Paige's grave. Eve stopped. "You came back," Eve whispered. When Eve turned, she saw Hope standing there instead of Paige.
Ben escorted Ciara to Paige's former dorm room to execute Eve's plan. Confused, Ciara asked Ben why they had dressed up to visit an abandoned dorm room. When Ben told Ciara that they were in the room where he had strangled Paige, an alarmed Ciara asked, "Why would you want to bring me here?" Ben explained, "Someone wanted me to." Ciara asked for details. Ben explained that the therapist that Marlena had recommended to him had told Ben to take Ciara to the scene of the crime.
Ben explained that it was the anniversary of Paige's death, and he knew that no one would be in the dorm rooms. "[The psychiatrist] said I should own what I've done," Ben said. Ciara countered that Ben had already confronted his past and taken responsibility. "It's not enough!" Ben stressed. Worried, Ciara told Ben that she did not trust the new psychiatrist.
"I have to be here! I have to because he said I have to atone for my sins," Ben said. "This guy is a shrink; he's not a priest," Ciara objected. Ciara suggested that she and Ben leave, but he refused. "There's one more thing I have to do today. Here," Ben said. Ben closed the exit door. Ciara suggested that she and Ben talk about his therapy somewhere else, but Ben refused to leave until he had completed his assignment.
"What is this doctor telling you to do?" Ciara asked. "Something I don't want to do, but I have to. I don't have a choice," Ben said. Ciara assured Ben that he did not have to do anything he did not want to do. "What is it you have to do?" Ciara asked. "It's better if I show you," Ben whispered.
Ben told Ciara that he had followed Paige into her dorm, and he had strangled her in the bathroom. "By the time I put the tie around her neck, she was screaming. She was grabbing at my mask," Ben said. Ben thought about the attack from that night. "She was kicking, she was screaming, she was gasping!" Ben said. Worried, Ciara begged Ben to stop talking about that night.
"Ben, let go!" Ciara yelled. Ben crouched by the shower as he thought about the murder, and he continued to recount the details aloud. Concerned, Ciara pulled Ben out of the bathroom toward the exit. Ben refused to leave. When Ciara opened the front door, he slammed it shut. "I don't want anybody to see me like this. I don't even want you to look at me right now," Ben said. Ciara held back tears, and she sat on the bed next to Ben. When Ciara assured Ben that he had not known what he had been doing the night of Paige's murder, Ben objected.
"I did know what I was doing, Ciara! I was trying to frame Chad. I was trying to keep Abigail for myself. Nobody normal does something like that," Ben yelled. Ciara argued that Ben had been sick, but he was better. "How am I supposed to know if that me is still in there?" Ben asked. Ciara quietly urged Ben to join her outside. "I think it was a really bad idea to come here," Ciara whispered. When Ciara opened the door to leave again, Ben shut it. Ben thought about Vincent's conditioning.
"We can't leave yet," Ben said. When Ciara asked why, Ben said, "I don't want to do this to you. Know that I don't want to do this." Ciara backed away as Ben walked toward her. "I have to do this," Ben whispered. Ben stressed that he did not have a choice. "I have to kill you," Ben said. Ciara looked down, and she saw Ben wrap a necktie around his hands. "What are you talking about?" Ciara asked. "I have to kill you," Ben said. Ciara begged Ben not to kill her. "I'm sorry," Ben whispered.
Sami and Nicole face off in court
At the courthouse, Sami and Nicole started arguing with each other, ignoring Eric and Justin's attempts to intervene.
"What'd you think, Nicole -- [that] I was just gonna give up [and] throw in the towel [after] you poisoned my lawyer against me?" Sami asked. "All I did was tell her what you said, [so] I think you poisoned her against you!" Nicole replied. "Sami, Nicole -- could you just...not do what you always do?" Eric begged. "[Sami, representing yourself] is not a good idea -- you need an experienced lawyer," Justin advised. "I don't know -- I've been on trial loads of times, so I think I have plenty of experience...and, frankly, you're a lawyer, so it can't be that hard," Sami countered.
The judge eventually arrived and started the hearing. "[My attorney] had a family emergency -- her father is extremely ill...and, of course, the petitioners refused to postpone --" Sami explained to the judge. "That is inaccurate --" Justin tried to clarify for the judge. "And irrelevant," the judge declared, silencing Justin and delighting Sami.
"Mrs. DiMera, do you wish for the court to recess until you can get a new attorney?" the judge asked. "No -- I'm gonna represent myself," Sami replied.
Justin started to tell the judge that Allie's intentions for the baby had been made clear in a letter. "Objection!" Sami shouted. "Grounds?" the judge demanded. "Well...my daughter...had just had a baby when she wrote that letter -- she was probably out of her mind on pain meds!" Sami clarified. "Mrs. DiMera, that's not an objection; that's an argument," the judge countered.
"It may serve in your best interest to wait until you're called upon to speak," the judge advised Sami. "But I can't just let them say whatever they want --" Sami warned the judge. "Clearly, you don't understand what an objection is, [but] perhaps you'll understand 'contempt'?" the judge countered, silencing Sami -- but only for a few seconds.
"Nicole dictated [that letter]; she...exercised...undue influence -- that's a thing, isn't it?" Sami argued while the judge was trying to read the letter. "If it's substantiated [and] not just wild accusations --" the judge began to confirm for Sami. "And besides, that letter is not witnessed [or] notarized [or] anything! So, in the absence of any legal documentation, the baby should remain with the closest living relative -- and that is me!" Sami told the judge. "Have you been paying attention at all? This is a court of law, not a reality show, [so] you can't just blurt things out!" the judge informed Sami.
"But --" Sami protested, drawing a sigh of frustration from the judge. "Clearly, this letter needs to be read with care and deliberation...[so], because we have an enemy of care and deliberation in our presence, I'm gonna take a short recess to read the letter," the judge announced before advising Sami to use the break as an opportunity to grow up.
After the judge left, Nicole gloated that Sami had crashed and burned, but Eric didn't feel as confident about the outcome of the custody battle -- and didn't think it was appropriate to gloat, in any case.
The judge eventually returned and resumed the hearing. "I've read the letter very carefully...and I do not believe that it is legally binding --" the judge began. "Yes!" Sami exclaimed. "But I am inclined to give it some weight. Ms. Horton made it very clear what her intention was, and there was no evidence of pressure. Her wish was that her uncle and his wife take care of her son, and I'm inclined to honor that, [so] I am vacating the restraining order and awarding temporary custody to Mr. and Mrs. Brady as of today --" the judge continued. "You can't let this happen!" Sami insisted.
"Nicole Walker is an unfit mother! [Look], this isn't the first time she has stolen a baby -- [see], she switched my child with another baby [years ago], and now she is trying to steal my grandson!" Sami informed the judge. "I think what Mrs. DiMera is referring to is an event [that occurred] after Mrs. Brady had suffered the loss of her own child. She was not in her right mind -- and, while that's certainly not an excuse, she was incarcerated [and] served her time; she paid for her crime," Justin clarified for the judge. "And that would be fine if that was her only crime, [but she has also committed] the biggest crime of all -- murder!" Sami told the judge.
At the DiMera mansion, Gabi shoved a suit at Jake and announced that they were flying to Kansas City immediately to have dinner with their barbecue-loving client. "You can, [but] I'm not -- [see], I have plans [already]. I'm taking Gwen to dinner," Jake informed Gabi. "We have to do this -- tonight! [See], Chad is working overtime to convince Shin [that] he wasn't slacking and [that] I only made it look like he was, [and] if that really works, then I have lost my only chance to get control of DiMera! [So, I need you] to sew up that deal [for me -- see, this client is] one of these guys that only feels comfortable around other men, and you happen to be male through and through, without a hint of refinement, so he thinks you're a business genius, [despite] my proven business record!" Gabi begged Jake.
"Just belch a couple times [and he'll] think you're the next Warren Buffett," Gabi advised. "Do I sense a hint of resentment?" Jake mused. "It is what it is," Gabi grumbled.
"Jake, please -- please, I am asking you to do this for me; I am begging you --" Gabi stressed. "Why are you getting so upset about some stupid dinner in Kansas City? It's just a job. You can always get a new job, start another company -- you've done it before, you can do it again. Why is this stupid job so important to you?" Jake wondered. "Because this 'stupid job' is the only way that I can keep my daughter! [See], Will and Sonny -- her fathers -- uh, they're moving, [and] they want to take her with them, [so] I have to probably prove in court that I can provide for her [and] that she has a home here with me... [Look], I'm scared -- I can't...I can't lose her, [especially] after..." Gabi explained. "You lost your husband," Jake concluded. "I miss him..." Gabi admitted before suddenly kissing Jake.
At the Hernandez house, Eduardo eyed Rafe's gun apprehensively. "Would you mind putting that down? I really hate guns," Eduardo said to Rafe, who complied.
"Do you have a phone?" Rafe asked. "What?" Eduardo replied. "A telephone -- it's a device that you use to call or text people to let them know that you're coming, instead of breaking into their frickin' house and tripping the alarm!" Rafe clarified. "Sorry..." Eduardo muttered. "Or maybe you could've called just once [before this visit, so] I could've congratulated you about being released from prison -- [when] was that, a year ago?" Rafe continued. "I didn't think you'd want to hear from me --" Eduardo explained. "Yes, exactly -- I would much rather discover you in my den in the middle of the day with the shades drawn!" Rafe concluded.
"Well, yeah -- that's a bad look..." Eduardo realized. "Let's just call it the latest in your long list of grievances [against me]," Eduardo suggested. "You know, I always regretted that your brother is...what, 'criminally inclined'...but at least Dario isn't quite as judgmental as you!" Eduardo grumbled. "And speaking of 'criminally inclined'...how's your sister doing?" Eduardo wondered.
"Wow..." Rafe said with a scoff. "I haven't seen you since you went off to prison, [and now...what], you just break in -- oh, I'm sorry, 'drop by' -- to judge Gabi? [You know], she lost a lot -- suffered a lot -- [and] it changed her," Rafe continued. "Yeah, I'm sure that's true...and you're right -- I'm in no position to judge anyone," Eduardo conceded. "Okay, great -- [and] now that we've cleared that up, I'm gonna actually go back to work, 'cause, believe it or not, I was in the middle of an investigation when you tripped my alarm," Rafe concluded. "Wait a minute!" Eduardo called out as Rafe was exiting the house.
"You got a bad guy to bring down?" Eduardo prodded Rafe. "Yeah -- Eve Donovan. Remember her?" Rafe replied before telling Eduardo everything.
"Eve lost her daughter, [and] there is no grief like that, [so] you need to find a way to go easy on her!" Eduardo insisted at the end of the tale. "She kidnapped a man [and] blew up a church full of people! [Look], I understand her motive for revenge, but it's my job to stop her, and that's what I'm gonna do!" Rafe countered before starting to exit the house again.
"You can't go back to work -- you have to come with me...right now!" Eduardo called out, stopping Rafe again.
"And where would we be going?" Rafe wondered. "Mexico -- we're gonna get Gabi and go visit your mother," Eduardo clarified.
"Let me get this straight -- so, with absolutely no warning or reason, I'm just supposed to abandon my life and my job and go with you? [Tell me -- just] what is it that's so important that you want me to leave everything behind? Or should I just trust you? 'Cause that's obviously worked out so well in the past..." Rafe argued. "You're the boss now, dude -- give yourself a vacation," Eduardo reasoned. "Yeah, well, the thing is, unlike you, I don't like to run away from my responsibilities," Rafe countered. "Touché," Eduardo conceded. "Sorry -- that wasn't, uh... I did not need to try and make you feel bad," Rafe backpedaled. "That's true -- you don't, [because] the fact of the matter is, I don't feel anything but bad," Eduardo admitted.
"Sorry -- I'm not leaving," Rafe insisted, not wanting to lose the momentum that had just been built with Hope. "I'm glad, uh, that you and Hope may have a chance to work [things] out...[but] the problem is [that] we don't really have a choice -- [see], if we don't go now, we'll both be dead!" Eduardo declared.
At the cemetery, Eve asked Hope for some privacy. "Not going to happen," Hope insisted before arresting Eve. "So, they let you back on the force... Do they let you wear your tiara to work?" Eve said to Hope, who ignored the dig. "Game over," Hope declared while dragging Eve away from Paige's grave. "Not by a long shot..." Eve cryptically warned Hope while taking one last look at Paige's grave.
Later, at the police station, Hope cuffed Eve to a chair in one of the conference rooms. "There's gonna be some serious consequences for you [here, Hope -- I mean], how do you think this is gonna play out [when people learn that] your first arrest [after returning to the force was] a person that you framed for committing a [crime] that you committed?" Eve challenged Hope, who again ignored the dig.
"I don't think you were in the right frame of mind when you blew up that church full of people or when you tried to kill Ben Weston --" Hope began in an effort to sympathize with Eve. "Wrong -- I never tried to kill Ben Weston; I wanted him alive more than anything," Eve clarified. "You wanted him alive?" Hope repeated. "To continue his work," Eve elaborated. "His work?" Hope repeated. "How long did it take you to find him after the bombing? [What], do you think he and Vincent were playing Parcheesi that whole time? [No], I had him brainwashed -- actually, a better term would be, um...'programmed' -- [to] kill Ciara," Eve explained.
"You can't make him do that -- he loves Ciara," Hope protested. "Well, it's amazing what a, uh, cocktail of psychotropic drugs and, uh, posthypnotic suggestion can do... And my friend Vincent -- well, you know, he's an artist, [and] Ben's his greatest creation...[so, you see], even if Ben wanted to, he couldn't stop himself from killing the love of his life [now]," Eve countered.
Horrified, Hope produced a cell phone and started to dial Ciara's number. "I think you'll find you're a little too late," Eve warned Hope.
Hope started shaking Eve while demanding to know Ben and Ciara's whereabouts. "Tell me now, or I swear to God, I will --" Hope shouted. "Kill me?" Eve concluded.
"You can't stop Ben -- nothing can now," Eve bragged to Hope, who suddenly calmed down and backed away.
"Okay -- I'll beg... [See], I understand what you're going through -- I know the rage, [because] I lost my son [Zack], and even after all of these years, just out of the blue, I...I'll start crying uncontrollably, [and] I can't stop, [and] then I become paralyzed, and I can't move, and I can't think, and I just [want] to lash out and hurt someone, [to make them] feel my pain... [But] do you really want another woman -- any woman; it doesn't matter who it is -- to go through what you went through? Do you want me to go through what you went through for a second time?" Hope tearfully challenged Eve.
At Paige's old dorm room, Ciara desperately tried to get through to Ben, who was remembering the brainwashing session. "This isn't you -- you would never hurt me; you could never, ever hurt me!" Ciara insisted. "You don't understand -- I have to do this; I don't have a choice. [See], Eve said she wanted me to suffer...and now I will, because I'm gonna kill you, just like I killed Paige. [You know], I used to think I could change, but now I know the truth -- all I do is hurt people, [because] that's who I am: the Necktie Killer," Ben clarified. "Eve told you [that]? When did you speak to her?" Ciara asked. "I don't remember," Ben replied.
"You need to try to remember," Ciara advised. "I saw you -- I saw you with a...with a tie around your neck -- and they made it...they made it so I liked it... It felt good..." Ben realized.
"They tricked you into thinking that -- [they] tortured [and] brainwashed you, [and] you have to fight it!" Ciara stressed. "I can't," Ben insisted.
Ciara produced a cell phone and tried to dial Hope's number, but Ben snatched it and tossed it aside. "I'm sorry -- this has to happen," Ben explained while shoving Ciara into the bathroom.
Ben started to advance toward Ciara with the necktie -- then suddenly bolted from the bathroom and slammed the door shut. "Lock the door!" Ben begged Ciara, who quickly complied. "Don't let me in!" Ben advised, and Ciara agreed. "Everything's gonna be fine, but I just need you to pick up the phone [and] call my mom," Ciara instructed Ben, who eventually located the shattered device.
An image of Ciara and Ben served as the cell phone's lock screen, and seeing it made Ben once again remember the brainwashing session, during which Ciara's image had been similarly displayed on the screen of a tablet computer. "Why is this happening? What is going on?" Ben fretted while tossing the device aside again, unable to unlock it despite knowing the code. "Ben? Are you okay?" Ciara called out as Ben released a scream.
Ciara unlocked the bathroom door and peeked out at Ben. "Shut the door!" Ben begged Ciara while charging toward the bathroom.
Ciara shut and locked the bathroom door again then repeated that Ben needed to use the cell phone to contact Hope. The image on Ciara's lock screen again stopped Ben from complying.
"I can't!" Ben fretted, tossing the device aside once again. "I'm so sorry!" Ben stressed while driving a foot through the bathroom door.
At the police station, Eve stared at a copy of Paige's obituary that Hope had left behind. "I'm so sorry... You were right -- I was so hellbent on making Ben Weston pay that I didn't care what I did to anybody... I told Hope where they were -- I hope it's not too late..." Eve tearfully whispered. Meanwhile, Hope kicked open the door to Paige's dorm room -- and gasped at the scene inside.
Sami reveals Nicole's biggest secret
At the courthouse, Eric and Nicole exchanged looks of concern as Sami, talking over Justin's objections, started telling the judge about Deimos' murder.
"If memory serves me, Deimos Kiriakis' murder was never solved, [so]...do you have any evidence of this very serious allegation?" the judge challenged Sami. "I do," Sami insisted. "Then why didn't you take it to the police?" the judge wondered. "Well, that wasn't my job!" Sami reasoned.
"[Anyway], I went to Nashville three years ago to look for Kristen DiMera, [and] I found my brother [there]...with Nicole -- who, at the time, was married to Xander Kiriakis. [And] Nicole told me that Xander had blackmailed her into marrying him. [And] what Xander had on Nicole -- what he was using to force her into marrying him -- was Nicole's confession to murdering Deimos Kiriakis," Sami explained to the judge. "I never told Sami why Xander was blackmailing me, and neither did you, so how could she possibly know?" Nicole whispered to Eric.
"Is there any truth to this allegation?" the judge challenged Nicole. "Absolutely not, Your Honor -- I had nothing to do with Deimos' murder. [Look], I don't deny hating Deimos -- everyone did; I mean, he was heartless [and] cruel, and I'm not surprised someone killed him -- but it certainly wasn't me!" Nicole claimed. "Yes, Sami showed up [while I was living in Nashville, and] yes, I told her that Xander had blackmailed me into marrying him...[but, you see], years ago, um...I used Xander to make my then-boyfriend jealous, and [Xander] vowed to get revenge, so he tracked me down, and he forced me to marry him, and he told me [that] if I didn't, I would lose my daughter...and I believed him because it [was] not the first time that Xander [had] terrorized me, using Holly," Nicole continued.
"I didn't kill Deimos -- Sami is just making up this horrendous story because she doesn't want us to get custody of Allie Horton's little boy [but] has no real argument [against that, so she has to resort to] using this vicious smear campaign. And it is really not fair!" Nicole concluded, and Justin jumped in again then to try to convince the judge to put a stop to the spectacle.
"I am telling you the truth; she is the one who is lying! But you don't have to take my word for it..." Sami told the judge.
"[See], after a long period of time [where Eric and Nicole were] being 'forced' apart, [they] finally reunited [and] thought they could spend the rest of their lives together -- stomach-turning, I know -- [and then] Nicole...'died'...in this horrible warehouse fire...[and Eric] was filled with grief -- [but also] rage, mostly [directed] at Xander. [See, it's true that Nicole] would have lost Holly [if she hadn't married Xander] -- she would have gone to prison, because she confessed to murdering Deimos, and Xander had her confession on tape. [And] Nicole told Eric [that]...and Eric told me," Sami elaborated.
"Get the Bible for [Eric] to swear on -- he used to be a priest," Sami advised the judge. "That won't be necessary -- in a matter this important, I expect [that] Mr. Brady will tell the truth," the judge decided. "You're right, Your Honor -- he will, [because] that's who my brother is; he is a very honest person, unlike his pathological liar of a wife, [and] he wouldn't lie to save his own life," Sami confirmed.
"I have no idea what she's talking about, Your Honor," Eric flatly claimed while glaring at Sami, who was stunned.
"Why are you doing this, Eric? You never lie! How could you do this? [It] goes against everything that you believe in! [You know], Nicole has done this to [you]; she has turned you into someone that I don't even recognize, and you can't even see [it -- just like you can't see] how she's manipulated our entire family...[like when she] got in Allie's head...[or when she] told you and Belle what I said to John, just to cause problems! She is an evil, toxic bitch!" Sami protested as Eric listened numbly.
"I am telling you the truth! [Look], I will take a lie detector test...or whatever you want --" Sami said to the judge. "My sister will go through great lengths to hold onto her grandson -- she's not only threatened my wife and trash-talked her, but [now] she's making up conversations that never happened!" Eric said to the judge. "Do you have any evidence to back up your contentions -- the tape of Mrs. Brady's confession, for example?" the judge challenged Sami, who managed only a slight shake of the head, finding it hard to speak after the shock of what Eric had just said.
"In that case, this court is adjourned -- I will see you all back here tomorrow, when I will announce my [final] decision," the judge declared before leaving.
"You are an officer of the court, and your clients are lying -- you are gonna be in so much trouble!" Sami snapped at Justin, who ignored the warning and left after assuring Eric and Nicole that the judge was probably going to side with them again the following day.
"I cannot believe you lied to that judge!" Sami snapped at Eric. "And I cannot believe that you would use something against me [that] I told you when I was going through so much pain!" Eric countered. "And, just like that, you admit it -- why am I not recording this conversation on my phone..." Sami grumbled. "I know you're capable of doing some pretty low things, but this is lower than I could ever imagine you being!" Eric spat at Sami.
"I'm sorry I never told you that Sami knew about that voice recording -- I never thought she'd use it against us," Eric said to Nicole. "Sami would use anything to get what she wants -- that's who she is, and it's who she will always be," Nicole said to Eric. "You got away with murder!" Sami snapped at Nicole.
"And I am not gonna let you get away with stealing my grandson!" Sami warned Nicole. "The second this judge shows up here tomorrow, I'm going to tell her that you admitted that you told me about that tape!" Sami warned Eric. "Go ahead [and] tell that judge whatever you want -- she'll never believe you; no one will," Eric countered, stunning Sami again.
"I cannot believe that you are standing by her!" Sami said to Eric. "I will always stand by my wife. The real question is...who's gonna stand by you?" Eric said to Sami.
"You're gonna lose your grandson, just like you've lost everyone else in your life," Eric warned Sami. "Give up," Eric advised Sami before leaving with Nicole.
"I am not giving up, brother...and if you think I would, you don't know me at all!" Sami muttered once the coast was clear.
At the Hernandez house, Rafe laughed off Eduardo's dramatic assertion that they were dealing with a matter of life and death. "You're laying it on a little thick, don't you think?" Rafe protested. "Sounds like it, but it's true -- I swear," Eduardo maintained. "[See], I'm in, uh...some pretty big trouble... That's the reason I came back to Salem -- [because] I didn't want to get into it on the phone... [Anyway], after I got out of prison...uh, you know, I went into business, [and]...turns out, it was with the wrong people, [and] things went south, and, uh, now they're out for blood," Eduardo explained.
"[So], you're out of prison for...what, a year? [And, in that time], radio silence. And then, the minute that you do something stupid -- again -- you have the nerve to call [on] me [to] bail you out. Why the hell should I give a damn?" Rafe snapped. "'Cause it's not just me they're after -- you're in danger, too!" Eduardo clarified. "I'm a cop -- do you remember that? [Look], I can handle myself. [So], just tell these...thugs...that you're here in Salem, [and then] get lost, and I will handle it, okay?" Rafe advised. "I wish it were that simple," Eduardo replied.
"It's not just the two of us that they're after -- it's the whole family," Eduardo elaborated. "I'll handle it!" Rafe repeated. "It's way too late for that -- [see], they've already attacked someone we love!" Eduardo revealed. "Mama?" Rafe guessed. "Dario," Eduardo clarified. "What happened? Is he okay?" Rafe asked. "They tried to kill him, man -- they tried to shoot him in the street -- [but], by the grace of God, they missed, [and] he's off the grid now. [But, look], they won't stop with him -- they're coming for the whole family. [See], they've already made threats against Gabriella. [And] they're not afraid of your badge; [in fact], that'll only make them more determined to take you out. [Listen], these are ruthless, fearless people, and they're on a mission to kill us [all]!" Eduardo replied.
At the DiMera mansion, Jake started to respond to Gabi's kiss then suddenly pulled away and insisted that things couldn't go any further. "I have a girlfriend," Jake reminded Gabi. "[And yet] you seem like you can't get away from me," Gabi countered. "Now you sound exactly like her," Jake grumbled. "Well, maybe she's right -- maybe that bimbo has a point," Gabi reasoned.
"You want me -- and you have for a long time," Gabi argued. "You're nuts," Jake declared. "Oh, you can deny it all you want, but I know [that] ever since we met, there's been a whole lot of heat between us. [And] I've already admitted that I'm attracted to you, [so] why can't you admit it goes both ways?" Gabi challenged Jake. "Because you're not really attracted to me, Gabi -- you just think you are because I look like your dead husband. But I'm not Stefan," Jake replied. "So you've said -- a million times since I've known you..." Gabi grumbled.
"The thing is...I don't care," Gabi stressed, prompting Jake to pick up where they had left off earlier.
Later, while Jake and Gabi were lying in bed together, they both agreed that their spontaneous romp had been fun.
"So, before we did...that...you said that you know I'm not Stefan, and you don't care..." Jake reminded Gabi, wanting to know if the claim was true. "I was attracted to you initially because I thought you were my husband...[but then the] DNA test proved that you're his twin -- a man completely different from Stefan, although [still] alike in some ways -- [and, still], I just knew that there was something there. And we've been denying it, but I don't think that we can do that anymore," Gabi elaborated. "You're right," Jake agreed.
"But I do have a girlfriend -- who is on her way back home right now, so you should probably get out of [my bedroom] before she gets back..." Jake warned before giving Gabi a kiss. "Too late!" Gwen snapped while slamming the bedroom door shut.
"What the bloody hell is all this? I'm gone for an hour, and you just pounce on my boyfriend?" Gwen snapped at Gabi. "And you --" Gwen spat at Jake. "Oh, come on -- don't act all superior [after] I caught you kissing Chad yesterday," Gabi shot back at Gwen. "But we didn't have sex -- which is what has clearly happened here!" Gwen countered. "[And] it was great!" Gabi stressed.
"I'm gonna kill you, you disgusting slut!" Gwen spat while lunging toward Gabi, forcing Jake to keep the rivals separated.
At Paige's old dorm room, Hope found Ben sitting alone in a corner, sobbing quietly. "I'm sorry -- I'm so sorry..." Ben stressed when Hope approached. "What did you do? Where's Ciara?" Hope challenged Ben before suddenly remembering to check the bathroom -- which contained nothing of interest. "Answer me!" Hope ordered Ben. "I can't remember... I don't know..." Ben admitted as Hope suddenly thought to place a call to Ciara's cell phone -- which started ringing from another corner of the dorm room. "Why is the screen cracked?" Hope asked Ben. "I knocked it out of her hand..." Ben recalled. "Why?" Hope wondered. "I don't know..." Ben fretted.
"I need you to remember. [Look], I found Eve -- she's under arrest, [and] she told me [about] how she had Vincent brainwash you, [so] I know that whatever happened here...it wasn't what you wanted, [and] you only did it because you were programmed to do it. [Listen], you're my family, and I care about you, [and] we both love Ciara. [But] you need to tell me what you did to her," Hope begged Ben, who slowly began to remember.
"[And, after] I smashed the door until there was a hole big enough to put my hand through, [then] I reached in to turn the lock... [And then]...I must have blacked out or something, [because] I don't know [what happened next, or] where she is," Ben concluded. "If you're afraid to tell me --" Hope began. "I promise you, if there was something I knew about where she is [that would] help, I would tell you -- I swear to God!" Ben insisted.
Unable to determine if any of that was true, Hope cuffed Ben to a radiator, just to be safe, then tried to contact Rafe -- who was still with Eduardo at the Hernandez house. "You cannot tell anyone [about what we're discussing] -- especially not a fellow cop!" Eduardo insisted, snatching Rafe's cell phone and smashing it against a wall.
Hope recorded a voicemail message for Rafe then rushed off to search the area for Ciara, refusing to let Ben tag along.
At the DiMera mansion, Jake chased off Gabi then started telling Gwen about what had happened earlier.
"This doesn't have anything to do with you and Chad -- this is about me and Gabi," Jake explained to Gwen at the end of the tale. "[Well], if you're lucky, I'll forgive you...but you're gonna have to beg," Gwen warned. "I'm not gonna beg, Gwen. What happened with me and Gabi -- I don't know what's gonna come of it, but it made me realize...[that] we have to break up," Jake countered.
Meanwhile, Rafe and Eduardo entered the mansion and found Gabi in the study. "What's going on? When did you get out of prison? No calls, no texts, no letters --" Gabi challenged Eduardo. "I'm sorry about that -- I've been meaning to get in touch --" Eduardo replied. "Save it!" Gabi snapped.
"I've got a lot to deal with right now -- [I mean], I've got a business deal, [and] Ari [might] be taken away by Sonny [and] Will... [Look], I could not have more to lose right now --" Gabi fretted. "Actually, you could -- this is an emergency, and you could lose your life," Eduardo warned. "Dad is in trouble...[and], of course, it's not just him -- he has brought this hell upon us all, [so] we need to get you out of here...now," Rafe elaborated. "I'm not going anywhere!" Gabi insisted.
Hope rejoined Ben, who was still struggling to remember what had happened to Ciara, and reported that campus security guards were in the process of checking surveillance footage but hadn't found anything of interest yet.
"You're the only person who can help my daughter right now. I need you to think -- I need you to focus!" Hope begged Ben. "What happened to Ciara?" Hope challenged Ben.
Ben entered the bathroom and found Ciara hiding in the shower. "I don't want to do this," Ben stressed. "Then fight it," Ciara advised. "I'm trying..." Ben insisted. "But I'm sorry -- I have to do this..." Ben eventually concluded before advancing toward Ciara with the necktie.
"What did you do [next]?" Hope asked Ben, who broke down then, unable to say anything else.
Gabi and Rafe say goodbye
In the DiMera living room, Eduardo told Gabi that she had to leave with him and Rafe and go into hiding. Gabi refused. "I need you to understand that staying here is not an option. Our lives are in danger!" Eduardo stressed. Gabi said she could not leave her life or her daughter. Eduardo confirmed that Arianna was also in danger. Gabi argued that Eduardo could not drop into her life after ignoring her for a year.
When Eduardo attempted to stress the severity of the situation, Gabi countered that she could not leave town because of Arianna. Gabi told Rafe and Eduardo that Will and Sonny wanted to take Arianna away from her. "Why would they do that?" Rafe asked. Gabi explained that Sonny had a new job in Arizona. "Why would they let me keep her if we're running for our lives?" Gabi asked. When Gabi argued that the threat was not real, Eduardo called Dario. Dario confirmed that the people angry with Eduardo were after Dario.
Rafe talked to Dario on the phone, and Dario confirmed that Rafe and Gabi needed to leave Salem immediately. "Dario has a place to hide out. So he's safe," Rafe said. "So, this is real," Gabi said quietly. "I will do everything in my power to make it up to both of you. But right now, we have to move," Eduardo said. "I know what I have to do to make sure that my daughter's safe," Gabi said.
Upstairs, Jake told Gwen that he wanted to break up. Concerned, Gwen asked Jake if there was something between Jake and Gabi other than sex. "I don't know what happened, but I'd like to find out. Gabi feels that way, too," Jake said. Gwen groaned. "You are such a stupid idiot. Gabi feels like you can help her get in at DiMera or pretend that you are her dead husband. Either way, she is using you," Gwen grumbled. When Jake noted that Gabi was having a difficult time, Gwen blew up.
"I cannot believe that the same man who screwed over the Philadelphia mob could be snowed over by some opportunistic slut," Gwen complained. Gwen asked Jake what he saw in Gabi. "We get each other," Jake said. Gwen reminded Jake that Gabi only knew he existed because he looked like Stefan.
"Well, she knows I'm not [Stefan], and she still wants me," Jake countered. Gwen argued that Gabi only wanted to use Jake. Angry, Jake pointed out that Gwen had been pushing him to go after the family fortune. "I only wanted you to get what you rightfully deserved," Gwen said. Jake groaned. When Gwen argued that Gabi had seduced Jake, he claimed that the seduction "was mutual." Gwen threw a vase at Jake, and it shattered against the door. Furious, Gwen announced she wanted to talk to Gabi. Jake stopped her. Jake told Gwen that she would not change his mind.
"You and me, we're done," Jake said. Jake asked Gwen to move out of the mansion. "You can't stay here. Not after what just happened," Jake said. Gwen asked Jake if they could start over. "We're even now," Gwen said. Jake pulled money out of his wallet and offered it to Gwen. "I think it would be best if you left Salem," Jake said. "So I don't have to see you and Gabi?" Gwen asked. Jake dropped the money on the desk.
"For what it's worth, Gwen, wherever you end up, I hope you find someone who makes you happy. That you have a good life," Jake said. With a nod, Jake walked out.
In the Kiriakis living room, Will updated Sonny on John's condition. Sonny asked Will if he wanted to stay in Salem a little longer. "So, Gabi wasn't lying? You two are really leaving Salem?" Chad said as he marched into the room. Sonny told Chad about his new startup business in Arizona. Chad congratulated Sonny on his new venture. "Selfishly, I don't want my two best friends to leave," Chad said. With a shrug, Will reminded Chad he could visit.
Chad asked Will and Sonny if they could talk Gabi into moving to Arizona to get her out of Chad's way. "I don't see that happening," Will said with a chuckle. Sonny said he was confident that they could reach a custody agreement with Gabi. Will was less enthusiastic. Will noted that the custody case between Sami and Eric had grown ugly. Chad grudgingly admitted that he felt bad for Gabi.
"I know how hard it was for her to be away from Ari when she was in prison," Chad said. Will joked that they should convince Gabi to open a store in Arizona. "Separation is hard. For parents and kids. I know that firsthand now with Abby being in Florida," Chad said. Sonny asked about Abby's health. Chad said Abigail was working to get better. Will reiterated his invite for Chad and Abigail to visit. Chad told Will and Sonny that he was confident they would work things out with Gabi. After hugs, Chad told Will and Sonny he loved them and said goodbye.
After Chad left, Sonny lamented that Chad hated Gabi because they could have used him to mediate negotiations with Gabi for custody of Arianna. "Clearly what [Gabi] wants is to keep Ari in Salem," Will said. Gabi walked in with Eduardo. Sonny and Will jumped to their feet, defensive.
"What is this? You brought the big guns?" Sonny asked. "We're all family here. We can figure this out. We don't need to involve Eduardo," Will added. Gabi explained that Eduardo was in town to accompany her and Rafe back to Mexico to see her sick mother. "At least for now, Arianna is gonna stay with you guys," Gabi said. Eduardo objected. "The plan was for Arianna to come with us," Eduardo said. "The plan changed," Gabi hissed at her father.
Will wished Gabi's mother well, and Sonny offered medical services if Gabi needed anything. "We can help your mom, and she is going to get better care here than Mexico," Sonny said. As Gabi fought back tears, Eduardo insisted that the matter was private. Sonny told Gabi that he would send the Kiriakis jet to Mexico if she needed it.
Eduardo ordered Gabi to say goodbye to her daughter. Gabi hesitated at the doorway. "This is wrong. If we want to keep Arianna safe, Will and Sonny need to know the truth," Gabi told Eduardo. Eduardo warned Gabi to remain quiet. Unfazed, Gabi told Will and Sonny that Eduardo had angered some violent people that wanted to kill the whole family, including Arianna. Eduardo argued that Arianna would be safer with the family, but Gabi insisted that Arianna was safer with her fathers.
"Are you sure this threat is real?" Will asked. Gabi told Will and Sonny that she had spoken to Dario, and he had confirmed that the assailants had already attacked him once. "They're coming after all of us!" Gabi said. Sonny wondered aloud if there was a better way to keep Gabi safe, but Eduardo insisted that the safest plan was for Gabi to go on the run with the family. Eduardo suggested that they make it look like Arianna had left town with Gabi, but instead send Arianna off to Arizona with Will and Sonny.
"We are going to keep Arianna safe. I promise you. You just take care of yourself," Sonny assured Gabi. Will asked Gabi when they would see her again. "I don't know, but right now, I need to figure out a way to say goodbye to my daughter," Gabi said. With tears in her eyes, Gabi stared daggers at her father then she went upstairs to see Arianna.
"It just never ends with you, does it?" Will said to Eduardo. "Bad enough you unleashed Orpheus on this town, now you're tearing Gabi away from her daughter," Sonny added. Eduardo insisted he was protecting his family. "What your family needs is protection from you," Sonny grumbled. When Gabi returned, she was in tears and clutched a stuffed bear.
"[Arianna] gave me her teddy bear to give to my mom," Gabi said. Gabi said she had promised to visit Arianna in Arizona, even though she knew that might not be possible. "You're going to see Arianna again. We're going to tell her that every day," Will said. Gabi apologized, and she thanked Will and Sonny for understanding. As Gabi hugged Will, she said, "You're going to take care of our girl, okay?"
"Always," Will promised. Gabi hugged Sonny and asked him the same thing. "No matter where you are, you're going to be connected to Ari. She loves you, and we love you," Sonny said. Will asked Gabi to tell them when she was safe. When Eduardo told Gabi they had to leave, Gabi said she needed to say goodbye to one more person. Gabi thought about Jake. Eduardo begged Gabi not to tell anyone else, but Gabi refused to leave until she said goodbye. "By the way, Rafe needs time to say his goodbyes, too," Gabi yelled at Eduardo. Gabi stomped out of the house.
When Gabi returned home, she stood in the living room with her back to the doorway, and she stared at a photo of her daughter. Jake walked in. "Gwen and I had it out. As you can imagine, it did not go very well. You probably heard various objects crashing against the walls as she hurled them at my head," Jake said. Gabi kept her back to Jake. Jake apologized for Gwen's anger. When Jake told Gabi that Gwen had asked for another chance, he said he had turned her down.
"Gabi, I know what happened between us was unexpected, and I have no idea where things are headed, but I kind of would like to find out. I was kind of hoping you would, too," Jake said. Gabi turned and faced Jake. "What happened?" Jake asked when he saw the tears on Gabi's face. "My mom is sick," Gabi said. Gabi told Jake that she needed to go to Mexico. "This is goodbye," Gabi said.
Confused, Jake argued that things did not need to end between him and Gabi just because she was headed out of town. "I don't know how long I will be away," Gabi said. Jake offered to go with Gabi. "You will focus on taking care of [your mom] and getting her well, I will focus on taking care of you," Jake said. Gabi said no, and when Jake insisted he wanted to go, Gabi yelled, "You can't!" Gabi attempted to walk out, but Jake grabbed her.
"What do you think is going on here? I slept with you because you look like Stefan, and because I thought you could get me back in DiMera," Gabi yelled. Jake said that Gwen had said the same thing, and he did not believe it. Gabi told Jake to listen to Gwen. "I was using you to get back where I belong. CEO. Running that company. Now I have to put everything on hold," Gabi said. Jake asked Gabi when she would return to town.
"If you are insinuating that you will wait for me, please don't," Gabi said. As Gabi turned to leave, Jake grabbed Gabi's arm and pulled her close. "Look at my eyes and tell me you don't feel anything," Jake said. Gabi reiterated that she had slept with Jake because he looked like Stefan and that she no longer had any use for him. "If I were you, I would go upstairs and try to patch things up with that train wreck," Gabi advised Jake.
As Gwen sat on the bed in her room, Chad walked in. Chad asked about the mess on the floor. Gwen explained that the broken mess was from her fight with Jake and that Jake had dumped her.
"[Jake] was mad that you kissed me. But I thought that was your thing. You make each other jealous," Chad said. Gwen noted that her plan had backfired. Chad suggested that Gwen tell Jake the truth. With a sigh, Gwen explained that she had found Jake in bed with Gabi. "He actually thinks he has got a shot with her," Gwen said.
Chad assured Gwen that Gabi had only slept with Jake in order to secure her place at DiMera Enterprises. "That's exactly what I said, but he is convinced that there is something more there," Gwen said. Gwen informed Chad that Jake had asked her to move out. "That's kind of harsh," Chad agreed. Gwen reminded Chad that she had helped him spy on Gabi.
"You said you owed me. Chad, can I stay here?" Gwen asked. Chad was unsure, but Gwen begged for help. "For a little bit," Chad said. Gwen hugged Chad and thanked him.
In Paige's dorm room at the university, Hope begged Ben to tell her what had happened to Ciara. "Ciara told me that I didn't have to [kill her] and that I could just leave and go get help," Ben said. Hope asked Ben if he had let Ciara go. Ben admitted that he had told Ciara that he did not have a choice. "Did you kill her?" Hope screamed. Ben said he had fought against the urge to hurt Ciara. Hope asked Ben if he remembered killing Ciara. Ben said he did not know what had happened after he had confronted Ciara in the bathroom.
"Where is she?" Hope cried out. Ben repeated that he would never hurt Ciara. "What happened to my daughter?" Hope asked. Ben begged Hope to arrest him because he did not know what he was capable of doing. Hope arrested Ben and escorted him to the station.
At the police station, Ben and Eve crossed paths. "You made me want to kill the woman I love!" Ben shouted at Eve. "I wanted you to feel the same kind of pain I felt when you murdered my daughter!" Eve countered. Ben begged Eve to leave Ciara alone. Eve said that Ciara was alive for Hope's sake, but not for Ben's. When Ben yelled that he could kill Eve, Rafe entered and asked Hope what was going on. Hope told Rafe about Eve's arrest. Rafe asked why Ben was handcuffed.
"Because Eve and her friend Vincent decided to brainwash me to kill Ciara," Ben said. Rafe asked Hope if that was true. Hope said she was unsure. Rafe asked if Eve had information. Eve swore that she had told Hope everything she knew about Ciara. In tears, Hope told Rafe that Eve had told her where to find Ciara, but Ciara had already been missing when Hope had arrived. Ben told Rafe what had happened in Paige's dorm room. Eli confirmed to Rafe that he had issued an APB for Vincent.
"I'm truly sorry if I put Ciara in danger. I was out of my mind with grief and rage. I hope Ciara's okay," Eve said. Eli took Eve down to holding. Rafe ordered officers to head over to the university campus to search for Ciara. As officers mobilized for the search, Rafe escorted Hope into his office so that they could talk in private. Hope updated Rafe on the search, and she confirmed that Ciara did not have her phone.
"I know my daughter. If she was safe, she would find a way to get in touch with me," Hope insisted. As Hope recounted her confrontation with Ben at the dorm, she collapsed into tears again. "I've never been so scared in all my life," Hope said. Rafe calmed Hope, and he reassured her that Ben's love for Ciara was too strong for him to have hurt her. Hope asked Rafe why he had not answered her call earlier. Rafe thought about when Eduardo had destroyed his phone and told him not to tell Hope the truth because she was a police officer.
Rafe told Hope that Eduardo had been the one that had broken into his house. Rafe lied and said his mother was sick and that he and Gabi needed to go to Mexico to see her. "I'm not leaving you like this," Rafe said. Hope insisted that Rafe go to Mexico to be with his mother. Hope reminded Rafe that she had a support system in Salem.
"It's not just about that. It's about us," Rafe said. Rafe took Hope's hands in his, and he whispered that he did not want to walk away from another chance with her. "I will be fine. Just like I know in my heart my daughter will be [fine], and when I find her, and I bring her home, safe and sound, I'm going to tell her the good news," Hope said. Hope promised that she, Ciara, and Rafe would celebrate when he returned to Salem. "I won't stop thinking about you. I love you," Rafe said. "I love you, Rafael," Hope said. Rafe kissed Hope goodbye.