At Julie's Place, Justin ran into Lucas, who seized the opportunity to find out where things stood in the custody battle.
"I've known [the judge] for many years, and she is scrupulously fair, [so I'm sure] she won't hold Sami's behavior against her...but [the judge] also made it very clear that she puts a lot of stock in Allie's letter, [so] I think that she is, uh, [still] going to award custody to Eric and Nicole," Justin predicted after telling Lucas about what had happened during the hearing.
"Sami's never gonna give up," Lucas warned, and Justin agreed. "I am so mad at Allie [for] running away again, [because] if she were here right now, she could clear this whole thing up... [You know], I keep hoping she's gonna walk through that door any minute, but that hasn't happened yet..." Lucas grumbled -- just as the restaurant's front door swung open.
"Oh, no -- just when I thought things couldn't get any worse..." Lucas whispered to Justin as Bonnie entered the restaurant and started walking toward their table. "Ooh -- two of Salem's most eligible bachelors in the same place!" Bonnie observed. "I'm calling the cops if you continue to stalk me," Lucas warned. "I'm not stalking you -- I'm here to consult [with] my lawyer," Bonnie clarified. "What brainless idiot would be so hard up that they would have to agree to represent you?" Lucas wondered. "Um...this...'brainless idiot,'" Justin admitted. "Unbelievable!" Lucas declared before rushing off, not wanting to be around Bonnie any longer.
Once the coast was clear, Bonnie wondered why Justin had arranged their meeting. "Your publisher made us an offer to settle," Justin explained while passing a document to Bonnie, who gasped while reading it. "Holy moly, Justin -- this is twice what I ever dreamed about --" Bonnie began to rave, but Justin reclaimed the document and tore it in half before it could be signed. "What the hell are you doing? Stop!" Bonnie protested, but Justin kept tearing the document. "The fact that they made an offer means they know you have a case...but they are lowballing you, [so] we are going to parlay this into a better offer -- [we are going to] tell 'em to add two zeroes to that number," Justin explained, turning Bonnie's screams of horror into squeals of delight.
At the Horton Town Square, Kate continued a phone conversation with Jennifer -- one that clearly wasn't going very well.
"[And] I don't understand how you could viciously attack the mayor for making necessary budget cuts!" Kate said. "Oh -- 'unbiased'? I don't think so -- I think what you are doing is pandering to the prejudices of your readers!" Kate said. "Yeah, well, let me tell you something -- your next interview with the mayor is canceled...and the one after that!" Kate said.
"Give 'em hell, Ma," Philip, who had been listening nearby, began after Kate ended the call. "Oh!" Kate exclaimed with a gasp of delight while turning to face Philip. "Good to see you haven't changed a bit," Philip continued before giving Kate a hug. "What time did you get here?" Kate wondered after pulling away from Philip. "Actually...I've been home for about two days," Philip admitted. "[And, during those] two days, what was, uh, more important than seeing your mother?" Kate demanded to know. "Seeing my father," Philip clarified before telling Kate about the meeting.
Kate warned that Victor might decide to stick with Xander as Titan's next CEO, regardless of Philip's ultimatum. Philip allowed for that possibility, admitting that one of the purposes of the ultimatum was to figure out where things stood with Victor. Philip insisted, however, that the desired outcome was for Victor to give in to the ultimatum. "Titan is my birthright, and I'm back to claim it," Philip stressed. "Well, I wonder what Xander's going to think of that..." Kate mused, but Philip dismissed the concern -- and Lucas joined the family reunion just then, putting an end to the conversation.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Xander and Sarah woke up in each other's arms and shared a kiss -- then started talking about Philip's return. Xander insisted that Philip wasn't a threat.
Meanwhile, in the living room, Victor contacted Hope and asked for an update on the search for Ciara -- then sighed after learning that there hadn't been much progress yet.
"Listen, Hope -- I know that your interrogation techniques are...well, 'restricted'...[but] mine are not; give me ten minutes with that little worm, and I promise you, he'll remember everything!" Victor said. "My granddaughter is...God knows where...and you want me to do nothing?" Victor said. "All right -- fine, fine..." Victor said. "Rubber-hose Eve Donovan for me, will ya?" Victor said.
"Well, this does not seem like a great time to tell him..." Will, who had been listening from the foyer with Sonny, mused. "Have you learned nothing? It's never a good time to tell Uncle Vic something he doesn't want to hear," Sonny countered, and Will conceded the point with a laugh.
"Want me to do this alone?" Sonny asked. "Am I a jerk if I say yes?" Will replied. "No, you're not a jerk -- Uncle Vic, on a good day, is not a walk on the beach," Sonny acknowledged. "Yeah... Well, I'll say goodbye to him [before we leave], but I think you should be the one to break the news," Will maintained.
"If it makes a difference, I'm not looking forward to telling my grandmas -- [or] lying to them about Ari," Will admitted. "Yeah... But we agreed that it's safer if everyone thinks she's in Mexico with Gabi," Sonny reasoned. "I know. I just don't like lying," Will explained. "Well, I'm a Kiriakis, so it's in my blood," Sonny joked.
Will and Sonny parted ways after wishing each other luck.
Sonny took a deep breath then entered the living room and broke the news to Victor -- who tried to object at first but eventually conceded that it was selfish to do so. "You're just like your mother -- and I mean that as a compliment. [Look], it's good that you're going to [join] your brothers [and] honor your mother," Victor assured Sonny.
At the hospital, Marlena continued a phone conversation with Belle -- and paced around John's bed while doing so, struggling to stay composed.
"Look, I -- I know that you're upset with your sister, but...right now, with -- with the two of you not speaking to each other, and Allie being missing, and this fight over custody, I just feel like my whole family is falling apart -- oh, my gosh, I'm so sorry; I didn't mean to say that," Marlena said. "I must be so tired, I'm..." Marlena said. "Everything is fine -- it's just fine -- and, uh, I...I will call you with any change," Marlena said.
"No -- everything is not 'fine'..." Marlena whispered after ending the call, as John remained in a medically induced coma.
Will soon arrived and greeted Marlena with a hug. "I'm really glad you're here -- it's gonna be...kind of a long, tough day..." Marlena admitted, making Will wince. "What?" Marlena prodded Will, who hesitantly began to explain the situation. "I'm gonna tell Sonny to -- to go on ahead without me..." Will reluctantly decided at the end of the summary, but Marlena insisted that wasn't necessary.
At Julie's Place, Bonnie grasped Justin's hands while expressing gratitude for the legal help -- and Sonny entered the restaurant in time to witness the moment.
"I'm glad I never have to see her again..." Sonny declared after Bonnie rushed off. "What the hell are you doing with Bonnie Lockhart?" Sonny challenged Justin, who insisted that the earlier moment had been misconstrued. "Is this how we're gonna say goodbye -- arguing over her?" Justin protested, prompting Sonny to drop the subject.
At the hospital, Marlena admitted to John that it was getting hard to fight back feelings of loneliness. "You're not alone," Brady, who had just entered John's room, assured Marlena.
At Julie's Place, Bonnie rejoined Justin and offered a few words of comfort about Sonny's departure. Meanwhile, Sonny rejoined Will, who was saying goodbye to Lucas and Kate in the town square. Lucas and Kate comforted each other as they watched Will and Sonny walk away together.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor told Xander about Philip's ultimatum. Furious, Xander tiredly demanded to know who Victor was going to choose as Titan's next CEO -- and Philip entered the mansion just then, seeking an answer to the same question.
Will and Sonny say goodbye
In the Kiriakis living room, Xander gave Victor an ultimatum. "Who are you going to choose? Is it me?" Xander asked. "Or me?" Philip said as he walked in. Philip said he would leave if Victor did not choose him. "Do you want your son in your life or not?" Philip asked. Victor reminded Xander and Philip that Ciara was missing and that their squabble was not his top priority.
"We're all worried about Ciara, but we both know that when it comes to Titan, you never take your eye off the ball," Philip said. "We know you've already made your decision about the company. There is no reason to keep us hanging," Xander agreed. Victor's phone beeped. "I have to go," Victor announced. Victor said he had unfinished business to attend to and that he would talk to them later. "Try not to kill each other," Victor said.
After Victor left, Philip and Xander bickered about the CEO position. Philip argued that Victor was not set on Xander because he clearly had second thoughts. "[Victor's] only having second thoughts because you are using emotional blackmail," Xander countered. Xander reminded Philip that he had been missing from Salem for five years while Xander had worked to build the company up.
"I know what happened the last time you ran Titan. You did a piss poor job and ran off with your tail between your legs," Xander said. Philip disagreed, and he called Xander jealous. Xander argued that he was protective of his uncle. "You want to reconcile with [Victor]? Fantastic. But don't ruin everything he has worked so hard his whole life to build," Xander said. Xander advised Philip to apologize to Victor for not returning to town when Victor had been in the hospital and also to be a better son.
"And how about you work on not being such a presumptuous son of a bitch?" Philip countered. When Philip asked Xander who he thought he was, Xander said that he was someone that genuinely loved and respected Victor. "Focus on being his son, which is what he needs from you right now. And I'll be his CEO," Xander said. Philip argued that Victor had not offered the CEO job to Xander because of his competence but because Xander had been willing to lie, cheat, steal, and kill for Victor without remorse.
"I did those things for him," Xander said. Philip told Xander that he was devoid of morals. "What Brady and I did for him was make Titan a business he could be proud of," Philip argued. Xander reminded Philip that Brady had attempted to sabotage Titan. "Who could blame him?" Philip said. Philip argued that Victor had given Xander the job out of desperation. Xander countered that Victor had given the CEO job to Deimos to get Philip out of the way.
"[Victor] was trying to teach me a lesson," Philip said. "The lesson being, you're not good enough!" Xander yelled. Philip refused to concede to Xander. "I was here long before you," Philip said. Philip reminded Xander that he was Victor's only living child. "How disappointing for him," Xander whispered. Philip reiterated that Xander was a last resort.
"The worthless son of a brother he despised," Philip said. When Philip told Xander to return to yard work, Xander head-butted Philip. "Once a thug, always a thug," Philip said. Xander urged Philip to fight back. "I was a Marine, tough guy. You want to see how I fight back?" Philip asked as he removed his coat.
At the hospital, Marlena sat at John's bedside and told him that she missed him. "I'm feeling pretty alone," Marlena said. "You're not alone," Brady said as he walked in the room. Marlena hugged Brady. Marlena asked where Brady had been. With a shrug, Brady admitted that he had been with Kristen and Rachel. "I guess I shouldn't be surprised," Marlena said. Brady asked about John's status. Marlena informed Brady that John was in a medically induced coma until the swelling in his brain subsided.
"[John's] a fighter. He won't give up," Brady said. "He will never give up," Marlena agreed. Brady apologized to Marlena for staying out of touch. With a nod, Marlena told Brady that she had heard he'd left his job, and she asked him what was next. Brady said he planned to stay in town and look after John. When Marlena asked about Kristen, Brady said that Kristen was still wanted by police. Marlena argued that Kristen's legal predicament was her own fault, but Brady refused to blame Kristen for lashing out at Victor.
"As usual, the old man asked for it," Brady said. Talk turned to the custody dispute. Brady was confused about why Sami had decided to go against Allie's wishes. "Sami doesn't want Nicole to have anything to do with that child. And as you know, Sami does not back down from a fight," Marlena said. John groaned. Startled, Marlena urged Brady to talk to his father. "I know I haven't been around for a while, but I want you to know something. I'm gonna be here," Brady promised.
At Eric and Nicole's apartment, Nicole cried as she cut vegetables in the kitchen. "Why are you crying?" Eric asked. Nicole insisted she was fine. When Eric pointed out that they had not talked after the hearing at the courthouse, he noted that he understood if Nicole was angry at him because he had told Sami about Deimos' murder. "[It never] occurred to me that she would use it against you," Eric said. Nicole told Eric that there was nothing to forgive. Nicole explained that she was upset that Eric had lied to the judge.
"I hate to agree with Sami, but when she said I had turned you into someone she didn't recognize, she was right," Nicole said. Nicole explained that she hated herself for forcing Eric to lie to protect her. "You haven't turned me into anything except the happiest man alive. And for the record, I don't regret lying," Eric said. Eric added that he would not be the reason that Nicole went back to jail because she had suffered enough.
"You will never stop being caught in the middle," Nicole worried aloud. Nicole asked Eric to drop the custody case and let Sami have her way. "I think it's best for everyone. And like I said, even if we win, Sami will never leave us alone," Nicole explained. Eric told Nicole that he did not want to quit. "Do you really want to let that baby go?" Eric asked.
Justin arrived. Nicole wiped away her tears as Justin informed them that the judge had made a decision. "I have a very good feeling that you're about to win custody," Justin said.
At the penthouse, Sami promised money to someone on the phone in exchange for their "due consideration." As Sami ended her call, Will and Sonny knocked on the door. "Sonny and I are leaving Salem," Will announced. Sami said she knew. "We're actually here to say goodbye because we're leaving today," Sonny clarified. "The hell you are," Sami objected. Sami noted that she had lost her sister and her brother and could not stand to lose anyone else.
"We're moving to Arizona, not Mars," Will countered. "And Sami, you don't even live here. It's only going to be a couple more hours on the flight from Europe," Sonny pointed out. Sami asked about Gabi and Arianna. Sonny told Sami the lie about Gabi going to Mexico for her sick mother. Shocked, Sami argued that Will could not let Gabi take his daughter out of the country. "I promise you, it is all going to work out," Will said.
"Shouldn't you wait and just make sure that [John] is all right before you go?" Sami asked. Will confirmed that he had spoken with Marlena, and she had urged them to leave. "[Marlena] gave us her blessing. Now we need yours," Will said. Sami said she was happy for Will and Sonny but also sorry for ruining their chances at adopting Allie's baby. Sonny assured Sami that the adoption "wasn't meant to be." As Sami nodded, the courthouse called to confirm that the judge had reached a decision.
Sami asked Will and Sonny if they could watch the baby until Lucas arrived. When Will suggested that Sami should take the baby to court, Sami refused. "You can't defy a court order," Will stressed. "Trust me. I know what I'm doing," Sami said. Sami apologized to Will for repeatedly hurting him through the years.
"I'm sorry I made all my mistakes on you," Sami said. "Actually, I think you made all your mistakes on all of us," Will joked. Sami laughed. Will and Sonny said that they knew Sami would do anything for them and that they would miss her. Will said goodbye to his mother.
After Sami left, Will and Sonny fussed over Allie's baby. "Imagine how different our lives would be if we had gone through with the adoption," Sonny said. Sonny told Will that he had been serious when he had told Sami that everything with the baby had worked out for the best. Will agreed that their focus should be on Arianna and providing a safe environment for her. "We are gonna have a good and happy life," Sonny said. Will added that they could not discount another baby and a dog in their future.
At the courthouse, Justin, Nicole, and Eric waited in the judge's chambers. Eric talked to Shawn on the phone, and he informed Nicole that there was no news about Ciara. Nicole lamented that Eric's family was suffering while they were preoccupied with the custody case. Justin assured Nicole and Eric that they had a good shot at winning custody. With a sigh, Nicole asked Justin what recourse Sami had if she lost. Justin noted that Sami could appeal. Sami arrived.
When the judge walked in and started the proceedings, Sami asked to provide additional evidence. "The hearing is over. Mrs. DiMera clearly doesn't understand the rules of the court," Justin objected. The judge gave Sami leeway to make her point. Sami said she had been shocked by Eric's lie and that Eric had admitted to her after the judge had left that he had lied.
"I have additional proof for you that Nicole is an unfit parent and that she had a long and shocking history of murderous behavior," Sami said. Nicole groaned. Sami called Victor as a witness. The judge gave Sami the go-ahead to question Victor. Justin objected and noted that Victor had not been on the scene the night of Deimos' murder. Sami clarified that Victor was there to testify about a different murder.
"Whose murder are we here to discuss?" Justin asked. "Mine," Victor said. Justin pointed out that Victor was alive. The judge encouraged Victor to elaborate on his "murder." Victor testified that someone had almost electrocuted him. Justin asked Victor if Nicole had been the culprit. Victor admitted that Jan Spears had dropped the radio in Victor's bath at Nicole's direction.
"Was Nicole ever tried in a court of law?" Justin asked. Sami interjected that Jan had been unable to testify because she had been in a coma. Justin argued that there was no evidence to implicate Nicole in the crime. The judge announced that she would take a short recess before she returned her verdict, and she left.
"Why would I hire a looney tunes like Jan Spears to murder Victor when I would get much more pleasure doing it myself?" Nicole asked Sami. "How many times are you going to cross the line, Sami?" Eric asked. Sami argued that Eric lived with a dangerous criminal. "Who knows what else I might come up with?" Sami said. Concerned, Eric asked Sami what she had planned. Eric argued that Sami could not prove anything because Deimos was dead, and Jan was still in a coma.
"Actually, you're a little behind the times on that one," Sami said. Sami explained that Jan had woken from her coma. "Where is Jan?" Nicole asked. Sami informed Nicole and Eric that Jan was in a facility in New York. The judge returned and announced that although Sami's evidence had been compelling, it had not been substantiated.
"The lack of proof confirms my original decision. Mr. and Mrs. Brady, the restraining order has been terminated, and custody of baby boy Horton --" the judge started. Sami said she had more evidence. Eric warned Sami to stop delaying the proceedings. "I would like to call Jan Spears to the stand," Sami said. Jan walked in.
When Victor returned to the Kiriakis mansion, he found Xander and Philip with their fists raised, ready to fight. "What is this? A duel to the death?" Victor grumbled. Victor noted that he had made a decision. "Son, reconciling with you is of major importance to me. Although I don't appreciate you forcing my hand, you do deserve a second chance. The job is yours," Victor said.
"Thank you, Dad. I won't let you down," Philip said. "Of course, he will! He always does. I can't believe I let you jerk me around again after everything I've done for you," Xander said. Victor assured Xander that he had it wrong. "You and Philip will be co-CEOs. You'll both be in charge," Victor announced.
In the town square, Will and Sonny talked about leaving town. "I wish we could say goodbye to Ben and Ciara before we go," Will lamented. Sonny said they would pray for Ben and Ciara's safety. When Will worried aloud about how dire things seemed, Sonny reminded Will that they had had their fair share of dire circumstances. "Look where we are now," Sonny said. Will and Sonny thought about moments from their lives together like when they had met in the coffee shop, their first kiss, their first time making love, and their wedding vows.
"This ring is never coming off my finger again," Will said as he touched his wedding band. Will looked at the plaque for Tom and Alice, and he explained to Sonny that it was Horton tradition to say goodbye to Tom and Alice whenever they left town. "I think this will always be our home," Will said. "We've had some challenging times in the last few years," Sonny added. Will promised happier times in the future. "Goodbye, Grandma Alice and Grandpa Tom," Will said. "Goodbye, Salem. For now," Sonny said. Will and Sonny walked away, arm in arm.
Jan testifies against Nicole
At the courthouse, Nicole and Eric watched in disbelief as Jan sauntered into the judge's chambers at Sami's command.
"Aren't you gonna say hello to your old friend?" Jan challenged Nicole. "Bet you thought you'd never see me again...but here I am!" Jan continued. "Kind of sucks about the circumstances, though..." Jan concluded, smirking.
"What the hell are you trying to pull?" Nicole snapped at Sami, ignoring Jan. "Well, you kept saying that I have no proof -- that I have nothing to back up the idea that you had put Jan up to murdering Victor -- [so]...here's my proof," Sami explained with a shrug. "Except...she's insane! Tell me, Sami, did you bust her out [of that psychiatric hospital] yourself?" Nicole countered. "Of course, I didn't," Sami insisted.
"The head of Shady Pines himself released Jan to appear at this hearing. She has an escort with her, [but I can also] provide a phone number for you to call to confirm --" Sami said to the judge. "Your Honor, I'm aware that Mrs. DiMera is...new...to the legal profession...but, uh, she's supposed to give prior notice of any witnesses slated to appear, and no such notice was given," Justin protested. "This is a hearing, not a trial," the judge stressed. "Be that as it may --" Justin countered. "Are you arguing with me?" the judge snapped. "No..." Justin backpedaled. "Good, [because] Mrs. DiMera's allegations are very serious -- if they're true -- and that's all this court wants -- the truth -- so I'm gonna allow Jan Spears to testify," the judge declared.
"This can't be happening..." Nicole fretted to Eric in a whisper. "Sami, your actions against Nicole are bad enough, but to drag this poor woman out of a facility where she's getting help -- do you have no compassion at all?" Eric snapped. "Of course I do -- for Allie [and] my grandson. Those are the only two people I am thinking about -- everything is for them," Sami countered. "Sami, you are so mean and vindictive!" Nicole spat. "Order!" the judge demanded before resuming the hearing.
"Thank you for joining us, Ms. Spears," Sami began. "My pleasure," Jan insisted. "Please, tell us how you know Nicole Walker Brady," Sami requested. "She befriended me years ago. I was young, miserable, [and] always in trouble [back then] -- all because my parents didn't love me enough, according to my shrink -- [and, of course, Nicole] didn't exactly win the 'parent lottery,' either -- [I mean], at least mine died and left me filthy rich -- [so she] understood my pain in a way no one else did. [And then I was] at a pretty low point in my life -- crazy in love, so to speak, with a man who was stupid enough to love somebody else -- [and, again, she understood]," Jan explained. "You are referring to Shawn Brady and my sister Belle Black," Sami clarified. "Right," Jan confirmed.
"[And Nicole] offered to help you get Shawn away from Belle...[but] it wasn't out of the kindness of her heart -- she wanted something in return," Sami elaborated. "Leading the witness," Justin weakly protested, as if already certain of the outcome -- which was that the judge overruled the objection. "She wanted you to kill her husband, Victor Kiriakis," Sami continued. "Yes," Jan confirmed. "[And] you were vulnerable and desperate, and Nicole took advantage of that," Sami continued. "Oh, come on -- that is --" Nicole interjected before reluctantly heeding Eric's advice about staying silent. "It's okay, Ms. Spears -- you don't need to worry [or] feel intimidated; we're on your side. Just go ahead and tell the court what happened," Sami concluded.
"The worst I'd done before I met Nicole was high school pranks, like putting a rat in another girl's locker -- Chloe Lane; there was a weird one, [with] all that black...[and, considering] what she did to me with that rat, I should have done a lot worse back [to her] than... [Anyway, Nicole's] old geezer of a husband liked to soak in the tub while listening to the radio, [so] all I had to do was dump the radio in the tub and get out of there -- he'd be a crispy critter, and everyone would think it was an accident. [You know], I have to admit that I did feel kind of bad [afterward -- I mean], the old guy never seemed that bad to me -- [and] I even wrote about it in my diary...but, not too long after it happened, I ended up in a coma, [so I never got to tell anyone]," Jan explained.
"[So], Nicole was unhappy in a marriage to a controlling older man [but] still wanted to keep the money, [which meant] death by radio -- that way, she gets to be a grieving, rich young widow," Sami summarized. "True?" the judge challenged Nicole. "I advise you not to respond on the grounds that it might incriminate you," Justin said to Nicole. "There you go -- that's more proof; her lawyer wouldn't tell her to do that if she wasn't guilty!" Sami said to the judge. "Do you have any questions for this witness?" the judge asked Justin. "No questions, Your Honor -- I think her testimony and mental state speak volumes," Justin replied. "Ms. Spears, thank you -- you are free to go," the judge said to Jan. "I didn't mean to hurt you -- I swear it -- [but] I had to tell the truth," Jan explained to Nicole with a shrug before leaving.
"Your Honor, you cannot render a decision based on the testimony of a woman who is obviously unstable -- who allegedly committed a crime because Nicole Brady offered her something in return," Justin argued. "What did you offer her in return [to convince her] to perform at today's hearing?" Justin challenged Sami. "She told the truth, Your Honor," Sami insisted. "The truth is, she's a dangerous woman -- I could bring Shawn and Belle in here to testify to that," Justin countered. "There is no need to drag my sister into this," Sami protested. "Your Honor, I am asking the court to discount the testimony of Jan Spears and proceed on the ruling to award custody [to] my clients," Justin concluded. "Mr. Kiriakis makes some valid points --" the judge began to concede, prompting Sami to offer Jan's diary as further evidence.
"[Also], this is a letter from the head of Shady Pines, stating that Jan Spears is just as sane as...most...of the people in this courtroom...and, in fact, she's being discharged -- Jan Spears is a free woman," Sami revealed while handing the judge a document.
At the police station, Shawn continued interrogating Ben, who eventually got fed up and wondered how many more times they were going to trade the same questions and answers. "Until you remember what it is that you did to my sister!" Shawn warned. "Don't you think I want to? [Look], I love her -- she is everything to me; that girl is my world, [okay]? Nobody wants those memories back more than I do, man! [But] it's like somebody ripped out part of my brain..." Ben stressed. "[Or] maybe you're lying to me because you've already been on death row, and you're afraid to go back because you know that if you do, [then] you're gonna get what's coming to you [this time]!" Shawn argued. "If I did something to hurt her, my life will be over, [anyway]," Ben countered.
Meanwhile, Claire entered the police station and greeted Hope, who was waiting for Eli to call with an update on the search for Ciara. "If only I could have got through to Eve when I ran into her..." Claire fretted. "You cannot blame yourself for any of this, [okay]? There was no getting through to her --" Hope stressed. "You did," Claire pointed out. "[Only because] I understand her rage, [since] I lived it when...when I lost Zack... I begged her not to force me to live through that kind of pain again, and she found some humanity," Hope explained. "Ciara's okay -- I can feel it," Claire decided, and Hope nodded in response, hoping that was true.
"Damn it, Weston -- I will beat the truth out of you!" Shawn shouted just then, loudly enough for Hope and Claire to hear the threat from outside the conference room in which Ben was being held.
Hope burst into the room, with Claire close behind, and found Shawn lunging toward Ben in anger. "What are you thinking?" Hope snapped while pulling Shawn away from Ben. "That I deserve to have the crap beaten out of me -- and he's right..." Ben muttered. "He's done," Hope clarified before starting to drag Shawn out of the room. "May I stay and talk to Ben?" Claire requested, and Hope agreed.
After Hope and Shawn left the room, Ben braced for some sort of display of anger from Claire, who instead steered the conversation in a different direction. "We both love Ciara, and [I know] you would never touch her, no matter what Eve and her thug did to you -- you don't have it in you," Claire insisted. "You know I do, Claire -- you know what I did to innocent people," Ben argued. "That was a long time ago -- you're better now," Claire countered. "That's a hard concept for a lot of people to accept," Ben pointed out. "Yeah, [but] I have been where you are -- literally -- [and] I know what you are capable of -- the kind of love that you are capable of -- [and that's why I know that] there is just no way that you would ever hurt Ciara," Claire maintained. "I just wish that I could say the same about myself..." Claire admitted.
Meanwhile, Shawn fumed about Hope's earlier interference. "So...what, you're pulling me off the case now?" Shawn assumed. "No, not at all -- with Rafe gone, I need your help more than ever -- but you need to cool down," Hope clarified. "How am I supposed to do that when Ciara is God knows where, Eve is no help, [that] maniac Vincent is still on the run, and the only hope that we have is just drawing a blank?" Shawn protested. "We keep going -- following any and every lead we have," Hope reasoned while fighting back tears, causing Shawn to calm down at once. "I'm sorry that I lost it -- [I mean], as difficult as this is for me, I can't even imagine what you..." Shawn conceded.
At the hospital, Belle exited an elevator and greeted Marlena, who had been pacing around the nurses' station. "How's Dad?" Belle wondered. "No change," Marlena reported.
Belle was glad to hear that Brady had returned to Salem and was with John at that moment. "I'm sorry I haven't been here more --" Belle began to stress. "Please don't apologize for that -- with Shawn's sister missing, you need to be with him," Marlena acknowledged. "[No leads yet] -- it's like she just vanished...which means that Ben may have followed through with what he was brainwashed to do..." Belle revealed. "I just feel so guilty, [because] Ben came to me [for help, and] I canceled his appointment..." Marlena fretted. "Dad is fighting for his life --" Belle reasoned. "Yes... [But still], Ben was in crisis, [and] I wasn't there for him..." Marlena countered.
Shawn soon arrived and updated Belle and Marlena on the search for Ciara. "I don't know what to believe, [but] if [Ben] is truly brainwashed, that means whatever happened to Ciara is locked inside his head, and we can't get to it," Shawn summarized. "But I could," Marlena acknowledged. "No, I...I can't ask you to do that -- not with everything that's --" Shawn protested. "Brady's in with John, [and] the two of you are right here, [so] you can tell me if I'm needed [back here]," Marlena countered. "I don't know --" Shawn maintained. "I do -- I need to do this," Marlena insisted.
"Ciara is alive -- I can feel it -- and if anyone can get Ben to remember what happened, it's my mom," Belle assured Shawn after Marlena left. "You know, you have been so amazing through all of this -- [I mean, look at] what's happening with your dad and your sister, [and yet] you're here by my side," Shawn acknowledged. "Always," Belle stressed.
"Look, Belle...I...think that I should probably tell you that...I, uh...I ran into Philip..." Shawn revealed. "In Salem?" Belle assumed. "Yeah -- he said that he's here because he's going to stop running from his legacy...whatever that means..." Shawn elaborated. "So...he's staying?" Belle translated. "I mean, that's...that's what I got [out of his comment], yeah," Shawn confirmed. "And I gotta say that I'm...I'm not thrilled about it, [because] after that whole Jan Spears nightmare...[well], I thought [that was] the last that we'd see of him," Shawn admitted. "That maniac Jan Spears -- God, she nearly turned our high school reunion into a bloodbath, and what she did to you is just..." Belle fretted. "I thank God every single day that...that Jan didn't get away with blowing you up -- and everybody else," Shawn stressed.
"At least that maniac is locked up in the loony bin, where she can't hurt any of us ever again," Belle declared. "Poor Belle -- as usual, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about," Jan, who had just exited a nearby elevator, countered.
Marlena entered the police station and greeted Hope, who was quick to ask for an update on John's condition. "No change...[but] Brady's home, [and] Shawn and Belle are home -- John's got a roomful of company [right now] -- so I thought I'd come here and see if I could help [with the search for Ciara]. I could hypnotize Ben [and maybe] help him get past whatever block he has, [so] we can find her and bring her home," Marlena replied.
At an undisclosed location, Ciara slept peacefully on a cot in a room that also contained stacks of boxes and featured at least two doors, suggesting that it was a section of an apartment that someone was in the process of moving into or out of at that moment. Ciara smiled while dreaming of a future with Ben: their honeymoon; the revelation -- via fortune cookie, of course -- that they had conceived a child; the birth of that child, a boy who was named Bo; the purchase of their first real living space; the opening of Ben's own auto repair shop, which specialized in the repair of vintage cars and motorcycles; and the return of Ciara as Titan's CEO.
At the police station, Ben remembered, during a hypnotherapy session with Marlena, that Vincent had entered Paige's old dorm room at one point -- and that Ciara had still been alive then. Meanwhile, Ciara's dream took an unexpected turn when Ben was presented with a Father's Day gift from Bo -- a necktie. "What the hell is this? Ciara, why -- why in the hell would you get me something like this?" Ben demanded to know. "This is not the gift I picked out for [Bo to give] you -- I swear! I would never do something like this!" Ciara insisted. "Then who would?" Ben wondered.
Ciara awoke with a start just then -- and found Vincent standing beside the cot.
Vincent makes a confession to Ciara
At the hospital, Shawn and Belle stared in disbelief at Jan, who smiled and wondered if they had missed their old friend. "It's been forever!" Jan declared. "Doesn't seem that long to me..." Belle argued.
Shawn grabbed Jan while instructing Belle to dial 9-1-1 and explain that an off-duty police officer was in need of help dealing with someone who had broken out of a psychiatric facility.
"I didn't 'break out of' [Shady Pines]; I was released," Jan clarified. "Why the hell would Shady Pines cut you loose?" Shawn wondered. "You just kidnapped Shawn [a few months ago] and tried to blow up [New York City's] .Com Café!" Belle pointed out. "I understand that this is a lot for you to process...but if you'll look in my purse, you'll find a document that explains everything. [I mean, I'd get] it myself, but I'm sort of incapacitated..." Jan said, prompting Shawn to retrieve the document. "'Legally sane'? What, did you download this off the dark web?" Shawn challenged Jan before handing the document to Belle. "I know this judge... It has his seal on it..." Belle observed. "So, it's real?" Shawn incredulously translated. "Told you -- I'm free and clear!" Jan bragged.
Sighing, Shawn reluctantly released Jan. "So...they let you out, and then you just [came] directly here, [looking for us]?" Belle summarized. "No, of course not -- running into you was just a happy accident," Jan insisted.
"[I came here because] part of my outpatient care is seeing a therapist, and I was hoping your mother was available -- [I mean], she was always such a wonderful, caring doctor..." Jan clarified. "My mother would never consider treating you!" Belle protested. "She didn't have a problem with it back in the day..." Jan pointed out. "Because you were pretending that you had changed into a decent person, [when] what you were really trying to do was break up Shawn and me! [But she eventually figured out that] your therapy was a con -- just like the one you're pulling at Shady Pines right now!" Belle countered. "I haven't 'conned' anyone -- you saw that piece of paper; you said it was legit..." Jan argued. "This paper might be legit, but the reasons behind it definitely aren't!" Belle declared.
Sighing, Belle reluctantly returned the document to Jan. "I mean, why would they ever let you out of that place?" Belle continued. "Most of the credit goes to your big sister Sami..." Jan revealed.
"You expect us to believe that Sami greased a judge to get you out on the streets, just to help her custody case?" Shawn incredulously summarized after Jan explained everything. "Oh, I believe it -- when Sami's back's against the wall, she doesn't care who she hurts," Belle admitted with a shake of the head.
"[Anyway]...I'd love to stay and chat, but, uh...I really do need to see about that therapist..." Jan announced. "You're sure your mother's not available?" Jan asked Belle. "I am dead sure!" Belle confirmed. "Well, I'll just have to find someone else, [then]... Toodles!" Jan said before walking away.
Belle took a deep breath, struggling to stay composed. "Why don't you and Claire...um...I don't know, go up to New England for foliage season or something?" Belle suggested to Shawn. "Why would we do that?" Shawn wondered. "Because I really don't want you two [here] when I kill Sami!" Belle clarified.
Sami entered the Evans-Black townhouse and greeted Lucas, who had been watching the baby. "You seem pretty chipper," Lucas observed. "I am chipper," Sami confirmed. "Does that mean you got custody?" Lucas wondered. "The judge recessed for the day -- she said she will make her ruling from the bench tomorrow -- [but] it's gonna be me," Sami bragged. "How do you know?" Lucas asked. "Because I never go into battle without a secret weapon," Sami replied before telling Lucas everything.
"You broke Jan Spears out of the loony bin so she could provide corroborating evidence?" Lucas incredulously summarized at the end of Sami's tale. "I did not 'break' anyone out of anywhere, okay? Jan was deemed totally sane by the doctors at Shady Pines!" Sami defensively clarified. "And where did those doctors go to med school -- someplace you read about on the side of a bus? [Come on, admit it] -- you did this, didn't you? You fixed it so she'd get out!" Lucas countered. "Well, it worked..." Sami bragged.
"I cannot believe you set Jan Spears loose on the poor, unexpecting world..." Lucas mused. "The judge wouldn't accept [Victor's] testimony without evidence to back it up, so what was I supposed to do?" Sami reasoned.
"You should have seen Nicole's face -- [I mean], she was livid!" Sami raved. "I'll bet... But I know someone who's gonna be even more livid..." Lucas replied.
Sami dismissed Lucas' concern about Belle's history with Jan. "[That] was years ago!" Sami reasoned. "No, no, no -- it wasn't 'years' ago; Jan just kidnapped Shawn a couple months ago [and] tried to blow up Belle and all of their friends! You didn't know that? What, did you forget?" Lucas countered. "Okay, okay..." Sami conceded. "How are you gonna explain this to Belle?" Lucas wondered. "I'm not gonna have to 'explain' anything, okay? She's a lawyer -- she knows that sometimes lawyers have to pull dirty tricks. [You know], I bet she's gonna be proud of me!" Sami predicted. "I'll bet not! I think you're living in 'Sami's World' right now, and it's just a matter of time before the real world comes crashing down on you!" Lucas warned.
As Sami laughed off Lucas' comment, Belle stormed into the townhouse and slammed the door shut. "What, am I psychic? I rest my case!" Lucas gloated.
"What the hell were you thinking?" Belle spat at Sami. "Let's just be adults about this --" Sami suggested. "She didn't mean that --" Lucas tried to assure Belle. "'Adults'? Jan Spears, Sami? Jan freaking Spears! She kidnapped Shawn [and] almost killed me and all of my friends, and you brought her here and unleashed her on me?" Belle snapped. "I didn't 'unleash' her on you, okay? I wasn't even thinking about you!" Sami insisted. "That much is clear..." Lucas muttered, annoying Sami.
"I had to bring Jan in -- [I mean], I was losing the case [because] my lawyer quit on me!" Sami explained to Belle. "[I quit on you] because you almost killed my father!" Belle summarized. "No, I didn't -- Mom said that was not my fault! [You know], maybe it's a good thing you weren't my lawyer -- you would have botched the case!" Sami countered. "You don't have a case!" Belle insisted. "[You think] I don't have a case? I didn't even go to college, and I'm a better lawyer than you are!" Sami declared, earning a slap from Belle.
"I'm sorry I lost it -- I...I shouldn't have done that..." Belle stressed after calming down. "It's okay, Belle -- I shouldn't have insulted you," Sami conceded. "You think that I'm upset because you insulted me? No, Sami -- it's because, yet again, you went after what you wanted at the expense of everyone else!" Belle clarified. "Oh, my God -- Belle, I don't understand why this is wrong! I want to be the one to raise my daughter's baby, okay?" Sami countered.
"And, look, maybe I did grease the wheels at Shady Pines, but...I hate to break this to you, but Jan Spears was gonna be released [regardless]. She's recovered --" Sami continued. "She is psychotic!" Belle declared. "Well, apparently, people can come back from that -- I mean, look at Claire --" Sami reasoned. "Don't go there," Lucas advised Sami as Belle resisted the urge to deliver another slap. "[Look, the point is], I just didn't think it was that outrageous an idea. [But], for what it's worth, um...I'm sorry, Belle," Sami concluded. "You're always so good at saying you're sorry after you get what you want..." Belle grumbled.
"[And you] always get what you want, don't you? And you don't care what it costs! [I mean], did you really not think about how this would affect me? My father is in critical condition, Shawn's sister is missing, and now, thanks to you, there is a crazy person on the loose who is obsessed with Shawn and me! How could you?" Belle concluded before storming off.
"She's gonna get over it," Sami assured Lucas once the coast was clear. "Ha! Ya think?" Lucas challenged Sami, who eventually showed a hint of concern.
Eric entered the hospital's chapel and found Brady kneeling at the altar, saying a prayer for John. "When did you get back?" Eric asked. "Just a little while ago, after I heard about my dad," Brady replied. "Does my mom know you're here?" Eric wondered. "Yeah," Brady confirmed. "Any change?" Eric asked. "No," Brady replied. "Well, Kayla, she brought in some specialists, [so] they're gonna get him through this," Eric assured Brady.
"Are you okay?" Brady wondered. "Actually...no," Eric admitted. "What happened?" Brady asked. "Sami," Eric replied.
"How could Sami even know [that Nicole killed Deimos]?" Brady interjected while Eric was in the process of explaining everything. "I told [Sami -- I mean, at the time], I believed that Nicole [had] died in that explosion, [so] I couldn't think of any reason why not to tell [Sami]," Eric admitted. "Did you also [tell Sami who] was at the bottom of that whole thing -- me?" Brady asked. "No," Eric replied. "[Well], it was [my fault] -- and you know it," Brady acknowledged. "[All that matters is that] we're together now," Eric declared. "I'm really glad that you two found your way back to each other...[and] I'm sorry I missed the wedding..." Brady stressed.
"We missed you [that day -- especially since] you took off so suddenly..." Eric curiously noted, making Brady squirm.
"So, all this time, you've been with Kristen," Eric summarized after Brady explained everything. "And my daughter," Brady confirmed. "And I don't suppose you're gonna tell me where they are," Eric guessed. "You know I can't," Brady replied. "How is she doing -- uh, Rachel?" Eric wondered. "She's beautiful, and she's changing every day," Brady reported. "No reoccurrence of cancer?" Eric assumed. "None," Brady stressed.
"Kristen's on the run, [and] she'll always be on the run, [so]...how do you see the three of you having a future?" Eric challenged Brady. "All I know is that my place is here, [and] Kristen can't be here, [so]..." Brady admitted, shrugging. "I'm sorry," Eric stressed. "Me, too," Brady replied.
At the police station, Ben remained under hypnosis, telling Marlena that Vincent had burst into Paige's old dorm room at some point and had demanded to know why Ciara wasn't dead yet.
"There's nothing you're ever gonna say to make me hurt her," Ben insisted. "That's where you're wrong -- you no longer have any free will; you're mine now, [and] you have no choice but to do whatever I say. [So], let's not waste time -- [just] do what you came here to do," Vincent countered. "No, Ben -- don't you listen to him! You are stronger than he is! We are stronger than he is, [and] we can beat him -- together!" Ciara stressed. "Sadly, it's not me you need to beat; [you see], now that your husband is under my power of suggestion, he's a ticking time bomb, just waiting to go off...and that time is now," Vincent declared. "No, Ben -- don't listen to him! [Look], you have to fight this!" Ciara maintained, and Ben nodded in response then lunged at Vincent.
After a brief struggle, Ben pinned Vincent against a wall. "See?" Vincent, whom Ben was strangling with one hand, managed to choke out while retrieving a syringe from a pants pocket. "You are still a killer," Vincent concluded before thrusting the needle of the syringe into Ben's neck. "Oh, my God!" Ciara exclaimed as Ben collapsed and lost consciousness.
Meanwhile, Ciara recalled the same events while trapped somewhere with Vincent. "[And then] I gave you the same sedative as your husband -- only a stronger dose, [which is why you still can't move much -- and] stashed you in the trunk of my car and brought you here," Vincent concluded for Ciara.
Marlena and Ben shared the results of their hypnotherapy session with Hope, who rushed off to find out if the APB that had been put out on Vincent earlier had yielded any results yet.
Ben thanked Marlena for the help. "I'm scared to death for Ciara, but [now] I know that I didn't hurt her," Ben said with a sigh of relief. "You're stronger than you think you are," Marlena summarized. "If I am, it's because of you," Ben stressed.
Shortly after Marlena rushed off to check on John, Hope rejoined Ben and reported that there had been no sightings of Vincent yet. "If Vincent was only in it for the money -- only acting on Eve's orders -- then why didn't he just take off and disappear [after] we made a statement to the press [about Eve's arrest]? Why did he go to the dorms [and] take Ciara?" Hope wondered. "He's trying to keep his ass out of prison [by] using Ciara as a bargaining chip," Ben guessed. "Then why hasn't he made contact?" Hope argued.
Ciara was also trying to make sense of Vincent's actions at that moment. "This has nothing to do with money -- or with Eve," Vincent informed Ciara.
At the hospital, Marlena shared the results of Ben's hypnotherapy session with Shawn, who was relieved to hear that Ciara was probably still alive.
"Where's Belle?" Marlena wondered. "She went to go see Sami," Shawn revealed. "Did they patch things up?" Marlena asked. "Not exactly..." Shawn replied.
"[Jan Spears] should not be walking around free! What is the matter with [Shady Pines]?" Marlena protested after Shawn finished explaining everything. "What is the matter with Sami?" Shawn wondered. "Oh, well, there's --" Marlena began to respond -- just as Jan approached. "How lovely to see you! Did Shawn mention that I'm looking for a therapist?" Jan said to Marlena. "I'm not looking for patients," Marlena said to Jan before walking away.
"So...it's just the two of us [now]..." Jan said to Shawn flirtatiously once the coast was clear. "I don't have time for your crap, Jan -- I need to get to the police station," Shawn replied before starting to rush off. "Oh, right -- your sister's missing," Jan recalled, stopping Shawn, who seemed to find the comment suspicious. "It's all over the news," Jan explained with a shrug.
"Look, I want you to know I'm praying for Ciara -- I can't imagine what it's like to have a lunatic after you," Jan stressed. "Well, I have a pretty good idea," Shawn countered.
"See you around!" Jan cheerfully stated before sauntering away from Shawn.
Marlena found Eric in the chapel. "I heard what your sister pulled in court today..." Marlena began before giving Eric a hug.
Brady, who was still paying for a room at the Salem Inn, went there to get some rest -- and found Kristen waiting inside.
At the police station, Hope and Ben waited anxiously for an opportunity to question Eve, who was being arraigned at the courthouse at that moment.
Meanwhile, Vincent wondered if Ciara had ever seen any crime scene photographs. "No -- my parents never let me," Ciara revealed. "They did you a favor," Vincent declared.
"Eve and I [have] a lot in common -- more than she [knows]. I let her think that I was only interested in helping her brainwash Ben for scientific reasons, [but] the truth [is that] I took this assignment because I have my own reasons for hating Ben Weston, [and] I wanted revenge on him as much as she did," Vincent admitted. "I've seen the crime scene photograph of one of your husband's victims -- [and] I'll never be able to forget it," Vincent continued. "Were you a cop or something?" Ciara wondered. "No -- I was a man in love," Vincent clarified. "With the woman in the [crime scene photograph] -- Serena Mason," Ciara assumed. "No," Vincent replied.
"Her name was Wendy -- Wendy Taylor," Vincent revealed. "The midwife," Ciara realized. "Who was forced by your beloved to deliver Abigail Deveraux's premature infant at gunpoint. And after she did that, your darling husband escorted her outside the cabin and shot her at point-blank range," Vincent summarized. "I'm sorry -- I'm sorry that I forgot about her," Ciara whispered, fighting back tears. "Of course, you did -- all of the news coverage on the Necktie Killer stressed his connection to his victims, [and] my Wendy didn't fit that nice, neat pattern, so she was seldom mentioned," Vincent acknowledged.
"She was just a gentle soul who only wanted to help other women and bring life into this world, [and] I was planning to spend the rest of my life with her...[but then] your beloved husband disposed of her like she was so much trash -- and you've been helping him get away with it! How in God's name do you live with yourself?" Vincent spat.
"What are you gonna do to me?" Ciara asked. "Your Ben took away the love of my life, [and] now...I'm gonna return the favor," Vincent replied.
Eli argues with Lani about Kristen
Kate and Chad talked in the DiMera living room about the strangeness of Gabi leaving town so suddenly. "Gabi was fighting tooth and nail to get back in control of DiMera, and she was making real progress with Shin. Why would she just walk away?" Chad wondered aloud. Kate told Chad not to worry about Gabi and to instead take the opportunity to seize control. Chad argued that with Jake still in Salem, they needed to be worried. Kate disagreed. Kate argued that Jake's friendship with Collins was a fluke.
"Gabi is gone. I think you should reconsider kicking Jake out of the house and evict that trashy, money-grubbing girlfriend while you're at it," Kate suggested. Chad reminded Kate that the house still belonged to Gabi, and she had let Jake stay. When Chad said Gwen and Jake had broken up, Kate was relieved. "At least we can get rid of Gwen," Kate said. Chad grimaced.
"I said she could stay," Chad explained. Chad admitted that he had felt sorry for Gwen. "Is that all you felt?" Kate asked. Chad swore that he had not developed feelings for Gwen. "It's ridiculous that you would even think that," Chad said. Chad explained that Gwen had spied on Gabi for him for purely business reasons. Chad admitted that Gwen had kissed him.
"I knew it," Kate muttered. Chad said Gwen had kissed him to make Jake jealous and that he had made it clear that he was not interested in Gwen. When Kate raised an eyebrow and pointed out that Gwen and Jake were broken up, Chad yelled that Gwen and Jake broke up all the time and would get back together since Gabi was gone.
"I think I'm gonna miss Gabi," Kate said. Chad scoffed at the idea. With a grin, Kate admitted that she had a soft spot for Gabi. "After everything she did to my wife?" Chad asked. "She did go overboard with that. How is Abby?" Kate asked. Chad said that Abigail was still having hallucinations. "The doctor thinks that they might never go away," Chad said. Chad added that Abigail was learning to live with the hallucinations, and he missed having her at home. "It feels like a part of me is missing," Chad admitted.
Jake stumbled into Gabi's bedroom, drunk. Jake raised a bottle of wine toward Stefan's suit hanging in the closet and said, "Here's to you. The one and only Stefan DiMera." Jake fell onto the bed and groaned. "Whoever said that the clothes make the man, they're full of crap," Jake muttered. Jake called himself stupid for believing that he had had a shot with Gabi.
"What do I know about trying to make a woman like Gabi love me? She was just using me the whole damn time," Jake added. As Jake stood up to smack the suit, Gwen walked in and shut the door. Jake struggled to unbutton his shirt, and Gwen offered to help. "I used to be rather good at getting you out of your clothes," Gwen remarked. Jake said he needed a nap.
Gwen noted that Jake was drunk. "I thought I told you to move out," Jake said. Gwen explained that Chad had told her that she could stay indefinitely. Jake laughed. "I'm dead serious. You would have known that if you had bothered to come home last night," Gwen said. Gwen sat on the bed. Jake stressed that he and Gwen were through, and he asked her to leave. Gwen refused.
"I get the chance to make life absolutely miserable for you and your girlfriend," Gwen said with glee. "She's not my girlfriend," Jake said. Jake asked Gwen if Chad had asked her to stay to spy on him and Gabi. "I was alone last night!" Jake barked. Jake explained that Gabi had left town to see her sick mother. Gwen teased that Jake and Gabi would have to put their relationship on hold.
"There is no relationship. Never will be," Jake muttered. "You can't give up that easily," Gwen said. Jake explained that Gabi had told him that he would never take Stefan's place. "I was under the impression that she had definitely moved on and with you," Gwen said. With a scowl, Jake said that Gabi had told him that she had used him to take over the company. Gwen laughed and called Jake pathetic.
"It's not funny," Jake grumbled. Gwen said it was a bit funny that Jake had dumped her for Gabi and then been dumped in return. "Your misery is really making my day right now," Gwen said. Gwen asked Jake if he understood that he deserved a little heartache after what he had done to her. "Don't you know that I'm head over heels bloody in love with you?" Gwen asked. "I didn't want to hurt you," Jake said.
Gwen wiped tears from her eyes, and she told Jake that she might take him back if he begged for her forgiveness. "Gabi or no Gabi, we're never getting back together," Jake said. Gwen reminded Jake that they had done it before, and that he crawled back to her every time. Jake told Gwen that their relationship was not healthy and needed to end.
"Fine! It's ended. I didn't even want to get back together with you, anyway. I just know how much you hate being alone, and I wanted to see you beg, Jake," Gwen said. "You'd be waiting a long time!" Jake countered. Gwen said she deserved to be with someone that appreciated her. "Like Chad?" Jake asked. Gwen nodded yes. "I thought you two were just pretending?" Jake asked. "I think [Chad] liked it," Gwen said. Jake warned Gwen that she did not have a shot with Chad. Gwen reminded Jake that Abigail had been in a mental institution for months.
"I know how lonely he is. And I know what he is missing, and I know exactly how to give it to him," Gwen said. After Gwen left Jake, she went downstairs in search of Chad. Chad was working at his desk in the living room. "Did you hear the good news? Gabi is out of the country for a while," Chad told Gwen. Gwen poured a drink, and she knocked it back. "I figured you would be happier," Chad said. Gwen explained that Jake had told her that he did not want to be with her, Gabi or not.
"I'm sorry. I know you loved him," Chad said. Gwen said she wished she could say that wasn't true. "I'm just so heartbroken," Gwen said before she grabbed Chad and hugged him. After a moment, Chad wriggled free of Gwen's grasp. Gwen apologized. "I really, really loved the bum, you know?" Gwen said. Chad told Gwen that she was better off without Jake. Gwen thanked Chad for being nice to her, and she hugged him again. Abigail walked in and cleared her throat. "Hi, honey. I'm home," Abigail said.
Upstairs, Jake continued to drink wine straight from the bottle. "So much for unconditional love," Jake muttered. As Jake threw the bottle against the wall, Kate walked in. "Why are you throwing things?" Kate asked. "Because it was empty," Jake said. Jake looked at the glass in Kate's hand. "There is a bar downstairs. Get your own," Kate said before she sauntered away.
Eli returned home to drop off lunch for Lani, and he was surprised to find her with a baby. "I'm babysitting," Lani explained. As Eli fussed over the baby, Lani said the baby was Rachel. "Please tell me this isn't the Rachel that I think this is," Eli said. Lani shrugged. Angry, Eli asked Lani why she had Kristen's child. After Lani put Rachel down for a nap, she returned to talk to Eli.
"Is Kristen still in Salem?" Eli asked. Lani said she wanted to help her friend. Eli reminded Lani that she could lose her badge for harboring a fugitive. "Not unless somebody finds out," Lani corrected. "We are cops 24/7. Not just when it is convenient," Eli said. Eli took out his phone and announced that he was calling in an APB for Kristen. Lani took Eli's phone.
"[Kristen] shouldn't have involved you in her mess!" Eli objected. "I am her only friend," Lani said. "You are going to be her only cell mate, too," Eli stressed. Eli asked Lani what kind of friend would force Lani to "risk everything." "The kind of friend who risked everything to be with me on my wedding day," Lani admitted. Eli was alarmed to learn that Kristen had visited Lani on her wedding day, and she had kept it a secret from him. Eli asked Lani if she would have kept Rachel's visit a secret if he had not returned home for lunch.
"Can you please just keep quiet?" Lani asked Eli. Lani explained that Brady and Kristen would likely remain in Salem until John was better. "Can't you just look the other way until they are gone?" Lani asked. Eli scowled. Lani pleaded with Eli to think about Rachel. After a moment, Eli agreed to remain quiet.
"I guess the department has got bigger problems than Kristen, anyway," Eli said. Eli noted that the police had not found Ciara and that the department was missing a commissioner. "What about Rafe?" Lani asked. Eli told Lani that Rafe had left town to visit his sick mother. With a smile, Eli told Lani that Gabi had left town with Rafe. Elated, Lani smiled broadly.
After Rachel woke from her nap, Eli noted that they needed to put in the same amount of work with twice the kids soon. Eli reminded Lani to eat her sandwich while he headed back to work. "You are too good to me," Lani said. Lani apologized to Eli for not telling him about Kristen sooner. Eli promised not to tell anyone about Kristen's visit.
At the Salem Inn, Brady wandered into his hotel room and saw a purse on his bed. "We really do need to stop meeting this way," Kristen said as she poked her head out of the bathroom. Kristen rushed into Brady's arms and kissed him. "What the hell are you thinking?" Brady asked. Kristen said she wanted to support Brady. Brady told Kristen that John was critically ill and that he did not know how long John would be ill.
"I appreciate you wanting to be here for me, but you got to go," Brady said. Brady argued that someone might identify Kristen. "Where is Rachel, by the way?" Brady asked. Kristen told Brady that Rachel was with Lani. Brady worried aloud that the police knew that Kristen was in town, but Kristen reminded Brady that Lani was her best friend.
"I'm not worried about Eli. Lani said that every cop in the area is on some big manhunt," Kristen said. Brady noted that Eli would return home, see Rachel, and turn Kristen in to the police. Kristen told Brady that she had needed time alone without Rachel to talk to Brady. As Kristen unbuttoned Brady's shirt, he stopped her. "I want you to get Rachel, and I want you to leave town," Brady stressed. Brady told Kristen that he had cherished the time he had spent with Kristen and Rachel, and he did not want to lose them.
Kristen asked Brady if his family had asked about her. Brady admitted he had told his family that he had been with Kristen, and they had agreed not to tell the police. Kristen insisted that she belonged in town with Brady. "[John] might not wake for months. What am I supposed to do with you? You're going to be here in a hotel, cooped up with a toddler," Brady argued. When Kristen argued that she could put on her Nicole mask, Brady groaned and asked Kristen not to joke about her sordid past. Kristen apologized.
Unfazed, Kristen unbuttoned Brady's shirt, and she offered him a massage. "I'm not doing it," Brady said as he took off his shirt and fell onto the bed. Kristen climbed onto Brady's back and gave him a massage. Kristen then nibbled on Brady's ear. "This was your plan, wasn't it? Use your talents. Get your way," Brady said. As Kristen chuckled, Brady rolled over and kissed her.
After Kristen and Brady made love, Kristen promised not to do anything stupid. "My family drama is intense lately," Brady said. Brady told Kristen that Sami had caused drama. Kristen noted that things had not changed. Brady thanked Kristen for being there for him, and he hoped aloud that no one would learn Kristen was in Salem.
Kayla and Steve returned home, and as Steve looked through the mail, he saw a postcard from Stephanie in Hawaii. "I wish we were there with her," Kayla said. "I'm sure her boyfriend would love that," Steve joked. "I just feel like we don't see our kids enough," Kayla said. Steve suggested that they visit Joey in prison for the next visitors' day. With a wicked smile, Steve then suggested that Kayla join him in the shower. "Lead the way," Kayla said with a giggle.
After their shower, Kayla and Steve lay in bed and talked about their friends and family. "I think we deserve this happiness, and I don't think anyone who loves us would disagree with that," Steve said. Kayla said she was happy to have time alone with Steve. "Just the two of us," Kayla said. Steve kissed Kayla and told her he loved her.
In the living room, a person entered the apartment and looked at a framed photo of Steve and Kayla. In the bedroom, Steve and Kayla got dressed to go out for dinner. With a grin, Steve suggested that he order takeout so that they would not need to leave the house. Kayla nodded in agreement and kissed Steve. A clatter rang out from the other room.
"Did you hear that?" Kayla said. Steve told Kayla to stay in the bedroom while he investigated. When Steve looked in the living room, he saw a hooded man picking up pieces from a shattered picture frame. Steve grabbed the individual from behind. "Stop! Dad, it's me!" Tripp shouted.