Due to the Labor Day holiday, NBC broadcast the 2020 PGA TOUR Championship. As a result, Days of our Lives did not air. This was a planned preemption, and there were no "lost" episodes as a result of the schedule change. Regular programming resumed on Tuesday, September 8, and picked up where the Friday, September 4, episode concluded.
Ciara struggles with Vincent
At the police station, Claire overheard Shawn talking to someone on the phone about Jan. "Why in the hell would they release her from that loony bin in the first place? We need to lock her back up again now," Shawn said. "Were you just talking about me?" Claire asked her father. Shawn explained that he had not been talking about Claire.
"I need you to understand that I'm confident that you're better, and I couldn't be more proud of you," Shawn said. Claire asked about Ciara. Shawn told Claire about Ben's recovered memory of Vincent taking Ciara from the dorm. "Do you have anything to go off of at all?" Claire asked. Shawn shook his head no. Shawn asked Claire to contact Doug and Julie and update them on the situation.
In the commissioner's office, Jack and Jennifer talked to Hope about the search for Ciara. Jack asked if Eve had told Hope anything useful. With a shrug, Hope said Eve had attempted to reach Vincent to call off the plan, but Eve had been unable to contact him. "We checked all of [Vincent's] known addresses, but there is just no sign of him," Hope said. Jennifer asked Hope why Vincent had not let Ciara go after Eve's arrest.
"I don't think this has anything to do with [Eve]," Hope said. Jack wondered aloud why Vincent would have changed the plan. Hope explained that Eve had realized that Vincent might have his own vendetta. Hope told Jack and Jennifer that Vincent had implied to Eve that he had lost someone. With a shake of her head, Hope noted that Vincent had no record of a child or a wife in his history.
While Jack left to talk to Shawn about the search, Jennifer comforted Hope. "Ciara's out there. Somewhere. She's waiting for me to find her," Hope said. "You're gonna find her," Jennifer assured Hope.
In a cluttered cabin, Ciara encouraged Vincent to eat or sleep. "Maybe you should shut up," Vincent growled. Ciara asked Vincent what he planned to do to her. Vincent looked at a picture of his lost love, Wendy. "This was Wendy's home. I came here to feel closer to her," Vincent said.
"All I have left are photos. Memories," Vincent added. "I'm sorry," Ciara whispered. Vincent said he should shoot Ciara like Ben had shot Wendy. After a moment, Vincent told Ciara that he was holding her captive in Mammoth Falls near the cabin where Ben had held Abigail captive. Vincent recounted the night of Wendy's murder.
"I know that you're still in a lot of pain," Ciara started. Vincent told Ciara to shut up. "You have no idea how I feel. You're married to a murderer. If not for you, that monster would have been executed, which is what he deserved," Vincent yelled. When Ciara argued that Ben had not killed Jordan, Vincent countered that Ben had killed Wendy and gotten away with it.
"Unlike Eve, I don't think you're innocent in all this. You stopped Ben from being put down like the animal he is, and for that, you deserve to die," Vincent grumbled. Vincent grabbed a syringe. "This will keep you quiet," Vincent said. "Don't you dare," Ciara warned Vincent. Vincent lunged toward Ciara, and she used self-defense maneuvers to rebuff his attacks. Ciara got the upper hand, and she plunged the syringe into Vincent's arm. Vincent groaned. "Stupid girl," Vincent muttered before he passed out on the bed. Ciara ran to the door, but she struggled to open it.
In the DiMera mansion, Gwen hugged Chad and thanked him for being nice to her. Abigail walked in. "Hi, honey. I'm home," Abigail said. "What are you doing here?" Chad asked. Abigail eyed Gwen, and she asked Chad why Gwen was there. With Chad stunned into silence, Abigail brushed past him and extended her hand to Gwen. Chad introduced Abigail to Gwen.
"It's lovely to meet you. I've heard so much about you," Gwen said. "I've heard a lot about you, too. You are my husband's brother's girlfriend, so what are you doing in my husband's arms?" Abigail asked. Gwen explained that Chad had been comforting her. Chad asked Gwen to leave so that he could talk to Abigail in private. Gwen hurriedly excused herself and left the room.
"What are you doing? You're supposed to be in Florida," Chad said. "I checked myself out. Permanently," Abigail said. When Chad noted that Abigail had not mentioned her travel plans to him, Abigail explained that she had made the decision after speaking on the phone with Chad the day before. "So, it was an impulse?" Chad asked. "I realized I needed to be home with my husband and my kids," Abigail said. Abigail admitted that the doctor had disagreed with her decision.
"I know that you are concerned, but I promise you that I would never come home where my kids are if I didn't know I was emotionally stable and able to take care of them," Abigail stressed. Chad asked about the hallucinations. "I still have them but not as often, and I've learned to manage them with medication," Abigail said. Chad was unsure.
"I need you to trust me," Abigail said. "I do trust you," Chad confirmed. Chad explained that he wanted what was best for Abigail, and if she felt that what was best was to be home, he backed her. "Selfishly, I'm glad that you're home," Chad added. Chad kissed Abigail, and he told her that he'd missed waking up next to her every morning. Chad apologized for not being in Florida more. Abigail suggested that it would be good for the whole family to have her home in Salem.
"I can't wait to tell the kids. Are they asleep?" Abigail asked. Chad noted that he had already put the kids to bed. With a nod, Abigail said she would not wake the kids, but she needed to see their faces. After a quick kiss, Abigail ran upstairs.
When Abigail returned, she cuddled on the couch with Chad. "They are going to be over the moon when they wake up and see their mom," Chad said. Abigail asked why Gwen had been upset. "She and Jake broke up," Chad said. "And she's still here?" Abigail asked. Chad explained that he had felt sorry for Gwen because she did not have anyone or anyplace to go. "That's a pretty generous offer to make to a virtual stranger," Abigail suggested. Chad said he had become friends with Gwen. Abigail raised a questioning eyebrow. Abigail asked Chad how he had become friends with Gwen.
Steve was startled to discover his son Tripp in his apartment. "What the hell are you doing here?" Steve asked. With a grin, Steve hugged his son. Tripp apologized for scaring Steve. Kayla rushed in with a bat raised. "Steve, are you okay?" Kayla asked. Steve stepped aside to show her that Tripp was there. Elated, Kayla hugged Tripp. Tripp explained that he had knocked, but no one had answered the door.
"We didn't hear you. We were in the shower," Steve said as he grinned at Kayla. "We were just talking this morning that we really missed seeing you," Kayla said. Tripp said he felt the same way. Steve asked Tripp why he was in Salem. "I missed you guys. Just like I said," Tripp reiterated. Steve asked about medical school. Tripp suggested that they talk over dinner.
When Kayla said she wanted to check on Hope first for news about Ciara, an alarmed Tripp asked what was wrong. Steve told Tripp about Ciara's disappearance. "Her life might be in danger," Steve said. Kayla told Steve and Tripp that she would meet them at the pub after she checked on Hope.
After Kayla left, Steve asked Tripp, "When do you have to be back in California?" "Actually, I'm not going back," Tripp said sheepishly. When Steve noted that Tripp was almost done with school, Tripp explained that he wanted to transfer to school in Salem. Tripp admitted that Salem had felt like home and that he missed his family. Tripp added that he had accepted the spot in California because of everything that had been going on in his life at the time.
"This because of Haley?" Steve asked. Tripp nodded yes. "Mainly because of Haley. I didn't want to become a problem for her and J.J.," Tripp said. When Steve noted that Haley's relationship was no longer an issue, Tripp admitted that the news of Haley's death had hit him hard. Steve noted that Haley had loved working at University Hospital, and if Tripp ended up there, it would be like he was carrying on Haley's legacy. Tripp smiled.
"More like honoring her memory," Tripp said. Steve asked why Tripp had not said that at the start. "I'm not sure Kayla would be on board," Tripp admitted. Confused, Steve asked Tripp if he and Kayla were still close. Tripp explained that though he and Kayla had grown close, he did not know if Kayla would be open to having Tripp work at her hospital. Steve pointed out that Kayla had been the one to encourage Tripp to go into medicine, and she had invited Tripp to shadow her at the hospital.
"Are you just conveniently forgetting about what I did? I took that incredibly generous opportunity and tried to ruin her career," Tripp reminded Steve. Steve argued that Kayla had moved past what had happened. "Talk to her at dinner," Steve said. Tripp nodded yes. "I would really love having you back home," Steve said.
At the police station, Kayla walked into the commissioner's office and hugged Jennifer and Hope. "I just wanted to check on you and see if there is anything you need," Kayla said. When Kayla noted that it had to be a comfort to Hope to have Rafe out searching for Ciara, Hope averted her eyes. Hope explained that Rafe had left town to see his sick mother.
"I told him that he needed to focus on his family right now. And I need to focus on mine," Hope said. After a chat, Kayla told Hope to call her if she needed anything, and then she left to meet up with Steve and Tripp.
In the police bullpen, Jack updated Shawn on Eve's conversation with Hope. "[Eve] does remember Vincent telling her that he once lost someone, too," Jack said. When Jack confirmed that there were no children or a wife in Vincent's past, Shawn suggested that they look for a girlfriend. After a search on the computer, Shawn and Jack ran into the commissioner's office to tell Hope and Jennifer that they had found an application for a marriage license.
"Vincent had a fiancée. Her name was Wendy Taylor," Shawn said. "Wendy Taylor was the midwife that delivered Thomas when Ben was holding Abigail hostage in the cabin," Jennifer said. "The one that Ben shot and killed," Hope added. Hope was certain that was why Vincent had taken Ciara.
At Julie's Place, Claire was elated to see Gwen walk into the restaurant. "I'm so sorry to hear about Ciara," Gwen said. "I just wish there was something I could do," Claire said. Gwen told Claire that she had a good heart. "You were a really good friend to me, actually," Gwen said. Claire told Gwen that she had been a great friend, too.
"I could really use a friend right now," Gwen admitted. Gwen told Claire about her breakup, and Claire asked Gwen if she was sure it was over. "This time, it was real. Caught him in bed with Gabi," Gwen whispered. Gwen argued that Gabi had used Jake and had not cared about him. "The worst part is, the night it happened, Jake said he wanted to take me out to dinner," Gwen said. Gwen added that while she had waited downstairs for Jake, he had been upstairs, having sex with Gabi.
"I can't believe that he would treat you like that. What a jerk," Claire said. Claire advised Gwen to stay away from Jake when he asked to get back together. "No! It's the other way around. He dumped me," Gwen clarified. When Gwen informed Claire that Jake had asked her to move out, Claire told Gwen that she was better off without Jake. Claire offered to talk to Marlena if Gwen needed a place to stay. Gwen thanked Claire, and she explained that Chad had taken pity on her and told her she could stay in the mansion.
"But that might all change because his wife is back," Gwen said. Gwen explained that Abigail had walked in on Chad comforting her. "Just because you would go ballistic if Jake so much as looked at someone else, that really doesn't mean that [Abigail] is going to feel the same way," Claire advised. Gwen admitted that she was hurting from the breakup.
"When Tripp dumped me, my life went completely off the rails," Claire said. Gwen asked Claire if Tripp had been the man she had been in love with before. With a laugh, Claire said she had been insane, but she had changed. "So, you are saying that you are over Tripp?" Gwen asked. "More to the point, I am sure that he is way over me after all this time," Claire said. Claire admitted that she was relieved that Tripp had moved away while she had been in the institution. "[Tripp] is the last person that I need to see right now," Claire admitted.
With a groan, Claire said she did not want to talk about Tripp anymore. Gwen suggested that they order an expensive bottle of Champagne and toast "to all the stupid losers out there that do not appreciate us." Claire declined the offer because she wanted to check on the search for Ciara. After Claire left, Gwen muttered, "I guess I'm drinking alone."
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail asked Chad for details about his friendship with Gwen. Before Chad could answer, Jack and Jennifer ran into the living room. Jennifer squealed as she hugged her daughter, followed by Jack. Jennifer asked Abigail if she was ready to be out of the clinic. Chad stressed that he backed Abigail's decision, and Abigail said she was convinced that the best place to be was with her family.
"We support you completely," Jennifer said. Jack agreed. After another round of hugs, Jack and Jennifer excused themselves to leave Abigail alone with Chad. "I can't tell you how grateful I am to have you with me on this," Abigail told Chad. "Now and forever. I promise," Chad said. With a grin, Abigail noted that they were alone without Jake or Gabi.
"You don't know? Gabi's gone. She left Salem," Chad told Abigail. Abigail noted that she was sorry to hear about Gabi's mother but thrilled to know Gabi was gone. Chad said he was happy not to have to look at the face of the woman that was responsible for Abigail's hallucinations. Abigail admitted that she was disappointed that they could not prove that Gabi had drugged Abigail. "Gabi is gone, and the threat to you is over," Chad said.
At Julie's Place, Gwen thought about the night that Abigail had been drugged. Gwen had been in the restaurant, vial in her hand, when Abigail had ordered Champagne from the bar. Gwen shifted uncomfortably at the memory.
At the pub, Kayla joined Steve at a table. Steve asked about Ciara. Kayla shook her head no. "My heart just breaks for her," Kayla said. Steve assured Kayla that Hope would find Ciara soon. Kayla asked about Tripp. "[Tripp] had some errands to run," Steve said. Tripp approached the pub outside as Claire walked by the entrance. Tripp and Claire stopped and looked at one another.
At the police station, Hope and Shawn tracked down Wendy's last address. "That's where Vincent may be holding Ciara. Let's go," Hope said. Hope and Shawn ran out the door. At the cabin, Ciara was finally able to open the door to escape. "Oh, thank God," Ciara whispered. Vincent grabbed Ciara from behind, and he pulled her back into the room.
When Hope and Shawn arrived at Wendy's home, Ciara and Vincent were gone. Down the road, Vincent drove a car with Ciara in the passenger seat. "Where are you taking me?" Ciara asked. "You'll see," Vincent said. Ciara asked Vincent to shoot her and get it over with. "What? Why would I shoot you, Wendy?" Vincent said.
Hope and Shawn race to save Ciara
Outside the Brady Pub, Claire somewhat reluctantly began talking to Tripp, joking that it was too late to duck out of sight. "What are you doing in town?" Claire asked. "I'm visiting my dad and Kayla. I'm actually meeting them here for dinner," Tripp replied. "Oh... Nice..." Claire said awkwardly. "Yeah..." Tripp said, also awkwardly.
"I heard you got out of Bayview. You look like you're doing really well," Tripp continued. "Yeah -- yeah, I'm...I'm good," Claire confirmed. "Glad to hear it," Tripp stressed before giving Claire a farewell nod and starting to rush into the pub. "Wait," Claire requested, grabbing Tripp's left arm.
"I'm [actually] really glad that we bumped into each other -- well, kind of [glad]..." Claire decided. "[I mean], it's weird and embarrassing, and I'm sure that I am the last person that you ever wanted to see again, but...since we're here, I really -- I want to apologize for everything that I did --" Claire continued. "You've already apologized," Tripp interjected. "Yeah -- right before they carted me off to Bayview -- but that wasn't enough, and I still wasn't in my right mind --" Claire continued. "So...what, are you saying that it wasn't a sincere apology?" Tripp interjected. "No, that's not what I'm saying!" Claire assured Tripp. "I shouldn't have said that I want to apologize again, because I [actually] want to do more than that -- [you know], what I would really like to do is to...somehow, someway...make it right," Claire concluded.
"Claire, you honestly don't have to make amends or make anything up to me, okay?" Tripp insisted. "[After all], it's not like I didn't make a mess of things myself -- [I mean], I made some really bad choices, [and now] I look back on them, and I realize [that] I was totally insensitive to you --" Tripp continued. "Only because I was so needy and clingy -- [and] I look back on that, and...God, it's so embarrassing!" Claire interjected. "Yeah, you were needy...but I was really selfish -- I mean, everything was about me [and] what I wanted, and I should have been thinking about what that did to you...especially with that stunt marriage to Haley... I just pushed you too far," Tripp concluded.
"Did you hear that [Haley] died?" Claire asked, eager to change the subject. "Yeah... [And] I got in touch with her mom -- [you know], they had just started getting close..." Tripp replied. "And then, in a minute, everything just changed..." Claire summarized while fighting back tears, fearing that the same thing might happen with Ciara. After a moment of hesitation, Tripp comforted Claire with a hug.
"You didn't have to do that -- [you know, hug] the crazy girl who was obsessed with you," Claire insisted after pulling away from Tripp. "[That's] in the past," Tripp stressed. "[It] will never be 'in the past' for me...[but] I will do whatever it takes to stay healthy, 'cause the idea of going back to that dark, scary place -- it freaks the hell out of me," Claire admitted.
Claire was surprised to learn that Tripp was planning to stay in Salem for a while. "Guess I will be seeing you around," Claire acknowledged. "I guess you will," Tripp confirmed. Claire sighed as Tripp entered the pub.
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail wondered if Chad had ever considered the possibility that Gabi truly wasn't responsible for their recent separation. "I had a lot of time to think when I was down in Florida -- um, kind of too much time -- [so] I've been thinking about that night at Julie's Place -- the night I was drugged -- and I'm wondering if maybe we were wrong -- [you know], about who put the drugs in my Champagne. [I mean], Gabi loves to gloat when she gets away with something, [so]...I just think, once she was actually acquitted of the crime, that she would have bragged about it endlessly if she'd actually done it. [And] she claimed that Rolf set her up. [And] she also tried to inject Jake with the same substance, [so] if she knew it was poison, why would she do that?" Abigail reasoned, and Chad conceded the points.
"[Still]...there's no one else who has a vendetta against you and me [and] would want to hurt you like that," Chad stressed, and Abigail conceded the point.
At Julie's Place, Gwen continued thinking about the night that Abigail had been drugged.
Julie filled two glasses with Champagne then walked away from the bar with a shake of the head, as if having forgotten a crucial part of Chad and Abigail's order. As soon as the coast was clear, Gwen rushed over to the bar, produced a vial of clear liquid, and added every drop of the concoction to one of the glasses of Champagne. Later, Gwen watched from a corner of the restaurant as Abigail drank the spiked Champagne.
Gwen bumped into Julie while trying to leave the restaurant. "Don't I know you from somewhere?" Julie asked Gwen after taking responsibility for the collision. "You got me -- um, I was actually involved in a little...incident here with, um, Chad DiMera [at one point]... I had a drink or two -- or too many, actually -- and, um...he helped me get home," Gwen clarified. "I'm sure I wasn't working that night...[but] I do have a memory for faces, and I've definitely seen yours before," Julie countered. "You saw me with Claire," Gwen suggested. "No -- that isn't it," Julie insisted.
"Well, I suppose I just have one of those faces," Gwen declared before rushing off, leaving Julie to continue pondering the matter.
At the police station, Jake entered one of the conference rooms and greeted Ben, who was handcuffed to a chair and was in the process of taking out some frustrations on it. "Have to try harder than that if you're plannin' on bustin' outta here," Jake advised, recognizing that the chair was fairly sturdy, and Ben conceded the point with a sigh of defeat.
"What are you doing here, man?" Ben asked. "Heard Ciara's missin' -- thought you could use a friend," Jake replied. "You didn't have to come," Ben insisted. "Course I did -- couldn't risk losin' my best mechanic," Jake countered. "I, uh, would've been here sooner, but it has been a wild couple o' days..." Jake began to explain.
"Again?" Ben replied after Jake mentioned having recently broken up with Gwen. "Geez..." Ben replied after Jake mentioned that Gabi and Rafe had rushed off to Mexico to be with their gravely ill mother. "[Anyway], look, I'm more worried about you right now -- I know there's no way in hell you'd ever hurt Ciara, so...what the hell are ya doin' here?" Jake concluded, deciding not to tell Ben how the two events were connected. "I'm waiting for Justin to get the damn charges dropped so I can get out of here and find Ciara -- before it's too late..." Ben clarified with a shudder of concern. "But...you're innocent, [and] Hope knows [that], so why doesn't she come in here, pop the cuffs off, and let you go?" Jake wondered. "'Official channels' and all this crap, man..." Ben grumbled.
Jake went to look for Justin then returned a short time later to give Ben an update. "You're gonna get released soon," Jake promised. "'Soon'? Jake, I need to get the hell out of here right now!" Ben fretted.
While searching Wendy's house, Hope found a piece of jewelry and showed it to Shawn, who didn't recognize it. "I gave this bracelet to Ciara for her birthday almost two years ago -- [and] it's not broken, which means that Ciara left it for us to find so we'd know we're on the right track," Hope explained. "Sounds like my little sister," Shawn raved.
Meanwhile, Vincent and Ciara continued traveling in Wendy's vehicle -- and Vincent continued believing that Ciara was Wendy. "I have big plans for you, my love," Vincent -- who was blinking erratically and seemed to be having trouble focusing on the road, as if feeling the effects of the drug that had been intended for Ciara -- declared. "Like what?" Ciara asked flatly. "If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise," Vincent teasingly replied.
Vincent took a hand off the steering wheel to stroke Ciara's hair. "You might want to keep your eyes on the road," Ciara stiffly advised. "Hard to -- you're so pretty..." Vincent dreamily explained.
"I'm not Wendy," Ciara hesitantly clarified. "Course you are -- who else would you be?" Vincent countered with a scoff. "That's silly!" Vincent insisted, scoffing again, after Ciara answered the question truthfully. "You're Wendy -- my Wendy," Vincent maintained. "I'm so sorry to tell you this, but...Wendy's dead," Ciara countered. "Don't even joke about [that] -- of course you're not dead!" Vincent argued, scoffing once again. "Not yet..." Vincent quickly added, drawing a gulp from Ciara.
Ciara continued trying to get through to Vincent. "You told me yourself [that] Wendy is dead," Ciara pointed out. "[Because] the police called me [and] told me that Ben Weston had tried to kill you, and I thought it was true [at first...but, obviously], I was wrong, because we're here [now] -- together," Vincent clarified. Just then, Vincent swerved to avoid a car, prompting Ciara to suggest that it might be best for them to pull over and get some rest. Vincent scoffed at Ciara's idea, insisting that they didn't have time for that because they had a flight to catch.
Hope and Shawn entered the police station and updated Ben, who had finally been released -- and was horrified to hear about Vincent's connection to Wendy. Hope and Shawn rushed back out of the police station -- with Ben close behind -- after figuring out that Vincent and Ciara were traveling in Wendy's vehicle and had passed through a tollbooth near an airstrip.
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail gulped down some medication while alone in the study. "No more hallucinations..." Abigail muttered -- just as Jake approached. "Stefan's twin brother?" Abigail asked hopefully, and Jake confirmed the suspicion. "Didn't realize you were coming back from Florida so soon..." Jake admitted. "You're not the only one," Abigail replied.
Abigail admitted to having had an awkward encounter with Gwen earlier, prompting Jake to make a snide remark -- just as Chad returned. After Jake walked away, Abigail questioned Chad, who reluctantly admitted that something had happened with Gwen. Meanwhile, Jake found Gwen in one of the bedrooms, pondering the idea of giving Abigail another dose of the drug.
Hope, Shawn, and Ben arrived at the airstrip and found Vincent still there, having been delayed at a locked gate. Vincent -- who had realized, while stuck at the locked gate, that Ciara really wasn't Wendy -- tried to escape. Hope and Shawn followed, but Ben stayed behind, assuming that Ciara might be in Wendy's vehicle.
As Ben approached Wendy's vehicle, it exploded.
Gwen plots against Abigail
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail struggled to process Chad's confession. "Do you have any idea how hard I worked to get back here to you and the kids [while] you've been carrying around with...whoever the hell that woman is?" Abigail snapped. "'That woman' is a manipulative wannabe, [and] Jake [only] saw her kissing me because that's what she wanted -- I...I wasn't in on the plan; I...I was...I was stealth-kissed!" Chad stressed. "Don't make me laugh when I am so mad at you!" Abigail warned. "You can't be mad at me, because I...I didn't do anything wrong -- I mean, not really..." Chad argued.
"I played along with it...[but only because] I needed Gwen on my side [to] get rid of Gabi!" Chad explained. "Sounds like you just replaced [Gabi, because] from the very little I know, [Gwen] sounds like Gabi 2.0 to me," Abigail countered. "[Honestly, Gwen got] a raw deal -- Gabi recruited Jake to screw me up with Shin, and then Gwen walked in on Gabi thanking Jake...horizontally," Chad revealed. Abigail eventually calmed down and let Chad off the hook.
Meanwhile, Jake demanded an explanation from Gwen, who was holding a vial of clear liquid and had just finished muttering that it might be time to give Abigail another dose of the drug. "You begged Chad [until you] talked him into letting you stay here...and now, all of a sudden, you're packing up?" Jake assumed, unaware that Gwen only had a suitcase out because it doubled as a hiding place for the remaining vials of the drug. "I'm not leaving Chez DiMera -- I'm just leaving this room [and] moving into Gabi's larger, lovelier, more luxurious room, where I don't have to share a bed with you," Gwen clarified after a moment of thought, relieved that Jake hadn't seen or heard anything incriminating. "Wouldn't it be easier for you to just carry this stuff to your new room?" Jake pointed out as Gwen started packing to sell the lie.
"Packing it and unpacking it -- [well, that] just seems like so much wasted time and work...especially when you're gonna be packing it all up again in no time, [since] Chad's wife is back, [and] you're hot for her husband," Jake continued. "Not that it's any of your damn business, but I'm not 'hot' for anyone, okay? In fact, I've decided that I'm much better off without a man in my life -- it just complicates things. [And] I am not leaving this mansion -- [at least not] until I've completed my mission," Gwen countered. "You can't seriously be thinking of going after Chad now, [when] his wife is back!" Jake protested, and Gwen played along, relieved to have an excuse for the slip. "It's a good thing [Gabi left before Abigail returned] -- imagine having to share a house with the same woman who poisoned you..." Gwen mused.
"I warned [Abigail] about you," Jake revealed. "'Warned' her? What possible threat could I be?" Gwen protested.
Gwen finished packing then rushed off -- and, a short time later, Jake received a visit from Chad. "My wife's been in town for a couple hours, and you're already stirring up trouble?" Chad snapped. "I felt she deserved to hear the truth," Jake explained. "I may have 'class' now -- especially in comparison to you -- but I wasn't born that way. I was born a fighter, so do not push me," Chad warned before advising Jake to start looking for a new place to live.
Meanwhile, Gwen joined Abigail in the study. "I'm sorry about...um, you know...what you saw," Gwen stressed. "You mean when Chad was comforting you? 'Cause I didn't see you kiss him -- I just...you know, heard about that," Abigail countered. "So, Chad told you... [Well, look], this does not excuse what I did, but I was not making a play [for] your husband -- I was [just] trying to make Jake jealous," Gwen explained. "Well, that worked out well for you, didn't it?" Abigail mused. "I don't suppose that a mutual loathing of someone named 'Gabi' might be basis for a friendship, would it? [Or at least] a truce?" Gwen suggested. "You know, I think maybe it could," Abigail decided. "Well, then...how 'bout, uh, we make a toast to better days?" Gwen offered, and Abigail agreed.
Gwen prepared -- and spiked -- Abigail's drink, but Chad returned before the toast could be completed. Abigail exited the study with Chad, leaving the spiked drink untouched.
At the hospital, Sarah received an unexpected visit from Xander, who was in need of a friend. "I told you [earlier that] Philip wasn't interested in Titan...[but] I was wrong," Xander admitted to Sarah with a sigh.
"Like Hoda and Jenna!" Sarah summarized in response to the news that Victor had decided to make Xander and Philip co-CEOs of Titan. "Sorry -- it's too soon," Sarah acknowledged after realizing that Xander didn't find the comparison particularly amusing. "But is it really so terrible?" Sarah challenged Xander. "Yes!" Xander insisted, but Sarah disagreed. "Victor could have just handed everything over to Philip -- [after all, Victor did that] once before, with Brady," Sarah pointed out. "[But] the difference there was that at least Brady was, you know, somewhat competent, [whereas] Pip isn't up to the job," Xander countered.
"[But] Victor can't say no to Sonny-Boy Philip -- he'll...run away again or something [if that happens] -- so I've got to prop him up and pretend like we're equals, [even though] I earned [the CEO position, unlike that] 90-pound nitwit Philip. [And, look, this isn't just about] my hurt pride; this is terrible for Titan! [I mean], it's Management 101 -- you have one person in charge, with a vision, calling the shots. [Now], what happens when [Philip] makes some idiotic decision [and] I disagree with him? What are we gonna do -- arm-wrestle? Actually, that would work out kind of great for me...but it's not gonna happen, is it? [No] -- we'll go to Victor [for the tiebreaker], and Victor will back his son...[and then], when it all goes totally south, I'll get the blame," Xander continued.
"Maybe I should quit," Xander concluded. "You are not going to quit, [because] like you said, you have earned this...and I know firsthand that you don't give up on anything without a fight, [so...look, at the very least], don't quit until you are sure that it won't work -- [at least try to] figure out a way to play the hand that Victor dealt you [first]," Sarah advised. "But the game's rigged -- Philip has the ultimate trump card [as] Victor's only [living] son, and he'll keep playing that card until he's running Titan solo!" Xander fretted. "Victor is not all sentiment -- when it comes to business, he is as pragmatic as it comes -- [so] I think [that] if Philip is anywhere near as incompetent as you say he is, then Victor is gonna fire his ass in no time and never look back," Sarah predicted. "I wish I believed that..." Xander admitted.
At the Horton Town Square, Belle continued a phone conversation with Marlena, unaware that someone was eavesdropping. "I'm sure [Dad's] swelling's gonna go down soon," Belle said. "No, I haven't heard anything about Ciara...[but Shawn and Hope] did get a lead -- [apparently, Vincent's] fiancée was the midwife that Ben killed," Belle said. "No, uh, I'm not gonna go to the townhouse [tonight] -- I'm trying to steer clear of Sami," Belle said. "Mom, she brought Jan Spears back to Salem -- because...I don't know, smallpox wasn't available..." Belle said. "I'll be careful," Belle said.
Someone approached from behind as Belle ended the call. "Jan!" Belle screamed in horror while blindly shoving the person away. "Actually...it's Philip," the person clarified for Belle with a groan after landing on the ground. "Oh, I am so sorry! Are you okay?" Belle asked while helping Philip up. "I hurt, and I feel really stupid...[but] I'm so glad it didn't happen in a public place, [at least]," Philip joked. "I didn't know, when you came up behind me and put your hands around my neck, that [you were] a friend," Belle explained. "Your shoulders!" Philip argued. "Well, wherever you put your hands, you should have just...you know, used your words [instead]," Belle advised. "[Anyway...again], I'm sorry -- uh, I'm just a bit on edge..." Belle admitted before telling Philip about Jan's return.
"If you're really that worried, I could get you a security team," Philip offered after hearing the whole story. "No -- I mean, uh, I have thought about that, but, um, I don't want to overreact," Belle replied. "[Plus], Shawn knows [Jan's] back, right? He won't let anything happen to you," Philip reasoned. "Right," Belle agreed.
"Speaking of Shawn...he might not be too happy about me showing up again [and] looking you up," Philip acknowledged. "Shawn knows that -- that you and I are ancient history," Belle insisted. "Besides, he's got enough to deal with [right now], with Ciara still missing..." Belle pointed out. "[Yeah] -- my father's going nuts..." Philip reported.
"[So], why did you come back? [I mean], Shawn said it was something to do with your 'legacy' -- what does that mean?" Belle asked. "It means he's here to steal my job," Xander clarified while approaching Belle and Philip. "I didn't steal your job," Philip argued. "Right -- just half of it," Xander conceded. "I'm no happier about that than you are," Philip stressed.
While Philip and Xander were arguing, Belle received a phone call from Shawn. "There was an explosion... I have to go..." Belle explained to Philip and Xander after ending the call. "Sarah got a call [about that earlier]... Was Ciara there?" Xander realized. "I don't know," Belle admitted before rushing off. "I think we should put our differences aside for the time being -- for the sake of the family," Philip said to Xander, who agreed. "[But] I've seen the way you play the family card [already, so] don't think you're putting one over on me [with this]," Xander warned. "When I do, you won't know it," Philip countered.
At the hospital, Sarah greeted Ben, who had just regained consciousness. "You're being treated for burns and smoke inhalation. There was an explosion..." Sarah began to explain to Ben, who quickly remembered everything.
Hope eventually joined Ben. "Did you find Ciara?" Ben asked hopefully. "Nothing...but these..." Hope tearfully replied. Ben broke down at the sight of Ciara's wedding rings. Meanwhile, Belle comforted Shawn at the airstrip, where firefighters were cleaning up the charred remains of Wendy's vehicle.
The judge decides custody of baby Horton
As Kayla walked through the square, she ran into Justin, and they chatted. Justin expressed hope that Ciara would be fine because the police knew Vincent had kidnapped her. "You haven't heard," Kayla whispered. Kayla told Justin that the police had cornered Vincent on foot, but when Ben had raced to Vincent's car to free Ciara, it had exploded. "Last I heard, the only thing they could recover was Ciara's rings," Kayla said. Kayla noted that no one could have survived the explosion. Justin hugged Kayla to comfort her.
"Ciara's dead," Kayla whispered. Justin worried aloud about Hope. "I'm sorry to tell you about Ciara like this. I mean, she is your family, too," Kayla said. Justin said he knew that Kayla had been close to Ciara. "I have to be strong for Hope. I have to keep it together," Kayla said. Justin told Kayla that she did not need to be strong for him, and he encouraged her to cry on his shoulder if she needed.
After crying, Kayla apologized for falling apart. "I'll never forget how you were there for me when I lost Adrienne. You're the only reason I got through that. And I just want you to know that I am here for you anytime you need a shoulder. As a friend. Always," Justin said. "Thank you. It really means the world to me," Kayla said.
Sami entered John's hospital room with coffee, and she gently woke Marlena. Marlena confirmed that she had spent the night at John's bedside. As Sami started to say that John would want Marlena to take better care of herself, an annoyed Marlena barked at Sami that she knew better than Sami what John would want. Marlena added, "I'm also upset about you and what you did."
"So, I guess you've heard that Jan Spears is back in town," Sami said. Marlena accused Sami of sending Jan to Salem purely to damage Eric's relationship with Nicole. Sami disagreed with the characterization, and she stressed that she had helped Jan leave the mental institution in order for Sami to win custody of her grandson. "I had the great pleasure of bumping into Jan at the hospital. In fact, she asked me to be her therapist," Marlena said.
"At least [Jan] knows that she needs psychiatric help," Marlena added. Marlena told Sami that her actions had been selfish and dangerous. "I think that Jan Spears is dangerous," Marlena argued. Sami countered that she thought the same about Nicole. "Do you really think that Eric is capable of endangering that child?" Marlena asked. When Sami argued that Nicole was capable of manipulating Eric, Marlena interrupted to say that Allie agreed that the baby was better off with Nicole and Eric.
"You thought you had to win. You thought that you somehow had to hurt Nicole," Marlena said. "Clearly, you are just on Nicole's side," Sami muttered. Marlena argued that she was on the side of reason. Marlena reminded Sami that Jan had hurt people recently. "Thanks a lot. Nicely done, Sami," Marlena grumbled. Sami noted that she had helped speed up Jan's release, just like Marlena had helped Claire.
"It's not the same thing, and you know it," Marlena said. "Why? Because she is family? What about Ben Weston?" Sami asked. Sami reminded Marlena that Ben had strangled her son, and still Marlena had vouched for Ben's recovery. "Why can't Jan be better?" Sami asked. Marlena disagreed. When Sami suggested that Jan also deserved a second chance, a frustrated Marlena asked Sami to stop pretending that she cared about Jan.
"I hope that she is no longer a danger to herself or anybody else. And I especially hope that for your sake," Marlena said. Marlena told Sami that Sami would be responsible if Jani did anything to hurt anyone. Sami stressed that she would not let Marlena make her feel guilty for fighting for her grandson.
"You obviously think I'm a lousy parent and that I failed with my daughter," Sami said. "I do not think that!" Marlena objected. Sami argued that although she was not a perfect parent, she was a better parent than "Nicole the murderer." Sami glanced at her watch and noted that she needed to get to court. "Try to do the right thing," Marlena said. "I am doing the right thing," Sami countered as she walked out. "I've never needed you more than I do right now," Marlena said to John.
Eric and Nicole woke up in bed, and Nicole told Eric about her nightmare. "Waiting for this judge's decision is brutal," Nicole said. Eric was hopeful that they would hear a positive answer from the judge. When Nicole worried aloud about Jan's testimony, Eric assured Nicole that the judge would not deem Nicole an unfit mother because of what Jan had said.
"Jan might be crazy, but she is not lying. Everything that Jan and Victor and even Sami said about me was true," Nicole admitted. "You know what's most important? It's where you are now and who you are," Eric said. Eric reminded Nicole that she had him and Holly in her life. "I'm so proud of you, and I love you so much. And I think we are going to be great parents to that baby," Eric said.
At the Salem Inn, Brady and Kristen finished making love, and Kristen was alarmed to see that it was morning. "I have to pick up Rachel before Eli's shift ends," Kristen said. Brady warned Kristen to be careful.
Eli returned home and found Lani was still babysitting Rachel. "You're home early," Lani said. "Is it early? I can't even tell anymore," Eli said. Lani encouraged Eli to rest, but he noted that he needed to head back to the station. "We found Ciara. It's not good news," Eli said. Eli told Lani what had happened at the airfield.
"Poor Hope. She's already lost her husband and one of her sons," Lani said. Eli shook his head, and he headed into the bathroom. While Eli was in the shower, Kristen called Lani and apologized for her lateness. Lani assured Kristen that everything was under control. "Don't worry about Eli," Lani said. When Lani mentioned that Brady would need Kristen's support, Kristen was confused. Lani informed Kristen that Ciara was dead.
"I don't mind keeping Rachel a little bit longer if you need me to," Lani told Kristen. As Eli returned to the main room, he overheard Lani tell Kristen that she would handle Eli. "Just go and be there for Brady," Lani assured Kristen. When Lani ended the call, Eli told Lani that though he had agreed not to tell the police about Kristen, it did not mean that he had been "handled."
"I thought you understood," Lani said. Angry, Eli said he did not understand why Lani had put their family in jeopardy for Kristen. "You said," Lani started. "I didn't say anything! Actually, I never even got a chance to voice my opinion before you included us both in this mess," Eli said. Lani reiterated that Kristen was her friend.
"Someone like that can never be your friend. She's a criminal and a sociopath. She is never going to change. I just hope you don't find that out the hard way," Eli said. When Lani argued that Kristen had not killed Haley in cold blood, Eli countered, "She pushed her down the stairs." With a shake of his head, Eli added that Kristen was wanted for stabbing Victor, not killing Haley. "What Victor did to Kristin is unforgivable," Lani said. Eli stressed that he was not defending what Victor had done. "We're cops. You can't just go around stabbing people," Eli argued. Lani said she did not condone Kristen's actions, but she understood them.
"So, what about all the other crimes that she's committed and never had to pay for? Does she deserve just a slap on the wrist for those, too?" Eli noted. Eli asked Lani if she was tired of seeing the bad guys win and the good guys suffer. "I don't want to bring our babies into a world like that. Do you?" Eli said. When Lani reasoned aloud that Eli's anger was not just about Kristen, Eli barked, "The hell it isn't!" Lani cautioned Eli not to wake the baby.
"Why is this baby still here?" Eli asked. Lani promised that the baby would not be there much longer. Eli was unsure. Lani told Eli that she appreciated what Eli was doing to help her friend. With a sigh, Eli announced that he needed to return to work. Lani asked Eli to give Hope her love. "I will. I got to go," Eli muttered as he walked out the door.
At the Salem Inn, a stunned Brady collapsed onto the bed after Kristen told him the news about Ciara. "Ciara? She was so young. She was so smart," Brady said. In disbelief, Brady announced that he needed to see Victor because Victor would be devastated by the news. Kristen stepped in the way.
"You're going to leave me to run to your grandfather's side? Rachel and I won't be here when you get back," Kristen said. Brady asked Kristen if she was serious. "I am so sorry for Ciara's death, but I am not sorry for Victor's pain. He deserves it after what he put us through," Kristen growled. Brady noted that he had inflicted a lot of pain on Victor already. Furious, Kristen asked Brady if he intended to run back to his grandfather like always. Brady stressed that Victor wanted to make amends. Kristen scoffed at the idea.
"He was willing to recant his statement implicating you in the stabbing, remember that?" Brady said. "It was way too late!" Kristen countered. Brady asked Kristen if she had turned her back on Stefano when he had asked her for help. "[Stefano's] my father," Kristen said. "I know. And when he came to you and he needed your help, after all the terrible things that he did to my family, did I even once ask you to walk away from him?" Brady asked. "No, never," Kristen whispered. Kristen told Brady to go to Victor if it was that important to him.
Brady started to leave, then stopped. Kristen asked Brady if he had changed his mind about Victor. Brady shook his head, and he pointed out that Victor had a support system around him. "You made me realize what's important," Brady said. Brady noted that he was in Salem to support his dad.
"I just want you to know that you don't ever have to choose between me and your family," Kristen said. "You are my family. You and Rachel," Brady said. Kristen apologized for losing her temper. "[Victor] is a sore spot. I get it," Brady said. Brady kissed Kristen goodbye, and he thanked her again for staying in Salem with him.
After Brady left, Kristen called Lani about Rachel. "I'll bring her over. You can't risk being seen," Lani said. Kristen thanked Lani for her help. "How did you manage to avoid Eli finding out?" Kristen asked. Lani told Kristen that Eli knew Kristen was in Salem. Kristen worried aloud that Eli would turn her in, but Lani assured her that Eli had promised not to say anything to the police. Kristen apologized for causing turmoil in Lani's relationship with Eli.
"You'd do it for me, right?" Lani asked. "You know I would, of course," Kristen said. With a nod, Lani said she was certain she had made the right call. Kristen promised never to put Lani in that position with Eli again. "It was a pleasure watching Rachel, and it gives me good practice for when I have my two babies," Lani said. Room service knocked on the door. Kristen thanked Lani again, and she ended the call. When Kristen opened the door, she found Eli in the hallway, not room service.
As Nicole and Eric kissed in bed, Eric's phone rang with a call from Justin. "Is it time?" Nicole asked. "Yeah. We need to go to the courthouse. The judge has made her decision," Eric said. When Eric and Nicole arrived at the judge's chambers, they learned the news about Ciara's death from Justin. Eric reminisced about Ciara's birth and how it had helped Bo and Hope heal after Zack's death.
"And now, Ciara is gone, too," Eric said. "Oh, no. No," Sami said as she walked in the room. Eric confirmed that Ciara was dead. "I thought she was going to be okay. Oh, our sweet little cousin," Sami whispered. With a growl, Sami muttered that she'd known Ben would be the end of Ciara. Eric corrected Sami, and he asked to talk. Sami refused when she saw the judge enter the room.
"Before I make my decision official, I want to make sure that there has been no contact with the mother, Allie Horton," Judge Duncan said. Sami and Justin confirmed that neither had information on Allie. With a nod, Judge Duncan said that since they did not know the paternity of the father, that left Sami or Nicole and Eric as the only viable options for custody. "Frankly, from what I've heard, neither option is ideal," Judge Duncan said. Judge Duncan noted that her decision was based on the best interest of the child.
Judge Duncan noted that Jan's testimony had been informative, but her mental stability was in question. Sami argued that Jan's diary backed up Jan's testimony. When Judge Duncan glared at Sami, Sami stopped talking. Judge Duncan announced that she was lifting the restraining order to allow Eric and Nicole visitation with the baby, per Allie's wishes. Sami objected, but the judge shut her down.
Judge Duncan announced that there was no way to know Allie's current wishes for her child because she had not been located. "Considering the competing allegations, there's one differentiating factor. Samantha DiMera is the closest relative. Samantha DiMera is the grandmother. Therefore, I am ruling in favor of Samantha DiMera. You may keep custody of baby boy Horton," Judge Duncan announced. Judge Duncan warned Sami not to make her regret her decision.
In John's room at the hospital, Marlena and Kayla talked about Ciara's death. Marlena asked Kayla about Ben. Kayla explained that Ben was healing but sedated. With a sigh, Marlena lamented that she had canceled her last appointment with Ben because she might have intervened before Ciara had been placed in danger. "John was fighting for his life. You were exactly where you needed to be," Kayla stressed.
Marlena asked Kayla if there was any change in John's condition. Kayla noted that John had been improving, but it was slower than they had hoped. "He is showing signs of depressed cardiac function," Kayla confirmed. Kayla noted that the cardiologist had recommended that they remove John from his coma. "Even if he is not ready?" Marlena asked. Kayla explained that they did not have a choice.
After Kayla left, Marlena sat next to John and gave him encouragement. Brady walked in and listened. "We'll be fine," Marlena said. "You will be fine," Brady agreed. Marlena told Brady that the doctors intended to remove John from his coma. "That's good news, right?" Brady asked. Marlena furrowed her brow. When Brady asked what was wrong, Marlena noted that John had a long road toward recovery. Marlena told Brady he should return to his daughter rather than stay in town.
"I want to be here for as long as you and dad need me to be," Brady stressed. Marlena cried in relief. After a quick call with Belle about John, Brady asked Marlena if she wanted him to contact Sami and Eric. Marlena explained that Sami and Eric were in court. With a chuckle, Marlena said she thought that John would be happy to see Marlena and Brady there together after the turmoil of their past.
"I never, never doubted that you were always the best thing that ever happened to him," Brady said. "And you were always a wonderful son to him," Marlena countered. Marlena thanked Brady for being there with her. Brady asked John for a sign. Marlena admitted she did not know when or if John would wake up. "If he wakes up, is he even going to be himself?" Brady asked. Marlena said there was no way to know what John's recovery would look like after a brain injury. John's eyes fluttered open. Brady and Marlena gasped.