At the Walker-Brady apartment, Eric finished telling Nicole the reason for Angie's visit. "I don't think you should have decided not to go [to Africa] without talking to your wife; I mean, isn't that what married couples are supposed to do -- make decisions together?" Nicole argued. "I just didn't think there was a decision to make -- [after all], how could I take a job in Africa [when] my life is here, with you and Holly?" Eric replied.
"Those people do need help...but that does not mean that I need to be there; I can stay right here with you, and we can raise awareness and money together --" Eric pointed out. "Yeah, I can do [that] -- raise money, [and] a lot of it, [at that -- but] I can't look someone in the eyes and give them the strength to keep going, or [give] kids who don't have enough to eat [a reason] to laugh, [or] make people feel strong and capable; that is what you do," Nicole argued. "[Still]...maybe I can take you [to Africa]...but I can't take Holly!" Eric countered.
"If Holly and I weren't a factor, would you still have turned Angie down?" Nicole challenged Eric. "I can't believe you're even doing this! [I mean], are you saying you want me to go?" Eric protested. "[No], I don't want you to go -- I want to live in a cocoon here with you and our daughter -- [but] that wouldn't be you, and we both know it," Nicole clarified.
"I know how much the people in the village mean to you -- I saw [that for] myself when you took me there. And I [also] saw how much you meant to them. [Look], I love our life...but I also love you -- the man whose whole heart goes out to people in need, the man who would be miserable if he couldn't help the people that he loves -- [and] doing the far, far better thing doesn't come easy to me, especially in this case...but I don't want the fact that you love me to change who you are; I want you to stay the man I married. [And] I don't want you here if your heart is 7,000 miles away...and it already [is]," Nicole continued.
"I was a pretty cynical kind of a gal for a long time, [which is why] I always envied your faith...but I think it's starting to rub off on me. I've been looking at things differently -- after we didn't get Allie's baby, I thought I really screwed that up for you --" Nicole continued. "Sami is the one who screwed things up -- for both of us," Eric interjected. "[No] -- that was me. And I felt horrible, because I knew what a wonderful father you would be, and how lucky that little boy would be to have a dad like you. But then Angie showed up, and [now I'm thinking]...I don't know, maybe..." Nicole continued. "[God] is up there [and] does have a plan?" Eric guessed, and Nicole nodded in response.
"[Look], I am happier than I ever thought possible -- you are my husband, and our daughter is healthy and safe -- and if [God] could give me that after all the crap I've pulled, I guess I could loan you to him for a while. [So], if he wants you to go, then who am I to stand in his way?" Nicole continued. "Holly and I will be here for you when you get back," Nicole concluded, fighting back tears. "I would never agree to go if I didn't know that," Eric replied, also fighting back tears.
At the DiMera mansion, Sami hung up on the travel agent then greeted Allie. "I can't believe this -- you're back!" Sami raved while trying to seize a hug from Allie. "Yeah, I'm back -- and it looks like I'm just in time," Allie spat while raising an arm to keep Sami at bay. "Thank God -- you're safe, [and] you came to your senses!" Sami declared, ignoring Allie's attempt to stop the hug from happening. "Oh, my God -- I didn't 'come back to my senses'; I knew exactly what I was doing when I left!" Allie insisted, squirming out of Sami's arms.
"[But] as soon as I heard that you stole my baby from Nicole and Eric --" Allie began to explain. "I got legal custody --" Sami clarified. "I came back. So, that plane ride to Rome -- you're going alone," Allie concluded. "You're upset --" Sami acknowledged. "I am furious! You knew what I wanted, and it meant nothing to you -- because it never does!" Allie summarized. "I couldn't let Nicole raise your child -- she's a murderer!" Sami stressed. "Oh, my God -- I mean, it's not like you're Mary Poppins!" Allie countered.
"It doesn't mean anything to you that a court of law gave me custody -- [that] an impartial judge decided --" Sami began to argue. "'Impartial'? In Salem? How much are judges going for nowadays, huh? How much did you have to pay to get your hands on my child?" Allie interjected. "Believe me, that judge did what she thought was best --" Sami insisted. "Bull -- you bought her a condo or something, and then you brought that psycho woman in to testify against Nicole!" Allie countered before starting to storm off in search of the baby.
Sami warned that Allie couldn't take the baby anywhere. "Of course, I can -- I'm his mother," Allie argued. "But you're not his guardian -- not anymore. The court awarded me full custody," Sami stressed, but Allie remained determined to put the baby back in Eric and Nicole's care right away.
"I don't know why you hate me -- guess I just have to accept that you do, and accept that it is all my fault --" Sami began to concede. "I don't 'hate' you --" Allie halfheartedly tried to clarify. "[But that] baby needs you to set aside that hate and do what is best for him," Sami concluded. "I am!" Allie insisted. "No, Allie -- you are using that baby to hurt me. You could have given him to anyone to raise, but you chose Nicole Walker -- the woman who stole your sister from me -- [because] you know [that if you] hand her my grandson...[well], there is nothing in the world that would hurt me more," Sami summarized.
"[No] -- I am thinking about him!" Allie maintained. "[But], again, I underestimated you -- I should have known you'd get what you want; you always do!" Allie grumbled. "[And now] you want to take my son back to Rome, [even though] his family's here, [because] E.J.'s in Rome! So, you'll go back to your little palazzo, and you'll hand my kid off to your servants, and you'll go back to looking [after] your own personal English patient!" Allie summarized before vowing to prevent that from happening. "You don't have a say in what happens to him now -- you gave that up," Sami reiterated with a shrug.
"[But] there's a simple solution --" Sami began to suggest. "Yeah -- I cave, and you win," Allie bitterly guessed. "Come to Rome with me [and] give yourself a chance to fall in love with your baby," Sami continued. "[Look], I am just trying to stop you from making the biggest mistake of your life. [And if] you need me to be the bad guy in your story, [that's] okay -- I can take it, [because] the only thing that matters is you and your baby, and that you both are happy. So, hate me if you need to, but go see your baby -- hold him in your arms, feed him -- [and maybe] then you'll see that it's not about me; it's all about him," Sami concluded.
Allie seemed moved at first but soon recovered. "You know what I was thinking about on the way back here? All the things you've gotten away with. Your whole life is a list of things you've gotten away with. Your parents, your grandparents, your husbands -- nobody ever tells you no. Except me! Your daughter is saying no! I'm going to the judge tomorrow morning -- [and] don't even think about getting on that plane with my son [in the meantime]!" Allie warned before storming off, ignoring Sami's protests.
At the hospital, Marlena ran into Sarah, who seized the opportunity to rave that John's latest test results looked very positive. "Um... Yeah..." Marlena agreed before telling Sarah about the issue that none of those tests had detected. "I...I know that she's your daughter, and I...I do mean this with the utmost respect, but...fighting with Sami isn't exactly the same as fighting with Mister Rogers -- uh, she does have a way of pushing people's buttons," Sarah pointed out. "She's a world-class provocateur," Marlena confirmed. "I'm sorry --" Sarah began to backpedal. "It's all right," Marlena insisted.
"When I came in and saw the fight, [even] I thought she was to blame...[but] John said that he had, uh, picked the fight for no good reason," Marlena clarified. "[Well, I guess that's] not...unexpected..." Sarah, who was clearly surprised, conceded after some thought. "Yeah...[but] he wants me to tell him how soon this is all going to be over --" Marlena revealed. "And you can't do that because no one knows," Sarah acknowledged.
Sarah offered Marlena a few words of support then walked away -- just as Claire exited a nearby elevator. "I just came by to see if I could visit Grandpa John [and] give you a break," Claire explained after greeting Marlena with a hug. "He's resting right now, but I'm glad to see you," Marlena replied before changing the subject, wondering how Claire was doing in the wake of the news about Ciara. "I'm just kind of numb -- I can't believe that Ciara's really gone," Claire admitted. "Yeah... Would you like me to recommend someone for you to talk to?" Marlena offered. "Actually, I...I have someone..." Claire revealed.
"You know what that woman has done to your parents -- to a lot of people!" Marlena protested after learning the identity of Claire's confidante. "Maybe Jan just wants somebody to give her a second chance! I got one, Ben got one -- why can't she?" Claire argued. "If she needs compassion and understanding, that has to come from a trained professional -- [I mean], how would your family feel about the fact that, you know, you were standing up for someone who had so deliberately tried to destroy their lives?" Marlena reasoned. "But I did the exact same thing to Ciara, [and] I can't judge someone for being like me!" Claire countered.
"Have I ever insisted on you doing something? Have I ever made rules, or made orders for you?" Marlena challenged Claire. "No -- never," Claire conceded. "Then you must know that this is important [when I tell you to] stay away from Jan Spears. [So]...just do [it], okay? For your own good...as well as your family's," Marlena demanded before walking away from Claire.
Shawn entered Hope's house and found Belle in Philip's arms. "Oh, God -- not this again..." Shawn tiredly mused, startling Belle and Philip, who quickly pulled away from each other.
"Shawn, I heard about Ciara... I'm so sorry --" Philip stressed. "Oh, so this is, uh, a condolence call?" Shawn skeptically summarized. "Shawn, no -- he is not here [because of] Ciara; he is here because of Jan Spears," Belle clarified. "Oh, God -- what now?" Shawn tiredly wondered, prompting Belle to elaborate.
"At least we know now why Jan is back in Salem, right? She's here to screw with us -- and she is gonna use our daughter to do it!" Belle fretted to Shawn at the end of the tale. "Claire's never gonna speak to that loon ever again -- [not] now that she knows who [that loon] is," Shawn assured Belle, who resisted the urge to respond.
Realizing why Belle wasn't comfortable discussing the matter any further at that moment, Shawn tried to chase off Philip, who took the hint but didn't immediately leave. "Look, I don't want to butt in --" Philip stressed. "Then don't," Shawn advised. "[But]...can we agree we have a common enemy and that I can be a resource? [I mean], a cop, a lawyer -- you all have to play by rules that I can skirt, so...if Jan tries something again, maybe you can let me know. [See, I already] told her if she tried to hurt anyone I cared about, I'd kill her...and I meant it," Philip concluded. "Wow -- that's a smart move, Philip; [I mean], she's a dangerous psychopath, [and] you just upped the stakes [by] pushing her buttons!" Shawn summarized. Belle quickly intervened, prompting Philip to leave after again offering condolences to Shawn.
Once the coast was clear, Belle told Shawn about Claire's earlier defense of Jan. "Oh, my God -- please tell me that this is not happening right now..." Shawn muttered. "I mean, I was already scared that what happened to Ciara would be too much for Claire to handle --" Belle fretted. "And now, [Jan's] moving in on her," Shawn concluded.
"Don't be scared -- I'm not gonna let anything happen to Claire," Shawn promised while comforting Belle with a hug. "What if something already has?" Belle countered. "Maybe Philip is right -- maybe we should just let him kill her..." Shawn mused, and Belle scoffed in response but didn't bother to object to the sentiment.
At the Horton Town Square, Jan wondered how Xander knew Philip. "He's my cousin, [and] we work together -- for now -- [but] we're not exactly close," Xander explained. "I...kind of got that..." Jan admitted. "Yeah, well...the truth is, I can't stand the guy...but I really can't stand him threatening a woman," Xander stressed. "A Greek knight in shining armor, right here in the Horton Town Square! And you're gonna protect me from the dastardly Sir Philip?" Jan dryly summarized. "Oh, he must be stopped...[but] you don't need me to do that -- [I think] you can do that all by yourself," Xander coolly replied.
Jan wondered if Xander had any suggestions. "Well, if someone threatened to kill me, I'd...go to the cops," Xander advised. "I don't think they'd take me seriously -- my relationship with them is a little...less than cordial," Jan admitted. "Well, that's something we have in common...but, I mean, he did actually threaten you -- they have to take that seriously," Xander declared.
"I speak fluent Kiriakis -- 'he needs to be stopped' translates to 'I want to stick it to him' -- [and] I also know that no Kiriakis man expresses concern for another human being if there's not something in it for him, [so]...is it my safety that's so important to you...or is this actually about Philip?" Jan wondered, prompting Xander to start complaining about Philip's recent actions involving Titan.
"Entitled little prat..." Xander grumbled at the end of the rant. "Always was and always will be... [So], now it's crystal clear why you're so concerned about my safety -- [I mean], you want him out of the picture, and if I report him to the police..." Jan summarized. "I don't think it will play too well that the co-CEO of Titan Industries issued a death threat," Xander confirmed.
"I can make it worth your while -- I promise," Xander stressed before starting to hand a business card to Jan -- just as Sarah approached. "Xander, what the hell are you doing? Don't you know who that is? You had better tell me that you don't know who that is!" Sarah snapped. "No -- we just met," Xander, who really hadn't gotten Jan's name yet, explained. "Oh. Okay. Well, then, in that case, let me do the honors -- Xander, this is Jan Spears!" Sarah clarified, surprising Xander, who had heard the name before. Sarah criticized Jan's past misdeeds then stormed off in disgust. While following Sarah, Xander flicked the business card at Jan, who picked it up and studied it then pocketed it with a smirk.
Xander followed Sarah back to the Kiriakis mansion and innocently promised to find another way of dealing with Philip -- one that didn't involve Jan. Satisfied, Sarah headed upstairs, and Xander fetched a bottle of wine from the living room bar then started to follow -- just as Philip entered the mansion.
Xander was surprised -- and annoyed -- to learn that Philip was going to be staying at the mansion for the time being. "That's right -- we'll be one big, happy family... And, look, about the office...[well], I shouldn't have tried to kick you out -- [after all], we're supposed to be equals -- so...how 'bout we share it? That way, I can keep an eye on you..." Philip said to Xander, who wondered if that was meant to be a promise or a threat. "Take it any way you want," Philip replied before walking away.
While passing through the town square, Claire ran into Jan, who seized the opportunity to apologize again for what had happened earlier. "I should have told you right away who I was, [but I was originally planning to just] say that I was sorry about your friend [then] go...[and I only decided to stick around] because I thought I understood how you felt, [because] I know how feelings can be so strong that it's like you just disappear into them, and [I know that most] people act like that shouldn't happen -- like you can stop it, like it's your fault..." Jan explained.
"I know -- don't listen to the crazy lady," Jan guessed before starting to walk away. "Wait," Claire called out, stopping Jan, who flashed a smirk but let it fade before turning back around. "Don't use that word -- don't call yourself 'crazy,' no matter what anyone else says," Claire advised. "I call myself that to make it not hurt so much when others do," Jan explained. "Yeah..." Claire agreed.
"It really means a lot to me that you talk to me like a human being --" Jan stressed. "Because you are one," Claire reasoned. "[But] please make sure I don't come between you and your parents. You're really lucky to have parents who love you as much as they do -- almost as lucky as they are to have a wonderful daughter like you. [Now, look], we don't want anyone to see us together...but if we do bump into each other [again], don't think you need to talk to me. Just keep walking -- I'll understand," Jan concluded before walking away, smirking once again.
Eric says goodbye
Allie surprised Nicole at Eric's apartment. Allie explained that she had returned to Salem when she had heard what Sami had done in court. "It was devastating but not surprising. Nothing your mother does surprises me," Nicole said. Allie vowed to convince the judge to award custody to Nicole and Eric, but Nicole noted that was not possible.
"Your mother's smear campaign was effective, and she made me out to be a monster," Nicole said. "That's a complete lie!" Allie argued. When Nicole noted that she had done horrible things in the past, Allie countered that Nicole had become a different person. Allie said she wanted to tell the judge all the reasons that Nicole and Eric were the perfect parents for her baby. With a sigh, Nicole informed Allie that circumstances had changed.
"Are you saying you don't want my baby anymore?" Allie asked. Nicole explained that Eric was leaving the country, and Nicole would be the sole parent. Concerned, Allie asked Nicole if she and Eric had broken up. Nicole explained that Eric was headed to Africa for an undetermined amount of time. Nicole added that she was staying behind in Salem with Holly.
"Would you consider raising my baby by yourself?" Allie asked. Nicole admitted that she was still overwhelmed by the news of Eric's departure. Allie apologized for pressuring Nicole. "You remember, we never discussed this in person. All Eric and I had to go on was your letter," Nicole said. Allie stressed that she had meant every word in her letter. Nicole reminded Allie that her letter had called Nicole and Eric a package deal, which was no longer the case.
"How long is Uncle Eric gone for? Not forever, right?" Allie asked. Nicole said she did not know how long Eric would be gone. With a groan, Allie argued that if Sami had respected her wishes, the baby would be with Nicole. "I need to make sure that the right thing happens from now on," Allie muttered. Allie said she intended to change the judge's mind with Justin's help.
"First, I need to know if you still want him," Allie asked. Nicole said she needed to talk to Eric first. With a nod, Allie asked Nicole to seriously consider the request. Nicole agreed, and she hugged Allie.
At the DiMera mansion, Sami fussed over baby boy Horton. Sami told the baby that she hoped to convince Allie to keep him. "[Allie] is going to move with us back to Italy, and we can raise you together," Sami whispered. Kate entered and grinned widely when she saw her great-grandson. Kate deduced that Sami was up to something when Sami stopped Kate from eating the muffins on the table.
Kate warned Sami that she could not use muffins to manipulate Allie. "I just want Allie to see that raising [the baby] with me is what's best for him," Sami said. Kate stressed that loving the baby and wanting to care for a baby were two very different things. When Sami countered that she had changed her mind about Will, Kate pointed out that Allie was not Sami.
"But she has a connection to this child. I know she does," Sami said. Sami told Kate that she was certain that Allie wanted to keep the baby but that Allie did not want to admit that Sami was right. Frustrated, Sami worried aloud that Allie was at the courthouse with the judge. Kate reminded Sami that the courthouse was not open yet.
"[Allie] went to see Nicole," Kate said. Sami wondered aloud why Allie would go to Nicole. Kate reminded Sami that Allie had made her preference for Nicole clear in the letter she had left behind. "Like it or not, she feels close to Nicole," Kate said. Sami argued that Nicole had brainwashed Allie. Kate countered that Allie had rights to the baby. When Sami said she intended to stop Allie from talking to the judge, Kate stopped her from walking out. Sami said her only goal was to keep the baby from Nicole. Kate agreed that she did not want Nicole to gain custody.
"Then why are you trying to stop me?" Sami asked. "Because I don't want you driving her away again. If you go charging over there right now, that's exactly what is going to happen," Kate argued. Sami called Kate dramatic. Kate noted that every time Sami had attempted to bend Allie to Sami's will, it had backfired.
"Not if I can convince [Allie] to come with me to Italy, and we can raise her child together," Sami said. Kate warned Sami to stop. Kate added that Allie had attempted to give her child to several people, and Sami had interfered each time. "Maybe she'll give her baby up for adoption," Kate suggested. Sami disagreed.
"You don't know what [Allie] will do. The last time you cornered her, what happened? She took off, and she left a letter saying that she wanted Nicole and Eric to raise her baby," Kate said. Frustrated, Sami said she needed to stop Allie. Sami asked Kate for help. Kate argued that Allie was likely already talking to Nicole and Eric. Kate noted that Allie could convince the judge to take the baby from Sami regardless.
"Even if Nicole doesn't get the baby, I could still lose custody. I can't let that happen," Sami admitted. "I don't think there is anything you can do to stop it," Kate said. Sami thanked Kate for making her realize that there was no reason to talk to Allie. "You have to come to terms with the fact that you have to give up the baby," Kate said. Sami disagreed. Sami argued that she had a window to return to Italy. "But I have to do it now when no one can stop me," Sami said. "Stop you from what?" Allie asked as she walked in.
At the Brady Pub, Belle laughed after Marlena told her that John had thrown a cactus at Sami. "It actually isn't funny," Marlena said. Marlena explained that Sami had gone to apologize to John, and he had blown up for no reason. Belle disagreed. Belle argued that after what Sami had said to John and after what Sami had done since her return to Salem, Belle wanted to throw a cactus at Sami's head, too.
"I was talking about your father's outburst. It's not a thing that he does. It scared him," Marlena said. Marlena confided that John feared losing control. When Belle asked if they should be worried about John, Marlena assured her that John's anger was a normal symptom, and they would keep an eye on him. "Dad's going to be okay, right?" Belle asked. Marlena said yes.
When Eric arrived, Roman joined the party, as well. Eric informed Roman, Belle, and Marlena that he was moving back to Africa to work with a relief agency. "I know I'm not a priest anymore, but [Angie] believes I can still help," Eric said. Belle asked about Nicole and Holly.
"Nicole made me realize how much my work in Africa, and the people there, meant to me, and I prayed about it. It's something I really need to do, and [Nicole] gave me her blessing," Eric said. Marlena reminded Eric that he had just gotten married, and she asked him if he was sure he wanted to leave home. Eric said he was certain.
"I'm going to miss each and every one of you, but I don't think I could be fully present in my life here, knowing that people in Africa are suffering," Eric explained. When Roman asked about Holly, Eric said he had not talked to Holly yet, but he knew she would support him. Eric stressed that Nicole and Holly would help support him emotionally and with fundraising. "It's gonna be a team effort," Eric said. Eric promised to video chat and write to the family.
"I'm so incredibly proud of you," Marlena said. "Same here. Putting people first like you always have," Roman said. With tears in her eyes, Belle told Eric she would miss him. "I'm going to miss you all so much," Eric said. When Marlena mentioned the rest of the family, Eric said he had not been able to reach Brady. "What about Sami?" Roman asked.
"I have nothing to say to Sami. Not after what she did to Nicole," Eric said. Marlena said she understood. "But to leave without saying goodbye?" Marlena asked. Eric said he did not have a lot of time before his flight, and he did not want to waste it on another fight with Sami.
In the Kiriakis living room, Brady asked Victor to back up his confession to the police that he, not Kristen, had stabbed Victor. "I'm desperate here. You're the only one that can help me out," Brady pleaded. Victor called Brady crazier than Kristen. Brady argued that Victor did not need to do anything but back up Brady's confession.
"The last time, all I had to do was say that she didn't do it. Not that you did," Victor noted. Brady said he could not watch Kristen go to prison. Victor argued that the police would not believe Brady, but Brady argued that the police had no choice because he had been caught at the scene with the murder weapon.
"I will tell them that you accused Kristen because you wanted her out of my life. The truth is, we got in a terrible argument, and I, in a moment of rage, stabbed you," Brady said. "And then you go to prison and she goes scot-free after she damn near killed me," Victor complained. Brady told Victor that he was going to confess, whether Victor helped him or not. As Victor scowled, Brady explained that he could get a lighter sentence than Kristen.
"How do you figure?" Victor asked. Brady said that the district attorney was sympathetic to why "Brady" had stabbed Victor. Victor reminded Brady that he had lied about the baby to protect Maggie. "I'm doing this to protect Kristen," Brady countered. Brady begged Victor to convince the police that Brady was to blame and that Victor had deserved what had happened.
"Maybe I did," Victor whispered. "So, you'll do it?" Brady asked. Victor reluctantly said he would talk to the cops for Brady's sake, not Kristen's. Brady called Belle at the pub. "I need to talk to you right away. Are you with Kristen?" Brady asked. Belle explained that she was still at the pub for Eric's family meeting. "Eric is leaving town tonight. He is going to Africa. For a while," Belle said. Brady said he was on his way over to say goodbye to Eric. As Brady turned his attention back to Victor, Victor called Brady stubborn.
"I really hate what you're doing. The only reason I'm going along with it is it is obvious you are not going to change your mind," Victor said. Brady shook his head no. "It seems we'll do anything we have to do to protect the people we love," Brady said. Brady shook Victor's hand and thanked him.
When Brady arrived at the pub, he said goodbye to his brother. "I'm actually really excited we're parting on good terms for a change," Brady said. Brady thanked Eric for repeatedly forgiving him. "I am really happy for you and Kristen. I hope everything works out between the two of you and Rachel," Eric said. As Brady and Eric hugged, Belle joined in. Eric asked Belle to say goodbye to Claire for him.
"My mom was right. You're a really good man," Belle said. As Eric went back to the table to talk to his parents, Brady told Belle that he was overwhelmed by the news. "He'll be back," Belle assured Brady. Belle told Brady that she was headed to the station, but Brady asked to talk strategy first. Brady told Belle about his plan.
"Just take my confession to the D.A. and try to make a deal," Brady requested. Belle reminded Brady that his children needed him. "My mind is made up," Brady said. Belle argued that Kristen needed to agree to the plan, but she would help Brady. After another goodbye to Eric, Belle and Brady left.
"Is there anything we can pick up for you?" Marlena offered. Eric shook his head no. "I've got everything I need," Eric said. "Mostly you've got a heart that is so full of love," Marlena said as she fought back tears. Roman hugged his son again. "I love you both," Eric said. After Eric left, Roman gave Marlena credit for not breaking down. Roman reminded Marlena that Eric always returned home. "I hope so," Marlena said.
When Eric returned to his apartment, Nicole met him at the door. "Did you say all your goodbyes?" Nicole asked. "All but one," Eric whispered as he touched Nicole's face. Eric kissed Nicole.
Lani visited Kristen at the station with coffee and breakfast. "That is not all. I brought some pictures of Rachel," Lani said. Lani showed Kristen pictures of Rachel on her phone. Kristen thanked Lani for taking care of her daughter. "I'm still angry at Eli. We wouldn't be in this mess if it wasn't for my husband," Lani said bitterly. Eli walked into the room.
"What do you want?" Lani asked. Eli said he was there to inform Kristen that Belle had agreed to take her case. Lani asked Eli to leave. "Don't shut me out like that," Eli pleaded. When Eli asked to talk, Lani said she was busy with Kristen and then needed to get Rachel. With a groan, Eli said he would just say what he needed to in front of Kristen.
"No. This is not the time," Lani argued. Eli told Lani that he was upset that she had not returned home the previous night. "You expected me to come home after what you did?" Lani asked. Eli stressed that he had been worried about Lani and the babies. "But Kristen, who already has a baby, you're just not worried about her at all?" Lani countered. Eli furrowed his brow in confusion. Lani said she was fine.
"Is there any way that we can move past this?" Eli asked. Lani asked Eli to inform her when Belle arrived. With a nod, Eli walked out. "I can't believe he was so out there and open with his feelings in front of you. I guess he really is desperate for me to forgive him," Lani said. "Then maybe you should," Kristen suggested. Angry, Lani reminded Kristen that it was Eli's fault that Kristen was in jail.
"No way in hell. I will never forgive Eli," Lani said firmly. "I don't want you to lose your husband. And like Eli said, you have two beautiful babies you are bringing into this world, and I don't want you to do that alone," Kristen said. Lani argued that Eli had destroyed Kristen's family. "If I can turn the other cheek, you can, too," Kristen said. "I can't believe you've forgiven Eli," Lani said. Kristen corrected Lani and said she had turned the other cheek.
"I didn't do everything I did to reunite the two of you so that you could be apart," Kristen said. "He put his job ahead of me," Lani complained. "And you're putting your friend ahead of him," Kristen countered. Lani argued that she was doing the right thing. With a sigh, Kristen said she could see the love in Lani's eyes.
"How am I ever supposed to trust him again?" Lani asked. Kristen said it would take time, but Lani needed to listen to Eli first. Reluctantly, Lani agreed. As Lani rose to her feet, she saw Eli staring at her through the window from the precinct bullpen. Eli jumped to his feet when Lani approached. "I haven't heard from Belle," Eli said. "I wanted to talk about us," Lani said.
When Lani and Eli arrived at home, Lani told Eli to talk first. "I know that you're upset with me that I went behind your back and arrested Kristen. And I have told you on numerous occasions that I was just doing my job, but I can see when I look in your eyes that that's no excuse," Eli said. Eli told Lani that she was the love of his life. "I do not want to lose you over this. Is there any way that you can forgive me?" Eli asked. "I don't know, but I'd like to try," Lani said.
At the police station, Brady met with Kristen and told her that Belle was talking to the D.A. about a deal. Concerned, Kristen asked why Belle had not talked to her first. "The deal is not for you. It's for me. I'm going to confess to stabbing Victor," Brady said. "Like hell you are," Kristen growled.
Brady and Kristen suffer a setback
At the Kiriakis mansion, Justin continued a phone conversation with Sonny. "Oh, it's so good to hear your voice," Justin said. "I'm glad you and Will are settling in," Justin said. "I did get the pictures from the groundbreaking -- amazing!" Justin said. "I'm so proud of you -- you and your brothers," Justin said -- just as someone rang the doorbell. "And I know [that] if your mother were here, she'd be proud, too -- gosh, I can just see the smile [that would be] on her face..." Justin, who had been closer to the foyer than Henderson, said before opening the front door -- and finding Bonnie standing on the other side of it, smiling. "Uh...Sonny, I gotta go... I'll, uh -- I'll talk to you later... Love to Will," Justin said before ending the call and inviting Bonnie in.
"How's your boy?" Bonnie wondered. "He's great -- yeah, he and Will seem to be enjoying Arizona," Justin reported. "Oh, I'm glad to hear it -- I remember how hard you took it when he told you he was moving so soon after Adrienne... Well, God rest her soul..." Bonnie declared before changing the subject, wondering why Justin had requested a meeting. "Yoo-hoo!" Bonnie called out when Justin didn't immediately respond. "I wanted you to know that, uh, your publisher requested a hearing today," Justin informed Bonnie after recovering. "Today? Oh, my God -- you could have at least warned me!" Bonnie fretted. "It's okay -- you don't need to be there," Justin insisted. "You don't want me there -- you think I'll stick my foot in it or something," Bonnie translated. "It wouldn't matter if you did -- this is a hearing, not a trial," Justin clarified.
"We presented our settlement offer, and now the publisher's attorney will present a counteroffer, which you can accept or reject," Justin explained. "Do you think it'll be better than the offer you already ripped up?" Bonnie wondered. "Based on the fact that they're asking to settle, I'm sure it will be," Justin confirmed. "Oh, Justin -- that is the best news ever!" Bonnie declared.
Bonnie rushed forward, as if planning to seize a hug or a kiss, but Justin dodged the attempt. "Did I do something wrong?" Bonnie wondered. "No -- I just don't want you to get too excited yet, that's all. [I mean], opposing counsel has signaled a willingness to settle...but, as you know, they're not the most reputable of publishers, [so] they may...you know, just impose certain conditions that you may not want to accept -- [for example], they could ask you to reduce all your future royalties in exchange for a lump-sum total," Justin clarified. "I just got a royalty check for six cents, [so] I'm not too worried about that," Bonnie assured Justin, managing a laugh.
Justin soon stepped into another room to take a phone call, leaving Bonnie alone in the living room, among Maggie's figurines and Adrienne's photographs, the latter of which seemed to cause some discomfort.
Bonnie insisted, when Justin returned, that they had to take the cowboy hat with them to the hearing. Bonnie reasoned that the cowboy hat was lucky and suited Justin -- and that the lawyer secretly liked wearing it. Justin chuckled and agreed to humor Bonnie.
After the hearing, Justin and Bonnie celebrated in the park. "We're both rich!" Bonnie raved. "I told you this hat was lucky!" Bonnie pointed out. "Now can I hug ya?" Bonnie wondered. Without waiting for a response, Bonnie hugged -- then kissed -- Justin.
At the Price-Grant apartment, Eli breathed a sigh of relief, thrilled to have just heard that there was at least a chance of one day earning Lani's forgiveness. "Do you think that you can forgive me?" Lani asked. "Why would I need to forgive you?" Eli replied. "Because I put you in an impossible situation [after] I promised I would never do [such a thing] again," Lani reasoned. "Still...I shouldn't have lied to you," Eli acknowledged. "Then why'd you do it?" Lani wondered. "I don't know," Eli admitted. "You were upset about Ciara," Lani decided. "Losing her the way that we did -- I mean, it just felt so unfair... [I just] wanted to see justice done somewhere," Eli confirmed. "If there's justice, Kristen will go free," Lani declared, and Eli scoffed in response.
Eli was surprised to learn that Kristen was responsible for Lani's sudden willingness to forgive. Unable to reach an agreement about Kristen, Eli and Lani ultimately promised each other that they would try to prevent the matter from further affecting their marriage. Eli also assured Lani that, without any hard evidence to prove that Kristen had stabbed Victor, the district attorney might just decide to drop the charges. Lani was delighted to hear that Eli, who knew for a fact that Kristen had stabbed Victor, wasn't planning to volunteer testimony or willingly do anything else to make the district attorney's case any stronger.
At the police station, Kristen refused to let Brady take the blame for Victor's stabbing. "It's too late to stop it -- Belle is, uh...she's talking to D.A. Giddens as we speak," Brady revealed. "I can't believe this -- I can't believe that you confessed without talking to me!" Kristen grumbled. "I have a better chance of avoiding prison than you do," Brady reasoned. "Or you could go away for a long time!" Kristen countered.
"[This is] not right -- [and besides], it didn't work the last time you tried to take the rap!" Kristen protested. "Let me do this for you," Brady begged -- just as Belle entered the conference room in which the conversation was taking place. "I'm sorry..." Belle began. "'Sorry'? [But] you told me [that] you were positive that [Giddens] would be receptive --" Brady stammered. "And I [still] believe [that he] would have been...but he resigned two days ago," Belle explained, drawing a scoff of disbelief from Brady. "Who's the new D.A.?" Brady wondered. "Me," someone answered while entering the conference room.
"Melinda Trask," Brady realized with a groan. "In the flesh," Trask confirmed with a shrug. "Apparently, Giddens resigned unexpectedly -- sold a TV pilot to the Peacock," Belle explained. "Good for him..." Brady grumbled. "Mayor Carver needed somebody who could get up to speed quickly -- and that would be me," Trask elaborated. "Lucky us..." Kristen muttered.
"You should have known better than to set foot back in this town again," Trask said to Kristen. "Trask, if you want to, uh, reject my plea and prosecute me to the full extent of the law, that's one thing...but, either way, Kristen should go free, right?" Brady argued. "I'm sorry -- the D.A. didn't just refuse your plea; she refused your confession," Belle clarified for Brady. "What? Why?" Brady replied. "Because we all know the truth, Mr. Black -- there is only one murderer in this room, and that's Kristen DiMera!" Trask explained while shooting Kristen a glare.
"[She] pushed my daughter down a flight of stairs and was never even put on trial for her murder!" Trask reminded Belle and Brady, the latter of whom countered that Haley's death had been declared an accident and wasn't relevant to the matter of Victor's stabbing. "Please don't make this a personal issue," Brady begged. "I'm just doing my job. It's too late to find justice for Haley, but [Kristen's] attempt to murder Victor Kiriakis -- that was no accident," Trask reasoned. "And this time, you're not gonna get away with it!" Trask warned Kristen.
"[Haley's] case was thrown out due to lack of evidence -- [and] this case will be thrown out, too," Brady said to Trask. "I completely agree," Belle stressed. "Says the unethical attorney who tried to force [a] fake confession on the prosecutor's office," Trask mused. "You want it to be fake, but once you talk to my grandfather -- the victim -- you'll find that it's anything but -- [and] I promise [that] if you pursue this, you're going to regret it," Brady warned. "That's a chance I'm willing to take," Trask countered before storming off.
Brady assumed that it couldn't possibly be fair for Trask, of all people, to handle Kristen's case, but Belle admitted that a lot of things about the legal system weren't fair. "Brady, it's okay -- I mean, we've done all we could, [so] maybe my past is [just] finally catching up [to] me," Kristen reasoned with a shrug. "It sounds like you're giving up," Brady worriedly observed. "I'm being honest," Kristen clarified, fighting back tears.
Meanwhile, Eli and Lani entered the police station and greeted Trask. The detectives were surprised to learn that there was a new district attorney -- one who was determined to find the needed evidence to secure Kristen's conviction.
At the Walker-Brady apartment, Eric and Nicole agreed to make the most of their remaining time together instead of wasting it all on some sort of prolonged, depressing, tearful farewell exchange. "[Besides], I need to know something..." Nicole admitted. "24 hours ago, we were both so upset that we didn't get custody of Allie's baby...[but] we were planning [to move on and have] a nice, quiet life in Salem -- just you, me, and Holly -- and then things changed -- so fast..." Nicole continued. "So, I was wondering...how would you feel if...you came home from the Congo to...me, Holly...and a baby?" Nicole concluded.
"Are you...?" Eric assumed. "I'm not pregnant," Nicole clarified before starting to recap the earlier conversation with Allie.
At the DiMera mansion, Sami stammered and looked to Kate for help while trying to think of a way to explain what Allie had just overheard. "You weren't here, [so I was just telling Kate that there was nothing stopping me from] taking the baby back to Grandma Marlena's," Sami eventually explained to Allie after realizing that Kate wasn't going to intervene.
"Is this true?" Allie challenged Kate. "No," Kate admitted, ignoring another one of Sami's silent pleas for help. "[Your mother] was going to take the baby back to Italy before you could stop her," Kate revealed. "Thanks a lot, Kate!" Sami snapped. "I'm not gonna be a party to this, because Allie would hate me," Kate reasoned. "Don't worry, Grandma -- you're not the one I hate," Allie stressed.
"Look, all I care about is [making sure that] this baby [is] not going [to be] with Nicole! [I mean], even with Eric there to protect him --" Sami began to explain to Allie. "You don't even know, do you?" Allie interjected before telling Sami about Eric's plan to move to Africa. "When?" Sami wondered. "Tonight, I think," Allie recalled.
"I have to go find him!" Sami decided before starting to rush off with the baby. "Don't you dare try to take my baby out of this house!" Allie warned. "I'll watch the baby [and] make sure that no one does anything rash," Kate promised. "Oh, right -- like I'm gonna trust you!" Sami protested. "You have no choice," Kate countered with a shrug, drawing a sigh of defeat from Sami, who reluctantly handed the baby over. "Thank you for telling me the truth," Allie said to Kate after Sami left the mansion. "She's going to make me pay for it..." Kate predicted.
Allie started to contact Justin, wanting to file a restraining order to prevent Sami from taking the baby to Rome, but Kate questioned the ultimate goal of the plan. "What happens then?" Kate asked. "He goes to Nicole, like he was supposed to," Allie replied with a shrug, as if the answer should have been obvious. "[You're] assuming that she still wants [to] raise the baby [now, even] with Eric not in town [to help, but] what if she says no -- or what if the judge refuses [your request based on this new development]?" Kate argued. "I'll figure something out -- I always do," Allie countered, waving a hand dismissively.
Kate changed the subject, trying to convince Allie to hold the baby, who had just woken up and was crying. "I miss him so much -- like, I think about him every minute of every day -- [but] I'm scared that if I hold him, [then] I won't want to ever let go of him," Allie admitted. "Well, if that's true, you have to give it a try," Kate insisted, and Allie hesitantly agreed.
At the Walker-Brady apartment, Eric wondered how Nicole planned to respond to Allie's request. "I'm leaning toward saying yes -- [I mean], I would definitely have my hands full, raising two little ones [on my own], but maybe that's a good thing, [because then] I would be so busy that I wouldn't have time [to] miss you -- [but] God knows whether the judge would agree to overturn the custody order, especially since the only fit parent is leaving town --" Nicole admitted. "Are you kidding me? Nicole, you're the best mother I know, [and] that baby would be lucky to have you!" Eric argued.
"[But] you should only do this if [it's] what you truly want, [because] it's not gonna be easy at all," Eric warned. "Believe me, I know what it takes to raise a baby," Nicole insisted, waving a hand dismissively. "Sami [will be the challenge, not the baby -- I mean, if] she has the rug yanked out from under her --" Eric began to clarify. "[After] she thinks she's won, [then] all hell could break loose -- again," Nicole concluded, getting Eric's point. "Exactly -- [and] I don't want her to make your life miserable, especially if I'm not here to protect you," Eric stressed.
"I'm a murderer, [so] I can handle myself around Sami," Nicole dryly declared to hide a hint of concern, and Eric managed a weak laugh in response -- just as Sami began pounding on the apartment door and demanding to be let in. "Speak of the devil..." Nicole mused with a forced smile before opening the door. "You were really gonna leave without saying goodbye?" Sami snapped at Eric, ignoring Nicole. "Yes, I was...but [since] you're here...goodbye, Sami," Eric replied before slamming the door in Sami's face. "Open this door before I break it down!" Sami advised, and Eric reluctantly complied, knowing the threat was serious.
"I know you are angry with me --" Sami began while entering the apartment. "'Angry' does not even begin to catch it," Eric stressed. "[But] Jan was gonna be released soon, anyway -- and it's a good thing the judge did give me custody, since you're leaving your wife!" Sami concluded. "I'm not 'leaving' my wife!" Eric clarified.
Sami dismissed the distinction as a matter of semantics then changed the subject, revealing that Eric wasn't the only one who was planning to leave town that day. "I'm pretty sure Allie told you she didn't want you to [take her son anywhere]," Nicole argued. "But she doesn't have custody, so she doesn't have a say [right now -- and] by the time she can legally stop me, I will be long gone," Sami countered. "What the hell is wrong with you, Sami? Look at what you are doing! Allie came home -- you have every opportunity to set things right with her [now]! And I suggest that you do it, or you're gonna lose your daughter forever!" Eric snapped. "For your information, I asked Allie to come with me," Sami clarified. "And I'm sure she said no -- [and] stealing her baby [and] violating her wishes for a second time [is] a perfect way [to] convince her," Eric mused.
"Look, there are not a lot of options here, Eric -- Will and Sonny are gone, [and] so is Rafe, [and] you're leaving town, [and] I have to get home to E.J.," Sami explained. "What about Allie?" Nicole asked. "I'm sure the judge would be willing to give her custody...but I don't think Allie's ready for that," Sami replied. "Maybe there's another solution...but you'd have to get over yourself first," Eric said to Sami before starting to elaborate.
"I know that this idea doesn't give everyone exactly what they want, but I think it's a way of moving forward with compromise," Eric reasoned at the end of the proposal. "I'm on board," Nicole declared. "Of course you are," Sami grumbled. "I'm just trying to do what's right for your daughter and your grandson," Nicole stressed. "And I'm not?" Sami countered. "Sami, we know you are...but Allie is not getting on that plane with you --" Eric argued. "You don't know that!" Sami protested. "And if you get on that plane with that baby [against Allie's wishes], it's not only gonna be the end of Allie's relationship with her son but with you, [as well]," Eric concluded. "Okay -- if it [is what I have to do to avoid] losing my daughter forever, then...yes, I...I will compromise," Sami grudgingly agreed after some thought, fighting back tears.
"[But] Allie has to agree to [this, too] -- and Allie hasn't agreed with me on anything since she was in diapers," Sami warned. Eric and Nicole both supportively predicted that Sami would be able to get through to Allie. "I just want her to have a better relationship with her son than I have with her," Sami admitted before changing the subject, insisting that Eric couldn't stay in Africa for too long because, at some point, they needed to spend some quality time together without fighting. "We were fighting? I don't remember," Eric whispered, drawing fresh tears from Sami, who was clearly relieved to hear that there were no hard feelings.
After Sami left, Eric and Nicole said their goodbyes to each other, both fighting back tears. Meanwhile, Sami returned to the DiMera mansion and joined Allie and Kate in the study.
"Before you say anything, Mom, you should know that Justin is in the process of getting a restraining order [so] you legally cannot take my son to Italy," Allie revealed. "Okay, fine," Sami replied. "What? That's way too easy! What's going on?" Kate asked. "I was with [Eric and Nicole earlier, and] we had a nice chat..." Sami began to explain. "[Allie], I agreed not to fight you giving custody of your baby to Nicole...on one condition --" Sami continued. "Here we go..." Allie said with a groan, bracing for the catch. "You have to agree to live there with her, too," Sami concluded, surprising Allie.
Gwen tries to drug Abigail again
At the park, Justin pushed Bonnie away and demanded an explanation for what had just happened. "You showed me a settlement with more zeroes on it than I've ever seen in my entire life, [and] I'm appreciative, so...I hugged you...[and then], the next thing I know, we were kissing..." Bonnie summarized with a shrug. "No -- 'we' were not kissing!" Justin argued.
"You were kissing me, [but] I most certainly did not kiss you back!" Justin insisted. "You sure about that? [Because] I have kissed a lotta -- well, not that many -- men... [Never mind -- the important thing is that] I kissed you [before...and, granted], you thought I was Adrienne [at the time], but nonetheless...I know what it feels like, honey, when [you're] into it," Bonnie countered. "Bonnie, I don't give a damn what you felt, okay? I wasn't into it, all right? Not in the least!" Justin maintained.
"[But this is] all my fault, because I should have never taken your case -- not after what you did to Adrienne! But, somehow, I convinced myself that you were a victim, [and] that even you -- someone like you -- deserved representation --" Justin continued. "Someone like me?" Bonnie repeated. "A con artist," Justin translated. "[After all], this was all, uh, a game to you, right? I mean, I thought maybe you'd learned your lesson...but, obviously, I was very naïve, because you are the same con artist you've always been! You may look like Adrienne, but you are not Adrienne, okay? You're not half the woman she was! You're not one-millionth the woman she was! So, you can just take this hat and shove it!" Justin concluded before flinging the cowboy hat at Bonnie then storming off.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad and Abigail returned to their bedroom after sending Thomas and Charlotte off to school. "I really missed [this] -- the daily routine [of] being their mom and your wife..." Abigail admitted to Chad while looking around the bedroom with a playful twirl, as if the familiarity of the surroundings was another thing that had been missed.
"[You know] -- all the things that make me me..." Abigail continued before doing a double take, having just seen something of interest -- a framed photograph that was perched on a shelf. "Who the hell is this?" Abigail jealously demanded to know, picking up the item and shoving it at Chad -- who found the question confusing because it was just an old photograph of the two of them that had been taken before their recent separation. "Are you having an, uh, hallucination again?" Chad wondered. "I guess I did..." Abigail, whose appearance had changed drastically in the months since the photograph had been taken, conceded after recognizing that the woman in the photograph and the woman who was looking at the photograph were just two different versions of the same woman.
Meanwhile, Gwen stormed into the otherwise unoccupied study, carrying a pot of coffee in one hand and a vial of clear liquid in the other hand, and stopped at the bar. "Maybe yesterday you were saved by playtime with those little brats of yours..." Gwen grumbled while placing the pot of coffee on the bar, recalling the failed attempt to drug Abigail. "But today is your lucky day, Abigail -- or maybe I should say 'not-so-lucky'..." Gwen continued while lining up three empty mugs on the bar -- just as Jack and Jennifer entered the study.
"Good morning -- I...didn't...hear you two...come in..." Gwen nervously began while pocketing the vial, fearing that Jack and Jennifer's respective expressions of disbelief meant that they had seen and heard too much. "So much for our nice, quiet breakfast alone..." Jack grumbled to Jennifer after recovering. "But you are more than welcome to join us," Jennifer assured Gwen. "She does still live here!" Jennifer reminded Jack with a smack of admonishment. "[And], clearly, we were interrupting you, [right]? You were on the phone [just now]?" Jennifer asked Gwen.
"Uh...no -- I was, uh...I was just talking to myself, actually," Gwen claimed, masking a sigh of relief as a laugh of embarrassment. "Um...it's a habit, I guess -- or a sign of insanity; [after all], I did spend time at Bayview, you know," Gwen continued. "We thought you weren't a patient -- [that] you were just lying low..." Jack admitted, and Jennifer nodded in agreement. "I was...but, you know, imagine spending all day long with all those nutters -- it can really, like, rub off on you!" Gwen clarified with a cringe. "You think that's funny?" Jack snapped. "Oh, damn -- look, there I go again, [with] my knack for just saying the wrong thing... [That] was really insensitive of me, wasn't it -- making light of mental illness, especially after I know what your daughter has endured... Yeah, I'm...so sorry..." Gwen backpedaled.
Jennifer started to lunge forward in anger, taking Gwen's dry tone as an indication that the apology wasn't the least bit sincere, but Jack sensed the impending escalation and stepped between the women to prevent it. "She's fine [now, though] -- she's with her family, and she's functioning normally now, right?" Gwen continued, pretending to be oblivious to what had just transpired between Jack and Jennifer. "Obviously!" Jack confirmed through gritted teeth. "[Still]...well, I just...I know that mental illness is, um...it's complicated...and, uh...certain cases can be very difficult to treat...[so], uh, even though Abigail is here [now], and she's seems fine, um, I'm sure that there's still that horrible lingering feeling that she might, you know, possibly...relapse..." Gwen concluded, whispering the final word.
Jennifer started to lunge forward in anger again, and Jack again intervened -- but Gwen didn't bother to feign ignorance again. "Oh, dear, look at that -- I've put my foot in it again, haven't I?" Gwen acknowledged with a wince. "We...don't...really need to discuss our daughter's mental health with you --" Jack began, trying to be polite. "Because it's none of your business!" Jennifer concluded for Jack, not the least bit interested in being polite. "Yes, you're right... [Look], I was just expressing concern... [Honestly], I really do like Abigail -- I mean, who wouldn't? She's, um...a perfect human being, really -- she's so kind, and...[well], do you know that she hardly knows me, and yet she totally forgave me?" Gwen replied. "For what?" Jennifer wondered. "Actually, uh, we don't need to know -- [and] if we [do], I'm sure Abigail will fill us in," Jack reasoned.
Jack started to drag Jennifer out of the study. "It was lovely chatting with you! [And, again], I'm really so fond of your daughter -- you must be so proud of her! [And] who wouldn't [be], right? Yeah, 'cause, as I say, she's just...she's marvelous, really -- and now she's totally healed..." Gwen called out, still speaking in the same dry tone. "She is --" Jack began to respond, no longer willing to be patient with Gwen. Jennifer quickly took over as the patient one, dragging Jack out of the study before anything else could be said. "Yeah, but not for long..." Gwen muttered once the coast was clear.
As Gwen returned to the bar, Chad and Abigail entered the study. "That smells amazing!" Abigail declared. "Yes -- Harold just made a fresh pot of mocha java," Gwen explained. "My favorite!" Abigail revealed. "Is it? Well, why don't I pour some for you, then?" Gwen replied before starting to fill the three mugs with coffee -- and adding the drug to one of them.
Gwen handed Abigail the spiked mug of coffee -- and Chad, who had been too busy flirting with Abigail earlier to realize what was happening, suddenly recovered. "You can't have caffeine with your meds -- I read it online," Chad recalled. "You're right -- I forgot," Abigail conceded. "[But] there's no point in letting it go to waste..." Chad decided while taking the mug from Abigail. "No!" Gwen protested while trying to snatch the mug from Chad, who ended up getting doused with coffee in the process. "Are you okay? You didn't get burned, did you?" Abigail asked Chad. "No, I didn't -- luckily, it wasn't that hot," Chad assured Abigail. "Care to explain?" Chad challenged Gwen. "You saw how very excited Abigail was to have a cup of coffee after God knows how long, [so] you can't just drink coffee in front of her -- it's rude!" Gwen reasoned.
"I'm being presumptuous -- [this is] between the two of you. [Look], Chad and me and that kiss -- it meant nothing, but, uh, I guess I'm just..." Gwen continued. "Trying too hard [to make up for it]?" Abigail assumed. "Yeah -- it's a character flaw of mine," Gwen concluded. "It's okay -- I get it. I have a tendency to try a little too hard myself from time to time," Abigail assured Gwen, who apologized then rushed off.
While passing through the town square, Jennifer spotted Bonnie, who was complaining, between sobs, about not having any tissues on hand. "Oh, gosh -- I know that I'm gonna regret this, but...Bonnie, what's wrong?" Jennifer began while handing over a tissue, prompting Bonnie to recap what had happened earlier.
"I know this is gonna sound stupid...but [Justin] was kind to me...and what's gonna sound even more stupid is...I thought that if Justin -- a man who has every right to hate me -- could be kind to me, then maybe I could be kind to myself, [and] maybe I could forgive myself for what I did to his wife, and maybe I could finally put my terrible past behind me and be the person I'd like to be. [But] who was I kidding, right? [I mean], as if a person as good and decent and kind as Justin could ever forgive me for what I did to his wife! Joke's finally on me, huh?" Bonnie summarized at the end of the tale.
"Bonnie...I know [that] you are upset, [and] I know that Justin was very kind to you...but you don't really believe that there could ever be anything between you two...right?" Jennifer assumed. When Bonnie didn't respond, Jennifer walked away -- and, once the coast was clear, Bonnie broke down again.
Jack entered the Brady Pub and found Justin sitting at the bar, knocking back shots of whiskey and chasing them with gulps of beer. "Bad day?" Jack assumed, prompting Justin to recap what had happened earlier.
"Sonny warned me -- [and] I should have suspected something when she bought me a hat -- [but] I [gave] her the benefit of the doubt [because] she looks like Adrienne -- which is exactly why I shouldn't have given her the benefit of the doubt; [I mean], Adrienne spent months in prison because of Bonnie Lockhart, [so] I should've just walked away [instead of betraying] my wife," Justin summarized at the end of the tale.
"I don't know why you feel like you 'betrayed' Adrienne -- [I mean], it's not like you have any feelings for Bonnie...right?" Jack countered. "Are you insane? She's a convicted felon [who] uses everyone she's ever met! I mean, to even think about Bonnie Lockhart in the same sentence [as] the word 'feelings' would be a travesty, a mockery, an insult -- to Adrienne, to my marriage, to my sons, to anyone who ever gave a damn about my wonderful wife! And, honestly, Jack, as Adrienne's brother, I would hope that you would see that!" Justin snapped. "Forget I even thought of it," Jack backpedaled with a hint of doubt.
At the hospital, John received an unexpected visit from Steve, who was surprised to see that the patient's ever-attentive wife wasn't around. "She just went to check in on Ben Weston," John explained with a hint of irritation.
"I still think of Ciara as Bo's little girl... For her life to be cut short like that... [Well], I guess the only comfort is knowing that, uh, she's with her daddy now... And poor Ben -- I mean, her husband of...what, less than a month? It's a good thing Marlena's with him," Steve mused. "'Good'? Strange, if you ask me -- [I mean], after what the hell he did to Will, I can't believe she's in the same room with him, let alone trying to help that bastard!" John argued. "Man, come on -- Marlena's a compassionate woman, [and] you know that she sees the good in people, even when they might not deserve it," Steve reasoned. "I can't count the number of times she's stood up for me -- you know, given me the benefit of the doubt," Steve continued. "She's an angel, [and] I'm grateful to have her in my life," Steve concluded with a smile.
"What are you doing, man? You planning on moving in on my wife?" John demanded to know, eyeing Steve suspiciously. "You're joking, right?" Steve assumed. "Do I look like I'm joking?" John snapped. "Well, aside from the fact that I would never do that to you or to her...have you noticed I'm back with Kayla?" Steve pointed out. "Wasn't always that way, though, was it? Wasn't too long ago you went to extreme measures to move in on Marlena -- kind of forced yourself on her, [in fact], didn't you?" John countered. "Come on, man -- you know that wasn't me; [you know that] my mind and my body had been hijacked, [and I wasn't] the man who is your best friend [and] loves you like a brother [back then] --" Steve stressed. "Screw [your] 'best friend' [and] 'brother' bull [and] just get out of here!" John spat.
"[That] wasn't me -- I did those things because Rolf messed with my head! I wasn't in my right mind [back then]!" Steve reiterated, staying put. "You know that...don't you?" Steve asked John, who soon calmed down and nodded in response. "I'm afraid that I'm, uh, the one who's not in his right mind," John admitted before apologizing to Steve, who quickly dismissed the concern. "I sat here for hours [while you were in that coma] -- watching you hooked up to all those machines, thinking you might die -- so...to have you alive and yelling at me...[well], I'm grateful for that," Steve assured John.
Meanwhile, Ben cried out for Ciara and started hyperventilating while in the midst of a nightmare about what had happened at the airstrip, prompting Marlena to intervene. "How long have you been here?" Ben asked after waking up and calming down a bit. "Not long... I didn't want to wake you, [but]..." Marlena replied. "It's always the same thing, every time I sleep -- the car's exploding, Ciara's inside it... I can't get it out of my head," Ben explained with a shudder. "I'm so sorry," Marlena stressed. "Ciara was always there for me...and when she needed me the most...I failed her," Ben fretted.
"You did not fail her -- you did everything that you could to rescue her!" Marlena assured Ben, who fought back tears and quickly changed the subject, retrieving Ciara's wedding rings from a bedside table. "I put this [washer] on Ciara's finger [as an engagement ring] because I couldn't afford a diamond -- [I told her it was] 'a placeholder' until I could give her the ring she deserved [and] the life she deserved... [She] was the best thing that's ever happened to me. She. Was. Everything. [And] now what do I have? I got nothing -- I got nothing but these rings," Ben said before breaking down.
"How do I do this? How am I supposed to live my life [now], when she was my life?" Ben asked Marlena after recovering. "I can't tell you how long it's going to take for you to feel a little less pain -- nobody can tell you that -- but I do know [that], in time, the memory of her will [begin to] bring you comfort... She lives in your heart [now], and she'll always be there," Marlena assured Ben. "I don't want her to be dead!" Ben declared before breaking down again.
"I'm sorry --" Ben began to say to Marlena after recovering again. "You have no reason to be sorry --" Marlena insisted. "Yes, I do -- I should be stronger right now --" Ben argued. "You shouldn't 'be' anything right now [except] hanging on [and] doing the best you can," Marlena stressed. "Thank you -- thank you for helping me, as always," Ben replied. "You don't have to thank me, Ben -- if I can be of any comfort to you, even in the slightest way, that's what I want to do," Marlena declared.
"I didn't even ask about you," Ben suddenly realized with a sigh of regret, prompting Marlena to report that John was awake and was doing fine. "I'm happy for you," Ben stressed. "[But] what are you doing here? Go be with your husband!" Ben added. "I can stay with you as long as you need --" Marlena insisted. "I'll be okay. I want you to go be with John -- he needs you, too," Ben countered.
Marlena left -- but soon returned. "I spoke to Sarah, [and she said] you're ready to be discharged -- you can go home whenever you want," Marlena informed Ben. "'Home'? 'Home' was with Ciara..." Ben muttered. "I understand... [Look], there's no rush -- [I mean], you can stay [here another] day, [or] a couple days, [or] whatever it takes --" Marlena stressed. "No -- um, I'm not gonna hide," Ben decided.
"And you were supposed to go be with your husband," Ben reminded Marlena. "I'm going...[but] I will be here for you anytime," Marlena assured Ben again.
At Statesville, Rolf received a visitor. "What a surprise," Rolf admitted. "What's up, Doc?" Gwen replied.
After leaving the hospital, Ben returned to the Salem Inn and numbly approached the room that had once been shared with Ciara. The door was partially ajar -- and, inside, a suitcase was sitting on the bed. "This is her bag..." Ben realized before suddenly hearing movement in the bathroom. "Ciara?" Ben called out hopefully.
Gwen asks Rolf for help
Gwen visited Rolf in prison to tell him that Abigail had returned home prematurely. "[Abigail's] fully recovered?" Rolf asked. Gwen told Rolf that Abigail had controlled her hallucinations through medication. "Surprising. Abigail is much more resilient than I would have imagined," Rolf said.
"You told me that that drug would melt her brain permanently, but now it's six months later, and she is good as new," Gwen complained. When Rolf noted that it was not his fault that Abigail had survived, Gwen ordered Rolf to help her take out Abigail. Gwen said that when she had researched Abigail, she had uncovered an article about Rolf. "You were my answer," Gwen said.
"Yes, I was very impressed you were able to track me down," Rolf agreed. Gwen said that when she was determined to do something, she could not be stopped. When Gwen jokingly called Rolf "Dr. Evil," he slammed his hand down on the table. "I am not evil. I simply like thinking outside the proverbial box," Rolf said. Gwen grinned.
"When I learned that you had not only made the drug, but you also were not a fan of Stefano DiMera's daughter-in-law," Gwen started. Rolf interrupted to grumble that Abigail had never shown Stefano the respect he had deserved. "Help me get rid of [Abigail] once and for all," Gwen asked. Gwen pulled the empty bottle of the drug from her pocket, and she asked Rolf to get her another dose to finish off Abigail.
"I'm afraid I can't do that," Rolf said. Rolf explained that with Gabi out of town, Gwen did not have a person to take the blame for drugging Abigail. Gwen groaned. As Rolf rose to leave, Gwen asked Rolf what else she could do to take out Abigail. Rolf suggested that Gwen dismantle Abigail's life, piece by piece.
"Take it all for yourself," Rolf suggested. "I did get a kiss from Chad before Abigail got home," Gwen admitted. With a frown, Gwen asked Rolf how she could take everything Abigail loved from her. "I would urge you to strive for some finesse," Rolf said. "Once I bring her down, I will let her know exactly who has destroyed her life," Gwen mused.
"You know, I find the woman to be a sanctimonious prig, but why do you want to ruin her life?" Rolf asked. "Let's just say I have a very good reason to hate Abigail Deveraux DiMera, and you will find out when everyone else does," Gwen said.
Lucas entered the DiMera living room with a suitcase, interrupting Chad and Abigail's kissing. "Are you moving?" Abigail asked. Allie entered and explained that she was moving back in with Nicole at her apartment. "You decided to keep your son, after all?" Abigail asked. Allie explained that Eric had suggested a compromise wherein Sami would give the baby to Nicole if Allie moved in with Nicole, as well.
"So, technically, Sami is going to let her grandson be raised in Nicole's home?" Abigail asked. Allie nodded yes. "Did hell freeze over while I was away?" Abigail asked jokingly. When Abigail noted that the Sami she knew would never let her grandson anywhere near Nicole, Allie explained that Sami was taken with the idea that Allie might change her mind about raising the baby. "It could happen," Lucas said. "What I want is someone like Nicole. Someone who is responsible, who is already a great mom. Who can give my kid the security I can't," Allie said.
When Chad returned from changing his clothes, he suggested to Abigail that they take the day off and make memories with the kids. "I think I'd like to go back to work," Abigail said. "You just got home. You should be taking it easy," Chad suggested. Abigail said she planned to spend as much time as possible with her family but that she also needed to get back into her regular routine.
"What about the stress?" Chad asked. Abigail said that working at the paper gave her purpose. "If I go back to work, it'll make me feel like I have control of my life again," Abigail said. Abigail said she needed to put the clinic behind her. Chad said he would support Abigail if she believed working would help her get back to normal.
"Just promise me you will let me know if it gets too overwhelming," Chad said. Abigail agreed. Abigail and Chad kissed. "Still going at it, are you?" Gwen commented as she walked in. Chad asked Gwen where she had run off to instead of talking to Harold about the coffee spill. Gwen held up a paper bag and announced that she had gone to pick up a gift for Abigail as an apology.
"It's mocha java but decaf so that you can have it with your medication," Gwen explained. Abigail thanked Gwen for the thoughtful gift. "I would really like it if we could be friends. Do you think that could be possible?" Gwen asked. Abigail said yes. Gwen hugged Abigail tightly. Gwen suggested that they do yoga in the mornings, but Abigail declined, citing the need to go back to work. Chad groaned as he remembered that their nanny had pursued another job.
"I figured you were going to be at home with the kids, so I told her it was cool. We'll have to find a replacement," Chad said. "I will! I can't be the only one not working," Gwen volunteered. "I thought you said you like not working?" Chad noted. Gwen said she had said that when she had believed Jake would support her. "But now, I have to be financially stable on my own," Gwen said.
At Nicole's apartment, she talked to Eric on the phone. Someone knocked on the door. "That must be Allie! She's moving in today," Nicole said. As Nicole walked over to answer the front door, she told Eric that Sami planned to deliver the baby later. "I am expecting your sister to be her usual nightmare self, and I am prepared to handle it," Nicole said as she opened the door. "You were saying," Sami said. Nicole ended her call with Eric.
When Nicole asked why Sami was early, Sami explained that she wanted to have a private chat with Nicole before Allie arrived. "If my daughter is going to live here with you, you and I need to get a few things straight first," Sami growled. Sami told Nicole that she still hated Nicole but that Nicole was a necessary evil.
"I only agreed to this compromise because all I want, more than anything in the world, is for Allie to have a chance to fall in love with her son, for her to choose for herself that she wants to raise him," Sami said. "Of course, this is about what you want," Nicole muttered. Sami warned Nicole not to get too attached to the baby. Sami added that she still retained custody under the law, and she warned Nicole that she would invoke that if Nicole did anything to keep the baby from Allie.
"If your daughter wants to be a mother to her son, I will not stand in her way," Nicole promised. "You better not, because you don't exactly have a great track record with letting go of other people's children," Sami said. Allie arrived with Lucas. With the baby freshly awake, Sami handed him to Allie. Sami suggested that Allie should name her son.
"You didn't name him?" Allie asked Sami. "I didn't think it was my place," Sami said. "Since when has that ever stopped you," Nicole muttered under her breath. Sami stared daggers at Nicole. Allie suggested that Nicole should name the baby, since she was going to raise him.
"Over my dead body. Honey, listen, I know you're not ready to be a mom yet, but you did create this beautiful human being," Sami said. Allie smiled at her son. "I think he deserves to have his mother give him his name," Sami said. Nicole agreed. "You should be the one to name your son," Nicole said. Allie rattled off a few names.
"Now you're just naming members of One Direction, right?" Lucas interjected with a laugh. "What about Henry? Henry Lucas Horton," Allie said. Lucas beamed. "That is a perfect name," Lucas agreed. Nicole took Henry into the bedroom to change him. Lucas reminded Sami that she had to leave for the airport. With a nod, Sami asked Lucas if she could meet him at the car. Lucas hugged Allie goodbye and left.
"You gonna try and tell me how Nicole is going to try and steal my kid in the middle of the night? How I'm making another huge mistake?" Allie asked. Sami joked that the bickering between mothers and daughters ran in the family. "And I think it's because we're strong. And stubborn. And we don't like to be told what to do. And we're right, even when we're wrong. I think it's because we love so deeply that we fight so much," Sami said. Sami admitted that there had been many times in her life that she had fought with Marlena and had believed they would never speak again.
"But every time I needed her, she was there for me. She is always there for me. Just like I will always be there for you, Allie. This bond between us is unbreakable. Whether you like it or not. I love you so much," Sami said. As Sami turned to leave, Allie called out to her. "Mom, I love you, too," Allie said as she rushed into her mother's arms. In tears, Sami smiled as she hugged Allie goodbye.
After Sami left, she met up with Lucas, and they walked through the town square. "Our daughter doesn't hate me," Sami said with a grin. "[Our daughter] knows that you want what's best for her and her child," Lucas countered. Lucas told Sami that he was proud of her for "taking the high road." Sami admitted that she had only agreed to the arrangement because she wanted Allie to decide that she wanted to raise her son.
"I feel the same way, but we can't push her on that. We have to be patient," Lucas said. "That is not my strong suit," Sami joked. Sami asked Lucas if they had made the right decision to leave Henry with Nicole. Lucas admitted that though he did not like Nicole, either, she was a good mother. Sami raised an eyebrow. When Lucas asked Sami if she wanted to say goodbye to her family, she grimaced. Sami noted that she had angered a record number of her family in one visit.
"I don't think anyone is going to be sad to see me go," Sami said. "I am," Lucas said with a shrug. "Things are a lot less interesting when you're not around," Lucas added. Sami told Lucas that she would miss him, too. Lucas promised to keep an eye on Henry.
In Nicole's apartment, Nicole and Allie sat on the couch and watched Henry sleep in his crib. Nicole suggested that they unpack Allie's bags. "Are you having any doubts about taking us in?" Allie asked. Nicole stressed that she loved having Allie and Henry in the apartment. When Nicole said that she loved the name Henry, she asked if it was the name of the father.
"No, I would never name him after that bastard," Allie said. Nicole started to ask why, but then she stopped herself and admitted that it was not her business. "It's just easier to never think about him again," Allie said. With a nod, Nicole mentioned that they needed diaper cream. Allie offered to get some from the store. After Allie left, Nicole whispered to Henry, "Why doesn't your mommy want to talk about your daddy?"
At Kayla's apartment, Tripp helped Kayla make an apple pie. Tripp informed Kayla that Hope had left town in pursuit of Vincent. "Hope thinks it's possible that Ciara is still alive," Tripp said. Kayla asked why. Tripp explained that forensics had been unable to recover any of Ciara's remains from the car.
"I can understand why Hope would pursue that," Kayla said. Kayla agreed that a mother would do anything for her child. Kayla changed the subject to school, and she asked Tripp when he planned to return to California. Tripp asked Kayla if she objected to him finishing medical school in Salem. "Given our history, I'd understand if you didn't want me there," Tripp said.
"We had a rough start, but it's behind us. I really thought that we were pretty close now," Kayla said. Tripp agreed and told Kayla that he was thankful they had grown so close. "But if I transfer to Salem University Medical School, then I'm going to be spending a lot of time at the hospital. At your hospital," Tripp said. Confused, Kayla asked Tripp if he was worried about nepotism. Tripp shook his head no.
"I'm worried about how badly I screwed up back in the day," Tripp clarified. Tripp noted that he had had no excuse for how he had hurt Kayla, and he admitted that he would always be ashamed of his behavior. Tripp said Kayla had previously told him that she did not want him to ever work at that hospital, and he wanted to know if she still felt the same way. Kayla reasoned aloud that Tripp had acted out of grief and anger over the death of his mother.
"You have grown up a lot since then. You took responsibility for what you did. To me, you're not even the same person you were then," Kayla said. Tripp disagreed. Tripp confessed that he had framed Ben for setting the fire at the cabin that had almost killed Ciara. Confused, Kayla pointed out that Wyatt had confessed. Tripp explained that Claire had convinced Wyatt to take the blame. Tripp explained that he had planted Ben's fingerprint at the crime scene.
"I was so afraid of losing Ciara, that I convinced myself that this was the only way to keep her," Tripp explained. Kayla asked Tripp if that was why he and Ciara had broken up. "Partly. I'm so ashamed," Tripp said. Kayla told Tripp that she appreciated his honesty, but she knew he was a good person and would make a good doctor. "I'm gonna give you my blessing to transfer here," Kayla said. Tripp thanked Kayla and hugged her. Kayla suggested that Tripp go to the university to see what he needed to do to complete the transfer.
When Allie walked through the park, she ran into Tripp as they both were engrossed in looking at their phones. "I'm so sorry," Tripp said. Allie recognized him. "Oh, my God, it's you," Allie said.
At the Salem Inn, Ben was shaken when he returned home and found Ciara's suitcase on the bed. A noise emanated from the bathroom. Hopeful, Ben called out to Ciara. Claire exited the bathroom. Claire explained that she had returned Ciara's suitcase from New York in case Ben wanted the items. Claire apologized for not returning the items sooner.
"What's the point? Ciara is gone," Ben said. Ben looked through the bag, and he found the bell he had given Ciara to put on her motorcycle. "[Ciara] said she always traveled with it," Claire said. Claire asked Ben if he was okay. Ben continued to look through the bag, and he reminisced about the last time he had seen Ciara in the red sweater. Ben said Ciara had worn the sweater the day he had cautioned her not to name Claire as her maid of honor. "I was wrong about that, Claire. I'm sorry," Ben admitted. Ben lamented that he had not listened to Claire sooner. Claire reminded Ben that he had had ample reason not to believe her.
"Aren't I always the one complaining about nobody giving me the benefit of the doubt? I'm doing the exact same thing to you," Ben said. Ben shook his head, and he remarked that if he had listened to Claire, he might have realized that Eve was after him sooner. Claire stressed that Ben was a victim, and the situation was not his fault. "The only people that should feel guilty are Eve and Vincent," Claire said. Ben grumbled that Vincent was still on the run. Claire informed Ben that Hope had left Salem in pursuit of Vincent.
"That makes sense. She wants him locked up as bad as I do," Ben said. "That's not the only reason she has gone after him," Claire said. Claire explained that Hope believed that Ciara had not been in the car and that Ciara was still alive. Claire told Ben about the forensics report.
"We never actually saw her in the car. Why didn't anybody tell me this?" Ben asked. With a shrug, Claire said that Shawn believed that Hope had gotten her hopes up over nothing. "[Shawn] probably didn't want you to do the same. It would be cruel," Claire said. "Not if Ciara is still alive!" Ben objected. Claire argued that the only person that knew the truth was Vincent.
"I'm going to help [Hope]," Ben said. Ben frantically started to pack as Claire attempted to calm him down. "Vincent Belman is the only person that knows if Ciara is dead or alive, so you can be damn sure I'm gonna help Hope find him, and we are going to get the truth out of him," Ben said.