At the Horton Town Square, Steve praised Kayla's final draft of a text message that was intended for Hope -- a text message that included a summary of what had happened during Ciara's memorial service. After sending the text message, Kayla echoed Steve's belief that Ciara was truly dead -- and that Hope was eventually going to have to accept that fact.
"Did you notice [that John and Marlena] decided not to sit next to us [during the memorial service]?" Steve wondered. "Of course, I noticed," Kayla confirmed. "But I think that was probably a good thing -- [I mean, you and John] are at odds about whether [to] believe Allie or Tripp, [so] maybe, today, [it was best to] just avoid each other," Kayla argued.
As if on cue, John approached Steve and Kayla -- and the trio proceeded to awkwardly exchange greetings then just as awkwardly discuss everything that had happened with the escaped prisoners the previous night. "I want to apologize for the way I went off the other night -- I never should have tried taking a swing at you," John eventually said to Steve. "It's all right, man -- we're all a little raw these days, right? But I'm really glad you came to your senses," Steve replied. "Meaning...what, that I believe that your son is telling the truth? [Well], I don't -- listen, I just apologized for taking a swing at you, but I'm not sorry I rapped your son in the mouth, because I still think he is guilty as hell of raping my granddaughter!" John clarified, drawing a sigh from Steve.
"I really don't think [Allie] would lie about something like this!" John reasoned. "She admitted that she was heavily intoxicated on the night in question, [so] isn't it possible that she made a mistake [in] identifying Tripp as her attacker?" Steve countered. "It was the worst night of her life -- you think she doesn't know the [face of the] man that pinned her down and had his way with her?" John snapped, getting right in Steve's face.
"Tonight is not the night for this!" Kayla insisted, getting between Steve and John. "Tonight is not about Allie or Tripp -- it's about mourning Ciara [and] being there for the people who have loved her so profoundly and are feeling her loss [the most, like] Julie and Doug and Shawn and Ben... Come on -- let's put this in some kind of perspective!" Kayla elaborated, and Steve and John both grudgingly conceded the point.
"This can't be resolved right now, [anyway] --" Steve acknowledged. "No, it can't," John agreed. "But it will be soon -- when we finally have the proof that my son is innocent," Steve continued. "What proof is that?" John wondered, prompting Steve to explain that a paternity test was in the process of being conducted. "Allie clearly stated in her police report [that], during the time in question, she didn't have sex with anyone else...meaning the man who assaulted her is [Henry's] father," Steve reasoned. "So, if it turns out that Tripp is not the father, that would suggest that he's innocent," Kayla elaborated. "Can you at least accept that [then]?" Steve challenged John, who insisted that Steve was the one who was going to have to learn to accept the results of the paternity test. "[And then] face the fact [of] what kind of man your son really is," John concluded with a look of disgust before storming off.
"Why is John being so closed-minded? Why can't he at least consider the possibility that Tripp is innocent?" Steve grumbled. "He's doing the same thing that you're doing -- [I mean], Allie's his granddaughter, [so] of course, he is going to support her," Kayla reasoned. "[But] can't he at least give my son the benefit of the doubt? Why can't he do that? [But] no -- he [has] got his mind made up [that] his granddaughter is an angel and Tripp is some kind of...predator!" Steve maintained.
Kayla started to respond but was summoned to the hospital just then. "Can you please --" Steve began to request. "I'll check the DNA test results," Kayla promised.
"You really should call Tripp --" Kayla began to advise. "Yeah -- I know it was hard on him not to be at the funeral," Steve agreed. "I'm sure it was...[but what I meant was that we're] running that DNA test behind his back because he reacted so poorly when I suggested it, [and] I can't even imagine how he's gonna react when he finds out we did it, anyway," Kayla clarified. "I think he'll be relieved that his name has been cleared," Steve predicted. "Maybe..." Kayla muttered. "But yeah -- yeah, he deserves to know," Steve conceded.
Outside the Brady Pub, Claire and Allie discussed Hope's decision to sneak out of town on the eve of Ciara's memorial service. "It just seems so...desperate, you know? And just...really sad," Claire mused. "I can understand why she wouldn't want to give up hope [that Ciara's still alive]," Allie admitted. "'Cause you're a mom [now], too," Claire assumed. "I didn't even think of it that way, [actually -- I mean], I'm still getting used to the whole idea [of] being a mom," Allie clarified. "Having a baby the way I did...[well, I mean], you never imagine it happening this way..." Allie explained.
Allie thanked Claire for having warned Tripp not to attend Ciara's memorial service. "Honestly, I was kind of nervous that if I saw him here today, I might not have been able to stop myself from slapping him across the face," Allie admitted. "And he would have deserved it, too!" Claire stressed. "What, exactly, did Tripp say to you when you [told him not to attend the memorial service]?" Allie wondered. "He swore up and down that he was innocent -- [in fact], he insisted that he hadn't even slept with you," Claire reported. "So, he's sticking to that story..." Allie mused.
"[Well], he's lying -- [and] the truth is about to come out," Allie declared before telling Claire about the paternity test that was in the process of being conducted. "I'm honestly surprised he agreed to it," Allie admitted. "Could it be that he's hoping that some other guy is the father?" Claire suggested before quickly apologizing, fearing that the question might be insensitive. "It's fine -- it's a fair question. [But] if that's what Tripp is counting on, he's going to be very disappointed...because, during that time, Henry's father was the only man I was with," Allie stressed.
Eli woke up in the hospital and, with Lani's help, remembered what had happened at the police station earlier. "We gotta get to Ben -- he's gonna...he's gonna kill Belman..." Eli fretted before climbing out of bed -- and immediately collapsing in Lani's arms.
Eli eventually woke up again and, after realizing what had just happened, gave Lani a sigh of defeat. "The doctor checked you out [already and said] you're gonna be okay...[but] you need to rest until the concussion symptoms subside," Lani reported.
"While you were unconscious, you were, um...muttering something..." Lani revealed, making Eli squirm. "What'd I say?" Eli wondered. "I'm sorry -- I did what I had to do," Lani clarified. "I must have been feeling guilty about Ben -- you know, that I...that I let him, uh...escape with Vincent..." Eli claimed. "Actually, um...I know for a fact that you weren't talking about Ben...[because] what you actually said was...'I'm sorry, Kristen,'" Lani admitted, making Eli squirm again. "Maybe I felt guilty because I was the one that arrested Kristen in the first place -- [and now] she's been taken away from Brady and her little girl," Eli claimed. "I still don't understand why she changed her plea to guilty -- [I mean], I still get the feeling that there is something that she is not telling me..." Lani mused, and Eli shrugged in response.
At the cemetery, Shawn placed a bouquet of flowers on Ciara's grave. "[Mom] wasn't here today -- at the, uh...at the funeral -- 'cause she's out there [somewhere], looking for you -- [you know], trying to find out what it is, exactly, that happened to you, [and] hoping that maybe...somehow, someway...you managed to get away from that bastard Vincent..." Shawn revealed.
"I, [on the other hand], want to accept that you're gone...[and yet I can't help but] pray that...that maybe you might just...somehow, someday...just tap me on the shoulder and wake me up from this nightmare," Shawn continued -- and, just then, someone nearby stepped on and broke a twig, making their presence known. "Who's there?" Shawn asked while looking around the cemetery. "Uh...Ciara?" Shawn hopefully added after failing to find any other explanation for the noise, prompting Tripp to reluctantly approach. "I am so sorry -- I didn't mean to intrude..." Tripp stressed. "I was waiting for everyone else to go so I could pay my respects to Ciara..." Tripp continued. "You didn't have to wait -- [I mean], you could have gone to the church..." Shawn argued. "I wanted to be there for her -- more than you know -- [but] Claire made it pretty clear that I wasn't welcome, [so] I decided it was best if I stayed away," Tripp clarified. "Claire told you not to come?" Shawn repeated.
"Why would she do that?" Shawn wondered. "Well, uh, the whole situation with Allie makes a lot of people uncomfortable..." Tripp explained. "The situation with Allie?" Shawn repeated. "I'm so sorry -- I just assumed that you would know... [But, look], this isn't the time or place to talk about it, [so] I'll just leave and give you your privacy..." Tripp stressed before starting to rush off.
Shawn stopped Tripp and started to probe for more details -- then suddenly received notification of the stunt that Ben had pulled earlier. "I gotta find Ben before he makes a terrible mistake," Shawn explained to Tripp before rushing off.
Once the coast was clear, Tripp placed a rose on Ciara's grave. "You know, as well as anyone, that I've done some very bad things -- that I've hurt people -- so maybe this whole thing with Allie is just karma coming back around...but I remember when I found out [about] what happened with you and Chase -- about how he hurt you -- [and] I saw what that did to you -- [how it] nearly destroyed your spirit [and], for so long, [made you feel] like you were broken somehow... I hope you know that I would never, ever make anyone feel that way -- I would never do, to anyone, what Allie is saying that I did," Tripp stated while fighting back tears.
Tripp spent a few more minutes at Ciara's grave then started to say goodbye -- but, just then, Steve called, and at the same time, Allie arrived. "I came looking for Shawn -- [Claire's worried about him]," Allie explained. "He just left," Tripp reported. "My father just called, [so]..." Tripp added before starting to rush off. "Wait," Allie called out, stopping Tripp. "I need you to explain something to me -- [I mean], all this time, you've been denying what you did to me...so why the hell would you agree to take a DNA test that's gonna prove that you're lying?" Allie asked. "DNA test? What DNA test?" Tripp replied.
Meanwhile, Steve finished recording a voicemail message for Tripp -- then received a phone call from Kayla seconds later. "I just came from the lab -- the test results are in," Kayla revealed.
Ben led Vincent to the airstrip at gunpoint then demanded to know if Ciara was truly dead. "You're clinging to the possibility that the woman you love is still alive, [and the] uncertainty is eating you up, isn't it? [Well], like I told you before, I killed Ciara -- I shot her and left her body in the car, right here, before it exploded," Vincent maintained. "You also told me how much you want to make me suffer, [so] how do I know you're not lying?" Ben countered. "[I'm not] -- time to accept it," Vincent insisted. "If that's the case, then I'm gonna shoot you, Vincent -- I'm gonna shoot you with the same gun that you shot Ciara with, and I'm gonna do it in the very spot where she got shot and died," Ben warned. "[So], just like that, you're gonna put a bullet in me?" Vincent skeptically summarized. "Probably a few," Ben matter-of-factly clarified.
Vincent dared Ben to pull the trigger -- then laughed when nothing happened right away. "You won't kill me -- now or ever," Vincent predicted. "I wouldn't be so sure about that if I were the guy with a gun pointed at my head," Ben countered. "I'm not worried -- [after all], I spent all that time programming you to murder, and in the end, it failed...[which means] you don't have it in you anymore; [in fact], you couldn't kill me -- or anyone else -- [now, even] if your life depended on it. [See], you keep telling everyone that you've changed, [and] I actually believe [that now -- and] I even believe that you were sick when you did all those horrible things. But you're not crazy anymore; you know the difference between right and wrong [now]," Vincent reasoned. "Ciara's love is what changed me -- she was the reason I was able to turn away from the darkness [and] the pain that made me do unthinkable things," Ben stressed. "Love will change a man..." Vincent conceded. "And so will losing it -- that changes a man, too," Ben warned.
"When you killed my wife, you put out the only light that was in my life, [so] now I'm back [there] again -- in the dark -- [and] there's nothing left [in the world] for me [except] pain...[and] revenge. [Now], I've killed before, [and that's] something that I will be sorry for until the day I die...but, Vince, I will not be sorry for putting this bullet in your head," Ben declared with a scowl before cocking the gun and pressing its barrel against Vincent's right cheek. "Wait, please!" Vincent begged, suddenly convinced that Ben was actually a threat. "Got something to say, Vince?" Ben assumed. "Yes -- I've been holding out on you!" Vincent admitted. "What the hell does that mean, Vince?" Ben wondered. "There's more to the story!" Vincent clarified. "Spit it out!" Ben demanded.
Before Vincent could elaborate, Shawn arrived and ordered Ben to stand down. "Had a hunch this was where I'd find you," Shawn explained as Ben placed the gun on the ground. "He was about to talk, [you know] -- before you got here, this son of a bitch admitted that he had more to say," Ben informed Shawn. "There is more to the story...and you both need to hear it," Vincent confirmed.
The DNA results are revealed
At the cemetery, Claire asked Tripp why he had agreed to take the DNA test. "What DNA test?" Tripp asked. Claire told Tripp that Kayla had taken a sample from Henry to run a paternity test. Angry, Tripp argued that he had refused to give Kayla a sample of his DNA because he had never had sex with Allie. When Tripp wondered aloud how Kayla had obtained a sample, he groaned.
"So, I said no, categorically said no, and she just went and got the DNA some other way," Tripp said. With a nod, Allie said that Tripp had answered her question. Tripp stressed that the test would not prove his guilt. "Then why would you categorically say no? Why wouldn't you just agree to it?" Allie asked. Tripp explained that he had resented that no one had believed he had told the truth.
"There is no way I can be your kid's father, when all I did was make sure some totally wasted girl got home without falling on her ass!" Tripp said. With a sigh, Tripp noted that it did not matter that he had told the truth, because no one believed him. "Unlike you, I have no reason to lie," Allie said. Allie added that all of Tripp's lies would be exposed.
"[Kayla] is not going to get away with this," Tripp said as he shook his head and walked off. As Allie stared at Ciara's grave, Kayla called her cell phone to inform Allie that Kayla had the test results. "I'm on my way," Allie said.
Kayla called Steve while he was sitting in the square. "I just came from the lab. The test results are in," Kayla said. "I have to find Tripp and tell him why we did the DNA test. Before he learns it from someone else," Steve said. Steve said he was anxious to prove that Tripp was innocent.
Tripp caught up with Steve in the square. "There is something you need to know," Steve said. "That Kayla stole my DNA and ran the test behind my back?" Tripp said. Confused, Steve asked Tripp how he knew. "Allie. Always so fun talking to her," Tripp grumbled. Steve told Tripp that he had taken Tripp's toothbrush, not Kayla. "I thought you believed me?" Tripp asked. Steve said he did believe Tripp, and he wanted to prove Tripp's innocence.
"I should have been straight with you from the beginning. I'm sorry," Steve admitted. Tripp asked about the results. "They're in. I just talked to Kayla. She has them. We won't open them until we're there," Steve said.
At the hospital, Allie met up with Kayla. Allie was anxious to see the results, but Kayla said she needed to wait for Steve and Tripp. "Tripp didn't know that I was running those DNA tests," Kayla said. Allie told Kayla that she had already told Tripp when she had run into him. When Kayla noted that Steve believed Tripp, Allie asked Kayla what she believed. Kayla said that what she believed did not matter because the test results would provide an answer.
"It matters to me. Do you think I'm lying, and do you think Tripp's some innocent victim?" Allie asked. Kayla said she knew how Allie felt, and she did not think it was a good idea to ask family members to pick sides. "The results are right here, and we are going to know tonight. And we will process whatever this truth is and deal with it. Let's save our energy for that," Kayla said. With a sigh, Allie said that she did not think her nightmare would be over once she knew the test results.
When Steve and Tripp arrived, Tripp scowled at the sight of Allie. Kayla stated that Allie had a right to hear the test results. "Fine. Whatever," Tripp said. "Can we just do this?" Allie asked. As Kayla opened the envelope, Tripp noted, "See? I told you I'm not the father." With a solemn look, Kayla said, "You are." The blood drained from Tripp's face. "What was that?" Steve asked in disbelief. Kayla said that the test results proved that Tripp was Henry's father.
At the Brady Pub, Kate was surprised to find Roman alone. Roman told Kate that he had heard about Kate's heroics with Henry. Kate brushed off his questions, and she asked Roman to talk about Allie. "We found out how the baby happened," Kate started. Roman asked what Kate meant. Kate told Roman about the rape. "Explains why Allie was unwilling to talk about who Henry's father was," Roman said. Roman said that Kayla had mentioned that Tripp was possibly Henry's father.
"Allie is claiming that Tripp is not only the father of the baby, but he is also the rapist," Kate said. Overwhelmed, Roman dropped into a chair and sighed. Kate told Roman that Allie had been drunk, but she had remembered telling her assailant no and Tripp holding her down. "Damn, it seemed to be [Tripp] had turned things around. He seemed to be decent," Roman said. Roman asked if Sami knew the truth. Kate shook her head no. "I think Allie should be the one to tell [Sami]," Kate said.
In the DiMera living room, Gwen talked to Rolf on the phone. "I did you a favor. You said you'd keep your mouth shut. That was the deal," Gwen growled. Gwen turned around and spotted Jake standing in the doorway. Gwen said she needed to go, and she ended her call.
"Who the hell were you talking to, and what kind of plans are you trying to keep quiet?" Jake asked as he grabbed Gwen. Gwen said she had been talking to someone about the party. Suspicious, Jake noted that it was the second phone call he had overheard about the party. "I told you, I'm doing something nice for people!" Gwen barked. Jake smirked. Gwen called Jake obsessed with her. Jake laughed.
"I don't give a mole on a rat's ass about you. It's Abigail I'm concerned about," Jake said. Gwen smiled and asked Jake why. Jake insisted that he would be worried about anyone that Gwen befriended. "[Abigail] sees the best in me, which is why she trusts me," Gwen said. Gwen told Jake that he did not understand her at all. Jake called Gwen's friendship an act. "You don't have a caring bone in your body. Hell, you don't even have an honest one," Jake said. Jake argued that Gwen would hurt anyone that got in the way of what she wanted.
"You're so protective of Abigail," Gwen said. When Jake rolled his eyes and started to leave, Gwen argued that Jake had his sights set on Abigail, since Gabi was out of the picture. "I would even say that you're in love with her," Gwen said. Jake stressed that he had no romantic interest in Abigail. Gwen joked that it appeared to be tradition for a DiMera brother to go after Abigail.
"We both know you can't be celibate longer than two weeks, Jake. Just don't come knocking on my door," Gwen purred. In the hallway, Kate approached the door but stopped to listen to Gwen and Jake bicker. "Believe me, Gwen, if I decide to sleep with someone under this roof, it ain't gonna be you or Abigail," Jake said. When Gwen asked who Jake was interested in, Kate walked into the room. Annoyed, Gwen announced that she would work on the party in another room.
After Gwen left, Kate asked Jake what he and Gwen had fought about. "We push each other's buttons," Jake said. Kate scoffed. "Well she has a great pair of buttons, now, doesn't she?" Kate joked as she poured a drink. Kate explained that it was obvious that Jake and Gwen were still attracted to one another. When Jake stressed that he despised Gwen, Kate noted that sex was not about compatibility.
"Some people find a big, ugly fight an aphrodisiac," Kate said as she stared Jake in the eyes. Kate reasoned aloud that if she had not entered the room, Jake and Gwen would have had sex. "Never say never, but I think if I were to revisit the Gwen well, there would have to be some sort of last woman on earth thing going on," Jake said. Kate smiled and noted there were other women around. "There are," Jake confirmed. Kate told Jake that she had overheard him tell Gwen that he was interested in another woman in the house. When Kate asked who, Jake smiled and shook his head.
"Maybe I meant Jennifer," Jake said with a grin. "It doesn't matter that she's married?" Kate asked. Jake said it did matter and that Jennifer was too "nice" for him. Kate chuckled. "I'm over Gwen, but I think it is pretty clear by now that I prefer bad girls. You know any?" Jake asked. Kate said she would let Jake know if she thought of anybody.
Upstairs, Chad undressed in his room as Abigail returned home from the memorial. Chad apologized for missing the service because of work. "How is Hope holding up?" Chad asked. Abigail informed Chad that Hope had left Salem in search of Ciara. Abigail added that Ben had also opted out of attending the memorial. "Did Ben go with Hope?" Chad asked. Abigail shook her head no. Chad suggested that Ben had not attended the service because he could not say goodbye to Ciara.
"I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I actually felt bad for Ben today," Abigail admitted. "After everything he had put you through?" Chad asked. Abigail said that she knew she would be lost without Chad. Chad hugged Abigail and reassured her that she would not lose him. With a groan, Abigail argued that her concerns were not so off base, since Rolf had almost shot Chad. Abigail told Chad about what Rolf had done to Kayla. Chad laughed.
"Did you just say that Rolf was going to clone my father?" Chad asked. When Abigail explained that Rolf had intended to implant the fetus into Kayla, Chad called Rolf creepy. "This is an entire different level of lunacy," Chad said.
Abigail changed the subject to Gwen, and she informed Chad that she had given Gwen a raise because of her work on the party. "It's going to be a heck of a celebration, and we have Gwen to thank for it because she is going above and beyond," Abigail said. Chad changed the subject to Abigail. "I miss my wife," Chad whispered. Abigail kissed Chad, and they fell back on the bed. Gwen knocked on the door. Chad signaled to Abigail to ignore Gwen. "I'll be right there!" Abigail hollered. As Chad sighed, Abigail noted that Gwen might have an issue with the kids.
With his shirt half buttoned, Chad answered the door. Gwen sized up the situation, and she apologized for interrupting. "I have some paperwork for you to sign, but it can wait until the morning," Gwen said. Chad told Gwen that he would go check on the kids so that Gwen and Abigail could talk. Before he left, Chad thanked Gwen for pitching the party to Abigail.
"Are you joking? You thanking me? After everything you have done?" Gwen said. Gwen said that Abigail's loving parents deserved a celebration. With a nod in agreement, Chad left. Abigail signed the paperwork, but she wondered aloud if it was too soon after Ciara's funeral for a party. "No!" Gwen shouted as she snatched the papers from Abigail. Gwen explained that the family needed a reminder of the good things in life, as well.
At the Salem Airfield, Ben relinquished his gun to Shawn. On Ben's prompt, Shawn asked Vincent if he had more information about Ciara. "There is more to the story, and you both need to hear it," Vincent admitted. Ben grabbed Vincent and yelled at him to talk. Shawn pulled Ben away from Vincent.
"What don't we know?" Ben asked. Vincent said that when he had pointed his gun at Ciara, she had cried and begged for her life. Vincent asked Ben if Wendy had begged for her life when Ben had shot her. "I shot and killed Ciara at point-blank range!" Vincent yelled. Ben reached for Vincent, but Shawn stopped him. Shawn escorted Vincent and Ben back to his car.
At the police station, Shawn questioned Ben in the interrogation room after he had secured Vincent in the holding cells. Ben started to leave, but Shawn informed him he was under arrest for assault. "It's okay," Ben said. Shawn handcuffed Ben and read him his rights. Shawn promised to talk to the D.A. about leniency, but Ben reminded Shawn that Trask hated him. When Shawn told Ben that he would need to spend the night in jail, Ben shrugged.
"You think I care where I am? I wish I was dead," Ben said. Ben apologized. "You lost your sister," Ben said. Shawn noted that Ciara had made a huge impact on people's lives. "I know that the two of you loved each other so much. So, I can only imagine what you are going through," Shawn said.
"I don't know how to live without her, Shawn. Ciara was my whole world. She was everything to me. Now, I don't know how to live," Ben confessed. Shawn urged Ben not to throw his life away, because Ciara would want him to live it.
Tripp struggles to prove his innocence
At the Brady-Johnson townhouse, Tripp and Steve discussed what had happened the previous night. "I just...I don't get this, Dad -- I mean, there is no way I could be Henry's father, all right? Those test results have to be wrong," Tripp insisted. "[Well, like] you said last night, getting your DNA off a toothbrush could possibly mess with the results --" Steve began to acknowledge. "I could tell Kayla didn't [believe] that," Tripp grumbled. "[Maybe not]...but she still swabbed your cheek, and she's willing to do the test again," Steve continued.
"[And] what else could it be? There's no other explanation," Steve concluded. "The test got tampered with?" Tripp suggested, shrugging. "Well, yeah, that has happened in this town before...[and] Allie could have learned the black art of switching test results from Sami..." Steve conceded. "[But] Kayla said that she would personally supervise the process [this time -- and not] let those samples out of her sight until we get the answers we need," Steve reminded Tripp, who managed a hopeful nod in response.
Tripp started to rush off, drawing protests from Steve. "I don't want to run into Kayla, okay? I know she thinks that I'm a rapist -- and, not to mention, a liar!" Tripp explained. "Relax -- [she] already left for work. [And, look, I know she] wants to believe in you -- just the way I believe in you," Steve countered. "Still?" Tripp asked. "Yeah!" Steve replied.
At the Walker-Brady apartment, Allie told Nicole about what had happened the previous night. "I thought I'd be relieved when the test results proved that I was right about what happened...but now I just feel sad about the whole thing... [And Tripp] still says [that] I'm lying [and that] there's no way he could have gotten me pregnant -- [I mean], I thought that he would give up [and] finally take responsibility [once the results were in, but] he's acting like he's the victim [still]; he can't admit what he did, even when the proof is right in front of him, [so] he's making Aunt Kayla run the tests again," Allie concluded. "Seems like Tripp's in denial..." Nicole mused. "Yeah," Allie agreed. "[Well, look, when those] test results come back the same [as before, he's] not gonna have a leg to stand on [anymore, and he'll] have to own up to what he did," Nicole assured Allie, who managed a hopeful nod in response. "I wonder what happens [then]..." Allie mused.
At the hospital, Kayla ran into Abe, who was quick to comment on what had happened with the escaped prisoners. "I'm just so glad that you're okay!" Abe stressed. "Me, too..." Kayla muttered. "Or are you [okay]? You look, uh, a little upset..." Abe observed. "It's not about that -- uh, it's just, uh, another patient I'm thinking about..." Kayla, who was carrying the results of the second paternity test, explained.
"Eli?" Abe assumed. "No -- actually, he had a really good night, [so] I told Lani that, um, she could take him home as soon as Neuro clears him," Kayla reported.
Meanwhile, Lani entered Eli's room -- and discovered that it was otherwise unoccupied. Abe arrived a short time later, while Lani was recording a voicemail message for Eli, who wasn't responding to calls or text messages. "Where would he go? [You know], he promised me that, [from now on], we would tell each other everything!" Lani grumbled. "What about that head injury -- I mean, you think that he could be disoriented [due to it]?" Abe suggested. "I didn't even think of that..." Lani admitted, suddenly concerned. "[Well], don't borrow trouble -- I'll call the station [and] have them put out an APB," Abe offered.
Before Abe could make the call, Lani remembered that Eli had recently insisted that they needed to install tracking apps on each other's cell phones. "He's been just so overprotective of me since I've been pregnant..." Lani explained. "Well, I don't think that's over the top -- uh, I like him thinking that way," Abe declared. "Yeah, well, I thought it was ridiculous at first, but now..." Lani admitted.
Meanwhile, Eli knocked on the door to Brady's room at the Salem Inn. "I'm in no mood to deal with you right now," Brady insisted. "I just dragged myself out of a hospital bed to come here -- I don't give a damn about your mood," Eli countered. "What put you in a hospital bed?" Brady wondered. "Ben Weston cold-cocked me at the police station," Eli explained. "Remind me to send him a thank-you card for that," Brady said.
"Look, Brady, I understand that you're upset --" Eli began. "You think I'm 'upset'? I'm not 'upset' [about this], Eli -- no, I'm 'upset' because housekeeping banged on the door [this morning and] woke Rachel up, and she wouldn't stop crying for her mother [afterward]; that made me 'upset.' What you did [has me] way beyond 'upset.' Do you have any idea what it's like to, um...to see the mother of your child say goodbye to her daughter [before] being hauled off to prison for the next five years? That's because of what you did! So, yeah, um, I'm way beyond 'upset'; I'm lost [and] devastated, man...but most of all...most of all, I'm just pissed!" Brady snapped.
Brady and Eli's heated conversation caused Rachel to wake up and start crying again. Eli tried to apologize as Brady comforted Rachel. "You're lucky she went to sleep so easily [this time; otherwise], you'd have to deal with another lump on that thick skull of yours!" Brady spat at Eli after Rachel stopped crying. "[You know, Kristen and I had] obtained a lawyer who was gonna try to get her off on, uh, 'diminished capacity' -- we had a bunch of shrinks lined up to testify on her behalf, [and] it looked like she might be able to get off, [actually]..." Brady revealed. "And then you came around and convinced her to toss that chance away!" Brady grumbled. "You know why [I did that] --" Eli began to respond. "Oh, come off it, Eli -- [I mean], you didn't try to do anything else [to save Lani first]...and we both know why, man; [we both know] you don't [really] care about me [or] Kristen [or our] baby!" Brady argued. "That's not true!" Eli insisted.
"Then why did you arrest Kristen in the first place [and put this] whole thing in motion?" Brady wondered. "[Because] she stabbed a man -- potentially to his death! [Look, she's] not an innocent victim here -- [she] brought this on herself!" Eli explained. "Oh, come on -- [Victor] drove her to it!" Brady countered. "[And] I feel awful about [what she went through] -- you know that --" Eli declared. "I don't know that; all I know is...I think you came over here to [have] me ease your conscience or something...[and] that's not gonna happen, [so you can just] forget about it -- I don't think what you did was okay, and I don't understand it!" Brady stressed.
"I'm not here to be let off the hook; [I'm here because] you promised me that you wouldn't tell Lani what I did, [and I want] to make sure that you keep that promise," Eli clarified. "You threatening me?" Brady wondered. "I'm just making sure we're on the same page," Eli insisted. "What do you want, man -- do you want my word written in blood?" Brady asked incredulously. "[Look, it's just]...I had a nightmare last night -- [Lani] found out about me taping Kristen's confession, [and] she left me [and said that] she'd never talk to me again -- [and] I woke up in a panic [because] it felt real --" Eli hesitantly replied. "[So], you want me to reassure you," Brady summarized. "I do," Eli admitted. "Well, I'm sorry, [but] I gotta be honest with you -- I'm leaning towards making all your dreams come true," Brady warned.
"[I mean], it looks like [Kristen and Rachel and I] are gonna be living a nightmare for the next five years...[but] I don't see you caring about that; I see you caring about you. So, if your plan [is to] come over here on a daily basis to make sure I keep my mouth shut, [then] what's stopping me from just spilling my guts [as a way of] keeping you out of my life?" Brady reasoned. "Kristen will find out --" Eli suggested. "[Still]...I think Lani deserves to know what you did to her best friend," Brady countered -- and, as if on cue, Lani knocked on the hotel room door just then and called out a greeting.
"You can't tell her, Brady -- please!" Eli begged, but Brady made no promises before opening the door and greeting Lani, who wondered what was going on. "The reason that Eli showed up here...is because he wanted to check on me," Brady claimed. "Yes!" Eli agreed. "Well, that was very, uh...thoughtful of you --" Lani declared. "He's that kind of guy..." Brady muttered. "[But] why didn't you just call Brady? [And] why weren't you picking up the phone when I was calling you?" Lani wondered. "I guess, uh, I wasn't thinking straight...[and] my ringer must have been off..." Eli claimed while feigning concussion symptoms, wanting an excuse to get Lani away from Brady right away. Lani took the bait and rushed Eli out of the hotel room, insisting that they needed to return to the hospital and make sure that everything was okay.
Brady picked up a framed photograph of Kristen and sighed. "I didn't tell Lani about what Eli forced you to do... I really wanted to -- I was kind of white-knuckling it the whole time -- but, you know, we recovering addicts [just] resist the temptation [and] fight that urge to do what would make us feel so good at the time... I tell you what, telling the world about what Eli made you do would probably be a million times more satisfying than picking up a damn drink... Who knows -- you know, maybe...maybe one of these days, I'll just have to fall off the wagon and blow that son of a bitch out of the water..." Brady said.
At the hospital, Lani rushed off to find a doctor who could check on Eli, who seized the opportunity to confide in Abe about what had happened with Brady. "I don't know how long he's gonna be quiet..." Eli fretted.
Kayla entered the Brady-Johnson townhouse and informed Tripp and Steve that the results of the second paternity test were in. "I ran the test three times, [actually] -- with the old samples and the new ones... They all came back positive," Kayla reported. "Tripp, you and the baby definitely share DNA -- the only other person whose DNA could produce such results is your father...and, obviously, it's not him..." Kayla elaborated. "Yeah, but...it's not possible -- I swear to God, I did not have sex with Allie!" Tripp maintained. "Tests don't lie, Tripp," Kayla countered. "So, you're saying that I do?" Tripp asked incredulously. "I guess I am," Kayla quietly replied.
"I feel like I'm going crazy..." Tripp admitted with a shake of the head. "I know [that] nothing happened between me and Allie!" Tripp reiterated. "Science doesn't lie, Tripp," Kayla repeated. "You keep saying that, [but]...I mean, something is not right here -- I swear to God -- 'cause I'm not the one who's lying, either!" Tripp countered.
"Tripp, I know we've been through this before, but I have to ask you again...is it possible that you're not remembering everything that happened that night? I mean, you said [before] that you weren't drunk, [but] --" Steve interjected. "I had a couple of drinks...[but] I definitely was not 'drunk'!" Tripp maintained. "[Then] is it possible somebody could have slipped something into one of those drinks?" Steve suggested. "No, [because] I remember every second of that night!" Tripp insisted.
"[And, look], if I was gonna lie, [then] I would've said it was consensual, not that it didn't even happen -- I mean, that's so stupid; it'd be so easy to prove that I'm lying [if it had]!" Tripp stressed. "Then why did you resist the DNA test?" Kayla wondered. "I would've come around eventually -- I just...I was mad that you didn't believe me!" Tripp explained.
"No, not even 'mad,' [actually] -- I was hurt! [I mean], I had just come back here -- back to my family -- and you and Dad seemed so happy that I was back... I was gonna finish medical school here in Salem, [and] for the first time in my life, I felt like I was totally on the right track... And then this...this horrible accusation [came out], and everything that felt so right was suddenly threatened -- and when you didn't believe that I was innocent..." Tripp elaborated while fighting back tears. "I mean, my -- my God, I -- I have never, in my life, forced myself on a woman -- and just the thought of someone doing that makes me sick! I'm not like that -- I swear I'm not!" Tripp concluded. "You have no idea how much I want to believe you..." Kayla whispered.
"I need to get back to the hospital," Kayla declared before rushing off. "The way Kayla was looking at me... I mean, she...she thinks that I'm a rapist..." Tripp said to Steve once the coast was clear. "This can't be happening..." Tripp fretted, still on the verge of tears. "Why aren't you saying anything? Are you starting to think the same thing?" Tripp challenged Steve. "Look me in the eye and swear to me that your version of what happened that night is the absolute truth," Steve challenged Tripp. "I swear, on my life, I never slept with Allie," Tripp stressed without hesitation, making eye contact with Steve the whole time. "You're telling me the truth," Steve decided. "We will get to the bottom of this," Steve promised. "How?" Tripp wondered. "I'm your dad -- you leave it to me," Steve advised.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Justin received an unexpected visit from Bonnie. "[The other day], I asked if maybe you could think about forgiving me...[but] then Adrienne's brother Steve barged in and all... [Anyway], I'm here because [I thought maybe today could be the day] I was...hopefully, finally...gonna get my answer," Bonnie explained. "My forgiveness seems to mean a lot to you," Justin observed. "Yes, it does...[because] I have so much respect for you, [and] you were the first guy who ever treated me like a friend... [Plus], I really want to be a better person -- you know, make amends -- [so], if you were to forgive me, [that] would just mean the world to me... [But, look], giving that money to your sons' foundation in Adrienne's name...[well, I mean], I really just want you to know that I didn't do it to bribe you into forgiving me --" Bonnie replied. "I know that...and, Bonnie, you have my forgiveness," Justin declared. "What'd you just say?" Bonnie stammered. "I forgive you," Justin repeated.
Bonnie released a squeal of excitement and tried to offer Justin a hug of gratitude -- but the gesture was rejected. "I'm sorry -- you said you forgave me..." Bonnie explained. "I do...but today...today is my anniversary -- Adrienne's and mine..." Justin clarified. "I didn't know..." Bonnie admitted. "How could you?" Justin acknowledged. "I'm so sorry -- this must be a really sad day for you, then..." Bonnie continued. "It is...but I am focusing on the happy memories -- and there were plenty of those," Justin stressed.
Just then, Steve entered the mansion. "Déjà vu all over again..." Bonnie grumbled. "Sorry to interrupt, but something's happened in Tripp's case, and...uh, we need to talk to you -- it's urgent," Steve explained to Justin. "Sounds like my cue to leave..." Bonnie acknowledged. "Look, I don't know what your kid's done...but your lawyer's the best," Bonnie assured Steve while exiting the mansion.
Tripp entered the mansion a short time later, having sent Steve ahead before handling the task of parking the vehicle they were using. "Take a look at this and see if you still want to represent me," Tripp said to Justin while handing over the results of the paternity test. "As long as you keep maintaining your innocence, I'll continue to represent you," Justin assured Tripp after reading the test results. "Thank you," Tripp said, breathing a sigh of relief. "But this doesn't look good, guys -- I don't know how I'm going to explain it away...except for the possibility of error or fraud," Justin admitted. "[And] Kayla personally supervised the whole process..." Steve noted.
After receiving a phone call from Kayla, Allie headed over to the hospital with Nicole and Henry -- and was relieved to learn that the results of the second paternity test matched the results of the first paternity test. "[So], you believe me now?" Allie asked. "I always believed you -- the only thing I ever questioned was just the accuracy of your memory. I'm a survivor, too -- I know what courage it takes for a woman to come forward, [and] I don't think anybody makes that decision lightly," Kayla replied. "Thank you for saying that," Allie whispered.
Kayla gave Allie a copy of the test results. "You're going to need those if you want to press charges against Tripp," Kayla explained. "That whole thing scares me -- I mean, look how many problems [and] how much trouble I've already caused between you and Uncle Steve..." Allie fretted. "You have not 'caused trouble' for anybody -- something terrible happened to you. None of this was your fault," Kayla stressed. "[But] I should not have gotten so drunk that night..." Allie conceded. "That didn't give Tripp the right to touch you without your permission," Nicole insisted.
"I know I'm the one who urged you to go to the police, but...I don't know -- maybe I was being too pushy... [It's just that] my father abused me for years, and I was too ashamed to tell anyone -- and it kills me, to this day, that I didn't speak up for myself... But you are not like me -- you have spoken up, [and] if you want to end this [now], it is up to you -- I won't say another word," Nicole said to Allie. "But...if I stay quiet now, isn't it kind of like saying I did something wrong? I mean, if I go public, maybe another girl will hear about me, and this won't happen to her. [And], I mean, if Tripp gets away with this, he's gonna think that he can do this to other girls, [so] it's kind of up to me to stop him...isn't it?" Allie reasoned, and Nicole nodded in response.
After leaving Kayla's office with Nicole and Henry, Allie spotted Lani at the nurses' station -- and seized the opportunity to start the next phase of the case.
Gwen prepares for Jennifer and Jack's party
While passing through the town square, Bonnie spotted Jennifer, who was applying some makeup. "All fadoodled up for your anniversary?" Bonnie assumed. "Hello, Bonnie..." Jennifer somewhat coldly began. "How did you know?" Jennifer wondered. "Well, Justin -- he told me... [Anyway], I just hope you and Jack have, uh...have a lovely celebration," Bonnie replied.
Jennifer demanded to know why Bonnie, who no longer had any legal matters pending, was still talking to Justin. "We're friends," Bonnie explained. "'Friends'? Bonnie, the last time I saw you, you were bawling because Justin pushed you off for kissing him!" Jennifer replied. "Since then...we've come a long way, baby," Bonnie bragged. "What's that supposed to mean?" Jennifer wondered. "It means Justin has forgiven me for all the terrible things I did," Bonnie clarified. "Ask Justin -- I'm not lying!" Bonnie added in response to Jennifer's look of skepticism.
"[Regardless]...Bonnie, don't you think that you're just being a little...overly optimistic? [I mean], have you forgotten all the things that you put Justin and Adrienne through -- how you made their lives a living nightmare, how much they suffered because of you...?" Jennifer asked. "I have not forgotten," Bonnie replied. "[Well, then, given all of that]...if Justin has forgiven you -- and that is a big 'if"; he would be a saint if he had -- I really hope that you're not thinking there could ever be anything more between you!" Jennifer stressed.
Bonnie denied having any interest in buying Justin's love, but Jennifer didn't fully understand the meaning of the statement. "The money Justin won [for me] from the publishing house -- I gave it to Sonny's company in Adrienne's name," Bonnie clarified. "I didn't know that..." Jennifer admitted. "Yeah, well, Justin did," Bonnie stressed.
Stunned, Jennifer decided that Bonnie was actually telling the truth about having earned Justin's forgiveness. "You...care about Justin..." Jennifer further decided, perhaps finding that even more stunning. "[Well, okay, then] -- Justin has forgiven you -- but don't expect... Look, not everyone in this town is going to be able to forget..." Jennifer warned. "You're talking about your husband," Bonnie guessed.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Justin received an unexpected visit from Jack, who started to say something then stopped abruptly, as if having second thoughts about the idea. "Damn it -- I'm no good at this..." Jack grumbled. "At what?" Justin wondered. "On the way over, uh...I was...I was trying to figure out how to start [this conversation], and I...I figured I would, you know, be all casual and everything...[but] then I walked in, and I...I saw you looking at [Adrienne's] picture... Uh, I'm sorry, Justin -- I'm really sorry... [I mean], today -- it...it...it can't be an easy day for you... I mean, this...this is not just Jennifer's and my anniversary; it was yours and Adrienne's, too... [Anyway...look], the reason I came over today was to say that it's okay -- I get it...I get it if you don't want to come to the party; [after all], it's hard to be celebrating somebody else's happy ending when you've suffered such a terrible loss..." Jack stammered. "Thank you for giving me an out," Justin replied.
"I'm happy for you and Jen, of course...[but], honestly, I don't think I would be the life of the party," Justin admitted. "[Plus], Steve and Kayla are going to be there, [and that] couldn't be easy for you, [either]..." Jack noted. "No, it wouldn't be," Justin confirmed.
Jack acknowledged that, of course, Justin wanted Steve and Kayla to be happy together -- and had even paved the way for their reunion. "Yeah, I'm a hell of a guy..." Justin dryly summarized. "Even found it in my heart to forgive Bonnie Lockhart..." Justin continued. "What?" Jack stammered. "I wonder how Adrienne would have felt about that..." Justin mused. "Isn't it obvious? [Look, Bonnie] has you in her crosshairs --" Jack tried to warn. "Bonnie took the money that I won for her and gave it to the breast cancer center that Sonny started in Arizona!" Justin revealed. "Seed money -- she's playing the long game; she's reeling you in!" Jack maintained. "I don't care! I'm sick and tired of being angry and frustrated -- and I'm really, really sick and tired of living in the past! [Look], being angry at Bonnie won't bring Adrienne back -- nothing will!" Justin snapped, prompting Jack to back down. "[You know]...I didn't just forgive Bonnie -- I, uh...I think I like her," Justin admitted.
"You're testing me [now], right?" Jack assumed. "No -- she makes me laugh...and right now, in my life, that's, uh...that's a very big deal," Justin insisted. "Right... Well...that's...that's great -- that's just...it's great...[and] I really hope it makes things easier for you," Jack stammered. "Even though you wish she were burning in hell," Justin summarized. "Along those lines," Jack confirmed.
"I know this doesn't really make sense, but...talking to you has made me feel better, [so]...thank you for coming by. [Now], go to that party [and] have a great time," Justin said to Jack, who nodded in response then exited the mansion while musing that Adrienne had always had great taste.
Later, Justin went for a walk -- and ran into Bonnie outside the Brady Pub. "I was just, uh, gonna go in for a beer -- wanna join?" Bonnie offered. "I don't think so," Justin replied. "Right... Uh, well...I'll see ya..." Bonnie muttered before starting to duck into the pub. "Maybe another time," Justin called out. "Really?" Bonnie asked incredulously. "Yeah," Justin confirmed. "Well, okay, then!" Bonnie agreed with a grin.
At the police station, Jake approached a holding cell and whistled to get Ben's attention. "What are you doing here?" Ben asked. "Came to get you the hell outta here," Jake replied.
After Jake posted Ben's bail, they headed over to the Salem Inn together. "Maybe this was a bad idea..." Jake realized as Ben stared sadly at Ciara's belongings. "I'm stayin' at the DiMera place now, so...maybe you can rent my old room over the garage..." Jake suggested. "No, it's all right -- it's not like I'm gonna think of her any less over there... It doesn't make a difference where I am -- she's gone..." Ben replied.
"Want me to maybe get her things [and] take 'em outta here, [then]?" Jake offered. "No, that's all right -- like I said before, it doesn't really make a difference; nothing does... [You know], I dragged that guy out of the police station to make him tell me that Ciara was still alive, [but] instead, he told me he shot her at point-blank range...[and yet], the way he was looking at me, it was like he was saying, 'I'm screwing with you' -- [so], even now, part of me can't believe that she's really gone...[and] I think that's what he wanted..." Ben replied.
"Look, if I decide to go back to work at the garage -- and I'm seriously thinkin' about it -- maybe you'll come work with me [again]? I don't know about you, but I've found that workin' with my hands, it kinda helps get rid of all the jaggy noise in my head... [And, I mean], I just think, man, that sittin' around...you know, here...is --" Jake advised. "I know, I know -- you're...you're right...you're right, that's probably a good idea... [Plus, that way], I can start paying you back for bailing me out," Ben conceded. "Dude, money is, uh...it's not a problem for me right now, so..." Jake somewhat awkwardly assured Ben.
Jake reluctantly exited the hotel room after failing to get Ben to agree to a round of drinks at the Brady Pub. Once the coast was clear, Ben picked up one of Ciara's dresses and sighed.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad knocked on the door to Kate's bedroom then opened it after receiving permission to do so. "Oh -- look who it is..." Kate mused. "Were you expecting someone else?" Chad asked. "Just hoping it was my dry cleaning," Kate, who had been thinking about Jake, claimed. "Nope, sorry -- it's just, uh...it's just me..." Chad replied.
"I was hoping that I could talk you into coming to the party tonight," Chad admitted. "I don't think that's a good idea -- sorry," Kate replied. "[But] I thought you loved parties!" Chad protested. "I do love parties -- when I am the center of attention -- but, um, more to the point...I wasn't invited," Kate clarified. "I'm inviting you now!" Chad pointed out. "Yeah, well, it's a little last-minute...and it's a little halfhearted," Kate argued. "What do you want -- an engraved invitation?" Chad countered.
"Okay, look...this party is for Jack and Jennifer -- and, if you have forgotten, we're not close," Kate explained. "So? There's gonna be plenty of people there who aren't close to Jack and Jennifer! And, look, I'm not asking you to dance with them; I'm just...I'm just asking you to sit in the corner, drinking martinis and making snide remarks!" Chad stressed. "Well, that really does sound delightful..." Kate admitted with a laugh.
"But, um...the truth is, my dry cleaning hasn't arrived, and I don't have a thing to wear, so..." Kate maintained. "Girl, come on, now -- I know you have a closet full of party outfits! [So, be honest] -- why are you [really] fighting me on this?" Chad challenged Kate. "Why are you pushing me?" Kate challenged Chad.
"Okay -- you want the truth? [Well, then, here's the] truth -- I've noticed lately that, um...that you've been living, uh, a somewhat solitary life --" Chad began to explain. "Aw -- are you feeling sorry for me?" Kate dryly wondered. "No -- I absolutely do not feel sorry for you!" Chad dismissively insisted. "[But] I do care about you, [and] you haven't been with anyone since Andre died, [so] I just thought tonight would be a good chance for you to bring a date," Chad concluded, drawing a scoff from Kate.
Meanwhile, Abigail rushed into the study and greeted Gwen. "Is something wrong?" Abigail began. "Not really..." Gwen replied with a dramatic sigh. "[Then] why did you text me?" Abigail wondered. "Oh, it's nothing -- it's stupid..." Gwen insisted, sighing again.
"What is it?" Abigail prodded Gwen. "I want you to tell me that everything's gonna be all right -- [I mean], you've got all these rich, fancy people coming to a party that I planned, and...well, I don't really know what the hell I'm doing, and...oh, God, what if the whole thing turns out to be a giant disaster, and then it would be my fault, and then you'd hate me..." Gwen fretted. "Gwen, listen -- I just got off the phone with Julie, and she told me [that] everything is absolutely perfect, [and that] she can't believe how hard you've worked, [and that] she thinks my parents are gonna be absolutely blown away," Abigail reported.
"[So], really, I can't thank you enough for...just everything," Abigail concluded. "Oh, God, you don't need to thank me -- I've enjoyed it, really...except for this...panic attack..." Gwen replied. "[And besides], it makes it so much easier to make things nice when you don't have to worry about money..." Gwen pointed out. "[And, you know], you've got a husband and children and a job and... Well, you're a very busy woman, aren't you? [Meanwhile], I've got all the time in the world to plan a party like this..." Gwen reasoned. "But, as I said, I have really, really enjoyed it...and I just want to see everybody else enjoying it, too -- especially your folks..." Gwen stressed. "Yeah -- especially them; I mean, after everything they've been through, they just really deserve to have a really great night," Abigail agreed.
"As do you," Gwen insisted before making a big show of presenting Abigail with a surprise -- J.J., who sneaked into the study while Abigail's eyes were closed. "Nice to put a face to the woman who took over my life," J.J. said to Gwen after accepting a hug from Abigail. "Do you know how complicated it is to get from South Africa to Salem -- all the flights, all the paperwork...? [But it was all taken care of] by this, uh...very efficient person -- [and] she even got me a TSA pre-check and a car to pick me up at O'Hare!" J.J. explained to Abigail.
Abigail laughed and gave Gwen a shake of the head. "So, all of [that] 'I don't know what I'm doing, it's all gonna be a disaster' [stuff was] just bull to get me down here," Abigail realized. "Yes, it was all bull -- I actually think I'm doing such a fabulous job!" Gwen confirmed. "So do I," Abigail stressed.
Abigail guessed that J.J.'s return was going to be a surprise for Jennifer and Jack, too. "I just love surprises..." Gwen admitted with a shrug before rushing off so Abigail and J.J. could catch up without an audience. "If you think that was a surprise, you haven't seen anything yet...[because, after all], what would a Salem party be without one big, nasty surprise?" Gwen muttered while passing through the halls of the mansion. Meanwhile, Abigail started raving to J.J. about Gwen's many amazing qualities. "Good-looking, too!" J.J. admitted with a grin after Abigail was done. "More than I expected, [actually -- I mean], she was efficient [and] bossy and everything, [so] I kept thinking she'd look like the lady from the bank on The Beverly Hillbillies," J.J. elaborated with a chuckle. "That's a horribly sexist thing to say!" Abigail teasingly protested. "Just trying to be funny...but it's not funny at all, [so] I apologize to you and your entire gender," J.J. teasingly conceded.
J.J. and Abigail laughed about their sibling rivalry and agreed that it was good to be back together again. "So...how's it going?" J.J. wondered. "I just think things are really maybe back on track," Abigail admitted. "You?" Abigail asked. "Well, uh...I like working with Theo, and I like the people there -- really like 'em... I pretty much crashed and burned after Haley died, but, uh...there's so many people there who need help and so few doctors that, uh, even an ex-EMT helps, and I feel like what I do matters," J.J. replied. "[Then] we're all getting our lives back on track!" Abigail summarized.
Abigail soon started raving to J.J. about Gwen again. "She single?" J.J. asked hopefully after Abigail was done. "Yeah, she's single...but, boy, are you hitting the ground running!" Abigail replied. "It's the 'hot nanny' thing," J.J. explained with a shrug -- and before Abigail could respond, Chad entered the study and gasped at the sight of its unexpected occupant.
After catching up with J.J., Chad hesitantly admitted to Abigail that Kate might show up at the party. "You invited Kate to the party? Boy, that's a swell idea..." Abigail replied. "You don't sound like you mean that," J.J. observed. "It's a party for our parents -- [and] they can't stand her!" Abigail explained. "Can anyone?" J.J. joked. "I happen to be very fond of Kate!" Chad stressed.
"Look, it's gonna be a mob scene, all right? Your parents won't even know she's there! And besides, she's probably gonna make a play for the parking lot attendant, and she'll be leaving [with him] before they cut the cake!" Chad assured Abigail. "That's not funny!" Abigail insisted, but Chad and J.J. both disagreed. "Don't tell her I said that, though -- she would not like that joke, [either]," Chad fretted.
While passing through the town square, Kate ran into Jake, who offered a wolf whistle in lieu of a greeting. "You know that's not okay, right?" Kate asked. "Oh, sorry, Kate -- I didn't realize that you were, uh, the 'politically correct' type," Jake replied. "So, where ya goin' dressed like that?" Jake wondered. "I'm going to a party for Abigail's parents," Kate clarified. "Oh, right -- the one that Gwen planned..." Jake summarized.
"He says, rather suspiciously..." Kate observed. "Well, it's just...I know Gwen, and she doesn't [do] anything that doesn't serve Gwen," Jake explained.
Kate grumbled that the party was probably going to be boring. "You know, I have an idea of how to liven things up -- why don't you come with me?" Kate suggested. "Wow -- Mrs. DiMera, if I didn't know any better, I'd think you're askin' me out on a date!" Jake declared, drawing a scoff from Kate.
Jack and Jennifer returned to the DiMera mansion within minutes of each other and started comparing notes on Justin and Bonnie -- then gasped in unison when J.J. interrupted. Meanwhile, Gwen sneaked into Kate's bedroom and checked to make sure that something was still hidden in the armoire. "Let the games begin..." Gwen muttered with a smirk after locating the item.
Next, Gwen sneaked into Chad and Abigail's bedroom and grabbed a pair of shoes -- then rushed off to the study with them and hid them under the couch. Abigail eventually began looking for the shoes -- and ultimately ended up in the study, where Gwen was waiting. Gwen suggested that Charlotte might have been playing with the shoes earlier, but Abigail dismissed the theory, having already checked with the child.
"Well, I would loan you a pair, but, um, I get my shoes at a thrift shop, so... Kate! Yes, she's got more shoes than the Kardashians! Come on -- let's go!" Gwen declared before rushing off to Kate's bedroom. Abigail shrugged then chased after Gwen, who was already in Kate's bedroom, rummaging through the armoire. Gwen made of show of dropping a shoebox -- then suggested, when a bunch of papers fell out of it, that they were probably old love letters. Abigail laughed in response then started to pick up the letters -- and gasped at the sight of one of them. "Something the matter?" Gwen asked innocently.
Abigail stews over a secret
At the penthouse, John told Marlena that he had decided not to go to the party because he did not want to see Steve. John suggested that he and Marlena celebrate their anniversary at home instead. "I hope you don't mind that I made a unilateral decision to skip that party, because, selfishly, I just wanted you all to myself," John said. "I'm glad you still feel that way," Marlena said. John gave Marlena a scrapbook. "You did this?" Marlena asked. When Marlena opened the book, she found pictures from all of their weddings.
"I remember," Marlena said as she thought about their first wedding vows. As Marlena flipped through the book, one page had pressed flowers from their second wedding. "Yours, mine, and ours," John said. "And we have grandchildren and great grandchildren. They will overcome all their trials and tribulations just like we did," Marlena said. John said that was because he and Marlena had never stopped loving one another.
"A poker chip?" Marlena asked as she flipped the page. John said the chip was a great reminder of their Vegas wedding vow renewal. John and Marlena thought about their vow renewal ceremony. "You gambled on me. A man without a past. A man without a name," John said. John grew overly emotional, and he grumbled about it.
"It's all right. It's what's going on now. I must say, I rather like it. It is nice for me to be able to see how you're feeling, and I get teary when I think about how much I love you. So, now I guess we're just in the same boat," Marlena said. John smiled and told Marlena to flip the next page in the book. "Our trip to Italy," Marlena said. Marlena thought about when John had proposed to her in Italy.
"I didn't think that I could love you any more, but I was wrong," Marlena said as she reflected on the memory. Marlena leaned forward and flipped over the hourglass. "I have mixed emotions about that thing," John said. Marlena agreed.
"Horrible, yet wonderful. Turning that over every day, just waiting for you to wake up. Trying to stay positive and optimistic, and I was feeling so low and helpless, and then it happened. It just happened. You woke up. You came back to me," John said. Marlena reminded John that he had given the hourglass to Jack to help him. "I'm so glad that they got their 'happily ever after,' also, Doc," John said.
As Jack and Jennifer prepared to leave the DiMera mansion, J.J. surprised them. J.J. wished Jack and Jennifer a happy anniversary, and he explained that Gwen had arranged for his visit. "[Gwen] also said this wasn't the only [surprise] she had planned," J.J. said. J.J. told Jack and Jennifer that Theo had tagged along for the trip, and he apologized that he and Theo had not been able to return home in time for Ciara's funeral.
"You're here now, and that makes me so happy!" Jennifer said. Jack complimented Gwen's hard work and kindness. Jennifer admitted that she felt guilty that she and Jack had been suspicious of Gwen at first.
Upstairs, Gwen and Abigail rooted through Kate's closet to look for shoes for Abigail to borrow. Gwen intentionally knocked over a box, and she watched as Abigail looked at the contents spilled on the floor. "They are probably just old love letters," Gwen said. Abigail joked that she did not want to know about any of Kate's love letters, considering her dating past. As Abigail collected all the papers into a pile, she exclaimed, "What the?" Gwen asked what was wrong.
"It's a letter to Kate from my dad," Abigail said. Confused, Abigail wondered aloud why Jack had written a letter to Kate and why Kate had saved it. "You can read [the letter] or we can spend the entire evening obsessing over it. It's probably nothing," Gwen said. With a nod, Abigail opened the letter and started to read it. "Oh, my God!" Abigail exclaimed.
When Abigail and Gwen went downstairs to the den, Gwen fixed Abigail a drink, but Abigail turned down the drink because of her medication. Gwen urged Abigail to make an exception. "Time for desperate measures," Abigail said. After Abigail downed the drink, Chad walked in and asked Abigail if she was ready to go. Chad asked about Abigail's shoes, and she admitted she had not been able to find them.
"Are you okay? What's going on?" Chad asked. Gwen jumped in and urged Chad to head to the party. Once Chad confirmed with Abigail that he should go, he left. "Sorry I took charge. I just figured you probably don't want to get into it now with Chad after everything," Gwen said. Abigail said she was not sure she could attend the party. Worried, Gwen argued that Abigail needed to go to the party. Gwen poured another drink and gave it to Abigail. When Abigail wondered aloud why she had to read the letter that night, Gwen reminded Abigail that she would be there by Abigail's side at the party. "Thank God you're here," Abigail said.
In the square, Kate asked Jake to go as her plus one to Jack and Jennifer's party. "Mrs. DiMera, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you're asking me out on a date," Jake joked. "The way I see it, it is two people enjoying themselves, and it's an open bar," Kate said. Jake said it sounded good, but he was not interested in attending the party.
"Are you turning me down?" Kate asked. "Did it ever occur to you I could have other plans?" Jake countered. When Kate asked Jake if he had other plans, he said no. Jake noted that he did not have a suit for the occasion, and Chad would not want him at the party. Kate asked Jake if he actually cared about what Chad thought of him.
"I care about ruining other people's good time," Jake said. Kate countered that Jake would ruin her good time if he didn't go with her to the party. "You don't need a suit. I think you look pretty good the way that you are," Kate said. Jake grinned. "It's a date," Jake said.
Outside of Julie's Place, Theo surprised Abe. "I can't believe you're here!" Abe said. Theo explained that J.J. had returned to town to surprise his parents, and Theo had decided to do the same with Abe. "You're in person. That's a lot better than Skype," Abe said. Abe commented on Theo's health. Theo said he was mostly healed.
Inside Julie's Place, Steve and Kayla prepared for the party. "Don't you think we should have postponed this party? I mean, it is the day after Ciara's funeral, for God's sake," Steve said. Kayla countered that the family could use something to celebrate. With a nod, Steve sighed. "I don't think I should stay," Steve said. When Kayla asked why, Steve said he did not think Lucas would want to see him at the party because Lucas believed Tripp had raped Allie.
"I think the problem is that your son did rape his daughter, but you refuse to face it," Kayla said. "So, you're mad at me for believing my son?" Steve asked. Kayla disagreed. Kayla told Steve he was in denial of the facts. Steve argued that Tripp's response was honest. Kayla countered that Tripp was in denial that he had ever had sex with Allie, despite a paternity test proving him wrong.
"Why would he say there is no sex at all when he knows that baby could be tested? He is not stupid," Steve argued. Kayla told Steve that she understood he wanted to believe his son, but Steve "was basically calling Allie a liar." Steve disagreed. Kayla yelled that John, Marlena, and Lucas had decided not to attend the party because they wanted to avoid Steve.
"Good! Why don't you just call them all up and tell them I won't be here!" Steve barked. Kayla urged Steve to acknowledge the truth. "Tripp raped Allie, and you defending him is insulting to every survivor out there, including me," Kayla said.
Once guests started to arrive, Kayla and Steve kept their distance from one another. Jennifer asked Kayla if everything was okay with her and Steve. "No," Kayla said. Jennifer encouraged Kayla to talk to her. "I just don't know if Steve and I are going to get through this," Kayla said. Jennifer noted that Kayla and Steve, and Jennifer and Jack had weathered similar hurt before as a family. "You and Steve have been through too much to let this come between you," Jennifer counseled. Kayla said she hoped to work things out with Steve.
Across the room, Jack talked to Steve about Tripp. Jack started to tell Steve that they could not keep Tripp out of the paper once he was charged. "[Tripp] is not going to be charged because he didn't do it!" Steve said loud enough for everyone to hear him. Steve stressed that he did not want to discuss Tripp, but Jack insisted.
"When I finally began facing up to the truth about what I did, that's when I really started healing," Jack said. "You know what I want, Jack? I want everyone to know the truth. Not what Allie said. The truth," Steve stressed. Steve followed Kayla outside the restaurant. "Can we just put this conversation on hold for tonight and just enjoy this party?" Kayla asked. "I just wanted to tell you I'm sorry," Steve said.
At the buffet inside the restaurant, Chad and Theo chatted. As Chad said that he was thankful that Jake would not be at the party, Jake walked in with Kate. "He does look just like the old one," Theo said. Jake saw Chad, and he whispered to Kate that he needed a drink.
While Jake made a beeline for the bar, Kate nodded at Jack, and she walked over to Chad. "I took your advice. I brought a date," Kate said. "You like stirring up trouble, don't you?" Chad countered. Kate argued that the party needed to liven up, and she added that she thought it was best not to leave Jake home alone to look for blackmail material. "[Jake's] not going to be able to find anything," Chad said.
Outside the restaurant, Abigail worried aloud that she should not go into the party. Gwen encouraged Abigail to follow Gwen's lead. Abigail stuffed Jack's letter into her purse, and she followed Gwen into the party. When Abigail saw Jack, she clenched her jaw. Gwen gave Abigail another drink, and Abigail chugged it down. Jennifer walked over to say hello to her daughter.
"Sorry we're late. Abigail's shoes were at the bottom of Charlotte's toy chest," Gwen said with a laugh. Abigail announced that she needed to go to the bathroom, and she stalked off.
At the buffet table, Theo introduced himself to Jake as his nephew. "My father, he certainly got around," Jake said. "Our family tree is more like an orchard," Theo joked. Jake laughed, and he told Theo it was nice to meet him. Jake walked over to Chad and Kate at their standing table in the corner.
"Swell party! Glad I could make it," Jake said. Chad walked away. Jack joined Kate and Jake at their table. "This is a surprise," Jack said. Kate explained that Chad had invited her, and she had invited Jake. "The more the merrier, right?" Jake said. Jack smiled politely. Kate walked away as Jake wished Jack a happy anniversary. Gwen sidled up behind Jake.
"I see you managed to worm your way into the party," Gwen said. When Jake made a snide comment about the tameness of the party, Gwen said, "Things are about to change. Drastically." "Drastically?" Chad interrupted. Jake greeted Chad, but he ignored Jake. "You were saying?" Chad asked Gwen. Gwen told Chad that Jake had called her party boring, and she had said that the party was about to liven up when Jake started to eat.
"Everyone loves feeding time at the zoo," Gwen said to Jake. Chad told Jake he was welcome to leave. "No, Chad. I would never abandon my date," Jake said. Gwen looked taken aback. Jake walked away, and Chad apologized. "You planned the party. You shouldn't have to be dealing with [Jake], too," Chad said. As Gwen shifted uncomfortably, J.J. interrupted to assure Gwen that it was a great party.
"Thanks to Gwen. You know she's single," Chad whispered to J.J. After Chad walked away, J.J. smiled at Gwen and asked her if she had heard the last part. Gwen shook her head no. As J.J. attempted to chat with Gwen, she excused herself. "Single and clearly not interested in me," J.J. muttered to himself.
When Abigail returned from the bathroom, she grabbed another drink. Kate walked past her, and Abigail narrowed her eyes. Abigail grabbed another drink and drained the glass. When Chad noticed Abigail stewing in the corner, he asked her why she looked miserable. "I need to tell you something," Abigail said. Before Abigail could tell Chad about the letter, Gwen called attention to the room to introduce herself.
"I've been very lucky to get to know a wonderful family," Gwen said. Gwen talked about Abigail and how Gwen had felt it was necessary to celebrate Jack and Jennifer when Abigail had told her about their love story. "Yesterday was Jack and Jennifer's two-year anniversary, and today is the first anniversary of Jennifer waking from a one-year coma. To Jack and Jennifer's undying love," Gwen said. As the room erupted in cheers and claps, Abigail scowled.
Gwen continued to talk about how special Jack and Jennifer's love story was, and Abigail squirmed with discomfort. Gwen pointed out various guests in the room who had caught previous wedding bouquets. Gwen noted that Jennifer had not been able to throw a bouquet at her last wedding, and she announced that "tonight will have a much happier ending." Abigail shook her head in annoyance. Gwen invited the crowd to step forward and say something about the happy couple.
Chad noticed Abigail was unhappy, and he asked her if she was okay. Abigail gave a curt nod yes. Abe interrupted to say goodbye because he and Theo were headed out to see Lani. "Give [Lani and Eli] our love," Chad said. Chad turned his attention back to Abigail after Abe and Theo left, but she was unable to tell him anything before Kayla stepped forward to speak.
"Jennifer Horton Deveraux. You are living proof that you can't judge somebody by what they're like in high school," Kayla joked. Kayla went on to say that Jennifer was kind, funny, and a great friend. "After your accident, a parade of people came by to see you. There were so many people who loved you. We all prayed for you, but no one more than Jack. He kept a constant vigil by your bedside," Kayla said. Kayla added that she had never seen a more devoted and loyal husband than Jack.
"To a genuine love story. Jack and Jennifer," Kayla said as she raised a glass. J.J. was next to toast his parents. When J.J. invited Abigail to make a statement, she resisted. "Don't you want to say something," Gwen whispered in Abigail's ear. Chad asked Abigail if she wanted to go home. Abigail shook her head no, and she walked to the center of the room. Chad asked Gwen if something had happened at the house to upset Abigail.
"It's not my place to tell you, I'm sorry. I'm sure she'll tell you when this is all over," Gwen whispered to Chad. Abigail opened up the paper that she said contained her speech. Abigail talked about the hourglass that John had given to Jack to keep at Jennifer's bedside. As Abigail's tone grew angrier as she talked about the first day that Jack had not shown up to keep a vigil at Jennifer's side, Jack tensed up.
"For the first time, the hourglass had not been turned over, so I went to do it myself. Then all of a sudden, Dad, you just came rushing in. And when he came rushing in I thought, 'This is the most devoted husband I have ever seen.' But now I know what really happened," Abigail said. Jennifer asked Abigail what she meant. Jack and Kate exchanged glances across the room as Abigail held up Kate's letter.
"What is it?" Jennifer asked. "This is a letter from Dad to Kate," Abigail said. Kate looked away. Jennifer turned and faced Jack as Abigail's eyes flared with anger.