At the Brady Pub, Eli fretted to Abe about the fact that, at any time, Brady could decide to stop cooperating and tell Lani the real reason that Kristen had confessed to stabbing Victor.
Abe somewhat teasingly predicted that Eli, having told Lani another lie earlier to keep the previous lie hidden, wasn't going to have time to worry about Brady for a while, since the responsibility of planning a baby shower would be a big distraction -- and, of course, there would still be work shifts to juggle on top of that. Eli scoffed at Abe's use of the word "distraction," as if contemplating far more colorful ways of describing the responsibility of planning a baby shower. "I know you hate lying to Lani as much as I do, but --" Abe began to add. "She can't know the truth, Abe -- not now -- and I'll do whatever it takes to keep it from her," Eli stressed before rushing off to start planning the baby shower.
At the Salem Inn, Brady feigned ignorance as Lani continued probing for information about the secret that Eli had been caught discussing with Abe earlier. Lani eventually played the recording of Eli and Abe's conversation to force Brady to drop the act. "It's not my place to say anything about this, [so] you should really talk to Eli --" Brady advised. "Eli is not going to tell me the truth...[but] I'm not letting this go, [so either you're] gonna tell me, or I'm just gonna find another way [to get to the bottom of it]," Lani stressed. "Is it about my babies?" Lani continued. "No," Brady insisted. "[Then]...is it my dad -- is he sick [or] in trouble?" Lani continued. "No," Brady insisted. "Then what?" Lani snapped. "Kristen," Brady whispered.
"Now it all makes sense -- why Eli has been feeling so guilty, and why Kristen suddenly confessed..." Lani admitted after Brady finished elaborating. "I am so sorry --" Lani stressed. "It's not your fault," Brady insisted. "How could [Eli] just rip your family apart like that?" Lani grumbled. "He was trying to save his family," Brady conceded. "I cannot believe everything that [Kristen] has sacrificed for me..." Lani fretted.
At Statesville, Kristen received a visit from Marlena, who had heard about what had happened when Brady had taken Rachel to the prison for the first time. "If Brady sent you here because he thinks I need a shrink --" Kristen began to protest. "No -- I'm here because I'm concerned about you, [and] I thought you might want to talk about how things could be different next time --" Marlena clarified. "There's not gonna be a 'next time,' Marlena -- I am not gonna let Brady bring Rachel here ever again!" Kristen insisted.
"I don't think you really mean that --" Marlena argued. "It was so awful -- I mean, the guard came in [and told us that our time was up], and Rachel started crying, [so] I asked [for] just one minute more so that I could soothe her and tell her that everything was gonna be okay, [but]... And then Brady, he had to carry her out of here [while she was still] screaming, [and] I can still hear her..." Kristen explained while fighting back tears. "I'm so sorry," Marlena stressed. "I'm the one who should be sorry -- I mean, it's my fault that she has to come to this horrible place..." Kristen conceded.
"Saying goodbye [to her] --" Kristen began to fret. "Look, I understand how [hard this has] been for [you and Rachel], but the truth is, it's not really 'goodbye' --" Marlena pointed out. "You're right -- Brady and I, we have our precious little girl back, [and] I have to remember that seeing her, even under these challenging conditions, is...is a blessing, compared to the alternative..." Kristen agreed. "And every time you do, [it] will get easier...and then, before you know it, you'll be back home," Marlena stressed.
Kristen gave Marlena a nod and also managed to flash a slight smile. "Thank you for your kindness -- I'm very grateful, [and I know] it's more than I deserve, after all the things I have done to you," Kristen whispered. "That's all behind us now. I promised I would help with your daughter, [and] the best way I can do that is to make sure that she sees you as often as possible," Marlena reasoned.
At the Walker-Brady apartment, Tripp warned Allie about the potential downsides of handing their case over to the Metropolitan Police in London. "We could get dragged [over there] for God knows how long, [and] both of our lives would be disrupted -- [and it would all be] for nothing, [because] this alleged incident happened almost a year ago, so...I mean, there's no witnesses, no evidence, no --" Tripp stressed. "Uh, bull -- I have the DNA results," Allie interjected. "But that doesn't prove that I raped you," Tripp argued. "Well, it proves that you're Henry's father -- and that you're a liar," Allie countered.
"Allie, look, I know what you think you remember --" Tripp began to respond. "What I 'think'?" Allie repeated with a scoff. "I didn't come here to fight, okay? I just want to tell my side of the story," Tripp explained. "You already did that [the other night], when you showed up here [and started] yelling [then] tried to take my phone when I threatened to call the cops," Allie pointed out. "I know -- and, uh, that was wrong...and, uh, I apologize... [Look], we were both screaming at each other [that night], and I was just desperate for you to hear me... [But] now I'm asking for another chance -- to calmly and respectfully just tell you my very clear memory of that night... [And, look], if you get at all uncomfortable, uh, just say the word, and I'll leave, okay?" Tripp replied. "Fine," Allie agreed after some thought.
After stepping aside to let Tripp into the apartment, Allie started to shut the door then decided to leave it slightly ajar instead -- a move that Tripp noticed and accepted with a quiet sigh of disappointment while Allie continued facing the door, as if wondering if leaving it only slightly ajar could prove to be a dangerous decision. Allie eventually turned around, having made no further adjustments to the door beforehand -- and that move seemed to give Tripp just a bit of comfort. Tripp, who was already standing about as far away from Allie as possible, offered a nod of reassurance then forged ahead without saying anything about what had just transpired.
"So, that night, I saw you at the club, and I thought you were really cute, so I went up to you, and we talked for a few minutes, and I liked you, so I asked you to dance -- [and] you turned me down, but I found you again, maybe an hour later, and asked you again...and that time, you said yes...but it was clear you'd had a lot to drink [by then] --" Tripp recalled. "I get it -- I was wasted, [so] you saw your big chance, and you took me home in a cab," Allie bitterly interjected. "I thought if I didn't, you might not make it home -- and that is the only reason I left with you," Tripp stressed.
"And then what, Tripp -- what happened once we got home? No, wait, I know -- I was the aggressor, right? I kissed you," Allie bitterly summarized. "[But] I stopped it 'cause you were too drunk to know what you were doing -- and then I helped you into bed [and] wrote you a note [then] took off, and then I did not hear from you or see you again until we ran into each other here in Salem," Tripp insisted.
"Nice story, Tripp...but you forgot the same part you forgot last time -- the part where you held me down and raped me while I said no," Allie argued. "Allie, I...I am so sorry...but that didn't happen, okay? I would never do that -- to you or any woman," Tripp countered.
Allie scoffed at Tripp's claim. "I know that you're not a good person -- and a lot of other people think that, too," Allie stressed. "What are you talking about?" Tripp replied. "Claire told me that you held a scalpel to my Aunt Kayla's neck," Allie elaborated. "And that is a terrible mistake that I'll always regret...but you should know that I wasn't really in my right mind back then --" Tripp began to explain. "So, you attacked an innocent woman [because you weren't in your right mind]," Allie skeptically summarized. "I didn't think Kayla was 'innocent' -- I thought she killed my mother," Tripp matter-of-factly clarified.
"[Anyway], I am gonna have to live with that horrible guilt over what I did to Kayla for the rest of my life...[but] she forgave me, [and] she even helped me get into medical school -- everything was so great between us until all of this happened... You know, I owe her so much, and I look up to her more than anyone -- I mean, she was the reason I wanted to become a doctor --" Tripp continued. "I didn't know that..." Allie interjected. "Kayla is the closest thing I'll ever come to having a mom...and now she thinks I'm a rapist..." Tripp continued while fighting back tears, leaving Allie looking conflicted.
"I am so, so sorry about what happened to you, Allie -- I truly am -- but I did not do it. [And] I don't want to fight with you anymore -- not now, and not in some courtroom in London -- [so]...please just think about all the lives that [this is] affecting right now, [and] all the people and the families that it's tearing apart... [Look], for their sake and ours, I really hope you find it in your heart to just let this go," Tripp gently concluded before exiting the apartment, leaving Allie looking even more conflicted.
At the Brady-Johnson townhouse, Steve opened the front door to greet the person who had just knocked on it seconds earlier -- but the person was already gone. Steve closed the door with a shrug of confusion then started to head back to the kitchen to finish a task that the unseen visitor had interrupted -- and, seconds later, Kayla entered the townhouse. "Did you just knock?" Steve asked. "No... Why?" Kayla replied. "Somebody did...[but] now they're gone," Steve explained. Meanwhile, outside the townhouse, Ava emerged from a hiding place and sighed. "I can't do it -- I can't... As much as I want to, I...I can't...I can't face you, Steve..." Ava fretted. "And now I really can't -- not with your damn 'Sweetness' inside..." Ava added with a cringe of disgust before rushing off.
Meanwhile, Steve somewhat triumphantly informed Kayla that Trask had decided not to file charges against Tripp, since Allie's accusation was about something that had occurred in another jurisdiction. "You know, I just came to look for my dry-cleaning ticket, [and] I don't see it, [so] I'm gonna go back to work --" Kayla declared while starting to rush off, annoyed with the way that Steve had made the announcement. "Wait a minute -- don't you think we should talk about this?" Steve protested. "What else is there to say? You think that Tripp is telling the truth, and I don't," Kayla countered.
"Sweetness, I think we need to find a way to get past this --" Steve declared. "Okay... What do you suggest -- we go find Tripp [and] celebrate with him?" Kayla assumed. "Is that what you think he's doing -- 'celebrating'?" Steve objected. "Well, the D.A. is not gonna bring charges, so there won't be a trial..." Kayla reasoned with a shrug.
"[But], you know, the crime was committed in London, [and] it's not too late for [Allie] to press charges there --" Kayla warned. "'Crime'? So, you've already convicted Tripp!" Steve incredulously summarized. "I did four DNA tests -- that is solid proof, [and] you are just choosing to ignore it!" Kayla defensively countered.
"You know, I think that maybe you have a blind spot when it comes to Tripp because he is your son!" Kayla suggested. "You know what? I think maybe you have a 'blind spot' because Ava was his mother!" Steve suggested. "Do you honestly think that I would hold a grudge against Tripp because I hated his mother?" Kayla challenged Steve. "No...but maybe you think Tripp is capable of doing something this awful because of who his mother was," Steve clarified for Kayla with a shrug. "[Or] maybe what they say is true -- [you know], 'like mother, like son,'" Kayla countered. "Because let's face it -- his mother basically did to you what Tripp did to Allie; Ava Vitali raped you, Steve!" Kayla elaborated -- just as Tripp entered the townhouse.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Tripp demanded to know while staring at Kayla in disbelief. "Look, I know you hate me, but you have no right to trash my mother! [Now], not believing me is one thing, but I will not let you tell disgusting lies about my mom!" Tripp continued. "Tripp..." Steve interjected.
Tripp stopped talking, prompting Steve to forge ahead. "I'm sorry you had to hear that...but what Kayla said about Ava is true. [Remember, I told you before] that your mother had [once] had Kayla kidnapped...[but] what [I didn't tell you back then] was that Ava forced me to sleep with her -- [see], if I had refused, she would have killed Kayla," Steve admitted. "I...can't believe...that my own mother would be capable of something like that..." Tripp stammered. "Which is why you think that I am, too," Tripp realized, speaking to Kayla.
At the Walker-Brady apartment, Allie received a visit from Marlena, who had heard that Trask had decided not to file charges against Tripp. Allie told Marlena about the earlier conversation with Tripp. "He wasn't yelling [this time], or at all defensive -- he was... I don't know -- he seemed sincere, and I started to feel like I believed him... But then, I mean, how do you explain the DNA test? I...I just don't know what to do..." Allie concluded. "Whatever you decide, I'm beside you 100%," Marlena stressed before giving Allie a hug.
At Statesville, Kristen received a visit from Ava. "You're alive!" Kristen observed with a scoff of disbelief. "Yeah...but I used an alias to sign in here, [so]..." Ava replied before silently signaling for Kristen to stay quiet about the matter. "So...you survived the fire at the warehouse..." Kristen summarized. "You did, too, [so] why do you look so surprised?" Ava countered. "Xander never said anything --" Kristen began to explain. "Because that moron didn't rescue me -- I rescued myself, [and then] I hightailed it out of the country," Ava clarified.
"That's..." Kristen began to respond. "Amazing?" Ava offered. "Not really -- I mean, as you know, uh, I cheated death once before, when Steve's son Joey snuck into my hospital room and smothered me with a pillow... Everyone thought I was dead [then], and that was the end...[until] you got the powerful and great Dr. Rolf to bring me back from the brink and spirit me away to Nashville," Ava continued. "You were in really bad shape..." Kristen recalled. "Yeah, was I ever..." Ava agreed. "[And] I remember that room -- [you know, the one] with my initials on the door... I didn't think that I would ever be well enough to leave," Ava continued. "But I recovered -- [and then] I got out of there. [And] it's [all] thanks to you," Ava concluded. "That's what friends are for," Kristen reasoned with a shrug.
Kristen and Ava reminisced about how they had first met at a convent in Italy back in 2015 -- when Kristen had been recovering from near-fatal injuries, and Ava had been visiting an aunt who was a nun. "I couldn't believe it when you told me it was Marlena Evans who [caused your injuries] --" Ava admitted. "Well, she claimed it was an accident...[but] I knew she wanted me dead," Kristen stressed. "Well, of course she did...[and] when I heard that the high-and-mighty Dr. Evans was your enemy...oh, I knew that we were destined to be friends!" Ava declared.
"Strangely enough, Marlena and I aren't enemies anymore --" Kristen began to clarify. "I don't think I want to hear this --" Ava protested. "Don't worry -- I mean, we're not actually friends, either..." Kristen elaborated. The women continued reminiscing about that first meeting, during which Kristen had encouraged Ava to return to Salem to fight for Steve. "[But, despite everything that I did, it still] wasn't enough to destroy his love for Kayla... [You know], I have failed to make Steve mine so many times -- most women would just give up..." Ava grumbled. "Yeah, but you are not 'most women,'" Kristen acknowledged.
"And seeing you here makes me think that you're ready to try again -- is that why you're back?" Kristen assumed. "Oh, I'm here for other reasons...although I do still feel a powerful pull to Steve -- so powerful, in fact, [that] I went over to his place earlier [and] knocked on the door... [But then] I got smart [and] left -- [and] it's a good thing, because Kayla showed up [just then]," Ava replied.
"If I do decide to reach out to Steve [at some point], I have to be very careful -- for obvious reasons..." Ava acknowledged. "Right -- 'cause you sure as hell don't want to end up in here..." Kristen agreed.
At the Salem Inn, Brady received a visit from Marlena, who recapped the earlier conversation with Kristen. "I need to have a visit with [Kristen, too, actually, so] would you mind watching Rachel?" Brady asked Marlena.
When Brady arrived at Statesville, one of the guards mentioned that Kristen had just said goodbye to another visitor -- a woman. "Who was that?" Brady challenged Kristen.
Eli entered the Price-Grant apartment and started to tell Lani that Julie had agreed to help with the baby shower. "There won't be a baby shower," Lani insisted. "I know you don't want to jinx anything, but --" Eli tried to argue. "This has nothing to do with that -- [this is] about what you did to Kristen," Lani clarified.
While passing through the park, Ava spotted Tripp, who was sitting alone on a bench, fighting back tears. Ava quietly approached from behind then hesitantly reached out to Tripp -- who walked away before any physical contact could be made, unaware that anyone else was nearby. Ava fought back tears while watching Tripp disappear from view.
At the Brady-Johnson townhouse, Steve lashed out at Kayla for having added even more weight to Tripp's shoulders, prompting Kayla to remind Steve that Tripp was a grown man who didn't need to be coddled. Steve and Kayla continued arguing, clearly still at odds about whether Tripp had or had not raped Allie -- who, at that moment, was at the Brady-Walker apartment, contacting Trask to discuss whether to move forward with the case.
Lani and Eli fight over Kristen
Brady visited Kristen at Statesville prison, and he asked her about her visitor. "It was Marlena," Kristen said. "No, that was earlier. This was later," Brady said. Kristen brushed off the question and noted that the guard was mistaken. Kristen asked Brady why he was there. "I had a visitor, too. Lani," Brady said. Kristen groaned. "I know you're angry with Eli, but think of what you've done to Lani," Kristen said. Brady told Kristen that Lani had obtained some evidence and had asked him to fill in the blanks.
"I saw it in [Lani's] eyes. She was not going to let this rest," Brady said. "So, you told her what Eli did?" Kristen asked. Brady nodded yes. Kristen said that she had never had a friend like Lani in her life. "This good person with a heart of gold risked everything for me. Me, Brady. And now she could pay in the worst possible way," Kristen said. Brady argued that Lani would be fine, but Kristen worried aloud that Lani and Eli could break up.
"[Lani] may not be able to hear, let alone understand, what Eli has to say," Kristen said. To cheer Kristen up, Brady showed her photos of Rachel. Kristen admitted that she had wanted to tell Brady not to escort Rachel to the prison again, but Marlena had changed her mind. When Kristen wondered aloud if Rachel needed her, Brady showed Kristen a photo of Rachel, and he assured her that their daughter was resilient like her mother.
"It scares me when you say [Rachel] is like me," Kristen said. "I wouldn't change one thing about her or you," Brady said. Brady looked at his watch, and he noted he needed to go. As Brady rose to leave, Kristen asked him to check on Lani. "You have enough to worry about in here. Eli and Lani, they will work this out themselves," Brady assured Kristen.
When Eli returned home, Lani confronted him. "Brady told me the whole story. How you made Kristen trust you. How you got her to talk about stabbing Victor so you could, without her knowing, record her. Do you know how dirty that is? But you didn't stop at entrapment. You coerced her," Lani said. Lani added that she did not want to hear another lecture about ethics from Eli.
"Brady hates me. He'd say anything to get me," Eli said. "Brady was just a confirmation," Lani countered. Lani said she had left her phone in her purse so that she could record Eli and Abe's conversation at the pub. "I trapped you just the way that you trapped Kristen," Lani said. Lani told Eli what she had heard on the recording.
"Where do we go from here?" Lani asked. Eli said he did not regret his actions. "What a surprise. You don't think you did anything wrong," Lani said. Eli explained that he had been forced to record and pressure Kristen in order to keep Lani out of prison. "Without me knowing anything about it!" Lani yelled. Eli argued that Victor's stabbing was the last in a long line of crimes that Kristen had "gotten away with."
"I was ready to let that go, because she is your best friend. And because you asked me to. And then you go, and you hand Trask the footage of you letting Kristen escape," Eli said. Eli argued that when Lani had given Trask all the evidence Trask had needed to put Lani in prison, Lani had backed Eli into a corner.
"Either I get Kristen, or [Trask] was going to get you. Kristen? She is a cancer on the human race. And you're my wife. The woman I love. The mother of my children. So, you better believe I chose you. Deal with it," Eli said. Furious, Lani yelled at Eli for betraying her trust. Eli argued that Lani had distorted the situation.
"According to you, Kristen is in prison because of me. Not because she stabbed someone. No, no, because I betrayed your trust," Eli said. Lani screamed in frustration. Lani asked Eli why he had not told her the truth after Kristen's confession. "I knew how you would react. You have this soft spot for Kristen that I just don't understand," Eli said. Eli reminded Lani that he was her husband.
"It is because of Kristen that you are my husband!" Lani yelled. Eli reminded Lani that she was a cop that had aided and abetted a criminal. "You're loyal to her in a way that defies reason," Eli said. "It defies reason that I care for a friend? That I feel strong empathy for someone who has helped me through the darkest times? To me, Eli, it defies reason that you refuse to understand," Lani argued. Eli told Lani that he loved her, and he admitted that he'd had nightmares that Lani would leave him if she knew what he had done.
"That wasn't a nightmare, Eli. That was a premonition," Lani said. Lani marched out of the room, and when she returned, she had a packed suitcase. "Your dad, he went along with this. Doesn't that tell you something?" Eli said. "Don't try to reason with me, Eli. I'm crazy, right?" Lani said. Eli argued that he had lied to Lani because he had been worried about the babies.
"You broke something, Eli. Something important," Lani said. "I'm sorry, but right now, we need to worry about what is best for those babies," Eli said. Lani agreed. "You're going," Lani said. Lani told Eli to stay with Abe, since they had shared the secret. "So, you're kicking me out because I kept you out of prison?" Eli asked.
"No. I'm kicking you out because you put Kristen in prison and then you lied to me about it," Lani said. Eli packed a bag, but he stopped at the door. "If you need anything, anything at all," Eli said. "Whatever," Lani muttered. Eli asked to work things out, but Lani refused. "Just go," Lani said. "I love you," Eli said. Lani kept her back turned to him, so he walked out.
At the DiMera mansion, a groggy Abigail woke up when Chad entered their bedroom. "I don't even remember going to bed," Abigail said. "Well, you wouldn't. I carried you to bed. After I found you in Jake's lap," Chad said. Chad handed Abigail a cup of coffee. "You don't have to be nice to me. You're allowed to be mad," Abigail said. Chad corrected Abigail and told her that he was not mad at her.
"I'm mad at Jake. I am furious with Kate, and don't even get me started on what I think about your father," Chad said. Abigail argued that she was the one that had ruined the party. "But I'm crazy, so nobody wants to hold me accountable for my actions," Abigail said. Abigail admitted that she did not remember everything that had happened the night before. Chad told Abigail how he had found Abigail passed out in Jake's lap.
"Do you even remember how you ended up with him?" Chad asked. Abigail said the only thing she remembered was that she had yelled at her parents at their party. "I don't know how I did that to my mother," Abigail said. When Abigail said that she regretted that she had upset her mother and her father, a confused Chad asked Abigail why she cared what Jack thought about her. "I care that [Jack] was so disgusted by what I did. He couldn't even look at me," Abigail said.
"[Jack] yelled at you when you were in that condition?" Chad asked. Upset, Chad rose to go in search of Jack, but Abigail stopped him. "What I did was absolutely inexcusable. [Jack] was right. It should have been done privately," Abigail said. When Abigail wondered aloud why she had acted so recklessly, Chad noted that Abigail should not have mixed alcohol with her medication. Chad said that Gwen had told him that she had attempted to stop Abigail from drinking.
"I don't know what happened last night. All I know is I just ruined everything," Abigail said. "No. Your father did," Chad countered. Chad encouraged Abigail to go back to sleep, but she refused. "I need to find my mother," Abigail said.
In the DiMera living room, Jake greeted Kate as she poured a whiskey. "You're really leaning into that bad girl thing," Jake commented. "I was born that way," Kate said. Jake thanked Kate for returning his jacket to his room. "As you recall, I had to make a fast exit because Chad showed up. So, I didn't get the opportunity to say goodnight. Or to do this," Jake said as he leaned in to kiss Kate. Gwen walked in then ducked back out of the room when she saw Kate and Jake kiss.
"What was that?" Kate asked. "That was a kiss. You ever have one of those before last night?" Jake said with a smirk. "No one can find out," Kate reminded Jake. Gwen walked into the room and made small talk. Gwen and Kate bickered about the ruined party, and Gwen made cutting remarks about Kate's promiscuity.
"I should probably go before I strangle her, but you feel free to do what you want," Kate said to Jake. After Kate left, Gwen playfully asked Jake if she had hurt Kate's feelings. "Kate's not Abigail," Jake said. "No, she is just a tad older," Gwen teased Jake. Jake warned Gwen not to make enemies with Kate, because Kate was not an easy target like the Deveraux family.
"You really think I'm afraid of that slut?" Gwen sneered. "Watch it," Jake grumbled. Gwen accused Jake of protecting Kate. Suspicious, Jake asked Gwen what she was implying. Gwen admitted that she had spotted Kate and Jake kissing, and she had witnessed Kate creep into his room with his jacket the previous night. "My guess is you took [off your jacket] before the two of you went to bed together," Gwen growled.
"Chad can't know anything about this," Jake said. "Chad can't know about what?" Chad asked as he walked into the room. Jake lied and said he had reached out to Li Shin. Gwen confirmed Jake's story. Chad told Jake that his move would not work, because Jake did not have the qualifications to work for the company. With a smirk, Jake teased Chad about how Chad had been unable to locate Abigail after the party.
"[Abigail] was here, downstairs, in the house, the whole time," Jake said with a chuckle. As Chad stewed, Jake added, "[Abigail] was in need of some serious comfort. Luckily, I gave it to her. I did your job for you," Jake said. With a pat on Chad's back, Jake walked out of the room. Chad told Gwen about when he had found Abigail asleep on Jake's lap. Gwen offered to talk to Abigail, but Chad noted that Abigail had left to apologize to Jennifer. "Isn't her father the one meant to do that?" Gwen asked.
Jake went out to his workshop. While Jake worked, Abigail stopped by to apologize. "You don't need to apologize to me for anything," Jake said. Abigail mentioned how she had fallen asleep in Jake's lap. "You were going through a tough time, and you needed someone to be there for you. Chad walked in, overreacted, as usual, upon seeing something completely innocent. He does that a lot, doesn't he?" Jake said. Abigail left.
After Jake went back to work, Chad walked in. Chad told Jake that he had checked out Jake's story, and he knew that Jake had not called Shin. "You want to tell me what you and Gwen were talking about?" Chad asked.
Inside the mansion, Gwen told the Stefano portrait that she was going to visit an old friend of Stefano's. "I'll give him your best. It is time for me to start phase two," Gwen said.
Jennifer sat in J.J.'s room at the Salem Inn, and she stared at an invitation to her anniversary party. When J.J. returned with Jennifer's luggage, he assured Jennifer that no one had seen him enter or exit the DiMera mansion. "I just couldn't do that myself. I just couldn't face anyone, especially not your father," Jennifer said. Jack knocked on the door. "It's me. Please let me in," Jack said through the door. Jennifer hid in the bathroom, and J.J. answered the door. J.J. lied and said that Jennifer was not there.
"I saw you leave the DiMera place with her luggage and come right back here," Jack said. Jack asked J.J. to let him in. "[Jennifer] doesn't want to see you," J.J. said. "I need to fix this," Jack pleaded. When J.J. noted that Jennifer's needs were the priority, Jack agreed. "I think she needs to hear me say how sorry I am," Jack said. Jack said he needed to make things up to Jennifer. As Jack looked past J.J., he saw Jennifer peek out from the bathroom.
"Jennifer! Tell him it's all right," Jack called out. Jennifer shook her head no. "I'm sorry," J.J. said, then he closed the door. J.J. told Jennifer that he believed that Jack had been sincere about his desire to make things right.
Jennifer argued that Jack had kept his affair a secret for a year, and he had only been sorry after he had been caught. After a moment, Jennifer apologized for criticizing Jack in front of J.J. J.J. assured his mother that she could say whatever she needed to say to work through the situation. In tears, Jennifer hugged J.J.
Jack exited the Salem Inn, and he ran into Kate. Kate asked to talk. "This isn't the place," Jack said. Kate asked Jack to follow her, and they walked into the park. Kate apologized to Jack for saving his letter. "I'm so sorry I wrote it," Jack said. Kate stressed that she had hidden the letter well, and she had never expected anyone would find it. Jack blamed fate.
"Why did you keep the letter?" Jack asked. Kate told Jack that she had kept the letter because it was a reminder that she had helped someone. "I just couldn't bear to throw it away," Kate said. Jack said he was shocked that Abigail had confronted him publicly. "It's not like her," Jack said. With a shrug, Kate suggested that Abigail had forgotten her meds. Jack blamed the alcohol. "How could she choose to get drunk like that?" Jack wondered aloud.
Jack told Kate that he had reached out to Jennifer, but she had refused to talk. "You want me to talk to her?" Kate offered. With a raised eyebrow, Jack noted that was a bad idea. "I'm actually probably the last person that [Jennifer] wants to talk to," Kate said. Jack agreed. Kate lamented that there was nothing she could do to help Jack and Jennifer. "At this point, it is all up to Jennifer," Jack said. After Jack left, Kate turned and found Jennifer staring at her. "Going somewhere?" Jennifer asked.
Jennifer lashes out at Kate
At the Salem Inn, Abigail fretted to J.J. about having potentially ruined Jennifer and Jack's relationship. J.J. predicted that Jennifer and Jack would work things out eventually, but Abigail wasn't convinced.
"Mom doesn't blame you for what happened, [and] neither do I," J.J. assured Abigail. "Your timing could have been better, but you weren't yourself...and this was gonna hit Mom hard no matter how or when she heard -- that's on Dad and Kate, [though]," J.J. continued. "[Still, I] shouldn't have been drinking with my meds..." Abigail acknowledged. "That, you can take responsibility for -- [and] you can promise you'll never do it again," J.J. stressed. "And I have...[but] it's just so weird to me, because it's all such a blur -- [I mean], I don't remember deciding to take a drink, [or] why I continued..." Abigail admitted. "Yeah, well, take it from me -- the more you drink, the more it seems like a swell idea to keep drinking," J.J. summarized with a mirthless chuckle. "I guess so..." Abigail conceded.
"Chad told me that Gwen tried to get me to stop... [Now], of course, I don't remember that, either...but I really wish I would have listened to her..." Abigail fretted. "[It's just]...that letter just threw me, for so many reasons -- [I mean], it's not just Mom and Dad; [it also] made me think [about] all my time in Florida, and the months that I spent in treatment, and how the doctors weren't able to give me any idea about when I'd be able to come home to Chad and the kids... [I mean, I know] that was really, really hard on him --" Abigail continued. "But...you don't think he fooled around on you...[right]?" J.J. interjected. "No -- I know he was faithful," Abigail clarified. "[But] what if I would have had to stay at the clinic for a year more -- I mean, would it have been okay for me to ask him to wait for me indefinitely?" Abigail wondered.
Jack entered the Brady Pub with a sigh then greeted Roman with a nod while taking a seat at the bar. "Sorry I, uh, couldn't make it to your party last night --" Roman began. "Be glad you missed it," Jack replied.
After ordering a stiff drink, Jack started to tell Roman about what had happened at the party -- then stopped abruptly. "I don't need to put any more on your plate -- I've heard about Allie; I know everything she's going through --" Jack acknowledged. "I can worry about Allie and still be a pretty good listener," Roman insisted. "Oh, I know that -- [after all], you had your ear bent plenty by me last year, when Jennifer was in the hospital... [But] I'm not so deserving of your sympathy this time -- [and] I don't know that I'm up for being told off again..." Jack admitted. "What did you do now?" Roman wondered. "Eh, what the heck -- you're gonna hear about it, anyway..." Jack conceded after some thought before continuing to tell Roman about what had happened at the party.
"You knew all along about Kate and me?" Jack realized at some point during the telling of the tale. "Not for sure...but I, uh...I suspected," Roman confirmed. "We were that obvious?" Jack assumed. "I was a cop," Roman explained. "It wasn't an affair, Roman -- it happened once, [after] I drank way too much, and I instantly regretted it," Jack stressed.
Jack grumbled that the secret would have stayed buried if not for Abigail's interference. "She was drinking --" Roman pointed out. "But she wasn't unconscious, for God's sake -- a part of her had to know what she was doing!" Jack argued. "Yeah -- like a part of you had to know what you were doing when you crawled in the sack with Kate," Roman countered. "Yeah..." Jack conceded. "I know Abigail is the instigator here...[but] is she really the one to blame?" Roman challenged Jack. "Well, I wish she'd handled the situation differently...but I guess the person I'm maddest at is me," Jack admitted with a sigh.
Roman encouraged Jack to try to earn Jennifer's forgiveness instead of giving up without a fight. Jack nodded then rushed off without having touched the drink, explaining to Roman that alcohol had been the catalyst for everything that had happened.
At the park, Jennifer started lashing out at Kate. "I really don't want to get into this with you --" Kate protested. "Well, that's too bad, because I am more than ready to 'get into it' with you!" Jennifer spat.
"[Look], what happened between me and Jack was one night -- over a year ago -- and I've had nothing to do with him since --" Kate stressed. "I saw you and Jack together not five seconds ago!" Jennifer countered. "I am no fool, Kate -- [I am] an investigative reporter, so if there is anything else that I don't know about you and Jack, I will track down sources who can fill in the blanks...and once I find out everything, I will make your life miserable, just like you made mine!" Jennifer warned. "There is nothing that you don't already know," Kate maintained.
Jennifer remained convinced that Kate was lying. "You must have heard that I moved out of the [DiMera mansion] -- you planning to move in for the kill [now]?" Jennifer assumed. "No!" Kate insisted. "Well, then, why were you and Jack talking just now?" Jennifer wondered. "Because we ran into each other -- just like you and I have!" Kate clarified.
"[So], I told him how sorry I am -- that all of this came out, [and] that you were hurt, and that he was hurt --" Kate elaborated. "By you!" Jennifer stressed. "Fine -- by me," Kate conceded. "And I will own that, and I will regret that...but you have to understand, Jennifer, [that] I have no interest whatsoever in your husband --" Kate continued. "Really? The same way you had 'no interest' in my father?" Jennifer countered. "Is this some sort of sick pattern with you?" Jennifer wondered. "My family fell apart because of you [back then, and now] --" Jennifer fretted. "I have a news flash for you, Jennifer -- that marriage was over long before I came into the picture!" Kate insisted. "[Yeah, well], my marriage was far from 'over' before you got your hooks into Jack!" Jennifer snapped.
"So, is this your M.O. -- preying on lonely men in times of personal tragedy?" Jennifer wondered again. "If that makes you feel better -- to think that Jack was an innocent victim of me and my evil, feminine wiles -- [then] go ahead...[but], honestly, that wasn't the case, 'cause his heart was completely into everything we were doing -- along with the rest of his body!" Kate stressed, earning a slap from Jennifer.
"I didn't know you had that in you," Kate admitted. "Now you do," Jennifer spat. "I think maybe you scratched me...perhaps with your wedding ring -- how ironic..." Kate mused. "Well, Little Miss Holier-Than-Thou can really pack a punch...[but] I wonder if you can take it as well as you dish it out..." Kate added before slapping Jennifer.
"So much for the remorse you claim to feel..." Jennifer observed. "What'd you expect me to do -- turn the other cheek? That's your department," Kate countered. "I tried so hard -- for Lucas' sake -- to get over what you did to my family --" Jennifer declared. "Yeah, right -- right, you really rolled out that red carpet as you went through the motions of making me feel welcome at...what, every third Horton family function? You never really forgave me -- otherwise, you wouldn't be throwing this in my face right now!" Kate argued.
"Your father, God bless his soul, saved my life! He was a good man! And Jack is a good man -- he spent almost a year waiting for you to make some kind of improvement, [even when] all of the doctors, Kayla included, said it was virtually hopeless. [And then], on the day of that night in question, he thought that he had seen a sign [of improvement finally], so he sat by your side all day and into the night, and when nothing happened [yet again], he was decimated -- [so], temporarily, he gave up hope, and in his despair, he turned to me...but the next morning, he knew it was a mistake," Kate continued.
"So, let me ask you -- what did you expect? How long did you expect him to wait -- forever? Did you want him to martyr himself up against [the] altar of Jennifer Horton? Because, [if so], I have three words for you -- 'get over yourself'!" Kate continued as Jennifer fought back tears.
"[Now, look], I'm sorry that you're hurt -- I truly am -- but Jack did not fall into my bed for any lack of love for you; he was afraid that he had lost you -- that you were out of his life forever -- [so] it didn't matter to him what he did. And I knew that he needed to be close to someone, and I am not sorry for that. [Now], how can you justify the way you are treating a man who sat next to you every single night for a year except for one night? He's the father of your children [and] the man you have loved your entire life -- you know, better than anyone, that he's his own worst enemy! When he blamed himself for Abigail's illness, [he] ran away, [and] you didn't get him back for years...and I'm telling you, if you keep pushing him away -- if you refuse to forgive him [and] refuse to let him forgive himself -- you're gonna lose him again," Kate concluded before walking away.
Li entered the DiMera garage while Chad was accusing Jake of having told a lie earlier that day. "Mr. DiMera -- just the man I was looking for!" Li declared. "Harold told me I would find you here --" Li continued as Chad extended a hand. "Actually, I was referring to the other 'Mr. DiMera'..." Li clarified, shaking Jake's hand instead.
"I received your message earlier, and since I happened to be in Salem, I thought I'd take the time to meet you and answer you in person," Li explained to Jake, leaving Chad speechless. "[See, Chad] -- I actually did leave a message for Mr. Shin; I was being honest with you the entire time," Jake triumphantly summarized before praising Li's timing then elaborating on Chad's refusal to believe the story. "Your assistant had told me that Jake never left a message..." Chad reported to Li, stammering. "His assistant never got the message...because I called him on his cell phone," Jake clarified for Chad. "How'd you get that number?" Chad asked Jake incredulously. "Look, I'm sorry if I didn't follow the rules, but I figured, since you gave me your personal phone number and told me to call you at any time..." Jake said to Li. "Of course!" Li replied, dismissing the concern. Chad listened in shock, realizing for the first time that Jake and Li had grown close to each other at some point.
"[Actually, Mr. DiMera], I was pleased that you were direct with me, regarding your desire for a larger role in the company --" Li continued. "Well, just so you know, I actually offered my brother here a position in DiMera's executive training program [already, and] he declined --" Chad informed Li. "[Because, after all], how is that gonna look -- Stefano DiMera's son, fetching the coffee [and] sharpening the pencils?" Jake explained to Li. "I made it very clear to you that that's not what you would be doing --" Chad reminded Jake, mainly for Li's benefit. "Now, you've seen what I can do [in terms of] getting people to want to do business with me and closing deals, and I've told my little brother that should give me a shot at the CEO title -- to share it with him --" Jake continued explaining to Li, ignoring Chad's comment. "Sorry if I simply believe that you are not ready for that!" Chad snapped at Jake. "You want your engine rebuilt, though? He's your guy!" Chad advised Li.
"See, my brother here, he's just trying to use cheap sarcasm to make me look bad in front of you...[but] the truth is, you and I both know you would not have come down here -- taken the time and the trouble -- if you didn't believe in me," Jake said to Li. "Correct -- I certainly would not have," Li confirmed.
"Even before I received your message, I had been giving much thought to what role -- if any -- you should play in the company...and I've come to a decision," Li informed Jake, piquing Chad's interest. "I see validity in both your arguments -- on the one hand, Chad is correct when he points out that [you lack] both experience and...shall we say, 'finesse'...[but, on the other hand], you do have a legitimate claim to the same rights Chad has as a son of Stefano DiMera, and you've shown real talent and potential, despite your limited experience..." Li continued.
"So, the board would like Chad to remain the sole CEO --" Li began to announce, drawing a chuckle of triumph from Chad and a sigh of defeat from Jake. "But we would like to offer you the opportunity to be the vice president -- would that be acceptable to you?" Li concluded, still focused on Jake instead of Chad. "Yeah -- yeah, it would..." Jake happily agreed before smirking at Chad, who was clearly annoyed. "As long as there's, you know, the opportunity to, uh, climb the ladder," Jake continued, and Li responded with a nod of confirmation. "Of course, there will be the, uh, customary probationary period, during which time you'll be expected to prove you are prepared for the considerable demands of the job --" Li warned. "Fair enough," Jake quickly agreed with a confident grin.
"Are you on board with this?" Li challenged Chad. "Guess I don't have a choice..." Chad grumbled. "I know there will be obstacles to overcome initially, but I believe everyone will be satisfied in the end. [So], I will see you both at the next shareholders' meeting," Li summarized before starting to exit the garage. "Thank you very much, Mr. Shin -- you will not be sorry that you gave me a chance!" Jake stressed while extending a hand, but Li just kept walking -- a slight that seemed to make Chad feel a bit better.
"Don't gloat," Chad warned Jake before starting to follow Li out of the garage. "Where ya goin'?" Jake wondered, stopping Chad. "Oh, I'm gonna, uh, go pop some corn -- I'm gonna be sitting ringside while I watch you implode," Chad clarified, drawing a dismissive scoff from Jake.
Chad started to exit the garage again -- then stopped after noticing Abigail's scarf under Jake's workbench. "She came by here earlier to apologize for being such a mess last night -- not that she needed to --" Jake explained as Chad picked up the scarf. "Listen to me, Jake -- I comfort my wife, not you," Chad snapped before continuing to exit the garage, still holding the scarf.
Kate entered the garage a short time later and greeted Jake, who could tell that something was wrong. "I really need to blow off some steam," Kate admitted. "You came to the right place," Jake replied with a grin.
Chad returned to the mansion and found Abigail in the study. "My scarf -- where'd you find it?" Abigail asked. "Uh...I think, um...I, uh, think you must've...dropped it outside on your way out..." Chad replied before changing the subject, wondering if Abigail had managed to patch things up with Jennifer. "No -- she was out, [so I] pretty much just cried on J.J.'s shoulder the whole time," Abigail admitted. "He tried to persuade me everything's gonna be okay, [but that's] kind of hard to believe right now," Abigail fretted. "Your parents love each other -- [and] you and I know from experience that love can overcome just about anything," Chad stressed. "Yeah..." Abigail conceded, managing a slight smile. Meanwhile, at the town square, Jack called out to Jennifer, who seemed conflicted but ultimately decided to ignore the greeting and duck into the Salem Inn before anything else could be said.
At Statesville, Rolf received a visit from Gwen, who proudly provided an update on "Operation Destroy Abigail's Life" -- then excitedly began talking about the next phase of the plan. "Now that her parents' marriage is in the dump...it's time to work on hers," Gwen summarized before elaborating that Chad was going to be tricked into believing that Jake, who was secretly sleeping with Kate, was actually sleeping with Abigail. "Then [Chad] will kick [Abigail] to the curb...and I will be right there to comfort him," Gwen concluded with a smirk.
"[You know], I really didn't expect to see you again -- not after our last encounter, when I threatened to expose you," Rolf admitted. "'Threatened' you did...but follow through you didn't," Gwen reasoned with a shrug. "Well, that's because you -- smart cookie that you are -- were quite compliant...and agreed to do that little favor for me..." Rolf explained with a grin.
"[Anyway, there's just one thing] I'm left to ponder -- why it is that you dislike Abigail DiMera so much," Rolf mused. "I don't 'dislike' Abigail -- I hate her damn guts," Gwen clarified. "I see... Well, I've had a great deal of time on my hands since [we last saw each other], so I've been hypothesizing about your possible motive -- uh, for, um, 'hating her damn guts,' as you put it, and therefore wanting to ruin her life -- [and, at first, I was thinking...since] you worked so hard to secure a position under Stefano's roof...logically, uh, it seems to me that, well, perhaps you're another long-lost relative...but, however, your desire to have an affair with Chad rules out that theory..." Rolf continued. "It does," Gwen agreed. "I'm very good at keeping secrets, you know..." Rolf stressed. "Fine -- I'll tell you everything," Gwen decided after some thought.
"So, there you have it -- the whole story," Gwen, who had apparently started fighting back tears at some point during the explanation, concluded with a sniffle. "Now do you understand why I hate Abigail Deveraux DiMera?" Gwen wondered. "I am beginning to get the picture..." Rolf confirmed.
Jan works to stop Shawn and Belle's wedding
While passing through the halls of the Kiriakis mansion, Xander spotted Sarah, who was just standing in the living room doorway for no apparent reason. "There you are!" Xander observed. "You know, I much prefer waking up next to you --" Xander continued. "I know, but I was a woman on a mission this morning," Sarah explained.
"I was trying to talk to Philip over coffee...but he decided to sleep in..." Sarah quietly elaborated. "Lucky for us, [though, he] doesn't sleep with his briefcase..." Sarah continued, gesturing to a briefcase that was sitting on a table in the foyer. "[Now, when I searched it, I didn't find] proof that he's embezzling...but I did find these..." Sarah continued, producing a set of keys. "Looks like he's gonna need a ride to work...and I am more than happy to oblige," Sarah concluded. "You know, if you weren't such a good doctor, you'd give those detectives at Salem P.D. a run for their money," Xander raved. "I really would!" Sarah agreed.
Shortly after Xander exited the mansion, Philip emerged from a bedroom and headed off to the foyer to grab the briefcase, prompting Sarah to casually move from the living room doorway to the foyer, as if having just finished doing something at the bar that stood just inside the living room. "Coffee's still warm, if you want any..." Sarah informed Philip. "No time," Philip insisted before opening the briefcase. "Damn it -- where are my keys..." Philip muttered. "I'm sure I left them in my briefcase last night..." Philip recalled. "You know, when I'm 'sure' that I leave my keys in my purse, I usually find them on a table or in the couch cushions... Why don't I help you look!" Sarah interjected before starting to scour the living room's nooks and crannies.
Philip began to help Sarah but soon received a phone call from Ava. Philip requested some privacy, prompting Sarah to exit the living room and shut its doors -- then lean against them to eavesdrop. "What?" Philip snapped at Ava in lieu of a greeting. "Ooh -- I'd work on that attitude if I were you," Ava warned before demanding to know why Philip wasn't at Titan yet. "How do you know I'm not at work?" Philip wondered. "You cannot be that slow! Of course I have eyes on you -- and Titan! Xander didn't show up for work, either -- which means this would have been the ideal time for you to start laundering my money!" Ava replied. "I will be there as soon as I find my keys," Philip promised. "You lost your car keys? My faith in you is plummeting by the second..." Ava grumbled.
"You better not screw this up, Philip -- especially with Xander looking for any reason to take you down," Ava warned. "I can handle Xander!" Philip insisted. "Well, you're not doing a great job so far..." Ava argued. "If you're done busting my chops...?" Philip countered. "Oh, I'd rather do it in person..." Ava admitted before giving Philip the address for an apartment near Titan.
After Ava ended the call, Philip started to exit the living room, prompting Sarah to duck out of sight then return to the foyer a short time later and announce that the keys weren't in the kitchen. "I can't waste any more time -- I have a meeting," Philip declared. "Ooh -- is it a big, fancy deal in the works?" Sarah asked. "Hard to say..." Philip replied. "Well, uh, I'm on my way to work -- I could drop you..." Sarah offered, and Philip took the bait.
At the Evans-Black townhouse, John and Marlena received a visit from Belle, who was quick to reveal that a wedding was going to take place later that day. "Wonderful news!" Marlena declared. "The two of you have been together for so long, I kind of forgot it wasn't official," John admitted. "I know!" Belle agreed.
"There's always been so much going on, it just never felt like the right time for a wedding...but today is actually the anniversary of our original wedding, [so] what better day to retie the knot, [right]?" Belle explained. "Who would have thought that Shawn was such a romantic that he would pop a question like that..." John mused. "Actually...I was the one who popped the question," Belle clarified.
Belle admitted that it had seemed important to take the initiative and surprise Shawn with the idea of an impromptu wedding ceremony instead of waiting for it to happen the other way around one day. "I think he still feels a little insecure about my feelings for him -- not always, but...he's...easily triggered, I guess...so no matter how much I reassure him that he's the only man for me and that there's never gonna be anything with Philip and me ever again, it just...it doesn't always land, [and] that just makes me feel really guilty," Belle elaborated.
"Honey, feeling guilty about a thing that happened in the past is just a waste of energy -- the thing that's important is living in the present...[and, in the present], things are wonderful between you and Shawn, [and] whatever happened between you and Philip in the past is the past. [And] you've made that very clear [by] proposing to Shawn -- it shows him that, as you said, you are 100% with him," Marlena stressed. "Yeah... I just wish I didn't have to reassure him, [though] -- I just wish that he knew that he is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, [and that he is] just the love of my life..." Belle admitted with a sigh.
While driving down the street on which the Brady house stood, Roman spontaneously decided to check on Shawn, who seized the opportunity to reveal that a wedding was going to take place later that day. "Your last wedding was right here at your mom's place," Roman recalled. "Yeah -- [and] it was perfect... But, uh, you know, obviously, that's not gonna happen [this time]..." Shawn replied.
Roman guessed that Hope's absence was going to make the wedding a bittersweet event for Shawn. "Yeah... I texted her [and] told her [about it], and she's happy for us, of course..." Shawn stressed. "How's she doing otherwise?" Roman wondered. "She always says she's fine...but, you know, she doesn't want me to worry, [so] it's hard to tell [if that's true] sometimes," Shawn reported.
"Does she ever say anything about, uh, when she might be coming back?" Roman asked. "No -- every time I broach the subject, [she] just shoots it down," Shawn replied. "[Same here] -- I send her messages, too, just to check in, [and she] never mentions where she's at or what she's up to," Roman grumbled. "Yeah... [Anyway], I miss her -- a lot -- [and], obviously, I'm going to worry [about her either way -- but] I understand [and] respect the decision that she made, [so]..." Shawn stressed before returning to the previous topic of conversation, reminding Roman that the Bradys finally had something to celebrate again.
"This is great news, Shawn -- and if two people were ever meant to be together..." Roman declared. "Belle is the love of my life, [and] I can't imagine my life without her..." Shawn raved, beaming with happiness.
At Belle's request, John and Marlena happily agreed to host the wedding ceremony at the Evans-Black townhouse. Marlena further agreed to officiate the event, and John further agreed to walk Belle down the aisle, having been cheated out of the previous opportunity to do so due to being presumed dead at the time -- thanks, of course, to Stefano.
Belle rushed off to the Salem Inn to meet up with Claire, who was going to help the bride get dressed. Meanwhile, Philip ran into Shawn while passing through the town square, en route to Ava's apartment. "Well, my day just keeps getting better..." Philip grumbled. "I heard you finally admitted to assaulting Jan," Shawn announced. "That's not exactly what happened..." Philip protested. "Well, you pled guilty," Shawn countered. "But the charges were trumped up -- you know that. If my case would have been tried, I would have been acquitted," Philip insisted.
"If you're so confident [of that], then why did you plead out?" Shawn wondered. "All that time Belle and I were spending together -- I knew it was twisting you up inside, [and] I didn't want Belle going home to that crazy jealousy of yours every night, so I copped a plea," Philip claimed. "Why the hell would I be jealous of you?" Shawn countered.
"The reason why I don't want Belle around you is because you're manipulative and you're dishonest, and I don't want her around anybody like that," Shawn claimed. "Oh, come on, Shawn -- you know damn well that if I really, really wanted to, I could steal Belle away from you in a New York minute," Philip bragged. "You keep living in that little fantasyland, Phil," Shawn countered.
"[Meanwhile], Belle and I are getting married -- today," Shawn revealed. "You popped the question 'cause you're so afraid of losing her?" Philip assumed. "I'm not even gonna dignify that with an answer," Shawn decided. "Shawn didn't actually propose to me," Belle clarified while approaching, still en route to the Salem Inn. "I was the one who popped the question -- because I love him with all my heart, and I know we belong together, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him," Belle elaborated. "Then I wish you every happiness -- I mean that," Philip replied. "Want to attend?" Shawn suggested, surprising Belle, who tried to object. "What's wrong with that? I mean, we could throw a little rice [and] bury the hatchet..." Shawn reasoned. "Thanks for the invitation -- I'm touched -- but, as fun as that sounds, I have places to be," Philip dryly declared before rushing off -- and Sarah, who had watched the whole conversation from afar, followed at a safe distance.
Belle playfully admonished Shawn for having invited Philip to the wedding, "He would have hated it, and you and I would have hated it," Belle argued. "I know -- it was a stupid, impulsive move -- [but] the good news is, he's not coming, so...all is well, right?" Shawn reasoned. "Right," Belle agreed before starting to seize a kiss from Shawn, who suddenly backed away and fretted that it was bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding. "Oh, come on -- that's just a silly tradition...[and] besides, I happen to know that there is nothing that could ruin our happiness," Belle assured Shawn, who conceded the point then allowed the kiss to occur.
Outside the Brady Pub, Jan sighed while reliving the moment that Shawn and Belle had gotten engaged the previous night -- a moment that Jan had just happened to witness during what should have been a relatively uneventful trip to the police station to complain about the plea deal that Trask had struck with Philip. "My mission in life right now -- to stop Shawn from remarrying that bitch Belle," Jan muttered with a scowl. "And you, my BFF -- you're gonna help me accomplish that mission," Jan added with a smirk while watching Claire through one of the pub's windows.
Claire was in the midst of composing a text message to send to Charlie -- "Last night was super fun! Thanks for dinner!" -- and therefore didn't notice that Jan was lurking outside. Shortly after sending the text message, Claire received a response from Charlie -- "I had a great time, too! At Julie's Place for a meeting -- how about dinner here tonight?" -- and read it with a smile and a sigh, clearly conflicted. While Claire was composing a response to Charlie's text message -- "Can't..." -- Jan entered the pub and approached, prompting a hasty conclusion to the correspondence -- "Gotta go... Bye!" -- plus a wink emoticon for good measure.
Jan curiously observed that someone was practically glowing, prompting Claire to start gushing about what had happened the previous night. "And it wouldn't have happened without you, [Jan -- I mean], I freaked out when you went off [on] Charlie, but if it wasn't for [that], then we might not have straightened things out about Theo, and then I wouldn't have gone on the best date of my entire life!" Claire concluded. "What are friends for, right?" Jan reasoned with a shrug before changing the subject, wondering if Claire was planning to go on another date with Charlie that night.
"He invited me to dinner, but I can't..." Claire began to explain before stopping abruptly. "Do you think that that's a good idea -- I mean, to stand Charlie up?" Jan protested. "Well, I'm not really 'standing him up' -- I'm just busy... [And] these plans -- I can't cancel them..." Claire carefully tried to clarify. "Wow -- must be important..." Jan mused. "Very..." Claire confirmed.
"And you're not gonna tell me -- I mean, the woman who made your fab night with Charlie happen, [the woman who's] your BFF...?" Jan challenged Claire, having perhaps already figured out what was preventing the second dinner date from taking place that night. "It's all right -- uh, I understand..." Jan insisted when Claire didn't immediately offer the rest of the story.
Jan started to rush off, and Claire took the bait, calling out a guilt-ridden objection to the move. "I guess you're gonna hear about it eventually..." Claire reasoned with a shrug after Jan returned. "[But] I don't think you're gonna like this..." Claire warned. "It's my parents -- they're...getting...married..." Claire revealed. "Oh? Well, that's wonderful!" Jan declared.
"Why did you think I wouldn't like it?" Jan challenged Claire. "Oh, come on, Jan..." Claire protested. "No, really -- uh, I feel slightly offended by that!" Jan insisted. "I'm sorry -- I just...I thought that..." Claire stammered. "What, that...that I wouldn't be happy for two people who believe they are meant for each other and who are getting married [as a result]? How little do you think of me?" Jan countered. "I just...I was worried that...well, that it might trigger you -- you know, given how you used to feel about my dad," Claire explained. "I'm not that easily triggered, okay? Not anymore," Jan stressed.
"Sure, I used to be obsessed with your father, and I did some really stupid things [as a result...but] I was sick then, and I thought you, of all people, would understand that," Jan grumbled. "You're right -- [and], of course, I do [understand; I mean], how could I not, [when] my sickness was...uh, really similar to yours..." Claire conceded. "More than 'similar' -- it was exactly the same," Jan declared. "You're right... [Look], I'm sorry that I hurt your feelings -- I really am," Claire repeated. "Well, I don't like to be shortchanged...but it's okay -- I accept your apology. And, again...I'm happy for your parents," Jan replied, smiling innocently.
"So...the wedding -- where will it be?" Jan asked casually, prompting Claire to reveal that the wedding was supposed to take place at the Evans-Black townhouse -- and that Belle would be getting dressed for the event in a room at the Salem Inn. "I really should be getting going..." Claire suddenly realized. "Right -- so maybe you can help your mom get ready," Jan concluded for Claire. "How did you guess?" Claire wondered. "Well, I just assumed -- I mean, I know how close you two are, so..." Jan explained before starting to let Claire leave -- then dramatically announcing a sudden burst of inspiration.
"You should ask Charlie to be your date for the wedding!" Jan advised. "It's family only..." Claire protested. "Did anyone say you couldn't bring a guest?" Jan countered. "No..." Claire conceded before moving on to another concern -- that it was too soon to invite Charlie to a family gathering. "Do you like him?" Jan wondered. "Yes," Claire admitted. "Would you like him to be your boyfriend?" Jan wondered. "I think so," Claire admitted. "Then make it happen, Claire! [Listen], life is short -- I mean, look what happened to Ciara -- [so] if you really care about Charlie, you have to seize this moment!" Jan maintained.
"[And besides, he already] invited you to dinner tonight, right?" Jan pointed out. "[Yeah] -- and I didn't really get a chance to explain why I couldn't go..." Claire realized. "Then you have to invite him -- otherwise, he'll think you're blowing him off!" Jan warned. "I guess there's no harm in asking..." Claire decided before starting to send Charlie a text message, prompting Jan to argue that an in-person invitation would be more appropriate for such a special event. "But I have to go help my mom get ready --" Claire protested. "It's not like it's gonna take forever," Jan countered.
Xander entered Julie's Place and took a seat at Charlie's table -- then immediately realized that something was wrong. "Let me guess -- you're still in a mood about Claire kissing some other guy," Xander began. "Turns out it was her ex-boyfriend -- and he already left town," Charlie clarified. "Then buck up and go for it!" Xander advised. "I did -- took her to dinner," Charlie revealed. "Well, way to make a move -- I'm impressed!" Xander declared before concluding, based on Charlie's look of disappointment, that the date hadn't gone well. "It was great -- Claire was sweet and funny, and I thought we had a real connection... [But then] I asked her to go to dinner tonight, and she said no -- no explanation, just: 'I can't. Gotta go.' What's up with that? Is she...playing hard to get? Is she not interested? Did I mess up somehow?" Charlie fretted. "You did everything right, mate -- the problem is, as I tried to warn you...Claire's nuts!" Xander explained.
"Claire isn't 'nuts'!" Charlie objected. "Sorry, 'mentally ill' -- [and], you know, she's not the only one in that family [who is]; her cousin Abigail [has] multiple personalities... You might want to steer clear of that whole gene pool, man, now that I think about it..." Xander warned. "I really like that gene pool..." Charlie admitted with a sigh.
"Well, dive into it later, okay? We have work to do [now]," Xander countered before changing the subject, explaining to Charlie that they were at Julie's Place because Titan could no longer be considered a safe place to discuss business. "Can I trust you?" Xander challenged Charlie. "Of course -- [I mean], I owe you for all the advice about Claire, so...however I can help, I'm in," Charlie promised without hesitation, leaving Xander comfortable enough to elaborate that Philip was likely embezzling money from Titan.
Charlie agreed to help Xander keep an eye on Philip at Titan. "Since I guess I've been dumped already, I don't really have anything better to do..." Charlie reasoned with a shrug and a sigh -- just as Claire approached.
Xander started lashing out, confusing Claire and embarrassing Charlie. After realizing what the issue was, Claire explained to Charlie -- and, by extension, Xander -- that the second dinner date had only been declined due to a prior obligation. "My parents are getting married today. And I was really hoping that you would be my date to the wedding," Claire elaborated for Charlie, who was stunned.
At the Salem Inn, Belle received a visitor -- and was horrified to see that it was Jan, not Claire.
Jan holds Belle at gunpoint
With a glance around, Philip knocked on the door to Ava's apartment. Around the corner, Sarah eavesdropped out of sight. When Ava opened the door, Philip explained he had been "waylaid by some friends." Annoyed, Ava ordered Philip to enter. Sarah held her phone around the corner and snapped a photo.
Inside the apartment, Ava asked Philip why he was in a sour mood. Philip grumbled about Belle and Shawn and that they were getting remarried. "Don't tell me you are still carrying a torch for Belle Black?" a shocked Ava responded. Philip admitted he was not quite over Belle. Ava noted that Philip had no chance with Belle because Shawn was the love of Belle's life. With a shrug, Philip said that a part of him had always expected Belle to find her way back to him.
"Guess it's time to put that dream to rest once and for all," Philip said. "You think I don't know what you're going through? Every time I think about Steve with that twit Kayla, I want to break something," Ava said. Ava admitted she had gone to Steve's apartment but that she had not gone through with talking to Steve.
"It's probably for the best, since you're supposed to be dead, and Steve's son is still doing time for killing you," Philip said. Ava mentioned that she had seen Tripp in the park. "So much that I want to tell [Tripp]. So much I want to know about him and his life," Ava said. When Ava noted that she was not sure how much longer she could remain in hiding, Philip warned Ava to stay dead.
"Do you really think a big reveal will have a happy ending?" Philip asked. "Probably not," Ava admitted. Philip suggested that Ava leave Salem, but Ava said she did not trust Philip. "Unless you stop disappointing me very, very soon, I might decide that you are not worth keeping around," Ava said.
"It's not easy to launder millions with my co-CEO breathing down my neck," Philip reminded Ava. Ava laughed and noted that Xander was no threat. "Find a way to neutralize him, or I will," Ava said. Philip argued there was no need to kill Xander, because they could use Sarah to make Xander jealous.
"All I have to do is pay attention to the pretty lady and push his buttons until he does something really stupid," Philip said. Ava told Philip that she did not care if he seduced Sarah or not as long as Philip removed Xander as an obstacle. "After laundering your money and paying back my gambling debts, you're going to leave me the hell alone?" Philip asked. With a mischievous grin, Ava said, "Of course, I will, Philip. You have my word."
At Julie's Place, Xander ordered Charlie to keep an eye on Philip. As Charlie nodded in agreement, Claire walked in. Claire asked to speak to Charlie privately. "I'm just trying to understand why a girl like Claire wouldn't want to go out with a great guy like you," Xander said. Charlie attempted to defend Claire, but Xander interrupted repeatedly.
"But I do like Charlie. A lot!" Claire said. "You do?" Charlie asked with surprise. Claire explained that she had declined Charlie's invitation because her parents were getting married that night. Claire asked Charlie to be her date.
"I totally understand if you think it's weird. I mean, we go on one date, and then, boom, I invite you to this big family event," Claire said. "He'd love to go!" Xander said. Charlie smiled at Claire. Claire told Xander that she was grateful for his enthusiasm, but she preferred to hear Charlie answer her question.
"[Xander's] right. I'd love to go," Charlie said. Charlie asked Xander for permission to take time off work, and Xander gave his blessing. "Just make sure to tell Pop Pop who made it happen," Xander said to Claire. "Whatever," Claire said dismissively. Claire and Charlie made plans to meet up before the ceremony. With a grin, Claire ran off to meet up with her mother.
"Meeting the family? Alone? What have I gotten myself into?" Charlie said. Xander counseled Charlie to relax. Charlie worried aloud that he was too nervous to talk to Claire's family. "You're smart. You're good-looking. You're an all-around great guy. Just hold onto that, and you'll be fine," Xander said.
As Charlie walked out, Sarah rushed in. "Did you follow Philip to his big meeting?" Xander asked. Sarah smiled and said, "I know who he is working for." Sarah admitted she did not know the woman's name, but she had snapped a photo on her phone. When Sarah showed the picture to Xander, he frowned. Xander pointed out that the woman in the picture was a blur.
"Can you describe her?" Xander asked. Sarah gave a generic description, and she added that she knew where to find the mysterious woman. Xander suggested that they go to the apartment and confront Philip and the woman. With a shake of her head, Sarah advised Xander to bide his time and collect evidence. Xander announced he would stake out the apartment and then break into it after the woman left. Sarah insisted on going with Xander.
"It's illegal, and it could be dangerous. We have no idea what kind of people Philip is working with," Xander said. Sarah told Xander that she did not scare easily. When Xander wavered, Sarah offered to give Xander his favorite biscuits if he let her tag along. "We are a team. You have to do exactly what I say," Xander said. Sarah agreed. Xander thanked Sarah for believing in him. "I wish I would have done it from the beginning, and I'm really sorry, baby," Sarah said. Sarah added, "I'm ready to take that jerk Philip down for good."
At Ava's apartment, Ava warned Philip to keep her updated so that she did not need to chase him around Salem. "Or what? You'll sic your cousin on me?" Philip said as he walked out. Ava slammed the door behind him. Down the hallway, Sarah whispered to Xander, "Do you recognize her?" Xander said he had not been able to get a good look at the woman, but her voice was familiar to him. "Now, we wait," Xander said.
After Marlena bought flowers in the town square, she ran into Brady as he pushed Rachel in her stroller. "These are for you sister," Marlena said. When Brady asked why, Marlena was surprised that no one had told Brady that Belle and Shawn were getting remarried. Brady admitted that he had noticed a voicemail from Belle, but he had not listened to it yet.
"I had no idea that Belle and Shawn were thinking about getting married again," Brady said. Marlena explained that Belle had spontaneously decided to get remarried on the anniversary of her first wedding to Shawn.
"I assume there is no Paul, no Sami, no Eric?" Brady asked. Marlena's smile fell away, and she admitted that it was too late for Paul or Eric to make the ceremony. "And I don't know if Sami was notified," Marlena said. "They're still not speaking? Really?" Brady asked. With a shrug, Marlena said that Belle was still angry that Sami had unleashed Jan on Salem. Brady promised to attend the wedding after he dropped Rachel off at a playdate.
"I'm sure Belle will appreciate having at least one sibling there. I just wish these women could solve the rift between them," Marlena said. "Sami always seems to go one step too far. I understand why Belle is upset with her," Brady said. Brady added that it was a relief that Jan could not do anything but be annoying. With a nod, Marlena said that she knew Jan had regularly attended her psychiatric appointments, and she hoped Jan would stay on her meds and work through her issues.
At the penthouse, Shawn joked with John about asking John for his permission to marry Belle. "It's kind of hard to do when my daughter did the proposing," John said. John added, "You've always had my permission. I could not ask for a better husband to my little Tink than you," John said. Shawn vowed to always protect Belle and Claire.
After moving the furniture to accommodate the guests, John asked Shawn if something was bothering him. Shawn confessed that he wished more of the family could be there for the wedding instead of scattered around the world. "It's like I have nobody here to represent my side of the family," Shawn said. "You still got us. We're your family, too, Shawn. Always will be," John said.
When Charlie arrived, he introduced himself to Shawn. "Claire invited him apparently," John said. Charlie said he had taken Claire to dinner. "So, you're the one that kept her out past midnight," Shawn said. "Was it that late?" Charlie stammered. When Shawn questioned Charlie about his job, Charlie admitted he worked for Philip at Titan. "Great guy," Charlie said.
"Yeah, not in my book," Shawn grumbled. When Charlie mumbled that he was closer to Xander, John noted, "[Xander] shot my wife." Nervous, Charlie said that he was not close to Xander, but Xander had given him advice about Claire. Shawn narrowed his eyes, and he asked about the advice. Charlie fumbled for words, and then he said he liked Claire and would not hurt her.
"What exactly are your intentions with my daughter?" Shawn barked. Charlie stressed that his intentions were honorable and that he would never hurt Claire. Shawn announced that both he and John were cops. Shawn joked that John was the type of guy you never saw coming until it was too late. Charlie nervously laughed, and he said, "I guess I better keep my eyes open." With an appraising look, Shawn told Charlie that he and John were protective of Claire. Charlie promised that he meant what he had said. "I will never hurt your daughter," Charlie said.
At the Salem Inn, Belle's face fell when she opened the door to her room and found Jan in the hallway. "Claire told me that you and Shawn are getting remarried today, so I just had to come and congratulate you," Jan said. Suspicious, Belle asked Jan how she had known where to find her. Jan told Belle that Claire had told her. Belle started to close the door, but Jan stopped her.
"I know how you feel about me, but I just want you to know that I am really happy for you and Shawn," Jan said. Belle laughed in disbelief. Jan reiterated that she was happy for Belle, and she had brought Belle a wedding gift. Jan held out a carton. Belle eyed the box warily. Belle reminded Jan that the last gift Jan had given her had been a bomb. Jan promised that she was a new person.
"Why would I want a gift from you? Go away!" Belle said. Jan noted that she had been on her best behavior, and she wanted to make amends to Belle. "I know you were upset with me about pressing charges against Philip, but Belle, he threatened me," Jan said. "You wanted to make trouble, and don't even get me started on how you've been harassing Claire," Belle said. Jan argued that she had a bond with Claire.
"I want to make things right, just like Claire does. Everyone has given her a second chance. Why can't they, why can't you give me one, too?" Jan asked. With a groan, Belle took the gift. Jan encouraged Belle to open it. Reluctantly, Belle pulled off the lid. A spring-loaded toy snake popped out, and Jan cackled.
"You should have seen the look on your face," Jan said. When Belle yelled at Jan for scaring her half to death, Jan pulled out a gun. "I certainly don't like to do things halfway," Jan said. Shocked, Belle backed into the room. "What happened to making amends? To doing the right thing?" Belle asked. With a shrug, Jan said she had lied. Jan muttered that Belle had ruined her plan to push Belle back with Philip.
"You really are insane," Belle whispered. Belle told Jan that Shawn did not love Jan, but Jan insisted that her connection to Shawn would last a lifetime. "You locked him in a cage. You tied him to a bed," Belle said. Jan insisted that Shawn would have fallen for her if Belle had not intervened that summer.
"You've always been afraid that Shawn would come to his senses and dump you for me," Jan said. "That's ridiculous," Belle said. With a smirk, Jan said she had watched Belle's desperate proposal to Shawn at the police station. Belle asked Jan not to hurt Claire.
"I really don't like the thought of causing Claire any pain. She is such a sweetheart. But you're the only thing standing in the way of my happily ever after," Jan said. Jan argued that she had no choice but to stop Belle from marrying the love of Jan's life. "If you kill me, Shawn will never even look at you again. He'll hate you," Belle pleaded. Jan disagreed.
"Maybe he'll thank me for setting him free from the woman who claims to love him but who has no problem cheating on him," Jan said. Jan told Belle that she did not deserve Shawn. Belle agreed. "But the bond that Shawn and I share, it is unbreakable, and I've been lucky enough to earn his love back," Belle said. Jan told Belle her luck had run out. As Belle pleaded for Jan to stop, Claire knocked on the door. Jan told Belle that she did not want to hurt Claire, but Belle needed to follow her instructions.
With Jan shoving a gun in Belle's back, Belle answered the door. Belle prevented Claire from entering the room, and she asked Claire to call Shawn about her bracelet. "Why can't you call him?" Claire asked. "Because I can't!" Belle snapped. Belle apologized, and she blamed her nerves. Belle claimed that she preferred to get ready alone. Confused, Claire asked Belle if she still needed help with her makeup.
"I'm okay. I'll see you there," Belle said. Belle told Claire that she loved her. Reluctantly, Claire backed up as Belle closed the door. "That's strange," Claire whispered. "What's strange?" Brady said as he walked up. Claire told Brady about her weird encounter with Belle. "She kind of yelled at me. Like she was trying to get rid of me," Claire said. With a shrug, Brady noted that Belle was likely nervous. Brady offered to give Claire a ride to the penthouse, and after a moment of hesitation, Claire followed Brady down the hallway.
When Brady and Claire arrived at the penthouse, Claire introduced Charlie to Brady. "Are you sweating?" Claire asked Charlie. Charlie said that Belle's family had been welcoming. Claire said she had stopped to see her mother, but Belle had sent her away. "I just hope she doesn't need my help," Claire said.
Claire mentioned that Charlie worked for Philip and Xander. "My sympathies," Brady joked. With a shrug, Charlie said things had not been too bad. Brady advised Charlie to stay neutral in a war between Philip and Xander. After Brady went to check on Shawn, Charlie told Claire about his conversation with her father and grandfather. "I'm so sorry I wasn't here to protect you. Do you wish you never came?" Claire asked. "This is the only place I want to be," Charlie said.
When Shawn and Brady returned to the living room, Shawn asked Brady to be his best man. "I'd be honored," Brady said. Shawn handed the rings to Brady. "Now, all we need is a bride!" Shawn said with a laugh.
At the Salem Inn, Jan told Belle that she was relieved she had not been forced to hurt Claire. "[Claire] is the best friend I've ever had. Certainly better than you or me ever were," Jan grumbled. Belle asked for a second chance to be the kind of friend she should have been to Jan.
"Stop acting like a condescending bitch!" Jan yelled. Jan said she intended to take back what Belle had stolen from her. Jan blamed Belle for ruining her life. Jan noted that Belle had everything that Jan had wanted with Shawn, and Belle had taken Shawn for granted.
"You're not worthy to be Shawn's wife, and I'm going to make sure you never hurt him again," Jan said. As Jan's attention was distracted by the dress on the bed, Belle grabbed the gun and tackled Jan onto the bed.
At the penthouse, Claire asked Shawn what he thought of Charlie. "He's all right," Shawn said. When Claire teased her father, Shawn noted that no one was good enough for his "Claire Bear." Claire warned Shawn not to call her that in front of Charlie. Across the room, John told Marlena how excited he was to finally walk Belle down the aisle. Marlena lamented that Stefano had kept John from Belle's first wedding to Shawn. Marlena thought about the first wedding and the vows.
"She's parking her car!" Shawn called out as he looked at a message on his phone. Everyone took their places as John hustled into the hallway to meet up with his daughter. The bride stood there, a thick veil covering her face. "Sounds like they're playing your song, kid," John said as he handed the bride her bouquet. John held out his arm, and the bride took it.
John escorted the bride into the penthouse and over to Shawn. "I cannot wait to marry you," Shawn said. Shawn lifted the veil. It was Jan. "Neither can I," Jan said.