Marlena entered the Evans-Black townhouse and greeted Claire, who was quick to ask about John. "Your mother [is] trying to get him out of custody [as we speak, and] I'm feeling optimistic [that], with any luck, he'll be home tonight," Marlena reported. "I know that Mom is a great attorney, but...what if there's nothing that she can do?" Claire fretted.
Marlena insisted that it was too soon to even think about that possibility. "It's all I can think about, because if he goes to prison, it will all be my fault -- [after all], if I hadn't have let Jan get close to me, [and] if I hadn't have trusted her when everybody else was telling me not to, [then] none of this would have happened!" Claire explained. "You're not to blame -- if anybody is to blame, it's Jan; [she] manipulated you [and] made you think that she was your ally. [And] some people are just susceptible to trusting people that shouldn't be trusted, [so]...stop beating yourself up," Marlena countered.
Marlena soon headed off to the police station to check on John -- and, a short time later, Claire received a visit from Charlie. "I tried to call you a couple times, but I kept getting your voicemail... I just wanted to make sure that you were okay..." Charlie began. "I'm not -- I'm really not..." Claire admitted before proceeding to explain what was wrong.
"That is so unfair!" Charlie declared at the end of Claire's update on John's legal trouble. "I mean, Jan told the guy that his daughter was dead -- I don't blame him for losing it!" Charlie continued. "Um...[well], like I said, I just wanted to...make sure that you were...doing okay, [so]... Anyway, um...it was...it was really...good seeing you, and I...I...I should probably get going," Charlie awkwardly concluded before starting to rush off. "Wait -- don't you want to talk about that kiss?" Claire called out, stopping Charlie. "Well...honestly, I...I didn't know what to say..." Charlie admitted, shrugging.
"I felt really weird about it -- clearly, I read the signals wrong...which is something that I always do..." Charlie began to elaborate. "You were emotional about everything with your parents and your grandparents, and I just thought..." Charlie continued. "Anyway, um...I'm sorry," Charlie concluded before starting to rush off again. "You have nothing to apologize for," Claire called out, stopping Charlie again. "I was glad you kissed me -- really glad," Claire admitted, surprising Charlie, who smiled in response.
"[But]...whenever I've dated someone [in the past], I've ended up kind of losing myself in the process -- you know, I've felt the need for that person to...complete me --" Claire revealed. "Like in Jerry Maguire?" Charlie interjected. "Yeah, exactly," Claire confirmed, laughing with Charlie about the comparison. "[Anyway]...the truth is, uh...I'm just really scared of becoming that person again -- that obsessive person -- [and] I'm scared of getting hurt," Claire concluded. "I understand -- I'm scared, too," Charlie stressed.
"What could you possibly be scared of?" Claire wondered. "Same as you -- getting hurt," Charlie clarified, shrugging. "[But] I'm assuming you've never screwed up a relationship so badly they had to lock you up," Claire protested. "No...but that doesn't mean that I haven't made mistakes, that I haven't had my heart broken..." Charlie countered. "Although I'm hoping that that trend is over..." Charlie admitted. "Because of me?" Claire assumed. "Because of you," Charlie confirmed, drawing a smile from Claire.
"[So], all of this doesn't scare you off -- you know, me and my history of mental illness, [and] that crazy wedding, [and]..." Claire summarized, stunned. "I actually had a good time -- being with you, that was...that was the best!" Charlie insisted. "So, then...uh, are we...trying this?" Claire asked. "I'm up for it if you are," Charlie replied. "[Then] it's official?" Claire assumed, and Charlie agreed.
Claire was confused when Charlie abruptly started to rush off. Charlie awkwardly claimed to have work to finish, and Claire didn't question the matter any further. Charlie promised to contact Claire soon so they could schedule another date -- and the new couple shared another kiss before parting ways.
At the police station, Belle joined John in one of the conference rooms and apologetically began to report that Trask, likely as a result of the holiday, was apparently unreachable for the time being. "It doesn't matter," John insisted, interrupting Belle, who was clearly confused. "I deserve to be here, sweetheart -- I deserve to be prosecuted for murder," John elaborated. "Don't talk like that --" Belle protested. "It's true!" John maintained. "Listen, Dad -- as your lawyer, I can assure you there were extenuating circumstances [that] will probably prevent the D.A. from charging you at all...but, more importantly, Jan's not dead!" Belle stressed.
"You know, you wouldn't even be sitting here, facing criminal charges, if Sami hadn't brought [Jan] back to town!" Belle grumbled. "So, you blame Sami for all this," Marlena, who had just entered the conference room, summarized. "I'm sorry -- uh, I didn't mean for you to hear that..." Belle admitted. "It's okay -- you don't have to protect me where Sami's concerned; I know that she helped get a very dangerous woman out of a sanitarium with no care at all for the consequences," Marlena conceded. "It's kind of hard for me to sit here and criticize someone for not weighing out the consequences..." John interjected. "Come on, Dad -- that's not the same thing --" Belle argued. "Oh? Why isn't it?" John countered, prompting Belle to reluctantly drop the matter.
"[Anyway...look], with Trask out of the office, uh, no official charges have been filed, and since the courts are closed, I can't get [Dad] out on bail -- not tonight, anyway," Belle apologetically explained to Marlena, who understood. "I just hate this!" Marlena complained to John after Belle left the conference room. "You don't deserve to be locked up -- you know, you're still recovering from the aneurysm, so your emotions [are] running high, and they're hard to control..." Marlena continued. "Surely, Belle can make the D.A. understand that!" Marlena concluded. "Perhaps...[but], if not...Doc, I could be locked up for the...for the rest of my life..." John fretted.
"I want you to stop blaming yourself for this -- there's enough of that going around already..." Marlena advised John before elaborating that Claire felt guilty for having ignored everyone's warnings about Jan. "Maybe you should go over and keep Claire company," John suggested. "Oh, there's no need for me to do that -- her friend Charlie, uh, came by [earlier]; I saw him as I was leaving," Marlena reported. "Ah," John replied, sharing a knowing look with Marlena. "I think he's sweet, [and] he seems to really care about her, [so that's] maybe the bright spot in all this darkness," Marlena mused. "I hope so," John agreed.
Meanwhile, Abe peeked inside the commissioner's office and greeted Shawn, who was in the process of updating Jan's file. "Bad time?" Abe began. "Not at all -- uh, come on in," Shawn replied.
"I'm here to talk to whoever is in charge...but, first, I need to sort out exactly who that is," Abe explained while settling in a chair. "Oh, sorry -- I guess I've probably made myself a little too comfortable in the commissioner's office --" Shawn conceded. "Oh, please -- it's all right; I know that, uh, things have been a bit chaotic here these last few months, [and] I do appreciate you pitching in," Abe insisted.
"[Still]...a more permanent solution is gonna need to be found soon," Shawn acknowledged. "Well, the public needs to know who's leading the department -- it's been, um...a little bit unclear [lately]..." Abe confirmed before pausing to ask about Hope -- whose need for some time to grieve the sudden loss of a child was, of course, perfectly understandable. "We talk on the phone from time to time, but, uh...I mean, mostly, we text...[and] she never tells me where she's at -- I think she's, uh...she's afraid that I'll probably go there [and] try to force her into coming home," Shawn reported. "I'm glad you're in touch with her...and I do pray that she finds what she's looking for," Abe stressed. "She's 'looking for' Ciara to be alive...and I'm, uh...I'm a little afraid that she's never gonna find that," Shawn admitted.
"Well, I hope [that], in time, your mother comes back to Salem -- and, hopefully, returns to active duty -- [but], in the meantime, Salem P.D. needs someone in charge, [so]...what do you say?" Abe challenged Shawn. "Wow, Abe -- I'm, uh...well, um, I'm flattered..." Shawn began to respond, stammering. "But, uh...I mean, Belle and I, we're gonna have to go back to Hong Kong at some point..." Shawn continued. "We love it here, [of course] -- this is our home, and our family's here, [and] hopefully, someday, we'll...we'll be here permanently [again -- but, for now], we've got, uh...we've got a life back in Hong Kong...[so] I don't want to...I don't want to take the job and then...you know, then end up having to go back... [But] thanks, [and] good luck on your search," Shawn concluded.
"Finding another immensely qualified candidate for acting commissioner -- uh, well, I'm gonna need luck, [and] a lot of it..." Abe admitted -- just as Belle entered the office in search of Shawn. "I'm glad you're here, [Abe] -- I was actually gonna call you," Belle revealed. "I was gonna ask that -- well, if -- in the spirit of the holiday, maybe you could pull some strings and help get my dad out of jail tonight," Belle explained. "Oh, I wish I could, hon...but the courts are closed, [so]..." Abe replied, shrugging apologetically. "But John should be up first on the docket in the morning," Abe added.
After Abe left the office, Belle contacted a judge in the hope of securing an emergency bail hearing, but the request was denied due to the holiday. "Looks like my dad has no choice but to spend another night in jail," Belle complained to Shawn. "God, what a disaster our wedding turned out to be -- [and] the worst part is that we never got married!" Belle continued. "We're gonna have to fix that," Belle concluded. "I'm sorry, but I can't marry you..." Shawn began to respond, confusing Belle. "Because I'm already married to Jan," Shawn concluded while stifling a laugh, earning a playful smack from Belle.
At the park, Roman finished telling Rafe about Hope's abrupt departure from Salem. "Had she known you were coming back --" Roman began to assure Rafe. "What, you think she would have stayed? Nah, no chance -- I mean, obviously, [she] had made up her mind, and when [she] makes up her mind..." Rafe reminded Roman, shrugging. "And for [her] to lose a child again...[well], you know, I understand why [she] cannot accept Ciara's death -- I do understand that..." Rafe added with a sigh before starting to fret about having failed Hope and Ciara -- a concern that Roman was quick to dismiss.
Rafe decided to track Hope down and help with the search for definitive proof of what had happened to Ciara -- a plan that Roman encouraged.
Gabi stormed into the DiMera garage, startling Jake and Kate, and began lashing out at both of them. "Gwen told me that you would hop from one woman's bed to the next, [Jake], but I didn't think it would [happen] this fast -- and I definitely didn't think [the woman] would be [Kate]!" Gabi spat. "What is that supposed to mean?" Kate wondered. "And what right do you have to say anything about any of this? You left town, and you left me in the dust [in the process], so why do you care who I sleep with [anymore]? And what the hell are you doin' home, anyway?" Jake added.
Gabi continued lashing out while Jake and Kate were getting dressed. "You know, you're like a mom to me, [Kate] --" Gabi snapped. "Okay, just stop -- stop, all right? Because you have absolutely no right to barge in like this, spewing all this jealous venom, when you have no idea of what's going on!" Kate advised. "I have an 'idea of what's going on' -- [in fact], I know exactly what's going on! [Jake] was missing me like crazy, [and] he was so desperate [that] he turned to you because you were right there under his nose, panting for [him]!" Gabi guessed. "Just stop -- this is pathetic!" Kate reiterated.
Kate started to leave, but Jake objected. "How dare you talk to [Kate] like that? You left to Mexico to care after your sick mother -- and before you left, you told me you were just using me to worm your way back into DiMera! So, why act all hurt now, huh? Why go after Kate when you don't give a damn about me -- [when, in fact], you never did?" Jake challenged Gabi.
"That was all a lie, you dumbass!" Gabi summarized before explaining everything to Jake -- and, by extension, Kate, who was the first to respond afterward. "Okay, Gabi...as much as I would kind of like to see this continue -- you feeling threatened and jealous -- [since] you were a bit nasty [earlier]...for Jake's sake, I'm just gonna lay it out -- you know, we get along fine, and we had some laughs, [and]...you know, et cetera...but there are absolutely no feelings between us at all --" Kate tried to clarify. "Speak for yourself," Jake protested, annoying Gabi and confusing Kate.
"Look, I don't know how you feel about me, Kate...but I'm not gonna let you stand there and say I don't have any feelings for you...'cause I do," Jake declared. "I had no idea..." Kate replied. "Now you do," Jake countered, shrugging. "Gabi...look, I'm sorry -- I don't want you to think that what we shared didn't mean anything to me, because it did --" Jake began to stress. "No -- you are not going to try to make me feel better!" Gabi snapped. "You know what? I shouldn't even be here -- I should be in Arizona with my daughter! After all the upheaval that Arianna's had, I should be spending as much time with her as possible!" Gabi decided. "I thought Arianna was in Mexico," Jake admitted, and Kate nodded in agreement. "That was a lie, too," Gabi clarified.
"Is she not comin' back here?" Jake wondered. "Well, I was thinking about bringing her back...but that would create custody issues with Will and Sonny...[so] then I thought I'd try to convince you to move out there..." Gabi revealed with a mirthless chuckle. "Crazy, right? [That all] sounds crazy and complicated, [and] this is much simpler, so...really, I have to say 'thank you' [to] both of you -- thank you so much for making things easier for me," Gabi bitterly concluded before starting to storm out of the garage.
"Before you leave..." Kate called out, stopping Gabi. "Chad doesn't know anything about this --" Kate continued. "And...what, you'd like to keep it that way?" Gabi concluded for Kate. "Is that a problem?" Kate wondered. "[If] you want to sleep with Chad's enemy behind his back, far be it from me to stop you," Gabi decided.
"That must have been hard -- [I mean], I know that you cared for her a lot," Kate said to Jake once Gabi was gone. "I did -- I do -- but it wasn't 'hard'...[because] I meant what I said [earlier] -- I really do care about you, [too]," Jake replied, surprising Kate again.
Gabi met up with Rafe in the park, but the siblings weren't in the mood to talk to each other about their respective disappointments. "I've decided that I'm going to be going to Arizona to be with Arianna," Gabi announced, surprising Rafe, who promised to visit often. "My place is with my daughter [right now...but], just so you know, Salem has not seen the last of me -- that is a promise," Gabi stressed.
Bonnie and Jennifer bond over drinks
At the Horton house, Jennifer talked on the phone with someone at the paper about a story on Ben's release from jail. As Jennifer ended her call, the doorbell rang. It was Jack. "I don't want to get into this with you right now, Jack," Jennifer said. With paperwork in hand, Jack claimed that he needed Jennifer's signature. While Jennifer signed the papers, Jack asked her if she planned to return to work.
"I'm fine working from home," Jennifer said. "It can't go on like this much longer," Jack said. Jennifer warned Jack not to push her to make any decisions about work or home. "Understood," Jack whispered. Jack apologized to Jennifer again, and he told her that he loved her. "You slept with Kate, and you lied about it for an entire year. How do you expect me to believe anything you say ever again?" Jennifer asked.
Ben and Justin talked in the pub, and Ben thanked Justin for his legal help. "I was so desperate to get Vincent alone. I just kept hoping he'd tell me that Ciara was alive," Ben said. Ben admitted that he needed to accept that Ciara was gone.
In the town square, Claire and Charlie talked over coffee in the café. "I just can't believe that I'm actually with somebody as amazing as you," Charlie said. "I feel the same way," Claire agreed. Charlie added that he was grateful he had taken Xander's advice. "Who knew that Xander was such a romantic?" Claire said. When Claire asked about work, Charlie admitted that work was still a war zone between Xander and Philip.
"Each one is trying to get me on his side," Charlie said. Before Charlie could continue, Claire cried out, "Ben!" Claire jumped to her feet and ran over to Ben, who had been walking through the square. As Claire hugged Ben, Charlie stared at them. Claire asked Ben why he had not reached out to her.
"I just needed to take some time for myself," Ben said. Charlie interrupted to introduce himself. With an apology, Claire made a formal introduction. Ben shook Charlie's hand. "Ben is, was, Ciara's husband," Claire said. The frown fell away from Charlie's face. "I'm so sorry," Charlie said. Claire invited Ben to join them in the café. Ben resisted, but Claire insisted. A little jealous, Charlie made a face as Claire escorted Ben back to their table.
While Claire and Ben talked, Charlie watched with a look of concern. "They never should have brought charges against you in the first place," Claire said. "Well, he did assault a police officer," Charlie chimed in. Claire waved off Charlie's comment. With a nod, Charlie excused himself to return to work. "We'll see each other later?" Claire asked. Charlie said yes then he firmly kissed Claire so that Ben would see it.
After Charlie left, Ben noted that Charlie seemed like a good guy. Claire told Ben that she was sorry that Ben had not learned anything from Vincent. "All the signs point to Ciara being gone, but part of me just refuses to give up hope," Ben said. "You never got that closure. I just wish I could help you with that," Claire said. Ben asked Claire to help him pack up Ciara's things.
Claire followed Ben back to the Salem Inn, and she and Ben boxed up items. "So, what's the deal with you and Charlie?" Ben asked. Claire talked up Charlie, and Ben wondered aloud how a nice guy still had a job at Titan. "Honestly, I don't know," Claire said with a laugh. Claire admitted that she worried that Charlie would end up as collateral damage between Philip and Xander.
As Claire continued to pack items, she found a map in a drawer. "Did I see an airfield on there?" Claire asked. Ben admitted that he had been going into the woods by the airfield to look for evidence that Ciara had survived the explosion and escaped. "Have you found anything?" Claire asked. Ben shook his head no. Claire offered to search the woods with Ben, but he declined.
Claire pointed out a necklace that her grandfather had given Ciara, and she noted that she had the matching earrings. Ben told Claire to keep the necklace. Once Ciara's stuff was boxed up, Claire noted that the room looked empty.
"It already felt empty," Ben whispered. Ben thanked Claire for her help and support. When Ben reminded Claire to take the necklace with her, Claire noted that Ciara had always kept a picture of Victor in it. Claire opened the locket, and she burst into tears. Claire showed Ben that Ciara had replaced Victor's photo with one of Ciara and Claire from when they had been children. "She loved that picture," Ben said. "I miss her so much," Claire said. Ben hugged Claire, and he said, "Me, too."
At the Kiriakis mansion, Xander woke up Sarah with breakfast in bed. Sarah said she had had a crazy dream that she and Xander had broken into the apartment of the woman working with Philip. "That actually happened," Xander said. "Oh, my God! It did," Sarah exclaimed. Xander thanked Sarah for her help. When Sarah wondered aloud who the woman was, Xander said he planned to visit Kristen to get answers.
"I wish I'd gotten a glimpse of her when we were over there," Xander said. Sarah suggested that while Xander was at the prison, she could "pump Philip for some information." Xander disagreed. "I don't like the way [Philip] flirts with you," Xander complained. Sarah stressed that Philip only flirted with her to upset Xander. Xander raised an eyebrow.
"Because he could never be attracted to someone as gorgeous as you?" Xander said. With a shrug, Sarah said, "Who cares if he is?" Sarah asked Xander about the freshly squeezed orange juice, and he admitted he had done it. "Well, that definitely settles it. Now I can't leave you for Philip. Because of that," Sarah joked. Sarah kissed Xander.
Downstairs, Philip worked on his computer. "Laundering Ava's money would be a lot easier if Xander wasn't around," Philip muttered. Philip wondered aloud how to get rid of Xander. Sarah marched in with a box of Christmas decorations. "Good to see you," Philip said. Sarah asked if Philip would mind if she decorated while he worked. "Need help?" Philip asked. Sarah thanked Philip for the help, and he set to work detangling the lights.
"How was your business meeting the other day?" Sarah asked. "It went fine. The client is pretty demanding, but with a little luck, everything will turn out all right," Philip said. While Sarah and Philip worked on the decorations, Sarah asked him about his time away from Salem. "I did a lot of traveling," Philip said. Philip explained that he had needed time away from his family, and he had found himself in trouble.
"Eventually I realized that I needed to stop playing around and get serious about my future," Philip said. When Sarah joked about Xander not liking to share the company, Philip countered that Xander felt the same way about Sarah. "If I had a woman like you, I'd want to keep her all to myself, too. Xander is a very lucky man," Philip said. Sarah asked Philip about his love life. Philip admitted there was no one special because he had not gotten over Belle.
When Sarah said she supported Philip's desire to move on, Philip asked Sarah to distract him. "I think Titan should throw a holiday event. A concert for charity," Philip said. When Sarah noted that she was busy at the hospital, Philip explained that the proceeds would go to the children's wing at the hospital. "You don't play fair," Sarah said. Philip reasoned aloud that the only problem with the event would be that he and Sarah would have to work closely together.
"It might upset Xander. And I don't want to cause any problems," Philip said. Sarah agreed to help Philip. "[Xander] will understand. It's for a really good cause," Sarah said.
At the prison, Kristen talked on the phone with Ava. "I better say Angela," Kristen corrected. With a chuckle, Kristen thanked Ava for her visit. Ava talked about her encounter with Tripp, and Kristen agreed that it was best that no one knew that Ava was alive. After Kristen's phone call, she went to the visitor's room. Xander walked in.
"Well, when the guard said I had a visitor, you were the last person I expected," Kristen said. Xander asked about Angela Van de Camp. "I want to know who the hell she is and what she wants with Titan," Xander demanded. Kristen said she was not aware of any connection between Angela and Titan. Suspicious, Xander accused Kristen of working to destroy Titan.
"As much as I support the cause, I had nothing to do with any [sabotage]," Kristen said. Kristen confirmed that she hated Victor and Xander, and she said she wished the saboteur the best of luck. "Given your past history, I don't really think you are in a position to judge or hold it against me," Xander said. "And I certainly don't have any obligation to help you," Kristen added. When Xander mentioned that Angela had been working with Philip to destroy the company, Kristen smiled.
"I know you're not interested in helping me, but if you don't cooperate, Titan could go down in flames," Xander said. "Brady washed his hands of Titan months ago," Kristen said. Xander argued that Titan was Brady's legacy, and he urged Kristen to tell him about Angela. With a grin, Kristen noted that Brady understood that she never wanted to help Victor or Xander.
"Sorry, pal. You're on your own," Kristen said. "I hope you rot in here," Xander said. Kristen chuckled. Kristen told Xander that Angela was an old friend. "Don't ever cross [Angela] unless you want to get yourself killed," Kristen advised. After Xander left, Kristen called Ava and told her that she needed to talk to Ava at the prison urgently.
When Philip arrived at Titan, Charlie was already at work. Philip asked about Xander, and Charlie confirmed that Xander was not in yet. "I can finally get some work done," Philip said. After Philip set out his laptop on the desk, he announced that he was headed downstairs to get a coffee. Charlie offered to go, but Philip noted, "I can get my own coffee." After Philip left, Charlie sat down at Philip's desk to have a look on his computer.
"I didn't realize the coffee shop was closed," Philip said as he walked back into the room. Caught, Charlie stared at Philip, stunned. "What the hell are you doing?" Philip asked.
Xander returned home, and he told Sarah about his visit with Kristen. "I guess it was a long shot to have her give you the goods," Sarah admitted. Xander suggested that Sarah talk to Brady. Sarah reminded Xander that Brady had already said he did not know anything about a plot to destroy Titan. With a sigh, Xander worried aloud that Kristen would talk to her friend and that word would get back to Philip.
"Does Kristen know that I'm involved at all?" Sarah asked. "I kept your name out of it," Xander assured Sarah. Sarah told Xander that an opportunity had fallen into her lap. "It will only work if Philip doesn't realize that I'm suspicious of him," Sarah said. Sarah told Xander about Philip's offer to work on the charity event.
"Weasel. He's trying to get close to you so he can get me off my game," Xander hissed. "Right, but he doesn't realize that I want to get close, too," Sarah said. Sarah told Xander that she planned to gain Philip's trust. "I have an idea, but you're not going to like it," Sarah said.
After Jennifer's encounter with Jack, she went to Julie's Place to work. At the bar, Bonnie called out to Jennifer and invited Jennifer to join her for drinks. "Thanks, but I have work to do," Jennifer said. "I probably wouldn't be good company today, anyway," Bonnie said. As Jennifer sat down at a table, Bonnie made a dramatic sigh. Jennifer ignored Bonnie, but Bonnie's repeated sighs wore her down.
"Is something wrong, Bonnie?" Jennifer asked. "Well, since you asked, Justin finally agreed to have drinks with me," Bonnie said. Jennifer asked Bonnie why she did not appear happy. Bonnie said that Justin had not called her back. "I guess he wasn't really interested in me, after all," Bonnie said with a sniffle. Bonnie wondered aloud what had happened to change Justin's mind. When Jennifer suggested that Bonnie should call Justin, Bonnie asked Jennifer to call for her. Jennifer declined.
"You know, not everyone has the perfect marriage like Jack and Jen," Bonnie quipped. Jennifer told Bonnie about what had happened at her anniversary party. Bonnie was stunned. "That dirty dog!" Bonnie said. Bonnie complained that men lied all the time. "[Justin and Jack] both done us wrong, those jerks. You know what? I am going to buy you a drink so that we can drown our sorrows in solidarity," Bonnie said.
As Bonnie and Jennifer sipped bloody Marys, Bonnie said, "We need to move on and find ourselves some real men that don't lie to us." Bonnie looked around the room, and she spotted a couple men in the corner. When Bonnie suggested that they invite the men to join them, Jennifer gasped. "It would serve Jack and Justin right," Bonnie said. Jennifer giggled.
At the pub, Jack wandered over to Justin's table and said hello. After some small talk about Justin's family, Jack noted that Adrienne would be proud. "How was your anniversary party?" Justin asked. Jack averted his eyes. "You haven't heard?" Jack said. Justin shook his head no. "I guess that explains why you are still being friendly with me," Jack said.
After Jack updated Justin on what had happened at the party, he asked Justin for advice. "I'm afraid this might be the end of my marriage," Jack confided to Justin. Justin urged Jack not to give up hope. "Times like this, I really miss my sister. She always managed to put things into perspective for me," Jack said. Justin said that Adrienne would likely tell Jack to get over himself. "Get off your duff and prove to Jennifer how much you love her!" Justin said. With a smirk, Jack noted that Justin sounded like Adrienne.
Justin asked Jack what he planned to do. With a shrug, Jack said he had heard that Jennifer was at Julie's Place. "Maybe I will go over there and give it a shot," Jack said. When Jack and Justin arrived at Julie's Place, they were surprised to see Bonnie and Jennifer laughing together. Justin and Jack walked over, and Justin asked to join them.
"I would love to get a chance to talk to you," Jack said to Jennifer. Bonnie reached over and pulled the chair toward her. "These seats are taken. Sorry!" Bonnie said. "By whom?" Justin asked. Bonnie shooed Jack and Justin away. Two men walked over to the table with another round of drinks. As Bonnie and Jennifer laughed with the strangers, Jack watched in horror.
Allie and Tripp hear from the Metropolitan Police in London
Ava rushed over to Statesville to see Kristen, who warned that Xander was close to figuring out whatever it was that Ava and Philip had planned for Titan. "How?" Ava asked. "He wasn't exactly in the mood to share information...but it was obvious that he doesn't know that Ava and Angela are the same person -- [only that Angela] is in cahoots with Philip somehow," Kristen replied.
Ava thanked Kristen for having stonewalled Xander. "Now that I've proven myself, I think I deserve to know why you're involved with Philip Kiriakis," Kristen argued. "There's not much to explain -- Philip ran up some big-time gambling debts with my family's organization, [so] he agreed to pay us back by laundering money through Titan," Ava explained. "He's willing to dirty his father's name?" Kristen asked skeptically. "Victor Kiriakis is not exactly the deacon of the church...and besides, Philip is cooking the company's books so no one will ever know what we're doing," Ava dismissively replied.
Kristen curiously noted that it seemed like Ava wasn't particularly worried about Xander's suspicions. "I'm not. I told Philip to deal with Xander...and if he doesn't, I will," Ava explained with a shrug.
At Titan, Charlie nervously claimed to have simply been looking up the latest market quotes on Philip's laptop. "My laptop froze, and --" Charlie tried to explain. "Did your phone freeze, too?" Philip countered. "I left that at home," Charlie stammered. "Sounds like you're having a really bad day...[and] it's gonna get a lot worse if you don't start telling me the truth," Philip declared. "I told you the truth," Charlie insisted.
Still suspicious, Philip unceremoniously fired Charlie, who desperately tried to object at first -- then, as a last resort, reluctantly confessed to having actually been caught snooping on Xander's behalf earlier. Philip demanded to know why Charlie had agreed to help Xander. "I didn't feel like I had a choice, [because] he is my boss -- and, I mean, you're my boss, too, but... [Look], it seems like you guys really hate each other, and it's not easy working for you both!" Charlie explained with an apologetic shrug, managing to avoid having to get into the specifics of the case that Xander was building against Philip.
"I can see that, I guess...[but] you've been backing the wrong horse," Philip said to Charlie, adding that Xander was eventually going to test Victor's patience one too many times -- and get permanently ousted from Titan as a result. "Lucky for you, you've seen the error of your ways and decided to back a winner -- [and] now that you're with me, we'll go all the way to the finish line, Charlie...together," Philip declared before instructing Charlie to keep quiet about what had just happened -- and to claim, every time Xander requested an update, that spying on Philip was proving to be nothing but a waste of time. Philip predicted that Xander would eventually reach the same conclusion, but Charlie didn't seem quite as confident about that being the most likely outcome of the war between the co-CEOs.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Xander laughed off Sarah's warning. "Why wouldn't I like your idea? If you can get the goods on Philip, I guarantee I'll love it," Xander insisted. "Even if it means...we break up?" Sarah countered, confusing Xander, who immediately started trying to determine what could have caused such a move to suddenly be a possibility.
"We're not gonna really break up, you dope -- we're just gonna make Philip think we did," Sarah clarified, drawing a sigh of relief from Xander, who claimed to have known all along that the potential split would be an act. "Right... [Anyway], if we can make Philip believe that we've broken up, then I will have all the more reason to spend more time with him --" Sarah continued. "I hate [it] --" Xander admitted. "[And] make him trust me, and then maybe he'll open up to me about what he's doing," Sarah concluded. Xander sighed and gulped down some whiskey then reluctantly agreed to go along with Sarah's plan.
When Philip entered the mansion a short time later, Xander and Sarah started faking an argument. "What's going on here?" Philip wondered. "I told this jackass that we were gonna work together on the charity event, and then he said that it was a cover for some affair that you and I are apparently having," Sarah explained. Xander challenged Sarah to stop working with Philip as a way of proving that there was nothing going on between them, but Sarah refused to give in to Xander's demand -- a move that prompted Philip to flash Xander a triumphant smirk.
"You deserve a loser like him!" Xander snapped at Sarah before storming out of the living room, shoving past Philip in the process. Philip tried to apologize to Sarah, who insisted that breaking up with Xander was for the best. Philip comforted Sarah with a hug, and Xander watched from the foyer, pleased that the plan was working -- but also seemingly harboring just the slightest bit of concern that it might backfire.
While passing through the town square, Kayla spotted Claire, who was clearly upset about something. "Hasn't been much of a holiday season," Kayla acknowledged after joining Claire on a bench. "I just came from helping Ben pack up Ciara's stuff," Claire revealed before showing Kayla the locket that had once belonged to Ciara -- and the picture that was inside it. "She carried [that] close to her heart, and now you're carrying it close to yours...and nobody can break that connection," Kayla assured Claire, who seemed to find comfort in that thought.
Claire complained that, while Ciara's recent death would have been bad enough on its own, Jan's recent stunt had just made it even more difficult to get in the holiday spirit. "Now Jan is in a coma, and my Grandpa John is in jail..." Claire fretted. "I had wanted [to] reach out to Marlena and see if there was something I could do, but...I don't think that she really wants to hear from me right now," Kayla admitted. "Because of what's happened with Tripp and Allie," Claire realized before adding that to the list of things that were ruining the holiday season.
"Do you believe Tripp?" Claire wondered. "I would like to...[but] he and the baby are a DNA match," Kayla revealed. "So, not only is Tripp a rapist -- he is also a liar," Claire summarized. "Well, his father doesn't believe that," Kayla stressed. "I didn't want to believe it, either...but now I'm starting to wonder if everything I've ever thought about Tripp was a lie," Claire admitted. Kayla was happy to hear that Claire had moved on from Tripp and had recently started a new relationship with someone who was "really nice" -- someone Claire promised to introduce to Kayla eventually.
After parting ways with Kayla, Claire went to Titan to see Charlie, who was in the process of trying to decide whether to tell Xander the truth about what had happened earlier with Philip. "You seem a little stressed," Claire observed. "It's just work stuff," Charlie explained. "Dealing with the dueling Kiriakises?" Claire assumed, and Charlie nodded in response.
Charlie soon noticed Claire's locket. "I didn't see it on you when I was with you earlier -- did you just buy it?" Charlie asked. "Ben gave it to me," Claire replied. "Oh... Great... So, uh...Ben got you a present... What's the occasion?" Charlie stammered. "It wasn't a 'present' -- it was Ciara's," Claire clarified. "Oh, I see..." Charlie muttered, sounding only slightly less concerned than before.
"You and Ben -- you're pretty close?" Charlie asked. "Well, I mean, we have one thing in common -- we both loved Ciara," Claire replied. "Is that it?" Charlie wondered. "Why do you keep asking me about Ben? Do you think there's something going on between us?" Claire countered. "It wouldn't be the craziest idea -- seems like every time I turn around, I trip over one of your ex-boyfriends," Charlie reasoned. "I will never want to be in the same room as Tripp Dalton again -- and Ben and I will never, ever, ever be a thing," Claire insisted. "Okay -- I believe you," Charlie decided after some thought.
Allie took Henry to the DiMera mansion to see Lucas, who was in the process of reading an online article that explained why Trask had decided not to file charges against Tripp. "I cannot believe he got away with what he did to you!" Lucas grumbled. "He might not..." Allie revealed.
"Trask said that she could forward everything she has on him to the Metropolitan Police in London, [so]...I told her to go ahead," Allie elaborated. "I think you're making the right decision -- I think that this is the first step [to] putting that night behind you," Lucas declared. "I don't think I'll ever put that night behind me," Allie admitted. "I know that -- I'm sorry I said that --" Lucas stammered. "It's okay -- I know that you meant that to be comforting," Allie stressed before agreeing with the underlying sentiment of Lucas' statement.
Lucas warned that if the Metropolitan Police decided to file charges against Tripp, Allie would likely have to travel back to London to testify at the trial. "I know," Allie conceded. "So, I'm thinking maybe this would be a good time to tell your mother what's happened to you," Lucas advised. "I don't think there's ever going to be a 'good' time to do that," Allie fretted. "I know she can be a handful --" Lucas began to reason. "'A handful'? She's a tsunami! [And] she's just gonna say it's all my fault --" Allie argued. "I don't know about that -- I think you might be surprised..." Lucas countered.
Allie laughed off the suggestion, prompting Lucas to forge ahead. "I really hate to be the one to tell you this, but...when your mom was younger than you...[well], the same thing happened to her," Lucas revealed, leaving Allie speechless. "She was in high school... [Anyway, the guy's] name was Alan Harris, and your mom had a huge crush on him, but he was into your mom's sister Carrie... [Sami] wanted to get him to like her, so...she invited him over [and] made him dinner, and because the place was empty, he thought he could do whatever he wanted to her, so... [Eventually], he was arrested, [and] there was a trial, [but it] ended because there was no evidence -- you know, there was no rape kit, and it was his word against hers --" Lucas elaborated. "So, she didn't get any justice," Allie concluded, prompting Lucas to start squirming uncomfortably.
"Let's just say...your mom got her own kind of justice," Lucas reluctantly summarized when Allie begged for the rest of the story. "You know, her rapist was freed, and he was walking around town, bragging about how he got away with it -- had a big smirk on his face -- and, of course, your mom didn't like that too much, and she wanted to make sure that he would never rape anybody else, [so]...she got a gun, [and] she made sure that, uh, he would never rape anybody else again --" Lucas hesitantly elaborated when Allie probed for even more details.
Allie received a phone call from the Metropolitan Police in London just then, stopping Lucas from finishing the tale. "What happened? What'd the guy say?" Lucas asked anxiously after Allie ended the call a short time later. "It was a woman...and she said that her partner interviewed Tripp and decided that there's no case against him," Allie numbly replied. "You gotta be kidding me! 'No case against him'? What do they call this baby?" Lucas protested. "The only thing Henry proves is that we had sex. [And] the cop said that hardly any 'he said, she said' cases end up in a conviction. And they have a problem with the fact that I didn't report the rape for almost a year. [And] they went back to my old flat, [and] there's no physical evidence [there]," Allie explained. "How could there be? Somebody else lives there [now]!" Lucas noted, drawing a nod of agreement from Allie.
"How could this be happening? I mean, he raped me when I was drunk, he got me pregnant, he changed my life forever...and now he gets to go to med school and be some big-shot doctor, and I'm just gonna be the bimbo that he knocked up -- it's just not right!" Allie fretted, prompting Lucas to offer a comforting hug. "I am so sorry that you didn't get what you wanted out of this, [but] maybe therapy would be a good [next] step to healing --" Lucas suggested. "You're right -- I do need to find a way to heal..." Allie decided. Allie rushed off after asking Lucas to watch Henry for a while.
Steve entered the Brady-Johnson townhouse and cheerfully informed Tripp that all of the outdoor Christmas decorations were finally in place. Tripp glumly advised Steve that it wasn't necessary to wrap a strand of lights around every single branch of every single tree in the yard -- and that it wouldn't take a whole day to put up the decorations if not for a somewhat obsessive insistence on attention to detail.
"What are you talking about? Christmas is coming -- Patchy Claus's favorite holiday!" Steve protested. "I just spent the last two hours getting grilled by some English detective, so I'm not really in a 'ho-ho-ho' kind of place," Tripp admitted. "Whoa, wait a minute -- you just talked directly to a detective in London?" Steve repeated. "Yeah -- he kept asking me how the baby could have my DNA if Allie and I never had sex...and [when] I told him I didn't know how to explain that, the guy basically just called me a liar," Tripp elaborated. "I'm gonna talk to Justin, [and] we're gonna figure out the best way to handle this," Steve assured Tripp.
Kayla soon entered the townhouse and praised the work that Steve and Tripp had done outside, prompting Tripp to clarify that Steve had done all of it alone. "How'd you get out of it?" Kayla asked Tripp with a hint of coldness. "I was busy," Tripp replied before retreating to a bedroom to get away from Kayla.
Kayla challenged Steve to provide more details. "He got a call from a detective in London -- Allie gave the D.A. permission to turn the case over to them," Steve explained. "And they called Tripp already? That was quick..." Kayla mused. "That's all you have to say?" Steve snapped. "Allie has a right to do that," Kayla insisted. "Hmm. Sounds like you think it's a good thing," Steve observed. "You think I'm happy that Tripp is facing criminal prosecution?" Kayla repeated. "Why not? You think he's guilty," Steve reasoned. "I wish that none of this was happening!" Kayla clarified.
"I love Tripp...but Allie is my niece, and I love her, too -- and she is the victim of a horrible crime!" Kayla stressed. "What do you suggest she do, huh? Should she just act like it didn't happen because Tripp said it didn't?" Kayla challenged Steve. "Kayla, how many times have paternity test results been messed with and switched in this town? If that's not reasonable doubt, I don't know what is!" Steve argued. "I supervised those tests myself!" Kayla reminded Steve. "Oh, really? Did you live in the lab the whole time they were being run?" Steve countered. "Now you are grasping at straws!" Kayla declared, but Steve disagreed.
"You've turned this into some sort of twisted revenge fantasy! [And] you are acting like I can't wait for the legal system to ruin Tripp's life! [Look], I wish to God that he wasn't in this mess, but he is -- [and] you are not helping him by denying his culpability; [in fact], you say all the time [that] you love him so much, [but] if you really do, then you [should] help him to own up to what he did! [Or] are you so worried about him that you've just closed off your mind to all scientific evidence and logic?" Kayla snapped at Steve before storming out of the townhouse, having just been summoned back to the hospital.
Tripp rejoined Steve as soon as the coast was clear. "You guys love each other, and I'm just screwing this up," Tripp fretted, having heard every word of Steve's argument with Kayla. "Don't worry about it, man -- look, we've been together long enough to know we both have fiery tempers. We'll get through it," Steve insisted. "I just want it to be over," Tripp admitted, and Steve agreed.
Steve soon rushed off to update Justin -- and ran into Lucas and Henry a short time later, while passing through the town square. "I was just babysitting our grandson -- maybe you'd like to meet him?" Lucas said to Steve.
After saying goodbye to Kristen, Ava started to leave Statesville's visitors' lounge -- then froze in shock at the sight of a computer monitor that someone had left on after they had finished using it earlier. "My son!" Ava said to Kristen with a gasp while staring at the online article that explained why Trask had decided not to file charges against Tripp.
Allie went to the Brady-Johnson townhouse to see Tripp, who was surprised to hear that the Metropolitan Police in London had decided not to move forward with their case. "It's over?" Tripp summarized while breathing a sigh of relief. "Not exactly," Allie replied before producing a gun.
Allie threatens to shoot Tripp
At the hospital, Kayla joined Lani in one of the examination rooms and cheerfully noted that they were getting very close to the twins' due date. "I am ready to have these babies!" Lani admitted to Kayla with a mixture of excitement and exhaustion -- just as Eli entered the room. "[This is] my appointment," Lani protested. "And those are my kids," Eli countered.
"Fine, you can stay -- but only because I don't want Kayla waiting around while we just argue," Lani eventually said to Eli -- although they had already been arguing in front of Kayla for a few minutes by then, and the chief of staff's attempt to leave the room had been thwarted. "[But] don't get too comfortable," Lani warned Eli before signaling for Kayla to proceed with the examination.
Kayla eventually admitted to having taken the liberty of signing Lani up for a Lamaze class that was going to be held the following day -- and Eli insisted on attending the event as the requisite coach. "Like hell you are!" Lani snapped at Eli, prompting Kayla to rush off to check on other patients, not wanting to be caught in the middle of the second round of the couple's argument.
"Who [else] are you gonna find on such short notice?" Eli challenged Lani. "I don't know -- I can't ask my father, 'cause apparently he's on your side...[and] I can't ask my best friend, 'cause she's in prison because of you --" Lani conceded. "God, I'm sick and tired of you throwing that in my face!" Eli snapped. "You expect to be my coach [with that] attitude?" Lani asked. "I don't 'expect' anything from you except criticism," Eli replied.
"Find yourself another coach -- but I will be here when you deliver," Eli declared. "I can't ban you from the hospital," Lani conceded. "You can't ban me from seeing my babies, either, [because] no matter how hard this gets -- even if it gets [to] a point where you don't want to be married to me anymore -- those will always be my children," Eli reminded Lani before storming off.
At the Walker-Brady apartment, Nicole received a visit from Brady, who had just finished attending John's bail hearing. Nicole was happy to hear that John had been granted bail and was already back at the Evans-Black townhouse with Marlena. Nicole promised to pass the good news along to Eric, who was aware of what had happened when Belle and Shawn had attempted to get remarried.
"I actually wanted to talk to you about something pretty important," Brady eventually began to explain. "It's something I've been thinking about for a while... [Look], when I came back to Salem after my dad had his aneurysm, it was just going to be temporary -- because Kristen was on the run, and I wanted to get back to her and Rachel as soon as possible -- [but] then things changed in a way in which I could never have imagined, [and now Kristen's] going to be in Statesville for a couple years, [which] means I need to be close by... [Anyway], I need to figure out my life here -- [I mean], I'm gonna be a single parent to Rachel, [but] I'm also gonna want to work -- [so] I would like to come back to Basic Black with you," Brady elaborated. "I don't think so," Nicole responded.
"I don't understand -- is there a problem, or...?" Brady protested. "Uh, yeah, Brady, there is a problem -- and it goes all the way back to when you left me high and dry at Basic Black [so] you could take the reins at Titan!" Nicole clarified. "I'm really sorry about that...[but] there were extenuating circumstances, you know -- I was just trying to get revenge on Victor for leading me to believe that my daughter was dead for a year, [and] you can't blame me for that --" Brady reasoned. "I don't blame you for that...but I do blame you for not considering how your big move would affect me!" Nicole countered.
"I don't want this to sound harsh, but...if I couldn't count on you then, why should I believe I can count on you now?" Nicole challenged Brady, who conceded the point and apologized again. "I'm gonna do everything I possibly can to make it up to you," Brady promised before reminding Nicole that they had always made an excellent team. "Okay," Nicole, who had missed working with Brady, agreed after further consideration.
"[But] I did hire someone else [recently] -- not as a partner, [but] in a pretty big role -- [and] it's someone you know..." Nicole began to warn Brady -- and, as if on cue, Chloe knocked on the apartment door just then.
At the Horton Town Square, Steve took a quick glance at Henry as a way of humoring Lucas. "He's a beautiful baby...but he's not my grandson," Steve declared with a shrug, drawing a nod of skepticism from Lucas.
"You must be pretty relieved that Tripp got away with what he did to my daughter," Lucas guessed, confusing Steve. "You don't know," Lucas realized before explaining to Steve that Allie had received a phone call from the Metropolitan Police in London earlier that day. "They've decided not to press charges against your rapist son!" Lucas shouted at Steve.
"Thank God this is finally over," Steve declared with a sigh of relief. "For you, maybe...but not [for] my daughter," Lucas countered with a scowl. "I'm sorry, man --" Steve began to stress. "You're not sorry -- you only care about your son!" Lucas snapped. "You don't care about Allie -- [about] her pain, and her fear, and the fact [that] she had to work up all that courage just to come forward and tell everybody what happened, only to have it dismissed --" Lucas continued. "Dude, she wasn't 'dismissed,' all right? They looked into her claim --" Steve argued. "Claim?" Lucas repeated.
"This baby is the result of what happened --" Lucas whispered. "That baby is not proof that Tripp hurt Allie --" Steve insisted. "No, he didn't 'hurt' Allie -- he raped her! Your son raped my daughter! And now she's gotta live with it forever -- she's gotta raise this [child while still] a child herself, [and] she's gotta do it all on her own, while your son walks around like nothing happened! That kid belongs behind bars!" Lucas shouted. "The reason my son isn't behind bars is because he's innocent," Steve stressed. "There's a DNA test --" Lucas protested. "I can't explain that," Steve conceded.
"But I can tell you that I know my son, and he could never do anything like what Allie says he did!" Steve maintained. "I know it's hard for you to accept that your son would be capable of doing something so horrible, but you gotta remember -- he's not just your son; he's Ava Vitali's son, too! He's capable of anything!" Lucas argued. "You should know, as well as anyone, that a son doesn't necessarily turn out like his mother," Steve countered. "We're not talking about me," Lucas snapped.
Lucas wondered how Kayla felt about Steve's "crazy" state of denial. "I'm not in denial...[but] this whole situation is tearing my family apart," Steve admitted. "Well, maybe you don't want advice from me, but I'm gonna give it to you anyway -- if you're the only one who believes that your son is innocent, you're the one tearing your family apart," Lucas declared.
Steve scoffed and walked away without saying another word to Lucas -- then headed over to the hospital and gave Kayla the news. "You seem disappointed," Steve observed. "I didn't say anything," Kayla stressed. "You didn't have to," Steve countered. Steve asked Kayla if there was any way that they could move on from their differing views on the matter. "I honestly don't know how we can under these circumstances -- [you know], the three of us living under the same roof -- [so]...I think it's time for Tripp to move out," Kayla replied.
At Statesville, Ava showed Kristen the online article that explained why Trask had decided not to file charges against Tripp. Kristen protectively blocked Ava's view of the article, which bore the headline "RAPIST WALKS" and featured a picture of Tripp. Kristen silently read the article in its entirety so Ava wouldn't have to, knowing that the headline might not be the only upsetting part of it. "What happened? When? What were the circumstances? [And] who is saying these terrible things about my son?" Ava asked. "It doesn't have any of that information in here -- it is short on detail," Kristen replied.
"This is probably why he looked so dejected the other day when I saw him in the park," Ava realized. "I need to get to my son," Ava decided before starting to rush out of the visitors' lounge, prompting Kristen to point out that it would be dangerous for a presumed-dead criminal with unresolved cases to make such a move.
"I don't care what happens to me -- I need to put my son first!" Ava declared. "I understand that instinct, [but] he is not being charged, [so] he is not going to prison --" Kristen stressed. "It doesn't matter, because the damage has already been done -- his picture is all over the news with the word 'rapist' next to it!" Ava countered.
"This is gonna completely ruin his life!" Ava fretted. "For a long time, I was certain that what people thought of me was etched in stone [and that] I couldn't change anyone's mind, [but now I know] it is possible --" Kristen advised. "Not for Tripp -- not after people see those headlines!" Ava predicted. "Once this tabloid frenzy dies down, they are going to remember what's important, and that is that Tripp wasn't charged --" Kristen maintained. "At times like these, he needs his mother!" Ava maintained. Ava started to rush out of the visitors' lounge again, but Kristen blocked the path.
"He doesn't know you -- he doesn't even know you're alive! So, if you're gonna go reveal yourself to him, you better think of one important possibility -- what if Tripp turns you in?" Kristen gently warned Ava. "He is my son -- he wouldn't do that to me!" Ava insisted. "You don't know that -- [because, in fact, the two of] you don't even know each other, do you?" Kristen countered. "No, we don't," Ava admitted.
"You never finished [telling me] that story about your father making you give [Tripp] up as a baby, [and] I'd really love to hear it --" Kristen begged in an effort to distract Ava, who didn't take the bait. "Are you really willing to risk your freedom? Because if you go to [Tripp] right now, that is exactly what you'll be doing!" Kristen warned while once again preventing Ava from exiting the visitors' lounge.
At the Brady-Johnson townhouse, Tripp nervously eyed the gun that Allie had just produced. "Is that a real gun?" Tripp wondered, already backing away from Allie expectantly. "Mm-hmm. And the bullets are real, too. And it's fully loaded," Allie confirmed, following Tripp into the living room and shutting the townhouse door. "Where the hell did you get a gun?" Tripp asked. "From a lockbox at my Grandma Kate's -- I knew she kept one there, and I figured out the combination," Allie replied. "So...what, you came here to scare me?" Tripp assumed. "I came here to bring you to justice," Allie clarified.
"No one else is willing to do it, so I figured I'd do it myself," Allie reasoned before ordering Tripp to finally confess. "I didn't do anything --" Tripp maintained. "Then how did I get pregnant, [and] why does my son have your DNA?" Allie countered. "I wish I could explain that, okay? But I can't, okay? I have no idea how that possibly could have happened --" Tripp insisted. "I do," Allie stressed. "Okay, look, I can't talk to you while you're holding a loaded gun --" Tripp protested. "All right -- well, then, if you don't want to talk, how 'bout I just shoot you right now," Allie suggested.
"What's it gonna be?" Allie wondered. "I'll talk," Tripp decided. "Say it -- say what you did to me!" Allie demanded. "The thing is --" Tripp stammered. "Stop stalling!" Allie snapped. "I know that you're frustrated and angry, okay? And I wish that I could give you an explanation, but I can't, all right? All I can say -- again -- is that I am incredibly sorry about what happened to you --" Tripp continued. "It didn't just 'happen' -- you made it happen! There's proof!" Allie stressed. "Then why did they decide not to prosecute me?" Tripp countered.
"Please, just put the damn gun down --" Tripp begged. "Not until you admit it!" Allie snapped. "I've already told you --" Tripp tried to repeat. "I want the truth!" Allie demanded while struggling to hold the gun steady, making Tripp even more nervous. "Fine! I'll tell you, all right? The truth is...we had sex that night, okay?" Tripp blurted out -- and Allie calmed down at once, relieved to finally have that admission.
"You're not giving me much choice," Tripp pointed out. "I want to hear the rest," Allie demanded. "We had sex --" Tripp repeated. "We didn't 'have sex' -- you raped me! [But] fine, go ahead -- tell your version of what happened that night," Allie interjected. "We met at a club in London. You were wasted -- falling-down drunk, actually. I brought you home in a cab. We went up to your place, and then you kissed me --" Tripp continued. "And then what happened?" Allie interjected again -- while simultaneously raising the gun and holding it just inches away from Tripp's face. "I...undressed you... You...undressed me... One thing led to another, and...we had sex in your bed... And then I left," Tripp concluded after backing away from Allie again. "What about that note that you said you left?" Allie asked. "You never found it, so...that means I must not have written it, right?" Tripp replied.
"Are we done? Are you satisfied now?" Tripp wondered. "Not even close," Allie declared. "Why? I just admitted to everything --" Tripp protested. "I asked for details, [and] you told me nothing [but] lies!" Allie snapped, inching closer to Tripp with the gun again. "Here's one detail you left out -- I said no!" Allie stressed while circling Tripp with the gun. "And here's another thing you left out -- you pinned me to the bed against my will!" Allie continued, holding the gun just inches away from Tripp's face again. "Your so-called 'admission' makes it sound like what happened that night was consensual -- I kissed you, I undressed you..." Allie continued as Tripp backed away again. "Maybe [I did those things], but that does not give you the right to force yourself on me -- which you did, so admit it!" Allie concluded.
"You know what? This is ridiculous, all right? Okay, look, that story I just told you about us having sex -- I made it up," Tripp declared, confusing Allie. "It. Didn't. Happen. Okay? I was just telling you what I thought you wanted to hear so you wouldn't shoot me," Tripp explained. "I'm willing to go pretty damn far to save my own life, but not that far, okay? I will not say that I raped you when I didn't!" Tripp stressed.
"You need to tell the truth -- last chance!" Allie warned. "The truth is...I did not rape you. We didn't even have sex that night, okay? And I actually did write that note -- but, clearly, you never found it," Tripp summarized. "And, clearly, you're not going to cooperate," Allie decided. "You're still lying, [and] you are still being the sick rapist you've always been...[and] I'm not gonna let you do this to anyone ever again," Allie declared. "You're really gonna kill me?" Tripp asked incredulously. "I never said I was going to kill you," Allie matter-of-factly replied. "Then what are you gonna do?" Tripp wondered. "What my mom did," Allie answered.
"It's funny... I've spent my whole life hating my mom -- hating how she was always trying to control me, control everything -- [but] I learned about what happened to her today, [and now] I think I finally understand what that's all about, and I realize that what I really need to do is be more like her," Allie admitted. "My dad told me that she was raped when she was younger than I am now --" Allie began to elaborate, drawing a seemingly sympathetic sigh from Tripp. "She reported it [and] pressed charges, [and] they went to court...[and] guess who won -- the rapist," Allie continued. "Surprise, surprise -- they let him off, just like you. So, my mom took the law into her own hands [and] got her own justice; [she] made sure that [he] would never -- could never -- rape anyone else again," Allie concluded.
"How did she do that?" Tripp asked nervously. "She shot him -- in the groin. Which is exactly what I'm gonna do to you," Allie calmly replied before pointing the gun at Tripp's crotch. "You can't be serious!" Tripp protested while once again backing away from Allie. "Oh, I'm dead serious," Allie insisted. "Think about what happens to the baby if you shoot me!" Tripp advised. "Henry has Nicole -- and maybe he'll be better off without me," Allie countered. "You'll be behind bars for years!" Tripp warned. "It'll be worth it, because you won't get away with what you did -- and you sure as hell won't rape anyone again," Allie reasoned.
"I'd say this won't hurt a bit, but..." Allie concluded with a shrug before cocking the gun and pointing it at Tripp's crotch again. As Tripp nervously begged Allie not to pull the trigger, Ava burst into the townhouse and grabbed the gun. "Get the hell away from my son!" Ava demanded while aiming the gun at Allie. "Oh, my God -- Mom?" Tripp realized.
Ava holds Allie at gunpoint
Brady visited Nicole at her apartment and asked her to hire him back as her partner. Nicole reluctantly agreed. "I think you're right. We can help each other," Nicole said. "I'm not going to let you down," Brady promised. Brady was eager to start, but Nicole interrupted to tell him that she had also hired someone else. There was a knock at the door.
"That's her," Nicole said. Nicole opened the door to reveal Chloe. "You are Nicole's new hire?" Brady asked. "I am," Chloe said. Nicole hugged Chloe hello and welcomed her home. Chloe explained to Brady that a gig had fallen through, and Nicole had offered her a job.
"The adventure also includes Brady. I hired him, too," Nicole said. "It literally happened about 15 minutes ago," Brady said. Nicole proclaimed that the three of them were a dream team. "As long as you two don't gang up on me," Brady said with a chuckle. Chloe asked Brady if he could give her a ride to the Salem Inn so that she could unpack. After Brady agreed, Chloe told Nicole she would see her at dinner.
In the Kiriakis living room, Sarah called Xander on the phone to tell him that she missed him. "You're not allowed to miss me, are you? You're very angry with me. In a rage. Oh, the names you called me. And Philip loved every second of it," Xander said. Sarah wanted to see Xander, but he cautioned her not to let her guard down. Philip walked in, and Sarah started to yell into the phone.
"Get it through your thick skull, I am not bailing on the charity project with Philip just because you are jealous! We are through, remember?" Sarah said. Sarah told Xander not to call again, and she hung up the phone. In the town square, Xander grinned. "That's the way to sell it, sweetheart," Xander whispered. As Xander approached the Salem Inn, Maggie stopped him.
"What's going on?" Maggie asked. Xander explained that he and Sarah had broken up. Surprised, Maggie asked what had happened. Xander told Maggie the lie about the fight over the charity event. "Maybe [Sarah] likes spending all this time with [Philip] that she could be with me," Xander said. Maggie told Xander it was ridiculous for him to believe that Sarah would pick Philip over him.
"You worked so hard to get Sarah back after she found out about Rachel, and then that's it? A fit of jealousy, and you're done?" Maggie asked in disbelief. Xander countered that he was hurt that Sarah had not made their relationship a priority in her life. Maggie groaned. "It's clear to me that your daughter doesn't love me as much as I thought she did," Xander lied. Maggie argued that the situation could be fixed if Xander would tell Sarah that he was wrong.
"You gave Sarah an ultimatum. My daughter, she doesn't respond well to ultimatums," Maggie advised. Maggie warned Xander not to place his competition with Philip above his relationship with Sarah. "I'm going to talk to Sarah right now. Try to work this out with the two of you," Maggie said. "You can't!" Xander blurted out. Xander covered and said that he and Sarah needed to work things out on their own. Xander assured Maggie that everything would be fine.
Back at the Kiriakis mansion, Philip asked Sarah if Xander had been harassing her on the phone. With a shrug, Sarah said she did not have any issue telling Xander how she felt. "Can't blame him for wanting you back," Philip said. Philip told Sarah that he supported her standing up for herself.
"I'm guessing this is just a spat? That you'll forgive Xander again?" Philip asked. "Maybe I'm just finally seeing who Xander really is," Sarah said. Sarah watched Philip place a folder in his briefcase, and she spotted his laptop inside. As Philip picked up his briefcase, Sarah asked him if he wanted to discuss the charity event. Philip explained that he needed to get back to the office.
Sarah suggested that Philip should steer clear of the office because Xander would blame him for the breakup. "Good luck trying to get any work done with [Xander] stomping all around, giving you a death stare," Sarah said. With a nod, Philip agreed to work on the event at home. Sarah suggested that he get snacks from the kitchen. Philip went into the foyer and closed the doors to the living room so that he could call Ava's voicemail.
"Things are going better than planned. Sarah dumped that idiot Xander, which means I can move in on her. That'll make Xander's head explode. He'll do something really stupid, Victor will fire his ass, and then laundering your money through Titan will happen at lightning speed," Philip said.
In the living room, Sarah fished Philip's laptop out of his briefcase. Sarah inserted a thumb drive, and she copied the files off of the computer. "How long is this going to take?" Sarah muttered to herself. Philip walked in with a bowl of chips. "What are you doing on my laptop?" Philip bellowed. Sarah deftly palmed the thumb drive and asked about the flavor of potato chips. A stern Philip demanded that Sarah answer his question.
"I left mine at the hospital, I figured you wouldn't mind if I used yours, and I made a list of everything that we need to get the charity happening," Sarah said. "I thought I locked it," Philip said. Sarah shrugged. Philip asked to see the list, and Sarah handed him the laptop. As Philip read through the list, he told Sarah he was impressed. Philip announced that he needed to go to a meeting, and Sarah suggested that he should leave his laptop behind for her to work on.
"I'm sure Maggie would let you borrow her tablet," Philip said. Philip promised to send Sarah the list later. After Philip left, Sarah pulled the thumb drive out of her pocket and smiled. Sarah rushed over to the Salem Inn. "What are you doing here? We've broken up! You hate me!" Xander exclaimed. Sarah told Xander not to worry. "Do you really think that I would risk showing up here empty-handed?" Sarah said as she pulled the drive out of her pocket.
In the town square, Brady and Chloe walked to the Salem Inn and talked about Rachel. "I know that being a single parent is not easy, so if you need help, just ask me," Chloe said. Brady suggested that they take Parker and Rachel sledding. Chloe told Brady that she had left Parker in New York with her parents rather than uproot him from school just yet. With a smile, Brady told Chloe that he was confident that Chloe's job would work out.
Brady asked Chloe if she had a man in her life. Chloe admitted that she had rekindled a romance with Philip, but it had fizzled out. "You should know that Philip is actually back here in Salem," Brady said. Chloe was surprised by the news. Brady told Chloe about Philip's demand and Victor's decision to name Philip and Xander as co-CEOs.
"Last I heard, they were working very hard at ousting one another and maybe killing one another, I don't know. Whichever comes first," Brady said. Brady told Chloe his room number, and he invited her to stop by and meet Rachel sometime. "I will do that," Chloe promised. "It's really great to have you back," Brady said. "Salem will always be home," Chloe countered. While Brady left to pick up Rachel, Chloe walked toward the Salem Inn. Philip rounded the corner, and he smiled at Chloe.
At the hospital, Kayla asked Steve to make Tripp move out of their home. Steve stressed that Tripp was his son. "So, you defend [Tripp], and you attack me for wanting justice for Allie?" Kayla asked. Kayla said she could no longer tiptoe around Tripp's feelings. "This is what I need. I need Tripp to move out of our home," Kayla said. Steve asked Kayla how he could tell his son he supported him and then ask him to move out.
"It feels like you are asking me to disown my son," Steve said. "I am asking you to heal our relationship!" Kayla shot back. Kayla told Steve that she could not live in the same house as Tripp, because when she looked at him, she saw the man that had raped her niece. Steve recounted the hardships in Tripp's life.
"I am truly sorry for what Tripp's gone through, and because he is your son, and because I have seen the good that he is capable of, I'm heartbroken. And if you think that I am callously judging him, you are so wrong. This is so painful for me, too," Kayla said. Steve asked for advice. "I swore to him that he is not alone, and now I'm going to ask him to pack?" Steve said. Steve worried aloud that Tripp would say that Steve had betrayed him.
"I hate putting you in this position, and I wouldn't ask if I thought there was any other way," Kayla said. Steve admitted that he had been stubborn to believe that all three of them could live under the same roof. "Tripp is as uncomfortable around you as you are around him," Steve confessed. Steve added that Tripp did not want to cause any trouble in Steve and Kayla's marriage.
"I'm the only parent [Tripp] has got," Steve said. Kayla assured Steve that his bond with Tripp would not be broken if Tripp lived under a different roof. "You're right," Steve said. "I'm so sorry," Kayla whispered. Steve took Kayla's hands in his, and he told her not to be sorry. "I've put you through a lot over the years, and you would never ask for much in return from me. So, if this is what you need, I'll do it. Tripp will be gone before you get home," Steve said.
Kayla returned to work, but she was interrupted by Maggie. "The children are so excited about the Christmas party!" Maggie said. "What did you say?" Kayla said in a daze. Maggie asked if everything was okay. "I hope so," Kayla whispered.
At Kayla and Steve's place, Allie pointed a gun at Tripp's groin. "This is my only way to get justice," Allie said. Tripp begged Allie to think about what she planned to do. "Think about what happens to the baby if you shoot me. You go to prison. He'll be all alone," Tripp said. Allie argued that Henry would be better off with Nicole.
As Tripp cried out, Ava burst through the door. Ava grabbed Allie's gun and said, "Get the hell away from my son." Confused, Tripp muttered, "Mom? That can't be you. You're dead." Ava promised to explain after she dealt "with this little bitch." Ava pointed the gun at Allie, and she told her to raise her hands. "Let me guess. She is the liar that accused you of rape?" Ava asked. "I didn't lie!" Allie yelled. Ava disagreed.
When Allie noted that there was proof, Ava scowled, and she asked Tripp if he had raped Allie. "No," Tripp said. "That's all the proof I need," Ava growled. Tripp stepped between Allie and the gun. Ava warned Tripp not to stop her from dealing with Tripp's "problem."
"Allie is not a problem. She is a person. A good person. I'm not being charged, okay? So, let's just end this," Tripp pleaded. Ava argued that Allie had ruined Tripp's reputation and attempted to shoot him. Tripp reminded Ava that if she shot Allie, she would go to prison. "I've already lost a lot of time with you. I don't want to lose you again," Tripp said. Reluctantly, Ava lowered the gun.
"He just saved your life. Not that you're worth it. And you call him a rapist? You're disgusting," Ava muttered. Tripp whispered at Allie to go. "Never harass my son again," Ava said. Allie swore she would not. Allie asked for her grandmother's gun back. With narrowed eyes, Ava yelled at Allie to leave. After Allie ran off, Ava pocketed the gun.
"My baby boy. You're all grown up," Ava said. "Is it really you, Mom?" Tripp asked. Ava hugged Tripp and confirmed that she was his mother. When Tripp asked Ava how she was alive, Ava told him that Rolf had saved her life. "So, this whole time you were alive?" Tripp asked. Ava said she had been desperate to see Tripp, but she had not wanted to risk punishment for her past actions.
"Like kidnapping Kayla?" Tripp asked. Ava muttered that Kayla was the wrong woman for Steve. "I did what I had to, to protect [Steve] from [Kayla]," Ava said. Tripp noted that the kidnapping had been extreme, but Ava countered that no action was too extreme to protect the people that one loved. Ava said she had been compelled to go to Tripp when she'd seen the news.
"So, you believe me? That I didn't rape her?" Tripp said. When Ava took Tripp's hand and said yes, Tripp asked Ava how she could be so sure when she did not know him. "You're my son. My blood. The very best part of me. Maybe we haven't been together all these years, but I have always loved you," Ava said. Tripp told Ava he had listened to her tapes and DVDs.
"I just wanted you to understand. It's my father's fault that we've lost all this precious time. He was just so determined to keep me away from you," Ava said. "Dad told me the story," Tripp said. Ava smiled. "I know that I can't go public, but I'm so glad that you know that I'm alive and that I love you," Ava said. Tripp admitted that he could not keep Ava's secret. Ava begged Tripp not to tell anyone, but Tripp reminded Ava that Joey was in prison for her murder.
"I am only alive by the grace of God and Rolf. So, Joey deserves to serve every single second of his sentence for what he did to me," Ava said. Tripp argued that Joey regretted his actions and that he deserved to be freed if Ava was alive. "Joey can stay right where he is," Ava said. Tripp noted that Kayla missed her son, but Ava yelled that Kayla's pain was nothing compared to hers.
"We have a chance to build a real relationship, and I want that more than anything. The only way that we are going to have that chance is if you keep my secret," Ava said. With a shake of his head, Tripp said that Allie knew the truth and would tell someone. Ava argued that Allie would not tell the police because she had been in the middle of a crime when Ava had walked in.
"Even if [Allie keeps this a secret], I can't keep this from my dad," Tripp said. Ava said she understood. "For right now, only you can know that I'm alive," Ava pleaded. Tripp noted that Steve had always supported him and put him first. "I have to show [Steve] the same loyalty. I'm sorry, I can't keep this from him," Tripp said. Ava smiled and noted that Tripp was his father's son. Steve walked in, and his jaw dropped open as he saw Ava smile at him.
At Nicole's apartment, an emotional Allie ran in. "It all went so terribly wrong," Allie exclaimed. Nicole asked Allie if she was upset about the call from London. With a sigh, Allie said she'd been so mad about the lack of charges that she had pulled a gun on Tripp. "Did you...?" Nicole started. Allie assured Nicole that Tripp was fine. Concerned, Nicole asked Allie where she had obtained a gun.
"I might have borrowed Grandma Kate's," Allie said sheepishly. "I know that you're upset, but violence is never the answer," Nicole stressed. Nicole asked Allie what had given her the idea to point a gun at Tripp. Allie explained that Lucas had told her about Sami's rape and what Sami had done to her attacker. "I was so close to pulling that trigger," Allie said. Nicole noted that Allie was not her mother, and that was why Allie had not shot Tripp.
"You did do the right thing, Allie. I'm proud of you for that," Nicole said. "Don't be. The only reason I didn't shoot him was because I was practically tackled from behind," Allie explained. Allie told Nicole that Ava had stopped her. "That's impossible. Ava Vitali is dead," Nicole said. "Not anymore," Allie said.