At Julie's Place, Claire and Allie caught up with each other over cups of coffee. Allie was surprised to learn that Claire had been alone on New Year's Eve. Claire explained that Charlie was no longer sick but had decided to spend New Year's Eve alone at Titan, keeping an eye on the place while the higher-ups were all enjoying the holiday, in the hope of earning a few brownie points. "That's my boyfriend for you!" Claire gushed.
At the Dale apartment, Charlie finished feeding Ava some soup -- then noted that it was nice that they had moved on from the incident with the oatmeal that had occurred on Christmas Day. "Well, I was practically starving," Ava grumbled as a way of explaining the decision to start accepting any meal that was offered.
"How long are you gonna keep me tied up here?" Ava tiredly demanded to know. "Not much longer -- I'm almost done with you," Charlie promised. "Yeah? And then what? [I mean, if] you're not gonna kill me, and you're not gonna let me go, [then]...what's the third option?" Ava wondered. "It's probably best if you don't know -- it'll be much less upsetting if you don't see it coming," Charlie warned, but Ava continued probing for details. "I'm gonna have you committed," Charlie eventually informed Ava with a wicked grin.
"It's the perfect solution, don't you think? I mean, you'll be safe...ish... And you'll be out of the way, so you can't tell anybody what I did... Plus, it makes perfect sense, [because] you do have a history of mental illness..." Charlie proudly reasoned. "Only because my father plied me with pills to make me crazy!" Ava defensively clarified. "Eh -- either way, the result was the same," Charlie countered, shrugging dismissively. "I am not mentally ill -- I was doped up! [And] I am completely fine now, [because] I am not on the pills anymore!" Ava stressed. "Actually...you are -- [see], you've been taking them for a while now; you just didn't know it," Charlie revealed, gesturing to the empty soup bowl. "No... How could you?" Ava protested. "Sorry, Mom, but...it had to be done," Charlie insisted.
"How'd you even get the pills?" Ava wondered. "That part was pretty easy -- I just forged a prescription, and they handed them right to me," Charlie bragged. "I can't believe you did this to me..." Ava fretted. "You always did underestimate me..." Charlie grumbled.
Horrified, Ava begged Charlie to abandon the plan. "I won't tell anyone that you took advantage of Allie --" Ava promised. "'Took advantage of' -- wow, look at you, using euphemisms to try to soften me up!" Charlie mused with a snicker. "I wish I could trust you, but...I can't -- especially not now, after Claire and I have gotten so close," Charlie insisted. "So, pretty soon, you will start to lose your grip on reality...and once you're over the edge, I, as your son, will have no choice but to commit you -- for your own good, of course," Charlie summarized with mock disappointment.
"I won't let you get away with this -- I will tell [the doctors] what you did [to Allie, and] that you drugged me --" Ava vowed. "By then, you won't know where -- or even who -- you are. Do you really think that, in the middle of a hallucination, you'll be coherent enough to rat me out?" Charlie countered. "I'll hold on -- I will keep it in my mind --" Ava insisted. "You'll try...but you'll fail," Charlie maintained.
"[Meanwhile], I'll get on with my life. You're gonna live the rest of your days in a padded cell, and Claire and I will live happily ever after," Charlie teasingly whispered to Ava, who shuddered at the thought and struggled to stay composed. "Charlie, you can't do this to me -- [I mean], I am your mother!" Ava protested. "I think we can both agree you haven't exactly been a mother to me," Charlie countered. "I'll do better, I promise you -- just please give me the chance!" Ava begged. "I'm sorry. If it makes you feel better, I'm not exactly enjoying myself. But this is the only solution left," Charlie stressed.
"No, it isn't --" Ava tried to argue, but Charlie received a phone call from Claire just then. "I'm gonna need you to be quiet..." Charlie explained before gagging Ava then answering the call -- and happily agreeing to take a break from work and head over to Julie's Place to spend some time with Claire.
After ending the call, Charlie rushed off to another room in search of the dress shirt that had been received as a Christmas gift from Claire -- then rejoined Ava a short time later, wearing the shirt, and discovered that the medication was finally starting to cause the desired side effects. "I'll be back eventually...but, at that point, you probably won't know the difference," Charlie said to Ava with a smirk before leaving.
When Charlie arrived at Julie's Place a short time later, Allie was still talking to Claire. "I...didn't know you were gonna be here..." Charlie stammered. "Don't mind me -- I was actually just leaving, so..." Allie clarified before starting to rush off, drawing a sigh of relief from Charlie. "Arrivederci!" Charlie called out, causing Allie to freeze in shock.
At the Horton Town Square, Kate assured Jennifer that Jake's lack of sophistication wasn't the problem. "I don't care if a guy gets dirt under his fingernails, and I don't care if he doesn't know which fork to use first," Kate insisted. "Then why don't you want people to know that you're together?" Jennifer wondered. "I'm not embarrassed by Jake -- I'm embarrassed by me," Kate admitted.
Confused, Jennifer asked Kate to elaborate. "[Well, Jake is obviously] younger than me...and if we go public, that's exactly what everyone's gonna be saying -- 'Look at that cougar, pouncing on that hot young guy!'" Kate explained. "That is what you're worried about? You have dated younger men before, [you know]!" Jennifer protested. "Oh, great -- so, that makes it better, that now I'm a serial cougar? I mean, come on!" Kate countered. "Not to mention the fact that he's also a DiMera -- [and] how many of those have I slept with?" Kate added. "Hmm, let's see -- there's been E.J., Stefano, Andre --" Jennifer recalled. "Okay, that's enough!" Kate snapped. "[The point is that] it's just gonna look like I'm sleeping through the entire family," Kate summarized.
"Okay -- people will talk; they will say all sorts of mean and judgmental things, [because] that's what people do," Jennifer conceded. "But you're Kate frickin' Roberts! Since when have you given a damn about what anybody else thinks about you? Since when have you been constrained by the norms of society? You have proven, again and again, that you don't care about doing what you're 'supposed to do' -- you barely care about how your actions affect other people!" Jennifer argued. "Oh, that's...flattering, I think..." Kate muttered.
"But, actually, you're giving me too much credit, because I do have feelings," Kate admitted. "[Then] those feelings are going to get hurt by the people that judge you -- and you're just going to have to deal with that, because this secrecy thing can only go on for so long. [So], my question to you is...how much is Jake worth to you?" Jennifer countered.
At the DiMera mansion, Gwen irritably noted that Jack was going through someone else's belongings -- and had not been given permission to do so. Jack unapologetically explained that Abigail and Anna had found Gwen's secret collection of newspaper articles about the Deveraux clan the previous night. Gwen grumbled that, in other words, Abigail and Anna were just as bad as Jack was about respecting people's privacy.
"I wanted to get to know the family that I was going to be working for," Gwen claimed, giving Jack an innocent shrug. "Ah -- so...this was all just research," Jack skeptically summarized. "That's right -- [and] you're a newspaper man, [so] you understand what it means to do your homework, don't you?" Gwen coolly replied.
"Well, I suppose it's best to know what kind of a situation you're walking into...[but]..." Jack began to argue before pausing to tell Gwen about having reconciled with Jennifer on New Year's Eve. "Lovely -- I knew you would!" Gwen declared, forcing a smile. "Yes, well...[after we reconciled], we compared notes about the marital advice that we had gotten in our time apart -- mainly, yours..." Jack started to elaborate.
"She must have misunderstood," Gwen claimed when Jack repeated what Jennifer had shared. "My wife's a reporter -- she's very good at quoting her sources accurately, [and] I have no reason not to believe her," Jack stressed. "[But] why would I want to cause trouble for you and Jennifer? I have been nothing but kind and supportive of you and your family -- I even threw you a party!" Gwen argued. "That...ended in disaster... Which makes me wonder -- did you have something to do with that, too? [After all], you were with Abigail when she found the letter I wrote to Kate..." Jack countered. "So...you're saying that I somehow just...led her straight to [it]? How would I know about this letter that you wrote to your lover before I even got to town?" Gwen protested. "I don't know," Jack admitted.
"[But] something's going on, and I'm gonna get to the bottom of it -- [because, you see], nothing's more important to me than my family; I love them more than words can express. So, if anyone tries to hurt them, I will do whatever it takes to protect them," Jack declared. "Really? Because, from what I've heard, nobody has hurt their family more than you have -- [I mean], cheating, lying, abandonment..." Gwen argued. "You have done your research," Jack conceded. "Didn't take a lot to find out about your greatest hits," Gwen stressed.
"I don't deny I've made terrible mistakes in my life -- and, yes, a lot of them have hurt Jennifer and my kids. I've lived with that for as long as I can remember. But if you think you know me by reading a bunch of newspaper clippings, think again. You don't want me for an enemy," Jack warned before storming out of the study -- and, once the coast was clear, Gwen started flipping through the collection of newspaper articles in a panic, as if looking for a specific one.
Meanwhile, Chad stood outside one of the bedrooms, glaring at Abigail, who was wearing a robe, and Jake, who was shirtless. "Chad, where have you been?" Abigail asked. "Forget where I've been -- you are exactly where I expected you to be!" Chad replied.
Abigail and Jake both tried to explain why they were together and weren't fully dressed, but Chad refused to listen. "I saw the love nest that you booked at the Salem Inn, [so just] stop denying [that you're sleeping together]!" Chad snapped before producing a copy of the bill for the hotel room and shoving it at Abigail and Jake, who were both confused.
Jake donned a shirt then rushed off, at Abigail's request, so Chad -- who had been threatening violence -- would be more likely to calm down and engage in a productive conversation. "[I can't explain this bill, but] I did not book a room for me and Jake; I would never book a room for me and Jake because there is nothing going on with me and Jake!" Abigail insisted. "[I overheard Jake] telling you that he was gonna keep his distance so I didn't get more suspicious!" Chad shouted. "Yeah, of course he doesn't want you to be any more suspicious of him and me!" Abigail reasoned.
"Which, by the way, there was no [need for your suspicions] in the first place because the person that Jake's running around here having an affair with is Kate!" Abigail revealed. "That...doesn't make any sense..." Chad stammered. "They did a really good job of hiding it," Abigail summarized.
Chad listened in disbelief as Abigail quickly explained how the conclusion had been reached -- and confirmed. "Okay, well...even if Jake and Kate are sleeping together...that doesn't explain why Gwen saw him kissing you, [or why Gwen] heard you booking the room!" Chad argued. "Gwen is mistaken -- or...I don't know, maybe she's lying!" Abigail countered.
"Why would she lie?" Chad wondered. "I don't know...but maybe it has something to do with the secret folder she has on me," Abigail answered before starting to elaborate for Chad. "Going through [Gwen's stuff -- I mean], do you have any idea how paranoid that sounds?" Chad asked incredulously. "You don't really get to talk to me about being paranoid right now," Abigail dryly replied. "But you know how wrong that is, right?" Chad maintained. "She takes care of our kids, Chad, and she's hiding something -- [so], I'm not proud of it, but I am really glad I did it," Abigail countered.
Chad argued that there had to be a reasonable explanation for Gwen's secret collection of newspaper articles about the Deveraux clan. "Only one way to find out -- let's go ask her," Abigail suggested, and Chad reluctantly agreed.
At the Horton Town Square, Kate continued pondering Jennifer's earlier question about Jake -- who eventually approached. "Sorry to interrupt, but...I just need to chat with Kate for a second," Jake began. "No, it's fine -- you're not interrupting; I've said everything I have to say," Jennifer assured Jake before giving Kate a pointed look then walking away.
"How did you find me?" Kate asked Jake. "Just lucky, I guess," Jake replied before changing the subject, telling Kate about what had just happened at the DiMera mansion.
Kate thanked Jake for the warning. Jake assured Kate that everything was going to be okay. "[I mean, if Chad] gets upset at you, you can just tell him that it's over between us," Jake reasoned. "What if I don't want it to be over?" Kate countered. "Sorry, but I'm out -- like I told you last night, there's no point in continuing this when you're ashamed of being with me," Jake maintained.
"I'm not ashamed of you," Kate insisted, confusing Jake. "This is really hard to say, [but...look], I know I come off as a powerful, confident woman -- and I am -- but I also have insecurities, like everyone else, [and the truth is]...I'm not concerned about people wondering why someone like me is with you; [I'm concerned about] them wondering why someone like you is with me," Kate clarified, but that just left Jake even more confused. "I'm concerned about the age thing -- people looking at me and thinking that I'm predatory or desperate," Kate further clarified, drawing a scoff of disbelief from Jake, who insisted that neither accusation would be fair. "I know that, but it's the way I feel -- and that's a frightening thing, you know?" Kate explained with a shrug.
"And, oddly enough, it was Jennifer who made me realize that I really need to get over that -- you know, I kind of need to get over myself -- because you're worth it," Kate concluded. "So...what's that mean?" Jake wondered. "What that means is that I wouldn't mind being public -- you know, I don't mind the world knowing about us...if there still is an 'us,'" Kate clarified, and Jake answered the question with a kiss.
Jennifer entered the Horton house and discovered that Jack was in the process of moving back into it. "I think we might be onto something -- [Gwen's] a bigger problem than we thought," Jack warned Jennifer.
Abigail and Chad found Gwen in the study of the DiMera mansion, still flipping through the collection of newspaper articles. "As I told your father, I was interested in getting to know this family -- there are a lot of stories, as you know, and I wanted to make sure that this was somewhere I wanted to be," Gwen claimed. "Seems pretty reasonable," Chad declared, prompting Gwen to express appreciation for the support. "Fine," Abigail conceded.
"[I'm more interested in asking you about something else] -- according to Chad here, you saw Jake and me kissing...which, [you and I] both know, is not true," Abigail challenged Gwen. "I made it up," Gwen confirmed. "Why would you do that?" Abigail wondered. "If I would have known that was a lie, I wouldn't have..." Chad began to snap at Gwen before stopping abruptly, leaving Abigail confused.
Steve questions Angelo about Allie
When Charlie arrived at Julie's Place to meet up with Claire, Allie excused herself to leave them alone. "Arrivederci," Charlie said with a chuckle. The smile fell from Allie's face. "Are you okay? What is it, what's wrong?" Claire asked. Allie said she was fine, but, worried, Claire pulled her aside to talk.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Claire asked. Allie insisted she was fine, and she left. Nervous, Charlie changed the subject to his new shirt. "I do have good taste," Claire said with a chuckle. Charlie thanked Claire for checking on him on Christmas.
"I was kind of worried that you might have been avoiding me," Claire said. "No place I'd rather be," Charlie said as he took Claire's hand. Charlie told Claire that he was almost done with his project and would soon have more time for her. When Claire suggested that they hang out at Charlie's apartment, he told her no because the apartment was a mess. Charlie suggested that they go to Claire's place instead. When Claire and Charlie returned to her house, she told Charlie that her parents were away on their honeymoon. "So, we have the place all to ourselves," Charlie said.
Kayla visited Marlena in her office at the hospital to tell her that Steve and John had landed in Philadelphia. "I know how concerned you are about John's issues since his aneurysm, and I just wanted you to know that I feel terrible that Steve has taken him on this wild goose chase," Kayla said. Kayla added that she did not believe Steve would get any information out of the mob.
"We both know our husbands have never been ones to back off from a long shot," Marlena said. Kayla confided her fear that Steve was so desperate to prove Tripp's innocence that he was willing to chase any lead. "Tripp has always maintained his innocence. He's never wavered, he's never changed his story. Neither has Allie, for that matter," Marlena said. Marlena said she hoped the investigation would determine the truth.
"I sound so negative. Of course, I want Tripp to be innocent," Kayla said. With a shrug, Kayla said she could not help but doubt Tripp's story. Kayla added that she was struggling with the return of Ava, the departure of Joey, and her rocky relationship with Steve. With a laugh, Kayla said she would need to make a professional appointment with Marlena to talk. Marlena assured Kayla that she had every right to be upset by Ava's return.
With a furrowed brow, Kayla admitted that she was concerned that Ava had disappeared. "Does anybody know what happened?" Marlena asked. "It is like Ava vanished from the face of the earth," Kayla said. Kayla added that she hoped Ava was okay, but she also never wanted to see her again.
"I'm officially a terrible person," Kayla said with a chuckle. "Ava is a terrible person. And as for Tripp, let's just reserve judgment until we hear from John and Steve," Marlena counseled. Kayla thanked Marlena for her reserve, considering Allie had been the victim. Allie knocked on the door. "I'm going to take your advice," Kayla said to Marlena as she left Marlena to talk to Allie alone.
"Are you okay?" Marlena asked Allie. Allie said she was not sure. "I started thinking about that night. Out of nowhere," Allie said. When Marlena asked if something had triggered the memory, Allie admitted that she had thought about the rape when Charlie had joined her and Claire. "Could [Charlie] be the trigger? He's practically a stranger -- that doesn't make sense, does it?" Allie asked. Marlena noted that small things could trigger a memory.
"Did [Charlie] say anything to you?" Marlena asked. Allie noted that Charlie had seemed familiar to her. "I think that something about [Charlie] reminds me of Tripp," Allie admitted. With a shrug, Marlena commented that there was a small resemblance between the two men. Allie worried aloud that she would be upset by every man she met that looked like Tripp.
"It's a process," Marlena reminded Allie. Marlena assured Allie that she was healing. "Then why do I feel worse than ever right now?" Allie asked. Marlena redirected Allie to her recent accomplishments. "You're examining your feelings, you're trying to understand them, dealing with them. I'm proud of you. I think you should be proud of yourself," Marlena advised. With a shake of her head, Allie said she was disappointed that Tripp would not accept responsibility for his actions.
In Philadelphia, Steve and John confronted Angelo in a café. "Did you rape my granddaughter?" John growled. Angelo showed his gun, and he warned John to back off. John was insistent, and he pushed Angelo to answer the question. Steve explained that Allie had been raped in London. Angelo denied any knowledge about Allie's rape. Steve told Angelo that Tripp's -- and therefore Angelo's -- DNA was a match for Allie's baby.
"[Rape] doesn't sound like something [Tripp would] do," Angelo said. "Exactly," Steve agreed. Angelo added that if Allie had accused Tripp, then Tripp likely had raped Allie. "Tripp swore he didn't do it. Turns out a blood relative could produce the same DNA test results. And that would be you," Steve explained. John leaned close to Angelo and asked him again about Angelo's last trip to London. Angelo said he did not know about a rape. After some questions, Steve realized that Angelo had been in contact with Ava.
"So, you must know that [Ava] is missing," Steve said. A look of concern crossed Angelo's face. "Wait. What happened?" Angelo asked. Steve offered to tell Angelo about Ava if Angelo talked about his whereabouts in December. Angelo confirmed he had been in prison in December.
"Is there another male relative we don't know about?" Steve asked. Angelo thought for a moment. "Maybe it was Ava's other son," Angelo said. "Ava's other son?" Steve asked with confusion. Angelo told Steve and John that Ava had given birth to a second son after Tripp, but the boy's father had raised him.
"If Tripp has a half-brother, that would make this DNA match even more likely," Steve said. John asked Angelo about the other son. "His name is Charlie," Angelo said. When John pushed for more information, Angelo noted that Charlie wore glasses and was accident prone. Angelo attempted to leave, but Steve blocked his path. As Angelo glowered at Steve, John stepped forward and told Angelo that he was free to go. After Angelo left, Steve asked John why he had let their only lead walk away. "I think I know where Charlie is," John said.
Outside the pub, Tripp hung up a missing persons poster for Ava. "What the hell are you doing?" Roman asked. Roman noted that the wall was private property. When Tripp asked for permission to put up his poster, Roman said no. "The best thing for this town would be for Ava Vitali to take off to God knows where and never come back. And I would hope to hell her son would follow," Roman said.
"My mom could be hurt or worse," Tripp said. Roman told Tripp he did not care about Ava or him. "You are damn lucky I don't beat the hell out of you!" Roman yelled. When Tripp protested his innocence, Roman pointed out that the DNA matched Tripp. Tripp told Roman that Steve and John were following up on a lead that might prove Tripp's innocence. Roman was furious that John had doubted Allie's story.
"It's about getting to the truth," Tripp said. "The truth is you are just as sick as your mother," Roman countered. Kayla intervened to calm Roman, and she urged Tripp to head over to the square to finish with his flyers. After Tripp walked away, Roman apologized to Kayla. Roman explained that he had been upset about Allie but also because he had believed that Tripp had been a good guy. "You can't believe that Tripp is really innocent, can you?" Roman asked. "It's really unlikely, but anything is possible," Kayla admitted.
In the park, Tripp called Steve's phone and left a message about Angelo. "I'm so hoping that you got [Angelo] to admit that he is the one that raped Allie," Tripp said. As Tripp ended his call, Allie marched over. "What the hell was that about?" Allie demanded.
In the DiMera living room, Gwen admitted to Abigail and Chad that she had lied about having seen Abigail and Jake kiss. "If I'd known it was a lie..." Chad started. Curious, Abigail asked Chad to finish his sentence. "What would you have done? And what would you have not done?" Abigail asked.
"Then I never would've gotten drunk and passed out and spent the night at the Salem Inn," Chad said as he averted his eyes. "Well, that's why I have a bill for a room that I didn't book," Abigail countered. Abigail returned her focus to Gwen and asked her where she had been on New Year's Eve night. "I was with Chad," Gwen said. Abigail demanded to know if Gwen had slept with Chad. Gwen lied and said that she had stayed with Chad because he had been so drunk that she had been worried about him.
Furious, Abigail demanded to know why Gwen had lied about the kiss and the room at the Salem Inn. "I'll tell you everything, but you might be sorry that you asked," Gwen said. Gwen explained that she had lied about the kiss because she had discovered Jake and Kate's affair, and Jake had threatened her to cover for him. "So, you were terrified of Jake, huh? Really?" Abigail asked. Gwen reminded Abigail that she had run away from Jake and hidden in Bayview because she had been terrified of Jake before.
"We're gonna fast-forward to the part where you're trying to ruin my life," Abigail interrupted. "I never intended for that," Gwen said. Gwen explained that she had panicked when she had lied about Abigail and Jake kissing. Chad attempted to defend Gwen, but Abigail was not moved.
"You knew exactly what you were doing, you knew how much trouble it would cause for Chad and me if he thought I was even looking in Jake's direction," Abigail said. When Gwen apologized, Abigail shook her head. "You're not sorry, and you're lying to me, and I know why," Abigail growled. Abigail accused Gwen of chasing after Chad.
When Gwen denied the charge, Abigail called Gwen a great liar. Abigail asked about the folder. "Last time I checked, it was perfectly legal to research your employer," Gwen said. "You were worming your way into my house, into my family, into my life, and you're good. You're really, really good," Abigail said. Abigail argued that Gwen had made her believe that Gwen was her friend while at the same time Gwen had implied to Chad that Abigail was unfaithful.
"I'm kind of shocked you didn't take advantage of him last night. Seems like that would have been a really good opportunity while he was all passed out, drunk in a hotel," Abigail said. Abigail gasped. "Unless that was a lie," Abigail said to Chad. After a moment, Abigail asked Gwen if she had taken advantage of Chad.
"Since you don't want to believe a single word I'm saying, I think, Chad, I'll let you take this one. Did you feel taken advantage of last night?" Gwen asked. "I was drunk last night. No. I wasn't taken advantage of," Chad said. Chad added that Gwen had manipulated them. Abigail told Gwen that she needed to move out because she was fired.
"When you leave this house, I don't want to see you anywhere near me, my kids, or my husband ever again!" Abigail yelled. Gwen looked at Chad and asked him if he felt the same way. "Yes, he does!" Abigail interjected. When Gwen argued that Chad could answer for himself, Abigail warned Gwen to shut up, or Abigail would knock her teeth out.
"Abigail, I'll deal with her," Chad said. Abigail agreed, but she warned Chad not to fall for any of Gwen's stories. "I cannot believe that I thought that you were my friend. You better be gone when I get back," Abigail told Gwen. After Abigail left, Chad told Gwen that she had tricked him.
"It didn't take much for you to doubt your wife. I just connected your sad little dots for you, and you were all too ready to believe me," Gwen said. Chad noted that if Abigail learned of their one-night stand, she would be crushed. "Then it will be our little secret," Gwen purred. Chad asked Gwen to leave. "I am not leaving," Gwen said. Gwen ordered Chad to talk Abigail into letting her stay -- or else she would tell Abigail the truth.
John scrambles to warn Claire about Charlie
In Philadelphia, John started telling Steve about Claire's new boyfriend -- who just happened to match Angelo's description of Charlie, right down to the name.
At the Brady house, Charlie somewhat flirtatiously told Claire that they were going to have to think of a way to take full advantage of the fact that they had the whole place to themselves. Feigning ignorance, Claire innocently wondered if Charlie already had something in mind. "I haven't seen your room before -- maybe we could check it out," Charlie awkwardly suggested. "Why, Charlie Dale! Is that your roundabout way of saying you want to go to my room to have sex?" Claire playfully replied. "No, I didn't say that..." Charlie stammered. "So, you don't want to have sex with me," Claire summarized, feigning indignation. "No, I didn't say that, either -- of course I do; I mean, look at you!" Charlie blurted out. "No, that's wrong -- it's not just because of the way you look; it's because you're so nice..." Charlie backpedaled.
Claire stifled a laugh and apologized for having seized the opportunity to make Charlie sweat a bit. "I didn't know that you were -- I don't know things like that..." Charlie stammered. "[Anyway]...I don't want to have sex with you just to have sex -- it's because of the way I feel about you, ever since you spilled that smoothie on me; I just...I think that you're a really special girl. And sometimes, I know, the things that I say don't come out right -- [actually], not 'sometimes' but all the time --" Charlie continued. "You're actually doing pretty good right now," Claire interjected. "I just...I get nervous sometimes -- and tongue-tied -- because...I haven't ever had a girlfriend...and then I don't know how to act, and then I do the wrong thing, and --" Charlie continued. "The wrong thing?" Claire repeated, making Charlie squirm a bit.
"Well...I mean...I just...I don't know how to act in a relationship... I mean, you've had relationships -- you've been with guys, you've lived with guys... I've never lived with anyone," Charlie clarified. "Well, yeah, I've had boyfriends...but I never felt like they loved me as much as I loved them; I always felt like I was their second choice," Claire admitted. "Then they were stupid," Charlie declared, making Claire laugh.
Claire told Charlie that Ciara and Ben had clearly been each other's soul mate. "I never had a soul mate," Claire admitted. "Me, neither...but maybe we're both finding that now," Charlie replied. "Do you really think that we might be soul mates?" Claire asked excitedly. "I know that we haven't known each other all that long, but...sometimes, you just know; at least, I do," Charlie reasoned with a shrug.
Just then, John placed a call to Claire's cell phone -- and Charlie was quick to assure Claire that it would be okay to answer the call. "You just told me I might be your soul mate. I don't want to talk to anyone else but you [right now]," Claire admitted to Charlie before turning off the device. "[Although, honestly], I'm getting a little scared -- in the past, every time things have started to go right for me, that's when they started to go really, really wrong..." Claire fretted. "Yeah, well, those other guys, they let you down -- I would never do that," Charlie countered.
"And we don't have to do anything that you're scared of -- I feel lucky just to be with you, lucky that you would even go out with me..." Charlie stressed. "You don't think that I'm too clingy or obsessive?" Claire asked incredulously. "No, not at all -- and even if you were, I would be flattered," Charlie quickly replied. "And it doesn't bother you that I spent time in a mental hospital?" Claire wondered. "No, it doesn't," Charlie confirmed.
"I mean, we all have...you know, dark impulses -- even me," Charlie reasoned. "Like what?" Claire asked, prompting Charlie to start thinking about what was in store for Ava.
Claire eventually got Charlie's attention again. "Where'd you go?" Claire wondered. "I was just thinking," Charlie replied. "About those 'dark impulses'?" Claire assumed. "No -- about how much I don't like this conversation!" Charlie snapped. "It's depressing, and I just want [us] to be happy together -- I don't want to focus on our mistakes, on things that we wish we had never done..." Charlie reasoned in a calmer tone. "I get that, [but...look], I opened up to you about my past because I wanted us to be close, and the only way we can do that is if we're honest with each other -- if we know everything about one another," Claire argued.
"If there is something bothering you... [Look], you can tell me anything -- I'm not gonna judge you, I promise," Claire stressed. "I'm glad you said that...but nothing is bothering me -- not anymore -- [because], for the first time since I moved to Salem -- for the first time in my life, actually -- I feel like everything's gonna work out okay," Charlie declared. "I know it will," Claire agreed. "I think we've done enough talking," Charlie announced.
At the hospital, Marlena received an office visit from Ben -- who confirmed, when asked, that their next session was actually scheduled for sometime the following week. "I know I shouldn't have just shown up here without calling first, [but] I don't have anywhere else to turn..." Ben admitted. "It's all right -- I've got some time," Marlena insisted.
Ben breathed a sigh of relief then settled in a chair at Marlena's desk and started to explain the reason for the visit. "I still see Ciara -- everywhere -- [and] I still talk to her... [And] I know that sounds crazy, but it doesn't feel that way to me -- it just...it feels like she's still with me," Ben revealed. "In some ways, she is," Marlena stressed, drawing a slight smile from Ben. "You know, the only time that I'm actually, really happy is when I'm able to sleep, [because] I get to dream about her...but then I wake up, and I just feel...empty -- like I'm not really living; I'm just...going through the motions," Ben admitted. "Sometimes, 'going through the motions' is living; [I mean], that's the way we heal," Marlena advised. "I don't know..." Ben argued.
"Sometimes, I don't even know why I bother..." Ben fretted. "Most people that are grieving go through exactly what you're going through right now. It might help you to talk to people that are struggling -- it might be a comfort to you. Or maybe you'd want to join a grief support group of some sort," Marlena suggested. "I don't think I could talk about stuff like this with strangers," Ben protested. "What about with a friend?" Marlena wondered. "I mean...there's Jake, [but]...I mean, he's not really big on talking about feelings..." Ben answered. "What about with Claire?" Marlena asked.
"She's grieving for Ciara, too," Marlena pointed out. "Yeah, I know...[and], I mean, we have talked...some... She helped me go through all of Ciara's things -- I don't think I would have been able to do it without her..." Ben admitted. "Have you talked to her lately?" Marlena asked. "No... I haven't really been in touch with anybody lately..." Ben replied.
"Well, think about it -- maybe you and Claire could help each other," Marlena advised Ben before apologetically pausing to take a phone call from John. "Is everything all right?" Ben wondered after Marlena ended the call. "No -- I think we may have a situation," Marlena admitted before asking if Ben had ever met Claire's boyfriend. "Yeah, once -- she introduced me to him, [and then] she actually invited me to have breakfast with them, but I don't think he really liked that idea; [I mean], I just think he really wanted Claire all to himself," Ben revealed, drawing a look of concern from Marlena.
"You'll have to excuse me -- I've gotta make sure that Claire's all right," Marlena vaguely explained before starting to rush off -- but Ben followed. "If Claire's in trouble, then I want to help," Ben stressed, and Marlena agreed.
At the Walker-Brady apartment, Nicole continued a phone conversation with Eric. "Honey, I know it's not your fault, but I'm just disappointed, that's all," Nicole said -- just as someone knocked on the apartment door.
Nicole said a quick goodbye to Eric then opened the apartment door -- and found Rafe standing on the other side of it. "I haven't seen you since Christmas," Nicole noted. "Been busy," Rafe replied.
"[Anyway], I was shopping for David, and then I saw something for Henry, and I thought Allie might like it," Rafe explained, holding up a gift bag. "She'll love it," Nicole predicted, snatching the gift bag. "But she's not here," Nicole added before apologizing for having just been terse with Rafe, who dismissed the concern.
Nicole and Rafe soon started discussing Allie's decision to take Tripp to civil court. Rafe carefully admitted to Nicole that it was hard to reconcile Allie's version of Tripp with the version of Tripp that Haley had seen during the deportation fiasco -- or the version of Tripp that was desperate to find Ava. "[But] I am not saying that I don't believe Allie -- [and Tripp] definitely has gone down some dark roads [in the past]," Rafe diplomatically stressed.
Nicole irritably guessed that Rafe wasn't making Ava's disappearance a priority for the Salem Police Department. "I don't let my personal feelings interfere with my work. The problem is, we've had nothing -- not one clue, not one lead. It's like the woman has vanished into thin air," Rafe clarified. "Sorry -- I didn't mean to jump to conclusions," Nicole backpedaled.
Rafe again dismissed the concern, knowing that Eric's absence had been taking a toll on Nicole. "Every time I talk to him, you know, I try to stay upbeat, 'cause I know he's doing amazing work -- important work -- but I just miss him so much, [and] I'm starting to feel like I'm never gonna see him or hold him again, and...it just hurts, Rafe -- it hurts," Nicole admitted, fighting back tears.
"Of course you're gonna see each other again --" Rafe insisted. "How? Because every time we make a plan, something terrible happens! [I mean], he was supposed to come home for Christmas, [but then] he got stranded in Ethiopia, [so] I bought a ticket to go see him, [but then] all the flights got canceled -- [and] when I [finally] found a flight, it happened to be on the same date that Holly was having a dance recital, and I couldn't miss that... [It just] feels like all of our married life has been apart rather than together," Nicole fretted. "That can't be easy --" Rafe began to acknowledge.
"I don't have the right to feel sorry for myself," Nicole suddenly backpedaled. "You can feel sorry for yourself with me anytime," Rafe assured Nicole before apologetically stepping aside to take a phone call from John. "What did John want?" Nicole asked after Rafe ended the call. "It's about Allie's case... I'm not sure exactly, but..." Rafe replied before saying goodbye to Nicole then rushing off.
At the park, Tripp told Allie that it probably wasn't a good idea for them to be talking to each other. "I don't want to talk to you, [but] I need you to explain what you just said to whoever was on the phone," Allie countered. "What did you hear?" Tripp wondered. "I heard you trying to point the finger at someone else; I heard you trying to blame someone else for raping me!" Allie clarified.
"I'm really not trying to point the finger at someone else; I'm just trying [to] get to the truth," Tripp explained before starting to walk away, maintaining that talking to Allie outside of court probably wasn't a good idea. "You owe me!" Allie argued, stopping Tripp, who sighed then reluctantly elaborated. "No one -- not one person -- is going to believe this bull; it doesn't even pass the laugh test," Allie insisted. "John Black isn't laughing," Tripp countered. "I was just with my grandma, and she didn't say anything about Grandpa John going to Philadelphia," Allie protested. "Maybe she didn't want to say anything until they had some news," Tripp reasoned.
"I mean, you've gone through enough already --" Tripp acknowledged. "Because of you!" Allie snapped. "I know that's how you see it, and I know that you assume that I think you're lying about me being the one who attacked you, but I don't think you're lying -- I swear," Tripp stressed. "I know you remember a hand holding you down, and I know you remember you said no. [So...look], I know my dad has already asked you this, but...since there's another explanation for the DNA test --" Tripp continued. "A mythical cousin is not an 'explanation' --" Allie protested. "Just...please, just...can you think back to that actual moment of that man holding you down and tell me...do you actually remember seeing me?" Tripp concluded.
Allie fought back tears while pondering Tripp's question but didn't say anything. "I'm sorry -- you don't have to answer that," Tripp eventually assured Allie. "I didn't mean to push," Tripp stressed. "Look, I won't bother you again, okay? When my dad and John get home, my lawyer will talk to your lawyer," Tripp promised. "I'm sorry," Tripp repeated before rushing off -- and Allie remained silent, still deep in thought and fighting back tears.
Allie eventually recovered then headed back to the Walker-Brady apartment and told Nicole about the conversation with Tripp. "John called Rafe [earlier], and then Rafe took off in a big hurry..." Nicole revealed after Allie mentioned that John was helping Steve track down Tripp's relative in Philadelphia.
At the Dale apartment, Ava -- feeling more disoriented with each passing minute, thanks to the side effects of the medication that Charlie had been providing -- fantasized about Tripp swooping in to save the day. However, the fantasy eventually took a dark turn, thanks to an appearance from Charlie, who stabbed Tripp in the back with a butcher knife. Next, Steve appeared and knocked Charlie out -- but Tripp was already dead at that point, and Steve argued that Ava was to blame. "You're a lunatic, and you gave birth to a lunatic! I'll never forgive him, and I will never forgive you -- you both murdered my son!" Steve spat at Ava before picking up Tripp's lifeless body then rushing out of the apartment. A short time later, Charlie regained consciousness and decided to kill Ava as punishment for caring only about Tripp and Steve.
Rafe eventually arrived at the apartment, having gotten the address from John and Steve, and kicked open the door after hearing a crash inside -- the sound of a chair falling to the hardwood floor, with Ava still tied to it but no longer conscious. Rafe recognized Ava at once and worriedly checked for a pulse.
Ben helps Marlena search for Claire
At the hospital, Valerie entered the Price-Grant room and cheerfully greeted Eli and Lani, who were preparing to take the twins home. Valerie somewhat teasingly wondered if Lani and Eli had picked out names for the twins yet. Lani coolly revealed the boy's name -- which Valerie loved -- and then Eli nervously revealed the girl's name. "Huh," Valerie muttered, forcing a smile.
"Mom, the next one's gonna be named 'Valerie,' okay? I swear to God -- I don't even care if it's a boy!" Eli desperately stressed, and Lani helpfully nodded in agreement, but Valerie laughed off the matter then changed the subject, handing Eli a gift bag. "I was expecting a baby blanket or something like that, but...thank you?" Eli said after reaching inside the gift bag and pulling out an electric breast pump. "You guys are the parents of twins -- [so], Eli, you're gonna have to help Lani with the feedings if she's ever gonna get any sleep!" Valerie reasoned. "Thank you," Lani said to Valerie, forcing a smile.
Valerie offered to go to the Brady Pub and pick up a bunch of meals to put in Eli and Lani's freezer so they wouldn't have to cook for a while -- and the couple gratefully approved the idea. "You still have the key to our place, right?" Eli asked. "I do -- [and] I'll be waiting there when you bring Carver and...Jules...home for the first time," Valerie replied before rushing off.
Eli soon realized that something was bothering Lani. "If you offer [a baby] a bottle, sometimes they don't want to breastfeed anymore!" Lani fretted. "As long as they get fed..." Eli reasoned with a dismissive shrug. "Did you read the book? [Listen], it's true!" Lani snapped. "Baby, look...I don't want to mess this up any more than you do, [but] we're gonna make mistakes -- [and], I promise you, they'll forgive us," Eli assured Lani, who chuckled and conceded the point.
Eli soon changed the subject, producing a jewelry box -- and, inside, Lani found a heart-shaped locket that contained separate pictures of each twin. Lani thanked Eli for the gift and promised to wear it "forever" -- but Eli warned that Lani would need to take it off at least once so the name of each twin could be engraved on the back of it, where their birth date had already been placed.
Valerie entered the Brady Pub and greeted Abe -- who, as it turned out, was also picking up a bunch of meals to put in Eli and Lani's freezer so they wouldn't have to cook for a while. "Oh, well -- now they'll have even more time for Carver and...Jules..." Valerie declared. "You don't like that name," Abe concluded. "Oh, no, I do -- it's...lovely... [Look, it's just that]...well, they said they wanted to name the babies [after people] they could look up to, [and] I just...I don't know that I'd put Julie Williams in that category -- she was so horrible to Lani," Valerie explained. "[But] Julie's worked hard to make it up to Lani [since then, and] being willing to admit your mistakes and trying to change -- that's not a bad quality," Abe argued. "Oh, Mayor Carver -- you are still one smooth talker," Valerie conceded.
Valerie soon stepped aside to take a phone call about a patient -- and, seconds later, Roman entered the pub and distractedly apologized to Abe for the delay with the meals. "What's wrong?" Abe asked. "It's about Allie...and, as a matter of fact, if you've got a couple of minutes, I'd like to talk to you about it," Roman replied.
"God only knows how many Vitalis there are out there..." Abe mused after Roman finished repeating what Kayla had shared earlier. "Yeah, well...John and Steve will be home soon enough -- maybe we'll find out more [then]," Roman declared with a shrug, still not convinced that the detectives weren't just grasping at straws.
At the Dale apartment, Rafe managed to rouse Ava, who was still disoriented. "Who did this to you?" Rafe asked while removing Ava's gag -- but there was no response.
Ava was bound to a chair with zip ties, not ropes, so Rafe produced a pocketknife -- but Ava saw Charlie producing a bloody butcher knife instead. "Stay away from me!" Ava snapped. "Please don't hurt me!" Ava begged. "Put that knife down, Charlie!" Ava shouted. "Ava, you're safe, okay? I'm not Charlie," Rafe stressed. "I'm a cop," Rafe explained. "I'm not gonna hurt you," Rafe promised.
Ava fearfully backed away as soon as Rafe finished cutting the zip ties. "We've met before -- remember me?" Rafe whispered. "Rafe?" Ava slowly realized. "Yeah," Rafe confirmed. "You're too late -- Charlie, he killed Tripp!" Ava tearfully revealed. "Are you sure?" Rafe asked. "Don't you see all the blood all over the floor?" Ava replied. "There isn't any blood," Rafe insisted, but Ava still saw otherwise -- and continued providing the details of the earlier hallucination as facts, despite being confronted with conflicting information each time.
Marlena and Ben went to the Brady house in search of Claire, having apparently checked other places first. "She's not here, either!" Marlena fretted to Ben before placing a call to Claire's cell phone -- a call that went unanswered. "People turn their phones off -- doesn't mean she's in trouble," Ben assured Marlena, who conceded the point.
"Look, I want to help you find her, but could you maybe tell me why you think Charlie's a threat to her?" Ben requested. "I really appreciate you helping out without knowing any of the details --" Marlena began to respond. "Come on -- after all you've done for me, I owe you," Ben interjected. "[But] until John is back, I don't feel that I can confide in you the reasons that I think Charlie may be a danger to Claire," Marlena concluded.
"Look, if you tell me you got a gut feeling about this guy, that's all I need to know -- and if you think Claire's in trouble, I will do whatever I can to help," Ben stressed. "I appreciate that so much..." Marlena began to reiterate before suddenly noticing that Claire's cell phone was lying on the cushion of the living room couch. "She never goes anywhere without [this] -- it's actually an issue between us -- [so] she must be here somewhere," Marlena declared. "Then why didn't she answer the door?" Ben wondered. "[She once told me that] she liked to go down in the basement [to] practice her music so she wouldn't disturb anybody -- maybe she's down there with headphones on," Marlena guessed. "You check there, and I'll check the rest of the house," Ben advised.
Ben eventually entered a bedroom and found Claire and Charlie inside -- making out on a bed while in the process of undressing each other. "Get the hell away from her!" Ben shouted at Charlie. "What is the matter with you? What are you doing here? [And] how did you even get in?" Claire snapped at Ben while climbing out of bed and donning a robe. "Get out of here!" Charlie stammered at Ben. "Actually, I'm gonna be staying," Ben replied before disgustedly ordering Charlie to don a shirt -- and button it from top to bottom.
"What's your problem?" Charlie wondered. "I need to talk to Claire -- alone," Ben explained. "Well, I don't want to talk to you, Ben, [so] get out of this house!" Claire snapped. "Sorry, but I'm not going anywhere," Ben insisted, adding that Marlena was in another room and needed to talk to Claire right away. "Are you kidding me?" Claire asked incredulously. "No, I'm not kidding you -- do you want me to send her in here?" Ben tiredly replied. "No!" Claire protested, shuddering at the thought. "I'm gonna stay here with Chucky while you talk to Marlena," Ben informed Claire while glaring at Charlie. "Don't you dare lay a hand on him!" Claire warned Ben before storming off in search of Marlena. "You're not going anywhere," Ben stressed when Charlie tried to follow Claire.
"She is my girlfriend, and if she is getting bad news, I should be there with her!" Charlie argued. "Claire's grandparents don't want that," Ben revealed. "You're making that up! Why would they not want Claire and I to be together? I met most of her family at Claire's parents' wedding -- they like me!" Charlie protested. "I don't know anything about that part, Chuck -- I wasn't there," Ben replied with a shrug.
"You can't keep me here -- I'll call the cops! And I really think that they would take my word over yours..." Charlie warned, drawing a scoff from Ben. "You can go...but you're not gonna interrupt Dr. Evans and Claire's conversation," Ben stressed before starting to escort Charlie to the back door.
Meanwhile, Claire found Marlena in the living room. "Where have you been?" Marlena demanded to know after hugging Claire and breathing a sigh of relief. "In my room..." Claire revealed. "You didn't hear us calling you?" Marlena asked incredulously. "No -- I had music on...and...I have company..." Claire stammered. "Charlie?" Marlena assumed. "Yeah," Claire confirmed.
"Is something bad going on? Is it Mom or Dad?" Claire wondered. "No -- they're fine," Marlena insisted. "Okay -- then why are you and Grandpa so anxious to talk to me?" Claire demanded to know. "Look, I want you to come home with me -- and then, when your grandfather gets back, he can explain everything to you..." Marlena replied while heading toward the front door, but Claire stayed put. "Charlie is waiting for me in my room," Claire reiterated. "I don't think you should be around Charlie anymore," Marlena advised. "Why?" Claire asked.
"Grandma, I'm not a teenager anymore -- I am capable of making my own choices!" Claire stressed when Marlena didn't immediately respond to the question. "I like Charlie -- I really like him -- and he likes me, too, and we want to be together, so...if you don't tell me why you have a problem with him, then I'm gonna go back to my room, and you need to go!" Claire added, drawing a sigh and a nod from Marlena.
"Your grandfather and Steve have been out of town, doing some investigating... [They're looking into] what happened to Allie... We're not sure that Tripp is guilty --" Marlena carefully tried to explain. "But his DNA matches the baby's -- it has to be him!" Allie argued. "Not necessarily -- I mean, it could also be a relative," Marlena countered. "Okay -- I guess that is possible..." Claire conceded.
"But what does that have to do with Charlie?" Claire wondered. "Have I ever lied to you?" Marlena evasively responded. "No," Claire admitted. "[So], I need you to believe in me now -- I need you to come home with me," Marlena requested. "Then I will -- [but, first], I have to go and explain to Charlie --" Claire insisted. "Charlie just left," Ben revealed, joining Claire and Marlena in the living room. "Without saying goodbye to me?" Claire incredulously protested. "Yeah -- he seemed pretty anxious to get out of here," Ben explained with a shrug. "I'd guess so, since you practically broke the door down..." Claire grumbled before rushing off to get dressed.
"That was close," Ben said to Marlena once the coast was clear. "Thank you. [Now], hopefully, I will get her back home, and maybe John will be there, and he can explain to her exactly what's going on," Marlena replied.
At the hospital, Kayla entered one of the patient rooms and started to greet the patient, whose hands were tethered to the bed with restraints. "Ava?" Kayla realized. "What happened? Did Tripp find you?" Kayla asked. "Tripp's dead!" Ava replied. "What? Please, God, no..." Kayla whispered. "It's true -- Patch is burying him right now," Ava elaborated. "Oh, no -- that's not possible; Steve's not even in Salem," Kayla argued. "Yes, he is -- I saw him!" Ava countered. "You know, I think you need to see a doctor other than me -- someone that you do not have a history with," Kayla decided before rushing off.
"Damn you, Charlie! God, I wish you'd never been born!" Ava tearfully spat while tugging at the restraints.
Kayla found Rafe at the nurses' station. "Your 'disoriented woman' is Ava Vitali!" Kayla stressed. "Yes -- and I meant to brief you about that before you saw her, and I didn't... I'm sorry," Rafe replied. "It's okay," Kayla insisted before pressing Rafe to go ahead and provide that briefing. "One thing I know for sure -- Steve and John are on a flight right now from Philadelphia," Kayla interjected when Rafe repeated Ava's claim about having seen Steve earlier that day. "Never heard of him," Kayla admitted when Rafe revealed that Charlie Dale, a new suspect in Allie's rape case, was apparently the person who had tied Ava to a chair. "Evidently, he's dating John's granddaughter," Rafe reported, finding it surprising that Kayla didn't know anything about Claire's new boyfriend yet.
"From what I could see, [Ava's] either had some kind of breakdown or she was drugged -- and I've already called for a tox screen," Kayla informed Rafe. "Will you do me a favor and get in touch with Tripp -- just make sure that he's okay, [and] let him know that his mother has been found?" Rafe requested. "I'll do my best...[but] what about Claire? I don't think that she should be left in the dark!" Kayla replied. "Well, John said that Marlena is reaching out to [Claire]...and, for her sake, I hope that Steve is wrong about this kid Charlie," Rafe declared before rushing off.
Kayla soon returned to Ava's room. "You said you were getting another doctor. I don't want you here!" Ava spat. "And I don't want to be here. I asked another doctor to examine you, but he is busy right now," Kayla replied. "I want Patch -- I need to see Patch! Our son is dead --" Ava fretted. "I don't think so --" Kayla argued. "Yeah, well, what do you know?" Ava snapped. "I think that you are disoriented [and] hallucinating. [Anyway], I have left a message for Tripp to come here so you could see for yourself that he's fine --" Kayla revealed. "You're a liar -- you lie!" Ava tearfully shouted while trying to kick Kayla, who was a safe distance away.
"I need to draw your blood so I can find out what drug you've been given --" Kayla explained while producing a syringe. "No way -- my son already tried to kill me, and I'm not letting you have a crack at me, too!" Ava protested. "Ava, Tripp loves you -- he would never try to kill you!" Kayla argued. "I'm not talking about Tripp -- I'm talking about my other son!" Ava clarified. "What 'other son'?" Kayla asked incredulously. "Charlie!" Ava fearfully replied. Meanwhile, at the nursery, someone picked up Eli and Lani's twins.
Charlie returned home and discovered that Ava had somehow managed to escape. "What if she went to the cops? She knows what I did to Allie! What if that's why Claire's grandma was so hot to talk to her? Oh, God..." Charlie fretted, starting to hyperventilate. "No, they couldn't know -- otherwise, Ben wouldn't have let me leave," Charlie decided, calming down a bit. "Ava was on drugs when she left -- even if she made it to the police station, they wouldn't believe a word that she said," Charlie predicted. "All I have to do [is] convince Claire and everybody else not to believe a word that Ava said...and that's not gonna be hard -- they've already seen her lose her mind," Charlie realized. "The most important thing is that I can't lose Claire -- I have to fix this," Charlie stressed.
Charlie took a few deep breaths then started to rush back out of the apartment -- just as Rafe arrived.
Someone steals the Carver twins
At the prison, an agitated Kristen stared at an online photo of Brady kissing Chloe at the New Year's Eve party. Brady arrived for a visit. "I got some great news for you! Lani had her twins," Brady announced. When Brady mentioned he had photos, Kristen said, "Well I've got a photo for you, too, Brady." Kristen pointed at the photo on the computer. As Brady noted that it was a platonic kiss with a friend, Kristen narrowed her eyes.
"It looks like you're having a real nice time with your friend," Kristen growled. Brady noted he had gone to the party with Chloe at the last minute. Stunned, Kristen asked Brady why he had flown his ex into town for New Year's Eve. Brady explained that Chloe had moved back to Salem and worked at Basic Black. "Nicole hired her," Brady said. Kristen was annoyed that Brady had not told her sooner.
"I know why you didn't tell me about Chloe. You didn't want to hurt my feelings. Thanks to that picture, I know everything. I know that it's over between us and that you're moving on with her," Kristen said. Brady groaned. Brady explained that he had not mentioned Chloe before because when he visited Kristen, he only wanted to talk about Kristen and their daughter. Brady stressed that Chloe was only a friend and colleague.
"How am I supposed to feel when you are out there sharing an intimate moment with another woman when I am locked up in here?" Kristen asked. "There was nothing intimate about it. It was New Year's Eve. It was a formality," Brady said quietly. Brady stressed that Kristen and Rachel were his life. "I don't want to be with anyone else," Brady said.
"I know that you're upset because I confessed to stabbing Victor, but I thought I made myself clear on why I did it," Kristen said. Kristen told Brady that she did not want Lani to lose out on her children's childhood like Kristen had lost out on time with Rachel because of Dr. Raynor. "I don't blame you. I just miss you so damn much," Brady said. Kristen said her heart ached for her family.
With a big grin on his face, Brady pulled photos of Jules and Carver out of his pocket. "They were born on Christmas Day," Brady said. Through happy tears, Kristen looked at the pictures. "I printed these out for you so that when you look at them, you can be reminded of the selfless and brave thing that you did. That you sacrificed your time with your family so that Lani could be with hers," Brady said. "I stand by my choice, but I shouldn't have made it without you," Kristen countered.
While Xander worked on his computer in his room at the Salem Inn, Sarah attempted to get his attention. Focused on the stolen files, Xander asked for a moment. "You've barely looked at me since I gave you that flash drive that I copied all of Philip's files onto. A little gratitude would be nice," Sarah said. Xander muttered that he would shower Sarah with attention after he found in the files what he needed to take down Philip.
"Do you think maybe you'll be done by next New Year?" Sarah joked. Bleary-eyed, Xander looked up from the computer and stared at Sarah. "Wow. You look incredibly sexy," Xander said. "Thank you for finally noticing!" Sarah countered. Xander apologized for being distracted. "You've been staring at that screen all night instead of celebrating New Year's with me," Sarah grumbled. "I'm so close," Xander pleaded. Sarah suggested that Xander should take a break for some "dirty dealings" with her.
"Oh, yeah, baby," Xander said. As Sarah smiled, Xander added, "I finally got this encrypted folder open. I think it's what I need to finally bust Philip." Sarah rolled her eyes in frustration. As Xander continued to work, Sarah picked up around the room. When Sarah commented that Xander needed to do laundry, he shouted, "Laundry!" Xander explained that he had mistakenly believed Philip had embezzled money.
"I thought money was going out. It never occurred to me that Philip might be laundering money through Titan. That means extra cash would be going in," Xander said. Xander reexamined the spreadsheet and confirmed his hunch. "Not just any money. Mob money. Which explains his connection to Ava Vitali," Xander told Sarah. Xander confirmed that Philip's digital fingerprints were all over the files, and Philip had put the company at risk.
"Thank you, Sarah. For your brilliance and your patience," Xander said. "Just promise you are going to get housekeeping in here," Sarah countered. When Sarah noted that housekeeping would not need to make the bed because no one was in it, Xander walked over and sat on the bed. "I'm ready for dirty dealings of my own. Care to join me?" Xander asked. After a moment's hesitation, Sarah leaped on top of Xander.
In the square, Philip smugly chuckled as he looked at a missing person flyer of Ava. "Maybe this is why I haven't heard from you, Ava. Maybe it means I'm off the hook," Philip said. Bonnie approached Philip from behind and commented on the flyer, "Haven't you broken enough hearts already?" Philip pointed out that the flyer was for a missing person.
"All I do know is that you're a real creep. You dumped my Mimi like garbage, and now you're sitting here, waiting on a date," Bonnie said. Philip corrected Bonnie and said that he had not broken up with Mimi. Philip added that Mimi had pursued him. With a scowl, Philip explained that Mimi had been a bad influence on him regardless. Bonnie scoffed at the notion, and she asked Philip what woman he was after. Chloe appeared at the table.
Bonnie attempted to shoo Chloe away, but Philip stressed that their conversation was over. "Move along. Go ruin someone else's day," Chloe added. Bonnie laughed. "I can't think of two people who deserve each other more," Bonnie said. After Bonnie stomped off, Chloe asked Philip to continue their conversation about laundering money for the mob. Philip wanted to change the subject, but Chloe persisted.
"[Xander] might suspect something, but he couldn't prove anything," Philip said. Philip noted that unless Xander could understand Philip's complicated spreadsheets, the information was safe. Chloe worried aloud, but Philip warned Chloe to let him handle his own problems. "You're my friend, and I want to help you," Chloe insisted. "For your own safety, I need you to stay out of it," Philip said. Philip added that his problem might already be over because his contact was out of commission. When Chloe pressed for information, Philip showed Chloe the flyer of Ava.
"So, you think that Ava's family is just going to forget about the money you owe them? Because she is missing?" Chloe asked. Philip shrugged as he answered his ringing cell phone. After a moment, Philip ended the call. "Guess I spoke too soon," Philip said. Philip explained that Ava's cousin had called about the money. Chloe urged Philip to call the police, but Philip refused. Philip argued that his only choices if he did not launder the money were prison or death.
"Sooner or later, someone is going to find out what you are up to. Or the mob is going to expect you to do more for them," Chloe warned Philip. "As long as I keep cleaning their cash, the Vitalis will be happy," Philip said. Philip added that the only one that was suspicious was Xander. "You're not harassing her again, are you?" Brady asked as he approached the table. Philip lied and said they had been discussing the warehouse agreement, but Chloe refused to go along. "Philip is in serious trouble, and we need your help," Chloe said.
In the Brady Pub, Abe and Valerie chatted over coffee about the food they had ordered to stock Eli and Lani's fridge. "You and Billy cook much?" Abe asked. Valerie admitted that she and Billy had broken up. After a moment, Abe told Valerie that he had not thought that Billy was good enough for her. "That's flattering, I suppose," Valerie said with a chuckle. "You have so much to offer," Abe said. Valerie asked Abe what kind of man would be good enough for her.
"I think that man would have to be a lot like me," Abe said with a grin. "As a matter of fact, yes, that's true. A man who would be worthy of me, or maybe I should say compatible with me," Valerie admitted. Abe thanked Valerie for agreeing with him. Valerie countered that she still did not want to be involved in a long-distance relationship. With a shrug, Abe noted that Valerie might end up moving back to town because of the new babies.
"I shouldn't have said anything," Abe said quietly. Valerie confessed to Abe that she was already seeing someone. "I feel a little foolish," Abe said. Valerie added that she still had feelings for Abe, but she was focused on work. Abe and Valerie agreed that they cherished their past relationship, but it was over. With a smile, Valerie told Abe that he would meet the right woman.
At the hospital, Eli and Lani waited in her hospital room for the nurse to take their babies to them so they could go home. Lani was impatient, but Eli cautioned her to savor their last moment alone. Eli kissed Lani, and he apologized again for his lies about Kristen. "You are a good man. A man that would do anything for the people he loves," Lani said. Lani added that Kristen understood and that Lani wanted to honor Kristen's wishes that Lani and Eli have a happy life with their children.
When Eli and Lani walked down to the nursery, their babies were not in their cribs. "Where are the twins?" Lani asked. Eli checked with the nurse, but she had no information. "[The nurse] is checking the computers right now," Eli assured Lani. Eli told Lani that no one could have taken the twins without authorization, and he suggested that one of the grandparents could have taken the babies. Eli called Valerie, and she confirmed that neither she nor Abe had the newborns.
Valerie and Abe rushed over to the hospital to be with Eli and Lani. "Jules and Carver are unaccounted for," Eli said. Abe called Rafe, while the hospital went on lockdown. "What if somebody already took the babies out?" Lani cried. Valerie assured Lani that there was a lot of security to track down the kidnapper. Lani cried on Valerie's shoulder until she started to hyperventilate.
"I cannot go through this again," Lani stammered. Lani had a panic attack, and Valerie took Lani back to Lani's hospital room to calm down. Once Lani caught her breath, Valerie had to talk her into staying put. "Once they find your children, and they will, they're going to need their mother," Valerie counseled.
After Abe talked to Rafe, he told Eli that the police were out searching. "We're going to find them," Abe said. "No question," Eli whispered. Eli talked to security, and he got a copy of the surveillance footage. Eli went into Lani's room, and he played the footage. "Who would do this?" Lani wondered aloud. Lani started to panic again, so Eli held her hands and looked in her eyes.
"You are going to be an amazing mother, but right now, I need you to be a cop. I need you to help me find Carver and Jules so we can bring them back home. And then we will deal with the monster that took them," Eli said. After reviewing the footage, Eli slammed his fist on the table. "It's like whoever did this knew how to avoid the cameras," Eli said. "I need you to tell me that we are not going to lose our babies," Lani said. Eli vowed to track down their children.
At the nurses' station, Valerie talked to Abe about the search. "I found these in the stairwell," Abe said as he held up the babies' wrist bracelets. Valerie broke down in tears, and Abe hugged her.
In the park, Dr. Raynor pushed a baby carriage, and she called someone on the phone. "I have the Grant twins. No, no one questioned me at the hospital. They just assumed I was back on staff. I'll bring them to you now," Dr. Raynor said. As Dr. Raynor ended her call, Bonnie called out, "Wait!" Bonnie held up a pacifier and noted that the baby had thrown it out of the carriage.
As Bonnie started to walk away, she looked in the carriage. "Are those twins?" Bonnie asked. Bonnie fussed over the babies, and she asked about their names. "I really do have to go," Dr. Raynor said. One of the babies started to cry, and Bonnie reached into the carriage. "May I? Bonnie said. Before Dr. Raynor could object, Bonnie had scooped up the crying baby.
"Would you please give me my baby back?" Dr. Raynor said once it had stopped crying. With a chuckle, Bonnie apologized and put the baby back in the carriage. "I was overprotective in the beginning, too, but believe you me, before long, you'll be handing out these munchkins to anyone who will take them," Bonnie said. Dr. Raynor hurriedly pushed the carriage away.