Nate entered Society and spotted Lily sitting at a table. He inquired whether she was dining alone, and she informed him that she'd just finished a lunch meeting. He wondered whether she and Devon had thought more about Nate returning to Chancellor-Winters. Lily replied that they hadn't decided yet. Nate reminded her that they'd agreed to give him another chance if Mamie divulged what her true agenda with Tucker was -- and Mamie had.
Lily clarified that she and Devon had agreed to consider it, and it was what they were doing. Nate testily asked what was left to consider. Lily shared that Devon wanted to talk to Victor to get his side of the story about why he'd let Nate go. Nate was appalled that they'd turn to the man who'd just fired him for a reference. Nate protested that his cousins weren't giving him a fair shake, and he questioned what more he had to do to prove he'd changed.
Lily recognized that Nate had worked hard to turn things around, but she also argued that the latest news about Victor and Newman Enterprises had been troubling. Nate swore that he'd only been looking to get Victor help and protect Newman. Lily countered that Nate had also been aiming to get Victoria back into the CEO chair. Nate indignantly asked how he was the bad guy when Victor had let his family believe he'd been losing his mind. Lily lectured that it was all about what Nate's true intent had been -- to help Victor, or to help Victoria get her old job back. Lily urged Nate to be honest about where his strongest allegiance had been.
Nate objected that it wasn't a fair question. Lily opined that if he had really cared about Victor's mental state, that would have been at the forefront of his mind. Nate grumbled that he'd been wasting his time even asking his cousins for any consideration. As Nate angrily stood up to leave, Lily swore that she and Devon were trying to do the right thing. Nate ran into Audra on his way out, and she asked if he was all right. He said he had to get out of there, and he invited her to join him. Audra glanced at Lily and readily followed him.
At the Athletic Club bar, Audra asked what had Nate so agitated. He groused that Devon was meeting with Victor to get confirmation about why Nate had been fired, since Devon hadn't taken Nate's word for it. Nate swore that he'd told the truth, but it was obvious his cousins weren't ready to welcome him back with open arms. Audra advised Nate to stop playing the martyr, since he'd wanted Victoria to have power again. Nate snapped that she was making the same assumption Victor and Lily had made.
Nate reiterated that he'd only suggested that Victor seek medical attention because Nate had been worried about Victor's health and the company. Audra didn't doubt that Nate cared about Victor, but she also noted that he hadn't hesitated to take advantage of the situation not only for Victoria but also for his own benefit. Audra encouraged Nate to own it, since he'd gain much more respect than trying to excuse his behavior. Audra swore that she wasn't condemning Nate for his actions, since she would have played things the same way.
Nate defended that he was a doctor who'd thought Victor had needed help, and it hadn't been a chess move for him. Audra guaranteed that Victor had made many similar moves on his rise to the top, and she found his wrath toward Nate disingenuous. She insisted that what mattered was what they did moving forward. Audra doubted Nate would get a sterling recommendation from the Newmans, so his chances of returning to Chancellor-Winters were slim to none. She proclaimed that it was time for him to reconsider joining forces with her.
Audra anticipated that even if Lily and Devon hired Nate back, Nate would be gone if he made just one mistake. Nate believed that it might count for a lot that he was family, but Audra warned that it was wishful thinking. She asked what it would take to convince him to join her somewhere he'd be admired and respected. Nate admitted it was tempting -- but everything she said was tempting. He decided to see what Lily and Devon said, and if they didn't value family as much as he did, then he was in.
At Daniel's apartment, Lucy gushed to Daniel and Heather that her new room was awesome, and she wanted to call Sally to tell her it rocked. Lucy couldn't wait to sleep in her new bed, and she excitedly asked when she could move in. Daniel reminded Lucy that they'd agreed she would move in that weekend. Lucy whined that the weekend was too far away, and she preferred to move in that afternoon. Daniel agreed if it was okay with Heather, who joked that Lucy was anxious to abandon her.
Heather offered to help Lucy pack, and Lucy ran off to her room. Heather observed that the teen hadn't been that happy in a long time, and she remarked that it was proof that moving back to Genoa City had been the right decision. Daniel appreciated Heather putting their daughter's needs first, but he questioned whether she was also happy they'd made the move. He insisted that he always wanted her to be happy, no matter what had happened between them.
Heather confirmed that she was happy she'd moved back, since Genoa City felt like home. She continued that she'd had some positive meetings with the Chancellor-Winters legal team, and she was cautiously optimistic it might work out. Heather thanked Daniel for helping her and Lucy make a smooth transition, since she hadn't known what to expect. He figured she'd thought things might be weird between the two of them. She admitted it had been her fear, but she couldn't have done it without him. They hugged as Lily opened the front door.
Lily firmly closed the door to make her presence known, and Daniel said he was glad she'd stopped by. Heather observed that Lily had her own key, and Lily handed Daniel a new set of keys that she'd had made for her own apartment. Lucy returned and enthused that she loved her dad's new digs, and she pulled Heather away to check out her closet. Daniel stated that it was a pleasant surprise to see Lily. She said she'd thought Lucy wouldn't be moving in until the weekend, pointedly noting that there were surprises all around.
Daniel informed Lily that he'd invited Lucy to check out her new bedroom, and the teen had asked to move in right away. Daniel marveled that having Lucy's energy in the place gave it a good vibe and made his house feel like a home. He felt like everything was falling into place, and he thanked Lily for putting in a good word for Heather at Chancellor-Winters. Daniel figured that the more settled Heather felt, the more he could count on having Lucy around. Lily halfheartedly replied that she'd been happy to help, but Daniel sensed that something was wrong.
Lily chalked her mood up to her intense conversation with Nate. She confided that she wasn't sure her cousin had changed as much as he wanted everyone to believe, and he'd been a "pompous ass" at Society. Lily proposed that she and Daniel grab some coffee before she headed into some meetings, and they kissed as Heather walked back in. Heather told Daniel that Lucy had a question about her room, and he exited. Heather hoped Lily didn't feel put out by Lucy moving in, but Lily insisted that she was happy Lucy was there because she knew Daniel had missed his daughter. Heather promised to stay out of everyone's way and not step on any toes.
At the Newman ranch, Nikki informed Victor that Nick had left, and she worried that their son was in more pain than he'd been letting on. Victor suspected that Nick wasn't the only one, and he suggested that she sit down and rest. Nikki insisted she was fine, but Victor recognized that what Jordan and Claire had done to her had been unconscionable. Victor admitted that he'd been afraid he would lose Nikki, but she credited him for being the reason she'd stayed strong and kept her focus. She added that she'd heard his voice telling her to keep fighting. Victor held up a clenched fist and vowed that he'd never let anyone hurt her. They kissed.
Victor and Nikki simultaneously received a text message and learned that Victoria had gone back to Oregon to confront Claire. Victor wondered if Victoria and Cole actually thought Claire was their daughter, but Nikki insisted that Claire couldn't be. Victor reflected on how Jordan and Claire had compromised Nikki's sobriety, but Nikki repeated that she was fine. Victor gently asked if she was sure the experience hadn't driven her back to the bottle.
Victor took Nikki into his arms and pledged to be there for her, and she replied that knowing she had his love and support was all she needed. Nikki swore that she didn't want to drink, but she still planned on going to a meeting that afternoon. Nikki resolved to fight the temptation with everything in her. Victor promised to be there every step of the way, and they embraced. Nikki gazed over at the bottles of alcohol on the bar and flashed back to chugging vodka at the lake house.
Later, Nikki stirred restlessly as she snoozed in bed. She dreamed about waking up at the lake house, discovering a silver serving tray next to her, and finding a bottle of vodka underneath the lid. She awakened when her phone rang with a call from an unknown caller, but all she heard on the line was some music. Nikki demanded to know who it was, and she looked disconcerted when the call disconnected.
Meanwhile, Devon arrived at the ranch and shook hands with Victor. Devon revealed that he was there to get information about why Victor had fired Nate, since Nate wanted to return to working at Chancellor-Winters, and Devon wanted to know if Nate was being honest. Victor warned that Nate couldn't be trusted, although he suspected Devon already knew that. Devon relayed that Nate had claimed he'd changed, but Victor clucked that Nate was as ambitious and ruthless as they came.
Devon shared Nate's contention that Victor had misunderstood Nate's intentions. Victor insisted that Nate had jumped the moment he'd noticed a weakness in Victor. Devon imagined it had been difficult for Victor to put his family through worrying about his mental state, but Victor asserted that he would do anything to protect his company and family. Devon seemed surprised that Victor had felt the need to protect them from Nate. Victor again cautioned Devon not to trust Nate, since being family only went so far.
Nikki returned downstairs and warmly greeted Devon. Victor explained that Devon was there to ask questions about Nate, who wanted to be rehired at Chancellor-Winters. Nikki hoped Victor had told Devon that Nate was a snake, and Devon thanked them both for their candor. Devon mused that he and Lily had a lot to consider, and he departed. Victor observed that Nikki looked peaked. She mentioned that she'd tried to take a nap, but she hadn't been able to quiet her mind.
Victor asked if Nikki wanted anything from the kitchen, and she requested some tea. He held her close for a moment before stepping out. She watched him disappear down the hall before heading to the bar. She poured a glass of vodka and paused briefly to stare at it before downing it in entirety.
In an Oregon jail, a guard led Claire into the visitors' room. Claire was stunned to see Victoria and Cole there. Claire shared that when the guard had told her she had a visitor, she'd expected to see her aunt. Cole anticipated that Claire wouldn't see Jordan for a while. Claire said she didn't understand what they were doing there. Victoria explained that they needed more answers, and she inquired how old Claire had been when her aunt had told her that Victoria and Cole were her parents. Claire asked why they even cared.
Cole said he and Victoria wanted to know if there was even the slightest possibility it could be true. Claire was skeptical of the idea that she might suddenly have parents who embraced her, loved her, and accepted her into their lives. She wondered if they would see her as a victim and use their influence and power to get her out of the situation. Claire murmured that she wasn't sure if it was something she'd want.
Victoria pointed out that if Claire's story was true, Claire was just as much a victim as Victoria and Cole were. Claire asked if they would help her, and Victoria agreed to consider it if they were able to get concrete proof to go on. Cole inquired whether Jordan had ever shown Claire a birth certificate or hospital records, but Victoria wondered whether Claire had just believed everything Jordan had said. Claire whimpered that she couldn't accept that she'd been gaslighted from the day she'd been born and that her whole life had been a lie.
Cole pondered whether Jordan's story had been so ingrained in Claire that Claire hadn't even questioned its validity. Cole assured Claire that no one would blame her if that was the case, and Claire asked if it was about finding someone to blame. Victoria explained that it was about getting answers, and she implored Claire to give them some. Victoria empathized that Claire had been just as traumatized as they had been.
Victoria considered it possible that Jordan had groomed Claire to believe she deserved retribution against her parents for abandoning her as a baby. Cole added that Jordan might have manipulated Claire into helping her get revenge against Nikki and Victor for what Jordan believed they'd done to her sister. Victoria argued that there might be a way out for Claire and a path to be forgiven for it. Victoria begged Claire to help them understand what had happened. Claire recounted that she'd been five years old when Jordan had first told her the truth about her parents.
Claire revealed that at first, Jordan had just occasionally mentioned that she couldn't understand how a parent could walk away from a sweet little girl like Claire. As Claire had gotten older, Jordan had reminded her how lucky she'd been that Jordan had taken her in when Claire's parents hadn't wanted her. Claire realized that her aunt had nurtured her resentment and pain until it had become Claire's only reality that she was an unloved, abandoned child who only Jordan cared for. Claire remembered that she'd asked herself every day what she had done to make her parents hate her enough to pretend she'd never existed.
Claire continued that she'd been home-schooled until she'd been a teenager, since Jordan hadn't wanted her around kids with normal families. Claire disclosed that her first real experience with school had been a strict, all-girls private school, and Jordan had driven into her the fear of being outcast and ridiculed if Claire had ever told the truth about being abandoned by the powerful Newman family. Claire shared that Jordan had instructed her to say that her parents had been killed in a car accident and that her great-aunt had taken her in. Claire figured that it hadn't been hard for her damaged psyche to adopt it as a background to present to the world, but she'd been consumed by bitterness.
Victoria pressed to know if Claire had ever questioned any of it. Claire pointed out that she'd never seen any proof, and perhaps she hadn't wanted to see it because any hard evidence would have broken her and destroyed whatever defenses she'd managed to build up to protect herself. Cole inquired whether Claire was questioning the validity of the story then. Claire contemplated how she could stop believing Jordan's story when it was all she'd ever known.
Cole related because his mother had suffered from mental illness, and he knew how difficult it was to consider that one's only parent wasn't telling the truth. Claire pondered why Jordan had spent a lifetime poisoning a child's mind with an evil lie when there had been much easier ways to exact revenge on someone. Victoria stressed that they needed answers about who Claire was and what had happened. Claire insisted that she knew who she was. Victoria asked if Claire would consent to a DNA test to have concrete proof of whether Victoria and Cole were really her parents. "Yes, but only if you help me. Please help me," Claire cried.
Claire confessed that she knew everything about the Newman family after spending years following them, and she knew they were rich and powerful enough to fix anything. Victoria cautioned that it didn't quite work like that, but she offered to do what they could. "No matter how the DNA comes out?" Claire asked. Claire divulged that she didn't have a lawyer, since she hadn't wanted the public defender she'd met with. Claire said she'd been waiting for Jordan, who she thought wouldn't just leave her there and would at least get her an attorney.
Victoria pointed out that Jordan was in more legal trouble than Claire was, so Claire couldn't count on her aunt resurfacing anytime soon. "Abandoned by the only parent I've ever known," Claire murmured in disbelief. Cole volunteered to arrange for a good lawyer to help Claire make bail, but there was something she needed to do for them. Victoria insisted that they get a DNA test. Claire nodded.