In an obstetric exam room at the hospital, Sage held a photo of teenager Shawn's unborn baby printed from an ultrasound image. Sage berated Nick for having encouraged the pregnant teen to watch the baby on the screen during the exam. Nick explained that he wanted the young woman to know that they were sensitive to her emotional struggle. Sage cried, "If she keeps looking at this baby, then she might become attached to it, and she might want it. I want this baby! I want it!" Nick assured Sage that he wanted the baby, too. As Nick and Sage were leaving, Shawn returned to the exam room, and Sage invited her to lunch. Nick appeared to be uneasy when Shawn agreed.
At Crimson Lights, Sage mentioned that Nick's family owned a ranch. Sage excitedly boasted about the ranch's horses, ponds with ducks, and other fun outdoor activities for children. Shawn seemed impressed. After Shawn stepped away, Nick tried to convince Sage to stop her hard-sell tactics. Sage said her goal was to impress upon Shawn that it would be a mistake not to give them her baby if the young woman ever doubted her decision.
Just after Shawn returned, Nick left. Shawn told Sage she was craving doughnuts. Sage noted that the unborn baby required good nutrition. Shawn reacted defensively and insisted she wouldn't do anything to hurt her baby. Sage apologized. Shawn admitted that she'd overreacted. Sage told Shawn that the baby boy growing inside Shawn meant a lot to her.
In Victor's office at Newman Enterprises, Victoria seated herself at her father's desk, shuffled a stack of files needing attention, and complained to Nikki that employees and business acquaintances had inundated her with questions. Victor, recently released from jail, suddenly appeared and said Victoria seemed eager to take his place. He ordered Victoria out of his chair, and he called her a traitor. Victoria said she'd no longer cover for her father's misdeeds and lies. Victor said that Victoria was just as traitorous and deceitful as Adam. Nikki said, "How dare you compare our daughter him?"
Victoria announced that she'd called a meeting of the board of directors. Victor reacted angrily when Victoria said she would encourage a vote to have Victor thrown out. Victor yelled, "I cannot and will not be removed as the head of this company. You got it?" Nikki tried to explain that Victoria's actions were in Newman Enterprises' best interest, but Victor called her a traitor and ordered her to leave his office.
Judge Elise Moxley arrived. Victor said he was happy that Elise had been assigned to his case, and she probably knew why. Elise replied, "I think you're blackmailing me again. I think you're going to keep holding our indiscretion from many years ago over my head." Victor reminded Elise that her family had benefited from his silence, so she should be aware of what he expected from her. Elise replied, "Yes, Victor. I know exactly what I have to do."
At Top of the Tower, Nikki and Victoria discussed Victor. Nikki didn't believe Victor could escape justice. Victoria noticed Elise Moxley enter and said Victor had probably met with the judge downstairs. Nikki said that whether or not Victor was convicted, he would suffer the consequences of his actions. Nikki encouraged Victoria to step up and run the company after the board voted Victor out.
Nick joined Nikki and Victoria. Nikki explained that Victor had acted obnoxiously and said hurtful things before kicking them out of his office. Victoria told Nick that it would be an uphill battle for her to keep the company afloat after their father was imprisoned. Nick said he'd rather focus on his family. Nick explained that he and Sage were in the process of adopting a baby and had already met the birth mother. Nick said Sage needed a baby in her life. Nikki seemed more sympathetic to Nick than did Victoria.
Victoria told Nick that Newman Enterprises was in crisis, and she begged him to consider helping her. Nick said he wasn't sure Victor would end up in prison. Nikki insisted that Victor should step down because he'd lost all perspective. Nick suggested stepping back and allowing the company to consume Victor. Nick explained that it would be like an addict hitting rock bottom.
Elise approached Nikki and mentioned Adam's, Noah's, and Victor's legal problems. Nikki admitted it had been a difficult time and said she had faith that everything would turn out as it should. Elise replied, "Right now, I have tremendous faith that everything will turn out exactly the way it's supposed to."
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Jack overheard Phyllis instruct Michael to betray Victor and ensure he'd be sent to prison. Michael explained that Phyllis was asking him to ruin his career. Jack approached and told Phyllis that her suggestion wasn't the right way to handle Victor. Phyllis replied, "On the contrary, Jack. It's the only way." Phyllis explained that Michael was the only one they could count on because she had no confidence that Christine could make the charges stick.
Jack received a text message about Victor's release on a bail. Phyllis pleaded with Michael to stop Victor. Michael replied, "No! Not doing it." Michael said he hoped to see Victor punished, but he reminded Phyllis that he had to operate within the statutes. Michael told Phyllis that she was asking too much of him.
After Michael left, Jack told Phyllis that he was tired of dealing with her reckless attitude. Tears welled in Phyllis' eyes. She told Jack that if Victor weaseled out of punishment, it would kill her. Jack assured Phyllis that Victor couldn't escape justice this time because the whole town, including his own family, was sick of him and what he'd done. Phyllis embraced Jack and said, "Okay. We'll try it your way."
At Victor's office, Phyllis and Jack entered through the open door. Phyllis greeted Victor by asking him how it felt to lose everything he cared about. Victor said his arrest wouldn't affect him, but he told Phyllis she should worry about Jack after the details of his sordid actions were revealed. Jack explained that he'd made a full confession to Christine, including what had happened to Kelly and what had transpired on the boat. Jack said he'd learned that the crew had escaped because Victor had arranged it.
Jack noted that Victor might languish in a prison cell for thirty or more years. Victor replied, "Don't count on it, Jack." Phyllis told Victor that even if he could evade prison, he was still a loser because his family wanted nothing to do with him. Before he and Phyllis left, Jack said, "We'll see you in court." Victor glared at Jack and Phyllis.
Phyllis and Jack saw Judge Moxley leaving Top of the Tower. Phyllis expressed doubts about having faith in the legal system. Phyllis told Jack that Judge Moxley had probably left Victor's office just before they'd arrived. Jack said Victor probably had information to use against Judge Moxley or her husband. Phyllis shook her head in disgust.
Judge Moxley held a news conference that was broadcast online. Victor watched from his office. Nick, Nikki, and Victoria watched from their table at Top of the Tower. Phyllis and Jack watched as they sat at Top of the Tower's bar. Judge Moxley announced that she'd once had an affair with Victor Newman. The judge said she'd revealed her affair because she had to recuse herself from Victor's court case. Victor slammed shut his laptop at the conclusion of the news conference.
At the hospital, a worker from child-protective services explained to Max that he'd undergo a brief exam by a doctor. Dr. Whistler escorted Max into an exam room. Dylan approached the social worker and vouched for Max's father, Ben. Dylan assured the social worker that Ben was a good father. Dylan assured the worker that Max's teacher had misunderstood the youngster's complaint. The worker said one could never know what went on inside another person's home.
In the lab at Jabot, Abby told Ben that Max's teacher had misunderstood what his son had told her. Ben said it didn't matter because Max would remain in the custody of a social worker indefinitely. Dylan phoned and told Ben that Max was under the care of Dr. Whistler. Ben said he trusted the pediatrician. Dylan explained that authorities had to act as if claims of abuse were true, and he urged Ben to hire an attorney immediately.
In a waiting area at the hospital, Abby and Ben, along with Michael, approached the social worker, Sarah Fox. Michael introduced himself, and Sarah said she remembered him from a previous case. Ben told Sarah that he was concerned about Max's welfare and asked to read the results of the medical exam. Ben insisted that he would never lay a hand on his son. Ben said Max had been experiencing difficulties trying to adjust and had been acting up.
Sarah told Ben that Max's unruly behavior indicated trouble at home. Sarah read her report and said Max had complained about his dad's bad temper. Ben admitted that he and his son had argued about Max's tendency to fight with other students. Ben explained that he'd lost his temper after discovering that his sister had been murdered. Abby said she'd witnessed the encounter between Ben and Max.
Dylan visited with Max in the exam room and acknowledged the young boy's recent traumas. Dylan explained to Max that some were questioning his dad's ability to care for him because of the complaint he'd made to his teacher. Max became worried when he learned he might end up in foster care. Dylan stepped out and asked Sarah, Michael, Ben, and Abby to meet with Max in the exam room. Max said, "When I talked to my teacher, I exaggerated. I made things sound worse than they really were." Max admitted that his dad had never hurt him, and he apologized.
Michael requested that Sarah allow Max be released to Ben. Sarah said she couldn't release the boy without a judge's approval. Ben broke down in tears after Sarah led Max away. Ben told Dylan that he'd been under stress and wondered if his dad had also become overwhelmed. Dylan said Ben should never compare himself to his dad. Dylan said everything would work out with Max because Ben was a great dad.
In the exam room, Abby poured out her heart to Michael. Abby noted that she was pregnant. Michael excitedly said he knew she was carrying a child. Abby told Michael she was concerned that a social worker could intervene every time Max didn't get his way. Abby said she realized that Max was just a young boy, but she feared he would ruin her family's life.
At the hospital, Stitch greeted Simon and Ashley, and she claimed that they were there to follow up on their research. Ashley referred to Max telling his teacher that Stitch had been abusing him, and Stitch reported that Max had eventually told the truth, so social services had backed off. Ashley imagined that it had been a stressful situation for Stitch and Abby, but Stitch thought they were all in a better place after Max had apologized. Stitch left to respond to a page, and Simon returned with a chart.
Ashley fretted that her numbers were getting worse, but Simon optimistically stated that the data would help them eliminate the dead ends. Ashley groaned that she was tired of her illness having power over her, and she expected him to say something ridiculous to make her laugh. Simon promised not to stop until he developed a protocol that saved her life, and he swore that she had too much to live for, like kicking Hilary to the curb. Ashley thought about her grandbaby on the way.
At Crimson Lights, Abby cheerfully told Max that the perk of having no school was that they had the whole day to do whatever he wanted. She suggested going ice-skating or sledding, but Max grumbled that it was too cold. She mentioned the video game that she'd gotten him, but he complained that it wouldn't be a challenge to play it with her. Abby asked what would make him happy, and Max snapped to leave him alone.
Abby swore that she wanted to get along and be a happy family. Max told her to stop lying, but she said she loved him, and she begged him to give her a chance. Max ranted that his mom was dead because of Abby, and he surmised that Abby also wanted him gone so she could have Stitch for herself. Max ran away, and Abby chased after him, but she suddenly grabbed her belly and cried out in pain. Abby pleaded that she needed Max, and she instructed him to go back inside the coffeehouse and call 9-1-1 on her phone, but he didn't move. She screamed his name, and he ran inside.
At the hospital, Stitch told Abby that she had just been dehydrated. She looked concerned, and he asked if Max had done something to upset her. Abby replied that Max had wanted to be anywhere but with her, and she recounted the events that had transpired at the coffeehouse. Stitch was sure that Max had just been acting out, but Abby confided that Max had just stood there and stared at her when she'd asked him to call for help, and she'd been afraid that he wouldn't help her. Max peered in through the window.
Stitch asked if Abby had really expected Max to refuse to help her, and Abby apologized for saying or even thinking it. Stitch chalked it up to her imagination, and she said she'd been worried and scared about their baby. Max slowly crept in and said he'd been scared, too, but he was glad that Abby and the baby were okay, and he apologized if what he'd said had made Abby's stomach hurt. Stitch confirmed that Abby's condition wasn't serious, and he commended Max for getting help. Stitch hugged Max, but Abby still looked worried.
At the Jabot lab, Devon amorously said that Hilary had been amazing the night before, and she purred that she could be more amazing right then. She proposed that they christen her new office, and they began to disrobe and sank to the couch in a passionate embrace. Neil flipped on the lights, and the couple quickly pulled apart. Neil remarked that it was Ashley's office, but Hilary didn't look like Ashley. As Hilary and Devon hurriedly got dressed, Hilary relayed that Ashley had stepped down and had asked Hilary to take over.
Neil inquired whether Devon was fine with the change, and Hilary said they were still on the same team, but Ashley was taking a different role. Hilary excused herself to go to a meeting, and Neil incredulously asked if Devon was really going to let Hilary get away with it. Devon maintained that it had been Ashley's decision to step down, and he asserted that Hilary was committed to supporting the research. Neil snapped that Hilary was committed to herself, but Devon recounted that Hilary had restored credibility to the research entity at the press conference.
Neil objected to Devon and Hilary pushing Ashley out, and he warned that Hilary was very ambitious and had no problem with collateral damage. Neil added that Hilary had no issue with getting exactly what she wanted by jumping on the couch, and Devon retorted that Neil knew all about it. Neil cautioned that Hilary was playing people and working angles, and she seemed like the old Hilary to him.
Ashley and Simon returned to the lab as Neil headed out, and Neil mentioned that Devon had told him that she'd let Hilary take over. Neil told Ashley about the foundation that he'd started with Jack to help recovering addicts get back on their feet, and he asked if she'd be interested in getting involved. Ashley replied that she still had a job at the lab, but Neil pointed out that her new role was beneath her abilities, and he appealed to her to help guide the foundation's success. Hilary overheard and thought it sounded like a wonderful idea.
Hilary gushed about working for a good cause and a common goal, and Simon pointed out that they did those things at the lab. Simon added that the research project wouldn't exist without Ashley, and Hilary countered that it also needed the money that she'd convinced Devon to invest. Simon said Ashley was the heart and soul of the venture, and he firmly stated that she wasn't going anywhere. Ashley told Neil that the foundation sounded extraordinary, but her heart was there. Neil pulled Ashley aside to talk privately, and he asked why she'd really stepped down and handed the company over to Hilary. Ashley maintained that it was what she wanted, and Neil departed.
Hilary asked to speak with Simon in her office, and Devon told Ashley that he didn't understand why she hadn't fought harder. Devon thought it wasn't like Ashley to put her heart into something only to hand it over to someone else, and Ashley assured him that her level of commitment hadn't changed. Devon asked why she was really letting Hilary take over, but Ashley stood by the reasons she'd already provided.
In the office, Hilary expressed concern about Simon's lack of progress, and she thought his fondness for Ashley was a distraction. He voiced his commitment to keeping Ashley alive, but Hilary called Ashley a lab rat, and she ordered Simon not to let his emotions impact his research. He pointedly removed his tie and invited Hilary to have power lunches or to dress him like an organ grinder's monkey, but he advised that it would take more than that to make the company real. Hilary demanded that Simon maintain objectivity, and she called him useless unless he got results. He set the tie down in front of her and walked out.
At Newman Enterprises, Summer was stunned when Victor informed her that the rest of the family wanted to vote him out of the company, and he indicated that Summer had been the only one who'd shown up for him. Summer offered to convince the others to change their minds, but Victor was distracted by something on his computer. He wondered how it was possible that Jabot was projecting enormous revenue growth when their last reported earnings had been abysmal. Summer pointed out that he was probably going to jail and was about to be booted from Newman, so she was surprised that he was worried about Jabot.
Victor theorized that there was a connection between his arrest and Jabot's skyrocketing revenues, and Victoria entered and asked for a word with Victor, but he barked to knock the next time. Victoria recognized that he saw her as a traitor, but she confirmed that the vote was going forward. Victoria added that he'd put her in a terrible position, but she loved him no matter what and always would. Victor turned back to his computer, and Victoria hoped that he would eventually forgive her. Victor inquired about what "Billy Boy" had been up to, since Jabot was making a lot of noise about what appeared to be Newman's product. Victor guessed that Victoria knew exactly what was going on.
Victor questioned how something he'd financed had ended up in Jabot's hands, and Victoria replied that Victor had fired Natalie. Victor huffed that Natalie had delivered a shoddy product, but Jabot was suddenly ready to launch it. Victoria insisted that she knew nothing about it, but Victor considered it convenient that as soon as he'd been arrested, Jabot had a profitable product that had once been his. Victoria coldly stated that Victor had been arrested for what he'd done, and she questioned whether he really thought she'd been secretly working with Billy. Summer blurted out that Natalie had been in touch with Billy behind their backs, but Phyllis had asked Summer not to say anything, since Phyllis had been in on it, too.
After Summer left, Victoria was certain that Billy hadn't gone behind her back after he'd almost died, and Victor reminded her that he'd warned her that Billy would hurt her again. Victoria suspected that they didn't know the truth yet, and Victor chided Victoria for denying Billy's culpability after all the havoc Billy and Phyllis had unleashed with Paragon. Victor expected Billy to play it as if he'd been helping Phyllis to get justice, and Victoria snapped that the conversation was over. Victor wondered why Victoria couldn't see that Billy was a drunken gambler who'd betrayed her, and he questioned why she kept falling for Billy's "crap" again and again. Victoria imagined that Nikki asked herself the same thing every night about Victor, and she stormed out.
At the Athletic Club, Billy and Phyllis discussed Judge Elise Moxley's press conference, and Phyllis understood the need to do anything to get out from under Victor's control. Billy sympathized that it hadn't been easy for Elise to step forward, and he considered her to be another casualty of the "Black Knight." Phyllis pointed out that Victor could no longer use Elise to help get an acquittal, and Jack approached and asked about Jabot's new revenue projections. Phyllis wondered why Jack didn't seem happier, and Jack suspected that there had been a lot going on behind his back.
Jack referred to the publicity that Jabot was about to reveal a breakthrough Internet privacy product that sounded a lot like Victor's project, and he questioned why the press thought Jabot was developing it. Billy announced that they were, and Natalie arrived. Billy added that Natalie worked for them, and Jack blasted Billy and Phyllis for not telling him about it. Phyllis reasoned that Jack had been busy setting up the foundation with Neil, but Jack countered that his company was involved in a project that he hadn't known about. Phyllis added that they'd wanted to keep it under wraps until they knew the program was solid, and she wasn't sure how the news had gotten out. Luca joined them and smugly stated that they could thank him later.
Jack was livid that Luca was part of the conspiracy, but Billy insisted that they'd just jumped on an opportunity. Natalie said she'd been a free agent after Victor had fired her, but Jack thought it hadn't been that simple. Billy pledged to reinvent Jabot and make it bigger than ever, but Jack admonished him for hijacking a project from Victor to do it. Billy defended that he'd wanted the project for Jabot the whole time, and Phyllis agreed that the project should have been in Billy's hands all along. Phyllis stepped away to take a call from Summer, who said they needed to talk. Jack realized that Billy and Phyllis had been working together to steal Natalie from the beginning.
Phyllis arrived at Summer's apartment and asked what Summer hadn't been able to discuss over the phone. Summer recalled that Phyllis had always taught her to stand up for herself and to do what she thought was right, but she anticipated that Phyllis might not be proud that Summer had done so. Summer tearfully confessed that she'd told Victor everything, since he'd trusted her to oversee the project, and she hadn't wanted to let him down. Phyllis exclaimed that Summer had fed Billy and Phyllis to Victor for lunch, and Summer said she hated what Victor had done to Phyllis, but she still loved him. Summer began to cry, and she thought Phyllis hated her, but Phyllis said she loved Summer.
Summer mentioned that Victor had been really mad at Victoria, and Phyllis realized that Victoria also knew what Billy had done. Phyllis apologized for putting Summer in a bad position, and Summer wailed that she hated feeling like she had to choose sides. Phyllis encouraged Summer not to blindly side with Victor, since it had originally been Billy's project. Summer whimpered that she hadn't been able to handle the secrets and lies anymore, and Phyllis anticipated that Victor would use the information as an excuse to lash out and hurt people again. Phyllis wasn't sure if Billy and Victoria's relationship would survive it, and she left to get ready for whatever happened next.
At the Athletic Club, Jack demanded to know how long everyone had been working behind his back, and he questioned Natalie's ethics. Jack was skeptical that the project suddenly worked, and Natalie claimed that she hadn't been able to work with Victor pounding his chest and barking orders. Billy contended that he'd been trying to right a wrong, but Jack thought Billy had declared war. Bill argued that they'd make a lot of money, and Luca added that Victor would be in prison soon, so they'd be free to launch PassKey. Jack questioned Luca's involvement in the project.
Billy said Luca had proven to be an asset, but Jack wanted no part of what the Santoris were involved in. Luca explained that he was no longer tied to Victor or his family, and he was completely committed to the project. Luca understood that he had to prove himself, but he considered the enemy of his enemy to be his friend. Jack remarked that sometimes it was just another enemy, and he wanted a moment with Billy. Luca offered to ensure that Natalie got home safely, and Natalie asked where that was, since Summer had given her the boot. Luca led Natalie out, and Jack berated Billy for stealing the project and inviting a bottom-feeder into the company. Billy said he'd done it to get justice.
Jack guessed that Billy had jumped at the opportunity to return Jabot to glory after Billy had sucked the lifeblood out of the company. Jack questioned whether Billy thought Victor wouldn't notice that they were launching a program just like Victor's, and Billy testily asked if Jack thought he was too dumb to save their father's legacy. Jack noted that there was a right way to do things, but Billy countered that Newman would still own the project if they had done things Jack's way.
Billy added that it was the least of what Victor deserved after what he'd done to Phyllis, and Jack barked that he didn't need Billy to defend his wife. "Well, somebody has to," Billy asserted as Phyllis walked in. Jack stalked out, and Phyllis followed him. Shortly thereafter, Victoria confronted Billy about lying to her.
Luca and Natalie arrived at Summer's apartment, and Summer tried to throw them out, but Natalie said she was only there to get her stuff. Summer blasted Luca for giving Billy the incriminating files about Victor, and she blamed him for her needing to tell Victor that Phyllis and Billy had been working together. Luca told her to blame Victor.
At Top of the Tower, Phyllis informed Jack that Summer was in the middle of the mess, and Jack held Phyllis responsible for putting Summer there. Neil approached and told Jack that Ashley had turned down his offer to be part of the foundation, and Jack assumed that Ashley was consumed by her work. Neil revealed that Ashley had stepped down and put Hilary in her place, and he didn't like it one bit.
Victor entered, and he accused Jack of plotting to go after him once again by stealing the deal from under him while playing the victim. Phyllis hissed that she had been the victim, and Victor growled that he should have crushed Jack and left him with nothing when he'd had the chance. Jack retorted that Victor had tried and failed, and he urged Victor to get accustomed to the feeling of losing. Victor bellowed that he hadn't been born with a silver spoon, adding, "When I lose, I come back stronger than ever, and next time, I will grind you into the dust."
At Adam and Chelsea's penthouse, Chelsea and Sage were going through a bag of baby clothes that Chelsea had decided to give to Sage and Nick. Sage gave Chelsea a chance to reconsider, pointing out that the clothes could still prove useful if Chelsea and Adam ever decided to have another baby, but Chelsea clarified that she was only sharing a fraction of her collection. "I may or may not have a slight shopping addiction," Chelsea explained with a laugh.
Chelsea could tell that something was bothering Sage, who was reluctant to confirm the suspicion at first but eventually admitted that she was worried that one wrong move could result in her losing a child all over again. Having been in Shawn's shoes before, Chelsea said she understood both sides of the situation. Sage hesitantly continued that she was also worried that Nick might not want the baby as much as she did, since he already had kids of his own. Chelsea assured Sage that Nick had enough room in his heart for twenty kids.
Chelsea continued that keeping secrets wasn't Nick's style, anyway. "It's Adam's," Chelsea added with a laugh, knowing that Sage had at least been thinking, if not preparing to say, the same thing. Chelsea quickly corrected herself, however, proudly clarifying that Adam was trying to change his ways. Chelsea reported that Adam was actually in New York at that time, interviewing for a new job as part of his plan to fully distance himself from Victor and Newman Enterprises. Sage was happy for Chelsea but worried about Nick, the most likely candidate to take Adam's place at the company.
At Crimson Lights, Paul and Sharon gushed over Sully while Dylan stared worriedly at Nikki, who was out on the patio with Nick. Paul admitted that he, too, was worried about Nikki, who had been through "a whole hell of a lot" thanks to Victor. Sharon was reluctant to defend Victor but pointed out that Nikki had known what she was getting herself into when she had agreed, yet again, to marry him. Paul argued that Victor's latest stunt had gone far beyond the things Nikki had known him to be capable of in the past, but Sharon countered that she would never put anything past him.
Out on the patio, Nick told Nikki he had decided to abstain from voting in the impending Newman Enterprises board meeting. Nikki was disappointed on Victoria's behalf, but Nick insisted that Victoria was perfectly capable of running the company without his help. Nick added that he needed to focus, at that time, on himself, Sage, and the baby boy they were trying to adopt. Nikki was delighted to learn the gender of her newest grandchild, but Nick warned her that the adoption wasn't a done deal yet. Nodding, Nikki assured Nick that she understood why he wanted to stay out of the Newman Enterprises drama.
At Top of the Tower, Jack stressed that Victor was free to go after him but needed to stay away from Phyllis. Victor laughed off the implication that Phyllis was an innocent, defenseless woman, insisting that she was actually a barracuda. Although Phyllis chose to take the dig as a compliment, it irked Jack, who warned Victor not to say another negative thing about her.
"Or you'll what?" Victor wondered. "Just try me!" Jack replied. Neil and Michael quickly intervened to keep Victor and Jack separated. Neil said that Victor and Jack needed to calm down before someone ended up getting hurt. "You're wrong, Neil. I want people to get hurt. I expect people to get hurt...starting with her," Victor clarified, glaring at Phyllis.
After Victor left, Lauren wondered if Phyllis was okay. Phyllis said she wouldn't be okay until Victor was locked up for good. Phyllis pointedly added that Michael might be the only person who could guarantee that would happen, but Jack thought there might be a move he could make against Victor that would achieve the same goal. "Then do it!" Phyllis snapped.
Jack stepped aside and contacted Paul. "You need to lock Victor up again. He is out of control," Jack said when Paul answered the phone call. Meanwhile, Michael once again informed Phyllis that he wasn't going to agree to represent Victor and secretly throw the case. "Did you not just hear him? He tossed us a death threat! Victor is a rabid animal who needs to be put down!" Phyllis argued.
Michael optimistically assumed that Phyllis was just trying to say that Victor needed to be prevented from causing further harm, but she clarified that she had meant that Victor literally needed to be put down. "All right, I'm exaggerating. But not really," Phyllis added as Michael stared at her in disbelief. Lauren agreed with Phyllis, predicting that Victor would find new ways to harass the Abbotts if he managed to beat the charges he was facing.
Michael wondered why everyone was assuming that Victor would beat the charges, especially since Judge Moxley was no longer in his pocket. Phyllis argued that Victor could still find another judge to bribe or blackmail, and Lauren added that he had never been held accountable before. Phyllis urged Michael to step up and be the one who finally ended the "God-awful cycle," reasoning that he would be betraying his oath for a worthy cause. Michael sought support from Jack, who had just rejoined the group, but Jack said that what he had just witnessed had convinced him that Victor needed to be stopped "by any means possible."
Victor entered his office, with Neil in tow, and went to the bar to pour himself a drink. Neil tried to reason with Victor, pointing out that they had been friends for a long time, but Victor countered that Neil had recently pretended to have an affair with Nikki as a way of honoring that friendship. Neil conceded that he had crossed a line with that ruse. Neil added, however, that Victor needed support from someone because, while he might be strong and independent, no one could go through everything alone.
Before Victor could respond, Paul and Dylan entered the office. "Well, I'll be damned. Surprised it took you so long," Victor mused. Nikki soon arrived, and Victor wasn't surprised to see her, either, although he did wonder how many different ways she was going to manage to think of to betray him. Paul stressed that Nikki wasn't the one who had contacted him. "There was a complaint. Apparently, you threatened Phyllis?" Paul continued.
"I didn't make a threat; I made a promise," Victor clarified. Neil assured Paul, as a witness to the whole incident, that no one had gotten hurt, but Paul said Victor had still violated the terms of his bail. Victor made no attempt to talk his way out of the dilemma, although he did warn, as he was leaving with Paul and Dylan, that it would be foolish for anyone to put faith in Nikki because she liked to abandon people as soon as things got difficult.
Once they were alone, Neil asked if Nikki was okay. "No, actually, I'm not okay. Why the hell were you sticking up for my husband?" Nikki demanded to know. Neil explained that he wasn't condoning Victor's actions; he was simply trying to offer help to someone who was in need of it. Neil told Nikki about his plan to start a recovery program with Jack. "If I [don't] try to help Victor, how am I gonna help anyone else?" Neil reasoned.
Neil wondered how Nikki was doing in the wake of Moxley's press conference. Nikki dismissively insisted that an affair that had happened years earlier was the least of her worries. Nikki told Neil about the impending board meeting, prompting Neil to warn that Victor always had a plan and would definitely put up a fight if the board tried to oust him from his company. "And certainly, facing some jail time, the man's got nothing left to lose," Neil added.
Nikki assured Neil that she was well aware of the battle she was taking on. Nikki reasoned, however, that removing Victor from Newman Enterprises might be the only way to get him off the warpath and make him finally recognize the consequences of his actions. "I know that he has always been ruthless; this is nothing new. But this time...I don't know, it's like he's broken, Neil. And maybe he has to hit bottom before he can heal," Nikki mused.
At Crimson Lights, Nick confided in Sharon about his decision to remove himself from the drama at Newman Enterprises. Sharon grasped Nick's hand as she advised him to follow his heart, and he said he appreciated her support, especially considering everything they had been through. Sage and Chelsea arrived while Nick and Sharon were still holding hands. As Nick rose from his chair, Sharon explained that they had just been talking about the situation with Victor. Chelsea quickly dragged Sharon away, claiming that she wanted information about a new blend of coffee that Crimson Lights had just started selling.
Once they were out of earshot, Chelsea explained to Sharon that she had wanted to give Nick and Sage some privacy because they probably had a lot to discuss, since things were really complicated at that time. Dylan approached and revealed that things were about to get even more complicated. Dylan wanted to let Nick know that Victor's bail had been revoked, but Chelsea urged him to wait.
"Yeah. Nick has a lot on his plate right now, and apparently Sage isn't helping any," Sharon explained, prompting Chelsea to argue that Sharon had no right to judge Sage. Sharon protested that, as Nick's ex-wife and the mother of two of his children, she was entitled to have an opinion about what was going on in his life, but Chelsea countered that his current wife could also boast that entitlement. "And no offense, but I think her opinion counts more than yours, Sharon, so why don't you just stay out of it?" Chelsea suggested. Dylan intervened, reasoning that it would be best for everyone to stay out of Nick's marriage.
Nick told Sage about his decision to abstain from voting in the impending board meeting. Sage said it sounded like Nick had made the right choice, but he could tell that something was bothering her. Sage hesitantly admitted that she felt like Nick wasn't as committed to the adoption idea as she was. Sage argued that Shawn was an impressionable young woman who needed to know she could count on Nick and Sage to give the adoption process their full attention, and Nick's abrupt departure from their earlier meeting hadn't conveyed that message.
Nick pointed out that what was going on with his family was "kind of a big deal," but Sage argued that the adoption was, too -- and it seemed to her that Nick was trying to sabotage it. Nick conceded that, while he wasn't making a conscious effort to fight the adoption, he might indeed be giving it less than his full attention. Nick guessed that he was doing that because he didn't think, deep down, that Sage was ready to adopt a child.
Sage tried to guess the meaning of Nick's statement, and when he complained that she was putting words in his mouth, she urged him to stop handling her with "kid gloves" and be honest with her so she would know what he really meant. "You want honesty? I think this whole adoption thing...is about you trying to replace Christian," Nick admitted. Hurt, Sage stormed off without saying another word.
At the Athletic Club, Billy feigned ignorance when Victoria accused him of lying, prompting her to inform him that Summer had revealed the truth about the scheme he had cooked up with Phyllis. Billy said he'd had every intention of walking away from the Internet security project until Phyllis had told him about a plan to get it back -- a plan she had started putting into effect before he had even been released from the hospital.
"Really? 'Phyllis made me do it' -- is that what you're saying?" Victoria asked incredulously. Billy clarified that Phyllis hadn't made him go along with the plan; he had simply felt obligated to do so because she had gone out on a limb for him. "Okay, well, that's where, as an actual adult, you say, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' and then you just walk away," Victoria pointed out.
Billy said he had tried to do that but had eventually gotten caught up in the idea of trying to get his life back after his near-death experience. Billy added that he couldn't have just let Phyllis go after Victor on her own, but Victoria pointed out that Phyllis could take care of herself and didn't need Billy to be her knight in shining armor. Billy argued that, while that might be true under regular circumstances, what Victor had done to Phyllis had left her unable to think about things rationally. "Even more reason to stay out of it," Victoria countered.
Victoria wondered when Phyllis had started being more important to Billy than his wife and children. Billy denied the accusation and dismissively offered to fix everything with a fifty-fifty split between Jabot and Newman Enterprises for ownership of PassKey. Insisting that she wasn't upset about losing PassKey, Victoria grabbed her purse and walked away, ignoring Billy's attempt to stop her.
Billy went to Top of the Tower and told Phyllis about what had just happened. Billy feared that he was going to lose Victoria, but Phyllis insisted that she wasn't going to let that happen. After Phyllis rushed off, Billy filled Jack in on what was going on. Jack wondered what Billy had been hoping to accomplish when he had decided to team up with Phyllis. Billy claimed that he had been trying to save Jabot, but Jack guessed that there was more to it than that. "You know it, and unfortunately, so does Victoria," Jack added.
Billy argued that Jack was missing the big picture: Victor had finally been beaten at his own game. "Beating Victor Newman is the big picture in this scenario? Not your family, not being with your kids and your wife?" Jack asked incredulously. Billy complained that he hadn't said that -- and that it didn't matter what he did, because nothing would ever be good enough for Jack. Jack stressed that he understood the obsession with beating Victor better than anyone else did. "[But] here's the one thing I've learned: he always gets up; he always fires back," Jack added.
"Not this time," Billy insisted. Grinning, Billy assured Jack that they had nothing to fear from Victor, who couldn't exactly sue them for corporate espionage from a jail cell. "And there it is -- the classic Billy Abbott grin," Jack observed, sounding disappointed but not surprised. Billy defensively wondered if he wasn't even allowed to smile anymore. Jack said Billy could feel free to do so, as long as he was prepared for his gloating to cost him what really mattered. "And I promise you, it will," Jack predicted.
Elsewhere, Michael mused, somewhat bitterly, that Lauren had been Phyllis' biggest cheerleader earlier, when Phyllis had been trying to convince him to sabotage Victor's defense. Lauren stressed that she was always Michael's biggest cheerleader. "I've got the pom-poms at home to prove it," Lauren flirtatiously added. Getting back on track, Lauren wondered how Michael would feel if Victor had put a stranger in their bed. "I'd kill him," Michael admitted. "Then you have your answer," Lauren concluded.
Phyllis found Victoria at the Athletic Club and insisted that Victoria needed to hear her out. "What I need is for you to stop destroying everything you touch," Victoria spat. Agreeing that everything had indeed been her fault, Phyllis urged Victoria to refrain from punishing Billy for any of it. Victoria argued that Billy wasn't a pathetic lapdog whose only choice had been to do Phyllis' bidding. Phyllis conceded the point but stressed that Billy had agonized about his decision to lie to Victoria every step of the way.
Phyllis said Billy had been eager for the whole thing to reach an end so he could go back to devoting his entire life to Victoria, but Victoria guessed that he had only wanted the scheme to end because he had known that when it did, Victor would be finished for good. "That's what he's devoted to," Victoria concluded. Victoria admitted that it had been idiotic of her to believe that Billy would ever change, but Phyllis argued that Victoria would only be an idiot if she walked away from Billy.
Later, after Phyllis left, Billy returned and admitted that he was "an ass" who had made the mistake of losing sight of what was most important to him. Billy vowed that he would never make that mistake again, but Victoria pointed out that she had heard that promise before. "You say this is the last time? You're right. I'm done. The wedding is off," Victoria added.
Phyllis returned to Top of the Tower and told Jack about her conversation with Victoria. Phyllis complained that Victoria hadn't bought any of the things Phyllis had tried to say in Billy's defense. "And you're really surprised? After you and my brother have done nothing but lie over and over again, why should Victoria trust you? While we're at it, why should I?" Jack asked.
At the police station, Victor fired his lawyer after she tried to convince him to accept a plea bargain. Later, Michael arrived and offered to represent Victor, claiming that, while Phyllis was a friend of his, Victor had once been, too, and he would fight just as hard for Victor as he had for Adam. Victor accepted the offer but watched with a hint of suspicion as Michael left the conference room.
At the Athletic Club, Nick and Sage recounted their prior conversation about the adoption, and Sage said she'd been hurt when he'd accused her of wanting to replace their son. She stressed that Christian had been irreplaceable, and she needed Nick to stop questioning her and to support her. Nick cautioned that Sage appeared to be desperate when she was around Shawn, and Sage defended that she'd waited her whole life to be a mother, so she knew what she wanted. Sage inquired whether Nick was looking for excuses because he wasn't sure what he wanted.
Nick swore that he wanted the baby, too, and Sage ordered him to prove it by doing everything possible to ensure the adoption went through. Shawn approached, and Sage looked forward to showing her around the club. Sage added that Nick had a meeting, so Shawn was doing her a favor by keeping her company. Nick said it was nice to see Shawn, and he kissed Sage goodbye. After Nick left, Shawn revealed that she'd seen the couple arguing, and she wondered if they fought a lot.
Sage clarified that she and Nick hadn't been fighting, but it had been an emotional conversation. Sage reiterated that she and Nick had gotten married and planned their future as a family, and he'd been very loving and supportive when he'd learned about her pregnancy. Shawn noted that her boyfriend had taken off when she'd told him she was pregnant, and she was glad to hear that Nick was a stand-up guy. Sage recalled that they'd been excited to have the baby, but part of them had died when they'd lost Christian, and they were still healing. Shawn asked if they wanted a baby to save their marriage.
Sage swore that her marriage was fine, but she and Nick were working through the loss they'd suffered, and they had to face their problems to end up stronger. Shawn said she'd had a picture in her head of the perfect couple to be parents to her little boy, and Sage admitted that no one was perfect, but there was no one else in the world who would love Shawn's child more than she and Nick would. Sage guaranteed that she and Nick were the right people to raise Shawn's child, but Shawn pointed out that Sage had said no one was perfect.
Summer visited Victor in jail, and she asked what he'd been thinking when he'd gone after Phyllis and Jack, since it had only made things worse. He replied that he'd survive, and he asked if she was okay. She hesitantly mentioned that she was there to talk to him about the Newman board meeting, and he informed her that he knew that Nikki and Victoria wanted to vote him out of his own company. He refused to allow it to happen.
Victor gave Summer his proxy to vote on his behalf at the meeting, but she worried that he wouldn't have enough votes to keep him from being pushed out. Victor mentioned that she'd been the only one to see him since his bail had been revoked, and he called the rest of his family traitors who had lived a life of luxury because of his hard work and struggles. He suddenly looked bewildered, and he mumbled that something was wrong. He grappled for words but couldn't speak coherently, and he put his hands to his head. Summer called for help as Victor became increasingly confused.
At the penthouse, Adam gushed to Chelsea about his amazing interview with a hedge fund in Manhattan, but he pointed out that they'd have to move there if he got the job. Chelsea squealed with excitement at the prospect of being a fashion designer in New York City, and he called it a fresh, new start. He realized that he was running late for the board meeting to have Victor dethroned, and he proclaimed that it would be his last official business as a Newman employee. Chelsea noted that someone had to replace Victor, and Adam guessed that Victoria would do so. Chelsea wondered if part of him still wanted to be CEO, and she asked him to promise that he was committed to walking away from the company.
Adam told Chelsea that all he longed for was a life with her and Connor, and he didn't give "a damn" about a corner office at Newman. Chelsea believed that he meant it, but she thought that he always seemed to get sucked back into wanting Victor's approval, and she suggested that Adam avoid the temptation. Adam insisted that the meeting was important, but Chelsea wouldn't allow him to go. Adam suggested a compromise.
In the Newman boardroom, Abby complained that her stomach was in knots, and she wasn't sure if she could kick her father out of his own company. Nikki pointed out that Abby had been as outraged as the rest of them about what Victor had done to Jack and Phyllis, but Abby thought the law would punish him. Abby imagined the hit Victor's bank account and reputation would take by being ousted from the company, and she considered it cruel. Abby questioned whether Nikki and Victoria had thought about the fallout for both Victor and themselves.
Abby fretted that not being able to run Newman would kill Victor, but Victoria contended that he didn't deserve their support after defending him had blown up in their faces. Nikki added that there was no excuse for what he'd done to Jack and Phyllis, and Abby recognized that finding out the truth about Kelly's death had been more than Stitch had been able to bear. Nikki acknowledged that it was difficult for all of them, but she thought Victor needed a wakeup call, and he couldn't hide behind the company anymore. Nikki saw it as Victor's chance for salvation, since the place had become toxic to him, and she hoped Abby would join them in saving Victor from it. Abby looked torn.
Nikki was surprised when Nick entered the boardroom, since he'd already decided to abstain from the vote. Nick explained that he was there to make sure Victoria became the new CEO, just in case Adam tried anything. Summer burst in and announced that Victor was in the hospital, and Nick surmised that it wasn't that serious, since Summer hadn't gone to the hospital with Victor. Summer said Victor had seemed okay when the ambulance had arrived, and Nikki suspected that he had faked it in an effort to get them to postpone the meeting. Summer insisted that he hadn't been faking, but Nikki said she wouldn't put it past him to stage a health issue to manipulate them.
Abby volunteered to take notes during the board meeting, and Victoria announced that Adam had a comment to make. Over the speakerphone, he apologized for not being able to attend in person, but he was sure most of them didn't care. Nick suggested that they get on with it, and Victoria relayed that Victor had been taken from his jail cell and moved to the hospital after complaining of a severe headache, but the hospital had reported that he was in stable condition. Victoria added that Victor had given Summer his proxy before he'd been taken to the hospital, and the first vote was whether to remove Victor as CEO.
Nikki asked to address the board before the vote, and she swore that they'd had no choice but to call the meeting, since the incredible man who'd created the company had failed them by committing unspeakable acts. Nikki continued that he was facing trial for his heinous behavior, and he might spend years in prison, so they had to step in and save their legacy and future. Victoria asked all those in favor to raise their hands or indicate their votes verbally, and Adam declared that his hand was up. Everyone in the boardroom held up their hands except Nick and Summer, and Summer said Victor voted no. Nick confirmed that he was abstaining, and Victoria announced that Victor's role in the day-to-day management of the company was terminated.
Victoria turned the topic to Victor's successor, and Adam whispered to Chelsea that he could hear Victoria drooling. Nikki nominated Victoria, and Nick seconded the motion. Victoria asked whether there were any other nominations, and she stared at the speakerphone, but Adam remained silent. Victoria started to proceed, but Adam announced that he had something to say, and he congratulated Victoria and told her to have fun. Adam hung up and hugged an elated Chelsea.
Nick was surprised that Adam hadn't challenged Victoria's nomination, and Nikki concluded that Adam had accepted that Victoria was the best Newman for the job. Summer said she hated that they'd voted Victor out, but she was glad Victoria was taking over rather than Adam. Victoria recorded it as a unanimous vote, and Nikki congratulated her. Abby wanted to visit Victor, and Summer and Nikki offered to go with her. Nikki anticipated that it would be difficult to convince Victor that it had been the right thing to do for all of them, and she and Victoria hugged.
Victoria plopped down a stack of files on her desk, and Nick commented that there wasn't much time to celebrate. Victoria implied that it would be less daunting if he was by her side, but she understood that the adoption was a big deal. He assured her that everyone was behind her, but she confided that she was a little burned out, and she was worried about her kids. She admitted that she'd kept Billy's ring on to avoid any questions, but she'd called off the wedding after Billy had confessed to working with Phyllis to steal Natalie from Newman.
Victoria ranted that Billy had sabotaged their company and had lied to her for weeks, and she could use another pair of eyes at the top. Nick urged her not to let Billy get in the way of her success, and she wished she hadn't trusted Billy. Nick was certain that she would run the company the right way and that she'd continue to be the amazing mom she'd always been, and she noted that he was rejecting her offer in the nicest way possible. Nick assured her that she didn't need him or anyone else, since it was her time to shine, and he couldn't wait to see her do it. They embraced.
Chelsea gushed that she was proud of Adam, but he teased her for being tense during the call. She conceded that she'd been nervous during the part about who would take over as CEO, and he thought she'd expected him to cave. She admitted that a small part of her had been scared, but he'd stayed strong. He promised that he wouldn't get sucked back in, and they kissed.
Nick returned to the Athletic Club, and Sage mentioned that Shawn had questions about their relationship after witnessing their intense discussion earlier. Nick understood that Shawn was trying to make the best decision for her and her baby, but he swore that he and Sage were in it together. Nick promised that they would be devoted to the baby, and he hoped Shawn had seen the kind of people they were and how much the baby meant to them. Shawn noted that they were obviously excited about the baby, but it was an emotional time for her. Nick replied that it was for him and Sage, too, and Shawn confirmed that everything was good between them.
At the hospital, Ashley balked at getting an MRI, but Simon assured her that he had a friend who would keep the results confidential. She contemplated whether the treatment was worth it, since the side effects made her feel lousy and exhausted all the time, and she was sick of feeling like a shadow of who she'd once been. Simon argued that the protocol had prevented the illness from overwhelming her system, and he vowed not to stop until he found a solution. Simon refused to let Ashley quit, and she questioned whether he was ignoring the fact that it was her decision to make. He swore to do whatever it took -- whether she liked it or not.
Stitch arrived with Max, and he promised that they'd get back to their day together once he checked in with work. Ashley offered to wait with Max at the lab, and Max showed genuine excitement to spend time there. Stitch reported that Victor was back in the hospital, but he didn't know what was going on yet. Ashley entered Victor's room and said she wanted to talk about their daughter, since Abby was heartbroken that the man she'd loved and admired her whole life didn't exist anymore. Ashley implored Victor to be there for Abby, since Abby needed him more than he knew. He said he'd keep it in mind.
Later, Stitch determined that Victor's blood pressure was a tad high, but all of the other results were back to normal. He noted that the symptoms appeared to be similar to the last time, and he guessed the episode had been stress-related, but he'd keep running tests. Victor imagined that they'd expect him at the jail soon, and Stitch coldly pledged to get Victor back there as soon as possible. Victor surmised that Stitch held him responsible for Kelly's death, even though Jack had killed her. Stitch said he thought Victor had blood on his hands, since Kelly wouldn't have ended up dead if Victor hadn't used her.
Victor asserted that Kelly's obsession with Jack had eventually led to her demise, and Stitch admonished Victor for refusing to take any responsibility. Victor recognized that Stitch was grieving Kelly's death, but he suggested that Stitch put his energy into his relationship with Abby, who was having a tough time with her first baby on the way and inheriting Max as a stepson. Stitch thought Victor was trying to deflect from the fact that he'd taken advantage of Kelly's emotionally fragile state, and Stitch insisted that he and Abby were doing fine. Victor skeptically asked if Stitch was sure, and Stitch testily said he'd have another doctor assigned to Victor's case.
At the Jabot lab, Simon showed Max how to make slime, and Ashley retreated to the office to finish some work. Simon followed her, and she thanked him for helping out with Max. Simon said he liked the boy, but he was mystified that she'd volunteered to look after him when she wasn't feeling well. Ashley asserted that Max was her family, and Simon warned that Max would be the only grandchild she'd get to know if she didn't continue with treatment. Ashley decided that he was right, and she promised to keep fighting. She hugged him.
Simon inquired about Ashley's affection for Max, and she sympathized that the boy had been through a hard time, but she thought he was sweet. Simon questioned whether it was Max or his father who had charmed her, and Ashley again insisted that she was over Stitch.
At the hospital, Summer was relieved that Victor would be okay, and Victor said he was glad she was there to check on him. Abby suspected that he didn't feel the same way about her and Nikki, but they'd wanted to tell him about the board's decision in person. Nikki confirmed that he'd been voted out and that Victoria had been named CEO. Abby said it had been a hard decision, and Victor assured her that he didn't blame her, but he thought Nikki and Victoria had proven their disloyalty by leading the charge against him. Nikki asked for a moment alone with Victor, and Abby and Summer stepped out. Nikki hoped Victor always remembered that she loved him very deeply, but he told her to spare him the speech, and he ordered her out.
In the corridor, Abby told Stitch that her encounter with Victor had been less terrible than she'd expected, and Stitch mentioned that Victor had baited him until Stitch had wanted to strangle him. Abby commended Stitch for not doing it, and he mentioned that he'd requested that another doctor take over Victor's case. Abby said Victor hadn't had any right to treat Stitch that way, and Stitch recognized that things had been difficult for her, too. She wondered where Max was, and he said his son was with Ashley at Jabot. Stitch said he and Abby had time to discuss how she felt about the effect Max was having on their marriage.
Victoria entered Victor's room, and he asked if she was there to announce her coronation. She insisted that she wasn't there to gloat but to have an honest conversation. He warned her not to get too comfortable behind his desk because when got out, he'd retake his rightful position, and she'd be out of Newman forever.
In the hospital corridor, Stitch pushed Abby to tell him how she felt, and he referred to the moment when she'd thought Max would walk away and leave her in distress. Stitch worried that Max would sense that she didn't trust the boy, and Abby acknowledged that Max was going through a terrible loss, but she was concerned that the baby would need Stitch, too. Abby pointed out that Max didn't want to share Stitch with her, and she doubted Max would want to share with his new sibling. She noted that Max had almost ended up in foster care to get Stitch's attention, and she wondered what Max would do once the baby got there.
Stitch agreed that he'd been giving Max a lot of attention, and he compared it to triage, when the person with the most damage got treated first. He lamented that he was trying to make everyone happy, but he didn't know how. Abby asked if he could be happy about the baby, and he lovingly touched her belly and called the baby the bright spot that kept him going when he was overwhelmed. Abby said she wanted to help both Stitch and Max, but she also wanted to feel like she and Stitch were in it together. He swore that they were together in everything, and they pledged their love to one another.
At the Jabot lab, Ashley insisted to Simon that she was over Stitch, even though she and Stitch had shared a close moment when they'd been trapped during the fire. Max listened from the doorway, and Simon spotted him. Max inquired whether his father had been hurt, and he wondered why Stitch had never told him about the fire. Ashley explained that parents had a way of not telling kids things to protect them, but she assured him that Stitch was perfectly healthy. Max peppered Ashley with questions about what it had been like to be trapped together, and Stitch and Abby walked in.
Max guessed that his father had been a hero during the fire, but Stitch credited Abby with being heroic by refusing to leave the building until she'd known he and Ashley were safe. Max referred to Stitch and "Ms. Abbott" being trapped together, and Ashley told Max to call her by her first name, since they were family. Abby said they were there to take Max to lunch, and Max asked if Ashley and Simon could join them. Simon accepted and extended his arm to Ashley, and Max was surprised that people did that in real life. Max also offered Ashley his arm, and he happily called to his father to go. Abby looked exasperated.
At Top of the Tower, Max asked Ashley if he could show his class how to make slime, and Ashley said it was Simon's area of expertise. She explained that they were researching how to cure illnesses by using chemistry instead of surgery, and Abby guessed that Max might want to be a doctor one day. Max realized that they were at the place where the fire had happened, and Stitch mentioned that everything had been fixed in time for his wedding to Abby. Max continued to ask questions about what Stitch and Ashley had done during the fire, and an upset Abby excused herself.
Ashley stepped away to check on Abby, and Stitch remarked that it sounded like Max had had a good time at the lab. Max commented that it was weird that Ashley was Abby's mom, and he asked if he could hang out at the lab again sometime. Simon agreed, and Max noticed the view from the window and ran over to take a look. Simon found it fascinating to observe the first spark of the boy's interest, and Stitch assumed he meant chemistry. Simon clarified that he'd been referring to Ashley, and he supposed it ran in the genes. Embarrassed, Stitch said it was nice to see Max smile and let people in, and he wished Max would do the same thing for Abby.
Ashley ran into Abby near the bar, and Abby griped that she was dealing with morning sickness on top of her stepson hating her. Ashley called Max a good kid, but Abby complained that Max was working Stitch and Ashley. Abby said she knew the boy was a total manipulator because she'd been the same way at his age, and Ashley pointed out that Abby had grown out of it. Ashley told Abby to remember that she was the adult in the situation, and both Abby and Max loved Stitch, so eventually Max would realize they were on the same side. The women hugged, and Max happily waved to Ashley from across the restaurant.
At Crimson Lights, Phyllis commended Michael for convincing Victor to let Michael represent him, since she needed Victor to pay for what he'd done to her. Michael said he wanted the same thing, but he had to be careful, since he could be imprisoned or disbarred if Victor figured out that Michael was tanking his defense. Michael vowed to get Victor convicted because it was the right thing to do.
At the Athletic Club, Billy anticipated that the rollout for PassKey would be huge, but Jack wondered what would happen when Newman sued them. Billy said Newman didn't want anything to do with PassKey, and he revealed that he'd offered part of the profits to Victoria, but she'd turned him down and called off the wedding. Billy expected that although she was done with him, Victoria would forgive Victor because he was family. Phyllis overheard and accepted responsibility for dragging Billy into the situation, but Billy recognized that he'd known their plan had had the potential to blow up in their faces. Phyllis said it had, but it didn't mean they couldn't still win.
Phyllis conceded that their personal lives had "gone to hell," but Jabot was on the rise, and she could taste victory. Billy glumly stated that Victoria wasn't impressed, and Phyllis argued that Billy had done everything for the sake of his family, including Victoria. Phyllis believed that Victoria still loved him, and she encouraged Billy not to give up. Phyllis suggested that Billy remind Victoria of why the two of them made sense together, and he departed. Jack figured that it was too late for Billy to put things back together with Victoria, since there had been too many lies and broken promises. Phyllis wondered why Jack was acting like Billy was the only one to blame.
Jack grumbled that Billy had had 100 chances to act like an adult, and he'd failed at all of them. Phyllis recounted that Jack had once put everything on the line to go after Victor, but Jack believed the only way to beat Victor was to stay out of the game. Phyllis chided Jack for giving up, and she contended that Billy had gotten a legitimate win by getting PassKey to impress his big brother. Jack thought it had all been about gambling for Billy, but Billy had lost Victoria instead of thousands of dollars that time, and the dirty move had been beneath Billy.
Phyllis questioned whether Jack thought she was dirty, too, and Jack replied that she'd had her own reasons for what she'd done. She told him not to make excuses for her, and she confessed that she'd had Adam kidnapped. Jack condemned her actions because someone could have been hurt during the hostage swap, but she mentioned that she'd been in touch with Natalie before Natalie had even arrived in town. She accused Jack of turning his back on Billy to try to teach him a lesson, and Jack spat that Billy hadn't learned "a damn thing."
Jack thought Billy and Phyllis had lost as soon as they'd decided to engage in the game with Victor, but Phyllis noted that Victor was standing trial, and they were sitting on a fortune. Jack argued that Billy had lost Victoria and everything that was important to him, and he wondered what else they'd lose before they ended the war against Victor. Phyllis proclaimed that she planned on winning back her self-respect and dignity, and she wouldn't stop until Victor realized that he couldn't mess with her ever again. She growled that if Jack wouldn't stand and fight with her then he should get out of her way, and she stormed out.
At the hospital, Victor warned Victoria that she'd be out of Newman permanently once he was cleared. She said she was speaking to him as his daughter, and he'd put himself there by making choices to hurt a lot of people. She added that he couldn't fix the damage he'd done to his family and his company on his own, and she implored him to let her help him. He told her to use her energy to look out for herself, since he had all the help he needed.
Victoria contended that she'd forgiven and defended Victor, but he countered that she'd sued him for 500 million dollars. She pointed out that they'd gotten past it, but he questioned how he was supposed to get past her turning the evidence against him over to the police. Victoria argued that she'd gotten over him having her arrested on her wedding day, and she suggested that they pull together for the family and the company. She pointed out that he'd put her in charge when he'd stepped down before, and he huffed that it had gone to her head.
Michael entered and asked to speak to his client, and Victoria exited. Victor asked Michael to file a motion to drop the charges due to lack of evidence, but Michael advised that there was too much evidence, so it would be a waste of time. Victor asked how Michael intended to get him out of it, and Michael declared that it was his job to destroy the prosecution's case by exposing the flaws in it. Michael intended to outline Jack's history of obsession with Victor and his company, and he asserted that Victor had had every right to suspect that Jack had been behind Paragon.
Michael expected the jury to drool over the drama when he made Victor's wife and offspring admit how much they loved Victor, and he planned to show Victor's devotion to his family and the legacy he'd provided them. He anticipated that the jury would latch onto Victor's emotional redemption as a father who'd made choices that no one else had been willing to make, and he intended to paint Victor as the ultimate father figure who'd saved Nikki and his kids from poverty and misery. Victor noted that he'd been able to convince Summer of the truth, but he thought the jury might not agree. Michael pledged to make the jury wish they had someone who would sacrifice for them like Victor had for his loved ones. Victor requested to use Michael's phone.
At the penthouse, Adam finished a call and blurted out that he'd gotten the job. Chelsea ran into his arms, and he proclaimed that there was a new life for them in New York City without Newman or Victor. Adam gushed that Chelsea would love New York City, since she'd be in the middle of the fashion world with no Newman interference. They envisioned where they'd live and work, and she prepared to pack and call her parents. Adam exclaimed that they'd finally gotten the new life they'd wanted, and they kissed.
After making love, Chelsea and Adam cuddled in bed, and he couldn't wait until their first night in New York City. She asked how fast he could pack, but he suggested that she join him in the shower instead. She preferred to look into real estate listings, and he headed off to shower. Chelsea saw an incoming call from Michael on Adam's phone, and she answered it. Victor asked her to tell Adam to go to the hospital before Victor went back to jail, but Chelsea replied that Victor couldn't control them anymore, and she hung up.
Later, Chelsea and Adam found Michael at their door when they headed out. Michael guessed that Adam hadn't received his message, and Chelsea reluctantly admitted that she'd answered a call from Victor earlier. Michael announced that he was Victor's new defense attorney, and he relayed that Victor wanted to see Adam, but Chelsea asserted that there was nothing Victor could say that mattered. Adam declared that he had something to say to Victor, and Chelsea protested, but Adam clarified that he wanted to see Victor's face when Adam said he was done with Genoa City and Victor. Chelsea warned that Victor had called to suck Adam back in, but Adam promised not to let that happen, and he departed.
Michael apologetically told Chelsea that he'd just been doing his job, and she volunteered to take the stand at Victor's trial, since she was willing to say whatever it took to make sure he was found not guilty. She conceded that Victor should be in prison, but she thought if he went to jail, then Adam might as well be locked up with him, since Adam would want to stay and run the company. She insisted that Victor had to walk, or her husband would never be free.
Victoria was irritated when she found an employee, Mr. Pollard, in her office, and she assumed he was there about the countless emails he'd sent. He haughtily stated that Victor had always responded right away, but Victoria imagined that her father would have thrown his computer out the window after Pollard's fifth email. Victoria informed him that she was running things, and she did things her way. He referred to her giving away PassKey to her ex-husband and the Abbotts.
Victoria said her father had cut PassKey loose, and she suggested that Pollard focus on his own division, since productivity had plummeted and spending had increased since he'd taken over. He slunk out, and she glared at Victor's portrait and bashed her father for leaving her to clean up his mess yet again. Billy appeared in the doorway with a stuffed dog and St. Patrick's Day paraphernalia, and he joked about a Newman and an Abbott walking into a bar. He claimed that his flight had just been canceled, and he invited her to the bar for drinks. She coldly replied that she was working, and he presented her with a tiara labeled "CEO."
Billy suggested that they celebrate Victoria's new position over green beer, and he said their last conversation hadn't ended with her forgiving him, so they had to do it again. She wished he had thought about it before he'd lied to her, and he explained that it had been his one last mission for his redemption and validation. He added that he'd needed to regain his self-respect after everything Victor had done to him and his family, and he hadn't been able to stand back and be "Mr. Nice Guy" when no one had taken him seriously. Victoria softly replied that Mr. Nice Guy had been the man she'd fallen in love with.
Billy swore that he was the same man who Victoria had fallen in love with and married more than once. He admitted that he'd made mistakes, but he'd made his latest one in an effort to try to build a life for them and their kids. Victoria said she didn't want to talk about why he'd lied because the point was that he had, and she thought it meant he didn't trust or respect her. She added that he'd been willing to risk losing her for a lie, and she was gone. She ordered him to take his stupid dog and go, and he set the tiara on her desk on his way out.
Adam entered Victor's hospital room, and Victor wondered whether Michael or Chelsea had told him to be there. Adam replied that it didn't matter, and Victor mentioned that Adam hadn't fought Victoria for the CEO position. Adam asserted that he hadn't wanted it, but Victor countered that running the company had been all Adam had ever wanted. Adam claimed that he'd outgrown that phase of his life, but Victor thought it was in Adam's blood. Victor pointed out that Adam knew why Victor had summoned him, but the question was why Adam had shown up.
Adam announced his good news that he, Chelsea, and Connor were moving to New York, where he'd taken a job with a big hedge fund whose management hadn't blackmailed him into working for them. Victor stated that he wanted Adam to run Newman, since it would be too much for Victoria, but Adam argued that she was more than qualified. Adam added that she was where she wanted to be, just like he would be once he was out of town and away from Victor. Adam told Victor to enjoy prison but to forgive him if he didn't visit, and he turned to leave. Victor recognized that New York was a great place, but he knew that Adam wouldn't go. Adam walked out.
Adam returned home, and he informed Chelsea that he'd told Victor that they were leaving and that Victor and Newman were no longer part of their lives. She excitedly crowed that they were finally free, and she threw herself into his arms, but he looked unsure.
Victor's guard said it was time to go back to jail, and a nurse arrived with a wheelchair. Victor insisted on walking out on his own two feet, and he marched out of the room with the guard close behind.