At the Newman ranch house, Sharon stopped by to talk to Victor. Sharon told Victor that Faith had returned from camp and learned that her father's new home was far away from the ranch property. Victor refused to listen to advice from Sharon. Sharon reminded Victor that his actions had also affected her because Faith wouldn't be nearby during extended visits with her father. Sharon insisted that a ten-year-old shouldn't be expected to pay a price for the transgressions committed by her adult family members.
Victor agreed that Faith should spend more time, not less, at the ranch. Sharon noted that sending Nick packing had worked against Victor's aims. Victor suggested that Sharon reopen her custody case against Nick and seek changes to the visitation arrangement so Faith could spend more time at the ranch. Sharon noted that such an arrangement wouldn't provide Victor extended access to Christian. Victor was adamant that nothing could prevent him from spending time with his grandson.
At Chelsea's penthouse, Nick gently corrected Faith for being rude to Chelsea. Faith said the only way things could be made right was for her to move back to the ranch to be with her mom, her pony, and her grandpa. Nick promised to drive Faith to the ranch for frequent visits. Faith cried that her father was often not home. Chelsea interjected, "Well, I'll be here. Don't forget." Faith tersely replied, "I didn't."
Faith insisted she be driven to the ranch, but Nick refused and explained that he wouldn't allow Faith to abandon their discussion before they had a chance to work out a compromise. Defiant, Faith demanded to visit her grandpa. Chelsea took Faith's side and said perhaps a visit with Victor might be in order because Faith hadn't seen Victor in several weeks. Nick agreed. Faith ran upstairs to get a gift she'd made for Victor. Chelsea told Nick that he couldn't put off a visit with his father forever.
After Nick left, Jordan stopped by Chelsea's penthouse. Chelsea told Jordan that Faith considered her to be the villain who'd taken her daddy away from the ranch. Jordan challenged Nick's decision not to tell Faith that Victor had forced him to leave the ranch. Chelsea explained that Nick didn't want Faith to be caught in the middle. Chelsea said she didn't regret allowing Nick to move in and was certain they'd eventually bond and feel like a family. Jordan changed the subject and told Chelsea that he'd enjoyed having dinner with Lily and her children. Jordan admitted that he'd grown closer to Lily after Cane had moved out.
Jordan expressed concern about how Lily's view of him might change if she ever became aware of his past life. Chelsea told Jordan not to worry about his past. Chelsea said that though everyone was aware of her past, she was apprehensive about dealing with her new reality. Jordan replied, "What happened to the woman who was so confident about this new family that she was forming?" Chelsea said she loved Nick and wanted things to work. Jordan said dealing with the rift between Nick and Faith would be more of a challenge than he'd be willing to deal with.
After Nick and Faith arrived at the Newman ranch house, Faith rushed to Victor's side and gave him a piece of pottery she'd made for him at camp. Faith was eager to visit the horses, so she and Victor headed to the stable. Sharon asked Nick to stay behind so she could discuss Faith's visitation schedule. Nick said he'd rather not leave Faith alone with Victor, but Sharon warned Nick about forcing Faith to choose between him and Victor.
Sharon said she'd decided to remain mum about her deepening relationship with Scott to avoid upsetting Faith. Nick quipped, "Well, at least she's getting a soothing visit from the guy that tossed me out on my butt." Sharon suggested that Faith stay with her at the ranch a few days to help ease the transition. Nick feared he'd be rewarding Faith's bad behavior. Sharon advised Nick to "summon his inner Gandhi" and insist that Faith behave maturely before agreeing to amend the visitation schedule.
In the Newman stable, Faith told Victor she was grateful that he'd visited with her at camp to explain that changes had taken place at home. Victor asked Faith how she liked living at Chelsea's. Faith said she didn't like it and preferred to live at the ranch. Faith noted that Chelsea seemed to be trying too hard to ease the transition. Faith admitted that Chelsea had sided with her and had convinced Nick to drive her to the ranch. Victor defended Chelsea and asked Faith to apologize to Nick and show him respect.
After Victor and Faith returned to the main house, Nick told Faith that he and Sharon had been talking together. Nick said he'd decided Faith should stay with her mom until she felt more settled. Faith admitted that she'd acted like a brat and had only wanted to visit with her grandpa and her pony. Sharon asked Faith if she'd changed her mind about staying at the ranch. Faith said she had and felt the need to apologize to Chelsea. Victor praised Faith for acting mature. Victor said that though he'd miss Faith, they could look forward to visits during special occasions. Nick and Sharon exchanged glances as Victor warmly embraced Faith.
In Jack's office at Jabot, Dina entered and excitedly announced that she'd completed her assigned task. Dina asked Jack why he'd asked her to drop everything to get the project done at once. Dina expressed concern that her prioritized assignment, comparing sales figures of Jabot and Brash & Sassy products only at Fenmore's, might be related to Jack's feud with Billy. Jack denied that he had ulterior motives. Dina blamed Phyllis and Billy equally for their affair and defended Billy, saying he'd turned out well despite his maternal heritage. Jack asked Dina if she expected him to forget the past and welcome Billy back into the Abbott fold.
Jack reminded Dina that she, of all people, was in no position to pass judgment. Dina recalled that John, even after everything he'd endured, had never become hell-bent on seeking revenge. Jack boasted that he'd been concentrating on strengthening the company his father had built, which might include obliterating the competition, including Billy, if necessary. Phyllis entered the office and said, "Is this a good time?" Dina snapped, "It's rarely a good time when you appear, dear."
After Dina left, Phyllis asked Jack if he'd had second thoughts about hiring Dina. Jack agreed that Dina could be difficult and added that he'd had her conduct research he believed showed he could outperform Brash & Sassy's sales at Fenmore's. Phyllis was reluctant to get involved after the debacle with Ben Hochman and Victoria. Jack reminded Phyllis that Victoria was actively wooing Billy, so Phyllis shouldn't back away from working against Victoria personally and professionally. Lauren arrived.
Jack told Lauren he planned to acquire another line of beauty products and needed to place them prominently on store shelves. After requesting that Lauren give priority to his products over Brash & Sassy's, Lauren noted that Brash & Sassy's products were Fenmore's best sellers. Phyllis agreed with Jack. Lauren was skeptical and suggested that Billy might be Jack's real target. Jack replied, "Lauren, how brazen would I have to be to go after the man when his girlfriend is sitting right here? No, this is business." Lauren asked to speak to Jack privately.
After Phyllis left, Jack said, "So, do we have a deal?" Lauren feared she'd anger her customers, but Jack assured Lauren that the anger would dissipate after customers tried Parker Beauty products. Lauren agreed to stock Parker Beauty products alongside Brash & Sassy's and said Jack would know for certain that he had a winner if Parker Beauty outsold its competition. Lauren shook her head in disgust, not fully believing that Jack's goal was to sell his beauty products. After Lauren left, Jack picked up a file folder and threw it against a table in frustration.
At Brash & Sassy, Billy entered Dina's password while attempting to gain access to Jabot's corporate website. Billy became frustrated after he was unable to gain access. Phyllis phoned and invited Billy to enjoy an evening out with her. Billy said he was unsure that his workload would allow leisure time. Victoria entered her office. Billy told Phyllis he had pressing work and would call her back later.
After Billy's call ended, Victoria seemed anxious and requested that Billy think up the "biggest, craziest" ideas he could manage. Victoria discussed a few options, which wouldn't yield immediate results. Billy partially lifted the lid of his laptop and peeked at the screen, which displayed a Jabot screensaver. Victoria said, "What is that?" Billy said it was nothing, but Victoria said she was certain Billy was up to something.
Victoria insisted Billy tell her what was going on. Billy replied, "Crazy ideas I don't have a problem with. It's the risky ones I should keep to myself." Victoria said that without risks, there wouldn't be rewards. Billy explained that he'd been cultivating a relationship with Dina because she had a password and username that allowed her access to Jabot's main server.
Victoria said Billy would need an authorized laptop to gain entry though the security firewall. Billy suggested he steal a Jabot-issued laptop. Victoria suggested Billy use Phyllis' computer. Billy agreed to wage war against Jabot because Jack was out for blood, so they should fight back with the same intensity. Victoria said, "Thank you for going the extra mile for me and for us." Victoria walked toward Billy and rested her head on his shoulder.
Victoria stopped by Jack's office and told him that Brash & Sassy's rent had been paid. Jack said Billy had already informed him about the wire transfer. Victoria declared that their companies were healthy competitors, and she requested that they end the practice of constantly being at each other's throats. Victoria added, "If you're going to continue seeing my mother, I think that would be best, right?" Jack replied, "Where are you going with this, Victoria?"
Dina entered the office and greeted Victoria. Dina praised Brash & Sassy's product line and added that Billy Abbott was an excellent business partner. Victoria explained that she'd proposed toning down the nastiness between Jabot and Brash & Sassy and become friendly neighbors. Victoria extended her hand to seal the deal, and Jack reluctantly shook it.
In his office at Jabot, Ravi admitted to Ashley that he'd witnessed the tense conversation she'd had with her mother. Because it had seemed private, Ravi explained, he'd quickly left and returned to his office. Ravi offered to be an objective listener. Ashley thanked Ravi. Ashley explained that she'd privately work out her problems with Dina.
Dina entered the office and asked if she'd interrupted. Ashley assured her mother she hadn't, and Ashley left. Dina sought Ravi's assistance with an app that would alert her about meetings. Ravi took the laptop from Dina, opened it, and went to work enabling the app. Dina interrupted and said she was aware that she'd been the topic of Ravi and Ashley's discussion. Ravi said he hoped Dina and Ashley could work out their differences. Dina said it would be easier if someone could invent a time machine.
Ravi approached Ashley in the hallway and offered to keep her company after she said she needed to step out for fresh air. Ashley declined the offer. Ravi said he understood that Ashley needed time alone to clear her head. Ravi said that if Ashley needed him, he'd be around the corner. Ashley assured Ravi he'd always be her first choice whenever she needed a confidant. Ashley explained that she was dealing with a problem she needed to handle on her own. Ravi seemed concerned as he watched Ashley walk away.
When Billy arrived at home, Phyllis was busy working at her laptop. Billy greeted Phyllis with a kiss, picked her up, and carried her upstairs to make love. Later, while Phyllis was showering, Billy rushed down the stairs, instructing Phyllis to save him some hot water. Billy typed the password he'd stolen from Dina. Billy seemed relieved after he successfully entered Jabot's server via Phyllis' computer. After Billy gained access, he listened to make sure Phyllis was still showering before he set about accessing information.
Cane summoned Hilary to the Chancellor mansion, and he conceded that he'd had doubts about her claim that Jordan was moving in on Lily. Hilary realized that Cane believed her, and Cane recalled that he'd seen Jordan in the Ashby home, sitting in Cane's chair and laughing with Cane's kids. Hilary mused that it seemed like Lily reciprocated Jordan's feelings, and Cane lamented that it had felt like he'd been stabbed in the gut. Hilary said she was sorry, but Cane thought it was what she'd wanted.
Cane bemoaned that it was killing him to be replaced that soon after he'd moved out, and Hilary imagined that Lily had grabbed onto the first guy who'd been waiting around for a shot. Cane guessed that Hilary couldn't stand to think that Jordan was more interested in Lily than in her, but Hilary insisted that she cared about Jordan. She grumbled that things had been fine until Cane had screwed up his marriage, leaving an opening for Jordan to swoop in, and Cane recognized that he had no one to blame but himself.
Hilary pointed out that neither she nor Cane was the type to sit around and wallow. She suggested that they get to it, but Cane figured that Hilary wouldn't be able to persuade Lily to take him back and that Jordan didn't want Hilary. Hilary questioned whether he intended to give up on Lily and his family. She ordered him to drop the self-pity and misplaced anger and remind his wife why they'd fallen in love in the first place.
At the Ashby home, Jordan presented Lily with flowers to thank her for dinner the night before, and she applauded him for making an incredible meal. She added that it had been the first time she'd seen the twins engaged and happy in a while, and she praised Jordan for taking their minds off things. He commended her for doing a great job raising her kids, but she also credited Cane for being a good dad. Jordan noted that he usually didn't get to see his relatives because he was always traveling, so it had been his first family dinner in a long time. Mattie returned home and stared at the flowers.
Lily asked Mattie to find a vase in the kitchen, and Mattie watched as Lily walked Jordan to the door and suggested that they do it again sometime. After Jordan departed, Mattie sourly asked what had been going on between Lily and Jordan. Mattie whined that Lily had just kicked Cane out and that her mother had already gotten a new boyfriend. Lily clarified that Jordan was just a colleague and friend who'd been helping her through a tough time, and Mattie accused Lily of being a hypocrite for not letting her see Reed, who had been helping Mattie in the same way. Mattie snapped that she'd have dinner at a friend's house, and she ignored Lily's protests as she walked out.
Charlie returned home, and Lily asked about tryouts. He reported that the coach was sending the final roster that night, but there was a lot of competition to make varsity. He left to take a shower, and she was surprised when Cane walked through the front door. Cane inquired whether she hadn't received his text message about stopping by to see the kids, and she nervously replied that she hadn't checked her phone. Cane asked what was wrong.
Lily said she had to get dinner ready, and Cane spotted the flowers and asked who they were from. She explained that Jordan had given them to her to thank her for dinner the night before, and Cane asked if they'd had dinner there. Lily defended that it had been Charlie's idea, and Cane imagined that Charlie considered Jordan to be a pretty cool guy compared to Cane. Charlie returned and coolly greeted Cane, who inquired about tryouts. Charlie brusquely replied that they'd been okay, and Cane pressed for details. Lily suggested that Cane and Charlie get dinner together to talk about everything.
Charlie balked because he had plans with friends after dinner, but Lily urged him to cancel them. Cane didn't want to force Charlie to have dinner with him, and he jokingly questioned why Charlie would want pizza when his mom would whip up a broccoli and tofu casserole. Lily played along by offering to make lima beans instead, and Cane groaned that he'd be stuck having sausage and pepperoni. Charlie begrudgingly agreed to go out for pizza with Cane.
At Crimson Lights, Hilary bumped into Jordan and remarked that they were bound to run into one another. He didn't want things to be awkward, but she pointed out that he'd broken her heart, since she'd thought there had been a possibility of a future together. Jordan confirmed that there had been, and Hilary apologized because her actions had caused him to break things off. She wished she could change, and he flatly stated that she couldn't, but he loved her honesty. She announced that she had a proposition for him.
Hilary said she wanted to try to be friends with Jordan, and he agreed. She invited him to dinner that night, but he stepped away to take a call, and Lily asked if he was free that night, since the kids were doing their own thing. They made plans to meet at the Underground, and Jordan told Hilary that he had to take a rain check on dinner. Jordan headed out, and Hilary scowled.
At Chelsea's penthouse, Nikki returned downstairs after seeing Faith. Nikki reported that Faith had mentioned her visit with her grandfather, and she asked Nick how he'd left things with Victor. Nick griped that his father expected him to take Faith to see Victor whenever she wanted, and Nikki questioned whether Nick would. Nick remained silent, and Nikki incredulously asked if he was determined to keep Faith away from Victor.
Nick refused to make a habit of giving in to Faith's demands, and he was nervous that Victor would use his visits with Faith to turn her against Nick. Nikki argued that Victor adored his grandkids, but Nick countered that his father did his "damnedest" to control the people he loved. Nikki suspected that Nick was turning into his father, since Nick was using the same tactic that he'd accused Victor of using. Nick asserted that he was protecting his family, and the last thing he wanted was for his children to see any part of Victor in him. Nikki advised him to think long and hard before he denied Faith access to her grandfather, since acting out of anger never worked. Nick recognized that Victor always struck back harder, and Nikki voiced concern that everyone they loved would be hurt.
Chelsea returned home with grocery bags, and she revealed that she'd picked up some snacks that Faith liked. Nikki requested a moment alone with Chelsea, and Nick went upstairs to check on the kids. Nikki indicated that she was worried about Chelsea, since inheriting Nick, a toddler, and a strong-willed ten-year-old as roommates had to be disruptive. Chelsea admitted that it had been challenging, and Nikki clucked that blended families were difficult in the best of situations. Nikki was concerned that Faith would put pressure on Nick and Chelsea's relationship, but Chelsea declared that she loved Nick and was committed to making it work. Nikki hugged her.
Later, Nick reported that Faith was texting her friends from camp and barely making eye contact. Chelsea indicated that Nikki had offered words of encouragement, and Nick envisioned that everything would be perfect at the penthouse until the day Faith crushed on some boy Nick hated. Nick's phone chimed with a reminder from Noah to stop by the Underground, but Nick hesitated to leave on Faith's first night back. Chelsea looked forward to having girl bonding time with Faith, since she felt it was important to create her own relationship with his daughter. Nick called Chelsea the most amazing person he'd ever met, and they kissed. He planned to rush back as soon as he made sure things were running smoothly.
Abby stopped by the Newman ranch, and Victor asked if she'd settled into her new home. He mentioned that he'd sent an employee to help with her move, and she reported that there hadn't been much left to do by the time the guy had gotten there, since Zack had helped her. Victor inquired whether Zack had become more than a business partner, but Abby insisted that they were just friends. Abby questioned whether living on the ranch meant she'd be getting more scrutiny in her personal life, and Victor swore that he'd watch over her no matter where she lived. She maintained that she and Zack had just started dating and weren't serious, but Victor speculated that things could change in the future.
Victor called Abby a woman with much love to give, and he expected that she wanted much love in return. Abby sensed that he was telling her not to rush into anything, and he advised her to guard her heart. She kissed his cheek and swore that she wasn't considering anything serious that soon after her divorce. Victor asked if that could change in the future, and Abby admitted that while she didn't know if what she and Zack had would lead anywhere, she was excited to see where it might go.
Later, Nikki showed up at the ranch, and Victor asked if she'd forgotten that she'd moved out. Nikki mentioned that she knew he'd seen his granddaughter, and Victor noted that it had been at Faith's insistence. Nikki lectured that Nick wouldn't have taken Faith there if he planned to meddle in Faith and Victor's relationship, but Victor didn't trust Nick's intentions. Nikki reported that Faith was devastated over losing her home and that Chelsea was upset because she knew Faith didn't want to live at the penthouse. Nikki continued that Nick felt like he'd lost his daughter because of Victor's pettiness, and she wondered what had happened to the man who'd never consider letting his granddaughter be in the middle of a family argument.
Victor asserted that he was still that man, but Nikki pointed out that he hadn't returned Faith's bedroom furniture. She accused him of not caring who got hurt, including his son. Victor barked that his son had hurt him many times, and he was tired of it. Nikki understood that Victor had felt abandoned and betrayed while growing up in an orphanage, but she thought he was an adult who should know that taking his anger out on his son was wrong.
Victor agreed to send Faith's furniture to Chelsea, but he'd "be damned" if he'd allow Nikki to make him feel guilty for how he was treating Nick. Victor blasted Nikki for teaching their children to shun him and expecting him to accept it, but she'd expected him to try to be a better man. Victor huffed that he was the man she'd fallen in love with and married who had supported her for many years. He stalked out.
Mariah was surprised to find Tessa in the stables, and Tessa said she'd needed the quiet. Mariah pointed out that Tessa could have quietly answered her text messages, and she surmised that Tessa had been weird all day because of Crystal. Tessa snapped that she'd just been thinking, but Mariah pressed to know if something had happened. Tessa insisted that it wasn't about Crystal, but Mariah told her not to lie because Mariah knew her too well. Tessa confided that she thought she'd put her sister in more danger.
Tessa told Mariah about the guy who'd let her talk to Crystal on the phone, and she'd been able to see in Crystal's eyes that she'd been lying about being okay when she'd obviously been scared. Mariah urged Tessa to go to the cops, but Tessa worried about the guy's threat that he'd hurt Crystal if Tessa told anyone else. Mariah suspected that it had been a scare tactic, and she pointed out that Crystal would definitely suffer if Tessa didn't go to the authorities. Mariah asked why Tessa had told her about Crystal, and Tessa replied that she knew she could trust Mariah. Mariah vowed that Tessa could depend on her to help Tessa get through it, starting with going to the police station to tell the truth.
Sharon stormed into Paul's office at the police station and ranted that she'd been trying to get in touch with Paul for days. He explained that he'd been away on assignment, so he had dozens of calls and emails to catch up on. He mentioned that Christine had passed on all the information about Crystal's possible involvement in the sex trafficking ring, and he had a detective on it. Sharon admonished the police for doing nothing to find Crystal or expose the criminals, and she blurted out that Scott had done Paul's job for him by posing as a john to find Crystal.
Paul was livid that Scott had put himself at risk, but Sharon reasoned that someone had needed to do something. She argued that Scott had found out that a woman was looking after the prostitutes, and that was a lot more than the police had learned. Paul reiterated that the police were doing everything they could to find Crystal, including examining the photo that Sharon had taken, but he insisted that Sharon stay out of it. "The hell I will!" Sharon protested, and she vowed to save Crystal's life with or without Paul's help.
Sharon said the situation was personal for her, and Paul stated that it made her more of a hindrance than a help. He stressed that nothing stood to be gained by Scott and Sharon putting their own safety in jeopardy, but Sharon wailed that she'd promised Crystal that she would help. Paul indicated that such cases took time and patience, but Sharon insisted that Crystal didn't have time. Mariah and Tessa arrived, and Sharon panicked that something was wrong. Mariah announced that Tessa had information about Crystal.
Tessa described the man she'd seen at the motel, and Sharon exclaimed that it was the same guy she'd seen leaving with two prostitutes. Paul asked Tessa if she could remember anything about the room Crystal had been in during their video chat, but Tessa could only remember seeing Crystal and the fear in her sister's eyes. Paul assured Tessa that they'd find Crystal because Tessa had had the courage to step forward, but Tessa credited Mariah for pushing her to talk. Paul instructed them to go straight to him if any of them had contact with Crystal or anyone connected to the case, and he left to update his detectives.
Sharon wondered why Tessa hadn't told her sooner about being Crystal's sister, and Tessa admitted that she'd been worried about what Sharon would think of her. Sharon swore that there was no judgment and that Crystal was a victim, and she admired Crystal for having enough hope left to ask for help. Tessa marveled that Sharon cared about some prostitute when she lived in a big, beautiful house, but Sharon recounted that she'd grown up poor with a single mom. Sharon encouraged Tessa to never feel ashamed or afraid to go to her, since she liked to think she could help.
Tessa mused that she'd never had anyone to count on but herself, and Mariah piped up that she'd also felt that way before Sharon had changed everything. Mariah added that her mom had taught her what it was like to have someone in her life who always had her back, and Tessa pledged not to let her sister down. Sharon asserted that she and Mariah would be Tessa's family from then on, and they would find Crystal together. Tessa hugged Sharon.
After Sharon stepped out, Tessa told Mariah that she'd taken off from home to help her sister, since things had been rough there with no money. Mariah realized that Tessa hadn't expected Crystal to run off, too, and she reiterated that Tessa had done the right thing by going to the police. Mariah added that she was proud of Tessa for being honest with Paul and Sharon, and Tessa thanked Mariah for giving her the courage. Tessa hugged Mariah tightly, but she realized that she had to tell one more person the truth -- Noah.
Noah welcomed a blonde woman to the Underground. He led her to a booth and fetched her a menu. Later, Noah hoped the woman had enjoyed her meal, and she noted that it had been the best burger she'd had in ages. Noah returned to the bar, and Nick entered and asked how things were going. Noah suggested that they feature the burger on their regular menu after a certain customer had given it a rave review. Nick glanced over at the patron and was stunned when he recognized Alice Johnson.
Nick flashed back to visiting Alice years earlier with questions about Cassie. Alice had thought she wasn't the right person to ask, since she'd been a rotten mother while her own mother had been stuck caring for Cassie. Alice had admitted that the poor, sweet kid had missed out because of her own selfishness. Nick called Sharon and said she'd never believe who was at his bar that night -- Alice Johnson.
Paul took a seat at Hattie's table in the Horton Town Square as she insisted, her mouth still filled with food, "I didn't do anything to your dad!"
Paul disagreed, pointing out that Marlena had broken John's heart. Hattie claimed that she, too, was heartbroken, but Paul found that hard to believe because, according to Kate, Marlena had kissed Roman shortly after dumping John. "Well, I don't believe in dwelling on things," Hattie explained with a shrug.
Paul revealed that no one had seen John since he had gone to the Salem Inn to confront Marlena about the kiss she'd planted on Roman. "Hmm," Hattie replied. Annoyed, Paul wondered if that was really the only thing that Marlena had to say about the matter. Hattie hesitantly added, "Oh, yes -- yes -- John came to my hotel room, and he was -- he was wound up like a cheap clock, and he was going on and on...and on and on...about Roman and me; he -- he was -- he was in quite a tizzy." Paul argued that there had been a very good reason for John to be in that state of mind at that particular time.
"Oh! Oh, yes -- no, I understand him being upset...but I [had hoped] that he would take it like a man," Hattie replied. Confused, Paul wondered what that was supposed to mean. "Well, it means...you shouldn't try to win someone back who clearly doesn't want you anymore, you know? Whether you're a man or a woman, that's just -- that's just plain begging. It's not manly; it's not womanly. I would think he would have more pride," Hattie explained. Paul insisted that it was extremely unfair of Marlena to expect John to just accept, after having shared many years and been through many things with her, that she suddenly didn't want him in her life any longer.
Stammering, Hattie countered, "Well, I would accept it -- I mean, if somebody didn't want me in their life. I mean, I would just say to myself, 'He doesn't want me, so...to hell with him! I'll -- I'll just -- I'll move on! Onward and upward!'" Paul stared at Hattie in disbelief as she prepared to eat another spoonful of food, prompting her to wonder if she had spilled something on herself. Shaking his head, Paul clarified, "No, you didn't spill anything on yourself; I just -- I just can't believe that you would say something like that to yourself -- or to anyone else, for that matter. [It] doesn't sound like you at all, Marlena!"
Hattie defensively insisted that she did, in fact, sound that way at times -- like when she was frazzled, as she was at that moment. "I've been having a little bit of a hard time lately, you know!" Hattie added. "Right. Of course. Can't forget about how this affects you," Paul agreed. Missing Paul's sarcasm, Hattie breathed a sigh of relief and thanked him for being so understanding, adding that her life hadn't always been a bowl of cherries.
Paul changed the subject, asking for more details about John's confrontation with Marlena at the Salem Inn. Hattie explained that John had been quite upset, and she added, after a moment of thought, that when she had insisted that she wasn't going to talk to him while he was in that state of mind, he had protested that it would be a while before he would have another chance to talk to her because he was about to go on another ISA mission. "[That's] not true, and you and I both know that!" Paul argued, prompting Hattie to defensively demand to know if he was calling her a liar.
Paul explained that he had simply meant that John would never leave town without first talking to him about it, since they were in business together. "Really? Come on! Your father's always pulling some kind of a -- a disappearing act! Why, that was why I left him!" Hattie countered. Paul again noted that he had never before heard Marlena talk about John in such cold and dismissive ways, curiously adding that she almost sounded downright mean. "I've never seen this side of you before," Paul continued.
"I've never seen this side of you, either!" Hattie shot back, adding that Paul was acting like a spoiled brat who couldn't see past his own wants -- namely, his desire to have his father back in town again, even if the only way for her to help with that was to take the man back at the cost of her own happiness. "[I'm sure] a psychiatrist would have a -- have a different word for it; well, they'd call it a...a...what's a fancier word for 'spoiled'?" Hattie mused. "You're asking me?" Paul incredulously replied. "Conceited! No, no -- that's not it..." Hattie continued.
Frustrated, Paul impatiently interrupted, insisting that being concerned about his father didn't make him a spoiled brat. Hattie countered that she had known John for a lot longer than Paul had, and the fact of the matter was that leaving was simply what John did best. "I had to learn [that] the hard way, after -- after years of...heartbreak and...shattered dreams!" Hattie continued.
Paul gave Hattie another look of disbelief then admitted with a sigh that he felt responsible for his father's pain because he was the person who had sent his father on the mission that had caused Marlena to get fed up and decide to move on with her life. "Oh, no, no, no -- Paul, you're misunderstanding. It wasn't just that mission; it was the mission before it, and then before that, and then before that..." Hattie clarified. Paul tried to argue that John had simply been doing his job, but Hattie insisted that the pattern of behavior proved that the ISA wasn't just a job to John; it was his life, and it was more important to him than anything else, including her.
Still confused, Paul begged Marlena to give John another chance, adding that, according to Kate, Marlena's plan to get back together with Roman wasn't going to work out, anyway. Annoyed, Hattie countered, "How do I tell you this [in a way that you'll understand]? Ah, yes, I know -- for your father, it's three strikes, and he is out! Dr. Marlena Evans is done, and we are calling this game!" Hattie stormed off before Paul could say another word to her.
At Bayview, John coached Marlena on how to free herself from her straitjacket, joking that all the time she had devoted to yoga was finally going to pay off. John managed to get out of his straitjacket easily enough, but Marlena had a lot of trouble with the task and was about to give up when she finally figured out the right way to contort her body.
With the straitjackets no longer an issue, John assured Marlena that they would be ready when the orderly, who had just served lunch a short time earlier, returned with dinner. Marlena was delighted when John figured out that the slats of the air vent connecting their two padded cells were wide enough and flexible enough for them to each squeeze a hand through, allowing them a bit of contact with each other while waiting to make their next move. "We're gonna be out of here soon, [Doc], and then we're gonna track down Mad Hattie, and she's gonna be spending some time in [a] padded cell," John promised.
While passing through the park, Chloe dialed 9-1-1 and reported that there was a dead body at the Salem Inn. After providing the room number and guessing that the person had died of natural causes, Chloe abruptly ended the call, explaining that she didn't want to reveal her name because she didn't want any trouble. Chloe was surprised when she looked up from her cell phone and saw that Eric was standing nearby.
Eric apologetically stressed that he hadn't been trying to eavesdrop, and he added, when asked, that he had only heard Chloe say that she didn't want any trouble. Relieved, Chloe claimed that the police had been questioning her about Dario because they had figured out that he had recently offered her a gig at Club TBD. Eric hoped that Chloe would still be able to work at the club despite its owner's fugitive status.
Changing the subject, Chloe wondered if Eric had decided what to do about his feelings for Nicole. Eric insisted that there was nothing to do because Nicole was in love with Brady, and Brady was in love with Nicole. Chloe skeptically warned Eric that if she could see that he had feelings for Nicole, it would only be a matter of time before people who knew him better started to reach the same conclusion. "I know your brother really well, and the only thing that would hurt him more than losing Nicole would be losing Nicole and thinking that he's been played for a fool," Chloe added before walking away.
At Club TBD, Myron received a phone call from Commissioner Raines, who impatiently reiterated that he needed something he could use to prevent Abe from being released later that day. Myron stammered that he was working on it. Myron then ended the call abruptly, having realized that Hope and Rafe had just entered the club.
After casually greeting Myron, Hope added, "[I] hope you gave Commissioner Raines our best." Myron nervously wondered why Hope had said such a thing. "Because we're onto you, Myron -- that's why," Rafe answered. Hope continued that it wasn't a secret that Myron had received a visit from Raines the previous night. "We just want you to tell us everything that you told him [so] we'll all be on the same page," Hope explained.
Myron stammered that Raines had wanted to look at Dario's records in the hope that they would contain proof that Abe was Dario's silent partner. "And I'm sure you were eager to help, right? [Because], after all, the deal you cut for immunity [isn't] set in stone yet," Hope pointed out. Nodding, Rafe added, "It'd be a shame to see the whole thing fall apart because of an obstruction of justice charge."
Myron nervously protested that he hadn't obstructed anything; he had simply done what Raines had asked him to do. Rafe countered that Raines wouldn't need to go to Myron for Dario's records because the district attorney had already subpoenaed them, and Hope helpfully added that Raines's eagerness to close the case might have prompted him to cross a few lines that he wouldn't have normally been willing to cross.
Myron tried to get out of the conversation, but Hope and Rafe forged ahead, explaining that they were simply trying to prove Abe's innocence. Unable to take the pressure any longer, Myron blurted out, "Look, I cannot say no to Raines, all right? [He] said that if I don't help him frame Mayor Carver for what he did...he was gonna kill me!" Hope and Rafe took the news calmly enough, leading Myron to conclude that they had known all along that Raines was Dario's true silent partner. "Why the hell didn't you just say so?" Myron asked incredulously.
Hope and Rafe assured Myron that he would be fine if he just followed Raines's instructions to the letter. "We need to catch Raines in the act of committing a crime," Hope explained. Myron protested that Hope and Rafe were committing entrapment, but Rafe clarified that Raines was the person who had asked Myron to break the law. "All we're doing is trying to keep you safe," Rafe continued.
"And what if something happens with your little plan, huh? Then I'll be a criminal and as good as dead!" Myron countered. Myron spontaneously decided that it would be safer for him to just leave Salem while he still had a chance to do so, but he rushed off in such a hurry that he left his keys behind on the bar. Hope chased after Myron, having realized that she didn't scare him quite as much as Rafe did.
Hope caught up with Myron in a secluded section of the town square and warned that if he tried to leave Salem, he'd be on his own -- and Raines would stop at nothing to track him down. "I didn't sign up for this!" Myron insisted with a worried sigh. Nodding, Hope assured Myron that she believed him, adding, "Look, I've gotten to know you the past few months, and you're not a bad guy; you just got in over your head. This is your opportunity to change things. [Help us catch] Raines, and you'll get your second chance. You have my word." Myron thought about the matter for a moment then agreed to help out, shaking Hope's hand to seal the deal.
Meanwhile, Chloe entered Club TBD and greeted Rafe, who apologetically informed her that although he was aware that the FBI had frozen all of his brother's assets, he didn't really know where that left things with the club. He promised to look into the matter and get back to her as soon as possible; however, he received a phone call before he could add her contact information to his cell phone. When she realized that the call was about the dead body at the Salem Inn, she ducked out of the club without saying goodbye. He was confused when he ended the call a short time later and saw that she was gone.
At the police station, J.J. assured Lani that Raines wasn't going to get away with what he had done. When Raines arrived a short time later, Lani apologized to him for what had happened the previous night, conceding that her presence at Club TBD had probably looked suspicious, even though it had been completely innocent.
"Your partner seems a little wound tight today," Raines told J.J. after Lani walked away. "I can handle her," J.J. replied. "Do that," Raines encouraged J.J.
Changing the subject, J.J. conspiratorially admitted that although he felt bad for Lani, he was fairly certain that her father was actually guilty. "I mean, the guy married into the DiMera family, [so] how clean can he really be?" J.J. reasoned. Confused, Raines wondered why J.J. was saying such things about a family friend. "[Abe] may be close with my family, but, um...that didn't stop him from freaking out when Lani and I got together. He just didn't think I was good enough for her," J.J. explained. Adding that Abe deserved to rot for the hit-and-run incident that had nearly killed Abigail, J.J. promised to do whatever he could to help Raines take down the mayor.
Later, Lani joined J.J. in one of the conference rooms and wondered how his conversation with Raines had gone. As if on cue, Raines poked his head in the room and announced, "I'm headed to City Hall for a meeting. Deveraux, you're in charge." Once the coast was clear, Lani observed that J.J.'s plan to gain Raines's trust seemed to be working. Hope and Rafe soon arrived and informed J.J. and Lani that Myron had agreed to cooperate.
Meanwhile, Raines contacted Myron and asked for an update. "Almost ready," Myron assured Raines.
At the courthouse, Nicole waited anxiously for a judge to arrive and begin a review of Holly's custody case. Justin had asked Eric to speak on Nicole's behalf about her work at the Horton Center, so Brady took the opportunity to pull Eric aside and apologize for trashing his room at the Martin mansion. "There's nothing going on [between me and Nicole], and there never will be," Eric assured Brady. Later, Eric listened uncomfortably as Brady suggestively assured Nicole that they would find ways to make use of the free time she'd have after she finished fulfilling her community service requirements in the near future.
Justin soon arrived and announced that he had just received a message from the judge. "He knows what you did," Justin told Nicole, who shot Brady a look of concern.
At the Underground, Nick asked Sharon why she thought Alice was involved in the sex trafficking ring. Sharon showed him the photo she'd taken at the police station of a blonde woman driving away with two prostitutes and the man who'd bailed them out. Sharon reported that she'd just seen Alice drive away in the same car and that Alice could have been the blonde woman. Nick was skeptical, but Sharon said she would bet anything that Alice was the woman in the picture.
Nick argued that there were blonde women everywhere and that the car was a popular model. Sharon conceded that she hadn't gotten either of the license plate numbers to compare them, and Nick inquired whether Alice had said or done anything to indicate that she was involved in something terrible. Sharon recalled that Alice had said she was in sales, but Sharon had a nagging feeling. Nick chalked it up to Sharon's concern about Crystal, and he doubted that there was any connection to Alice.
At the penthouse, Chelsea painted Faith's fingernails, and she reiterated that she was excited to have another girl in the house. Chelsea envisioned eating ice cream and reading fashion magazines together, and she told Faith about a secret stash of ice cream behind the vegetables in the freezer. Chelsea promised that everything would work out, and she hoped Faith eventually started to feel at home there. Faith questioned why Chelsea and Connor hadn't moved onto the ranch instead, and she demanded to know the real reason her dad had moved.
Chelsea rattled off the advantages of living in town, but Faith thought "family should come first." Faith complained that she was stuck living there half the time when her family lived at the ranch. Chelsea acknowledged that change was difficult, but she urged Faith to give it a chance. Faith asserted that she was smart enough to know that something was wrong, and she knew she shouldn't be there. Nick walked in and asked why Faith was upset, and Faith whined that Chelsea had talked about the penthouse being Faith's home, but it would never feel like home to her.
Nick recognized that Faith didn't have to like or understand that it had been best for them to move, but he needed her to accept it. He added that Faith had to respect Chelsea and not go out of her way to hurt Chelsea's feelings, and Faith swore that she hadn't intended to do so. Nick pointed out that he'd already made one unexpected trip to take Faith to the ranch and that Chelsea was bending over backwards to make Faith feel welcome, and he thought it was time for Faith to show them that she was the big girl she claimed to be. Nick sent Faith upstairs to think about it, and Chelsea blamed herself for making everything worse.
Nick told Chelsea to stop beating herself up, since it was his job to help Faith adjust, but Chelsea insisted that they were in it together. Nick regretted letting Faith choose to live at the ranch because it had made the girl feel like she got to call the shots, and he thought he had to be strict until things blew over. The doorbell rang, and Nick was surprised when he opened the door to Al, one of the ranch hands. Nick introduced Al to Chelsea, and Al explained that Victor had sent him over to unload some bedroom furniture.
Nick was surprised when Chelsea accepted the delivery, and she asserted that they'd paid for the furniture. She didn't care why Victor had changed his mind because it was a good thing, but Nick didn't want Victor to ruin her gift to Faith. Chelsea insisted that Victor wouldn't, and she called Faith downstairs. Nick referred to the amazing surprise he'd told her about earlier, and Chelsea announced that she'd designed a new bedroom for Faith. Nick explained that they'd had it ready at the tack house, but Victor had decided to store it at the ranch until they'd officially moved in. Al and another man began hauling in the furniture, and Faith squealed that she loved it.
Faith excitedly asked how Chelsea had known that she'd wanted a vanity like the one that had just been delivered. Chelsea revealed that she'd also wanted one just like it, but she'd moved around too much to get one, so she was glad that she'd finally gotten to pick one out for Faith. Faith hugged her and exclaimed that it was the greatest surprise anyone ever could have given her. Faith apologized for how she'd acted earlier, and she admitted that it felt more like home. Faith added that her grandpa really knew how to make things right for her, and she called Victor the best.
Faith ran upstairs, and Nick griped that Victor had hijacked Faith's bedroom but had gotten the credit. Chelsea pointed out that Victor hadn't gotten all of it, and she said she was proud of Nick for doing what was best for his child and not throwing Victor under the bus. Nick thought the scary thing was that Victor believed he was doing the same thing.
At Phyllis and Billy's apartment, Billy stared at Phyllis' computer screen as he finished downloading a file from Jabot's server. Phyllis called out to ask about dinner, and she entered the room and wondered what he was doing. Billy claimed that he hadn't been able to get his phone to load anything, so he was checking to see if the Internet connection was working. He covertly unplugged his flash drive from the computer, and she obliviously hoped he'd been browsing for menus.
Billy mentioned that he'd been looking up something for work, but Phyllis lectured that it was a four-letter word at that time of night. Billy said he had to go back to the office to talk to Victoria about something, but Phyllis protested that he couldn't rush back for every little crisis. He insisted that it was important, and she griped that it was always an emergency with Victoria. Billy promised that he would be back as soon as he could, and he kissed Phyllis goodbye. He guiltily looked down at the flash drive in his hand as he boarded the elevator.
Michael and Lauren slow danced in their living room, and she marveled at the lack of office sounds. They kissed, but they broke apart when they heard a key turn in the lock. Scott apologized for his bad timing, and he suggested that they pretend he'd never been there. Lauren complained that they hadn't talked since Scott had moved out, and she asked how he and Sharon were doing. Scott wondered if his mother really wanted to know.
Lauren defended that she'd invited Scott and Sharon over for dinner, but Scott countered that Lauren had never gotten back to them with a date. Michael grumbled that it could be anytime but that night, and Scott wished his mother didn't have to make a conscious effort to appreciate the woman who made him happy. Sharon sent Scott a text message, asking him to meet her at home as soon as possible. Scott departed, and Lauren steeled herself to go through with the dinner. Michael turned the music back on and suggested that they pick up where they'd left off.
The doorbell rang, and Michael implored Lauren not to answer it, but she insisted on getting rid of whoever it was. Phyllis stormed in and ranted that she'd had it with "his damn ex-wife," since Billy had bailed on their lovely, romantic evening to rush off to work to meet Victoria again. Phyllis bemoaned that her perfect evening had been ripped to shreds, and Michael pointedly stated that he could relate. Lauren reasoned that Billy was committed to his job, but Michael noted that it was important for couples to make time for themselves. Phyllis recalled that Billy had seemed off, and she sensed that it had been about Victoria.
Over glasses of wine, Lauren advised Phyllis not to let it get to her, because Billy had chosen Phyllis, so Victoria was no longer a threat. Michael added that he'd never picked up on anything going on between Billy and Victoria in all the time he'd spent with them during the lawsuit. Phyllis believed that Billy wasn't cheating, but she didn't trust Victoria. Phyllis confided that she thought that Victoria had upped her game to get Billy back after he and Phyllis had moved in together, and she didn't think Victoria was above using her company to do it.
Phyllis speculated that sometimes Billy felt guilty for being with her instead of Victoria because of the kids, and he was overcompensating by being a workaholic. Lauren wondered if Phyllis was retaliating by colluding with Jack to give up Brash & Sassy's shelf space for Jabot's new line, but Phyllis called it a simple business decision. Michael insinuated that Billy would have more free time if his employer folded, and Phyllis confessed that she didn't "give a damn" about the company and that she'd set off fireworks if Brash & Sassy collapsed. Phyllis declared that she'd been understanding long enough, and something had to change.
Sharon returned home and flashed back to telling Alice that she'd had no choice but to give Cassie up for adoption to give the girl a chance at a better life. Scott arrived and asked what was wrong, and Sharon told him that she'd had a blast from the past that evening that might have made things worse. Sharon recounted that even though she'd had a pleasant conversation with Alice, she'd only been able to think about how devastating it had been to lose Cassie. Scott assured Sharon that Alice couldn't hurt her anymore, but Sharon worried that Alice might still be trouble.
Sharon explained that Alice's car had been the same color and model as the one in Sharon's photo from the police station, and Scott imagined that Alice hadn't been a model citizen in Madison. Sharon remembered that Alice had always been broke because she hadn't been able to hold down a job and that Alice had neglected Cassie to hang out in bars. Sharon noted that Alice had just been wearing expensive clothes and driving a nice car, and she supposed that Alice could have gotten her life together. Scott pointed out that Alice also could have hooked up with sleazeballs to make a fast buck, exploiting vulnerable women, and he thought Sharon had a viable theory. He trusted her instincts, and he vowed to help her find out if Alice was up to something.
Victoria and Neil munched on sushi at Brash & Sassy, and she remarked that she and Billy had become takeout experts after all the working meals they'd had. Neil imagined that they'd finally have some breathing room, and she handed him a summary of everything the company had in the pipeline so he could see how his investment money was being spent. Neil said he'd read it later, and he assured her that he trusted her to run things as she saw fit. She thanked him, noting that sometimes it was tough to know who was on her side.
Neil encouraged Victoria to go home to her kids, and she realized that it might actually be possible because a weight had been lifted, thanks to him. Neil urged her to call him if she ever needed to talk, and they hugged as Billy entered the office. Billy shook Neil's hand and thanked him for saving their bacon with the bridge loan, and Neil headed out. Billy informed Victoria that he'd been able to log onto Jabot's network. He revealed that Jack had plans to smash them to bits, and he had it all on the flash drive.
Billy explained that Dina had been working on an analysis about Jabot buying Parker Beauty, but Victoria said she hadn't read anything about it. Billy suspected that Jabot intended to acquire the outside product line and expand it, but Victoria didn't consider it to be a direct assault against Brash & Sassy. Billy pulled up a file on the flash drive, and Victoria discovered that Jabot was plotting to take Brash & Sassy out of Fenmore's. Victoria argued that Brash & Sassy had a contract, but Billy countered that Fenmore's just had to give notice, and he thought it made sense that Fenmore's would play off their synergy with Jabot.
Billy showed Victoria the projected launch date, indicating that Jabot was set to go public. Victoria angrily realized that Jabot intended to steal their shelf space to do it, and Billy thought Jack's hands were all over it. Victoria realized that Billy had actually logged onto Phyllis' computer, using Dina's password, and she thanked him for putting his relationship on the line for her company. Billy admitted that he hadn't felt good about it at the time, but he no longer felt any guilt. Victoria wondered if Phyllis knew about Jack's plan to put them out of business.
Billy was adamant that Phyllis wouldn't help Jack sabotage Brash & Sassy, but Victoria figured that Phyllis would love it if Billy and Victoria were no longer working together. Billy reasoned that Jack wouldn't trust Phyllis with the information because she would warn Billy, but Victoria noted how well Jack and Phyllis had been getting along. Billy maintained that it was all Jack, whose plan to decimate them would work if Fenmore's pulled Brash & Sassy from the shelves and other stores followed suit. Billy proclaimed that Jack could no longer blindside them, but they had to take preemptive measures right away. Billy led Victoria out.
At Jabot, Ashley gazed at a framed photo of John. Ravi entered the office and asked how her walk had been, and she replied that it had been good. He expressed concern that she and Dina had seemed tense, and Ashley appreciated him giving her space to clear her head. He suggested another technique that might help, and he urged her to stroke his cheek. Ashley stammered that she wanted to focus on work, but Ravi requested that she humor him.
Ashley caressed Ravi's cheek and realized that he'd tested the moisturizer that she'd been experimenting with. He conceded that he'd been skeptical about Jabot buying an outside product line, but he admitted that her instincts had been spot-on. She excitedly contemplated marketing part of the line as unisex, and he considered it to be an amazing idea. They brainstormed different ways to market the moisturizer, and Ashley marveled that Ravi might turn out to be the real genius around there.
Ashley and Ravi continued to bounce marketing ideas off one another, and he admired how animated she was when she was creative. She recognized that she had a bad habit of shutting people out, but it was nice to know that she had someone she could lean on once in a while. They edged closer, but they stepped apart when Billy and Victoria entered. Victoria mentioned that she'd been there earlier to talk to Jack about ending the war between their companies, and he had pretended to like the idea, but actions spoke louder than words. Ashley asked if Jack had done something, and Billy hoped she would be able to tell them.
Victoria questioned whether Jabot was trying to muscle Brash & Sassy's products off the shelves to make room for a new skincare line. Ashley was stunned that they knew about the line, and Billy suspected that Jack might try to take advantage of the recent challenges Brash & Sassy had faced. Ashley expressed sympathy, and she pointed out that she'd tried to warn Victoria about Hochman. Ravi added that he'd wanted to knock Hochman out a few times himself, and Ashley stressed that she had no knowledge of Jack being up to something nefarious. Billy asked to speak to Ashley alone, and Victoria and Ravi stepped out.
Billy asked if Ashley would tell him if Jack was up to something, but she insisted that she knew nothing about Fenmore's taking Brash & Sassy off the shelves. Billy said he trusted her but not Jack, and he wondered when he and his brother could finally bury the hatchet. He noted that Dina had also agreed that it was time to make peace. Ashley hoped Dina could help their family to heal, but she wasn't very optimistic.
In the corridor, Victoria thanked Ravi for sharing his feelings about Hochman, and Ravi couldn't believe that Hochman had had the nerve to show up there after the way he'd treated Ashley in New York. Victoria assumed that Ravi was referring to Hochman showing up in Genoa City, but Ravi clarified that Hochman had met with Jack and Ashley in the office and then later with Phyllis. Victoria asked what Phyllis and Hochman had talked about, but Ravi indicated that all he'd heard had been them making plans to meet on the Athletic Club rooftop.
Victoria heard ringing in her ears, and she put her hand to her head. Ravi asked if she was okay and offered to get her some water, but her hearing suddenly returned to normal. She insisted that she was fine, and she said Ravi had shed a new light on things, giving her a new target to focus her energy on.
Devon stopped by the cottage to see Mariah, but Tessa informed him that Mariah had already gone to work. Devon announced that he wanted to get Tessa back into the recording studio as soon as possible, since people were streaming the song she'd recorded, and he wanted to release a full EP. She couldn't believe that he was willing to take a chance on her after she'd choked the first time, but he stressed that he truly believed in her talent. Tessa revealed that she'd been distracted the last time because she'd been dealing with a personal issue, but she was ready to try again.
At GC Buzz, Hilary made a point of saying that she owed Mariah an apology, but Mariah had no idea what she was talking about. Hilary slyly claimed that she was really sorry that she'd ruined Mariah's date with Devon the other night, and she feigned disbelief that Devon hadn't told Mariah that he and Hilary had lost track of time when they'd gotten to talking over drinks. Hilary hoped Mariah hadn't been too upset, and she mentioned the text message that Devon had sent to Mariah to say he'd be late. Mariah snapped that she'd been with Tessa and Noah, so she hadn't been hovering over her phone. Hilary looked pleased as Mariah walked away.
Devon arrived at the studio, and Hilary watched as Mariah barely reacted when he kissed her cheek. He assumed that Mariah was still upset with him for not making it to the Underground, but she claimed that she hadn't noticed that he hadn't shown up. Hilary approached and pointedly stated that she hadn't known that Devon hadn't seen Mariah at all the other night, and she swore that she never would have kept him if she'd known he was going to stand Mariah up. Devon asked Hilary to give him a moment with Mariah, and Mariah demanded to know what had been fascinating enough about his talk with Hilary for him to blow Mariah off.
Devon explained that Hilary had told him about her commercial shoot in New York, and time had gotten away from him. He'd thought Mariah wouldn't have a problem with it because she wasn't the jealous type and because she knew how he felt about her. Mariah questioned how she would know when he hadn't said he loved her back, and he hadn't been around as much ever since she'd said it to him. Devon defended that he'd been getting his company off the ground, but Mariah ranted that when he wasn't working, he was having cocktails with the ex-wife who still loved him. Devon admitted that Mariah's declaration of love had taken him by surprise, but he hadn't taken it lightly when he'd said he was committed to her, and nothing had changed between them.
Mariah wanted to believe that Devon was committed, but she imagined that he'd said "I love you" to Hilary dozens of times, even when she'd made him miserable. Mariah thought he wasn't over Hilary and that he never would be, but Devon swore that he was. Mariah contended that he would be able to say the "L-word" back to her if that were true, and he geared up to say it to prove he could. She stopped him and bemoaned that saying it to make her feel better was worse than not saying it at all. A smirking Hilary hovered nearby.
At Crimson Lights, Scott told Sharon that he'd stayed up late to track down Alice's address from her credit card number. He figured that they had an excuse to visit Alice's home to return the card she had left behind, and they could look around to see if Sharon's hunch was correct. Sharon said she'd tossed and turned all night, thinking about the odds of whether Alice had been the blonde woman who'd driven away with the prostitutes, and she thought it was unlikely. Scott asserted that he had more trust in Sharon's instincts than she did.
Sharon argued that a good investigator needed evidence, and she considered it a wild scenario to go from Alice forgetting a credit card to running a sex trafficking ring, but Scott recalled that Sharon had described Alice as a shady, untrustworthy woman. Sharon pointed out that she had made peace with Alice after Cassie's adoption, but Scott thought leopards didn't change their spots -- especially when they were making money. He asked what Alice's address told Sharon, and Sharon was shocked to see that it was in Genoa City, even though Alice had said she was just passing through. Sharon figured that it couldn't hurt to take Alice's credit card back to her, and they got up to leave.
Tessa approached and asked to speak privately with Sharon, and the women stepped aside. Tessa inquired whether Sharon had heard anything from Paul about Crystal, but Sharon indicated that there hadn't been any word. Tessa forlornly guessed that she had to be patient, and she walked away. Sharon rejoined Scott and offered to fill him in on the way to Alice's, and they departed.
Zack spotted Tessa on the coffeehouse patio and asked if she was working on a new song. He inquired whether she had any new leads on her sister since they'd last talked, and she reported that there had been nothing yet, but she'd at least had a chance to talk to Crystal. Tessa explained that she was trying to focus on her music so that she'd have money to take care of Crystal. Zack commented that he'd always thought Tessa had a good voice, but she was surprised that he'd noticed, since he'd always seemed busy with other things.
Zack asked if Tessa was still hanging out with the Newmans, and he mentioned that Victor had invited him to dinner at the ranch because Abby was helping Zack launch his new business. Zack received a text message from Alice, informing him that she was heading home and asking him to call when he could. He wished Tessa luck and stepped away to make some business calls.
In the car outside Alice's home, Sharon wondered if she should have told Tessa about Alice, but Scott thought it made sense to wait until there was solid proof. Sharon noted that it was a nicer neighborhood than where Alice had lived before, and she imagined that Alice's sales job paid pretty well. Scott remarked that it depended on what Alice was selling. They were startled when a woman suddenly popped up next to the car window and asked if she could help them. Sharon claimed that Alice was an old friend of the family, and they'd stopped by to see her.
Scott asked how long the woman and Alice had been neighbors, and the woman said she'd only seen Alice a couple of times. Sharon wondered if Alice was home, and the woman suggested that they ring the doorbell. Scott said they'd tried calling, but there had been no answer, and he asked if Alice had ever had guests over. The woman mentioned that Alice's niece had just visited. Later, Scott and Sharon contemplated whether to keep waiting, but she worried that one of Alice's nosy neighbors would call the police. She pointed out that at least they'd learned something interesting that day.
At Phyllis and Billy's apartment, Phyllis grabbed a travel mug out of Billy's hand and snapped that it was hers. She brusquely stated that she was running late and had to go, but he asked her not to leave like that. He noted that she'd barely said two words to him all morning and that even those hadn't been very nice. He acknowledged that she was upset because he'd gone to the office the night before instead of spending the evening together as they'd planned, but he wanted to make it up to her.
Billy suggested that he and Phyllis spend the morning together, but she grumbled that having him for the entire day wasn't an option because Victoria couldn't function without him. Billy pleaded that he was trying to meet Phyllis halfway, but she figured that he would just be distracted if he wasn't at Brash & Sassy. She asked what he'd been working on when he'd rushed off the prior night, but he refused to discuss it because they worked for competing companies. Phyllis argued that he'd once confided in her about everything, and she wondered if he didn't trust her anymore. Billy insisted that he was trying to protect her by not putting her in the middle, and he was sure there were secrets about Jabot that she felt compelled to keep from him.
Nikki stopped by Brash & Sassy to visit Victoria, who hoped that her mother wasn't there to talk about what a fool Victoria had made of herself on GC Buzz. Victoria recognized that opportunists like Hilary were always waiting in the wings when a Newman was involved, especially when Victor enabled them. Victoria griped that Victor had done irreparable damage to her life, and Nikki guessed that she was referring to Billy. Victoria confided that the more time she spent with Billy, the more she wished they were back together.
Nikki thought Victoria had seemed excited to go out with Hochman, but Victoria said she'd sensed that something had been off, and she'd later learned that Hochman had been trying to make a play for Brash & Sassy. Victoria told Nikki about her suspicions that Phyllis had asked Hochman to take Victoria out in the hope that Victoria would spend less time with Billy. Nikki couldn't believe that Phyllis wanted to hurt Billy's employer, but Victoria reasoned that Billy would be with Phyllis all the time if the business went under. Victoria relayed that she'd told Billy her theory about Phyllis trying to take the company down, but he hadn't believed her because she didn't have proof -- yet.
Victoria indicated that Billy had really stepped up in surprising ways since she'd fired Cane, including taking a huge risk to help her that could have gotten him in trouble. Nikki inquired whether there had been any signs that Billy and Phyllis were splitting up, and Victoria reported that there hadn't been, but she had the feeling Phyllis was trying to mess with her life. Victoria implied that Phyllis needed an accomplice with business skills who wanted the same thing, and Nikki realized that Victoria meant Jack. Victoria vowed to put a stop to it, since Phyllis had to learn the hard way what it meant to take on a Newman.
At Jabot, Ashley informed Jack that Billy and Victoria had paid her a visit the prior evening because they were worried Jack would use his influence to ace their company out of Fenmore's to make room for Jabot's new line. Jack scoffed at the idea that Billy and Victoria were blaming him for Brash & Sassy's abysmal sales, and he attributed their slump to bad financial decisions and bad press. Ashley stressed that Billy and Victoria knew that Jabot was about to a launch a new beauty line that had been kept under wraps, and she questioned how they'd gotten that information. Ashley added that Victoria was worried that Jack would use Brash & Sassy's misfortune to persuade Lauren to give them the boot, but Jack chalked it up to Victoria's active imagination.
Ashley recognized that Jack would love to force Brash & Sassy into bankruptcy, but she thought it wouldn't be a fair fight if Jabot got involved in the distribution channels. She pointed out that she had yet to hear Jack deny it, but he contended that Lauren decided what to sell at Fenmore's. He suggested that Ashley put her energy into making the acquisition a giant success, but she huffed that she didn't need his backhanded support, since it would always end up biting him in the butt. She walked out, and Jack made a call and demanded that someone get to his office right away.
Later, Phyllis sauntered into Jack's office and wondered about the reason for his foul mood. He asked how things were going with her and Billy, since certain things had made it to Victoria's ear, like Jack's plan to take Brash & Sassy's products off Fenmore's shelves. Phyllis swore that she hadn't leaked their marketing plan, and she had no idea how Billy and Victoria had gotten wind of it. Jack insinuated that it would go a long way to cement Phyllis' relationship with Billy if she'd tipped him off, but she was adamant that she wouldn't lift a finger to keep Brash & Sassy from going under, since every day the company was in business drove Billy closer to Victoria.
Phyllis groused that she and Billy no longer talked shop because Victoria had told him not to trust Phyllis anymore. Jack imagined that it had made Phyllis' blood boil, and Phyllis offered her full support to Jack, even though she understood that his support had nothing to do with wanting her and Billy to be happy. Jack commended Phyllis for jumping in to convince Lauren to take Brash & Sassy's products off the shelves, but he reported that Lauren had adamantly refused to do it. Jack anticipated slugging it out with no built-in advantage, but Phyllis thought he liked having a level playing field. Jack clarified that he liked to win.
Phyllis exited Jack's office and ran into Nikki, who remarked that she thought Phyllis worked at Fenmore's. Nikki entered Jack's office and voiced surprise that he hadn't met with Lauren instead of his ex-wife, and he claimed that Lauren wasn't always available. Nikki mentioned that she'd been downstairs with Victoria, and he recognized that Brash & Sassy was having a rough time. Nikki noted that he could be a wonderful, kind man, but she also knew he had a dark side. She acknowledged that the world was a competition for him and that he had to win at all costs, which made her wonder if he was planning on destroying her daughter's company.
Jack vaguely stated that businesses survived by competing, and he couldn't sit by and let Brash & Sassy bury Jabot. Nikki recounted how Victor had gone too far when Jabot and Newman had gone head to head years earlier, and their family had been left in chaos when he'd been convicted of commercial bribery. Nikki saw it happening again, and she hoped nothing was about to go down that would make things worse, but Jack swore that she had nothing to worry about. Nikki warned that their friendship would be over instantly if she ever learned that he was taking steps to undermine her daughter's livelihood.
Ashley and Abby met at Crimson Lights, and Ashley remarked that she was glad to hear that things were working out with Abby living at the ranch, especially since Abby and her father could get to know one another better. Abby mused that there was a lot she didn't know about both sides of her family, and Ashley guessed that Abby had more questions about Dina's affair. Abby begged Ashley to help her understand, since Victor had told her not to mention Brent Davis as if Brent had been poison. Abby wondered what the big secret was with Brent.
Abby sensed that Ashley was upset, but she couldn't help but be curious about all the intensity. Abby noted that her mom was usually an open book, and she wondered why that topic was different. Ashley stated that Brent hadn't been a very nice man and that John had considered Brent's relationship with Dina to be the ultimate betrayal. Ashley added that her father had never gotten over it, and she hadn't, either. Abby apologized.
Billy arrived at Brash & Sassy and informed Victoria that Phyllis hadn't found out that he'd logged onto her computer, or she would be more upset with him than she already was. Victoria said she didn't want him risking his relationship, but Billy insisted that it had been his decision to use Dina's password and Phyllis' computer to gain access to Jabot's server, and he would do it again. Victoria pointed out that Phyllis was upset because Billy had put Victoria and Brash & Sassy first, but Billy refused to let Victoria and her company be collateral damage in Jack's quest to get back at him. "No matter what the cost?" Victoria questioned.
Victoria surmised that Phyllis was at least aware of Jack's plan, but Billy insisted on giving Phyllis the benefit of the doubt. Victoria insisted that they circumvent the attack by outselling Jabot's new line, but they needed something big and outrageous that had never been done before. She asked if Billy had noticed anything about flaws in Jabot's new product when he'd logged in, and she proposed that they make the public believe that Jabot had released a shoddy product. Billy balked at doing something shady, but Victoria contended that being ethical hadn't gotten her anywhere. She thought perhaps the only way to beat Jack was to stoop to his level.
Victoria prepared to leave for a meeting with the accountants, and Billy promised to have the problem solved by the time she walked back through the door later. After Victoria departed, Billy made a call to order an army of temps across the country to buy Brash & Sassy products from Fenmore's with hundred-dollar gift cards, and he would personally foot the bill. Meanwhile, Victoria waited at the elevator. The doors opened, and Phyllis started to step off, but Victoria forced her back inside and hit the stop button. "I'm onto you, bitch," Victoria hissed.