In the sitting room at the Abbott mansion, Kyle joined his dad who'd been sitting alone in the dark. Kyle noticed an unopened letter from a lab, containing the results of a second DNA test Jack had ordered. Kyle pleaded with Jack to open the letter and read the results. Jack explained that everything about his life could change the moment he read the results. Jack added that the letter might prove he wasn't John's Abbott's son. Kyle noted that he would be affected, too. Kyle suggested they open the letter together. Kyle insisted that Jack would still be John Abbott's son. Jack shoved the unopened envelope into his breast pocket and proclaimed that he was John Abbott's son, no matter the test results.
After Jack entered his office at Jabot, he sat quietly, seemingly lost in thought. Jack opened a desk drawer, removed his father's nameplate, and gazed at John's name before setting it on the desk. Jack picked up a baseball he and his dad had acquired when Jack had been seven. Jack, speaking aloud as if his father were present, recalled that he'd been too young to learn the rules of baseball. Jack fondly remembered his father having caught the foul ball while the crowd had cheered.
Jack set down the treasured baseball and noted that John had taught him that running Jabot wasn't a game. Jack quickly put away the nameplate when Billy entered. Billy noted that he'd stood in for Jack at an important meeting and was surprised that Jack had shown up at the office. Billy pulled a chair up to Jack's desk and mentioned the DNA test. Jack said it wasn't the right place to discuss it.
Billy replied, "This is a family company. Work and family cannot be disconnected at Jabot, so I think this is a perfect place to discuss your paternity." Jack complained that both Kyle and Billy were badgering him to reveal the results. Jack insisted he was meant to run Jabot and make his father proud. Billy begged Jack to let him be supportive.
At Newman Enterprises, Abby burst into Victor's office, despite orders to his assistant to send her away. Abby berated Victor for ruining Dina's special evening and using the fiasco as a weapon to hurt Jack. Victor denied involvement, but Abby said she knew for certain that Kyle had given the video footage to Victor. Victor replied, "Did he say that I was the one who put it up on screen?"
Abby noted that Victor was the only person who'd want to hurt Jack in such a way. Victor said he was stunned that Abby believed Kyle over him. Abby didn't relent and said that Victor purposely taking down Jack the way he had was "beyond messed up." Victor said he'd had enough and would've tossed Abby out if she wasn't his daughter. Abby replied, "Don't bother," and she stormed out.
At Crimson Lights, Nick and Sharon were discussing enjoying a bubble bath together while Faith and Mariah were away. Victoria and Phyllis interrupted. Victoria noted that the conference she and Phyllis had attended together had given her time to put things in perspective. Nick shook his head and said he couldn't wrap his head around his sister, Phyllis, and Sharon having suddenly become besties. Phyllis replied, "We're not besties. We're chummy. That's all." Sharon claimed that she, Victoria, and Phyllis merely tolerated each other. Nick still wasn't convinced and said he'd need more time to process the sudden friendship.
After Nick left, Victoria announced that after she'd had a lengthy discussion with Phyllis, she'd decided that confessing would be a bad move. Victoria agreed that they should all stick to their original story. Sharon replied, "I'm glad we're on the same page." After Victoria left, Phyllis asked Sharon if she'd convinced Nick to give up on his obsession to find J.T. Sharon explained that Nick had offered a reward for information, and it had so far not produced results. Sharon added that no one had speculated that J.T. might be dead, so they were all in the clear.
Phyllis asked Sharon why she no longer seemed anxious about being caught in a lie. Sharon said she'd devised a way to keep Nick's mind occupied. Phyllis asked Sharon to explain. Sharon claimed that Nick had become involved in Faith's anti-bullying campaign. Phyllis praised Sharon's efforts and told her to keep it up. Sharon replied, "Believe me, I will."
After Nick went home, he prepared a bottle of wine and sent a text message to Sharon, asking if she was on her way home. Nick answered a knock at the door. It was Phyllis hoping to talk to Sharon. Nick suggested that Phyllis send Sharon a text message, but Phyllis insisted she speak to Sharon in person. Phyllis heard a police dispatcher ordering an officer to respond to an accident. Nick pulled his phone from his pocket and noted that he'd downloaded an app that operated the same as a police scanner.
Phyllis asked why Nick was listening to a police scanner. Nick said he was using it as a tool to help locate J.T. Nick said the app was supposed to pick up broadcasts from all area precincts, though he wasn't certain it was working as advertised. Phyllis suggested that Nick delete the app, but Nick said it was better than nothing. Phyllis said she was surprised to realize that Nick was intent on finding J.T. Nick became agitated and said he was shocked by Phyllis' reaction, given what J.T. had done to Nick's father and sister.
Phyllis recalled that Sharon had said Nick was helping Faith with a project. The scanner picked up a dispatcher's transmission. The dispatcher ordered available units to proceed to the corner of Ashland and Union to investigate because a signal had been received from J.T. Hellstrom's cell phone. Nick headed out the door, and Phyllis insisted she tag along. As Phyllis and Nick drove toward the first reported area, the dispatcher announced that J.T.'s cellphone signal had been picked up near Mulberry Street. Nick noted that the street was near Victoria's house.
Victoria visited Victor at his office. Victoria noted that her trip away had given her time to relax and remember that she was strong and capable. Victor said he felt as though he'd failed as a father, especially after he'd learned about J.T.'s physical abuse. Victoria noted that she'd returned to work and was glad, like Victor likely was, to be back. Victor said he was impressed with the way Nikki had run the company during his absence. Victor added that Nikki had also nursed him back to health. Victoria asked her father if he'd expected anything less from Nikki. Victor replied, "No, of course not."
Victoria said she wished Victor had had the same confidence in her to run the business. Victor recalled that Victoria had had her hands full. Kyle entered as Victoria was leaving. Victoria was surprised to learn that Victor was mentoring Kyle about business acquisitions and mergers. After Victoria left, Kyle noted that Victor could spin a story to his family as easily as he could to him. Victor accused Kyle of adding the recovered footage of Dina after Victor had turned down Kyle's "underwhelming offer." Kyle denied involvement and noted that Victor was the only person who had a copy of the video. Victor accused Kyle of hiring someone to edit the video for him.
Victoria ran into Abby in the hallway at Newman Enterprises. Abby noted that she'd been surprised that Victoria had attended a conference she'd always managed to avoid in the past. Victoria said she'd needed time away to heal. Victoria, holding a box, added that dumping the contents of the box would prove even more healing. Abby asked what was in the box. Victoria said she'd cleared out J.T.'s office because she wanted to rid herself of all remnants of him so she could start a new chapter in her life.
After Phyllis arrived at Jabot, she and Billy kissed. Billy explained that Jack was refusing his offer of support. Phyllis, recalling the startling news Jack had learned at Dina's video premiere, said she wasn't surprised that Jack would rather work though it on his own. Billy said instead of processing it, Jack was forcing himself to work. Phyllis said Jack was blocking out his pain.
After Billy left, Phyllis entered Jack's office. Jack told Phyllis to leave, but she refused. Phyllis rhetorically asked Jack who he was and responded that the Jack Abbott she knew was a fighter and a fine man with fierce traits. Phyllis added that Jack wasn't defined by his name alone. Phyllis reminded Jack that he'd battled addiction and won. Jack said he'd walked away from the pills just as he had Phyllis' betrayals.
Jack waved the envelope in the air and cried that he had no control over the information it contained. Phyllis replied, "You can control how you respond. You can choose not to let those results define you." Jack cried that he'd wanted to be John Abbott's son for as long as possible and hold fast to the only identity he'd ever known. Jack added that the test results could change everything.
Phyllis sat opposite Jack, held his hands, and told him to imagine that her hands were John's. Phyllis asked Jack to imagine what John might say. Jack replied, "Man up, Jackie boy. Play the hand that you were dealt." Phyllis told Jack that John had made him the man he'd become, no matter the results of the DNA test. Phyllis advised Jack to be strong enough to face the truth.
After Phyllis left, Jack picked up the envelope. Jack clutched the sealed envelope and wiped away a tear from his cheek. Jack opened the envelope and read the enclosed letter. The conclusion stated that the genetic data didn't support a half-sibling relationship between John Abbott Jr. and William Abbott. Jack winced in pain and fought back tears, clenching his jaw.
Kyle stepped off the elevator at Jabot and greeted Billy outside Jack's office. Kyle asked if Jack was in his office. Billy said he wasn't certain. Billy added that Jack had expressed a desire to be alone. Billy asked how Kyle was holding up. Kyle told Billy about having earlier found Jack sitting alone in the dark. Billy replied, "He's in shock." Kyle said it was killing him to see his dad feeling so lost. Kyle noted that he'd missed his chance to know John, but it wasn't the same for Jack. Kyle added that Jack had spent his entire life idolizing his father.
Billy recalled that he knew how it felt to exist outside the core of the Abbott family, and he didn't want to experience it again. Billy offered to listen whenever Kyle needed to talk. Kyle thanked Billy. Billy reminded Kyle that family was more than shared DNA. Billy added that whenever a crisis occurred, the Abbotts drew closer together. Kyle said he'd tried and failed to reach his father. Billy encouraged Kyle not to give up. After Billy left, Kyle entered Jack's empty office and read the results of the DNA test that Jack had left on the desk.
Kyle returned home and saw Jack pouring himself a drink. Kyle displayed the letter and said he'd found it on Jack's desk at Jabot. Jack said, "I'm not a blood Abbott. Want a drink?" Kyle recalled that he'd felt the same punch in the gut as Jack had. Kyle insisted that he and his dad could find out who they were together.
Jack cried that he'd never measured up to John Abbott because he wasn't John's son. Jack added, "I spent my whole life trying to be like that man. It means nothing now. I'm nothing." Jack sipped his whiskey and sunk deeper into depression, noting that he could no longer be CEO due to the "blood Abbott" clause. Jack said, "I have as much Abbott blood in me as any stranger on the street."
Kyle reminded his dad that whatever affected Jack affected him, too. Kyle added that both of their lives and futures had been altered. Kyle suggested taking a vote from the board so Jack could remain as CEO. Jack noted that he was the one who'd convinced the board to approve the "blood Abbott" clause to protect the company from outsiders. Jack added, "Guess what? I just became an outsider." Jack laughed mockingly and said he was unworthy to fill John Abbott's shoes or run Jabot. Jack cried, "And I did it to myself." Jack grabbed his coat and rushed out the door, pulling away when Kyle tried to stop him.
Devon found Hilary working at Hamilton-Winters, and he turned on some music. He apologized for the loud volume, and he revealed that he was considering a new artist to replace Simone. Devon immersed himself in listening to the song, but he became self-conscious when he realized that Hilary was watching how it was affecting him. She admitted that the music was a distraction, and she requested that he use headphones. Devon preferred to hear the music out loud to tell whether it had the "it factor" that made him feel something in every part of his body and soul.
Hilary admired the joy Devon took in his process and passion, and she considered herself lucky to have him as her baby's father. Devon resolved to get through the tracks, and he understood if she chose to work elsewhere. She decided that it would be good practice to test her concentration, since she'd soon have to work through their baby burping and crying. Devon grooved to the music, and he noticed Hilary tapping her foot. He joked that it might be a muscle spasm, and she insisted that she was working.
Devon asked if Hilary could take her eyes off her monitor, and she replied that she could if there was something to see. He grabbed her hand and twirled her around, and she laughed as he dipped her. Hilary inquired whether his body was telling him to sign the artist, and Devon informed her that he hadn't been considering that particular song, but he'd thought she'd be into it. They hovered close as a slow song started playing next, and they gazed into one another's eyes.
Devon and Hilary swayed to the music, and he asked if she felt the effect he'd been talking about. She marveled that it was wonderful, and he noted that the singer really had it. She purred that the real test was whether he was feeling the music in his body, and she thought he should sign the artist.
At Jabot, Billy fibbed to someone over the phone that Jack had the flu. He hung up as Kyle entered, and he judged from Kyle's expression that there wasn't good news. Kyle reported that Jack had been on a drinking binge since he'd seen the DNA test results, which he handed to Billy. Billy's face fell when he read them, and he couldn't imagine what Jack had felt when he'd seen it in black and white. Kyle worried that he'd never seen his father like that, with no emotion -- as if he were dead inside, and he had no idea where Jack had gone. Billy said to forget DNA because they were family, and that was how they would handle it.
Phyllis and Nick drove to the area where J.T.'s cell phone signal had been detected. The police scanner app indicated that the phone was in an alley three blocks away, and Nick excitedly declared that they'd gotten him. Phyllis covertly sent a text message.
At Newman Enterprises, Ashley found Victoria in Victor's office, and Victoria explained that her dad had asked her to handle some projects for him. Abby appeared and wanted to run some Brash & Sassy stuff by Victoria that Abby had already shown to Ashley. Ashley proudly announced that thanks to Abby, Brash & Sassy would be a sponsor of Berlin Fashion Week. Victoria received a text message from Phyllis, who informed her that J.T.'s phone had pinged. Victoria paled, and Abby inquired whether everything was okay.
Abby rambled about ideas for the event, and Victoria absent-mindedly responded that it sounded perfect. Abby mentioned that the organizers were wondering if Brash & Sassy would host a party on opening night, but Victoria was clearly distracted. Ashley answered a call from Billy, who informed her that they had a major Jack crisis that required all of them. Ashley apologized for needing to leave with Abby immediately because of a family emergency, but she was sure they would be back soon to hear Victoria's decisions on fashion week. Victoria replied that she was on board with whatever they thought, and Ashley and Abby left. Victoria replied to Phyllis' message to ask what was happening.
Outside the alley, Phyllis swore that the information couldn't be right. Nick thought it was obvious that J.T. was hiding out there, and he hoped that he got to J.T. before the police did. Nick spotted a hooded man in the alley, and he took off over Phyllis' protests. Nick followed the man, who pulled off his hood, revealing blond hair. Phyllis suddenly yelled J.T.'s name and told him to stop because they knew what he'd done.
Nick threw the man up against a wall and realized that the man wasn't J.T. Two police officers arrived and broke up the altercation, and Nick accused the man of taking J.T.'s phone. One of the cops guessed that Nick had downloaded a police scanner app, and he warned that Nick couldn't go around playing vigilante. Nick demanded to know how the guy had gotten the phone, and the man explained that he had found it in a Dumpster at the airport and had just charged it. The cops took the phone as evidence.
Nikki was surprised when Arturo dropped off some paperwork at the ranch. He explained that it saved money, but seeing her was a plus. He understood that she still had a lot going on, and he didn't want to make things more complicated. Nikki explained that she and Victor loved one another, but they'd gotten stuck, and Arturo imagined that the open marriage policy had gotten things moving again. She confirmed that it had been good for their marriage, but it was an experiment that they wouldn't be trying again.
Nikki was grateful to Arturo for giving her the confidence to reestablish being an equal with Victor, and Arturo hoped that they could still work together. She wanted that, too, and she walked him to the door as she assured him that Victor wouldn't get in the way. Arturo said he enjoyed working with her, and Nikki replied that she'd enjoyed how he'd made her feel beautiful and wanted. He insisted that she was, and he leaned in and tenderly kissed her on the lips as Victoria arrived. Nikki looked embarrassed when she realized her daughter had seen the buss.
Nikki awkwardly introduced Victoria to Arturo, and he departed. Nikki confirmed that he had been her "friend" but that it was over, and she swore that it had only been a sweet goodbye kiss. Victoria turned the topic to Phyllis' text message, and Nikki wondered why Phyllis hadn't replied. Nikki speculated that perhaps Phyllis had kept J.T.'s phone as her own safety net for blackmail insurance.
Victoria argued that Phyllis had been the one to let her know about the phone, and she contemplated the possibility that somehow J.T. hadn't died. Nikki reasoned that then they could stop worrying about being arrested for murder, and Victoria added that she and J.T. would be even, since he'd tried to kill her dad. Phyllis arrived and reported that a homeless man had found J.T.'s cell phone and that the police had the phone in custody, but Nick wouldn't back off.
At Crimson Lights, Sharon lectured that Nick was lucky that the police hadn't pressed charges, and he felt terrible for scaring the homeless guy. Victoria questioned how he would make it up to her, since it affected her more than anyone. Nick defended that he'd been trying to find the creep who'd abused her, but Victoria countered that it hadn't been his call, and he was just making it harder on her. Victoria explained that she'd been having a good day at the office until she'd received Phyllis' message about Nick tracing J.T.'s phone, and it had set back all the progress she'd made with trying to move on.
Victoria begged Nick to drop his vendetta for her sake, but he refused to sit back and watch J.T. squirm his way out. Nick promised that he would no longer involve Victoria in any way, and he wondered what had motivated Phyllis to distract Victoria with rumors and false alarms. He dryly suggested that Victoria shift blame to the person who'd actually upset her, and he walked off.
Nikki was surprised when Victoria returned to the ranch, and she guessed that things hadn't gone well with Nick. Victoria groaned that he was relentless, and his idea of a compromise was continuing to hunt down J.T. and just not telling her about it. Nikki pointed out that it wasn't like J.T. could hurt anyone anymore, and she figured that perhaps Nick would have advance information about what the police knew. Victoria wished that Phyllis had talked Nick out of it, but Nikki was glad that no harm had been done. Victoria panicked when she got a call from the police.
After Victoria hung up, she reported that the police wanted to talk to her about the text messages that J.T. had sent her from his phone. She recalled that he'd repeatedly demanded to see her, and she worried that the messages contradicted something she'd told Paul. Nikki realized that the cover-up could start unraveling.
Ashley and Abby joined Billy and Kyle at Jabot, and they exchanged updates on where they'd checked for Jack. Kyle wished he had an idea of how to help, and Abby recalled that it had been crushing to watch Ashley go through the pain of publicly facing the truth about her paternity after Dina had blurted it out in front of everyone. Ashley acknowledged that keeping the secret had at least given her something to hold onto for protection for a while, but there had been no way to undo it once it had been out there. Ashley admitted that it had been engulfing, but they were there for Jack and not her. Billy clarified that they were there for all of them.
Kyle relayed that Jack had kept talking about how he'd deserved what had happened because he'd hurt Ashley. Ashley asserted that she "couldn't not love" her brother, who needed all of them. Billy swore that they'd all be there for Jack, whether Jack liked it or not, and he answered the phone. Billy stepped out to take a call from an important client privately, and Abby lamented that Jack's whole identity had been tied to being John's son. Ashley suspected that Jack had reached his breaking point, and she referred to how he'd gone off on Dina.
Kyle thought Jack had lashed out because he'd been afraid to face the truth, and he was concerned about what Jack might do next. Abby suggested that they call the police, but Ashley pointed out that they needed to wait 24 hours. Billy returned and divulged that Jack had forgotten to sign a massive contract before the deadline, but they could worry about it after they found him. Ashley insisted that they could both find Jack and preserve their father's legacy if they worked together like John would have wanted them to.
Later, Ashley called an emergency meeting of the board to order, and she divulged that she'd spoken with Traci and Lauren and had their votes by proxy. She added that she'd left a message for Phyllis, and she exercised the right to begin the meeting without Phyllis there. Ashley summarized that Jack had received confirmation that he wasn't John's biological son, so he could no longer serve as Jabot's CEO because of the blood Abbott clause. She stressed that as they dealt with the emotional fallout, it was imperative that they meet their obligations to move the company forward and send the message that Jabot was rock solid. She nominated Billy as the new, permanent CEO.
Billy was flattered, but he protested that it wasn't what he'd signed up for. Abby stressed that their family needed him, but Billy pointed out that the meeting was about needing one another. Ashley reiterated that it was about moving forward to preserve their father's legacy, but Billy thought Ashley was the only appropriate choice to step up as CEO. Ashley reminded him that she couldn't do it, but Billy contended that she was only at Newman because of the fallout with Jack over the amendment that he'd maliciously used against her. Billy insisted on handling it the way the man who'd founded the company would have by forgetting the clause.
Ashley recognized that because of the amendment, only two people could become CEO -- Billy or Traci -- and Traci didn't want any position at Jabot. Phyllis entered and objected to Ashley talking as if Billy was the default choice. Phyllis asserted that they were fortunate to have a man with brains, talent, and style who could think outside the box, with an ego small enough to take ideas from anyone and huge enough to skyrocket Jabot deep into that century and beyond. Billy protested, but Ashley immediately moved to vote.
Everyone in the room except Billy indicated that they were in favor of installing Billy as permanent CEO, and Ashley announced that it was enough to pass a resolution. Billy questioned what would happen if he refused, and Ashley asked if he'd really do that to them when they had no idea where Jack was. Billy looked around at everyone before proclaiming, "Hell, no!" The Abbotts burst into applause, and Billy decided that his first act of business would be to revoke the blood Abbott clause. Ashley explained that Billy didn't have absolute power, and they needed to follow proper protocol to change the bylaws. Billy assigned Abby and Kyle to search for Jack.
After the meeting broke up, Billy complained that he couldn't breathe, and Phyllis encouraged him to take deep breaths and imagine being on a private beach together. She urged him to remember the sights and sounds he was envisioning, and he could go back anytime when people were acting like jerks or pushing their agendas. He asked if they could go there soon, and they kissed. Ashley returned and presented Billy with a hard drive that contained files from her last tenure there as her gift to him.
Ashley acknowledged that it hadn't been Billy's choice to take on the responsibility for his family, but she wanted him and the company to succeed. She promised that she'd always be there to offer advice and have his back, and she assured him that he couldn't go wrong if he followed her business plan. After Ashley departed, Phyllis griped that Ashley had his neck in a collar with a short leash, but Billy was just fine with following Ashley's plans until they axed the clause and got Jack back.
Phyllis told Billy that he shouldn't feel guilty about the promotion, although she understood that he didn't like taking Jack's job away from him. She insisted that it was about family loyalty and not betrayal, but Billy said he missed hanging out in his underwear at their apartment, waiting for her to get home. She thought he needed more than the life of a housecat, and she considered his new position to be cause for celebration. Billy said he needed to clean up a few of Jack's messes before he went home, and Phyllis anticipated that it would give her time to think of a plan for celebration and an outfit unsuitable for anyone's eyes but his.
Kyle and Abby searched for Jack at the Athletic Club, to no avail. Kyle said he was starting to freak out, but Abby scoffed at the idea of him being a loving, devoted son. She questioned what he had thought would happen when he'd handed over the memory card to Victor, and she mentioned that she'd told her dad to his face that what he'd done had been despicable. Kyle replied that he had, too, but Abby snapped that none of it would have been possible without Kyle's slimy assist.
Kyle swore that there was a lot to the story that Abby didn't understand, and he suggested that they split up to cover more ground. Abby warned him that family meant everything, and she wouldn't stand for or forget that he'd messed with hers. She remained convinced that he'd given Victor the means to hurt Jack in the cruelest way possible, and she vowed to find out why.
Abby burst into Crimson Lights, and Arturo asked if she'd lost someone. She mentioned that she was looking for her uncle, and Arturo sensed that something was wrong. Abby explained that Jack had drunk a lot and taken off after getting catastrophic news, and no one had seen or heard from him all day. Arturo offered to help, and he suspected that she might be looking in the wrong places.
Later, Abby and Arturo returned to the coffeehouse, and she thanked him for helping her look in a seedy area of town. Arturo was sure that Jack would pop up when he was good and ready, and he expected that it wouldn't be long.
Across the coffeehouse, Nick pondered whether it had been a coincidence that the homeless guy had resembled J.T. Nick wondered if some of the calls to the tip line from people who'd allegedly spotted J.T. had been true, but Sharon doubted that J.T. would hang around. Nick theorized that J.T. had dumped his phone on purpose to make the cops think he'd flown off somewhere, but J.T. might be hiding in plain sight. Sharon flirtatiously suggested that they go home to talk about it where no one would disturb them.
At the Abbotts', Kyle informed Ashley that he'd searched for Jack in all the parking lots and bars he could think of, but there had been no sign of Jack or his car. Kyle regretted that he hadn't been able to stop Jack from leaving home. Ashley said she'd checked her sources, and she hadn't had any luck finding Jack, either. Ashley and Kyle were very concerned. At that moment, Dina entered the room, very agitated, and asked Ashley and Kyle if they'd seen John. She fretted that John hadn't returned home and that she'd waited up for him until midnight. Ashley informed Dina that John had gone on a business trip.
Dina continued to fret. Kyle said that John had needed to attend an emergency meeting. Dina was surprised that John hadn't told her and suggested that John had worked all night and had gone to a breakfast meeting. Dina named locations where John would have had his breakfast meetings. Ashley promised to check the various locations, and she suggested that Dina have a nap while Ashley and Kyle searched for John. Dina agreed but only if Ashley woke her as soon as John walked through the door. Ashley promised she would. Ashley asked Dina to stop worrying, but Dina said she'd stop worrying when John walked through the door.
Jack arrived a little inebriated at the Abbott cabin. He went to the cabinet and took out a bottle of scotch. He started a fire in the fireplace and continued to drink. He decided to record a video on his phone. While recording on his phone, Jack recalled setting up a screening event of Dina's movie -- a documentary of sorts, which had been put together as a labor of love. It had blown up in his face. They had made sure to show Dina in a good light, but the truth had emerged that he wasn't John Abbott's son. Jack decided that he'd embrace the truth, and he continued to drink.
Jack said he'd make his own movie, and he'd call it "The Life and Times of Jack..." --the last name to be determined because John Abbott wasn't his father. Jack thought it would be fitting for him to film it at the cabin. He recalled that when he'd been a teenager, he'd watched his mother and his fath ... -- he stopped and said "John" arguing about Dina's infidelity. Jack wondered if Dina had taken her lovers to the cabin. He said that there had to have been something in the air because his own wife had cheated on him there. He said that the cabin held a lot of dark secrets.
Jack found the family album in the cabinet and he flipped through the pages. He saw all the smiling faces and said that they were all lies. After John had died, Jack had tried to be the head of a family that didn't exist. Jack was bitter and claimed the Abbott family had been a myth. In anger, Jack threw the album into the fire and said he'd burn down the cabin if he thought it would erase all the memories. He decided it was time to leave. He picked up his jacket and the bottle of scotch. He left without extinguishing the fire in the fireplace.
Victoria had been about to leave the Athletic Club when she received a call from Paul. He wanted to confirm his meeting with her to discuss the text messages on J.T.'s phone. Victoria informed him she had a very busy day ahead of her, and she'd meet with him as soon as she could. Much to Paul's chagrin, Victoria disconnected the call before he could say anything further.
At Newman Enterprises, Abby stormed into Victor's office. Victor asked her where Victoria and Ashley were. Abby snapped that she couldn't speak for Victoria, but Ashley wouldn't be in because Jack was missing. She told Victor that if anything happened to Jack, it would be on Victor. Victor said he hoped that Abby was done with her unfounded accusations and assured her he had nothing to do with Jack being missing.
Victor said that if Jack had chosen to flee because he'd suffered a family crisis, that had been up to Jack. Victor said he was sorry for Abby's distress and Jack's crisis. At that moment, Victoria arrived and wanted to know what was going on with Jack. Ignoring Victoria's question, Victor told Abby that Jack would return after he'd licked his wounds. They sat down to discuss business.
Victor wanted Victoria or Abby to take point on one of Ashley's time-sensitive projects. Abby tried to offer, but Victoria jumped in and overrode Abby. She claimed the project for herself, and Victor accepted. Upset and hurt, Abby stood up and sarcastically stated that since Victoria had kindly taken on the project, Abby would go see if there was any news about Jack and wouldn't feel bad for making family her priority. She left.
Outside Victor's office, Abby bumped into Paul and informed him that Jack was missing. Paul didn't believe that Jack was in any danger. He believed that Jack had probably taken the time to work through his family issues and that it was too early to start a search. He told Abby that he'd alert his officers to keep an eye out for Jack. Paul asked Abby if she'd stopped by Victoria's house the night that J.T. had disappeared. Abby said she had opted to stay home rather than attend the party.
Inside Victor's office, Victor and Victoria discussed the project. Victoria thanked him for allowing her to take point on Ashley's project even though Ashley should have overseen it. Victor said that he hadn't forgiven Victoria for what she'd done to Ashley. Victoria promised that she'd prove herself to him, no matter how long it took. At that moment, Victor received a text message from Kyle stating that he needed to meet with Victor.
Victor told Victoria he needed to leave because he had a meeting outside the office. As he was leaving his office, Victor bumped into Paul. Paul told Victor he was there to meet with Victoria. Victor pointed to Victoria and left. Once Victor was gone, Victoria informed Paul she couldn't talk to him because she had a video conference call with an overseas plant manager that she needed to take. Paul snickered and said he'd wait. Rattled, Victoria returned to Victor's office.
When Victoria finally met with Paul, he read the text messages that J.T. had sent her: "We need to talk." "Don't shut me out." "DO NOT IGNORE ME!" Paul said the last text message had been written in all capital letters, indicating that J.T. had been angry. Victoria said J.T. had tried to reach her, but she hadn't wanted to talk to him. When she'd seen the messages had been from J.T., she'd turned her phone off.
Paul asked what time J.T. had called her, but Victoria claimed she had no recollection. Paul told Victoria that someone had heard her phone ring. Victoria claimed that she hadn't heard it, and she had to have turned her phone off after the call because she hadn't wanted anything to do with J.T. that night. Paul said he understood.
Victoria stated that they were done with the questions. Paul informed her that they were far from done. Victoria said that she couldn't tell him something she either had no knowledge of or something she couldn't remember. Paul asked if Abby had stopped by. Victoria said she hadn't, and if someone had said that Abby had been there, then they'd had too many margaritas.
Victoria accused Paul of playing games with her and said he acted as if she'd been to blame for the situation. She said that she had agreed to answer Paul's questions, but it had turned into an interrogation. She asked Paul to show himself out. Paul informed her that he wouldn't stop questioning her, Nikki, Phyllis, and Sharon because someone had been lying to him, and he wanted to know why.
Paul said he wouldn't stop until he'd figured it out. There were too many discrepancies. He had proof that J.T. had been around her house, but no one knew anything about it. Paul threatened to take Victoria, Sharon, Phyllis, and Nikki to the station because he believed they knew where J.T. was. Victoria ordered Paul to stop and admitted that she'd been lying, but she said she'd tell him the truth.
At the Abbotts', Abby asked Ashley if Dina believed that Jack/John was missing. Ashley updated Abby on Dina's agitation and explained that she had calmed Dina by promising to let her know as soon as John arrived. Abby told Ashley that she'd bumped into Paul. He had informed her that he couldn't do much at that point about searching for Jack.
Ashley talked of the places Jack might have gone, which included the cabin. Kyle said if they gave him the key, he'd go and have a look. Abby said she knew the area better than he did, so she'd go. She said that no one would miss her at work because Victor was up to the same old stuff, and Victoria took full advantage of the Abbott family crisis. Victoria had snapped up a project that Ashley should be dealing with.
Ashley told Abby she didn't care about work. She wanted to focus on finding Jack, and she knew that Billy could handle what was going on at Jabot. Kyle offered to help Billy, but Abby said Jabot didn't need Kyle's version of help. She said she was still convinced that Kyle had given the memory card to Victor.
Ashley tried to stop that conversation, but Abby wouldn't hear it. She wondered if Ashley could imagine what Kyle would be capable of with Billy in charge . Kyle promised not to mess with Billy or the company. Abby said she didn't trust Kyle, and she didn't know whether she ever would. Abby said she'd contact Ashley when she arrived at the cabin.
After Abby left, Ashley told Kyle to call all of Jack's contacts. She warned him to be discreet and not to mention that Jack was missing. Jabot was in good hands with Billy, and that left her and Kyle free to search for Jack.
Abby arrived at Crimson Lights and bumped into Arturo. She explained that she'd stopped in to get a coffee before driving to the Abbott cabin to see if Jack was there. Arturo warned her that there had been a weather warning about a heavy rainfall. Abby said she was a good driver, but Arturo said that his truck could handle any type of weather. He offered to drive her to the cabin. Abby accepted.
Kyle arrived at the ranch and informed Victor that Jack had gotten his own DNA test done. Kyle admitted that he'd known what Victor would do after he'd given Victor the memory card. Kyle said he regretted his actions, but he needed to move on. Kyle admitted that his chances of running Jabot were crumbling. He told Victor that he'd kept his end of their bargain, and he wanted Victor to honor his agreement and give Kyle a job at Newman. Kyle added that he needed to wait until things settled down for Jack, and he wouldn't move to Newman until then. He knew Jack was deeply hurt.
Victor said that Kyle's sympathy for Jack was admirable, but Victor knew that Kyle was looking out for himself. Victor told Kyle that he didn't owe Kyle anything because he hadn't used the video; therefore, Kyle hadn't held up his end of the bargain. Victor informed Kyle that if he wanted a position at Newman, Kyle had to be indispensable to him. Victor said that Kyle needed to tell him who the new CEO was. Kyle said that it was under wraps, but Billy had been appointed as the CEO, and Ashley was micromanaging Billy to make sure he succeeded. Victor chortled and told Kyle that that was valuable information, and he thanked Kyle.
Abby and Arturo entered the Abbott cabin. Abby was delighted to see a fire in the fireplace. Relieved, she called out to Jack, but she quickly realized that Jack wasn't there. She surmised that he hadn't gone far because he'd left the fire burning, which he wouldn't have done if he'd had no intention of returning. She thought that Jack might have gone to Whitewater to fish. They decided to look around outside because they had no idea where else to look for Jack or where he could be.
After searching the grounds, Abby and Arturo ran back into the cabin when the storm broke, and they were soaking wet. Abby changed into dry clothes. Shirtless, Arturo asked if she'd heard from Jack. She made note of Arturo's bare chest and pointed to a sweater she had for him. Arturo commented that the storm had gotten worse. Abby said that there hadn't been any word from Jack.
Arturo said he respected how much Abby cared about her family. Abby admitted that she was close to both sides of her family, but it did get difficult at times. Abby asked Arturo about his family. He said he had an older brother and younger sister. They were regular people with regular jobs with no drama like Abby's families.
Arturo informed Abby that he was single and had recently ended a relationship with someone he'd liked, but they had both agreed that they hadn't been looking for anything serious. Abby confessed she'd been that way, but she'd often wondered if she'd ever have a grown-up relationship because she had so much baggage. Arturo told her she was a funny, smart, and beautiful woman -- the kind that every guy wanted to meet.
While driving through the storm, Jack recalled his speech about how only a blood Abbott would be allowed to run Jabot, and he remembered telling Ashley that she'd never take the CEO position away from him. He also recalled Dina saying that she'd needed more than John had been able to give her and that, as a consequence of her affairs, Jack wasn't John's son.
Jack was driving through the downpour. He tuned into a station with classical music. He sped up, and moments later, he suddenly began to skid and lost control of the car. He crashed into something.
Back at the Abbotts', Dina continued to fret over John. She heard the door close and hoped John had returned, but it was Kyle. Agitated, Dina cried to Kyle that the reason John wasn't home was because she'd driven him away. Kyle told her that she wasn't to blame and that it had been his fault. He told her that he'd shared some private information, and he'd put everything into motion. Dina didn't understand what Kyle was talking about. She said she just wanted John to return home. Kyle whispered that he did too.
At Newman Enterprises, Paul prompted Victoria to explain how she'd lied, and she expected Victor to be disappointed when he found out about her confession. Paul suggested that she call an attorney, but she swore that she didn't want to hide anything anymore. He set up a recording app on his phone to tape her statement. She protested that she intended to be honest because they'd known one another for a long time, but she wasn't foolish enough to let him record her without benefit of counsel. Victoria offered to have her lawyer meet them at the police station if Paul wanted to make things official, but he settled for just getting the truth. Victoria admitted that she had seen J.T. on the night he'd disappeared.
Victoria stood by her claim that she'd broken up with J.T. in Hawaii, and Paul asked what they'd talked about when J.T. had shown up at her place. Victoria recounted that J.T. had admitted what he'd done to Victor, but he'd claimed that it had happened unintentionally when the men's argument had escalated. Paul inquired what J.T. and Victor had been arguing about, and Victoria revealed that Victor had discovered that J.T. had been working for Paul and Christine. She added that J.T. had said her father had fallen during their fight, but J.T. had sworn it had been an accident, even though he'd never called for help.
Victoria confirmed that J.T. had also shut off Victor's ventilator at the hospital, and Paul imagined that she'd been furious when J.T. had confessed. Victoria explained that she'd felt like an idiot, since the man she'd loved and planned to remarry had tried to kill her father as if he'd had a right to do it. She divulged that J.T. had asked her to run away with him because he'd been desperate to get out of town before Victor recovered, but she questioned what kind of life that would have been for her and her kids. She stressed that she'd broken up with J.T. for a reason, and Paul gently recognized that J.T. had been violent with her.
Victoria grew quiet, and Paul asked what had happened next. She asserted that she'd wanted to hate J.T. for what he'd done and order him out of her house, but he'd surprised her by asking her for help. She fibbed that she'd given him cash to help him disappear, but Paul wondered why she hadn't called the police. Victoria whimpered that she hated what J.T. had done to her and her father, but she hadn't been able to help but believe that there was more to J.T. than the man he'd become, and he would always be Reed's father and the man she'd married.
Victoria admitted that it had been irrational and weak not to report it, and she claimed that she'd promised J.T. that she wouldn't do that. She contemplated what a trial would have done to Reed, but Paul argued that J.T. deserved to spend the rest of his life in prison. Victoria figured that what J.T. had asked for was worse than prison, since he'd never see the children he loved ever again. Paul pointed out that Victoria had let J.T. get away with it, but Victoria felt that never being able to return home was punishment enough.
Paul inquired why the other women at the party hadn't said anything about seeing J.T., and Victoria responded that everyone else had been in the kitchen when J.T. had rung the doorbell. She continued that she'd told him that she'd had company, so he'd gone upstairs to wait, and she'd told her guests that Abby had been at the door. Victoria thought it explained the discrepancies in the women's answers, but Paul queried why Victoria hadn't just told her friends the truth. Victoria wailed that she'd been ashamed of what J.T. had done to her, so she'd covered up his presence with the first thing that had popped into her head. Victoria was adamant that the other women hadn't been involved and that she had told them nothing.
Paul remarked that women usually confided in their friends, but Victoria maintained that she hadn't said anything to anyone about J.T. because she'd been ashamed about what had happened and about not leaving him sooner. She contended that no one would have ever known about the abuse if Victor hadn't installed the camera in her house, and she was still embarrassed that Paul knew about it. Victoria cried that she still hadn't found the courage to tell her own sister, and she wished that she had told someone, since perhaps things could have been different if she had. Victoria expressed guilt that she hadn't told Paul the truth earlier, and he checked his watch and suggested that they continue the next day.
At the Abbott cabin, Abby and Arturo stopped short of kissing and agreed that it would be a bad idea, since Jack could return at any minute. Arturo looked outside the window and pointed out that the rain had stopped and the wind had died down. Abby chirped that it would be easier for Jack to make it back. Meanwhile, on the roadside, an unconscious Jack was slumped in his crashed car, the airbag deployed.
Abby checked her phone and was disappointed that Jack hadn't returned her text messages, but she was sure he would. Arturo pushed to leave during the break in the storm, and she implored him to go. He hesitated to leave her stranded, but she planned to call a car. Abby reasoned that there had been a fire burning when they'd arrived, and she was certain that Jack wouldn't have left without securing the cabin, so she wanted to make sure he was okay. Arturo decided to keep her company for the duration.
Abby wondered if Jack had gotten stuck on the road while running out for groceries, and Arturo guessed that Jack had decided to wait out the storm in town. Arturo inquired whether there were any board games at the cabin, since distractions helped in tense situations. Abby refused to forget why they were there, and Arturo recognized that it would be impossible, but he figured that she couldn't let her worry overwhelm her, either. He suggested a laugh, a game, or "whatever," and they hovered close for a moment before they stepped back from one another. Abby started to look for some cards, and she spotted the liquor cabinet.
Abby realized that if the liquor was gone, Jack might be driving under the influence. Arturo offered to check, but she insisted on doing it herself, and she was relieved to find a full bottle of scotch. He wondered what she would have done if it had been empty, and she replied that she would have convinced him to take her out in his truck to look for signs of Jack on the road. Arturo playfully asked what she would have done if he'd said no, but she countered that he wouldn't have. He surmised that she knew how to get her way because she'd been born into two rich, powerful families, so she'd known how to negotiate since she'd been in her mother's arms.
Abby theorized that Arturo had taken her to a remote cabin to subtly seduce her because he'd looked her up. He swore that he'd never done an online search for her, but he admitted that he'd heard about her rebellious phase as the "Naked Heiress." Arturo claimed that he'd found out about it through his younger sister, but Abby complained that guys always focused on that instead of her business accomplishments or charity work. She teased him for using his sister as an excuse and bet that he was a true fan.
Abby questioned how many times Arturo had looked at her pictures, and he inquired whether she'd ever pull such stunts again. Abby contended that she wouldn't but that she wasn't embarrassed by her past, and Arturo asserted that there was nothing embarrassing about the photos. Pleased, Abby went to the kitchen to make coffee.
Arturo referred to the recent news story about Abby getting stuck in a storage locker with some guy, and he joked that being stuck in places was her thing. She insisted that the storage locker incident had been nothing like that night, since she'd been terrified to find out that the man she'd been dating had been a criminal psycho. She suddenly thought she heard a car door, but they found nothing when they checked outside. Abby contemplated whether Jack had been so messed up that he'd forgotten to put out the fire before heading back to Genoa City, so perhaps she and Arturo were there for nothing. Arturo swore that it had been worthwhile because he'd enjoyed getting to know more about her, but he thought they should leave before the storm picked up again.
Abby waffled, and Arturo noted that Jack could have returned but taken off when he'd seen the lights on. She agreed to head back on one condition -- Arturo had to let her drive his "totally awesome beast of a truck." He objected because he'd spent too much money customizing the vehicle, so he was the only one who drove it. She went to get their clothes as she tried to convince him to let her drive part of the way, and he conceded that she could choose the music. After they left, a bloodied and bruised Jack stumbled into the cabin.
The next morning, a woman entered Hamilton-Winters' office and asked if Devon was around. Hilary replied that he wasn't in yet, and she inquired whether Devon was expecting her. The woman indicated that they had a meeting, and Hilary noted that it was early. The woman explained that she'd only been able to meet for breakfast, and Devon entered and escorted the woman downstairs. Hilary scowled.
Tessa arrived at the office and observed that Hilary was in early. Hilary asked who Devon was having breakfast with, but Tessa reported that there was nothing in his calendar. When Devon returned, Hilary recalled that he'd said he didn't have time to date anyone when he'd broken things off with Simone, and he reiterated that he didn't. Hilary referred to his breakfast date, and she chided him for keeping secrets. Devon vaguely stated that the woman was a colleague that he'd met for a breakfast meeting, and there was nothing further to talk about.
Later, Devon's breakfast companion returned with a portfolio that Devon had left behind at their meeting. Tessa assured her that he'd get it, and after the woman left, Hilary asked what it was. Tessa wasn't sure, and Hilary inquired whether Tessa was curious. Tessa remarked that she clearly wasn't as curious as Hilary was, and she opened it to reveal an impressive collage of nursery photos. Hilary was touched that Devon had been working on a nursery for the luckiest baby in the world.
Victoria ran into Paul in the Athletic Club dining room. She asked if he had been looking for her, and he replied that he'd seen her when he'd been leaving the gym. He thought they could continue their conversation, and she figured that they could get it out of the way before her busy day at the office. Paul inquired whether J.T. had given her any idea of where he'd been going when he'd left her house. Victoria said J.T. had known that he had to leave the country, but he hadn't provided anything specific.
Paul asked if Victoria had heard from J.T., but she pointed out that the police had J.T.'s phone. Paul pressed to know if she'd received any contact from J.T. since the night he'd disappeared, and she insisted that she hadn't spoken to her ex since then. Victoria nervously asked if she'd be arrested because she hadn't told the police that she'd seen J.T. on the night he'd vanished. Paul urged her to stick around, since he was expecting a call from Christine at any minute, and he stepped away.
Paul returned a short time later and told Victoria that he'd updated Christine with the new information. Victoria observed that he wasn't pulling out handcuffs. Paul divulged that he and Christine had agreed that there wasn't much point in pursuing it, but he expected Victoria's full cooperation as they continued the investigation. He vowed to not give up the search until they found J.T., and Victoria agreed to help in any way she could.
Over the phone, Paul told Christine that he'd wrapped up his talk with Victoria, who was sticking to her story. He relayed Victoria's words that she had no idea where J.T. had gone and that she hadn't heard from him since the night he'd disappeared. He murmured that Victoria was either innocent or an excellent liar -- and he suspected the latter.
Jack contemplated calling Billy, then Kyle. He dialed a number, and Nikki's phone rang as she entered the Athletic Club. She gasped when she saw Jack's name on her phone, and she anxiously answered. She mentioned that Ashley had reached out the day before to ask if Nikki had seen him, but Jack abruptly hung up. Nikki tried calling him back, but he ignored the call.
At the Abbott mansion, Abby answered the door in her robe, and she was surprised to find Arturo there, bearing coffee and pastries. He remarked that she'd asked, so he'd delivered, and he read the rambling text message that she'd sent him the night before to thank him. He hoped that he got her drink order right, since he'd overheard her ask for it at the coffeehouse. Abby reported that there was still no word about Jack, and she wished her uncle would call and let them know where he was.
Arturo brightly pointed out that enough time had passed to get the police involved. Abby thanked him for everything, but she teased that it still didn't make up for him not letting her drive his truck. She hoped that he was more evolved than not letting her drive because she was a woman, but he defended that it had nothing to do with gender, since his brother had been bugging him about the same thing for years. Abby resolved to wear him down, and Arturo offered to drive her anywhere. Abby asked if Arturo was a betting man. He shared that he loved taking risks, but he wouldn't wager if the payoff involved letting someone else drive his truck.
The doorbell rang, and Abby rushed to answer it, hoping for news on Jack. She invited Nikki in, and Nikki was shocked to find Arturo there with a robe-clad Abby. Nikki explained that Jack had called her, but he'd hung up when she'd answered. She'd thought Ashley would want to know. Abby indicated that Ashley had left for work, and she asked where Jack had been calling from. Nikki didn't know, but she believed Jack had been trying to reach out. Arturo said he had to get going, and Nikki coolly asked what her business associate was doing there that early in the morning.
Abby mentioned that Arturo had thoughtfully offered to drive her up to the cabin in his truck to search for Jack, but there had been no sign of Jack other than a fire in the fireplace. Nikki dug for details about how long they'd waited, and Abby replied that they'd gotten back into town a few hours earlier. Nikki haughtily stated that Arturo had been extremely kind and considerate, but she hoped he hadn't taken advantage of Abby's vulnerability. Abby insisted that it hadn't been like that at all, but she could take care of herself. Nikki walked out with Arturo, and Abby thanked them both.
Outside the mansion, Arturo politely said it had been nice to see Nikki, but he didn't want to be late for work. She demanded that they talk, since she'd made it clear that she didn't approve of him seeing her stepdaughter. Arturo pointed out that he and Nikki weren't together anymore because she'd ended things with him, and he'd thought moving on hadn't been a problem for either of them. He added that the situation had changed, so he could date whoever he wanted without running it by her.
Arturo swore that he wasn't dating Abby because she wasn't his type. Nikki pointed out that Abby was a beautiful, intelligent woman, and she asked if she was his type. Arturo recalled that they'd enjoyed themselves, but it had become all about business, and he was a free agent. He preferred if she left his dating life off the table, and she asked if things would be awkward between them. He assured her that they weren't with him, and he hoped she didn't make them that way.
At the cabin, Jack gazed at family photos on the mantel, and he picked them up one by one before placing them facedown. He stared at his phone for a moment before sighing deeply and looking up a contact named Kieran. He seemed pleased when Kieran recognized his number, and he explained that it wasn't a social call. Jack asked if Kieran was still in the same business as when Jack had been in pain, since he was hurting and could use help -- as quickly as he could get it.
At the cottage, Sharon and Nick cuddled in bed, and she marveled that she felt like she was 22 again. She quickly added that things were different because they were uncomplicated and less serious, and he figured that they knew more than they had back then. She amorously stated that he'd picked up some handy new skills, and it was the perfect situation for them. Nick agreed that it was working out great because it was best to keep things simple as friends with benefits. She purred that since Christian was with the nanny and Faith was at a sleepover, they had plenty of time to take advantage.
Nick and Sharon panted in bed after another round of sex, and she gushed that she loved spending time like that. She suggested that they order pizza, but he suddenly remembered that there was a dinner at the Athletic Club for New Hope's key donors that night. Sharon couldn't believe that they'd both forgotten, and Nick pointed out that they could still make it if they hurried. She didn't want to have to explain being late to Nikki, but he expected his mother not to notice if they strolled in casually.
Sharon changed into a slinky dress and asked Nick to zip her up. He traced his hand down her bare back before obliging, and he asked if the frock was new. She explained that it was relatively new, but she hadn't had a chance to dress up lately. She observed that he looked really nice, and he said that seeing her in the dress reminded him of the Polynesian dance when they'd been crowned king and queen. She fondly recalled the memory, and he commented that she was as gorgeous as ever -- maybe even more so. He asked if that broke their friends with benefits deal, and they agreed that they had to be very careful when they were in front of watchful eyes that night.
At Hamilton-Winters, Devon made notes about his plans for the nursery, and he greeted Hilary when she walked in. She swore that she hadn't meant to pry, but she'd seen what had been dropped off for him. She inquired whether he was adding a nursery to the penthouse, and he confirmed that he was thinking about it. Hilary thought it was obvious that he hadn't wanted her to know, and she promised that she wouldn't pry anymore.
Devon explained that he hadn't made a big deal about the nursery in case Hilary wasn't pregnant, but he wanted to be prepared if she was. He figured that they might only have a little more than eight months, and he wanted his kid to have the best. He imagined that they'd have a lot on their plates once the baby was on the way, and he was very excited about being a father. Hilary found it incredible to hear him say it because she felt the same way, but she understood that it was important to manage expectations.
Devon recognized that artificial insemination might take several attempts, and Hilary pledged to focus on keeping up her routine. He asked what it involved that night, and she planned to do some work in her suite, take a bubble bath, and get lots of sleep. He remarked that it was too bad, since he had to go to a New Hope dinner at the club, and he'd hoped that she'd join him. She readily agreed to meet him at the club in half an hour.
At the Athletic Club, Nikki answered a call from Phyllis and curtly stated that it wasn't a good time. Phyllis said it was about Nikki's daughter and what could happen because of her, since Victoria had confessed to Paul. Phyllis quickly added that she had to go. Nikki begged her to explain what was going on, but Phyllis hung up. At Jabot, Billy remarked that the call hadn't looked like fun, and Phyllis claimed that it was boring stuff, unlike the situation with Jack.
Phyllis thought the Abbotts knew that Jack was in crisis, and she stressed that one of them had to find him that day. She insisted that he needed a connection to his family, and Billy replied that they were doing everything they could. Phyllis was adamant that they needed to remind Jack that no matter how bad things got, the Abbotts could withstand anything. Billy reflected back on all Jack had been through, but he pointed out that the one thing Jack had been able to count on had been being John's son, and that was gone. Billy recalled the look in Jack's eye before he'd taken off, and he thought his brother felt like a nobody.
Phyllis warned that isolation was the enemy, and the longer Jack sat with his dark thoughts, the more likely he was to act on his worst impulses. Billy acknowledged that everyone in the family was thinking that Jack would return to the dark side, and Phyllis cautioned that they needed to be prepared. She recalled being with Jack when he'd been in the trenches of addiction, and it had just about killed both of them. She remarked that Jack hid it very well but had more than his share of demons that he was dealing with. Billy recognized that when Jack needed them the most, he didn't want anything to do with any of them.
Billy mentioned that one of his duties as CEO was attending a New Hope fundraising dinner to fill in for Jack. Phyllis anticipated that it would be an excruciating evening for an excellent cause, and she encouraged him to skip the dinner and write a check. He argued that she was part of the reason he'd accepted the job, and he couldn't let the ship go down when people were counting on him. Phyllis mused that Billy had been in Jack's shadow his entire life, only to learn that Billy was John's only son. Billy understood that the dinner would be a pain, but he couldn't imagine doing it without her to keep him on point. He pointed out that her "best friends" Sharon and Nikki would be there, and Phyllis agreed to make the most of the evening for his sake.
At the Athletic Club, Nikki welcomed Hilary and thanked her for having Nick on her show to talk about the attack on Victor. Nikki stepped aside to greet some key donors, Jane and Lawrence. Nick and Sharon entered, and Nikki complimented them for looking fabulous. Nikki pulled Nick aside and pointed out Jane, a stunning cat food heiress who had made a huge donation. Nikki insinuated that Nick could charm Jane into giving more, since Jane was single. Nikki introduced Nick and Jane and cooed that she thought they had a lot in common. Sharon half-heartedly made small talk with Lawrence, but she couldn't stop jealously staring at Nick and Jane.
Meanwhile, Hilary told Devon that she loved the design of the nursery, but she was even more blown away by how excited he was about it. She hoped that it wasn't all for nothing, but he knew in his heart that they would be raising a child together. Phyllis looked pleased to see them talking.
Over dinner, Lawrence inquired about Nikki being Sharon's ex-mother-in-law, and Phyllis stressed that the key word was ex, since Sharon was very single. Sharon privately scolded Phyllis, but Phyllis reasoned that Lawrence was cute, wealthy, into neurotic blondes -- and he wasn't Nick. Sharon insisted that she wasn't interested, but Phyllis envisioned Lawrence taking Sharon on a world tour so that Phyllis wouldn't have to worry about being arrested because of Sharon's loose lips. Nikki and Phyllis locked eyes, and the three women met in the foyer.
Phyllis said they needed to talk about what Victoria had told Paul about helping J.T. skip town, and she griped that some warning would have been nice. Nikki defended that Paul had backed Victoria into a corner, since he had all the text messages J.T. had sent. Sharon figured that Victoria had given Paul a plausible story that kept suspicion away from them, but Phyllis fretted that Paul had been worked up about the inconsistencies in their statements even before Victoria had admitted that she'd lied. Phyllis expected that Paul would watch them more closely to get information, so they had to be extra careful about what they said to everyone.
Nick and Sharon exchanged stolen glances across the dinner table. After dinner, Nick announced that it had been a wonderful evening, and he thanked Nikki and Devon for arranging it and everyone else for their generosity and compassion. Nick prepared to leave, and Jane expressed disappointment that he had to go that soon. Nick claimed that he had to relieve the babysitter, and Sharon insisted that she go with him.
As the party broke up, Phyllis cornered Hilary and wondered what Hilary and Devon had been talking about earlier. Hilary didn't want to jinx it, but she reported that Devon was so excited about the two of them having a baby that he'd commissioned a fully loaded nursery for his penthouse. Phyllis took it as a great sign for them.
Nikki thanked Billy for being there and mentioned that she hadn't been able to stop thinking about Jack since he'd called her. Hilary overheard and added that she'd been worried about Jack, too, and Billy hoped Jack just needed some downtime. Privately, Phyllis told Billy that if he kept representing Jabot, he wouldn't be able to keep the fact that he was running the company secret much longer. Billy expected things to get even more complicated when Jack found out.
In the foyer, Hilary gushed that she'd had the best time, and she thanked Devon for an unexpected and special night. She praised him for being so positive about the baby, and he imagined raising their child in a world that was full of hope. They appeared to be about to kiss, but Phyllis and Billy interrupted. Phyllis suggested that they all go dancing at a local club, but Billy begged off because he had a lot on his plate the next day. Billy and Phyllis headed out, and Devon decided that he didn't feel like going home. Devon suggested that he and Hilary check out a new venue, and they left together.
Nick and Sharon returned home, and Nick observed that Lawrence had seemed interested in her. Sharon guessed that Nick had missed the part where she'd shown zero interest in Lawrence or his private jet, and she was sure that Lawrence had already moved on to the next woman he'd met. She noted that Nick had made a pretty good impression on the cat food queen, since Jane had been hanging on every word and almost hanging out of her dress. Nick said he hadn't noticed, since he'd only been there to build support for New Hope, and his mom had engineered him sitting next to Jane to get another donor check.
Sharon pointed out that Jane was available, successful, and hot, but Nick firmly stated that he wasn't interested in dating anyone. Sharon was happy to hear it because it would otherwise make their arrangement a little uncomfortable, and Nick confessed that he was already uncomfortable with it. He thought they should call it off.
Sharon was taken aback because she'd thought Nick had been enjoying himself the way she had been. He explained that that was the problem, since he couldn't think about anything else but her. He admitted that watching another guy put his arm around her had driven him crazy, and he wanted to be the one sitting next to her, making plans to be alone. Nick realized that it could never just be about sex, since there was too much history and too many feelings to act casual. He said he was sorry because it had to be all or nothing, but she told him not to apologize because she wanted the same thing. They melted into a kiss.
At the cabin, Jack stared at a prescription bottle of pills next to a bottle of liquor on the table. He poured a drink and opened the bottle of pills. He picked up one pill and put it to his lips, but he set it down before taking it. He made a call and admitted that he needed help. Later, there was a sharp knock at the door, and Jack rushed over to answer it. He opened the door to Neil, who said he'd gotten there as soon as he could.
Neil promised that he hadn't said anything to anyone about Jack's call, and he asked what had happened to Jack's face. Jack confided that he'd run his car into a tree, but only his car had been hurt. Neil spotted the liquor and pills and suspected that Jack hadn't felt a thing, and he was glad Jack had called so Neil could help him work through it. Neil tended to the cuts on Jack's face, and Jack cried out in pain. Neil lectured that it would hurt more if the wounds got infected, and Jack insisted on taking care of it himself.
Neil cautioned that pills didn't mix well with whiskey, and he asked how many Jack had taken. Jack firmly replied zero, and Neil suggested that they go out for a walk. Jack expected Neil to pour the pills out when Jack turned his back, but Neil figured that he shouldn't bother, since Jack could have his dealer back in a minute if he didn't already have an emergency stash around there. Jack grumbled that he didn't know why he'd called, and Neil barked that Jack knew "damn well" that popping pills wouldn't fix anything. Neil believed that Jack had called because he needed someone to remind him of everything he had to lose, but Jack lamented that the person he'd thought he was no longer existed.
Jack recounted that John had believed in the power of family and appreciating the generations before them. Jack noted that his father had built Jabot into a giant success beyond his wildest imaginings, and John had cared about the future and creating something bigger than his own ambitions. Jack reflected back on his family's struggles, but the Abbotts had endured because they'd believed in the legacy John had built. Jack recalled that he'd been proud to be John Abbott, Jr., and he'd worked hard to protect John's legacy and make it grow. Jack realized that no matter how much he'd messed up or had his heart broken, he'd had that as his anchor, but he'd woken up one morning and learned that everything he'd believed in was gone.
Jack bemoaned that he hadn't just lost his biological connection -- he'd lost his identity. Jack felt like someone had destroyed everything he'd believed in. Neil sympathized, but he swore that Jack was still the same man who'd found Neil's "drunk, sorry ass" in a dirty motel, so close to death that one could smell it. Neil recalled that Jack had dragged him out and kept him alive, and the same Jack Abbott had created a foundation with him to help other addicts in recovery. Neil referred to the many lives that Jack had touched and saved, and he said that was who Jack really was. Neil continued that nothing Jack had learned about himself could change that, and he ordered Jack not to tell him that everything Jack believed in was gone because it wasn't and never would be.
Neil asserted that the bottom line was that Jack was still John's son in every way that mattered. Jack groused that he'd heard it before, but no one could make it sound convincing. Neil pointed out that he'd adopted Devon, and they weren't the same blood, but he was still Devon's father. Jack argued that it was different because Devon hadn't grown up building a life around something that had been proven false in the most humiliating way possible. Neil wondered if Jack intended to find out who had deliberately exposed the secret.
Jack thought it made no difference because it was true, and a DNA test had proven that everything in his life was a lie. Jack added that he couldn't run the company that meant everything to him, but Neil countered that the clause didn't mean anything to anyone else. Neil urged Jack to focus on throwing the clause out, but Jack bellowed that he had no foundation underneath him, just a gaping hole. Jack snapped that the pills might not fix it, but he dared Neil to tell him what would. Neil grabbed the bottle of pills and told Jack to deal him in if Jack was going down that road, since Neil was going down with him.
Jack refused to let Neil break his sobriety, but Neil contended that it was his life and his choice, just like it was Jack's. Neil implored Jack to decide whether they'd get high together or go outside for a walk. Neil blasted Jack for wanting him to agree that Jack's life was over and that the only answers were at the bottom of a pill bottle. Neil conceded that Jack had received heartbreaking news, but Jack still had it better than most people in world.
Neil insisted that Jack's family was still his family, and Jack told Neil to go. Neil explained that he wasn't talking as Jack's sponsor but as his friend, and he encouraged Jack to change his perspective and look at things another way. Jack ordered Neil to leave so he could start popping pills and prove Neil wrong. Neil pushed Jack to look at what he had in life and reminded Jack that Neil was his friend. Neil walked out.