At the Newman ranch house, Nikki was startled when she saw a fireplace poker lying on the hearth. Nick immediately reacted and was confused when Nikki insisted that the implement was a murder weapon. Trembling, Nikki admitted that she'd killed J.T. and would tell Nick everything. Nikki recalled learning how Victoria had suffered. Nikki explained that Victoria had endured J.T.'s relentless criticism, forced isolation, and obsessive control that, over time, had broken Victoria's spirit. Nikki expressed regret about being unable to help her child after learning that J.T. had choked Victoria. Nick said he wished he'd known.
Nikki recalled entering Victoria's bedroom after hearing a commotion. Nikki recounted the horror of witnessing J.T. pinning Victoria against a dresser and hurting her while pounding his fists. Nikki said she'd realized Victoria was fighting for her life. Nikki cried, "I'm her mother. I am her mother, and I guess I just snapped." Nikki explained that she'd reached for the closet thing, picked it up, and swung it as hard as she could. Nikki said her actions in one split second had ended J.T.'s life.
Nick took his mother's hand and said, "You did what you had to do." Nikki replied, "We tried to revive him, but it was just too late." Nick asked, "Who's we?" Nikki replied, "Victoria and I." Nick asked why Nikki hadn't phoned police to report that she'd acted in self-defense. Nikki said she couldn't prove her innocence because she'd hit J.T. from behind, and Victoria had had no marks and no police record of the abuse. Nikki added that nothing they could have done would have brought J.T. back.
Nick reacted in shock when Nikki admitted it had been a mistake to wrap J.T. in a rug and take him to Chancellor Park to bury him beneath Katherine's sculpture. Nick realized that he'd impersonated J.T. after J.T. had been killed. Nikki cried that Nick's appearances as J.T. had made her feel like she was seeing a ghost. Nikki pointed to the poker and cried that it made her feel as if she was seeing another ghost. Nick asked where the poker had come from. Nikki replied, "I don't know. That night, I threw it in the lake."
Nick said someone had seen what Nikki had done, fished out the poker, and then brought it to the house. Nick mentioned the gun and the bloodied shirt found at the stables. Nikki added that one night she'd discovered the clothing J.T. had worn the night of his death laid out on her bed as if he was still wearing them. Nick said he wished Nikki had told him. Nikki said she hadn't wanted to involve her son and had instead numbed her crippling emotional distress by drinking.
Nick insisted on ordering additional security, but Nikki was more focused on Victor being incarcerated for something he hadn't done. Nick shook his head when he recalled visiting Victor in jail and accusing him of murder. Nikki said that though she hadn't confessed, Victor knew she'd killed J.T. and was sitting in jail to protect her. Nick embraced his mom and insisted it was his job to protect her. Nick demanded honesty from his mom. Nikki agreed, adding that honesty was part of her sobriety. Nick said his priorities would be to keep him mom and sister safe and to work to clear Victor's name.
The next morning, Nick served Nikki a cup of hot tea. Nikki said she was glad Nick knew the truth and understood why she'd done what she'd done. After Nick left, Nikki picked up the poker and turned to look across the room at the bottles of vodka set out on the bar. Nikki set down the poker, walked toward the bar, and picked up two bottles of booze. Nikki held the bottles upside down and began pouring them down the drain in the bar sink.
At Victoria's house, family and friends departed J.T.'s memorial service after Phyllis abruptly revealed shocking details about J.T. having physically and emotionally abused Victoria. Billy sat beside Victoria and said he couldn't believe he hadn't known how much Victoria had suffered while she'd been with J.T. Victoria said she felt it had been a burden she'd had to bear on her own. Victoria smiled when Billy offered to stay the night in the guest room. Victoria said she wasn't ready and noted that though she'd meant it when she'd told Billy she loved him, her emotions had been all over the place. Billy kissed Victoria on the cheek before he left.
At Rey and Mia's apartment, Arturo accused Mia of resorting to her old tricks by inviting him over, flirting, and setting the mood by reminiscing about their shared past. Mia, sobbing, cried, "You think I was doing all that to seduce you?" Arturo said he believed Mia liked having power over him. Mia recalled that their connection would always be tied to their past relationship as each other's first loves. Arturo asked about Rey. Mia insisted that she loved Rey and had moved to town in hopes of saving her marriage, though she felt Rey had been unable to stop punishing her for the past.
Sobbing, Mia explained that Rey made her feel more alone and unhappy than ever because he withheld his love. Mia said it had hurt her deeply when Rey had hidden the truth about being with Sharon. Arturo insisted that he and Mia couldn't travel back down the rabbit hole together. Arturo admitted it was dangerous for him to stay any longer, so he left. After Arturo left, Mia seemed lost in despair.
At the motel where Sharon and Rey had taken refuge after sliding off an icy road, both awoke and admitted they hadn't slept well. As they dressed, Sharon said they could stop for breakfast on the way home. Sharon suggested a restaurant that served breakfast burritos. Rey received a text message from Mia and said he should phone her. Mia answered Rey's call and asked if he'd slept well. Rey said he hadn't, attributing his restless night to a lumpy mattress. Mia replied that cheap mattresses were no good, especially when he had a nice, luxurious one waiting at home.
Rey told Mia he loved her and would be home soon. Mia replied, "Love you, too." After the call ended, Sharon exited the bathroom. Sharon assured Rey he had nothing to feel guilty about because nothing had happened. Sharon assured Rey that things would return to normal after they returned home. Rey said he supposed they should forgo their breakfast plans. Sharon agreed.
Arturo stopped by the Abbott mansion and knocked, feeling anxious about having missed Abby's text message. Abby, dressed in a robe, opened the door. Arturo took Abby's hands and said he had something to say. Abby seemed nervous about what she was about to hear. Arturo gazed into Abby's eyes and said, "Abby, I love you." Abby, delighted and surprised, asked Arturo why he'd stopped by to tell her that. Arturo said he'd been unable to sleep all night.
Arturo admitted that he'd been living in fear of walking in his father's footsteps and was determined not to be like him. Abby said she was certain Arturo would never hurt her. Arturo mentioned his early relationship with Mia and his later inappropriate behavior during his and Mia's affair. Arturo explained that he'd never imagined being worthy of something better. Arturo told Abby he was ready for his future with her to begin. Arturo picked her up and carried her upstairs.
At Crimson Lights, Phyllis tried to avoid Billy, but he confronted her and reminded her that Reed was trying to cope with his father's murder. Phyllis replied, "Yeah, I get that." Billy said he couldn't believe Phyllis had ruined the memorial by telling Reed that his dead father had been an abuser. Phyllis recalled that she'd become fed up with people talking about J.T. as if he'd been an angel, knowing what he'd done to Victoria. Billy explained that Victoria had remained silent to allow her son to grieve, but Phyllis had robbed Victoria of her motherly, loving act. Billy said he'd stayed to help Victoria and Reed pick up the pieces. Phyllis said perhaps Billy should thank her for making him look like a knight in shining armor.
Billy later returned to Victoria's. Billy said he'd stopped by to talk about Victoria having told him she loved him. Billy said he was content just knowing how Victoria felt. Billy admitted he was still getting back on track, so being with Victoria and the kids made him feel like he had his life back again. Billy told Victoria they should be open with each other without having any expectations.
Reed entered the room and said, "Mom, I'm so sorry." Victoria rushed to her son and embraced him. Reed sobbed, and tears welled in Billy's eyes. Victoria told Reed he had nothing to be sorry about. Victoria blamed J.T.'s behavioral changes on a number of factors, chiefly J.T.'s inability to accept that his life hadn't gone as he'd expected. Reed said he remembered his dad differently. Victoria told Reed he should remember his dad in his own way, hold onto his memories, and cherish them.
Reed thanked Victoria for holding the memorial. Victoria said she hated the way Reed had learned the truth about J.T. Billy added, "From the worst person possible." Reed said he was ready to get back to school, so they all could resume their lives. Victoria embraced Reed. Behind Reed, Victoria was looking at Billy when she replied, "Yeah, I think it's time for us all to do that."
Rey returned home and apologized to Mia for not making it home the night before. Mia asked about the trip to Kenosha. Rey announced that he'd caught the bad guys after the drug bust. Mia said, "When you want to get someone, you get them." Rey explained that ice and snow had made the roads dangerous. Rey, realizing it was warm in the apartment, asked if someone had fixed the heat. Mia said she'd tried to phone Sharon but had learned that Sharon had been away on police business in Kenosha, too.
Rey explained that he'd omitted the part about being with Sharon to spare Mia from becoming upset for no reason. Rey asked Mia what she'd been lying about. Mia said Sharon would probably tell him that Arturo was the one who'd fixed the furnace. Rey replied, "And why would that upset me?" Mia said, "It shouldn't." Rey said they should leave their past drama behind and trust each other. Rey stressed that nothing had happened with Sharon. Mia admitted that being alone had made her think dark thoughts. Rey replied, "We are still together, fighting for each other, fighting for our marriage, and I will be damned if I let that go now." Mia said she believed Rey. The couple kissed.
After Nick returned home, Phyllis said, "There's no excuse for what I did, all right? Not to Reed or to your sister. If there's something I can do to make it right, then I will do it. I will do anything and everything if it will make you forgive me." Phyllis looked surprised when Nick replied, "Come over here and kiss me." Phyllis walked toward Nick and kissed him. Nick said, "You are forgiven." Phyllis kissed Nick again and asked him why he'd had a change of heart. Nick explained that Phyllis had gotten caught up in the moment and hadn't meant to hurt anyone. Nick said Phyllis' honesty, though sometimes brutal, was one of the things he loved most about her.
Devon descended the stairs at his penthouse and found Ana listening to music online. She informed him that she was checking out their competitors, and he suggested that she switch over to LP's site, since he'd put a rush on Fen's single to have it released that morning. Ana halfheartedly replied that she'd get right to it, and Devon noted her lack of enthusiasm. She reluctantly played the song, but she brightened when she realized that Devon had released her mix. He admitted that her version was better, and she flew into his arms. Devon revealed that his people were pushing all the buttons they could with DJs and influencers, and he believed the song could be a real hit.
Devon handed Ana a mimosa and toasted to her being a fabulous producer. She wondered why he'd opted to go with her mix, and he conceded that it was better than his, even though it hurt his ego to say it. Ana recounted that he hadn't felt that way when he'd first heard it, and Devon regretted that he'd taken out his bad mood on her. He continued that he'd gotten over himself when he'd listened to it again, and it had been clear what he'd had to do.
Devon noticed that Ana seemed to have a personal connection to the song. She claimed that she'd wondered if her days as an artist had been behind her, but it had felt amazing to create something to put out in the world again. He commended her for doing a really good job, and he thought she had a future in the business with hard work and determination. He added that he wanted the songwriter to sign a contract right away, and he imagined that the writer stood to make serious money on the song. Ana chugged her drink.
At Jabot, Jack stepped off the elevator and declared it his lucky day when he ran into Kerry. He announced that he was there to surprise her by taking her to breakfast, but he understood if she couldn't get away on short notice. She replied that she had a jam-packed existence, but it was nice to be reminded that she needed spoiling. Jack insisted that she was worth it, and they boarded the elevator together.
At the Athletic Club, Fen had Lauren and Michael listen to his song. Lauren was overwhelmed by how talented Fen was, and Fen pressed for Michael's opinion. Michael coolly noted that Fen had walked away from law school and sidelined his whole future for that. Fen confirmed that he had, and Michael proclaimed, "My son, the pop star!" Fen beamed.
Michael and Lauren enthused more about the song as they listened to it again, and she marveled that Fen had put his heart and soul into every line. Michael added that Fen had really sold it, and Fen told them to stop or he'd cry. Lauren advised him to get used to compliments, and Fen showed them a download tracker that indicated the numbers were going up. Fen explained that LP's subscribers were listening to it, which hopefully meant people would buy it. "Watch out, world -- here comes my kid!" Michael exclaimed.
Michael realized that he was running late for an appointment. He joked that he expected Fen to have outsold Bruno Mars by the next time they saw one another, and Fen figured that it could happen with his next song. Michael acknowledged that he'd doubted Fen's aspirations at first because he'd wanted his son to have a professional career, but he recognized that Fen had been right to follow his dream. A touched Fen embraced his father, and Michael stepped away. Lauren declared that the celebration had just begun, and she ordered two glasses of Champagne.
Jack and Kerry greeted Michael at the bar, and she mentioned that she was playing hooky. Michael warned her that Lauren was there, but Jack observed that Lauren was playing hooky, too. After Michael departed, Jack received a text message and learned that Traci and Kyle were taking Dina to a doctor's appointment. Kerry surmised that it meant no one was at the house, and she amorously wondered what they were still doing at the club. Jack led her out.
Jack and Kerry entered the Abbott mansion and whipped off their coats. She revealed that she had a surprise for him in her purse, and she ordered him to sit down and close his eyes. He obliged, and she swabbed something from a bottle and waved the scent under his nose. He called it a compelling fragrance that was woodsy and masculine without being overpowering, and he liked it very much. Kerry told him to open his eyes and presented him with a custom bottle of cologne that she'd designed exclusively for him, named Jack of Hearts.
Jack considered it to be as personal and intriguing a gift as he'd ever been given, and he thanked Kerry. He moved in to kiss her, but she insisted that he try some on. She dabbed some on his neck and cooed that it made him irresistible, and they kissed passionately. After having sex with Jack upstairs, a fully dressed Kerry sneaked back downstairs and started to reach into her purse. Jack appeared on the stairs in a robe and was surprised to see that it looked like Kerry was about to walk out the door. She claimed that she had to check in with work, but he realized that she'd planned to leave without saying goodbye.
Kerry apologized if she'd hurt Jack's feelings, and she made an excuse about not wanting to agitate his mother by being there when Dina returned from her appointment. Jack informed her that Dina was also going out to lunch with Traci and Kyle, so no one would be back for hours. Jack realized that it still didn't explain why Kerry had been about to leave without saying goodbye, and she replied that she hadn't wanted to make things awkward. She asked if he could forgive her, and he swore that there was nothing to forgive.
Kerry seductively pondered a way to make it up to Jack upstairs, but she excused herself to grab a glass of water from the kitchen first. Jack looked puzzled, but he headed back to his bedroom. Kerry returned from the kitchen and cautiously looked around. She reached into her purse and pulled out a syringe from a plastic bag.
Fen joined Devon and Ana at the penthouse, and Devon toasted to Fen's artistry and Ana's sublime talent. Devon expected it to be the first of many successes for them, and he remarked that it would be the perfect celebration if the songwriter was there. Devon recognized that Fen had original material he wanted to record, but he preferred to continue the magic they'd created with Ana's writing contact. Devon invited Fen and Ana to stick around to finish the pitcher of mimosas, and he left for a meeting with PR. Fen scolded that it was one of the biggest days in Ana's music career, but it was messed up that she couldn't celebrate her whole achievement.
Ana pulled out some songs she'd been working on and fretted that her next song had to be stronger than the first. She wanted Fen's fans to believe in his talent as much as she did, but Fen wondered about hers, since she was the one who made the songs memorable. Fen argued that her story made no sense, since Devon loved her and would never rip her off. She admitted that she'd been lying, since she knew Devon wouldn't steal from her the way the other guy had. Fen asked why she was so determined to stay anonymous, but she dismissed him and said she had work to do.
Fen swore that he hadn't meant to put Ana on the spot, but he questioned what harm there would be in her taking credit for her own work. She snapped that she didn't want to discuss it, and she ordered him to drop the questions. She bet that he'd liked having the song take off, and she insinuated that the fastest way to ruin a good thing would be not keeping his mouth shut about who was writing the material. She stalked off.
At the jail, a guard escorted Victor into the visitors' room, where Nick was waiting. Nick professed Victor's innocence, but Victor thought it was a bluff. Nick proclaimed that it was a call to action, since Victor had been in there long enough, and they couldn't waste more time. A skeptical Victor recalled that Nick had thought he'd been guilty of murder not long before.
Victor wondered why Nick had had a sudden epiphany. Nick admitted that he'd been wrong, and he contended that every minute Victor was there was a drain on their family. Victor pointed out that Christine had fought very hard to keep him locked up, and a judge had agreed. Nick grumbled that Victor had gotten what he'd deserved when he'd defended himself at his bail hearing, and he called Victor's legal strategy a total disaster. Nick intended to get things moving in the right direction, and Victor asked "who the hell" Nick thought he was talking to.
Victor huffed that it was time for Nick to get out of there, and Nick asked if it was hard to hear the truth. Victor retorted that arrogance didn't become Nick, but Nick urged him to put his ego aside and listen. Victor indicated that it was a more complex situation than Nick realized, and his strategy in the courtroom had been a necessity. Nick chided Victor for thinking everyone else had to get out of his way -- especially Nick. Nick reminded Victor that they'd agreed to do what was best for Nikki, and it had become even more important to do so. Michael arrived, and Nick announced that he'd gotten Victor a lawyer. Victor barked that he didn't need one.
Nick warned Victor against going head-to-head with Christine in criminal court, and Michael cautioned that representing oneself never ended well. Michael lectured that Victor had already lost one battle at his arraignment, but Victor only considered it a momentary setback. Michael asserted that the authorities didn't have the evidence to hold Victor, but Victor preferred to be in isolation to prepare for his defense. Nick ordered his father to stop lying and do something. Nick requested to speak to Victor alone, and Michael stepped out.
Victor angrily questioned who Nick was to call his father a liar, but Nick snapped that it was tough if Victor didn't like it. Nick demanded that Victor stop pretending it was only about himself, since Nick knew that Victor hadn't told the truth about why he didn't want a lawyer. Nick theorized that the person framing Victor had Victor exactly where they wanted him, and any attempt to thwart them would put the people Victor loved at risk. Nick didn't know who the person was or how to beat them at their game, but he argued that it would be difficult for Victor to get reliable information while in jail.
Victor confirmed that Nick was right, but Nick cited the problem as Victor thinking that it only concerned him when his family needed him. Nick referred to one person in particular, and he shared that his mother couldn't handle that Victor was being held there, unrepresented. Victor recalled that Nikki had coped without him before, but Nick insisted that things were different that time. Nick pointedly stated that he knew that Victor hadn't had anything to do with J.T.'s death. Nick begged Victor to let Michael get him out of there and home to his wife, who needed him more than ever.
Victor asked if something had changed on the outside that he should be aware of, and Nick stressed that Nikki needed Victor with her. Nick hoped Victor saw the logic in hiring a strong attorney to advocate for him and get him out on bail if possible. Nick added that he wasn't worried about Victor, but Nikki was a different story -- and she couldn't handle it alone. Nick proposed that they put their differences aside, and he pleaded with Victor to allow Michael to take his case.
Victor turned away to be escorted back to his cell, and Nick incredulously asked if his father just didn't care. Victor instructed Nick to talk to Michael and get him on the case immediately, and Nick thanked him. Victor requested that Nick tell Nikki not to worry about a "damn thing," and he said he was proud of Nick. A guard led Victor away.
Michael returned to the Athletic Club and was sorry to hear that he'd missed out on Lauren and Fen's Champagne celebration. Lauren thought it was the most incredible surprise to have a talented son with a hit single, but Michael advised her not to throw caution to the wind. Michael explained that he was proud of his son for setting a goal for himself and achieving a positive outcome, but one song guaranteed nothing. Lauren agreed that the music business was challenging, since she'd seen it when working with Danny, and she'd learned that retail wasn't so boring, after all.
Michael wished he'd gotten a look at Fen's contract to make sure his son wasn't being taken advantage of, but Lauren doubted Devon would do that. She suggested that Michael set aside his concerns until another day and let Fen enjoy the moment. Lauren wished Fen got to record his own songs, and Michael was surprised that it wasn't part of the contract. Lauren revealed that Devon was more interested in negotiating with a young, hot songwriter.
Victoria rushed over to the ranch in response to a call from Nikki. Victoria mentioned that she'd just dropped off Reed at the airport, but she'd gotten there as fast as she could because Nikki had sounded upset. Nikki insisted that it wasn't about her drinking, since she'd poured every drop down the drain the night before. Nikki stared down at something on the table, covered in a cloth. Victoria removed the cloth and gasped when she discovered the fireplace poker. Victoria protested that it had been at the bottom of the lake, and Nikki flatly replied, "Not anymore."
Victoria questioned how the poker had gotten there, and she contemplated whether it was fake evidence, like the police had found in the stable fire. She conceded that it looked just like the poker that Nikki had used to kill J.T., and Nikki said she'd had the same questions when it had turned up there the night before. Victoria asked who had been there with Nikki, and Nikki revealed that Nick knew everything. Victoria flipped out that Nikki had told Nick their secret after they'd worked so hard to keep it quiet.
Nikki explained that she'd screamed when she'd seen the poker, and she'd been too upset to laugh it off when Nick had run in. Victoria wailed that the whole thing was starting to unravel, and they got closer to a prison cell as more people found out. Nikki clarified that Nick didn't know every detail, and she'd only told him about her and Victoria's involvement in J.T.'s death. Nikki figured that Nick was family, but Victoria worried that he'd changed since he'd started Dark Horse. Victoria complained that Nick had become cocky and that he thought he knew what best in every situation, so there would be no stopping him if he decided to involve the police.
Nikki argued that Nick wasn't the villain and that Victoria's paranoia wasn't helping, but Victoria countered that it was only paranoia if no one was actually out to get them. Nikki was glad that she'd told Nick the truth, since she'd been on the verge of a panic attack with a bar of booze, and Nick had helped her get through it. Nikki contended that they needed all the help they could get to figure out who had left the poker there and why. Victoria reasoned that the poker had been mass produced, and she found it hard to believe that one was the murder weapon. Nikki contemplated whether someone had seen Phyllis hurl it into the water, but Victoria thought the odds of someone finding the poker in the lake were miniscule.
Nikki noted that someone knew she'd used a poker just like it to stop J.T. from attacking Victoria, and she thought they had to assume that the person knew everything. Nikki worried that the person had footage, photographs, or other evidence of what had happened -- perhaps even J.T. himself -- and the person was an expert in how to torture them with it. Victoria lamented that she should be the person being hounded, not Nikki.
Nikki comforted Victoria and encouraged her not to blame herself. Nikki reasoned that they'd gotten that far by sticking together, and she thought it was their best chance of getting through the nightmare. Victoria pledged to try to remember that, and Nikki vowed to find out who was doing it to them and stop them. Meanwhile, a hidden surveillance camera recorded their every move.
At Nick's, Phyllis questioned Nick about his phone call with Michael. Nick advised her that he'd hired Michael as Victor's lawyer and that Michael was in the process of arranging another bail hearing. Nick added that Michael was very concerned that Victor would balk at the conditions the judge might impose, but Victor needed to be home with Nikki. Nick said he wouldn't allow Victor to set up any more roadblocks for himself. Phyllis reminded Nick that he'd sworn he'd stay out of Victor's problems, and she wanted to know what had changed his mind.
Nick told Phyllis that Victor didn't belong in a cell because he hadn't killed J.T. Phyllis was surprised that Nick was trying to protect Victor from himself. Phyllis was upset that Nick hadn't shared that information with her. She said that it was obvious to her that because of Victor, she and Nick were at odds with each other, but Nick denied it. Phyllis claimed she had supported Nick, but he hadn't shared his change of heart with her. She wanted to know what had happened to change his mind. Nick told her that he'd done a lot of thinking about Victor's situation, and the evidence against Victor wasn't enough.
Phyllis asked Nick if Michael had asked him to intervene and convince Victor to take him on as his lawyer. She wanted to know the details and how it had happened. Nick asked Phyllis why she was so certain that Victor was guilty. Phyllis claimed that Victor has sucked him back in. Nick advised her that Victor hadn't said a word, but Phyllis was adamant that Victor was sucking him back in and made another attempt to convince Nick he was being sucked in. Nick accused Phyllis of trying to convince him that Victor was guilty, and he wanted to know what was going on with her.
Phyllis reminded Nick that he'd thanked her for backing him because he'd suspected Victor was guilty, but Nick had done a complete turnaround and claimed that Victor wasn't guilty. She didn't understand. Nick said he knew Phyllis hated Victor with good reason. He also understood why she felt that way. Phyllis brought up when Victor should have served time for his actions, but he'd received an early release. She said that if Victor had remained behind bars, he wouldn't have made an attempt to take Christian away from Nick or sent Summer halfway across the world. The list was endless, and Phyllis said she needed it to stop.
Nick told Phyllis that Victor didn't need to rot in a cell for something he hadn't done, and he couldn't ignore the fact that someone had been trying to frame Victor. Nick told her that the barn fire had been arson. Phyllis claimed that they didn't know who had started the fire, and nothing had happened since then. She told Nick that she wanted to know what Nikki had told him. Frustrated, Nick said he needed some air, and he left.
Cane arrived at the jail. When Lily entered the visitors' room, she was surprised to see him. Cane said he'd missed seeing her face, and he wanted to ensure that she was okay. Lily asked if he was there because of her letter. Cane asked Lily if she felt that he hadn't given her enough support, and if that was the case, he asked her to point him in the right direction. Lily said she didn't want him to feel like he had to jump through hoops for her. She admitted that the reality of being in prison was very hard for her, but she didn't want to pressure him. Cane said he'd wanted to assure her that she was his first priority and that he would always be there for her, whenever she needed him.
Lily told Cane that she had been assigned to teach the GED class every afternoon. She said that the last person who had taught the class had received an early release, but that wasn't the reason she was doing it. She said she hadn't believed that the warden would allow her to take the position because she didn't have a college degree, but she'd applied, received an interview, and become a teacher.
Lily told Cane that the GED gave the women a huge leap. If they passed, they could receive vocational training, and if someone gave them a shot, they could get a job and a wage that would enable them to help themselves and their families once they left the prison. She said it was a new chance. It all went back to education, and she got to be a part of that. Cane said he was proud of her.
Lily told Cane she hoped she could become proud of herself because she'd had a lot of shame there and couldn't undo what she'd done, but she could put some good into the world. Cane assured her that the students would love her. Lily said she was the new girl, and she hoped she could get her students to at least tolerate her. That would be a win. Cane said that she'd already done a lot of good in the world, and she was the guiding light of their family. Nothing would change that.
Cane told Lily that Mattie had wanted him to bring the essay she'd written about Lily and how much of an influence Lily had on Mattie. Lily asked if it was about her inmate mother, and she wondered if Mattie was afraid of what the admissions people would think. Cane assured her that the essay was about love, respect, and pure admiration. Cane said that besides him, Mattie was Lily's biggest fan. Lily asked how Charlie was doing after his breakup with Shauna. Cane said Charlie was messed up.
Lily commented that Cane looked tired. Cane said that sleep was not his friend and that he'd been thinking about all the mistakes he'd made, the things he had done and hadn't done. He wished he had the means to take a lot of them back. He told Lily about the trip to Paris he'd planned for them after Lily was released. He mentioned the hotels, the vineyards, and the museums. He kept talking about what they would do, but Lily shouted for him to stop. Cane reminded Lily that their time in Paris was what they needed to hold onto. Upset, Lily said she thought Cane had wanted to see her because of her letter, and she asked him if he'd read it because they still hadn't talked about the "now."
Cane told Lily that they had been talking about the "now," but he said it was okay to talk about the future. Lily replied that the future was too far away, and every day in prison was a lifetime. He said he understood, but that was the reason Paris was so important. Lily told him it hurt too much. Cane said he understood that "now" was what mattered. Lily said she was all over the place. Cane assured her that wherever she went, that was where he wanted to be. He said he wasn't going anywhere.
Lily said that the kids would be because they would be off to college soon, and they'd probably be out of the county by the time she was released. Cane said the kids might decide to stay local. Frustrated, Lily asked if they would stay local because of her. She tried to be upbeat and said there was no college application for Sam and no essays for him. Cane pulled out Mattie's essay, prepared to read it to Lily, but she requested that he read it to her over the phone.
Lily told Cane she had to leave because she was about to start her GED class. When Cane protested, Lily said that she hadn't known he would be there, and the women wouldn't understand if she explained that her husband had arrived for a visit with her. Cane said he understood the job was important, but he was being selfish and asked Lily to push the class back by thirty minutes. Lily said she'd made a commitment; she was aware it was hard for him, but he had a life and got to make choices daily. She didn't. She said she didn't get to choose when to wake up, eat, or take a shower, but she could lead a class.
Cane told Lily to honor her commitment. Lily said she didn't feel that she and Cane were on the same side. She hugged Cane and asked for his support. He said he wasn't the one walking away. Lily was taken aback, but she left.
When Arturo arrived at Crimson Lights, Sharon provided him with a check for fixing the furnace in Rey's unit. Sharon was taken aback when Arturo offered her the name of another repairman she could use in the future, explaining he wouldn't always be available because he'd be at a job site.
In Rey's apartment, Mia set the table and recalled the near kiss she'd almost shared with Arturo. When Rey appeared, Mia said she had a huge breakfast for him because they were celebrating Rey's return after the storm. Rey recalled sharing a bed with Sharon, but he told Mia that he would always return home to her.
Mia told Rey she wanted him to call in sick and stay home with her. She said he deserved a little time off after arresting Victor and the drug dealers. She cozied up to him, and Rey picked her up and carried her to the bedroom. A while later, Rey told Mia he hadn't been sure that they could get their marriage back. Mia said she'd moved to Genoa City in an attempt to save their marriage. Rey said they were good for each other.
After Rey left, Arturo arrived and said he was there at Mia's request. Mia told Arturo that Rey had admitted he'd been with Sharon and that nothing had happened. Arturo said he was certain that Rey hadn't volunteered that information. Mia said that she'd told Rey that Arturo had been there to fix the furnace. She told Arturo that she couldn't stop thinking about them being together the previous evening. Arturo spat that nothing had happened, but Mia claimed that wasn't true.
Arturo advised Mia to stop calling him over to discuss things they shouldn't. He asked why they had to keep talking about it. Mia said that if she didn't talk about it, she'd explode. Mia advised Arturo that she hadn't moved to Genoa City to be with him. Arturo didn't believe it because she'd sought him out and had gotten in his face at Dark Horse then she'd shouted to everyone at the launch party about their affair. Mia said Arturo knew what she was like and advised him not to act like he was surprised. She wanted to make it clear to Arturo that she was there for Rey.
Arturo told Mia that nothing would ever happen between them again. He said that no one forgot their first love, but people grew up and moved on to other relationships. He said that they'd been young, and everything had been like fireworks, loud and exciting, but the fireworks had ended. Arturo admitted he would never have been the one to make her happy, and that was the reason it had ended. He said Rey would never let her down. Arturo wanted him and Mia to put away everything that had happened the previous night and move on.
Rey arrived at the station. A reporter approached him and asked if Rey had any new information about Victor. Rey stated that Victor hadn't hired a lawyer. Nick stepped in and contradicted Rey by informing the reporter that Victor had hired a lawyer, and a new bail hearing had been set. He said Victor was looking forward to being released and expected an apology from the police department for their flimsy and manufactured evidence. Nick told the reporter to drop by Dark Horse with her camera crew, and he would provide her with accurate information.
After the reporter left, Rey pointed out that Nick had said he wouldn't allow Victor to get away with murder. Nick simply stated that Victor wasn't guilty of J.T.'s murder. Away from Rey, Nick told Sharon he wanted to see all the information there was about the barn fire. Sharon told him that it wasn't part of her job. Rey stepped in and advised Nick that the information wouldn't be released until the investigation was completed.
Rey told Nick he also wanted to know who had set the barn fire. Nick claimed the sole purpose of the fire had been to plant evidence against Victor, and when Rey found that person, it would blow up Rey's case against Victor. Rey wanted to know why Nick had changed his mind about Victor's guilt. Nick refused to answer, and he left.
After Nick had gone, Sharon apologized to Rey on Nick's behalf. She said she'd known Nick for a long time, and she felt responsible for him. Rey said that Nick didn't register with him. Rey changed the subject and said that Mia had known that he and Sharon had been together in Kenosha, but Mia didn't know that they had shared the same motel room. He said he'd appreciate it if Mia never found out. Sharon promised she wouldn't say anything.
Rey told Sharon that when Mia had been young, she'd been hot and emotional, but she'd matured. He said that he and Mia were back on track. Sharon expressed how happy she was for him, and she encouraged Rey to keep working at his marriage. With disdain, Rey said he'd never be like his father had been, and Rey left.
When Nick returned home, Phyllis advised him that they needed to talk. Nick wanted to talk, provided they exchanged information, but if Phyllis wanted Nick to leave Victor to sit in jail, that wasn't an option. Nick maintained that he'd get Victor home to Nikki where he belonged. Phyllis admitted she loathed Victor, but nothing was more important than her and Nick. She said the stable fire had been set so the cops would find the gun and the bloody shirt. She wanted to know why Nikki hadn't moved in with Victoria. Nick said that Nikki was adamant that she wouldn't be chased out of her home, and he respected that. He said the security around the ranch had been beefed up.
Phyllis asked Nick to tell her what Nikki had told him after the memorial. Nick said that Nikki had left no doubt in his mind that Victor had had nothing to do with J.T.'s murder. Phyllis said she wanted to support Nick, but she needed to know what Nikki had said, and perhaps she'd be convinced, as well. Nick said he couldn't get into the details. Phyllis asked if Nick really believed that Victor was innocent or if he wanted Victor home for Nikki's sake. Phyllis asked if Nikki had talked about the fire, her accident, her MS, and her sobriety and if she'd gotten to Nick. She told Nick that Nikki was as strong as Victor, but she wanted to know how all of that translated into Victor being innocent.
Nick told Phyllis that he had no doubts about Victor's innocence. He advised Phyllis to let it go. Phyllis said Nikki had to have been very convincing, and she asked how Nick could be so sure of Victor's innocence. Nick snapped that he was certain. Phyllis caustically commented about Nick's psychic powers. In anger Nick almost blurted out that Nikki had killed J.T., but he caught himself in time. He calmly told her that Nikki knew Victor the best, and if she said that Victor was innocent, then he believed her.
Phyllis told Nick she understood that Nick loved his mother, and Phyllis supported him. She hugged Nick, but she looked concerned.
At the Ashby house, Charlie and Mattie asked Cane about his visit with their mom, and Cane relayed that Lily had said she missed them. Charlie wondered if Cane had filled her in about the accident, but Cane thought it had been best to wait until she got home. Mattie inquired whether Cane had shown Lily her college essay, and Cane claimed that Lily had wanted to wait to have Mattie read it to her. A skeptical Mattie noted that her mom was usually anxious to look at her work, and Cane replied that reading the essay hadn't been able to make up for not seeing the twins' faces and hearing their voices. Mattie sensed that there was something he wasn't telling them.
Charlie scolded Mattie for questioning Cane when their father had just driven for eight hours to see their mom, and the teens argued. Cane demanded that they stop because Lily wouldn't want them fighting, but Mattie pushed for the truth. Cane swore that he hadn't lied, but some things needed to stay private between him and Lily. Charlie empathized that long-distance relationships were tough, and he was glad his parents had found a way to work out theirs. Cane looked pained.
Billy stopped by Victoria's house, and Victoria informed him that the kids had already left. He said he was there to see her, since he'd been thinking of them and everything they'd been through. He recalled that it had been almost three years since his hit-and-run accident, and he referred to his visions of Delia. Billy had thought his daughter had been there to punch his ticket to the other side, but she'd implored him to stay and fix things with Victoria. Victoria remembered being relieved when he'd opened his eyes, and she'd asked him to move back home. She surmised that it was what he was there to talk about.
Billy asked if Victoria thought he hadn't been listening when she'd said she didn't want to rush things, and she pointed out that he'd ignored her requests in the past. He swore that the new, improved Billy was sensitive to her needs, and he acknowledged that he had a lot to fix with her. He wanted to be a family again, but he understood that she needed time before it could happen. Billy pledged to do everything he could to make sure he didn't screw up again, and he suggested that they start with a casual, no-pressure lunch. Victoria happily accepted the invitation.
Phyllis dropped by the ranch to talk to Nikki about Nick. Phyllis was sure something was up, and it had started when he'd dropped Nikki off at home after J.T.'s memorial. Nikki chalked it up to Nick being worried about her, but Phyllis referred to Nick becoming Victor's number-one supporter after the men hadn't spoken civilly in months. Phyllis suspected that Nikki had said something to Nick, and Nikki claimed that she'd simply reminded him of the man his father was. Phyllis ordered her to "cut the crap," since she'd been able to tell that Nick knew Victor hadn't killed J.T. Phyllis refused to stop until she got the truth, and Nikki admitted that she'd told Nick that she'd killed J.T.
At Crimson Lights, Fen gasped when heard his new song playing over the sound system. He exclaimed that it was cool of Sharon to play it, but he quickly assumed that his mom had put her up to it. Sharon assured him that Lauren hadn't asked her to play it and that it was on a playlist that she'd gotten online to stay current with her hipster customers. Fen was elated that his music career was actually taking off.
Sharon started to say that she hoped Fen had more luck than someone else, but she clammed up. Fen surmised that she knew someone whose career had crashed and burned, and Sharon revealed that Tessa hadn't been able to get work after Devon's company had dropped her from its label. Sharon regretted putting a damper on Fen's excitement, but he supposed that he shouldn't quit his day job anytime soon.
Victoria met Nikki, Sharon, and Phyllis at the coffeehouse after receiving a text message from Phyllis. Sharon was confused because they'd decided to end their charity meeting ruse, but Phyllis groused that Nikki had changed the rules of the game by not being able to keep her mouth shut. Phyllis blabbed that Nikki had told Nick that she'd killed J.T., but Victoria defended that Nick only knew about her and Nikki's involvement. Phyllis thought she should have known that Nikki had already clued Victoria in, and "to hell" with the rest of them.
Nikki reiterated that she'd never mentioned Sharon or Phyllis, and Nick only knew that Nikki had been trying to protect Victoria and that they'd buried J.T. in the park because they'd been afraid the police wouldn't believe them. Sharon wondered why Nikki had spilled after they'd worked hard to cover everything up, and Nikki revealed that the murder weapon had shown up in her house when Nick had taken her home. Nikki recalled that she'd been more than terrified, and she'd had no choice but to tell Nick the truth. Phyllis hissed that there was always a choice, but Nikki had made the wrong one.
The women contemplated how the fireplace poker had ended up at the ranch, but Phyllis was most concerned that someone knew what Nikki had used to kill J.T. Nikki suspected Tessa or Mariah, but Sharon pointed out that someone could have seen Phyllis get rid of the poker. Victoria imagined that whoever had planted the gun, the bloody clothes, and the poker was trying to rattle them. Phyllis griped that it wasn't just them anymore, and she expected Nick to lead the charge to prove Victor innocent by shouting it from the rooftops. Nikki reasoned that everyone would just think he was defending his father.
Phyllis complained that it had been hard enough not to tip Nick off even before he'd started keeping a secret from her. Victoria huffed that Nick and Phyllis were in a rebound relationship, and everyone knew it wouldn't work out, anyway. Phyllis retorted that Victoria was confusing the relationship with Victoria and Billy's, but Victoria argued that if she and Billy reunited, it wouldn't be because they'd been dumped for cheating. Nikki asserted that she was glad she'd told Nick, since he could help her and Victoria with the new development. Nikki walked Victoria out, and Phyllis flatly told Sharon that it didn't work for her.
Nikki returned to the table, and Phyllis questioned whether Sharon was willing to let Victoria and Nikki tell her what to do. Phyllis believed that the Newmans were sticking together and leaving her and Sharon to hang out to dry by driving a wedge between Phyllis and Nick. Nikki countered that Phyllis was driving the wedge all by herself, but Phyllis accused Nikki of backing out of their pact so the Newmans could protect one another. Phyllis swore that no matter what happened, she wasn't going down for it, and she stalked off. Nikki hoped Sharon wasn't buying Phyllis' nonsense, and Sharon conceded that she had to trust Nikki -- "for now."
Sharon reserved the right to protect herself, but Nikki argued that she'd protected Phyllis and Sharon by telling Nick what she had, since he would have kept digging and learned everything otherwise. Sharon imagined that it was unnerving for Nikki to know that the person taunting them could get onto her property, and Nikki divulged that Nick had doubled security. Nikki added that if all else failed, she had a gun. Sharon invited Nikki to stay at the cottage, but Nikki preferred to be in her own house, since it was her best chance of catching the person in the act.
At Devon's penthouse, Neil reunited with Devon and Ana. Devon asked how Lily was doing, and Neil reported that she was hanging in there. Devon proudly played Fen's new single and indicated that the initial response was promising. Neil listened to the song and remarked that Fen was smooth, but he really dug the song itself. Neil wondered who had written it, and Devon replied that he didn't know, since the guy wanted to keep his identity a secret. Neil warned that it could be a problem.
Devon explained that the songwriter was a friend of Ana's, and she had been the only one in contact with the writer. Ana claimed that they'd hung out in college and kept in touch because they shared a love of music, and Neil voiced surprise that she hadn't been able to convince her friend to sign a contract. Ana reiterated that the writer hated the spotlight, and Neil wondered if her friend had been burned before. Ana responded that it was personal, and she didn't want to push. Neil suggested that they tell the writer that they couldn't move forward unless he revealed who he was, but Ana cautioned that her friend would walk. Devon thought they could move forward without a contract, but Neil stressed, "For now."
Neil inquired about everything else in Devon's life, and Devon credited Ana and Nate with getting him back on track. Devon swore that his work and personal life were good, so Neil didn't have to worry about him anymore. Neil contended that it was a father's job to worry about his kids, but Devon urged him to focus on Lily, who really needed him. Neil announced that he'd be splitting his time between Lakewood and Genoa City. Devon answered a call and seemed shocked by some news.
A short time later, Fen rushed over to the penthouse and apologized that he'd been delayed because he'd had to find someone to cover his shift. Devon remarked that Fen wouldn't have to worry about that too much longer, and Fen panicked that Devon was firing him. Devon clarified that Fen wouldn't need to supplement his income, since their first streaming numbers had been better than what they'd projected, and the song was in trending territory. Ana and Fen couldn't contain their excitement, and she proclaimed that it called for a celebration. Neil advised them not to forget what had happened with Tessa's song after they'd learned the lyrics had been stolen.
Privately, Neil recommended that Devon keep things on the up and up with the mystery songwriter to avoid another fiasco. Devon maintained that he trusted Ana, and he insisted that it was all good. After Neil left, Fen observed that Devon's dad had seemed stressed out. Devon explained that Neil liked knowing the details, but Ana protested that artists wanted to be free to do their own thing. Devon believed the songwriter was worth taking the risk, and he wanted Ana's friend to write Fen's entire album. Ana claimed that her friend didn't want to provide more songs until he got paid for the first one.
Devon objected because the song had only been out for a few days, and they had to recoup their costs first. Ana suggested an advance against projected earnings, and Devon proposed that LP buy the song outright. Ana thought it would work, but Fen blurted out that it would be stupid for her friend to do that because he'd make much less money. Ana firmly stated that it was the songwriter's call, and he wanted to get the money however he could. Devon wondered if her friend was in trouble, but Ana asserted that the writer just wanted to be paid. Devon planned to draw up the paperwork.
Later, at Crimson Lights, Fen asked why Ana was in a hurry to get paid, since she lived rent-free, and Devon would bail her out if she was in trouble. Ana vaguely replied that she had personal reasons, and she told him to trust her. Fen didn't understand why it was so important to keep her secret, and he warned that she'd eventually have to tell Devon that she'd written the song. "Yeah -- eventually," she muttered. Meanwhile, Devon called Michael and asked him to find out the name of the person who'd set up a certain LLC, since it was the guy who'd written Fen's song.
At the Athletic Club, Neil warmly greeted Cane and announced that he was back to see how everyone was going. Cane reported that the kids had missed Neil and that Sam had been crawling and walking. Cane lamented that it was killing Lily to be missing that much, and Neil revealed that Lily had told him that things hadn't gone well during Cane's last visit. Cane blamed himself for having unrealistic expectations, and Neil sympathized that it had been difficult for Cane. Neil offered to be there to listen, but Cane was visibly distracted when he spotted Victoria walk in with Billy.
Cane confided that things hadn't been easy since Lily had gone to prison, and he told Neil about the letter she'd sent about not seeing Cane enough in person. Cane recounted that he'd dropped everything to go see her, but she'd only wanted to talk about her job, and she'd cut their visit short to teach her first class. Cane shared that he felt like prison life was becoming more important to her than him and the kids. Neil pointed out that Lily was just trying to survive after she'd lost everything, and Cane wondered if he was being selfish. Neil recognized that Cane was doing the best job he could to hold his family together, but Cane also had to support Lily, no matter who she was when she got out of prison. Neil asked if Cane would be able to do that, and Cane mused that Lily and the kids were everything.
Across the dining room, Victoria informed Billy that Reed was getting back to his regular life, and she hoped she'd helped her son. Victoria gushed that she wouldn't have been able to put the pieces of her life back together without Billy, and she wished she could erase the past year and start fresh. He toasted to new beginnings, but Phyllis interrupted. Victoria and Phyllis exchanged barbs, and Billy guessed that Victoria was still upset because Phyllis had told Reed about J.T.'s abuse.
Phyllis griped that she'd already told Billy that she'd been trying to help, and Victoria was surprised that they'd discussed it. Phyllis taunted that Billy and Victoria weren't as close as she'd thought, and Victoria urged her to focus on her relationship with Nick. Phyllis repeated that they were solid -- which she'd also told Billy when he'd wanted them to get back together right before he'd tried to reunite with Victoria. Phyllis gleefully shared that she'd turned Billy down flat, so he was all Victoria's. Phyllis sauntered off.
Billy insisted that Victoria was the only one he wanted to be with, but she pressed to know if he'd asked Phyllis to get back together. He confirmed that he had, and Victoria stormed off over his protests. Cane intercepted her, and she snapped that the last thing she wanted was sympathy from him. Cane explained that he wasn't offering any sympathy, but he thought he'd left his scarf at her house, and he wanted to know when he could pick it up. She coolly informed him that she was heading home then, and he prepared to follow her. Meanwhile, Billy joined Phyllis at bar and demanded to know "what the hell" that had been all about. He surmised that she was jealous.
Billy barked that Phyllis couldn't help herself when she saw two people happy, and she had to blow it up -- even if the person was her. Phyllis asserted that she'd done Victoria a favor, since Victoria shouldn't have any false expectations, and it was an easy trap to fall into with him. Billy couldn't believe that he hadn't seen who Phyllis really was, but it was very clear that he'd hurt Jack for absolutely no reason. Phyllis questioned why he'd asked her to get back together if he felt that way, and he retorted that he was working on not giving in to his bad impulses. He vowed that it would never happen again, since he'd realized that Victoria was and always would be the love of his life. He walked away.
Victoria met Cane at her house and searched for his scarf. She accidentally slammed her finger in a cupboard, and he observed that she'd seemed upset with Billy at the club. Victoria ranted that she'd thought she and Billy had a shot at trying to be a family again until she'd found out that he had only turned to her because Phyllis had turned him down. She waited for Cane to deliver an anti-Billy comeback, but Cane conceded that he was in no position to judge, with the problems he had. Victoria implored him to share his own ugly details, and he murmured that he sometimes felt like he was out there all by himself. Victoria knew what meant, and she found the scarf on the floor. He thanked her and started to head out, but she told him to wait.
Victoria and Cane commiserated about trying to keep their families together and feeling like all the pressure was on them. Cane bemoaned that no one else cared how he got it done, and Victoria complained about giving a lot and getting so little back. Cane added that sometimes he got back nothing, and Victoria leaned in and admitted that some days made her want to say, "To hell with it." They began kissing passionately.
At the ranch, Nikki heard a door slam, and she called out to ask if someone was there. She crept around the house and unlocked a drawer to retrieve a gun. She heard someone approaching, and a shadow appeared on the wall. She pointed the gun and fired.
At the Abbott mansion, Lola assured Kyle that they didn't have to outdo one another with dates, and he confirmed that she'd made it clear that they shouldn't go to extremes to impress one another. She insisted that it wasn't a competition, and she wondered where he was taking her that night. He replied that they were going to outer space.
On the terrace, Kyle identified the North Star, and he instructed Lola to point her finger and follow the North Star to the Big Dipper, joking that it was full of spaghetti or stew. He then referred to the Little Dipper, which was better for sauces and condiments. She groaned at his food analogies and apologized for laughing at him, but he said his ego was big enough to handle it. They kissed, and he was impressed when she rattled off a bunch of facts that she'd learned in an astronomy class in school.
Kyle pointed out a constellation named after Cassiopeia, a queen in Greek mythology known for her unrivaled beauty and vanity. He urged Lola to use a telescope to look between the stars of the constellation to see a bunch of smaller stars that weren't as flashy or ostentatious but gave the celestial body its strength. Kyle specifically mentioned one star right in the center with a simple, understated beauty, and he suggested that it be their star.
Kyle and Lola returned to the living room, and she decided that he'd won the date contest. He informed her that there was more, and he told her to close her eyes. He placed an envelope in her hands and instructed her to open it, and she pulled out the contents. Kyle announced that their star was named "Kola," a combination of their names. She gushed that it was sweet, but she worried about how much it had cost. Kyle revealed that it had been $19.95, and he offered to split it with her. She smiled at the cheesy gesture and declared it perfect. They kissed.
Kyle and Lola made out on couch, and he ignored his ringing phone. She was distracted when his phone chimed with a message, and he learned that his dad was on the way home. Kyle planned to tell Jack to stay out longer, but Lola didn't want to be the reason his father couldn't return home to his own house. Kyle pointed out that Jack wouldn't be home for another 20 minutes, which was plenty of time. A cautious Lola asked for what, and Kyle proposed that he make hot chocolate in the microwave. She squealed that she loved the synthetic stuff with mini marshmallows, and he headed to the kitchen with a frustrated look on his face.
As Kyle and Lola sipped hot chocolate, he admitted that he'd expected her to be a snob about the processed cocoa mix. She fondly remembered growing up with it, and she confessed that she also loved orange mac and cheese out of a box. She guessed that he'd never had it, and she volunteered to make it for him for dinner sometime. She prepared to get going, but he assured her that there was nothing to hide from his dad. Lola explained that she'd told Abby and Devon that she'd send revised menus that night, and Kyle helped her with her coat. She said she'd talk to him the next day, but he suggested that she call before she went to bed. They professed their love, and she departed.
At Crimson Lights, Mariah approached Nick and mentioned that he'd been all over the news the night before because of the interview he'd given about Victor being innocent. Mariah voiced surprise that Nick was among Victor's defenders, and Nick acknowledged that his dad had done a lot of bad things, but not killing J.T. Nick contended that it was clear Victor was being railroaded, and it didn't help that the clip of Victor threatening J.T. on GC Buzz kept showing up. Mariah assured him that GC Buzz had stopped airing it, and he wished other media outlets had. Mariah opined that she didn't think Victor had killed J.T., either, and Nick asked what had convinced her that his father was innocent.
Mariah explained that killing J.T. wouldn't have been Victor's style, and she had insight because she and Victor had been co-conspirators on a revenge plot. She continued that in Victor's mind, death would have been too good for J.T., and she would have expected Victor to find a diabolical way to torture J.T. and have him thrown in prison for the rest of his life. Mariah pointed out that murder would have been too mundane for Victor, so she thought he'd been framed. Nick hoped that meant GC Buzz would no longer cover the story, and Mariah swore that she didn't want to report something that wasn't true. Nick was happy to know that they were on the same side.
At Victoria's house, Cane and Victoria made out on the couch as Billy walked in. "What the hell is going on here?" Billy bellowed, and a flustered Victoria asked what he was doing there. Billy charged at Cane, but Victoria intervened and admitted that she'd kissed Cane. Victoria told Cane to go, but Billy refused to let Cane walk out without admitting that he'd taken advantage of Victoria. Billy argued that Victoria wouldn't have kissed Cane if she'd been thinking rationally, but she asserted that she'd made the choice.
Billy recognized that Victoria had been angry and upset, and he called Cane a sleaze who couldn't stay faithful to his wife. Billy recalled that Cane had been drunk on a business trip the last time he'd cheated, and he demanded to know what Cane's excuse was then. Billy assumed that it was because Lily was in prison, and he spat that Lily deserved better. Cane agreed, and he stammered that he was sorry. Victoria chalked it up to being caught up in the moment, but the moment was over. Cane exited, and Victoria snapped that she wasn't in the mood for a lecture. Billy pressed her to hear him out.
Billy guessed that Victoria had acted out because she'd been hurt and shocked by what Phyllis had said, and he understood the impulse to do something reckless and reactive that felt good for a few minutes. He recognized that he'd done worse, so he was the last one to judge. Victoria huffed that a walk down memory lane would prove it, and she didn't owe him anything. She complained that she'd had a nagging feeling that they'd been going too fast, and she'd been right, since he was on the rebound and only wanted her because Phyllis had rejected him.
Billy insisted that it wasn't true, and he explained that he'd mistaken the energy he'd felt while working with Phyllis for something else. Billy called the moment with Phyllis a fleeting mistake, just like Victoria's kiss with Cane. Billy swore that what he and Victoria had was real and deep, and they'd found their way back to one another. Victoria imagined that he just hadn't wanted to be alone, but Billy appealed to Victoria not to let Phyllis win by letting her drive a wedge between them. He swore that the only future he wanted was one with Victoria.
Victoria believed that Billy meant what he'd said, but he observed that she had a look on her face that a guy didn't want to see when he told someone he loved them. Victoria said the burning question was what he would have done if Phyllis had taken him back, but he dismissed it as a hypothetical query that didn't matter. Victoria stated that his non-answer told her everything she needed to know. Billy pleaded with Victoria not to let it be the thing that took them down, and he urged her to think about everything they'd been through to get to that moment.
Victoria considered it fate that Billy had walked in on Victoria and Cane kissing and that Phyllis had spilled that she'd rejected Billy. Billy ranted that Phyllis burned everything to the ground, and she'd done such a good job that Victoria had turned to Cane, of all people. Billy swore that he wasn't judging Victoria, and he understood that it had been a meaningless, one-time thing. Victoria divulged that she and Cane had kissed before, and Billy incredulously asked if they were having an affair. Billy questioned whether she had feelings for Cane and wanted to be with him, and Victoria didn't know what to say. She asked him to go if he had any respect for her, and he headed out.
At the Newman ranch, Nikki panicked after she'd fired her gun. Victor stepped out from the shadows and jokingly thanked God that she was a terrible shot. She rushed into his arms and expressed relief that he was home, but she wondered how it was possible. Victor put away the gun and noted that Nikki wouldn't need it again, and she lamented that she never would have forgiven herself if she'd hurt him. She asked how he'd gotten released, and he explained that Michael had pulled some strings to move up the bail hearing, but he hadn't wanted to tell her in case he'd been denied bail.
Victor supposed that he should have called first, and Nikki said she was never letting him leave the house. He announced that it wouldn't be a problem, and he showed her his ankle monitor, which was a condition of his bail. Nikki knew it would be difficult for him to feel confined, and she asked him not to break the rules. "Never," he replied, and he tenderly kissed her and marveled that he was holding her in his arms. Meanwhile, someone watched them on the surveillance video.
Nikki and Victor embraced and spoke about how much they'd missed one another. She asked him to promise that they'd never be separated again, and he replied, "Not by hell or high water." She was glad that Nick had convinced him to hire Michael, and Victor explained that he'd been stubborn because he knew he was innocent. Victor recounted that he'd been able to tell that Nick had something on his mind, and he had a feeling it pertained to her.
Nikki admitted that she'd told Nick that she'd struck J.T. in the back of the head and killed him because he'd been attacking Victoria. Victor agreed that Nikki hadn't had any choice, but Nikki wailed that things had changed when the police had pegged Victor as the prime suspect. She asked him to forgive her, and he reiterated that he'd rather have the authorities focus on him than her. He was determined to keep her safe.
Nick walked in and was happy to see his parents together. Victor thought it paled in comparison to how he felt to be back home, and Nick was surprised that they'd invited him over instead of having time alone. Nikki revealed that she'd told Victor what she'd done, and Victor appreciated Nick publicly supporting his innocence. Victor was adamant that no one ever find out about Nikki's role in J.T.'s death, but Nikki thought their top priority was getting the charges dropped. Victor implored Nikki to tell him everything about what had happened and to leave nothing out.
Nikki claimed that she and Victoria had tried to move J.T.'s body from the park on Halloween, but there had been no body to be found. She theorized that whoever had moved it was the same person who'd burned down the stables and left the bloody shirt behind. Nikki showed Victor and Nick the clothes that J.T. had been wearing that she'd discovered in her bed. Victor pledged to take care of everything, but Nikki cried that it was all her fault for taking someone's life. Victor argued that she'd saved Victoria's life.
Nikki thought it would be easier for everyone if she confessed. Victor objected, and he fixated on finding the other person who knew about it. Nick thought it couldn't be a coincidence that the fireplace poker had shown up there on the night of J.T.'s memorial. Victor vowed to beat the person at whatever sick game they were playing, and he reasoned that the person had made a mistake by leaving the shirt and poker instead of taking them to the police. Victor planned to destroy the evidence.
Nikki refused to destroy the only evidence that could prove Victor innocent, but Nick countered that it also proved she was guilty. Nikki thought it was good to have an insurance policy, and she was glad it was in their possession instead of their tormentor's. Victoria entered the foyer and called out for Nikki, and she was thrilled when she saw Victor. Nikki informed Victoria that Victor knew everything Nick did, and Victor proclaimed that no one would beat the Newmans when they pulled together.
Privately, Victor told Nick that they'd find the "bastard" who had left the poker there. Victor vowed to do everything he could from there, but he couldn't move beyond the perimeter, so Nick had to help him. Nick agreed to do whatever it took, and Victor questioned whether Nick had thought it was possible for them to work together to protect their family. Victor added that he was very happy to have Nick at his side.
Meanwhile, Nikki hoped Victoria understood why she'd told the truth, and Victoria recognized that the secret had been eating away at both of them. Victoria suspected that it had been part of the reason she'd been holding back with Billy, since she'd been afraid a new relationship would end in ruin -- and she'd been right to worry about that with Billy. Victoria revealed that Billy had tried to get back together with Phyllis and had only turned to Victoria after Phyllis had said no.
Victoria groused that Phyllis had been happy to tell her that Victoria had been second choice. Nikki said she'd seen how Billy and Victoria acted around one another, and Victoria wasn't second to anyone in his eyes. Victoria remained confused after the whole ordeal with J.T., and she inquired whether Nikki thought she and Billy should get back together. Nikki couldn't answer the question, but she just wanted Victoria to be happy. Victoria lamented that she didn't know what she wanted, and Nikki hugged her.
A frazzled Cane arrived at Devon's penthouse, and Devon asked what was wrong. Cane mentioned that he and Billy had gotten into it, and he abruptly asked to borrow Devon's jet because he needed to see Lily that day before visiting hours were over. Devon pointed out that Cane had just returned from seeing her, and he suggested that Cane call her instead. Cane insisted that he had to see her in person to save their marriage.
Devon thought it wouldn't be good for Lily to see Cane so emotional. Devon recalled that Cane was always telling him to open up about stuff, and he encouraged Cane to take his own advice. Cane rambled that it felt like Lily was on the other side of the world, and the distance between them was getting bigger, but he couldn't bridge the gap. Devon advised him to visit more often, but Cane bemoaned that it only made things worse when Lily heard about the kids because she was sad that she couldn't be there.
Cane shared that Lily had cut their last visit short, and it made him physically sick that he'd failed her. Cane blurted out that he didn't deserve forgiveness for what he'd just done, and Devon pressed for details. Cane recounted that he'd run into Victoria after she and Billy had argued, and he and Victoria had been kissing when Billy had walked in on them. Devon was appalled that Cane had cheated on Lily a second time, and Cane said he hated himself even more than Devon did.
Devon lectured that Cane should have turned to his friends or family if he'd been feeling hurt and lonely rather than jumping into the arms of another woman. Cane defended that he hadn't been thinking, and everything was a blur. Devon noted that Cane and Victoria hated one another. Cane conceded that he couldn't explain it, but they'd both been emotionally raw. Cane wished he could go back and change it, but all he could do was see Lily and be honest with her. Cane begged Devon to help him.
Devon refused to let Cane anywhere near Lily, but Cane planned to drive to the prison if he couldn't use Devon's plane. Devon threatened to stop him, but Cane contended that lying was what had hurt Lily the most -- and he wanted to do right by her that time. Devon barked that Cane wanted to make himself feel better by getting rid of his guilt, but that was "too damn bad." Devon lectured that his sister wouldn't make it through her prison sentence unless she knew she had the support of her devoted, faithful husband.
Devon ordered Cane to go home and figure out how to deal with it as his punishment while Lily got through being in jail without ever finding out what Cane and Victoria had done. Meanwhile, Billy arrived at the prison and requested to see Lily.