Lily was working on her laptop at home when Billy arrived and announced that Victoria had invited Ashland Locke to move in with her. Lily replied, "Wow, I didn't see that coming." Billy admitted his head had nearly exploded when he'd heard the news. Lily asked about Johnny and Katie. Billy said Victoria had suggested the children stay more often with him and Lily, and he sought her feedback. Lily welcomed the opportunity to spend time with the kids. Billy agreed that the living arrangement between Victoria and Ashland had happened quickly, likely because Ashland had only a few months to live. Billy expressed concern that Victoria hadn't fully acknowledged the gravity of the situation.
Lily suggested they all work together to make the situation as easy as possible for the kids. Billy wondered aloud if Victoria had offered to take care of Ashland to ensure the merger didn't fall through. Contrarily, Lily believed that Victoria had become emotionally involved with Ashland, noting that caring for a terminally ill person could be brutal. Lily told Billy he should be more understanding of Victoria's perspective. Billy said he felt compelled to focus on his kids.
At Victoria's, Ashland was present when Victoria broke the news to Johnny and Katie about a new addition to their household. After Victoria introduced Ashland as someone very special to her, he greeted the children and said he'd heard a lot about them from their mommy. The children seemed eager to engage with Ashland, and he with them. Victoria explained to Johnny and Katie that they'd be spending more time with their dad. The children appeared to take the news in stride and rushed off to play.
After the children left the room, Ashland suffered a bout of shortness of breath and struggled to draw air into his lungs. After Ashland recovered, he told Victoria he was thankful Johnny and Katie hadn't witnessed what had happened. Despite Ashland's concern for Victoria's children, Victoria said she desired to care for him in her home, so they could spend time together. Ashland told Victoria he didn't deserve her.
At the Abbott mansion, Kyle told Jack he was concerned about Harrison after what had taken place between Ashland and Tara at the park. Jack agreed that the unfortunate incident hadn't been Ashland's best moment. Kyle recalled that Harrison had been in tears afterwards, though Kyle seemed torn about upholding Tara's decision to restrict the boy's access to Ashland. Jack said Kyle understood how it felt to lose a parent and asked his son if he would have wanted to spend more time with his mother. Kyle acknowledged he would have, though the video recording of the incident involving Ashland and its harsh impact on Harrison was a great concern.
Jack defended Ashland as a father protecting his son by shielding him from witnessing the effects of a debilitating illness. Kyle insisted he was trying to do what was best for his son. Jack replied, "You let that guide you. I'm confident you'll make the right decision." Tara covertly listened to Jack and Kyle's conversation.
After Jack left, Tara told Kyle that Harrison had suffered another nightmare during his nap and had awakened terrified. Tara insisted her instincts about keeping Ashland away from Harrison had been right. Tara said she'd hoped the cancer diagnosis might have changed Ashland for the better, though his behavior in the park had likely stemmed from his inability to control what was happening to him. Tara added that Ashland had also reacted to seeing Harrison with her and Kyle. Kyle, frustrated, said it wasn't about them. Kyle insisted he would protect Harrison and give him the best life possible. Kyle had to leave for the office and said they'd discuss how best to move forward later.
On the patio at Crimson Lights, Amanda expressed her frustration to Devon about waiting for a response from Victor after she'd issued a plea for him to explore Sutton Ames's weaknesses. Amanda, firmly believing that Sutton had murdered her father, hoped she might acquire the leverage she needed to force a confession. Later, in her hotel suite, Amanda told Devon she hadn't expected Victor to agree to help after she'd implicated him and his company in the death of her father. Devon recalled that Amanda and Victor had seemed to forge a bond after learning that both had grown up separated from their parents. Devon added that Victor would clear his name by helping Amanda uncover the truth. Amada admitted she hadn't always been the best judge of character.
At Newman Enterprises, Victor met with Sutton Ames, Amanda's estranged grandfather. Victor said, "So, Amanda Sinclair wants to expose you as her father's killer." Sutton wasn't surprised and replied, "Saddens me that she thinks I'm capable of something like that." Sutton expressed disappointment in his granddaughter, explaining that she was wasting valuable time. Victor guaranteed that he had a solution to Sutton's problem. Victor asked Sutton if he'd been aware that Richard, Amanda's father, had asked him to help search for his child. Sutton replied, "I was not."
Victor explained to Sutton that Richard had become aware that his ex-girlfriend had had a baby, later learning about the existence of twin girls. Victor said he'd connected Richard to a private investigator to help with the search for his twins. Sutton said the search hadn't panned out and asked Victor why it seemed important. Victor replied, "A few days before he died in that tragic accident, he'd sent me a letter. The contents of that letter might be of great interest to you."
In the letter, Victor explained, Richard had thanked him for his help. Victor said Richard had also written that Sutton had insisted he discontinue his search for the child, warning that there could be consequences if he did not. Sutton replied, "Either Richard was lying about his contact with me, or you're lying about the letter." Victor acknowledged that his and Sutton's cordial relationship had become adversarial, though he was a neutral party, having been pulled into the controversy. Victor made it clear that only he was aware of the existence of Richard's letter. Victor said, "That letter can be yours for the right price."
Jack encountered Sally in the main dining area at Crimson Lights. After breaking the ice with an exchange about coffee preferences, Sally asked about the possibility of Jack asking her out on another date. Jack replied, "How about tonight?" Sally readily accepted the invitation. Jack promised to phone Sally later with details. After Sally left, Phyllis approached Jack. Jack preemptively warned Phyllis not to start anything with him again about Sally. Phyllis assured Jack she had no intentions of intervening in his life or adding to his problems.
Devon ran into Lily at Crimson Lights. Lily asked about Mariah. Devon said he had no news, though he was certain there was no reason to overreact. Devon said Mariah had likely left to give herself a little space from those hovering over her while she dealt with her pregnancy. After Devon received a text message from Amanda, he explained that it had been especially difficult for her after her mother had admitted to a crime she'd hadn't committed. Devon said Amanda remained determined to find out what had happened to her father.
Lily shared her news with Devon, explaining that she'd embraced an opportunity to be a stepmother to Johnny and Katie while the children lived with Billy for a few months. Devon was surprised to learn that Victoria had made the arrangements for her children after having invited Ashland to move in with her. Lily said Billy believed Victoria had based her decision on what was best for business, though she didn't agree.
Billy encountered Ashland alone when he stopped by Victoria's to pick up Johnny and Katie. Ashland said the children were upstairs with their mother, getting things together. After an awkward exchange, Ashland asked Billy if he was bothered by Ashland's presence in Victoria's house. Billy said his concern centered on his children. Ashland explained that he was going through a similar situation with his son in the wake of a terrible incident captured on video. Ashland explained that he'd attempted to protect Harrison but had instead frightened and confused him.
Ashland acknowledged that he should discuss his declining health with his son, just as Billy might also consider doing with his children, given that they'd soon witness him in a weakened state. Billy replied, "I've got to admit, Ashland, I don't know what you're doing here." Ashland said he and Victoria were involved in more than just a business deal. Billy asked why Ashland, a dying man, would allow Victoria to be hurt by the inevitable pain of losing him. Ashland denied that he was dying. Having overheard, Victoria joined the conversation and reminded Billy that no one knew what the future held.
Victoria told Billy she and Ashland desired to make each other as happy as possible. Billy said he would be okay with the decision as long as everyone was open and honest without attempting to take advantage of anyone's good nature. Ashland noted that no one could cajole Victoria into anything. Billy told Ashland he was sorry for what Ashland was going through, and Billy was glad to see Ashland happy for as long as it lasted.
Phyllis approached Tara in the lobby at the Grand Phoenix. Tara said she was waiting to meet with Lauren. Phyllis, exuding charm, invited Tara to sit and chat while they awaited Lauren's arrival. Phyllis steered the conversation by claiming that Summer was having a great time in Milan, enjoying a job she already loved. After Phyllis displayed a photo of Summer appearing quite happy, she said everything had worked out well for everyone involved, except for Kyle.
Phyllis told Tara that Kyle seemed to be suffering the sudden loss of Summer, though, Phyllis insisted, the separation would deepen the love they had for each other and likely reunite them soon. Tara said Kyle seemed to have accepted Summer's decision and was focused on his future while growing closer to Harrison. Tara mentioned the added stress on Harrison from the incident involving Ashland. Phyllis dismissed Tara's concern and said kids were resilient. Tara said she and Kyle had discussed the possibility of gaining sole custody. Phyllis shook her head in disbelief and asked Tara if she was seriously considering battling a dying man for sole custody.
When Lauren arrived, Tara seemed eager to end her discussion with Phyllis. Before Tara left, she told Phyllis that sometimes people ended up hurt when a mom faced making the best choices for her children. Tara added that she and Phyllis weren't really different from each other as protective mothers. Phyllis struggled to stifle her frustration after Tara left to meet Lauren at a restaurant. Amanda had overheard part of the conversation between Tara and Phyllis and asked Phyllis what was going on. Phyllis replied, "I'm doing a dance with that girl."
Phyllis described the dance as a tango that Tara appeared to be leading, though they were both trying to out-nice each other. Phyllis berated herself for losing control of her emotions. Amanda was curious to know more. Phyllis explained that Tara had been going to great lengths to get her hooks into Kyle. Amanda said she'd read that Kyle was the biological father to Tara's son. Phyllis said Tara had jumped from Ashland's millions to the Abbotts' millions.
Phyllis expressed hope that Jack and Kyle would soon witness Tara's true intentions, though Tara was playing the role of a sweet, innocent victim while using Harrison as a distraction. Phyllis said even Billy had witnessed Tara ingratiating herself with the Abbott family to get close to Kyle. Becoming emotional, Phyllis condemned Tara for having preyed on Summer's insecurities, which had forced Summer to fly to another continent to find peace. Amanda expressed concern that Phyllis might unwittingly force Tara to leave town, denying Kyle and Jack access to Harrison. Phyllis replied, "I'm one hundred percent right, and I will take her down. It will be steady, and it will be calculated, but I will take that girl down."
Phyllis changed the subject and asked Amanda about her case. Amanda replied, "Well, that's been one shock after another." Phyllis expressed surprise that Amanda's mother had confessed, though Amanda believed her grandfather was the guilty party. Amanda said the biggest shock of all was determining that Victor Newman would be her greatest ally in detecting weaknesses in Sutton's armor.
Sally, dressed up for her date, approached Phyllis and Amanda, and told Phyllis she and Jack were going out. Phyllis told Sally she wouldn't interfere with Jack's decision to date Sally. Lauren and Tara had returned to the lobby while Phyllis and Sally were talking. Lauren asked Tara if something was going on between her and Phyllis. Tara said it was a complicated situation tied to Summer's decision to leave town, though Tara maintained that it was the last thing she'd ever wanted to have happen.
Phyllis insisted to Sally that she was fostering all the friendships she could and that even Tara was happy to reciprocate. Sally told Phyllis she was impressed by Phyllis' new outlook. After Sally walked away and Tara and Lauren took a seat at the bar, Amanda looked at Phyllis with a puzzled expression and said, "Okay, what the hell was that?" Phyllis admitted she didn't know, though she was determined to put the puzzle pieces together to determine what was going on between Tara and Sally. Phyllis insisted that Sally and Tara had both benefited from Summer's decision to leave town.
After Kyle returned from the office, he said he assumed Tara had summoned him to continue their earlier discussion about Ashland and Harrison. Tara said she'd made a decision regarding Ashland and Harrison. Back at Victoria's, Ashland learned through a phone call from his attorney that Tara was suing him to gain sole custody of Harrison. Ashland seemed distressed but not shocked. Victoria reacted with sympathy.
At Society, Jack and Sally began their date by acknowledging that it was a good decision to try again. Jack complimented Sally's stunning appearance, and the two seemed reservedly smitten. Outside the restaurant, Phyllis caught sight through a window of Sally and Jack seated together. Phyllis pressed her face against the window, watching their every move.
At the Newman ranch, Victor made a call and asked if Sutton had had a chance to review his proposal. Sutton questioned whether Victor could be trusted, and Victor asserted that it was a straightforward deal -- he'd hand over the incriminating letter that could lead to Sutton's downfall if Sutton agreed to grant a favor to Victor in the future. Victor warned that the clock was ticking, and he hung up. Sutton received a text message and looked alarmed.
Adam joined Victor and hoped to brainstorm some ideas about Newman Media's marketing strategy. Victor requested that they push it to another day, since he had too many things on his mind right then. After Victor stepped out, Nikki walked in, and Adam asked if she had any idea why Victor had seemed preoccupied. She replied that she didn't, and she inquired whether Adam had heard from Chelsea. He shared that Anita was slowly healing and that Connor was happy to have time alone with his mother. Adam and Nikki discussed their mutual relief that Rey had tagged along.
Adam told Nikki that they didn't have to force a nice conversation every time they ran into one another, since he knew what she thought of him. Nikki conceded that she and Adam had a difficult history, and he noted that they hadn't liked one another much -- or at all. Nikki was impressed with his attempts to improve himself, but she admitted that her first instinct was to keep a close eye on him. He realized that she thought his reformation was all an act, and she clucked that it wouldn't be the first time. She observed that his desire to change seemed sincere, and she knew how difficult that was to accomplish, so she respected the effort he was making.
Adam swore that he was trying every day to be a better man, loving father, and dedicated son, but a lot of it was uncharted territory for him. Nikki reminded him that he had an entire family invested in his success, so there was always someone there to put him back on the right path. She added that she was rooting for him, and he said it meant a lot. She cautioned that if he ever started to backslide or put any one of them in danger, he'd go back to being enemy number one. Adam claimed that he'd learned not to underestimate her, and she advised him to keep it that way.
Later, Nikki informed Victor that Adam had left, and Victor remarked that it was just as well, since he had a lot of things to deal with. Nikki pushed to know what was going on, since he seemed distracted. He chalked it up to getting everything in order before they left for Italy the next day, and she was glad that his to-do list had included sending Victoria congratulatory flowers. Victor thought Nikki also deserved a bouquet for reminding him that he hadn't been at his best when he'd reacted to the merger, and she hinted that it would be even more magnanimous if he congratulated Victoria in person. He applauded her for keeping him honest.
At Crimson Lights, Sharon received a text message. She checked her phone as Abby and Tessa rushed in. The women shared that they'd all received messages from Mariah. They compared the messages, which were all different, but all three confirmed that Mariah had needed a break after feeling smothered. Mariah's message to Abby further promised that Mariah would be back before her next doctor's appointment and that she was taking good care of herself and the baby. Abby felt terrible that Mariah had felt suffocated enough to leave town, and she pledged not to let it happen again.
Adam entered the coffeehouse as Sharon was closing up, and he asked if it was too late. She chirped that she never turned away someone in need of a cup of coffee, and she offered him his usual. Sharon asked how Connor and Chelsea were doing, and Adam reported that things were going according to plan so far. Sharon mentioned that she'd spoken with Rey, but he never really talked about work. She hoped Adam didn't end up regretting taking her advice to let Connor be with his mom. Adam recognized that there was a risk, since Chelsea might push to have Connor live with her permanently.
Adam insisted that he remain the custodial parent, but Sharon cited Chelsea's clean bill of health and wondered if there was more to the story. Adam confided that there was a lot Sharon didn't know, and she was stunned when he divulged that Chelsea had faked her breakdown -- at least to a degree. Sharon couldn't believe Dr. Hedges had been involved, given his good reputation. Adam reasoned that money talked, and Sharon voiced surprise that Adam had gone along with the plan. Adam explained that when he'd been on the run, he'd had no idea what Victor had done, but he'd eventually kept his mouth shut because he hadn't wanted Connor's mother to go to prison.
Adam continued that he'd hoped time in a mental facility would help Chelsea heal, and her confession had also cleared him. He blamed himself for much of what had happened, but he also worried that Chelsea always reverted to form. Sharon argued that some people might say the same thing about him. Adam recounted that he'd just had a conversation with Nikki about how people thought the change in him was just temporary, but she'd actually given him the benefit of the doubt. He hoped Sharon had faith that he could pull it off.
Adam reflected on the time and energy he'd invested in creating conflict and how exhausting carrying the weight of the hate and anger had been. Sharon counseled that change couldn't always be forced, so he had to stay open-minded about it. He considered how sure Chelsea had been that he'd steal Connor away from her, and he hoped Sharon's suggestion to let Connor go with Chelsea would pay dividends. Sharon thought it had been important for Chelsea to see that he trusted her, and he wondered if Chelsea might see him in a different light.
Sharon teasingly asked when other people's opinions had become important to Adam, and he softly responded that what Sharon thought had always been important. She assured him that they were fine, and he admitted that he would be lying if he said he didn't miss her. She wrote it off as loneliness because Chelsea and Connor were out of town, but he thought they both knew it was deeper than that -- and that it would never change. Sharon stammered that Faith was waiting for her at home, and Adam thanked her for keeping the place open. He headed to the exit and stared longingly at her for a moment before he left.
As Sharon closed the coffeehouse for the night, she flashed back to telling Adam that she wanted to help him find his way out of a dark place to a path of light and hope. Her thoughts turned to thanking him for putting his freedom at risk to save Faith. Sharon then thought back to Adam telling her that no matter how fast or far he ran away, he'd always be right there with her. He'd stressed that she'd always seen him in a way that no one else could, but he hadn't expected anything to result from it because nothing could. On another occasion, Sharon had begged Adam to accept that they wouldn't get back together, but he'd doubted she could compare her feelings for Rey with the way she loved Adam. She grabbed her keys, turned out the lights, and left.
Adam retreated to Newman Media, where he was flooded with thoughts of Sharon. He flashed back to her appealing to him to get better for the sake of his family, but he'd begged her to call the judge and admit that she'd made a mistake by having him committed. His mind drifted to her following him to Kansas, where she'd helped him when the painful memories of him killing A.J. had resurfaced. Adam then remembered telling Sharon that they'd shared a lifetime of history before he'd even met Chelsea, and he'd urged her not to push him away because she'd never love Rey the way she loved Adam. The series of flashbacks ended with a memory of Adam passionately kissing Sharon. Adam snapped out of his reverie, sat down at his desk, and looked deep in thought.
In Amanda's hotel suite, Devon unsuccessfully attempted to calm Amanda down. She pointed out that Victor should have met with Sutton by then, and she was anxious for an update. Devon assured her that if Victor had said he'd do something, he'd do it, and she just had to be patient. Amanda jumped to her feet and decided that she couldn't wait any longer, but she found Imani at the door. Imani announced that they had a problem.
Imani explained that she'd dropped by Naya's room, but she hadn't gotten a response, and Naya hadn't responded to any of her many text messages. Devon doubted Naya would leave after agreeing to let Amanda represent her, but Imani worried that it had just been a way for Naya to get out on bail. Imani relayed that she'd spoken with hotel security, and no one on staff had seen Naya all day. Amanda considered it odd but hardly a bail violation, and she pledged to look into it.
Devon told the ladies that he was just a call away, and he left. Amanda groaned that Naya had picked the worst time to go missing, since Amanda was waiting to hear back from Victor about Sutton, and they couldn't get an acquittal without a defendant. Amanda prepared to access Naya's room, but Imani stressed that Naya wasn't there. Amanda declared that the first thing she'd learned when she'd realized that she'd had to make her own way in the world was not to let little things get in the way.
Later, Amanda and Imani returned to Amanda's suite after getting security to let them into Naya's room. Amanda was taken aback that Naya had seemingly packed her bags and skipped bail. Imani figured that it had been easier than telling them no, and she guessed that Naya had known they were going to implicate Sutton as part of their defense. Amanda doubted Naya had known that, and she referred to another possibility. Sutton arrived and voiced concern that something had happened to Naya, since he hadn't been able to find her. Imani informed him that Naya had disappeared, and Amanda added that there was no explanation -- unless Sutton had told Naya to run.
Sutton questioned why he would turn to Amanda and Imani for help if he knew where Naya was. He asked what he'd done to deserve that kind of suspicion, and Amanda spat that he'd arranged her father's murder. Amanda recognized that both she and Sutton had agendas, and she vowed to make sure Sutton paid for what he'd done. She demanded that he tell her where her mother was, but he maintained that he didn't know.
Sutton suggested that they work together to find Naya, but Amanda told him to worry about his "damn self." She intended to find her mother the way she'd handled everything her entire life -- alone. Amanda ranted that Sutton had taken her sister from her and deprived her of her father, so she'd "be damned" if he took her mother from her, too. She ordered him to get out, and he obliged. In the hallway, Sutton sent a text message to Victor, saying he was on his way.
Abby and Tessa returned to the Abbott mansion, and Abby wanted to clear the air. The women both blurted out that they were sorry, and Tessa insisted that the tension between them had been her fault. Abby swore that it had been hers, and Tessa insisted that they not argue. They agreed to forgive and forget, and Tessa expressed relief that a lowlife from her past hadn't put Mariah in jeopardy. Tessa wailed that she'd thought Mariah's mood swings had been a result of her pregnancy, but they'd been a reaction to Tessa. "And me," Abby lamented, chalking it up to a lesson learned.
Tessa regretted that she hadn't known something had been wrong, even though she was closer to Mariah than anyone else. Abby felt that she knew Mariah pretty well, and she'd had no idea Mariah had been having such a hard time. Abby wished she hadn't micromanaged everything Mariah had done, and Tessa joked that it was much better to compete over who should take the blame than to blame one another. Abby promised that she'd stop making Mariah account for every moment, and Tessa decided that Mariah could make her herbal tea herself.
Devon stopped by the mansion, and Abby and Tessa informed him that they were in a good place again, although they'd have to rethink things when Mariah returned home. Tessa hesitated to rain on any parades, but she still found it strange that Mariah hadn't called at least one of them. Abby theorized that Mariah was worried that she'd be tempted to return before she was ready if she heard their voices. Abby brightly resolved that Mariah wouldn't feel a bit of pressure once she got back.
Devon prepared to go home to check on Amanda, and Tessa hoped everything was okay. Abby thanked Devon for talking her down and reminding her of what Chance would say in a stressful situation. Devon called Chance a good guy who loved Abby and put her first, and he encouraged her to hold onto her husband. Abby considered herself very lucky.
Sutton arrived at the ranch and told Victor that he'd just had an angry encounter with his granddaughters. Victor empathized with being at odds with one's family, and Sutton proclaimed that it had given him a new level of clarity about what to do. Sutton accepted Victor's offer to trade Richard's letter in exchange for a favor to be repaid later. Victor announced that he'd decided not to give Sutton the letter, and Sutton sputtered that the deal had been Victor's idea. Sutton wondered what game Victor was playing, since Victor had said he had no allegiance to Amanda. Victor explained that it had nothing to do with Amanda and everything to do with not wanting to help Sutton. Victor bellowed that he had no tolerance for betraying one's family.
Victor lectured that there was no greater responsibility than being the head of a family. He pointed out that Sutton had been given the gift of two beautiful twin granddaughters, yet Sutton had turned his back on them to protect his own rear end. Sutton defended that he'd done what he'd had to do, and he cited the stories he'd heard about the awful relationships Victor had with his own children. Victor admitted that he'd made many mistakes, but he'd never turned his back on his family or left them to their own devices.
Victor cited how he'd created a new company with Adam, even though many people would have given up on his younger son as a lost cause. Victor accused Sutton of turning his back on his family out of selfishness. Sutton protested that Victor had billions of dollars to buy his way out of problems, but Sutton didn't have that luxury, and he'd needed to remain untouchable to ensure he could put his family first. Victor surmised that Richard had been a threat who had gotten in the way, and Sutton groused that Richard had been trouble.
Sutton continued that Naya had deserved much more, and it had been a miracle that someone with Richard's background had even made it to college. Sutton bemoaned that his pride and joy had gotten herself pregnant, and the two accidents had needed to be sacrificed for the greater good. Sutton asserted that he could live with what he'd done, since Richard had been a nobody who could have taken down everything Sutton had worked for, and that hadn't been a risk Sutton had been willing to take. "Now give me the damn letter," Sutton ordered. "What letter is that, Sutton?" Victor innocently asked as Amanda and Imani emerged from hiding.
Sutton squirmed at the thought of how much his granddaughters had heard, and Amanda informed him that they'd heard more than enough. Sutton huffed that he would deny everything he'd said in the heat of the moment, but Amanda held up a voice recorder that had captured every word. She crowed that it was the proof she needed to save her mother and prove that Sutton had had her father killed. Amanda commended Victor for knowing just what to say to keep Sutton talking, and she revealed that there had never been any letter. Sutton haughtily stated that the charges would never stick, and he appealed to Amanda to tell him what she wanted. "I want my father back, you son of a bitch," she snarled.
At the ranch, Nikki yelled for Victor and said it was time to leave, but she received no response.
At Victoria's, Victor told Victoria he had stopped by to say hello, and he was impressed with how Victoria had managed to score such a fantastic merger with Locke. She told Victor it hadn't been a calculated moved on her part. Victor asked if the merger had been Locke's idea. He said there was nothing wrong with taking advantage of a situation when the opportunity presented itself. Victoria asked if he was referring to the way he'd gotten what he'd wanted when Ashland had had a heart attack. Victor said he hadn't intended for the conversation to take a detour. He'd wanted to tell Victoria he admired what she'd done and to congratulate her.
Victor told Victoria that Ashland was ill, and a man in that situation sought comfort and affection. Victoria asked if Victor believed Ashland had given her his company because it had been a ploy to get closer to her and move in with her. Victor was stunned and asked if Ashland had moved in with her and the kids. Concerned, Victor said he didn't want her to get hurt.
Victoria asked Victor if anyone had considered that Ashland had been the one to push her away and that she'd chosen to stay by his side. She claimed that Victor could praise her for the coup of the century on the one hand and call her weak and naÔve on the other. She said she knew what she was getting into and that her relationship with Ashland was intense and wonderful. She wished Victor and Nikki a great trip, while she enjoyed her merger, professionally and personally. Victor said he loved her, wished her luck, and left.
Ashland barged into the Abbotts' and yelled for Tara, claiming they needed to talk. Kyle informed him that Tara had taken Harrison to a play date. Ashland asked if Kyle was trying to steal Harrison from him in his last days. Kyle assured Ashland that no one was trying to steal Harrison from him. Ashland said the petition Tara had filed with the court, seeking sole custody, said otherwise. Ashland wanted immediate answers and told Kyle to start explaining.
Kyle told Ashland that Harrison had been upset by Ashland's incident in the park and he'd had bad dreams since then. Ashland claimed that didn't warrant Tara seeking sole custody. Kyle said Tara only wanted to protect Harrison. They knew it would become increasingly difficult as Ashland's health deteriorated, and it would be upsetting for Harrison to see Ashland decline. Ashland claimed it wouldn't be as upsetting as when he disappeared from Harrison's life entirely.
Kyle told Ashland he was sure Tara only wanted more input about where and when Ashland saw Harrison. Ashland asked if Tara wanted him to beg every time he wanted to see Harrison. Kyle suggested that Ashland get over his initial anger and see that Tara had a point. Ashland said he needed to be the one to break the news to Harrison and to spend every moment he could with his son. He asked who was being unreasonable, and he left.
A short time later, Sally arrived at the Abbotts'. Sally wanted to see Jack. She was informed that Jack wasn't there. Kyle said he hated how Sally had dive-bombed her way back into Jack's life and the way she was taking advantage of Jack's loneliness and forgiving nature. Sally claimed she hadn't taken advantage, but Kyle said he would remind Jack how opportunistic she was every chance he got. Sally claimed Jack knew everything about her, and she felt Kyle was projecting his loneliness on Jack since Summer had left Kyle -- again.
Kyle told Sally he was investigating how such an amazing job had landed in Summer's lap. He knew Summer had been hired because she deserved it, but then Sally had wound up with Summer's old job at JCV -- the very position Sally had coveted since her arrival in Genoa City. He felt it was suspicious that just before Summer had received the job offer, Sally had flown to Los Angeles, land of the fashion industry and the Forresters, the place she hated. Kyle asked Sally what the trip had been about.
Sally told Kyle she'd gone to Los Angeles to visit some old friends. Kyle claimed that was unlikely. She claimed she'd also had some meetings to make connections for JCV. She said Kyle needed to put the blame for Summer leaving him on himself and Summer, and his connection to Tara and his son -- and to stop blaming everyone else. Sally left.
Lily returned home after putting Katie on a bus for camp. Billy told her that Johnny's stomach was still upset. Billy claimed that Johnny was a sensitive kid, and he was always affected by changes. Lily wondered if Ashland moving in with Victoria had caused Johnny's symptoms. Billy claimed that was probably the problem -- that and knowing their home would be Johnny's home base for a while. Johnny had been aware there was a lot going on. Lily told Billy they needed to make Johnny as comfortable as possible and provide a safe haven for Billy's kids. When Victoria arrived to check on Johnny, Lily left for a meeting.
Billy told Victoria that Johnny wasn't feeling well because of the changes in his life. Victoria agreed and said she would reassure Johnny that he was loved and that the changes weren't for the worst, despite the fact that everyone believed she'd made a terrible mistake. Billy admitted he'd seen a different side to Locke, and he'd been wrong to question Victoria's generous decision or her ability to handle herself. He told Victoria not to hesitate to ask for help.
Billy asked Victoria if she saw a long-term future with Ashland if he wasn't dying. She told Billy things had started casually with Ashland, and her feelings for him had grown. There was a lot of depth to it, and it was different from any other relationship she'd ever had, which did not take away from what she and Billy had shared.
Billy told Victoria it made him sad that she and Ashland wouldn't have much time together because he heard it in Victoria's voice that she was serious about Ashland. Victoria said her relationship might be more serious than what their relationship could have been if he'd been healthy, but they didn't have much time together. The urgency made it very powerful. Billy said he was happy if Victoria was.
At the Grand Phoenix, Phyllis was on a video chat with Summer. Summer wanted to know how her family and Kyle were doing. Phyllis said Tara was still at the Abbotts' with her kid. Phyllis claimed that Tara reminded her of a scavenger fish that hooked onto a whale or shark; however, it wouldn't last long because the Abbotts would see Tara's true colors very soon. Tara arrived. Phyllis gave Tara a friendly greeting and asked why she was there. Tara said she'd stopped in for coffee. Phyllis said she was wrapping up a call with Summer and asked if Tara wanted to say hello. Tara declined.
Phyllis returned to her chat with Summer, who asked why Phyllis had been so sweet to Tara. She wanted to know what Phyllis was up to. She told Phyllis that what had happened was meant to be. She wanted Phyllis to drop it. Phyllis claimed trouble with her tablet and that she couldn't see or hear Summer anymore, but Summer knew Phyllis was lying. Phyllis disconnected the call and asked Crystal to fix her tablet.
Phyllis approached Tara and apologized for what she'd said the previous day. Tara asked if Phyllis was referring to her accusation about trying to get sole custody of her son from a dying man. Phyllis stated she was concerned about everyone involved and how difficult it had to be for Tara to shield her son from a dying parent. She couldn't imagine what Tara was going through.
Phyllis confessed to Tara that she'd pretended to befriend Tara. She explained that when she'd seen Tara get closer to the Abbotts, it had set off alarm bells because she was extremely protective of Jack and Kyle. She hadn't wanted them to be manipulated or taken advantage of. Tara claimed that wasn't what she was doing. Phyllis stated she'd been projecting her own past history onto Tara.
Phyllis told Tara that she'd done some pretty bad things in the past that she wasn't proud of. She had, in the past, claimed she'd done something because she'd been protecting someone, or it had been a defense mechanism. She said it had all been a lie, and she'd been selfish. Tara asked if Phyllis thought that was what Tara had been doing with Kyle and Jack. Phyllis admitted she had, but she'd realize she'd been wrong. Phyllis said if Tara never spoke to her again, she understood.
Tara thanked Phyllis for coming clean. Phyllis advised Tara to avoid Sally Spectra like the plague and said that everyone in town knew Sally couldn't be trusted. Phyllis admitted she'd misjudged Tara's intentions completely; however, Sally was all about Sally, everyone else be damned. Phyllis believed Sally had had something to do with Summer's sudden departure to Italy. Phyllis told Tara that since Sally had arrived in town, she'd been competitive and antagonistic toward Summer. Sally arrived, and Phyllis left.
Sally asked Tara what that had been about. Tara said it was nothing to worry about. Sally told Tara to start worrying about Kyle because he suspected her of having something to do with Summer running off to Italy. Tara stated Sally had. Sally said she hadn't done it alone and suggested that Tara talk to her new man and advise him to back off. Sally said if one of them went down, the other would follow. Sally left.
Phyllis had been hiding behind a plant, watching.
Lily bumped into Moses in the park. Moses asked for her advice about Faith. He said he and Faith were good friends, but he wanted to be more than that. He liked that Faith was very open about what she'd been through. He said she was nice and smart, and she laughed at his jokes. He told Lily that Faith wanted to go slowly, but he didn't want to go so slowly that he would be stuck in the friend zone permanently. He wanted to know how to do that while respecting the boundaries.
Lily told Moses that going slowly wasn't the worst thing. She said it was attractive and flattering when a guy took his time to get to know a woman. It showed that he was interested. She suggested doing little things to show Faith he cared, such as little surprises. Moses said Lily had given him an idea. Lily wished him luck. After Lily left, Moses called Devon and left a voicemail message for Devon to call him back because he needed Devon's help.
Victor returned to the ranch, and Nikki asked what was wrong. She hoped he wasn't about to postpone their trip. Victor asked why Nikki hadn't told him that Locke had moved in with Victoria. Nikki was surprised and said she hadn't thought it would happen at all because she'd assumed Billy would object to it. Nikki told Victor she had come around to Victoria's way of thinking about the situation.
Victor told Nikki he couldn't believe she was in favor of Ashland moving in with Victoria. He asked about Katie and Johnny. Nikki was certain Victoria and Billy would work to make the change easy for the kids. Victor claimed Billy couldn't take care of himself, let alone the kids. Victor didn't care if Victoria was having an affair with Locke, but it had to be confusing for the kids. He wondered about Victoria falling in love with Locke, because she would be heartbroken when he died. Nikki said Victoria was selflessly helping a man say goodbye. Victor was angry that Locke had moved in with Victoria. Nikki said they had to trust Victoria and let her live her life. Nikki and Victor left.
Tara returned to the Abbotts', and Kyle informed her that Ashland had stormed in, furious that she'd filed for sole custody, he'd made threats and accusations, and he had stormed out. Kyle said since Ashland' health was in the media, it was inevitable that Harrison would find out. Tara said it was time for them to tell Harrison that Ashland was sick. Kyle said Ashland had claimed he was the one who should tell Harrison, and Kyle understood Ashland's viewpoint.
Victoria met Ashland at Society, and she asked if he'd done everything he'd wanted to. Ashland said he hadn't because he'd been looking for Tara. He felt she'd been avoiding him. Ashland stated he had to be the one to tell Harrison about his illness, but he might not get the chance. Victoria claimed that no judge would take a dying man's son away from him. She said the court would take into account that Ashland had been Harrison's father all his life, even if Kyle was the biological father.
Ashland told Victoria he'd spoken to his lawyers, and they'd said that Ashland's condition and his imminent demise might be too disturbing for Harrison. It could be problematic when it was presented to a judge, especially when the video in the park would be shown. Victoria claimed the video had been taken out of context, and she would help Ashland fight Tara. She suggested it might help his cause if he'd accept treatment. Ashland pounded his fists on the table and claimed the situation had become unbearable. Tara and Kyle arrived in time to witness Ashland's outburst. Victoria warned Ashland not to do anything he would regret later.
Ashland approached Tara and said her latest maneuver had been her cruelest and dirtiest move of all. Tara claimed she was protecting Harrison and that Ashland hadn't seen the terror in Harrison's eyes after the incident at the park. She said if Ashland didn't think his condition was going to get worse, he was either in denial or a fool. Victoria stepped in and said Tara couldn't rip Harrison away from his father. Ashland was reminded that Kyle was the biological father.
Ashland shouted that Kyle had no idea what Tara was doing. Ashland lost his breath. Tara asked if Ashland wanted to scar Harrison for life as he watched Ashland fight to breathe. Ashland said he wouldn't let Tara steal his son. He said it wasn't over, and he and Victoria left.
Tara told Kyle that Ashland despised her, and it scared her to think what he would do next. Kyle said Ashland had simply lashed out. He would calm down and allow the courts to handle the custody issue. Kyle assured Tara they would battle Ashland together. She said she was grateful to have Kyle in her life. Kyle said he would protect Harrison and her.
Tara told Kyle she couldn't believe how easily Kyle calmed her nerves. She said she'd enjoyed their time in New York, sneaking around and worried they would get caught. Kyle said he remembered it being careless and shady and not thinking about other people, only their stolen moments together. Kyle and Tara fantasized what their life would have been had they taken the plunge back then. Phyllis arrived and told them not to let her interrupt. Smiling, she stood at the bar.
When Lily returned home, Billy told her that he and Victoria had been able to clear up a few things in a positive way. He believed Victoria had met her match with Ashland, and it was sad because Victoria and Ashland wouldn't get their happy ending. He knew Victoria would treasure whatever time they had left. Lily said her heart went out to Victoria. Billy realized how fortunate he was because he had his soul mate sitting in front of him.
At home, Ashland told Victoria that he'd allowed Tara and her lawyers to get under his skin. He claimed that all his life, he had handled stress well, but these challenges all at once were starting to get to him. Victoria said everyone knew he wasn't at his best. Ashland stated he was happy they'd found each other. Victoria felt the same way, and they kissed.
At the Grand Phoenix, Amanda met with Michael and introduced Imani to him. Amanda told Michael she had a recording of Sutton Ames revealing that he'd been responsible for Richard Nealand's death, and she wanted to play their grandfather's recording for Michael. Michael realized that Imani was Amanda's sister, Amanda had represented Sutton until recently, and she had transitioned to representing her mother, Naya, who'd been trying to prevent her own father, Sutton Ames, from going to prison.
Amanda told Michael that was the reason she'd been the head of Sutton's legal team and the reason she'd taken on Naya's case. They were the family she'd never known she'd had until recently. She'd become aware of Sutton's callous indifference and his need for control, and she'd learned he'd been the reason she and Hilary had been forced to grow up without their father, Richard Nealand. She said it was the end of all the secrets and lies.
Amanda played the recording for Michael. She told Michael she knew it wasn't a confession and might not even be admissible in court, but it opened up the possibility that Naya wasn't guilty. Sutton had made it clear that he'd killed Richard for one reason: to make sure the story of his illegitimate grandchildren never came to light. Sutton cared more about his political reputation than he did his family.
Michael told Amanda that what Sutton had said about Richard had made his blood run cold, and he couldn't imagine how Amanda had felt. Amanda said the moments of shock and pain had ended on a positive note because she'd met her sister and her mother, and she'd learned to lean on the people closest to her for support. She told Michael she had Victor's support. Michael said no one could push buttons like Victor.
Michael asked Amanda if she believed Sutton had forced Naya to take the rap for him. Amanda speculated that Sutton might have convinced Naya that she would receive a lighter sentence than he would. Michael wanted justice done. He asked if Amanda could bring Naya to his office as soon as possible. Amanda said she and Imani needed some time to convince Naya to see Michael. Michael said he was well versed in complicated family dynamics involving criminal activity.
Amanda told Michael she was sure Naya would meet with him in a day or two. Michael said he would issue a warrant for Sutton's arrest and prevent him from leaving the country. Michael said things would work more smoothly when Naya came clean. Amanda said she would make sure that would happen. Michael left.
Tessa arrived at the Chancellor mansion, and when she saw Abby's face, she asked if everything was all right. Abby claimed she hadn't been sleeping well, and she'd had a terrible dream. Abby described her dream about Mariah. Tessa said they were all exhausted and stressed since Mariah had been gone. It was no wonder they were having bad dreams.
Abby felt it had been more than a bad dream. She said when she'd awoken, she'd had an epiphany. She said there was something seriously wrong with the whole Mariah situation. Nina stood in the background, listening. Tessa said Abby was freaking her out. She thought they had all agreed that once Mariah had sent the text messages, they could stop worrying why she'd been gone for so long. Abby, Tessa, and Nina all agreed that they hadn't stopped worrying.
Abby told Tessa and Nina, that she'd reread all the text messages Mariah had sent to her, and she asked if they recalled when Mariah had messaged that Abby's child hadn't given Mariah much grief yet. Abby asked when Mariah had ever referred to the baby as "your child." Tessa said it had always been "our child" or "our baby." Nina felt they were reading a lot into a turn of phrase, and it could have been Mariah's way of backing off a little. Tessa admitted something was off. Abby and Tessa speculated that perhaps Mariah regretted being a surrogate.
Stitch arrived, and after Abby provided him with an explanation, he understood why everyone was so disconcerted. Nina said that from what she'd seen, Mariah had been thrilled to carry the baby for Abby and Chance, but she didn't think it was good for them to be feeding off each other's words. Abby said they might be jumping to conclusions. Things appeared right, but they weren't. Stitch agreed that the language of the text message was odd, and it implied that Mariah was suddenly disconnected from the baby. Abby suggested that perhaps surrogacy was too much for Mariah.
Stitch told Abby and Tessa that it was tempting to overanalyze things, but there was probably no reason to be worried. Tessa said if Mariah was in trouble, Tessa hoped Mariah would reach out to her. Abby claimed people didn't always know how to do that when they felt emotional or overwhelmed. Abby claimed she wasn't saying something had happened to Mariah. She only wished they could talk to her, and ask how she felt; however, if Mariah was struggling, Tessa would go and help her. Tessa really wanted to do that, but Mariah wasn't taking Tessa's calls.
Stitch suggested they try to find her location from her text messages with a specialized app. Stitch offered to look into it. Tessa and Abby readily agreed and said it would give them some peace of mind. Nina told them to hold on. Mariah had said she would return before her next doctor's appointment, set for the following week, and she'd said she didn't want to be smothered. Nina thought Mariah would resent them if they didn't give her the space she obviously needed. Nina asked if they all agreed to wait for Mariah's next text message and then take things from there.
Stitch told Abby and Tessa that he was heading back to Iowa, but he'd decided to take the job at Memorial as chief of surgery. He said he would be moving back to Genoa City. Abby was thrilled for him. Stitch said he'd be away a few days, long enough to pack and check in on Max. He said he didn't want to uproot Max, and he would visit him often, as it wasn't a long drive. Abby offered her help in making his transition an easy one.
Stitch told Abby he needed to find a place to live. Abby offered to contact her Realtor and have some showings set up when he returned. Stitch said there were a couple of furnished places he wanted to check out before he left for Iowa. He asked Abby to check them out with him. Abby agreed, and she and Stitch left.
Tessa read through Mariah's text messages again. Tessa told Nina that the text messages didn't read like something Mariah would have written. Tessa wondered if they should have taken Stitch up on his offer to help find Mariah. Nina said that as much as she wanted to give Mariah her space, Nina was only the grandmother, and Tessa was talking about the woman she loved. It had to be Tessa's call.
Alone and worried, Tessa sent Mariah another text message; "If something's wrong and you don't know how to tell us -- or can't -- send me a clue. Something I'd understand. Please."
Nate arrived at Crimson Lights and asked Faith if she'd seen Elena. Faith said Elena had been there, but she'd had to leave. Nate received a text message from Elena explaining she'd been called into work at the last minute. Faith asked if they'd had a date. Nate said they'd wanted to spend some time together. Faith asked Nate if he'd seen Moses. He said he hadn't seen Moses, and he didn't know Moses' plans. Nate left.
Faith received a text message from Moses: "Hi. You free?" Faith wrote back, "Just hanging out @ CL." Moses responded, "See you soon."
At Devon's Moses told Devon that Lily had given him some good advice. Moses said he and Faith were taking things slowly. He knew he wouldn't be stuck in the friend zone forever. Moses said he wanted to do something nice for Faith without all the pressure. He told Devon that Faith's favorite band was Tigirlily, and they were the headliners at the park over the weekend. He knew Nick was one of the organizers, and Faith would be with him. Moses hoped that Devon could make it more special. Devon suggested two backstage passes.
Moses was delighted, and he asked for one more favor. He told Devon that Faith was at the coffeehouse, and he was heading that way. Devon promised he would handle everything else.
In Amanda's suite, Imani apologized for freaking out when Michael had asked to see Naya. Imani said that Amanda had handled it perfectly. Amanda said Naya hadn't responded to her text message. Imani said she hadn't heard from Naya or Naya's father. Amanda stated that they needed to find Naya before the authorities realized she was missing -- and before Sutton found and manipulated her.
Imani told Amanda she couldn't believe what her grandfather had done. She couldn't believe how it had all played out, or how Sutton had convinced their mother, who was fragile to begin with, to take the fall for him and sacrifice her future. Imani said she'd had an incredible childhood that had been filled with love and support, but no one had made her feel as special as Sutton had. He'd been her biggest cheerleader.
Imani told Amanda that Sutton expected perfection from everyone around him, and if anyone disappointed him, he would cut them down with just a look. Sutton demanded loyalty. He was controlling and self-serving, and his career had always come first. Imani said it was difficult for her to accept that Sutton had arranged to have someone killed, and then he'd justified it by saying he'd had no choice and that it had been for the best. Imani said when she'd heard those words, it had made it all real.
Imani told Amanda she didn't know what her next step was, but she knew that part of her life was over. She said even if Sutton figured out a way to save himself, which he could, Imani couldn't keep working for him. She didn't want her name associated with his ever again. Amanda assured Imani that she wouldn't rest until Sutton paid for what he'd done. She believed that Imani would wind up on her feet. Imani agreed, but it was a question of where she would land. Amanda said she might be able to help.
Amanda told Imani she'd been thinking about starting her own law firm, the Sinclair Firm; however, Sinclair and Benedict had a nice ring to it. Amanda said once Imani took her bar exam and received her license, they could be partners. Emotional, Amanda said they'd come so far, and then she and Imani laughed because Amanda had become emotional over a job offer. Amanda felt they would make a really good team. Imani agreed, but she wanted to think it over before providing Amanda with an answer. Amanda told her to take the time she needed.
Moses met Faith at the coffeehouse. He said he wanted to eat before they went out. Faith was about to make him a sandwich, but she was gobsmacked when she saw Tigirlily at the counter, talking to Devon. Moses asked if she wanted an introduction. Faith was very excited.
Faith told Tigirlily that she'd discovered them when she'd gone through a rough time recently, and their words had spoken to her. Faith asked if they would take a photo with her so she could prove that the moment had actually happened. They agreed. Moses took the photo with Faith's phone. Tigirlily said they would be performing at the park on the weekend, and they invited Faith and Moses to be their backstage guests. Faith was over the moon. Tigirlily gave them a preview of one of their new songs called "Dig Yourself." Once the song ended, Devon and Tigirlily left.
Faith told Moses she was in awe because she'd gotten to meet Tigirlily, and she couldn't believe they had backstage passes for the show. Faith suddenly realized that Moses had set the whole thing up. Faith was very appreciative of what Moses had done.
In the park, Stitch asked Abby if she thought he'd been too impulsive. She said he could have searched for a week, and he wouldn't have found such a gorgeous apartment. Stitch said he had to familiarize himself with the neighborhood and the best places for takeout. Abby suggested that Stitch could eat at Society a lot. Stitch joked that he knew the owner. He thought it was cool that Abby had gone from knowing the best restaurants to owning the best of the best.
Stitch thanked Abby for helping him find a place to live and hoped he hadn't monopolized her day. Abby claimed apartment hunting had been fun for her. Abby said it had been the most normal she'd felt in a long time, and she was very grateful. Stitch said he had to leave, but he would drive Abby home. She thanked him and declined. She said she was enjoying the day and not dwelling on things she couldn't control. She said she'd take a ride-share home when she was ready to leave. Stitch said he would only be gone a few days. He hoped Abby would hear from Mariah. Abby asked him to let her know when he returned to town.
Amanda and Imani met with Devon at Society. He wanted to know how things had gone with Michael. Amanda said Michael had responded exactly as she'd hoped after he'd heard the recording. Amanda said that as soon as Naya recanted her confession, Michael could push for an investigation into Sutton. Their only problem was that Naya had disappeared and hadn't responded to their text messages. Imani said it wasn't like Naya, and she hoped Naya would reach out soon.
Devon asked Amanda and Imani if either of them had heard from Sutton since seeing him at Victor's. Amanda said they hadn't heard a peep from him. Imani said Sutton was off licking his wounds and planning a strategy to save himself. Amanda said Sutton was probably cursing the day she'd shown up on Naya's doorstep. He was probably blaming her for ruining his life. Devon said Sutton had ruined his own life when he'd decided that Richard was expendable and that his granddaughters didn't belong in the family. Imani said Sutton would never see things that way.
Devon told Amanda and Imani that Sutton would fight back, and he would probably fight dirty. Amanda said she'd be ready. Devon invited Amanda and Imani back to his place to relax. Amanda and Imani agreed. Nate arrived and asked if everyone was doing okay. Amanda said they were for the moment. Nate stepped away to take a call. Imani watched dreamily as Nate walked off. When Devon wanted to place a take-out order, Imani said she might like to stay and eat there, while she stared at Nate.
Amanda told Imani to stop it because Nate was dating Elena. Imani asked what harm there was in a little innocent flirting. She left to join Nate at the bar. She offered to buy Nate a drink and said she had an ulterior motive. She wanted some advice on a personal matter, Amanda.
Devon told Amanda he'd ordered for three, just in case, but Amanda said it didn't look like Imani was going to join them. Devon told her not to worry because Nate and Elena were in a good place, and Nate wouldn't jeopardize that.
At the bar, Imani told Nate that as soon as she passed the bar and received her license, Amanda wanted her to be Amanda's partner. Nate was surprise because he hadn't realized Amanda had wanted to start her own firm. Imani said it made sense for Amanda, but she wondered if it would be right for her. She asked Nate's opinion about working with Amanda as a full partner.
Nate told Imani it would be a dream come true. Amanda was smart, forthright, and driven, and she had a huge heart. He cautioned that not all siblings could work together, but if Imani went for it, it would be a stellar opportunity. Imani said he made taking the job and moving to Genoa City permanently very appealing.
Imani received a call from Naya, who told Imani she was fine, at least for the moment. Imani handed the phone to Amanda. Naya apologized and said she'd panicked and run. Naya told Amanda she wouldn't divulge her location, and it was best if they didn't try to find her. Amanda told Naya that everything had changed, and Naya needed to return to Genoa City immediately.
At home, Victoria was surprised to see Ashland was already awake, since she'd expected him to sleep in. He recognized that he couldn't stick to his normal routine, but he didn't intend to sleep the day away, either. She encouraged him to take it easy, but he cited the long list of things he had to take care of in New York to settle his affairs in person. Victoria realized that it was about more than just tying up loose ends, since Ashland was going back to say goodbye to the life he'd lived there.
Victoria was proud of Ashland for facing reality head-on, since she expected that she'd be tempted to hide or escape. He didn't believe that because he'd never met a woman as gutsy as she was. He invited her to go with him to meet members of her new executive team and see all his favorite places. Victoria wondered if he'd rather take an old friend who'd known him longer, but Ashland insisted that there was no one else he'd rather have with him than her. He understood if she wasn't comfortable going, but she blurted out that she'd love to accompany him. She headed out to wrap up some things at the office before they flew out that night. He sank onto the couch and rubbed his head.
At Crimson Lights, Billy greeted Sharon, who noted that he seemed to be in a good mood. He bragged about how his life couldn't be going better, but he spied Adam on the patio and took it back. He questioned why she allowed riffraff to hang out at her establishment, but she argued that Adam was a valued customer. Sharon asserted that Adam hadn't had anything to do with poisoning Rey, and she pushed Billy to consider whether he'd misjudged Adam. Billy pointed out that Chelsea had attacked Rey because Adam had driven her to madness, and he was surprised a professional like Sharon didn't see that.
Sharon argued that as a trained professional, she'd seen a legitimate change in Adam that wasn't so different from the changes she'd seen in Billy. She questioned why Billy's mistakes were forgivable while Adam's weren't. She pointed out that Adam had been willing to risk his own personal freedom to save her daughter's life -- twice. Billy snapped that the difference was that Sharon saw Adam as the man who'd saved her daughter's life, whereas Billy saw him as the man who'd taken his daughter away from him forever. Billy took satisfaction in knowing Adam was alone, since it meant some people had heeded the warning in ChancComm's article and were steering clear of him. Billy hoped Sharon would one day do the same.
Billy stepped onto the patio and observed that Adam was all alone after Chelsea had left town and taken Connor with her. Billy taunted that Chelsea had just been released from a mental facility after poisoning someone, yet the boy was safer with her than with Adam or Victor. Adam questioned why Billy was obsessing over Adam's family when he should be keeping ChancComm afloat. Billy crowed that ChancComm was in a great place, thanks to his amazing team and the fact that Adam had decided not to weaponize Newman Media against them. Billy accused Adam of playing the good guy to worm his way back into Sharon's life.
Billy lectured that if Adam was really trying to be a good person, he'd put other people's feelings in front of his own and realize Sharon was better off without him. Adam found it fascinating that Billy had read ulterior motives into him just having coffee. Adam theorized that Billy preferred to justify his own vendetta and obsession rather than admit that Adam had turned over a new leaf. Billy scoffed at the idea of Adam being an innocent, misunderstood victim, and he considered it unfortunate that the "crap" worked on Sharon.
After Billy left, Sharon refilled Adam's coffee and remarked that she was glad Adam hadn't let Billy get to him. Adam reported that Billy had clearly been itching for a fight, but he hadn't wanted to give Billy the satisfaction. Adam shared that Billy had accused him of putting on an act specifically for Sharon, and she was insulted that anyone would think she would be that gullible. Adam encouraged her not to take it too personally, since he was the one nobody trusted. He couldn't deny that it was important to him that she believed he was trying to change, but he swore that he wasn't trying to lure her back.
Adam remarked that it had never been his better angel that had drawn Sharon to him, since she'd always found his wild side more compelling. Taken aback, she cited all the time and energy she'd spent trying to help him become the healthy person he was meant to be. She insisted that had been what had pulled her in, and he noted that she'd ended up with someone who didn't have a dark side. A skeptical Adam commented that she was clearly over whatever thing she'd had for bad boys in the past, and Sharon stammered that all she'd ever wanted was the guy in the white hat. She hurried back to the counter, clearly shaken.
Victoria entered the coffeehouse, and Adam hoped Nikki had passed along his congratulations. Victoria congratulated him on having breathing room to run Newman Media the way he saw fit with Victor out of town and not hovering over his shoulder. Adam contended that, unlike her, he enjoyed working with their father and valued Victor's expertise. Victoria was sure Victor valued having someone around to lap it up. Adam shot back that she clearly enjoyed flying solo, which was why she'd picked a business partner she could get rid of in a few months.
Adam noted that Victoria exploiting a man's condition had been extremely advantageous for Newman Enterprises. He imagined that everyone would have considered him a monster if he'd done the same thing, but Victoria had ridden in like an angel of mercy to save Ashland in his last days. Adam found it ironic that she'd turned out a lot more like their dad than he had ever thought she would. Victoria barked that he'd always underestimated her, which was foolish because she was the one he should fear the most. Adam flashed back to his nightmare in which she'd said those exact words. Victoria took pleasure in seeing she could get under his skin, and she walked away.
Victoria returned home and found Ashland passed out on the floor. After he regained consciousness, she wanted to call an ambulance, but he refused to spend the remaining time he had sitting in a hospital. He was certain it had just been an anxiety attack, since he'd had them in the past when he'd been under a great deal of stress. He was convinced the episode was more connected to the pressure of the situation than the actual illness, and he assured her that he wasn't on his way out just yet. Victoria had hoped the merger would alleviate some of the stress, but she worried that it had had the opposite effect. She asked if he thought the merger had been a mistake.
At Newman Media, Adam called Victor, who picked up in Italy. They made small talk about Victor's trip, but Victor doubted that Adam had just called to say hello. Adam mentioned his encounter with Victoria that day, and he announced that he had an idea that he wanted to run past his father.
At home, Lily called to Johnny to ask if he was ready. He appeared on the stairs, and she told him that she'd drop him off at camp on her way to her meeting. He indicated that his stomach still hurt, and she agreed to let him stay home. She started to call Hannah, but Johnny requested that Lily stay home with him.
Lily and Johnny played cards, and he declared that he'd won. He asked if she knew his mom's friend Ashland, who was sick but not the same way Johnny was. Lily explained that Ashland wasn't contagious, so no one in Johnny's family would get what he had. Johnny inquired whether Ashland would ever get better, and Lily replied that the doctors were doing everything they could. Lily added that Johnny's mommy liked Ashland and wanted him to get better, and she assured the boy that he could always turn to his mom, his dad, or her with any questions he had. Johnny hoped that Lily and his daddy always stayed together. Lily was clearly touched.
Billy returned home with flowers and found Lily and Johnny asleep in the living room. Later, Billy told Lily that the flowers were supposed to be a surprise for her after work, and he hadn't expected anyone to be home. Lily explained that Johnny's tummy had still been hurting, and she suspected that Billy's theory about his son needing extra nurturing was right. Billy thanked her for being sweet to his boy when she could have just called Hannah, but Lily informed him that she hadn't been able to say no when Johnny had asked her to stay with him. She added that Johnny had also mentioned Ashland's illness. Billy planned to talk to Victoria to make sure they were on the same page about how to handle it.
Over breakfast at Devon's penthouse, Amanda informed Devon that Imani had just called with the good news that she'd been up all night, talking to Naya, who was on her way back to Genoa City and ready to recant her confession. Devon wondered if Naya had just said what Imani had wanted to hear, and Amanda doubted that the recording would convince even Naya that Sutton had killed Richard. Amanda sympathized that it was hard for Naya because she'd idolized Sutton, and Devon credited Amanda with getting Imani to break free of that mindset. Amanda intended to make sure her little sister had strong footing beneath her once they were done with the case.
Moses joined Amanda and Devon, and Devon teased him for sleeping so late that he'd missed breakfast. Moses thanked Devon again for introducing Faith to Tigirlily, and Devon joked that Moses was finally realizing that he had the coolest brother in the world. After Amanda headed out, Moses gushed that Devon had really hooked him up with the band's special appearance, and he'd never forget the look on Faith's face. Moses noted that the band's music really spoke to her, and Devon mused that the beautiful thing about music was that it connected people on an emotional level. Moses compared it to how he felt closer to his dad when they listened to Neil's favorite music, and Devon called knowing what moved someone a window into their soul.
Moses apologized for not having been there to talk with Devon more, but Devon knew that the teen had been busy with his volunteer work and internship to get a taste of what being a doctor would be like. Moses squirmed, and Devon asked what was wrong. Moses insisted that he was just grateful for all the opportunities, but Devon assured him that it was fine if Moses wasn't feeling medicine anymore, since Moses wasn't obligated to become a doctor. Devon reasoned that the point of the experiment had been to figure things out.
Moses admitted that his experience had been different from what he'd expected. Devon asked if it had to do with Moses feeling helpless when Nate had suffered an allergic reaction. Moses confided that part of him felt like he wasn't cut out to be a doctor, and Devon reiterated that it was okay if a career in medicine turned out not to be the right thing for Moses. Devon encouraged Moses to ask the questions about what he wanted to do. Moses shared that he'd been thinking about checking out other possibilities.
At Society, Nate treated Elena to breakfast after she'd worked a hectic double shift in the emergency room. He wished she'd called him to help pitch in, but she hadn't wanted to interfere with his rare night off. Imani interrupted and cooed about how glad she was to run into Nate again after just seeing his handsome face the night before. Imani praised Nate for helping her with a dilemma she'd been facing, and Elena flatly referred to the partnership opportunity with Amanda. Elena pointedly mentioned that Nate had told her all about it, and Imani coolly stated that she wouldn't have expected anything less.
Elena sweetly recalled that Nate had also helped her when she'd needed career advice by convincing her to turn down a tempting job offer in Baltimore to stay in Genoa City with him. Imani curtly said she had to put in her order, and she stepped over to the bar. After grabbing her takeout, Imani made a point of telling Nate again that it was always good to see him. Nate asked if everything was okay, since Imani had left suddenly the night before after getting a call. He wondered if it had been about Naya's case, and Imani hoped there wouldn't be a case against her mother after that day.
Imani revealed that Naya had been the one who'd called her, panicked about what she should do, and Imani had persuaded her to recant her confession. Imani purred that when he got to know her better, he'd learn that she could be very persuasive when she wanted to be. Elena rolled her eyes. Imani received a text message from Amanda, summoning her to the courthouse.
After Imani left, Elena addressed the fact that Imani had obviously been hitting on Nate. He admitted that Imani had been a little flirtatious, but he figured that it didn't matter because he was taken. He suggested that Elena get home to bed after a long night, but she announced that she'd just gotten a second wind. He inquired whether she didn't want to go home to bed. "Oh, no, I definitely do," she seductively replied.
Later, Elena ordered an iced tea at Crimson Lights, and Sharon wondered if Elena only wanted one, since she'd seen Elena and Nate go upstairs together earlier. Elena indicated that Nate had left but would be back soon, and Sharon was happy things were working out between them. Elena inquired whether Rey had experienced any side effects from the thallium poisoning, but Sharon reported that he'd felt well enough to go back to work right away. Sharon griped that his latest assignment was escorting Chelsea to be with her mother in Minnesota. Elena was stunned that he'd been assigned to escort the woman who'd tried to kill him.
Sharon revealed that Rey seemed impressed with the progress Chelsea had made, and she thought he liked making the point that Chelsea was doing better because she'd gotten away from Adam. Sharon thought it was unfair that Rey still wanted to lay ultimate blame for everything that had happened at Adam's feet, but Elena reasoned that, as the victim, Rey had the right to decide who he wanted to hold responsible. Sharon bemoaned that she'd been the one to encourage Adam to let Chelsea go out of town with Connor, mostly so Sharon didn't have to think about Chelsea anymore, but she was getting constant updates on Chelsea's daily progress. Elena hoped the assignment would be over soon, and Sharon couldn't wait for that to happen.
Devon summoned Nate to the penthouse to discuss making some changes to Moses' volunteer schedule. Nate balked at trying to fit in anything else, but Devon clarified that he was talking about cutting back on Moses' hours at the hospital to allow the teen to spend some time at the recording studio with him to see how it all worked. Nate was confused, since Moses was there to learn about being a doctor. Moses entered the room and admitted that he was having second thoughts, so he wanted to check out some other options, too. Nate assumed it was Devon's idea, but Devon explained that Moses had broached the topic, and they'd wanted to get Nate's opinion. Nate requested some time to think about it.
Michael picked up takeout from Society and was surprised to run into Amanda, Naya, and Imani. Naya and Imani stepped to the lounge, and Michael spoke with Amanda about how Naya had seemed like she'd felt guilty to let Sutton down when she'd admitted her confession had been false. Amanda figured that it was too painful for Naya to admit to herself how thoroughly Sutton had betrayed his own family. Michael implied that it would be helpful if Naya cooperated with the newly reopened investigation into Sutton, and Amanda promised to keep working on it.
After Michael left, Naya guessed that Amanda was planning to help the D.A. go after Sutton. Amanda vowed to do what she could to get justice for her father, since it was the least she and Naya owed Richard. Naya refused to have anything to do with any investigation into Sutton, since she was already conflicted enough about recanting her confession. Amanda reasoned that Sutton wouldn't have pressured Naya into confessing unless he was guilty, but Naya thought she would have gotten a lighter sentence.
Amanda argued that Naya still would have given up her freedom, family, and reputation, and Imani pushed Naya to see how self-serving and wrong it had been for Sutton to push Naya into a false confession. Naya confirmed that it was why she'd recanted; however, she maintained that she'd never believe her father was capable of murder, and she would do nothing to implicate Sutton.