Victor and Nikki had coffee at Society and discussed Victoria's decision to revert the company name to Newman Enterprises. Victor offered to help speed up the process. Nikki, feigning boastfulness, replied, "I'll mention it to my co-CEO." Nikki, concerned, noted that she and Victor should set up a family meeting soon to break the news about Diane Jenkins. Victor said he'd advised Diane to get out of town as quickly as possible because she wasn't welcome. Nikki acknowledged that Victoria already had enough to deal with. Victor sighed heavily and voiced his agreement, adding that Diane had better not harass Victoria in any way. Nikki said Diane had no reason to contact Victoria, who rarely went out and about much and likely wouldn't run into Diane. Victor said he'd told Adam about Diane because he and Diane had once been co-conspirators.
Nikki told Victor she assumed the Abbotts would contact Abby, though she wished Abby would never have to know about Diane's return. Nikki told Victor they should also let Nick know, especially after Adam had been informed. Victor reminded Nikki that Nick couldn't stand Diane after all the damage she'd done to their family and especially to his mother. Nikki replied, "There was nothing she wouldn't stoop to. Just when you thought she was at her lowest, she would find a way."
Nikki changed the subject and mentioned Ashland's not-so-subtle attempt to impress Victoria by offering to donate to New Hope half of what Victor had paid him. Victor replied that Nick could do a lot of good with $250 million, though Ashland's true intention was to buy Victoria's forgiveness. Nikki cried that no good could come from Ashland's attempts to reconnect with Victoria. Victor said he hoped Victoria would tell Ashland she wanted nothing to do with him. Nikki replied, "We should be so lucky."
Victoria stopped by Crimson Lights and ran into Billy. Victoria invited Billy to join her for coffee, but he, holding a box filled with pastries, explained that Jack had summoned the whole family to the Abbott home for a meeting and that he was already late. Billy, sensing that Victoria was eager to get something off her mind, asked her about the children or whatever concerned her. Victoria assured Billy that the children were fine. Victoria told Billy she'd listened to a podcast called the "The Grinning Soul," which had been produced by his media company.
Billy claimed that the podcaster Victoria had listened to was based in California and seemed to have an interesting take on the world. Victoria replied, "He had an even more interesting take on my soon-to-be ex-husband." Billy said he'd listened, too, and thought the message sounded like a generic diatribe on the abuse of power. Victoria recalled that the podcaster had mentioned a power broker described as "a greedy mogul with no moral compass who'd betrayed the woman that he loved by lying to her about being sick." Billy insisted that the description could fit many, but Victoria confronted him and said she'd recognized the cadence of his speech and his oft-used phrases.
Despite Billy's continued efforts to claim that Victoria was mistaken, she angrily asked, "When are you going to stop sticking your nose where it doesn't belong?" Billy asked Victoria if she'd think it was a problem if the podcaster had been referring to Ashland. Victoria reminded Billy that he was already late to his meeting. Billy reminded Victoria that the public should hear about how Ashland had abused power and committed fraud yet wouldn't face legal consequences because he'd not actually broken the law. Victoria, angered, told Billy not to pretend he'd done anything for her sake, explaining that he was exploiting her private pain in favor of his overblown ego. After Victoria limped out the door with the aid of her cane, Billy rolled his eyes.
Victoria entered her office and admired her portrait, which Ashland had commissioned. Victor had restored the portrait after Victoria had damaged it in a fit of rage. Victoria removed the necklace Ashland had given her. As she studied the V-shaped pendant studded with diamonds, Victoria remembered what Billy had said during his podcast. Billy, pretending to be an anonymous podcaster, had recalled a run-in with "an anonymous man he'd described as a mogul who'd lied and manipulated to get what he'd wanted, even sucking everything out of everyone around him to fulfill his need to feel more powerful." Victoria seemed lost in thought as she reflected on Billy's observations about Ashland.
Victor and Nikki joined Victoria in her office. Nikki, noticing that Victoria had taken off her necklace, said, "Good for you!" Nikki told Victor their daughter was no longer wearing a necklace Ashland had given to her for Valentine's Day. Nikki mentioned Ashland's blatant attempt to buy Victoria's forgiveness with his donation to New Hope. Victoria told her parents Ashland hadn't mentioned the donation and that doing so would be a waste of time, anyway.
Victoria thanked her father for restoring the portrait. Victoria also thanked Victor for supporting her decision to appoint Nikki as co-CEO instead of choosing Adam, as her father had requested. Victor praised Victoria's leadership and said he hoped she and Adam might get along better because he had a lot to contribute. Victor agreed that he shouldn't have pressured Victoria to accept Adam and noted that "killing Newman Locke can't happen soon enough." After Victoria stepped out, Victor told Nikki that Victoria seemed happy considering what she'd gone through and had handled it very well so far. Nikki acknowledged that Victoria was heartbroken because she'd adored Ashland before discovering he was a complete fraud. Nikki told Victor that their daughter was still grieving a loss.
At the Abbott family home, Ashley, Abby, Traci, Kyle, and Jack met with Diane. Jack, noting that Diane looked rather pale, offered to get her some water. Diane insisted she was fine and knew she'd have to face the family at some point, though not everyone at once. Kyle said, "Let's get to it." Diane, addressing Ashley, Abby, and Traci, said she'd kept up with them over the years and knew they'd been living happy, successful lives.
Ashley replied, "If you had your way, we'd be in prison right now, serving time for a murder that you faked." Diane insisted she wouldn't have allowed it to happen, but Ashley reminded Diane that Diane had blackmailed Ashley and Abby before faking her death. Traci spoke up and told Ashley that Kyle hadn't gathered them together to relitigate the terrible things Diane had done in the past.
Diane acknowledged that she'd be expected to answer questions about why she'd run away, what she'd been doing, and what her intentions were. Kyle winced when Ashley angrily asked Diane why they should believe one word that came out of her mouth. Kyle offered to let his family call off the meeting, but Diane protested and said she wished to carry on for his sake. Abby replied, "Are you serious? After everything you put Kyle through, you're trying to be his protector?" Jack told Diane she was the one who had the most to gain. Diane insisted she wished to prove to Kyle that she was sincere, adding that the meeting might be her only chance to do so. Diane sat up stiffly and claimed she was ready to be confronted about everything.
Ashley warned Kyle that Diane was trying to set the agenda and manage them all. Ashley cried that Diane had no intention of walking out the door because she had too much riding on the meeting with Kyle's family. Diane defended her actions, explaining that all she wanted from Kyle was his forgiveness. Ashley replied, "Not yet, you don't." Traci turned to Ashley and said, "I think we should hear Diane out, like we told her we would." Abby balked, but Traci explained that if Diane's story didn't ring true, they could call her out. Ashley agreed. Jack told Diane to give it her best shot.
Diane told the Abbotts she understood why they were suspicious, explaining that she had previously seen herself only as someone who was vindictive, self-obsessed, and incapable of change. Ashley sarcastically asked Diane if either a miracle or a great epiphany had taken place. Diane chuckled and said nothing as dramatic had happened, explaining that she'd gradually realized she'd been lying to herself and using the lies to convince herself that she couldn't do what was necessary to change and become a decent human being. Ashley replied, "That's a pretty low bar." Traci interjected, "Well, you have to start somewhere."
Diane told the Abbotts she'd also realized that failing to redeem herself and earning a scrap of self-respect would cost her any chance of reuniting with Kyle. Abby replied, "Interesting, because, as I recall, you've always had a very high opinion of yourself." Ashley agreed and added, "Your needs always took higher priority over anybody else's." Jack piped up and said, "And woe be unto anyone who got in your way." Diane claimed she'd acted out of arrogance and self-entitlement and not self-respect, which, until recently, she'd been unable to comprehend.
Traci asked Diane when she'd discerned her revelations. Diane explained that after a few false starts, she'd found an amazing therapist who'd helped her face the disaster her life had become. Kyle asked Diane if her therapist had been in favor of her returning to Genoa City. Diane replied, "Well, there would be risks involved, which we discussed at length." Ashley sarcastically interjected, "That would be a no."
Jack, agreeing with Ashley, said it was hard to imagine any reputable therapist going along with Diane's plan to anonymously lure him to Los Angeles and use his granddaughter as a means to get to him. Diane recalled that she'd already explained her intentions. Ashley replied, "We've heard all your explanations. We're not buying them." Abby agreed and suggested Diane was lying through her teeth about having undergone therapy and was instead saying whatever she thought Kyle wanted to hear.
Kyle, his brow furrowed, studied his mother's face to gauge her reaction to his family's barrage of questions and accusations. Ashley asked Diane if she was still seeing a psychologist. Diane said she hadn't sought counseling since leaving Los Angeles. Abby asked Diane how long she'd been seeing a psychologist and whether the doctor was licensed. Diane insisted her doctor was licensed. Ashley suggested Diane could have maintained therapy sessions over the phone. Kyle asked his mother if she intended to resume sessions after things settled down. Diane replied, "Oh, absolutely."
Traci, recalling Abby's unanswered question, asked Diane how long she'd been seeing a psychologist. Diane replied. "Uh, six years, give or take." Diane explained that she'd experienced a breakthrough about four years earlier. Abby laughed and replied, "Okay, so you expect us to believe that you went from this evil manipulator, someone who got off on making her enemies' lives miserable, to some totally healed, ethical grownup with no sociopathic tendencies?" Jack agreed that the short time period during which Diane claimed to have radically changed seemed like a bit of a stretch. Diane replied, "You asked. I answered. I can't give you an exact timeline for when my perspective changed. As I said, it was a gradual process."
Ashley requested she be allowed to inspect Diane's bank statements to put everything in focus. Diane offered an inspection of her finances, noting that she wasn't wealthy but could take care of herself. Diane boasted that she'd just purchased a home in Los Angeles. Jack replied, "Oh, yes, Keemo's house." Ashley added, "A pretext for getting close to Allie." Diane, defending herself, told the Abbotts she had a career, friends, and a life in California and hadn't traveled to Genoa City in desperation. Diane explained that she'd finally become strong enough to face the backlash she knew would be waiting for her, and she felt she had something worthwhile to offer to her son.
Billy arrived and stopped in his tracks when he spotted Diane sitting against the fireplace in the Abbotts' living room. Kyle explained that they were giving Diane a chance to state her case as to why they should allow her back into their lives. Billy looked at members of his family gathered on the other side of the room and said, "And this is the jury, huh? Tough crowd." Traci told Billy that Diane was in the middle of explaining how she'd rehabilitated herself while living in Los Angeles. Billy asked Traci to fill him in later and told Diane to carry on. Diane threw up her hands and said she didn't have much more to say, acknowledging that at some point, they'd all have to decide whether or not they believed redemption was possible -- not just for her, but for anyone. Abby and Ashley glared at Diane.
Diane mentioned Billy's podcast and suggested he might believe redemption was possible, given the changes he'd made in his life. Billy replied, "Look at that. I've doubled my audience. There's now you and Traci." Diane addressed Jack and Ashley and said they'd found it in their hearts to forgive Victor and Phyllis. Diane mentioned the flawed characters Traci wrote about in her novels. Diane, addressing Abby, cried that she loved Kyle as much as much as Abby loved Dominic. Diane asked the Abbotts why they would stand in the way of her being the mother that Kyle deserved.
Traci asked Diane to describe how she envisioned her second chance with Kyle. Diane, lovingly fixing her gaze on Kyle, said she'd welcome his time and attention however he wished to offer it, adding that she loved her son and had missed him. Billy asked Diane to describe what she actually wanted in her heart of hearts. Kyle interrupted and replied that Diane had requested to be part of his life. Diane explained that she was ready to reconnect with Kyle in Italy or in Genoa City if Kyle and Summer decided to relocate.
Ashley asked Diane if she recalled how much every Newman family member hated her. Diane said she'd avoid the Newmans, all of whom were always at odds with the Abbotts. Billy explained that with a few exceptions, the Newmans and the Abbotts got along well. Traci credited Abby for having brought the two families together. Diane assured Kyle she'd make whatever sacrifices were necessary to be close to him. Diane thanked the family and said they should take time to mull over what she'd told them.
After Diane left, Kyle asked his family what they thought. Ashley cautioned Kyle about believing Diane's insincere, rehearsed performance. Traci disagreed and told Kyle she felt Diane had been sincere every time she'd told him she'd be overjoyed to be part of his life again. Jack explained that Diane's love for Kyle had never been the issue. Kyle agreed and said he'd have to determine whether or not his mother's claims about everything else were true. Abby said Diane had reverted to her old, calculated methods by mentioning Dominic.
Billy told Kyle that to him, Diane sounded convincing because she'd realized where she'd gone wrong, and she had been trying to make changes. Billy said he'd probably give Diane another chance. Kyle asked Traci if she thought Diane had sounded credible. Traci advised Kyle to be wary of Diane's claim about having been completely rehabilitated. Ashley insisted that Diane should be avoided. Kyle acknowledged that two family members were opposed and that two believed it was slightly worth the risk. Kyle asked Jack where he stood. Jack said he'd already heard Diane's consistent story, which might actually be true. Jack advised Kyle to reflect on everything they'd all heard and decide how much he could live with.
Kyle seemed torn. Jack vowed to support Kyle's decision. Traci advised Kyle to take his time. Jack answered the doorbell and was delighted to find a surprise visitor. Jack, smiling, greeted Allie. Allie said, "Sorry to just show up like this. I didn't call ahead because I thought I might chicken out before I actually got here. Is it a problem? Bad timing?" Jack, perking up, joyfully replied, "No, your timing is excellent. Come in and meet your family."
At the Abbott mansion, Allie was stunned when Jack invited her in to meet her family. Inside the house, Kyle was taken aback by Billy's suggestion that he make such an important decision with a flip of a coin. Ashley stood by her recommendation that Kyle shut Diane out of his life, and Abby and Traci supported any decision Kyle made. Jack led Allie in and introduced her as his granddaughter. Allie said it was great to meet everyone, but she felt she'd interrupted something.
Jack explained that they'd just been talking about Diane, and Allie was surprised to learn that Diane was in town. Allie and Kyle exchanged pleasantries, and Allie mentioned that she and Jack had connected because of Diane. Kyle apologized for the situation being awkward. Billy swore that things around there usually weren't that intense, and Allie sympathized with what they were going through. Allie assumed it wasn't a good time for her to be there, but Jack insisted that she stay because everyone had been looking forward to meeting her.
Kyle swore that Allie being there meant a lot to all of them, and he wanted her to feel welcome. Traci seconded the sentiment, and Abby insisted that Allie wasn't imposing. Ashley added that they'd wondered when they'd get to meet Allie. Billy reasoned that the timing was efficient because Allie could meet them all in one shot. Allie agreed to stay, and Jack introduced each of his family members.
Allie said she was already familiar with what Ashley, Traci, and Abby did for a living, and Billy joked that he was the good-looking one. Traci expressed condolences about Allie's father, and Ashley recounted working with Keemo and finding him to be a talented chemist and amazing human being. Allie confirmed that he'd been the best father she could have hoped for. Billy recalled that Jack had mentioned that Allie had been tied up with graduate school and settling her father's estate, and he asked how she'd been able to fit in a trip to Genoa City.
Allie shared that she wasn't the most spontaneous person, but Jack had told her the door was always open, and she'd been thinking a lot about his invitation. She continued that she'd just finished a stressful semester and decided she needed a break, so she'd found a cheap flight there. Allie planned to spend the night in town and take it from there, and she asked for a hotel recommendation. Traci was adamant that Allie stay there, citing the ample space they had. Allie hesitated to impose, but Jack firmly stated that she was an Abbott, so she had to stay at the Abbott house. As Traci led Allie upstairs to find a room, Jack announced that he had to take off, but he was very glad Allie was there and would be right back.
Later, Billy remarked that it had been a busy day at the Abbott house. Ashley hoped Kyle was okay, given that he'd disappeared. Billy was sure Jack had left to follow Kyle. Abby returned to the room and reported that Traci was talking Allie's ear off. Abby figured the universe had a way of balancing things out after they'd endured the worst person in the world. Billy contended that people were capable of change. Ashley recognized that Billy had made great strides in his own life, but Diane was in another league. Billy maintained that the decision was up to Kyle, and they had to accept that it was out of their hands.
At Nate and Elena's penthouse, Nate presented Devon with some ideas about centralizing Chancellor-Winters' distribution centers. Devon thought he'd made a great choice by making Nate COO, and he sensed it was more than just a job for his cousin. Nate gushed that he was inspired, and he was glad they'd been able to salvage their relationship after everything they'd been through. Devon stated that working together was proof that family and forgiveness was more important than anything. "Amen to that," Lily declared as she walked in.
Devon broached the subject of how to launch the new company, and Lily cited Devon's lack of enthusiasm about throwing a big party with a media push. Devon revealed that he'd warmed up to the idea, since a flashy party would get as much attention as possible, and they needed to go big if they wanted to show that Chancellor-Winters could compete with the big dogs. Devon wondered if Billy would be joining the meeting, but Lily shared that her beau was at an Abbott family gathering. Devon noted that Billy had seemed a little out of it during their last meeting when Lily had started talking about legacies and families. Nate had sensed that Billy had felt uncomfortable being a non-family member at a family company.
Lily called it Billy's superpower to be able to work in any situation, but Devon questioned whether Billy would prefer to be working with his own family at Jabot. Lily contended that Billy had been ready to get out and had never looked back. She swore that Billy was excited about the merger and was completely committed to the company. Elena returned home and told the trio to pretend she wasn't there, but Nate proclaimed that she was the center of attention in any room she walked into. After Devon and Lily left, Elena inquired how the meeting had gone. Nate replied that it didn't matter because all he cared about was her right then.
Nate gave Elena a shoulder rub and inquired whether it had been a tough day at work. She remarked that work wasn't the same without him there because she had to wait until she got home to fill him in on everything, but she was no longer getting subtle judgment about dating the chief of surgery. Nate proclaimed that her ability spoke for itself, since she was a surgical warrior. Elena quipped that she felt more like a marshmallow, thanks to his magical hands. He expected her to head upstairs for a nap, but she cooed that she'd just gotten a burst of energy. She hoped he'd head upstairs with her for a bubble bath.
Later, Elena descended the stairs, and Nate handed her a glass of wine to help her relax. She enthused that she was already relaxed yet energetic, since he had that effect on her. He felt the same way, since he'd been excited about work, but he hadn't been able to focus on anything but her when she'd walked in. He was amazed that he'd gotten that worked up about business, but he found it inspiring. Elena reasoned that it helped to work with the right people. Nate mused that there was something magical about a family banding together to share a dream.
Billy and Lily reconvened at the office. She was happy the construction was done so they didn't have to work out of their apartment anymore. He pointed out that it had had its benefits, like the commute and the fact he hadn't needed to wear pants. Lily noted that he seemed off, and Billy divulged that Diane had stopped by the Abbott house to plead her case to the Abbotts. He continued that Diane had given a song and dance about how she was a changed person, and she'd made a compelling case about why she should be allowed back into Kyle's life.
Billy shared that he'd advised Kyle to give Diane a second chance, though Ashley had objected. Billy added that Jack's granddaughter had shown up after Diane had left, and he thought Allie seemed like a kind person. Lily filled him in about her meeting with Devon and Nate. Billy divulged that he'd run into Victoria, who had questioned him about the latest "Grinning Soul" podcast because she'd known he'd been behind it. Lily wasn't surprised, and she lectured that Billy had let his anger cloud his judgment.
Lily said she loved that Billy had another persona to express himself without using his name, but she warned him to be careful because his stories shouldn't hit close to home. He argued that the point of speaking freely was to have an impact on the world, but she implored him to find a better balance between things being personal and universal. He promised to make more of an effort to do that going forward, but he had something else on his mind right then. He pulled her close, and they kissed.
Later, Billy taped another podcast. He clarified that his previous ramblings had been of a universal nature, although he'd used his own experiences to share one person's perspective on the world at large. He acknowledged that his thoughts wouldn't always be pretty, and sometimes they would be downright ugly. He vowed to change names to protect the innocent, although he questioned who among them truly was innocent. He admitted that he wasn't, and he intended to be hard on himself but even harder on those who took advantage and meant harm to others. Billy pledged to show those who had evil in their hearts no mercy.
On the Crimson Lights patio, Sharon thanked someone over the phone for making Rey's memorial service possible on short notice. Nick approached, and Sharon informed him that everything was set up at the church for that afternoon. Nick apologized for taking off and not being around to help, but Sharon reminded him that she'd been the one to push him to talk to Ashland. Nick didn't want to spend one second thinking about Ashland, since there was too much to do. Nick asked what he could do to help.
Sharon indicated that she wanted to keep the event small and family-oriented, since it would be difficult for her if it got too big. Nick commended her for being honest about what she needed, and he pledged to do anything he could to ensure her wishes were respected. He added that there was one thing he hoped she'd reconsider. He urged her to take him or one of the kids with her to Miami because she shouldn't be alone.
Sharon insisted that she would be fine traveling by herself, pointing out that Rey's family would be there with her once the plane landed. She anticipated that it wouldn't be easy, but they'd get one another through it, so Nick didn't have to worry about her. Nick offered to get on the flight with her if she changed her mind, but she doubted she would. He promised to get there as fast as he could if she decided she needed him once she was down there. Sharon said it meant the world to her that he'd do that, and Nick replied that he'd do anything for her.
Sharon mentioned a few things she had to wrap up before she left town. Nick volunteered to send a message to have everyone meet at the house before heading to the church. Sharon scurried off, and Nick buried himself in his phone. "Nick Newman," a woman's voice called out, and Nick dismissively told her to hold on. He was shocked when he looked up and saw Diane. He demanded to know who she was, and she swore his eyes weren't playing tricks on him. Diane declared that she very much alive and back.
Nick testily asked what game Diane was playing, but she informed him that her return had nothing to do with him. She explained that she'd wanted a fresh start, so she'd faked her death and moved to California, but she was back to make amends with her son. Nick growled that Kyle had been devastated by her "death," and there would be no making amends for that. Diane acknowledged that it would be hard, but she refused to give up. She revealed that she'd just seen the whole Abbott family, and it had hardly been a warm and fuzzy reunion.
Nick cited what Diane had done to his family, since his mother had been charged with a murder that hadn't happened. Diane admitted that she'd been a terrible person, but she swore she'd changed. He scoffed at the thought that anyone would believe it, but she asserted that all that mattered was that Kyle believed it. She mentioned that she and Kyle had met a couple of times, and Nick was surprised to hear Kyle was in town. Diane relayed that she'd told Kyle she was ready to prove she was worthy of being his mother and being in his life, and he was considering it.
Nick muttered that Kyle would stay away from Diane if he was smart, and he ordered Diane to keep away from Summer. Diane mentioned that Victor and Nikki already knew about her return, and she wondered why they hadn't told Nick. Nick snapped that he had bigger issues going on that were life or death and not about someone pretending to be dead. Diane figured that his parents had been hoping she'd leave quickly. Nick barked that if she was smart, it was exactly what she'd do. She asked if that was a threat.
Nick denied that it was a threat, but he told Diane that there was nothing for her in Genoa City anymore. Diane claimed that she would have stayed gone if it hadn't been for Kyle. She reiterated that she'd spent years missing her son and working hard to be the mother he deserved. Sharon returned and was shocked to see Diane. Diane assured Sharon that she wasn't a ghost, and she said she was sorry for Sharon's loss. Nick said everyone was waiting at the house, and he offered to take Sharon home. Diane swore that she wasn't there to cause anyone pain. Nick and Sharon left.
At the cottage, Sharon and Nick expressed disbelief about Diane being alive, but he thought they had more important things to consider that day. Sharon worried about how Diane's sudden reappearance was affecting him. Nick insisted that the only focus that day should be on Sharon, and he asked if there was anything she needed him to do for Rey's service. Sharon stated that him just being there was everything, and she didn't know how she'd get through it without him and the kids. Nick pledged to be there for her that day and every day afterward for whatever she needed.
Kyle rushed into the Grand Phoenix and headed to the elevator, where Jack tracked him down. Jack said he'd had a feeling Kyle was going there, and he'd been concerned. Kyle apologized for sneaking out, but he hadn't wanted to make Allie's arrival about him. Kyle shared that he wanted to see how his mother was doing after the Abbotts had grilled her. Jack was sure that Diane could take care of herself, but he could tell she had made a real impression on Kyle.
Kyle appreciated that Jack wanted to help, but he insisted on doing it on his own. Kyle pushed Jack to go back to the house, since Jack was obviously happy Allie was there. Kyle hoped she stuck around, and Jack had a feeling she was there for reasons other than just meeting the family. Jack imagined she would open up to him when the time was right. Jack thought Allie was in good hands, and he was more concerned about Kyle. Jack swore that he wanted to provide moral support and wouldn't interfere in anything. Kyle stressed that he needed to talk to Diane on his own, since there were things she deserved to hear from him in private. Jack headed out, and Kyle grimly boarded the elevator.
Kyle knocked on Diane's hotel room door and called out to identify himself, but there was no response. Later, Diane returned to the hotel and found Kyle at the bar. He said he'd been waiting for her, and she told him that she'd been visiting her old stomping grounds, trying to reconnect with Genoa City. She accepted that it would be a difficult process, but she felt better seeing him. Kyle felt like he'd ambushed her at the Abbott house, and he expected her to be angry with him.
Diane swore that she wasn't mad because she understood why Kyle had wanted her to face his family. She considered it a positive thing to be able to explain things to everyone at once and have everything out in the open. She imagined there had been a colorful conversation after she'd left, and she wondered where it left the two of them. Kyle cautioned that it might be hard for her to hear, but he planned to go back to Milan that night.
Jack returned home and reported to Ashley and Traci that Kyle was fine. Traci indicated that Abby and Allie were hitting it off in the kitchen, and she found Allie to be lovely. Ashley admitted that she'd had reservations, but she wanted to get to know Allie better. Traci sensed that something was weighing on Allie, and Jack agreed. He intended to wait until Allie was ready to tell him what it was. Traci suggested that perhaps Allie felt she couldn't burden him, and she encouraged him to lend a shoulder to lean on without Allie having to ask.
Allie entered the living room and gushed that everyone had been great. Jack complimented the wonderful first impression she'd made. Ashley, Traci, and Abby headed out, and Jack inquired whether Allie had gotten settled in. Allie praised Traci for being a big help, and she admired the beautiful home. Jack recognized that it might be overwhelming, but everyone was genuinely happy to meet her and wanted her to feel at home there. Allie appreciated that his family had been nothing but warm and generous to her, and he insisted that they were her family, too. Allie broke down in tears.
At the Abbotts', Allie was in tears. Concerned, Jack asked her what was wrong. Allie apologized and said she never cried in front of strangers. Jack reminded her he was her grandfather, not a stranger. He said he'd felt she'd sought him out because she'd needed to talk about what was bothering her, and he assured Allie that the Abbott home would always be a soft spot for her to land. Jack admitted he'd made a lot of mistakes with Keemo, and he didn't want to repeat them with Allie. Allie admitted she'd wanted someone to talk to about her mother. She said her mother had arrived in Los Angeles after Jack and Phyllis had returned to Genoa City.
Allie told Jack her mother had arrived to sign legal papers regarding Keemo's estate and not to see her. Allie said she would have loved to talk to her mother about Jack and his family, and she'd wanted to know whether her mother had known how Keemo had felt about the Abbotts. Allie said she'd never had the chance to ask, and her hope of bridging the gap between them had been nonexistent. Allie said her mother had arrived in Los Angeles, checked into a hotel, signed the papers, and left at the crack of dawn the following day.
Jack told Allie that, as a parent, he found that unconscionable. Allie admitted it would have been better if she hadn't seen her mother at all. She said the lack of a relationship with her mother had made her feel the loss of her dad even more. Allie began to cry again. She said her dad was all she'd had, and he was gone. She admitted she felt empty and lonely. She said she'd felt compelled to see Jack. Jack embraced her. He said relationships with parents were sometime powerful and sometimes painful. Allie said that at that moment, she was feeling the full weight of the pain.
Jack told Allie he was sure there was more to the story, but he wouldn't pressure her to tell him. He said he was proud, happy, and grateful that Allie had turned to him. He said he wanted her to think of the Abbott house as her home and that she would always be welcomed there.
In her suite at the Grand Phoenix, Diane was shocked when Kyle told her he was leaving for Milan later that day. Diane claimed Kyle had let her say her piece, and he'd decided he didn't want anything to do with her. She claimed she'd tried to prepare herself emotionally, but she was really disappointed. Kyle said he wasn't leaving for the reason Diane believed.
Kyle told Diane that he was returning to his wife because he really needed her insight and advice. Kyle admitted he was still wrestling with everything and how to move forward. He wanted to hear what Summer thought. Diane asked what the Abbotts had had to say about her after she'd left. Kyle stated it wasn't his place to share their opinions about Diane. Diane asked what she needed to do to get another chance with Kyle. She said she would do whatever it took to show Kyle she was worthy of another chance.
Kyle told Diane it wasn't a case of doing a singular thing to make everything okay. Diane claimed Kyle had opened the door, and they would take it from there. Kyle stated it was a very dangerous door for him to open because once he did, it would be very difficult for him to close it. He said he had to be sure it was the right thing for him to do. Diane asked if he was asking for more time or saying that he couldn't risk letting her into his life again.
Kyle told Diane there was still a chance, and he hadn't given up; however, he had to understand whether he was still hurting from all the years of living without her, and he needed to know if it was a void he was trying to fill that her death had created. He said he also had to consider how his choice would affect Summer and Harrison. He said Harrison had been through "so much," and Kyle refused to put him through more. He said he would always put his son first. Diane claimed she'd tried to do the same, but in the end, she'd fallen short.
Diane told Kyle she would return to Los Angeles, since Kyle was returning to Milan. Kyle said it was up to her whether she wanted to go back to her new life or mend other fences in town. Diane asked if there was someone specific Kyle wanted her to make amends with, because she'd left a long list of people she'd wronged. Kyle said there weren't any requirements for his forgiveness. He said he would be in touch in a few days. Diane asked if she could give him a hug before he left. Kyle agreed.
At Society, Lauren told Michael how much she'd enjoyed their trip to the south of France. Michael agreed it had been a great trip. Lauren said he'd deserved it after he'd been thrown into a Peruvian prison. She said one way of making sure that didn't happen again was for Michael to rethink working for Victor. Michael said he knew how Lauren felt about his relationship with Victor.
Michael told Lauren his work would be much less stressful, since Ashland had been purged from the company, and his marriage to Victoria had been annulled. Lauren didn't believe things would ever be quieter with the Newmans, but the south of France would be more peaceful, with features such as wine in the afternoon and long nights in bed. She said that could be their life. Michael asked if Lauren could walk away from Fenmore's.
Lauren told Michael that comparing jobs was disingenuous. She said she could work remotely, and Victor would never tolerate that from Michael. She said that after Michael had begun working for Victor, he'd wound up in a Peruvian prison. Michael corrected her and said it had been Ashland who'd had him locked up in a South American prison. Lauren argued that Victor had placed Michael in Ashland's crosshairs. Lauren asked what kind of hold Victor had on Michael because Michael always defended him, no matter what.
Michael told Lauren he'd helped Victor expose a treacherous snake and what Ashland had planned to do to Victoria once he got his hands on that company. Michael said he and Lauren could take a cruise around the world or move to St. Tropez, but he doubted she could run Fenmore's from there. He said the only way they could lead a stress-free life was if they both retired. He asked if she would allow someone else to run Fenmore's. Lauren was silent, and Michael said her silence said she couldn't.
Lauren said that Michael wanted her to love his relationship with Victor even when things went south. Michael said it was the fun of the game. He promised they would see every exotic place on their wish list, and if she wanted, they would end up in the south of France; that would be their finish line. He reminded Lauren that they were still in their prime. He suggested they continue to thrive in their respective careers and live their lives to the fullest, and they would know when it was time to walk off into the sunset, hand in hand. He was convinced things with Victor would settle down, but they would revisit it if it became an issue. Lauren agreed and left for work.
At Sharon's, everyone was ready for Rey's memorial. Nick told Sharon that Abby and Chance would meet them at the church. Noah told Sharon he'd put together a slideshow of photos of Rey that he thought could be projected on the wall during the service. Sharon loved that idea.
Mariah and Tessa arrived. Sharon said she was grateful they could all be there. They were all about to leave when Chelsea arrived. Chelsea said she'd heard about the memorial for Rey. She said she didn't mean to intrude, but it was her last chance to pay her respects. She told Sharon if it was awkward, she would leave.
Sharon said that Chelsea was welcome to join them. Sharon understood that Chelsea and Rey had become close friends, and Sharon hoped that no part of Chelsea blamed herself for his death. She asked if Chelsea had heard that Rey had died of a heart attack and that the accident hadn't been anyone's fault. Sharon said Rey would have wanted Chelsea there. Chelsea said she appreciated the opportunity to celebrate such a wonderful man.
At Sharon's after the memorial, Sharon said the song Tessa had sung had been beautiful. Sharon thanked Noah for the wonderful photo montage. She said Chance had given a lovely eulogy, and she would always remember it. She said the memorial had been very special and cathartic, the kind of farewell Rey would have been proud of. Chelsea looked uncomfortable.
Nick told everyone that Rey had been determined to turn him into a soccer fan, but he'd failed. He said that he and Rey had enjoyed just hanging out, and they'd gotten into little arguments about whose sport was more boring. Noah said Rey had always been very easy to be around, and Rey had always treated him like he was a buddy and not Rey's wife's son. Faith said she hoped Rey had understood how much a part of the family he'd been. Sharon asked if Chelsea wanted to share anything. Chelsea said Rey had been wonderful with Connor, and she had appreciated that.
Tessa said she couldn't believe how much work Rey had done behind the scenes to help her sister, Crystal. She said she would never be able to thank Rey for that. Mariah said it made her wonder how many people Rey had helped that they would never know about. Sharon said she'd received text messages and notes from people Rey had helped. She said she'd heard some of the stories, but Rey hadn't been in his job for the accolades. She said he'd been a real hero.
Noah offered to drive Sharon to the airport, but Sharon refused his offer. Chelsea asked where Sharon was going. Sharon said she was taking Rey to Miami to be buried close to his family, and it was what Celeste wanted. Mariah offered to go with Sharon, but Sharon said Mariah needed to stay with Tessa and plan the wedding. Sharon said she wouldn't be gone long because she wanted to return quickly to help with the wedding preparations. Sharon appreciated everyone's offers, but she wanted to go alone because it was the last trip she would ever take with Rey -- the long goodbye.
Chelsea looked at the photos of Rey on the credenza.
Later, when Sharon was alone, she looked at the photo of her and Rey, and she hugged it.
At their apartment, Tessa told Mariah it had been nice spending time with everyone. Mariah said Sharon had been drained from the service but would be okay, and Mariah said she felt less guilty about going ahead with the wedding. Tessa said Sharon seemed excited about the wedding, and it gave her something to focus on. Tessa stated that she couldn't wait to be Mariah's wife. Mariah said she couldn't wait to be Tessa's. They kissed.
Kyle returned home and found Jack and Allie looking at the family photos on the bookcase. Kyle said he'd missed the rest of Allie's welcome reception. Allie said she'd arrived without any warning, and she'd had no idea that Taylor/Diane was his mother. She thought Diane had been the person who'd bought her father's house. Jack said they all knew it had been Diane's machinations that had set everything in motion. Jack asked Kyle to join him and Allie for dinner at Society.
Kyle told Allie he wanted to get to know her better, but it would have to be at a different time. Kyle said he and Harrison were returning to Milan later that day. Jack asked if something had happened with Diane, but Kyle said they'd had a pleasant and civil conversation. He said he hadn't made any big decisions, but he had to get home and talk things out with Summer. He said he was taking Jack's advice not to rush things, and he promised to bring Harrison back soon to visit with Grandpa Jack.
In her suite at the hotel, Chelsea said she'd wanted to say more than that Rey had been so good to her son. She said he'd been good to her, too -- kind and generous, and she'd really cared about him. She said what she'd felt for him had been stronger than friendship; she felt guilty saying that, but it was true. She admitted that she knew it could have developed into something more, and she felt bad about it because Sharon was a good woman and had truly loved him. Chelsea said she'd already put Sharon through a lot of pain, but none of that mattered because Rey was gone.
In tears, Chelsea said she felt angry and sad over what she'd lost -- a potential future with a man she could have loved. She said that once again, her happiness had been ripped away. She asked when it would ever end and when it was her turn to win.
Michael arrived at the Grand Phoenix and ordered a drink at the bar. When he saw Diane, he looked at her in disbelief. Michael said she'd been dead. Diane said she wasn't, and it was a blessing and a curse. She said she'd returned a changed woman, but no one wanted to believe her. Michael asked if she'd actually believed anyone would.
Diane said that since she'd been living with the new person she'd become for some time, she'd thought others would accept her, as well. She warned him that she'd already been put through an emotional wringer, and she told Michael to do his worst. She said she'd spent days explaining herself to people who didn't believe her. She claimed she was mentally and physically exhausted.
Diane told Michael she'd believed she could return to Genoa City for a fresh start, which she had come to realize was unlikely. She suggested that Michael hurl one last insult at her and storm off, so that she could finish her drink in peace. Michael said it was actually pretty good to see her. Diane asked if Michael was happy to see her because he wanted her to suffer for her crimes or because Genoa City needed a new punching bag. Michael said he was genuinely glad she wasn't dead. She wasn't sure whether to believe Michael. Michael said that the new and improved Diane should be a smidge more trusting.
Phyllis exited the elevator and when she saw Diane and Michael sitting at the bar, she glared at them.
After Sharon returned from Miami, she told Faith and Nick that she wanted to focus on the wedding. Nick asked Faith for a moment alone with Sharon.
Nick told Sharon that Ashland wanted to make a rather sizable donation to New Hope, and it would be enough to buy buildings, homes, and programs for the community, all in Rey's name. Sharon was stunned when Nick told her how large the donation was and that it was from Ashland. Nick said the donation would be anonymous, and Ashland's name wouldn't appear anywhere.
Nick told Sharon he'd been struggling because he knew Ashland was doing it to impress Victoria. Sharon told Nick to take every penny. She said they both hated Ashland; however, Rey would have loved to see something bad turned into something good, and that money would help "so many people" and would be poetic justice.
At home, Tessa told Mariah she couldn't believe their wedding was the next day. Tessa asked if Mariah's list was completed. Mariah said that Noah had taken care of the venue, and Sharon had taken care of the flowers before she'd left town. Tessa said they'd had their final fittings, Chelsea would have their dresses delivered by the end of the day, and their vows were ready. Mariah panicked because Kyle hadn't confirmed whether he would officiate. Noah arrived and said he had something to show them and to follow him.
Later, Mariah, Tessa, and Noah returned to the apartment, and Mariah was overwhelmed at how Noah had transformed their venue at the Top of the Tower. She said she loved it. She couldn't believe that it would later transform into a cool venue for the reception. Noah said it would be the afterparty because "reception" sounded "so traditional, stuffy, and square."
When Kyle arrived, Noah and Tessa left. Kyle told Mariah that he'd wanted to return to Milan the previous evening because he'd wanted to talk things over with Summer about Diane. He said he'd been so distracted that he'd forgotten about her wedding. Kyle said he'd called Summer, and she'd convinced him to stay for the wedding. He shared that Summer was going to free up her schedule and return to town to support him regarding his mother.
Mariah asked if Kyle was going to officiate their wedding. Kyle said he was afraid of letting her down because he was in such a confused headspace, and he didn't want to mess up everything. Mariah understood, but she knew he could never do anything to intentionally disappoint her. She said the next day would be perfect for him to clear his head from the turmoil he'd been in.
Mariah told Kyle she would never forget that Kyle had pushed her and Tessa into their first date. Kyle caved in and said he would officiate at their wedding. Mariah hugged him. Kyle said he was thrilled he'd been asked. He promised he would be ready for the wedding. Mariah assured him she had his back while he dealt with Diane.
At Crimson Lights, Victoria approached Ashland and said she knew he wanted to donate half of his buyout settlement to New Hope with the caveat it would be used in Rey Rosales' name. Ashland said he would be meeting with Nick soon, and he hoped Nick would take his offer. Victoria agreed that that much money could do a lot of good in the right hands. Ashland said it hurt that she didn't think his were the right hands.
Victoria told Ashland she appreciated his gesture, but after everything he'd done, she found it hard to believe he didn't have an ulterior motive. Ashland said his motivation was guilt over and for Rey Rosales' death and for the wrong he'd done to Victoria and her family. He said neither of them would have been on the road that night if it hadn't been for the pain he'd caused her. He said they'd all been at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Victoria told Ashland the autopsy report indicated that Rey had died of a heart attack, and that had been the cause of the accident. He thanked her for telling him rather than leaving him to continue blaming himself. He said he had enough to feel guilty about. Victoria asked if, since he knew he hadn't been culpable in Rey's death, he might want to withdraw his offer. Ashland said Rey had been a good man, and he deserved to be honored; his offer stood.
At the counter at the coffeehouse, Tessa asked Noah if he thought Mariah could talk Kyle into officiating because it would mean so much to Mariah. Noah said that Tessa and Mariah always wanted the best for each other. He said they both deserved the most extraordinary wedding ever. Tessa said Noah had made the Top of the Tower look magical. She said she was happy they'd been able to get past the awkwardness between them. Noah agreed. He told Tessa he would always love her as a friend and as the woman who'd made his sister very happy. Tessa said Noah's friendship meant a lot to her, and soon, they would be family.
At Newman Media, Adam told Sally he'd decided he couldn't walk away from his family or the chance of running Newman Enterprises. He admitted he was frustrated because Victor couldn't see that Victoria didn't deserve that position because of everything Ashland had done. He said if he left, Victoria won. Sally said she would support him in any decision. Adam said he'd made his decision; he wanted every bit of Newman Enterprises, he had the perfect plan -- and Ashland Locke remained the key. Sally asked how Ashland became the linchpin in a plan to take control of Newman Enterprises.
Adam told Sally he'd believed getting Ashland out would make Adam a hero in Victor's eyes and earn his gratitude. He said that hadn't happened; however, Victor despised Locke for what he'd done to Victoria. He said Victoria still seemed conflicted, even after everything Ashland had done. Sally said it was hard for Victoria to accept that her husband had turned out to be the monster everyone had warned her about. Adam said Locke had pulled Victoria from a burning car, saving her life, and he would use that to try to win Victoria back.
Adam told Sally that if Ashland won Victoria's love and trust, he would either take her as far away as possible from the Newmans, or Victor would question Victoria's ability to run the company if she reunited with Locke. Sally said either way, it would open the door for Adam to step in as CEO. She said everything was predicated on Locke winning Victoria back, and she asked how they would do that. Adam suggested they reignite that romance.
Sally told Adam his plan was risky because if Victor found out Adam had pulled the strings, he could turn on Adam, and there would be no return. Adam claimed they had to be extremely subtle. He said if they did it right, Victor would never know they'd instigated the whole thing. He said all they needed to do was plant a few seeds and lay the groundwork for Victoria and Ashland to get back together. Adam said Ashland was already working on that, otherwise he would have no reason to stick around after the big payout.
At Society, Nick told Ashland he would accept Ashland's donation for New Hope as long as the donation remained anonymous, as discussed. Nick said if Ashland was doing that out of the goodness of his heart and not an attempt to repair his disgraced reputation, then it wouldn't be a problem. Nick said they had a deal. Nick stated that Ashland was a snake and would always be one. Ashland said he was happy Nick had accepted his offer, and he hadn't expected Nick to change Nick's view about him.
Nick said he knew Ashland was making the donation to look good in Victoria's eyes. Ashland claimed Nick was making an assumption. Nick said if Ashland truly loved Victoria, he would leave town forever and give her a chance to rebuild the life that he'd ripped to shreds with his lies and deceit.
Ashland told Nick he wasn't leaving town, because Harrison was there, and he intended to spend as much time with Harrison as possible. Ashland promised he wouldn't hurt Victoria again. He said he was solely focused on improving himself, and that was what the donation was about -- a small first step toward making amends. Nick said he wasn't buying it. He claimed Ashland was trying to maneuver his way back into Victoria's life in order to manipulate her again. Nick said that he and the rest of the family would not allow that to happen.
Ashland said Nick didn't intimidate him; the Newmans had closed ranks around Victoria, and they'd tried to run him out of town. Ashland noted that obviously, it hadn't worked. Nick said that the next time, they would get more creative and more extreme.
Ashland watched as Adam and Sally sat down at a table. He asked Nick if that was part of the Newman effort to do something more extreme. Nick asked if they could get the donation moving. Ashland made a call to have the money transferred to the New Hope account. Adam eavesdropped. Nick thanked him for his generosity and added that it would be in Rey's name and not Ashland's. Nick said at least something good would come from all of Ashland's lies. Nick left.
Adam turned to Ashland and said that if he gave half his payout money to New Hope, it was a clever power play. He wondered how Victoria could not look positively on that play, but it didn't mean she would consider forgiving Ashland and taking him back. Adam asked if Ashland was holding out hope for that. Ashland told Adam that what he wanted or planned was none of Adam's "damned business." Adam claimed that was rude, considering he'd been the reason Ashland had half a billion dollars to toss around. Ashland said he regretted taking the money because it wasn't worth giving up the woman he loved. Adam said Ashland had made the choice, knowing what the terms were, including a requirement Ashland didn't seem to honor.
Ashland reminded Adam that he'd agreed to walk away from the company and have his marriage annulled. He said he'd upheld his end of the bargain. He asked what Adam had a problem with. Adam said it was that Victoria had fallen for Ashland to begin with and that she hadn't driven him out of town after discovering what he'd done. He said it seemed like Victoria was still hanging on to the fantasy of the guy she thought she'd fallen in love with. Ashland left.
Sally told Adam the comment that Victoria still had feelings for Ashland had hit a bull's-eye. Adam said he needed to return to the office because it was time to plant another seed. Adam left.
When Nikki entered Victoria's office, Victoria said she'd run into Ashland at Crimson Lights, and she'd mentioned that she'd heard about his charitable offer. Nikki asked if Victoria had told him that his very expensive ploy to earn her forgiveness wouldn't work. Victoria said Ashland hadn't known about Rey's heart attack and that it had been the cause of the accident. She said it hadn't changed his mind about the donation.
Nikki told Victoria it was normal to feel conflicted about her feelings for Ashland. Victoria said she'd been able to push away all her residual feelings. Nikki said Victoria had pushed them down, not away, and it would make her emotional turmoil worse. Victoria admitted there was still part of her that loved Ashland, and she hated feeling that way because it was mortifying.
Victoria asked Nikki what would happen if, for once, Ashland was telling the truth -- that falling in love with her had changed him and that he regretted what he'd done to all of them. Victoria said that just saying that made her feel weak and helpless. She said she was doing her "damnedest" to push those feelings away. Nikki admitted that Victor had had to show her a lot of proof that Ashland had done all those things; it was difficult because Ashland's love for Victoria had seemed so sincere, and perhaps his love for Victoria was the only true thing about him. Nikki asked if that was worth Victoria's complete forgiveness.
Victoria told Nikki that nothing could undo the wrong Ashland had done to them. Nikki asked about Ashland saving Victoria's life. Victoria said she was still trying to figure out what that meant. Adam arrived and said he couldn't get over the lack of gratitude for getting Ashland out of Victoria's life and the company. Victoria said she couldn't get over his need for positive reinforcement. Adam said he wanted to tell Victoria he'd accepted her decision not to name him co-CEO, and he wouldn't fight her on it or work on Victor to pressure her about it.
Victoria told Adam she didn't need his acceptance because it was a done deal. Adam said he was going to put his efforts into turning Newman Media into a powerhouse. He said he looked forward to working with Victoria and Nikki, and he left. Victoria said she had no idea what that had been about, but she could use a break from all things Newman.
Tessa and Noah returned to the apartment with Sharon and Faith. Sharon announced that the flowers would be delivered first thing in the morning. Sharon proceeded to tell them about Rey's service. She said the service had been lovely, and it had helped her to say goodbye. She said it had been very emotional; she'd been grateful to have Celeste, her family, and friends at the memorial, and they'd had nice things to say about Rey. Sharon said Lola was excited about Mariah and Tessa's wedding and was sorry she couldn't be there.
Sharon said the only thing that mattered at that moment was to make sure they pulled off the perfect wedding for the beautiful brides. She asked what else they needed to do. Mariah said that Kyle had confirmed he would officiate and that Noah had nailed the venue, but they still needed to assemble the gift bags. Sharon assured Mariah and Tessa that everything was done, and if it wasn't, she and Faith would look after it. She said all that mattered was that the family would hear them say their vows. Sharon, Faith, and Noah left.
At home, Sharon asked Nick how things had gone with Ashland. Nick said he'd closed the deal. New Hope had a quarter billion dollars to spend on life-changing projects for people in need in Rey's name. Sharon said he'd done the right thing.
Nick told Sharon he wanted to know how she really felt. Sharon said it had been difficult at first, but she'd really bonded with Celeste, Lola, and Arturo over their grief. Sharon said what they needed was to celebrate right then, because life went on. She said that was why she was putting all her energy into making sure that Mariah and Tessa had an amazing day.
Nick told Sharon he was proud of her. Sharon said that she and Nick had been through hell more than once, and they'd always made it through. She said the wedding was a joyous, life-affirming event, and it couldn't have happened at a better time.
At Society, when Sally saw Victoria, Sally asked Victoria how she was doing. Victoria stated she was healing. Sally was sorry for everything Victoria had been through and added how impressed she was that Victoria had returned to work so soon. Sally offered to buy Victoria a drink because she wanted to speak with Victoria.
At Society, Victoria told Sally she wasn't in the mood to talk to anyone. Sally said she would give Victoria some privacy, but before she left, Sally said she admired Victoria's strength and that Victoria was the most tenacious woman Sally had ever known. She said it didn't matter what life threw at her; Victoria kept her head up, and she kept pushing forward. Sally said it was really inspiring. Victoria thanked her for the unexpected compliment.
Victoria told Sally that when she'd taken back the reins, Sally and Adam had lost their temporary titles, and she was sure they had both been disappointed. Sally claimed she was happy as COO of Newman Media and that she and Adam were very excited about their plan for moving forward. Victoria said Adam had said the same thing earlier. Sally said they were all on the same team; however, they couldn't say the same about Ashland.
Victoria told Sally that Ashland was fine, and thanks to Adam, Ashland was several hundred million dollars richer than he'd been. Sally said the money hadn't made him happier, since he'd given half of it away. Shocked, Victoria asked how Sally knew that. Sally said she'd heard Ashland talking about it to Nick. She said when she and Adam had spoken to Ashland later, he'd been anything but fine. She said Ashland had refused to open up about how broken up he was about losing Victoria, but it had been obvious.
Victoria stated that Sally was either misreading the situation or exaggerating, or Ashland was playing Sally and Adam the same way Billy had played them when he'd pretended to be falling apart, back when Sally had been following him in her disguise, making her spy videos. Unperturbed, Sally claimed Ashland couldn't fool her because she'd been where Ashland was.
Sally told Victoria that she'd pretended to be deathly ill to get someone's sympathy and get them to fall hopelessly in love with her. Victoria stated that she hadn't thought anyone on the planet would stoop that low. Victoria said she understood why Adam liked Sally so much; they were two of a kind. Victoria asked if Sally had pulled it off. Sally said it had ended in disaster. Wyatt had been so hurt and disgusted that he'd chosen to cut her out of his life completely, just like Victoria had by booting Ashland out of the company, erasing his name from the letterhead, and annulling her marriage. Sally said she knew Ashland's pain, and the shame was real.
Sally told Victoria that Ashland wasn't a sociopath. She said he felt true remorse. She stated she'd never had the option of shelling out a quarter billion dollars to buy redemption, but if she had, it wouldn't have been worth it because it felt horrible knowing one had hit rock bottom and hurt the one person they'd loved more than anything, just for money and power. Sally admitted she felt sorry for Ashland.
Victoria said that Sally was projecting. She said that just because Sally regretted her actions, it didn't mean Ashland did. She said Sally had been trying to hold on to someone she'd loved, but Ashland had only been using her to get full control of Newman Locke. Sally said Ashland had lost all hope of gaining that, but he remained in town. Victoria said Ashland hated to lose, and he enjoyed manipulating people. Victoria said she didn't care what Ashland's intentions were.
Sally told Victoria she'd heard Ashland's amazing declaration of love at their wedding, and it was difficult for her to believe some of it hadn't been genuine. Sally asked if it was fair that Victoria had invested so much time teaching Ashland how to be a better man, and someone else would receive that benefit. She said Ashland would be haunted the rest of his life because he'd treated Victoria badly. Sally paid for the drinks and left.
At the Grand Phoenix, Michael told Victor that Lauren had stepped up her efforts to get him to quit working for Victor. Victor asked what it had to do with Lauren; Michael was his lawyer. Victor said Ashland was still in town and he wanted to be rid of that S.O.B. permanently. Michael asked what Victor's plan entailed. Victor said Michael wouldn't be risking his life. Victor stated that Ashland was making Victoria's life hell, and Victor wouldn't stand for it.
Michael asked Victor if Ashland had done something they could take to a judge, such as harassment or threats. Victor said Ashland was hovering around Victoria and trying to impress her with his undying love. He said Ashland was frustrated because Victoria was very cold toward him. He said that once Ashland had realized his ploy hadn't been working, he'd donated half his payout money to New Hope in Rey Rosales' name. He said Ashland was trying very hard to convince Victoria that her love had transformed him.
Victor told Michael that Victoria was wise to Ashland, and she knew she couldn't trust him. Michael asked if Victoria believed that on some level, the power of her love had redeemed Ashland. Victor said Locke had fooled her once, but he wouldn't fool her again. Michael stated that Ashland wouldn't take "no" for an answer and sneak off quietly in defeat. Victor told Michael he had a plan in case he had to rescue Victoria. He said he wanted "that bastard" out of Genoa City permanently.
At home, Faith offered to take the dry cleaning upstairs, but Sharon said she would do it. When Faith reluctantly handed over the dry cleaning, Sharon saw the shirts Rey had purchased in Miami. Faith said she'd wanted Sharon to focus on the wedding, not her loss. Sharon told Faith that when she'd said she was focused on the wedding, it hadn't meant they shouldn't talk about Rey. Sharon said she wanted everyone to get through a happy day without worrying about how she felt.
Faith told Sharon that when the lady at the dry cleaner had mentioned that Rey hadn't picked up his cleaning, Faith had realized the lady hadn't been aware that Rey had died. She'd asked Faith to say hi to Rey, and Faith hadn't had any idea what to say.
Faith told Sharon that whenever the door opened, she expected Rey to walk in. She said Rey had been there for them through the scariest times -- Sharon's cancer, Faith's transplant, Mariah's kidnapping -- and Rey had always remained calm. He'd never let them give up hope. Faith said everything had turned out to be the way he'd promised, and he wasn't there to see it. She said it was messed up, and Sharon agreed.
Sharon told Faith that a large sum of money had been donated to New Hope in Rey's name, and it was going to help a lot of people. It was a great way of making sure Rey's kindness and compassion would never be forgotten. When Faith asked who'd made the donation, Sharon said the donor wanted to remain anonymous to keep the focus on Rey, where it belonged.
At home, Mariah told Tessa she was twitchy because she was waiting for something to go wrong. Tessa assured Mariah their wedding would be wonderful, thanks mainly to Mariah's family, who'd helped them in a major way. Mariah knew it had been mostly from Sharon, who'd needed something joyous in her life. There was a knock at the door, and Mariah prayed it wasn't something that had gone wrong. Tessa opened the door to Crystal.
Tessa and Mariah embraced Crystal warmly. Crystal was delighted she could attend their wedding, thanks to Rey. Tessa stated that no one in the family had had any idea that he'd been working on getting the charges against Crystal dropped.
After Crystal had settled in, Mariah told Tessa that things had worked out perfectly; she would stay at Sharon's, and Tessa would have Crystal for company. Mariah said the next time they would see each other, they would be walking down the aisle. They kissed.
After Mariah left, Crystal asked Tessa about Noah. Tessa admitted it had been a bit awkward after Noah had returned, but they had moved on from that. Crystal asked how things were between Tessa and Sharon. Crystal said she remembered there had been a few issues between them. Tessa said they'd become really close, and that she and Sharon had had to lean on each other when Mariah had gone missing. She added that Rey had been extremely supportive. Crystal said she had to pinch herself because she was finally free of the charges, thanks to someone she'd never met, Rey.
Crystal told Tessa that things had been mostly okay in Canada; however, she'd accepted that she would always have to hide, look over her shoulder, and never have the kind of life she'd wanted. Crystal said she was elated because she could go wherever and do whatever she wanted. She wished she'd had the chance to thank Rey because he'd changed everything for her.
Tessa told Crystal it was crazy that she would be joining such a big family. Tessa stated that because her and Crystal's lives had been so chaotic and unpredictable when they'd been growing up, she and Mariah had decided to adopt kids. Crystal was delighted and said Tessa would be a great mom, since she'd practically raised Crystal. Tessa said they'd decided adoption was the best option for them. Crystal said they could give a kid in a bad situation a loving home and save them from growing up the way she and Tessa had.
Tessa told Crystal she'd been hesitant at first because she and Mariah had both had crappy childhoods, and Mariah's had been worse than theirs because she'd grown up in a cult. Tessa said they'd needed to know they had what it took to be good spouses and parents, so they didn't perpetuate the same cycle and saddle their kids with the same unresolved baggage. Crystal said it came down to trust, and she couldn't imagine what that felt like.
At Crimson Lights, Nikki asked Ashland if he was lying in wait, hoping Victoria would stop in again. Ashland acknowledged that Victoria had told Nikki about his donation to New Hope, and he was grateful she hadn't objected to it. Nikki asked if it fed his voracious ego to see how seeing him upset Victoria. He said every move he'd made had been to ease her pain.
Nikki told Ashland they'd learned to pay attention to what he did, not what he said. She said Ashland continued to claim he loved Victoria, and if that were true, he would leave her alone. Ashland said he hoped Nikki hadn't been telling Victoria that he'd never cared for her because that would be a lie. Ashland admitted it had been cruel and callous to deceive Victoria; however, belatedly, he'd realized what a treasure his wife was. He said perhaps one day, he would win her forgiveness.
Nikki told Ashland that would be even more cruel than what he'd already done. She said he was a toxic, arrogant, and emotionally stunted narcissist who was incapable of putting other people's needs ahead of his own. She said it was just another move on the chess board to him. Nikki said Victoria deserved better. Victoria arrived and asked what was going on.
Nikki told Victoria she'd told Ashland how selfish he was, inflicting his presence on Victoria. Ashland apologized for not recognizing that a protective mother such as Nikki would not want to listen to his heartfelt apology. Victoria told Nikki it wasn't worth getting into it with Ashland. She said it didn't matter where Ashland went or what he did; it was his business, and she didn't care. Nikki told Ashland she didn't share Victoria's indifference.
Nikki told Ashland that she and Victor hadn't gone after Ashland previously because it had been more important to get Victoria out of the marriage that had been based on lies. They'd done that, and if Ashland wasn't smart enough to stay away from Victoria, they would devise their own way of solving the problem. Nikki walked away.
At home, Sharon showed Faith the gift bags she'd put together. Faith said they were fantastic, especially since they were handmade. Sharon said she liked the few imperfections. Faith stated it worked with Mariah and Tessa's relationship; they never tried to hide their imperfections, either, and they accepted each other for who they were in spite of their flaws. Mariah arrived. Sharon asked for the real reason behind Mariah's sleepover. Mariah said they liked some old traditions, and it was a great excuse to let Tessa spend time with Crystal. Mariah said Rey had given them an incredible gift -- Crystal.
Faith brought out the popcorn and asked Mariah what part of the wedding she was looking forward to the most. Mariah said marrying the love of her life. Faith said for her, it was the dancing, but she was going to make herself scarce when it came to catching the bouquet. Sharon said she was looking forward to the whole event. She said she'd missed out on "so many" important moments in Mariah's life, and she wanted to soak up the event.
Sharon was playing with her wedding rings when Mariah joined her, claiming she was too excited to sleep. Mariah said that for a long time, she'd watched people pairing up, starting families, and building futures together, something she'd always wanted but believed would pass her by. Mariah apologized for sounding so insensitive, because Sharon had just lost the partner she'd thought she would spend the rest of her life with. Sharon said there was nothing about Mariah's happiness that hurt her.
Sharon said the love Mariah had found in Tessa was amazing. Sharon said it was everything she'd ever wanted for Mariah, and she warned Mariah not to feel guilty. When they hugged, Sharon looked at the photo of her and Rey on their wedding day.
Nikki and Victoria returned to Victoria's office. Victoria said she was tired. Nikki suggested they take a week and go to a spa together. Victoria said she knew what Nikki was trying to do and was grateful, but the timing was wrong. She said they had too much on their plates at that moment. She said they had to officially change the name of the company back to Newman Enterprises, and she wondered if they should keep it quiet or do a big publicity push and transition Nikki into her new role.
Nikki pointed out that Victoria hadn't had a break since they'd discovered what Ashland had been up to. She said Victoria hadn't given herself the time to really accept it. Victoria assured Nikki she wasn't on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She appreciated Nikki's concern, but she promised she would work through it.
Ashland returned to the bar at Society. Sally told Ashland that the two of them made quite the pair. Ashland had no idea what she was talking about. Sally said Victoria had been there earlier; she'd sat in the same place and in the exact mood. Ashland asked if Sally found that entertaining. Sally said she found it very sad that they were two people who obviously loved each other, one too proud to admit it and the other too proud to keep up the fight. Ashland asked why Sally cared and why it was Sally's concern. Sally said she was a sucker for romance. She wished him a nice evening and left.