Victor and Nikki discussed how Ashland's death would affect Johnny and Katie. Victor said, "Having that bastard gone forever is something we shouldn't mourn, you know?" Nikki honed in one the way Victor delivered his statement and replied, "You just seem very pleased with yourself." Victor admitted he was happy that Ashland Locke was gone. Nikki explained that Victor seemed triumphant, as if he was taking credit for Ashland's demise. Victor insisted he had had nothing to do with it, and he blamed Ashland for the events leading up to his death. Nikki agreed that Ashland had made many poor choices.
Victor insisted to Nikki that Ashland was where he should be. Nikki replied, "And Newman is stronger than ever, thanks to the merger with Ashland's company." Victor told Nikki not to forget that Ashland had tried to take everything from him. Victor, not mincing words, said Ashland deserved to be waiting for a pauper's burial. Victor alluded to having collaborated with Adam in helping to bring down Ashland. Nikki reminded Victor that there would not be family unity if Adam was not included. Victor appeared distraught after Nikki said he might have to let go of his dream of reconciling with Adam.
Chance stopped by Victoria's office and surprised her when she opened the door. With Nick standing nearby, Victoria asked Chance how long he had been waiting outside. Chance said he had just arrived, and he asked Victoria why she looked so upset. Victoria claimed she was on her way out to take care of a business matter. Chance said he needed to talk with them about Ashland's death. Nick, sounding irate, asked Chance how many times his family would have to be subjected to questioning. Chance said he would investigate until he got to the bottom of what had really happened.
Chance reminded Victoria that she had called him and said she'd thought Ashland had been dead on her living room floor. A while later, Chance recalled, both Victoria and Nick had discovered that Ashland's body had been gone. Chance said he doubted that Ashland could have walked to his car and driven away. Victoria said it was the only conclusion to draw. Chance explained that two witnesses had seen a vehicle matching the description of Ashland's rental car parked at a gas station across the street from the south end of Victoria's property. Both Victoria and Nick said it was likely Ashland had parked his car in the area. Chance explained that he was verifying all information, so he could write his final report.
Chance told Victoria and Nick that Ashland would have had to walk half a mile through thick woods back to the gas station from Victoria's house. Chance recalled that at the time, a storm had caused strong winds, so walking would have been tough for someone weakened from head trauma. Victoria explained that after the violent encounter, Ashland would have been full of adrenaline. Chance said he would feel better if he could prove with physical evidence that Ashland had walked to the gas station.
Chance revealed that though security footage from the gas station was blank during the time Ashland would have been present, other cameras in the area had recorded Ashland's car passing by with what appeared to be more than one person inside. Chance admitted the video was grainy, though there was evidence that someone had attempted to brush over footprints where Ashland's car had been parked. Police, Chance said, had also recovered a freshly smoked cigarette butt that had been buried in the dirt.
Growing defensive, Nick asked what Chance did not believe about Nick and Victoria's account of what had happened. Chance assured Victoria and Nick that he was on their side as he sought clarity. Chance mentioned that Ashland's ring had somehow fallen out of his pocket, though he acknowledged that Victoria and Nick had no way of knowing how the ring had slipped because they had not been present when Ashland had vanished. Victoria asked Chance who would have moved the body and why. Chance replied, "Your father. To protect you both."
Nick defended Victor and suggested Chance should interrogate him instead. Chance said he would, but he wanted Nick and Victoria to have an opportunity to speak first and tell him if there was anything he needed to know. Nick replied, "I have nothing to add. I told you everything that I knew that night." Chance replied, "Interesting turn of phrase."
After Chance left, Nick told Victoria he blamed Victor for the family's predicament. Nick cried that their dad was controlling and never trusted anyone but himself. Victoria reminded Nick that Chance was married to Abby and would not likely go after their family. Nick warned that Victor had broken the law by moving Ashland's body, which had put him and them at risk. Nick insisted that Chance could not just turn a blind eye.
Victor promised a worried Nikki that the investigation involving Ashland would be over soon. Nikki said they would all celebrate afterward. Nikki had left by the time Chance arrived to question Victor. Chance said he had already met with Victoria and Nick after walking the path Ashland would have if he had left on his own. Victor said something told him Chance did not believe Ashland had left on his own. Chance said Victor knew more and should be straight with him. Victor, his face stoic, glared at Chance.
At Chancellor Park, Jack and Traci cheered on the sidelines as Harrison played a soccer game. Jack boasted that Harrison was good at pee-wee soccer. Traci asked Jack how he had been managing to run Jabot without Kyle by his side and to spend time with Harrison. Jack asked Traci if she was accusing him of neglecting the family business. Traci laughed. Jack said his executive team knew he was available at all times if needed.
Jack boasted that Kyle and Summer would see to it that Harrison would have the opportunity to do or be anything he wanted. Traci credited Diane with doing a remarkable job, too. Jack replied, "What is it you're really asking now?" Jack said he was happy that Diane had connected with Harrison and supported Kyle. Traci asked Jack if Diane had truly become a different person. Jack admitted the jury was still out, though she seemed reasonably calm and levelheaded.
Kyle and Summer, waiting for coffee at Society, talked about Harrison dealing with the loss of Ashland. Kyle said he was glad his mother and father were around to care for Harrison while they were busy with work. Summer said she had a candidate for the new executive position at Marchetti Home. Kyle winced when Summer said she thought her mom could fill the position. Kyle reminded Summer that she had been trying to keep the peace between his mother and hers, so hiring Phyllis would be like handing her a grenade and pulling the pin. Summer said she thought working together might force Diane and Phyllis to behave.
Summer revealed to Kyle that Phyllis had recently received a generous offer for the Grand Phoenix and that she was ready for a change. Summer reminded Kyle that Phyllis, a great businesswoman, had an eye for design and exquisite taste, having decorated her hotel and transformed it into a well-known luxury lifestyle brand. Kyle agreed that Phyllis was qualified. Summer said she would enjoy working with her mother in a field they both loved. Kyle told Summer they would have to inform Phyllis that she would be monitored to ensure she would not make trouble for Diane. Summer agreed that if they did, both Phyllis and Diane would be made aware of a zero-tolerance policy for incivility at Marchetti.
Diane entered the Grand Phoenix, toting her gym bag. Phyllis praised Diane for regularly working out. Diane replied that she was staying fit for Harrison's sake because he needed extra support from his DeeDee after the shock of Ashland's death. Phyllis sarcastically recalled that it was hard for children to deal with grief, so it was important for parents to offer support and prevent unnecessary trauma. Diane bragged that she was on a gym break from her job at Marchetti, where she enjoyed working with her son.
Diane said her new life in Genoa City was better than she ever could have dreamed. Diane checked her phone and announced that Kyle wanted to meet with her, likely about Marchetti or Harrison. Before Diane left, she said, "You know, I'm so sorry to leave you all alone at your post, just watching the world pass by." Phyllis said she anticipated a spectacular change in her life. Phyllis checked messages on her phone and announced that Summer had a proposition for her.
Summer met with Phyllis at the hotel and offered her a position overseeing the launch of Marchetti Home, the company's new home décor and furnishings line. Phyllis was overjoyed and asked when she could start. Summer made Phyllis promise to play nice with Diane and not create a volatile situation. Phyllis made a series of jokes about competing with Diane, which Summer did not find amusing. Phyllis promised not to provoke Diane, and she agreed to sign a contract assuring that she would not.
Summer reminded Phyllis that Phyllis had ruined her relationship with Jack in response to Diane moving to town to be close to Kyle. Phyllis said it was all in the past, and she was excited about embarking on a new chapter. Phyllis promised she would not let Summer down, and she gleefully accepted the offer. Summer said both she and Kyle would closely monitor Phyllis and Diane for any hint of conflict.
Diane met up with Kyle at Society. Diane nearly choked on a gulp of water when Kyle announced that Phyllis would be working with them at Marchetti. Kyle asked his mother to be open about whether it would affect her job performance. Shocked, Diane asked, "Will we be working together?" Kyle replied that they sometimes would, as Phyllis would head marketing at Marchetti Home, a new start-up division.
Diane was livid and insisted that Phyllis' aim was to sabotage her. Kyle said it was only fair that Summer had an opportunity to work with her mother, so they needed to find a way to coexist. Diane screamed, "Will I be working with her? Does she have the power to fire me?"
Kyle explained that Diane and Phyllis would be in separate divisions, though they would interact occasionally. Kyle told his mom that the same rules would apply to both her and Phyllis, as Summer was informing her mother about the terms of her contract. Diane cried that the timing was a bit suspect, despite Phyllis claiming she desired a change. Diane, livid, insisted that Phyllis was an aggressor with ulterior motives, proving her point by noting that Phyllis would be giving up her business. Kyle said that Phyllis could only mess things up if Diane let her.
Diane asked Kyle if she at least had permission to defend herself if attacked. Kyle admonished Diane not to cause trouble, fight, or escalate if provoked. Diane cried that she felt she was being tested. Kyle, acknowledging that he had allowed his mother back into his life and Harrison's, asked Diane what deeper vote of confidence she needed. Kyle told Diane she could prove she had changed if she managed a peaceful coexistence with Phyllis.
Nikki entered the Grand Phoenix to meet with Phyllis about their investigation of Diane. Phyllis reported that she had secured a job at Marchetti. Nikki wanted to call Ashley, but Phyllis said, "Not so fast. This is going to be tricky." Phyllis explained that Summer had warned that she and Kyle would be watching every move Phyllis made. Phyllis said she had had to promise Summer not to cause trouble with Diane, or she would be out on her butt.
Phyllis assured Nikki she was fully committed to burying Diane. Nikki was impressed to learn that Phyllis would be handling the home fashion division at Marchetti. Phyllis said that while she was calling the shots from her executive suite, Diane would be twiddling as a junior publicist. Nikki said Diane would self-destruct, whether Phyllis lifted a finger or not. Phyllis vowed to clandestinely lift ten fingers. Phyllis added, "We're going to get this bitch out of town."
Summer and Kyle later met up to report how their meetings with their mothers had gone. Summer said Phyllis was thrilled about the job offer, but not so thrilled to learn that she would be on probation right out of the gate. Kyle said Diane had been a lot more upset than he had anticipated and had accused him of creating a test she was bound to fail. Kyle said Diane had been triggered by the news that Phyllis would join the company at a much higher level. Summer cried, "Are we making a big mistake?" Kyle said that forcing their mothers to behave like responsible adults was what they needed to get past their history. Summer said she hoped Kyle's optimism would rub off on their mothers like it had with her.
Diane, still fuming after her meeting with Kyle, encountered Jack at Crimson Lights. Diane informed Jack that Summer had hired Phyllis at Marchetti. Diane cried that it was part of Phyllis' calculated plot against her. Jack replied, "Do the work. Steer clear of her." Diane said Phyllis would destroy everything. Jack said he could tell by the look on Diane's face that she was considering a preemptive strike, which would lead to her losing all the goodwill she had built with Kyle and the rest of the Abbotts. Diane promised she would not let it happen.
Adam approached Jack's table at Society. Jack voiced surprise that Adam had stepped away from Newman, but Adam figured it had been inevitable. Jack acknowledged that nothing seemed to work out between Adam and his family in the long term, and Adam muttered that the lesson had finally sunk in that time. Jack inquired about Adam's future plans, and Adam replied that he hadn't thought about it. Jack cautioned that Adam tended to stew with resentment when he wasn't focused on the future, and that never led anywhere good.
Adam confirmed that he was bitter about his father's latest rejection, and he blamed himself for thinking that time might have been different. Jack pointed out that Sally had been a major supporter of Adam, and he wondered if that was why Adam had gotten his hopes up. Adam called Sally a relentless optimist, and he conceded that he might have gotten caught up in her unrealistic expectations. Adam guessed he'd always known deep down that his time at Newman would end in a smoking pile of ash, just like it always had before.
Jack asked why Adam kept going back, and Adam chalked it up to feeling like he had to make up for what he'd done as a kid. Jack empathized that Adam wanted to earn his father's respect and admiration, but he felt it was too pat an explanation. Adam prompted Jack to explain why Adam kept putting himself in that position. Jack contemplated whether Adam wasn't looking for forgiveness; rather, Adam might be looking to forgive. Adam had no doubt that letting go of his anger and rage would be therapeutic, but it was easier said than done because Victor was firmly entrenched in his psyche as his enemy.
Jack reflected back on a time when he'd wanted to take Victor down more than anything, but he'd learned from experience that it was better to channel his energy into something positive. Jack declared that Adam's destiny wasn't predetermined, and he urged Adam to consider it a chance to reinvent himself. Adam groused that he'd been doing that his entire life, but Jack encouraged him to forget about the past and just be Adam Newman. Jack advised Adam to use his brilliant business mind and incredible work ethic to prove himself to the world. Jack extended an invitation for Adam to work with him at Jabot.
Jack insisted it would be a perfect fit because Adam knew more about social trends and celebrity culture than Jack did, and no one was better at corporate strategy than Adam was. Adam balked at joining another family company after he'd been thrown over too many times for the boss's son or daughter. Jack explained that Kyle had stepped away to take over at Marchetti, and Summer had taken refuge at Jabot to avoid the family drama at Newman. Jack added that Kyle and Summer had just hired Diane, so Adam's notoriety would pale by comparison.
Jack hoped Adam would consider his offer. Jack mused that he'd just been talking to Traci about how he didn't want to get so involved in work that he missed seeing his grandson grow up, and he needed someone to help steer the ship. Adam promised to give it serious thought, and the men shook hands as Billy approached. Billy scolded Jack for making a deal with the devil, and Billy and Adam exchanged barbs. Adam told Jack he'd be in touch soon, and he headed out. Billy demanded to know "what the hell" had been going on.
Jack informed Billy that he'd offered Adam a job at Jabot because Jack needed someone to replace Kyle. Billy recognized that Jack had a soft spot for Adam, but he reminded Jack about how Adam had recently tried to undermine Victoria as CEO of Newman. Jack chalked it up to Newman not being a good environment for Adam, but Billy reiterated that Adam couldn't be trusted. Jack acknowledged that Adam lashed out when he felt like he was being attacked, but Jack was doing the opposite by offering Adam a lifeline. Billy maintained that Jack was making a huge mistake. Jack admonished Billy for not seeing Adam as a human being.
At Newman Enterprises, Victoria announced that she'd closed the deal on the Tokyo project, and Nikki suggested that her daughter take the rest of the day off. Victoria groaned that she had too much to catch up on. Nikki noted that she hadn't pushed Victoria to talk about the night Ashland had died, but she sensed that there was something she didn't know because Victor had been dancing around the subject. Nikki concluded from the look on Victoria's face that there was a secret involved. Nikki was stunned when Victoria divulged that Victor had arranged to have Ashland's body put into a car and crashed into the ravine.
Nikki compared the situation to what Victor had done for Adam when Adam had been a child. Victoria recognized that her father had acted out of love, but she wished he hadn't gone to that extreme. Nikki asked if Victoria thought the police had doubts about how Ashland had died. Victoria relayed that Chance had voiced his suspicion that someone had moved the body, but he didn't have much evidence. Victoria continued that she'd acted indignant that he'd even suggest such a thing, but she worried that her own credibility would be damaged if the truth got out. Nikki mentioned that Chance had been at the ranch, and she prepared to hurry home.
At the Newman ranch, Chance urged Victor to be straight with him about the night Ashland had died. Chance speculated that Ashland hadn't stumbled out of the house on his own but instead had been carried out and disposed of by someone who thought it had been the way to protect Nick and Victoria. Victor inquired whether Chance had any evidence to back up his theory. Chance shared that he'd been trying to corroborate the initial story about Ashland leaving the house of his own volition, but he'd turned up empty, with no footprints or blood trail.
Chance revealed that the security footage at the gas station where Ashland's rental car had been spotted had been blank, which he found strange. Victor implored Chance to stop filling the void with conjecture in the absence of evidence. Chance explained that it was why he'd kept searching, and he'd found gritty footage from another location that indicated that more than one person might have been in Ashland's car. Chance added that the police had found a cigarette butt that might have belonged to one of Victor's security guards at the scene. Victor contended that there was enough evidence to support that Ashland had died in a car crash, and he questioned why Chance was wasting his time.
Chance refused to drop his investigation, since it was his duty to find the facts in the case. Victor admired Chance's sense of duty, but he advised that all the effort would be better spent elsewhere. Chance doubted Ashland would see it that way, but Victor flatly stated that Ashland had been a pathological liar and fraud, and that was why Ashland had driven his car into a ravine. Chance argued that the facts didn't back it up, and he couldn't overlook that Victor had covered up a fatal accident involving one of his children in the past. Victor countered that the more information there was about a case, the more it obscured the truth.
Chance maintained that he wouldn't give up. Victor huffed that he'd said all he had to say, and he didn't "give a damn" whether Chance stopped investigating or not. Chance pointed out that he was also a father, so he knew what it was like to be fiercely protective of his child. He warned that Victor's children weren't in danger anymore, and all risks would be on Victor if he continued to stonewall the case. Victor thanked Chance for his concern, but he swore that he had nothing to atone for. Chance cautioned that he wouldn't back off just because Victor was family. Victor suggested that Chance go home to his beautiful wife and child and sleep easy, knowing Ashland was dead and no longer a danger to anyone.
After Chance left, Nikki returned home and informed Victor that Victoria had been straightforward with her about the night Ashland had died, so she was aware that Victor had instructed his security team to move Ashland's body and make it look like he'd died in a car crash. Victor defended that he hadn't wanted to drag Nikki into it, but she questioned when he'd learn that she had his back. She chided him for not telling her the truth from the beginning, and he conceded that he should have done so.
Victor told Nikki that Chance hadn't liked the answers Victor had given him. Nikki guessed they hadn't really been answers. Victor swore that he'd wanted to tell her all about it, but he hadn't wanted to involve her in his dirty business. She stressed that they could always rely on one another because they were stronger together. He stated that it was an important time for them to stick together as a family.
Chance returned to Victoria's office to pick up his phone, which he'd left behind earlier. Victoria asked how things had gone with her father. Chance reported that he'd given Victor every opportunity to be forthcoming, but Victor had pleaded the Fifth. Victoria didn't see the point of making accusations without any proof, unless Chance was expecting they'd crack under the pressure. "You? Never," Chance replied.
Victoria explained that her husband had been a charming, intelligent, manipulative man who'd been accustomed to things going his way, and he hadn't been able to handle it when they hadn't. Victoria said she didn't understand why Chance was wasting his time, investigating a man no one was going to miss. Chance contended that he hadn't prejudged Ashland while looking for answers, and he was trying to close every case in a way that would have lived up to Rey's high standards. Chance quipped that they could create the world they lived in every day by the choices they made. "Until someone like Ashland comes along and strips you of any belief you have in truth and honesty," Victoria replied.
At Crimson Lights, Nick informed Sharon that he'd told Victoria the truth about what had happened to Ashland. Nick thought Victoria was doing a good job of putting it out of her mind, whereas he kept dwelling on it. He figured that his sister had dealt with something like it before, and Sharon recalled thinking J.T. was dead and trying to hide his body to make it look like nothing had ever happened. Nick recognized that it was his dad's instinct to protect his children, but he felt like things were upside down because he and Victoria were the ones that had to protect Victor.
Sharon assumed that Nick and Victoria had agreed not to tell Chance about what Victor had done. Nick recounted that they hadn't had an opportunity to discuss it before Chance had shown up, but Chance had made it clear that he didn't buy the story of Ashland making it to his car in a windstorm on his own. Nick continued that Chance found it more likely that Victor had arranged to have the body removed from the premises and the accident staged, but Nick had simply told Chance that there was no proof to back it up. Sharon considered it to be in Chance's nature to find the truth and expose it, but she wondered how he'd handle putting his own wife's family in jeopardy.
Nick expected Chance to keep digging and Victor to keep denying, so something would eventually have to give. Nick bemoaned that he'd set the whole thing in motion by getting Chance involved, but Sharon insisted that Nick and Victoria had needed to call the authorities. Sharon wished that she'd done it when she'd thought J.T. had died, and she couldn't believe Victor hadn't learned his lesson after that incident. Nick admitted that he was still angry about what Victor had done, and he'd been close to telling Chance about it. Sharon sensed that Nick's feelings were more about what he'd done and less about Victor's actions.
Nick confided that it bothered him most that he'd let his anger take control of him when Ashland had pushed him too far. Sharon recalled that Nikki had been completely in the right when she'd protected her daughter's life by seemingly killing J.T., but it had still been devastating to everyone who had witnessed it. Sharon cited her own experience with having the instinct to cover up what had happened, only to have it backfire spectacularly. She hoped the same thing didn't happen in Nick's case.
Sharon recommended that Nick take a break to get his mind off things for a while. She mentioned that she was having dinner with Noah and Allie, and she welcomed Nick to join them. Sharon enthused that the couple was cute together, and she encouraged Nick to get to know Allie. Nick inquired whether things were getting serious. Sharon replied that she hadn't seen Noah light up that way since he'd returned from London. Nick remarked that it had been a long time since they'd seen Noah in a happy, healthy relationship.
Nick thought Allie seemed great, but he doubted he'd be able to shake his mood, and he didn't want her to think his scowl had to do with her. He declined Sharon's dinner invitation and opted to go for a run and watch cartoons with Christian instead. Sharon stressed that it had been Victor's choice to do what he'd done, and Nick wasn't responsible for it. Outside, Adam approached and found the door locked. He peered in and spied Nick and Sharon talking.
At Newman Media, Chloe excitedly approached Sally with an idea she'd brainstormed after she and Kevin had watched a movie based on one of his favorite graphic novels. Chloe explained that she'd woken up and found that Kevin hadn't been in bed, and she'd found him playing a video game based on the movie. As Chloe described how Newman Media could use its library of graphic novels to turn them into video games and movies, Sally's mind drifted to happy moments she'd shared with Adam. Chloe noticed Sally's distant look and wondered if Sally had heard anything she'd just said. Sally prompted Chloe to tell her more.
Chloe continued to make her pitch, but she became irritated when Sally clearly remained distracted. Chloe recognized the signs because she'd been through the same thing with Chelsea, and she suggested they perform an exorcism to expunge the bad juju Sally's ex had left behind. Chloe lectured that Adam was taking up too much space in Sally's head, zapping the energy and inspiration that Sally should be saving for Newman Media. Chloe reminded Sally that they'd agreed they weren't going to let him steal the opportunity from Sally.
Sally pondered whether Adam had been the one keeping her afloat. Chloe acknowledged that Adam had given Sally the job, but Sally was still in the CEO chair because of her determination and brilliance. Chloe reasoned that she wouldn't be wasting her time on the gig if she didn't think Sally knew what she was doing, and she implored Sally to set aside her insecurity and get back to work. Sally thanked her.
Over the phone, Sally made plans to secure an actor to star as the lead in a film based on a comic book that Newman Media owned the rights to. After she hung up, Sally informed Chloe that the conversation couldn't have gone better. Chloe teased Sally for doubting herself just a moment earlier. Sally praised Chloe for giving her a pep talk and proclaimed that the two of them would kick butt running the company. Sally recalled that when she'd been in fashion, she'd always wanted to influence what people wore, but she anticipated their influence at Newman Media would be even bigger.
Sally turned the topic to beefing up Newman's investigative reporting to build a reputation as a serious player. She told Chloe that she'd been rethinking her approach to the Ashland Locke story, and Chloe imagined it would be tricky when they were still on probationary status. Sally proclaimed that they weren't, since she doubted the Newmans would cut them loose when she and Chloe knew Nick had punched Ashland on the night Ashland had died. Chloe hoped that Sally hadn't threatened the Newmans. Sally clarified that the Newmans were grateful to her for keeping what she knew about Ashland out of the news, and that translated to job security.
Sally reasoned that the Newman family had to expect that someone would eventually break the story. She wanted to be prepared with an article that described what had happened in vivid detail while being sympathetic to the Newmans' point of view. Sally wondered if Chloe could find out anything more about the investigation from Kevin, but Chloe hesitated to do anything that would put his job at risk. Sally asked how well Chloe knew Chance, and she was shocked to learn that Chloe and Chance had been engaged years earlier. Chloe was certain that Chance would never leak information about an ongoing investigation to the press. Sally vowed to find the missing pieces to the puzzle another way.
At the ranch, Nikki told Abby that no one would shed a tear for Ashland, and she hoped the investigation would end very soon. Abby said she wished Chance wasn't so determined to cross every "T" and dot every "I," and she didn't understand what was left to investigate.
Nikki asked if Chance had told Abby exactly what he was investigating. Abby said he hadn't, but maybe because of all the lies Ashland had told, Chance was making sure there was nothing left to be uncovered. Nikki said the longer the investigation went on, the harder it was for Victoria to move past it. Abby asked if Nikki was suggesting that Chance back off Ashland's case. Nikki suggested to Abby that that would be best for everyone.
At Chancellor-Winters, Elena told Devon that because of her history with Devon, Nate was reluctant to discuss the issues between him and Devon with her. Elena asked if there was anything she could do to fix things between them.
Devon told Elena that the ongoing issues between him and Nate had nothing to do with their history. Devon said his feelings toward Nate as family hadn't changed, but as an executive, Nate had created a few issues. Devon admitted he shared some of that blame because he'd thrown Nate into the deep end, and he'd expected Nate to swim. Elena said Nate wasn't some wet-behind-the-ears college grad just starting out in the world, and he probably shouldn't have been treated as one. Devon said he'd told Nate how the hierarchy worked, but Nate had been reluctant to embrace it. Devon wondered if he'd made a mistake bringing Nate on board.
On the patio at Crimson Lights, Imani told Nate she would miss having him to lean on while she was in Virginia. Nate said she would have Amanda to lean on. Imani said she felt conflicted leaving the company so she could be with her mother, but Nate said it wasn't a vacation; it was a family in trouble, and that took precedence over everything. Nate said family stuck together. Imani commented that it was too bad that Nate's family hadn't been sticking by him.
Nate told Imani that Devon was worried that he was a liability at Chancellor-Winters because they'd had a slight misunderstanding about something Nate had been able to fix once he'd realized there had been a problem. Nate said the first year post-merger was critical for the company, and Devon was afraid Nate had made them look bad. He said Devon wanted him to be mentored. Imani said Devon hadn't given Nate enough time to prove himself.
Imani said she hated that Nate was receiving so little support from Devon; he didn't deserve to be treated that way. Nate said Devon was determined to see him as a screw-up. Imani said Nate had "so much potential," and he was very close to taking off and flying. She suggested that perhaps Devon was threatened by that. Nate said it was nice to get support from a colleague. He said he felt Devon was holding him back, but there was also the chance Devon might be right. Nate said that he might have overstepped a few times, but it had been from pure enthusiasm not maliciousness or arrogance. Nate said he needed to learn how to play the game a little better.
Imani disagreed and said it was clear Devon had to be the one in full control and that Nate wasn't looking at the bigger picture because he needed to turn up the heat and not take a step back. Nate said he didn't want to create more conflict. Imani said Devon didn't value what Nate brought to the table. Imani reminded him how he'd taken the bull by the horns at the launch party and how people had responded positively to him. Imani said he needed to do something like that again, only bigger and bolder -- something that would demand attention and respect.
At the coffeehouse, Diane told Summer that Kyle had informed her about hiring Phyllis to work at Marchetti. Diane said she was surprised that Phyllis would want to make such a gigantic career move. Diane said she wanted to assure Summer that it wouldn't be a problem for her. Summer said she was happy that Diane didn't foresee any issues. Summer warned Diane that she and Kyle wouldn't tolerate any turmoil; Marchetti wasn't the place for anyone to hash out their personal grievances. Diane agreed.
Diane asked if Summer suspected that Phyllis' sudden and massive career move was tied directly to Phyllis' hatred of Diane. Summer said she had considered that, and she'd let Phyllis know her suspicions; however, Phyllis had received the same warning Kyle had given Diane, and Summer said that she and Kyle would keep a watchful eye on both of their mothers. Summer said Phyllis had assured her there wouldn't be any problems, and Summer hoped Phyllis had meant it because it was an amazing opportunity for her and her mother to work together, as it was for Diane and Kyle. Diane claimed she wanted things to work out more than anyone.
Diane told Summer she wished Phyllis would find a way to forgive her, and Diane suggested that perhaps their working situation would wind up being a miracle in disguise. Diane said with Phyllis at Marchetti, it would give them a chance to bond on some level. Diane said how different things could be if Phyllis forgave her the way Kyle had and the way Jack seemed to be on the verge of doing. Summer told Diane not to put too much hope on total forgiveness; it was a tall order for both Phyllis and Jack.
Summer said Diane had been absolutely wonderful with Harrison, but that didn't erase her history. Diane said she knew she had a lot more work to do in that regard. Summer said Jack was keeping the peace for Kyle and Harrison's sake, and she gave Diane the same warning she'd given Phyllis -- not to manipulate Jack the way she'd done in the past. Summer stated that she was as protective of Jack as she was of Kyle, and if Diane pulled anything, Diane would have to contend with her.
Jack arrived, and when he saw Diane sitting alone, he said he'd been reading to Harrison from the books that Diane had given him. He said he'd seen the positive effect they'd had on him. Jack thanked her for a very thoughtful gift. When Jack walked away, Diane smiled.
At the Dive Bar, Kyle told Mariah and Tessa that he'd been focused on helping Harrison deal with losing the man he'd called Father. Kyle also told them that Diane and Phyllis would both be working at Marchetti, and that might start World War III. Mariah told Kyle to let her know if she could help him in any way. After Mariah asked Tessa to get the drinks, she told Kyle that Tessa was super bummed about missing out on her tour. Mariah said Tessa couldn't speak or sing, and she was worried how her voice would be affected in the long term. Mariah said Tessa had always been passionate about fashion, and she was a huge fan of the Marchetti line.
Mariah stated that Kyle would need models for their new US rollout, and she asked if there was anyone better for Marchetti to team up with than the hot singing star Tessa Porter. Kyle thought it was an intriguing idea and said Summer had mentioned they needed a fresh face to usher in the new era of the fashion line. Kyle said he needed to discuss it with Summer. Mariah asked Kyle not to say anything until it was a done deal. When Tessa returned with the drinks, she wanted to know what was going on. Kyle said they were just catching up.
When Summer arrived, Mariah and Tessa left. Summer told Kyle that Diane had been spinning a fantasy tale about Phyllis forgiving her and the two of them bonding. Summer asked if they'd been looking for trouble when they'd asked their mothers to work peacefully together. Kyle said they couldn't rescind their offer to Phyllis or Diane. Summer claimed that would launch an all-out war. Kyle said it was up to them to keep the peace.
At Society, Billy told Jack that it was a bad idea to hire Adam. Jack said hiring Adam wasn't risky because he knew Adam's abilities, and Adam knew he would be watched. Jack pointed out that Adam's entire tenure at Newman Media had been devoid of scandal and that Adam had built Newman Media into a very profitable enterprise. Jack said Adam wouldn't have left if Victor hadn't jerked him around.
Billy told Jack that Adam was upset, and he had an axe to grind because he wasn't in the top spot. Jack said Adam was looking for a fresh start -- a place where he wouldn't be constantly competing with Victoria. Jack said Adam knew he could trust Jack to treat him fairly. Billy warned Jack that Adam always found himself in situations, and he made them combustible. Billy warned that if Jack gave Adam an inch, Adam would take the company. Jack said he was comfortable with his decision, and he reminded Billy that he'd given Billy similar lifelines in the past. Billy asked how many of those had worked out.
Jack said that Billy seemed fine with giving Diane another chance. Billy claimed that some people deserved a second chance, and some absolutely didn't. Phyllis arrived, and Jack said he was on his way out. Phyllis told Billy she wanted to discuss Lily's generous offer to buy the hotel. After Jack left, Phyllis told Billy she would be working with Summer at Marchetti.
Stunned, Billy asked if Phyllis and Diane would be working together. Phyllis explained they would be in different departments, and she could handle any situation with Diane because she wouldn't let Summer down. Billy said the longer Phyllis suppressed her feelings, the bigger the combustion would be. Phyllis asked why Billy got to turn his life around and become an upstanding executive, but she wasn't permitted to do that. Billy stated that he liked his colleagues, and he admired them. Phyllis said he was fortunate to be working with his buddies and his girlfriend.
Billy told Phyllis that with Diane joining Marchetti, there were two reasons for Phyllis' new direction. He said Phyllis was either a fool to sell her hotel to work with Summer, or she had a plan for Diane. Billy said he'd never known Phyllis to be a fool. Phyllis admitted he was right.
Billy stated that Phyllis had made some spectacular mistakes in the past, but she was a very savvy lady. He said he knew Phyllis had a plan that would hurt Diane in some way. Phyllis said it annoyed her that people in town always thought she had plans with nefarious intentions. Billy said everyone would be curious why she would sell her prize possession to work with her sworn enemy. Phyllis said she wouldn't be working with Diane; she'd be working side by side with her daughter. Billy claimed Phyllis had cast herself in a supporting role, and that wasn't Phyllis because she'd always been the queen bee.
Phyllis told Billy she loved the challenge, and she would be overseeing the Marchetti home design division, which was a huge position and hardly a supporting role. Billy said that sounded like a cool gig. Phyllis agreed and said she'd risen above her hatred for Diane, one that had destroyed her relationship with Jack and any happiness she would have found with him -- happiness she'd never find again. Billy stated that Phyllis was definitely up to something. Phyllis asked why Billy couldn't believe her heart was in the right place.
Billy told Phyllis he wasn't there to criticize her; he was there as an ex-lover and a semi-friend. He told Phyllis that whatever she'd planned for Diane, she needed to walk away because even if she won, she would lose in the end. Phyllis asked what made him think she would lose. Billy said he saw Summer as the collateral damage. Phyllis claimed Summer would never be in the line of fire, if there ever was one, which there wasn't. Billy said the powers at Jabot would be shifting because Jack had offered Adam the co-CEO position at Jabot.
Phyllis was stunned. Billy told Phyllis that Adam hadn't decided whether he would accept the offer. Phyllis said it was unbelievable that Adam had been offered his umpteenth chance to redeem himself in Jack's eyes. Billy told her to focus on the ramifications because when Adam was thrown into the mix, it was always a recipe for disaster. Phyllis said it didn't matter because Summer and Kyle ran Marchetti.
Phyllis asked if Billy thought Jack would involve Adam in Marchetti; Billy had no idea, but if Jack did, Adam would always side with Diane. Phyllis said Jack would follow along and give Diane the benefit of the doubt, just like he'd been doing. Phyllis received a call from Nikki, who said they needed to meet. Phyllis left.
At the bar, Devon asked Abby if Chance would be joining them. Abby said probably not because he'd been working some crazy hours, tying up loose ends in Ashland's car crash. Devon asked what loose ends were left. Abby said she'd wondered the same thing, but she felt that she wouldn't like the answer. Abby said Chance was keeping something from her because her family was involved.
Devon said Abby could trust Chance to do the right thing. Abby agreed, but she was worried about Victoria because Victoria had been through so much. Devon said Victoria could handle it. Abby asked about Devon and Amanda. Devon said they were going through a difficult time because Naya had slipped into a coma, and Amanda was in Virginia with her. Devon said he'd wanted to go, but things at Chancellor-Winters had been a little tense recently.
Devon said working with family had its own complications. Abby understood, and she was happy she had her own place with no judgment or interference. Abby said thanks to Devon's advice, Society had become a big success. Abby stated that Devon had been instrumental in providing her with two of the three loves of her life: her work and Dominic. Devon beamed.
At the ranch, Nikki told Phyllis that Ashley was out of town on business. Phyllis said she thought it was supposed to be a group effort, but one of the coconspirators was completely useless. Nikki said Ashley was committed to their cause, but she was concerned about Phyllis' sabotage plan. Nikki wanted to know the details of Phyllis' next move. Phyllis asked if Nikki didn't trust her. Nikki admitted she didn't. Phyllis stated she didn't trust Nikki or Ashley, either.
Nikki claimed that not trusting Phyllis was somewhat of a compliment because she was concerned that Phyllis would back down at the last minute out of concern for Summer, and that didn't help their cause. Phyllis stated that the best way to keep Summer safe was to get Diane out of town for good. She said she was the only one actually doing something, but until Nikki really contributed, Phyllis suggested that Nikki keep her opinions to herself.
At Crimson Lights, Victoria told Chance that Ashland hadn't been well liked, and he'd left behind a lot of grief and pain. She said Chance's investigation wasn't helping matters. Chance said he wished he could close the investigation and move on. Victoria suggested ending it immediately if that was the way he felt. Chance said Victoria knew he couldn't just drop the investigation.
Victoria asked Chance why Victor would have orchestrated a fake car accident. She acknowledged that Chance had done a lot of work to support his theory, but he didn't have any evidence to back it up. Victoria asked if Chance believed Ashland had been dead prior to being put into his car. She asked if Chance was going to go after Victor for obstruction of justice or if he was disputing Nick's account that he'd hit Ashland in self-defense.
Victoria asked if Chance was accusing Nick of killing Ashland in cold blood and conspiring with Victor for a cover story, because Chance's investigation seemed to be headed in that direction. She claimed that Chance couldn't accept where Ashland's death had happened. When Nick arrived, Victoria told Nick she'd asked if Chance wanted the D.A. to charge Nick with murder.
Victoria told Nick it appeared that Chance wanted to prove a crime had been committed. Chance said he believed they'd called him in good faith that night, and he believed Nick hadn't had any intention of harming Ashland. He said it had been an accident. Chance said they didn't know what had happened between the time Ashland had been lying on Victoria's floor and the moment they'd found him in the ravine.
Chance said the more brazen Nick and Victoria were, the more certain he was that he was on the right track. Chance said he knew Nick and Victoria were covering for Victor. Nick said no one had wanted Ashland to die, but Ashland had started that chain of events when he'd terrorized Victoria. Nick said he was glad he'd been able to protect his and Abby's sister, and he would do it again in a heartbeat.
Nick told Chance that when he and Victoria had heard Ashland had been found dead in his car, they'd had no reason to believe that Ashland hadn't walked to his car and driven away. Nick said Ashland's death had been an accident.
Chance received a call from Abby asking him to meet her at the park.
After Chance left, Nick told Victoria the situation had gotten worse. He said he'd been having nightmares, and he was haunted by the vision of Ashland's lifeless body. Victoria said Chance was more conflicted than he'd let on, and he didn't want to see any of them in jail. Victoria said Chance would side with the family because Chance would always put family first. Nick wasn't so sure. He said they needed to go to the ranch and tell Victor about their encounter with Chance.
At Society, Adam told Abby it had been a while since they'd talked. Adam asked Abby what she knew about Ashland's death. Abby stated that Adam had been very pleasant, but he'd had an agenda the whole time. Adam admitted he had. Abby said she didn't know any more than anyone else. Adam said when Ashland had returned to town, Adam had had the sense that something terrible would happen, but he hadn't expected Ashland to die. Abby said she hoped Victoria would get closure soon because the situation had been rough on her. Adam said it had been rough for Victoria but not for Victor. Abby asked what that meant.
Adam said Victor wasn't too broken up about Ashland. Abby said Ashland had put their family through hell, and she asked if Adam thought Victor should be mourning. She said she never wanted to hear Ashland's name again. Adam said when he'd spoken to Chance, Chance had had his doubts about the so-called car accident, and it had raised questions for him.
Abby asked Adam what Chance had told him about Ashland's accident. Adam said Chance had been tight-lipped, and the fact that Chance was continuing his investigation, with Kevin's help, said a lot. Adam stated that Abby wouldn't be betraying anyone's confidence by admitting there was more to the story. Abby said she knew Adam was fishing for information, and she wouldn't provide him with it. Adam surmised that neither Victoria nor anyone else had told Abby anything and that she was as much on the outside as he was. Adam suggested that he and Abby team up and pool their resources. Abby nodded, and Adam left.
At Newman Media, Sally was startled to see Victor. Victor said he was disappointed that Sally hadn't been able to convince Adam to stay. Sally said Adam had made it very clear that that job wasn't a good fit for him, nor was their relationship. Sally said she was grateful that Nick and Victoria had kept her on; it meant a lot to her.
Sally said she knew Victor was skeptical, but she was determined to prove that she deserved the opportunity she'd been given. Victor said he'd been very pleased with the way Sally had handled the Ashland Locke story. Sally claimed there hadn't been much of a story, only what had been in the police report. Victor said there were a few more details, and he knew that Sally was aware of them. Sally said she'd told Nick she didn't feel compelled to publish anything about Ashland showing up at Victoria's house prior to the accident. She said the story was still unfolding, and the police department hadn't commented on that aspect of the investigation.
Victor said Sally had handled the story with great restraint and discretion. He suggested that she continue to follow those instincts. Victor said Sally had some important decisions to make, and he hoped she would prove herself and remain in her position. Sally asked if that had been a compliment or a warning. Victor smiled, and he left.
When Adam arrived, Sally asked if he'd reconsidered cutting ties with Newman. Adam said he was there on a fact-finding mission, and he was hoping to find out what trouble Victor had gotten his family into concerning Ashland Locke. Sally said she hadn't read or heard anything about Victor being involved with Ashland's accident, and Adam was jumping to conclusions, probably to paint Victor in the worst possible light. She said it was presumptuous of Adam to ask for her help.
Adam said Sally had admitted that she had insider information about the crash from Nick; he asked Sally to share that information with him. Sally asked if Adam had forgotten she'd previously turned down his request and that Adam was being pathetic for trying again. Adam admitted he'd obviously hurt Sally, but their relationship had run its course, and it had ended with Sally getting the CEO position. He said she should be grateful that he'd ended things. Sally reminded Adam that she hadn't wanted the job on those terms.
Adam said he was sure he and Sally could agree on some sort of arrangement like a payment for her information. Sally said she had plenty of money. Adam suggested a favor, quid pro quo. Sally said she would tell Adam the whole story if Adam admitted he still loved her and that he'd ended things with them so that she could have the CEO position. Chloe entered and saw Adam. Sally said it was okay; they were discussing something important. Chloe said it would have to wait because she had something more urgent. Adam told Sally he would be in touch, and he left.
Chloe told Sally that she could read a room, and she'd recognized that look in Sally's eyes, the hope and longing -- it was disgusting. Chloe asked what had happened to the idea of leaving the past in the past, letting the world know what they were capable of, and making a name for themselves. She asked why Sally would sacrifice a drop of that success for another chance with Adam.
Sally told Chloe it had been business and a negotiation. Sally said Adam had been looking for information about his family, and he knew she had the scoop from Nick about the night Ashland had died. Chloe asked what Sally had wanted in return. Sally said she'd wanted to know the real reason why Adam had ended their relationship. Chloe said Sally was playing with fire.
Sally told Chloe she wasn't ignoring how Adam had broken her heart or betrayed her trust. She said she and Adam had had something, and she wanted to hear it from Adam. Chloe agreed that Sally needed closure. Sally told Chloe she wasn't looking to get back together with Adam but was instead looking to free herself of all her self-doubts.
Chloe asked if Sally was willing to sell out Nick's confidence for it. Sally said she'd planned to tell Adam she didn't know anything and that it had been a big tease. Chloe said Sally couldn't do that because Adam would make it his life's mission to make Sally regret it. Sally claimed Adam wouldn't react that way. Chloe said it would be worse.
Sally told Chloe that after what Adam had done to her, he had no right to be angry with her about playing him for the truth. Chloe said Adam wasn't a rational or logical person. Sally claimed Chloe had a history with Adam and she would always see him through a certain lens. Chloe countered that it was a very clear lens from a very long distance. Sally claimed Adam had changed, but Chloe argued that he'd only appeared to have changed.
Chloe told Sally that Adam always reverted to who he really was. She said Sally had heard the stories about Adam's past, but unless she'd experienced Adam at his worst, Sally would never really grasp what Adam was capable of. Chloe said it wasn't worth the risk to find out how he really felt about Sally. Chloe told Sally to forget Adam completely.
In the park, Abby told Chance they needed to talk about Ashland's car accident. She said she knew Chance wasn't supposed to talk about ongoing investigations, but she needed to know what was going on. Abby said Nikki had acted very weird the previous day, Nick and Victoria hadn't said a word, Victor was unreachable, and the only Newman she'd had a real conversation with had been Adam. She said Adam believed there was something going on.
Chance promised Abby that he would tell her everything as soon as he closed the case, but Abby said she couldn't wait that long. She begged Chance to tell her something. Chance said he hadn't wanted to burden her while he'd been piecing things together, but he was at a crossroads. Chance said he would share some confidential information with her. Abby promised she would keep it to herself. Chance told Abby it affected her family, especially Victor.
After Chance told Abby about Ashland's death, Abby asked if Chance believed Nick had killed Ashland. Chance said it had been self-defense, but Victor had acted on his own in staging the car accident as a cover-up to protect Nick and Victoria. Abby realized Victoria had called Chance that night. Chance said Nick and Victoria had tried to do the right thing; however, they'd discovered what Victor had done, and they were protecting him. Abby asked if he had any proof. Chance admitted it was only a theory, but the circumstantial evidence backed up his theory.
Chance asked if Abby believed it was something Victor would do. Abby admitted it was in Victor's playbook, but Chance didn't have anything concrete. He said he was certain he would find something. Abby asked what he would do then. Chance said Victoria had asked the same thing, and she had insisted that he close the case immediately. Chance said Victor had committed a crime, and he asked Abby where that ended. Abby said right there, if Chance let it.
Chance told Abby he couldn't allow a criminal to walk away. He said it wasn't just another case; it was Abby's family, and he needed to know what she was thinking. Abby said Ashland had been a deceitful and despicable bastard; he'd wreaked havoc on Victoria, on her family, and on the whole town. She said if Nick hadn't stopped Ashland, Ashland might have killed Victoria. Abby said she didn't condone what Victor had done, but she understood that Victor didn't want Nick punished for something he hadn't done. Abby told Chance they had all suffered enough because of Ashland.
Chance asked if Abby wanted him to back off, but Abby said she didn't; she couldn't do that to Chance or to them. Abby claimed that if she asked Chance to close the case, down the road, Chance would regret that decision. She said Chance had a strong sense of right and wrong; he would know what to do, and it had to be his call. Chance told Abby how much he loved her, and he agreed that it had to be his decision.
Adam was in the park, and he saw Abby and Chance kissing. After Abby left, Adam told Chance that he and Abby had had an interesting chat. Chance said he knew Adam was fishing for information about Locke, and he wouldn't answer any questions. Adam said he knew Chance had been looking for evidence surrounding Locke's death because the scenario didn't add up. Adam said Chance's suspicions about that night revolved around Victor.
Adam told Chance that Chance wouldn't uncover anything because Victor was too good at covering things up. Adam said Chance needed someone on the inside. Adam claimed he knew all of Victor's tricks, and he could help Chance discover what had happened that night. Adam said if Chance let him into the investigation, he might be able to help.
At the ranch, Victor told Nick and Victoria that Nikki had told Victor about Ashland's body being removed from Victoria's home and put into a car that had subsequently crashed into the ravine. He said only a handful of people had known about that, and he hadn't wanted Nikki to know. He said Nikki had been very upset, but she'd understood why he'd done it. Nick accused Victor of wanting to keep everyone in the dark. Victor claimed he'd needed to protect everyone, and Nikki wouldn't have known about it if Victoria hadn't told her. Victoria said Nikki had already known Victor had been hiding something.
Victor said Victoria shouldn't have told Nikki, and Nick shouldn't have told Victoria. Nick countered that Victoria had had the right to know. Victor stated they were all accessories to the crime because they had knowledge of it, and they were all in danger. Nick said perhaps Victor should have thought about that before he'd put his plan in motion. Victor said he'd done it on the spur of the moment. Nick claimed they should have been consulted rather than Victor acting alone. Victor shouted that he'd wanted to protect them, and instead of showing appreciation, they'd attacked him.
Victoria told Victor that no one was attacking him. Nick said they'd had another encounter with Chance, and Chance wasn't going to let go of the investigation. Victoria said she'd asked Chance to end the investigation, but he had a theory about what had happened that night and was very close to the truth. Victor claimed there was no way Chance could substantiate his theory.
Victor told Nick and Victoria that Ashland had died in his car in the ravine. Victor said they had to present a united front, and they would come out of the investigation unscathed. Chance would move on, and they would put that tragic chapter behind them.
At Chancellor-Winters, Chelsea asked Billy to give her a time and date for a play date for Johnny and Connor. Billy said it wasn't a good time because his kids had just returned from camp. Chelsea asked when a good time would be. Billy said he needed to talk to Victoria. Chelsea asked when Billy would talk to Victoria. Billy said Victoria had a lot going on, and as soon as things settled, he would talk to her. Chelsea claimed it was a play date, and it would only take a minute to discuss. Billy told her it was complicated. Chelsea asked why, because the boys knew each other and got along great.
Billy said Chelsea was being a little pushy, and he didn't understand the urgency. Chelsea claimed Billy would never change his stance about Johnny. Billy said he wasn't trying to prevent Chelsea from seeing Johnny; his kids had had a relationship with Ashland, and they were dealing with his death. Chelsea said it was all the more reason for Johnny to get out and kick around a soccer ball with Connor. Billy stated it wasn't the right time. He wanted to move on, but Chelsea refused.
Chelsea told Billy that previously, she'd been grateful that people had been putting up with her, but since then, she chose what was best for her and what she wanted. Billy said he'd brought her in on the podcasts, which were going well because they were honest with each other. Chelsea said except when it came to Johnny. Billy stated that Johnny was being raised the way Chelsea had wanted. Chelsea said Johnny was her biological son, and she never got to see or spend time with him. Billy reminded her that it had been her choice, and until recently, their agreement had worked for many years. Billy asked if there was something else going on.
Chelsea told Billy she had a different outlook on life. She said she'd hit rock bottom and lost her sense of self-worth after losing Rey. Chelsea said whenever she'd gone to her dark place, Rey had been the only one who'd reached out to her. Chelsea said when Rey had died, she'd felt like the rug had been ripped out from under her, and she'd held on to things that were safe and comfortable, like her partnership with Chloe and her design work.
Chelsea asked Billy how many people had noticed how difficult it had been for her to walk away from design and fashion, something she was good at and something that was a huge part of her identity, but she admitted it hadn't made her happy. Chelsea said she'd conditioned herself that that was going to be as good as it got, but she deserved to be happy.
Chelsea told Billy she'd stepped into a new field with no experience and no training, and she didn't suck at; that had been a huge confidence booster. She said she loved that people were connecting with what she had to say, and she wanted Johnny to be part of her life.
Chelsea told Billy that Johnny already knew Victoria wasn't his biological mother. Chelsea asked if it would be so terrible if Johnny learned that she was his biological mother. Billy said they had an agreement. Chelsea acknowledged the agreement and pointed out that it had been drawn up many years before. Chelsea claimed she'd been in a different place, and she wasn't the same person she'd been back then. Billy said it didn't negate the agreement they'd signed. Chelsea said Billy couldn't deny that Johnny and Connor were connected. Billy promised he would talk to Victoria.
At Society, Elena asked Nate why it was taking so long to void her contract with Newman Media. Nate said it took time, and Imani had been working on it. Nate spotted Sally and asked her to join them. He said he wanted to negotiate Elena's departure from "Ask MD Now." He apologized that it had taken so long to reschedule their meeting. Sally said she didn't remember a meeting being set. Nate said Imani had arranged a dinner for them to settle the matter of Elena's contract. Elena said that Nate had been told that Sally had needed to postpone. Sally said it didn't ring a bell.
Nate told Sally that the dinner would have been between him, Imani, and Sally, but Sally had had something come up at the last minute and had needed to cancel. Sally didn't recall that, and she checked her calendar. Sally confirmed she hadn't had anything scheduled with Nate and Imani. Nate wanted to discuss Elena's contract.
Nate said Elena wanted to join Chancellor-Winters; however, to do that, she needed to be released from her contract with Newman Media. Sally said she loved Elena's segment. Sally provided Elena with the numbers on her viewership and said that people saw how much she loved what she did. Sally understood why Chancellor-Winters wanted to poach her, but Nate said they weren't poaching. Sally wasn't sure why she would allow Elena to be poached.
Sally told Nate that the hard work Elena had put into "Ask MD Now" was just starting to pay off. Elena said there were other doctors who could do that job as well as she had because she and Nate had built the foundation. Elena said she'd compiled a list of doctors who could start immediately. Nate said that as the former face of "Ask MD Now," because of the foundation they'd built, another doctor would be able to integrate seamlessly, and the audience would continue to follow.
Sally told Nate that audiences didn't like change; when Nate had left, viewership had dropped off. Sally said when Elena was on that screen, she wasn't just the doctor, she was the intangible quality that not everyone had. Nate provided Sally with a dollar amount to release Elena from her contract at Newman Media. Sally accepted. Nate said he would send the documents to Sally. Nate and Elena thanked Sally, and they left.
Billy and Chelsea arrived. Chelsea spotted Sally and approached her. Chelsea said she couldn't get over how Adam had dumped Sally. Chelsea said she admired the way Sally had handled the breakup and that she was so brave, sitting there wondering what everyone was whispering about her. Sally asked if Chelsea had handled it well when Adam had dumped her. Chelsea ignored the comment and said Sally seemed a lot better than the last time she'd seen her -- when Sally had chased after Adam. Chelsea said that hadn't been particularly dignified. Chelsea said she'd felt very bad for Sally.
Sally asked Chelsea how many times it had taken for Chelsea to realize Adam wasn't going to reunite with her -- suggesting five or six -- and Sally said it was such a shame because even having a kid together, Chelsea hadn't been able to make it work. Chelsea excused herself, stating she had someone waiting for her, and she left to join Billy.
Chelsea suggested that she and Billy dig their teeth into something meatier on their podcasts, like true crime; they needed to find an unsolved mystery and begin digging. Billy liked the idea and asked if Chelsea had anything in mind. Chelsea said she didn't, but she would do some research. Chelsea pointed out how the "Grinning Soul" had hit a gold mine when he'd discovered Ashland Locke's secret. Billy agreed that Ashland Locke was the gift that kept on giving.
Chelsea suggested they find someone who'd had a terrible rumor spread about them online, then cover the damage it had caused and how they'd survived. Billy added they would work to understand why it had started and who had started the rumor. Chelsea said Billy had a different energy when he talked about the podcasts; it looked good on him. Billy admitted he loved it, and it was nice to be out of the corporate world. Chelsea asked why Billy kept returning to the corporate world.
Chelsea said she'd known Billy for a long time, and she'd seen that scenario play out many times with his family. She said Billy had needed to live up to their expectations and act a certain way. She said he would do it until he couldn't take it anymore, and the new Billy emerged. Chelsea said when Billy didn't fit into the Abbott box, he rebelled.
Billy told Chelsea he was in a really good place at the moment, and he was past the need to rebel. Chelsea asked if Billy felt fulfilled being part of Chancellor-Winters. Billy claimed it was difficult to answer honestly. Chelsea said that his answer was no.
At the Dive Bar, Kyle told Summer he had a great idea for Marchetti. Kyle said he'd spoken to Mariah about Tessa's predicament and that Tessa's career would be on hold for the foreseeable future. Kyle said Mariah had pitched an idea that Tessa could be Marchetti's face for the new line. Summer asked if he wanted to hire Tessa as a model. Kyle said he did for the print campaign.
Kyle said Tessa's fan base had been growing, and it was the exact demographic they'd been looking for. He added that Tessa had the look they wanted. Summer loved the idea but didn't like that it had been Mariah's idea because it meant Mariah would be involved. Summer said she didn't want herself and Mariah to be another source of conflict. Kyle said that Mariah was genuinely happy for them just like Summer was happy for Mariah and Tessa.
Summer told Kyle that she and Mariah had reached a peaceful coexistence, but that was only because of Mariah's friendship with Kyle. Kyle said Mariah had her hands full at Jabot, and he said it would be amazing to have Tessa as the face of Marchetti.
At Crimson Lights, Mariah tried to improve Tessa's mood, but Tessa told Mariah to go to work because Tessa was fine. Mariah understood it was frustrating for Tessa to cancel all her concerts and not to be able to sing her songs to her adoring fans. Mariah told Tessa that keeping things in wasn't the way to go because they only grew and gained power. She said whatever Tessa was feeling, she wanted to help Tessa carry it.
Tessa agreed with Mariah that she was going crazy because she couldn't do what she loved. Mariah suggested that Tessa find something to channel all her creative energy into. Summer and Kyle arrived.
Kyle asked if Tessa would be interested in being the new face for Marchetti. Summer said Tessa had a fresh look, elegant and sophisticated, and was perfect for their brand. Kyle said they loved her photo on her last album, and that was the exact look they were going for. Tessa said she was flattered, but it was a reminder of what she might be losing.
Mariah told Tessa she wouldn't be losing anything; losing her ability to sing was temporary, and Summer and Kyle wanted her to be part of their new venture. Summer said it might be the right time for Tessa to branch out while she was recuperating. Summer pointed that that Tessa wouldn't have to use her voice, and she could focus on healing. Mariah said Tessa's face would be plastered on billboards and magazines, and that would be great for the Tessa Porter brand.
Kyle said when Tessa's voice returned, she could have her music and continue to model for Marchetti. Tessa thanked them for the life-changing offer, and she apologized for her pity party. Summer told Tessa they were excited about the possibility of Tessa joining them, and Summer advised her not to let their enthusiasm scare her off. Tessa said it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Kyle asked Tessa to let them know when she decided.
After Kyle and Summer left, Mariah wanted to hear Tessa's thoughts about it. Tessa told Mariah to stop pretending because she knew Mariah had set it up. Tessa said she'd seen Mariah and Kyle conspiring at the Dive Bar. Mariah admitted it had been her idea. Mariah said she'd thought she'd found the perfect thing for Tessa to do while she recuperated. Tessa said she should be mad, but she was too much in love. They kissed.
At Chancellor-Winters, Nate commented that he'd thought Elena would be more excited about being released from the Newman Media contract. Elena said she was happy. He said he hadn't thought Sally was going to release her, but when she'd seen all those zeros, she'd accepted.
Elena told Nate the reason Sally hadn't remembered the meeting was because she'd never been invited in the first place. Elena said that dinner between the three of them was supposed to have been an intimate night with just Nate and Imani; Imani had set it all up. Elena asked if Nate had spoken to Sally or her assistant prior to the meeting. Nate said he hadn't. Elena stated that Imani had told Nate the meeting had been set, Imani had told him the meeting had been canceled at the last minute, and Nate had bought it.
Nate told Elena he had no reason not to believe Imani because meetings got canceled or postponed all the time. Nate said Elena really had it in for Imani, and it was clouding her mind. Elena said she had a very clear picture of the situation. and she couldn't believe that Nate didn't see what Imani was up to. She asked if perhaps it was because he didn't want to.
Nate told Elena he hadn't tried to avoid seeing anything. Nate asked if Elena was accusing him of being attracted to Imani. Elena said she wasn't saying it was sexual, but the way Imani was always fawning over him, it had to be a very big ego boost. Elena said Nate had told her that Imani had been fueling all his frustrations regarding his dynamic with Devon and perhaps pushing Nate to be a little more aggressive.
Nate told Elena he didn't need his ego boosted, and Imani had noticed there was a family dynamic at play and that Devon had tried to hold him back at times. He said the same thing had happened between Imani and Amanda, and it had been refreshing to talk to someone who supported him. Elena asked if that was as opposed to his girlfriend, who couldn't comprehend because she wasn't an executive. Nate said Elena had been incredibly supportive; however, it had been a big change for him from medicine to the corporate world, and Elena had been there for him every step of the way. Elena claimed that Nate really didn't think she knew what was going on, at least not the way Imani did.
Nate said he felt that Elena always took Devon's side whenever they spoke about those dynamics and that Devon had more business experience. Elena said that was the truth and asked why that offended him. He said it felt dismissive. Elena said it took experience to make the right decisions. She said Nate couldn't just walk into an operating room and get it right the first time out. She asked why it would be any different with business. Nate stated he had a business education. He said he'd run an entire hospital department, and he knew how to navigate those complicated relationships, when to compromise, and when to stay strong.
Elena stated that Nate felt she wasn't supporting him enough, at least not in the way Imani did. Elena said she didn't know what Imani's motives were, but Imani was trying to be his champion. Nate claimed Elena was blowing things out of proportion, but Elena said she wasn't and stated that Nate was consciously or unconsciously refusing to see what was in front of his face. Elena said she respected Nate and was trying to tell him the truth, but he kept pushing her back. Elena suggested that Nate liked Imani's stories better -- the ones where he was misunderstood and underappreciated. Elena said Imani was telling Nate everything he wanted to hear. She asked what could be more enticing than a beautiful woman stroking Nate's ego.
At Newman Media, Sally sent Adam a text message; "Offer stands, I tell you what I know RE Ashland's death -- you admit the truth RE our breakup."