At the Newman ranch, Nick told Nikki that he felt as if he was playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Chance. Nikki replied, "His real prey is your father." Nick admitted he was not in favor of lying to Chance because he was a family member carrying out his job. Nikki insisted that Victor's role had not changed the truth of what had happened the night Ashland had died. Nikki reminded Nick that he had defended his sister after Ashland had spun out of control.
Nick cried that Victor was refusing to address concerns about how the investigation might play out. Nikki replied that Victor was convinced investigators would not find evidence to prove the vehicle accident had been staged. Nick warned that the longer the investigation of the cover-up dragged out, the greater the chance it could hurt the family, the company, and his dad. Victor entered, having overheard the conversation, and said, "I will not have that discussion with you again."
Nick was interrupted by a business call about the Reilly deal, which he told his parents was connected to the fallout from Ashland's association with the company. Victor closely observed as Nick handled the matter with a strong hand. Nick informed the caller, Mark, that he could not change the terms of the deal. Nick sternly warned Mark that if there were further delays, the legal team at Newman Enterprises would pursue action for breach of contract, which would be publicized as a bad-faith negotiation.
After Nick hung up, Victor said, "Well, son, I'm impressed. You're focusing on business while dealing with a family crisis. That's what the Newmans do, you know." Victor said he hoped Nick would not fall back on his usual self-righteous indignation and interfere with future matters. Nick seemed to bask in his father's praise.
Kevin rushed in through the patio entrance at Crimson Lights to meet with Chance. Kevin recalled their hunch that Victor's security team had staged the car crash. Chance lamented that the evidence so far was circumstantial. Kevin set up his tablet computer and said, "I've got something new to show you. It's a game changer."
Kevin showed Chance the security footage he had recovered from the gas station near Victoria's property. Chance inspected the video and identified Ashland's rental car, noting that someone who had smoked a cigarette had climbed in the driver's seat. Chance said, "That's not Ashland." Chance and Kevin concluded that the video had confirmed their assumptions that one of Victor's bodyguards, a smoker, had taken part in a scheme to make appear that Ashland had died in his vehicle after crashing it.
Chance went to the Newman ranch to confront Victor. Chance showed the security footage to Victor and noted that the driver had crushed out a cigarette and covered his tracks before hopping into Ashland's car. Chance said police had recovered the cigarette butt, which would be tested for DNA samples. Victor explained that his security team had been in place for weeks, watching Victoria's home, and had likely visited the gas station frequently. Victor added that no doubt a member of his team had smoked a cigarette and snuffed it out with the heel of his shoe. Chance informed Victor that he intended to uncover the truth.
Victor asked Chance how he would have felt had Abby faced a situation similar to Victoria's and Nick's while Chance had been overseas instead of staying home to look after his wife. Chance insisted that his having been away was irrelevant. Victor replied, "What if your wife had killed Stitch to protect her own life and protect your unborn child? What if I had stepped in and seen to it that the whole thing was covered up in order to protect your wife? What would you have done then?" Chance, frustrated, explained that Victor was countering facts with a hypothetical situation.
Victor, unfazed, asked Chance again what he would have done. Chance refused to answer, explaining that he had sworn an oath to carry out his job and could not back away from asking difficult questions. Chance told Victor to trust him and the legal system. Victor replied, "And you need to develop a greater sense for family and be there when they need you, not when it's convenient for you. Next time, Chance, old boy, don't point your finger at your father-in-law."
At Crimson Lights, Sharon watched in amazement as Faith and Mariah toted shopping bags stuffed full of items they had purchased for Faith's dorm room and set them on a table. Tessa followed after and announced that she had been cleared to talk a little, with her doctor's approval. Mariah was elated to learn that Tessa's recovery was on track. Faith asked Tessa if she had cried when the doctor had told her she was doing well. Sharon said she imagined Tessa was feeling many emotions at once. Tessa replied, "Bingo."
Before Mariah left for work at Jabot, she announced that she had been named head of marketing and publicity for Jabot and Marchetti. Mariah mentioned that Diane Jenkins had joined Marchetti. Sharon said she thought Diane was an architect. Mariah joked, "In a former life." Mariah reported that Diane had been on her best behavior and was learning her new job quickly. Mariah, acknowledging that she had endorsed Tessa, advised her to consider Summer and Kyle's job offer.
After Mariah returned to work, Faith left to join Moses. Tessa asked Sharon if Sharon was okay. Sharon said she was excited for Faith, though it was a little sad that her child would be leaving the nest. Sharon asked Tessa how she felt. Tessa admitted she was scared she might not fully recover and that she would be unable to sing again. Sharon was excited when Tessa announced that Summer and Kyle wanted to hire her as the face of Marchetti. Sharon recalled that she had once been a brand ambassador for Jabot. Tessa said, "I'm worried it's a sympathy job -- for if I never sing again." Sharon said that perhaps Mariah might have wanted to help Tessa refocus during recovery.
Sharon assured Tessa that Kyle and Summer would never have offered a high-level job out of sympathy. Sharon reminded Tessa that her fans would yield a desirable demographic to Marchetti, so Kyle and Summer had not acted strictly out of the goodness of their hearts. Tessa was pleased when Sharon explained that Tessa's role with Marchetti would also draw more fans to download her music and attend concerts. Tessa said she would be an idiot to turn down the offer. Tessa thanked Sharon and went upstairs to enjoy ice cream.
Nikki and Nick entered the coffeehouse and ordered lattes. After Sharon walked way to prepare the drinks, Nikki asked Nick how much Sharon knew. Nick replied, "All of it." Nick explained that he had needed to talk to someone about being responsible for a man's death. Nikki assured Nick that he had done nothing wrong by acting in self-defense. Nikki recalled that Nick had freely admitted to Chance that he had acted in self-defense. Nick cried that Victor's actions afterward had made them all accessories to his crime. Nikki and Nick both received messages to meet with Victor immediately at the ranch.
At Society, Phyllis and Summer discussed business over lunch and praised themselves for having accomplished a great deal. Summer covered lunch, charging it to Marchetti Home's expense account. Summer laid out the next steps for Phyllis to accept her position at the company, the first of which was to sign her contract. Summer reminded her mother that the single most important policy for Phyllis to follow was to stay away from Diane. Phyllis promised to give Diane a wide berth and remain highly professional if they should need to interact. Phyllis assured Summer that they, working together, would lead Marchetti to new heights in fashion and sophisticated home décor. Phyllis leaned close to Summer and vowed, "You and Kyle have nothing to worry about."
At Chancellor Park, Jack and Diane sat together on a bench as Harrison played in a sandbox nearby. When a commotion ensued with other children, Jack went to investigate. Kyle happened by and asked his mom about the look of joy on her face. Diane told her son she was just happy because Kyle had allowed her to have a relationship with Harrison. After Jack returned, Kyle said it would take time to get used to seeing Harrison's grandparents sitting together, watching him play. After the nanny arrived, Jack stepped away to tell Harrison goodbye. Kyle appeared taken aback by the love-struck look on Diane's face as she kept her eyes fixed on Jack.
As Kyle and Diane entered Jabot, Diane bragged that Harrison had scored three goals during his first soccer match. Diane's happy mood was dampened when she and Kyle ran into Summer and Phyllis. Kyle welcomed Phyllis. Phyllis said she looked forward to working with Diane should they need to collaborate. Diane replied that she did, too, and would steer clear of Phyllis, as agreed.
Mariah arrived. Summer explained that it was her mom's first day at Marchetti. A beaming Phyllis smiled while Diane appeared uneasy. Mariah, appearing to sense the tension, congratulated Phyllis. Diane said she, too, wished Phyllis all the best and that she hoped the position was everything she had hoped for. Phyllis replied that she had every intention of making it that way. Mariah, sensing she should intervene, offered to meet privately with Diane in a nearby office.
In Kyle's office, Phyllis proclaimed that everything was falling into place. Phyllis signed her contract. Kyle thanked Phyllis for keeping the peace with his mom. After Kyle and Summer stepped out, Phyllis sent a message to Nikki and Ashley. Phyllis informed Nikki and Ashley that she had just signed her Marchetti contract, so it was time to get the party started.
Abby stopped by Victoria's office at Newman Enterprises to drop off a care package of food from Society. Victoria apologized for not being present the previous times Abby had attempted to pay her a visit. Abby said she had wanted to make sure her sister was really okay. Victoria replied that she had been hanging in and focusing on her kids. Victoria said that with Ashland gone, she felt like she could breathe again, knowing she would no longer deal with his lies, his actions to cover his lies, and his acts of retaliation whenever she challenged him.
Victoria vowed not to shed any more tears over Ashland because he'd had no sense of decency and no chance of redemption. Tears welled in Abby's eyes as she expressed sorrow over all Ashland had put Victoria through. Victoria said, "You know, don't you, what else happened that night?" Victoria, hoping Abby would respond sympathetically to her side of the story, explained that an irrational Ashland had caught her off guard at home. Victoria recalled that Ashland had grown furious when she'd told him there had been no chance of a reconciliation, threatening that there had only been one way she could be done with him. Abby replied, "Oh, my God." Victoria said she was certain that Nick's actions had saved her life.
Abby asked Victoria what had happened after Nick had arrived. Victoria explained that after the situation had escalated, Nick had punched Ashland, which had caused Ashland to fall and hit his head. Victoria struggled to maintain her composure when she told Abby she had not been able to detect a pulse after noticing that Ashland had been bleeding and not breathing. Victoria recalled that she and Nick had stepped outside after she'd called Chance. Abby appeared shocked when Victoria recounted that when she and Nick had later returned to her house, they'd realized that Ashland had somehow gotten up and left in his car, later dying in a car crash.
Victoria asked Abby if Abby could help her understand why Chance was refusing to put a stop to the investigation. Abby said that Chance hated having to keep investigating the accident because it prevented Victoria from getting the closure she needed. Victoria cried that even though Ashland was gone, it still felt like he had them trapped and was still controlling them. Abby placed her hand over Victoria's as a show of support after Victoria insisted that she and Nick had told the truth and had nothing to hide. Victoria asked Abby to help Chance understand that it was time to put the matter behind them.
After Chance left Victor's ranch, he took a walk in the park, contemplating the tense encounter he had had with his father-in-law. Back at the ranch, Nick and Nikki entered the living room, telling Victor they had received his message. Nick said, "Dad, what's wrong?" Victor hesitated to respond until Victoria arrived. Victoria rushed in and said, "Here I am." Victor thanked his wife and children for coming and said it seemed as if Chance had made a discovery. Victor noted that he would make his security team pay dearly for their mistake. Nick asked Victor if Chance was close to proving what had really happened. Victor looked gravely concerned as his family waited for him to respond.
Lily stepped off elevator at Chancellor-Winters. Upon entering her office, she found a gift on her desk. She read the attached note from Billy, who had written that he planned to make up for lost time when he saw her again. Lily left a message for Billy to thank him but decided to wait to open the gift until he was there in person. She curiously shook the gift box.
Devon welcomed Lily home and noted that it had been too quiet around there without her. She inquired about Amanda, and he reported that his girlfriend was in Virginia with her mom. Lily worried that Devon had been alone, but he mentioned that Dominic had just spent the night. Lily steered the conversation to work, and she referred to one of their acts being double-booked. Devon explained that it had been a misunderstanding between him and Nate that had since been resolved.
Lily was skeptical, and Devon shared that Nate had made a decision without Devon's approval, and he'd gotten sensitive when Devon had called him out on it. Devon sensed that Nate was struggling with not being in charge the way he had been at Memorial, so he'd suggested Nate needed a mentor. Devon groused that Nate had gotten so angry that he'd accused Devon of being threatened by him.
Lily was adamant that Devon and Nate resolve the tension between them because they were family. Devon considered that to be half the problem, since he believed Nate wouldn't be reacting that way if they weren't related. Lily wondered if Devon was overstating a simple mistake, but Devon argued that it was the second time Nate had pulled triggers without getting approval first. Devon wished he'd taken Nate's lack of business experience into consideration before handing him that much responsibility. He groaned that things couldn't go on that way.
In the podcast studio, Chelsea munched on popcorn and asked what Billy thought about one of her ideas. He scowled at the mess she was making and offered to get her a bowl. She complained that he was killing her vibe, and he suggested that they go to Crimson Lights to have someone else clean up after her. He began to organize his notecards, and she teased him for color-coordinating and tabulating his notes so particularly. Chelsea termed it "BAA" -- the Billy Abbott Approach -- and bleated to mimic a sheep.
Billy scoffed at the idea that Chelsea was being funny, and she questioned when he'd become so fastidious. He explained that he'd intentionally put together the studio to be clutter-free to avoid distractions. She joked that the crumbs added a little something, and she playfully threw some popcorn at him. Chelsea questioned when Billy had become the button-down guy someone took home to their mom. Billy argued that there was nothing wrong with maintaining a professional atmosphere by not having popcorn on the floor.
Chelsea wondered who Billy had become, and he noted that it was the first time someone had complained about him following the rules. He conceded that he usually crossed the line, but it had gotten him into big trouble over the years. Chelsea imagined that it was how things had gotten tricky with Victoria back in the day, and she remarked that the pendulum was swinging in the opposite direction because he'd been a little uptight recently. Billy assumed that she meant he'd become boring since he'd started dating Lily. Chelsea swore it was all on him.
Billy wondered why Chelsea had agreed to work with him if he was so uptight. She contended that "Podcast Billy" was charming, witty, and irreverent, and she was glad to know he hadn't lost that side of himself. Billy figured that it was all about balance, and problems happened when things went too far in one direction. Chelsea urged him to just relax and breathe instead of monitoring himself. He changed the subject to her and her issues. She invited him to "bring it on" after all the therapy she'd had.
At Crimson Lights, Sally ran into Chance and asked if he believed in serendipity, since he was just the man she'd wanted to see. Chance recalled that he'd last seen Sally helping Abby pick out a wedding dress, and he marveled that Sally had since started running Newman Media. Sally shared that her reporters had been having a tough time wrangling information from their sources at the police station, and she queried when she could expect an official update on the mysterious investigation.
Chance acknowledged that the death of a tycoon was newsworthy, and he imagined Sally felt like she had something to prove. Sally credited him with knowing how to read people, and she applauded him for being polite by not mentioning Adam. She cited Adam as one of the reasons she felt the need to prove to everyone that she was up for the job, since Adam had elevated her to CEO before breaking up with her and walking away. She lamented that it had been one of the most difficult moments she'd had in a long time. Chance commented that she was better off, since the people who got sucked into Adam's orbit learned to regret it.
Sally confided that she'd thought she'd been the one to finally make Adam feel accepted and truly loved. Chance recognized that Adam was good at letting people down. Sally figured that it could have been much worse, since at least she hadn't taken a bullet for Adam before she'd realized what he was all about. Sally thought she and Chance had a lot in common in that they'd both believed they could help Adam change his life, yet they'd both been burned.
Sally recalled that Chance had taken a bullet for Adam, and that was how she'd felt metaphorically when she'd begged Adam to admit he still wanted her, only to be rejected again. Chance agreed that he and Sally had things in common, and she lamented that it wasn't easy to wash Adam out of their lives. She noted that Adam hadn't left her alone because he'd been obsessed about the investigation into Ashland's death. Sally relayed that Adam had heard a rumor that Victor had somehow been involved, so Adam kept turning to her to validate the claims.
Sally contended that she didn't want to believe there was any truth to the gossip after everything Victoria had been through, and she believed the Newmans deserved to have their "Locke era come to an end." Sally judged from Chance's silence that things were about to become more difficult, and he responded that it was time for him to get out of there. After Chance left, Adam stepped out from the patio and mused, "Well, that was interesting." Adam revealed that he'd been there long enough to see Sally try to wheedle information out of Chance.
Sally blasted Adam for giving her a job, breaking up with her so she could keep that job, and then complaining when she did her job. Adam clucked that she was a CEO and not a cub reporter, which was a good thing, since she'd had no success getting Chance to open up. Sally asked if it was fun for Adam to give her a hard time, but he swore that wasn't his intention. He claimed that he'd decided to agree to her proposition that he share his true feelings about their breakup in exchange for what she knew, but he'd since realized she'd been bluffing because she clearly had no idea what had happened the night Ashland had died.
Sally reasoned that she hadn't been about to share what Nick had told her with the detective investigating him. Adam insisted that if they were to trade secrets, she had to go first. Sally dryly thanked Adam for reminding her why it was best they were apart. She condemned him for treating it like a game by talking about their breakup and the way he'd made her feel as if it was funny to him. Adam pointed out that she was the one who'd set the terms of the deal.
Sally snapped that she'd been looking for a scrap of validation from Adam, but she shouldn't have to beg him to treat her with basic human decency. She claimed that he'd been right in that Nick had never told her anything, so she had no insider information. She was certain it was a huge relief to Adam not to have to eke out a few kind words for her. She added that she was starting not to "give a damn," and she stalked off.
At the Newman ranch, Victor informed Nikki, Victoria, and Nick that Chance's team had been able to recover video footage from a gas station where Ashland's car had been parked. Victor continued that a man had gotten into the car and driven away, and Nikki surmised it had been one of Victor's security guys. Victor indicated that the quality of video hadn't been good, but the man in the video had had a cigarette, and Ashland hadn't smoked. Victoria noted that the police had found a cigarette butt at the location, and she wondered if it could have been left by one of Victor's men. Nick fretted that all Chance had to do was run a DNA test.
Victor recommended that they wait and see what evidence Chance found. Victoria expected Chance to keep digging until he found out the whole truth, and Nikki envisioned the nightmare once the media got involved. Nick proposed that they hire a crisis PR firm and get Michael on it, but Victor preferred to be patient and consider their options. Victor mentioned that he'd asked Sally to tamp down the news of Ashland's death. Nick surmised that Victor had intimidated Sally, and he blasted his father for only making things worse.
Victor said he believed Sally knew the right thing to do. Nick recalled that Sally had promised him she'd wait to publish anything until she had more information, but he anticipated that could happen at any minute. Nick contemplated how it would look if other news outlets ran the story while Newman Media did nothing. Nick fretted that it could severely damage the company's reputation for journalistic integrity. Victor huffed that he didn't "give a damn" how it looked. Victoria wailed that she just needed it to be over, and she stepped out to check on the kids. Nick pointed out that it wasn't too late to change course. "Enough! End of discussion!" Victor barked.
Later, Nikki served Nick some tea and suggested they take a moment to calm themselves. Nick recognized the importance of keeping her stress level under control, but he objected to Victor's order that they tough it out. Nick begged Nikki to convince Victor to meet with Michael to go over their legal options. Nikki argued that they were only talking about exercising editorial discretion, but Nick warned that if it was too heavy-handed, it would look like a blatant cover-up. Nikki scolded Nick for seemingly wanting to publish people's worst suspicions before Chance had anything concrete. Nick realized she was siding with Victor.
Nikki said she understood Nick's point about Newman Media maintaining its integrity, but she contended that they didn't have to break the story. She figured Newman Media could be truthful in its reporting without crossing the line into self-incrimination, and no one would be surprised or offended if the coverage of the Newman family was respectful. Nick guessed that he was the only one who wanted to get out in front of it, and he prepared to talk to Sally to tell her to curtail her coverage of Ashland's death.
Sally found Nick waiting in her office, and she wondered if they'd had a meeting scheduled. He said he wanted to discuss how Newman Media should handle Ashland's death, and he implied that more information would be released very soon. She closed the door and assumed it was making him sick. He confirmed that his entire family stood to be dragged through the mud. Sally swore that Newman Media wouldn't touch the story.
Nick guessed Sally was backing away because of Victor's visit, but she asserted that she was doing it because she was fed up with people who pried into the personal lives of others to exploit information for their own gain. Nick appreciated her attitude, but he accepted that a media company sometimes had to publish stories that some might view as an invasion of privacy. Sally agreed that they'd have to cover the news if it was as monumental as he was making it seem, but she assured him that they would simply publish the facts and move on.
Nick asked if Sally was prepared for harsh criticism, and she sarcastically replied that it would be a new experience for her. Nick voiced surprise because he'd expected pushback, but he was pleased that she was on the same page as his family. Sally insisted that they were all on the same team, and while she wanted to do a good job and make a name for herself, she wouldn't do it at his family's expense. She added that Ashland had already taken enough from them, and enough was enough.
At Society, Victor invited Noah to join him at the bar. Victor inquired whether Noah had found an alternative location for his club, and he said he was sorry he hadn't been able to accommodate his grandson. Noah insisted it was all good, and he mentioned there was something else he wanted to discuss. Noah recalled that when he and Victor had last talked, it had been right after Ashland had died, yet Victor had said nothing about it. Noah suspected that there had been a reason Victor hadn't addressed Ashland's death during their prior conversation.
Victor confirmed that his grandson's instincts were right, and Noah interpreted that to mean something bad was about to happen. Victor recognized that his family sometimes got upset about how he did things, but he wanted Noah to know he only did them to protect his family. Victor implored Noah to turn to him if he had any problems in the future, and Noah indicated that the problem was that he was worried about Victor. Victor inquired whether Noah trusted him. "With my life," Noah replied.
Victoria ran into Nate in Chancellor Park. She thanked him for the voicemail he'd left after the news about Ashland had broken, and she apologized for not responding. Nate sympathized that she'd been through a lot, and he wanted her to know she had friends who were there for her. He volunteered to listen to her vent about what a "bastard" Ashland had been. Victoria said she appreciated Nate's candor, but she'd already decided to move on from that chapter in her life. He mused that it was sometimes easier said than done.
Victoria turned the topic to how things were going at Chancellor-Winters, and Nate conceded that it had its challenges. She guessed he was happy working with his cousins, but he confided that one of the challenges was working with family. Victoria empathized that it could be complicated, citing her co-CEO mother constantly nagging her about not getting enough rest. Nate griped that Devon and Lily were treating him differently than how they would treat any other colleague. Victoria was confident that Lily and Devon knew how lucky they were to have such a bright mind on board. Nate hoped they felt that way.
Later, Victor entered Victoria's office and was pleased to see his daughter hard at work. He recounted that she'd been upset earlier, and she indicated that she felt calmer after seeing her kids. She imagined they could get through anything after surviving Ashland, and Victor hoped Nick felt the same way. Victoria worried that Nick hadn't had time to process what he'd done, and she imagined he was terrified about what would happen to Victor and Nikki if Victor was arrested. Victoria fretted that Nick wanted to fix things, but there wasn't much he could do. Victor advised that it was best to be patient. Victoria lamented that it had never been one of Nick's strengths.
Adam saw Chance enter Society and guessed he was there to see Abby. Chance explained that he was just picking up takeout, but his answer was still no about joining forces with Adam to investigate Victor. Adam warned that Chance couldn't stop him from going solo. Chance shared that he'd heard Adam had been badgering people to try to implicate Victor, and he ordered Adam to stop. Adam mentioned that he'd seen Chance and Sally talking earlier, and he asserted that Chance would have had better luck if they'd been working together. Adam bragged that he knew what made Sally tick, and he could help Chance win her trust and find out what she knew.
Chance reiterated that he and Adam would not be collaborating on any investigation. Chance admonished Adam for breaking up with Sally and then trying to manipulate her to get information. Chance recognized that Sally had been working him for details, but she'd obviously been sincere when she'd talked about Adam. Chance didn't understand why Sally cared about Adam, since there was no excuse for the way Adam had treated her.
Adam reasoned that relationships ended, and not everyone was cut out for a lifetime commitment. Chance accused Adam of wallowing in character flaws, and he urged Adam to get a life and find a new path because all Chance saw was Adam falling back into old habits. Chance was livid because he knew Adam had it in him to be much better than that. Chance implored Adam to do it for his son if not for himself. "This is as good as I get," Adam replied. Chance told Adam to have it his way, and he stormed off.
At Jabot, Diane invited Jack to have dinner with her to discuss her first few days at Marchetti. Diane requested any advice Jack had to offer because she needed to succeed. Diane said she needed to prove herself to Kyle and that she was worthy of the second chance she'd been given. Jack accepted.
At the ranch, Nikki told Phyllis she had a meeting with an investigative reporter from Los Angeles later that day. Nikki said the reporter was looking for a juicy story, and Diane fit that profile. Phyllis said even if the reporter didn't discover any ammunition to use against Diane, she could provide the reporter with whatever career-ending information she had. Nikki said she wanted to see how the initial meeting went. Phyllis asked if she could accompany Nikki to that meeting.
At the Dive Bar, Kyle told Summer he had a surprise, and he said they would have an evening with a little taste of Italy. Summer and Kyle reminisced about their romantic times in Milan until Summer saw Phyllis sitting at a table with Nikki.
Summer asked Kyle what was wrong with that picture. Kyle admitted it was odd. Summer said Phyllis and Nikki could barely stand to be in the same room together. Kyle said setting aside old grudges and rivalries was the new trend in Genoa City. Summer stated it didn't make sense for Nikki and Phyllis to be at the Dive Bar, chatting over drinks. She claimed something was up. Kyle said there was probably a reasonable explanation why Nikki and Phyllis were together; however, it was none of their business, and the evening was supposed to be about them. Summer agreed.
At their table, Nikki greeted Talia, the investigative reporter. After introductions had been made, Nikki explained that Talia had wanted to do a story about Ashland and how his actions and death had affected the Newman family. She said she'd told Talia the Newmans were fine and that Ashland was old news. Nikki said she'd told Talia about Diane's resurrection. Talia said it would be a fabulous story for her magazine.
Talia said she was sure that Nikki and Phyllis could give her a wealth of information, and she stated that she also wanted to speak to Jack. Nikki said that could be arranged. Talia admitted she was curious about the years Diane had spent in L.A. Phyllis said it seemed very unlikely that Diane had settled into a quiet life and just happened to stumble across Jack's granddaughter.
Nikki told Talia she'd had people looking into Diane's past in L.A., but they hadn't found anything yet. Phyllis asked if Nikki had told Talia about the cryptic text messages that Diane had sent to Jack; those text messages hadn't described a changed woman. Nikki said it wasn't worth exploring because Diane had already acknowledged she'd tried to become sympathetic in Jack's eyes by uniting him with his granddaughter.
Phyllis suggested that perhaps Talia should focus on Diane's time in Genoa City. Phyllis said they had full access to Diane, and they could help with Talia's investigation. Talia said it had been a great first meeting, and she would be in touch. Talia left.
Summer told Kyle she couldn't stand it any longer, and she joined Phyllis and Nikki. Summer asked them who the woman was they'd been talking to. Nikki told Summer that she and Phyllis had met with a journalist from L.A. who'd arrived in town to write a story about Ashland. Nikki said she had to meet Victor, and she left. Summer told Phyllis she didn't believe that was what had really gone on. Phyllis claimed that was really what had gone on, but Summer wasn't buying it.
At Chancellor-Winters, Elena told Devon she'd stopped by to spend time with Nate. Devon said Nate wasn't there; however, he'd heard that Elena had been released from her contract with Newman Media. Devon officially welcomed Elena to Chancellor-Winters. Devon noticed Elena didn't seem very excited, and he asked what was wrong.
Elena told Devon she was grateful for the chance to work at Chancellor-Winters. She said it would give her an opportunity to reach more people and to offer her guidance and support. Elena told Devon she was trying to come to terms with the reality of Nate's job at Chancellor-Winters because she felt that she and Nate were drifting apart. Devon understood. Elena asked if Devon's understanding referred to the tension between him and Nate.
Devon told Elena that no matter what issues he had with Nate professionally, it wouldn't affect how he felt about Nate as family. Devon said the transition for him, Lily, Nate, and Billy working together was a bit of a challenge, and there would be some difficulties; however, he didn't want the tension to affect Nate and Elena's home life. Elena thanked Devon, and she left.
At Crimson Lights, Lily told Nate she'd felt it was time for her to have a conversation with him. Lily said she'd known the transition would be a challenge for everyone as they all settled into their positions. Lily said she'd gone from running a media division to a huge entity, and it was the same for Devon. Lily pointed out that Nate had gone from medicine to business, and that had been a huge shift.
Lily said she wanted to hear Nate's thoughts on why he and Devon were at odds, and she wanted him to be honest if they were going to fix things. Nate stated that Devon believed Nate needed more guidance to better understand his position at the company and that Devon didn't think Nate respected Devon's authority because he'd overstepped his boundaries. Nate said he had a great deal of admiration for Devon and respected Devon's experience, but Devon had been autonomous for so long that he'd forgotten how to collaborate. Lily said that hadn't been her experience. Nate said that was because Lily and Devon were equals as co-CEOs.
Lily asked Nate what he believed the problem was. Nate said inflexibility and ego and that Devon refused any good ideas unless they were his own. Nate admitted he'd made some missteps but insisted it didn't mean he wasn't motivated to make Chancellor-Winters better. Nate stated that everything he'd done had been for Chancellor-Winters' success, but he claimed that Devon constantly held him back. Lily asked for an example.
Nate told Lily that he wanted to broaden the talent pool and create their own festivals across the country to showcase that talent. Lily said she liked the concept; however, the logistics were very complicated. Nate claimed that didn't mean it wasn't worth exploring, and if it wasn't viable, they could definitely expand their streaming platforms to appeal to a wider audience. Nate claimed that Devon was too particular and selective with his vision and that he hand-picked the acts based on his own personal taste. Lily claimed that was what set them apart. She said Devon was like a curator.
Nate told Lily that was great for a boutique business owner, but for a company like theirs, they should be thinking global conquest. Nate said there was no reason for Devon to feel threatened by that approach or having issues with those ideas other than the fact that they had been suggested by Nate. Nate said every time Devon had shut him down, Devon had claimed it hadn't been personal, but Nate said it seemed very personal to him. Lily said she appreciated Nate's candor and thanked him for sharing his ideas, which she felt were worth consideration.
Lily told Nate the tension wasn't one-sided. Nate apologized for his part in the tension. He said he and Devon had to find their footing, and that could happen because of Lily. Nate asked what was next. Lily said she had to figure out her next step with Devon.
After Lily left, Nate greeted Elena when she arrived. Elena said she'd stopped by the office to see him. Nate told Elena that Lily had asked to meet with him at the coffeehouse because she hadn't wanted any interruptions by Devon. Nate said it felt great to have his instincts validated. He said Lily liked his ideas, and he was confident she would support him with Devon. Elena asked how that resolved Nate's issues with Devon.
Nate told Elena that Lily understood the issues between him and Devon, and she understood that he was doing everything he could to make Chancellor-Winters better. Nate said that once Lily backed him, Devon would stop quashing his ideas. He said he wanted Chancellor-Winters to be a better environment for Elena, and he was excited to spend more time with her, since he wouldn't be spending time trying to convince Devon that his ideas made sense.
At Society, Diane told Jack she'd been trying to find a balance at work. She said she didn't want to come across too strong or to be invisible, either, and she'd been attempting to navigate the office politics. Jack told Diane to trust her gut and her instincts; she was a smart and resourceful woman. Diane said that after her meeting with Mariah, Diane felt she and Mariah would work well together once Diane had a little more experience under her belt. Diane said Mariah really knew what she was doing.
Jack asked Diane if Kyle had mentioned that he'd recruited Mariah without any background experience in cosmetics or marketing, but Kyle had known that Mariah had been the right fit for the job. Diane admitted Mariah was a powerhouse. Jack said Kyle had an eye for talent, and he hadn't hired Diane because she was his mother. Jack said Kyle obviously had enough faith in Diane to meet the challenge. Diane said it was humbling being a junior employee and reporting to someone young enough to be her daughter.
Jack told Diane to consider it a steppingstone; she'd been a model, an architect, and a Realtor, and she'd managed to climb the ladder in many different fields. Diane said she had another confession to make. She said that since her return to Genoa City, she'd projected a sense of confidence, but in reality, she'd been nervous and fearful about what the future held, such as starting over with Kyle and building a whole other life for herself. Diane said that at that moment, she felt nothing but excitement.
Diane told Jack that being a grandmother had been the most rewarding experience of her life. She said starting a new career was exciting, although seeing Phyllis on Marchetti's payroll had thrown her off her game. Jack said he knew how upset Diane had been because she'd spewed all kinds of accusations and suspicions. Diane stated that Jack should understand her reluctance to ever trust Phyllis, but she claimed she would take the high road, even if Phyllis couldn't.
Jack said Diane and Phyllis had survived their first day as coworkers. Diane stated that even if Phyllis tried to undermine her, she was on the lookout for whatever Phyllis' agenda was, and it would be over before it began. She said she refused to get worked up about it ever again. Diane admitted that she empathized with Phyllis, and she understood why Phyllis felt the way she did. Diane said she'd reentered Phyllis' life in a way that had felt intrusive, and as someone who'd been the ultimate outsider, Diane couldn't blame Phyllis. Diane said Phyllis felt threatened and displaced by her. Jack agreed.
Diane told Jack that since Harrison knew she was his grandmother and she'd been spending so much time with Harrison, Summer, and Kyle, it had probably gotten to Phyllis. Diane commented that she and Jack were having an enjoyable and pleasant meal together. Jack said he hoped Diane had the good sense not to rub that in Phyllis' face the next time she encountered her. Diane claimed she would do her best not to add to the tension.
Diane said Summer adored Phyllis, and she loved having Phyllis at Marchetti. Jack said it was just as much as Kyle loved having Diane there. Diane said Harrison was filled with so much love that Phyllis didn't need to worry about her lessening Phyllis' connection to him. Diane said that Jack and Phyllis had a history together, and even though Jack had said he wouldn't reunite with Phyllis, he'd let Phyllis into his heart time and time again and might do it again.
Jack told Diane she was way off base. Diane apologized. She said there was enough love, family, and friendship to go around. Diane said she hoped Phyllis would finally realize that Diane wasn't trying to take anything away from her, and Diane said she hoped Phyllis would find a way to move forward. Diane said allowing jealousy and resentment to take control was a terrible way to go through life. Jack said he appreciated Diane's candor and perspective.
At Chancellor-Winters, Lily told Devon she thought they needed to adjust their strategies regarding music festivals and the kind of music they had on their streaming services. Lily suggested they do their own music festivals and employ different musical acts to reach a bigger and broader audience. Devon said their own music festivals were very ambitious, and he would be concerned they would be spreading themselves too thin; however, if they could pull something like that off, it would be very cool. He suggested they have a meeting with everyone to talk about it.
Devon said he liked Lily's idea. Lily said the idea had been Nate's. Devon asked if Nate had asked Lily to trick him into proving that he only liked Lily's ideas. Lily stated that Nate had shared his ideas with her, and she'd chosen to pitch them to Devon to see if Devon would respond differently if the idea had been suggested by someone other than Nate. Devon wanted to know why Nate had brought his ideas to Lily before Nate had brought them to him.
Lily explained to Devon that she'd asked Nate to meet, and she'd encouraged him to open up to her. Lily said she'd wanted to gauge how Devon would respond if the idea had been raised by someone else. She asked if Devon had changed his opinion about the idea, knowing it had been Nate's. Devon said it wouldn't have changed his opinion, and he accused Lily of being underhanded. Lily admitted she had been, but perhaps it had opened Devon's eyes about the bias he had against Nate.
Lily told Devon she'd been trying to help, and she'd wanted to fix the situation because if it continued, it could get out of hand. Devon said she dn't have to trick him. Lily admitted he was right, and she apologized. Devon appreciated Lily's efforts, but he said it was between him and Nate. Devon left.
At the coffeehouse, Nate told Elena that if Lily got Devon to understand they were all on the same side, there wouldn't be any more battles to mediate. Elena said it sounded great; however, she said Nate needed to manage his expectations when it came to Devon because Devon might push back even harder. Elena received a call from the hospital and had to leave. As Elena left, Devon arrived.
Devon told Nate he'd just ended a meeting with Lily, and he asked what Nate was trying to pull.
At Newman, Victoria sent Chance a text message: "We need to talk." Chance responded, "Meet at Society in 30." Chelsea arrived and told Victoria she wanted Connor to know he had a biological sibling, and it would be good for Johnny, as well. Chelsea said Johnny was older than Connor and mature enough to understand. Victoria reminded Chelsea about their original agreement.
Victoria told Chelsea she'd always intended to tell Johnny the truth; he already knew she wasn't his biological mother. Chelsea stated that Johnny didn't know that she was his biological mother. Victoria asked why the sudden urgency. Chelsea said some things had recently reminded her that "tomorrow" wasn't promised, and keeping secrets wasn't the answer.
Victoria told Chelsea that she wasn't keeping some nefarious secret, but Chelsea claimed that the longer they waited, the more the boys would think they'd kept the secret from them on purpose. Chelsea asked what message that sent. Chelsea said the boys would eventually find out. Victoria said it wasn't a good time because she'd just told the kids their stepfather had died, and they were processing that. Chelsea asked what would happen if Johnny resented them for not sharing the information with him or if the boys discovered they were brothers and not cousins.
Chelsea said Victoria was Johnny's mother, and she'd done an incredible job raising him. Chelsea insisted she wouldn't impinge on that. Chelsea said she wanted to approach the boys with some honesty so they wouldn't think she and Victoria had been keeping a secret from them. She said she and Victoria knew how secrets could destroy a family. Victoria said she would consider it because secrets that were kept in kindness could do serious damage.
At Society, Abby asked Chance if he'd reached any conclusions about Ashland's investigation. Chance said he was still weighing his next steps. Abby reiterated that she wouldn't press him for details, and she said it was his investigation and his decision.
Abby told Chance that Victoria had described the harrowing details on the night Ashland had died, and Victoria wanted to put the whole thing behind her. Chance asked if Victoria had wanted Abby to convince him to drop the investigation. Abby said no, but she asked what impact it would have on Victor if Chance pursued the investigation. Chance said he couldn't stop doing his job because it involved people he cared about.
Abby said if Chance's theory about Victor was true and Chance could prove it, it didn't change the fact that Ashland had died. Abby acknowledged that Chance had a strong sense of duty. Chance stated that he'd pledged to uphold those values and protect his community. Abby asked about his duty to his family.
Chance asked if Abby thought that family came before justice. He suggested it would be the height of hypocrisy if he put his family above the law. Abby said she was worried about the stress the investigation had put on him and their family. Abby said the conflict the investigation had put on Chance was on a level she hadn't seen before. Chance said those were unusual circumstances, and he'd also been trying to close all of Rey's cases.
Chance told Abby that Rey had been one of the most upstanding guys he'd ever known, and he was trying to live up to that legacy. Chance asked how he could do that if he ignored the facts in the case to protect Abby's family. Abby stated there was more to life than work. Abby said Chance had missed Dominic saying bye-bye for the first time because he'd missed family dinnertime.
Chance said it was unreasonable for Abby to ask him to be there for every special moment. Abby said Chance needed to take a hard look at the pressures of the case. Chance admitted he was torn what the right thing was because he was being pressured by everyone in Abby's family, including Adam; they all wanted to know his thoughts on the investigation.
Chance told Abby he wasn't immune to family loyalty, and as much as Abby claimed it was his decision, he felt she had another opinion. Abby said Chance's opinion was the only one that mattered. Victoria arrived and asked for a moment with Chance. Annoyed, Abby left.
Victoria told Chance that Victor had informed her that Chance had uncovered video footage from the night Ashland had died, and it somehow supported Chance's theory that Victor had been involved in what had happened. Victoria asked how some grainy footage of some guy smoking a cigarette and getting into Ashland's rental car was proof of anything. Victoria said Chance would do what his conscience dictated, even if someone asked him to do anything else. Chance said they might not ask him directly, but the Newmans were masters at indirect pressure.
Victoria told Chance she admired that Chance continued to dig until he had clarity on what had really happened. She accepted that Chance had to do his job, and she didn't want to push him into doing anything that was against his better instincts. Victoria reiterated that Ashland had gone after her with violent intent, and he'd been stopped. Victoria said she and her family were safe. She believed the outcome had been the best for everyone involved. Victoria left.
Kevin arrived and told Chance they had gotten DNA off the cigarette butt, but the security guard had disappeared, so they couldn't subpoena him to see if they had a match. Kevin said a bloody fingerprint had been found on the door handle inside Ashland's car. Kevin said the blood was Ashland's, but the print was going to be difficult to match because it was only a partial; however, the print wasn't Ashland's. Kevin said he found it curious that the car had been meticulously wiped clean.
Kevin told Chance he'd asked the techs to process the car again, and that was when they'd discovered the partial print. Chance said it was weird there weren't any prints inside the car. Kevin said the video showed that someone else had been driving Ashland's car. Chance said the smoker had probably had Ashland's blood on his hands. Kevin said it would prove Chance's theory that Victor's security guards had moved the body and had staged the accident.
Kevin asked Chance if they should set up the time and manpower to track down the missing security guards to get their prints and DNA, or if Chance had enough to take the case to the D.A.
At Chancellor-Winters, Billy apologized to Lily for being late. Annoyed, Lily stated that he'd missed the video conference, and it would be difficult to reschedule because of the different time zones. Billy said he and Chelsea had been working on a podcast, and he'd lost track of time. He said he would call everyone, apologize, and set up another video conference. Billy said it had been the first time he'd dropped the ball, but Lily said it hadn't been the first time he'd been late or distracted because of the podcast. Lily said the podcasts were secondary to his primary job as COO. She felt the podcasts had taken precedence.
Billy told Lily the podcasts were part of the initiative with the company they were building; the podcasts had been a major generator of their success. Lily said she'd been trying to merge two companies, there was tension between Devon and Nate because they weren't getting along, and she could use some support from her COO. Billy assured Lily she could count on him. Billy asked Lily not to accuse him of not caring about his job, because he did.
Lily told Billy it wasn't a case of Billy missing a meeting, rather, it was a question of where his passion lay. She said when he talked about the podcasts, his energy changed, but she'd never seen that energy when it involved the corporate world. Billy admitted the podcasts were a creative outlet, and his job as COO was grounding and stabilizing. Billy asked if Lily was asking if he wanted to quit. Lily said Billy had taken their conversation to an extreme because she wasn't suggesting that Billy quit. Billy apologized and said he'd missed Lily while she'd been out of town, and it wouldn't happen again. Lily said Billy had to give some serious thought to what he wanted.
At Crimson Lights, Nate told Devon he wasn't trying to pull anything. Devon said Lily had pitched him with ideas that Nate had brought to her before Nate had brought them to him. Devon said he'd never heard those ideas from Nate. Devon said Nate had done that to get them approved by Lily without hearing Devon's critique about them. Devon asked if Nate expected him to agree to Nate's ideas by getting Lily on board first. Nate said Devon was dead wrong.
Nate told Devon he'd brought his ideas to Lily because Lily had asked him to, and she'd wanted to hear what he'd had to say, unlike Devon. Devon said he'd never had a problem listening to what Nate had had to say or his ideas; however, Nate had had a problem hearing Devon's critiques or advice on how Nate could improve. Nate said he was open to criticism, but that seemed to be all he got about any ideas he'd had. Devon said Nate lacked experience, and maybe he needed to use a mentor; Nate had taken that to heart.
Devon told Nate he didn't know how to have an open dialogue or how to collaborate without Nate becoming sensitive about it. Nate asked how he was supposed to do his job when he had to run every move he made by Devon. Devon stated that was Nate's job; he was Devon's COO, and he ran things by Devon. Devon claimed that because Nate was part of the family, he could not disregard the chain of command. Nate said he understood the chain of command, since Devon took every opportunity to remind him. Devon wished he didn't need to, but for some reason, Nate wasn't getting it.
Devon said Nate was his COO, and Nate worked for him, not the other way around. Nate said he understood he wasn't Devon's equal, but he wasn't Devon's intern, either, and didn't appreciate being treated that way. Nate claimed Devon didn't want Nate to have any ideas of his own and that he should be seen, not heard. Devon said he'd always encouraged Nate to speak up anytime he had something to say.
Nate told Devon he'd brought his ideas to Lily, as she'd requested. He said Devon could learn something from Lily if he wasn't so bullheaded and egotistical. Devon asked Nate to explain Lily's leadership qualities that Nate liked and Devon lacked. Nate said Lily knew how to lead a team and to delegate, instead of trying to do everything on her own. He said Lily was willing to listen to others and allow them to run with good ideas; it was motivating and inspiring.
Devon asked Nate what Lily had said about Nate's ideas. Nate said Lily had felt they were worth considering. Devon said that wasn't a green light to move forward. Devon said initiatives took a lot of time, planning, and putting a team together. Devon asked if Nate had assumed he would run his ideas by Lily and then he would begin creating their own music festivals and changing their streaming platform on his own, because that wasn't how things worked. Nate stated there it was, Devon's obsessive need for total control, and it was stifling.
Devon said that Nate couldn't handle being inexperienced at something. Nate asked if Devon was blaming rejecting his ideas on inexperience; he insisted that excuse was beginning to wear thin. Devon stated Nate didn't have a lot of business experience, and since Nate had been successful in what he'd done at the launch party, Nate thought he could do whatever he wanted and not follow any rules. Nate asked if those rules were Devon's because they were the only ones that seemed to matter. Devon shouted they were his rules, and he asked who Nate worked for. Devon asked how Nate didn't understand he was Devon's COO.
Devon told Nate the issues were about far more than work, and Nate had to figure things out before they spoke again. Devon left.
Later, at the coffeehouse, Abby asked what had Devon so upset. Devon said working with family was very difficult, and he was having problems with Nate. Devon said Nate was trying to do too much too fast, and Nate didn't like listening to advice. Devon said Nate thought he knew better than everyone else, and it seemed like Nate wanted instant success and to launch all the new initiatives all at once without learning the ropes.
Abby told Devon that when there was a work and family mix, things became complicated. Abby said that family turmoil could be overwhelming. She admitted she hadn't been thrilled about Chance returning to work at the police department because she hadn't thought he was ready, but it seemed to help Chance heal. She said since Rey's death, Chance had been overcompensating by working long hours and trying to close all of Rey's cases. She said Chance had a case that had left him in a moral quandary.
Abby told Devon she was concerned about the stress and the pressure on Chance. Devon suggested Abby put her foot down and tell Chance she didn't want him to work as much. Abby said sometimes people had to make their own decisions and mistakes. Abby said she'd tried to guilt Chance into doing what she'd wanted him to do instead of talking to him directly. She said it was difficult to find people with whom they could be completely honest without them taking offense.
Devon said Abby and Chance were able to do that, and Chance wasn't fighting her on anything; he just had a lot going on. Abby indicated that the same could be said about Nate. Devon wasn't sure about that because Nate was fighting him at every turn, and that was a sign of bigger problems.
Victoria arrived at the Dive Bar and received a wolf whistle from Billy. Victoria said she'd thought she would have a quiet drink, but she kept running into reminders of her messy life. She said she'd been sandbagged by Chelsea, who wanted to tell Johnny she was his biological mother and that she'd already discussed it with Billy.
Billy apologized and told Victoria that Chelsea had spoken to him, but he didn't think it was the right time to talk to Victoria about it; Chelsea had jumped the gun. Victoria agreed that Johnny needed the truth, but he was still trying to understand what had happened with Ashland.
Billy told Victoria he didn't know when they should tell Johnny, but the older Johnny got, the harder it would be justifying why they hadn't told him. Victoria said she wanted to relax. Billy invited her to join him while he bored her, talking about his podcasts.
Victoria told Billy she wasn't sure she wanted to send the kids back to boarding school because she missed them, but she felt it was the best place for them at that moment. Billy agreed that the kids needed to be as far away as possible from any publicity about Ashland.
Victoria asked why Billy was there without Lily. Billy said Lily was at work. Victoria asked if there was a problem. Billy said he was still trying to figure out what he wanted to do when he grew up. Victoria said Billy could still get her out of her own head and make her laugh, especially when she needed it.
Chelsea arrived, and she saw Billy and Victoria at the bar.
Victoria thanked Billy for the chat and said that it had helped. She said she appreciated Billy's friendship. When Victoria left, Chelsea joined Billy. Chelsea said she'd always thought that Billy and Victoria brought out the best in each other.
At the Abbotts', Jack invited Diane for a nightcap. Diane reminisced about Kyle as a boy and said she regretted keeping Kyle from Jack. She apologized. Diane said history seemed to be repeating itself because Kyle had missed out on the first few years of Harrison's life. Jack stated that had been a different situation.
Diane said the last time she and Jack had spoken about the wounds from the past, Jack had been antagonistic; she appreciated the kinder and gentler approach Jack had taken with her. Jack said he didn't think they should sweep the past under the rug. Diane agreed. She said there were a lot of people who wouldn't allow her to forget it, but Jack had found a way to rise above the pettiness. Jack asked if Diane could let go of past resentments.
Diane told Jack that for years, her grudges had fueled her. She said she couldn't believe how much her life had changed in a year. Diane admitted she had regrets, and Kyle's pain topped the list. She admitted she had a life she'd only dreamed of. She said she was rebuilding her relationship with her son, she was getting to know her grandson, and she had an exciting new job.
Jack asked Diane what she really wanted. He said they were in a better place than they'd been a few months back. Diane agreed and said there was no longer a wall of animosity between them. Jack said he wanted to know what Diane was thinking. Diane wanted to know where Jack was going with all the questions. As she reached for her drink, Jack took her hand and asked where she thought it was going.
Diane asked what Jack was asking. Jack asked what she was hoping for from their tenuous relationship. Diane said her feelings for Jack went beyond friendship, and she'd felt like a schoolgirl when their hands had touched. Diane said the bet she'd made with herself about having a friendship with Jack had been true, but there was a part of her that wanted more. She said those feelings were both thrilling and terrifying.
Diane told Jack her heart had been shut down for so long that she hadn't wanted affection because it made her feel guiltier about everything she'd done. She said since her return, her heart was opening up, and it felt good to be alive in that way again; however, she knew that in the end, there would be some pain because no matter how deep her feelings for Jack had become, she knew Jack would never feel the same way about her. Diane said she'd wanted to delay that conversation because she hadn't wanted the daydream to end. Jack said maybe it didn't have to. Jack told Diane he had some feelings for her, and they kissed.
Diane heard someone calling her; she snapped out of her reverie. Jack asked where she'd gone. She claimed the drink had gone to her head. Jack asked Diane about her plans and goals since she was settling in Genoa City. He said she couldn't live at the Athletic Club forever, since Kyle had let her back into his life and she had a job. Diane said she hadn't given much thought to her living arrangements, and she was taking the "come what may" approach to life. She said if one planned too much for the future, one didn't have a chance to dream.
Diane told Jack it was time to leave. Jack asked if she was okay to drive after her spell; he offered to drive Diane home or call for a car for her. Diane said she was fine, and it was nice knowing he cared. Diane left.
At the Dive Bar, Billy asked Chelsea if she believed that he and Victoria brought out the best in each other. Chelsea said they brought out the best and occasionally the worst. Billy didn't think he brought out the best in Victoria, but Victoria had often saved him from the worst of himself. Chelsea asked what had gone wrong between them.
Billy told Chelsea he'd never been able to hold on to a winning streak. He said it had never been Victoria's fault because she'd done everything that she had been able to do to keep him on the path, but he would always find a way to slip up. He said Victoria had never been at fault for him being at his worst.
Chelsea asked if Billy missed the guy he had been. Billy said everyone who looked back felt a little nostalgia for their youth, and that troublemaking side was deeply embedded within him -- at least his family believed that. He said he would always self-sabotage, and Jill believed the podcasts were a gateway to his destructive behavior.
Billy told Chelsea that Lily's opinion of him wasn't much better. He said they'd had a little discussion, and it had sounded like Lily wanted him to quit the podcasts. He said Lily hadn't said that directly, but it seemed she wanted him to walk away from either the podcasts or the COO position because she didn't think he could do both.
Billy told Chelsea that Lily felt he'd been too focused on the podcast, and he knew people were saying that he was using it as a way to avoid his responsibility at Chancellor-Winters. Chelsea disagreed and said the podcasts were a perfect fit for Billy because he wasn't a corporate guy. She said he was a risk taker, like her. Billy said Lily had sharp insight, he trusted her, and she hadn't steered him wrong. Billy said perhaps he should leave his position as COO. Chelsea claimed the podcasts were the real Billy.
Chelsea told Billy she knew he was the "Grinning Soul." Billy reluctantly admitted he was. Chelsea said Billy was much happier talking into a microphone and chatting about whatever he wanted to. Chelsea felt that Billy was secretly hoping Lily would give him an ultimatum and that Billy would have to decide which position he wanted, but he hoped he could make a decision without Lily forcing his hand.
Billy told Chelsea it was time to go, and he thanked her for giving him a lot to think about. Before they parted, Chelsea asked if Victoria had mentioned that Chelsea had paid her a visit and had asked about Johnny. Chelsea could see by Billy's expression that Victoria wasn't on board. Billy said it wasn't good timing. Chelsea understood, but she felt she was lying to Connor by withholding information from him. She felt the longer she waited, the more Connor would resent her for not telling him. She believed that finding out he had a brother would help Johnny cope with Ashland's death. Chelsea asked Billy to try to convince Victoria.
Billy said if Chelsea wanted to get what she was looking for, Victoria needed some space before making a decision. Billy left.
At the ranch, Victoria told Nikki and Victor that Chance was conflicted because he'd been pulled in different directions. Victor said he hoped Victoria had made a very strong argument for Chance to drop his ridiculous investigation. Victoria said she'd told Chance she respected that he needed to do what he felt was necessary. Victoria said she'd made it very clear that she and her family were safer because of what had happened that night. She said Chance hadn't revealed anything, but he'd appeared to be carrying a very heavy burden.
Victor told Victoria he had no regrets about his actions because he needed to protect his family. Victor said if Chance had enough evidence, he would have gone to the D.A.; a few more dead ends, and he would give up.
Victoria told Nikki and Victor she'd been ambushed by Chelsea because Chelsea had a sudden interest in telling Johnny who his biological mother was and for Connor to know he had a brother. Victoria said Johnny was aware she wasn't his biological mother; however, it was another thing to tell him who'd given birth to him. Nikki said it hadn't been part of the agreement Victoria had made with Chelsea. Victoria said the decision to tell Johnny had been left to her discretion completely.
Nikki told Victoria that Chelsea wasn't the same woman she'd been when she'd agreed to that arrangement. She said Chelsea was a mother herself and no longer a con artist, and keeping information like that could cause problems later on. Victoria asked if Nikki was suggesting she tell Johnny immediately. Victor objected and stated that Johnny was her son, and she was the only mother he'd ever known. Victor claimed it would be a mistake to tell Johnny about Chelsea.
Nikki said Victor knew the importance of knowing who his parents were. Victor said there was a time for that, and that wasn't it. Victoria said Johnny was dealing with the loss of Ashland, and she didn't think it would be smart to pile all that on him at that time.
At Crimson Lights, Chance had a number of flashbacks to various conversations with the Newmans. He remembered when Nick had said he'd wanted to protect his sister because Ashland had been completely out of control. He remembered that Victoria had said Chance was accusing Victor with no proof, and it was all speculation.
Chance recalled that Victor had asked Chance to assume his hypothesis was correct, and that Victor had sent his security team into that house to pick up Locke's body, put him into his car, and stage an accident into the ravine, giving the impression Ashland had died by himself. He asked Chance to assume he'd done that to protect his son and daughter, which had formed the impression they were guilty.
Chance thought to when Nick had asked what it would take for Chance to be satisfied that Ashland had been able to leave Victoria's house without any help.
Chance remembered that he had admitted to Victoria that nothing would make him happier than to close the book on the investigation and move on, and Victoria had said that if he felt that way, then he should put a stop to the investigation immediately.
Returning to the moment, Chance called Kevin and said he finally knew what he had to do. Nick arrived. Chance told Nick there had been some developments in the case, and he wanted to sit down with Nick, Victoria, and Victor the next day to discuss how things would proceed. Nick told Chance he didn't see any reason to prolong things. He said Victoria was at the ranch, and he suggested they leave immediately. Chance agreed.
Nick arrived at the ranch and said Chance would arrive any moment because he'd uncovered new information, and he was ready to move forward. Chance arrived and he told the Newmans there wouldn't any conversations; he just wanted them to listen.
Chance said a witness had spotted Ashland's vehicle at a gas station near Victoria's property. There was video footage of someone driving that vehicle away right after Nick had called him that night. Chance admitted the image wasn't clear, but they were able to ascertain that Ashland hadn't been the driver; the person had born a resemblance to one of the men Victor had assigned to watch Victoria's house that night.
Chance said a cigarette butt had been found where Ashland's car had been parked at the gas station. He said the security footage from the gas station had gaps at the times when Ashland would have arrived and when he would have left. Chance also had Ashland's ring Nick had found on the floor at Victoria's, and it had probably fallen out of Ashland's pocket when he'd been carried out of the house. Victor claimed those were all suppositions.
Chance said a bloody fingerprint had been found on the door handle of the car; the blood was Ashland's, but the fingerprint wasn't. Chance said it was no longer a supposition. Chance said once he compared that fingerprint to Victor's security guards, he was certain he would have a match. Victor claimed that wouldn't stand up in court. Chance stated that indictments had been made with less. Victor maintained that Chance had nothing. Victor asked if Chance had forgotten he was a member of the family. Chance reiterated that it wasn't a conversation, and he suggested they listen.
Chance said there were two scenarios, and both involved a belligerent and unstable Ashland Locke showing up at Victoria's. He'd been invited in, he'd made threats, Nick had arrived in time to help his sister, Nick had punched Locke in self-defense, Locke had fallen, and he'd hit his head.
Chance said in the first scenario, Locke had been injured, but had still been alive. Nick and Victoria had stepped outside for a moment, during which time Locke had gotten up, stumbled to his car, and driven off; at some point, he'd lost control of the vehicle and ended up in the ravine, killing himself in the crash.
Chance said in the second scenario, Nick's altercation with Locke in defense of Victoria had inadvertently caused the fall that had killed Locke, and Nick hadn't intended for Locke to die. Victoria had felt responsible, and she'd called Chance, and then she'd stepped outside with Nick. Without their knowledge, Victor's men had removed the body, placed it in the rental car, and staged the accident to make it look like that had been how Locke had died. That would have absolved Nick of any responsibility in Locke's death.
Chance said there was evidence substantiating the second scenario; however, there were holes in the case. Victor asked which scenario Chance would pursue.
Chance said in both scenarios, Locke's death had been an accident -- no one had intended for Locke to die. Nick had been protecting his sister with no intention of taking a life. Locke had put the Newmans through hell, and he'd lied about a fatal disease solely for personal gain. Chance told them no one knew what a man like that was capable of or how far he would go for revenge. Chance said Locke had been a despicable human being, but that wasn't a crime.
Chance said given more time and resources, he could find the conspiracy that had covered up the real cause of Locke's death, but he wondered what the point would be. Chance said he didn't see any point for anyone to be tried for a murder that had never happened. He said Locke had put the Newmans through enough trauma.
Chance said he would present his first scenario as his official version: that Locke had been alive, gotten into his car, and crashed into the ravine. A terrible man had died a terrible death, and no one would be punished for it.
Victor said he admired Chance's reasoning. Chance said he hadn't arrived at that decision lightly. He said he believed in doing everything to protect his loved ones; however, the Locke situation involved the law, and that was something he also believed in. He believed they'd found justice in a different way. He said it hadn't been by the book, but he believed it had been just.
Alone with Chance, Victoria acknowledged it hadn't been easy for Chance, but he'd protected the family. She said it wouldn't be forgotten that he'd done the right thing. Chance said he hoped Victoria would find peace, and he left.
Victoria told everyone that Chance had come through for them. Nick said they might have compromised the most moral man in Genoa City. Victor claimed Chance knew he didn't have enough evidence that would hold up in court, and the fact was that Chance hadn't wanted to lose. Nick said that might be, but it didn't change what had happened that night. Nick left.
Victoria told Victor she hoped Nick would be okay. Victor said Nick would have to deal with the fact that he'd killed a man, even though he knew it had been an accident. Nikki said Nick would continue to punish himself. Victor declared that Nick would need all of their support.
At Society, Chance appeared very unhappy while he sat alone at the bar.