Nick stopped by Crimson Lights while Sharon was closing for the evening. Nick told Sharon he had something to share that was for her ears only. Sharon, concerned, asked what had happened. Nick told Sharon that Chance had visited the ranch to talk to him, Victoria, Nikki, and Victor. Nick was relieved to announce that Chance had wrapped up his investigation, so Victor would not face charges for his role in covering up Ashland's actual cause of death. The official cause, Nick said, would be listed as a fatality resulting from a car accident. Sharon told Nick he could finally put the nightmare behind him. Nick recalled that Victor's actions had made the situation worse. Sharon replied, "Sounds like you're still angry with him."
Nick cried that Victor felt the need to control every single situation, though his dad never accepted any blame. Sharon advised Nick not to let Victor off the hook. Nick, exhausted, sighed and admitted he should instead take a deep breath and let it go because the situation was behind them. Sharon advised Nick to deal with his conflicted emotions involving having killed someone, even though Ashland had been a horrible man. Nick admitted that the chaos that had occurred afterward, including Victor's interference, had pulled him out of his own head for a time.
Sharon offered to listen whenever Nick was ready to talk, given that his constant sense of dread had diminished. Nick admitted he had hated Ashland and had never tried to hide his feelings about wanting him dead. Nick cried that he had no idea how to deal with having caused Ashland's death and often relived the horror of what had happened. Sharon held Nick's hand and said, "It was never your intention to take his life." Sharon advised Nick to separate his feelings for Ashland from the events that had occurred by acknowledging that he had been forced to defend his sister and himself, as well. Sharon reminded Nick that because Chance had ruled the death as accidental, it proved Nick had not been at fault.
A sullen Adam encountered Victor when he went to the ranch to collect some belongings. Adam offered to clear out all of his stuff to make room for Victoria should Victor prefer that she take his place. Adam suggested that Victor would even prefer that Victoria and her children stay permanently and take the space once offered to Adam. Adam complained that he felt like a placeholder for his sister after she had triumphantly returned and knocked him back into the reject pile. Victor paused before calmly replying that Johnny and Katie were upstairs, asleep, though Victoria had spoken about moving back to her home.
Victor reminded Adam that Victoria had suffered emotional trauma and had needed emotional support. Adam accused Victor of having somehow been involved in Ashland's death. Victor invited Adam to sit and have a drink. Changing the subject, Adam mentioned Connor. Victor said he and Nikki had missed the boy. Victor expressed certainty that Connor would be successful at whatever he chose to do after Adam mentioned his son's avid interest in coding. Adam replied, "Unlike his father. Serial failure." In his own defense, Victor stated, "I didn't say anything like that." Adam claimed it had been implied because his dad never said what he actually meant. Victor insisted that what Adam had said was pure nonsense.
Victor informed Adam he would not react to goading because he was feeling good about his family being happy. Adam was surprised to learn that Chance had closed the investigation regarding Ashland's death. Adam replied, "What the hell did you pull this time, Dad?" Victor asked Adam why he believed his father had pulled something. Adam explained that he had spoken to many people, including Chance, and had been wondering why the authorities had investigated a crash that had occurred so close to Victoria's house. Victor replied, "Beats me."
Adam recalled Chance having mentioned that his family might need his support, and he remembered noticing that Nick, who had hated Ashland, had been in distress. Adam asked Victor why Nick had been upset. Victor laughed and replied, "No clue." Adam recalled that Abby believed Chance had withheld information and that Sally had even seemed to know more than she was willing to admit, though she had not published anything about it.
Adam asked Victor if he had covered for Nick or Victoria and how he had convinced Chance to look the other way. Victor insisted that Chance was an honest man. Victor explained that after Ashland had become violent with Victoria, Nick had intervened to protect her. Victor admitted he had acted to protect both Nick and Victoria. Victor credited Chance for doing what family was expected to do in moments of crisis.
Adam accused Victor of expecting family loyalty until it ran against his master plan. Adam cried, "I've been loyal as hell. You just don't see it." Adam complained that Victor and Victoria had undermined his deal to get rid of Ashland. Adam blamed Victor for pushing Ashland to lash out. Victor said nothing. Adam berated his father for not trusting his original plan. Adam warned his father that there would always be another shoe waiting to drop. Victor glared at Adam.
Victoria walked slowly in the dark toward her front door, dragging her luggage behind. Dogs barked in the distance as Victoria unlocked the door, entered, and turned on the lights. Victoria stared at the fireplace where Ashland had fallen and died. After hearing tapping, Victoria turned her attention to a set of French doors. Victoria jumped with fright when she recalled having seen Ashland staring menacingly at her through the windowpane the night he'd died. Victoria relived every moment of her horrific encounter with Ashland.
Victoria remembered when Ashland had held up the Locke family ring she had given him and yelled that it represented her lies and deception. Ashland had slipped the ring in his pocket and said it would be a reminder of how cruel she had been. Victoria recoiled when she recalled a red-faced Ashland yelling that he should have let Victoria die inside her burning car. Victoria recalled the terrifying moment Nick had entered and Ashland had threatened that he and Victoria were saying their last goodbyes. Victoria remembered the horror of discovering that Ashland had died after Nick had pushed him. Billy called out from the front door. Victoria collected her thoughts before inviting Billy inside.
Billy said he had noticed Victoria's car in the driveway. Victoria explained that it was her first night back. Victoria, looking around her living room, observed that though it seemed that nothing had changed, everything had. Billy embraced Victoria to comfort her. Billy suggested that Victoria could have waited to return until after the investigation had been resolved. Victoria replied that Chance had closed the case, concluding that Ashland had left her house and later died in a car accident. Billy said there seemed to be more to Ashland's death.
Victoria told Billy in confidence that Ashland had died in her home and that while she and Nick had been outside, Victor's security team had removed the body and later staged an accident.
Victoria reminded Billy that Victor always acted to protect his children, though her father had had no idea what had happened. Victoria said she was thankful she had been in the kitchen when Ashland had fallen after Nick had acted to defend himself. Victoria told Billy she was worried about Nick dealing with having taken a man's life. Billy assured Victoria that Nick was a strong, steady guy who could rely on his support system to help him overcome what had happened. Victoria recalled that Nick had been right about Ashland from the beginning.
Billy urged Victoria to put Ashland in the past. Victoria admitted she felt relieved and did not want to waste her life. Victoria told Billy his timing had been perfect. Billy noted that their replica of the Father Knows Best house looked the same as it had when they had been together. Victoria laughed and replied, "Look how that metaphor turned out. My father immediately had me arrested after we said our wedding vows on the front lawn, and he hasn't stopped guiding me ever since."
Billy acknowledged that the life Victoria had built with Ashland was gone. Victoria said she refused to let Ashland take her home from her. Billy changed the subject and remembered all the fun activities, especially holiday traditions, they had enjoyed with their children. Billy amusingly recalled the time he had attempted to replicate a bookcase like the one Victoria had cherished as a child. Victoria and Billy both fondly remembered Johnny's homecoming and Katie's christening. Billy remembered the sorrow Victoria had gone through when she'd tried and failed to have a baby. Victoria remembered the pain of Delia's death. Victoria told Billy that even sad memories brought comfort because they had survived them together and could still talk as friends.
Victoria credited Billy with helping her put aside what had happened and consider toasting her future. Victoria asked Billy if her sudden turnaround seemed insane. Billy replied, "It's not insane at all." Victoria poured glasses of wine and asked Billy what they should drink to. Billy lifted his glass and said, "How about to catharsis?" Victoria replied, "Perfect." Billy said Victoria had realized her dreams by running the family business, making it stronger than it had ever been, and most importantly being the best mother to their amazing kids. Victoria agreed she had a lot to be grateful for.
Billy heaped praised on Victoria and assured her that there was nothing she could not conquer. Victoria recalled that Billy had mentioned feeling like he was at sea. Billy said he was thinking about making some changes, though he would not elaborate, explaining that he would rather focus on Victoria's fresh start. Billy lifted his glass and said, "To new beginnings." Victoria replied, "Hear, hear."
Chance sat alone at Society, drinking. Abby entered from the kitchen and paused when she saw Chance. Abby explained that because she had been summoned to fill in, she had left Dominic with the nanny. Abby sensed that Chance was in distress. Abby asked Chance if Victoria had pressured him. Chance replied that Victoria had not wanted to influence his decision regarding his investigation in any way. Chance informed Abby that after he had spoken to Victoria, he'd learned that Kevin had discovered new information. Chance admitted he had struggled with how to proceed, though he had decided to inform Abby's family that his investigation was over.
Abby seemed torn when Chance said he had officially listed Ashland's cause of death as head trauma likely suffered during a car accident. Abby breathed a sigh of relief and replied, "That's amazing. I mean, that means my dad was innocent. There was no cover-up." Chance said, "No, Abby. There was evidence of exactly that." Abby's facial expression immediately changed from joyful to a look of shock. Abby said she had hoped for once that her father had not gone rogue.
Chance admitted his evidence had not been sufficiently conclusive to support a trial. Chance admitted that Ashland's death had resulted from an accident, so he had made a judgment call to embrace the car crash as the most plausible cause of death. Abby asked Chance why he did not seem relieved that it was over. Chance said he was relieved, though he believed that Victor had orchestrated a cover-up.
Chance told Abby that police resources could be utilized for other cases, plus prolonging the investigation would have adversely affected her family. Chance, recalling how Ashland had abused Victoria, said he felt it would be wrong to drag the family through more hell, even though Victor's actions had complicated the situation. Abby said her father would always do whatever he believed was right to protect his family. Abby thanked Chance for choosing to protect their family. Chance, frustrated that he had been forced to make a choice, replied, "I would really appreciate it if you would stop acting like it was the right one just because I came down on the Newmans' side of things."
Chance told Abby that his military and police training had instilled in him that breaking the law deserved punishment. Abby admitted she had unfairly insisted that Chance consider her family first above all and understood if he felt disillusioned with her and her family. Chance apologized, admitting he had put Abby in a bad spot, though he upheld his final determination as the right one, given the facts. Chance told Abby he hoped Nick and Victoria could move on. Abby nodded in agreement.
At home, Victoria flashed back to Billy declaring that there was nothing she couldn't conquer. Nikki arrived with breakfast and tea, and she inquired whether Victoria had been able to sleep. Victoria proclaimed that she'd slept like a log, and it had been glorious. Nikki worried that perhaps her daughter had returned home too soon, but Victoria asserted that stepping back into her old life was exactly what she'd needed. Victoria quickly corrected that she was stepping forward into a new life, and she intended to start planning right then. "For what?" Nikki asked. "Life after Ashland," Victoria replied.
Nikki remarked that it was nice to have closure on the whole ordeal involving Ashland's untimely death, but Victoria contended that the real tragedy was what Nick was going through. Nikki urged Victoria to take time to deal with how low Ashland had spiraled, but Victoria refused to wallow in how everything had gone wrong. Victoria asserted that she'd mourned Ashland in her own way and realized she felt free. Victoria mentioned that she'd had a drink with Billy the night before, and it had felt good to toast to the future. She added that she felt good about what was ahead, and she was ready to start plotting that course. "Let's be bold, Mom," Victoria proclaimed.
Victoria instructed Nikki to send a message to the department heads about Victoria's plans to take Newman Enterprises into the future. Nikki was impressed by Victoria's strength because she knew everything Victoria had gone through, but she pointed out that the rest of the world thought Ashland had died in a tragic car accident. Victoria offered to acknowledge her ex-spouse by noting that Newman wouldn't be the company it was without Ashland's dedication to growing their holdings, but she was determined to put an end to the rumors about the future of the company. Nikki warned that some employees were still loyal to Ashland.
Victoria intended to make it clear that those employees were free to leave, but no other company would offer them the opportunity Newman could because starting that day, nothing was in their way. Nikki remarked that it certainly sounded like Victoria had bold plans in mind. Nikki assumed they'd go to Newman Tower to present them, but Victoria didn't want another minute to go by with her team wondering what was going on with state of the corporate leadership. Nikki approved of Victoria's decision to get ahead of the internal issues and make a show of strength and decisiveness. Victoria exclaimed that true leadership of Newman Enterprises was about to begin.
At Chancellor-Winters, Billy wished Lily a good morning and referred to what people said about the early bird. Lily responded that it ruled the world, but Billy countered that it missed having mocha and croissants in bed. Lily explained that she hadn't wanted to wake him, but she'd had a lot to catch up on after she'd gotten back from her trip. He asked if she could spare a few minutes to pick up their earlier conversation about him splitting time between his corporate responsibilities and his podcast.
Billy said he'd done a lot of thinking, and he'd figured out what he wanted to be when he grew up. He claimed that he'd been putting himself in the recording studio to avoid dealing with his feelings, and it wasn't fair to Lily or the company. Billy announced that he was making a course correction, and he'd found a replacement. Lily stammered that they should have talked about it before he'd made such a quick decision. Billy clarified that the new host of the "Grinning Soul" was someone with a skewed view of the world who would throw caution to the wind.
Lily was stunned that Billy intended to stay on as COO, and he confirmed that he was walking away from the podcast to focus on her and Chancellor-Winters. Lily asked if it was something he wanted or if he was saying what he thought she wanted to hear. Billy said he loved Lily and loved them working together, and he'd realized the podcast was taking up too much space in his life. Billy recalled that he'd promised Jill he wouldn't let her down after ChancComm, and he intended to be a man of his word. Lily interpreted that to mean he was doing it because it was being demanded of him.
Billy insisted that he wanted to be someone with integrity and not do a "half-assed job" when everyone else was putting their blood, sweat, and tears into the company. Lily asked if he was sure because she didn't want him to end up resenting her later. He shared that he didn't like the feeling of something changing between them, and he didn't ever want to take advantage of her or the situation. He firmly stated that it was where he wanted to be and where he belonged.
Chelsea approached Adam at Dive Bar and inquired whether he was enjoying his new life of leisure. He commented that having no work or responsibilities was pretty great. She noticed that he was reading Newman Media's website, and she surmised he was trying to find out how things were faring under the new CEO. Adam admitted that he'd been checking for updates about Ashland's demise and implied that there was more to the story. Chelsea imagined Adam's family was thrilled to be done with Ashland. Adam muttered that it was certainly their hope.
Chelsea questioned whether Adam knew something else about Ashland's death that was being kept under wraps. Adam griped that he learned about what was going on with his family the way other lowly non-Newmans did -- he read about it. Chloe approached, and Adam hoped the women got back to being a dynamic duo again. After Adam walked off, Chelsea complimented Chloe's outfit, and Chloe pointed out that it was one of Chelsea's designs. Chelsea recognized that it never would have gone into production if it hadn't been for Chloe.
Chloe praised Chelsea's latest podcast, and Chelsea raved about how cathartic and fun it had been. Chelsea confided that she'd received criticism, and it felt like she was walking a tightrope; however, she also felt safe with Billy there to take the heat off of her. Chelsea gushed about how the collaboration had happened organically after she'd been honest with Billy about how depressing his podcast had been, and he'd asked her to help make it better. Chloe regretted that Chelsea hadn't been able to let loose with her the way Chelsea had been able to with Billy, but she was happy Chelsea had found a safe place to land.
Chelsea stopped herself from going on and on about how wonderful it was working with Billy, but Chloe told her not to minimize it because Chelsea deserved to be happy. Chelsea marveled that she'd really needed the job because she'd been so deep in her own head that she'd never thought she'd find a way out. Chloe sympathized that it hadn't been an easy time for Chelsea while working on the line for Fenmore's, since Chelsea had been hit hard by Rey's death. Chloe said Rey would have been proud of Chelsea. Chelsea sensed that something seemed off with Chloe, and she ordered Chloe to spill.
Chloe confirmed that she was dealing with a lot, and some days seemed bigger than others. Chelsea guessed that Chloe was hesitant to open up because of the animosity between Chelsea and Sally. Chelsea rambled about how lucky Sally was to have Chloe, and Chloe hoped to one day end up in a great position like the one Chelsea had landed in. Billy joined them, and Chloe congratulated him on his hit show. Billy requested a moment with Chelsea, and Chloe stepped to the bar to fetch another drink. Chelsea enthused about a great idea she had for a new episode, but Billy informed her that he'd be leaving the podcast to focus on his day job.
Chelsea was dumbfounded that the podcast was suddenly over. Billy clarified that it didn't have to be, since he thought she should take over and already had Chancellor-Winters behind her. He called her engaging and talented with an interesting way of seeing the world, and he explained that the podcast had been a distraction from his other commitments. Chelsea argued that his real life had never been more real or alive than when he'd been sitting behind the microphone, diving into the messy, complicated aspects of life that made it interesting. Billy countered that she'd get to be that voice.
Chelsea whined that she'd enjoyed the podcast because she'd been doing it with a smart, funny person who got her. Billy conceded that their partnership had been a pleasant surprise, but he reiterated that he'd made a commitment to Chancellor-Winters. She scoffed at the idea that he was in a rush to get back into a world where he'd admitted he didn't belong. He resolved to prove that he did belong, and she anticipated that she'd have a million reasons to say she'd told him so once he realized he was making a mistake. Chloe watched Chelsea's crestfallen expression as Billy departed. Chloe rejoined Chelsea and sternly warned her not to go there.
Billy returned to the office and informed Lily that he'd had a conversation with his podcast partner about his life-changing decision. He presented Lily with something he'd been holding onto for the right moment, and she jokingly guessed it was earbuds. She discovered a yin-yang necklace and surmised it stood for them being opposites. Billy noted that the necklace consisted of two pieces forming a whole, much like he and Lily were two essential parts that were stronger together. They kissed.
Nick arrived at the Newman ranch, and Victor mentioned that he'd received his son's text message about wanting to meet. Nick explained that just because Chance had decided to shut down the investigation didn't mean it was over for Nick. Nick added that he was still trying to work through the fact that a man had died because of his actions. Nick admitted that he'd been angry and frustrated because Victor had felt the need to control the situation by making a unilateral decision with no regard to the other people involved -- namely Nick.
Nick groused that he'd not only been reeling after finding out the truth about how Ashland had died, but Victor had also forced him to lie to the police. Nick continued that it might be second nature for some people, but not for him, and he'd been struggling with the idea of doing what was best for Victoria and her kids or what was best for himself. Victor commended Nick for being a good son and a brave brother. Nick stated that after having time and distance from the situation, he realized that Victor had been trying to be a good father. Victor swore that everything he'd done had been for Nick and Victoria.
Nick acknowledged that Victor had acted on instinct, and at his core, Victor was predictably protective and would do anything to save his children. Nick believed Victoria had realized that much faster than he had, and he figured Victoria was more like Victor than any of them could ever be. Nick pointed out how lucky Victor was that Chance had decided not to continue with the investigation. Victor blasted his team for sloppily leaving evidence behind, and Nick assumed they'd been relieved of their duties. Nick questioned when his father would stop tempting fate, and he contemplated what would have happened if Chance had acted on the evidence. Victor confidently stated that he would have handled it, and Nick replied that that was what worried him.
Nick clucked that things could have gone sideways at any point, but Victor stressed that the point was that they hadn't. Nick pushed to know when Victor would stop taking those kinds of risks, but Victor vowed to never stop safeguarding his family. Abby arrived and asked if everything was okay. Victor referred to Chance closing the case on Ashland's death. Abby noted that Chance had done it to protect the Newmans and to make sure Victoria and Nick wouldn't go through more than they already had. Nick imagined it hadn't been an easy decision, but Abby called it the right one.
After Nick left to go to work, Victor planned to speak with Chance to thank him. Abby objected because Chance needed time to work through it due to his strict sense of what was right and wrong. Victor insisted that Chance had done the right thing, but Abby lamented that Chance didn't see it that way. She continued that her husband saw everything in black and white, but the situation was a grey area. Victor huffed that there was no grey area when protecting one's family, and he thought Chance should understand that as a father and a husband.
In Chancellor Park, Kevin reprimanded Chance for his radio silence and wondered where things stood with the Locke investigation. Kevin asked how the D.A. had reacted to the evidence that Ashland's accident had been staged. Kevin crowed that Chance had all but handed over a guilty verdict on a silver platter. Chance revealed that he hadn't done it because he'd reached the conclusion that there was no probable cause to believe a crime had been committed. A flabbergasted Kevin cited all the evidence they'd uncovered, but Chance stood by his decision.
Kevin pressed to know how Chance had gone from being determined to get to the truth to bygones. Kevin referenced the overwhelming evidence that Ashland had already been dead when Victoria and Nick had checked his pulse, but Chance maintained that Ashland's death had been a tragic accident. Kevin thought Chance needed to say it a few hundred more times to start believing it, and he warned that there could be serious blowback for both of them if the evidence came to light.
Chance informed Kevin that the conclusion of the investigation was in the police report, but if anyone went to the trouble to look for it, some information had been redacted. Kevin protested that multiple people already knew Victor had covered up how Ashland had died. Chance assured him that there was nothing to worry about, but Kevin cautioned that the truth had a funny way of getting out. Kevin argued that he'd made mistakes but had turned his life around and made a commitment to be the best man he could be for his family. Chance countered that they'd done a full investigation and put everything in the report, so no one was trying to get away with anything.
Kevin believed Chance would be pursuing a conviction with everything he had if the guilty party were anyone but Victor. Adam eavesdropped nearby as Chance swore that he wasn't protecting Victor. Kevin argued that anyone on the outside would see the Newmans standing shoulder to shoulder and believe Chance had ignored facts because he was part of that family. Chance contended that Ashland had been a threat by showing up at his ex's house to seek revenge, and his death had been unintentional. Chance considered it best not to drag the family through an accidental death scandal when the real victim had been Victoria. Kevin vehemently agreed, but he lectured that the call should have been the D.A.'s and not Chance's.
Kevin demanded to know what had happened. Chance maintained that justice had been done, and the police chief had agreed. Kevin ranted that Victor had gotten away with it like he had gotten away with everything else, and the man didn't just break rules but obliterated them. Chance declared that it was over, and he thanked Kevin for his help. Chance added that Kevin had done a "damn good job." Chance said he hoped to work together again in the future, but it was time to move on. After Chance headed back to the station, Adam revealed himself and mused that it sounded like Kevin had been left in "one hell of a spot."
Adam surmised that someone had made a bad judgment call without considering how it would affect Kevin. Adam noted that Chance was a Newman by marriage, and he imagined it had been convenient for Victor to have his son-in-law on the police force. Adam expected Victor to use everything in his arsenal to ensure Chance stayed squeaky clean by making sure all Chance's mistakes disappeared, and Chance would have no problem leaving Kevin out to dry. Kevin protested that Chance was a good guy who would never do that. Adam advised that if Kevin was smart, he'd get out in front of it right away.
Chance arrived at the ranch and was surprised to see Abby there. Victor reported that Abby had been adamant that he not call Chance, and Abby claimed that she'd thought Chance was busy. Abby left to relieve the nanny at home, and Chance asked what Victor's summons had been about. Victor said he'd wanted to thank Chance, man to man, for what he'd done for their family. Chance snapped that he didn't want or need Victor's thanks.
At home, Victoria told Nikki she wanted to grow the company, and she had her eye on five to ten acquisitions. Nikki said she was concerned about the timing because the investigation into Ashland's death had only closed the previous evening, and Victoria hadn't had time to process that. Victoria said the best way for her to recover was for the company to recover after Ashland had blown them off course and after they'd lost their focus. She wanted the leadership team to know they were back on track.
At Newman Media, Nick told Sally that the Locke investigation was closed; the final police report would conclude it had been a terrible accident. He said the family was relieved, and he appreciated Sally's discretion during the ordeal.
Sally warned Nick that Adam believed there was more to the story about Ashland's death. She said Adam felt there had been something shady surrounding Ashland's death, and Adam was suspicious about the accident and Chance's investigation. Sally said Adam had approached her several times, fishing for information, because he believed she had some inside knowledge. She said she'd told Adam she didn't know anything.
Sally told Nick that Adam had infuriated her by attempting to manipulate her to get what he'd wanted, and he'd tried to make her complicit in whatever move he was planning against Victor. Nick said anyone who'd ever gotten involved with Adam eventually received a rude awakening. Sally said if Adam had asked her for information, he was probably seeking out anyone who might have any information.
Nick told Sally he had to leave for a conference call, but Sally invited him to join the call together.
Victoria opened the conference by telling the division heads she wanted to give a shout-out to the new COO, Nick Newman. Nick stated he was happy to be back in the fold at Newman Enterprises. He said he was excited to be working with each and every one of them, and he believed Victoria had assembled a dream team. He said he was fired up to be part of it.
Victoria claimed they had an amazing group of people, especially at a time when they were primed to take advantage of an incredible opportunity and to grow the company at an unprecedented rate. She said they'd faced some challenges, but they were strong and resilient and primed to reap the rewards of their hard work. Victoria received a suggestion from Belinda; Victoria turned Belinda over to Sally to coordinate.
Sally said she loved the idea of some synergy between the media division and future development. She said the timing was crucial; if they could publish their stories about the properties before they were fully developed, they would create a buzz for them and build credibility for Newman Media as a source for breaking news. Victoria asked Sally and Belinda to put their heads together and hammer out the details, and she asked Nick for follow-up on updating the systems for the distribution centers on the West Coast.
At home, Victoria told everyone it had been a productive call, and she'd appreciated hearing the great ideas from them. She encouraged people to continue submitting them. She said their decisions would be the foundation for the monumental moves they would make. She thanked everyone for their time and commitment. The conference ended. Nikki claimed Victoria had been totally in her element.
At Newman Media, Sally told Nick that Victoria had been poised and polished, and she'd put Ashland behind her. Nick said Victoria was a lot like Victor. He said the kids were always Victoria's priority, but she was laser focused about business. Sally admitted she couldn't soldier on like that if she'd broken up with a lying bastard of a husband and then he'd suddenly died. Nick said Victoria was extremely resilient.
Sally told Nick she felt bad for having bought into Adam's characterization of Victoria as a pampered and spoiled princess, but when she'd been with Adam, it had made sense. Nick said Adam had a unique way of getting people to share his distorted view of the world. Sally said she saw Victoria as a warrior and a leader, and after listening to Victoria, it had inspired her to make Newman Media a success. Nick said he was glad she was on their team. Nick left.
At the ranch, Victor commended Chance for ending the Locke investigation. Chance said he'd seen no point in putting Victoria through any more emotional trauma, and he believed Nick had acted in self-defense; however, he didn't condone what Victor had done -- filing false police reports and obstructing justice. Chance said those had been crimes that should have been investigated to the fullest extent of the law.
Chance told Victor he believed justice had been served; however, Victor couldn't operate outside the law with impunity. Chance said the next time Victor crossed the line, Chance would make sure Victor would be held accountable. Victor said it would have been more appropriate if Chance had issued that warning to Locke when he'd been alive.
Chance reminded Victor that Locke had been arrested for violating the restraining order. Victor claimed Locke had flouted the law many times over. Victor stated he had a clear conscience. Chance said it bothered him that Victor didn't think he'd done anything wrong. Victor said he'd protected his family, and he would do it again.
Victor understood Chance's conflict. He cited Chance's duty as a representative of the law and his loyalty to his family. Chance said the family would be crushed if Victor was arrested and jailed. Victor said he took care of his family, and he'd previously been in jail. Chance said Abby had told him how tough Victor's incarceration had been on everyone. He stated that Victor should think about the family. Chance stated he wouldn't cover for Victor ever again. Chance left.
In the Park, Adam told Kevin that if someone had told him he'd be blamed for a negligent investigation and a sloppy cover-up, he would be very upset. Adam asked who would look out for Kevin, since Michael wasn't the D.A. anymore, and he couldn't get Kevin out of jams. Kevin said if there had been a cover-up, he wouldn't be responsible because he wasn't a cop. Adam claimed Kevin's biggest mistake would be to believe Victor would protect him over Chance. He said Kevin was the perfect fall guy because he was dumb and trusting, and he had a long streak of shady behavior.
Kevin told Adam he realized the conversation was about Adam and Victor because Adam had been dumb enough to think Victor would support him, but Victor had turned his back on him. Kevin said he knew Adam wanted him to help Adam get payback. Kevin refused.
Adam said Kevin would need a good, expensive lawyer. Kevin said it had never been a problem for him. Adam said Michael couldn't rescue Kevin because it would be a conflict of interest for Michael, since he worked for Victor. Kevin said Adam was trying to make him abandon his common sense and help Adam in his never-ending battle against his family.
Kevin told Adam he wasn't concerned because there wouldn't be any blowback, since there hadn't been a cover-up; Chance had gone by the book, and there was no dirt to dig up. He told Adam to let it go. After Kevin left, Adam called Lucas and said he needed a job done.
At the Dive Bar, Chelsea said Chloe was overreacting, just like she had with Rey. Chelsea denied that she was falling for Billy. Chloe asked if Chelsea was denying she'd had feelings for Rey. Chelsea retorted that Chloe had accused her of falling for every man she spoke to.
Chloe stated she knew the signs, and she'd seen Chelsea's interactions with Rey and the toll they'd taken on her when Rey had died. Chloe said it had been because of Rey's kindness to Chelsea and Connor. Chelsea claimed they'd just been friends, and the same was true with Billy. Chloe said she was trying to be a good friend. Chloe said she had been aware that Chelsea had had strong feelings for Rey, but she'd never believed Chelsea would act on them. Chelsea claimed that had been the implication.
Chloe said she'd seen the spark between Chelsea and Rey; he'd been a wonderful guy, supportive, forgiving, and super-hot. She said Rey had made it possible for Chelsea to leave town to visit Anita, and it was only natural that Chelsea would have developed feelings for him. Chloe said Chelsea had been on the rebound, and Adam was finally out of her life. Chloe said with Rey gone, Chelsea felt a little lonely.
Chelsea stated that Chloe's constant refrain had been rebound, lonely, desperate, needy. She asked if Chloe would ever see her in a different light. Chloe claimed Chelsea had taken everything out of context. Chloe said she wasn't judging, only pointing out her concerns. Chelsea said Chloe didn't have to warn her about Billy because he was just her friend and colleague. Chloe said Billy was also Johnny's father and it was easy for the lines to blur. Chloe said when Billy turned on the Abbott charm, Chelsea would lose perspective, and she would begin to think everything meant a little more than it really did. She said Chelsea had to be vigilant.
Chloe told Chelsea that Billy was a six-foot-tall bucket of charm, and he could make Chelsea feel special without trying. Chelsea asked how desperate Chloe thought she was. Chloe said it was about being vulnerable, and Chelsea needed a sane and objective point of view to keep Chelsea from jumping off the edge. Chelsea said she was certain Chloe had just called her crazy. Chelsea claimed that Chloe had accused her of losing sight of reality, and she threw it in Chelsea's face every other day. Chelsea yelled at Chloe to let her live her life.
Hidden behind a pillar, Adam watched the exchange between Chelsea and Chloe.
Chelsea said she wanted Chloe to recognize that she was an adult, in control of her emotions and affections, and she didn't need a babysitter. Chelsea said she didn't appreciate what Chloe had been insinuating. Chloe said she had to go, and they would talk after they'd cooled off. Chloe left.
Adam joined Chelsea and commented that her conversation with Chloe had appeared intense. Chelsea said good friends sometimes argued, something Adam knew nothing about. Adam stated that Chelsea was being defensive about something. Chelsea asked how long Adam had been spying on them. Adam claimed he hadn't been eavesdropping.
Adam told Chelsea he'd listened to Billy and Chelsea's podcast; it had been provocative. He said Billy had been as annoying as ever, but Chelsea had made up for it and poked holes in Billy's overinflated ego. Chelsea stated she'd had a lot of experience dealing with arrogant men. Chelsea said Billy had claimed the podcasts were a distraction from his actual job and that he didn't have time for the podcasts. Chelsea said that was the end of that.
Adam told Chelsea he was sorry that had happened because it seemed like Chelsea had really been enjoying herself. Chelsea said that Chancellor-Winters had offered to produce the podcasts, and she would go solo. Adam claimed that was even better, but Chelsea claimed it wouldn't be the same. She said the reason it had been a success had been because of the back-and-forth between her and Billy. Chelsea said no one would want to listen to her drone on for an hour.
Hidden behind a pillar, Sally watched Adam with Chelsea.
Adam told Chelsea to find a new co-host, bring on weekly guests, revamp it with a new format, and make it her own. Chelsea said the podcasts had given her direction. She said she'd felt inspired, and she'd been resonating with people; it had made her feel less invisible. Adam said he hoped Chelsea didn't talk that way in front of Connor because he didn't want Connor to be affected by what Chelsea was dealing with.
Adam told Chelsea that Connor was a sensitive kid who picked up on their emotions; he knew when things weren't going right with them. He said he didn't talk about family issues in front of Connor because he didn't want Connor to worry about him.
Sally left. Adam received a text message and said he had to leave.
Nick met Victoria in the park and said she'd given the department heads a lot to talk about with all her announcements, and if Sally was any indication, they were all ready to follow Victoria into battle.
Nick wondered if Victoria had been serious about all the acquisitions. Victoria showed him a list of all the companies she wanted to acquire. She wanted to put out feelers, and she asked if Nick saw the value in acquiring them. He said he did, but he felt they were biting off more than they could chew. He suggested they focus on prioritizing integrating the Locke Communication Groups into Newman.
Victoria told Nick she'd taken that into consideration, but if they waited for the right time, they would miss out on some golden opportunities. She claimed it was time to be bold. Nick said it was a lot to finance, but Victoria said she'd worked out the math based on the appropriate price ranges for those companies, and they wouldn't be leveraging much because they would eliminate redundancies and unprofitable divisions. She said that was how they would be able to afford a good percentage of the acquisitions.
Nick told Victoria they needed to slow down and be methodical. Victoria said she'd show Nick the numbers, and he would see they couldn't afford not to do it. Victoria admitted she was extremely confident in her decision because of Nick. She said she knew they could accomplish everything because she had total faith that Nick would always have her back.
Victoria said if Nick hadn't shown up the night Ashland had been in her house, she might not have survived. She said Nick had saved her. She said he was the best brother and colleague she could ever ask for. She told him she was really looking forward to everything they were going to do together at Newman.
At the ranch, Nikki asked if Victor approved of the direction Victoria would take the company. Victor said Victoria had been wonderful, and he couldn't have been happier. He said he'd been afraid her self-confidence would have been shattered because of what she'd gone through with Locke, but she'd recovered completely. Nikki said Victoria wasn't going to let Ashland defeat her.
Victor told Nikki that during the conference, they had all looked like a well-oiled machine, and he'd been impressed how Victoria had managed to unify the Newman family. Nikki was grateful that Ashland could no longer drive a wedge in the family as he'd wanted to. She said their family was stronger than ever. Victor agreed, except for Adam. Victor said Adam had never forgiven him for being raised without a father. He said Adam could never understand that Hope hadn't wanted Victor to be part of Adam's life, and it saddened him.
At Crimson Lights, Kevin was on the phone with the police and said he would file a report; however, someone needed to tell the chief and Detective Chance his car had been broken into, and his bag with his Genoa City Police Department laptop had been taken.
In his hotel suite, Adam met with Lucas. Lucas said Adam hadn't mentioned that Kevin worked for the police, and it would cost Adam a bit more. Adam removed the laptop from the bag and told Lucas he could keep the bag. Adam smiled.
At Jabot, Diane asked Jack to look at her PR article for the Marchetti launch before she took it to Mariah. Jack noted that Diane had been asking for his professional opinion a lot, and he said it would be a big mistake to run everything by him first. He said she needed to stop second-guessing herself. Diane claimed she wanted to capitalize on Jack's vast experience and knowledge. Jack said Diane had to start owning her decisions and to be prepared to rise or fall with them. As Jack read what Diane had written, Diane stood behind Jack and looked over his shoulder.
Outside Jack's office, Kyle watched Diane with Jack, and Kyle didn't look happy. Kyle walked into Jack's office and said he wasn't aware of a Marchetti-Jabot meeting on the books. Jack claimed it had been an impromptu business conversation. Kyle said he'd been looking for Diane because there was a pressing matter that needed her review.
Outside Jack's office, Kyle asked why Diane had been with Jack. Diane claimed she'd wanted to get Jack's advice about something she'd been working on. She said she was still finding her way, and she wanted to make sure she did things right. Kyle asked why Diane had gone to Jack when she worked for Marchetti, not Jabot. Diane claimed it was easier for her to take constructive criticism from Jack. She said she wanted Kyle to be proud her and not regret his decision to hire her. She said she would go to Mariah the next time, but Kyle said he didn't think so.
Kyle told Diane he didn't believe that had been the real reason she'd been in Jack's office. He said he'd seen Diane through the window, and it was obvious she'd been flirting with Jack. Kyle told her it was wrong, and it had to stop. Diane claimed Kyle had misread the situation and the dynamic between her and Jack. She said she appreciated Jack's guidance and his friendship, nothing more. Kyle hoped that was the case. Diane left.
At Society, Summer told Phyllis she'd recognized Talia Morgan, a highly respected investigative reporter based out of Los Angeles. Summer said she hadn't bought Phyllis' story from the previous evening, and she wasn't buying it at that moment.
Summer told Phyllis she'd connected the dots; Talia was from L.A., and so was Diane. Summer said Talia was staying at the Grand Phoenix, and there was no check-out date on record. Phyllis said Summer was jumping to conclusions and blowing things out of proportion. Summer warned Phyllis that she'd better not be using Talia to do a hatchet job on Diane. Phyllis said she'd assured Summer she wouldn't do that.
Phyllis said working with Summer was her dream, and she wouldn't want to screw that up because Diane wasn't worth it. Summer commented that Phyllis barely knew Ashland. Phyllis said she'd begged Nikki to allow her to go to the meeting with Nikki because she'd wanted to make sure Talia wasn't going to throw Summer, Kyle, and Harrison under the bus. She claimed she wanted to know what Talia was going to do and what to watch out for.
Summer said she hoped Phyllis was telling her the truth. Billy arrived and congratulated Phyllis on her job at Marchetti. Billy said he wanted to make sure Phyllis got the papers for the final sale of the Grand Phoenix. Billy said Phyllis needed to sign it, and then they would take the next step. Billy left to pick up his order.
Summer asked if Phyllis was absolutely sure she was ready to say goodbye to the hotel. Phyllis said all those hours and hard work she'd put into that hotel all boiled down to numbers on a screen. Summer told Phyllis to take a minute before signing to make sure it was what Phyllis really wanted. Phyllis signed it and told Billy it was done. Billy asked if Phyllis was sure she wanted to sell because he had the sense there was more to the story than Phyllis was telling him. Phyllis said it was her chance to prove to all the naysayers who'd looked down on her that there was nothing she couldn't do.
Chelsea was walking in the park when she encountered Sally. Sally said she'd been concerned about Chelsea after she'd seen her with Adam at the Dive Bar; it had appeared to be a very intense conversation. Chelsea said they hadn't seen eye to eye about Connor, but they'd worked it out. She said Connor and the three of them had an unbreakable bond.
Chelsea told Sally that her history with Adam had some unbearably painful chapters, but they'd healed those old wounds. She said she and Adam had a deep connection because of their incredible history over the years, and they'd brought a child into the world together. Sally claimed the key word was history, and after what they'd been through, there was no going back. Chelsea claimed Sally was also history where Adam was concerned.
Chelsea told Sally that even though Sally and Adam hadn't been involved very deeply or for very long, it was always very painful when an affair ended. Chelsea said she admired how Sally had handled the breakup and moved on. Sally stated that Chelsea had misinterpreted what she and Adam had found together; they'd been intensely passionate, real, and incredibly strong.
Sally told Chelsea that Adam had ultimately chosen to put Sally's best interests first. She said the only reason Adam had dumped her had been to protect and support her dreams. She claimed he'd wanted to make sure she'd gotten the incredible opportunity where he'd known she would flourish, and there was only one word for that kind of sacrifice: love, extraordinary love. Sally said Chelsea had been projecting a lot more onto her connection with Adam than there had been.
Chelsea received a text message from Billy: "Can you meet me in the recording studio?" Chelsea stated that Sally thought she knew Adam and everything about her, but nothing could be further from the truth. Chelsea left.
In his suite, Adam told Lucas where to set up. Adam was pleased with himself for hiring someone who'd been able to steal Kevin's laptop and would be able to hack into it, as well. Lucas told Adam his fee had doubled, since Kevin worked for the police department. Adam said he felt he was being swindled. Adam assured Lucas he would be fairly compensated for his services. Adam said he only wanted to see the police report on the Ashland Locke case.
Kevin pounded on Adam's door and told Adam to "open the damn door." Lucas and Adam hid the computer and Kevin's bag. Kevin entered and demanded that Adam return his laptop. Adam claimed he didn't know what Kevin was talking about. He said he was having a business meeting. Kevin said they weren't talking about investment banking but rather breaking into his car and taking his computer.
Kevin stated that earlier, Adam had been on the hunt for dirt to use against Victor, but Kevin had shot Adam down. Kevin said the next thing he'd known, someone had broken into his car and stolen his computer. Kevin stated that Adam believed he would find something incriminating, but there was nothing on his computer worth seeing. Kevin said he'd built up walls around his files that only he could penetrate. He demanded that Adam return his computer.
Kevin told Adam he wouldn't press charges if Adam cooperated, and it was a one-time-only offer. Adam asked if that had been a threat. Kevin told Adam to call it what he liked but to return Kevin's computer to him. Adam claimed Kevin had no proof to back up what he was saying. Adam said that if Kevin had proof, he would have been accompanied by an officer with a search warrant.
Adam asked Kevin if there was a cop waiting to enter with a search warrant. Kevin said he was alone. Adam said they were done and showed Kevin the door. Kevin left. Adam asked Lucas if there was a problem getting past Kevin's firewall. Lucas said it shouldn't be a problem to access a simple police report.
Lucas said Adam had failed to mention it had something to do with Victor, and if Adam was planning on making moves against Victor, then Lucas' price had gone up. Adam said if Lucas delivered, Adam would make it worth his while. Adam received a text message from Jack: "Can you come by the office?"
Lucas told Adam he'd accessed the Genoa City Police Department's portal as Kevin Fisher, and he'd pulled up the police report on the Ashland Locke case. Adam read that Ashland had been at Victoria's house that night. There had been an altercation, Nick had hit him, and Ashland had been presumed dead. Ashland's body had been found in his car at the bottom of the ravine. An unidentified driver had been caught at a nearby gas station before the time of the crash. Only a small sample of blood had been found with a partial fingerprint that hadn't matched the deceased.
Lucas told Adam he didn't know what that had to do with Victor, and he didn't care; he wanted his money and to be on his way. Adam gave Lucas an envelope and said it more than covered Lucas' services. Lucas left carrying Kevin's bag.
Adam continued reading the report: Ashland had died from head trauma, most likely caused from the car crash. Adam claimed he didn't think that was what had happened. He guessed that "dear old Dad" had had the crash staged, and Chance had decided to look the other way.
In the hotel lobby, Kevin called Chloe and told her Adam had called his bluff. Chloe asked if it was possible that it had been some random coincidence. Kevin doubted it and said Adam had some shady guy with him. Kevin said he was sure that guy had stolen his computer at Adam's request. Kevin told Chloe he was completely screwed.
Later, at the Grand Phoenix, Phyllis called Talia and asked to meet with her in the lobby of the hotel because she had some ideas regarding Diane.
In the recording studio, Chelsea said she'd been surprised because Billy had said he would be stepping away from the podcasts. Billy said he hadn't changed his mind; he'd made a commitment to Chancellor-Winters, and he hoped Chelsea understood. Chelsea said Billy had made his choice, and she respected that.
Billy told Chelsea he wanted to do one last podcast with her before he passed the torch to her. Chelsea said she was very new to podcasting, and she didn't feel comfortable doing a podcast by herself. Billy said Chelsea would do it successfully because she had the instincts and had her finger on the pulse of what people wanted to hear.
Chelsea suggested that she and Billy focus on midlife career changes and finding other passions. Billy suggested they should focus on their true-life passion throughout their life. Chelsea said if one loved what one did, one would never work a day in one's life. Billy said she would be brilliant at podcasting. Billy said he and Chelsea had a unique connection, unlike any other in his life. Chelsea kissed Billy
At Newman Media, Sally told Chloe she'd had an encounter with Chelsea. Chloe said Sally should have walked away. Sally stated Chelsea brought out the worst in her, especially when Chelsea took every opportunity to rub the end of her relationship with Adam in her face. Chloe stated it always revolved around Adam. Chloe shouted that she was sick of hearing his name "every damn day." Sally said it wasn't about Adam; it was about Chelsea and the way Chelsea treated her.
Sally told Chloe it wasn't her fault that Chelsea couldn't rekindle her relationship with Adam, and it wasn't her fault Chelsea had walked away from a lucrative career to babble into a microphone with Billy, yet Sally claimed she was somehow the enemy. Sally stated Chelsea loved to see Sally suffer, and she refused to give Chelsea the satisfaction. Chloe said Chelsea had lost a lot; however, it wasn't a competition, and they both needed to chill out. Chloe said she was dealing with a much bigger problem than Sally's little squabble with Chelsea.
Chloe told Sally that Kevin's laptop had been stolen, and they had every reason to believe Adam had been behind it because Adam wanted to find out more about Ashland's death. Sally said Adam had been obsessed with Chance's investigation. Sally said she was sorry Kevin had gotten dragged into that situation. Sally said Adam was convinced Victor and the rest of the family had something to hide, and he'd probably gotten fed up with asking questions and taken matters into his own hands. Sally wondered "what the hell" Adam would do with it if he found what he was looking for on the computer.
At Jabot, Jack wanted to know if Adam had decided to accept the co-CEO position. Adam said it would be an honor to work side by side with Jack, but he declined the offer. Adam said he'd been working on another project, and he needed to see it to the end. Jack said he didn't like the sound of that. Jack said revenge was never quite as sweet as it was cracked up to be. Adam told Jack not to worry about him because he was good.
Jack said Adam had left his job because he'd wanted to put all things Newman behind him. Jack told Adam to do that and break the cycle with Victor once and for all. Jack suggested that Adam find something positive and never look back. Adam claimed that ultimately, that was what he was trying to do. Jack said Adam had come a long way, and he would hate to see Adam lose his well-earned momentum. Jack said he wanted Adam to use that energy in a way that would bring Adam the happiness and success he deserved.
Jack told Adam he would leave that job open in case Adam changed his mind. Kyle arrived, and Adam left. Jack told Kyle he'd offered Kyle's old job to Adam, but Adam had turned him down. Kyle admitted that he felt Adam was a talented executive, but Jabot didn't need him or his baggage. Jack said there was a chance Adam would change his mind, but Kyle said he hoped Adam wouldn't because they had a lot of personalities to manage. Jack said it appeared Kyle had been managing a lot in one day.
Jack told Kyle they needed to discuss what had happened with Diane earlier. Kyle said he was fine with his mother back in his life; however, he was more concerned about Jack because Diane was becoming attached to him. Jack said he was always cautious around Diane, and he had no interest in a romantic relationship with her. Kyle said he'd noticed that Jack and Diane had been spending a lot of time together. Jack assured Kyle he'd been keeping an eye on Diane.
Jack told Kyle that he was always polite and at times friendly, but he was always on guard where Diane was concerned. He knew the damage Diane was capable of, and he wouldn't allow it to happen again. He told Kyle to focus on all the good things in his life.
Outside Jack's office, Kyle told Summer he'd seen Diane in Jack's office, and she'd been -- not so subtly -- flirting with Jack. He said Diane had claimed he'd had it all wrong, and when he'd warned Jack, he'd received a major scolding about spending too much time worrying about what Diane was up to.
Summer told Kyle they had to protect the company, and any issues between Diane and Phyllis would be problematic. Kyle said they couldn't spend their time keeping an eye on their mothers. Kyle said at that moment Phyllis and Diane hadn't done anything wrong, but if they crossed the line, then they could act.
Back in his suite, Adam called Chance and said it was urgent for them to get together as soon as possible.
At Newman, Victor told Victoria he'd been impressed with her video conference, and he supported her in acquiring more companies. Victoria said every acquisition she wanted to make was good business. Nick arrived; he wanted to go over some numbers with Victoria. She said she would return shortly.
Victor asked Nick's opinion about Victoria's demeanor. Nick said Victoria was strong and focused, and it wasn't an act. Victor wondered about Victoria's sudden eagerness to make all those acquisitions. Nick said Victoria was overzealous because she wanted to erase the stain Ashland had left on her and Newman Enterprises. Nick said Ashland had humiliated Victoria more than once. He said Victoria had been able to get some payback by getting Victor's money back from Ashland, but she had loved Ashland and had a lot to prove to herself.
In the park, Chance told Adam the Locke investigation was closed, and he advised Adam to move on. Adam said he couldn't after he'd seen incriminating evidence against Victor that Chance had chosen to ignore. Adam claimed it would be awful if it came out that Chance had covered up a crime as a personal favor to Victor. Adam said Chance had to right the wrong.
Adam asked Chance why the DNA and fingerprints hadn't been followed up on. Chance asked where Adam had gotten his information. Adam said maybe he'd found an abandoned police laptop that a lacky had left behind. Adam said what the evidence could prove mattered. Adam asked if Victor had intimidated Chance to fall in line with the Newmans. Chance said no one had intimidated him, and neither would Adam. Chance said he'd done his job; he'd made the call, and he had no remorse about his decision.
Adam claimed Chance had lost his way, but Chance retorted that it was Adam who'd lost his way and headed down a dangerous path. Chance said Adam had fallen into his self-destructive ways in the name of vengeance. Adam stated that Chance was ignoring crucial evidence. Chance said Adam was blowing up his own life.
Chance declared that Adam had alienated his family, pushed Sally away -- the one person who'd been a good influence on him, gotten his hands on a police-issued laptop, and was threatening a cop. Chance asked if Adam hated Victor that much. Adam retorted that Victor needed to be punished for manipulating his family.
At Chancellor-Winters, Lily told Devon and Nate that Billy was wrapping up his final podcast and wouldn't be joining them. She said he was refocusing on his COO job and the podcasts would continue with the new host.
Nate told Lily and Devon he'd done some research on what it would take to start their music festival, and the numbers were promising; it would also elevate their name on a much larger scale. Devon said the music festival wasn't the right move for their company at that time. Nate asked how Devon could make a judgment call without seeing the research. Devon said it had nothing to do with research, but starting a music festival from scratch was a huge risk and would take up a lot of their cash.
Lily told Devon that Nate's idea was interesting. Devon agreed it was an interesting idea. He said it was their first year as a company, and they would likely hit a few bumps; it was smart to keep their cash in that event rather than take a swing at something that could be a miss. Nate said that approach was defensive and too conservative. Nate said he had another meeting, and he left.
Devon told Lily that his opposition to the music festival had nothing to do with his issues with Nate; rather, he cited concerns that they would stretch the company too thin. Lily reminded Devon that he'd said they should explore it more, something Nate had done. Lily said Devon hadn't looked at the data, and she asked Devon to give it consideration. Devon agreed.
In the recording studio, Chelsea kissed Billy. Billy pushed her away and apologized if he'd given her the wrong impression. He said the kiss had been a mistake. Chelsea apologized, stating she had no idea what had come over her. Billy said the moment had been misinterpreted. Chelsea said she wanted to focus on their podcast and didn't want to talk about the kiss.
Chelsea began the podcast by announcing it was their last episode together because Billy had decided to focus on his day job. Chelsea said the episode would focus on goodbyes, how to navigate them, and how to learn from them. Billy said goodbyes didn't always have to be heart-wrenching and tragic; they could be amicable, civil, and maybe even uplifting. Chelsea said it wasn't the first time she and Billy had said goodbye, and they'd parted ways previously. Billy said they didn't need to get into that, but Chelsea said they'd been an item once.
Billy said it had happened years in the past. Chelsea said she wasn't sure why she'd brought it up. Billy said with goodbyes, there was a sense of loss, but there was room for new beginnings. He said it had been an amazing experience, he'd learned a lot, and he wanted to thank everyone who'd listened. He said he would miss it and said goodbye.
Billy asked Chelsea if they were okay. Chelsea said they were good. Billy didn't want things to be awkward. Chelsea assured him they wouldn't be, and she didn't want to talk about the kiss. Billy said they'd been honest on and off the air, and he wasn't sure that not talking about it was the best way to handle it. Chelsea claimed it was for her.
Billy told Chelsea he would set up a studio wherever she wanted, but Chelsea said hosting a podcast wouldn't work for her. Billy said Chelsea was really good at it, and there was a long list of people she could work with at Chancellor-Winters to help her. Chelsea said it wouldn't be the same without Billy. Chelsea left.
At Newman Media, Adam told Sally he wanted to apologize. He said he was sorry things had become so unpleasant, and he shouldn't have been indirect with her. Sally claimed he'd been manipulative. Adam admitted their situation had been his fault, and he hoped to make things between them less hostile. He said Sally was the only person he could open up to. Sally agreed to listen.
Adam told Sally he'd stumbled across a police report that had detailed information about Ashland's death. It included a lot of evidence against Victor that Chance had willfully ignored, evidence that needed to come out. Sally said that for a minute, she'd believed Adam was going to be sincere, but he wasn't looking for a sympathetic ear. She said he wanted help to take down Victor and was trying to use her.
Adam said he needed Sally to listen long enough for him to tell her the facts for a gold mine story that would boost her career. Adam said he would give Sally all the evidence, and all she had to do was to publish the truth about Victor's cover-up. Sally said if Victor had orchestrated a cover-up, it would be "one hell of a story." Adam said he would show her a police report that proved it.
Sally told Adam that if she published that story, it would be the end of her career at Newman Media. Adam asked if Sally wanted to work for a company owned by a man who'd staged a car crash to cover up that his favorite son had killed his daughter's ex-husband. Sally asked if Adam wanted her to believe that Nick had murdered Ashland. Adam said it had been an accident; Ashland had threatened Victoria, and Nick had punched Ashland to protect her. Sally said she'd known Nick had hit Ashland, and that was as far as it had gone.
Adam told Sally that Nick had punched Ashland, and Ashland had fallen, hit his head on the fireplace, and died. Sally said it sounded like self-defense. She asked why Victor would cover that up. Adam claimed Victor couldn't resist playing the game. Adam said his siblings had had nothing to do with the cover-up; it had been Victor, and the story should reflect that.
Adam told Sally it was an award-winning story. Adam said if Sally was fired, other media companies would be dying to hire her. Sally asked why anyone would hire someone who'd gone after their own boss. Adam claimed people would respect that she'd done the right thing, but Sally wasn't sure it was the right thing. Adam claimed Victor had used his power and influence in the justice system, and he needed to face the repercussions.
Sally asked Adam if publishing the story would expose Chance's complicity. Adam claimed Chance was complicit. Adam said he'd asked Chance to fix things, but Chance had refused. Sally asked if Chance was another person Adam was willing to throw under the bus in his battle against Victor, like he'd done with her. Adam claimed he'd protected her, not only in her job, but in the all-out war he was about to start. Sally said he'd finally admitted the truth.
Sally told Adam that what she'd suspected had been true. Sally stated he hadn't trusted her enough to let her in. Adam reminded her that she'd claimed their relationship had been more important than the job. Sally said Adam hadn't respected her priority. Adam stated that since Sally had sat in the CEO chair, she'd realized it would be a mistake to give it up. Sally asked if she should thank him for what he'd done.
Sally told Adam that she'd thought knowing why Adam had dumped her would give her closure, and she'd wanted to believe that they'd had something special. Adam claimed they had. Sally said part of her thought they could overcome it, but she'd given up on that because Adam's priority would always be vengeance. Sally said she'd only wanted Adam's trust, but Adam couldn't risk his chance for revenge by confiding in her.
Sally said Adam had a singular goal: go after Victor. Sally thanked Adam for the scoop, but the days of her doing what Adam wanted were over. Sally walked out of the office.
At Crimson Lights, Chance told Nick he wished he could move on from the Locke case, but someone had gotten their hands on all the evidence he'd uncovered from the night Ashland had died. Nick guessed it had been Adam, and he'd read the police report Chance had filed.
Chloe arrived at the coffeehouse and greeted Chelsea. Chloe asked if everything was okay and if Chelsea wanted to talk, but Chelsea said she'd had a hard day and didn't want to get into it with Chloe again. Chloe asked if something had happened. Chelsea said she'd messed up. Chloe acknowledged that things between them hadn't been great lately, but Chloe said she still loved Chelsea. Chloe stated she was there to offer Chelsea any support she could. Chelsea claimed she was her own worst enemy. Chelsea said no one could help, and she left.
At Society, Nate told Elena that no matter what he advocated for, Devon always went the opposite way. He didn't understand why Devon was so antagonistic and why he wouldn't give Nate the slightest opportunity. Elena said she understood that Nate wanted to make his mark, but she didn't understand why Nate was so angry about it. Nate said he'd been looking forward to joining the business world and working with family, but it was becoming nothing but frustration. Elena said if Nate couldn't find a solution to the problem, perhaps he should walk away.
Elena said that Nate had been extremely frustrated lately. Nate admitted he had been, but he wasn't ready to give up. He said he'd made a commitment to his family, and he would honor that. He asked where he would go if he left. Elena said he could return to medicine. Nate claimed he'd closed that door, and it couldn't be reopened. Elena disagreed. She said he was very talented, and he could do whatever he wanted. Nate asserted that he wanted a career at Chancellor-Winters. He said he'd been off to a rocky start, but he wouldn't walk away.
Adam was taken aback when Victor and Nick arrived at Society and sat down with him. Nick said they knew he'd come across some information, and Nick asked what the end game was. Nick asked if Adam's goal was to get Victoria out of the big chair and to become CEO of Newman Enterprises. Victor said Adam knew that wouldn't happen and that Adam's issues were with him. Adam said Victor had yanked the CEO position from under him again.
Victor said that no matter how far they'd come, Adam always managed to dredge up something from the past that made Adam the victim, when in reality, Adam was the one making the threats. Adam claimed he hadn't threatened anyone -- yet. Victor said he'd taken a risk, protecting Adam's siblings from Locke the same way he'd taken a risk when he'd protected Adam after Adam had accidentally killed A.J. Montalvo. Victor said he hadn't wanted Adam to be accused of being a killer for the rest of his life.
Adam claimed Victor hadn't saved him; Victor had ruined him. Victor and Nick said they had believed Adam had come to terms with it. Adam asked if Nick had come to terms with the way Victor had always protected him. Adam asked how Nick felt about taking a man's life. He said that Nick was a grown man when that had happened, not an impressionable kid with blood on his hands.
Adam said the feelings Nick had wouldn't fade away. Adam said there were certain things that reminded him of his mother's farm and all the pain, guilt, shame, and questions about his own morality would come rushing back. Adam said he questioned whether A.J. Montalvo's death had really been an accident or if Adam had wanted him to go down as hard as he had. Adam said those were the things that would bubble in Nick's subconscious for the rest of his life.
Adam told Victor to keep his precious CEO chair; he didn't want Victoria's job. Adam said he only wanted to see justice served. Victor warned that Adam was playing a dangerous game. Adam left.
At Chancellor-Winters, Billy told Lily things had gotten a little awkward between him and Chelsea. He said they'd been bantering back and forth, and somehow, Chelsea had misinterpreted something and had kissed him. Billy said he'd immediately told Chelsea that she'd misinterpreted what he'd said.
Billy told Lily the incident had only reinforced his decision to step away from the podcast. He said perhaps Chelsea had felt a little lost -- something he understood because he'd felt lost until Lily had entered his life. He said it hadn't been a big deal, and he was ready to be her full-time COO. Lily informed him that there was more tension between Devon and Nate; Nate wanted to move forward with the music festival idea, and Devon felt it was too risky for the first year of their merger. Lily said she thought it was a good idea and next-level thinking.
In Victoria's office, Sally told Victoria that Adam had approached her with a proposition claiming he had evidence regarding Ashland's death that would not show the Newmans in a favorable light, and he'd asked her to write a story about it. Victoria said she'd expected an attack from Adam.
Victoria thanked Sally for the heads-up about Adam and said it wouldn't be forgotten. Victoria told Sally not to trust anything Adam said from that point forward because Adam was clearly out for revenge, and he was willing to use anyone to get what he wanted. Victoria asked where Sally had left things with Adam. Sally said she'd thanked him for the information, and she'd called him a bastard. Victoria asked if Sally had turned down Adam's proposition to publish the story. Sally said she'd been adamant about it, even if she hadn't uttered those exact words. Victoria said if Sally hadn't shot down the idea completely, it might be useful.