In his office at Jabot, Billy adeptly multitasked. Billy busily fielded calls to Jabot from tenacious press outlets, while at the same time arranging, via text messages, a dinner date with Chelsea. Kyle entered just as Billy hung up the phone. Kyle commiserated with Billy after he complained about devising various ways to tell reporters to "buzz off." Kyle reported that Mariah would soon resume her duties after maternity leave and would help manage the chaotic situation.
Kyle told Billy he had hoped that tackling pressing business concerns might have served as a distraction, though family problems had overwhelmed him to a greater degree. Kyle clarified by explaining that he had taken on additional responsibilities to help Jack free up time, so Jack could concentrate on proving that Diane was innocent. Kyle sighed and reported that Diane had told both him and Jack to cease visits, supposedly for their benefit. Billy advised Kyle not to neglect his own life, especially after having admitted that Diane's arrest had affected his marriage.
Billy recalled that he was speaking from experience when he encouraged Kyle to remain committed to Summer. Kyle confessed that Summer had completely shut down and had even moved into a guest bedroom. Kyle cried that he believed Summer could not bear to look at him because she was convinced that Diane had killed Phyllis. Billy replied, "That's a relationship dilemma I've never dealt with."
Kyle told Billy the only solution was to clear his mother's name. Billy disagreed and said there was a better way for Kyle to help Summer. Kyle cried that due to Summer's refusal to engage, pushing her would not work. Billy advised Kyle not to avoid facing their issues because wounds tended to become scar tissue, and distance would eventually become a chasm. Billy suggested Kyle let Summer know how much he loved her without mentioning Diane or Phyllis, so when the time was right, he would be ready to embrace Summer with open arms.
At home, Jack enlisted assistance from a forensic financial expert to track down Jeremy Stark, beginning with research into Jeremy's finances overseas. Jack stressed to the investigator over the phone that his fiancée's freedom was at stake. After Ashley arrived, Jack cried that what was happening to Diane was a travesty of justice. Jack informed Ashley that Michael had put him in contact with an expert who was helping with Diane's defense.
Miffed, Ashley replied, "So, you're going to make sure that, once again, Diane doesn't have to take responsibility for her actions?" Jack asked Ashley if she recalled having been wrongly accused. Ashley replied, "Oh, I do, indeed, because of Diane, and just for the record, I think she is rightfully accused." Jack maintained that Diane was innocent and suffering, adding that she was refusing to allow visits.
Furious, Jack maintained that Diane had been framed, and he told Ashley that her spiteful attitude was outrageous. Ashley disagreed, explaining that with Phyllis gone, Diane could have everything she wanted, including a loving relationship with members of the family, a job at Marchetti, a home at the Abbott mansion, and even an engagement ring from Jack on her finger. Jack shook his head in disgust and vehemently insisted that Diane was not capable of doing what she had been accused of. Ashley disagreed, stating that Diane was absolutely capable. Jack recalled that his relationship with Phyllis had run its course long before Diane had come back into his life. Jack added that though he and Phyllis had cut romantic ties, he had still loved her and was mourning her loss.
Ashley recalled how Jack had repeatedly turned his back on Phyllis after Diane had returned to town. Jack again defended Diane, claiming that Phyllis had a longstanding habit of "getting in her own way." Ashley, employing sarcasm to make her point, replied, "Diane's a martyr. She is paying for all the sins that everybody else has committed." Jack acknowledged that Diane had hurt others, adding that he believed people, including Diane, could change, grow, and transform.
Jack was adamant that Diane was incapable of committing murder, adding that he would defend the woman he loved and intended to marry. Ashley drew a deep breath and replied, "Oh, my God. You still intend to marry her. You are such a fool, and you are reckless, Jack, not just with your legacy, but with my family's, and I've got a problem with that. I've got a big problem. You are willing to tie the entire Abbott clan to a woman who's going to drag everybody down with her!"
Jack told Ashley that his relationship with Diane had nothing to do with her and would not affect the family name. Ashley reminded Jack that he had frowned on her decision to go on a date with Tucker. Ashley warned that Jack marrying a woman on trial for murder would affect Summer, Daniel, and even Jabot's reputation. Ashley contended that even if Jack set aside the murder charge, Diane, who had hated Phyllis for decades, had allowed innocent people to be arrested after she had faked her death. Ashley warned Jack that after evidence of Diane's past wrongdoing resurfaced, the public would be made aware that she was capable of murder. Ashley was interrupted when Kyle entered.
Kyle told Ashley and Jack that he'd been able to hear yelling outside the door. Kyle went upstairs to talk to Summer. After Kyle went upstairs, Jack told Ashley he and Kyle had enough heartache and misery to deal with without her injecting her own bitterness. Jack told Ashley she should move out if she was unable to control her rage for Diane. Ashley reminded Jack that he had repeatedly attempted to kick her out of her own home since the day he had returned with Diane. Ashley claimed it was more evidence of how Diane had infected Jack's attitude toward his family.
Jack blamed Ashley for causing trouble by insisting he ban the woman he loved from their home, announcing that Diane would move back after she was released. Ashley replied, "Are you threatening me? Because I'm not going anywhere. This is my home, too, Jack. It's my birthright just as much as it is yours."
Ashley suggested Jack move to a house next to the prison Diane would be transferred to after her conviction. Ashley warned that soon after Diane's conviction, Jabot's board of directors would remove him before he could take the entire company down with him. Jack glared at Ashley. Ashley told Jack that Diane would cost him everything that had ever meant anything to him.
Kyle paused outside the guest bedroom upstairs and knocked on the door. Leaning against the door frame, Kyle called out to Summer. With the door still closed, Kyle told Summer he was concerned and would not let her push him away. Kyle promised Summer he would make things easier, never leave her side, and keep trying everything until something worked. Kyle pleaded with Summer to open the door and spend time with him, even if they did not say a word. Kyle cried that he longed to just hold Summer.
In his suite at the Athletic Club, Daniel awoke after a fitful dream. Lily roused and comforted Daniel, assuring him that everything was okay. Daniel rubbed his eyes and repeatedly mumbled, "Just a dream." Daniel, describing his distressing dream, remembered that he had run toward his mom, though once he had drawn near Phyllis, he had suddenly realized he was back at his house in Savannah, all alone and heartbroken. Lily remembered experiencing similar dreams after she'd lost Neil. Daniel told Lily he also thought he had seen Phyllis in real life, though after the trauma of reality set in, he had sadly relived his tragic loss.
Acknowledging that he and Lily had made love, Daniel told Lily that he would understand if she would prefer to carry on as if it had never happened. Lily replied, "We're still in bed, so I think it's a little late to pretend nothing happened. We have a connection and a history, and I think we both wanted and needed this." Daniel admitted that being with Lily made the lonely feeling he had experienced in his dream seem "very far away." Lily gently reminded Daniel that he would carry the grief of his loss forever, and she encouraged him to take care of himself.
In the jazz club at the Athletic Club, Victor met with Tucker. Victor mentioned that the meeting place Tucker had chosen was a strange venue, considering what had taken place there. Tucker acknowledged that Phyllis had collapsed in the room, though to him, it remained a venue with a selection of good bourbon and great music. Tucker suggested that even Phyllis might have felt the same way had he, instead of her, ended up at the morgue. Victor dropped the matter.
Getting down to business, Victor presented Tucker with a signed contract. Handing Tucker a pen, Victor requested that he also sign to make the sale of McCall Unlimited to Newman Enterprises official. Tucker suggested Victor was very much enjoying assuming control. Victor replied that when conducting business, he was as cold as ice. Sounding defeated, Tucker admitted he had no reservations about selling his burdensome company, adding that he was even done with Genoa City. Victor assured Tucker that his company would continue to thrive, though with a different name. Tucker requested time to look over the contract, stating that he would sign it afterward.
After Victor left, Audra approached Tucker at the jazz club bar and asked him if he was drinking alone because he had burned every bridge. Tucker, avoiding looking directly at Audra, said he had been thinking about the difference between being alone and being lonely, admitting he had never felt so alone, even at the ashram. Audra told Tucker she was sorry his relationship with Ashley had not worked out. Tucker reminisced about the great times early on when he had been running his music business and signing contracts with new artists and bands. Audra replied that what Tucker had really loved was signing contracts artists did not understand, so they could produce hits that made money for him, not the artists. Tucker replied, "Yeah. The good old days."
Tucker gazed into Audra's eyes and invited her to join him in his room. After Tucker and Audra entered his suite, Tucker tossed the contract Victor had delivered onto a desk. Audra noted that the document was the contract for the sale of McCall Unlimited, acknowledging that the deal could be very rewarding for Tucker. Tucker reached into his pocket, retrieved a pen, and proudly noted that he had stolen it from Victor. Audra proclaimed that Tucker's sale of his company marked a big change for him, which, she added, accounted for the reason he had been ruminating on his start in the music business, the foundation of his empire. Sounding downtrodden, Tucker declared that his business should not have ended and expressed doubt that his next chapter would begin in Genoa City. Audra replied, "So, you're definitely leaving town, then?"
Tucker told Audra he could start over anywhere, and he invited her to leave Genoa City with him and become his right hand again. Audra reminded Tucker that she held a senior executive position at Newman Media with room for growth, though she planned to teach boss Victoria Newman a thing or two. Audra admitted that Genoa City and some of its fascinating citizens had grown on her. Tucker mumbled that pastures were often not greener elsewhere. Audra told Tucker he craved to be the center of other peoples' lives and often became bitter when rebuffed, adding that Ashley had been right to declare that Tucker had not truly changed.
Tucker apologized for having invited Audra up to his room and asked her to leave. Audra advised Tucker not to wallow in his misery too long because after he emerged, likely no one would care. After Audra left, Tucker used Victor's pen to sign the contract.
Billy picked up takeout dinners at Society. As he was leaving, he ran into Daniel and Lily. Billy, expressing concern, informed Daniel that the media scrutiny involving Diane's case was growing, especially after Leanna Love's article had been published. Lily told Daniel she would enlist Chancellor-Winters' PR team to draw up a statement. Billy assured Daniel that Lily would take care of him, as she was apt to do. Feeling awkward, Lily told Daniel they should find a table. Billy walked away, though he paused and watched briefly as Lily and Daniel made their way as a couple toward a quiet spot in the dining room.
Daniel asked Lily if it had been awkward to run into Billy. Lily admitted it had been, though they had broken up months before. Lily explained that she was entitled to her own personal life as much as Billy was. Daniel noted that Lily had mostly avoided making eye contact with Billy. Lily laughed nervously and claimed that the timing had not been ideal, though she declined to wallow and complain to Daniel about her failed relationship. Lily recalled that she had also not lingered in sadness after she and Cane had parted.
Lily told Daniel she believed she drew the strength to continually move forward from surviving cancer, having become strongly aware that life was too precious to get bogged down by a failed relationship. Lily assured Daniel that his way of analyzing details of his life was normal for him. Daniel replied, "Can you wallow just a little bit, you know, just give me something?" Lily laughed, which made Daniel smile. Lily said simply that she no longer thought about Billy romantically and chose to be present with Daniel as they embraced whatever might happen.
Billy joined Chelsea at Crimson Lights. Suggesting they enjoy an evening picnic in the park, Billy told Chelsea he had picked up her favorite dishes from Society. Chelsea quipped that they would be sharing two meals together on the same day. Billy recalled having run into Lily and Daniel at Society. Billy said Daniel seemed okay, though he likely needed time and space. Chelsea acknowledged that she had made the right decision not to approach Daniel about his loss. Billy admitted he had picked up a romantic connection between Lily and Daniel and was relieved that Lily could move on. Chelsea praised Billy's healthy attitude of growth and maturity.
Billy leaned over the table and kissed Chelsea on the lips. Chelsea invited Billy to spend the night, explaining that Connor would be sleeping at the ranch. Forgetting their dinner, Chelsea and Billy went upstairs to her apartment. Billy repeatedly asked Chelsea if she was ready to move forward with their relationship. Chelsea assured Billy that she was ready. Chelsea and Billy made love after Billy made sure Chelsea felt completely comfortable.
In his hotel room, Tucker stared at his partially packed suitcase. He called Victor and shared that he'd signed the contract, so Victor was the proud owner of McCall Unlimited. Victor offered to transfer the money into Tucker's account right away, and he congratulated Tucker on no longer having ties to anyone or the responsibility of running a huge company. Tucker gazed at his suitcase again.
Sally and Nick returned to her hotel room. She couldn't stop looking at a sonogram photo. Sally gushed that it was amazing, and Nick agreed. She fawned over the photo of her baby's "perfect little everything." She marveled that they'd heard the tot's heart beating, and she felt even more in love with her little one than she had before. Adam appeared in the doorway and remarked that he couldn't believe they were having a baby girl. Nick glowered.
Nick squirmed as Sally and Adam scrutinized the sonogram photos. Nick said he was glad the appointment had been moved back a day because it had heightened the anticipation, but a distracted Sally asked what he'd just said. Nick repeated his statement, and he added that the baby would be very lucky to be spoiled by every member of the Newman family. Sally groaned that she wasn't ready to face that fact, and Adam proposed that they enjoy the perfect moment before unleashing the threat of the Newmans. Nick reiterated that the baby would be loved, and Sally thought some might say her little girl would have more than her fair share.
Adam exclaimed that their daughter was already spectacular, and Sally murmured, "Little Chamomile." Nick's phone buzzed with a summons from Victor. Sally urged Nick to go deal with work, and he promised to call Sally afterward. Nick prompted Adam to walk out with him, but Adam told Nick to go ahead. Nick reluctantly kissed Sally goodbye and left. Sally sat down on the arm of Adam's chair and opined that the baby looked more like her. Gazing lovingly at the sonogram photo, Adam responded that he hadn't believed in miracles until he'd seen something like that.
Sally commended Adam for how he'd navigated the situation, and he conceded that it hadn't been easy. He declared his intent to stay in his lane, and she called it the "daddy lane." Adam thought it had a nice ring to it. Sally asked how he felt about having a baby girl. He enthused that he loved the idea, although he had no idea about little girls. Adam envisioned that he wouldn't be able to say no to his perfect little daughter when she was looking up at him, and he'd be wrapped around her little finger.
Sally assured Adam that he had nothing to worry about, since he'd been a parent before. She worried that she knew nothing about kids and that her parents had "sucked." Sally praised Connor and Christian for being great kids, but Adam gave the credit to Chelsea and Nick. Sally argued that both nurture and nature determined how a child turned out, and Adam replied that it was what he was afraid of. He hoped having a girl meant there would be less chance he'd screw the kid up from his genes or influence.
Adam figured that having a son who turned out to be a "mini-me" was the last thing the world needed. Adam thought Connor and Christian had turned out well in spite of him, since he hadn't been a stellar role model. Sally shut down the conversation, insisting that her baby girl's co-parent needed to be confident. Sally noted that Adam had owned his mistakes and learned from them, and he knew how to love because she'd seen how much he and Connor adored one another. Sally assured Adam that it was impossible for him to screw up their kid because their daughter would be perfect.
Adam pledged to do his best to put aside his fears and insecurities for the sake of Sally and their child. Sally expected their baby would need a strong dad if the child inherited all of Sally's worst traits. She recalled that she'd been a terror as a little girl, but he bet she'd been adorable. Sally insisted that she'd been a stubborn "pain in the ass," and she worried that her daughter would hate her. Adam told her to stop because she sounded ridiculous. He admitted that she could be a "pain in the ass," but she also had fire and was smart, sensitive, and "funny as hell."
Adam intended for their daughter to have all the love Sally had never gotten from her parents, and he anticipated that they'd be second-guessing themselves for the rest of their lives. Sally imagined loving every minute of it until their daughter got home late or dated a guy they didn't like. Adam advised her to save those concerns until after the baby was born. Sally looked at the sonogram photo again and mused that she already loved her little girl with her whole heart, but the responsibility was scary. Adam reminded her that she wouldn't be alone, since he was right there, and there would be smothering from the Newman clan.
Sally cringed at the thought of the endless judgment she'd get from Victor, Nikki, and Victoria about everything from schools to diapers. Adam promised that he and Nick would fend the Newmans off. Sally thought there was one Newman they should include in all of it soon -- Connor. Sally thought Connor would love to have a little sister, but Adam voiced concern that the boy would be confused about why she was with Nick and not Adam when she was having Adam's child.
Adam added that Connor was still adjusting to having Johnny as his biological brother, and he wanted to handle the situation responsibly by talking with Chelsea about it first. Sally realized they also had to decide how to tell Christian, and she contemplated whether she, Nick, and Adam should all talk about it together. She bemoaned that it was exhausting to be open, honest, and mature. Adam swore that no matter how complicated things got, their little girl would be loved every day of her life.
At Society, Ashley griped to Abby that Jack was convinced Diane was innocent and that he would do anything to save her. Ashley ranted that she hadn't been able to stand it anymore, and she'd told Jack that his desire to marry Diane would wreak havoc with their family and the company. Ashley was appalled that his proposed solution had been for her to move out. Abby contended that maybe Ashley should move out.
Ashley argued that it was her home, and she wouldn't let Jack chase her away. Abby pointed out that it wasn't a turf war, and Ashley accused her of taking Jack's side. Abby insisted that she just wanted her mother to find peace of mind, but Ashley refused to let her brother kick her out of their home. Abby teased Ashley for being stubborn, and she headed to the kitchen. Ashley received a text message from Tucker, informing her that he was leaving that day and that he had something for her. He requested that she stop by.
Across the restaurant, Abby fetched Victor some coffee. Nick arrived and said he wouldn't be staying long because he'd been in the middle of something important. After Abby stepped away, Victor announced that he'd finalized the deal with McCall. Nick flatly stated that Victor had gotten what he'd wanted, but it had nothing to do with Nick. Victor declared that Adam would run the company; however, it was in bad shape, and it would take effort to straighten it out. Victor wanted Nick to join Adam at McCall.
Nick snapped that he had a great job at Newman and zero interest in the consolation prize Victor had bought to keep Adam out of trouble. Victor maintained that he wanted Nick to help Adam. Nick growled that it was impressive how Victor had outdone himself, but it was never going to happen. Victor reasoned that Nick, Adam, and Sally were getting along for the sake of a child, and he questioned why Nick couldn't do the same for the sake of family unity. Nick considered it an all-time low that Victor had dragged the baby into it. Nick got up to leave, but Victor ordered him to sit down because they weren't finished yet.
Victor insisted that he wanted nothing more than to see his two sons working together instead of competing over a woman whose only skill was to pit one brother against the other. Nick protested that it wasn't what was happening. Victor proclaimed that he'd been around, and it was exactly what was happening, but Nick was too close to see it. Victor warned that Sally had both Nick and Adam where she wanted them, but Nick objected to being patronized. Victor swore he was trying to help Nick.
Nick scoffed at the idea of joining a business venture with Adam, since they'd constantly be at be at one another's throats. Nick urged Victor to stop playing games and focus on his new granddaughter. "Granddaughter?" Victor echoed. Nick recognized that it hadn't been his news to share. Victor assumed Adam was happy to be having a girl after two sons, and Nick pointedly replied that they were all excited. Nick acknowledged how crazy Victor was about his grandchildren, and he implored Victor to wait to hold the beautiful little girl in his arms and forget about everything else. Nick walked off.
Tucker was surprised when Ashley arrived at his room. She wondered where he was going, and he named Sri Lanka or Peru, noting that nothing was keeping him in town because he'd sold McCall to Victor. Ashley accused Tucker of quitting, but he countered that he was embracing his future outside of Genoa City. Ashley mentioned that he'd said he had something for her, and he handed her a check to pay off McCall's debt in full, including interest. He remarked that there was no debt between them anymore, and her game of using it to keep him under her thumb was over.
Ashley called Tucker a coward for leaving Devon and Dominic behind, and she scolded that it was unattractive to just slink off. Tucker crowed that it was hardly slinking off when he'd be on a private jet. Ashley asserted that her plan for him to mend his relationship with Devon had been a good one, and Tucker's story of redemption meant something to her. Tucker barked that he didn't need Ashley to redeem him. She turned to leave, but he told her to wait.
Tucker swore that he'd tried with Devon and with Ashley, but it obviously hadn't worked. He said Dominic was the only person in town who could stand him. Tucker admitted that he'd been defeated, and there was no place left for him there. "Why don't you move in with me?" Ashley asked. A stunned Tucker scoffed at the idea of becoming roomies when she'd shut him down after he'd opened a vein to her. He spat that he wouldn't accept her invitation, even if she was serious.
Ashley clarified that Tucker would have his own guest room, and she implored him to stick around to fix things with his son and grandson. Tucker reasoned that he could do that from the hotel if he wanted to stay, but he didn't. Ashley referred to the unfinished business between them, and she conceded that he'd been right about her putting up walls with him. She added that when she'd seen him packing, she'd realized she wasn't ready for him to go.
Ashley cautioned that it was monsoon season in Sri Lanka and winter in Peru, and she recommended that Tucker stay put for a while. He preferred taking his chances with the monsoons rather than having her keep jerking him around. Ashley said she'd been hasty when she'd told him they'd never ride off into the sunset together, and she speculated that they might be able to make things work. Tucker was skeptical about doing it under the same roof, and he surmised she wanted him to move in to stick it to Jack. Ashley denied it, insisting that Jack had enough going on in his life.
Ashley urged Tucker to think of it as a grand experiment -- if they couldn't make things work, he could fly off to his monsoon, but she also pictured what it would be like if things did work out. Tucker admitted that it was a turn-on when she said it like that, but he wanted assurance that she had real feelings for him and wasn't just screwing with him again. Ashley recalled that he'd broken her heart in ways she'd thought it couldn't be broken, and she'd sworn to herself to never let him close enough to hurt her again.
Ashley continued that she'd thought her life would be better when she'd learned Tucker was leaving, but she really didn't want him to go. Ashley reasoned that Tucker had paid off his debt, and the playing field was level. Tucker replied that he would only play if she admitted she wanted him as much as he wanted her. Ashley remained silent. "You can't do it, can you?" Tucker asked, and he continued packing. Ashley walked over to him and pulled him into a passionate kiss.
At Crimson Lights, Christine asked if Chance had had any luck tracking down Jeremy Stark. Chance muttered that the guy knew how to disappear. Christine anticipated that Michael and Jack had also been searching for Stark, and she wondered if they'd had better results.
Lauren met Jack on the coffeehouse patio. She admitted she'd been surprised to hear from him, since she'd thought he'd be too busy trying to clear his fiancée of murder charges. Jack surmised that she hated him for convincing Michael to take Diane's case. Lauren swore she could never hate Jack, but she wished he'd hired another defense attorney. Lauren suggested that they handle things the way she and Michael were handling them at home -- by not talking about it.
Lauren figured she could use a friend right then, and she thought Jack could, too. She observed that he seemed very stressed, and he confided that things were very tense at home. Jack asked how Lauren was doing after losing her best friend. Lauren cried that she missed Phyllis every day, and she didn't see a resolution that would give anyone any peace. Jack glanced over at Christine.
Lauren suggested that she and Jack go someplace else to avoid dealing with Christine, but Jack contended that Christine would eventually have to admit Diane was innocent. He apologetically noted that the topic was hard to avoid, and Lauren bemoaned that it was all hard. Lauren recounted that she'd been excited to meet with a new designer that morning, and the first thing she'd wanted to do was call Phyllis and tell her about it.
Lauren wailed that she hadn't been able to do it because Phyllis was gone, and Lauren hadn't had a chance to say goodbye. Lauren continued that she'd wanted to cancel the meeting, but Jack guessed that she hadn't. Lauren said when Jack had called, she'd been able to hear Phyllis telling her to stop the waterworks and get her sorry self out of bed. Lauren contemplated what they would do without Phyllis' spirit and never-ending energy.
Christine pulled Lauren aside to talk privately. Christine imagined Lauren wasn't happy with Michael defending Diane. Lauren replied that she was mostly not happy with losing her best friend, and she was angry at her husband because they couldn't even grieve together. Lauren didn't understand how Michael could possibly defend Diane, and she sympathized that it wasn't easy for Christine, either. Christine stated that she was just doing her job, the same way Michael was doing his.
Meanwhile, Jack demanded to know what Chance was doing to find the guilty party -- Stark. Sharon looked on as the men bantered about how the police were handling the case. Chance swore that Diane would have a fair trial if Jack let him do his job. Jack argued that Diane had had everything she possibly could have wanted, and he questioned why she'd throw that away. Jack added that Stark had had every reason to hurt Phyllis, and he commanded that the police find the real murderer -- unless they weren't up to the task. Sharon intervened by asking them to tone it down, and Christine requested that Jack step away. Jack barked that things weren't always as they seemed, and he stormed out.
Sharon said she was sorry Jack had gone after Chance that way, but Chance reasoned that it was part of the job. Sharon understood why Chance had been rethinking his career, but Chance informed her that the case had shown him that he'd been crazy to think he was ready to walk away from the police force. Chance explained that there were certain people in town who thought they were above the law, and those people were trying to take matters into their own hands, showing a complete lack of respect. He complained that he was sick and tired of being yelled at and manipulated. Chance vowed to do whatever it took to get the truth because Phyllis and her family deserved it.
Jack reentered the coffeehouse to retrieve his tablet. Chance answered a call. "What? No!" Chance cried, and he asked if the caller was sure. Chance cursed, and Jack inquired whether the call had anything to do with Diane's case. Chance wanted to know that, as well, and he revealed that Jeremy Stark had been found dead.
At Society, Adam said Nate had two things going for him working at Newman Media: he wasn't a Newman or intertwined with one. Nate said he wanted to believe he was succeeding at Newman Media because of his own abilities. Adam claimed the big moves Nate had been making were extensions of things Sally had implemented.
Nate told Adam that Sally had done a good job, and he'd pointed that out to Victoria. He said it hadn't been well received. Adam claimed Sally was better off out of that snake pit because she didn't need the stress of being under a microscope, having every decision challenged, and being relentlessly questioned, especially since she was pregnant. Nate assured him Sally had nothing to worry about because Nick would do everything that he could to shield Sally and his baby from too much family scrutiny. Adam informed Nate the baby was his, not Nick's.
At Newman, Victor informed Victoria and Nikki that he'd bought McCall Unlimited. Victoria said that was a relief, since Victor planned to put Adam in charge, and Adam was certainly doomed to fail.
Victor claimed Victoria would change her mind after she realized that McCall would give a number of Newman divisions a run for their money. Victor claimed she would be kicking herself for not buying McCall when she'd had the chance. Victoria stated that with Adam at the helm and his history, she was certain Victor would be the one with regrets. He said Adam had changed, and as head of a big conglomerate and with a baby on the way, Adam would have a far greater sense of power and would be someone to be reckoned with. Victor left.
Victoria told Nikki that Victor had no idea how hideously his venture would fail. Nikki saw through Victoria, and she claimed that Victoria regretted not buying McCall. Nikki said Victoria was afraid that when her father was the competitor, she would never win. Victoria stated that she'd walked away from McCall. Victoria admitted it would have been nice to have McCall, but having Adam tethered to it had made the idea untenable. Nikki acknowledged that Victoria had made the right decision.
Nikki told Victoria the acquisition would be big news. Victoria said Victor would want to make a big splash to help Adam. Nikki suggested it might be a good time for Victoria to get away and relax. Victoria said she was scheduled to go to Los Angeles, and she would squeeze in a few days of rest and relaxation. Victoria beamed when Nate arrived.
Nikki asked Nate if he thought Victoria had the ability to relax outside the work environment. He said Victoria was a great boss, and she wouldn't be where she was if she didn't have the ability to prioritize or have impeccable instincts. Nikki left.
Nate told Victoria he wanted to go over some ideas he'd had about Lansing, but they could wait if she was busy. Victoria called someone and asked if the contracts for the Winston meeting had been uploaded. Victoria told Nate she was going shopping for streaming platforms. He said it sounded media related. She said the acquisitions would be under Nate's purview, so she invited him to go on a business trip to L.A. with her.
Nate asked Victoria if that would be wise. He admitted his hesitation stemmed from what had happened the previous night. Victoria said she was aware that he didn't like making the same mistake twice, and he was capable of vast amounts of control. She said she was about to purchase some companies that might change the scope of his division, and she thought he would be interested in them. Nate admitted he was very interested. Victoria called it settled and said he would join her.
At the Abbott home, Kyle told Summer he didn't recognize them anymore. Summer admitted she shouldn't have shut him out. Kyle asked her to let him in, but she said she had an errand to run first. Kyle wanted to accompany her, but she said it wasn't necessary, just like it hadn't been necessary for him to track her down at the jazz lounge to yell at Chance.
Kyle said he didn't think it was healthy for her to be hanging out in the place where her mother had died. Summer admitted Phyllis had driven her crazy, but they were a lot alike. She said if she needed to mourn her mother in a crazy way, Kyle needed to understand that. He said he understood, and he asked her to be careful. Summer claimed her errand could bring them all closure.
At Crimson Lights, Jack asked if Stark had been poisoned. Chance said he didn't have any details, but Stark's body had been found in a different jurisdiction. Jack claimed Stark had been on the run, and he asked if Stark had been in an accident. Chance said Stark's body had washed up on the shore of Pheasant Lake and been discovered by a fisherman. Jack said that Stark's death was a "blow to the D.A.'s case." Jack claimed that "someone out there wanted Stark dead and didn't mind taking Phyllis with him."
Chance told Jack not to get ahead of himself. Jack snidely commented that Chance wanted to take his time to look at the facts, but he hadn't wasted a second before arresting Diane. Chance said nothing had changed; they went where the evidence led. Jack gloated that he'd told Chance that Chance had been on the wrong track. Chance admitted the timing of Starks's death was concerning, but it didn't erase the evidence pointing directly to Diane. Jack claimed it put a big question mark against every aspect of the case against Diane. He thanked Chance, and he left.
Chance told Sharon it was the perfect time for them to go to dinner.
Kyle asked Summer what would bring them closure. Summer said answers would be the only thing that would bring her any peace. Kyle admitted he wanted that, too, and he'd meant every word he'd said at her door the previous evening. He said they belonged together. Summer said when she got answers, then they could work on them.
Jack arrived and informed Summer and Kyle that Stark was dead, and it added a whole new layer of mystery to everything. Kyle asked Summer if she was okay because she seemed agitated. Summer replied that she couldn't stand all those questions going unanswered. Summer said she had to go, but Kyle asked her to stay and talk. Summer spat that she didn't want to talk about Stark. She said he was a disgusting, manipulative criminal who'd tricked Phyllis into marrying him, and he'd probably had something to do with her murder. Kyle said he would go with her; however, she insisted on going alone, and she left. Jack asked what was going on with Summer. Kyle said he wished he knew.
Kyle asked what Stark's death meant for Diane and if she was any closer to being released, since she'd had nothing to do with Stark's death. Jack said they still didn't have all the facts. Kyle asked whether Diane and Michael knew about Stark's death.
At the prison, Diane said she couldn't imagine what it was costing Michael to defend her. She asked how he would get her out of that mess when "at least 90% of the people in this town want to see me fry -- and I am sure that includes Lauren." Michael admitted Lauren wasn't happy, but it wasn't a popularity contest, and they dealt in facts.
Michael asked Diane to walk him through everything from the night Phyllis had died. He warned Diane not to leave out any details, or she would have to find herself another lawyer. He said there was quite a gap in time between her wishing Phyllis dead and Phyllis' collapse in the lounge. Diane claimed Christine wanted to prove that she hadn't been putting herself together after Phyllis had attacked her. Diane asked if Christine believed she'd run out to get some poison then somehow slipped it into Phyllis' Champagne. Michael said the poison had been inside Phyllis' mask. Diane said she didn't know that was possible.
Michael asked why Diane would know that; she wasn't a murderer. He asked if she'd been alone at any time in Phyllis' hotel room. Diane admitted she had been after everyone had gone. Michael said that had been Diane's opportunity. He said an empty vial of poison had been found in that suite. Diane asked how she could have run out to get poison in the amount of time it took to brush her hair and apply lipstick.
Michael showed Diane a receipt indicating she'd purchased the poison online a few days prior to the gala, using her credit card. Diane denied doing that. Michael said that Christine would say Phyllis' murder had been premeditated, and Diane had had a plan. Diane claimed the only thing on her mind had been Jack announcing their engagement, and she denied having anything to do with Phyllis' death. She told him to find Stark because he was behind the situation.
Michael said Christine was going to have Diane's family testify against her. They'd seen her and Phyllis fighting, and they'd heard Diane threaten Phyllis' life. Diane claimed Jack and Kyle would understand, downplay it, and explain the extenuating circumstances. She said they would do everything they could to help. Michael asked about Summer. Diane admitted that Summer would do everything to make sure she spent the rest of her life behind bars.
Michael told Diane the only thing that would bring Summer some semblance of peace was to clear Diane's name and, in the process, discover the person responsible for Phyllis' death. Diane claimed it seemed impossible after seeing the evidence. Michael said it included trying to explain why Phyllis had been holding Diane's engagement ring. Diane corrected Michael. She said that the engagement ring had been in Jack's pocket and that when Stark had bumped into Jack, he had to have taken it from Jack's pocket.
Michael told Diane they had to discuss the most damaging piece of evidence against her, which would be provided by him. Michael played the voicemail Phyllis had left him. Phyllis said she was terrified of Diane, that Diane had manipulated Jack into proposing to her, and that Diane would get rid of anyone or anything that stood in her way. She said he might think she was being overly dramatic, but that woman had just attacked and threatened to kill her. She said she was afraid of "that crazy bitch."
Diane told Michael that Phyllis had sounded terrified, but the Phyllis who'd trapped her in the hotel room had been accusatory and goading her into fighting back. Diane asked how Phyllis had seemed to him that night. He said fiery and on the attack. Diane asked why Phyllis would have left him a voicemail if she'd been really scared for her life. Michael claimed Phyllis hadn't been thinking clearly.
Michael told Diane the police had found a letter from Phyllis when they'd searched Diane's things. He showed Diane the letter. Michael said the letter had been found in her bedroom. She claimed she'd never seen it before, and someone had planted it there. Michael asked if someone had entered her very secure home and left the letter there. Diane claimed Phyllis could have.
Michael asked if Diane was accusing Phyllis of being an accomplice to her own murder. Diane suggested that perhaps Stark had had an accomplice to do his bidding. Michael asked if it was just like she'd done when she'd laundered money for Stark. He said that would all come out at the trial.
Diane told Michael that Phyllis and Stark had conspired previously to get her to leave town. She suggested that Stark might have used Phyllis to get access to Jack's house. She said Phyllis had walked in and out of the house to visit Summer and Harrison. Diane recalled that she'd found Phyllis alone in their home before the gala. She said Phyllis could have planted the letter then and gained access to her credit card. She said if the letter was in Phyllis' handwriting, that could prove Phyllis had been in on it.
Michael asked Diane why Phyllis would be involved in setting up her own death. He said he couldn't see Phyllis framing Diane for murder. Diane claimed she'd already lost her case if Michael wasn't willing to see Phyllis as a bad guy. Michael cautioned her that she wouldn't win any points in court or with her attorney who was still grieving Phyllis. Diane suggested that perhaps she'd been set up for attempted murder, but the ambulance had exploded before Stark could give Phyllis the antidote, or perhaps at the last minute, Stark had turned on Phyllis and given her a lethal dose of poison. She suggested Phyllis' murder had been a revenge plot gone horribly wrong.
Diane told Michael she needed to see Stark, and she asked Michael to figure out a way to get him to see her. She wanted Stark to tell her the truth about what had happened. Michael said Stark was on the run. The buzzer sounded, and their time was up. Diane asked Michael to find Stark because he was the key. As Diane left, Michael received a call from Kyle, who informed him that Stark was dead.
Sharon and Chance arrived at the jazz lounge. Sharon told Chance she'd had no idea the dining room had been closed for a private event. Chance teased that she was supposed to be distracting him, but she'd literally brought him back to the scene of the crime. Sharon teased that he might have an epiphany while he was there.
After dinner, Chance told Sharon it had been a lot better than he'd expected. Sharon explained that the food was the same as in the dining room, only smaller portions. Chance said the food had been great, but the company had been outstanding. He thanked Sharon for the perfect distraction for him. He received a text message and apologized because he had to run. He said it had been a very amusing dinner, and he wanted to do it again. Sharon agreed. Chance left.
At Society, Victor told Adam that Nick had informed him Sally was going to have a girl. He congratulated Adam. Adam stated that he and Sally were very happy, but he knew how Victor felt about Sally. Victor said another Newman made him very happy. Victor told Adam he'd bought McCall Unlimited, and Adam would begin working there the next day. Victor said he'd bought McCall for Adam and Adam's sons and daughter, a legacy that would go on forever.
Adam accused Victor of going from embarrassment to using his child with Sally as leverage to get him to accept the job. Victor assured him that McCall was Adam's to run. Adam said if he accepted, he wanted some guarantees: total autonomy from Newman and from Victor. Victor laughed and said that would only happen in Adam's dreams. Adam told Victor to make it a reality, or the deal was dead.
Victor told Adam to come to his senses before making another stupid, rash decision. He told Adam to think of the legacy he would provide for his sons, daughter, and himself. He asked what would happen to Adam if Adam walked away. Adam admitted it was an amazing opportunity, and he would let Victor know. Adam left.
In the park Summer appeared to be looking for someone. Daniel arrived, and Summer asked why he was there. Daniel said he went there a lot to clear his head. He said he was happy he'd run into her because they hadn't spoken in a while. Summer claimed she wasn't ready. He stated that he wasn't, either, but suggested Summer speak first.
Daniel asked Summer to open up about what she was feeling and get it out. Summer claimed everyone grieved in different ways. Daniel acknowledged she was mourning Phyllis like an angry, reclusive ... Summer yelled that Stark was dead. Daniel laughed and then realized it was true. He asked how and when. Summer said she didn't know because no one had told her anything, and she was being treated like a toddler.
Summer suggested that Daniel find Chance because he might tell Daniel what was happening. Daniel suggested she go to the station with him, but she retorted that she didn't need constant supervision. Daniel said he would back off, but he would be around whenever she needed him. He told her he loved her. After he left, Summer turned, and she was stunned to see Phyllis.
In the park, Summer asked Phyllis what was happening. Summer said she'd received a call from someone claiming to have information about Phyllis' death. Phyllis explained she'd paid a waitress to call Summer. Summer wanted to call Daniel, but Phyllis stopped her and said Summer was the only one who could know she was alive. She said Daniel would immediately want to tell people about her. Summer said Daniel was going through hell. Phyllis said Summer was the only one she could trust to know what had happened and what she needed to do because of it.
Summer was adamant that Phyllis could return home. She said Phyllis had hurt a lot of people by whatever stunt she'd pulled. She said she and Daniel had been devastated, but they both needed her. She said the only thing that mattered was that Phyllis was alive, and she was going to go home with Summer. Phyllis said she couldn't go home. She admitted she'd made mistakes, and she'd trusted the wrong man. She said Stark had manipulated her by playing on her deepest and darkest fears, and he'd convinced her to marry him. She said he'd had a plan to take Diane down and put her in prison for the rest of her life.
Phyllis told Summer she'd been out of her mind and not thinking straight. She said when she'd come to her senses and told Stark she didn't want to go through with the plan, Stark had said he would kill her. Summer asked why Phyllis hadn't told Summer that Stark had been threatening her. Summer said Jack would have increased security for her at the Abbott home, but Phyllis claimed Jack wouldn't have lifted a finger for her. Phyllis admitted she'd believed everyone hated her, including Summer and Daniel. She said that had prompted her to do something stupid.
Summer told Phyllis they'd disagreed with her, but they loved her, and they'd been wrecks since that night. Phyllis confessed she'd been watching Summer. She said she'd wanted to meet with Summer to let Summer know she was okay. Summer said she and Daniel were on her side, no matter what. Phyllis said that after she explained what she'd done, Summer and Daniel wouldn't feel that way, and no one would be on her side.
Phyllis told Summer that Stark had manipulated the whole situation to make it look like it had all been Phyllis' doing. She said if anyone had found out what they'd done, she would have been the one implicated. Summer asked if the poison or the ambulance crash had been real. Phyllis admitted they hadn't been. Summer said that meant Diane was innocent.
Phyllis told Summer that everything Diane touched died. She said Diane lied, manipulated, and drove wedges between people like Jack and Ashley, herself and Jack, herself and Summer, and Summer and Kyle. She claimed that either one was on Diane's side or one was her victim. Summer said she knew Diane had been causing problems between her and Kyle long before the current situation. Phyllis said the worst thing Diane had done had been to let Kyle believe she'd been dead for all those years. She said he was still dealing with the aftermath.
Summer accused Phyllis of doing the same thing, faking her own death and abandoning her children. Phyllis countered that her children were adults, not little kids. She said she couldn't go through with Stark's plan and had immediately returned to Summer, but Diane had led Kyle to believe she'd been dead for years. Phyllis said she wouldn't do that to a child who didn't understand death or loss.
Summer said Phyllis had allowed the people who loved her to believe she was dead. She remained resolute that Phyllis was going home with her to make things right with everyone. Phyllis said she couldn't do that because Summer didn't know the whole story. Summer said Phyllis didn't have to worry about Stark because he was dead, and they could straighten everything out. Phyllis commented that she'd hoped she would have more time. She said she was the reason Stark was dead, and that was the reason she couldn't return to Genoa City.
Phyllis told Summer she'd killed Stark. She said when she'd seen how much pain Summer and Daniel had been in, she hadn't been able to go through with his plan. She said Stark had warned her that if she pulled out of the plan and sent him back to prison, he would kill her. She said he had put his hands on her, claimed she was his, and insisted it would cost her if she backed out.
Phyllis told Summer she'd tried to escape, but Stark had stopped her. She said he'd picked up a pair of scissors, and he'd tried to kill her by slicing her throat. She said she'd scratched his face and grabbed the scissors, but then everything had gone black. She said when she'd looked down, Stark had been lying in a pool of blood, and she'd killed him to protect herself.
Phyllis told Summer she'd wrapped Stark in the shower curtain, cleaned up the room, and made it look like one of his criminal buddies had done it. She said she'd sealed her fate, and she could never go home. She said she had to come up with a plan to fix things, but Summer said it wasn't too late; they could go to the police and make them understand what had happened.
Phyllis told Summer that wouldn't happen, and Summer couldn't ever tell a soul about it. She said if Summer told anyone she was alive, Diane would be free, and Phyllis would wind up paying the price. She said the authorities wouldn't stop hunting her down until they found her. She said she would either spend the rest of her life in prison, or she would be constantly looking over her shoulder. Summer said she didn't want to lie to the people she loved, but she didn't want to lose Phyllis, either, because she needed her.
Phyllis said she was sorry she'd put Summer in that position. In tears, Summer claimed it wasn't fair. She was scared she wouldn't see Phyllis again if Phyllis didn't go with her immediately to clear everything up. Phyllis said she wouldn't let that happen. Phyllis said Summer either saved Diane or her. She said if she revealed herself, Diane would be exonerated, and Phyllis' life would be over. She asked Summer to give her time to make a plan that would work. Phyllis told Summer she loved Summer no matter what Summer decided. Phyllis left.
At Society, Nate instructed Audra to take care of business while he was in Los Angeles, checking on streaming platforms that could be beneficial to Newman Media. Audra said she wanted to accompany him. She claimed it could be a learning opportunity for her. Nate said he needed her to hold down the fort. Audra insisted that Victoria would be okay with her accompanying him, as it would be a valuable experience. Nate said he would be acting as second to Victoria.
Audra admitted she saw Nate as a pro, and she'd forgotten he was on a learning curve, too. She said she would keep the ship afloat while he was gone. Audra suggested that Elena accompany him. He said it would seem unprofessional if he asked his girlfriend to tag along.
At Newman, Nick told Victoria that Victor wanted him to take an immediate leave of absence from Newman to help Adam run McCall. Victoria realized that was what Victor had meant when he'd warned her that she would regret not buying McCall. She claimed Victor wanted to steal her entire team.
Nick asked if Victor had warned Victoria what would happen if she didn't acquire McCall. She said it was more of an "I told you so." Nick assured her that he wouldn't leave her so he could babysit Adam. He said McCall was in shambles, and Victor felt Adam would need the family's full support to right that ship. Nick said he felt it was a ploy to get him to back away from Sally. Victoria agreed. She said "leave it to Victor" to buy a conglomerate to try to manipulate the people around him.
Nick told Victoria that Victor didn't know when to let people manage their own lives. He added it would get worse, since there was a baby on the way. He said the more Victor pushed Sally away, the more he risked being shut out of his granddaughter's life. Victoria claimed it made no difference because once the baby arrived, there was "no way in hell" they would be able to keep Victor away from that baby. She said Sally and Adam were the parents, and it would be up to them.
Victoria told Nick she was going to L.A. for a few days and asked him to take the reins. He asked if Nikki was going with her, Victoria said no, but the job was his. He asked if she was going alone. She said no. Nick guessed she was going with Nate. Victoria claimed she knew what she was doing and told Nick to leave it alone.
Nick said Victoria telling him to leave it alone concerned him even more. Victoria said that as CEO of Newman Media, Nate would be going with her to attend meetings with streaming platforms they wanted to acquire. Nick claimed it was a terrible idea, and she knew why. He said taking Nate on that trip was a mistake. Victoria claimed it was just a business trip.
Victoria told Nick she'd known Nate for a long time, and they were friends and colleagues. She told Nick to stay out of it. Nick reminded her that whenever she mixed business with pleasure, her judgment went out the window. She claimed Nate was nothing like Ashland. Nick asked how long it would be before people realized she was having a fling with her subordinate.
Nick said he was sure Victoria thought she had control of the situation, but she was playing with fire. He said everything was going great for her, but she wanted to take a huge risk. He said Nate had a girlfriend. He asked if Victoria was working toward a relationship with Nate or if she was just having fun. She asked Nick for the same courtesy of privacy she'd given Nick about Sally. Nick said he couldn't shake the feeling she was about to blow up everything she'd worked for. She said she didn't see it that way. Nick said he hoped she wouldn't regret that trip, and he left.
At Crimson Lights, Michael told Jack he had a contact in the coroner's office near the jurisdiction of Pheasant Lake, where Stark's body had been found. Michael said that until the autopsy was complete, none of their findings were conclusive, but according to his source, Stark's death appeared to be a homicide. Jack was stunned. Michael confirmed there would be a full investigation by the local sheriff's department. He said Diane's defense was a double-edged sword. Jack claimed Diane hadn't been involved in Stark's murder, and he insisted that Diane hadn't killed Phyllis or Stark. Michael shouted that until he had more information, he had no idea what any of it meant.
Jack told Michael that Stark couldn't testify against Diane in court. Michael replied that Stark also couldn't exonerate her. Jack said the more he thought about it, the more he believed Stark's death proved Diane hadn't killed Phyllis. Michael agreed that Diane being in jail ruled her out as a suspect, but he wondered how that absolved her of Phyllis' death. Jack said Phyllis had been poisoned, and days later, Stark had been murdered. He said one person could have killed both of them. Michael said there was no evidence to suggest that.
Jack told Michael that Stark was a known criminal out on parole. He said Stark had been involved in fraud and money laundering on an international scale. He said Stark had dealt with some very dangerous people who were experts at hiding evidence. He suggested that maybe Stark had crossed one of them, and Stark's past had finally caught up with him. Michael got why Stark would be a target of a killer, but not Phyllis. Jack admitted he didn't know. He said Diane had never been certain where Stark had gotten the funding to carry out his schemes.
Jack told Michael that whomever Stark had been dealing with had felt shorted when Stark had gone to prison, and they'd wanted their money returned. He said it might have been the money Stark had pressured Diane for. Michael stated if that were the case, it made no sense why Stark hadn't taken the money Jack had offered him. Jack claimed there had been a veiled threat that it was about more than money. Michael said if Jack was correct, it only explained the hit on Stark, not Phyllis. Jack said she'd been his wife.
Jack told Michael that those people had arrived in town, knowing Stark's partner in crime lived in Genoa City and looking for Taylor Jensen. He said maybe they thought Phyllis had been Taylor Jensen. He said maybe Phyllis' murder had been a mistaken identity or collateral damage. Michael understood Jack was looking for an answer, but that wasn't it. He said there was a mountain of evidence that pointed to a premeditated crime perpetrated by Diane.
Jack informed Michael that he would do anything to get justice for Phyllis because she deserved that from him. Jack shouted that Diane hadn't done it, and he had to defend her. Michael said they were both committed to justice for Phyllis and Diane. He said Diane was the only suspect in Phyllis' murder that was still alive and able to talk about it.
Nate entered the coffeehouse and saw Elena. He said he had to head home to pack for a business trip to L.A. Nate said it would be wall-to-wall meetings with some streamer platforms they wanted to acquire, but when he returned, he wanted to go for a short vacation with her. Elena asked if he was going alone or with someone. Nate lied and said he would be on his own. She wished she could join him, but she would take some time off when he returned. Nate left.
Elena received a call from Audra. She told Audra she had to go home to help Nate pack for his trip to L.A. She said things were getting better between them, and Nate had been very sweet lately. She suggested she and Audra meet for coffee the next day, and she would fill Audra in.
Jack returned to the prison. Unhappy to see him, Diane asked why he was there. Jack said because he loved her, and he didn't want to spend another day without her. He said his news might get her out of prison. She repeated that she didn't want him there, and it wasn't his choice. She told him to stay away. She said if there was any news, Michael would tell her.
Diane told Jack her life was over, and there was nothing left to be done. She said the sooner he accepted that, the sooner they could move on. Jack told her to stop pushing away the people who loved her, and he stated that she couldn't give up. She said it wasn't about giving up but doing what was best for her family. She said they'd done just fine without her, and they could do it again. She said that was the way it had to be.
Jack told Diane his purpose in life was to be the man she could depend on. He said he was doing everything in his power to see that she walked out of there a free woman, and he wouldn't stay away. He asked her to marry him immediately because he wanted to be her husband through her ordeal.
At the Abbott home, Tucker told Ashley he was happy they'd both agreed that him moving in was worth exploring. They kissed. Ashley offered to show him around. Tucker said he'd brought very little with him because he hadn't believed her invitation had been sincere. Tucker asked how everyone else would react to him living there. Ashley agreed it would be awkward, but everyone would adapt because everyone had bigger things on their minds. He said he would give Traci, Kyle, and Summer all the breathing room they needed.
Ashley said she knew Tucker didn't handle loose ends well, and she suggested he think about what he wanted to do next. She said selling McCall had been a big deal. She said she was concerned that if he didn't have a plan, he would end up regretting his decision. Tucker denied that he would and said he was letting go of the past. He stated he had some unfinished business, like rebuilding Devon's trust, getting to know his grandson, and then there was Ashley. He said making himself irresistible to her would be a full-time job. Jack arrived, and Tucker waved to him.
Ashley informed Jack that Tucker was her guest, and Jack should get used to seeing him more often because she'd asked Tucker to move in. She reminded Jack that he'd said his personal life was none of her concern, and she said it worked both ways. Jack stormed out of the room.
At the jazz lounge, Lauren griped that they were in the last place where they'd seen Phyllis alive. Angry, Lauren asked how Michael justified defending the woman who'd murdered their best friend. Michael asked if Lauren believed he would defend the woman who'd killed Phyllis. Lauren admitted she did.
Lauren told Michael that Christine was certain Diane was to blame, and Christine was "damn good at her job." Lauren asked if he recalled when Diane had been cuffed and hauled out; Diane had begged Michael to represent her, and he'd refused. She asked if Michael's gut was telling him to give that woman the benefit of the doubt. He asked how he couldn't after they'd all been reeling after finding out Phyllis had been poisoned.
Lauren reminded Michael that even after Jack had pleaded with him personally, he'd refused. She asked if his enormous ego had superseded his reluctance. She recalled Michael telling her that Victor and Nikki had given him a hard time for even thinking about defending Diane. He said he wouldn't sacrifice his job with Victor because Victor's fragile and enormous ego had been bruised. Lauren claimed Michael had known how she would react, and he'd done it, anyway.
Michael told Lauren he hadn't deliberately taken Diane's case to go against Lauren's wishes. He said it had been Nikki and Victor's rush to judgment, because they'd had Diane tried and convicted -- not because they suspected she'd done it, but because they'd known it. Michael said he'd realized that was the kind of jury Diane would be up against, a bunch of biased people who'd already made up their minds. He said everyone deserved legal representation and an attorney to make sure the system worked fairly.
Lauren told Michael there were other top attorneys who had no emotional ties, and they could have defended Diane. Michael claimed he was a good attorney because of his emotional ties, and Lauren was partially to blame for that. Lauren said "not this time" because he'd chosen not to fight for their best friend, Phyllis, the woman who'd gone through hell with them. Lauren claimed Phyllis' killer could go free because of Michael. She said she didn't know if she could ever look at him again if that happened.
Michael told Lauren he understood how she felt. He claimed he wouldn't be able to live with himself if he allowed Phyllis' murderer to walk. He said he'd developed an excellent radar in the art of lying, and Diane was telling the truth. He said that to Diane, the only logical conclusion was that she'd been set up. He said unfortunately, Stark would never pay for his crime because his body had washed up on the shore of a nearby lake.
Michael told Lauren the fact he couldn't get Stark on the stand made it much harder to keep Diane out of prison. He said he wouldn't let that happen because it meant Stark would win, even from the grave. Lauren didn't doubt that Stark had played a part in what had happened to Phyllis. She said that ludicrous marriage had raised her suspicions. She said even if Stark was guilty, it didn't mean Diane was blameless, because they knew how real Diane's hatred for Phyllis had been. Lauren refused to share Michael's belief in Diane.
Michael said Lauren didn't have to believe in Diane; she had to believe in him. He said he wouldn't betray her or Phyllis that way, and he was seeking justice for Diane and Phyllis, since they both deserved to have the true story told. He said he believed that what he was doing was right and decent. Shouting, he asked why Lauren didn't have faith in him. Lauren stated that she had faith in him, and that would never change.
Lauren told Michael that even if Diane didn't have blood on her hands, she would never see Diane as innocent because Diane had made Phyllis' last months a living nightmare. She admitted Phyllis had brought a lot of it on herself, but she'd paid too dearly because of Diane. In tears, Lauren cried that Phyllis had left them way too soon. She said they shouldn't be there; it was too painful. Lauren left.
At Jabot, Jack told Billy he liked seeing Billy there. Billy offered to get Jack up to speed with things that needed Jack's attention. He saw that Jack was distracted and said he would email Jack everything in the morning.
Billy asked why Jack was there, Jack replied that he needed a sense of normalcy. He said he'd been to see Diane against her wishes, but he refused to let anything tear them apart. He said he'd asked Diane to marry him immediately. Billy asked why Diane hadn't given Jack an answer. Jack said he wasn't sure why.
Jack told Billy that his offer to marry Diane immediately would make her see his deep commitment to her. He'd wanted her to believe she would return home and begin rebuilding the life they'd dreamed about. Billy was sure Diane was overwhelmed, which was the reason she'd put on the brakes. He said Jack had made an impulsive move, and Jack agreed. Billy suggested that perhaps Diane felt there was more to it than Jack asking her to marry him.
Billy suggested that perhaps Diane felt that Jack believed things were spinning out of control and that had been Jack's desperate attempt to find something he could control. Jack said they were engaged, and he intended to spend the rest of his life with Diane. He said he was only moving up the timetable. Billy told Jack to slow down because it was something he couldn't outrun. Jack asked what Billy was talking about.
Billy reminded Jack that not long before, Jack had been ready to spend the rest of his life with someone he'd loved deeply, and he'd called her "Red." Billy said she was gone, and Jack hadn't begun to mourn that loss yet. Jack claimed Billy had misconstrued things. He said his desire to marry Diane was separate from his need to mourn Phyllis. Billy disagreed because Jack was avoiding his pain and grief by focusing on his future with Diane. Jack claimed he'd grieved, and he'd poured his heart out at the memorial. Billy claimed Jack wasn't allowing himself to understand what was going on inside him.
Billy told Jack everything had been moving at warp speed since the gala. Jack admitted the chaos hadn't stopped since then. Billy said Jack was taking care of everyone, and he hadn't taken time for himself. Jack agreed. Billy said Jack and Phyllis hadn't been in a good place when she'd died. He said that would have made her loss more difficult for Jack. He said Jack needed to acknowledge who Phyllis was and how much she had meant to him. He said they'd had a rich history, and Jack needed to allow himself time to grieve that.
Jack told Billy that for better or worse, there had never been anyone like Phyllis, and there would never be one like her again. Billy agreed she'd been one of a kind. Billy received a call from Chelsea and stepped out to take the call.
In the meantime, Jack began reflecting on some special moments with Phyllis.
In one memory, Jack told Phyllis he couldn't imagine a life without her. Whatever problems they had, he wanted to fix them with her. He said whatever obstacles life put in their way, he wanted them to take them on together. He asked Phyllis to marry him. He produced a ring and asked her to say yes. She said yes, and they kissed.
In another of Jack's memories, Phyllis asked if Jack wanted to throw in the towel because of one setback. Jack replied that it wasn't a small setback. He said he could hold and kiss her and spend the rest of his life with her. Phyllis shouted that something was missing; they didn't have a baby, and they wouldn't have one. Jack said they had each other, and that was enough for him.
In yet another of Jack's memories, Phyllis told Jack that anyone who slept with a married man was an idiot. She knew Jack hated her, and she understood that; however, they could get past it. She said "that thing" with Nick had "just happened." Jack said "that thing" with Nick hadn't just happened. He said first they had to take off their clothes. Phyllis said she'd never meant to hurt him. He told her that anything she said at that moment would be meaningless.
Jack remembered when he told Phyllis he would get her out of the elevator and get her to a hospital. He said she would have that little girl who would have a full head of red hair. Phyllis said he would see her born because her water had just broken.
Jack remembered Phyllis telling him she didn't know if she was the right person to help him "through this." She said she was there, and she was staying unless he wanted Ashley or Traci. Jack insisted he didn't want anyone else. He knew he kept saying it over and over again, but he couldn't do it without "Red."
Jack remembered when he'd said maybe the reason he hadn't moved on with his romantic life was because he was already with the most amazing woman he'd ever known. He said Red had set the bar too high. Phyllis told him not to say things he didn't mean, but Jack said he wasn't saying that because he'd had too much to drink, but because it was true. He said he'd never stopped loving her, and he didn't think he ever would.
Billy returned. Jack said it would take him some time to grasp that he would never see Phyllis again and longer still to forget that beautiful story amid so much anger and resentment. Billy claimed it was important for Jack to acknowledge what she'd meant to him. Jack said Billy had been spot-on. He said he needed to look back before he could look forward.
Jack said Billy had been wrong on one point because he was very eager to marry Diane, and not as a diversion from mourning Phyllis. He said life was too precious to waste another minute. He said he couldn't let Diane shut him out, and he couldn't lose her.
In the park, Summer seemed anxious. When she heard footsteps, she called out, "Mom." Daniel said he'd returned to check on her. Summer asked if he'd seen her, too. Daniel acknowledged that Summer was overwhelmed and emotionally spent. He admitted he hadn't told anyone he saw Phyllis all the time. Summer said Phyllis had been real.
Daniel told Summer that it might have seemed that way, but their minds played tricks on them during stressful situations. He said he connected with Phyllis through his dreams and when he was alone. He said he kept thinking about the way she'd died and going over all the questions. Summer asked what he would think if she had the answers to those questions.
Summer told Daniel that everything they'd believed to be true had been a lie. She told him that Phyllis wasn't dead. Daniel said they'd seen Phyllis collapse, and the EMTs had done everything they could to save her. He said they knew she'd been poisoned, then the ambulance had crashed and burned. He said no one could have survived that.
Summer asked Daniel what would happen if Phyllis had survived, and it had all been a scheme orchestrated by Stark. She said Stark had played on all of Phyllis' emotions, and he'd forced her to be part of his revenge plan to frame Diane for murder. She said Phyllis had never had a choice. She said Phyllis had regretted what she'd done, but she'd been trapped. Daniel said if any of that had been true, there was no reason why Phyllis wouldn't return home, since they'd found Stark's body. Summer said, "Not if she's the one who killed him."
Summer told Daniel it had been an accident while Phyllis had been trying to get away from Stark. She said Phyllis couldn't return because she would be arrested for his murder. He said if it was self-defense, Phyllis could return and explain everything. Summer shouted and asked who would believe her. She said Phyllis would be in jail instead of Diane. She said she and Daniel had to do something because they couldn't let Phyllis slip away from them forever.
Daniel told Summer he knew how hard it was to let go. He said he loved her, and he would be there for her. Summer accused him of believing she was out of her mind. Daniel said she had to admit it was a wild string of theories. Summer vehemently stated that Phyllis was alive, and she'd seen her. He said if it were true, it would fix the problem with Kyle and Diane. Summer claimed it would change everything. Daniel said it wasn't healthy obsessing over something that wouldn't happen.
Summer stated that Daniel didn't believe her, and he wasn't willing to consider that she was telling the truth. She wanted to prove it to him and desperately yelled, "Mom." Daniel hugged her. Summer said he was looking at her like she was crazy. She promised she hadn't had a break with reality. She asked if he needed to see Phyllis with his own eyes. She suggested she have Phyllis call him. He asked if she had plans to see Phyllis again. Summer said she didn't have plans, but she knew she would see Phyllis again. She didn't know when or where, but Phyllis would return.
Daniel said he wanted to believe Summer, but it wouldn't happen. He yelled that Phyllis was gone. He apologized and said he didn't want to hurt her. Summer said it wasn't about her feelings; it was about the truth. She said she'd spoken with Phyllis, and Phyllis had told her what had happened. Daniel suggested they take the story to Christine and Chance and tell them Diane was innocent, Stark was guilty, and Phyllis, who was miraculously still alive, had killed him. He asked what Summer thought would happen then.
Daniel told Summer if they pursued it, they had two possible outcomes: they would hit a brick wall... Summer interrupted and said, "Or they find Phyllis and bring her home." He said if they found her, she would be arrested, charged with murder, and put on trial; Diane would be set free; and Phyllis would be locked up in jail. He said he felt just as lost as Summer did, and there was nothing they could do to fix it. He promised they would get through it together because that was "what Mom would want." Summer agreed.
Summer had a flashback to her recent encounter with Phyllis. Phyllis hugged Summer and said no matter what Phyllis decided, she loved Summer. She would never stop loving Summer. She said she had to go.
Summer said she missed Phyllis.