At Adam's penthouse, Connor begged Adam to go to the ranch. Adam promised to make a special trip there when the time was right, but he had to take care of a few things first. The doorbell rang, and Adam mused that it might be sooner than they'd thought. He invited Alyssa in, and she ranted that she didn't know what he'd been thinking. She backed off when she spotted Connor, who remembered her from Kansas. Adam sent Connor to play in his room.
Alyssa confronted Adam about not being completely honest with her, and he replied that it was complicated. She thought it seemed simple -- he suspected that her father had been a killer and that his was one, too. Alyssa assumed Chelsea had filled Adam in on their conversation, and she wondered if Chelsea was there. Adam mentioned that she was at a meeting with her business partner about her fashion line, and Alyssa figured it was for the best because the issue was between herself, Adam, and their fathers.
Adam apologized for not being completely honest, claiming that it was hard to imagine that his father might have killed someone. Alyssa regretted that she'd gotten defensive and taken it out on Adam. Adam didn't blame her for anything, and he insisted that she shouldn't feel guilty about something her father might have done. Alyssa understood that Adam hadn't wanted to say anything to incriminate his dad, but it was possible that both their fathers had killed someone, and they needed to know the truth. Adam stoically figured that it would be better than not knowing, but he smirked as he turned away.
Alyssa feared that Adam's suspicions might be right. Adam thought it would explain why Hope hadn't been at A.J.'s funeral and why Alyssa's mom hadn't wanted to talk about A.J. for years. Alyssa pointed out that there was no evidence, and Adam pretended to grapple with whether they should look for it, since it might lead down a road they might not want to travel. He hesitated to push if she didn't want to pursue it, since they were in it together. Alyssa wasn't sure they had much of a choice, since it would eat at them for the rest of their lives if they left things unanswered. She decided to start looking into it.
Adam warned that Victor would shut the investigation down if he got a whiff of what Alyssa was up to, and he volunteered to help her formulate a plan. Adam recommended that Alyssa be quiet and stealthy to avoid raising red flags, and he thought he could help because he knew how to unearth the skeletons in his dad's closet without Victor knowing it. Adam insisted that she protect him by keeping his name out of it, but she fretted that the truth would be difficult to publish without identifying her sources. Adam informed her that he owned a stake in an online news outlet, so he could get her article published without the editor asking questions. He empathized that it was paralyzing to think that they'd been born with tainted DNA, but they could choose to live with the truth, burn it away, or expose it to the light.
Mariah and Tessa lounged in bed in a hotel room. Tessa asked if they were ready to face the world, but Mariah hesitated to leave the "thousand-thread count fortress of love" when it was safe and sexy. Tessa warned Mariah not to get nervous on her, since as long as they were good in their hearts, they could handle anything. Mariah didn't want anything to get in the way and ruin it, and Tessa firmly stated that they were solid and stable. Mariah compared them to an old dresser, but Tessa believed they could be safe and sexy everywhere. They kissed passionately.
Mariah and Tessa cuddled after making love, and Tessa braced herself to take the first step out of bed. Mariah questioned whether they'd get through the pitfalls and obstacles, and Tessa said she knew they could because they'd both learned from their mistakes. Mariah vowed that she'd never cheat again and that she wouldn't keep what was bothering her bottled up, but she wondered how they could be sure she wouldn't find a different way to screw up. Tessa was betting on it, since mistakes were part of life, and they would never change or grow without them. Tessa wanted them to keep growing and changing together, and she envisioned things getting better from then on.
Mariah prepared to face their first obstacle -- Tessa going back on tour, making their relationship long-distance again. Tessa was confident that she and Mariah could handle the distance, since they'd be more in tune with one another's feelings and more diligent about making time for one another because they knew what was at stake. Mariah was sure they would, but it would be hard to leave Tessa when they'd just gotten back together. Tessa contemplated taking a break from the tour, but Mariah was adamantly opposed to that when Tessa was finally getting the success she deserved. Mariah didn't want to take that away from her, but she suggested that maybe they flip the script.
Mariah and Tessa returned to the plane, where they found Tanner shirtless. Mariah requested that he put some clothes on, and he surmised that the women were back together. Mariah gave him credit for their reconciliation, and she thanked him for letting her go onstage and humiliate herself. She apologized for accusing him of putting moves on Tessa, and he swore that it was already forgotten. Tessa said they had a big favor to ask, and Mariah inquired whether a super-devoted fan girl could go on tour with them -- her.
Mariah promised that she'd be the best groupie ever, and Tanner thought the audience would love seeing the couple happy after witnessing her angst. Mariah remarked that she had to get approval from just one other person. Mariah worried about deserting her mom, and she didn't know if she could abandon Sharon. Tessa understood, but she advised Mariah to at least call Sharon so they could make the decision together.
At the Newman ranch, Victor examined the file he'd kept on Cliff and A.J.'s deaths, and he quickly stashed it away when Sharon entered. She offered to wait in another room, but he invited her in. She acknowledged that he was opposed to her counseling Victoria, but she swore that she was just there to help. Victor assured her that he didn't want to argue about it, and Sharon was taken aback when he asked how she was coping with her cancer diagnosis. Sharon admitted that she'd seen better days, and he took her hand and said he was sorry.
Sharon reported that her first talks with Victoria had gone well, but Victor noted that Victoria had ended up at the office again before she was ready. Sharon explained that Victoria had to figure things out on her own, and Sharon was just trying to help her get through it. Victor voiced concern that the therapy would be too taxing for both women, but Sharon thought spending time together had been beneficial for them both. Sharon sensed that Victor wanted to say something else, and she asked if he was okay. He said he was and thanked her for asking, but he swore that there was nothing else going on.
Victor expressed concern about Victoria and wanted to make sure Nick got the help he needed for Newman to run smoothly. Sharon still thought something else was on Victor's mind, but he denied it. She offered to be a sounding board if he needed it, but he promised he wouldn't. Victoria entered, and Victor excused himself. Victoria was surprised that Sharon and Victor hadn't been at one another's throats, and Sharon couldn't explain it.
Victoria settled onto the couch for her first official session with Sharon, but Sharon urged her not to think of it like that. Sharon compared the weirdness to a bad first date, and she imagined they'd be there for a while if they talked about bad relationships. Victoria didn't know what to talk about, and Sharon suggested that they do something to take Victoria's mind off everything, like a chess game. Victoria jokingly warned Sharon against touching Victor's chessboard, and Sharon guessed that Victor saw himself as the king and Nikki as his queen. Sharon added that he probably considered her a pawn, but Victoria countered that being the mother of his grandchildren would at least make Sharon a rook.
Sharon preferred to think of herself as her own queen with her own army around her, since she was grateful for all the good people in her life. Sharon noted that Victoria had an army of her own, and Victoria praised her parents and children for stepping in to help. Victoria shared that Reed called every day when he'd never done that before. The women joked about using their plights to get their children's attention.
Sharon confided that she'd been worried about how Mariah and Faith would handle her cancer, but both her daughters had found strength inside of them that they hadn't known they'd had, and having them there had really made a difference. Sharon added that Rey had also been great, but she quickly clammed up. Victoria accepted that she was a queen without a king, but Sharon wondered if things were really over between Victoria and Billy.
Victoria conceded that it would be easy to hate Billy, but she couldn't. She admitted that part of her wished he was there to help her through it, but it wasn't an option. Sharon's phone rang with a call from Mariah, and Victoria encouraged her to take it. Mariah happily informed Sharon that she and Tessa were back together, and she thanked Sharon for being her rock. Sharon responded that it was what moms were for, and Mariah replied that it was also what daughters were for, which was what made what she had to say so hard. Mariah revealed that she was considering going on tour with Tessa.
Sharon asked if Mariah was going right away, and Mariah quickly reconsidered and decided to go home that night. Sharon insisted that Mariah live her life and go on the trip. Sharon glanced over at Victoria and mentioned that she'd just been talking to someone about the overabundance of support she had in her life, and Mariah's happiness lifted her spirits. Mariah swore that she'd check in constantly and that she wouldn't be gone long. Sharon urged her to take all the time she needed, and they hung up.
Sharon turned back to Victoria and apologized for getting a little emotional, but she was thankful for all the people in her life, including Victoria. Victoria proposed that they be in one another's armies of support, and she stifled a yawn. Sharon instructed her to get some rest, and Victoria shared that it wasn't easy for her to tell people when she felt tired because she didn't want them to worry. Sharon replied that no one understood that better than she did.
Later, Mariah told Tessa that she was ready to go emotionally, but she had only packed an overnight bag and didn't have many clothes. Tessa joked that it was no problem because everyone on the jet was naked, anyway, and Mariah inquired whether Tanner ever wore a shirt. Mariah planned to go shopping for some groupie clothes, like leather or snakeskin. Tanner returned and asked if they were ready to go, and Mariah asked where they were off to next. She wanted to sit next to the pilot, and Tessa told Tanner to buckle up, since he had two of them then.
Nick was irate upon finding Billy in the old Dark Horse office, and he barked that he didn't want Billy in it. Billy clucked that Nick should have thought of that before he'd signed a lease with Jill, since the office had become the home of Chancellor's new media division, which Billy would be running. Nick groused that Jill hadn't mentioned what the space would be used for, and Billy curtly suggested that Nick read about it in a future press release. Nick chided Billy for his unfulfilled promises, but Billy warned him not to make it about Victoria. Nick spat that everything was always about Billy.
Billy admitted that he had regrets about Victoria, but he wasn't about to discuss them with Nick. Nick growled that he knew Billy had used her until it wasn't convenient anymore, but Billy defended that it wasn't what had happened. Nick bellowed that it was who Billy was to get bored and move on to the next thing, which Nick guessed was the company. Nick huffed that Jill had needed to lie about Billy's involvement to get the lease. Billy swore that he'd had no idea what Jill had been up to, but he found a certain satisfaction in that Nick hadn't, either. Billy taunted that Nick was stuck with them.
Nick snapped that he wanted Billy as far away from Victoria as possible, and Billy swore that he would never hurt her again. Nick couldn't believe Billy would say that after his reckless behavior had led to her getting stabbed, but Billy ordered him not to question the feelings Billy had for the mother of his children. Billy added that he was tired of being the scapegoat for Nick and Victor when everyone had forgiven and forgotten the awful things Victor had done, including lying to Victoria about having proof that Billy had slept with Amanda when it had never happened. Billy accepted responsibility for what he'd done, but he condemned Victor for never doing so.
Billy accused Nick of enabling Victor, and he blasted Nick for going back to Newman like a loyal foot soldier the moment Victor had snapped his fingers. Lily interrupted and demanded to know what was going on. Billy announced that he'd been congratulating Nick on becoming Victor Jr. Billy ridiculed Nick for crawling back to Newman after all the times he'd sworn he'd never go back. Lily ordered the men to take it down a notch, but Nick argued that he was only back at Newman because Billy had shown up to a party, drunk and uninvited, leading to Victoria getting stabbed.
Billy accused Nick of making excuses and casting blame like his father, and Nick retorted that everyone around Billy ended up hurt. Nick vowed never to let Billy hurt Victoria or the kids again, and Billy defended that he was a "damn good" father and told Nick to keep his kids out of it. Lily bellowed that it was enough, and she explained to Nick that she was Billy's partner in Chancellor's new division. Nick assumed that Jill hadn't thought Billy could do the job on his own, and Billy shot back that Nick was just serving as a temp for his dad. Nick warned Lily that Billy would grind the company into ground and take her with him. Nick stalked out.
Lily thought her and Billy's first day at the office didn't bode well, and he apologized that his baggage had landed in her lap. He wondered if she shared Nick's opinion that Billy was poison to the people he loved most. Lily recognized that Billy had made a lot of mistakes and that he'd hurt people, but she didn't consider it inevitable that he would screw up again. She cited her work with the inmates and how it had shown her that people could change. She added that it was why she'd chosen to be his partner, and she suggested they get back to work.
At Crimson Lights, Sharon asked how things were going with Nick, and he groaned that he'd had another run-in with Billy. Nick started to ramble about how Jill had tricked him into leasing space, but he realized it was nothing compared to what Sharon was going through. Sharon was happy to hear him out, but he preferred to hear how she was doing. She informed him that she was having a pretty good day, since Mariah and Tessa had gotten back together, she'd had a nice chat with Victoria, and she'd even shared a pleasant exchange with Victor. Nick noted that Victoria seemed to be doing better, and he wondered if Sharon felt that way, too. Sharon hesitated to say anything specific, but she suspected that Victoria was trying hard to make it look like she was getting better for everyone else's sake.
Adam and Connor arrived at the ranch, and Connor excitedly hugged Victor and asked where Katie and Johnny were playing. Victor directed him to the stables, and Connor stepped out. Adam said Connor had been pestering him to go there all day, but Victor prompted Adam to spill the real reason for his visit. Adam had the feeling that his earlier apology had fallen on deaf ears, but Victor said he'd appreciated it.
Victor recognized that Adam resented the fact that Victor had temporarily given the CEO job to Nick. Victoria eavesdropped as Victor maintained that Victoria would resume the reins once she recovered. Adam understood that Victor didn't trust him, and he opted to let their deeds and not their words be the true test of their relationship. Adam was determined to show his true colors to Victor and everyone else.