At the Underground, Nick, Abby, and Victoria met with Michael to discuss Victor's defense. Nick doubted that Victor had much of a chance after having admitted firing a bullet into his lifelong enemy. Victoria insisted that Victor had acted in self-defense because he had feared that Jack had been reaching for a gun. Abby pleaded with Michael to convince a jury that Victor had only been protecting himself. Michael noted that if he failed to win, Victor might spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Victoria instructed Michael to call her as a witness because Victor had admitted to her that he'd shot Jack. Michael pointed out that because Victoria had initially lied to provide an alibi, she couldn't serve as a trusted witness. Michael said he'd plan his defense proving that Victor had acted in self-defense. After Michael left, Victoria told Nick that even if he refused to support their father, he should at least help defend Victor. After Victoria left, Abby told Nick that deep down in his heart, he knew that their father would never deliberately try to kill Jack.
At the police station, Nikki told Victor she didn't believe him when he claimed he'd shot Jack in self-defense. Victor said, "You did not have to tell Paul Williams that I lied about my alibi. I would never do that to you." Victor told Nikki that there were details she didn't know, and he insisted that he'd had to shoot Jack in order to protect his family. Nikki cried that Victor was responsible for her addiction relapses because he continually held fast to the same grudges and vendettas and kept secrets. Nikki said she could no longer handle it, and she walked out the door.
Michael consulted with Victor and said it would be a show of good faith to turn in the gun used in the shooting. Victor said the gun could be found in a compartment beneath the floor in the stable, next to Jupiter's stall. After Michael left, Nick confronted his father and asked why he'd shot Jack. Victor explained that he'd shot Jack in self-defense. Victor added, "Why would I want Jack Abbott dead? I saved his life when the Underground collapsed." Victor pleaded with Nick to help save the family company by returning to work and keeping an eye on everything.
At Crimson Lights, Paul confronted Dylan and said, "Want to give me one good reason why I shouldn't arrest you right now?" Paul was angry after he learned from Joe that Dylan had tied him to a chair and beaten him in a failed plan to get Joe to confess that he'd attacked Avery. Dylan slammed his fist on the bar and cried, "He raped Avery, Paul!" Paul explained that a confession obtained under those circumstance would never hold up in court. Paul admonished his son to "stop pulling crap like that." Dylan said, "Joe's running around free. He could attack Avery again."
Paul explained that Avery's case was complicated because she couldn't positively identify her attacker, and no one had witnessed or even heard noises indicating that the attack had taken place. Paul added that not even the test results could confirm that Joe was Avery's attacker. Paul explained that no suspect could be connected to any of the evidence collected, as there was no hair, skin, or bodily fluids. Dylan insisted that Joe was the attacker. Paul said, "You need to stay out of this and let me do my job."
Michael joined Paul and Victor in Paul's office at the police station. Paul said he'd share the ballistics report as soon as it was ready. Paul asked Michael if he'd shared the other news. Michael asked Paul to share it. Paul told Victor that Christine was prepared to offer a deal. Victor said he wasn't interested. Victor, addressing Michael, said, "I shot that gun in self-defense, and you will help me prove it."
At Chancellor Park, Sharon threatened to defend herself with mace when Joe approached. Sharon said she'd learned from Dylan that Joe had raped Avery even after she'd obtained a restraining order. Joe told Sharon that Dylan had tied him up and beaten him in an effort to coerce a confession. Joe said that Avery wasn't a victim, but he and Sharon were. Joe explained that Avery wanted revenge against him and yearned to destroy Dylan and Sharon's relationship.
Sharon noted that Avery had spent most of her career defending the innocent. Joe claimed that Avery had snapped and was accusing him of a crime he hadn't committed. Joe said that Avery wanted Dylan back. Sharon lunged with the canister of mace when Joe took a step forward. Joe asked Sharon to talk to Dylan, who was the one person who could detect Avery's lies. Joe said he hoped Avery wouldn't carry through with her plan to put an innocent man in prison.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Lily was shocked to see Avery's bruised face. Lily became angry when she learned Avery had told Paul that Joe and Lily had made love. Avery explained that Joe had raped her in an alley near her home after she'd arranged a meeting in the park to confront him about his attempt to ruin Lily's marriage. Avery said she was certain Joe was her attacker even though she hadn't seen his face. Avery told Lily that Paul had assured her that Lily's sexual encounter with Joe would remain confidential.
After Avery left, Lily recalled having made love to Joe. Her flashback ended with Avery's voice running through her mind, claiming that Joe had raped her. Joe entered the bar and spoke to Lily. Lily replied, "You disgust me!" Joe said that Lily had to have spoken to Avery, who'd been spreading lies. Lily said, "No one is going to take your word over hers."
Lily noted that Joe's life wouldn't be the only one affected by the allegations. Lily explained that Paul knew she'd slept with Joe. Joe said, "And you're worried that I'm going to tell Cane?" Joe assured Lily that he wouldn't say a word to Cane, but he reminded Lily that word could spread through Avery. Lily said that Avery had promised it wouldn't. Joe replied, "Don't put your life in Avery's hands. You'll regret it."
At Crimson Lights, Avery stopped by and told Dylan that she'd gotten his messages. Dylan calmly explained that Paul was having a difficult time building a case. Avery said, "But there's the physical evidence once the lab results come in." Dylan said that the lab had been unable to tie any of the physical evidence to Joe. Avery cried, "Joe's going to get away with this."
Avery said that investigations needed momentum because detectives enjoyed building a case when the pieces fit together. Avery added, "Without that momentum, crimes go unsolved." Avery broke down in tears when she recalled being unable to fight off her rapist. Dylan held Avery close to console her. Sharon entered through the door and saw Dylan and Avery together.
Alone in Victor's office at Newman-Abbott, Adam smiled at the portrait of Victor and said, "I finally won, Dad." Adam collected and stashed framed photos of Victor's family just as Billy, Neil, Chelsea, and Ashley arrived. Billy said, "Plan on shoving all of us in a drawer now that you're the head of the company?" Adam, reminding them that he was CEO, quipped about arriving late and asked about Abby and Victoria. Billy said that they were on their way.
Ashley reminded Adam, the man she and most others in Genoa City only knew as Gabriel, that he was merely the interim CEO. Ashley added that a shake-up at the corporate level wouldn't be good for brand loyalty. Adam showed Neil and Ashley a signed contract transferring power from Victor. Neil asked about the missing funds that had been blamed on a computer glitch. Adam said he'd take over the financial matters.
Adam told Neil he would no longer be in charge of the company's finances. Neil replied, "Victor didn't think it was effective or efficient to oversee the executive and fiscal matters at Newman-Abbott. Now you suddenly think you can?" Neil quit on the spot and noted that he'd worked for both companies longer than Adam had been alive. Neil added, "Not once have I ever blackmailed anyone to get a job."
After Neil stormed out, Chelsea said, "Gabe's looking out for his father's best interests." Billy said he wasn't sure Jack was even related to the man usurping everyone in order to gain power of the merged companies. Ashley told Billy that Jack had run a DNA test before the shooting. She added, "This SOB is Jack's son." Billy glared at Adam.
After Abby and Victoria arrived, they learned that Neil had quit rather than face a demotion. Abby explained that Neil was one of the few employees familiar with Newman Enterprises and Jabot. Adam announced that Abby would replace Victoria and become the new COO. Adam added that Abby was both an Abbott and a Newman and wouldn't favor one family's interests over the other. Victoria said elevating Abby to COO was ridiculous.
Victoria insisted that Abby wouldn't accept the position. Abby looked hurt. She said, "Maybe I do want it." Victoria told Abby that though she was great at marketing, surely she wouldn't consider herself qualified to assume such a lofty position. Frustrated, Abby left. Ashley was fuming. Ashley quickly left, hoping to catch up to her miffed daughter. Victoria informed Adam that she intended to stay put and ensure that a Newman's voice was heard.
After Victoria left, Billy echoed Victoria's words and warned Adam not to get too comfortable with his job. After Billy left, Chelsea questioned Adam about his unwise decision to fire Neil. Adam said he didn't want Neil discovering the plan to frame Victor for embezzlement. Chelsea asked if Adam had blackmailed Victor in exchange for the CEO position. Adam replied, "It was the only way I could keep that snake from taking control of both companies. I wasn't going to let that happen. Not after what he did to Jack."
Adam asked Chelsea to help Abby. Nick walked in and said, "That would be a big mistake." Chelsea left. Nick warned that he would shred Adam's story. Nick added, "You want revenge, and you would send an innocent man to prison to get it." Adam insisted that Victor wasn't innocent. Nick asked why Adam hated Victor. Adam said Victor should pay for shooting Jack. Nick replied, "Well, you're going to have to go through me to do that." Adam said that Victor had finally managed to push Nick into his father's role, which Nick hated.
Billy and Victoria strolled to Chancellor Park to talk. Billy said, "Gabriel is poison to both of our families." Victoria said that someone would have to stop him. Billy replied, "How about us? Let's work together, put our issues aside, and bring him down. If we do that, he doesn't stand a chance." Victoria agreed that they might be the only hope their family had.
Ashley caught up with Abby at the Genoa City Athletic Club. Ashley calmly explained that it would be a mistake for Abby to accept the COO position. Abby cried that she was no longer the naked heiress. She said that her family believed all she could do was choose lipstick shades. Abby said she was grateful for an opportunity to prove that she could do more. Ashley explained that Abby had little experience in running a huge family. Abby insisted that she would become a force to be reckoned with and might even save both sides of her family.
Neil stopped by Nikki's suite at the Genoa City Athletic Club. He told Nikki that he'd quit his job. Nikki said she was certain that both Jack and Victor would want Neil to remain at the company. Neil replied, "Well, Gabe Bingham sure didn't. He's in charge now." Neil smelled alcohol on Nikki's breath and asked if she was drunk. Nikki produced a bottle of vodka she'd hidden behind a throw pillow and said, "I'm not drunk. I'm relaxed." Neil failed to wrest the bottle away from Nikki.
Nikki said she needed her booze because Nick was about to have a baby with a woman he'd just met. She added, "Dylan's about to have a baby with a woman I wish we'd never met, and Victoria got caught lying to police about her father, who finally admitted that he shot Jack." Nikki took a swig from the bottle and said that all her problems were magically erased. Neil tried to grab the bottle again, and Nikki collapsed. Neil phoned for an ambulance and explained that his friend might be suffering from alcohol poisoning. Neil performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on Nikki.
When Hell Freezes Over
Phyllis stopped by Summer's apartment at Summer's urgent request, and Summer explained that she'd made it sound important to get Phyllis to tear herself away from Jack. Summer stressed that it was important that Phyllis take a break, since Phyllis needed rest and food, and she implored Phyllis to talk to someone who knew what she was going through. Summer rubbed Phyllis' shoulders and recalled that she'd been afraid to leave Phyllis for a second when Phyllis had been in a coma, and she told her mother to take care of herself.
Phyllis replied that it was her job to worry as Summer's mother, and she asked if Summer had been sleeping any better. Summer wished she'd stayed out of the war between the families, but Phyllis said she was very proud of Summer for not giving up. Summer compared it to the way Phyllis refused to give up on Jack, but she ribbed Phyllis for sneakily turning things around to try to take care of her instead. Summer pushed Phyllis to eat something, and Phyllis grabbed a piece of fruit and headed back to see Jack.
In Jack's hospital room, Adam informed Jack that he'd made good on his promise to take over the company, but people were having a hard time adjusting. Adam had hoped the idea would be palatable to the Abbotts, since they thought he was one of them, and he needed Jack to pull through and back him up. "The hell he is," Kyle said as he walked in.
Kyle noted that Gabriel had already moved into the top spot at the company, and he wondered what else Gabriel wanted to get by holding a phony vigil. Adam understood that Kyle was upset because Jack had been grooming Kyle to take over one day, but he thought Kyle wasn't ready to run anything yet. Kyle argued that Ashley was, and he accused Gabriel of using the opportunity to lie and blackmail his way to the top. Adam swore he'd been doing what was best for Jack and the company by taking Newman-Abbott out of Victor's hands, and Kyle retorted that it would be out of Gabriel's hands once Jack woke up.
Adam thought Jack wouldn't be pleased to hear that Kyle had almost exposed Jack's plan to pin the embezzlement charges on Victor. Kyle argued that the plot hadn't seemed like something Jack would do, and a comatose Jack thought to himself that he hadn't done it. Adam and Kyle argued, and Jack worried that the infighting made them weak. Phyllis burst in and admonished the men for quibbling in front of Jack, and Kyle stormed out. Adam apologized for letting things get out of hand, but Phyllis accused him of knowing exactly what he had been doing, since a heart attack or stroke could kill Jack, and it would be best for Gabriel if Jack didn't make it.
Phyllis reasoned that Gabriel stood to gain with Jack out of the way, but Adam swore that he wanted Jack to recover more than anything. Phyllis thought Gabriel acted more like Victor than Jack, and she questioned how Gabriel had managed to talk Victor into appointing him CEO over a member of Victor's own family. Adam insisted that no one had talked Victor into anything, but Phyllis accused Gabriel of pushing everyone aside to stay on top. Phyllis lectured that Jack didn't need his loved ones turning on one another, and Jack thought to himself, "Way to go, Red."
After Adam left, Phyllis told Jack that she and his family needed him, and she wished she knew what he was thinking about. She recalled that she'd fought hard to wake up because she'd had to tell him a secret, and she wondered if he also had things he needed to say. She hoped he could hear her, since she needed him to know how much she loved him and how much she needed him to return to her. Inside his head, Jack pledged that they'd be together.
Summer greeted Kyle with a kiss when he showed up at her door, and he reported that he'd just seen Phyllis at the hospital, but Jack was doing the same. Summer hated that her grandfather was still locked up, but she remarked that at least she and Kyle were together in the middle of the mess. She envisioned building a bridge between the Newmans and the Abbotts one day, but Kyle thought there was no escaping their families.
Summer declared that people weren't defined by their last names, and she asserted that she was the same person whether she was Summer Newman, Summer Abbott, or Summer McGillicuddy. Kyle contemplated what it would be like to be Kyle Smith, and Summer said it would be perfect if everyone left them alone and stopped questioning their loyalty. Kyle countered that they'd still have Smiths and McGillicuddies to deal with, but she told him not to ruin the fantasy, and they kissed.
After making love, Summer and Kyle agreed that they only wanted one another, and she suggested they set an example for everyone else. She recognized that they couldn't change things in a day, but she believed they could make peace a reality. They kissed and cuddled.
In Nikki's hotel suite, Neil pleaded with Nikki to say something, and she stirred, but he told her not to try to get up. He supported her head with a pillow, and she asked where she was. He held up the nearly empty bottle of liquor and warned that she'd nearly drunk herself to death.
At the hospital, a doctor informed Nikki that her multiple sclerosis had exacerbated the effect of alcohol, and he reminded her that she'd been advised not to drink while taking her prescription medication. The doctor added that Nikki was no longer in danger, but he wanted to observe her overnight, and he sternly warned Nikki to permanently stay away from alcohol. After the doctor stepped out, Nikki felt lucky that Neil had been there to save her life, and she lamented that she hadn't been a great example by falling off the wagon. She begged Neil not to mention her relapse to anyone, but he urged her to let her family be there for her.
At the Underground, Nick reported to Sage that both Victoria and Abby were firmly standing behind Victor. Nick continued that Michael intended to argue that Victor had shot Jack in self-defense, but Gabriel had said Jack had been unarmed, so Nick didn't know what to think. Sage encouraged Nick to talk to his father, and Nick conceded that Victor had seemed sincere, but either his dad or Gabriel was lying. Nick wondered if Sage thought Gabriel would lie about something that big, and she admitted that she believed Gabriel was capable of it.
Sage pointed out that someone could have moved or taken Jack's weapon, and she theorized that Gabriel had seen it as an opportunity to get revenge on Victor. Nick recounted that Gabriel had accused him of being like Victor, but Nick had done everything possible not to be like his father. Nick admitted that Victor had disappointed him, but hearing Victor say that he needed Nick to believe in him had affected him. Nick imagined that Victor would have turned to Adam first if Adam were still alive, and Sage remarked that she'd thought Victor and Adam had been enemies. Nick explained that Victor and Adam had butted heads because they'd been alike.
Sage asked if Nick and his dad had always been at odds, and Nick recalled that he and Victor had been close when Nick had returned from boarding school. Nick revealed that things had changed when Nick had decided to run the coffeehouse instead of allowing Victor to groom him to take over the company, and they'd had difficulties because of Victor's obsessive need to keep his family close. Sage understood having that impulse, since she was having a child of her own, but a call from Neil interrupted them.
Nick rushed into Nikki's room and thanked Neil for calling him. Nikki insisted that she was fine, but she was clearly concerned about what Neil had said, and Nick said he knew she'd collapsed during an MS episode. Neil stepped outside, and Nick asked if stress had caused the episode. Nikki commented that she needed to learn to handle stress better, and she promised to take better care of herself, but she wanted Nick to do the same thing. She took Nick's hand and urged him to go somewhere else with Sage and Faith.
Nick invited Nikki to join them on a vacation, but she clarified that she wanted him and his family to have a happy life by getting away from Victor and the family drama. Nikki beseeched Nick to take his own family somewhere and to have a nice life without the constant battling, but Nick contended that Genoa City was his home, so he wasn't going anywhere. Nikki asked if he'd seen his father, and Nick said Victor had lost everything, including his freedom. He added that Victoria was the only one who believed in Victor, but Nikki thought it sounded like Nick did, too.
Neil returned to Nikki's room with takeout food, and Nick thanked him for taking such good care of Nikki. Nikki told Nick to go home to Sage, and he warned his mother against stress, since he loved her too much to lose her. Nick left, and Nikki thanked Neil for not telling Nick about her drinking. She agreed to attend a meeting with Neil the following morning.
In the corridor, Nick informed Sage that talking with Nikki had helped clear some things up, since his mother had unintentionally reminded him of how important family was. Nick vowed not to turn his back on his dad when Victor needed him, and Sage asked if Nick believed Victor's story. Nick replied that it didn't matter, but he knew he had to stand by Victor until Victor gave him a reason not to. He gave Sage the option to bolt, since his family would become the baby's family, too, but she declared that she was all in, and they kissed.
At Crimson Lights, Avery ranted to Dylan that she'd given Paul her attacker's name, but Dylan said the police needed more evidence to arrest Joe. An emotional Avery was sure that Joe had been the one who'd covered her mouth and pulled her to the ground, and Dylan hugged her as Sharon walked in. Dylan explained that Avery had been upset, and Sharon said she knew exactly what Avery was doing there, since Sharon had been in Avery's position. Avery assumed that Sharon thought Avery was taking advantage of Dylan, but Sharon revealed that she'd been sexually assaulted, and it had been the worst time of her life.
Sharon explained that she'd planned to tell Dylan at some point, but there was never a right time for that kind of conversation. Sharon empathized with Avery, and she divulged that she'd been raped before she'd married Nick, but she'd been too ashamed to tell anyone, so she'd made matters worse by withdrawing from everyone and going into a deep depression. Sharon added that eventually she'd gotten help at a clinic, but it had been too late to press charges by the time she'd reported the crime. Sharon praised Avery for speaking up right away, and she hoped Avery got the justice she deserved. Sharon encouraged Avery to talk to someone, and she mentioned that she'd counseled others, so she'd be happy to listen.
Avery thanked Sharon for the offer, but she preferred to make an appointment with a referral the hospital had provided. Dylan excused himself to check on some orders, and Sharon asked why Avery hadn't made the appointment yet. Avery said she hated thinking about the rape, and she just wanted the police to do their job by arresting Joe. Sharon noted that they'd both been attacked by men they'd cared about, and she pointed out that Matt had been angry with Nick for pursuing Sharon, just like Joe had been angry with Dylan, but the difference had been that Dylan and Avery were just friends.
Sharon gushed that Dylan was great in situations when someone needed to lean on him, and Avery thanked Sharon for her understanding when Avery had leaned on Dylan. Sharon called Dylan a stand-up guy, and she couldn't imagine a better father for her child. "Your child?" a flabbergasted Avery asked, and Sharon said she'd figured Dylan had told Avery that they were having a baby. Dylan returned and asked if everything was okay, and Avery tearfully smiled and called the baby news wonderful, but she hurried out. Sharon told Dylan that she was worried about Avery, since it didn't seem like Avery was focused on healing.
Dylan reasoned that the law was everything to Avery, and it was the one thing she could control, but Sharon thought Avery was concentrating more on Joe than on seeking justice. Sharon considered the possibility that Joe hadn't raped Avery, and she mentioned that she'd run into Joe in the park. Sharon relayed Joe's assertion that Avery was setting him up to win Dylan back, and Dylan didn't believe a word of it, but Sharon contended that part of it rang true. Sharon said she and Dylan both knew what it was like to spin out of control, and she thought the warning signs indicated that Avery was on a dangerous path.
Dylan wondered why Sharon was relaying her concerns about Avery to him, and Sharon explained that Avery had been an important part of his life. Sharon thought that Dylan would never forgive himself if something happened, and she thought Dylan might be the only person who could help Avery.
Avery arrived at the Athletic Club while talking with Paul on the phone. She demanded to know why he hadn't arrested Joe, since she thought naming her rapist should have been enough. She asked Paul to run the lab tests again, and she snapped that she'd expected more from him. She was adamant that Joe had done it and that he would pay for it, even if she had to take care of it herself.
At the hotel bar, Cane approached Lily and wondered why she looked so serious. She stated that she had a lot on her mind, and he surprised her with plane tickets for a weeklong vacation in Tahiti, but she protested that they couldn't go. Cane informed her that he'd asked Devon to cover for her, and he'd lined up a sitter, so they had no reason not to go, but she balked. Lily expected that Cane wouldn't want to go on vacation with her after she told him something, and he assured her that there was nothing she couldn't tell him. She hesitantly confessed that she'd been unfaithful.
Lily suggested that they go to her office to talk privately, but Cane wanted to hash things out then and there. She explained that it had happened when she'd still been upset about him kissing Lauren, and she'd been furious when she'd seen the video footage of Lauren going into his room late at night, so her reaction had been to get drunk. Lily added that she'd wanted to get back at Cane, and he demanded to know who the man had been. She disclosed that it had been Joe, and Cane calmly said he couldn't hold it against her.
Lily was shocked that Cane wasn't angry, and he conceded that he'd been the one who'd started things in motion. She asked if he could forgive her, and he suggested they see a counselor to get through their problems. Lily declared that she loved Cane and would do whatever it took, and he pulled her into his arms and said he could forgive her for kissing Joe, since she'd forgiven Cane for kissing Lauren. Lily sobbed that it had been more than just a kiss, and Cane incredulously realized that she'd slept with Joe.
Cane asked if Lily and Joe had been having an affair, but she stressed that it had only happened one time on the night she'd been upset about Cane and Lauren. Lily explained that she hadn't been thinking when she'd believed Cane had cheated on her, and she had been stupid to react impulsively, but she'd spend the rest of her life making up for it. She repeated Cane's idea to get counseling, and she begged him to forgive her. Cane questioned what part Lily wanted him to forgive, since he'd fallen over himself to show how sorry he'd been for kissing Lauren, and he'd done everything he could to prove that no one meant more to him than Lily.
Cane barked that it had been all for nothing, since it had simply given Lily an excuse to sleep with Joe. He growled that she had been willing to throw their marriage away, and he demanded to know what he should forgive her for. She whimpered that she'd broken their vows, but Cane hissed that she and Joe had taken one another's clothes off, and he asked if they'd had sex in a bed. Lily pleaded not to make her remember, and Cane said he could forgive her. Lily thanked him, but he coldly added, "I'll forgive you when hell freezes over."
Cane flatly stated that he and Lily were done, but she pleaded with him to go back to the office. He angrily wondered if that had been where she'd had sex with Joe or if they'd done it in a suite, and he speculated that had been why she hadn't wanted to make love with Cane at the hotel. She cried that she'd felt guilty, and he spat that she couldn't take back what she'd done. Lily wailed that they'd been through too much together, but Cane reiterated that they were done. "I just don't give a damn anymore," he spat, and he walked off as Lily broke down in tears.
The Newmans Always Stick Together
In the park, a suit-clad Nick dropped off Faith with Sharon, who was thrilled to get extra time with her daughter. Sharon remarked that he looked official in his suit, and Faith ran off to play on the swings. Sharon wondered if Victor had a court hearing, and Nick said Victor had shot Jack in self-defense, so he had to help his dad through it. Sharon reminded Nick that he'd worked hard to get out of Victor's world, and she warned him not to walk back into it.
Nick swore he wasn't getting sucked back in, but Sharon noted that he already looked miserable in the suit. She recalled that he'd warned Noah to stay away from Victor, and she encouraged Nick to take his own advice. Sharon asked what the suit was for, and Nick explained that he was going back to work to stake a claim for his family. She argued that he'd left the company for a reason, and he countered that he was going back for a good one -- to make sure Gabriel didn't force the Newman family out of their own company.
Sharon reasoned that Victoria enjoyed working at the company, and she suggested that Nick let his sister be the savior, since Sharon didn't want Nick to tear himself up over a job. Nick swore it would be short-term, and he intended to go back to the club once Victor was cleared. Sharon noted that Victor's claim of self-defense implied that Jack was a would-be murderer, but Nick believed Victor, even though it wasn't easy for him. Nick revealed that Gabriel had blackmailed Victor into giving him the promotion, and he refused to allow Gabriel to force his family out.
Later, Sharon asked a sullen Faith if she wanted to talk about what was wrong, and Faith revealed that the other kids had said her grandpa had shot Kyle's dad. Sharon explained that Victor had shot Jack to protect himself, since he'd been afraid Jack would hurt him first. Sharon added that Victor had done what he'd needed to do to stay safe with the people he loved, and Faith asked if she could visit Victor. Sharon balked, but Faith asked if Sharon had been scared when she'd been in jail, and Sharon admitted she had been. Faith said she didn't want her grandpa to be all alone.
Victoria visited Victor at the police station and grumbled that Gabriel had been acting like he'd earned the right to sit in Victor's office. Victoria complained that Gabriel had demoted her and had given Abby her title, and Victor imagined that Gabriel had made the change to give the perception of balance. Victoria said she loved Abby, but she doubted Abby could spell COO, and she wondered if Gabriel was hoping Abby would tank the company. Victor advised Victoria not to make the same mistake as Gabriel by underestimating Abby.
Victoria scoffed at the idea of Abby becoming the COO of a multinational corporation, but Victor said Abby was loyal. Victoria pointed out that Abby had made the choice to work for Jabot instead of Newman Enterprises, but Victor reiterated that Abby was their blood. Victoria wondered if the promotion would cause Abby to overlook that Gabriel was a conniving snake who had put Victor there, but Victor was confident he wouldn't remain locked up for long. Victoria wondered how she'd deal with Gabriel running the company in the meantime, and Victor suggested that she give Gabriel enough rope to hang himself.
Victor instructed Victoria not to openly defy Gabriel, but she suspected that Gabriel would know she was faking, and she dreaded the idea of watching Gabriel play lord and master. Victor imagined that the power would go to Gabriel's head, and Victoria could take over when Gabriel slipped up. Victoria thought they should be discussing how to fight the charges against Victor, but Victor was determined to take care of himself while she took care of the company. Victoria groaned that she'd be up against Gabriel and the Abbotts, but Victor reminded her that Abby wasn't their enemy, and he had faith in his children.
Later, an officer informed Victor that it was time to take him back to his cell, and Victor asked if there had been any word about Jack. The cop coldly replied that Jack wasn't dead, and Victor claimed that he was concerned about the well-being of a friend. Victor said he'd learned over time that when he helped people, they helped in return, and he asked if the officer got the drift.
After Victor changed out of his prison jumpsuit into normal attire, he shook the officer's hand and thanked him for his help. Victor explained that his visitor was very special to him, and he hadn't wanted to scare her. Victor was surprised when Sharon entered, since he'd thought Nick had arranged the visit with Faith, and Sharon revealed that it had been Faith's idea. Sharon acknowledged that Victor cared about his grandkids and that Faith loved him, but she needed to know that she'd been right to allow the visit. Victor assured Sharon that she had been, and he'd never forget that she'd made it possible.
Victor told Faith that he was happy she'd visited him, and he suggested that they have a picnic and go horseback riding the next time. Faith asked when that would be, and Victor said they'd do it as soon as he got out of there, since he'd done nothing wrong. She chirped that she knew it, and she hugged him. He told her to remember that she was a Newman and that Newmans stuck together.
After the visit was over, Sharon told Victor that Faith had felt reassured, and Victor said it had been wonderful to see his granddaughter. He thanked Sharon for making it possible, and she empathized with being locked in there alone. She imagined it had been especially hard for Victor with Nikki in the hospital, and he was shocked that no one had told him.
At Newman-Abbott, Adam reassured someone over the phone that the company wasn't in turmoil, and Chelsea listened from his office doorway. After he hung up, she observed that he seemed comfortable behind Victor's desk, even though some people thought he'd thrown Victor under the bus to get the position, and she lectured that the appearance of getting revenge wasn't good for business. A professionally dressed Abby walked in, and Adam assumed she had accepted the promotion. Abby quipped that Gabriel thought he'd hired a tube of lip gloss as his COO, but she intended to "operate the hell out of this place."
Adam declared that Jack would be proud of Abby, and she asserted that she was there for both Jack and Victor, so she would "fight like hell" if Gabriel made any decisions that hurt the company. Adam promised to work through things if they didn't see eye to eye, and he said Chelsea was there to help Abby transition into the new job. Abby turned up her nose at the idea of getting guidance from a fashion designer, and Chelsea understood that Abby was still upset that Chelsea had betrayed Billy, but she told Abby to suck it up. Abby conceded that hitting Chelsea wasn't worth her time.
Adam told Chelsea and Abby that they needed to solidify Newman-Abbott's relationship with its primary shipping company, and Nick entered and announced that he was reporting for duty, since he was there to give the Newmans backup. Adam argued that it wasn't Nick's speed, but Nick countered that he was the only one in the room with experience running a large corporation. Adam advised Nick to drop off his résumé with Gabriel's assistant, but Abby piped up that she was COO, and she could hire whoever she wanted. She asked if Nick could start that day, and he replied, "I just did."
Adam told Nick to find some pencils to sharpen, since it wouldn't look professional to spring a new addition into their meeting with the shipping company. Nick asked to see all recent financial statements and contracts, and he told Abby to seal the deal. Adam, Chelsea, and Abby walked out, and Nick stared up at Victor's portrait.
At the Athletic Club, Adam instructed Chelsea and Abby to smile and say that nothing had changed at Newman-Abbott. Abby worried that Gabriel's presence made it look like he had nothing better to do, and Chelsea swore she and Abby could handle the meeting. Adam left for the office, and Abby ordered Chelsea to let her take the lead as the senior executive. Abby loudly complained about her iced tea, and Chelsea tried to silence her, but Abby asked the man behind her to fetch a new drink. The man gruffly stated that he was there about a five-million-dollar contract.
Abby apologized and introduced herself, and the owner of the shipping company asked if the women were interns. Abby proclaimed that she was COO of Newman-Abbott, and Chelsea pretended to be flattered that he thought she looked like she was still in college. He admitted that he'd been concerned about the turmoil at Newman-Abbott, and he wasn't impressed that the company had sent junior executives to meet with him. Chelsea repeated that Abby was the COO, and Abby stated that it was a clear case of supply and demand, so they could either make a deal that day or find another trucking company. Abby suggested that they talk about during a ride in his big rig.
Chelsea recognized that the owner wasn't a driver himself, but he said he once had been, and he'd built his business one big rig at a time. Chelsea compared it to how she'd started designing in her living room, and Abby added that self-made businesspeople like her father knew their companies inside and out. Abby said that had been why she'd wanted to ride on the rig, and the owner exclaimed that they got it. He suggested that he get his legal team started on a contract, but Chelsea pointed out that the new contract was much larger, and Abby successfully negotiated a rate cut in exchange for doing more business together.
Victoria was stunned to find Nick in the office, and he declared that the savvy new COO had just hired him. Victoria was thrilled, but she thought Gabriel wouldn't go for it. Nick revealed that Gabriel had been in the room, and he asked if Victoria had a problem with him being there. She pulled him into a hug and crowed that the Abbotts had just lost any hope they'd had of forcing the Newmans out of the company.
Victoria told Nick that she hadn't informed Victor about Nikki's hospital stay, and Nick reported that their mother was doing better. Victoria relayed that Victor wanted them to play nice to give Gabriel a false sense of security, and she suggested that they distract Gabriel by pretending to jockey for a position. Nick spotted Adam approach the doorway, and he and Victoria staged an argument. She huffed that Nick was no better than Gabriel, and she sauntered past Gabriel on her way out.
Adam asked whether Victoria wasn't happy to have Nick on board, and Nick replied that Victoria considered the company her domain, so she'd expected to be the last Newman standing after Adam had died. Adam inquired whether Adam had intimidated Victoria, and Nick recalled that Adam's office had once been in the men's room, but Victoria didn't like sharing power. Adam stated that it wouldn't be an issue, since he was CEO, and he wondered if Nick anticipated a fight from Victoria. Nick replied that he expected it every step of the way.
Avery arrived at Crimson Lights and thanked Christine for meeting with her. Christine said it was more than just professional, since she wanted Avery to know she was sorry about what had happened, but she lectured that it had been unprofessional for Avery to express her frustration to the chief of police. Christine warned Avery against going off the rails to handle things herself, and Avery swore she wouldn't do anything dangerous.
Avery complained that no warrant had been issued, and Christine stressed that there wasn't enough evidence to charge Joe, but Avery argued that her word should be enough. Christine pointed out that Avery had said in her statement that she hadn't been certain of her attacker's identity, and Avery asked if the police could put together a lineup, but Christine thought Avery wasn't thinking clearly. Avery ranted that she'd dedicated her life to the law, and she needed it to help her. Christine confided that she'd also been raped by someone she'd known, and the man had been convicted after she'd pressed charges. Avery begged for the same chance to not let the man who'd attacked her go free.
Christine knew what it was like to need justice, and she explained that her rape case had been why she'd become a lawyer. Avery realized that Christine understood, and she lamented that it had been exhausting to feel like she was alone. Christine offered to talk to Paul to find a way to build a case, so Joe could never prey on another woman again. Avery said it had to end, and she had to be the one who won.
At the police station, Paul reiterated to Dylan that there wasn't adequate evidence to make an arrest in Avery's case. Joe walked in with David Sherman, and Joe announced that he was filing lawsuits against Dylan, Paul, and the police department for refusing to arrest Dylan for assault and false imprisonment. Joe called Paul a dirty cop who was unfit to lead the department, and David threatened to file a civil suit for pain and suffering once Paul was forced to arrest Dylan. Dylan called Joe pathetic for attacking a woman, and he dared Joe to go after him, but he swore Joe would never hurt Avery again.
Paul advised Joe to take up whatever charges he wanted to file with the department's counsel, and Joe and David walked out. Christine arrived and griped that Joe had been talking about lawsuits in the hallway, and she vowed to find the evidence to nail him. She mentioned that she had Avery's testimony, but Paul worried that it was a "he said, she said" scenario. Dylan asserted that Joe was a liar, but Avery wasn't, and her word was good enough for him. Dylan walked out, and Christine asserted that charges would be filed, since Avery's word was good enough for her, too.
Christine thought that Avery would be a compelling witness, and she believed Avery deserved her day in court. Paul understood that the situation stirred up painful memories for Christine, but he noted that there was a significant difference in the women's cases, since there had been a great deal of evidence against Derek Stuart. Christine wondered whether Paul thought she wouldn't have deserved justice if there had been less evidence, and Paul warned that Christine couldn't get a conviction without evidence. Paul added that he didn't believe Joe was guilty.
Paul contended that they couldn't limit their investigation to Joe, and Christine said she never wanted to see a rape go unpunished, but she admitted that she might not be thinking clearly. Paul hugged her, and she pointed out that most rapes were committed by acquaintances, and Joe had been in contact with Avery. Paul questioned why Joe would leave Avery in the park only to rape her in the alley, and he argued that Joe wouldn't have concealed himself if he'd done it, since rape was a crime of power. Christine wondered if Joe was trying to push Avery over the edge.
At the Athletic Club bar, Joe groused to David that he'd recently presented Avery with an award for being a beacon of hope, and she'd said she had been proud of him. Joe added that he'd been tried and convicted in the public's eye when he'd never touched her, and David crowed that people would soon be talking about the police not doing their jobs. Joe worried that he'd be perceived as a lawsuit-happy jerk who was trying to deflect attention, and David wondered why Joe was sticking around town. Joe vowed that he'd get his revenge in Genoa City.
At Crimson Lights, Avery jumped when Dylan touched her shoulder, and she figured that coffee hadn't been the best thing for her nerves. He assured her that things would get better, and Avery reported that she thought Christine was on her side. Dylan revealed that Paul was convinced the evidence was too weak, but Avery reiterated that her word alone should have landed Joe in custody. Dylan informed her that Joe planned to file a civil suit against him and Paul, and Avery protested that it wasn't the way it was supposed to work.
Avery explained that her life had been about using the law to protect the innocent, and she thought it shouldn't be used as a weapon. She wailed that her life was over, and Joe would go free, but Dylan insisted everything would be okay. Avery thanked Dylan for being good to her, but she was sure Sharon wasn't happy about it. Dylan mentioned that Sharon had wanted him to keep an eye on Avery, but Avery said if Dylan wanted to worry about someone, he should worry about Joe.
Dylan said Joe would be going away for a long time if he'd raped Avery, and Avery asked if Dylan didn't believe her. Dylan clarified that he'd meant Joe would be locked up if his guilt could be proven, and he stepped to the back room to make some calls. Avery flashed back to admonishing Dylan when he'd bought a gun, and she glanced around the empty coffeehouse. She stepped behind the counter and retrieved the gun.
Squeeze Once For Yes, Twice For No
At the Underground, Summer arrived as Noah was training Marisa behind the bar. Noah introduced the women, and he asked Marisa to grab some napkins from the back. After Marisa stepped out, Summer said she'd wanted to be with a family member who wasn't obsessed with the company drama. Noah swore he was staying out of it, and he asked if Summer was upset about Victor's arrest. She mentioned that it was her first wedding anniversary, and she'd married a guy she hadn't completely known, but she vowed to never make the same mistake again.
Noah said Summer couldn't keep blaming herself because Austin had been dishonest, and Marisa listened as Noah encouraged Summer to stop dwelling in the past. He pointed out that he'd never thought he'd have to bury his fiancée, and Summer couldn't believe the police still hadn't found the killer. Noah referred to Kevin's theory that Jack's shooting had somehow been connected to Austin and Courtney's murders, but Summer argued that while Victor had confessed to shooting Jack, their grandfather never would have killed the people she and Noah had loved.
Noah and Summer hugged, and she departed. Marisa said she hadn't been able to help overhearing, and she asked if Summer's husband had died. Noah revealed that the same person had taken both Austin and Courtney's lives, and Marisa was stunned that there had been a serial killer in Genoa City. Noah recounted the details about how Austin and Courtney had discovered a secret that the killer hadn't wanted exposed, but they had died before they had been able to tell anyone what the secret had been.
Marisa asked if there had been any leads, but Noah informed her they'd all been dead ends. He mentioned the DNA match to a South American drug kingpin, but he thought the whole thing had been fishy, since the FBI's tests had pointed to someone else. She wondered if he thought the DNA had really belonged to the crime lord, and she visibly reacted when he dropped Marco's name. Noah asked if she knew Marco, and Marisa claimed she knew Marco's name because Marco and her boyfriend had traveled in the same circles.
Noah excitedly thought Marisa could find out where Marco was, and he insisted that she call her boyfriend right away. Marisa stressed that her boyfriend was a dangerous man, and she was glad to be rid of him, but Noah maintained that he needed to talk to Marco. Noah offered to make the call himself if Marisa just gave him her boyfriend's name, but she swore that there was nothing her boyfriend could tell Noah about the deaths. Marisa urged him to let the police solve the crime, especially if a criminal had been involved.
At the Athletic Club bar, Chelsea and Abby praised themselves for closing the deal with Newman-Abbott's primary shipping company. As the women clinked their glasses together, Kyle approached and chided them for toasting to Victor for getting Jack out of the way. Kyle snarled that it was obvious which side of the family was more important to Abby, and he asked how Abby had been able to betray his dad. Kyle accused Abby and Gabriel of benefiting from Jack being down, but Chelsea contended that they all wanted the company to succeed, including Gabriel.
Kyle wasn't surprised by Chelsea's defensive stance because she was sleeping with Gabriel, and he barked that she had screwed over Billy but had still ended up with an Abbott. Abby warned that Kyle was out of line, but Kyle retorted that Abby had a job title that neither of their fathers would have ever given her, and he asked how that served any interest other than her own. Abby declared that she was a member of both families, and she'd simply stepped up. Kyle was sure that when Jack woke up, Abby would regret siding with Gabriel.
At her apartment, Summer picked up a photo of her with Nick and Jack on her wedding day, and she answered a knock at the door. Kyle rushed in, griping about how selfish everyone was being, but he noticed that she was upset. She silently stared at the photo, and he realized it was her wedding anniversary. He offered to let her be alone, but she said she was glad he was there. He recalled that both of her families had been there for her on her wedding day, but she lamented that they were fighting again.
Kyle explained that the family feud had been the reason he'd been upset when he'd walked in, since he'd just given Abby grief for being disloyal by accepting an undeserved promotion from Gabriel. Kyle commented that Abby had been acting more like a Newman than an Abbott, and Summer reminded him about their last names not mattering. Summer wondered if she'd been lying to herself again, since she'd only seen what she'd wanted to see in Austin. Summer said she was afraid their families would get between her and Kyle, no matter how hard they tried to fight it.
Kyle wondered if Summer was just down on relationships in general that day, and he assured her that not every couple went through things like she and Austin had. Summer dared him to name one happy, faithful couple, but Kyle replied that he only cared about them, and he thought they had something stronger than the war between their families. He suggested that they break up if she thought the situation was hopeless, but she protested that it wasn't what she wanted.
Kyle asked Summer to try to trust that they could beat the odds, but she wondered whether he would choose her or his family if he was forced to make a choice. Kyle asked if Summer really didn't get what she meant to him and how happy she made him, and he professed his love. She smiled and said she loved him, too, and they tenderly kissed.
At Newman-Abbott, Nick explained to "Gabriel" that it hadn't been the first time he'd clashed with Victoria over business, and Adam remarked that he was glad Victoria had targeted Nick instead of him. Victoria eavesdropped from outside the door, and she was startled when Billy caught her. She explained that she and Nick had devised a plan to get Gabriel to let his guard down, and Billy was shocked when she divulged that Nick was back on board at the company. Victoria said the quickest way to make Gabriel lose focus was to prove how dysfunctional they all were.
Nick said he wasn't there to be a buffer between Gabriel and Victoria, and he suggested that he take over Neil's duties. Adam sarcastically stated that he found it adorable that Nick thought he had a place there, and Nick pointed out that Abby had hired him, so Gabriel could stop trying to bait him. Nick insisted that he'd returned to make things at the company work, and he thought it would be wise to work together. Victoria and Billy entered the office, and she rolled her eyes when she found that Nick was still there. She guessed that Nick had been trying to ingratiate himself, and Nick mentioned that he and Gabriel went way back.
Victoria imagined that Nick had been badmouthing her, and Adam ordered them to play nice while he visited Jack. After Adam left, Victoria closed the door, and she told Nick that she'd filled Billy in on their plan. Nick thought it would be a challenge to convince Gabriel that they were on his side, and Victoria suggested that they get Abby to side with Gabriel on some issues. Nick hesitated to involve Abby, since she seemed fired up about her new title, and she might think they were trying to undercut her authority. Victoria agreed not to tell Abby, and Abby and Chelsea walked in. Abby asked if they were having a closed-door meeting without the COO.
Billy said they'd been discussing Gabriel, since it was the only topic they could agree on, and Chelsea proudly announced that Abby had signed a deal with the shipping company at reduced rates. Abby added that she'd saved three percent across the board, and Victoria begrudgingly asked if that was all. Nick thought Abby could have negotiated five percent or more if she'd known what she had been doing, and Billy recommended that Abby do her homework before making any deals. Victoria implied that Abby had sealed the deal by using her womanly charms, but Abby asserted that she'd used her brains to close the deal, and she didn't appreciate the insinuation.
Victoria huffed that Gabriel had hired the right person, since Abby would stoop as low as he would. Billy told Victoria and Nick not to be hard on Abby, since it was obvious Abby was in way over her head, and the most responsibility she'd ever had at Jabot had been naming lipstick shades. Chelsea blasted him for being insulting, but Billy pointed out that Victoria had been a division head at Abby's age, while Abby's experience had been limited to dancing around naked to amuse the Internet.
Abby cited Victoria's questionable ethics, and she accused Victoria of being jealous that Abby had stepped into Victoria's job and succeeded. Victoria scoffed at the idea of being jealous of Abby, and Billy called Abby a lightweight who didn't belong in the boardroom. Nick warned Billy to back off, and Abby threatened to have the last laugh as she stormed out. Victoria said Abby's abrupt departure proved that Abby wasn't cut out for a senior position, but Nick barked that things had gone far enough.
At the hospital, Stitch waited with Ashley, who was there for a follow-up MRI, but she was sure it would confirm her fatigue had been from stress and not an aneurysm. She admitted she was stressed out about Jack, but she thought the one silver lining was that Jack didn't know what was happening to the company, since it would break his heart.
Ashley insisted that Stitch didn't have to stay, but he wanted to be there until he knew she was okay. He said it would also give him a chance to talk to the chief of staff about his future at the hospital, since the state licensing board had ruled in Stitch's favor, and he hoped to be reinstated in the residency program. He pointed out that his work on Hex was done, and all he'd ever wanted was to be a doctor. Ashley declared that she was really happy for him, although she imagined that Abby would miss having him around the lab.
In Jack's room, Phyllis was determined to find a way to communicate with Jack if he could hear her. His fingers twitched, but she didn't see it. Phyllis took Jack's hand and felt it move, and she asked him to squeeze her hand if he could hear her. Phyllis summoned Dr. Singh, who advised that involuntary movements weren't the same as cognition. Phyllis remarked that she knew what it was like to be a coma patient, and she was sure her husband was trying to communicate. She urged Jack to show the doctor, and Dr. Singh took Jack's hand and instructed him to squeeze it, but Jack showed no reaction.
Phyllis suggested they try again after Jack got some rest, and Dr. Singh recommended that she continue to talk to Jack. After the doctor left, Phyllis took Jack's hand again and bemoaned that she'd been sure he'd been fighting his way back, and Jack thought to himself that she'd been right as he squeezed her hand again. Phyllis asked Jack to squeeze her hand once for yes and twice for no, and he responded to her questions to indicate that he could hear her and that he wasn't in any pain. Phyllis learned that he only wanted her to know that he could hear things, and he thought to himself that she was the only one he could trust. Jack communicated via hand squeezes that he hadn't called Nikki to meet him in the park and that he hadn't taken a gun with him. Adam entered and asked what Phyllis was doing.
Phyllis claimed that she'd been asking questions to make Jack react, but he hadn't. Adam asked if he could have a few minutes alone with Jack, and she balked at first, but Jack squeezed her hand once. Phyllis stepped out, and Adam wondered if Jack remembered what had happened after the shooting. Jack thought to himself that he'd heard Adam make a deal with Victor, and Adam explained that he'd thought Jack had been dead, but he'd called the police as soon as he'd realized Jack had still been alive. Inside his head, Jack thought that he knew Marco had planned to fake his death and send Victor to prison, and he wondered if Adam had been in on the plot to replace Jack with Marco.
After Ashley's MRI, Ashley and Stitch walked back to Jack's room, and she was irked to see Gabriel sitting with Jack, but Phyllis explained that she'd thought it had been what Jack wanted. Ashley groused that Jack wouldn't want anything to do with Gabriel if Jack knew what was going on with the company, and she wondered if Gabriel had left Abby in charge already. Ashley told Phyllis about Abby's promotion, and Phyllis questioned why Gabriel had appointed someone with no experience in operations.
Adam exited Jack's room, and Ashley ranted that Gabriel thought he was a big shot because he'd won a corporate war, but he had no idea what he'd stepped into, since the battle had just begun. Adam warned Ashley not to fight battles she couldn't win, and she stalked off with Stitch close behind. Phyllis asked how the chat with her husband had gone, and Adam replied that he'd told Jack what he'd thought Jack needed to hear.
At Newman-Abbott, Nick suggested that they give Abby a chance to prove herself, and Victoria grumbled that it would be long enough for Abby to run the company into the ground. Nick speculated that Victoria wanted to see Abby fail so Victoria could get her old job back, and Adam returned and asked what was going on. Chelsea admonished Nick, Victoria, and Billy for their treatment of Abby after Abby had closed the deal and gotten a rate reduction, and Adam was impressed by Abby's efforts. Adam reprimanded them for acting like children, and he swore that none of them would get away with it.
Adam asked if anyone wanted Jack to return to a company in shambles, and he locked the door and declared that no one was leaving until they learned how to work together. He suggested they draw up a mission statement together, and he believed that the company would be successful if they presented a united front. Victoria exchanged knowing glances with Billy and Nick.
Abby went to the Underground and called Stitch, who walked through the door with Ashley. Ashley explained that they'd just been at the hospital for her MRI, and she wished Stitch had heard something about his residency. Abby was shocked that he'd been cleared to practice again, and he explained that he'd wanted to surprise her with the news. Abby announced that she'd just signed a major contract, so they both had something to celebrate. Ashley said she was proud of Abby, but she voiced concern that Gabriel might be setting Abby up for something. Abby testily asked if it was possible for anyone in her family to think that she could succeed.
Ashley insisted that she was Abby's biggest fan, but she implored Abby to consider the situation, since Gabriel intended to stay in control. Abby wondered if Ashley thought Gabriel had given Abby the job because he expected her to fail, but Stitch contended that Ashley was proud of Abby. Ashley promised that she wouldn't let her feelings for Gabriel influence how she felt about Abby's performance, and she hugged Abby goodbye. After Ashley left, Abby remarked that Stitch had been quick to jump to Ashley's defense. Stitch said he'd just been trying to make peace, and he was thrilled about her promotion, but Abby turned her head when he tried to kiss her.
Phyllis returned to Jack's side, and Jack confirmed with two hand squeezes that he didn't trust Gabriel. Phyllis relayed that she'd heard Gabriel had been causing an uproar at the office because he wanted the company for himself, and she knew Jack would stop it if he could. She planned to stop by the office regularly and report back to Jack, but he objected by squeezing her hand twice. Phyllis asked if he thought Gabriel was lying about what he'd seen, and she realized that Victor hadn't shot Jack in self-defense.
Phyllis asked if Victor had deliberately drawn a gun and tried to kill Jack, and Jack responded affirmatively. She wanted to call Paul, but Jack indicated that he didn't want her to. She insisted that Jack had to wake up, since he was the only one who could handle things. Jack thought to himself that he was trying, but if he couldn't, she would have to do it for him. Phyllis broke down in tears.
Shut Up and Let Me Go
Lauren met Cane in the park, and she asked if he was all right, since she had missed his call the night before. Cane revealed that he'd found out Lily had slept with Joe as a reaction to Cane and Lauren's kiss, and Lauren protested that it had only been one kiss, but Cane stonily replied that it had been all it had taken. Michael approached, and Cane ranted that the plan Michael had put in motion had not only ruined Michael's marriage, but it had destroyed Cane's.
Cane admonished Michael for making Lily see things that hadn't been there, since she had lashed out by being with someone else. Michael argued that he hadn't forced Lily to sleep with anyone, and he hadn't been thinking of anything besides his cancer and trying to find an empathetic friend for his wife. Cane recalled that Michael had confessed that he'd wanted Cane to be more than a friend to Lauren, and Lauren angrily questioned why Michael hadn't considered the consequences of his actions.
Lauren snapped that Michael had been wrapped up in how his treatment might affect their physical relationship, even though she'd tried to reassure him a thousand times that their marriage was more than that. Cane added that Michael's solution had insulted him and demeaned Lauren, and Michael maintained that he'd tried to end his own marriage for Lauren's sake. Cane blasted Michael for not caring about what his actions had done to the Ashbys and their children, and he questioned what sort of man did that. Lauren followed Cane as he stormed off.
At the Athletic Club, Devon and Hilary approached Lily, and he mentioned that he'd heard there had been a scene the night before. Lily invited them to call her a tramp and a hypocrite for cheating on her husband, but Hilary said they just wanted to make sure Lily was okay. Devon added that he thought Lily could use her brother, and he swore that no one was there to judge. Lily conceded that they had every right to do so, and she whimpered that her fight with Cane had been really bad.
Hilary offered to leave, but Lily acknowledged that she'd never hesitated to call Hilary out on her mistakes in public. Lily explained that she'd assumed the worst after she'd seen security footage of Lauren going into Cane's hotel room late at night, and she'd reacted by sleeping with Joe. Devon blurted out that Joe had been accused of rape, and Lily said she felt sick when she thought about what Joe had done to Avery, but Joe hadn't forced Lily into anything. Lily admitted it had been her fault, and she didn't think Cane would ever forgive her.
Lily lamented that she'd made one bad decision that had hurt Cane and her children, but Hilary pointed out that it hadn't happened in a vacuum and that Lily had been hurt by Cane's mistake. Lily was surprised that Hilary was making excuses for her when Lily had been judgmental, and Hilary conceded that Lily had been right about everything Hilary had done but not why she'd done it. Lily fretted that things wouldn't ever be right between her and Cane, but Devon noted that a few weeks earlier, no one would have predicted that the three of them would be nice to one another. He added that he hadn't given up hope that their family could be mended one day, but Lily looked unconvinced.
At the police station, an officer informed Victor that his lawyer was on the way, and Victor asked if the cop had gotten what Victor had asked for. The officer warned that Victor couldn't get caught or they'd both go down, and he left Victor's cell phone on the table. Victor called Nikki, who was dining with Neil at the Athletic Club. Nikki said she didn't want to talk to Victor, and she requested that Neil do it.
Neil answered the call, and Victor mentioned that he'd heard Nikki had been in the hospital, but Neil reported that she was out and doing fine. Victor demanded that Neil put Nikki on the phone, but Neil replied that she didn't want to talk to Victor. Victor accused Neil of filling her head with garbage, but Neil contended that Nikki could think for herself. Neil refused to pass along Victor's request for Nikki to go to the police station, and Victor ordered Neil to meet him instead.
Neil visited Victor, who acknowledged that he owed Neil for saving Nikki's life, and he recognized that Neil had always stood by him and his family. Neil said he was there to tell Victor to respect Nikki and her wish for freedom from Victor, and Victor said there were things Neil didn't understand, but he wasn't a cold-blooded killer. Neil anticipated that Victor would manage to beat the charges as usual, but he vowed to protect Nikki. Victor barked that no one got between him and his wife, but Neil pledged not to let Victor drag her down into his "sick, slimy world" again. Victor huffed that Nikki would never leave him, but Neil intended to remind her of what a thief and a liar Victor had been and always would be. Victor punched Neil repeatedly.
Later, Paul asked what Victor had been thinking by punching Neil, and Michael grumbled that Victor had made his job more difficult. Victor implored Michael to do whatever he could to get Victor out, since Nikki needed him. Victor added that he could lose everything else, but he couldn't lose her.
Lauren found Michael at the police station and pulled him aside to speak privately. She recognized that Cane had needed a place to put his anger, but not everything should have fallen on Michael. She explained that she'd felt complicit when she'd seen the heartbreak Cane and Lily were going through, since she'd kissed Cane, and she could barely look at the Ashbys. Lauren added that she was going to leave town for a little while to visit Fen in Arizona, but Michael said there was something she needed to know before she left.
Michael admitted he'd been afraid he wouldn't be the man he'd once been, so he'd tried to push Lauren away, but he'd ended up hurting her and other innocent people in the process. He confirmed that he wasn't the man he used to be, but it hadn't been the cancer that had done it to him -- he had done it to himself. He continued that he'd always had a suspicion that he would be nothing without her, and that had turned out to be the one thing he'd been right about. He understood if she would never be able to forgive him because he didn't know if he could forgive himself.
At the club, a waiter offered to get Nikki a drink, and she opted to stick with tea, but she stared at the liquor bottles behind the bar. Neil returned, and Nikki fawned over his bruises and regretted that she'd sent him to see Victor. Neil said it had been worth it, since Victor had obviously been paying off guards to get special privileges, and it would have only been a matter of time before Victor was back out on the streets if he hadn't attacked Neil. Neil asserted that Victor wouldn't hurt her or anyone else for a long time.
Later, at the club bar, Devon asked what had happened to Neil's face, and Neil mentioned that he'd gone to see Victor to warn him to stay away from Nikki. Neil turned the topic to the civil conversation he'd seen Devon and Hilary have with Lily earlier, and Devon remarked that Lily was looking at things from a different perspective. Devon added that Lily was "going through hell" and that she needed her family, and he hoped Neil would put aside his feelings to be there for his daughter.
Devon excused himself when he saw Cane and Lauren walk in, and she went to check on the boutique. Devon informed Cane that a devastated Lily felt horrible for her mistake, and Cane replied that it had been a mistake for him to look the other way about Devon and Hilary's affair, since it had opened the door for Lily to cheat. Cane wished he'd told Devon to "go to hell," but Lily overheard and asked Cane not to blame Devon. Cane admitted that he'd been blaming everyone else when Lily was the one to blame, and he said she'd broken his heart.
In private, Lily told Cane that the kids had wondered why he hadn't been home the night before, and she wished she could take back what she'd done. She pleaded with him to try to find a way to get past it by going to counseling and finding the good left in their marriage. She believed they could get through it after everything they'd survived. Cane shook his head and said he wasn't interested, and Lily questioned whether he intended to move out. He coolly replied that he wasn't going to move out -- she was.
In an interrogation room at the police station, David deposed Avery for Joe's lawsuit against Dylan, and he asked if she was aware that Dylan had kidnapped and assaulted Joe, but Avery merely stated that she was aware of the alleged charges. David inquired whether Dylan had threatened to kill Joe, but she said she didn't recall Dylan saying that. David asked if Dylan had tied Joe to a chair, and Avery defended that Dylan had just learned that Joe had raped her, but she imagined that David didn't want his client to be seen as a rapist. Joe demanded that Avery admit Dylan had threatened him, but she hissed that if Dylan had wanted to kill Joe, Joe would be dead.
Avery admitted that she'd found Joe tied to a chair when she'd arrived at his suite, and his face had been bruised, but she hadn't witnessed Dylan lay a hand on him. David asked if Dylan had said that he would do what he had to do, and Avery explained that Dylan had been there to get Joe to admit the truth -- that Joe had raped her. David asserted that it had been what she had wanted Dylan to believe, and he stepped out to make some calls. Joe closed the door, and Avery demanded to know why he was going after Dylan.
Joe claimed that Avery had forced him to file the lawsuit by falsely accusing him, and he had to clear his name. He stated that he was sorry for what had happened to her, but he hadn't done it, and he thought she would agree with him if she was honest with herself. She barked that she knew what had happened that night, and he wouldn't get away with it. Joe pointed out that she'd spent her career freeing the wrongly accused, and he begged her to help clear his name. She retorted that she'd spent her career fighting for justice, and justice would be him being locked up and out of her life forever. He walked out.
At Crimson Lights, Sharon suggested to Dylan that she order dinner, but he said he wasn't hungry, and he worried that there had been no word from Avery or Paul. Sharon wondered if he could postpone or cancel his deposition, and he pulled her into a kiss and promised that he'd be okay. She worried about what had happened the last time he'd seen Joe, but Dylan reasoned that the entire police force would be there to keep him in line.
Later, Avery arrived and informed Dylan that the deposition had gone as she'd expected. She advised him to be careful with how he responded to a shark like David, and she suggested he stick with yes or no answers whenever possible. Dylan asked if she was okay, and she griped that she'd been in the police station with officers everywhere, but no one would put Joe in a cell. Dylan promised that the police would build a case, but Avery was sure Joe would get away with it, and she couldn't let that happen. Dylan vowed to help her find a way to make Joe pay, and she thanked him.
Dylan left for the police station, and Sharon scolded Avery for sending Dylan to a legal deposition with no coaching. Avery believed it was a nuisance lawsuit that would never get past the deposition stage, and Sharon empathized with what Avery was going through, but she voiced concern that Avery wasn't acting like herself. Avery didn't buy Sharon's selfless act, and Sharon ordered Avery to stop dragging Dylan into her mess. Sharon anticipated that Dylan would go off the rails if the police didn't arrest Joe, and Avery revealed that she didn't expect Joe to be arrested, but she assured Sharon that Dylan wouldn't be the one who got hurt.
At Dylan's deposition, David insinuated that Dylan had attempted to beat a confession out of Joe because Avery had gotten Dylan obsessed with revenge, and he questioned whether Dylan had considered that Avery had only told him Joe had raped her to manipulate Dylan into beating Joe up. Dylan countered that Joe was the one who was obsessed, and he referred to the incident on the balcony and Joe's subsequent lies and blackmail. Dylan inquired whether David knew that Joe had beaten Avery up during their marriage, and Joe ordered Dylan to shut up. "Or what? It's a lot easier with a frightened woman, isn't it?" Dylan retorted.
Dylan curtly suggested that David work on Joe's defense instead of wasting time on deposing Dylan, and he walked out. David urged Joe not to let Dylan get to him, but Joe confronted Dylan for blaming Joe for something he hadn't done. Dylan chided Joe for handling the situation by suing him, but he said he expected nothing less from Joe.
Later, Nikki rushed in and told Paul she wanted to see her husband. Paul revealed that he wasn't allowing Victor to have any visitors, but she said she had been partly to blame for Victor's altercation with Neil. Paul asked when Nikki would stop taking responsibility for Victor's actions, and she recognized that she had to distance herself from a toxic person like Victor, but she thought her husband deserved to know why she was staying away.
Victor asked if Nikki had suffered another multiple sclerosis episode, and she revealed that she'd almost died. She contended that Victor had caused the episode, since she'd started drinking again to forget about his confession to shooting Jack. She credited Neil for getting her to the hospital instead having her end up in the morgue, and she admonished Victor for hitting Neil. She declared that if Victor had ever loved her, he had to let her go. He looked crushed.
Victor insisted that Nikki needed to know what had really happened, but she replied that she didn't need to hear his reason for shooting Jack. He swore that he would never shoot anyone in cold blood, and he'd done it to protect himself and his family, but he thought she didn't understand the violent threat that Jack had become. Nikki was certain that Jack would never hurt her or her children, but Victor maintained that he'd been afraid for her life on the night of the shooting. He added that he could survive anyone going after him, but he became choked up as he begged her not to leave him, since he couldn't survive it without her.
Dylan returned to Crimson Lights and informed Sharon that he'd been sure not to give too much information at the deposition. She mentioned that she'd talked to Avery, and Dylan said he intended to do everything he could to help. Sharon said she'd been wrong to ask him to keep an eye on Avery, and she preferred that he stay away from his ex, who had seemed upset and unbalanced. Dylan thought it was more reason to look out for Avery, but Sharon worried that it would lead to trouble for them and their baby. Meanwhile, Avery strolled through the park, and she flashed back to her argument with Joe just before her rape.
Sharon expected Dylan to pay the price by running to Avery's rescue, but he defended that he'd just kept his cool while in the same room with Joe. Dylan promised to keep things aboveboard to avoid causing any problems for their family, and Sharon thanked him. She added that she knew his heart was in the right place, but she knew what happened with him in certain situations. He offered to let her take his lockbox with his gun if it eased her mind, but she said she didn't want it in the house. Dylan picked up the lockbox and looked alarmed. He unlocked it and discovered that the gun was gone.
Paul answered a call and asked where something had happened. He told the caller to get an expedited warrant if something was a match, and he ordered a search of someone's residence and car. Paul instructed the person to "bring him in now."
Avery knocked on Joe's hotel room door, and Joe answered. "We need to finish this," she declared.