At Chelsea's penthouse, Adam insisted to Chelsea that he wasn't the person who'd taken Jack's gun the night of the shooting and hidden it in her home. Chelsea replied, "How can I believe you when every word out of your mouth seems to be a lie?" Adam explained that he'd pretended to be Gabriel Bingham so he could return to her and Connor. Chelsea said she was unsure of whether or not she could ever trust Adam. Adam begged her to give him another chance, and he wished her a happy anniversary.
Chelsea fondly recalled the day she and Adam had married at his mother's farm. Fighting back tears, Chelsea said they could never return to that time and place when they'd been happy. Chelsea explained that she'd mourned Adam and had moved on without him. A phone call from Paul interrupted the conversation. Paul demanded that Adam meet him at the police station to discuss the recovered gun.
In Paul's office at the police station, Nikki told Victor that she believed his side of the story about Jack's shooting. Nikki explained that Phyllis had admitted that Jack had been carrying a gun the night of the shooting. Paul added, "We found a gun with Jack's fingerprints on it in Chelsea's apartment." Victor pressured Paul to arrest Gabriel Bingham for providing false evidence and blackmailing Victor into handing over control of Newman-Abbott. Nikki, pointing to Victor, said, "We know for a fact that Jack went to that park armed, intending on shooting him."
Paul explained that if Victor had shot Jack in self-defense, Michael would have to defend Victor's actions in court. Paul informed Victor and Nikki that questionable circumstances, including an anonymous tip, had led to the discovery of the weapon that bore Jack's fingerprints. Michael arrived and explained that a judge had agreed to grant bail for Victor's release. After Paul and Michael stepped out, Victor thanked Nikki for her support and said that they'd both made mistakes and should move forward. The couple clasped hands and shared a kiss. Paul and Michael returned. After Paul gave Victor his belongings, Victor vowed to prove his innocence. Victor pointed his finger at Paul and warned, "You and I will have a talk."
Adam and Chelsea arrived at the police station. Victor and Nikki faced off with Chelsea and Adam. Adam told Victor he would testify against him. Nikki told Adam that he was a vindictive man. Chelsea said, "Gabe isn't the one who planted a gun in my apartment, the apartment where your grandson lives." Victor told Chelsea to protect Connor from the man that was so much like Adam. Paul interrupted and called Adam and Chelsea into his office.
In Paul's office, Chelsea stood by Adam as he swore to Paul that Jack hadn't had a gun on him the night of the shooting. Paul asked Adam why a gun bearing Jack's prints had been recovered from Chelsea's apartment. Adam insisted that he'd never seen or touched the gun. Paul mentioned that a partial print not matching Jack's had been detected on the gun. Paul said, "So let me run your prints, and we can prove that it's not you." Chelsea, fearing that Adam's cover would be blown, seemed uneasy as she glanced at Adam.
Adam refused Paul's request. Chelsea seemed to be holding her breath. Adam explained to Paul that Victor could've somehow placed his fingerprints on a gun he'd never seen or touched. Chelsea quickly told Paul that they'd not say another word without their attorney. Paul shrugged. Before Adam and Chelsea left, Adam said, "A gun showing up in Chelsea's apartment is a setup that's got Victor Newman's name written all over it."
In his office at Newman-Abbott, Adam told Chelsea that she'd shown her concern for him when she'd expressed fear about his fingerprints matching those in the police database. Chelsea claimed that the people she cared about were Connor, Billy, and the baby that Sage was carrying. Chelsea noted that their lives would be wrecked if Adam returned from the dead. Chelsea added that she would be charged as an accessory for hiding his true identity. Adam assured Chelsea that he would protect her. Chelsea cried, "The way you protected me from the truth about Delia, and the way you lied to me and pretended that you were dead for over a year?" Adam told Chelsea that she could never deny her love for him.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Billy approached Neil, and the two men put aside their past differences. Billy asked Neil join him and others who'd planned a coup at Newman-Abbott to oust Gabriel Bingham. Neil said, "What you want is my knowledge of the finances of the company, and where it might be vulnerable." Billy admitted that Neil's knowledge would be an asset, but he also offered Neil an opportunity to exact revenge. Neil turned down Billy's offer. Neil did express interest in resuming his duties for the right price after the fray was over.
In an office at Newman-Abbott, Victoria shared news with Nick about Jabot's sales increases. Nick said, "Pains me to say this, but Gabe does seem to know his way around the corporate world." After Nick received a phone call from a reporter, he and Victoria watched Avery's interview. Nick was visibly upset when Avery admitted she'd wanted a man dead. Nick looked hurt when Avery told viewers that she would be taking a leave of absence from the Innocence Foundation.
At the hospital, Avery told Phyllis that her attacker was in police custody. Avery admitted that before the real attacker had been arrested, she'd threatened Joe by firing a gun over his head. Phyllis vowed to support her sister, but Avery explained that she planned to leave Genoa City. Phyllis said, "If you leave, isn't that letting the monster win?" Avery said she'd return to testify and ensure that her attacker would be put away for a long time.
Avery asked Phyllis to share the news with Summer. Michael approached and said he should've made it clear to Avery that she should not participate in a televised confession. After Phyllis stepped away, Avery apologized to Michael for letting him down. Michael replied, "We'll just leave your office exactly as it is and work out the details later." Avery sobbed softly. Michael gently kissed Avery's cheek and begged her to return after she'd had time away to heal.
In a waiting area at the hospital, Ben approached Ashley while she was relaying information about Jack over the phone to Traci. After the call ended, Ashley said she was remaining hopeful for Jack's recovery. A man with bruises and cuts on his face passed by, and Ben immediately recognized him as the businessman who'd been with Abby at the Genoa City Athletic Club. Ashley panicked when the man claimed that he and "the hot blonde COO from Newman-Abbott" had been involved in a crash after Abby had become "frisky" and caused him to lose control of his car. Ashley said, "You could've killed her!" The man walked away just as a nurse pushed Abby to the waiting area in a wheelchair. Abby stood and proudly announced that she'd closed the warehouse deal. Bruised and weak, Abby promptly collapsed, and Ben caught her.
Ben examined Abby and made sure she was stable. Abby told Ashley and Ben that the businessman she'd met with had offered to drive her home because she'd consumed five drinks. Ashley became upset and said, "Is this how you think a COO runs a major corporation, by getting drunk with a business associate to close a deal? Then you got frisky?" Abby defended herself and said she knew what she was doing. After Ashley left, Ben questioned Abby about the man's claim that she'd been frisky. Abby said she'd never behave as the man had claimed.
Nick and Victoria arrived to check on Abby. Abby proudly announced, "You are looking at the person who negotiated a new contract with the warehouse workers." Victor arrived and said, "My goodness! I didn't know there was a party going on here." Ben stepped out. Victor explained that he'd been released until his trial. Victor assured everyone that Michael would clear him of all charges. Victor said, "Once I'm free, we'll go after Gabriel Bingham and get our company back."
After Victor left, Billy visited with Abby. She bragged about sealing the warehouse deal. Billy looked worried and said that Abby wasn't supposed to have made an actual deal with the warehouse workers. Abby showed Billy contract terms she'd scribbled down. Billy read the terms and said, "Abby, please tell me this is a joke." Abby happily said it was a real contract that should be typed up at some point. Billy replied, "I can't believe you did this. This contract is going to kill us."
Nick met with Avery on a bench at Chancellor Park. Avery admitted that even though she'd initially settled in Genoa City to defend Sharon and reconnect with Phyllis, the town had become her home. Nick begged Avery not to leave. Avery noted that both Nick and Dylan had formed relationships with other women who would bear their children. Avery told Nick that he was a great father. Nick asked Avery to promise she would return. Avery didn't say whether she would or wouldn't, but she warmly embraced Nick.
Outside Jack's room at the hospital, Phyllis wasn't happy when Victor showed up. Victor glared at Phyllis. She told Victor he would not be allowed inside Jack's room. Phyllis said, "They didn't drop the charges against you, did they?" Victor replied, "I will have my day in court Phyllis, and I will be vindicated. Maybe even before then."
Ashley was standing in the hospital hallway when Ben passed by. Ashley apologized to Ben and said she'd never meant to imply that Abby had behaved improperly with the warehouse representative. Ben shook his head and said it was all right. Ashley said, "Abby cares about you a lot. She would never do anything to sabotage her relationship with you. Clearly the two of you have a very good thing." Ben replied, "The only problem is I can't get her mother out of my mind."
Nikki went to the Genoa City Athletic Club and sipped coffee at the bar while she talked to Neil. Nikki said that Victor had told her repeatedly that Jack had had a gun the night of the shooting. Neil said, "And now one has shown up with Jack's fingerprints all over it." Nikki replied, "At Chelsea's, where Gabe practically lives and who was an eyewitness claiming that Jack didn't have a gun." Neil explained that it wasn't difficult to put someone's fingerprints on an object. Neil added that Sharon had recently been the victim of a similar situation involving the placement of fingerprints.
In a flashback, Nikki remembered Victor claiming that a file folder containing a set of fingerprints was intended to save his company, not to destroy Jack Abbott. After the revelation, Nikki told Neil that Victor had played her for a fool and had been planning to shot Jack for months. Nikki cried, "Victor said he was going to leave the fingerprints in a confessional for some private detective to pick up. Someone who'd supposedly hacked the computer system at Newman Enterprises." Neil replied, "Which turned out to be Jack. So, Victor had Jack's prints the whole time. Victor could've put Jack's prints all over that gun they found at Chelsea's."
Nikki explained to Neil that Victor could've been planning for months to set up Gabe. Nikki said she intended to tell Paul. Victoria overheard Nikki and pleaded with her not to share any information with police that implicated Victor. Neil sided with Nikki. Paul entered, and Nikki said, "I have to tell Paul what I know." Victoria shook her head.
While Victoria and Neil remained near the bar, Nikki met with Paul in the entrance and said, "I wanted to believe Victor, but I remembered finding those fingerprints. I had to tell you." Paul replied, "Even though you knew what it might cost?" Paul told Nikki that he'd consult with Christine, so she could determine how to proceed. After Paul left, Victoria approached her mom. Nikki explained that she'd had to tell Paul. Angry, Victoria cried, "You chose to stab Dad in the back." After Victoria rushed out, Neil told Nikki that she'd done the right thing.
At Newman-Abbott, Adam and Chelsea's discussion had become more intense. Chelsea insisted that being involved with Adam would lead to heartbreak for her and Connor. Adam assured Chelsea that he could keep his true identity a secret. Chelsea explained that she couldn't live happily while waiting for the other shoe to drop. Victor entered. Chelsea was standing beside Adam, who was sitting behind Victor's desk. Victor motioned with his head and ordered Adam to get out of the chair.
Saying Goodbye to What You Love Most
Avery entered an empty Crimson Lights, and she flashed back to celebrating New Year's Eve with Dylan there. She reminisced about accepting Dylan's proposal in the park and later giving him back his ring. Dylan arrived at the coffeehouse, and they stared at one another for a moment. Avery said she'd thought he had gone home for the night, and he replied that he needed to prepare for a big shipment the next morning.
Dylan guessed that Avery wanted to talk about her interview, and she explained that she'd been very vocal when she'd accused Joe, so it had been the fair thing to do. Dylan was concerned that she could be disbarred, but she responded that she didn't care about her career, and she wanted to concentrate on getting better. Dylan pointed out that she was a good attorney who was passionate about her work, but she clarified that she had been, but "sometimes you have to say goodbye to what you love most."
Dylan jokingly contemplated making espresso with the wrong kind of coffee if he'd forgotten about the delivery, and Avery wondered whether he no longer found running the coffeehouse satisfying. He recognized that he'd fought hard to keep the place, but he thought he might need a change. Avery replied that she did, too, and she intended to leave Genoa City to get help someplace else. Dylan conceded that there were too many distractions there, and he imagined she'd be ready to return after going somewhere peaceful for a while, but Avery clarified that she was leaving for good.
Dylan asked if he was the reason Avery was leaving, and she recognized that they'd never be together again, since he was happy with Sharon and a baby on the way. Avery told him not to apologize for it, and she credited him with showing her that goodness was possible and that people could be kind and honorable. She continued that he'd made her realize that she deserved to be loved, but she'd forgotten that, and the whole world would open up for her once she remembered it again. Avery hoped that Dylan remembered the good things when he thought of their time together, and he remarked that there had been a lot of them. "What is doesn't erase what was," she mused.
Avery said she had a long trip ahead of her, and she tearfully realized that it might be the last time she saw Dylan. He recalled that her picture had kept him alive when he'd gone to Afghanistan, and she added that he'd thought he'd return home to be a father to a new baby. She guessed that things had worked out the way they were supposed to have worked out, and Dylan told her to be good to herself. She promised she would, and they hugged goodbye. She kissed his cheek and headed to the door, and she turned to look at him one last time before she walked out. Dylan stepped behind the counter and gazed at the photo of Avery that he'd carried with him in combat, and he sighed deeply.
In Abby's hospital room, Billy demanded to know why Abby had agreed to terms with the warehouse workers, and she contended that it was the best they could have done. He sarcastically asked if she knew that from her vast business experience, and she replied that she could read people well. She added that she was reading that Billy didn't think it was a bad deal at all, but he was just trying to scare her. Meanwhile, in the corridor, Ashley scolded Stitch for admitting that he hadn't been able to stop thinking about her, and she urged him to forget he'd ever said it.
Billy chided Abby for not telling Gabriel to shove his job offer, and Stitch entered and blasted Billy. Ashley was grateful Abby was alive, but Billy argued that Abby never should have taken the meeting or been in Guy's car. Stitch threatened to throw Billy out, and Billy swore he wasn't mad at Abby, since it was all Gabriel's fault. Billy hoped Abby felt better soon, and he stepped out. Abby remarked that she had to learn how to take criticism, since she was sure to get a lot of it at the office, and she thanked Stitch for defending her. Ashley hurriedly left to check on Jack, and Abby wondered what was up with her mother.
Stitch scoffed at the idea that the deal Abby had made would break the company, but she insisted on going to the office to deal with the paperwork. He ordered her not to play around with her health, and he volunteered to pick up whatever she needed from the office. She instructed him to pick up the contents of her inbox, and she gushed that she didn't know what she'd do without him. He kissed her forehead and headed out, and she looked perplexed.
At Newman-Abbott, Victor ordered "Gabriel" to get out of Victor's chair, but Adam retorted that the police would eventually realize that the gun with Jack's fingerprints had been planted, and Victor would be back in jail. Victor asked Chelsea to leave them alone, but Adam asserted that she wasn't going anywhere. Victor referred to his name on the nameplate on the door, but Adam pulled out the contract that designated Gabriel as CEO. Adam declared that it was his office, and he told Victor to kindly see his way out. Victor smirked.
Victor suggested that Gabriel read the contract more carefully, since it specified that Gabriel had been interim CEO, but it was time for Gabriel to vacate the premises. Adam referred to the fine print that indicated he'd lead the company as long as Jack was in a coma, and Chelsea said she wanted to get back to work. Victor noted that he saw Adam when he looked at Gabriel, and Chelsea tried to hide her panic.
Victor recounted that Adam had once wrestled control of the company away from him, and "Gabriel" asserted that he was there because Victor had thought he was qualified to be the boss. Victor recalled that Adam hadn't sat in the chair long, since Victor had "kicked his ass out" when he'd discovered Adam had been making deals behind his back. Victor warned that anyone who had crossed him in business hadn't survived very long, since he had destroyed them -- even his own son.
Billy arrived at the office, and he testily congratulated Gabriel for putting Abby in charge, since she'd screwed up royally. Victor asked if Gabriel let employees talk that way about Victor's daughter, and Billy questioned whether Victor should be making license plates. Victor revealed that evidence had surfaced to prove he'd shot Jack in self-defense, and Billy left for the hospital to see if Jack reacted to the news. Chelsea followed Billy out the door, and she hoped he didn't believe Victor's version of things, since she believed Gabriel had been set up. Billy imagined that Gabriel wasn't thrilled that Victor was out of jail, and Chelsea recognized that there was a clear battle for power, so Billy would have to choose sides.
Adam questioned whether Victor had hired someone to sneak into the hospital to wrap Jack's hand around the gun before hiding it in Chelsea's apartment, and Victor huffed that it would have been a very clumsy idea. Victor answered a call and told someone that he'd have to call them back, and he advised Gabriel not to get too comfortable in the chair. Victor departed, and Chelsea rushed back in with Billy and asked what had happened. Adam quipped that Victor's nose had grown two inches when he'd maintained his innocence, and Chelsea worried that Victor would do anything to kick Gabriel out of there. Adam confidently stated that he was up for the challenge, but Billy grumbled that choosing the Abbotts' side didn't mean he'd side with "any Abbott-come-lately."
After Billy left, Chelsea wailed that she wasn't sure how much more she could take, and Adam swore that Victor had no idea who he was, but Chelsea fretted that Adam risked exposure by spending time with Victor. Adam huffed that Victor couldn't see past his own moustache, and she requested that Adam give Victor the CEO title back. Adam refused to do it as long as Jack was in the hospital, but Chelsea doubted it had nothing to do with showing Victor that Adam was every bit the man Victor was. Adam pointed out that Victor didn't even know who he was, and Chelsea argued that Adam would never get the satisfaction of proving his point.
Adam said he was past trying to get something from Victor, but Chelsea snapped that she had heard it before. Adam insisted that he'd learned his lesson, but she pointed out that it was obvious he was striving to gain his father's approval. Chelsea inquired whether he'd forgotten what it had cost them the last time, but Adam swore that nothing meant more to him than her and Connor, and he wouldn't let anything get between him and his family again. Chelsea ordered Adam to step away from the job before it consumed him again, since she refused to stick around and watch it happen.
Over the phone, Victor asked if someone had found out where "she" was, and he praised the person's good work before he hung up.
In Jack's hospital room, Ashley asked how Jack was doing, and Phyllis reported that his hand squeezes had been sporadic. Phyllis worried that she wasn't asking the right questions, but Ashley urged her not to give up, since Jack would find a way to reach Phyllis. Billy burst in and declared that Victor was out on bail, but he realized that Phyllis and Ashley didn't seem surprised. Ashley revealed that she'd phoned in the anonymous tip after she'd found the gun, and Phyllis admitted that she'd misinterpreted what Jack had meant when he'd written the number two.
Ashley stepped out to take a break, and Billy bemoaned that they needed definitive answers before Victor and Gabriel ruined what was left of the company. Phyllis encouraged Billy to tell it to Jack, and Billy took Jack's hand and remarked that the snakes were trying to divide them, with Victor on one side and Jack's son on another. Jack squeezed Billy's hand twice, but a confused Billy said he hadn't asked a question.
Phyllis implored Billy to keep talking while they figured it out, and Billy grumbled that he trusted Gabriel even less than he trusted Victor, so it would be Abbott versus Abbott. Jack squeezed twice again, and Phyllis grabbed Jack's hand and noted that he'd become agitated when they'd referred to Gabriel as Jack's son. Jack again indicated a negative response, and Phyllis questioned whether Jack was trying to say that Gabriel wasn't his son. Jack firmly squeezed her hand once.
Phyllis stated that a DNA test had proven Gabriel's paternity, but Jack squeezed twice. Billy inquired whether the results had been wrong, and Jack indicated yes. Phyllis theorized that Gabriel had manipulated the results, but Billy wondered why Jack had gone along with it. Phyllis suggested that they confront Gabriel, but Jack protested with two squeezes. Billy pointed out that the information was huge, and they had to keep it between themselves until they figured out what the consequences of sharing it would be. Jack thought to himself that Billy had gotten it right.
Abby sent a text message to Stitch to tell him to hurry back with her papers and a hot fudge sundae, and he found Ashley sitting alone in the park. She reported that Jack was the same, and she and Stitch simultaneously mentioned their awkward encounter earlier. Ashley insisted that Abby needed Stitch, and he said Ashley had been right, since they needed to forget about what he'd blurted out. Ashley was glad he agreed, and she said she had to get back to the hospital. They hesitantly said goodbye, but neither of them got up to leave.
At the Underground, Nick sat forlornly at the bar, and Sage asked if it was a private meditation. He mentioned that he'd left her a few messages, and she said she hadn't meant to worry him. She asked if he was all right, and he said he'd run into Avery, who was leaving Genoa City for a new start. Sage imagined that Nick felt like he'd been kicked in the gut, since she understood it was hard to say goodbye to someone he'd planned to spend his life with.
Nick recognized that things never would have worked out for him and Avery because she'd still been in love with Dylan, and she'd done him a favor by stranding him at the altar, even though it had hurt. Sage found it ironic and sad that Dylan had left Avery for Sharon, and she remarked that wanting something back at all costs led people to do things they normally wouldn't do. Nick said he was glad Avery had confessed everything, since he didn't know how she would have been able to live with herself if she hadn't told the truth.
Nick realized that Sage had never told him where she'd disappeared to, and she vaguely stated that she'd needed some time alone to clear her head. Nick recalled that Sage had clearly been upset after they'd been talking about Gabriel, but Sage claimed she hadn't given Gabriel much thought. Nick imagined it wasn't easy for her to see him and Gabriel at one another's throats, but she resolved to deal with it as long as the men were working together.
Nick offered to quit if that was what Sage preferred, and a stunned Sage said he had no idea how much it meant that he would do that, but she refused to keep such an extraordinary man from achieving his full potential. Nick thought that most other people wouldn't agree, but she marveled that she'd never met someone with such a capacity to love and forgive. Nick replied that he loved being in a relationship with her because they were open and honest with no secrets or lies, so there was nothing to forgive. They hugged, but she looked pained.
Loosely clad in a bathrobe, Marisa called out to ask who had knocked on her hotel room door. Noah responded, and she opened the door and invited him in. He became flustered because of her flimsy attire, and she offered to change if it made him uncomfortable. He turned around while she got dressed, and she asked what was in the bag he was carrying. He recalled that she hadn't been feeling well earlier, so he'd picked up some chicken soup for her. She called him sweet for doing that for her, but she warned that she wasn't the woman he thought she was.
Noah acknowledged that he didn't know much about Marisa, but she pointed out that he didn't know her at all. Noah downplayed the gesture to drop off soup, and she remarked that people had never taken care of her. He asked about her family, but she replied that it was just her, and she looked after herself. She imagined that his family wasn't like that, and he told her not to knock the chicken soup until she tried it. He added that she had to let someone take care of her sometimes, and he fed her a spoonful of soup. He dabbed her mouth with a napkin, and he hesitantly leaned in to kiss her, but he suddenly backed away and apologized.
Noah stammered that he hadn't stopped by for that, and Marisa assured him it was fine. He said she was beautiful, and he enjoyed spending time with her, but he thought he should go. She told him to wait, and she thanked him for everything he'd done for her and for being a good friend. He asked if she was speaking in the past tense, and she hoped she wasn't. He agreed, and she hugged him. They wished one another a good night, and she smiled as she watched him walk away.
Marisa sat down to eat the soup, but there was another knock, and she wondered if Noah had returned. She found Victor at the door, and she asked how he'd found her. Victor said it wasn't important, but what was important was that she'd threatened him the last time they'd spoken, and it wasn't a good idea to ever threaten him. Marisa contended that she'd just shared information, and Victor asked what information she thought she had. She announced that Victor hadn't shot Marco in the park -- Victor had shot the real Jack Abbott.
Nick was surprised when Noah showed up at the Underground on his night off, and Noah confided that he'd been thinking about Courtney, since he felt like he might be forgetting her. Nick assured Noah that there were some things that would never fade away, like how much Noah had loved her. Noah mused that he hadn't thought he would be able to feel that way about another woman again, and Nick asked if Noah did. Noah hung his head and questioned how he could be disloyal to Courtney, but Nick replied that it was part of healing. Meanwhile, Sage answered a call and learned that the results of the paternity test were in.
Jack's condition takes a significant turn
Abby waited impatiently in her hospital bed, and Kyle and Summer stopped by and asked how Abby was feeling. Abby grumbled that her headache would go away if Stitch would return, and Kyle remarked that it was nice that a doctor was looking after her. Abby mentioned that Stitch had gone to the office to pick up some stuff for her, and Kyle imagined that Stitch enjoyed being her errand boy as much as Kyle had. Abby retorted that Stitch was supportive of her, unlike other people, but she wondered what was taking him so long.
Kyle wondered why Abby was anxious about work when she'd already closed the warehouse deal, but Abby insisted on making sure everything was in order. Kyle guessed that she was looking for a way to break the deal, since Billy had mentioned she'd given the workers far more than they'd deserved. Abby maintained that it had been the right deal to make, and Summer suggested they focus on being grateful that Abby hadn't been more seriously hurt. Kyle conceded that he was glad Abby was okay, since their family had already had its fair share of troubles.
Kyle left to check on Jack, and Summer politely asked if Abby needed anything. Abby requested that Summer pick up paperwork from the office, but Summer begrudgingly stated that she'd meant something more like refilling the water pitcher. Summer remarked that Kyle knew how much the job meant to Abby, but he was trying to prove himself by doing a good job for his dad. Abby countered that she was trying to prove that she was more than just a pretty face and a thoughtless home-wrecker, and Summer jokingly asked if they made business cards for that.
Abby wondered why Summer was being so nice after Abby had slept with Austin, and Summer hoped they'd both learned a lesson from it. Summer explained that she'd learned that relationships took a lot of work from both people, and she hadn't forgiven Abby, but she was happy Abby was okay. Summer departed, and Abby anxiously checked her phone. Abby left a curt message for Stitch to ask where her paperwork was, and she proceeded to sneak out of the hospital.
In Jack's hospital room, Phyllis promised Jack that Billy would be careful while they did some digging to find out what Gabriel was up to if he wasn't Jack's son. Jack's monitors started beeping, and she begged him not to go anywhere, but Jack started convulsing.
In the park, Ashley told Stitch that she had to get to the hospital, and Stitch said he needed to pick up Abby's paperwork. Both of them hesitated to leave, and they appeared to inch toward sharing a kiss when his phone rang. He answered the call and said he would be right there, and Ashley insisted that nothing had been going on between them. Stitch replied that they'd talk about it later, but they had a bigger emergency, and they rushed off.
In the hospital corridor, Phyllis blamed herself for pushing Jack too hard, but Ashley assured her that Jack had been determined to communicate, and his stubbornness would get him through it. Meanwhile, in Jack's room, Stitch informed a nurse that Jack's brain activity was good, but they had to get Jack's pressure down, so it would be a while before anyone could visit Jack. After the nurse stepped out, Stitch said he had reason to suspect Jack was aware of what was going on, and he believed Phyllis' claim that Jack had communicated with her. Stitch requested that Jack squeeze his hand if Jack could hear him, and Jack opened his eyes. "Loud and clear, doc," Jack replied.
Stitch thought Jack could start physical therapy if the tests corroborated that he was healing, and he imagined that quite a few people would be glad to hear Jack was awake and talking. Stitch headed to the door to get Phyllis and Ashley, but Jack said he didn't want them to know, since it wasn't safe. Stitch offered to keep a guard posted at Jack's door, but Jack clarified that he was worried about his family, not himself. Stitch lectured that Jack's loved ones had been sick with worry, and they deserved to know. Meanwhile, Phyllis couldn't stand waiting any longer, and she burst into Jack's room and demanded to know what was going on with her husband. Jack pretended to still be comatose.
Stitch reported that Jack had stabilized, and he claimed that Jack had overdone it by pushing too hard to communicate, but Jack was actually doing better. Phyllis wanted to sit with Jack, but Stitch insisted that Jack needed his rest. Ashley said she needed to check on Abby, and Stitch suddenly remembered the paperwork. Ashley offered to pick it up, and she thanked Stitch for taking care of her brother. Ashley and Phyllis departed, and Stitch told Jack that he hadn't liked deceiving the women, but he swore Jack's secret was safe. Jack said he had to carefully plan what happened next, and he requested a favor.
Phyllis stopped by Summer's apartment to discuss Avery's decision to leave town to start over somewhere else with a clean slate. Summer whined that Avery hadn't said goodbye, but Phyllis defended that a traumatized Avery had needed to go, but she was sure Avery would reach out when she got settled. Phyllis recalled that she'd once been jealous of the closeness Summer and Avery had shared, but she was happy Summer had a good relationship with her aunt.
Phyllis held out hope that both Avery and Jack would be back soon, and Summer contemplated whether Victor and Jack would go back to fighting once Jack was better. Summer confided that she and Kyle had been doing really well, but she didn't know if they could handle another family war. Phyllis counseled that if the couple's bond was strong, no one would be able to get between them, and the women hugged.
Phyllis stared at a photo of Summer and Avery, and Summer pulled out a recipe for funnel cakes. Phyllis complained that they would be hard to make, but Summer said she'd made them once with Avery, and she'd been waiting for something to celebrate to make them again. Phyllis agreed to do it as soon as Jack was home, and Summer optimistically stated that the town was big enough for Jack and Victor, so they could all live happily ever after. Phyllis remarked that anything was possible.
At Newman-Abbott, Ashley scolded Abby for leaving the hospital, but Abby insisted she was fine, and she just wanted to grab her paperwork. Abby griped that Stitch had forgotten about it, but Ashley pointed out that he was a doctor who might have had to save a life. Abby recognized that Stitch's job was important, but she reasoned that hers was, too, and Stitch should have updated her. Ashley revealed that Stitch had been summoned back to the hospital to help Jack, and Abby felt terrible for leaving Stitch a snotty message when he'd been busy helping her family.
Abby thanked Ashley for being more perceptive about Abby's relationship with Stitch than Abby was, but Ashley chalked it up to being more objective from a distance. Abby recognized that she'd made everything about her, since she wanted to do well, but everyone was against her. Ashley assured Abby that people wanted her to succeed, but she advised her daughter to be careful, since success could happen at the cost of letting love completely pass her by.
In Marisa's hotel room, Victor remarked that he'd thought Jack had died in a boat explosion, but Marisa pointed out that she'd supposedly died in the same accident, yet she and Jack were both very much alive. She explained that Jack had set off the explosion as a diversion so they could escape, since he'd been desperate to find out what had been going on in Genoa City. She continued that Jack hadn't been able to show his face because Marco had taken over his life, but Marisa had lurked around and had overheard Marco's plan. Victor suspected that she knew Marco had provoked Victor into shooting him.
Marisa revealed that everyone on the boat had thought Jack was Marco, and nothing could have stopped Jack from getting home. She observed that Victor seemed relieved that Jack was alive, and Victor wondered where Marco was. Marisa reported that Marco was at the bottom of a lake, so Victor didn't need to worry about him telling anyone about their alliance, and there was no reason for anyone to know Marco had taken Jack's place. Victor expected Marisa to blackmail him, and he reminded her that Jack would have a "hell of a story to tell" when he regained consciousness.
Marisa pointed out that people might consider Jack's story a hallucination, but Victor warned her not to underestimate Jack. She wondered if Victor intended to kill Jack for real, but Victor replied that it was none of her concern. Victor promised that nothing would happen to her and that he'd take care of her financially as long as she got out of town without a trace, and she mentioned that Jack had made her the same offer. She added that there had been a time when money had been the answer to her dreams, but it wasn't anymore, and she was thinking about making a fresh start right there with people she cared about. Victor assumed she meant his grandson, who had a lot of money.
Marisa asserted that Noah was nothing more than a good friend, and Victor mentioned that Noah was vulnerable, since he was still mourning his fiancée. Marisa declared that she had no interest in getting romantically involved with anyone, since she'd made the mistake of getting involved for all the wrong reasons. She explained that she'd thought someone with power and wealth could offer her something she'd never had, since she'd grown up with no parents, but she assumed that someone with Victor's money and name couldn't understand her lonely life.
Victor took a call, and Stitch asked him to drop by the hospital that night, since he thought Victor would be instrumental in Jack's recovery. Stitch requested that Victor keep the meeting confidential to avoid getting anyone's hopes up, and Victor said he would be right there. Victor told Marisa that they would talk again soon, and he exited. Stitch told Jack that Victor was on his way, and he hoped Jack's plan aided Jack's recovery instead of setting him back.
Later, Kyle entered Jack's room, and Jack pretended to be unconscious. Kyle thought Jack appeared to have more color, but he figured that he was just seeing what he wanted to see. Kyle hoped that Jack knew Kyle missed him, and he recalled that he'd remarked to Summer that he had felt like he'd already lost his father when the shooting had first happened, since Jack had been different since he'd returned from his honeymoon. Jack gripped the bed covers to try to avoid showing a reaction, and Kyle proclaimed that he didn't care if Jack wanted to play golf or buy ten sports cars when he woke up, since Kyle would settle for having his dad back and being able to say they loved one another.
Victor arrived at the hospital and asked Stitch if there had been a change in Jack's condition. Kyle exited Jack's room and huffed that Victor wasn't supposed to be there, and Stitch said he'd been keeping a close eye on things, since the guard had stepped away to tend to an emergency. Stitch claimed that Victor was there to see his daughter, and he pointed Victor toward Abby's room. Stitch guided Kyle aside to go over the results of Jack's latest tests, and Victor returned and entered Jack's room.
Victor asked Jack if "the girl" had been telling the truth, and he wondered if the man in the hospital bed was really Jack. Jack suddenly opened his eyes, and he growled, "You bet your ass it is."
Abby and Ashley returned to the hospital, and Abby begged Ashley not to tell Stitch that Abby had left the hospital. Ashley promised she wouldn't as Abby crawled back into bed, and Stitch entered and apologized for not returning sooner. Abby said her mom had told her everything, and Stitch looked startled, but Abby added that she knew Stitch had helped Jack.
Ashley headed home, and Stitch asked if Abby had gotten her important paperwork, but she replied that it hadn't turned out to be that important, after all. Abby requested that he delete the message she had left for him before he heard it, but he said it was too late. She said she was sorry for being completely focused on her own career and forgetting that he dealt with life and death, and she vowed to keep her priorities in order. He kissed her hand as Ashley peered in.
At the Underground, Noah looked at a text message Courtney had sent on their wedding day, expecting to have the best night of their lives. He chugged a drink, and Mariah and Kevin entered. Noah guessed that Kevin had given Mariah a ride to work, but Kevin said they needed to talk about Marisa, since he'd run her name through the police system, and there was something Noah needed to know. Noah insisted that Marisa wasn't a criminal, and Mariah explained that she'd asked Kevin to perform the background check.
Mariah defended that as Noah's sister, she was supposed to look out for him, but Noah snapped that he could handle his own life. Noah expected them to tell him that it was too soon to get involved with someone else, but he questioned why he shouldn't move on with the rest of life. Noah added that he was allowed to have a female friend without them making assumptions, but Mariah contended that her instincts had told her from the beginning that something about Marisa seemed sketchy. Noah condemned them for invading Marisa's privacy, and he was certain that Marisa would never hurt him. Kevin wondered about the murdering, drug-dealing criminal Marisa had been involved with.
Mariah asserted that Marisa had been lying to Noah, but Noah revealed that Marisa had already admitted that her ex-boyfriend and Marco ran in the same circles. Mariah ranted that the club's newest employee was connected to a crime lord who'd been linked to their friends' murders, but Noah argued that the FBI had confirmed that the DNA hadn't been a match with Marco. Noah added that Marisa had been forthcoming, and he stood by his decision to give her a chance to start over. Kevin blurted out that Marisa had lied about her ex being connected to Marco -- her ex was Marco.
Kevin said he'd confirmed it with several sources, and he handed over some documents to Noah. Mariah commented that they'd wanted to tell Noah before they went to Paul, but Noah contended that it only proved that Marisa had a past, and Marco was like a ghost that no one had ever seen. Noah pointed out that both Kevin and Mariah had been on the wrong side of the law before, but they'd gotten out from underneath their pasts and turned their lives around, and he thought Marisa deserved the same shot. Noah insisted on hearing what Marisa had to say, and Marisa walked in.
Noah mentioned that Marisa hadn't been feeling well, and she said his soup had worked, but she'd needed to get out of her stuffy room. Noah suggested they take a walk, and he left with Marisa. Mariah noted how protective Noah had been of Marisa, and she worried that he wanted to turn a blind eye, even though they had no idea what Marisa was capable of.
Mariah pondered whether Marisa knew it had been Marco's DNA on the envelope, and she found it odd that Marco's girlfriend had ended up working at the Underground. Kevin remarked that he'd worked with the police too long to believe in coincidences, and Mariah wondered if Marisa had committed the murders herself. Kevin didn't think Marisa was a murderer, but he thought she might be able to lead them to the killer.
In the park, Marisa said Noah was making her nervous, and he confronted her with the paperwork that indicated her ex-boyfriend was really Marco Annicelli. Noah demanded to know whether she'd been lying to him since the moment they'd met, but she swore that everything she'd told him about herself was true. She conceded that she sometimes protected herself by shading the truth, and she acknowledged that she hadn't been fair to Noah after he'd been so kind to her.
Marisa added that she felt like she had someone she could trust for the first time, and Noah assured her that she could trust him. She admitted that she and Marco had been lovers, and it was in the past, but it wasn't quite the end of the story.
A Soft Place to Land
In the park, Noah urged Marisa to tell him the rest of the story if she wanted him to trust her. She replied that everything was in the reading material Kevin had provided, and Noah pointed out that she was connected to Marco, who had been linked to the murders. Marisa swore that she'd had nothing to do with the killings, since she hadn't even been in town when they'd happened, but Marco had been, and he could have been the killer.
Marisa explained that she and Marco had decided to leave town together, but they'd gotten into a terrible fight, and Marco had lost control of the car and crashed into the lake. She continued that she'd been able to swim to shore, but Marco had been trapped and hadn't resurfaced. Noah realized that had been why Marisa had been drenched and shaken up when she'd arrived at the Underground, and he thought they had to call the police to let them know Marco might have committed the murders. Marisa protested that if Marco's people learned she'd caused Marco to die, they'd kill her.
Noah ordered Marisa not to say another word about dying, but he warned that his friends wanted to go to the police. She begged him to stop them, and Noah promised to do what he could, but he asked her not to run off while he tried to make things right. She swore that she wouldn't run, and as he walked off, he said he would be in touch.
At Summer's apartment, Kyle and Summer made out on the couch, but Kevin and Mariah interrupted with the news that he'd discovered a connection between Marisa and the murders. Kevin revealed that he'd learned that Marco had been Marisa's boyfriend, but Noah had insisted on giving Marisa a chance to explain. Mariah anticipated that Noah would never admit that Marisa had been playing him, but Summer understood that Noah wanted a soft place to land after he'd lost the person he'd expected to spend the rest of his life with.
Kevin declared his intent to go to Paul, but he wanted everyone to back him up. Summer advised that they take a big step back before they messed everything up, and she suggested that they find out what Noah had learned from Marisa before they contacted the police. Mariah griped that they couldn't trust Marisa, but Summer understood why Marisa hadn't broadcasted that her ex was a notorious criminal. Kevin questioned whether Summer wanted to find out who had killed her husband, but Summer asserted that she was sick of jumping to conclusions and being wrong, so she wanted to make sure there was something to pursue before they ruined a woman's life.
Noah dropped by the apartment and announced that Marisa had told him everything, including that Marco had been in town for months. Mariah wondered why Marco had been there, and Noah guessed that it had been a good place for Marco to hide from his enemies. The young adults agreed that all the pieces fit if Marco had been the murderer, and Kevin declared that they had a witness who could confirm Marco had been in town when the murders had occurred. Kevin started to call Paul, but Noah begged him not to tell anyone.
Noah said he'd already gotten justice, since Marisa had told him that Marco had drowned in Lake Delaney after a car accident. Kevin contended that the police needed evidence to close the murder cases, and Mariah was skeptical about whether Marisa had been telling the truth. Kevin wanted to confirm Marco's death, but Noah firmly stated that he believed Marisa, and he wanted it to be over. Noah refused to go to the police at Marisa's expense, and he argued that she feared Marco's cronies would kill her if the news of Marco's death got out. Noah demanded that they accept the killer was gone and move on with rest of their lives, and he insisted that they let Marisa do the same thing.
Summer promised that she wouldn't go to the police, but Kyle said he needed to process the information. Summer argued that Noah had lost the person he'd loved because of Marco, and she understood that Noah didn't want to lose the new woman who'd walked into his life. Summer declared that there had been too much pain and loss already, and she implored everyone to let it go. Kyle agreed not to go to the police, and Kevin reluctantly said he wouldn't go to Paul. Noah asked if Mariah was willing to put an innocent woman's life in danger, and Kevin offered to convince Mariah to keep quiet. Noah maintained that it was the right thing to do, and he left to let Marisa know.
Kevin and Mariah headed out, and he wondered how much longer she would give him grief. She demanded that he explain why he'd "folded like a lawn chair" by taking the word of a total stranger, but Kevin pointed out that he'd only said he wouldn't go to the police. He proclaimed that the next morning, they were going for a swim in Lake Delaney.
Marisa returned to her room, and she hurriedly began to pack her things. Later, Noah arrived and relayed that his friends had agreed not to go to the police. She planted a kiss on him, but she quickly pulled away and apologized. She admitted that she'd had doubts after he'd left, and she'd considered breaking her word and leaving, but she'd decided to trust him.
Noah and Marisa kissed more passionately and inched toward the bed, but she again pulled back and said they shouldn't. Marisa explained that she had a history of falling into bed with men who had been good to her, and she didn't want to ruin things with Noah. He tenderly kissed her and said he'd see her the next day, and he went to the door. He murmured that he was glad she'd kept her promise, and he departed.
At Newman-Abbott, Billy threw down some paperwork in exasperation. Phyllis entered the office and revealed that Stitch had kicked her out to allow Jack to rest. She added that she was too wired to go home after Jack had indicated that Gabriel wasn't his son, and Billy thought they should have realized Gabriel had tampered with the DNA test. Phyllis contemplated whether they just had to bide their time until Jack woke up, but Billy wanted to get Gabriel out of the company by running their own DNA test. As Chelsea eavesdropped from outside the door, Billy suggested that he swipe Gabriel's coffee mug after their morning meeting, so he could expose Gabriel for the fraud he was.
In Abby's hospital room, Stitch asked Abby to be a model patient until the next morning, and Adam entered and asked if it was too late for a visit. Adam said he'd wanted to find out how Abby was doing, and she replied that she was anxious to get back to work, assuming she still had a job after the deal she'd made with the warehouse workers. Abby relayed that Billy had told her that she'd given away the store, and she'd been worried Gabriel would feel the same way. Adam conceded that she could have negotiated the benefits package better, but it wouldn't break anyone, and he assured her that he had faith in her.
Adam prepared to visit Jack, but Stitch asked to have a word with him, and the men stepped outside. Stitch claimed that Jack had been overwhelmed and needed rest, and Adam wondered if those were doctor's orders or if Stitch was doing Ashley's bidding by keeping him away from Jack. Stitch snapped that he was merely looking out for his patient, and Adam answered a call from Chelsea, who told him to get to her place right away, since he was in serious trouble.
Stitch asked if he could get Abby anything else, and she mentioned that she'd heard his conversation with Gabriel. She referred to the crack about Stitch doing her mom's bidding, and she pointed out that Stitch had waited a long time to get back on staff. She worried that Ashley was using her relationship with Stitch to put him in a bad position, but Stitch adamantly insisted that he and Ashley didn't have a relationship. Abby clarified that she'd meant they were friends, and Stitch assured her that Ashley wasn't interfering with his job. He abruptly left to get back to work, and Abby looked concerned.
In Jack's room, Victor said he was glad to see that Jack was awake. Jack snarled that Victor had worked hard to get rid of him, so Jack would do the talking while Victor listened. Jack had suspected Victor had been up to something ever since Victor had declared his intent to buy Jabot, but he'd never imagined Victor would go to such lengths to get what he'd wanted. Jack angrily confronted Victor about hiring a vicious criminal to take over the company and to sleep with Jack's wife, but Victor urged him to calm down. Jack bellowed that he was the one calling the shots, not Victor.
Jack wondered if it had been Victor's plan to have Kelly torture Jack on the island, and he admonished Victor for using a broken woman. Jack theorized that Victor had arranged to have Jack kidnapped during his honeymoon while Marco began his masquerade, and he vowed that Victor would pay for taking Jack to "hell and back." Victor contended that Jack was confused after being in a coma, and he speculated that Kelly and Marco had cooked up the scheme. Victor lied that he'd had nothing to do with any of it, and Jack spat that Victor lied as easily as he breathed, since it had always been all about Victor, and it always would be.
Jack questioned whether Victor had intended to take Jack out of the picture when Victor had shot him in the park, but Victor explained that Marco had been behaving erratically before that night, and he'd thought Jack had been Marco. Victor added that he'd believed Marco had been reaching for a gun in his pocket, so he'd fired in self-defense. Jack demanded to know why Victor had done it, and Victor mentioned that a year before, he'd become aware of a plot against him and his company called the Paragon Project. A look of recognition crossed Jack's face, and Jack asked how Victor had known about it.
Victor vaguely replied that he had his sources, and he'd had to do everything in his power to defend himself, his family, and his company. Victor swore that if he'd known he'd been with Jack in the park, he never would have pulled the trigger, but Jack argued that Victor had pulled it. Victor conceded that he'd done horrific things, but he referred to the blood on Jack's hands, and he implored Jack to consider how much of the sordid story Jack wanted the world to know.
Victor noted that it sounded like Jack had been responsible for Kelly's demise, and he mentioned that Marisa had told him some interesting stories about the cargo ship, including that Jack had been responsible for setting the explosion. Jack defended that he'd been fighting for his survival, but Victor countered that Jack had killed the captain and his men, and he was sure Jack preferred not to have the details made public. Victor contemplated whether Jack would be extradited and put on trial to face the death penalty for killing all the other people on the ship.
Jack contended that another alternative would be to finish the war between them, since it would almost be worth it to go after one another until only one of them was standing. Victor asked if that was what Jack really wanted, and Jack pointed out that he'd said "almost." Victor asked whether they had an understanding, and Jack agreed to stick to Victor's version of events in the park, but he warned that other people knew Marco existed.
Victor informed Jack that Marisa had told him that Marco was at the bottom of a lake, and Jack asked if there was proof, but he realized that Marisa wouldn't have lied about it. Jack mentioned that Gabriel also knew that Marco had been impersonating Jack, but Stitch interrupted and suggested that Victor leave before the guard returned. Victor wished Jack a quick recovery, and after he departed, Jack said he had one last favor to ask of Stitch.
At the penthouse, Chelsea informed Adam that she'd overheard Phyllis and Billy talking about how they didn't believe Gabriel was Jack's son, and they wanted to run a new DNA test. Adam thought it wasn't the end of the world, but Chelsea argued that he couldn't fight them forever. She fretted that the Abbotts would dig until they uncovered Adam's true identity, and she felt like the walls were caving in. Chelsea anticipated that Victor wouldn't stop until he regained control of the company, and Adam guessed that she was again trying to convince him to resign, but he scowled at the thought of Victor winning.
Chelsea asked if Adam preferred to risk going to jail and missing out on being in his son's life again, and she cautioned that he had to avoid making the same choices that he'd made before, since obsessing over Victor and the company would cost him everything. She questioned whether Adam was really willing to sacrifice being with Connor, and she asked how far he was willing to push it just because he wanted to beat Victor.
Adam and Chelsea arrived at the office, and Billy said to spare him the lecture about being in Gabriel's office, but Adam announced that it wouldn't be his office as of the next day, since he'd decided to step down as CEO. Adam explained that Victor was back and that everyone was chomping at the bit to get Gabriel out, so there was no point in fighting a losing battle. Phyllis remarked that the reaction was out of character, and Adam said Chelsea had made him realize it was for the best. Phyllis suspected that Gabriel was running from something, and Chelsea referred to the tension between Gabriel and Victor.
Phyllis recalled Gabriel's oath to protect Jack's interests, and Billy stated that he and Phyllis already knew Gabriel wasn't Jack's son, thanks to the communication system Jack and Phyllis had worked out. Adam said it was good news that Jack was improving, and there was no point in denying the truth -- Jack wasn't his father. Adam claimed he'd falsified the DNA test and lied to everyone, but Jack had been in on it. Phyllis and Billy didn't believe it, and Adam explained that both he and Jack hated Victor, so they'd decided they'd make a better team as father and son.
Billy doubted that Jack had lied to his own family for the sake of a better scheme, and Phyllis added that Jack had practically broken her hand when trying to tell her that Gabriel wasn't his son. Adam pointed out that Jack had been the one to break the news, and he expected Jack to vindicate him. Adam and Chelsea left, and Phyllis thought she still smelled a rat. Stitch called with the news that Jack might be waking up, and Phyllis and Billy rushed out.
At the Athletic Club bar, Chelsea recognized that it had been painful for Adam to walk away from the company, but he'd neutralized Phyllis and Billy. She imagined the Abbotts would have a lot of questions for Jack when he woke up, and Adam said he was glad Chelsea had made him see the light, since nothing was more important than his family. She said she should go, and he offered to drive her, but she preferred to take a cab. She left, and Victor sat down next to Adam and ordered a drink.
Adam observed the smug look on Victor's face, and he guessed that Phyllis and Billy had already spread the word that Gabriel wasn't Jack's son and that Gabriel had stepped down at Newman-Abbott. Victor was pleasantly surprised, and Adam ranted that the planted gun might lead to his undoing, but it was only a matter of time before Jack told the truth about the night of the shooting. Victor confidently stated that he was sure Jack would set the record straight.
At the penthouse, Chelsea comforted Connor after he'd had a bad dream, and she said she knew what nightmares were like, since she felt like she was living in one. She reflected back on wanting his daddy to be alive, but her voice trailed off as she considered what it meant to have Adam back in their lives.
Phyllis sat at Jack's side and pleaded with him to open his beautiful eyes and say hello to her. Abby entered, and Billy reported that Kyle and Summer were on the way. Phyllis said they'd waited for a long time, and Jack slowly stirred and replied that she shouldn't have to wait any longer. Phyllis cried and professed her love, and Jack responded, "I love you, too, Red."
Kyle rushed in and hugged Jack, and Summer said it was good to hear Jack's voice. Jack marveled that it was good to be back, and Billy said there was a lot they needed to talk about, but Phyllis cautioned Billy not to stress Jack out. Jack acknowledged that they had questions, and he'd overheard a lot of what had been said in that room. Jack announced that Victor had been telling the truth, since Jack had been carrying a gun with him on the night of the shooting, and Victor had shot him in self-defense.
At the hospital, Ashley was ecstatic that Jack was awake, and she declared that Phyllis had never left his side except to "kick someone's butt." Jack said he'd been in and out of awareness, but Phyllis gushed that she'd known he'd been in there. Ashley inquired whether Jack was strong enough to let them know what had happened, and Paul entered and welcomed Jack back. Phyllis warned Paul to take it easy on Jack, and Paul asked to speak with Jack alone. After Ashley and Phyllis stepped out, Paul said it was clear Victor had shot Jack, but the question was whether Victor needed to be put away for attempted murder.
Jack claimed that he'd been reaching for his gun to set it down and end the madness, but Victor hadn't known that, and Victor had only seen Jack reach into his pocket. Paul mentioned that Gabriel had said Jack had been unarmed, and Jack said he hadn't even known Gabriel had been there. Jack wished he could go back and undo everything, and he asked that Paul honor Phyllis' request to keep it short and sweet, since he was still worn out. Paul lectured that none of it had needed to happen, and Jack remarked that he'd figured that out already.
In the corridor, Adam asked why no one had told him that Jack was awake, and Ashley coldly informed him that Jack's visitor list consisted only of family members. Phyllis mentioned that she'd told Ashley that Gabriel had lied about being an Abbott, and Adam wondered whether Phyllis had also said that it had been Jack's idea. Ashley wanted to focus on celebrating that Jack was out of the coma, and Phyllis assumed that Gabriel was hoping Jack would cover for him. Phyllis took solace in knowing that if Victor wasn't going down, at least Gabriel would be.
Paul stepped out of Jack's room and reported that Jack had been very lucid, and he was glad Gabriel was there, since it would save his men the trouble of tracking Gabriel down. Adam asked if there was a problem, and Paul revealed that Jack had corroborated Victor's story that he'd shot Jack in self-defense, but Gabriel had claimed otherwise. Adam agreed to stop by the police station, and over Phyllis and Ashley's protests, he burst into Jack's room. Jack said he needed a word with his former son.
Ashley sternly warned Gabriel that he'd regret it if he did anything to mess with Jack's recovery, and she and Phyllis left. Jack glared at Adam, and Adam said it was good to see Jack awake and back to his old self. Jack huffed that he was very much his old self, and Adam asked why Jack had told Paul that Jack had been carrying a gun on the night of the shooting. Adam accused Jack of letting Victor off with a free pass and selling Adam down the river, but Jack spat that Victor had hired someone to take Jack's place and destroy his life -- and Adam had let him.
Jack pointed out that Adam had been aware of Marco's identity, but Adam defended that he'd only found out hours before Jack had been shot, and he'd been told more than once that Jack was dead. Jack called it "classic Adam" to make a deal with Victor while Jack had been bleeding on the ground, but Adam swore that he hadn't known Jack had been the victim. Adam wondered why Jack was covering for Victor and Marco, and Jack insisted that Phyllis could never know that she'd been with an impostor. Adam contended that Victor would get away with it if no one said anything, but Jack ordered Adam to his keep mouth shut, or Jack would tell the world who Adam really was.
Jack reasoned that if everyone found out about Marco, it would only be a matter of time before Adam was charged as an accessory, and the police would discover Adam's true identity when they fingerprinted him. Adam blasted Jack for telling Marisa who Adam really was, and Jack defended that she had been the only one who had helped him. Adam pointed out that Marisa could rat out Victor, but Jack said it was only hearsay, and nothing proved that Victor had arranged Jack's "trip to hell."
Adam was livid that Victor would get away with it, but Jack snapped that he and his family had been the ones who'd been hurt, and Adam didn't have a vote. Jack admitted that he'd done things that could land him in a cell, and he refused to spend another night away from his wife. Adam lamented that Victor had beaten Jack once and for all, but Jack hissed, "Victor Newman is going down. He just won't see it coming."
Adam mentioned that he'd already been summoned to the police station because the cops thought he'd lied about Jack not having a gun, and he was determined not to go down for obstruction when he had a chance to be with Chelsea and Connor. Adam revealed that he'd told Chelsea the truth about everything, but he couldn't get his family back from prison, and Jack offered to pull some strings before Adam got to booking. Adam complained that it would draw attention, but Jack snapped that Adam had drawn him into the bloodbath, and he commanded that Adam keep his mouth shut and follow orders.
Outside Jack's room, Ashley wondered why Jack had sided with Victor, and Phyllis maintained her belief that Jack hadn't been Victor's intended target. Ashley thought maybe something had been lost in translation when Jack had communicated through hand squeezes, but Phyllis thought he had clearly indicated that he hadn't been armed, and Victor had been. The women agreed it didn't make sense.
At the police station, Christine chided Gabriel for deceiving everyone into believing Jack was his father, and Paul referred to Gabriel's statement that Jack hadn't been armed. Adam said he couldn't argue if Jack had said he'd been carrying a gun, but he hadn't seen Jack's gun, only Victor's. Adam continued that he hadn't seen the shooting, but he'd heard the shot, and he'd seen a gun-wielding Victor standing over a bleeding Jack. Paul questioned whether Victor had planted the gun to set up Gabriel, and Adam vaguely replied that mistakes had been made. Christine rattled off all the charges Gabriel might potentially face, and Adam asserted that his goal had been to protect Jack, but everything was in Jack's hands.
After Adam left, Christine asked if Paul was okay with the fact Gabriel had interfered in an investigation, but Paul remarked that Gabriel was an appetizer and not the main course. Christine pointed out that they could still charge Gabriel, but Paul suspected that Victor was holding something over Gabriel's head. Christine wondered if Victor had something on Jack, too, and Paul anticipated that there was more fallout ahead.
At Newman-Abbott, Victoria asked Abby what had happened to taking some time off, and Abby replied that she liked to be productive. Victoria surmised that Abby had heard about Gabriel being a fraud, and she feigned sympathy that Abby would have to step down as COO. Victor appeared and proclaimed that he wouldn't give Abby her pink slip just yet, and Abby said Victor had a lot to catch up on. Victoria suggested that it wasn't too late to do damage control on the labor agreements, but Abby asserted that no damage had been done. Victor apprised them that he was aware that Gabriel wasn't Jack's son or the CEO.
Victor stated that he wouldn't have been as generous as Abby had in the warehouse deal, but he thought she'd made up for it by saving money with the truckers and keeping the employees happy. Victoria was stunned that he approved of the deal, and Abby asked if she got to retain her title. Victoria griped that she'd been COO just a month earlier, but Victor argued that Victoria had more power than anyone as his right hand, and all his children deserved a chance to flourish at his company.
At the Athletic Club, Neil told a relieved Nikki that Jack was awake, and he pointed out that she would soon find out if Victor had been lying to her or not. Nikki seemed torn that she'd told Paul that she thought Victor was guilty, but Neil said she wasn't the judge or jury. Victor approached with the good news that Jack was awake, and he was sure Jack would clear things up with Paul, so people would finally see the truth. Victor called Gabriel a liar who wasn't Jack's son, and he announced that Gabriel had stepped down from Newman-Abbott.
Nikki was stunned, and she imagined that Victor was upset with her. Neil argued that Nikki had had reasons not to trust Victor, and he reminded her that Victor had claimed that he hadn't even pulled the trigger at first. Victor ordered Neil to stay out of Victor's relationship with Nikki, and Nikki told Victor to stop. Victor bellowed that he was there to make peace, and he demanded to speak to Nikki privately. She said no, and Victor stormed off.
In Nikki's hotel suite, Neil offered Nikki some water, but she declared that she didn't need water or vodka. Neil marveled that the program was working, and he thought she was doing great for someone who'd just had an encounter with her biggest trigger. Neil grumbled that Victor had been a bully, but Nikki countered that Victor had been telling the truth, and she had misjudged him by thinking the worst when he'd been innocent all along. Neil reminded her that Victor hadn't believed in her enough to tell her the truth, and he thought Victor would never change.
Nikki mused that she and Victor were connected, even when they were keeping their distance from one another. Neil noted that she'd left the ranch for a reason, and Nikki recognized that only she could control her drinking. Neil said only she knew what would push her over the edge, and she wondered if she'd made Victor a scapegoat for her problems. Neil encouraged her not to blame herself, since Victor was no one's victim. Nikki asserted that she was calm and rational, but she understood that Neil was worried she would fall under Victor's spell again.
In the club dining room, Ashley informed Victor that Jack had confirmed that both Victor and Jack had been armed. Ashley pointed out that Jack hadn't needed to back Victor up, but Victor commended Jack for doing the honorable thing by telling the truth. Ashley questioned how the men could possibly continue working together as partners after they'd pulled guns on one another, and Victor replied that it was for him and Jack to work out.
At Newman-Abbott, Abby asked how mad Victoria was that Abby was still COO, and she wondered if Victoria would still send her text messages about funny things on the Internet. Victoria said she loved Abby and would always send stupid texts, but she believed Abby was out of her depth, and she wondered what Stitch thought about Abby's new position. Abby questioned whether a career woman like Victoria expected Abby to take a demotion to stay at home for a man, and she groused that it was bad enough when Ashley had tried to pull something like that. Victoria asserted that Ashley wanted Abby's job, and she warned that Abby had to deal with Ashley if Abby wanted to keep her title.
Abby doubted her mom was angling for her job, but Victoria noted that Ashley wanted to be in charge. Abby countered that it meant being CEO, but Victoria was sure Ashley would settle for Abby's title. Abby lectured that Victoria should avoid a situation where the pot was calling the kettle black, but Victoria was certain that Ashley wasn't thrilled about working under Abby or about Abby and Stitch being together. Abby thought Victoria was speaking for herself, and Victoria spat that it almost seemed like Abby had planned to steal Victoria's title and ex.
Ashley entered and rambled about how absurd it was that both Victor and Jack were heading back to work together, and she joked that they should install a metal detector. Abby quipped that perhaps it would keep Victoria from putting a knife in her back, and Ashley warned that they wouldn't win the fight unless they worked together. Ashley wondered whether it didn't bother Victoria and Abby that the men had met in the park with guns, and Abby expected that things would go back to normal. Victoria commented that things hadn't been normal before the shooting, and Ashley thought the situation could still blow up and knock them out in the process.
Phyllis told Jack that she'd done too much crying at bedsides, and Jack replied that he'd missed her. She asked why he'd lied that Gabriel was his son, and Jack apologetically claimed that he'd wanted to keep Victor off balance, but he'd offered Phyllis and his family plausible deniability by not telling them anything. Jack said it had made sense at the time, and Phyllis informed him that some people had thought he'd been back on drugs. Jack stated that just because he'd been sober hadn't meant he'd been right, and she asked if she'd been crazy to think he'd been communicating when he'd squeezed her hand. She felt like she'd gotten things wrong, and she was still stymied by the number two he'd written.
Jack insisted that he'd heard Phyllis' voice, but he hadn't known what he'd been answering or thinking sometimes. Phyllis remarked that she'd been sure about his responses, and she pressed to know about the two, but he feigned ignorance. Jack said he'd been desperate to get back to her, and the thought of never making it back and seeing her again had been worse than dying. He declared that being with her was being alive, and she tearfully crawled in bed next to him as Victor peered in.
At the Underground, Sage stared at an envelope from a DNA lab, but she quickly hid it behind the bar when Nick walked in. He asked if she had ever intended to tell him, and she stammered that she'd wanted him to know. Nick said he wanted to be part of the baby's life even before it arrived, and he mentioned that he'd taken a message earlier about an appointment that day. She agreed to tell him about every prenatal visit from then on, and he suggested that they wrap up the inventory then go to the appointment together.
Sage went to the back to get the stock list, and Nick retrieved some clipboards from behind the bar, but he found the envelope addressed to Sage. He pulled out the contents, and his expression darkened. Nick sat despondently in a booth, and Sage returned and chirped that she might have an ultrasound at her appointment. Nick coldly asked if there was anyone else she wanted to tell about the appointment, like Gabriel, and he held up the envelope.
Sage asked if Nick had read the results, and he asked why she hadn't just told him. She whimpered that she was sorry, and she reflected back on all the times he'd talked about secrets and honesty. He surmised that she'd had a DNA test done because there was a question of paternity, and he assumed she'd slept with Gabriel. She revealed that it had happened once after Nick had said they couldn't be together anymore, and she hadn't wanted to feel anything, but she'd ended up feeling guilt and regret.
Nick pointed out that Sage had never mentioned that there was a chance her baby was her ex-husband's, and she defended that what she'd had with Gabriel hadn't been love. Nick angrily questioned if love meant lying to his face, and Sage wailed that in her heart, Nick was the only person who could be the baby's father. Nick said the point was that she'd slept with Gabriel, but Sage insisted that the baby couldn't be Gabriel's. She asked Nick what the paperwork had indicated, and she begged Nick to say he was the baby's father.
Nick asked whether a DNA test mattered if Sage knew in her heart that the baby was his, and she called her baby her miracle. She added that she didn't want Gabriel to be any part of it, but she'd realized that she needed to know, so she'd had the test done. Nick wondered if she ever would have told him that she'd lied about never sleeping with Gabriel, and she said she would like to think she would have done the right thing once she'd gotten the results.
Nick reminded Sage of what he'd gone through with Summer, and Sage argued that he'd hidden the test results because he'd wanted Summer to be his, just like Sage wanted her baby to be Nick's. Sage said she didn't regret getting pregnant, and she loved the little boy or girl, but in her dreams, she and Nick loved the baby together. She asked again what the results had said, and he slid the envelope over to her and told her to see for herself before he walked away. Sage read the DNA results, and she broke down in tears.
Nick confronted Gabriel at the Athletic Club bar and ordered him to stay away from Sage and the baby. Nick was sure Gabriel was just dying to tell Nick that he'd slept with Sage, but Nick announced that he already knew. Nick divulged that Sage had arranged for a DNA test, and the baby was Nick's, so Gabriel could "stay the hell away."