At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Billy pleaded with Jack to report Victor to the police. Recalling that Victor had recruited Marco Annicelli to masquerade as Jack while Jack had been held hostage, Billy told Jack to use the evidence Luca had compiled to support his case. Jack reacted when Billy mentioned that Marco had even taken Jack's place in bed with Phyllis. Jack explained that Victor wasn't the only one with blood on his hands. Jack explained that Kelly had become delusional and believed she could have him all to herself as long as she'd held him captive.
Billy asked Jack how he'd killed Kelly. Jack said he had no memory of what had happened, though he held himself responsible because he believed he'd been the only other person present when her death had occurred. Billy said he didn't think the incident could be pinned on Jack entirely. Jack mentioned the lives lost when the ship had sunk. Again, Billy implicated Victor's involvement and said police would ensure that Victor paid for his crimes. Jack said Phyllis shouldn't be subjected to a media circus. Billy replied, "If you don't get Phyllis the payback she deserves, then I will."
In a suite at the Genoa City Athletic Club, Summer told Phyllis that she'd discovered evidence on Natalie's computer, indicating that Billy was working with Natalie. Phyllis insisted that if Billy were clever enough to outmaneuver Victor, he'd cover his tracks. Summer said that no matter what was going on, she felt it necessary to share everything she knew with Victor. Phyllis replied, "That's the last thing you should do." Summer was shocked by her mother's statement.
Phyllis played down Billy's exchange of text messages with Natalie and warned Summer that meddling could interfere with Victoria and Billy's plans to remarry. Phyllis said Summer might forever regret her decision to accuse Billy if her suspicions proved groundless. When Summer said she still felt compelled to share the information with Victor, Phyllis admitted that she was Billy's partner. Billy was standing outside the door when Summer, in a rage, exited the suite. Billy asked what was wrong. Summer angrily replied, "As if you don't know."
When Billy entered the room, Phyllis said she'd told Summer about her partnership with him to take Victor down. Billy said he knew that Phyllis was determined to make Victor suffer because he'd hired Marco Annicelli. Phyllis, taken aback, replied, "Jack told you?" Billy said that Luca had when he'd used the information to worm his way into their deal with Natalie. Billy said they had the evidence they needed for the police to take Victor down.
Phyllis scoffed that police would question her about not knowing that the stranger she'd eaten with, laughed with, and slept with hadn't been her husband. Phyllis flatly refused to face public scrutiny. Billy said Luca had collected and stored plenty of evidence. Billy explained that the silence had already been broken, and he said that unless Phyllis punished Victor, her marriage would eventually suffer. Phyllis warned Billy that he might lose Victoria when she learned that he'd spearheaded her father's downfall.
At Summer's apartment, Natalie was watching Victor in his office via the hidden camera she'd placed in his office. Natalie heard Victor tell Luca's father on the phone that he was unaware that Luca hadn't returned to Madrid. Natalie yelled for Luca to watch and listen. Luca heard Victor when he told Mr. Santori that his son had been fired from Newman Enterprises for policy violations. Victor told the elder Santori that his financial investment in Newman Enterprises was being returned with interest, and he ordered the father to keep Luca away from Genoa City.
Luca told Natalie that he'd have to avoid his father. Natalie warned Luca to leave Genoa City because he was on Victor's list of most wanted. Luca refused to abandon his partnership with Billy. Natalie seemed nervous when she noticed that Victor had suddenly vacated his office. Natalie again warned Luca about Victor. Luca said he'd battled his own bullying father for years and believed the only way to win was to fight back.
Luca mentioned Natalie's gutsy move to join forces with Billy against Victor. Natalie admitted she'd made a bad decision when she'd panicked and shown Victor a working version of PassKey. When Victor knocked on the door, Luca hid. Victor asked Natalie to demonstrate PassKey. Natalie explained that her program was still vulnerable to hackers. Luca nervously peeked around a doorway when Victor asked Natalie about the camera she'd planted in his office. Natalie admitted that she'd installed a camera.
Victor opened the front door, and a member of his security team confiscated Natalie's laptop. Victor angrily pointed his finger at Natalie and said the computer was the property of Newman Enterprises. Before he left, Victor fired Natalie. After Victor closed the door, Natalie smiled. After Luca rejoined Natalie, she told him that Victor had confiscated the laptop that contained the flawed program. She said Billy had the working program she'd loaded onto a flash drive.
Summer entered her apartment and said, "You traitor! You are not going to get away with this!" Summer was angry because she couldn't approach Victor for fear of betraying Phyllis. Natalie explained that Victor had fired her and confiscated her computer. Summer threw Natalie out of the apartment. Summer cried to Luca that she couldn't trust anyone. She said she'd hoped to prove herself worthy to work at the family company, but she'd botched her one and only job. Summer accepted Luca's offer to give her a hug.
At Chelsea and Adam's penthouse, Chelsea reminded Adam about their plan to move to Paris and create a new life for their family. Chelsea cried that in the past, Victor had always found a way to interfere. Chelsea said she was grateful that Victor's threats could no longer control Adam, who was no longer living behind a lie. Adam explained that he and Nikki had a plan to push Victor out. Chelsea angrily noted that Adam's plans were really excuses for his desire to stay in Genoa City because he yearned to become a newer version of his father.
Adam told Chelsea that because of what Victor had done to Noah, Nick and Abby had turned their backs on Victor. Adam said that Victoria would, too, because Nikki had uncovered more of Victor's wrongdoings. Chelsea said she believed the others had turned against Victor. Chelsea expressed her doubts about Adam doing so because he desperately yearned for his father's approval. Adam lowered his head and bit his lower lip as Chelsea waited for a response.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Chelsea ran into Jack. He noticed Chelsea seemed distressed and invited her to talk. Chelsea explained that even though Adam was no longer keeping anything secret from her, he'd refused to walk away from Newman Enterprises and Victor. Chelsea added that Adam claimed he had a plan to replace Victor, make Newman Enterprises great again, and restore respect to the Newman name. Jack asked if Chelsea believed Adam. She said she did, but she was worried because Victor wouldn't fall without a fight, and he'd take Adam down with him.
Jack agreed that even if a rival won against Victor, the rival would still lose. Chelsea nodded. Chelsea asked if Jack was referring to someone else. Jack, rambling on as if his mind was elsewhere, said, "When you love someone, when you're truly committed to them, you're committing to the best and worst of them. I guess all you can do is hope that the love you have for them is great enough to bring out the best."
Jack went to Phyllis' suite and apologized for sharing her story. Jack said he hoped he and Phyllis might start over. Phyllis admitted that she'd been wrong to not face what had happened to her. Phyllis said her inaction had made her a victim, and in turn, she'd victimized Jack. Phyllis said she felt free no matter what Victor had done to them. Jack embraced Phyllis and said he was proud that she'd decided to let it go. Phyllis corrected Jack and said, "Together, you and I are going to bring Victor down, and we're going to make him pay dearly."
At Top of the Tower, Victoria met with her wedding planner and hesitated to make decisions without Billy present. Victoria repeatedly glanced at the entrance and said she didn't know what had detained Billy. Victoria chatted with her planner and said she wanted the wedding to be perfect because she and Billy would be together forever. Billy arrived and apologized for being late. Victoria was sullen. Evelyn, the wedding planner, left the table to check on the venue.
Billy handed Victoria a computer disc and said it contained proof about Victor's wrongdoing. Victoria said her father wasn't perfect, but his motive always centered on love. Victoria, shocked, reviewed the evidence on the disc, using her laptop. Billy explained that Victor had used Marco Annicelli to replace Jack while Jack had been held prisoner. Billy told Victoria that because he loved her, he wouldn't use the evidence to put Victor in prison.
In Victor's office at Newman Enterprises, Adam arrived. Victor said he had a feeling that Luca Santori had never boarded his flight to Spain. Adam insisted he'd done his part by driving Luca to the airport. Victor threatened to talk to Chelsea unless Adam helped him find Luca and end the conflict. Adam explained that he'd already told Chelsea he was the father of Sage's baby. Adam added that Chelsea had forgiven him.
Victor told Adam that without Victor's blessing, Adam would never take his place at Newman Enterprises and pass control of the company to Connor. Adam said he'd decided to put his family first and no longer wanted to have anything to do with Victor. Victoria arrived and set the disc on Victor's desk. Angry, Victoria said, "How many times have I defended you and stood up for you against Billy, against the rest of the world?" Victoria asked Victor to explain Marco Annicelli.
Victoria Gives Paul Evidence Against Victor
At the hospital, Abby met Stitch during his break, and she inquired how things had gone with Max's teacher. Stitch relayed that Max had started the fight with a classmate, and Abby reasoned that starting over as the new kid was rough, so Max was doing things to prove himself. Stitch worried that Max wasn't doing any better, and he had no idea how to help his son. Abby commended Stitch for being a wonderful father, and she was confident that Max would eventually see how much Stitch loved him. Stitch asked her to help him figure out what to do next, and they kissed.
Billy stopped Phyllis in the Athletic Club foyer and asked where she was going. She replied that Victor would never pay for what he'd done unless she made it happen, and she announced that she was going to the police. "Today is Victor Newman's last stand," she declared. Billy asked whether Phyllis had thought it through, and she informed him that she'd had a long discussion with Jack, who'd agreed that Victor couldn't get away with it for one more day. She mentioned that Jack was meeting with Michael about his defense.
Billy anticipated that someone else might take Victor down for them, since he'd had to tell Victoria what Victor was capable of, and Phyllis assumed Victoria was standing behind her father. Billy replied that Victoria hadn't been able to deny the evidence, and he'd told her that he wouldn't be the one to take the evidence to the police, so it had been up to her. Phyllis doubted that Victoria had been sickened enough to send Victor to jail, and she considered it more likely that Victoria would help Victor to leave town.
In the dining room, Sharon and Dylan had a family dinner with Paul and Christine, and Sharon told her in-laws that it was a relief to know her son's future was in their hands. Paul gave Noah credit for finally admitting the truth, but Christine countered that Noah had initially fled the country. Sharon argued that it had been Adam's idea, but Christine expressed resentment that the Newmans always bought or blackmailed their way out of trouble, and she thought it had been no coincidence that Judge Elise Moxley had been assigned to Noah's case. Sharon wondered if Christine intended to make an example out of Noah.
Sharon contended that Noah was young, but Christine maintained that he'd broken the law. Sharon countered that people weren't black and white but shades of gray, and she thought Dylan had made an effort to give people the benefit of the doubt before Paul had given him a badge. Dylan reiterated that he could have done more if Noah had stepped forward earlier, and Paul tried to change the topic to ordering dessert. Sharon snapped that she couldn't eat another bite, and she stormed off. Dylan followed her, but Phyllis stopped him and declared that she had a serious crime had to report.
After Paul, Christine, and Dylan heard Phyllis out, Paul asked if Phyllis had any proof of her allegations, and she pointed out that she wouldn't have humiliated herself by making it known that she'd slept with a stranger for months if it hadn't been true. Phyllis added that Jack and Marisa could back her up, and Billy piped up that he'd seen the evidence against Victor. Phyllis implored Paul to arrest Victor before Victor left town. Christine headed to the office, and Paul instructed Dylan to track down Marisa while Paul questioned Victor. Phyllis requested to be there when they arrested Victor, but Paul insisted on following proper protocol to make sure the charges stuck.
Chelsea summoned Nikki to the penthouse, and she referred to their prior conversation about what it was like being married to their husbands. Chelsea revealed that things had only gotten worse, and she confessed that she wanted Nikki's plan to push Adam to the top of the company to fail. Nikki divulged that she'd decided not to use Adam to take over the company, since it would hurt too many people, so it would be up to him to find his own way to do it. Chelsea was afraid he would do just that, and it would be the end of their marriage.
Nikki wished she could tell Chelsea that it was a phase that would pass as Adam got older, and Chelsea guessed it had never happened with Victor. Nikki forlornly said she'd never figured out a magic formula to make their marriage work.
At Newman Enterprises, Victor tossed aside the disc with evidence of his alliance with Marco, but Victoria asserted that it was proof that Victor wasn't the man she'd thought he was. Victor wrote it off as people telling stories about him, but Adam suggested that Victor check the disc before he dismissed it. Victor huffed that he'd just relieved Adam of his duties, but Adam clarified that it had been his choice to leave. Victoria wasn't surprised that Victor was rewriting history, and she accused Victor of hiring a criminal to take over Jack's life, home, and wife.
Adam taunted that Victor's sins were back to haunt him. Victoria accused Adam of knowing all about the plot, so Adam belonged in a jail cell next to their father. Adam pointed out that there was nothing that incriminated him, and Victor ordered him to leave. Adam quipped that Victor was running out of people to leave his legacy to, and he sauntered out. Victoria and Victor exchanged a silent stare, and Victor said it pained him to know that she thought he belonged in prison. She was grateful that he wasn't denying it, but she didn't understand how he could allow Jack to be held captive while a criminal had been around the people they cared about.
Victor claimed it was more complex than that, but Victoria informed him that there were hundreds of documents that proved what Victor had done. She admonished him for not caring if he'd trashed people's lives because he was obsessed with the company, and Victor defended that he'd been trying to protect his company and his family. Victor asserted that Jack had protected the man who'd been behind Paragon by keeping Adam's identity secret, and Billy had been out for blood. Victor begged Victoria not to let "those people" tear them apart.
Adam arrived home, and Nikki informed him that their deal was officially off. She advised that it would be best for him if he walked away from Newman, too. As Adam walked Nikki out, he quietly told her that Victoria was confronting Victor right then. After Nikki left, Adam announced that he had good news that Chelsea would be happy about -- he'd finally turned his back on Victor and the company once and for all. He apologized that he'd ever made her think that his job was more important than she was, since he only cared about her, Connor, and the life they'd share.
Chelsea was skeptical that Adam was finally ready to walk away, and she asked about their plan to move to Paris. Adam thought that leaving town would be like letting Victor win, and he preferred to stay in Genoa City but remain separate from the whole Newman family and company. Adam cryptically stated that things were already unraveling, and Victor would soon be in no position to interfere in their lives. Adam noted that he could have staked his claim at the office, but he'd returned home to her because all he wanted was her and the life they'd share together. Adam and Chelsea made love.
Paul entered Victor's office, and Victor tried to dismiss him, but Paul said he was investigating the claims against Victor. Paul inquired whether Victor had had any knowledge about Marco posing as Jack, and Victor chided Paul for giving the idea any credence. Victor told Victoria to confirm that there was no truth to any of it, but Victoria stammered that she couldn't stand up for Victor that time. She handed the incriminating disc to Paul.
Victor asked if Victoria and Billy had arranged the ambush, but Victoria retorted that Victor had done it to himself. Paul placed Victor under arrest as Nikki entered, and Victor suddenly doubled over. Nikki suspected that he was faking it. Victor requested to go to the hospital, but Nikki believed that he was just trying to buy time. Victoria loosened Victor's tie, and Paul started to call for an ambulance, but Victor insisted that he could walk.
In a hotel suite, Marisa scolded Noah for trying to get out of bed after his surgery, and he amorously replied that "the nurse thing" had definite possibilities. She told him to tell her where it hurt, and she'd make it better. He requested a sponge bath, and they began kissing passionately. Later, Noah and Marisa emerged from the bathroom in robes, and he crowed that it had been the best sponge bath he'd ever had.
Dylan stopped by the suite, and Noah maintained that he wouldn't talk to the police without a lawyer present. Dylan revealed that he was there about Victor and Jack, and Noah replied that he knew nothing about what was going on. Dylan said he wasn't there to talk to Noah, and both men looked at Marisa. Dylan relayed Phyllis' story, and he mentioned that she'd told him that Marisa had helped Jack escape from the ship. Marisa denied being involved, but Dylan noted that she hadn't seemed shocked.
Dylan swore that Jack wasn't in trouble with the police, and he guessed that Jack wasn't the one Marisa was protecting. Noah told her not to protect his grandfather for his sake, and he decided to tell Dylan everything they knew. Marisa confirmed that Jack and Marco were identical and that she'd stayed quiet to avoid opening Jack up to prosecution. Dylan worried about how Nikki would take it, and Noah groused that it would affect their whole family, but Victor hadn't taken anyone else into consideration. Noah answered a call and learned that Victor was in the hospital.
Downstairs, Phyllis remarked that she'd give anything to see Victor hauled in, but Billy thought it was good that the police were doing things by the book so Victor didn't get released on a technicality. She marveled that she was finally getting justice, and she stopped Noah and Marisa on their way out. Phyllis asked if Dylan had spoken to them, and Noah informed her that they'd told Dylan what they knew. Phyllis suggested that they celebrate, but Marisa mentioned that Victor was in the hospital.
At Crimson Lights, Sage fretted that she'd worn the wrong dress, since the birth mother they were meeting might think Sage was trying too hard. Nick assured Sage that they'd do fine, and they spotted a young, pregnant girl enter the coffeehouse. Shawn, the pregnant teen, said she'd liked Nick and Sage's profile from the adoption agency, and she'd wanted to ask them some things in person. Sage gushed that Shawn would be giving them the greatest gift of their lives, and she encouraged Shawn to ask anything.
Nick explained that he already had three children, including an eight-year-old daughter with whom he shared custody with his ex, and everyone got along. Sage praised Faith for being a wonderful big sister, and Shawn inquired why they hadn't had any of their own children. Sage explained that the doctors had told her that she couldn't have children, but it had been a miracle when she'd gotten pregnant. Nick added that they'd lost their little boy after he'd been born prematurely, and Shawn questioned whether her child would replace their baby.
Sage insisted that they could never replace one baby with another, and Christian would always have a place in their hearts, but she and Nick wanted to raise a child together. Sharon entered the coffeehouse, and Sage called her over and introduced her to Shawn. Sharon was surprised to hear that Nick and Sage were adopting, but Shawn quickly stated that they weren't moving forward yet. Sage hoped Sharon would tell Shawn why she thought they'd be good parents. Sharon sang Nick's praises as a father, and she swore that there wasn't a better dad on the face of the earth.
Shawn mentioned that she'd fallen in love with her high school boyfriend, and she'd thought it would last forever. Shawn figured that Nick and Sharon had thought that, too, and she voiced concern about finding a solid couple to be her baby's parents. Sage noted that she and Nick had gone through the worst thing a couple could face, and it had made them stronger. Nick suggested that they take a break, and Sage invited Shawn to step outside for some air.
Sharon commented to Nick that the adoption was happening really fast, and Nick replied that Sage really needed it. Sharon worried about what would happen if things didn't work out. Nick received a call from Victoria and left. Later, Sage thanked Sharon and prepared to go to the hospital to be with Nick and his family. Sharon warned that the Newmans would be circling the wagons, but Sage was determined to support her husband. Dylan joined them and said Nick needed it, since Victor might be facing prison time.
After Sage left, Sharon hoped Victor would be the one to make a liar out of Christine, but she conceded that the Newmans always seemed to skirt the law. Dylan remarked that Victor might not, since the Newman family was lining up against Victor, and Noah was part of the charge to take Victor down. After Dylan updated Sharon, she admitted that she felt sympathy for Phyllis, but she worried about Noah and the others who were going after Victor, since anyone who'd ever tried it had lived to regret it. Dylan was willing to take the risk as long as justice was done, and he suspected that Victor would have no one left on his side to retaliate.
At the penthouse, Adam vowed that things would be different from then on, and Chelsea replied that she wanted to believe it. She groaned when the phone rang, but she implored Adam to answer it when they saw Sage was calling. Adam found out that Victor was in the hospital, and Chelsea urged him to go.
Outside Victor's hospital room, Victoria told Abby and Stitch that Victor had been dizzy and hadn't been making sense. Stitch went to see what he could find out, and Abby was glad that Paul was there to cut through the red tape. Paul stepped away to make some calls, and Victoria explained that Paul was there to make sure Victor didn't escape police custody. Victoria offered to tell Abby everything if Abby promised not to share it with Stitch yet, since it had to do with Kelly, and Stitch might not want to help Victor if he knew the truth.
Abby was stunned to hear about what Phyllis and Jack had gone through, and Victoria reiterated that Abby couldn't tell Stitch until they knew Victor was okay. Abby said she felt sick, and Victoria understood, since she'd done nothing but defend their father. Billy arrived and asked if Victoria was doing okay, and she worried that she was the reason Victor was in the hospital, since she'd given the disc to Paul. She wished that Billy had never presented her with the evidence, but Billy insisted that she couldn't blame herself for what Victor had done. Phyllis, Noah, and Nick arrived as Stitch emerged from Victor's room.
After the Newman family filed into Victor's room, Phyllis wondered how many years Victor would get, and Billy expected that it wouldn't be nearly enough. Phyllis envisioned Victor behind bars with men who didn't care about his money and power, and she hissed that he'd have plenty of time to think about what he'd done to her and Jack. Billy imagined that what Victor was going through at that moment was worse than rotting in prison.
Victor opened his eyes, and he found Nikki, Victoria, Abby, Stitch, and Noah staring at him. Victor asked how bad it was, and Stitch reported that everything seemed normal, but they'd run more tests in the morning. Stitch added that it was possible that stress had caused the episode, and Abby coldly stated that her dad was lucky that way. Victor told everyone to go because he needed rest, but Nikki informed him that Paul was still waiting outside. Abby added that Paul would be there until Victor was healthy enough to go to jail.
Victor claimed that the Abbotts had put him there, but his family took turns berating him for what he'd done not only to Jack and Phyllis but also to Kelly, Courtney, and Austin by making Marco his accomplice. Noah walked out, and Victor tried to detach himself from the medical equipment and yelled for all of them to get out. He bellowed that he didn't need any of them, and they would be nothing without him.
Victor reflects on the choices he has made>
From his hospital bed, Victor raged against the family members who stood before him. "You think your lives would be better without me? Think again! You'd be nothing without me! Nothing! Get out! You stand here; you contend me? You should spend that time thinking about life without me! Get out! You're traitors, all of you!" Victor shouted, not stopping until Paul was the only person left in the room. "Let's see what their lives will be without me. They'll find out," Victor added, more to himself than to Paul.
The lives of Victor's loved ones did, in fact, look much different without him around. While reading a newspaper over a cup of coffee at Crimson Lights, Officer Dylan McAvoy heard his mother talking behind him, asking another coffeehouse patron for some spare change. The customer rushed off without saying anything to Nikki, whose tattered clothing looked almost as filthy as she did.
Dylan tried to get Nikki to leave, but she protested that she wasn't bothering anyone. From the nearby bar, a well-dressed and extravagantly bejeweled Sharon flashed a twenty-dollar bill and wondered if that would be enough to make Nikki go away. "I don't want your money," Nikki spat. Nikki added that if her presence was bothering Sharon, it would be best for Sharon to just leave Crimson Lights and head back to her big house, where she could drink her coffee in peace with her rich husband.
Sharon observed with disgust that begging wasn't a good look for Nikki. Sharon suggested that it might be a good idea for Nikki to start working again -- perhaps at her old job. "Although I think people might pay you to keep your clothes on now," Sharon added before turning to leave. Nikki lunged forward, shouting that Sharon was "a little gold-digger," but Dylan intervened and apologetically assured Sharon that he would handle his mother. Satisfied, Sharon promised Dylan that she would get Jack to make an extra donation to the First Responders Fund. "It's a shame you never got over Victor leaving you," Sharon told Nikki before walking away.
Nikki took offense to Dylan's implication that she was a problem that needed to be handled. Nikki also complained that it would be nice if Dylan could loan her a few dollars for a change. "What, so you can spend it on booze?" Dylan guessed. Dylan insisted that he wouldn't provide Nikki with any cash until she pulled herself together. "Thanks. Thanks for nothing, son!" Nikki spat before stumbling out of the coffeehouse.
At Newman Towers, Lily entered Nick's office just as Nick was ending a phone call in which he had threatened to destroy someone's company. "Shouldn't you be getting a massage, or shopping, or something?" Nick asked without bothering to look at Lily, who explained that she needed him to make a donation to an event she was chairing. "Ah, of course. Every time I turn around, there's another loser with his hand out," Nick complained.
Lily argued that it wouldn't kill Nick to show a little generosity once in a while, but Nick dismissively countered that he was already paying alimony to three ex-wives. "Just saying. I don't want there to be a fourth," Nick pointedly added. Lily reported that the Abbotts had donated one million dollars to the cause, and she wondered if that meant she could count on Nick to pledge two million dollars. "Tell you what, I'll give you five if you make it worth my while right now," Nick replied before kissing Lily.
Meanwhile, Nikki arrived and knocked tentatively on Nick's office door, which Lily had left ajar. Pulling away from Lily, Nick heaved a sigh of annoyance as Nikki begged him to help her out a bit -- just until she got back on her feet. Nick snapped that it had been twenty years since Nikki had last been on her feet.
Lily sympathetically reminded Nick that Nikki was his mother. "[Who] drank every bottle in sight and slept with every man in town," Nick bitterly countered. Nikki stressed that she was extremely sorry for the mistakes she had made in the past. "Were you sorry to Victoria? 'Cause every loser that you brought home, after you passed out, tried to take a turn with my sister, and I had to stop them," Nick recalled. Nikki insisted that she had never meant for any of that to happen.
Nick realized that he actually owed Nikki some gratitude. "Without you, I wouldn't have all this. Every time I looked at you, you were everything I didn't want to be. You were a drunk. Embarrassing. A loser. Laughed at," Nick spat. Lily tried to intervene, arguing that it wouldn't hurt to help Nikki out a bit, but Nick insisted that Nikki was going to get exactly what she had given her children: nothing. "And if you give her one cent, you can forget about that donation to your little charity," Nick warned Lily before ordering Nikki to leave.
Billy entered the Athletic Club with Victoria, who immediately seized a glass of Champagne from a passing waiter. "Think you could pace yourself this evening?" Billy suggested. "Probably not," Victoria replied before taking a sip of her drink. Meanwhile, Esther approached, with a handsome young man on her arm, and warmly greeted Billy before offering Victoria a much colder acknowledgement. Billy wondered if Esther had heard from his mother lately. "No. Isn't that wonderful?" Esther answered before walking away with her date.
Paul soon approached and congratulated Billy -- the new president and CEO of Jabot. As Billy joked that he absolutely deserved Paul's praise, Victoria tiredly excused herself, guessing that more interesting conversations were happening elsewhere. From the other side of the room, Stitch spotted Victoria at the bar, locked eyes with her, and gave her a subtle nod.
Meanwhile, Nikki approached Victoria, who guessed that Nikki had heard that Billy's celebration would feature an open bar. Nikki asked Victoria for a couple dollars, but Victoria refused the request and offered to instead give Nikki a two-minute head start before calling security. Victoria walked away, and Billy chased after her.
Paul approached Nikki and said she needed to leave. Reporting that she had seen Dylan earlier, Nikki complained that he hadn't even been willing to give her enough money for a simple cup of coffee. "That's because he knows you're not gonna spend it on coffee," Paul guessed. Acknowledging that she couldn't continue living the way she had been, Nikki begged Paul to help her find Victor.
Paul told Nikki that Victor was long gone and didn't want to be found. "I should have realized what I had. I should have loved him better; I should have been more the woman that he wanted. I just want to talk to him. I -- I just want to tell him that I'm sorry and that I love him," Nikki tearfully explained. Paul bluntly maintained that Nikki needed to accept that her relationship with Victor was over for good and that he wouldn't be returning to save her.
Later, Stitch approached the bar, ordered a drink, and took a seat next to Abby, introducing himself as Ben Rayburn, a doctor at Memorial Hospital. "Abby. Just Abby," Abby said as she shook Stitch's hand. Chuckling, Stitch observed that Abby was one beautiful woman. "And worth every penny," Abby agreed with a smile.
Realizing the implication of the statement, Stitch hesitantly wondered if it was okay to ask why Abby was in that line of work. "Let's just say that I like a certain lifestyle, and I missed out on the whole 'rich Daddy' part. Actually, the whole package," Abby answered. Stitch guessed that Abby didn't have a family, and she confirmed the suspicion.
"My father -- may he rest in hell -- um, he walked out on me and my mom a long time ago. And then she decided that every time she looked at me, it reminded her of the guy who trashed her life, so she bailed to L.A. No forwarding address, no phone number. Poof -- just like that, I was an orphan," Abby explained. Stitch said he was sorry to hear that. Abby dismissively insisted that she was better off without her parents, anyway. After finishing her drink, Abby wondered if Stitch would like to buy her a refill or head upstairs with her.
In a darkened hospital room, Summer sat at Phyllis' bedside, refusing to give up hope that Phyllis would recover from her coma. "You know, I've been reading a lot about this experimental protocol, and it could totally work. All we have to do is contact the doctors and convince Dad. But there's a lot of red tape, and...it's really expensive. But I'm gonna get the money somehow," Summer promised. As Summer started to add that she loved Phyllis and knew that Phyllis could hear her, a long, steady beep filled the room, emanating from the machine that was monitoring Phyllis' vital signs. The sound continued as Summer tearfully begged Phyllis not to leave her.
As Billy's celebration continued at the Athletic Club, Billy approached Victoria, who was flirting openly with Stitch. Billy pulled Victoria aside and complained that she was out of control. Billy began to add that he had tried to be patient with Victoria, and she interrupted and sarcastically agreed that he was a real saint. Billy advised that Victoria needed to grow up and get over the fact that her father had abandoned her instead of continuing to turn to alcohol for comfort. "Or maybe I should find a man that's hotter for me than his portfolio," Victoria countered.
After taking one last gulp of Champagne, Victoria handed the glass to Billy and stormed out of the Athletic Club, ignoring his attempt to stop her. Victoria headed to Santori's, a restaurant and piano bar located at the top of Newman Towers, and approached Luca, who was playing the piano. Victoria began flirting with Luca, and when he stopped playing and asked for her name, she declined to provide it, reasoning that anonymity was much more interesting.
Luca stood and kissed Victoria, pushing her up against the side of the piano. Billy soon arrived and ordered Luca to get away from his wife. "Go away, Billy. Unless you want to watch," Victoria said. Luca apologetically explained that he hadn't realized that Victoria was married. "I was just minding my own business," Luca added. "Yeah, and that's all I'm doing -- just minding my business," Billy countered, pointing a gun at Luca.
While Nick was practicing his golf swing in his office at Newman Towers, Chelsea and Adam peeked their heads into the room and looked around in awe. "Hey, look at this -- meeting my brother Adam for the first time after all these years!" Nick exclaimed, shaking Adam's hand before quickly -- and flirtatiously -- turning his attention to Chelsea. "Man, if Dad could see us now. Although...he doesn't really give a damn about anybody but himself," Nick added.
Adam wondered if Nick saw their father often. Shaking his head, Nick explained that his father had been out of his life for a long time -- which was just the way he wanted things to be. "You?" Nick asked. Adam replied that he and Chelsea had never even met the man. Nick said Adam was better off that way. Nick added that it seemed like he and Adam had done pretty well for themselves without Victor Newman in their lives. "Well, I guess it depends on what your definition of success is," Chelsea said as she glanced around Nick's office.
Changing the subject, Nick suggested discussing Adam's land in Nebraska. "Kansas," Adam clarified. Adam proudly explained that the farm in question had been in his mother's family for generations. "We'd like to keep it that way -- for our son, Connor..." Adam began to add, but Nick interrupted, wrote a number on a piece of paper, and passed it to Adam, stressing that the offer was well above market value. Chelsea gasped in disbelief when she saw the number, but Adam protested that he actually wasn't interested in selling the property; instead, he was hoping to forge a partnership with Nick that would allow him to continue developing the farm.
"Yeah, no, I actually don't do partners," Nick replied, looking at his watch impatiently. Nick added that he had researched the property and knew what it was worth. Nick complained that there really wasn't much benefit to buying a family farm, but he was willing to make the purchase because Adam had asked for his help and was family. Adam guessed that Nick was really just trying to take advantage of him, knowing that, with just a few minor improvements, the farm could be worth ten times as much.
"Well, you came to me," Nick pointed out, not bothering to deny the accusation. Adam said he had done that because Nick was family, which apparently meant something different to Nick than it did to him. "Around here, [it] means 'watch your back,'" Nick explained with a shrug. Adam said he felt sorry for Nick. Adam added that his family was the reason he woke up every morning and put in a hard day's work -- and also the reason he couldn't accept Nick's offer.
Chelsea pulled Adam into the hallway and pointed out that they were being given an incredible opportunity. Adam countered that it was an opportunity to sell out and be like Nick. "I mean...what's so bad about that?" Chelsea asked with a shrug. Chelsea argued that Adam wasn't turning down the offer because of his family; he was turning it down because he was being stubborn and thinking only about his ego. "Why is it that you're so scared of success?" Chelsea wondered.
Confused, Adam said he had been under the impression that Chelsea loved the life they were leading. "I love you," Chelsea hesitantly replied, adding that she didn't love constantly having to worry about bills and money. Chelsea urged Adam to think about Connor, who could afford to go to any college in the world with the kind of money Nick was offering. Adam insisted that Connor was always in his thoughts. "And I can take care of my son without my brother's damn money," Adam added.
Chelsea forged ahead, arguing that Adam was smart enough to be running a place like Newman Enterprises himself one day. "Is that what you want from me -- to be a guy sitting behind that desk, willing to screw over his own brother?" Adam asked. When Chelsea didn't respond, Adam walked away in shock and soon found himself at Santori's, where Victoria was busy taunting Billy, who still had a gun pointed at Luca.
Adam tried to intervene, introducing himself as a father and wondering if Billy also had kids. Billy turned and aimed the gun at Adam as Victoria confirmed that Billy had a daughter named Delia. Adam urged Billy to think about what Delia's life would be like without him in it. As Adam continued talking, Billy pulled the trigger, shooting Adam in the chest.
Later, Paul covered Adam's body with a tablecloth then held Chelsea at bay while she tearfully lashed out at Billy. Dylan cuffed Billy, who stressed that he hadn't meant to kill Adam, a man he had never even met before. "This is your fault, you slut! I was never enough for you, was I? I did everything for you, and it was never enough!" Billy shouted at Victoria, who numbly downed a gin and tonic as she watched Dylan drag him away.
Back in the real Genoa City, Summer visited Victor at the police station and revealed that Phyllis had told her about what he had done. Summer said she was having a hard time believing the allegations because Victor was her hero. Summer begged Victor to deny the accusations, but he hesitantly replied that it was a long story.
"When I was your age, I was rather successful, really. I could have lived a life, you know, [with] a lot of fun [and] no responsibility. And then I met your grandmother; I met Nikki and fell in love with her. And we had children, and we had lots of times where things were difficult. I could have walked away," Victor mused. Summer wondered if Victor was saying he wished he had walked away.
Dodging the question, Victor asked if Summer had ever read the Robert Frost poem "The Road Not Taken." Confirming that she had read it in school, Summer recalled that it was about a guy who encountered two roads in the woods. "I don't think it's about the man being brave [to take] the road less traveled by; I think it's about a man looking back at his life and trying to justify his choices, trying to not blame himself for the mistakes he made by convincing himself he took the road less traveled by," Victor mused.
"When I married your grandmother and raised a family, I was determined to do everything to protect them. Maybe I should have taken the other road -- walked away from your grandmother, walked away from my family. Do you think all of you would have been better off without me?" Victor asked. Summer mused that Nikki, despite her struggles with alcohol, was a strong woman. Summer admitted with a shrug that she had never really thought about whether Nikki would have been that same person if Victor hadn't been a part of her life.
"Well, sweetheart, the point is, I kept her safe. I kept my family safe. I'd do anything to protect them. That's what I promised myself, and I have," Victor explained. Summer argued that she was Victor's family and that, in hurting Phyllis -- who had never posed a threat to him -- he had hurt her, too. Victor said he had hoped that Phyllis would quickly figure out that Marco was an impostor -- and when she hadn't, everything had started unraveling. "Are you saying that what happened to my mom was her fault?" Summer asked incredulously.
Victor clarified that he was simply trying to explain that unforeseen events sometimes resulted in problematic consequences. "You know, maybe we would have been better off without you," Summer mused. Victor reminded Summer that Phyllis would still be in a coma if he hadn't taken risks to save her life. Summer tearfully realized that Victor was right. Summer argued, however, that after Victor had saved Phyllis' life, he had turned around and put her in danger. "I mean, do you feel any remorse at all, Grandpa?" Summer wondered.
Dodging the question, Victor revealed that he received threats all the time from people who wanted to hurt him, his family, and his company -- threats that he handled quietly, without telling any of his loved ones the details. Summer argued that Victor had hurt many people in the name of protecting his family, including his own kids, and she cited his repeated interference in Victoria and Billy's marriage as a prime example. Summer recalled that Victor's reasoning had always been that Billy wasn't good enough for Victoria. "But is [that] really your call, Grandpa?" Summer asked.
Victor insisted that he didn't want to see Billy hurt Victoria yet again. "I protect my family. Do you understand that? No one [hurts] my family," Victor stressed. Summer argued that Victor himself had hurt Noah. Victor said he felt terrible about that but hoped that Noah would one day understand that he had simply been trying to protect Noah from Marisa. "Right now, I think the only thing he understands is that he wants nothing to do with you -- or [with] being a Newman," Summer mused, prompting Victor to wonder what being a Newman meant to her.
"Um...I think it means that we're...we're strong. We're loyal. We've been given a lot, so we give back. And we may not always get along, but if someone attacks us, we always stick together," Summer answered. Victor emphatically agreed, stressing that family meant everything to him, and he would do anything to protect them. "Do you understand where that comes from? It comes from a deep hurt from within me. I grew up without a family. I had no family," Victor explained.
Summer said she understood that Victor loved his family. Summer added, however, that Victor sometimes took things to extremes. "I know. That's who I am, you know?" Victor conceded with a sigh. Summer guessed that the family wasn't thanking Victor at that particular time for taking the road less traveled.
"And that breaks my heart. But, you know...that's the ambivalence of being a parent. I mean, sometimes you do things that your children and grandchildren love you for, and sometimes they get angry with you [for] certain choices that you've made. But I know [that] in the end, my children are better off for the choices I have made for them," Victor asserted.
Victor mused that of all his children, Victoria was the one who was most like him -- and the one he had never expected to turn against him. "I adore that girl. And yet, she didn't hesitate to betray me," Victor sadly concluded. Summer suspected that the decision had been heartbreaking for Victoria because she, like everyone else in the Newman family, loved Victor. "You're like this warrior king who slays dragons for us. It's just...this time, you went a little bit too far," Summer added. Summer noted that people had died and lives had changed because of Victor's actions -- and, during their conversation, he had never once admitted his guilt or apologized.
"You never will, will you?" Summer realized. Victor remained silent as he stared at Summer, who stood, opened the visitation room door, and left after taking one last look at him. A guard pulled the door shut, giving Victor a moment of privacy in which he allowed a couple tears to fall from his eyes.
Summer found Nikki, Victoria, Nick, Adam, and Abby at Top of the Tower, taking turns complaining about Victor. Summer revealed that she had just visited Victor. "[And] I came away realizing something: how much he's done for us, and how much he's helped make our lives better," Summer added. Summer clarified that she wasn't defending Victor; she was simply saying that she had given Victor a chance to explain things to her. "And that is all I'm asking you guys to do -- just listen to him, and realize that he needs us just as much as we need him," Summer concluded.
Still alone in the visitation room, Victor stared out the window, silently contemplating the final words of Robert Frost's poem: "I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference."
This episode featured the song "Heart Within" from the Teletunez Catalogue.
Hilary Blackmails Ashley Into Stepping Down
At the Athletic Club, Abby spoke on the phone with Victoria about Jack and Marco. Victoria asked how Stitch was handling Kelly's involvement in the situation, and Abby replied that Stitch didn't know yet. Victoria thought the news would kill Stitch, but Abby anticipated that it would make him want to kill someone else. Abby abruptly hung up when Stitch arrived, and he mentioned that he'd taken Max to school. He inquired about the crowd of reporters at the door, and Abby mumbled that she wasn't worried about them.
Phyllis pushed her way past the press, stating that she had no comment, but a reporter asked how she hadn't known that the man in her bed hadn't been her husband. Phyllis told the press to "go to hell," and Stitch and Abby intervened and tossed the reporters out. The threesome returned to a table, and Stitch said the predators had no right going after the innocent parties. Phyllis commented that she hadn't known what to expect from Stitch, but Abby cut her off and recommended that Phyllis tell the security guard what had happened with the reporters. After Phyllis took off, Stitch asked what Phyllis had been about to say that Abby hadn't wanted him to know.
In a hotel suite, Michael listened as Jack explained to Christine that his memories of being held hostage on the island were hazy, since he'd been heavily drugged and starving, and he didn't remember killing Kelly. Christine warned that Jack might be facing extradition, and Jack wanted to savor the time he had with his wife. He swore that he'd never meant to hurt or kill anyone, and it had been eating him up. Michael hoped Christine communicated Jack's substantial remorse with the foreign authorities. Christine received a call about the boat explosion and expressed surprise.
Christine reported that there had been no casualties on the cargo ship, but Jack thought that was impossible. Christine divulged that a crewman had indicated that a rich American had paid everyone on the ship to stay in hiding, but the deaths had never happened. Jack angrily surmised that Victor had orchestrated all of it to keep Jack quiet by holding the deaths over his head, but Michael brightly noted that no deaths meant there would be no extradition orders regarding the explosion. Jack asked about Kelly, and Christine believed he had a strong case for self-defense, since he'd been held captive. Michael imagined that Jack would remain free and clear.
Jack filled in Phyllis about the latest development in his case, and she groused that Victor had found a way to make it worse by letting Jack think people had died. Jack wanted Christine to add Victor's deception to the list of charges, but Christine worried that Victor had covered his tracks. Phyllis growled that it was Christine's job to nail Victor to the wall, and Christine promised that Victor would have to answer for his crimes. Phyllis mentioned that Stitch might not yet know about Kelly's death, and Michael ordered Jack not to talk. Jack thought he owed it to Kelly to have Stitch hear the truth from him.
After Jack and Phyllis left, Michael cautioned Christine that the press would be in everyone's faces, and she reminded him that she'd gone up against Victor before. Michael said she'd never dealt with such sordid matters, and he expected Victor to try to influence judges and politicians. Christine vowed to take Victor down, and Michael confided that it was important to him that Victor pay for what he'd done to Phyllis. Christine asked if Michael doubted her, and he implored her to be prepared for anything.
Downstairs, Abby informed Stitch that there was more to the story about Victor and Jack, and it would be hard for Stitch to hear. She reluctantly revealed that Kelly had kidnapped Jack while he'd been on his honeymoon, but Stitch thought it made no sense, since Kelly had died. Abby explained that Kelly had wanted Stitch to think that, but Kelly had thought that she and Jack could be together. Stitch was glad his sister was alive, and he prepared to get her counseling and legal representation. Abby continued that Kelly had held Jack captive for weeks while drugging him, and Jack had done things that he'd never wanted to do. Abby said Kelly didn't need a counselor or a lawyer anymore, and Stitch realized that Jack had killed Kelly.
Stitch was flabbergasted that his sister had faked her ashes and her pictures from the morgue, and Abby said she was sorry for what he'd been through. Stitch asked if Kelly had even been buried or if anyone knew or cared, and he ranted that Kelly had needed care and help, not a death sentence. Abby swore that no one had wanted things to turn out that way, but Stitch hissed that Jack had broken Kelly's heart and killed her. He turned around and faced Jack and Phyllis.
Jack recognized that an apology wouldn't help, especially since the world had hurt Kelly too much already. Stitch recalled that Jack had made Kelly think that life would get better, but she was dead because of Jack, and he demanded to know how it had happened. Jack stammered that he couldn't say, and Phyllis ordered Stitch to stop berating Jack, since Kelly had drugged and tortured Jack. Phyllis figured that Abby had left out the part about Victor handing Jack over to Kelly and putting Marco in Jack's place.
Phyllis continued that Jack didn't remember Kelly's death because Kelly had drugged him in spite of his addiction, and he'd woken up with Kelly dead beside him. Phyllis speculated that Victor might have had Kelly killed, but Jack said Victor's plan had been for Jack never to return. Jack acknowledged that Kelly had deserved love and understanding, and he was terribly sorry. Stitch headed for the door to go to work, and he ignored Abby when she tried to chase after him.
Jack apologized for not being there when Phyllis had talked to the police, and she mentioned that Billy had been present. She thought things would get worse, since the press wouldn't stop, and Jack pledged to be with her every second. Christine descended the stairs and tried to avoid the press, but Phyllis dared Christine to tell them how she planned to take Victor down. Christine announced that Victor stood accused of heinous crimes that had corrupted personal and business relationships in the most despicable way possible, and the state wouldn't back down. She professed that no money or pull would save him from conviction, and she vowed to get justice for all of the victims, including Phyllis.
Phyllis ordered the press outside, and Jack questioned her decision to take on the D.A. in front of reporters. Phyllis couldn't remember the last time Christine had done her job properly, and she was determined to find a way to ensure Victor didn't walk. Phyllis added that she wanted Victor to suffer, but Jack wondered when it would be enough. Phyllis retorted that everyone knew that she'd had sex with a man who hadn't been her husband, and if Jack didn't think Victor should suffer then she didn't know Jack at all.
At the hospital, Stitch admonished a nurse and testily questioned whether anyone was doing their job that day. He was surprised when Abby and Max showed up, and Abby informed Stitch that Max had gotten into another fight at school. Stitch blasted Max for getting sent home, and he said he didn't have time to deal with it. Abby started to say something about the other kid involved, but Stitch interrupted and sternly ordered Max to stop making life harder than it already was. Max ran off, and Stitch and Abby chased after him.
At Crimson Lights, Mariah was surprised that Natalie was happy about being fired, and Kevin hoped Natalie's new partner would let them back into the inner circle. Mariah grumbled that she had whiplash from the project constantly changing hands, but Natalie assured them that they were in it together. Mariah pressed to know who the new partner was, and Luca walked in and referred to Natalie as "our genius." Kevin objected, and Natalie revealed that it had been Billy's idea to let Luca into the loop. Kevin figured that it was another way for Billy to screw over Victor, and Luca asked if Natalie had a standing agreement with Kevin and Mariah, too. Kevin asked if Luca had a problem with that, and Natalie made an abrupt exit. Luca questioned what it would take to buy Kevin and Mariah out.
Kevin said Luca didn't know the history of the project, and Kevin had discovered Natalie. Kevin refused to take a buyout on the deal he'd helped create, but Mariah wondered how much money Luca was talking about. Kevin maintained that his answer was a firm no, and Luca inquired whether Billy knew about them being in on it. Kevin questioned how Luca's involvement helped the bottom line, and he guessed that Luca was blackmailing Billy, but Luca argued that Kevin and Mariah were the ones with a backroom deal. Luca ominously said he'd find another way to limit the inner circle, and Kevin dared him to do his worst.
Luca pointedly stated that no one had to get hurt, and he walked off. Mariah panicked that he'd meant her and Kevin, and she remarked that she hated "that guy and his hair." Michael joined them, and Kevin asked if Victor would do time. Mariah expected Victor to bribe his way out and then destroy everyone who'd ever betrayed him, and Michael warned that he couldn't ease their fears. Michael added that it appeared that Victor had lost many of the people he could usually count on, and that could either break Victor or rouse him to a whole new level of megalomania.
At Top of the Tower, Victoria hoped Billy hadn't said anything to the press on his way there, and he swore that he hadn't gloated about Victor's arrest. She forlornly stated that she'd done it to her father and the company, but Billy asserted that the only person responsible was Victor. Victoria wailed that she'd given the police the evidence to have Victor arrested, but Billy assured her that it had been the right thing to do. She fretted that there would be "hell to pay" if her father beat the charges.
Billy was confident that Victor wouldn't be able to bribe or blackmail his way out of prison, but Victoria continued to tear herself apart because she'd handed over the evidence. Billy maintained that she'd done the right thing, but she considered it a betrayal, and she wondered if Victor could take it. Billy reiterated that Victor had put everyone in that position, but there was one positive thing to happen from it -- Newman Enterprises was all hers, and she could turn it into a profitable, decent company.
Victoria expected Newman to be in freefall with another scandal that soon after Paragon, and she recognized that someone had to take the reins. She suspected that Adam would swoop back in, but Billy was certain that she could take Adam with one hand tied behind her back. Billy anticipated that there would be no more battles with Jabot, so they could work together. She asked when he'd become that optimistic, and he replied that it had been when he'd woken up in the hospital, and she'd invited him to return home to her and the kids. Natalie approached and suggested they get to work, but Victoria said it wasn't a good time. Natalie clarified that she was talking to her new boss -- Billy.
Natalie explained that Victor had fired her, and Luca had made it sound like it was public knowledge that Jabot had hired her. Billy said he'd planned to have the conversation about it at home, and Natalie proclaimed that the original investor was back in the game. Victoria grumbled that Billy always got back in the game, and Natalie left. Victoria accused Billy of stealing a Newman project, but Billy reasoned that Victor had fired Natalie and thrown the project in the trash. Victoria sensed that something wasn't right, but Billy reminded her that Victor had originally snaked the deal when Billy hadn't been in fighting shape, and it had just been business.
Billy said Victoria had known that he'd wanted the project from the beginning, and Jabot needed it to generate substantial returns, especially after the huge sum they'd had to pay to Newman. He contended that he'd taken an opportunity when it had arisen, and it hadn't been an act of vengeance. Victoria acknowledged that it had been a smart business move, and Billy swore that he wanted both of their companies to be okay. Victoria said with his strength and their connections, perhaps they could finally unite the Abbotts and the Newmans.
At the Jabot lab, Hilary sauntered in with a garment bag and suggested that Simon take a break to try on a few new looks to give him more punch for a photo shoot. He sarcastically stated that it was what patients looked for in specialists, and he preferred to continue with his work. She argued that presenting an image was also part of his job, and she urged him to give her a fashion show. He protested, and Devon and Ashley entered and asked what was going on. Hilary contended that she wanted Simon to look professional for a photo shoot, but Ashley snapped that he wasn't a show pony, and she told Hilary to go.
Hilary pleaded for a few minutes of Simon's time for the good of the company, but Ashley barked that it was her decision, and she wanted to work without distractions. Hilary contended that they had to make sure the medical community was invested in the project, but Ashley said they'd have to do it without slowing down the research. Hilary protested that they also had to consider marketing, but she understood if Ashley was preoccupied with what was going on with her ex-husband. Ashley defended that her personal situation had nothing to do with Hilary overstepping, and Simon pulled Ashley into her office to talk privately.
Simon took Ashley's pulse, and he advised that Hilary wasn't their problem at the moment, since Ashley's heart rate was elevated, and they couldn't afford for her to pass out. He offered to take one for the team, since Hilary was determined to make him a centerfold. Ashley grinned and said he was being ridiculous, and he was glad he'd made her smile.
Hilary was adamant that they had to keep momentum going, and Simon exited Ashley's office and left to get some food. Devon thought that Hilary couldn't expect Ashley to take orders from her, but Hilary countered that Ashley would take them from him if he ever backed Hilary up. Devon stressed that they were all on the same team, and he encouraged Hilary to meet Ashley halfway. They kissed goodbye, and Hilary flashed back to Ashley reprimanding her. Hilary entered the office and found Ashley with her head on the desk, asleep. Hilary picked up the bottle of pills next to Ashley.
Hilary pounded the desk and asked what was wrong with Ashley, and Ashley claimed that she'd had a late night. Ashley told Hilary to leave, and Hilary confronted Ashley about the pills. Ashley fibbed that it was medication for headaches, but Hilary guessed that Ashley wasn't only the boss but also a patient. Ashley requested that Hilary not tell anyone, and Hilary sweetly conceded that it was Ashley's personal business, so she wouldn't say anything -- if Ashley agreed to step down and let Hilary take over the company.
Hilary figured that it would only be a matter of time before others figured out Ashley's secret, and she asserted that Ashley should have stepped down long before. Ashley retorted that Hilary had been Jack's assistant a year earlier, and Hilary didn't have the experience to run a multi-million-dollar company. Ashley was disgusted that Hilary was trying to blackmail her into stepping down after Simon had saved Hilary's life, but Hilary refused to waste another minute after she'd been helpless for months. Hilary haughtily stated that she was smart, healthy, and capable of doing the job Ashley couldn't do.
Hilary forced Ashley to choose between her privacy and her pride, and Simon returned with food and suggested that they get back to work. Devon reentered and inquired whether the women had cooled off. Hilary replied that she and Ashley had reached a new understanding, and she suggested that Ashley do the honors. Ashley announced that she was stepping down, and she wanted Hilary to take over for her.
Phyllis Asks Michael to Defend Victor
At Crimson Lights, Nick read an online article about Victor faking a medical condition to avoid going to jail, and Sage hoped Victor's arrest didn't scare away their "baby mama." Shawn entered the coffeehouse and mentioned that she had terrible cravings, and Sage offered to get her a doughnut. Shawn said she'd called in an order because she was on her way to get an ultrasound, and she invited Nick and Sage to join her. Sage beamed and said they'd love to, and Shawn planned to meet them at the hospital.
Shawn headed to the counter, and Sage noted that Nick hadn't even said hello. Sage demanded to know whether they were in it together or not, and Nick swore that he was committed to the adoption, but he thought things were moving really fast. Sage said he hadn't thought that until Sharon had butted in, but Nick countered that Sharon had given Shawn a glowing endorsement of him as a great father. Sage complained that Sharon hadn't painted them as a solid couple, and it had made Sage look bad.
Sage wondered why it seemed like Nick was getting cold feet, and he explained that he didn't want Sage to get her hopes up. Sage considered it a good sign that Shawn had asked them to be present for the ultrasound, and she envisioned planning the nursery and doing other things they hadn't done for Christian. Nick cautioned that they were dealing with a pregnant teenager whose moods could shift, and he worried about what would happen if it didn't work out. Sage was confident that they were meant to have Shawn's baby.
At the cottage, Noah lamented that he wasn't any better than Victor, who would do anything to stay out of jail. Sharon insisted that Noah was a much better person than Victor was, but Noah pointed out that he'd run away after committing a crime. Noah expected that Victor would lawyer up and walk away, but Dylan wasn't sure, since the case against Victor was pretty tight. Noah noted that the case against him was solid, too, but he didn't think Marisa deserved to go to jail for protecting him.
Sharon argued that Victor didn't care who got hurt as long as he won, whereas Noah thought about others at the risk of his own freedom, and she refused to let Noah throw his life away over an accident. Noah was ready to accept his punishment, but he pledged to do whatever he had to do to make sure Marisa stayed free. Dylan was impressed by how Noah was stepping up, and he promised to try to look out for Marisa. After Noah departed, Sharon remarked that Marisa was lucky to have someone like Noah in her life, and Dylan declared that he was the lucky one, since he had Sharon. They kissed.
Dylan recognized that he'd been a little stubborn, but he didn't want Noah to go to prison. Dylan thought he and Sharon had to work on saying what they felt, and she asked what he was feeling. He said he felt adoration and love for her, and he was crazy about her kids because they were a part of her. He added that her children were his family, and he promised to put family before his job. She happily planted a kiss on him, but Sully began to cry, and Sharon realized that she'd forgotten about a doctor's appointment for Sully that day. Dylan decided to go with them.
At the hospital, Stitch and Abby ran after an upset Max, and Stitch regretted yelling at his son. Abby was sure that Max would understand once Stitch explained about Kelly, however, Stitch was paged to the ER. Later, Abby led Max over to sit next to her, and she recognized that he was upset, but she pointed out that Stitch was, too, since he'd received some bad news about his sister. Max mentioned that Kelly was dead, and Abby revealed that the problem was about how she'd died. Abby left it up to Stitch to talk about it when Max was old enough, and Max groused that people always treated him like a kid.
Abby suggested that if Max wanted to be treated like a man, he had to man up. Max commented that maybe she wasn't really dumb, and she laughed and thanked him. Stitch approached and recognized that he'd been out of line for yelling at Max, and Max declared that he wanted to go back to school to accept whatever punishment he faced. Abby said she was very proud of Max, and she privately told Stitch that things seemed to be getting easier, since Max was realizing that she was in his corner. Max asked Abby if they could go, and she noted that it was the first time that he'd called her by her name.
Sharon and Dylan ran into Nick and Sage in the hospital corridor, and Nick revealed that Shawn had invited them to an ultrasound. Shawn walked in, and Sage gently scolded that Shawn had almost missed the appointment, but Nick said everything was good. Nick introduced Shawn to Dylan and Sully, and Shawn asked Sharon if it had been hard going through labor. Sharon replied that it had been complicated, but Sully had parents who loved him, just like Shawn's baby would have Nick. Dylan added that Sage would be a great mom.
Shawn asked if Sully was okay, and Sharon explained that they were only there for shots, but she stressed that babies needed a lot of care. Dylan was summoned to work, and he said he'd try to be back for the appointment. Shawn imagined that being a single mom would "really suck," and Sage stated that Shawn wouldn't have to go through that. The doctor said she was ready for Shawn, and Nick said he'd be there in a second.
Shawn and Sage entered the exam room, and Nick told Sharon that he'd been thinking about what she'd said about the adoption process going too fast. He worried that Sage's hopes depended on a teenager who could easily change her mind, but Sharon thought it was clear that Shawn wasn't ready to raise a baby on her own, and adoption might be the best thing for everyone. Sage popped out to inform Nick that they were ready to start, and Sharon encouraged him to get what might be his first glimpse of his son or daughter.
Sage asked Shawn if it was all right to look at the monitor, and Shawn replied that it was why they were there. The doctor asked if Shawn wanted to know the baby's sex, and Shawn left it up to Nick and Sage to make the decision. Sage said she'd like to know, and the doctor reported that it was boy. Sage excitedly clasped a hand over her mouth, and Nick softly assured Shawn that it was okay to look at the baby on the monitor. Shawn hesitantly turned toward the screen as Sage glared at Nick.
Shawn handed the ultrasound photo to Sage and Nick, and she hurried out, overcome with emotion. Nick marveled at the image, but Sage testily asked why he'd pushed Shawn to look at the ultrasound. Sage demanded to know if he wanted the baby.
Dylan tracked down Stitch elsewhere in the hospital and asked how he was holding up. Dylan wondered if Stitch had taken his anger over Kelly's death out on someone without meaning to, and he revealed that the police had gotten a call from Max's school. Stitch said he knew about Max getting into a fight, but he questioned why the cops were involved. Dylan explained that teachers were obligated to notify the police if they suspected a child was being mistreated at home.
Dylan revealed that Max had said something that had alerted his teacher, so it was Dylan's job to ask questions about whether Stitch had done anything verbally or physically to hurt Max. Stitch admitted that he'd raised his voice when he'd been angry about Kelly's death, but he'd never laid a hand on Max. Dylan said he believed Stitch, but representatives from social services were interviewing Max at that moment, and procedure dictated that Stitch couldn't talk to Max until the investigation was complete. Dylan advised Stitch to get a lawyer.
Dylan returned to Sharon and apologized for missing Sully's appointment. Sharon reported that their son hadn't shed a tear, but his mommy needed a hug. Dylan looked distraught, and he remarked that being a cop was the most rewarding work in the world on some days. She guessed that it wasn't one of those days, and she said they both needed a hug. They embraced.
At the Jabot lab, Simon protested that Ashley couldn't step down, but Hilary knowingly stated that there was a very good reason why Ashley was doing it. Ashley claimed that she wanted to spend more time with her pregnant daughter, and Hilary said Ashley knew what was best for herself. Ashley noted that Hilary was the face of the project, and she begrudgingly recognized that she was handing over the reins to someone incredibly clever. Hilary wanted access to Ashley's office immediately so she could hit the ground running, and Ashley went to pack her things.
Simon followed Ashley and demanded to know what was going on, since he sensed that she was running scared. Simon guessed that Hilary had ascertained that Ashley's ailment was worse than the flu, and she'd used the secret to force Ashley out. Simon prepared to tell Hilary that he was sorry he'd saved her life, but Ashley conceded that Hilary had been right in that other people would eventually figure things out. Simon insisted that his project needed Ashley's empathy and talent, and she agreed to revisit her position if she became well, but she implored Simon to admit that the treatment wasn't working.
Meanwhile, Devon asked Hilary what she'd done, but Hilary insisted that it had been Ashley's decision to leave. Hilary refused to apologize for making sure his investment didn't go to waste, and she contended that the research could save thousands of lives. Abby arrived and asked what they were arguing about, and Hilary reported that they'd been discussing the new arrangement. Devon relayed that Ashley had stepped down for personal reasons and had asked Hilary to take her place. Abby accused Hilary of pushing Ashley out, and Hilary urged Abby to ask Ashley herself.
Simon called Ashley a fellow scientist who understood the requirements to find the right chemical balance, but Ashley ordered him to shut up and tell her the truth about how long it would take to get positive results. Ashley insisted on considering the worst-case scenario, but Simon refused to let Ashley give up, and he swore that they just needed time. She replied that she didn't have time, and she said she wouldn't have given up everything if she knew that she had another year or even another month. Ashley whimpered that she was just scared, and Simon hugged her as Abby walked in.
Ashley said it wasn't what Abby thought, and Abby inquired whether Ashley was quitting. Ashley confirmed that she was stepping down, and Abby whined that she'd left Newman so they could work together. Ashley maintained that she wanted to spend time with Abby but not while constantly fighting with Hilary. Simon added that Hilary was Devon's wife, and Devon's support meant the difference between life and death. Ashley stepped out of the office and wondered where Devon and Hilary had gone, and Abby grumbled that they were probably out celebrating.
After Abby left, Simon begged Ashley not to give up him, just like he wouldn't give up on her. He firmly believed that the protocol would work, but she wasn't sure it would be in enough time to save her. He threatened to take his ideas and walk out with her, and she was touched that he'd do that for her. Simon tenderly replied that he'd do that and much more, and she asked him to give her what she really wanted -- to make her better so they could "bring that bitch down together."
Abby was grateful to find Stitch at the hospital before she lost it, and she rambled about Ashley stepping down. Abby realized that something else was wrong, and Stitch divulged that the police had just questioned him because Max had told his teacher that he was being mistreated. He added that the social services department was keeping him away from his kid, and they hugged.
At Top of the Tower, Hilary handed Devon a glass of Champagne and toasted to their success and future. She clinked her glass against his, but he set down his glass without taking a sip. She told him not to be a downer, since his investment was safe with her in charge. He thought she was dancing on Ashley's grave, and Hilary questioned whose side he was on. Devon felt that it was wrong to push Ashley out right after he'd had to let Neil go, and he objected to Hilary climbing to the top over people he loved.
Devon wondered what Hilary had said to Ashley to make her step down, but Hilary insisted that Ashley just wanted to spend quality time with family. Devon replied that he'd like to spend quality time with his wife, but she was too caught up in corporate intrigue. She promised that she would give him all the quality he could handle that night, and they kissed.
At the Athletic Club, Phyllis offered to buy Marisa lunch to thank her for corroborating that Victor had been responsible for Marco taking over Jack's life. Michael joined them, and Phyllis suggested that she repay Marisa by hiring Michael to take on her case. Marisa told Michael just to keep Noah from going to jail, and Michael anticipated that Noah wouldn't spend a second behind bars. Marisa asked how he knew that, and Phyllis coolly replied that it was because Noah's last name was Newman.
Marisa questioned whether Victor could to pull strings while he was in jail to ensure Noah's freedom, and Phyllis anticipated that Nikki and the rest of the Newmans would put the pressure on. Phyllis continued to insist that Marisa let Phyllis help her, but Marisa saw Noah enter the club, and she rushed over to him. Phyllis asked Michael for a favor regarding Victor, and Michael reminded her that he was no longer a prosecutor. Phyllis requested that he defend Victor.
Phyllis believed that no one was better for the job, but Michael doubted that Victor even wanted him in the same courtroom because Michael and Phyllis were close friends, and he questioned why she wanted him to defend the man she detested. Phyllis pointed out that she and Michael had been friends for years, and she knew that he understood why she wanted him to take Victor's case. He guessed that it was because Victor had helped her out when she'd been sick, and Phyllis coldly acknowledged that Victor had helped her to get well, but he had done it for himself to unlock Sharon's secret.
Phyllis asserted that Victor hadn't cared about saving her, or he never would have made her life a "living hell" by dropping Marco into it. Michael said he'd seen Victor at his best and his worst, and he sympathized that what Victor had done to Phyllis and Jack had been a new low. Michael observed how raw the pain was for her, and he asked why she wanted him to make sure Victor was acquitted. "Who said anything about acquittal?" Phyllis responded.
Michael recognized that Phyllis wanted him to throw Victor's case, and she didn't understand why he was making it hard for her to ask. Michael said he'd needed her to say the words so that she understood exactly what it was she was asking of him, and he'd expected her to find it too difficult to do so. She flatly stated that she wanted Michael to convince Victor to trust him then masterfully blow the case. Phyllis beseeched Michael to use every legal skill he had to ensure that Victor never saw another blue sky again.
Marisa hugged Noah, but she quickly pulled back because of his injuries. He said he was getting better because of her, and she informed him that Michael and Phyllis were convinced that Noah wouldn't go to jail. Noah suspected that his family had brokered a deal, but he remained worried about Marisa. He stated that there was only one thing left for her to do, and she assumed that he meant running.
Noah and Marisa returned to their hotel suite, and he pointed out that running away hadn't worked out before, but she saw no reason why it couldn't. She prepared to get fake passports, and she started to make a call to get them on a boat out of the country. Noah reiterated that nothing good ever happened from running, but Marisa noted that she'd been running from Marco when she'd met Noah. Noah countered that she loved him because he wasn't the kind of guy to run away -- he was the one she could count on make her feel safe. Noah said there was one way to keep her out of prison -- they had to get married.
Marisa assumed that Noah was proposing marriage to keep her out of prison, but Noah professed his love and assured her that it would be a real marriage, just with added benefits. He explained that once they took their vows, they couldn't be forced to testify against one another. He implored her to stop stalling and say yes, and she liked the sound of "Mrs. Noah Newman." She wished she could say the magic word, but they had a big problem -- she was still married to someone else.