Billy tracked down Phyllis in Jack's office, where she was dropping something off for Jack to look over. Billy said he'd gotten there just in time, and he pulled her into a kiss. He explained that there wasn't as much to do at Chancellor since Cane was back in town, and she reminded him that he had to drive Johnny and Katie to Victoria's after school. As he closed the door, Billy amorously observed that the big, comfortable office was empty, and he thought it seemed like a waste. He was sure that they could find a better use for it together.
Phyllis and Billy raided Jack's private pantry, and she envisioned Jack yelling for Gloria when he discovered what they'd done. Billy admitted that he'd been dying to plunder the secret stash for years, and he expected Jack to throw a tantrum when he found out. Billy confessed that he was a little tipsy, and Phyllis found it adorable, but she doubted Victoria would agree when he dropped off the kids. Billy suggested that they hire a car and continue their spree of petty crimes, and he indicated that they had 27 minutes until school let out. Phyllis purred that they'd be taking the elevator downstairs, and he followed her out.
Victoria answered her door and wondered why J.T. had rung the bell instead of using his key. He replied that he wouldn't have been able to see her beautiful face when she'd opened the door, and he carried his luggage inside. Victoria noted that they could skip the house tour unless he'd forgotten where the bedroom was. He mentioned that he'd gotten her a present, and she reached into his bag and made fun of the "macho" toiletry kit that she pulled out. He decided to save the gift for later, since he had something she needed much more. They kissed.
Victoria pulled away because Johnny and Katie would be home from school soon, and she pushed to discuss how they'd tell Reed and the kids that J.T. was moving in. J.T. hoped that Reed would be glad that his parents were back together, but he recognized that their son was unpredictable. J.T. thought Reed should move back home, but Victoria countered that Reed had been buckling down well at the ranch. J.T. objected to Reed being isolated under Victor's control, but Victoria suggested that they first figure out how to handle things with her younger children.
Victoria worried that Johnny and Katie didn't know J.T. very well, but J.T. was confident that they'd bond in no time. The doorbell rang, and Johnny and Katie ran in and hugged Victoria. Phyllis and Billy spotted J.T.'s luggage, and Billy demanded to know when Victoria had planned to tell him that J.T. was moving in. Victoria pulled Billy aside and blasted him for not keeping quiet in front of the kids. Victoria shuttled Johnny and Katie upstairs to watch a video. Billy chided J.T. for going along with such a stupid idea when they were all familiar with the disaster Victoria and J.T. were together.
Billy lectured that Victoria and J.T. were rushing into things, and he pointed out that they hadn't even figured out how to tell the kids yet. Billy added that J.T. had just broken up with Mac, and he recognized a rebound when he saw it. Billy expected that J.T. and Victoria would once again be an epic fail, but J.T. huffed that just because Billy's attempt to get Victoria back had failed didn't mean J.T.'s would. Billy asserted that his kids were involved and that Victoria was a friend who he didn't want to see get hurt.
Meanwhile, Victoria set the table, and Phyllis said she was sorry that Billy had complicated the situation. Phyllis insisted that Billy wasn't jealous and that she was happy for Victoria and J.T., since it wasn't often that people got a second chance to recapture something special. Victoria suspected that Phyllis was only happy because Victoria was no longer single and available. Victoria crossed over to Billy and J.T. and announced that there were only two people in the room who needed to talk. Phyllis assumed that she and Billy should leave, but Victoria clarified that she needed to talk to Billy.
Once alone, Victoria accused Billy of making it about the kids instead of what was really upsetting him. Billy argued that he knew who J.T. was, and he thought Victoria wasn't being objective. She scoffed at the idea that she was desperate to hold onto a man, and she figured that Billy thought she couldn't possibly know what was good for her. Billy swore that he respected her, and he agreed to back off if she truly thought moving in with J.T. was a good idea. She proclaimed that she hadn't felt that good and sure about anything in years. Billy wished her the best and departed.
Victoria opened a bottle of wine and toasted to her and J.T.'s first real night back together. J.T. preferred to celebrate by kissing her, but he wondered if he should call Billy to request permission before the party started. Victoria insisted that it was a nonissue, and the kids called for their mommy. After Victoria headed upstairs, J.T. removed a bottle of prescription pills from his toiletry kit. He popped a pill into his mouth and washed it down with wine.
At the Athletic Club bar, Billy acknowledged that Victoria had seemed confident about her decision, and he recognized that he had also hurt Victoria. Phyllis protested that it wasn't who Billy was anymore, but Billy worried that J.T. was going to hurt Victoria again. Billy admitted that he'd lied about being happy for Victoria, since he believed she was making a huge mistake.
Devon met Tessa in his office and insisted that they talk about what had happened the day before on The Hilary Hour. Tessa claimed that she didn't know why Mariah had overreacted, and Devon demanded to know whether there was any truth to Mariah's accusation that Tessa had stolen Mariah's words and turned them into a song. Noah appeared in the doorway and wanted to know the same thing.
Tessa pointed out that both Devon and Noah had seen her working on the song, and she swore that she'd put everything she'd had into giving Devon the hit he needed. Devon inquired who Tessa had written the song about, and she vaguely replied that a songwriter simply took personal situations and made them relatable to the audience. She recalled that she and Mariah had had deep conversations about love and longing, and Devon wondered if what the women had discussed had found a way into Tessa's lyrics. Tessa supposed it was possible that she'd been inspired, but she maintained that the song was hers and not Mariah's.
Tessa theorized that Mariah was just upset that their friendship had hit the skids, but Devon thought it was a stretch that Mariah was doing it for spite. Noah argued that Mariah was known to act before she thought, but Devon recalled that Mariah had honestly been convinced that Tessa had stolen the words from her. Devon requested a moment alone with Tessa, and Noah stepped out. Devon said he wanted to believe Tessa, but he needed a guarantee that she hadn't stolen anything. Tessa replied that he had it, and he offered Tessa his full support.
In the Athletic Club foyer, Tessa informed Noah that Devon believed her and had gone to see Mariah to smooth things over. Noah apologized for not making it clear where he stood. He said he loved Mariah, but he thought his sister had gotten carried away, and he believed Tessa. He sympathized that Tessa had to deal with the accusations after she'd worked hard to give Devon a hit song under pressure. They hugged.
At GC Buzz, Mariah testily asked why the latest episode of the show was still on their website. Hilary reasoned that it was a big part of their business model to archive episodes, especially one as juicy as that one had been. Hilary bragged that the ratings had gone through the roof and were still climbing, and she suggested that Mariah go after the guests more often. Mariah snapped that Tessa had plagiarized her innermost thoughts, and she ordered Hilary to pull the segment off the site, or she would get a court order to force Hilary to do it.
Hilary warned that hiring an attorney would only buy more publicity. Mariah groused that it was unfair that Tessa had stolen a song and passed it off as her own work, and Hilary asked when Mariah had become a songwriter. Mariah explained that she'd written her personal thoughts in a journal and that Tessa had recycled them into lyrics. Hilary wondered if Mariah had written the words about Devon, but Mariah insisted that they were about other relationships she'd had in her life that hadn't worked out. Hilary pressed Mariah to spill who the guy was, but Mariah firmly stated that there was no guy.
Later, Devon stopped by GC Buzz and told Hilary that he wanted to resolve things quickly and quietly with Mariah. Hilary asked who Mariah had written about, and Devon insisted that Mariah hadn't written the song lyrics -- Tessa had. Devon approached Mariah to talk out the misunderstanding, but Mariah asserted that there was nothing hard to understand about theft. Devon suspected that she was exaggerating, since people had similar ideas in songwriting all the time. He revealed that Tessa had told him how she'd brainstormed the lyrics, and he was good with it. Mariah wondered if Tessa had told him about the journal.
Mariah divulged that she'd been writing in a journal for weeks as an exercise to sort through her feelings, and she'd written in a private journal to keep them private. She continued that she'd been surprised when her words had shown up in Tessa's song, and there was only one explanation. Devon relayed that Tessa had admitted that her past conversations with Mariah might have slipped into her lyrics subconsciously, but that was a far cry from Mariah's accusation of plagiarism. Devon questioned how Tessa could have seen what was in Mariah's journal. Mariah recounted that she'd been writing in it at Crimson Lights before it had gone missing, and it had turned up at GC Buzz right after Tessa had shown up there.
Devon didn't think it sounded like something Tessa would do, and Mariah dryly noted that Tessa only stole handguns. Devon asked to take a look at the journal, but Mariah bristled at the thought of punishing the victim. Devon revealed that Tessa had given him her word that she hadn't stolen the lyrics, and Mariah incredulously asked if he was blowing her off as insane or a liar. Devon asserted that it was his business because he managed Tessa's career, and Mariah sarcastically retorted that she wouldn't want something as trivial as their friendship to get in the way of his profits. She stormed off.
Hilary invited Devon to join her in ordering in from a Thai place he liked, but he said he had to get back to the office. He indicated that Mariah needed to take time to cool down, and Hilary realized that he was siding with Tessa. Devon approached Mariah again and expressed his dismay that she felt betrayed. He offered to do anything she wanted to make it right, and Mariah told him to delete the files and not release the song.
At the Abbott mansion, Ashley presented a sullen Dina with some iced tea, and Jack arrived home early from work. Ashley reported that their mother had been sitting there, barely speaking, just like she'd been the last time Jack had checked in on them. Traci lamented that she didn't know if Dina remembered that Graham was dead, and Ashley added that Dina might not recall being the one to authorize pulling the plug. Jack asked how Dina was feeling, and she blankly responded that she was fine. Traci presented Dina with a shawl to keep her from getting cold, and Dina asked "John" to tell the nurse that she didn't need it.
Dina wondered why "John" was there when they were divorced and she was supposed to be on a cruise with Brent. Dina suddenly realized that Brent hadn't been the one she'd been planning to go away with, and she began to panic. Jack asked if there was anything that had happened recently that she wanted to talk about, and Dina whimpered that she didn't know what he meant. She called for the nurse, and Traci played along and took her mother upstairs.
Jack realized that Dina didn't remember taking Graham off life support or that Graham had even existed. Jack reported that he'd called Michael to tell him to back off of the annulment and challenging the power of attorney, and he noted that courtroom battles hadn't gotten them anywhere. Dina suddenly called for Graham, and Jack winced. Jack recognized that they couldn't assume that Dina had forgotten anything. Ashley insisted that they make Dina understand that Graham was gone for good, or he'd always have a hold on her.
Traci listened as Jack recounted that the doctor had made it clear that they shouldn't fight the reality Dina was experiencing. Ashley pointed out that they'd briefly had Dina back when Dina had instructed the hospital to take Graham off life support, and she thought the moments of clarity would last longer if Dina knew the truth. Traci interrupted their argument and recognized that they were both trying to make it easier for Dina, but the fact was that whatever they told Dina, their mother would only forget it a few minutes later.
Over video chat, Jack updated Abby about what had happened to Graham. Abby announced that she had an idea, and Dina called out to ask whose voice it was, since it was very familiar. Dina recognized Abby on the computer screen and invited her over for dinner, and Ashley explained that Abby was calling from Paris. Dina gushed that Paris was her favorite place in the world, and she told Abby about a place to go for hot chocolate. Abby declared that she'd just been about to tell Jack her crazy idea -- she wanted Dina to visit her in Paris.
Jack cut Abby off by saying Dina wasn't up to it, but Abby reasoned that she was there by herself and could use an expert tour guide. Abby pointed out that they could stay at Dina's house, and she questioned what was keeping Dina in Genoa City. Dina told Abby that she'd start packing right away, and she asked "John" to call the travel agency. After Dina went upstairs, Ashley wished that Abby had thought things through. Abby contended that Paris was Dina's real home, and she'd already made calls to Dina's housekeeper and doctors to be sure that Dina wouldn't be at risk. Abby added that she'd interviewed live-in nurses, and she swore that Dina would be in good hands.
Jack warned that Abby didn't know what they'd been dealing with, and Ashley bemoaned that Dina was going downhill quickly. Abby insisted that Jack, Ashley, and Traci needed a break, and she wondered who'd been looking after them. Jack admitted that he wasn't sure he was ready to say goodbye, and Traci volunteered to take Dina to Paris and not return until she and Abby were convinced that Dina was having a good time and getting the best professional care. Ashley conceded that Dina might feel more alive than she had in months, but Jack worried that Dina might not know any of them the next time she returned.
Jack contemplated what would happen if Dina didn't want to return from Paris, but Ashley thought the benefits outweighed the risks. Dina called for "John" to carry her bags downstairs, and Jack waffled about whether it was a good idea. Dina acknowledged that it was difficult to say goodbye to such a good man, and she apologized for all the pain she'd caused him and the children. She asked if he'd take care of them, and Jack assured her he would. Dina recognized that John had always been much better at it than she was, and she thought the kids knew it.
Jack tearfully insisted that they all loved Dina very much, and she insisted that she was doing what was best for both of them. Jack cried that he'd miss her, and she anticipated that they'd find their way together again when the time was right. Dina retreated upstairs, and Jack agreed to stop fighting Ashley on it, but he pledged to get Dina back there soon so they could love and support her no matter what.
Ashley hugged Dina goodbye, and Dina was surprised to see her crying. Dina recognized that it had always been hard for them, but they'd keep trying. Jack announced that the bags were in the car, and Dina told "John" to tell Jackie that she had to leave. Dina mused that she knew Jackie would be a great man, just like his father, and she and Jack hugged. Dina said goodbye in French, and Traci led her out. Ashley assured Jack that Dina would be back in no time to make their lives "hell" again.
Later, Michael arrived and informed Jack and Ashley that the Jabot arbitration had been set for that week, but he urged them to cancel it if they'd found a way to work together. Ashley asserted that it was too late, since things had been said and done that couldn't be taken back, and they needed to do it to move on. Jack agreed that decisions had to be made about the company and the family once and for all.
Hilary makes a big decision after a blind date
At Hamilton-Winters, Devon told Tessa that Mariah had told him about the journal, but Mariah had refused to let him see it to prove that Tessa had used the words in her song. Devon assured Tessa that he didn't think that she'd plagiarized anything, but they had to convince the public of it because Mariah had taken it as a personal attack and had a platform to persuade people. Devon insisted that Tessa had to do whatever it took to make things right, since too much was riding on the song.
At GC Buzz, Hilary prepared for a date, and Mariah considered it her civic duty to warn the unlucky guy. Mariah pressed to know what Hilary's date looked like, and Hilary revealed that she didn't know. Mariah concluded that it was a blind date, and she teased that the queen bee of GC Buzz, who'd claimed that no man could resist her, had needed to be set up. Hilary countered that a woman who spent her free time writing lovelorn thoughts in a journal about someone who didn't want her was in no position to be mocking anyone's personal life.
Later, Tessa arrived at GC Buzz, and Mariah told her to go somewhere else if she was looking for more inspiration. Tessa maintained that she hadn't taken Mariah's journal, but Mariah recounted the uncanny timing of the journal disappearing and turning up again when Tessa had been around. Mariah thought everything added up to Tessa stealing Mariah's journal and her words. Tessa chalked it up to weird coincidences, and she pointed out that she and Mariah had always shared a special connection, so it wasn't a stretch that they'd feel the same emotions and use similar phrases.
Mariah recited a passage from her journal, and Tessa accepted that it sounded similar to her lyrics. Mariah pointed out that even the title consisted of her exact words, so it wasn't just similar -- it was theft. Tessa confessed that she'd read Mariah's journal, but she swore that she hadn't plagiarized anything. Tessa whined that she'd missed Mariah, and reading Mariah's words had been the next best thing to talking. Tessa continued that Mariah had barely acknowledged her existence, and Mariah was appalled that Tessa was implying that Tessa stealing the journal had been Mariah's fault.
Mariah blasted Tessa for betraying her in the worst way possible just to write a hit song. A tear rolled down Tessa's cheek as Mariah angrily questioned whether that was really how little she meant to Tessa. Tessa swore that she'd never meant to hurt Mariah, and she still considered Mariah to be an important part of her life. Tessa whimpered that she was sorry, but Mariah demanded to know where Tessa's remorse had been when she'd written, recorded, and performed her song. Mariah wondered if Tessa had thought Mariah would be too ashamed or embarrassed to say anything.
Tessa recognized that the beautiful words had been from Mariah's heart, and they'd inspired her because they could have been her own thoughts and feelings. Mariah asked if Tessa was saying she still thought about their kiss and what it would be like to actually be together, but Tessa stammered that she couldn't because she was with Noah. Tessa pleaded with Mariah to let Devon use the song if she cared about Tessa at all. Mariah spat that Tessa wouldn't reciprocate her feelings but would use them to get what she wanted. Tessa begged Mariah not to mess things up for Tessa and Devon, but Mariah walked away.
Chelsea and Nick made out on their couch at the penthouse, and she declared that it was exactly what she needed after the day she'd had. His phone rang. She insisted that he let it go to voicemail, but he thought it could be an emergency. Nick learned that a pipe had burst at the building that he and Nikki had purchased, and he explained to Chelsea that he and Nikki had agreed to oversee all the renovations themselves to stay under budget and keep the rents low. Chelsea recognized that he had people counting on him, and before he headed out, he promised to make it up to her.
At the Athletic Club, Victoria questioned whether she and J.T. should practice what they would say to Reed. She answered a call from Nikki and learned that Reed hadn't shown up for community service and hadn't been answering Nikki's calls. Victoria tried to call Reed, but he didn't pick up. Victoria worried that perhaps her son had run away again.
J.T. tracked down Reed, who was with a girl at Crimson Lights. J.T. snapped that everyone had been trying to get in touch with Reed, and Reed reported that his phone was dead. J.T. dragged him to the patio and admonished him for skipping community service, but Reed protested that his dad was acting like his mom. Sharon intervened and offered to get them drinks while they discussed things without an audience, and J.T. and Reed noticed that people were staring.
J.T. ordered Reed to get his stuff because they were leaving, and Reed went to grab his backpack. J.T. groaned to Sharon about teenagers, and he revealed that Reed had been living with Victor and Nikki after getting a DUI and continuing to cause trouble. Sharon recalled that Noah had pushed her buttons at that age, but they'd gotten through it with patience and determination, and she was confident that J.T. would get through it with Reed, too.
Later, Nick stopped by to pick up coffee and sandwiches for his crew. Sharon relayed that Kathy was very excited to move back into her building, and she applauded Nick for helping all the people who called the building home. As her small contribution, Sharon refused to accept money for Nick's order, but Nick pointed out that she'd contributed by jumping in to help. He added that she'd shown him that he'd needed to do and be more, and he thanked her.
After Nick left, Sharon was shocked when Mariah updated her about the confrontation with Tessa. Mariah bemoaned that she didn't know what to do next, since she didn't want to ruin Tessa's career or tank Devon's label, but she couldn't face hearing her intimate thoughts on the radio or watching strangers singing the song. Sharon found it amazing that Mariah was still looking out for others after all she'd been through, but Sharon warned that Tessa had proven that she wasn't Mariah's friend. Sharon advised Mariah not to back down.
Mariah stopped by Devon's office, and Devon asked if she was all right with him releasing the song after her conversation with Tessa. Mariah realized that he'd sent Tessa to talk to her, and Devon hoped the women had reached an understanding. Mariah maintained that what Tessa had done had been outright plagiarism, and both she and Tessa knew it. Devon argued that it was one person's word against another's, but Mariah handed him her journal and told him to read it before deciding who was lying.
Devon conceded that Tessa's lyrics contained phrases that matched Mariah's journal, and Mariah pointed to the dates, which proved that she had written the entry before Tessa had recorded her song. Mariah refused to allow Devon to release the song. Devon argued that there was more to the song than lyrics, and Tessa had composed the melody. Devon offered to give Mariah a co-writing credit and royalties, but Mariah admonished him for using theft and bribery to run his company. He implored her to understand that he needed a hit song, but she demanded that he find another song, since she'd sue him if he released that one.
Tessa entered the coffeehouse, and Sharon roughly pulled her aside and spat that what Tessa had done had been unconscionable. Tessa cried that she missed her friendship with Mariah, and she didn't know how they'd ended up that far apart. Sharon indicated that Mariah had confided in her about everything, but Tessa swore that she was committed to Noah. A skeptical Sharon declared that she was done giving Tessa the benefit of doubt, and she'd be watching every move Tessa made.
J.T. and Reed returned home to Victoria, and Reed ranted about J.T. embarrassing him in front of his friend. Victoria reasoned that J.T. had had a right to be upset after Reed had gone off the grid, and Reed reiterated that his phone had died. Reed tried to explain, but Victoria demanded to know why he hadn't gone to community service. Reed revealed that he'd picked up trash the day before so that he could study for a test that day, and he invited her to call his supervisor to verify that he hadn't missed any time.
Victoria recognized that she and J.T. had jumped to the wrong conclusion, and she pointed out that they all had to get better at communicating as a family. Reed requested that they take him back to the ranch. However, Victoria and J.T. wanted to sit down to discuss something, and she assured Reed that it was the opposite of bad news. J.T. announced that he'd moved in, and Victoria added that they wanted Reed to return home. Reed asked when they'd decided to play house again, but the doorbell rang repeatedly. Victoria opened the door to Victor and Nikki.
Nikki was relieved that Reed was safe, and she mentioned that she and Victor had been discussing an appropriate punishment. Victoria instructed Reed to go upstairs and check on the kids, and J.T. revealed that he and Victoria had decided that it was time for Reed to move back home with both parents. Nikki was stunned that J.T. and Victoria were living together when they'd just reconnected, but Victoria swore that they hadn't taken the step lightly. Victoria added that after Nikki and Victor's history of breaking up and getting back together, they weren't in a position to judge, and she hoped to have her parents' blessing and support.
Victoria contended that deciding to be a family again had been the best thing to happen to her in a long time, and J.T. said he felt the same way. Nikki pointed out that J.T. was still married, but J.T. explained that his marriage had been over long before Genoa City had even been on his radar. Nikki wished them well as long as Victoria was happy. Victor agreed not to object if it was what they wanted, but he believed Reed should continue living at the ranch. J.T. firmly stated that Reed was his and Victoria's responsibility, and they planned to teach their son right from wrong together.
Once alone, J.T. popped another pill. Victoria returned from upstairs and reported that Reed would rather tell bedtime stories than discuss their new living arrangement. J.T. assured her that everything would be fine, since he was there to handle it. He held her close.
At Jabot, Billy twirled Phyllis around and proclaimed that he was sweeping her off her feet to take her to dinner. As he covered her in kisses, he explained that he'd made reservations at a place where they'd eat in the dark to enhance their other senses. She announced that they already had plans to be part of a double date.
Billy and Phyllis arrived at the Athletic Club, and he grumbled about chaperoning a date. Phyllis insisted on being there in case it went south, and Billy predicted that it would be an epic fail. Phyllis bet 200 bucks that the couple would go on a second date, and she wondered why Billy was sure it would be a bust. Billy reasoned that Hilary was only interested in herself, but Phyllis argued that she knew Hilary better than that, and she believed her matchmaking skills were on point.
Hilary joined Billy and Phyllis, and Phyllis gushed that she looked fabulous. Hilary pushed Billy for details about her date because Phyllis had been stingy with them, and Phyllis informed Hilary that the guy was a successful executive who was interested in a serious relationship. Phyllis described the man as smart, cultured, and cute, and Hilary couldn't wait to meet him. Phyllis declared that he was there, and Ravi walked in.
Over dinner, Phyllis initiated small talk about the weather, and Billy complained about her choice of subject. She implored him to say the first thing that popped into his mind, and he asked why she thought Hilary and Ravi would be a good match. Billy figured that Hilary loved the spotlight, whereas Ravi liked holing up in his office. Ravi objected that it was a broad and simplistic assumption, since being a software engineer only defined what he did, not who he was. Hilary was impressed by Ravi's way with words, and he credited his mom for encouraging him to join the debate team.
Ravi mentioned that his mother was a surgeon and that his father was a physicist with NASA, and Hilary remarked that his gene pool was a plus. Hilary inquired about Ravi's workout habits and health issues, and Billy spotted Devon and called him over. Devon surmised that the foursome was there for a work thing, but Hilary clarified that they were on a double date. Billy invited Devon to join them, but Devon declined and headed to the gym. Ravi wondered whose ex-spouse would show up next, and he jokingly hoped none of his did. He quickly added that he'd been kidding to ease the tension, but Hilary insisted that there was no tension, since she and Devon were still good friends.
Hilary and Ravi discussed their careers, and she noted that most men weren't comfortable with an ambitious woman being in charge. Ravi stated that he admired it, and Billy spotted Chelsea at the bar and wanted to invite her to join them. Phyllis privately asked Billy what his problem was, and she threatened to withhold sex for a month. Billy excused himself to say hello to Chelsea, who was shocked to learn that Hilary and Ravi were on a date. Chelsea bet that Billy would never guess where Nick was.
Billy was amused by the image of Nick as a handyman, and Chelsea confided that the adjustment had been more disruptive than she'd anticipated. Phyllis approached and urged Billy to join a lonely Ravi while she and Hilary went to the ladies' room. Phyllis stepped away, and Billy took the moment with Chelsea to pass along some words of wisdom. He recounted that he and Phyllis had had moments when it had been all about work, and it had almost wrecked their relationship. Chelsea insisted that she and Nick were doing great, but Billy encouraged her to talk about it if she felt pulled out of her comfort zone.
Outside the ladies' room, Phyllis asked for Hilary's first impressions, and Hilary admitted that Ravi wasn't the kind of guy she normally dated, but he was sweet, intelligent, and from a stable family. Phyllis talked Ravi up. Hilary anticipated that he would be a devoted family man, but she didn't feel any heat. Phyllis encouraged her to give the spark a chance to ignite, given what Hilary wanted for her future.
Meanwhile, Billy suggested that he and Ravi talk about the elephant in the room -- Ravi busting him for logging onto Jabot's server, using Phyllis' computer. Billy asked how involved Ravi had been in Jack's plot to take down Brash & Sassy, but Ravi pointed out that he was just a contract employee who'd carried out the duties he'd been assigned, whereas Billy had been under no obligation to spy on his brother, using his girlfriend's computer. Ravi asserted that his conscience was clear, and Billy conceded that it was a good answer. Phyllis and Hilary returned to the table.
Hilary inquired about what Ravi liked to do for fun, and he mentioned EDM music, going to the opera, and taking weekends in New York. He realized that it sounded like a bad dating profile, but she thought those activities sounded perfect. Phyllis pretended to drop her napkin, and she whispered to Billy that she'd take her winnings in small bills. Phyllis commented that Ravi and Hilary had a lot in common, and Billy wondered if Ravi was interested in having kids, since Hilary was looking to make it happen as soon as possible. Hilary nearly spit out her drink.
At the bar, Phyllis asked if Billy had put Hilary on the spot to win the bet, but he griped that it wasn't a date but an interview. He thought that guys had to stick together, and he figured that he'd done Hilary a favor by paving the way to an open, honest discussion. Meanwhile, Hilary confirmed that she wanted a child, but she didn't expect Ravi to say anything. Ravi called her a dynamic, beautiful woman, but he recognized that they were in very different places, since he wasn't interested in being a dad at that point in his life. She understood, and he hoped that she found what she was looking for. He departed.
Phyllis used the bet money to pay for dinner, and she apologized to Hilary for the way Billy had mouthed off. Hilary insisted that he'd helped her realize that it would be a big hassle to find someone who wouldn't choke on his wine when she told him what she wanted. Hilary decided that she didn't want a man in her life -- she wanted a baby, and she vowed to find a way to make that happen.
Nick returned home and found a lingerie-clad Chelsea waiting for him. She welcomed him home and suggested that they pick up where they'd left off. He apologized for having to leave earlier, but she said all that mattered was that he was back, and they had all night. They kissed passionately.
Jack and Ashley lock horns in arbitration> Jack and Ashley lock horns in arbitration
At Dr. Sarah Chasen's office, the doctor advised that Hilary didn't have any current medical issues. Hilary told the doctor that she wanted to have a baby, but she wasn't in a relationship. The doctor said that Hilary was young and healthy and was off her birth control; Hilary had done everything right, but the doctor wanted to run some additional tests to check her hormone levels.
Hilary had asked about her options because she wanted to be 100% in control of her decision and have a baby on her own terms. The doctor advised that eggs became less viable over time. She wanted to harvest Hilary's eggs and freeze them. Hilary would then need a sperm donor. Dr. Chasen said that Hilary needed hormone shots and added that if Hilary didn't have a contributor, then she'd need to go online to a reputable sperm donor bank and pick out the attributes she wanted.
At the Abbot home, Michael and Jack prepared for the arbitration. They discussed their strategy. They walked into the dining room to talk, but Ashley and Tony were there. Jack couldn't understand why Ashley couldn't have met Tony at his office. Jack and Michael sat in the living room, and when Jack heard Ashley and Tony laughing, he griped that Ashley and Tony thought the situation was a joke and added "Like mother, like daughter." Michael advised him not to pay any attention to it.
Michael warned Jack to be prepared because Tony would go after him, and Ashley's mental health and Dina's condition would come up in arbitration. In the dining room, Ashely told Tony that she was happy the matter would end shortly. She told Tony she liked his strategy. He said they needed to keep the other side guessing.
At home, Chelsea had been in the middle of showering when the water stopped. She yelled for Nick. Nick rushed in and explained that Arturo had done some upgrades, but he'd had to go to another job site, so Nick had finished the job. Nick removed the shower head, but when he put it back, the shower worked, and Nick got wet. He felt there was nothing left to do but to kiss Chelsea passionately.
Chelsea told Nick that she had to go to work and asked Nick to let the contractor finish the renovations. Nick insisted he'd be able to finish them. As Nick turned to leave, he knocked over a bottle of Chelsea's perfume. Chelsea was upset and knelt beside the broken bottle. She told Nick that she'd been trying to make the perfume last as long as possible because it had been discontinued, and she couldn't replace it.
In the Jabot conference room, Jack grumbled that Ashley and her piranha weren't there yet. Michael advised Jack that it was part of Tony's strategy. He added that Tony was smart and shouldn't be trifled with. Ashley, Tony, and the arbitrator arrived. Jack pretended to laugh at something he'd heard, and Michael followed suit.
Ashley spoke first. She claimed that some of Jack's decisions had been detrimental to the company. Jack had decided to take care of Dina, who'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and run the company from home. Ashley said that Jack had taken her comments that he couldn't do both as an attack. She felt she'd had no recourse but to call a board meeting. Ashley pointed out that Jack had made an amendment to the bylaws so that only a blood relative could act as CEO. Ashley looked pointedly at Jack and spat that John Abbott's name was on her birth certificate.
It was Jack's turn to speak. He said that he'd kept Ashley's secret for years and had assured her that she'd always be part of the family. Tony asked about the amendment to the bylaws and if Jack had received board approval for the change. Jack admitted he'd received written consents from enough board members to pass the amendment. He added that Ashley had always been part of the family, but her father had been Brent Davis.
Jack was asked if he'd told Ashley about the amendment. Jack stated he hadn't needed to because he'd had the requisite number of board members' consent to pass the amendment. Tony questioned why Jack hadn't approached Ashley about the amendment, which Jack had claimed wasn't about her. He also stated that Jack had appointed Ashely as CEO. Jack corrected him and said "interim CEO" after he'd learned about Dina's illness and had needed time away from business to take care of her. Tony asked if Jack had moved Dina into a facility. Jack vehemently said no.
Tony asked how the company had fared under Ashley's leadership. Jack admitted it had been fine -- there hadn't been any losses, and there had been increases in some areas. Tony accused Jack of pushing Ashley out. Jack claimed the title was his, and he'd taken it back. It was his company and his decision. Tony questioned Jack about his attempt to buy Chancellor Industries without the board's approval. He asked if that was Jack's decision, as well. Jack claimed that, as CEO, it had been his decision.
Tony pointed out that Ashley had acted responsibly and had stopped the deal to buy Chancellor Industries. That had resulted in Jack becoming bitter. Jack had been angry when Ashley hadn't allowed him to act recklessly. With impunity, Ashley had made a decision that had been in the best interest of her father's company, but Jack had done everything he could to push Ashley out. Jack shouted that that wasn't the issue, but Tony contradicted him and said that that was exactly the issue.
Michael asked Ashley if she could itemize Jack's leadership of the company. Ashley claimed she had an extensive list. Michael asked her when she'd noticed that Jack had started to treat her differently. Ashley claimed that it had been when he'd told her about the amendment to the bylaws. Michael asked Ashley to characterize her relationship with Dina and if it had been easy. Ashley admitted that it hadn't been an easy relationship, but they'd gone ice-skating together.
Michael asked Jack why he'd made the amendment. Jack stated that his marriage had been in trouble, and he'd felt the need to ensure that his wife or any other spouse couldn't lay claim to the company. He admitted that he hadn't been thinking about Ashley when he'd had the amendment drawn up -- he'd been losing his marriage and had needed to ensure that he wouldn't lose his company, as well. He'd wanted to stop any potential meddling from estranged and/or disgruntled spouses.
Michael wanted Jack to confirm that it had not been a preemptive strike against Ashley. Jack stated it hadn't been and added that it had never occurred to him that Ashley would make a play for the role of CEO and he'd have to defend himself and Jabot from her attack.
Michael stated that when Jack had learned about his mother's illness, he'd chosen to step away from business to care for Dina full-time. Jack admitted he had and said that Dina had needed help from her family. It had turned out that Dina required more help than he'd been able to give her. He'd realized it recently, but at least he'd been willing to try. Michael asked why Jack had chosen to do that by himself. Jack explained that Traci lived in New York, and Ashley had made it clear that she had no interest in participating in Dina's day-to-day care.
Jack stated that Ashley had been honest and open about her problems with Dina. He acknowledged that Ashley had a good reason not to forgive Dina. Dina had abandoned them when they'd been very young. It had been very painful, but the fact remained that Dina was still their mother, and it had been painful to see her vulnerable, weak, and confused. That had been the reason he'd put all the old hurts and wounds aside to take care of her.
Jack said he'd accepted the fact that Ashley couldn't forgive Dina. He didn't know whether it had been because of the abandonment, the fact that Dina had exposed Ashley's secret about Brent Davis, or Dina's affairs years earlier. Dina was the reason Ashley couldn't claim to be John Abbott's biological daughter. Jack said the only help he'd received from Ashley had been to cover his work while he'd taken a leave of absence. Jack claimed that Ashley had wanted Jack to put Dina into a home.
Outraged and shouting, Ashley asked how Jack could make that claim. She accused Jack of acting as if Ashley had wanted to put Dina into an attic somewhere. She reminded him that they'd both checked out a number of facilities for Dina. Jack shouted that Ashley had turned her back on Dina and then had decided to turn her efforts on him. Jack claimed the issue wasn't about Jabot -- it was personal.
Jack claimed that Ashley had wanted to cause as much pain for the family as possible. Jack hadn't wanted to make those claims, but Ashley had forced him to do it. Ashley was very angry and violently shoved a glass of water across the table at Jack.
At one end of the room, Tony advised Ashley not to worry. They'd had a solid game plan and had stuck to it. Ashley admitted that she'd allowed Jack to push her buttons. She asked Tony how much damage she'd done. Tony advised that it had hurt them a little bit. Ashley said that she'd known Jack would play dirty and accuse her of abandoning Dina. Ashley told Tony that the company couldn't go on much longer in that situation, and neither could her family.
At the other end of the room, Jack paced while waiting for the arbitrator to return. Jack told Michael that he'd hated verbally attacking Ashley, and it had made him sick to his stomach. Michael said that was the wages of war, and they weren't pretty. Jack wanted the situation to end before permanent damage was done.
The arbitrator returned and advised that the case didn't only involve a business but a family. She wanted to consider the matter and said that she'd render her judgment the next day.
At the Athletic Club, Hilary was sitting at the bar at her computer when Devon arrived and asked if she was on a dating site. He asked if she planned on having a new man in her life. Hilary advised him that she wanted a baby, and she'd been searching for a prospective father on a sperm donor site. Devon asked if the child would be half hers and the other half a stranger's. Hilary advised that the child would have everything it needed. Devon reminded her that he'd grown up without a father. Hilary assured him that she'd find someone eventually.
Devon recalled that Hilary had told him she'd wanted to have children with him. Hilary made a snarky remark and said to look at where they'd wound up. Hilary said she didn't need a man for anything in her life, but for some reason, men found that threatening. Devon claimed he didn't.
Hilary boasted to Devon that her company had been doing well, and her advertisers were happy. Out of the blue, a huge company had reached out to her and had wanted to discuss acquiring GC Buzz. Hilary said she could take the payout and let her company be absorbed by a media heavyweight, one with capital, access, and reach. It would make her a power player.
Devon was surprised and mentioned that GC Buzz was Hilary's baby. Hilary claimed she was ready for a new baby -- one she could leave her legacy with. She noted that Devon was ambitious and never stopped moving forward. Devon explained that he couldn't stop moving forward because of all the competition. He confessed that he always checked his competition's figures, and for the most part, they were strong. Devon said he had to step up his game in the music division. Hilary said only if a certain songwriter didn't get called out as a plagiarizer.
Devon mentioned that Mariah had threatened to file a suit against him if he released the song. Hilary advised him that Mariah had issued the same threat to her. Hilary chortled that Devon's ex was quite the drama queen. Devon asked which ex Hilary had been referring to. Hilary laughed.
Devon said that he and Neil wanted to create something special and leave behind a legacy. Hilary suggested that perhaps Devon needed to find someone to have a baby with. He asked Hilary if she was sure about the baby thing. Hilary assured him she had a lot of love to give, and she was positive. Devon stopped Hilary from leaving to ask if she'd consider Hamilton-Winters as a buyer of GC Buzz. He said that any successful media division was a plus, and he thought it would be a good thing. Hilary said she had other priorities, but she'd think about it and let him know.
Chelsea arrived at Crimson Lights and complained to Sharon about the shower and about the perfume bottle that Nick had accidentally broken. Chelsea explained that the perfume had been a gift from Adam and that it had been discontinued. She hadn't told Nick that it had been a gift from Adam. Sharon assured Chelsea that her memories were her own, and she didn't need to share them unless she wanted to. Chelsea claimed she'd moved on.
Chelsea and Sharon discussed the wonderful work that Nick had been doing. Chelsea said she was very proud of him and described Nick as decent, calm, and nothing like Adam. Sharon said that Adam had been unique, dangerous, and difficult, with dark secrets and grudges, and nothing had ever been easy with him. Sharon wondered if Chelsea wished Nick was more like Adam but apologized immediately because she hadn't meant to imply that Chelsea had wanted Nick to be more like Adam.
Chelsea admitted she'd never wanted Nick to be like Adam. Nick was his own person, and she loved him. All the feelings she'd had for Adam had no place to go. Adam had died, she'd grieved, and she had fallen in love with Nick. Sharon admitted she'd cared deeply for Adam. However, they'd kept hurting each other, and it had been an unhealthy relationship. They'd never had what Adam and Chelsea had had. Adam had wanted to be a better person, and he'd been able to accomplish that with Chelsea. Chelsea said Adam had gotten better, but he'd never been a saint.
Sharon claimed that Adam had been wild and reckless, but he'd been very devoted to Chelsea and had loved her very much. Chelsea said that Nick wanted them to get a new place, but she didn't want to leave the penthouse because of Adam. Aside from the memories, the perfume had been a constant reminder, and she had very little left of him.
Sharon reminded Chelsea that she had her son, and no one could take that away from her. Chelsea admitted she had Nick, Faith, Connor, and Christian in her life, and she didn't need dangerous and reckless. She said she'd grown up a lot since Adam's death. She knew how lucky she was with a dependable guy like Nick.
Chelsea arrived at home. Nick had been working on the renovations. He assured her that the contractor had been there to finish the plumbing and had worked on things that had been beyond Nick's expertise. Nick pulled out a bottle of perfume from his tool belt -- the same perfume he'd knocked over and broken earlier that day. Chelsea was overwhelmed. Nick admitted he'd been able to get it through Victoria, who worked in the cosmetics industry. He told Chelsea there were a few more boxes on the way.
Noah learns about Mariah and Tessa's kiss
At Top of the Tower, Noah asked why Tessa kept checking her phone, and she chalked it up to force of habit. He suggested that they do something fun that day, and she recognized that he was trying to help take her mind off things. He pressed her to talk about how she and Mariah had gone from being best friends to Mariah threatening to sue her, and he couldn't believe that Tessa was willing to sacrifice her career over it. Tessa begged him to let it go, since she'd accepted that her new song would never be released.
Noah said he was sorry that his sister was hurting Tessa. He offered to talk to Mariah, but Tessa grumbled that Mariah was the last person she wanted him to talk to. Noah was surprised that she was freaked out over him having a conversation with his sister, and he asked why Tessa was walking away without fighting for her work. Tessa figured that fighting and losing would hurt more, and it had taken everything she had to admit that losing the song was a done deal. She asked him not to dredge it up again.
At Jabot, the tension was thick as Jack and Ashley anticipated hearing the results of the arbitration later that day. They both admitted that they hadn't heard from their attorneys yet, and he denied that he was nervous. Jack rushed to the phone when it rang, but he slammed down the receiver when it was only a survey. Ashley sarcastically observed that he wasn't on edge at all, and Jack huffed that they'd see who was smiling at the end of the day. Jack brushed past Gloria on his way to his office and barked that he didn't want to be disturbed by anyone other than Michael.
Mariah and Hilary arrived at Crimson Lights, and Hilary spotted Michael and hoped to get a lot more than coffee. Hilary requested a quote about the Abbott arbitration, and Michael promised that she would be his first call after Jack's victory was announced. He offered to recommend a copyright attorney for Mariah, but she declined. Michael volunteered to determine whether her case against Tessa had merit at no charge, but Mariah insisted that she didn't need or want that. Hilary questioned what part of the story Mariah was leaving out.
Across the coffeehouse, Phyllis insinuated that Ashley needed something warm before she got bad news. Ashley anticipated getting great news, and Phyllis admonished her for pushing Jack out of his own company. Phyllis questioned why Ashley was suing him after all the times he'd stood up for Ashley, but Ashley recalled that Phyllis had been quick to betray Jack when she'd hopped in the sack with Billy. Ashley asserted that she was doing it for Jack and for their father's name, but Phyllis intended to be the first to congratulate Jack when the decision was announced.
At GC Buzz, Hilary pressed to know why Mariah wouldn't let Tessa release the song, and Mariah curtly replied that Tessa had stolen it. Hilary recognized that plagiarism was wrong, but it was hardly the end of the world, and the song was already out there because Tessa had sung it to a national audience. Hilary suggested that Mariah cut her losses and hold out for the money she stood to make on the royalties, but Mariah refused. Mariah insisted that there was no deep, dark secret to uncover, but it was all about the principle of the thing. Hilary remained convinced that Mariah had a secret.
Later, Mariah overheard Hilary on the phone, claiming that several other companies were interested in buying The Hilary Hour. After Hilary hung up, Mariah incredulously asked if Hilary was selling the show, and Hilary revealed that she'd received a few offers, including one from Devon. Mariah questioned what would happen to the rest of them, since a bigger company would likely replace everyone with its own staff. Hilary swore that she'd try to prevent that, but she had to secure her finances for herself and the baby she intended to have. Hilary wanted a guarantee that she'd be able to afford everything, since she knew what it was like to grow up poor, and she needed a big score to ensure that didn't happen to her child.
At home, Victoria was immersed in work on her laptop. J.T. returned home and reported that he'd taken Johnny and Katie to school, and Victoria thanked him as she continued working. J.T. nuzzled her and asked when she'd be off, but she informed him that she had a confidential video chat. Victoria tended to text messages, and J.T. mentioned that Johnny had been picking on Katie the whole morning. Victoria absently stated that she was sure that J.T. would get used to the routine. She began typing at her computer, and he kissed her cheek and headed upstairs to shower.
Victoria finished a call as J.T. returned to the room. He asked when she'd become physically attached to her devices, and she reasoned that they were necessary to get work done. J.T. inquired whether she'd seen his tablet, and she recalled that Johnny had been playing a game on it. J.T. grumbled that it wasn't a toy, but Victoria was distracted by the start of her video chat. She bemoaned that there was a glitch, since she couldn't hear the other party. J.T. said he'd see her later, and he headed for the door when she didn't respond. She looked up when she heard the door slam.
Later, Noah stopped by Victoria's house to solicit advice from a female perspective, and he handed Victoria her favorite coffee from Top of the Tower. Victoria protested that she was busy working, and she suggested that he go to his mother. He explained that the issue involved him, his sister, and his girlfriend, and he doubted his mom could be objective. Victoria told him to pass the cappuccino. Noah told Victoria that he had no idea what had been behind the fallout between Mariah and Tessa, and Victoria questioned why Noah was pushing to find out how it had started.
Noah compared Tessa breaking through her writer's block to the sun appearing again, but Mariah had refused to let Devon release the song because of the stupid blowup months earlier. Victoria referred to the bond she shared with Nick, and she asked if Noah had that with Mariah. Noah thought it was different because they hadn't grown up together, but he thought they had no problem being honest with one another. Victoria urged him to talk to his sister to see if he could get Mariah to ease up. Noah asked how things were going with J.T. moving back in, and Victoria admitted that she'd had to remind herself that they'd both changed.
Noah arrived at GC Buzz, and Mariah surmised that he was there about Tessa's song. He clarified that he was there about secrets, and he recalled that Mariah had kept the secret about Tessa's sister being in trouble. Mariah defended that she'd given her word, and Noah admitted that he'd been jealous of how close Tessa and Mariah had been. He continued that he was jealous again, since he wasn't getting answers from Tessa about her fallout with Mariah, and he hoped Mariah would tell him about it.
Mariah stammered that she couldn't, but Noah couldn't see how the words in a journal measured up to a friendship. Noah doubted that whatever Tessa had supposedly stolen was really that big of a deal, but Mariah insisted that it was. Noah requested that Mariah back down for his sake if she wouldn't do it for Tessa's. Mariah informed him that Tessa had admitted to reading the journal, and she maintained that there was no coincidence that Tessa's lyrics had matched Mariah's words. Noah asked to see the journal, and Mariah realized that he didn't believe her.
Mariah argued that a journal was supposed to be private, and Tessa hadn't had any right to put Mariah's innermost thoughts in a song. Noah asked what Mariah was hiding, since he'd already heard the words and loved them, so he saw no harm in reading them in her journal. He dared Mariah to prove that there was more than just a petty argument standing in the way of the song jumpstarting Tessa's career. He wondered if he and Mariah weren't as close as he'd thought they were if she didn't trust him. She reluctantly retrieved the journal from her bag and told him to read it.
Mariah recited her words from the journal, and Noah realized that Tessa had really stolen the words for her song. Mariah tried to take back the journal, but Noah wondered if she was still keeping secrets from him. Noah turned the page, and he read the rest of Mariah's entry, which revealed that it was how she'd felt after she'd kissed Tessa in San Francisco. Noah reeled from the shock that his girlfriend and his sister had kissed and that the song was about them. Mariah begged him to let her explain, but he shoved the journal at her and walked out.
At the Ashby home, Cane was grateful when Lily handed him some coffee. He asked when she'd stopped taking cream in hers, and she replied that she'd forgotten how demanding babies were. Cane apologized, but Lily recognized that he'd been the one getting up with Sam. He received a text message and learned that Bridget was sick. Lily offered her help, but Cane insisted on calling for backup.
Cane groaned that he hadn't been able to get a sitter, and Lily volunteered to stay with Sam. She reasoned that she'd already had a video conference with Abby, and Victoria was fine with her working from home. Cane told Lily to call if she needed him, and she replied that she had his number. He assured her that it wasn't all she had, and he kissed her goodbye and pledged his love before he left. She plopped down on the couch, but Sam began to cry over the baby monitor, and she sighed deeply.
An exasperated Lily tried to figure out what was wrong with a crying Sam. The doorbell rang, and Hilary announced that she had a fabulous business opportunity for Cane and Chancellor. Lily said it wasn't a good time because Sam was fussy, and Hilary crossed the room and picked the tot up. Sam stopped crying as Hilary cooed to him. Lily begrudgingly thanked Hilary, and she struggled to explain but quickly clammed up. Hilary pointed out that she knew what Lily was thinking, but Hilary wasn't judging.
Hilary sensed that Sam probably felt how wound up Lily was, since Lily couldn't let out her frustration on the baby, Cane, or the twins. Lily conceded that everyone else saw Sam as an innocent baby, but when she looked at him, she saw a physical reminder of Cane's affair. Lily swore that she didn't want to feel that way, but she didn't know when she would get past it or if she ever would. Hilary told Lily to stop being so hard on herself, since Hilary could only imagine her own wrath if she were in Lily's position.
Hilary admired Lily for inviting Sam into her home, trusting that she would grow to love him, even if it took awhile. Lily sincerely thanked her, and Hilary prepared to leave. Lily requested that Hilary not mention Lily's doubts to Cane, and Hilary responded, "What doubts?" After Hilary headed out, Sam began to cry again, and Lily picked the baby up without hesitation.
J.T. met Cane at Top of the Tower and called it a perk to have breakfast at such a nice place. Cane said he'd squeezed J.T. in before a lunch meeting to talk about J.T.'s next job assignment. J.T. was disappointed when Cane asked him to work on a security patch, since it was way below his skill level, and he'd hoped to have more responsibility. J.T. referred to his extensive experience and contacts, but Cane pointed out that it had been J.T.'s main priority to stay in town to be near Reed, and it was the only role Cane had available at Chancellor.
J.T. wondered if Cane had hired him because Cane felt sorry for him, and Cane suspected that something else was going on. Cane inquired whether it was about Reed, but J.T. confided that it was about Victoria. J.T. griped that Victoria was always on the clock, even when she was at home. Cane recounted that he'd learned from working with Lily that they had to respect one another's commitments, but J.T. worried that Victoria's work was creating the same stress that had broken them up before.
J.T. voiced his frustration with the way Victoria had ignored him, and he'd wanted to slam her laptop shut, but he'd opted to slam the door instead. J.T. felt like an idiot for complaining to Cane, who offered to give him some advice that he wished he'd gotten a year earlier. Cane warned that J.T. couldn't pretend that the problems would go away, and Cane advised that J.T. had to face them to fix them. Cane told him to start by taking the rest of the day off to fix things with Victoria.
Victoria set down her laptop to answer the door, and she asked why J.T. hadn't used his key. He responded that he wanted to make things right at the scene of the crime, and he gently closed the door the way he should have earlier. He admitted that he'd slammed it because she'd been busy, and she recognized that she should have taken time out for him. Her ringing phone interrupted his apology, and she shut it off and prompted him to continue.
J.T. said he wanted Victoria to know how much she meant to him, and he cued up a song to play on his phone. Victoria recognized it as their song, and he joked that he'd looked for a boom box to hold over his head, but they'd been too expensive. He recalled that they'd danced to that song, but she thought they should talk about their expectations. He asked her to dance instead, and he murmured that he would dance with her anywhere. She took his hand, and they began to sway to the music.
Phyllis sauntered into Jack's office over Gloria's protests. Jack barked that he wasn't good company, and Phyllis wondered why he wasn't more confident about the arbitration, since he was meant to be CEO. Phyllis questioned what he would do if Ashley won, and he refused to be Ashley's subordinate. He explained that he had no problem working for a woman, but Ashley hadn't had any right to pull a coup just because he'd been trying to look out for their mother.
Phyllis asked if John would have agreed, and Jack acknowledged that his father had adored Ashley, but he and John had rarely disagreed about Jabot. Jack believed John had admired Jack's ambition and would want him there, and he thanked Phyllis for getting him to say that out loud. He proclaimed that soon the world would know that only one Abbott sibling was destined to run Jabot -- him.
Jack unsuccessfully tried to concentrate on paperwork. He left a message for Michael, asking him to call as soon as he knew anything. Gloria dropped off some tea and cut Jack off from coffee. Jack bellowed that she worked for him, and she snapped that he'd be missing more than coffee if he kept yelling. Jack wished John were there.
Meanwhile, a preoccupied Ashley slammed her drawers. She called Tony and learned that there still hadn't been any word. Ashley said aloud that she missed her daddy, and she thought Traci had been right when she'd warned that John would hate what Ashley and Jack were doing. Michael and Tony arrived to see their respective clients.
Michael shook Jack's hand and revealed that the arbitrator had ruled against Ashley. A relieved Jack mused that it was really over. Jack recognized that Michael hadn't liked to represent one Abbott over another, and Michael encouraged him to talk to Ashley. Jack assumed that she didn't want to see him, but Michael urged him to remind her that Jack still put family first and that she had a brother who would lay down his life for her.
Tony apologized profusely to Ashley for being so confident that the arbitrator would rule in her favor. Tony reminded Ashley that there were no appeals in binding arbitration cases, and Ashley thanked him for putting up a good fight. Ashley stonily stated that her brother had gotten what he'd wanted, and she hoped he was happy.
Gloria and Phyllis swooped into Jack's office with Champagne to celebrate, and Ashley heard them cheering from down the hallway. Jack pledged to continue to do his best for Jabot as Ashley appeared in the doorway and hoped she wasn't late for the party. She congratulated Jack, who declared that he was glad it was over. Michael assured Ashley that he considered her a friend and that he hadn't liked being on opposite sides. Gloria announced that there was cake in the conference room, and everyone but Jack and Ashley left.
Ashley didn't want to keep Jack from serving as guest of honor at his party, and he applauded her for being gracious. She pointedly stated that she'd been raised well, and he noted that they both had been. He swore that she would always have a significant role at Jabot and that he would do everything he could to repair their relationship. Ashley declared that they'd said everything that needed to be said except one thing -- she was resigning from Jabot, and they were done. She walked out.
Victor has an offer for Ashley
At the hospital, J.T. looked at a pill in his hand before he swallowed it. He received a text message from Victoria, asking where he was. He tucked his phone back into his pocket without responding.
Victoria greeted Nikki and Nick at the Athletic Club, and she asked if it was a landlord meeting. Nick jokingly gave Victoria a special exception to join them, and Nikki inquired how it was having J.T. and Reed back under the same roof. Nick was flabbergasted that J.T. had moved in with Victoria that quickly, and Victoria reported that she and J.T. had gotten their first post-move-in fight out of the way. Victoria hoped they weren't about to have another one, since J.T. was supposed to meet her to work out, but he had either forgotten or was blowing her off.
Victoria asked how it was to own and renovate a property together, and Nikki indicated that she just wrote the checks while Nick did all the heavy lifting. Nick declared that he loved it, and Nikki said she had to get to a benefit meeting. After Nikki left, Victoria remarked that Nikki and Nick had always made a good team, and she considered it appropriate that he'd been named after their mother and Victoria had been named after their dad. Nick thought he and Victoria were nothing like their parents, except that one of them had moved back in with an ex.
J.T. stepped off the hospital elevator and ran into Nikki, who asked what he was doing there. She reasoned that she couldn't help but worry because they were family again, and he promised that he would let her know if anything was wrong. J.T. hurried out, and Nikki called Victoria to report that she'd found Victoria's ex-husband.
Victoria heard a car pull up outside her house, and she rushed to the door and asked J.T. why he'd been at the hospital. She rambled about how she'd been waiting to hear from him after he'd blown her off, and J.T. promised to explain if she calmed down. He asserted that Nikki hadn't needed to know his business, but Victoria insisted that she did. He confessed that he'd gone to see a doctor about his heart, since he'd never completely recovered from his accident. She recalled when he'd been electrocuted.
J.T. downplayed it as simply needing a new cardiologist for maintenance, since he had a condition that he took medication for. Victoria wondered if his mood the other day had been a side effect of the medication. Victoria wanted to call other specialists to get a second opinion, but J.T. scooped her up into his arms and assured her that he was fine. He explained that the pills kept him healthy, but it was on him if he acted like a jerk. He added that he had limitations, like not being able to join the police force years earlier, but he didn't want people to look at him differently or think that he was weak. She insisted that he was kind, smart, sexy, and definitely not weak. They kissed.
Mariah was surprised when Noah showed up at the cottage to see her. She inquired how Tessa was doing, and Noah incredulously asked if that was seriously Mariah's first question. Mariah defended that she'd been worried about both of them, since Noah had left before she had been able to explain. Noah barked that it had all been in her journal about Mariah hitting on and kissing his girlfriend. Mariah swore that she hadn't let him read the journal to hurt him but to make him understand.
Noah snapped that the song would be a constant reminder, but Mariah argued that it hadn't been her fault that Tessa had stolen the words and used them in her song. Noah noticed that his name hadn't appeared in Mariah's diary, so she clearly didn't care that she'd been lying for months about making a move on her own brother's girlfriend. Mariah insisted that she'd mentioned Noah in many of her journal entries because she'd felt guilty. He blasted her for lying to his face for months, and he realized that her feelings for Tessa had been why she'd broken up with Devon. Noah pointed out that Mariah had managed to do the right thing by Devon but not for her own brother.
Mariah sobbed that Tessa had only wanted Noah, so telling him would have hurt him for no reason. He angrily asked if Mariah understood how the sibling thing worked, since she was supposed to have his back the way he'd always had hers, but she'd made him look like a jerk by keeping the secret from him. Mariah stressed that she'd kept quiet out of guilt and confusion, and she swore that it had been nothing more than the one kiss. Noah accused her of wishing that Tessa had been with her instead of with him. Sharon descended the stairs after hearing their argument, and Noah spat that his sister had made a play for his girlfriend. Noah realized that Sharon had already known.
Sharon explained that she hadn't seen any reason to cause Noah pain, but Noah questioned whether she would have preferred to stay in the dark about Abby and Scott. Sharon argued that a kiss couldn't compare to an affair, but Noah thought there was more to it than just a kiss. Sharon swore that she'd tried to make the right decision for both of her kids, but Noah snapped that it hadn't worked because Sharon had only been honest with one of them.
Sharon apologized for handling things badly, since she hadn't wanted to hurt either of her children. She recognized that she'd made a mistake, but she pointed out that someone else also hadn't been honest. She asked what Tessa had had to say, and Noah admitted that he hadn't talked to Tessa yet. Sharon defended that Mariah had opened up her heart and made a mistake because of it. Sharon added that she couldn't speak for Tessa, but Tessa had tried to exploit Mariah's words and feelings to turn a profit, and she questioned who was most to blame.
After Noah left, Mariah lamented that Noah had been right -- she'd done the right thing by walking away from Devon, but she hadn't felt guilty enough to stop herself from kissing Tessa to protect her own brother. Mariah suspected that Noah hated her, but Sharon assured Mariah that he never could, and she urged Mariah to give him time. Mariah wailed that she'd gone from having no one to having a family, and maybe she just didn't get how to be a real sister. Sharon implored Mariah to forgive herself and give Noah some space, but Mariah worried that she'd end up losing him.
Nick was stunned when Noah stopped by the penthouse and filled him in about Mariah and Tessa. Noah explained that he didn't care if Tessa was attracted to women -- just not that particular one. Noah wondered when she'd decided it was okay to move in with him while keeping a huge secret, but Nick reasoned that the kiss hadn't led anywhere. Nick pointed out that Tessa was with Noah and that Noah had seemed happy until then, and he encouraged Noah to get answers before he threw something really good away.
At Hamilton-Winters, Devon informed Tessa that he'd consulted with his lawyers, and a plagiarism suit could cause a lot of damage. He announced that he'd decided not to release the song and to cut Tessa from the label. Tessa protested that she had ideas for new songs, and she begged Devon to give her more time. Devon reasoned that they were losing money on a song he couldn't distribute and an artist he couldn't market, but Tessa vowed to write something better than she'd ever done before. Devon questioned how he could believe whether it was her own work, since Mariah had shown him her journal to prove how similar Tessa's lyrics were, and the trust he'd had in Tessa was gone. Tessa pleaded that music was her life, and it couldn't be how she lost everything she'd ever wanted.
Tessa asked if she'd get a final paycheck, but Devon explained that under the terms of their agreement, she owed him money because they hadn't covered her recording costs. Tessa offered to take another position to show him that she was a better person than he thought. Devon assured her that he didn't think she was a bad person, but he believed that she'd panicked under a deadline and made a big mistake. He agreed to let her stay on as an assistant, but he recognized that it wasn't what she wanted to do. Devon conceded that she might get back in the studio one day, but if she made one more mistake, she would be out of there.
Later, Tessa wiped away her tears when she heard a knock at the door, and she turned around and faced Noah. She informed him that Devon had cut her from the label, but Noah snapped that he'd read Mariah's journal and knew that Tessa had stolen it for her song. Tessa cried that she was sorry, and Noah asked if she was sorry about the lies, the plagiarism, or the kiss she'd never told him about. He reminded her that he'd told her months earlier that he wanted to know her, and she swore that he knew her heart, which was what mattered. He called it a load of garbage.
Noah recalled that Tessa had always turned to Mariah and never to him. Tessa swore that she wanted to be with him and that she hadn't told him certain things because she hadn't wanted to lose him. She promised to tell him anything and everything because she loved him and had chosen him. Noah asked why Tessa wanted to be with him when she'd confided in and trusted Mariah. He figured that it was because he was a Newman who had money, but Tessa was adamant that it had never been about that. Noah had trouble believing her after she'd stolen his grandmother's gun and his sister's journal, and he questioned what else Tessa was after.
Tessa insisted that she'd kept the ugly stuff to herself because she'd wanted to be with Noah, but he countered that she'd never been honest with him. Tessa whimpered that she'd never had anyone to lean on before, and he growled that she'd leaned on Mariah, but he'd had no idea how much. He'd finally thought he'd been able to see inside Tessa's mind and heart because of her new song, but he had dealt with the lies and secrets for the last time, since they were done. He walked out as she broke down in tears.
At the Abbott mansion, Jack assumed that Ashley would update him on her current projects and provide a list of people to take them over. Ashley clucked that he had to deal with it on his own, since those kinds of decisions needed to made by a blood Abbott. Traci arrived home from France, and she recalled the look of utter peace on Dina's face when she'd landed in Paris and recognized everything. Traci mentioned that Graham had fired the household staff, but everyone had returned when she'd called them, and Dina had remembered all the details of her staff's lives. Traci added that Abby was still madly in love with Paris and that Abby had all the support she needed for Dina.
Ashley pointedly stated that she'd always thought support would be a good idea for their mother, and Traci asked what she'd missed. Ashley replied that it had been nothing much -- just the end of her career at Jabot and her relationship with Jack. Jack admonished Ashley for changing the topic to her wounded pride, and she surmised that he thought that because his ego was his entire motivation in life. Traci scolded that she hadn't flown back to listen to them attack one another, and she chided them for choosing to tear their family apart after they'd watched their mother deteriorate. Traci ordered them to think about what they were doing and what they all stood to lose.
Jack tried to talk to Ashley, but she ignored him and answered the door. She cheerfully thanked Tony for stopping by, but Jack reiterated that the arbitrator's decision was final. Ashley suggested that Jack concentrate on how he'd run the company without her help. Jack asked if she was filing a lawsuit against Jabot, and she chirped that it was fun to watch him squirm. Tony bragged that Ashley was a former CEO and the Innovator of the Year, so everyone wanted to work with her. Ashley revealed that Tony had set up meetings to look for seed money, since she was going to start her own company to compete with Jabot.
Later, Jack informed Traci that Ashley had announced that she was going into business against Jabot, but Traci couldn't begrudge Ashley the chance to build something of her own. Jack groaned that it wasn't the victory he'd anticipated, and Traci lectured that it had cost Ashley and Jack more than they were willing to admit. Jack insisted that he hadn't wanted to lose Ashley at the company or as a sister, but Traci doubted that he hadn't anticipated the fallout.
Traci recounted that Jack had basically disowned Ashley by forcing the issue of paternity in the amendment, making blood the most important thing instead of love or family. Jack swore that he'd never considered Ashley to be less than an Abbott, since her paternity had never mattered to him. Traci recognized that it mattered to Ashley, and Jack knew it. Traci referred to all the times Jack had told Ashley that it didn't matter who her father was, but the amendment had made all of his reassurances a lie.
At the Athletic Club, Ashley and Tony met with Devon. Ashley mentioned that she was looking for investors, and she thought it made a lot of sense to collaborate with Hamilton-Winters. Devon suggested that they discuss it in more detail in his office, and he led her away. Victor recognized Tony, and the men exchanged pleasantries. Tony revealed that he'd just been encouraging a partnership between Devon's company and Ashley's new venture, since she was starting a new cosmetics line. Tony invited Victor to put in a bid, but he warned that there was steep competition. Victor surmised that Ashley had resigned from Jabot.
Victor called Nikki and informed her that he had pressing business that could benefit Newman Enterprises enormously. He requested that she meet him, but he needed her to put aside her loyalty to Jack. Victor greeted Ashley in the foyer and invited her to talk over dinner, since he'd heard rumblings about Jabot. Ashley wondered how Nikki would feel about that, and Victor revealed that Nikki would be joining them.
Jack found Nick at the Athletic Club bar, and he noted that Nick had to go out like the rest of them to get a drink. Jack imagined that Nick missed the Underground, and Nick admitted that it felt weird to buy his own drinks. Jack ordered a scotch and wondered what Nick's life was like post-Victor. Jack compared the way Nick looked at Victor to how Ashley saw Jack. Nick thought it couldn't possibly be permanent, since even on the worst day, Jack wasn't in the same league as Victor. Jack wasn't so sure.
At Top of the Tower, Nikki sympathized with Ashley and the Abbotts for having to cope with Dina's Alzheimer's. Ashley appreciated Nikki's concern but was surprised by it, and Nikki acknowledged that they'd had their issues, but they'd always been able to agree that family was very important to both of them. Nikki claimed that moving back home had made her aware of how much stronger and better things were when she had her family around her, and Victor relayed that Abby had mentioned the tension between Ashley and Jack. Ashley surmised that Victor wanted ammunition to use against Jack, but she wasn't interested in the war between the men.
Victor warned that Ashley was pretending if she didn't think Jack was capable of another foolish act, and Nikki revealed that Jack hadn't returned her calls, which likely meant that he'd done something he wasn't proud of. Nikki mused that sometimes Jack didn't learn his lesson, like who not to take for granted. Nikki inquired whether Ashley would be joining Abby and Dina in Paris, and Ashley replied that it would be awhile because she was starting a new business venture. Victor wished her luck, and Nikki scolded him for making it sound like it was impossible to start a new company.
Victor was sure Ashley had been in business long enough to know how difficult startups were, especially without Jabot's support. Nikki suggested that if Ashley wanted support, she should join Newman instead. Victor urged Ashley not to dismiss the idea too quickly, but Ashley thought any role she'd take at Newman would be a step down. Victor offered to create a new C-level position -- chief innovation officer -- that Ashley could make her own. Victor added that Ashley would report directly to him, and Ashley figured that it was an opportunity for Victor to stick it to Jack.
Nikki claimed that she hadn't been thinking about Jack when she'd made the suggestion, since it had been a trying year for Newman, and they could use someone with experience and knowledge. Ashley questioned whether Nikki would be okay with her working for Victor, and Nikki responded that, for the sake of the company, she could ignore that Ashley had broken up her first marriage to Victor. Victor considered it to be the offer of a lifetime, and he asked what Ashley thought about it.