At the hospital, J.T., wearing a hoodie, entered Victor's room and said, "You left me no choice. It's either you or me, and it sure as hell isn't going to be me this time." J.T. turned off a ventilator helping Victor breathe before quickly exiting. A nurse responded to the machine's alarms and entered Victor's room. J.T., looking through a window into Victor's room, showed little emotion as he watched hospital staff react to the emergency. As J.T. entered an elevator to exit the hospital, a woman stepping out glanced at him momentarily.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Nikki, Victoria, and Nick celebrated after learning that Victor was responding to the antibiotics. Nikki said, "Such a relief knowing that the worst is probably over for your father and that he's on his way back to us." Nick and Victoria urged their mother to eat a good meal and get much-needed rest. Victoria wondered aloud what could have delayed J.T. Nick recalled the numerous close calls with death Victor had survived over the years. Nick stepped away to take a phone call from a landscaping contractor.
Victoria told her mom she was worried about the political fallout at Newman regarding her taking over as CEO and the lie she'd told Ashley about the demotion. Nikki expressed support for Victoria's actions and agreed that Victor would have wanted a family member taking charge of the business. Victoria asked if she'd done the right thing. Nikki assured Victoria that Victor would take everything Victoria had done in stride. J.T. joined Victoria and Nikki. Victoria asked J.T. if he was okay because he appeared unwell. Nikki agreed.
J.T. asked Victoria to leave with him because he couldn't stand the sight of food. Victoria agreed and left with J.T. After Nick returned, Nikki explained that Victoria had left with J.T. because he was ill. Nick changed the subject and asked Nikki if she planned to resume her tryst with Arturo after Victor was released from the hospital. Nikki didn't respond.
At the Athletic Club bar, Devon berated Hilary about revealing to Simone their plans to co-parent a child. Hilary scoffed that Devon should have informed his girlfriend about the plans. Devon reminded Hilary about her promise to keep quiet. Devon was livid about Hilary bragging that she and Devon had had sex in hopes of conceiving a baby. Devon noted that it had been his place to tell Simone what was going on. Devon insisted he'd planned to inform Simone about his arrangement with Hilary. Devon admitted that Simone didn't support his decision to have a child with Hilary. Devon told Hilary that what they were planning to do was unconventional.
Hilary said Simone was staking her claim on Devon and thinking about having kids with him someday. Hilary warned that Devon's relationship could become tricky because of his plans. Hilary mentioned the contract she and Devon had drawn up to ensure that their arrangement would work well. Devon told Hilary she was delusional if she believed their relationship was going well. Devon recalled that Hilary had made a habit of hurting him and lying about her involvement, and he expressed regret for having signed the contract. Devon informed Hilary that unless she was already pregnant, their deal to have a baby would be called off.
At Victoria's house, J.T. spoke with Reed after Victoria left the room to brew tea. Reed asked about Victor. J.T. said doctors had reported that Victor's vital signs had improved because the infection was easing off. J.T. asked Reed to relay a message to Victoria. J.T. explained that he felt sick and had decided to lie down.
After Victoria returned, Reed explained that his dad had gone upstairs to lie down. Reed told Victoria he was glad to hear about Victor. Reed and Victoria discussed his drunk-driving incident. Victoria recalled that Reed had been upset about his father's divorce at the time of the incident. Reed seemed pleased that his mom had offered her support and forgiveness. Victoria asked Reed how he felt about J.T. living with them. Reed said he approved of his parents being together.
J.T. later returned, complaining that he couldn't sleep. He snapped at Victoria when she offered ways to help him relax. Victoria's phone sounded to indicate a new text message. J.T. nervously said, "Is that the hospital?" Victoria said it was about work.
J.T. apologized for snapping at Victoria. Victoria explained that their talks had been stressful. She told J.T. that after the divorce was final, they could set a wedding date. Victoria added that they shouldn't rush things and should instead focus on continuing their therapy sessions. J.T. suggested that he, Victoria, and Reed go out for coffee and talk about the wedding.
At Billy and Phyllis' apartment, Phyllis busily collected toys that Johnny and Katie had strewn about. Billy grabbed Phyllis, fondled her, and noted that both Johnny and Katie had fallen asleep upstairs. Phyllis kissed Billy. Billy was eager to make love. Phyllis explained that lovemaking would have to wait because she was headed out to get food for the children's breakfast. Billy ogled Phyllis as she walked out the front door.
At Crimson Lights, Nick stopped by and told Sharon that Victor was out of the woods. Nick apologized for the "little fight" he and Sharon had gotten into. Sharon reminded Nick that he'd already apologized. Nick added, "You didn't deserve to get your head bitten off like that." Sharon accepted the apology. Nick said he'd messed everything up by kissing Sharon. Sharon replied, "I kissed you back." Sharon dismissed Nick's concern. Nick said he looked forward to his father's release from the hospital.
Phyllis stopped by the coffeehouse, and Nick told her that Victor was better. Sharon snapped that Phyllis didn't care about Victor. Phyllis noted that she did care about Nick. Phyllis sent Sharon to get a coffee cake. After Sharon walked away, Phyllis invited Nick to join her for a video chat with Summer to let her know that Victor's condition had improved. Nick agreed to join Phyllis. After Sharon delivered the cake, Nick told Sharon he'd have to postpone their get-together because he and Phyllis planned to contact Summer to let her know about Victor.
Nick accompanied Phyllis to her apartment, and they chatted with Summer on the phone. After the call ended, Billy entered the room. Nick told Billy that Victor was improving. Phyllis added that she and Nick had decided to have a video chat with Summer to share the good news. Phyllis invited Nick to stay and relax. Billy, addressing Phyllis, said he thought they'd already set plans for an evening together. Billy took cues from Phyllis' reaction and agreed that Nick should stay.
Phyllis suggested that she, Billy, and Nick drink beer and play video games. Phyllis mouthed "thank you" to Billy before he went to get beer. After an exciting round of video-game fun, Billy left to buy more beer. Sharon stopped by and noted that Nikki had been frantically trying to reach Nick. Nick said he'd left his phone on vibrate. Sharon told Nick he should meet Nikki at the hospital right away.
After Nick left, Sharon berated Phyllis for luring Nick over for video games and drinks while Victor was struggling to stay alive. Phyllis insisted she was helping Nick cope with stress. Sharon said she'd planned to cook dinner for Nick until Phyllis had changed his plans. Phyllis explained that Nick had laughed and forgotten his troubles for a while. Phyllis added, "All of the meatloaf in the world couldn't have provided what I just did." After Billy returned, Phyllis told him that Nick had had to rush to the hospital because Victor had had a setback. Billy said he and Phyllis could continue their romantic evening. The couple kissed.
On the patio at Crimson Lights, J.T. and Victoria told Reed about the wedding plans. Reed said, "Are you guys really serious because I'm not looking forward to a bunch of drama and another divorce." Victoria explained that she and J.T. had been seeing a counselor and had no intentions of rushing the wedding. Reed said he approved of his parents' plans. After Victoria walked to the coffee bar to get a refill, Sharon said she'd heard from Nick that Victor was getting better.
Victoria told Sharon she'd taken Sharon's advice and had contacted the counselor. Victoria added that with the aid of their counselor, she and J.T. had opened up about their issues in a deeper and more productive way. Sharon was delighted that Victoria had sought counseling. Sharon advised Victoria to rely on the support of female friends and refrain from centering her life on a man. Victoria admitted that she had few female friends because work occupied her time. Sharon made plans to host an all-female party for Victoria soon.
After Reed, J.T., and Victoria returned home, Reed told his parents it would be all right if they didn't marry and just lived together. Reed added, "Isn't marriage a little outdated?" After Reed went upstairs, J.T. said he didn't believe marriage was outdated. Victoria agreed and said she hoped her dad could be present when she and J.T. exchanged vows. J.T. replied, "Yeah. I hope nothing stops that, either." Nikki phoned and summoned Victoria to the hospital, explaining only that something had happened to Victor. J.T. seemed apprehensive.
At the police station, Ashley arrived to visit Jack. Jack said he couldn't stop thinking about the blood the police had found at the Newman ranch. Jack said, "It's not his. It's not mine, meaning it has to belong the person who did this to him." Jack added that without proof that the blood belonged to someone other than the attacker, Michael had no chance of getting him released from jail.
Ashley told Jack that Kyle had dismissed one of Jack's biggest allies. Jack cried, "Oh, he's shifting around all of his chess pieces, making his power plays. Just like someone else I know." Ashley noted that a comatose Victor had been unable to coach Kyle. Ashley added, "This is Kyle. Kyle is calling the shots, Jack."
Jack insisted he had to return to Jabot before Kyle did real damage. Jack remembered that his father had championed transparency. Ashley made Jack uncomfortable when she mentioned Dina's infidelities. Jack said he wished Ashley and Abby would stop interviewing Dina on camera because her mind wasn't clear. Ashley said she hoped to clarify which memories were real and which were fantasy. Before Ashley left, Jack cried that he was desperate to be released.
Abby and Nick arrived at the hospital together. J.T., Reed, and Victoria arrived soon after. Nikki greeted them and explained that she'd met with police and the hospital administrator. Nikki said, "According to the hospital, an attempt was made on your father's life. A switch was flipped on a ventilator that was keeping your father alive."
J.T. appeared nervous when Nikki added that someone had deliberately turned off the machine. Victoria said she couldn't believe it. J.T. added, "That's terrible." Nick asked who might have done it. Nikki said that the police and the hospital had opened investigations. Nikki added that hospital staff had acted quickly to save Victor's life.
Nick theorized that the person responsible had likely been the same person who'd attacked Victor. Nick added that because Jack was in jail, it indicated he was innocent. J.T. said, "Or he could've hired somebody on the outside to finish the job for him." Victoria expressed hope that security cameras might help identify the person. Nick recalled the dark-haired woman he'd spotted leaving Victor's room recently. Nikki urged Nick to share what he'd seen with investigators. Nikki went to Victor's room to consult with his doctor. After Nikki walked away, Reed said, "I can't believe someone tried to kill Grandpa." J.T. embraced his son to comfort him.
After Victor's doctor left, Nikki invited Abby, Nick, Reed, J.T. and Victoria into Victor's room. Nikki took Victor's hand. Victor opened his eyes. Victoria cried, "Dad is awake! His eyes are open." Nikki replied, "Yes. He's awake." J.T. looked nervous. Nikki noted that, though weak, Victor was alive.
Nick addressed his father and said, "Who did this to you?" Nikki urged her family to slow down and be grateful that Victor had regained consciousness. Nikki explained that Victor had suffered a minor stroke, which prevented him from speaking or moving, though therapy would allow a full recovery. Victor glared at J.T. and grunted.
Ashley returned to the jail. Jack stepped into the visitation room, rubbing his wrists where he'd been handcuffed. Jack saw Ashley and said, "You're back so soon." Ashley explained that Victor had awakened from his coma. Jack asked if Victor was communicative. Ashley said Abby would let them know soon because she was with Victor. Jack said, "He can identify the real assailant, and I can go free." Jack breathed a sigh of relief.
Victoria's demotion is leaked to the press
Victoria thanked Nick for stopping by her home, since she'd needed some peace and quiet after she'd dropped Reed and the kids off at a movie. She felt bad that she hadn't made it to the hospital that day, but Nick was sure that their dad was proud of her for jumping in and taking over at the office. Nick added that he and Abby had been with Victor all day, and the police had posted someone outside the room in case anyone tried to get in. Nick reported that their father was improving but still wasn't able to speak or move, and Victoria glumly realized that Victor wouldn't be able to tell them who'd tried to kill him. Nick was confident that it wouldn't be long before they "nail[ed] the S.O.B." who'd done it.
Nick mentioned that Paul had reviewed the hospital's security footage and had seen someone in a hoodie leaving Victor's room after the ventilator had been turned off. Nick added that there were no leads yet, but the police were looking into the dark-haired woman he'd seen leaving Victor's room. Nick wondered if he could have stopped the second attack by confronting the woman, but Victoria huffed that the police should have posted a guard from the start instead of leaving their dad vulnerable. She received a text message from the kids to pick them up, and she and Nick headed out together.
At the cottage, Mariah startled Sharon when she peered over her mother's shoulder to see what Sharon was doing on her phone. Mariah questioned who Sharon had been sending smiley faces to, and Sharon asked if Mariah could feed the troops that night. Mariah guessed that Sharon was working late, but Sharon revealed that she was meeting someone, so she had to get ready. Mariah pressed to know where Sharon was going.
Nick arrived at the cottage and found Mariah setting up for a picnic with the kids. She explained that Sharon had put her in charge of dinner, and he asked where she'd ordered from. Mariah informed him that she'd cooked, and he grimaced. She invited him to join them, and he commented that he was feeling adventurous. He assumed that Sharon was working late, and Mariah clammed up as Sharon descended the stairs in a sexy dress. Mariah exclaimed that her mother looked amazing, and Nick asked the occasion. Sharon announced that she had a date.
Nick pointed out that Sharon hadn't told him that she was seeing anyone, and Sharon reluctantly revealed that it was a first date. Sharon explained that she was meeting her date at the restaurant, and Mariah jokingly questioned how she could make him feel awkward by asking if he'd be her new dad. Sharon imagined that if things worked out, Mariah could ask him on their second date. Nick pressed to know how Sharon and her date had met, and Sharon admitted that they'd connected on an online dating app. Nick was stunned, and Mariah blurted out that she hoped it wasn't Design Date.
Sharon swore that she'd signed up with a reputable app, and she described the man as a CPA who liked Mexican food and was a dog person. Nick asked for the guy's name in case he needed to call the police if Sharon went missing, and he contended that he was just worried about the mother of his children. Sharon defended that people met that way all the time, and her only concern was that her date wouldn't be as handsome as his profile photo. Nick stammered to be careful and have fun, and he went upstairs to get the kids ready for dinner.
Mariah asked what had happened to there being something between Sharon and Nick, but Sharon refused to mope around the house if the feelings weren't mutual. Mariah quipped that dating a CPA wouldn't add up to anything, but Sharon figured that she would never know unless she went on the date. Mariah realized that Sharon wanted Nick to think that she wanted to go, but Sharon insisted that it wasn't a stunt to get a rise out of her ex. Mariah suspected that Nick was jealous, and Sharon pointed out that if he was, he could do something about it. Sharon headed out.
Mariah announced that the food was almost ready, and she was 95 percent sure that she wouldn't poison anyone. Nick asked how she really felt about Sharon going on a date with someone she didn't know anything about. Mariah replied that she'd let Nick take the lead earlier, but she believed Sharon knew exactly what he'd been trying to say.
Later, Sharon returned home and found Nick asleep on the couch. He woke up when she stroked his hair, and he asked how the date had been. She reported that she'd met a handsome, accomplished man with fascinating hobbies, but he wasn't right for her, since she preferred a homebody to someone who traveled a lot. She added that she wasn't looking for someone to settle down with but just wanted to have some fun, and she asked if Nick had tried to wait up for her. He explained that he'd wanted to be sure she made it home okay, and she thanked him for caring. He replied that he always would. She headed upstairs for bed, but she smiled back down at him from the top of the stairs.
J.T. hovered outside Victor's hospital room as the speech therapist departed. Abby gushed that Victor's first session had gone well, and she anticipated that it wouldn't be long before he was demanding tequila instead of apple juice. She assured Victor that he didn't have to worry about being in any more danger, since his family wouldn't let anything else happen to him. She added that he'd always taken care of them, so it was their turn to take care of him. Victor reacted when J.T. appeared in the doorway and firmly stated, "You got that right."
Abby enthused that Victor's speech therapy had gotten off to a great start, even though he hadn't said anything yet. Abby was confident that Victor would soon be able to tell them the name of the maniac who'd attacked him, and she would hate to be the guilty party once Victor was out of bed. She professed Jack's innocence because the blood found at the ranch hadn't matched Jack's, and she noted that Jack couldn't have shut off Victor's monitors while in police custody. J.T. argued that the incidents might not be related, but Abby maintained that Jack hadn't been responsible.
Abby testily asked why J.T. was there when Victoria wasn't, and he countered that someone had to run Newman. Abby groused that it wouldn't be an issue if Victoria had accepted her demotion instead of lying her way to the top spot at Newman, and she thought that Victor knew he'd have a lot to handle when he recovered. She urged Victor to rest until that happened, and J.T. said he wanted to give Victor a message from Reed. After Abby departed, J.T. bet that Victor couldn't wait to scorch J.T.'s life, but J.T. refused to let him ruin everything J.T. had worked so hard for. J.T. taunted that he had the upper hand while Victor was in there, and he planned to use it to his advantage.
J.T. went home and pulled out some suitcases. He sat down to write a goodbye note to Victoria, but he crumpled up the page and pulled out his tablet computer instead.
Kyle charmed Dina by sharing pizza with her at the Abbott mansion. He worried that he'd messed up the toppings, but she marveled that it had taken her back to Little Italy in New York. She suggested that they go there one day, and she struggled to remember his name. Kyle reminded her of it, and Dina mused that it didn't sound right. She realized that he wasn't the man from the country club, whose name she couldn't recall for the life of her. Kyle encouraged her to tell him more, since maybe he could help her remember.
Dina chuckled and confided that she'd spent a lot of time with the man at the Stardust Inn, but it would be terrible if John ever found out. Kyle promised not to say a word, and Dina wished that she could recall the man's name, since it would answer a lot of questions. Kyle inquired whether she had pictures of her former beau, and she mentioned that she'd kept a special memento. Ashley returned home and was surprised to see Kyle, and she coolly asked if she'd missed his call about stopping by. Dina indignantly stated that he didn't answer to the maid, and Kyle remarked that good help was hard to find. Dina ordered Ashley to clean up the mess and headed upstairs.
Ashley acknowledged that Kyle was good with Dina, but she warned that being alone with her mother wasn't a great idea, since Dina's grip on reality was tenuous. Kyle chortled about how his grandmother had hooked up with a guy at the Stardust Inn, and he noted that the "country club Casanova" had seemed important to Dina. Ashley informed him that sometimes Dina claimed to have memories that weren't even hers, and it was hard to decipher which memories were real. Ashley requested that he not make things more challenging by chasing after something that might not exist.
Kyle received a text message and reported that Newman and Ashley were all over the media outlets. Ashley practically pushed him out the door. Outside, Kyle made a call, hoping to meet someone in person to see their smile.
Ashley called out to Dina, who reentered the room and demanded to know where her friend had gone. Ashley explained that Kyle had needed to go, and Dina accused Ashley of making him feel uncomfortable. Ashley said she had to leave, and Dina retorted that she didn't care about what the maid did. Dina added that the dust was unacceptable, and she threatened to call John to have Ashley fired. Ashley promised to try to do better.
Later, Victoria told J.T. that the kids had been bummed that he hadn't been at dinner, and he urged her to relax and let him take care of her. Ashley arrived and declared that she was taking charge of Newman, since the memo Victor had signed before being admitted to the hospital had been leaked to the press, revealing that Victoria had been demoted in favor of Ashley. Victoria was sure it was a forged document, but Ashley reported that the memo had been sent from Victor's email account. Victoria argued that her father couldn't speak or move, but Ashley gloated that the memo had made it known loud and clear that Victoria was out.
Ashley clucked that she wouldn't want to be Victoria when Victor found out what she'd tried to pull. Victoria doubted that security would let Ashley near him, but Ashley noted that the story was everywhere. Ashley added that she wouldn't be surprised if Victor decided to put Victoria in the mail room or do what he should have done years earlier and fire her. Ashley snapped that Victor's files, projects, and office were off-limits to Victoria, who ordered Ashley out. Ashley obliged, and Victoria questioned who had had access to her father's email.
Victoria asked J.T. to get his team on it, and he speculated about who'd had the most to gain with Ashley in charge. Victoria intended to deal with Abby later, and she bemoaned that she'd be the laughingstock of the industry if her dad fired her, so she had to devise a plan that night. She asked for J.T.'s opinion about what he'd do, and he replied that he'd leave town. Victoria pointed out that it was the complete opposite of his previous advice not to slink away like a wounded victim. J.T. argued that she was stressed and overworked, and she deserved a vacation. He urged her to show that she didn't care what Ashley thought, and he pointed out that the kids were on spring break.
Victoria hesitated to leave town with her father in the hospital, but J.T. countered that Victor was recovering and that he could focus on healing instead of retribution while she was away. J.T. envisioned that jetting off would be like Victoria thumbing her nose at her detractors, and he begged her to do it for them, since their counselor had told them to deal with their stress in a healthier way. He voiced concern that Victoria would fall into old patterns if she stayed to deal with her dad, and he encouraged her to break the cycle by leaving and making a commitment to their family.
J.T. suggested that they leave that night, but Victoria worried that getting the kids ready would be no small feat. J.T. volunteered to help take care of everything, and he proposed that they go to Hawaii. He admitted that he'd been looking into vacations as a surprise before everything had happened. He implored her to do something spontaneous and leave "all this crap" behind them, and she blurted out yes. They hugged.
Later, Victoria told Nikki over the phone that she wouldn't be gone long, but she really needed to get away. Victoria asked her mother to keep her updated about her dad, and she hurriedly hung up to avoid missing the flight. Victoria observed that J.T. had packed a lot for a short trip, and he figured that they never knew when the weather would change. She kissed him and thanked him, and she thought they'd have something good and positive to talk about at their next counseling session. J.T. led Victoria to the door, flipped off the lights, and nodded before closing and locking the door.
At the Athletic Club, Lauren welcomed Kyle back to Genoa City, and she asked if he'd seen Jack. Kyle mentioned that he'd visited Jack at the jail, and Lauren swore that Michael was doing everything he could. Kyle reasoned that he couldn't put things on hold at Jabot while Jack was indisposed, and that was why he'd stepped in. He wanted to run an idea by her that would be hugely beneficial for both companies, and he suggested that they order some wine to toast with when she accepted his proposition. Abby looked on as Kyle summoned the waiter.
Abby eavesdropped as Lauren voiced enthusiasm for Kyle's idea, since she'd always felt that Fenmore's had been an afterthought. Kyle figured that Jack had had a lot on his plate between Dina and his battle with Ashley, and Jabot's subsidiaries had taken a hit when Jack had taken his eye off the ball. Kyle contended that it was time to act, since Jack's incarceration had left Jabot in a precarious state. Lauren was impressed with Kyle's focus, and he asked if he could count on her support. Abby interrupted, and Kyle mentioned that they'd been talking about Jabot, but Abby would hear about all of it at a board meeting that she'd soon be invited to. Kyle offered to walk Lauren out, leaving Abby behind.
At the Abbott mansion, Ashley told Abby about the memo that had been leaked, and Abby wondered if other sensitive documents had been made public. Ashley said it had just been the memo, but she'd told IT to increase security. Ashley remarked that it had been a fantastic gift, even if it had been corporate espionage, since Victoria couldn't disregard Victor's wishes any longer. Abby contemplated whether someone had leaked the memo to help Ashley or to hurt Victoria, and Ashley imagined that there were more people gunning for Victoria. Ashley urged Abby to keep her eyes open, and Abby remarked that they had to keep an eye on Kyle, who was definitely up to something.
Abby relayed that Kyle was calling a board meeting, but he'd been intentionally vague on the details. Ashley worried that he was getting rid of Jack's supporters and lining up allies before pulling off something big, and it would be too late to stop him once they got in the boardroom. Abby said they could still use the blood Abbott clause, and Ashley mentioned that Kyle had been close to finding out about it on his own by talking to Dina. Ashley thought that if Kyle found out, he was clever enough to use the information to his advantage by changing the clause before they could oust him. Ashley was determined to find out Kyle's endgame before he tampered with her father's legacy.
Kyle visited Victor at the hospital and was glad the nurse had remembered him from the day before, or he wouldn't have been allowed in the room. Kyle reported that Lauren was all in, leaving them only one vote short. Kyle planned to swing Phyllis' vote to get the authority to take Jabot public like he and Victor had planned. Kyle advised Victor to get his checkbook ready if he still wanted a majority share of Jack's company.
Kyle expected some resistance from his family, but he was confident that he'd have enough votes to quash the rebellion before it started. He imagined that he and Victor would have controlling interest in the company, leaving the rest of the Abbotts powerless. Kyle mentioned that he'd thought of a contingency plan if Victor was still incapacitated -- Victoria. Victor's finger twitched as Kyle rambled about how there was no love lost between Victoria and Ashley, so Victoria was sure to jump on board to carry out Victor's wishes.
Victoria breaks her engagement and leaves J.T.
At the hospital, Nikki showed Victor her tablet and the article about Victoria being demoted and Ashley taking over at Newman. Nikki said that she'd gone along with Victoria running the company, but the truth was out. She had no idea who had leaked Victor's memo to the press. Victor pointed to the tablet, indicating he wanted to see Victoria. Nikki advised him that he'd have to wait because J.T. had taken Victoria and the kids to Hawaii.
In Hawaii, Victoria wanted to charter a catamaran for the day, but J.T. said they were there to relax and showed off that he wasn't wearing a watch. J.T. ordered Reed and Victoria to turn off their phones and put them into a drawer. Victoria was reluctant. She said that Victor's condition might change, and Nikki would try to reach her. J.T. convinced Victoria to relax. She put her watch and phone into the drawer.
J.T. suggested that he and Victoria travel, never return to Genoa City, and go their own way. Victoria said that his suggestion wasn't practical. J.T. pointed out that they had the money to do it and asked what good it was having money if they'd only wind up in hospital like Victor. Victoria was stunned when she realized that J.T. was serious. He said he wanted them to disappear with the kids.
J.T. asked why he and Victoria couldn't make Hawaii or a similar place their home. He wanted them to start fresh. Victoria said she couldn't keep Katie and Johnny from Billy, and she wanted to be near family. J.T. reminded Victoria that her biggest obstacle was the screwed-up relationship she had with Victor. He said that when Victor found out Victoria had disobeyed his orders, pushed Ashley aside, and taken over Newman, there would be hell to pay.
Victoria told J.T. that she didn't want to be separated from Nikki, Nick, and Abby. J.T. said that they were all rich enough that they could visit whenever they wanted to. He said that Victoria had been under a lot of stress at Newman, and he wanted her to relax. He claimed that he'd sacrificed his family and kids to make sure that things would work out for them. He claimed that Victor had too much influence over her. Victoria countered that the good things in Genoa City outweighed the bad.
J.T. asked Victoria if it didn't matter what he wanted and accused her of being selfish. He claimed that she'd never suggested that he visit his kids in Washington, DC. Victoria said she'd been waiting for him to make the suggestion once the divorce had been finalized, but instead, he wanted them to move thousands of miles away. She said that if anyone was selfish, it was him. J.T. became angry and walked out.
Alone, Victoria discovered, when she tried to retrieve her phone, that J.T. had locked the drawer. When J.T. returned, she asked him to unlock the drawer so she could get her phone, but he refused. Victoria angrily reminded him that she wasn't a child, and no one made her decisions for her. J.T.'s phone, which was in his pocket, rang. Victoria became angry that he'd kept his phone but had locked hers away. He claimed he'd kept his for emergency purposes only. Victoria grabbed his phone and walked away from him. J.T. tried to take it away from her, but she kept moving away.
Victoria found the text exchanges between Paul and J.T. on his phone. She asked if he'd been working as a mole to take Victor down. He explained that Paul had wanted him to investigate, but he hadn't found anything to incriminate Victor. Victoria asked if that had been the reason J.T. had wanted to be with her, but J.T. denied it and said he was with her because he loved her. He added that Paul and Christine had known he'd lied to protect Nikki. He'd been given the option of either helping them get evidence against Victor or facing prosecution.
J.T. said that, depending on how he'd performed, there would be a job waiting for him with Paul or the FBI, where he'd work on those types of cases for real. Victoria couldn't believe that J.T. had betrayed her and her family because he'd wanted to relive his glory days as a detective. He snarled that Victoria didn't really know him, and she agreed. He claimed that if Victor had gone down, Victoria would have been arrested as an accessory. J.T. claimed that part of his texts with Paul had been to ask Paul to focus on Victor and not Victoria. J.T. said he knew that Victoria loved Victor, but Victor was bad for her.
J.T. asked Victoria how many years she planned to spend as Victor's emotional punching bag. He said they both knew that if Nick ever returned to Newman, Victor would kick Victoria to the curb in a heartbeat. He'd seen how much strain she'd been under, and that had been the reason he'd wanted to get her out of Newman. Victoria asked if he'd leaked the memo to the press. J.T. admitted he had and that he'd done it for her because he loved her so much. He'd seen that being under Victor's thumb had damaged her -- broken her spirit and changed who she'd been.
J.T. claimed he'd never plot against Ashley because he'd never be that insecure. He claimed that Victoria couldn't see that, but he'd seen the change, and so had others. That had been the reason he'd wanted to pry her out of the company and the prison she'd called her office. Victoria asked if J.T. realized how much damage he'd done to her reputation. J.T. said he did, but in the end, he thought it was worth it. Incensed, Victoria asked in what universe he thought that being publicly humiliated was a good thing.
J.T. asked Victoria how many times Victor had humiliated her and she'd gone back for more. He said that thanks to him, she didn't have to deal with that anymore. He said there was no reason they shouldn't remain in Hawaii because it had been the life he'd created for them. All they had to do was reach out and grab it together. He asked Victoria to consider staying in Hawaii for a little while.
Victoria told J.T. that she wouldn't stay nor would she go anywhere with him for a hundred different reasons. J.T. asked her to name one that didn't involve Newman. Victoria snapped that Mac and Nikki had warned her how controlling he was. She said that he had never been like that, but after he'd left Genoa City, he'd had a series of failures that had changed who he'd been -- and it hadn't been for the better.
J.T. said that Victoria wasn't perfect. She agreed she wasn't perfect. She admitted she constantly made mistakes, but she always vowed to do better. J.T.'s mistakes had made him bitter. He didn't feel successful unless he put people down. Victoria told J.T. that they were done. She told him their relationship was over and returned the engagement ring to him.
Victoria told J.T. that she was taking the kids and going home. She didn't care what he did. As she turned to leave, J.T. blocked the door and asked her not to give up on them. Victoria asked if he planned to block her, kidnap her, or hold her hostage. J.T. said that if she walked out the door, he wouldn't be there when she returned. He added that no matter how much she begged, he wouldn't take her back. Victoria spat that they were on the same page and walked out. J.T. was furious.
At the condo, Phyllis told Billy that without Jack at the helm, she had to keep an eye on Kyle. She invited Billy to go to Jabot with her to keep an eye on Kyle while she got some work done. Billy agreed. As they opened the door, Nick stood there and asked to speak to Phyllis privately. Billy left.
Nick told Phyllis about Sharon's blind date and that it had thrown him. He said that Sharon had looked really good. Phyllis reminded him that she'd warned him about moving in with Sharon and advised him to run before he fell into a trap again. Nick said it was too late because he and Sharon had shared a kiss. Phyllis said that she was certain Sharon wanted to raise Christian, but Nick disagreed. He said that Sharon had worked very hard to gain his trust. She'd been completely appropriate with Christian.
Phyllis disagreed, because if something permanent happened between him and Sharon, she'd have Nick and Christian. Nick said that wouldn't happen because Sharon was dating. Phyllis suggested that perhaps Sharon's date had been arranged to make Nick jealous.
Billy arrived at Crimson Lights and told Sharon he had an extra gaming console that she could have for Nick. Sharon asked if Billy had noticed how upset she'd been when she'd found Nick with Phyllis playing video games while Nikki had been trying desperately to reach him about Victor's condition. Sharon said that Nick had been with Phyllis playing video games when Cassie had died. She said she hated video games then apologized for her comments.
Billy told Sharon that Nick had stopped by the condo to speak to Phyllis privately. He wondered why Nick needed to talk to Phyllis, since Victor had emerged from his coma. Sharon shrugged and said that it was none of her business. Billy said he'd noticed how protective Phyllis was of Nick. Billy was surprised that Sharon was so nonchalant about it. After Billy left, Sharon looked worried.
Phyllis arrived at Jabot and asked Lauren if she'd seen Billy. Lauren said she hadn't, but she told Phyllis that she'd met with Kyle and that he planned on taking Jabot public. Phyllis asked if Kyle was trying to start a war with Jack. Lauren claimed that unless Michael was able to convince a judge to let Jack out of jail, Jack wouldn't have a say; even with Jack's proxy, there wouldn't be enough board votes to circumvent it.
Phyllis reminded Lauren that Jack had tried to take Jabot public before and that Victor had waited in the wings, swooped in, and bought the company. It had almost destroyed Jack and John. Phyllis was adamant that that couldn't happen and said that they had to stop Kyle from taking over Jabot just to screw Jack. Phyllis suggested that she, Lauren, Traci, Jack, and Ashley vote against it, but Lauren said that if Jabot went public, it would be an answer to her prayers.
Lauren said that she was on board with Kyle because when Jabot went public, she could make enough money to buy back the stake in Fenmore's she'd sold to Jack. She said that Fenmore's was her legacy from her father, and if she was offered an opportunity to be independent again, she'd take it. Billy arrived. Phyllis told him about Kyle's plans to take Jabot public and that Lauren was in favor of it. Lauren claimed that she hated working under someone's umbrella. She missed being in charge of her own destiny.
Billy warned Lauren to think long and hard before making her decision because Kyle was playing a very dangerous game. Lauren said that Kyle had assured her that he'd implement a safety clause to protect Jabot, and Kyle wasn't playing -- he was very confident in his plan. Billy remarked that Kyle was at an age where he had the charm and enthusiasm of a guy who'd been born rich and good-looking. He'd never been tested by the outside world. Lauren said that Kyle reminded her of Billy.
Billy admitted he'd had a soft, cushy upbringing, and he'd been full of himself. It had led him to make stupid decisions, and he'd been involved with the wrong people. He admitted that he was lucky to be alive. Lauren said that Kyle had been sorting things out to avoid a repeat of what had happened with Victor years earlier. Kyle wanted safeguards put into place to protect Jabot and to stop any problems with outside predators. Phyllis reminded Lauren that Kyle and Victor were thick as thieves.
Lauren said she understood why Phyllis despised Victor. She claimed that things were far more complex for her. Victor had paid Scott's ransom -- he'd gotten Scott back from the Middle East, and he'd reimbursed her after Chelsea had scammed her. Phyllis was astounded that Lauren was okay with Kyle and Victor taking over Jabot. Lauren accused Phyllis of making assumptions. Billy chimed in that those assumptions were based on some recent observations.
Lauren said that Kyle was her only opportunity to buy Fenmore's back, and she'd never forgive herself if she let that opportunity go. After Billy left to see Jack, Lauren reminded Phyllis that Phyllis worked for her, and when Kyle convened the board, she expected Phyllis to approve Jabot going public for the good of Fenmore's -- the company that signed Phyllis' paychecks. Lauren left, leaving Phyllis stunned.
At the hospital, Nick told Nikki that Victoria hadn't mentioned any upcoming trips. He was surprised she was in Hawaii. Nikki advised that it had been a last-minute decision. Victor wrote "J.T." on the tablet with a shaking finger. Nikki said that it had been J.T.'s idea to go to Hawaii. Nick and Nikki didn't clue in on Victor's urgency. Nick asked Nikki if Victor knew why Victoria had gone. Nikki said that she'd explained everything to Victor.
Nick said he knew that Victor had been upset with Victoria because of the way she'd treated Ashley, but Nick explained that Victoria had been facing a crisis and that her heart had been in the right place. She needed to decompress with her family and fiancÚ. Nikki commented that it had been odd how J.T. had rushed Victoria out of town. With a shaking hand, Victor pointed to the tablet again, but he was ignored. Nick told Victor to keep getting better, and he left.
Outside Victor's room, Nick encountered the mystery lady and wanted to know who she was. He accused her of trying to kill Victor. She claimed she'd dropped off a gift for Victor then tried to leave. Nikki watched as Nick stopped the mystery woman. Nick called Paul and told him that he had the person who'd tried to kill Victor. He wanted Paul to arrest her.
At the police station, the mystery woman claimed she'd dropped off a gift for Victor. Jack was being led to the interrogation room, and he recognized the woman. He told Paul that she was his head chemist, Helen Wallace. Paul asked Jack if she'd been his accomplice. Jack denied that he'd tried to kill Victor and insisted Helen hadn't tried it, either.
In the interrogation room, Jack told Billy that he wouldn't be granted bail because he was a flight risk, since Jabot had a private jet. Jack said that Paul was questioning his head chemist because she'd made the mistake of visiting Victor. Jack wondered how she and Victor knew each other. Billy told Jack about Kyle's plan to take Jabot public. Jack was furious. He said that Kyle had played into the monster's hands with all the email exchanges between him and Victor. He asked Billy to stop Kyle. Jack wondered if Helen was part of the conspiracy, but Billy felt that was a stretch.
Outside the interrogation room, Nikki asked Paul if Helen had helped Jack. Paul told her that he didn't believe Helen had had anything to do with it. Nikki wanted to know why Helen had gone to see Victor. Paul took Nikki to his office. He introduced Nikki to Helen as Victor's wife and introduced Helen as Victor's mistress. Paul left.
Nikki looked Helen up and down and asked how Helen had become involved with Victor. Helen said Victor had advised her that he had an open marriage, and Helen apologized if that wasn't true. She claimed that she wasn't a homewrecker. Nikki confirmed that they had an open marriage. Helen explained how she'd met Victor and how charming he'd been. Nikki confirmed that Victor was charming when he wanted to be. Nikki said that she was the great love of Victor's life and that Jack was Victor's worst enemy. She advised Helen that she'd be wise to figure out where she fit into that business, and she left.
Nick arrived at Sharon's and heard Sharon on the baby monitor, comforting Christian.
Victoria reveals that J.T. abused her
Victoria returned home from Hawaii with her kids. She asked Reed to take an exhausted Johnny and Katie upstairs, and she said she had to get to the office, so Hannah was on the way. After Reed shuttled the kids away, Victoria forlornly picked up a wedding photo of her and J.T. and flashed back to him saying his vows. Reed returned and recognized that she hadn't wanted to say anything in front of the younger children, but she hadn't explained anything since she'd canceled their vacation without even spending one night in Hawaii.
Victoria promised to make it up to Reed, but he protested that she'd just left his dad there. Victoria claimed that she and J.T. had tried to work things out, and she urged Reed to trust her on it. Reed grumbled that his dad would tell him about it if she wouldn't, and Victoria swore that she'd done it for a reason. Reed snapped that it was his vacation, and he refused to spend it there with her. He gathered his things and barked that he was spending the night at a friend's house, and he stalked out.
Reed ordered some coffee at Crimson Lights, and Sharon voiced surprise that he wasn't drinking pineapple juice on a surfboard. He griped that his mom had pulled the plug on the whole thing, and Sharon inquired about J.T. Reed reported that his father was still in Hawaii and not answering any calls. Reed stepped away and ran into Billy, who asked if the flight had been canceled. As Sharon looked on, Reed groaned that his mom had done it again by calling off the wedding.
At Newman Enterprises, Ashley entered Victoria's office and was surprised to find Victoria there. Victoria vaguely indicated that her plans had changed. Victoria added that she wanted to avoid any arguments, since she was sure Victor would let them know who he wanted in charge soon enough. Ashley agreed to a truce, but she pressed to speak with J.T. about a security question. Victoria replied that it wasn't possible, and Ashley prepared to track him down herself. Victoria said Ashley wouldn't find him, and Ashley expected Victoria to accuse her of leaking the memo. Victoria crumpled into tears, and Ashley closed the office door.
Ashley handed Victoria some tissues, and she assumed that since Victor was doing better, it had something to do with J.T. Victoria divulged that she'd scrapped the vacation because they'd broken up. Ashley brightly pointed out that the couple had made up before, but Victoria was adamant that they weren't getting back together and that J.T. wouldn't be returning to work there. Victoria waited for Ashley to say she'd told her so, but Ashley acknowledged that she wasn't in any position to blast anyone for mixing business with romance, since it had never turned out well for her.
Victoria was cautious about Ashley's sudden kindness, and Ashley conceded that it didn't mean she'd forgotten about Victoria's attempt to subvert her demotion. Ashley was stunned when Victoria admitted that J.T. had leaked Victor's memo to humiliate her and manipulate her into leaving town with the kids, as if it would embarrass her into forgetting about the company and her family. Ashley remarked that J.T. didn't know Victoria at all. Victoria asserted that she wasn't a quitter when there was something worth fighting for, but her relationship with J.T. definitely wasn't.
Ashley noted that Victoria's resilience was one of her finest qualities, but Ashley made it clear that she wasn't going to back down from a position that was rightfully hers. Victoria replied that she'd expect nothing less from the company's CIO, and Ashley pointed out that Victoria had an awful lot to prove. Victoria dared Ashley and the rest of the company to watch her do just that. Ashley departed, and Victoria got to work.
Victoria finished a call as Billy entered her office, and she saw from the look on his face that he'd already heard the news. He mentioned that he'd run into Reed, and she didn't expect Billy to pick up the pieces after he'd warned her about J.T. more than once. Billy stressed that he just wanted her to be happy, and he offered to take the kids for a few days. She agreed but requested that he wait until after dinner to give her a chance to tell Johnny and Katie that J.T. would no longer be living with them. She hoped she could do it without traumatizing them, and she began to cry. Billy pulled her into his arms and swore that she'd nail it, just like she always did.
Mariah arrived at the coffeehouse and wondered why Sharon had asked her to pick up organic limes. Sharon pulled out a bottle of tequila and announced that she was throwing a surprise girls' night for Victoria, who was reeling from a breakup. Mariah pointed out that Sharon and Victoria weren't exactly friends, and she didn't think a "type-A control freak corporate chick" like Victoria seemed like a surprise party kind of gal. Sharon reasoned that Victoria was hurting, and she recalled that her own party had helped her get over Scott.
Sharon and Mariah sat down to make a list of people to invite, and after a moment of silence, Mariah asked if Victoria had any friends. Sharon named Neil and Billy, but they couldn't think of any girls, and Mariah figured that it was a wash. Sharon contended that it proved her point that Victoria needed women in her life that she could count on. Sharon called Abby and told her about the party for her sister, but she was surprised to learn about what Victoria had done to Ashley. Abby hung up on Sharon.
Mariah thought she and Sharon should admit defeat, since it would be totally sad if they showed up alone and made Victoria realize how unpopular she was with her own gender. Sharon refused to give up, and she brightened when she spotted Nikki. Sharon cheerfully greeted Nikki and complimented her outfit, and Nikki flatly asked what Sharon really wanted. Sharon relayed that Victoria had canceled her trip and gone straight home, and Nikki questioned why her daughter would do such a thing. Sharon figured that it was a bummer no matter what the reason, and she mentioned her idea of a girls-only night to cheer Victoria up. Nikki found it strange, but Mariah swore that Sharon had the best intentions.
Sharon high-fived Mariah for recruiting Nikki to join the party, but Mariah thought Nikki's presence wouldn't make it a party because Nikki didn't even drink. Sharon called Billy to ask a favor and told him about the party, but he doubted that Victoria would be up for it. Sharon pledged to give Victoria a night that she'd never forget, but Billy said he couldn't go because he had the kids that night. Sharon clarified that he wasn't invited because it was a girls' night, but she wondered if Phyllis had any plans.
Phyllis joined Billy at the Athletic Club and agreed to let Johnny and Katie hang with them for a few days. She contemplated how to entertain them that night, but Billy had something else in mind for her -- an impromptu girls' night for Victoria that Sharon was organizing. An unenthused Phyllis dryly asked if she could carpool with Christine, but Billy argued that he'd gone along with her plan to have Nick drop in for video games. Phyllis grumbled that it had been different because Nick was normal, but Billy hoped that Phyllis and Victoria would learn to get along better, especially since Victoria was going through a rough time.
Kyle arrived at the Abbott mansion, and Ashley clucked that he had no shame. He declared that he was there to see Dina, and Ashley reiterated that his inserting himself into Dina's life was problematic. Kyle taunted that it was petty and mean to deny an elderly woman a little fun, since Dina clearly liked him more than Ashley's maid service. Ashley huffed that the charm he'd expended on Dina had been wasted, since Dina wasn't on the board and didn't have a vote. Kyle swore that his only agenda was bonding with his grandmother while he still could, and he thought the aunt he remembered would have understood. Ashley retorted that she would have before Kyle had greedily sunken his claws into his grandpa's company.
Ashley checked on her mother and reported that Dina was sound asleep, and she coolly asked if Kyle wanted anything else. He wished for his family to stop treating him like the enemy, and Ashley suggested that he back off his power play to take Jabot public. He scoffed at the idea of a massive cash infusion being bad for business, but she countered that it would leave the company vulnerable to a hostile takeover. Kyle snapped that she'd taken a job at Newman, so she didn't get to have it both ways. Ashley barked that she was done taking jabs in her own home from someone who hadn't been invited there in the first place, and Kyle conceded that he sometimes didn't know when to shut up.
Ashley led Kyle to the door and manually unlocked the deadbolt to let him out. He swore that he wasn't there to insult her or to argue, and he seriously believed that going public was the future of Jabot. He crowed that the train was leaving the station, so she should sit back and enjoy the ride to the next stop -- major profits for all of them. Ashley quipped that she was going to jump off, since she was already starting to feel the motion sickness kick in. She locked the door behind him.
Later, Ashley thanked Billy for stopping by to discuss what Kyle was trying to do at Jabot. Billy vowed to fight it and block it, and Ashley recounted that she'd tried to voice her concerns, but Kyle had dismissed them and called her a hypocrite. Ashley worried that Kyle was going full throttle with his IPO scheme, leaving the company vulnerable to a hostile takeover. Ashley pondered whether Kyle was relying on funding from business allies in New York and if he might even double-cross Victor. Billy questioned whether that meant they were rooting for Victor.
At home, Victoria told Johnny and Katie that dinner of squiggly pasta with their favorite sauce was almost ready. She praised that they'd been angels with all the traveling, and she had a big surprise for them -- they'd be spending a couple of nights with their daddy. The kids cheered, and Victoria promised that she would take them on a real vacation soon. "With J.T.?" Johnny asked, but Victoria clarified that it would be just them and Reed. She added that they would still see J.T. with their brother, but J.T. wouldn't be living with them anymore. Katie inquired whether J.T. was mad at them, but Victoria insisted that he wasn't because they were perfect. She swore that it had been no one's fault, and she hugged them.
Later, Victoria got up from the couch to answer the doorbell. Sharon and Mariah scurried in with armfuls of shopping bags and yelled, "Surprise!" Victoria didn't understand, and she spotted the tequila. Sharon mentioned her idea about throwing Victoria a girls' night, and Mariah asked if Victoria had a margarita preference. Victoria preferred to do it another night because she was worn out, but Sharon protested that they couldn't cancel because the others would be there soon.
Victoria welcomed Nikki to the surprise party, having warmed up to the idea of a nice distraction. Victoria asked who else would be there, but Mariah said it was just them as she passed around margaritas. Victoria exclaimed that the drink was really good, and Mariah offered to make a virgin one for Nikki. The doorbell rang, and Victoria was surprised to find Phyllis, bearing more tequila. Sharon proclaimed that their girls' night was officially on, and Victoria inquired whether they had anything specific in mind to do.
Nikki invited Victoria to take a walk to tell her about Hawaii, but Victoria insisted that they could talk there. Victoria announced that she and J.T. had broken up, and Nikki gasped as others expressed sympathy. Victoria asserted that she had no regrets, and she claimed that she and J.T. had given it their best shot, but they'd had a mutual moment of clarity in Hawaii and decided to end things. She added that no one was there for a pity party, and she wanted to have some fun. Mariah presented a tray of margaritas, and Sharon toasted to Victoria and the most fun they could have in one night.
Sharon asked Nikki how Victor was doing, and Nikki was thankful that he was on the road to complete recovery. Victoria toasted to her parents, and Phyllis chortled at the idea of Victor and Nikki being the perfect couple. Phyllis encouraged Nikki to abide by the code of girls' night and tell the truth, and Victoria wondered what Phyllis was talking about. Nikki readily confessed that she and Victor had an open marriage and that Phyllis had been tackily referring to Nikki's occasional male companion. Phyllis observed that Nikki had an incredibly hot boy toy, and Victoria struggled to grasp the situation.
Nikki asserted that she preferred the arrangement, and while it wouldn't work for every relationship, what she and Victor had was deep and time-tested. Sharon thanked Nikki for the positivity that stemmed from women being open and celebrating together, and she invited anyone else to share something. Mariah drunkenly rambled that she was more than good on her own, and she didn't need any relationship to be happy, be it open or closed, or male or female. Mariah revealed that she'd kissed a girl on the lips and liked it. However, it hadn't been true love but more like a lie that had felt true.
Sharon lectured that it was good to be honest and candid, and Phyllis called Sharon out on pretending it had been perfectly innocent to invite her ex-husband and his son to live with her. Sharon insisted that it had been, but Nikki sided with Phyllis. The doorbell rang, and Sharon guessed that perhaps Abby had changed her mind. Victoria opened the door and faced J.T.
Sharon objected to Phyllis making insinuations about her and Nick, and she questioned whether Phyllis was jealous. Phyllis turned up her nose at the thought of cramming another adult, a tween, and a toddler into her space, but Sharon speculated that Sharon and Nick's friendship had triggered Phyllis' unresolved feelings for Nick. Phyllis encouraged Sharon to keep studying for her college midterms. Sharon discovered that Mariah had passed out.
Meanwhile, Victoria ordered J.T. to leave, but he wouldn't until she heard him out. He heard the party inside and surmised that she hadn't been able to wait to celebrate dumping him, and she stepped outside and closed the door. He told her that he was there to apologize, but she replied that it was too late. J.T. swore that he was sorry that things had gotten out of hand, but he insisted that it had happened because of how much he loved her. He promised that he would never overstep or try to control her and that he would only love and cherish her the way she deserved. He begged her to give him one more chance.
J.T. recognized that it had been rough to try to fit their passion and love into the parameters of a normal relationship, but he contended that he and Victoria had something normal people never got to experience. He vowed to find a way to fix it, since she was what mattered most to him in the world, and he'd spend the rest of his life proving it to her if she'd forgive him one last time. Victoria shook her head and said no. She asserted that she didn't want to hear any more promises or apologies, and she was done with him. Victoria continued that she should have been done from the moment J.T. had grabbed her throat.
J.T. argued that they'd gotten past it and could still have a great life together if Victoria gave herself a chance. Victoria intended to give herself a chance to find that great life, but there was no room for him in it. She urged him to accept it and "get the hell off" of her property, and she stepped back inside. Victoria returned to the party and said she could use another margarita. Sharon asked if Abby had been at the door, and Victoria claimed that her sister had stopped by to tell her about a prior commitment.
Sharon said Abby was missing out on a special evening of laughing, relaxing, and even finding some common ground. Phyllis referred to their glaring differences of opinion, but Sharon asserted that owning their choices could be very powerful. Phyllis recognized that she was always quick to find fault with everything Sharon did, but she credited Sharon for gathering together a group of women who stood up for themselves in different and unique ways. Nikki declared that she was happy to be there, and she felt stronger and happier with herself for having been honest.
Victoria suddenly blurted out that couldn't keep lying, since she'd been telling half-truths for a long time. Nikki implored Victoria to go on, since she was with friends. Victoria confided that she'd been covering something up for months, but it had to stop right then, and she didn't want to lie about it anymore. Sharon gently assured Victoria that she didn't have to lie. Victoria admitted that the real reason that she'd broken up with J.T. hadn't been simple -- it had been a nightmare. Victoria tearfully revealed that J.T. had abused her.
Nikki steps in to protect Victoria from J.T.
At Victoria's house, Nikki reeled from Victoria's admission that J.T. had abused her. Victoria recognized that Nikki had been worried about the way he'd spoken to Victoria, and Nikki was certain that there had been more criticisms and loaded comments than she'd overheard. Victoria explained that she'd felt like she couldn't do anything right in his eyes, and he'd said things to her to make her behave in a certain way. Victoria's phone rang, and Phyllis was appalled that J.T. thought he could call Victoria.
Victoria recounted that the way J.T. had treated her had been exhausting, since she'd never known which J.T. would walk through the door. She added that covering it up had been tiring, too, because she'd sometimes felt that she'd devoted all of her energy to him, with every waking thought being about pleasing him, avoiding him, standing up to him, or backing down from him. Victoria wailed that she hadn't been herself anymore, since her whole life had revolved around him. She firmly stated that it was over, and saying it out loud meant he couldn't control her anymore.
Nikki, Sharon, and Phyllis peered over Victoria's shoulder to read an increasingly irate string of text messages from J.T. Sharon urged Victoria to disengage, but Phyllis thought Victoria should send a message back to tell him where to shove his phone. Victoria imagined that he thought he could talk her into taking him back, but she refused to give him any more chances after everything he'd done.
At Crimson Lights, J.T. slammed his phone down on the table when his call to Victoria went to voicemail. Cane approached and observed that J.T. looked rough around the edges. J.T. revealed that at that time the day before, he'd been in Hawaii with Victoria and the kids on vacation, planning his future, and he wondered "what the hell" had gone wrong. J.T. announced that Victoria had broken off their engagement, and Cane guessed that J.T. hadn't expected it. J.T. conceded that they'd had some issues, but nothing they wouldn't be able to work through.
Cane asked if J.T. and Victoria had fought, and J.T. described it as a bunch of disagreements over differences between how guys and women thought. Cane figured that she just needed time to cool off, since he'd seen what the couple had together, and he advised J.T. to go after what he wanted. J.T. prepared to leave, and he thanked Cane for the talk and his friendship. J.T. added that he might not be around after that night. J.T. said Cane might hear things about him, but it was up to Cane whether or not to believe them. Cane asked what he meant, but J.T. ignored the question and left.
Meanwhile, Victoria admitted that she hadn't wanted her mother or anyone else to know that she'd been a victim. She regretted that J.T.'s love had meant more to her than her own self-respect, and she was ashamed, but she hadn't wanted anyone to judge her. Sharon assured her that no one would have done that, but Victoria acknowledged that everyone had told her that she'd needed to slow things down. Victoria pointed out that she was COO of Newman Enterprises, yet the man who claimed to love her had been bullying her and belittling her -- and she'd let it happen.
Phyllis struggled to understand, and she inquired whether Victoria had just pretended that it hadn't been happening. Victoria recalled that she'd told J.T. to stop, and they'd argued about it. Victoria continued that he would apologize, and she'd always wonder if she'd overreacted and convince herself that she wouldn't let it happen again. Sharon recognized that abusers were very good at apologizing, since she heard about it every day on the crisis line. Victoria urged them to think about how sweet J.T. was in public and how much everyone liked him, and she questioned who would have believed her if she'd announced that the charming, charismatic J.T., who everyone adored, had been abusing her.
Nikki declared that she would have believed it, but she hadn't realized how awful it had been for Victoria. Victoria mentioned that Mac had tried to warn her, and Phyllis was stunned that J.T. had pulled the same thing on Mac. Sharon insisted that Mac had only confided in her because Mac had been worried about Victoria, who was sorry that she'd told Sharon to butt out. Sharon thought she should have pushed harder, but Victoria recognized that she'd had to be the one to want things to change.
Phyllis couldn't fathom what J.T. had found to criticize about a smart, powerful, gorgeous person like Victoria, and Victoria rattled off a list of his gripes about her. Victoria explained that he'd made his comments seem like helpful suggestions because he cared enough to tell the truth. Sharon surmised that J.T. had made Victoria depend on him and that his opinion had become more important than hers. Victoria hated that she'd had to run any decision she made past him because she'd respected his judgment more than she'd respected her own. Victoria thought she'd needed him, but more than anything, she'd needed them to be okay.
Victoria remembered days and moments that had been perfect, and she'd told herself that she had to do better to make sure that there were only good days. She stammered that she'd agreed to marry J.T. even after their argument had become physical, and she wiped away tears. Nikki asked what J.T. had done to her, and Victoria relayed that they'd had a heated argument about him feeling that she was too attached to Billy. She recounted that he wouldn't let go of her arm, so she'd hit him, and he'd grabbed by the throat and shoved her against the wall. She added that she'd thought he'd been about to hit her, but he'd punched the wall next to her face instead.
Sharon gasped and asked if anyone else had known. Victoria reported that she'd covered her bruises and worn his ring, and Nikki choked back a sob. Phyllis questioned what had made Victoria want to stay after that, but Victoria honestly didn't know. Victoria guessed that it had been because they'd loved one another, and she'd thought she could fix things if she acted the right way. Victoria admitted that she probably wouldn't understand it if she hadn't lived it, and she imagined that she'd stayed because leaving would have felt like a failure.
Victoria recognized that the good days had been miraculous, and she recalled grappling with how to give up those moments, since J.T. had always been such a good man. Victoria shared that they'd seen the therapist who Sharon had recommended, and J.T. had said all the right things. Victoria waited for someone to tell her that she'd been stupid enough to believe him, but Phyllis swore that she wasn't thinking that. Sharon pointed out that they'd all had times when they'd thought with their hearts instead of their heads, and they'd all wanted someone or something that wasn't good for them.
Sharon insisted that Victoria hadn't done anything shameful or wrong, but Victoria whimpered that she never wanted her dad to know that she'd let something like that happen. Nikki firmly stated that Victor would be proud of Victoria for being strong and resilient and for getting J.T. out of her life. Phyllis wondered what had made Victoria want to cut J.T. loose in Hawaii. Victoria recounted that he'd made it clear that he wanted to control every aspect of her life, and she'd realized that she had to walk away and never go back.
Nikki was shocked to learn that J.T. had pretended to be loyal to the Newman family after Paul and Christine had hired him to spy on Victor. Sharon said it was classic behavior for J.T. to lock up Victoria's phone and cut off her communications. Nikki was livid that J.T. had thought Victoria would leave her family and take her kids away from their home, and Sharon realized that he'd leaked the memo so Victoria wouldn't have a job to stay for. Victoria understood that things wouldn't get better and could never be fixed, and she'd seen that when she'd envisioned the kind of life she'd have if she gave up everything for him.
Phyllis suspected that J.T. was losing it, since he was acting irrational and desperate, and she inquired whether he'd been willing to walk away from his kids with Mac. Sharon worried that it sounded like J.T. had nothing left to lose. Nikki was thankful that Victoria had gotten away, and she hissed that she'd "be damned" if she let J.T. near Victoria ever again. Victoria stepped out for some air, and the room fell silent.
Nikki joined Victoria in the back yard and covered her with a blanket. Nikki called Victoria her wonderful, brave girl, but Victoria insisted that she wasn't because she'd let J.T. break her. Nikki countered that Victoria had survived and walked away, and Victoria had told her story and didn't have to lie for him anymore. Nikki reiterated that Victoria was her wonderful, brave girl, and they hugged.
Victoria could only imagine what her mother thought of her, but Nikki stressed that Victoria could always turn to her for help, and Nikki would never judge her. Victoria said she hadn't wanted to admit that she was a failure, but Nikki countered that J.T. had failed Victoria. Victoria pondered whether the good person J.T. had once been was still in there, but Nikki guessed that he wasn't strong enough to fight what he'd become. Nikki compared it to her alcoholism, which she fought every day because she wasn't willing to be that person, but J.T. had been willing to be cruel and abusive. Nikki added that Victoria couldn't fight the battle for him; she could only walk away.
Victoria couldn't believe that she'd let J.T. into her house and let her kids get attached to him, and she lamented that she'd built up her children's expectations of becoming a happy family, only to disappoint them. Nikki reflected back on all the separations and divorces that she and Victor had been through when they'd had kids, and all they'd been able to do was to make sure that Victoria and Nick had known they were loved. Victoria pointed out that Nikki was still with Victor, even after all the terrible things he'd done. Nikki thought it was completely different than what had happened between Victoria and J.T., and she swore that it wasn't going to define Victoria. Nikki promised that Victoria would be happy again someday, and she held her daughter close.
Meanwhile, Sharon was relieved that Mariah had slept through the ugliness, and Phyllis growled that J.T. had really turned out to be a piece of trash. Phyllis wondered why Victoria hadn't kneed him in the groin and tossed him out, but Sharon reminded her that Victoria had told them why. Sharon lectured that abuse was insidious, and she believed Phyllis had no idea how she'd handle it, no matter how tough she talked. Phyllis insisted that she was on Victoria's side; just then, Nikki and Victoria returned. Victoria wanted to go upstairs to throw some water on her face, and Nikki and Sharon promised that they wouldn't leave. After Victoria retreated upstairs, Nikki recognized that both Sharon and Phyllis had stepped up for her daughter that night, and she wouldn't forget it.
Nikki recalled that she'd sensed something hadn't been right, but she'd had no idea that J.T. had been crushing Victoria's spirit by making her doubt herself. Nikki was appalled that he had made Victoria feel less than, and Phyllis thought her head would explode if anyone had done that to Summer, followed by her kicking the guy's head in. Sharon stressed that violence wasn't the answer, and Nikki agreed. Nikki remarked that as angry as she was, she mostly felt guilt for not being able to save her child. Sharon reasoned that they couldn't be there every second for their kids, and all they could do was raise their children to be strong and aware and to ask for help when they needed it. Sharon added that Victoria had gotten away and saved herself because Nikki had raised her to be the woman she was that day.
Victoria pressed a wet washcloth against her face and accidentally dropped it. When she stood up from retrieving it, she gasped when she saw J.T.'s reflection in the mirror. She demanded to know how he'd gotten in, and he calmly stated that he just wanted to talk alone. She protested that she'd never let him in, and he complained that it had been embarrassing to break into his own house, but he was fighting for the person he loved. Victoria snapped that there was nothing to fight for, since it was over, and he needed to leave. He followed her to the bedroom and closed the door.
J.T. didn't understand why things were so hard when they had once been so easy. He swore that the love was there. He wanted to be a good husband and father and build a healthy, strong family, but they couldn't do it there because the place was toxic. J.T. begged Victoria to go with him somewhere else, and he would get the help she thought he needed. She incredulously realized that he believed she'd made it all up in her head, and he contended that she was the only one who could help him. He pleaded that their story couldn't end there, but she maintained that it was already over, and her life was there -- without him.
J.T. figured that Victoria wasn't thinking straight, since he was opening his heart. She flatly replied that she was speaking from hers, and if it wasn't for Reed, she would forget that she'd ever known J.T. He barked that she couldn't just walk away, and she asked if that was a threat. He scoffed at the implication that he'd hurt her, but she argued that he'd done it before. Victoria added that it hadn't just been physical but verbal and emotional, and it had been relentless. J.T. groused that Mac had gotten to her, and he accused Victoria of looking for an excuse to get away from him. Victoria asserted that it was who he was, and it was why she'd never be with him again.
J.T. snarled that he'd thought there was some hope, but Victoria was back to being the "same cold bitch." Victoria spat that at least she took responsibility for her actions, but he was a grown man who always had to blame someone else. She pointed out that he'd called himself a loser, but he'd had to make her feel worthless to make himself feel better. She vowed to never let him or anyone else do that to her again, but he taunted that he knew every part of her -- and he knew she loved it when he allegedly controlled her.
J.T. reminded Victoria that he hadn't forced her into a relationship and that she'd invited him into her home and her bed. He complained that he'd had to play by her rules by going to bed and waking up calling her perfect, since no one was good enough for Victor's little princess. Victoria reiterated that it was about them and not her father, but he bellowed that it was about Victor, who was always judging and poisoning everyone, especially her. J.T. relayed that Victor had ordered him to leave town and had threatened to ruin his career and make sure he never saw his kids again if he didn't.
J.T. ranted that no one would ever live up to Victoria's monster of a father in her eyes, and everyone would have been better off if Victor had died. A horrified Victoria questioned whether J.T. had attacked her dad, but J.T. claimed that she'd lost it. Victoria put together the pieces, noting that he'd gone out for Champagne on the night of her father's fall. She demanded to know if J.T. had been at the ranch, and J.T. snapped that Victor had been spying on them. J.T. admitted that he'd gone to the ranch to talk to Victor, but Victor had gone crazy. J.T. swore that it had been an accident, but Victoria cried that he'd left her father on the ground to die.
J.T. fibbed that Victor had simply fallen, and he'd panicked and run. Victoria numbly recalled that J.T. had returned home with Champagne to celebrate after leaving her dad to die. She freaked out that Jack was in jail and that her father had almost died because of J.T., and she guessed that J.T. had turned off Victor's ventilator. J.T. angrily referred to what Victor had done to Colleen, who'd been young and perfect with her whole life ahead of her. J.T. dared Victoria to tell him why Victor deserved to live another minute when Colleen was dead.
Victoria was aghast that J.T. was capable of murder, and he questioned what it said about her because she loved him. She attempted to call the police, but he jerked her away from the phone and smacked her. Downstairs, the women heard Victoria yelling at J.T. to get out. Victoria crawled across the floor to get away from him, and Nikki, Phyllis, and Sharon burst in and found J.T. hovering ominously over Victoria, screaming at her. Nikki grabbed a fireplace poker and swung it squarely into J.T.'s head. The women stared at J.T.'s motionless body on the floor.