At Sharon's house, Mariah entered seeking help with her car that wouldn't start. Finding the living room and dining area empty, Mariah searched upstairs and interrupted Nick and Sharon making love in the master bedroom. Back downstairs, Mariah was hesitant to discuss what she'd witnessed with Nick and Sharon. Sharon recalled that when she'd initially invited Nick to move in, she'd wanted to help him and Christian. Nick explained that he'd accepted Sharon's offer because he'd wanted to move out of his penthouse.
Both Nick and Sharon told Mariah that the arrangement had worked out well with them and their children. Mariah looked stunned when Nick and Sharon recalled that they'd gotten carried away one night while watching a romantic chick flick. Mariah replied, "Wow. Really doesn't take a lot for you two, does it?" Sharon noted that at the time, a no-strings relationship had seemed to suit them best. Sharon added that she and Nick had since decided to embark on a committed relationship.
Mariah said she was surprised that Nick and Sharon had held out for so long. Sharon asked Mariah if she approved. Mariah said what Nick and Sharon did was none of her business, except when she happened to walk in on them. Sharon remembered times past when she and Nick had ended up hurt, but she assured Mariah that things would be different. Mariah expressed doubt that Nick and Sharon were being objective about their relationship. Nick said he understood Mariah's concern for her mom, but he insisted that the last thing he'd do was hurt Sharon. Mariah sarcastically replied, "Wow, I feel so much better." Nick said he couldn't predict the future, but his relationship with Sharon felt right. Before Mariah walked out the door to greet a mechanic, she told Nick and Sharon that they should discuss how their relationship would be different.
After Mariah left, Sharon told Nick they should talk about their relationship. Sharon worried that she and Nick would be repeating their past. Nick told Sharon that she'd become stronger and more confident over the years. Sharon noted that though she was still fragile, she was certain she'd never again become the person who didn't care who she hurt as long as she got what she wanted. Nick assured Sharon she shouldn't worry about him hurting her like he had after Cassie died. Sharon agreed that they were different because their life experiences had made them wiser.
Sharon and Nick made plans to honor Cassie's memory on the anniversary of her death. Nick recalled Mariah's reaction and expressed concern about how Faith might react to news of her parents' reconciliation. Sharon assured Nick that all would be well. Nick said that Mariah reminded him Cassie, though Mariah could never take the place of Cassie. Sharon assured Nick that she'd never attempt to replace Sage in Christian's life. Nick said he couldn't think of anyone better than Sharon to become a mother to Christian. Sharon and Nick kissed.
At Jabot, Billy told Ashley that Gloria was unhappy because he was CEO. Billy and Ashley discussed their concerns about Jack's disappearance. Ashley admitted she'd stayed awake through the night and had enlisted Paul's help. Though Paul hadn't opened an official investigation, Ashley explained, he'd determined that Jack hadn't used his credit cards to arrange travel out of town via public transportation. Billy recalled that Abby hadn't found a trace of Jack at the cabin, so it appeared that Jack had vanished. Ashley said she was concerned that Jack had been involved in an accident. Ashley added that she was aware of the dark places despair could lead one into.
During Jack's absence, Billy said, it would stifle gossip if the company issued an official announcement about him assuming the role of CEO. Ashley nixed Billy's suggestion. Ashley said she feared Jack's reaction if he learned from news reports that he was no longer CEO. Billy noted that Jack would find out eventually. Ashley said she was concentrating on finding Jack.
Neil stopped by and told Ashley and Billy that he'd visited with Jack. Neil said that Jack had been involved in an auto accident and had suffered a few bumps and bruises. Neil added that a tow truck had transported Jack's car to a garage. Ashley was thankful that Jack no longer had use of a car. Billy thanked Neil for taking care of Jack. Ashley wasn't pleased when Neil said he'd left Jack at the cabin. Neil pointed out that Jack could summon a car whenever he wished.
Ashley worried that Jack had been left alone in bad shape. Neil said there was only so much he could've done because Jack had threatened to swallow a bottle of pills. Neil assured Billy and Ashley that Jack hadn't followed through with his attempt to swallow the pills. Ashley cried that Neil didn't know what Jack might've done with the pills. Neil replied, "Sorry. Only Jack knows the answer to that."
At the Abbott cabin, Jack dreamed that he'd watched a video of Dina admitting that Victor Newman was his father. Jack awoke with a start, breathing heavily. Jack brewed a pot of coffee and poured himself a cup. He set down the coffee, poured himself a glass of whiskey, and chugged a mouthful, wincing as he swallowed. After Jack emptied the bottle of booze, he experienced a vision of Dina sitting in an easy chair next to the sofa. Dina said, "Isn't that classy? So, this is what finding out you're not John Abbott's son does to you. I guess an Abbott isn't an Abbott by any other name."
Jack's face contorted when Dina suggested that Jack should've figured out he wasn't John's son because John had been a kind, decent, respectable man. Dina added, "You're nothing but a drunken, foul-mouthed loser just like your real father." Jack yelled "stop" and suddenly realized that Dina's appearance had been a figment of his imagination. Jack retrieved the discarded bottle of whiskey and sucked down the last drop. Jack picked up a bottle of narcotics and rolled the bottle between his thumb and fingers. Jack emptied the bottle of pills onto the coffee table, picked up one, and brought it to his mouth. Jack paused when his phone rang, though he didn't answer. Jack set down the pill and began moving others around atop the table.
As Ashley and Neil stood by, Billy tried to phone Jack. Jack didn't answer. Billy said he wasn't surprised his brother ignored the call, but he berated Neil for leaving Jack stranded at the cabin with a bottle of pills. Neil admitted that he could've flushed the pills. Neil explained that if an addict wanted a fix, he would do anything to find drugs. Ashley recalled how her family had helped her emerge from a dark place after she'd learned she wasn't John Abbott's daughter. Billy and Ashley left together to rescue Jack. Neil wished them good luck. Ashley said, "I just hope we're not too late, Neil."
After Jack and Ashley entered the cabin, they found it empty. Ashley noticed the spilled pills on the table. Using dozens of the pills, Jack had spelled the word "no." Ashley cried, "What do you think it means?" Billy replied, "I don't know, but I have a feeling it's not good." Billy and Ashley seemed more eager to locate Jack.
After Billy and Ashley returned to the Abbott mansion, Paul phoned to let them know that Jack had used his credit card to employ a car service. Jack emerged from the dining room with a cup of coffee. Jack acted nonchalant when Ashley noticed the injuries on his face. Billy noted that Neil had been concerned. Jack replied, "No need." Billy suggested they talk, but Jack refused, saying he needed rest and would talk the next day. Jack added, "Should be an interesting day at Jabot." As Jack ascended the stairs, Ashley glanced nervously at Billy.
At the Hamilton-Winters Group, Hilary discussed her plans for a baby nursery with Devon. Devon asked if Hilary meant the nursery in his home. Devon jokingly asked Hilary where she'd earned her design degree. Hilary scoffed at Devon's comment and explained that she intended to move to a place as close to Devon's as possible. Hilary was encouraged after Devon provided a contact number for his building manager. Devon said his manager could assist Hilary in finding a suitable rental. Devon noted that living in the same building would offer the best arrangement. Hilary said she'd send a text message to the building manager right away.
After Devon stepped away, Hilary appeared to be disappointed. Devon later browsed through Hilary's design suggestions for the nursery. Hilary was surprised when Devon gave her permission to relay her ideas to his designer. Hilary questioned Devon about his sudden willingness to embrace her plans and ideas. Devon admitted it was fun to keep Hilary guessing.
Shauna, the student Devon and Hilary helped mentor, stopped by and apologized for losing touch, though she promised to get back on track. When asked about prom, Shauna downplayed her excitement about the event and insisted she'd rather study. Hilary instructed Shauna to set up her practice tests. After Shauna took a seat at a conference table, Hilary had a private discussion with Devon. Hilary told Devon that she'd surmised that the guy Shauna was interested in hadn't invited her to prom. Hilary rolled her eyes at Devon and added that too many guys waited too long to make a move.
After Mariah arrived at work, she told Hilary that their scheduled guest had cancelled his appearance on their television show. While Hilary and Mariah brainstormed, Shauna visited with Devon. Shauna said she'd heard that Devon and Hilary were expecting a baby. Shauna asked Devon why he and Hilary weren't a couple. Devon replied, "This situation works for the both of us." Shauna noted her sad observances of high-school kids who shared a child, but not a relationship. Shauna told Devon it was obvious he was enamored with Hilary. Devon noted that he and Hilary had decided to just be friends. Shauna replied, "Hey, if you want to play that game, go ahead, but it's totally high-school if you ask me."
As Shauna was leaving, Charlie entered the office. The two young people chatted briefly before Shauna left. Devon asked Charlie if he'd be interested in getting to know Shauna. Charlie remarked that he and Shauna didn't attend the same school. Devon seemed to think that Charlie was more interested in Shauna than he'd been willing to admit.
Before Hilary left, Devon tried to tell her he had an idea in mind for a replacement guest on her show. Hilary was distracted by a phone call. Repeatedly, Devon attempted to share his idea with Hilary. Hilary ignored Devon and rushed out the door. After Hilary left, Devon made a phone call and arranged a favor.
On the patio at Crimson Lights, Devon met with Hilary and asked if Shauna had said anything more about missing prom. Hilary explained that the boy Shauna had hoped would invite her had asked someone else. Hilary said it was obvious that Shauna was disappointed. Devon asked Hilary if she'd booked a guest for her show. Hilary said she'd lined up possibilities, though she wasn't in favor of any of them. Devon said he had an idea in mind because he enjoyed solving problems for Hilary.
Jack attempts to get his job back
At GC Buzz, Mariah noted that things seemed to be working out nicely for that day's show, and Devon responded that it had been a lot to pull off overnight. He asked if she'd been able to get her hands on what he'd asked for, and she handed him an envelope. He instructed her not to tell Hilary, and he couldn't wait to put the contents to good use. Mariah approached Hilary, who inquired whether Mariah had gotten a special item. Mariah presented her with an envelope, and Hilary advised her not to tell Devon anything.
Devon thanked Charlie for being there, and Charlie assumed that he was there to help behind the scenes. Hilary informed him that it was the other way around because she needed him to make his on-camera debut. Devon and Hilary explained that they were doing a prom-themed show, since there was a whole industry around it. Hilary compared proms to weddings, complete with "promposals." Charlie rolled his eyes at the idea of kids staging big productions to try to outdo one another, and he questioned what they needed him for.
Hilary claimed that they needed an even number of guys and girls, and Devon inquired whether Charlie still didn't have a date for prom. Charlie confirmed that he didn't, and Devon pulled him aside. Mariah expressed relief that she'd avoided the prom mess in her youth, but Hilary defended that it was a beautiful ritual. Hilary bragged that she'd been crowned queen her senior year.
Shauna arrived and was shocked to learn that Hilary wanted her to be on the show. Shauna protested that she wasn't a model, but Mariah insisted that Shauna was gorgeous. Hilary imagined that agents would be calling to ask who the fresh new face was, and Shauna clucked that Hilary was laying it on thick. Hilary suspected that Shauna was hesitating because the boy from school had asked someone else to prom, and she begged Shauna for help. Shauna realized that she couldn't say no after everything Hilary had done for her, and they hugged. Hilary and Devon exchanged smiles.
During the live broadcast, Hilary introduced the teens as they modeled their prom formalwear, and she prompted Devon to join her on the stage. She proclaimed that the theme had her wondering what he had been like in high school when he'd attended prom, but a photo of a younger Hilary in a prom gown appeared on a screen behind them. Mariah crowed that she'd wanted to show the audience what Hilary had been like in her prom night glory, and Devon hadn't been spared, either. A photo of a teenage Devon was displayed on the screen.
Hilary countered by showing a photoshopped presentation of Mariah in ridiculous outfits. Hilary turned the focus back to their prom night fashion show, and she called out Shauna's name. Shauna appeared in a dazzling gown, and Hilary told Shauna to look behind her. Teens carried in signs that said a certain guy's dream date was Shauna, and a tuxedo-clad Charlie appeared with a bouquet of flowers and asked her to go to prom with him. She happily accepted.
After Hilary and Mariah wrapped up the show, Charlie hoped Shauna was okay with him pulling the stunt on live television. Shauna gushed that it had been fantastic, since she'd been hoping he would ask her but hadn't known if he was interested. Devon teased that it had been obvious, so he and Hilary had played matchmaker. Shauna mentioned that her high school was having its prom the night before Walnut Grove's, and she invited Charlie to go. He loved the idea of two proms with one girl, but Shauna fretted about what to wear to something that fancy. Hilary offered Shauna the use of anything from wardrobe, and they hugged as Devon beamed at them.
Later, Hilary admired Devon's romantic streak, but Devon credited her for doing all the hard work. She remarked that they made a good team, and he agreed. She asked if he could think of anyone else who might need a nudge in the right direction, and he knowingly figured that there had to be somebody.
At the Newman ranch, Nikki asked Victor what she should tell the cook to prepare for dinner, but he sensed that something was wrong. She reluctantly admitted that she was concerned about Jack, since she hadn't gotten a straight answer about why he hadn't been at the New Hope dinner, and he'd been terse when he'd finally gotten in touch with her that morning. Nikki hoped that Jack knew he could talk to her. Victor griped that he was trying to learn how to walk and talk again, yet she was concerned about Jack.
At the cottage, Nick noticed that Mariah had been up and out early. Sharon mentioned that there was a live show that day with more guests than usual, and Nick hoped that Mariah had been joking the night before about having them on to announce that they were back together. Nick figured that it would be efficient to let all the explosions happen at once, but Sharon insisted that they tell Faith and Noah themselves. She added that there were two other people that they should tell in person, but it might not be pleasant. Nick knew exactly who she was talking about.
Sharon guaranteed that Victor and Nikki wouldn't be happy, but she anticipated that they would be even less so if they heard the news from someone else. Sharon suggested that Nick tell Nikki while Sharon spoke with Victor, and Nick was surprised, since Nikki and Sharon had been close lately. Sharon clarified that they'd learned to tolerate one another, but they were far from being close. The doorbell rang, and Nick let in Nikki, who returned a portable chess set that Faith had left at the ranch. Nick asked Sharon what they'd decided, and she replied that they'd handle it one on one.
Nikki was confused, and Nick explained that she would find out what was going on soon enough. Nick made a quick exit, and Nikki demanded to know what was going on. Sharon stammered that it was about her and Nick, and Nikki begged her not to say they were back together again. Sharon announced that it was exactly what she had to tell Nikki. Nikki bemoaned that she'd had a bad feeling it would happen.
Nikki recalled that she'd confronted Sharon when Nick had moved in, and Sharon had assured her that they were just friends. Sharon questioned whether Nikki was going to be a constant pain or if she would support them, and a deflated Nikki recognized that her life was in Sharon's hands. Sharon pointed out that it was a good strategy to keep one's enemies close, and Nikki figured that Sharon might be able to convince Nick to stop looking for J.T. Sharon noted that those were the selfish reasons for Nikki to support the relationship, and she asked how Nikki really felt. Nikki flatly stated that she hated it.
Nikki warned that Sharon couldn't become complacent and risk slipping about J.T., but Sharon pointed out that she'd been part of the conspiracy, too. Sharon wished that Nikki could be happy for her and Nick, but she settled for Nikki's honesty. Nikki dared Sharon to give her one reason why that time would be different. Sharon guessed that Nikki had had the same worries when she'd reconciled with Victor for the 900th time, and she questioned how Nikki had handled those thoughts. Sharon told Nikki to let her know if she figured the secret out, and she shut the door in Nikki's face.
Nick stopped by the ranch and announced to Victor that he had great news to share -- he and Sharon were back together. Nick was shocked when Victor remarked that it was wonderful news. Victor acknowledged that he and Nick had drifted apart over the past few years, which had hurt him more than he could say, but he was glad to see Nick content and happy. Nick hoped that things were going as well for Sharon and Nikki, and Victor contemplated how Faith would react to her parents' reunion. Nick assumed that his daughter would be fine with it, and he thanked Victor for being so cool about it. Nick prepared to go, but Victor requested that he stay to discuss something man to man.
Victor thought he and Nick had become closer than they had been in a long time, and Nick agreed. Nick regretted that it had taken Victor fighting for his life in the hospital for Nick to realize how important his father was to him, and Victor believed that the Newmans were in a better place as a family. Victor insinuated that it was a good time for Nick to rejoin the family by returning to Newman Enterprises.
At the Abbott mansion, Kyle descended the stairs, and Ashley told him that they needed to talk. She updated him about Jack turning up there the night before after being at the cabin, where Neil had found him determined to hit bottom. She continued that Jack had acted like nothing had happened, but she didn't believe that he was back to normal. She thought that she and Kyle had to speak with Jack to let him know that they supported him.
Kyle pointed out that it was possible that Jack had sorted things out at the cabin and made peace with not being an Abbott, but Ashley doubted it because it had been Jack's entire identity. She wondered if Jack was awake yet, and Kyle indicated that Jack hadn't been in his room. Ashley noted that she'd been waiting all morning and hadn't seen Jack, and she worried about "where the hell" he'd gone.
Jack stepped off the elevator at Jabot, and Billy said he hadn't expected Jack there that early. Jack stated that he had a company to run, and Billy suggested that they sit down and talk. Jack led the way to his office, but he stopped short when he saw Billy's nameplate on the door. Billy explained that someone had needed to step up, and he was one of the only people allowed to do it. Billy revealed that there had been a vote at an emergency board meeting, and he had been named CEO.
Billy mentioned that there had been no official announcement, and Jack anticipated getting back to business as usual because it hadn't been a permanent change. Billy asserted that he'd been keeping things on track, since someone had needed to take charge. He added that he hadn't wanted the job, but he'd had to take it because of the clause Jack had instituted. Billy swore that he was trying to get it overturned, but the board hadn't let him do it right after they'd voted him in. Jack was skeptical about how hard Billy had worked to reverse it.
Billy countered that Jack had just been on a bender, buying pills and wrapping his car around a tree but pretending that it had never happened. Billy thought that the subject of their discussion shouldn't be why he was in charge but why Jack had vanished. Phyllis appeared in the doorway and agreed with Billy. Phyllis reminded Jack that she'd gotten him through the last time he'd fallen into a bottle of pills, and she insisted that he couldn't go through it alone. Jack snapped that it had happened to him and only him, so he got to decide how he addressed it, and he'd decided to get back to work as CEO.
Billy worried about the state Jack had been in, and he thought his brother couldn't just push those feelings aside. Jack suspected that Billy felt remorse for taking Jack's job, but Billy swore that the position was temporary. Billy added that he wanted Jack back; however, Jack was scaring him, and he urged Jack to slow down and cope. Billy suggested that he set Jack up with an office and title to let everyone know that he wasn't going anywhere, but Jack spat that he'd be answering to Billy. Phyllis lectured that Jack had drawn up the clause, and she bet he'd never dreamed that it would backfire that spectacularly. Jack stormed out and ran into Kyle, who said he and Ashley had been concerned. Jack invited Kyle to follow him out.
At the Athletic Club bar, Jack informed Kyle that he'd bounced back after hitting bottom, and he was sorry he'd worried his family. Jack declared that he'd decided to stop feeling sorry for himself and do something, and he wrote off Billy's concerns as a way of having a turn in the CEO's chair. Jack groused that he needed his job for people to see him as the same person, but Billy had blocked him by taking over. He wished he'd taken Kyle's advice to get rid of the clause, and Kyle asserted that there might be a way to do it if they teamed up.
Kyle confirmed that Billy had tried to get the clause thrown out, but it hadn't been possible at the time. Kyle pointed out that it would take organization and votes, and he couldn't fathom that Billy wanted that much responsibility, so Billy's vote was in the bag along with Kyle and Jack's. Jack was amazed that Kyle was backing him up after he'd let Kyle have it because of Dina's movie, and Kyle offered to prove his loyalty if they headed back to the office. They departed.
Meanwhile, Billy informed Ashley that Jack had angrily stormed out because he'd apparently thought the company would run itself. Phyllis added that Jack hadn't been thinking straight, and Ashley knew Jack's pleasant demeanor had been too good to be true. Billy reiterated that Jack couldn't just push his feelings aside, but he thought Jack wanted to prove that the paternity test had bounced off of him. Phyllis thought not being in charge anymore was hitting Jack the hardest, and Ashley imagined that getting back to work would have made Jack feel like himself again. Billy wished that he'd eased the blow by telling Jack about the change in leadership the night before.
Ashley left to check on Dina at the house. Phyllis commented that Jack was lucky to have Billy as a brother, regardless of their DNA. Billy anticipated that he'd be freaking out if he was in Jack's shoes, but Phyllis reminded him that he had a company to run. Phyllis noticed that Billy had made a point of saying his job was temporary, and Billy reminded her that he hadn't asked for it. He added that he wasn't leadership material, but Phyllis encouraged him to do away with the negative thinking and give his best shot to being the best CEO Jabot had ever had.
Billy scoffed, but Phyllis argued that he had the talent, brains, and drive, and he was loaded with verve and creativity. She thought that he needed to take ownership of the job before he decided that it wasn't for him, and she suggested that he start by not letting the people who'd been in charge before take advantage of his good nature. Phyllis recalled that he'd taken Ashley's hard drive without question, but she implored him to devise his own plan and vision. Billy was sure that Ashley had good ideas, but Phyllis argued that Ashley would have worked around the blood clause if she'd wanted the CEO position badly enough.
Phyllis stressed that Billy had a chance to make greatness there, and she recounted how much he'd loved running Restless Style. She wondered if they would have fallen in love sooner if she hadn't left the magazine, and she believed they had a do-over to combine their talent. "Let's have some fun!" Phyllis exclaimed, but Ashley interrupted. Billy claimed that they'd been figuring out ways to steer the ship into profitable waters, but Ashley contended that her hard drive of great ideas was all he needed.
Jack and Kyle returned to the office, and Jack announced that the rest of the board would be there shortly to have a meeting to get rid of the blood Abbott clause. Jack declared that Jabot would be a meritocracy where anyone qualified could be CEO, and he knew Billy had never wanted the job anyway. Billy hesitantly admitted that he was starting to like it there. Billy remained convinced that Jack wasn't ready to return to work, but Jack said to let him be the judge of that. Billy considered Jack to be incapable of self-insight because he was still reeling from finding out that John hadn't been his biological father, and he warned that pretending everything was okay was a mistake.
Billy cautioned that the past few days would pale in comparison to what Jack was setting himself up for if he didn't fully deal with it, and he swore that he was speaking from a place of love. Jack barked for Billy to take his loving analysis of Jack's emotional state and stick it where the sun didn't shine, but Billy calmly pledged to be there as Jack's brother. Billy declared that after Jack had stormed out earlier, Phyllis had reminded him that the company needed to be run, and he intended to block the motion for a vote for Jack's own good. Billy stressed that the company's bylaws would remain as written, and only a blood Abbott could serve as CEO. Jack seethed.
Jack and Kyle unite against Billy
At Jabot, Gloria questioned Billy about his plan for putting a window in the door of his office. Billy stated that he wanted an open-door policy and that the CEO should always be accessible. Gloria felt that John would have been alarmed at some of Billy's ideas. Arturo offered some suggestions because he'd be supervising the project. Arturo advised Billy and Gloria that he and his crew would only work on weekends to avoid disrupting the daily routine.
Gloria told Billy that some of his ideas were appealing and that the past few months had been hell there -- like Kyle firing her. Gloria said she was on board with Billy's ideas. Jack arrived, and Kyle was not far behind. Jack heard Gloria say that when people heard the name Jabot, they would think of Billy Abbott, not Jack. Jack was floored. Agitated, Jack demanded to know more about Billy's remodeling plans.
Jack told Billy that in spite of Ashley saying that Billy's tenure as CEO was temporary, Billy appeared to have big plans, none of which appeared to be about business. Billy said that Ashley was right -- he was only there for as long as he was needed, but while he was there, he was going to move the company forward. Billy said that Arturo would make sure the CEO's office was accessible to the staff. Billy and Arturo went into Billy's office. Gloria assured Jack that she'd always be team Jack. After Gloria left, Kyle told Jack that things weren't over for Jack, and they were in it together. Kyle and Jack joined Billy and Arturo in Billy's office.
While reviewing the blueprints, Arturo advised Billy that he'd be attending Nikki's fundraiser that evening, but he didn't have a suit. Jack referred Arturo to his tailor and provided Arturo with his tailor's business card. After Arturo left, Jack informed Billy that he'd be attending the fundraiser as an investor of New Hope and not as CEO of Jabot.
In the reception area, Jack asked Billy where his office was and if his things had been moved there. Gloria said that they'd needed to make room for Kyle, and there weren't any available offices. Angry, Jack demanded to know if Billy planned to humiliate him until he walked out of Jabot. Billy assured him it was a temporary situation, and he suggested that Jack share an office with Kyle. Jack was incensed and began to argue, but Kyle pulled Jack away before the situation turned volatile. Gloria spat that the new CEO needed to devise a solution quickly. She walked away.
In Billy's office, Phyllis reminded Billy that Jack was in pain and denial. Billy understood and said that as much as he didn't want things to change between him and Jack, he was afraid they already had.
At home, Nick pondered returning to Newman Enterprises. Sharon told Nick that she'd support him no matter what he decided. Nick admitted he was seriously considering accepting Victor's offer. Sharon said she had second thoughts and reminded him that Victor was judgmental, controlling, and manipulating.
Sharon didn't understand the pull that Nick felt toward Newman, especially since Nick had worked so hard to separate himself from Victor and maintain his own identity. Nick agreed it seemed like a move in the wrong direction and admitted that in the past few years, he hadn't wanted anything to do with his dad or the company, but he was reconsidering returning to Newman. Sharon hated the idea.
Sharon understood how frightened Nick had been when Victor had been hospitalized, but Victor had recovered and would be fine. She noted that Nick had worked very hard at setting up boundaries and that he'd given away his trust fund. Nick said he'd given away money he'd never earned to a foundation he knew would do some good with it. Sharon said that Nick enjoyed helping people and protecting them. She told him to look at the good he'd done with New Hope. He was invested in making people's lives better. That was where Nick's drive and focus had been -- without all the stress. She wanted to know why that wasn't enough for Nick.
Nick showed Sharon his list of pros and cons. In the pro column was "Victor almost died." Nick said that what J.T. had done to Victor hadn't been a plus, but it had been a wake-up call. He told Sharon that the push/pull thing between him and his father had to stop. Nick didn't want his kids to look at him the way he'd looked at his dad. Nick said Noah was halfway around the world, and most of the time, he didn't know where Summer was. He added that he wasn't a kid anymore, and he needed to step up.
Sharon said that Nick had done "so much," but Nick said he hadn't stepped up enough. He'd made New Hope happen, but at Newman, he could make more money and would have more access. He asked Sharon who would protect the company and family when Victor was gone. Sharon asked why it had to be Nick. Nick said he wouldn't let his family or the company fade away after his dad was gone. It had taken Victor a lot to build, and it would take a lot more to keep it standing.
Sharon asked if Nick thought Newman needed protecting, since he had two very strong and capable sisters. Nick reminded Sharon what J.T. had done to Victoria. Nick said he was talking about family as a whole. She said Nick's attitude was from another century and from the noble patriarch. Nick disagreed. He said that strong families produced strong individuals. Sharon suggested that they needed to look at his con list again.
Sharon told Nick that Nick's language worried her -- using words like "protector." It made her think that Nick would get sucked up into Victor's pathology again, and Nick would end up regretting it. Sharon told him to look at Victoria, who had been demoted in favor of Ashley -- she added that not that long before, Victor had thrown Abby under the bus because of Zack. Nick said he heard and agreed with Sharon, but he thought he was in a better place to handle Victor. Sharon countered that nobody handled Victor. The only person who handled Victor was Nikki, and even that was questionable.
Nick claimed things were different, and when Victor had been in a coma, he'd listened; Victor knew Nick wasn't an enemy or opponent. Sharon asked Nick specifically how he thought things would be different this time. Nick said he couldn't see that far ahead and didn't know if it would be different, but he was doing it for his whole family, especially Christian. Nick knew Sharon was worried for him. He said he needed a new challenge. He wanted to earn money to provide for his family on his own terms and solidify their future. Nick said that this time could be the one that lasted, just like his and Sharon's relationship.
Nick continued with his list of pros and cons while Sharon sent a text message to someone, requesting their help, and she asked them to meet her at the coffeehouse. Sharon told Nick she had some errands to run, and she left.
Arturo met Abby at Crimson Lights and asked her to help him pick out business attire for the fundraiser he'd be attending later that evening. He showed Abby the business card Jack had given him for a tailor, but Abby told Arturo that she could do better than that.
On the Crimson Lights patio, Jack thanked Kyle for getting him out of Jabot and apologized for what he'd done to Kyle and Kyle's career. Jack said that he'd screwed himself over with the blood Abbott clause that he'd created. He said that Jabot was supposed to be Kyle's birthright, and Jack had unknowingly taken it away from Kyle. Jack said that maybe Kyle was better off with Victor. Kyle said that Victor wasn't his father -- Jack was. Kyle said that it didn't matter who else he was related to; he knew Jack was his father -- even if he hadn't always believed it.
Kyle said that Jack had been raised by John, and Jack had had that connection. Kyle said he'd been the kid on the fringe. He assured Jack he hadn't said that to blame Jack, but he knew what it felt like being an outsider and the sense of not belonging. Kyle said he'd never wished that on Jack, but it made him feel less alone. Kyle said that it was just the two of them.
Jack agreed with Kyle. He said that John had raised him. Having John Abbott as a father had made him feel like he had a protective shield around him -- Abbott blood was in his veins, and it guided him to the right answer. Jack said that it had turned out that he'd been acting on his own, and it was no wonder he'd screwed up so much. Kyle assured Jack that he'd never seen Jack as a screwup. Jack was the same guy he'd always been -- someone to admire and emulate. Jack said he appreciated that Kyle had given him a pep talk. Kyle said he was there for Jack -- whatever Jack needed.
Jack told Kyle that he appreciated that Kyle had kept him from going ballistic on Billy. Jack said he owed Kyle big time for that. Jack said that Billy wasn't looking at the CEO position as temporary. Kyle said that Billy liked shiny and new things until something shinier and newer came along. Jack chortled and claimed that Billy had a short attention span. He'd get tired of the CEO position very quickly. Kyle realized that Jack hadn't given up on being CEO.
Jack told Kyle that he hadn't. He and Kyle needed to go back to Jabot, work hard, and wait Billy out. Kyle was surprised that Jack had included him. Jack said that Billy would screw up the way he always did, and when he did, he and Kyle would step in and get the board to rescind the blood Abbott clause. Jack said he regretted not rescinding the blood Abbot clause when Kyle had suggested it. Jack said that when the clause was removed, he and Kyle would claim what was rightfully theirs -- Jack as CEO, and Kyle as second in command. Kyle suggested that they head back to the office and get to work. Jack agreed.
Sharon met with Victoria at the coffeehouse and said that she needed Victoria's help -- Victoria needed to help Sharon stop Nick from making a terrible mistake. She told Victoria that Nick had been thinking about returning to Newman. Sharon asked Victoria to convince Nick that it was a bad idea. Sharon was taken aback when Victoria said she loved the idea of Nick returning to Newman.
Victoria told Sharon that Ashley had too much authority, but if she and Nick were together, Victor would remember that consolidating power within the family was the answer. With Nick back at the company, Victoria would be emotionally protected. She said that as an added bonus, Nick wouldn't have as much time to focus on J.T. Sharon asked Victoria to consider what it would do to Nick.
At Fenmore's, Arturo tried on the suit he'd chosen off the rack and stepped out of the dressing room. Abby looked him up and down and said it was too old-fashioned. Arturo said it had been the cheapest on the rack, and he didn't want to waste money on something he'd wear once. Abby ignored him and gave him another suit to try on.
While Arturo was changing, Abby received a call from Victoria, who advised Abby that Victor had asked Nick to return to the company. Abby said it was a bad idea because it would knock her further down the food chain. Arturo listened. Abby said that Nick had cut all ties with Victor and the company, but he got to walk back into Newman, just like Victoria had. Abby said that she'd been the loyal daughter -- she'd endured insult after insult and watched as Victor had given her siblings positions that would outrank hers. She wished Victoria good luck and refused to help her.
Arturo left the dressing room to show off the suit Abby had picked for him, and she liked it. Arturo saw how hurt Abby was, and he hugged her. Once Abby was calmer, Arturo gasped at the price tag and said he wouldn't buy it. Abby offered to put it on her account because he needed a suit, and it looked good on him. Arturo said he would pay for it, but he'd take the discount.
At Jabot, Phyllis approved of Billy's remodeling plans. Jack entered and apologized for interrupting, but he wanted to apologize. He said he'd been caught off guard by the remodeling plans, and he'd reacted poorly. Phyllis left. Billy thanked Jack for covering the fundraiser later that evening. Jack informed Billy that he'd attend the fundraiser in a dual capacity -- as part of New Hope and as a representative of Jabot.
Jack asked Billy to bear with him because it would take Jack a while to get used to not being in charge. Billy hoped it wouldn't be a problem. He said that Jack had always encouraged Ashley to embrace being number two, and that put Billy at number three in Jack's book. Jack said he'd never looked at it that way because he'd always been focused on the chair and desk at Jabot. Jack said he'd make sure everything worked.
Jack told Billy that Gloria had wanted to order a new nameplate for him, but she needed to know his title. Billy said that Jack could have any title he wanted -- except CEO, because that was taken.
Later Billy called a team meeting to discuss the changes. Jack challenged Billy's new creative direction. Billy said that Jabot had been in flux for quite some time, and it was time for a change. Billy said that it was the first time that a former CEO worked under the new CEO, and he hoped that they could handle any awkwardness with grace. Jack agreed.
Victoria arrived at Sharon's. Sharon hoped that Victoria was there to dissuade Nick from returning to Newman. Sharon argued that it would be the wrong thing for Nick, but Nick felt it was his last chance to do something that would benefit the entire family. Sharon reminded Nick that Victor was controlling and manipulative, but Victoria said that she loved the idea of Nick returning to Newman and that they would handle Victor together. Victoria wanted someone by her side that she could trust. Victoria told Sharon that it was a family matter, and Sharon didn't have a say.
Sharon and Nick informed Victoria that they were back together, so she did have a say. Victoria claimed she needed her brother's support more than ever, and no one knew that better than a Newman.
On the patio at Crimson Lights, Abby gave Arturo tips on his attire. The discussion turned to the fundraiser. Abby advised him that Nikki, Jack, and Devon would be there and that Arturo needed to talk to Devon. Arturo asked why -- because Devon was rich. Abby said not because he was rich but because Devon was a great guy and one her favorite people. Devon was also closer in age to Arturo than the rest of the people in attendance. She told Arturo that Devon hadn't always been rich, but Devon had remained decent, smart, and funny, even though he had wealth. Perhaps Arturo would make a new friend and an excellent business contact.
Arturo snidely commented that his schmoozing skills were a little rusty. Abby offered to go as his plus one, and she was certain that Nikki wouldn't mind if Abby attended. Abby said she'd observe and jump in when needed. Arturo said that he'd only RSVP'd for one, and he didn't want Nikki to give him preferential treatment. Arturo informed Abby that he'd go alone. Abby appeared hurt.
Jack and Kyle were at the bar at the Athletic Club. Kyle sulked about Jack needing to be contrite where Billy was concerned. Jack told Kyle that getting rid of Billy would be tougher than he'd anticipated.
Nick decides to return to Newman
At the cottage, Sharon gazed at Cassie's hand-drawn picture of their family. Nick handed her some lemonade and asked where Mariah was, and Mariah appeared and revealed that she'd just finished working on details for the following day's show. Sharon turned the topic to Nick's work situation, and Nick explained to Mariah that he was considering going back to Newman Enterprises, over Sharon's objections. Sharon stressed that it would be catastrophic, and Nick sarcastically compared it to global famine. Sharon cautioned that Nick might have changed, but Victor hadn't.
Nick pointed out that his father had almost died, which was bound to change a person. Sharon referred to the many times Victor had had an epiphany after cheating death, only to go back to playing games and controlling his kids by pitting them against one another. Sharon understood that Victor had grown up with nothing and hadn't been raised in a loving environment, and she sympathized; however, she didn't want to see Nick walk into a buzz saw again. Sharon recalled that her professor had said something that had stuck with her -- that life wasn't a dress rehearsal, and time wasn't a renewable resource.
Nick felt that was more reason to give Victor's offer consideration, but Sharon suspected that the best-case scenario would be Nick spinning his wheels while working for Victor. Nick argued that there was no guarantee that history would repeat itself, and Sharon requested Mariah's opinion. Mariah saw both sides of the argument, and she found it understandable that Nick wanted to look toward the future while Sharon couldn't let go of the past, especially on that day. Mariah was sure that Nick and Sharon had a lot of memories running through their heads that morning, and Sharon imagined that it was hard for Mariah not to have any memories of her sister.
Mariah pledged not to get mired down in "what ifs," since she had a lot of other amazing things she'd never expected, like a mom and a real family. Sharon gushed that she was just as grateful to have Mariah, and they hugged. Mariah invited them to join her in going to the cemetery, and Sharon reported that she and Nick had already gone that morning, but she was happy to go again. Nick encouraged them to have some mother-daughter time, and the women headed out. Nick answered a call and thanked someone for asking, and he indicated that he was missing Cassie but doing okay. He said he had a lot going on, and he asked the person to stop by.
Later, Nick thanked Phyllis for stopping over, and he informed her that he had made and was about to make some big decisions. Nick divulged that part of it had to do with his career, since he was sticking with his nonprofit projects, but he was considering venturing back into the corporate world. Phyllis was surprised, but she thought it was great if it was a worthwhile opportunity. She wondered if he was starting his own business, but he revealed that Victor had asked him to return to Newman. She asked if Nick was out of his mind.
Nick grappled with the fact that it might be his last chance to work side by side with his father. Phyllis understood that Nick was in a profound place, thinking about his purpose on earth and what to do with the rest of his life. Nick contemplated the legacy that he wanted to leave for his kids, but Phyllis asserted that it wouldn't happen if he went back to Newman, since he would only be setting himself up for disappointment. Sharon overheard as she returned, and she was glad Phyllis shared her opinion. Sharon inquired whether Nick had also told Phyllis about their other news, and Nick announced that he and Sharon were back together.
Phyllis stonily congratulated Nick and Sharon, and Sharon imagined that Phyllis had a long list of choice comments. Phyllis replied that she did, but she wouldn't make them, since Nick and Sharon were dealing with enough that day. Nick walked Phyllis to the door, and she told him that she only wanted him to be happy. She urged him to think long and hard about what she'd said, and she pointed out that her and Sharon being in agreement ought to convince him. After Phyllis departed, Nick prepared to take a walk, and Sharon asked if he wanted company. He preferred to have time alone.
Nick went to the stables, where he flashed back to Sharon and Phyllis' words of advice against returning to work for Victor. He looked at a photo of Cassie on his phone and asked if she thought he was making the right decision. Later, Sharon found Nick and guessed that they'd both ended up there because it was a good place to think. Nick remembered that Cassie had loved the place, and he always felt close to her there. He thought Cassie would have loved that he and Sharon had found their way back to one another, and he didn't want anything to get in the way of their relationship.
Nick asked Sharon again if she could handle it if he decided to accept Victor's offer. She reaffirmed that she would be there beside him because they were in it together, but she hoped he understood why she and Phyllis felt the way they did. He figured that they could say they'd told him so if it turned out to be a disaster, but he had to consider more than everything Victor had done in the past. Nick bemoaned that he'd lost his daughter, his brother, and almost his dad, and time was flying by. Sharon admired that he wanted to make the most of every day.
Nick mused that J.T. had tried to destroy their family, but it had only drawn them closer together. Nick considered it a reminder not to take the people he loved for granted, since they never knew what would happen. Nick and Sharon held one another close, and he worried that he'd upset her. She said it wasn't his fault that she'd let her emotions run away with her, and she confided that she still talked to Cassie every day. Nick admitted that he did it all the time, too, since Cassie had been an old soul with amazing insights. Nick had an idea and invited Sharon to join him.
Nick flipped on the jukebox at Crimson Lights and extended his hand to Sharon to pull her into a dance. She wondered if he'd asked her to close up early so they could be alone, and it reminded her of a New Year's Eve that they'd spent together years earlier. He mused that it had been too long since they'd danced like that, and she marveled that it felt like everything would be all right when she was in his arms. Nick swore that it would be because he'd followed his heart, and it had led him back to her. He thought he had to do the same thing by doing what was best for him and his family, so he intended to accept his dad's offer to go back to Newman. They embraced, but Sharon didn't look happy.
At Jabot, Ashley arrived to see Billy, and he asked if she had an appointment, since he hadn't seen one on the books. She questioned when she'd needed an appointment to see her brother, and he replied that he was swamped. She explained that she was checking in to see if business was running smoothly, and she inquired whether he wanted to go over her business plan. Billy claimed that he hadn't had time to get to it yet, but he swore that it was on his list.
Ashley examined some swatches of cloth and imagined that Billy had been busy with decorating, and he revealed that he wanted to institute an open-door policy, including unprecedented access to the CEO. He insisted that the renovation would help facilitate that, and he rattled off his plans to interview new chemists and expand the lab to take up a whole floor. Ashley warned that it was beyond the company's budget, but Billy intended to reallocate dollars to move Jabot forward. She insisted that he take time to go over her proposal, and she told him that she'd touch base with him later that day. She looked irked when he answered a call and asked if someone had been able to massage the numbers.
Later, Billy praised Kyle for standing by Jack during the crisis, especially since he knew it affected Kyle, too. Kyle reiterated that he could relate to being an outsider, and Billy recalled that he'd also been persona non grata with the Abbotts because he'd been born long after his siblings. Kyle countered that at least Billy was a true Abbott, whereas Kyle had felt like he'd been crashing the party for years, and it had only become worse. Billy swore that Kyle would always be part of the family, despite the DNA test. Billy implored Kyle to stick around if it was what he wanted, but only if Billy could trust Kyle to have his back.
Kyle acknowledged that it was only fair for Billy to be skeptical, given how Kyle had acted when Jack had been in jail. Billy also cited Kyle's ongoing friendship with Victor, and Kyle noted that the trust had to go both ways. Billy recognized that he'd be a hypocrite not to give Kyle a second chance, and he didn't want to push Kyle or Jack away when they needed to pull together. Kyle pressed Billy to get rid of the blood clause and let Jack be CEO again, but Billy stood by his decision, since Jack wasn't in an emotional space to lead the company.
Billy swore that he loved his brother and felt for him, but he thought giving Jack time to heal was the best decision for everyone, including Jack. Kyle swore that he could live with that. Billy told Kyle that the contract Jack had signed to sponsor Hilary's show was up for renewal, and he assigned Kyle to renegotiate the terms in their favor. Kyle protested that the contract seemed fine, but Billy thought Jack had done Hilary a sweet favor, and he believed they could do better, unless Kyle had a problem with it. Kyle declared that he was all in.
Ashley joined Neil for coffee at the Athletic Club bar and reported that Jack was doing better than he had been at the cabin. She thanked Neil for pulling Jack back from the edge, and Neil imagined that Billy's appointment as CEO had been tough on Jack. Ashley confirmed that Jack had been devastated, but they'd had to make the move because he'd disappeared. Neil insisted that he was Ashley's friend as well as Jack's, and he invited her to talk to him confidentially. She shared that she hadn't counted on Billy's response.
Neil guessed that Billy was finding the responsibility overwhelming, but Ashley disclosed that Billy had overcome his doubts and embraced his new role with relish. She couldn't believe Billy's decisions and expenditures, even though she'd been trying to talk sense into him. She intended to wait for things to calm down, get rid of the blood Abbott clause, and appoint the best person for the job. Neil speculated that she'd choose Jack or Kyle, but Ashley dismissed Kyle as being far from ready, and she complained that Jack had made at least one bad decision for every good one. Neil thought that left only her, but she wouldn't give him a firm answer. He remarked that she hadn't lost her touch, and he assured her that the discussion would stay between them.
At Hamilton-Winters, Tessa played guitar and sang in the office as Neil walked in. She nervously swore that she'd gotten everything done before she'd pulled out her guitar, and Neil assured her that it was totally fine, since he'd do the same thing on every break if he could play and sing like her. He mentioned that Devon had told him why she'd been pulled from the label, and Tessa admitted that stealing lyrics from Mariah's journal hadn't been one of her prouder moments. Neil hoped that Tessa was still pursuing her dream, and Tessa confirmed she was, although she was also very appreciative to Devon for helping her to support herself.
Neil commended Tessa's work, and she confided that she'd been worried that he would fire her when he'd returned, since he could be a little scary in business mode. Kyle entered and queried whether Devon was around, and Tessa offered to give Devon a message. Kyle explained that he was there to renegotiate the terms of Jabot's sponsorship contract, and Neil stepped in to handle the matter. Kyle declared that Jabot was willing to continue to sponsor Hilary's show at a reduced rate, since Jack's initial agreement with Hilary had been extremely generous, but it was time to be realistic. Neil doubted that Jabot would walk if the rate wasn't lowered, and he suggested that they reach a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Neil agreed that the initial period had been generous, but it had turned into a bargain, since the show's ratings in Jabot's key demographics had skyrocketed. Neil thought he was in a position to demand a substantial increase, but he imagined that Kyle preferred not to give his boss a worse deal than what they'd previously had. Neil proposed that they call it a draw and keep the terms as-is for the new contract period, but Kyle stated that it didn't work for him. Neil was amenable to letting Jabot keep its marketing dollars while the show found another sponsor.
Kyle stammered that Billy wouldn't want that, and Neil proclaimed that it was settled. Neil said doing business with Kyle had been a pleasure, and Kyle mumbled that it had been for one of them. After Neil departed, Kyle realized that Tessa had watched him get schooled when he didn't even know her name, and they introduced themselves. Mariah arrived and asked if they knew one another, and Kyle replied that they did then. Tessa informed Mariah that everyone was gone if she was there to talk about the show, but Mariah clarified that she was there to see Tessa.
Mariah wondered if Tessa was free later, and Tessa surmised that Mariah needed something for the show. Mariah said she'd been thinking about grabbing a bite to eat and catching a movie, since it hadn't been the easiest day, and she could use popcorn and good company to take her mind off things. Kyle insinuated that he was free later, too, and he could also use some escapism. Tessa asked if Kyle and Mariah were friends, and Mariah good-naturedly groaned that they tolerated one another. Mariah supposed that she could take pity on him and allow him to tag along, and Tessa thought it would be fun -- or at least interesting.
Mariah, Tessa, and Kyle argued about what movie to see, but Mariah's face fell when she received a text message. Mariah reported that Hilary was having a meltdown about the next day's show and was scrapping the whole idea, so Mariah had to get to the studio. Mariah hurried off, and Kyle suggested that he and Tessa still go. She thanked him for the offer but declined, and he stared at her with interest as she returned to work.
Billy finished a call as Phyllis entered his office, and she voiced surprise that Gloria hadn't been there to announce her. Billy figured that Gloria was off having fun by joining Arturo on a supply run, and Phyllis remarked that it was because Arturo was "hotness personified." She added that eye candy was good for the soul; however, she had the man she wanted, and seeing Billy in charge got her motor humming. Billy crowed that the more he got into the job, the clearer it became what he wanted to do with the company, and he had the authority to do it.
Billy recalled that no one had thought John's youngest son would amount to much, and he recognized that he might not do things John's way, but he wanted to make his father proud. Phyllis purred that Billy made her proud, and they kissed passionately and began to disrobe. A short time later, Ashley knocked on Billy's office door and was dismayed to find it locked. Ashley plopped down to wait as Billy and Phyllis had sex on the couch.
Ashley stood up to leave, but Billy's office door opened, and a disheveled Phyllis and Billy stumbled out. Billy lamely claimed that they'd been tied up in an intensive meeting, and Ashley suggested that Phyllis adjust her skirt. Phyllis recommended that Billy get some good blinds for the window he was putting up, and she scurried off. Billy said he hadn't expected Ashley back that soon, and he didn't want a lecture. Ashley contended that if he had time for fun and games with Phyllis, then he had time for a serious business conversation with his sister.
Ashley reminded Billy that she'd told him that she'd be back to go over her business plan, and she asked for his thoughts. Billy maintained that he hadn't had time because he'd been jammed with calls and meetings with people other than Phyllis. Ashley was sure that he'd see there was a lot of merit to her ideas, and she dropped a huge file of hard copies on his desk in case he'd misplaced the hard drive. She pulled out a summary that highlighted the key points for him, and he promised to go over it when he got home. She departed, and he threw the summary in the trash, followed by the entire file.
Jack resigns from Jabot
A forlorn Abby sat alone at the Athletic Club bar, and Devon approached and jokingly offered to forward any complaints to the owner. She invited him to join her in South Beach, since she'd booked a mini-vacation with a friend from boarding school who had canceled because of work. Abby complained that the beach rental was too cool for her to go alone, and she speculated that there was a lot of talent down there, waiting to be discovered. Devon regretfully declined because Hamilton-Winters was hosting a Memorial Day barbecue.
At Hamilton-Winters, Lily told Charlie that it was quitting time, and she presented him with a tuxedo. She envisioned her baby boy at his first prom, and he steeled himself for major embarrassment. Lily insisted that it was a teenage rite of passage, and she had to lay it on thick with Cane out of town. Charlie stepped out to get dressed as Devon entered, and Lily referred to a text message that Devon had to see about a certain talk show host who he happened to employ. He looked at her phone.
After Devon left, Abby stopped by the office. Lily revealed that Hilary was trending online, but not in a way Hilary would like. Abby imagined that Lily liked it, and she mentioned that she'd invited Devon to take the place of a friend on a weekend getaway. Lily was sure that he had said no because of the barbecue, and Abby asked if Lily could go. Lily explained that with prom and Cane being gone, she had to be supermom all weekend. Abby squealed over Charlie's adorable "promposal" on Hilary's show, and she wistfully recalled a time in her youth when she hadn't known that life never got any easier.
Abby confided that she'd met a guy who was insanely hot, but they hadn't spent enough time together to know if it would go anywhere. Abby described Arturo as down-to-earth and gorgeous, and she recounted that they'd had a few solid unplanned hangouts, but she was dismayed that he'd blown her off when she'd offered to be his plus-one at a charity event. Lily thought Abby might have misread things, and she encouraged Abby to find out by inviting him to Miami with her. Abby balked because the expectation might be that sex was included, but Lily contended that if he was as amazing as Abby said he was, he wouldn't assume any "unearned privileges."
Arturo greeted Abby in the club foyer, and he said he owed her after getting a glimpse of himself in his suit after he'd returned home from the charity dinner. She wondered if it had been the suit or the ladies eyeballing him at the event, and she figured that he'd scored with no plus-one weighing him down. Abby insisted that it was cool that he hadn't wanted her to accompany him, and she preferred being told nothing over lies. She asked if it had been a good time for a good cause, and he replied that he would have had a better time with her.
At the club bar, Abby pointed out that Arturo had trusted her with his wardrobe, and she implored him to trust her with his travel plans. She explained that she'd had a trip booked for weeks with a girlfriend who'd had to bail, and her friend had paid for the whole rental because she'd felt bad about it. Arturo remarked that nothing was wrong with going solo, but Abby informed him that her friend had also provided a companion ticket if she could find someone to tag along. She asked what he was doing for the next 72 hours, and he replied that he was working. She urged him to have his crew cover for him, grab his fancy suit, and join her. He mentioned that he had family in Miami, and she suggested that he pay them a visit.
Later, Abby asked if Arturo had been able to move his schedule around. He reported that he'd been able to get approval after he'd convinced his client that the trip wouldn't affect the delivery date. Arturo prepared to pack his bags, and he thanked her. Abby said to thank her after seeing the apartment where they'd be staying, and he envisioned free cable and an ice machine. She bragged that it was on the beach and within walking distance of clubs, with an ocean view in both bedrooms. He said he couldn't wait to check out his room, but he pressed her to let him show her the real Miami. She chirped that they could be one another's tour guides.
At GC Buzz, Hilary introduced Shauna to a makeup artist, and she displayed dress options that Fenmore's had sent over. Shauna gushed that she loved the one she'd worn on the show, and she couldn't believe how much trouble Hilary had gone to. Shauna added that it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for her, but it was just a prom. Hilary declared that it was a celebration of the progress Shauna had made that year in school and in life.
Hilary teased that it was also a chance to get to know a cute, sweet guy a little better, and looking fierce would be the best way to get back at the "mean, popular bitches." Shauna insisted that she was on okay terms with the popular crowd, and Hilary pledged to make sure Shauna was the most beautiful girl at the dance. Hilary urged Shauna to take a peek at a few other gowns, since Shauna deserved to do better. Shauna asked why, but Hilary figured that there wouldn't be any time for makeup if she listed all the reasons. An unseen Devon looked on admiringly.
Hilary enthused that Shauna had picked the best possible dress, and she led Shauna over to have her makeup done. Hilary noticed Devon and asked how long he'd been there, and he replied that he'd been there long enough. He said it had been nice watching her with Shauna, and he reckoned that Hilary was loving it even more than Shauna was. Hilary was determined for everything to be perfect, and Devon observed that she looked like a proud mom. Hilary mused that she was getting to relive all of it with Shauna.
Lily fawned over Charlie when he reappeared in his tux. Charlie pointed out that she'd just seen him in a tux at the movie premiere, but she marveled that it was about him growing up and becoming mature. He proposed that she get rid of his silly curfew, but she clucked that he knew both she and his dad would have a problem with that. She prepared to give him the prom night lecture, and he jokingly yelled for Devon.
Lily instructed Charlie to take pictures on his way to prom, since the show had increased its spending limit for the episode, and there was a special car to take him and Shauna there. Lily revealed that Hilary was filming the day as a follow-up to the original show, and Charlie exclaimed that it was awesome. He suddenly winced when he realized that he'd left Shauna's corsage at home in the fridge, and he worried that he'd ruined the whole night before it had even started. Lily assured Charlie that everything would be fine, and Mattie rushed in with the corsage.
Lily reported that the limo had picked Shauna up right on schedule. Shauna appeared in the doorway, and Mattie introduced herself and Lily. Lily praised that Shauna looked phenomenal. Lily inquired about the limo ride, and Shauna quipped that ten prom couples and a band could fit in the car. Charlie slipped the corsage onto Shauna's wrist, and she gave him a boutonnière. Lily helped to pin it on Charlie's lapel, and Charlie and Shauna beamed at one another as Lily and Mattie snapped photos.
Once alone, Hilary tried on one of the prom gowns and gazed at herself in the mirror. When Devon remarked that she was ravishing, she was startled, since she'd thought he'd left. He explained that he'd gone out to pick something up, and he set down a small shopping bag. Hilary revealed that the dress had been Shauna's second choice, and Devon noted that it suited Hilary very well. He admitted that he'd shown up to tease her after her name had popped up in an online news alert, but he'd changed his mind after he'd seen her with Shauna.
Devon revealed that the news had refuted Hilary's claim that she'd been her school's prom queen, since the girl who had been named queen had gone online to bust Hilary. Devon realized that Hilary had been too busy with Shauna to notice that the story had gone viral, and Hilary admitted that she'd lied for a good reason. She explained that she'd worked really hard on her school's prom, securing the venue and staying up all night to decorate the place by herself, but she'd been a distant third out of four in the voting for prom queen. Hilary divulged that most of the girls in her class had turned on her because the mean rich girl who'd won had told everyone that Hilary had gotten her prom dress from a thrift store.
Hilary added that the girl had worn the dress to prom the year before, and Hilary hadn't known that it had been the girl's hand-me-down, but the "bitch" had made sure Hilary had been the last person to find out. Hilary swore that she hadn't planned on talking about her own prom on her show; however, it had been a chance to rewrite history, and she'd thought no one would know. She apologized for embarrassing Devon again, since it had been idiotic and immature. Devon thought Hilary had taken something hurtful and turned it into something positive by giving Shauna the opposite experience, which was the definition of maturity.
Devon stated that Hilary had had the last laugh, since she mentored, hosted her own talk show, and wore brand-new prom dresses as well as any 17-year-old. "There's only one queen in this story, and I'm looking right at her," Devon asserted. She thanked him for not being angry with her for lying on the air, and she shuddered to think what other people thought of her for doing so. Hilary recognized that she should have moved on from her prom queen drama, and Devon declared that she would after they took care of something. He handed her the shopping bag, and she pulled out a tiara.
Devon reasoned that Hilary needed to be crowned prom queen to correct the mistake that had been made when she'd been robbed, but she realized that he hadn't known the truth when he'd bought it. Devon commended her for a job well done, and he thought a brilliant, beautiful fairy godmother like herself deserved some magic in her life. He placed the tiara on her head, and she smiled.
Devon played some music on his phone, and he bowed deeply before pulling Hilary close. They swayed and stared into one another's eyes, and he asked her to tell him about the guy who was supposed to have been her prom king. She claimed that she didn't remember his name, but he noted that her memories from the night seemed pretty clear. "Not anymore," she replied, adding that someone had taken the guy's place. They hugged.
At Jabot, Billy presented his employees with popcorn and encouraged them to enjoy the nap pods on the third floor if they ate too much. He declared that it was his way of welcoming a new era of Jabot, and everyone clapped. Jack muttered to Kyle that they needed to make sure it was the shortest era in Jabot history -- and fast. Jack grumbled that it had only taken a few days for Billy to show his true colors, and he imagined that Billy was trying to win the respect of his staff with snacks. Jack was glad that John wasn't there to witness it, but Kyle urged Jack to remind Billy that he had resources to make his job easier.
In Billy's office, Billy blindfolded Phyllis, sprayed a fragrance, and asked what she smelled. She was reminded of her grandma swooping in to pinch her cheeks, and she hoped it was a rival's product. He unmasked her, and she was shocked to see that it was one of Jabot's classic fragrances. Billy explained that it had been around for decades and had developed into one of their worst-selling items. Phyllis inquired whether Ashley had mentioned it in her business plan, and Billy revealed that he hadn't read it because he had ideas of his own -- like sending the fragrance to the archives.
Later, outside Billy's office, Phyllis informed Kyle that Jack and Billy were having a talk. She hoped Kyle saw Billy taking over as a fresh start, since Billy wouldn't hold Kyle's questionable behavior against him -- unless Kyle kept manipulating to pursue his own agenda as Victor's spy. Kyle said he'd already heard the same thing from Billy, but it was his boss's job to give him advice, and he wondered why he was hearing it from his boss's girlfriend. Kyle questioned whether her role had changed, too, but she suggested that he get a quick reality check in the mirror before he referred to nepotism.
Meanwhile, Billy reported that Jabot Go's numbers continued to be solid, but Jack was more interested in Billy's sudden spending spree on employee perks. Billy cited other areas that could lead to sizable savings, like cutting an old fragrance from the product line. Jack protested that the scent was the cornerstone of Jabot. Billy respected the company's history, but he insisted that it was a business and not a museum. Billy added that times had changed, but Jack spat that the only thing that had changed was the CEO, and it signaled the end for Jabot. Billy argued that he was trying to get a fresh take on things, based on current market viability, and all the research pointed away from keeping the fragrance because it represented a Jabot from the past.
Jack countered that it embodied unchanging core values, but he couldn't teach Billy that. Billy whipped out proof that Jack's assertion was a crock -- an internal memo from the prior year, indicating that Jack had had the same idea. Jack growled that he'd changed his mind after conducting a feasibility study, and he'd made an informed decision to keep the product. Jack sourly suggested that Billy consider John's words that the only perk employees cared about was their annual raise, but Billy pointed out that John had been a smart businessman who had known when to make changes. Jack snapped that John would have made all kinds of changes if he was there -- and he knew just where John would have started.
Later, Billy told Phyllis that he wished he'd never pulled out the memo, since Jack had thought Billy had been throwing it in his face. Phyllis thought the memo proved that Jack had failed to challenge the decisions John had made years earlier. She continued that Jack led with his heart and not his head, and being the big boss meant making changes for the greater good. Billy swore that he just wanted to keep the company strong and make his family proud, and Phyllis contended that John hadn't made Jabot a powerhouse by ignoring profits and losses. Billy amorously said she could make finance sound sexy, and she seductively suggested that they take care of some teambuilding exercises without Jack there.
At Crimson Lights, Jack admitted to Kyle that he'd been wrong to suggest that they bide their time to take control again, and Kyle wondered if Jack wanted to make a move immediately. Jack didn't anticipate ever making a move, since he had no place to defend the Abbott name and values to John's real son. Kyle insisted that Jack was still John's son, but Jack recognized that despite John's influence, he was also someone else who he was still discovering. Jack recalled that Billy had given him good advice not to fear change, so he intended to change the way he spent his days and stop trying to protect a company that wasn't his.
Jack planned to take his skills and experience and start something new to enjoy life again, since he had too much to offer to sit around waiting for something to happen. Jack saw the talent and drive in Kyle that would allow him to do whatever he wanted, and Kyle asked if Jack thought they would make a good team. Jack crowed that they'd be an unbeatable one, and he believed they owed it to themselves not to spend another day letting Billy slow their momentum. Jack said he'd see Kyle at Jabot, where they would kick things off.
At Jabot, Jack and Kyle found Billy and Phyllis on their way out to a meeting, but Jack insisted that they talk. Phyllis offered to push back the meeting time, and Jack promised to be brief. Jack explained that it was clear to him that he and Billy had fundamentally different and incompatible visions for the company. Jack continued that he respected that Billy was the new CEO, but he didn't have to stick around for it -- and he wouldn't.
Jack resigned effective that night, but Billy protested that it was an impulsive, crazy move over a little disagreement about an underselling perfume. Jack contended that their problems ran deeper than the perfume and that Kyle felt the same way. Kyle piped up that he fully supported Jack's decision, but he couldn't quit because his opportunities were at Jabot. Jack proclaimed that they were done, and he stalked out over Billy's protests. Jack boarded the elevator and left alone.